Assemblage Point Teaching
To elucidate the Holy Idea for Point Seven—Holy Plan, Holy Wisdom, or Holy Work—we will use the language of another teaching, that of the Yaqui shamans, as introduced to us by the enigmatic author, Carlos Castaneda, in his various books. The fundamental nature of reality, which we call the Absolute, is referred to in that tradition as “pure spirit.” The Absolute or pure spirit is unmanifest, in the sense that it cannot be experienced or discerned through ordinary perceptions or processes. It is the fundamental nature of everything, and it is ultimately the only thing that exists. But if it is unmanifest, what is it that we are perceiving all the time? From the Yaqui perspective, we perceive what is called “emanations of spirit,” of which there are an infinite number. These emanations are nothing but the manifestations of the infinite potential of pure spirit through differentiation and discrimination. So everything that can be seen, experienced, and known is an emanation of pure spirit. This includes not only the physical dimensions, but also what we call the essential aspects and dimensions. While the emanations of spirit appear in many dimensions, forms, and subtleties, our ordinary consciousness limits those we actually perceive to a restricted band. The band we perceive is determined by our focus of attention, which is called, in the Yaqui tradition according to Castaneda, our “assemblage point.” When this point is present in a certain emanation or dimension of reality, it lights up that dimension and you see it. What is spotlighted, then, is what you see and experience, and if a particular set of emanations is continually illuminated in this way, you will take this band to be reality. So the assemblage point is the point of presence which, using a certain cluster of emanations, assembles or creates a particular world view about reality and the self. Most people have taken on the world view which results from the assemblage point being fixated at the band of emanations of the physical world, with its accompanying egoic mind. The Yaqui term for this band is the “place of reason,” which I take to mean the place of thought: It is the reality that is determined by our thoughts, and our thoughts are predominantly conditioned by physical reality. We have the potential to experience the totality of all bands and emanations, but we are stuck at a relatively small, restricted place, and we call this place of thought “reality”. This band is real, it is part of the emanations, but it is a very small band; and because it is all we see, our overall perception and our understanding of what we are is limited and distorted. As a result, we end up not accessing the other bands of reality, which contain much greater possibilities for perception, experience, and action.
Facets of Unity, pg. 165
Every Time Your Assemblage Point Shifts from Its Customary Place You are Letting Go of Who You Have Taken Yourself to Be
The feeling of being lost or disoriented arises when you lose your sense of identity, your sense of who you are. Every time your assemblage point shifts from its customary place, you are letting go of who you have taken yourself to be. As don Juan says, this brings with it a sense of difficulty and anxiety, and there are many ways that this is experienced. For Point Seven, it is experienced as the sense that, “I am lost. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know which way to go. I don’t know which direction to take and I feel disoriented and unoriented.” Orientation is being in touch with the flow of presence. In disorientation, what is really lost is this sense of presence, of being who you are; but the way this loss is experienced—since it is filtered through the delusion—is that what is lost is knowing what to do and which direction to take. Without the understanding of Holy Wisdom, the delusion arises and you believe it, and this, in conjunction with the loss of holding of Being, leads to this sense of disorientation. It can be difficult to apply this understanding to practical action in the world, just as we saw with Holy Freedom, since the level at which this perspective is most readily seen is the level of inner experience. Knowing what is supposed to happen in a concrete situation, such as needing a certain amount of income to cover your monthly expenses and doing what it takes to get it, seems obvious. But when you are dealing with the unfoldment of your soul and your spiritual evolution, you need to remember don Juan’s response to the question, “What should I do?” He said, “Nothing.” We need to understand the significance of the insight that nothing needs to be done in order to facilitate our unfoldment, which helps us to comprehend the methodology of the Diamond Approach as well.
Facets of Unity, pg. 181
Movement of One’s Assemblage Point
The Idea of Holy Origin is implicit in the attitude of the Diamond Approach toward truth. In the Diamond Approach, the method is a matter of seeing, understanding, and realizing the truth. The truth is ultimately the Holy Truth, and its essence is the Holy Origin. By doing the Holy Work, which is being present where one is, one’s assemblage point is moved from one aspect to another, and then from one dimension to another, until one realizes the Point, followed by Being in its increasing subtleties. Loving the truth is finally loving the Origin, one’s source and center. Living understanding reveals the truth that we are never disconnected from the Origin.
