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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Relating?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Relating

A Self Image Relating to an Object Image is Not a True Personal Experience

How can one be truly personal in an interaction when the other is not seen for who he is? How can an image be personal? If one’s experience is restricted to the level of object constancy, which according to object relations theory is the culmination of ego development, then it is not possible to be personal in any way that is not purely mental. A self-image relating to an object image is not a true personal experience. The true capacity to be personal does in fact arise around the time object constancy is achieved, and even when there is ego present, it is possible to be personal. But the capacity to be personal cannot be the capacity of an individuality based on ego identifications. To be truly personal one must have achieved a development beyond that of a coherent self-image. In other words, one has to be a real person, and perceive the other as a real person, as who he actually is, for there to be a real personal interaction. Otherwise, the interaction, although it feels personal and even intimate, is but an approximation of real personal interaction. And when one sees through one’s identifications with past object relations one becomes acutely conscious that this approximation is fake. One is shocked into the realization that his personal contact and consideration have always been vacuous, constituting nothing but the replay of past object relations, or the replay of an organization of those object relations. One was not making contact with the other person, and was not really considering the other person. He was considering somebody else, in fact, only an image of a person, an image which is not even an accurate image of the person he is interacting with. When we no longer need to identify with the images of past object relations, the collapse of the false consideration of the other, which is now seen as transference, brings about a sense of impersonality. We now painfully feel the absence of the personal element, and our incapacity to be personal. We feel unable to see the other as a person, but see him only as an object, a screen upon which we can project an image. We feel impersonal, and our interactions feel impersonal, as if the other does not count, the other is not even a person.

All States of Being, All Aspects of Essence, Bring the State of Aloneness when Experienced with No Self-Image

Aloneness is actually inner aloneness; one is alone in one’s mind. There are no umbilical cords (internalized object relations) connecting one to the past. One is here, now. This is a state of purity. One is, and there is no self-image. This indicates that all states of Being, all aspects of Essence, bring the state of aloneness, when experienced with no self-image. The absence of self-image means the mind is empty and immaculately clear. It means the presence of the aspect of Space, which is what dissolves the self-image. The aloneness of the Personal Essence is slightly different and more paradoxical than that of the other aspects of Being. The Personal Essence is a personal presence that is capable of making direct personal contact. So with it one can be relating to another human being and still be alone. One can be in intimate human contact, but feel completely alone within. This means one is being the Personal Essence in the presence of Space. One is an aloneness relating to another aloneness. One is an aloneness contacting another aloneness. This sounds paradoxical, but this is exactly the state of two human beings who are relating with the Personal Essence, from Being to Being. One can be in a social setting, such as at a party, and be totally alone. One is then the Personal Essence without boundaries, and without their basis of internalized object relations. Only in such a state of pure and total aloneness is complete contact possible. For then there are no boundaries, but there is the contactful presence.

As Long as She (Soul) is Relating to Being Within Any Object Relation . . .

This state has been recognized by some of the spiritual traditions, especially those of Sufism and mystical Christianity, and is valued as an absolute necessity for spiritual transcendence. It is referred to as the station of “mystical poverty” and understood as the recognition that the soul is totally poor and lacking in relation to God, who is the source of everything. It is important to realize that this religious view still remains bound to the oral way of relating to reality, that the soul is empty, and God the all-providing source. The student must see these traces of orality for her experience to take her to full self-realization; otherwise, she will remain bound to an object relation of a poverty-stricken soul relating to an omnipotent and all providing God (selfobject). This may lead to a deep spiritual life, but it will not resolve fundamental narcissism. The important step is recognizing that as long as she is relating to Being within any object relation she is still within the conceptual mind, and so is operating from within mental representation. She needs to transcend the concept of relationship and utterly surrender all separate existence. 

