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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Truth?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Truth

Consciousness Experienced as the Presence of Truth

The specific capacities of our psyche are usually reflections of certain essential qualities that our soul possesses. So we can be bright and clever only because there is an aspect in our soul that is the pure presence of intelligence. And the more this aspect is integrated in our psyche—our soul—the more our understanding and our actions are intelligent. We can also know things in general because pure knowing exists on the essential level, as the Blue aspect. The same is the case with truth. We are able to discern truth—we can know what is true and what is not true in our experience—because inherent in our soul is a quality that is just Truth. Not a particular truth, but the presence of consciousness that is experienced as the presence of Truth. In other words, we can discern truth in experience in general because one pure element of our soul is Truth as such. We can recognize truth because pure Truth is a facet of our nature. The presence of Truth in the soul makes it possible for us to recognize it in everyday experience—whether in a particular situation or in recurring patterns—and on any level of experience.

Essential Truth, the Actual Presence of Spirit

In our path of seeking the truth out of the love of the truth, we encounter many forms and dimensions of truth. At some point we discover the essential truth, the actual presence of spirit, which is our true being. We discover many aspects of this essence and realize these aspects manifest on several dimensions. These dimensions are revealed as the inherent primordial structure of true nature, our essential being and the being of all existence. Each dimension reveals something fundamental to true nature and necessary for our life and experience. Our path unfolds these dimensions in a sequence of increasing subtlety and depth. The deepest and final dimension we find, the dimension that forms the ground of all dimensions, and of all manifestations, the ground of all grounds, is what I refer to as the Absolute.

Everyone's an Expert at Lying to Himself and Others

So let’s see more about truth, lies, compassion, and the relationships between them. I think we know more about lies than anything else. We’re experts. Everyone’s an expert at lying to himself and others. We’ve been doing it for years and years. And it’s very important now to see that attitude we usually have: that truth is our enemy. That’s why there are such things as avoidance, repression, resistance. If we didn’t think that truth was our enemy, we wouldn’t resist and repress our emotions, we wouldn’t try to avoid seeing the truth. Not only that, but usually we aren’t even aware of the fact that we reject that truth, and fight it. If you can see that you resist truth, already one layer of lies is removed.

Exploring “In the Moment”

To love truth for its own sake means that at some point you give yourself over to the truth. This, however, is not a consequence, not a matter of cause and effect. It’s not that you give yourself over to the truth and then the truth reveals itself. It’s not even that you give yourself up to the truth because you love the truth. Loving the truth is giving oneself up to the truth. To love the truth for its own sake means that in the very instant of loving the truth, your self-centeredness has vanished. This is very profound, yet it can be very, very subtle. It means that in the moment I’m exploring, in the moment I’m investigating, I am in an attitude of giving. I am in a non-self-centered attitude. All of my consciousness, all of my attention, is sacrificed for the truth. Even “sacrificed” isn’t correct—it’s more like, “Whatever needs to happen, I am willing to do it.” Frequently, that doesn’t mean sacrificing anything. It’s more that loving the truth for its own sake means an implicit readiness to let go, to give up the self. To give up the self means, “I am willing to not protect myself against the truth. I am willing to not defend or resist.” Most of the time, giving ourselves up to the truth means giving up our defenses, manipulations, positions, and strategies—all the things we use to shore ourselves up or to continue to preserve ourselves. And because loving the truth arises from a place where we are willing to be selfless, we cannot try to figure out how to be selfless. The self cannot figure out how to give itself up, because in the very act of thinking, the self keeps on preserving itself. 

Giving Ourselves Up to the Truth Means Giving Up Defenses

To give up the self means, “I am willing to not protect myself against the truth. I am willing to not defend or resist.” Most of the time, giving ourselves up to the truth means giving up our defenses, manipulations, positions, and strategies – all things we used to shore ourselves up or to continue to preserve ourselves. And because loving the truth arises from the place where we are willing to be selfless, we cannot try to figure out how to be selfless. The self cannot figure out how to give itself up, because in the very act of thinking, the self keeps on preserving itself.

