Method of The Siddhas – Talks with Franklin Jones on the spiritual teahnique of the Saviors of mankind – Adi Da Samraj

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“Vital Shock” From The Method of the Siddhas – 1978

Author(s): Adi Da Samraj


Part I: The Method of the Siddhas


Vital Shock

DEVOTEE: I wonder if you could expand on a discussion you
had with some of us the other day regarding the “vital.” You
were telling us how men become obsessed with anger, fear,
jealousy and the like as a result of a contraction in the
vital or life function.

FRANKLIN: Yes. I’ve talked about how the force of
consciousness operates in life through a structure or
pattern of conductivity, a clockwise circle of descending
and ascending force. The special point of view of “life” or
vitality is an epitome or center in the midst of the body,
in the general area of the navel, this lower body area. This
center, or this aspect of the larger circle of force, is in
the frontal and descending pattern of life. It is most
intimate to us. And it is in the area of life, of vitality,
that men experience most obviously, most directly, the
nature of suffering. It is at the level of vitality that men
cognize existence for the most part. The whole ascending
life, the subtle life, is more obscure than this vital life.
In fact, when men pursue spirituality, they are not
responding to something “spiritual.” What makes them seek is
not a spiritual motivation, not a subtle motivation. What
motivates them is suffering, and essentially suffering in
the vital, in the life.

 The usual man lives in what I have called “vital
shock.” This shock ultimately includes more than the vital.
It operates even on a very subtle level. But its most
obvious and motivating form is the sense of shock in the
vital being. Ordinarily, the vital, at its chief center in
the midst of the body, is contracted, and a man continually
feels it, even physically. He may feel a kind of cramp, this
tension in the midst of the body. And every man tries to
relieve it continually through various experiences,

This vital center is like the shutter in a camera. Like
the shutter in a camera, it curls in on itself in order to
close, or else unfurls in order to open. It is like your
hand. If you clench your fist and hold it together as
tightly as you can, it begins to become painful. Just so,
this vital center is alive, sentient, and when it contracts,
like your hand, it creates a sensation. Not only does it
create a physical sensation, but also many other reflections
in life and consciousness. Therefore, when this contraction
occurs in the vital, we not only get a cramp in the stomach,
we have a whole life of suffering.

Every aspect of vital existence is controlled by this
image, this state, this vital shock. The patterns to which
men become addicted are simply extensions of this
contraction. For instance, here in Satsang, you may go
through a period of obsessiveness, when its very difficult
for you, when you are continually obsessed with various
kinds of desires, feelings. At the beginning of that period,
something occurred. Something in life, somewhere, suppressed
or appeared to suppress the vital. And all of the patterns,
the rituals, the strategies that began to come on to you
were reactions to that suppression of the vital. The
sensation or cognition of that suppression or “blow” is the
form of vital shock that currently obsesses you. But even
before you began the present episode, the vital shock was
already your condition. There is a continuous vital

In fact what people are suffering is not their peculiar
life-patterns or strategies in themselves, but this original
shock, in the form of a primary reaction, this contraction
of which I speak. Men seek through all kinds of means to
become free of their various symptoms, their various
strategies, including the cramped sensation in the midst of
the body. But if a man understands or re-cognizes this
contraction itself, this activity, this drama, at the
present, he doesn’t have to deal with all the endless
extensions of it. True spiritual life, radical life, is to
deal with this fundamental, present activity, this
contraction, not with the search that is an expression of
it. It is not to deal with the symptoms, not with the
strategies that it manifests, but with this activity itself,
presently. This primary activity, this contraction, is the
root and the support and the form of all the ordinary
manifestations of suffering, all of the patterns of life
that men acknowledge to be their suffering. This
contraction, this “avoidance of relationship,” is,
fundamentally, a mans continuous, present activity.

 A person can be set into a whole period of
dramatizing his suffering by some simple event in his life,
a frustration of some kind, a threat, a loss,
whatever—a vital shock. But release is not a matter of
looking into your memory and discovering the various sources
or incidents of these shocks in the past. You know, the day
your father hit you, the day your dog died, and all the
rest. Those are only past instances of this same process.
The process itself is always instant, present, spontaneous.
It is a reaction to life itself. Life is its own shock. The
awakening of consciousness into the form of life is that
shock. Birth is that shock, not merely the original physical
event that may be remembered, but every moments cognition of
being alive. All the events within life are just extensions
of that life-shock.

In The Knee of Listening I mentioned an experience I had
at one point, where I remembered, even relived my prenatal
state, my awakening into the body. There was a kind of
gloriousness about it, a fantastic form of energy, shaped,
as I described it then, “like a seahorse.” That was the
original awakening of the kundalini, if you will. But in the
same instant there was intense sorrow. The shock was life
itself, the shock of embodiment. The “seahorse” is already
contraction. The spinal form is already this curve. The
ordinary life is already this tendency, this compulsive
qualification of consciousness, this unconsciousness.
Everyone, “after birth,” develops a peculiar drama of this
shock. Peculiar experiences occur during every life, and
each individual develops a peculiar pattern of reaction to
that. So everyone is living the drama and strategy of
suffering in a peculiarly unique way, a peculiarly complex,
individual way. But in every case there is one fundamental
activity. One thing is the suffering. It is an activity,
this activity, this contraction, this avoidance of
relationship, this differentiation, this separation.
Wherever it occurs, that is suffering.

All ordinary suffering is only a cramp. It is this
contraction. Wherever there is this contraction, there is
obstruction to the flow of force. There is also the tendency
in consciousness for there to be the sense of separate
existence. If you cramp the hand together in a fist, there
is a sensation in the hand, as the hand, that is different
from the space around it. When the vital itself is
contracted in this way, the center of the “hand” is the ego,
the “me,” the separate self sense. The mind of this “me,”
like its form, is separate, separative, compulsively
differentiating. So the whole drama of seeking that is a
reaction to this contraction or reaction to life, always
begins with this “me.” “Me” is the core of this experience.
It is the center of the “fist.” Every person seeks by every
means to be relieved of his suffering, but the suffering
cannot be relieved, this contraction cannot be uncoiled
without the “me,” which is its center, dissolving. The whole
affair, at the level of life, of vitality, involves the
dissolution, not only of the physical manifestation of this
contraction, not only of the life drama, but of all its
qualities, all of its peculiar psychology, all of its
mentality, all of its assumptions. Spiritual life involves
the undermining of the whole point of view of vital

When the contraction unwinds, conductivity replaces
obstruction. Then there is conductivity of the force that
descends as life. As long as this compulsive contraction or
shock exists, there is no conductivity. There is only
obstruction or limitation and constriction of the flow of
force. This may be experienced as intense stimulation of
energy, of force, in the vital, felt as all of the various
forms of desire. The fundamental forms of this intense cramp
of energy, felt as the fire of desires in the vital, are the
dramas of money, food and sex. And if the cramp of
obstruction is too severe, there is loss of vitality, desire
and function in these same areas of life. No vitality, no

One who exploits the apparent condition of desire no
longer conducts the force of life. There is only the use of
it, the revulsion of force, the emptying of force. He does
this because the contraction is painful. He discovers that
if the force itself is diminished, the pain goes away. If
the hand falls asleep, there is no pain. If you empty the
vital of its force, the cramp is not felt, even though the
contraction remains. So the self-indulgent person empties
the vital constantly, and he feels relief, he feels open, he
feels satisfied. But as soon as his strength returns, he
feels the pain again, unless he has exhausted and contracted
the vital to the point of impotence. Such a one tries by
every means to satisfy himself, to be free of his pain. But
all of his means are from the point of view of this
contraction, this avoidance. He will continue his efforts
until the entire process of his search fails, and he feels
its failure. At that point, Satsang becomes possible, the
life of understanding becomes possible.

