Adapation and The Fourth Stage of Life – Notes take from a talk by Bubba Free John given in 1978


Adaptation to the Third Stage of Life
and the Call to The Fourth Stage

an exercise by Beezone



Note to reader.

The following are notes taken by Beezone from a talk given by Bubba Free John (Adi Da Samraj) on October 14, 1978. The notes are not a ‘smooth’ style of writing nor have they been edited to make them read as an essay. The notes were not taken down verbatim and as the flow of conversation allowed I added my own understanding to elaborate the points the Spiritual Master was making. This of course, would confuse any reader trying to figure out which words and ideas are the Spiritual Masters and which are Beezone’s. So it goes. The ideas still hold.


The Spiritual Masters Comments

The Spiritual Master (Bubba Free John – Adi Da Samraj) responds by talking about how this particular devotees struggles (and others) are part of his struggle with demand (or what he calls the father force) and the lack of development in the third stage of life. (see Adi Da’s The Seven Stages of Life.)

The Spiritual Master says that you can’t skip the stages of life. They are an obligatory pattern of human growth. They are evolutionary.

Most people of adult age struggle with the third stage of life. Even though they are no longer involved with a parent relationship on a day to day basis their psychological development truly is in a childish or adolescent stage of development.

Spiritual life is about the fourth stage of life.

Most people who enter into spiritual life and the disciplines associated with the practice are still undeveloped and therefore adapt or struggle with such disciplines in an either childish or adolescent manner.

Most people who want to live spiritual life must first adapt fully and go beyond the earlier stages of life, most of which involves adapting to the third stage of life.

The disciplines themselves are not the point. The adaptation and freeing of attention for the spiritual disciplines associated with the fourth stage of life are what the disciplines are about.

In addressing this particular devotee the Spiritual Master said he (and many others) have not abandoned his childish relationship to the father force and men in general. The truly manly (or womanly) character obliges one to do this.

As young children, boys (and girls) exist in a confrontational relation with the father force. Independent from the father. But in this manner the psyche of the individual never fully separates himself from the father. He stays in an ambivalent relationship to him. Dependent and then independent, conflicted. And this conflict in the psyche is played out with ALL men and also with the opposite sex in a completely different manner.

In this conflict the male character will remain a self possessed personality, always with problems, always going one way and then another. Two sides of the brain always at war with one another. Each representing alternatives and possibilities, always in a state of conflict and contradiction, never at rest, always searching.

Problems in life relate to this fundamental problem of being unready for maturity in the third stage of life. This unreadiness is part of a cultural problem (both this community and the larger society) because the culture does not see the spiritual value of personality and psyche. Nor does it understand the stages of development as I have described them.

The difficulties of the conditions which are simply a balanced lawful way of living are signs of your adolescent character which is all about conflict, drama and self-indulgence.

You have not been obliged to grow up, man or woman. You have not been obliged to be liberated from the illusions of adolescence – to go through the transition where life becomes absolutely REAL. You have not and do not have a full understanding of your present mortal existence.


“It is at every level that you feel reluctant to abandon certain habits and resist change.”


This adolescent stage of development, this largely undeveloped stage of adaptation is a stage that characterizes human development as a whole today.

People do not exist in the fourth stage of life and hardly in the third stage of life. The wisdom of the ancients has been lost. The adolescent character is relatively loveless and self-involved. True human culture demands love. Demands service. Demands function. The law of being, the mechanics of life itself demands release, transcendence, service, requires you to love instead of just being loved.

If you do not truly represent the fourth stage of life but are entangled in adolescence, somehow wanting spiritual life then of course you can’t simply live the practices without difficulty. And the root of it is the immaturity. If you understand that then you can begin to understand and have insight and humor into what you must do to counteract the stress that works against your immaturity.

There is always stress. But the question should be what is being demanded of you truly in the heart of the world. What is the next stage of evolutionary development that is being demanded of you? What is the evolutionary obligation that you represent? How are YOU obstructing your own evolution?

You really can’t escape this question. The stages are not concocted, they represent the structure of this body-mind and the world itself.

The stages of life are necessary stages for the full development and evolution of the body-mind. The full development of which may not be accomplished in one life time. You must understand the enormity of your present situation.

There are inevitable stages that every individual must go through before higher stages of existence or transcendental existence is possible. The process is difficult in any case because it involves changes in the mechanism that is already adapted to doing something else. Your present adaptation is not just a physical or social phenomenon. Your are also an energetic being which involves not only the muscular system but the glandular the nervous system and everything all together…your emotions, your thinking, your psyche…its at every level that you feel reluctant to abandon certain habits and resist change.

