What Makes Adi Da’s Teaching
The Way that we consider is the Way of the transcendence of contraction. Thus, it is different from the path that derives from the convention of problems and the manipulation of attention to achieve a higher state free of the presumed dilemma of life. The conventional paths of the fourth, fifth, and sixth stages play upon the problem-contraction. The Way that we consider is the Way of the transcendence of the problem of contraction from the beginning. We do not temporarily adopt a method that plays on the problem-contraction, hoping ultimately to transcend it. The Way that we consider begins in understanding and the direct or unmediated transcendence of the problem-contraction or the conventions of ordinary consciousness.
Da Free John (Adi Da Samraj) – The Bodily Location of Happiness, 1982
Adi Da Samraj – 1995
Why Haven’t There Been Seventh Stage Realizers Before?
There has never been another seventh stage Adept [Beezone bold capitalization]. There has never been another true [FULL] seventh stage Wisdom-Teaching. There has never been another seventh stage Realization, true and full. The principle of ego-transcendence has never been understood, and transcendence of the self-contraction has never been made the basis for the God-Realizing process before.
[What has been “before” is Divine Realization and Absorption Into the One and Only without the full understanding and recognition of “egoity” or, more specifically, the self-contraction, the black hole of self – Beezone].
There are many things that I could say about the reasons why there has been no such Revelation previous to My own, but a fundamental reason is that there has been no true understanding of egoity, and the principle of egoity has always been the basis of religion, even esoteric religion. The search, egoity, separateness, the separative motive, the self-contraction itself, has been fundamental to both religious exotericism and religious esotericism, as well as ordinary life. Obviously this is the key matter.
This understanding is the key to the Way of the Heart. It is fundamental. If you do not have this understanding, if you do not truly engage it and demonstrate it, you turn the Way of the Heart into an extension of the great search. You make the Way of the Heart into another form of conventional religiosity.
My teaching to you about the matter of most fundamental self-understanding. It is a unique teaching , a radical teaching, a gone to the root teaching, gone to the root of what egoity really is. It is not to be found in the traditions. Its preciseness is not there. There are, however, teachings, or modes of understanding, shown, demonstrated, uttered, written, here and there, in various of the traditions, that obviously reflect upon the matter of bondage and egoity, and the transcending of it. And so there is a stream of such traditional understanding to be found in the traditions of Buddhism, but they are not identical to My teaching. Its not simply that you could find it there. You could find some elements of it there, and then you will find it completed, altogether gone to the root, in my teaching.
Adi Da Samraj – January 2006
The Way of Adidam is a Unique and Utterly Complete and (Ultimately) Most Perfect Process that has (Itself) nothing to do with the conventions of the Great Tradition. The essential difference between the Way of Adidam and all the ways of the Great Tradition is that the Way of Adidam has, even from the beginning, absolutely nothing to do with ego-eccentricity, or with the ego-“I” itself, or with satisfying the impulses (or the desiring-searches) of the ego-“I”, or (altogether with idealizing and satisfying (or even immortalizing, or perfecting, or utopianizing) the body-mind.
The Seven Stages of Life, ‘The Only Way To My “My Room'”
ADI DA SAMRAJ (Franklin Jones): The ordinary sense that a man [or woman] has, sitting, walking, is of separate existence. He doesn’t ordinarily say to himself, “I am this body, I am this mind, I am this, I am that.
No mental process goes on that is itself the communication of this sense to him. He already has this sense. He wakes up alive, he moves in bodily terms, it just seems very obvious. And there is the sense of some sort of subtle limit, size, shape, or difference. That is identification. It is called the “ego.” Differentiation is all the forms, all the qualities of cognition or mind, in which everything becomes an extension of this same thing that he has assumed.
Everything becomes a “this.” Look at this, look at this. Suddenly, there are endless planes of significance. The very structure of his thought is “this, this, this.” Spontaneously, everything is already multiplied, distinct. Having already, spontaneously acquired this sense of separate existence, and while already perceiving, thinking a range of multiplicity, of separate natures, forms, and forces, he moves. And that motion is desire. This separate one moves. He conceives a realm of multiplicity in which to move, because he is separate. There is something, even a world, that he is up against, so he moves. And that movement is desire.
An endless adventure is possible when these three assumptions [Identification, Differentiation and Desire] are made. And that adventure is what people are doing. All men, all ordinary beings who are karmically manifested in the material worlds, are living this adventure.
Each one lives it with different qualities, different circumstances, different ranges of subjectivity, but all essentially are living it on the armature of this same structure, this same form, this same complex of assumptions. Their present state, “me,” separate, with everything around me moving. What you ordinarily perceive to be your condition at any moment is the best example of it.
Now all adventures, all human adventures are possible from that point of view, and all are built on that point of view. And that point of view is the dilemma. All accomplishments take place within the framework of that dilemma. Therefore, all pursuits, all searches, all activities, all accomplishments, spiritual and mundane, are possible adventures within that same framework. It is not that the spiritual ones are better than the mundane ones. They are all the same adventure.
The Method of the Siddhas – Adi Da Samraj – 1973
Adi Da Samraj – The Quest for The Historical Self, 2004
The actual status of our existence is that “I” is simple awareness associated with a body-mind apparatus that is arising dependently (not independent of the body-mind–so that “I” is felt and presumed to be the psycho-physical persona, an entity separate from, dependent upon, and threatened and bewildered by the phenomenal field of its apparent relations.
