The Base Propositions – a talk by Heart Master Da – Adi Da Samraj – July 10, 1987

The Base

September/October 1987
The Journal of the Free Daist Communion
Vol 6, No 5




“Whatever your point of view, it
always seems ultimate to you. People tend to glorify their
point of view, to try to make it appear to themselves and
others that it is the ultimate point of view, because the
ego thinks it is absolute. People are trying to survive
through enforcing their own existence and ultimately
glorifying it. I have asked you to bring the “point of view”
of the
stage of life
to your
study of the
Tradition and The Basket Of
. No matter
what book you are reading, which author you are discussing,
examine the base proposition the individual is assuming and
see how it relates to the stages of life. The author’s basic
assumption will give you a key to everything he or she is
saying. Certain key words or phrases, key propositions, key
ideas, inevitably will fall into place if you understand the
author’s base proposition or point of view. This is one of
the first things you must do when you study any author, any
book, any tradition. A base. proposition is associated with
each stage of life, and certain base propositions extend
through several stages of life.”



Master Da: You are propagandized by the innocence
of your upbringing into making the assumption that
you are the body. You therefore consider any
scientifically based argument about the origin of
the universe in much the same way as people
thousands of years ago. In those old days people
sat around the fire and, on the basis of their
limited experimental knowledge, discoursed about
the stars above them and the presumed heaven above
the stars. They had heard about spirits that
floated up into the sky and disappeared and are
still up there.


The people sitting around the fire
now sit at the roundtables of the departments of science in
universities. They are still discoursing about the stars.
Now they bring out the charts and calculations and talk
about mathematical realities and the Big Bang and other
sophisticated theories of space-time, but the conversation
is just as primitive as the discourses that took place
around the fire thousands of years ago, because precisely
the same point of view is the basis of both

That point of view determines
whether the consideration or not. Human beings have become
much more sophisticated in terms of the data they discuss –
perhaps they are not so naive about the stars, for example –
but they are not any more sophisticated about the base
presumption. What could be more naive than identifying with
the body! What could be less sophisticated? Less intelligent
(laughter). What could be more primitive? Whatever the field
of so-called knowledge, it is still a primitive
The presumption at its base is naive.



Basic Assumptions of
(Nachmias and Nachmias 1996, pp.

1. Nature is orderly,
i.e., regularity, pattern, and structure. Laws of
nature describe order.

2. We can know nature.
Individuals are part of nature. Individuals and
social exhibit order; may be studied same as

3. All phenomena have
natural causes. Scientific explanation of human
behavior opposes religious, spiritualistic, and
magical explanations.

4. Nothing is self
evident. Truth claims must be demonstrated

5. Knowledge is derived
from acquisition of experience. Empirically. Thru
senses directly or indirectly.

6. Knowledge is superior
to ignorance.


Your business is to investigate
that naive presumption
likewise all the designs that relate to you personally, so
called, so that you may generate life in a totally different
form than the primitive propaganda suggests. I am not
talking about politics here. I am talking about the
Way, the Process of Enlightenment
Your business is to inspect the very basis or base
proposition on which you are living. Your business is to
examine the purpose to which you are committing yourself. If
you will inspect all human propaganda, you will discover
that it is based on the single proposition “I am the body”,
not the ultimate or liberating confession we have considered
in the past1 but the naive presumption or
identification with the ego.

1. Heart-Master Da has
considered with practitioners that the body is inherently
relational, and to be the body only, free of subjectivity,
is to relax into the position of love. See “I” Is the Body,
Do You Know What Anything Is?” and The Dawn Horse Testament
for His Argument that “I”-is-the-body_is

As long as the ego is the basis of
conventional human knowledge, how illuminating can any form
of knowledge be? Perhaps knowledge can be measured in terms
of how much it enhances the survivability of an individual,
a group, a race, a species. But all conventional forms of
human knowledge are established on the same base, the same
original and primitive point of view, which is
identification with the apparently material, gross physical
body, and therefore also with the universe in which the
physical body is appearing.