No one can escape this demand. It is difficult but there is a certain disposition that one may realize in the midst of this inevitable purification. The purification and adaptation occurs anyway, one way or another it must occur, it’s in the structure of the body-mind itself. The process is difficult in all the stages, even the seventh.

It is a creative affair. The stuff of this world must be dealt with, it must be transformed, must be informed. The stuff of this world is very resistive.

You must see your qualities. They are expressions of your habits and adaptations. Your habits do not relinquish themselves easily. Your difficulties with these disciplines are about your ambiguity, your two sidedness. Your inability to develop into and beyond the third stage of life. Your not hearing voices, confused in psychic psychotic warfare, even if you are your problem is the same. Your inability to function in a loving and responsible manner simply. The signs of your difficulties and the maladaptations of your life are indications of the inability to enter into and adapt and go beyond the third stage of life.

Sooner or later you must make that adaptation and eventually enter into the fourth stage of life otherwise there is no spiritual development. It just becomes a mind game. Some kind of delusionary, visionary hallucination.

In a tribal society you would be forced to make the necessary adaptations necessary to be fully a man int he third stage of life. But in a disorderly society such as ours you have no such demands. In this larger society we live in there is no such demand, there is in fact the opposite. In the larger society you as only asked to consume and indulge your self, your ONLY physical and emotional self.

You have all sorts of out and ways to culturally move out of your circumstances that place demands upon you.

You should appreciate the fact that things are difficult. Have some humor about it. Grow, mature, study, surrender, yield and relinquish your grip. Relax your disinclination’s and failure and your inability’s. Understand your capacities, be reality based and do SOMETHING ELSE. That is the practical method, if you can call it a method, that is the practice of growth. This ‘method’ of doing something else makes your obsessions obsolete, not all at once, but over time.

Your brain, your nervous system, all systems are habituated in a certain pattern, mechanically repeating themselves. Aligning energies to function in a particular manner. These systems must be informed differently and that is a creative task.

Everyone likes the idea of realization. But Realization incorporates all the stages of life and the foundations of Realization are in the first three stages. And that means to be incarnated a a fully developed adult personality, spiritually informed. Spiritually realized.

Life requires adults to be responsible for love and surrender. Requires you to accept form, structure, commitment and demand in and as love. it is an evolutionary demand.

Additional readings:

The Seven Stages of Life

“Part of the discipline of the Way of Divine Communion is not to be concerned about the continuation of your old adaptation, the physical, emotional, and mental signs of your old way of living. Allow them to come and go, rise and fall, without concern, without dramatization. Live the discipline of love, physically, vitally, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. By living that commitment as a discipline, you will see the old adaptations fall away and become unnecessary and obsolete. New adaptations of existence naturally come into being when you change your act. It is as simple as that. But you must persist in this discipline. You cannot indulge in playing with yourself and falling back constantly. You must become stronger in your hearing of the Teaching so that you do not fall and then collapse under concerns and low-grade dramatization. You must be stronger than that to bring feeling-attention into the present. Do not be concerned when subjective stuff arises. It eventually disappears, if you only persist in feeling-intuition.”

You Must Become Responsible as Feeling-Attention in Every Moment

“The roots of human failure to adapt and master functional life are in the childhood of men and women. The ‘child’ or adult who is adapted only to an earlier stage of development is ‘caught’ in a dependent and vulnerable state of mind. The person feels him or herself to be surrounded by great natural and parental forces, confused, overwhelmed and fearful.

She or he is weak, unadapted, without functional facility and power, and without conceptual and intuitional understanding of his or her experiences or even their ultimate situation. The mind of a child is scattered, undisciplined and instantaneously distracted by the next available stimuli. Thus, to the degree that they try to make solutions to the dilemmas they lack basic concentration abilities. They find faults and failures in what they depend on to protect and fulfill him. They will ultimately find blame and betrayal in what they depend on for sustenance and security be it a person, group, state or any ‘other’ – even God.

The child inverts or turns within him or herself and resorts exclusively or negatively to themselves, absorbed in their own dilemmas. The unrelieved fears of childhood dependency and vulnerability leave the childhood vision of the world intact, frozen in time – repeating patterns over and over again as the world changes around them. Unless a higher adaptation is made possible through the help of mature others and through initiation into higher human wisdom, the individual remains more or less childish throughout his or her entire life.

This is generally the case, and, therefore most people remain possessed by an inverted or self possessed, subjectively oriented disposition, in which functional and bodily relations with the human and natural dimensions of the world are at best complicated.

The truly human obligation is for relational adaptation…”

The Failure of Adaptation and Function Life