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Connection / Disconnection (Part II)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Connection / Disconnection (Part II)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Connection / Disconnection (Part II)

A Deep Fundamental Connection Between Speaking and the Operation of the Logos

The logos is the speaker in another way. Just as it reveals the potentialities inherent in Being through the primal revelation that manifests Reality, it also manifests these to the soul as inner revelations. This has been the understanding of the various wisdom traditions. In the Diamond Approach, inquiry invites the logos to unfold the soul’s experience. The Diamond Guidance aligns the inquiry with the intelligence and dynamism of Being, opening the soul to the revelations of her true nature. The experience of the individual is usually a sense of unfoldment of the soul, where the mysteries of Being are revealed to her as she knows and understands herself. She discovers one quality of true nature after another, one dimension after another, one capacity after another, as the logos reveals them to her. In other words, the guided unfoldment of the soul is precisely the orderly pattern of the logos as it manifests in the individual soul. They are the same process, but seen from two vantage points, that of the individual soul and that of the universal logos. We can say that the logos speaks to the soul, informing her of the mysteries of Reality, but it is more accurate to say that the logos speaks the unfoldment of the soul. We see a deep, fundamental connection between speaking and the operation of the logos, just as we have seen it between thinking and the creative dynamism of the logos. In reality, the creative outflow of the logos, thinking, and speaking are parallel expressions of the same phenomenon, which is basically the orderly flow of words as seen in three dimensions of experience: the actual experiential world, the thinking mind, and communicative speech.

A Significant Determinant of the Unfoldment of Your Soul

Some of you may not have been loved for who you were because your parents wanted a child of the opposite sex. You probably felt their disappointment and thought, “Obviously, I’m not loveable.” Or your parents may have said, “Well, you are our child, though you’re not like what we expected. But we’ll take care of you and love you anyway.” What are you going to feel? “Well, it is their duty to love me, but it’s not because of who I am.” Some of you were loved for particular qualities and characteristics but not for others. Or you were loved because you fulfilled certain expectations of your parents. Or you were loved because you weren’t a problem. It is usually the case that your parents didn’t develop well their own capacity to love—it was limited and distorted—so you got loved a little bit here and a little bit there. And what love you did get was distorted in many different ways. Being loved for something other than your being is a distortion. That kind of love is not at all attuned to you.  So what happens if your parents are unable to love you for who you are? They will not see you as someone who deserves love and, in time, that will make you see yourself as not deserving love. If your parents don’t love you, they won’t be mirroring to you that you are lovable. This lack of mirroring will disconnect you from your own love, because your own love is a matter of seeing what is lovable in yourself and in the other. Why is this so significant for your work on the inner journey? Because how much you were loved, how fully you were loved, and how attuned the love was to you determine your original connection with love. And this connection with love significantly determines the unfoldment of your soul. So the problem with not being loved as a child is not the external condition of no love from the environment. The problem is that the absence of external love becomes an internal absence—you become disconnected from love itself. And when you become disconnected from love, your soul can’t grow, can’t develop, can’t mature. Thus the absence of love, the distortions of love, and the limitations of love from our parents are all significant because they created limitations and distortions in our own love, in our own conception of love, in our own connection with love.  And without the experience of love, our soul can’t rest in her true nature, which is needed for her to complete her journey. This means that our soul doesn’t turn the way it is supposed to turn—toward the Source. It turns in all kinds of strange ways, going in many different directions on time-consuming detours. We need to correct these distortions, to see through them in order to connect ourselves again with love in as full a way, as complete a way, and as accurate a way as possible. This means rending the veils that were created in our early childhood.

