Compusory Dancing – Da Free John (Adi Da Samraj) 1978

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COMPULSORY DANCING – Da Free John (Adi Da Samraj)


Part I: Emotional Surrender to God


The Wizard of Oz


DA FREE JOHN: People enact a kind of ritual when they
become involved in so-called serious consideration of this
Teaching and Way of Life. First they talk together about
profound matters and confess many things about themselves
that were previously hidden. Then someone in the group
summarizes what is the proper attitude toward the subject,
based on a real understanding of life in Truth, and at that
point the people in the group-having already completed the
ritual of talking very profoundly and relieving themselves
of secrets they had never told before-begin to speak as if
they have now understood and assumed this practice
profoundly, once and for all. Then, at the next several
meetings, the group presumes that it need not pass again
through that ritual purge. Rather, they ritually play out a
positive feeling about the discussion of the last meeting.
That superficially positive attitude tends to become the
dominant quality of their lives until the next time they
must engage in a great purgative ritual or a “serious”

People who indulge this pattern do not tend to pass
through the real emotional change that I have been
discussing with you. Rather, they only indulge the ritual
itself, at the end of which everybody talks and acts as if
he or she were really practicing now. Perhaps a few real
changes do occur here and there, mostly at a cultural level.
But for the most part such changes are only superficial,
external to the heart of true change. Thus, rituals with
fixed liturgies or scripts typically become established in
the culture of this community of practitioners. These
ceremonies are just as fixed as the rites that are repeated
week after week in downtown churches. You use the principle
of “lets pretend” to bless one another. Having performed the
ritual of seriously dealing with one another, you then
accept one anothers false confession and false or merely
pleasant face. You may act more pleasant than usual, but you
have not passed through the real change. Nevertheless, your
act of being relatively pleasant and assured, as if you have
finally understood, is accepted by your fellows as if it
were the real change of the heart.

In the film The Wizard of Oz , three characters come to
the Wizard to acquire something they lack-a mind, a heart,
and vital strength in the world. Even though the Wizard
turns out to be something of a sham, he gives them each a
gift that, in the feeling of the story, seems to be genuine.
The scarecrow, for instance, has no brain. So the Wizard
says to him, “The only thing you lack that all other people
who have a brain do not lack is a diploma.” Then the Wizard
gives the scarecrow a diploma. But the scarecrow has not
developed his intelligence. He has never passed through the
process of adaptation to the functions of the mind. All he
has done is to receive a diploma. The diploma is sheer
nonsense, a lie that he now feels or imagines is a truth
about himself. In the story, however, everyone now accepts
him as if he were no longer lacking a brain.

Very superficial changes are the focus of this story, but
the same superficial orientation to personal change tends to
be the social norm in our time. That moment in the Wizard of
Oz is not altogether satirical. It is also meant to be
emotionally fulfilling. We are supposed to feel very
positive about the scarecrows new image. The message is, “To
think positively is sufficient for change. You do not need
Grace nor do you need real transformation. Just positive
thinking, or believing, about yourself is entirely
sufficient.” In reality, of course, such “positive thinking”
is not sufficient at all.

You are making a gesture now toward the kind of life that
you would lead if you were in love with God, if you were
emotionally committed to God and emotionally committed to
your relationship to me, and if you were rightly established
as a religious community. There is a motion in that
direction, but it is still only beginning, weak and still
tentative and not yet very profound. You tend to generate a
kind of self-satisfaction as soon as you make even very
minor changes in your life. Thus, the “Wizard-of-Oz
principle” is at work. Everybody wants to feel as good about
himself (or herself) as he can, and as soon as possible.
Since that is everybodys motive, you must be very
careful-invariably you play “lets pretend” when it is time
for real changes.

I am not the Wizard of Oz. I do not accept your false
faces as true practice, as genuine conversion. Thus, you
must not forget the emotional nature of this practice. Your
consideration must always be emotional. Never allow it to
degenerate into “lets pretend” and mere positive
affirmation. There must be a real and direct feeling
association among devotees and a constant, feeling practice
of love-surrender to God, or surrender of the whole bodily
being into the Living Principle, the Life-Current, in every
moment. You must literally practice this heartfelt surrender
at all times, and you must literally oblige one another to
this practice.

You should not merely think about emotion every now and
then. Your practice must be constantly emotional. What is
wrong with these purgative rituals that you enact is that
they are periodic. For a few moments you think about
emotion, or act as if you are emotional. You may temporarily
even appear to be emotional. Then the ritual is over and you
are supposed to be a smiling, affirmative character, acting
and talking as if you understand everything. How
superficial! We are involved by tendency in such a
mechanical and worldly way of life that we do not live
emotionally. We are like mere salt-of-the-earth workers,
plodding our way through life and fulfilling our humble
tasks, as if such an existence were the purpose of life.