One who is dramatizing or living this state of vital
shock is not truly alive, not enjoying life. He is always
self-enclosed, always suffering, always unconscious, always
obsessed, always seeking. Among men, there is always the
same complaint “Everybody is asleep, everybody is
unconscious, everybody is self-obsessed, everybody wants to
be satisfied.” Everyone who comes to the Guru wants to be
satisfied. When will I become enlightened? When will I have
this experience? What is happening to me? I am suffering.
Everyone wants to begin spiritual life as a search. They
want to carry on spiritual life as an extension of the same
thing they’ve always been doing. They want to be satisfied,
they want to be emptied, they want to be free of this cramp.
They want to be free of it. Me. But “me” is the center, the
core of this contraction.

If you go to the usual and traditional spiritual sources,
you are given forms of satisfaction, ways to satisfy your
inclination to be free of this cramp. You are told to
believe in Jesus, do such and such meditative exercises,
concentrate this way or that way, think only of Krishna,
religious practices, spiritual methods, not to mention the
whole range of “therapies” that have been created to satisfy
this search at various levels. All of these things are
responses to the demand in the vital. But those who come to
our Ashram in the impulse of that point of view are not
satisfied. They are frustrated here. The search is not the
point of view of Truth. This contraction and its healing are
not the point of view of Satsang. Satsang, radical spiritual
life, is the undermining of this contraction, at every
level, the undermining of the point of view of this
contraction, the undermining of suffering, of seeking, and
its separative existence. So it is only those who have
become sensitive to the failure of their search who are able
to tolerate the quality of Satsang.

Satsang is a paradox. For one thing, this contraction in
life is the avoidance of relationship, the avoidance of that
essential condition that is the primary law or form of the
cosmos: relationship. Nothing arises on its own, or only as
its “self.” People come to the Guru who are separate, and
separating themselves from all conditions. But Satsang is
relationship. Therefore, Satsang is an offense to Narcissus,
an offense to this contraction, not a satisfaction of it.
Only a man who has become sensitive to his own failure can
tolerate that offense.

Living in the condition of relationship creates
tremendous resistance by reaction in people. And the life of
Satsang, the sadhana or spiritual practice of this Satsang,
is to live relationship over time. It is the same thing that
yogis and religious practitioners traditionally try to do by
putting themselves into a cave and various other ascetic
circumstances. The most “ascetic” circumstance is
relationship. The condition of relationship stimulates all
of the reaction, all of the “sinfulness,” all of the
impurity that is in a person. All of it is awakened in the
condition and relationship that is Satsang. Satsang is an
offense to this contraction, and it stimulates its

Satsang is a relationship, a connection, a form of
conductivity. The force of Truth, the force of that
descending and ascending life, is communicated through that
connection. At the same time all of the subconscious of
buried reactions, the whole search, is being stimulated by
the condition of relationship in Satsang, the force of
Satsang is also added to stimulate and quicken the whole
process of its manifestation. This provokes the crisis that
is spiritual life. When this activity has loosened the vital
significantly, when functional ease is restored to vital
life, then the subtle life, the true subtle life may begin
to manifest itself. But, in the beginning, it is at the
level of vitality that this work begins, not at the level of
visions and other phenomena. Such phenomena are not what is
significant at any rate, although a person may tend to have
some experiences. Essentially, at the beginning, there is
this apparent work in the vital, dealing with this vital
shock. The person who is just entering the life of Satsang
is like a patient coming to a hospital in shock. The force
and condition of Satsang must unloose the condition of vital
shock. Because people arrive in “shock,” their earliest
experiences of Satsang are the activities of this force, the
purifying and healing intensities of shakti. Later, when the
unconscious, compulsive point of view and the strategies
created by the peculiar state of vital shock have been
critically loosed in the individual by the force aspect of
Satsang and practical living of the conditions of Satsang,
the conscious aspect of spiritual life, which is
“understanding,” begins to awaken.

Sitting, functioning, living in the presence of the man
of understanding and the community that surrounds him are
the means to release vital shock. But the means are entirely
an activity of the Guru himself, for the disciple cannot do
what that presence, force and condition does. The disciple
only lives in that presence and force under the conditions
communicated to him in Satsang. Such is the true grace of
spiritual life, for it undermines the vital shock with
spiritual force, with very Reality or Truth.

DEVOTEE: It seems that a person who is only seeking is
never dealing fundamentally with this contraction, but is
merely reacting to the shock of life.

FRANKLIN: Yes. To its manifestations, its symptoms. The
secret of suffering is not in the past. It is not in the
universe, “out there.” Your suffering is entirely your own.
It is your own activity. And it is a radically present
activity, not caused by something else. So the real activity
of spiritual life is not generated from the point of view of
this search, this reaction, this suffering. It is not a
matter of discovering these devils or, whatever they are,
these key memories, these mortal and cosmic events. It is a
matter of re-cognizing, knowing again, your own activity,
your present activity.

There is a present activity, an absolutely present
activity, an only activity, that everyone is performing all
of the time. There are conditions and reactions to
conditions that build up patterns, but the root of all of
this is what is significant. The support of all that, the
paradigm of that. You can go on and recall the incidents,
the conditions that conditioned you, endlessly, but you will
have done nothing except the practice of your own obsession.
Why are you conditionable? Why are you suffering these
conditions? It is your own action. When this contraction
does not occur, no conditioning occurs, no thought binds.
There is only bliss.

The approach of Truth is a radical one, not a
revolutionary one. It is not a matter of the search from any
point of view within the condition of suffering, but it is a
matter of the absolute re-cognition of this present
activity. You are operating as it.

DEVOTEE: Can you clarify what you mean by “radical”?

FRANKLIN: Radical insight is an irreducible insight.
Nothing can go behind it, beyond it. The radical point of
view is not one of seeking, step by step, through
experiences, but by penetrating, prior to any movement at
all, the present condition. We could take the point of view
of the suffering, the symptom, the whole life-game that we
are playing individually, and make that the point of view of
spiritual life. That is essentially what people have
traditionally and always done. They begin from the point of
view of their suffering. Instead of resorting to the Truth,
they search for it. They go on this vast circle. But every
point on this circle is the same point of view with which
they began. Each point is simply a different condition or
experience from that point of view. Every individual begins
to know that, however far on this infinitely wide circle he
may go before he discovers it. When he begins to suspect or
see, re-cognize the nature of this adventure that he is
living, he is “at the center.” He is already at the center
the moment he knows what this whole adventure is. So
revolution is the nature of the search, but Truth is always
radical, always already at the core, the center.

DEVOTEE: What is the nature of Paradise?

FRANKLIN: Paradise! What is Paradise? What is that?

