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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Secret?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Secret

Acknowledging the Poverty of the Mind

As the mind is allowed, or allows itself, to acknowledge its own poverty, to recognize that it is not what can know the Secret, it will slowly accept not knowing. We discover that we cannot know the Secret in our usual way of knowing. The mind begins to learn that not knowing is the way, and becomes willing to rest, to surrender, to die. As the mind begins to relax, the situation of the heart becomes clearer. We begin to see that we don’t feel the true longing, the true wanting, the true loving of the Secret. We’ve been loving other things, wanting other things. Our heart is full of unreal lovers. When the mind is out of the way, we see that the heart is full of various lovers, idols, and impostors standing for the real Beloved. We find all our attachments residing in our heart, everything that we think we should have; all our physical, emotional, and spiritual possessions crowd our heart. We find our heart preoccupied, filled to the brim with things of the world, things of the mind. The mind is still present, but subtly and in the hidden recesses of the heart.

Arrival of the Guest, the Secret

Today I’ll read you one of my poems titled “The Guest Arrives Only at Night”:
"Annihilate mind in heart,
Divorce heart from all relationships,
And then love,
Love passionately,
Consume yourself with passion
for the secret one.
When you are absolutely poor,
When you are no more,
Then the Guest will appear
And occupy his place,
In the secret chamber,
His abode,
The heart he gave you.
He is the Inner of the Inner,
He is the Secret,
He is the Guest,
And he arrives
Only at night."
There is much in this poem that we can discuss, but I will focus mostly on the theme expressed in the title, “The Guest Arrives Only at Night.” I will use a specific terminology of the path of the heart, where the Absolute is variously referred to as the Beloved, the Guest, the Secret, the Inner of the Inner, and so on.

Glimpsing the Secret

The only glimpse you can get of the Secret is not the Secret but the beginning of creation, the thunder and lightning filling the universe. The Secret of the universe turns out to be its absence, its vanishing, its nonbeing. The universe is, but in its isness lies the deep Secret that this being is only the appearance of nonbeing. By vanishing, the soul clears the way for the Beloved. Now the Beloved takes its rightful place, the throne it made for itself, the heart it gave you.

The Journey is Toward the Obliteration of Everything

Even the nonconceptual universe is a shell around the Secret. The nonconceptual is a way station. First you experience reality without concepts, which is enlightenment. And when that happens, when the nonconceptual nature of reality is experienced, you sacrifice that, you go beyond that, which is not actually going anywhere. It is simply annihilating whatever remains. The journey is not toward anything. The journey is toward the obliteration of everything. Only when everything, absolutely everything, is seen as a veil, has the Guest arrived. Obviously this is not an easy journey, because of the many distractions. There are millions of them; the mind is ingenious at creating distractions of all kinds. But at some point you will feel the consuming passionate love and realize that passion is not just love, it’s the source of love. Love is nothing but an emanation from it, one of the veils. That passion is itself annihilation, an intensity that burns from within, a dynamic and intensely active void. It is the secret one, and it is the Secret of the universe. Only something this immensely powerful will allow the heart to become completely poor and totally empty. That passion is itself nothing but the Secret touching your heart and incinerating it. This fierce, passionate love is capable of dissolving the deepest attachments and cleansing the heart to utter purity.

The Mind Will Never Know the Secret

So the mind’s normal functioning is useless when it comes to knowing the Secret. The mind will never know the Secret, even though at some point it longs for it. Our mind loves and wants the Secret. The mind is always looking for the Secret but will never know it the way it ordinarily knows. The mind is relieved of its task only when it finds the Secret, when it finds its own death, which happens to be its deepest rest. The mind will be able to function after such realization, but only as the faithful servant of the Guest, expressing it out of delight in its ineffability.

The Secret Will Burn You Up from Within

For a long time you do your work from the outside, by seeing the distractions and letting them go. As that happens, it is as if the Secret, as if the Guest, is coming closer. The nearness of the Secret is not like the closeness of any other lover you’ve ever experienced. The Secret will burn you up from within, will incinerate you. It will boil you to total evaporation through passionate heat. This Secret, the ultimate Beloved, is not like any other lover. It will not appear in the heart, it will not come to its abode, as long as there is anyone else there. As long as you have another lover, it won’t arrive. The true Beloved is the most jealous of all lovers; it is absolutely possessive. It either has you completely or it will not even bother to show up. The poem says the Guest arrives only at night, when everything is gone, when all that you love is thrown away, detached from, sacrificed. The inner poverty, the inner destitution, becomes so complete that there is total darkness, nothing left to see at all. Even you are sacrificed, dissolved, gone. This situation cannot be conceived by the mind. Even the heart does not know it until it finally experiences that the fire of this love does not lead to a union. The arrival of the Guest does not mean that you, the mind, or even the heart will finally behold the Guest or be with the Guest. That’s not how the meeting will go. The nature of the Guest will not allow anything else to be present beside it.

To Have a Glimpse of the Guest, the Secret One, Consciousness Will Have to Consume Itself

On this dimension of pure consciousness, there is a sense that consciousness is conscious of itself. Consciousness is the basic quality of life, of the day. The day is characterized by light, and by knowing. When you consume all of the concepts that construct your sense of self and world, you become pure consciousness, merging into God, into divinity, into cosmic being. But to have a glimpse of the Guest, of the secret one, consciousness will have to consume itself too. The consciousness itself will have to burn with the fire of passion. The totality of consciousness, which is the totality of all that you perceive, the whole universe, will have to burn. In other words, God himself will have to burn with passion. You cannot do anything about the secret, about the Guest. The initial step is to go beyond the sense of being a person, to realize that there is only consciousness. What is left after the mind is gone is a sense of consciousness, beingness, presence. But to go to the realm of the night means there will be no consciousness. To go to the night means consciousness itself must be consumed. The sense of presence will have to die; God himself will have to dissolve. The word has to die, even the first word, which is “I Am.” What will be left if consciousness goes? For consciousness to go, beingness and existence also must dissolve. There needs to be absolute nonexistence, absolute darkness, darkness so dark that you don’t know it is dark. The moment you know it is dark, consciousness has already arisen, the big bang has started, the word has been uttered. To realize the truest, absolute, utmost nature of who we are, and of all of reality, we have to let go of consciousness.

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