Finding the Soul
The notion of “finding” the Soul* (the deepest part of our self, which is pure love) is central to Diamond’s approach, for he regards all human suffering as being ultimately caused by the fact that we have not yet found it (Quote 1). He consequently sees the main focus of his work, and by extension the ultimate goal of any healing endeavor, as being to “help us to find It, to Know It – and thus to live It” (Quote 3).
To find our Souls, we must first find the Soul of our mother (Quotes 4, 5, 6, 10). Creativity can aid this process, because “It comes from the Muse* within – and that is the Goddess within, the Soul of our mother as the Mother of Love.” (Quote 6). To do so, however, the explicit intention behind the act of creativity should be to help others find their Souls. For example, if a painter at a deep level has as his primary intention to help the viewer find his Soul, the resulting painting will likely get closer to that result; likewise with a photographer taking a photograph, or a musician playing his instrument (Quotes 7, 8, 9). This idea is central to Diamond’s approach to creativity, and the basis behind Life Energy Art* and Photography*.
The concept of finding the Soul therefore combines several ideas central to Diamond’s work: the inherent goodness of human nature (i.e, the concept of the Soul itself); the fundamental importance of the maternal relationship (finding one’s mother’s Soul first to then find our own); and the therapeutic potential of human creativity. Further, it recasts the central purpose of therapeutic creativity – and healing more generally – in an entirely original way.
Because of the importance of this concept to Diamond, and because of its metaphorical nature, he has several ways of describing the problem which is overcome by finding the Soul. These include: not yet finding our Soul (Quote 1); losing contact with our Soul (quote 2); and not believing we have a Soul (Quote 10). In addition, in writing about the concept, he uses a number of terms synonymously with “Soul” in this context, including Muse*, Buddha-Nature (See Quote 6); All-lovingness and the Belovedness* (Quote 5); and Perfection (Quote 11).
Timeline: Mainly 1998 on, although there exist some earlier references in his writings dating back to the earlier 1990s.
- “The ultimate diagnosis of every sufferer is…that he has yet to find his Soul.” (“The Ultimate Diagnosis” [paper])
- “[We] are all in anguish, [for] we have all lost contact with our Souls.” (“What is Anguish?,” The Diamond Color Meditation)
- “I believe – fervently – that there is within each of us a Deep Unconscious* of Pure, Pure Love, beneath the usual superficial unconscious of admixed love and fear. It has been called the Soul, the Buddha-Nature, the God Within – the metaphor doesn’t matter. Only the certainty that It is There. That we are It. And all my healing endeavors are to help us to find It, to Know It – and thus to live It.” (“Finding the Deep Unconscious” [paper])
- “Our task in life is to find our Soul, which I believe we achieve by first finding our mother’s. And then we will see everyone else’s Soul as [that] of her.” (“Soul and Spirit,” Art for Healing)
- “It is my belief that each of us can find [our Soul] only when we first find it in another, in the most significant Other, in our mothers: to go deep within her and find the All-lovingness, the Belovedness, which is her deepest self, her soul. Once we find it in her, then and only then can we take it into ourselves, introject it.” (“The Drive for Life,” Facets of a Diamond)
- “I believe that to overcome our anguish (the Buddha’s First Noble Truth) we must find our Souls, our Buddha-Nature. And this comes through finding our mother’s Soul, for we were – and still are – of her. Are her. One Way to her as Her is through our Creativity. For It comes from the Muse within – and that is the Goddess within, the Soul of our mother as the Mother of Love.” (“To Overcome the Buddha’s First Noble Truth” [paper])
- “To paint from the Soul,
not the mind,
is to paint for the viewer
to find his Soul.” (“To Paint from the Soul” [poem])
- “When I take photographic portraits, I always look not just into the the eyes of the subject, but through them, to go deep into the person and find his soul. Every time I find his soul, I am helped to once again find mine. Look into the eyes of the beggar on the street. Look through his eyes and Know his Soul. Then how can you refuse, cold-heartedly, to give him whatever he needs?” (“Cold-Heartedness,” Freedom from Fear)
- “The more loved you feel, the more will your audience. And that should be the purpose of your music. So go deep into yourself and find your Soul, your Muse, your Mother of Love – and sing of Her. Then your audience will, too.” (“Advice to a Musician” [Paper])
- “The sufferer does not believe he has a Soul…. And this always involves helping him find his mother’s Soul. (“The Endeavor of Psyche-atry” [paper])
- “The great Zen master Dogen taught that the purpose of meditation was not just to still the mind per se, for that is but a mechanical exercise, nor is it to achieve Perfection, but rather to realize that we are already Perfect. Then, having found It, to lead our lives accordingly.
But this is still a selfish activity. It is preferable by far, and much easier, to first find the Spirituality in another. When we have found it out there, then, and perhaps only then, can we find It inside ourselves. I believe we can only find our Perfection when we have found it in our mothers, our primary Object, the primary One.” (“Music-Making as Action Meditation,” Facets of a Diamond)
- Papers on this website including references to the concept of finding the Soul: