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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Insecurity?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Insecurity

Dropping Certain Ego Identifications May Precipitate Narcissistic Insecurity

Of course all the myriad manifestations of narcissistic insecurity arise as certain ego identifications are dropped in the process of inner realization. Our unlimited hunger for love, money, admiration, power, insight, even inner development and enlightenment, come to the fore, and we see that they are continually generating fear and anxiety. Seeing these desires for what they are, and disidentifying with the structures they support, generally precipitates the experience of Being in the aspect of the Personal Essence.

Fear and Insecurity Coming Together to Form One State

The loss of the Holy Idea, the loss of the holding, and the development of distrust are all components of the same process, and they happen simultaneously over the course of the first five years or so of life. The sense may be that my mother is there for me only because she’s my mother and it is her duty and responsibility—not because she loves me. Or the cynicism might be more extreme—that she’s not there at all. In either case, the feeling-state that results, the specific difficulty, is a fearful kind of insecurity. You feel insecure and scared at the same time. There is an underlying and intrinsic sort of insecurity that is constantly present because you don’t feel held, and since you don’t feel that you’re going to be, you feel constantly edgy and scared. This fearful insecurity reflects the belief and the feeling or sense that the world is a dangerous place inhabited by self-seeking people, and that there is no inner essence to support and guide you in this frightening world. Your soul feels insecure because the world appears as a scary jungle and you don’t have inner strength to deal with it. This is a very sensitive and delicate place in the soul where one feels touchy, scared, paranoid, alone, unsupported, abandoned, and vulnerable. It is quite a difficult emotional state to tolerate, and so you readily resort to defensiveness (inner, outer, or both) to evade it. On the one hand, you feel alone and unsupported externally, and on the other, you feel that you don’t have inner strength or support. So there is no faith that if you just relax, what you need will be present. This is what gives rise to the fear that is part of the specific difficulty. This painful and difficult state is more than fear, however, since you can feel frightened without necessarily feeling insecure, and you can feel insecure without necessarily being afraid. Here, the fear and insecurity together form one state, and create a very touchy, scared place inside. Because it is such a sensitive place, when you’re dealing with it in yourself or in others, you need to be quite attuned, empathic, and responsive.


Facets of Unity, pg. 241

Insecurity Has to do with a Basic Feeling in Your Unconscious

Insecurity has nothing to do with how much you’ve got; it has to do with a basic feeling in your unconscious. And it will not go away when you try to get security from outside. Security issues can revolve around various things—money, power, friends. Whenever the self-preservation instinct is blocked and the energy is not flowing, there is a basic sense of insecurity. People are usually very identified with their feelings of insecurity and will do almost anything to try to fill that hole rather than simply feel it. They are unaware of a blockage in a certain part of their body. Thus, the feeling can’t be addressed. It’s revealing that certain kinds of financial holdings are called “securities.” People may buy them to fill the hole of insecurity. Someone might have millions of dollars in securities and still need more, or have dozens of friends and still need more, or have lots of power and still need more. There’s an interesting thing that can happen here. If the person has the hole of insecurity, then the more he’s got in securities, the more he tends to feel the absence of security—which is the hole—and the more he will feel compelled to acquire more securities. He would rarely say, “Now I have enough money.” It seems that the satisfaction of the mistaken desires allows the dissatisfaction connected with the hole to surface. This explains how having more money can make someone more insecure.

Ontological Insecurity

Although the view of totality allows us to establish any realization and perspective—from the ordinary to the extraordinary—it doesn’t hold any of them as the final resting place. Because of our need for a stable place to rest, we often find this kind of dynamism difficult to bear. But the other side of this instability is an undreamed-of freedom. The view of totality, because of its all-inclusiveness and lack of fixation, heralds a type of freedom that we have never imagined possible. And what we see is that the price of this freedom is ontological insecurity. We cannot be secure and imagine that we are going to be free. Security requires stability, which easily becomes fixation, the kernel of the usual sense of self. But the view of totality, because of its unboundedness, provides a framework that allows discovery to happen in any field or area in an unlimited way. It shows that understanding, knowledge, and experience have no limit. There is no reason to posit a limit or an end. Creating a closed system always excludes some truth, which amounts practically to excluding the truth of Total Being to live its freedom. So the insecurity and instability that the view of totality reveals helps us to understand the dynamic of realization, which can in turn vivify our practice and make it more effective. The view of totality liberates practice, and freedom is the value that emerges—a freedom that reveals practice as a living dynamic between the individual and reality. The more we recognize that it is Total Being that is living, the more there is a sense of freedom and the more living is free.

The Need for Mirroring

The need for mirroring reflects the insecurity and instability of the sense of identity. The individual expects the positive empathic feedback to shore up this self-structure. However, because this insecurity reflects the fundamental weakness of the ego identity, which is due to the alienation from the Essential Identity, it is an expression of a deeper need. This deeper need is for our true self to be seen and appreciated, simply because it is not seen, by anyone—ourselves or others.

We Are Thoroughly Enslaved to Security

But when we do become aware of this basic stance of ego, we can begin to understand the psychodynamic causes of our self-centeredness. We gradually become aware of how thoroughly we are enslaved to security in all its forms, physical, emotional, and financial. We become aware of the deep insecurity that is basic to ego, both to its sense of self and to its sense of individuality. This insecurity results from the fact that ego is not Being; how could a structure of images, concepts, memories, and feelings be secure? And the insecurity might for a while seem to become even more pronounced as we learn how readily these images evaporate as a result of our simply seeing them for what they are. Actually the basic insecurity that has always been there in the unconscious is simply being exposed by the process of dissolving ego identifications.

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