Vital Shock – Method of the Siddhas – Adi Da Samraj





Method of the Siddhas Cover


The Method
of the Siddhas

Vital
Shock

 

CHAPTER 4

Vital Shock

DEVOTEE: I wonder if you could
expand on a discussion you had with some of us the other day
regarding the “vital.” You were telling us how men become
obsessed with anger, fear, jealousy and the like as a result
of a contraction in the vital or life function.

FRANKLIN: Yes. I’ve talked about how
the force of consciousness operates in life through a
structure or pattern of conductivity, a clockwise circle of
descending and ascending force. The special point of view of
“life” or vitality is an epitome or center in the midst of
the body, in the general area of the navel, this lower body
area. This center, or this aspect of the larger circle of
force, is in the frontal and descending pattern of life. It
is most intimate to us. And it is in the area of life, of
vitality, that men experience most obviously, most directly,
the nature of suffering. It is at the level of vitality that
men cognize existence for the most part. The whole ascending
life, the subtle life, is more obscure than this vital life.
In fact, when men pursue spirituality, they are not
responding to something “spiritual.” What makes them seek is
not a spiritual motivation, not a subtle motivation. What
motivates them is suffering, and essentially suffering in
the vital, in the life.

 The usual man lives in what I
have called “vital shock.” This shock ultimately includes
more than the vital. It operates even on a very subtle
level. But its most obvious and motivating form is the sense
of shock in the vital being. Ordinarily, the vital, at its
chief center in the midst of the body, is contracted, and a
man continually feels it, even physically. He may feel a
kind of cramp, this tension in the midst of the body. And
every man tries to relieve it continually through various
experiences, pleasures.

This vital center is like the
shutter in a camera. Like the shutter in a camera, it curls
in on itself in order to close, or else unfurls in order to
open. It is like your hand. If you clench your fist and hold
it together as tightly as you can, it begins to become
painful. Just so, this vital center is alive, sentient, and
when it contracts, like your hand, it creates a sensation.
Not only does it create a physical sensation, but also many
other reflections in life and consciousness. Therefore, when
this contraction occurs in the vital, we not only get a
cramp in the stomach, we have a whole life of
suffering.

Every aspect of vital existence is
controlled by this image, this state, this vital shock. The
patterns to which men become addicted are simply extensions
of this contraction. For instance, here in Satsang, you may
go through a period of obsessiveness, when its very
difficult for you, when you are continually obsessed with
various kinds of desires, feelings. At the beginning of that
period, something occurred. Something in life, somewhere,
suppressed or appeared to suppress the vital. And all of the
patterns, the rituals, the strategies that began to come on
to you were reactions to that suppression of the vital. The
sensation or cognition of that suppression or “blow” is the
form of vital shock that currently obsesses you. But even
before you began the present episode, the vital shock was
already your condition. There is a continuous vital
contraction.

In fact what people are suffering is
not their peculiar life-patterns or strategies in
themselves, but this original shock, in the form of a
primary reaction, this contraction of which I speak. Men
seek through all kinds of means to become free of their
various symptoms, their various strategies, including the
cramped sensation in the midst of the body. But if a man
understands or re-cognizes this contraction itself, this
activity, this drama, at the present, he doesn’t have to
deal with all the endless extensions of it. True spiritual
life, radical life, is to deal with this fundamental,
present activity, this contraction, not with the search that
is an expression of it. It is not to deal with the symptoms,
not with the strategies that it manifests, but with this
activity itself, presently. This primary activity, this
contraction, is the root and the support and the form of all
the ordinary manifestations of suffering, all of the
patterns of life that men acknowledge to be their suffering.
This contraction, this “avoidance of relationship,” is,
fundamentally, a mans continuous, present
activity.

 A person can be set into a
whole period of dramatizing his suffering by some simple
event in his life, a frustration of some kind, a threat, a
loss, whatever—a vital shock. But release is not a
matter of looking into your memory and discovering the
various sources or incidents of these shocks in the past.
You know, the day your father hit you, the day your dog
died, and all the rest. Those are only past instances of
this same process. The process itself is always instant,
present, spontaneous. It is a reaction to life itself. Life
is its own shock. The awakening of consciousness into the
form of life is that shock. Birth is that shock, not merely
the original physical event that may be remembered, but
every moments cognition of being alive. All the events
within life are just extensions of that
life-shock.

In The Knee of Listening I mentioned
an experience I had at one point, where I remembered, even
relived my prenatal state, my awakening into the body. There
was a kind of gloriousness about it, a fantastic form of
energy, shaped, as I described it then, “like a seahorse.”
That was the original awakening of the kundalini, if you
will. But in the same instant there was intense sorrow. The
shock was life itself, the shock of embodiment. The
“seahorse” is already contraction. The spinal form is
already this curve. The ordinary life is already this
tendency, this compulsive qualification of consciousness,
this unconsciousness. Everyone, “after birth,” develops a
peculiar drama of this shock. Peculiar experiences occur
during every life, and each individual develops a peculiar
pattern of reaction to that. So everyone is living the drama
and strategy of suffering in a peculiarly unique way, a
peculiarly complex, individual way. But in every case there
is one fundamental activity. One thing is the suffering. It
is an activity, this activity, this contraction, this
avoidance of relationship, this differentiation, this
separation. Wherever it occurs, that is
suffering.

All ordinary suffering is only a
cramp. It is this contraction. Wherever there is this
contraction, there is obstruction to the flow of force.
There is also the tendency in consciousness for there to be
the sense of separate existence. If you cramp the hand
together in a fist, there is a sensation in the hand, as the
hand, that is different from the space around it. When the
vital itself is contracted in this way, the center of the
“hand” is the ego, the “me,” the separate self sense. The
mind of this “me,” like its form, is separate, separative,
compulsively differentiating. So the whole drama of seeking
that is a reaction to this contraction or reaction to life,
always begins with this “me.” “Me” is the core of this
experience. It is the center of the “fist.” Every person
seeks by every means to be relieved of his suffering, but
the suffering cannot be relieved, this contraction cannot be
uncoiled without the “me,” which is its center, dissolving.
The whole affair, at the level of life, of vitality,
involves the dissolution, not only of the physical
manifestation of this contraction, not only of the life
drama, but of all its qualities, all of its peculiar
psychology, all of its mentality, all of its assumptions.
Spiritual life involves the undermining of the whole point
of view of vital shock.

When the contraction unwinds,
conductivity replaces obstruction. Then there is
conductivity of the force that descends as life. As long as
this compulsive contraction or shock exists, there is no
conductivity. There is only obstruction or limitation and
constriction of the flow of force. This may be experienced
as intense stimulation of energy, of force, in the vital,
felt as all of the various forms of desire. The fundamental
forms of this intense cramp of energy, felt as the fire of
desires in the vital, are the dramas of money, food and sex.
And if the cramp of obstruction is too severe, there is loss
of vitality, desire and function in these same areas of
life. No vitality, no survival.

