THE “BRIGHTENING” WAY TALK SERIES
THE “BRIGHTENING” WAY TALK SERIES – The Yajna Discourses of Santosha Adi Da (1995-1996) – Gathering “Considerations” with Beloved Adi Da Samraj, at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort and the Manner of Flowers, December 29 and 30 1995, and January 3, 1996.
THE “BRIGHTENING” WAY TALK SERIES
The Yajna Discourses of Santosha Adi Da –
Volume , Number
The Paradox of Entanglement
A Gathering “Consideration” with Beloved Adi Da Samraj in the Manner of Flowers on January 11, 1996
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Maybe we could start off by one of you explaining everything. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Good luck! [pause]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: In one brief paragraph. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: A few words or less.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Im serious!
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So start explaining. [laughter] This is your final exam for the week. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: You are here. Were going to die. And practice.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, that’s one way of summarizing it. Anybody else got a total explanation to add?
DEVOTEE: Radiant Life-Consciousness.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm. [to Devotee] Do you have one there?
DEVOTEE: I’ve got to finish appreciating what Devotee just said. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: How about, You are the Divine Person, Beloved, and we are Contemplating You.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: “How about”? [laughter]
DEVOTEE: As an entry, as an entry.
DEVOTEE: As a suggestion.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It sounds very tentative.
DEVOTEE: Beloved, I was struck by . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: A truck. [laughter] Is that what you’re about to tell us? That’s all he had, anyway. No, you werent struck by a truck, that’s good.
DEVOTEE: How what You allowed us to witness and participate in is the ancient practice of Sravana and Manana and Nididhyasana, because that was exactly the process that You have shown to us. Listening at the feet of the Great One, and the whole meditative and Contemplative process that Youve shown us. And then the immersion in the Great Well of Being that You allowed us to experience.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Ah, Tcha. You all have total certainty that you are the Witness?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And the Well Exists? [murmurs of agreement] And That’s all there Is? But you haven’t Realized any of this, is that it? [laughter] Hm? You have or you haven’t?
DEVOTEE: My gosh, Beloved, we have.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: We? [laughter]
DEVOTEE: He realized beyond himself. [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, what were you going to say?
DEVOTEE: We have realized it. [more laughter] I mean, I have.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: What is this “we”? Youre talking about Realization and right away you give Me the “we” word. The “we” word is just a lot of “I” words.
DEVOTEE: It’s the “us” of “I” words.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It doesnt sound like Realization to Me. What?
DEVOTEE: By Your Grace Lord, I have Realized it.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: [Devotee laughing.] This is funny?
DEVOTEE: Devotee looking forward to Your Response, I believe.
DEVOTEE: No. It was the “through Your Grace [Devotee says the next words with Devotee] I have Realized” that seemed humorous.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes. Several curious choices of his words. And several paragraphs, which could be used as a matter of convention of course, but in his case? Naaaahhhh! [laughter]
Well, it seems like you just illustrated the paradox that you all seem to have agreed to.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: I mean, I’ve been listening to your expressions the last few nights, and we’ve of course discussed various things about this. My impression, as I said, is that you are paradoxically on the one hand saying you’ve Realized all of these, all of this, and yet you haven’t. Which says something about you, and it may be interesting to “consider”. But Realization being what It is, it would seem that either It is or It isnt. But paradoxically you all claim both. [murmurs]
DEVOTEE: Uh-hah! Ha!
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Even the suggestion you make every time we finish one of our meetings and you say youll examine yourself during the day and see whether this continues or changes or goes away and so on, suggests something paradoxical about whatever it is that you feel you’ve Realized. In other words, you’re right there saying it is so, it is completely evident to you, but youll observe yourself [People begin to laugh and Beloved speaks with a smile in His voice.] during the day today and see.
Realization It’self is not something that requires a test. It’s just self-evident. In terms of whether It’s going to last or not, theres no question about it. It’s not of the nature of a characteristic experience of the body-mind, where its kind of an object, kind of a mysterious object that you’re associated with and like your experience of conditional objects in general, they pass, change and pass and whatnot. It’s not like that.
To Realize, the body-mind must be transcended. All of its means are transcended. Realization is then a direct matter, not via conditions, not held in place by conditions. So it is not something about which there can be any doubt. And yet, as I said, paradoxically you all appear to affirm that you followed this “consideration” fully and entered into these Samadhis and such. But on the other hand, you suggest theres something possibly tentative about it. Maybe or maybe not its actually Realization. Maybe it’ll be true of you tomorrow, maybe it wont. And even while we’ve been here having discussions, well go off on some matter or other, and I’ll ask you about this matter of the Witness again, and generally you all said you had passed away from it, you had forgotten it, and gotten involved in the mechanics of the body-mind and such.
So as I said, you seem to be collectively making a paradoxical confession that all these matters of Great Realization I’ve “considered” with you are true of you and yet they are not. Or in some sense there seems to be, in each of your cases, two of you, as in the Upanishadic story. There are two birds in a tree. And one is busy devouring the fruit and such, and the other simply witnesses the event. That was written a long time ago, perhaps twenty-five hundred years ago or so. Not a sophisticated TV-minded bit of noticing.
You could say that what’s being illustrated there is two different kinds of people. You know, the kind of people who just become involved in conditional existence, and those who become detached, even stand prior to it. In other words, you could say this was a lesson somebody was trying to give to somebody else. You can be either one of these two. So its that. It was intended to be a lesson in that manner. But it also is an illustration of the paradox of human beings.
The story is not about two different people merely, or two aspects of, or two different kinds of personalities in some person. The fact that the story is told of the two birds being in a tree, the tree is a representation of the human body. And the two birds are two ways you have of being, and you’re all familiar with both of them now. [murmurs]
In your body-mind complex there are two positions, two ways of being in the tree. One is to connect via the mechanics, perceiving, conceiving and so on, and become so involved in it all you forget where you are, just obliviously involved in the tree itself, in the fruits of the tree and such.
So this is one thing you notice about yourself. This is one way you have of being there in the tree. The other is the Witness, simply Witnessing, and yet aware of this psycho-physical complex, perhaps even aware of that part of the psycho-physical complex that’s very busy, thinking or perceiving or acting or whatever. So you all, certainly after our several days of “considering” these matters seriously, acknowledge that you have two points of view relative to all of this that we’ve been “considering”.
It is true that you entered into this “consideration” freely and in this Communion with Me Realized these various Samadhis and such. Theres some variations in how individuals approached it, but essentially you did this, and in your Communion with Me found it easy to locate the Witness and go on with the “Perfect Practice” and seventh stage “considerations” and so on.
And yet you also said that apart from those moments of steady Contemplation and Samadhi, as soon as you got involved in any uses of the body-mind at all, instead of simply abiding in that Samadhi, you became as if you were a different being. You forgot the Witness. You identified with the mind and with the whole body-mind, the entire body-mind and all kinds of associations past and present and whatnot, and desires, too. And actually just became those, or that whole complex, that whole drama. And yet I was able to readily call you back to the Witness-Position also. Just a reminder again, and all of a sudden that was true.
Well, this old Upanishadic text, then, has got many levels on which it could be interpreted, but perhaps most essentially it is a picture of the essential human experience. You are always standing in the Witness-Position, and yet you completely forget it in your involvements in the body-mind and its relations. And its not that this is some strange problem you have as an individual. This has been noticed as being a Truth about human beings universally, certainly as early as twenty-five hundred years ago when that Upanishad was written. It already was communicated as a universal statement about human beings, beings in general: Consciousness in conjunction with the Cosmic Domain.
So human beings have been noticing the same paradox that you all have been affirming to Me in this period of “consideration”. People in the ancient days acknowledged the same condition. They also noticed that human beings are either oblivious to the Self and involved in the body-mind and the life and such, or they recapture, re-establish themselves, or are re-established in the Native State, Prior to all of that, in the Witnessing, and with the capability to go into that Domain in depth, the Domain of the Witness It’self, That which Is the Witness, appearing as the Witness.
So it has anciently been acknowledged that it is simultaneously the case in human beings, both of these. So you all have noticed the Truth of this ancient paradox about the nature of your condition. It’s simultaneously true that you are Most Perfectly Enlightened, and totally unenlightened. [murmurs] That basically is what, in summary, you have said to Me. So you have acknowledged this anciently noticed predicament, we could perhaps call it, or strangeness, curiousness, that both could be true. There doesnt seem to be any way to mistake the intent of this ancient text, to say which of those are the better bird, the true bird in your tree.
Obviously the Witnessing bird is the good bird. [laughter] That’s why I call one of My bird friends Saakshi. Saakshi is the Sanskrit word for the Witness.
DEVOTEES: Oh! Beautiful.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Meaning exactly this that were “considering”. And shes a bird. You see? But of course shes got both birds in her tree. [laughter] So I named her that, and I suppose I must have had in mind this old Upanishad, because I even have a picture of it, using Saakshi and Kula. It’s over the sink now in the kitchen [at Aham Da Asmi Sthan]. Somebody sent it as a gift one time, having heard Me quote this old text.
DEVOTEE: Of course, Saakshi in that is just supposed to be the good bird, and Kula the bad one.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes. But so are all of you just supposed to be the good bird.
DEVOTEE: Saakshi gave it to You.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Saakshi gave me the picture? Oh, good. A picture of herself being a good bird. [laughter] Next to that bad Kula.
ANTODEVOTEE RANDAZZO: Does Kula mean something, Beloved?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, its one of the varieties of birds on the island. And he was found fallen out of his nest or whatever, and the parents werent around anymore, so he was kept secretly there for a while, until I guess it was My Birthday or something. And at that time, they were already calling it, calling the bird Kuladevi. I think they were calling it. At least they were referring to her, him, now we know [laughter], as a female. But also Kula means family, as in Gurukula. We use kula birds on the Island as symbols on some of the banners and whatnot representing this, as the Gurukula sign.
Before I got into all that in the kitchen and everywhere else, what was I talking about?
DEVOTEES: Two birds in the tree. The Witness. The good bird. [Everyone talks at once.]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Oh, yes. Yes, its clear that the intent of those that passed on the story was to indicate that the good bird was the Witness bird. In other words, that’s what there is to do. The picture is that of how human beings experience in general. They can notice the Witness, given the direction and so forth. But they otherwise are pecking around, obsessed with the fruits of the body-mind. You know?
