Main Pages

By Region



Life (True Life)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Life (True Life)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Life (True Life)

At Each Moment We Have to Exert Utmost Attention to Be Real 

Human beings who really live the true life have to put themselves on the line. That’s how our true resources come forth. Our true nature comes forth when we value truth above all else, when we live it. We cannot cheat our soul, our essence. We have to be sincere with ourselves. We can’t decide to postpone reality for ten years because we’re afraid of taking risks. We can’t decide to kiss people’s asses for a while to make ends meet and stay comfortable. If we spend ten years doing that, we’d lose all self respect, all confidence, all value. We have to gain our own respect, our own value, and our own love. At each moment, we have to exert utmost attention to be real. We have to do that every minute. We have to put ourselves on the line every second. The moment we’re not doing that, we’re failing ourselves, we’re failing our potential. Can you really respect yourself, love yourself, or value yourself if you’re scared to tell the truth because you’re afraid somebody’s not going to like it? You might lose some money or experience some discomfort, but if you fail to tell the truth, you’re sacrificing something precious for something temporary.

Inquiry Can Become the Center of Our Entire Life as Our Life Becomes the Unfoldment of Our Soul

When inquiry flows freely, it is a true manifestation of openness and love of the truth, and it expresses the spaciousness and dynamism of Being. This dynamic openness will precipitate the presence of this vehicle, the Diamond Guidance. Then the Diamond Guidance will guide the inquiry; it will help us see very precisely what is present in our experience. It will also guide our questioning so that our inquiry will be relevant, precise, and specific. 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.

Life is For Realization, Not the Other Way Around

Material needs do need to be satisfied to some extent, because we need to survive, we need to have some kind of comfort in our life so that we can discover what true life is. Life is for realization, not the other way around. We don’t have spiritual realization so that we can have better relationships or better jobs. We don’t have spiritual realization so that we will have more or better friends, or be more successful in life. Spiritual realization is something deeper, and what Christ is saying is that if we want to follow him, it should be the center of our life. And those things—the instincts, the instinctual self—must follow the truth. To sacrifice one’s life, to carry the cross, means that if it happens that your sexual, social, or preservation needs seem to be in conflict with the truth, or in competition with it, the choice should be obvious: You must abandon those needs, not just once in a while, but with consistency, daily, always. This is what true renunciation means. You do not give up the self so that you will become saintly, or so you will become good, or so that God will reward you. You will probably not be canonized. It’s more that you are choosing that the truth is important to you, that reality is important to you, that the essential life is important to you, that God is important for you. You are making a choice and doing the practical things to support that choice. It’s as simple as that.

The Discovery of Essence is the Beginning of the True Life

The discovery of essence is the beginning of the true life. Essence, as we have seen, is not a state experienced once and then always experienced in the same way afterward. Essence is rich and endless in its aspects, qualities, dimensions, capacities, and possibilities. All of this richness starts unfolding, bringing surprise, delight, beauty, value, and fulfillment. Life stops being the life of strife and frustration, the wish for success and the fear of failure. More than anything else, life becomes a process of creative discovery. Discovery itself becomes the heart of life. Life becomes a continual creation because essence is the creative element in us. Suffering and problems become less important, and creative discovery becomes the actual process of living. Essence with the Elixir of Enlightenment.

The True Life is Seen to Be the Real Support and Protection of Essence and Its Development

Living the life of Truth is the true meaning of inner discipline. One actually must discipline oneself in a certain way. However, it is not the usual understanding of discipline. It is not according to rules one has in the mind—which is the control of the superego—and it is not according to someone else’s idea of discipline. It is very personal, and depends on the particular person and his situation in life. He has to find his own way, his own application of objective Truth in his life. And he can do this by realizing the Citadel, by using it as his true conscience. This true life is seen to be the real support and protection of Essence and its development. The inner state itself is not enough. The state itself, in fact, will not be present if one lives according to lies and delusions. One has to become real or this aspect is not permanently attained. If it is not attained then one cannot resolve ego inadequacy. This aspect becomes primary for such resolution. This is understandable when we remember that the inadequacy is primarily due to abandoning Being and identifying with the body (the psychophysical organism), and looking at life and living it only from this limited perspective. The way of life of the individuality of ego is based on partial truth, and hence, on falsehood. To live according to the ego perspective is to live a life that supports inadequacy, in fact, that is based on it. To live without taking into consideration the Truth of Being is to perpetuate inadequacy by living according to it.

The True Life is So Rooted in Reality that It Doesn’t Need an Aim

We see that ultimately the true life is an aimless life; aimless not in the sense that it’s just drifting along with no significance, but that it is rooted in reality. It is so rooted in reality that it doesn’t need an aim. It has already attained the aim of all aims. This perspective can help you to see that you need to question your goals and what you want from them. Are you wasting your life trying to achieve a goal that is a compensation for a deficiency you feel? Or is your goal an expression of who you are? Where do these goals come from? Where did you get them? Why is it you want so much to be an artist? Is it because your grandmother who liked you and gave you cookies and milk after school every afternoon happened to paint on Sundays? Or is there something inside you that wants to paint, regardless of what happens?

True Life is a Spontaneous Activity

This is a true life, then: instead of trying to get satisfaction, fulfillment, happiness, love, we allow ourselves to have basic trust. Then all that we do, our relationships and all our activities, are an expression of the satisfaction, fulfillment and love. The true life is a spontaneous activity that arises out of our Essence, and there is no need for the efforting kind of will. You've got everything. You simply need to see the truth, and what needs to happen just happens. You don't need to do anything about it. The functioning of true will causes you to do what is needed.

Subscribe to the Diamond Approach