Emotional Conversion


Page Title

“There Is No Spiritual Practice Without Emotional
Conversion” From Don’t You Think (Vol. 02, No. 01) –
February 1981

Author(s): Adi Da Samraj



Volume 2, Numbers 1


Crazy Wisdom

There Is No Spiritual Practice Without Emotional

A Talk by Da Free John

DA FREE JOHN: When I was in college, I worked on a story
entitled, “Monday Morning They Told Me There Is No God.” In
the story everybody but the main character knows a great,
dreadful secret. Then at some point in his life he is
formally told the secret by someone older than he. The
secret is that there is no God.

Did you not receive that very message in your own life?
Did it come to you abruptly, creating a wave of devastating
consequences and disturbances that have persisted to this
moment? Or did this message perhaps come to you from before
the time of your earliest memory, creating a constant thread
of anxiety and doubt? You have all experienced a loss of
faith in God, have you not? Perhaps you have not quite
recovered from the impact of this message, and as a result
you remain out of communion with whatever is altogether. You
are out of relationship with the entire Process of existence
in which you are mysteriously appearing, and of which you
have very little knowledge.

Throughout your life you have suffered the anxiety and
the threats of this particular realm of experience in which
you appear. You have fallen out of faith in God, and you
have fallen into yourself. Instead of living by faith, or
self-transcending surrender, you live by self-contemplation,
striving for consolations, deeply and profoundly threatened
by death. You probably no longer even acknowledge the limit
that the threat of death is producing on your consciousness
and feeling. Therefore, you must consider this: Do you want
to live in fear all the time? Do you want to be
self-possessed, angry, and full of doubt? Such reactive
emotions are all signs of the reflex that I point
to—the contraction of feeling at the heart that is
fear. Are you in an emotionally disturbed relationship to
the totality of everything? Is that your basic state of
life? Consider your emotional dissociation from the totality
of what is arising. Do you not suffer this? Are you not

Because of the suffering inherent in experience, you have
developed an habitual attitude of emotional dissociation
from the Great Process in which you exist. You do not know
whether to trust this Process or not. The lack of trust is
the source of your anxiety about death. If you felt a
relationship of trust to the Process in which we are
appearing, you could allow death to be what it is, with the
feeling of certainty that the Process is benign and not
merely manipulating and ultimately annihilating you and all
other beings. The relationship of trust and surrender to
God, Who is this “Great Process,” is what makes a lifetime
bearable. Such faith relieves you of the stress of death and
the confined realizations of the self-possessed personality.
Thus, much of the emotional tension at the root of the
being, the heart, is the failure or lack of surrendered
self-release into the very Condition in which we exist.

Presently you are uptight in relation to the very
Condition in which we exist. You do not trust the Process.
You never feel free and happy and released at your heart. If
you were released at the heart, that would be sufficient.
Your heart is hardened, and so you want to be involved in
philosophy and mysticism. If the hardening of the heart
ceases, if the heart becomes vulnerable to the eternal
Presence of God, or the totality of That which obviously is,
you may begin to experience all kinds of extraordinary
phenomena. Such experience, however, would no longer be
significant or fascinating to you.

Presently, though, you are suffering an emotional
problem. Non-faith in God, non-surrender to Life, is the
expression of an emotional problem, a neurotic state that is
dramatized not only in relationship to your family and
friends, but in your disposition toward everything
altogether. In fact, this emotional dissociation is founded
on a reactive confrontation with the world, with everything
altogether, through the incident of birth itself.

Feel your state in this moment. The unreleased,
contracted nature of your feeling is a neurotic symptom.
This is the common neurosis of most individuals—to feel
dissociated, to be without faith, and therefore to be
committed to all kinds of strivings and fascinations and
bewilderment. That emotional disturbance is the same as the
avoidance of relationship, or the simple contraction of the
individual and all of his or her functional parts. This
disturbance affects all relations and all states of mind. It
is universally contracted upon itself, like Narcissus bent
over the pond.

Therefore, no matter what we consider together about
spiritual practice and esoteric spiritual philosophy, this
fundamental matter of neurosis tends to remain a constant
factor. Emotional conversion is the basis of preparation for
true spiritual practice. You must pass beyond the emotional
dilemma that the conventional state of your body-mind
represents. You must be restored to faith, to surrender, and
to native intimacy with the Principal of Life, with the very
Consciousness of the being, no longer mistrusting it,
although you may not and in fact cannot know everything
about it.

DEVOTEE: It seems that when you do recognize that you are
contracting, separating yourself from God, then you can
surrender your contraction.

