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Holy Ideas for Each Enneagram type - taken from Facets of Unity by A.H Almaas

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    Holy Ideas for Each Enneagram type - taken from Facets of Unity by A.H Almaas

    All the different holy idea descriptions are taken from A.H Almaas book: "Facets of Unity". These are not an easy read. Recommendation: Make sure you have a good fundamental understanding of the types before you read these descriptions, otherwise these descriptions could be rather difficult.

    The book uses the 'object' relation triads to define it's order. These are, respectively, the Rejection triad (types 8, 5, 2), the frustration triad (1,7,4) and the attachment triad (9,6,3). Below is a clickable index that takes you to the different descriptions.

    Rejection triad

    Frustration triad
    Attachment triad

    ---Start of Rejection Triad descriptions ---

    Click image for larger version  Name:	b40e2403f4b168d141ea0e3546175e53.png Views:	1 Size:	15.7 KB ID:	9857

    Point Eight

    "The awareness that the cosmos objectively exists now; that this existence is its own
    definition, and continues whether an individual understands it or not; and that the
    individual experiences the truth of Reality most completely when he views each
    moment fresh, without preconceptions about what should be happening."

    —Ichazo, 1972
    The Holy Idea for ennea-type Eight is Holy Truth. It refers to the unity of existence, andincludes and goes beyond Essence and the Absolute. To understand what the Holy Truth is,we need to first investigate what truth is.

    The first type or level of truth that we encounter is what we call relative truth. Relative truthis the fact of what is happening, and we call it “relative” because it is specific to the person, the situation, and the time in which the experience is taking place; this means it isconstantly changing. For example, the relative truth right now is that you are sittingreading this book, and a while ago the truth was that you were doing something else. Therelative truth depends on the situation, and tells us the facts of what is happening now. These truths are the most obvious ones, and are the points of departure for contacting a
    deeper level of truth.

    If you inquire more deeply into the relative truth of a situation, you will find that the psychodynamic and existential bases of it begin to reveal themselves. Then, at some point, you might start to experience what we call the essential truth, which is the presence of Essence itself. For example, let’s say that you find yourself fantasizing about eating some ice cream. The relative truth is that this is what is going on in your mind. If you inquire into the desire for the ice cream, you might realize that you are feeling alone, and that this brings up a sense of missing a particular kind of contact. Then, as you stay with that, you see that you’re wanting a certain kind of love that reminds you of your mother.

    You realize that your mother’s love tastes a little like ice cream. This might lead you into experiencing a quality of love that is sweet and soft, and that makes you feel cared for and loved. As you contact this quality of love, you are in touch with the actual essential aspect that you long ago identified with your mother. This level of the truth of the situation is the essential truth. That truth is a quality of love that is present in you but is only felt on a relative level as the desire for ice cream. On this essential level, the facts of your situation take on a sense of meaning, of richness and of depth, because they usher you into the realm of what truly exists, beyond the surface of things. An essential truth is not a thought, an idea, a reaction, or an action; its most important characteristic is that it is an ontological presence—it has a substantive existence. Although the relative truth of a situation can take us to the essential truth of it, the essential level is not dependent upon the situation. It is self-existing; it is its own realm
    existing independently of who we are and what we are doing.

    The essential truth helps us understand what is really happening and what exists beneath the appearance of things. A fantasy of eating ice cream is simply an image in your mind, and even real ice cream disappears or changes form after it is eaten. The love that it may evoke or reflect, however, has an intrinsic and unchanging existence, although your awareness of it may come and go. It exists as a presence that is substantive and real; it has energy, affect, and potency.

    If we continue pursuing the truth of the situation, the essential truth will continue to expand and reveal ever-deeper dimensions of Being until, at some point, we come in contact with the formless dimensions of Being. When we first encounter Essence, we experience it in the dimension of form, contained within us, in other words, “There is love in my heart, will in my belly, clarity in my head,” and so on. At a deeper level, the presence of Essence expands and loses its boundaries, and we realize that it is actually boundless. This is the beginning of experiencing the formless or boundless dimensions. The first formless dimension that we usually encounter, as discussed in Part Two, is that of Living Daylight: a love that is not just within you, but is every-where—pervading everything,
    penetrating all boundaries.

    So we have moved from the fact of what is happening to what truly exists within you, and from there to what truly exists beyond your body—what exists in the whole cosmos. In the boundless dimensions, Essence still has the quality of being a presence, a fullness, and a richness. As our experience deepens, the boundless dimensions keep revealing themselves in continuing depth, one after the other, as we penetrate deeper and deeper concepts within our mind, and these dimensions will lead us eventually to the deepest, innermost truth—absolute truth. This dimension of the Absolute is beyond all concepts, including that
    of existence or non-existence.

    It is not that there is a formless or boundless dimension that pervades everything or is the essence or everything, since seeing it this way creates a dichotomy that does not exist. It is not as though there is me and there is my essential nature. The formless dimensions bring in another kind of perception, which is of Being as a formless, boundless, real existence, a substantial presence that is not contained by any boundary. When you experience pure, translucent, self-existing boundless presence, you see that it is not only the fundamental nature of Essence itself, but also of everything that exists. It exists in everything, and everything exists in it. We see here that the universe is ultimately pure Being, and that this pure Being not only supports us, infuses us, and is our nature, but more fundamentally, that it constitutes us. It is completely inseparable from what we are. So it not only pervades and fills the universe, but it is the universe. This understanding that there is no universe separate from this pure boundless self-existing Beingness is a more complete level of the truth.

    The perception that Being constitutes the totality of everything is what is generally called a mystical experience. Before this, you may have spiritual experiences, but when you experience the oneness and the unity of existence, you are on the level of the mystical. In the dimension of Living Daylight, you experience that everything is made out of love. When you look around you, everything might appear, for example, to be made out of a pink and sweet diamond-like taffy substance, and be pervaded with a wonder, a beauty, and a sweetness.

    So the experience of boundlessness that arises as we move into the formless dimensions becomes the deepest level of truth that we perceive. On the level of the Supreme (the dimension of Pure Presence or Pure Being), for example, you realize that everything is a translucent Beingness. You see that it is not as though translucent Beingness is in everything or that everything exists in it, but that everything is the translucence. It is inside things, outside things, and in between them. There is no place that is not translucent Beingness. On this level of the Supreme, there is no separation between what we call appearance and reality, the form and the meaning. They are all one thing; there is a unity. The perception of this unity arises through merely seeking to understand the truth of the situation. It is not a matter of generating a particular experience; you just open your eyes to what is here. When you experience this level of truth, you not only perceive this inherent unity, but you also see that as you stay with one boundless dimension, it reveals another, deeper one. Dimensions of formless Being reveal themselves until we come to the origin and source of all dimensions, the Absolute. Initially, you might experience the Absolute as the source of everything, but as your experience matures, you realize that everything is the Absolute—there is no separation. The full experience of the Absolute is that there is nothing but the Absolute. Just as you have seen that love constitutes everything on the dimension of Living Daylight, and Being constitutes everything on the level of the Supreme, here we see that the Absolute constitutes everything. So as our understanding of the nature of reality deepens, it becomes more and more mysterious and nonconceptual, until it arrives at this dimension of the Absolute in which the nature of reality reveals itself as a profound mystery.

    Comprehensive Unity
    However, none of the levels of truth that we have been describing is what the Holy Idea of Holy Truth refers to. Holy Truth is the perception that all these levels are actually one thing, that all the dimensions constitute a complete state of unity. In other words, all the dimensions of reality are completely inseparable from one another, and all are the same thing. This is the perception that there is absolutely no duality—either horizontally(between objects) or vertically (between dimensions). So although we experience ourselves moving progressively into deeper and deeper dimensions of reality as our inquiry becomes increasingly subtle, Holy Truth is the perception that all these dimensions exist simultaneously. They are all facets of the same reality, so the sense of a hierarchy is ultimately illusory.

    To understand how all the dimensions exist as a unity, let’s take the example of the physical body. At the level of relative truth, we first see the appearance of the body: we see its shape, we notice the limbs, the face, the expression. Penetrating beneath the surface, we realize that there are muscles, bones, organs, blood vessels, and so on. This level would correspond to the essential truth. If we investigate into the nature of these inner components, we will see that they are all made out of molecules. These molecules reveal themselves to be made out of atoms which, in turn, are made up of sub-atomic particles. These levels would correspond to the progressive truths of the formless dimensions. Investigating even more deeply, we discover that these are ultimately space, corresponding to the Absolute level. Are the sub-atomic particles or the organs separate
    from the outer form of the body? No. All these dimensions are present and interpenetrate each other. You couldn’t take one level away and leave the others remaining. Although the Absolute is the ultimate reality that remains unchanged if you take everything else away, all levels of reality exist as a totality all the time. They form a unity. Holy Truth, therefore, negates duality. It tells us that there is no such thing as discrete, separate existence. However, we know that for the consciousness of the ego-self, the sense of separateness is fundamental. So Holy Truth challenges and ultimately dissolves the ego’s sense of separateness.

    While one does experience the sense of unity when experiencing any of the formless dimensions, the perception here is of the unity of the dimensions themselves. The Buddhists call this “total completeness,” while the Sufis call it the “all-inclusive state,” or the “Divine Being,” whose all-inclusive name is Allah. Allah, then, does not refer to any particular dimension or state, but refers to all that exists—at any time, on all its levels and in all its dimensions—as a unity. So you could call the perception of Holy Truth objective truth, reality, the universe in its totality, Divine Being, unity of existence, or total completeness.

    Oscar Ichazo’s definition of Holy Truth is: “The awareness that the cosmos objectively exists now; that this existence is its own definition, and continues whether an individual understands it or not; and that the individual experiences the truth of Reality most completely when he views each moment fresh, without preconceptions about what should be happening.”

    Let’s break this down and see what we can understand. “The awareness that the cosmos objectively exists now.” He is saying that the totality of all that exists, on all its levels (which is what he means when he uses the word cosmos), is the nowness of experience and that this totality objectively exists. It is “its own definition,” meaning that it does not depend on our opinions about it; and “continues whether an individual understands it or not,” meaning that it actually exists whether or not we understand it. To experience reality fully, one must view “each moment fresh, without preconceptions about what should be happening,” meaning that if we are completely open and not filtering our experience of the moment through our subjectivity, we will see this unity existing right now, and that now does not refer to time, but to the immediately apprehended existence of the universe itself.So everything that is conceivable and experienceable exists right now as one. The formless dimensions, the essential states, and physical reality are not separate from each other, nor are physical objects separate from each other; there is no division anywhere—only complete unity. The alchemical concept for this is the idea of the macrocosm, the totality of the universe.

    The Sufi view of this Holy Idea is expressed in the following poem by Shabistari, from The Secret Garden:

    He whose great soul is never vexed by doubt
    Knows of a surety that there is but one
    Existence absolute. To say “I am the Lord”
    Belongs to God alone: his personality
    Is not with thee; fancy and thought lie hid.
    God’s glory may by none be shared; therein
    I, thou, and we are not, for all are one.
    The person and the existence join in one,
    For unity admits no variance.
    He who is free from self, when he obtains
    That freedom, through his echoing soul resounds
    “Verily I am God,’ and in eternity
    Is opposition overwhelmed, and then
    The pilgrim and his progress are but one.
    Concord and incarnation spring from variance,
    But unity is born of pilgrimage.
    So nature’s order from existence springs,
    Nor God his slave, nor man his God becomes.
    Concord and union here may never be,
    For to see two in one is error’s core.
    Creator and created beings are
    Alike a dream, nor is what seems to be.
    . . .
    What is that atom greater than the whole?
    . . .
    There is one atom greater than the whole—
    Existence; for behold the universe
    Is, yet that universe itself is being.
    Being is various in outward form,
    but in its being there is inward unity.
    (Shabistari, 1969, pp. 48, 71)
    Shabistari is saying that to understand and experience this unity, we have to experience Beingness. It is only in Beingness that we can perceive the unity. If we look at reality fromthe egoic perspective, we don’t see unity; we see discord, opposition, and duality. But if we experience Beingness and allow it to guide us, it will lead us to the formless dimensions and the experience that things don’t exist separately from each other. On this level, we see that separateness is not ultimately real, and that although objects may appear discrete, in reality all objects actually make up one thing.

    This understanding is expressed from a Buddhist perspective in the following passage by the Tibetan lama, Longchenpa. It is taken from his text on the mantrayana tantra, which is written from the state of unity itself, as though it were expressing itself. You will notice that the language is very similar to that of some of the theistic approaches.

    "All experiences and life-forms cannot be proven to exist independently of their being a presence before your mind, just like a lucid dream. All that is has me—universal creativity, pure and total presence—as its root. How things appear is my being. How things arise is my manifestation. Sounds and words heard are my messages expressed in sounds and words. All capacities, forms, and pristine awarenesses of the buddhas; The bodies of sentient beings, their habituations, and so forth; All environments and their inhabitants, life forms, and experiences; Are the primordial state of pure and total presence. "
    (Longchenpa, 1987, p. 32)
    Not realizing that everything we can perceive is nothing other than the manifestation of one’s mind is called samsara in Buddhism. Samsara, the delusional state, is seen from Longchenpa’s point of view as not recognizing the unity of what is.

    What follows is another section from You are the Eyes of the World, in which the nondual doctrine of Dzogchen, or total completeness, is described:

    [Because my creativity is beyond all affirmation and negation,]
    I determine all events and meanings.
    Because no objects exist which are not me,
    You are beyond perspective or meditation.
    Because there does not exist any protection other than me,
    You are beyond charismatic activity to be sought.
    Because there is no state other than me,
    You are beyond stages to cultivate.
    Because in me there are from the beginning, no obstacles,
    You are beyond all obstacles; self-arising pristine awareness just is.
    Because I am unborn reality itself,
    You are beyond concepts of reality; subtle reality just is.
    Because there is nowhere to go apart from me,
    One is beyond paths to traverse.

    [Because all buddhas, sentient beings, appearances,Existences, environments, inhabitants]

    Arise from the quintessential state of pure total presence,
    One is beyond duality.
    Because self-arising pristine awareness is already established,
    One is beyond justifying it; the transmission of this great teaching provides
    direct entry into understanding.
    Because all phenomena do not exist apart from me,
    One is beyond duality. I fashion everything. "

    (Longchenpa, 1987, p. 35)
    So according to the Idea of Holy Truth, reality, when seen objectively, has no divisions in it. It exists, it is now, and it is nondual. There is no me, no you, no other, no universe separate from God; no universe separate from the Void; no you and Essence, no personality and Essence; no physical body and soul—all these distinctions are illusions and are not ultimately real. There is only one thing, and it cannot even be called “one” because if you call it one, you are comparing it to two, and it is not one in contrast to two. It is nondual, an indivisible existence, no matter how you look at it or think about it. While the different teachings may emphasize different qualities of this unity, seeing it from the perspective of
    love or awareness, for example, the assertion here is that fundamental to reality is the fact of unity. All the religions assert this sense of the all-inclusiveness of reality. Another way of saying it is that God is everywhere, omnipresent. Holy Truth is the way that the teaching of the Enneagram of Holy Ideas expresses this understanding.

    We must remember that the nature of the whole of reality is not expressed by Holy Truth alone. It is described by all three Holy Ideas at the top of the Enneagram. If you really experience the unity of all things, you also recognize the inherently loving quality of that unity. The existence of Holy Love is the existence of a loving, gentle, positive quality. Plato referred to the ultimate reality as the Good, indicating that he perceived the intrinsic positivity of it. We will explore this in more detail in the chapter on the Holy Idea for ennea type Nine. If you experience the unity described by Holy Truth, you will also experience its
    fundamental rightness, its Holy Perfection. You will see that everything that happens is perfect because all is happening exactly as it should. You will see the beauty and harmony of whatever happens because that is what is; it is the truth of the moment seen without the interference of the perspective of the ego. We will expand on this in the chapter on the Holy Idea for ennea-type One. These three Holy Ideas are interconnected, and together they describe the nature of reality.
    Last edited by Vive; 06-05-2020, 07:21 PM.
    "Distress, whether psychic, physical, or intellectual, need not at all produce nihilism.
    Such distress always permits a variety of interpretations."


    In some traditions there is a debate about what the ultimate reality is: Is it the Absolute, or is it the state of total completeness? The Sufi and Kabbalistic traditions take the view that the Absolute is the ultimate reality. The Indian traditions are divided, with the Vedantists taking the Absolute to be ultimate, while some of the yogic paths take the state of total completeness to be ultimate. The Buddhists disagree: The Theravaden tradition believes the Absolute is ultimate, while the Tibetan Buddhists are divided. The Nyingmapa sect believes that the state of total completeness is ultimate, while the Gelugpa believe the Absolute is ultimate.[1]

    In my view, there is no need to decide, since freedom has nothing to do with what state you experience or take to be ultimate. So the question is largely a matter of how you define “ultimate truth.” If you define the ultimate truth as that which is left when everything that can be removed is removed, you are describing the Absolute. It is the state most devoid of any creation or concept, reality reduced to its simplest minimum. If you define ultimate truth as the actual state that is experienced if there is no manipulation or conceptualization of your experience, you recognize it as the state of total completeness, because there is no duality present in it. The state of total completeness is all-inclusive, with the manifest and the unmanifest existing in nonduality. Everything is present, including the Absolute, which is seen as its inner nature.

    In either case, the perception of the unity of all of existence—Holy Truth—remains the same. It is the perception that there are no divisions and no duality between things, that everything is one Beingness, one existence. This is the reality beyond egoic reality, true existence independent of the personal mind. It includes everything without any separations, and it does not matter whether you call it God, the One Mind, the state of the Buddha, the Tao, or the Divine Being.

    The most important understanding of Holy Truth is that physical reality and true existence are not separate. Physical reality is made up of objects which can be discriminated. If you perceive the world exclusively through the physical senses, you perceive only discrete objects, such as people, trees, animals, rocks, clouds, oceans, earth. If you experience this level only, which is the basis of the egoic perspective, the universe that you see is dualistic.

    But if your perception is unobscured by your beliefs, your inner perception becomes unblocked, and the universe looks quite different. If your perceptual capacities are clear, you recognize that other dimensions exist in addition to physical reality, such as love, Beingness, and awareness. At this level of perception, you see that there is only one existence, one homogeneous medium. This medium encompasses physical reality, which is one particularization of it. Objects are seen as objects, but they are not discrete—they are more like waves on the surface of an ocean, lacking existence without the whole of the ocean. So differentiations exist, but not ultimate divisions.

    Physical Reality and Nonduality
    Surprisingly, this perception of unity makes physical reality itself appear more concrete, not less. It appears more three-dimensional, with more sense of depth. Ordinarily, when experiencing the state of Oneness, physical reality is seen as the surface, with the boundless dimensions as the underlying depths. But when the boundless dimensions are perceived as interpenetrating the physical, the three-dimensionality is enhanced. Everything stands out, feels more real, more present, and more itself, in a sense.

    In the experience of nonduality, it is not as though physical reality were a dream emanating from it—that perception would still be dualistic. When duality is seen through, physical reality is imbued with the essential dimension, and the two become one. This gives the physical more reality, more substance, more existence, more meaning, more depth, and more dimensionality. When you look at people, they seem more substantial, and even their bodies appear more physical, in a sense. Every object and person has a concreteness and a definiteness that makes each appear more defined, more present, and more complete, because your experience of them includes the depth of the true existence. When everything is perceived as the Absolute, each atom, each form, has its depth. The Absolute not only underlies everything, but penetrates all of manifestation. Depending upon which dimension you are experiencing, everything you perceive acquires the depth and beauty of that dimension.

    Reality itself is seen as the beauty and the grace of that dimension. So the totality of the universe is the Absolute or the Supreme, for instance, manifesting as beauty. Your body, your thoughts, and your feelings, then, are not separate from the truth, but are part and parcel of it. They are the truth itself. And the truth is there in every atom, every thought, every feeling, everywhere. So it is not your inner nature; there is nothing else but the truth.

    In nonduality, the unification is complete. This is very different from one’s initial experiences of essential reality in which there is you and your body, and Essence is felt to be inside you. To understand the difference, let’s suppose that the state of Essence you are experiencing is the Pearl, the Personal Essence. In this case, you feel as though a full pearl is filling your belly or the whole of your body. Now, imagine that instead of the pearl filling your belly or your body, each one of your atoms is made out of that pearl. The sense of each atom as a pearl is still physical, but it feels like the fullness of the pearly existence. This is what I mean by unity. The physical and the essential become one. It is not that the physical is filled by the essential, but rather that the physical is the essential. In the same way that your muscles are composed of atoms, so the whole of your body is made out of Beingness.

    When this sense of unification is complete and there is no duality in your experience, physical reality itself is experienced as the ultimate reality. Then all of physical reality, including all its objects and all of its manifestations, is seen as that beautiful, substantial, and fundamental reality. It is not separate from it, it doesn’t come out of it, nor is it filled by it—it is it. Grace doesn’t happen to physical reality; physical reality itself is the grace, is the beauty, is God. This is what Buddhists refer to as the Great Seal, the Mahamudra, in which all that you feel and see are unified with true nature. It is the unity of appearance and emptiness. This is one way of understanding what I mean by unity without duality. There is no separation at all, no division at all, no distance between the surface and the depth—in fact, there is no surface and no depth. There is no inside and no outside. They are the same thing. The unity is the complete interpenetration, the complete intermixing of inner and outer. It becomes all of one quality, all of the same thing.

    Experiencing this unity reveals to us that life is beautiful. Prior to this, when you experience yourself moving from the state of the physical or of the personality to the state of the essential or of the boundless dimensions, there is the feeling that life is a problem. The best option seems to be to get away from life, and one may long to disappear or die. From the perspective of unity, there is no such thing as dying, nor of being reborn. There is no such thing as ego death, and no such thing as enlightenment either, since you are already the unity. This is the state of affairs all the time and always—before you develop an ego, when it is dissolving, and after you are dissolved. All those parts are the unity itself, and so you are not going anywhere.
    This is why Longchenpa indicates in the poem quoted above that there is no path to take, no state to attain, and no technique to use. All you need to do is recognize that the state of total completeness is the state of everything right at this moment. If you don’t interfere or manipulate things and just let them be the way they are, you will experience this state of unity, which I sometimes refer to as the natural state since it is allowing things to be as they naturally are. This is reality, this is enlightenment, this is God. You don’t need to change anything or be anywhere other than where you are. Even if you are experiencing suffering, that suffering itself is the reality, and absolutely nothing needs to be done about it.

    This understanding explains why reality is also called Holy Perfection, the Holy Idea of ennea-type One. Holy Perfection means that everything is perfect at all times because there is never anything or any experience that is not the reality of the Holy Truth. Even when you experience yourself as separate from the reality, that is again the reality. So from this perspective, there is no need for a person to do anything—you don’t need to practice, you don’t need to understand yourself, you don’t need to do any work on yourself since everything, including yourself, is already in the state of unity.

    It is from this perspective that some teachings, including the Buddhist Maha Ati teaching, say that there is no need to practice—you don’t need to meditate, to sit in any posture, or to visualize any deity. The only practice is to relax, because you are already there and nothing needs to be done. So in that tradition, whenever you see any egoic manifestation, you just relax. If you are more advanced, you don’t even need to relax, since you are already in the state of unity, so being relaxed or unrelaxed is irrelevant.

    This is the foundation for the practice of Dzogchen, which is taught by the Nyingmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It is a tradition that works in the nondual only, and is said to be for people possessing superior capacity. The idea is that the state of unity, the natural state, is not something to be attained; it is the state of affairs all the time. If you think that there is something to be attained, you are creating a duality, since you are implicitly saying that there is a natural state and an unnatural state. From the Dzogchen perspective, the natural state is always the state that is occurring; you are just not always recognizing it as such. Even when you are not aware of it, you are in it. The only difference is that when there is recognition, you suddenly see the depth, the concreteness, the reality, the beauty, the harmony, and the grace of how things actually are. You see how things are already perfect, and this is why another name for total completeness is the Great Perfection.

