Main Pages

By Region




Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Contact?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Contact

A Terrible Waste of Human Potential

The fact that ego cannot make real contact is lamentable, and indicates a terrible waste of human potential. We cannot see each other when we are identifying with self-images from the past. We are strangers to each other, merely relating to projected images, to parts of our own minds. This is the normal, everyday life of most us, not only the emotionally disturbed.

Being Touched by Our Life

We investigate our hearts, our minds, and our souls in the journey of inquiry in order to understand ourselves and the reality we live in. So we’re not just learning inquiry, we are learning personal inquiry, even though some of the principles also apply to inquiry in general. For inquiry to invite the Diamond Guidance in the way we have been discussing, that inquiry has to be into our own personal experience. The Pearly diamond in the vehicle of the Diamond Guidance grounds our inquiry in the reality of the life we are living. It is this quality of the Guidance that engages us in such a way that we are continually being touched by our life and by the understanding of its truth. And this sense of personal contact and personal meaning is what brings about the integration of our realization. Being personally engaged in the inquiry and wanting to know the truth from that personal place means that the unfoldment of our soul cannot help but transform who we are and how we live our life. It is important to recognize that personalness is not only in reference to an external focus of inquiry. Here we are challenging the impersonal stance that often occurs in spiritual teachings, mostly the Eastern traditions. Many of their traditions view the inner journey as a movement toward impersonal transcendence. They do not see that a personal life and a personal passion can be spiritual. For them, to be spiritual means to go beyond personal life. In the Diamond Approach, inquiry is open and open ended. We do not posit such a position; we allow the Guidance to reveal what the truth is. One thing we find is that ultimate truth is impersonal and transcendent—which means that it exists beyond the realm where the personal is relevant—but it can manifest and express itself in personal ways on various levels, including that of the soul. This possibility points to a different kind of completeness that is still totally real.

Inquiry Requires Us to be Intimately in Contact with Our Experience

The belief that one needs to be outside of one’s experience is due to the dilemma that most individuals feel caught in. They do not know how to be objective and detached without being distant from experience. However, if we distance ourselves from experience, we cannot inquire into, cannot read, our soul. For inquiry to happen and be guided by the guidance of Being, we need to be intimately in contact with our experience. We need to be intimately in touch with our feelings, sensations, thoughts, impulses, reactions, actions, ideas. We need not only to know they are there, but also to feel their texture. We want to have as much input as possible, which means that we need to be totally immersed in the experience in such a way that we fully experience it and feel it. We need to be completely in the middle of it so that we can feel all its nuances.

Loss of Contact with Our Inner Depths

If we consider common expressions like “he lost his soul” and “she sold her soul” metaphorically rather than literally, we recognize in them a wisdom about the true condition of self and soul. Even though we are considering the soul as what the human being actually is, and therefore as not subject to being lost, we see that there can be meaning in the notion of losing the soul. For the self to lose its soul, or not to have soul, can mean to become superficial, to lose or be without the depth and substance that is possible for an individual, the source of moral and spiritual strength and character. We can see this in the term soulful, which we normally use to describe someone with a depth of feeling or a sense of inner richness. In other words, to lose one’s soul means to lose contact with the inner depth and richness of being human. This understanding refers back to the classical and Socratic Western understanding of soul, in which the surface self and the inner spiritual richness are seen to be two levels of the same reality, which is our human subjectivity. Generally speaking, the common expressions we mention above are meant and taken relatively. There are degrees of loss of soul, degrees of alienation from the spiritual depths of the human soul.

Self-Blame from the Loss of Contact with Being

Ultimately, all self-blame comes down to blaming oneself for not being enlightened. Universally, there is a core place within all ego structures where one feels guilty for not being a realized Being. The guilt, as we have seen, has to do with the fact that (in Christian terms) you have been thrown out of paradise—yet you don’t blame God for this; you blame yourself. The deeper you go into understanding the sense of guilt, the more you realize that you feel guilty for not being real. This is particularly relevant when you have realized the essential aspect of the Point, the Essential Identity (see The Point of Existence, Almaas 1996). Here you see that you have carried within you a profound sense of guilt for losing contact with your true nature. A sense of great betrayal arises, not just because your parents didn’t see your real nature, but that you stopped seeing it. You abandoned what is real in you; you abandoned yourself. Each ennea-type will experience this guilt in a slightly different way, as it is filtered through the lens of each one’s specific delusion, but this guilt and self-blame for the loss of contact with Being is universal to all egoic experience.

Facets of Unity, pg. 94

The Assumption that Social Contact is a Survival Need

What’s important to see is that ultimately, all animal instincts amount to the basic drive for physical survival. And all our powerful needs and instinctual drives can become a force that completely eclipses the love of truth. This is true whether the survival instinct manifests as the need for security, support, safety, affection, social contact, comfort, or money. In reality, all social and sexual instincts are linked to survival. For example, you may just want somebody around or someone to talk to on the phone, and it doesn’t matter whether truth is involved. Just talking is what’s needed. What’s really happening is that you can’t be alone; you are operating unconsciously from the assumption that social contact is a survival need, and that takes precedence over the love of the truth. We need to deal with this level of our soul if we are to liberate our heart, for our heart can truly love only when it is free. The heart exists at the level of the human soul rather than at the level of the animal soul. And unless the instinctual drives in the animal soul are confronted, they will confine—and ultimately control—the human soul and heart.

The Touching of Unique Personal Beingness

The personal contact then is as actual, as concrete, as immediate as physical contact. In such contact one is touching the other's Being with one's own Being. The substance of one's unique personal beingness touches the substance of the other’s unique personal beingness. It is touching of each other without the presence of ego boundaries, and without the loss of one's unique individuation of Being. One is present, as oneself, as one's unique individuation. One is not being anything from the past, so one is totally unique. One is personal. One is present as an individuality of Being, a unique human being. And contact is this Presence being with another Presence.

Transference Blocks Genuine Contact

To state the case succinctly: there is no genuine contact when there is transference. True contact happens when one is free from transference. This is not an either-or case; the most accurate statement is that the less identification there is with past object relations, the more genuine personal contact is possible.

Two Essences Coming Together

Real personal contact occurs when we feel our soul itself is in direct contact with the other person's soul. It is when Essence itself is making contact, is itself contactfulness. I am making contact without completely merging into you or the universal -- the contact is immediate and with no boundaries, but still not all one big ocean. The substance of one soul is touching the very substance of another soul, two Essences coming together. You are free and spontaneous, not conditioned. You are fullness, and aliveness, and abundance in being yourself.

When Heart-to-Heart Contact is Missing

When you are yourself, your personal beingness, then and only then is it possible to treat other people as people, as humans in a personal way. Then they are no longer objects to you. When you are yourself in this way, it is possible to have personal contact with others. When you are not yourself, when you are the personality of ego, the personality is a barrier between you and the other. Or, if you are the universal aspect, you also cannot make personal contact with someone else. You can envelope them in the universal way, you can be open with them, but that person-to-person, being to being, heart to heart contact is missing. Some place in the heart of the other person is not touched, and there is no personal meeting. Regardless of how much you love the person, have compassion for him, or want to help him, if you are not personal in your contact, he will not feel met. The personal contact establishes trust.

Working with the Issue of Contact

The transition from identity with past object relations to the presence of the Personal Essence is a prerequisite for true personal contact... It is always the case that when someone is working with the issue of contact, he is working on the realization of the Personal Essence. Contact is the most specifically personal act, and when it is real it is the act of the real Being.

Subscribe to the Diamond Approach

See past editions of the Diamond Approach newsletter