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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Passion?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Passion

Being Passionately in Love with Life and Truth

The last of our considerations concerns our main contribution to the understanding of oedipal narcissism. The self that is realized when oedipal narcissism is transformed is not the self patterned by the development of a psychic structure, accruing from experiences at the oedipal phase, as Kohut believes, but a specific essential form, a presence of Being inseparable from love and passion. We recognize ourselves as a presence that is full, sensuous, vigorous, vibrant, alive, erotic, flowing, beautiful, and youthful. We recognize ourselves as this quality by directly being this vigorous and passionate presence. The passionate love, the vigor and sensuousness, are not attributes of this sense of self; they are its very substance. One is a vigorous river of aliveness, passionately in love with life and truth. This river is an actuality, a tangy flow of presence, a consuming continuity of Being.

Passion for the Mystery Itself

One of the things we say when we are in the throes of passion—when we want our lover so much and feel such love for that person—is “Take me, take all of me—leave nothing behind! I want to give myself to you 100 percent!” There is a drive to give ourselves fully—no trying involved, just a natural giving. We want to take off that last cloak. We can feel this toward God, our Beloved: “I don’t want to feel separate from you anymore. I want you here. I want you here with me now. So come on! I want you, and I will give you everything.” We don’t even know exactly what that is. It is not an image in the mind. In fact, the more that the images of what we’ve been thinking we want fade away, the more we feel the wanting. The love and passion are for the mystery itself. The heart knows what it wants without the mind getting involved: “I don’t even know what you look like, and I’m willing to do anything. I’ve never met you completely, but I want you.” You want to be completely united, and that is why you say, “Take me.” You want to know what it’s like to have nothing come between you. You’ve taken off your clothes, you’ve become more transparent, but you want to go even further, to dissolve every last thing that remains that keeps you from being able to feel total union with the divine. You feel that you are in the realm of the gods. You are a god or a goddess expressing the universe, and you are in divine embrace.

Passion is Love with Strength

All the aspects of love have some kind of sweetness with them. The sweetness of this love is exotic, like pomegranate, with a little bit of tartness to it. You feel strength and power. Passion is love with strength—strong sweetness, sweet strength. Your heart feels powerful, pulsing with life. There is a lust to this love, but not the lust of need. Rather, there is a lust and appreciation for life. You feel a complete involvement, complete participation in life, as if every atom is totally interested in participating, with nothing held back. Everything is delicious! You are eating up life, eating up yourself, eating up everybody. Everything is being consumed! You are lusty about life because life is so incredibly delicious and yummy. The personality, of course, has its opinions about these things. The issues that arise around this kind of love are connected to the oedipal situation, the very early feelings you had as a young child. These feelings have to do with someone very specific—if you’re a woman, you wanted your father, passionately; if you’re a man, you wanted your mother, passionately. You wanted them passionately, body and soul. Their body was the most voluptuous, delicious, the most beautiful, desirable, yummy body in the world. And you carry that feeling of that deliciousness in your unconscious and wait for the right body to appear before you can re-experience the depth of that passion.

Personal Passion in Inquiry

The Diamond Guidance guides the soul and its process of maturation and individuation. This process is the same as the movement toward the soul’s realization of the Personal Essence, and the Diamond Guidance will arise naturally to assist in this development. But if we don’t have an intimately and independently personal attitude about our experience, the Diamond Guidance will not descend into our inquiry to do its job. Only when that personal involvement and passion are present does the Diamond Guidance say, “Oh, there’s the call. Here I come. I’m happy to do my job.” Otherwise, it doesn’t matter what we feel, what we do, what we long for—the Diamond Guidance won’t hear it because it’s not its call; it’s a call for something else. So it’s okay to depend on teachers and their encouragement and inspiration, especially at the beginning and once in a while along the way, because we get discouraged and disheartened frequently on the journey. But little by little, we need to develop our own autonomy. The fire must eventually come from within us as a heartfelt passion to understand ourselves and to understand reality.

The Journey is Toward the Obliteration of Everything

Even the nonconceptual universe is a shell around the Secret. The nonconceptual is a way station. First you experience reality without concepts, which is enlightenment. And when that happens, when the nonconceptual nature of reality is experienced, you sacrifice that, you go beyond that, which is not actually going anywhere. It is simply annihilating whatever remains. The journey is not toward anything. The journey is toward the obliteration of everything. Only when everything, absolutely everything, is seen as a veil, has the Guest arrived. Obviously this is not an easy journey, because of the many distractions. There are millions of them; the mind is ingenious at creating distractions of all kinds. But at some point you will feel the consuming passionate love and realize that passion is not just love, it’s the source of love. Love is nothing but an emanation from it, one of the veils. That passion is itself annihilation, an intensity that burns from within, a dynamic and intensely active void. It is the secret one, and it is the Secret of the universe. Only something this immensely powerful will allow the heart to become completely poor and totally empty. That passion is itself nothing but the Secret touching your heart and incinerating it. This fierce, passionate love is capable of dissolving the deepest attachments and cleansing the heart to utter purity.

