Zigzag Idiot

A H Almaas

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A.H. Almaas (/ˈɑːlməs/ AHL-məss) is the pen name of A. Hameed Ali (born 1944), a Kuwaiti American author and spiritual teacher who writes about and teaches an approach to spiritual development informed by modern psychology and therapy which he calls the Diamond Approach.

A.H. Almaas

Born1944

Kuwait

OccupationAuthor, spiritual teacher

Almaas is originally from Kuwait. He is the spiritual head of the Ridhwan School. He may be described, among other things, as an Integral theorist, mystic, spiritual teacher or an exponent of the perennial philosophy.

Almaas' books were originally published by the Ridhwan School, under the Diamond Books publishing title, but are now published by Shambhala.

The Diamond Approach is a contemporary spiritual path integrating the teachings and practices of the ancient wisdom traditions with modern depth psychology. The Diamond Approach is derived from the experiences of Almaas, along with Karen Johnson and Faisal Muqaddam (who split off early on to develop his own approach). They were among the first students of Claudio Naranjo, an early pioneer of the integration of spiritual and therapeutic work.

The curriculum of the work draws upon the founders' backgrounds in Sufism, Platonism, Buddhism and the Fourth Way. Teachers of the Diamond Approach focus on the students' specific perception of their own immediate work issues.[1]Presentation of a canonical body of knowledge and practice is introduced over time as required. From - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._H._Almaas

I'm adding this mostly for everyone to have easy access to the Glossary.

The Glossary

https://www.diamondapproach.org/glossary

In many aspects I find most of Almaas's Teaching and Leo's articulation to dovetail quite well especially in regard to describing the Absolute, Love, as well as the realization of many aspects of being. There seems to be much more in common than not,,,, I'm a rogue student of the Ridhwan School or the Diamond Approach as it's called. I've never joined a group, participated in any online courses or interacted with anyone connected with Almaas or his school. I just love reading his books and want to share what he is sharing. The the Glossary consists of quotes from his books for the most part.  As with the term ego, this could be a resource for clearing up confusion in regard to our own discussions and interactions. Maybe,,,,@ Leo gura and Moderators.  ?

 

Confusion About the Term "Ego"

Here we digress to point out a source of confusion about the term “ego.” Readers who know both the spiritual and psychological literatures will find the term freely used in both, but with no general agreement on what the term refers to. This ambiguity often leads to confusion. The literature on spiritual development, on essential or inner development, on all matters of religious concern, generally uses the term “ego” to mean something which is seen as the barrier to spiritual realization. The literature on depth psychology, however, uses the term with a very different meaning. The ego referred to by Freud, and which ego psychology studies, is not the ego which is the barrier to spiritual development. They are two different concepts. The psychoanalytic term “ego” refers, rather, to the functional self, which is the site, organizer, and coordinator of the functions of perception, memory, mobility, and so on. There is, however, a concept in depth psychology and ego psychology that coincides with the ego of spiritual literature: it is called the “ego-identity,” and is sometimes referred to as the sense of self, or the sense of identity. This sense of self or separate identity is the main concern of ego developmental theory. This identity is, in fact, the acme, the most important outcome of ego development. It is ultimately the organizing center of the psychic apparatus. This psychic apparatus includes as one of its units the Freudian ego. In other words, the Freudian ego is part of the mind, is a structure or a structured process in it, while the self is a sense of identity and a center of action. The exact sense in which the ego identity is a barrier to spiritual development will become clear in later chapters.

This is the second quote of 17 quotes on this page. https://www.diamondapproach.org/glossary/refinery_phrases/ego

Everyone can decide for themselves. ?


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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Letting go quotes from the glossary. 2 of 12 from  https://www.diamondapproach.org/glossary/refinery_phrases/letting-go

 

The Personality Can't Let Go; It Just Stops Pushing

If the personality stops pushing, it ceases to exist, because the very existence of the personality is a contraction, a pushing. So, when you follow this process, the part of the personality which is holding a particular tension will disappear when you see no more reason to push. When you realize that the pushing is useless, you stop doing it. This is still not exactly what is called surrender; it is what is sometimes called letting go. We sometimes think of it as the personality letting go, but even this is not accurate. The personality can't let go. It just stops pushing. And when it stops pushing, it disappears. There is no person which is letting go of something. There is no entity letting go of another object. 