The Aletheon – Adi Da Samraj
What Makes Adi Da’s Teaching Unique,
It is the “discovery” of self-contraction
There is no free, true, direct, and final ascent except the separate and separative ego principle or soul, which is rooted in the heart, be not merely purified but utterly dissolved.
Paradox of Instruction, Bubba Free John (Adi Da Samraj), 1977,
The principle of ego-transcendence has never been understood, and transcendence of the self-contraction has never been made the basis for the God-Realizing process before.
Adi Da Samraj, Listen to Me, April 8, 1993
In all the doctrines of the Great Tradition of humankind, the separate “self” is described as the fundamental characteristic of human existence. This universal presumption of the Great Tradition of humankind – that the separate “self”, the ego, intrinsically and irreducibly exists – is then viewed as a “problem”, and life therefore must become a perpetual search and struggle to somehow get rid of the ego and its “effects”. Such is the nature—and the essential error and fault and limitation—of the seeking-idealism that is a defining characteristic of the entire Great Tradition of humankind.
Adapted from THE EGOLESS REALITY-WAY OF DIVINE TRANSLATION Adi Da Samraj – The Aletheon
DEVOTEE: Beloved, this is the most unique difference between Your Teaching and all traditional teachings of all time.
AVATARA ADI DA: Tcha.
Adi Da Samraj (1972)
DEVOTEE: Beloved, I feel that everything in the world is about that. That is all it is about, is avoiding that.
AVATARA ADI DA: Avoiding this knowledge of this knot. The whole world is avoiding this knowledge of the knot.
DEVOTEE: Everything that I’ve done, even in Your Company and the practice that You have Given us, I’ve had to come to see that everything I do, everything I do, everything I do, …
AVATARA ADI DA: Mm.
DEVOTEE: … is intentionally keeping me from feeling that and going beyond that.
AVATARA ADI DA: Well, truly, you are only willing to feel that knot that motivates you when you simultaneously, Gracefully, discover What Transcends it and are given a Wisdom that communicates itself to you so that you know how to go beyond it. In other words, individuals will automatically dissociate from this depth unless they can somehow come to terms with it through the Graceful discovery of What Transcends it and the finding of Wisdom to deal with it.
The “Brightening” Way Talk Series – 1995-1996 – The Yajna Discourses of Santosha Adi Da
Adi Da Samraj 2004 (11:38)
Human individuals and groups and mankind as a whole have always been devoted to the egoic and problematic search for ultimate experience, knowledge, and release. Every fraction of human enterprise, personal or collective, secular or sacred, tends to be a species of problem-based seeking for experience, knowledge, and release. Only in the rarest of cases have human individuals Realized a disposition toward existence that was inherently and priorly free of problematic and ego-based seeking. It is not cultures, or religions, or collections of scientific and secular knowledge that are free of the “problem” of existence. It is only the Awakened individual or Adept who is thus free.
One could say that altogether sadhana basically is self-purification. Because it is not the divine that must be found but the things that you are deluding yourself with that must be released. The divine is the context of existence. But self-contraction has taken on all kinds of forms, the summary of which is awareness of the divine condition. Sadhana then is basically purification of these forms of self-contraction.
Adi Da Samraj
[The Way of The Heart] Is Founded On A Fundamental Criticism and “Radical” (or “Gone-To-The-Root”) Understanding Of egoity itself…
Adi Da Samraj, Sutra 70, The Dawn Horse Testament – 2004
I only have one thing to Say to you. You want Me to talk about the search and improving it.
I want to Talk about you. And about what you are up to. That is what I do.
You are doing this contraction, this separativeness. And that is what you must deal with.
Adi Da Samraj, “The Search Does Not Work Out!”, April 2, 1993
When the principle of self (ego) is understood then the Truth is revealed.
Franklin Jones (Adi Da Samraj) – 1973
Adi Da Samraj 2005
Avatar Adi Da describes how the complete Spiritual process of the Way of Adidam is a matter of progressively taking responsibility for the fundamental ego-activity of self-contraction, in the context of each of the five sheaths. Because each of the five sheaths is a distinct realm of experience and activity, the disciplines that relate to each of the sheaths are distinct.
“From the introduction to Santosha Adidam”
The traditions are based on the self-contraction. They’re based on a search generated by that.
When all is said, argued, debated, and left out to hang and dry, one central idea of Adi Da’s teaching will stand out that will make his teaching completely unique. This idea is not that there is Only God, or He is The God-Man. The one idea that makes his teaching unique is the “self-contraction”.
If you look into and study the literature of psychological, religious, and spiritual traditions, you will not find anything comparable. You will find some references in today’s discussions, as in the teachings of Integral Spirituality and Ken Wilber’s teachings although many people point out that Wilber copied the term from Adi Da), but you will find no in-depth use of the term. The concept of the self-contraction has been completely absent from any teaching in psychological, religious, and spiritual tradition. This critical insight makes Adi Da’s teaching unique.
So what makes this concept so unique and worth discussing? I believe the use of the term is central to the teaching of Adi Da and in fact is at the core of his teaching. As he says:
“The foundation of my Teaching Argument is this: You are, as a matter of habit, and in every part, conformed to the activity and the results of self-contraction”.
THE DREADED GOM-BOO, CHAPTER 4, “The Cult of Narcissus and the Culture of Participation”.
What Does Adi Da Mean by the term “self-contraction”?
