Method of The Siddhas – Chapter 10 – Adi Da Samraj – Bubba Free John 1978



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 Method of the Siddhas Cover


The Method
of the Siddhas

“No One Survives
Beyond That Moment” From The Method of the Siddhas –
1978

Author(s): Adi Da
Samraj

THE METHOD OF THE
SIDDHAS (1978)


Part I: The Method
of the Siddhas

CHAPTER 12

 

No One Survives
Beyond That Moment

DEVOTEE: Are we
evolving?

 

FRANKLIN: What do
you think?

DEVOTEE: I think we
are evolving toward the astral.

FRANKLIN: What is so
good about “astral”?

DEVOTEE: Well,
nothing. But as far as evolution goes, there is a constant
change. Is it constant change? Where are we going? What is
it doing for us? What is it?

FRANKLIN: Is
it?

DEVOTEE: Well, it
seems to be, but I am in a dilemma. Is evolution part of the
dilemma?

FRANKLIN: There is
this dilemma.

DEVOTEE: There is
dilemma. Yes. Then it is part of the dilemma.

FRANKLIN: What is
the question?

DEVOTEE: Now, Im
really confused.

FRANKLIN: Are you
talking about anything? In this concern for “evolution,” are
you really talking about something?

DEVOTEE: I don’t
really understand what evolution is, or even if there is
evolution.

FRANKLIN: That is
the truth.

DEVOTEE: There is no
evolution?

FRANKLIN: That you
don’t know.

DEVOTEE:
Yes.

FRANKLIN: What you
know is this dilemma, this confusion, this ignorance about
your own propositions. That is the truth. That is your
experience. This “evolution” doesn’t really exist as an
experience. You are not certain of it, of its existence, of
its quality, of its nature, of its direction, of its
relation to you. You know nothing whatsoever about it. Why
are we talking about it?

The truth is that
you are confused. There is this dilemma. There is suffering.
Questions about “evolution” are completely beside the point.
Such questions, for the time being, are ways of drawing
attention away from your actual state, of distracting
yourself from that confusion, temporarily. We could take
this symbolic category of “evolution,” and we could talk
about it from many different points of view. We could create
all kinds of mind-forms with it. But after we have said it
all, nothing will have been added in the way of real
experience, and you will remain in the same state you were
in when you asked the question.

So this “evolution”
question doesn’t represent anything significant. It is not
your real question. The real question is your actual state.
That is the question. That is the question you are truly
asking, that you are always asking. You present your very
life to the world in the form of a question. You are this
real question. But you conceal it from consciousness.
Therefore, it exists only as your chronic state , your
suffering, your search, your dilemma. Ordinarily a man does
not ask his real question. He only lives it and performs it
as seeking, suffering and death. Sadhana, or real spiritual
practice in relation to the Guru, is the means whereby men
become conscious of their real questions.

Just so, the
“answer” to your real question has nothing whatever to do
with evolution, or any other arbitrary “topic” the mind can
select. The true answer is not in the form of a response to
a symbolic question. The true answer must be a radical
transformation of your state. That is the answer to your
question. And if this state that you are always in, this
confusion, this dilemma, is utterly, radically overcome,
then the nature of this whole appearance of life and world
also will become obvious. The answer of the Guru to his
devotee comes through the discipline of real conditions,
demands for functional action, the sadhana which is always
generated in his company.

There is absolutely
no point whatsoever in talking about evolution. It is an
arbitrary distraction you have selected from the pattern of
your own movements. You have chosen it from the moving
confusion of your ordinary state. That confusion is our
genuine concern in these talks. All our questions are forms
of this dilemma, this state. Every question is in the form
of a dilemma, and every verbal or mental dilemma is an
expression of an underlying state that shapes every moment
of the usual life. The arbitrary creation of “questions,” of
artifices to occupy the mind, is a way of distraction from
this state. It is a form of self-indulgence. To answer such
questions is only to serve bewilderment, unconsciousness,
fear, ignorance and all the qualities of seeking and
suffering. I know that you have been upset for several days,
crazy with this whole movement in yourself, and now you want
to talk about evolution. What has that got to do with
anything? This suffering that is begun must continue. The
death must occur.

DEVOTEE: It just
goes on and on and on. It never seems to stop.

FRANKLIN: The death.
That is what you want to get away from. You would “evolve”
to the astral world, and so escape this necessary death.
There is no elimination of death, no ultimate avoidance of
death. You are trying to prevent death, this very crisis, by
occupying yourself with symbolic questions.

DEVOTEE: But that’s
the only answer, that death. Why don’t we? Why do we keep
fighting and fighting?

FRANKLIN: Keep
fighting what?

DEVOTEE: This thing.
We know we are fighting it, and, yet, we cant help it. Why
are we avoiding it? How do we get out of it?

