Confront the Crisis of Transition to the Fourth Stage of Life

Originally published in Crazy Wisdom magazine, Vol 4, No 11,
November 1985.

Confront the Crisis of Transition to
Fourth Stage of Life


The sexual
Motive, Divorced From The Spiritual Reality and Engaged
Apart From The Motive Of self-Transcendence, Is A Principal
Effort (Coming Out Of The Adaptations Of The First Three
Stages Of Life) Whereby individuals Avoid The Call To
self-Transcending God-Realization. Therefore, Understand
This Motive As self-Contraction, Transcend It In Love,
Service, and Meditation, and Economize Your sexuality,
Either Through The Regenerative Yoga Of Sexual Communion Or
Celibacy. Without Such Transcendence Of the sexual ego,
There Is No Entrance Even Into The Fourth Stage Of Life (or
The Stages Beyond The Fourth).
The Dawn Horse Testament Of Heart-Master Da Free John,
p. 339

The talk that follows was given on the evening
Heart-Master Da Free John received the newly-published Dawn
Horse Testament. The Master took this opportunity to speak
to devotees about the ways in which sexuality, or attachment
to fulfillment in the body, obstructs our transition from
the third to the fourth stage of life, and from the fourth
to the fifth. Master Da makes particular reference to
chapters 21 and 23 of the Testament, which are recommended
study for devotees in association with this talk.


MASTER DA: People everywhere are profoundly
resistive to the matter of actual spiritual practice.
Individuals are inclined to continue in the third stage of
life and not to go through the crisis of a transition beyond
it. Various movements throughout the world talk about high
matters, but they are talking to people who are involved in
the first three stages of life about something that is
realized only by going beyond the first three stages. Human
beings do not desire to move beyond the first three stages
of life, nor do they have the means to willfully make that
gesture. They must be attracted into the higher stages. When
the possibility of transcendence is offered, the only choice
is to do it or not, and this choice is not the same thing as
mere philosophical assent. You must go through the
inevitable and natural crisis of the transition to the
fourth stage of life, and that is a profound matter. If it
were not profound, most difficult, and something that people
in general are not prepared for, human beings all over the
world would have entered the fourth stage of life by

That option has been available for centuries, and still
the culture of humanity is limited to the first three stages
of life. This crisis of transition is the most profound and
unwelcome change that confronts humanity. That change has
been unwelcome now for thousands of years.

In my Teaching consideration with you all, in The Dawn
Horse Testament and elsewhere, I speak not only about that
change but of the entire spiritual process to the point of
ultimate Realization. Mankind in general, however, is
struggling with the step from the third to the fourth stage
of life. Individuals like to think about, feel into, and
consider the higher stages of life, but in reality they are
involved in the neuroses of the first three stages of life,
struggling with the possible transition to the fourth

A great resistive force has characterized mankind’s
entire recorded history. Human history has been about the
struggle in relation to this single evolutionary transition.
A rare few individuals have truly passed into the stages of
life higher than the fourth.

DEVOTEE: The greatest taboo is against
self-transcendence, and the fourth stage is the beginning of
that gesture.

MASTER DA: You all evidence reluctance,
self-consciousness, even guilt about the ecstasy of
self-transcendence. You are all still struggling with it.
You know that ecstasy must be your practice. You know there
is nothing further to do except make that change, make that
transition to ecstasy, to self-transcendence, and yet you
are still riding the fence. You would like to spend more
time arguing with other people who are still resistive.

MASTER DA: The difficulties that we have endured over the
past year belong to this evolutionary moment of passing
beyond the first three stages to the fourth stage of life.
There is profound resistance to the ordeal of transition
that this Way requires, and that resistance has taken the
form of adolescent attacks on the presentations of the
fourth stage of life and beyond. This kind of difficulty is
almost commonplace in the traditions in every epoch. Such
trials seem to be as fundamental to the establishment of the
spiritual process as the aggravations of the ordeal of
personal practice. There is nothing desirable about such
negativity. Yet it always seems to occur. It seems to be a
necessary stage in the growth of any religious movement.

