Discriminative Intelligence and True Hearing



Chapter 5

Oblige the Body-Mind to Be Intelligently Guided

On the night of December 5, after a few opening remarks by various devotees, the gathering begins with a confession from Aniello Panico, a longtime devotee who has been in Avatar Adi Das Company since shortly after the opening of the hollywood Ashram in 1972.

DEVOTEE: [speaking in a voice full of feeling] My Lord, when we gathered with You earlier this year, in January, it was, as always, magnificent to be in Your Company and feel how You Draw us into the Great Reality That You Are. A lot of things occurred during that time for me experientially, but one night You did a guided meditation that was just utterly unbelievable to me in one respect, which is that, after all these years, I realized that I had never really come in touch with the depth of the self-contraction. That night You were Drawing us through it. You just enveloped us and we were Drawn in, sitting in the most incredible Happiness, in You, and because of You.

And I actually got down there and really felt because You did it so magnificently. You said, “Feel how to be Happy in this very moment.” You were Drawing us into that whole . . . not experience, but Reality. And it was just so wonderful. I kept getting deeper and deeper into Your Company, in You. And then You said, “You can feel all the way down there, that there is the self-knot, and you cant be Happy unless that is severed through most fundamental self-understanding and My Grace.”

So I really came in touch with that. And when You sat in Darshan a month ago in Land Bridge Pavilion on Your Jayanthi, it really penetrated me again, to feel that Great Happiness with You, and yet to feel that I was always doing something to feel the self-knot.

Its an interesting thing for me at this time, because, as Youve pointed out (and just to cop to it), I obviously wasnt practicing with the intensity that is required to really be able, through Your Grace, to penetrate the self-knot, understand it, and, of course, in the process, just be Happy in that moment. But Ive had moments of it over the past year, and particularly lately, since Youve been here in California.

So I just want to confess that. I really didnt even have a question, other than to just want to confess that to You, and also just the great Grace of Your Being, because its . . . [devotee is overcome with emotion and unable to finish His sentence. He says quietly, with great intensity of feeling:] I really love You, Master.

The entire room is full of heart-broken feeling. Adi Da sits deeply still, regarding devotee with a look of unutterable sweetness, and responding quietly with His characteristic sound of Blessing.


Adi Da slowly turns His head back from having been gazing at the devotee to the side. His eyes close and He sits absolutely motionless and calm. The devotees in the room are quickly drawn into a great depth of feeling. All impulse to continue talking is suddenly vanished, as a period of profound meditative Communion with Adi Da Samraj spontaneously begins. Some sit utterly still, others are sighing and swooning in ecstasy, while others are responding with kriyas.

This meditative Communion gradually becomes deeper and deeper, lasting for about half an hour. Eventually, a feeling of completeness pervades the room, and, with a slight readjustment of His posture, Avatar Adi Da indicates that the meditative occasion has come to an end. Everyone sighs in gratitude and praise.

DEVOTEE: You are so great, Lord.

DEVOTEE: Thank You, Lord.

After a brief silence, the devotee speaks again.

DEVOTEE: I noticed, as You said previously, My Lord, that in that long interval that we just had with each other, when my attention was on You and really feeling You, I didn’t feel the self-contraction. Literally. And then, when I took my attention off You or it wandered or what-have-you, I would feel that self-contraction again.

DEVOTEE: Lord, You just completely Live us. You Give us every Gift that could possibly be Given. A lot of this meditation occasion felt to me like the most sublime Instruction from You. And whenever the mind would give it a shape and reflect on it, it would be radiated by You and turned to You and then deepened and made more profound by You. And it’s as if the capacity even to shape the mind around it was lost. And then You would just be Living us as this Mindless Embodiment that You Are.

When a thought would begin to arise again, it would be clarified and deepened and made more profound by Your Yoga, including all of us. I really love You. Thank You for all Your Gifts.

