Experience and Maturity
A Discourse Given by Adi Da Samraj, on December 13, 1992.
“If hearing is to be true, it must encompass all aspects of the first three stages of life and the foundation of the fourth stage of life.”
DEVOTEE (seventeen years old): Sri Gurudev, must someone be of a certain age to have heard You?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: No, there is no specific age. But the person must be “older” rather than “younger”.’ If hearing is to be true, it must encompass all aspects of the first three stages of life and the foundation of the fourth stage of life. In general, although there could be extraordinary exceptions if hearing is to be the case, the person must have reached the age of adult maturity a significantly long time ago. If your confession of true hearing is to be taken seriously, you must have had the full range of ordinary human experience. In general, then, a teenager, although growing in My Company and having something serious to confess, should not be taken seriously relative to the confession of hearing, because such a young person has not even had certain ordinary, human-life, first-three-stages-of-life experiences yet, nor taken them into account.
So, in general, what rule of thumb can I Give? Around age twenty-five or so would perhaps be the age when the confession of hearing could be taken seriously. This is not an absolute rule. In some cases it could be a little before then, and, even in most cases, perhaps significantly later. Hearing must be summary relative to the foundation human experience. A child or a teenager has some experience, and something to communicate and to serve in others through telling My Leelas, and there can be great growth in a young person’s practice, but there is still more to experience.
Hearing must be summary relative to the foundation of life. Therefore, hearing must encompass all that is associated with the first three stages of life and the beginning of the fourth stage of life. As a general rule of thumb, I think that twenty-five years of age is about the age when someone’s confession of hearing might be taken seriously.
You have heard the confessions of hearing tonight among these old fools, or getting-old fools. [to one of the women] How old are you?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: That is not very old, but it is not young either. One need not get to be thirty-nine or in one’s forties, fifties, sixties, or even hundreds–[indicating one of the men] like this one! True hearing can occur at any time in one’s life, but only on the basis of a most serious application to devotion to Me, to practice in My Company and to dealing with the fundamentals of ordinary life. As a teenager, you do not know anything about many of the fundamentals of ordinary life. Yet you think you know everything because you are seventeen! People at seventeen think they know everything. Some man once said, “When I was a boy, I thought my father was a fool. When I grew up, I realized what great experience and wisdom he possessed.”
There is a certain kind of presumption in you young people because you are so hearty, so energetic, so idealistic. When you are just making the transition from very early life into adulthood, there is a certain kind of impatience, even impatience with the adults you are observing in their limitations, and you think maybe you are superior to them. Yet the reason those adults look so retarded is that they have had experiences you have not had yet! Such experience makes their eyes go blank, and they look a little stupid. They get all kinds of aggravated. It makes you wonder what is happening, with them. You are still rather young and rather pure, and you cannot understand why these people would be doing such things.
If you rightly relate to Me and maintain the disciplines I have Given you, you need not have many years of stupid. However, almost inevitably there is some period of stupid in your life, and that is how you know when somebody is an adult! They get that stupid look on their face.
ANOTHER DEVOTEE (twenty-one years old): Sri Gurudev I have a question along the same lines about hearing. I am wondering if it is possible to move into the beginning process without being involved in an emotional-sexual relationship.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You must understand that whether you are involved in an intimacy or not you are still dealing with your emotional-sexual life, which is not only the physical act of sex but all the notions in mind about how to relate to male others and female others. Then there is all the complexity that comes out of your childhood, your family relations, the “Oedipal” strategy I have Addressed in you. You are always dealing with the emotional-sexual matter –and not merely because you are involved in an intimate relationship. Celibates deal with the emotional-sexual dimension of life, too. You are always dealing with it. It is fundamental to the first three stages of life. Whether you are sexually active with another or not makes no difference, really. You must still deal with the same content, the same business, and it is just as directly observable whether you are involved in an intimacy or not. If it were not so, celibates could never Realize God. Therefore, you are always dealing with it, always.
So, the answer to your question is, “No, you need not be involved in an intimacy to deal with the emotional-sexual business. Whether you are involved in an intimacy or not, you are always entertaining your, emotional-sexual strategy somehow or other, and you are always involved in it in your human character, your human sign, your way of relating to male others and female others. You even tend to superimpose on Me your notions of how to relate to a male other, or even a female other, perhaps. Whatever game you are playing, you bring the imposition of your emotional-sexual character to your relationship to Me And you cannot relate to Me purely and directly until all of your emotional-sexual imposition is erased, gone, at least from your relationship to Me.
Therefore, whether you are particularly sexually active or not, I am dealing with all of you all the time about your emotional-sexual signs in how you relate to Me, and then, of course, how you relate to everyone else, male or female, young or old. These are all impositions and signs that are built into the body-mind by experience. I Call you to submit to Me and observe yourself spontaneously — as you will if you submit to Me — relative to all the aspects of your patterning, your games, your ways of relating to everyone. Therefore, I do not tell you to just observe yourself. I Call you to submit to Me, embrace devotion to Me, practice self-surrendering and self-forgetting devotion to Me. If you will do that, effective self-observation will arise spontaneously.
I do not say, “Just observe yourself.” Mere observation of oneself in life is self watching. It is not productive. You just build up all kinds of details, analysis, descriptions of “Narcissus”. Self-observation in the Way of the Heart is not an exercise that is independently done by anyone. It is something that arises spontaneously in your practice of self-surrendering and self-forgetting devotion to Me. In the circumstance of doing just that hour by hour, moment by moment, every day, observation of the self-contraction, or separate self in its patterning, will occur spontaneously. I do not Call you merely to observe yourself. I Tell you that merely to watch, yourself, to be all kinds of busy noticing yourself, is not right practice, and not useful. It is Narcissus at the pond! It is Narcissus, looking at the reflection and even thinking that maybe it is somebody else, and becoming more and more interested in the one that seems to be looking back.
Whether you think the one you are looking at is somebody else or not, you become more and more interested. The more you watch yourself, the more and more interested in yourself you become. That is not self-observation. That is self-watching. Self-observation is an insight that is self-correcting. It is ultimately self-transcending, and it occurs in every moment of self-surrendering and self-forgetting devotion to Me.
Make Me your preoccupation, therefore, and do the exercise I have Given you. Then all the self-observation that is necessary will occur in the circumstance of the Yoga of Ishta-Guru-Bhakti, and it will be useful to you, it will be self-transcending. Merely to be looking at yourself and saying blah-blah this and that about yourself and reporting to everybody and writing in your diary is totally useless business — that is “Narcissus”. That is it!. “Narcissus” is you looking at yourself in the pond. “Narcissus” is just a metaphor for the mind. The mind is always self-watching, always reflecting yourself to yourself, always being preoccupied with yourself. You can build up volumes of self-description by resorting to the mind, and yet they will change absolutely nothing.
The one who is “Narcissus” is relieved from his or her bondage only by the practice of the self-transcending exercise of devotion to Me. In the circumstance of devotion to Me, everything that needs to be observed and taken into account in a truly, effectively self-transcending manner will occur spontaneously. Some wag once said, “Love is an over-estimation of the sex object.” In ordinary, or romantic, love there is so much of undeveloped emotion and lack of discrimination and insight. When you are attracted to somebody, suddenly the person is surrounded by an aura of sublimity and absoluteness that is full of poetry! You do not see the one you are looking at anymore. You imagine that the person is sublime.
That is exactly how these people here [gesturing toward everyone in the room] became involved in their intimacies. And after they established the intimacies, they found out they were full of bullshit.