Excerpts About Vulnerability
The Point of Existence, p. 248 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 197 • discuss »
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 382 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 202 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 206 • discuss »
The Unfolding Now, p. 53 • discuss »
Student: So you don’t make choices if you’re completely vulnerable?
Almaas: No, if you’re completely vulnerable, you don’t make choices. In a sense, choices are made for you. Your inner source moves in a certain direction. You become like a glove, and Essence is the hand that moves you. The glove doesn’t make a choice. If the glove makes a choice, it won’t let the hand move. If the glove says, “No, I want to go this way,” and the hand says, “No, I want to go that way,” you’re in conflict. That’s what emotional conflict is all about. But if you don’t choose and you let Essence, your nature, function through you, the glove will be permeable, vulnerable to the hand, and then your nature will move you. And your nature has intelligence. We don’t trust that our nature has intelligence, that it will know where to go, what to do. So, we don’t let ourselves be vulnerable to it. We feel we have to choose. But when we are truly vulnerable, the choice is always to go along with the supreme will. We don’t go against it, ever. Our choice is to be vulnerable to the supreme will, which is our true nature.
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 211 • discuss »
We are vulnerable not only physically, but also mentally. We can be conscious of our situation—we can reflect on it, know its implications, and understand it. Our human mind is so impressionable, so influenceable, that the best word to describe it is vulnerable. The fact that it is so influenceable, susceptible, and impressionable leaves us open and vulnerable to absolutely everything. As a baby you are completely at the mercy of the environment not only physically but mentally. You are vulnerable in a way that influences you for the rest of your life. You’re so susceptible to your parents and the rest of your environment that almost everything about how you feel and how you think is determined from outside: what you think is good, what you think is bad, what you think you want, what you think you don’t want, even who you think you are. Animals cannot really be conditioned in that way, because their minds are not that impressionable. Not only are we very vulnerable physically and mentally, but we’re emotionally vulnerable as well. Some animals are somewhat vulnerable emotionally, but we human beings are completely vulnerable emotionally. We are probably the most emotionally vulnerable creatures on earth. Our capacity to feel makes us emotionally vulnerable, puts us in a very vulnerable position. Emotionally we’re susceptible to the experience of whatever state is happening in our bodies. We can experience pleasure and experience pain. We feel love, but also hatred. Our vulnerability is a total openness to any possibility.
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 193 • discuss »
Believing that we need to be thick-skinned to survive is not something we hide from ourselves; it’s completely accepted in our society. We are told that to get ahead, we have to become more thick-skinned and not feel things. And this point of view is actually rationalized with all kinds of philosophies. But something happens when we build a shell and hide inside it, which is the source of most human complaints. When we cover up our vulnerability so that we’re not open to hurt and pain, fear and influenceability, we also become insensitive to joy, love, happiness, pleasure, and aliveness. This helps us understand further what vulnerability means. It is true that we are physically vulnerable, but if you look at the physical vulnerability of a human being, you see that that vulnerability itself is also an asset. This vulnerability gives us the capacity to adapt better than other creatures. Vulnerability ultimately means sensitivity, transparency, penetrability. We see it as influenceability, which we think is negative, but it actually means that we’re open, we can be penetrated, we’re sensitive to impressions coming into us and going out of us. This leaves us at the mercy of all kinds of influences, but also gives us the possibility of greater versatility and flexibility in terms of what we can do, how we can respond, what environments we can live in. We can adapt and respond differently to different stimuli. Human beings have been able to adapt to and live in all kinds of environments. Most other creatures can’t do that because they have a narrower range of responses. We have been able to adapt because of our mental, emotional, and physical vulnerability.
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 196 • discuss »
When the shell becomes completely permeable, completely transparent, completely vulnerable, when there is no shell anymore, just empty space, then the question arises: Who’s there to be scared of what? What does it mean to be scared? What does it mean to be vulnerable? We protect ourselves because we believe we are vulnerable. But by that very protection we change vulnerability from being the greatest support to being the greatest danger. If you’re not vulnerable, you’re separate. If you’re separate, you’re scared. You’re scared of everything. The complete understanding of vulnerability is that the nature of the human being is ultimately the supreme reality, is this unity, is everything. The human is the possibility of being the supreme reality. We are the final, ultimate fruit of existence, because we are the most vulnerable. Creation evolves from the least vulnerable to the most vulnerable. Rocks are less vulnerable than trees, and trees are less vulnerable than animals, and animals are less vulnerable than humans. Reality has to become completely vulnerable, all the way to the utmost possibility of vulnerability. And when that happens at the very tip of development, at the ultimate apogee of evolution, you experience yourself at the utmost vulnerability, and you see you are everything, you are the nature of everything. So, if you go through total meekness, total weakness, total susceptibility and total vulnerability, leaving yourself at the mercy of everything, and if you allow yourself to be completely, totally at the mercy of reality, you realize you are the reality.
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 201 • discuss »