At the same time you are trying to
survive as an individual, you always already exist in the
Great Sense, the Ultimate or Perfect Sense, The Divine
Condition is already the Condition in Which all of this
appears-and who is noticing It? Everybody is busy
propagandizing and being propagandized by the proposition of
physical existence. Who has the time, the energy, the
clarity, the attention, to investigate the base proposition
itself and create a way of life on the basis of

As practitioners of the Way of the
Heart, you presumably do. I am calling you to understand
your obligation as students and practitioners of the Way of
the Heart and to actually make that gesture. Examine the
base propositions, examine your own point of view and the
point of view of individuals who present a form of knowledge
to you. Every moment of your study and every moment of your
living must become the inspection of the proposition that is
the basis of even every word you utter, of every act you
perform, of every examination you make of human speech or
communication. You must grow in your attention to the base
proposition, your ability to inspect it, and your ability to
transcend it and thereby grow into a greater process. True
human evolution requires this inspection. Without it, and
without the transcendence of the primitive base proposition,
human beings cannot evolve beyond the first three stages of

“Human beings
will not evolve further until they examine the base
proposition of egoity”


At best some may move slightly
beyond the first three stages of life through conventional
explorations of the advanced stages, or on the basis of the
conventional, or egoic, errors associated with those stages.
Fundamentally human beings will not evolve further until
the base proposition of egoity itself

and engage in a way of life that effectively transcends that
point of view.

The only evolving that is occurring
presently in the human world is not really evolution. Much
that is present in the human form is not changing, is not
even being used, and cannot be used until a key is found to
unlock the obstruction to evolution. Human beings are
becoming developmentally exaggerated and complex, but they
are not evolving beyond what they have been conventionally
and traditionally for a great long time, Culturally, mankind
is at a point not significantly advanced beyond the
evolution represented by human beings five hundred or a
thousand or twenty-five hundred years ago. Human beings are
still living on the same fundamental proposition, the
“I-am-the-body” (and the universe is “out there”) of
conventional perception. Therefore, human beings associate’
with knowledge and objects on the basis of the primitive
proposition that is the foundation of human culture. In
evolutionary terms, mankind is therefore spinning its wheels
while moving full speed ahead developmentally and creating a
great deal of confusion in the process.

DEVOTEE: Heart-Master Da,
recently You pointed out that man has developed a large
brain that he hardly uses. That in itself indicates that
evolution does not occur simply from the point of view of
bodily existence.

biologists speak about the evolution of the human form. They
suggest that forms develop by adaptation. By examining all
the changes in all the vast varieties of species that now
live and that have lived in the past, especially the changes
that have occurred in organisms at times of crisis, they
argue that such changes occurred through adaptation.
Something happened to the environment or to the organism in
its fundamental situation or content that required a change
by adaptation. Such scientists perceive evolution as a
cause-and-effect process of adaptation to gross

If, in fact, the theory of
adaptation is true, then why is basically every human being
now alive possessed of functions that could be, but are not
presently being, exercised, particularly in the brain and
the molecular structures? How did these as yet unused
functions come to be if human beings evolved by adaptation?
They may be used in the future when something stimulates us
to adapt, but the potential, the structure, is already
there, before the stimulus to adaptation. We could say the
same about the genetic code in all formal living processes.
Changes may have occurred in moments of adaptation, just as
changes may have occurred for reasons completely apart from
the need for adaptation. But does it not seem clear that the
capacity to adapt, even the form in which adaptation may
appear, is already present? It is not merely that our
environment is changing and we adapt to it. We are also part
of the environment. All organisms arise simultaneously with
this great environment. Everything that is occurring
outside, that may be adapted to, already exists inside, not
yet having been used.

Changes may often occur, therefore,
through adaptation, but the capacity to change and the form
in which change appears already exists. How is it possible
that the forms exist already if we have not yet adapted?
What is the superior stroke here? What is the superior
design? What is really happening?