FRANKLIN: This
desire is another form of that same avoidance. But it has
already begun. This transformation, this conflict, this
crisis has begun in you. It has become intensified. You are
beginning to find your real question. It is your death. That
is the significant event. There is no distraction from it.
There is no consolation for it. But it is true and real.
Evolution can make no difference. Translation to the astral
plane can make no difference. None of that can change this
chronic state. This crisis would still be necessary, no
matter where in all the worlds you happened to appear. This
crisis is the peculiar event of all life. Going to the
astral plane does not change that necessity. Intelligence is
still required.

This question about
evolution represents a form of “concern,” a search. That is
what is communicated to me in the form of your question. It
has no real content other than that. It is only because this
crisis is occurring that you have the least interest in
evolution. But for one who is dying there is no evolution.
What does he care whether the seven hundred billion that
remain behind him are transformed into ducks or luminous red
astral bodies? His death is the only remaining content of
his life. From the point of view of his experience, there is
no evolution. There is only sudden death. But this death is
true, it is the real process. So it is worth seeing, worth
living, because this real death of which I speak is the very
crisis of consciousness that serves both Truth and
life.

One who awakens is
not concerned for the destiny of those who appeared along
with him in his dream. There is no such destiny, there is no
one. All that appears in the universal form or great cosmic
process is a spontaneous display, like the conditions that
appear in dreams. All of that goes on in any case. But now
you are beginning to see this more fundamental condition
underlying your adventure of distraction in the cosmic
event. In the past you did not see it, or know it for what
it was. To the degree you felt it at all, it was a subtle
sensation, a discomfort, a sort of formless craziness, a
wildness, but now you are beginning to know what it really
is. Now you are beginning to know it as your chronic state.
But you will come to recognize it as your own activity. You
are beginning to be aware of it more or less continually.
That continuous awareness is the self-purifying sadhana of
real spiritual life.

DEVOTEE: Even one
who comes to reside in the Heart has patterns and rules
which he has to follow on his journey. Otherwise, certain
things wont open. There are rules which he cant switch away.
So there is in fact a pattern, isn’t there?

FRANKLIN: A pattern
of what?

DEVOTEE: By which
the universe is ordered. Even if a person comes from any
state, seeks the light, and finally resides in the Heart, he
must go by certain signs along the way. It is different for
each person, but still there are rules.

FRANKLIN: If they
are different, what is this specific pattern?

DEVOTEE: There isn’t
one that fits everyone, but still there are patterns
existing.

FRANKLIN: Of course,
there are apparent patterns in life. But the Heart is not
someplace else. The Heart is not a point separate from any
other place. It is not in a certain direction. It is not the
end of any particular road. It is not the goal. If you are
speaking of the “causal” center, the heart-center on the
right side of the chest, it is indeed a point, a place, a
psycho-physical sensation. But the true Heart is another
word for the one, unqualified Reality.

DEVOTEE: That
becomes true, once you realize it. But between the time you
know it and the time you are only approaching it, there are
still patterns.

FRANKLIN: They are
your own patterns. They are your apparent condition. They
are the subtle forms of cognition which help to fabricate
the dilemma and the search, prior to the enjoyment of the
Heart, which is radical understanding. But in Satsang, the
relationship to the man of understanding, or the Guru, the
Heart establishes a living relationship with the individual,
and then it no longer makes any difference to him what the
patterns are. The patterns are simply observed from that
moment. Another kind of condition is lived, and so these
patterns become obsolete. They fall away, until only the
Heart stands out. From the point of view of the true
disciple, there is no significance to the patterns. There is
no significance . “Significance” is your dilemma. It is the
pattern of your own mind-forms. That is the only thing that
obstructs perfect consciousness. It is neither external nor
internal. All that arises is only a modification of your own
ultimate nature and condition. When this is perfectly
understood, the enjoyment realized in understanding is
called the “Heart.” There is no subjective, no objective, no
external, no universe, no astral world, from the point of
view of the Heart. All such phenomena are simply apparent
modifications of the Heart.

Until a man truly
enters into Satsang with his Guru, he is very concerned
about the way, about this pattern of his own growth and
experience, his own transformation, his own liberation. But
when he enters into the condition of Satsang, his concerns,
his path, his patterns become obsolete. All of that is
simply not supported. He simply lives the condition and
conditions of relationship generated in his Gums company,
and the patterns subside. They become obsolete, without
function. Therefore, concern for those patterns is more
evidence of the search, of this fundamental
dilemma.

All movements within
the cosmic and universal form are movements within the
cosmic and universal form. No movement implies or leads to
Reality. All movements lead to terminals within the great
form itself, to more states, more change, more phenomena.
They do not in any way in themselves obviate the dilemma
that is suffering. A man who assumes that action will lead,
to the Self has performed an act in consciousness that is
not in itself true. Truth is in the re-cognition of
motivation and action.

We are always
already “there.” This is it. There is no dilemma. There is
only one Reality, presently. It is not somewhere else. It is
not hidden within us, nor behind the world. It is only
obvious. Satsang is the condition of Reality, consciously
lived. It is lived to you, within you, as you, along with
you. It is that real condition lived as life, as a pressure
upon the disciple. The Guru lives it to him, until it begins
to become obvious, until it begins to become intelligent in
him. But all he will have realized, after all, is the
obvious. The nature of the rising event, the apparent
condition, becomes clear. It becomes obvious to him that his
dilemma is his own activity. He sees that in fact there is
no dilemma. There is nothing about the present that is not
Truth.

