Method of The Siddhas – Talks with Franklin Jones on the spiritual teahnique of the Saviors of mankind – Adi Da Samraj – Money Food and Sex

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Money, Food and Sex

FRANKLIN: There are patterns
in our individual lives that are responsible for the quality
of tamas,1 or inertia, immobility, sluggishness,
the backlog of everything. The earliest period of sadhana,
or life in relationship to the Guru, deals especially with
this “tamasic” condition, the inertia of the disciple, his
tendency to remain in or return to the very state of
suffering and ignorance in which he began. Therefore, the
disciple must find a way, a practical way, to fulfill the
Guru ~s demands for a responsible realization of life. When
you are capable of functioning, that is when spiritual life
begins. Until then it doesn’t make any difference how many
times you come to see me, or how many lectures you hear. Now
is the time to begin to live, and to live is to be
responsible for your life, not to continue old patterns. I
cannot release you from responsibility. How can I release
you from the responsibility of your breath?

When people become involved in any
kind of religious or spiritual activity, particularly a
group activity of some sort, there are a few subtle notions
that tend automatically to be awakened in them. There is the
subtle suggestion that spiritual life has something to do
with separation from vital and physical life. Indeed, in
many of the ancient traditions that is exactly what it was.
Spiritual life was an exclusive and terminal inward-turning,
getting away from all of the life-force, the life-form, the
life-mind, the life-appearance, the life-sensation, into
some inward, subtle non-life perception or vision, heaven or
whatever. Because this traditional association of ideas
tends to be blanketed over everything that looks like
religion, spirituality, yoga, and the like, every demand,
every quality suggested within religious and spiritual life
that involves the physical and vital being meets immediate

Money (and, in general, the
commitment of life-force in the forms of effort and love),
food and sex are the essential activities of life. Those are
the vital processes, the forms of vital appearance and
function. And money, food and sex are the first things that
people begin to resist or manipulate when they get involved
in anything that is even remotely like religion or
spirituality. Religious people, for the most part, are
extremely confused and guilty about money, food and sex.
People involved in spirituality, yoga, and esoteric
religion, are endlessly involved with experiments about
money, food and sex. What are such people always doing?
“Should I or shouldn’t I?” “What is the right diet?”
“Fasting? Macrobiotics? No food?” “Renunciation? Poverty?”
They are on and off the food all the time, on and off sex.
They may be celibate for years in order to get enlightened,
but then, just as dramatically, they are seeking the
“tantric bliss”2 or the restoration of ‘mental
health” in a perpetual orgasmic exercise. Then there are all
of the other games of self-denial, no work, no income. All
of these things arise whenever anything like spirituality or
religion comes into a person’s life.

Because of the automatic
resistance’s built into religious and spiritual endeavor,
the practical need for money and for the means of survival
is a very complicated and frustrating affair for even the
most sophisticated religious and spiritual

1. The principle or power of inertia. The Hindu texts
declare that manifest existence is a complex variable of
three qualities or Gunas. These are tamas, rajas, and
sattwa. Rajas, or the rajasic quality, is the principle or
power of action or motivation. Sattwa, or the sattwic
quality, is the principle or power of equilibrium or
harmony. The manifest spiritual process is a spontaneous or
intended purification of the living being, wherein it is
first relieved of the limiting powers of tames and rajas, so
that it takes on the sattwic quality. Then even the sattvic
quality is released into the unqualified, transcendent and
Divine Nature.

2. The term ‘tantric” refers to the
spiritual philosophy of Tantra, common to India and Tibet.
It is essentially a system of yoga practice in which the
principle of Nature’ or manifest life is made the principle
of spiritual practice as well. Thus, various aspects of
experience considered taboo by other schools are often used,
ritually and not as self-indulgence, in tantric practice.
This could include the sex act, intoxicants, etc. But the
fundamental tantra is an esoteric system of internal or
yogic meditation practices, and a system of philosophy and
experience from which the practices are (derived. The core
of the yoga of tantra is the Universal Creative Power, which
may function in man for his liberation just as it ordinarily
functions to create and fascinate him.

But all of this should be a very obvious matter. We are not
in heaven. This is the earth. Everything here costs life,
effort and money. It costs a great deal of life, effort and
money to maintain a religious or spiritual community. The
purposes may be “spiritual,” but as a living community it
must fulfill the same functional laws as any household and
any business corporation. Even so, whenever practical
demands are made for effort, commitment, love, or money,
people tend to lapse into the “tamasic mood.” Such
reluctance retards life. And the ability of an individual or
a group to transcend this tendency is the measure of freedom
and survival.

