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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Intelligence?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Intelligence

Being Intelligence

This is a very important insight to see in regard to intelligence. Yes, I can be intelligent; but deeper than that, I can be intelligence. If you allow yourself to embody the Brilliancy, you can experience yourself as that beautiful, delicate presence that is Brilliancy, that is intelligence. Our essence, our beingness, our soul, our very consciousness, is actually Brilliancy. At a very deep level of our essential existence, we find that we are intelligence—not that we are intelligent, but that intelligence is our self-nature, our ipseity. In fact, our capacities and our other qualities issue out of intelligence, are differentiations out of intelligence. Intelligence is not one of those little things you can have or not have. It is a core, a center, a source of who we are. Brilliancy is who I am. Other things I experience are things that come out of me. And because I am the Being of intelligence, because I am pure Brilliancy, there is light, there is brightness, in my other qualities. Consciousness, without the Brilliancy, is a dullness. It is dull, heavy, dark. The fact that at the deepest level I am Brilliancy itself makes it possible for there to be light in my consciousness, in my experience of my consciousness. Brilliancy, in other words, is a very basic fact of my consciousness. It is the actual physiognomy of the substance of my being. At a very deep place, and in a fundamental way, I am Brilliancy. The truth of the human soul is that its essence is ultimately Brilliancy, its self-nature is fundamentally intelligence.

Brilliancy, pg. 124

Brilliancy is Intelligence

The intelligence I am referring to is inherent in our being, a specific aspect of Essence that characterizes the optimizing force of Being’s dynamism. This optimizing force is movement toward greater and greater illumination. Illumination, when it becomes intense, is brilliance. Brilliancy is intelligence. So intelligence is the organic recognition and responsiveness within the process of inquiry that skillfully moves it toward more optimization – which means more awareness, more light, more love, more expansion, more depth, more significance. However, our organic intelligence can illuminate our inquiry only when two things happen. First, we must have the direct data of our observation, arising from a global awareness of what is going on here and now. And second, we need to use our ordinary knowledge appropriately to inform us of what we have observed in the past.

Intelligence on the Essential Dimension

How can we understand intelligence on the essential dimension, as a manifestation of Being? We first go to the Absolute, the essence of our Being. The absolute essence of Being is complete in all ways, perfect in all possibilities; it is completeness and perfection in a total way. It implicitly has in it all the essential aspects, all the perfections. These are the perfections of the Absolute, the explications of all the perfections is inherent in our deepest nature, which is our absolute identity. All these perfections, all the essential aspects, are implicit in the Absolute. They are not only implicit and unmanifested but also undifferentiated. So the Absolute is completeness, perfect in all ways in an unmanifest, implicit, and undifferentiated state. In this context, “undifferentiated” means that the qualities of Being are not separate from each other. At this level of experience, we cannot separate or differentiate them even though they are all there.

Intelligent Grace

Being possesses such perfect intelligence that it eclipses what we ordinarily know as intelligence. It responds to the needs of the soul in such complete and unexpected ways, with an aesthetically beautiful precision. In the process I have just described, Being manifested in such a way as to exactly resolve and heal the conflicts and the ignorance. It revealed the need to be good, in the sense of not causing pain, and resolved this situation and healed it, by manifesting essential sorrow, when I realized my helplessness in preventing such pain. It resolved the question of feeling phony and insincere, by manifesting essential sincerity. It replaced the empty shell, the identity of ego, with the radiant faceted blackness, as the depth of identity with Being. And then, it completed the healing by manifesting the pearlescent quality, the personalness of Being, which replaced the fake personalness of the ego. Clearly, it was the absence of personalness in the universal witness, which is the specifically impersonal dimension of Being, which brought up the conflict around leaving the world, others, or mother. The radiant blackness with a pearlescent sheen is a particular resolution of the issue, for in it I am beyond the world but can relate to it in a personal way. I could never have imagined such a resolution on my own, using my personal mind. Without the loving intelligence of Being the mind is hopelessly lost. It is also significant to see that Being resolves and heals not only through conceptual understanding, but also, and mainly, through manifesting the necessary states and qualities. This is intelligent grace.