“Nothing is
separate, and, therefore, changes are not caused by the
adaptation of separate entities to the environment. The idea
of adaptation is generated by human beings who make the base
computation, or identify with the body as separate

A greater process is not accounted
for by the bodily point of view. The point of view of the
body creates such propaganda as evolution by adaptation.
Look at insects and plants and how they relate to one
another. Look at their remarkable symbiotic relationships.
We find plants that could not survive if certain organisms,
bacteria, perhaps, or insects, birds, or animals of one kind
or another, did not interact with their flowers. The flowers
on those plants appear in a form to attract the other
organisms. Yet plants do not have eyes or ears. The flowers
apparently cannot perceive the other organisms, and yet they
manifest signs that can be perceived by the other organisms,
and that the flowers themselves have never

Since they cannot hear and see and
apparently do not have spatial perception, how did the
plants decide to manifest flowers of a particular
shape? How do they know what a shape is, since they
do not perceive themselves spatially? How does a plant adapt
if it exists in and of itself, and everything else is its
environment? How do plants create these displays end go
through these changes through adaptation when they do not
have any apparent involvement with anything in their
environment that would create such intelligence?

Really, then, what is a plant? A
plant is an apparent organism, yes, like all the other
organisms that may be associated with it, but none of these
organisms exists as an independent object merely to adapt or
react or respond to what is outside itself. Everything
exists simultaneously in a great whole, a totality that is
manifesting great intelligence in the plant, in the worm, in
the bug, in the bird, in the human being, in your
intestines, everywhere. Nothing is separate, and, therefore,
changes are not caused by the adaptation of separate
entities to the environment. The idea of adaptation is
generated by human beings who make the base computation, or
identify with the body as separate individuals. Humans
superimpose the notion of separateness on everything,
whereas everything exists simultaneously. It is not that
plants are intelligent or that human beings are particularly
intelligent. The totality is intelligent, and everything is
already occurring in it. Everything that could possibly
happen is in your fingernail or in the leaf of the plant,
just as it is in the sun or any place within the cosmic
display. The conditional universe is only a simultaneity and
therefore potential. The totality interacts with itself, not
only locally but also in bigger fields through many
processes, some perceived by human beings and some

The whole affair is a great plastic
in which all of space-time is simultaneous and yet capable
of being read or displayed locally in present space-time
configurations. The whole cannot be comprehended by
appealing to an apparent separate entity or species, plant,
or human being. The plant is not the body. You are not the
body. The plant is not the plant. You are not the human
being. What you are is Transcendental and Divine, inherently
Spiritual, beyond and prior to everything and yet continuous
with it. What you are apparently is not really the body, but
the totality of the field in which the body is appearing.
Every aspect of your appearance, not merely the body,
likewise appears within that totality. Everything is
potential within every portion of the total. The whole
scheme is intelligent and yet mad. The whole scheme is

The conventional propositions of
evolution superimpose on species and forms the base
proposition of human beings, which is identification with
the body; Humans see other forms as. separate entities,
adapting by reaction or response to what goes on around
them. Such naive human philosophy is superimposed on

DEVOTEE: Even from the
conventional point of view, there are infinite possibilities
for adaptation, and the organisms that can make the
conjunctions survive and those who can’t make the
conjunctions don’t survive. This is what Darwin

of the survival of the fittest is not accepted by everyone
these days. The weak often survive as well as the strong,
because entities function not only separately, but also
cooperatively. Everything lives in a field of associations
that compensate for one another, become the complement to
one another. Often strength is a way not to survive. A
fighter in the ring, for example, the guy who has the
strongest heart, will not go down, no matter how many times
he gets smacked in the head. He just keeps standing and gets
hit again and again until finally, perhaps, he suffers brain
damage and is killed. This is an example of how the fittest
or the one with the strongest will does not survive. If the
fighter had gone with the punches, let himself be knocked
out when there was no more advantage to standing, he would
have survived another day,
given up fighting and lived a longer life. There is a great
deal more to surviving than being the strongest. Cooperation
is another way of surviving, just as strong a demonstration
as being individually strong in the face of what is,

DEVOTEE: Heart-Master Da, the
author of this book2 makes an interesting
observation about the phrase “survival of the fittest’. He
says that it refers to organisms that are not necessarily
the strongest, but that “fit” in their environment. Very
primitive or weak organisms, therefore, also have a
of surviving.