Most study of Adi Da’s teaching is weak (difficult) and there is limited understanding of just what Adi Da means by the term self-contraction. For many who believe they understand Adi Da’s teaching word, the term is used to describe something in the mind that can be described as a kind of tension. Ken Wilber in his Meditation Notes describes it as:
You will notice that the separate-self (or ego) simply arises in consciousness like everything else. You can actually feel the self-contraction, just as you can feel your legs, or feel a table, or feel a rock, or feel your feet. The self-contraction is a feeling of interior tension, often localized behind the eyes, and anchored in a slight muscle tension throughout the body mind. It is an effort and a sensation of contracting in the face of the world. It is a subtle whole-body tension”.
Listen to Adi Da on self-Contraction:
Adi Da Samraj – 2006
Adi Da Samraj (1988) – 00:45
The Three Contractions – There are three egos or modes of the “self-contraction.”
The concept or idea of the self-contraction is not just on the physical or brain level of existence. In the teachings of Adi Da, there are three basic levels to the self-contraction – and the mistake of many any of those who try to comprehend the concept of the self-contraction is that they view it only on one level.
When Adi Da talks about the self-contraction he is referring to a “root” self-contraction, which is then magnified “out” into the psyche, mind, and body of the individual. According to Adi Da, we don’t have one self-contraction we ARE three – and all three are expressions of one fundamental contraction, which is attention itself.
Adi Da Samraj – The Paradox of Instruction (1977)
In The Aletheon, Adi Da writes:
The three modes of egoity are the lower “self”, the higher “self”, and the “root-self” – gross, subtle and causal.
The three modes of egoity or self-contraction are related to body (VISHVA), mind (TAIJASA), and root-self (PRAJNA). The three phases of the individual ego correspond to the three planes of existence of the universal spirit “which traditionally is identified as AUM”.
These three modes of egoity or modes of the self-contraction must be understood or else the individual will fall prey to what I call the “root delusion”.
Adi Da says:
The root of the causal being, the contraction in the causal being that we call “me” or the soul, the self, the person, the individual, the karmic entity – that must be undone. Its essential nature must be comprehended. It must be sacrificed in its own nature. The consciousness must be restored to itself, not to higher modifications of itself as in the traditional paths, but to its very Self, its very Nature.
“Soul Realization vs. God Realization”, Adi Da Samraj, March 27, 1976
In the early teachings of Adi Da, covering the period of 1972 through 1976, Adi Da talked of the self-contraction in more physical and bodily terms. One example of this:
I was considering this cramp in the solar plexus with you the other evening. We were having a conversation about the yoga of the frontal line. Perhaps the most common experience people have of contraction in this frontal line is a cramp over the solar plexus, the “knot in the stomach”.
(see practice note below for a fuller segment of this talk)
This “cramp” has an emotional quality of fear associated with it and is probably the most universal feeling people can relate to. This feeling is mostly unconscious though and only “comes out” when threatened or when some tragic event occurs. “It feels like I’ve been kicked in the gut” is a common expression identifying the self-contraction.
This physical example of the self-contraction also extends into the emotional areas of people’s lives. People describe tension in the genital, heart, throat, and head area’s which are all areas of the one primary self-contraction.
The self-contraction also exhibits itself in the mind and even in thoughts. Doubt is one example of how the self-contraction manifests. Adi Da describes this in a 1986 talk:
What we call doubt is a rather a mental and emotional way of noticing the self-contraction. And it’s just that, self-contraction. It’s not doubt of something. It’s just self-contraction.
So, we can see that the concept of the “self-contraction” or the origin of the ego, is a universal and all encompassing activity of the individual, and in ALL individuals!
Consequences: The Reflection of the self-Contraction
It is right to say people are not generally aware of this tension that is the result of the self-contraction. It is in fact generally ignored as a central underlying phenomenon. But there are other signs people are aware of at the personal and conscious level and which are generally accepted and these are identified by the general term “stress” or “anxiety”, or “tension”.
These terms point to signs that are generally accepted as part of life and that, at some level or intensity, need to be dealt with. It is usually when the level of anxiety or stress becomes “disturbing” to the regular functioning of a person that medical attention is required. Otherwise it’s just a low-grade disturbance and regularly accepted as a part of life.
In fact many people actually use this “stress” or tension as a means of motivation which people use as beneficial and positive aspect. In disciplines of exercise and physical activities such as sports, it is central to the success or development of the individual participant. There is a kind of “internal pressure”, a fire that when tapped into creates energy to be used.
The consequence of this activity is detrimental for it uses the forces of life in a reversed direction:
This knot over the solar plexus is occurring a little more than halfway down the frontal line of the body. The Current of Life is not descending below that point. The knot over the solar plexus is a little bit like nausea, the urge to vomit, weeping, and anger. This contraction is a revulsion, a reversal of the Current in the frontal line of the body, and in effect it prevents this line of force from going to its lower terminal in the bodily base. – Adi Da Samraj
Another mistake in the understanding of the self-contraction is presuming that the self-contraction is only a concept or an idea in the mind. In the teaching of Adi Da, the self-contraction is not only an idea but fundamentally it is an activity in an individual’s consciousness that has enormous repercussions.
Adi Da Samraj
A common misunderstanding of the self-contraction is to see it as a “part of life”. This error then generates a psychological attitude which then has a philosophical and psychological theory attached to it. It’s called the “fight or flight response”. It is part of the Darwinian struggle for survival “life view” which is dominate in the thinking of many today.
With this understanding – or I should say misunderstanding – people develop a “world view” of existence and operate on this (mis)understanding. This is most unfortunate because it disregards the truth of the matter: The world is not operating in this manner, you are. On a collective scale, societies, scientists and individuals view and actually find “evidence” to support their perceptions, and they fall into a self-fulfilling prophecy, which requires them defend their position: they either fight – because they feel threatened or they take flight, because they feel threatened.