Love Unveiled, pg. 42

Attachments are Our Way to Preserve Closeness and Connection

Because we’re not aware that our true nature is this boundless omnipresent effulgence of pure love and light, when we have something we like we become attached to it. We become possessive. If there is somebody you love, you’re attached to them. Any object you love, you become attached to. So what is attachment? It’s a substitute for divine love. Attachment is a way of trying to get the feeling that I am one with this; I have it now, it’s mine, and it can’t leave me. If you recognize the dimension of Divine Love, you know that you and the object are all one thing, so you don’t need to hold onto it. But since you don’t know consciously that it’s all one thing (you only know it unconsciously), you believe you are a separate thing that can have something else. And so we develop attachments. We’re bound to develop attachments; it’s our way to preserve the closeness and connection. But if we explore attachment, we recognize that it is in fact a negativity, the result of a frustration of the heart. We can see that attachment is a negative kind of merging—it’s not real merging. It’s a desire for the state of divinity, for this divine love that is everywhere, but it’s frustrated by the sense of boundaries. We are this unity, which is beautiful and harmonious, liberated and complete, so when we are experiencing ourself as something limited and constricted, we can’t help longing for that unity. If our obscuration is somewhat light, we experience it as a longing for union with the divine, with God. If our obscuration is a little thicker, we experience it as a longing to unite with somebody else. If our obscuration is even thicker, we experience it only as frustration—frustrated desire. Attachment means you are having the divine love without having it—the ego believes it has the unity that way, but it doesn’t really have it. In a state of attachment, although you are holding onto something you think you want, inside the attachment is frustration because you’re not getting what you really want—the loving union.

Can this Disconnection or Alienation Between the Soul and Her True Nature be Healed?

Simply stated, inquiry requires the presence of Loving-kindness. Our clarity and precision need to embody the sensitivity of kindness to respond to exactly where we are. With Compassion, inquiry considers appropriately—in a very gentle, delicate, selfless way—how we are vulnerable and how we are hurting. So our inquiry must be courageous, curious, and steadfast, but also considerate of the pain and sensitive to our vulnerability. In this way, our soul will feel willing and interested to open up and reveal her hidden pains. This presence of precise and attuned kindness also allows our soul to be touched by the healing element, which is the presence of Loving-kindness—the Green Essence. However, healing particular pains is not inquiry’s major endeavor. The main task of inquiry is to help the soul open up and reveal her treasures so she can become an open and transparent window for our Being. In other words, true healing is not just a matter of healing particular pains; it is healing the rift between the soul and her Being. So the objective of essential Compassion, the Green diamond of the Guidance, is to heal this disconnection or alienation between the soul and her true nature. This is what will truly and finally heal the human soul. Particular pains from your past can define and limit your experience in the present because you are not connected to who you truly are. When you are connected to your true nature, being rejected or hurt by others doesn’t do anything to you. You just feel sad for them; you recognize the wound that makes them behave the way they do. It is when you are disconnected from your true nature that you get wounded.

Deficient Emptiness is a Way of Experiencing the Lack of Connection to Our True Nature

As far as the ego is concerned, desire, need, and wanting are all bound up together—maybe with a little love thrown in, because, even on an ego level, we don’t desire something we don’t like. We don’t think, “Oh, I really want that . . . I don’t like it.” No, we think, “I like it; that is why I want it.” So we like, we love, we want, but underneath—and usually not in our awareness—is an emptiness that we defend against. This contributes to the belief that we need to have the object of our desire to fill the emptiness, which can take us into forbidden territory: As we get in touch with the wanting and the desiring, angst often accompanies them, and our longing brings out a need that sometimes can make us feel infantile or deficient because that kind of wanting comes from a very deep place of emptiness. What is that emptiness? It is a way of experiencing the lack of connection to our true nature. In our natural condition, when we are connected we are open and available to the presence of Being and the pure openness of the void, the two sides of our true nature. The void side of true nature is not lacking in any way. It is the simple, clear purity of openness itself, without which true selfless love is not possible. From the inherent potential in this openness can arise a love that is a giving, loving fullness. However, when the presence of our nature is missing and we feel the disconnection, we feel emptiness. This emptiness is not spacious, open, clear, and bright. No, this is a deficient emptiness, which is more a dull, murky darkness accompanied by the specific sense of lack. “I don’t have love; I don’t have sufficiency; something is missing . . .” This territory is difficult for us because we sense that if we really feel the desire and need, it will take us into that deficient emptiness—and it can! The two go hand in hand: The need and the emptiness are two sides of the same thing. So we desire something to fill the emptiness, and we become focused on having to get something that will do that. But if we actually feel the need and desire, and we follow them to the underlying energetic presence, we find that it is much more than we originally felt it to be. Just as it is with love, following our feelings invites the emptiness to open up, and this emptiness then can become the conduit for change because it is the beginning of the appearance of the spaciousness of our true nature.