There is the suspicion that if you
are “spiritual” you are not supposed to need money, you are
not supposed to require anything, and you are supposed to
abandon the functions of life. Obviously though, money is
needed in most circumstances, and work, force, love, and
energy are necessary for functional survival. Why isn’t it
obvious then, why isn’t it patently the responsibility of
individuals that they bring life and commitment to their own
religious or spiritual community, that they take on its
creative work, and contribute a responsible amount of money
for its continuation? Why isn’t that obvious? Why is there
always so much wheeling and dealing involved with any
religious and spiritual organization? It is because of the
traditional illusion of spiritual attainment, which is
pictured as a kind of evaporation process, wherein you
become more and more “elusive,” and finally disappear inside
your something, or dissolve into your someplace

Now there are people who teach that
such goals are Truth. If that is the game you want to play,
you must go to such people. There are few and always fewer
responsibilities at the level of life involved in such
teachings. A certain amount of food must be taken, but some
teachers have even suggested that if you begin a fast and
never eat again, at death you will merge into the
enlightened state. So they have handled that side of it too.
Such “enlightenment is a cave without money, food or sex. If
that seems to represent the Truth to you, then go to the
forest and fast until death!

I think this traditional orientation
is utter nonsense. I do not teach it, and I do not support
it. The Truth that already is the case is the Truth from
this one’s point of view. I live very naturally in the human
world, and its responsibilities do not make me
“unspiritual.” Its responsibilities are a creative
manifestation, requiring intelligence. All life-conditions
are forms of relationship. All of life is ordinary. A man
who is incapable of his ordinariness hasn’t even begun to
become involved in spiritual life as subtlety.

The first level of sadhana or
spiritual discipline that I had to endure with a human
teacher wasn’t any sort of otherworldly yoga, nor did it
involve love and acknowledgment from the Guru, or even kind
words. I spent about two minutes with Rudi3 when
I first met him. He told me to get a job and come back in
one year! But I was perfectly willing to do that. As it
happened, within a month or two later, my spiritual work
with him did begin. It wasn’t in fact necessary for me to be
away a year, but I was perfectly willing for it to be so I
was ecstatically happy to have made this contact, to have a
beginning, to have become capable of spiritual life. It was
a profound joy to me to have found someone who was obviously
capable of drawing me into a condition at least more
profound than the one I was living. From that moment it was
one demand on top of the other. It was work. Work was the
sadhana, work was the spiritual life. There was no “Come to
me and sit and chat.” It was “Take out the garbage, sweep
out this place.” If I came to sit and talk with Rudi, I was
most often told “Scrub the floor,” or “There is a new
shipment in the warehouse, so go and unload my truck.” I
worked constantly, day and night, for four years. On top of
the heavy physical labor, Rudi had me going to seminaries,
where I studied Christian theology, masses of historical
literature, ancient languages, all kinds of things in which
I had no fundamental interest. I had to live in Protestant
and Orthodox seminaries, but I was not a Christian. My
sadhana was continuous work and self-transcendence. There
was no ending of it. Even in sleep and dreams, there was no
ending of it.

3. Rudi (Albert Rudolph) was Franklin’s spiritual teacher
from 1964-68. He helped Franklin prepare the foundation for
the mature phases of his spiritual life, which began with
the meeting with Swami Muktananda Paramasansa in 1968.
(Rudi, also called Swami Rudrananda, died February 21,

My time with Rudi did not see the fulfillment of my
spiritual life. I moved on to other relationships and the
order of my sadhana and my understanding changed. But his
requirements for sadhana in the functions of life and body,
in terms of money, food and sex, were more than useful to
me. The sadhana performed in those years became the very
foundation of my spiritual life. During that time I was
strengthened and stabilized in mind, body and life. When I
came to Rudi, I wasn’t prepared for an elusive yogi. Such a
one could have been of no use to me in the beginning. Truth
is resurrected from the ground up. The conscious force can
never leave the ground if you begin your sadhana in the air.
If sadhana is begun as an effort to become “spiritual,” then
what is merely alive remains a mass of confusion and
craziness. So I must insist that all who come to me take on
functional responsibility for the powers of life, which are
money, food and sex.

My way of working with people is to
take hold of them and establish a relationship with them, so
that this relationship becomes their conscious, overwhelming
and continuous condition. When they become conscious of it
on any level, then I give them responsibilities at that
level. From that moment, I require and expect them to
function at that level. I never pat them on that part of the
head again. I expect them to live that function responsibly
in the Ashram and everywhere in life from that point on. I
expect all of you who are already with me to do sadhana at
the levels of money, food and sex. And to do sadhana on
those levels is, at times, going to be just as difficult for
you as it was for me. If you are ready for spiritual life
you will be very happy to have something in your hand at
last, to function at last, to have begun. All other
responses to this sadhana are your unreadiness, your
unwillingness, your resistance. They are
Narcissus.4 Narcissus has no support from the
Heart, from the Guru, from the Truth, or even from the
universe. Narcissus is already dead. Death is his
karma,5 his destiny, his realization.


