Main Pages

By Region




Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Embodiment?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Embodiment

Embodiment of Being

The understanding that is arising here is that ego development is part of the process of embodiment of Being. It is part of the process of Being finally learning to manifest and live in embodied existence. At birth the infant lives as Being, in a state of undifferentiation that is not linked to the body. A process then starts, of consciousness gradually cathecting the body and physical reality. This process of embodiment of Being is a process of personalization of Being finally emerging as a person, a Human Being.

Four Spiritual Centers of Embodied Human Consciousness

The embodied human consciousness has four spiritual centers that are necessary for life. They are inborn as potentials for all human beings, but they do not develop or activate without the correct attitude and practices. The first is the belly center, which has to do with the physical body and the embodiment of our presence. It is also the center responsible for action and movement. The second, the heart, in the center of the chest, is the seat of our feelings and the conduit of the love energy, sensitivity, and personal contact. Our mind is the third center, which is the discerning intelligence. The fourth center is located over the head and outside of the physical body. When the first three centers have opened and developed, and they function together in a balanced way, the fourth is ignited, which means that the conduit of the individual consciousness is awake to itself as Living Being manifesting in human form. It is said that when the fourth center opens, our real life has begun to be lived.

In Embodiment One is Both Being and a Person

In embodiment one is both Being and a person, a human being. One is the fullness and richness of Being, manifest as a unique person, living a human life in the world. One is both Being and the expression of the love of Being. Being is transcendent, and ultimately nondifferentiated. It is possible to see that the person is a result of Being differentiating into the various aspects, which then become integrated again in a process of embodiment, forming a new synthesis, the Personal Essence. When this process is complete then the human being has attained maturity. This maturity includes the capacity for transcendence; for the Personal Essence is in actuality a cell in the oneness of Being. In other words, transcendence and oneness, the concerns of the man of spirit, are part of the maturity of the Personal Essence, which is the truth behind the hopes of the man of the world.

The Capacity for Touch is Connected to the Embodiment of Essence

Touch is, in a sense, the most intimate of the physical senses. The skin must be directly against an object to touch it. There is no intermediary medium, like sound for hearing or light for seeing. So this subtle capacity is a very intimate one. Accurately speaking, it is sensing essence by being essence. It is the most direct way of perception. This capacity of touch, connected with the belly center, is very intimately connected with the embodiment of essence. It is the body center; its mode of perception is embodiment. Here, perception as touch, and being, are the same act. So this capacity is the most important one. Also, touch gives us information about the physical characteristics of texture, density, temperature, viscosity, and the like. The term touch is used because, in fact, it is more accurate than the term sensing when it comes to essential experience. Sensing is used by the ordinary person to gain information about feelings and sensations. These usually do not have characteristics of texture, density, and viscosity. But essence does have these characteristics because it is a substance, although it is in a subtle dimension.

The Nature of Essence as Substance

As we see, this fact of substantial essence has been recognized by the Sufi tradition and utilized for its methods of work. In addition, this truth is known by all genuine systems of inner development. It is usually not publicly emphasized and not much written about because most publications concern the preparation for and the first steps of inner work, before the actual self-realization, before the embodiment of essential substance. Nonetheless, we find strewn in the literature many references to the nature of essence as substance. For the individual who does not know the fact of substantiality, these references are either ignored or taken figuratively, or because they are puzzling, they are taken to contain some secret or esoteric knowledge that is difficult to understand. The literal and most obvious meaning is missed.

Three Stages of Human Development

In other words, human development has three elements or three stages. One is that of understanding and knowledge, as in insights and intuitions. Then there is realization, which is abiding in beingness. After that is the state of doing, which is the embodiment of the beingness and the knowledge in your life, in how you live your life. If you come to the group or to your session and you have wonderful insights and realizations, and experiences of boundless love and infinite presence or whatever, but then you go through the rest of your life and live according to the usual personality, it’s as if it has not happened. Essential experiences or realizations need to affect all your life, to permeate everything, until they are embodied. A maturing person needs to live according to those experiences and those insights. A person who has not had these experiences and insights will be unable to live in a mature way. So all of the three elements are necessary. If a person is oriented only towards action, to live her life and be successful, it doesn’t matter what she does. If there is no true beingness and no real understanding, then her action is not to the point, her life is not in harmony, and she will be oriented towards satisfying the desires of the dream, the magical expectations of the personality.

Understanding of a State is the Actual Embodiment of the State

So, then you might say that you understand yourself. But this is not a description of who you are. It’s not the understanding. Understanding is not “I am such and such. I am joy.” A statement is not understanding. Understanding is the actual embodiment of the state, the insightful beingness of it. Understanding is the unity of Being and insight. Understanding love, then, doesn’t mean knowing love is this or that, love is good, love is sweet, love affects you in this warm way, love nourishes you. Understanding love is to be love in the moment, to feel what it’s like. If you understand this completely, which means that you are completely and totally love, with a discriminating consciousness of the state, understanding automatically moves the state to a deeper level. The moment there is completeness in that state, the insight is there—insight is the union of your mind and your Being at that moment. This is love. And you always know it, though sometimes you may not be able to say what it is. The moment this happens, there is no compulsion to continue experiencing yourself as love; only if it is objectively needed will it arise. The next thing just arises. This is the unfoldment.

You are Embodying an Essential State if You are It

Yes, usually the belly center has to do with embodiment, with the capacity to sense oneself. However, the belly center is also the will center. In a sense, the ultimate function of the will is to surrender to what happens, surrender to the now. And surrender to the now means not to hold on to something. The true function of the will is complete surrender to what’s happening without holding on. That is will. The essential self, like all essential aspects, can function in any of the subtle centers. When one is being the essential self its location is usually the heart center. However, when the essential self is functioning in relation to identifying or disidentifying from any content of experience, it becomes associated with the belly center. The essential self is more like a potential for experience, and it also manifests as a capacity for identification. One of the results of that capacity for identification is embodiment. Embodying something means you are identified with what’s happening. An essential state is present. You are embodying it if you are it. The true self has the capacity to identify with something you are experiencing, but it doesn’t have to. It has a choice; it has the freedom. When you are the true self, you can become completely what is there—one hundred percent. If truth is present, you are truth—“I am truth.” But the moment something else arises, you become that. There is no holding on.

Subscribe to the Diamond Approach

See past editions of the Diamond Approach newsletter