Satsang is the real
condition. It is the condition of Truth. It is the condition
of conscious relationship to the Guru. When a person enters
into it consciously, with any degree of clarity, he has
begun to live under the conditions that are Truth. And that
is the entire process. That is spiritual life, real life.
Everything else is an extension, another reflection of a
mans search, his dilemma, his dis-ease. When this real
condition is truly lived, whatever arises tends to be
consumed.

DEVOTEE: Is it
within the power of ones will to remain in the condition of
Satsang?

FRANKLIN: Apparently
not. An individual can maintain himself responsibly in the
company of his Guru, and fulfill the specific demands
imposed on him by his Guru. But to live the conscious
condition of relationship, even with ones Guru, depends on
the subtle grace of that condition itself.

Every man tends to
live apart, separately, constantly. Even when he begins to
sense the unique presence of one who lives as the Heart, he
resists and defends himself. He covers up his disability,
his discomfort, his dilemma. He approaches such a one with
argumentation, self-defense, the endless formulations of his
own mind, and with suggestions that maybe “its all right
anyway.” He continues to do his number, assuming the Guru is
a captured audience for his act. When he overcomes all of
that only a little bit, he begins to “hunt” the Guru,
seeking to “find him out,” and justify independence from the
Guru through various kinds of moral and philosophical
righteousness. He penalizes the Guru, he resists him, he
plays with him, he creates dramas with him, he goes away, he
comes back, he teases his Guru. All of this because the
principle of ordinary life is the avoidance of relationship,
the “ego,” the activity of separation.

But when a man
enters into real and conscious Satsang with one who lives as
the Heart, he no longer has this activity or separate self
as his primary instrument. The activity that is the “ego”
has become obsolete. It may continue to arise and obsess
him, but Satsang has become his condition. The process of
the Heart itself, the Guru as Truth, performs his sadhana
and holds on to him. The Guru creates a drama within the
drama of his devotee. This subtle drama or grace makes it
possible for the devotee to maintain his sadhana, the living
practice of his connection. This grace looks forward to the
time when the devotee becomes responsible enough to assume
that relationship fully and consciously, as his
responsibility, as his real condition. Then he is given
responsibilities that will test him, prove him, and awaken
in him all the qualities of a true disciple.

DEVOTEE: What are
the responsibilities of a person who lives in the condition
of Truth? For years I’ve fluctuated between everything from
total self-indulgence to forty-day fasts and found basically
an inability to eat moderately. I don’t think that this is a
responsible thing to do. And yet its inappropriate to be
always compulsively responsible. But at the same time, if I
don’t eat properly I become less conscious. I sleep more. I
get spaced out.

FRANKLIN: The point
of view that you are expressing is the point of view of
dilemma, of suffering, which has nothing to do with Truth.
It is this very condition that men try to destroy by all
means. Excessive fasting or eating, self-indulgence of all
kinds, deprivation of all kinds, turning inward, turning
outward, ascetic practices, “ordinary” practices, all of
these are only means to overcome the fundamental sense of
dilemma and suffering. None of that has anything to do with
illumination or Truth. All of that is suffering,

The question for
such a one is not how to become responsible. That is not his
real question. His real question is the state that he is in.
And the real answer is not in the form of a response to
verbal dilemmas, or even apparent life-dilemmas. The answer
is the obviation of this state. A man will seek by all means
to be free of the dilemma as it appears to him, until all
the forms of his seeking, all of which are reactions to the
subtle condition or dilemma that is his suffering, cease to
occupy him. He comes to the point where the force of his
life is no longer fully captured by his search. He knows
that his search is failing, that his search does not produce
salvation. He falls from ordinary fascination into a crisis,
a form of despair, of doubt. At that point, he has become
available for Satsang, for that relationship which is
spiritual life.

Satsang is the
answer. It is that process and condition wherein the dilemma
is undone. Not any spoken word, but that process itself
which is enjoyed in relationship to the living Heart, is the
“answer.” It is not in the form of a method, another
technique, or a conceptual system that applies to your
peculiar ideas of your state. The answer is in the form of
the force of Truth, and it undermines that very structure in
consciousness that supports your whole search. This becomes
a real possibility only when a man has begun to suffer from
his search, when he has begun to sense its failure, when he
is no longer totally occupied by it. Then he becomes
available to Guru, to Satsang. And Satsang is non-support of
his dilemma, non-support of his search.

In Satsang, all a
mans techniques fall away, all fascination with his search
subsides, all his methods become comic. His whole life
ceases to obsess him. His need for liberation no longer
interests him. His life becomes one of the enjoyment of
Truth, the enjoyment of Guru, until the whole form of
consciousness in which he ordinarily rests is utterly
dissolved. In Satsang, an entirely new and living form of
intelligence replaces a mans ordinary strategic
mentality.

