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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Disappear?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Disappear

Desire for Individuality to Disappear

By evening I am questioning the desire for my individuality to disappear. Since I’ve been experiencing the divine, of course my desire for the divine has grown, and with it the desire to stop being this separate individual. That’s what I’ve been feeling: I’m tired of being an individual; I’ve had enough, I don’t want to be anymore, I just want to disappear. But as this will to disappear arises now, I’m beginning to question it, because I cannot see how I can be and function in the world if I am not an individual. And then the insight of the silver stupa diamond surfaces, in a way that surprises me. I thought that my true will would be to want to disappear, but the feeling that comes, with a sense of calm, is: “I accept the will of the divine, whatever it is.” This shows a real understanding of true will, and I see the surrender it brings. I don’t say what I want; I say, “Whatever is, if that’s what the divine being wants, then that is what I want to happen.” 

Ego Weakness Will Disappear Only in the Realization of the Personal Essence

We have stated that ego weakness is a universal issue characteristic of any ego existence, and that psychopathology indicates a severity of this issue. From our previous discussion of ego development and the development of the Personal Essence, it is simple to see from the perspective of the Diamond Approach why this is so. Since, as object relations theory states, ego weakness is due to incomplete or inadequate ego integration and individuation, and since, as we have discussed in great detail, ego development as conceived of in object relations theory is an incomplete process, every ego structure will naturally have some inadequacy. The individuality of ego is not the real, true and final integration of the person. This means that ego weakness will disappear only in the realization of the Personal Essence, the real person of Being. As long as one takes himself to be an individual and a self based on self-image, there is bound to be a basic sense of inadequacy at the core of the identification. Ego inevitably contains a deep, basic sense of, and fear of, inadequacy. This is of course why the development of the Personal Essence ultimately exposes the inadequacy; it is the antithesis of the arising fullness, integrity, confidence and strength of Being.

Essence Does Not Disappear; it Will Remain with You as You

What I have been talking about is a perspective on the kind of relationship we can have to our work, to our essence. Essence does not disappear; it will remain with you, as you, but without concern about it. Where there is concern, it is the personality which is concerned, even if the concern is about essence. When you first start working on your personality, you have to be concerned about essence; you need to understand your concern until you’re no longer concerned. Then you can hang loose. I can put this in a few words. Personality without essence is suffering. Personality with attachment to essence is a disaster. Personality can become simply a transparent vehicle for essence. This transformation occurs through the knowledge of one’s true nature—essence, the preciousness of Being—becoming so integrated and metabolized that it is second nature. This, then, is implicit understanding. 

Even when the Goals of Ego Disappear, Striving for Another Goal Continues

Ego activity always has a goal, whether the activity is internal or external. At some point, you see that even when the goals disappear, the striving continues, finding another goal to attach itself to. The goal itself, then, is not as important as the activity, because we see that the goals change while the activity persists. Eventually, when we see that the goals keep changing, we might recognize that the point was always the striving, not the goal. But the solution is not to try to stop striving, as this simply becomes another act of striving. To stop striving, we need only to fully realize the truth of the situation. This means we must first see how striving is constantly manifesting in our life and then see the reactive and defensive quality of it, how it is a response to our sense of helplessness. Ceasing to strive happens through accepting your helplessness. This helplessness is existential because in reality, you are not one who can do. This is the innate helplessness of the human being. 

Facets of Unity, pg. 275

Fear, Because You Believe that You Will Disappear

When there is surrender and letting go, there is no activity and ego is not there. The cessation of resistance, the cessation of rejection, the cessation of defense, is also the dissolution of that part of the personality. It may bring fear because you believe that you will disappear. And you may be concerned about who will do what is required if you don’t do it. You need trust and confidence in Essence here. When you really see that the nature of the personality is reactivity, a cyclic reactivity, when you see the whole cycle of ego activity based on hope, desire and rejection, it is possible that the activity will cease, and peace and stillness will arise. Then it is possible to understand what Being is. When this happens, you’ll discover that even if there is action and activity, where you come from is peace and stillness. This peace and stillness that you are coming from is exactly what your ego resists most of all. In fact, the first experience of peace is what the ego is trying to cover up with its reactivity. It is a kind of death experience, because you experience nothing there, just complete, absolute silence and blackness. That is peace, complete peace. There is no action, no reaction, no nothing. Just complete silence, complete peace. 

Greed Will Not Disappear Unless its Hole is Experienced and Filled with the Abundance of Essence

The personality has a memory of the endlessness of essence and its inexhaustability. But this abundance is projected outward, and then the personality wants more and more from the outside. So the hole filled by greed is the hole (deficiency) resulting from the loss of the characteristic of essence of abundance and infinity. In this characteristic of greed we find the pointer to the expansion, endlessness, and inexhaustability of essence. The personality wants what was lost, and what was lost is endless. The personality is not going to be stopped by moralistically accusing it of being greedy. It knows better. Its knowledge is deep. The characteristic of greed will not disappear unless its hole is experienced and filled with the actual abundance of essence. 

