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Longing Is . . .

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Longing Is . . . ?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Longing Is . . .

Created by the Mind’s Concepts

Even when we feel we are following our heart, loving something deeply despite the counsel of the mind, we are actually following the mind in subtle ways, ways we still do not recognize as created by the mind. We might be moved by the inner promptings of the heart, but usually our longing is created by the mind’s concepts. The mind veils our heart to a much larger extent than we know. We are appalled and humbled when we discover how thoroughly our mind controls even what feels like our deepest movement toward truth. This is most obvious when we consider the love objects we pursue in the world of manifestation. But even the inner objects we seek, such as essential states or various subtle dimensions, are forms and concepts constructed by the mind. The Guest is beyond all conceptualization, whether it is forms of the outer world or the inner world. The Guest is prior to all forms and all manifestations. The Guest is their ultimate source. The mind, therefore, can never accurately conceptualize the Guest, for the Guest is beyond the world of concepts. The Guest is pre-mind, pre-conceptualization, pre-relationship. The Guest is not something that the mind can ever imagine. The Guest is the slayer of the mind. The Guest is the confounder of the mind, its annihilator, its death, even though it is also its bedazzler. 

For a Positive Dual Unity

We will start to explore these veils more specifically by looking first at the veils surrounding the longing for union. We have already talked about that deep yearning, and have seen that the original and primary heart's desire to be united with the ultimate Beloved becomes filtered through your early experience of unity with your mother. And these experiences bring in all kinds of issues and defenses around that longing.   That longing is bound to first appear as a longing for a positive dual unity—but not as a yearning to be completely united with the truth. It appears as the yearning to be united with somebody.

Love Unveiled, pg. 161

For the Beloved

The heart, in an unconscious, innocent way, knows its heart's desire. So it naturally moves toward whatever will draw it close to what it desires. It sees the Beloved in all kinds of things—whether it is an activity, a husband or wife, a lover, a teacher, an idea, a place, a school, or anything else—and desires union. Only through the rending of the veils is the final desire for the true union one day fulfilled. Then there is true connection, and no separation from the ultimate truth—from the Guest, the Friend. But how do we arrive at that state? To move toward the ultimate union we seek, first we need to fully recognize our longing for it. So it is helpful to start our exploration by recognizing, feeling deeply, and appreciating the yearning for this union. We want to see our need, our wishes, and the longing we have for the various manifestations or expressions of union in our everyday life. That will bring us to understand that our primary longing is not for the activities, interests, people, and life situations that we have engaged with in the hope of that union; rather, it is for the Beloved. 

Love Unveiled, pg. 146

For the Dissolution of the Self-Entity Structure

Remaining in this emptiness, and not resisting or reacting to it, clarifies the nature of the sadness and loss. Sometimes the sadness becomes a deep longing for the dissolution of our separateness from everything. We feel what seems to be the deepest and most expanded longing, from the depths of the universe, a longing to lose our personal boundaries and to be part of the whole. Thus, this longing is for the dissolution of the self-entity structure, which is the barrier to the currently arising dimension of Being. At this point in our process we are identified with Being, but the boundaries of the self-entity structure seem to limit us from experiencing our Being in a more profound and expanded way. 

For the Truth to Manifest

I feel that this is not right. There is a sense that I am beyond all of this. I feel, with some kind of inexplicable certainty, that any content of experience cannot contain or define me. Even fundamental functions I perform in my life, like being a father or a teacher, are just roles I have adopted, and they must not and cannot define or contain me. I am quite beyond all of it. I deeply feel a longing not to be caught by the content of my personal life. This feeling comes from an unknown place, where the concern is not with a particular emotion or state, but with the totality of the personal life. I do not feel any value judgment regarding my personal life, whether it is good or not, whether it is happy and fulfilled or not, whether it is desirable or not. There is only the longing to go beyond it, because of the felt certainty that I am in fact beyond it. This longing is for the truth to manifest, the truth which I am beginning to glimpse. At this point, I cannot discern clearly what I am that is beyond my personal life and its content. Yet there is some kind of emptiness or awareness, with the feeling that I am something beyond all of what I have experienced in the totality of my life, and that I have adopted roles only in order to do certain things. 