Diamond Guidance Finds the Connections Between All the Discriminated Patternings in a Situation

The insight of the Diamond Guidance derives also from a synthesis. However, unlike in Brilliancy, the aspects in the Diamond Guidance are differentiated. Therefore, the synthesis of Guidance happens by correlating the various elements in a situation. The way it works is that the elements are first analyzed, seen separately. For example, in a given situation, there may be anger, sadness, a contraction here, a memory there, this action and that defense. These are all discriminated patternings. The Guidance sees all of these and then correlates them to find the connections between them and between the various groupings. It recognizes their relationships and interactions in a precise and detailed manner. It sees how they connect to each other, how they affect each other, how one leads to another: how sadness leads to the anger, how anger leads to fear, and how the fear is related to the contraction, how the whole thing is related to what one’s mother did, how what one’s mother did led to marrying this or that person, how marrying that person led to having that specific kind of job, which then explains one’s present financial difficulty. That is the process that happens when inquiring with the Guidance. This is usually an organized, orderly, and clear process, a precise seeing of interrelationships and interactions. This process ultimately reveals the unity that underlies all of them. This is how the Guidance uses synthesis in its overall functioning. Why? Because the Diamond Guidance is composed of the various differentiated aspects, and those aspects are differentiated and ordered in a certain combination. So Guidance functions by seeing the various elements of experience in combination until at some point they make a coherent gestalt. Then insight shines through.

Having a Connection with the Sacred

One of the spiritual teachers who understood both the personal and non-personal perspectives to spiritual work was Ramakrishna. Although he was familiar with the mystical path of God-realization through self-annihilation, for much of his life he preferred a more personal, religious approach. He explained this by saying, “I don’t want to be sugar. I want to taste sugar.” With the mystical approach you become reality; you are divinity, you are the sacred, you are essential nature. With the personal approach, it’s more a question of you having a connection with the sacred, feeling yourself to be in contact with it and tasting it. Our approach here is mostly the mystical path of self-realization, but we do see a place for the personal approach. We’ve seen how it can usefully complement the mystical approach, making the path of self-realization more possible and effective. So, there are many facets to the Diamond Approach, and many elements in our work. Sometimes our approach is more one of very precise, epistemological discrimination. At other times we can be devotional and work with an attitude of ecstatic abandon, with ecstatic chanting or singing. Sometimes our inquiry is playful, and this playful inquiry can bypass the intellect and have direct impact, the way Zen practices do. We will see all these different approaches as we go through the boundless dimensions; each one of them has a different flavor, a different quality.

How Do We Block Our Connection or Access to the Diamond Guidance?

This brings in another consideration, which is that we not only need to be open to the Guidance, we also need to have faith in it. We need to have confidence in its efficacy and capacity; otherwise, it won’t guide us. Or if it is already guiding us, we won’t know that it is guiding us. We have faith in our guidance when we have the trust that it will take us to the places we need to go. Faith is the confidence and trust that the Guidance will send us in the right direction, that it won’t deceive us, won’t lie to us, and won’t put us into situations that we can’t handle. If we don’t have this kind of faith, our openness to guidance is limited, which will limit the capacity of the Guidance to help us. There’s no rule that says you have to have faith in the Guidance for it to work; this is just the nature of reality. The fact that Guidance will keep taking you deeper into the mystery is the reason why you must have some faith in it, why you must trust where it is taking you. Since you do not know where it is going to take you, there is no other way but to trust it and take its promptings on faith. Opening up to the Diamond Guidance requires a lot of faith, confidence, and trust, because as we said, to move from knowledge to mystery means to continually jump into unknown places. So just as seeing our beliefs, positions, ideas, and biases will open up the space for the Guidance, developing faith and confidence in the Diamond Guidance will open up the peacefulness and the stillness required for it to operate. When we have preconceptions and presuppositions, and believe that we know what is going to happen or should happen, we assume that our mind can be our guidance, and that is how we block our connection or access to the Diamond Guidance. If we have faith in the Guidance, we can accept its direction; we can follow it and depend on it. This ability to accept, follow, and depend on the Guidance can become a way of life. And it needs to become our way of life if our evolution is going to be truly guided.

