The Dreaded Gom-Boo – Chapter 12

The Dreaded Gomboo or The Imaginary Disease That
Religion Seeks To Cure.

A Collection of Essays and Talks on the “Direct”
Process of Enlightenment.

By Da Free John.

Compiled and edited with an introduction and commentary
by the Renunciate Hermitage Order.

Table of Contents


Part II: Renunciation


The Addiction Affliction

September 18, 1982

MASTER DA: There is an old saying from the traditions,
“Through suffering comes wisdom.” It is one of the principal
ideas conveyed in the tragedies of the Greek theater, for
example. I have pointed out to you, however, that suffering
does not itself in any sense create wisdom, nor is it
necessarily followed by wisdom. Suffering is just suffering.
Whether you learn from it or rise above yourself depends
entirely upon your character or your orientation to the
events of life. Some people suffer a little and learn a
great deal. Some people suffer greatly and learn a great
deal. Some people, whether they suffer little or much, learn
absolutely nothing, like my Uncle Gene, who suffered more
and more and became only more and more unwise. We can say
about suffering that it generally has an aberrating effect
on those who suffer. Some have the capacity to learn from it
or to change or to go beyond themselves, but for most people
suffering is just one of those facts of life that tend to
aberrate us.

We are concerned about all the possibilities of
suffering-pain, disease, discomfort, and death, among other
things. The possibilities of suffering aberrate us. We
wonder about them, we resist them, we do not want them to
happen, and therefore we are aberrated by the possibilities
of suffering as well as by the actual experience of
suffering or pain.

Yet suffering is not the only aberrating force in our
lives. Pleasure is equally aberrating. Not also aberrating
or a little bit aberrating, but equally aberrating. We are
as concerned with pleasure as we are with pain and
suffering, and the more we are concerned with pleasure, as
with pain, the more we are aberrated.

It is not merely our experience of pain that aberrates
us. Our fear of it and resistance to it aberrate us.
Likewise with pleasure. Not merely our experience of
pleasure aberrates us, but our thinking about it, our memory
of it, our strategies for finding it, our hopes for it, our
seeking for it-our entire association with pleasure tends to
aberrate us.

We might as well say “Through pleasure comes wisdom” as
“Through suffering comes wisdom.” But in neither case are we
saying something that is necessarily true. Those who
maintain a high level of enjoyment in their lives do not
necessarily become wiser or transcend themselves because
they have achieved the pleasures everybody else would like
to achieve. In fact, most people try to exaggerate pleasure
and attain as much pleasure as possible, and the search for
pleasure as well as its attainment aberrates them.

One of the profoundly aberrating pleasures of life is the
orgasm, a pleasure with which almost every adult can become
associated quite readily and frequently. We are in fact
addicted to orgasm. It is the principal pleasure we can
generate in our lower functional life. Everybody has the
opportunity to enjoy it, either through sex relations with
others or through masturbation. Everybody can attain this
pleasure and satisfy his or her addiction and thus everyone
is to some degree aberrated by orgasm.

The orgasm aberrates us, not sex. Most people are not
even involved in sex. Sex as we tend to live it has the
orgasm as its goal, but sex in its free form has no goal.
Therefore, sex in itself is not aberrated, not seeking a
result. When we are involved in the true form of sex, it
just is what it is, an expression of our balanced character,
our equanimity. Sex becomes more playful, prolonged,
sensuous, enjoyable, non-neurotic when it is liberated from
the fierce goal-orientation and our addicted psychology.

In general people are addicted to orgasm as some people
are addicted to the pleasures derivable from drugs and
alcohol and all the other million-dollar hits one can attain
in life, and we become aberrated by our addiction. I have
considered orgasm so frequently in our discussion of sexual
communion because to participate in sexuality sanely we must
be liberated from all our neurotic associations with
sexuality, including our neurotic association with the
orgasm. Sex must become not merely non-orgasmic enjoyment of
sensual stimulation, but free enjoyment of whole bodily
Communion with the Living Force of Reality. Then every
aspect of sexual play, including the sex relationship
itself, is normalized and liberated from the force of egoic

You can observe how the drive toward orgasm has aberrated
your own life. Your sexual history is the expression of your
addiction. It is important, therefore, that you consider
your sexual history, so that you may discover how the
present patterns of your sexual practice express the
aberrations inherent in your history.

