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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Excerpts about Diamond Approach

A Path of Wisdom

The Diamond Approach is a path of wisdom, an approach to the investigation of Reality and work on oneself that leads to human maturity and liberation. Because of our particular vision of Reality, it is not completely accurate to think of this approach as spiritual work, for this work does not separate the spiritual from the psychological. Neither does it see these two as separate from the physical everyday life and scientific investigation of the content of perception. However, because we live in a society where the prevailing thought is that of the separated facets of Reality, the closest category recognized in this mentality, to our approach, is that of a spiritual path or exploration. We prefer the expression essential work to refer to our approach, because it is based on the essential nature of Reality, meaning the essence of the three disciplines that developed from it.

Allowing the Student's Exploration

In the Diamond Approach we deal with whatever level of self the student happens to be experiencing, and work towards understanding it without taking a rigid position about what element of experience to focus on. We allow the student's exploration to guide us to the factors most relevant for his or her present experience.

Barriers Against the Free Unfoldment of the Soul

The Diamond Approach is an open and open-ended inquiry into the various elements of our experience and its patterns. When that inquiry is sincere and intelligent, it is bound to encounter the psychological and epistemological barriers against the free unfoldment of the soul. Challenging such barriers by questioning them leads to the insightful and correctly felt comprehension of these barriers. In this way, inquiry and understanding penetrate the barriers and open up our soul to the still-unknown possibilities sleeping in its depths.

Barriers Arising from the Loss of Essence

According to the Diamond Approach, the barriers of the personality to the merging love aspect (and to all others), these dark spots and knots that clog the flow of energies, are nothing but certain specific mental and emotional contents relating to the loss of the essential aspect and the subsequent attempts at compensation. In other words, the dark spots are areas of darkness in our personality: certain emotions, memories and ideas are cut off from consciousness and repressed. What the yogis see is the repressed unconscious content, but they understand it only energetically and not psychologically. In our approach, we use psychodynamic understanding to see through these dark spots and dissolve them.

Cultivating Awareness

The individual begins with consciousness and ends with consciousness -- consciousness is simply expanded further and further. We must point out here that by consciousness we mean awareness, because the word consciousness is sometimes used to denote other concepts. Some authors, in fact, use the word consciousness to refer to Essence. Therefore, as in all systems of inner development, to apply the Diamond Approach, the individual cultivates awareness.

Discovery of Essence

In the Diamond Approach the teaching is oriented towards the natural and spontaneous revelation of the truth of the Soul as one investigates one's experience, motivated by the pure love for the truth and the joy in it. The first naturally occurring stage is that of the discovery of Essence, which is the true nature of the Soul. The Essence is discovered directly in experience as a fundamental Presence that manifests in many qualities that we call aspects. It is recognized for what it is, and understood as the true resolution for the various existential deficiencies and longings of the ego and its personality. The second stage becomes the objective understanding of the ego and the mind, now using the wisdom available from the Presence of Essence. The contrast to Essence provides the mirror in which the personality of ego becomes understood in a precise and clear way. This then makes it possible to move to the third stage, where one's sense of identity shifts from ego to Essence.

Essence Gets Buried Under Layers of the Personality

This approach implies theoretically and demonstrates in practice that Essence can never be totally, literally lost. What happens is that it gets buried, covered over by layers of the personality -- Essence becomes repressed, relegated to the unconscious. That is precisely why a psychodynamic approach can be effective. Psychodynamic methods are based on the topology of the mind, as Freud formulated it. They assume that part of the mind is conscious and another part, where conscious awareness does not penetrate, is unconscious. On this matter we differ from Freud only in that we see that the unconscious includes in it the Essence itself.

