The Wisdom of the Passionate Heart
When you hear the word “passion,” what does it bring up for you? Are there memories or fantasies, disappointments or longings that come to mind? In the Diamond Approach, passion is a particular type of love, beyond emotional love:
“…There is the sweet, fluffy kind of love, the merging and contented kind of love and then there is a third kind of love: passionate, powerful, consuming, and ecstatic. You feel you’ve been taken by storm. Your mind is gone. You feel power and lustiness, passion, and zest. You feel your whole being is burning like a flame and that flame is full, and that fullness is the love. You feel ecstasy, passion, and no difference between desire, wanting, giving, receiving. It is all one consuming thing. I call it ecstatic, passionate love. This love is not only directed toward a person. It is your beingness. You are the passion. It is true passion, not the passion of the emotions, which is fake passion. When you are passionately longing or passionately wanting, you are being your passionate self. But as true passionate love, you feel like a consuming force of life. When you look at life and existence, you’re not wanting something from it, you simply appreciate it and love it passionately because life and existence are so beautiful….You love life. You want to love life because it is so wonderful, so beautiful, and you feel so strong about it. I call it “lion-hearted love.” Your heart is courageous and forceful. …You take life fully, completely.”A. H. Almaas, Diamond Heart Book Two, Chapter 10
But what does this kind of passion have to do with wisdom? Some of us have had experiences that lead us to think that passion actually stands in the way of wisdom:
“For most of humanity, the experience of eros is usually superficial, insensitive, or even nonexistent. So discussing the intensity, the passion, or the power of eros can bring up the feeling, “Oh, this can be dangerous.” Our own intensity can feel dangerous or our history might include other people’s passion being dangerous for us. We hear about that danger in the news, from our friends, in our families. As we do our work here, it is fine that these memories, emotions, and associations come up. We want to explore them and welcome them because inquiry is inclusive of all our experience. We embrace all of ourselves, because if we let all of our feelings and experiences be, if we hold them with curiosity and interest, they will become keys to unlocking the luminous manifestations of who we are. Our understanding of them brings forth the luminosity that can take our experience deeper into unity.”A. H. Almaas & K. Johnson, The Power of Divine Eros, ch. 9
Delving deeper into our exploration of passion or of any of our experiences, we are fueled by a love of understanding, a love of truth, that is itself passionate:
“In our particular path the heart does not simply dispense with the mind; the heart subsumes the mind. Insights are not gone but are the outcome of the love of the heart, the sparks of the fire of passionate love.”A. H. Almaas, Diamond Heart Book Five, Chapter 2
This passion, inherent to our being, can guide us toward what we truly love.
This deep, dark red pomegranate aspect of your being is a fluid presence that can come up in any situation, depending upon whether your passion is free. When you’re involved in a passionate engagement, or passionate activities, your whole organism pulses with excitation. Not just excitation that is tingling and excited and vibrant. This excitation has a fullness and full-blooded sense to it—the fluid presence is like a thick syrup that is full of consciousness and made out of consciousness. It also has a power and strength at the same time, so it has an excited, alive quality to it. And when you feel that passionate ecstatic love, it feels as though the very center of your heart wants to be at the very center of what you love.A.H. Almaas, Love Unveiled, Chapter 11
As we explore and unfold our deeper potentials, we can fall into a passionate love with the vastness of true nature, which both manifests in and lies beyond everything in the world of appearances. The Diamond Approach calls this ultimate dimension of reality the absolute. It can also be called the Beloved, the Secret, or the Guest. The mind can not conceptualize it; it can only prepare for its arrival.
“The Guest is the bedazzler, the incinerator. Its slaying and its incineration does not happen through melting you in sweet love. It doesn’t go that way. The Guest is not gentle. When the Guest arrives, it doesn’t make you feel nice and wonderful and loving and cozy. That might be your experience of previous lovers. This Beloved has something else up its sleeve. Just feeling its closeness, you begin feeling your mind, your heart, and your body all burning up. And if you stay with it a few seconds, and do not run away out of fear, you’ll be completely annihilated, totally dissolved. The process of being annihilated by the Guest is hot, the most intense passion, a passion that burns, a passion that eats up, a passion that consumes, a passion that kills, a passion more powerful than thermonuclear reaction.A.H. Almaas, Diamond Heart Book Five, Chapter 2
This passionate annihilation is the ultimate transparency of the self. Experience and life become an extension and expression of one’s true nature. The wisdom of passion is one facet of divine knowledge available to an open heart.
Usually this ignorance develops as knowledge. That is to say, much of our knowledge about ourselves and about the world is actually learned ignorance. It is ignorant because it is simply wrong; it does not reflect how reality is. We have all kinds of beliefs and ideas about reality that are not true. We have positions and philosophies and ideologies about ourselves, about how things work, and about what makes things happen, and many of these are inaccurate. Of course, it is difficult to see this as ignorance, because it is what we know, it is what we take to be our knowledge.A. H. Almaas, The Unfolding Now, ch. 10