One who exploits the apparent
condition of desire no longer conducts the force of life.
There is only the use of it, the revulsion of force, the
emptying of force. He does this because the contraction is
painful. He discovers that if the force itself is
diminished, the pain goes away. If the hand falls asleep,
there is no pain. If you empty the vital of its force, the
cramp is not felt, even though the contraction remains. So
the self-indulgent person empties the vital constantly, and
he feels relief, he feels open, he feels satisfied. But as
soon as his strength returns, he feels the pain again,
unless he has exhausted and contracted the vital to the
point of impotence. Such a one tries by every means to
satisfy himself, to be free of his pain. But all of his
means are from the point of view of this contraction, this
avoidance. He will continue his efforts until the entire
process of his search fails, and he feels its failure. At
that point, Satsang becomes possible, the life of
understanding becomes possible.

One who is dramatizing or living
this state of vital shock is not truly alive, not enjoying
life. He is always self-enclosed, always suffering, always
unconscious, always obsessed, always seeking. Among men,
there is always the same complaint “Everybody is asleep,
everybody is unconscious, everybody is self-obsessed,
everybody wants to be satisfied.” Everyone who comes to the
Guru wants to be satisfied. When will I become enlightened?
When will I have this experience? What is happening to me? I
am suffering. Everyone wants to begin spiritual life as a
search. They want to carry on spiritual life as an extension
of the same thing they’ve always been doing. They want to be
satisfied, they want to be emptied, they want to be free of
this cramp. They want to be free of it. Me. But “me” is the
center, the core of this contraction.

If you go to the usual and
traditional spiritual sources, you are given forms of
satisfaction, ways to satisfy your inclination to be free of
this cramp. You are told to believe in Jesus, do such and
such meditative exercises, concentrate this way or that way,
think only of Krishna, religious practices, spiritual
methods, not to mention the whole range of “therapies” that
have been created to satisfy this search at various levels.
All of these things are responses to the demand in the
vital. But those who come to our Ashram in the impulse of
that point of view are not satisfied. They are frustrated
here. The search is not the point of view of Truth. This
contraction and its healing are not the point of view of
Satsang. Satsang, radical spiritual life, is the undermining
of this contraction, at every level, the undermining of the
point of view of this contraction, the undermining of
suffering, of seeking, and its separative existence. So it
is only those who have become sensitive to the failure of
their search who are able to tolerate the quality of
Satsang.

Satsang is a paradox. For one thing,
this contraction in life is the avoidance of relationship,
the avoidance of that essential condition that is the
primary law or form of the cosmos: relationship. Nothing
arises on its own, or only as its “self.” People come to the
Guru who are separate, and separating themselves from all
conditions. But Satsang is relationship. Therefore, Satsang
is an offense to Narcissus, an offense to this contraction,
not a satisfaction of it. Only a man who has become
sensitive to his own failure can tolerate that
offense.

Living in the condition of
relationship creates tremendous resistance by reaction in
people. And the life of Satsang, the sadhana or spiritual
practice of this Satsang, is to live relationship over time.
It is the same thing that yogis and religious practitioners
traditionally try to do by putting themselves into a cave
and various other ascetic circumstances. The most “ascetic”
circumstance is relationship. The condition of relationship
stimulates all of the reaction, all of the “sinfulness,” all
of the impurity that is in a person. All of it is awakened
in the condition and relationship that is Satsang. Satsang
is an offense to this contraction, and it stimulates its
content.

Satsang is a relationship, a
connection, a form of conductivity. The force of Truth, the
force of that descending and ascending life, is communicated
through that connection. At the same time all of the
subconscious of buried reactions, the whole search, is being
stimulated by the condition of relationship in Satsang, the
force of Satsang is also added to stimulate and quicken the
whole process of its manifestation. This provokes the crisis
that is spiritual life. When this activity has loosened the
vital significantly, when functional ease is restored to
vital life, then the subtle life, the true subtle life may
begin to manifest itself. But, in the beginning, it is at
the level of vitality that this work begins, not at the
level of visions and other phenomena. Such phenomena are not
what is significant at any rate, although a person may tend
to have some experiences. Essentially, at the beginning,
there is this apparent work in the vital, dealing with this
vital shock. The person who is just entering the life of
Satsang is like a patient coming to a hospital in shock. The
force and condition of Satsang must unloose the condition of
vital shock. Because people arrive in “shock,” their
earliest experiences of Satsang are the activities of this
force, the purifying and healing intensities of shakti.
Later, when the unconscious, compulsive point of view and
the strategies created by the peculiar state of vital shock
have been critically loosed in the individual by the force
aspect of Satsang and practical living of the conditions of
Satsang, the conscious aspect of spiritual life, which is
“understanding,” begins to awaken.

Sitting, functioning, living in the
presence of the man of understanding and the community that
surrounds him are the means to release vital shock. But the
means are entirely an activity of the Guru himself, for the
disciple cannot do what that presence, force and condition
does. The disciple only lives in that presence and force
under the conditions communicated to him in Satsang. Such is
the true grace of spiritual life, for it undermines the
vital shock with spiritual force, with very Reality or
Truth.

DEVOTEE: It seems that a person who
is only seeking is never dealing fundamentally with this
contraction, but is merely reacting to the shock of
life.

FRANKLIN: Yes. To its
manifestations, its symptoms. The secret of suffering is not
in the past. It is not in the universe, “out there.” Your
suffering is entirely your own. It is your own activity. And
it is a radically present activity, not caused by something
else. So the real activity of spiritual life is not
generated from the point of view of this search, this
reaction, this suffering. It is not a matter of discovering
these devils or, whatever they are, these key memories,
these mortal and cosmic events. It is a matter of
re-cognizing, knowing again, your own activity, your present
activity.

There is a present activity, an
absolutely present activity, an only activity, that everyone
is performing all of the time. There are conditions and
reactions to conditions that build up patterns, but the root
of all of this is what is significant. The support of all
that, the paradigm of that. You can go on and recall the
incidents, the conditions that conditioned you, endlessly,
but you will have done nothing except the practice of your
own obsession. Why are you conditionable? Why are you
suffering these conditions? It is your own action. When this
contraction does not occur, no conditioning occurs, no
thought binds. There is only bliss.

The approach of Truth is a radical
one, not a revolutionary one. It is not a matter of the
search from any point of view within the condition of
suffering, but it is a matter of the absolute re-cognition
of this present activity. You are operating as
it.

DEVOTEE: Can you clarify what you
mean by “radical”?

FRANKLIN: Radical insight is an
irreducible insight. Nothing can go behind it, beyond it.
The radical point of view is not one of seeking, step by
step, through experiences, but by penetrating, prior to any
movement at all, the present condition. We could take the
point of view of the suffering, the symptom, the whole
life-game that we are playing individually, and make that
the point of view of spiritual life. That is essentially
what people have traditionally and always done. They begin
from the point of view of their suffering. Instead of
resorting to the Truth, they search for it. They go on this
vast circle. But every point on this circle is the same
point of view with which they began. Each point is simply a
different condition or experience from that point of view.
Every individual begins to know that, however far on this
infinitely wide circle he may go before he discovers it.
When he begins to suspect or see, re-cognize the nature of
this adventure that he is living, he is “at the center.” He
is already at the center the moment he knows what this whole
adventure is. So revolution is the nature of the search, but
Truth is always radical, always already at the core, the
center.

DEVOTEE: What is the nature of
Paradise?

FRANKLIN: Paradise! What is
Paradise? What is that?