This is our present dilemma. Our ancient fences, walls, and divisions are based on a primal fear:
Fear is the primal psycho-physical evidence of the “self”-contraction of the brain-and-body-complex of perceptual “point-of-view”-awareness.
Fear is the “root-cause” of the idea and the “religious” life-search for the Divine.
The verbal mind, “rooted” in the “self”-contraction is the essential “cause” of fear. The verbal mind must be transcended.
The Aletheon, Adi Da Samraj
The Unique Nature of Adi Da and His Teaching
What makes Adi Da’s teaching unique is not only his teaching argument about the self-contraction and its consequences but what one does (or doesn’t) do about it.
Those who do investigate the phenomena of the self-contraction generally sense that it is best to “relax” the tension of the self-contraction and find some relief from the tension it causes. The common approach is to search for cure.
Our reaction to pain, our desire to avoid it, causes us to react and to contract. The contraction itself generates at least a subtle pain in the manifest being, and therefore the being constantly seeks, through addictive strategies, to relieve pain through all the means of pleasuring.
This search to find relief from the tension of the self-contraction creates a endless cycle in peoples lives.
…all of your seeking is a search (founded on stressful desiring, or stressful reactivity) for union with something that you are seeking all of the time in many directions. You are always in pursuit of union with one thing or another, and it is always stressful, it is always agonizing, it is always basically disturbing in some fundamental sense. Even pleasurable desiring, if you examine it, is full of stress.
Therefore, you must come to this realization, this level of understanding—that you are seeking, that your seeking is failing, that there is always a pursuit of union with one thing or another, and it is always associated with stress that is agonizing.
Adi Da Samraj, ‘My “Bright” Sight’.
Unless You Wish To Be Confined (and limited) By conditional objects and states, You Must Understand Your Separate (and Separative) self Most Fundamentally.
pp 1241-42, Sutra 70 – The Dawn Horse Testament of the Ruchira Avatar, 2004
The Argument and the Demand
This unique teaching is what is most appropriate for our time. It is unique and appropriate because it has never been brought to the world before by anyone and it is exactly what needs to be comprehended and understood. Without this understanding we sit in our defensive positions, separated out from one another where we side with only those who agree with us.
We are all convicted of the self-contraction and it is final. This conviction is crucial, the conviction is exactly what must occur. YOU are creating the divisions and YOU must understand yourself.
…one who understands and enquires sees that all suffering, every moment of seeking, and the knot that results is not something happening to him but something he is doing.
Adi Da Samraj (Franklin Jones), The Knee of Listening, “Chapter 20, The Wisdom of Understanding.”
There is Only One World showing itself in the multiplicity of Many Worlds. Until this understanding is in and at the level of your heart, the self-contraction (you) will only look in the mirror, enamored, and defensive; frightened, divided, and ultimately alone in its (your) death defying position of “me”!
Narcissus appears in the form of self-involvement, ego, or individuation. But in fact he is self-doubt. This is his origin, as it appears to understanding. To himself, Narcissus appears as aggressive self-enforcement and survival by stealth. He is his own disease. He dies as a function of his own drama and nature.
In this late time, we do not have time nor is it even possible to ‘figure it out’, as Adi Da says in The Knee of Listening:
There is no simple origin to the entire process. It is not a specific origination understandable by recourse to the viewpoint of time and space. It is simply in the nature of Reality to formalize and witness its own possibility without creating divisions in itself.
It’s time to Wake Up and understand. You must, because the Truth of Life is staring you in the face. The message is clear. There is One Divine Living Truth.
“The Way is to yield the self, the self-contraction, in all of its faculties, to the degree of Samadhi, and then to be drawn in that Samadhi to My Perfect Position, Prior to the body-mind, and enter into That Most Profoundly until you Realize there is only Me. And in that Realization it will be the same as to say that there is only You.”
If you do not have this understanding…you will turn the Way of the Heart into an extension of the great search
Adi Da Samraj, Listen to Me – April 8, 1993
The Way to Truth is most direct intuitive re-cognition of the whole body itself, in which its subjective and reductive or recoiling disposition is come to rest. The heart itself is the Way to this Secret Truth. May all beings run to this mere Truth by Grace.
Paradox of Instruction
The Heart arises as love… love is the original, creative impulse. It is the generative source and primary form of all creativity, all manifestation. The man of understanding arises as love, mad with love. He is not Narcissus. Creativity is love. The world is love.
The Knee of Listening
I do not speak from mere sentiment. I am trying to describe what is actually the case. The man of understanding appears as love. He is not separate from love. He does not remain only as the prior Self, pure existence, functioning only as compassion. He is generative love. Love is also that Self. It is the fullness, the light, the brightness of Reality. It is the Form of Reality. I am He.
The Knee of Listening
What is Adi Da saying that is different from what has been said before?
DEVOTEE: Sri Gurudev, when You were speaking before about the uniqueness of Your Manifestation as the Divine, I had a sense of what You meant when You said that You are Prior to the Cosmic Mandala. I felt that everything in the Great Tradition has arisen within the Cosmic Mandala. But You have arisen Prior to the Cosmic Mandala.
SRI DA AVABHASA (Avatar Adi Da Samraj): That is the difference. The searches and the Realizations of mankind heretofore:
(1) Have been generated from the position not only of egoity but of conditionality within the conditional Cosmic Mandala.
(2) They are approaches to the Divine.
(3) In My Case, it is the Divine That is Approaching.
