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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Psyche?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Psyche

Brilliancy in the Psyche

When you see someone who is really brilliant, really intelligent—such as one of the great synthesizers of science—your subtle perception might notice that it is the presence of the substance of Brilliancy in his mind that makes the person brilliant. When we say that someone is brilliant, it is more literally true than we usually think. So to be brilliant is not just to have brilliant thought patterns. There is also luminescence—a radiance or brightness in that person’s functioning that you can actually perceive directly. It is this perceivable brilliance that imparts the qualities of beauty, grace, and elegance. Brilliancy gives intelligence to any functioning in which it is present. What we ordinarily recognize as brilliance in the functioning of some individuals is the expression of the presence of Brilliancy in their psyche. We see its influence in their functioning and we say they are brilliant. If we were able to look with our inner eye into their psyches, we would perceive the aspect of Brilliancy present in their consciousness, like a luminous fluid lighting up their functioning from inside. Brilliancy can also be experienced as the utmost refinement. In experiencing the presence of Brilliancy, it is as if one were experiencing the smallest possible atoms in existence. I am not implying that this aspect exists as atoms or is experienced as atoms. I am using the analogy of atoms to illustrate refinement because Brilliancy is so fine, so delicate, that its refinement is almost complete. The only thing more refined is the presence of the Absolute itself.

Brilliancy, pg. 17

Deep Wounds in the Psyche

Compassion: This is the aspect of loving kindness that is needed to experience and accept one’s hurts and wounds, without defense and without resentment. One cannot have an objective understanding about anyone if there is no Compassion. When there is Compassion it becomes possible to experience one’s deep wounds, an experience which readily leads to the aspects related to these wounds. Each time an aspect is buried there results a deep wound in the psyche, and the experience and acceptance of this wound is indispensable for the emergence of the buried aspect. Compassion is usually recognized in its manifestations such as consideration, regard, concern, sympathy, empathy, warmth and the like However, it is a mode of consciousness, a presence of Being, in a certain differentiated form. Its real significance is not exactly to remove suffering, but to lead to the truth by providing the capacity to tolerate suffering. This increased tolerance for emotional suffering gives the individual the ability to refrain from ego defenses. This allows one to look objectively at one’s experience, which facilitates its metabolism. It eliminates suffering in a more ultimate and fundamental sense, by allowing the ability to see the deeper causes of suffering.

Dissolving the Subtle Movement of the Psyche

This is true nondoing, which can happen only when we have no interest in any doing because we are not striving toward any state. From this place, there is freedom from all teachings, freedom from desiring specific states, freedom from ideas and perspectives—even one’s own perspective. For it is implicitly understood that any perspective or teaching will be an overlay on whatever is purely arising. Instead, we merely recognize the subtle movement of the psyche toward goals, and that understanding naturally dissolves the movement and liberates our unfabricated and uncontrived naturalness. The pure perception and understanding of what is actually there in our experience dissolves the subtle movement of the psyche. The Diamond Guidance is present and operational as a natural and spontaneous functioning of intelligence and awareness. The result is a discriminating understanding of what is arising, liberating the display of Being from our opinions.

Freudian Structure of the Psyche

So for Freud, the psyche or the mind consists of a structure composed of three units: the id, which is the reservoir of all instinctual forces and energies, and which is merged with the physical organism; the ego, which forms mostly the functional self that is in direct contact with the external world; and the superego, which is the moral and ethical element of the ego.

The Void, pg. 5

If Basic Trust Informs Your Experience, Your Psyche is Relaxed

If basic trust informs your experience, your psyche is relaxed. Your soul is at peace with itself and with your situation, resting in the unquestioned confidence that the universe provides, that you have, and will receive, what you really need, and that things are workable. If we really have this trust, this deep inner relaxation, it becomes possible to live our lives out of love, out of an appreciation of life, out of enjoyment in what the universe provides for us, and out of compassion and kindness for others and ourselves. Without it, we live our lives defensively, in conflict with others and with ourselves, becoming self-centered and egoistic. To find our basic trust is to reconnect with our natural state that we have become separated from. When we are innately infused by reality, our soul or consciousness is completely transparent to the truth that we and the universe are one, that we are supported by reality and that that reality is by its very nature good, and that what happens is inevitably right since it emerges out of that inherent perfection. When you understand this, it becomes obvious why it is so difficult to relax and let go, and why it is so important to regain our basic trust.