Facets of Unity, pg. 205
Stage 1 in the Process of Freeing the Assemblage Point
In the Diamond Approach, there are three stages in the process of freeing the assemblage point. In the first stage, the teacher moves your assemblage point because you don’t know how to move it. You can’t move it because you haven’t got the energy, the consciousness, or the understanding to move it, or because you don’t even know that it is possible for it to move. At this beginning stage of the Work, you believe that reality is the way you experience it, which is, for the most part, the way your mother and father told you it is. Every time your teacher works with you, he or she is attempting to move your assemblage point, to open up your realm of experience. So after a while, you begin to experience other realities—you experience Essence in its various aspects and dimensions, and have radically different perceptions of yourself. Each new perception of an aspect or dimension brings with it a whole new perspective, and you start looking at yourself, your life, and the world, differently. When this happens, your assemblage point has changed and shifted to another band. So the work on the aspects and dimensions is very direct work on moving the assemblage point, and in this way you become familiar with the other bands and emanations, and the fixation of your assemblage point is loosened.
Facets of Unity, pg. 166
Stage 2 in the Process of Freeing the Assemblage Point
In the second stage of the Work, you learn how to move your own assemblage point. This means that through your work, you become able to shift your assemblage point to a different band or emanation, and in this way, more of your potential becomes available to you without relying on someone else to do it for you. For example, you might learn to be open and curious when you feel a particular emotion. You might learn through your practices of self-remembering and inquiry to stay present and not run away externally or internally when you are afraid—instead, you make an effort to sense yourself and understand the fear. This will have the effect of moving your assemblage point from whatever identity and world view was invoking the fear to a state of more spaciousness or of some quality of presence.
Facets of Unity, pg. 167
Stage 3 in the Process of Freeing the Assemblage Point
The third stage is neither your teacher moving your assemblage point nor you moving it. It is completely freeing the movement of the assemblage point. Freeing your assemblage point requires having the trust to surrender so that spirit will move your assemblage point. In that way, you are not standing in the way of spirit nor directing it, but letting it move your consciousness. When this happens, you don’t have to do anything—you just relax, surrender, be, and spirit moves you. This freedom of the assemblage point means that your perception of reality is no longer determined by your fixation in one particular band of reality. It means freedom from fixation in the place of thought, the place of ego. In other traditions, this freedom is called “ego death.” Ego death means, in this context, that you are not fixated in any particular band, but that your assemblage point is moved spontaneously by pure spirit. This work of freeing the assemblage point does not depend on any particular aspect or dimension. If this perspective and understanding is integrated, you will see that you really don’t need to do anything except to let go and allow yourself to be moved. Holy Freedom, you will recall, means surrendering to the Holy Will, and the Holy Will is nothing but the will of spirit. Of course, the process of the Work cannot be neatly divided into one of these three stages. Usually, all the stages of moving and freeing the assemblage point are happening concurrently, with one of them being more dominant. As a beginning student, however, you do need to experience your teacher moving your assemblage point. This is an initiation into other bands of reality and it empowers you to contact those bands. After this, you develop access to your own will, your own strength, you own power, your own autonomy—which means that you are able to move your own assemblage point. But eventually, you need to move beyond yourself as the mover of your process, to bring about the freedom of unfoldment in which whatever happens is a natural and spontaneous arising leading from one experience to another, from one dimension to another, with no person determining it.
Facets of Unity, pg. 167
Surrendering to Our Unfoldment is Freedom of Movement of the Assemblage Point
So our work here is basically a way of seeing the unfoldment, understanding the unfoldment, facilitating the unfoldment, and surrendering to the unfoldment. Facilitating the unfoldment involves the first two stages in freeing the assemblage point—the teacher initially moving it and then you learning to move it yourself. Surrendering to the unfoldment is freedom of movement of the assemblage point, the third stage. Here, you see that freedom is a matter of surrendering to the spirit that is moving you. When this happens, you recognize that when the teacher moves your assemblage point, it is not the teacher doing it—it is spirit; and when you move your assemblage point, it isn’t you doing it—it is spirit. It was and always is spirit moving it; the Holy Work does it. This understanding brings the perspective of freedom.
Facets of Unity, pg. 177
Unfoldment is Nothing but the Spirit Moving Your Assemblage Point from One Band to Another
Holy Wisdom means understanding that you do not know what’s going to happen next, and so the only thing that you can do is relax. You realize that if you relax, you are. You become the presence, and when you are the presence, you are in the present. When you are in the present, real work can happen, and that real work is the unfoldment. This is not work in the way it is ordinarily understood, which is that of ego activity; real work is the unfoldment of the soul which, as we are seeing, requires no such activity. If we can allow this unfoldment to happen, the result is freedom, since your assemblage point moves according to the unfoldment. The unfoldment is nothing but the spirit moving your assemblage point from one band to another, revealing all of your potential.