The Theory of Holes Can Blow Your Mind
The Theory of Holes is a piece of understanding in the Diamond Approach that dramatically changes one’s orientation to spiritual and psychological work. It can also kick it into warp-speed.
Working with the theory of holes is like looking through a telescope that looks through a microscope that functions in a particle accelerator. What? Let’s explain what that means:
The theory of holes starts with the macro view (the telescope), what’s happening right now – exploring tensions and contractions that have been compensating for the historical loss of our essence and shielding that loss from consciousness.
As the exploration deepens, we get more into the micro view (the microscope) – the particulars and the subtleties.
This exploration can progress to the point where we leave the world of psychological mechanics and enter the spiritual, quantum world (the particle accelerator). This is where things can get really interesting, as essential qualities starts to reemerge.
When a quality of Essence is blocked from a person’s experience, what is left in place of that quality is a sense of emptiness, a deficiency, a hole, as we saw in our discussion of the Theory of Holes. You have seen in your work here how you actually experience that emptiness as a hole in your body where a quality of Essence is cut off. This creates the sense that something is lacking and, therefore, something is wrong. When we feel a deficiency, we try to fill the hole. Since Essence has been cut off in that place, we cannot fill the hole with Essence, so we try to fill it with similar, false qualities, or we try to fill it from the outside.
– A. H. Almaas, Diamond Heart Book One, ch. 3
In the theory of holes in the Diamond Approach, you first become aware of how you try to fill the lack of an essential aspect, then you see a hole, an emptiness, where the aspect is missing. If you explore this, the essential aspect that was blocked will begin to arise. –
A. H. Almaas, Diamond Heart Book Three, ch. 5
No One is Born with Holes
These holes in our psyche are created during our early psychological development process. They manifest in our psyche in feelings of deficiency, such as:
- I’m not smart enough
- I’m unlovable
- No one cares for me
- I don’t deserve…
- I lack value
- I can’t…, I don’t have what it takes
One more thing about the theory of holes. As I said, the holes get produced when you’re a child. When you’re a baby, you have no holes; you are complete when you are born. As you grow up, because of your interactions with your environment and certain difficulties you encounter, you get cut off from certain parts of yourself. Every time you get cut off from a part of you, a hole manifests. The holes then become full with the memory of the loss and the issues around the loss. After a while, you fill in the holes. What you fill the holes with are false feelings, ideas, beliefs about yourself, and strategies for dealing with your environment. These fillers are collectively called the personality, or what we call the false pearl.
-A. H. Almaas, Diamond Heart Book One, ch. 2
Tools of the Trade
The theory of holes is one understanding used in the Diamond Approach to help facilitate liberation from our past conditioning. Two other ‘tools of the trade’ include the Enneagram and our main practice, Diamond Inquiry™.
We use the Enneagram as a tool and a map at specific junctures in our work of spiritual unfoldment. Initially, we use it as a psychological map that aids self-observation and study. Students also work with our theory of holes (see Essence, Almaas, 1986), which describes the loss of Essence and the consequent development of the personality. Then the work of uncovering the essential aspects proceeds. The theories of depth psychology on object relations, narcissism, and the like, constitute a major portion of the tools used to access the various essential dimensions. The Enneagram is then used at particular points as a map of certain levels of reality, in order to facilitate spiritual transformation. For example, work on the Passions and Virtues helps students in the process of purification of the soul. The Enneagram of Holy Ideas is most useful at the juncture between personal and cosmic realization of Being, as previously mentioned.
– A. H. Almaas, Facets of Unity, ch. 3
The Theory of Holes is simple and elegant, but it doesn’t work in practice without an understanding of Essence. It can’t be used effectively in most psychological work venues, due to a lack of understanding about the spiritual nature of the self.
Without entering the abyss of the deficiency, the ego-self will continue its activity of avoidance or compensation. Thus, the holes and their influence will remain.
The Enneagram of Personality is a detailed map that shows us how to work with our personality and relax the hold of historical patterns or “fixations,” which disconnect us from the spiritual ground of reality. Typically, people orient to an “ego ideal” – a vision of being
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