The Seeker, the Search, the Mirror and the Crisis
"My work involves a critical
overview of everything that is taking place around me,
everything that people bring to me, and all traditions. My
teaching work is like that of the Lankavatara Sutra, like
that of Gautama. On one level it seems to be a repudiation.
On another level it is a criticism or a reinterpretation,
even a positive interpretation. On another level it offers
an alternative course or Way. But this entire process, this
cultural process, this Teaching process that I have engaged
both with you who have come to me and relative to the
traditions, is expressed on the basis of prior
"I am simply Communicating Freely
to everyone, and to humankind as a whole. I am not a
cult leader (so to speak), looking to increase
the size of an institution and institutional power. I should
not have any such imposition made on Me. Therefore, when I
am heard to Speak in the world, people should understand
that I am just Speaking Freely."
"I am here in order that seekers may understand their ways. Others are born to represent the experience or mastery of various forms within or without. They are heroes, saints, avatars and ordinary beings in any world. But I am not born. I do not come or go. I manifest neither more or less power. I am the Heart. My work is the communication of the Heart, which is the truth of all forms and the dissolution of mysteries.
I do not call men to my form, for I am not present as any form or power. There is no name or Light that is my form or the way to me, whether these be found within or without. I call men (and women) to understanding. And even if thousands surround the body through which you hear this, only those who understand have come to me. Therefore, understand, which is to comprehend the source, logic and effect of all your paths. Understand and thus become involved in the utter bliss that I am, even that which stands as the consciousness of your life."
Franklin Jones (Adi Da Samraj), unpublished notes 1971.
Edited and complied by Beezone from various talks and essays (1970-2008) by Adi Da Samraj (1939-2008)
The Seeker, the Search, the Mirror and the Crisis
"My advice to you is not to undertake the spiritual path. It is too difficult, too long, and it is too demanding. What I would suggest, if you haven't already begun, is to go to the door, ask for your money back, and go home now." He said, "This is not a picnic. It is really going to ask everything of you and you should understand that from the beginning. So it is best not to begin. However," he said, "if you do begin, it is best to finish."
Jack Kornfield remembering
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche - Zig
Zag Zen - p.55
"It (the spiritual path - sadhana) requires everything of you. Unfortunately for you, a huge amount of what it requires is all kinds of things that really you don't want anything to do with."
Adi Da Samraj - 2004
"You are asking for consolation, something to believe in, something to relieve you of the stresses of the failed first three stages of your life. You are defending your egoity. Even though you may be interested in Spiritual life, when you are confronted by the real discipline involved, you will inevitably resist."
Adi Da Samraj - 1994
The first great crisis of human existence is the observation of the tentative minimal, and always temporary association between life and Happiness - and how the mortal and limited nature of this world makes the search1 for Happiness and Well Being both a necessary and a futile enterprise.
We are all looking various forms of security and sustenance. Once the basic needs of ones survival and relative security are found some form of relaxation can enter into one's life. These needs are the foundation of what in this essay are call the 'search'. Humans are on a path of searching. A continuous journey for more, more food for today's meal, a search for a more permanent form of security and many other objects of need.
This search has two sides to it. One side is the object of the search, the thing one is looking for, i.e. water, food, sex, love, happiness, experience or meaning. The other side of the search is the 'seeker', the one who is looking for these objects. These two forms are the objective and subjective sides of the same activity, the search.
From the point of view of the search, the seeker2 (once things get settled) can get very philosophical and also very stupid, all at the same time. The seeker can begin to come up with all sorts of philosophies, can come up with all sorts of answers based on what he or she has found. Once the seeker starts to abstract his or her search into some form of meaning he will attach (or separate) himself to all kinds of historical myths, religions or new philosophies. The seeker will begin to come up with some answers.
Over time though, the complications of life and the full inspection of the answers will become become hallow and threatened. This reality becomes more and more apparent by the signs of defense or aggression.
Life(s)-lesson is this:
The great "creative" goals may never be attained, but the ultimate goal can never be attained by any means whatsoever!
The import of that reality lesson is this:
If you are devoted to great purposeful seeking in the conditional worlds, you will inevitably fail if you avoid great struggle and self-sacrifice, and you may not succeed even if struggle and self-sacrifice are fully engaged by you. More than this, if your goal is the ultimate, or happiness itself, full and perfect, you will necessarily and inevitably fail, because happiness is not objectified.
