The Great Transition

Vol 7, No 2

Temptation of St. Anthony

We do not truly
realize our humanity until…

“Thus, even though people have been suggesting to me for
years that they are motivated to practice the Great Way, I
have observed that their motivation is caused mainly by the
distresses of their failure to fulfill the calling of the
third stage of life. The third stage, not the great process
of Spiritual life, is basically what all of you have been
gradually, and not altogether successfully, working out in
my Company. Whereas the process that I consider with you,
which finishes up that business rather directly, is really
about moving into the context of the fourth stage of life
and beyond.”
the Tiger

Great Transition introduces the spiritual vision that is the
foundation of practice not only in the Way of the Heart, but
in the spiritual traditions generally. In this excerpt from
a talk Heart Master Da speaks in the context of a process of
spiritual unfolding realized through
stages of life
. Within this
schema he locates the “great transition” between the third
and fourth stages, or the movement from full human maturity
into a spiritual perception of Reality no longer based on
the point of view of the body-mind.

An excerpt from a talk by Heart-Master Da

April 22,

HEART-MASTER DA: The conversion that
marks the transition from the third stage of life to the
fourth is perhaps the most profound. Enlightenment itself,
in the ultimate sense, is very profound, but in terms of
transitions, the great event in human transformation is the
transformation that occurs in a human being with the
discovery of the Reality of the Divine, or That which
transcends conditions. Afterwards, your whole life is based
on that discovery and becomes more and more profound. That
transition is the most profound and, therefore, the most
difficult. Humanity as a whole is moving toward that
transition, but most of humanity is not even coming

You cannot merely believe in the
Spiritual Reality. Great self-inspection, a profound
awareness of yourself, of life, and of the world is
required. This process results in a great release of
attention and gives you the capacity to “see”1
the Spiritual Reality and to know, if we can use that word,
the Truth. The Vision of the Spiritual Reality is a unique
Vision, a new Vision, that sets you free. It is different
from the vision of bodily or human birth. It is the Vision
of Reality Itself, That in which human birth occurred as
long as you are doubting that, still struggling with the
possibility, you have each foot in a different

Truth is not a thing, not an idea,
not something else, not an Other. The necessity of the human
individual is not an encounter with something else but the
Realization of equanimity, no contradiction, no problem, no
stress, the Realization of the native State, which is prior
to what you impose on Reality through your struggle, your
stress, your reaction. When the reaction is overcome, you do
not gain an idea, an Other, but you realize equanimity and,
therefore, the capacity to Commune with That which is where
you stand, as you are ultimately. This is the most profound
conversion, and all the stages of life from the fourth stage
on are merely the working out of that.

The ultimate growth principle is
direct Realization of and Communion with That which Is.
Therefore, this transition is what must be realized. This is
the Great Affair.


1. “Seeing” is a technical
term in the Way of the Heart. In The Dawn Horse Testament
Heart-Master Da has described it as follows:

“Seeing Is Spontaneous (or
Heart-Moved) Devotional Sacrifice Of the self-Contraction.
Seeing Is The self-Transcending Reorientation Of conditional
Existence To The Transcendental and Divine Spiritual
Condition In Whom conditional self and conditional worlds
arise and Always Already Inhere.”
(p. 314)

Also see:

There are thousands of people all over the world, perhaps
millions of them are imagining that they are involved with
some sort of higher psychological, religious or spiritual
practice but they have not fulfilled the condition of the
fourth stage of life. They don’t live the life of
God-Communion, they don’t transcend the heart of narcissus,
they indulge themselves childishly with all kinds of
religious organizations, spiritual cults, and all kinds of
people associated with them, and typically they are involved
with forms of renunciation, mystical inversion, and external
manipulation. None of that has anything to do with
enlightenment nor does it produce the signs of

Making the transition to the fourth
stage of life is the best almost anyone on earth is at the
present time. Most people are involved in lesser stages of
complication or growth. Very few people on earth are entered
into higher stages than the fourth. And the urge of the
Teaching in the world is to draw people toward the fourth
stage of life, which is the foundation of higher existence
or human sacrifice.

Middle and Higher Self

In the popular egalitarian “culture” of the first three
stages of life, the Guru and the developmental culture of
the Spiritual Way are taboo, because every individual
limited by the motives of the first three stages of life is
at war with personal vulnerability and need. However, the
real Spiritual process does not even begin until the egoic
point of view of the first three stages of life is
understood and the ego-surrendering and ego-transcending
Motive of the fourth stage of life begins to move and change
the body-mind.
Psychological Limitation of the First Three Stages of

Until now you have adapted in
complicated ways to the three lowest stages of the
development of the whole body – the physical, the
emotional-sexual, and the mental. But the structural destiny
of mankind is to move into the fourth stage of life, wherein
the heart, the psychic core of the being, truly awakens.
– The Way That I Teach

But most people you see do not adapt
beyond the third stage of life, do not even come to a point
of maturity in the third stage of life. Very few people
enter into the fourth stage of life in this society which is
without culture. As a result we don’t see much of higher
adapted personalities in this culture, this society. We see
people more or less of the same kind everywhere. And not
much gracefulness, not much serenity, not much bodily
confession of the existence of God. If God exists, you
should be able to see it in the body of old men and women.
Because such bodies have been in the fire for a long time
you see, a body submitted to God for 80 years looks a lot
different you see than a body that’s just been indulged for
80 years. So the old should be a principle witness within
the community.

and Wisdom