AH Almaas: To be an instrument of the absolute is to be its absolute servant

To be an instrument of the absolute is to be its absolute servant, which is the same as being a complete, thoroughly ripened, and mature human adult. This is human happiness and fulfillment. This is the station of realization of the freedom vehicle, which is the reason we frequently refer to it as the body of service. We develop a new subtle body, which inherently recognizes its function as servicing the truth of Reality. It is a precise, clear, totally objective wisdom, completely free from subjective bias or reaction. This functioning may appear as a limitation when compared with the station of abiding in the absolute, and students tend to react to it in this manner, yet it is actually a deeper and higher realization. For in this station there is no preference at all; there is no need at all for any state or condition, not even for that of the absolute.

A.H. Almaas from The Inner Journey Home: Soul’s Realization of the Unity of Reality, ch. 23, p. 458

I agree with the general gist of it, from my own experience and understanding. (Which is limited, as it is for all of us.) And I hesitate when I see people using absolutist language.

He uses words such as “totally objective wisdom”, and “no preference at all”. On the surface of it, it seems suspect. Is it really that black and white?

Is there anything that’s totally objective? Are we even in a position to know?

Aren’t we all programmed by our culture and traditions? Even if all identifications were gone, I assume there would still be this filter.

A.H. Almaas may say that something is objective. It may indeed appear that way, to him and perhaps others. And a person in another culture or 200 years from now would perhaps see how it’s not objective at all, but reflects the age and culture he lives in, and the limitations inherent in any culture and tradition. I imagine that for a (hypothetical) being from another solar system or galaxy, with an entirely different biology, psychology, culture, and traditions, and embedded in a very different ecology, that may be even more clear. (Those categories may not even apply to such a being.)

Also, isn’t there a difference between preferences and identifications? It seems that preferences are just part of our human self. I like strawberry ice cream more than chocolate ice cream. I like Baroque music over rap. There is no problem there. And if there is little or no identification with it (velcro), I am free to follow what seems wise and kind in the moment, whether it follows or goes against my personal and very human preferences. There is no need for the preferences to be gone.

And similar to above, can we really know if there are absolutely no preferences? Are we ever in a position to know for certain?

Of course, it may be that A.H. Almaas is aware of something I am not here. That is very possible.

It’s also possible that he went a bit overboard in his language use. That he let excitement take his language further than what’s warranted.

Just to be clear: I admire AH Almaas very much, and feel a great deal of resonance with his descriptions and pointers. This is just nit-picking. And yet, it’s important to be aware of and question these things.

Spirit is….?

What is Spirit if not all there is? And wouldn’t that include our human messiness, as it is?

It’s natural, and even essential and healthy, to have our very human preferences.

We may prefer certain aspects of Spirit, or reality. We may prefer expansiveness, bliss, clarity, flow. That’s natural and understandable.

And yet, as we mature in our exploration of Spirit as all, there is a distinction here that becomes more clear for us. The distinction between all as Spirit, and our preferences.

At first, our preferences may be held as more solid and real. And after a while, there is an invitation for them to be seen for what they are – our human preferences – and held more lightly.

We see that what’s here is Spirit, even if it takes the form of our human messiness, or contractions, or pain, or whatever else we would prefer to not experience. We recognize this too as Spirit, every bit as much as anything else.

We find our way. We recognize what’s here as Spirit. Complete. Already allowed. Already even a form of love. And we recognize our preferences for what they are. Held lightly. Something we can act on, while still recognizing what’s here as Spirit, as already allowed.

We find our way, allowing both since they both are already here. All is Spirit, including our preferences. We recognize the pain in holding onto those preferences too tightly. We recognize the kindness in taking those preferences into consideration, and acting on them in a very ordinary way in daily life.

This is what so many have talked about and lived. Let Your will be done. While still living a very ordinary human life, kind to ourselves and others.

