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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Individuation?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Individuation

Diamond Guidance is the Guide for the Soul Toward Individuation

The Diamond Guidance uses the mind, instead of the mind being in control, or in the foreground. It guides the mind, but it is actually the guide for the soul toward individuation and maturity, toward self-realization and the journey home. This is similar to the Sufi view that what is needed for the awakening and transformation of the soul is the “higher intellect” more than anything else. The Diamond Guidance provides the soul with the objective discriminating capacity that she needs to understand more and more deeply what reality is. This discrimination and understanding is not only the process of the work of inquiry, it is the nature of a true life. Inquiry can become the center of our entire life as our life becomes the unfoldment of our soul. If our life is not a continuing inquiry that is always engaging the unfoldment of the soul—if it is not an ongoing transformation—then we are stuck; in a deep sense, we are dead. We will be mired in inertia, repeating the same patterns forever. Inquiry breaks this cycle, the self-perpetuating cycle of beliefs …..

Ever-Deepening and Expanding Individuation

The presence of the Personal Essence makes it possible to have direct contact with present-centered experience, to be present, open and vulnerable to experience. This capacity, aided by the operation of the objective understanding of the Diamond Guidance, makes it possible to absorb present experience readily. One’s life becomes the metabolism of the interaction of the essential aspects with the environment. This continuing and ever expanding integration is the process of development of the Personal Essence. This ever-deepening and expanding individuation and maturity leads ultimately to the nonpersonal realms of Being, like those of Cosmic Consciousness, Nonconceptual Reality and Absolute Truth; this is the natural and spontaneous outcome of the development of the Personal Essence. It is part of the human potential, and if the process of maturation is proceeding in its correct path, then it is bound to occur. The presence of the Personal Essence is a sense of Being, of experiencing “I am.” There is presence without resistance. So it is bound to go deeper into more expanded realms of Being. This understanding that the experience of “I am” can lead directly to the nonpersonal realms is not an uncommon one among teachers of Being.

In the Journey of Descent the Process of Personalization and Individuation Progresses Further

Just as the journey of ascent possesses two complementary facets, those of self-realization and individuation, the journey of descent has two facets as well: on the one hand, new dimensions arise, with their associated relative and essential forms, and the self-realization of these dimensions; on the other hand, the soul achieves the personalization of these dimensions and the maturation into greater individuation that integrates these new dimensions and their wisdom. The dimensions that arise in the journey of descent are not exactly new dimensions, for they are all various degrees and forms of the integration into the absolute of the various dimensions of Being. They include the absolute as the central element of their truth, and hence can be called dimensions of integration into the absolute. They are new, however, in the sense that it is the first time the soul experiences and understands them. The present chapter will address this process. In the journey of descent, the process of personalization and individuation progresses further, as we understand more fully the functional relationship between self-realization and individuation. This reveals the organic relationship between the triad of self/soul, God/Being, and world/cosmos, leading to the understanding of the wholeness of Reality.

Individuation is the Cosmic Conscious Presence Individualizing and Manifesting as the Personal Essence

We have been discussing the process of personalization of the Cosmic Consciousness, which shows the direct relation of the Personal Essence to the formless realms of Being. It indicates, in an actual personal experience, that individuation is really the Cosmic Conscious Presence individualizing and manifesting as the Personal Essence. This process is also the deeper resolution of ego inadequacy. It is easy to see here that ego inadequacy is not only a consequence of the loss of contact with Essence, but also due to the separateness of ego boundaries that isolates the ego individuality from the Cosmic Presence. The Personal Essence has no inadequacy because it is directly connected to, and hence completely supported by, the Cosmic Loving Presence. Ego boundaries leave the ego individuality without the inner support of the various aspects of Essence, and without the comprehensive support of the Cosmic Essence (Consciousness). So just as we saw before that ego inadequacy is due to a mistaken sense of self, now we see that it is also due to the presence of ego boundaries. Both intrapsychic self-structures, the sense of identity and the sense of separateness, although indispensable to ego existence, are the reasons for its deep and basic inadequacy. Inadequacy is the deep nature of ego, due to the mere presence of its structure.

