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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Goodness?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Goodness

Boundless Goodness

At this juncture, the soul is discovering an important feature of the timeless truth of true nature. She realizes that true nature is goodness itself, and the source of all goodness. It is unblemished goodness, incorruptible goodness, indestructible goodness. Goodness is a fundamental characteristic of true nature, a timeless potential that it might reveal at any time or any place. This divine goodness is not limited; it is not parceled out to individuals. It is totally boundless, unlimited and endless, for it reflects the transcendence of true nature that appears in time and space as boundless and infinite. It is boundless goodness. The dimension of divine love reveals that true nature is absolute goodness; it is inseparably both light and love. Its presence and impact on the soul is fundamentally that of blessing and grace, in all ways and in all dimensions. Such goodness is often not obvious or recognizable, but our lack of perception does not diminish or sully this goodness. The soul often does not perceive this goodness because of her obscurations; but although the goodness can be obscured, it is never destroyed. The fact that true nature is fundamentally characterized by goodness means that the manifest world possesses an inherent goodness. There is goodness in the world—not in the discrete and reified forms of the world, which are obscured expressions, but in the depth of the world, in its ultimate nature. The soul can see this only when she is denuded of her obscurations, and surrenders completely to this perception. Denuding herself from the false garments of ignorance and identification, surrendering the illusion of a separate self and her own will, the soul will find this goodness. If she lets herself truly fall, all the way, not into the hands of one person or another, one form or another, but absolutely and fully, she will be received with grace and love. Unfailingly.

Goodness that is a Creation of the Mind

So your mind and personality develop, and you end up being the personality, the ego-self, living in the world of the mind. The personality is the creation of the mind. The representational mind is itself a mental creation. So you end up being a ghost, living in a ghost world. That ghost world is dark compared to reality—not only dark, but dank and old. It is merely a repeat of previous thoughts. We forget reality so thoroughly that we live our lives completely seeking the values of our conditioned mind, one conditioned goal after another, whether we call it goodness, love, success, or happiness. All these are creations of our minds. They do not exist; they never existed. They exist only in our minds. They are mirages. We seek them all our lives, and when we find them, we find that there is nothing there. They do not quench our thirst, because they are not really there. When you believe you have found one of these elusive conditioned goals, all you can do is attempt to perpetuate it in your mind, to solidify and support it, which means to perpetuate the dank, old world that we believe exists. We can never think of reality as it is. We can never imagine it; we will never know it. The moment you know it, you kill it. The moment you know it, what you end up with is an idea in your mind, an old, dank idea that you will perpetuate. You are preoccupied with the various creations of your mind. Of course, your mind is interacting with lots of other minds, and the creations of other minds in our society; mind begets mind. And you are trying to live according to the contents of this mind, your mind in conjunction with the collective one. But it is a dream life, a ghost life. It isn’t really there.

Nonconceptual Goodness

Reality always has the quality of goodness about it; goodness is its nature. It cannot be taken away from it, just as you can’t take the quality of roundness away from an orange. Holy Love, like the other Holy Ideas, is a quality of objective reality, so it can’t be there sometimes and not at others, or in one part of reality and not in another. The sense of goodness that we are describing is not goodness in the moral or ethical sense. It transcends moral concepts. Reality is good in the sense of how it feels and how it affects us, touching us with its blissful and ecstatic nature. This blissfulness is nothing but non-conceptual pleasure, non-conceptual goodness, non-conceptual positivity. While it is easy to see this quality in the essential aspects—the blissfulness of Peace or of Compassion, for instance—which is why we used them as examples earlier, Holy Love says that this blissful quality is inherent in everything. Of course, we can’t really know this until we experience it. When we have the experience of Holy Love, we realize that this is how reality is all the time, and that our experience of reality has been incomplete. We usually have the sense that, “Oh, it is like this all the time and I didn’t even realize it!” This is a deep insight into the nature of reality, and is different from an uplifting experience. You might, for instance, experience Essence and feel wonderful, without really seeing that it is your very nature. Essence feels like a passing state, the particular cloud floating through your consciousness at that time, especially in early experiences of it. After a while you realize that you have been experiencing Essence through subjective filters, which made it appear as an emotional state. You see that Essence is not only wonderful, but that it is you, and this insight has transformative power. The perception of Essence is a necessary step, but you need to take the next one—seeing that it is the nature of who you are—for such experiences to transform your identity. Perception without insight does not fundamentally change your sense of reality—inner or outer.

Facets of Unity, pg. 214

Oneness that is Absolute Goodness

The perception of reality—which is more objective than the perception of separateness—is the perception of oneness: the direct knowledge that there is only one, one beingness, one existence, indivisible, eternal. If we do not see that, if we do not experience that, if we do not live according to that, then we are still believing certain lies. There are things we do not see about reality. There are illusions in our individual minds that we haven’t penetrated yet. So the goal of someone who is sincerely doing inner work is oneness, or unity, which means that it is not just for you. It is everyone and everything, and it is for everyone and everything. The nature of this oneness is absolute goodness. It is the source of all love, compassion, color, beauty, peace—all inner richness and fulfillment. The oneness is the source of all the Essence that you know, all the goodness, all the beauty you’ve experienced in your life. In fact, it is the source of everything. It also is everything. So to believe that you are an individual little thing, and you are going to get your share of life, of reality, is to isolate yourself from this rich, immense reality, and to make yourself poor, small, and insignificant. Oneness is not something you are going to accomplish one of these days; the oneness is already you; it always has been, and it always will be. What is needed is to wake up, to see things the way they are, instead of viewing them through distorting lenses. Oneness is absolute freedom, absolute release, absolute delight. It is a newness that is ever new. So wherever you go, there you are. Whatever you see, you see yourself. Whatever you touch, you are touching yourself. Whoever you talk to, you are talking to yourself. I am talking about the objective perception of reality. I’m not saying that it is easy to perceive. It is difficult to come to a place where you perceive it, because of the accumulated ignorance that is based on the belief in separateness.

