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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Joy?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Joy

Joy Follows the Revelation of Truth

So openness is the basis of inquiry, but love expressed as curiosity specifically invites the Diamond Guidance. This active edge of openness is needed for the truth to be revealed. Then there is joy, curiosity, a happy excitement to find out. The not-knowing becomes the beginning of adventure. And because you don’t know, it is more exciting. Joy is in the whole process, and the excitement of life intensifies. The soul is turned on to exploring the mystery, and it is curiosity that engages…


Joy Has Nothing to do with Pain or Pleasure

What does the joy have to do with the pain or no pain? Joy is different from pleasure in the sense that joy has nothing to do with pain or pleasure. We think pleasure is happiness, but it’s not happiness. Joy is happiness. Pleasure is opposed to pain; joy is not. It is possible to have pain and joy at the same time. So why block your joy just because there’s going to be some pain? I’m not saying that you should push yourself to be joyful, but if it is possible for it to be there, allow it. Joy has to do with openness in the moment, with not choosing one thing over another. When there is no prejudice about what should happen, there is joy. Joy is openness to experience. There is no striving. Joy is not the result of anything. If you are yourself, there is joy. If you are accepting and open to your experience, if you’re being yourself, you’re naturally joyful because you are the source of the joy.

Joy in the Process of Transformation

Joy is simply the freedom of the process of transformation. You allow yourself to just be, and change, and grow, wherever your being takes you. This process has joy and happiness in it. The moment you try to restrict it or guide it in a certain way, the joy will close, and there will be heaviness, sadness, and pain. Also, trying to predetermine where you’re going is uncompassionate and shows ignorance. How do you know what is going to come next? How do you know what your life is supposed to be like? How do you know what you’re supposed to feel inside? You can only trust it to happen.

Love Can Manifest as Joy

All these aspects of essence have to do with the heart. I mentioned three that are specifically love. All manifestations of the heart, however, contain love in some form. Compassion, kindness, gentleness, accepting, allowing, graciousness, welcoming of experience and warmth are also love, or loving kindness, which is different from the three aspects I have discussed. Love can manifest as joy, which is also sweet. Joy is very playful, light and happy. Love can also manifest as the aspect of fulfillment. When you feel your heart is full of nectar, when you feel your beingness is not only loving, it is fulfillment itself. When you experience yourself as a thick sweet nectar, then you are the nectar of Being. You are drinking yourself. This can be seen as love loving the action of love. Contentment is an aspect of love, as is satisfaction. You don’t experience the satisfaction. You are the satisfaction, a deep contentment. When you experience your heart or your essence as gratitude, you are not grateful for anything, you are the gratitude itself. Fluffy love has a feeling of lightness and of liking someone or something; merging love has a feeling of giving and sharing with another person; passionate love has the feeling of whole-hearted participation in the world. Other kinds of love, such as fulfillment, satisfaction and gratitude, are different in that they have nothing to do with relationship, with other.

Our Joy, Our Fulfillment Arise From Actually Serving the Truth

So the function of the soul in life is not simply to maximize our pleasure, but to realize our more objective function as an organ of truth, as an organ of realization, as an organ of a much larger being, of a much bigger, universal reality. We come to realize that our happiness, our joy, our fulfillment arise from actually serving the truth. We serve the truth by being as pure an expression of it as possible. God or the truth doesn’t need you to do things for it, to walk around talking about it or buying it things, but actually to express it, to bring the truth to life. We serve the truth by manifesting it, because what the truth wants is to move from an unmanifest form to a manifest form. That’s why the Sufis say that God needs man in order to express Himself in the world. God manifests in the world through the purified ones. So our job is to be a servant. And to serve is to express. And to express is to be a clear and unimpeded medium for the truth. For that to happen, we need to be purified of our coarser elements. If we approach experience as if it were a lollipop, the objective function of the soul is not fulfilled. The more our soul is aware of the deeper realms and the more correct its attitude toward those realms, the more we express the truth. The deeper realm, the realm of objective reality, is ultimately the home of the soul—its origin, source, and nature. The absolute reality is the nature and origin not only of the soul but of everything. What better master to serve than the innermost nature of you and of everything! So being a servant is an exalted position.