    The perfection of reality includes even what we call imperfection from the egoic perspective. Reality is a perfection that cannot become imperfect. In the language of the Enneagram, this is the Idea of Holy Perfection. The moment you see that there is nothing but God, you recognize that everything is perfect at all times and at all points in space. If God is everything that is, how can there be imperfection? When you don’t like some manifestation and you want things to be different, all it means is that you have not surrendered to the Holy Will. You have your own prejudices and ideas about how things should be, and these could form the basis of your own personal religion!
    The Idea of Holy Truth is that nothing is excluded. The ego is not excluded, thinking is not excluded, reactivity is not excluded, neurosis is not excluded, and the physical realm is not excluded. This is because there is nothing but the One, so there is no other. Obviously, when there is one and no other, “one” is not being used in the mathematical sense. Pythagoras taught that numbers start with three: One is God, two is the Logos, and three is the beginning of creation. Since reality is one and there is no other, how could there be duality? So every time you experience a new dimension of Being, you realize that it is part of the One, which includes all numbers, so the two resulting from the new dimension is included within it. This is difficult to conceptualize, because this One is an infinite existence. Since it has no boundary and encompasses infinite space, you can’t conceive of it as the mathematical one. When you demarcate one area of physical space and then another, can you say that there is more than one space? Both are subsets of, and included in, the all-encompassing space.

    The state of unity, experiencing that everything makes up one thing, appears in all the boundless dimensions. The sense of it becomes progressively deeper, until one experiences that all the dimensions are unified. This is a progressive attainment and it doesn’t happen all at once. You might, for example, experience the unity of the dimensions of Living Daylight and the Supreme, in which case the experience of unity would have the transparency and clarity of the Supreme, as well as the whitish-yellow hue and sense of delicate love and grace of Living Daylight. Or the sense of unity might be experienced between the dimensions of the Nameless (Nonconceptual) and the Supreme. But the experience of the complete unity is a much more difficult attainment.
    Generally, most people initially experience unity while experiencing one of the formless dimensions by itself. So if one is experiencing the state of unity on the level of Living Daylight alone, it would be the sense that everything is love; or if one is experiencing it on the level of the Supreme by itself, it would be the sense that everything is pure Being, pure presence. Again, this is not the experience that everything is made out of love or of Being, which is the experience of these dimensions still infused with duality; but that the whole universe is Living Daylight or is the Supreme. This is the state of unification.

    In any case, the level at which one experiences the unity is not relevant to the Idea of Holy Truth. The most important thing about the state of unification is that there are not two. Egoic consciousness is, by its very nature, based on division. If there is no duality in your perception, the ego is non-existent. The study of the Holy Ideas is not the study of the building blocks of ego—these are elucidated when exploring the essential aspects and the formless dimensions. Here, we are studying the principles that hold the building blocks of ego together.

    So in this study of the Enneagram of Holy Ideas, the first principle that we encounter which holds the ego together is the belief in duality. This is one of the subtlest and deepest principles, without which the ego could not exist and function in the way it does. It arises as a result of the loss of perception of Holy Truth. When a direct perception about reality is lost, which is to say that when one of the Holy Ideas is lost to our experience, what arises is not a particular state, but rather a distorted, erroneous, mistaken idea about reality, which we call a delusion. In other words, the loss of each Holy Idea leads to a specific delusion associated with that point on the Enneagram. So one of the fundamental properties of reality, as described by Holy Truth, is its nonduality. When the oneness of reality is not perceived, the delusion of duality arises. This delusion is the perception that the differences and separations between things that exist are ultimate, that this is the true state of affairs.

    Because of the way the mind functions, the loss of an Idea leads to a deluded idea about reality. You cannot just not have a principle of reality, because the mind can’t function without one. So if there is no perception of the fundamental unity of all of existence, then there is the perception of duality. If there is duality, there is the loss of unity. The loss of unity is the loss of the condition of the natural state of total completeness. Basically, it is the loss of God Consciousness.

    The belief in duality will remain in place as long as there is no understanding of Holy Truth. The ego by its very nature assumes duality: the belief that who I am is ultimately separate and discrete, and that all other manifestations are also separate and discrete. This results in divisions in our minds between ultimate truth and the world, spirit, and matter, Absolute Truth and relative truth. God and the universe, God and myself, you and I, ego and Essence. This belief in division as ultimate is a conviction so deeply ingrained in the soul that it is one of the last things we can even contemplate confronting, let alone releasing.

    Even after a long time traveling the spiritual path, we cannot conceive that this might be an assumption about reality rather than the truth. We think, “This is how reality is—everyone knows that. My parents believed it, my teachers believed it, scientists write books on how things are fundamentally divisible, and everything seems to work according to this knowledge.” This conviction is so deeply entrenched that it has become an organizing principle for the very particles of our souls. Like a magnet arranges particles of metal, this conviction arranges our souls so that we can’t even imagine that things could be otherwise. We are, metaphorically speaking, always pointing north, and so we think that this is how reality is. Letting go of the magnet would mean realizing that that orientation is not reality, and that things are actually much more free-flowing than we thought.

    The sense of duality, then, arises through the loss of the Holy Truth; and the Holy Truth, as previously discussed, has the qualities of goodness, of positivity, of being loving. In Holy Truth, the multiplicity is in unity at all levels, and everyone and everything is holy. The word holy in the language of the Enneagram is not used in the usual dualistic sense: that which is opposite to the bad, the mundane, or the human. Holy means objective, how things really are beyond the cloud of egoic experience. So here, holy means objective truth. When you are experiencing the state of Holy Truth, everything becomes hallowed, filled with a sense of wonder, beauty, and grace. There is a sense of holiness to the experience, and those who live in this state are called “holy” in the spiritual traditions.

    Original Sin
    So the experience of duality is imbued with the loss of that holiness, beauty, and harmony, and therefore, has a negative tinge to it. This loss will be experienced as the sense that something is fundamentally wrong. The closest thing to this sense is the feeling of “original sin.” You know something terrible has happened, but you don’t know exactly what it is; you don’t know it is the loss of your natural state. The term Dzogchen in Tibetan literally means the natural state of the human individual, the condition where everything is completely the way it should be—and this is what you have lost. This results in a very deep state of something that we call “sin.” It feels like a disconnection, a loss, and a falling from grace; you no longer live in Holy Truth.

    You sense that what is most true and precious has been lost and destroyed, and that someone or something is to blame. Through the filter of the delusion of duality, one thing becomes perceived as being in opposition to another, and one side is guilty. The loving and perfect truth has been lost, and so someone has committed a crime or a sin here, and must be found and punished. This is the position of the ennea-type Eight, which has been called Ego Venge. Ultimately, you blame yourself for no longer being divine, and later this blame is projected onto others in order to protect yourself from the self-hatred that would otherwise result.
    Last edited by Vive; 06-05-2020, 07:10 PM.
    "Distress, whether psychic, physical, or intellectual, need not at all produce nihilism.
    Such distress always permits a variety of interpretations."



      Ultimately, all self-blame comes down to blaming oneself for not being enlightened. Universally, there is a core place within all ego structures where one feels guilty for not being a realized Being. The guilt, as we have seen, has to do with the fact that (in Christian terms) you have been thrown out of paradise—yet you don’t blame God for this; you blame yourself. The deeper you go into understanding the sense of guilt, the more you realize that you feel guilty for not being real. This is particularly relevant when you have realized the essential aspect of the Point, the Essential Identity(see The Point of Existence, Almaas 1996). Here you see that you have carried within you a profound sense of guilt for losing contact with your true nature. A sense of great betrayal arises, not just because your parents didn’t see your real nature, but that you stopped seeing it. You abandoned what is real in you; you abandoned yourself. Each ennea-type will experience this guilt in a slightly different way, as it is filtered through the lens of each one’s specific delusion, but this guilt and self-blame for the loss of contact with Being is universal to all egoic experience.

      The Bible tells us that Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden of Eden for eating the forbidden fruit. From this perspective, we can see that the fruit is the experience of duality, the first departure from the state of unity, the first division. So because you are not in a state of total completeness, you feel guilty and bad, and have an attitude of punishing and hating yourself. This gets projected, and you attempt to remedy the situation by getting revenge. This is the constellation or complex that results from the loss of Holy Truth

      Revenge is really the ego’s attempt to regain the original state of unity. It is a way of trying to get rid of the guilt and the pain through a convoluted line of reasoning that goes something like this: Someone hurts you, and the pain involves loss of the sense of unity. So you retaliate by hurting him or her in exactly the same way, in the belief that doing so will enable you to rid yourself of your own pain and restore the sense of unity. This is the rationale behind the Biblical phrase, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.”

      The nine delusions arising from the loss of the nine Holy Ideas are the seeds around which the cores of the nine ennea-types develop, and while each is most dominant for the ego structures of that type, the nine are present in all ego structures. The delusions, then, form the nine principles inherent in all ego structures and lives informed by ego. We have seen how the loss of Holy Truth leads to the delusion of duality, and how out of this loss of true reality—this state of “the fall” arises the painful sense of badness, guilt, and original sin. Self-blame ensues for not being divine, which becomes self-punishment and the attempt to avenge oneself This constellation forms the core, the major psychological constellation related to this point of the Enneagram, out of which the whole ennea-type develops

      The Holy Ideas are different forms of the perception of the soul in a completely open and transparent state, that is, the soul in touch with Living Daylight. The loss of this state of openness and wholeness—whether it results from normal egoic identification with a separate sense of self or from the contraction away from contact with experience that is involved in reacting to a sense of the loss of holding—inevitably results in the loss of the sense of unity, connection, perfection, love, flow, and so on.

      The core constellation is actually one unified process with three facets: 1) As we saw in Part One, the loss of an Idea is the same process as the loss of a sense of holding in the environment and the loss of basic trust. So the loss of Holy Truth leads to the specific delusion of duality. 2) Loss or inadequacy of the holding environment results in the painful egoic state that we call the specific difficulty. Here, the loss of holding, filtered through the delusion of duality, results in the specific difficulty of a sense of badness, guilt, and fundamental sinfulness. 3) The loss of basic trust, filtered through the delusion, results in what we call the specific reaction of each point, and just as the loss of a sense of holding results in the loss of basic trust, the specific reaction is an attempt to deal with the specific difficulty. Here, it is the reaction of self-blame, which, as we have seen, is based upon the sense of duality and opposition, and which ultimately blossoms into the attempt to get revenge that is characteristic of ennea-type Eight.

      The Holy Truth includes everything—including the guilt and self-blame. It is all-inclusive and all-encompassing; otherwise it would not be holy. The belief that some manifestations are holy and others are not, or that some people are chosen by God and others are not, is not the Holy Truth. The Holy Truth chooses all people—they are its life. This is why it is said that, “The sought becomes the seeker.” The Holy Truth itself manifests as the seeker looking for the Holy Truth. So the journey is a matter of the seeker finding out that he or she is what is sought. When we know this, we realize that there is no need for seeking.

      [1]When I mention other religious or spiritual traditions and their points of view, I am not saying that my understanding of them is authoritative. I am referring to their descriptions of various states and understandings in the light of my own experience, explicating their knowledge through my own understanding. Someone of a particular tradition might say that they mean something slightly different and that I am misinterpreting what they mean. In referring to a particular tradition, I am not sanctioning it, or even agreeing with its tenets. There are distinct differences between the Diamond Approach and other traditions, although there are also many similarities in perspective. I am simply using examples from other traditions in order to facilitate understanding of things that are difficult to explain in words.
      "Distress, whether psychic, physical, or intellectual, need not at all produce nihilism.
      Such distress always permits a variety of interpretations."



        Point Five
        The awareness that because every individual is intimately connected with the entire cosmos by the operation of objective laws within their own bodies, there is no separateness or alienation except as a mental hallucination. Because the cosmic laws govern every aspect of ourselves, there is no possibility of hiding from the Cosmos, or avoiding the results of natural processes. When we understand this, we are completely at peace with our past

        —Ichazo, 1972
        In the preceding chapter on Holy Truth, we explored one of the three Holy Ideas that elucidate the fundamental nature of the universe when it is seen objectively, that is, with no subjective filters. We have seen that the cosmos is a living universe in which all levels and dimensions form a unity, and that this one living unity is the ultimate truth of existence. The way this universal view of reality is reflected in human experience is described by the next Holy Idea that we will discuss, Holy Omniscience, which is also sometimes called Holy Transparency.

        Our understanding of this Holy Idea expands on Ichazo’s definition above. Holy Omniscience is the Universal Mind, which is the multiplicity of existence within the unity described by Holy Truth. Universal Mind includes all that exists in its various manifestations, with all the various colors, the richness, and the continuous transformations of reality. It could also be called God’s Knowledge, since what God “knows” is the whole universe in all its multiplicity. You might say that Holy Omniscience is the same perception as Holy Truth, but with a different emphasis. In Holy Truth, the emphasis is on the unity of the universe; it is all “of the same taste,” as the Tibetan Buddhists say. With Holy Omniscience, the emphasis is on the differentiations and discriminations within that unity. So the focus here is on the various parts, in all their variety and multiplicity, that together comprise the unitive whole. To perceive reality through the facet of Holy Omniscience is like looking at a whole Persian rug, but focusing on the different designs contained within it.

        Unity in Multiplicity
        So the emphasis in the perception of Holy Omniscience is on the differentiation in the unity of all that exists, on the various aspects and dimensions of existence—yet this diversity does not negate the fact of unity. While Holy Truth is analogous to seeing your body as one unity, Holy Omniscience is seeing that your body has arms, legs, a face, internal organs, and so on—none of which are separate from the whole. This perception is a different kind of experience; it is looking at the same reality from a different angle: viewing the wholeness of reality as a multi-colored fabric.

        You could say that Holy Truth is the experience of unity, while Holy Omniscience is the experience of oneness—the sense that everything is interconnected and not separate, that everything makes up the one reality of the living universe. Here, we are seeing all the stars, the planets, the mountains, the rivers, the animals, and the people that are part of it, without isolating them from the context of the unity, the Holy Truth.

        The difference between these two experiences of the nature of reality is expressed in the Sufi tradition by two different names of God: Abad, the inner nature, and Wahid, the outer nature of the unity of existence. The experience of the inherent unity of reality is perceiving its inner nature, while the experience of its multiplicity is perceiving its outer nature. In the same tradition, unity is seen as God’s nature, and the oneness of appearances as God’s face. Holy Omniscience refers to how things appear, the “face” of the universe, and is also what is meant by Universal Mind (See chapter 16, Diamond Heart Book 4, Almaas, 1997).

        The other name of this Holy Idea, Holy Transparency, refers to oneness seen from the point of view of the individual. Instead of looking at the nature of reality from an “aerial” point of view, which would correspond to that of Holy Truth, we are seeing it from our human vantage point. It is the understanding of our place as human beings within the unity of existence, and from this perspective, we see that we are each an inseparable part of the whole, each a cell in the cosmic body, each a part of the “body” of God, inseparable from objective reality. The human being, then, is seen to be one of the differentiations of the Universal Mind.
        In the experience of Holy Transparency, you can see that you are an inseparable part of the whole because your boundaries are transparent. You see that you are an individual and a person, but you are not separate from the unity of the whole universe. You are as inseparable from the universe as the eyes are from the face. And, like the eyes, you see that you don’t have an existence separate from the rest of the body of the universe. As a human being, you know yourself to be an inseparable part of God, a particularization of the objective reality, an extension, as it were, of Holy Truth. You experience yourself as an individual, distinct from other things, with a consciousness localized in a certain place, yet you also experience yourself as continuous with everything else.

        So the experience of transparency is experiencing yourself as part of the totality, supported by it and not existing apart from it. You see that it is not possible for you to have an existence separate from the unity, and that in some sense the unity also wouldn’t exist without you. Not only do you experience yourself as inseparable from the unity, but you experience yourself as an extension of the unity. In the experience of Holy Transparency, you are a human being who is continuous with the unity and a particularization, an individualization, a personalization of that unity. So in a sense, you are experiencing yourself as a son or daughter of God. Here, the experience is that you not only come from the unity of God, but that you never leave it. Any feeling that you are not part of the unity of reality is a delusion, a mental hallucination. The protoplasm of the universe is continuous with your protoplasm; you have a cell membrane around you but you are part of one protoplasm, one life force.

        The perceptions of reality expressed by Holy Truth and Holy Omniscience are not emphasized or even articulated in many spiritual traditions. Because in the Diamond Approach our path involves transforming ordinary life into a life of spiritual discovery, these Holy Ideas are very important. They help us to understand how it is possible to be a unique individual who is at the same time inseparable from the totality of the universe, making possible the realization of what we call the Personal Essence, or the Pearl. (See The Pearl Beyond Price, Almaas, 1988, for an in-depth exploration of the Personal Essence.) This realization is the complete personal embodiment of Being, or Being manifesting through the life of an individual. It is becoming a complete human being, which is an organ through which the universe can experience itself fully.

        Eyes of the Universe
        Envision the universe as a living being that, through its differentiations and developments, evolves increasingly sophisticated life-forms which are capable of ever-subtler and more inclusive levels of experience. Each form is a manifestation of this being, and as such, each provides it with different experiences of itself. So each life-form is a way that this living being, the universe, experiences itself. An amoeba is a vehicle for a certain experience of itself, as are a bird and a human. But human beings, as distinct from other life forms, also provide the universe with a way to reflect upon itself. And a complete human being is a way the universe experiences itself completely. To know the truth of Holy Omniscience is to know that you are the eyes of the universe. When you understand this, you know that your job (as the Holy Idea of ennea-type Seven, Holy Work, will tell us) is to make that eye completely transparent and completely open so that you can give the universe an experience of itself in all its dimensionality, in all its variety, in all its colors and flavors.

        Each spiritual tradition has a different story to explain why we are here. Some say that the unmanifest manifests the universe out of compassion, or out of love, or even out of playfulness. We don’t claim to know the purpose of human life. In fact, we admit the possibility that it may not even be possible to know why we are here. All we really know is that the unmanifest manifests the universe—and we know this from our own experience, which provides the perception of the human being as both an individual and an organ of experience for the whole universe. Experientially, the sense is that the whole universe is behind you, and you are like a window through which it sees.

        This perception clarifies our understanding of what motivates us to do the work of spiritual transformation. From this vantage point, we see that it is not to free ourselves from our suffering, but to become a clear window for the universe. Now, becoming such a window does result in freeing oneself, but if you conceive of it that way, you remain a self-centered and isolated individual who is working at becoming free. Then the whole conceptual framework within which you hold the Work remains shaped by the egoic perspective and entrenched in that subjective position. Thus, your consciousness remains rooted in the ego and you cannot become free of it. Spiritual unfoldment means perceiving and experiencing objectively, and the objective principle that is lacking here is that of Holy Transparency.

        Doing the Work for yourself blocks your unfoldment. Doing the Work in order to become a clearer and clearer window for the universe is selfless; then you do the Work out of humility, out of love, and out of putting your self (your ego) aside. In this case, your unfoldment will happen more easily and spontaneously. It is not a matter of thinking that you, as a separate individual, are going to help God in this way; that is just a subtler way of expressing your sense of separateness. It is a matter of recognizing your true position relative to God, your true function as a human being, your true connection to the universe—which is being a cell in its body. Reorienting your approach to the Work does not mean you should try to control your motivation (which is impossible anyway), or judge yourself when you see that you are being self-centered. Rather, it means that every time you recognize yourself operating from selfish motivations, you try to identify the barrier that is interfering with seeing things objectively.

        Separate Existence
        So we have seen that Holy Omniscience or Holy Transparency is the view of the human being that corresponds to, or arises out of, the view of reality described by Holy Truth. From the vantage point of Holy Omniscience, we see that as human beings we are inseparable manifestations of the Holy Truth. When this objective way of experiencing oneself and reality is lost, the specific delusionparticular to this point on the Enneagram arises: the conviction that you are a separate entity, existing in your own right, separate from others and from the universe, separate from God, separate from everything.

        We have seen that objectively there is no such thing as a separate self; so when we experience ourselves as separate, we are deluded. The actual reality is that we are not separate, but the contrary conviction is so powerful that we constantly experience ourselves as separate. The belief completely determines your experience. The sense of being like a fortress, with impenetrable walls around you that separate you from everything else, is your actual experience.

        The delusion here is not that you are an individual, but that you are an isolated individual, with boundaries that separate you from every thing else. This delusion is at the heart of the Five ennea-type, and the exact key that unlocks it is Holy Omniscience and Holy Transparency. If you believe that you are a separate individual, your vision is clouded by subjectivity since you are holding yourself separate from God, which cannot be. There is only one existence, and that is God, the Holy Truth, objective reality, the living cosmos, the universe—whatever you want to call it—so holding on to the conviction that you are separate is like creating two universes, yours and the rest of the cosmos. Then you have a relationship with the rest of the universe, thereby creating the mental construct of this fundamental object relation. By “object relation,” here, we mean the construction in the mind of a concept of one’s self in relation to the concept of other or of the world. From the perspective of Holy Truth, we see that there are no discrete objects; from the perspective of Holy Omniscience we see that there is no separate self. So with these two perspectives we can see that both ends of any object relation—self and other—cease to be experienced as real.

        A question may arise here about whether there really is such a thing as independence, when we see that this is the way things are. There are such things as independence, autonomy, and uniqueness, but not for the separate self. As we experience more objectively, we see that true independence is being independent from the mind that separates us from the universe. True independence, then, is independence from falsehood. When we think being independent means not depending on others or not needing this or that, it is evidence that we are seeing through the subjective lens of the ego. In reality, we are all dependent upon each other and on the world around us. Everyone affects everyone else because our lives interpenetrate. But actually, our interdependence is much deeper and far more profound. We are not only dependent on each other, but we are actually inseparable from each other, since we are all made out of the same substance.
        Since the decisions we make about how to live our lives are based upon what we believe about the nature of reality, the more objective our understanding, the more appropriate our choices. In the same way, our understanding of spiritual practice is determined by how objectively we understand that our boundaries are permeable and that we are in direct contact with everything all the time. Without an experiential understanding of Holy Transparency, we will work on ourselves as though we are truly separate individuals, and this will block our progress. The truth of our interconnectedness is basic to the methodology of the Diamond Approach, but it is not restricted to our work—it is an acknowledged principle in most spiritual traditions.

        The loss of Holy Omniscience, then, is the loss of the perception of our interconnectedness, and what arises out of this loss is the conviction that we are separate entities. This conviction is based on assuming that the boundaries of our bodies define the boundaries of our consciousness, of our souls. This is one of the most fundamental principles of the ego. The ego is first and foremost a body-ego, in the sense that the self-demarcations that form in our consciousness during infancy are based on our sensory experience of our bodies as distinct from other objects. (For more detail on this point, see Mahler, 1975, p. 46.) The delusion is taking these body-boundaries to define and limit our sense of who and what we are. On the physical level, it is true that each of us has physical boundaries and that this body is separate from that body, but on the level of consciousness these boundaries are permeable. The edges of our bodies do not define where we end and others begin, although if we have this conviction it will feel that way. When we recognize that this experience is a delusion, we see that the ego boundaries we have used to define ourselves are only mental constructs. We realize that we have been holding onto an image of our bodies in order to define ourselves as entities.

