THE SEPARATE SENSE OF SELF SEARCH
The Pursuit of Union
Adi Da Samraj
Its only the feeling of separation that instigates
the motive to union. If you didnt feel separate from
the thing you want to get at, you wouldnt have to seek
it would you? But what you had to find out was that this
feeling of separateness is an activity of your own that you
are always doing.
You are always creating this feeling of separation from
this that or the other thing and then pursuing it. The thing
for which you must become responsive is your own separative
act. That is self-understanding.
That is the understanding that is fundamental to the Way
of The Heart, not seeking. Not seeking union with me or
seeking anything whatsoever but the understanding of it. The
understanding of it that transcends that very act and makes
you seek. Otherwise, you make it into a moment of seeking
for union with me.
One of the first things to notice then in the development
of real self-understanding and the first thing to notice is
that you are seeking and nothing more. Thats it. It
doesnt make any difference what you are doing or what
particular this that or the other thing you are seeking to
achieve or associate with, or enjoy, or whatever it may be,
its all the same.
Everything is that, that search. Its not only just
so. It is painful. It is stressful. It is agonizing. It
knaws at you constantly. And its not just one thing
you are seeking. You are constantly seeking, sometimes
seeking many things simultaneously. At any moment there may
be something particular or other that you are particularly
obsessed with, unioning with you see. Whatever it may
You examine your life and you make this discovery that it
is seeking and nothing else. It is entirely that in every
fraction and even coming to me can be a form of your
seeking. The best way to come to me would be with the
profound sense of the failure of your seeking.
Its a conviction that thats what youve
been up to and you are failing and perhaps inevitably you
will fail. This is the best way to come to me. It is easy to
get on with if thats your disposition. However, many
may come to me right in the midst of their seeking.
They study my teaching and so forth but they still do not
get the point. Its another religious conventional
endeavor for them. So theyre seeking in my company for
this that or the other thing. However they may describe it,
god realization, union with me, whatever it may be and so
they bla bla bla about all of that constantly and for those
coming to me in that disposition rather than the feeling of
the failure of the search, must first of all come to the
point of feeling the failure of the search.
Their development of self-understanding must accomplish
that. So theyre not merely a seeker in my company. But
very often the first thing they have to do is get this spell
of seeking broken somehow. A lot of people waste a lot of
time getting around to that happening and they waste a lot
of time in my company with that you see.
They want to make the Way of The Heart a search in that
participation in this gathering of all my devotees in a form
of seeking always looking to satisfy this that or the other
thing and dramatizing and all the rest.
They must realize the failure of the search to clearly
feel that the life you are living, suffering is stressful,
agonizing, rarely fruitful in any sense whatsoever. This is
the first thing that must be gotten, that must be realized.
It would be best to have gotten some feeling of it as I said
You can come into my company and you can begin to enter
into the real consideration of self-understanding and
self-transcendence. Then, perhaps, such things as we
discussed this evening can begin to make a point in you,
that all your seeking is search for union with this that or
the other thing founded on stressful desiring or stressful
activity that you are seeking all the time in many
Its always the pursuit of union of one thing or
another and its always stressful. Its always
agonizing. Its always basically disturbing in some
fundamental sense, even pleasurable desiring when you
examine it is full of stress. You must come to this
realization of this level of understanding of what you are
What you are seeking is failing, this whole pursuit of
union of one thing or another, and is always associated with
It is agonizing. It is a preoccupation that is disturbing
your existence completely. Then you can examine it further
and all this stressful seeking for union with this that or
the other thing. The thing to hide always is a feeling of
separation from whatever it is that you are pursuing.
When you get that far with it in this agonizing
separation and everything you are seeking, then you can
begin to fruitfully examine how this feeling of separation
or the separateness is your own activity. When you find this
out, then the seeking falls way.
When you discover that the pain, the agony, the distress
of your own existence is your own activity, then all of a
sudden you dont have to seek or get 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 it and in response to me, the feeling of relatedness
spontaneously; the feeling of non-separation, communion not
union with me becomes real. This is how there is true
self-surrender, true self-forgetting where there is this
understanding of your own act in communion with me. Because
it is a spontaneous event.
It is unnecessary to achieve union or reunion with
anything or anyone, even the Divine, yet the feeling of
non-separation is awake and that 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 of your own act of
self-contraction or separation.