So clearly this story is recommending something such as we have been “considering”, certainly in the context of the sixth stage of life. It’s a bit of a philosophical tale, told long ago to instruct people to discover that they Stand in the Witness-Position and be established there.
If it were just a bunch of hermits sitting around in the woods, taking one another very seriously and serving one anothers ultimate Realization, they probably would have just said something very directly about it. The fact that it was written in the form of a story made into a kind of bit of literature, or certainly oral literateness, or clear speaking, clear thinking altogether, to put it in the form of a story with images and so forth suggests not a popularization necessarily, but an intent to be broadly communicative to many people.
And of course these old texts now are available to just about anybody in book stores and such. And so if you understand this little story rightly, its basically something that we have been “considering” here. And up to the moment, you all appear to be agreeing now that you are aware of this tree situation, in which you, in some sense, are two different birds. Nobody has claimed to be the good bird yet, just plain old. In fact, I heard that Devotee summarized what you were all “considering” over there, and he said what it comes down to is they’re all wondering how to stay in the Witness-Position. [to Devotee] You said this before everybody arrived, do you recall?
He felt that basically that’s what your “consideration” came down to. Does that sound like what it was about?
DEVOTEES: Yes. Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE OKUN: That’s been Your “consideration”, My Lord.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Ah, it hasnt been Mine, no. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: [humorously quoting Hal from the previous gathering] “It’s the secret of The Knee of Listening”! [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: No, that is your “consideration”. It hasnt been My “Consideration”. How to stay in the Witness-Position has not been My “Consideration”. [laughter] But it did come up as a “consideration” for you all.
DEVOTEE: It certainly did.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: But what I just said, you experience the paradox of your human condition, and you take up both of these positions, most often the busy bird position. But you’ve noticed the difference since we’ve “considered” this matter of the Witness so profoundly, and you’re aware of it as well.
So even in the midst of our “considerations” here, you’ve all indicated something like this story in the Upanishad. You know there is this tree, this somehow-person, body-mind altogether, everything-that-you-are experience. And as I said, you either get attached in the body-mind and its relations, or perhaps sometimes, as in our “consideration” these last several days, you truly locate the Witness and have been able to maintain that Position long enough to enter into It to some significant degree and notice some things, realize some things about It.
But still when it comes down to it, you all basically have just confirmed the map of that old story, a tree with two birds in it. And you think of yourselves as being, in fact, especially since you think it, [quiet laughter] you think of yourselves as being this busy bird, this psycho-physical personality involved in the body-mind and its relations and such. But you do know something of this mystery of the Witness. And can very readily return to It if called to That, or whatever.
But, based on the position you are assuming, that of being the busy bird, it does come up for you as a “consideration” then: How do you get back to the Witness-Position? Or once there, how do you stay there? And so forth. But these are questions that the busy bird asks. As I said, you presume that that’s what you are and that is true of you. So its that one that feels separate from the Witness.
Whenever you are in that position of being the body-mind, you have to ask, “Well, what happened to the Witness-Position?” [laughter] “Where is it now?”
So it is your “consideration”.
DEVOTEE: Beloved, You were telling us about the Witness, and it seemed as if through Your Confession, which is the Way of the Heart, Youve brought Radiance, utter Radiance to the Witness-Position in a way that has never been reflected before, perhaps never Realized before. I mean, at least its starting to feel that way to me, because of the Fullness of Your Realization.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes. Not Realized before, not in the fullest seventh stage sense. There have been degrees of sixth stage Realizers and sixth stage practitioners and Realizers of various types also. But the typical course of sixth stage practices is based on dissociation, either strategic dissociation or dissociation coming about anyway, dissociation from phenomena, phenomenal existence, everything objective.
Of course, all of that is what is otherwise called the Shakti, What must be Realized to be the Inherent Radiance of the Divine Self-Condition. But if the practice is one of dissociating from phenomena, it is also one of dissociating from Shakti, the Inherent Radiance of Being. And so it becomes a kind of mind dharma, or a process that becomes associated with the subjective position of Consciousness certainly, but divorced from the Inherent Radiance, the “Bright”, or the Shakti, Maha-Shakti, dimension of Inherent Being.
So as I have been emphasizing to you, the Way of the Heart is a Spiritual course, and not associated with evolutionary ego-development, but with transcendence of egoity directly. But it is not merely mind dharma. It is a Spiritual process. So in this Way, the Awakening as the Witness is coincident with Spiritual Identification with Me. So the “Perfect Practice” is a Spiritual process, and not merely an exercise in the Domain of Consciousness separate from It’s own Radiance.
So you’ve been probably just wondering at the paradox of the fact that the Witness-Position can be so clear to you, and yet on the other hand, you are constantly finding yourself to be simply identified with the body-mind and entangled in its relations and so forth. So I gather you were basically just expressing a wonder at that, talking some, but not coming to any particular conclusions that are unusual. At least I haven’t heard any.
You see, I do intend for My devotees to “consider” the “Perfect Practice” from the beginning. I’ve said so. Everybody knows this, right? [DEVOTEES: Mm-hm.] And that means all devotees from the beginning should practice this “consideration” of the Witness. By studying My Teaching about this very matter of the “Perfect Practice”, you study this matter of the Witness.
In other words, if you study My “Perfect Practice” Teaching, you are “considering” this matter of the Witness inherently, inevitably. So this is why I’ve asked you to study this Teaching from the beginning. It’s not merely the Teaching that becomes significant for you when you become available for the “Perfect Practice”. It is a “consideration” I call you to enter into from the beginning as a way of growing you into the “Perfect Practice”, with all the other elements of your practice, also, but this added, this “consideration”, entered into with some frequency.
Otherwise you’re always being the busy bird. Youre not even being sympathetic with the matter of the Witness and so on. Youre not “considering” it. You see? Devotees in the Lay Renunciate Order certainly will intensively study the “Perfect Practice” Teaching, and all devotees at level three will do so because, in the general case, the transition to the “Perfect Practice” will be made at the point of maturity at level three.
But I Call all devotees to study that ultimate form of My Teaching, even from the beginning. Use it in the form of recitations, which you already do formally in pujas, and which you do otherwise sometimes, right? Make it part of your personal study fairly frequently, perhaps daily if you like. So you see, its like the hearing matter, I told you last night something about how its supposed to be conducted. It seems perfectly obvious that’s the way it should be, but it hadnt occurred to you.
The . intensive is this intensive “consideration” of My Word about hearing, and really entering into it, having all the basics of practice established. Well, so with the “Perfect Practice”. There is “consideration” that precedes it, that is directly about the “Perfect Practice”. You prepare yourself for hearing by listening to My Word about hearing. You prepare yourself for the “Perfect Practice” by listening to My Word about the “Perfect Practice”. And its not simply for those who are already engaged in the “Perfect Practice”.
So Im in this respect guiding you, again similarly to that old Upanishadic text. It’s supposed to serve as a constant reminder, even as a picture in somebodys mind so theyll remember it with some frequency. It’s a general admonition to practice taking up the Position of the Witness instead of the busy bird.
Remember to do this.
If you do it profoundly, then your position in the midst of existence will be that of the Witness. That’s when the “Perfect Practice” begins.
So you must study and enter into this “consideration”, even from the beginning, just as you do the hearing “consideration”, by listening from the beginning. So these hours we have spent in this “consideration” together are an example now for you all to use, even formally. Certainly in the LRO intensive and whatnot, but all devotees would do well to get together collectively to “consider” My “Perfect Practice” Teaching, and “consider” it there in a guided fashion, somebody serving this function, and do so formally.
You do this perhaps more frequently and more intensively and whatnot in the LRO, level three, and certainly at level six. But this is also something for all devotees to do. In addition to being given some sort of a study guide to the “Perfect Practice” literature, which they can engage in as a personal study, you should have these formal group occasions, as I’ve said. It can be any number of people there. It can be a small group or a larger group.
And you have all of the transcripts of these meetings we’ve had, and that’s basically what there is to do. Just use My Word there in fact, from these very “considerations”. Somebody would simply read it for everyone. And if you’re doing it as a transcript, you can have two people, one person representing what Im saying and the other person representing one of you speaking, asking a question and or saying something, so you can sort of represent some kind of a dialogue to everyone. In other words, essentially duplicate what we’ve been doing here. Duplicate it more or less exactly by using the transcript, rather than just making it up, you see. Somebody, who knows where they’re going to lead you! [laughter]
But then, when you’ve had experience doing that, you can try another way of doing it, which is a reality group, perhaps a group about that size, and you would initiate it with recitation perhaps of some transcripts from this period of gathering. But then allow it to become a “consideration” for everyone there, let a discussion that in and of itself becomes this process of perhaps examining some things, but moving always toward the Witness.
So people who are rather beginners at this, get them together with a group and have some one or two people do the recitation as a kind of guided meditation or guided “consideration” for everyone. But then, as I said, when people have had that experience significantly and are able to do it, perhaps at . groups or something, then as I said, you can use My Word to begin with and then have it generate a “consideration”. But the group leaders, of course, have the responsibility to see to it that it keeps moving on to the purposed “consideration”.
So, these are basic examples, then, of how I suggest you use this “consideration”. Again, as I said, people don’t even seem to know that this is what they’re supposed to be doing. For instance, when I got here [in September], they didn’t even know what Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga was really. You all just do some generalized things and expect all kinds of remarkable things to just sort of happen like magic.
No, the sadhana I’ve given you is very specific, very detailed, very explicit. So you must follow My Instructions explicitly. If you’re going to hear Me, you have to listen to My Word about hearing and enter into it intensively, personally, in your groups, and that’s how people become hearers, having established all the foundation practices to begin with. But you all didn’t seem to think that’s what it was. You thought you were just going to talk case at one another and somewhere along the line [people start to laugh and Beloved chuckles] somebody magically in the cultural department says you’ve heard, you know? [laughter]
I mean, you thought hearing was going to come out of not even listening, turning a deaf ear! You thought it was going to be a product of your case talk. Well, what does case talk have to do with hearing? Revelation of the so-called case is simply for the sake of refining disciplines and such, and its an early stage of the process of making use of reality groups. But the true process of listening is when all of that is established, and, as I said, you concentrate in My Word about hearing.