How Do We Understand the Connection of the Soul to the Larger Perspective?

I said at the beginning of this teaching that it would involve a shift of focus from the experience of the individual soul to the experience of the whole of existence. And when we understand the connection of the soul to the larger perspective, it means that we understand what the boundless dimensions really mean, and that is when we begin to understand what spirituality truly means. We cannot understand spirituality if we don’t understand divinity, if we don’t understand the cosmic being, or the nature of everything. If you only understand yourself as essential nature, you are only just beginning to know spirituality. True spiritual or mystical experience is to experience the nature of everything, which is the same thing as the being of God. That is the work we are doing now. We are not working just so that you feel your essence inside you and resolve your issues and that’s it. That’s what happens at the beginning—and we explored that in the first volume of this love series—but now we’re concerned with the big picture, the whole story. Some teachings try to give you the whole story right from the beginning, but it’s difficult to absorb, except in an intellectual way. In this work we want to learn experientially, little by little, so that you’re gradually learning the teaching and at the same time learning what you yourself are and what reality is. As your experience of the aspects and your essential nature is no longer felt to be something that is only inside you, you begin to see that you don’t stop at your skin. Your soul doesn’t stop at your skin, and neither does your essence. The only reason why your essence stops at your skin is because you think it does, because that’s what you believe. The more you see through that belief, which is part of the ego principle, the more your essence expands, and it gets bigger and more expanded until you feel, “Oh, it’s really big now!” When you feel so expanded, it can feel like you’re filling the room, but although you’re expanding, chances are you’re still believing that you stop at your skin—it’s just that your skin has gotten as big as the room. Only when you see through the skin as a boundary do you realize that you don’t actually have a size or shape. You’re everywhere. That’s why we say “omnipresence”; you recognize your presence is now omnipresence because it really is everywhere.

Is Disconnection from Reality an Illusion?

Reality is so beautiful, so breathtaking, when we see that there is no separateness. When you see the deeper dimension, when you penetrate that dimension, you see that this world is the expression of oneness, the expression of one love and harmony and beauty. And that person who is identical with the oneness of the world is the resurrection. The whole world is resurrected. Everything appears and is seen in its true reality. So the more profound spiritual realization is not the death and resurrection of who you are but the death and resurrection of the world. Not the death and resurrection of the separate individual entity, but the death and resurrection of the entire universe. The whole world as we usually see it is a dead world. Only with the resurrection does the world live. Everything lives. Even the rocks live. As I said, this is a very subtle and profound transformation that takes a tremendous amount of work and sincerity and dedication. If we’re lucky, we glimpse the resurrected world once in a while. When you perceive the oneness, the true unity, the world as it is, you can no longer be happy without it. You know now what you are. The moment that perception fades, the separation from oneness brings longing. What do you long for? To end the separation. You can say you long for God or you long for truth, but fundamentally you long to end that separateness. Ultimately, we experience longing and sadness and unhappiness because we experience ourselves as separate objects. Then we try to connect to other separate objects through love or sex or spiritual work. But we have to see the basic truth that we’re not separate beings. We don’t need to do anything to be connected. There is no disconnection. Disconnection is an illusion. In fact, it is a delusion, a psychotic delusion.

Is Everything Interconnected?

So Holy Work emphasizes the fact that there is always an unfoldment taking place, and Holy Origin emphasizes that this unfoldment is always the unfoldment of Being. So as appearance manifests, it never leaves Being, which means that you never leave Being. The interconnection of everything, including ourselves, then, is by virtue of the fact that everything has as its inner nature the reality of Being. You are connected by virtue of the fact that Being is your true reality. Just as the body is inseparable from its atoms, so appearance is inseparable from Being. There is no such thing as a body separate from its atoms; likewise, there is no world, no existence, no manifestation, no appearance separate from Being. This inseparability of appearance from its Source is the perception elucidated by Holy Origin. This is a very deep understanding which is not easy to apprehend. Without it, we can have experiences of our essential nature which actually feel separate from who we are. For instance, we might have a profound experience of the presence of boundless compassion or of indestructible strength, but actually feel that we are having an experience of something other than who and what we are. Essence can feel like something that comes and goes, rather than seeing that our perception of our inner nature is what comes and goes because that perception is not clear. Holy Origin is the knowledge that you and your essence are not two distinct things. Essence is the nature of the soul. We might believe that the Divine, or God, is something outside ourselves, residing somewhere else, which we are either connected to or not. Believing that you can be connected or disconnected from God means that you don’t understand the Idea of Holy Origin. The Idea of Holy Origin can be formulated in many ways, depending upon the level or subtlety of realization.