It’s Important that We Don’t Conceptualize What the Truth Is

As always in this teaching, it’s important that we don’t conceptualize what the truth is; we don’t determine what this reality is that we are devoted to. That’s why we simply say it’s the truth and then let the truth reveal itself, whatever it happens to be, instead of saying from the beginning, “It’s God,” or “It’s Brahman,” or whatever religious concept you might choose. We can just leave it as the sacred, as divinity, as purity, as reality, and still be devoted to it in a personal way. And as the feeling of nearness grows, in time this reality, this underlying truth, will reveal its nature to the soul, and what it will reveal is that it is nothing but the soul’s own nature.

So there is this process that takes the individual soul nearer to the divine being or true nature in a personal way, and we work through that personal relationship until it is gone, dissolved, leaving the experience of unity and boundlessness.

Living Reality Loving Its Own Truth

So recognizing and appreciating the fact that motivation is our own personal interpretation of something much more profound, something much more natural, liberates the enlightenment drive to function innocently and purely, without being clothed in the qualities of compassion, love, and service. The enlightenment drive is liberated when we understand how we appropriate its dynamism as our own motivation. The enlightenment drive is the drive of enlightened awareness to become conscious of itself, to manifest and realize itself. In other words, the enlightenment drive is not that we, as individual selves, selflessly love the truth. It is living reality loving its own truth and loving to reveal it.

Living the Life of Truth

To live the life of truth means first to value the truth, and to value knowing the truth. It also means to value the truth such that you make it the center of your life, which means learning to be genuine, authentic, and sincere. At its heart, living the truth is a matter of integrity and respect—for oneself, for others, and for truth itself. The more our life respects and reflects the truth that we know, the more it will take us to ever deeper dimensions of truth, of true nature. There is an interaction, an interrelationship, and an inseparability between understanding the truth and living life. We cannot separate the two. We cannot be ivory tower philosophers and expect to discover truth. It doesn’t work that way, because inquiry is a journey of truth finding that constantly reveals the oneness of Being and life. Our spiritual philosophy must become an action philosophy. We have to let our souls become a manifestation of each truth we discover.

Love of Truth for Its Own Sake is the Expression of Essential Heart

Love of truth for its own sake is actually the expression of essential heart. When one perceives the heart on the Being level, one can recognize that love is the expression of truth. Seeing that a necessary requirement for objectivity, which is usually considered a mental quality, is pure love of truth, which is a heart quality, we observe the organic interrelation between the various aspects of Essence. It is interesting to remember that the beginning of ego has a defensive character, and defense is nothing but hiding a certain truth of experience. So the requirement for inner realization is the converse of the most basic characteristic of the ego; defense and resistance are the enemies of truth, and love is its ally.

Movement of Four Kinds of Objective Truth

To summarize: I have divided objective truth into four kinds, of increasing depth and subtlety: the relative, the essential, the nonconceptual, and the absolute. You can differentiate the kinds of truth in other ways, but that’s one useful way of doing it. And we can say that truth changes according to your situation and perspective. Every perspective has truth, regardless how limited. And this means that it is possible to use a gradual method of investigation that will reveal more truth, deeper truth, more fundamental truth, as the investigation continues. As we have seen, inquiry invites the optimizing dynamism of Being and its guidance, which is its discriminating intelligence. The optimizing force will transform experience from one level to another, and the intelligence will discern the quantic movement of truth through these four levels. So if we follow the truth, the optimizing force will move understanding to deeper dimensions of truth. It will generally go from the relative to the essential, then to the fundamental or nonconceptual, and finally to the absolute.

Practicing Naturally

For a long time we say that we are inquiring because we love the truth for its own sake. But at some point, we are inquiring not because we love the truth but because it is natural to inquire, it is natural to practice—inquiry is simply what Being does. Being practices. Living Being naturally lives and manifests without motivation or goal, without point of origin or point of destination. Being lives, and lives its possibilities, and lives its possibilities consciously as practice—practice that is ceaseless and goalless. Practice simply expresses realization and continues to express realization, where realization is the self-revelation of true nature. The practice that is realization becomes the action of realization, becomes the way we live and express the possibilities of realization. And the practice that is realization is free from the need to end in any particular condition.

