Four Noble Truths

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 used different wording at different times (see below), 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.

In his writings and lectures, Diamond frequently referred to the patient as the sufferer, referencing the first Noble Truth and his belief that the ultimate cause of illness is our spiritual suffering. See Sufferer*.

Commentary and timeline: Diamond began referencing the Noble Truths in the late 1980s in his lectures and writings, and they remained important in his work thereafter. Their precise formulation evolved over time in parallel with the evolution of his work. For example, in his later writings, he favored the more intense anguish* over suffering in the formulation of the first Noble Truth. 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*.