THE LAW OF SACRIFICE: THE FORM OF ALL THE WORLDS
What is it that you mean, that you are signifying and pointing to, when you say or feel you are suffering, unhappy, not at ease? You are pointing to your own action and finding it as the experience of separation, contraction, pain’. But it is the compulsive and 3.1 presently not-conscious avoidance of relationship, relative to the Divine Presence, and relative to all arising conditions. When this action becomes your responsibility, then these experiences and concerns will become obsolete by degrees in the action of God Communion, and then in the intuition of your true Condition.
You are not, fundamentally, suffering what is happening or has happened or will happen to you. Your suffering is your own activity. And you are suffering from what you are doing. Thus, you also suffer from what happens to you. Release comes by Grace in the Company of the Divine, initially by absorption in the true or God-Condition via a new or true action (the Way of Divine Communion) that makes the old action of suffering obsolete, and then, more perfectly, by radical, intuitive insight (the Way of Relational Enquiry and the Way of Re-cognition), wherein you come to abide perfectly in the prior Condition or Only God (the Way of Radical Intuition).
Since suffering is not itself a matter of your conditions, or what has happened, is happening, or will happen to you, but a matter of your own present activity, which is contraction of the field of the heart or of attention (which is felt-Radiance of the whole undefined body), or self-definition, the avoidance of relationship, release is not a matter of a change in your conditions or circumstances. Liberation or salvation involves, principally, not a change in your conditions but a transformation of your relationship to or participation in forms of action. Bondage or suffering is identical to a form of your own activity. Liberation or salvation is release from the force and implications of all action.
In the more mature stages of practice one moves by a process of critical insight toward the intuition of the Divine and prior Condition. Prior to that, in the Way of Divine Communion, one duplicates from the outset a form of action that is perfect or true by design, and it is, by degrees, made perfect and true by Grace. But all four stages of the Way of Divine Ignorance are essentially founded in this true action or Divine Communion from the beginning, since all individuals must, via an intelligent, intuitive, heart-felt, and practical response, become God’s devotees in order for spiritual life to begin and to be fulfilled.
This true action is devotion, or continuous return of self and all its contents and circumstances to the Divine Condition. Such realized devotion is itself Samadhi, Bhava, perfect Intuition, Love, and Bliss. It is the perfect fulfillment of the Law, which is sacrifice. Each must turn to me, making the constant natural effort of self-giving and loving service, and I become his or her servant in return. And each, in the due order of his appropriate practice, will realize his sacrifice more and more perfectly as God-Realization.
The Way of Divine Communion, which is the foundation and ongoing principle of the entire Way of Divine Ignorance, involves a counteraction or other action, wherein the action that is suffering is made obsolete by non-use. The two middle stages of practice, the Ways of Relational Enquiry and Re-cognition, involve critical insight and technical responsibility for the action that is suffering and delusion. The action that is suffering and delusion dissolves at last, and there is only the no-action of the Way of Radical Intuition (Sahaj Samadhi and Bhava Samadhi), which is prior establishment in Only God or Real Consciousness. Salvation or liberation is not, then, itself a kind of action in the conventional sense. It is not identical to any “act” of devotion. In perfect devotion there is no actor (no defined self or self-position) and no Object. The Condition that is Divine Ignorance itself must be realized from the beginning in the true case of such intuitive devotion. The course of practice involves forms of action or conventional responsibility. But the Realization itself, which is the Condition of Divine Communion, is prior to action and re-action. Realization is not the action of love, but the intuition that is Love, or Conscious Bliss, the Condition of all conditions.
Such Realization becomes your enjoyment in this moment not by exclusion, separation, and escape into some other condition. Realization or release in Truth is not any solution in conflict with the whole of what arises or any condition that arises. Rather, it is a matter of realizing the true nature of whatever presently arises. All that arises is only a modification, not other than your present, real, true, and eternal Condition. There is only God. In this Realization in the present there is no conflict, no fascination, no separation, no self, no knowledge. There is no interest in any implication or alternative or condition in itself. One fulfills the conventions and even lives with great intensity, but there is only God, and attention is dissolved in Consciousness.