2. Earlier in the evening the
devotee presented the book Genesis: The Origins of Man and
the Universe, by John Gribbin, one of the books in The
Basket Of Tolerance that some students had been

is one of the reasons that identification with the body is
such a strong presumption. It is a kind of weakness, but it
“fits”, that is, the survivability of human individuals is
increased by their asserting bodily identification. On the
other hand, people are not surviving as human beings, but
they are surviving as physical organisms in human form.
So-called human culture is rather subhuman, still struggling
to achieve true humanity. The dimension you might call
superhuman, representing the higher evolution of human
beings as a species, is not even being exercised. We could,
therefore, say that it is surviving only by remaining
latent. It is not alive.

We cannot really say something is
surviving when it is not living, not able to be alive, to be
animated, to function. It is just being kept asleep. I
remember seeing full-page advertisements in comic books when
I was a boy for packets of freeze-dried sea monkeys. You
dropped the contents of the packet in water, and the sea
monkeys came to life and swam around. They could be dormant
in freeze-dried form for years, even decades, and they would
still come to life. They were latent, not exactly surviving,
alive, but prevented from dying by being kept in a dry

Your higher capability is not being
utterly destroyed, but because it is not being allowed to
live, it is also not really surviving in the fullest sense.
And why is that? Because of the choice you are making that
seems to fit, that seems to suggest a way to survive. You
identify with the body, do’everything to survive bodily, and
create a vision of the universe that is focused on bodily
and material existence.

But, having made that choice, human
beings are surviving only sub humanly. People will likely
continue to make that choice, serve the base proposition,
and create visions of reality and technologies of survival
until true human beings exhibit some basic survival power,
not just as human individuals but as the human race. And
when humanity gets to that point, then perhaps they will
consider what it takes to evolve. Perhaps humanity will
accept another, equally temporary, base proposition until it
can accept the ultimate proposition, which is Enlightenment

The base proposition of
identification with the body, therefore, is the assumption
that has been the standard for millennia in the common realm
of mankind. It is a gesture of survival, because the human
existence that you, worry will not survive is your bodily
existence. You imagine, perhaps, that without the body it
could be the end of you. You think everything depends on at
least surviving bodily. The base proposition of
identification with the body will therefore likely continue
to be the basis of science, even all forms of knowledge,
even conventional religion, until the effort to survive that
is guaranteed by the base proposition has fulfilled itself,
and mankind on Earth or in space has established the
survivability of human individuals generally and can
maintain it efficiently. Then perhaps many more people will
begin to consider another base proposition, begin to inspect
the one they have been making, transcend it, and make a new
one at least sufficient to guarantee a new level of growth.
Perhaps then human beings can move into the fourth stage of
life and beyond.

You all have presumed mankind’s
conventional base proposition of bodily identification,
which is characteristic of the first three stages of life.
You have proposed to be associated with the Way of the
Heart, but even so you have made the base assumption of
identification with the body and therefore with egoity.
Thus, you have transformed the Wisdom-Teaching, transformed
this Way of life, created an alternative. Instead of
functioning on the basis of true “
and “
or even on the basis of the process of “
you have functioned on the basis of egoity and
identification with the body, not at all liberated, even by
your study of this Way of life. You make a lie, or certainly
something conventional, out of this Way of life. Ultimately
you wind up dissociating yourself from me and from the
opportunity of this Way of life.

All you need do is examine,
understand, and relinquish that base proposition.
Authenticate this Way of life. Authenticate this Communion.
The first thing you can do is become a true student of this
Way, and do not present yourself through the alternative you
have been manufacturing for several years. You can at least
be an authentic student and communicate about the
Wisdom-Teaching and about my Work. That level of
authenticity does not involve the transcendence of the
conventional, egoic point of view, or bodily identification,
or the first three stages of life, but it does involve
relinquishing your tendency to affirm, through the voice of
the Communion, the egoity, or bodily identification, of the
first three stages of life.