DEVOTEE: Paradise is where there is bliss.

FRANKLIN: Where there is bliss! Bliss is paradise. All of
this is already bliss. Bliss is the nature of this.
“Paradise” is an hallucination about what it must be like
where lots of blissful people are! But bliss is the nature
of consciousness. Bliss is the nature of this event. There
are lots of someplace elses, but they will be no more
blissful for you than this if you are not already blissful.
The lokas or spiritual realms of the Siddhas, the great
spiritual beings, are just as dismal as the earth for a
stupid man. But the Siddhas are very smart. They find ways
to keep the stupids out! If some commonly distracted being
gets anywhere near they say: “Psst. Have you been down to
uh—earth?” And they really hard-sell it, so everybody
comes down here! But this bliss, this unqualified enjoyment,
happiness, is the nature of Truth. The nature of
consciousness, your very nature, and the nature of all of
this, the nature of the cells of the body, the nature of
light itself is this unqualified openness, no condition.

DEVOTEE: Does that mean there is no separation between
any of us?

FRANKLIN: Do you see any? Do you feel there is? In Truth
there is no separation at all. But from the point of view of
the seeker, one who suffers, there is only separation, at
every level. When he wakes, when he re-cognizes his own
adventure, his own state, in every form that it takes, he
cant find separations anymore, he cant discover them, and he
goes mad. But that madness is intelligence.

DEVOTEE: Higher than that one cant go?

FRANKLIN: Higher than that? It wouldn’t occur to you! It
is the seeker who is always going someplace. The one who is
already in trouble is always going someplace else, because
he is suffering, because this contraction has occurred. All
of the chakras, all of the so-called “centers” in the subtle
body, the ascending conductivity, the subtle life, are in
the same form as this vital chakra, this vital center, this
life. And they are contracted, closed, not conducting this
force of the descending and ascending light. When the vital
begins to open a little, when Satsang is lived, when this
conductivity begins to occur again, movement also tends to
begin in the subtle life as well. Then these chakras begin
to open, and various phenomena arise. Spontaneous physical
movements, all kinds of things that we have talked about,
that you have read about, may occur. But, as you see, they
are not in themselves the Truth. Whenever there is an
opening of some sort, or a relaxation in any level or center
of conscious life, there tend to be experiences that are
associated with that level. These experiences can be
movements, rushes of energy, a blissfulness, various
sensations, various kinds of psychic phenomena, visions,
lights, sounds, but all of these are simply things that were
stuck around inside this “fist.” As the contraction opens
up, they sort of klink off. But the seeker, the one who
endures that process from the point of view of his
suffering, thinks that all of these things are it. His hand
opens up, and he sees the rings on his hand, the lines on
his hand. Everything becomes very fascinating to him, and he
thinks of that as spiritual life. He thinks that these
visions are Truth.

Seekers, for instance, think that the kundalini or
internal force actually ascends. If the kundalini ever for
one moment came down and didn’t make its connection with the
Sahasrar, the upper region of the brain and its subtle
counterparts, you would be dead, from that moment. That
circuit always exists, just as the descending circuit
exists. It is just contracted in peculiar ways. As it begins
to awaken, to come alive again, to be free again, various
experiences occur at the different levels, and people think
that the energy itself is rising. But it is just that the
characteristic centers are opening, in a kind of progress
that looks sort of “upward.” And certainly there are
sensations that are like rising force. But in fact this
circuit is always there, always continuous, except it is
obstructed by this tendency to contract, to be separate, to
avoid relationship at the level of life.

Thought itself, simple thought, mind-forms are forms of
suffering in the seeker. The simplest mind-form, any
mind-form, even a blissful thought of Donald Duck, is a
condition of suffering, of contraction. If you examine it
while distracted, while happy with that image, that thought,
if you examine yourself in that moment with any kind of
sensitivity, you will realize that you are suffering,
distracted only, but suffering. When all of this
contraction, all of this life of avoidance, subsides, when
all of this identification with thinking subsides, there is
only the absolute conductivity of the form of reality. And
it lives only as its own nature.

The momentary or temporary experience of such a
relaxation of the vital and subtle contraction is samadhi,
yogic or psycho-physical trance, meditative enjoyment. There
are many kinds of samadhi, most of them, the traditional
kinds of samadhi, are the samadhis of the life-force, vital
and subtle. Therefore, they are temporary, they are
symptomatic, they are experiences that occur when there’s a
peculiar activity in relation to this living circuitry. When
certain forms of concentration are coupled with certain
movements within, we have these samadhis of the life-force.
But the highest and only true samadhi is Truth itself, the
very Self or Reality. There are the temporary samadhis of
the life-force, and there is the eternal samadhi of Truth,
sahaja samadhi, not distinguishable from any of the states
of consciousness, ordinary or extraordinary. One who enjoys
that, permanently, is always full, and he does not have to
go into the trance states for his realization of Truth.
Perhaps he may do so for enjoyment, but not for his
realization. He may go into trance states or yogic samadhis
for fun, but not in order to realize the Truth. True samadhi
is to live the present condition consciously, without
bondage to vital shock, without contraction, without the
avoidance of relationship, without identification with its
subtle forms, which are all forms of thought, modifications
of consciousness. When all of these modifications come to an
end, not necessarily in fact or terminally, but as a
compulsive activity, then there is already “paradise,” only
bliss, only the Self, only real consciousness, only Light,
only Truth, only Reality. In such a one, all the forms of
wisdom are communicated spontaneously.

This gets us back to the beginning of our discussion, the
notion of “vital shock.” Every individual creates his own
life drama. Everything that has happened to you in the past,
the things you feel uncomfortable about, that you feel upset
about, when you think about them now, are things that you
strategically commanded from beginning to end. Even the most
arbitrary experiences are peculiarly appropriate for the
individuals who enjoy or suffer them. And the manner of an
individuals relationship to events is not only appropriate
but also fundamentally intentional. All of these dramas
essentially take place in relationships of various kinds,
because the avoidance of relationship, the contraction in
relation to the life-force, is that activity to which men
are bound compulsively. Where there is relationship at the
level of life, there is the tendency to separate from it,
and if the ordinary man cannot righteously separate from it,
he creates reasons to separate from it. Every individual
continually creates the failure of relationship. And men
become compulsively bound to their special methods for
complicating and destroying relationship. These strategies
are the life patterns that men are suffering. And their
searches are ways of trying to get free of the limitations
they are compulsively creating.

If you are going through a period like that now, while
involved in Satsang the symptoms, feelings, the moods, the
thoughts, the whole period of days or weeks, or whatever, of
negativity and unhappiness, obsession, do not have to be
“bought.” They do not have to be lived. All of that is a
secondary affair. The disease has already occurred. These
are just the symptoms of the healing. If you will look back
at the beginning of any of these periods, there is usually
some frustrating event to which all of this is the strategic
reaction. Not that you should always be looking for these
events in your past. All I mean to have you discover by
pointing this out to you, is what you do in relationship to
the frustration of life, to the suppression of life, to the
shock that is life. What are you doing about that? What does
your life drama consist of? It is always this contraction,
this avoidance of relationship.

