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Essential Heart

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Essential Heart?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Essential Heart

Constituents of the Essential Heart

There are certain essential aspects which are consistently connected in the minds of students with the mother or her image. Our observation is that in the unconscious these aspects cannot be separated from one’s experience of the good mother. This is because they were experienced mostly in conjunction with good merging or good object relations with one’s mother in infancy. So they are associated with the good mother or with closeness to her. It becomes almost impossible for most individuals to imagine experiencing these parts of one’s Being except in intimate physical contact or similar contexts. We have already discussed one of these aspects, the Merging Essence. In the unconscious, this aspect is not only related to the good mother, but is experienced as the good mother herself. The basis of this identification, which is actually a projection, is the good mother of symbiosis, who is equated with the good merged experience. The Merging Essence-mother is related to as the source of the other aspects of this group. Thus one of the main issues about each one of these aspects is the belief that they cannot exist without the Merging Essence, i.e., without a merged kind of relationship or contact. Some of these aspects are the Platonic forms of Love, Value, Nourishment, Pleasure, Fulfillment, Satisfaction, Contentment, and Gratitude. These are heart qualities, or forms of love, that are differentiated aspects of Being, not emotional or ego states. These aspects, plus the Merging Essence, constitute the essential heart, which the unconscious cannot differentiate from the gratifying experience with mother.

Desire of the Essential Heart for Complete Union

In the case of sexual lovers, the desire to unite can reach a level of intensity of wanting to embrace each other simply to feel the union of the shared field. You want the union to be as complete as possible. The beauty of the physical dimension is that souls can interpenetrate on a new level, the physical, but it is not 100 percent interpenetration since human bodies remain distinct. The desire of the essential heart for complete union can lead to the discovery that something exists that can transcend the physical while including it, unifying the hearts, bodies, and minds of both people as one. The yearning to be inside one another arises with uncontrollable energy and love. The desire, the wanting to unite in every way possible, completely and totally, continues to expand and deepen, into territory where eros can manifest and create new forms of experience.

Levels of Experiencing Our Heart

What we call heart is not exactly what we usually think of as the heart. More precisely, our usual understanding of heart is a very limited way of knowing the real heart. At the beginning of our inner work, we experience our heart as emotions and feelings. At deeper levels, we experience our heart as the essential heart with love, compassion, joy, and all of the qualities of essence. The essential heart leads to the aspect of truth, the solid gold of truth, which is the source of the essential heart. Beyond the aspect of truth is the heart of non-attachment, which does not distinguish between heart and mind. Knowing and feeling coincide as pure sensitivity.

Love of Truth for Its Own Sake is Actually the Expression of Essential Heart

What we are seeing here is that the love and appreciation of truth for its own sake is an absolute requirement for objectivity, which in turn is required for complete metabolism. If one is not interested in the truth, or is interested in it for other purposes, which amounts to the same thing, then one might get what one wants, but not the truth. Even if one wants complete metabolism, development, or enlightenment, then one is looking for a certain result or end, not for truth. Thus, in the Diamond Approach, the age-old spiritual dictum that desire leads away from truth and towards suffering, becomes a specific understanding of the requirement for objectivity, and hence for metabolism and transformation. This objectivity is not easy to attain, or even to understand. Love of truth for its own sake is actually the expression of essential heart. When one perceives the heart on the Being level, one can recognize that love is the expression of truth. Seeing that a necessary requirement for objectivity, which is usually considered a mental quality, is pure love of truth, which is a heart quality, we observe the organic interrelation between the various aspects of Essence. It is interesting to remember that the beginning of ego has a defensive character, and defense is nothing but hiding a certain truth of experience. So the requirement for inner realization is the converse of the most basic characteristic of the ego; defense and resistance are the enemies of truth, and love is its ally.

Luscious Juices that Manifest in the Essential Heart

When this instinctual energy is opened, there arises the danger of becoming attached to its exhilarating, passionate aliveness, especially if the individual has lived a controlled and puritanical life. The insight that begins the process of working through this issue is the recognition of projection onto the libidinal object. One may recognize that the good mother or wonderful breast was beautiful and desirable, but the object he sees in his mind does not actually exist in the world. One may see at some point that the beautiful, luscious object, which is the true object of the soul’s libidinal desire, contains all the wonderful, sweet, and fulfilling nectars of the essential heart qualities. The libidinal object turns out to be a strong, alive heart, full of a living presence that contains luscious juices that normally manifest in the heart when it is open to its essential qualities. One may actually see and taste the zesty pomegranate of passionate love, the rich golden honey and milk of satisfying nourishment, the apricot nectar of fulfillment, the luscious orange of essential pleasure, the beautiful fluffy pink of love, and so on.

Natural Generosity of the Heart

In this place, the heart is not divided. When we know the presence of love, we can actually feel that fullness as an expression of freedom in our personal relationships, because presence cannot be contained. In fact, the presence of our nature uses our heart as a way to show itself on a personal level in relating to other people. Our love is not limited, it is not finite, because our heart is not finite. Our heart is hooked up to a very big valve, and that valve can’t be turned off. The turnoff is in our own heart. Because we have notions and associations about love, we keep our heart valve mostly turned off and only let our love occasionally trickle through. But if we follow those dribbles back to that big vein, that mother lode, it is natural for our heart to open and flow. The heart is naturally generous, naturally open. In our natural condition, and when all is working well, love expresses itself in many ways. When the heart is open, it is a sensitive organ that loves because that is what it is here for. Just like the physical heart that keeps sending life into the cells as it pumps blood, our essential heart allows the nectars of our spirit to continuously flow. And we don’t have to run around physically hugging people; the heart is capable of hugging someone without their even knowing it.

Soul’s Regaining of Her Essential Heart

The infant soul seems to project her heart qualities onto the good breast or the mother because she tends to feel these qualities when she actually gets the object. She believes that this yummy richness actually comes from the breast, like milk. This is partly because the soul is initially not completely differentiated from the libidinal object. There is also no differentiation at the beginning between the physical and the essential, and the animal orientation of the soul toward the external object becomes structured through this experience. But since there is rarely a complete and perfect satisfaction, the dissatisfaction becomes split off into this libidinal and frustrating object relation. When this object relation is finally understood in the inner journey, the soul regains her essential heart. She transforms from a hungry animal soul into a human soul with a rich and beautiful heart, a heart overflowing with richness, love, and fulfillment.

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