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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Wisdom?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Wisdom

1. What is wisdom?

Wisdom is how we live our realization. We are wise when our actions and attitudes express the understanding that comes from our spiritual maturation and realizations. Wisdom is true knowledge and understanding expressed in life, in our actions and interactions. In how we relate to others, events and the world at large. - A. H. Almaas - January 1, 2021

As You Experience the Wisdom Vehicles and the Nondual Dimensions Your View Continues to Expand

And as you experience the wisdom vehicles and the nondual dimensions, your view continues to expand. Boundless love makes you realize that love oozes from everything, that love is the ground that manifests and bathes reality. Your whole view of humanity, of human beings, of your own history, of your perspective about reality and what is important, shifts in a dramatic way. And then, when you discover the dimension of pure awareness, you see that everything is awareness, that awareness is fundamental to existence and to all of us. Your view changes again, and the view that awareness is the primordial nature of everything dominates your experience. Then you discover emptiness. If you realize what I refer to as the absolute, you understand emptiness and realize that there is no awareness without emptiness. Without emptiness, awareness would be as dense as concrete; but because of emptiness, awareness has no impediment, has nothing in its way. Emptiness is what gives awareness its transparency. When you recognize that emptiness liberates awareness from all its impediments, your view changes again. You feel that if you don’t see and experience the emptiness of everything, you are not only missing out, you are also not truly free.

Basic Knowledge Revealed as the Discriminating Awareness of Being, the Wisdom of Discrimination

Inquiry itself is knowledge in action; it uses ordinary knowledge in conjunction with our innate intelligence to open up basic knowledge. It is informed by knowledge, is open to knowledge, and invites further knowledge. Knowledge in action is both inquiry and understanding, which is also the unfoldment of Being. We can say that understanding liberates basic knowledge from the rigid patterning of ordinary knowledge, freeing it to unfold according to its own intrinsic patterning, which we experience as inherent discriminating wisdom. To put it succinctly, ordinary knowledge is carried by thoughts whereas basic knowledge is carried by perception. Ordinary knowledge cannot be separated from thoughts, and basic knowledge cannot be separated from perception. Inquiry is the action of the optimizing thrust of Being’s intelligent dynamism that opens up basic knowledge, liberating it from the cramping influence of ordinary knowledge. When basic knowledge is liberated from the filter of ordinary knowledge, it reveals itself as the discriminating awareness of Being, the wisdom of discrimination. In other words, we recognize that this inherent discrimination is the source of discrimination in basic knowledge, and hence in ordinary knowledge.

Essence Provides Wisdom that Cannot be Provided by Anything Else

In time, this attitude of openness and allowing becomes a part of your daily life. You acquire an overall understanding of how feelings and events relate to each other, how things work, what makes you feel love at some times and not at other times. This understanding isn’t just in your mind; it becomes part of how you act, part of how you are. You are not identified with your personality; you are open to understanding what your feelings are about, whether they bring you pleasure or pain. This is the implicit understanding: knowing, and acting on the knowledge that essence has a wisdom which can be imparted to the personality and thus transform it, releasing the barriers against the deeper understanding. Essence teaches you in a fundamental way; it provides wisdom that cannot be provided by anything else. If you are totally present for the essential aspect of love, it will be obvious that love is anchored in you, that it has no prejudices, no preference, no selfishness. Gradually, you come to understand that the personality itself, with its characteristics, its tendencies, and its preferences, is the problem. If you relate to essence from the perspective of the personality, of wanting only what makes you feel good and not questioning it, of not wanting what makes you feel bad and not questioning that either, you feed the tendency of the personality for greed; you make your personality more opaque. Lacking some essential quality, not having something like love or value or joy, is not the problem. The continual presence of the personality with its patterns is the problem. And that can change only if you learn from essence, if you allow your personality to be transparent to essence, regardless of what feeling is there.

Facets of Enlightened Consciousness

Other facets are the wisdom of infinite expanse, the wisdom of mirror-like awareness, the wisdom of equality, and the all-accomplishing wisdom.

