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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Helping?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Helping

Helping Other People

When I say that techniques or practices are not effective on their own to activate the unfolding, this applies equally to inquiry. Inquiry will not work if we don’t love the truth for its own sake. It just becomes an intellectual exercise. If we are disengaged from our heart, we might understand something but it won’t bring about the revelation or unfolding. Our experience won’t evolve. Of course, other attitudes are useful as fuel for doing the work. Some of them are effective to some extent—for instance, the attitude of helpfulness. Some people do the work because they want to serve and liberate other people. This is a kind of devotion that is based primarily on compassion. However, even here, if this compassion is not based on love, it is not going to be very effective. Why do we want to help other people? The attitude that will make us more effective in helping others is the understanding that helping other people means that we want to help them see the truth. If we really want to help the other person recognize the truth, live the truth, appreciate the truth, then we already have the loving attitude. But if we just want to help them so that they don’t feel bad, so that they don’t suffer, that is not yet spiritual work. It is something else. A spiritual attitude is not an attitude that is just focused on eliminating suffering. It’s true that it has to do with eliminating suffering, but a spiritual attitude understands that suffering is only a side effect of not realizing our Being.

Helping Yourself

Investigating the nature of help can give rise to many interesting perceptions and new realizations. You might, for instance, understand that by helping the other, you are actually helping yourself. I don’t mean this in the usual sense. Some of us think, “Well, by helping the other, I am helping myself, because it is a good deed that helps me evolve further.” Even though that is a self-centered way of looking at it, it is how most people think of service. But I mean something different when I say that you are helping yourself when you help another. I am not saying that you are helping yourself in terms of your personal development, but that you are helping yourself directly. It is literally yourself that you are helping when you help another. I am referring to the realization of nonlocal unity that we explored in the previous chapter. You are inside the other—you are the other totally. Both you and the other are being helped at once. This is a realization beyond the separation between here and there, between self and other. As we penetrate this level of delusion, we recognize in another way that the notion of service and helping is only an approximation of the perspective of Living Being itself.

It is Always Living Being that Helps Others - and Us

So if we continue to investigate our desire to help others, rather than taking it for granted as an enlightened inclination, we might encounter various delusions. Even though we might be experiencing ourselves as the vastness of Being, as we move to help someone else, we become identified with an organ of experience relating to another organ of experience. We say to ourselves, “I’m going to help that person. I’m responsible for him. I love and care for him.” We believe that one organ of experience is going to help another organ of experience—one human being is going to help another human being. But in reality, we are each, as individuals, simply organs. So who or what is actually helping the other person? If we are in the enlightened condition and recognize Living Being, we understand that we never help another person—it is always Living Being that helps others—and us. Even to say that Living Being helps is an approximation because, from the perspective of Living Being, there is no such thing as helping. Living Being is growing organs, ripening them, using one organ to develop another, and probably using several organs and many situations to develop any particular organ. So when we understand this, we recognize that as individuals, we are merely one source of help, one part of a process of maturation of any particular organ. It is always Living Being helping itself. Or we could say that Living Being, through its dynamism and intelligence, is ripening a particular organ. And part of this ripening is a manifestation through other organs of a particular functioning or activity or communication that, from our individual perspective, we might think of as one person helping another.

Whatever We Do it Has to Do with Ourselves

Reflect for a minute on what really happens in your process. You may be working on yourself, becoming more aware of yourself, and even trying to help other people. But all the time you are an island. Your mind is full of monologues, dialogues, ideas, feelings, reactions, plans, memories, accusations, all kinds of things. It’s turmoil, a storm which has nothing to do with anything outside. How often do you ever think of someone else, really think of someone else just for who they are? When we think of people, we are concerned with either liking them or not liking them. We’re angry with them or we love them. There’s something we don’t want from them or there’s something we do want from them. We push them away or draw them towards us. Whatever we do, it has to do with ourselves. Very rarely do we actually look at the other person, or any object for that matter, without relating it first and primarily to ourselves. This is a description, not a judgment. This is the state of affairs. Even when we act in humanitarian ways, serving or helping people, isn’t there some turmoil and anxiety over whether or not you’re doing it right, being loving enough, helpful enough? This is the same ego perspective. You are not as concerned with other people as you are with yourself. You are thinking primarily of yourself in the name of love and service.

When One's Nature is to Help, Love, Give and Serve

The objective Personal Essence is the presence and life of the mature and adult human being. The principles and values governing the personal life and conduct are those of the Absolute Truth and its various differentiated manifestations. The sense of selflessness, service and giving, is second nature. One does not think of helping or try to help. It is one’s nature to help, love, give and serve. One does not even know one is helping or serving. It is one’s nature, just as it is the nature of the sun to radiate light, and the nature of the rose to give off fragrance. One is naturally and spontaneously in harmony with the totality of existence. Doing or functioning is not separate from Being. Functioning is the flow of Reality, spontaneous and completely non-self-conscious. It is a spontaneous response to situations, integrated action that implicitly takes into consideration the perspective of all aspects and dimensions, plus the Absolute source of them all. Functioning sometimes emphasizes specific aspects, when it is the particular need of the situation. This happens spontaneously without the interference of the mind.

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