Relationship is always already the case. If you are
sitting in the house, weeping, screaming, feeling upset and
negative about somebody you live with, then this is it, this
is your suffering. This activity is your suffering. Remember
that person. Remember the relationship. Live the
relationship. Let the force of life move again, and there is
no suffering at all. You’ve obviated that whole “tour,”
including the making up and everything else. None of it has
to take place. All of those things are merely the
“subtleties” of your suffering. But suffering itself is
always the avoidance of relationship. Wherever you
re-cognize your activity, that activity was the avoidance of
relationship. Where there is relationship lived, this
contraction does not take place, and the force of life is
conducted as life. And that conductivity is felt as
pleasure, as free consciousness, without distraction by
thought. It is loving, open, light, forceful. So the key to
spiritual life is not the life-force itself, not any
activity, not kundalini, not any of these secondary
manifestations that occur in Satsang. Such things are not
the key to spiritual life, but only some of its possible
phenomena. The key to spiritual life is this re-cognition of
your own activity.

In Satsang, the simple relationship to the man of
understanding tends to stimulate all of this. There is also
the communicated force of Truth or real consciousness. All
of this tends to intensify and to build a person up at the
beginning. He is also given conditions at the level of life,
simple conditions, practical ones, functional things for
which it is appropriate for him to be responsible.
Gradually, the stronger he gets, the simpler he gets, the
more experienced he becomes in Satsang, the more he begins
to listen with free attention, so that he begins to hear, to
observe himself, to move toward this insight, this
re-cognition of which I speak. And that is the real event of
Satsang. Without this re-cognition, he can have all the
spiritual phenomena he likes, but they will be only more
experience, more suffering. However, if he lives from the
point of view of Satsang, these other phenomena can arise
and be of interest, and they will provide conditions in
which understanding must take place.

This understanding, when it occurs, will not be your
enlightenment, because when it occurs there is no one left.
I don’t mean that you will be dead, that you will be
unconscious, that you will be in oblivion, but the entire
principle which is the center of this contracted life will
have disappeared. When you open your hand, what happens to
your fist? When you release the contraction, the “me” is
gone, the search is gone, the whole principle of suffering
is undermined. In Satsang we are moving toward the time when
this radical insight will become significant, real activity.
Until then people are looking for release from their
symptoms. They want to seek, they want relief. They are not
prepared for Truth.

Every moment there is this curvature being created. Why
do you think there are thoughts all of the time? Why one
thought after the next? Why doesn’t it come to an end? The
light is curving compulsively. Why is there suffering all of
the time? This activity is compulsive. It is not life.
That’s not the “way it is.” There is compulsive activity,
automatic activity, unnecessary activity. There is
compulsive curvature, shaping, contraction of the radical
force of existence.

DEVOTEE: Why does it happen?

FRANKLIN: Once you already have this shape, this human
body, why is there such a strong tendency to walk around and
talk and be a man? It has already occurred! That is the
shape of it. Its not that it is wrong. It is not that you
should make a judgment about it. It is very easy, from a
superficial standpoint, to get out of sympathy with your own
craziness, and then start to resist it again. But all of
that is more of the same. When there is this absolute
turnabout, this perfect re-cognition of your own activity,
then it no longer exists. But the judgment about it, the
feeling that you are sort of screwed up, is another form of
the whole process. It is more of that vital shock. The whole
affair of Satsang is a movement of conscious intensity,
looking forward to the moment when you begin to see it, to
know it.

When present activity is truly known, the dilemma no
longer exists. That doesn’t mean that from that moment no
more thinking goes on, no more life goes on. This activity
that is our suffering is not life itself, nor has it created
life. It is only the obstruction to life, an illusory
pattern within life. But it is utter, fundamental,
inclusive. You cant pick your nose without doing this. You
cant see without being involved in this activity, this
avoidance of relationship. You cant think, feel, move,
breathe, you do not live one moment without performing this
activity and experiencing its manifestations. So, from the
point of view of the dilemma, everything is a form of this
activity. The cosmos seems to be made out of suffering to
someone who is wedded to dilemma. That is why people become
atheistic, insane, chronically depressed. The whole universe
seems to justify despair to them, because everything has
become a form of it, an extension of their own activity.
Their own activity has become the means and form of their
perception. Therefore, re-cognition takes place also at
every level, absolutely, at every single level, down to the
cells, and as high as it can go. On every level where this
contraction occurs, this re-cognition also can take place.
When it has occurred, when this activity, this contraction,
this avoidance of relationship is thoroughly undone,
undermined, and only the Truth is lived, then something
about the nature of the phenomenon of universal and cosmic
life begins to become clear. From the point of view of
Truth, life is allowable and good. Perhaps one might choose
other forms of life, but in itself the present form becomes

In its simplest form, its most intimate form, its most
obvious form, the activity I’m talking about is the
avoidance of relationship. And it is to be seen in a very
simple, practical witnessing of life, of you alive in
relationship. There is really no subtlety whatsoever to this
seeing. It is the crudest kind of self-knowledge. But it is
also the most unavailable from the ordinary point of view,
because what is to be known is the ordinary point of

DEVOTEE: Is it possible, as some have said, for a man to
die and then be re-born as an animal?

FRANKLIN: This whole question of reincarnation and the
knowledge of processes like that can be approached from a
couple of points of view. For most people it is a matter of
experimental living and experiencing. By the use of various
internal and psychic means they recollect past lives, see
images of other peoples lives, see their destinies,
whatever. This is the usual way, particularly among
Westerners, that men have approached such phenomena, to
discover if they are true or real. But there is another way,
which is the way of the Siddhas, the “completed” ones. That
is the way of Self-realization, the realization of Truth.
When there is this radical re-cognition of which I speak,
when there is perfect understanding, such a one lives only
as Truth. Then he also knows what birth is, what mind is,
what life is. He sees it is all the result of tendencies
subtly manifest in the light of consciousness, which take
form in and as the manifest world. He knows this with
absolute certainty. He sees this clearly. Truth, therefore,
is the basis of his knowledge of all phenomena, including
reincarnation. But he may enjoy this realization without the
least suggestion or recollection of reincarnation in his own
case, without remembering, even vaguely in a dream, a single
moment of any past life. This is because Self-realization or
perfect knowledge is not compatible with “birth.” One who
lives as the Self has no sense whatsoever of being born as
this body, no sense whatsoever of containment, of existing
now, limited now to his own mind, his own life. If he has
this kind of relationship to the apparent phenomena of his
present existence, how could he possibly get involved with
knowing anything at all about the past of his dying
personality? What could possibly interest him about it? How
could he possibly discover anything about it? Every time he
zeros in on his own mind, he sees billions of worlds and
other beings. How is he going to pick himself out? Where is
he? How does he find a destiny for himself in the midst of
the universes, when he cannot even discover his own life as
a substantial and separate event? So this fullness of Truth
has also made it impossible for him to get serious and
experimental knowledge about his own past or future as an
individual. But his root-awareness of the structure itself,
which comes out of the Heart, shows him clearly the nature
of all patterns, without otherwise giving him experience on
the plane of recollection, on the plane of mind, on the
secondary planes of life.

