What Is Clear Light?

The mind is empty of mind;

For the mind’s nature is clear light.

Astasahasrika prajñaparamita sutra

In Tibetan Dream Yoga the Clear Light is

“The subtlest level of mental activity (mind), which continues with no beginning and no end, without any break, even during death and even into Buddhahood. It is individual and constitutes the mental continuum of each being. It is naturally free of conceptual cognition, the appearance-making of true existence, and grasping for true existence, since it is more subtle than the grosser levels of mental activity with which these occur. It has nothing to do with “light.” (Alexander, Berzin. Berzin Archives Glossary.)

Take a look at the above picture. It is meant to be a depiction of clear light as a pale moon. What you actually see is yellowish-white light surrounded by fields of blue. Metaphorically, clear light is the ambient light that you are looking through when you read these words. It is the medium, the matrix, which makes the perception of any frequency of light possible. It is formless, yet existing. As such, it is also a metaphor for causal, “empty,” or high transpersonal consciousness. It is most closely associated with the “way of the sages,” in contrast to the lower transpersonal “way of the yogis,” or the middle transpersonal “way of the saints.”

Another way of understanding the clear light is to think of a prism:

White light goes in one side and through refraction is split into a continuum of frequencies or vibratory wavelengths that we call “colors.” But white is a color too – the combination of all colors. The clarity of the colors emitted from a prism is dependent on the clarity and intensity of both the incoming white light and the clarity of the prism. The prism itself is not white light. It is clear light. Similarly, if white light is for the moment taken to be analogous to subtle, dream, or bardo consciousness, then the degree to which it is subjected to clear light determines the clarity of the resultant manifestation, or incarnation in matter.

The implications for the evolution of our consciousness are that if we desire to live in harmony with life we need to focus on those qualities of consciousness that are analogous to both pure, intense white light and clear light itself.

If prismatic white light is analogous to intense, focused alignment with spirit, then the clear light of the prism itself is analogous to self-transcendent, fully open, integrated emptiness. The goal is to maximize both of these states not only while awake, but while dreaming and in deep sleep. Beyond that, we need to balance the frequency output – the “colors” of the spectrum of our lines of development – through the development and maintenance of an ongoing Integral Life Practice.

Intense, focused white light is your waking intent aligned with the intentions of life dreaming you.

The perfect prism is your purified, clear, enlightened mind.

The perfect spectrum is your healthy, balanced, and transforming life.

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