4 Narcissus. the self-lover of Greek mythology, is a key
symbol in Franklin’s description of man as seeker, as one
who suffers in dilemma.
5. Action which entails consequences or reactions. Thus,
karma is destiny, tendency, the quality of existence and
experience which is determined by prior actions or

And everyone will only die who lives
as Narcissus. Narcissus will die in his own pocket. His head
will fall from a sleeve. He will not die a sublime death. He
will die alone, unconscious for a long time. He is the
destiny of unconsciousness, of foolishness. But all waking
comes suddenly.

People have become involved with all
kinds of patterns of life that are their suffering. Your
sadhana involves that level of complication or suffering
that you are already living. It doesn’t necessarily involve
visions. Even if visions appear, they have no ultimate
consequence. Suffering is the place of sadhana. Sadhana
meets this complication, this resistance, this fear, this
stupidity, this lethargy, this craziness, this violence,
separateness, this heaviness, this endless distraction by
the current of experience from hour to hour. All of that is
terrifying, if you could consciously see it. Sadhana is
involved with that. It requires a great deal of a person. It
requires him, ultimately, to be a genius, a hero. It
requires him to manifest the great qualities, the greatest
human qualities. Everyone who does sadhana must manifest
those qualities in his own life. Of course, it is not all
required or even possible in one afternoon, but functional
intelligence must manifest at a certain level even at the

Spiritual life is not a form of
consolation. Its foundation is not a fascinating promise. It
is not generated in the form of “Get along, do the best you
can, and after death you will go to heaven,” or “I will come
again and make everything all right, no matter what you do,
because everything is really okay, you rascal!” There is a
profound sense in which everything is really all right, even
now, regardless of the conditions, but that profundity
requires the most radical kind of humor, intelligence and
discipline to be understood.

So a man must become responsive at
the simplest level, the level in which he is living, in
which he exists. There is nothing very profound about it.
And this requires him to conduct or make lawful use of the
life-force, not to abandon it, not to become separate from
it. He must become capable of relationship at the level of
the vital, on all the levels of the physical being,
ultimately including the whole range of psycho-physical
life. When there is no obstruction to relationship, there is
no praise, no blame. There is no praise, no blame in the
responsible, appropriate enjoyment of sex-relationship.
There is no praise, no blame in vitality itself, nor the
appropriate management and enjoyment of food. In the earning
and use of money there is no praise, no blame. Nor in the
creative exercise of power and creativity, in the use of
functional ability and force. But the man who is living in
the pattern of separation is enormously complicated in the
functions of money, food and sex. Most of the problems he
perceives in his own case have to do with money, food and
sex. The mishandling of those three things manifests as
poverty and lawsuits, hoarding and financial complications,
ill health, and compulsions at the level of food and sex.
Those are the daily experience of the usual man. The daily
round is a complication of money, food and sex. Sri
Ramakrishna used to say “women and gold” were the chief
distractions and sources of bondage. He was perhaps a member
of the school of “getting away from the vital,” but he was
right about “women and gold,” the functions of money and
sex. And we must include food in the list. These are the
areas in which suffering is most apparent. Therefore, a
person’s life becomes very complicated to the degree that he
has not understood the vital processes, to the degree he is
living the life of Narcissus in relation to money, food and

Simply because you have come to this
Ashram and have expressed a certain willingness to begin
this radical life does not mean that you have ceased to live
in the usual way. Since you came here you have begun to
observe the resistance’s that are in you, the reluctance to
function in at least human terms, all of the craziness, and
the forms of crisis that make it all so very apparent at
times. So it hasn’t disappeared simply because you are here.
But the process that undermines all of that has begun.
Satsang does not support the forms of your reluctance, your
“tamasic” tendencies. These things remain to occupy you,
until a different intelligence replaces them. And that is
precisely what this work is all about. In the meantime,
while you are all still a little nutty, you must survive in
time and space. Indeed, the Ashram itself must survive.
Therefore, rather than have the Ashram accommodate itself to
resistance, your responsibilities must be made plain. What
is appropriate must be made known in a simple way, and all
who come here must be required to function at that level

People think they are supposed to be
allowed a little time to get through all of their functional
problems. You are supposed to analyze it for a few years,
under very supportive conditions, and get it a little bit
straight about two, three, maybe four years from now. But
that has nothing whatever to do with the Truth. It is only
another sign of reluctance, inertia, tamas. Spiritual life
is not the support of your malfunctioning, with a few little
bits of wisdom thrown in until you come out of it. Spiritual
life is sadhana, the always present demand of function. How
do you think the spiritual crisis was brought about in
traditional monasteries and spiritual centers? Certainly not
by coddling and consoling mediocre disciples. That is why
very few people went to those centers. The moment you
stepped in the door, there was a guy waiting with a stick.
He took all of your clothes, all of your money, all of your
belongings, put you in a little cell, gave you brief
instructions about the four or five things you were going to
be allowed to do for the rest of your life, and then
demanded you do all five before dinner! You found out how
you were failing to function by trying to function, by
living under the conditions where nothing but functioning
was allowed.