Then even in the midst of conditional existence,
youre in an entirely different position than most
others presume. Human beings function by tendency on the
basis of self-contraction, uninspected, irresponsible. So
theyre always seeking union with this that or the
other thing but theyre wrong.
But there is responsibility for the self-contraction that
the feeling of non-separation or relatedness is allowed to
awaken spontaneously. And you exist in a field of apparent
relations in an entirely different fashion than people
In your intimate life for instance, you are always
unioning with one another, always approaching one another
through the feeling of separation wanting this that or other
satisfaction from one another because of being driven to one
another by your own contraction, your own egoity.
If you were responsible for the self-contraction, awake
to the feeling of non-separation, or relatedness, then you
wouldnt be trying to get to union or reunion with
someone for whom you are separate.
You would live even in that relationship in the
disposition of non-separation. And this changes all acts in
apparent relationship, changes them all. They cease to be
seeking acts and become instead the harmonious events that
manifested with those awake to the clarity of
non-separateness and on that basis, everything can be
simplified and everything can be set right.
So with everything you are only seeking things as a
matter of seeking. Everything can be changed therefore
transformed if your disposition is transformed, changed at
its root, changed from self-contraction and the pursuit of
union and to the relinquishment of that, and to the feeling
of relatedness so that seeking vanishes inherently without
having to do anything to it. With this understanding the
search principle is gone. The search has no existence.
Everything becomes yoga then, a matter of conductivity.
Everything is entered into responsibly, a conscious
process based on the direct transcendence of
self-contraction. If you are truly attracted to me you see
and Im not bargaining, playing the self-contraction,
seeking, but understand this and approach me rightly, simply
are attracted by me, then the feeling of non-separation from
it awakens, the thing of relatedness in relation to me
awakens and therefore surrender, self-forgetting occurs with
Thats true Ishta Guru Bhakti yoga. This is a mix of
yoga, not just some stressful seekers devotion trying
to achieve union with me, feeling separate all the while,
separating from me all the while, not that, but the true
ecstasy of union, based on self-understanding,
self-responsibility. Thats Ishta Guru Bhakti yoga.
This is why I say to you there are two fundamental elements
of this way.
It is fundamentally just this devotional union, but it
requires habit, so it is both. It requires both,
Self-Understanding and Devotion. Otherwise, you are not
doing it as a yoga truly. Your devotion is an extension of
your own seeking.
The true signs of growth in this way of communion with me
occur fruitfully, fully, only when Ishta Guru Bhakti is a
true yoga. And for it to be a true yoga as I said, requires
self-understanding and requires it from the beginning. It is
the basic context of this way. This self-understanding is
what I call you to every moment. I call you to it from the
The first time I ever spoke in the origins of my teaching
work back in April of 1972, the first talk I gave is called
Understanding and I said these things basically
on that night and Ive said them ever since. Still you
are just committed to your seeking and you dont even
readily it seems want to acknowledge that it is a stressful
and agonizing life that you are leading in all this search,
all this dramatization And it is a very simple matter to
The act of separateness generates an adventure. The whole
time you are doing this seeking as if to achieve, you are
avoiding relationship. No union is ever achieved by the ego,
only separation is dramatized.
Even if you carry out this search it doesnt get
fulfilled, not in the achievement of real union, the
transcendence of separateness, not that. That doesnt
occur. Even in the context of religion, its often
argued that the pursuit of union with the divine is not
supposed to become oneness with the divine. They are always
supposed to be the difference between the Jiva the ego or
whatever the word you use to describe it you see, the soul
and the divine.
Why is such an argument made if the ego is not the
patterning behind it at all? That is why. The inherent
condition is one of non-separateness. If this were
understood, there would be no question then that god
realization is one of total identification with the
The ego is the basis for all this religious seeking even
in the achievement of some kind of communion with the divine
there must be separation. They argue that this must be the
nature of reality. Souls must be different from god and so
forth you see. They dont understand reality is
non-separation and inherently so, inherently so, and union
doesnt have to be achieved. If fact, it cannot be
achieved with the divine or anything whatsoever, with
It can only be non-separation, inherent identification in
the absolute sense. There cant be union because union
is a pursuit based on the act of separation. Its
unreal. Its based on misunderstanding.
