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from the adepts-to-watch-out-for dept.
The Pearl Beyond Price
A. H. Almaas teaches a synthesis of spirituality and psychology he calls The Diamond Approach.
His teachings are reminiscent of Idries Shah and many of the writers in the Fourth Way. But his emphasis on self-acceptance as the means to realization of the Personal Essence (where the timeless essence and the temporal personality meet) provides a useful complement to Thelemic doctrine.
In The Pearl Beyond Price, Almaas provides an amazingly rich roadmap of the evolutionary process as an extension of personal growth. The development of the ego isn't contradictory to the development of the spirit; it is simply the earliest stage of the process. The problem is that many of us stop at this point.
Rather than urge the elimination of the personality, Almaas writes of exploring the personality in depth for the clues that it provides regarding essential will. He acknowledges that many spiritual paths ignore the personal aspect of essence (the "Pearl" of the title), but suggests that this is the most natural and effective method for our times. I get the distinct impression that what he describes is the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, but he does so with clarity and detail that I've found nowhere else.
Perhaps most interestingly, he describes the field of "Object Relations Psychology" as having an approach well suited to the spiritual path, making only a few modifications here and there to bring the emphasis more toward evolution than therapy.
This is a vast and endlessly fascinating read. I'd recommend every Almaas book that I've read so far, but for Thelemites, this one above all, for the vitally needed parallax view of the Great Work that it provides.
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