DEVOTEE: Beloved, at one point I could see the Matrix of how You are connected to and through everyone. You are clearly at the Core. It’s circular around You, but it also has lines associated with it as it goes out. I’m completely grateful for Your endless Grace, and You Give constant opportunity. You always Give the opportunity. It’s never not Given. I completely love You

Another period of silent meditation for a few minutes follows, then the devotee speaks in a quiet voice.

DEVOTEE: Beloved, You are Prior to mind and body. You are a Thoughtless Feeling. When we sit here in Your Company, sit in deepest Communion with You, all these faculties are simply recognized. And yet, when I’m not in Your Company or in Communion with You as deeply, somehow the patterns of the mind and of body begin to re-initiate themselves.

Suddenly, the deeply quiet room explodes with Adi Das roar:

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: It’s all horseshit!!!

Everyone laughs at the humor of this sudden explosion, but also in appreciation for the way Adi Da Samraj is blasting devotee (and everyones) willingness to settle for these patterns, at the expense of truly serious Spiritual practice. Then, suddenly switching back again to the mood of intense calm, Adi Da continues in a soft, slow, deep voice, pausing at times between sentences and phrases, and speaking with tremendous Transmission of Profundity.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: They don’t “begin to re-initiate themselves”. You just change your asana from one in which you are, in this present moment, established in the Yoga of self-surrendering, self-forgetting Communion with Me, to another moment in which you allow the body-mind to be set up in some conventional, busy, preoccupied, self-contracted fashion.

There’s nothing mysterious about why it is so, however. It’s not like it just sort of “comes over you”. What is happening is you’re simply not extending what you know to be the case into your psycho-physical domain of responsibility. You’re allowing it to just go on and be a pattern, controlled by all kinds of forces.

You live peripherally, superficially from the outside, at the outside. But everything works from the inside out. So you must accept principles in your life, upon this “consideration”. Once having “considered” the matter, you must apply the principles of the Way. You must oblige the body-mind to be intelligently guided by your best understanding, instead of being a “something else” that sort of “comes over you” kind of thing.

If you have the faculty of discriminative intelligence as your own, then you’re not just an infant, allowing your mother and father to handle everything if you realize this is a dimension of your own functioning. Discriminative intelligence is in the captains’ seat relative to all the other kinds of things (like sensations, concepts, and so on). So it’s the senior dimension of your own participation of body-mind.

So, having “considered” what I have put to you, and having entered into your response to Me, you have to apply all of this intentionally. So, instead of getting up from this room after this gathering and walking outside and just getting in a whirl of preoccupation otherwise, and saying it just “came over you”, you would (instead) know you must and happily do so embrace principles that have to do with the pattern of the body-mind.

You must be able to apply the will, having “considered” matters intelligently, examined your experience, and having agreed to observe all the discipline necessary for the real process of Communion with Me and Realization of Me.

Then, instead of just letting the body-mind pattern be whatever it is by tendency and so on, you would oblige it. And the fundamental way you would oblige it would be to always be functioning from the depth, from the inside out having entered into that depth as a basis of your day. The meditation process is simply an opportunity to be set apart, step aside from all other matters and enter into this depth, even during the time of the waking-state hours. Not so that you can just have something happen to the body-mind when you happen to do that meditation-time, and then you get up and live an ordinary life. No. So that you can constantly remain in and ever-deepen this fundamental depth-position, from which you generate the whole process of self-surrendering, self-forgetting, and your response to Me.

The functional, practical, relational, and cultural disciplines of the Way of the Heart are about this conforming of the various aspects of the body-mind to the process and the condition at the depth, the depth-point of your existing here.

It’s not so much “deep inside”, whatever that would mean. But it is heart-process, heart-faith, heart-feeling, more and more open, going more and more beyond all limitations on feeling.

You know what I mean when I say that that is a “deepening” process? [Devotees murmur assent.] You can feel what that means, mm?

