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Being Personal

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Being Personal?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Being Personal

Being Genuine

The practice of being genuine in one's communication is a good way to reach the Personal Essence. When one is genuine about oneself, expressing an authentic concern, then one is personal.

Being Personal is to Be Present

So to be personal is to be present in the interaction, to be present as who one really is, the Personal Essence. There is both Presence and reality. There is genuineness. There is truth. There is immediate contact.

Being Personal on the Being Level

On the ego level, we usually feel most personal when feeling deep emotions or being in emotional situations with others. This is in marked contrast to the personal element of Being. Being is not on the emotional level. Being is a much deeper and more profound level than emotions. Emotions are responses of the nervous system, very much linked with the organization of past object relations. Being personal on the Being level can mean some kind of sharing and communication, but not necessarily. One can be personal and completely alone. It is a way of being, a way of experiencing oneself and a way of living. One is personally involved in, is intimately in contact with whatever one is doing or experiencing. In fact, this expression “to be involved” used on the level of the personality of ego comes close to the quality of being personal on the Being level. To be personally involved means that we are more wholehearted about, more in contact with, more intimate with, whatever situation or activity we are in. It means we are more present in the activity. And when we are really present, we are present as the Personal Essence, for it is our personal Being.

The Feeling of Being Personal is Its Own Feeling

The personal feeling in this experience is the constituent consciousness of the Personal Essence, the intimate feeling tone of this personal being. Just as water is composed of two parts hydrogen to one part oxygen, so the Personal Essence is composed of consciousness that feels personal. So being personal does not exactly mean that one is aware of oneself as a person, and because of this one feels personal. Not exactly. The feeling of being personal is its own feeling, independent of what one takes oneself to be. This point is difficult to communicate, because on the ego level, being personal is habitually associated with being a person. When one is deeply absorbed in the state of being of the Personal Essence one might not be aware of oneself as a person, but one will still feel this state to have a personal sense. The personal element is a state of Being or a state of consciousness on its own. It is not a quality of something else.

The Moment You Know Who You are, it Becomes Easier to Know what is Not You

Personal is not in contradistinction to universal; personal is in contradistinction with impersonal. To be personal does not eliminate objectivity; you can be objective without the personality’s assumption that objective means cold and unfeeling. When you know yourself this way, you can go through all the levels of spiritual experience—universal included. Then you are truly living your life. You are actually in anything you experience, you are actually doing it. What comes out is a spontaneous response; it has nothing to do with the past. The qualities of essence are within you like your organs are within you—love, compassion, will, the universal, etc. So you see the mystery is not usually understood because personal is taken to mean personality. The solution is usually thought to be to go to the universal, which is not personal. The personality is in contradiction to the universal. The true personal is not in contradiction to the universal; it is, in fact, a child of the universal, the fruit of the universal. It is possible to contact your personal aspect, to become aware of who you are, before enlightenment and loss of ego. The moment you know who you are, it becomes easier to know what is not you, what is conditioned, and what is personality. The work is very clear then; there is a guidance. Before that, you don’t know where you are going. You don’t know what is you and what is not you, what is real, and what is not real—you have no idea. You have only your thoughts and some people’s ideas and instructions. But the moment you know who you are, what it is like to be you, once you can recognize this, then you can tell what is you and what is not you. Some people say that if you really let go of your ego boundaries, then you’ll see that you are the universe, and that the stars and galaxies are in you. That is true; however, that is different from the personal. When you are the personal, the universe that you see outside you is completely experienced as inside you, as if you become a miniature universe. When you are truly personal, you are not just merged with the universe, you are a child of the universe. You are the microcosm.

The Personal Aspect Goes Through a Process of Development

Unlike other aspects of essence, this personal aspect (the pearl) goes through a process of development, growth, and expansion. Here the concepts of development and growth can be seen in their true and literal meaning. This true personality of the being is born, fed, and nourished. It grows, expands, and develops in a very specific sense. It is really the development of essence from being impersonal to being personal. Others might call it God becoming a human person, an individual.

The Real Individual

What is a real individual? A person who is aware of who he or she is, and who is being that authentic presence in interaction with another person, while respecting that the other is also authentic presence. That is what I call a sense of being personal—what is personally me interacting with what is personally you. It is the uniqueness of my reality interacting with the uniqueness of your reality. Our spirit, in its transcendent nature, in its unity, is impersonal, which means that it is universal, limitless; but the way it expresses itself in relationship is very personal. It’s the very essence of personalness. This personalness has a sense of true, direct contact, a feeling of immediate intouchness with the other. When I am interacting with another person, I feel that my soul is touching her soul. It sometimes feels to me much more immediate than my hand touching that person; it feels more full, more complete.

You Have to be Personal in Your Truth

AH: You have to be personal in your truth. There might be truth, all kinds of truths in the world, but they are not relevant to you at that moment. You must see what relates to you in that moment, otherwise the question is intellectual, and if it’s intellectual you’re not going to be able to solve it. But if you take your personal experience at that very moment, you could find the truth right there. It is that personal, free, alone investigation of your moment to moment truth, that will lead you to all truth, all the levels of truth. But if you try to follow what this person says, or that person says, it’s hard to know the way. Really it is not possible, because though there may be deep truth in it, it might not be relevant to you at that moment. If it’s not relevant there is no need for you to know it then, and it could be an intellectual defense against what you do need at that moment. That’s why I emphasize the personal aspect, to be personally involved in your truth. It is your life, it is your experience, it is your every sensation at that moment; it is for you to understand. The truth finally will be revealed in you, to you, if you stay with the moment without prejudice, just exploring the truth. You can’t do it from the outside, you need to penetrate and own your own experience.

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