Knot of Self Contraction

The Development of Ego

When we talk of ego, it is as if we are talking about a man with a body and limbs. It has a basic makeup and it has its tentacles, so to speak, as well. Its basic makeup consists of paranoia and confusion. But at the same time, its basic makeup started from some kind of wisdom as well, because there is the possibility that we don’t exist as individual entities or as solid persons who can continue all the time. There is the possibility that as individuals we consist of particles or of lots of things but those particles don’t exist as individuals either.

When that possibility first flashes onto itself, there’s sudden panic. If this is the case, we’ll have to put up some kind of defense mechanism to shield out any possible discovery of the nonexistence of ourselves. We begin to play the game of deaf and dumb. We would like to be individuals who are continuously existing, continuously surviving, continuously being one person, not even making the journey through time and space.

Chogyam Trungpa – The Bardo of Meditation


The Nature of Ego

The ‘act’ of self-contraction

The Knot of ‘I’ – The Self-Contraction


“You may have noticed, especially in the most difficult or anxious moments, a persistent contraction, or tension of the whole lower trunk of the body, from the heart to the abdomen. This tension often feels like a fist or a stone, or a knot. Especially in the areas of the navel or the solar plexus. It makes you chronically anxious. Not only physically tense, but emotionally, mentally, and psychically uneasy. This tangible disturbance is evidence of a severe and profound reaction to life…”

Bubba Free John – 1975


As long as there is a self-contraction and presumption of separateness there is fear and there are no two ways about it. It’s inevitable. It’s inherent, so transcend this (raises fist clenched). The way is the way of transcending the self knot, the self-contraction which is not just something somewhere inside the body.

It’s the totality of the body mind that is participating in this and that is reflecting this act. This is what must be gone beyond. This knot IS fear, is also separateness. It’s the feeling of difference. It’s the feeling of relatedness. It’s the presumption of being identical to the body, or the body mind limited by, limited to it, limited by and to all of the ordinary appearances of conditional existence all of which pass and all of the grosser appearances of human existence all of which are mortal.

Adi Da – 2006

You don’t recognize it, you see, because of your self-contraction. Not your self-contraction, like you are doing it in some separate sense. You are the self-contraction. In the context of conditionality, you are that. You are doing it by being it. You’re not separate from it doing it. You are the action-as attention, as feeling, as breath, as bodily motion.

Adi Da – 2006

Hearing – definition and excerpts

January 6, 1996

DEVOTEE: My question, Beloved, was, it’s to do with the self-contraction. And last evening You took us through locating the core of the self-contraction, doing the practice of feeling to You, and, you know, also at the same time not trying to get away from or recoil from the self-contraction at its core. 

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm. I feel a commentary coming on. [Laughter.] Your way of stating that, you see, illustrates the difference between listening or not yet hearing. You were talking about it as if in effect you were relaxing the self-contraction, almost like it’s a knot in your solar plexus or something, in Communion with Me. That’s how you were using the exercise. And that’s how it would be done from the point of view of non-hearing.

But the point of view of hearing is at the point of the self-contraction, the point of the act of self-contraction, and in Communion with Me passes beyond directly, is flowering truly, not efforting against the self-contraction as if it’s somewhere else or someone else or a mechanism apart from you, just a sensation you’re experiencing. It’s not merely a sensation you’re experiencing. It is an act you are performing. You are doing the self-contraction. It is not merely happening to you.

I’ve used the illustration since the earliest days of a man pinching himself, you all know that one, right? And he’s uncomfortable and so forth, tries to shake it off, whatever he does, and then eventually discovers he’s been pinching himself all the while and he takes his hand away and all his problem disappears.

Knee of Listening

Adi Da (Franklin Jones), 1972


Well, I’ve used that little bit to try to describe to you what hearing is about. It’s not a matter of your dealing with a something that’s objective to you in the context of your human existence. It’s not objective to you. It may seem to be so until you hear Me. In some sense. And that’s the fundamental description of the difference between non-hearing and hearing. In the case of the non-hearer, you don’t yet, at the place itself, understand most fundamentally that your search, your dis-ease, your struggle, and so on, your pain of existence, is something that you are doing.

