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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Support?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Support

Abandoning Support

The more it is integrated and the more inner support is realized, the more your experience of self-realization will become independent and permanent. You can be in the school and still be independent and alone. Eventually you will have to be free from all teaching, from everything you have learned, everything absolutely everything. You will have to give up all the ways you support your self-realization with anything you have learned in the past, so that nothing from the past is needed for support. The past can only support self-image. Your self-realization will deepen, go to different levels and become more permanent.

Confronting the Lack of Support

True support is not mirroring, and arises only when you confront your lack of support, the absence of it, which is there already like a huge abyss. A huge, humungous abyss, a humungous hole into which you go and become nothingness. If you allow yourself to feel it, then true support will arise in you. When true support comes you feel as if you are sitting on a mountaintop. The whole mountain becomes like a fountain of support for your reality. From within, you feel an immensity, a tremendous immensity, a tremendous Presence, a tremendous existence that is almost as hard as a rock, and it supports whatever reality you have realized.

Every Time an Aspect of Our Essence is Realized it Brings up the Lack of Support that We Experienced in Childhood

These issues from childhood arise when we begin to experience the state of self-realization. Every time an aspect of our Essence is realized, it brings up the lack of support that we experienced in childhood. These issues need to be explored and worked through. If they are not worked through, you will look for support in your present environment. You might fall in love with someone who you feel sees you; you might associate with people who you feel see you and support you. These people might not be even seeing or supporting the real thing in you; they might be seeing and supporting something else, but you create the fantasy that they support you. When you realize finally that it isn’t real, you feel hurt and deeply disappointed. You experience a deep sense of collapse and disintegration. When you feel that your support is taken away, which amounts to feeling that your real self doesn’t exist, it brings a state of loss of self-realization which is a pointless, meaningless and deficient kind of emptiness. Wanting to be seen, wanting to be appreciated, wanting to be loved, these become very strong and powerful. You find out that you have become so sensitive that if anyone says something that indicates that they haven’t seen you, you really feel it. You take it as a big insult when you say something and another person misinterprets it. It’s not only an insult, but you are personally hurt, devastated. Your whole reality crumbles because you feel the lack of support.

Lack of External Support Felt as Weakness

Thus, there are two aspects of the experience of narcissistic vulnerability: The first involves a sense of lack or loss of support; the other, loss, weakness, or lack of identity. The student experiences the loss of external support as a weakness of a certain kind. He may feel as if his bones are getting soft and losing their strength and solidity, and hence cannot support him. He may feel spineless, or that his backbone is soft or brittle. He may feel that his legs are weak and unable to support his weight, or they feel small and skinny, or soft and mushy. He may feel small, helpless and unable to support himself, or structureless and amorphous like a jellyfish.

Liberation of the Self From the Need for External Support

This returns us to a point in our discussion of Kohut’s view of the transformation of idealizing transference. He asserts that one never transcends the need for external self-objects, that transformation—cure, in his terminology—is a matter of relinquishing the need for archaic and primitive forms of self-selfobject relationships, and replacing them with more mature and realistic ones. We agree that the normal self cannot transcend the need for external sources of narcissistic support, regardless of how strong or firm one’s sense of self becomes. Only realization of the Essential Identity, that has no inherent weakness or insecurity, liberates the self from the need for external support. If we limit our conception of the human potential to the conventional dimension of experience, as Kohut and most depth psychologists seem to do, then we are bound to come to the conclusion that human beings can never be totally autonomous narcissistically, that we will always need external sources of narcissistic support and supplies. This conception leaves out the truth that most genuine spiritual teachings of humankind have expressed: that there is such a thing as true and ultimate liberation. This liberation includes fundamental independence from external sources for one’s inner equilibrium.

Moving to the Actual State of Support

The most important insight needed for a student to move from the deficient lack of support to the actual state of support is a recognition that the feeling of helplessness, of not knowing what to do to be oneself, is not a natural deficiency, nor a personal failing. It is rather, the recognition of the fundamental truth about the self, which is that we cannot do anything in order to be, for to be is not an activity. We can come to this understanding only through the cessation of intentional inner activity. At this point, not to know what to do is a matter of recognizing the natural state of affairs, for since there is nothing that we can do to be, then it is natural that we cannot know what to do. There is nothing to know because such knowledge is impossible. Nobody knows what to do to be, and the sooner we recognize this, the easier is our work on self-realization.

Somaticizing the Sense of Lack of Support

When a student is fighting the awareness of these states of weakness and lack of support, she often experiences physical tensions in the legs and back, and aches and pains in the lower joints: the hips, knees, and ankles. The resistance against these somatic manifestations of lack of support may lead to physical injuries to these joints, because of the awkwardness caused by physical tension and imbalance. These manifestations indicate that a person is somaticizing the sense of lack of support. As the student becomes more directly aware that he is feeling a lack of support, the felt sense becomes more definite and concrete. His legs may feel light and empty, insubstantial, even ghostly. This can progress to feeling the emptiness in the legs and the lower body as a definite sense of vacuity, as in the case of the hole in the belly that Penny felt. Only when the student accepts the feeling that he has no inner support does he finally recognize this lack as a specific emptiness, a state of deficient nothingness, which feels like a lack of support.