Early on, we may confuse Spirit with our human preferences. We may see Spirit as expansive, bliss, flow, love, and more. We may seek that aspect of reality, and seek to escape the rest. It doesn’t work very well. It’s painful. And at some point, we get to recognize that. We find a wider embrace of Spirit. We find a simpler Spirit, as what’s already here.

We recognize the pain in holding onto our preferences too tightly, and in confusing Spirit with our preferences. We recognize the freedom in recognizing Spirit as what’s here now, complete, with nothing missing.

Spirit right now is a slight buzz in the forehead, a contraction in the throat, a sense of weakness in the kidney areas, darkness, a bright screen, tapping, organ music, sounds of insects, these words. Noticed. Allowed.

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Likes and dislikes

There are many aspects to the likes & dislikes of this personality…

When there are beliefs around it, and we are identified with these likes & dislikes, there is often a sense of reactivity and compulsiveness around it. I either resist acting on them, or act on them compulsively. And it is generally quite unpleasant.

Free from beliefs, there is more clarity and also more kindness to myself and others. The kindness to myself includes taking the preferences of this personality more seriously. And this clarity and kindness to myself and others influences when I act and don’t act on these preferences, and how I do it.

When there is a baseline of clarity and kindness to myself and others, and a release of identification with the preferences of the personality, there is freedom to take these preferences seriously, to act on them when it seems appropriate, and to not act on them when that seems appropriate. It all depends on the situation, and is guided by whatever kindness, clarity and experience is available to us.

In this context, the preferences of this personality flavors the more impersonal clarity and kindness. It makes it personal, human, gives it a unique quality that only this human self can bring to it.

Said another way… the preferences of this personality flavors how Big Mind/Heart expresses and experiences itself in the world, whether awake to itself or not.

And that is one of the reasons why there is more than one of us 😉

As so many have said before, each human being, each living creature, every phenomenon, is the mask of God. It is God expressing and exploring itself as everything we see in the universe and the world, as everything we know from our selves.

And God never repeats itself. Each being and phenomenon is a unique expression, a unique flavor. One that has never been before, and will never be again, in that exact way.

So why not embrace who we are, this particular human self, with all its flaws and strangeness? It is one of the flavors of God. And the only way to taste the fullness of life.

Free to dislike

It is funny how clarity comes with a freedom to dislike, to take the preferences of this personality more seriously.

When there is a release from beliefs through inquiry, I relate to myself and others from more kindness and clarity. And being kind with myself includes taking the preferences of this personality seriously.

When in the grips of beliefs, there is often a sense of lack of freedom to act on likes and dislikes. It feels reactive, compulsive and unpleasant.

Free from beliefs, there is a freedom to act from personal preferences, but now from clarity and kindness to myself and others, instead of from reactivity and compulsiveness. And if I am unable to act from the likes and dislikes of this personality, or choose to not act on them (there are many reasons to not act on them), I am OK with that too.

This shift, taking the personal preferences of this personality more seriously when there is a freedom from beliefs, is one of the many (apparent) ironies of this process.

Moving at the three centers, and in life

When I do inquiry, I notice a relatively common pattern for myself…

As long as I hold onto a belief around something, my relationship with it in my daily life tends to be relatively stuck. Either that, or I relate to it from reactivity and a sense of compulsiveness.

But when things start moving, when my view is released from rigidity and I am able to see the validity of the turnarounds, when my heart opens, when reactivity shifts to a sense of nurturing fullness, my relationship to the topic of my initial belief tends to move as well.

It brings a sense of freedom into my relationship with it. I am not so stuck in habitual patterns around it.

So for instance, doing an inquiry around not enjoying the bus rides where I live not only helped me release the beliefs around it, but also gave me the freedom to find alternative ways to relate to it in my daily life. I find myself taking the bus less and using other modes of transportation more. And when I am on the bus, I feel more free to shut noise out through headphones and music, making the ride more pleasant for me.

In short, I am more kind to myself, and – maybe ironically – I take my personal preferences more seriously.

Being kind to myself also means taking my personal preferences seriously, but now from more clarity, and not from reactivity and compulsiveness.