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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Wanting?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Wanting

A Condition of Presence where there is No Care, No Conflict, No Fear

I’ve talked about how the presence of divine love and its sweetness can manifest in us as a wanting of it, a longing for it, a yearning for it. It evokes a longing for merging and union. However, we can see now that there’s another kind of longing that is closer to the truth of divine love—it’s not just the wanting and yearning for union, but a wanting and yearning for the freedom from care that this love brings. Because that is more what this state is: a condition of presence where there is no care, no conflict, no fear, no insecurity, and no need to worry about anything. So the longing for a carefree condition reflects the longing for divine love. I’ll read you something from my journal, from around the time I was learning about divine love. It will give you an idea of what can happen when this longing arises, one possible story of its unfolding.

Completely Accepting Whatever the Universe Manifests Through You

Understanding Holy Will gives you a foundational basis for spiritual practice. It shows you that to come into alignment with ultimate truth is to first recognize how you are interfering with your reality, how you are in the way, how you believe that you are a separate individual with your own will. Rather than being oriented toward achieving a certain state of consciousness, a practice that makes sense must be oriented toward freedom from wanting certain states. True freedom is not the realization of a certain dimension; true liberation is to be free from all dimensions. It is the freedom of completely accepting whatever the universe manifests through you. If it is manifesting through you as love, or as the Absolute, then that’s how it is manifesting. If it is manifesting as anger or fear, that is how the universe is manifesting. As an individual, your task is not to choose what happens, but to comply to the extent of recognizing that it is not even possible to choose. This is a complete reversal of the position of the ego.

Facets of Unity, pg. 126

Experiencing Love and Desire as a Unified Force

When we allow ourselves to fully experience our wanting, and we trust that the wanting itself has the intelligence to reveal the pure energy of desire that underlies it, we get a taste of what it’s like to feel love and desire as a unified force. We experience both the feeling of love and the power that is in it. And we don’t even have to fall in love for that to happen. Falling in love is one condition that helps us to experience love and desire as a unified force, one of the main ways of experiencing divine eros. But the capacity to experience divine eros is a potential that lives in all of us, whether or not we are sharing love with another person. This loving desire, which is often first ignited by our human relationships, is a characteristic of all real love relationships including our relationship to true nature. When we feel the desire to know our nature, we may not conceptualize that desire in those words. A flame is lit, and we experience the wish to know more, see more, be more, feel more. We want to become more consciously aware of what we internally sense to be our potential. We want to discover the depth and meaning in life and existence. As the presence of something beyond awakens in us, a desire to be close to that something also awakens; a wanting to find out about it arises. It might begin as an interest, but some sort of desire is present even in an intellectual interest. A little intellectual desire can open us up and become a draw toward experiencing what is beyond our conventional perspective.

Greed is a Characteristic of Insatiable Desire

Let's use a simple example to illustrate this point. Let's take one of the deepest characteristics of the personality, greed. This quality of wanting more and more, of never having enough, has always been observed in the personality and has been criticized and condemned by almost all systems and teachers. Greed has generally been viewed from a materialistic perspective and not much attempt has been made to understand it objectively. Let's apply to this example our perspective that each characteristic of the personality is a false substitute for a characteristic of the essence. The personality usually wants what the essence is, but sees it as outside and also sees it in a distorted way. We saw these factors in our discussion of the merging essence. The personality wants to get the merging essence from outside and imagines it as some kind of a completely fulfilling contact with another being. But the resolution of this desire is an aspect of essence that exists inside us, as us. Greed is wanting more and more from outside. Also, greed is not the desire for something in particular; it is a characteristic of insatiable desire. So it must be a reflection of a characteristic of essence per se and not of a particular essential aspect. It must function as an attempt to fill the hole, the deficiency resulting from the loss of this characteristic of essence.

Stopping Wanting

Wanting things a certain way, wanting things to be different, wanting to change yourself, wanting your situation to change, wanting feelings to change is not an effective approach, because you can only want things to change according to what you know. What needs to happen is something you don't know and the only way it can happen is for you to stop the movement of trying to change things and just let yourself be open and say, "I don't know what is supposed to happen. Why don't I stop all this business and just allow things to happen." If anything new is going to happen, it's got to come from somewhere else, not from your ideas about things.