It is possible to become so addicted to the orgasm that
you find yourself fundamentally incapable of feeling really
good at any other time than the moment when you are having
the orgasm, just as other people may discover that they can
have certain other highly intensified bodily pleasures
through drugs and alcohol and such things, and so they
become addicted to taking such substances beyond a rational
and balanced use. They become addicted to these things
because they cannot feel good unless they are in a state of
intense pleasure. In the same way, people become addicted to
all the exaggerated ways of achieving sexual stimulation and
full orgasm.

People who are addicted to sex usually are also more or
less addicted to other kinds of pleasures, such as drugs and
alcohol. The psychological source of these addictions is in
the total aberrating force of pleasure and pain in the
context of human existence. People are actually seeking
through neurotic sexual strategies a state of intensity that
will relieve them of their depression. The general effect of
life, its pleasures and its pains and its needs, suppresses
and aberrates individuals to the degree that they cannot
feel happy, cannot feel well, except in a state of
extraordinary self-pleasure. They are bodily disconnected
and contracted at all times except when they induce a state
of pleasure through some exotic stimulation such as sex.

The aberrating force of existence is so profound that
people are not naturally in a state of equanimity, always
openly connected to the Force of Being, which is full of
Bliss and essential Happiness. Therefore, their life is
basically a craven life, more or less depressed, seeking all
kinds of stimulation of enjoyment. Such seeking is generally
what people are all about, except that the social demands
that confront all of us cause most people, at any rate, to
limit the life of seeking for pleasure to a degree that is
socially acceptable. Even so, everybody is, apart from full
spiritual freedom and the equanimity of essential Happiness,
to some significant degree aberrated by the force of
pleasure and pain in this life. Everyone is worried about
pain and trying to avoid it, and craving for pleasure and
trying to attain it.

The complex life that reflects the usual psychology is an
aberrated life that does not necessarily become wiser
because it suffers or happier because it achieves pleasure.
On the contrary. It is just the life of the addict. In some
people addiction achieves a degree of absolute degeneracy
and self-destruction, but most people try to live out their
aberrated lives moderately so that they at least do not
destroy themselves, at least not quickly, and do not become
completely degenerate and dysfunctional. Still, most people
are to some degree inclined toward degeneracy and potential

Every time people achieve a state of exaggerated
enjoyment, through sex, drugs, alcohol, some million-dollar
fortune in life, the experience tends to aberrate them and
make them wild and wide-eyed and wanting to have it all the
time. Thus, they feel diseased and view Happiness as that
which they experience only in moments of the exaggeration of
pleasure and not at any other time. It becomes difficult,
therefore, for people who live such an addicted existence to
transcend themselves and achieve the equanimity whereby they
can live a spiritual life, because to live a spiritual way
of life requires one to live in a state of equanimity based
on self-understanding, to be free of the patterns of
addiction and aberration, and to locate the fundamental
force of Happiness in every moment. Then one can also engage
in the pleasures of life and endure its pains, but one will
not be aberrated in either case.

The spiritual act is not in principle associated with
self-denial or the self-infliction of pain and frustration,
nor is it in principle associated with the denial of
pleasure. These strategies, which typify traditional
religion and spirituality, are the expressions of the
problem on which conventional religion and spirituality are
based. They are aberrated models of life created by the
egoic reaction to pleasure and pain. At the root of the
argument of many traditional religious and spiritual systems
is a fundamental principle of disease, suffering, and pain,
and it is the common basis for all the conventional
techniques applied in the name of the religious or spiritual
goal. Conventional religion and spirituality are thus part
of the idealism of our disease, part of the search for cure.
They reflect our aberration, or the contraction, the pain
inherent in the self-contraction.

