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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Generosity?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Generosity

A Principle to Live By

First, we have the work of essential realization. The next step, which is harder, is to learn how to manifest that realization in your life. You must face the question of how you are going to live that realization. How are you going to let it influence your life so that your life will become a truly mature human life? It takes great effort to remember yourself and those finer elements you are learning about, in order for their perspective to affect your life and your relationships with others and with your environment. The principles and the values you live by must change from acquisitiveness, competition, jealousy, and rejection, to an attitude of graciousness, generosity, respect, and gratitude. If you are really going to be a mature human being, you will behave according to those values even though others may not. You do not give yourself the excuse that because another person is acting like a jerk, you are not going to behave in a decent way. If you do that, you are betraying your human element. You are being disrespectful to who you are and what you can become.

Generosity and the State of Poverty

Speaking of poverty is another way of talking about surrender, about generosity, nonattachment, selflessness. But the state of poverty has a sense of sacredness. Poverty is so absent of everything that it is absolutely sacred. There are no contaminations, no impurities, nothing exists in it absolutely. It is so empty of everything, all attachments, all objects, all qualities, that it is absolute sacredness. The sense is that poverty is where God comes from, the abode of God. Poverty is the condition before anything comes to being. It is completely absolutely sacred because it has not been contaminated by anything occurring. No creation has happened yet. Nothing has occurred. Nothing has been said. Some people call poverty the great death. It is not just the death of you or your ego. It is the death of everything. The absolute cessation and annihilation of all that can be perceived, felt, experienced. It is pre-existence.

Natural Arising of Generosity

When there are no boundaries, what naturally arises is love, abundance, and generosity, because what blocks love are the boundaries. There is no sense then that you are going to love someone, or that you want someone to love you. You are just you; you are natural, you are just living a human life, and there is love in it, naturally. You do not say, “I want to do this because I want to be loving.” You just do it naturally. You are loving, without having to think about it. You do not have to feel compassionate to be helpful. You are helpful regardless of whether you feel helpful or not. Compassion might be present; you might not even care about it. You are just helpful. So, in a sense, in the Work, nothing is for you; at the same time, everything is for you because you are everything. Each one of us can come to see that these are not ideas, that this is not a point of view. This is actually the fact, this is the state of affairs; it is how things are when your mind is not interpreting things.

The Openness of Generosity

Clearly, the most obvious thing is what all the traditions and teachings have said, which is to live selflessly: to give of oneself instead of accumulating for oneself. The more you give, the more generous you are, the more compassionate, the more loving, the more selfless you are, the less there is an identification with the person because the person is an experience of being an island. An island needs to be protected and enhanced, but if you don’t try to protect it or enhance it, then the generosity will tend to eliminate the boundaries. Generosity is a good word because generosity is an openness. There is no holding back in true generosity. I don’t mean simply open and giving physically, but in all ways. It means not protecting yourself. I don’t mean not protecting yourself in the sense of not closing your doors at night. Not protecting yourself means not trying to build psychological boundaries, not trying to thicken your boundaries, but working on dissolving those boundaries. Generosity really is the heart of the oneness or the unity. When there is the experience of oneness, the heart is experienced as absolute generosity. There is absolutely no holding back. Whatever is there—love, compassion, understanding, knowledge, help—just flows out. But there is a tendency to protect yourself because of a lack understanding . It is not because you are bad. In a relative way, you exist, but if you think of who you are ultimately, you are not a person; yet a person is one of your manifestations.

When Generosity is Our Nature

When you see that your focus on your self, your separateness, your preoccupation with your personal life, are all barriers against the natural order of reality, you become more willing to be open and loving. There is no threat then about being generous. You see that generosity is our nature. There is no loss in letting go of your point of view; there is tremendous gain—yet no self gains it. The gain is everyone’s gain, the gain is for the universe. You will feel freedom, joy, fulfillment and happiness—but these feelings are not for you to possess, they are for the universe. Whenever any human being loses his point of view, the entire human race benefits. Ultimately, the work we do to understand our lives and our selves is not for us individually, but for the good of everyone, for the earth as a whole.

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