"A. H. Almaas is one of the foremost spiritual teachers of our time. His methodology for realizing true nature is precise, teachable, and remarkably clear."—Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind
Brilliancy: The Essence of Intelligenceby A. H. Almaas
Intelligence is one of the defining characteristics of human beings: an inherent ability to respond to the world with awareness, knowledge, learning, and insight. Most considerations of human intelligence are based on the notion that intelligence is a product of brain functioning. A. H. Almaas introduces here a radically different viewpoint, one that recognizes an actual quality of consciousness as the source of intelligence. He calls this source the Brilliancy of our true nature.
The presentation of his understanding of intelligence is followed by in-depth dialogues with his students on the various barriers to recognizing and embodying this essential quality. In particular, an unresolved relationship with one's father is found to shape the experience of Brilliancy. Using a Socratic method that draws upon techniques of body-centered, Gestalt, psychodynamic, and cognitive psychologies, Almaas helps participants work through their defenses and conflicts surrounding this issue and then, diverging from pychotherapeutic practice, guides them in discovering their own Brilliancy.
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having intelligence but present as intelligence. In this experience,we find out what the essence of intelligence is, the source of this capacity. In our study in this book, I discuss not only the characteristics of this essential presence of intelligence, but also how it is determined and influenced by environmental factors. I look at some of these specific factors, our relationship to them, and how that relationship deeply influences our experience and realization of intelligence. And although I do not discuss the influence of heredity or the role of the brain in relation to intelligence, it is part of my understanding that aspects of Essence function through the physical organism, including the brain. Therefore, our realization of the aspect of intelligence will also be influenced by our heredity.
Brilliancy, the teaching on the aspect of Brilliancy takes the form of four individual talks. These talks were presented as part of a retreat on this aspect that took place in California. The exercises referred to at the end of the talks were followed up with discussion; however, those questions and comments are not included in this part. The intention in Part One is to provide a concentrated presentation of the phenomenological dimension of the Brilliancy aspect, the essence of intelligence. In Part Two, a talk from a different retreat is presented on Brilliancy as it pertains to the practice of inquiry. In Part Three, the reader will have the chance to witness the unfoldment of personal inquiries by students as they explore Brilliancy in relation to their own experience. These inquiries occurred over the course of several meetings in a smaller group retreat in Colorado.
Brilliancy will contribute to the understanding of intelligence from the perspective of deep spiritual perception. This book also presents this investigation of intelligence within the specific context of the teaching of the Diamond Approach, in order to demonstrate how that particular method appears in actual application. Therefore, this book is both a study of the question of intelligence and its development and liberation, and an illustration—using the aspect of intelligence—of the methodology of the Diamond Approach in the work of realizing Essence in its various aspects.
Meet the Author
A. H. Almaas is the pen name of Hameed Ali, the Kuwaiti-born originator of the Diamond Approach, who has been guiding individuals and groups in Colorado, California, and Europe since 1976. He is the author of Spacecrusier Inquiry, The Pearl Beyond Price, Facets of Unity, and other books.
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