So that’s hearing. from that point, you can, in Communion with Me, pass directly from the self-contraction, the act itself, and you can do this, then, under all circumstances, in every context of experience, no matter how the stages evolve from then. The same hearing gesture is your capability and your responsibility. And immediately, or very quickly, prepares you to do the Yoga of seeing Me, such that the hearing process is taking place in the full dimension of Spiritual existence. Then the purification is more profound and final.

[to Devotee] You were referring to the self-contraction as a something you would not avoid. You were referring to it in objective terms as a something rather than as your own action. You were not speaking from being in the position of the self-contraction, but you’re referring to the self-contraction. You’re having some experience of it. But as if you are outside it somehow, somewhere, and don’t quite have the key, then, to get rid of it. So you examine each piece of your life, and you see how you do it there in some behavioral or other terms or whatnot, and you work on that some, discipline it and so forth, and that gets better. But there’s still this disturbance, this stress, this pursuit, and so on. Your examination of all that becomes summary. You become established in the knowledge of the act in the place of the act itself, such that it is entirely, immediately, always available to your relinquishment of it, because you are it, you’re being it, you’re doing it as an action, you’re in that very place and you know all about it, just like you know how to open your hand instead of pinching yourself, or open your hand instead of making a fist.

So at least by your brief description, then, what you did last night was the listener’s version of that exercise. Unless you’d like to retract your statement now.

DEVOTEE: No, no.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: But it is useful for Me to point out how you are using language, because it says something about your disposition, perhaps. Sometimes it may say something about your miscommunication or not fully considering your words, but otherwise it’s a reflection of your meanings, your disposition. So that is what you said suggested.

DEVOTEE: It was also part of my question, as well, which is how to always return to the core of the self-contraction rather than just being, you know, which is what I’m normally in, the superficial, more superficial area.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, that’s another example of what I was just saying, “how to return to the core of the self-contraction”, when you are always right there doing it! It’s amazing, you see! It’s like the man pinching himself. It’s just as mysterious. I mean, how stupid, a guy sitting there pinching himself! It’s a really very apt example of what you’re all doing. It’s just as silly as that! Just as mysterious, why would you be doing this?

So you’re right there doing it, it’s the core of all your doings, your thinking, your feelings, and so on, and you’re doing it right at its root, all the time, and yet you act like it’s totally mysterious to you. Even though I point this out to you, it seems totally mysterious to you.

You’re used to experiencing your self-contraction as an experience rather than as your own action. So you have some feeling about what I’m talking about when I’m talking about the self-contraction, because it’s that knot in the pit of your stomach or that feeling of anxiety. You don’t realize it’s you pinching yourself, you doing that feeling of anxiety, you contracting. You may, in the course of the listening sadhana, get a little better at it all, you know, understand it a little better, but ultimately to understand most fundamentally and to be free of all the wanderings and vacations and so forth and effects of self-contraction, to notice, to feel, and be in the position of the act itself, coincides with the feeling of relatedness itself, they are coincidental,and the arising of attention.

The feeling of relatedness, or the self-knot, can be felt all over the body. But if you feel it at its point of origin, it’s on the right side of the heart. The right side of the heart is not simply the domain of Divine Self-Realization. It’s the root of egoity. It’s a knot that must be opened. You have to get back to that Door, by releasing energy and attention to do so.

At the root of this system is the heart, the primal organ not only of life but of consciousness in man. It is here that the presumption and conception of egoic independence, or the separate “I,” arises in every moment. It is on the basis of this presumption that the human individual is predetermined to a reactive life of fear, vulnerability, flight from mortality, and a universal constitutional state of contraction. That contraction encloses consciousness in the limits of skin and thought, and it separates the whole bodily being of Man from the Divine Radiance and Perfect Consciousness that is otherwise native to it and eternally available to it in every part.
Enlightenment of the Whole Body p. 189


But in general, you all experience it as a knot in the pit of your stomach or a feeling of anxiety, a stressful feeling of being separate or dissociative, and so on. Well, it’s like any other symptom, then, in the body-mind, like a sore foot or a headache or something. It’s a symptom in the body-mind. You observe it objectively, and you decide you’ll do this, that, or the other thing about it. You try to relax and breathe deeply, be more straightforward, whatever you have to do to become more functional about it, but on the other hand it doesn’t go away.

