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Trust (Basic Trust)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Trust (Basic Trust)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Trust (Basic Trust)

Attuning to Reality

Basic trust is the soul's way of attuning to a fundamental law of reality, the fact that our sense of existing as a separate and isolated entity is false, that our ego experience of isolation and helplessness is an illusion based on identification with the world of physical manifestation. Knowing that we are all part of one reality means that our true nature is not defined by ego experience in the physical body and cannot be fundamentally hurt or destroyed. If the individual soul is in touch with this reality of non-separateness, then it will reflect that by functioning in a way that expresses this knowledge.

Facets of Unity, pg. 24

Basic Trust Enables You to Completely Stay with Experience

As we have seen, when you are trying to make something happen, you are not trusting the natural order; you don't trust that Essence itself will manifest in the way it is needed. The first point of departure from this trust is always a rejection of the now. To apply the perspective of basic trust, of true will, you must have the complete confidence that staying completely with what you are experiencing in this moment, will result in what needs to happen, without your having to think about a certain outcome. When the confidence is there, your awareness of exactly what is happening in you will allow you to see that your organism will do the best it can in the situation. Your mind, however, doesn't allow that complete Presence in the now; it thinks it knows what is best for you, but of course it knows only what has happened in the past, and can lead you only in ways conditioned by your history.

Basic Trust is an Innate, Unquestioned and Preverbal Confidence in Reality

The inadequacy of the early holding environment leads not only to the loss of contact with Being, as reflected in the loss of a particular Holy Idea, but also to the loss of basic trust, which is an innate, unquestioned, and preverbal confidence in reality. This loss leads to specific distrustful reactions determined not only by the inadequacy of the holding environment, but by the particular delusion that results from the loss of the particular Holy Idea. The specific delusion, the specific reaction of distrust, and the particular way in which the self experiences the inadequacy of the holding environment (the specific difficulty, which is again qualitatively determined by the particular delusion), form the elements of each fixation’s particular core. These three elements develop simultaneously as a consequence of the loss of Being, which results, at least partially, from the inadequacy of the early holding environment. 

Facets of Unity, pg. 14

Basic Trust is Preconceptual, Preverbal and Pre-Differentiation

If this jumping into the abyss is easy, one’s transformation tends to happen easily. But if this letting go of past identities is difficult—very painful or excessively fraught with fear—one will tend to hold on to the old, staying aligned with one’s ego. What makes the difference is the presence of a certain kind of trust that we call basic trust. It is an unspoken, implicit trust that what is optimal will happen, the sense that whatever happens will ultimately be fine. It is the confidence that reality is ultimately good; that nature, the universe, and all that exists are of their very nature good and trustworthy; that what happens is the best that can happen. Basic trust is a nonconceptual confidence in the goodness of the universe, an unquestioned implicit trust that there is something about the universe and human nature and life that is inherently and fundamentally good, loving, and wishing us the best. This innate and unformulated trust in life and reality manifests as a willingness to take that plunge into the abyss. When this trust is deep, it manifests in how you live your life, not necessarily in what you feel or what you think. Basic trust is experienced as an unquestioned sense of safety and security that is intrinsic to the way you act and live. When deeply present, this trust is so much a part of the fabric of your soul that it is not something you think about—it is preconceptual, preverbal, pre-differentiation. Furthermore, it is so basic that events and circumstances in your life cannot disrupt it. For this reason, basic trust is different from our usual psychological sense of trust. Our ordinary confidence in people and situations is highly conditional and dependent on familiarity and reliability. Painful experiences or personal betrayals can disrupt our trust in the external and internal elements of our life. So ordinary trust is of little value for stepping into the unknown because those elements are always subject to change.

