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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Friend?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Friend

A Friend is Anyone or Anything that Supports the State of Self-Realization

This brings us to discussing friends as differentiated from enemies. In this case, a friend is a person who supports you in attaining your goals. An enemy is anyone who stands in your way or who takes your support away. In fact, generally speaking, that’s how you choose friendships. You choose friends that support your point of view. If a friend doesn’t support your view of life or reality or whatever is important, it is problematic. The relationship becomes difficult. You are disappointed and hurt and angry and frustrated. So a friend is someone who helps you and supports you in the attainment of your goals. An enemy will be seen as anyone who takes your support away from you, or puts barriers between you and your goal. Now the same thing happens on the essential level. On the essential level, a state of self-realization will not continue if there is no support for it. Any state of realization is insecure and vulnerable as long as there is no support for it. From this perspective you can again see what a friend is and what an enemy is. A friend is anyone or anything that supports the state of self-realization; an enemy is anyone who takes it away or who creates barriers to the support of that self-realization. A friend or an enemy can be a person, an institution, a body of knowledge, or anything.

A True Friend Will Help You Arrive at Insight

Giving advice is an imitation of a function of a true friend. A real friend will not give you advice because advice does not help understanding, does not resolve anything, does not bring clarity. A true friend will help you arrive at insight about the situation, so that you yourself find out what’s the best thing to do. So a friend is there, is present, to help you understand, to expose what is there in yourself and thus to understand what the situation is, why you are behaving in certain ways and why the situation is as it is. When you understand it, naturally you will know what is the best thing to do. A friend does not give his own opinion and experience, and impose it on you. A friend helps you find your own solution.

Diamond Guidance Functions as Teacher, Guide and Friend

The presence of the Diamond Guidance activates, enhances, and sharpens our capacity for inner investigation, exploration, and study. Inquiry comes into its own now, guided by the objective discriminating intelligence of Being, as we will see in future chapters. At this stage, we are engaged in the hyperdrive travel of the second journey. Now, for example, we can discriminate the effects of our past on our present experience and attitudes in greater and greater depth. And through direct knowledge, insight, and understanding, our inquiry can unfold with more efficiency and dynamism at all levels. Due to all these capacities, the Diamond Guidance functions as teacher, guide, and also as friend. It is the prototype of the friend who truly wants us to return home to what we love most. It is the prototype of the teacher who can reveal to us objective knowledge of reality and our relationship to it. And it is the prototype of the guide who recognizes the meaning and significance of our experience and how it is unfolding toward our true home.

Friendly Openness and Freedom in an Erotic Relationship

The power of the divinely sexual erotic situation is that it gives two people greater freedom to express themselves and to explore reality. With friends, you have a certain kind of freedom, relaxation, and ease because your sexuality is not involved—it’s a whole charged area that you don’t have to deal with. In explorations with a friend, you can tell them everything about you and they can tell you everything about them. This type of openness is not so easy in an erotic relationship that is sexual, because the physical contact brings into play hidden areas of heightened sensitivity related to our character and history. The emotional terrain tends to be more complex. However, if you can have that friendly openness and freedom in an erotic relationship that becomes physical, sensuous, and sexual, then the emotional and the physical dimensions are brought together, and there is no limit to what you can explore and how you explore it. You can do anything and say anything. With your friend, you can’t do everything, but with a lover—if you both have the openness and mutual interest—there is no limitation to where and how you touch that person.

Friends Help You Deal with Loneliness

A true friend is someone who does not help you to avoid your loneliness but who helps you to deal with it. A real friend is someone who actually makes it easier for you to be alone. A true friend does not help you avoid feeling your aloneness, but helps you to feel and accept your aloneness. In fact, a friend is someone you can be really alone with more easily, in a sense, than in an intimate relationship.

Knowing Yourself and the Story of Nasrudin's Balloon

One day Nasrudin was talking to a friend before going to sleep. Before he lay down, he took a balloon and tied it to his big toe. His friend said, “Why are you going to sleep with a balloon tied to your big toe?” Nasrudin said, “I do it every night when I go to sleep.” His friend asked, “Really? Why?” Nasrudin said, “That’s how I know when I wake up the next morning that it’s Me.” So, when Nasrudin fell asleep, his friend took the balloon and tied it to his own toe. Nasrudin woke up the next morning and looked at the balloon and saw it tied to the other guy’s toe. He shook him awake and said, “If you are me, then who am I?” That’s the “I,” the identity tag, the balloon. That part is not your being; it’s just a tag. It’s important to have it; otherwise, the IRS can’t track you, the Department of Motor Vehicles can’t find you. You must have ID cards and credit cards so that you can drive a car. Things would be difficult without your balloon, your label. It has its uses. That identity card, however, is not what loves. But you think that is who you are. After a while you forget, and you take your Mastercard to be you. The more plastic cards you own, the more important a person you are. People actually feel important with lots of cards. They open their wallet—“see how important I am?” When I talk about “knowing oneself,” I don’t mean knowing that tag, that self-image. I don’t mean knowing how you feel about your body or how you look, or if you’re short or tall or angry or sad. Not these. I mean knowing your inner nature, your true nature. There is such a thing. It’s what we call essence. When you recognize your true nature, your being, your essence, you will see it is Being, because it is. It is in the sense that it is an existence. It is not a reaction; it is not an emotion. An emotion is not an is-ness. An emotion is an activity, a charge and discharge pattern. Essence is there regardless of the charge or discharge. There is an existence, a beingness that can be experienced, and that is you.

Leaving Someone Alone

Leaving someone alone means not trying to manipulate them, not trying to control them, not trying to make them one way or another, not trying to make them respond in one way or another. When a friend leaves you alone, that friend is with you as an emptiness, in a sense, as an acceptance. This doesn’t mean encouraging your indulgences or your self-hatred. If your friends encourage your indulgences and your hating yourself and your gossip and all that, they’re not leaving you alone, they’re helping you not to be alone. They’re helping you to be fake.

The Friend Enables Understanding

So a friend is there, is present, to help you understand, to expose what is there in yourself and thus to understand what the situation is, why you are behaving in certain ways and why the situation is as it is. When you understand it, naturally you will know what is the best thing to do. A friend does not give his own opinion and experience, and impose it on you. A friend helps you find your own solution.

The Friend Sees You Just the Way You Are

Whenever there is a touching of truth in you, the friend is happy. If you're hurting, a friend is compassionate, kind. If you happen to be angry because you're hurting, a friend is even more compassionate. The friend has no opinion about you. The friend has no prejudice about you. The friend sees you just the way you are. So the friend is completely objective, with no emotional bias of any sort. A friend is someone who can see you exactly the way you are at the moment and who is spacious enough and generous enough to allow you to be just that. That's why people like friendship: the friend is somebody with whom you can be yourself.

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