You must be able to maintain a feeling association with
everybody. You must be trustable in your relations
altogether, not given to phasing and emotional betrayal. You
must literally practice your association with God from the
heart, in every moment. Your habit, however, is to put on
the false face of self-affirmation and remain
self-possessed, absorbed by your emotional problem. The
emotional problem manifests fundamentally as self-possession
and lack of energy and attention in relationship. When your
energy and attention are yielded to self-absorption, then
your energy and attention for others and for God seem to be
missing. Your self-possession is perfectly obvious to
everybody. And, since it is so obvious, the opposite
disposition is also obvious-and that is what is required,
the obvious practice of a loving, serving life.

These periodic ritual conversations in which you receive
your diploma, or are led to think affirmatively that you are
a devotee, must end. You must practice from the heart and
you must live a serving life. Stop phasing. Stop the endless
consideration of the tendency toward unlove, which is the
emotional problem that everyone suffers. That consideration
never becomes an actual, emotional, whole bodily change and
a new way of life. In such a consideration of limitations,
you are overwhelmed by one anothers weakness. As a result,
you decide to accept limitations in one another instead of
continuing with the consideration and breaking through the
limits and the withholding that you suffer.

The only thing wrong with anyone in any moment of
limitation is the collapse of the heart. When the heart
collapses, the energies all over the body become distorted.
Thus, the transformation of the heart is the single and
fundamental occupation of Man at this time in our evolution.
A person must directly enter into loving association with
the All-Pervading Transcendental Divine Reality and Person,
and he (or she) must persist in that form of existence from
moment to moment. If he lives in love with God, then
naturally he associates with all beings through love.
Whatever he is associated with becomes the medium, the
Divine Image in fact, for his association with God. Such a
one is always associating with God in love. Therefore, all
his relationships are loving relationships.
Self-transcendence is the quality of his action. He lives as
a servant in the highest sense.

The quality of such a devotees existence is the quality
of radiance to others and to God. It is an emotional
radiance. It is also full of energy, and it is physical. It
is the radiance of energy and attention in relationship. In
the company of such a person others feel an endless force of
consciousness and energy to which the individual is
surrendered bodily and emotionally. Thus, the quality of
God, or the spiritual Power that Radiates the worlds, is
expressed through such a person quite naturally, and he or
she becomes an increasingly different kind of person because
of that expression. A community of such people becomes a
profoundly unique association of human beings, because they
work constantly to transform the emotional and moral
dimension that is basic to our existence.

In general we tend not to engage the emotional dimension
at all. We avoid it. We play the game of emotional
dissociation from the world, from one another, and from God.
When we dramatize this problem of emotional dissociation,
this quality of the collapse of feeling, energy, and
attention, then we become self-servers, totally without
clarity in relationship not only in human relationships, but
in all relationships, and in relationship to God most
fundamentally. This constant and unconscious effort to
create emotional dissociation must be undermined. We serve
one another by helping to break this habit and by
reestablishing one another in authentic emotional
association, in love-surrender to God and a loving, radiant
life altogether, in all relations. We must bring down this
emotional barrier that exists between us and never again
play the game of “lets pretend.”

I have heard you talk about your dramatizations. At times
you feel you are living as if on an automatic circuit of
tendency, but you feel that you live in God the rest of the
time. You must understand that the dramatization of
emotional dissociation does not happen only sometimes. The
total collapse of the being, the fundamental emotional
dissociation, is effective at all times, even when you think
you are being positively or energetically emotional in
relation to something or someone. Even at those times, if
you are sensitive to yourself, you will feel yourself
withholding at the root of the emotional gesture. The
gesture is not based on love, but it is a superficial
activity created by outer circumstances. Sometimes,
therefore, your outer circumstances are such that you appear
to be a loving person, but in truth you are no more loving
than before. You are contracted even then, and you are
playing “lets pretend.”

You must also recognize the emotional limitations of your
upbringing and background in the middle class of the
twentieth century West. Most of those who come to me have
come out of the middle-class world of slick associations, in
which this emotional matter has never been dealt with and
the whole affair of spiritual life has never been seriously
considered. The term “middle-class world” is just another
way of describing the world of “lets pretend.” It is a TV
world of totally subhuman existence founded in the collapse
of emotion into self-possession. We are really referring to
that TV society when we self-critically call ourselves
“middle-class.” We are so superficial, we play “lets
pretend” so profoundly, that the reality of TV becomes our
own minds.