Penetrating Illumination

Intelligence, this presence of consciousness, is not only delicate, smooth, and impeccable; it is also bright. It is a brilliance that illuminates the way. As it is flowing through, it is illuminating its way; and by illuminating it, it is flowing through it. The illumination and the flow are the same thing. This illumination can get brighter and brighter so that the minutest possible cracks can be seen. And it is so refined that it can penetrate those minute cracks. Regardless of how small, delicate, or subtle the situation is, your intelligence is so piercing that it can penetrate and go through it. There is no limitation on this capacity of penetrating illumination. Are you getting a feeling for how intelligence works? It is a sense of brilliance, of brightness, that can open things up. It is a smoothness, delicacy, and slipperiness, a sense of exquisiteness and refinement that keeps our functioning from getting stuck.

Brilliancy, pg. 100

Pure Intelligence

This label does not do justice to this aspect; it is more like the Essence of intelligence, or what enables the mind to be brilliant. It is the aspect of pure intelligence, of luminosity, of brilliance. It gives one a sense of completeness, of protection, of being contained and looked after. Its immediate Presence feels so fine that it is the smoothest sensation of consciousness that one can experience; it has an effect imbuing the mind with a uniquely penetrating quality. At the same time there is a sense of largeness, expansion, immensity and majesty. 

Recognizing Brilliancy as the Essence of Intelligence

When we can recognize Brilliancy as the essence of intelligence, we can begin to understand the fundamental elements of intelligence. We begin to see, for instance, that when we say an action is intelligent, we mean that it is complete and perfect—it is the best way to go about something. We interpret its completeness and perfection as intelligence. An intelligent action is an effective action, whether it be mental, emotional, or physical. Why do we want action to be intelligent? Because then it will be most efficient, most economical, most expedient. It will be the most optimizing. And when Brilliancy is present, what we see is that our faculties begin to function more perfectly and completely—that is, more intelligently. So intelligence reflects completeness, and Brilliancy is the most complete because it has all the perfections and aspects in it, undifferentiated. When we experience Brilliancy, we feel it as Love, Will, Clarity, Peace, Joy, and Truth all at the same time. Our sense of it is completeness. Whenever there is a hole in our soul, that means an aspect is missing. In Brilliancy, nothing is missing because all the aspects are present; there are no holes. We can actually feel the
particular affect of completeness.

The Discriminating Intelligence of the Diamond Guidance

Rumi once said in a poem, “This is love: to fly heavenward. To rend, every instant, a hundred veils.” To love is to rend the veils. What does it mean to rend the veils? To reveal. So love is Being in the process of revealing its truth. It is the dynamic, revealing energy of Being. This unveils two things about the engagement with the Diamond Guidance. First of all, the Diamond Guidance is the discriminating intelligence of the optimizing thrust, the guiding intelligence that specifically reveals through the recognition of what is being revealed. There is a dynamic interaction between this Guidance and love, an interaction related to the optimizing force of Being. Love is the energy of the dynamism that displays the truth, while Guidance is the magnifying lens of Being that helps us recognize what is being displayed. Furthermore, the Guidance is the discriminating intelligence that opens the way for love to display the truth. The two things need to happen together for there to be a revelation: Our spacecruiser needs a navigational system with its sensor array, and it also needs an energy source powerful enough to take us beyond the gravitational pull of our conventional experience.