DEVOTEES: [Murmuring] No. [Laughter.]

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: [Chuckling] So you must enter into this profound practice I’ve Given you, which includes this “reality consideration”, perpetual for the individual, sometimes you get together. You must use that sadhana for real, to get to this point of fundamental understanding.

So initially you deal with all of the “this” and “that’s” in your life, and you confess them and you discipline them, and so forth. It’s very complex. Then you start zeroing in on particular things, you know, emotional-sexual this, whatever, bring some more discipline to those, and so on, covering all the bases, all the bits, and pieces of your life, applying all the disciplines I’ve Given you, the same purpose as the “reality consideration”. And you just become more and more sensitive to something about all of that that’s *got a root or that’s the same. It’s some basic thing. The matter of understanding the self-contraction becomes deepened, less of a superficial consideration. It becomes a deeper consideration. You begin to get a feeling for this something that you’re always doing. You get closer and closer to feeling it rather than feeling its effects merely.

Then, mysteriously, it can’t be pointed out in terms of a particular chapter in a particular educational course or something, it’s not a particular moment that can be foretold exactly, or predetermined, even. But somehow, in all of that listening and observation, discipline, you suddenly understand it. You understand it because you’re in the position of it, not just peripheral to it, examining it, kind of like a symptom. You somehow, you suddenly feel the thing, the position itself, and realize that this is what you’re doing, this contraction, and it’s universal to your life. It affects everything. All you’ve been looking at is all the symptoms of it. There’s just this one thing. It’s there directly in your view, can never be lost again.

But with that knowledge, because you’re standing in that place, you get the knowledge, the capability, to directly feel beyond it into Communion with Me, not through relaxing this and that or working on this and that but in place. That’s where you have the capability, as well as the knot. And that’s when sadhana is made profound, you see. When you have that hearing capability, you can enter into this Samadhi of Communion with Me directly, constantly.

Of course, that’s, then, the primal readiness for seeing Me. And in must be true. Or all you get is Spiritual effects. And you won’t see Me.


AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: If you truly locate the self-contraction in this Yoga of devotion to Me, you simultaneously locate Me and discover the immediate means always available to you for going beyond that ego-knot. In the hearing practice, there’s basically a single gesture, whatever its accompaniments. It’s a matter of standing in the position of that act, that self-contraction, that knot, not just experiencing it from some point of view outside it, and directly feeling beyond it. So that becomes the basis of practice once hearing is the case. It’s a very direct gesture. It may be accompanied by Nama Japa or self-Enquiry, whatever, and “conductivity” practice, your whole life of practice, but still fundamentally it’s this one gesture every moment. It’s not working on the self-contraction from outside. It’s standing in its position.

And you have the knowledge, in that position, of Radiance. You can always make this gesture. You always know what the problem is. It’s this knot, that you’re doing. And you always can feel beyond it in Communion with Me.

There’s certain knowledge in it. This covers everything. This covers the whole case. This was the seeker. This is the basis for the seeking, the constant disturbance. It’s the key to all of it. Therefore, it’s the key to all the separate parts of your egoic life, patterns you’ve developed. And they can likewise be addressed from this hearing point of view. Must be.

So that’s hearing, that realized capability, and always true, always available. And then you never leave that knot position, except through Communion with Me. You should always be aware of that knot, that act, that contraction that you are doing. And that will be your principal experience until you do this act of opening the hand, so to speak, enter into this Communion with Me and not drop back. It becomes more and more profound, more and more constant. So instead of noticing the self-contraction, feeling beyond it, or however it works in your own case, you see, instead of those kinds of routines, it becomes the *constant of Communion with Me, Samadhi, just beyond the self-knot.