I have received many messages from devotees about how the
struggle of this past year has been about loving or not.
Instead of merely assuming the worldly disposition of
combatants, you have been forced to go through the crisis of
practicing as devotees in the context of this struggle.
Before this crisis, practitioners could be the adolescents
they have always been, generally advocating the practice but
never having to confront the negative force of their own
personality or the negative personality in others. Suddenly
practitioners were confronted not merely with the negative
personality of others but also with their own uninspected
philosophy. After a year of such confrontation, we all feel
a degree of gratitude for it, feel the rightness of it, the
inevitability of it, the worthiness of it. It made devotees
creative in a way they never felt obliged to be before. It
is unfortunate that that is what it took.

The transition from the third to the fourth stage of life
can be characterized in terms of this same passage: you must
go through this struggle with the worst in yourself in order
to make the transition to the fourth stage of life. My
consideration with you all over the years has been one of
constantly calling you to deal with this resistance, this
negative personality, this adolescent character, because you
cannot make the transition to real practice of this Way
without dealing with the worst in yourself, the real
obstacle to practice. You cannot be a representative of this
practice until you have confronted that.

This Way is not idealistic. It is realistic. The
transition to the fourth stage of life requires a real, or
realistic, confrontation with your limitations in the first
three stages of life. These are the most vulgar, the most
immature, the most primitive limitations. They are
associated with the most basic physical, emotional, mental,
and sexual functions to which you have adapted. The
transition to the FCC 4 stage of practice seems to be taking
an interminable length of time. Perhaps this institution is
going to gel at the FCC 3 stage, while a very few
individuals go beyond it. At times it seems that this is
what will occur, because an individual must pass through
such a profound ordeal simply to enter the fourth stage of
life. And to pass into the fifth stage of life and beyond
seems to be a mammoth undertaking, an extraordinary

23 of The Dawn Horse Testament
explains what you must go
beyond to truly enter the FCC 4 stage. In that chapter I
describe all the mechanical limitations in the frontal line,
from the top of the body to the base. The most superficial
of these limitations is doubt-the self-contracted mind, the
self-contracted head. Fundamentally you are in doubt, that
vague feeling that is more or less constant in you. If you
examine this ordinary feeling that continues to arise, you
will find it is doubt, or no faith.

Conventional religions try to present an object of faith
to their adherents, a reason to exercise the disposition of
faith. If you study my Teaching, you will see that you are
not called to that disposition. Specifically, and in many
instances in The Dawn Horse Testament alone, I tell you that
my Confession is not a call to engage in a conventional
gesture of faith, a gesture of belief. I call you to examine
the self-contraction and see the form of it that we call
doubt. Doubt is not transcended by exercising the faith
gesture toward an object, a personality, or a concept of the
Divine. It is not by believing in something that you
transcend doubt. Doubt is transcended by simply becoming
aware of doubt itself, examining it, and being fully
sensitive to it as self-contraction.

Faith is the absence of this doubt-contraction. Faith is
not belief in some objective form but the release of the
self-contraction, even the superficial self-contraction that
is doubt. When the self-contraction is released, the Divine
and the Master may be contacted directly. Faith is natural
when the self-contraction in the form of doubt is absent.
Therefore, you are not called to believe first. You are
called to enter into my Company and observe yourself to the
point of the release of all the forms of the
self-contraction that go all the way down the frontal line
to the base. Doubt is the first form. You transcend doubt
not by believing in something but by observing doubt as
self-contraction, something added to reality, added to
Nature. When you thoroughly understand and realize the non
necessity, the stupidity, the mechanical nature of your own
bondage, the self-contraction is naturally released. You
naturally respond to That which is greater than the
self-contraction, That which is simply Existing.

