Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Human Potential
The perspective we follow in this book is that the human being is born with many and various potentials. The more he actualizes these potentials the more he develops and matures. This process of maturation is the realization of his potentials. Most important of these potentials is Being, with all its aspects and dimensions. Each aspect, even those of the Nonconceptual Reality and the Absolute Truth, is integrated through successive steps: the discovery of the aspect of Being, the permanent realization of this aspect, and the actualization of the aspect, meaning the complete integration of it in one's human life. Any of these steps can be termed enlightenment. However, each one of them involves the working through of some segment of ego, that is, complete metabolism of it. This working through can appear as a process or as a sudden realization.
Formless Realms Become Spontaneously Available in the Process of Actualizing Human Potential
The Diamond Approach looks at these formless realms as part of the human potential, in fact as the acme of human consciousness. But we see the idealization of these realms to the exclusion of the personal realm and of the other aspects and dimensions of Essence as a limited, even prejudiced, view. Our approach does not value or judge one realm above another; we simply observe that these formless realms become spontaneously available in the process of actualizing the human potential, thus expanding what is normally thought to be the nature of this potential. In time, these dimensions dominate the consciousness, influencing one’s experience and determining one’s view of reality. There is no need to make them an object of seeking. When the student merely lives his or her life fully, metabolizing his or her experience totally, motivated and guided by the pure love for truth, the formless dimensions manifest. The point of transition to these dimensions arrives when the
Personal Essence is finally integrated and understood. No particular guidance or practice need be added. The beingness of the Personal Essence is in its very nature a bridge to these dimensions.
Pearl Beyond Price, pg. 420
Limiting Our Conception of the Human Potential
If we limit our conception of the human potential to the conventional dimension of experience, as Kohut and most depth psychologists seem to do, then we are bound to come to the conclusion that human beings can never be totally autonomous narcissistically, that we will always need external sources of narcissistic support and supplies. This conception leaves out the truth that most genuine spiritual teachings of humankind have expressed: that there is such a thing as true and ultimate liberation. This liberation includes fundamental independence from external sources for one’s inner equilibrium. Reduction of the human potential to identification with mature, realistic object relations negates the phenomenon of the full realization of individuals like Buddha or Lao Tzu, who proclaimed full and absolute independence from others with respect to their sense of self, well-being, and inner equilibrium. More fundamentally, this model, like many others in depth psychology, excludes the most fundamental truth about the human spirit: that it is Being itself, completely independent from mind, psychic structure, or object relations.
The Point of Existence, pg. 251
Soul is, at the Root, Pure Potential for Consciousness, Knowledge, Experience, Life, Growth, Learning, Expansion and So On
Experiencing our soul as potential, we recognize that we are, more than anything else, the potential for experience, and for whatever is possible in experience. Soul is at the root pure potential, potential for consciousness, knowledge, experience, life, growth, learning, expansion, and so on. We do not merely have the potential for all of these, we are rather potential itself, pure potential. This points to a profound possibility of freedom; for we are not the particulars of our potential—the experiences, forms, qualities, and capacities—we are potential itself, free from the particulars, for our nature precedes them and underlies them. We begin to recognize that the soul constitutes an unlimited possibility of development in all dimensions. The soul is actually a potentiality, free in all ways and containing all possibilities. We do not here experience ourselves as a particular manifest form, but as the unlimited possibility for all forms, teeming with inner reality that can manifest in endless ways. We feel rich with aliveness, with energy, with possibilities. It is almost like feeling oneself to be a fertilized egg with the strong sense that a lot can come out of this, a lot of life. We do not see the forms that manifest, we simply feel the raw potential itself. In fact, all the other properties, qualities, experiences, forms, capacities, and functions that we discuss in this book are nothing but the unfolding of this potential.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 71
The Human Potential Cannot be Encompassed by Imagination
The perspective we follow in this book is that the human being is born with many and various potentials. The more he actualizes these potentials the more he develops and matures. This process of maturation is the realization of his potentials. Most important of these potentials is Being, with all its aspects and dimensions. Each aspect, even those of the Non-conceptual Reality and the Absolute Truth, is integrated through successive steps: the discovery of the aspect of Being, the permanent realization of this aspect, and the actualization of the aspect, meaning the complete integration of it in one’s human life. Any of these steps can be termed enlightenment. However, each one of them involves the working through of some segment of ego, i.e., complete metabolism of it. This working through can appear as a process or as a sudden realization. Furthermore, the human potential cannot be encompassed by the imagination, for it is ultimately beyond conceptualization. Hence it is not possible to imagine something like the realization and actualization of all human potentials.
Two Major Views on the Process of Inner Transformation
Because there are many and various potentials in the human being, there are naturally wide variations in the perception of how the process of maturation proceeds. Different teachings emphasize different parts of the human potential. There are also differences in the value attached to the various potentials, and in the ways these potentials are conceptualized. Two major views of how the process proceeds stand out:
(a) The progressive or sudden abandonment of ego identifications to the point of realizing the nonpersonal aspects of Being. The work or practice is centered around ego and not Being. The attitudes emphasized are those of impersonality, detachment and objectivity. There follows a process of realizing the personal aspects, seen some times as the process of bringing Being into the world. The most representative tradition of this perspective is Buddhism. In legends and fairy tales, this perspective is reflected by the seeking stories where the hero must go to an invisible land to find the object of his seeking, and bring it back to his original homeland, with peace and prosperity.
(b) The gradual and progressive realization of the differentiated aspects of Being, the essential aspects, by the working through of segments of ego identifications. The emphasis is on developing the Personal Essence. The work or practice is centered more around Essence, and is less focused on ego. The attitudes emphasized are those of loving the truth and serving God. This process is seen to continue till the entry into the non-personal realms. The most representative tradition of this perspective is the Sufi one. In legends and fairy tales, this perspective is reflected by the theme of seeking and finding, where the hero comes from a sublime homeland and goes into a world of illusion and lies, where he finds the object of his seeking, and then goes back to his origin, more mature and developed.
We Should Consider Ourselves Lucky if We Find Someone Who is Genuinely Interested in the Process of Developing Our Human Potential
The kinds of understanding, the kinds of perceptions, the kinds of experiences, and the kinds of realizations you have to go through are many, and involve many levels and dimensions. You move from one stage to another, back and forth, and that takes patience, and compassion for yourself. It takes the generous, realistic, and mature attitude towards life that if you want something, you have to work for it. Nobody can do it for you and nobody can give it to you, because it is you. We should consider ourselves lucky if we find someone who knows something about how to go about this process, and who is genuinely interested in the development of our human potential. Such a person is rare in human society, and should be looked upon with the utmost appreciation and gratitude. Any work that helps you with this process should be held with the deepest respect and value, because to do so is to respect and value your own potential and the potential of humanity in general. Such work should be held above everything else because it is ultimately above everything. It should first of all be put above one’s childish values, principles, and influences. That is what it takes. This is not a moralistic point of view, but a practical one. The Work must be done this way because otherwise it will not work.