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Essential Qualities

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Essential Qualities?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Essential Qualities

Appearance of Essential Qualities as Precisely Cut Diamonds

The experience of the presence of the Diamond Guidance is nothing like our ordinary feelings and emotions. It is a feeling of another kind, a freshness and purity that pervades the consciousness of the entire soul. We may feel touched from within by a light that is not only sweet, loving, and kind, but transporting and pure as well. This extraordinary presence changes our experience completely; it is as if the atoms of our consciousness were being cleansed with Arctic ice that has never been touched, with a sense of precision that is crisp and fresh. The sharpness of the diamond consciousness is like the sharpness of an ice diamond: It is always melting at the point where it touches the consciousness of the soul—yet it never loses its precise edge. The essential qualities appear now as precisely cut diamonds of various colors and qualities. We experience Strength, for example, as an exhilarating, strong sense of precision, with aliveness and beauty. The joyfulness of the Yellow aspect has an intense kind of sweetness that is almost overwhelming. In comparison to these essential qualities, our usual experience is old and stale. It doesn’t have the possibility of true vibrancy or alive consciousness, where each atom feels as if it could open a thousand miles wide and explode at the same time with a delicious, tingling energy. The experience of Essence on the level of the Diamond Guidance is a kind of consciousness that memory cannot capture. You either experience it now or you don’t know it. Even if you’ve experienced it continuously for ten years, the day you stop experiencing it, you can’t remember its quality precisely. It has to be that new and immediate to be known.

Being's Revelation of Its Pure Qualities

As the dynamism takes the soul into new realms, our Being reveals many pure qualities, which I have called essential aspects. It displays the quality of Love, the quality of Clarity, the quality of Strength, the quality of Peace, the quality of Truth, the quality of Contentment, the quality of Spaciousness, the quality of Existence, the quality of Passion, and so on. These qualities are elements from the beyond, from the unseen world, and our conventional wisdom cannot fathom them, can’t really see or discern their meaning, function, or usefulness. So how can we discern what these essential qualities are? We need to recognize what they mean; we need to understand how they are related to our conventional experience and how they can optimize our lives. For this, we need a vehicle of understanding—a source of discrimination and knowledge—that originates from the same or a deeper dimension than the one these qualities come from. The specific guidance that makes this possible is what I call the Diamond Guidance. The Diamond Guidance is itself a pure manifestation of our Being, which is necessary for it to be able to guide us in the essential dimension. Our Being not only displays its richness, it also provides us with the capacity to comprehend, appreciate, and integrate that richness.

Discernment Through Subtle Inner Capacities

Each of the different ways that Essence appears has recognizable properties and characteristics that differentiate it experientially from the other aspects. Because Essence is not a physical substance, we do not actually perceive its presence with our physical senses, but it can be clearly perceived and recognized through the functioning of subtle inner capacities that correspond to physical senses.

Influence of the Nous on the Experience of Essential Qualities

Thus, the more we experience the realm of Essence and integrate it, the more the personal mind is corrected through being influenced by the perceptions of the Nous, objective knowledge about how reality is and how it actually functions. This process is what I call the clarification and development of the soul. The soul is then governed not by the personal mind, but according to the Nous. We begin to live our lives according to the truth of Essence and the truth we experience in the Work, not according to what we learned from our conditioned existence. The more we see the Nous and allow it to function, or allow ourselves to see that it operates, the more we experience a sense of harmony, beauty, love, and all the essential qualities. We then experience an expansive sense of release, a lack of constriction. Constriction comes from trying to oppose the Nous, from believing that we are separate and independent from it, and from operating according to beliefs that have nothing to do with what actually exists.

Manifestation of Discernible Experiential Qualities

We discover an important truth when we begin to experience our essence, or true nature. We find out that Essence manifests in many different qualities – what we have called the essential aspects. In other words, not only is Essence the pure and authentic presence of our Being, the ontological beingness of our soul, but this presence manifests itself in and as various experiential qualities that are clearly discernible. So Essence also presents itself as the sweetness of Love, for example, or the warmth of Compassion, or the fire of Strength, or the solidity of Will, or the stillness of Peace – depending on the needs of the particular situation.

Where Essential Qualities Arise in the Body

When you are inquiring, it is important to keep sensing your body—to stay in direct touch with its movements and sensations. This includes the numbness, the dullness, or the tensions you may feel. To ground your awareness in your bodily experience is important because your essential qualities are going to arise in the same place where you experience your feelings, emotions, and reactions. They are not going to appear above your head, they are going to arise within you. So your body is actually your entry into the mystery. We say that discriminating awareness is a field that has its own patterns, but where is this field of consciousness? It is not hovering out in space somewhere; it is here throughout your body. And it is through the body that the field can open up and expand infinitely. The body is the doorway to the adventure of Being. So the inquiry has to begin by activating and enlivening the body. The more active and alive the whole body is, the more our inquiry is vital and our unfoldment is alive. Our experience is more robust, energetic, and dynamic. We need to remember that the activation of the lataif requires that their centers or physical locations be energized.

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