So that’s how hearing matures. It becomes essentially constant Communion with Me. A taste of that is so full you don’t want to drop back. And you find out how to enter into that Communion under all circumstances.

Relative to the hearing matter, you don’t even get to have the interview, though, unless you first prove you’re bona fide, all the forms of practice intact, and a history of doing so, and true Ruchira Avatara Bhakti Yoga as a constantly perpetuated exercise or act. If you can’t prove that all of that is intact, then there should be no hearing interview further, unless maybe to discuss what hearing is all about and so forth. But your own confession of it can’t be taken seriously without that basis to justify such a conversation.

And if that was all the case, then, you don’t have to talk about that anymore. Then the real conversation can take place relative to this fundamental matter. And it takes place by having My Word in front of you, you and whoever you’re discussing it with, applying your own presumption about hearing to My Instruction about it, and see if it’s proven in you.

And it if doesn’t get proven in you, then the interview can maybe serve you anyway, by showing you something more about why, something further to deal with and so on, or some misunderstanding that enables you to get further on with *it is revealed, like Devotee telling Me about the self-contraction as if it were an object or a sensation, something he was apart from, and My talking about how that is not the kind of communication that is associated with hearing. Well, grasping that point, can be useful.

Hearing is in the position of the self-contraction. It’s the knowledge that you’re doing it. It’s the knowledge of what you’re doing, so you can readily relinquish it if you’re viewing it from some other position, or looking at it merely in the context of some particular kind of reaction or circumstance.

…the self-contraction, the act that defines the notion of separate self. Its not done by a separate self. It’s the very act that generates the notion, that is the notion itself. It’s entirely, so to speak, your doing-when you are that knot, or possessed as such. Its to be understood in Communion with Me and felt beyond, voluntarily, intentionally, in every moment, once this most profound discovery is awakened in you.

“self” Contraction in the Aletheon

A Beezone Study


AVATARA ADI DA: The profound transitions in practice are about being inside, or at the Source-Position. The exercise of hearing, then, is to be sensitive to it as contraction itself, to be in the position of the pain, not outside it or avoiding it but actually in that position. It is not comfortable at all, not likable. It has all kinds of artifacts-physical, emotional, mental, and so forth, even in the breath. So the self-contraction itself is fundamental pain altogether, disturbance altogether, and ordinary life is motivated by it, because it is so profound, and it is detached from the fundamental Reality, the Divine Reality. It is lost in maya, in appearances, presumptions, even imagining that you are seeing the room, whereas in fact you’re just seeing one little view.

So it’s confusing. You’re not seeing Reality, then. You’re seeing an appearance associated with your own egoity. You cant be in another position. You cant be in the position of the totality of the room. What position are you in? Some self-enclosure of thoughts and perceptions.

So it’s very uncomfortable to make this discovery of egoity. But as I said to you earlier, it’s not truly profoundly discovered except in the condition of Grace, of Communion with Me, and reception of My Teaching, and then, it’s in that total context that the ego is located also. That’s hearing, the true discovery of the self-knot, coincident with this whole process of Communion with Me, full of the Wisdom of Instruction that you apply.

There’s No Escape, There’s Only Realization


THE “BRIGHTENING” WAY TALK SERIES – On the self-contraction

The pain of the stressful “knot” is suffered, and the self becomes active in a variety of relationships and experiences in an attempt to relieve the stress. The self does not in that process, however, release the fault. It is looking to compensate for it, to console itself by associations, as if the solution were elsewhere, whereas, in fact, the problem is with the self itself, which must relinquish its activity of self-contractiod. You cannot do this from a position outside the self, a peripheral position. You must release the knot from the position of the knot. You cannot merely sense a pain in your stomach, relate mentally to the knot and the general sense of yourself, and release the knot. You must stand in the very position in which the knot is being generated, before it is expressed as a knot in the solar plexus or any other place of disturbance in the body-mind. The ability to stand in the position in which the self-contraction is generated is served in the initial phase of the listening process. Detailed self-observation, to the point of fundamental insight, is the process whereby you come to stand in the position of the self contraction, the original place where the pain that is motivating the search is generated.

