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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Design?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Design

A Feature of the Natural Design of Our Soul

By the time the soul is able to self-reflect in a sufficiently discriminating way, her ego development has already structured her experience to exclude the essential ground. It seems that the natural design of our soul is such that she cannot realize her true nature with a discriminating recognition, necessary for the enlightenment experience, until her cognitive capacities develop. In addition, the cognitive immaturity of the soul becomes a factor in the dissociation of the soul from her essence. To understand this we need to remember that for the soul to include something in her identity, she first needs to recognize it. This is the reason for her need for mirroring in childhood. The fact that she does not discern her essential ground of presence, does not recognize it, means she cannot include it in her identity. She cannot include it in her self-representation, nor can she retain it as a memory or an impression of herself. We see here that there are two things involved in this original absence of recognition—the lack or insufficiency of self-reflection and the limitation in the discriminating capacity.

Functioning from the Perspective of a Design

This evolution happens according to a certain design—a design that is true for all human beings. This design is called the Holy Plan or the Holy Work. It’s a Holy Plan in the sense that there is a specific universal design—which is the same thing as the process of the cosmos or the macrocosm replicating itself in the microcosm. Holy Work is the actual evolution itself, the actual transformation, so it is seeing that there is an actual transformation progressing from one step to another, from one stage to another, and going in a certain direction. Perceiving this design and this process of transformation is Holy Wisdom, which is perceiving the Holy Work or the Holy Plan. So, again, it has to do with functioning—functioning from the perspective of a design. If you have this perspective, obviously you will have basic trust. Knowing that things are unfolding according to a certain design, you do not need to have your own plans. You don’t need to fantasize about how things should be. So we can see how the loss or the absence of this Idea leads you to fantasize about how things should be, how you are going to be, to make plans, to plan for the future.

Facets of Unity, pg. 162

Problematic Situations Designed Specifically for You

The problematic situations in your life are not chance or haphazard. They are specifically yours, designed specifically for you by a part of you that loves you more than anything else. The part of you that loves you more than anything else has created roadblocks to lead you to yourself. Without something pricking you in the side, saying, “Look here! This way!” you are not going to go the right direction. The part of you that designed this loves you so much that it doesn’t want you to lose the chance. It will go to extreme measures to wake you up, and it will make you suffer greatly if you don’t listen. What else can it do? That is its purpose. How much suffering and difficulty it brings you is immaterial in relation to the fulfillment and satisfaction you will have when you actually struggle and see the fruits of the struggle. You can look at your problems as difficulties to be gotten rid of as fast as possible with the least struggle, or you can look at them from the perspective of the part of you that is guiding you to yourself. If you look at them from that more accurate, more finely tuned perspective, the new issues that then arise have a new value. They have nutrition that you need. The whole process works with the utmost purity, the most complete intelligence and compassion. The most difficult things that happen to you are, on the deepest level, the most compassionate.

Soul’s Awareness of the Designs in Its Field

The content of experience is composed purely of forms of consciousness, forms of the very fabric that is the soul. So in becoming aware of the content, the soul actually is simply continuing to be aware of her field, but now this awareness includes not only the presence of the field, but the structure—the patterns, designs, morphogenic variations—this field is assuming. How does the phenomenon of our experiencing the feeling of warm kindness appear from this fundamental dimension? The feeling appears as the field itself changing at the location of the chest, the vibration of this region of the field changing in such a way that we experience a particular sensation of warmth we can recognize as kindness. There are two steps in this process. First is the perception of change; the second the recognition of what this change is. The first is perception, the second is discriminating knowing.

The Designing of the Mind

The mind spends most of its time designing ways to fill needs, satisfy desires, and quell fears. Whether you are meditating, watching TV, or taking a bath, there is agitation of the mind arising out of your own sense of deficiency, of holes needing to be filled. Almost everything we are engaged in is an attempt to fill that sense of incompleteness. So if who we actually are is a completeness, and we have always actually been complete, why do we experience ourselves as incomplete? One way to see it is that the experience of incompleteness is actually the experience of a distance from your completeness. To be incomplete means to be separated from your completeness. There is a split, a gap between what you think you are and who you actually are. This split, this chasm occurred for some reason at some point in your history. You have abandoned yourself. You have become separated from your real self. You are taking the constructs of your mind to be you. The moment you take yourself to be anything in your mind, you are split from who you are, and you will experience insecurity, fear, and desire. The separation from your real self will bring wants and needs, the thoughts that accompany them, the feelings that accompany those, and the rest of the mess that most people call their lives.

We are Fulfilling Our Design by Living and Maturing and Learning and Discovering

By now, hopefully, we have come to terms with the fact that we are not going to have one overwhelming experience that is going to end all our difficulties and obscurations. People usually don’t see this until after they are enlightened several times. If we are awakened enough, we understand that sudden and final enlightenment, though a nice idea, is not congruent with the reality of being human, with the reality of how our consciousness works. This doesn’t mean that if you are not completely free, you have failed. That is not the point. The point is that we are fulfilling our design by living and maturing and learning and discovering. Being fully human means recognizing the joy and the peace that come from the ongoing development of capacities, of knowledge, of different forms of experience, and even of different forms of enlightenment. The more we learn, the more maturation and the more freedom there is. Freedom is one of those things that is difficult to define, and there is no practice or method to achieve freedom. You cannot strategize it; you cannot plan for it. You cannot evoke freedom, because freedom is not a particular state of true nature. It’s not an aspect, dimension, or condition of realization. Freedom has to do with many things. It includes the realization of true nature because freedom is implicit in true nature no matter how true nature is presenting itself. When we talk about waking up, the primary awakening is usually an awakening to the fact that there is something beyond our individual consciousness, something beyond that is the source of all capacity.

When Living Being is Free to Reveal and Express Its Possibilities

As we understand the dynamic of realization, by utilizing the view of totality to explore how practice is related to realization, we open up and reveal the true condition of reality. We do this so that each of us has more freedom and openness in our inquiry, so that each of us has more freedom and capacity to live authentically and to live in a way that reveals the mysteries of Being. We can’t truly and completely be settled, peaceful, and happy unless we participate in the freedom of the dynamism of Being, in the inherent values of Living Being. In other words, the freedom of the dynamism of Being to reveal its possibilities without constraints is experienced by human beings as the freedom to be, as liberation, satisfaction, and happiness. When Living Being is free to reveal and express its possibilities, its inherent true nature, its purity and mystery, it is the same thing as the individual fulfilling his or her design. And as long as we don’t fulfill our design, as long as we are not living in harmony with our design, we are bound to be dissatisfied. Depending on the constraints that limit the dynamism of our being, our dissatisfaction can appear in many ways that reveal old, patterned, and known ways of being.

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