The Diamond Dictionary

On this page you will find definitions of concepts central to Dr. Diamond’s work.  This includes words that he has invented (such as Belovedness and Matrophilia) as well as familiar words and phrases which he has adapted and used in special ways (such as Cantillation and Soul).

The Diamond Dictionary is an ongoing project and we recommend you check back regularly as it expands.

An asterisk (*) placed after a word or phrase indicates that the term has a separate entry in this dictionary.

Action Meditation

Meditation involving an activity (often higher creativity, such as painting, photography or music).  In contrast to the mainstream approach to meditation, which is comparatively passive, action (or active) meditation is the approach Dr. Diamond recommends to most readily raise the Life Energy of the person, at least for Westerners.


Acupuncture Emotional System (AES)

The name Diamond gives to his system delineating the relationship between the emotions and the acupuncture meridians. Developed over a period of 45 years, the AES builds on the pioneering work of his close friend and colleague George Goodheart (1918-2008), the great chiropractor and developer of the field of Applied Kinesiology.

Commentary: The AES was first developed by Diamond in the 1970s with the basic mapping out of the basic relationship between the emotions, both positive and negative, and the acupuncture meridians.  This work was the focus of his book Life Energy: Using the Meridians to Unlock the Hidden Power of Your Emotions. Diamond then built on this by linking specific points on each of the meridians to particular emotional and psychological syndromes.  There currently exist more than 200 such syndromes, each relating to a specific acupuncture point.



Altruism, the directing of one’s thoughts and actions to help other people, is central to Dr. Diamond’s work, being the basis of his approach to health, and therefore also to creativity.

Amida Buddha

A manifestation of the Buddha, whom Dr. Diamond makes frequent reference to as a symbol of pure maternal love.


The revelatory insight that is needed for true change and healing following the occurrence of a serious, life-threatening illness.  Anagnorisis is both the complement and the resolution of hamartia*, the tearing apart of the fabric of one’s existence produced by that illness. Dr. Diamond has adapted both terms from Aristotle’s commentary on Greek tragedy in his Poetics, where hamartia (ἁμαρτία) referred to the protagonist’s tragic flaw that leads to a chain of plot actions culminating in disaster, and anagnorisis (ἀναγνώρισις) referred to a central character’s sudden insight, a”change from ignorance to knowledge.”

Commentary and timeline: Diamond developed the hamartia-anagnorisis duality c. 2010, and it is has been a recurrent theme in writings and lectures since.  In an extension in his approach that illness begins in the mind (Disease Diathesis*), serious disease stems ultimately from the deep, existential anguish* afflicting the human condition: that we are unable to find our mother’s love (Matrophilia*). The awareness of this underlying anguish is hamartia: Anagnorisis is the overcoming of it by finding the mother’s love (Cantillation*).


The deep suffering that is universal to the human condition and which underlies not only all illness, but affects all of us, no matter how consciously we are aware of it. The key to True Health lies in lessening one’s anguish, and one can regard all of Diamond’s work as being directly or indirectly focused on that goal.


The belief that life has a higher purpose beyond the purely material. As such it is a foundation of a higher, spiritual approach to living and to one’s daily activities. In terms of the Acupuncture Emotional System, the syndrome is associated with the lung meridian. First formulated in the 1970s, this topic has remained central to Diamond’s work since.


Beat, The

See Pulse, The*


In contrast to the common superficial meaning of beauty as very pleasant (eg,  a beautiful day/ice cream/sentiment,”) Diamond’s use of the word designates something much deeper, inspired its Latin root, beatus meaning blessed.  If we believe a thing – a work of art, a piece of music, or any type of phenomenon – to be Beautiful, it makes feel profoundly loved and greatly raises our Life Energy.  This concept developed in the 1980s, specifically being one of the higher levels of Cantillation.*



The feeling of feeling loved, especially by the mother. The concept is centrally important in Diamond’s work as the key to health and high Life Energy, and it closely relates to the concept of Cantillation*.  Belovedness is Diamond’s coinage, for although beloved is standard English, both as a noun meaning “much loved person” and an adjective meaning “well loved,” the simple extension belovedness has no prior usage.

