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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Divine?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Divine

A Personal Relationship to Divinity

So it was through the objective understanding of the Diamond Approach that I came to see the relationship between these two sides to spiritual development: the religious approach with its personal relationship to the sacred, and the mystical approach involving the realization of inner nature. Now, a personal relationship to divinity is actually a natural and useful approach to the recognition of true nature and the realization of being. That it happens naturally is mostly due to what we talked about before—the depth, the tenacity, and the crystallization of the belief that there is the conventional physical world, where there is me and there is you as individuals. This belief is so deep that it’s probably part of our phylogenetic programming. And this is why the mystical approach is not easy for most people, because it requires a perception of reality that is liberated from that belief, a recognition that essence, being, and true nature exist independently of the individual. From the mystical perspective it doesn’t make sense for you as an individual to have a relationship to true nature, because you are true nature, you are being—it’s all oneness and unity. But that’s a very difficult perspective to reach, and although a few people manage to go through the mystical process—opening up and recognizing the unity and oneness of being—most people can’t do it. Most human beings just can’t transcend and let go of that deep belief, inherent in the ego principle, that I am a separate individual. And in order to deal with that difficulty, all spiritual approaches, even mystical ones, will at some point develop some kind of religious approach that involves the individual relating to the divinity.

Challenging the Separation of the Divine and the Erotic

The conventional view that the divine and the erotic are separate is necessarily challenged when one opens to the energy, aliveness, spontaneity, and zest of lusty love and finds it inseparable from the realm of the holy and sacred, the pure and innocent. For the ego, bringing these “opposites” together is understood to be disharmonious and paradoxical, at best. However, living a life that separates these fundamental truths of our experience from one another actually perpetuates the suffering that results from the truncated reality of ego existence.

Divine Being, A Term Meaning Being which is the Nature of All Reality Appearing with the Quality of Divine Love

When I say divine being, I mean being which is the nature of all reality appearing with the quality of divine love, the dimension of loving light that glows and has a sense of heart to it, a sense of purity. Since I refer to this dimension as divine love, and being is the infinite ground appearing as any of the boundless dimensions, I put the two together to refer to divine being. I’m not saying that being only appears with that quality, but when it does have this quality of love and tenderness, lightness and joy, then I call it divine being, and so by that I basically mean “being as such” that is manifesting with the harmony of love implicit and inherent in it. You’ll notice when we go to other boundless dimensions that I won’t necessarily use the term divine being. I might use supreme being, for instance, if I’m talking about the dimension of pure presence—what I call the supreme dimension. And it’s true that what I call divine being or supreme being is taken to mean God in many teachings—mystical traditions in particular tend to take the experience of being to be the experience of God.

Divine Grace and Your Responsibility are Not Two Things

In other words, your taking responsibility for your realization is true nature intensifying its practice to reveal its enlightenment. They are not two things. Divine grace and your responsibility are not two things. You taking responsibility for your realization is grace. The fact that you have capacities is also grace. The fact that you practice is grace. There is no dichotomy between ;your practice and grace. Your practice is grace. Your practice is always already Living Being appearing in your consciousness as the enlightenment drive—as the motivation, as the capacity, as the sincerity, as the commitment, as the clarity, as the emptiness, as the radiance, as the luminosity, and as the enlightenment. So, which one is it? Is it you practicing and attaining realization or is it Living Being practicing and attaining realization? As you see, they are two sides of the same thing or, more precisely, one thing seen from two views. The individual needs to practice and, at some point, also needs to recognize that when he is practicing, it is living reality—Living Being—practicing, it is living reality applying its intelligence. Living reality is actually what manifests the individual soul. Living reality is what develops the individual soul, what ripens the individual soul. And it is what opens the individual soul to recognize its own realization. By opening the individual soul to recognize realization, Living Being lives its enlightenment consciously, with full awareness.

