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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Positions?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Positions

Annihilation of Ego Attitudes and Positions

Power gives all the essential qualities an added force, efficiency, and speed. But what actually is the power of Being? The power of Being is just an active manifestation of peace, a dynamic application of stillness. It is not a pushing, it is not a destructiveness. When peace touches the soul, it simply stills it. All of her activities, agitation, and reactions simply dissolve the moment the presence of stillness touches them. They are annihilated. That is the power of stillness, the Peace aspect of Essence. So the power of our Being is an annihilating force, which annihilates ego attitudes and positions by revealing that they don’t truly exist. The power of Peace takes everything back to its original source, which is total stillness.

Being's Positioning is Always Fluid

Our nature is positionless. Or, more accurately, reality always presents itself in positions – especially when we speak about it – but these positions are never fixed or rigid. Being’s dynamism is a process of positioning, but it’s a positioning that’s always fluid, always changing from one position to another. Being cannot be tied down in one position. We can take these positions as pointers, but not as a frame into which to fit our experience. Being is not an image to fulfill and not a goal to try to attain by pushing our experience in that direction. When you are inquiring, you want to be totally open to what is present without any preconceptions, without any preset ideas, without any particular orientation.

Collecting Ourselves Around Positions

But a position doesn't have to be ideological or political. For example, if we say there is such a thing as a physical body, we assume that this is a fact, but actually it is a position. When it is an assumption from which we operate, it is a position. How about the statement, “I am a being of light”? That is a position. Now we’ve changed how we see ourselves: “I am not a physical body, I am a fluid being of light.” But if you are really a fluid being of light, you don’t need to defend that reality, you don’t need to protect it. If somebody doesn't recognize what you are, it doesn't matter to you. So it’s not something you have to take a position about. But the moment we get concerned about a matter, the moment we believe that we have to defend our perceptions about it or our personal experience of it, we have taken a position. We have identified something around which we can collect ourselves. Our tendency to look for something solid to perch on and to anchor ourselves to amidst all our positions about things, can become a subtle, ongoing part of our normal everyday experience. But if support for our position is taken away, if we are challenged by someone else’s position, or if they challenge or question ours, we can become feverish or obsessive about it.

Filling Your Self with the Activities of the Positions You Take

It is possible to see that the reason you’re suffering is that you’re always filling your self with the activities of the positions you take. When this is happening you cannot experience things freshly, directly, purely. You even experience your body as heavy and sluggish. If you allow emptiness, your body can become light, rather than a hindrance or a boundary for your experience. Your body is your orientation in the physical universe but your experience does not have to be limited by its shape or contour. You are basically an openness and a sensitivity which has no point of view, which is not restricted by any boundary of any kind—emotional, essential, physical or mental. When you allow yourself to be that openness and freedom, you will experience yourself as giving, as a flow of love. The point of view of the ego is what stops love and the true abundance that flows like a fountain. The fountain isn’t thinking of giving or not giving. The fountain is just there, flowing. A point of view, which is automatically a restriction, blocks the heart. The heart cannot pump its essential juices. As long as you believe you are a separate person with boundaries, with the attitude of getting things and protecting your self, you will block love. Love destroys boundaries. Love has nothing to do with you or me. Love is just the activity of that creativity in that openness. Love is the outcome of non-restriction, of freedom. When the body and the mind are not restricted by that point of view, the harmony of the body and the mind will be expressed in a lovingness, an abundance. The natural movement of our being is to be in love. The expression of that freedom is love, goodness, sweetness, contentment. When there is no point of view, there is complete and real love.

Fixed Positions Impede the Natural Unfoldment of One's Potential

The discoveries that form the basis of our path, the Diamond Approach, offer an original understanding of why the presence of Being, with its essential manifestations, is not active and functioning in most individuals. The fundamental insight can be stated as follows: Being, as manifested in essential presence and its qualities, is a natural and central part of the potential of the human being. This potential inherently and spontaneously opens up and develops as part of an individual’s maturation. When this unfoldment does not occur, psychological and epistemological barriers are the cause. These barriers consist primarily of fixed beliefs about oneself and reality in general, deeply held attitudes and inner positions, and compulsive patterns of reactivity and behavior. These elements, in turn, are based on and are expressions of psychic attachment (identification) to unconscious and unquestioned images and concepts about oneself and experience in general. These inner attitudes, positions, and assumptions reduce awareness of oneself, limit understanding of what’s possible, and impede the natural unfoldment of one’s potential.

Letting Go of All Havingness

We see here that the concepts of poverty and purity are connected to letting go of ego, leaving behind the self that believes in impure or pure. To be pure means not to believe anything. Not to believe anything does not mean you have beliefs that are suppressed. To be pure means to have no reified discriminations, but that does not mean that you have discriminations that are repressed. To be pure means that you have no preferences, but that does not mean that you have preferences that you are avoiding. The detached person who does not feel anything, who does not feel his preferences, is not what we mean by pure. Such a person has many impurities, attachments, and discriminations, but is not willing to experience them. The concepts of poverty and purity appeal to our hearts. They inform the path of the heart. They are things that you can actually feel. You can feel the poverty and the purity. Ultimately, poverty means letting go of all havingness. The final havingness is the self. Purity ultimately means letting go of all attachments, all preferences, all prejudices and personal beliefs and positions. When there is complete poverty, there is no self, no you; there is total purity.

Living Without Taking a Position About Experience

It is possible to experience reality without taking a position about it, to be completely open about experience whether you are enjoying it or disliking it. If you look at yourself at this moment, objectively, you will see that you're taking a certain position within yourself about what I'm saying and what you are experiencing. You are judging: preferring or rejecting. It is possible to live without taking a position about your experience, without having continual commentaries on your experience. It is possible to perceive and experience without reaction, without the mind or self responding. But this can only happen through understanding what you do, understanding how you are constantly taking positions with respect to your experience.

The View of Totality Challenges Our Tendency to Fixate and Take Positions

We began this book by looking at the relationship between the particular individual who practices and the larger reality that is manifesting realization. In order to understand that dynamic of realization—the fulcrum of the path—we had to resort to the view of totality. What we discovered is that we cannot fully understand the relationship of practice and realization from the perspective of any one state or condition of realization, regardless of how profound or enlightened it may be. The view of totality is both very unsettling and very liberating. Its liberating power comes from its unbounded inclusiveness, which, at the same time, is unsettling because it doesn’t tell us where to stand. In fact, it shows us that there is no place to stand. This challenges our tendency to fixate and to take positions, which is a cornerstone of the sense of self. Our usual sense of self requires some kind of position—a secure perch or foundation or ground—to establish itself. The view of totality reveals that any stability, any fixity of experience, is ultimately a delusion. Reality is not only empty but also fluid; it moves smoothly like a flowing, free void.



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