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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Completion?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Completion

A Movement Forward, A Movement Deeper

So, understanding sees the barriers, sees the false, and reveals the truth. It brings a sense of the completion of something, completing the gestalt. Then it brings in the unfoldment. One of the frustrating aspects of our work here is that when you understand something, it seems to change to something else. People work on something and get to a certain essential state; they experience their strength, for example. It feels wonderful, powerful, strong, expansive and all that. The person wants to feel it all the time. But our method is understanding, and understanding will lead us into whatever is next for us. So if a person comes to experience his strength and completely understands it, he’s likely to wake up one morning and find that it’s gone. What happened? It’s not there that much. Although the unfoldment might be experienced by the mind and the personality as a loss, it is really a movement forward, a movement deeper. Understanding continues like this from one level to the next. The moment something is completed and you understand it, your mind moves to the next thing. This process of moving from one thing to another, losing one thing after another, will continue until you arrive at something you cannot understand. The only end of this process of understanding is experiencing yourself in a way that is unknowable.

Development of the Personal Essence is the Way Being Becomes Functional in the World

Our exploration in this book has shown us that ego development is part of a larger process, leading to the realization of the Personal Essence. This indicates that the process of cathecting the body (and its world), if it continues to its completion, will result in the development of the Personal Essence. The Personal Essence contains all the true learning of the individuality of ego. The Personal Essence is the essential aspect that embodies the wisdom of living in the world. When the Personal Essence is developed, however, the identity is no longer connected exclusively with the body. The body is recognized for what it is: the external and physical manifestation of the Personal Essence. Thus the process that ultimately leads to the realization of the Personal Essence begins with self-realization in childhood; i.e., with the Essential Self, and ends with the Personal Essence, the essential person. Between these essential poles, the ego development makes up the rest of the process. In this way, Being acquires the wisdom of the world. It can now live in the world, although it is fundamentally not “of” it. Thus the realization of the Personal Essence can be understood to be the way that Being learns to be in the world. The Personal Essence is the aspect of Being that embodies the wisdom of the world. We have discussed the Personal Essence as the aspect of Being connected with functioning. We have seen it as an integration of the functions of primary autonomy, on the Being level. So the development of the Personal Essence is the way Being becomes functional in the world.

Ego Development Seen as a Legitimate Stage in the Development of the Soul

We will see in chapters 11 and 14 that ego development, in particular, is largely the establishing in the soul of relatively stable structures, through the integration of myriad retained impressions. Furthermore, this ego development is a universal process that no soul escapes. It is part of the development of the soul on her way to the actualization of her potential. Even though we come to see how this development has moved away from our essential nature, it is a legitimate stage in the development of the soul toward completeness and enlightenment. Ego development is actually the process by which the soul metabolizes her experience of the world, and is necessary for her individuation and maturation as a human individual who expresses the true nature of the soul. (See The Pearl Beyond Price, chapters 11–15.) However, for most individuals in the vast majority of human societies, this process is arrested and does not move toward completion. It is arrested at the level of development of ego structure that culminates in our sense of being an individual with a psychological identity. This sense of being an autonomous individual with a capacity for psychological self-recognition is the outcome of the soul being impressed and structured with a self-image constructed through the integration of many retained impressions. (See The Pearl Beyond Price, chapter 2.)

Elimination of Image Amounts to Dissolving All of what is False in the Mind

The aspect of Space is related to the Personal Essence in yet another, more specific way. It is one of the aspects needed for an important part of the process of psychic metabolism, i.e., that of elimination. We have seen that for metabolism to proceed to its completion, which is absorption, the false in any experience must first be eliminated. The greatest falsity, in any identification system, is the central belief that the image defines who one is, The content of identification systems is either part of an image, or used to build and fixate an image. So the elimination of image amounts to dissolving all of what is false in the mind. The truth contained in the mind becomes absorbed into Being, and does not remain as an image, which is a mental content. And since Space is what dissolves, or what accompanies the dissolution of, any image, then it can be regarded as the aspect needed for elimination. When an image is eliminated the mind becomes empty (of its content), clear, spacious and light. This is the experience of Space, mind with no content, the nature of the mind. The dullness of mental content dissipates as the lightness and clarity of Space penetrates it. This is obviously a significant step if there is going to be any fundamental change or transformation. There is no transformation, but only modification, if the image remains. This distinction is what differentiates therapy and conversion from essential realization. The latter is more of the nature of a metamorphosis; existence based on image dies and the life of Being is born. This cannot happen without the aspect of Space.