Thus, faith is realized when doubt is transcended through
self understanding. When doubt is transcended through self
understanding, you respond to the Divine Presence. We call
that response faith, but it is not a mechanical or
conventional gesture. It is not the believing mind of
religion. It is the transcendence of mind. When the head is
allowed to relax into the Spirit-Current, rather than
thinking an alternative thought called faith, that is
Ignorance. Faith is natural resonance with the Spirit-Force
of the Divine. You ready yourself for it by understanding
the contraction of mind that we call doubt. That
understanding is the first gesture at the FCC 3 level. Doubt
is the most superficial contraction, up here in the head.
What about all the rest below it? You do not make the
transition to the FCC 4 stage until you have had a similar
confrontation with anger, with sorrow, and then with fear,
until you have transcended the mechanical orientation of the
vital, solid, or peculiar character.

Consider what must be transcended before this FCC 4
practice is real. That is why the movement toward the FCC 4
level of practice is not exactly a stampede at present. In
spite of that, I am looking forward to some FCC 4
practitioners soon. What must be transcended in the fourth
stage of life is the very great and real matter of
self-limitation, but I have given you the key to
transcending it in chapter
of the Testament. If you truly hear and see me, the
practice associated with the frontal personality will not
occupy you for a great long time. You ought to be able to
make this evolutionary transition in a reasonably short
period of time if you are truly serious.

The fourth stage of life in our way of practice is not a
conventional believer’s haven. It is not the way of ego
consolation. It is not comfortable religion. The fourth
stage of life is a very profound ordeal, and thus whenever
you talk to me about it you discover that I am rather urgent
and very realistic about it. Instead of doubling up on
pujas, double up on meditation.


MASTER DA: We are coming close to having something very
fundamental in common -we are all getting senile!”
[Laughter.] Jack Benny told that joke to George
Burns. But we are all getting to be forty or so.

You did not think the body was going to start looking old
until it was sixty, did you? You are not suddenly old at
forty, but something very fundamental occurs at that age. I
was talking to some devotees yesterday about how the Nature
business works. As you must have observed by now, Nature, my
general term for the entire physical process here, does not
care about you and your individuality. Only you and your
intimates are concerned about that. Nature has a general
interest in individuals, but only for the sake of
reproduction. Thus, you may have noticed, and you
particularly begin to notice when you reach forty or so,
that Nature is fundamentally concerned about reproducing its

Therefore, you all experience a span of about twenty
years in which Nature makes you potent, hyper sexual, so
that the reproduction of the next generation can be
guaranteed. As you begin to approach forty, Nature is not so
concerned anymore about keeping you alive, just as in
general Nature is not the slightest bit interested in
individuals. Nature shows some statistical evidence of being
interested in having as many individuals as possible live to
maturity and then survive this ten- to twenty-year period of
reproductive strength. But at the age of forty or so, you
must begin to be intelligent about how Nature works and
begin to exploit the laws of Nature for the sake of your
survival. You cannot squander your energies as you did when
you were in your twenties. You must begin to manage all the
physical details of your existence in order to exploit the
laws of Nature that serve your longevity.

A great many of my devotees are now in or approaching the
time of life in which these principles of Nature must be
applied. Otherwise, natural forces will tend to throw you
out of balance and snuff you out, because you have already
served Nature’s purpose.

In the neighborhood of forty, changes begin to occur in
the organism that make self-indulgence a big mistake.
Self-indulgence begins to incur immediate consequences,
whereas self-indulgence when you are twenty-five does not
seem to affect you. If you do not know the natural laws and
apply them between the ages of forty and sixty, then age
sixty and after is the badlands. That is when people start
dropping like flies.

Those who are still in their twenties or early thirties
do not know what I am talking about, but those who are
approaching or have passed forty know exactly what I am
talking about. You are all party to considerations in this
Teaching that will enable you to apply the rules of Nature
so that you can, if you exercise yourself with discipline,
enjoy a vital, basically healthful life, even a sexually
active life, for many more years. Middle age, as it used to
be experienced, should not begin for you until about age
sixty. You could live longer, barring accidents and so
forth, and be a strong, physically active person into your
eighties or nineties. After that-it is written.



[At this point Master Da recites the Prologue and
chapter 1 of His

Dawn Horse Testament.]