Become more humble. Become simply a
student. Let the Wisdom-Teaching speak for itself. Affirm my
Teaching Word. Continue your study, and another level of
authentication will be demonstrated in the Communion when
people begin to truly hear and see. The culture is
authenticated, in other words, by the real process

You have told everyone
that you were participating in just that process, but you
were not, because the foundation was not established. You
were not transcending the point of view of the ego. You had
not truly listened, heard, and seen. Perhaps naively, rather
than with a bad intention, you told everybody that you had,
and thus you falsified the Way. You created an alternative
in the form of your daily life and your associations with
one another, and thus you abused and denied your own
treasures. These gatherings of the last few months have
therefore been a kind of correcting. You are called to
inspect yourself, reexamine the Wisdom-Teaching, find out
what your practice is really all about, authenticate
yourself on the basis of a new understanding, a new
presumption, a new affirmation of this Way, and proceed from
there, having renewed yourself, purified yourself, realigned
yourself. At some point, hopefully, some will appear who do
hear, and then some who do see, and then some who not only
hear and see but who are practicing perfectly, in other
words in the context of the sixth and seventh stages of

You are called to realize what
humanity as a whole must realize to evolve, but you are
doing it on a smaller scale, as a group within the total orb
of mankind.

DEVOTEE: I have noticed from
my study of
Basket Of Tolerance
each author speaks from a limited point of view as if to
convince the reader of something ultimate.

your point of view, it always seems ultimate to you. People
tend to glorify their point of view, to try to make it
appear to themselves and others that it is the ultimate
point of view, because the ego thinks it is absolute. People
are trying to survive through enforcing their own existence
and ultimately glorifying it. I have asked you to bring the
“point of view” of the
stage of life
to your study
of the
Tradition and The Basket Of Tolerance
No matter what book you are reading, which author you are
discussing, examine the base proposition the individual is
assuming and see how it relates to the stages of life. The
author’s basic assumption will give you a key to everything
he or she is saying. Certain key words or phrases, key
propositions, key ideas, inevitably will fall into place if
you understand the author’s base proposition or point of
view. This is one of the first things you must do when you
study any author, any book, any tradition. A base.
proposition is associated with each stage of life, and
certain base propositions extend through several stages of

The base proposition of
identification with the body tends to be characteristic of
the first three stages of life and even the earlier span of
stage of life
. The base
proposition that is called the mind, or perhaps the soul, is
fundamental to the ascended dimension of the fourth stage
and the fifth stage of life. The base proposition of
consciousness exclusive of objects, yet still individual, is
fundamental to the sixth. stage of life. In the seventh
stage of life there is only the base proposition, if you
will, of Realization, and that is Consciousness Itself,
Self-Radiant, Self-Existing, Divine. Everything is merely an
apparent, non-binding modification of That.

Every author, every text, every
tradition expresses through one or the other of these
propositions. There are many secondary propositions, but
these are basic. The base proposition is obviously the first
thing to notice, and it will clarify your understanding of
any tradition or point of view immediately.

The model of the seven stages of
life is not an arbitrary design, you see. Your application
of this design, if you will, of the seven stages of life,
must be based on some awareness of yourself, some study of
your own life, of the Great Tradition, even of life in
general. The design of the stages of life must have
authenticated itself to you in some basic sense. It is not
propaganda. Examine it to see if it is true. Once it
achieves a certain authority for you, then it becomes a tool
of understanding, not necessarily of hearing, but of basic
understanding, and it is useful then in helping you free
yourself from the propagandizing force of someone else’s
enthusiasm, even your own enthusiasm or the enthusiasm of a

There are only a handful of
presumptions. The proposition “I am the body” does not
reflect any greater understanding than simple identification
with the body-mind itself. That point of view belongs to the
first three stages of life and the beginning of the fourth
stage. The proposition “I am the mind” or “I am the psyche”
or “I am the soul” belongs to the advanced dimension of the
stage of life
and to the
fifth stage of life. The proposition “I am not the body, and
I am not the mind, but I am Consciousness exclusive of body
or mind” is the base proposition of the sixth stage of life.
The proposition of the seventh stage is “I am Consciousness
Itself, Self-Existing, Self-Radiant, Divine, and everything
that arises is only an appearance, an apparent modification
of That, and does not bind It Really, then, there are only
four propositions.

If you understand this, you possess
an extraordinary tool for examining yourself, all others,
all traditions, all forms of knowledge. Every individual,
every form of knowledge, every tradition, however complex it
may appear, is fundamentally designed by a base proposition,
a simplicity that governs every expression of that person or
tradition. Your entire life, every one of its details, every
one of its complex functions, is’being governed by the base
proposition you are making, which, at the present time, is
identification with the body. .