Observe Yourself in Toto

“…if you really feel that knot, you don’t want to feel it. But it is the ground of your ordinary life. You try to distract yourself from it constantly, through seeking and self-indulgence and whatnot. But if you really find out about yourself, find this knot, find what your real experience is, then you won’t want to put up with that. It will oblige you to do sadhana, to feel constantly more and more beyond it”

There’s No Escape, There’s Only Realization

SRI DA AVABHASA: The mind is interesting the whole body is interesting, but the mind is interesting, especially in “solid” types, who are always thinking, always under the stress of thinking, trying to explain, trying to come to some understanding, some insight, some explanation, something they can communicate. This mind business is interesting stuff, because the mind presumes it is capable of something that it is not in the slightest capable of. The mind presumes it is capable of everything, because it can embrace, communicate, believe in, associate with, a symbol for anything and everything.

There is only one thing of direct experience in the mind. It is the self-contraction, the ego-“I”, the sense of separateness. Everything else the mind does is either a conversation with itself or a symbolic representation of something that is beyond itself.

There is no thing in the mind apple, God. There is no “apple” achieved by the mind, nor God. You can think about God, say “God”, say things philosophically about the Divine, about Realization and so forth. It is never Realization. It is never God. You can say “apple, apple, apple, apple”. It is never an apple! You can say “apple” and think “apple”, but it is never an actual apple. You can say “God” and think “God”, but it is never actually God.

The mind is filled with representations, and not one of them is what it represents. What it represents is always beyond the mind. The mind is always chattering through representations. Everything it represents is outside itself or beyond itself. And otherwise all the mind is, is the chattering of the ego-“I”. The separate “I”-notion is the only direct experience of the mind, perpetually. This is the only thing the mind experiences this one experience of separateness, separate ego-“I”. Every symbol, every conversation inwardly or outwardly expressed, is just the babble of that separate feeling, through representations seeming to associate with things that are utterly beyond itself.

The mind is self-contraction, a rehearsal of self-contraction, a ceremony, a ritual, of self-contraction. The only experience of the mind is the sense of separate self. Every word in the mind represents something that is entirely outside itself and cannot be achieved unless the mind relaxes and the thing itself is entered into.

There are only two things the mind does apart from this constant of the self-contraction: the awareness of separateness and the representation of what is outside itself, chanting to itself like Narcissus whispering to himself while hanging over the pond, [Sri Gurudev whispers] “Oh, my beloved, you are so beautiful. I think about you all the time. I look at you constantly. I cannot look at anything else. I cannot think of anything else. You are mine, my beloved.” And it is only him! It is either chatting to itself or making up words or images to represent something outside itself. The only experience of the mind is itself, its sense of separateness.

DEVOTEE: It is true, my Lord. It usually comes in the form of an insight, and I will really be attached to that insight or feeling that I did something that really . . .

SRI DA AVABHASA: It is the mind experiencing yourself. The mind is stress, stress manifested at the level of what we call “mind” or “cognition”. The same experience is generated emotionally as all your reactions, to this, that, and the other thing, to which the sense of separateness is fundamental all the while. And as bodily conception, bodily sensation, it is always self-placed.

The sense of separation is always generated, experienced. It is the only experience. Everything physical, emotional, and mental is one experience separateness, ego-“I”, “I”, “I”, “I”. There are mental representations of what is outside the mind. There are emotional representations of what is outside feeling. And there are physical sensations of what is outside the body. Yet it is one experience, constantly perpetuated, of separateness. If you are “vital”, it is physically based. If you are “peculiar”, it is emotionally based. If you are “solid”, it is mentally based. Whether “vital”, “peculiar”, or “solid”, everyone has this one experience self-contraction, the sense of separateness perpetually re-enacted, constantly rehearsed, dramatized, all the time dealing with representations only, the figments of its own contraction. You must find yourself out. This is so.

