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Universal Transformation

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Universal Transformation?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Universal Transformation

A Continual Process of Creation Coupled with a Continuous Process of Annihilation

We can know universal transformation in various ways. The way we have described it above is one of the subtlest, similar to our discussion of morphogenic transformation in chapter 7. Being is indivisible and is constantly changing its appearance. We can also experience the same process similarly to how we saw inner experience unfolding in chapter 7. Each of these ways discloses a significant aspect of the eternal dynamism of true nature. In fact, the above discussion mixed two ways of perception. One is pure transformation. Nothing is created and nothing is annihilated; Being simply transforms its form. The other is that this transformation is not a change, but a new creation. Each instant a new universe is created, while the one before it is annihilated. We perceive the process of universal transformation as a continual process of creation, coupled with a continuous process of annihilation. We directly perceive creation happening, instant to instant. The experience may emphasize the creation process or its opposite, the annihilation process. In other words, we may be struck by the newness of the universe, how it is continually renewed and re-created. Life and experience is always new, full of possibilities, and open to unexpected surprises. Or we may be struck by the enormous power of Being that is always annihilating everything. We are aware of the new creation, but our focus is on the end of this creation, which is that it never stays, never remains, but is always moving toward cessation. We then recognize the folly of holding on to anything, for all forms are evanescent and transitory; this insight helps the soul to develop nonattachment.

A Flowing and Unfolding Presence

When we experience the process of universal transformation as a flowing and unfolding presence, we begin to recognize the dimension of dynamic presence itself. The various ways of experiencing universal transformation in the above discussion reflect how we experience the coemergence of dynamic presence with the other boundless dimensions, and the degrees of subtlety of experiencing these dimensions. But when we experience it specifically as the flowing and unfoldment of presence we come upon the particular dimension of dynamic presence, at least in the logos of the Diamond Approach. Our experience focuses here on the dimension of true nature responsible for change and movement, which provides us with a more complete and detailed understanding of the changeability of existence.

Movement from Nonexistence to Existence

One of the most common ways of perceiving the phenomenon of universal transformation is the recognition that objects do not move from the past to the present. Such movement depends on reification and absence of the perception of the unity of Being. It also implies the belief that each object is old, that it has existed from some certain moment in time, and now time passes on it, this way changing or moving. We instead see the object coming into existence each moment. It comes into existence and passes away as a new object takes its place. The new object looks exactly identical to the one before it, or almost so. In other words, the object is always being replaced by a newer version of itself. The movement is not from the past to the present, but from nonexistence to existence, from nonmanifestation to manifestation. This way the object is always new, for time never passes on it. Since the new object is identical to the one before it, and the change happens too quickly for the eye to discern, we can easily believe it is the same object, and then conceive of the concept of time to account for its changes. Yet in reality, the object is coming into creation continually; it is being continually and newly created, instead of being created—coming into existence—at some point in the past and after that existing in time.

Universal Transformation Seen as a Process of Manifestation

We can also experience universal transformation as a process of manifestation. In this perception we are aware of the purity of true nature, a homogeneous unity beyond any form or color. We perceive the forms of the universe manifesting out of this timeless ground, as if they are first hidden and unmanifest but then come out into manifestation. We then view the appearance of Being as the manifest reality, with the pure ground of Being as the unmanifest. This perception is clearest when we perceive the transformation process from the perspective of the absolute dimension, the subject of the next chapter. There are many grades of subtlety to this perception, which we will discuss in the next chapter. We experience the absolute as the unmanifest, the source of all manifestation, and perceive everything manifesting out of it. In fact, we witness the whole dimension of dynamic presence as manifesting within the vast mystery of the absolute, which is concomitant to the continual manifesting of the totality of the universe. More accurately, we experience the dimension of dynamic presence as the manifesting manifestation. Its emergence is the emergence of all creation, with all of its dimensions and forms.

“Appearing” is a Different and Unique way of Experiencing Universal Transformation

Because of this subtle understanding of the process of manifestation it is sometimes preferable to refer to it as “appearing,” where “appearing” is not only a terminological difference, but actually a different and unique way of experiencing universal transformation. Everything seems to appear, to continue to appear, and to keep changing its appearance. Here there is the sense that there is absolutely nothing, and out of this nothing everything simply appears. This implies several things. First, the process does not take time, for appearing is instantaneous. As the forms appear they immediately disappear, and a new phenomenon appears. Both appearing and disappearing take no time; it is all instantaneous. We see a process only in the fact that appearing continues to happen, in conjunction with disappearing. Another interesting implication of this perception is that we experience Reality clearly as appearance. In other words, it is very clear in this perception that the forms are only the appearance of Reality, and not its substance. We experience the totality of the universe, including the rocks and mountains, as light and ephemeral, possessing neither substantiality nor solidity. Everything seems to be of the nature of light, or even of thought. In fact, everything is of the nature of image, insubstantial and totally empty. Everything spontaneously appears, without ever establishing itself as something solid. We feel light, transparent; everything is free of gravity. The nature of everything is unrestricted freedom.

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