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Universe (Living Universe)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Universe (Living Universe)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Universe (Living Universe)

Experiencing Yourself as an Inextricable Part of the Fabric of the Living Universe

The Holy Ideas are not exactly states of consciousness; they are certain ways of experiencing reality. So you could be experiencing a particular essential state, and at the same time you might experience transparency or not. You cannot, however, experience transparency without experiencing some quality of Being, because if you are not experiencing Being you are experiencing ego, and the Holy Ideas are not accessible in the egoic realm. As we abide in this Holy Idea and appreciate ourselves as unique and individual waves in the vast ocean, our need for separating boundaries begins to relax. This discriminating wisdom changes our perceptions: Each person, each object, each appearance becomes more real, more palpable, more dimensional. Everything becomes more real and substantial while still being implicitly part of the larger whole. You experience yourself as a definite, individualized person who is at the same time an inextricable part of the fabric of the living universe. The edges between people and objects cease to limit, disconnect, and isolate. Instead, they enhance the reality of existence, revealing the beauty, the richness, and the uniqueness of each person and each existence. Everything stands out in clearer relief. One’s sense of oneself is more individuated, but without that sense of definition disconnecting you from the rest of existence. Here, the foreground of differentiated reality is in focus, against a background of Holy Truth.

Facets of Unity, pg. 112

In the Pure Experience of Direct Union with the Living Universe . . .

The issue of the extension object relation makes it very difficult to experience and integrate the Holy Idea of Transparency. Because of it, one either resists the experience or becomes attached to being an extension in a way that continues to support the personality. Holy Transparency means experiencing things without your personal mind. Then, as an individual, you are an extension of the universe, an extension of the Holy Truth—and not as a mental construct, not with an image in your mind that you are an extension of the universe. It is only as part of the extension object relation that one has an image of oneself as one side or the other of a merged relationship. After you work through the need to be the center, being an extension of the universe feels like a great relief. Needing to be the center of the extension object relation is a big job, since you are holding yourself as God. In the pure experience of direct union with the living universe, you know yourself to be completely supported, completely loved, completely held, and completely taken care of as a human being. The living consciousness of the universe is above you, surrounding you, within you, and you know that you are a part of it. This brings a wonderful sense of relaxation and joy. A sense of tremendous preciousness and value arises as you see that not only do you need the living universe to exist and support you, but that without you, that living universe would be blind. You are not expendable. Holy Omniscience or Transparency is not just a matter of dimly perceiving that you are part of something greater than yourself. That is only the beginning of the experience. The full experience is of the totality of the universe as a living presence of which you are a part; you are a consciousness that is conscious of the totality; you not only feel yourself as part of the whole, but you also experience that whole. You are aware of the whole like a wave is aware of the whole ocean and of the other waves that are also part of it. If you do feel that you are part of something greater, but you are not yet aware of that larger whole, and don’t yet experience others as also part of that wholeness, this indicates that there is still some opacity in the experience and that your boundaries are not completely transparent.

Facets of Unity, pg. 111

Recognizing that as Human Beings We are Organs of Perception for the Universe

As we discussed in Part One, the quality of Living Daylight functions like a solvent, melting all boundaries. For this reason, in our work, it is the specific energy required for working on the Holy Ideas. The aspect of space erases boundaries, while Living Daylight dissolves them into itself. In the presence of Living Daylight, boundaries lose their opacity, their rigidity, their partitioning quality, and they become merely outlines. The sense of separateness is dissolved through love, and everyone and everything is seen as love, a manifestation of an ocean of love. When we have this experience, we understand what Holy Omniscience means. Then we also can understand objectively what it is to be a human being: It is to be an extension of the objective truth. We recognize that, as human beings, we are organs of perception for the universe, and that this Holy Idea explicates the place of the human in relation to the living universe. Through us, the universe experiences or knows itself fully, not only physically, not only emotionally, not only mentally, but on all the spiritual dimensions as well.

Facets of Unity, pg. 108

The Cosmos is a Living Universe

In the preceding chapter on Holy Truth, we explored one of the three Holy Ideas that elucidate the fundamental nature of the universe when it is seen objectively, that is, with no subjective filters. We have seen that the cosmos is a living universe in which all levels and dimensions form a unity, and that this one living unity is the ultimate truth of existence. The way this universal view of reality is reflected in human experience is described by the next Holy Idea that we will discuss, Holy Omniscience, which is also sometimes called Holy Transparency. Our understanding of this Holy Idea expands on Ichazo’s definition above. Holy Omniscience is the Universal Mind, which is the multiplicity of existence within the unity described by Holy Truth. Universal Mind includes all that exists in its various manifestations, with all the various colors, the richness, and the continuous transformations of reality. It could also be called God’s Knowledge, since what God “knows” is the whole universe in all its multiplicity. You might say that Holy Omniscience is the same perception as Holy Truth, but with a different emphasis. In Holy Truth, the emphasis is on the unity of the universe; it is all “of the same taste,” as the Tibetan Buddhists say. With Holy Omniscience, the emphasis is on the differentiations and discriminations within that unity. So the focus here is on the various parts, in all their variety and multiplicity, that together comprise the unitive whole. To perceive reality through the facet of Holy Omniscience is like looking at a whole Persian rug, but focusing on the different designs contained within it.