Examining the nature and fundamental structure of life
itself, it is clear that something like regression, or,
whatever, rebirth, apparent rebirth in animal form after
once having lived in human form, is clearly possible, just
as it can occur in dreams. In dreams you can take on various
forms in various worlds. The same condition applies to birth
in these waking realms of life. But if you begin to become
sensitive to your present condition, you may become
terrified even of moving into this human condition

An affinity for plants and animals is another thing
altogether. The vital, descending life in man is made up of
mechanisms that are found elsewhere in nature. It is made of
the same forces, the same kind of functional life. In one of
our talks I made an analogy between our human mechanism and
a man walking a dog. We are like a mind walking a dog. The
vital mechanism is an animal and vegetable mind, a mind like
that which governs the organisms and compounds of nature
below man in the scheme of processes. Therefore, in the
vital level of consciousness, we have a strong affinity and
identification with animals, plants, natural phenomena,
nature. Because we partake of that same functional life,
that same level of energy, we recognize it in the
environment, and enjoy association with it. Someone once
asked Ramana Maharshi about the practice of retiring to the
forest. As it is described in certain of the old texts, such
as the Bhagavad Gita, you should set up a seat in the
wilderness, in a forest area, under nice circumstances, with
streams nearby, etc. This person asked the Maharshi’s
permission to do this. But Ramana pointed out that when
people go out and do this sort of thing, to get away from
humanity and all of the complications of ordinary life, they
begin to become fascinated with animals instead, and animal
life, vital life. They sympathize with it, enjoy it, and
gradually become like it. As a consequence, they wind up in
a worse condition than before. The relationship that we tend
to take up with living beings, animals, plants, nature, is a
direct indication of our relationship to the vital, and that
is all. If you become very sympathetic with the vital
movements in yourself, the forms of vital desire, you will
also tend to be very “sympathetic” with animals. If you tend
to exploit your own vital life, you will tend also to fail
to manage animals, plant life, and the like. If you resist
utterly, and are vitally contracting to the point of
interference with your own vital life, even to life itself,
you will tend to have the same effect on other life-forms.
No one, for instance, can tolerate being disliked by their
friends animals! If you go to visit a friend, it is very
upsetting if the dog doesn’t like you, if the cat doesn’t
like you. It is very upsetting if you cant grow plants, if
flowers die quickly when placed near your bed! But all of
this, our relationships to plants, animals, to life forms
are a precise dramatization of our relationship to the vital
in our own case.

In many people who are unconscious, the vital is smarter
than they are. The vital takes over, absorbing their lives
from birth to death, and they never exceed it. You must have
at least seen photographs of people who are wedded to the
earth, who live in isolated farm lands. How unconscious
these people seem, from the point of view of one who has
been brought up in cities, or whatever, in sophisticated
social regions. How unconscious these people seem, asleep in
the vital without their minds: “They don’t speak very much,
they are quiet, slow, they seem stupid. They seem like
cattle, but they are often strangely violent.” City people,
however, tend to be contracted in relation to the vital.
Western men are essentially very resistive to the whole
vital life. Americans are obsessed with sex. Not really
obsessed with the having of sex. They are obsessed with the
failure of sex, and the wanting of it. There is very little
actual or successful having of it, because the whole sexual
process is so obstructed. The whole participation in the
life-force has been undermined by Western society’s bondage
to its idiot symbolic religious path. The Jesus-Yahweh
number. Not that all of that was necessarily or actually
contained in the work of Jesus and the Hebrew men of
knowledge, but it is contained certainly in the religious
movements that have come down to us. There is a strong
suppression in relation to the vital. So everybody is
trained in his “vital shock” from the beginning, to resist
his entire vital life, his life line. Money, food and sex
are problematic for everybody, in the sense of a chronic
resistance, a chronic doubt about whether or not you are
supposed to have anything to do with such things.

Many people come to the Ashram whose marriages have
broken up. There was a case the other day where a marriage
had broken up because the guy tended to get into the
“celibacy” number. In many other cases, people have come who
may not have broken up a marriage over this, but they have
just never really been able to sustain a sexual relationship
over any length of time, and part of the rationale is that
they want to become celibate. They want to become swamis and
nuns! For the most part, this “swami” idealism that many
Westerners are getting into is an attempted solution to
their resistance to vitality, their chronic social reaction
to the vital condition, to life. The popular swing toward
swamiism, toward artificially induced spiritual celibacy, is
a form of emasculation. It is a way of being impotent. But
there can be no spirituality without the life-force. If you
cut off the life-force, you have gone back to zero. The
spiritual process makes immediate use of the life-force and
its conductivity. Really, the problem of spiritual life, for
anyone, West or East, is not whether to be celibate or not.
Your choices about sexuality are always a manifestation of
your dilemma, not your wisdom. The core of it all is the
re-cognition of this contraction in the vital.

DEVOTEE: Why is it that so many of the Eastern teachings
we read seem to insist on celibacy as necessary for
spiritual life?

FRANKLIN: Examine the cultural life from which the
Eastern wisdom comes, especially among the Hindus. It is
essentially among the Hindus that celibacy is insisted upon,
not really so much, or at least as universally, in other
cultures. This is because the traditional Hindu notion of
spiritual realization is one in which the vital and subtle
life has been abandoned, and the conscious existence has
returned to a high or highest state, never to be reborn.
Therefore, the processes by which they seek realization
necessarily involve the reduction of the whole pattern of
life, even the subtle life, to the point of abandonment.
Such is the precondition for realization in their terms.

Now when this pattern of conductivity of which I speak is
restored, such a person may, because of his subtle
tendencies, be celibate. In fact, when this current is felt
very intensely at the level of the life-vehicles, very often
the sexual impulse just disappears for various periods of
time. In some people it disappears permanently. And there is
an internal process that replaces their sexuality entirely.
But the arbitrary demand of celibacy, in the sense of
idealistic avoidance of marriage, or avoidance of
appropriate realization of sex in the form of marriage, as
an absolute practice for all, is of relatively recent origin
even among the Hindus. The ancient Rishis were almost always
married men.

The Guru is not some impotent old rascal. The Guru should
be able to populate the earth. The Guru is strong. He is
alive. He enjoys mastery over the sex-impulse. He may, as a
spontaneous practice, be entirely celibate, even in
marriage. But he is not in any case empty or obstructed in
relation to the life-force.

In Western culture it is not terribly appropriate or
necessary to be celibate in the exclusive sense of the
avoidance of sexual realization in the form of marriage.
However, it is absolutely necessary from the spiritual point
of view for the whole dilemma in the vital to break down.
And it is not just in terms of sexuality that this dilemma
is manifest. It is money, or life exchange, food and sex. It
is the whole vital life. Many people have what appears to
them a functional sex-life, one that is enjoyable and seems
to work fine for them. But their relationship to the force
of life may itself be very mediocre. They may have
functional problems in other areas, in other forms of life
or psyche, in the environment, in relation to diet.

In the East, particularly among the Hindus, there is a
tendency to de-vitalize, to separate from the vital. In the
West there is a tendency to exploit the vital. There is that
tendency, but on top of the tendency to exploit the vital
there is a vast system of taboos against the vital. So, in
relation to the vital, the West has a peculiar problem, and
the East has another peculiar problem. In the East there is
orientation to what is beyond the vital, and in the West the
orientation is to the vital. In the East they say you are
here for the wrong reasons, because you are suffering from
illusion, you have left the Truth, you have left God. In the
West we say we are here because God sent us. And in each
case there are peculiarly different dramas at the level of
ordinary life and vitality. But from the point of view of
the real process of conscious life, the vital is a primary
seat of spiritual activity.

