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Human Being

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Human Being?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Human Being

An Organ of Perception for the Universe

As it appears to me, the world is amazing. Human beings are especially amazing. The body that we have is a sensory organ, an organ of perception that is an eye for the universe to experience itself. There is the universe, the stars and the galaxies, empty space, earth, ocean, rocks and all the physical manifestation. Every once in a while there is a soft spot in this universe. This soft spot has become so soft that it perceives its environment. That is what a human being is. Why not look at the world this way? Why look at it as if you are a human being who is born one day only to die another day, with problems and spouses and taxes in between? Why not look at it as if you are an organ of perception for the universe? There is no other way for the universe to know itself. Whether you choose to call it God or the cosmic being or the universe, there is no way for that existence to perceive, to experience, to live, except through living beings.

Becoming a Real Human Being

It is inherent in the dignity of the human being that you can do this. You can become a real human being. It is possible to be real beyond ideas, beyond boats, beyond books and teachings. You can walk on your own feet; you can be your nature beyond words, beyond concepts, beyond teachings. You can simply be, and that will be the greatest teaching, the greatest testament to humanity.

Comprehending the Human Being

It is not possible to understand completely what a human being is without understanding the relationship between the Personal Essence and the formless dimensions. The human being cannot be completely comprehended without appreciating his place in the scheme of things. And this appreciation can come about only through seeing his relationship to realms beyond form and personhood.

Entertaining the Possibility that a Person with the Normal level of Consciousness is Not Yet a Human Being

The first thing we need to confront, then, is the ever-present, arrogant belief that we know what a human being is, what it’s like to live as a human being, what a human being’s life is about, and how a human being is supposed to conduct herself. Let’s entertain the possibility that a person with the normal level of consciousness—composed of emotional reactions, ideas, and beliefs taken from the past and from other people—is not yet a human being. She is a reflection, an imitation, an unfinished attempt to become a human being. Her potential has not developed. Such a person is run by influences that are supposed to rule only children. The forces that rule the life of the ordinary human being are not those that are meant to rule the life of someone who has grown into the full potential of an adult human being. If we continue to live according to these principles, values, and influences, we remain at a childish stage of development. I am not saying that this is morally bad, but rather, that it falls short of the potential of being a genuinely mature human being. If we do not allow ourselves to grow the way we are meant to, there is bound to be conflict, tension, suffering, misunderstanding, and problems in our lives. To truly understand what it is to be a mature human being, we must begin by questioning our assumption that we know what a human being is, how a human being should conduct her life, what principles should govern the life of such a person, and what kind of things a mature person does.

Faces of a Human Being

A human being has two faces. Most people know one face, what is called the face of the day. Human beings also have a secret face, the face of the night. The Guest has arrived when the face you face the world with is the face of the night, the face of mystery, magic, and passion. The Secret, the Guest, will not arrive unless everything kneels in prayer to it. Everything has to kneel in prayer—your mind, your heart, your body, your soul, your essence, the universe, God. Everything has to kneel, ready to be vanished. And you don't pray to it for anything for yourself; you can only pray to it absolutely. You pray only for annihilation. That is the only prayer. The prayer is a passionate love, so passionate in its sweetness that it will burn you up completely.

Human Beings and Connection with the Source

Human beings have two options: being in contact with the Source, or being in a state of disconnection from it. Being disconnected from the Source is not the loss of luxury, of something extra -- this loss lies at the very heart of human suffering because this Source constitutes your most real nature, the true centre of who you are. Without it, life is deadened in all its aspects and becomes meaningless. We don't simply lose a sense of peace or contentment, or the intimacy of feeling at home with ourselves, but we also lose the source of all of our real capacities that we need to deal with and live our lives fully and correctly. So this is not a small loss or simply a philosophical one -- it is a very practical and immediate one.

Facets of Unity, pg. 202

If You Really Want to Experience What it is Like to be a Genuine Human Being ...

You cannot be a genuine human being if your outer life does not correspond to your inner life. If there is a contradiction between your inner experience and your behavior towards others, a big distortion is taking place. If you know certain things but behave according to other things, if you value certain parts of reality but when it comes to actual living you throw those values out the window, a very strange kind of split is occurring. This will lead to frustration for you and trouble for those around you. This Work is not about just realizing yourself, feeling wonderful and forgetting about everyone else. It is the very nature of being a mature human being to respect others as real human beings, too. If you really want to experience what it is like to be a genuine human being, you need to put in the effort it takes to live like one, regardless of how difficult it is. As I said, a large part of the work here involves the friction between the principles, ideas and beliefs that you came with, and the principles of the Work. Through the process, you will understand and realize previously unknown parts of yourself. This will lead to modifications in your behavior which you must work towards consciously and continuously.