Spiritual life is a demand, not a
form of therapy. It is a demand under the conditions of
Satsang, the relationship to Guru. It is the practice of
life in a world where the living Heart, not your own dilemma
and search, is the condition. The demand itself does not
make real sadhana possible. It is Satsang, the prior
condition of Truth, that makes it necessary. Sat sang
contains and communicates itself as a demand. And this
demand acts as an obstacle for those who are not certain
about their interest in this radical life. They have read a
little about it, heard a little about it, and now it tests
them in the fire of living.

Such is the way it has always been.
The monasteries, the ashrams, the schools of teachers in the
past were conceived like fortresses in the hills. They were
difficult to get to, and very few people ever returned from
them. People didn’t gaze nostalgically at the place up on
the hill, or hear about it on the evening news, and say,
“Wow, I wish I could just go up there, you know, turn on to
where it’s really at, go up there and everything is groovy
forever, great macrobiotic food, and my mantra, man, and
really get it on.” Traditional spiritual life was never
confused with any sort of playful getting high. All of that
is only a mediocre interpretation fabricated by people who
have no real capacity for sadhana or the true and radical
bliss of conscious existence. Spiritual life is not getting
high. From the human point of view, the resistive,
narcissistic, ordinary human point of view, spiritual life
is the most completely oppressive prospect. And it creates
massive resistance in such people as soon as they get a
taste of it. Traditionally, incredible obstacles were put
out front, so that people would not bother even to come to
the door. It was purposely intended that people would never
even ask about it unless they had already overcome
tremendous resistance in themselves. The great Oriental
temples, for instance, were built with incredible images of
demons, guardians and ferocious beasts surrounding the
entrances, so that people would not approach such places in
their usual state of self-obsession. Their heads were
required to be bowed. The devotee was expected to be crushed
within, in a humble state, reflecting awareness of his habit
of living. The devotee was expected to arrive on his knees,
and never without a gift. Such people would never come
irreverently. They would never display an inappropriate
attitude. The traditional ways of approach are perhaps too
ritualistic and too purely symbolic. They can be
superficially learned and imitated, and so they do not
necessarily reflect the inner attitude. Just so, all must
realize and demonstrate the appropriate and genuine manner
of approach and life in our Ashram.

Every poor man is welcome to come
here, regardless of his present state of life. I am not
about to throw poverty-stricken people into the street
because they can’t pay the “dues.” But Narcissus is not
allowed to play here. He is not supported. He is abused, he
is called names, he is cursed. I put on masks in front of
him, I say and do idiotic things in his company. We haven’t
created an artificial environment here in which everyone is
supposed to be “Simon-pure.” We have nothing to defend. We
can all know one another very well. That is one of the
freedoms of such a place as this. So people here are
generally very out front with one another about their
nonsense. And that is perfectly all right, perfectly
allowable, because it is a righteous demand for
relationship. It is a purifying demand. Spiritual life is
such a demand. It hurts at times, it puts you into
confusion, it creates conflict, it makes you feel ugly, it
makes you recognize crazy things about yourself. It forces
you to function in spite of your refusal to function, it
offends all of the self-imagery that you have built all of
your life. But, after all, that is what we are here to deal
with. Everything a man brings to the Heart to defend is
destroyed. Everything he defends is undermined. His game is
not supported. It is aggravated. And people often become
aggravated in Satsang.

DEVOTEE: What is the nature
of the demand you make upon your disciples?

FRANKLIN: The conditions for
understanding are Satsang. Satsang itself, when it is most
consciously lived, is understanding. It already is enquiry
into one’s condition and action. It is meditation. Satsang
is the real condition. That is why it goes on apart from the
search, prior to your dilemma and suffering. A man should
not approach his Guru in order to carry on his search. He
should approach his Guru with devotion, as one who has
found, and put his search down at his Guru ‘s feet. The true
disciple is a devotee who simply lives with his Guru. That
is the spiritual practice or sadhana of Satsang. Every bit
of seeking, dilemma and self-obsession that you lay down is
your true gift to the Guns. All gifts symbolize that true
and inner gift, and make it visible. A man may bring a
flower to his Guru. The flower is very fresh and fragrant.
When he smiles and puts it on the ground or in a vase it may
all seem like a pleasantry. But what is represented by that
flower could be the most difficult crisis of his life. The
truth of that flower, of that gift, is the crisis

When a man begins to live his life
functionally, as relationship, when he accepts the simplest
level of responsibility and lives it consciously, in spite
of conflict, of difficulty, then life itself becomes
sadhana, real spiritual practice, an expression of Satsang.
Such functional and responsible living is the first gift of
a disciple to his Guru. Therefore, it is also the first
demand of the Guru. I truly expect those who live with me to
master life, to create my Ashram, to live this work, to give
it their life-force, to produce it with intensity and love,
and to make Sat sang available to every human being who has
the sensitivity to this one. I do not expect, nor do I
support anything less than that. I expect you to function.
Confrontation with the functional demand of life is your
test from day to day. It is a sign to you of your state from
hour to hour. It is on this functional level that people
begin to enjoy realization, understanding and

