Death, Fear, Reincarnation
The Possibility of Enlightenment
Bubba Free John (Adi Da Samraj), 1975
Questioner describes being on a roof top and looking down and experiencing fear. He then asks Bubba a question about feeling the fear of death.
Adi Da Samrajj (Bubba Free John): Say something about death and fear? (Audience laughter) Which comes first?
Adi Da Samrajj (Bubba Free John): Are you sure?
Adi Da Samrajj (Bubba Free John): Are you sure? Maybe you didn’t have any fear until your first death. Every one of you will survive your death. That’s got nothing to do with it. You already survived many deaths but you don’t know anything about it and you’re still in the same condition you have been in for, you can’t even describe it in terms of time.
How much have you learned in this life? You have adapted to a lot of circumstances, learned some facts and some active abilities, ways of using yourself. How much have you truly learned that makes a difference that makes this circumstance unnecessary. Most of what you do simply reinforces this circumstance.
Adi Da Samraj, 1975, 1978
Death, Fear, and Reincarnation
It’s a play upon it because you never realize a higher position. You are always realizing the same position; indulging yourself, being consoled, playing it, never becoming the master of it and so this life is followed by another life and that is absolutely so. Everyone survives. When you get over the elation of really knowing that, then you begin to see really what it’s all about because there’s nothing consoling about survival at all, merely survival.
It always seems consoling to you when you view it over against the pleasure, the attachment that you have to things in life. But what if you are perpetually reincarnated a mosquito (audience laughter) with a three hour life span. You couldn’t be so damned interested in coming back could you and some of you may require such a lesson. And if you really became sensitive to what your life amounts to you would see that you are something like a perpetually reincarnated mosquito.
Last evening I watched a film that was made in the fifties probably with James Stewart playing Lindbergh, Charles Lindbergh. The movie was just about that period in his life, I think 1927, in which he flew across the Atlantic to Paris. Well that was an interesting ordeal in itself. That’s what made an interesting movie out of it. We all enjoyed watching it and so on.
But I know something else about the man’s life, the future. His child was kidnapped and murdered. He suffered all kinds of public abuse and shame, harassment, defamation, had to survive all of that, and eventually died. That’s his whole life and I just capsulized it. You know when you watch him flying across the Atlantic, lucky Lindy. It’s human fulfillment somehow, minimal suffering.
Big applause at the airport. Now you’re famous. You’re all functioning as if that’s the goal of your efforts that that fulfills existence and you can just sort of be famous or happy or sexy, whatever your personal motives may be whereby you try to fulfill yourself, and that that goes on forever.
You see, part of this whole immortal philosophy that you are involved in suggests you are going to live for a long time. Maybe you’re going to die, but you’ve going to live for a long time and by the time you get to be really old, everything you like now will be so weird and ugly looking you won’t care about it anymore.
Your husbands and wives, they’ll be sick and maybe dead or ugly and what not. You won’t be holding onto it so hard. You just carry on with your plan and eventually you’ll get to the point that even though you may die you’ll be like an overripe fruit and you won’t be concerned about it. It won’t bother you. And then maybe you’ll just go to sleep or something.
No way. All the things that you are cherishing now, embracing now, serving now, clinging to now, can be ripped off in an instant, will be, not just can be, inevitably will be and it can happen a lot before the time when you think you may be prepared for it.
You know, in our religious language we talk about what could happen to you after death. You can go to heaven. You can go to purgatory and get cleaned up or you can go to hell. (Laughter from audience.) And then perhaps having gone to purgatory or a temporary hell you will be lucky enough to be born as a human being and devote yourself to the spiritual process. Put that another way. You could say that birth is a hell. This is one of the hells. This is a domain of unhappiness. What else is hell?
A place of self-obsession, bewildered, without release, this is a tormented place, not tormented by constant fires and people gnawing on your skull (laughter from audience). All these things happen. But the nature of this hell is that we are self-possessed.We are born in unhappiness and we do not transcend this unhappiness readily and we constantly pursue happiness by all kinds of incredibly complex means and never attain it.
And in the entire history of this mortal gathering there have been occasional individuals who have actually realized the nature of existence, the condition, the reality, the divine nature and domain not simply as a form of belief, fully, bodily, utterly, transcendentally. They become a mechanism in nature that serves the possibility of awakening on the part of others.
If those who had fulfilled the way did not turn about and teach this would be truly a hell instead of being a biker hell (laughter). It would be truly a hell if there were no possibility of enlightenment, if there were no teaching, no dharma, no adepts, no sacred way, no sacred community, no capacity for understanding self-transcendence.