Commentary: Diamond first began using the term in the early 1990s, since when it has become central to his work.  It relates closely to two other terms in the Diamond lexicon, Matrophilia*, and Cantillation*. Matrophilia, as its name implies, relates specifically to the love of the mother, whereas Belovedness is broader.  Cantillation, which predates Belovedness by at least a decade, is even closer in usage, and there is arguably a sense that Belovedness has replaced the earlier term.


Birthing Trauma

The trauma caused to the baby through the human birthing process, the result of the evolutionary development of too large a fetal head passing through too small a maternal pelvis. Though its severity varies from person to person, because of its evolutionary nature it is endemic to the human condition.  Birthing trauma thus differs from the standard term birth trauma, which relates to injury in specific individuals.  Though birthing trauma is physical in origin, its impacts are also psychological, cognitive, and emotional, and a root cause of our misprocessing* and therefore also the universal underlying anguish* of human existence.

Timeline: Diamond developed the concept in the 1990s drawing particularly from the theory of cranial osteopathy, which contends that the uncorrected physical distortions of the body, especially of the skull bones, as a result of the birthing process are the cause of many of our later structural and therefore physiological problems, and the book 1993 The Runaway Brain  by Christopher Wills.



  1. The feeling that one is loved, especially by one’s mother, the basis of all health, spiritual, psychological, and therefore physical:“The state of Cantillation is the deepest conviction,/the surest knowledge,/that one is loved, totally loved,/by one’s mother,/by Nature, by God./It overcomes all impediments/to the attainment of Joy and Enlightenment.” (Life Energy Analysis, 1). The term in Diamond’s usage also carries the sense of an active expression of that feeling as a metaphorical or literal song, as in the phrase “a song of love for the Love” (Ibid). This reflects the standard definition of cantillation (from Latin cantare, to sing) as “the musical or semi-musical chanting of sacred texts, prayers, etc., by a solo singer in a liturgical context” (New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 1st ed.). From this is derived: the verb cantillate, to be in a state of cantillation; the adjective cantillatory, often applied to a work of creativity or an activity that will actuate this feeling in the person experiencing it (for example a cantillatory poem, a cantillatory procedure); and the noun cantillator, one who cantillates.
  2. The creative activity that most easily actuates a state of Cantillation in a person. It might be playing the piano, painting, photography, etc. and while it varies from person to person it is always a higher art form. Finding and practicing one’s Cantillation is an integral part of using creativity to raise one’s Life Energy. See also *Two Wheels on Dry Land.
  3. The name Dr. Diamond gives to his work as a whole from c. 1985 to the mid 1990s.  It reflects that the core aspiration of his work should be for the student “to practice this cantillation/ever more correctly,/to raise it to ever higher stages./And furthermore to generalize it/into all our daily activities,/ so that our lives themselves/become songs of love.” (Ibid).

Timeline: The concept was first developed in the early 1980s, and was central Diamond’s approach from c. 1984 through to the early 2000s, whereupon it was increasingly replaced by related terms such as Belovedness* and Matrophilia*.

Capitalization, Use of

Diamond makes frequent use of capitalization of many terms and concepts in his writings, especially since c. 2005, to the extent that in recent years it has become an integral part of his expressive written style.  He uses this to infuse a words with a higher, more spiritual sense than would be suggested by the standard meaning.  For example, Creativity implies creativity with very high Life Energy* and coming from deeper within the self than the standard. Similarly the Guidance* we receive, because it is from the Spirit World, is typically capitalized; and the frequently used capitalized terms Know and Knowledge imply heart knowledge, not just that of the brain (Example: “To come to Know our mother’s Soul and so, at last, our own – and to live accordingly.”)

He also uses capitalization in a related way to distinguish between pairs of opposites where one term represents a positive, higher virtue (capitalized), the other a negative (uncapitalized), eg, Matrophilia* (love of the mother) and matrodeima (fear of the mother); or Tariki* (Other Power) and jiriki* (self power).

Deep Unconscious

The deepest part of our self, which is pure love. It contrasts to what Dr. Diamond terms the superficial unconscious*, which corresponds to the conventional concept of the unconscious as found in psychology and psychiatry, for instance in the work of Freud. It is an admixture of positive and negative emotions, part love, part fear, in varying proportions.  In the Deep Unconscious, by contrast, there is only love, no fear.  Diamond’s work for many years has been, in a sense, as far as possible to have only love in the superficial unconscious just as in the Deep Unconscious. “The quest for health,” he writes “starts in the superficial unconscious, but it ends with the emergence of the Deep Unconscious.”