DEVOTEE: Paradise is where there is
bliss.

FRANKLIN: Where there is bliss!
Bliss is paradise. All of this is already bliss. Bliss is
the nature of this. “Paradise” is an hallucination about
what it must be like where lots of blissful people are! But
bliss is the nature of consciousness. Bliss is the nature of
this event. There are lots of someplace elses, but they will
be no more blissful for you than this if you are not already
blissful. The lokas or spiritual realms of the Siddhas, the
great spiritual beings, are just as dismal as the earth for
a stupid man. But the Siddhas are very smart. They find ways
to keep the stupids out! If some commonly distracted being
gets anywhere near they say: “Psst. Have you been down to
uh—earth?” And they really hard-sell it, so everybody
comes down here! But this bliss, this unqualified enjoyment,
happiness, is the nature of Truth. The nature of
consciousness, your very nature, and the nature of all of
this, the nature of the cells of the body, the nature of
light itself is this unqualified openness, no
condition.

DEVOTEE: Does that mean there is no
separation between any of us?

FRANKLIN: Do you see any? Do you
feel there is? In Truth there is no separation at all. But
from the point of view of the seeker, one who suffers, there
is only separation, at every level. When he wakes, when he
re-cognizes his own adventure, his own state, in every form
that it takes, he cant find separations anymore, he cant
discover them, and he goes mad. But that madness is
intelligence.

DEVOTEE: Higher than that one cant
go?

FRANKLIN: Higher than that? It
wouldn’t occur to you! It is the seeker who is always going
someplace. The one who is already in trouble is always going
someplace else, because he is suffering, because this
contraction has occurred. All of the chakras, all of the
so-called “centers” in the subtle body, the ascending
conductivity, the subtle life, are in the same form as this
vital chakra, this vital center, this life. And they are
contracted, closed, not conducting this force of the
descending and ascending light. When the vital begins to
open a little, when Satsang is lived, when this conductivity
begins to occur again, movement also tends to begin in the
subtle life as well. Then these chakras begin to open, and
various phenomena arise. Spontaneous physical movements, all
kinds of things that we have talked about, that you have
read about, may occur. But, as you see, they are not in
themselves the Truth. Whenever there is an opening of some
sort, or a relaxation in any level or center of conscious
life, there tend to be experiences that are associated with
that level. These experiences can be movements, rushes of
energy, a blissfulness, various sensations, various kinds of
psychic phenomena, visions, lights, sounds, but all of these
are simply things that were stuck around inside this “fist.”
As the contraction opens up, they sort of klink off. But the
seeker, the one who endures that process from the point of
view of his suffering, thinks that all of these things are
it. His hand opens up, and he sees the rings on his hand,
the lines on his hand. Everything becomes very fascinating
to him, and he thinks of that as spiritual life. He thinks
that these visions are Truth.

Seekers, for instance, think that
the kundalini or internal force actually ascends. If the
kundalini ever for one moment came down and didn’t make its
connection with the Sahasrar, the upper region of the brain
and its subtle counterparts, you would be dead, from that
moment. That circuit always exists, just as the descending
circuit exists. It is just contracted in peculiar ways. As
it begins to awaken, to come alive again, to be free again,
various experiences occur at the different levels, and
people think that the energy itself is rising. But it is
just that the characteristic centers are opening, in a kind
of progress that looks sort of “upward.” And certainly there
are sensations that are like rising force. But in fact this
circuit is always there, always continuous, except it is
obstructed by this tendency to contract, to be separate, to
avoid relationship at the level of life.

Thought itself, simple thought,
mind-forms are forms of suffering in the seeker. The
simplest mind-form, any mind-form, even a blissful thought
of Donald Duck, is a condition of suffering, of contraction.
If you examine it while distracted, while happy with that
image, that thought, if you examine yourself in that moment
with any kind of sensitivity, you will realize that you are
suffering, distracted only, but suffering. When all of this
contraction, all of this life of avoidance, subsides, when
all of this identification with thinking subsides, there is
only the absolute conductivity of the form of reality. And
it lives only as its own nature.

The momentary or temporary
experience of such a relaxation of the vital and subtle
contraction is samadhi, yogic or psycho-physical trance,
meditative enjoyment. There are many kinds of samadhi, most
of them, the traditional kinds of samadhi, are the samadhis
of the life-force, vital and subtle. Therefore, they are
temporary, they are symptomatic, they are experiences that
occur when there’s a peculiar activity in relation to this
living circuitry. When certain forms of concentration are
coupled with certain movements within, we have these
samadhis of the life-force. But the highest and only true
samadhi is Truth itself, the very Self or Reality. There are
the temporary samadhis of the life-force, and there is the
eternal samadhi of Truth, sahaja samadhi, not
distinguishable from any of the states of consciousness,
ordinary or extraordinary. One who enjoys that, permanently,
is always full, and he does not have to go into the trance
states for his realization of Truth. Perhaps he may do so
for enjoyment, but not for his realization. He may go into
trance states or yogic samadhis for fun, but not in order to
realize the Truth. True samadhi is to live the present
condition consciously, without bondage to vital shock,
without contraction, without the avoidance of relationship,
without identification with its subtle forms, which are all
forms of thought, modifications of consciousness. When all
of these modifications come to an end, not necessarily in
fact or terminally, but as a compulsive activity, then there
is already “paradise,” only bliss, only the Self, only real
consciousness, only Light, only Truth, only Reality. In such
a one, all the forms of wisdom are communicated
spontaneously.

This gets us back to the beginning
of our discussion, the notion of “vital shock.” Every
individual creates his own life drama. Everything that has
happened to you in the past, the things you feel
uncomfortable about, that you feel upset about, when you
think about them now, are things that you strategically
commanded from beginning to end. Even the most arbitrary
experiences are peculiarly appropriate for the individuals
who enjoy or suffer them. And the manner of an individuals
relationship to events is not only appropriate but also
fundamentally intentional. All of these dramas essentially
take place in relationships of various kinds, because the
avoidance of relationship, the contraction in relation to
the life-force, is that activity to which men are bound
compulsively. Where there is relationship at the level of
life, there is the tendency to separate from it, and if the
ordinary man cannot righteously separate from it, he creates
reasons to separate from it. Every individual continually
creates the failure of relationship. And men become
compulsively bound to their special methods for complicating
and destroying relationship. These strategies are the life
patterns that men are suffering. And their searches are ways
of trying to get free of the limitations they are
compulsively creating.

If you are going through a period
like that now, while involved in Satsang the symptoms,
feelings, the moods, the thoughts, the whole period of days
or weeks, or whatever, of negativity and unhappiness,
obsession, do not have to be “bought.” They do not have to
be lived. All of that is a secondary affair. The disease has
already occurred. These are just the symptoms of the
healing. If you will look back at the beginning of any of
these periods, there is usually some frustrating event to
which all of this is the strategic reaction. Not that you
should always be looking for these events in your past. All
I mean to have you discover by pointing this out to you, is
what you do in relationship to the frustration of life, to
the suppression of life, to the shock that is life. What are
you doing about that? What does your life drama consist of?
It is always this contraction, this avoidance of
relationship.