DEVOTEE: Thank you, Master. You are so great.

MASTER DA: It’s pretty good literature.
[Laughter.] Believe it or not, in your poor precinct
of life, this is it. I am going to move mankind from here to
next. It may take me a long time, but if I must talk to
beings for

thousands of years, this is the Voice that will speak.
Those of you who have heard me even an inkling, a dash, a
jot, must ride with me this wavelet of terror. Imagine-an
entire lifetime absorbed in a purpose beyond your own

Those of you who are here now in this room, or elsewhere
but gathered around me, mark my words. You must have
intuited by now what your are party to – the intervention of
God in the world. That is what we are celebrating today. All
of you can be witness to the massive intervention of the
Divine Person into the human plane and to the ordinary
humanity of it. That intervention comes in your own
likeness. I have lived every day in your company as an
ordinary man, and yet you know the difference. We will see.
This Testament is the greatest book ever made.

DEVOTEE: It is the greatest Revelation that has ever
appeared to mankind.

MASTER DA: Therefore it required the most Sacrifice. Now
some of you here want me to live to be an old man.

DEVOTEE: All of us do.

MASTER DA: Yet on this day we celebrate the completion of
my Argument and of my Effort. I have no necessary existence
in this body from this day.

DEVOTEE: Oh, Master, You do.

MASTER DA: No. I told you all I might not survive this
year. Has it been printed? Is it known to devotees? I have
revised all my books.

DEVOTEE: We’ll give you some more to work on. DEVOTEE:
Master, we really need You.

MASTER DA: All my books are done and my Testament is
published. From this day my longevity in this body depends
upon devotees.

DEVOTEE: Your devotees need You more than ever.

MASTER DA: My promise is in that book. I will not
separate myself from devotees, but I cannot guarantee you
eternal presence in this body. It is no mere coincidence
that I finished all the revisions of my books today and this
Testament was presented today. I have given my Instructions.
I have no more Work to do. None. I have only to Love
devotees and I need not be in the body to do it.

Let us deflect the conversation from the possible death
of this body to its real import. Whether or not this body
survives longer, this day marks the difference between my
Effort and yours. From this day my devotees must teach. I
may remain present in the body. I will remain present in the
body for however long I do. I have always told you that my
devotees must support this body.

The history of this Teaching belongs to my devotees. I
may live longer than this year. I have nothing to tell you
about it. What I can tell you is that my Purpose in this
body is fulfilled today. All of my Teaching is summary. All
of my Work is complete. I have no purpose in this body, no
purpose to remain visible in this form beyond this day
except for that portion of my Work that is associated with
my human Presence, Blessing beings, and that depends
entirely upon the support of my devotees. I understand
completely the intellect, the mind of you all. I do not wish
to invest you with the shocking surprise of my
disappearance. I do want to affirm to you the purpose that I
have described in The Hymn of the Master, which is that my
existence here is utterly dependent upon the service of my
devotees, utterly.

My Work to serve mankind with the Teaching is complete
today. I need not live one more day for the sake of the
Transmission of this Teaching. Not any more.

Are you all awake? I want you all to comprehend, without
becoming romantic, the feeling of how Free I might be
without association with this bondage of life. Human
existence is not by definition a hell, but from my point of
view, to exist and simultaneously to be mortal is hell. All
of you exist, and you indulge in the immortal qualities of
existence itself. Yet you are mortal as I am in this body.
This is a hellish circumstance we are in: capable of love,
of being the manifestation of all Divine qualities, and yet
each one waiting for dissolution, promised it from

You wonder about hell after death, but mankind must
understand that this circumstance is hell, though not
damnation. How else can we describe suffering except as the
circumstance of being born with the full qualities of God
and having it be measured by time? The Self is God, the
fullness of Being. The mind is its expression in limitation,
and the body is its servant. You assign all qualities of
existence to your bodily life, and it is passing. From the
point of view of the body your only destiny is change, and
you will, you must, experience changes that you cannot
account for. You do not know that you will survive death.
You do not know it, except that in my Company, in your
intuition, in your devotion, you realize that hell is
transcended. Human birth is transcended.

