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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Nourishment?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Nourishment

Absorbing True Nourishment

All this substantiates our understanding of the importance of the Nourishment aspect for the development of the Personal Essence, the true individuation. If it were not for the fact that Nourishment exists on the Being level, and hence its presence is independent of age, the development of the Personal Essence would be impossible for people who were inadequately nourished in childhood. 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. The absorption of experience is equivalent to the feeding of the Personal Essence. The more one gains from true experience, the more the presence of the Personal Essence grows, and attains more capacities, and a greater maturity.

Being Your Own Nourishment

There are many different kinds of love. One is an aspect of love which has a melting quality, which we call merging love. It has to do with the loss of the boundaries between you and your environment; you experience merging with your environment. Your boundaries melt away, and you have no shields around you. You experience yourself as a delicateness, an exquisiteness that does not feel itself separate from anything else. This experience brings about a sense of contentment, and a deep letting go, a deep satisfaction. It feels like you are your own nourishment, and actually that you and the nourishment are the same.

Essential Nourishment, an Aspect of Being

The third aspect is Nourishment. This aspect of Being is equivalent to mother’s milk on the physical level. Its issues are those of the oral stage; of nursing and weaning, of oral gratification and frustration. Its relationship to the Personal Essence is equivalent to the relationship of mother’s milk to the infant—it is the essential nourishment needed for the realization and development of the Personal Essence. It is the material needed for building the substance of the Personal Essence. That is why the longing for this aspect usually starts right after experiencing the Personal Essence. It is no wonder, then, that it is associated with the mother’s image and with the symbiotic connection with her. The specific identification system that must be metabolized to realize this aspect is mother’s breast, which is probably the first image of the object. Jacobson writes about this primitive part object image: It is the combined oral-visual experience of the breast—or primal cavity, respectively (Spitz, 1955)—that not only equates the mother with the breast but turns the latter into the first image of the gratifying mother. [Edith Jacobson, The Self and the Object World, p. 35]. Thus to permanently realize this aspect one must deal with the deepest structures of the internalized mother’s image. This is a very deep and subtle process, which ultimately exposes the deepest object relations, such as the sense of being a hungry mouth relating to the world as a breast. The deficiency relating to the loss of this aspect always feels like a big hunger, or an empty stomach.

Need of the Self for Nourishment

A poetic (but not actually metaphorical) way of describing the need for mirroring is that the human soul feeds on light. This light is awareness, the soul’s clarity about itself. The self needs this nourishment for its growth, development and maturation. When our awareness about ourselves is opening, as in insight, at the moment of that insight there is a quickening, a movement towards integration and development. We also observe that when we don’t understand, when we are not clear about where we are or what is happening to us, there is a lack of movement. The soul will not move from where it is until it completely comprehends, completely sees, where it is.

Nourishing of the Heart

When you have seen through the doubts that block your faith in the optimizing force of Being, your heart relaxes and opens. As your experience of truth in your life deepens, your heart is nourished. As your knowing of the Diamond Guidance as the revealer of truth grows, your heart awakens to what it most appreciates. The Diamond Guidance is the wisdom that leads us home, to the place where your heart knows its greatest joy. This is the land of truth and true nature. The Guidance is not simply a path to the truth, it is the manifestation of truth, the knowingness of truth, and a discerning intimacy with the truth. So the attitude in the soul that can most directly invite this blessing of truth to arise is one of heartfelt love. This is not only the heart’s openness, but its active love and interest in knowing and being intimate with the truth.

One of Our Spiritual Tasks in Adulthood

This, then, becomes one of our spiritual tasks in adulthood: to discover the true, nourishing, loving, essential mother that is not an other. This golden elixir arises in the first months when mother and baby are in a melted, bonding love fest together. When the golden diamond arises in the middle of the Markabah, it is that merging love in its diamond form, highlighting the central issues that prevent us from having a more complete inner orientation. What we discover is that our own heart is the chalice that contains the nectar of melting, satisfying love. The merging gold love differs in tactile experience and effect from the solid gold of truth. While the solid gold of truth feels like the soft metal of 24-karat gold, the merging gold love is a fluid, sweet, honey-like substance. As this new teaching moved through our psyches, it delivered up its wisdom in the usual way: by evoking tensions in the body that woke us up to the orientations and beliefs that had been stamped with conviction into our fleshy consciousness.

