Breath and Name
By Bubba Free John.
The Initiation And Foundation Practices Of Free Spiritual Life. Only edition: 5/77. ©1977 Vision Mound Ceremony
How I Comprehend My Work
The following essay by Bubba Free John summarizes the principles and practices of the Way of Divine Communion and offers a unique account of the Spiritual Master’s, own understanding of his Divine service to devotees.
Ego, soul, inner self, or separate, defined consciousness is not an entity, an actor. It is simply another version of the same universal activity in which every form and function in manifestation, or manifest experience, high or low, participates. It is the single activity of contraction, which shows itself as the complex of objective definition, differentiation, independent form, separation, opposition, subjectivity, and contradiction or dilemma. The illusory ego is not even a unique or more primitive form of this activity. It is simply that, from the point of view of any apparent, functioning, conscious individual, it is the root action (not the root of action, not an actor, not different from action), because of its intimate and foundation relationship to his subjectivity. Experience appears to imply the inner, independent witness-self and actor, but it is only an idea-and it falsely objectifies the Mystery in Ignorance. When the fundamental activity of which the ego is a species is undermined in the tacit intuition of the Condition in which all conditions arise, then not only the force of the ego-illusion, but the force (or implication of necessity) of every convention-all experiencing, every world, and even the extraordinary assumption and objectifying knowledge of God apart from or over against the ego and the world-the force of all that arises is dissolved and dislocated in the prior Condition or Truth. Such is liberation, happiness, and true God-Realization.
All action in all worlds, all action that is any process, and all action that seems to be performed by any entity or person is necessarily a form of this contraction. All action, then, realizes or is conventionally tending toward the realization of the sense and condition of inherent contradiction or dilemma. And all action as such is, therefore, necessarily separative in its realization, even if relational in intention. For this reason, all action, when presumed in itself (directed toward its ordinary goal rather than realized as Divine Communion, or sacrifice into the prior Divine Condition), is binding, limiting, an expression and an agent of suffering. Manifest or conditional existence then, under any conditions gross (elemental and etheric), subtle (mental and super-mental), or causal (egoic) is, in and as itself, suffering.
This realization is profoundly disorienting and disturbing, since it convicts the living being of irreducible dis-ease and hopelessness, which cannot be dissolved by any consolation or change of state, and it is also profoundly liberating since it brings an end to the distraction by any kind of action and experience and allows the effort of being to come to rest in the intuition of its true, real, or prior Condition.
The possibility of true spiritual life, or participation in the Graceful process of liberation in the prior Divine Reality, begins only when there is tacit conviction in the functions of life and intelligence of the inherent suffering of the conventional realization or destiny of manifest existence (its essential dilemma or self-contradictory condition) and the fruitlessness of all manifest destiny (high or low) and action to produce liberation or true happiness (since all action is inherently separative, self-defining or actor-defining, and a realization of limitation). This conviction is served by all of the ordinary and extraordinary results of life and by the stream of Communication of the Divine Presence, Influence, Nature, Form, and Condition. This Way is fulfilled by Grace, not by personal efforts. But the reception of Grace depends upon the response of responsible fulfillment of the Law, or sacrifice. Thus, life and attention must be wedded in the form of every action, so that these become effectively equivalent to a counter-action (no-self) to the root action (the actor) that is the signal of suffering. Therefore, the devotee acts always in relationship to the all-pervading Reality, making every action, every moment of attention, every moment of participation in the rising worlds a service to the Divine. His existence in manifestation is truly no-contraction or no-self, a priorly intuitive and relational activity of sacrifice, surrender, or service to Real God (not the objective Creator or Other, but the Condition of all conditions, actions, and actors). Whenever the devotee becomes available to receive, realize, and manifest the Communication of the Divine Reality through the Service or Sacrifice of the Divine, he simultaneously intends or moves attention and action to fulfill the Law of sacrifice, wherein all action is simply Communion with God, or intuition of the Divine Presence and Real Condition. (The conventional method of devotional action is to yield all attention from its results, so that God may be realized as the very result of this renunciation. The true performance of action as sacrifice, as itself God-Communion, depends on prior Intuition or Communion with the Divine. When such Communion is true, action is released from the illusion of the actor, and is naturally generated as literal sacrifice-which is the discipline of relationship, or love.)
Devotees, in due course, see the extension of this, in effect, counter-action, which is the natural expression of Grace, into the form of the Way of Relational Teaching and Grace Radiated through Realized beings in and prior to the various times and places of the worlds. When life and the Teaching coincide in their lesson, then the individual has come to a point of availability, in the subjective and objective dimensions of his or her life, to the Awakening-function or Grace of the Divine Reality. When the conviction of suffering and hopelessness matures to the point of profound psychic, psychological, or psycho-physical disorientation from the conventional theatre of experience, ordinary or extraordinary, so that there is heightened sensitivity to the intuition of the Condition that is the Divine Reality, then the individual becomes circumstantially related to the stream of true Teaching and, at last, to the direct influence Communicated through a true Spiritual Master.
