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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Strength?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Strength

Anger Turns Out to be a Distortion of the Strength Aspect

To explore an example of working on psychodynamic issues, we can look at one of the presenting issues of the strength aspect. The issue might present itself as a difficulty with anger and aggression, as a stance of passivity and weakness. Exploring this issue may reveal a fear of aggression, which then may remind the soul of the anger she encountered in her early environment, in the person of her father or mother. Making the fear conscious and remembering its source will help the soul to access her own anger, since she is in reality no longer a child who must be passive in the face of the anger of the more powerful adult. Exploring the energy of this emotion can reveal its connection to strength. Anger turns out to be a distortion of essential strength; that is, the quality of strength becomes caught up in the emotion of anger, which is itself caught up in the self-image of being a child in relation to the parents. In this example, the soul was afraid to own up to her strength because of fear of her parents’ anger. So she abandoned and repressed her strength, and its resultant distortion, anger. Working through this issue opens the quality of strength in the soul.

Energy for the Process of Inquiry

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. The quality of Essence that gives you this energy also gives you a sense of bigness, the capacity to expand, which provides your inquiry with bigger, more robust and healthy muscles for doing investigation. The Red latifa is the presence of fullness that is not separate from the presence of strength. It is as if your whole body were full of robust blood, pervaded with a pulsing, alive, dynamic quality. You feel as if your blood has a lot of hemoglobin in it, a lot of pure oxygen, and you feel vibrant, vital, and capable.

Issues and Conflicts Around the Strength Aspect

The issues and the conflicts around the Strength aspect include all the usual issues and conflicts related to the ego process of separation. However, there is a level of issues and questions not encountered when dealing only with the emotional ego level. For instance, the separation is not really between self and mother representations; that would merely be the separation of one image from another, and this is not enough for essential development. Ultimately, separation is from ego, from representations of past object relations, from identifications. This separation is what we have called before disidentification, a condition needed to look at identifications systems in an objective manner necessary for the process of psychic metabolism. This condition is connected with the understanding of this aspect in its relation to the Diamond Guidance.

Living Life From the Perspective of Essential Strength

The experience of strength is complete only when you begin to live your life from that perspective. If you’ve realized your essential strength, why do you pretend that you are weak? What happened to the strength you experienced in your session yesterday? Even if it’s gone today, why don’t you remember that you felt that way? Do you reserve the truth only for your sessions? Only one hour of truth a week or a month? Do you hope the rest of your life will just magically transform? Most people in this work secretly dream that they will go to the group and their sessions, will listen to the talks, meditate, have ecstatic experiences, and then their life will automatically become wonderful. But the insight of the work will have to penetrate our lives in a very genuine way if we want to live according to the truth. We actually have to go about creating our life by acting according to the knowledge of who we are and what reality is. Living according to the truth means taking care of yourself. If you recognize that you are precious, then you have to treat yourself as somebody who is precious. If you realize that human beings are precious, you have to treat everybody as if they’re precious. If what the world is and who you are are preciousness, then you can’t walk into your closet and put on a dirty shirt because there are no clean ones. If you’re precious and you haven’t got a clean shirt, you go wash one right then. You let your knowledge and experience live through your actions.

Strength Essence and the Personal Essence

First, this essential aspect must be realized in a permanent way if the Personal Essence itself is going to be realized and developed. It is the motivating force and fuel for the process of individuation, and hence is indispensable for it.

Strength Infuses the Capacity to Function

When present it infuses the organism with an innate strength that affects all levels of functioning. It gives the organism the sense of capacity, of the ability to exercise any of its functions. Its effect is to expand the capacity of the organism so that all its functions, at all levels, the physical, emotional and Being - are strengthened. Thus it aids the processes of separation and of essential development. It is the fire for it, the fuel that keeps it going.

The Issue of Weakness Often Precipitates the Strength Aspect

The Strength aspect of Essence typically emerges initially connected with issues other than separation. The issue of weakness often precipitates it; the absence of Strength is felt as an emptiness or deficiency with the affect of weakness. The weakness is felt on all levels: the physical, energetic and ego levels. One might feel so weak that one feels unable to even lift a finger. And at such times it is obvious that the weakness is not caused by physical factors, because the moment the issues are worked through and the Strength Essence emerges, one feels miraculously restored, invigorated and strong. One of the main causes of the sense of weakness is resistance against the state of separation. For one reason or another the individual defends against the state of separation, and for this he must block the presence of the Strength aspect because it will make him feel separate. But blocking it will feel as loss or absence of Strength. This feeling or state of weakness, resulting from repressing the Strength Essence, makes it impossible for the individual to feel the individuated state of the Personal Essence. In fact, many individuals resist the Strength aspect because they feel unable or unwilling to feel autonomous and individuated. That separation can lead to individuation is very clear in these cases. However, if the conflicts around autonomy are worked through the individual will then allow the Strength Essence. The result will be both strength and autonomy.

The More Active the Red Essence the More Powerful and Precise Our Capacity for Discrimination

So there is a very intimate relationship between discrimination and strength. To be able to separate, I need to be strong. But separation is based on discrimination. Hence, if I’m not strong enough, I won’t be able to discriminate. I won’t be able to—and I won’t want to—know how I am different from you. Then there will be no separation. More often than not, we tend to be mushy and undifferentiated in our experience—relating to it with vagueness and in generalities. We cannot tell one thing from another. When there is no precision, it means there is no clarity, and then it’s not possible to know the truth for what it is. This brings us back to the function of the Red latifa. The Strength Essence is useful for inquiry in giving us the strength to begin to discriminate. The more active the Red Essence, the more powerful, precise, and real our capacity for discrimination becomes. The more we discriminate, the more we separate from our reactions and self-images, and the more we know ourselves for who we are, which lets us open up to true nature. Discrimination is the very heart of inquiry, the heart of the revelation of truth. So now we see the interconnections between inquiry, the Diamond Guidance, and the Red Essence. We understand how the Red latifa functions in the Guidance and thereby supports our inquiry.

You Can Know the Strength Essence Just by Experiencing It

So our awareness recognizes that one quality is different from another—this is differentiation—and it can also recognize the innate givens of each quality, independent from comparing one quality to another—this is discrimination. When you experience Strength or Compassion, you don’t need to compare them to each other to know them. You can know the Strength Essence just by experiencing it; you recognize how strong and hot it is on its own. When you experience the Compassion Essence, you directly experience the gentleness of it, the warmth of it. When you feel Strength, your intelligence makes you act in a way that you wouldn’t act when you are feeling Compassion. Even if the functioning of your mind were suspended, making all ordinary knowledge inoperative, you would still tend to move your body in a strong, expansive way, speak loudly, and assert yourself—all characteristics of the Strength Essence. This means that our intelligence has the capacity to inherently discriminate and recognize a particular quality, not just differentiate it. All these functions occur before the mind begins labeling. Experience ordinarily includes various kinds of psychic operations, all simultaneously present and functioning at different levels in experience. There is consciousness, then there is differentiation, then there is discrimination, and then comes labeling. They all go on at the same time but are interrelated in a nearly instantaneous chain of arising

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