        Although these ego boundaries form the basis of our sense of separateness, the belief that we are separate entities goes deeper than this. The soul, when it is structured by the ego, has the shape of the body in our consciousness, whether or not we are aware of it. When it is not structured by the ego, you might experience the soul as having a jelly-like, plasmatic form, yet still experience it as a separate entity which, in fact, it is not. It is more accurate to talk about a soul current or soul flowthan to call it a soul, since that makes it sound like a separate entity. It is more like a wave being formed by the constant movement of the currents, inseparable from the ocean out of which it arises. The wave is part of the ocean, but it is distinguishable from the ocean. When you are a wave, it is true that you are not the whole ocean, but you are also not separate from the ocean. Without the ocean, waves would not exist. You could say that an ego is someone who believes that she or he can be a wave without an ocean—imagine the trouble you’d have sustaining that! The dominant feeling would be that there is no support. You would always be trying to hold yourself up! This is exactly our situation without the perspective of Holy Omniscience. Ordinarily, we do not experience the true nature of our souls because we have defined ourselves vis-à-vis the boundaries of our bodies. We have taken these boundaries to define our identity, believing that these physical boundaries are a fundamental and intrinsic aspect of who we are when, in fact, they are the most superficial aspect of who we are. This conviction that the body boundary defines us actually solidifies the sense of separateness by creating a layer of surface tension in the skin. When we actually experience the body boundary, we feel it as tension on the periphery of the body.

        It is not that physical boundaries don’t exist—if that were the case, there would be no differentiation, no color, no action. They do exist, but not as partitioning walls; seen through the fact of Holy Omniscience, they exist as differentiating outlines, articulating many different tastes, textures, and colors, without obscuring the underlying nature of everything as One. It is as though you have dropped different colors of dye into a fluid; many colors are swirling around, but it is still all the same fluid. One way of putting it is that the boundaries define a difference, but not a separateness. So I am different from you, but I am not separate from you; people are different from each other, but they are not separate from each other. The existence of boundaries, then, does not negate the underlying unity. Boundaries are characteristic of the objective concepts or noetic forms, relevant on the level of creation and existence. Boundaries and the forms they define are characteristics of the thoughts of God, as it were. This is why we call the universe a mind.

        To the ego, separateness means impermeable boundaries, or isolation, but real separation is something quite different. Real separation means particularization out of the unity or, for human beings, individuation. It means recognizing that your true nature is not determined by external influences. At a deep unconscious level, it involves separating from your mother—separating in the sense that who you take yourself to be is not determined by her. This is not isolating yourself, but rather recognizing your uniqueness and individuating.
        Last edited by Vive; 06-05-2020, 06:14 PM.
        "Distress, whether psychic, physical, or intellectual, need not at all produce nihilism.
        Such distress always permits a variety of interpretations."



          This mountain is not the same as that mountain. They are separate in the sense that each is unique, but they are connected in that they are both part of the earth. There is no such thing as a mountain existing on its own. The ego wants to believe that it is a mountain that is detached from the earth, because it does not experience itself as connected to the earth. To have true separation means that if you are a mountain, you realize that you are a particular mountain and not that other mountain over there, and although you have unique qualities that the other mountain doesn’t have, you are not completely separate and isolated from it.

          From the point of view of ego, it is difficult to comprehend that boundaries are ideas or concepts. This insight arises when you experience space on the nonconceptual level. It is a different understanding than seeing that concepts are boundaries, which is a more accessible perception. From the perspective of Holy Omniscience, we see that compassion and steadfastness, for example, are different qualities of Being, but both are nonetheless Being—one thing. You could say they are God’s concepts, thoughts in God’s mind that appear different but that arise out of one source. This is why we consider all differentiations arising out of the Absolute to be universal concepts, thoughts in God’s Mind. (For a more extensive discussion of universal concepts, or noetic forms, see Diamond Heart Book 4, Almaas, 1997.)

          Without differentiations, there would be no experience, no knowledge, no action, no life, no universe—nothing but the unmanifest Absolute. This is why understanding the nature of boundaries is significant in terms of understanding reality. Someone who experiences only Holy Truth, only unity with no differentiations—without even the concepts of experience, unity, or differentiations—for all practical purposes is not alive. Such a person would be in a kind of coma, a divine coma. When you reach the true essence of the truth, this ultimate reality is in a coma in the sense that it doesn’t know itself. It is unconscious because it has no boundaries, no distinctions. Differentiation is completely gone, so there are no differences. Therefore, there is nothing to see, nothing to experience. This is what makes it the unmanifest Absolute.

          If you experience yourself exclusively as the Absolute with no concepts, you cannot function in the world. If you are in deep meditation, you can sink into it, but you can’t walk around that way since you wouldn’t be able to discriminate a truck heading your way, for instance. A truck is nothing but differentiating outlines and boundaries—the Universal Mind heading toward you with a certain density and at a certain speed! So it is important to perceive the Holy Truth because that is the ultimate nature of reality, but it is also important to know Holy Omniscience because without it, there would be no life, nor anyone to know the Holy Truth.

          Abiding in Holy Omniscience is a very beautiful condition in which you retain your humanity without losing your divinity. The totality of the living universe is present as your support, your ground, and your inner nature, but you are still a person, functioning and living the life of a human being. There is no sense of separation, so it isn’t as though you, as a human being, and the unity are two things that are put together. It is more like a kind of dual unity1 in the sense that you are not coexisting with the unity, but you are part of it, an extension of it, without losing your sense of being a human being. There is a sense of loving and enjoying the living universe and the unity, and in loving it, you are also loving yourself since you are an inseparable part of it.

          Isolation and Withdrawal
          As we have seen, when this sense of omniscience and transparency is absent, there is a distorted perception, the delusion of being a separate entity. This delusion of separateness is the seed of the ennea-type, giving rise to its experiential core. For those of this ennea-type, the specific difficultyresulting from the loss of the sense of holding is experiencing oneself as small, isolated, cut-off, empty, and impoverished—it is a state of deficient isolation. This sense of feeling isolated, alone, and abandoned as a result of the loss of holding results from the belief in separateness, the specific delusion of ennea-type Five.
          The specific reaction in response to this painful sense of deficient isolation is to withdraw in an attempt to hide from reality. If you feel small, deficient, and isolated, it means that you feel inadequate to deal with reality, so the reaction of this ennea-type is to want to avoid dealing with reality, to hide from it, to try to separate, withdraw, run away from it, to break off contact—basically to not stay in touch with whatever reality is presenting. This reaction again implies the delusion of separateness, since you have to believe you are a separate individual to believe that you can hide or withdraw from reality. What you most want to get away from is the state of deficiency itself. But when you withdraw and you don’t let yourself experience it, this behavior becomes generalized, and you end up avoiding everything in your attempt to avoid seeing or experiencing any difficulty, pain, or hurt. This reaction escalates into the personality complex of ennea-type Five, with its characteristic emotional withdrawal and deadness, and the dissociation of mind from body. So the core of this ennea-type is a state of impoverishment and the schizoid defense of withdrawal and avoidance.

          This constellation is one of the principles of ego, part of its internal structure and logic; you don’t have to be an ennea-type Five to experience it. As we have said, we each have all the ennea-types within us since they are the nine differentiated manifestations of ego, although one type will be more pronounced in each of us.

          As we discussed in Part One, the quality of Living Daylight functions like a solvent, melting all boundaries. For this reason, in our work, it is the specific energy required for working on the Holy Ideas. The aspect of space erases boundaries, while Living Daylight dissolves them into itself. In the presence of Living Daylight, boundaries lose their opacity, their rigidity, their partitioning quality, and they become merely outlines. The sense of separateness is dissolved through love, and everyone and everything is seen as love, a manifestation of an ocean of love. When we have this experience, we understand what Holy Omniscience means.

          Then we also can understand objectively what it is to be a human being: It is to be an extension of the objective truth. We recognize that, as human beings, we are organs of perception for the universe, and that this Holy Idea explicates the place of the human in relation to the living universe. Through us, the universe experiences or knows itself fully, not only physically, not only emotionally, not only mentally, but on all the spiritual dimensions as well.

          The Extension Issue
          Recognizing yourself as an organ of perception and an extension of the living universe often brings up a specific issue—more pronounced in some people than in others—having to do with feelings about being an extension of something. Experiencing yourself as an extension of the universe might not appeal to your ego, especially if you characteristically have a need to be the center of attention. Your reaction might be something like, “Wait a minute! I’m not an extension of anybody. I am myself, I exist as myself, so don’t give me this bullshit about being an extension! Just because we’re talking about God doesn’t make it any different. If anyone is going to be an extension of anyone else, I’m the one who has the extension!” If you have always been the boss, the thought of not being in control and not giving the orders might be abhorrent.

          If, on the other hand, your personality has been based on being an extension of your mother or father, and you have not fully worked through that identity, it will surely arise as you face this question of transparency. You might realize that you have been operating as an extension, and that this has been central to who you have taken yourself to be. You might see that you became whatever your mother wanted you to be—that you function as an extension of her hopes, her ideas, and her character. She might have unconsciously wanted you to be her heart, her sense of self, or even her phallus, and you have behaved as though you were this extension. Your whole sense of identity is based on this relation. This is what being an extension means: Your existence is dependent on that other and so, in this case, you don’t have an existence separate from mother. You are only a reflection of the object, so separating from your internal image of her would mean losing your identity.

          You may have various reactions to this. When you see that you have acted like an extension, you might react to the experience of transparency as a very undesirable state: “I’m my own person and I don’t want to be anyone’s extension any longer—enough is enough!” Of course, this reaction will block the operation of Holy Omniscience. On the other hand, you might see that without the identity of being some-one’s extension, you feel like you don’t know who you are. You might, therefore, remain attached to being an extension, so that when you hear about transparency, your unconscious response is, “Oh good. I don’t have to change anything. I can stay just as I am; I’ll just project my mother’s image onto the whole universe and be God’s extension.” This, of course, is not Holy Omniscience. It is continuing to be identified with an object relation that originated with your mother, in which you are an image or a mental construct that is the extension of another image—your mother’s. This is quite different from the actual experiential sense of yourself as an inseparable and integral part of the whole, whose nature is the same as yours. The similarity, and what gives rise to the issue, is the sense of dependency inherent in both the object relation and the experience of Holy Transparency. Your existence does depend on the whole—that is the reality—and the personality may not like this state of affairs.

          You can be identified with either side of this object relation, which is called the extension object relation, either as the extension of someone else, or as the central person with one or more extensions of your own. In either case, you are experiencing yourself as a mental construct in relation to a construct of someone else. This object relation is a narcissistic one (i.e., having to do with one’s identity), so losing it feels like a loss of support. This is because, regardless of which end of the object relation you are identified with, the identification supports the ego identity. You might feel as if you are losing yourself by experiencing yourself as an extension of the universe, since the boundaries that you have taken to define yourself fall away in that experience. Or if you have been identified as an extension, you might feel that you are losing yourself by experiencing yourself as central and yet interconnected.

          Like other narcissistic projections, the extension objection relation is a form of merged transference in which, although we are not the same thing, you are part of me, or I am part of you. We are slightly differentiated, but not completely separate. This becomes apparent if you are used to being the central figure in this object relation, and your extension doesn’t do things the way you want them done. You might feel very hurt and unsupported, as though part of your body hadn’t responded the way you wanted it to. This sense of hurt is what is called narcissistic wounding, meaning that one’s sense of self feels assaulted in some way.

          The issue of the extension object relation makes it very difficult to experience and integrate the Holy Idea of Transparency. Because of it, one either resists the experience or becomes attached to being an extension in a way that continues to support the personality. Holy Transparency means experiencing things without your personal mind. Then, as an individual, you are an extension of the universe, an extension of the Holy Truth—and not as a mental construct, not with an image in your mind that you are an extension of the universe. It is only as part of the extension object relation that one has an image of oneself as one side or the other of a merged relationship.

          After you work through the need to be the center, being an extension of the universe feels like a great relief. Needing to be the center of the extension object relation is a big job, since you are holding yourself as God. In the pure experience of direct union with the living universe, you know yourself to be completely supported, completely loved, completely held, and completely taken care of as a human being. The living consciousness of the universe is above you, surrounding you, within you, and you know that you are a part of it. This brings a wonderful sense of relaxation and joy. A sense of tremendous preciousness and value arises as you see that not only do you need the living universe to exist and support you, but that without you, that living universe would be blind. You are not expendable.

          Holy Omniscience or Transparency is not just a matter of dimly perceiving that you are part of something greater than yourself. That is only the beginning of the experience. The full experience is of the totality of the universe as a living presence of which you are a part; you are a consciousness that is conscious of the totality; you not only feel yourself as part of the whole, but you also experience that whole. You are aware of the whole like a wave is aware of the whole ocean and of the other waves that are also part of it. If you do feel that you are part of something greater, but you are not yet aware of that larger whole, and don’t yet experience others as also part of that wholeness, this indicates that there is still some opacity in the experience and that your boundaries are not completely transparent.

          You should not expect that once you have experienced Holy Omniscience you will always have it. Also, no two experiences of it will be alike, since each experience depends upon the dimension from which you experience it. For example, you might experience yourself as part of everything and perceive that everything is pure love; or you might experience yourself as part of everything and perceive that everything is pure Being; or you might experience yourself as part of everything and see yourself as a wave arising out of the ocean; or you might experience yourself as a cell, continuous with everything around you. All of these are experiences of Holy Transparency, experienced from different dimensions.

          The Holy Ideas are not exactly states of consciousness; they are certain ways of experiencing reality. So you could be experiencing a particular essential state, and at the same time you might experience transparency or not. You cannot, however, experience transparency without experiencing some quality of Being, because if you are not experiencing Being you are experiencing ego, and the Holy Ideas are not accessible in the egoic realm.

          As we abide in this Holy Idea and appreciate ourselves as unique and individual waves in the vast ocean, our need for separating boundaries begins to relax. This discriminating wisdom changes our perceptions: Each person, each object, each appearance becomes more real, more palpable, more dimensional. Everything becomes more real and substantial while still being implicitly part of the larger whole. You experience yourself as a definite, individualized person who is at the same time an inextricable part of the fabric of the living universe. The edges between people and objects cease to limit, disconnect, and isolate. Instead, they enhance the reality of existence, revealing the beauty, the richness, and the uniqueness of each person and each existence. Everything stands out in clearer relief. One’s sense of oneself is more individuated, but without that sense of definition disconnecting you from the rest of existence. Here, the foreground of differentiated reality is in focus, against a background of Holy Truth.

          1. Dual unity is a psychological term used to describe the state an infant is thought to experience during the symbiotic phase of its development (from approximately two months of age through the sixth month). There appears to be the sense that mother and infant are part of one enclosed system, two entities that are part of each other and share a common boundary, in the same way that one’s head is related to one’s legs. “From the second month on, dim awareness of the need-satisfying object marks the beginning of the phase of normal symbiosis, in which the infant behaves and functions as though he and his mother were an omnipotent system—a dual unity within one common boundary.” (Mahler, 1975, p. 44)

          "Distress, whether psychic, physical, or intellectual, need not at all produce nihilism.
          Such distress always permits a variety of interpretations."



            Point Two
            The awareness that Reality, moving with direction and according to fixed natural laws, flows with a certain force. The easiest way to deal with this force is to move with it. This is true freedom.

            —Ichazo, 1972

            If reality is a unity of everything that exists, constituting one existential Beingness that is alive and self-existing (Holy Truth), and if we as human beings are inseparable parts and expressions of this Beingness (Holy Omniscience), the question arises: What does this mean in terms of how we live, practice, and work on ourselves? The third point of the triangle that we have been discussing addresses this question. The Holy Idea of ennea-type Two has two names: Holy Will and Holy Freedom. Each name represents the Holy Idea seen from a different vantage point. From the perspective of the universe, this Idea is Holy Will; from the perspective of the human being, it is Holy Freedom.

            As we saw in our exploration of Holy Truth, truth has different levels and subtleties of understanding, and the more we unfold, the more our sense of the truth expands. We see that it encompasses more and more, or rather, our understanding encompasses more and more of the truth until finally, we see the totality that Holy Truth describes. Holy Truth is not the realization of a specific truth, as we have said; it is nothing but perceiving reality as it is. If you perceive reality as it is, which is to say, objectively, the perception, the awareness, and the understanding that arises are that everything is truth and that truth is the existence of the universe. From the perspective of Holy Truth, there is only the truth; there is nothing else. When you see that there is only the truth, the perception and experience is not your ordinary one. In this state, you experience unity, oneness, interconnectedness, and a state of harmonious unity of the whole cosmos in which everyone and everything at all levels is one homogenous whole. So when we say that the truth is everything, we are describing the perception from a deep state of consciousness in which everything is seen devoid of the projections of the personality, and is therefore a unity that is imperceptible to the soul informed by the ego.

            If the Holy Truth is that the universe exists as a unified Beingness, as an existence that is intrinsically undivided and non-dual, what does it mean to live according to that truth? What are the implications of this understanding in terms of your actions? What is functioning, and what is doing about? These are really questions about change, and they require an understanding of Holy Will.

            Cosmic Change
            Ichazo’s definition of Holy Will is: “The awareness that Reality, moving with direction and according to fixed natural laws, flows with a certain force. The easiest way to deal with this force is to move with it. This is true freedom.” By “fixed natural laws,” we understand Ichazo to mean that there are patterns to how things happen. For example, if you react to your experience, you get disconnected from your Being. We take this understanding a little further, saying that if you really surrender to the Holy Will, you will realize that you are actually part of this force of the flow of reality. It is not, then, a matter of flowing with it, but rather of realizing that there is no separation, that it is all one unfoldment. You also see that the unfoldment is not just the changes in the universe, like the sun rising and setting, rain coming and going, people moving from one place to another. The unfoldment is much deeper than that; the existence of the earth itself is part of the unfoldment, part of the creativity of reality. You see that your existence is part of the creativity. It is not that there are little changes within a static universe, but that the universe itself acts by the whole thing shifting.

            Let’s say that it is noontime now and the sun is overhead, and in a number of hours it will be dusk and the sky will begin growing dark. Your universe will have changed in the course of time from one state to another, from daytime to nighttime. If you take your hand and scratch your head, the universe you experience has also changed from one state to another, but in this case we say that you have taken an action. If we have understood Holy Transparency, and we know that you are not separate from the stars, why do we call shifts in the relative position of the sun and stars “change,” while we call scratching one’s head an “action”? We cannot make this distinction unless we believe that the universe is an inanimate object full of other inanimate objects, and that we human beings are living things, having our own will and ability to do this or that.

            From the perspective of Holy Truth, the universe is one infinite, multi-level organism. Therefore, what we call “action” is nothing but the changes and transformation that this organism experiences. So, if you perceive and experience the totality of the universe as one living Beingness, then scratching your head and the movement of the earth around the sun are both manifestations of the universe changing its appearance. This means that moving your hand, thinking a thought, talking to someone, touching someone, walking toward someone, and driving your car, are in the same class of events as the explosions of the stars, the galaxies moving farther away from each other, rain falling, and a hurricane destroying a town.

            All that happens happens as one unified functioning. We call it “functioning” because we are thinking in terms of doing. When we discuss our actions, for example, we say. “I’m doing this, I’m doing that,” indicating our subjective point of view. However, if extra-terrestrials looked at the earth from the vantage-point of their space-ship, their view of us might be very different. Suppose they don’t have bodies like ours and don’t behave or function as we do. Observing us, they wouldn’t necessarily assume that we are doing this or that; they might think, “This spot on that planet is moving this way, and that spot is moving that way.” They might think that the earth is one organism that has wiggly things all over it, or that people are hairs on the planet’s surface. If these beings were as big as the earth, we would likely seem very small and insignificant to them. But from our subjective point of view, with our belief in our separate sense of self, we think, “I’m doing this and I’m doing that, and the movement of the stars has nothing to do with me.” If you understand Holy Truth, it is a necessary corollary that your actions are not separate from the movement of the stars. The only barrier to perceiving this is an emotional and conceptual one: your attachment to the belief in your separate self. If you believe you are ultimately separate, your doing and functioning seem independent of the rest of the universe.

            The perception that all changes in the universe are unified as one harmonious, interconnected, interrelated functioning is not yet that of Holy Will, but rather, that of Holy Law, the Holy Idea of ennea-type Three, which we need to understand in order for Holy Will to be intelligible. In the theistic traditions, this Law is called creation, because in a sense, there is a continual creation of the universe. If your view is religious rather than mystical, you believe that everything is run and done by God. But with the actual experience of Holy Truth, the objective view is that everything that happens is interconnected since there are no separate objects, all that happens are changes in the appearance of one medium; therefore, all functioning is simply transformation in the presence of the Holy Truth.

            Cosmic Action
            Because what happens is the functioning of the organism that is the universe, there is no randomness to the changes that occur within it. Events may appear random to our subjective point of view, but from an objective perspective, an inherent intelligence is seen to be operating, moving things in a particular direction. As Albert Einstein is reputed to have said, “God does not play dice with the universe.” This means that the universe does not function mechanically; it is a living, conscious presence, so its functioning is an organic unfoldment. Perceiving that the functioning of the universe has a particular momentum, and moves in a particular direction with a particular intelligence and a particular force, is the meaning of Holy Will. You are seeing, in other words, that there is a unified will in the total functioning of the universe.

            Implicit in this perception is seeing all change in the universe as a functioning, a doing. This means that the movement of a star is action and not simply change; it is the action of Holy Truth. There are different ways of experiencing this. If your consciousness is experiencing this from inside Holy Truth, which is to say that you are experiencing who you are as God, the experience is, “I am moving the stars, I am exploding the energy in the sun, I am doing all if it.” Your differentiated existence is not what is forefront in the experience of Holy Truth; what is emphasized is the unity, so you are seeing functioning from the perspective of that unity. If there is no sense of identity, no “I” in the experience, then rather than experiencing from the perspective of God, there is just the existence of the universe which is seen to be “doing” all of it, moving everything. The first way of experiencing things is theistic, which is how things are seen in traditions that focus on God-realization. Meher Baba is an example of this perspective when he says, “I am doing everything.” The second is non-theistic; the Buddhist tradition emphasizes this experience of there being no central “I” and therefore, no God to do anything. Both are experiences of Holy Will from different vantage points. We can say that God or the universe, depending on your orientation, chooses what happens. The earth rotating around the sun, as well as whatever you are experiencing right now, is the action of the universe.

            If everything that happens is a transformation of Holy Truth, then everything that happens is the action of Holy Truth. This means that everything—all change, experience, process—is the action of Holy Truth, arising out of its Holy Will. Therefore, the Holy Will of the universe or God is everything that happens at any moment.

            So Holy Will is nothing mysterious, but very few people actually come to know it directly. It is a very subtle and deep perception of the operation of Holy Truth. At the same time, we can experience it as whatever is happening at any moment, whether it is a supernova exploding or your superego attacking you. All of it is Holy Will.

            Freedom and Surrender
            Holy Freedom, the other aspect of this Holy Idea, is understanding functioning or will from the perspective of Holy Transparency. Holy Transparency, discussed in the previous chapter, is the perception that one exists as a human being who is completely inseparable from the whole. Therefore, your functioning and your actions are inseparable from the functioning of the whole, and are in complete harmony with its functioning. You are, in a sense, a co-creator, a participant in the expression of Holy Will. This is the experience of Holy Will acting through you, and we call that experience Holy Freedom. Holy Freedom, then, means that your action is not separate from the action of the universe, so your will is not separate from the will of the universe. There is, therefore, no conflict between your will and the will of the universe; your will is not opposed to that of the universe or disharmonious with it.

            Just as Holy Transparency is grounded in Holy Omniscience, so Holy Freedom is grounded in Holy Will. Holy Freedom is basically experiencing Holy Will from the perspective of being a human being, which specifically means that you don’t have a separate will. Just as you see in Holy Transparency that you don’t exist as a separate entity, in Holy Freedom, you see that your will does not exist as a separate will. When you recognize that your will is part of the will of the whole, you are free. Being completely in harmony and completely merged with Holy Will is liberating. There is no opposition to what happens but rather, a complete welcoming of it, since your will and that of the universe are one. It is the sense that “My will is Thy will.” You are completely in harmony with God’s will, completely surrendered to it.