Heart’s Longing to Disappear into Ultimate Union with the Beloved

As you allow these defenses to arise and you work with them, gradually the desire to merge with mother starts to appear; this is what is called the symbiotic wish. It is the desire for union to occur in a specific way: not as the desire to have the mother, to be close to her, but as the dual unity with her with the sense of dissolving into a single merged field. However, when you start to experience that desire, you see that it is actually the heart’s longing to disappear into ultimate union with the Beloved. But that wish can’t help but be filtered through the desire for dual unity with the mother.  The symbiotic wish is deeply heartfelt—a surrendered, out-of-control longing and yearning, a profound vulnerability, an openness with softness, with maybe some sadness and sweetness in it. It’s not a heart-wrenching, painful yearning for somebody. That is a different level of desire that includes the complications of adult relating.  When you are moving closer to the symbiotic wish, your heart is simply open and overflowing, vulnerable and helpless. You can't help but experience this yearning with intense, overwhelming emotion and tears. This level of early yearning is potent in its aliveness, its lack of restraint, its vulnerability and immediacy. These are soul qualities flowing through the heart in a way that we defend against most of the time. For your heart to be this unrestrained and uncontrolled, you have to see through all of its defenses built up over a lifetime.   

Love Unveiled, pg. 163

If You Truly Look, You Do Not Even Know You are Looking, and You Disappear

And if I want to penetrate beyond my mind and see what is there, it is a mystery. It is unknowable, completely, one hundred percent unknowable.

It is so unknowable that the moment you begin to get a glimpse of it, your mind is blown to smithereens. You realize that your mind lays a kind of curtain over things, a veil, a colored sheet with drawings on it that overlays our reality and says, “That is reality.” But the reality is beyond that: you open that curtain, open the window and it is unknowable. If you truly look, you do not even know you are looking, and you disappear. Your mind is there, but nobody’s looking. The reality is there and you do not say there is mind or there is reality. And then, what you perceive, although it is mysterious, it is unknowable, we give it a name. We call it truth, we call it God, we call it reality. These are just words, words to refer to the unknowable, to the unknown, to the mystery. We can say these words knowing that they do not describe something, but are pointers to what is ultimately mysterious. It is not somewhere else—it is not inside, it is not outside, it is not in heaven. It is nowhere. It is all that exists without even saying “all” or saying “that exists.” You see? You cannot say anything after a while. 

In the Unutterable Bliss of Nonconceptuality, Dichotomies Disappear

Experientially, the notions of good and bad are connected mostly to pleasure and pain, happiness and suffering, gain and loss, expansion and contraction, and so on. In the unutterable bliss of nonconceptuality, these dichotomies disappear. An important part of this process for the soul is the development of nonattachment. The understanding that arises with the help of the crystal vehicles is that attachment depends on the dichotomy of good and bad. These vehicles teach the soul that nonattachment is nothing but the effect of the nonconceptual presence on the consciousness of the soul. They teach her this wisdom by challenging this dichotomy, which she has adhered to as long as she can remember, and showing her how it is not a fundamental truth, not a timeless truth of Reality. The soul has the opportunity at this point to perceive the development of attachment. It starts with the differentiation of nonconceptual presence. As long as these stay simply as differentiations no attachment is possible, but the differentiations become discriminations, knowable concepts. As long as they remain simply knowable concepts, noetic forms, attachment is still not present. But the concepts become labeled and eventually reified. They become discrete forms, which obscures the unifying ground. The labeling and reification make it possible for the first time to compare the forms, resulting in judgment. This judgment is the beginning of the dichotomy of good and bad.

Problems and Issues Will Never Disappear if You Stay on the Level of Issues

We use the appearance to go beyond it. This is what distinguishes the Diamond Approach from other approaches to spiritual work. Some methods try to go to reality directly. Some just try to push you to the other side. In our approach, we have a systematic teaching of understanding and a methodology which uses the appearance—its issues and conflicts and misunderstandings—as a stepping stone to go deeper towards the fundamental reality. This approach works well in this particular culture at this time. But the problems and issues will never disappear if you stay on the level of issues. The fundamental problem is an issue of identity. The basis of these problems is that we have a certain way of looking at reality. We are the elephant taking itself to be a mosquito. That’s the main problem. The mosquito might think it does not have enough food or the right mate, or it still hasn’t found its work in life. But the mosquito will not know what its right work is until it realizes that it is an elephant. Only then might it stop trying to accomplish jobs that require flying! I have not yet talked about the relationship of fundamental reality to appearance, and I will not say what fundamental reality is, since it is not easy to describe. Here, it is simply important to remember, and eventually to directly perceive, that what we see is not how things are. We take ourselves, and the world we live in, as our real selves, the real world. But this is not true; things are not actually like that. Our perception is not completely false; it is just that it is only part of the picture. 