Individuation on the Being Level

The incomparable pearl is the individuation on the Being level. It is a new synthesis, which in a sense creates a personal Being from the impersonality of the nondifferentiated Being. The capacity for synthesis on the Being level belongs to another aspect of Essence—objective understanding. This aspect has the capacity for both analysis and synthesis on all levels of perception and knowledge. It is closely related to the Personal Essence; it is the inner guidance needed for its realization and development. But, like all other aspects, it becomes integrated into the Personal Essence at some point in the process of inner realization. The synthetic capacity is then experienced as a quality of one’s own Being. Synthesis is not experienced as putting things together in a unified whole: this is the quality of the synthetic capacity of the mind. The Being capacity for synthesis manifests in the ability to see the unity before differentiation. One does not bring two things together; one simply does not see them as two. Our understanding that ego development and spiritual realization form one process of human evolution is an example of such a synthesis. This conception was not arrived at by integrating the two processes, but resulted from perceiving the one process of human evolution.

Normal Ego Development is a Stage Toward Essential Individuation

The personal essence is not a well-known manifestation of true nature, but it is a major potential of our soul. It is the only essential aspect that makes ego development understandable as a stage of the soul’s development. In fact, the individuation of the soul is the way true nature, in its transcendent ground, is able to experience its manifestations in the various ways available to lifeforms. Here, true nature, transcendent to all manifestation, appears in the form of a human person who can walk, talk, and think, but is still the presence of this nature. Normal ego development is a stage toward this essential individuation, necessary for the personal development of her potential just as the grain of sand is necessary for the development of the pearl. The individuation of the soul, which happens through metabolizing ego structures and everyday experience, is not only a matter of the arising in the soul of an essential aspect. This essential aspect becomes the structuring form, the essential prototype, for the soul to develop in such a way that she can be the personal embodiment of all dimensions of true nature, all the way to its absolute depth and subtlety.

The Personal Essence is the True Autonomous Individuation

Not only does this process of developing “ego autonomy” put one in bondage to one’s past in the form of self-images, it also leaves one relating to the object images of one’s early primary caretakers, and therefore under their coercive influence, which functions as what the analytic model calls the “superego.” Thus even though the ego might be relatively independent emotionally from the love object, its sense of identity is definitely not. The sense of self of the ego, and its individuality, are fundamentally dependent on the traits of the objects in the inner world, and on the particulars of the childhood interactions with it. We will discuss in some detail later how the development of the Personal Essence is related to the ego development which occurs through identification. When one is the Personal Essence, one does become free of these identifications and of the influence of the early caretakers which has lived on in the ego’s object images. The Personal Essence is an ongoing sense of Beingness, completely independent of mind and memory, and hence completely free. It is the true autonomous individuation.

The True Autonomy of the Pearl

If we had not recognized the primacy of the value of the individual, I doubt that the Pearl would have shown up in the very specific way that it did in our teaching. The personal element is a major contribution of the Diamond Approach to spiritual discourse. The pearl beyond price is described as “The Princess Precious Pearl” by the Sufis, and a pearl is sometimes referred to in Buddhism, but the distinct knowledge of this way of being was beginning to come forward in ways we had not heard about before. For example, the Pearl showed us how the separation and individuation process continues on even past the establishment of a healthy ego. The Pearl’s preciousness carries the inherent sense of “I am what I am,” so, after his experience of the Pearl, Hameed no longer felt the need to distinguish himself from other teachers or to compare himself with them. He settled into the presence of who he was and what his role actually was, without using anything else – whether it was other people’s ideas or his own ideas of what he should be – as a guide. This is the true autonomy of the Pearl: living undefined by other’s views and free of one’s own mental definitions of oneself.

The Jeweled Path, pg. 118

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