Facets of Unity, pg. 97

There is Only One Existence

We have seen that objectively there is no such thing as a separate self; so when we experience ourselves as separate, we are deluded. The actual reality is that we are not separate, but the contrary conviction is so powerful that we constantly experience ourselves as separate. The belief completely determines your experience. The sense of being like a fortress, with impenetrable walls around you that separate you from everything else, is your actual experience. The delusion here is not that you are an individual, but that you are an isolated individual, with boundaries that separate you from everything else. This delusion is at the heart of the Five ennea-type, and the exact key that unlocks it is Holy Omniscience and Holy Transparency. If you believe that you are a separate individual, your vision is clouded by subjectivity since you are holding yourself separate from God, which cannot be. There is only one existence, and that is God, the Holy Truth, objective reality, the living cosmos, the universe—whatever you want to call it—so holding on to the conviction that you are separate is like creating two universes, yours and the rest of the cosmos. Then you have a relationship with the rest of the universe, thereby creating the mental construct of this fundamental object relation. By “object relation,” here, we mean the construction in the mind of a concept of one’s self in relation to the concept of other or of the world. From the perspective of Holy Truth, we see that there are no discrete objects; from the perspective of Holy Omniscience we see that there is no separate self. So with these two perspectives we can see that both ends of any object relation—self and other —cease to be experienced as real.

Facets of Unity, pg. 102

Two Experiences of the Nature of Reality

So the emphasis in the perception of Holy Omniscience is on the differentiation in the unity of all that exists, on the various aspects and dimensions of existence—yet this diversity does not negate the fact of unity. While Holy Truth is analogous to seeing your body as one unity, Holy Omniscience is seeing that your body has arms, legs, a face, internal organs, and so on—none of which are separate from the whole. This perception is a different kind of experience; it is looking at the same reality from a different angle: viewing the wholeness of reality as a multi-colored fabric. You could say that Holy Truth is the experience of unity, while Holy Omniscience is the experience of oneness—the sense that everything is interconnected and not separate, that everything makes up the one reality of the living universe. Here, we are seeing all the stars, the planets, the mountains, the rivers, the animals, and the people that are part of it, without isolating them from the context of the unity, the Holy Truth. The difference between these two experiences of the nature of reality is expressed in the Sufi tradition by two different names of God: Abad, the inner nature, and Wahid, the outer nature of the unity of existence. The experience of the inherent unity of reality is perceiving its inner nature, while the experience of its multiplicity is perceiving its outer nature. In the same tradition, unity is seen as God’s nature, and the oneness of appearances as God’s face. Holy Omniscience refers to how things appear, the “face” of the universe, and is also what is meant by Universal Mind (See chapter 16, Diamond Heart Book 4, Almaas, 1997).

Facets of Unity, pg. 98

When the Totality of the Living Universe is Present as Your Support

If you experience yourself exclusively as the Absolute with no concepts, you cannot function in the world. If you are in deep meditation, you can sink into it, but you can’t walk around that way since you wouldn’t be able to discriminate a truck heading your way, for instance. A truck is nothing but differentiating outlines and boundaries—the Universal Mind heading toward you with a certain density and at a certain speed! So it is important to perceive the Holy Truth because that is the ultimate nature of reality, but it is also important to know Holy Omniscience because without it, there would be no life, nor anyone to know the Holy Truth. Abiding in Holy Omniscience is a very beautiful condition in which you retain your humanity without losing your divinity. The totality of the living universe is present as your support, your ground, and your inner nature, but you are still a person, functioning and living the life of a human being. There is no sense of separation, so it isn’t as though you, as a human being, and the unity are two things that are put together. It is more like a kind of dual unity1 in the sense that you are not coexisting with the unity, but you are part of it, an extension of it, without losing your sense of being a human being. There is a sense of loving and enjoying the living universe and the unity, and in loving it, you are also loving yourself since you are an inseparable part of it.

Facets of Unity, pg. 107

You are the Living Universe as the Universe Lives in You

As our range of freedom expands—from being free from suffering to being free to experience presence and realization—we can come to a place where we don’t know who it is or what it is that is enjoying the freedom. Because it is free from perspective and position, freedom becomes, in some deep way, freedom from any sense of self. Yet, at the same time, we are the particular individual for whom freedom is relevant; we live a personal life that is significant and that needs to be addressed, lived, and enjoyed. My experience is that the more freedom there is, the more there is heart, the more there is love, the more there is enjoyment and appreciation, and the more there is clarity and understanding in living as an individual. Clarity and understanding become freely given, love and enjoyment become freely given—given and not possessed by anybody. As individuals, we share in them, we express them, and we enjoy them. They don’t come from anywhere and they are not going anywhere. These are some of the qualities that we experience as we live a free life. Living realization, living freedom, means that life becomes practice and practice becomes life. Practice is not a way to get to freedom; it is freedom expressing itself as practice. As you recognize that you are both the particular, unique individual and also Total Being in its indeterminacy, your life does become free from unnecessary suffering but, more importantly, it becomes inherently free—the joy of living the authentic life of Total Being. Total Being—the reality of all times and all space, of all beings and all phenomena—lives as the irrepressible freedom of our individual lives. And the freedom of your life simply expresses the freedom of the dynamic creativity of Total Being. You are the living universe as the universe lives as you.

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