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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Plastic/Plasticity?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Plastic/Plasticity

A Line of Tension that Becomes a Tube of Plastic-Like Substance

The soft cushiony sensation around the line of tension turns out to be a manifestation of consciousness that relates to a false sense of being a person. This makes sense, for the ego-line represents the person of ego, which is not an essential form, but imitates the essential form of the personal essence. As I recognize its falseness, it begins slowly to flake off, falling off the line of tension like dead skin falling off a mummy. This process goes on for most of the day.

Later in the day, the line of tension becomes a tube of a plastic-like substance, an empty plastic tube, which extends all the way to the top of the head. As I go about the business of the day, I do not lose touch with this contraction, but remain continuously aware of it as part of my conscious experience. At some point, this contemplation opens the way for a very subtle insight: my concern about the contraction is inseparable from the contraction. The concern involves a desire for the contraction not to be there, which I now recognize as my hope to go beyond it. The plastic tube contraction is the presence of the individual of ego in the posture of hoping to go beyond itself. The hope is inseparable from the contraction, because it is the future-oriented attitude of the personality, which is the contraction.

Appreciating this Morphogenic Plasticity of Our Soul

There is nothing like the soul in physical reality; it is like a kind of magical medium or substance that can appear and manifest in the form and capacity needed. She is in a constant state of morphogenic transformation, morphing according to the situation, like the changelings of science fiction. We are not normally aware of this magical show, mostly because we are not in touch with the inner field of presence. We are only aware of the products of the soul’s continuous morphing, as thoughts, images, emotions, and sensations. Appreciating this morphogenic plasticity of our soul allows us to glimpse the promise of freedom inherent in our nature. Before we explore this promise of freedom, we will first explore how this magical transformation and display occurs. To do this we must understand how pure consciousness, which can only know itself, becomes able to manifest forms and cognize them. We will first explore how consciousness of presence differentiates into awareness of content and cognition of it, and then how this content arises. What is the inner content of experience and how does it arise?

Extreme Plasticity of the Soul

It is evident that ego development is not possible without the impressionability of the soul. Ego development proceeds mostly through the building and establishment of structures. Ego structures are nothing but zones of the Riemannian manifold of the soul impressed by systems of representations in a semi-permanent fashion. This is made possible by the extreme plasticity of the soul, which allows the mental images and remembered forms to mold her field into their corresponding ego structure. In other words, an ego structure is a region of the soul molded by a constructed mental image. Ego structure depends on two levels of impressions in the soul. We have discussed primarily those semi-permanent impressions that are due to the selfrepresentation and its subunits molding the field of the soul. This selfrepresentation is built up using memory traces of earlier, more momentary impressions. However, some of these early impressions remain in a semi-permanent way, not through representational memory, but by the impressions being strong enough, or repeated frequently enough, that they directly condition the substance of the soul. These are the kind of impressions we discussed in chapter 7, the direct structuring of the soul field by her own intense or repeated experience.

Personality is a Plastic Substitute that Lacks the Aliveness, Freshness, Realness and Luminous Clarity of Essence

All sectors of the personality, all qualities of the personality, all characteristics of the personality are substitutes for the essential ones. The personality, in fact, is an exact replica of the essence, but it is false. It is made up, a reaction, an outcome, and does not have the reality of essence. It is a plastic substitute that lacks the aliveness, freshness, realness, and luminous clarity of the real thing. This is a painful and difficult situation, but in this situation resides the key to its resolution. Because all sectors of the personality are substitutes for and imitations of the aspects of essence, they are really faithful pointers to these aspects. By understanding these sectors we can regain the aspects of essence. Instead of condemning the personality, as most work systems do, we can use it as a guide and a faithful guide at that. The personality contains the keys to its own riddles. Some of the ancient schools realized this fact, and employed it in their work

The Organization of the Soul is Extremely More Plastic than the Physical Body

However, the analogy with the body is limited. For the body, the differentiation of protoplasm and the resulting structures of organs and systems, with their functions, are relatively stable and fixed for the duration of one’s life. Not so with the soul; her organization is extremely more plastic than the physical body. The differentiation and organization are in constant states of shifting, change, and transformation. It is inherent to the soul that no organized structure is fixed, or needs to be fixed. This is partly because the differentiation and organization of dimensions and functions do not develop as stable and localized fixed structures, like the anatomical organs or physiological systems of the body. All the dimensions, facets, and functions of the soul are coextensive with all of her presence, and thus any region of the field of presence possesses all these dimensions and faculties. To know the soul directly we begin to see that our mind is not only in the head. All of the medium of the soul, any part and all parts, has the capacity of mind.

The Soul Contracts and Forms a Tube Which Sometimes Feels Like Plastic

We have also observed a whole family of prenatal structures that are imprints from early embryonic development. These generally take the form of tubes and bulges of various kinds and combinations, reflecting the morphology of these early stages. At the beginning the zygote differentiates and develops into three tubes, out of the three layers of the original disc. These tubes are dominant physical structures at a time when the soul is quite impressionable. The imprint of these prenatal tubes functions as a forerunner of ego separating boundaries. More accurately, the early tubular structure of the embryo imprints the soul with a form that becomes an initial body image according to which the sense of separating boundaries develops. This is, we believe, the reason that when we inquire into the ego separating boundaries we frequently find a structure in the shape of a tube along the body. The soul contracts and forms a tube, which sometimes feels like plastic, that gives her the sense of being an autonomous entity.

We Do Not See this Process of Inner Creation

Inner content does not enter consciousness from somewhere else. It arises in the field of consciousness itself, as the field modifying itself at the particular region the content arises. In other words, content arises within the field of consciousness as part of the field. Content is composed of particular forms the consciousness assumes at certain regions of its presence. Such a form could be a feeling, like warm kindness or anger. It can be a thought, a word, or a string of words. It can be an image, with or without colors. It can be inner movement, as in the kinesthetic sense. It can be inner sounds, tastes, or smells, as in imagination or memory. All these are inner forms that arise in our consciousness. We normally think of them as entering our consciousness, happening to us, or that we actively produce them. We do not see them as forms arising through our inner field of consciousness plastically changing itself to create them out of its very substance. We do not see this process of inner creation because we are not in touch with the field directly, so we end up perceiving only the forms it takes. By coming in touch with the inner field of presence, we have the wonderful opportunity of seeing how our consciousness functions to create its own inner forms.

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