The Jeweled Path, pg. 167

Relating to Essential Aspects

So the various essential aspects are not there simply to amuse and nourish us, but to teach us how to relate to them so that they will have an impact on us. If in our meditation we experience wonderful love and melting, but then go about being aggressive or attacking other people, then what’s the point of having the experience at all? As long as our experience does not actually impact us, does not actually change how we live our life, we are still at the lollipop level of spiritual practice. We want the lollipop; when we get the lollipop, we're happy for a while and we stop fussing. But eventually we start wanting another lollipop and forget the one we just had. Some spiritual traditions call this the lollipop stage.

Seeing that What We Have Been Seeing as the World – both Animate and Inanimate – is Actually Empty

A certain shell arises at this level of the process; it is reminiscent of the fakeness and emptiness experienced in dealing with the Essential Identity, but there are significant differences. We experience the fakeness not only in ourselves, but everywhere. We feel fake and empty, empty of anything real and significant, and we also feel that everything around us is empty and lacks fullness. We first feel the empty shell as a contraction around the body, as a membrane that separates us from the rest of the world, reflecting the structure of self-entity. Further investigation reveals that the shell is not really separate from others—it is an extension of a larger and universal shell that includes everyone. When we finally experience the shell completely, we feel like part of a universal shell that includes the whole universe. In other words, we see that what we have been seeing as the world—both animate and inanimate—is actually empty and devoid of fullness, nourishment, or significance. This reflects the loss of the nondifferentiated self, the state of the soul in which the self and the object world are not yet differentiated in experience. This shell is not only our personal empty self, but the perception of everything as empty and devoid of substance. We perceive that the whole world is only an appearance; everything is only a shell that has no inner truth or reality. Our empty shell is part of a larger shell that includes everything. There is nowhere to go; a painful and deficient emptiness is everywhere. This stage is difficult to go through, especially when there is no experienced guide who can hold the experience as a legitimate part of the process of self-realization.

Society Nourishes the Personality

Our whole society is set up to teach us that we should get the outside to fill our holes; we should get value, love, strength, and so on from outside. We talk about how wonderful it is to do things for other people, or to fall in love, or have a meaningful profession as if these activities are what give life meaning. We attribute the meaning to the person or thing we think is responsible for it rather than to Essence, which is really responsible. Our whole society is arranged so that people fill each other’s holes. Civilization as we know it is built around filling holes. It is a product of the personality. It is also the home of the personality. It is what sustains and nourishes the personality.

Soul’s Need for Nourishment

The soul is dependent and needy in childhood in many ways. In order to grow into her natural pattern she needs an adequately supportive and nourishing human environment. But this environment needs to also support her in being herself, in being true to her nature, if she is going to grow in a way that maximizes the actualization of her potential. In other words, she inherently needs an environment conducive both to her being herself and to growing in the way that is natural to her. By adequate we mean that the environment needs to be, especially in the persons of the primary caregivers, not only welcoming and loving, but also caring, appropriate, empathic, responsive, and capable. When the environment—which includes the physical environment, the primary caregivers, and the social field surrounding them—is adequate enough, the child’s soul feels held.

The Longing for the Milk Essence

This Nourishment, or Milk Essence, is a state of Being, and is always available to the human being. But because it becomes associated with the mother’s physical milk it becomes almost impossible to experience. Every individual has a deep longing for this nurturing presence, but it is not allowed into consciousness, because one is now an adult, One student writes when he feels the deep longing: “When I experienced the emptiness of not having my mother’s nurturing, I seemed to be faced with staying a child or being an adult,” meaning that as an adult he cannot take the need for Milk seriously, because one can have it only as a baby. So the longing for this aspect is usually deeply repressed because the adult individual feels it is too late to have mother’s milk. But this aspect is part of oneself; it can be realized, and it is needed for complete autonomy, which is the Personal Essence. (Pearl, p324)

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