Cultivated Diamonds – Marriage Of Beauty & Humanity
I've recently learned about cultivated diamonds – lab-grown diamonds that posses all the optical, chemical and physical properties of natural diamonds. In other words, cultured or cultivated diamonds (also called synthetic, artificial or man-made diamonds) are basically identical to – just as “real” as -- those created within the mantle of the earth. Like natural diamonds, they begin as carbon atoms, whose crystalline structure emerges as they are exposed to extremes of pressure and temperature. And like natural diamonds, no two are alike – each cultured diamond is absolutely unique.
The difference is that while natural diamonds can take hundreds, thousands or even millions of years to be formed, a cultivated diamond can be grown within a period of weeks or days. The process is also much more environmentally and socially friendly than what we find within the mining industry, which has in recent years become infamous for its production of blood diamonds -- diamonds extracted from the earth in ways that are ecologically damaging, and via grossly inhumane labor practices.
Cultivated diamonds test identical to natural diamonds in terms of their brilliance, fire, luster, hardness, toughness and specific gravity. Like their natural counterparts, lab-grown diamonds can be certified as authentic by professional gemological labs. These labs grant grading certificates, which assess and confirm each diamond according to standard diamond-industry criteria -- viz. weight, clarity, color, cut, symmetry and polish quality – and provide a laser inscription that confirms its crystal origin. Lab-grown, cultivated diamonds undergo this process in exactly the way that natural diamonds do.
Taoist Inner Alchemy & The Diamond Body
In the same way that the technology employed within a laboratory is able to produce, in weeks or days, a gemstone that under normal circumstances would take centuries or millennia to manifest – so it is that practitioners of Taoist Inner Alchemy produce, within the laboratory of our human bodies, precious substances and states of bodymind that would take many lifetimes to manifest on their own. The Taoist yogi works to transmute the Three Treasures into a Diamond Body (also known as a Vajra Body or Immortal Body) – an indestructible essence which transcends the dualistic birth-and-death cycle, opening the gate to the realms of the Immortals.
It is the humble carbon atom that forms the basis of all life on earth. A diamond is pure carbon, and has the most compact arrangement of carbon atoms found in nature. It is crystalline in structure – which we'll talk more about below – and is the hardest readily-available mineral substance known to humankind. A diamond blade (used in many surgical instruments) can cut through any other substance; and no other substance can damage it.
Because of its beauty in concert with its indestructibility, diamonds have become a symbol of longevity and devotion. In daily life, diamond rings are exchanged to symbolize deep and lasting commitment. In spiritual practice, the diamond has come to represent ultimate wisdom – the wisdom of emptiness – as well as the indestructible Vajra body (aka Immortal body) of Taoist Inner Alchemy. Included in the canon of the Quanzhen lineage of Taoism is the Buddhist Diamond Sutra – so named because of its pointing to a wisdom which, like a diamond, is indestructible, and so able to offer the ultimate refuge: a protection against the ignorance which is the root cause of our suffering.
Energetic Benefits Of Diamonds
While the formation of diamonds serves as a potent allegory for spiritual transformation, the value of the diamond to Taoist practitioners is more than simply metaphoric. Diamonds are a type of crystal, and so partake of the energetic qualities inherent to all members of the crystalline family. They are a potential source of healing and subtle vibrational support, when worn as jewelry or in some other way held close to the practitioner’s body.
Richard Gerber’s Vibrational Medicine, first published in 1988, is a great resource for understanding, from both esoteric and western scientific perspectives, the use of diamonds and other crystals in the context of spiritual practice and the healing arts. About crystals in general Mr. Gerber writes:
“Quartz crystals have unique properties which allow them to transmit, transmute, and store energies of both an electronic and subtle energetic nature. Healers can use crystals to amplify their own healing fields and direct them into the body in a more coherent and organized fashion.”
Crystals – diamonds included -- can be used to interface with etheric energies for the purpose of balancing and healing the bodymind. They have the power to transmit subtle energies which activate the human body’s own biocrystalline network, a network of cellular elements with quartz-like properties.
“Because of their special geometric patterning, crystals are able to tap into universal energy patterns and frequencies that science is only beginning to discover.”