Well, so with the “Perfect Practice” then. If you simply entered into the stages of life as they are, then you would simply live out the stages of life as they are. In other words, unless you’re just going to fulfill the destiny associated with any stage of life, you must bring unique equipment to the circumstance in order to transcend yourself instead of developing a destiny. My Instructive Word to you, then, is what keeps you straight, keeps you aligned to the real process, Instructs you all about it. So you must use My Word constantly, and very directly, not merely in the form of one-liners you remember, quote, read them, read them aloud, read them to yourself, whatever. You should be constantly addressing My Word, and responding by doing the practice indicated there.
Because its only by combining yourself with My Word that you go through the process that is the Way of the Heart. It’s not by being generalized religious that the stages of this Way develop. Theyre not merely evolutionary. Theyre associated with a unique responsibility on the part of the individual, as well as a unique relationship to Me, whereby, through Blessing, I Work the Yoga. So you have to explicitly practice the Way of the Heart in the precise detail as I’ve Given it to you, and always be studying My Word at the level of its leading, central “consideration” at your stage of practice.
So to hear Me you must listen to My Word about hearing. To Practice the “Perfect Practice” you have to listen to My Word about the “Perfect Practice”, and that of course would be done intensively at level three by everyone. But I call My devotees to enter into this from the beginning. My Word about the “Perfect Practice” is a Word to all devotees. It is the practice for only those at level six and so on, in terms of it being their sadhana. That’s their daily responsibility. But it is a “consideration” for everyone. And unless you combine with My Word about this matter of the “Perfect Practice”, you will not understand what you’re practicing to begin with, what its about, what are the lessons there. You don’t get them without My Word about it, and without the precise practice that is required for the next transition in your case.
So My Word relative to the “Perfect Practice” should be studied by everyone, and at least occasionally with some study guide. And everybody, therefore, with significant frequency, by doing so, should enter into the “Perfect” “consideration”, this matter of the Witness and notice It. It’s okay to notice It. If it werent okay, I would have kept it secret and I would have only brought it up at gatherings. [laughter] It’s not violating your present stage of practice to be diddling with the Witness. [chuckles from devotees] It’s your obligation as My devotee to fit yourself to the “Perfect Practice” “consideration” and ultimately to the actual Yoga of it.
So you should be, from the beginning, noticing that no matter what is arising at this very moment, you are the Witness of it. And keep pointing to that for a period of time and truly feel that. And this noticing is a rather ready one, in basic terms anyway. And I expect all My devotees, then, to be familiar with this Witness-Position, familiar with the exercise of re-locating It, recalling It.
And level three of practice will actually be an intensive preparation for the “Perfect Practice”. It has its particular sadhana described in The Dawn Horse Testament, the details that belong to that stage. But it also has the obligation to “consider” the next transition, and what you’re preparing for and Awakening to. Because the level three practice, as I said, in the general case, should lead directly to the “Perfect Practice”.
So, to not repeat it too many more times again, you from the beginning, with student-novices, should have these every now and then occasions of a group Contemplation occasion, making use of especially the transcripts of this period of gathering, to establish all of this. And then in the LRO intensive, it should be used even more frequently, and perhaps with small groups doing it together. And then, as I said, it will be used intensively in the case of everyone at level three and thereafter.
So you, from the very beginning, should know about these two birds in the tree. Theyre both true of you, although you tend to identify with the busy bird. Devotees should know this old story, this metaphor and this “consideration”, from the beginning and enter into it in a relaxed way, formally, from time to time, and then more frequently as time goes on.
It doesnt mean, because people can do this, locate the Witness, that they’re prepared for the “Perfect Practice”. It’s another reason why people should study the transcripts of these “considerations”, because I’ve addressed this numerous times. People very often, even recently, a devotee in that gathering we had [at Land Bridge Pavilion] experienced some sort of sensation in the right side, or a tendency to feel somehow located there, or concentrated there, or they feel some energy there, or they feel sometimes that they’re Witnessing. They always seem to be suggesting, “Doesnt this mean that Im a Perfect practitioner now, a superior person, of course?”
No. Those experiences should in fact be common, even for beginners, just as you may have all kinds of experiences, since you’re in My Company, happening spontaneously. But additionally the “Perfect Practice” is supposed to be formally engaged as a “consideration” by you with significant frequency. And you can, by making use of such Contemplative “consideration”, locate the Witness. But that’s just supposed to be instructive. You see? It’s true of everybody. But you are the two birds in the tree. That’s your structure. You don’t just Stand in the Witness, even though you are located there sometimes, or can be reminded of It readily.
You see, that is the normal situation. That doesnt mean you’re ready for level six. It means that you’re noticing the paradox of ordinary human existence.
So devotees even early on should have spontaneous experiences of the Witness, or actually intentionally enter into the “consideration” at times, even with some frequency as a matter of private study. But you must do the practice that belongs to your stage, because you are in the two-bird position, and that requires sadhana.
It’s perfectly ordinary to be in the two-bird situation. Everybody is in that situation, and they should notice it. We should have formal instruction for devotees to notice this, and then practice it as a kind of ceremonial “consideration”, if you like. Add it to the practices like full feeling-prostrations, and the Prayer of Changes. Do this also, as a general gathering, maybe once a month do it on the Guruvara. More frequently, as I said, for those more advanced.
So I don’t know what you came up with one another when you were meeting before we gathered, something about wondering how to stay in the Witness-Position. As I say, that’s the kind of question the busy bird asks. You know, like that other story I told about the guy who goes to a boat sales place, a yacht sales place, and looks at them all, to make this story short. Finally he sees what he likes and he asks the guy in the showroom how much is this one, and the salesman says, “If you have to ask, you cant afford it.” [laughter]
Well, if you have to ask how do you stay in the Witness-Position, you’ve lost it. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Beloved, wouldnt you have to start the community first, I mean it seems like youd have to have some kind of a community to start putting things in place.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: For what?
DEVOTEE: Well, just to free energy and attention totally, devote more time. In other words cooperate together . . .[laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Im talking about the Way of the Heart! I early on realized that there was going to be a necessity for cooperative community. As I recall, Yes! Im the One who brought that up!
DEVOTEE: You did, Beloved. You brought that up.
DEVOTEES: Absolutely. It came from You, Beloved.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And so there is such a community. So, were not talking hypothetically here.
DEVOTEE: Theres one in Lake County, Devotee.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: I didn’t say that. I guess what I see is that its not fully together.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, well,
DEVOTEE: It needs a lot more . . . stability.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Theres all kinds of things that must take place in the cooperative community, meaning it as a totality, not just the functional part, but culturally and in every other way. Theres an immense amount for you all to do to make it right and to make it work. But, there is a community.
DEVOTEE: Oh, yes. Yes.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: There is a history. You have the Teaching. There are some basic things in place. And so the time has come, having done some of those more superficial things, the time has come for this gathering to get down to business, not only with the institution, culture, community, and mission and so on, certainly that, but relative to being the culture of the Way of the Heart.
DEVOTEE DAVIS: That’s right!
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And not some religious social club, merely, a little consolation, a little relaxation, and a lot of emotional-sexual “consideration”.
So what I’ve been “considering” with everyone, beginning at Sugar Bowl, is everything about what it truly is all about and how to correct yourselves, individually and collectively. And what we’ve been “considering” here in these meetings since Sugar Bowl are the details of the fundamental seriousness at every stage of this Way, so that you can make a culture out of serious practice around Me, with people really involved in listening and hearing and seeing and Realizing. And doing so intensively. Nothing else is remotely as interesting.
DEVOTEE: Beloved, . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Hm?
DEVOTEE: . . . Youve basically given us the secret, because we’ve tried cooperative community and all the rest of it, but in and of themselves they are nothing.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Exactly. They are the asana. That’s all.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: They must be there, but they are secondary, supportive aspects of the Way. Their import, ultimately, is that they release energy and attention for Communion with Me. But you’ve been busy avoiding that and struggling with it, and doing a little bit of it, and picking and choosing and self-“guruing” yourselves in this little “golden calf” community up here in northern California. [exclamations from devotees] If I hadnt gone “blind”, youd all still be doing it that way. I’ve been enduring your “Oedipal” for so long I went blind. [Devotees groan. Beloved chuckles.]
Well, did I make all of My points there about that business?
DEVOTEE: Yes. I think You could also, though, communicate to the public in this way.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, this is something that can be done in a seminar kind of situation or whatever. It’s part of the passing on to people some feeling for what the Way is about and what its “consideration” is, what its process is. This is certainly an exercise you can do with them, using My Word. Dont just make it up, like amateur local pastors. Use My Word. If you can find some people among you who have the ability, a photographic memory kind of ability, who could read My Word and memorize it, as if they have it before them like its on a sheet of paper in their mind, then they might be able to be of special service, because they could, if they’re not referring to a piece of paper, they could regard who they’re talking to. So something is added by that. But you would have to memorize it.
Most people don’t have that facility, so you read it. So, find a way to do it while still regarding people. And always, howe’ver, make My Word the foundation of all that you do culturally, and don’t make up your own versions of it and have that become the culture, paraphrasing and “one-linering” and so on.
So My devotee is always to place himself or herself in front of Me through the Puja of Invoking and Installing Me daily, and Contemplating Me and meditating on Me. Likewise, you must keep My Word before you at all times. Your memory can serve you there, up to a point, remembering My Word from study. But you must just go to My Word directly. Read it yourself or listen to recitations and so on. And if you’re going to “consider” things, have My Word be the basis for the “consideration”. Not just, you know, “Who feels like a bad ass today, well talk about you.” [laughter]
And then in the summary you all have presented to Me here, you, as a group, have sided yourselves with devotees in general. They also, for the benefit of this “consideration”, will realize that the simile of the two birds in the tree is them as well. And their vow to Me obliges them through many admonitions, including this one to Stand in the Witness-Position. And all your practice must serve that potential. You can enter into It in a formal “consideration” for a moment. But the Realization of It in the fullest and Spiritual terms, stably, its only then that the “Perfect Practice” begins.
Did I repeat something with what I just said?
DEVOTEE: I think clarified it.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So did we finish all of that? How did we get into that bird story, anyway?
DEVOTEE: You were asking Devotee if he, or Devotee had said that he had Realized. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Devotee summarized our “we”.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, maybe that’s another “consideration” about to happen. Maybe somebody is going to affirm that they are the good bird here. [laughter] And not the double bird, the paradox bird.