DEVOTEE: It feels as though it’s Prior and Senior to attention, even. It guides attention or informs attention.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Its Realization is Ultimately beyond attention, but the practice in its foundation (and generally speaking) is this Yoga of the four faculties. “Invoke Me, feel Me, breathe Me, serve Me” suggests those faculties. And so, in every moment, there is this devotion of the faculties to Me. Mind (or attention, which is the root of mind) is fitted to a Yoga, moment to moment, which is a discipline, a pattern (in other words), an asana, to which you oblige the body-mind, by which you control it (in the most positive sense), rather than allowing it to be sheerly a pattern without integrity, without ultimacy. And so with the other faculties emotion, breath, and body.

You must embrace the culture of this Way of life with real discipline of the body-mind. If you do this, then you are responsible for the asana, or attitude, of the body-mind in every moment. And the reason you enter into meditation and puja the first thing every day is because that confirms that this is the fundamental position for any activity in the waking state. That is the basis for it. So the right asana throughout the day is this asana of practicing in the depth-position, not losing it. The moment to moment practice is constantly allowing it to flower, and so on.

There is no well-being, no integrity of being, without handling this fundamental business of being really, and most fully, or otherwise at least significantly, functioning in and working at the in-depth level of your existence.

The body-mind itself will automatically go into patterns it has inherited. It is there as a complex habit, stimulated by all kinds of experiences (and so on) that might arise. So, without the exercise of discriminative intelligence, really “considering” matters, and the feeling-disposition in-depth, truly sensitive to matters, and feeling altogether, then the body-mind loses its connection and its right pattern of association with the Source.

Self-discipline is an aspect of “conductivity” the functional, practical, and relational disciplines are a part of “conductivity” discipline. In other words, it is simply the right pattern, the Pleasure Dome pattern of Yogic integrity. It’s the pattern of well-being, and of Realization. But you have to build this into the event, which means you must be able to exercise this feeling-sensitivity and this discriminative intelligence. You must be able to exercise it as a force of will and essentially release it into the responsive self-surrender of Communion with Me, maintaining the depth, the Yoga of depth, moment to moment but, in all of that, simply and directly being able to direct the body-mind into a right pattern, the pattern of depth, the structure of energy, of well-being, and Yoga altogether.

So you must come from that depth-position of meditation and puja before entering into activities in the waking state, and remain in the asana of that depth from the time of meditation and puja. Maintain that heart-asana, and discipline the body-mind, functionally, practically, relationally, in all the modes of culture I’ve Given you.

This devotional Yoga, Ruchira Buddha Bhakti Yoga, is moment to moment. Fundamentally, its a matter of exercising it profoundly in this set-apart time of meditation and puja, and then, through random, artful practice moment to moment, constantly refresh it, preserve it. All of this is to conform the body-mind to the Source-Purpose, the in-depth Condition.

That basic discipline covers all aspects of the body-mind—functionally, practically, relationally, socially, culturally. So that is the pattern of your response to Me. It is the foundation Yoga of organizing your life in terms of its in-depth principle, and growing this depth, profoundly growing in it, because you do not want to suffer. Truly, you are not sympathetic with suffering. You are not sympathetic with suffering in anyone else, you are not sympathetic with suffering altogether. But if you are in a superficial position of experiencing, then you are simply part of the mechanics of suffering, the pattern of suffering, random events.

The Way of Happiness is the Way in the Depth, and not in the merely outward-directed possibilities of the body-mind. And, having established this foundation, the first thing you must realize is the key to unlocking this depth, or being opened deeply: listening to the point of hearing.

Adi Da begins gradually to speak at a more usual speed, but still in a soft, deep voice.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: True hearing, or most fundamental self-understanding, is responsible at the point of the self-contraction itself. It’s not like you describe it as you feel the self-contraction somewhere in your body, or whatever, as if its somewhere “off there in the body-mind” kind of thing. Hearing, most fundamental self-understanding, is associated with being in the position of the self-contraction itself. You are doing it. Its not merely happening to you, its not somewhere else you are in the position of it. Its this discovery of this primitive action that is constantly taking place, moment to moment, that is true hearing. And it is a profound and unique discovery. It clarifies the whole matter of seeking and is a basis for transcending the errors in the further developing stages of life. It’s the means at the center, or the means at the depth, the heart-means.