The Intelligence of the Universe

When I say that the unfoldment has a sense of meaningfulness, I don’t mean that it has a specific meaning. Rather, there is a sense that the unfoldment is not accidental or chaotic. Things work out, develop, and evolve, as part of this unfoldment. Intelligence evolves, organic life evolves, and we see this evolution as a pattern. We can read specific meanings and purposes into this pattern, but when I use the word meaning here, I mean a felt sense that this unfoldment has its own flow, its own movement in a particular direction, that is determined by its own intelligence. The prism through which Being moves as it goes through its transformations is the dimension that we call the Logos. It patterns the movements and gives the unfoldment its differentiations and variations. We have seen that the pattern of unfoldment that is the Holy Plan is not a predetermined plan, but rather, that the universe unfolds according to inherent natural laws. This absence of premeditation indicates that the universe is intelligent. Its intelligence keeps it from being completely predictable and mechanical; if this were not so, we could discover all of its laws and plot its movement, as science attempts to do. But we cannot do this because Being is intelligence, and thus is responsive, and this responsiveness is completely spontaneous. You can understand this quality of intelligence when you see Being as an organism that is manifesting and expanding. This manifestation and expansion of life has a pattern, a lawfulness, a harmony, that expresses the intelligence of Being. In fact, when you feel the Beingness, it feels like it is teeming with intelligence, and its movements this way or that have a spontaneous intelligence.

Facets of Unity, pg. 172

The Intelligence that Manifests as Appropriate Responsiveness

The dynamism of Being, as experienced in the deeper stages of self-realization, is a spontaneous and natural flow of presence. In the human soul the presence functions as the inspiring and motivating center of initiative, action, and creativity, and its intrinsic patterning functions as the guidance that directs the activity. This activity is totally spontaneous, and free from the constricting influence of psychic structures. The self is intrinsically intelligent, and this intelligence is part of the inherent intelligent structure of Being. This intelligence manifests as appropriate responsiveness to the needs of whatever situation one finds oneself in. When love is needed, the dynamism manifests presence in the aspect of Love, which guides us to act in loving ways; when strength is needed, it manifests Essence in the quality of Strength, guiding us to act with strength and vitality. Past experience is available to the intelligence without defining the truth of the self. The dynamic essence of the self, here, is not an ambitious activity trying to actualize a certain objective that fits its ideals; rather, it is a completely nonselfish, dynamic flow of the essential nature of the self as it unfolds naturally and authentically. Authenticity means that the inner flow and the external action are the matter-of-fact reality of the self being itself, just as the heart beats because it is its intrinsic nature to do so.

The Intelligence Used in Inquiry

The intelligence we use in inquiry is the intelligence of the mystery of Being. This essence of Being is the zero that is the source of all infinities, the indeterminacy that is the source of all determinations and discriminations. More specifically, for intelligence to engage the hyperdrive, it has to have as its core the complete openness of indeterminacy, the absolute emptiness of the essence of Being. Otherwise, intelligence will be limited by the various ideas, positions, and concepts in the mind, by our ideas of what can happen and what can be. So intelligence needs to have as its source that indeterminacy, that complete mystery which gives it its maximum power, where intelligence can use all the understanding, all the knowledge we have without limiting the functioning of that intelligence. It can use its power, it can use its compassion, it can use its gentleness or determination, without the limitations of preconceived ideas or already established positions or beliefs about what is supposed to happen. It is completely fluid. So for inquiry to engage the hyperdrive, it has to be powered by the freedom of this nonconceptual openness. This amounts to inquiring without having an identity, since identity is based on the positioning we take. We take a position in order to establish a sense of identity. So not having a position means we cannot have identity. That is why the essence of Being, the Absolute, is the experience of no position.