None of Us is to Be Blamed for Our Shortcomings

Each of the boundless dimensions in our work reveals to us and teaches us something about reality and about experience. We learn that reality has true nature. We’ve been using the concept of true nature in our teaching for a long time, and now I’m introducing Total Being, which is an overlapping, though not completely identical, concept. I am leaving it ambiguous on purpose. true nature is total purity and freedom all the time. If we only say, “Everything is always true nature,” that doesn’t account for the fact that most people don’t experience things that way. We could explain this by saying, “Well, that is because they are not aware of it.” But when we understand reality or true nature, we realize that people don’t really exist the way we think they do. So when we say, “They don’t understand true nature,” we believe that they are responsible for not understanding it. But when we blame somebody for not understanding it that way, we ascribe to them an independent existence apart from Total Being. They don’t have that; nobody does. So actually, it is Total Being that is ignorant—not the individual. An individual does nothing on his own because he is a manifestation of Total Being. So none of us is to be blamed for our shortcomings.

The Complete Human Being

The wisdom traditions have recognized that a human being is mature and complete -- that is, fully human -- when the soul has integrated her essential nature fully and harmonized it with her animal potential. In other words, the struggle between the angelic and animal is characteristic of half-grown human beings, of incomplete human beings. This happens to be the station of the vast majority of humanity, but the complete human being, or being who is fully human, is one who has fully realized and integrated the two sides of the soul’s potential. The fully human being retains animal instincts, for instance, but these instincts are integrated into a perspective of selflessness and compassion. Even though the wisdom traditions have understood this and developed ways and methods for accomplishing it, the paths are so steep and difficult that many involved in these traditions settle for an unbalanced development that usually involves suppressing and splitting off the animal side. The rest of humanity continues the struggle, balanced on the side of the animal, which is the path of least resistance

The Human Being is a Treasure

We can appreciate now that the human being is a treasure, incomparable and inconceivable. His objectivity has been likened to a precious diamond, and his personhood to a pearl beyond price. When his personhood becomes objective he is then the rare Diamond Pearl.

The Nature of the Human Being

As we understand it, the soul is not separate from what is normally understood as the self, and in fact includes the normal self and its conventional or superficial levels of experience as well as its pure and perfect spiritual ground. Having taken an inquiry-based phenomenological approach to the study of the soul, we have discovered the nature of the human being to be a dynamic, living organism of consciousness, an ever-changing, open, multidimensional field whose experience can come to know and actualize all dimensions of Being.

The Organ of Perception and Realization of Living Being

We have already explored the individual soul and how it is an organ of perception, action, and realization for Living Being to manifest its possibilities. Living Being is a dynamic, intelligent, alive, and totally pure enlightenment. It is because the enlightenment drive embodies and expresses the dynamism of Living Being that it reveals endless illumination and enlightenment. When we recognize this, we can see that Living Being is constantly evolving—not in the sense of what it is, but in terms of how it experiences itself. In other words, Living Being is constantly evolving its organs of perception in order to perceive itself more completely. You are, as an individual, its organ of perception and realization. And we are all, as individuals, the organs through which Living Being gets to know itself, gets to perceive itself, and gets to recognize its enlightenment.

The Universal Network that Includes All of Humanity

If the experience continues to expand, the student recognizes that the network that comprises the totality of his personality is actually not separate from the totalities of all the people he knows and has known, and they in turn are connected to others, and so on. It becomes clear that his total personality is a part of a universal network that includes all of humanity, like a psychic network covering all the earth. This universal network includes all of human knowledge. Parts of the network are darker than others, with some brightness here and there. But it is generally dull and dark, heavy and complicated, in contrast to the simplicity, purity, and lightness of being the Essential Identity. One comes to realize that all the spiritual knowledge of humankind is included in this network. This knowledge is the uppermost, subtlest, and brightest layer of this network, but nevertheless still dull and complicated. As long as it is knowledge in memory, it is not the presence of Being, and hence lacks the true luster of direct realization. He experiences all these teachings, including his own previous insights and discoveries, as artificial, external to the simplicity of being. This perception may expand to reveal that this universal network is continuous with the totality of its past, which is human history. The student realizes that all of human history is alive and functioning through the minds and lives of present humanity. So his own psychological totality is inseparable from, and continuous with, the totality of the history of humanity. He recognizes the immensity of the darkness he has been carrying all this time, of the tremendous weight that has been muffling his experience of himself. He appreciates, also, the extent of the task of self-realization, which involves becoming free from all this conditioning.

There is Very Little Knowledge in the Modern World About how to Develop Into a True Human Being

An important consequence of the understanding of the Personal Essence is a new perception of the life led by most people, the perception of a spiritual truth or an essential element in the heart of all ego strivings. This means that in fact most of humankind are not astray in the usual sense of the word, but are after something real and precious. The difficulty lies in the fact that they do not know how to find it. The qualities of the Personal Essence are those of fullness, autonomy, competence, respect, dignity, integrity, excellence, maturity, harmony and completeness, among others. There is very little knowledge and guidance in the modern world about how to develop into such a true human being. The result is that most of us settle for an imitation or an incomplete development, which is the personality of ego. Understanding that ego is a reflection, or an imitation, of a true reality makes it possible to connect to this reality. One need not go the usual spiritual route of abandoning one’s personal life and the values of that life, but rather one must look deeply into those values and explore the true reality that they are approximating.

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