Repressed Material Does Not Disappear

Sigmund Freud discovered that the human individual manages to develop in spite of early intolerable difficulties by avoiding awareness of them through various methods of repression. This repressed material does not disappear but remains hidden in what he termed the unconscious, exerting a powerful force on conscious experience, actions, and dreams. One of the momentous discoveries of modern psychology, this made it possible to engage in therapeutic psychodynamic work, which is the retracing of conflictual and painful manifestations and symptoms to their unconscious roots, and then releasing the early conditioning. The ancient wisdom traditions did not have this understanding; hence their psychologies and methods could not and did not deal with this level of barriers to the soul’s liberation and realization. 

The More You Feel Passionate Love the More You Want to Dissolve, Disappear

We could say that passionate love has almost a violent nature—but not violent in the sense that it's painful. The violence has more of an orgasmic, annihilating power to it: The more you feel this passion, the more you want to dissolve, disappear. The strength of the red essence and the power of the black essence combine to become an orgasmic, annihilating sweetness, a dissolving, tart—almost spicy—sweetness.  The more you love, the more this love dissolves you in that ecstatic annihilation. It is so ecstatic that it shatters your mind, shatters your brain, shatters your insides. But the sense is not of being shattered into pieces; it's more like being dissolved intensely, deliciously, ecstatically. The love can become so intense that an alchemical reaction occurs that annihilates the core of the heart. And what arises there is the Beloved itself, which is pure, beautiful, luminous annihilation. You're transported by a complete lightness that has a magical and luminous beauty to it. It's as though passionate love incinerated the soul from within, and what incinerated it is the Beloved itself. And as the Beloved infuses the soul, the soul feels this incineration as the coming together, the union, of the soul and the Beloved. 

Love Unveiled, pg. 209

The Symbiotic Wish is for that Total Disappearance, Dissolution

This desire to melt into that golden ocean of bliss is really a wish for the dissolution of all ego-self boundaries. It manifests early on as "I want to be with my mother," and later in life as "I want to be with my lover" or even “I want to be in intimate contact with this person.” But if you go deeper than that, it becomes much more than a desire to be with or to be in contact; it is actually the desire for unity. And as the heart becomes unburdened and unrestrained, as it feels its love and desire, the heart—and the soul itself—loses its boundaries.  The symbiotic wish arises with a love that, by its very nature, melts the boundaries from within you. You start to disappear but not into an empty space; it’s more that your mind, your consciousness itself, starts to lose its definition. It's not only your body that dissolves—no, everything is disappearing. Even your thoughts are melting into this ecstatic feeling. So the symbiotic wish is for that total disappearance, dissolution. Not that you cease to exist; it’s more like losing boundedness, losing separateness. Because this deep wish, which is intrinsic in everybody, is nothing but the expression of the primordial heart's desire expressed through the dual unity, all kinds of issues arise—and these are the veils over that symbiotic wish. So let us explore more deeply some of the veils that arise as we start to experience the movement toward union. 

Love Unveiled, pg. 165

Wanting to Melt and Disappear into Ecstatic Union

The heart is not restrained in the symbiotic wish. It's a loving wish, you see. There's love and there's yearning, and vulnerability; there's openness and melting. You want to melt and disappear into ecstatic union. And it still has the limitation in it of wanting it to happen with another: “Maybe I could feel this with a lover.” If you are really falling in love, that is how it can feel at the beginning. “I just want to be in this moment with her and forget about everything—about the whole universe.” And if you let this desire go deeper, you will forget that a specific person is there with you because you just want the merging of two into one. You want to disappear into the wonderful, positive field that holds both of you together, that melts and fulfills you so much that after a while, you don't even know that there are two of you. You think that it would be wonderful to melt like that and then fall asleep—you would have the best sleep! After all, you have seen babies in that condition, especially after they nurse; they go completely into that state and disappear. They are not sleeping, they are “gone.” The somebody who was hungry has disappeared and there is no self left. Just union with beingness. That is why you see in them such peace and relaxation and letting go.

Love Unveiled, pg. 164

What It Means to Disappear, to Melt, to be Personal with Everything

You can be friends and be impersonal, but you cannot be loving and be impersonal. If you are loving, you are personal. To be a lover is to be personal with the totality, to be in communion with the universal. That is why there are no boundaries with love, no separateness. You cannot be rigidly separate from your lover, because being a lover means to be personal with no boundaries, no holding back, no closed doors. That’s what it means to disappear, to melt—to be personal with everything. To be personal with God, which is the universal. It’s a difficult concept to grasp. The mind can’t grasp it. It doesn’t make sense. We are saying that two categories that don’t go together actually exist inseparably in the lover; it defies all rules of logic. “I’ve never experienced anything like that. It’s not possible.” But love makes it possible. You could be completely in love with the universal, with everything, with the totality. Then you are a true lover.

