Excerpts About Nonconceptual
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 466 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book IV, p. 313 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book IV, p. 298 • discuss »
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 467 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book IV, p. 299 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book IV, p. 322 • discuss »
Inner Journey Home, p. 49 • discuss »
Inner Journey Home, p. 328 • discuss »
Inner Journey Home, p. 329 • discuss »
Inner Journey Home, p. 443 • discuss »
The Unfolding Now, p. 196 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 50 • discuss »
At some point, we can recognize that emptiness offers not only freedom from constructs based on memory and concepts, but also freedom from nonconceptual structures. Our sense of self includes structures that are not constructed through conceptualizations, because they developed before we were able to know or to think. The experience of emptiness frees us from conceptual constructs and also from nonconceptual impressions, which are not constructed by the mind but are nevertheless imprinted onto the consciousness. So the consciousness mistakes these nonconceptual impressions as important features of reality and holds on to them as if they are what it is. Understanding these preverbal and nonconceptual structures liberates us more deeply from the sense of self and also moves our realization to deeper and more subtle levels.
Runaway Realization, p. 143 • discuss »
Many people, when they consider their immediate experience or their feelings and sensations, think that those experiences are nonconceptual, because they are not merely concepts in the mind. Although some traditions refer to feelings, sensations, and direct immediate experience as nonconceptual, in our work, we don’t call that nonconceptual experience. For us, those experiences are still conceptual, because they are recognizable and knowable. As long as there is recognition and knowing, there is conceptualizing. We can’t know without concepts. The knowing of any affect or sensation or spiritual state requires concepts. So, as long as there is any discernible experience, there are bound to be concepts. For example, in the immediate experience of “this is spaciousness,” there is a knowing of spaciousness that relies on a concept of what spaciousness is. Even though it is direct knowledge and is actual spaciousness—not an idea about spaciousness, not a memory about spaciousness, not an association about spaciousness—it is still conceptual. What I call nonconceptual is the experience of no cognition. In the Diamond Approach, we work with three dimensions of nonconceptuality, two of which I refer to as “radical nonconceptuality” and the third I call “total nonconceptuality.” We first encounter the dimensions of radical nonconceptuality when presence reveals that it is not only the nature of the soul or the individual consciousness, but also the nature of everything. To be able to understand both radical and total nonconceptuality, it is necessary to appreciate reality viewed from this new vantage, which I call the boundless dimensions.
Runaway Realization, p. 187 • discuss »
Nonconceptual awareness, pure awareness, shows that “nonconceptual” does not simply mean not mental. What people conventionally refer to as nonconceptual is the range of experience beyond the thinking mind—something either felt or experienced immediately. Pure awareness reveals a more radical kind of nonconceptuality, one that is not any direct experience or feeling state but direct experience that doesn’t have any kind of knowing in it. Both cognitive knowing and direct mystical knowing disappear in the radical nonconceptuality of this dimension.
Runaway Realization, p. 191 • discuss »
In our work with the boundless dimensions of reality, we first encounter radical nonconceptuality in the dimension of pure awareness. Reality appears here with pristine clarity and transparency, but there is no knowing. Because there is no knowing in this dimension, we consider it nonconceptual. There is only pure perception, pure nonconceptual awareness. In the beginning, we called this dimension “the nameless,” because, without knowing, we could not name anything. And we managed to give it a name anyway. Otherwise, each time we talk about it, we would have to say a whole paragraph to point to what we are talking about. That is what happens in any area of study; we have to create concepts, symbols, and labels to make communication more efficient. The arising of this nonconceptual dimension made it possible for us to understand the role of the primitive and precognitive structures that we discussed in the last chapter. Although we were already aware of these structures, we did not understand them fully. For a long time, I thought that they were constructs and concepts that I hadn’t yet penetrated. But the arising of the nonconceptual dimension, because it is truly nonconceptual and has no knowing, revealed that these structures were not representational but precognitive.
Runaway Realization, p. 189 • discuss »
But when the absolute looks at itself, it doesn’t see anything. There is nothing to perceive. If you look at the absolute, experience altogether disappears and the next thing you know you are back looking at phenomena. If you sense into it, there is nothing to sense. The absolute is not only nonconceptual, but also it is the source of nonconceptual awareness. And it is subtler than pure, primordial awareness, because there is no perception of sensation and no capacity for self-reflection. The capacity for self-reflection disappears here. In pure awareness, you can self-reflect even though you don’t have to. Here, if you self-reflect, nothing happens—experience stops; it is a non-event. It’s like what you see when you look into nonbeing. This dimension of absolute reality brings in the mysterious darkness, the luminous night.
Runaway Realization, p. 192 • discuss »
So far, I have differentiated between conventional nonconceptuality, which is immediate experience, feelings, and actions rather than mental content, and radical nonconceptuality, which is experience with no knowing at all. This absence of knowing and cognition characterizes both the pure awareness and absolute dimensions of true nature. Pure awareness is the empty lucidity of all experience and perception, the luminosity of true nature, and the absolute is the transparency before luminosity, the unobstructedness of nonbeing.