Some individuals
have become involved in the most incredible adventure of
spiritual technique. They are concerned with all kinds of
technique. There are techniques of living, techniques of
subjective and psychological states, the seekers meditation,
strategic diet, and all the rest. Such individuals come to
Satsang in the moods of spirituality and philosophy. Others
are more “ordinary.” They come to it after the equally
traditional self-indulgent life. Everyone comes to Satsang
in the midst of a different form of adventure. All come with
the same fundamental dilemma, but all communicate it through
different artifices, through the form of a peculiar
adventure. In essence, all adventures are a description of
the same state: this contraction, this subtle dis-ease, the
avoidance of relationship. That is so. That is the
experience.

From the point of
view of the real question, the actual dilemma, a man is
happy to enter into Satsang. Spiritual life for such a one
is, happily, not a technique, a method, a remedy, or a path.
Spiritual life is a relationship. It has always been so.
Nothing apart from the relationship to the Guru is offered.
Relationship itself is the principle and condition of life.
The relationship to the Guru is the single principle of
sadhana, the single medium of Truth, the one “method” that
arises in the life of the disciple. It is the condition and
the medium through which all things come that are
appropriate for the spiritual life of the disciple. And they
come spontaneously, as a grace. In Satsang a man has become
available to Truth itself, Reality itself, for his
illumination. Until that point, he has been too occupied to
be illumined. First he must fall from search and fascination
into the crisis of his ordinary condition.

The most difficult
thing for a man to achieve is ordinariness. But the primary
condition of Satsang, of true life, is the realization of
ordinariness. Men are extremely inventive, eminently capable
of the extraordinary, the adventure, the search. But the
ordinary, what simply is the case, what already is the case,
is extremely difficult, because of the principle of action
by which all men create their lives. When Satsang begins for
a man, when it becomes his real alternative, he suddenly
becomes capable of ordinariness, of simplicity. It simply
becomes appropriate. It is not the least connected with
anything compulsive, anything like the discipline which a
seeker might embrace. The functional simplicity of the
disciple is only obvious and natural to him, because action
has been released from its connection with the search for
Truth, liberation and the like. Anything that is pictured as
a means to Truth belongs to the adventure of seeking and its
dilemma. It is part of the adventure of extra-ordinariness.

When a man is
released from the pursuit of Truth, he simply lives it. He
lives Satsang as the condition of life. All his ordinary
functions become truly ordinary when he is released from the
need to realize Truth. In Satsang, a mans ordinary,
functional life becomes realizable, usable. There is no
reason why diet should be manipulated as a means to Truth.
Nor should it be considered an obstruction to Truth. The
ingestion of food has nothing whatever to do with Truth.
Neither food-obsession nor food-righteousness is the way of
Truth.

DEVOTEE: What it
seems to have to do with is my being in a state where Im
willing to put my attention on the Truth. If, for example, I
am overeating or taking drugs I will not be in a condition
to put my attention on Truth.

FRANKLIN: You cannot
put your attention on Truth in any case. Truth is not an
“object.” It only appears to be an object from the point of
view of the same search that motivates you to indulge
yourself and also not to indulge yourself. Truth cannot be
concentrated upon even by a mind that is clear and free. It
cant be “noticed.” It is not an object. It doesn’t appear
within your view. It already includes you and your points of
view.

DEVOTEE: Instead of
the term “attention on Truth,” could we say “to experience
more consciously”?

FRANKLIN:
Experiencing has nothing to do with Truth. Truth cannot be
experienced, nor is it an experience. Neither is Truth
experience itself. All these expressions you have used have
the same form. As far as Truth goes, there is nothing to be
said about it in this sense. No formal communication is the
equivalent of it. All of the descriptions you might give of
the peculiar form of your adventure have the same form, the
same structure. Indeed, your questions are a strategy
whereby you prevent the realization of your actual
condition. Your concerns are a way to avoid
self-recognition.

Truth always appears
to the seeker as a kind of alternative . But Truth is not an
alternative. Truth is your very consciousness, your very
nature, your very condition. It cannot be concentrated upon.
It is not an object. It is not something in which you can
become interested. It is not something from which you can be
distracted. Your interests, your distractions, your
noticings, your experiencing’s are all expressions or
modifications of the fundamental Reality. But you are not
living them as such. Therefore, you are constantly obsessed
with alternatives, with particular distractions, noticings
and experiencing’s. Alternatives are all that you
have.

When you no longer
have any alternatives, when the search has died, then Truth
becomes your real possibility. But Truth is not an
alternative. It is not in the form of an answer to a
specific question. It is not something perceived. It is not
something that serves you, the subject. It is not something
that liberates you as a separate person. It has nothing to
do with you as a separate one. It cannot be enjoyed by you
as a separate one. Truth is enjoyed only in the instant of
non-separation, of perfect equality with Truth.