Holy Wisdom

In my mind, unlike the definitions of some of the other Holy Ideas, this one is very lucid. Holy Wisdom is the wisdom of egoless living. It is the wisdom of how to be, how to live, and how to work; so this wisdom is not exactly knowledge. It is a way of seeing reality in relation to the passage of time, since living includes the concept of time. When we talk about living, we are not referring to just this moment and that moment. The understanding of Holy Wisdom tells us how we can be free within the ongoingness of living. This understanding provides the correct orientation for spiritual practice, which once perfected, will in time become free living. Appreciating this Holy Idea is crucial for understanding spiritual methods in general, but we will focus here on its relevance in the Diamond Approach. 

Facets of Unity, pg. 168

Learning Wisdom through Directly Understanding Our Experience

Being seen, being known, being recognized and discerned, invites True Nature to further reveal what it is. It reveals its treasures, its fullness, its perfection. That knowingness liberates, because it helps us to see what we are, what we’re doing, and how things work. That’s what is meant by becoming wise. We are more consistently able to recognize when we are rejecting or interfering with our experience and are more able to stop doing that. We become more and more capable of letting ourselves be who we are and what we are—our True Nature. So in our practice we are learning to be wise. We’re learning wisdom through directly understanding our experience.

Ordinary and Prevalent Cultural Wisdom

We are lost because all we have when we begin the journey is what everybody else in society has: a package of experiences, beliefs, and ideas absorbed from the culture and from our parents. All these are expressions of the conventional dimension, the ordinary and prevalent cultural wisdom. This wisdom is not bad, but it usually does not deal with or originate from the deeper dimensions. And we cannot guide ourselves by using the kind of knowledge that comes from the mind that is the product of this conventional dimension. If the guidance comes from the same dimension you are operating in, it is not true guidance yet—at most, it is a limited guidance. True guidance means insight, understanding, discernment, and indications originating from a source beyond where you are, from the dimension you move into as your spiritual experience develops. Unless guidance comes from that source beyond, we keep moving from one place in the conventional dimension to another place in the same dimension. We haven’t got the vaguest idea of what awaits us, of what is possible in our potential. We don’t know the extent, the depth, the infinite possibilities that lie underneath the surface. So we tend to judge everything by our knowledge, attitudes, and feelings that come from that surface. We don’t know that by taking that knowledge to be final knowledge, we identify with the very barriers that prevent the depth from emerging and guiding us. This is why the conventional dimension is a state of spiritual sleep, of being spiritually lost.

Origin of the Knowledge Specific to the Diamond Approach

Most of the knowledge specific to the Diamond Approach originates directly from the diamond vehicles, and their dimension of essential diamonds, with their associated universal wisdom. This is the most direct and concrete reason we call our work the Diamond Approach. And it is the main reason why we recognize this approach as a path of wisdom, for it is the teaching of these essential vehicles of wisdom.

The Personal Essence is the Essential Aspect that Embodies the Wisdom of Living in the World

Our exploration in this book has shown us that ego development is part of a larger process, leading to the realization of the Personal Essence. This indicates that the process of cathecting the body (and its world), if it continues to its completion, will result in the development of the Personal Essence. The Personal Essence contains all the true learning of the individuality of ego. The Personal Essence is the essential aspect that embodies the wisdom of living in the world. When the Personal Essence is developed, however, the identity is no longer connected exclusively with the body. The body is recognized for what it is: the external and physical manifestation of the Personal Essence. Thus the process that ultimately leads to the realization of the Personal Essence begins with self-realization in childhood; i.e., with the Essential Self, and ends with the Personal Essence, the essential person. Between these essential poles, the ego development makes up the rest of the process. In this way, Being acquires the wisdom of the world. It can now live in the world, although it is fundamentally not “of” it. Thus the realization of the Personal Essence can be understood to be the way that Being learns to be in the world. The Personal Essence is the aspect of Being that embodies the wisdom of the world.

Wisdom is Connected with the Integration of What You Have Learned and What You Have Experienced

Maturing is living according to the wisdom gained from regression, which is more of a shedding of accumulated concepts about reality. Shall I repeat it? If you have learned from the regression, and that is incorporated in the way you live, that is maturity. Maturity is connected with wisdom, and wisdom is connected with the integration of what you have learned and what you have experienced. If you have not integrated what you learned from experience, then there is no wisdom. When experience is integrated, it becomes wisdom; wisdom is living according to what you have learned. When you live according to what you have learned, you are mature.

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