I am not interested in dealing with
the superficial and smiling level in you. I am always aware
of your visible suffering. I always want to deal with that
suffering, seeking, dilemma, contraction and resistance.
Satsang deals with that. It undermines your lack of
functioning. It is your craziness that we must deal with. We
can already be friendly, but we can’t already enjoy the
Heart together. Since that is the case, we must deal with
it. We must deal with the obstruction as it is. And Satsang
is the appropriate way to deal with it. I do not mean some
sort of confrontation, where we have it out with one
another, or where you get to yell at me, make demands, get
very upset, or go through a whole emotional act. Things
happen like this occasionally, but, essentially, that is not
Satsang. Satsang in itself doesn’t necessarily have any
obvious drama associated with it, and yet these fundamental
obstructions are continually dealt with.

I have lived this work with people
for a long time, and I have seen the drama that gets played
with the symbol of the Guru. I have seen people approach me
as if they were either my parent or my child, for months or
even years, always being conscientiously pleasant with me,
praising me, seeming to be a devoted disciple, but in time I
have seen these same people try to work “black magic” on me,
obsessed with threats, undermining the sadhana and harmony
of other people in secretive ways, until they finally
separated from me, and remained preoccupied with all kinds
of negative judgments about me from then on. Such people
never suspect that the drama they are living from day to day
is their own. They always suspect that it is in life
somewhere, that it is something that comes on them, like
bacteria. Everything they deal with on a relational,
functional level is interpreted in that symbolic way. They
never suspect themselves. But the true disciple must become
very suspicious of himself. He must have played his game
long enough, so that he knows what he is up to. It is fine
that he knows what he is up to. And I know what he is up to.
I find his drama, his seeking, completely acceptable. I find
it completely livable, endurable, understandable, and
transformable from the point of view of the Heart. I am not
the least interested in preventing it. I am entirely willing
to allow that to be my disciple’s present state, and to live
Satsang from that moment in those terms. But when we begin
to live it in those terms with one another, a creative event
has replaced the ordinary round of life. There is no longer
any suffering or seeking to justify, to defend, to support,
to make survive through time. For the moment, particularly
tonight, we are looking at this fact: at the level of life
there is essentially the failure to function. That is the
fact about this gathering. That is the fact, not the

My disciples have agreed to do
sadhana in the functions of life. They are willing to see
this contraction, but to function in any case. The first
stages in Patanjali’s6 yoga system are
yama7 and niyama8 things not to do,
and things that must be done. The first steps in yoga are
the fulfillment of functional prescriptions. The first thing
that a man must do is get straight. He may not feel like
being straight. After all, he is not yet enlightened! But he
is just plain going to be straight in a very fundamental
way. This is the demand of all traditions and of all the
Siddhas. It is agreed, it is acknowledged, it is accepted
from the beginning that he is upset, that he is suffering,
that he is not functioning well at all, and that life is
filled with pleasures, but also with burdens and fears and
obstacles. When he arrives at the door, this is already
understood. Nothing needs to be said about it. So the keeper
of the door says, “Okay, now that we have heard that, I’ve
got these twelve rules for you to do.” And the would-be
disciple looks at the list with amazement. He is supposed to
do all the things that he came here because he wasn’t able
to do! These things are not what he is supposed to do when
he gets enlightened. They are what he is supposed to do
starting this afternoon. And all he gets at the beginning is
a handshake and a broom! He gets up before the congregation,
and they say, “This is Jack Umpty-ump, he has just joined
the church.” Everybody looks, “Very good,” they read a brief
prayer over him, and from that moment he is supposed to be
straight. He may rise up from there into some magnificent,
creative, spiritual life, perhaps. But his straightness has
got to be right out there. It is the first demand. He is not
given anything miraculous to make him capable of that. And
to fulfill that demand he perhaps has to go through all
kinds of difficulty, all kinds of conflict, all kinds of
crises, but, even so, he is expected to fulfill that demand.
And he is expected not to burden his fellows with his
suffering while trying to fulfill that demand. He can be
passing through the most incredible turmoil, and yet he is
supposed to be well-groomed, clean, smiling, able to do what
is required, loose, straight.


6. Patanjali flourished in India in perhaps the second
century B.C. He systematized the system of yoga,
particularly yogi meditation, in a classic textbook.
7. Elementary rules of self-restraint, or restraint of
external actions, such as continence, non-stealing and
8. Elementary rules of mental restraint, or restraint of
internal and personal actions and states, such as
purification of mind and body, study, and worship of


But the therapeutic point of view,
the point of view of the search, is of a different kind. The
guy comes to “the healing man.” He is completely incapable
of functioning, in many obvious ways, and he is offered
somebody who will listen to him express that failure day
after day, week after week, without adding anything to that
misery except more things to console and occupy him, and by
which he can further express the same dilemma. He gets a
mantra to express his craziness with. A religion, an idol of
“God,” a belief. He gets a few brief psychiatric analyses by
which to express that craziness. He gets medicine and magic
to vanish symptoms. But these are all just added to his
craziness. They give him a more elaborate expression for
that craziness. The remedy tends to indulge a man’s
suffering, because it indulges his search. His search
depends on his dilemma, and his dilemma is his suffering.
From the point of view of Truth, a therapeutic confrontation
is not useful. Only the most radical approach to a man’s
suffering is useful.

