Breath and Name – Chapter 4


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FAITH, SACRIFICE, OR DEPENDENCE ON GRACE IS HEART-FELT RELEASE FROM THE CAVE OF SUBJECTIVITY

4.1

The Way of Divine Communion depends on devotional sacrifice. Heart-felt love of the Divine, of which all conditions are the objective modifications, within or without, alone will permit Grace to draw you into the unconditional Realm which is itself the Divine.

4.2

The actions of devotional sacrifice in the Way of Divine Communion are extensions of the heart. They must be felt, not conceptualized. The mind has only a secondary role to play. Divine Communion is an intuitive process of the heart (the emotional or feeling core of the being, which is realized as a profound intensity of felt-intuition, rather than mere “emotions” of the conventional life). Realization of the Way of Divine Communion depends upon response to the Real when it communicates itself, by Grace, to the heart, or the feeling-intuition of the whole body (prior to thought), as all-pervading Presence.

And the realizations that arise in every moment of devotional sacrifice (of attention and of the whole being) are felt realizations, intuitive rather than conceptual, not cool, like the witnessing of objects, but intense, like intentional participation in the sacrifice of one’s own life.

4.3

Whatever arises, one who lives action as true practice is obliged to live it as devotional sacrifice. This discipline must be maintained even under the most distracting conditions, even through the process of death, and beyond. Even if, as in sleep or instants of death, there is apparent loss of consciousness (the awareness of objects arising), the practice of sacrifice or feeling-surrender should continue from the instant there is awareness of any arising. In the perfect stage of practice, neither the arising nor the non-arising of objects and attention is significant.

4.4

The true sacrificial approach to the Divine, the true turning of self to the practice of devotion, which is the whole life made to serve God under all conditions, ensures that the spiritual connection to God is alive and the Divine’s quickening and awakening Power will be effective.

4.5

The perfect fulfillment of this Way depends upon the commitment, stability, and intensity of the devotee. The Divine Grace is reflected in various ways in each individual and over time, but it is eternally generated (not merely presently and especially generated, as in the case of exclusively bodily, yogic, or conditionally manifest influences). Therefore, it is all a matter of the availability of the individual to the process of participation in Grace.

4.6

In the soteriological and theological disputes of men it would appear as if the Law, which is Sacrifice, stands over against another great Principle, called by such names as Grace and Love. Thus, the Law might be something some men choose to follow or depend upon, whereas others might choose to follow or depend upon Grace. Salvation or realization or liberation may thus be viewed as totally different processes and kinds of fulfillment, depending upon whether one goes by the way of Sacrifice or by the way of Grace. But this is all a confusion, an artifice of human thinking. There is the Law, and it must in any case be fulfilled, or else experience will only reflect the failure. Salvation, realization, or liberation is or, are nothing other than realized fulfillment of the Law. And fulfillment of the Law is itself the only way, since, if the Law is not fulfilled in the present, it is not possible, by that means, to get closer to fulfillment of the Law.

The Law, or sacrifice, is thus the single and necessary Principle of the processes of existence, and therefore of every way of salvation, realization, or liberation. The controversy which is to the point is relative to the way of fulfillment of the Law, whether by egoic effort or by Grace.

The way of effort is self-made and serves self. Therefore, it cannot fulfill the Law and is not true. The only way is the way of dependence on Grace in each moment. But this way is not a way of by-passing the Law, of being “let off the hook.” It is the way of fulfilling the Law. It is simply, that self is not the principle of the action, but the Reality, the very Divine, is the Principle. The Divine is itself the process of the Law. Thus, the Way is not a matter of stepping out of the realms of the Law into the realms of Grace. It is the Way of participating with conscious enjoyment in the process of the Law, or sacrifice. It involves abandonment of the principle of self-effort, of subjective and objective strategies and results, of mind and body, and yielding as total felt-attention of life and consciousness to the Divine Reality through every form of existence as service. The difference is between the cool and self-possessed way of effort, in which self is the center, and the loving way of devotion, in, which the Divine is the center.

Both ways require great concentration and energy. But the way of effort requires concern for action and results, whereas the way of dependence on Grace is free of concerns and is simply present absorption in-the Divine Reality, which is Perfect Sacrifice.