Facets of Unity, pg. 32

Inquiry Takes All of the Capacities of Your Psyche

Inquiry takes a lot more energy than doing your job because it takes all of you, all of the capacities of your psyche. Even when you’re not tired and not avoiding difficult issues, you still need energy to inquire. You need energy in order to be open and interested enough to remain engaged with such a subtle process, to allow such a subtle capacity as our inner guidance to function. That’s why it is important to practice inquiry when you feel energetic and robust, when you have vitality. That is also why you need to live in such a way that you have sufficient energy for inquiry, just as would be needed for doing any other inner practice. So if you’re really serious about engaging this work, you need to conserve your energy and balance your life so that you can be effective in your inquiry.

Limited Effect of Enlightenment on Structures in the Psyche

First, experience and recognition of true nature, regardless on what dimension of subtlety and completeness, do not automatically dissolve all ego structures. It is our observation that ego structures, and for that matter psychodynamic issues, are not affected directly by enlightenment experiences. This is due to the fact that these structures and issues have mostly unconscious underpinnings. Unconscious elements of the psyche are not impacted by conscious experience directly, except maybe in exposing them to consciousness in some occasions. These structures are impacted only by awareness of them and complete understanding of their content. The enlightenment experience may give the individual a greater detachment and presence that makes it easier for him or her to confront these structures and issues without becoming overwhelmed by them, and hence have a better opportunity to work through them. The greater presence that may result might make it easier for the individual to abide more in true nature, and this way have a greater detachment from the influence of the structures. But the structures will not self-destruct simply because the soul has seen the light.

Structuration of the Psyche

Developmental psychology discovered that the psyche develops through a structuration process, as discussed in chapter 12, where we saw that the sense of being an individual with identity and character is a developmental achievement. Furthermore, repression is the function of some of the structures built in early childhood; this is an important element of the connection between structure and psychodynamics. Structural issues appear in two types. The first is the kind of issue familiar in psychological and psychotherapeutic work. These are the conflicts and inadequacies reflecting difficulties in the development of ego structures. They include difficulties of identity, ego boundaries, ego weakness, superego malformations, issues regarding relating and merging, isolation, and so on. Psychologists call these structural difficulties, which can be so severe as to manifest in psychoses of various kinds. In fact, every ego has some malformation or inadequacy of structure, since no one is blessed with perfect parents or a completely untroubled developmental history. The second type of structural issue that appears in the process of realization and essential development includes issues not normally seen as problematic by psychologists. These issues center around the fixation on structure itself, concern with the presence of and the need for such ego structures. Such structures, even the deepest and most primitive universal structures, as we saw in chapters 13 and 14, are inherently limiting to the soul's potential and liberation.

The Contentment of Completeness

In the usual state of the psyche, some agitation or movement or excitement makes our energy go forward, away from a state of being completely settled. But completeness means that all of our outward movement has been stilled because there is contentment, for nothing is missing. If you are really the Brilliancy presence, you don’t even need to know that you are Brilliancy; you don’t need to know you are there; you don’t need to know anything—in fact, you don’t need anything. If you are really the Brilliancy, you are in some sense not even the body; so there is no movement based on the usual instinctual promptings. Usually you want this or you want that, you like this or you like that, but all of that is a movement outside you. That is the psyche and the body doing their thing. As the completeness, you are totally contented, unmoving. The contentment of completeness has a blissful quality that feels like a deliciousness. The deliciousness is so complete, the delicate kind of pleasure is so contented, that the mind doesn’t even think about whether it is contented or not. The mind—the psyche—even forgets the memory of discontentment.

Brilliancy, pg. 56

The Specific Capacities of Our Psyche

The specific capacities of our psyche are usually reflections of certain essential qualities that our soul possesses. So we can be bright and clever only because there is an aspect in our soul that is the pure presence of intelligence. And the more this aspect is integrated in our psyche—our soul—the more our understanding and our actions are intelligent. We can also know things in general because pure knowing exists on the essential level, as the Blue aspect. The same is the case with truth. We are able to discern truth—we can know what is true and what is not true in our experience—because inherent in our soul is a quality that is just Truth. Not a particular truth, but the presence of consciousness that is experienced as the presence of Truth. In other words, we can discern truth in experience in general because one pure element of our soul is Truth as such. We can recognize truth because pure Truth is a facet of our nature. The presence of Truth in the soul makes it possible for us to recognize it in everyday experience—whether in a particular situation or in recurring patterns—and on any level of experience.

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