The Guru does not respond to,
support or act upon the premise of the functional failure
and suffering of his disciple. He demands that his disciple
function on that level in which some consciousness already
exists. He is not given the absolute demand out of the Heart
of the universe in one shot, but he is expected to function
on the level in which he is living his confusion. That
demand of functioning creates in him a disturbance, a
crisis, a form of conscious conflict. That is the core of
sadhana. Of course it is difficult! It can create great
physical and mental disturbance at times, particularly in
those who have not yet surrendered and found the Truth
already present as their Guru. That is why those who begin
this way are generally those who have tried the
alternatives, even magnificent, creative, spiritual life,
perhaps. But his straightness has got to be right out there.
It is the first demand. He is not given anything miraculous
to make him capable of that. And to fulfill that demand he
perhaps has to go through all kinds of difficulty, all kinds
of conflict, all kinds of crises, but, even so, he is
expected to fulfill that demand. And he is expected not to
burden his fellows with his suffering while trying to
fulfill that demand. He can be passing through the most
incredible turmoil, and yet he is supposed to be
well-groomed, clean, smiling, able to do what is required,
loose, straight.

But the therapeutic point of view,
the point of view of the search, is of a different kind. The
guy comes to “the healing man.” He is completely incapable
of functioning, in many obvious ways, and he is offered
somebody who will listen to him express that failure day
after day, week after week, without adding anything to that
misery except more things to console and occupy him, and by
which he can further express the same dilemma. He gets a
mantra to express his craziness with. A religion, an idol of
“God,” a belief. He gets a few brief psychiatric analyses by
which to express that craziness. He gets medicine and magic
to vanish symptoms. But these are all just added to his
craziness. They give him a more elaborate expression for
that craziness. The remedy tends to indulge a man’s
suffering, because it indulges his search. His search
depends on his dilemma, and his dilemma is his suffering.
From the point of view of Truth, a therapeutic confrontation
is not useful. Only the most radical approach to a man’s
suffering is useful.

The Guru does not respond to, support or act upon the
premise of the functional failure and suffering of his
disciple. He demands that his disciple function on that
level in which some consciousness already exists. He is not
given the absolute demand out of the Heart of the universe
in one shot, but he is expected to function on the level in
which he is living his confusion. That demand of functioning
creates in him a disturbance, a crisis, a form of conscious
conflict. That is the core of sadhana. Of course it is
difficult! It can create great physical and mental
disturbance at times, particularly in those who have not yet
surrendered and found the Truth already present as their
Guru. That is why those who begin this way are generally
those who have tried the alternatives.
They have tried the ways of indulging their search, and
found this strategy does not affect the core of suffering.
But when they become sensitive to the presence of the Heart
in the Guru, they become capable of Satsang as enjoyment.
Only the true devotee has the force of consciousness that
will permit him to endure this crisis of conscious life. But
a man who still pays a great deal of his life to his
suffering and resistance is burdened with alternatives. He
continues to suffer, and to be involved in tremendous
conflicts that have nothing whatever to do with spiritual
life. They are simply the expressions of his failure to live
Satsang as his condition. They are the expressions of his

All suffering is Narcissus, an
obsessive distraction by one’s own mind forms. That is all
that suffering is. The modifications of the force of one’s
own life are one’s suffering. Therefore, the quality of
dilemma, which is suffering, is present even where the forms
of life are apparently delightful
a social point of view, even apparently successful,
apparently making for survival. Whatever a man holds in
consciousness and defends in the face of all relationships,
all conditions, is his suffering. The endless stream of
modifications or formulations of the force of your own
consciousness is the face of Narcissus in the water.
Modifications obstruct consciousness. They tend to replace
relationship with forms within consciousness, with
contractions of the field of awareness. Therefore, the
qualities of experience may change from moment to moment,
but always, the force of consciousness is providing the
individual with a current of distraction.