            A story is told about the Sufi saint, Rabia, that illustrates this understanding. Before she died, three of her fellow Sufis went to her to discuss some of the finer points of the teaching. The question they were pondering was: What is the best and most objective way of responding to God’s chastisement? The first said, “To be patient with it,” to which Rabia replied, “I smell ego there.” The second one said, “To completely welcome it,” and Rabia responded, “That’s better, but still not enough.” The third Sufi said, “To delight in it,” to which Rabia said, “Better, but God wouldn’t be satisfied with that.” So they asked her how she saw it, and she said, “When there is disharmony, I don’t see it because I am seeing God.” What Rabia meant is that there is complete forget-fulness of the chastisement because you are seeing the Holy Truth. So whatever you see or experience, even the chastisement, is the Holy Truth. The Holy Truth is everything, including all that happens—what we call good, what we call bad, what is painful or pleasurable to us—all is part of the Holy Truth.

            The moment you say that you don’t like this or that, you separate yourself from, and set yourself in opposition to, the universe. This is the beginning of the fixation associated with ennea-type Two. However, when there is no opposition to what is, there is surrender to the Holy Will, which is freedom. Buddhism and Taoism have the perspective that freedom is choicelessness, which is the realization that there is no choice. You, the separate individual, have no choice about what happens. Even the choice to surrender indicates that there is still a trace of separateness, because even surrender is the action of Holy Will. It is not your action; it is divine intervention—meaning that whatever happens to you at any moment is not your doing. When you experience yourself as a separate self, you experience your self as doing, as functioning. The moment you transcend this perspective, you realize that all this time you thought you were making things happen, while in reality, things were being done.

            When you realize yourself as inseparable from the rest, part of that experience is the perception that action happens spontaneously, arising out of the totality. We don’t ordinarily experience this because we’re still experiencing ourselves as separate individuals, so we cannot see the Holy Truth and therefore cannot see Holy Will. This makes it difficult even to conceive of action arising in this way. When this is the case, one needs to practice surrendering to what is happening, practice complete being with, saying neither yes nor no to what is happening. To really understand what action is, the best place to begin is with your inner experience. You neither accept it nor reject it; you don’t push it away, you don’t hold onto it. It is what is happening, and that’s it. You take no position, nor do you hold any attitude about it. Since you are not making it happen and it is not your choice, the best approach to your inner life is not to try to change it. The ego is always trying to change things, and if you observe your inner experience, you will see that you are in constant turmoil trying to change one thing or another. You try to relax, you try to quiet your mind, you try to make yourself feel better or make yourself feel worse. You are always interfering, trying to make something happen other than what is actually happening. You can only do this if you believe you have your own separate world and you can make things in it happen the way you want, while really, it is not your choice at all. You are alive today not because you want to be, but because the universe wants you to be. If you experience anger today, it’s because the universe chooses to. If you experience love today, it’s because the universe decides to.

            This “choosing” on the part of the universe is not the same as predestination. Predestination implies that there is a plan spelled out somewhere in which everything that is going to happen has already been determined. Here, we are talking about a universe that is intelligent and creative, where what is going to happen in the next moment cannot have been planned because it’s going to come out of this moment, rather than out of some plan written at the time of creation. So from this perspective there is no predestination, but there is also no free will.

            Everything that happens is totally spontaneous. In non-theistic terms, everything is done through the will of the whole, or in theistic terms, through the will of God. But when most people think of God’s will, they conceive of Him as though He were a human being who has ideas about what is going to happen, as if He had a blueprint and was going to make everything conform to it. This is a very limited idea of God. Maybe God is so intelligent that He can create the universe moment to moment without any blueprint!

            This is not to say that there is no thread running through everything that happens. The thread is nothing but exactly what is happening now, where you are in this moment, and how this moment unfolds. As you understand what your state is right now, and follow it as it unfolds, you are following your thread. This is Holy Work, the Holy Idea of ennea-type Seven.

            So things unfold according to Holy Law in a manner that is not random, but is also not determined. When we understand the intelligence of the universe, we understand how this is possible. This intelligence, which we call the essential aspect of Brilliancy, doesn’t need to rely on the past in order to act. This intelligence is so bright that it can respond immediately and spontaneously in the most optimal way possible without having to refer to what has happened in the past. If you don’t believe God can do that, it indicates that your image of God is based on your own ego, which can only act based upon what has happened to you in the past. This is like saying that God is as conditioned as you are; while in truth, God is what is within and around us that is wholly unconditioned.

            If we think of the universe as God, we are thinking of it as not only consciousness but as some kind of pure intelligence. This means that its action is not mechanical and arbitrary, but completely spontaneous and free. The universe manifests at each moment completely spontaneously, and this spontaneous action is the action of intelligence, the action of creativity. So the best way for us to open ourselves to this realization is to go along with it. To become free, we have to learn to surrender, to go along with what happens. This is the most important methodological basis for our work: We stay with what is, and allow it to unfold. The only doing that is necessary is understanding our situation enough to see how we believe we are choosing what happens, when in reality, we are not.
            Last edited by Vive; 06-05-2020, 06:15 PM.
            "Distress, whether psychic, physical, or intellectual, need not at all produce nihilism.
            Such distress always permits a variety of interpretations."



              The following passage by Longchenpa describes the Dzogchen view of action and practice—how to live one’s life, in other words:

              "Let whatever you do or whatever appears

              Just be in its natural state, without premeditation.

              That is true freedom.


              The way of living according to me, the creative intelligence,

              Fulfills all aims by letting everything be without striving.

              Because everything is included within this inner reality,

              There is nothing to accept or reject.

              With hope and fear eliminated, anxiety is transcended.

              Whoever recognizes creativity at work

              In the state of sameness where the three times are unborn,

              Is completely beyond verbal understanding or not understanding.

              This is the teaching of no acceptance or rejection."
              (Longchenpa, 1987, p. 46)
              Longchenpa calls “creativity” the action that we are calling Holy Will, and “the state of sameness” is the state of Holy Truth. Dzogchen, the highest yana in the Nyingmapa of Vajrayana Buddhism, is the practice of self-liberation, meaning that everything is seen to always be liberating itself. Since everything is a function of the Holy Truth, you don’t need to do anything to free it or yourself; you only need to see that everything is already free. So the fundamental stance toward reality in Dzogchen is that of non-interference.

              In the Diamond Approach, this attitude of non-interference leads to what we call nonconceptual freedom, which is not striving after anything—not even the ultimate state of Holy Truth. One’s practice, then, is to cultivate an orientation of not interfering with what arises inwardly and outwardly, of just letting be what is.

              To illustrate this, let’s say that you are feeling angry. If you reject your anger because you judge it as not being ultimate truth, you are reinforcing the egoic perspective by imposing your separatist will upon what is arising. Preferring one state or feeling over another one, deciding that what is arising in you is not right and should be different, even wanting to be enlightened instead of where you are right now, all indicate identification with the ego which keeps you imprisoned in your ideas about how things should be. If, instead, you recognize that the anger is how the Holy Truth is manifesting in this moment, you will let it be and not try to change it. This is the practice arising out of the understanding of Holy Will, and it will lead you to understanding Holy Freedom. You will see that freedom is not determined by what state you are in; rather, it is complete surrender to whatever state you find yourself in. Only then can you be really free, because then everything that happens is okay. But if you think that freedom means being in a certain state, then the moment you are not in that state, you will think that the universe is manifesting incorrectly because what is arising is not what you think should be happening, and you will have lost your freedom.

              Surrendering to the Holy Will is freedom because then you are not placing any constraints, preferences, or conditions upon reality. Everything that happens is fine with you. This degree of surrender must happen at all levels. It cannot be a superficial surrender based on an idea of what is spiritually correct. You can’t simply say to yourself, “I surrender to this,” while in your heart you wish something else were happening, thereby rejecting your present experience. True surrender means not seeking or efforting. It means totally flowing with the unfolding of reality, “going with the flow,” as we used to say in the sixties. It means surrendering to God’s will, the flow of the Universal Mind. Whatever He wills is completely welcomed without resistance, without judgment, and without preference.

              So the understanding of the Holy Ideas of action, from the perspective of the triangle of Ideas we are working with, is that reality manifests according to its own inherent directionality, its own choice, its own will. Each of us is a part of that will; our very existence is part of this unfoldment. To completely surrender to it means accepting reality unconditionally, including our own states and our own actions. This does not mean resignation; it means acceptance and response out of that acceptance. Responding appropriately to whatever situation you find yourself in, or taking what is called in Buddhism “right action,” requires complete acceptance of any situation. So, to use our earlier example, if a truck is barreling toward you on the freeway, enlightened action is neither letting it hit you nor getting angry that the truck driver is endangering you in the first place, but moving out of its way! This moving out of the way, however, does not involve rejecting the situation or having an emotional reaction.

              Learning to discriminate between ego reactivity and appropriate response to whatever life presents is a subtle and complex process. The Dzogchen practice is to go with whatever happens, without even trying to understand it. This is appropriate for someone who is abiding in Holy Truth. But the rest of us need to inquire into and understand our responses to determine whether reactivity or selfless surrender is the basis of our actions. If you are acting out, you are not surrendering to ego’s will. Surrendering to Holy Will does not mean buying a car that you cannot afford or eating a piece of chocolate every time you feel like it. So an understanding of your motivations and the level of reality you are grounded in is necessary for appropriate action. If you are feeling inseparably connected with the whole of the universe, your actions will be quite different than when you are taking yourself to be isolated and self-generated.

              Because it is difficult initially to discriminate the orientation from which your actions arise, it is important to concentrate on surrendering to whatever arises internally. At the beginning of your work on yourself, your inner experience is not free of judgments and preferences, and your actions will not be either. When you free your innerexperience, you will understand Holy Truth, and out of that understanding you will perceive Holy Will and experience Holy Freedom. Then your actions will flow out of that understanding; they will cease being reactions and will become spontaneous responses. But even though your actions are initially reactive, they are still the actions of Holy Will, so while they must not be trusted or indulged, they also must not be rejected. This is a subtle and tricky discrimination.

              Understanding Holy Will gives you a foundational basis for spiritual practice. It shows you that to come into alignment with ultimate truth is to first recognize how you are interfering with your reality, how you are in the way, how you believe that you are a separate individual with your own will. Rather than being oriented toward achieving a certain state of consciousness, a practice that makes sense must be oriented toward freedom from wanting certain states. True freedom is not the realization of a certain dimension; true liberation is to be free from all dimensions. It is the freedom of completely accepting whatever the universe manifests through you. If it is manifesting through you as love, or as the Absolute, then that’s how it is manifesting. If it is manifesting as anger or fear, that is how the universe is manifesting. As an individual, your task is not to choose what happens, but to comply to the extent of recognizing that it is not even possible to choose. This is a complete reversal of the position of the ego.

              So from the perspective of Holy Freedom, living according to the truth means complete surrender to whatever reality presents. If you are able to do that, you will see in time that it is not a matter of you surrendering to what is, but that the universe is doing that, too. You have to go through this transition in learning to completely accept whatever is happening. This means having no judgment of your experience or of anything else that happens in the universe, and in time, this means having no preferences. You actually get to a place where you don’t prefer the Absolute over your body identity. If there is a preference, there is still a separateness.

              So we are seeing that all that happens is the expression of Holy Will, and this means that it is responsible for the transformation of Holy Truth. You will recall that Holy Truth is constantly transforming; it is never in a static condition. The moment you move your hand, you know that the universe is not static; the moment you hear a sound, you know that the universe changes. So the Idea of Holy Truth is seeing the existence of the universe; the Idea of Holy Will is seeing not only the existence of the universe, but that it is in a constant state of unfoldment which we experience as change, movement, and action. From this perspective, we see that freedom is the complete surrender to, and total harmony with, the unfoldment of the universe. This is the Idea of Holy Freedom: Your will and the will of the universe are completely merged and unified, so there is no inner discord. One part is not trying to change another part. There is complete inner unification.

              Separate Will
              Since Holy Freedom is surrender to whatever you are experiencing, then judging it or trying to change it indicates that there is no surrender to Holy Will. But if you judge your lack of surrender, this indicates a further lack of surrender to Holy Will. Surrender doesn’t require certain conditions. At any moment, there is the possibility of completely letting go of trying to control things and letting the universe be, instead of believing that you can and should rearrange it. Egoic pride is the belief that you have your own will and can have your own way, and can change things in the universe. It is the belief that, “I’m going to do it my way; I’m going to have things be the way I want them.” This pride manifests in the body as a constriction of the fontanel at the top of the head which blocks Living Daylight, and thus, blocks the whole perspective of Holy Will.

              The specific delusion that arises due to the loss of Holy Will is the conviction that there are such things as separate entities who have their own wills—it is the delusion that there is a separate you who can have things go the way you want them to. We saw that the delusion associated with Holy Transparency is that you have a separate self, and here the delusion is that this separate self has a will and a choice separate from the rest of the universe. We are not saying that you don’t have free will, but that you don’t have a free will separate from the whole. You want your way instead of seeing that the universe has its way, manifesting through you. We have seen that the best approach is to surrender to the universe, thereby actualizing yourself. Then you become who you really are, because you are whatever the universe happens to be unfolding within your consciousness at any moment.

              The following passage addresses what to do when you see that you are taking yourself to be a separate entity, and integrates the whole triangle we are working with:

              Know the state of pure and total presence to be a vast expanse without center or border.

              It is everywhere the same without acceptance or rejection.

              [This is the Holy Truth.]

              Blend the nature of mind and its habit patterns into nonduality.

              [This is Holy Omniscience.]

              Because entities, whether subjectively conceived or directly experienced,

              [when you believe you are a separate entity or are experiencing someone or something else as separate]

              Are present as ornaments of one’s own state of being.

              [This is Holy Transparency.]

              Do not accept or reject them.

              (Longchenpa, 1987, p. 42)

              [Brackets are author’s comments.]
              In other words, even when you believe you are a separate self and are experiencing discrete entities, recognize all is still the Holy Truth, so don’t accept or reject it. If you accept or reject any part of your experience, even what is delusional, you are identifying with the belief that you are a separate entity. This is a very subtle teaching in which the way one practices affects what one believes, and what one believes affects the way one practices.

              Now let’s focus more specifically on the delusion that arises due to the loss of Holy Freedom. We have seen that in Holy Freedom, there is complete surrender to your experience with no hesitation, no consideration, without even a concept of surrendering to it. What happens is what happens, period. This includes all of your actions, your feelings, your thoughts, your inner states. Otherwise, the delusion arises that there is a “way that is yours,” different from what is happening. This position implies a rejection of what is happening and thus, a rejection of Holy Will.

              By pitting yourself against what is, you are acting according to the delusion that you have a separate will and that you can have your own way, different from what is happening. This is one of the principles of ego: that you have a separate will and that you have choice. Even when you believe that you are helpless and can’t do things, there is the implicit belief that if it weren’t for your helplessness, you could have your own way. From this egoic perspective, it seems obvious that you need to tinker with things, both inwardly and outwardly. This manifests externally as manipulating other people to make them conform to how you think they need to be for you, and internally as constantly evaluating your experience to see whether it is “right” or not, and trying to change it if it doesn’t match your ideas of how you think it should be. “What state am I in? Oh, no! I’m being reactive—that’s no good—I should be just being. Now I’m being. Good, good. I should stabilize that,” and so on, as if it were up to you to make your state become this or that. If you contemplate your experience, you will see this constant activity. The moment you are identified with your ego, you are involved in this activity of trying to make yourself feel better, and not scared or unhappy or empty. All ego defenses are based on this principle of changing your experience to make it conform to how you think it should be.

              So there is a constant inner manipulation going on, expressing the delusion that you have a separate will and that you can have things your way, which is separating from Holy Will. You have lost your freedom, since true freedom means freedom from the content of what you are experiencing. Whether you are experiencing yourself as a separate entity, or as the Holy Truth, or as transparency, or as a frustrated mother, or as a stressed-out businessman, or whatever, that is what the universe is creating right now. It’s pure magic, so who are you to say to God, “I don’t like what I’m experiencing. Why don’t you change it?” To really surrender your will means to have basic trust in the universe, God, or reality, and so we see how the lack of basic trust creates the delusion of this ennea-type.

              If you are identified with your ego, you are constantly struggling with your experience. Even when you are asleep and dreaming, you are struggling. Holy Freedom means the end of struggling.

              The issue of getting one’s own way is a big one for the personality, and the thought of surrendering to God’s will may seem to involve giving up your own will. However, if you are sincere and truthful with yourself, and you stay with your experience without trying to change it in any way, you find out that having your own way is really a matter of surrendering to your inner truth. Your way is following the thread of your own experience. It is not a matter of choosing or not choosing it; your way is something that is given to you. It is the road you are walking on, the landscape you are traveling through. You discover that it is a huge relief not to feel that the territory you are crossing should be different than exactly how it is for you.

              We unconsciously confuse surrendering to God’s will—which is really just accepting what is—with capitulating to our parents. “Listen to me. Do what I tell you to do,” they demand. When we think of surrendering to God’s will, we tend to think of it as a capitulation to some greater force, rather than just completely surrendering to what is happening. Thus, all the loss of autonomy and wounded pride that we experienced as children gets reactivated. This is the only way that the ego can understand what surrender is: “God tells me to do such and such, so I’ll do it.” This comes from an identification with the belief—usually unconscious and deep within our souls—that we are children who are being ordered about by our parents.

              As the ego encounters reality, its process is first of all to decide whether what is happening is right or wrong. The belief that such a judgment can be made indicates the absence of Holy Perfection. If the ego decides that something is wrong with reality, what follows is the idea that you can do something about it, which indicates the absence of Holy Will. The movement of ego is a ceaseless attempt to get its own way, to try to feel better, to try to experience this or that. But you can’t change what is, so this ego activity simply brings you suffering and makes you feel entangled and full of frustration. Frustration happens when you want something and are not getting it, when you are trying to impose your will upon reality by pitting yourself against the unfolding current of the universe.

              Surrender is not resignation. It is very important to distinguish between them. Resignation means that you are admitting that you cannot get your own way. You are taking yourself to be a separate self with a separate will that is being thwarted by reality. This is very different from true surrender, which is neither acceptance nor rejection, but ceasing to separate one’s own will from reality. To learn to surrender means to expose your willfulness—the belief that you have a will separate from reality’s, and that you can have it your way.
              Last edited by Vive; 06-05-2020, 06:16 PM.
              "Distress, whether psychic, physical, or intellectual, need not at all produce nihilism.
              Such distress always permits a variety of interpretations."



                True Will
                One’s understanding of what will is changes as one’s work progresses. Initially, what we take to be will is the pushing and efforting of the ego in its attempt to make ourselves, others, and reality itself, conform to how we think it should be. We call this false will in our work, and when we inquire fully into it and begin to disidentify from it, a sense of deficiency is exposed that carries with it a feeling of castration. We feel that something is missing, that we are inadequate, that we have no inner support or capacity to persevere. This painful sense of deficiency often manifests as the actual sensation of an emptiness where we know our genitals to be, and they may feel devoid of feeling as we are working through this “hole” or sense of absence.1 These are all indications that we have lost contact with the essential quality of Will, of which fake will is a facsimile, an attempt on the part of the personality to recreate that which it believes it has lost.

                As you stay with this hole, essential Will begins to arise in your consciousness, and is experienced at first as a sense of determination—“I will do that”—and a sense of confidence. As you experience this, you see that what you had previously called “will” on the level of the personality is very different from essential Will. On the essential level, it feels like a sense of inner support that imparts the capacity to persevere effortlessly because one is confident in one’s capacity to do so. Effort, the hallmark of fake will, becomes meaningless on this level because we see that real will means “going with the flow” of one’s Being. If efforting is still present, it means that you are still identified to some extent with the personality. So essential Will is an effortless steadfastness in carrying out the task at hand, resulting from a sense of inner support and confidence.

                When we first experience real personal Will, as opposed to the willfulness of the personality, we see that it has this sense of effortlessness about it. It does involve action, but not trying. When you experience this, you begin to get the intimation that essential Will doesn’t mean choosing or controlling whatever situation you are in. Because you feel supported by the universe when you are in contact with Being, you don’t need to try to make things happen in a premeditated kind of way, and so your action becomes effortless and spontaneous.

                Experiencing this sense of effortlessness indicates that true surrender is taking place and that essential Will is present. As we have said, actualizing the Will requires practice in being present with whatever is arising without rejection, without acceptance, without attachment, and without preference. This practice constitutes the foundation of the Diamond Approach. The Diamond Approach is basically a matter of going along with the unfoldment of the whole universe as it is manifesting in your experience in the present moment. Just as the universe is unfolding in the sense that the weather changes, earthquakes occur, the sun sets, and the moon rises over the horizon, the universe is also unfolding inside of you. If you stay with, and surrender to, your inner process, it will unfold in the same way.

                However, when shaped by the ego, our inner process flows in a very limited way that is constrained and made to conform to our conditioned beliefs about what is acceptable to experience. Our inner life then follows the rigid and predictable pathways of the ennea-types, and we are trapped in our own virtual realities. Only through being present with what is manifesting within us without judgments and the resulting inner manipulations, can we talk about true unfoldment. Then our experience ceases to be a predictable revisiting of familiar territory, and becomes truly an exploration and an adventure taking us into depths and dimensions of reality that reveal more and more of the richness and profundity of what is here.

                The acceptance we are discussing is not a matter of saying, “Okay, I can allow this to be going on.” It is not the stance of being someone who takes a positive position relative to something else. Perhaps calling it non-rejection is more accurate, although it is the lack of any reaction to what one is experiencing—positive or negative. It is just letting things be exactly as they are, with no inner sense of self that is feeling one way or another about them. It’s not meddling in God’s work, to use religious terminology. Putting it another way, it is surrendering to the flow of existence, with its own inexorable movement, direction, and force. When you say no to it and try to fight it, you just create frustration for yourself.

                A good analogy to the effortlessness of the surrender we are discussing is spending years practicing how to swing a golf club, and then reaching a point one day when you swing the club and it is completely effortless. Likewise, initially, you have to exert great effort to be present with yourself: You have to remind yourself continually to feel your body and remember yourself. The more you work at it, the easier it becomes, until you reach a point when the remembering happens by itself. So there is a place for effort, and the deeper your practice becomes, the less effort there will be.

                Castration and Willfulness
                We have discussed the delusion of having a separate personal will that arises from the loss of the Ideas of Holy Will and Holy Freedom. Now let’s explore how the fixation arises out of that specific delusion, creating the core of ennea-type Two. Reviewing the process, at first, the sense of holding and the resulting basic trust are present in consciousness, and this is equivalent to the presence of the Holy Idea. The loss of the holding is also the loss of the trust and the loss of the Idea, as we have seen, and leads to a specific difficulty, while the loss of trust leads to a specific reaction to the difficulty.

                The specific difficulty and the specific reaction for each point of the Enneagram are determined by the delusion arising from the loss of its Holy Idea. The loss of holding is interpreted experientially through the filter of the delusion, so for ennea-type Two, not getting what you need from the environment (the loss of holding) is experienced as not getting your own way. The implicit belief that there is a separate you who can have your own way creates this sense, and the emotional state that accompanies it is one of humiliated castration. This state is the specific difficulty for ennea-type Two. Because of the belief that you can make things go the way you want them to, the loss of holding is experienced as an enormous blow to your pride, a deflating and humiliating slap in the face. This belief that it is possible to have a will separate from the rest of the universe is the pride of ego, and when it is deflated it feels like a castration, like your vitality and force are taken away, like what you are isn’t effective, powerful, or good enough.

                In the face of the loss of the sense of holding, your basic trust in the universe disappears. You come to feel that the universe is against you, or at least not with you, and so the specific reaction arises of willfully pitting yourself against what is. The specific reaction, then, for this ennea-type is that of willful action. This stance, which characterizes ennea-type Two, is one filled with pride and stubbornness in which you assert, “I am going to get my own way.” People of this ennea-type have a strong willfulness; it is important to them that things go their way and that what they make happen is important because otherwise, they feel castrated and humiliated. The fake will is very crystallized, and there is a stubborn resistance to feeling that they can’t have their way since that would make them feel castrated. So instead of feeling that whatever is happening is just what’s going on, you feel that your will is ineffective and hasn’t worked if things aren’t happening the way you want them to or think they should. This reaction of willfulness against the sense of humiliating castration implicitly contains not only the belief that you have a separate will and can choose and determine what happens, but also that you know how things should go.

