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The Pearl Beyond Price
Integration of Personality into Being: An Object Relations Approach
by A. H. Almass
Diamond Books, Berkeley. 506 pages. ISBN 0-936713-02-X
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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The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.
**Re: The Psychology of the Holy Guardian Angel**
by <Aleph> on Wednesday February 23, @08:47AM
I just finished reading another Almaas book, Luminous Night's Journey. The comparison could be overdrawn, but I kept thinking that this book covers the Crossing of the Abyss in a similar way to how The Pearl Beyond Price describes Knowledge and Conversation.
It's an autobiographical fragment that begins with an overview of the preparatory work Almaas went through before the process of attainment that concerns the main body of the book. What follows is a marvellously lucid accound of the realization of the absolute. The parallels with The Vision and the Voice are amazing. To a lesser extent, it also resonates with Swami Muktananda's Play of Consciousness.
Of course, there are differences as well as similarities. In both Pearl and Journey, the affirmation of the HGA and the negation of the Abyss are more intertwined than is found in Crowley. Still, I think that there is enough concordance to suggest that there are stages to attainment that go beyond the mere conventions of particular traditions.
A small excerpt:
There is no problem when I am the absolute, for I am the self of everything. And there is no problem when I am human, for then I love the absolute.
The only problem is when I am human and not in touch with what my heart feels.
|The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.\\
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