This hearing capability is profoundly important. It is a matter of being able to present the body-mind in this Yogic manner of Ruchira Buddha Bhakti. The hearing exercise is the ability to unlock the depth, to unlock the self-contraction, so that egoity is not the basis for the Spiritual process, because egoic limitations can be gone beyond directly.

You must live not only in-depth, but, in due course, you must live in the Spiritual Domain of Reality, the Spiritual Depth of Reality ultimately, in the Transcendental Depth, and, most ultimately, in the Divine Depth, the Infinitely Expanded, Boundless Depth.16 Everything else is self-contraction, which makes you a seeker, or someone dis-eased, disturbed.

The people who decide this depth and the Ultimate Realization in that Domain is important then vow to that, and do all that’s required to conform their lives to it, as a process, and, Ultimately, as a Realization. It’s not a matter of “stepping outside of the world”, so-called. It can be done in a more secluded circumstance, in a renunciate community, whatever, that is secluded. But that’s not necessary. Generally speaking, its not to be the case. But, rather, it is to embrace the practice, the Way, the culture of this depth, and all the disciplines that that requires moment to moment, and in your circumstance of life and service and so on.

To accept life as an in-depth process and not merely a superficial functional one is a way of describing, or characterizing, the sadhana of the Way of the Heart.

DEVOTEE: Beloved, You say “in-depth”, and the other night You were using the word “profundity”. It feels to me that You are referring directly to the process in relationship to You.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, Ruchira Buddha Bhakti Yoga. That elaborated via the forms of the “conscious process” and “conductivity”, as they are in your case. But always implementing the four-part fundamental Yoga.

DEVOTEE: Well, Beloved, as each level of the four faculties is surrendered, it seems that that is the location that the gesture of resort to You is made.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, you can see how, if you put your attention on any of the faculties, they seem like something different than the other faculties after you’ve worked on that one, you have to cover one of the others. That’s not the Yoga I am talking about. It is a practice in which you effectively make use of, or exercise, all of those faculties simultaneously in the simple process of responsive feeling-Contemplation of Me.

In any moment, all four of the faculties are to be exercised simultaneously in response to Me. It is not a matter of working on anyone. If you are working on any one of these faculties, you are not practicing the surrender and forgetting of it. And you are not practicing the surrender and forgetting of anything if you are trying not to remember it. On occasion, I have said, “Don’t think of a white gorilla. You can think of anything for the next five minutes, but you cant think of a white gorilla.” You would find it impossible.

So it is not a matter of not doing something in an intentional way, in that sense, but of responding to Me and entering into that most profoundly, all the faculties moved, surrendered, forgotten, in this feeling-Contemplation. It is a process of entering into depth. And functional, practical, relational, and cultural discipline of the body-mind is an ongoing process under all kinds of circumstances throughout each day. This is the way your activity is reflected to yourself, such that you generate self-understanding in the process of this self-surrendering devotion.

This process otherwise conforms the body-mind to a law or an integrity that you can feel when you are established in this depth-feeling-position, no longer in conflict. Then you can feel what the integrity of the body-mind is all about, what its structure is, what its basis is, and so forth. There are the most profound moments of this exercise, and in all the other moments of whatever you are up to, you must bring the principles from that depth-Yoga into the circumstance of life, moment to moment.

Of course, to do this, you have to have some significant maturity. You can learn about it, you can do it to some degree, you can become educated about it, and so forth, but at some point, all the faculties of the body-mind have to become obvious to you as being your responsibility. And discriminative intelligence exercised through the will has to become clear to you as being fundamental to your life, instead of you just being sort of jiggly meat, patterns of thought and sensation and amusement.

This is principal human education bring people to that point, serve people in their coming from infancy and growing up until they are all rightly equipped along these lines and know it is their responsibility, create even a kind of ceremony or acknowledgment of it if you like, make a culturally formal rite of passage out of it.