(4) That is the difference for all of you in how the Way of the Heart works in My Company.
(5) The process in My Company is all about the transcendence of egoity and the transcendence of the point of view of conditionality and of the Cosmic Mandala.
(6) All of religion and Spirituality heretofore has taken place within that context of egoity, conditionality, the Cosmic Mandala. It has all been a search within it. It has gone to the limit of all extremes, at the periphery and in depth (the end-time).
Adi Da Samraj, ‘You Heart Must be Moved’, The Heart Conversion Talk Series, 1993.
Numbering and punctuation changes added by Beezone.
Transcendence of Self-Knot of Fear – Adi Da Samraj, 2006
Three Hearts – Origin of Attention
Origin of Attention and Spirit Current – Right Side of Heart
Root of Body-Mind is in the Heart – Enlightenment of the Whole Body
The following is a response by Adi Da Samraj to a devotees question about fear in 2004.
The following is a response by Adi Da Samraj to a devotee who confesses that he always feels fear.
Devotee: Beloved, I feel…recent events have exaggerated and locked this fear further in my body in some way.
Adi Da: You fear that?
Adi Da: Fear is inherent in the body in its separateness. The fear isn’t yours at all. The fear is in the self-contraction, it is its characteristic mood. It is inherent emotion. You could be feeling fear now and yet there is nothing dramatic happening at the moment that would seem to justify being afraid.
If you somehow or other bring to mind the potential of life difficulties in this moment, or remind yourself of traumatic experiences you have had by remembering them and so on, you can be experiencing fear right now without any apparent cause. It would be which are entirely, obviously subjective. But nonetheless, it is still the same thing.
It is the mood of self-contraction, the mood that is inherent in self-contraction, in the presumption of separateness, in the presumption of identification with the body as the position of existence. If you presume that it is THE position of existence, then you start puzzling over what do you do about this. Is there some way to escape this? There appear to be any apparent way to escape it and so fear becomes a fixed sensation. It becomes a chronic sensation, in fact, potentially. It is very disabling sometimes.
So everyone has experiences of one kind or another – just the mere fact of being alive and what had to occur in order for you to be alive, birthing and so on, plus all the experiences of a lifetime – that, in fact, as you suggested imbed fear in the body, or the psycho-physical mechanism. This is fundamental to the condition of everyone here, of every human being here, of every living being- although everyone is in a different disposition or sense of circumstance or state of mind in the present moment.
Nonetheless, all are sitting in a situation, and everyone is in the midst of an activity, in fact, right now that is generating fear. Although, generally speaking, people use various psychological devices to keep it subliminal or to generate diversions [that keep them from feeling fear. They try any kind of intoxication to avoid feeling this. They even] use intoxicating means as diversions of life, experiential means to divert attention through circumstances of different states of mind, of emotion, of body to de-sensitize themselves at least temporarily to the fundamental fear that is at the root of this bodily sense of separate existence.
This is not therefore merely your characteristic. It is the actual state of everyone and it is therefore something that is right there, right in front of you. Everyone is always sitting in it and how much of your life you want to waste diverting yourself from it or consoling yourself, and so forth, or how much you want to intoxicate yourself is up to you. But you can’t really get rid of it because it is inherent in the presumption of identification with your present situation. The state of separateness and brevity, change and inevitable death.
You cannot escape that so you cannot escape fear. Unless something fundamental changes about your understanding, through the experiencing of existence itself, you cannot get rid of fear. There is no intoxication, no diversion, nothing that will de-sensitize you that is anything but temporary – So in the long run any [diversion is ultimately destructive the process of understanding] and any kind of balance and well-being or clarity. So you, rightly, if you consider the matter clearly, have to address this fundamental matter directly. There is nothing you can do about it except whatever it is that utterly transcends the root presumption that is the cause of it.
Is there an understanding and a realization of existence that is free of the root conditions that you are experiencing fearfully? Of course, there is and I am telling you there is.. But don’t misunderstand me. There is something about fear that has a practical value. Without it you wouldn’t do what was necessary to protect the body under various natural circumstances that require an immediate reaction, for the sake of safety. You wouldn’t want to be so benumbed in the midst of daily life that you couldn’t react to something dangerous and get out of the way. So, there is also something very practical and useful about fear in its moment.
The Ego Is the Recoil from God
The usual man or woman recoils from the Mystery of the Infinite by absorption in the reaction of mortal fear. Thus, fear produces self-possession and loss of Communion with the Divine. Such recoil produces psycho-physical adaptation of a reactive kind, and every function, every relationship, every condition of experience, high or low in the structure of the body-mind, becomes a reflection of the primal recoil toward self, away from all relations, and away from Communion with the Living Mystery that is Divine. The self-possessed individual is wound up in self-recoil, and every part demonstrates the reactive drama of relational avoidance, subjective bondage, and bodily dis-ease.
There must be Awakening from this reactive bind of self. That Awakening comes through sudden “hearing” and “seeing” of Truth. The Spiritual Master is Awake, and he, with all devotees in Truth, serves that same Awakening in others. But that Awakening is not only sudden and present. It is the seed of the ongoing Process of Life.
The Enlightenment of the Whole Body, p. 268
Self-Contraction Is the “Original Sin”
Sin is the self-contraction, the presumption of a concretely independent, separate, and separative self. It is the act in which the Transcendental Spiritual Divine is simultaneously denied and forgotten. It is the act in which the world, or the total Realm of Nature, is conceived as a concretely independent, self-contained phenomenal process, without any obvious association with the pervasive Spiritual Being that alone grants Reality and Happiness to beings and things.