Encountering the Experience of Oneself as a Child Relating to a Parent Who is Not Loving

In terms of the individual, when a deficient emptiness is accepted it usually becomes displaced by the essential aspect lost, as we have discussed. This applies to the cosmic emptiness as well. If and when one remains with this universal deficient emptiness it slowly starts filling up with the beautiful loving softness of Cosmic Consciousness. The whole universe becomes filled with this aspect of Being. The universe regains its soul. Both oneself and the rest of the world are one unified existence now, and its beingness is the Conscious Presence. One realizes here that the cosmic hole is due to the loss of the boundless conscious presence. One starts experiencing oneself as this loving conscious presence, as if one is this consciousness and the universe is one’s body. At this point students typically encounter a particular object relation: the experience of oneself as a child relating to a parent who is not loving. Usually this parent is the father. The more one becomes the Loving Light the more the self-concept or the personal shell is perceived as a child who is scared and small. Frequently a dialogue ensues between the child and the Loving Consciousness. The child feels angry at the loving presence, feeling abandoned by it, during difficult times. One can realize that one is projecting the father’s image on this cosmic presence, which is sometimes equated with God. But seeing this presence as Love brings out the loving object relation to father. One starts remembering the love between father and child. It is interesting that this particular object relation between child and father becomes activated during the time of dealing with ego identity. Sometimes the relation is with mother, but usually, especially at the beginning, the relation is with the father. We consistently find that the father image is projected on, or associated with, the aspect of Being that appears as divine or cosmic, God the Father.

Even When You are by Yourself You are Still Relating to Your Mother

So emotionally, the personality continues to have a symbiotic relationship with mother. We grow up physically, but not emotionally. We continue to unconsciously believe we are dependent in ways that an adult human being doesn’t actually have to be. You see yourself as dependent on others for love, approval, recognition, support, nourishment, contact, pleasure. Most people think that’s the way it is. They think, “How can you be a grown up person and have a career and a good life unless you have a mate or at least a lover?” That’s how most people think. They don’t question it. They think they need love, and it is true—they do. But what they are seeing is the personality. The ego functions through emotional dependency, and you call it love. Even when you are by yourself, not married or in a relationship or in a group, you are still relating to your mother—the mother inside you. You relate to your superego which is always beating you up. Why is your superego beating you up? Because it makes you feel that your mother is around. When you were a child, your mother was always judging you. So every time you feel like a little kid, your internal mother comes and beats you up. Then you feel secure. You might complain, but you feel secure. School—a regular school—helps you to become an adult in some practical ways. You learn how to remember information. You learn skills that can help you to earn a living. You learn to do what your teachers teach you to do. But school does not teach you to grow up psychologically. In this school, we allow you the opportunity to grow up psychologically, to become an adult on an emotional level, to become really autonomous. You learn how to provide emotional sustenance for yourself. You learn how to give yourself love, compassion, approval, recognition, support, and strength. You stop believing you need those things from the outside.

Experiencing the Freedom of the Realized Condition in Our Functioning and Relating

On the path of the Diamond Approach, realization is complete and mature when we experience the freedom of the realized condition in our functioning and relating. This is the actualized side of realization: I do not lose myself when interacting with others—that is, I do not lose what I truly am, the truth I discovered in my awakening—but rather I continue to be myself with the person I am interacting with, whether I am living with them, talking with them, working with them, playing with them, or traveling with them. I am myself, I am authentic, I am real, and I am also responsive and interactive in a way that expresses what I truly am. I recognize that there is something unique about me, just as I recognize there is something unique about each one of you. True nature is the same in all of us, but the way it comes through, the way we integrate it, what we learn from it, and what we become because of it is different for each one of us. Our true nature has so many qualities, so many capacities, so many skills, and so many possibilities, that each person turns out to be a unique manifestation of that ground of reality, that underlying ocean of Being. It is an ocean that has no shores, no beaches. It doesn’t have an end. But it has many waves, and every one of them is a being—and each being is different from every other.

For a Long Time the Student Cannot Help Relating to the Teaching and to Essence and to Truth in Terms of Object Relations

The heart, obviously, is very important here, but we need to free the heart. Most of the time the heart is dominated by the perspective of object relations. We experience various feelings and emotions according to our psychodynamic history. Actually, the heart is nothing but the mind filled with love. The heart gives fullness to the concepts of the mind. So the mind and the heart are not separate things. They’re one thing. Love and thinking are one thing. Both the mind and the heart need to be freed from the perspective of the physical world. The heart is freed from object relations by arriving at nonattachment. So we see, the task is not easy. It’s immense. But so what? What else are we going to do? If we’re going to find out what the truth is, then we’re going to find out what the truth is. How big or difficult or long doesn’t matter. For a long time, the student cannot help relating to the teaching and to essence and to truth in terms of object relations. You cannot help but do that. Seeing through object relations is hard, but that is the path. The path leads to the truth, you see. The resolution of the dilemma, how to live in this world of objects and see objective reality, I am calling the resurrection. The resurrection means seeing the world of objects from a new perspective, as infused and united with and by the fourth dimension. Truth embodies the world. So instead of a world constructed of discrete objects that are inert, the world becomes a living world of harmony and oneness. Things are differentiated, but they are not separate. Functioning and doing and living life, then, is not some unusual thing of flying here or there, materializing or dematerializing. You live a normal life, but it’s a life of truth, of harmony, of fulfillment, a life that is unencumbered. There’s a freedom of how you see the fourth dimension. You live in harmony as a unique individual connected with everything else, and you see yourself as the oneness, or you see yourself as the ultimate ground and source of everything. The human consciousness goes through all of that and that becomes life.

