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Mystical Poverty

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Mystical Poverty?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Mystical Poverty

Being Poor and Being Pure

To be poor is to lose self completely. To be pure is to see nothing but God. There is no such thing as the devil and God. There are some religions which are based on the division between the world of the light and the world of the darkness. These two Gods of the light and the dark are always fighting. People generally chose one or the other. If you chose the darkness, the soldiers of darkness will come and aid you against the soldiers of light, and vice versa, in an eternal and perpetual battle. But that level of perception has not arrived at the monotheistic view yet, where God is one, absolute, and eternal. God is simply what is, what has been, and what will be. God is all that can be experienced, all that can exist, all that can be conceived, in its original purity and pristineness, free from the veils of the ego-self. God is the one reality.

The Entrance Into the Divine Essence

For those who are genuinely motivated, we need to realize that the poverty of spirit requires tremendous devotion and struggle. We must develop purity, nonattachment, understanding, love, and many other qualities, all the way to perfection, all the way to completion. Mystical poverty is the entrance into the divine essence, the window into the deepest mystery of reality, the absolute truth of Being. Only those with a powerful pull toward that most beautiful of all beloveds will dare to venture here. And of these only those who love this Beloved to the extent of complete annihilation into its mystery chance upon this doorway.

The Heart's Nature is Always Surrender

We are talking about mystical poverty because this perspective is needed in our work here. We are not working to get richer; we are working to get poorer. You might think you are coming here to get more realized, to achieve more essential states. The truth is you will have less and less. The heart and the mind usually do not hear this message for years and years. They keep rebelling, keep doing things according to what they have learned. “I don't want this. I want that.” After some long time, the heart and the mind become wiser. The heart sees, responds, and moves toward poverty. The heart realizes that riches hurt, that they are not the real thing, not the truth, not the true Beloved. Also, the heart realizes that trying to get riches is not the heart’s nature. Its nature is always surrender, forgiving, disowning.

When Soul's Poverty Becomes Her Doorway

The state of poverty, which some traditions call “mystical poverty,” is the expression of the transformation of narcissistic emptiness into true inner spaciousness, a profound void now penetrating the shell due to the shell’s almost complete denudement. As the self is letting go of its representations of itself, which feels like the surrendering of everything she believed she possessed, she becomes increasingly transparent to the presentations of Being. She experiences a new profundity of true emptiness—black space—but it is reflected through a slight vestige of psychic structure, the concept of entity. So she feels this emptiness as the poverty of her sense of self. As the student remains in this condition, surrendering all manipulations and desires, this profound emptiness dissolves the remaining vestiges of structure, and propels her into the full and direct experience of this deepest of all voids. But she then discovers that this most profound inner spaciousness is also identical to the absolute depth of all Being. She has arrived home; her poverty has been the doorway.

Without Her Possessions the Soul Experiences the State of Poverty

The experience of cessation can occur in different ways, usually before the discovery of the absolute, as the initial entry into it. It can be precipitated by the experience of mystical poverty, when we recognize our attachments and compulsive desires disconnect us from our true nature. Letting go of these attachments, we realize we have to let go of everything. This includes not only the sensuous objects of the world and the satisfaction they promise us, but also inner riches: making a contribution, having a position, knowledge, a state, fruits of the work, a station, recognition, anything. As the soul lets go of all her possessions, including her qualities and capacities, even her existence, she experiences the state of poverty. This state has a sense of having nothing, feeling nothing, being nothing, perceiving nothing. Accepting and welcoming the total emptiness of this state can lead to the state of cessation, where the last thing to go is perception.

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