There is no god that is God.
There is no God, no Objective Creator or Source, that is God.
There is no God to be known over against the world or the self.
There is only God.
God does not stand over against and independently. God is not an alternative to any thing or any one. God is not other, or Other. God may not even, in Truth, be turned to at last, for such a God is other and conceived by an other. The Presence of God is not apart from self but is the Condition of self. In true contemplation of the Presence, the self is lost.
God is Paradox, Only Reality.
When all childish considerations of God as Parent and all adolescent considerations of God as Principle are understood and cease to be used, then God is realized by the mature man, who is undermined by the onliness of God.
God is not identical to any location.
God is not apart from any location.
God is not identical to within, nor without.
God is not shown or realized independently, in any body, realm, or experience.
God is not merely above the body, the mind, and the worlds. God is prior to the body, the mind, and the worlds.
God is not in fact the Creator, but the Paradox in which all appearances are released from the power of implications, high and low.
God is the radical Nature and Condition of consciousness under the present conditions.
God is the world. God is prior to the world. God is only. This is the Paradox: The Existence is everything, beyond all harm, and I-am-the-body is Love.
There is one Truth: Unqualified Ignorance, which is the Heart and the Mind.
There is one Life: Unqualified Radiance, or Bliss-Fullness, which is the Body.
There is one Way: Unqualified Love, which is the Law of Sacrifice, the Form of all worlds.
Ego is not an entity by 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. Such is Sahaj Samadhi. On this basis, there is also Radical Intuition of the Real, prior to all objectification of subjects, objects, and relations, which is Bhava Samadhi.
In the Way of Divine Communion, the ego position of contraction (as self, thoughts, reactive emotions, habits of activity and knowledge, and the like) is undermined via heart-felt relational attachment to the Presence awakened in the Company of the Spiritual Master. The more this heart-felt relational attachment absorbs or involves the elements of the born, contracted, and usual individual, the more the form of contraction relaxes, and the more the being comes to rest in the native Condition, which is heart-felt Radiance, or Love, prior to every aspect of egoic contraction.
The transition from contraction to Feeling Radiation must be total. It is not merely bodily, vital, and emotional. It is utter Release of the position of separate self and every form of knowledge, experience, thought, perception, or implication, high or low. Thus, the Way is not perfected in the stage of Divine Communion, but it progressively matures, in the case of the relentless devotee, until it becomes Sahaj Samadhi (the Equanimity of Native Radiance, or Love) and Bhava Samadhi (the Equanimity of Undifferentiated Happiness) in the Way of Radical Intuition.
The ego, all thought (conception-perception), the body, all conditions, whether apparently subjective or apparently objective, are a single Process of spontaneous present arising. They are all forms of tendency. The ego is simply the presumed center of such tendencies, as the world is the presumed conditional boundary and God the presumed unconditional boundary of such tendencies. But ego, world, and presumed or believed God are themselves only conditions (conceptions) arising. They are versions of the same tendency or Process of spontaneous present arising. The ego (self or soul) is not something in itself, but is only the process of tendencies, as is the body and every thought. There is no center, no self then, but only spontaneous present arising.
This is clear in Ignorance, when we have become so free in attention that forms of body and mind cease to distract and the Condition of our very existence may be pondered. Such pondering is instigated by the Teaching of the Spiritual Master. When true hearing has awakened on this basis, then the Presence of the Spiritual Master may itself be felt. It becomes clear in devotion to the Presence, so Communicated, that no self, or mind, or body, or world, or God apart, but only the Presence, unspeakable and all-pervading, is true and Truth. Submission to the Grace that is the Presence is thus the only true Way, and every stage of practice and Realization in the Way is awakened in this manner.