It’s not enough to say that you can, in “consideration”, locate the Witness, and you’re able to be stable there long enough to notice some things and so on, but, [quiet laughter] you still do notice that you lose it and you get involved in this, that, and the other thing. No, that busy bird has to answer for itself. In other words, you have to answer for yourself relative to that entanglement. That’s not unimportant.
So you have to bring responsibility to that busy bird game. And how you do that presently, what works for you presently, determines your stage of practice. You can do it in the listening manner, the hearing manner, the seeing manner, level two, level three, on and on, you know? [murmurs of assent] It’s not that theres a best one and you should choose that. You have to do what works, all things about you taken into account.
[to Devotee] So which way do you think it is?
DEVOTEE: I don’t think I’ve handled the busyness of that other bird yet.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. Im not saying the bird vanishes, by the way. I mean, that Witness bird is Witnessing the other bird. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: It’s like hes informing the other bird at the same time?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Informing him?
DEVOTEE: Yes, informing him.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, showing him where its at when its right, you see. [mild laughter] But the other bird remains there. It’s not like you have to perfect the fruit-eating bird. No, you must Stand in the Witness-Position. And to do so you cant leave the Witness-Position whenever the busy bird is animated. You must be able to stand in the Witness-Position even if the body-mind is animated. And that’s what this picture is. You see? The busy bird is just the body-mind, the psycho-physical “I”, and the Witness is the Witness.
So the Witness is in the Position Prior to the body-mind, but, so to speak, witnessing it. But in order to be just that, to Stand just there, obviously some kind of responsibility for that busy bird has to be realized. For instance, presently you’re all suggesting that if there are any kind of activities going on in the mind, the body, and so forth, you become immediately enmeshed in them. Well, if that is the case, then you do not Stand in the Witness.
And so that having happened you’re all wondering today how do you stay in the Witness-Position. You see, right away its a problem for you.
It’s not a problem. It’s simply the case that this two-birds-in-a-tree kind of structure is your actual experience and it has been universally acknowledged for thousands of years.
But, of course, with it comes the admonition, “stand in the Witness-Position”. And you can try and do that. [pause] It’s like trying to release the self-contraction by keeping it objective to you. Seeking doesnt work. You see? The method of self-contraction doesnt work, and its search doesnt work. So you have to get inside the good bird, not try to get as close to it as possible with your busy bird. [laughter] As if you’re going to seduce the Witness! [laughter] No, it only goes so far. Ultimately, you have to stand in that position or there is no “Perfect Practice”, there is the endless process of entering into Communion via submission of the body-mind. [murmurs of understanding]
The body-mind doesnt vanish simply because you stand in the Witness, or you don’t have to make it vanish in order to achieve the Witness. But you do have to do something because you know that you’re already bound up in the body-mind, or the busy bird. And you can revisit the Witness-Position, but you fall back into the body-mind position then.
So no matter of wishing, thinking, willing, whatever, trying to get into the Witness-Position is going to work. You have to do the sadhana in which the “Perfect Practice” is the flower. You have to go through that process where your automaticity and even your volunteerism of entanglement in the body-mind and its relations relaxes, sufficient to allow you to Stand as you Are. It’s your motive and automaticity of entanglement that is, so to speak, preventing you from Standing in the Witness-Position. So its this entanglement that has to be dealt with, not as a problem, but in the manner I’ve Given you. Not as a search, but as a process that flowers from the root.
But if you were asking, how do you stay in the Witness-Position, what is the method you can use, like right now, is there some trick you can use every moment, is there some whatever-it-may-be that I can Give you that will enable you to just, right now, without having to do any more sadhana, which of course is the thing you’re trying to avoid [gales of laughter], what kind of a, you know, billion dollar gimmick can I lay on ya that will move you to the “Perfect Practice” tonight?!
And Im not giving out that kind of information for less than, fifty billion dollars! [laughter] [Beloved laughs.]
DEVOTEE: Beloved, I believe You did say last night that the process that leads to the “Perfect Practice” can be seen as a change in point of view, progressively.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, served progressively, but then its just that, a different point of view, yes. But what Im also suggesting to you now is that the process leading up to having that new point of view involves a course of sadhana in which both points of view are examined. So there should be the “consideration” of the “Perfect Practice” and the exercise of entering into the Witness even from the earliest time in practice. You see?
Because its only by struggling with that two-bird phenomenon and undermining the entanglement in the body-mind that you do realize, re-realize the capability of Standing in the Native Position, which is always already the case.
Remarkably, you have to still do something to be in It. But that’s only because of the paradox of entanglement. It makes what is always already true seem like its not true yet, which is an illusion created by entanglement with the body-mind.
So the process, yes, is one that becomes Standing as the Witness bird, or Standing in the Witness-Position. But its not a gimmick, because its not just a mental matter that you happen to forget this Witness. The reason its not just inherently obvious to you is because of a complex entanglement in which the entire body-mind is captured, and you have become identified with it through the mechanism of attention, and all the other faculties together combine in that case, to reinforce the sense that you simply are this separate psycho-physical person.
Even memory serves, as I was suggesting in the conversation with Craig. He remembers this and that and the other thing, which he mysteriously presumes to be memory, but in any case, he uses it, or the body-mind uses him, to be convinced of this particular separate person and its reality. Of course, that just binds you further to the illusion that you are not the Witness.
So all the functions, even though they have, in the natural domain, a positive function, nonetheless are built upon egoity and reinforce it, including all the illusions of egoity. So a sadhana is required to be in the Witness-Position, because you are literally entangled, really entangled in the maya of psycho-physical illusion, the “measure”, the proportions, the complex enmeshment that psycho-physical awareness really is.
Youre not just a point of view in a balloon. It’s a very complex structure that reinforces its own sensation the more that sensation is meditated upon, that sensation of separateness and everything attached to it. So theres no quick-trick way to be established in the Witness-Position. You can relocate it through a “consideration”, but its temporary. And you notice, and everybody should be helped to notice, in those occasions, after that moment, we talked about “blah-blah-blah”, and you became the body-mind again. You see?
What are you noticing, then? That the structure of every human being is like this old metaphor of the two birds in the tree. And this is your actual experience. And you’re bound to this psycho-physical person, the busy bird, that has, since ancient days, been known to be bondage. That’s what its all about, what bondage is all about, that oblivious entanglement in the body-mind and its relations.
The busy bird eating the fruit is intoxicated by the juice, the sweetness, the excess of it all, and so on, enamored, fascinated by this entanglement. But the wise man pointing at these two birds in the tree knew what he was looking at. Perhaps the busy bird doesnt quite know, doesnt notice.
It’s unfortunate that birds were used for this metaphor. Theyre doing all right, in fact. It’s the human beings . . . [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Especially since they, we now know, all Contemplate.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Exactly. Youre the ones with the Contemplation problem.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: What I’ve noticed is that even when You werent speaking specifically about the Witness-Position, I would still enter into it by simply deeply relaxing in You, and giving my attention to You.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And?
DEVOTEE: So . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And then what follows?
DEVOTEE: Well, its totally liberating to me, because Im aware of the incredible complexity of my own character and conditional existence, all the relations, and past lives, and future inclinations, and theres no way I can do anything about it. So its become so simple for me because I just have to Contemplate You. And I also see in my day to day existence how I have to go as deep into Contemplation as I do in this room with You.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes.
DEVOTEE: I was noticing today, like You were saying before, how, when you become active and busy, that very action and busyness, then, has to be done as a Contemplation and a relaxation in You.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: But you said this deep relaxation into Contemplation of Me has resulted in you standing in the Witness-Position. [DEVOTEE: Yes.]
Ah, this wouldnt necessarily follow. You see, Contemplative release of the body-mind to the point of Communion with Me, is associated with the first five stages of life, absorptive meditation. To Realize the Witness is to stand Prior to the body-mind, not be in a relaxed, open psycho-physical state merely.
If you’re in a relaxed, open state, the body-mind is in a relaxed, open state, and you are truly Communing with me, if there was any awareness left, peripheral awareness or whatever degree of awareness of the body-mind and so forth, you would feel somehow detached or relaxed from stressful association with it. You would be seeing it more directly. You might feel that you’re simply observing without any reaction or intending of thoughts and so forth. So you are simply observing in a rather detached manner, without any discomfort of self. But that is not the Witness. It’s not itself the Witness. It is, just as you said, the body-mind relaxed, and then attention isnt moving, so to speak, its not going around busy like a bee. It is relaxed, like the rest of the psycho-physical complex. And its just steadily observing.
Theres something like Witnessing in this, but it is observing rather than being the Witness. That observer is attention. So, as soon as the body-mind starts to move again, rather than being in this relaxed, open Communion with Me, that which was observing starts busying. Hm?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: But the Witness does not. The Witness is Prior to attention. Not only Prior to the extended body-mind, but Prior to attention itself, which is the root of the body-mind. It’s not merely relaxed as the body-mind. It is standing completely apart from the body-mind.
So you see, then, the process of relaxing the body-mind into Communion with Me, although it is right practice certainly in the first five stages of life in this Way, does not itself directly become Realization of the Witness-Position. Although perhaps, in a “consideration” of the Witness, you might begin with this kind of relaxed opening, Communion disposition, and then introduce the “consideration” of the Witness. But that would have to be there. Otherwise this relaxation only becomes a kind of absorbed observing steadiness. Even observing, even that may disappear into a fullness of Contemplation, absorptive Samadhi.
So, that being said, then, Frans, do you affirm that it is the Witness that you have been realizing in your participation in this, or was it something else such as I was just describing?
DEVOTEE: Well, I feel in this moment right now, Im in the position of observation.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. And that would generally be where that relaxation process you were describing would lead.
DEVOTEE: Yes. I see that now.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: But attention is not being Witnessed. Attention is not being transcended. Do you all understand this difference?
DEVOTEES: Mm. Yes, Beloved. Clearly.
DEVOTEE: Is that, then, what You also have called intelligent awareness, that observation?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Ah, it certainly could be intelligent, yes, [laughter] as long as theres no added disturbance or agitation in order to exercise intelligence, but right around the area of attention itself, or some leading faculties like discrimination, discriminative intelligence, therefore.