There is no state
equivalent to Truth. Every state is only a secondary
condition. There are experiences and states described in the
traditional spiritual paths that are identified with Truth
or Reality itself. Some traditions say Truth is equal to or
necessarily coincident with a vision of Krishna in his blue
form. For others, Truth must be samadhi in the form of yogic
trance, either with visions or without the least trace of
form, objective or subjective. Still others equate Truth
with a concentrated return of the vital force to the
sahasrar, a vision of Light, or some other esoteric signal
of Deity. But all of these are forms of experience. They may
be sublime, subtle, but they appear only as alternatives to
other “ordinary” experiences. No experience is Truth. And no
experience is the sign of Truth, the “symptom” of Truth, or
its necessary accompaniment.

Truth is that which
stands out as Reality where there is re-cognition of the
whole process of experience, where there is absolute
vanishing of identification with alternatives, the whole
scheme of conscious life. Therefore, it involves the most
radical understanding, even of that which is extraordinary.
Until that occurs, the usual and the great events in life
are your fascination. It is the memory of experiences, ones
own modifications as the result of experience, that creates
the goals of seeking. Impressions in the form of tendencies
continue to fascinate a man and obsess him with the notion
that life is made of alternatives, so that all the usual man
is doing is playing this drama of alternatives continually.
One day he is going toward the “experience” of Truth,
another day toward experience itself, usually of a very
“human” variety. One day he pursues the enjoyment of
trance-samadhi, while the next he is a devotee of sexual
fascination. But it is always the same adventure.

What appeared in the
past as the great moments of your life did not become
wisdom. All you are left with are the modifications which
reflect those moments. If great experiences had become
wisdom, if in the instant of any such experience the Truth
were perfectly realized, the experience itself would have
fallen away, the phenomena associated with it would have
fallen away, but the Real, the force of Reality that is
Truth in every moment would have then remained. And that
Truth is the same Truth that persists at this moment, when
perhaps you are not having such a “great” experience. Truth
does not appear in the form of this drama of ones
experiences and alternatives. It appears as a possibility
only when that entire process, that entire adventure, the
whole force of ordinary and extraordinary consciousness,
which is seeking, begins to wind down, when it ceases to
occupy us mightily, and we are stuck with our actual
condition, our suffering. Only the crisis in consciousness
is that very event in which the process called spiritual or
real life takes place. It does not take place in the
adventure. It takes place only in the re-cognition of this
contraction that motivates the adventure. And such
re-cognition becomes possible for a man only when the force
of his ordinary and extraordinary adventure has begun to
die.

DEVOTEE: I think
that I might feel a hesitancy to give up that aspect of the
search.

FRANKLIN: Good, very
good. That is it exactly. Two types of people come. Those
who have died to their search, and those who still have a
couple of trips left. Regarding those who still have the
search in mind, there is no condemnation, no praise, no
blame. That is the truth of their condition. The search is
still their occupation. They have not come for Truth . The
Truth has nothing whatever to do with them. The search, the
adventure among alternatives, that is what “has” them. That
is what has all men, until it begins to die. Then the Truth
becomes possible.

When you no longer
have genuine alternatives, when you no longer have the
option of your own preferences, when you no longer have the
capacity to persist, to survive in the form of your search,
then Satsang becomes something more than academic. Until
that time, all men are talking about the same thing: their
adventure! That is what they are talking about. They are not
the least concerned for the Truth. It hasn’t entered into
the picture yet. It is only an amusement, an alternative
notion entertained in the midst of ordinary and
extraordinary suffering. They are still occupied. Fine. But
the matter of spiritual life arises only when the
alternatives themselves do not present a real
option.

DEVOTEE: How do I
bring myself to the point of not wanting?

FRANKLIN: Wanting or
not wanting are both forms of the same activity. It is this
occupation, this preoccupation, this distraction or
fascination, moment to moment.

DEVOTEE: How do I
get over that?

FRANKLIN: This
desire is more of this adventure now. It is the adventure of
getting over it now. It is all the same. The fact of the
matter is that you are in this present state, and all your
actions, desires and even your questions are only
descriptions of it. This much should be clear from all this
talk. The Truth is of another variety. But this lesson about
your present and usual state can be useful. It is the first
lesson of wisdom.

If it begins only to
hurt, if all the alternatives fall into one, if they cease
to be a real option, if you find yourself continually stuck
only in the crisis of consciousness itself, which is the
very and subtle form of suffering from which ordinarily you
spring in order to seek, when that becomes the nature of
your daily life, then Truth enters into the picture. Then
Satsang, real life, enters as a living possibility. It will
be your obvious need when you have no options.

DEVOTEE: I am
already aware that none of these things work.