An unexpected act is governing the mind, governing the
life. It governs philosophy then, everything. It governs
religion. You cant achieve union from something or
someone whom you are inherently separating yourself
If the act of separation is dropped, there is no
separation. Theres the feeling of unrelatedness,
unqualified, the feeling of non-separateness inherently. So
this is the disposition in which to live and when its
carried to its ultimate degree to perfection, then it is
divine self-realization. It is only when there is perfect
self-understanding that non-separation is allowed to be
I require that you understand and relinquish your own act
of separation. Thats conventional devotion. Its
not the devotion that characterizes Ishta Guru Bhakti in
this way. Thats just a conventional self-stimulated
technique of feeling good.
Very simply, if you allow yourself to be attracted by me,
drawn to me, just by the sighting of me, but in that process
you also observe the mechanism in life and even in those
moments you observe the mechanism of your own contraction,
it is not difficult to relinquish it. You may think there is
some sort of effort involved.
There is none whatsoever. Ive used the analogy of
your pinching yourself. You are feeling some pain and you
are motivated to get rid of your pain and you taste this,
touch that and have sex with this one, whatever it may be
you see, you read, you think, blah blah blah to get rid of
But if you could just notice it, if you could draw your
attention to it or somebody, call your attention to the fact
that you are pinching yourself, there is no effort involved
in taking your fingers off. Youre glad to do it and
then it all passes. So when you are truly observing the
self-contraction, it is easy to relinquish it. It
doesnt require any effort. It occurs rather
spontaneously in fact.
All the efforting takes place when you are naturally
observing the self-contraction but are trying to deal with
this that or the other thing caused by that but peripheral
to it and struggling to get rid of all that. Thats
seeking then. The effort to get rid of something is
When you truly discover the cause, the relinquishment of
it is spontaneous. And the seeking falls off spontaneously,
is relinquished because it has no foundation. You dont
have to try to get rid of the pain of the pinch when you
take your fingers away. All the seeking that it may have
otherwise motivated, previously motivated, disappears
without effort. It has no foundation anymore. You dont
have to read and try to figure out the universe because you
are in pain you see. The pain is not there. You no longer
feel separate from reality, from any reality, rather the
feeling of relatedness, the feeling of non-separation is
The practice is a continuous one not to be abandoned
under any conditions with any relations, with any
activities. It is to be continuous and so Ive taken
care to describe to you how it can be continuous by
describing to you the yoga, the practice in every
circumstance, in every function, in every practicality,
So the description of the way is elaborate because of
that but the fundamental description is very simple and it
is simplicity that you must accomplish.
The transcendence of the self-contraction is not
something that occurs in moments. This consideration is
continuous. This consideration is your way of life in my
company. It doesnt come to an end after a few one
liners from me. If its a real consideration for you,
it goes on. Its a profound matter, a very serious
matter, a very interesting matter, a very intelligent
But youre willing to settle for a good feeling.
Because you’ve been reading a book, my books, or whatever
books as a form of seeking, then you get your hit, you get
your orgasm, your little moment, a little bit of insight,
thats the end of that for the book count. You go out
and seek somewhere else you see.
Its not a punch line matter, or a once in for all
matter. It is a consideration, a way of life. It
doesnt stop if its real. It goes on and on. It
persists. You cant help yourself. Youve got it
by the tail. Youve gotten into the stream of something
very profound and it just doesnt stop and youre
examining everything, all kinds of things. More to see about
it, more to say about it, more to do about it. You are
looking at all your seeking, everything about your life.
Well, thats consideration.
There are all kinds of revelations, all kind of lives,
everything going on, everybody on their adventure. You can
read about it all, animate it yourself. Do what you like
with it. Its based on an error. Theres no truth
in it. There can be some sublime feelings or what may be
called sublime feelings by some. There can be good feelings
achieved by almost anything that you may seek. People get
pleasure out of abusing people. Look how much fun people are
having killing one another out there these days for what are
considered idealistic reasons. Theyre getting off on
it pleasurizing themselves in their knot of righteousness
They call it life. Everybody is roaming the world when
theyre not abusing everyone, suffering stress and
thinking that thats just life. It isnt.