So in such an open state, merely observing, in general we would say this is an intelligent position, relaxed, able to look at everything very directly and discriminate about them. Of course, if the process of surrendering went further, then there wouldnt be any of that either. There would be blissful absorption, not even observing objects, oblivious to objects of any kind. But if you stop short of that, [adopting a weary tone of voice] as apparently you do, Frans, [quiet laughter] then in this relaxed state, simply observing, you do that. Instead of going further in the absorptive process, you do sometimes stop in this observer position and perhaps examine your sensations, feelings, thoughts, or physical condition, whatever attention wanders to.
And of course again, then that’s not the Witness. That’s the active intelligence, or attention active in the manner of intelligence. So its not the Witness. So, have you, through that, or any other aspect of our “consideration”, actually “located” the Witness, Frans?
DEVOTEE: It seems I have, because I’ve noticed a difference between what Youre talking about, relative to this observing position and another experience of a dimension that is beyond that, yes.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And what is that [in a low voice] “dimension”?
DEVOTEE: Whenever Youve Graced me to fall into that, its full of light and Blissfulness.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Visualized light?
DEVOTEE: More, sometimes visualized, too, yeah. [ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.] But more felt I would say. [ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.] Like today I was . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Of course you’re talking about the objects.
DEVOTEE: Excuse me, my Lord?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Youre talking about the objects, or things that are somehow being noticed from, what you are suggesting, may be the Witness-Position. Youre observing again.
The Witness is the mere Witness. The Witness is not observing, not as Witness, the Witness just Stands Free. It’s just that no matter what arises, that’s the position you’re in, already free of it, already standing Prior to it. Not merely observing it with interest. You see? That’s already to be extended via attention into intelligence levels of the psycho-physical complex. It’s still to be identified with the body-mind, but its being rather mental about it perhaps, at that moment, and not physically, or even perhaps even very emotionally, active.
So the Witness is that Position which is not in any sense entangled with the body-mind and its relations. To notice this is where you Stand, immediately releases you, so to speak, of everything associated with the body-mind, all of its threats, all of its desires, all of its disturbances. You have nothing what’soever to do with them. It’s not merely that you are observing them. You stand Prior to them. They are really without interest.
Of course, in the “Perfect Practice” you enter into the depth of that, but you can also, established as that, have some feeling of the rather peripheral existence of the body-mind. This is how you notice something about the quality of the Witness, that it is not involved in any of it at all. The bodys an object, the emotions are object to it. Every thought, every perception, every operation of mind, these are all observed, so to speak. These are all not-Self. Self is the mere Witness, in which all this is arising.
So if you examine the entire psycho-physical complex, of course you notice first the world, that’s object, you see, but all this interior, the last element is attention itself. And you’re merely the Witness of it. You are in the Witness-Position, not in its position. Being in the Witness-Position you can enter into the Depth of That Which appears as the Witness. But if you’re merely the observer, you can only activate attention.
[There is a break in the gathering as Beloved leaves briefly. Quiet conversation ensues among devotees about the evening Puja for the Feast of the Horse-Sacrifice, the quality of the wooden Horse that was burned, and who does the Puja at Purnashram. Beloved returns.]
DEVOTEE: We were just talking about the Horse.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Oh, the . . .
DEVOTEE: The Fire Horse.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: . . . idea I gave you earlier?
DEVOTEE: I didn’t tell them the idea. I was just about to when You walked out the door.
Beloved suggested that when the Horse itself has become ash and burnt, that a banner be put up at the site that will have the white winged horse on it.
DEVOTEE: Oh, right.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So that would be done at a stage in the Puja.
DEVOTEE: Oh, that’s great.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: But I also suggested that we make a . . . I’ll wait until everybody gets back and talk about it. [pause while people return from the break]
I was just thinking, these breaks that have to be taken for everyone to urinate and so on, points out something about human beings, also. [laughter] You like to think of yourselves as not being animals, of being some superior something or other. So you’ve invented “life spaces” in which certain of the animal functions are acknowledged, not in general, but only in some secluded chamber. And, so then when you’re, as you frequently are, in the social situation with others, everybodys got to make an accommodation periodically to go off to the abstract animal hole somewhere. [laughter] Whereas actually these bodies are animal bodies, fundamentally, or in some basic terms, and you’re made for the natural situation. You know, you sort of whiz off or throw off some droppings as you walk through the forest, the universal pisshole.
But that’s what human bodies are built like, just like the other animals. They seem to rather randomly discard waste as they move about. But human beings don’t give themselves the luxury. Of course, this is also a fastidiousness that’s relatively recent, as well. Just a few hundred years back, I know definitely in the case of the British royalty and such, perhaps elsewhere also, the kings and queens of England had many residences, castles and whatnot, mansions, vast mansions, and they would go from one to the other, throughout the yearly cycle, and one of the principal reasons for this is when they would go to any one of these places, then they would start having these royal gatherings, parties. And instead of having lavatories and so on, they would pile straw up in the corners of the room. [DEVOTEE: Oh.] [laughter] And people would be relieving themselves all night, and they would just throw some more straw on top of it the next day and have the next party. And depending on the weather and so forth, after some number of weeks of this, the castle would be so filled with mellifluous odors . . . [laughter]
Literally! This is, what I hear, one of the reasons why they then moved to the next venue. They didn’t bathe very much in those days either. They thought this was bad for your health. So people had all kinds of skin eruptions and whatnot. When you see paintings of those who could afford to be the patrons of painters, the subjects usually look in their ideal form, no blemishes on the skin, generally, except in the case of some of these realistic painters who got into trouble. [laughter] They made them look ideal, an ideal version of themselves.
But how did we get into that?
HELLIE: They didn’t bathe, so they . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Oh. Piss break it was. [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes. So you’re denying this animal thing. Frans, in your case, by the way we should get back to this other thing later.
DEVOTEE: All right. All right.
DEVOTEE: You want me to do it on the floor?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You like to, no, were going on to something else now, Frans. We don’t have a solution for that problem I just described. [laughter] But you, Frans, in your entanglement, feel threatened in the physical and vital and emotional periphery dimension of your personality. And feeling vulnerable there, various kinds of pain and so forth, even in the thinking mind, you like to take up the position of intelligently observing all of this and thinking about it, trying to figure it out and whatnot. In other words, you chronically assume that position. You abstract yourself, from even thinking and emotion and body sensation and so on.
And in that position, howe’ver, you are also fascinated by the potential in that thing you’re always trying to get one with, which is your lower bodily personality. Like Devotee. [laughter] It’s not so much Union with the Divine you are pursuing. Youre pursuing reunion with a part of yourself that is threatened and uncomfortable. So what you’re really trying to work out here is your overall life. [big laughter]
Youre alienated from the mind and the emotions and the body, because of various experiences or whatever it may be, its different in each case, but you’re alienated and like to be in this intelligent observing, trying-to-figure-it-out kind of position. But as I said you’ve got sort of intense lingerings in the direction, howe’ver, of the physical, vital, mental, emotional life. So you have fascinations with things like sex and such, because you’re so fundamentally unfamiliar with it. Youre detached from the lower body in some basic sense. Youve got trouble there.
So rather than so much looking to become one with the Divine, you’re looking to become one with your lower self. But of course that is not what Im “considering” with you. But something about that problem, or what you perceive to be a problem or whatever, all that is going to have to be dealt with by you in the course of your sadhana. It’s got to become a matter of responsibility. It must be purified through the total course of practice. But it is not itself the matter we are “considering” here, and its not the Great Matter we’ve been “considering”.
And it seems that you, in Contemplating by My direction here, you used it in the way you like to use this Way in general. You use it to achieve that state that you liked there for a bit, you see, this Contemplating Me, but relaxed, the body-mind relaxed, the lower body relaxed, emotions relaxed, the thinking mind relaxed, and examining it. Not going deeper than that, also, as I pointed out. So this is a kind of orientation you develop in your practice otherwise.
So it seems, at least from what you’ve said so far, that you basically did that in this “consideration”, and I don’t know, youll maybe have more to say about it, but you seem to be suggesting that it was not the Witness-Position you were able to locate in that “consideration”, but that you entered into a perhaps deeper version of something that you do with regularity.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: “Mm-hm” what?
DEVOTEE: I think Youre right, my Lord.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Not the Witness, then.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And not being able to comfortably practice “conductivity” with the body, you see, because of mental, emotional, whatever, various reactions, complications, standing in this rather detached position, the pleasurable aspects of that which you cant get in touch with are fascinating to you. And you find it difficult, then, to come to a point of undisturbed simplicity about it.
It’s perhaps most characteristically a strategy of males to do something like Frans just described and which I’ve been noticing about him. The energy and functional structural process that goes along with the male sex organ, see, the whole thing, is structured such that it is likely, under stress, to establish itself in this intelligent observer kind of position of looking at life and manipulating life. So men fall into that disposition rather characteristically.
And with women, because of their structure that goes along with their sex organ, you see, them entirely, they are like the sex organ of this yin quality, and all the structural signs that go with that. So most typically under stress, they will go into the emotional position, as their way of dealing with it. Even somehow standing back from it, but its an emotional way of solving it. And men tend to take this intelligent observer position as a way of solving it, or dealing with it.
But of course the human being is generally under stress, so people generally take up these positions. But if the stress is relatively minimal, then you play upon that further and develop all the complexities of a personality. And also the sexes, in combining with one another, teach one another lessons and should enable one another to share in something that the other uses readily. So in effect, with all this yin-yang mating, theres a kind of yin-yanging of each.
It serves own-body Yoga in fact, ultimately, because the man, deficient perhaps in being able to feel and be emotionally present and therefore even to be sensuously associated with the body, is rather retarded, because of his specialty, which has its function in the natural domain. And so in association with females, or just people of the more yinnish feeling characteristic, over time he may learn how to be that, too.
And likewise the woman, who perhaps dissociates from intelligent exercise in an emotionalistic way and so forth, for instance that type, gains something of the male in the male company that strengthens that capability in her.
So in these yin-yang matings you are effectively gifting one another with capabilities that you each lack. If you’re too much the same, you cant make it. If you’re too different, you cant make it, either.
So all meetings are exchanges, all relations. Theres always a compensation going on. And if its not that, not a sharing things that each other lacks, and its the meeting between forces that have just the same quality, or that have the same quality in a kind of aggressive sense toward one another, or the same quality in terms of a passive sense of one another, passive relation to one another, then theres no exchange, theres no play. Both components must be there for there to be play. But the play winds up being not just opposites associating with one another, but in the case of living beings, it becomes a kind of a serving one anothers capacity to be whole. And to bring the whole body-mind as an individual into Communion with Me, rather than leave some part of it frozen there and problematic.