We have already been together since our youth. Now all of
you are approaching middle age. Time has passed, and you are
still here confronting me. What is the difference? You are
all under sentence. You do not know the hour of your death.
You experience the fullness of Being, and you are immortal
in your Realization, but you are waiting for end-time. You
must understand this and allow this lifetime to be nothing.
This is the theater of comprehension, temporary, no time, an
illusion. You must learn to laugh at this. You must base
your existence on this understanding. This understanding is
the difference. You must learn to laugh at this life.

Already you are nearly old in my company. Soon you will
be dead! Every day you go to sleep, every day you dream, and
then this-have you not noticed? I speak to you in every
state. I call you to the Divine Domain prior to humanity,
prior to mind, dreaming, sleeping, waking. I call you to
meditation. You must realize meditation in the waking

[The Heart-Master now recites the Epilogue to the
Testament and then continues to speak.]

MASTER DA: Consider these words, because this is all that
I have to say on all subjects. Your reception of my
Confession to you will become obvious to me. I will notice
if my Testament is little received. I think the least I can
expect is that by my next birthday, several million devotees
will acknowledge me. But that is probably too much to
expect. Even so, I think great news ought to be presented to
me by my next birthday-not this upcoming one, but a year
from now. You do not need me to endure your failure of
practice anymore.

Study my Testament. I tell you there and always that this
is my final Word and I need not be obliged further to
communicate the Way to you. You are my devotees. It is not
my business to absorb or transform your calamity. I have
given you my Word, my Promise. My Work is evident to you in
every day of your life. Therefore, you must give me another
word, another report, a different sound than the one I have
received. You are in the most difficult position of
adolescence, the position of being directly confronted by
the Absolute Truth. You, more than anyone who might casually
observe my Word and Promise and Presence, must exhibit the
revolution of response to Me in your own body-mind.

Today is a good day to celebrate, but to me it is not a
great day. I made this book weeks ago. This is merely a
ceremony of acknowledgment of the completion of the book,
which occurred weeks ago. I look to celebrate the reception
of this book, My Presence, among my devotees in the world.
Look for your strength in the form of your rightful gifts to
me. Today is a good day to celebrate, but I think a year
from now is the day we ought to look forward to. Do you
think you can promise me a big celebration a year from

You must understand that all the work now is yours. I do
not have any more Work. My Work is effortless in relation to
you now. All the work that requires effort, rightly
understood, is yours now. It is not mine. Do not bring it to
me anymore. That is what this Testament says. Read it! The
obligation is yours. I live now in the world as I will after
this body dies. All the effort is yours, and yet it is
effortless. All the adventure of our Way is yours now. You
have my great history to report, but yours is the history
that must be animated now.

Truly, I must no longer make any effort. I have done
everything I can do. What I will do in the future is a
matter of Presence, not effort. You need no longer bring me
news of your struggle. It is your struggle, not mine. I am
Present only for your spiritual advantage.

Bring me nothing but your gift of practice. That is what
we are supposed to be celebrating today, right?


MASTER DA: Good. I will count on it then. Any dissenting
votes? Knowing what I have had to do in the past, you all
have a bad-ass future in front of you!


MASTER DA [reading from The Dawn Horse
Testament]: “It Is The Tendency Of self-Contracted
personalities To Indulge In sex as a Degenerative activity
(that Breaks The Life-Circle and Throws Off The Spirit Power
As If It Were a waste-product of the body). This Tendency Is
The Result Of The Reactive Presumption Of Independence,
Separateness, and Alienation. It Is Founded In The
Psychology Of Betrayal (or Rejection By and Of others).
Sexual activity Is Thus Degraded Into a merely organic or
lower physical exercise, Engaged For The Sake Of Nothing
More Than Stress-Release and Temporary Pseudo-Bliss.” 1

I do not want to read more than another paragraph.
[Laughter.] I dare not read the rest of it. It goes
into some very serious and erotic details.
[Laughter.] A Spiritual Master must not speak these
things, is this true?