The Natural Movement of Change is an Unfoldment

Wanting things a certain way, wanting things to be different, wanting to change yourself, wanting your situation to change, wanting feelings to change is not an effective approach, because you can only want things to change according to what you know. What needs to happen is something you don’t know and the only way it can happen is for you to stop the movement of trying to change things and just let yourself be open and say, “I don’t know what’s supposed to happen. Why don’t I stop all this business and just allow things to happen.” If anything new is going to happen, it’s got to come from somewhere else, not from your ideas about things. What we are doing, in effect, is trying to learn how to get used to flying an airplane, when all we are used to is driving a Rabbit. If you understand what I am saying, you’ll see that there is no other way. If you continue doing things the same way as you always have, you can only produce the same results. It is understandable that you want to change. Change is natural. Change is the actual state of reality. Reality is always in flux, in constant change and transformation. Life is change, continual movement and transformation and renewal. When it is allowed to unfold, life is always fresh and new. Creativity is the movement of life. When you allow yourself to be, instead of trying to change, you become a creative person. Life is creativity, unfoldment, transformation, in ways you can’t even imagine yet. Wanting to change has nothing to do with change. Trying to change has nothing to do with the natural movement of change. The natural movement of change is an unfoldment. It’s not something you can direct.

The Part of You that is Always Wanting to be Filled from the Outside

If you continue observing and exploring your feelings around the issue of love, you’ll discover a certain deficiency. You’ll find that the need for love is an expression of a part of you that feels deficient and empty. It is always wanting to be filled from the outside. If you stay with that wanting, allow yourself to feel the desire for love deeply, you’ll feel the deficiency, the hole of love, and you’ll experience the hole as the result of the loss of your own love when you were a child. This will bring up the hurt of not being loved, the deep wound; if you allow yourself to experience this wound fully, it will become like a fountain, a fountain from which love flows. You will experience the aspect of essence that is love. This was the missing piece that had to do with the issue of love. Now you have love—not from the outside, but from your own essence. Experiencing this essential aspect of love erases the need to fill that emptiness from the outside just as space or the void resolved the issue around self-image.

The Passion to Give and Receive Love

When you really let yourself want something and you bring your focus back to the experience of the wanting itself, at some point you start to feel that you are alive with wanting. You are fully alive with an energetic, bubbling, sparkling, effulgent wanting: “Oh my God, this feels really good. I feel alive. I am finally letting myself feel this thing that I haven’t let myself feel since the day that person rejected me . . . or the time when this thing didn’t happen . . . or the day I was so disappointed when I didn’t get that thing I worked so hard for.” If you keep allowing that feeling, the focus on the outer drops away and you are able to feel the feeling of pure desire itself. Desire has a bubbling, energetic quality that has a fullness to it, a full, dynamic feeling. It is sparkling, bright, tingly, effervescent. Getting in touch with that energy is a way to unleash the fullness and sufficiency of the sense of divine eros that is naturally a giving. A transformation begins to happen: Your desire is no longer just about wanting to pull something toward you. You feel passionate, but your focus is no longer on getting your needs met by some outside object. Now you don’t just want to get love, you also want to give yourself, to pour yourself out: “I’m giving this all that I have and all that I am!!” Desire becomes a moving out of yourself toward what you love. The love you feel is overflowing, and now it is also full and sweet. All of the possibilities and potentials of being in touch with your own energy allow the love to flower. The love fills out the desire with itself.

Transformation of Our Wanting Into the Pure Energy of Desire

Desire, on any level you feel it, has a real energy to it, doesn’t it? It is not something you are blasé about. No, when you want something, you feel an urgency, an intensity: “I really, really want this, even though I may not let anyone see that.” You want it so much that you want to grab it fully, completely. If you really allow those feelings, you feel your whole body full of desire, and you want to eat up that object of your wanting—“It’s mine!” Our wanting usually is quite self-centered to begin with, which is one reason why we might resist feeling it. But we need to allow ourselves to be in the condition in which our desire initially arises. It always begins with somebody wanting something. Good! There’s a self that wants something! Feel it. Don’t push it away. We are not pursuing some spiritual ideal of becoming a selfless being who doesn’t want anything. It is the truth we are after. If this is what is there, we must confront it and understand it. We don’t yet know that our wanting can be transformed into the pure energy of desire, but if we suppress our feelings at any point along the way, we lose the opportunity to focus on the truth of our experience, to find out more about what it means.

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