The Confidence that Reality is Ultimately Good

If this jumping into the abyss is easy, one’s transformation tends to happen easily. But if this letting go of past identities is difficult—very painful or excessively fraught with fear—one will tend to hold on to the old, staying aligned with one’s ego. What makes the difference is the presence of a certain kind of trust that we call basic trust. It is an unspoken, implicit trust that what is optimal will happen, the sense that whatever happens will ultimately be fine. It is the confidence that reality is ultimately good; that nature, the universe, and all that exists are of their very nature good and trustworthy; that what happens is the best that can happen. Basic trust is a non-conceptual confidence in the goodness of the universe, an unquestioned implicit trust that there is something about the universe and human nature and life that is inherently and fundamentally good, loving, and wishing us the best. This innate and unformulated trust in life and reality manifests as a willingness to take that plunge into the abyss. When this trust is deep, it manifests in how you live your life, not necessarily in what you feel or what you think. Basic trust is experienced as an unquestioned sense of safety and security that is intrinsic to the way you act and live. When deeply present, this trust is so much a part of the fabric of your soul that it is not something you think about—it is pre-conceptual, pre-verbal, pre-differentiation. Furthermore, it is so basic that events and circumstances in your life cannot disrupt it.

Facets of Unity, pg. 22

The Cosmic Universal Goodness

This means that for us to operate from the perspective of universal love, all the essential aspects must be free, and available without blockage. We see that the action of love is balanced and the manifestation of love is balanced. Whatever is needed is brought forth. Universal love has power, ;harmony and balance. The loving action is a balancing and harmonizing action. Universal love is mysterious: the mystery is that the abundance, the cosmic universal goodness is actually the expression and the radiance of the harmony of Being. The mystery is also that essence in all its aspects, can be present in a harmonious totality. Universal love is an expression of the harmony of the totality. Everything is in harmony with everything else. Nothing is excluded. Your will is in harmony with your compassion. Your compassion is in harmony with your joy. Your joy is in harmony with your anger. Your anger is in harmony with your body. Your body is in harmony with your ego. Your ego is in harmony with other people. There is no conflict anywhere. Everything fits and functions as a togetherness, as a oneness. That oneness is you. That oneness is the true feeling of who you are.

The Experience of the Universe as an Expression of Intrinsic Goodness

We can experience Being in any of its boundless dimensions, each dimension revealing an aspect of its timeless truth and providing a necessary ground for experience and life. So the experience of this alive consciousness at the level of Living Daylight is that the universe is pervaded by love, that it is love, and that everything within it is an expression of love. It is the experience of the universe as an expression of intrinsic goodness or positivity. For human beings, good means loving. If someone wishes you well or feels positively about you, we say that that person likes and loves you, and so we call this quality love. The universe is experienced here as fundamentally loving, functioning universally in such a way that life unfolds in a positive way, functioning personally in such a way that you become more of what you can be—fulfilling your destiny.

Facets of Unity, pg. 35

The Natural Movement of Our Being is to Be in Love

As long as you believe you are a separate person with boundaries, with the attitude of getting things and protecting your self, you will block love. Love destroys boundaries. Love has nothing to do with you or me. Love is just the activity of that creativity in that openness. Love is the outcome of non-restriction, of freedom. When the body and the mind are not restricted by that point of view, the harmony of the body and the mind will be expressed in a lovingness, an abundance. The natural movement of our being is to be in love. The expression of that freedom is love, goodness, sweetness, contentment. When there is no point of view, there is complete and real love. When love is present, there is no movement toward getting or protecting. Your body exists as a channel for that flow of love. Love will flow by itself. The openness and the love flowing through it will allow everything to happen the best way it can happen. In this state of love, there is no sense of getting or keeping or even giving. There is no you and someone else. No islands. There’s love and an emptiness, a whole universe. You are nothing but an individual expression of that love. When you see that you have a point of view and allow it to relax, let your mind relax, love will emerge spontaneously and you will see that you are not separate, you will experience directly that we are all individual expressions of the same thing, different parts of the same thing, of a unity and a wholeness.

The Self's True Ontological Source of Goodness

What does it mean when we say the Essential Identity has no limitations on the Being level? This is not an easy point to grasp if one does not directly experience the Essential Identity. One way of describing it is that the Essential Identity is an element of the self that shares with Being-as-such the characteristics of being indestructible, eternal, and absolutely positive. Its truth transcends our common sense of time and space, so it is a timeless reality. This timelessness makes it something to which we cannot apply the concepts of destruction or limitation. It is also the self ’s true ontological source of love, goodness, intelligence, compassion, power, and so on, and hence, one feels the limitlessness of these qualities when one is the Essential Identity. This limitlessness is usually attributed to God in the various theistic traditions, and to the enlightened person in the Far Eastern religions. These characteristics are really the attributes of pure Being, and the Essential Identity is the reflection of this pure Being in the human self. However, we cannot say that the self in general possesses such attributes, for the self has mental and physical manifestations that definitely do not possess such attributes. The degree to which an individual truly possesses such attributes, meaning the degree to which he can actually feel and express them, depends on his level of self-realization.

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