                This whole constellation of the sense of deficiency (the specific difficulty of humiliated castration) and the reaction to it (the specific reaction of willful action) forms the core of this ennea-type. Out of this core, all of the characteristic manifestations of manipulation, seductiveness, and physical, emotional, and mental influence arise.

                Through understanding this ennea-type, we can see how the ego is an imitation of the universe. The ego, here, is basically saying, “I am the truth, I exist as myself independent of everyone else, and I can do what I want.” Only God can say that, but the egoic self is implicitly asserting this all the time. The ego, then, takes the place of God, and this is the egoic vanity that we will explore when we discuss ennea-type Three.

                When we let it be, everything is beautiful. We see that everything is just right, just the way it is. This is what is meant by Holy Perfection, the Idea of ennea-type One. In fact, that is how it is all the time, but we don’t see it because the operation of our willfulness distorts our perception. What we see is of our own making; it is reality seen through the filter of our distortions. When that filter isn’t there, you see the same things as before—you see the same people, the same places, the same situations; but your perception shifts so you see the beauty of their existence. This reflects what we discussed in Part One: how the fixations of the ennea-types are not ego structures, but rather, are nine different twists in the soul, distortions in the perceptual system of one’s consciousness.

                We have explored the delusion of having a separate will that can make choices, and the specific difficulty of humiliating castration, and the specific reaction of willfulness. We have seen that this constellation forms the core of this ennea-type, and one important manifestation of it—resulting directly from the lack of basic trust—is the conviction that the universe and/or other people are against, or are standing in the way of, one’s freedom. Out of this conviction comes the belief that you need to be willful and try to have things your way in order to gain or protect your freedom. This is the basic tendency of ego, whatever one’s ennea-type, and it remains deeply entrenched despite the fact that you can see from outside of this perceptual twist that you obviously can’t gain your freedom by willfully pitting yourself against what is; you just get entrenched in the struggle to free yourself, which is not freedom at all.

                Spiritual Practice
                The impact of this basic tendency of ego on spiritual practice is the often-unconscious belief that working on yourself means making something happen—bringing about a certain state or a particular change in yourself—rather than seeing spiritual practice as a matter of surrender, of getting out of the way. This also means that a true spiritual practice that will ultimately bring about transformation is one that entails a surrender of your own will, prejudices, preferences, choices, and rejections. We have seen that the pride of ego is the belief that you can choose what arises in your consciousness, and that this is essentially an expression of the lack of trust that Holy Truth does and will function as Holy Will. In religious terms, it is a lack of faith in the action of grace.

                To the ego, freedom means being able to do whatever you want whenever you want to do it. Because this isn’t often possible, you come to see the universe as constraining you and limiting your freedom. But from the perspective of Holy Freedom, freedom is wanting whatever the universe wants. When you are aligned with the universe, what you want and what is happening are the same thing. This is true freedom. This is why the Idea of Holy Freedom is fundamental to the methodology of the Diamond Approach, in which a basic part of the practice is to be present with whatever happens to be your state. If you react to it, interfere with it, or try to change it, then you can’t see it objectively but only through the screen of your projections. If you don’t see your condition or the situation in its natural state, you will continue believing your projections about it and won’t be able to penetrate its true nature. If you don’t see its true nature, it won’t unfold and expose itself as the Holy Truth that everything is. Fundamental to our understanding is that while you might have projections upon whatever you are experiencing initially, if you don’t interfere with it, the tendency of the universe is to reveal its own nature through your experience. This, of course, requires basic trust.

                The Diamond Approach is not the only spiritual approach based on Holy Freedom. Another is the Vajrayana Buddhist practice of Dzogchen, self-liberation, discussed earlier. There, the understanding is that if you are present with an object of perception without interference, it will naturally liberate itself, meaning that it will spontaneously reveal its true nature; or, using the language of the Enneagram, it will reveal itself as nothing but Holy Truth. The difference between Dzogchen and the Diamond Approach is that we see that this revelation of true nature does not usually happen spontaneously and instantaneously. Rather, there is a process of unfoldment involving various states and dimensions before one arrives at the ultimate one of Holy Truth. So another conceptual basis of the Diamond Approach is Holy Work, the Holy Idea of ennea-type Seven, which is the fact that a natural process of unfoldment occurs and that there are many dimensions to that unfoldment. Dzogchen is, in some sense, a purer practice, but a more difficult one because it assumes that there is only one true state, that of Holy Truth. Basically, Dzogchen is a practice for buddhas. If you are a beginning buddha, you can practice Dzogchen; otherwise, it will be very difficult to do, as it is for most people.

                The Diamond Approach, then, is not as direct or as pure a practice, but it takes into consideration the fact of unfoldment, beginning with the perception that most people are very far from experiencing themselves as the Holy Truth. So for example, Dzogchen would say that if you are angry, and you stay with that, it will spontaneously reveal itself as the Holy Truth. In our work, we see that if you stay with the anger, it spontaneously will reveal the hurt underneath it; and if you stay with the hurt, it will reveal the emptiness underlying that; and if you stay with the emptiness, an aspect of Being will arise; and if you stay with that, it will take you through deeper and deeper dimensions of reality. If you stay with this process and understand everything that arises, you will, in time, realize that everything is the Holy Truth.

                So while many spiritual approaches are the same in terms of final outcome, there are differences in terms of methodology, as we are seeing about Dzogchen in contrast with our work. Other approaches utilize special practices, such as breathing techniques and visualizations, which are designed to take you to certain states of consciousness. While such practices are not as subtle or refined as Dzogchen or the Diamond Approach, their advantage is that they are easy to do and so almost everyone can participate. Our work, in contrast, is not easy to do initially, and it is very difficult to do on your own, since it is usually difficult to learn to allow spontaneous understanding and unfoldment, or difficult to allow at the beginning.

                Using the understanding of Holy Will, our method in the Diamond Approach is to welcome whatever happens and whatever it is that you are experiencing. You stay present with it and you become curious about it, wanting to understand it in an experiential way, out of love for truth. The orientation is not toward a certain state, because the moment that you orient your practice toward a certain state, you have left Holy Freedom. Even if the state that you are trying to cultivate is Holy Freedom or Holy Truth, if that is not what is unfolding in your experience, you are imposing your egoic will onto your process to direct it toward the Holy Idea.

                Our orientation, then, is toward freedom: complete and total independence from any state or dimension. We see that any state is fine if it is completely surrendered to. What the state depends on is Holy Will, and not on your desires. That is always the case, since that is the objective fact of Holy Will. So the more that you approach your process in this way, the more you will naturally move into the boundless dimensions and, ultimately, into Holy Truth. This will happen on its own because it is the nature of reality to progressively reveal itself, taking you closer and closer to its ultimate nature, so there is no need to direct your process toward it. If you try to push your process in any direction, you are really just standing in your own way.

                So to practice using the Diamond Approach means to be present with what is happening without judging it as good or bad, without holding onto it or pushing it away. You stay with it, open and curious about what it is, loving the truth of it as it reveals itself. This is really an expression of love for Holy Truth as it unfolds in its various manifestations. This is real freedom, and is the basis of nonconceptual freedom in the Diamond Approach.

                If you do not understand what Holy Freedom is, you will try to live your life by manipulating your outer experience in order to get your own way; or, if you are a spiritual seeker, you will try to manipulate your inner experience one way or another, rather than surrender to the universe. Either way, you end up in the specific suffering of ego: being locked in inner combat with one part of yourself pitted against another. Only after chasing one state and then another over and over, to the point of realizing you truly cannot will what happens, only then does the deep longing for the end of suffering bring true surrender to what is.

                1. Whenever we are experientially cut off from an essential aspect, the sense of a hole will manifest both physically and psychologically. Physically, there will be the actual sensation of an emptiness or a void in the particular part of the body associated with that aspect. Psychologically, the sense of a hole will manifest as a sense of deficiency, as though a part of our soul is missing. For this reason, we speak in the Diamond Approach of holes of the various essential aspects.
                "Distress, whether psychic, physical, or intellectual, need not at all produce nihilism.
                Such distress always permits a variety of interpretations."




                  ---Start of Frustration Triad descriptions ---

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                  Point One
                  HOLY PERFECTION

                  The awareness that Reality is a process, moving with direction and purpose. Within this movement each moment is connected by the process with the one goal, and thus is perfect.

                  —Ichazo, 1972

                  As we have seen, each Holy Idea is a view of reality from an egoless perspective. From the point of view of Holy Perfection, if we experience reality just the way it is, we perceive its intrinsic perfection. We cannot add or delete anything to make that reality more perfect; nothing needs to be done with it. From Holy Truth, we learned that reality is nondual, that everything that exists is one indivisible truth. Holy Perfection teaches us that this reality is not only one indivisible nowness, but that it is absolutely perfect. Holy Perfection is another way of seeing Holy Truth, as is Holy Love. So Holy Truth, Holy Love, and Holy Perfection are three ways of seeing the totality of existence. They are all true at the same time.

                  Holy Perfection is related to the concept of “mirror-like wisdom” in the system of the Dhyani Buddhas in the Vajrayana branch of Buddhism. The perfection of reality can be seen only if our consciousness is like a clear mirror which reflects everything as it is, without projection or distortion. When we perceive with this clarity, we recognize that reality has a sense of purity, neatness, immaculateness, and beauty inherent in it. The experience is both outwardly and inwardly perfect and luminous. We are not seeing reality through the filter of our own ideas, and so its perfection is not based on an opinion, a point of view, a preference, or an evaluation.

                  The Rightness of What Is
                  When our perception is like a clear mirror, without subjective judgment, we find reality to be just right. If our mirror creates any distortion, if our perception of reality contains any subjective preferences or ideas, then we are seeing reality from a deluded point of view and we will miss its inherent perfection. This makes our work very obvious: to find out what is in the way of perceiving reality as it is—to find out what our obscurations are, where our perception is deluded.

                  The way we ordinarily see the world is not the way it really is because we see it from the perspective of our judgments and preferences, our likes and dislikes, our fears and our ideas of how things should be. So to see things as they really are, which is to see things objectively, we have to put these aside—in other words, we have to let go of our minds. Seeing things objectively means that it doesn’t matter whether we think what we’re looking at is good or bad—it means just seeing it as it is. If a scientist is conducting an experiment, he doesn’t say, “I don’t like this so I’ll ignore it.” He may not personally care for the results because they don’t confirm his theory, but pure science means seeing things the way they really are. If he says he is not going to pay attention to the experiment because he doesn’t like it, that is not science. Yet, this is the way most of us deal with reality, inwardly and outwardly.

                  To see reality from the perspective of Holy Perfection means to see that reality is just right as it is; it does not need changes or corrections. This is a very radical notion. If you really took it seriously, you would stop doing many of the things that you do. The moment you see that everything, at every moment, is perfect, you see that your effort to make things better is pointless. You see that what really needs to be done is to observe your mind, your consciousness, in order to see why it is obscured, why it does not see things clearly, and what is making your mirror so cloudy.

                  Understanding this Holy Idea, then, can profoundly reorient our ideas about the purpose of spiritual work. If reality is inherently perfect, and we are part of that reality, the purpose of working on ourselves cannot be to try to become better or to make our lives better. Holy Perfection, which elucidates the objective condition of reality, tells us that reality is already and always perfect, so if we think that our perfection is something to be achieved, that means that we believe that perfection exists somewhere in the future, and not now. We are then taking perfection to be a goal to be actualized, rather than how things already are, and this can only be the perspective of ego.

                  Perfection, as the ego understands it, is determined by measuring reality, inner and outer, against some ideal or standard of how things are supposed to be. The criteria for this judgment may vary from person to person, but for everyone, this quest for perfection is the cause of much of our internal striving. This is not perfection at all but rather, perfectionism. The perfection we are talking about here is independent of these ideas; it is true for everything that exists by the mere fact of its existence.

                  Holy Perfection is difficult to define exactly, because like all the Holy Ideas, it is a universal concept, a Platonic Form. As such, the perfection we are discussing cannot be analyzed or reduced to simpler elements; it is a pure form of manifestation. From the perspective of Holy Perfection, everything looks just right, everything feels perfect and complete, every action is correct and graceful. We see that whatever happens is the perfection of Holy Truth, which is everything. We know this with certainty, without necessarily knowing what makes everything perfect.

                  This sense of the intrinsic rightness of the reality that is inside and outside everyone is a feeling, a recognition, an action, of intelligence. It involves no conceptualizing about perfection. Holy Perfection reflects the intactness, the completeness, and the glory, of what is. It is the perception of the perfection of all phenomena from every angle, on all levels, all the way through. This is what makes Holy Perfection holy, objective, and egoless. If something were seen as perfect and another thing not, or if it were perceived as perfect now and at another point no longer perfect, this would not be Holy Perfection, but rather, the ego’s sense of perfection based on subjective judgment.

                  If you experience things in the moment, without thinking in terms of the past and the future, just right here in the now, and see the isness of what is here, you will recognize the perfection we’re talking about. You won’t be looking at what is here through the filter of your ideas, which are the result of what you heard or saw in the past or what you think is going to happen in the future. Holy Perfection is the perfection of what is, and reality exists only now, only in this moment—without the concept of time, without your ideas about what’s going to happen tomorrow or what’s not going to happen tomorrow, without your ideas about what should or shouldn’t happen, without judgments of good and bad—just the experience of the isness of the now. If we see reality the way it is right now, we see that everything we perceive is coemergent with Being, everything is made up of Essence. Everything—your body, your mind, your feelings, your thoughts, physical objects—everything is made out of that complete pure beingness of presence. This is the experience of Holy Perfection.

                  When you experience an essential state fully, you can recognize that it has a quality of perfection. You can’t say that it needs something or that it is lacking anything. If you are experiencing love or compassion, for instance, you perceive it as pure and complete just the way it is. Holy Perfection tells us that everything has that quality of rightness, and not only certain essential states. We saw that from the perspective of Holy Truth, everything is one, an undivided wholeness. Your body, your essence, the world, God, are not separate things; they are all one thing, and that one thing, which is not a thing, is the presence of Essence. Because everything is ultimately essential, it follows that everything is inherently perfect.

                  We don’t normally see reality this way because we are busy looking at it from the perspective of our own delusion. Holy Perfection cannot be perceived from the point of view of ego, because ego wants to change reality to fit how it thinks it is supposed to be. Holy Perfection is a transcendence of that point of view. Realizing Holy Perfection is not a matter of intellectually asserting that everything is perfect so that you can go on being lazy and irresponsible. To experience Holy Perfection is to actually exist in an egoless state and to see the inner nature of everything objectively. What changes is one’s way of perceiving, so that reality is seen without distortion.

                  Holy Perfection reveals that the way things are, and the way they move, are perfect. Seeing the perfection of the way things are, is seeing the perfection of Holy Truth. Seeing the perfection of the way things move is seeing the perfection of Holy Will which, as we have seen, has to do with change and transformation. Holy Truth and Holy Will are relatively acceptable to people, but Holy Perfection is one of the Holy Ideas that many have difficulty with. If we really accept what Holy Perfection tells us about the objective state of things, we can’t complain about how anything is, or about anything that happens.

                  The Fundamental Nature of Things
                  If there is an earthquake somewhere, for instance, that is the action of Holy Will. It’s difficult for many of us to see perfection in it if hundreds of people die. But perfection does not exist on that level of discourse; it does not exist on the level of someone being killed by a falling rock during the earthquake. Holy Perfection recognizes that there is no separate rock and no person being hit by it. What we are calling “rock” and “person” are nothing but manifestations of the essence of God. So, from the perspective of Holy Perfection, an inseparable piece of the essence of God falls on another inseparable piece of the essence of God, and it is very graceful, because it is all the movement of the essence of God.

                  The egoic point of view is that there are rocks falling on people’s heads, and that is terrible. And it is terrible from that vantage point. But Holy Perfection is not a matter of seeing what happens from the egoic point of view and then trying to change it to make it conform to what we think is right. If we did that, we would have to control nature, and we would have to reform the whole of humanity until everyone behaved correctly and perfectly according to what we believe is right.

                  Perceiving Holy Perfection means seeing beyond that level. It means seeing reality from a transcendent point of view, which implies seeing it from an egoless, enlightened condition. From this perspective there is no such thing as an imperfect action; Holy Perfection is seen as inherent in everything that happens. The moment you say that what happened is not right, you are saying that it is not part of Holy Will, or that Holy Will is acting in an imperfect way, which cannot be the case.

                  This does not mean that you have the license to do whatever you want, justifying it with “all action is perfect.” Only one who is established in Holy Perfection, who continuously perceives it, can act totally spontaneously. This action will naturally be an expression of fundamental goodness and love. Such action is spontaneously responsible, because Holy Perfection includes the intrinsic intelligence of Holy Will.

                  You might object to this perspective by asserting that death is terrible, so everything that happens can’t be perfect. From the perspective of ego, yes, it is terrible. But from the perspective of the enlightened state, you don’t see people dying and buildings falling. You see the fundamental nature of these things. Whether the form of H2O is water or ice at a particular moment, for instance, doesn’t change its fundamental nature. Death is just one form changing into another form.

                  Holy Perfection implies, then, that one doesn’t perceive just the surface of things, but rather, one perceives this fundamental level. When we remain on the level of differentiation, details, and discrimination, we are involved with preferences and judgments, and this gives us a position. When we look from that position, we don’t see the full dimensionality of reality.

                  Holy Truth, as we have seen, tells us that reality exists in the now, as the now. By “now,” I’m not referring to part of a sequence in time. If you stay in the present, and your consciousness is really present in this moment, not wandering to the past or the future, you recognize that the now is not time; it is not a point between the past and the future. The now is this book, is the chair you’re sitting in, is you. These are made out of now, they are the now, they are the present. They are presence, and they are Being. When you see the beingness, the thereness of everything, you recognize the intrinsic perfection and rightness of it all. The moment your mind wanders to the past or the future, your focus is not on the intrinsic reality of things. Your mind is focusing on the changing of the forms, and the implications you believe these changes have. Then you lose the perception of what truly exists right at this moment.

                  So Holy Perfection is seeing Holy Truth in a certain way. It is seeing that Holy Truth means that everything everywhere is just right at any point in time or space. When we recognize this, this becomes an important foundational basis for our work. We can then see that working on ourselves is really not a matter of trying to get ourselves to some place where we feel perfect; it is instead a matter of discovering the perfection that is already here, that is intrinsic to us and to everything. It is a matter of seeing through our obscurations with awareness and understanding, rather than a matter of making anything happen.

                  Just being with whatever we are experiencing is sufficient to experience its inherent perfection. This acceptance of what is, is not the ego’s version of acceptance, which is the opposite of rejection. If you say, “I’m accepting this now,” you are making a judgment that now this thing is okay and you’ve decided to accept it. But do you decide that you’re going to accept the sun? The sun’s existence is a fact. So the acceptance that leads to Holy Perfection is a not-saying-no and a not-saying-yes.

                  If you really let yourself be here in this moment, you will find that everything begins to glow. Everything is radiant, luminous, clear, and transparent. That glowing luminous awareness has within it all kinds of wonderful qualities: love, harmony, beauty, and grace. And you will see that there is a sense of perfectness, a rightness about how things are. That is the actual condition of everything, but our lens of perception is not usually focused, so we don’t see things as they are. Since our lens has been out of focus most of our lives, we have come to believe that our distorted perception is how things are.

                  To see the world from the perspective of Holy Perfection, then, we have to be in the moment, in contact with our presence, our beingness. Our awareness must be with what exists right now—what we are experiencing in our bodies, what sounds we are hearing, what the temperature is in the environment. The more we are present in the now, the more we recognize that the now has nothing to do with time and that the now is everything. When we see that, there is a certainty, and innate knowingness, that this is how things are. When your lens of perception is finally corrected in this way, you innately know that you are seeing really clearly, and it is obvious to you how unfocused your lens has been. You know, then, that you are not interfering with reality; you are just seeing things the way they are.

                  Comparative Judgment
                  We have discussed what Holy Perfection means. Now we want to explore what happens when the intrinsic perfection of existence is not perceived. As we have seen, a specific delusion arises as a direct result of the perceptual absence of each Holy Idea. That delusion underlies a particular way of experiencing and approaching reality, and it forms the center of the core of each fixation. The delusion arises concurrently with the loss of the Idea and with the loss of the sense of being “held” in early childhood. Holy Perfection, as we have seen, means that everything is perfect and just right. If that perception is not there, then there is the conviction that some things are less perfect than others, or that some things are perfect and others are not. There is a sense that something is wrong somewhere. The belief arises that there is really and absolutely such a thing as good and bad, or right and wrong, that some things are intrinsically better than others, and that you can make comparative judgments about what exists. There must be at least two things to be able to make a comparison, and this is the delusion of duality of Point Eight. Here, not only are you comparing things and saying that this one is small and that one is big, but also that big is better. So not only is there comparison of at least two discrete entities, but there is also a value judgment.

                  The delusion of Point One, then, is the conviction that comparative judgments are ultimate and final. Things can, of course, be compared on the surface, but to believe that such comparisons reflect their fundamental nature is ego’s delusion. Comparative judgment on the relative level is useful sometimes, but when we are talking about the Holy Ideas, we are talking about a way of experiencing things that is transcendent to the relative level. So we’re not saying that because everything is perfect, you should eat food even if it is rotten. We’re also not saying that if you are sick, you shouldn’t go to a doctor. Obviously, if you want to be healthy, you take care of yourself, and there is comparative judgment involved in that. Holy Perfection does not negate this level of things, but when we talk about our beingness, our innate existence, we are discussing a level of reality beyond the particulars of whether our bodies are healthy or not, or even whether we are living or not. From this perspective, even the cancer that kills us is part of the perfection of all that is. Ultimately, as we have seen, even our death is simply part of our fundamental nature and part of all that exists, simply changing from one form into another.

                  We usually adhere to the egoic point of view of reality because we believe that that is the way we will survive. But when we perceive from the objective point of view, we recognize that this point of view will not only help us survive, but that it will help us survive with harmony. The objective point of view does not eliminate the egoic point of view; it underlies and contains it. The body, for example, has a circulatory system and an immune system; these inner features are not apparent on the surface, and if you don’t take these into consideration, you are not being objective about the body, and your chances of survival will be lower. So taking into account the objective point of view does not eliminate the surface—yes, there is a face, skin, feet—but adds much more to the situation.

                  As we have seen, the loss of the Holy Idea of each ennea-type leads to its specific delusion. The loss of the holding environment leads to the specific difficulty, and the loss of basic trust leads to the specific reaction. The delusion is what determines the characteristics of both the difficulty and the reaction.
                  Last edited by Vive; 06-05-2020, 07:21 PM.
                  "Distress, whether psychic, physical, or intellectual, need not at all produce nihilism.
                  Such distress always permits a variety of interpretations."



                    With ennea-type One, the specific difficulty is the feeling or conviction that something is wrong with you, that you are imperfect in an intrinsic way, that you are fundamentally flawed. It is not that you did something wrong and you feel guilty about it, as in Point Eight, but rather that there is something inherently wrong with who and what you are.

                    From the beginning of the birth of ego, deficiency in the holding environment is experienced through the filter of comparative judgment. You experience something painful about the holding—not being taken care of adequately or not feeling held—and you experience it as a wrongness, a flaw. Because you don’t understand or perceive the Holy Idea of Perfection, you interpret the absence of holding as meaning that something is wrong with you. Later, you try to find out what is flawed. Usually you pick on your body or mind, finding one thing or another about you that is wrong, and you believe that that’s why your parents didn’t love you or take care of you as adequately as you needed. But underlying this is the deeper conviction that something much more intrinsic is wrong with you, that something is wrong with your being itself.