DEVOTEE: In the Way of the Heart, would that generally be age twenty-one where one would achieve that kind of responsibility for will and discriminative intelligence?

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, it is not that that person is without it even earlier on. It is a faculty that can be exercised. It generally doesn’t enter much into the picture for a while. The mother and father take it on and then gradually are supposed to relax it, giving the developing individual the ability to functionally be responsible in that sphere and so on.

So discriminative intelligence can be, and should be, exercised early on. But it must be associated with all aspects of the human first-three-stages-of-life characteristics, the capability for a responsible discipline of the body-mind based on having located the way of depth-existence.

When you were children, your parents had the role of discriminative intelligence all that must-do for your safety and well-being and right upbringing and right education, all the rest of it. You’re not supposed to exercise this particular faculty. You’re not expected to exercise it profoundly. You’re supposed to grow in other ways. As a child, you’re supposed to be a dependent and allow these kind of faculties to be exercised by the parents. But, in due course, it’s supposed to be passed on to you. It’s now your responsibility, now that you’ve been served relative to it.

But if that isn’t done, fully acknowledged, straightforward, in a social order—instead of the chaos of the way things are, generally speaking, at the present there’s no real cultural understanding of this process.

It’s a split, you see. If you’re not really given permission to then take on this faculty and really “consider” the matters of Truth and all the rest, and what you can do, then at some point you’re going to start doing something like it, or you’re going to start getting hip to something about it, but you’re going to be having a secret life about it your secret world of mind-development, your secret interests, fantasies and notions about this, that, and the other thing, reading that you do about this, that, and the other thing, and imaginings about it, or would-be about it, or hope someday to do it that kind of interior life and so on. But then when you’re having so-called “intelligent” conversations with people, all of a sudden you’re that intelligent guy. [laughter] You know? Very serious, very alert, very discriminating, and so forth. But that’s not the guy you just say “howdy” to on the street or meet in the daily-life circumstances, other than in this really serious, “we agree now this is a serious moment of conversation” kind of circumstance of life.

This is quite typical, as a matter of fact, of how people develop these days. They never feel they really have a right to not be a child anymore, and to fully exercise their discriminative intelligence and really get down to the Truth matter and so many matters altogether. And not just to exercise the mind, but connect it to the will.

In other words, the fundamental purpose of this is life-examination, life-review, examination of whatever matters for which you might be responsible, or experience, in daily life. You’re supposed to be able to examine things intelligently, but then, having come to a conclusion about it, you should simply make the decision to do such and such. To not be able to do that is a great impediment. That’s the sign of somebody who has not developed a connection between the exercise of intelligence, intelligent-mindedness, and the then associates with bodily fulfillment of intention. He or she doesn’t really do much of that. Such a person just sort of goes with the flow relative to their habitual outer-life. That person doesn’t feel free to really get down to figuring things out altogether. So intelligent life never gets connected with the world, never gets connected with making life-changes. If you lack that, you are intelligent enough when matters are discussed with you seriously, but there’s no evidence of it whatsoever in your life otherwise, other than in conversation with you. I’m not speaking about anybody here in particular. It’s just true of human beings.

DEVOTEE: Beloved, is it the connection between the will and the discriminative intelligence that is lacking, or is it just the will?

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: The connection between them. Intelligence making decisions based on a review of things, and exercising that intention based on that “consideration” is the will to having it be such and such. It’s a clear, straightforward intention. It doesn’t have to be bombastic at all, but just clear, straightforward. You “consider”, you decide, you change. That’s it.

DEVOTEE: Isn’t that because there’s a strong heart-motive to actually do that? And when your heart really speaks, you are moved by that?

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, certainly in the profundities of religious life. But generally speaking, this must be the case in the world, under all circumstances, exercised by anyone at all. Discriminative intelligence with a will is just a mechanism that has to be made effective. Its required of a relatively independent, functioning adult life. It has to be able to be freely exercised. Its got to be able to be profoundly exercised. People need to find profound association in their lives, not just be content with superficiality, conventionality, social-personality appearances, and so forth. Nothing great.

