Four Noble Truths

Dr. Diamond makes frequent reference in his work to the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha, adapting them to his approach, especially in terms of the maternal relationship, which is of course central to his work.

As usually stated, the Truths are, succinctly:

  1. All life is suffering;
  2. The suffering is caused by our desires;
  3. Our suffering can be ended;
  4. This can be achieved by following the Noble Eightfold Path.

Although Diamond has used different wording at different times, a general summary of his adaptation is as follows:

  1. All life is suffering;
  2. Our suffering is caused ultimately because we do not feel loved by our mothers;
  3. Our suffering can be overcome;
  4. This can be achieved by finding her love.

Commentary and timeline: Diamond began referencing his adaptation of the Noble Truths in the late 1980s in his lectures and writings, and they have remained important in his work since. Their precise formulation has evolved over time in parallel with the evolution of his work. For example, although when he first began writing about the Noble Truths in the 1980s, he referred to underlying concept using the conventional term suffering, more recently it has been transformed into the more intense anguish* (e.g., the statement of Noble Truth 1 becomes “all life is anguish” rather than “all life is suffering”). Similarly Noble Truth 4, the solution to the problem of one’s life suffering/anguish, has at different times been articulated as: Cantillation* (the Knowledge that one is loved, especially by our mother); hearing the Muse* message of love; finding the mother’s Soul*; and Matrophilia*.