 

When Ego Ceases Its Defensive Posture Completely then Being Acts

This interdependence between ego and Being can also be seen in the process of inner metabolism. Ego on its own cannot complete the metabolism of experience and hence cannot bring about complete human development; Being is needed for this process to take place. On the other hand, Being cannot accomplish on its own the whole process of metabolism; it cannot dislodge ego when ego is defensive. From the perspective of the mind, Being can be resisted easily with a slight movement of ego; thus ego must first cooperate by relinquishing its defensive posture. It is up to ego to cease resisting. When it ceases its defensive posture completely, then Being acts. This is an important understanding for methods of inner realization. The work on purifying or understanding ego will not lead, by itself, to transformation. Being by itself cannot do it either. The work must be done from both directions—the letting go of ego defenses and the development of Essence.


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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@Zigzag Idiot I have only been exposed to his teachings through the glossary, but I'm very interested in diving deeper.
Which book of his would you recommend as a good starting point for me? I think I'm capable enough to go for the most essential, central one.

The alchemy of freedom is very intriguing.

Edited by tsuki

The true heresy is hearsay.

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https://www.diamondapproach.org/public-page/diamond-approach

by John Davis, a long time student of Ali, is a good overview of the Diamond Approach but for you maybe 

https://www.diamondapproach.org/public-page/alchemy-freedom would be better.


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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Letting go.

We can't truly let go if we haven't fully embodied our belly center.

In a state of fear we can't fully inhabit the belly center.

Almaas studied a variety of Teachings. Most of this is about the Gurdjieff knowledge.

Functioning of the Essential Self in the Belly Center

Yes, usually the belly center has to do with embodiment, with the capacity to sense oneself. However, the belly center is also the will center. In a sense, the ultimate function of the will is to surrender to what happens, surrender to the now. And surrender to the now means not to hold on to something. The true function of the will is complete surrender to what’s happening without holding on. That is will. The essential self, like all essential aspects, can function in any of the subtle centers. When one is being the essential self its location is usually the heart center. However, when the essential self is functioning in relation to identifying or disidentifying from any content of experience, it becomes associated with the belly center. The essential self is more like a potential for experience, and it also manifests as a capacity for identification. One of the results of that capacity for identification is embodiment. Embodying something means you are identified with what’s happening. An essential state is present. You are embodying it if you are it. The true self has the capacity to identify with something you are experiencing, but it doesn’t have to. It has a choice; it has the freedom. 

Diamond Heart Book Three, pg. 79


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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The Belly Quality of Basic Trust

The presence of basic trust indicates that you have the innate sense that life is fundamentally benevolent, and that that benevolence exists independent of you and your actions. You will have this sense to the extent that your grounding in the universe has not been disturbed. The relative presence or absence of basic trust is a belly quality, something one’s whole being is either grounded in or not. The disturbance of basic trust is a significant factor in ego development because the perspective of ego is diametrically opposed to the sense of basic trust. The ego’s perspective arises out of a lack of this trust. It is based on distrust, on paranoia, on fear, on the conviction that you’re not going to be adequately taken care of and that the universe is not there to hold and take care of you in the ways that you need. This conviction causes you to believe that you have to engage in all kinds of manipulations and games to get your needs met and to make things work out. 

Facets of Unity, pg. 25


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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@Zigzag Idiot Thank you ?

I swear, it feels like you are posting this for me, specifically. Belly quality, huh?

Edited by tsuki

The true heresy is hearsay.

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If there is fear, one loses the capacity to play a role or have 3 centered awareness. (Fulasnitamnian awareness)

I thought of this while watching both Leo's and Emerald's latest videos.