It is this current of distraction or
psycho-physical modification that prevents relationship. It
is this that implies the center, the ego, the separate one,
the dead perceiver. People are really just dummied up with
their own machine. They express their suffering in various
ways, but it always has the

Narcissus is a good symbol for
suffering. He has separated himself from all relationships,
especially the primary relationships of mother, father,
loved-one, and environment. He confronts only his own image,
which he does not re-cognize as such. Obviously, Narcissus
doesn’t know that the face in the water is his own image. He
does not recognize his own image or quality as such. And
suffering is in the failure of a man to re-cognize, to know
again, his own distraction, which is his own state, his own
quality, his own modification. When he re-cognizes it, he
ceases to be enamored, fascinated and distracted. His drama
is undone by simple and yet radical knowledge. If Narcissus
understands his fundamental activity, his insane condition
will come to an end. So all that a man is suffering is
fascination with the force of his own activity and
experience, which represents to him the separate self
(identification or “ego”),
the field of differentiation (the conceptualized world), and
the endless adventure of seeking (mysterious motivation or
desire). The things flashing and moving before him, the
“objects” of consciousness, imply the separate perceiver
over against the field of perception. And where this
implication becomes the point of view, the true and prior
nature of the world ceases to be obvious. This structure
goes on and on, magnified through all forms, all the types
of experience, all the worlds of experience, all the
conditions, gross, subtle and causal, that arise. Every
thing that arises is fitted within this structure. So it
makes no difference where Narcissus moves, what experience
occurs, what technique or search he applies to this dilemma.
No matter what occurs, he fails to know it directly. Even
the Divine Vision fails to be conclusive, because he knows
it in terms of this structure of fascination and separation.
A man is always being Narcissus until there is the
re-cognition of this primary activity, assumption and root
of cognition. But when this re-cognition occurs, he is like
a man discovering that he has been pinching himself. His
pain was always his own event, the theatre of his own
action. When he finally sees, it is a simple matter. He no
longer needs to go through any sort of complicated affair to
get free of pain. He doesn’t have to go through any kind of
therapy, special diet, yoga, or mantra in order to be free.
All he has to do is take his hand away. Re-cognition is of
that kind.

And the Guru is the water itself,
upon which this image of Narcissus is reflected. By creating
a disturbance in the water, the prior nature of his
disciple, the Guru makes himself known. He intensifies the
true nature of Narcissus, so that this re-cognition can take
place. However, the Guru does not do it simply by creating
modifications of your experience, binding you to mind-forms,
appearances, visions, distractions. All of that is only a
secondary process in the life, not the very communication of
Truth. All of that is only more of the face in the water for
one who does not understand. But the Guru communicates the
water itself to Narcissus. He only intensifies the true
nature of Narcissus.

Therefore, it is not by the
elimination of conditions or the destruction of your
responsibilities that you are served. You are served by the
communication of your responsibilities in the ordinary way.
It is not by distracting you while you remain irresponsible
and in trouble that you are served. It is by the forceful
demand for responsibility that you are served.

DEVOTEE: What are the
responsibilities of those who live in Satsang with

FRANKLIN: Those who enjoy Satsang
are responsible for appropriate action in life and in the
Ashram. They must remain in regular contact with the Ashram,
and assume responsibilities there. They must be employed, or
else responsible for children. They must be responsible for
an orderly household. They should abstain totally from
drugs, alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, and the like. They
should eat moderately, and essentially use only foods that
are usable and supportive of bodily life and vitality. In
most cases the diet should consist of natural vegetables,
grains, fruit, milk and milk products, seeds and nuts. The
key to diet is to discover what is supportive and use it
wisely and, exclusively. Food does not create spirituality.
The disciple must spiritualize his food, whatever it is, by
appropriate sadhana. The problems of excess, laziness,
instability, chronic weakness and irresponsibility are the
patterns of Narcissus. The patterns of avoidance are the
very material or fuels of sadhana. Bring all of that to
Guru. But even while the dilemma of life is being considered
and confronted in Satsang, all are expected to function in
appropriate ways. Remember that Satsang is itself a
functional relationship to Guru, to others in the Ashram,
and to the world. A responsible, relational, intelligent way
of life is the condition for Satsang.

Men have gained a great deal by
liberating themselves from the earth. The natural cycle of
the earth is a difficult condition in which to survive, and
if survival is the preoccupation of human activity, the
subtler faculties of man do not develop. Therefore, men have
created great cultures and centers of culture, in order to
enjoy common freedom from bondage to the point of view of
survival against odds, and to develop the subtler or hidden
faculties of human destiny. But we are living in a period of
reaction to the artifices of culture and technology. Many
have decided that the ideal is to become a righteous farmer,
or a wandering singer of love-full protest songs, and live
Mother-Goose-beautiful out in the woods. But it has only
been a relatively short time since the great cities have
existed. The human experiment has barely begun. The reasons
why men have tried to create great cities are reactions to
the ancient bondage to the cycle of the earth. Men are
trying to transcend the limitations of the natural cycle, so
they may be free to realize a higher order of common life.
Therefore, men have, in their
with one another, found ways to transcend the limitations of
the natural cycle of earth and water.