Evolution of the Teachings

Like life, the teaching that I communicate, the Diamond Approach, is a living truth that constantly evolves and reveals more about itself and more about reality. For many decades now, this teaching has been investigating the nature of who we are and what reality is. It has developed many practices and revealed countless realms of experience. Inquiry, our central practice, always begins by exploring exactly where we find ourselves in the moment. For most of us, this means that we begin our inner work by dealing with the structures and beliefs that constrain the aliveness of our immediate experience. Over time, this open and open-ended inquiry into our experience carries us through all kinds of realizations and awakenings. We discover the soul, we discover presence in its myriad qualities, we discover the boundless dimensions of true nature and the nonduality of reality, and we learn how to live a personal life that reflects the wisdom of all these discoveries. The journey into the absolute heart of reality and its integration into our daily life is fundamental to waking up and to continuing to wake up in novel and unexpected ways.

Experiential Inquiry Into the Self

The Diamond Approach is a process of experiential inquiry into the self, inviting the self to reveal its truth as a direct living understanding. At some point the inquiry begins to focus naturally on the self-identity structure of the self. For the majority of students the truth that reveals itself at the beginning is the psychological truth of this ego structure, the psychodynamic processes that express and sustain it, and the personal history that went into its development. This confronts the student with awareness of the environmental factors that caused her narcissism, leading to the challenge and dissolution of the many levels of defense and rigidity in the structure.

Independently Existing Objective Truth

The Diamond Approach is also based on the recognition that such a thing as objective truth exists independent of the mind of the person experiencing it. However, what we mean by “truth” is not merely the ultimate truth of reality. We use the word to refer to a specific element in any experience: the truth of the experience (or the situation), which can be confirmed by several independent observers. This objective truth, which is independent of one’s subjective positions, is not static, nor is it an object. It’s not as though you look into your experience and find the truth, and this truth stays the truth forever and ever. In each moment there is truth arising anew in your experience. The next moment, the truth in your experience might be different from the truth you discovered last. So the truth is dynamic, constantly shifting, changing, and transforming. And inquiry is the dynamic process that reveals increasing degrees and depths of that truth.

Integrating the Various Forms of Being

In the Diamond Approach we first integrate the various forms of being. So we integrate Presence in the qualities of peace, kindness, love, truth, strength, clarity, space, knowingness, intelligence, existence, and so on, until we are permanently in contact with the dynamic flow of essential Presence.

Learning to Be Ourselves

We learn to be ourselves by recognizing the truth of our experience.
• We cannot recognize the truth of our experience if we don’t know where we are in the moment.
• We won’t recognize where we are if we resist being where we are. Not allowing ourselves to be where we are prevents us from understanding our experience for what it is, and we won’t see the truth of the situation.
• When we don’t see the truth of the situation, it is because something is obstructing the shaft of light that could be breaking through.

Practically speaking, what this comes down to is that we need to be able to see where we are. Now where we are is not what we are—at least at the beginning of the path. What we are is our True Self, our True Nature. But we have already seen that by understanding where we are right now, we can recognize our distance from our True Nature.

Nondual Experience is Impersonal and Universal

In our work, we address both sides of human evolution: the realization of true nature and the integration of everyday life into that true nature. For the Far Eastern religions, the integration of the world of appearance into true nature results in nondual experience. This is still an impersonal and universal perspective, where all that appears to perception is experienced as inseparable from true nature. This is not what we mean by integration of life into true nature. The Diamond Approach supports living a personal life in relationship to other human beings and engaging in other human activities besides spiritual practice. Integration of appearance into true nature functions as the ground of this personal integration; it does not stand on its own as the only value. Being manifests not only in the transcendental, but also in down-to-earth, practical and personal forms that are relevant to everyday life. And daily life itself can become spiritual realization

Realization of All Aspects of Being

In the Diamond Approach, self-realization involves the complete realization of all aspects of Being. Each aspect manifests, its issues are understood and it finally becomes a permanent attainment as segments of the ego are abandoned. It is a lengthy, deep process, rich with surprises, full of difficulties of all kinds, and replete with color and significance.