Life or mere birth is not for the purpose of God Realization, but for the purpose of experience or manifest play. Life becomes engaged to the possibility of God-Realization only once the inherent conflict and suffering of the play of experience, high and low, has yielded to the insight and impulse upon which the transitional or cultural way of life (the Way of Divine Communion) depends. Life is fitted to the purpose of God-Realization only via such conscious adaptation to the true spiritual path.
Real spiritual practice is a manly or truly human occupation. The action of such practice is a manly or mature human action. That is, such action is done for its own sake, and its enjoyment is inherent, a form of present contemplation. The action of the child or the usual and childish man is done for the sake of reward, or something that follows as a result. Childish action is the action of seeking in dilemma.
The childish strategy in a man insists that he be cured of his tendencies before he will stop dramatizing them. Thus, he exploits all his conflicting impulses in a complex life, and always, by this, is asking to be relieved of the whole affair. But the childish way is the way of no responsibility, which assumes the Real to be a kind of Parent-Force. True manliness is to take one’s life in hand, in lieu of any cure, and bring it under the discipline of right action, so that no other man is disturbed or threatened by one’s existence, but, rather, disciplined, helped, and humored in his own life. One who thus abandons his (or her) childishness soon enjoys insight into the play of things and, by insight, is mastered by the Law (which is sacrifice).
The non-dramatization of our lives is our own responsibility, and this responsibility must certainly be realized, or else the world is inherited by mad children and overwhelmed by births and deaths.
The conventional view of our lives focuses on the motivating self-image, the “case,” or interpreted problematic identity, which is to be transformed or overcome by prescribed or discovered remedial actions.
The effort to transform the “case” is made by the interiorized Parent or Deity, in the form of a conceived higher self-image. It is to take on the role, relative to one’s own poor life, of the Parent-Deity-Transformer. The “Doctor-Deity” must analyze the individual as a “case,” but if the individual is to be truly and actually healed, he or she must only accept practical responsibilities, not a self-image made of disease.
In true life-practice, including one’s own healing, the principle of transformation cannot be active as reflected self-image, the motivating problem-ego. Rather, one must take on practical responsibilities that take one’s circumstances and tendencies into account, but self (ego, the action of the avoidance of relationship) must be made obsolete by the action of sacrifice, of Divine Communion, founded in intuitive Understanding (prior Ignorance), not of self-image. The ego must be undermined and replaced by the intuitive response of sacrifice (release into the Real Condition), rather than any remedial and, ultimately, self-preserving re-action to the problematic self-image or self-presentation. Such a conventional strategy is itself egoic, however sublime its goal. The re-action that is self or ego (the “case” or problematic self-image) must be replaced by the intuitive action of sacrifice, or Communion with the Divine Reality. Such is the Way of Ignorance, or Radical Understanding.
This Way is not realized by reaction to one’s self-image or “case” but by response to the offering of the Grace of Communion made by the Divine, through the agency of the true Spiritual Master. One responds to this offering not by rejection of self as “case,” or life functions in general, but by Understanding and becoming responsible for all resort to the principle of ego-self, the motivating “case,” the principles of self-image and remedy, the whole action of the avoidance of relationship. When this Understanding appears in the midst of confrontation with the Teaching and the conditions of life in the service of the Spiritual Master, then the whole being of the individual begins more and more to turn intuitively and consciously into Communion with the Spiritual Master in God. Only such intelligent and intuitive Communion is true spiritual practice. Only such Communion is the principle of transformation in which separated existence is Realized in God or the Condition of Truth. All other ways are forms of conventional remedial strategy founded in the view of self as “case,” and as such are only extensions of the binding egoic path of karmic and cosmic life.
The effective principle of the Way of Divine Communion is not that you are a “case” to be transformed by some means, but that you do not know what a single thing is, even the “case” you might try to transform by effort.