DA FREE JOHN: Yes. In some sense, the recognition of this
neurosis is coincident with the attitude of surrender. In
the maze of your sensations and thoughts, you suddenly
realize that fundamentally what you are suffering or
experiencing is a sense of disturbance, or dissociation,
that motivates your philosophical and human interests, high
and low. Therefore, the force of this neurosis must be
undone. To willfully try to feel faith and surrender may
seem to suffice for a time, but it is not ultimately or
radically effective. Fundamentally, what is necessary is the
sudden recognition of the fact that this emotional
dissociation is exactly what you have always been

The transcendence of this neurosis has great
philosophical implications. It is the root of a great
Realization relative to the nature and significance of human
life, and of experience altogether. Thus, the release of the
emotional problem and the restoration of faith, or natural
surrender, are the basis of the true Way of Life. This
release-restoration is similar to what might occur in the
release of a specific, functional neurosis, such as the
inability to stop smoking, except it must affect you
totally, not in just one aspect of your behavior. Not
everyone has the neurotic inability to stop smoking, but
everyone characteristically has the problem of an automatic
and chronic sense of emotional dissociation and disturbance,
and everyone must realize its release, and the resumption of
the native, God-inspired disposition of happiness.

The basis of all true philosophy and spirituality then is
this emotional conversion. First, you must “hear” the
Teaching of Truth and be able to recognize your chronic
state from moment to moment. You must gain the capacity to
recognize and transcend its negative qualities in every
moment by suddenly realizing that you are creating your own
suffering. It is like clenching your fist and then suddenly
realizing that your hand hurts. You have been clenching your
fist, and as soon as you see that, you can release it.
Because this action of contraction is not consciously
observed, it remains an automaticity. However, as soon as
you fully and feelingly recognize this dissociation, it
comes into the field of the mind and is spontaneously

The recognition that our suffering is created moment to
moment by our contraction is the very basis of the spiritual
process, and surrender itself, in most direct emotional
terms, is the essence of this Way of Life. This Way is
founded in a perfect emotional disposition of faith, trust,
and surrender to the Divine Condition. It is all an
emotional matter. In the course of this Way you may pass
through higher psycho-physical phenomena, psychic
perceptions, and mystical experiences, but transcending the
fundamental emotional disturbance is the primary practice of
this Way. The Way is not hatha yoga, or raja yoga, or
kundalini yoga or even jnana yoga, you see. None of these
traditional yogas deal with the emotional disturbance. The
traditional yogi considers the detached, “tranquil,” pure
awareness of the Self idea as the ultimate truth, but that
is a purely mental and dismal conception that does not at
all represent a right understanding.

You must deal with this emotional neurosis. This is my

Emotional conversion is the primary significance of the
entire Way that I Teach, not brain mysticism or functional,
yogic disciplines. Those are just forms of experience
adaptation, and learning that are very superficial when
compared to this fundamental emotional neurosis. To move
beyond that chronic state of neurotic, emotional
dissociation into free feeling-attention and trust in
relation to the entire Process in which we appear is the
essence of this Way of Life.

True spiritual practitioners, you see, have found God and
have been spell-bound. Such individuals have been restored
to faith and are no longer habitually contracting in an
uninspected manner. This emotional transformation is the
mechanism whereby the body-mind is Transfigured, and through
which practice matures, whereas the mechanisms of brain
mysticism or yoga do not break the seal between the self and
the Transcendental Reality.

The Divine Process is Reality. We can refuse to
acknowledge It and suffer from that resistive contraction,
or we can surrender to It and allow It to reveal Itself.
Therefore, you must be restored to a right relationship to
God, which is Communion, love, surrender, faith. You must
allow the Divine to be what It is, thus granting God
dominion or mastery over your life. Give up your
self-possession, your contraction, your fear, and your
search for self-survival, and surrender into the Condition
in which you are appearing altogether. Just surrender and be
full of faith and love. Give up your struggle and your
wondering about whether you should depend on the Divine. You
must depend on God in any case. You have no choice—you
must inevitably make this emotional and psychological
transition. You must be converted and enter into the
disposition of one who actually does trust the Process of
existence, whatever it actually turns out to be.

Therefore, the life I propose is one of heartfelt
surrender to God. If you will surrender into that revealed
Transcendental Person, then all the effects of the patterns
of experience and existence will be transcended. When you
give yourself up completely, then you are Transfigured by
that One. You incarnate all the manifest qualities of that
One and you are even physically Transformed. Ultimately you
will be Outshined, and you may even disappear in
Light-Radiance. Perhaps the whole world will be Outshined
and will dissolve in Light if only a few will surrender to
that degree. That is the ancient intuition of the
world-transforming Power of God.

You must find God. You must feel overwhelmed,
irresistibly attracted by the Force of Divinity in which you
are appearing and in which all experience is arising. You
must be drawn out of your conventional perception and
emotional contraction into the fire of spiritual awakening.
This is the great Principle of life—find God and then
worship God forever. Surrender the total body-mind to the
One you have found. Then you will be ultimately
Transfigured, Transformed, and Translated or Outshined by
That which you worship. Therefore, find God and worship or
surrender to God completely in every moment. That surrender
is the entire Way.

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Adi Da, Ramana Maharshi, Nityananda, Shridi Sai Baba, Upasani Baba,  Seshadri Swamigal , Meher Baba, Sivananda, Ramsuratkumar
“The perfect
among the sages is identical with Me. There is absolutely no
difference between us”
Chap XX,

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