Intelligence is one of the defining characteristics of human beings: an inherent ability to respond to the world with awareness, knowledge, learning, and insight. And though superior intelligence is seen to be a trait of a mature and developed person, there has been little consideration of the spiritual nature of this human capacity. Most considerations of human intelligence are based on the notion that intelligence is a product of brain functioning.
In this book, A. H. Almaas introduces a radically different viewpoint on the nature of intelligence, which he calls the "brilliancy" of our true nature. In the initial chapters, Almaas presents his understanding of intelligence in talks addressed to his spiritual community. These are followed in the later chapters by in-depth dialogues with his students on the various barriers to recognizing and embodying this essential quality. Through these dialogues, the reader witnesses the moment-to-moment process of a workshop demonstrating the author's central practice of open-ended inquiry, known as the Diamond Approach.
Using a method that draws upon the techniques of body-centered, Gestalt, psychodynamic, and cognitive psychotherapies, Almaas leads each participant into the heart of his or her own experience at the levels of sensation, imagery, and meaning. This process helps participants to work through their defenses and conflicts around an issue and then, diverging from psychotherapeutic practice, guides them in discovering their own brilliancy.