 

Distinguishing Physical Sensation from Essential Substance

The capacity to sense oneself must become so refined that the individual can discriminate between physical sensation and the sensation of essential substance. It is not enough that the mind be quiet. It is also necessary for the body to be sensitive. The mind can be quiet while the body is deadened. The body has to be awakened so that the center of sensing, the belly center, can be activated. The belly center, or what Gurdjieff called the physical center, is the center of sensing for all parts of the body. Its deepest function is the subtle sensing, the sensing of essential presence, that the Sufis call the organ for touch. Touch is, in a sense, the most intimate of the physical senses. The skin must be directly against an object to touch it. There is no intermediary medium, like sound for hearing or light for seeing. So this subtle capacity is a very intimate one. Accurately speaking, it is sensing essence by being essence. It is the most direct way of perception. This capacity of touch, connected with the belly center, is very intimately connected with the embodiment of essence. It is the body center; its mode of perception is embodiment. Here, perception as touch, and being, are the same act. So this capacity is the most important one. 

Essence with the Elixir of Enlightenment, pg. 130


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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On 9/3/2019 at 10:51 AM, tsuki said:

@Zigzag Idiot Thank you ?

I swear, it feels like you are posting this for me, specifically. Belly quality, huh?

yes tsuki internally and you can also work on it externally ?

intraterrestrial and extraterrestrial. don`t ask me what is what it`s without gravity.

Edited by remember

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@remember  without gravity, no one is home. When the belly center is fully inhabited and you are free to completely identify with whatever one chooses. You can truly care, if your informed by your embodiment otherwise, you can spin on a dime and let go and not give a shit but still perceive through a perceptual filter of love. Love with a big L. One can be free.


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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1 hour ago, Zigzag Idiot said:

@remember  without gravity, no one is home. When the belly center is fully inhabited and you are free to completely identify with whatever one chooses. You can truly care, if your informed by your embodiment otherwise, you can spin on a dime and let go and not give a shit but still perceive through a perceptual filter of love. Love with a big L. One can be free.

yes, sounds true. gravity sounds also true, some buddhas have more of it than others, but the ones with the super big gravity or no gravity at all are confused for a buddha while being some chinese zen master poe-tai ho-shang or so.

it`s interesting, what you describe i started to read about it in the yoga an kriya book of swami satyananda saraswati some days ago. p604-606 he recommends uddiyana bandha and manipura shuddi. manipura shuddhi is practically what you posted there.

agni sara kriya is also pretty nice, but more for the fiery part of the stomach, maybe a little too much heat if the heat is already high, but for me as i`m lacking on agni a little bit it`s very good. found that through another source.

Edited by remember

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@remember  I don't feel understanding between us here. In the meantime, I'm pondering.


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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12 hours ago, Zigzag Idiot said:

If there is fear, one loses the capacity to play a role or have 3 centered awareness. (Fulasnitamnian awareness)

I thought of this while watching both Leo's and Emerald's latest videos.

 

Distinguishing Physical Sensation from Essential Substance

The capacity to sense oneself must become so refined that the individual can discriminate between physical sensation and the sensation of essential substance. It is not enough that the mind be quiet. It is also necessary for the body to be sensitive. The mind can be quiet while the body is deadened. The body has to be awakened so that the center of sensing, the belly center, can be activated. The belly center, or what Gurdjieff called the physical center, is the center of sensing for all parts of the body. Its deepest function is the subtle sensing, the sensing of essential presence, that the Sufis call the organ for touch. Touch is, in a sense, the most intimate of the physical senses. The skin must be directly against an object to touch it. There is no intermediary medium, like sound for hearing or light for seeing. So this subtle capacity is a very intimate one. Accurately speaking, it is sensing essence by being essence. It is the most direct way of perception. This capacity of touch, connected with the belly center, is very intimately connected with the embodiment of essence. It is the body center; its mode of perception is embodiment. Here, perception as touch, and being, are the same act. So this capacity is the most important one. 