Facets of Unity, pg. 186

Our Deep Human Connections are Based on the Prototype of Ultimate Union

All forms of human union are possible only because there is such a thing as essential union and ultimate union. And because they are reflections and manifestations of that fundamental union, they are not only valid in their own right but, more fundamentally, they are helpful for our work. Any relationship with another person can be used as a bridge, as a stepping stone, for us to recognize and move toward the ultimate, fundamental union.  That is what we mean when we say that our deep human connections are based on the prototype of ultimate union that makes all forms of union possible, and desirable. In other words, all beloveds are expressions of the ultimate Beloved. In our movement toward anything we are attracted to, there is a very deep primordial longing for that union. The heart gravitates toward experiences of many different types of union, but as we are beginning to recognize, it does so because the heart loves to be united with its true Beloved.  This is one way of understanding “being in the world but not of it.” We live a life of togetherness, social interaction, intimacy, connection, and union in the way humans experience these things, but living in this way is a direct expression, manifestation, and fulfillment of the union of the soul with its ultimate Beloved.  So we need to look at our life and our humanness from that perspective. We need to learn that if we are going to arrive at that ultimate fulfillment, we don't want to get stuck forever at any one station on our journey. We want to keep rending the veils until union is complete—because nothing else will truly fulfill the heart. No situation, no relationship with another person or group, no activity, no interest, no accomplishment, no knowledge, no understanding—nothing in the world—can take the place of that union. And if we recognize our heart's deepest desire for this union—our total yearning for it—and start to allow that longing, then it is possible for us to arrive at that union. It is possible for the heart to be fulfilled—and to be fulfilled in such a fundamental way that our life situations truly fulfill us—not as a substitute but as a manifestation of that complete union. 

Love Unveiled, pg. 144

Recognizing Beingness as a State of Aloneness

When the merging gold is absent, we are in the state that we experience as being lonely. Conversely, when we experience ourselves as alone, and that aloneness feels sad and lonely rather than full and peaceful, the aloneness is being experienced as the absence of merging gold. Initially, the absence of the dual unity, the absence of relationship, of connection, of merging gold, is felt as loneliness. As you do your inner work and experience yourself on the deeper levels of Being and essence, you start to become more able to be. And you recognize beingness as a state of aloneness, because it doesn't have object relations, it doesn't have mental or emotional connections with people. You are free within—you are just with yourself inside, with nobody else attached to you in your mind. That's why it's experienced as aloneness. But it's not aloneness that is experienced as being separate from others; it's aloneness in the sense that it is pure, free from contaminations, free from inner dialogues. You're not conversing in your mind with somebody else. You're alone. You are as you are. For a long time, this aloneness seems difficult to tolerate. Even though it is a state of Being and essence, it is hard to stay with it, because every time it arises, we think that something is missing. So, aloneness is not experienced simply as aloneness—a loneliness comes with it. Fear can accompany it as well, and a sense of deficiency. Every time we feel alone—though it might actually be a state of fullness—the mind thinks, "It must be that I’m rejected. No one wants me. Otherwise, why would I be alone?"