The Living Consciousness that Accounts for Any Kind of Functioning

Usually we think of intelligence as something useful, something handy, something that helps. While that is true, it is also true that intelligence is the exquisiteness of Being and its beauty. It is the exquisiteness of our Being that makes us intelligent. When you perceive how Being manifests in its various dimensions, you realize that intelligence is always part of its manifestation. The exquisiteness of its appearance points to the majesty of intelligence, a complete and awesome presence. The quality of intelligence is intrinsic to all of Being, to all of Essence, to all of the universe; it is not limited to this particular aspect. The aspect of intelligence is like a distillation or focusing of a general quality of the universe in one specific, precise, exact, very clearly delineated presence. You feel it as the pure presence of intelligence. It is absolutely that quality; the intelligence is in clear relief. Other aspects of Essence have intelligence; for example, the aspect of Love has intelligence in it—but that is not one of its dominant qualities, which are sweetness and softness. That is why I think of each aspect as a Platonic form, the prototype of a specific quality. Each aspect is the essence of that quality. Usually we think that some people are intelligent, some are not so intelligent, some are more intelligent than others, and so on. We are aware that there are grades and variations of intelligence that can be measured and that may relate to the development of the physical brain. However, I’m not talking about intelligence as a capacity of the brain. I see the aspect of intelligence as the living consciousness that accounts for intelligent functioning, any kind of functioning. Most likely, the more a person actualizes this essential aspect and the more it affects the brain, the more gray matter is activated. I don’t know the exact relationship between the essential aspect and the gray matter. But what I want to emphasize is that there is something more intrinsic about intelligence than the presence of gray matter, the cells themselves, or our mental faculties.

Brilliancy, pg. 10

The Penetrating Intelligence that Gives Us the Capacity to Research Our Experience

One of the functions of the discriminating intelligence of true nature is that it operates as an inner teacher. I don’t mean that there is something sitting inside of us teaching us something all the time. It’s more that this penetrating intelligence gives us the capacity to research our experience, to investigate it and inquire into it in a way that allows the experience to unfold and become an expression of the freedom of true nature. It is as if we had at our fingertips all the discerning capacities—the telescopes and microscopes and MRIs—of true nature with which to investigate our experience and the situation at hand. And the more input, the more data and experience there is, the more comprehensive is the insight and understanding, which then guides and transforms the situation. The bigger the field of perceptions, the greater the scope and the power of the synthesis.

The Primary Intelligence which Every Human Being Has

There is in you an agent of unification which is an elixir present in every human being, and without which there is no life. It is itself pure intelligence, and everything is a result of that intelligence. It includes even ignorance and suffering that results from ignorance. This primary first cause, this primary intelligence which every human being has, is itself the hope for unification, and the agent of unification. It is what goes through the process of unification, and leads towards the final result of the unification, the unity. It includes differentiation and the movement toward differentiation because even that is part of a bigger movement toward unification. Every living being has some intelligence, an intelligence that is pure brilliance. It is no longer a differentiated color; it is the brilliance of all colors. It is no longer a differentiated quality; it is the brilliance of all qualities. All qualities, all aspects, all things become radiant, luminous, brilliant—become their truest nature, brilliance itself. It is light upon light. The innermost nature of everything which exists is this source and agent of unity. Without it, we wouldn’t be human beings; we wouldn’t be alive. It is the innermost nature of our being; and it is not something vague, but something actually substantial. You might not be aware of it, but without it you cannot read this or understand me right now. You can perceive it. It is amazing that the agent of unification is the same as the agent of transformation, that transformation is transformation towards unity. It is miraculous and mysterious.

True Nature Manifests as the Guide Who Points the Way, Who Inspires the Aspirant and Who Supports the Journey

The precise intelligence of reality has a fluid and free balance between analysis and synthesis of all the content of experience. It takes into consideration clearly and exactly the whole of our experience. Analysis means that we discriminate, we see differences, and we see the relationships between things; and synthesis means we see the picture that connects all these discriminations together. The dialectic of analysis and synthesis opens up the revelation of “Oh, this is what it means!” and that becomes a new truth we haven’t seen before. And this creative discriminating intelligence cannot operate without compassionate sensitivity. It is sensitive to the situation—aware of it, attuned to it, and responsive to it. Although this discriminating intelligence is the teacher or the guide—or rather, the facet of true nature as inner guide—that doesn’t mean it is something separate on its own. It is still true nature. It is an expression of true nature. It is true nature manifesting as the guide who points the way, who inspires the aspirants, and who supports the journey of discovery, awakening, and transformation.

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