When the Concept of Separateness Disappears then Things are Neither Separate nor Not Separate from Each Other

What, then, is the relationship of one thing to another? Given that we are all one, what does that mean about our relationships with each other? The oneness or the unity generally brings in a great deal of love and openness, a great deal of relatedness that we see is possible because the oneness does not destroy the differentiation. The oneness is the oneness of many things. We can see the world either from the perspective of boundaries, where there are things separate or not separate from one another, or the question of boundaries can altogether disappear. When the concept of separateness disappears, then things are neither separate nor not separate from each other. Being the individual that we are at the same time as being the true nature that is beyond time and space, we realize we are not other than anything else. The experience of oneness can change from unity to singularity. Since time and space do not exist for true nature or, put another way, since true nature is the nature of all phenomena in all times and all space, it reveals different relationships between phenomena. Singularity shows how all forms and phenomena, because of the emptiness of true nature and because of its being beyond time and space, totally pervade each other. They are all one and also many. They are all identical and also different. And their oneness and identity does not rely on their sharing a common source or being extensions of the same vastness, as is the case in classical nondual unity. The oneness and identity of all phenomena, without the patterning of the concepts of time and space, reveals a singleness that does not erase multiplicity.

When the Personality is Completely Clarified It Doesn’t Disappear; it is Now the Supreme Person

You must see the totality of your personality in the present . . . . . . . .  The basis of the personality, the underlying principle that makes it possible for you to be a person, the thing that you have rejected all this time, is nothing but the supreme reality as a person. The very substance of the personality is ultimately a substance which I call the Supreme Pearl, or the supreme person: pure personal presence with no qualities. It is just Being, pure and simple, but manifesting as a human person. So when the personality is completely clarified, and yet you feel you are a person, the personality doesn’t disappear; it is now the supreme person, the truest person. This is a sublime reality existing as you, the human individual. Here, the supreme reality is seen as a personal reality, not only as the objective, impersonal Supreme, which also exists. After the realization of Supreme Being, there is a further process which is this unification, the final merging of the personality with the supreme reality. This is the same thing as the complete understanding and clarification of the personality. You recognize that you are the most real a person can be, the supreme person. Some people call this state of being the Son of God, because it is related to what Christ stated when he said, “I and the father are one.”  

When the Personality Stops Pushing, It Disappears

Let’s examine closely the process that leads to a state of surrender. If you observe carefully, you will see that you first become aware of the tension. If you pay attention to the tension, you realize that the tension is a resistance, a contraction. When you realize that it’s a contraction which is a resistance, you want to understand the resistance. Then, when you understand what the resistance is about, the activity of resistance ceases. This simply means that you are no longer going along with the activity of saying no. It doesn’t mean that you are saying yes. It just means that you were pushing and now you have stopped pushing. But stopping this activity brings the absence of personality. If the personality stops pushing, it ceases to exist, because the very existence of the personality is a contraction, a pushing. So, when you follow this process, the part of personality which is holding a particular tension will disappear when you see no more reason to push. When you realize that the pushing is useless, you stop doing it. This is still not exactly what is called surrender; it is what is sometimes called letting go. We sometimes think of it as the personality letting go, but even this is not accurate. The personality can’t let go. It just stops pushing. And when it stops pushing, it disappears. There is no person which is letting go of something. There is no entity letting go of another object. 

When You’re a Friend and a Lover at the Same Time, You Disappear, You’re Gone

With your beloved you are truthful, you are completely truthful, not by being objective, but by being completely surrendered. You’re not trying to pretend anything, present anything, hold back anything, protect anything, control anything. You’re a song, an uncontrollable sweetness—a fragrance. This is another part of you. The friend is part of you and the lover is part of you. The lover and the friend can both be there together as one. When the lover and the friend are one, then the love and the juiciness are light, delicate, and refined. When you’re a friend and lover at the same time, you disappear, you’re gone—you are a song. But that song is so delicate, so refined because it is objective at the same time that it is sweet. It’s not like the mind is gone; it’s more like the head and the heart are one. There is absolute clarity and that clarity itself is very sweet! This is a rare combination for people. We usually separate the two. It’s easier. However it is possible to be both. When you are lovers and friends at the same time, you are not only two rivers merging, you are two crystalline rivers merging. There’s a freshness, clarity, delicacy. The tenderness is very tender; at the time it is intense, and that intensity is delicacy. The intense sweetness has a sharpness. The sweetness is so intense it is shattering. The sweetness doesn’t only melt you, it shatters you. You become a sugar cube, a rainbow, a colored sugar cube.

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