Essence with the Elixir of Enlightenment, pg. 130

Bump and adding name tags. @Leo Gura and @Emerald   Thank you for your work, 


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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Intuition is a Process or a Capacity, Not an Ontological Existence

Now let us look at intuition. The word intuition is used to describe many different kinds of perception, of varying depth, profoundness, and accuracy. Sometimes intuition can mean a suspicion of a certain truth, a slight glimpse without certainty or clarity. Sometimes intuition can mean a feeling, more or less vague, about something. If we listen to such a feeling, it can lead us to understanding. Sometimes intuition is a hunch, something like a guess but with more of a feeling of certainty or weight to it. These are some of the things we call intuition. There are deeper aspects of intuition: for example, when we somehow know something, sometimes with a feeling of certainty, but don't know how we got the knowledge; we cannot explain to ourselves how we know. Sometimes we know something totally new, but we don't know where it came from, so we say we have an intuition. An intuition sometimes feels like a direct apprehension of a certain truth, but we can't explain how this apprehension occurred. So intuition is usually considered a mysterious process. Like insight, intuition can be about anything—the mind, other people's personalities, relationships, and even our true nature, our essence. However, intuition itself is not essence. It can help us to know essence, but it is a process or a capacity, not an ontological existence.

Essence with the Elixir of Enlightenment, pg. 22

 

Activation of the Subtle Capacities of Perception

The descent of peace brings up a new quality of Essence, with all of its properties and capacities to support our inquiry, but it also activates the subtle centers, the subtle capacities of perception. The primary perceptual center is the Black latifa, at the center of the forehead. It is also the center of the operation of the Diamond Guidance itself. During inquiry, the Guidance tends to operate as a presence at the center of the forehead. That is why you get clear and crisp in your head when you understand something. When these subtle perceptions are first activated, intuition means that the experience of knowledge is coming through a quiet mind, which indicates that the Black center is open. You become receptive to insights, ideas, and truths, but you don’t know exactly where they are coming from. You become more intuitive in the usual meaning of the word—that is, you are open to knowledge in a way that you do not understand or directly perceive. What this means, however, is that although you are receiving knowledge as insights from a true inner source of discrimination—what we call the Diamond Guidance—this source is not yet present in your direct experience. Its center and its channel are open, but you receive messages or insights indirectly.

Spacecruiser Inquiry, pg. 315


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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This is a link to Intuition quote page.

https://www.diamondapproach.org/glossary/refinery_phrases/intuition

There are other good ones. Somewhere he says Diamond Guidance is the same thing as Holy Spirit. In his book Space Cruiser Inquiry.I think.

 


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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                     Sitting with it

and more than one time. How many times? How wounded are you?

Experiencing Emotional Hurt as a Wound

At this point the person might go on to experience himself as an empty space, devoid of any fullness or quality. If he deals with the associations he has to this emptiness—such as those of dependency and need—and the fears produced by them—probably the fears of disintegration, disappearing, and so on—then he will remember the old hurt that cut off the essence. This is another big dark spot. The person will unearth the painful situation or situations that ultimately led to the loss of this particular aspect of essence. Besides the memories and affects, the individual will experience the emotional hurt as a wound. It will feel physically like a wound in the chest, but it is a wound in the energy system that corresponds to the emotional hurt and the loss of the essence. When one allows oneself quietly to experience the hurtful wound and the memories connected with it, the golden elixir will flow out of it, healing it, and filling the emptiness with the beautiful sweet fullness that will melt the heart, erase the mind, and bring about the contentment that the individual has been thirsting for.

Essence with the Elixir of Enlightenment, pg. 116


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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Reminded me of Almaas writing about 'basic trust'.

 

Basic trust is the soul's way of attuning to a fundamental law of reality, the fact that our sense of existing as a separate and isolated entity is false, that our ego experience of isolation and helplessness is an illusion based on identification with the world of physical manifestation. Knowing that we are all part of one reality means that our true nature is not defined by ego experience in the physical body and cannot be fundamentally hurt or destroyed. If the individual soul is in touch with this reality of non-separateness, then it will reflect that by functioning in a way that expresses this knowledge. 