If Being Doesn’t Come in Contact with the Mind, there is No Real Insight, Only Mental Knowledge

It’s true that the world of the mind, of concepts, is not the truest reality. But understanding is the meeting of that unreal world with the completely real. Understanding itself is neither wholly real or unreal; it is a meeting of the two. The meeting is a transformation, and the transformation is understanding. So understanding happens only when what is completely real in you—the unknowable, your final identity—is in contact with your concepts, with your mind. The process is one of disintegration of concepts. Isn’t that what happens when you understand? You have a certain concept, see through it and then it dissolves. Being comes in contact with mind. This is what we experience as insight. Then there is completion of that level and you move on to the next. If Being doesn’t come in contact with the mind, there is no real insight, only mental knowledge. And because mental knowledge is not real understanding, there is no transformation. The concept is not burned up and dissolved into Being. The person simply goes from one part of the concept to another; it’s just a matter of mental rearrangement. So, while we could say that from an absolute perspective understanding is not real, it does have an order, a depth that can be explored. An alternative way of saying this is that understanding, especially on the essential level, is simply the true discrimination of the unfoldment of Being. So understanding is ultimately real, for it is the revelation of the mysteries of Being. The concepts get wider and bigger as you go deeper.

Opening to the Inner Dimensions of Experience is the Completion of Our Maturational Process

Our maturational process does not flourish if we disregard this world, push it away, or disown our parents. It is a matter of embracing everything and finding an opening to that other possibility, that next dimension of experience —the inner dimensions. Scientists say there are many physical dimensions that we don’t know about. Who knows—perhaps this is the only way they can interpret the evidence they are finding. What is true, and what many of you actually know, is that our inner dimensions are rich and full, and that they are many and varied. By “inner,” I don’t mean only inside our bodies, I mean the inner nature of everything. Opening to the inner dimensions of experience is the completion of our maturational process. When we are more complete as human beings and have matured into our depth, we become servants of that depth by living a life that is full and human, without ever leaving this transcendent depth. A relationship serves this depth in a similar way. In relationship we are more complete in the sense that we have recognized, realized, and integrated who we are. In maturing into our depth, we become transparent to the pure qualities of Being, and the aspects and deeper dimensions of experience come through in our relational expression.

Realization of the Essential Identity Becomes the Primary and Most Important Fulcrum

The Essential Identity functions similarly to other aspects, with the dual function of providing a capacity necessary for the life and development of the soul and connecting her to the Absolute in a specific way that reveals the nature of this connection. The essential aspect of Identity, the point of light and presence, provides the soul with a center and identity necessary for her life, which will at the same time ultimately connect her with the Absolute, as her final and absolute identity. The Essential Identity is the implicit perfection inherent in the Absolute that explicitly expresses in the individual soul that the Absolute is not only ultimate truth, but also ultimate identity. It is the Absolute as identity manifesting within the individual experience of the soul. Therefore, since full self-realization requires the realization of the Absolute as one’s ultimate identity, the realization of the Essential Identity becomes the primary and most important fulcrum towards the completion of the spiritual journey. Realization of the Essential Identity is the expression of the realization of the Absolute, as reflected in individual experience, within the world of space-time. The Essential Identity is the spark of the Absolute within the individual soul, and since the central process of spiritual development is self-realization, its realization begins the realization of the Absolute.

Self-realization of the Absolute is Not the Completion of the Inner Journey

The self-realization of the Absolute is the end of the search, the satisfaction of the soul’s longing. But it is not the completion of the inner journey. As the process continues, we continue to realize the absolute as our ipseity and the true nature of all manifestation. The soul becomes established in the absolute mystery, where its crystalline emptiness becomes the unchanging field of all her experience. For some, this station lasts for many years, and for others only a few days.1 At some point, the soul realizes that she cannot simply remain at the transcendent summit of Reality; her unfoldment naturally takes her on another journey, the journey of descent.

There is Awakening, Death and Rebirth for Each Aspect of Essence

This emergence of essence is what is usually referred to in Work literature as a “rebirth.” The essence is born again, having been buried for years. The birth is a completion of a cycle, preceding the beginning of another cycle. The whole process repeats itself; understanding a new constellation or sector of the personality leads to its specific deficient hole (emptiness) and ends with the emergence of the corresponding essential aspect. There is awakening, death, and rebirth for each aspect of the essence—awakening to a certain sector of the personality, the death of this sector in the experience of emptiness, and then the rebirth as the emerging of the aspect of essence. This cycle is repeated as many times as there are holes in the personality. As we see, there is no one death and no one rebirth, unless we take the first emergence of essence as the unitary experience. The personality dies gradually, one sector at a time. We see here the meaning of the cycle of death and rebirth. This sequence of awakening, death, and rebirth is the usual one known from ancient times, but here it is seen with diamond clarity.

What Transforms the Animal Soul to the Human Soul is Her Becoming Receptive and Transparent to Essence

The process of essential development takes the soul from her initial condition at the completion of ego development, in which she is dissociated from her true nature and living mostly as the animal soul with a civilized veneer of ego structures, to the station of the human soul. In other words, the discovery and integration of essence transforms the soul from its condition of being primarily an animal soul to the state of being primarily a human soul, a soul with heart. What transforms the animal soul to the human soul is her becoming receptive and transparent to essence. When essence manifests through the attitudes and actions of the soul we recognize that she now behaves in a more human way, with heart. This is primarily the task of the second journey of presence, the journey with presence. The soul journeys here in the company of presence, receptive to it and guided by it.

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