Of a Powerful Courageous Heart

The English language doesn't have words for all the different types of longing. For instance, there is a melancholic longing and there’s a very passionate yearning. There's also a delicate, vulnerable wanting, where you feel as though you're a little baby or perhaps a young child.  Another longing is of a powerful, courageous heart that desires with great strength. Many of us are familiar with these various states, though perhaps we haven't named them. Much mystical and religious poetry is written from within those states of yearning and longing.  For a long time, this yearning that we experience is not the passionate love itself yet; it is only a surface expression of the love. It indicates that there is something we love passionately without being directly in touch with it. For many reasons, this love is initially constricted, limited, perhaps even blocked. It is veiled by many forms of ignorance. Our issues will tend to obscure the actual loving passion, the actual experience of this intensity of appreciation. Thus the veil itself manifests as a longing, as a wanting, as a yearning. Or you could say it this way: The longing is actually an obscuration of the living passion. We will be taking a look later at some of the issues and barriers that obscure genuine passionate love. For now, we want to get a better sense of passionate love itself and how we experience it.  

Love Unveiled, pg. 206

Simply a Reflection of the Deepest Longing of the Heart for its Ultimate Beloved

This becomes an intense encounter when the student experiences the dissolution in the heart. She becomes aware of the shell as a membrane around the heart, where she feels the heart as the emptiness and the sense of poverty. As she accepts the poverty, the inner emptiness in the heart transforms into inner spaciousness, which is the absolute depth of Being. She recognizes she has been a lover and now has found her beloved, the true fulfillment of her heart. She feels that what she beholds now in her heart is what she has been searching for all her life. Her heart has found many lovers, but never one so perfect as this. She has always been searching for this beloved, but has seen him in one object or another. They were all idols standing between her heart and its true beloved, distracting her even more as they drew her closer. They were all veils, and now the beloved has been unveiled.    The depth of oral longing is simply a reflection of the deepest longing of the heart for its ultimate beloved. One has mistaken the libidinal exciting object of the oral stage for the true beloved, thus embarking on a never-ending journey of estrangement. By turning outward for fullness, the soul disconnected from her inner Being, then sought it in outside objects.

To Be Near, To Be Close

We could give this whatever-it-is-we-love all kinds of names, but when it finally becomes clear, we recognize it as a longing for nearness. As the longing intensifies, as the yearning increases and the heart is turned more in the right direction—toward its own inner longing, we recognize the truth about our objects of love and adoration. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t love other people; it means that we know what love between two people is and what it is not. You might be happily married, for instance, and still have that longing moving in you. This longing is not just a vague feeling; it specifically becomes a longing to be near, to be close. It is just like loving something or somebody passionately, 100 percent; you want to give yourself absolutely to them. And your heart knows when you're getting closer. Particular feelings arise to indicate whether you're getting closer or further away.  For instance, the nearer you feel you're getting, the more happy and excited you become, because this reality is something you appreciate, you intensely love, and you adore passionately. And in time, you learn the signs of nearness: You're more open, more intimate, more surrendered, more accepting. There is a spiritual condition called nearness. Experiencing nearness leads to even more longing. But it is not a vague or undefined longing. Now it is a specific yearning to unify, to be one with, to connect with, the reality that your heart seems to want. Even though your mind cannot find any sense in that and doesn’t understand it, the heart knows.  

Love Unveiled, pg. 205

To Cease as a Separate Individual

As you consider this perception of oneness, you will see that in a very deep place in you, in the deepest part of your heart, there is a very deep grief, the deepest wound, the wound of the separation from oneness. And there is longing in our hearts, the deepest longing, the deepest yearning. The most powerful desire we have, in the deepest part of our hearts, is the longing to cease as a separate individual; to be united, to see that there is really only one because it is our ultimate nature. If it is cut off from our perception, there has to be a sense of loss, a deep, gaping wound that does not heal, and there inevitably arises an immense longing a very deep ache, so that no matter what you experience or feel, there is dissatisfaction and discontent. Your heart does not allow itself to be completely happy because this oneness is what your heart ultimately wants, and everything else it wants is just a little reflection of this. You might think your heart wants this and that, and it is all true, but these all are superficial wants. What will make your heart dance in happiness is this perception of oneness, your direct knowledge of the unity of yourself and everything in one nature. 

Viewing Life in a New Light

Gradually, the understanding emerges that the interest in old age is an expression of appreciating it as a time of completion, of finishing with one’s life-projects, of ripening. I see old age as a time, or condition, of relaxation and settling, and of not wanting anything, not needing to do anything. It is a time of mental rest, of physical relaxation, of letting go of ambition. Desires have exhausted themselves, and plans have been either completed or abandoned. I feel a longing for this condition, which my mind associates with old age. This longing is accompanied by viewing life in a new light. I see life, with its excitement, projects and ambitions, as a wound-up spring which unwinds slowly. The excitement and ambition are expressions of the tension of this wound-up spring, impelling us, driving us, relentlessly and mercilessly. Old age means to me that the spring is all unwound; no more tension and no more drive, just a mellow settling. There is appreciation of this settling, of this mellowness.

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