Commentary: The concept of the Deep Unconscious embodies Dr. Diamond’s lifelong belief in the inherent goodness of man. It only through our misprocessing* of the message of the Deep Unconscious than man commits acts that are less than loving. This approach underlies all his work, although at different times he has used different terms to express it, including the Soul*; our inherent Buddha-nature; our Innate Perfection; and the Muse*.

Timeline: Early 2000s on.


The belief that our lives are determined by outside agencies, rather than the result of individual free will or personal choice.

Commentary: Determinism has always been important to Diamond’s approach. In his earlier work he tended to emphasize it in terms of the material factors determining a person’s health (and his life more generally), eg, family environment, society, culture, body chemistry, and genetics. Beginning in the 1990s, however, this concept was expanded to include a metaphysical and spiritual dimension, relating it to such concepts as the Tao*, Tariki*, and Spirit Guidance* etc.

Diamond Path of Life, The 

The name Dr. Diamond applied to his work as a whole from c. 2008-2018

Disease diathesis

The predisposition to getting a disease.  In Diamond’s usage, the term refers particularly to the  emotional and psychological problems that usually precede the physical manifestation of the illness.  Such problems typically exist in the the Acupuncture Emotion System*, and the isolation and treatment of them offers a true holistic approach to treatment and prevention, i.e., dealing with the root emotional cause of the disease underlying the physical symptoms.

Ego, The

The organizing, reality-based part of the psyche.  In the 1990s, Diamond paired it with the concept of the Muse*, the deepest part of ourselves, which is pure love.  In this model, the Muse continually emits a message of pure love which is then modified by the Ego into socially appropriate actions so that we can operate in the world. While Diamond’s usage of ego is obviously adapted from Freud, its pairing with the Muse in Diamond’s work is distinct from the Freudian model, in which the ego is seen as the negotiating agent between the id and the super-ego.

See also: Muse, The*


A Latin word-ending meaning “requiring to be done” or “worthy of being done.” Hence, liber legendus est, the book is worth reading. The suffix gives rise to such English words as agenda (that requiring to be acted upon) and corrigendum (an error needing correction). Diamond transforms the suffix into an independent noun, meaning “a task (or activity) that is required to be done,” and contrasts with a “must,”a task we feel compelled to do. Approaching a task as an endum rather than a must raises our Life Energy and encourages us to perform it as an Aspiration*.

Timeline: Diamond developed the concept c. 1996.

Commentary: Diamond originally used the concept as a positive approach to working with emotional or physical problems.  If we approach such activity as an endum rather than must, both the experience of doing the task and the results are likely to be more positive.  More recently he has also used the term in regard with Li*, one of Four Cardinal Virtues of Mencius*.  Usually translated as propriety or proper ritual, Diamond regards Li effectively as an endum.



Having been made aware of, or given, by the Tao (by the Tao).  E.g, writing on the topic of the Disease Diathesis*: “We are Given the desire for the disease – and so the disease. And, at times, if so enTao’ed, the cure in one form or another.”

Commentary: Pronounced “endowed” (Tao being customarily said with an initial d), and partly referencing that word in its conventional sense, the term comes out of Diamond’s fully deterministic worldview: that everything is is the Tao, and that therefore everything that we do, and that happens to us, and that we are given to understand, are all the workings of the Tao.  See Determinism*.

Timeline: 2015-present

Four Cardinal Virtues of Mencius

One of the most significant developments in Diamond’s philosophy in recent years has been the incorporation into his work of the four so-called “Cardinal Virtues” of the Confucian philosopher Mencius (孟子). The Virtues, all originating from Confucius himself, are named  Zhi (智),  Jen (also transliterated Ren仁), Yi (義) and Li (禮).  