DEVOTEE: No, no, no!

MASTER DA: That is right. If a Spiritual Master does not
speak it, then who will? Let me read you one more paragraph.
“True Sila (As A sexual Discipline) Involves Either The
Intelligent Relinquishment Of sexual activity” – and none of
you are into that!-“Or Right Practice Of ‘Sexual
Communion'”. True Spiritual Masters do not talk about these
erotic details of bodily pleasure, am I right?

DEVOTEE: Master, there is a tradition for it.

MASTER DA: Yes! Fortunately for all of you there is a
tradition for it. People like me have been around for a long
time. People like me always feel strange around people like
you. [Laughter.] People like me have existed in all
times, in all circumstances, in all societies, and we always
feel strange around people like you. It is true!

Now let us try to go on. “The sexual Motive, Divorced
From The Spiritual Reality and Engaged Apart From The Motive
Of self Transcendence, Is A Principal Effort (Coming Out Of
The Adaptations Of The First Three Stages Of Life) Whereby
individuals Avoid The Call To self-Transcending
God-Realization.” This is one of the most critical passages
in this entire book. I don’t think I should read any more of

DEVOTEE: Why not, Master? It’s critical!

MASTER DA: What is critical about it is that without
transcendence of the sexual ego there is no entrance into
the fourth stage of life or the stages beyond the fourth. It
seems to me that this is a very important passage. I do not
know of a single devotee who has heard me on this point. Not

The principal reason I have no devotees in the FCC 4
stage is this sexual matter. What is this sexual matter? It
is the first three stages of life, the emotional-sexual
attachment to conditional existence. This chapter about
sexuality is one of the longest chapters in the book, and
for good reason. My destiny is already guaranteed. I made my
own ticket. I may slice out of here any day of the week. You
all, however, are at page 339. Even those of you who are
most profoundly bored by your marriage relationship are
stuck in this moment. This is why this chapter is one of the
largest chapters in the book. [Master Da speaks in a
dramatic tone] “Suddenly I had the case cracked wide
open.” This chapter is about a third of the way through the
book and that is about where you all are-about a third of
the way through my book. Mark my words. This is my
observation. This sexual matter is the point on which you

In the traditions, celibacy is called for at this point.
You are not hungry for that resolution. Mere celibacy is
nothing. Our children are celibate. It amounts to nothing
for them in their stage of life. There is no choice
involved. The resolution described in this chapter is the
only true resolution. As it says, there is no entrance into
the fourth stage of life or the stages beyond without
transcendence of the sexual ego. That is most profoundly
true. It is the most fundamental reason why today is not
quite a celebration. You are all riding back and forth on
this sexual matter. You are hedging your bet through
intimacy, particularly as expressed in your sexuality. This
is the moment you are in perpetually, consistently. Am I
depressing you?


MASTER DA: Sexuality is such a force, it envelops your
body. You feel it sensually. You feel it emotionally. It
corrupts your thinking. This is why, since ancient days,
those individuals who have most seriously pursued
God-Realization have abandoned the sexual motive, whatever
their circumstance. No more sex, no more marriage, no more
household conversation, period. In this chapter I go on to
suggest an alternative to that absolute, but this is the
point in my consideration of the Way where you all stop. If
any of you could go beyond that point I would have FCC 4
members within the week.

But the one thing you will not transcend is your sexual
motive in other words, your energetic impulse to attach
yourself to birth and death, to the possibility of pleasure
through this body. That is it, and sex is the heightening of
that possibility.

You know very well that in my Testament and the other
examples of my Teaching I consider the possibility of
continued sexual, or married, life, but consider my
description of it! My description provides an entirely
different context from that in which you indulge in sex. It
is at this point that you stop. It is at this point that the
argument between us begins. This is the moment of transition
between the third and the fourth stage of life. There are
various strategies you could apply to try to effect that
transition, but what is really required is a transformation
of your habit of relating to an intimate. That is a
disturbing confrontation that you generally avoid most every
day of your life.