In the game of “lets pretend,” you have a serious
confrontation with somebody every now and then, and at the
end of it you kiss one another or slap one another on the
back. You feel good about one another, but you have not
changed at all. You have simply passed through the
superficial ritual that is acknowledged as sufficient for
friendship and trust in our ordinary society. It is not real
friendship, however, not real trust, because each emotional
personality is self-possessed.

What I am considering with you is that each of us is most
characteristically and basically an emotional personality.
But you are not living emotionally, with radiant feeling.
You are living in the collapse of emotion, in Narcissism,
self-possession, and doubt. Your bodily life is devoted to
self-indulgence, and your mental life is devoted to
illusions and obsessions, all because there is a collapse at
the root, at the emotional being. Furthermore, we all
mightily resist making the change from self-possession to
God-possession, emotional surrender, and loving service.
Therefore, if this Churchs community is to represent a
unique advantage in the life of an individual, he or she
must be party to the agreement that the community represents
among those who live in it: constantly to maintain this
emotional consideration-in other words, to demand the real,
obvious, feeling gesture of the being and accept nothing
less as a condition of membership in the community. All the
emotional limitations that people bring to one another and
that make them untrustworthy must be undone. There must be a
demand for emotional association, or right association, in
every moment. The slick, affirmative, personality game, the
fake piety game, and all the other superficial games that
people play must be abandoned as no longer acceptable.

This consideration of the activity of emotional
dissociation, or Narcissus, must not be dropped. It is not
something that you take seriously only every now and then.
It must be constant. You must constantly observe what you
are doing at the heart and transcend it. That is what it is
to practice the heart in every moment. Therefore, you must
be able to inspect the limit on the heart in every moment.
You must be able to inspect this process of emotional
dissociation, whereby you are always entering into the
separative, subjective mood of the separate person, instead
of the radiant or loving mood of the devotee, or the true

DEVOTEE: I feel that this emotional conversion is not
something that I can will to happen.

DA FREE JOHN: That is true, but paradoxically it is also
not out of your hands altogether. You are obliged to
associate consciously with That with which you are in love.
If you spend time in the company of what is lovable, then
the emotional radiance of the being, the love that is native
to the being, will naturally come forward. Right association
is the secret, then. It is said that of all the things a
person can do, association with the God-Realized
personality, the saint, the Spiritual Master, is the best,
simply to be in the company of one who is lovable in the
highest sense, one in love with whom the very Force of God
is encountered. Emotional conversion is not out of your
hands. You are not obliged to wait until it happens to you.
It occurs when you are in love in the fullest sense.
Therefore, the simplest way to accomplish this change is to
spend your time in the company of one with whom you are in

The best Company in which to spend all your time is the
Company of God and the Spiritual Master. There are other
relationships in which you are also in love, but the
relationships with God and the Spiritual Master are primary.
True religion is simply a matter of maintaining association
with God and with the Spiritual Master moment to moment.
Then the natural emotion, or the force of love, devotion,
and self-surrender, will tend to be evoked by that Company.
Thus, devotees are instructed to recite the Name of God, to
remember God constantly, to hold the image of the Spiritual
Master in their minds, to talk about the Spiritual Master,
to praise the Spiritual Master, and to think of the
Spiritual Master. These are all ways of maintaining Divine
Association. The secret of ecstatic practice is to find your
way of maintaining association with the One who is lovable,
or the Beloved, in every moment.

How do you do that? Such practice is the artfulness
required of you in every moment. You must create this
theatre of Divine Association in relation to God and to me.
Your emotional conversion is not outside your power to
effect. You must practice, and practice is something you
must do. This is how you do it: Rather than willfully trying
to conjure up the emotion of love, you must understand
yourself and maintain total psycho-physical association with
the One with Whom you are in love in the fullest spiritual
sense-in other words, with God. You must choose to do this.
You must come to this point of clarity in yourself, wherein
you realize that to practice this Divine Association is all
that life is. Everything else is an expression of what life
is when it fails to be that.

You must be committed to this practice, and of course
this practice makes you a saint! This is how you must
transcend your middle-class, street personality, and you
naturally will transcend it if you will practice as I am
suggesting, in this emotional sense. If you will serve in
love constantly, if you will constantly and literally serve
God in every moment-not God as an idea, but God confronted
as the very Presence of Life-then your street personality
will naturally fall away. It will be transformed into the
higher personality or character. It is a matter of remaining
alive in the emotional sense, moment to moment, without
recoil from relationship, without emotional collapse of
feeling and attention onto the self. Do not let anybody tell
you that he or she cannot do this. And do not let anybody
tell you that he or she is doing it if it is perfectly
obvious to your feeling that he or she is not!


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