 Zhi, commonly translated as knowledge or wisdom, is in Diamond’s terms the state of Belovedness* – the feeling of feeling loved by the mother – our ultimate wisdom. Zhi actuates Jen, commonly translated benevolence or humaneness, which is what Diamond terms the Soul*, the deepest part of the self, that is pure love (Mencius, like Diamond, fervently believed in the essential goodness of human nature). In other words feeling the mother’s love enables us to find our own Soul. Following on, Yi, righteousness or goodness, is the grateful return for that love, which Diamond terms Cantillation*. The fourth Virtue, Lipropriety or proper ritual, is the eternal law that impels all this, the equivalent a what Diamond terms an endum*: something that is worthy to be acted upon. Overall Diamond’s interpretation of the Four Cardinal Virtues and their relationship to one another offer an ideal model for all human behavior and motivation.

See also: Individual entries on Jen*Li*Yi*, Zhi*.
Timeline: Diamond has been developing this model since c. 2010. Until c. 2015, Li was assigned the role of  Cantillation rather than Yi: the switch occurred in the middle of 2015, and the subsequent “endum” role for Li was developed in 2018.

In relationships, the union of the love between two people.  The fear of fusion is present to different degrees in most relationships, and is often a major barrier to the full, mutual expression of love between partners, for instance in a marriage. The problem is usually deep-seated and relates ultimately to the child’s earliest attempts to bond with his mother. It is part the Acupuncture Emotional Syndrome* and relates specifically to the heart meridian.


Guidance, Spirit Guidance

The belief that our lives, and more generally everything that happens, is the result of guidance from the spirit world*.  Such guidance is given through the agency of spirit guides*.

Commentary: While Diamond’s approach spirit guidance is similar to that of spiritualism and related beliefs, he is atypical in that he maintains that all of our actions, thoughts, and beliefs are the result of such guidance: more commonly spiritualists have argued that such guidance comes only when most needed, such as in times of crisis, or as the result of prayer. Thus spirit guidance in Diamond’s formulation is fully deterministic (Determinism*), and relates his use of the Buddhist concept of Tariki* or Other Power.

Timeline: Diamond’s belief in guidance from the spirit world as the ultimate shaping force in our lives developed during the 1990s, in particular through his intensive study with the English psychic medium Owen Potts.  Since the early 2000s it has been central to his teachings.


The tearing apart of the fabric of one’s existence produced by a serious, life-threatening illness. Hamartia is transcended by anagnorisis*, the revelatory insight that is needed for true change and healing. Dr. Diamond has adapted both terms from Aristotle’s commentary on Greek tragedy in his Poetics, where hamartia (ἁμαρτία) referred to the protagonist’s tragic flaw that leads to a chain of plot actions culminating in disaster, and anagnorisis (ἀναγνώρισις) referred to a central character’s sudden insight, a “change from ignorance to knowledge.”

Commentary and timeline: Diamond developed the hamartia-anagnorisis duality c. 2010, and it is has been a recurrent theme in writings and lectures since.  In an extension in his approach that illness begins in the mind (Disease Diathesis*), serious disease stems ultimately from the deep, existential anguish* afflicting the human condition: that we are unable to find our mother’s love (Matrophilia*). The awareness of this underlying anguish is hamartia: Anagnorisis is the overcoming of it by finding the mother’s love (Cantillation*).


  1. The essentialized, highly therapeutic form of a work of art, especially music, poetry, or literature, created by by combining its opening with its ending and removing the rest of the content. The result, when correctly done, is of extremely high Life Energy, usually much higher than that of the original work from which it is taken.  1980s-present.
  2. Diamond’s characteristic black and white, highly essentialized, therapeutic paintings. He described these as haikus or haiku paintings also c. 2007-12, whereupon the term was then large replaced by Stillpoint*.  See examples.

Commentary: Diamond first developed the haiku concept in the 1980s as part of his research into finding ways to increase the therapeutic power of the arts, and it has remained important in his work since. The term is borrowed from the well-known genre of traditional Japanese poetry.  As well as the miniature form, an important aspect of borrowing relates to the breath: the seventeen-syllable length of traditional haiku is said to be just the duration of one breath.  So a haiku of a piece of music, for instance is the reduction of it, as it were, to a single breath.   Similarly, his haiku paintings are created in the space of a breath.  However, this is more metaphoric than literal.  In writing about the original Japanese poem, Diamond tells us that “in that breath span, there is a distillation, a crystallization, of the deepest feeling….   Although seemingly about the triviality of the moment, underneath [the haiku] conveys a powerful message of Truth….[and] can manifest more Divinity, can more enhance our lives, than ten thousand lines of a less aspirational epic.” (Stillpoints: An Introductory Guide to Haiku Painting, ix).  The idea then is to so distill a piece of music, for example, so that it reveals a “powerful message of Truth” lying dormant in its original expanded state.