Relationship is always already the
case. If you are sitting in the house, weeping, screaming,
feeling upset and negative about somebody you live with,
then this is it, this is your suffering. This activity is
your suffering. Remember that person. Remember the
relationship. Live the relationship. Let the force of life
move again, and there is no suffering at all. You’ve
obviated that whole “tour,” including the making up and
everything else. None of it has to take place. All of those
things are merely the “subtleties” of your suffering. But
suffering itself is always the avoidance of relationship.
Wherever you re-cognize your activity, that activity was the
avoidance of relationship. Where there is relationship
lived, this contraction does not take place, and the force
of life is conducted as life. And that conductivity is felt
as pleasure, as free consciousness, without distraction by
thought. It is loving, open, light, forceful. So the key to
spiritual life is not the life-force itself, not any
activity, not kundalini, not any of these secondary
manifestations that occur in Satsang. Such things are not
the key to spiritual life, but only some of its possible
phenomena. The key to spiritual life is this re-cognition of
your own activity.

In Satsang, the simple relationship
to the man of understanding tends to stimulate all of this.
There is also the communicated force of Truth or real
consciousness. All of this tends to intensify and to build a
person up at the beginning. He is also given conditions at
the level of life, simple conditions, practical ones,
functional things for which it is appropriate for him to be
responsible. Gradually, the stronger he gets, the simpler he
gets, the more experienced he becomes in Satsang, the more
he begins to listen with free attention, so that he begins
to hear, to observe himself, to move toward this insight,
this re-cognition of which I speak. And that is the real
event of Satsang. Without this re-cognition, he can have all
the spiritual phenomena he likes, but they will be only more
experience, more suffering. However, if he lives from the
point of view of Satsang, these other phenomena can arise
and be of interest, and they will provide conditions in
which understanding must take place.

This understanding, when it occurs,
will not be your enlightenment, because when it occurs there
is no one left. I don’t mean that you will be dead, that you
will be unconscious, that you will be in oblivion, but the
entire principle which is the center of this contracted life
will have disappeared. When you open your hand, what happens
to your fist? When you release the contraction, the “me” is
gone, the search is gone, the whole principle of suffering
is undermined. In Satsang we are moving toward the time when
this radical insight will become significant, real activity.
Until then people are looking for release from their
symptoms. They want to seek, they want relief. They are not
prepared for Truth.

Every moment there is this curvature
being created. Why do you think there are thoughts all of
the time? Why one thought after the next? Why doesn’t it
come to an end? The light is curving compulsively. Why is
there suffering all of the time? This activity is
compulsive. It is not life. That’s not the “way it is.”
There is compulsive activity, automatic activity,
unnecessary activity. There is compulsive curvature,
shaping, contraction of the radical force of
existence.

DEVOTEE: Why does it
happen?

FRANKLIN: Once you already have this
shape, this human body, why is there such a strong tendency
to walk around and talk and be a man? It has already
occurred! That is the shape of it. Its not that it is wrong.
It is not that you should make a judgment about it. It is
very easy, from a superficial standpoint, to get out of
sympathy with your own craziness, and then start to resist
it again. But all of that is more of the same. When there is
this absolute turnabout, this perfect re-cognition of your
own activity, then it no longer exists. But the judgment
about it, the feeling that you are sort of screwed up, is
another form of the whole process. It is more of that vital
shock. The whole affair of Satsang is a movement of
conscious intensity, looking forward to the moment when you
begin to see it, to know it.

When present activity is truly
known, the dilemma no longer exists. That doesn’t mean that
from that moment no more thinking goes on, no more life goes
on. This activity that is our suffering is not life itself,
nor has it created life. It is only the obstruction to life,
an illusory pattern within life. But it is utter,
fundamental, inclusive. You cant pick your nose without
doing this. You cant see without being involved in this
activity, this avoidance of relationship. You cant think,
feel, move, breathe, you do not live one moment without
performing this activity and experiencing its
manifestations. So, from the point of view of the dilemma,
everything is a form of this activity. The cosmos seems to
be made out of suffering to someone who is wedded to
dilemma. That is why people become atheistic, insane,
chronically depressed. The whole universe seems to justify
despair to them, because everything has become a form of it,
an extension of their own activity. Their own activity has
become the means and form of their perception. Therefore,
re-cognition takes place also at every level, absolutely, at
every single level, down to the cells, and as high as it can
go. On every level where this contraction occurs, this
re-cognition also can take place. When it has occurred, when
this activity, this contraction, this avoidance of
relationship is thoroughly undone, undermined, and only the
Truth is lived, then something about the nature of the
phenomenon of universal and cosmic life begins to become
clear. From the point of view of Truth, life is allowable
and good. Perhaps one might choose other forms of life, but
in itself the present form becomes clear.

In its simplest form, its most
intimate form, its most obvious form, the activity I’m
talking about is the avoidance of relationship. And it is to
be seen in a very simple, practical witnessing of life, of
you alive in relationship. There is really no subtlety
whatsoever to this seeing. It is the crudest kind of
self-knowledge. But it is also the most unavailable from the
ordinary point of view, because what is to be known is the
ordinary point of view.

DEVOTEE: Is it possible, as some
have said, for a man to die and then be re-born as an
animal?

FRANKLIN: This whole question of
reincarnation and the knowledge of processes like that can
be approached from a couple of points of view. For most
people it is a matter of experimental living and
experiencing. By the use of various internal and psychic
means they recollect past lives, see images of other peoples
lives, see their destinies, whatever. This is the usual way,
particularly among Westerners, that men have approached such
phenomena, to discover if they are true or real. But there
is another way, which is the way of the Siddhas, the
“completed” ones. That is the way of Self-realization, the
realization of Truth. When there is this radical
re-cognition of which I speak, when there is perfect
understanding, such a one lives only as Truth. Then he also
knows what birth is, what mind is, what life is. He sees it
is all the result of tendencies subtly manifest in the light
of consciousness, which take form in and as the manifest
world. He knows this with absolute certainty. He sees this
clearly. Truth, therefore, is the basis of his knowledge of
all phenomena, including reincarnation. But he may enjoy
this realization without the least suggestion or
recollection of reincarnation in his own case, without
remembering, even vaguely in a dream, a single moment of any
past life. This is because Self-realization or perfect
knowledge is not compatible with “birth.” One who lives as
the Self has no sense whatsoever of being born as this body,
no sense whatsoever of containment, of existing now, limited
now to his own mind, his own life. If he has this kind of
relationship to the apparent phenomena of his present
existence, how could he possibly get involved with knowing
anything at all about the past of his dying personality?
What could possibly interest him about it? How could he
possibly discover anything about it? Every time he zeros in
on his own mind, he sees billions of worlds and other
beings. How is he going to pick himself out? Where is he?
How does he find a destiny for himself in the midst of the
universes, when he cannot even discover his own life as a
substantial and separate event? So this fullness of Truth
has also made it impossible for him to get serious and
experimental knowledge about his own past or future as an
individual. But his root-awareness of the structure itself,
which comes out of the Heart, shows him clearly the nature
of all patterns, without otherwise giving him experience on
the plane of recollection, on the plane of mind, on the
secondary planes of life.