Support and No Support

Support will come only when you experience the state of no support, which is not an easy state to experience. It is not easy because it is the state of feeling you don't know what to do, don't know what's happening, haven't got the slightest idea of what's up or what's down. You feel there's no ground to stand on, no wall to lean against. You look around and there's nothing to hold on to. You wonder how you can help yourself and you feel you can't.

Support and the Teacher

When support for self-realization comes from outside you, it comes from feeling that self-realization is precious, acknowledged and valued. Here, the greatest support comes from your teacher. This is why your teacher is your best friend. Your teacher is someone who not only helps you to attain that reality, but someone who can perceive it in you and knows it is a valuable thing. When you see that someone perceives your state, you feel seen, and you feel supported in that state.

Support for the Individual Consciousness to Abide in the Certainty of the Supreme Identity

The support for the individual consciousness to abide in the certainty of the Supreme identity turned out to be the Diamond Will vehicle arising anew within the Supreme. This time, the mountainous presence of the Diamond Will manifested as an immensity of dense Supreme diamonds out of the field of Supreme consciousness. The transparent openness at its center, which is a spaciousness that has more the feeling of pure openness than in any other dimension, showed itself to be the nature of Being. The Supreme Diamond Will brought the wisdom of not needing the support of anything or anyone in order to be the boundless being that we actually are.

The Jeweled Path, pg. 242

Support for True Functioning

Working with the more well-known ego deficiency, that of ego weakness, leads to the discovery of a certain essential manifestation of Being. Since this inadequacy relates to functioning, and hence to all of the ego functions, its transformation leads to a different kind of support, the support for true functioning. This essential manifestation is discussed in detail in The Pearl Beyond Price, where we refer to it as the essential conscience, or The Citadel, the defender of Essence. It is the support for the general process of transformation, for living a life that will support and enhance the work of self-realization. It is a manifestation of the will of Being, the source of wisdom regarding external discipline with regard to one’s behavior, conduct, lifestyle, and environment. It functions as the conscience of the work of transformation by clarifying how one is not living one’s life to support transformation and by offering guidance as to how to get that support.

Support of Any Kind is Always Connected in Essential Experience to Will

The characteristics of solidity, groundedness, immovability, and confidence are the characteristics of Will on the Being level. In fact, we find that support of any kind is always connected in essential experience to Will. (See note 34.) Will is one of the pure forms in which Being manifests, and it is always a sense of groundedness, definiteness, and certainty that provides the self with the confidence and the capacity for commitment and perseverance along the path of transformation. It usually has a sense of purity and sacredness, although it is not a quality commonly considered to be spiritual. The aspect of Will manifests at the beginning stages of the spiritual journey, making possible the student’s true commitment, patience and perseverance. It is one of the several aspects that are central for transformation, like those of Loving Kindness, Strength, Peace, and Joy. Will emerges again in deeper stages of transformation, not only as a specific aspect, but as a whole dimension of Essence, a plane of Being where all aspects manifest as Will. This dimension, which has to do with the question of supporting spiritual transformation, manifests Essence in all its pure qualities—Love, Kindness, Clarity, Strength, Joy, Truth, Peace, Fulfillment, Contentment, and so on—but always as Will. In other words, in this dimension, we experience Love, for instance, with its sweetness and appreciativeness, but also with the characteristics of solidity, definiteness, confidence, and commitment. Love is then experienced as supportive. This kind of experience is not known in the conventional dimension of the self, and it might not make sense from that perspective, but it makes a great deal of sense from the perspective of many spiritual traditions.

Facets of Unity, pg. 260

Support of the Hara

What does having your own support mean in terms of Essence? Its a dimension of Essence called the Diamond Will. It's a deeper thing that has to do with the Hara and the lower belly more than anything else. The Hara is a support and at some point a certain realization, a certain aspect develops there. You feel a sense of solidity, a sense of immensity, a sense of power and firmness that somehow supports you, supports your sense of self. Usually lack of support is experienced in the belly and the lower extremities.

Supports for the Practice of Inquiry

There is an interesting dynamic between the individual and the logos, or logic, of the teaching that can happen as we sincerely engage this particular path. The qualities, dimensions, and vehicles of true nature that arise in our work carry different kinds of wisdom, understanding, and freedom. Our primary practice of inquiring into our immediate experience is ongoing. Inquiry continues in our life all the time. And our other practices—the meditations, the sensing, looking and listening practice, the periods of life practice, and so on all support our ongoing inquiry. These are practices in their own right, and they also are supports for the practice of inquiry. In other words, the inquiry practice that we engage in is embedded in the field of this teaching, both in the experiences we have of true nature and in the other practices of the path. This is important to understand because when we engage any particular practice, we engage the entire logos of that teaching. Because so many teachings are readily available these days, many of us borrow practices from different traditions and do them on our own outside the context of that tradition. But practices contain and express the logos of their teaching, so when they are done outside of that context, they lack the holding, support, and guidance of the larger field of the teaching. So although the practices might be useful in some ways, their impact will be limited. Many have criticized this contemporary phenomenon of sampling practices as being a trivialization and degradation of the original teaching.

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