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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Addiction?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Addiction

A Fundamental and Joyfully Liberating Release from Our Addiction to Searching for Love from Outside

We learn that while our passion for someone or something in the external world may open us up to an experience of love, it also creates a veil over the true source of that love. We are thus offered a fundamental and joyfully liberating release from our addiction to searching for love from outside, by realizing the truth that the most powerful experience of love is available within us, simply waiting for us to discover it. And it is in our own souls that love moves us toward our deepest nature, acting as the fuel for unfoldment and revelation and dissolving what separates us from the truth of what we are. Ultimately, we discover that self-love need not be the negative dynamic that the ordinary understanding of narcissism would have us believe it is.

Love Unveiled, pg. pxiii (Editor's Preface)

Addiction to Excitement and Fear is the Same as Addiction to the Dramatic Experiences of the Chakra Realm

Chakra experiences, such as the experience of the heart opening, are considered by many systems of inner development as temptations. The seeker can become addicted to this dimension of experience and stop there, aborting the process of essential development. This addicting characteristic of the chakra dimension can be seen in people who are addicted to high levels of excitement. The energy of excitement is the same energy that operates at the chakra level. Some people are even addicted to fear. They seek fear by putting themselves in dangerous situations. Watching horror movies is another way people enjoy the addiction to fear. The energy of fear is the same as that of pure excitement; it is the energy operating on the chakra level when it is colored by adrenalin. So the addiction to excitement and fear is the same as the addiction to the dramatic experiences of the chakra realm. People who are addicted to fear enjoy it because it is the only way they know of to activate their chakras, to have access to those energies. Here we are not referring to those neurotic individuals who are plagued by fear and anxiety. We mean those who look for excitement in fearful situations.

Need for an Aspect of One’s Being Can Be Directed to External Objects and Activities

Since the Merging Essence is dominant in the symbiotic phase, and is especially present at times of gratification, it becomes associated in memory with the following:

Gratification. After a while the child cannot distinguish the Merging Essence from the experience of gratification. So he cannot separate it from the perception of his needs being satisfied. In other words, he does not separate it from the mental representations of the activities or processes leading to gratification. So need for the Merging Essence becomes associated in the mind with the need for other things, such as food, comfort, protection, safety, pleasure, warmth, contact, discharge of tension and so on. This has far reaching consequences, from the compulsive need for love relations, to overeating, smoking habits, drug addiction, greed, idealization of communities and belongingness, and so on. These are illustrations of how the need for an aspect of one’s Being can be directed to external objects and activities.

Sexual Energy and Its Various Expressions Have Led to Abuse Through Addiction, Attachment, Indulgence and Spiritual Ignorance

The story of eros in human history has not been exactly wonderful. The sexual component of eros—sexual desire and interest—has been misused in various ways. Sexual energy and its various expressions have led to abuse through addiction, attachment, indulgence, and spiritual ignorance; but more significantly, it has led to abuse through aggression and violence. For many people, eros has meant a lot of domination, cruelty, and violent behavior. Many of us have a history of being forced to deal with inappropriate behavior and have often had overwhelming experiences related to our sexuality, such as rape. Hence, as we discuss and explore the various dimensions of eros, we tend to encounter those memories, that pain, and that history—both our own and that of other people. As I said at the beginning of this seminar, our culture has only recently been learning how to value relationship, how to value being sensitive with one another, how to recognize other people as precious, as important, as having their own sensitivity, as being their own center of awareness. The issues of relationship and personalness, of contact, attunement, and empathy, have been introduced here in order to situate eros within that context. That is why we are exploring divine eros, not just eros.

Some Addictions Might Have their Basis in One’s Genetic or Hormonal Makeup

<p>Recent findings further indicate that our physical organism is structured in such a way that at least some of its inner states depend on specific genes. There has been some indication, for instance, that happiness depends on the presence of a specific gene, as do maternal feelings. This means that some essential states are precluded from arising in the soul, because the physical environment can neither invoke nor support it. There is some indication that some of the limiting syndromes that individuals become trapped in might have their basis in one’s genetic or hormonal make up, as in the case of some addictions. </p>

When a Strong Identification Occurs, it is Almost Like an Addiction

When we get identified, we don’t feel as though we have done it ourselves; we feel that something has happened to us. But in fact, identification is something we do. And it is possible to become aware of this subtle inner activity and what is behind it. When a strong identification occurs, it is almost like an addiction; you feel a need to be identified. But it is not just a need for this or that particular identification. What you believe you need is an identity. You are addicted to having an identity, and it is very difficult to be totally without the identifications that are continually creating that identity. And we are identified with so many things at the same time. One identification drops away and another one takes its place. We shed one after the other, but our need for self-identity remains. Identification can happen with anything. Some people are identified with their jobs. Most people are identified with being a man or with being a woman. We believe that if we drop the identification, the reality will drop off. But, in fact, whatever is truly real is not created or maintained by our identification with it.

The Unfolding Now, pg. 147-8

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