Examining the nature and fundamental
structure of life itself, it is clear that something like
regression, or, whatever, rebirth, apparent rebirth in
animal form after once having lived in human form, is
clearly possible, just as it can occur in dreams. In dreams
you can take on various forms in various worlds. The same
condition applies to birth in these waking realms of life.
But if you begin to become sensitive to your present
condition, you may become terrified even of moving into this
human condition again!

An affinity for plants and animals
is another thing altogether. The vital, descending life in
man is made up of mechanisms that are found elsewhere in
nature. It is made of the same forces, the same kind of
functional life. In one of our talks I made an analogy
between our human mechanism and a man walking a dog. We are
like a mind walking a dog. The vital mechanism is an animal
and vegetable mind, a mind like that which governs the
organisms and compounds of nature below man in the scheme of
processes. Therefore, in the vital level of consciousness,
we have a strong affinity and identification with animals,
plants, natural phenomena, nature. Because we partake of
that same functional life, that same level of energy, we
recognize it in the environment, and enjoy association with
it. Someone once asked Ramana Maharshi about the practice of
retiring to the forest. As it is described in certain of the
old texts, such as the Bhagavad Gita, you should set up a
seat in the wilderness, in a forest area, under nice
circumstances, with streams nearby, etc. This person asked
the Maharshi’s permission to do this. But Ramana pointed out
that when people go out and do this sort of thing, to get
away from humanity and all of the complications of ordinary
life, they begin to become fascinated with animals instead,
and animal life, vital life. They sympathize with it, enjoy
it, and gradually become like it. As a consequence, they
wind up in a worse condition than before. The relationship
that we tend to take up with living beings, animals, plants,
nature, is a direct indication of our relationship to the
vital, and that is all. If you become very sympathetic with
the vital movements in yourself, the forms of vital desire,
you will also tend to be very “sympathetic” with animals. If
you tend to exploit your own vital life, you will tend also
to fail to manage animals, plant life, and the like. If you
resist utterly, and are vitally contracting to the point of
interference with your own vital life, even to life itself,
you will tend to have the same effect on other life-forms.
No one, for instance, can tolerate being disliked by their
friends animals! If you go to visit a friend, it is very
upsetting if the dog doesn’t like you, if the cat doesn’t
like you. It is very upsetting if you cant grow plants, if
flowers die quickly when placed near your bed! But all of
this, our relationships to plants, animals, to life forms
are a precise dramatization of our relationship to the vital
in our own case.

In many people who are unconscious,
the vital is smarter than they are. The vital takes over,
absorbing their lives from birth to death, and they never
exceed it. You must have at least seen photographs of people
who are wedded to the earth, who live in isolated farm
lands. How unconscious these people seem, from the point of
view of one who has been brought up in cities, or whatever,
in sophisticated social regions. How unconscious these
people seem, asleep in the vital without their minds: “They
don’t speak very much, they are quiet, slow, they seem
stupid. They seem like cattle, but they are often strangely
violent.” City people, however, tend to be contracted in
relation to the vital. Western men are essentially very
resistive to the whole vital life. Americans are obsessed
with sex. Not really obsessed with the having of sex. They
are obsessed with the failure of sex, and the wanting of it.
There is very little actual or successful having of it,
because the whole sexual process is so obstructed. The whole
participation in the life-force has been undermined by
Western society’s bondage to its idiot symbolic religious
path. The Jesus-Yahweh number. Not that all of that was
necessarily or actually contained in the work of Jesus and
the Hebrew men of knowledge, but it is contained certainly
in the religious movements that have come down to us. There
is a strong suppression in relation to the vital. So
everybody is trained in his “vital shock” from the
beginning, to resist his entire vital life, his life line.
Money, food and sex are problematic for everybody, in the
sense of a chronic resistance, a chronic doubt about whether
or not you are supposed to have anything to do with such
things.

Many people come to the Ashram whose
marriages have broken up. There was a case the other day
where a marriage had broken up because the guy tended to get
into the “celibacy” number. In many other cases, people have
come who may not have broken up a marriage over this, but
they have just never really been able to sustain a sexual
relationship over any length of time, and part of the
rationale is that they want to become celibate. They want to
become swamis and nuns! For the most part, this “swami”
idealism that many Westerners are getting into is an
attempted solution to their resistance to vitality, their
chronic social reaction to the vital condition, to life. The
popular swing toward swamiism, toward artificially induced
spiritual celibacy, is a form of emasculation. It is a way
of being impotent. But there can be no spirituality without
the life-force. If you cut off the life-force, you have gone
back to zero. The spiritual process makes immediate use of
the life-force and its conductivity. Really, the problem of
spiritual life, for anyone, West or East, is not whether to
be celibate or not. Your choices about sexuality are always
a manifestation of your dilemma, not your wisdom. The core
of it all is the re-cognition of this contraction in the
vital.

DEVOTEE: Why is it that so many of
the Eastern teachings we read seem to insist on celibacy as
necessary for spiritual life?

FRANKLIN: Examine the cultural life
from which the Eastern wisdom comes, especially among the
Hindus. It is essentially among the Hindus that celibacy is
insisted upon, not really so much, or at least as
universally, in other cultures. This is because the
traditional Hindu notion of spiritual realization is one in
which the vital and subtle life has been abandoned, and the
conscious existence has returned to a high or highest state,
never to be reborn. Therefore, the processes by which they
seek realization necessarily involve the reduction of the
whole pattern of life, even the subtle life, to the point of
abandonment. Such is the precondition for realization in
their terms.

Now when this pattern of
conductivity of which I speak is restored, such a person
may, because of his subtle tendencies, be celibate. In fact,
when this current is felt very intensely at the level of the
life-vehicles, very often the sexual impulse just disappears
for various periods of time. In some people it disappears
permanently. And there is an internal process that replaces
their sexuality entirely. But the arbitrary demand of
celibacy, in the sense of idealistic avoidance of marriage,
or avoidance of appropriate realization of sex in the form
of marriage, as an absolute practice for all, is of
relatively recent origin even among the Hindus. The ancient
Rishis were almost always married men.

The Guru is not some impotent old
rascal. The Guru should be able to populate the earth. The
Guru is strong. He is alive. He enjoys mastery over the
sex-impulse. He may, as a spontaneous practice, be entirely
celibate, even in marriage. But he is not in any case empty
or obstructed in relation to the life-force.

In Western culture it is not
terribly appropriate or necessary to be celibate in the
exclusive sense of the avoidance of sexual realization in
the form of marriage. However, it is absolutely necessary
from the spiritual point of view for the whole dilemma in
the vital to break down. And it is not just in terms of
sexuality that this dilemma is manifest. It is money, or
life exchange, food and sex. It is the whole vital life.
Many people have what appears to them a functional sex-life,
one that is enjoyable and seems to work fine for them. But
their relationship to the force of life may itself be very
mediocre. They may have functional problems in other areas,
in other forms of life or psyche, in the environment, in
relation to diet.