Combining two Japanese roots – hara (腹), the traditional energy center of the body in the martial arts and medical traditions, and ga (画), picture –  haraga means painting created from the hara, i.e., with high Life Energy and a strong sense of Higher Purpose.  By extension, also any such higher creative act, eg, music, poetry, etc.  In this extended sense, the term is synonymous with Diamond’s capitalized use of the word Creativity (Capitalization, Usage of*).

Commentary: Diamond’s neologism follows the convention of naming different types of Japanese painting using the -ga suffix, e.g. kacho-ga (flower and bird painting), bijin-ga (paintings of beautiful women), and suiboku-ga (ink-wash painting).

Timeline: End of 2018-present

Hierophanic Moment

A mental image of our mother at her most loving. Such moments reveal the true love our mothers have for us underneath their misprocessing*. Bringing them to mind, for instance during meditation, can greatly raise our Life Energy.

Quotation:“Nearly all of us have at least one image of our mother at a moment when we Knew she was holy…. This is how we should see—should constantly see—our mothers. And then All as her.” (The Diamond Color Meditation, 13-14)

Commentary: Hierophany – “the manifestation of the sacred” – comes from two roots, the Greek heiros, meaning holy and the Indo-European root bha, to shine (from which photo is also derived).

Timeline: 2005 to present.

Explore: “Your Mother Most Loving,” The Diamond Color Meditation, 13-16)

Video: “Memories of my Mother”

Inner Flame

The will to be well. The basis of Diamond’s psychosomatic approach to illness, he describes the Inner Flame as “a fireball of passionate enthusiasm for life, the essence of our Life Energy” that burns inside each of us (Facets, 75). That flame burns brightly in a healthy person, but in so many it is lowered, usually because of a trauma, or a series of them.   This results in an Inner Flame problem, when a person, usually unconsciously, desires illness rather than health: illness then follows. As almost all illness has an Inner Flame problem as a central underlying cause, full healing can only occur when the patient’s Inner Flame is reactivated, which can be achieved through raising a person’s Life Energy sufficiently.

Timeline: The concept was developed in the 1970s and it has remained central to his work since.


Inner Temple

A particular place in the head, corresponding loosely to the fourth ventricle of the brain, a conscious awareness of which greatly increases the Life Energy of the person (for example, if used as the focus of meditation). Describing it also as the Inner Sanctuary, and the sanctum sanctorum, it is where Diamond believes the Soul* to be located (if in fact there be such a location in the physical body).

Timeline: First developed in the 1990s, the concept has remained important in his work.



A term taken from Chinese philosophy referring to the balance between yin and yang, especially in regard to Taoist and Confucian systems and the relationship between them (Rowan, The Shorter Science and Civilisation in China, Vol 1, 95).  Diamond relates this to his approach in Life Energy Photography, and by extension his other creative endeavors.  For instance, if when photographing one is actively drawn to a particular subject, the therapeutic power of the photograph is created not by the subject in isolation, but by its balance to its surrounding environment.  In terms of Chinese philosophy the subject might be regarded as yang, the surrounding environment as yin, and the crucial balance between the two as jang.   Timeline: 2020


Jen (also transliterated Ren仁) is a Confucian virtue commonly translated benevolence or humaneness.  Diamond equates it with the deepest part of the self, which he believes is pure love (Confucius, like Diamond, fervently believed in the essential goodness of human nature).  Jen is one of several such terms Diamond uses for this, others including The Soul*, The Muse*, and The Deep Unconscious*. Jen is one of the four Cardinal Virtues of the Confucian philosopher Mencius (孟子), and Diamond’s discussions about Jen are often in the context of one or more of the three other such virtues, Zhi*, Yi*, and Li* to produce an ideal model for all human behavior. See Four Cardinal Virtues of Mencius*.

Timeline: Diamond began using Jen in lectures and writings c. 2010.