Realizing that Everything is the Truth

If you follow the truth, you will get to deeper and more objective truth. And if you keep following the truth, you will get to the deepest and the Ultimate Truth, the Absolute. That is why we always emphasize the truth. If you seek anything else, you might not get to the Absolute. If you seek anything that is not truth, you will get the thing you seek. But if you seek truth and you really want the truth, the truth will be revealed to you. So our perspective here is that we work on all kinds of things. We work on personal things, practical things, day-to-day things. Ultimately we work on these things not for their own sake, but to follow the truth to ultimate reality. What will ultimately satisfy you is the truth. You might not believe me in the beginning, but that doesn’t matter. You will find out on your own if you truly follow the track of truth. When I say that our orientation is to follow truth all the way to the Ultimate Truth, I mean that the inner journey transcends life and death. When we talk about the ultimate or absolute truth, we don’t mean some kind of mysterious thing someplace. In the beginning it might appear that the truth is some kind of distant, mysterious, unknowable thing, maybe at the depth of your heart or at the center of the universe. But the truth is everywhere and is everything. When you realize the absolute truth, you realize everything is the truth. You cannot see that until you realize the Absolute, its reality and its purity. Then you realize there is nothing else. You forget about spiritual experience. You are not spiritual anymore. You become this-worldly instead of otherworldly. You realize that the world is the Absolute. Everything you see is the spirit, the Absolute. There is nothing else.

Relative, Objective, Essential and Nonconceptual Truth

Relative truth means that it is relative to our history—the specific manifestations of relative truth uniquely reflect our personal situation and background experience. When the objective truth is independent of our particular history and situation—that is, when everybody experiences the same truth regardless of personal situation or background—I call it essential truth. That’s when we begin to experience Essence and its various aspects. Essential truth will usually arise when we explore a particular relative truth to the point where it becomes freed from our personal history. What will arise then has nothing to do with our childhood, with our history, but reflects the fundamentals of the human soul. The truth in this case is a manifestation of Essence, a quality of essential presence. It could be the presence of Compassion, of Love, or of Joy, Peace, Clarity, Will, Strength, Truth, Intelligence, and so on. It is objective truth, but it cannot be found in the conventional level of experience, only in the essential level. And when the objective truth, which is now essential, is independent not only of our personal history and background but of all mind and its conceptualizations as well, we call it non-conceptual truth. Non-conceptual truth is independent of the concepts of love, hate, strength, brilliance—of all concepts.

The Hidden Truth of Ego

The perspective of most spiritual teachings is that ego is a falsehood, and hence it must die for there to be truth. We will show that this is true, but that it is not the whole truth. We will show that the ego, with its sense of self and personality, has a truth hidden within its nature, a truth that is not necessarily visible from the transcendent and impersonal state. We will show that ego is a reflection of a truth, an attempt to imitate an absolute and eternal reality. In fact, we will explore how ego is nothing but a failed or aborted attempt at a real development. We will show that ego is a reflection, an imperfect one indeed, but still a reflection of true reality, the reality of the true human being. We will see that by understanding ego, rather than transcending it, we can understand and actualize the reality of what it is to be a human being. Only through this understanding and realization can we see what human life is. We will see that this truth that ego tries to emulate is what most people are seeking in their personal life, and that realizing this truth of what it is to be a human being is the aim of humanity.

The Shift in Attitude Needed to Do the Work

The correct perspective from which you can do this work is always to be aware of whether you are interested in the truth of what is happening right now, or whether you are trying to achieve something. Are you doing the work now to acquire something, to arrive at a certain goal, or are you doing it because you love the truth? This is a shift in attitude that is needed for us to finally understand the hopelessness of the situation. You are caught and divided because you still have hope that things will be different. That hope creates desire, the desire creates rejection of what is there, the rejection of what is there creates division, the division creates conflict, the conflict creates suffering, the suffering then creates searching. The searching creates more rejection and more conflict and the cycle continues.