If Your Personal History is Interacting with Someone Else’s Personal History

So far, it is simple but not easy to understand or to actualize. Rarely will you acknowledge the relationship that really exists. What you acknowledge is usually something in your mind, a mental relationship and the feelings that go along with that concept of the relationship. For some time, part of our work will focus on clarifying our relationships, all relationships. For instance, the relationship you have with me is the relationship that actually exists. In your relationships with me, with each other, with everyone in your life, you need to see what is happening, what the relationships are. If we do not clarify, perceive, and live according to the true relationship that is actually happening, there will be no contact. There will be no real relating. There will be only mental interaction, one image interacting with another image. There will not be a real human being relating to another human being; there will be your past interacting with someone else’s past. It is obvious how complicated that can be. If your personal history is interacting with someone else’s personal history, but you are not interacting with the other person, you are not really relating.

In General Humanity is Not Well Developed in Its Capacity for Personal Relating

If we are to learn about divine eros, we need to see that it arises mostly between two in interaction. It can arise between the soul and her true nature, as love that has a pleasurable, enjoyable, erotic quality—in the sense that it is an energy with desire and pleasure and sensuousness in it. But when divine eros arises between two people, we understand how human relationship is a form in which those qualities can arise most fully and completely. In general, humanity is not well developed in its capacity for personal relating. We have a lot of trouble with violence, aggression, misunderstanding, disappointment, pain, wounding, and so on—all of it because we are not good at relationships. It is very easy to misunderstand somebody and get angry and become aggressive, or feel hurt, withdraw, and run away. But to remain in a relationship, to be real and interact in a way that not only avoids contraction or pain but that opens things up, that generates more richness, creates more openness and more freedom, is something that human beings are just beginning to learn. Throughout history, some people have been very good at that, but as a race, we are still immature. Humanity is just beginning to wake up to the importance of relationship and its amazing potential. This potential is immense, both for creating peace in the world and for personal actualization of human completeness.

It is Possible to Live Without Relating All Experience to One Center

You cannot perceive reality as long as you are looking at the world from the perspective of the ego. To act from that point of view means to perpetuate it. The moment you think of change, of fundamental transformation, of enlightenment, you are speaking from the point of view of the ego. You think there is someone who is going to change, be enlightened and have all kinds of wonderful things. You want the island to become a paradise—lush and beautiful with all kinds of rivers and gardens full of fragrant flowers. You can’t think any other way! If you believe in islands, no matter how rich and wonderful your island may be, you are bound to suffer fear and frustration. Nothing I say about this can convince you that your ego point of view is the main source of your suffering. You have to observe it in yourself to see if it is true. Otherwise you will still be thinking that you’ll get something out of what I’ve been talking about—that you’ll be happier, more expanded, better at understanding. This ego point of view is very subtle. It is so deep, disengaging from it is almost impossible. Most of the time you don’t even want to disengage from it. You don’t know what other point of view there is. “If I don’t take what I want, I won’t get what I need. This world is full of hungry wolves. If I don’t look out for myself, I’m done for.” There are other points of view which are possible, more open, unbounded and with no sense of self. It is possible for reality to be seen not from one point, but globally. It is possible to live without relating all experience to one center and for human experience not to be bounded by that island, but for the whole universe to be its universe. It is also possible to see that the sense of boundaries and isolation depend on certain misunderstandings, beliefs and insecurities you want to cover up. 