                    The conviction that there is something fundamentally wrong with you is not restricted to those whose ennea-type is Point One. All egos have it. Just as all children grow up with the conviction of Point Eight that they have done something wrong, so all children grow up feeling that something is inherently wrong with them. This is universal to the nature of ego, and we are all usually busy trying to find out what is wrong with us so that we can correct it.

                    As with any other point on the Enneagram, this conviction cannot be remedied by the experience of an essential state, because it is not due to the loss of an essential aspect or quality of Being, like love or joy. It is not a hole. When the Holy Idea of Perfection is not present, it does not matter which differentiated aspect of Being you are experiencing; the delusion that some things are perfect and others are not, and the feeling or conviction that you are inherently flawed, remains. It is a conviction in the soul determined by the delusion of comparison. It is a crystallized belief or idea about oneself that twists the soul in a particular way. Only understanding and embodying the Holy Idea will change this.

                    The Holy Idea is that everything is perfect. If everything is perfect, there can’t be anything fundamentally wrong with you, because you are part of everything. The loss of this perspective means that you perceive that something is wrong somewhere, and as we have seen, you usually turn on yourself and feel flawed in comparison to something or someone else. This comparing of yourself to an idea of how you could be began in childhood as the discrimination between how you felt when the holding was there and how you felt when it was not, between what was experienced as perfect and what was experienced as imperfect. So ultimately, the comparison is between your own experiences at different times, and not between yours and someone else’s. You feel bad, flawed, imperfect, or not perfect enough in relation to a picture of perfection. Just the fact that you believe that there is something wrong with you indicates the belief that there is such a thing as perfection, which you are not and which you do not have.

                    This judgment about what is not right about yourself is based on comparisons according to a subjective standard. This standard becomes elaborated later by your superego, your social environment, or your spiritual values. It changes, depending on what you are involved in and what is influencing you most deeply, and there is a righteousness about clinging to it.

                    As we have seen, each point has a specific reaction—an activity one engages in, in response to the specific difficulty—which results from the loss of basic trust as filtered through the delusion. For ennea-type One, the loss of basic trust is seen through the lens of comparative judgment, and the result is the reaction of trying to make yourself better. You believe that something is wrong with you, and so you try to fix yourself. There is a resentful attitude of comparing, judging, and criticizing yourself, and an obsessive and compulsive activity to change or modify yourself or your experience.

                    The presence of the specific difficulty always puts you on the look-out for flaws. You observe yourself, scanning for any imperfection or wrongness so that you can correct it. If you are involved in spiritual work, the self-observation that is usually part of it is latched onto by the ego so that you can figure out what your problem is and change it. You check out your level of understanding and development, and compare it to others in the Work. You compare your current state to what it was when you thought you were more enlightened. You measure yourself against your standard of how a truly evolved person is supposed to be, and where in your spiritual development you should be now. There is incessant mental activity. You cannot leave yourself alone. You are always picking on yourself, believing that if you were different, then you could rest. But rest will never come this way, because there is really nothing at all fundamentally wrong with you.

                    Have you noticed that even when you are having fun, you don’t leave yourself alone? Even when things actually feel fine, you still check to see whether this is what is supposed to be happening. “Is this okay to feel? If I were enlightened, would feeling pleasure be all right? Maybe I should be feeling something different.” You always find a way to disturb it.

                    This ego activity is by its very nature resentful, in the sense that you are aggressively and judgmentally saying no to your experience. In resentment, there is a version, which is made up of anger and rejection toward your experience. You are essentially saying, “I don’t want this,” to your experience. The resentment is not always felt, but it is implicit in the ego activity. When you try to improve yourself and it doesn’t work, you might become aware of feeling resentful, but you are really just feeling the resentment that was already there. This resentment is pervasive in most people’s minute-to-minute experience, whether consciously perceived or not, and is a large part of the content of our suffering.

                    Most of us approach spiritual work with the belief that if we work on ourselves hard enough, we will finally hit upon the right state, and then we will be able to leave ourselves alone. We believe that something will happen to us—we will be hit by a bolt of lightning and be transformed—and then we won’t have to improve ourselves anymore. Trying to find the right state or the right trick to get into the enlightened state does not work because from the enlightened state we see that everything, including ourselves, is already perfect and needs no changes. Enlightenment is our innate nature; we don’t need to be hit by anything and we can leave ourselves alone right now.

                    What we really need to do is to see through the specific reaction to identify the specific difficulty within ourselves, then the specific delusion, and then the Holy Idea. Only this can stop the obsessive tendency to better ourselves. Then we would be able to see that our perfection does not depend on what state we are in. It is objective truth about all states at all times.

                    This activity of trying to make ourselves better is a reflection of the distrust that reality is fundamentally perfect the way it is, and that it will unfold in a perfect way. This distrust is experienced through the filter of the delusion, so that the judgment of good and bad is seen as ultimate and intrinsic.

                    Another way that the activity of the specific reaction can manifest is as an obsessive tendency to prove to oneself and to others that there is nothing wrong with us, that we do live up to the right standards, and that we are right. Some people, for instance, always need to be right, regardless of what the situation is. This attitude of always proving to ourselves or to other people that we are perfect and right is a way to cover up the belief or feeling that there is something wrong with us. It’s a reaction formation, doing just the opposite of what we consciously or unconsciously believe about ourselves. If we really feel we are okay, why do we have to prove it? Why do we need to compulsively prove that we are right? If we really felt okay about ourselves, we wouldn’t need to confirm it.

                    The activity of the specific reaction, then, can vary between always trying to make yourself better, and always trying to prove that you are good and right. People are divided in terms of which of these behaviors predominates, but underlying both of these styles of behavior is the conviction that there is something wrong with oneself. In other words, it is a specific reaction to the belief or feeling that there is something wrong with you.

                    So now we see the whole constellation: You are always busy watching yourself, comparing yourself, and judging yourself. You don’t just see the state you are experiencing as it is. You have to compare it to something else: another state, or a similar state you experienced at another time, or with some idea in your mind. You are not just with your experience. It is always viewed from another perspective, from another place, in a comparative way, instead of just seeing it for what it is, just as it is. And if you look at your experience or someone else or anything in the world in that way, and compare whether it is good or better or less than something else, you do that because you want to make it better. This means that you believe that there is something wrong, which means that you don’t see Holy Perfection.

                    It is very important that you understand that if you think you need to look at yourself and your experiences in a judgmentally comparative way, your motivation is not that of understanding, and your activity will not be that of Being. It will be the activity of ego. Real activity is not a matter of comparing and judging; it is a matter of experiencing things as they are and responding from the dynamic intelligence of Being. The underlying motivation in it is that you are curious to know about what you are observing because you love experiencing reality. This is a very different attitude from that of looking at things with the underlying belief that they need to be improved.

                    For someone who is operating objectively, whatever comes up is fine. He or she doesn’t even say, “Oh, this is what should be happening.” Whatever arises is the way it is, and it has a sense of perfection to it. There’s no activity of looking for some sublime state to arise. If what arises feels sublime, or if it doesn’t, these are just the specifics; its perfection is something much deeper than that. If you are not operating from the perspective of objectivity, you are bound to be operating from the perspective of ego, and your experience will invariably include resentment, judgment, and comparison. There is no alternative. The more you understand Holy Perfection, the more these ego activities will slow down, but it is important to understand that they will still be present until the perspective of Holy Perfection is fully realized.

                    Being operates without the guidance of the mind. We can directly know this to be true when we see from the perspective of the Holy Ideas. When you are living in the view of Holy Perfection, you don’t experience yourself comparing or acting. You simply perceive the world and the whole universe changing. There is no discrimination of who is doing what. The whole universe is acting as one body, flowing this way or that according to its own natural laws, without even the discrimination that that is what is happening. But because we usually operate from the position of believing that we are separate and that there are discrete entities, it appears as if we are making things happen and that comparisons are real. So if you are operating according to comparative judgment, it means that you believe you are a separate entity with your own separate world, and that duality is real. But these are delusions.

                    When you stop operating under the delusion of ennea-type One, which is to say when you are not engaging in comparative judgment, you realize that you are not a separate individual and you do not have a separate world (the delusion of ennea-type Five) and that there is no duality in the universe (the delusion of ennea-type Eight). So the moment you become free from one delusion, you are free from all of them because each one implies the other. The Holy Ideas are all connected, and the delusions are all connected. They are facets of the same ego, and all the Holy Ideas are facets of the same reality. So it is not possible to have Holy Perfection and at the same time believe you are a separate entity because Holy Perfection means that everything is perfect, and that perfection includes Holy Truth, that everything is one.

                    We have seen that the Idea of Holy Perfection is, like all the Holy Ideas, not easy to understand or apprehend. This is true because the Holy Ideas are the opposite of what we usually believe, and what we usually believe is based on the delusions which are the direct expressions of the absence of these perceptions. This makes it very difficult to truly understand and appreciate what the Holy Ideas are referring to. In particular, the Holy Ideas of ennea-types Eight, Nine, and One are the elucidations of reality in general, so they are really attempts at expressing the mystery of Being itself. To understand these Ideas is to have a strong sense—whether through experience or intuition—of what we mean by “intrinsic nature.” Really understanding the Holy Ideas, then, means letting go of our familiar point of view, letting go of it and seeing through it in a fundamental and basic way. This is not a little change; it is a great upheaval.

                    Relative Perfection
                    To more deeply appreciate the Idea of Holy Perfection, we can further explore the difference between its absolute and fundamental perfection, and the relative perfection of our usual point of view. To do this, we will use the metaphor of gold. From pure twenty-four-carat gold, you can make all sorts of things, such as jewelry or scientific instruments. Imagine that you don’t know that gold is precious and that you cannot tell the difference between something made out of brass or out of gold. A ring made out of the gold might be perfectly or imperfectly made, it might fit you or it might not. If it fit you and you liked the way it was made, you would think that it was perfect. If it didn’t fit or if it was sloppily made, you would think that it was imperfect. This is an example of looking at its relative perfection.

                    But from the perspective of Holy Perfection, whatever you make out of the gold is still gold. The fact that it is gold doesn’t change depending upon whether the jewelry is well-made or not, or whether it fits anyone or not, or whether you perceive its preciousness or not. Whatever form it takes is incidental to the fact that it is still fundamentally gold. So seeing the gold of it and seeing that that gold is perfect and pure and luminous is analogous to seeing the perfection of reality.

                    Everything that exists is gold. The gold is Being, and all of reality is Being. The forms that reality takes, such as having the form of a ring or that of a bracelet are incidental. But the ego identifies itself with the shape the gold has taken and says, “That’s me—I’m a ring.” Then it decides whether the ring is good or bad, beautiful or ugly, and so on. By saying that you are the ring, you forget the fact that you are gold. When you forget the fact that you are gold, you lose the sense of your absolute perfection, and you feel that something is wrong. Obviously, something feels wrong, because you are not seeing the true perfection of what you are.

                    When you feel that something is wrong, you try to see what is wrong with the ring. Is it too big or too small? Maybe it should have been made in a more modern style, or maybe in a more classical one. You start trying to improve it a bit. But whatever you do to it, something always feels a little off about it. It will never feel right until you realize that the ring is really gold. As long as you don’t see the goldness and preciousness of it, you will always feel that something is wrong with it, and you will always try to tinker with it to make it better.

                    Seeing the gold does not mean that you do not see the ring. It does not eliminate the level of form, the relative level. Just because you realize that it is gold and it is precious and perfect does not mean that if the ring is too small for you, it will feel comfortable. It won’t. The relative judgments don’t just disappear. They are there for practical reasons. But underlying them is something much more fundamental, which is that this ring is precious regardless of whether it fits or not. What is precious about it is not how it fits, but that it is gold.

                    This is the perception we are trying to penetrate: to see the goldhood of things rather than the ringhood of things, which the ego is focused on. The ego is always seeing rings, and deciding whether they are perfect or not, and this has become a habit. You have become so focused on the shape of the ring that you cannot see what it is made out of any more. You see its form rather than its nature. And you define yourself by that form. Then, regardless of how wonderful that form is, you always feel that there is something wrong, something is missing, because you are not experiencing the actual quality of your true nature.

                    As long as you are not in touch with your intrinsic nature, which is the nature of everything, there will be the nagging sense that something is not right. That nagging feeling is the seed of the fixation of ennea-type One. You feel that something is imperfect about you because you are looking at something else and not seeing your perfection. Then follows the activity of comparison, judgment, and trying to make yourself and your situation better so that they will feel perfect. But they will never feel right, you see, until you just relax and discover what your situation really is.

                    The perspective of the Holy Ideas is that the totality of the universe and of all that exists is gold. Maybe the gold is covered over here and there with different kinds of obscurations, but nonetheless, everything is really made out of gold. This is why there is Holy Perfection everywhere.

                    So basically, the state of objective existence—Nirvana, enlightenment, or unity—is seeing the goldhood of all of existence. It is seeing that everything is gold all the time; it never changes. We are usually looking at the incidental forms and the changes of those forms, which are not fundamental to their reality. Therefore, if you believe you are a ring, obviously, losing your shape is cataclysmic. Becoming a puddle of gold would be a terrible thing. It is what we call death. But if you know that you are gold, what is death? You know that you will be made into something else next time.
                    "Distress, whether psychic, physical, or intellectual, need not at all produce nihilism.
                    Such distress always permits a variety of interpretations."



                      We have discussed the experience of Holy Perfection, and we have explored within ourselves what arises in its absence: comparative judgment and resentful ego activity, and the resulting attempt to make oneself better or more perfect. Now we want to explore more deeply the remaining element: the specific difficulty, the feeling or conviction that there is something wrong with us. As we discussed earlier, this is how we experience the lack of holding and the lack of Holy Perfection. This deep belief that there is something wrong with us very often gets projected outside, so we see something wrong somewhere and try to change it for the better.

                      Working with the Fixation Core
                      As we have seen, our usual response to the belief that there is something wrong with us is to try to find out what is wrong so that we can correct it. You might think that your hair is what’s wrong, so you go to a hairdresser to have it changed. That doesn’t do it, so you decide that you are too fat and need to go on a diet. Then you think your features are wrong, so you think you need plastic surgery. Then what’s wrong seems to be that you need more money. What’s wrong changes all the time, and whatever changes you make never take away the feeling that something is wrong. You need to see that you are always trying to deal with the feeling that there is something wrong with you. There is actually nothing wrong with you, there is just the feeling that there is something wrong with you. What you need to do here is to get in touch with the belief or the feeling that there is something wrong, and see what it feels like. You want to identify and explore this deficient state of the soul that constantly impels you to better yourself.

                      For different points of the Enneagram, the experience of deficiency will vary slightly, but as long as you have an ego, you have this sense that something is wrong with you. As long as you have the conviction that your soul itself is flawed, it doesn’t matter how perfect your body or your mind or your life is. It doesn’t do it. You always have the feeling that something is wrong. The point here is not that you are a flawed ring; it is that you are not fundamentally a ring at all. You believe that your real nature is flawed because you do not see that it is gold. You probably think that it is tin. If you saw that it was gold, you would see that it is not flawed and that in an intrinsic way, it is perfect. As you penetrate the feeling of wrongness and recognize that it is just a feeling and has nothing to do with reality, then that can become a channel to reveal your actual perfection.

                      As long as you believe that you can find something wrong with yourself, you can hate yourself for it. If you investigate the ego activity of judging and comparing yourself, you will recognize the hatred in it. But if you explore the actual feeling of wrongness, you will see that you cannot really find anything that you can put your finger on that is wrong. What’s wrong keeps changing. It is a belief that is arising because you do not have a certain perception of yourself. If you really see that it is just a belief, and the feeling of wrongness and of badness accompanies this belief, then you recognize that it is based on a mental perspective, a delusion, and it becomes possible to let go of it. The activity of trying to find out what is wrong with you and make it better becomes superfluous when you recognize this delusion for what it is. You recognize that this activity is a waste since it won’t do anything, because there’s nothing wrong to correct anyway. So you lose the motivation behind that resentful activity of the ego.

                      As long as you believe that there is something wrong with you, you feel motivated to continue that activity, that searching. But when you recognize that you have a belief that makes you ignorant about the true nature of things, you see that this is just ignorance, not wrongness. This is what a delusion is: You believe something about reality that is not true. It is a hallucination.

                      The felt conviction that there is something wrong with you indicates the delusion, the comparative judgement. We need to experience fully the specific difficulty of feeling wrong, or of feeling bad, if we are going to discern the delusion implicit in it.

                      When you really experience the feeling of wrongness and recognize that it is based on the delusion that there is something wrong someplace, it becomes possible to see Holy Perfection. When reality is seen in its objectivity, there is not only the luminous sense of perfection and completeness, but there is also the cessation or lessening of the activity of mental checking and comparison and trying to change your state. You begin to leave yourself alone more, and at some point, you don’t even think about whether what you experience is good or bad. There is a sense of settledness, lightness, or softness. A sense of holding and trust manifests that things are right and will be right in an intrinsic way, that the universe is all right and functions in an intelligent way.

                      So perceiving Holy Perfection allows basic trust to arise. If everything is perfect, then we can trust it. We can trust its functioning and its changes because we realize in an intrinsic way that it is all right. Basic trust means trust about the fundamentals, about the intrinsic nature of things, about ultimate reality.

                      As we have seen, the wisdom of each Holy Idea helps us clarify our orientation toward the work of spiritual development. From the perspective of Holy Perfection, doing the Work becomes a matter of not doing it from the perspective of judgment, but from an attitude of surrendering to reality the way it is and the way it unfolds. It is a matter of trusting that letting go into reality is the Work, and that understanding means both seeing the delusions that stop you from surrendering, and the process of unfoldment itself. Our practice, then, becomes one of simply letting everything be, of just being present with whatever happens, without judgment or comparison, of being interested, curious, and open to the perfect unfoldment of the truth within you.

                      Being present with whatever your experience is, means that you are not comparing your experience with someone else’s. You are not comparing your experience now with your experience yesterday. You are not comparing your experience against some kind of standard. You are present with it because you are curious about it and want to find out what it is about. If you are judgmental about your experience, deciding whether it is good or bad, or good enough or not good enough, then you are not open to it in a way that allows you to see it and understand it objectively.

                      The attitude of comparative judgment and trying to change things interferes with the experience, so you can’t see it as it is. If you cannot see it as it is, you are interfering with how reality is revealing itself, and you block it from revealing the truth contained within it. You stop it from showing you that you are being deluded, that you are stuck here and there, and you block it from revealing its nature, which you realize, when it reveals itself, is perfect. Comparative judgment keeps you from seeing the the perfection inherent in reality, and your interference blocks it from revealing more and more of this perfection. A judgmental and comparative attitude blocks the flow of reality, and the energy and consciousness become stagnant. What is needed is a surrender to the unfoldment of your reality, and this means not going along with your comparisons and judgments. The surrender, then, is to let understanding do its job instead of trying to make things go a certain way so that you can make yourself into a better person.

                      If you have a noncomparative and mirror-like attitude toward your experience, in time, understanding becomes the process of unfoldment itself as reality is unfolding within your consciousness. So understanding becomes a spontaneous insight into what your situation is at this moment, regardless of whether you are experiencing a delusion or the actual presence of Essence; you will see it and understand it. Then understanding becomes nothing but the revelation of the perfection of reality in its isness and in its unfoldment.
                      "Distress, whether psychic, physical, or intellectual, need not at all produce nihilism.
                      Such distress always permits a variety of interpretations."



                        Point Seven
                        HOLY WISDOM, HOLY WORK, HOLY PLAN

                        The awareness that Reality exists as a succession of moments, each experienced as ‘the present,’ and that it is only by existing in the present that the constant unfolding of the Cosmos [can] be experienced. Only by working in the present can real work be done and real results achieved,

                        —Ichazo, 1972

                        The Holy Idea of Point Seven is Holy Wisdom, Holy Work, or Holy Plan. Holy Wisdom is, like other Holy Ideas, a certain way of experiencing oneself and reality as a whole. If you have basic trust and you are being present, you realize that there is an evolution, a transformation that happens, and that there is a specific design to this evolution and transformation.

                        The Unfolding Design
                        This evolution happens according to a certain design—a design that is true for all human beings. This design is called the Holy Plan or the Holy Work. It’s a Holy Plan in the sense that there is a specific universal design—which is the same thing as the process of the cosmos or the macrocosm replicating itself in the microcosm. Holy Work is the actual evolution itself, the actual transformation, so it is seeing that there is an actual transformation progressing from one step to another, from one stage to another, and going in a certain direction.

                        Perceiving this design and this process of transformation is Holy Wisdom, which is perceiving the Holy Work or the Holy Plan. So, again, it has to do with functioning—functioning from the perspective of a design. If you have this perspective, obviously you will have basic trust. Knowing that things are unfolding according to a certain design, you do not need to have your own plans. You don’t need to fantasize about how things should be. So we can see how the loss or the absence of this Idea leads you to fantasize about how things should be, how you are going to be, to make plans, to plan for the future.

                        It is obvious that the fixation has to do with a blind spot of not seeing that there is a universal plan, that there is an evolution that has its own momentum, its own direction, its own plan; we don’t need to meddle with it. If we can see that, then just letting ourselves trust and be in the present, whatever we do, is the Holy Work. Whatever work we do is the Holy Work because it is the spontaneous evolution and unfoldment of our resources as part of the evolution and unfoldment of the universe. This is the Holy Work which happens according to the Holy Plan. It is not that you necessarily see the whole plan, just that you see that it is unfolding and working according to a design. Once in a while you have that insight when you work on yourself; you realize that the universal process has its own intelligence, it is going its own way. It is when you lack this that you feel the need to make your own plans.

                        So one definition of Holy Work is work that is done completely in the present. When you are in the present, moment to moment, whatever work you do is Holy Work. This is because if you are truly in the present, you are not in your planning mind, so things are spontaneous; they are going to move according to the Holy Plan, the natural design, rather than haphazardly. That is why doing the Work on ourselves is doing the Holy Work. What are we doing? The Holy Work is nothing but getting into the Plan itself; letting go of our own plans, letting go of our own manipulation, and doing the Work in the process, flowing with it.

                        Basic trust means that if you are allowing yourself to be present, and there is a continuity of Being, then there is an unfoldment of your natural resources, including all the essential aspects, intelligences, and perceptions, as well as things like understanding what needs to be done. So if you are feeling tired, for example, you might start planning a vacation. This is different from the person who regularly takes a vacation every summer in August. But if you are working hard and realize you are getting burnt out, then you start thinking “When am I going to need a rest?” So you plan your vacation for two or three months ahead. This way, you are sensitive to what is really happening, not just your plan about what is supposed to happen. We’re not saying that regular planning is contradictory to the universal plan, but if planning is disconnected from what is actually happening, from the sense of Being, the sense of reality, then it becomes a fixation of ennea-type Seven. The basic thing about this fixation is planning, not just vacations, but planning how you are going to be. It’s about planning for your identity, for your life, for the universe, for the whole thing. It is much more basic.

                        I have been trying to give you a taste or a vision of what reality is like when ego is not the center of it, of what the objective perception of existence is, of what is actually present if we are not looking through the lens of our delusions. So although we are studying the Enneagram of Holy Ideas, this is not really a study of the Enneagram. We are using the Enneagram of Holy Ideas as an organizing map, but what we are connecting with is a reality that the Enneagram only points to.

                        While I am presenting the objective perception in terms of the nine Holy Ideas, it is the same reality seen through nine lenses, or from nine different directions. Understanding objective reality from each of these directions implicitly reveals the principles inherent in the existence and functioning of the life of the ego, and so the Enneagram is a good map of these delusions.