Because we actively contract upon self, we actively separate from, deny, and forget the Divine Being. The action of self-contraction is chronic, complex, and not generally observed or understood. Therefore, the act of separation, denial, and forgetting relative to the Divine is not commonly observed or understood. (We are simply left with the feeling of un-Happiness, dilemma, the sense of emptiness, or the absence of Profundity, and we are chronically possessed by the urge toward release, or even annihilation.) Such separation, denial, and forgetting are the consequences of self-bondage or sin, but they are not themselves consciously or strategically pursued.
Sin is terrible in itself. Its apparent consequences are merely a reading of what it contains in its very nature. Sin is an act, but it is primarily or instantly shown as a kind of consciousness. As an act, it eventually produces profoundly negative experiential effects, but the act itself immediately coincides with a consciousness, or a state of presumption, that “designs” the very world un-Reality, so that even what is perceived is no longer recognizable in Truth, as the Divine, Radiant with Bliss. Sin is, therefore, its own “punishment.” Ultimately, it is not the effects of sin that we must transcend, but sin itself.
Sin is not properly associated with any mythological or collective past, but with the functional individual in the present moment. We are presently performing and suffering this action. We are in a state of present forgetfulness relative to our own Identity and Condition. And we continue to live and act in all relations on the basis of this forgetfulness, which is a consequence of self-contraction.
But our separation from the Divine and our denial of the Divine are not so much acts (in the strategic sense) as they are a state of consciousness that reflects the self-contraction. We are suffering sin, and in that sense we are “guilty” of sin. But if we will observe and understand sin itself, we will spontaneously “Remember” or Realize the Divine, and we will no longer live on the basis of or according to the results of sin (or self-contraction).
On the basis of certain traditional religious and social conventions, the idea of sin as the violation of certain behavioral norms or legalisms is developed in the common mind. Therefore, exoteric religious ideas of sin tend to be centered around social and behavioral conceptions of guilt, law, justice, punishment, penance, purification, restitution, moral redress, repentance, forgiveness, salvation from the consequences of wrongdoing, and so forth. Such conceptions are the common psychological basis for traditional social order as well as exoteric religious culture. But sin must ultimately be addressed by Wisdom. Sin is not ultimately a matter of conventional moral transgressions but of Spiritual un-Happiness and the non-Realization of Truth. We can go on forever “improving” our behaviors and being punished or forgiven for our presumed wrongdoing, but we will not transcend or go beyond real sin and its ultimate consequences until we observe, understand, and transcend the self-contraction, and so Realize the Spiritual Divine, directly, in Truth, free of the act or the effects of sin.
“I” Is the Body of life, pp. 4-5
The Illusion of Subjectivity
There is no inner self independent of “the body.” Subjectivity, the reflexive orientation toward the self inside the body, is founded on a lie. It is a way of living in illusions. It is the way of Narcissus. It is an argument, a method, an experiment in destiny. It is meditation on death, future, dilemma, fear, and sorrow. It is the way each of us appears to choose. But no choice was ever truly made. The “choice” is not a subjective matter. Awakening to the born condition, the apparently independent body-being, is itself the logic of this habit to death. The body itself names this self. The self is not independent of the body. The self is the body. The self is only independent as the body. Prior to the whole body, or birth in any realm, there is no separate self or consciousness or mind. The whole body, or the self, is simply the sense of separation or independent existence.
The whole body is a psycho-physical event. The lie is that its psychic aspect represents an independent being – that is, an elusive, subtle person or specific soul that is separable from the complex whole body or born body-being, just as the elemental body, or physical aspect, appears separable from all other bodies and things. Traditional religion and spirituality generally argue for the seniority and reparability of within, and modern “materialistic” science seems to argue for the irreducibility of the flesh, and thus the mortality of the psycho-physical “soul.” In truth, both arguments are false, since neither is founded in realization of the Truth or Condition of the whole body. But the so-called “materialistic” view is at least more correct in its analysis of the singleness of the whole body-being.
The inner, emotional, mental, psychic, mystical, egoic process is not radically reducible to itself and separable from the elemental body, its relations, and its destiny. “I” is the body. “Within” is the body talking. The whole body arises spontaneously, each of its aspects simultaneously, and prior to our knowledge. All that we know or seek to know is acquired after the fact of the complex body-being itself.
The whole body, or the body-being, the apparent psycho-physical entity, is itself the “soul.” The soul is not within. The being, the sense of separability and independence itself (not only subjective but even physical), is the dilemma. The apparent independence of existence in the case of the individual in the born-condition is suffering.
The inherent suffering that is ours by birth is ours by birth. It is not simply acquired over time in the form of sophisticated inwardness or subjectivity. We are not born innocent and then come to “sin” only through an inner error. Subjectivity, or the exclusive orientation to inwardness or psycho-physical self-possession, is itself the dramatization of our suffering. It is reactive dramatization of the limitation or incident that is birth itself. It is the proof and fact of suffering, not the instrument of release. The awakening of the Way of Truth is not itself an awakening to inwardness, but an awakening from inwardness, from recoil, contraction, and all hiding behind the flesh. Awakening into Truth is a process of incarnation, or release of the reflex of inwardness, or selfness, under all conditions (physical, emotional, mental, psychic, mystical, intuitional, and egoic).