Love Unveiled, pg. 190

Soul is Inherently Deficient Without Her Connection to Her Essential Resources

Recognizing the citadel as the defender of essence challenges the defenses of the ego-self, which then brings up her fears and terrors, ultimately the fear of death. Specifically, all these defenses are seen to function as the avoidance of feeling defenseless. Inquiring into the defenses reveals the ego-self’s underlying deficiency and inadequacy, for without the inner essential resources it has no real capacities. This universal ego deficiency turns out to be one of the main issues that the citadel addresses and resolves, with the wisdom that the soul is inherently deficient and truly incapable without her connection to her essential resources. Hence her only real recourse for supporting herself is living her life in a way that harmonizes with the truth her true nature has been revealing to her. Right living becomes the invitation for the citadel to take its place in the inner economy of the soul, as the essential defender of the truth and its realization. This again makes it possible for the soul to let go of her ego defenses and be open to the truth as the master of her existence and life. We discuss the citadel, especially in relation to the issue of ego deficiency, in some detail in The Pearl Beyond Price, chapters 29–31.

Soul Resists the State of Simple Presence Resulting in Disconnection from Being

The transition from divine love, with its rich and fulfilling qualities, to pure presence, with its transparent simplicity, generally activates many issues and resistances in the soul. Although the realization of pure presence is undiluted bliss and freedom, it is a momentous loss for the soul that has become accustomed to the richness of divine love. The soul is not familiar with such simplicity and emptiness, and may resist it regardless of how wonderful and free it actually is. She has been attached to richness, color, quality, abundance, texture, flavor, and so on; these attachments now become obvious. Since the beginning of her essential development, and even before that, she has loved such rich textures and colors, the fluffiness and softness that goes with them. She loved and enjoyed all the sweet intimacies and juicy pleasures of life, and her essential development has magnified those pleasures a great deal. To the soul who has been enjoying this blessing, the transition to pure presence seems to mean losing love and all its wonderful qualities: sweetness, intimacy, richness, fullness, warmth, depth, texture, variety, color, and so on. Hence the soul resists the state of simple presence, resulting in contraction and disconnection from Being. The transition also seems to mean the loss of heart, the loss of the soul’s capacity to love and to feel loved, the capacity to feel and respond. This can make her feel that she is losing her humanity, that she will end up being an unemotional thing that she associates with deadness, the lack of fun, and the absence of the warmth of human relationship. These expectations may bring fear and trepidation as well as guilt and self-recrimination. The soul feels that she is now heartless, uncaring and unloving, lacking human warmth and compassion. Her essential development has brought her to the realization of the full and beautiful qualities of essence, culminating in the boundless richness of divine love. Pure being is a higher dimension, but she may sense only that it is the loss of essence and divine love. She views transcendence as loss, and responds with many reactions and conflicts.

Soul’s Loss of Connection with Her Essential Ground

Why does the soul not possess this self-liberating quality in her infancy and childhood, when she is also quite impressionable and naturally coemergent with her essential ground? This is a complex question, and not easily answered. One way of addressing it is to relate it to the question of dependence and autonomy. In infancy and childhood the absence of maturity in the soul manifests not in distance from her essential ground, but in her total dependence on others; not only physically, but also emotionally and in all other ways. Because of this dependency she is at the mercy of her environment, her circumstances, and the ministrations of her caregivers. Her real need at the time for their physical support and nourishment, love and caring, mirroring and understanding, and so on, predisposes her toward losing touch with her essential ground. She is not enlightened, in the sense that her cognitive capacities are not developed enough for her to know and comprehend that she is her true nature, and she is not mature enough to consciously and cognitively realize her ontological autonomy. In other words, because of her phase-appropriate need and dependency she can lose connection with her essential ground. This loss tends to happen as part of a more comprehensive process, an important part of which is the retention of impressions. We will discuss this process in some detail in chapters 11 and 12. For a more detailed account see The Point of Existence, chapters 6, 17, 18, and 19. In that book we explore in detail how the soul loses touch with her essential ground, and discuss how this process becomes primary in the development of narcissism. We enumerate the various factors leading to such alienation, a process that also includes the development of a stable self-concept through the integration of semi-permanent self-impressions. The Point of Existence is a study of self-realization, and the process by which the soul attains it by learning to recognize her essence as her identity. The self-realization of our essential nature becomes the ground upon which true and unassailable autonomy develops. In The Pearl Beyond Price we discuss the true autonomy of the soul that she can attain only by realizing her essential ground. We explore autonomy as freedom of being oneself, independent of others and circumstances, by abiding in the presence of our true nature.