Self power, i.e., the belief that our thoughts and actions – and our enlightenment – can be determined by our own agency. A term taken in Japanese Buddhism meaning literally one’s own strength (自力), it is associated particularly with Zen. In Diamond’s deterministic approach, jiriki is delusional, the governing principle of the universe being its opposite: Other Power, or  Tariki*, a term associated with Pure Land Buddhism.

Commentary: Diamond’s embrace of the Tariki-jiriki duality reflects both the increasing importance both of determinism* and the deep influence of Eastern spiritual beliefs in his approach.

Timeline: Early 2000s to present


Karmic Plan, The

The universal, predetermined plan for all existence. Individual humans lives are inherent, inescapable part of this. Consequently everything that happens to us in our lives, whether seemingly positive or negative, is ultimately for the advancement of the Plan.

Timeline and commentary: The concept developed in the late 1990s and has been central to Diamond’s thinking since.  It is one manifestation of his deterministic approach, and  found also in his embrace of concepts such as Tariki* and Guidance*.

See also: Determinism*



Li (禮) is a Confucian virtue commonly translated as propriety or proper ritual. Diamond equates it terms loosely with an endum*. Li is one of the four Cardinal Virtues of the Confucian philosopher Mencius (孟子), and Diamond’s discussions about it are often in the context of one or more of the three other such virtues, Jen,* Zhi, and Yi*. See Four Cardinal Virtues of Mencius*.

Timeline: 2010 on.  Note that Diamond originally regarded Li as the equivalent of Cantillation*, a role that was later assigned to another of the Cardinal Virtues, Yi, in 2015.  The subsequent “endum” role for Li was developed in 2018.

Life Energy

Life Energy Art

Life Energy Photography


Maternal Instinct

Maternal Instinct Disorder





Communication that is beyond words, for example through the visual arts, instrumental music or non-verbal healing.   Diamond believes that the deepest communication is metaverbal as the baby’s life is entirely metaverbal until the development of language. As a healer, he has applied the concept particularly to his Life Energy paintings, which he believes, because of their metaverbal nature, have the ability to help people at a deeper level than, for instance, a seminar or a book.

See also: Life Energy Art*

Quote: “To communicate from as deep a level, as possible, words get in the way. I hope they cause you to at least come in the door, but from then on, metaverbal communication will take you further.” (“The Metaverbal Power of Art”)

Timeline: 2010 on.



Muse, The

Muse message compromised by misprocessing

Nendo (Tamashii)

Derived from the Japanese nendo, clay and tamashii, soul, a Nendo Tamashii is hand-molded sphere of clay specially created with the intention of rising the Life Energy of the person holding it.  In its center, a clear quartz crystal is embedded as its” Soul.”  The basic purpose of the nendo is to help the person find his own Soul, thereby easing his deepest suffering.

See also: Soul, Finding the*

Timeframe: Diamond first began making, writing about, and lecturing on nendos in 2011.

Commentary: The nendo is an entirely original artistic medium, being neither sculpture or pottery, and reflects both Diamond’s decades of involvement in using the arts for healing and the influence of Japanese spirituality and art on his approach.



See Twirling*

Other Power

See Tariki*

Pulse, The

The essence, deep truth, or inner character of a person, a work of creativity, or, more generally, of life, nature and existence. The concept of the Pulse is central to Diamond’s work, “the summation and the culmination of all my years in medicine, in psychiatry, in complementary medicine, in holistic healing, and in music.” (The Way of the Pulse). The concept developed in tandem with Diamond’s researches into the Life Energy in music and dates back to the 1970s. The word pulse brings together three aspects that reflect this research: the natural rhythm or flow of a piece of music; the medical sense, connected with the heartbeat; and the maternal origins of music, in terms of which he notes “The first sounds the baby hears are those of his mother – her breathing, her pulse and of course her voice transmitted to him through his watery environment. He is in a sea of pulsation, all generated by the mother.” (The Life Energy in Music, I, 94.). The key to making music of high Life Energy is for the performer to be at one with the Pulse of the music: the term for this is on the Pulse.

broadest use, as in the phrase the Pulse of life, the term is similar to the Tao,    the te

Commentary: basically good

Timeline: Late 1970s on.