The principal obstacle to the fourth stage of life is
sex-there is no doubt about it. That is why traditionally
the most common resolution is celibacy-abandoning the
family, abandoning the household disposition. That is a
quick, easy, simple, straightforward slice through the
conditions of existence, but look at all the disturbance it
would create in the ordinariness of daily life. It could be
done, but mere celibacy would result in egoic independence
and dissociation from the married state and would become the
conventional disposition that has been animated
traditionally. As an alternative to that I suggest sexual
communion, true marriage, which I elaborate on in the
Testament. I could read this section to you, but you have
all already read it. It proposes something quite different
from what you are living day to day. It is on this point
that you divert yourself and become conventional people. It
is there that the yoga stops. I have considered this matter
with many people face to face for years on end. It is the
most difficult point of consideration. At this stage in my
Teaching life, I do not intend to engage in this
consideration with you anymore. You must engage in it. You
must make sexual communion out of your conventional
marriages. You must do it, not me.

Sexuality is still the most difficult point. The
consideration of sexuality in chapter
and the consideration of character strategies in
are most basic to real practice in the FCC 3 stage
and the transition to the FCC 4 stage. Nobody can replace
that consideration. I cannot. I will not. You must
understand yourself in relation to this matter. It is not
merely about sex. It is about everything that consoles you
and points you to the body as a solution to existence.

Examine yourself in meditation each day. What do you
settle for in the Communion Hall? You go in stressed, in
dilemma, with problems in the body, emotional difficulty all
through the frontal line, and what do you settle for? An
hour or an hour and a half of struggling, after which you
feel more comfortable in the body. Then you rise up from
that place to animate yourself bodily in relation to others.
The practice considered in The Dawn Horse Testament goes
beyond that! From my point of view the sexual matter, the
ordinary human matter, is ordinary. It is already settled
before you go into the Communion Hall. What do you deal with
in meditation in that case? You deal with the difference
between egoic self-possession in the bodily frame and the
transcendence of that, at least in the context of the fifth
stage of life, the ascending life. Just as mankind is
generally involved in a confusion, a conversation, an
argument about the transition from the third to the fourth
stage of life, my devotees are involved in a conflict, a
consideration, a controversy about the transition between
the fourth and the fifth stage of life. You will not move
into the fifth and higher stages of life until you can
transcend this knot of the body.

To move beyond the first four stages of life does not
require dissociation from the body. It does require,
however, a profound understanding of everything you are
involved in that consoles you with bodily existence itself.
In general, that is where my devotees sit. There is still
conflict about the transition from the third to the fourth
stage of life, but there is also the consideration, the
argument, the conflict, the controversy, about the
transcendence of the bodily ego and the movement into the
fifth stage of life into the exalted, bodily transcendent
orientation toward existence.

It is possible to engage in sexual experience and have it
be totally transparent to the fifth stage orientation. That
is the origin of the practice of sexual communion. But you
all, however you indulge in this sexual orientation, somehow
find within it a motive and a means to reemphasize the first
three stages of life. You do not transcend yourself in
marriage and sexuality. You reemphasize your adolescence.
You generate conflict through the principle of sexuality in
your marriage relationship. You must understand this. As
soon as you contact the sexual motive, you contract, you
dissociate from the flow of life. You must observe yourself
in that moment, in that effort. You must understand the
self-contraction in the midst of pleasure, in the midst of
sexuality. This is a most profound consideration.

Of all the aggravations associated with the first three
stages of life, this sexual principle is the most profound.
No one has moved on to the FCC 4 stage, because you do not
understand and transcend yourself in the midst of what
consoles you most fundamentally. Do you understand what I am
talking about? That is the circumstance of your struggle.
The principle of the Way is not dissociation from these
conditional phenomena. The principle of the Way is the
observation and understanding of conditional phenomena and
the transcendence of their limiting force.