Source of the Knowledge Specific to the Diamond Approach

Most of the knowledge specific to the Diamond Approach originates directly from the diamond vehicles, and their dimension of essential diamonds, with their associated universal wisdom. This is the most direct and concrete reason we call our work the Diamond Approach. And it is the main reason why we recognize this approach as a path of wisdom, for it is the teaching of these essential vehicles of wisdom. It must be clear to the reader by now that the Diamond Approach is not the intentional synthesis of a person, the author or somebody else. The scope and depth of knowledge is simply beyond the personal mind of the author, not to mention that it is not knowledge in the ordinary sense. It is gnostic knowledge, noesis, direct unveiling of Reality. It cannot be arrived at through an intellectual process or synthesis, for the mind simply cannot go to such realms of wisdom. It must also be by now clear, by the same token, that the Diamond Approach does not come from a previous wisdom tradition and was not learned from another teacher. It is true that the author received it from a source, but the source is true nature itself, that has communicated this teaching by manifesting its diamond vehicles of wisdom.

Understanding is the Process of True Living

We have discussed the fact that in the Diamond Approach, understanding is not a matter of mentally connecting concepts; it’s a matter of being clear about what’s happening in our experience by being intimately in touch with it. In other words, understanding is the process of true living. It is realized life. Real living is the unfoldment of understanding, and inquiry is the way that unfoldment happens. As we inquire, understanding manifests, develops, expands, and deepens. Understanding is ultimately a precise, clear, objective awareness of our true nature, for as we understand ourselves, our soul keeps unfolding and manifesting her hidden potentials until we are just our true nature, our real self. Ultimately, understanding coincides with the total realization of our true nature. In other words, understanding is the vehicle for the integration of the soul—which is our normal consciousness—with its source and nature beyond time and space. In the process of inquiry and understanding, the soul first throws away her old garb—all our accumulated images, patterns, and self-concepts. This is a process of purification, part of the overall process of revelation in which inquiry reveals the hidden potentials in our soul. At some point, the purified soul—the soul that has gone through the process of clarification—becomes transparent awareness. What we call true nature becomes the soul’s identity. Self-realization and awareness coincide as a coemergence of soul and identity. Our experience continues as an unfoldment in which the identity stays the same and only the content that presents itself to our awareness changes.

Wisdom Informing the Methodology of the Diamond Approach

The central thread of wisdom informing the methodology of the Diamond Approach is that our normal human consciousness does not possess the knowledge or skill necessary for traversing the inner path of realization. However, the intelligence of our underlying spiritual ground tends to spontaneously guide consciousness and experience toward liberation. This spiritual ground, which is the ultimate nature of reality, is unconditionally loving and compassionate in revealing its treasures of wisdom to whoever is willing to open to it. We simply need to recognize the truth about our present experience and learn the attitudes and skills that will invite the true nature of reality to reveal itself. Toward that end, this methodology brings together classical spiritual techniques and new practices that can help us be open and vulnerable to our true nature

Work on Our Psychological Issues Will Include Regressive Processes

….. We find this view too linear to reflect the reality of experience; nor does it take into consideration the existence of essential aspects. The Diamond Approach begins with the idea that we need to work on our psychological issues, which will include regressive processes, if we are serious about our spiritual development. But then the process becomes much more specific, and much less linear. We find that psychological issues and spiritual development do not arise one after the other, consecutively. Rather, we find that the psychological issues are completely intertwined with the phenomenology of Spirit, and with the specific characteristics of essence and its various aspects. Psychological issues, which have their genesis mostly in childhood, plus necessary regressions, continue, as a result, into the most advanced stages of spiritual development. Furthermore, childhood content does not block essence in a general way. Specific segments of our childhood issues and ego structures block particular spiritual states. And it is our finding that the correspondence between psychological issues originating in childhood and particular essential states appears to be universal to all souls, hence the possibility of a particular body of knowledge that maps such correspondence. The Diamond Approach contains such knowledge. All the books we have published are elucidation of elements of this knowledge.

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