Over the past twenty-five years A. H. Almaas—widely recognized as a leader in integrating spirituality and psychology—has been developing and teaching the Diamond Approach, a spiritual path that integrates the insights of Sufism, Buddhism, Gurdjieff, and other wisdom traditions with modern psychology. In this new work, Almaas uses the metaphor of a "spacecruiser" to describe a method of exploring the immediacy of personal experience—a way of investigating our moment-by-moment feelings, thoughts, reactions, and behaviors through a process of open-ended questioning. The method is called the practice of inquiry, and Spacecruiser Inquiry reveals what it means to engage with this practice as a spiritual path: its principles, challenges, and rewards.
Inquiry as it is practiced in the Diamond Approach is a dynamic, exciting, open-ended exploration into the immediacy of our experience. Through exploring the principles, challenges, and rewards of inquiry, this book reveals what it means to engage in this practice as a spiritual path that opens the door to the mystery of who and what we truly are.
The practice of inquiry is based on a simple but profound principle: that Being freely reveals itself to anyone who loves to know the truth of reality and is willing to wholeheartedly surrender to not-knowing and remain open and curious about what that truth is. Practice based on this principle can take one from the simplest discovery about one’s motivation in a particular action all the way to the most profound awareness of the nature of the Absolute reality.
The author explores basic elements of inquiry, including the open-ended attitude, the focus on direct knowledge, the experience of not-knowing, and the process of questioning. He describes the experience of "Diamond Guidance"—the inner wisdom that emerges from our true nature—and how it can be realized and applied.
Being manifests itself to itself through us, as human beings. In us, Being beholds its beauty and celebrates its majesty. Our experience of ourselves in our totality and our tangibility is what in the Diamond Approach we mean by the term soul. The soul is what experiences, and it is the lived experience itself. It is the inner, psychic organism, the individual consciousness that is the site of all experience. The human soul is pure potentiality, the potentiality of Being. It is also the way that Being, in all its magnificence, opens up and manifests its richness.
To experience the richness of our Being, the potential of our soul, we must allow our experience to become more and more open, and increasingly question what we assume we are. Usually we identify with a very limited part of our potential, what we call the ego or personality. Some call it the small self. But this identity is actually a distortion of what we really are, which is a completely open flow out of the mystery of Being. - A. H. Almaas
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"Almaas is one of the most significant voices for a new and remarkably integrated spiritual vision. His work connects the personal, the universal, the psychological, and the spiritual not as pieces to put together, but as the inseparable mandala of the sacred that we are." -Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart and After the Ecstasy, the Laundry
"Readers of Almaas' previous books will not be disappointed. This new work is intended as a practical guide to applying the methodology of the Diamond Approach to personal inquiry. The true power of this book lies in its ability to address 'a part of us that does not inhabit the words in our mind but lives disguised in the varied content of our life.' " -NAPRA Review
PART ONE: Mystery and Inquiry
1. Why Inquire?
2. Openness in Inquiry
3. The Adventure of Being
4. Spacecruiser Inquiry
PART TWO: The Fundamental Elements of Inquiry
5. Ordinary Knowledge: Your Past Experience with Inquiry
6. Basic Knowledge: Your Experience in the Moment
7. Not-Knowing: Your Experience of Not-Knowing
8. Dynamic Questioning: What Limits and Stops Your Questioning
9. Loving the Truth: The History of Your Love of the Truth
10. The Personal Thread
11. Journey without a Goal: Your Relationship to Goals and Comparison
PART THREE: Diamond Guidance
12. Guidance of Being: Your Relationship to Inner and Outer Guidance
13. True Guidance for Inquiry
14. Guidance as Gift to the Soul: Your Experience of Guidance
15. Guidance and Understanding: Your Experience of Understanding
PART FOUR: The Essential Aspects in Guidance
16. Inquiry and the Essential Aspects
17. Yellow: Joy in Discovery: The Presence of Curiosity and Playfulness
18. Red: Bold Adventure: Discrimination in Your Immediate Experience
19. White: Staying the Course: Your Ability to Stay with Your Experience
20. Green: Attuned Guidance: Your Relationship to Difficult Experiences
21. Black: The Power of Cutting Through: Inner Perceptual Capacities in Your Inquiry
22. Knowing in Understanding: Your Relationship to Direct Knowing
23. Truth in Understanding: Your Own View Regarding Objective Truth
24. Diamond Clarity: Your Capacity for Clarity and Precision in Inquiry
25. Focused Inquiry: Being Specific in Your Inquiry
26. Personal Inquiry: Your Personal Involvement with Your Own Inquiry
27. Brilliant Inquiry: Analysis and Synthesis in Your Inquiry