Each one of you is most characteristically “vital”, “peculiar”, or “solid”. Some are very, very classically one or the other. In others, the distinctions are a little bit muddy, but generally one of the three strategies is more dominant than the other. In any case, there is only one experience, whether it is classic or complicated: the separate “I” sense, the sense of separateness manifesting illusions, representations, conversations with itself. It is madness, absolute madness, utterly without God. It is Narcissus at the pond, looking at himself and not knowing that it is him.

When you come to this understanding, by Grace, with all Help Given to you, your intelligence exercised, then you can break the spell, you can move up from the pond. It is just your reflection, you see. You open up and feel beyond, without the self-contracted forms of mind, emotion, and body. All that is felt beyond. The immense mystery of WhatIs cannot be comprehended because you do not know what even a single thing is.

Just to be so open to self-transcendence is to be continuous with Me, continuous with the Divine Self-Condition. It is not to know what anything is merely, especially from the beginning there is nothing absolute about anything that is arising but it is rather to be continuous with it, to be open to it and therefore able to be expanded, able to be experiencing the Revelation of What Is. More and more by stages, by growth, the Revelation becomes most profound.

To begin with, what must become true is your continuity with What Is, not your command over It but your continuity with It by transcendence of this contraction.

Therefore, whether you are “solid” and mentally possessed, or “peculiar” and emotionally possessed, or “vital” and physically possessed, all you are doing is meditating on the separate self-sense and “oinking” out representations, conversations with yourself. And all the while everything that is, is outside of it. That is why it is self-contraction. The apple is something else, not what is in your mind. Even if the apple is in your belly, how close can you get to it, you being who you are?

The Beatitude of Perfect Surrender to Me – Heart Conversion Talk Series – 1993


Religious Realism – Heart Conversion Talk Series – 1993

Understanding the self-contraction
Understanding the Self Contraction and the The Persuit of Union

The self-contraction is your activity. It is the “I” itself. It is not some sensation that is a result of that action. All the results can be observed, but the unique sensation that is the self-contraction itself is the “I”. It is the very gesture of separation”
Religious Realism – Heart Conversion Talk Series – 1993


“You have to keep examining yourself until you locate your own activity, of which all of that is a result. That is the process of listening that becomes true hearing. You must go on from the periphery, the outer results of your seeking, to locate your own action. You may progress by degrees, if you like, by steps, but you must get to the very core that is your separate and separative self, in action as the self-contraction. That is the process of listening and hearing. You must keep going one step behind whatever you are describing. You must get closer to the core action, the root-action.”
Religious Realism – Heart Conversion Talk Series – 1993

DEVOTEE: Sri Gurudev, I am confused about the root of the self-contraction that You are pointing to.

SRI DA AVABHASA: The root is the self-contraction.

DEVOTEE: Are You talking about the fundamental root of the conditional self as it is located in the right side of the heart in the sixth stage of life or are You talking about the characteristic way that we dramatize the ego in the first three stages of life?

SRI DA AVABHASA: I am describing the self-contraction as it may appear in any context or stage of life. It is still the same contraction.

DEVOTEE: Is it the same for each person or is it unique for that particular individual?

SRI DA AVABHASA: The manifestation of the self-contraction and its results are unique to each individual, but the fundamental action is the same. The ego-“I” is the same gesture in all cases. The center associated with the heart on the right is just the ultimate domain of this activity, which is uncovered in the ultimate stages of the Way of the Heart. The act is the same. The act is there in any moment or stage of life. And you are the one responsible for it. It is you. It is your very conditional existence.

DEVOTEE: Beloved Lord, self-contraction, if I understand it correctly, is the activity that we are presently doing at all times. It is a constant activity until it is Most Perfectly transcended in the seventh stage of life. Am I correct in saying that the practice, at our level of practice, which is in the first three stages of life, is about . . .

SRI DA AVABHASA: And the beginnings of the fourth.

DEVOTEE: . . . is about everything we have accumulated as egos in these first three stages and the beginning of the fourth?

SRI DA AVABHASA: Those are the results.

DEVOTEE: Those are the results, yes. So this is the work that must be done. Transcending the self-contraction . . .