So this is part of what intimates or friends, or what people do with one another. So if you’re intelligent, you know how to use all your company. Like I did with Robert the Cat, and on and on and on. And then theres the traditional story of Dattatreya who claimed he had some vast number of Gurus. And when asked about this, he didn’t just talk about various human teachers. He talked about the wind and animals and so forth. So in other words, he understood that all meetings are supposed to be an exchange used for enabling you to be more whole and capable as a Contemplative.
So if you’re smart, you know how to use relationships for this purpose, and you know why in any circumstance there seems to be just antagonism or disinterest or whatever. There are just these different qualities of energy really, and every kind of energy has a natural relation. Not just an intimate partner Im talking about, but it fits naturally with all different kinds of things because they complement that one somehow. And whenever there isnt that, then there seems to be disinterest or no connection and so on.
This is also a Law to understand relative to entering into intimacy, then, if you know what its really for altogether, what it must serve, but also how it is used, when its right, that it is individuals compensating for one another, introducing something that the other doesnt exercise. If that’s not there, theres no play. And if theres too much, such that it becomes struggle, or too little, such that it becomes boring, then what you’re really acknowledging is that the play has stopped. You became such, so good at American Gothic, mom and dad, or Mr. and Mrs. America, wherever, that you forgot what your relationship was about. [laughter] You stopped playing and forgot even how to do it anymore, you know? Then maybe you get the idea to go through it with somebody else. But then unfortunately you do the same thing all over again. And become boring eventually again. [quiet laughter]
Anyway, if anyone is considering someone relative to an intimate relationship, you’ve got to be sure there is that play. It’s got to stay playful. That means it has to be really good playful to begin with. And you can be somewhat mysterious to one another in this sense of having a side of exercising, and rather readily, what you, as the other, find it very difficult ever to do. So its a mystery to you that somebody could be doing that, you see. [laughter] And so that makes the relationship playful, because you’re probably doing the opposite in that ones eyes, and you’re mysterious and interesting, and its opposite energies. They are the play.
So basically that’s what’s going on in relationships that, in this ordinary human sense, are acknowledged by the individuals involved to be good. This is basically what they’re acknowledging. Of course, there are far greater requirements than that, but that certainly must be there.
The best intimate partner for you is one who will relentlessly and quite positively serve your Realization of Me, and expect you to do the same in his or her case.
So what are we going to do about Frans, though? Frans finds it impossible, even in the midst of this very sensitive “consideration”, to find, or locate, the Witness-Position. Maybe hes just an organism. [laughter]
Maybe there is no Witness in your case, Frans. [laughter] Maybe you are just, Witnessed! [laughter] The only entirely and exclusively Witnessed being in the entire cosmic domain! [laughter]
DEVOTEE: You are the Witnessed?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Do you think this is possible at all, Frans?
DEVOTEE: I don’t think so.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: No. It’s utterly impossible, because theres only the One Reality and so . . . But, everyone else here has acknowledged this force of entanglement, the busy bird disease, and just as it can be a force of entanglement that leads you out of the Witness-Position, so to speak, it can also prevent you from locating It again, temporarily. Perhaps it can be that effective in some cases. Especially if you have some other device or means you’re using that has some workability you’ve discovered, so you don’t want to leave that. Youre even clinging to it, because your surrendering only goes so far, in your exercise so far.
So maybe, no matter how we approach, no matter what angle we approach you with, or from, this evening, Frans, you may still not truly locate the Witness-Position. We could sit here for hours and hours. [laughter] Do this again and again, and perhaps often you will say you feel that, yes, its definitely the Witness, and we have to go into a long “consideration” with you to find out whether it is the Witness-Position or not, and probably over and over again well be dismayed to find out that it was not the Witness-Position at all. [laughter] And we could take quite a long time. So lets try and not do that. [laughter] Lets just try and get it one time with him, and if it doesnt work well just go on to something else, right? We have that agreement about Frans for now, right? [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Could we put a time limit on this?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You know, Frans, maybe we should begin by you telling us something about this matter of the Witness.
DEVOTEE: Well, Im not sure what Im supposed to . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: I didn’t tell you you were supposed to do anything, Frans, [laughter] in terms of doing it one way or another. I left it entirely up to you. [laughter] And you were guarded immediately, wondering what you should say? Hm?
DEVOTEE: Well, I feel I have a clear intuition of what Youre talking about, when Youre talking about the Witness.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Whats a clear intuition mean?
DEVOTEE: A sense.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Meaning what? That you never in any “consideration” actually are established in the Witness-Position, but you have some sort of a feeling what it would be like if you had?
DEVOTEE: No, there must have been moments that I was, because I . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: But of course this calculating afterwards is speculation. [pause] Are you the Witness of everything, no matter what arises, right now?
DEVOTEE: Yes, I am.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Picture three cats in front of you. One to your left, one in the middle, one to the right, Frans.
DEVOTEE: Yes, Lord, I’ll do that.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Now, look at the one to your left. The one to your right. The one in the middle. The one to your right. The one to your left. [laughter] The one in the middle. Now very slowly move from the one in the middle to the one on your left, very very slowly. Keep on doing it, such that it would take a very long time now while I speak. Do you feel your attention?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Are you the Witness of it?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So you’re not anything of what you usually call “I”. Everything that you call “I” you are not. Every one of them, seen as in groups or one at a time, whatever, down to attention itself, you’re not it. Youre merely Witnessing it. And it doesnt make a difference which one or many of those you view, or of anything you view in any moment, you’re still the Witness of it. And that Witness feels exactly the same as it does when viewing any other object or complex.
So you’re not located somewhere in the mind or the body-mind or you don’t move about. You see? Youre not anything that you call “I”. Youre merely the Witness of it. You don’t look with the Witness, as the Witness. You don’t look toward anything. That’s attention. But you are the Witness of attention, merely the Witness. Even if attention moves about on its own, you’re still merely the Witness of it. You are in the Witness-Position, and not identified with the thing itself.
Everything that arises is, in this sense, objective to you. Whether its so-called objective, outside the body, or subjective, inside the body, so to speak, all of it is objective to you.
I remember noticing this very spontaneously and particularly noting it as this process of My “Sadhana Years” began when I was at Columbia. I remember scribbling on something about it. It just spontaneously occurred to Me when I was, it must have been in a class or something. It was a profound noticing, because at first one would be making a distinction between subjective and objective. And you feel somehow the subjective is inside you and the objective is outside you. But actually all the subjective parts are objective to you, as well.
Of course, this became the Realization of the Witness in My Case, the restoration, just in these beginning observations very early on, as I went to Columbia, culminating in the event in the junior year.
So everything, you see, is an important lesson then for anyone, an important thing to observe. It’s not that you’re in a position where the subjective is inside you and you’ve got to go within or do something within. You are the Witness of that as well. [murmurs] Youre not sort of at the surface of the body looking out, and everything outside is objective and everything behind it is subjective. Everything is objective to you, in the sense that you’re only the Witness. But its not that the Witness is the subject, either, except as this Infinitely Undefined Being.
But the Self is always just the Self. It is not the apparently limited personality. But the Self in conjunction with the apparently limited personality mechanics looks that way. But the Witness in other words is never changing. It doesnt go through the changes that the body does, the emotional being goes through, the mind goes through. It doesnt go through those changes. It’s not Witnessing in the sense of the observer. It is merely the Witness, or the utterly Subjective dimension. So it is Prior to that person. It is the Witness not merely of what is outside the body. It is the Witness of everything inside the body, everything you call “I”, down to attention itself. You are not any of it. You are the mere Witness of all of it. And this is always the case. You don’t stand there Witnessing in the sense of observing. You simply Stand in that Position, then.
One way of describing it is, as Daniel was suggesting the other evening, a thoughtless feeling, no faculties. But full of feeling force, or in the space of feeling force itself.
So the Witness is inherently detached, so to speak, from the body-mind complex and all the relations and activities and content of what you call the cosmic domain, or the conditional domain. But you are always already in that Position that transcends the entire conditional domain. And inherently so.
So that’s the bird on the tree that’s simply sitting there, while the other moves about, utterly indifferent, not even “treed”. [chuckles from devotees] So once there is this discovery that you always already Stand in that Position that’s Prior to the body-mind, has nothing to do with it, then the next great form of practice, the ultimate form of Practice in this Way, becomes possible. Because it is not about investigating the things from attention on out, but entering more and more profoundly into that Well of Thoughtless Self-Radiant Being, Blissful Consciousness It’self. It is vaster than the conditional domain, without center or bounds. Infinite Feeling Being of Love-Bliss, Consciousness It’self as an Infinite Substance, without “difference”.
That of course is the import, then, of discovering and being established in the Position, the Native Position of the Witness. The import of it is such that you can enter into the Domain that is otherwise appearing as the Witness. That is the Divine Domain, the Prior Domain. It is always already the case. Infinite Fullness, Eternally Free. [pause]
So that’s the exercise in the second stage of the “Perfect Practice”. That is the sadhana. It’s not a psycho-physical sadhana. And this Communion without difference is entered into most profoundly when there are no requirements placed on the body-mind otherwise. So it is of course especially most profoundly entered into in the meditative setting, typically.
And that being the case, then, the practitioner is always noticing this change from what is Realized in the Samadhi in the meditation hall, to this apparent re-association with the body-mind, that which you transcend by virtue of your Stand as the Witness. But it comes up quite spontaneously, quite naturally. One reason or another you get up from your seat and then theres everything you do, everything you’re associated with, until the next time you take your seat. Of course, the admonition to those engaged in the “Perfect Practice” is that they maintain the Position of the Witness, truly focused, not lax but intensely That, that they maintain That Radiantly in daily life.
So they do the “Perfect Practice” all the while, but also they do as other devotees do with the body-mind generally. But there is this constant passage from the Domain of Divine existence, free of the world, free of conditional existence, and then getting up and going back into it again. This, as I’ve pointed out to you a number of times in this “consideration”, this back and forth between these two, becomes the ultimate context of Realization. So one of the things those doing the second stage of the “Perfect Practice” are called to do, must always be called to do, is to study My Word about their next transition, study My Word about the seventh stage Awakening, along with maintaining, as I say, magnifying Radiantly the disposition of the Witness in daily life, in all of that. And entering more and more profoundly into this “Perfect Practice”, in meditation, in daily life, “considering” My Word about the Opened-Eyed Awakening. It’s the way of conforming even the body-mind to What is about to be Realized.
