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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Needs?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Needs

Being Has All that a Human Being Needs to Grow and Develop

Being is a magnificent reality. It has all that a human being needs to grow and develop. It does not matter what one missed in childhood. If one looks within, and is genuinely interested in the truth, one finds treasures beyond imagination. Only purely physical needs cannot be fulfilled with Essence. Any need that is emotional, mental, spiritual or moral, can be completely fulfilled by the richness of Being. The aspect of Nourishment is a kind of love; a gentle, delicate and lightly sweet presence. It has a warm sense of nurturance, and a unique quality of stilling inner hunger. It is closely allied to the process of metabolism, important for the realization and development of the Personal Essence. It is the food absorbed from personal experience. When this aspect is present it becomes easy to see what is of real value in any experience or activity of life. One can discern what will lead to growth and development, and what must be discarded. It also means that one can absorb the nutrient in any personal experience; in other words, the realization of this aspect implies that the individual can now absorb true Nourishment. When there are conflicts about this aspect then it becomes difficult to absorb the truth in experience; for one has difficulty in taking in true Nourishment.

Consciousness First Needs to be Balanced and Harmonized Before it can Truly See What is Needed

We are not saying that there is something bad about ordinary human life, nor that one should seek something better. It is a matter of harmonization and balance. The absence of that balance or harmony predisposes us towards certain assumptions, certain expectations of what our lives should be like. Then our consciousness becomes stabilized with the idealizations of certain elements to the exclusion of others, which only leads to more imbalance and disharmony. That is why a consciousness that is not balanced usually does not know how to balance itself, for this consciousness can see things only from an imbalanced perspective. In turn, what this consciousness believes or feels that it needs and wants is determined by that perspective. The consciousness first needs to be balanced and harmonized before it can see what is truly needed.

Everybody Needs to do Some Work Because Everybody's Life is, in Some Sense, a Mess

So, let’s start from the beginning. Obviously, you have come here to do certain work. You know that something is missing in your life, or that your life is not going the way you want it to go or think it should go. For reasons which are conscious or unconscious, you come here because you know there is something that needs to be done, something that needs to be understood, something that needs to be changed. This is an accurate perception. Almost everybody needs to do some work because everybody’s life is, in a sense, a mess. The more you work on yourself, the more you see how much of a mess it is. Usually, in the beginning you won’t let yourself see how much of a mess you are in because the impact would be too great. So you take little peeks. You see a little mess here, a little mess there. You discover that almost all the corners are quite a mess. Of course, the more you see that your life is a mess, the more there is an impetus, an impulse, to do something about bringing in order, cleanliness, room for clean air.

It is the Essential Identity that is Precious and Special in the Child

What needs to be seen and loved is not only the external, physical, emotional, and mental manifestations of the child, but more important, his very Presence, his true self and identity. This true self, the Essential Identity, is actually what is precious and special in the child. It is the spark of Being in him, the most beautiful, wonderful, magnificent preciousness in his self. It is important and significant because it is the fundamental true nature of his self and the source of his true potential, the source of everything beautiful and majestic in a human being.

Misunderstandings That Deeply Wound the Child

When a child's manifestations, actions, motives or expressions are interpreted incorrectly, this misunderstanding has a deep wounding effect on the child because he is not related to as who and what he is. The child will not only feel hurt and betrayed, but is likely to become confused and uncertain about his sense of himself. The child’s self not only needs to be seen and related to, but seen accurately and responded to accordingly, for his sense of self to develop accurately.

Our Motivation to Practice Needs to Come from a Place Beyond the Individual Self

As our engagement with the path matures and develops, we realize that practice is a way of life, a way of being. This kind of orientation, this kind of commitment, requires a motive that is independent of external things, a motive that arises from the enlightenment drive, from the action of true nature manifesting through us as a dynamic force to reveal itself. So we recognize at some point that our motivation needs to be grounded in and originate from this place beyond the individual soul, beyond the individual self. That makes our motivation true. True motivation expresses itself in the interest, the love, the compassion, the service, the devotion, the respect, and the appreciation that we feel for the truth of reality. We have seen that the enlightenment drive can manifest through all three centers and, specifically, as continual practice in its expression through the belly center. The liberation of the enlightenment drive is not simply a matter of experiencing it. It’s a matter of the enlightenment drive doing its thing, which manifests in us as truly engaging the path, as the unfoldment of experience, and as practicing with the right attitude, whatever form that practice takes.

