Inexhaustible Mystery is the last of the five books in the Diamond Heart series. Taken primarily from transcripts of talks given in the author’s popular Diamond Approach groups, the books progress in subtlety and depth in describing the way reality manifests its mysteries in various facets and dimensions, offering understanding of the true nature of reality and the potential for being human.
The book concludes by discussing the inseparability of the five boundless dimensions of reality and points to the truth that enlightenment goes further than the realization of the boundless, empty luminosity and dynamism of true nature. The realization of the empty, boundless ground of reality simply functions as a way station toward a freedom that expands even further, opening up a much more inclusive view of the totality of reality—one that encompasses all realizations without needing to adhere to any of them.
From one perspective, we can see ourselves merely as human beings struggling in a crowded and chaotic world of suffering. This book opens our eyes to a different reality, one that turns our familiar world inside out. We need only explore - with curiosity and love - our true potential as human beings in order to discover infinite depth and creativity in our lives as we act and interact in the world. When time and space expand their meaning, we come to know ourselves as having infinite dimensions of being and qualities of spirit and uncover new mysteries about ourselves, one another, and the reality we live in.
This is the last of the five-volume Diamond Heart series of transcribed and edited talks given by A. H. Almaas to inner-work groups in California and Colorado.
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"We can think of no more significant voice in the transpersonal field than A. H. Almaas. His work is a seamless integration of cutting edge psychology and profound spirituality that addresses the concerns and hopes of contemporary people."
—Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson, authors of Personality Types
"The work of A. H. Almaas places him among the greatest psychologists alive today."
1 - Poor in Spirit
2 - Guest Comes at Night
3 - Sinking Your Boats
4 - Suffering and Cessation
5 - Absolute Absence
6 - Beyond Consciousness
7 - Here’s Looking At You
8 - Living with Truth
9 - Basic Fault
10 - Christ the Logos
11 - The Pattern
12 - Attunement to Reality
13 - Divine Sport
Book Review by Karen Rempel
This fifth and final volume in the Diamond Heart series consists of 13 stand-alone talks about the purity and creative dynamism of reality given by Almaas to students of the Diamond Approach. Delivered with humor, love, and delight, the talks discuss issues and experiences that arise after years of sincere commitment to the inner journey. But even if you are new to spiritual work, the beauty of Almaas’s teaching is that he impacts the reader’s soul in whatever way is appropriate to that soul’s needs in the moment. This loving intelligence in the unfolding of reality is one aspect that Almaas explores in the talks on creative dynamism.
At the 2011 summer retreat at Asilomar, I asked Hameed why he put “the blue eye of God” on the cover of the book. He said he wanted us to think about who is looking at who. Or maybe he said hu is looking at hu. Whether or not his answer was Sufic in nature, there’s no question that the Christian Logos is a theme that threads through the book. In Diamond Heart Book Five more than any of his previous books, Almaas uses the Christian notion of God to explicate the soul’s relationship to the divine and share his understanding of the soul’s journey of transformation.
In the book’s kick-off chapter, “Poor in Spirit,” Almaas deconstructs the Sermon on the Mount to help illuminate the truth of spiritual poverty, which is a doorway to experiencing the purity of reality. Be prepared for a wild ride, for through Almaas’s transmission, you might indeed experience the disorienting and paradoxical freedom of spiritual poverty—the emptiness of self—as you are impacted through reading this book.
I mentioned humor, and there are some passages in the book that really cracked me up:
In the chapter “Suffering and Its Cessation,” Almaas says “In fact, you begin to realize that you are not even going to enjoy the fruits of your work.” This struck me as hilarious; a real laugh-out-loud moment. Because of course most of us are hoping to get some kind of positive enjoyment from doing this work. But true love of the truth doesn’t care about positive or negative, pleasure or pain.
In “Absolute Absence,” a student asked, “If somebody were in that void forever, what would happen to the person sitting next to them?” Almaas replied, “It is very dangerous to sit next to somebody who is in the void forever. That person is like a black hole. They will swallow you if you stay there long enough.” Can you imagine if this happened to you or your neighbor at one of your group’s weekends? Pretty funny stuff.
There is a beautiful description of the ego in “Here’s Looking at You”: “The ego doesn’t die, it transforms…. you can’t kill the ego. There is no separate thing that is the ego. The ego is action, simply an activity that fastens your being, your soul, your psyche, and your self in a particular way. The ego becomes rigid, and fixated, and forms a dry plaster on your gut that restricts the movement of your soul. As the ego dissolves, you experience essence and being more directly.” For me, this passage removes the fear of losing the ego and makes it seem like a gentle, gracious process.
In “Living a True Life,” Almaas offers some practical advice for improving our meditation, which is to deal with our problems so that we don’t have to think about them while we practice. “Instead of spending six months thinking it over during your meditation and then complaining that your meditations are not still, you could simply deal with the issue at hand at whatever level of truth you know.” Brilliant!
Similarly, in “The Unfolding Pattern,” Almaas discusses how being is arising anew in each moment, and because this perspective is outside the chain of cause and effect that is linked to time, we actually are freed of guilt and responsibility. “It does not get you off the hook, though. As long as you experience yourself as a separate self, it is best to take responsibility. If you do not take responsibility, the flow will manifest in darker and more difficult patterns. However, if you take responsibility in a real way, not by feeling guilty but by being responsible in your dealings with the world, the more that responsibility will manifest the flow in a lighter and more illuminating way.” Clearly, a call to step up to the plate and participate fully in our lives.
In the final chapter, “Divine Quintessence,” Almaas shares more recent realizations from his inner journey. The dynamism of reality means that there is no particular condition that is the final state of enlightenment. There is no end-point to the inner journey: the mysteries of reality continue to reveal and express themselves through our individual consciousness. Hence the title, Inexhaustible Mystery. For adventurers on the inner journey, this is exciting news! The adventure continues after we come home.