FRANKLIN: There is
some small wisdom, because you are becoming exhausted with
experience. But the seeker still possesses some potency. He
is still springing, still reacting to this subtle dilemma.
When this “springing” stops, or when it begins to seem that
it is not possible, when the alternatives don’t quite have
you, when the potency of the search begins to go, then the
matter of spiritual life begins to take on the form of
consciousness. When a man is only suffering, then the matter
of release or the obviation of suffering begins to become
clear. Then the force of Truth, of Reality, which is Truth,
begins to move in him. Then Satsang becomes possible,
because at that point, it has a function. But while the
search is still a mans task, still his fascination, Reality
or Truth is not his concern. Until then, Truth or Reality
does not appear except as an alternative, a symbol, another
form of distraction. Therefore, as the traditions have
always said, Truth or real life is a matter of death, of
crisis, of that dilemma or doubt which is the fuel of
liberation. When the search, the reactions to his dilemma,
begins to wind down, and only the dilemma remains, only this
subtle suffering, this dis-ease of life, then the force of
Reality begins to move into a mans life. Then his real
question can be answered. Until then his questions are his
entertainment, his amusement. They have no significance.
They are the forms of preoccupation and unconscious
self-description. Then “spiritual life” itself is only an
amusement, only an entertainment. Then meditation, sitting
with the Guru, reading spiritual books, all of that is only
another form of erotica, of “significance.” But when a mans
hunger becomes intelligent, when his dis-ease becomes mind,
then the spoken Truth, the word of the Siddha, and the
living form of the Guru become his need. He becomes
intelligent with that need, and he responds. A subtle
re-cognition occurs. And this process called spiritual life,
liberation, realization begins. Until then it has not begun,
it has not entered the picture in any sense.

By your own
admission, you are yet a seeker. But you have been brought
to consider the futility and the causes of your own
adventure. And, at some point, very likely it will all
become something more than academic for you.

DEVOTEE: If Truth is
the natural state, how did we get to deviate so much along
the way?

FRANKLIN: You didn’t
get to do it. You are doing it! It is not a created
activity. This sense of separation, this dilemma is not
something that happened, for various reasons, at some point
in time. It doesn’t occur for “reasons.” It is always a
present, spontaneous activity, cognized as this sense of
separation, of dilemma. But it is not the result of
anything. And the attempt to trace experience back in time
to recover the events from which you are suffering is
fruitless. It cannot produce Truth as a result, because you
are not suffering the results of anything. Suffering is the
quality or the mood of your present activity. Your present
activity is your suffering.

At some point a man
begins to dwell on his suffering itself, until he
re-cognizes it, knows it again, as his present activity.
When he knows it again as his present activity, and when he
re-cognizes its nature, it simply stops. It spontaneously
comes to an end whenever this re-cognition occurs, for
re-cognition makes it obsolete, without present function.
But its precise nature is of an extremely subtle kind, so
that it is comprehended only by radical insight. The
traditions have often spoken of it as something that
happened in the past, in order to make some sort of sense
out of it. But it has no “sense.” It is irrational,
mindless. It is understandable only from the point of view
of a radical insight. Then its form can be seen. Then its
structure, its nature as a present event is only
obvious.

The traditional myth
of suffering is that it happened to mankind some time ago,
or that we are presently in a state that is the result of
some beginning of suffering in our individual past. But our
suffering is always a present activity . That is what is
remarkable about it. People tend to think of suffering in
terms of something external to themselves in time or space.
By such means they try to explain it to themselves, to make
sense of it, so they can overcome it through efforts of
various kinds. But in fact, suffering is not your symptom.
It is your activity. That is the paradox. All a mans seeking
is based on the illusion that his suffering is somehow a
symptom that could be eliminated. But when the search begins
to wind down, it begins to dawn on him that his suffering is
his activity, not his symptom. His symptoms are simply the
mental and physical expressions of this activity. But his
suffering is absolutely present, and it is always cognized
as felt dilemma.

Therefore, the
process of spiritual life is absolutely hopeful. It requires
only the Truth, which is the living force of Reality. It
requires no other process, such as the manipulation of your
memory, or the creating of “good karma” so that your “bad
karma” can be eliminated. All of that is a hopeless task. It
could never be done to the point of freedom. The karmas or
the tendencies that generate the qualities of your life
could never be fully “paid off” or dissolved by good works.
All action, good or bad, as well as all inaction, only
reinforces limitation and the dilemma itself. It is not the
elimination of karmas, not super purification by effort, not
any kind of righteousness that frees a man. The solution
could never occur. Freedom always already is the case. Thus,
freedom is enjoyed where Truth suddenly comes alive. Where
Truth is lived, where Satsang is truly enjoyed, Truth itself
consumes or includes all that of which karma is a part. When
it comes alive, Truth obviates the force of all
that.

The search makes no
sense at all. It is an illusory and false principle. Only
the living Truth avails. And the living Truth must be lived.
Such is Satsang, the relationship of Guru and disciple. Such
is true sadhana or spiritual practice, wherein Satsang is
constantly lived as ones condition. And there must be a
lifetime of Truth, not a two-week smack of blessing, fasting
and meditation, not a vicarious weekend of “enlightenment.”
There must be a lifetime of Satsang. In other words, there
must be an absolute commitment. Satsang does not exist until
it has become radical practice, until it is lived as ones
very condition, without qualifications of time, space or
life. There must be continuous and radical enjoyment of
Satsang. In other words, it must become the principle, the
very condition of life, whereas, in the usual man, the
dilemma and its search are the principle and the condition
of life. When Satsang becomes the condition of life, it
makes the whole effort of search obsolete through
non-support.