The Paradox of Instruction, pp. 37-39
Even from the point of view of conventional awareness, our subjectivity is not mysteriously distinguishable from everything else. It is completely dependent on all of it. Of course, we can have experiences, we can manipulate our experience through subjective effort, as a “self.” But that self is fundamentally of the same nature as a shoe, as a cloud, as any thought. It is simply arising. It imposes itself in the moment. It does not impose itself upon something or someone other and identifiable or knowable at all. It just imposes itself. It just arises, as everything arises.
Yet, as a convention of our experiencing, we differentiate the witnessing of things arising from the things themselves. We make a meaning out of that process – that this witness is a witness, a someone, either a personality or a soul or the Self – in other words, some independent, absolute, even infinite subjectivity that can be separated out from objects. But there is no subjectivity that stands radically apart from objectivity. There is no subject-object distinction that is ultimately literal and true. That distinction is, first, merely an apparent convention of action, then a convention of thought, and then a belief that persists as long as we fail to realize the true Condition of all arising.
We tend to believe that our inwardness, our subjectivity, is somehow mysteriously identical to something that is absolute and unchanging, and that if we can get to it, we will be immortal. But actually our subjectivity, the “I,” is no more absolute than the foot. There is no “I” that can be lived in absolute independence from other “I’s” or from things arising. We are already immortal in the sense that we go on and on and on and on in or as the physics of things. We are immortal not by virtue of being different from this arising, but because we are it exactly. Thus, the physics by which the body and all things appear, visible and invisible, is the same by which “I” appears, and disappears, and reappears. “I” is all of that.
The Paradox of Instruction, pp. 52-53
The Ego Is an Activity
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 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 theater 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.
The “whole body” identifies itself in numerous particular ways. There is my body, my life, my feelings, my thoughts, my mind, my consciousness, my self. And wherever the whole body identifies itself particularly and separately, everything other than that specific identity becomes an object to it. In that case, even the other forms of its own self-identification seem to be other than itself. For instance, when “I” (the whole body) identifies itself as “my consciousness,” “my body” seems other than it – and vice versa. But there is only the whole body, which is identifying itself in many ways.
The whole body is itself the very act or reflex of self-identification. All forms of self-identification are themselves one action, which is contraction, separation, the illusion of necessary independent being. Separation, or contraction, or self is the whole body. The whole body is, in itself, illusion, a lie. The whole body is itself an act, a recoil.
There must be liberation from the lie, from suffering. This liberation is not only from the gross physical body but from every aspect of the whole body, which is separation into illusion. Body, mind, and soul are all a torment, a single drama.
This liberation may not be attained. No aspect of the born-being is its very agent or method. Only Ignorance itself is Divine. It is the Principle in which all arising does appear. Whatever arises, whatever is experienced, whatever is known, “I” do not know what it is. This can never change. It is always Truth. The gross body, the mind, the self are the same act, the same separation, the same lie. The whole body arises in Ignorance. “I” do not know what it is in any case. This confounding is dissolution in Real God, the Very Divine, the Perfect or Radiant Domain.
Ego is not an entity but an activity. It is contraction of the field of Radiance. That contraction is “read” as realms, worlds, or environments, bodies (particularly one, which is one’s present face, form, and life), desires, emotions, thoughts, perceptions, all knowledge, and all known phenomena, high and low. But the contraction is single, universal, present, and utterly deluding, through the binding force of implication. The native Condition in the midst of conditions is unqualified heart-felt Radiance, or undefined whole-body Radiation, which is Love.
Ego, and all suffering and delusion, is simply contraction of Feeling. Liberation is Realized via return to the Condition of Feeling Radiance (unqualified Relationship) in the midst of conditions, high or low.
The Paradox of Instruction, pp. 98-103
The Ego Is an Imaginary Disease
It is an imaginary disease, a terrible disease, but altogether imaginary. No one has actually ever had this disease. Not one single being has ever had the Dreaded Gom-Boo,1 or the impossible Three-Day Thumb-and-Finger Problem. It has never happened! It does not exist! What is the Truth? We are Happy. We live in God. The Great One is our very Being. We inhere in the Blissful, Forceful Being of the Starry God, the Wonder, the Mystery, the Person of Love. This is our Situation and our Destiny. I am only one among many voices, but this is my Message to you: There is no disease. There is nothing to cure. We are not patients and we are not parented. We are not children. No dreadful destiny lies before us. There is nothing whatsoever to cure. However, in spite of these truths, you all act like patients or diseased persons and seem to deny or doubt the very Condition of your existence. Therefore, I must remind you. I must call you to observe yourselves and to see how the conception of this disease arises. Where does it come from? How do you contract this imaginary disease and become involved in seeking its imaginary cure? I call you to observe yourself, and you will see, well, you’re grabbing your ass! You’re pinching your belly. You’re ripping your hairs out. You’re biting your tongue, you’re pulling out your teeth, you’re sticking your fingers in your eyes, you’re causing yourself great pain because of your motive to be independent.
You will never be independent. There is not even a molecule of wood in this wall that is independent. Nothing and no one is independent. All of us inhere in the Great One, the Wonderful Lord, the Marvelous Starry Person, the Delight of Being. All of us live in That. That is our situation now. This moment is the moment of Happiness, as is every future moment, every moment after death, beyond this world and other worlds, lower worlds, higher worlds, after worlds, no worlds. It is all the moment of infinite Delight, unless we become self-conscious and withdraw from our relations and contract upon our Happiness and forget It.
I. “The Dreaded Gom-Boo” is Master Da’s term for our presumed separation from the Divine Reality, which traditional religion treats as a form of disease to be cured by conventional means such as prayer, fasting, meditation, and all kinds of beliefs. See Master Da Free John’s The Dreaded Gom-Boo, or the Imaginary Disease That Religion Seeks to Cure.
