Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Growth
Absorption of Experience Leads to True Growth
Capacity and capable functioning come from absorption of whatever internal and external experiences you have. Absorption of experience leads to true growth and development. This growth, in which Being comes in contact with mind and experience, is an alchemical reaction or a synthesis which develops into the capacity for functioning in the world. This synthesis is actually what makes us grow as human beings. It is not something you have to search for; it is there all the time. The only thing that needs to happen for you to absorb, digest, metabolize, and assimilate your experience is to be there—simply to be. If you are searching, trying to figure things out, thinking, worrying, hoping, and desiring, you are cut off from your being. If you are cut off from your being, there is no contact between Being and experience and therefore no understanding. When there is no understanding there is no metamorphosis, and without that there is no growth and development in functioning. Do you see what this Work is, from this perspective? Do you see what understanding is? From this perspective, the work of inquiry and understanding that we do is nothing but the metabolism of unmetabolized food in your mind. It is nothing more than that. You have had many experiences throughout your life that you still have not digested, that remain in your mind as the unconscious: memories, thoughts, identifications, feelings, actions, patterns, and the like. They are giving you trouble because you have indigestion—mental indigestion—because these reactions need to be digested and absorbed. Your mind is meant to be empty, not full of all your history and reactions and identifications.
Diamond Heart Book Four, pg. 29
Absorption of True Nourishment
The aspect of Nourishment is a kind of love; a gentle, delicate and lightly sweet presence. It has a warm sense of nurturance, and a unique quality of stilling inner hunger. It is closely allied to the process of metabolism, important for the realization and development of the Personal Essence. It is the food absorbed from personal experience. When this aspect is present it becomes easy to see what is of real value in any experience or activity of life. One can discern what will lead to growth and development, and what must be discarded. It also means that one can absorb the nutrient in any personal experience; in other words, the realization of this aspect implies that the individual can now absorb true Nourishment. When there are conflicts about this aspect then it becomes difficult to absorb the truth in experience; for one has difficulty in taking in true Nourishment. The absorption of experience is equivalent to the feeding of the Personal Essence. The more one gains from true experience, the more the presence of the Personal Essence grows, and attains more capacities, and a greater maturity.
Pearl Beyond Price, pg. 325
The Pearl is the Actualized Individuation of Your Soul
When you are who you are, when you are just precisely yourself, you are your “point.” Just that. This has nothing to do with any qualities, functions, capacities, and skills you may have. It has nothing to do with your status in the world, and nothing to do with living this life in a body or not in a body. It is your nature. The Pearl Beyond Price is the connection between this genuine center and all the capacities, skills, and understanding that are a part of your growth as a human being. It allows your capacities, functions and accomplishments to develop in a genuine way as an outgrowth of your spontaneous unfoldment. It is the result of living in the moment, living in a way that is true to who you are. This is your genuine personal life, your own development, your own growth. The pearl is the actualized individuation of your Soul. So the personal essence is connected with your unique function, your unique work in this life. To actualize your particular unique work in this life means to be your personal essence. It is the essence of all that you have developed and integrated in your soul as you live a real life.
Diamond Heart Book Three, pg. 66
The Specific Requirement for Growth is Truth
We come then to the understanding of what is required for inner transformation: impressions will be completely metabolized, to the point of absorption into Being, only when completely purged of falsehood. Ego is absorbed into Being only after it is completely purified. This is the original sense of spiritual purification, which has nothing to do with morality but involves separating the true from the false. This understanding is one reason the Sufis call the process of inner transformation the “purification” of the ego. We see here, too, the role of truth in this process: since human development is constituted by the metabolism of personal experience, and for this metabolism to be complete the true must be separated from the false—the former to be absorbed and the latter to be discarded—we can see that the specific requirement for growth, maturation and development is truth, the truth garnered from personal experience. In general, the process of eliminating falsehood is spontaneous; the mind generally lets go of an impression when it recognizes it to be false. Since it can no longer be used for purposes of identification, and cannot be absorbed, the false impression simply dissolves. An exception to this pattern is when a clearly false belief is part of a larger system, most likely unconscious, which the mind still takes to be true; then the mind will hold on to the falsehood until the larger belief system is revealed.
Pearl Beyond Price, pg. 164
The Totality of the Manifest Universe is Developing and Evolving
The optimizing force of the logos functions throughout manifest reality, in both the animate and inanimate worlds. We do not always understand its direction, for its intelligence is cosmic and spans all time. But we can recognize signs of its functioning in the self-organizing properties of the universe, in various cosmological and terrestrial developments, in the arising and evolution of life, in the development of each living organism in its growth and maturation, even its decay and death. In other words, the logos is not only the principle of change and movement, but also of development and evolution, of growth and maturation, of both body and soul. This understanding may help us to recognize that the totality of the manifest universe is not only unfolding and changing but that it is also developing and evolving. And the direction of this evolution is the optimization of manifestation in order that all forms embody and express true nature in as complete and total a manner as possible, appropriate for the capacity of the particular form. We can easily understand this when we remember that the logos is the way true nature expresses and reveals its infinite potentialities.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 373
You Cannot Make Yourself Grow
We still don’t understand that our attitudes, ideas, and beliefs are actually responsible for our suffering. We pay lip service to this idea but we don’t know it completely and totally. So we continue in our old patterns. The work we do here is simply to see the picture completely, seeing exactly what it is you are doing and how that affects reality. This is the way that real freedom, actual change, will come about. To live in freedom and absolute fulfillment, we need a complete, radical shift, and such a shift can occur only when there is a complete understanding of what we are actually doing. All the work you do here is based on understanding what you do and how you interfere with the natural process. If you try to do anything other than understand the situation, your effort will be a blockage, a resistance, an interference. You cannot make yourself grow; you can only cease to interfere. You cannot make yourself happy; you can only stop your judgments. Growth and expansion are natural; they are the life force itself. And you cannot predict its direction. If you recall the times when you have experienced a release, when there was an opening, you will see it was always by your understanding something, by your somehow getting out of the way, by your letting go of some belief, some resistance, some idea. This never happens by your accomplishing something. It happens always through losing something.