Dynamic of the Personal Relationship with the Divine

Feeling of the Divine Loving the Individual

In this experience, the dynamic of the personal relationship with the divine becomes more apparent. As I move from the personal to the divine, there is the feeling of the divine loving the individual. But from the perspective of the individual, the anger and rage reflects a different part of the object relation. I recognize the boy’s feelings to be part of the inner structure we discussed previously, called the beast, with its hatred of the divine. It says: “I’m really mad at you. I’m angry—where have you been all this time? You weren’t there, especially when I was having difficulties.” I can also feel that connected to the anger is a felt memory of my parents’ suffering and their own feeling of being abandoned by God.

Anger and Frustration Toward the Divine

So there is this oscillation, a going back and forth between the two sides of the object relation with the divine. As this is happening, what comes to mind is my father’s love for me when I was this little boy, and how deeply hurt he was and angry at God. I’m seeing and feeling my father’s hurt and anger when I was around two years old; I think I was twenty months old when I got polio. Of course, both my parents were having a hard time of it—I almost died. They were scared, although it turned out that the polio only affected one leg.  And what I recognize is that when my father was feeling hurt, angry, and abandoned by God during this time, I identified with him. And I see that my anger and frustration toward the divine has come from this identification with my father. My parents’ feelings became mine through an identification with their suffering, and I learned from them how to feel about it.

Reawakening of the Love Relationship with Father

As I see this, I feel a reawakening of the love relationship with my father. This was the first time in my process that I remembered his love toward me so explicitly. Before that, I knew he cared for me, but I didn’t actually see and feel the love—it had become somewhat diluted in my memory. Here, I remember very distinctly seeing and feeling once again the passionate pink love that I had experienced from my father as a child, and I could see and understand his hurt and disappointment and his anger at God. So this rekindling of the love between my father and me came through exploring the relationship between myself and the divine. Because when I became the divine and felt the love of the divine for the individual little boy that was me, it reminded me that my father also loved me just like that.

Feeling Oneself to Be the Divine Infinite Presence

As the individual is accepted, loved and welcomed by the universal Love one starts feeling oneself again as a person. One starts becoming conscious of a subtle sense of being an individual. It is similar to the ego sense of individuality, except that there is no contraction. It is a fullness that encompasses all the body, and more. One realizes that one’s whole body is suffused by the tender softness of the conscious presence. Here one realizes one’s personal relation to the Cosmic Consciousness. There is the definite experience of being an individual rooted in the loving presence. There is no sense of boundaries. One is a presence, a personal presence, but with the quality of the Loving Light. Not only does one feel and see the personal loving presence as directly connected to the boundless Cosmic Consciousness, but one also feels oneself to be a personal expression of the divine presence, and still part of it. When there is focus of attention on the personal presence one feels oneself to be an individual continuous with the cosmic presence. When the attention is focused on the cosmic presence one feels oneself to be the divine infinite presence. One is both the infinite and the individual. This is a very beautiful and fulfilled state. One feels oneself as a fullness grounded in the boundless presence. The mind is crystal clear, and one is a rounded fullness, bathed in the delicate tenderness of the conscious Cosmic Presence, and connected to it from one’s depth and center. One feels connected to the Cosmic Presence, supported by it and enveloped by its lovingness. This clarifies in a very singular way, more distinctly than ever before, some of the differences between the ego individuality and the Personal Essence, which is here experienced on the level of Loving Light:

Negating the Action of the Divine, of True Nature

By appropriating the enlightenment drive, we are negating the action of the divine, of true nature. We are being infidels, not recognizing where the truth is coming from and believing that it comes from us. Using the language of monotheism, appropriation is believing that there is more than one God; it is believing that there is somebody else that does what God does. The appropriation can be an expression of not recognizing that the divine or true nature acts. Even though it is expressed through the individual soul, true nature is what stirs us and wakes us up. If we don’t recognize that, we are negating the action of grace and the role of grace. We want to see the balance of the relationship between the two, between the role of grace and our role, between realization and practice. We don’t want to negate either one of them. We want to see reality as it is. What is the role of the individual and what is the role of true nature or God or the divine? How do they interface? How does practice happen? What makes it work? It’s important to recognize that we are not ditching, not negating, the truth or the importance of longing for freedom, of loving the truth, of wanting to help. We simply want to understand these impulses more objectively, understand them from the perspective of realization itself.