The Dreaded Gom-Boo, or the Imaginary Disease That Religion Seeks to Cure, p. 32
Understanding the Ego Is Transcending the Ego
Consider the “I” and understand.
“I” is Narcissus, the self-contraction, or the avoidance of relationship.
“I” does not know what anything is. “I” is not an observer that is utterly separate from anything. “I” is, therefore, incapable of ultimate knowledge. “I” is the body. “I” is the context of ordinary association with phenomena. “I” is itself part of the total world of phenomena.
“I” is the activity of contraction, separation, and independence. “I” is the effort to be different from and immune to the limitations of phenomenal existence. “I” seeks independent self-satisfaction via forms of knowledge and experience.
“I” cannot be satisfied, fulfilled, or released. “I” is itself and inherently a problem. “I” is an inappropriate and futile action in relation to the conditions of phenomenal existence.
There is no ultimate option except to understand the “I.” Such understanding, made operative in the context of every moment of phenomenal existence, is free of the dilemma or inherent problem of Narcissus, or the futile effort of “I” to achieve independence, immunity, ultimate satisfaction, perfect fulfillment, complete knowledge, total experience, or permanent release.
“I” Is the Body of Life, pp. 21-22
The Self-Contraction Must Be Re-cognized
“I” is contraction-a separative (self-defining and other-defining) effort added to That which is always already the case. As an ordinary or foundation discipline (to maintain psycho-physical equanimity and release energy and attention from entrapment by the conditions of the body-mind), the “I” (or psycho-physical self) should be relaxed, surrendered, and expanded beyond its own knot or gesture of contraction. But mature practice develops only in the event of the stability of true equanimity-that state in which energy and attention are relatively free of the tendency to be distracted or bound by the psycho-physical symptoms of the self-contraction. That mature practice begins when self-observation has developed to the point of certainty that the “I” (or body-mind-self) is contraction, inherently, and in every form of its appearance. Therefore, the mature practice is one that transcends the motives of self-expansion (and the obsessive search to achieve pleasurably distracted psycho-physical states). Such mature practice is simply the re-cognition (or direct transcendence through always present understanding, or knowing again) of “I” (or all forms of the body-mind-self) as contraction.
When the self-contraction is utterly re-cognized, it becomes clear that it is only a transparent, or merely apparent, unnecessary, and non binding modification of Nirvanic,2 Transcendental, or Divine Being, Consciousness, or Love-Bliss. Such is the radical intuition, or the ultimate basis of the Way that I Teach.
Nirvanasara, p. 241
2. “Nirvanic” is the adjectival form of the Sanskrit word “Nirvana” meaning literally °extinction”-the ultimate cessation of craving, of the ego-illusion.
I was considering this cramp in the solar plexus with you the other evening. We were having a conversation about the yoga of the frontal line. Perhaps the most common experience people have of contraction in this frontal line is a cramp over the solar plexus, the “knot in the stomach” that people refer to. If you become aware that you are suffering this knot and this anxiety over the solar plexus, your first resort, by tendency at any rate, will be to try to relax it. You will take deep breaths and so forth. That may work if the contraction is rather superficial and your attention is relatively free, but you may also discover that you cannot do it, that you cannot relax it. In that case, you will begin to think some more and work on your trouble, whereas the most direct way of dealing with it is to divert attention from this knot, rather than keep attention in the knot and try to undo it. I suggest to you, as a practical matter, that instead of keeping your attention in this knot over the solar plexus and trying to relax it, you should simply remember that attention goes wherever the knot is. Attention gravitates toward the contracted states and becomes fretful, suffers the pain of these contractions, gets stuck in these contractions and then tries to work its way out of them, you see. Well, this knot over the solar plexus is occurring a little more than halfway down the frontal line of the body. The Current of life is not descending below that point. The knot over the solar plexus is a little bit like nausea, the urge to vomit, weeping, and anger. This contraction is a revulsion, a reversal of the Current in the frontal line of the body, and in effect it prevents this line of force from going to its lower terminal in the bodily base.
One way of naturally relieving this contraction, in addition to the basic resort that is your devotional practice, is to place your attention lower down in the body, below the point where you feel that cramp. If you place your attention above the point of disturbance, the revulsion will continue. The most intelligent approach, therefore, is to place your attention below that point, where there already is no contraction, you see. Place your attention below the navel in the vital battery region, in the genital region, or at the perineum. Do nothing other than that. Simply place your attention there, and then practice the meditative disposition, the devotional disposition, the breathing and relaxing that are your daily practice. You will very likely notice that in those moments when you otherwise would not be able to release such a contraction, it will naturally relax, and you will enjoy the capacity to breathe and feel and submit the total body-mind to this Fullness. Indeed, this is how conductivity must be practiced, by submitting yourself to the native disposition of the body rather than fastening your attention to some point in the circuit of the body-mind. The way, then, to submit whole bodily when the body-mind is in a contracted state is to place your attention lower down in the line of the frontal Current, place it in the lower abdomen, in the genital region, in the perineum. In these regions there is in general a residual sense of pleasure, because there is a portion of this Current always descending—it does leak through this knot, you see. Thus, if you place attention in this pleasurable expression of the Current, the knot, which is being reinforced by holding attention in this anxious place, will tend to relax. Then resort to the devotional disposition, and the practice of conductivity will be found to be fruitful.
For more readings on the teachings of Adi Da Samraj on the Beezone, click here
Adapted by Beezone from The Ancient Walk-About Way