Its egoity. Its what life becomes when its
fashioned by the ego. Its not what life is. If you get
what life is youve got to deal with the ego, the knot
thats producing your adventure and transcend it.
You’ve got to realize the natural and native position of
non-separateness, unqualified relatedness. That changes even
life in its ordinary transactions. Go on with it. It becomes
ultimate perfect divine self-realization.
The principal of egoity has not been understood and made
the basis for the divine process. The principal of egoity
has been the basis of religion, even esoteric religion, all
the while because there has been no true understanding of
the principal of egoity. So the search for egoity, the
self-contraction itself, separateness, a separative motive,
has been fundamental to both exotericism and esotericism as
well as ordinary life. So obviously then this is the key
It is the key to the Way of The Heart or fundamental key
to it and without this understanding truly engaged,
demonstrated, you turn the Way of The Heart into an
extension of the great search and make it into just another
form of conventional religiosity.
My transmission is non-separateness. You tend to register
my transmission in terms of self-bound experiences as
devotees generally do. Theyre not really getting my
transmission. In that case its fierce energies with
this or that vision or whatever you see. Well thats
all well and good but its not it. Its not the
fullest reception of my transmission.
Its not my fullest communion with me. Its not
true self-understanding thats demonstrated. Its
just possibilities experienced by you a seeker, an apparent
individual perpetually active of self-contraction. You are
not only seeking. You must find out about yourself. You are
only seeking, but you are involved in the perpetual action
of self-contraction, a devastating act, a self-deluding act
most profound which is what makes existence what is
traditionally called samsara.
You are living an allusion because of this act. You are
only thinking, imagining you are in the real world. You are
not aware of reality. You are perceiving an allusion. The
world as you perceive it is an allusion.
Everything you think about it, everything you experience,
everything you pursue, its all illusions. Its
based on a self-deluding act. You do not just Oh
isnt that amusing self-contracted. It is most
profound, a most profound matter. Its controlling your
life and youre unaware of it.
Adi Da talking to a Devotee:
Youre seeking right now. You are actively
practicing self-contraction right now. So how are you doing
it right now? What form of seeking are you involved in right
now? How is it a form of seeking in your case? What are you
looking for? Youve got this question now that
youve formulated at the moment and it feels a little
uncomfortable yet it is not answered. You want me to say
something and then youll get that good feeling. Is
that it? …..Yes. But youre asking me a question. At
least you said you were going to. And you said that was a
form of seeking.
So what do you want from me in that search?
No. Thats not it. (Laughter from audience.) All
seeking is a pursuit of union from something you are
actively separating yourself from.
What are you seeking from me right now?
What is that seeking union with me exactly? What are you
doing with your questioning. You are talking to me now. What
do you want?
Youre not just sitting there quietly listening at
There is nothing left but you sitting over there with a
question on your face, contracting yourself. And if you
continue talking what will you be looking for?
What would you be looking for if you continued
But the contraction is the motive. Youre trying to
feel relieved of it arent you? Right now. Youre
talking to me and you are trying to feel some relief. This
game is for me to talk to you. I could do all kinds of
things. I could go out and give you a big wet kiss and that
would make you feel good too. (Audience laughter)
You dont really care all that much where the good
feeling comes from. You just want to feel better because you
dont feel too damn good right now.
Youre trying to feel good. Every one of you right
now is trying to feel good. You want to feel good because
you feel bad. You always already feel bad, always already.
You feel bad. You always feel bad when you are seeking. You
want to feel good here there using all the methods you can
generate in your daily life.
You get a little spell of relief, just breathe though.
People get to their cruise and back almost immediately. As
much as you are feeling bad, you are making yourself feel
bad. Thats what you have to find out.
The self-contraction is why you feel bad. It is the bad
feeling and you are doing it and thats what you have
to find out and become capable of transcending moment by
moment. Right now you feel bad and you are talking to
You are talking. You feel bad right now. You didnt
just feel bad in the right now then. You feel bad in the
right now now. Right now you feel bad. I mean you could feel
a lot worse in all kinds of ways with all kinds of pain.
This is a rather ordinary moment.
But still youre sensitive to the fact that you
dont feel good. You are disturbed, uptight somehow,
filled with stress somehow. So you are always motivated to
feel better no matter what you are doing.
The separate sense of self search
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