Happiness is an inherent characteristic of existence, reality, or being. Therefore, happiness cannot be found or attained by conditional seeking.
Even if the great searches and the great goals are oriented toward the elimination of the conditions that apparently cause un-happiness, when those great searches are fully engaged, and even when those great goals are actually attained, happiness itself is not attained. Therefore, all the "glorious" adventures of idealistic worldly heroes and all the "romantic" attainments of "creative" cultural geniuses end in temporary elation, followed by disillusionment, and then, unless there is no "recovery" from inevitable disillusionment, there may be a reawakening of the stressful motive to seek and attain once more.
Adi Da Samraj
The seeker may come up with the answer that "there is a God" or "there is no God". You may hear him say "believe in Jesus", "drink this tea", "study evolution", "do this yoga", meditate", all the while saying there is a new philosophy for our global time". There are all sorts of answers seekers come up with to work out a basic sense of uninspected dilemma.
The answer the seeker finds also includes a message, something the seeker must share. "Yes, we're all sort of crazy", "we're all missing the mark". "we're all sinners", "we're all just rocks and dust". The seeker begins to share his philosophy and in doing so refines his understanding to the point of actually believing it and therefore must defend it. The refinement of his search starts his transformation and he begins to take up the way. His discovery justifies his search and his method. The answer looks to him to be the exact opposite of the search or the exact opposite of his problem. He's found his solution.
The seeker begins to clean up his act, he begins to get to back to zero, start over again, start fresh like new baked bread. He may begin to make himself lean and strong and sweet smelling. The seeker very often is a revolutionary. He makes dramatic changes in his life to match his new philosophy. His wears his new suit of clothes with pride.
What is happening?
From the point of view of the teaching of Adi Da this is what people are doing. Adi Da teaches we are all seeking looking for something, something that will ultimately make us happy, comfortable or just plain forget. Some forms of seeking are a little more subtle but they are just a refinement a basic and fundamental search.
The search (and the seeker) no matter how jazzed or subtle, how historically justified, has a basic flaw, a subtle and fundamental error in it. The seeker in his enthusiasm does not see the error for he is enamored by his discovery and unconscious to his callousness.
"People continue to think that all this Life is leading somewhere in some grand evolutionary design and they continue to thrive on the search with "what's next". But the more sensitive you become, the more you become aware of this structure of limitation. It's only when consciousness returns to the zero, moment to moment that this insight begins to break the bondage. It's only when you've become so limited, when you have no options truly that you begin to understand what's going on and what you're up to.
When you realize that you truly are confined and that there is this one quality of knowledge, experience and existence from moment to moment, then are you are beginning to understand. When you realize you can't play your games any more, you can't depend on your games because you know all your games are essentially based on the same impulse, the same structure. You realize ultimately the same vision, the same cognition of the search. You realize you are truly locked in to this one form of existence, which is ordinary suffering, the search. It's in that entrapment, that isolation of real recognition, that the whole process begins to be undone.
That's why The Spiritual Masters continue to stress that there is a crisis in consciousness involved in spiritual life, because you must come to this zero point in which you see the one thing you are always doing, the one state lived, in which you see the search as your very condition. It's only when you've returned to this condition of suffering without recourse, when you have fallen into your own limitation, that True Insight and Understanding can arise as The Spiritual Master has described it. So there must be a crisis.
There's a purifying dis-ease involved in spiritual life. There is a crisis. It must be a perfect crisis in consciousness in which this one form of ordinary knowledge is seen perfectly and known to be your condition from moment to moment. Knowing that you have no way out of this in the ordinary way.
And that fundamental understanding should your impulse, your discipline, your intelligence, your capacity to be human, manly, male or female. That crisis is your endurance, your use of this great heat of self-frustration. The heat of self-frustration is the energy of meditation. It is the seat of meditation. It is the Heart.
Cut it! It burns! It burns to cut it. And that burning is the glory you register in meditation and its depth. It purifies. It releases contraction. It releases limitation. It Outshines it. It burns it off. You want to make use of The Spiritual Master? Then meditate in His Company. Come to The Spiritual Master in the right disposition. Come to The Spiritual Master disciplined. Come to The Spiritual Master with understanding. Receive The Spiritual Masters Transmission. Move, grow, Awaken. That is what The Spiritual Master here for.
