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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Absorption?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Absorption

Absorption Occurs When Personality Surrenders Its Defenses

This indicates that for absorption to occur the process of secondary autonomy must be complete and not only relative. And absorption occurs only when personality completely surrenders its defenses. When personality (any identification system of ego) ceases all resistance, it is readily absorbed and a transformation occurs that ends in the emergence of the Personal Essence. So the transition from ego to Being hinges on the abandonment of defense. This mirrors the age-old spiritual understanding that surrender leads to enlightenment and realization.

Condition Needed to Experience Absorption

To actually experience absorption, one must be aware of Being directly, so it is understandable that the process of absorption has not been conceptualized by object relations theory, which has set its task as the study of mental processes and representations that are normally accessible to everybody.

Defensive Functions Cannot be Absorbed

If we look at the question of absorption from the beginning of ego development, recalling that identification systems arise out of internal representations of early interactions with the environment, we see two alternatives: any given identification system has a defensive function, or it does not. If it has a defensive function it cannot be absorbed. If it does not have a defensive function then it is absorbed and this results in the experience of the Personal Essence. If it has a defensive function it will continue to be a content of the mind unless at some point it loses its defensive function and is absorbed into Being. If it does not lose its defensive function it becomes integrated with other identification systems (which also have a defensive function) into the overall structure of ego.

Defensive Identifications Constitute a Resistance Against Truth

Thus, defensive identifications cannot be absorbed because they constitute a resistance against some truth. Also, in maturity the presence of defenses against the truth of past experience is in itself a falsehood, for it is normally no longer needed.

Human Ability to Assimilate Learning from Experience

Absorption is the innate ability of the human organism to completely assimilate learning from experience, to absorb it to the degree of not needing the memory of the learning process, either consciously or unconsciously.

Identification Systems That Cannot be Absorbed

There are two types of identification systems that cannot be absorbed: the first are any identification systems which serve only a defensive function. Clearly these cannot be absorbed because absorption, as we have noted, requires the absence of all defense... the second type of identification system that cannot be absorbed is one composed solely of fabrications of the mind, such as fantasies of what was supposed to happen but did not, or a dream of what one wants to happen, which are used for the purpose of building the ego identity... these fantasies, beliefs and misinformation actually accompany almost all internalized object relations to some extent. The internalized object relations are rarely true representations of actual events or relationships.

Pearl Beyond Price, pg. 162, 163

The Intimate Relationship Between the Aspect of Acceptance and the Process of Absorption

Acceptance: This aspect is extremely subtle to experience. Its nature is the exact opposite of that of ego. Ego, of its very nature, has a rejecting attitude. Its defenses are based on the rejection of parts of experience. Its structure is never devoid of defense, which is rejection. The very presence of identification systems implies a subtle rejection of Being. This means that no part of ego is capable of accepting. The individuality of ego is incapable of Acceptance, because its very existence depends on a subtle attitude of rejection. Ego can only cease rejecting, but it cannot accept. The complete cessation of rejection is the absence of all defense and resistance. This precipitates the aspect of Acceptance. Thus Acceptance involves the cessation of ego, or of a segment of its structure. We see here the intimate relationship between the aspect of Acceptance and the process of absorption. Acceptance is really necessary for absorption to occur, for absorption cannot proceed if there is still resistance, which is rejection. The word acceptance is somewhat misleading, for the aspect is not an active attitude; there is no activity of acceptance. It is a presence of Being when there is no attitude of either “no” or “yes.” A “yes” could mean a prejudice, a certain point of view. But this aspect does not have any attitude. It is a pure, delicate and gentle presence, of utmost humility and exquisite refinement. It is like a gentle rain, that brings freshness and life. Most individuals, when they experience it, refer to it as blessings.

When the Personality is Allowing Itself to Die

The next factor which is needed is the capacity to be absorbed in something, to be totally absorbed with whatever you’re doing, in whatever state happens to be there. You become so one-pointed in your experience that you become completely involved in it, and so involved that you are dissolved in it. This is a certain kind of relationship to experience, a certain capacity, a certain freedom from the personality. The personality usually maintains a kind of separateness from experience. It is afraid of completely dissolving, of becoming one with experience. When you completely experience essence, there isn’t an explicit experience; you are so absorbed in it that there is nothing but the essence. When you are working on making a table you are so absorbed in it that you, the tools, and the table are all one thing. There is no mind making a distinction or separation in the experience. You can be absorbed in an action, an emotion, a thought, a sensation, or an essential aspect. The Hindus call this state samadhi, complete absorption. In this state the personality is allowing itself to die, to dissolve, to become totally immersed, totally merged with whatever happens to be the experience.

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