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Inner Realization

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Inner Realization?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Inner Realization

Contrasting the Process of Psychotherapy with Inner Realization

Here we can contrast the process of psychotherapy with that of inner realization in light of our understanding of identification. Most forms of psychotherapy involve a gradual process of disidentification from pathological self-representations and their corresponding object relations. However since the aim of psychotherapy is not self-realization but a “healthy” ego, not all self-representations are exposed and worked through. The work on inner realization, however, requires that one bring to consciousness all the ego identifications which are used for identity, and that one then gradually (or sometimes abruptly) disidentify from this mental content. At the beginning, the more superficial identifications are seen through. These are the chronologically later identifications which were internalized after the development of a relatively stable sense of identity. They generally involve some content connected with modeling oneself after one or both of the parents. At this level one deals especially with object representations established in the development of the superego. Working through these identifications usually removes the repression against some of the deep feelings about the parent with which one identifies. The letting go of the identification then brings to light the actual personal relationship to the parent, revealing the real emotions of the relationship. An example is the working through of the identifications that function to repress the castration and Oedipus complexes. The girl, for instance, typically manages her oedipal feelings by finally identifying with the mother, so that she becomes like her rather than a rival to her for the father’s affections. When this identification is exposed, the oedipal feelings of rivalry with the mother will emerge and must be dealt with.

Limitations of Spiritual Teachers

Many people involved in the paths of inner realization believe that if any teacher is realized or enlightened then he can understand every student. This is not true. Almost all teachers are specialized in one or more aspects of essential reality. Such teachers can at best understand all students from the teacher's own perspective. The teacher centered in cosmic consciousness can understand all students, but he can understand them only from the perspective of his own state—that of cosmic consciousness. His understanding is accurate, but as we have already shown, it might not be the kind of understanding most effective for the student. Understanding the student from the perspective of the essential aspect that he happens to be dealing with is far more effective for him than any other kind of understanding. This is because it will speak to him directly in a most immediate and personal way, and only the complete teacher, one who has resolved all the sectors of his personality and who can embody any aspect of essence whenever it is needed, will be able to understand each student from the perspective that is most useful to him.

Seeing Through All Our Identifications

As you have seen, much of the inner work consists of seeing through all our identifications, our structures, our beliefs, our positions, and our self-images that we have taken to be real. For example, we believe that we are this individual with this history who is interacting with other individuals with their histories. We believe we’re physical bodies that move through time and space, and we take that to be knowledge because it can be scientifically verified. But through the work of inner realization, we recognize at some point that this is a learned knowledge, which is really a learned ignorance, an accumulated ignorance. We come to recognize that what we take to be true is false, is not the whole truth, or holds a meaning different from what we think it is.

Shedding Concepts Thought to be Absolute Truths

Inner realization is a process of shedding, of losing what one takes oneself to be, to ultimately become what one is, without need for any external support, not even one's mind. This description is not metaphorical; one actually experiences the disappearance of great realms of one's identity. As one goes deeper and deeper, one realizes that one is shedding concepts that one had taken to be absolute truths. The shedding of all concepts is the realization of the Nonconceptual Nameless Reality, what is. Nothing can be said to describe it because one can only use concepts to describe.

The Challenge to the Sense of Being a Separate Individual

The sense of being a separate individual is challenged only very far into the process of inner realization. This is partly because, although there is a clear but subtle experiential difference between the individuality of ego and the presence of Essence, the absence of the sense of separateness in the experience of the personal Essence is rarely noticed in the early stages of realization. The subtlety of this difference is not the only reason for the failure to perceive it. The main reason is that to see this difference one must be able to disidentify, to some extent, from the sense of being an individual. This is certainly not easy nor even desirable at the beginning. One’s ego boundaries are so much a part of ordinary perception that one never questions them; the sense of oneself as a separate entity is taken to be an objective and absolutely necessary characteristic of being a living human being. However, the ever-expanding development of the Personal Essence gradually puts pressure, by the mere fact of its presence, on the sense of being an ego individual, exposing the ego individuality as unreal.

The Most Central Aspects of Essence

These three aspects, Space, Personal Essence and Essential Self, are the most central aspects of Essence. In the process of inner realization they, in some sense, replace the self-image, the separate individuality of ego and the sense of self of ego, respectively. Most traditional spiritual teachings can be grouped according to which of these three aspects they emphasize. Buddhism emphasizes Space, the prophetic tradition emphasizes the Personal Essence, and most of the Hindu systems emphasize the Essential Self, which they term the “atman.”

The Realization of the Personal Essence Can be Seen as Both a Development and a Discovery

Our discussion of psychic metabolism might lead one to assume that the process of inner realization consists of a development, rather than a discovery, and that the development is determined by the vagaries of one’s experiences, rather than by an immutable reality. This assumption has some truth to it; certainly, experience is a determining factor, for it is the nutrient specifically needed for essential realization, especially for the realization of the Personal Essence. Nevertheless, the Personal Essence is an essential aspect, meaning it is a Platonic form. This means that although it appears as if it is a development from something else, its realization is actually a matter of discovery. Many of the case reports we have presented illustrate this fact. The realization of the Personal Essence is the aspect of inner realization which can be particularly clearly seen as both development and discovery. For other aspects of Being, like love or will, the experience is more definitely a discovery. And for the nonpersonal aspects, such as Cosmic Consciousness, undifferentiated Being and the Absolute, it is certainly a discovery. However, seeing inner realization as either development or discovery is not a matter of objective truth; it depends on one’s frame of reference. It is also a question of how one comes upon this realization, and what methods or disciplines have led to it.

Understanding and Accepting Vulnerability

So at this advanced stage in the process of inner realization, vulnerability must be completely understood and accepted. It is experienced as the human adaptive capacity for being permeable, penetrable and impressionable. It is intrinsically adaptive, being open to a great range of experience and learning. At this stage, the student learns that for the individual consciousness to be completely without defenses means to be completely vulnerable, not only to human love objects but, more basically, to Being itself. This means no resistance, no defense, no separateness and no isolation. So for the personality to be completely vulnerable to the reality of Pure Being means ultimately that it will become so transparent and permeable to it that there is no longer a difference between the two. It is complete absorption of ego structure by Being; the complete integration of personality into Being. The result is the state of unity and oneness of Being. It is also the process of personalization of Pure Being. We see that the following are equivalent:

* Complete cessation of ego defenses and resistances

* Complete vulnerability

* Complete absorption of personality into Being

* Personalization of the supreme aspect of nondifferentiated Pure Being

* Total oneness of Being.

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