Self Power

See jiriki*

Soul, The

The deepest part of the self, which is  pure love. Soul is loosely synonymous with three other terms in Diamond’s system: The Muse*, The Deep Unconscious*, and Jen* (early- 2000s-present).  The Soul is distinct from what Diamond terms the Spirit*: the Soul dies with us at death, whereas the Spirit, an independent entity living with us, returns to the Spirit World* from whence it came after death.

See also: Spirit*; Deep Unconscious*; Muse, The*; Jen*

Timeline: Diamond began using Soul in the sense defined here in the early 2000s; before that, his usage was more conventional.

Commentary: The concept of the Soul embodies Dr. Diamond’s lifelong belief in the inherent goodness of man.


Soul, Finding the



An independent, incorporeal entity that lives within each of us, entering at our conception and leaving at our death to return to the Spirit World*. As Diamond uses the term, spirit is in contrast to Soul*, which he defines as the deepest part of the self and which dies with us.  The Spirit is not part of the self – it dwells within us but is not actually part of us – and having rejoined the spirit world after our death, either remains there, perhaps acting as a spirit guide*, or reincarnates as another life in our reality. Spirits can reincarnate multiple times in different lives over great periods of time and do so for their own evolution.  Once fully evolved, they pass beyond the Great Barrier, about which nothing is known, never to return to this existence.

Commentary: The conception of a spirit that lives on after death is, of course, central to many religions and spiritual beliefs throughout the world, as is the idea of that spirit living multiple lives through reincarnation.  Diamond’s conception of spirit aligns most closely perhaps to that of spiritualism, but with the crucial difference that in spiritualism the spirit is seen as part of the self, whereas in Diamond’s formulation it is an independent entity.  In his approach, as in other related ideas (such as the concept of guidance*, Spirit Guides*, and the Spirit World*), he was influenced by his intensive study with the English psychic medium Owen Potts.

Timeline: Diamond first articulated the notion of the spirit as an independent entity, and distinct from soul, in the early 2000s, and it has been central to his approach since. Earlier Diamond used spirit in a more conventional way, including synonymously with soul, much as it would be in some mainstream spiritual and religious thinking.


Spirit Guidance: see Guidance, Spirit*

Spirit World


Superficial Unconscious

Diamond’s term for the conventional concept of the unconscious as found in psychology and psychiatry, for instance in the work of Freud. An admixture of positive and negative emotions, part love, part fear, the superficial unconscious contrasts with Diamond’s concept of the Deep Unconscious* which underneath and which is only pure love.


See Twirling*

Symphanic (Symphanic Montage)

A group of Life Energy photographs (or Stillpoint* paintings) appearing alongside one another on a single print.  The individual images work synergistically to greatly raise the Life Energy of the viewer.  See examples

See also: Life Energy Photography*

Timeline: c. 2010 to present.

Commentary: The term is taken from two Greek roots, sym – together – and phainein – to show, to shine. Although Diamond has coined the term, it is related both to symphonic (literally, sounding together) and hierophany, the manifestation of the holy (see Hierophanic Moment*).  The number of images used in the print was originally nine.  More recently , however, he has experimented with much greater numbers.



The belief that our thoughts and actions are the work of outside agencies guiding us, rather than the result of our own personal efforts. A term taken in Japanese Buddhism meaning literally “other power” or “other help,” Tariki (他力) is associated particularly with Pure Land Buddhism. Its opposite is jiriki*, self power, where one thoughts and deeds are one’s own achievement. In Diamond’s deterministic approach, jiriki is delusional, with Tariki being the governing principle of existence.

Commentary: Diamond’s embrace of the Tariki-jiriki duality reflects both the increasing importance of determinism* in his approach and the increasingly explicit influence of Eastern spiritual beliefs in his work.  It relates closely to other deterministic concepts in his work such as The Karmic Plan* and Guidance*.

Timeline: Early 2000s to present



A concept taken from the famous Flower Sermon of the Buddha. According to legend, Brahma presented the Buddha with a garland of flowers and requested him to expound the dharma to his disciples. However, instead of giving a discourse, the Buddha took one flower and simply twirled it between the fingers of his raised hand, while smiling silently. Only one of his disciples, Kashyapa, understood, and responded with a smile. The incident, known as nenge-misho in Japanese (literally, “smiling and twirling a flower”), is regarded as the foundational example of what in Zen is called the Direct Transmission of wisdom (prajñā).