In the East, particularly among the
Hindus, there is a tendency to de-vitalize, to separate from
the vital. In the West there is a tendency to exploit the
vital. There is that tendency, but on top of the tendency to
exploit the vital there is a vast system of taboos against
the vital. So, in relation to the vital, the West has a
peculiar problem, and the East has another peculiar problem.
In the East there is orientation to what is beyond the
vital, and in the West the orientation is to the vital. In
the East they say you are here for the wrong reasons,
because you are suffering from illusion, you have left the
Truth, you have left God. In the West we say we are here
because God sent us. And in each case there are peculiarly
different dramas at the level of ordinary life and vitality.
But from the point of view of the real process of conscious
life, the vital is a primary seat of spiritual
activity.

Suffering is felt, seen, experienced
from day to day essentially in vital terms by human beings.
The best “cave” is an ordinary life, a relational life, a
functional life. That is where you find your discipline,
that is where you become strong, that is where you become a
master. Relationships are the best form of spiritual
practice. Marriages, intimate relationships, functional
conditions, these are the best “Bodhi Tree.” These are the
true “ascetic” practices. Marriage is the primary ascetic
practice, as everyone who is married knows! Anyone can be
“religious,” anyone can be “spiritual,” but anyone who lives
with the Guru knows how difficult and demanding spiritual
life really is. It is easy to play imaginary games about
religious and spiritual things, but to live spiritual life
as the condition of relationship is a very difficult task.
To think about sexual experiences, to think about men,
women, pornography, whatever, to have sexual desires and
images is one thing, but to live sexuality as a relationship
is very difficult. So with spirituality as a relationship,
it is also very difficult. But just as there is no real
sexuality without relationship, there is no real
spirituality without relationship. There is no fulfillment
of spiritual life without the Guru, and without truly living
conditions for sadhana.

In all traditional religious
cultures you find the professionally ascetic people. They
are not necessarily living spiritual life any more than
anyone else. In most cases such “asceticism” is a form of
self-indulgence. It is an expression of the failure of life.
It is an expression of the contraction from life. A vital
and subtle shock is the origin of all ordinary spiritual and
religious means. But under the real conditions of spiritual
life intelligence begins to arise in relation to sexuality.
The individual becomes very sensitive to that process and
its true nature.

Simple exploitation of sexuality is
another way of trying to exhaust this contracted vital. Most
people use sexuality as a way of letting off steam, as a
form of release. They are attached to the goal of orgasm.
They manage to achieve temporary physical stasis by
revulsion of force. But one who lives genuine spiritual life
is always conducting the force of life, as vitality and as
subtlety. He lives these functions that appear in the
circuit of force appropriately, in relationship. He gets
smart! When he employs sexual energy out of relationship, or
purely for the sake of orgasm, when he simply exploits it,
he only empties himself, and he discovers that he suffers.
So the truly spiritual man has simply become intelligent.
His way of life is not a result of preferences to be
lifeless, sexless or anything else. He becomes intelligent.
He becomes capable of relationship. He becomes capable of
the real use of the vital functions. So he knows when not to
use them, and how not to indulge or exploit them. He allows
this force of life to conduct itself fully. He need not,
because of the contraction in the vital, simply release this
force in vital ways. He is not compelled to enjoy it only in
his belly, only in his sex organs. He can enjoy it in the
top of his head. He can enjoy it in his face. He can enjoy
it in his spine. He has got all kinds of places he can enjoy
it. The subtler he becomes, the more his enjoyments
increase. He discovers the source of energy, so that he
doesn’t weaken himself, so that he doesn’t become involved
in a pattern that only empties him, that weakens and kills
him.

There is a process, a spontaneous,
internal, yogic process that can be felt in the sex organs,
in which the force that normally becomes sex-stimulation is
felt going in the opposite direction, backward and upward.
Instead of seeking release in the sex function, that energy
can be felt pulling, drawing towards the spine, upwards.
When that particular process is very active, intensely
active, there is natural celibacy. Then even in the sexual
communion of marriage, the event of orgasm is not sought,
but the relational force of love and community pleasure is
intensified.

The kundalini process is closely
associated with what is otherwise felt as sex energy,
although it doesn’t simply come from the sex organs, and is
not itself literally or exclusively sex energy. It is the
ascending movement of the circle of total force in which we
live. It is a continuation of the conductivity of the
descending force. Its lowest terminal in the body is in the
sex organs, behind the sex organs. And that terminal is the
turning point, from descent to ascent, but not the origin of
force itself. The muladhar is this turning point. The
intense kundalini manifestations are generally associated
with this reversal of the sex current. A person who is going
through a period of strong kriyas, or some such episode of
intense internal activity will often quite naturally be
celibate during that time. Or he will discover that if he
exploits himself sexually, through orgasm, while going
through this process, certain unpleasant things occur,
physiologically and psychically. And so he learns by
experience of processes of this kind how to deal with his
sexuality. Therefore, the use or non-use of sexuality is a
matter of intelligence, not a matter of preference, not a
matter of “the way it is supposed to be if you are getting
spiritual.”

Perfect “celibacy” is death. Then
the cycle of life-force turns from descent to ascent, draws
up completely into the sahasrar, and never comes down again.
That is precisely what the yogi whose point of view is
willful celibacy is trying to do. He is trying to die
consciously, and literally. Now the yogic process of
“spiritual death” will take place, in any case, whether you
have literal separation from life as your peculiar goal or
not. True celibacy is yogic or spiritual “death.” Yogic
death is part of the nature of real meditation, but it
doesn’t in itself imply the literal end of life or the
diminution of life-involvement. Continued living of an
ordinary, functional life on every level is perfectly
compatible with the realized state, because life itself is
an expression of what is Real. It is a manifestation of the
conscious Light. It has tended to take on this peculiar form
because of certain tendencies, which are modifications of
that Light, but in itself it is not false. Only its
complications are false. The life of Truth is absolutely
compatible with life itself, with vitality and with
sexuality as the regenerative union of marriage.

The bellies of the yogic Siddhas are
often full, soft and round. They are not devitalized beings,
even if they happen to be celibate. That swelling of the
abdomen is a yogic manifestation. When this force is
conducted, the abdomen becomes full of force. Swami
Nityananda of Ganeshpuri was such a yogi. He spent his days
sitting and lying around, letting this current circle about.
He rarely allowed it to turn outwards. That is why he hardly
ever spoke.

I have told you that speech is a
form of sacrifice. It is a sacrifice of the life-force. It
is not entertainment. People generally talk in order to
empty themselves. That is another form of throwing the force
out of this contraction so they don’t suffer it any more.
Whenever there is speech, whenever there is communication
with the environment, whenever there is relationship,
whenever there is use of the life-force, it is sacrifice.
Sexuality is a form of sacrifice. It does tend to make you
empty, unless you know fully how to make use of that
process, how to conduct its generative energy into the cycle
of regeneration. If I sat here and talked endlessly,
occasionally going to sleep and taking food here, the
talking alone would kill me in a relatively short time. I
would die from speech! Any exploitation of the life-force
will kill you, and people are in fact dying from this abuse.
People are dying from a complex exploitation of the
life-force. They don’t conduct it. They only use it. They
don’t refresh themselves. They don’t live this circuit of
fullness even a little bit. Some of the yogis only lived it.
So they left. Others continued to be communicative at the
level of life in various ways, knowing the consequences,
knowing what they needed to do to remain fresh. That is why
I look forward to the time when I can speak less and write
less, or at least have such control over it that I only need
to do it when it seems absolutely useful and necessary.
Because this current is continuous. When I am sitting, my
teeth are clenched, my tongue presses against the roof of my
mouth. The circuit is continuous, and as it flows even the
cells are transformed.