Not Personally Relating to Your Immediate Reality

The moment you have a goal in your mind in terms of how you are going to experience yourself, you are not being personal with yourself. Personal means that right this moment, where you are is where you personally are—it is you now. The moment you say, “I’m going to go someplace” you are no longer personally relating to your immediate reality. You have adopted an abstract, impersonal aim from some source. So looking from the perspective of a certain state or aim is not appropriate to finding your thread. It is forced and unnatural because the particular state or aim that you have in mind is most likely not what is going to happen at this moment. You are in fact trying to force something on yourself instead of finding out where you are. This is true even if the state you are wanting to go toward is wholeness or the Absolute. You are trying to put yourself in a certain place instead of finding where you actually are. Then you are not following the Holy Will, which is the natural flow of the unfolding of reality as a whole; you are just being willful. You are not cooperating with the intelligence of your own being; you are superimposing a direction on top of your Being’s true movement. So following your personal thread is not a matter of cornering yourself in some inner state, regardless of how wonderful that state may be. The direction of your Being, if you allow it, will go toward the ultimate state. However, the particular route it is going to take is something you cannot know.

Personal Essence is the Capacity for Personal Contact

The personal element is most palpably discerned in human contact. The ability to make contact with another person is the hallmark of the Personal Essence. Only the Personal Essence has the capacity to make such contact; in fact it is the capacity for personal contact. Neither the ego with its intrapsychic structures, nor the nonconceptual state of Being with its impersonality, has this capacity, a distinguishing characteristic of being human. The ego cannot truly make contact, because of these characteristics which we have noted:

  1. It is based on identity with self-image or images. How can a structure in the mind make contact? It is nothing that is truly present; it is only a conceptual structure, a structure of ideas. This structure is devoid of presence and consciousness, and thus cannot make contact.
  2. Interactions of the ego are basically the reenactments of past object relations. When the overall individuality of ego interacts with something, that interaction is an approximation of the actual situation that is dependent on the integrations of past interactions. So it is not present-centered. How can an interaction which is a replay of the past be called a genuine human contact?
  3. The other person is seen either as an image, one pole of a past object relation, or through a structure of images. The other person is not truly seen or related to. The fact that ego cannot make real contact is lamentable, and indicates a terrible waste of human potential. We cannot see each other when we are identifying with self-images from the past. We are strangers to each other, merely relating to projected images, to parts of our own minds. This is the normal, everyday life of most us, not only the emotionally disturbed.

We are confronted occasionally by a student who reports with astonishment and disappointment how his husband, wife, friend or lover is really a stranger. When a student achieves some distance from ego identifications, he realizes suddenly that he does not really know who the other is. The other feels like a stranger when stripped of the projected images. This usually can be very frightening, for it leaves the individual in a state of utter aloneness.

Relating to Essence as Though It Were Our Mother

The presence of Essence with its truth, its intrinsic blissfulness, and its intelligence, is there all the time—it cannot go. If Essence is gone, you are dead. You can’t be conscious or aware without Essence. So when we perceive that Essence comes and goes, we are saying that it is limited, indicating that we are projecting a past relationship onto it, relating to it as though it were our mother. It also means that we have not yet fully understood that Essence is our essence, as fundamental to us as atoms are to the physical body. It is not something detachable from the soul that can come and go. It is the actual substance of the soul. When we don’t know this for certain, it means that our experience is incomplete and that we need to keep inquiring into what is limiting our experience. We need to ask ourselves, “Why do I believe that Essence is something that comes and goes? Where does that idea come from? What’s that experience like?” If the view that we are discussing is accurate, if Holy Truth is the nature of all of reality, what gives rise to the experience that it comes and goes? Where could it come from and where could it go to? So if we have an understanding of how things really are—if we know the view of objective reality—then every time we experience Essence as coming and going, instead of believing this projected past relation, we can say to ourselves, “Wait a minute! That’s not how it really is, but I’m experiencing it that way. What does this mean?” We have some guidance, an orientation toward our experience. We recognize a distortion, even when it feels real; and the more we see our distortions, the more faith in Essence arises.

Facets of Unity, pg. 247

Relating to Father

So we want to explore a little more specifically our relationship with father, which we’ve been doing, and the many ways we relate to father; as we have seen, different people relate to father in different ways. One of the ways, obviously, is feeling that you want things from father, right? Wanting love, approval, support, recognition—seeing father as an object, as a person you want something from. Maybe you didn’t get enough of the right thing. Another way of relating to father that happens is wanting to be with him—not just wanting something from him but wanting to be with him, wanting closeness, merging with father, intimacy with father. The intimacy could go to any depth—just wanting to be with him, do things with him, or wanting to be completely merged with him, not separate from him. Another way of relating to father we have seen is actually being like him, identifying with him. Basically, the identification is a way of having father, and it fulfills many functions. One of them is having what we think we want from father—the strength, the support, whatever. But it also provides a defense against the feelings of wanting him, of feeling that you want to merge with him, want to have intimacy with him. Because you know, if he is here, he’s here, and then you don’t have to feel you want him. Everybody has some identification with his or her father.