Truth or God is not a Condition to be realized by willful esoteric or super-scientific efforts. Such Happiness is truly and permanently realized only on the basis of the complete moral or sacrificial transformation of the apparently individual and human consciousness. It is not a matter of merely relaxing life or body and sending the attention elsewhere by exercises of esoteric meditation. It is a matter of the undermining of the whole principle of one’s ordinary and extraordinary actions and forms of knowledge.
Few are willing to endure such a process. Therefore, illusory and consoling ways have been created by compassionate, clever, and deluded men. But the scheme of all the universes, mortal and immortal, high and low, with its endless times of birth and death, and its numberless kinds of learning, is itself the way and the destiny of all ordinary and extraordinary men. Only those who weary of the usual way become willing to engage the Divine Process, in which their very life consciousness is sacrificed in its own Condition and Nature. All others, high and low, are devoted to their own unending path, from which there is no perfect relief, except on the day all worlds, ages, and heavens dissolve in the sleep of God.
My Teaching is a living practice with people. Those who only spend time with me, watching, thinking, and imitating, serving their image of private consciousness, and then move on, are in conflict with my Teaching. They believe they have completed the Way in my Company, but in fact are now only indulging a partial philosophical point of view and an independent, self-possessed way of life. They simply cannot maintain a permanent spiritual responsibility. Everything that I am doing is a way of being instructive in living terms with people. Particularly in the past, when I was more theatrically involved with individuals, there were all kinds of changes in my manner of dealing with people, all kinds of lessons, all kinds of arguments in the form of my play with people, and in the form of my speech, or consideration. But the Teaching has been and is essentially always the same.
The Knee of Listening and other books that have been in print for some time now still communicate the essential point of view. The Paradox of Instruction, Breath and Name, and other books yet to come, are all intended to serve the same Understanding. The Way of Divine Communion is, like all practice in my Company in the past, a Way of life begun on the basis of having considered my argument. That argument is based on and expressed through all the play and consideration that has gone on in my Company.
In order to take up the Way of Divine Ignorance, including its first stage, the Way of Divine Communion, that argument must be effective. Its essential point must be presumed, its lesson must be presumed. That lesson can be stated in all kinds of ways, but it has been communicated by me in the past through the image of Narcissus, the separate and separative motive, the seemingly involuntary contraction of the field of awareness. The Way of Divine Communion is founded, in the case of each individual, on his or her having heard that argument, having responded to it, having seen in his or her experience what in fact life is. Each individual is self-possessed, mind-possessed, body-possessed, world-possessed. Each is involved in chronic reaction or contraction of the being that disposes each and all to the destiny of the usual life. Only on the basis of conviction by this argument may anyone take up this path, this greater Way, which is essentially the Way of the dissolution of the habit and path and destiny of Narcissus, the separative principle.
If we live independent of the undoing of that separative principle, we realize the destiny of unconsciousness, dis-ease, death, disharmony, illusion, delusion, suffering. If we take up a Way of life that is the undoing of that whole path and principle, this world does not become a paradise-although hopefully things improve, depending on your characteristics altogether-but certainly the being enters into lawful participation in this arising here. Lawful, however, means sacrificial. So the transition remains difficult, obliging us to creative participation.
And our Realization is radically transcendental. It has nothing whatsoever to do with this world or any world, even though these present conditions and other conditions may appear to arise. The Realization is prior to all arising, just as it is prior to the separative destiny lived by Narcissus. The individual in the Way of Divine Communion, having responded to the argument of the Teaching, enters into a process of transition from the usual conventional adaptation, the way of Narcissus in all its forms of possession, into the way of submission to Grace. The whole Way of Divine Ignorance is the way of submission to Grace. The way of Narcissus is the independent way. Narcissus is the one who survives against odds on his own for his own sake, ultimately realizing only his own illusory destiny.
In the Way of Divine Communion there is the Realization that the vulnerability that is separateness is fundamentally an illusion, and one that is created by one’s own action or presumption.