                        To elucidate the Holy Idea for Point Seven—Holy Plan, Holy Wisdom, or Holy Work—we will use the language of another teaching, that of the Yaqui shamans, as introduced to us by the enigmatic author, Carlos Castaneda, in his various books. The fundamental nature of reality, which we call the Absolute, is referred to in that tradition as “pure spirit.” The Absolute or pure spirit is unmanifest, in the sense that it cannot be experienced or discerned through ordinary perceptions or processes. It is the fundamental nature of everything, and it is ultimately the only thing that exists. But if it is unmanifest, what is it that we are perceiving all the time? From the Yaqui perspective, we perceive what is called “emanations of spirit,” of which there are an infinite number. These emanations are nothing but the manifestations of the infinite potential of pure spirit through differentiation and discrimination. So everything that can be seen, experienced, and known is an emanation of pure spirit. This includes not only the physical dimensions, but also what we call the essential aspects and dimensions.

                        While the emanations of spirit appear in many dimensions, forms, and subtleties, our ordinary consciousness limits those we actually perceive to a restricted band. The band we perceive is determined by our focus of attention, which is called, in the Yaqui tradition according to Castaneda, our “assemblage point.” When this point is present in a certain emanation or dimension of reality, it lights up that dimension and you see it. What is spotlighted, then, is what you see and experience, and if a particular set of emanations is continually illuminated in this way, you will take this band to be reality. So the assemblage point is the point of presence which, using a certain cluster of emanations, assembles or creates a particular world view about reality and the self.

                        Most people have taken on the world view which results from the assemblage point being fixated at the band of emanations of the physical world, with its accompanying egoic mind. The Yaqui term for this band is the “place of reason,” which I take to mean the place of thought: It is the reality that is determined by our thoughts, and our thoughts are predominantly conditioned by physical reality. We have the potential to experience the totality of all bands and emanations, but we are stuck at a relatively small, restricted place, and we call this place of thought “reality”. This band is real, it is part of the emanations, but it is a very small band; and because it is all we see, our overall perception and our understanding of what we are is limited and distorted. As a result, we end up not accessing the other bands of reality, which contain much greater possibilities for perception, experience, and action.

                        The objective of the Work is to access the totality of your potential, so that your world will include all the emanations and bands, instead of being focused on, determined by, and restricted to, a very limited segment of reality. The Work, then, is basically to free your assemblage point so that it can move from one band to another, giving you access to the rest of your potential as a human being.

                        Freeing the Assemblage Point
                        In the Diamond Approach, there are three stages in the process of freeing the assemblage point. In the first stage, the teacher moves your assemblage point because you don’t know how to move it. You can’t move it because you haven’t got the energy, the consciousness, or the understanding to move it, or because you don’t even know that it is possible for it to move. At this beginning stage of the Work, you believe that reality is the way you experience it, which is, for the most part, the way your mother and father told you it is. Every time your teacher works with you, he or she is attempting to move your assemblage point, to open up your realm of experience. So after a while, you begin to experience other realities—you experience Essence in its various aspects and dimensions, and have radically different perceptions of yourself. Each new perception of an aspect or dimension brings with it a whole new perspective, and you start looking at yourself, your life, and the world, differently. When this happens, your assemblage point has changed and shifted to another band. So the work on the aspects and dimensions is very direct work on moving the assemblage point, and in this way you become familiar with the other bands and emanations, and the fixation of your assemblage point is loosened.

                        In the second stage of the Work, you learn how to move your own assemblage point. This means that through your work, you become able to shift your assemblage point to a different band or emanation, and in this way, more of your potential becomes available to you without relying on someone else to do it for you. For example, you might learn to be open and curious when you feel a particular emotion. You might learn through your practices of self-remembering and inquiry to stay present and not run away externally or internally when you are afraid—instead, you make an effort to sense yourself and understand the fear. This will have the effect of moving your assemblage point from whatever identity and world view was invoking the fear to a state of more spaciousness or of some quality of presence.

                        The third stage is neither your teacher moving your assemblage point nor you moving it. It is completely freeing the movement of the assemblage point. Freeing your assemblage point requires having the trust to surrender so that spirit will move your assemblage point. In that way, you are not standing in the way of spirit nor directing it, but letting it move your consciousness. When this happens, you don’t have to do anything—you just relax, surrender, be, and spirit moves you. This freedom of the assemblage point means that your perception of reality is no longer determined by your fixation in one particular band of reality. It means freedom from fixation in the place of thought, the place of ego. In other traditions, this freedom is called “ego death.” Ego death means, in this context, that you are not fixated in any particular band, but that your assemblage point is moved spontaneously by pure spirit.

                        This work of freeing the assemblage point does not depend on any particular aspect or dimension. If this perspective and understanding is integrated, you will see that you really don’t need to do anything except to let go and allow yourself to be moved. Holy Freedom, you will recall, means surrendering to the Holy Will, and the Holy Will is nothing but the will of spirit.

                        Of course, the process of the Work cannot be neatly divided into one of these three stages. Usually, all the stages of moving and freeing the assemblage point are happening concurrently, with one of them being more dominant. As a beginning student, however, you do need to experience your teacher moving your assemblage point. This is an initiation into other bands of reality and it empowers you to contact those bands. After this, you develop access to your own will, your own strength, you own power, your own autonomy—which means that you are able to move your own assemblage point. But eventually, you need to move beyond yourself as the mover of your process, to bring about the freedom of unfoldment in which whatever happens is a natural and spontaneous arising leading from one experience to another, from one dimension to another, with no person determining it.

                        As we study the Holy Idea of Point Seven, what we mean by freedom of the assemblage point—which is the freedom that all spiritual traditions attempt to teach us—should become very clear.

                        Ichazo defines Holy Wisdom as, “The awareness that Reality exists as a succession of moments, each experienced as ‘the present,’ and that it is only by existing in the present that the constant unfolding of the Cosmos [can] be experienced. Only by working in the present can real work be done and real results achieved.”

                        In my mind, unlike the definitions of some of the other Holy Ideas, this one is very lucid. Holy Wisdom is the wisdom of egoless living. It is the wisdom of how to be, how to live, and how to work; so this wisdom is not exactly knowledge. It is a way of seeing reality in relation to the passage of time, since living includes the concept of time. When we talk about living, we are not referring to just this moment and that moment. The understanding of Holy Wisdom tells us how we can be free within the ongoingness of living. This understanding provides the correct orientation for spiritual practice, which once perfected, will in time become free living. Appreciating this Holy Idea is crucial for understanding spiritual methods in general, but we will focus here on its relevance in the Diamond Approach.

                        Holy Wisdom arises from perceiving and understanding Holy Plan and Holy Work. Living according to the metabolized understanding of the true meaning of Holy Plan and Holy Work is Holy Wisdom. To understand this, we will begin with a discussion of Holy Work.

                        The perception of Holy Work is the experience of the cosmos as a constant unfoldment of existence or appearance. There are several insights implied in this statement. The first is that reality is pure existence, pure Being, pure presence. This insight encompasses both Holy Omniscience and Holy Truth: Holy Truth elucidates the truth that reality exists as pure presence, and that it is everything and everywhere; Holy Omniscience refers to the differentiations, specifics, and forms that comprise that Oneness. To know what existence or presence or Being means, you have to experience Essence—there is no other way. You cannot know it through reasoning or discussing it—there is no way of knowing what it is except through experiencing it.

                        The Unfolding Now
                        The most central and basic insight is that of Holy Truth: that the totality of the cosmos is pure existence, pure Being. This means recognizing not only that presence is Essence inside of you, but recognizing that everything is presence. This is what is meant by stating that reality is existence, is Being, is presence. Presence is directly experiential; this presence in the present, in the now, is the meaning of Being. This presence in the now is not the juncture between the past and the future; the present moment is the entry into the presence of Being, but it is not time. Presence exists only in the moment and not in the past or the future. Even physical reality is presence, but we do not ordinarily perceive this because we are looking only at its surface without perceiving its other levels. It is like perceiving only the skin of an onion and eliminating the rest of it, so you take an onion to be brittle and stiff and believe that it has no soft and juicy part.

                        It is interesting that presence or Being is experienced as a nowness, but that this nowness is not a moment of time. The nowness is more of a medium, more of the actual presence, the actual consicousness, the actual substance, of Being. When we realize it is everything that exists, we see that it includes all time. We see, in fact, that it is beyond time, and that time is merely a concept that exists within it.

                        The second insight contained in the definition of Holy Work is that this presence exists as a succession of moments, each experienced as the now, the eternal presence or the presence of eternity. Eternity here does not mean “everlastingness,” since everlastingness is a relationship to time. Eternity is outside of time; it is infinity of presence. It is as though all time is concentrated in the now, not in terms of events, but in terms of feeling. So there is no concept of linear or measured time in the now. Therefore, to talk about unfoldment is to talk about reality experienced as successive moments of now, in which these moments are not disconnected but are always now.

                        Another way of expressing this is that when you experience Being, it is pure nowness; you aren’t thinking about present, future, or past. When you remain in Being, you begin to realize that things change. But these changes do not mean a stopping of Being; they are, rather, a continuum of moments, each experienced as the now.

                        The third insight contained in our definition of Holy Work is that the continuity of Being, the succession of moments of existence, the flow of the now, is experienced as the unfoldment of presence, which is the unfoldment of the cosmos. Unfoldment, then, is a way of experiencing Being in flow, in change. It is not something static; there is always Being, but it is a flow. The whole universe is like a fountain, always unfolding, always pouring out in different forms—but always remaining water, that is, remaining Being or presence. This is the understanding of unfoldment as the unfoldment of Being. This unfoldment of Being, this flow of presence, is sometimes called “real time,” as opposed to linear or clock time.

                        The fourth insight is that this unfoldment is the Holy Work of God or of Being or spirit. This Work is what is called “creation,” or sometimes “new creation,” in the sense that the world is created minute-by-minute, like the fountain of water in our metaphor. The water that pours from the fountain in one moment is not the same water that pours from it in the next. The creation is new in the sense that it is renewed every second. This moment is not the product of the last moment, but is completely new and fresh. So there is an emerging, flowing effulgence of Being, an arising manifestation of Being. This flow is nothing less than the very transformation and evolution of the universe, including everything contained within it.

                        This Holy Work can be perceived and understood only when you are in the present, directly experiencing it. You have to perceive the presence to perceive the Holy Work. It is happening all the time, but we don’t normally see it as Holy Work. When we are not perceiving the universe as an unfoldment of presence, we see it as governed by cause and effect, as a matter of physics and chemistry. When we are completely in the now, and know ourselves as part of it, we see the universe as an unfoldment of nowness, of presence, of pure reality. Holy Will, the Holy Idea of Point Two, is the force implicit in this unfoldment, while Holy Work is the action of unfoldment itself.
                        Last edited by Vive; 06-05-2020, 06:21 PM.
                        "Distress, whether psychic, physical, or intellectual, need not at all produce nihilism.
                        Such distress always permits a variety of interpretations."



                          Cosmic Laws
                          All of the insights we have just elucidated explain the statement that, “Holy Work is the experience of the cosmos as a constant unfoldment of existence.” What, then, is Holy Plan? Holy Plan is the perception that this unfoldment is not chaotic, accidental, or haphazard. It occurs according to its own laws; there is a meaningful pattern to its unfoldment. This pattern of unfoldment is the Holy Plan, although the word plan here is not used in the usual sense. It is not as though there were a preordained plan, and the universe unfolds according to it; here, the word plan means simply the recognition that there is a pattern to the unfoldment. The pattern is harmonious and inherently meaningful. This pattern, with its meaningfulness and harmony, is always explained by the dominant science of each era. Hence, it has been explained as the work of spirits, as a function of gravity, and as a consequence of random events. But when you see manifestation through the perspective of the Holy Work—that it is Beingness in constant flow—you see it as harmony, as beauty, as an ordered unfoldment. This is one way we recognize the presence of laws in the universe. Laws are simply ways we describe certain patterns that the universe manifests. For example, when clouds become dark in a particular way, and reach a certain temperature, rain falls. This is a pattern. The scientific laws explain this through evaporation, condensation, humidity, and so on. So you can look at the phenomenon of rain as a consequence of a set of laws, or from the perspective of Holy Work, you can see it as simply a patterned or harmonious unfoldment, which we call Holy Plan.

                          When I say that the unfoldment has a sense of meaningfulness, I don’t mean that it has a specific meaning. Rather, there is a sense that the unfoldment is not accidental or chaotic. Things work out, develop, and evolve, as part of this unfoldment. Intelligence evolves, organic life evolves, and we see this evolution as a pattern. We can read specific meanings and purposes into this pattern, but when I use the word meaning here, I mean a felt sense that this unfoldment has its own flow, its own movement in a particular direction, that is determined by its own intelligence. The prism through which Being moves as it goes through its transformations is the dimension that we call the Logos. It patterns the movements and gives the unfoldment its differentiations and variations.

                          We have seen that the pattern of unfoldment that is the Holy Plan is not a predetermined plan, but rather, that the universe unfolds according to inherent natural laws. This absence of premeditation indicates that the universe is intelligent. Its intelligence keeps it from being completely predictable and mechanical; if this were not so, we could discover all of its laws and plot its movement, as science attempts to do. But we cannot do this because Being is intelligence, and thus is responsive, and this responsiveness is completely spontaneous. You can understand this quality of intelligence when you see Being as an organism that is manifesting and expanding. This manifestation and expansion of life has a pattern, a lawfulness, a harmony, that expresses the intelligence of Being. In fact, when you feel the Beingness, it feels like it is teeming with intelligence, and its movements this way or that have a spontaneous intelligence.

                          To understand this idea of lawfulness, let’s look at a few examples. If, for instance, you identify with your image, you will experience yourself as an empty shell. This is a natural law. If you fix your assemblage point, you will only see reality in a particular way. This is a natural law. These laws would be difficult to measure through scientific instruments or procedures, but we know from our experience and understanding of inner experience that they are consistent and true. These laws, then, are a pattern life takes.

                          The following poem, called “The Hidden Plan,” by the Indian mystic, Sri Aurobindo expresses the idea of Holy Plan:

                          However long Night’s hour, I will not dream

                          That the small ego and the person’s mask

                          Are all that God reveals in our life-scheme,

                          The last result of Nature’s cosmic task.

                          A greater Presence in her bosom works;

                          Long it prepares its far epiphany:

                          Even in the stone and beast the godhead lurks,

                          A bright Persona of eternity.

                          It shall burst out from the limit traced by Mind

                          And make a witness of the prescient heart;

                          It shall reveal even in this inert blind

                          Nature, long veiled in each inconscient part,

                          Fulfilling the occult magnificent plan,

                          The world-wide and immortal spirit in man.

                          (Aurobindo, 1952, p. 4)
                          Here, Aurobindo is basically spelling out what the Plan is, and we see that he is not saying that God has a blueprint for how things are to happen. The universe is so intelligent that it does not need a blueprint; its intelligence is spontaneously self-revealing, expressing pure spirit through its unfoldment. We call this Holy Plan.

                          You could say that the purpose of the universe is to reveal its hidden spirit, but such a formulation implies a goal toward which reality moves. This is teleological, and that is not how reality functions. Reality functions through manifestation in the moment. It is true that if we look at the unfoldment over time, it appears to be pursuing that purpose, but reality does not have such a purpose in mind. Of its very nature, it reveals itself. Holy Plan is the harmonious pattern of this unfoldment, a pattern that we can only glimpse fragments of once in a while. We will see when we discuss Holy Law that it refers to the harmony in the unfoldment, while the present Idea emphasizes the fact of the pattern itself.

                          The Soul’s Unfolding Design

                          We have discussed what Holy Work and Holy Plan mean from the perspective of the Holy Ideas, which is the understanding of objective reality in terms of time. In other words, when we conceive of objective reality in terms of change or of transformation or of movement, we are thinking of it from the perspective of Holy Work and Holy Plan. From the perspective of the human individual who, as we saw in Holy Transparency, is an inseparable part of the oneness of Being, we see that he is an inseparable part of this unfoldment. This means that his soul is an expression of Holy Work and Holy Plan. This, in turn, implies the following:

                          1. The soul is a presence in the now, part of the fabric of the now.

                          2. One’s life is a succession of moments of this presence. It is a continuity of this presence.

                          3. This continuity of presence is the unfoldment of the soul. Since it is a succession of moments of presence in the present, this unfoldment can only be experienced and understood in the present by being present in the now. This is the “real time” of the individual, the real life. All other time, when one is not present, is a waste in terms of life, for there is no presence in it. Wasted time occurs when there is no unfoldment, when you are fixated and stuck, existing in linear time; basically you are just walking in place, getting nowhere in terms of development of the soul. How much one has been in real time indicates one’s true age, since it determines the development and maturity of the soul. Most people have spent a year or two in their entire lives being truly present, so that is how old they really are from the perspective of the soul.

                          4. This unfoldment of the soul has a pattern, since its unfoldment is part of the Holy Plan. It is a lawful and intelligent unfoldment, which is the growth, development, and maturation of the soul. The Holy Plan for the soul is like the Holy Plan for any living organism, in that it is intrinsic to the soul’s nature and potential. This means that there is a specific pattern to the development of the human soul that is different from the pattern that trees, for instance, follow in their development. While there are variations among human beings, there is an overall pattern to the unfoldment of the soul.

                          5. The Holy Work for the soul is obviously, then, nothing but its lawful unfoldment, becoming what it can be and maturing to its full potential.

                          6. The method of real Work must be oriented toward the actualization of this unfoldment and maturation. Since this can be done only in real time, the central element must be presence. Holy Work can be done only in the present. It cannot, then, be about trying to actualize something that one envisions in the mind. (We will come back to this point after discussing Holy Wisdom.)

                          Holy Wisdom, then, is living and working on oneself in a way that is informed by understanding Holy Work and Holy Plan. We can use the analogy of a mandala to describe this understanding: The mandala is the whole universe. Your consciousness, your soul, is the center of this mandala, and the rest of the universe is the environment surrounding it. The totality of the mandala is unfolding according to an intelligent pattern; it is a dynamic mandala. The unfoldment of the center of the mandala is therefore part of the unfoldment of the whole mandala, and we can also say that it is the result of the interaction between the inner nature and potential of the center with the totality of the mandala. In other words, you are not separate from the rest of the world. You are part of the universe, and so you are always influenced by, and influencing, the rest of the environment. This mandala is the totality of your experience and your perception—that is really what “mandala” means. The mandala is a symbol for your experience, in which you are the center. The center of the mandala is a point, and the point is the center of the soul.

                          Living according to this understanding is wisdom. Practicing according to it is the Work. The central part of this wisdom is the awareness and understanding of Holy Work according to the Holy Plan. So wisdom means living and working with the understanding that all is Being and you are part of this Being; that all is unfolding as the Holy Work and you are part of this unfoldment; and that your maturation is your own unfoldment, which is part of the unfoldment of the totality.

                          Your unfoldment, then, is the result of your inner nature in interaction with the various influences of the environment. If the environment is holding and supportive, you will tend to unfold more easily. If the environment is inadequate and unsupportive, your unfoldment will tend to be arrested and distorted. Seeing this brings the wisdom to realize that you cannot choose your experience completely, since your experience is the result of the interaction between where you are and what is happening in the universe. There is no such thing as being independent of the universe, since you are part of it. You affect it and it affects you. Taking this perspective into consideration is wisdom.

                          If the universe is unfolding and you are part of that unfoldment, what to do becomes clear—you just go with it. Ramana Maharshi tells an interesting story about why people don’t surrender to their experience: A man who is used to traveling on foot and carrying his suitcase everywhere he goes, is given a ticket and put on a train. On the train, he is still carrying his suitcase, not trusting that if he puts it down, the train will carry it. That’s how most people are—they are always carrying their bag, even when you tell them to relax and let it go; they do not trust that the train will take them and their bag wherever they’re supposed to go. We usually don’t see life from the perspective of Holy Work, which is that things are unfolding on their own and we can relax.

                          The perception of the Holy Plan in your own experience might take the form of observing yourself all week, and by the end of the week having an insight about how all the things that happened were connected in some way, and then seeing that this insight relates to one you had the week before, and then seeing how this fits into a whole mega-pattern that has been operating throughout your life, and so on. It is the perception of a whole process that is occurring. When you talk about your process, you have to speak in terms of time, but from the perspective of Holy Work, there was no last week—there has only been an unfoldment of your experience. It is a matter of perceiving your whole life as a flow, and recognizing its contours and patterns.

                          Holy Wisdom, then, is the actual, practical living, being, and working that integrates the understanding of Holy Work and Holy Plan. We have seen that Holy Work is the truth that reality is a presence that is constantly outflowing, constantly unfolding and flowering. We have also seen that Holy Plan is the harmonious pattern of that unfoldment. From the perspective of the human soul, you are part of the larger reality and so your unfoldment is part of its unfoldment. Specifically, we have seen how the soul functions as the center of the mandala, and the universe is the environment of the mandala, and how your unfoldment as the center pertains to your own inner potential in interaction with the total presence of the mandala environment.

                          To live according to this understanding is Holy Wisdom. The central implication of this perspective is that real life is presence in the present, and that this reality is unfolding according to its own inner laws and harmony. We are truly living if we are embodying this presence as it unfolds according to the Holy Plan, knowing ourselves to be an integral part of the universe in its unfoldment. So true life means being in unity with the unfoldment: You are the unfoldment. Holy Work is allowing this unfoldment and cooperating with it.

                          So our work here is basically a way of seeing the unfoldment, understanding the unfoldment, facilitating the unfoldment, and surrendering to the unfoldment. Facilitating the unfoldment involves the first two stages in freeing the assemblage point—the teacher initially moving it and then you learning to move it yourself. Surrendering to the unfoldment is freedom of movement of the assemblage point, the third stage. Here, you see that freedom is a matter of surrendering to the spirit that is moving you. When this happens, you recognize that when the teacher moves your assemblage point, it is not the teacher doing it—it is spirit; and when you move your assemblage point, it isn’t you doing it—it is spirit. It was and always is spirit moving it; the Holy Work does it. This understanding brings the perspective of freedom.

                          From this perspective, we see that each moment will be the creation of Holy Work, which will manifest according to the Holy Plan through the Holy Will of the Holy Truth. Not only does this imply that you cannot choose what is going to happen, but also that you cannot predict the exact direction it will take. This is what we mean when we say that the unfoldment happens according to its own natural laws and intelligence. This principle is easiest to understand in terms of your inner experience. What’s going to happen in the next moment to a table, for instance, is relatively predictable, but not so for your inner experience. We do not know the exact direction it is going to take since it is an instant-to-instant arising.

                          You cannot, for instance, say that now you are going to experience yourself as the Personal Essence, and in the next moment, as Strength. If you do that, you are superimposing your own idea of what should happen—your own plan—on the unfoldment, and that might not be where it is going. Although it is true that there is a pattern to the development of the human soul, it is very general and cannot be used to accurately predict what will or should happen next. The pattern is analogous to that of the development of a tree, for instance: We know that it is going to develop a trunk with branches that grow above the ground and a root system that grows beneath the ground, but we don’t know where each leaf will appear. As with the soul, we can only generally predict the unfoldment; we cannot know what will specifically manifest from one moment to the next.

                          If we are to allow ourselves to unfold, the only thing we can do is to be completely where we are, to be present in exactly the spot that is manifesting in this moment; and if we are genuinely present, the next movement will unfold and we will find out what it is. So the Holy Plan can only be revealed by going through it—you cannot direct your unfoldment. In other words, to allow your soul to unfold, your orientation must be to be present in the now, and to discover the movement of the unfoldment of presence by being it. This is the Holy Work. You can only discover your place in the Holy Plan by living it, in the present, moment by moment.

                          We ordinarily think that a sense of orientation comes through knowing what to do, which direction to take. This implies that you know where you are going. True orientation, from the perspective of Being, however, is just presence itself. The now is orientation; the only real possible orientation is presence in the nowness. We cannot orient ourselves to the future because we don’t know where our experience is going to go. If we are present in the moment, that presence will unfold from instant to instant, thereby creating its own direction.