Specific Kinds of Relating Needed by the Child

Each child is born with a certain potential that includes many qualities, capacities, properties, functions, forms, and levels of experience and behavior. For these qualities to be established and developed they need to be related to in specific ways. The child needs for the important persons in his life to relate to him in specific ways that encourage the emergence, establishment, and development of the various components of his potential. Such encouragement and support enable the child to grow in a way that integrates the full range of his potential as a human being. Inadequacy of the specific kinds of relating needed by the child limits the unfoldment of his potential and his capacity to be himself as his potential unfolds.

The Intelligence that Manifests as Appropriate Responsiveness to the Situation

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 Need for Our Life to Embody All the Dimensions of Our Understanding

It is a natural law that the more you experience, the more understanding you have, and the more you need to live your life accordingly. At some point, you will have insights, understanding, and experiences on many dimensions, on many levels. Your way of living needs to take into consideration all these levels and dimensions, in terms of what you do in your life and how you do it. The way you live your life needs to embody all these dimensions. If you know there is a subtle dimension, an essential dimension, and a supreme dimension and so on, you can no longer live just according to the mental dimension; that would be crazy. You are not taking reality into consideration. The moment you know these things, they will have to affect your action. If that does not happen spontaneously, you have to ask yourself: “Why not?”, and try to find out how to do it. You know there is truth. You know what love is. You know what independence is. But you continue to relate to your love partner as if these things were not true. What are you doing when you do that? You are not living according to the truth that you already know, and thus you are increasing your imbalance.

The Outer-Directed Orientation of the Soul

Whenever the soul experiences any need, any inner emptiness, the original template that the soul will morph her experience through will be that of an empty stomach wanting something from outside her. This outer-directed orientation characterizes the animal soul, and functions as a fundamental underlying attitude of the ego-self. The soul is then not only externally oriented, but she is always ready to move forcefully outward. This compulsively and rigidly structured outwardness, in both orientation and action, automatically dissociates the soul from her essence.

We Are the Source of What We Believe We Need

Another significant relationship that becomes clear in this dimension is that the absolute is the source of all aspects, qualities, and forms. It is the single source from which all emanates. We understand the absolute here not only as the ultimate source, but as the only source. It is simply The Source. All else is emanation. This perception is not only a metaphysical insight; it goes to the very heart of liberation. The soul has seen that the absolute is her ipseity, that she is actually the absolute; this self-realization allows us the view that we are the source of all qualities that we normally believe we need. We normally believe that we need love, compassion, intelligence, strength, and so on. In this dimension our view is corrected by seeing it is folly to seek them; for they all come from us, from our presence and identity. As the absolute, we are not only the source of all essential qualities, we are actually the source of the situations from which we want the qualities. We are the source of the relationships and activities and life situations that we perceive to possess such qualities. We are, in fact, the source of all creation, all manifest forms and phenomena. We are the source of all; we are the transcendent sun from which everything originates.

What Needs to Happen in the Process of Understanding

All this means that we don’t actually do anything in the process of understanding. What needs to happen is just an awareness of the fact that you’re resisting, an understanding of the process of resistance. When you understand it, your interest in resistance stops. All you can do is allow that to happen; the rest is not up to you. The rest is up to Essence. That’s why it is sometimes called grace. Grace can descend and dissolve you. It can make you part of it. But you cannot let go, you cannot surrender, you cannot accept. You can only see that you are rejecting, that you’re not surrendering, that you’re not letting go. Then you are seeing the activity of the ego. When there is surrender and letting go, there is no activity and ego is not there. The cessation of resistance, the cessation of rejection, the cessation of defense, is also the dissolution of that part of the personality. It may bring fear because you believe that you will disappear. And you may be concerned about who will do what is required if you don’t do it. You need trust and confidence in Essence here.

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