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A. H. Almaas

Founder of the Diamond Approach
to Self-Realization

A. H. Almaas

Founder of the Ridhwan School
for Spiritual Development

The Interplay of Grace and Effort on a Nondual Path

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From the Archives: In a talk from 1993, A.H. Almaas discusses impeccability in terms of doing this Work, the Diamond Approach, and brings in a paradox related to impeccability. There’s a danger for the ego to believe that what happens in the Work is the result of the ego’s efforts and actions. This brings in the paradox. Almaas also talks about the perspectives of Chesed and Geburah, usually translated as mercy and severity, or abundance and might.

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A. H. Almaas is the pen name of A. Hameed Ali, founder of the Diamond Approach to Self-Realization, a contemporary teaching that developed within the context of both ancient spiritual teachings and modern depth psychology theories. Almaas has authored eighteen books about spiritual realization, including the Diamond Heart series, The Pearl Beyond Price, The Void, and The Alchemy of Freedom.

He is the founder of the Ridhwan School for Spiritual Development, an inner work school devoted to the realization of True Nature. The orientation of the school is directed toward guiding students to realize their true nature to the fullest realization and further still to endless enlightenment.

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The various structures of the ego develop in two ways: directly by impression of immediate experience and indirectly through representations. The representational structures are formed primarily through mental images and accrued associations. The structures of the animal soul and the libidinal soul are less formed—a mix of direct impressions and indirect representations. But there are even earlier and more primitive experiences of the soul— structures formed before cognitive development that are exclusively direct imprints of experience on the field of the soul.

On our path, we encounter many kinds of structures, delusions, and impressions that constrain and pattern our experience and that ultimately limit the freedom possible for us in our lives. The structures that first manifest in our work are what we call “representational.” For example, the superego, self-images, and object relations all involve representations—that is, models or structures that the mind puts together.

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