Countries like India anciently
belonged to the earth. The Indian population is barely
breaking away into a genuinely human order of life. In
India, if a man wants to seek for God, which is
inappropriate to begin with, he can freely abandon his life
responsibilities, his work, his relationships to family, his
attempts to support himself, and become a wanderer. This is
a tradition of the earth and water cultures of India and
certain other areas of the world. There are massive areas of
land in India that are unowned or untenanted, where a man
can be irresponsible in relation to the earth and his own
earth life. He can find a cave and sit in it. But when men
have begun to live with one another, when they have broken
the cycle of attachment to earth and water, they must accept
responsibility for their own survival. Therefore, it is
inappropriate under the conditions in which “fire” or the
cultural and technological means of material and human
transformation are developed for a man to be without work or
responsibility for his own action. Either he must work for
his own support, and in most cases that is necessary,
because most people don’t have the money to live without
work, or he must do so simply because it is appropriate to
work. Work is a peculiarly human activity. It is the means
for transcending the limitations of “lower,” elemental
conditions. Thus, it is not appropriate for people who come
to live in Satsang to remain irresponsible for their own
survival, or irresponsible for creative, supportive action
in the human way.

Another thing people bring to the
Guru, because of the nature of this time and place, is
attachment to drugs. Whatever its function at the time it
began, positive or negative, it has no purpose whatsoever in
real spiritual life. It is an aggravation. It toxifies the
body, creates one illusion on top of the next. The person
involved with drugs and its illusory “spiritual” culture is
back and forth every day. He is not ready for Satsang. Drugs
are a heavy alternative until he understands the limitations
of that bondage. The other forms of stimulation men use,
like tobacco, alcohol, coffee and such, should be abandoned
as well. They don’t have the immediate kinds of effects that
are witnessed with hallucinogenic or even so-called
“healing” drugs, but they are remnants of the culture of
“gentlemen,” forms of self-indulgence and distraction that
reinforce dullness and only kill at last.

People very often ask about diet.
For some reason or other, food has become like drugs. People
are using it to become realized or spiritual. Neither drugs
nor a special diet will make you realize the Truth. People
tend to use diet as a form of search. There is no “search”
that is appropriate. Therefore, there is no form of diet
that is appropriate for the sake of realizing Truth. You
will not become Self-realized or understand because you only
eat fruit, because you fast one out of every two days, or_
because you are a macrobiotic gourmet. However, there is an
appropriate form of eating and fasting. The appropriate diet
is one that sustains and supports the body and vital force.
For the most part, natural, whole and fresh vegetables,
fruits, grains, milk, seeds and nuts are the basic

9. This “lacto-vegetarian”
management of diet is applied by all the active members of
our Ashram community. It is a practical and wholesome
approach, proven by the ages-long experience of vast numbers
of the world’s population. Its experimental justification
may be found in the written works of nutritionists such as
Are and Ebba Waerland, and Paavo Airola. It is not an
idealistic approach to diet, nor is it practiced here for
the sake of any extraordinary effect. It is simple and
living food

How much a man eats is just as
important as what he eats. People eat too much. Overeating
disturbs the body functions and makes food unusable. Unused
food as well as unnatural and inappropriate food toxifies
the body and creates disease. Much of what people think are
their spiritual problems are just the results of toxicity.
Therefore, you must simplify and moderate your diet. Make it
natural and pure. Eat only what is usable by the

Satsang and spiritual life do not go
on while you indulge yourself and remain irresponsible. Even
though you do not understand, even though perhaps you live
in dilemma, you are responsible for an appropriate life. To
engage life under appropriate conditions makes you aware of
your limitations, your struggle, your search, your dilemma,
your resistance.

The form of life is sacrifice.
Nothing needs to be added to life, no attitude, no special
sort of yielding, to make life sacrifice. Life is already
sacrifice, and all appropriate action is in the form of
sacrifice. The symbols of religion tend to indicate that you
should add something, some sort of payment to life, in order
to make it sacrifice. But sacrifice is the form of every
function. It is the universal law. It is even the rule of

The self-indulgent and irresponsible
man is not aware that all action, all manifestation is
itself sacrifice. Speech is sacrifice. Sexual activity,
sex-relationship is sacrifice. All action tends to break the
life-current, the sphere of force, of descending and
ascending force. Where action is performed, the internal
circle of life or energy tends to be ,broken and released
temporarily. Do that enough, do it in ignorance and
absolutely, and there is only death as a result. Do it
intelligently, and it gives life, it creates life through
relationship, for relationship is a universal duplication of
the internal circle of energy. To sacrifice or open oneself
into relationship is to realize the greater Form, the true
and perfect Circle, the Completion that transcends limited
or separative individuality. Therefore, true and conscious
sacrifice is a form of completion,. not of interruption or
separation. Thus, for the intelligent man of understanding,
death is only transformation, because he is consciously
intimate with the real process of life. But the
unintelligent man is already broken. In death, he is the
sacrificial meal for one he does not know. Even so, life
doesn’t become intelligent by doing something to it, by
preventing all kinds of things, by never talking, never
enjoying sex-relationship, never laughing, never doing
anything. Life is action. There must be action or conscious


Money, Food and
Sex – part II

Method of Siddhas Table of

(Narayana Sooktam)

Part One:

The Method of the Siddhas

1. Understanding

2. The
Avon Lady

3. Money,
Food, and Sex

4. Vital

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:

Gospel of the Siddhas