Unfinished Business – On Love – Handling Business

Unfinished Business

Originally published as “On Love”

Excerpts from recent talks by Heart-Master Da (Adi Da Samraj)

Originally published in Crazy Wisdom magazine, Vol 6, No 6, Nov/Dec 1987.

You must handle business, or you will not move beyond the first three stages of life,
you simply will not. You cannot and will not. But you must.


HEART-MASTER DA: So many human beings, even far into their adult life, have so much unaccomplished business that belongs to earlier strata of life, unfinished business, much of which cannot any longer be handled face to face with individuals. How can you handle it, then? By Truth itself. Through self-understanding you will transcend it.

You must release the dead and release the past. You must do so as you get older, you must do so in your youth, and when you are a parent associated with children, you must understand your responsibility and help them to overcome these ghosts. There are even ghosts while the past is still alive. They exist in memory, in reaction, in the form of etheric forces in mind and feeling, even in the body.


“Until you have handled business with one another,
you have something to talk about.”


You must accomplish the purification in one another, through your love commitment, hold on to one another, stand firm, and release one another. When we have done the business, then let us go on. When we can happily turn away from one another and go on to another, or to others, that is good. Then let one another go. But until you have handled business with one another, you have something to talk about.

You must handle all business. I have known this all my life. I have always worked to handle business with everyone. In fact I have always worked to help other people handle business with one another. I have always handled business with my mother and father, but also worked to help them handle business with one another, however much they could. I have handled business. I insist upon handling business, and always have. You should do likewise. You must handle business. The residual effects must stop affecting you. You must notice what is affecting you. In one fashion or another, through the instrumentality of Truth itself, you must handle business. Even at a later date. You must. You cannot continue to grow, you cannot move on until you handle this business. Until there is nothing left over, nothing unforgiven, nothing unspoken, nothing unthought. You must be physically, emotionally, and mentally purified of memory, of insult, of moments of pain and separation. You must be. You can make great leaps in that process, because Truth is a great force, but nonetheless you must endure it.

Notice everything, be insulted, notice every insult, be sensitive to everything. This has always been my policy. I suffer everything. I relieve myself of nothing. This body will not die with unfinished business, absolutely none, for its sake – and I am not even it. For your sake, for the sake of the peace of Truth, for the sake of the inheritance you must receive whole, I will not allow this body to die with any unfinished business. Therefore, I deal with it every day, every moment, am sensitive to every gesture, too sensitive perhaps. But it is not too much, considered from the point of view of Wisdom. One must be sensitive, and do the work.

You kill yourself with it – but you must die from something, so die from the work, die from sadhana, die from Truth, die from nothing less than the Truth. Invest yourself in the Truth absolutely. Handle all business. Exhaust yourself in the process. It is better than nothing. It is better than failure, and it is at least on the way to Realization.

The more business you accomplish, the closer you are to Realization. What is Realization anyway but That which is Inherently, and therefore That which is Realized when all business is handled? When there is no more business, then you Stand Free. Until all business is handled, you have business to do. There is no getting around it, no matter how much you idealize it. Therefore, be sensitive, and get down to it every day.

Be mad with it, as I am. You see my Sign every day, my Demonstration, handling business every moment, every day, as if there were no more days. Like what I did today, going through all these manuscripts as I did today. I will not tolerate another day of looking forward to working manuscript. I want to eat it today. If you give me some more tomorrow, I want to eat it then. I want to accomplish this, finish my Work with you all, make my statement, and be silent. And I will not be free to be silent until I have finished that business. So I engage myself in that work, energetically, no withholding.


“Fulfill the Law by handling all business”


Well, you have your work to do also. And do it likewise. Set yourself a date. Accomplish it within the month, within the year, within whatever time-frame you must set for yourself. Handle all business, and set yourself free, by the power of Truth itself. And leave nothing left over. This is not only how you serve your own Realization, this is how you serve all beings. Fulfill the Law by handling all business. This is Love. To suffer reality is Love. And to handle business you cannot indulge yourself. You simply cannot.

The first law of business is to transcend yourself, to notice and renounce your own demands. You must be directed in the direction of whatever is imposing itself upon you. It is not you anyway, so do not make subjective content out of it. It is another, others, the world, the past, memory, limits. It is not in you. It is your associations. Be purified of them, through great commitment, based on your understanding, based on the realization of Truth at your stage of life.

Then do it. I mean it. Look at your own life, you here and you elsewhere who may listen to this talk. Investigate your life and all the unfinished business of your own life. If you were on your deathbed, you would think seriously about doing so. And then you do not have very much time necessarily. You must handle it while you live. Do not just wait till you are on your deathbed to tell your friend you love him or her. Invest yourself in the business of love, now, presently. Purify yourself with Truth, purify others. Relieve all beings of this imposition of the insult of Nature and unhappiness and bad deeds. Be relieved and relieve all by the force of Truth. That is sadhana. Nothing else is, by the way, nothing else. That is it. That is what I call assuming the disciplines. Taking on disciplines is a tool of self-observation. But another way of saying it is that you handle business and purify yourself and others with truth. And by the power of Truth you grow. Without its exercise you do not grow. You must remain in conversation with your Teacher, with the Way of the Heart, with the Great Tradition.

This is another level to your discipline, isn’t it? Make Ashram with me, those of you who are living here with me, or make community with me worldwide. You must handle your personal business, the business in your past, the business in your friendships, the business in your blood relations, the business in your intimate relations, the business in your friendly relations, your business with the world. This is sadhana. The concreteness of your obligation, founded on Truth, makes it sadhana. Until you get involved in that business, you just sit around with a silly grin, trying to be religious, looking to be consoled. You must do sadhana. You must handle business. You are suffering many concrete things in life, and others are suffering. By the power of Truth erase what you and they are suffering. That is the Way of the Heart, and nothing else, nothing less, at all. Every fraction of it.