The Connection to True, Existential, Objective Aloneness

Some people call poverty the great death. It is not just the death of you or your ego. It is the death of everything. The absolute cessation and annihilation of all that can be perceived, felt, experienced. It is pre-existence. For most people, the most recalcitrant attachment that we confront as poverty approaches is the attachment to the dual unity, the attachment to the good positive relationship, which is ultimately the attachment to the good mother. The dual unity is the early ego structure in which the soul experiences the self and the mother as one world with no other, usually characterized by the feeling of merging gold love. The dual unity transferences manifest as attachments to the people you love or attachment to your relationship to God. The attachment to the dual unity is the fantasy that we will be in blissful union with a good object. We see here the connection to true, existential, objective aloneness. Aloneness has to be accepted completely for it to become poverty. But letting go of dual unity does not imply that dual unity will never happen, or that it is not possible for it to manifest, or that it is not real. Letting go of dual unity means there is no attachment to it. You don’t feel you have it. It is something that might occur sometimes. If you are an individual soul, then the loving condition of the dual unity may occur sometimes. The need for a positive relationship with another is very deep, and at the deepest level for most people it is unconscious. We don’t normally feel the desire for dual unity directly. It is powerful and renders us extremely vulnerable. When you directly experience the need for dual unity, you can’t sleep for weeks at a time. You wake up from your sleep terrified, or shivering from cold and fear. It is a tremendous challenge to bring to consciousness and let go of the good relationship to the good mommy that is in your mind. It is such a fundamental need of the individual soul, and so entrenched, that we live it without ever becoming conscious of its power.

The Disconnection We Sense is Not Ultimately Real

All human endeavors are ultimately attempts to regain that connection, attempts to return home, to go back to where we feel contented and without worry, where we feel things are just the way they should be. Everyone is working on the same task of returning home, whatever their projects and enterprises. But trying to return home is a very tricky and subtle thing, because we are estranged by the very way that we see ourselves. It is not as though you were thrown out of paradise as a punishment for something you did wrong; nor is it a matter of doing some exercise or going through some difficulty to regain contact with the Origin. To regain the Origin is, in a sense, the process of annihilating oneself, because the very way that we think and the way that we perceive ourselves is what disconnects us. As we have seen, what disconnects us is the delusion that we are a self with a separate identity, so it doesn’t matter what we learn, what we attain, what we gain, how far we go—these things will not reconnect us. Even talking about connecting is a linguistic formulation that is not accurate, since the disconnection itself is a delusion. Although the disconnection that we sense is not ultimately real, we experience it as real psychologically because reality is such that our beliefs determine our experience. If we believe that we are independent entities, we will experience ourselves as independent entities, and hence, as disconnected. So the return home to our Source is a matter of education; it is a matter of seeing through certain beliefs. But in letting them go, you are letting go of the very fabric of who you believe you are, so the process is very difficult, very subtle, and very radical.

Facets of Unity, pg. 203

The Need for a Sense of Community, for Connection . . . Reflections of One Original Truth

This ultimate union with the Beloved, and the degrees of nearness to it, is the prototype and ground of all close relationships. It is the original seed, or original truth, that gives close relationships their meaning, as well as their joys and difficulties. Close relationships are called love relationships, intimate relationships, because they are about intimacy and closeness and, ultimately, about union. All desire, all yearning, for nearness and union in any relationship, in any situation, is a reflection of the original yearning, of the deepest heart's desire—union with the Beloved. But intimate personal connections are not the only ones that manifest as reflections or expressions of this condition of union. There are many others, such as sexual unions, the sharing and giving between friends, or an appreciation of and desire for togetherness with family. The need for a sense of community, for connection, companionship, bonding—all of these are reverberations, reflections, of one original truth, which is the union with the Beloved and the longing for that union when it isn't there. These reflections appear in many kinds and degrees, depending on the particular veils that keep us separate from the Beloved, and how far we are from that state of original union. This doesn’t mean that the personal relationships that reflect our desire for intimacy and union have no intrinsic value of their own. These constitute a large part of our life and, in fact, a large part of our humanness; without them, we wouldn’t be human in some fundamental sense. But we need to understand where this element of our humanity comes from. Why do we like to be together, to be close with others? Have you ever thought about that?