The story generally, and the specific act of the twirling of the flower done so to communicate a deep truth, from the Soul* of the twirler to the Soul of the person being “twirled,” has been central to Diamond’s writings and lectures in recent years. Relating it to his work with the importance of the maternal relationship, he has defined twirling as “giving from you Soul just so with a heartfelt smile back to the mother, and all as her.” Among ways he has explored the concept are in terms of creativity: if a person views a creative act (either one he himself does or one he experiences) as twirling, his Life Energy will be greatly raised (Quote 1 below).  At a deeper level, seeing our lives more generally as being Twirled is loosely equivalent to embracing Tariki* (Other Power) or accepting the Tao. The capitalized form, Twirling,  implies a more spiritual dimension, as so often in Diamond’s work (Quotes 2 and 3, below; see Capitalization, Use of*).

Twirling has led to the concept of swirling, which implies a movement more rounded, three-dimensional, with more of the whole self involved.  For example, in terms of the incident in the Flower Sermon, what was seen from the outside by the disciples was the twirl, but because the movement came from the Buddha’s deepest self, his whole body was involved however subtly, so it was really a swirl (and, by implication that is what Kashapaya perceived).  The twirl then is the outward manifestation of the swirl, and the swirl is therefore the more fundamental concept.  Relating it the concept to the maternal, swirling is the mother rocking her baby: “a rhythmic swirl from the heart, and the hara.” (See also Quote 4 below) He has also compared higher acts of creativity (for example his Stillpoint* paintings) to swirling, especially when they originate in the hara (See haraga*).


“To sing
as the rose
being twirled.”

“It’s not the flower
nor its twirling,
nor the twirler
but the Twirler
of the twirler.”

“We are all
being Twirled.”

“The Twirl self-limits,
the Swirl resonates
from Hara to Hara.”

Timeline: Twirling from 2016; Swirling from 2018.


Two Wheels (on the Dry Land), the

The specific creative modalities that actuate a person’s Life Energy.  Diamond coined this phrase following an incident when his car became stuck in the mud while out photographing. The tow-truck driver was easily able to pull the car out, remarking “It’s a good thing that you had two wheels on dry land.”   Taken metaphorically, the person’s creative strengths were his “two wheels on dry land,” which Diamond also refers to as “the Power within him that alone can cure him.”  A person’s “two wheels” almost always involves high creative arts and, although these will vary from person to person, they often include music, especially singing.

Timeline: Early 1980s on.

Commentary: The concept is closely related to Cantillation (2)*, and is an example of Diamond focusing on a sufferer’s positives rather than what is wrong with them. In this context, he notes that orthodox medicine, instead of concentrating on the two wheels on dry land, instead “concentrates on the two useless wheels submerged in the water.” (Facets of a Diamond, 109)



The slowing down of a recording or live performance of a piece of music to enhance its therapeutic impact. The precise amount of the slow down is essential for the effect to work, and it varies from style to style and with other circumstances.  The term is Diamond’s coinage, from German prefix ur-, original (as in Urtext, for example), and tempo, speed.

Timeline: 2013 on.

Commentary: Urtempo is one example of Diamond’s ongoing work to increase the Life Energy of music in performance and recordings.




Yi (義) is a Confucian virtue commonly translated righteousness or goodness. Diamond equates it with Cantillation*, the grateful return of the Belovedness*. Yi is one of the four Cardinal Virtues of the Confucian philosopher Mencius (孟子), and Diamond’s discussions about it are often in the context of one or more of the three other such virtues, Jen,*  Zhi*, and Li*. See Four Cardinal Virtues of Mencius*.


Zhi (智) is a Confucian virtue commonly translated as knowledge or wisdom. Diamond equates it with the state of Belovedness* – the feeling of feeling loved by the mother – our ultimate wisdom. Zhi is one of the four Cardinal Virtues of the Confucian philosopher Mencius (孟子), and Diamond’s discussions about it are often in the context of one or more of the three other such virtues, Jen,* Yi*, and Li. See Four Cardinal Virtues of Mencius*.

From Zhi is derived the verb Zhi-ify, to endow with Belovedness, and the noun Zhi’ification, the endowing of something with Belovedness.

Timeline: Diamond began using Zhi in lectures and writings in 2011.


See Zhi*