Suffering is felt, seen, experienced from day to day
essentially in vital terms by human beings. The best “cave”
is an ordinary life, a relational life, a functional life.
That is where you find your discipline, that is where you
become strong, that is where you become a master.
Relationships are the best form of spiritual practice.
Marriages, intimate relationships, functional conditions,
these are the best “Bodhi Tree.” These are the true
“ascetic” practices. Marriage is the primary ascetic
practice, as everyone who is married knows! Anyone can be
“religious,” anyone can be “spiritual,” but anyone who lives
with the Guru knows how difficult and demanding spiritual
life really is. It is easy to play imaginary games about
religious and spiritual things, but to live spiritual life
as the condition of relationship is a very difficult task.
To think about sexual experiences, to think about men,
women, pornography, whatever, to have sexual desires and
images is one thing, but to live sexuality as a relationship
is very difficult. So with spirituality as a relationship,
it is also very difficult. But just as there is no real
sexuality without relationship, there is no real
spirituality without relationship. There is no fulfillment
of spiritual life without the Guru, and without truly living
conditions for sadhana.

In all traditional religious cultures you find the
professionally ascetic people. They are not necessarily
living spiritual life any more than anyone else. In most
cases such “asceticism” is a form of self-indulgence. It is
an expression of the failure of life. It is an expression of
the contraction from life. A vital and subtle shock is the
origin of all ordinary spiritual and religious means. But
under the real conditions of spiritual life intelligence
begins to arise in relation to sexuality. The individual
becomes very sensitive to that process and its true

Simple exploitation of sexuality is another way of trying
to exhaust this contracted vital. Most people use sexuality
as a way of letting off steam, as a form of release. They
are attached to the goal of orgasm. They manage to achieve
temporary physical stasis by revulsion of force. But one who
lives genuine spiritual life is always conducting the force
of life, as vitality and as subtlety. He lives these
functions that appear in the circuit of force appropriately,
in relationship. He gets smart! When he employs sexual
energy out of relationship, or purely for the sake of
orgasm, when he simply exploits it, he only empties himself,
and he discovers that he suffers. So the truly spiritual man
has simply become intelligent. His way of life is not a
result of preferences to be lifeless, sexless or anything
else. He becomes intelligent. He becomes capable of
relationship. He becomes capable of the real use of the
vital functions. So he knows when not to use them, and how
not to indulge or exploit them. He allows this force of life
to conduct itself fully. He need not, because of the
contraction in the vital, simply release this force in vital
ways. He is not compelled to enjoy it only in his belly,
only in his sex organs. He can enjoy it in the top of his
head. He can enjoy it in his face. He can enjoy it in his
spine. He has got all kinds of places he can enjoy it. The
subtler he becomes, the more his enjoyments increase. He
discovers the source of energy, so that he doesn’t weaken
himself, so that he doesn’t become involved in a pattern
that only empties him, that weakens and kills him.

There is a process, a spontaneous, internal, yogic
process that can be felt in the sex organs, in which the
force that normally becomes sex-stimulation is felt going in
the opposite direction, backward and upward. Instead of
seeking release in the sex function, that energy can be felt
pulling, drawing towards the spine, upwards. When that
particular process is very active, intensely active, there
is natural celibacy. Then even in the sexual communion of
marriage, the event of orgasm is not sought, but the
relational force of love and community pleasure is

The kundalini process is closely associated with what is
otherwise felt as sex energy, although it doesn’t simply
come from the sex organs, and is not itself literally or
exclusively sex energy. It is the ascending movement of the
circle of total force in which we live. It is a continuation
of the conductivity of the descending force. Its lowest
terminal in the body is in the sex organs, behind the sex
organs. And that terminal is the turning point, from descent
to ascent, but not the origin of force itself. The muladhar
is this turning point. The intense kundalini manifestations
are generally associated with this reversal of the sex
current. A person who is going through a period of strong
kriyas, or some such episode of intense internal activity
will often quite naturally be celibate during that time. Or
he will discover that if he exploits himself sexually,
through orgasm, while going through this process, certain
unpleasant things occur, physiologically and psychically.
And so he learns by experience of processes of this kind how
to deal with his sexuality. Therefore, the use or non-use of
sexuality is a matter of intelligence, not a matter of
preference, not a matter of “the way it is supposed to be if
you are getting spiritual.”

Perfect “celibacy” is death. Then the cycle of life-force
turns from descent to ascent, draws up completely into the
sahasrar, and never comes down again. That is precisely what
the yogi whose point of view is willful celibacy is trying
to do. He is trying to die consciously, and literally. Now
the yogic process of “spiritual death” will take place, in
any case, whether you have literal separation from life as
your peculiar goal or not. True celibacy is yogic or
spiritual “death.” Yogic death is part of the nature of real
meditation, but it doesn’t in itself imply the literal end
of life or the diminution of life-involvement. Continued
living of an ordinary, functional life on every level is
perfectly compatible with the realized state, because life
itself is an expression of what is Real. It is a
manifestation of the conscious Light. It has tended to take
on this peculiar form because of certain tendencies, which
are modifications of that Light, but in itself it is not
false. Only its complications are false. The life of Truth
is absolutely compatible with life itself, with vitality and
with sexuality as the regenerative union of marriage.

The bellies of the yogic Siddhas are often full, soft and
round. They are not devitalized beings, even if they happen
to be celibate. That swelling of the abdomen is a yogic
manifestation. When this force is conducted, the abdomen
becomes full of force. Swami Nityananda of Ganeshpuri was
such a yogi. He spent his days sitting and lying around,
letting this current circle about. He rarely allowed it to
turn outwards. That is why he hardly ever spoke.

I have told you that speech is a form of sacrifice. It is
a sacrifice of the life-force. It is not entertainment.
People generally talk in order to empty themselves. That is
another form of throwing the force out of this contraction
so they don’t suffer it any more. Whenever there is speech,
whenever there is communication with the environment,
whenever there is relationship, whenever there is use of the
life-force, it is sacrifice. Sexuality is a form of
sacrifice. It does tend to make you empty, unless you know
fully how to make use of that process, how to conduct its
generative energy into the cycle of regeneration. If I sat
here and talked endlessly, occasionally going to sleep and
taking food here, the talking alone would kill me in a
relatively short time. I would die from speech! Any
exploitation of the life-force will kill you, and people are
in fact dying from this abuse. People are dying from a
complex exploitation of the life-force. They don’t conduct
it. They only use it. They don’t refresh themselves. They
don’t live this circuit of fullness even a little bit. Some
of the yogis only lived it. So they left. Others continued
to be communicative at the level of life in various ways,
knowing the consequences, knowing what they needed to do to
remain fresh. That is why I look forward to the time when I
can speak less and write less, or at least have such control
over it that I only need to do it when it seems absolutely
useful and necessary. Because this current is continuous.
When I am sitting, my teeth are clenched, my tongue presses
against the roof of my mouth. The circuit is continuous, and
as it flows even the cells are transformed.

