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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Rejection?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Rejection

Ego, of Its Very Nature Has a Rejecting Attitude

Acceptance: This aspect is extremely subtle to experience. Its nature is the exact opposite of that of ego. Ego, of its very nature, has a rejecting attitude. Its defenses are based on the rejection of parts of experience. Its structure is never devoid of defense, which is rejection. The very presence of identification systems implies a subtle rejection of Being. This means that no part of ego is capable of accepting. The individuality of ego is incapable of Acceptance, because its very existence depends on a subtle attitude of rejection. Ego can only cease rejecting, but it cannot accept. The complete cessation of rejection is the absence of all defense and resistance. This precipitates the aspect of Acceptance. Thus Acceptance involves the cessation of ego, or of a segment of its structure. We see here the intimate relationship between the aspect of Acceptance and the process of absorption. Acceptance is really necessary for absorption to occur, for absorption cannot proceed if there is still resistance, which is rejection. The word acceptance is somewhat misleading, for the aspect is not an active attitude; there is no activity of acceptance. It is a presence of Being when there is no attitude of either “no” or “yes.” A “yes” could mean a prejudice, a certain point of view. But this aspect does not have any attitude. It is a pure, delicate and gentle presence, of utmost humility and exquisite refinement. It is like a gentle rain, that brings freshness and life. Most individuals, when they experience it, refer to it as blessings.

No Rejection Means No Comparative Judgment

No rejection means no comparative judgment of one thing over another. You don’t say, “I like my essence, but I don’t like my personality.” Who is saying that and what does that mean? It is rejection of the attitude of essence itself. Essence just lets things be. Only when we allow ourselves to see the movement of rejection and allow our understanding to unfold completely does the simultaneous cessation of the movement of rejection and the flow of acceptance happen. Then we regain our confidence and trust in our organism, which is actually a trust in the truth. Seeing and understanding the truth allows this development, because when you completely see the workings of rejection you will feel the suffering and see that our usual way of life doesn’t work, it causes suffering. You began the rejection because you didn’t want suffering, and it’s natural that you want to be happy. The point is not that you should like pain or dislike pleasure; the point is to really understand that the way we go about trying to be happy creates pain. When you see that you will eventually stop. When you completely see your rejection, hope, and desire, you can bring to awareness the pain that you are rejecting and stay with it, because it is your truth in the moment. If you are attached to something, you are rejecting the possibility of it not being there. If you are attached to a person, you are rejecting the absence of that person. There is a holding on, which is a rejection of openness to experience.

Reasons to Defend Against the Superego

Thus one of the ways that an attitude of rejection develops is through identification with the rejecting attitude of the environment in early childhood. This is why early in our work we learn how to defend against the superego. At the beginning, and for a long time, we need to defend against the superego so that we are able to experience ourselves more objectively. We need to defend from superego attacks and judgments not only because the attacks are painful but more importantly to be able to look at what is there.

Rejection of Experience is Inherently a Self-Rejection

The deadly thing about comparative moral judgment is that it leads to the rejection of our experience. What’s even more significant is that the rejection of experience is inherently a self-rejection—because our experience is part of us. Remember, all of our experiences are nothing but forms within our own consciousness. They’re all arising out of the same awareness—the same beingness manifesting itself in various forms. Here it appears as a little bubbling; there it could seem like a volcanic eruption. But whether it’s a volcanic eruption, a little bubbling, or a raging sun, it is just our soul manifesting in that possibility. When we say no to it, when we want to throw it away, we are actually saying no to ourselves. We’re saying no to our consciousness, to our awareness. We’re saying, “This consciousness is not doing its thing correctly. Let’s get rid of it.” So, the rejection of anything that is arising in our consciousness automatically becomes a self-rejection. How are we going to be ourselves if we’re rejecting ourselves? How are we going to be present with ourselves? Imagine somebody rejecting you—is it easy to be there? How do you feel when you feel rejected? Is it a little thing? You might say, “Oh, a person’s rejecting me—not a big deal.” But being rejected is a big deal for human beings. Being rejected goes further than someone saying, “You’re not it.” That in itself is difficult to tolerate, but rejection is someone saying, “I don’t want you. I’m done with you.” Because of this we’re always busy making sure we don’t get rejected.

The Attitude of Rejecting Something Which is there and Wanting Something Else

It doesn’t matter what it is you think you want at any given moment. It doesn’t matter whether you think it’s bad or good. That’s not the point. The point here is the movement of the attitude of rejection, the attitude of wanting and desiring. The content is irrelevant. You might be experiencing misery and want happiness. You might be experiencing fear and want freedom. Or you might be experiencing freedom and feel afraid of losing it. You might be experiencing something wonderful and want to hold on to it, not want it to change. It’s all the same movement. There is a division in your experience, and there’s a struggle. It’s not peace. It’s not harmony. It’s not freedom. It is conflict and violence. I’m not saying anything esoteric. It is what you see if you just reflect on your experience. If you have experienced your essence, or moments of freedom and release, you will see that in those moments of happiness—moments of being your essence—there is no judgment, no conflict, no wanting. Essence does not operate that way. Essence has no judgmental attitude at all, even towards personality. Essence is a presence, something that is there. It can be loving, compassionate, or any other quality, but it is not rejection of one thing and acceptance of another. So this attitude of rejecting something which is there and wanting something else—which is the same movement—is actually the attitude of the personality itself. It is the personality, the ego personality. The basic structure of the personality is nothing but a rejection of what is there, and hope for something better.

The Outright Rejection of One's True Nature

It is our understanding that this deep hopelessness is the primary reason most individuals do not grow and expand in any significant way in their lives. They deeply believe that they are too small and inadequate to do much growing. This leads us to the general method of defense against awareness of the state of inadequacy. Since one deeply believes (usually unconsciously) that the inadequacy is not a state but a fact, and this causes a deep hopelessness about the possibility of expansion, one defends against this awareness by settling for a mediocre life. If there is any expansion it is small and usually only external. The greater the state of inadequacy, and the deeper the hopelessness, the more restricted and confined one tries to keep one’s life. One becomes conventional, pedantic, even petty, actively resisting movements towards expansion, and deliberately, but usually unconsciously, thwarting one’s possibilities of growth. One becomes satisfied with a very small portion of one’s potential, without even missing the greater unactualized part. One lives the small life of a small person. This defense manifests in many ways: in intolerance of new truths or ways of living; in prejudices against different dimensions of experience and perception; in blindness about the true human potential, sometimes fortified with very logical, scientific, or even religious, arguments. It can manifest as the lack of interest in understanding, growth and development. It even manifests as the outright rejection of the dimension of Being, and hence of one’s true nature.

Trying to Throw Out Part of Ourselves

The attitude of rejection is something we need to understand. It’s not just a mental orientation. When the soul is saying no and denying a part of itself, the attitude of rejection is a reflection of the same kind of violent reaction that causes us to throw something up. Because we know how much we dislike something when we vomit it up, we can appreciate that we unconsciously fear such a violent reaction being aimed at us, and we avoid rejection internally (from our superego) as well as externally (from others). When we reject something in our experience, that’s what we’re doing—we’re trying to throw out part of ourselves. We’re not just getting rid of it by taking it out and throwing it away; we are trying to throw it away with an emotionally violent action similar to vomiting it out. You want to vomit up yourself, or part of yourself. It’s that devastating. So, that’s really what’s deadly about comparative moral judgment. It becomes the ground upon which we want to divest ourselves of something, and the way we do that damages our soul. Rejection, disapproval, or looking down on something that we think doesn’t measure up are not just detached positions we take about our experience; they are violent, destructive behaviors we use to harm ourselves.

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