The Passion of the Heart for Its True Master

This love affair will be final. The Guest is the slayer of the mind. The Guest is the bedazzler, the incinerator. Its slaying and its incineration does not happen through melting you in sweet love. It doesn’t go that way. The Guest is not gentle. When the Guest arrives, it doesn’t make you feel nice and wonderful and loving and cozy. That might be your experience of previous lovers. This Beloved has something else up its sleeve. Just feeling its closeness, you begin feeling your mind, your heart, and your body all burning up. And if you stay with it a few seconds, and do not run away out of fear, you’ll be completely annihilated, totally dissolved. The process of being annihilated by the Guest is hot, the most intense passion, a passion that burns, a passion that eats up, a passion that consumes, a passion that kills, a passion more powerful than thermonuclear reaction. We find out that the passion of the heart for its true master and the annihilating intensity of the nearness of the master are one thing. It is not two approaching one another but one recognizing its singlehood. By the act of passionately loving, you are being passionately consumed. By the act of intensely longing, you are being intensely annihilated. This passion does not take you anywhere; this passion erases you. This passion is nothing but the heart’s limited experience of the annihilating power of the Beloved. Only when the heart is completely burnt, completely incinerated, completely annihilated, completely gone, will the Guest arrive.

The Power of Eros

For most of humanity, the experience of eros is usually superficial, insensitive, or even nonexistent. So discussing the intensity, the passion, or the power of eros can bring up the feeling, “Oh, this can be dangerous.” Our own intensity can feel dangerous or our history might include other people’s passion being dangerous for us. We hear about that danger in the news, from our friends, in our families. As we do our work here, it is fine that these memories, emotions, and associations come up. We want to explore them and welcome them because inquiry is inclusive of all our experience. We embrace all of ourselves, because if we let all of our feelings and experiences be, if we hold them with curiosity and interest, they will become keys to unlocking the luminous manifestations of who we are. Our understanding of them brings forth the luminosity that can take our experience deeper into unity. Almost everything that we explore can be experienced by a part of us as a threat. We can discuss sweetness or love, but for many of us those seem to be dangerous possibilities, just as tenderness and empathy can be. For many of us, desire and wanting are dangerous. The same is true about sexuality. Union, to which many of us aspire, can seem full of danger. “Unity . . . wow, that means I am going to die!”

Voluptuousness that is a Reflection of Who We Are, An Aspect of Our Essence

Do you remember what I’ve said about love? Love is our being. It is who we are. It is not a reaction or anything we give to someone. You can believe very deeply that you cannot feel this passion until the right kind of body appears, but that right kind of body might never appear. When you experience this passion, however, what you’re really seeing is not the other person’s body, but the fullness of your own being, the physicality of your being, the substantiality of your being. You passionately love these qualities in yourself, but you think that you see them outside yourself. Essentially, that desirable body you have in your mind, in the memory of that very early experience, is you. You are the deliciousness, the voluptuous presence. When you see this, then you are passionately in love, completely and passionately in love and consumed by your passion. When this feeling is available to you, you can feel it toward everyone and everything. It no longer needs to be specific or fit any requirements in your mind based on early experience. It is unrestricted, unbounded. All our previous ideas about what love should be were the barriers. When you direct that passionate kind of love, that part of your beingness, toward what you perceive as a voluptuous body, you limit yourself to those ideas you had toward your mother or father when you were a very small child. But the voluptuousness is actually a reflection of who we are, an aspect of our essence.

We Practice to Express the Passion of Our Heart for Truth

The total engagement that is required from the perspective of practice challenges the idea or the belief or the delusion that we can practice later, or practice more fully later, or put our heart into our practice later. “Now is for other things; later is for practice. Now is for e-mail and friends and gardening; later is for true engagement with reality.” We commit ourselves to our practice when we recognize that there is no time to waste, when we recognize that the situation is always urgent. We want nothing short of full engagement with reality—we want to see it, find it, live it, be it, touch it, be consumed by it, and consume it. We practice to express the passion of our heart for the truth, to express the fierceness of our soul for the authentic life. We practice so that when the moment of death arrives, we have no regrets. If we want reality to shine its truth, we need to be more open and open ended in our practice. If we want reality to become luminous, we need to put our all into the practice. To engage with reality completely, so it reveals who we are and what it is, we need to invest the totality of our being in our practice. By practicing with all that we’ve got, it is possible to find out that we are the totality practicing. Being fully engaged with reality does not mean seeking any particular aspect of reality. Fully engaging reality is a process, a ceaseless journey without destination.

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