You must understand and actively accept that human life - in and of itself - is only egoity. The ego is not an entity or even a mere idea, but, rather an activity. The ego is the activity of "self"-contraction which manifests as the mental-emotional illusion of separate sense of 'me' or 'I'.
As an ego you are doing 'ego' constantly, moment to moment and you are simply living out your egoic, the life-dramatization of "Narcissus" destiny - and nothing else.
This activity of ego, creates a sense of 'you', a sense of 'other' and a sense of 'the world', it is an all inclusive activity.
The activity that is ego is not merely "talking about yourself" or "being selfish". Ego is the very nature of humankind in its un-Real (or "self"-deluded) disposition of un-Enlightenment. Therefore, the action that is the ego "covers the Earth".
This understanding is absolutely fundamental to my teaching."
Adi Da Samraj
When Adi Da first started to teach he taught The Way of Understanding. This is really Adi Da in his kernel, before the full nature of his teachings developed. What Adi Da realized and was in the beginning moved to teach was from the point of view of Understanding.
The teaching of Understanding revealed that ordinary life consisted of nothing more but a search for solutions to a basic problem, and no refinement or answer was going to change or eliminate this basic search. In fact an answer would only perpetuate the search. Understanding, as Adi Da taught, was not a matter of refining what's going on in the world and making it a little leaner. It was not about turning it towards some scientific or spiritual ideal that is going to clear up matter. Adi Da pointed out that any solution is based on a problem and any problem is based a solution. This circle perpetutes a vicious never ending search which he termed "avoiding relationship". The activity of "avoiding relationship" continually paints the seeker into a corner where, when 'pushed' or 'pressured' becomes defense and ultimately hostile.
The seekers defensiveness creates tensions and polarities that are then intensified and justified based on principles discovered in the search. Adi Da taught (and still does) that the seeker must understand that it is not just a matter of just changing directions in any revolutionary manner that is going to save the seeker (and the world). It's a matter of a radical, or at the root, turnabout in consciousness that will reveal the seekers true dilemma. As Adi Da so simply puts it, "the world is seeking, nothing more."
In The Knee of Listening, Adi Da defines seeking as "suffering and separation" which has an unconscious activity to it called 'self-contraction', the root of the search. The seeker and the search are inherently intertwined and are always a present time conscious and motivated activity. Seeking is the product of a inherent dilemma in the form of 'self-contraction".
This felt sense of dilemma or suffering is not happening to the seeker or does it exist in the world. Suffering is what the seeker is creating. If the seeker were to examine his or her own search, his suffering, examine the adventure of his life, he would discover that his seeking, his separation, his isolation, is his own creation, moment to moment. He's doing it just as deliberately as any physical act.
"The tendency of this world is of experience. Always seeking to maintain the security of our apparent birth, and to create a hedge around ourselves with experience and conditions so that we will not be penetrated and suffer the death that is implied in our birth. And so we go through life accumulating experiences, conditions, thoughts, memories, inclinations of all kinds. All of which act as a hedge, a force of security around ourselves.
But the spiritual process of another event entirely in which every individual is turned out of that principal of security, and asked to perform a sacrifice in which he or she is always liberating himself from entanglements with the Goddess, from a false relationship with the Goddess, experience. He is always asked to sacrifice it, not sacrifice it by ripping it away in some unconscious way, but by turning into the divine, The Heart. By doing so he or she is able to to sacrifice all the forms that he's accumulated and that are arising in him from hour to hour. His freedom is of an entirely different order."
Everyday everything is fresh, he can participate in an ongoing world event without declining, without becoming solid, because that sacrifice if being performed in him moment to moment. So all beings then remain fresh for him or her, the world remains new, always being created, moment to moment. He is not merely throwing away things, but being involved in a holy practice of sacrifice, without a bottom, without securities, without a floor to stand on. That floor or security is what ego needs, requires, searches for. The principle of the Heart must be generated in order for this process to begin and be sustained.
For all, those who are awakened or awakening, or asleep, there are only the conditions of this world that are available, the ordinary pleasures and events. Even the extraordinary is available but they to are subject to the cycles of birth and death.
Adi Da Samraj