A. H. Almaas – 6/21/1981
I want to give a perspective that somehow delineates, not that this Work (the Diamond Approach) is available and useful, but to delineate its nature and how it is different from other kinds of Work.
What does this mean?
That’s the part that is really difficult to see, because many of you have never been involved with other kinds of Work.
Many of you have never really done any deep work in essential development or deep work in a psychological sense. So it’s hard to get a perspective when you have nothing there to compare it with.
I think that by having a perspective of what’s available here, how it is different or similar to what’s available in other places, or was available before, will help you see the Work in terms of its relevance to your life and for the life of everybody else.
It’s always been known that the difficulty in seeing, perceiving, experiencing, realizing, and actualizing Essence is the false personality.
That does not mean that every school of Work that existed throughout history and that exists now had the whole picture However, Essence has various levels, various modalities, different aspects, different qualities which none of the old schools knew.
Some schools are built on only one thing. Most of the schools are actually built around a certain essential quality, and all the techniques and the methods and methodologies are based around that one quality.
And if you shop around, you’ll see that’s still the case; that most schools are actually, if you talk to all the people, seem to be talking about certain particular things. Their whole orientation is toward one aspect of Essence or a combination of aspects.
To really experience one state of Essence, to know there is something in me that is not my personality, not my emotions, is such a unique and radical experience, such a rare experience for a human being, that usually people in the past who wanted that usually would give up everything in their life for it, everything.
The teacher had to know that the student would give up everything, all their attachments, material attachments, emotions, everything. They have to be willing to give it up for them to have that kind of experience because that experience is the meaning of life itself.
- It is not taken lightly.
- It is not taken as something that is easy to obtain.
- It is not taken as something that everybody, if they want to, just like that, they’ll get it.
How come sometimes in this Work, a person can experience certain things easily, like an emerging state, that usually in a devotional method can take twenty years to get a drop of it? What makes the difference?
The difference is very simple.
The difference has to do with those dark spots, dark clouds that clog the system. There is available the exact, precise knowledge of what those dark spots are, which was never known throughout history; not as precisely, not as exactly, not as accurately as it is known now.
The moment you know what the dark spot is, what it’s all about, you’ve got the key, you just need to turn it. Each one of those spots had a key, but the key was not known.
Before, the person either went around the spot or tried to push through with one’s will.
If you know the key, the door opens. You don’t need to keep hammering away at it. You don’t need to go through the window, to climb up the walls.
If you have the key, just open it, it’s very easy. Also, if you have the key, you can get in anytime you want to.
With all of those dark spots, all the dark and false personality, there needs to be precise knowledge of what it is, exactly. Just see it, you just look at it, “Oh, that’s what it is.” If you see what it is, it’s easy to let go of it, you all know that experience.
For instance, the issue of opening the heart of compassion. In the past, people were doing all kinds of disciplines, all kinds of what’s called ego grinding to get through to open the compassion. Now it’s very obvious, very clear what it is.
You only have to see that what closes the compassion is a resistance against emotional hurt. That’s all it is. The moment you allow yourself to experience the emotional hurt, the compassion opens. It’s very easy, it’s a very simple key.
What I am saying here is that there are certain keys that need to be known and those keys are exact, precise knowledge of what the false personality is.
So how come we know it? Is there something special about us here?
- No, there’s nothing special.
- In a sense there is nothing special.
- In some sense, there is something special.
It has to do with a point of space and time, a certain meeting of coordinates at a certain point that makes a certain something possible. That point in space and time never existed before.
Essential knowledge has been developing all throughout history
Psychological knowledge didn’t exist until recently. It started about a hundred years ago with Freud. There are other kinds of knowledge, different systems in therapeutic work, like using body techniques and things like that have developed in the past thirty years or so.
All these happened to meet at one point. When they met at a certain point, a certain arising could happen. So, the only thing special about now is the time; the knowledge and wisdom have already been developed by different people.
I didn’t develop psychological knowledge, I learned it. Many people spent years, lifetimes developing it.
The amount that has been revealed in the past one hundred years about the personality is more than what was known about the personality for a hundred thousand years before.
So, we happen to be in a lucky time and a fortunate place, where all these elements happen to meet. And in their meeting, there’s a marriage. When there’s a marriage there are offspring. The offspring is this teaching.
If you look closely you see that what I’ve described, so far, has never really happened before. The possibility never existed before for more people than it’s ever been possible for and in a way that’s much easier, much shorter than ever happened – and in a way that is normal.
You live your life and understand yourself.