Runaway Realization, p. 194 • discuss »
As we explore the dimensions of pure awareness and the absolute, which lack any sense of knowing, we can begin to discern that they still harbor certain kinds of concepts. Pure awareness contains concepts of clarity, emptiness, and newness; and the absolute includes concepts of mystery, source, and nonbeing. But these dimensions share an even more subtle concept: their nonconceptuality. Because nonconceptual is the polar opposite of conceptual, it is one end of a conceptual polarity. As long as anything has an opposite, as long as anything is defined as not being its opposite, it is part of a polar dichotomy and is based on some kind of subtle conceptuality. So our experience of nonconceptuality, which is pure freshness and clarity and transparency, is still not completely nonconceptual, because total nonconceptuality has to be something that is not opposed to anything else. Now the subtle conceptuality of the nonconceptual dimensions is not a mental conceptuality, is not something that our individual mind creates. It is part of our natural cognitive development and one of the ways that Total Being manifests awareness. This is a much more basic type of conceptuality than what our mind constructs. These are not concepts that we created. These subtle concepts are a class of experience that we usually think of as fundamental to reality, as a priori elements of reality.
Runaway Realization, p. 196 • discuss »
As we recognize the subtle concepts in the nonconceptual dimensions, we begin to see that it is possible for Total Being to manifest true nature as a nonconceptuality that is not the opposite of concepts, a nonconceptuality that transcends both the concepts of the conceptual and the nonconceptual. This total nonconceptuality becomes instrumental in illuminating the precognitive structures. Total Being manifesting as total nonconceptuality powerfully challenges and illuminates precognitive structures. It does this by the mere fact of not being opposed to concepts. Because total nonconceptuality is not the absence of concepts, it is a nonconceptuality that has no trouble with concepts. In this condition, both the conceptual and the nonconceptual are categories that manifest within this awareness and are recognized as the two ends of one polarity. Many people can arrive at this insight logically.
Runaway Realization, p. 196 • discuss »
True nature reveals this kind of total nonconceptuality as one of the possibilities for human beings. Nonconceptuality can reach a condition that has nothing to do with the opposite of what we experience. So our freedom from time is not timelessness. Our freedom from time is total freedom from the concept of time. The interesting thing about the experience of no time, which is beyond timelessness and time, is that it is comfortable with both time and timelessness. Time can be present, but the sense of Being is that Being has nothing to do with time. It is similar to the presence of concepts in total nonconceptuality—the condition is neither attached to nor opposed to concepts. It is a total transcendence of the polarity. We think that nonconceptuality is a transcendence of concepts, but total nonconceptuality is a transcendence of that very transcendence. More precisely, we could say it is not really a transcendence at all: It is the pure simplicity of experience and perception.
Runaway Realization, p. 199 • discuss »
What I call nonconceptual is the experience of no cognition. In the Diamond Approach, we work with three dimensions of nonconceptuality, two of which I refer to as “radical nonconceptuality” and the third I call “total nonconceptuality.” We first encounter the dimensions of radical nonconceptuality when presence reveals that it is not only the nature of the soul or the individual consciousness, but also the nature of everything. To be able to understand both radical and total nonconceptuality, it is necessary to appreciate reality viewed from this new vantage, which I call the boundless dimensions. As we experience these boundless dimensions of reality, our view changes in a big way. The vantage point of perception no longer is the center of observation that we have called the self, but rather is the vastness of Being itself. The sense of being a subject, in the beginning, is experienced as being an individual that sees itself through the aperture of the self. As that aperture opens up, at some point we see that the individual is not the true subject. The vastness of consciousness or awareness is the true subject. But even that is not entirely accurate, because in this vastness both the individual consciousness and other forms of experience appear at the same time.
Runaway Realization, p. 187 • discuss »
For now, it is enough for us to know that nonconceptuality can go beyond what we usually experience as nonconceptual, whether that is the conventional sense of the nonconceptual as direct experience or the nondual sense of it as the transcendence of concepts. This going beyond nonconceptuality is not a negation of anything. Even to say “going beyond” is not an exact description but rather an approximation of the situation, because there is no “going” and no “beyond.” The move from radical nonconceptuality to total nonconceptuality is one of greater inclusion. Because it is not patterned or bound by polarity, total nonconceptuality is open to all the possibilities of experience—conceptual, nonconceptual, and otherwise. Freedom comes not by eliminating concepts but by becoming master of them, so that what we are is not patterned by them in any fixed manner. As our freedom becomes unconditional, we are able to experience and utilize concepts and no concepts with comfort and ease, with a simplicity that is beyond the need for fixation and an openness that refuses to be limited.
Runaway Realization, p. 201 • discuss »
Consciousness is the first thing that is needed for any experience. You cannot recognize a table without the capacity to be aware of a table. You cannot have any conceptual experience, such as, “I have a body” unless you have the consciousness that allows you to be aware of a body Then in addition to the consciousness you need the concept of body before you can experience “I have a body.” Before that you might be experiencing a body but not recognizing it as a body. The nonconceptual does not have categories. It is just the bare awareness. It is purity itself. It is complete innocence. The nonconceptual does not have a sense of time. Here, the closest thing to time is like a sense of eternity. But by eternity we do not mean something that goes on forever. The sense of eternity indicates a realm that has nothing to do with time. Time is a concept. From the perspective of the nonconceptual, you cannot say whether something exists or doesn’t, because existence and non-existence are concepts. When your awareness of yourself is nonconceptual, there’s no one there saying, “I exist” or “I don’t exist.” When you are contemplating existence or nonexistence, you have already distinguished two things, and are thus in the realm of the conceptual. So this realm is beyond existence or nonexistence. And even though there is consciousness, there isn’t an idea of consciousness. Consciousness is not saying “I am consciousness.” There is consciousness because there is consciousness, not because it is saying, “I am consciousness.” It’s very subtle. Then, when you go to the Absolute, even that is gone. There is complete darkness.
Diamond Heart Book IV, p. 322 • discuss »