Brilliancy, pg. 167

Relating to God

When you are God, you don’t feel you are God. If you feel “I am God,” then the “I” is still there. You are not God; you don’t relate to God; you are not part of God; you are not supported by God. If you believe any of these things, then you think there is something other than God. And when you experience something other than God, it is no longer God; it is your idea of God or something you learned about God. God becomes something you made up in your own image. But God is not made in the human image; it is the other way around. You are an image of God. The experiences of devotion to God, relationship to God, union with God, connection with God, being part of God, being cells in the body of God, being God—all appear on various paths. But they all retain the sense of the presence of the self. When the self goes, there is only the seeing of God. You don’t even feel “I am being God” because there is no “I.” If you say, “I am experiencing God,” there are two, not one. If you say, “I love God,” there are you and God. When there is God, there is no one there who loves God; there is just God. There is the seeing of God and that’s it. You don’t feel that you are seeing God, that you are relating to God, that you are God; you don’t feel anything that has an “I” in it. You don’t feel anything. There is just the seeing of God, and God is all and everything. All that you can see and cannot see. If for one moment you see that there is something other than God, whether separate from God or connected to God, if for one moment you perceive that God has parts, then what you are experiencing is not the absolute oneness. You are experiencing parts. As long as you are experiencing parts, there are ego boundaries, which bring a sense of separateness, a sense of richness of possessions, and a sense of impurity.

The Attitude of Perceiving and Relating to Everything and Everyone in the World from the Perspective of Oneself

This process of becoming aware of and disidentifying from ego identifications begins to shed light on the nature of the personality as a substitute for true Being. For instance, a typical development in students going through this process is a tendency towards increased selfishness and self-centeredness. Self-centeredness is a basic quality of the ego self, which becomes increasingly obvious as the ego identifications, which are the building blocks of the self, begin to dissolve. But this dissolution threatens the stability of the ego self, and hence there results the reaction of holding on more tightly to this self. The desperate clinging to this identity exposes the basic quality of self-centeredness, the attitude of perceiving and relating to everything and everyone in the world from the perspective of oneself, considering what is for me and what is against me. What will I get from this and what will I lose from that? As the ego identifications dissolve, one can see more clearly how pervasive, invisible, deceptive and convincing is this attitude, pervading almost everything in one’s life. Everything is considered from the perspective of whether it will support one’s ego or not, without much regard for others or for the truth. Even when the other is considered, he is generally considered only from the perspective of one’s ego. This is a consequence of one’s identity being always at one pole of an object relation, with the other person simply being the object at the other pole of the relation. Who the other truly is cannot be perceived, let alone considered. This omnipresent self-centeredness of ego is generally not seen, because of the identifications with the ego self. Only when the identification is loosened can one begin to see the blinders that ego’s self-centeredness puts on perception and experience.

The Spiritual Dimension Can Manifest in Our Lives to Enrich Our Relating and Make It More Real

The spiritual dimension can manifest in our lives to enrich our relating and make it more real, and the reverse is also true. If we approach our relationships with openness and sincerity, with the true sense of who we are—if we are authentic and respect the authenticity of the other; if we listen to and are interested in one another just as we are interested in the truth—then any relationship can contribute to our spiritual experience. It can become a support for our spiritual journey, a crucible for inner work. Relationship can become a natural practice that deepens both our sense of who we are and our experience of reality. An understanding of divine eros brings those two aspects together in such a way that spiritual realization can contribute to relationship and relationship can contribute to spiritual realization. However, for that to happen, our relationships will need to become transparent to our spiritual qualities. By this we mean that it is not sufficient that the soul or consciousness is transparent to its spiritual qualities, which means these qualities can come through our consciousness and be expressed without obstruction. The relationship as a whole—which is both the contact between me and you and the energetic field created by our interaction—will need to manifest those qualities. So there needs to be not only enjoyment between the two people but also sincerity and authenticity—a real individual interacting with another real individual. What is a real individual? A person who is aware of who he or she is, and who is being that authentic presence in interaction with another person, while respecting that the other is also authentic presence. That is what I call a sense of being personal—what is personally me interacting with what is personally you. It is the uniqueness of my reality interacting with the uniqueness of your reality. Our spirit, in its transcendent nature, in its unity, is impersonal, which means that it is universal, limitless; but the way it expresses itself in relationship is very personal. It’s the very essence of personalness. This personalness has a sense of true, direct contact, a feeling of immediate in-touchness with the other. When I am interacting with another person, I feel that my soul is touching her soul. It sometimes feels to me much more immediate than my hand touching that person; it feels more full, more complete.