- No need to do anything strange.
- No need to go to a monastery.
- No need to give up really anything in your life.
- All that’s needed is just understanding yourself, in a very specific, ordinary way.
Of course, understanding oneself psychologically is not enough, because there are many people who do that. That’s the one line of knowledge that, when it is done by itself, doesn’t have the same result because it doesn’t meet the line of knowledge that has to do with essential development.
The two lines of knowledge have to meet
And the two, when they meet, not only makes essential development easier and more available, it makes psychological work much easier.
The Work as it stands now is not one hundred percent completed, not all parts of it are completed, it is still emerging, developing.
Because our Work is focused on understanding the false personality and its connection to Essential states, we have here the possibility of having the totality of all the Essential states, all the combinations, all the ramifications of understanding the false personality completely in all its minute details.
So, we have in our hands the method, an approach that is by all means very powerful, very efficient.
Many times when I’m working with people, the point is not to get them somewhere, but to slow them down. Too many things happen in a very short time sometimes. Sometimes it’s better to go slower.
How much wonderful can you handle?
Sometimes you need to slow down, have some difficult times, so that your nervous system will get acclimated, get used to the new experience of oneself.
Essential development has been known and developed for thousands of years. Throughout history there has been a possibility of an approach. It always existed as a possibility.
Now this approach is possible because all of the ingredients are available and what is needed more than anything else is precise, accurate, specific, simple understanding and knowledge of what is happening.
There is no need for tremendous spiritual powers and efforts
I don’t ask you to worship me or to love me or to trust me – none of that business. The only thing I ask is that you understand what’s happening. I find that much easier and simpler.
Many people can use this method to understand themselves and use it in everyday life.
- It’s easily available
- It’s right here.
- Anybody can do it.
Traditionally, in a Work group of fifty, for instance, it’s usually a very good and lucky thing if four people in ten years get to experience the Essence. And usually the teacher takes it in his mind that maybe in time a few of those people get to realize themselves, that’s fine, that’s very good, that’s very useful work.
I don’t think of it that way here. I don’t think of it like maybe one or two or three out of the fifty will see and understand the Essence.
The way I look at it, everybody will, if you let yourself understand yourself. There’s no reason I see why anybody wouldn’t, shouldn’t. That doesn’t mean everybody will.
Some people will not be willing to go through it all. Some people will drop out, one way or another. From what I see, so far, anybody could really get the whole thing and have the complete freedom, both psychologically and on the Essential level.
But, of course, all that was required throughout time was the dedication, the sincerity, the commitment. It is also useful here. It worked before. It will help here.
I think it’s useful to check around and find out what’s happening – other methods, other schools, other groups, other kinds of work.
See what’s available, what kinds of things need to happen to get this perspective, to see it experientially, not just from my words. You won’t really get it exactly until you’ve experienced it, until you know what’s really available, what’s there, what you have here, what’s available around.
If you let yourself see what’s happening, what’s the position of this Work to what’s happening, to what’s available – that will help you in doing this Work.
It will help you value Essence itself
As you put your Work in the proper perspective in your life, you’ll see that what you’re attempting to learn here is not just how to live with somebody, how to hold a job, how to have an orgasm – you’re attempting to solve problems that have been problems for all of humanity since the beginning, much more fundamental and basic of what is life. Not the little things.
The little things are the means of the method. By understanding them, we get to answer the basic questions. In that way maybe you will activate and see inside you your own thirst for yourself, for the truth that’s in you, instead of getting lost in all the little details, and there are infinite numbers of them. If you get into a little bit of a dark spot, you can spend your whole time in it. Most people do and there are thousands of them, parts of the false personality. If you have the right perspective you just look at it, go through it and not let it hold onto you or you hold onto it.
The best way for people to know about this Work is to know about you, your life, your experience. That’s what they’ll be able to relate to more than anything else.
To usher in Diamond Approach Online’s 2024 theme of working with the instinctual human drives, Diamond Approach founders A.H. Almaas (Hameed Ali) and Karen Johnson were interviewed for their reflections on the social, sexual and survival instincts. At this time of uncertainty – when we
“Divine eros is a topic that invites the purity of our spiritual nature to combine with the power of our animal instinct. Instinct is animal, and “animal” generally means “primitive.” The animal in us is a powerful primitive force that humanity still hasn’t learned to
Did you know that each year Diamond Approach Online offers a central theme and inquiry invitation for our public community? As 2023 began, over 1000 people from around the world were exploring the transformational power of the Enneagram to take them beyond their habitual self