Facets of Unity, pg. 24 

Basic Trust Enables You to Completely Stay with Experience

As we have seen, when you are trying to make something happen, you are not trusting the natural order; you don't trust that Essence itself will manifest in the way it is needed. The first point of departure from this trust is always a rejection of the now. To apply the perspective of basic trust, of true will, you must have the complete confidence that staying completely with what you are experiencing in this moment, will result in what needs to happen, without your having to think about a certain outcome. When the confidence is there, your awareness of exactly what is happening in you will allow you to see that your organism will do the best it can in the situation. Your mind, however, doesn't allow that complete Presence in the now; it thinks it knows what is best for you, but of course it knows only what has happened in the past, and can lead you only in ways conditioned by your history. 

Diamond Heart Book Two, pg. 118 

The Innate Sense that Life is Fundamentally Benevolent 

The presence of basic trust indicates that you have the innate sense that life is fundamentally benevolent, and that benevolence exists independent of you and your actions. You will have this sense to the extent that your grounding in the universe has not been disturbed. The relative presence or absence of basic trust is a belly quality, something one’s whole being is either grounded in or not. The disturbance of basic trust is a significant factor in ego development because the perspective of ego is diametrically opposed to the sense of basic trust. The ego’s perspective arises out of a lack of this trust. It is based on distrust, on paranoia, on fear, on the conviction that you're not going to be adequately taken care of and that the universe is not there to hold and take care of you in the ways that you need. This conviction causes you to believe that you have to engage in all kinds of manipulations and games to get your needs met and to make things work out. 

Facets of Unity, pg. 25 

Trusting the Dynamism of the Inquiry

In time, you develop basic trust and you learn to trust the dynamism of the inquiry. This will happen as result of several things: first, clearly recognizing the optimizing force in the dynamism of your own unfolding; second, truly seeing that optimization is the nature of the dynamism; and third, having faith that the optimizing is occurring even when you can’t feel it in the moment. Then you are trusting the guidance and the unfoldment. Basic trust – the knowing that you just need to relax and things will work out fine – is an automatic result of this developing knowledge of reality. 

Spacecruiser Inquiry, pg. 122 

With Basic Trust You Take Risks

When you have a lot of basic trust, you are courageous and authentic. You take risks. You don't sit on your capacities. You engage in life wholeheartedly, doing what feels appropriate to you with the confidence that it will work out. Without much basic trust, you are paralyzed with fear of failure and fear of rejection. 

Facets of Unity, pg. 28 

Without Basic Trust We Live Our Lives Defensively

If basic trust informs your experience, your psyche is relaxed. Your soul is at peace with itself and with your situation, resting in the unquestioned confidence that the universe provides, that you have, and will receive, what you really need, and that things are workable. If we really have this trust, this deep inner relaxation, it becomes possible to live our lives out of love, out of an appreciation of life, out of enjoyment in what the universe provides for us, and out of compassion and kindness for others and ourselves. Without it, we live our lives defensively, in conflict with others and with ourselves, becoming self-centered and egoistic. To find our basic trust is to reconnect with our natural state that we have become separated from. When we are innately infused by reality, our soul or consciousness is completely transparent to the truth that we and the universe are one, that we are supported by reality and that reality is by its very nature good, and that what happens is inevitably right since it emerges out of that inherent perfection. When you understand this, it becomes obvious why it is so difficult to relax and let go, and why it is so important regain our basic trust. 

Facets of Unity, pg. 32 

Without Basic Trust We React According to Our Conditioning

Now we can see how the presence or absence of basic trust is crucial to the initial step in the process of the transformation of any sector of the ego. This step is only completed by giving up the particular structure we have been holding on to. Basic trust gives you the capacity and the willingness to let go of the images, identifications, structures, beliefs, ideas, and concepts -- the remnants of the past that make up the ego. Implicit in this initial step is the second one: If you are able to surrender, then you are willing to be. You are willing to not try to change things, to not manipulate them, to not push and pull at them. You are willing to just be present, which is a sort of realization itself. First, then, is the death of the old; second is the realization of Being. If you don't have basic trust, you will react to what arises in accordance with your conditioning and will want your process to go one way or another. You won’t let yourself just be present; you’ll be tense and contracted. So basic trust is needed for you to be able to allow the ego to die, and also for you to be willing to just be, without reacting. 

Facets of Unity, pg. 26 


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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