Operating on a lesser level or a superior level, all of it somehow or other must be transcended, for yourself and all others who suffer with you. This is especially the business in the beginning, not at death merely, but in the beginning of the Way. You cannot be a true renunciate, a true and free renunciate, until you handle the business of life. You cannot move on to the fourth stage of life until you handle the business of ordinary life. Don’t you know? You all were trying to be devotees, and you had not handled the first fraction of your business in life. You thought you could renounce the business of life to become a renunciate. No. You become a renunciate by dealing with the business of life.

Handle it. Do it swiftly. That is the point of view of sadhana. Directly, swiftly, immediately. Build no time at all into the process. Build no time at all into the process of ultimate Realization in your case, no time at all.

This is the thing about human beings, you see. By tendency egoically modeled, perhaps the principal characteristic of human beings is that they are bound to time. You conceive of yourself as an entity or a consciousness in time. That is one of the reasons why you are so afraid of death. Death is an intrusion in time. If you did not think of time at all, like a gardenia, what difference would death make, since there is a great unity anyway? But you all fear death so profoundly because you measure existence by time. Your consciousness is time-bound. You have so much past that you did not deal with, so much in the present that you are insensitive to, so much in the future that you do not even know how to think about it. It is all time, the essence of “maya”, the essence of bewilderment. Unfinished business is the message of humanity calling itself to humanity. To be truly human is to transcend time.

To be human is to love, forgive, concretely to handle all business, to purify, to set oneself and others free, to generate a circumstance for continued existence that is not time-bound such that you have time to invest yourself in timeless activities -meditation, for instance, Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga. You are not free enough of time to indulge yourself in such pastimes. That is why you are not yet moved into the advanced and the ultimate stages, because you are still conceiving yourself to be a consciousness in time. Therefore, you have much unfinished business, you are insensitive to the present, and you do not know what to say about the future.

Unfinished business is the sign, the modeling force, of that consciousness in time. To Realize the Truth and make it effective in your life, you necessarily, inevitably, inherently, transcend time. This is why some say “I am not the body, I am not the mind”. You are not the body and you are not the mind when you transcend time. But now you are all about time, full of unfinished business, full of thoughts, full of reactivity, self-possessed, wondering, trying to find a loophole in the universe, some reason to feel good, without dealing with reality.

So you must grasp the Truth, Realize true Gnosis, even though it is Divine Ignorance Ultimately. Be moved by it, practice it, handle your business, and go on. And you will not go on to the devotee stages until you do handle business, the business of the past, the business of your manufactured mind, the business of your conventional and blood relations and friendships, and all your ordinariness. All the business there must be handled, or you cannot be a renunciate, even in the Way of the Heart, which is not a monastic discipline, but a time-transcending discipline. The Way of the Heart is not a convention. It is the process of devotion to the Truth. And you cannot be devoted to the Truth until you have handled the business that is less than Truth.

And how do you handle that business? By Realizing the Truth and being committed to it. Then you do your time, the hard school of practice. You do the necessary time to purify yourself of time, and basically you do it at the beginning, before you become a devotee.


“You must handle business, or you will not move beyond the first three stages of life, you simply will not. You cannot and will not. But you must.”


This is my word to you, ladies and gentlemen before you become a devotee. Am I right or not? Does anyone disagree? Is there any argument I should consider? Yes, Kerwin?

DEVOTEE: Love-Ananda, I’m touched by what You said. I can remember what You said in The Paradox of Instruction, that unless we are completely in touch with fear, sorrow, and anger, we cannot love.

DEVOTEE: You said Love is greater than fear, sorrow, and anger.

HEART-MASTER DA: Realize it, and do it. And do not grandpa my Truth. Do not remember anything. Do not quote me at any time, in principle at any rate. You may do it in some conversation or other, but fundamentally do not be quoting me. Receive my Gift and do your work, accomplish the sadhana, equip yourself to grow.

You are stuck in the first three stages of life. This whole Communion, worldwide, is stuck there, even after all these years. Why? Because you have not received my Gift, the Gift of Truth itself, and you refuse to handle business on the basis of that reception. You are spinning your wheels, biding your time, suffering intrusions, reacting to life.

What difference does it make when I said it, or if I said it? Hear me, understand at least, even previous to hearing. Grasp the principle, observe the laws, and do the work. Do the work! You must do the work. You must purify yourself of time. You must handle the business of life, everything that belongs to the bodily domain of ordinariness. You must handle the business there by receiving the Truth. By virtue of the force of Truth, you must handle business, or you will not move beyond the first three stages of life, you simply will not. You cannot and will not. But you must.

You have very real things to do then, very real. Very human, very ordinary even. You must do these things. There are conversations you must have. There are things you must say and things that must be said to you. Energies must be released, feelings must be exposed, thoughts must be expressed, bodily signs must be given. New society must be generated. The whole Communion and its culture must be changed by that exercise. Do not tell me I am free to give you my Native Sign until you do that and give me your sign. Show me by your sign that I am free to give you mine, just As It Is, without Instruction, without Teaching further, without addressing you on this point further.

That is how I will know that my Teaching Work is over, when I see the sign in you that you have received it and you have handled business personally, in the domain of our culture and your mutuality, in the domain of our Communion, your representation, internally and publicly. When I see those signs, and when the Treasures are protected obviously, then I am free, without any Work to do with the literature or anything else. Then I am free merely to exhibit my Sign, simply, knowing that you can use it. Then I have a new Function. Don’t you see?

It is not merely a matter of conversation. It is a matter of your demonstration. I have been saying this to you over and over again. I am not free to move into the next dimension of my Work until you show me your sign, until you handle business in your life. (August 11, 1987)