The Soul is Fundamentally Faithful to the Truth but She is Ignorant

Truth is the fundamental ground of our soul, so the soul is fundamentally faithful to the truth. She always lives and acts out what she believes to be true. Yes we frequently act out of lies and falsehoods, but this is because the soul believes that they are true. When we act out being a little deficient kid for an instance, it is because the soul believes that she is a little deficient kid. When we act from anger, we really believe that the truth is that we should act out of anger. The difficulty is not that the soul loves or likes falsehood, but that she takes falsehood as truth and lives it out faithfully. For example, the soul will not let go of identification with the ego because the soul is totally convinced that this is who she is. The soul is convinced that she is the body, that she is this person, and so this is what she is going to live, act out, and defend until death. The soul is, in a word, ignorant.

The Truth Aspect of Essence is a Heart Quality

Truth is really more the realm of the heart than the realm of the mind. When you discover the truth aspect of Essence, you find it is a heart quality. The depth of the heart is truth. Truth is not a mental thing. Truth is something that exists and the quality of truth in Essence is something you experience in your heart. What makes you know that something is true is a sense in the heart - not in the mind. The mind can investigate, but cannot give you the sense of truth.

The Truth is Now and Your Life is Now

When you take the attitude of truth, you will understand that pain and suffering will increase for a while because what you've been rejecting will start manifesting. This will happen until you understand it. Then things will change. Things will change, but the change will be slower if you are interested in the change. The change will be facilitated if your interest is in the truth. The truth is nothing mysterious. The truth is always what is there, your experience at that moment, not in the past and not in the future. The truth is now, and your life is now.

There is an Absolute Truth that Makes Relative Truth True

There is an absolute truth that makes relative truth true. You know that the relative truth—that I am disappointed because I lost my job, that I don’t like the fact that there’s no snow today—is true because there is a scent of absolute truth in it. It is what gives you the conviction, the certainty. When you follow the thread of absolute truth, you come to the whole truth, which is nothing but the truth of you. It is Essence. That’s why you feel closer to yourself. That’s why you feel more satisfaction, more intimate with yourself. So the truth will set you free. There is a simple reason why seeing the truth, especially the truth about ourselves, leads us to this intimacy and satisfaction. We are generally kept apart from our true selves by false ideas about ourselves. Seeing the truth often involves seeing through these false ideas, allowing us to recognize the deeper reality which we are. Thus knowing the facts will free you from your emotional reactions, and being free from your emotional reactions will free that part of you that is truth. When you seek truth, you seek yourself. The truth will set you free by allowing you to be yourself.

Truth Has It's Own Existence

As we get more present in our bodies, in our bellies, we can get closer to our Essence which is truth, which is what makes us know what is true, what is false, not from logical deduction, or from the unconscious. You just know. You are close to that subtle sense which is truth. After a while you see that for you, truth is no longer a judgment of certain situations or statements, but has an existence of its own. Essence is truth, then. Then you will know where that satisfaction and joy has been coming from, every time you feel the truth in you, the truth about you in a situation. All this work we do on seeing the truth has been to lead to that truth, the truth of Essence.

Truth is Not Accessible Except to the One Who Wants to Do All that is Required

Think of living as a mature human being in terms of the truth—the truth is the basic thread, the basic element, the unifier, because it is the heart of the whole matter. If you do not want the truth, you cannot get the truth. It is of the very nature of truth that you cannot lie to yourself about the truth. You cannot try to get truth by pretending that you want it when you don’t want it, because then what you get is falsehood. So a person who gets the truth is a person who is worthy of the truth. A person is worthy of the truth if he or she prefers, wants, and loves the truth for its own sake, more than anything else. Otherwise, what you get is something else. Truth is not accessible except to the one who wants to do all that is required. Otherwise, the veils and illusions of the idealized preconceptions remain in the way. Who is interested in spending the time, the energy, the effort, without complaining, with a great deal of graciousness and generosity? Only that person will be able to realize the truth. Without this level of effort, it just will not happen; it does not have to happen. No one says that every human being should live for the truth. For many people, it is not of interest, it is not what they want. They want something else, which is fine. If an individual is interested more in stabilizing around some kind of security, or in achieving a certain accomplishment or some kind of recognition or whatever, that is fine. It is fine; but this is not the interest of the Work. A person would need to go to a different kind of teacher or school to help them get those things. They are certainly valid things to want and to have. However, a work school like ours is oriented towards accomplishing something specific. It is not oriented towards giving a person pleasure or security or recognition or love, or anything like that. That is not our concern. We do not judge these things as good or bad. That is just not our orientation.

