Self Understanding in the Way of Adi Da


April 8, 1993

DEVOTEE: Beloved, earlier this evening You said that all seeking is a search for something from which one feels separate and that feeling separate is the self-contraction. You said that the practice is not a matter of search for union but a matter of transcending the act of separation. When You spoke, I felt like a light went off inside me.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: There are all kinds of reactivity, desire, and so forth. There is a different quality behind each kind of seeking, but all seeking is pursuit of union with something or other, some other, some object, some thought that changes everything, whatever it may be. It is all pursuit of union. How could you pursue union if you did not already feel separate? It is always a feeling of separation that instigates the motive to union. If you did not feel separate from the thing you want to get, you would not have to seek it, would you?

A stressful feeling of separateness motivates this stressful seeking. But what you have to find out is that this feeling of separateness is your own activity, one that you are always doing. You are always creating the feeling of separation from this, that, or the other thing-and then pursuing the very thing you have separated yourself from. The thing for which you must become responsible is your own separative act. That is self-understanding. That — not seeking — is the understanding that is fundamental to the Way of Adidam. The practice of the Way of Adidam is not seeking for union with Me or with anything whatsoever. The practice of the Way of Adidam is founded in the understanding of your own activity, the understanding of and transcendence of that very act that makes you seek. That is the moment to moment business of those who have entered into devotional Communion with Me. Transcendence of the very act of separation, of separativeness itself, is the practice of Ruchira Avatara Bhakti. Otherwise you make even your so-called practice of the Way of Adidam into a form of seeking for union with Me.

DEVOTEE: That is what I have done. Everything I have done is just this seeking, no matter what else I have attempted to do.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: This is the first thing to notice then. In the development of real self-understanding, the first thing to notice is that you are seeking. Notice that that is all you are doing, and nothing more. That is it. It does not make any difference what particular this, that, or the other thing you are seeking to achieve or associate with or enjoy. Whatever your search may be, it is all the same. Everything is that search. And it is painful. It is stressful. It is agonizing. It gnaws at you constantly. Even pleasurable desiring, if you examine it, is full of stress. In any moment there can be some particular thing that you are particularly obsessed with, trying to union with, but you are constantly seeking, sometimes seeking many things simultaneously. If you examine your life, you make the discovery that you are always seeking and nothing else. It is entirely that, in every fraction.

You must realize the failure of the search. You must clearly feel that the life you are living is suffering, that it is stressful, agonizing, rarely fruitful in any sense whatsoever. This is the first thing that must be realized. This is the first thing you must understand. You must have the clear sense of the failure of your seeking, and you must develop a fundamental lack of sympathy with your seeking, so that you can begin to enter into the real “consideration” of self-understanding and self-transcendence.

You must come to this level of understanding. You must notice that there is always a pursuit of union with one thing or another, and that your search is a preoccupation that is disturbing your existence completely. Then you can examine your own activity further, and you will discover that the thing behind all this stressful seeking for union with this, that, or the other thing is always a feeling of separation from whatever it is you are pursuing. When you get that far with the process of self-observation, when you feel that agonizing separation from everything you are seeking, then you can begin to fruitfully examine how this feeling of separation, or this separativeness, is your own activity. When you find this out, then the seeking falls away.

When you discover that the pain, the agony, the distress, the stress of your own existence, is your own activity, then all of a sudden you do not have to seek union in order to be relieved. The search becomes unnecessary. All there is to deal with is the self-contraction itself. When it is noticed, it is easily released in Communion with Me, in response to Me, and via the “conscious process” and “conductivity” in Communion with Me. Instead of this stressful self-contraction, this act of contraction, this separativeness, this search, and all the rest of it, the feeling of relatedness,* or the feeling of non-separation, spontaneously awakens. Communion with Me, rather than the search for union, becomes real. This is how true self-surrender and true self-forgetting awaken. Where there is this understanding of your own act, Communion with Me follows as a spontaneous event.

If the feeling of non-separation is awake, it is not necessary to achieve union or re-union with anything or anyone, even the Divine. And the feeling of non-separation is simply a matter of transcending your own act of contraction. The realization of non-separation, or the feeling of relatedness, is the inherent characteristic of existence. If you transcend your own act of self-contraction, or separation, then, even in the midst of conditional existence, you are in an entirely different position than most people presume.

Human beings function by tendency on the basis of self-contraction, uninspected. Therefore, they function irresponsibly. People are always seeking union with this or that. If there is responsibility for the self-contraction, if the feeling of non-separation, or relatedness, is allowed to awaken spontaneously, then you exist in the field of apparent relations in an entirely different fashion than people ordinarily do.

In your intimate life, for instance, you are always unioning with one another, always approaching one another through the feeling of separation, and wanting this or that satisfaction from one another to overcome the feeling of separation. You are driven to one another by your own contraction, your own egoity. If you were responsible for the self-contraction, if you were awake to the feeling of non-separation, or relatedness, then you would not try to get to union or re-union with someone from whom you were separate. You would live in the disposition of non-separation. The disposition of non-separation changes all acts in your apparent relationships, changes them all. They cease to be seeking acts and instead become harmonious events manifested by one who is awake to the clarity of non-separateness. And on that basis, everything can be simplified, everything can be set right. As with your intimate relationships, so with everything.

If you are only seeking, everything is a matter of seeking. Therefore, everything can be changed, everything can be transformed, if your disposition is transformed, changed at its root, changed from self-contraction and the pursuit of union into the relinquishment of that action and its search, changed into the feeling of relatedness. In that case, the seeking vanishes inherently. Without having to do anything to it, the principle that underlies the search is gone. The search has no existence then. Everything becomes Yoga, then, or a matter of “conductivity”. Everything is entered into responsibly as a “conscious process”, based on the direct transcendence of the self-contraction.

If you are truly attracted to Me and are not bargaining with Me, if you stop playing the self-contraction and the search, if you understand your own activity and approach Me rightly, simply on the basis of your devotional attraction to Me, then the feeling of non-separation from Me awakens. When the feeling of relatedness in relation to Me awakens, self-surrender and self-forgetting occur with ease, directly. That is true Ruchira Avatara Bhakti Yoga. This is what makes it Yoga. Ruchira Avatara Bhakti in My Company is not just some stressful seeker’s devotion trying to achieve union with Me, feeling separate all the while, separating from Me all the while. Ruchira Avatara Bhakti is not that — it is the true ecstasy of Communion with Me, based on self-understanding, self-responsibility. That is Ruchira Avatara Bhakti Yoga.

This is why I say to you that there are two fundamental elements to the Way of Adidam. Fundamentally, the Way of Adidam is just this devotional Communion with Me. But that devotion requires self-understanding. Therefore, the Way of Adidam requires both. Without such self-understanding, you will practice even devotion to Me as an extension of your own seeking. In other words, you will not practice it as true Yoga.

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