The Field of Reality Known as the Divine Mind

So the field that is reality is not only a presence that is awareness, but an awareness that is knowingness. Now, this discriminating awareness recognizes the whole as a field that has within it patterns that can be of color, form, shape, texture, smell, sound, or all these. These are the universal patterns. The inherent knowing of this whole field, with all its patterns, is sometimes referred to as the Divine Mind, or the mind of God. In other words, the knowing of all that exists is nothing but God’s mind. So if you take Being as the presence of God, then what we are saying is that the inherent knowingness is God’s mind. In that sense, because we discriminate ourselves from the whole field, we are all living in God’s mind; we are creations of God’s mind, contents of God’s mind. In fact, we are nothing but God’s ideas, because from the perspective of the presence of Being, all these forms are discriminations or concepts, and in some sense, words. Each form is a distinct vibration, with its own sound, but because each sound is known—inherently knowledge—it is also a word.

The Indeterminacy of the Absolute is the Same as the Divine Darkness

Thus the indeterminacy of the absolute is the same as the divine darkness, the inscrutable nature of the divine, the ultimate essence of Being. It is not an ordinary darkness and lack of knowing and being; it is the majestic and luminous blackness of the divine essence, the absolute essence of Being, the most intimate truth of true nature. It is the core of all existence, the depth of Being, the inner of all. Whenever we find an inner quality and dimension, the luminous night will be its innerness; whenever we find a deep truth the luminous night will be its ultimate depth. It is the inner of all, the essence of everything, the back of all fronts, and the ultimate ground and facticity of all manifest forms. It is indeterminacy, but it is also the ground of all determinations; it is nonbeing but it is also the ground of all being; it is darkness but it is also the ground of all light; it is unknowing but it is also the ground for all knowing. It is the primal darkness before there was light, and the eternal night that highlights the appearance of the day.

The True Person Includes the Universal, Includes the Divine

We go through the initiation of life to get to the real thing, not to go back to what we were before. Something in you emerges out of the universal; out of the substance of the universal, a personal arises. I have the universal in me, it is my very soul, my very substance, but I am a person. And that is the miracle. That is the mystery—that the true person includes the universal, includes the divine. The building blocks of the true person are the universal, the divine substance. God creates you fresh in every moment. There is a new birth in that—God gives birth. Without this experience, you will always feel incomplete. It is for the birth and for the growth of this person, the personal being, the personal essence, often referred to as the “Pearl beyond Price,” that everything else exists. This is the key, the entry into all the mysteries, and to all the celebrations of existence. To be oneself means to be the synthesis of all that exists as you; to be you. You are the fruit of the universe.

Use of the Word “Divine”

We are going to be using the word “divine” in a way that may be a little different than some of you are imagining. The word “divine” is usually connected with God. But people use the word “God” to mean other things as well. For some, “God” means simply the purity and the exquisiteness of the spiritual nature. So instead of saying that something is Godly, we will say that it is divine, to make a little distinction, a little difference. When the word “divine” is used in this teaching, we mean pure egolessness. “Divine” is, in a profound sense, beyond this world; it comes from beyond the physical world as we ordinarily know it. It is not physical and it is not emotional. It is not physical and it is not emotional. It is not mental. It’s spiritual—but not otherworldly. It is spiritual and without ego. When we use the word “divine,” we also mean something that is subtle. It is refined. We say that it is pure, pure in the sense that it doesn’t contain other things in it. It doesn’t include our past and our beliefs or our ideas about it. It is our nature that is not touched or contaminated by, not mixed with, our history, our associations, our culture, our preferences or ideas. It is completely pure as simply itself.

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