SRI DA AVABHASA: You understand and transcend the self-contraction by entering into a “consideration” of your sphere of experience. In your case, at the moment, that is experience in the context of the first three stages of life and the beginnings of the fourth. When you are examining yourself, observing yourself in the context of practice, this is the sphere of experience that you are observing. At your present level of practice, you are not inspecting the kinds of experiences that are associated with the further advancement of the fourth stage of life or the fifth or the sixth or the seventh stage of life. That is not your sphere of experience, although here and there there can be some unusual experience. Fundamentally, you are dealing with the beginnings of the fourth stage of life and all of the first three stages of life. That is the sphere of your observation. The contraction is the same, in any case. It is the same self-contraction that is present in the fifth stage of life, or the sixth. It is the same act.

The ego has no features other than that very act. It has an apparent personality, it has all of its experiences, it has all of its associations. All of this characterizes the stage of life of the individual or the complex of stages of life in that apparent individual. But the ego itself is the primary act at the root of all the stages of life, the self-contraction itself. It is not a person. It is an action that suggests a person, an independent or conditionally manifested person, as a result.

DEVOTEE: Our experience at each stage of life integrates with the self-contraction to confirm the sense of separative self. So as we grow, we have additional experiences that the ego accumulates . . .

SRI DA AVABHASA: You can be a bigger ego as you advance in the ordinary evolutionary course—bigger in the sense that there is an enlarged sphere of the experiencing of the self-contraction as a conditionally manifested being.
Religious Realism – Heart Conversion Talk Series – 1993


Sadhana is tapas. It is a profound ordeal. At the same time, it is full of absorptive Communion with Me and all the things associated with right life.

You must constantly be dealing directly with this self-contraction. And if you are in touch with it, then you don’t like it. You want only this Communion with Me. You dont want this self-contraction, but you’re having to feel it every moment. And its your doing, you see. It’s kind of in a spasm. You’ve got to do the sadhana to relax it and be full of Me, so that My “Brightness” Radiates through it and releases it quickly.

So if you have heard Me, you don’t want to spend a lot of time getting beyond that knot, because its not comfortable at all. You become profoundly sensitized to it if you’ve heard Me, and likewise profoundly sensitized to Me. That’s why seeing is next.

But the knot is there, and it’s unavoidable, and you don’t like it. It is pain. It is fear. This is what makes a renunciate out of people, the discovery of Me and the self-contraction at the same time. In full hearing and seeing, that’s what makes people renunciates, because it is pain. Its extraordinary pain, at the same time extraordinary bliss but the pain is where you sit, and you are moved to feel out of it, and be relieved of that enclosure, that divorce from the Divine, that sinfulness. You dislike it so much, you dislike that knot so much, that you become utterly concentrated in going beyond it. It’s not that you have to just sit in a room all the time, but you’re just all the time feeling beyond it, practicing the exercise of going beyond self-contraction into the state of Radiance, Love-Bliss, Energy, Light. And you would not be distracted from It, because you do not want to be simply sitting in that pain of self-contraction.

This is basically what Rudi was referring to, not really knowing altogether what He was talking about. He just wanted to deal with this incredible stress, frontal stress. But it’s the ego-knot. You cant bust it from outside. You cant relax the body that much. You have to deal with the root of egoity itself-its in the conscious domain-and in Communion with Me move beyond it. You can’t just work on the body-mind. You have to find out the ego-act, and exercise the flower constantly, every moment.

But it is a pain, and it’s associated with lots of adaptations that keep producing results somehow. So you’re always going to have to feel beyond egoity itself, but also all of its results. So that makes it an ordeal of pain, of tapas, which you endure because you’re also in Communion with Me and have My Wisdom. But it’s still pain. Hm? But you become intelligent with it. You know what you’re doing and can make this exercise of going beyond the contraction, the self-contraction.

In the process, there are things to be endured and felt beyond, and that’s a purifying process. But you would not-if you really truly have heard Me and are sensitive altogether-you would not have that take a long time.

There’s No Escape, There’s Only Realization

 further reading:

The Primary Sensation

The Self Contraction from Adi Da’s talks 2004-2007