The death of a Siddha is really not
separation from anything. He is simply gone into meditation
perfectly. After death his “body” is meditation. And his
disciples have access to him through real meditation,
because meditation itself is his eternal or perfect Form. He
simply abandons his sacrificial function, his outward
movement, his psycho-physical game, and goes permanently
into his simple or transcendent state. He was already in it
before, but he abandons the functions that were attached to
it, at least those which were the manifestation of his
present life. This is why people prize the “samadhi site,”
the burial site, of their Guru. Because the Guru has gone
into meditation in its most intense form while associated
with that body. Many people find the force communicated from
the Guru seems to get stronger after death, because it has
become completely without complication by the life-form. He
has moved into the most intense manifestation of that real
consciousness.

It is said that Saint Jnaneshwar
consciously took mahasamadhi. He had a tomb built for
himself, and he went down inside. He was a young man, only
about twenty or twenty-one years old. He went down inside
and sat in his chair. They sealed it over, and he just
didn’t come out anymore. It is also said that about three
hundred years later another Indian Saint somehow got into
Jnaneshwars tomb and approached the body. He reported that
the body was apparently still alive. It had a certain heat
to it, and it wasn’t the least decomposed, because the yogic
activity was going on in this body permanently. The site of
Jnaneshwars tomb is supposed to be a very potent one. Not
that he is conscious of trucking with that body anymore.
Nityananda’s tomb is also like that, very strong.

DEVOTEE: Can a Guru who has died
still be Guru for the living?

FRANKLIN: It is limited only at the
level of life. He can’t function as Guru in any way that
requires a physical presence. So he usually tries to leave
genuine disciples in the world who can continue certain
aspects of the Guru-function. One who has had real
experience spiritually can read a book written by an
experienced man in spiritual life and see things there that
he knows are true. It corroborates his own experience. Just
so, one who is already living the real form of spiritual
life can approach the burial site of a deceased saint or go
to holy places, and benefit from the pilgrimage in that same
sense of corroboration or recognition. The current of
spiritual force continues to be emanated by such beings
after death, but Truth is not lived by them bodily in the
world. At times people appear to have experiences on a
subtle level with people who are dead. In my own experience,
in the case of Swami Nityananda, Ramana Maharshi, Sai Baba
of Shirdi, and others there have been very concrete and
complex experiences of their subtle influence. Baba
Muktananda remains in physical form to this day, but I am
able to visit him only occasionally. Therefore, my
experiences with him are generally of a subtle although
perfectly concrete variety, entirely apart from the gross
physical medium. Just so, my own work with disciples is
fundamentally subtle.

DEVOTEE: Are there other people in
the world who are like you?

FRANKLIN: I don’t know what it is to
be like me. Everybody seems to be up to about the same thing
that I am up to. There are some people walking around who
claim to be the only incarnate God, the repetitive Avatar of
all the ages, the exclusive true Guru, and such things. But
they are the least among us. That is the spiritual circus.
That is not the life of Truth. That is more of the illusion.
Those who are living Truth in the earth plane cant be
discerned by simple signs. They are ordinary. Perhaps also
in some sense extraordinary, but they are real. Of those who
are appearing publicly as teachers, very few have anything
to do with Truth.

DEVOTEE: You have said that all men
are suffering. I have the feeling that everybody except for
you, and those teachers that you have had, and all the great
Siddhas, are the only people who are not
suffering.

FRANKLIN: The only ones who are not
suffering are those who are living Truth. And who those are
that are living Truth is to be seen. Truth is the most
profound, the most radical Reality. It is the nature of all
beings and the nature of all life. It is already all men.
When I see men in the world I don’t see them as garbage, all
screwed up, simply insane, as nothingness that I am supposed
for some reason or other to turn into Divinity. I see
everybody already as that same Reality. I am no exclusive
form of it. But I see men suffering. While they are being
Truth only, I see them suffering. The fact that they are
suffering doesn’t make them any less the Truth, any less the
same thing that is all beings, all things. It simply means
that they are suffering. If you look at all beings from the
point of view of Truth, there is only Truth, and the Truth
has this little chronic problem!

From the point of view of men it all
seems very heavy, because their point of view is the point
of view of this limitation. But once they themselves begin
to see from the point of view of Truth, they see that
everything is already Truth, and every one. To realize that
you are already Truth doesn’t make you any more than anybody
else. It makes you the same as everybody else. It is the
sameness of very Truth, that sameness from which all the
functional inequalities of relative, conditional existence
arise.

There is a certain obnoxiousness
that comes into this illusion as well, in the form of
righteousness, in the form of false claims, in the form of
exploitation. That is also part of this illusion. And, at
times, I speak critically about that. I must, because people
are suffering from their idiot Gurus. If I see a phony
telling everybody he is God-Exclusive, I am likely to tell
you so. Why should I stand for such lies, that exploitation
of men, that reinforcement of suffering?

DEVOTEE: I am curious about this
notion of responsibility, especially from your point of
view. Why should you care at all about a mans suffering by
having a false Guru?

FRANKLIN: It is a natural function
of the intensity of Truth, as it moves into life, to purify.
When the force of Satsang approaches an individual, it cant
do anything but be the force of Truth when it gets here. It
doesn’t start to fade out on the way and become a black
widow spider! It is Truth, it arrives as Truth, and it
functions as the Truth in that life. It does only that
purifying work. It becomes only that fullness, only that
intensity of Light, and it leads only into the process of
Truth. Where Truth is lived in the life-plane, it only
functions as Truth. Not out of some sort of “concern,” some
karmic concern to save the world, but as a natural extension
of its own nature, its real activity.

DEVOTEE: So in other words it is a
spontaneous thing?

FRANKLIN: When a man starts to gain
some sort of position among other men by representing Truth
to them, he is implying something about the great work of
the Divine Siddhas. It is not that I am going to start
taking out newspaper advertisements about various people,
exposing them. I don’t have anything to say about it
socially. And I am not going to go over to these people or
to their disciples and get into arguments with them about
the nature of Truth. But there are many here who know of
various teachers. I am here speaking to you. I am not
somewhere else, speaking at a paid lecture. So in order to
serve the very thing I am attempting to communicate, when
there is somebody specific we are discussing, I must clarify
what is being represented by them. That is simply a
responsible extension of the work that I am doing. Apart
from that, I don’t have any concern for it. As a social
event, I have no particular concern for it. I enjoy seeing
people become sensitive to the real manifestation of Truth,
and begin to see the falseness of charlatans, people who are
themselves deluded and who are only exploiting
others.

DEVOTEE: It seems that, from the
point of view of Truth, the process of being born creates an
automatic reaction that is death.

FRANKLIN: For every action there is
an equal and opposite reaction. The action of life produces
the reaction of the living, even to the point of
death.

DEVOTEE: It seems like we are born
with three strikes against us.