The Divine is not an Object or an Objective Subject, an Other, but a Process, which is Sacrifice. The Divine includes all, is all, and yet is no thing and no one. The Divine is a Paradox. Salvation, realization, liberation, or true existence involves present alignment of the whole being (all functions) with the Process of Sacrifice. The self is not the root of the method of this alignment, but must itself be included in the sacrifice. Therefore, sacrifice may not be achieved, it is not a rule that can be obeyed, but it is the Law, which demands to be realized, not followed like a rule. The way of realization of the Law is dependence on or complete yielding to the position of Grace, or the Divine itself. In this way, the Divine is approached first as Presence, and, at last, it is Realized as the unqualified Reality, the Condition of conditions. The quality of approach is determined by the quality of realization in any moment. But, since Grace is not other than the Law itself, sacrifice is the Principle that constantly tests the consciousness and the life. We are able to fulfill the Law because God is the Law and includes us. We cannot fulfill the Law if we are presently and in principle separate from the Law and alienated from its fulfillment. The negative view produces the reaction of self-effort. The positive or right view produces the natural enjoyment of the Law’s fulfillment.

4.7

Enjoyment, or prior Happiness, is the foundation of the fulfillment of the Law in the true man. Such a one is tested by the Law. And he or she must be considered, measured, and known through the Law Sacrifice is God. Realization or liberation is worship of God in Spirit, Truth.

4.8

There is the present life. There is the event of death that involves abandonment of this life. There are further events of transition beyond this life. And there are all the lives and events that follow. These are not many things, but a single process that requires the same of us in each instance: fulfillment of the Law, which is sacrifice. We are obliged to realize each moment, each event, each life, every instance as sacrifice. In this sense, it is all death, and. death is the source of life or regeneration. Wherever we have failed to realize or live the Law, we are obliged to be humbled and tested by the Law. This is karma, the root of the usual adventure of life and death. But for one who is true, death does not follow life , life follows upon death, or sacrifice. Such a one is relieved of obligations and is happy. What arises for such a one has not the force of karmic destiny but the quality of Only God.

4.9

Immortality is not mere factual survival-as it would be if immortality were simply the answer or solution to the problem-dilemma of death. It is to abide in the natural position (Intuition of the Real Condition), even if death occurs because, from the point of view of such Intuition, death if it arises, can only be understood to be a moment of the very process that is already immortal and glorifying. In that case, death is not a problem-dilemma, and, therefore, it requires no solution or answer. It is perfectly coincident, if it occurs (and it is not to be sought), with immortality and is simply another moment of love, sacrifice, or devotion.

4.10

I saw a man walking on the beach. His body was slightly bent, he did not look up, and he appeared thus to be pondering deeply, undistracted by outer and worldly concerns or observations. But then, all of a sudden, he stooped to the ground and began to examine some small shells in the sand. It became clear that, all the while, he had been walking the beach, eyes fixed to the ground, looking for sea shells. There is a lesson in this. By virtue of ordinary yogic practice, and the concern and concentration upon common objects, high and low, within the field of cognition, the individual may appear profoundly detached, spiritual, occupied with the Divine Reality or Truth. But this is an illusion that both he and any observer of his appearance may share. Beware of such an illusion in yourself. True devotion is not in itself an activity relative to functions, objects, and arising conditions themselves, but it is a process of attention directly and presently relative to the revealed Divine, the Source and Real Condition of what presently arises, including the sense of separate and defined self.

4.11

There is no inwardness in God, and nothing is external to God. The same is true of the devotee of God, who enjoys the present Realization of God as the Only Condition.

4.12

At every stage of practice attention is to, be constantly turned from conditions in themselves to the revealed Divine Reality. However, attention alone is not sufficient. In every moment, attention must be followed yielding of the whole being,-with feeling and in the same “direction.” Only thus is the obligation of devotional sacrifice fulfilled.

4.13

Devotional sacrifice is the-sacrifice-or yielding of attention rather than the demanding of attention (or the obsession with self-attention in the devotee, the whole being must become felt attention to the Divine. It is not mere mental attention, but felt attention or felt yielding of the whole being. Nothing short of this is the foundation condition of right action or real and spiritual practice.

4.14

The principle or key motivation behind all the negative dramatizations enacted by human beings in the relational play of life is the demand or search for attention. The demand for attention is generated as a search for a solution to the dilemma or inherent tension in the being created by its identification with a defined, separated, and thus separative condition of conscious or manifest existence.

