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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Refinement?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Refinement

Brilliancy Can be Experienced as the Utmost Refinement

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. The presence of Brilliancy is so fine, so exquisite, and so delicate, that it operates in an amazingly penetrating way. It can penetrate anywhere. There is no place in the body or in the psyche that Brilliancy cannot easily penetrate; it just flows smoothly, as if there were no hole too small for it. That is why brilliant minds are also penetrating minds. Penetration is part of the exquisiteness of the functioning of intelligence, one of the elements that makes intelligence not only brilliant but also beautiful, delicate, and refined. Experiencing intelligence is knowing yourself as the most delicate, the most refined, the most exquisite presence, and at the same time as organically intelligent in a purely brilliant way. The presence of an essential aspect manifests as a substance, as subtle matter, only through the direct and immediate experience of that aspect. This direct experience of each aspect has characteristics of color, texture, taste, and so on. In terms of color, Brilliancy is brilliant, which is not one of the known colors. One can say it is brilliant white, or brilliant silver white, but that is not completely accurate. The color is pure brilliance, like the shimmering reflection of the sun on the surface of an ocean or lake. What you see are pools of liquid brilliance. This is the closest thing in nature to the way Brilliancy is seen in inner vision. In our consciousness, the texture of this light is total smoothness—absolutely delicate, exquisitely fine and refined. Its flow is so smooth and easy that it moves with amazing speed. Even mercury is dull and slow compared to the flow of Brilliancy.

Brilliancy, pg. 18

Limitation of Meditation

The refined values of love and compassion and truth are not going to become part of you and manifest in your life if you are just sitting on your ass and meditating, or trying to understand yourself. If you think it is enough for you to just sit in a group or have a breathwork session and experience those finer elements of yourself, you are working with the wrong perspective. You have to work at living your life in accordance with those values until it becomes second nature.

Maturation of the Heart Into Greater Refinement

As our heart matures into greater refinement, we become able to communicate with greater empathic skill, our body can become sensitive far beyond the physical level, and the mind becomes more open and bright, all of which enables us to live a mature life. We are increasingly more present and skilled in how we live our lives, how we deal with our relationships, how we do our work, how we spend our time. We become wise in our worldly actions and interactions. Wisdom is the great gift of embodied freedom. This maturation and refinement make the divine prism that we are glow even more brightly with all the colors and all the beauty and radiance of our nature. Each facet is a luminous aspect of our nature, expressing the splendor of living being. We all have this potential and possibility to live and enjoy our lives while meeting life’s challenges with increasing capacity and wisdom. In this teaching we are not presenting a formal model of behavior that you should follow—for the simple reason that you can’t decide to act like a complete human being; it is something that develops. But you can meet life’s challenges with more heartfulness and more openness, as you go along. So it’s not whether you have a reaction or not that makes you a developed human being; it’s what you do with those reactions. It is not about what arises for you; it’s about how you respond to what arises—that is the hallmark of maturity.

Our Evolution Has a Lot to do With Refinement

The task is to live an ordinary life and be truly human at the same time. To be human obviously means more than just surviving, because if we just needed to survive, there would be no need for all this evolution. We could have stayed at the level of crocodiles, and survived pretty well. If you think your life is just about survival, you are missing the point of your whole life on earth. Survival is not a big issue for most people in our culture, although it still is in some parts of the world. To be human means to be able to participate in existence in a way that is not available to other creatures. Our evolution has a lot to do with refinement—refinement of our senses, refinement of our minds, refinement of our capacities. So if you come to this Work in order to find a job or acquire a boyfriend or a girlfriend or have children, you are missing the point. The majority of humankind already does these things; they do not need a work school like this to do them. I am not saying that these things are not important; they are the content of a human life, and as such, they are important and necessary.

Presence Can be Experienced on Many Levels of Subtlety and Refinement

Presence can be experienced on many levels of subtlety and refinement. It can be experienced as the presence of light, the presence of consciousness, the presence of awareness, the presence of love, the presence of clear light, or the presence that is the nonduality (coemergence) of consciousness (or light) and emptiness. Even emptiness, as conceived of by the Theravada and some of the Mahayana schools of Buddhism, can actually be experienced as presence. But then we move into very subtle domains of discrimination, where emptiness is described as neither being nor nonbeing.

Refinement of the Personality

This is different from the Indian model of liberation where one is supposed to have no vestiges of ego personality left. According to our understanding, the condition of the objective Personal Essence is one that includes the personality, for it is one of the dimensions of reality. It is true that it is now refined and developed and can be completely absorbed into Being, but it is still available in experience. It is transformed more and more into the experience of the aspect of the Soul, the individual consciousness that had been structured as the ego individuality, and is now experiencing its nature as Essence. In other words, the personality is still experienced, but perceived as the superficial part of oneself. Its refinement knows no end.

Understanding Your Measure of Development and Refinement

The more a person loves the truth, the more she will naturally and spontaneously want to live her life according to the truth. The truth is not just something you understand or something you experience. Truth begins to influence and determine and govern your life. It is in the living and the doing of life according to the love of truth that makes one’s life a life of beauty, grace, and dignity. You can understand your measure of balance, and your measure of development and refinement, just by seeing what you do in your life. Do you live your life according to the truth? How much do you live your life according to the truth? Do you live according to preconceived ideas that you already know are preconceived ideas? Do you live according to patterns that you already know are patterns? Do you live according to indulgences that takes only a little bit of awareness to know are indulgences? When you see that you are indulging in your life instead of living it according to the truth that you already know, then the work starts: You know you are responsible. You cannot blame anyone or anything else.

When the Soul Becomes the Guidance Itself

When we make the journey with the Diamond Guidance, the soul at some point becomes the Guidance itself apprehending the absolute nature of everything. During the third journey, the Diamond Guidance is inseparable from the soul’s ongoing presence, shining with its exquisite precision, delicacy, refinement, intimacy, and indescribable beauty and freshness. We are sweetness, delight, warmth, appreciation, and preciousness. We experience ourselves at this stage as all of these qualities in a presence that touches the Absolute—perceiving it and unifying with it. In other words, when our spacecruiser takes us to the Absolute, our consciousness becomes refined until it dissolves into the Absolute’s mysterious vastness. But it dissolves through this colorfully variegated, clear diamondness. This becomes a specific way of apprehending the Absolute, with the Diamond Guidance as the connecting lens for the soul. The next step is the self-realization of the Absolute. We become the Absolute witnessing the world through the Diamond Guidance. The Diamond Guidance becomes the organ of perception of the Absolute—its multifaceted, precise eye. We perceive the world as a manifestation full of beauty and knowledge, but this beauty and knowledge appears with pristineness, delicacy, and an exquisite sharp precision. Everything appears diamond-like; it’s not only beautiful, it’s itself, precisely and exactly.

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