Facets of Unity, pg. 22

If Basic Trust is Present the Soul Will More Easily Settle Into Simply Being

So if basic trust is present, the soul will more easily let go of old structures, will more easily settle into simply being, and will tend to let its process unfold without interference, which will lead naturally toward essential development. Without basic trust, the attitude of ego will predominate; the soul will lack implicit confidence in her life and process. The ego will try to take things into its own hands and manipulate, pushing things one way or the other, resulting in the further isolation and entrenchment of ego. Basic trust is an inherent condition of the soul. Your soul has basic trust like your bones have calcium. It is that fundamental, that basic to the nature of the soul. It is beyond nonconceptual; it is not even an experience. Rather, it gives our experience a sense of ease, of safety and security, with a carefree state in the mind. A lack of basic trust is evident in all the insecurities of ego. Like all qualities which involve a sense of support, the presence of the quality which underlies basic trust tends to remain unconscious or implicit until its absence is felt. And since ego structures and activity are connected with the sense of the lack of trust, the focus of the personality will be on this lack, on fear, on worrying and planning and compensating for the perceived lack of support. This is why we can say that this quality is inherent in the soul while at the same time the sense of a lack of support predominates in one’s conscious experience. 

Facets of Unity, pg. 26

The Innate Sense that Life is Fundamentally Benevolent

The presence of basic trust indicates that you have the innate sense that life is fundamentally benevolent, and that benevolence exists independent of you and your actions. You will have this sense to the extent that your grounding in the universe has not been disturbed. The relative presence or absence of basic trust is a belly quality, something one’s whole being is either grounded in or not. The disturbance of basic trust is a significant factor in ego development because the perspective of ego is diametrically opposed to the sense of basic trust. The ego’s perspective arises out of a lack of this trust. It is based on distrust, on paranoia, on fear, on the conviction that you're not going to be adequately taken care of and that the universe is not there to hold and take care of you in the ways that you need. This conviction causes you to believe that you have to engage in all kinds of manipulations and games to get your needs met and to make things work out.

Facets of Unity, pg. 25

Trusting the Dynamism of the Inquiry

In time, you develop basic trust and you learn to trust the dynamism of the inquiry. This will happen as result of several things: first, clearly recognizing the optimizing force in the dynamism of your own unfolding; second, truly seeing that optimization is the nature of the dynamism; and third, having faith that the optimizing is occurring even when you can’t feel it in the moment. Then you are trusting the guidance and the unfoldment. Basic trust – the knowing that you just need to relax and things will work out fine – is an automatic result of this developing knowledge of reality.

With Basic Trust You Take Risks

When you have a lot of basic trust, you are courageous and authentic. You take risks. You don't sit on your capacities. You engage in life wholeheartedly, doing what feels appropriate to you with the confidence that it will work out. Without much basic trust, you are paralyzed with fear of failure and fear of rejection.

Facets of Unity, pg. 28

Without Basic Trust We Live Our Lives Defensively

If basic trust informs your experience, your psyche is relaxed. Your soul is at peace with itself and with your situation, resting in the unquestioned confidence that the universe provides, that you have, and will receive, what you really need, and that things are workable. If we really have this trust, this deep inner relaxation, it becomes possible to live our lives out of love, out of an appreciation of life, out of enjoyment in what the universe provides for us, and out of compassion and kindness for others and ourselves. Without it, we live our lives defensively, in conflict with others and with ourselves, becoming self-centered and egoistic. To find our basic trust is to reconnect with our natural state that we have become separated from. When we are innately infused by reality, our soul or consciousness is completely transparent to the truth that we and the universe are one, that we are supported by reality and that reality is by its very nature good, and that what happens is inevitably right since it emerges out of that inherent perfection. When you understand this, it becomes obvious why it is so difficult to relax and let go, and why it is so important regain our basic trust.

Facets of Unity, pg. 32

Without Basic Trust We React According to Our Conditioning

Now we can see how the presence or absence of basic trust is crucial to the initial step in the process of the transformation of any sector of the ego. This step is only completed by giving up the particular structure we have been holding on to. Basic trust gives you the capacity and the willingness to let go of the images, identifications, structures, beliefs, ideas, and concepts -- the remnants of the past that make up the ego. Implicit in this initial step is the second one: If you are able to surrender, then you are willing to be. You are willing to not try to change things, to not manipulate them, to not push and pull at them. You are willing to just be present, which is a sort of realization itself. First, then, is the death of the old; second is the realization of Being. If you don't have basic trust, you will react to what arises in accordance with your conditioning and will want your process to go one way or another. You won’t let yourself just be present; you’ll be tense and contracted. So basic trust is needed for you to be able to allow the ego to die, and also for you to be willing to just be, without reacting.

Facets of Unity, pg. 26

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