Our reaction to pain, our desire to avoid it, causes us
to react and to contract. The contraction itself generates
at least a subtle pain in the manifest being, and therefore
the being constantly seeks, through addictive strategies, to
relieve pain through all the means of pleasuring. This cycle
of reaction and seeking makes us into very dependent and
weak characters and itself creates a life of suffering and

Therefore, understand this principle. Appreciate how you
have been and are continuing to be aberrated by the
functional facts of life, both the pains of life and the
pleasures of life, those you have experienced and those you
will or might experience. The thought of pleasure and pain
aberrates you. It is part of the complex of egoity or
Narcissism. It is not possible to truly live the spiritual
way of life, therefore, until you come to an understanding
of yourself in the context of your reaction to pleasure and
pain and your addiction to the possibilities of release.

Sexuality is a very important consideration because it is
so immediate a means of release, such an immediate
expression of our self-possession. To one or another degree
we are all tending to be addicted to the possibility
represented by sexual pleasure. The orgasm, the ultimate
moment of conventional sexual experience, symbolizes our
disease and represents the egoic goal of life. The orgasm is
a kind of symbol for everything that we might otherwise
consider to be the goal of life, whether it be Realizing
God, becoming a millionaire, becoming healthy, or whatever
it is. The orgasm informs our conception even of our
existence altogether because we have a sense that to be
Happy, to be in a state of spiritual Bliss, must be
something like experiencing perpetual orgasm.

Thus, we have a feeling that to be Happy is to be
perpetually in a state of intensely stimulated pleasure. We
find it very difficult even to consider Happiness in any
other terms, and to practice a Way of life that is
essentially balancing, purifying, calming, and naturalizing
does not seem very attractive because no possibility appears
to exist within such a life to become associated with exotic
pleasuring. The Way frustrates our neurotic goal.

All of you who consider your own sexual life, and
everyone does in our community, must consider your style of
life based on the aberrating effect of pleasure and pain.
Consider the degree to which your life has been controlled
by the pleasure available in the orgasm. Consider how orgasm
itself is aberrating your sexual life, your capacity for
intimacy, your emotional life, your spiritual life. Consider
how the mood of your moment to moment existence is basically
a reaction to the fact that you are not presently in a state
of orgasm or a comparable state of intensified pleasure.
Consider, therefore, how most of the time you are in a kind
of mediocre, relatively contracted emotional state,
something less than Love-Bliss. Consider that that is so,
and that therefore, in every moment, you are either at least
to some mild degree depressed or otherwise seeking to
achieve a state of intensified pleasure through sex, or even
perhaps through meditation.

Rather than merely continue these efforts, these
strategies, through sex or meditation, to achieve something
like orgasm or intensified self-pleasuring, understand this
mechanism, understand how you superimpose on every moment
the quality of un-Happiness, how you are manufacturing
depression, mediocrity, boredom, doubt, and discomfort in
every moment because of your aberrated reaction to the
pleasure-pain possibilities of life. See that your life is
not really lived out in the present, that most of your
present moments are associated with the past or the
future-some sort of mulling over past pleasure-pains, some
strategic effort or hope toward future pleasure and the
avoidance of pains-and that, except for those rare moments
when you achieve an experience of extraordinary pleasure,
your moments are generally moments of un-Happiness, of
boredom, doubt, and discomfort, relative depression,
motivation in reaction to pleasure and pain. Consider that
you are in every moment basically aberrated, therefore, or
un-Happy, and consider that un-Happiness is unnecessary. It
is simply something you are superimposing on every present
moment because you are involved in the mechanics of
reactivity and are not in any sense Communing with the
fundamental Reality in every moment.

There is no virtue in just living in the present, you
know, just keeping your attention on the sensory facts to
keep from thinking. There is no virtue in the moment itself.
We hear much talk in the context of spiritual philosophy
about staying with the moment, being present in the moment,
as if to be present were desirable in itself. It is just
another technique for overcoming the disease. What is
valuable about being in the moment is that you enter into
whole bodily, utter Communion with the Transcendental
Reality, the Supreme Being that is Happiness, that is
Self-Radiant, that transcends pleasures and pains, that is

The key to the consideration of the Way that I Teach is
the understanding of the aberrated Narcissistic disposition
that superimposes a contraction onto every present moment.
That contraction is expressed emotionally through all the
feelings that are less than equanimity, Love-Bliss, or
fundamental Happiness.