The death of a Siddha is really not separation from
anything. He is simply gone into meditation perfectly. After
death his “body” is meditation. And his disciples have
access to him through real meditation, because meditation
itself is his eternal or perfect Form. He simply abandons
his sacrificial function, his outward movement, his
psycho-physical game, and goes permanently into his simple
or transcendent state. He was already in it before, but he
abandons the functions that were attached to it, at least
those which were the manifestation of his present life. This
is why people prize the “samadhi site,” the burial site, of
their Guru. Because the Guru has gone into meditation in its
most intense form while associated with that body. Many
people find the force communicated from the Guru seems to
get stronger after death, because it has become completely
without complication by the life-form. He has moved into the
most intense manifestation of that real consciousness.

It is said that Saint Jnaneshwar consciously took
mahasamadhi. He had a tomb built for himself, and he went
down inside. He was a young man, only about twenty or
twenty-one years old. He went down inside and sat in his
chair. They sealed it over, and he just didn’t come out
anymore. It is also said that about three hundred years
later another Indian Saint somehow got into Jnaneshwars tomb
and approached the body. He reported that the body was
apparently still alive. It had a certain heat to it, and it
wasn’t the least decomposed, because the yogic activity was
going on in this body permanently. The site of Jnaneshwars
tomb is supposed to be a very potent one. Not that he is
conscious of trucking with that body anymore. Nityananda’s
tomb is also like that, very strong.

DEVOTEE: Can a Guru who has died still be Guru for the

FRANKLIN: It is limited only at the level of life. He
can’t function as Guru in any way that requires a physical
presence. So he usually tries to leave genuine disciples in
the world who can continue certain aspects of the
Guru-function. One who has had real experience spiritually
can read a book written by an experienced man in spiritual
life and see things there that he knows are true. It
corroborates his own experience. Just so, one who is already
living the real form of spiritual life can approach the
burial site of a deceased saint or go to holy places, and
benefit from the pilgrimage in that same sense of
corroboration or recognition. The current of spiritual force
continues to be emanated by such beings after death, but
Truth is not lived by them bodily in the world. At times
people appear to have experiences on a subtle level with
people who are dead. In my own experience, in the case of
Swami Nityananda, Ramana Maharshi, Sai Baba of Shirdi, and
others there have been very concrete and complex experiences
of their subtle influence. Baba Muktananda remains in
physical form to this day, but I am able to visit him only
occasionally. Therefore, my experiences with him are
generally of a subtle although perfectly concrete variety,
entirely apart from the gross physical medium. Just so, my
own work with disciples is fundamentally subtle.

DEVOTEE: Are there other people in the world who are like

FRANKLIN: I don’t know what it is to be like me.
Everybody seems to be up to about the same thing that I am
up to. There are some people walking around who claim to be
the only incarnate God, the repetitive Avatar of all the
ages, the exclusive true Guru, and such things. But they are
the least among us. That is the spiritual circus. That is
not the life of Truth. That is more of the illusion. Those
who are living Truth in the earth plane cant be discerned by
simple signs. They are ordinary. Perhaps also in some sense
extraordinary, but they are real. Of those who are appearing
publicly as teachers, very few have anything to do with

DEVOTEE: You have said that all men are suffering. I have
the feeling that everybody except for you, and those
teachers that you have had, and all the great Siddhas, are
the only people who are not suffering.

FRANKLIN: The only ones who are not suffering are those
who are living Truth. And who those are that are living
Truth is to be seen. Truth is the most profound, the most
radical Reality. It is the nature of all beings and the
nature of all life. It is already all men. When I see men in
the world I don’t see them as garbage, all screwed up,
simply insane, as nothingness that I am supposed for some
reason or other to turn into Divinity. I see everybody
already as that same Reality. I am no exclusive form of it.
But I see men suffering. While they are being Truth only, I
see them suffering. The fact that they are suffering doesn’t
make them any less the Truth, any less the same thing that
is all beings, all things. It simply means that they are
suffering. If you look at all beings from the point of view
of Truth, there is only Truth, and the Truth has this little
chronic problem!

From the point of view of men it all seems very heavy,
because their point of view is the point of view of this
limitation. But once they themselves begin to see from the
point of view of Truth, they see that everything is already
Truth, and every one. To realize that you are already Truth
doesn’t make you any more than anybody else. It makes you
the same as everybody else. It is the sameness of very
Truth, that sameness from which all the functional
inequalities of relative, conditional existence arise.

There is a certain obnoxiousness that comes into this
illusion as well, in the form of righteousness, in the form
of false claims, in the form of exploitation. That is also
part of this illusion. And, at times, I speak critically
about that. I must, because people are suffering from their
idiot Gurus. If I see a phony telling everybody he is
God-Exclusive, I am likely to tell you so. Why should I
stand for such lies, that exploitation of men, that
reinforcement of suffering?

DEVOTEE: I am curious about this notion of
responsibility, especially from your point of view. Why
should you care at all about a mans suffering by having a
false Guru?

FRANKLIN: It is a natural function of the intensity of
Truth, as it moves into life, to purify. When the force of
Satsang approaches an individual, it cant do anything but be
the force of Truth when it gets here. It doesn’t start to
fade out on the way and become a black widow spider! It is
Truth, it arrives as Truth, and it functions as the Truth in
that life. It does only that purifying work. It becomes only
that fullness, only that intensity of Light, and it leads
only into the process of Truth. Where Truth is lived in the
life-plane, it only functions as Truth. Not out of some sort
of “concern,” some karmic concern to save the world, but as
a natural extension of its own nature, its real

DEVOTEE: So in other words it is a spontaneous thing?

FRANKLIN: When a man starts to gain some sort of position
among other men by representing Truth to them, he is
implying something about the great work of the Divine
Siddhas. It is not that I am going to start taking out
newspaper advertisements about various people, exposing
them. I don’t have anything to say about it socially. And I
am not going to go over to these people or to their
disciples and get into arguments with them about the nature
of Truth. But there are many here who know of various
teachers. I am here speaking to you. I am not somewhere
else, speaking at a paid lecture. So in order to serve the
very thing I am attempting to communicate, when there is
somebody specific we are discussing, I must clarify what is
being represented by them. That is simply a responsible
extension of the work that I am doing. Apart from that, I
don’t have any concern for it. As a social event, I have no
particular concern for it. I enjoy seeing people become
sensitive to the real manifestation of Truth, and begin to
see the falseness of charlatans, people who are themselves
deluded and who are only exploiting others.

DEVOTEE: It seems that, from the point of view of Truth,
the process of being born creates an automatic reaction that
is death.

FRANKLIN: For every action there is an equal and opposite
reaction. The action of life produces the reaction of the
living, even to the point of death.

DEVOTEE: It seems like we are born with three strikes
against us.

