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Occult and Metaphysics

Almaas, A.H. - Diamond Heart, Book 1: Elements of the Real in Man (December 1990)  First in the four-book Diamond Heart series, this collection of essays--taken from transcripts of seminars A.H. Almaas delivered over a several-year period--is an effective introduction to the Diamond Approach of inner realization. Lamenting that human suffering is due to not living up to one's human potential, Almaas proceeds to lay out in detail a uniquely modern and strictly logical path to enlightenment-- its purpose to regain one's palpable human essence. Carefully leading the reader through stages of increasing depth and subtlety, he reveals hidden self-knowledge. Chapters with simple titles such as "Value," "Truth," and "Trust" open doors to realizations that result in relief from existential angst. If you have ever felt you were missing something you couldn't quite name, chapter 2--"The Theory of Holes"--is worth the price of admission.
 Almaas, A.H. -
The Pearl Beyond Price: Integration of Personality into Being--An Object Relations Approach (December 1990)  The centerpiece of Almaas's transformational object relations psychology, in "The Pearl Beyond Price" Almaas explains how an infant identifies with its primary caregivers and ends up losing its "essence" by replacing it with an ego-based personality. Dismantling this imprisoning edifice requires recognizing it in the first place, but once exposed for the false though necessary stage of reality it is, ego tends to dissolve of its own accord. Under the gentle guidance of Almaas, the various aspects of essence begin to emerge, one of them being the centrifugal "personal essence" ("the pearl beyond price"). Through integration of concepts from all the world's religions, though most specifically Sufism, with the latest concepts of depth psychology, Almaas provides the scientifically inclined a point of departure into metaphysical realms. While the presentation is somewhat technical--and therefore of use to psychologists, counselors, teachers, parents, and other serious-minded sorts--it is completely accessible to the generally educated reader.
Almaas, A.H. -
The Point of Existence: Transformations of Narcissism in Self-Realization (March 1997)  The third and final book in Almaas's Diamond Mind series, this 602-page tome reformulates the traditionally accepted definition of narcissism, positing it as the major barrier to self-realization--we are staring at reflections of ourselves thinking we are looking at the real self until we fall through the surface of the pond. Dissecting the nature of self to expose ego's mimicry, Almaas illuminates the relationship between the different approaches of various psychological and religious traditions, leaving no stone unturned in his search for "essence." Since the process involves transformation of the experience of identity, it exerts pressure on all levels of self-image, bringing up classically narcissistic issues. While the work appears therapeutic and, in fact, may have therapeutic value, its primary purpose is to open to deeper levels of self-knowledge, which eventually becomes a participation in the dynamic unfolding of being human. A pivotal distinction expounded upon in "The Point" is that Almaas is not directing the reader toward some realization of immaterial spirit or psychological state but is engendering the emergence of a material soul, a palpable essence of being.
Almaas, A.H. -
Facets of Unity: The Enneagram of Holy Ideas  (March 1999) A.H. Almaas presents the holy ideas that are the spiritual realities of the nine personality types that the Enneagram reflects. For those unfamiliar with the Enneagram, Almaas includes an introduction to the structure of psychological typecasting rediscovered by Oscar Ichazo, founder of the Arica School, who gives this book its high credentials by having written the foreword. While other books on the subject explain the different characteristics and behaviors of each of the nine fixations or types, Almaas expounds here on how the disconnection from each holy idea leads to the development of its corresponding fixation. Then he provides keys to unlock them. For example, the seven type's holy idea is holy wisdom, which Ichazo defines as "The awareness that reality exists as a succession of moments, each experienced as the present, and that it is only by existing in the present that the constant unfolding of the Cosmos can be experienced ... can real work be done, and results achieved."
Brown, Byron -
Soul Without Shame: A Guide to Liberating Yourself from the Judge Within  (January 1999)  With foreword, introductory quote, and chapter-end quotes by noted spiritual teacher A.H. Almaas, the reader is alerted to the fact that the author is a student of the Diamond Approach, yet the work stands perfectly well alone without any previous introduction to the Ridhwan School. Focusing on the development and structure of the superego, Brown explains how its supposed moral guidance is more than suspect, exposing it as the harsh, purely mental, often untruthful critic it is. Assisting the reader with steps designed to encourage recognition of the endless tirade of blame, criticism, and comparison heaped upon the self by the superego, he provides 30 simple practices to increase self- awareness, decrease incessant self-judgment, and release this overrated mental projection's stranglehold on heart and soul.
Riso, Don Richard and Russ Hudson  -
The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types  (June 1999) Recommended by two highly credible authorities, consciousness explorer Ken Wilber and spiritual-growth guru Harville Hendrix, this compendium of Enneagram information was assembled by the cofounders of the Enneagram Institute as an introduction to the subject. Designed with a plenitude of charts, boxes, and quotes (by such noted illuminaries as A.H. Almaas, Maya Angelou, and G.I. Gurjieff), this exceptionally easy-to-use, manual-size paperback teaches readers how to figure out which of the nine types they are, identifies red flags to self-illusion, and provides practical suggestions for spiritual growth. Advice on how to observe your type's fixations and let go of the need to act out automatic and dysfunctional behavioral responses are down-to-earth and attainable. A distinctly accessible approach to cultivating daily happiness by understanding the complexity of fixations that weave together human personality types.

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