DEVOTEE: Beloved, it seems that for intelligence to really be discriminative intelligence, it would be founded in something deeper than a particle of the mind or body. It seems like You Attract us from the beginning.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: It’s a heart-attraction. It’s an event in the heart, an opening, a heart-opening. Yes. Spontaneous. So it is a feeling-matter. That means it is also an energy-matter. It’s sensitivity at a subtler feeling and energy level, that’s not especially verbal altogether, but which also has things you could verbalize about, as people do, of course.

DEVOTEE: Beloved, You have spoken about how tangible the feeling of You is. I could feel some kind of progression over this past year—the feeling of You becoming more and more tangible, without any doubt.


DEVOTEE: And something about it reminds me of the very first time I ever saw You. It wasn’t face to face, it was in the film, A Difficult Man. It was the first time in my life I ever had the feeling of no doubt. And I knew that You were My Master.


DEVOTEE: It changed my life. I literally felt I had been looking for You my whole life. And I felt I recognized You instantly. But since then I have doubted it at times.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: [chuckles slightly] That’s an example of what I was talking about here earlier, about how your feeling and discriminative intelligence “considers” a matter, comes to a conclusion, and that’s that, but there’s not necessarily any connection between that and changing what you do. The will connecting this intelligent and feeling disposition to the rest of the body-mind, doesn’t happen.

So what do you do, then?

DEVOTEE: Well, I can feel when one is applying discriminative intelligence and the will then it seems like the Gift of self-understanding would come of that.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, well, all that is, in other words, is consenting to live intelligently and based on your feeling-sense of Reality and so forth, allowing yourself to be responsive.

Yes, you can seek and seek and seek and seek, and then, instead of seeking, you’ve found it found whatever it is, or come to whatever the resolution is, and then you don’t do anything further with it. You don’t allow it to be transformative. That’s another mode of seeking. So, if you “consider” it, what is the point of turning your finding into another form of seeking? What’s there to resist about the profound process of being transformed?

So you must, with an intelligent will, oblige the body-mind to live the pattern, the design, that you, in your best understanding, intend for it. Because if you do not do this actively, the body-mind will simply persist in habitual patterns and reactions to events, and become more and more the effect of all of that, wound up in all of that, without any depth at all.

The self-contraction isn’t happening to you, and things don’t just “come over you”someone was suggesting that. This is the common language people use about these things because they don’t presume a culture of responsibility for these processes.

Fear is self-contraction. Fear is the primal mood of it, the mood that’s inherent in self-contraction. Fear is not just the twisting of some muscles in your body. It is the primal act of differentiation, separation. Vulnerability, therefore, is inherent in the gesture.

So, then you get profoundly interested in yourself. Western civilization in particular, for about the last 500 years or so, has been more and more generating a society, a culture, and so forth, based on the human-animal as an individual entity. Everything focused on that one, and yet no great depth. There’s been more and more a focus on this fleshy manifested mortal consciousness, as a separate individual, all-the-while-competing kind of personality.

So people quite naturally think about themselves, are very concerned about themselves, and so forth. It’s an age in which to do such a thing as if that which is to be discovered is within you, that you yourself (as this separate entity, personality, and so forth) have in you a depth that is you yourself as a separate entity, but that is completely all things required.

But That Which is to be Realized is not within you. It is That within Which everything you call “you” is arising. It is the Source. It is in the Perfectly Subjective Position, the Self-Position. But that doesn’t mean that It is a self, or that it is this independent, separate person that you’re concerned about. You must be given up from your own position into the Source.

I am Calling you to Realize Me, which is to Realize My own Nature, Condition, State, Person. That is not merely “in” you. It’s a matter of the surrender and transcendence of this separate self and this gesture of separation. It is the Realization of that Self-Condition That is True of all and All, of every thing, every one this One Condition.