FRANKLIN: Yes. That is why we have got to get smart down
here! A living being arising in the midst of life is
automatically the reaction to the prior action which is life
itself. It is quite a natural mechanism. If it becomes the
principle of life, reaction creates death. And the natural
tendency of organic life is to contract, to become more
solid and lifeless. It begins to die the moment it makes its
appearance. And there are more than three strikes against
you. You are already out, already, before the strikes. I
have lost my taste for the usual life. Not that I cant enjoy
the quality of real life, but I have lost my taste for this
whole affair of suffering and compulsive existence. I see
perfectly well what it depends on. I wouldn’t choose, on the
merits of the experience itself, ever to be born in this
human condition again. There is no percentage in it. It
gains nothing. It is just a period of time in which to
understand. Apart from that, it has no ultimate value. It
never goes beyond that. Human life is not particularly
delightful. It is an endless concern from birth until death.
Every minute is suffering of the limited state, or an
attempt to break out of it through various kinds of
activity. Trying to find the answer. From the moment of its
awareness, this life is a question. It seems absurd to be
actually existing and yet not to know what actually existing
is, and to spend the entire period of actually existing
trying to discover what actually existing is! This is an
insane condition! It is a compulsive tour of unconscious
activity for the most part. If Truth begins to manifest in
life, as life, it glorifies life to some degree. But the
glory that enters life is not that of life itself. It is the
glory of the fullness of Truth, which is manifest as life,
whose modifications are life. The more the life of Truth
grows, the more the taste for Truth you acquire, not for
life apart from or other than Truth. And when Truth is
perfectly enjoyed, life becomes secondary, perhaps profound,
but unnecessary. Your death in Truth should precede your
physical death by at least a few moments! Otherwise the
tendency to regain this condition is there

The “condition” that is Truth is far superior to this
limitation. And those who live Truth while alive are not
glorifying life in itself. They are glorifying Truth. When
you enjoy Truth, you are already free. And if you are free,
what has all of this compulsive limitation to do with you?
Such a one lives Truth until death, and then slips away. And
everyone will slip away in Truth sooner or later. The Guru
is only looking for company on his way out! He has already
discovered who you are, he already is living with you in
another sense, as real life, as love, as Truth. He no longer
requires your physical existence or his own. He looks
forward to your perfect enjoyment. But he sees that those
who are living in the earth plane are not clear about this,
not certain of it, a little confused. So he communicates it
in as many ways as he can. But all he is trying to do is to
take you away, to take your separate life away, to snuff you
out of darkness into Light.

Real meditation is not unlike death. The same process
goes on in this spontaneous meditation that happens in
death. The only difference is that in death the life-force
permanently moves out of this vital mechanism, but in real
meditation, sahaja samadhi, in the true state, the
life-force may continue to conduct itself in this form. One
who has lived this whole process and knows it well, knows
very well that he is not merely alive. He knows absolutely
well that being alive is not his real limitation. It is
absolutely clear to him. He is not believing it, not
thinking it. He is already dead, presently dead, presently
not alive as the limitation that is the psycho-physical
life, the body. If he were alive as that limitation, he
would still be afraid. If it were still clear to me that I
was alive as the limitation of life, I wouldn’t have any
time to sit with you in this Ashram. I would be busy doing,
hysterically doing all the things that occupied me in the

 When that “death” is attained and only Truth is
enjoyed, there is no more of that search. Then there is only
the creative enjoyment of living this process in relation to
other beings. And that radical meditation is continuous,
perfect. No embodiment, no identification with the
life-force, no identification with the subtle forms of
existence, no identification with the levels of mind, with
thoughts, with visions, with lights, with phenomena of any
kind. They are not lived. That is the paradox of the jnani,
the man of real knowledge. Maharshi said he was like
somebody asleep while awake. While awake, while the manifest
forms are flying around, while the body hangs out and all
the feelings and sensations are there, while the thoughts
are running along, the man of understanding has no sense at
all of any containment, any limitation to that process. He
doesn’t have to meditate in the traditional way at all in
order to feel free of that. He doesn’t have to stop the
thought-process in order to be free of thoughts. His samadhi
is perfect, endless. The whole life phenomenon takes on a
kind of indefinite, fluid, homogeneous quality, a
paradoxical form, a kind of brilliance, so that it loses its
capacity to define existence or consciousness. Everything
becomes consciousness, everything becomes his own
consciousness, everything becomes his own thought. He has
nothing left but humor while alive. And his humor is of a
radical kind. He is not necessarily always laughing. His
humor is of the nature of no-identification with all of
this. His freedom is extreme, beyond the point of wildness,
so that he is no longer wild. His extremes are manifest as
ordinariness. His extremes are his natural appearance.
Walking into a room is a maddening extreme from his point of
view. It is odd, it is wildly imaginative! When he
contemplates his own consciousness, when he contemplates
being conscious, he almost falls into trance. So, instead of
contemplating consciousness, he looks at people, he talks,
he does ordinary things. Because everything has become
insubstantial and unnecessary for him. His blissfulness has
exceeded all of the yogic states, all of the phenomena of
spirituality, because they again are forms of containment,
forms of self-modification. He has lost the taste, the
motive for mere experiencing. He lives only as that
unmodified Reality, lightless, soundless, formless, without
qualities. And yet, everything is its modification.
Therefore, when living the humor that is his formlessness,
his qualityless existence, he, paradoxically, lives. For
such a one, all life is paradox. And life is no longer a
question. For such a one there is not the least trace of
“mystery” left in the universe. He has no question, and he
has no answer. He is only humorous.

In many cultures, such “humorous” people have taken on
the role of a fool. They acted crazy, so that people
wouldn’t burden them with demands for “wisdom.” Because they
really didn’t have anything to say. They just enjoyed
bubbling in the street. And bubbling is really what it is
all about. Having to work with everyone at the life level,
the vital level, from day to day tends to become very
humorless, because everybody is very serious about his life
problems. Every day people come here with their crisis,
their revolution this week, their number. All of that is
very heavy, very disturbing for them, and rightfully so. But
to deal with it, to manufacture seriousness over all of
that, has none of the beauty of bubbling. So the more people
begin to enjoy Satsang, in its subtle form, in its absolute
form, the sillier the Guru gets, the more absurd he gets,
the more he begins to act in ways that symbolize or express
his true state. Such humorous people become very “odd,” and
everything they do is a symbol of their own state. Just so,
everything that any man does symbolizes his own state. The
humorous person becomes less and less involved in trying to
communicate to people the nature of their true state, and he
begins simply to manifest his own state as a playful

An Ashram must be very straight for such a person to act
so freely. So you only find people of that variety acting so
freely in very traditional cultures. In Nityananda’s Ashram
he was free to bubble all the time. So he became a symbol
for the Self, because he took on very few functions at the
life level as Guru. Someone like Swami Muktananda has a
great many functions, and he has less of that kind of
quality that Nityananda had, at least in his appearance. But
as the years have gone by, even Muktananda has taken on more
of the “silliness” of the Truth. Maharshi also was a
relatively functionless person. The more functions the
Siddhas have had, the less of a symbol they posed in the
world, the less they seemed to symbolize or play the Truth
while alive. That doesn’t mean they were of a lesser nature.
It is just that they took on various functions, the
functions of this sacrificial activity. Even so, all such
people, in spite of their many functions, remain
paradoxical, humorous figures.


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Adi Da, Ramana Maharshi, Nityananda, Shridi Sai Baba, Upasani Baba,  Seshadri Swamigal , Meher Baba, Sivananda, Ramsuratkumar
“The perfect
among the sages is identical with Me. There is absolutely no
difference between us”
Chap XX,

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