At another time, you may identify
with the-psyche, or what might be called the soul or the
mind, and you will express yourself quite differently, even
relative to the same phenomena, the same functions, the same
world, the same universe to which you are now related. When
your base proposition becomes Consciousness exclusive of
body, mind, and universe, then, again, everything will look
different. Maybe you will not even look at anything, but you
will express yourself quite differently, very critically,
relative to everything that is body, everything that is
mind, everything that is soul, everything descending and

The fourth proposition is not even a
proposition but it is the native Condition, Consciousness
Itself, Self-Radiant, inherently Divine, of Which everything
is an apparent modification. Everything seen from that
so-called point of view appears quite different than it
appears from any of the. other base propositions or
conventional, conditional points of view. Apart from
Enlightenment Itself, there are only three propositions. Any
of these three conventional or conditionally-based
propositions will provide you with a philosophy and a view
of existence quite different from the Ultimate Proposition
that is Enlightenment.

Examine yourself. Which one do you
assume? Which one do you propose? Typically people assume
the bodily proposition. Perhaps sometimes you identify with
the radiant “soul” or even exclusive consciousness, and
perhaps at times you feel sympathetic with the Enlightened
point of view. But typically you do not reach far into any
but the bodily proposition. You are, therefore, sympathetic
with all propaganda, all expressions of the base point of
view of bodily or material identification, and you have a
profoundly emotional reason to be sympathetic. Identified
with the body, you are stressfully motivated to survive
bodily, stressfully motivated to perceive existence as a
material unity of resources that will enable you to survive
bodily. Profoundly exercised in that domain and relative to
that proposition, you exclude the other possible points of
view. You prevent yourself from growing.

You cannot reach into these other
dimensions, because you cannot overcome the base proposition
of bodily identification, and therefore you cannot move into
stage of life
. To move into
stage of life
you must hear
and see. You must awaken Spiritually, at the very least. You
must understand yourself relative to the vulgar proposition
of the first three stages of life.

Thus, you cannot move, even
casually, into the fourth stage, even though when you first
enter that stage you still maintain bodily identification in
some sense. To practice in the context of the
stage of life
you must have
become profoundly intelligent, and you must have
Spiritualized even your base proposition of identification
with the body. Look at those who speak from the point of
view of the fourth stage of life, not in its fully ascended
form, but in its basic form, and see the difference in them.
The same base proposition is present in that they identify
with the body, and it is the basis on which they function,
but they seem to understand something about bodily
existence. They perceive the body to exist in a field that
we call the Spirit-Current, or Spirit, or Clod, or Radiance.
There Is a fullness to their view of the universe that
exceeds the dark proposition of matter. You will notice
certain details of their expression that are different from
those of someone who identifies with the body in the context
of the first three stages – of life. You notice a
similarity, but the body is Spiritually illuminated to a
degree. The ego is still the base, but there is growth and
evolution in that apparently individual

Then consider the expression of
individuals involved in the advanced or ascending dimension
of the fourth stage of life or the fifth stage of life. They
are not expressed as the body, although the body exists and
is not discounted, but they identify with the soul, the
higher mind, or the psyche, with the Radiant Energy that
transcends the body and that, at most, illuminates and
animates it ecstatically. Such people are really
concentrating in the subtle world perceived by the psyche,
the movements of the soul. The expression of such
individuals is quite different from that of people in the
early period of the fourth stage, and certainly different
from that of people in the first three stages of life. Not
only is their base proposition different, but also their
language is altogether different. Their vision is different.
Even when they are, talking about matters of ordinary
experience, their expression is different, although they
tend to talk not about ordinary experiences but about subtle

Then if you study the expression of
one who has Realized the sixth stage, you will see another
point of view, different from the view “I am the physical”
or “I am the body-mind”, different from “I am the soul” or
“I am the mind even detached from the body”. Rather, the
individual expresses a detachment from the body and the
mind. There is an identification with something other than
the body and mind, with That which is identified in some
traditions as Consciousness. The point of view is the
observation and transcendence of the body and the mind.
Thus, in its classic form, the realistic Buddhist
orientation, as well as the orientation of Advaita Vedanta,
is the sixth stage point of view. The sixth stage point of
view is not trying to elaborate the physical life. It is
typically rather simplified relative to the physical life.
It is not trying to elaborate the mind or the psyche or the
soul, not trying to have all kinds of subtle experiences and
visions, but is rather detached from those as well. The
sixth stage view is pointing toward a Realization that is
detached from both psychic and physical processes, called
“nirvana” or Transcendental Self-Realization. Whatever it is
called, it is an exclusive realization that is identified
with neither body nor mind.

