This thought came to me during a recent meditation retreat. The teacher kept using the word “purity” and it triggered something in me. That word in the English language, in the American culture, is one that evokes racial bias and virginal young women. It is not a word that I have ever wanted to embody. Yet, it was being used in relationship to spiritual practice (by and Indian male). And, then one day during a meditation the image of clarity came to me in relationship to my body. I thought of the Yoga Sutra which mentions becoming like a “clear, transparent gem”. And I had another understanding of what purity is.
Another synonym for pure is untainted. This implies that you haven’t been dirtied. But, my understanding of pure was that you cannot be tainted. Water that is clear and transparent may become dirty if sand is mixed in but on a molecular level, the water is unchanged. A perfect diamond may reflect the color of the cloth it lays upon, but when the cloth is taken away, the diamond remains the same.
This is what purity is. The practice not of cleansing yourself because you are bad and dirty. Instead, it is the practice of transforming yourself into a being that is unchanged by the difficulties of life.
Diamond consciousness is what it is sometimes called. Although I don’t pretend to understand exactly what that is.
What I do know is that I am not trying to manifest white and black, light and dark, sin and purity. Instead, I feel like I am patiently practicing allowing life to flow through me. Like Plato’s shadows in the cave only I would know what is “real” and “unreal”.