Our suffering is single, but so true of us it is everywhere and universally displayed. We are each one possessed of a lie, believed from our experience. Our experience, however factual, is not Truth. The lie is not merely subjective, but seems to be proven even in the structures of this solid world, the dream in which we are all involved. Until we awaken, the worlds of all arising, within and without, oblige us by this lie and stand forth as the very theatre of this lie.
The lie is single, irreducibly true of us in the dream. It is the belief each of us has that “I” is my Condition, that the Truth of me is within, in the form of an inner or subjective self, existing prior to and presently or even eternally independent of all other selves, objects, and conditions, and not in any sense arising as a dependent function of relations, like a shape or a thing, but separate, deep, shapeless but unique, and inside, like a bird in a cage. Such a belief also implies a necessary destiny. It is a picture of dilemma. It is not merely separate. It is separated, separative, and even believed or known by an act of separation. It is a belief that makes us eternally anxious. It motivates us always to escape. It is plight, an opportunity of many possibilities, but, nonetheless, a torment, a limiting condition on the Absolute. It is suffering. The dream of life has an aura of Absolute, but Absolute is not found. The Absolute is always conceived somehow within us, or sought outside us, whereas our Ignorance is the only Way to Realize it.
We are not Truth in ourselves. Truth is our Condition, and that of all arising. But Truth is not found outside, nor is it within. It is, rather, in the Mystery of Ignorance. All these selves that imagine themselves Absolute inside are no more Absolute within than hand or foot. “I” is the whole body talking (gross, subtle, causal, transcendental), and “I” is a dependent product of relations, of this whole Pattern arising, high and low. “I” arises out of Mystery, the Real, but “I” itself is not independent or Absolute. “I” is dependent, unable to exist or to realize itself independent of any other “I” or even of a single molecule or event in the endless worlds, high or low, spiritual and material. “I” is unable to exist except in terms of relations. It is the present body. When the present body dissolves, a new “I”-presentation arises among new relations. There is no Absolute “I.” What is within is not Truth, not our Condition, but it is simply a play or stream of considerations of the Pattern of relations.
Because we conceive of our Condition as “I,” as within and independent, we are bound to a tormented destiny, an adventure in dilemma, a dream of escape and fulfillment. We are trapped in subjectivity, in wordless pondering and in thought, while at the same time the subject feels eternally trapped in self, in thoughts, in feelings, in desires, in energies, in bodies, in worlds. The bird is always in flight for its life, for escape, but there is no escape, because our conception of our Condition is a lie that perpetuates a single, eternal destiny or dream of existence, incident by incident, concept by concept.
The Way of Truth is the Way of Ignorance. In this Way, there is release from subjectivity, from the lie of the inward Absolute, the outer Limit or death, and all the archetypes by which we and the world and the Divine become meanings, like “I” and “Earth” and “God who made us.”
There must be liberation from subjectivity and the subject. Our resort is not within. There must be liberation from the independence of the self as Absolute. Our existence in the realms of experience is not one of eternally prior, relationless independence of self. Our life is a play of relations. Our subjectivity is a reflection of relations, and itself a pattern of relations. We are played, and yet we struggle to win. We play at independence like an Absolute, but our very existence in the play is dependent on relations.
Our way of life must represent what we are. We must be submitted to the Law, which is sacrifice, or the discipline of relationship. This discipline confounds our subjective independence, and when we are thoroughly confounded by the Law, which is the Pattern itself, then the Truth, which is our only resort, becomes obvious, so that we are awakened, translated out of the dream into the Real.
Our perfect awakening is in the radical Samadhi or Real Condition of uncaused Intuition. Such is the Enjoyment of devotees in the Way of Radical Intuition. But every devotee, at every stage of practice, is awakened in moments and in his or her fundamental certainty. Therefore, devotees in the Way of Divine Communion, who are given up to the Presence which impinges itself upon them and attracts them by Grace, are also one with this Ignorance, and their Understanding coincides 3.14 with Truth rather than subjectivity and the flight of self from Grace and all relations.