Consider the moods toward which you tend in each moment
that passes. These are not sublime, free moods. They are
contracted, dark, not all profoundly negative, mostly just
mediocre. They reflect a lack of Bliss, a lack of energy, a
lack of ease. They are associated also with a concerned,
troubled, or obsessed state of mind, or an inclination
toward past or future without attention either for the
moment of the present or for the Power and the Condition of
the present.

This mediocrity is the neurosis you must transcend. The
transcendence of this neurosis is Wisdom. Confrontation with
pain is not Wisdom nor will it result in Wisdom. Wisdom is
to understand your own reaction regardless of the state of
pleasure or pain in the moment, to understand the mechanism
of self-contraction you are superimposing not only on the
present moment but on the Condition, the Transcendental
Reality, of existence itself, which we can only discover in
the present. We may have discovered it in the past, we may
discover it in the future, but the context of its
Realization is always now, this moment of consciousness. As
long as you are simply an addict, a neurotic, as long as you
are simply an ego, the self-contraction, Narcissus, you are
fundamentally un-Happy and you are not living this Way.

This Way is based on the very practical and direct matter
of always present self-transcendence, which is not merely
the effort of getting outside yourself or beyond yourself,
working on yourself, struggling with yourself.
Self-transcendence is the natural force of Divine Communion.
It is to reside without effort, freely, in the
Transcendental Condition of Happiness or Free Being.

Only someone who is so established in the Living Reality
is capable of pleasure and pain, capable of enduring and
passing through and creatively participating in the
conditional events of manifest existence. Otherwise, you are
simply the fool of Nature and the fool of yourself. You are
fundamentally un-Happy, and you associate Happiness with
what you might achieve through efforts, whether religious or
worldly. All efforts are the aberrated designs of contracted
beings who pursue pleasure and release as if existing in a
condition necessarily dissociated from Happiness and who
suppose they must use the present moment to achieve future
Happiness. I call that supposition a false presumption, a
false view, an imaginary disease. Instead of living in order
to overcome our disease and achieve Happiness as a kind of
stimulated, pleasurable state, we should deal in every
present moment with the mechanism of our un-Happiness, that
which we are superimposing on the profound, deep Reality of
the moment with which we are in intimate association, with
which we are identical, except that the force of our
self-contraction, functionally expressed through the
mechanism of the body-mind, is making us unaware of the
fundamental Condition of Reality or Happiness.

The only way to truly practice, therefore, the only way
to be wise, is to live free of the superimposition of the
ego or self-contraction in every present moment. Stand prior
to it, not somewhere else, but prior to it, responsible for
it, free of its aberrating influence. Then you are capable
of creatively participating in the conditions of existence
and you will not be aberrated by the possibility or reality
of pleasure or pain.

DEVOTEE: Master, I was just considering how people who
are addicted to drugs usually use those drugs along with
sexuality. Everyone I know who has ever used drugs always
also used sex as a means for extreme pleasure.

MASTER DA: Everybody tries to enhance sexual pleasure
with promiscuity, getting drunk, and so forth. Almost
everybody does this sometimes, and there is nothing wrong
with experiencing such pleasure sometimes. What is wrong is
its aberrating effect, the addictive life that is based on
it, the chronic pattern of un-Happiness that people create
on the basis of their moments and possibilities of pleasure
and pain.

If you examine your moods from moment to moment, you will
see that you live as just such a Narcissistic addict. That
is why you conceive of yourself to be emotionally in a
mediocre state. This does not mean that the natural state is
to be sort of gleeful, wild-eyed, and insensitive to the
real conditions of every moment. It means to live in a state
of equanimity, of deep meditative inherence in the blissful
Force of existence. In general, even a relatively calm
disposition, therefore, represents real Happiness. Real
Happiness may be associated with moments of exceptional
animation as well, but these are generally moments and are
not themselves to be considered the characteristic moments
of Happiness.