Just as the sixth stage of life
represents a proposition different from the earlier stages,
the seventh stage represents an entirely different, a
uniquely different, proposition. The Realization is no
longer a dependent Realization. Consciousness is not
separated from phenomena, not identified with the body, the
mind, anything subtle or gross, anything descending, or
anything ascending. The Realization is simply Consciousness
Itself. Consciousness is Realized to be Self-Existing and
Self Radiant, and everything that appears is merely an
apparent modification of That, non-binding, utterly
transparent, -and ultimately Outshined by that very
Realization. This is a different vision or base proposition,
an Ultimate Proposition. There are, therefore, three
conditional propositions, and the fourth, or

Examine the Great Tradition, examine
yourself, examine everything, from. the point of view of
those four propositions.

1. I am the Body (Gross)

2. I am the Spirit

3. I am Consciousness

4. I am Consciousness Itself

HEART-MASTER DA: In the years
of my Teaching Work, I identified with your point of view
and reflected you to yourselves. I engaged you in the
context of all the stages of life and I spoke to you in a
variety of complex ways, in consideration. Ultimately I
speak to you from the seventh stage point of view, but I
also have concretely addressed and commented on all other
points of view. I have given you tools that will help you
understand yourself and the Great Tradition and all aspects
of human experience. The basis of your study is to use those
tools. To study is not merely to read. To study is to read
with discrimination, and to read with discrimination, you
must use tools. If you do not use these tools, you will take
on the point of view of the book you are reading. Read a
Christian book, and you become a Christian. Read a Muslim
book, and you become a Muslim. Read a book on ayurveda or a
book on Buddhism or a book on Bhakti Yoga, and you take on
those points of view. You tend to become whatever you read.
You naturally take on its form. Like the universe, you are a
plastic. You have always been propagandized, so you tend to
persist as a propagandized mind, taking on whatever form
with which you associate. The great Law, then, is to
associate with That which is Ultimate. Take on Its Form. To
do so you must understand yourself. You must become clear.
You must awaken. You must realize the

The ultimate practice, based on
hearing and seeing, is to meditate on the Samadhi of the
Realizer. This is not cultism but a call, first of all, to
engage the basic practice. Without realizing the
preliminaries, you cannot practice the Way of ultimate
simplicity, nor can you make use of the tools that belong to
the ultimate form of the Way.

Examine The Basket Of Tolerance,
which is a kind of epitome of the Great Tradition. Examine
each book, each tradition, each individual, from this
discriminating point of view, and great clarity will awaken
in you. You will have a means for understanding what you are
reading, and you will not become merely enthusiastic about
the point of view of this one or the energy of that

Some people have a way of expressing
themselves so that just by reading their books you may be
captivated for weeks. Because, in general, you tend to exist
as a propagandized mentality, all you have to do is read a
book and you become the point of view about which you have
read. Therefore, I call you to read these books with
discrimination. Use the basic tools of the

First, by your study of the Teaching
Word, come to the point at which its fundamental
propositions are acceptable to you in your intelligence. The
Great Tradition is not the first thing to study. For the
student of this Way, the first thing to study is the
Wisdom-Teaching of this Way. Then, when its basics become
clear and acceptable to you, you can study the Great
Tradition with discrimination.

People who are not yet students in
The Laughing Man Institute may be very much interested in
the Great Tradition, and study of the Great Tradition may,
in fact, be a way for them to identify the uniqueness of the
Wisdom-Teaching of the Way of the Heart. But for the
student, the Way of the Heart is already primary. Having
acknowledged its Sacred authority, you, as a student, can
apply its principles to the Great Tradition, to your own
life, and to everything that appears.