This is a very basic consideration, which is why I have
spent so many hours considering it in the past. You must be
impressed by your experience in intimacy. You must feel it
altogether. You must transform these sexual relationships
into true marriage and sexual communion. This is a very
difficult process. I have noticed how difficult it is for
you. This transformation is not a matter of your doing
something exaggerated. It is a much more subtle and profound
feeling-consideration of intimacy. No intervention from
without, no estranging of your sexuality, amounts to the
transformation I am talking about. You must hear me, you
must observe yourself, and you must understand your bodily
commitment to self-possession.

I know that sexual pleasure is your most profound
experience of self-consolation in the body. Is this not
true? The consideration of sexuality in chapter
21 of the Testament
is most important. It does not call
you to a weird experiment. It calls you to consider your
intimacy – simply that! – to consider it as it is, most
directly, to consider how you operate, how you feel within
it, how you act within it, how you react to it, how you
think about it. The transformation of sexuality into sexual
communion and true marriage is a profound gesture, perhaps
the most fundamental effort, or energizing of the being,
that provides the basis of the transition from the fourth to
the fifth stage of life and even from the third to the
fourth stage of life. That entire, middling dimension of
life is limited by this sexual force. If you were all eighty
years old it would be nothing. It is a serious matter in
your case because you are all relatively young. All of you
here are twenty-five to sixty years old and stuffed full of
hormones, with not a lot of intelligence about it. I am
telling you that you must become intelligent in the midst of
your sexuality. Otherwise, there is no transition to the
higher stages of life.

I can tell this is bringing you all down. I see a lot of
somber looks.

I am sorry I must constantly bring this message to you,
but do not blame me. This matter of identification with the
body is the most essential force that retards the transition
from the third to the fourth – and then from the fourth to
the fifth stage of life. What binds you is not merely sexual
intercourse. What binds you is allegiance to the body,
identification with the body. You are tending to become
committed to the consolation of the self, bodily, through
sex. Even if you only have sex once a month, it is the time
every month! The sexuality consideration is no casual
matter, nor is eating. That is why I wrote an entire book
about it-because people eat all day long! If you are not
eating, you are sexing, and if you are not sexing, you are
shitting. You are involved in the same gross functional
bodily process all day long. Am I right or wrong? This seems
to me to be very important. I’m sorry! [Laughter.]
Give me a break. Give me a smile or something! I just got
into talking Truth! I’m sorry! [Laughter. ] We could
have watched Humphrey Bogart on television instead.

I am simply trying to focus you on the essence of what
you must consider in the transition to the fifth stage of
life. You are all involved in the neuroses of the first
three stages of life, the transition to the fourth stage of
life, and the transition beyond that to the fifth. The
essence of bondage in the first three stages is sex, or self
pleasuring in the body. This is why the traditions have
targeted sex and required people to simply be celibate. None
of you are doing that. You are all entertaining the sexual
possibility and only toying with the real discipline. You
are not transcending the self-binding aspect of sexuality
and the body. You are playing the field, you are on the
fence, and therefore you are merely in the third stage of
life-on your better days in the fourth, and in your mind
moving toward the fifth. You must deal with your sexuality.
You tend to seek a perfection of some sort, a holy
satisfaction, ultimate love marriage, sex-orgasm perfection
in the body. Perfection is not in the body! As we discussed
earlier this evening, most of you are moving on toward
forty. The hormones are already disappearing.

Shall we talk about jazz? Would some other subject cheer
you up? Sorry. This is where I am at, I guess.
[Laughter.] These intimate relationships you have
all concocted are precisely the circumstance of your real
practice. You must deal with this matter of marriage or
there is no transition to the FCC 4 stage, nor even any real
transition to the FCC 3 stage. This is why so much is made
of this matter in the traditions, why there is so much
celibacy there! You ladies are pretty, but what are you
going to look like in forty years? I can see you are all
depressed by this. I’m sorry. [Laughter.] Let me
read a portion from my book. Let me pick an arbitrary page,
something in the advanced stages …

No, I am afraid you are stuck with the point of view of
Truth for the night.

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Stage of Life