                          When you are in the moment, being the presence that is unfolding, that unfoldment determines your actions, and your actions will feel just right, right to the point, because you are not separate from your Being and your action is completely unified with the presence itself. Your actions then are nothing but the unfoldment of Being. Since presence is everything and all of you, it is not as though you are moving your hand from here to there; presence is unfolding in this moment and in this moment and in this moment. The presence has unfolded like successive frames in a film. When this is your state, you feel like you are right on the mark, knowing what you are doing and where you are going. What happens within you and through your actions occurs spontaneously, naturally, effortlessly, because you are not separate from who you are. The moment you say, “I don’t want to go that way,” or “It would be better this way,” you are separating yourself from the presence that is unfolding. When you do that, your action does not have a sense of exactness or of appropriateness; it does not feel “on.”

                          Directing One’s Own Experience
                          The specific delusion of Point Seven is the belief that you can direct your unfoldment. This attitude is described very well in the following quotation of don Juan Matias from Carlos Castaneda’s The Power of Silence:

                          He advised me to get used to the idea of recurrent attacks of the same type of anxiety, because my assemblage point was going to keep moving. “Any movement of the assemblage point is like dying,” he said. “Everything in us gets disconnected, then reconnected again to a source of much greater power. That amplification of energy is felt as a killing anxiety.” “What am I to do when this happens?” I asked. “Nothing,” he said. “Just wait. The outburst of energy will pass. What’s dangerous is not knowing what is happening to you. Once you know, there is no real danger.” Then he talked about ancient man. He said that ancient man knew, in the most direct fashion, what to do and how best to do it. But, because he performed so well, he started to develop a sense of selfness, which gave him the feeling that he could predict and plan the actions he was used to performing. And thus the idea of an individual “self” appeared; an individual self which began to dictate the nature and scope of man’s actions. (Castaneda, 1987, p. 149)
                          Last edited by Vive; 06-05-2020, 06:23 PM.
                          "Distress, whether psychic, physical, or intellectual, need not at all produce nihilism.
                          Such distress always permits a variety of interpretations."



                            When the Idea of Holy Wisdom, which includes Holy Plan and Holy Work, is lost to consciousness, the deluded conviction that you can create your own time-orientation of the flow of your life—that is, that you can plan your life—arises. This implies that you can know what is supposed to happen next in order for you to unfold into your potential. This is different from the delusion of Point Two, which is the delusion of one’s own separate will; here, it is the belief that you know the direction in which that will needs to be applied. Specifically, it is the conviction that you can know what direction to take in terms of your inner experience; that you can program the unfoldment of your experience and can direct it in terms of a moment in time.

                            The Holy Work will happen whether you know it or not. But part of the pattern is that when a person becomes aware of not directing the unfoldment—that the Holy Work is proceeding on its own—the life of that person becomes transformed. Without realizing this, one’s life cannot transform; very little change can happen. The assemblage point just makes little shifts here and there around the same spot, even though one may have the illusion that one is moving.

                            Holy Work is the transformation of everything that exists, the movement, the changes in all of existence—a person walking down the street, another being hit by a car, someone giving birth, someone dying, people being together, people separating—they are all part of the transformation of the unfolding of the universe. It only appears to you that you are making these things happen because you do not see from the deeper perspective of objective reality.

                            For this ennea-type, the specific difficulty, the experience of the absence of holding seen through the filter of the specific delusion, is the loss of the capacity to know what to do. The feeling state is one of disorientation and a sense of being lost, the sense that, “I don’t know what to do,” or “I don’t know which way to go.” Knowing what to do implies that you know which way to go, which in turn implies that you know what is optimally supposed to happen next. In the absence of the sense of holding, a state of deficiency arises in which you feel that you should be able to know what to do, based on the delusion that you can direct your own process, but that you don’t know because something is lacking in you.

                            The feeling of being lost or disoriented arises when you lose your sense of identity, your sense of who you are. Every time your assemblage point shifts from its customary place, you are letting go of who you have taken yourself to be. As don Juan says, this brings with it a sense of difficulty and anxiety, and there are many ways that this is experienced. For Point Seven, it is experienced as the sense that, “I am lost. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know which way to go. I don’t know which direction to take and I feel disoriented and unoriented.” Orientation is being in touch with the flow of presence. In disorientation, what is really lost is this sense of presence, of being who you are; but the way this loss is experienced—since it is filtered through the delusion—is that what is lost is knowing what to do and which direction to take. Without the understanding of Holy Wisdom, the delusion arises and you believe it, and this, in conjunction with the loss of holding of Being, leads to this sense of disorientation.

                            It can be difficult to apply this understanding to practical action in the world, just as we saw with Holy Freedom, since the level at which this perspective is most readily seen is the level of inner experience. Knowing what is supposed to happen in a concrete situation, such as needing a certain amount of income to cover your monthly expenses and doing what it takes to get it, seems obvious. But when you are dealing with the unfoldment of your soul and your spiritual evolution, you need to remember don Juan’s response to the question, “What should I do?” He said, “Nothing.” We need to understand the significance of the insight that nothing needs to be done in order to facilitate our unfoldment, which helps us to comprehend the methodology of the Diamond Approach as well.

                            We have seen that the specific reaction of each ennea-type is the expression of the lack of basic trust as it is filtered through that type’s specific delusion. Here, the resulting distrust is filtered through not perceiving the Holy Plan and the delusion that one can know which direction to take. The reaction is to try to create orientation. This is the specific reaction of planning. Planning is nothing but creating direction for your future actions. It implies the absence of trust that there is already an inherent plan that is oriented toward the actualization of your potential. This plan is already present in your inherent nature, and all you need to do for it to unfold is to be yourself in the present. You don’t need to, nor in fact can you, plan your enlightenment. You just need to be true to who you are at the moment, and your unfoldment will happen on its own.

                            But instead of surrendering to the Holy Plan, you create your own plan and engage in ego activity instead of surrendering to the Holy Work. Planning indicates that you have an idea in your mind of how you should be and how you should live and what should happen within yourself and in your life. This means that your orientation is coming from your mind, and that it is determined by a goal that you are attempting to arrive at in the future. It’s coming from your lower intellectual center, instead of your higher intellectual center, the source of the Holy Ideas. Your plan is bound to be based on your past experience and therefore, it cannot have the freshness that arises from the organic intelligence of Being, which, as we have seen, is a continuously new creation. A plan cannot be creative in an essential way. It is bound to be based on comparative judgment of your experience, and hence, cannot have the perfection that is inherent in the reality of Being.

                            You planning your development is analogous to a child planning its development into adulthood. Just as a child does not know—and does not need to know—what it is like to be an adult, you cannot know what it is like to have a grown-up soul. So how can you plan your unfoldment? Since the child cannot know what it’s like to be forty years old, the child cannot plan his or her growth—it will have to just happen on its own. Likewise, if you trust and don’t interfere with the process, you will become an adult.

                            We can say, then, that the specific reaction is the result of not understanding Holy Plan, and the specific difficulty is the result of not understanding Holy Work. If you don’t understand the Holy Plan, you have to have your own plan. This is why this type is often called “Ego Plan.” If you don’t understand Holy Work, you think that you can know what to do and that you determine your work on yourself, instead of seeing that it is a spontaneous unfoldment. Understanding the principles of Holy Plan and Holy Work exposes the delusion of ennea-type Seven, which is one of the principles common to all ego structures. The moment you try to direct your inner process—“I should not feel that way, I should feel this way; I want to feel this instead of that”—you are acting on your belief that you know what you are supposed to experience in the next moment. All ego activity involves this principle.

                            You might, for instance, sense into your inner experience and realize that you are feeling irritated. The moment you say to yourself, “I must let go of it so that I can feel peaceful,” you are acting on a plan based on the belief that you should be feeling peaceful. Whenever you attempt to change what you are experiencing, you are assuming that you know what ought to be happening, which indicates that you have a plan in mind. This plan is not necessarily conscious, but it is an implicit part of your inner activity whenever you manipulate, judge, or criticize what you are experiencing. Even when you tell yourself to relax, you have a plan. For most people, this inner planning is incessant, compulsive, and obsessive. When we recognize this planning component of our inner activity, the delusion that we know what should happen is exposed. If, instead of trying to manipulate our experience, we stay present with it and try to understand it in an experiential way, then our process unfolds. Using our example, if you said to yourself, “Oh, I’m irritated, that’s interesting. What is irritating me right now? Oh, I see. The irritation has to do with this”—and so on, this is not planning where your process will go; you are just observing it and experiencing it, and the unfoldment happens by itself.

                            Holy Wisdom means understanding that you do not know what’s going to happen next, and so the only thing that you can do is relax. You realize that if you relax, you are. You become the presence, and when you are the presence, you are in the present. When you are in the present, real work can happen, and that real work is the unfoldment. This is not work in the way it is ordinarily understood, which is that of ego activity; real work is the unfoldment of the soul which, as we are seeing, requires no such activity. If we can allow this unfoldment to happen, the result is freedom, since your assemblage point moves according to the unfoldment. The unfoldment is nothing but the spirit moving your assemblage point from one band to another, revealing all of your potential.
                            "Distress, whether psychic, physical, or intellectual, need not at all produce nihilism.
                            Such distress always permits a variety of interpretations."



                              Point Four HOLY ORIGIN

                              The awareness that all individuals are born as the result of natural, objective laws; that these laws continue to operate within them throughout their lives. Because all the laws are interconnected, each individual always has an intimate physical connection with the Totality of Reality—the Cosmos. From this springs true originality.

                              —Ichazo, 1972

                              The Holy Idea for Point Four is Holy Origin. As well as the above definition, Ichazo also gives a shorter definition: “Everything starts in Him Himself, in God, and everything is going to return again to Him Himself.” Both of these definitions say the same thing, one from the perspective of natural laws in relationship to the body, and the other in a more mystical way of seeing the Idea.

                              What does this mean? Each Holy Idea, as we have seen, presents a particular implicit truth about reality, a certain facet of how reality is and how it appears. If we perceive reality as it is without any filters, we will see these nine Ideas as different manifestations of it. They are inseparable, since they are nine different aspects, expressions, or elements of the same experience. The facet of reality that is highlighted by Holy Origin is the perception and understanding that all appearance (meaning whatever can be experienced and perceived—inner or outer) is nothing but the manifestation of Being, the Holy Truth.

                              Inseparability from the Source
                              Everything is the unfoldment of Being, and hence, everything is always intimately connected to Being. In fact, the various phenomena we perceive are the unfoldment of Being. This is a deep and radical perception, although it is subtle: We see that everything we experience is nothing but Being itself appearing to us in various forms. We explored in the preceding chapter the Idea of Holy Work, in which we saw that reality is always unfolding, Being is always transforming from one form into another. Like a movie, reality keeps rolling, and with the perception of Holy Origin, we see that what appears in that unfoldment is never disconnected from Being, since it is Being. The fact that reality is appearing right now as your body or your thoughts or your environment does not mean that these things are disconnected from Being. Everything, then, is intimately and inextricably connected to Being. Being is the Holy Origin, and everything is connected to, and completely inseparable from, that Origin.

                              So Holy Work emphasizes the fact that there is always an unfoldment taking place, and Holy Origin emphasizes that this unfoldment is always the unfoldment of Being. So as appearance manifests, it never leaves Being, which means that you never leave Being. The interconnection of everything, including ourselves, then, is by virtue of the fact that everything has as its inner nature the reality of Being. You are connected by virtue of the fact that Being is your true reality. Just as the body is inseparable from its atoms, so appearance is inseparable from Being. There is no such thing as a body separate from its atoms; likewise, there is no world, no existence, no manifestation, no appearance separate from Being.

                              This inseparability of appearance from its Source is the perception elucidated by Holy Origin. This is a very deep understanding which is not easy to apprehend. Without it, we can have experiences of our essential nature which actually feel separate from who we are. For instance, we might have a profound experience of the presence of boundless compassion or of indestructible strength, but actually feel that we are having an experience of something other than who and what we are. Essence can feel like something that comes and goes, rather than seeing that our perception of our inner nature is what comes and goes because that perception is not clear. Holy Origin is the knowledge that you and your essence are not two distinct things. Essence is the nature of the soul. We might believe that the Divine, or God, is something outside ourselves, residing somewhere else, which we are either connected to or not. Believing that you can be connected or disconnected from God means that you don’t understand the Idea of Holy Origin.

                              The Idea of Holy Origin can be formulated in many ways, depending upon the level or subtlety of realization. We have discussed what it means in a general way, and will now describe some of the different levels of its realization. The first level is perceiving it from the physical perspective, recognizing that we are connected to reality because the natural laws which operate in and through our bodies always connect us to it.

                              The next level deeper is the perception that everything, including oneself, originates in Being and returns to Being, that Being is the ground in which and from which everything manifests. This is the experience of seeing that there is a Source from which you come and to which you return, and that all of reality comes from and returns to this same Source. It is like perceiving that the waves arise out of the ocean and return back into it.

                              This is how reality is, whether you perceive it or not. When you are not perceiving this truth, you are asleep. When we say that the Holy Ideas are views of objective reality, we mean that this reality is not dependent upon your mind or your experience of it. It is how reality is, independent of your perceptions of it. So even though you might not perceive it this way does not mean that it isn’t this way, any more than the objective truth that your heart is pumping blood through your body is in any way dependent upon your perception of that fact.

                              At this level, the perception is that reality is in a constant process of creation and dissolution, arising out of, and returning back to, the Source. We perceive the unfoldment of manifestation as an emergence, a fountain of forms rising out of that Source. While Being is seen here as the ground in which and from which everything manifests, there is not yet the sense of coemergence. There is the appearance and there is the Source of it, so there is a slight sense of separateness. The Logos, the boundless dimension of manifestation, is seen here to arise out of Being rather than being it.

                              The third level of perception of Holy Origin is seeing that everything is nothing but Being itself differentiating, discriminating, and articulating itself into the particular phenomena of experience. So there is no separation between appearance and Source, nor is there connection between them since there are not two things that can be disconnected. This third level, that of coemergence, in which one recognizes that everything is always the Source that is appearing in various ways, is the deepest possible way of seeing Holy Origin.

                              Levels of Source
                              What we perceive to be the Source, from which everything emanates in the second level of understanding Holy Origin, and with which everything is coemergent in the third level, goes through successive refinements. In other words, our sense of what this Source is deepens. This understanding—that Being can be perceived in subtler and subtler depths—is very specific to the Diamond Approach. We call the progressively deeper experiences of Being the boundless dimensions. We see that, as our experience of it deepens, Being is perceived as having fewer and fewer qualities, until in time, it becomes completely quality-less. Many spiritual teachings do not talk about the succession of qualities or structures of Being nor of the progression of experience of Being to its ultimate depth. Buddhism, for instance, considers Being as emptiness or as the union of emptiness and awareness (depending on the particular school), and that that is the ultimate reality to which you are either connected or not. In our work, we say that this is one perception of Being, but there are other levels at which it can be experienced.

                              The Idea of Holy Origin, then, does not describe a particular level of Being, but rather, a relationship of appearance to Being. So your perception of Holy Origin will vary depending upon which level of Being you are experiencing. On the second and third levels of understanding the Idea, for instance, you might experience the whole universe as love and everything that appears as forms of that love. Or you might experience everything as pure presence without any qualities, seeing that everything is just differentiations of that pure presence. The deepest perception is seeing the Absolute as the Source, and everything as emanations that are indistinguishable from It. Only at the third level of understanding Holy Origin can one perceive that everything is the Absolute—this is what I call the quintessential dimension. Everything here is seen to be coemergent with the ultimate Source.

                              To understand this Idea more easily, we can relate it to Holy Truth and Holy Omniscience. Holy Truth, as we have seen, is the perception that there is only one indivisible reality, so there is no duality. Holy Omniscience is this same truth, but seen in terms of the oneness of appearance, perceiving multiplicity as a characteristic of the unity. So from the perspective of Holy Truth, there is only one thing; and from the perspective of Holy Omniscience, that one thing is made up of a multiplicity of objects. We usually believe that everything and everyone is separate and discrete, meaning not part of something larger, which is like believing that the whole universe could disappear and the Earth would remain. So Holy Omniscience describes the same truth as Holy Truth, but seen from the point of view of the differentiations. Holy Origin also describes the same truth, but rather than describing it in terms of the absence of ultimate boundaries between the various phenomena, this Idea describes it in terms of the absence of separating boundaries between those appearances and Being. Holy Omniscience refers to the horizontal oneness, and Holy Origin refers to the vertical oneness. Holy Omniscience eliminates the sense of boundaries or separateness between things, and Holy Origin eliminates the sense of separateness between things and their source, which is Being.

                              In terms of your own experience, Holy Omniscience means that you are not separate from others or from the environment, while Holy Origin means that you are not separate from Being, your source and essence. So Holy Omniscience is the absence of disconnection on the same level, while Holy Origin is the absence of disconnection between levels. The former looks at the surface, and the latter looks at the depths. Holy Omniscience tells us that all the waves on the surface of the ocean are connected, while Holy Origin tells us that the waves are part of the ocean. And the whole ocean, waves and all, is the Holy Truth. The same reality is being described, with different emphases.

                              Another way of putting it is that Holy Omniscience refers to the connection of all souls to each other, while Holy Origin refers to the connection of the soul to its source. Our sense of this source or center changes, as we have said, according to the dimension we are experiencing. On the individual dimension, this center is the Point, the Essential Self. Then it becomes Universal Love, then the Supreme, which is pure Being, then the Nameless, which is nonconceptual Being, and finally the Absolute, which is absolute Being. In the language we used in discussing Holy Wisdom, you could say that the center of your mandala which begins as the ego identity, a mental construct, becomes replaced with a progressively deeper center that is real.

                              Sometimes your sense of that center will be Essence, which is the true nature of the soul; sometimes it will be other dimensions of Being, deeper perceptions of the true nature of reality of which the soul is a part. Each of these perceptions is an understanding of Holy Origin, in which the surface and the center are seen to be one, just as every circle or sphere has a center. The ego does not understand this, believing that Essence or Being or God exists somewhere else and we have to search for it. This belief is due to the lack of understanding of Holy Origin. In reality, the center of everything is always the Absolute, but we take it to be whatever the Absolute is manifesting Itself as in that moment. You might take your center to be your body, which is how the Absolute is manifesting at the time, or you might take your center to be pure Being, for instance. What you perceive the center as is dependent upon your level of perception.

                              So when you say, “I,” it is always the Absolute saying it. No one ever says, “I” without it being the Absolute saying it. The “I” is always uttered by the Origin. No one can say, “I” except for the Origin because of the mere fact that there is only one thing. If you really understand Holy Truth, you understand that there are not two, that duality is an illusion of the egoic mind. You might not be aware that you are the Origin when you utter the word, “I,” but nonetheless, it can only be the Origin that is saying “I.” We have a case of mistaken identity when we take the “I” to be something that our mind defines as us. When the mind defines what is “I,” we have a fake center, a superficial center, a fabricated center, which we refer to as the pea. That is the normal identity, the identity of the personality, which functions as the center of our lives, of our actions, of our experience.

                              We may feel that we are at the center of our experience, but for most people, that center is the ego identity. When we see through this, we initially realize our center to be the Point, the Essential Self. (See Almaas, 1996.) Then we see that the Point is nothing but the reflection of Being in the mandala of appearance. To put it another way, the Essential Self is nothing but the appearance of Being when you see it in everyday life. When we see this, we become more awakened to the nature of Being, and progressively let go of our subtle concepts until we realize Being’s absolute nature. Then we know that we are not connected to the Origin; we are the Origin.

                              Ultimately, the Origin is the Absolute, but each of us is in a different place in terms of what we are able to perceive and experience, so I am discussing Holy Origin from these other levels as well. We saw in the last chapter that to do the Holy Work means to let yourself be where you are. It means allowing yourself to be wherever the unfoldment is taking you and to perceive and be in touch with whatever the unfoldment is causing to appear—or manifesting in you—as who you are. Ultimately, that is the Absolute, but your perception might not be that deep yet. Many spiritual teachings refer to one dimension of reality as the only true one, and if you don’t experience that dimension, the tendency is to invalidate your experience and to try to go to the level that the teaching is postulating. This disconnects you from where you are and blocks the unfoldment. If you see that there are many levels of truth, you take into consideration that there is an unfoldment that goes progressively deeper, and then you can allow yourself to be where you are and allow the momentum of unfoldment to take you deeper. So while Holy Origin means that we are the Absolute, we can experience it from wherever we are; and by being where we are, we allow the spirit to move us to that Origin.

                              Functioning as Self-Arising
                              Holy Origin is in the functioning corner of the Enneagram formed by Points Two, Three, and Four, because it elucidates a truth about functioning. The upper corner formed by Points Eight, Nine, and One talks about the truth of the cosmos, while the corner formed by Points Five, Six, and Seven discusses the human being in relationship to the cosmos. The functioning corner discusses doing, or the functioning of transformation. We have seen that the Holy Will creates the Holy Work, which is the unfoldment of the universe. Holy Origin shows that this functioning is a manifestation and an articulation of Being into the various forms. So we see functioning here as nothing but an articulated presencing of Being. In other words, Being presents itself in a differentiated and discriminated way without ceasing to be Being in its purity.

                              A good way of expressing this is “self-arising,” a term used in spiritual literature, which means that everything is an arising that is intimately connected to the source of this arising. The Absolute in its absoluteness is called the “truth of non-arising,” since it does not originate from anywhere and is constant and unchanging. So manifestation is an arising of the Absolute which appears as everything without ever ceasing to be the Absolute. In reality, then, the truth of Holy Origin is that there is simultaneous arising and non-arising. When we focus on the arising quality of the transformation, we say that there is functioning and that is the appearance; when we see the fact that there is an unchangeability in it, that the Absolute is always present, we call that non-arising. To talk about an arising out of the Absolute is a contradiction, since It is unchanging and never arises—this is the mystery.

                              We say that God, or the Truth, never changes and is always the same, while in fact, God is changing all the time since God is everything that we see. So which perception is the truth? Both are true, and this is something that we can’t really understand. When we face this mystery, the mind has reached its limit and has to give up. Conceptual elucidation can only go so far, and ultimately, we end up facing paradoxes. While the threads no longer conceptually fit here, experientially, it makes total sense. Just as the atoms in the body are always atoms and always stay the same while the body is constantly changing, the Absolute is always unchanging, while there is always the arising of manifestation out of it. Seeing that these two phenomena happen simultaneously is seeing Holy Origin. You are looking at two faces of the same thing. If you see two separate processes, you are seeing a disconnection which is the absence of Holy Origin.

                              As I have said, Holy Origin can be experienced in many ways. The conventional way is feeling in touch with oneself. The sense that I’m connected with myself—I feel myself, I’m intimately in touch with myself, I know I am here—is one way of seeing Holy Origin. What changes is our experience of what that self is; as we have seen, what we know ourselves as becomes progressively deeper. At the beginning, you might be in touch with your body, then you are in touch with your emotions, then you are in touch with your essence, then you are in touch with the Essential Self, then you are in touch with the boundless dimensions; until at some point, you realize that to be in touch with yourself, you have to be in touch with the Absolute because you have recognized yourself as that. As your sense of identity goes deeper, when your sense of yourself is located at levels above what you have realized yourself to be, you feel disconnected. Once you have recognized yourself as Essence, for instance, being in touch with your emotions feels like you are not completely in touch with yourself. At the beginning, however, if you are someone who has been out of touch with your emotions, feeling them feels like a big revelation and that you are really in touch with yourself. This is the beginning of experiencing Holy Origin.

                              Last edited by Vive; 06-05-2020, 06:23 PM.
                              "Distress, whether psychic, physical, or intellectual, need not at all produce nihilism.
                              Such distress always permits a variety of interpretations."