DEVOTEE: What is the
role of others in ones pursuit of Truth? You mentioned the
role of the Guru. You mentioned the Guru as one such
individual.

FRANKLIN: The Guru
is not other than oneself.

DEVOTEE: What about
the rest of humanity?

FRANKLIN: Neither
are they. They, along with you, may temporarily be living as
if they were other and separate, but the Guru does not.
“Others” function as others. Being others, they create
circumstances or apparent conditions for you to enjoy, for
you to suffer. The Guru is not an “other,” nor does he live
as an other in any sense. One who sees an individual whom
others claim to be functioning as Guru may consider him to
be an other, like himself. But he has only failed to
recognize that one as Guru. The Guru is ones own nature.
Absolutely, not symbolically, the Guru is ones very
consciousness. This is the literal truth of one who appears
as Guru in human form. He is not an other. Therefore, others
have no role whatsoever in the transformation that is Truth.
Only ones own Self performs that role.

Ones own Self is the
Guru. In the condition of Satsang, wherein sadhana is the
principle of activity, the Self of Reality functions in the
form of the human Guru, in ordinary human terms, in
relationship to us, until perfect re-cognition occurs. But
when understanding is perfect, when Satsang has performed
its radical communication, when sadhana is most excellent,
no difference, no “other” can be found, even in the world of
apparent differences. The teacher who is “other” than you,
who only fascinates, who offers you various practices and
strategies for seeking, acts only to modify your state. Such
a one is not functioning as Guru. He is functioning as an
“other,” as a source of experience, of modification. The
Guru is not other. His activity is a paradox.

Ones relationship
with the Guru, which is Satsang, depends on the subtle
recognition of the Guru as Truth, as ones own Nature, the
Self. That recognition does not necessarily appear at the
level of the mind, as mental certainty, or in the form of
some sort of visionary or psychic perception. But there must
be a subtle recognition. That genuine recognition has no
explanation, no mental force in many cases. But that
recognition is what allows the relationship between Guru and
disciple to be enjoyed as it is, as Satsang, rather than the
usual communication of “others.”

DEVOTEE: I
experience you as in no manner different from me.
Nonetheless, I experience that you are you, and I am I. How
can the Guru and the disciple become identical?

FRANKLIN: I have not
been talking about the notion that the Guru and the disciple
are or can become identical, that they are or can be the
same entity . Nor have I been speaking in the traditional
“spiritual” sense, in which Guru and disciple are identical
as some sort of spiritual substance, which “substance” is
found when you manage to “get out” of the physical body or
even the subtle bodies. Such notions are only another form
of the same conceptual separation, the same dilemma, the
same puzzlement, the same separation that is suffering. I
have been speaking of the radical condition of Truth, very
Reality, wherein no dilemma and no separation arise as an
implication of any condition, even the ordinary condition of
apparently unique, human entities.

The notions of
sameness or of difference have no significance. Or, should I
say, they have only significance. They are very
“significant,” but they are utterly beside the point. They
do not pertain to the matter of Truth. If we are discussing
significance’s, the discussion can go on forever, because we
are only dealing with our own mental modifications. The
perception or the notion that in some subtle way there is no
difference between us all is a mental modification. It is
not the equivalent of radical understanding and Truth. It is
not a symptom or sign of the Truth. It is only the idea or
the experience of no difference. It is only an experience, a
mental state. Psychotics can be in such a state. Day
dreamers, pot-heads and philosophers can be in that state.
People whose minds are relatively at rest for a moment can
be in that state. Truth is not a state, a perception, or a
thought. When there is truly no difference, no one survives
. Where there is the realization of non-separation in Truth,
no one survives beyond that moment. Absolutely, no separate
individual survives it. It is death. No one remains behind
to speak glibly of it, because it is certain death. From the
point of view of ordinary consciousness, it is the most
dramatic, fearsome event. It cannot be conceived. It can
only be symbolically entertained from the usual point of
view. But this death of which I speak is the fundamental
process of real life.

DEVOTEE: What
happens after death?

FRANKLIN: You will
see.

DEVOTEE: Well, I
think that moment has happened to me.

FRANKLIN: Some
experience you have had is suggesting itself to you now. You
think it is this “death” I have described, because you are
trying to make sense of it. Such experiences are not
themselves Truth. In The Knee of Listening I devoted a lot
of time to the description of this kind of thing. In my own
case, I passed through all kinds of “spiritual” states, all
kinds of great, dramatic realizations, all kinds of yogic
processes. At the time they seemed to be the Truth or
ultimate realization, and yet they disappeared, they came to
an end. At last the whole adventure of associating Truth
with experiences began to wind down. I began to abide in my
ordinary state. There were many “enlightenment” experiences.
There were many states that seemed complete. But they did
not alter the fundamental dilemma. Truth was only in the
radical understanding or re-cognition of the whole process
of experiences and states. There is a radical understanding,
a radical consciousness, in which ones previous states of
illumination, which one thought were Truth, become obvious
as only more forms, more modifications. That obviousness,
and not experiences themselves, is enlightenment.