So you see the second stage of the “Perfect Practice”, or the sixth stage of life, could go on forever, like any other stage, if the specific limitation in it is not specifically addressed by the sadhana. So at every stage in the Way of the Heart this is one of the unique characteristics of the practice, that the equipment you bring to this stage you’re in now is such that it enables you to deal with the specific error or limitation of your next stage of practice, in and of itself.
So there is the sixth stage limitation. There is a characteristic limitation in each of the stages as I’ve indicated. The sixth stage error is the root-error of differentiation, dissociation between the phenomenal and the Transcendental.
In other words, it is the origin of non-Recognition. So what is phenomenal is not Self. What is Prior to it is Self. The sixth stage of life is a necessary advancement. It is context for the seventh. But it still does contain a root-error, or a dimension of egoity, effectively, because it is associated with an act. Whereas That Which is Always Already the Case requires no act by which to be Realized.
So the sixth stage practice would go on forever, as I said, if you were not surrendered to Me, if you did not regard My Word, if you werent given the Gift of My Word and My Presence, which Fully Awakens, not merely to a degree, but Fully. So, those practicing the “Perfect Practice” in the context of the sixth stage of life must study and “consider” My Teaching relative to the seventh stage Awakening. This is their “consideration”, in other words. This is their study. All My devotees should study it, but its of special intensive significance as the second stage of the “Perfect Practice” develops. So this is how it is possible for My devotees to enter into the seventh stage Samadhi. It doesnt happen automatically. It has required My Intervention. It requires a particular form of practice altogether, therefore; so it is by your Perfect Non-Separation from Me, Non-Difference from Me, Most Perfect, in other words your Realization of Me Most Perfectly, your Realization of Me, not merely an internal exploration.
This “Perfect Practice” is not something for which you have a personal talent. It is in the Domain Prior to the body-mind. It is the Talent of the Divine Self-Condition, It’self. So, by this Grace you receive, in utter Communion with Me without difference, and continuous study of My Word, conforming the body-mind to Me and yet standing Radiantly as the Witness, the crisis that is the seventh stage Awakening occurs. But it must be served by all these means because it doesnt happen naturally, as I said.
So My Transmission to you is That of the seventh stage Awakeness. So when your submission to Me is profound beyond Profundity, then you Realize Me As I Am, Most Perfectly. And that Awakening, Open-Eyes, is, as we were discussing earlier, associated with the Yoga of Amrita Nadi, the regeneration of Amrita Nadi, which, so to speak, Enlightens the whole body, “Brightens” it, like the clay pig in the kiln. But its not that the Free, Divinely Awakened Being re-enters the body-mind, or leaves the Heart and goes wandering back to the world to, so to speak, give up Enlightenment until all others are served. No, theres no leaving of that Position. It’s just that the effort of yielding the body-mind, the energy and attention, to the point where it can be Transcended at the heart-root on the right, is an effort in the body-mind.
So that is the error in the sixth stage Disposition. It is performing this action, even at the causal level, psycho-physically, which makes the dissociation possible between the Transcendental Self and the psycho-physical domain. So when this original element of pinching yourself, this not even most subtle but causal effort is found at last, its the last particle, the root-lastness of egoity, separativeness, and separateness. The moment its noticed, then that is Open-Eyes. It’s just that it isnt readily noticed. But when truly noticed, truly felt, at the root of this Great Samadhi, then it dissolves. But What it Is is Recognized.
So Amrita Nadi is no longer curved to, or bent, or forced to do tapas in order to establish the process on the right side of the heart, or serve it, or be given up to it specifically. Instead, Amrita Nadi is Radiant from the Heart, and at its upper terminal It Enters into the circle, descending and ascending, and Shines through and beyond the body-mind. And in that Light, everything is Recognized, Inherently. There still is nothing but the Divine Self-Condition, Self-Radiant. And just to refer to what appears to be arising, it is nothing but That, that very same Divine Self-Condition. It is, these so-called things are merely apparent, they’re not binding, they’re just an apparent play upon the Radiance of Divine Self-Consciousness, and Recognized as such. There is nothing but the Radiance, They are simply Radiant. As Recognized things, they do not dissociate themselves from the Divine Self-Consciousness.
So everything becomes “Brightened” by this Power of Recognition. And so you see, it is the fundamental Siddhi I exercise. The Blessing I Give is not manufactured in the body-mind, or from the body-mind point of view. I don’t Bless via mechanisms figured out somehow in the body-mind. I Bless As I Am, and My Blessing is the simple Recognition of you, Divine Recognition of whatever. The apparent body-mind can seem to be involved in it in various ways, too, talk about it or whatever, but it is just this Diving Blessing Recognition, My Regard, or you even entering into the Sphere of My Radiance, devotional, and Communing with Me. My Presence is the Power of the “Bright”. It’s Unique Siddhi. It’s just That. Everything is Recognized. Everything is “Brightened” therefore by My Presence. And My perhaps Giving you My Regard at times, but fundamentally you giving Me your regard, all the faculties submitted to Me into Communion with Me, to the point of Communion with Me, moment to moment.
By being My devotees, then, you are participating in the Siddhi of My “Brightness”. And fundamentally that is what the Way of the Heart is about. Everything else is with regard to apparent conditions, this or that requirement. But fundamentally it is just you forgetting yourself in Communion with Me, and that’s it. You become what you meditate on. Eventually that meditation becomes samyama. When its achieved the depth of Samadhi, you Realize the essence of That with which you are Communing, and are established As It. [pause]
So devotees simply notice Me, are attracted to Me, meditate on Me to the point of forgetting themselves Absolutely and being thereby established As Me. [murmurs] And that’s it. Anything else about it is with respect to some psycho-physical condition or other, for which you have to become responsible because you are entangled. The Way is to yield the self, the self-contraction, in all of its faculties, to the degree of Samadhi, and then to be drawn in that Samadhi to My Perfect Position, Prior to the body-mind, and enter into That Most Profoundly until you Realize there is only Me. And in that Realization it will be the same as to say that there is only You.
This is why in The Dawn Horse Testament and some other places, wherever I use the word “you”, I capitalize it. The Dawn Horse Testament is an eternal conversation in the Place of Realization, in the Heart. So I may discuss in The Dawn Horse Testament all kinds of things that are associated with your apparent entanglement, but I always address you with a capital “You.” You are the God I have come to Serve, that capital “You”. My Recognition of You is what Gives You the Power of Realization. It Gives you the Yoga, the process.
DEVOTEE: That’s how You are Victorious, then.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: [in a quiet, “long-suffering” voice] I certainly hope so, Frans. [laughter]
[referring to Frans] Not only the intelligent observer, the witty observer. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Mr. Continental. [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, his name was the Continental, I think it was.
DEVOTEE: Oh, the Continental.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: The Continental. Yes, can you see Frans here now, with his silk smoking jacket?
DEVOTEE: He might have been there even.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: I don’t think he was. But you all know what Im talking about.
DEVOTEE: We can fill him in.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Silk smoking jacket, his Dunhill cigarettes, his clear crystal ashtray, his glass of champagne, [laughter] obviously anticipating the late-night company of a strange woman. [laughter] The lustful observer. What about this Witness thing, then, Frans?
DEVOTEE: Well, clearly I was in the Witness-Position, as it felt to me after a very short time.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Was?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: In this last period of our discussion.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And now?
DEVOTEE: Even now.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: What happened now?
IO FREE JONES: He said “was”.
DEVOTEE: He said “was still”. The rest of us figured wed gone on a trip into attention land.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So hes the only one who stayed with it, is that it?
IO: No, but he said he was, so he wasnt.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And he said “and even now” right after that.
IO: But he said he was before that.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, he did, . . .
DEVOTEE: It doesnt work that way.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: . . . but he caught himself, you see. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Then he was and then could still be.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Others of you had wandered in your attention is that it? Michael certainly.
DEVOTEE: Well, it certainly was very different.
DEVOTEE: Wandering in attention? Oh, yes.
DEVOTEE: A little trip.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: If you enter with Me into the Witness-Position, if you establish yourself in Communion with Me Spiritually, then there is Great Fullness of Love-Bliss when you simply Stand and fall in that Well. But, as soon as you presume once again association with attention and everything follows from it, and then you get into all the complex that you have established, so-called internally and so-called externally, you lose not only the sense of the Witness, you lose Love-Bliss.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You leave the Spiritual Domain, or you leave the Spiritual Touch behind. And then you notice all of the various anxieties, pains, discomforts, and stresses, and all the rest of it, instead of the Untouched, Undisturbed Fullness that is there in the Native Position. You can let that serve you as a reminder, if you like. As soon as you become aware of the discomfort of your existence in any way, physically, emotionally, whatever, let it remind you. Take that as a moment to find, “Arent you the Witness?”
Because the characteristic of truly falling out of the Witness-Position is this identification with limitation and dis-ease. Eventually the heart becomes steady in that Love-Bliss, then, instead. This is also what is required, then, for the “Perfect Practice” to begin. The heart must steady into its rightful Radiance. So the entire body-mind must become subordinate to the King. Presumed to be nothing more than the servant of Allah. This is the message to all those parts, to the Self, the Divine Self-Condition, everything conformed to That, instead of flying from it, or frozen off from it. Then you grant Kingship to That Position, and Realize That’s where you Stand.
Remarkably, then, when that Awakening to the Witness occurs for real, and truly, the apparent association with the body-mind continues, as pictured in that ancient metaphor from the Upanishads. There is the Witness just as It is Prior to the body-mind, and yet there is a tacit association with the body-mind. And it even all the while it is doing its doings, the Position of the Witness is never left.
This is what it means, then, to be established in the Witness-Position. Not that you can locate It but then you get busily involved, identified with the body-mind. But no, truly identified with it, even though the motions, changes, and so forth of the body-mind may arise, the Position of the Witness is not abandoned. That’s when its stable, and true. The second stage of the “Perfect Practice” is to be profoundly just That, which is Prior to the body-mind.
Whenever this apparent association, tacit association reappears, the Position of the Witness is still the case, and it is magnified as the disposition more and more.
