Too often when we have the word for something, we forget the word is not the reality. We might say, “God is love,” “war is traumatic,” “hunger hurts,” “nature is healing,” and other statements and think that we have the experience of what they mean because we have the words.
But we all know words are only symbols. They stand for something they are not. Yet, it can be easy to forget.
No matter how hard you try, you cannot give the experience of “ice cream” to anyone who has not tasted ice cream, nor can you give the experience of “red” to a person born blind.
Words are like a runway; they help us take off and go beyond them.
Words are like a ladder. They can help us get to a new level—but they, themselves, are not the new level.
Words are like a prison when we use them to trick ourselves into thinking we understand something when we really don’t have a clue.
Words are like a con artist when we depend on them to be what they can only symbolize.
Words can freeze us when we think we’ve accomplished the actuality of what they represent.
In the Diamond Approach of A. H. Almaas, inquiry is used to go beyond words. Words are only the launching pad into experience.
The Diamond Approach consists basically of direct and immediate inquiry into one’s present direct experience. A question about anything can be used to start. A general good one is:
What is true for me right now?
Inquiry is different from writing in a journal because the goal and the state of mind are different.
In inquiry, one is simply factual and honest, stating what is.
There is no evaluation or judgment or denial of one’s current experience. One stays with one’s experience fully, being completely honest, open, and curious, allowing one’s experience to unfold and display the deeper roots from which it springs.
This takes courage because we must allow ourselves to fully experience all our emotions, not just the warm and fuzzy ones. We stay with what is true for us now. We let it flow. When we can be 100% with what we really experience, space opens up. We begin to feel really and truly free.
Even when what is true for us is that we don’t want to feel a certain pain, like grief or anger, and we observe ourselves repressing this pain, we are still being honest and aware of what we are doing. We are still being with for is true for us right now. Our repression or denial can be consciously observed without drama or judgement.
One can do inquiry on any question or topic. Also see Adyashanti’s method of Self-Inquiry.
Combining image streaming with inquiry is especially powerful.
You can read all about image streaming in The Einstein Factor: A Proven New Method for Increasing Your Intelligence, by W. Wenger, Ph.D., and Richard Poe.
In image streaming, you begin describing aloud (to yourself, a tape recorder, or a silent witness) the images running through your head. You must use all five senses in your descriptions as fully as possible. You must phrase all your descriptions in the present tense.
This, apparently, lights up new areas in the brain and creates a magical feedback loop that brings preconscious data across the limen into consciousness. It takes about 20 days of daily practice for 10 to 15 minutes each day for the effect to become really noticeable.
Image streaming can be done on questions, without questions, and with various aids and methods. And it must be done aloud and in the present tense to work.
There is truly an art to inquiry and working with our minds and the Greater Database of Mind. We should begin learning it in kindergarten! It is not difficult at all. What is difficult is switching to easy after years of being told it is very difficult.