Thinking is Basically the Relating of Previously Perceived Elements of Basic Knowledge With Each Other

The dimension of basic knowledge is a ground for the development of the capacity for thought. As we focus on, delineate, and isolate a particular form in our consciousness we recognize it as a piece of knowledge. Our memory retains this impression as an image, a pattern involving several dimensions in addition to the visual. It includes the cognitive discrimination and whatever inner sense—for example, the kinesthetic sense, the emotions, and the sense of an essential state or space—the original experience had. Concepts form regarding, and words become associated with, some of the simple forms that we retain. Because they arise within the conscious field, these retained forms and their associated concepts and labels are manifestations of basic knowledge. However, the concepts now refer to partial, limited impressions of past experience. These images, symbols, words, and concepts become the basic content of ordinary knowledge. They form the basic blocks for the soul’s capacity to think. Thinking is basically the relating of previously perceived elements of basic knowledge with each other. The original demarcations or boundaries that define concepts, words, and images originate in basic knowledge. Thinking can then become a dimension on its own, by the process of relating these mental elements with each other, in conjunction with further perceptions in present direct experience, or basic knowledge. This new dimension develops to many degrees of abstraction; we abstract from the original abstractions, and create new concepts and symbols that relate to the relationships of the original abstractions, and to groups of them. This process develops many degrees of differentiation and integration, in an evolving spiral of self-organization.

When One is Finally Alone there is No Loneliness for there is No Ego Structure to Feel Alone

The Personal Essence is a state of Being, and hence it is a now-ness—an existence in the now that is completely independent from any past object relations. To be is to exist totally independent from any relationship, to anybody or to anything. So it is not independent only from past object relations; it is also independent from present ones. One can be totally alone when one is relating. The sense of aloneness arises because one loses the sense of being related to others in a conceptual way. This sense of being related to others is inseparable from all aspects of ego, because the self-image, which is by nature conceptual, is always seen from the perspective of a relationship to an object-image. When one is experiencing Being, as in the state of the Personal Essence, then one is not the self-image. This means one is not engaged at that time in any inner object relation. This feels like a state of aloneness. One is actually alone; one is not engaged in the interminable object relations that are the basis and origin of the self-image. This means that Being is not only the absence of relating to the object or his image, but it is complete independence from all inner past object relations. If one is identified with any part of the ego structure then there is no true aloneness yet. There might be a sense of separateness, but not aloneness. There might be a fear of aloneness, or a movement towards aloneness; and this causes the customary feelings of fear, sadness, longing and loneliness. But when one is finally alone then there is no loneliness, for there is no ego structure to feel alone.

You Have to See Reality Apart from the Perspective that You are this Separate Self Relating to a Separate Object

You have to see that reality is more than three-dimensional. There’s more to us, there’s more to me, there’s more to you, there’s more to this world, there’s more to this school than the physical things we see. We have to look beyond the dimension of objects. The perspective of the physical world and positivist science that posits only what is visible as true is limited. We have to see the world as it is. The world that we see, the world of objects, is not the complete world. The Basic Fault does not resolve until you get to the stage of the fall on ice. Do you know about the fall on ice? It’s when you’re out in the cold, in reality and not in your mind. You have to see reality apart from the perspective that you are this separate self relating to a separate object. The Basic Fault can be seen as functioning through object relations, can be seen as taking yourself to be an entity, can be seen as taking reality to be the three-dimensional physical reality, can be seen as seeing the world as a world of discrete objects in space. Only if we allow ourselves to let go of all object relations, not just the negative ones but also the positive ones, can we see the world as it is. We have to be willing to do that. We have to be able to take that risk at some point, to risk being out in the cold, to risk falling on ice.

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