FRANKLIN: Yes. That is why we have
got to get smart down here! A living being arising in the
midst of life is automatically the reaction to the prior
action which is life itself. It is quite a natural
mechanism. If it becomes the principle of life, reaction
creates death. And the natural tendency of organic life is
to contract, to become more solid and lifeless. It begins to
die the moment it makes its appearance. And there are more
than three strikes against you. You are already out,
already, before the strikes. I have lost my taste for the
usual life. Not that I cant enjoy the quality of real life,
but I have lost my taste for this whole affair of suffering
and compulsive existence. I see perfectly well what it
depends on. I wouldn’t choose, on the merits of the
experience itself, ever to be born in this human condition
again. There is no percentage in it. It gains nothing. It is
just a period of time in which to understand. Apart from
that, it has no ultimate value. It never goes beyond that.
Human life is not particularly delightful. It is an endless
concern from birth until death. Every minute is suffering of
the limited state, or an attempt to break out of it through
various kinds of activity. Trying to find the answer. From
the moment of its awareness, this life is a question. It
seems absurd to be actually existing and yet not to know
what actually existing is, and to spend the entire period of
actually existing trying to discover what actually existing
is! This is an insane condition! It is a compulsive tour of
unconscious activity for the most part. If Truth begins to
manifest in life, as life, it glorifies life to some degree.
But the glory that enters life is not that of life itself.
It is the glory of the fullness of Truth, which is manifest
as life, whose modifications are life. The more the life of
Truth grows, the more the taste for Truth you acquire, not
for life apart from or other than Truth. And when Truth is
perfectly enjoyed, life becomes secondary, perhaps profound,
but unnecessary. Your death in Truth should precede your
physical death by at least a few moments! Otherwise the
tendency to regain this condition is there
automatically.

The “condition” that is Truth is far
superior to this limitation. And those who live Truth while
alive are not glorifying life in itself. They are glorifying
Truth. When you enjoy Truth, you are already free. And if
you are free, what has all of this compulsive limitation to
do with you? Such a one lives Truth until death, and then
slips away. And everyone will slip away in Truth sooner or
later. The Guru is only looking for company on his way out!
He has already discovered who you are, he already is living
with you in another sense, as real life, as love, as Truth.
He no longer requires your physical existence or his own. He
looks forward to your perfect enjoyment. But he sees that
those who are living in the earth plane are not clear about
this, not certain of it, a little confused. So he
communicates it in as many ways as he can. But all he is
trying to do is to take you away, to take your separate life
away, to snuff you out of darkness into Light.

Real meditation is not unlike death.
The same process goes on in this spontaneous meditation that
happens in death. The only difference is that in death the
life-force permanently moves out of this vital mechanism,
but in real meditation, sahaja samadhi, in the true state,
the life-force may continue to conduct itself in this form.
One who has lived this whole process and knows it well,
knows very well that he is not merely alive. He knows
absolutely well that being alive is not his real limitation.
It is absolutely clear to him. He is not believing it, not
thinking it. He is already dead, presently dead, presently
not alive as the limitation that is the psycho-physical
life, the body. If he were alive as that limitation, he
would still be afraid. If it were still clear to me that I
was alive as the limitation of life, I wouldn’t have any
time to sit with you in this Ashram. I would be busy doing,
hysterically doing all the things that occupied me in the
search.

 When that “death” is attained
and only Truth is enjoyed, there is no more of that search.
Then there is only the creative enjoyment of living this
process in relation to other beings. And that radical
meditation is continuous, perfect. No embodiment, no
identification with the life-force, no identification with
the subtle forms of existence, no identification with the
levels of mind, with thoughts, with visions, with lights,
with phenomena of any kind. They are not lived. That is the
paradox of the jnani, the man of real knowledge. Maharshi
said he was like somebody asleep while awake. While awake,
while the manifest forms are flying around, while the body
hangs out and all the feelings and sensations are there,
while the thoughts are running along, the man of
understanding has no sense at all of any containment, any
limitation to that process. He doesn’t have to meditate in
the traditional way at all in order to feel free of that. He
doesn’t have to stop the thought-process in order to be free
of thoughts. His samadhi is perfect, endless. The whole life
phenomenon takes on a kind of indefinite, fluid, homogeneous
quality, a paradoxical form, a kind of brilliance, so that
it loses its capacity to define existence or consciousness.
Everything becomes consciousness, everything becomes his own
consciousness, everything becomes his own thought. He has
nothing left but humor while alive. And his humor is of a
radical kind. He is not necessarily always laughing. His
humor is of the nature of no-identification with all of
this. His freedom is extreme, beyond the point of wildness,
so that he is no longer wild. His extremes are manifest as
ordinariness. His extremes are his natural appearance.
Walking into a room is a maddening extreme from his point of
view. It is odd, it is wildly imaginative! When he
contemplates his own consciousness, when he contemplates
being conscious, he almost falls into trance. So, instead of
contemplating consciousness, he looks at people, he talks,
he does ordinary things. Because everything has become
insubstantial and unnecessary for him. His blissfulness has
exceeded all of the yogic states, all of the phenomena of
spirituality, because they again are forms of containment,
forms of self-modification. He has lost the taste, the
motive for mere experiencing. He lives only as that
unmodified Reality, lightless, soundless, formless, without
qualities. And yet, everything is its modification.
Therefore, when living the humor that is his formlessness,
his qualityless existence, he, paradoxically, lives. For
such a one, all life is paradox. And life is no longer a
question. For such a one there is not the least trace of
“mystery” left in the universe. He has no question, and he
has no answer. He is only humorous.

In many cultures, such “humorous”
people have taken on the role of a fool. They acted crazy,
so that people wouldn’t burden them with demands for
“wisdom.” Because they really didn’t have anything to say.
They just enjoyed bubbling in the street. And bubbling is
really what it is all about. Having to work with everyone at
the life level, the vital level, from day to day tends to
become very humorless, because everybody is very serious
about his life problems. Every day people come here with
their crisis, their revolution this week, their number. All
of that is very heavy, very disturbing for them, and
rightfully so. But to deal with it, to manufacture
seriousness over all of that, has none of the beauty of
bubbling. So the more people begin to enjoy Satsang, in its
subtle form, in its absolute form, the sillier the Guru
gets, the more absurd he gets, the more he begins to act in
ways that symbolize or express his true state. Such humorous
people become very “odd,” and everything they do is a symbol
of their own state. Just so, everything that any man does
symbolizes his own state. The humorous person becomes less
and less involved in trying to communicate to people the
nature of their true state, and he begins simply to manifest
his own state as a playful activity.

An Ashram must be very straight for
such a person to act so freely. So you only find people of
that variety acting so freely in very traditional cultures.
In Nityananda’s Ashram he was free to bubble all the time.
So he became a symbol for the Self, because he took on very
few functions at the life level as Guru. Someone like Swami
Muktananda has a great many functions, and he has less of
that kind of quality that Nityananda had, at least in his
appearance. But as the years have gone by, even Muktananda
has taken on more of the “silliness” of the Truth. Maharshi
also was a relatively functionless person. The more
functions the Siddhas have had, the less of a symbol they
posed in the world, the less they seemed to symbolize or
play the Truth while alive. That doesn’t mean they were of a
lesser nature. It is just that they took on various
functions, the functions of this sacrificial activity. Even
so, all such people, in spite of their many functions,
remain paradoxical, humorous figures.