Truth is Ultimately a Presence, a Self-Existing Quality of Being

Truth is one of the aspects of Essence, which expresses its property of essential Truth as the very existence of Truth, rather than as Truth related to some object or idea. This aspect reveals that Truth is ultimately a Presence, a self-existing quality of Being, and not only a quality which qualifies something else. Truth is then experienced as a dense and substantial Presence, solid and real. It is a Presence that has luster, warmth, intimacy, and realness. It is a solidity that is not corrupted by lies and falsehood, but can expose all lies and falsehood. Although it is dense and solid like gold, Truth possesses heart qualities like warmth and intimacy.

Truth Loving Itself

As I said, it is challenging to see that the true motivation is no motivation. It’s difficult to face that the true force that makes practice happen, that expresses practice, that engages the path, that engages the teaching, that uses all the various practices, is not our heartfelt motivation. Our heartfelt motivations, regardless of how deeply we feel them, are not what drive the revelation of truth. When you feel, “I have this very deep, profound, selfless compassion and motive to really help all these people,” you are full of delusion. You are full of compassion too, but it is adulterated, it is mixed with delusion. When we love truth for its own sake, it is actually truth loving itself. It is truth manifesting in our consciousness, manifesting its love for its reality to appear. We experience that through the lens of the individual self as, “I love truth for its own sake.” Although this orientation is definitely an advance over not loving truth and over loving truth for our own sake, it still is incomplete. The love of truth is not ours, or is ours only in proxy. So the issue we are dealing with here is appropriation—how we appear, cohere, and persevere through appropriating these things that don’t belong to us. We never imagined that the love didn’t belong to us. We didn’t know that we were appropriating. We thought that we were knowing and describing reality.

Truth Seen as a Dynamic Revelation of Knowledge and Understanding

Truth is an intuition for many people, and it is usually relative to the accuracy of an idea or assertion about something. But as it arose up in Hameed’s experience, he discovered the sense and feeling of truth itself apart from any specific content – simply as an unmistakeable quality of consciousness. In the Diamond Approach, love for the truth is the central feature that guides the method along the way. “Truth for its own sake” means that truth is not for any end other than for each of us to uncover what is next to be discerned, revealed and understood. This makes truth a dynamic revelation of knowledge and understanding.. Thus the solid gold of the heart truth leads to greater freedom. The perfect blend of warmth of heart and crispness of mind guides us both beyond the heart and mind from the subjective, conventional realm and into new vistas. Here it is understood that discovering the truth is not a single, static or final experience but rather the action of love and discernment in a continuous expedition of rending the veils.

The Jeweled Path, pg. 120

Truth, Ultimately, is Formless

That flow is like an attraction . . . and that attraction is love. When that attraction, that love, looks at something else and loves it, that is normal, earthly love. You love a person, an object, a situation. I’m not saying that you shouldn't, but it’s good to know that you're loving them because they partially reveal the truth. And the more something reveals itself, the more you will naturally tend to love it. But remember, any manifestation, any form, even though it may reveal the truth, will also hide it. The truth ultimately is formless; the moment it becomes a form, it will become a veil. That is one of the beauties of the ultimate mystery: You can never say, “Here it is” and describe it in detail. You could do that, but the more you do it, the more you create a veil. Even to say that the ultimate truth is the Absolute—what does that mean? It doesn't describe anything. Or when we say that the ultimate truth is emptiness, what does that mean? It doesn’t mean that nothing is there. “Mystery” is the word I like to use, and the other is “indeterminate”—not in the sense that you can't know anything about ultimate truth, but rather that the knowing is inexhaustible. The more you know, the more you are aware that your knowledge is still limited.

Love Unveiled, pg. 91

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