DEVOTEE: Is
enlightenment or realization a process of growth?

FRANKLIN: From the
point of view of one who is living in Satsang with the Guru,
it may seem that there is some sort of growth, some sort of
movement or transformation. But there is a radical form of
that whole event in which he sees there was no growth, no
transformation, and no path.

You cannot be more
and more absorbed into the Truth. It is the principle of
ones life, the Reality, not merely the goal. But there are
modifications of ones life and strategy that occur in the
process of sadhana. They seem to give us a sense of progress
in this sense. And this sense may have a certain value from
the point of view of sadhana. The sense of growth, and the
memory of spiritual change, may give the individual an edge
over the occasional tendency to relapse from sadhana and the
principle of Satsang into his former condition of
self-indulgence, seeking, and the concerns of one in
dilemma.

DEVOTEE: One teacher
has said it is mans sole duty to strive. Is that striving
what you mean by the search, or is there a healthy
striving?

FRANKLIN: Let the
one who has said it be responsible for it. Let him justify
it. To live Truth is to be responsible for the dissolution
of fear and ignorance. The intelligence of Truth is not
preoccupied with the statements of men. People who become
involved in the traditional paths of spiritual life often
gain a great deal for the mind in the process. A major part
of the defense men make in behalf of their suffering is all
of the language, all of the things heard and read in the
midst of the search. All of that must come to an end,
absolutely. All of that is consumed by Truth. There is no
resort but to Truth itself. If a man tells other men to
resort to themselves, to strive onward until the Truth is
glimpsed, he has functioned only as a man to men, as an
“other,” to motivate men while they are still suffering.
Truth itself is not served by the command that men do
something in order to realize the Truth. No action of any
man produces Truth as a result. Satsang, the communication
of Truth itself, the relationship to the Guru, is the entire
means, the only means, the radical means. Truth is the very
means of spiritual or real life, not its goal. A man who
resorts to the Truth of the Guru in Satsang is never again
returned to his search. But men themselves are always trying
to return to the search, because of the difficult crisis
demanded in spiritual life. They always want to console
themselves by some means or other. The apparent emptiness of
the Gurus offering becomes a kind of aggravation to the
seeker, who constantly refuses the condition of Satsang and
its demands.

Men want to be
filled with all kinds of things, distracted with all kinds
of things. “What can I do to be saved? How can I meditate?
How can I get free? How can I get straight? How can I get
pure?” They want all kinds of occupations, and strategic
methods. But in Satsang nothing is given. No occupation, no
means, no method, no consolation, no philosophy that is
itself the Truth, no mantra apart from the person of the
living Guru. Only that relationship is offered, only that.
And what does that amount to? It doesn’t amount to a damn
thing from the point of view of the seeker. That is not what
he came for. He came to get turned on, to get something
going, to be occupied again. The seeker is never able to
stay long in the Gurus company. Only when his search has
begun to die as the principle of his life does that
relationship cease to be an obstacle. Then the Guru and his
offering ceases to be empty. It becomes entirely a joyful
possibility. He welcomes it, even though it satisfies and
requires nothing of the search in him.

Satsang does not
support the search. It does not begin from the point of view
of the search. It has nothing whatever to do with the
search. Therefore, one for whom the search is no longer a
genuine distraction finds great and true happiness in the
mere presence of the Truth, alive. Such a one has discovered
the secret of his Guru, for the Guru himself is the presence
and the communication of Truth. The disciple simply enjoys
and lives the condition of Satsang with his Guru. He becomes
full with it, intelligent with it, happy with it, at peace
in it, blissful in it. Satsang restores him. The
ordinariness of life becomes his possibility. He begins to
function again. He comes alive again because the sense of
dilemma has ceased to be the principle of his
existence.

DEVOTEE: Ramana
Maharshi said to enquire within, enquire as to the nature of
your own existence. Is enquiry the method of
Self-realization?

FRANKLIN: Ramana
Maharshi said enquire. Someone had already to be sitting
with Ramana, otherwise the recommendation would not have
been made. In fact, the fundamental method of Ramana
Maharshi was Satsang, and most often, but not always, he
recommended enquiry in the form “Who am I?” to those who
lived in Satsang with him. I also recommend a particular
form of enquiry to those who have turned to me. It is
detailed in The Knee of Listening.

 

Back to
Method
of the Siddhas

index

 

Method of Siddhas Table of
Contents

Invocation
(Narayana Sooktam)

Part One:

Preface:
The Method of the Siddhas
:

1. Understanding

2. The
Avon Lady

3. Money,
Food, and Sex

4. Vital
Shock

5. Walking
the Dog

6. The
Gorilla Sermon

7. Relationship
and Association

8. Meditation
and Satsang

9. One-Pointedness

10. The
Path of the Great Form

11. Phases

12. No
One Survives Beyond That Moment

Part Two:

The
Gospel of the Siddhas