Sometimes You Need the Humor and Playfulness of Joy for Inquiry

Intelligence gives our inquiry the capacity to modulate itself according to the particulars of the situation. Sometimes you recognize the need for a great deal of determination, a lot of power and will, to penetrate through a certain manifestation, for there might be a stubborn inertia or fear. Or perhaps the situation can become so subtle that you do not see it, and you need to become quiet, peaceful, and delicate so that your inquiry is a very gentle probing into the situation. In this case, even the will becomes a gentle receptiveness, an effortless presence, as you probe very delicately into the situation. Sometimes the situation requires the tenderness and warmth of compassion because pain and hurt arise. Sometimes you need the humor and playfulness of joy for the inquiry to continue to unfold in the face of hopelessness and despair.



The Happiness That Results from Wish Fulfillment

Joy: The force and consciousness behind curiosity. This is a very subtle aspect to understand, and a very difficult state to realize. It is, just as Freud thought, the happiness that results from wish fulfillment. Whenever there is an unfulfilled wish Joy closes and disappears. This means that it becomes permanently realized only when there are no unconscious wishes. So, more objectively speaking, Joy manifests when there is fulfillment. But there is no lasting fulfillment as long as there is any aspect of Being not realized.

The Joy of Living the Authentic Life of Total Being

Living realization, living freedom, means that life becomes practice and practice becomes life. Practice is not a way to get to freedom; it is freedom expressing itself as practice. As you recognize that you are both the particular, unique individual and also Total Being in its indeterminacy, your life does become free from unnecessary suffering but, more importantly, it becomes inherently free—the joy of living the authentic life of Total Being. Total Being—the reality of all times and all space, of all beings and all phenomena—lives as the irrepressible freedom of our individual lives. And the freedom of your life simply expresses the freedom of the dynamic creativity of Total Being. You are the living universe as the universe lives as you.

Understanding that We are Joy

We are always looking for pleasure, frantically seeking happiness in many ways, and totally missing the simplest, most fundamental pleasure, which actually is also the greatest pleasure: just being here. When we are really present, the presence itself is made out of fullness, contentment, and blissful pleasure. Our habits and conditioning lead us to forget the greatest treasure we have, our birthright—the pleasure and lightness of existence. We think that we will have pleasure or delight if we fulfill a certain plan, if a certain dream comes true, if someone we care for likes us, if we take a wonderful trip. This attitude is an insult to who we are. We are the pleasure, we are the joy, we are the most profound significance and the highest value. When we understand this, we see that it’s ridiculous to think that we will get pleasure and joy through these external things—by doing this or that, or receiving approval or love from this or that person. We see then that we have been misinformed; we have been barking up the wrong tree. Happiness, value, and pleasure are not the result of anything. These qualities are part of our fundamental nature. If we simply allow ourselves to be, this is our natural experience. You are the most precious thing in the universe, but you behave as if you are the poorest, most trivial thing there is. It doesn’t really take much to see this. Just stop the whirlwind that goes on. Let yourself relax and be there. You can allow yourself to do it wherever you are.

When the Heart is Curious there is Joy

What you’re doing here in this group is that you’re engaged in an activity. Everything is here for us to be curious about. Like the child, we can engage in a continuous process of curiosity. There’s joy in that, in the activity itself. The child is not looking for happiness, not trying to avoid pain. There is just a continuous process of curiosity, and that process of curiosity is nothing but loving and feeling joy in the truth itself. It is the love of truth and the joy in finding the truth. That is the movement of curiosity. There is no way you can separate curiosity from loving the truth and the joy in discovery. As we said, seeking truth is the activity of the mind. Curiosity, on the other hand, is the activity of the heart. It is, in a sense, the mind of the heart. So you see how the attitude of curiosity, which is called the spirit of truth, is not goal oriented. In other words, curiosity has no desire in it. It is a complete, one-hundred-percent involvement in the present. It is, itself, the freedom and the joy. When the heart is curious, there is joy.

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