Love Unveiled, pg. 139

True Contact Requires a Sense that there is Connection

True contact requires a sense that there is connection, a unity between us, or at least that we have an interest or desire to experience our closeness, our connectedness, our interrelatedness. In connecting with another human being, we can experience a great deal of depth, a great deal of texture in our experience, in our consciousness, with many varieties, flavors, and shades of color and light. The erotic sphere is one particular arena that requires all of these. We cannot have divine eros in our relationship if our relationship is superficial, if the contact is not comfortable, not real. There needs to be a sense of a connection, a bond: “Yeah, I feel very close to you, and I am interested in knowing you and knowing what is really going on with you. Not because I want to fix something, or because I want to be a good person or not feel guilty, but because I really want to know you. For when I know you, I feel my contact with you, and I can feel how we are one in our true humanity.” The sense of connectedness and contact and the sense of personalness are what characterize a true relationship. These qualities of personalness, contact, and connection are necessary for divine eros to emerge in the interactive field. Divine eros is deep and subtle and requires a great deal of authenticity in the contact between two people; otherwise, it says, “Not interested! This is not a hospitable environment . . . this consciousness is too crude for me . . .” In addition, to have a relationship of true personalness, true contact—whether you have eye contact, physical contact, or just consciousness contact —both the quality of presence and the communication need to also have an openness in which neither person is trying to defend himself or herself, or selfishly trying to gain an advantage. Instead, each person is committed to being authentic and allowing both parties to find out what is possible for the relationship.

What is Our Direct Connection with the Source, with the Beloved?

Sometimes we don't love ourselves because what was loved in us were only expressions, external manifestations—some of our capacities, some of our qualities, some of our actions—but not the fact of what we are. Our core being was not loved, was not recognized. To love ourselves, we need to start at our core. We have to recognize the presence, the beingness, the essential nature of who we are. Then appreciating and loving the manifestations makes sense because they are the manifestations of that core. Otherwise, we are loving empty, disembodied manifestations. It is like loving an empty shell. When the presence is there and you are aware that this core of beingness is the beauty, the value, of who you are, then all the capacities, all the external manifestations, will be included in what you love. I'm not saying it isn’t okay to love your external manifestations, but to love them at the expense of the core, of the depth, will make you into a shell. And you will end up not recognizing that you love yourself. It is that core, that inner beingness, that inner nature, which is our direct connection with the source, with the Beloved. That is how the Beloved appears when we start looking. And it appears as one form and then another until it reveals its most absolute nature, its mystery. So, it is a matter of penetrating the veils. And that happens as a process of inquiry and exploration of ourselves propelled by the dynamism of love.  We know the kinds of things that we love about ourselves—and there are many of those. But most of the time we don't see them, we don't want to know what they are because of our other voices that tell us all sorts of other stories, lies.

Love Unveiled, pg. 113

When the Possibility of Connection is All that Remains

The second characteristic of true reality is that this field of awareness, this field of presence, is pervasive and infinite, and includes everything within it. In fact, it is a oneness, an indivisible unity. This is similar to the Buddhist notion of the “wisdom of equality or evenness.” The fact that there are patterns within the field does not mean there are discrete objects. So in our experience, the fact that there is sadness and pressure and temperature and softness and hardness does not mean that different objects are there. The field is all one consciousness with different patterns in difference places. So the entire soul is unitary as well. When we recognize true nature and we lose the sense of boundaries, we recognize that oneness pervades the whole universe. God has one mind. The primary affect in the unitary consciousness is an appreciation of the interconnectedness of everything. The quality of love is implicit and pervasive in the oneness of true nature; it is the inherent goodness and positivity of reality. When we are no longer conscious of the fact that true nature is a unitary field, the feeling of connectedness—or at least the possibility of connection—is all that remains. In our normal consciousness, we experience this as the feelings we have for other people and objects in our world—including the feelings of disconnection, such as longing, sadness, envy, and hatred. The fact that we can feel, that we are sensitive to what we interact with, is the way the underlying unity appears in our experience. The capacity to feel is ultimately based on the capacity to love; and love unifies—it is an expression of oneness. The basis of the heart is love and love is the expression of the unity of Being.

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