DEVOTEE: We have noticed as
we study these books that in addition to all the differences
You have just discussed, there is a difference between the
Realization to which You call us and the various points of
view we encounter in these books.

DEVOTEE: Heart-Master Da, You
mentioned that in the Buddhist tradition there is a stage
equivalent to hearing. This made me realize I need to study
the Great Tradition much more seriously: Does any other
tradition also realize the equivalent of hearing?

need to make the distinction between the practices of
listening and hearing in the Way of the Heart, and then look
for correspondences in other traditions. Although we might
not find exact equivalents, a kind of listening stage is at
the beginning of many traditions. Individuals study the
basic texts of the tradition, even perhaps memorizing them,
and engage in the most rudimentary practices. Many
traditions begin with a preliminary or novice

DEVOTEE: Is that stage
intended specifically for self-reflection?

HEART-MASTER DA: Certainly to
a degree it is about self-inspection.

DEVOTEE: Do other traditions
describe a process of understanding that is similar to

equation between the processes of listening and hearing in
the Way of the Heart and processes in other traditions
requires a detailed examination of the traditions, which is
something you may want to make, I do not know how useful it
is for us to do that together. Our discussion would include,
many traditions. Certainly there is a listening stage in
many, traditions. In the tradition of Advaita Vedanta, for
instance, at a certain stage one simply listens to the
discourses of a Realizer, or at least to the Teachings of
such a one or the Teachings of the tradition.

Today the listening process is
offered to people who show no special signs of preparation.
They need only be interested. Traditionally, to listen to
instructions that belong to the ultimate stages of practice,
you would prepare yourself through the school of the
tradition. You would not walk in off the street to listen to
the discourses of an Advaitic Realizer. Perhaps you would
practice Hindu forms of worship in the temples, then become
a bhakti. You might practice Yoga. When you showed the signs
of Spiritual maturity, you might come into the company of an
Advaitic Realizer or a Teacher who speaks the word of that

Sacred instruction is offered to
anyone today because the traditions have lost their scope.
The possibility of living within a tradition from birth has
been profoundly diminished all over the world by political
and cultural events over the last few hundred years. Thus,
people off the streets are called to listen to discourses
and to read books about Advaitic Realization, whereas
traditionally one would do so only after passing through the
preliminary stages my the outer temple of lay membership
until one showed remarkable signs.

People today tend to live in the
common mold of modern society, even though authentic
Spiritual traditions exist here and there. Today the
traditions cannot be depended upon to support the “school”
where people develop; so people are often invited to listen
even to discourses about ultimate matters without any
preparation at all. Very often the tradition, then, is
reduced to a “talking school”. Individuals may be associated
with ultimate’ Wisdom, and may even take on meditative
practices, without showing any signs of real

Through all the years of my Teaching
struggle with everyone, I have had to restore a true
culture. To this point, the true culture exists more in
concept than in practice. In practice it exists only as a
rudimentary culture. Basically the cultural expectation of
this Way obliges you to realize prerequisites stage by
stage, and that process has taken us years to

In some sense you could say that the
traditions look alike in the earliest stages. Typically,
certain practical human disciplines, such as study, are
given. Of course, every tradition has its own basic dharma.
For example, a proposition that belongs most fundamentally
to the sixth stage of life and even ultimately the seventh
stage of life is found in the Buddhist tradition. The whole
culture of Buddhism, therefore, tends to be colored by that
proposition. The passage through and beyond the stages
earlier than the sixth stage of life may be only weakly
presented in some schools of Buddhism. Originally, for
example, the Hinayana, or Theravada, school was a renunciate
practice taken up by people who dropped out of the common
world and left behind religion, ceremony, Spiritual
practices, Yoga, and other disciplines of the earlier
stages. Now, where the Theravada culture appears very often
the preliminaries associated with the earlier stages of life
are only weakly presented, because of the orientation to the
sixth stage. The basic dharma of any school tends to color
all the prerequisites or even bypass some of them, whereas a
complete tradition encompasses all the stages of human life.
Some traditions, such as the Tibetan Buddhist tradition,
continue to make the gesture to include at least all the
stages to the point of their basic proposition, although the
basic proposition in any school or tradition may be far less
than the seventh stage of life.