Excerpt About Spirit

Spirit and other Conceptualizations of Essence

Essence is not an object we find within ourselves; it is the true nature of who we are when we are relaxed and authentic, when we are not pretending to be one way or another, consciously or unconsciously. Essence is the truth of our very presence, the purity of our consciousness and awareness. It is what we are in our original and undefiled beingness, the ultimate core reality of our soul. Essence is the authentic presence of our Being; it is, in fact, Being in its thatness. Different spiritual traditions have given it different names: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam call it Spirit; Buddhism calls it Buddha nature; Taoism calls it the Tao; Hinduism calls it Atman or Brahman. The various traditions differ in how they conceptualize Essence and how much they emphasize it in their teaching, but Essence is always considered to be the most authentic, innate, and fundamental nature of who we are. And the experience and realization of Essence is the central task of spiritual work and development in all traditions. The Diamond Approach is characterized by a distinctive realization about our essential nature: Essence manifests in various forms as an intelligent response to the changing conditions of the human soul. These forms, which we call the aspects or qualities of Essence, include the perennial flavors of human experience such as Love, Peace, Joy, Truth, Clarity, Compassion, and Value. Each essential aspect has a distinct experiential reality and function, while all share the basic ground of Essence: presence, self-aware luminosity, and openness.

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