Right action is a response to the demand for action as relationship, Lawful action, rather than action as a self-referential or negative dramatization (which always engages in relationship indirectly, or is antagonistic to relational conditions, and which secretly and strategically pursues the acquisition of the attention of others, of the world, of God, etc.). The demand for the devotee to realize the conditions of life as service to the Divine through the Spiritual Master is, in effect, relative to all the conditions of relational life, a demand for action as direct, sacrificial participation in the true condition of relationship, rather than a strategic search for consoling attention to the ego from the realm outside the ego. The search for attention to one’s own being is the search for power, high and low, spiritual and mundane.

Maturity in the Way of Divine Communion is shown be the signs of relaxation from such childish self-meditation and demands for attention, the general relaxation of obsessive negative patterns and unlawful, self-indulgent habits (the practical disciplines or “conditions’, should be stable maintained), and a restoration of the natural process of relational rather than reflexive (self-referring) attention. All of this is epitomized in the stable realization, as a revelation be Grace, of the natural, direct, and primary form of devotion, or sacrifice of attention, from the heart or psychic being, to the revealed all-pervading Presence.

Those who do not demonstrate such maturity with great stability should not presume or be given responsibility for the formal study or the practices of the Way of Relational Enquire.

4.15

When the individual is established in this Way of Divine Communion, in a mutually sacrificial relationship with me, and when he or she begins to spend time in me Company, the workings of me spiritual influence will be demonstrated in the stirring up of the hidden well of his or her subjective life, and the progressive quickening of the whole affair of true hearing, random and spontaneous self-observation insight, and devotional sacrifice. Thus, the Way of Divine Communion develops when the individual becomes truly or sacrificially established in this Divine through me.

4.16

Literal, heart-felt surrender, true of the whole and undefined body-being, is the fundamental necessity of the whole Way of Divine Ignorance. Insofar as it is literal and heart-felt, it does not “happen” to us, but it is natural (and, in that sense, spontaneous), voluntary, and even intentional. However, it does not also become true by willful, subjective, or self-manipulative effort goal-oriented strategy in dilemma. It cannot become true by any sequence of changes. It only is true, or not, while at the same time literal. It is true on the basis of Ignorance, or unqualified intuition of the Real Condition of all conditions. Not any other fact or condition, effort or surmise makes our surrender true.

In the Way of Divine Communion, surrender (or literal and true fulfillment of the Law, which is Sacrifice) is obliged upon us via all the practical and spiritual conditions. Literal, intense, heart-felt surrender is thus our obligation relative to the Divine Presence of the Spiritual Master under all conditions, moment to moment. This surrender becomes literal through our right response and action. However, our surrender does not become true by the same means. It is true only on the basis of direct, intuitive Communion with the Divine Presence, to which we are constantly reawakened by undefined Grace, and through the Teaching and Initiatory Service of the Spiritual Master. Surrender is true only in Divine Ignorance. In the Way of Divine Communion, our surrender is tacitly true of us, prior to all causation and every effect, in egoless or uncontracted contemplative Communion with the Divine Presence. Thus, our own surrender is true only by Grace, but literal only by right action in response to Grace.

The Grace of true surrender must be awakened in us, and cannot be intended or willed into being. Therefore, do not presume the Divine Presence, in the manner of self-possessed knowers and believers. Allow yourself, to be awakened to the Divine Presence, moment to moment. Allow, the Divine Presence to reveal and communicate itself, and to become attractive to the point where your natural activities became, literal expressions of surrender.

The Spiritual Master constantly serves a transcendental Initiatory Function, prior to time and space, whereby true hearers of the Teaching are awakened to the Divine Presence and Real Condition of all conditions. Therefore, this same Function makes devotees, or those whose surrender is both literal and true, out of ordinary men and women. The perpetual Samadhi of the Spiritual Master is the Agent or Function of such awakening. Therefore, it is appropriate to contact such a one through true hearing and right preparation, so that we may be awakened to true Divine Communion in his Company and mature more and more perfectly in literal Realization of the Truth of the Real Divine Presence.

4.17

Whatever is not Lawful is fateful. Whatever is not sacrifice in Truth cannot fulfill the Law, and, therefore, deceives all parties. Sacrifice in Truth is not self-effort but present intuition of the Condition of the world, the body, the life, the mind,, all knowledge (high and low), and the ego-soul. Fulfill the ordinary obligations of life with humor, peacefully, and allow the spiritual and meditative discipline to awaken truly and become constant. What may be gained by dreaming is no consolation to one who is truly awake.


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