Happiness is simply free inherence in the Real Condition
of every moment, and it is fundamentally Happy, Free Being,
not aberrated, therefore, and not requiring the next moment
of pleasure for Happiness. The next moment of pleasure is a
natural enough event for someone who is Happy and for whom,
therefore, the next moment of pleasure will not be addicting
or aberrating or binding. Such an individual is capable of
making rational and free choices.

The disposition of true Happiness should be the basis of
our creation of community. The first thing that must occur,
therefore, is the awakening of a community of people who are
thus free, not just the convening of people who belong
nominally to the institution, who think about this Way and
practice some rudimentary disciplines.

The real context of this practice is every moment of
Happiness or un-Happiness, not merely the dietary rules or
the meditative exercises, which, like all the practical
disciplines, are simply partial aspects of our possibilities
in time. The real context of this Way is in the very moment
of Being, and the test of practice is whether you consent to
superimpose on this moment the force of the self-contraction
or you understand and transcend it in this very moment.

Every moment represents the possibility of the
self-contraction, particularly if you do not have a history
of true practice. Therefore, the initial stages of practice
seem to represent something like a struggle, because you are
dealing with habit patterns. You always seem to be
confronted by an intense crunch of self because you are so
habituated and reactive. But once you become most profoundly
involved in this real understanding, this real practice, and
have a history of it, then the force of that Happiness lived
over time purifies you of these aberrations.

It is not the struggle with the aberrations themselves
that eventually produces Happiness. Happiness is to Realize
the Way, or the force of Happiness, in every moment, and to
live it over time through the rational disciplines
associated with that understanding. And, as would be
expected in the traditional setting, you will be purified,
you will be transformed, but the purification and
transformation occur within the context of prior Happiness,
as the expression or magnification of well-being, rather
than as the expression of the strategies of a diseased
character, an un-happy personality working on itself,
struggling with itself, hoping to achieve the goal, however
it is described.

All goals are the visions of Narcissus, mere conceptions
or simulations of real Happiness associated in our minds
with the kinds of extraordinary enjoyments we may have
experienced from time to time in our lives. Therefore, our
conceptions of the future, as long as we are goal-oriented,
are false conceptions because they do not express our prior
Happiness. We have only the models of our un-happy

Conventional religious and spiritual pursuits, then, are
like ordinary addiction. They are associated with a false
goal. If religious and spiritual practitioners really knew
What they were seeking, they would Realize It in the
present. They do not understand It as such. They have false
images of the goal. Theirs is a symbolic goal, likened to
their own past experience of enjoyments of one or another
kind. The goal is considered to be even greater than these
ordinary enjoyments but still something like them. If such
practitioners understood the goal as the native spiritual
Happiness of mere Being, then they would understand that
they have no option but to Realize It in the present, to get
at It immediately.

Everything from God to the ultimate orgasm is a false
goal of the Narcissistic addict. Real God is the present
Condition and Context of our existence, and either you
Realize God or you do not. If you are an un-Happy, aberrated
character, no matter what you are telling me about God and
your love of God, you are just an addict, just Narcissus
rattling on again in your confused, aberrated state, full of
all kinds of hopefulness and false faces. The only moment
wherein you can really talk about God is the moment of
Communion with God. All your other ideas of God are false
ideas or memories founded in self. The only God is the
present God, the Realized God. Any other God is a false God,
an idol founded on self.

Real spiritual life is founded on the transcendence of
neurosis, the transcendence of addiction. It is not that you
must transcend neurosis before you can even think about
entering into the spiritual process or that the
transcendence of neurosis is somehow independent of the
spiritual process. Everyone is this addict, this
Narcissistic, self-contracted personality, and everyone is
aberrated in essentially the same fashion, although our
aberrations are expressed through different patterns of
self-presentation and addiction.

Happiness is our Condition. It is just another name for
God, or our Condition in God. We are either Realizing It in
the moment or we are diverted from It by the complex of our
aberrations. The Way is not to rid ourselves of all of those
aberrations and find God at the end. The Way is to transcend
the aberrating force of life in every moment and to stand in
the position of inherence in God or the position of




The Dreaded Gom-Boo – Table of Contents