When the Divine is properly approached, and life becomes intuitively and Gracefully oriented in attention and action to Real God (not the objective Deity of the believer-actor), the conscious being ceases to intend or be possessed by attention and action in the conventional, binding way. Instead, attention and action become intentional but natural devotion or sacrifice to God. In that event, attention and action are paradoxically, by Grace, brought into conformity with the Law, which is sacrifice, and the being abides always at rest in Real God, so that, more and more, the Divine Nature, Form, and Condition are intuited as one’s own very Nature, Form, and Condition as well as that of all beings, things, thoughts, and worlds.
This process of perfect sacrifice in Real God is founded in the Way I have called Divine Communion, and it is the essential process of the whole Way of Divine Ignorance, or Radical Understanding. It involves, fundamentally, the voluntary discipline and literal surrender of attention and every action into the Condition of Real God, and constant receptivity to the
Enquiry. The Way of Relational Enquiry is the spiritual practice and responsibility of those who have realized, through the Way of Divine Communion, that all action, in Truth, is the constant sacrifice of all conditions into the all-pervading Divine Presence and the constant reception or intuition of the Condition of the Divine Presence. In the Way of Relational Enquiry, special evidence appears in the faculty of critical intelligence, so that the effort of being rests constantly, and so brings all conditions to rest, in the Condition which precedes all knowledge, all experience. The mature ability to recognize the events and activities of suffering with profound insight, responsibility, and discipline is the natural prerequisite for this specific development of the Way of dependence on the Grace function of the Divine in the world.
The Grace-function of the Divine appears in the human form of the true Spiritual Master from time to time. This special Appearance or Servant of the Divine Function or Grace of Awakening becomes humanly present not merely to inform, instruct, and distract the suffering world, but to be a sacrifice for all who devote themselves to him (or to her, should the Master be in the form of a woman) as a direct manifestation of the Divine Presence. That sacrifice becomes effective in true and mature devotees as God-Realization in the perfect sense.
The true Spiritual Teacher is a special conjunction of the eternal Divine Process and an apparent human entity in the radically released stage of its manifestation. The capacities and qualities of such a human individual are benign and fit for this Service. While eternally rested in the most intimate and profound Intuition of the Divine Condition, the human Master embraces living beings in mutual Sacrifice, or Divine Distraction. He accepts whatever is yielded to him and, while discarding it in its appropriate realm through his spontaneous and spiritual power of Sacrifice, replaces it in the life of his devotees with his own Condition, Form, and Nature. The more the devotee intuits the eternally communicated Divine Condition in Truth, the more he also yields or is released from the illusion of subjectivity.
I tell you this so that you will know clearly how I comprehend my own work. The more truly you realize the forms of the practice of the whole Way of Divine Ignorance, the more you will also see the proof of this Teaching and of the liberating Grace of Real God.
Breath and Name
By Bubba Free John.
The Initiation And Foundation Practices Of Free Spiritual Life.
Only edition: 5/77. ©1977 Vision Mound Ceremony. ISBN: 0-913922-29-3. LOCCCN: 77-72993.
Introduction: If You Do Not Hear the Argument for Spiritual Life, You Can Never Begin True Practice of the Way (VMC, 3/30/77).
Part I: ‘Moving Beyond Childish and Adolescent Approaches to Life and Truth’ (reworking of “The Way of Dissolution and The Way of Experience” (8/11/74), Garbage and the Goddess.
Part II: The Written Instructions of Bubba Free John on the Way of Divine Communion: 1. ‘The Way of Divine Communion Is the Way of Loving Submission and Attention to God.’ 2. ‘The Way of Approach to Grace.’ 3. ‘The Law of Sacrifice: The Form of All the Worlds.’ 4. ‘Faith, Sacrifice, or Dependence on Grace is Heart-felt Release from the Cave of Subjectivity.’ 5. ‘The Practical Life-Disciplines of the Way of Divine Communion.’ 6.’Breath and Name: The Spiritual Discipline.’ 7. ‘True Meditation Is in the Form of Sacrifice, or Relationship.’ 8. ‘The Spiritual Master: My Devotee Always Feels Me to Be Present.’ 9. ‘The Law Must Be Fulfilled in Both Directions.’
Part III: A Practical Commentary on the Way of Divine Communion:
1. Release Everything and Receive the Divine: A Summary Overview of the First Stage of Spiritual Practice
2. Life-Conditions: The Foundation and Preparation for Free Spiritual Life: The Celebration or Sacrament of Universal Sacrifice (Prasad). Real Study Is Listening and True Hearing of the Teaching. “Money” Is Energy, Effort, Life, Commitment, and Love. Eat According to the Laws of the Body-Being. Lawful Sexuality Is Intimate Play in the Marriage Relationship. Service Is the Epitome of the Life-Conditions. Devotional Singing. Daily Schedule. Celebrations of the Principles and Practices of the Way of Divine Ignorance.
Summary Points on the Practical Disciplines of the Way of Divine Communion.
3. The Spiritual Disciplines Are a Gift of Grace: What to Do When You First Come into the Formal Occasion of Sitting with the Spiritual Master. The Breath of God and the Name of God Are Realizations of Prasad, or Reception-Release.
What to Do When You Sit for Real Meditation. Practical Notes on the Meditation Posture. Summary Description of the Spiritual Disciplines of the Way of Divine Communion.
Epilogue: ‘How I Comprehend My Own Work.’
Invitation. Appendix A: Life and Meditation Summary. Appendix B: Reading List. (275 pp.)