But there is this paradox of phenomenal existence happening, and the effort to go deep by dissociating from it, or Standing Prior to it, beyond all noticing.
So why was I making that point?
DEVOTEE: Frans. [Devotees chuckle and exclaim.]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: I was also saying it would be a useful tool for you to notice whenever it happens, just when you get somehow acutely aware its uncomfortable somehow, to let it be a signal to you. Just like My asking you, if I would come up to you in that moment, and said, “Isn’t it true that no matter what’s arising you are in the Witness-Position?” Howe’ver you connect with that Word or Admonition of Mine, let that feeling of discomfort and so on be a moment of that exercise, at least sometimes. You have all the basic means of your practice, or those which you are to engage intensively. But this is useful as a part of it.
DEVOTEE: Beloved, that Admonition You just gave us is something that I noticed has been happening spontaneously, just from being in Your Company, and being drawn into this Sublime State, Your State, and going back and then re-engaging in ordinary life and seeing how . . . [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Which were all sure you’re going to do. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: And just seeing the difference and remembering, being very mindful even at a bodily level of what Your Transmission has been, and being very aware of the limit and not being able to settle with it. Theres this awakening awareness of this conflict, making a choice that isnt ultimately free.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, we’ve heard you say this many, many times, at Sugar Bowl and since. [laughter] We have all completely heard you say this now. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: We are grateful. [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: We is what?
DEVOTEES: We are grateful. Each time.
DEVOTEE: It’s part of our overall life now. [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Exactly. [pause]
DEVOTEE: One of the most wonderful things Youve shown me during this time is the Fullness of the Witness as truly comprehended and fully understood. [ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.] Because I think Id always had a feeling that it somehow was less than full, somehow dissociative, or abstracted, and the virtual Transmissions Youve Given us of the Radiance and Fullness of It have been totally wonderful, and totally helped me understand something of Your Fullness and the Uniqueness of Your own Victory here, Your own Incarnation.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, I assume that you came into My Company, and stayed in My Company to practice, because you wanted to be Happy, not because you wanted to be empty.
DEVOTEE: Yes. And in fact I came because I was attracted to the very thing Im now talking about, too. The “Bright”, You are the “Bright”, and that’s what brought me here was Your Attractiveness, and that’s what keeps me here.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So, a Realization of the Witness or whatever that is just simply detached, effectively dead or something, is not Full, is not Happiness, is not your heart-motive. There are feelings of pleasure, happiness, well-being sometimes experienced in the body-mind, but they are always, or generally, recognized to be far more limited than what you would wish it could possibly be. And so that feeling, the feelings of Love-Bliss, Happiness, or whatever, insofar as they occur in the context of the body-mind, are just a taste of Happiness It’self, and the heart is moved to That. The central disposition is moved to That Fullness. So its not a matter of dissociating from Fullness in order to do a mind-dharma sixth stage practice. That’s not the “Perfect Practice”.
That Happiness which is experienced, if only sized down in the body-mind, is what you would Realize. And that is what is Realized. It’s True Happiness, Full Happiness, Unqualified Happiness. Not threatened, not dependent on anything at all, inherently the case.
Well, whenever you are not experiencing Unlimited Happiness, that should be your immediate reminder to Remember Me. [laughter] [Beloved chuckles.] That would be all the time, then. [DEVOTEES: Yes. Mm-hm.] Because you know you want Happiness, you want to be Happy, but you also know that the present form of your life, even on your best days, is not utter Happiness. It’s conditional, temporary. It has all kinds of limitations.
I mean, you enjoy orgasm, but is that Absolute Happiness? Well, so is happiness then, in any sense in the body-mind, its not Absolute Happiness. Why should one want, as it says in Lawrence of Arabia, “No man needs nothing.” [laughter] [Beloved chuckles.] You arent moved to the Divine in order to have nothing, to be nothing. No thing maybe, but, maybe that’s a good enough word. But you’re not looking to enter into some dark, depressed vacancy just so that you wont feel pain. So this Way is about the actual Realization of Happiness It’self. You also want to exist forever. You don’t want to die. Good. Perfect Realization, Most Perfect Divine Realization is never-ending. It is Eternal Existence.
How did I happen to be talking about that?
DEVOTEE: Well, I was saying that I had had this kind of a notion that sixth stage practice would be a time of focusing on something that was less full of that very Happiness that obviously informs and is the process from the beginning.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: I was just saying I appreciated how clearly You communicated that.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: That’s why the seeing process is necessary.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Hearing is the ability to go beyond the self-contraction. Seeing is the capability to be established in My Love-Bliss, the fundamental Spiritual Reality. So that becomes the context of the “Perfect Practice”, and not merely some solids “consideration” of “not this, not that”, and so on, talking themselves into some sort of vacancy that they call the Witness. [laughter] And basically spend the rest of their lives talking nonstop. [laughter]
They go out and they give a lot of lectures from that point on. [Beloved chuckles.]
DEVOTEE: People wonder why they don’t smile more.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm. So you must be Spiritually Baptized into the “Perfect Practice”, and Realize the Witness simultaneously. I mean, to find in yourself the motive to be Happy, is to find the Heart. So often when you think of the Heart, you seem to Me to have to add an element of sorrow on It. [chuckles from devotees] Love even suggests some element like that in there somewhere. So I use Love-Bliss as a preferred term to either Love or Bliss separately, because Bliss, just as a word by itself, may also sound somehow detached, perhaps. So Love is a good word to add to it.
And why did I mention all that? [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Well, some solids, Michael was suggesting . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Oh, right.
I thought he got it. I didn’t look over, but I figured he would have gotten it. [Beloved laughs.]
DEVOTEE: I got it.
DEVOTEE: He got it.
DEVOTEE: But she wanted to bring it up again.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: [Beloved laughs.] Thank you for noticing. Hm?
DEVOTEE: You know, Beloved, quite a few minutes ago You made a single statement, and Im not sure I can recall it completely, but Id really like to see a transcript of it, or memorize it. It was something about how Your Recognition of us Gives us the Means for Realization. [ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.] And it seemed to me like that was such a wonderful summary.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: The Power of Realization, I think, is the Word I used, at that moment, the very Process. [murmurs] So I’ve said, My Eternal Work is the Magnification of the “Bright”. The Recognition of everything “Brightens” and Translates, and is experienced as an individual Process for those who presume the individual position. So from the beginning of this period of discussion, I’ve been talking to you about how the disposition of this Practice is “Bright”. The disposition of self-contraction is separate, dark, compressed, not flowering, not Radiant. You Realize this disposition through the process of yielding all the faculties of the body-mind, that offering disposition, combined with Communion with Me, My Very “Brightness”, changes you into a Radiant Personality, don’t you see? [murmurs]
That’s why I was saying to you the other night, you have to stop being afraid of being religious. You have to stop being afraid of having religion change you in the Realizing sense. The most people, in general, seem to be willing to be changed by religion has something to do with their social behavior and such. And that passes for religion generally. But True Religion is about God-Communion, and it invades your life and requires changes. If you resist the changes, then you don’t grow further. So for the “Perfect Practice” to be Perfect, you have to allow My Radiance in your life, or when you Stand in the Witness-Position it will be empty. You have to come along with Me, not leave Me behind. [quiet laughter]
So energy and attention must be put to sadhana. If you show up with attention only, the energy is still wandering out there. Theres no Love-Bliss. It’s all become the world. So you have to do “conductivity” practice, make all of the faculties assume the condition of energy, and be focused in Me, given up to Me, until you Stand where I Stand. But it will be a Chamber full of Love-Bliss. In the body-mind it is limited. In It’s own Source-Position, it is without limit. So the “Perfect Practice” is in the Chamber of Love-Bliss and not merely in the analyzed presumed Witness. Nor can there be the seventh stage Awakening without that Spiritual process.
You cant Recognize the world In and As the Self-Conscious Divine Love-Bliss if you are dissociated from it. You must not merely see the world. You must see what is Radiant there or you cannot Recognize the world.
The Force of Being is Profound. Notice how much in your ordinariness day to day you are attached to, bound up in, the force of things, conditions, functions, with their various discomforts, levels of energy, lack of energy, stress. And you see the whole world as a vast play of things. But if you Realize the Place of Being, the Force of Being, rather than immunize yourself, or dissociate yourself from it, then ultimately also you see It in the world, so to speak, so-called, no longer objective, because this “Brightness” is obvious. It is You. Even all of space, all things and persons, are pervaded by the Force of Being. Theyre not merely there as plastic things jiggling. They are Being there.
If you experience beings being, then there is a different kind of relationship to them than when you regard them just as sort of stuff happening. Compared to the Force of Being, the Feeling of Being, everything else is trivial and superficial. And so its clear that right life is investment in the Force of Being and not in things, or in mechanics, mechanical motions in space-time. It is to live in the Force of Being, as It, and luxuriating in It in the circumstance of life. Because It is the Reality of life, formally called the Purpose of life. If you live in that State, for that State, and see it as everything, and you can spontaneously conform everything about your life to it, generally speaking it would be quite a different looking life than others do.
So the seventh stage, one Awakened in the seventh stage, is like the non-humans. The non-humans, generally speaking, except under unusual circumstances we discussed with the bees and such, they linger in Contemplation. The Force of Being, which is that in which they invest themselves by that, then becomes a way of life, a disposition in life that conserves, once again, this pattern of entanglement. And if you were Inherently Happy, for instance, don’t you see how this might conserve your doings? [DEVOTEES: Mm-hm.] First of all, all the time you spend looking to get happy, you would have all that time left over. [laughter] [Beloved chuckles.]
DEVOTEE: A hundred percent.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So youd have a lot of free time? You see what Im talking about?
DEVOTEE: Yes. [quiet laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So the Realizer is like an odalisque.
DEVOTEE: Beloved, its clear how you cant truly pass through the hearing process, without, as Youve said, going through this process of “considering” Your Teaching relative to the “Perfect Practice”. Because without being informed by that disposition, you wouldnt make the gesture of hearing.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. Yes. The whole requirement of hearing at the foundation of this Way is an example of how the seventh stage Disposition is present in this Way from the beginning, conforming the practice toward the seventh stage Realization rather than some other purpose short of it.
So yes, the study of the “Perfect Practice”, My Word about the “Perfect Practice”, is part of the listening process. But if you were just plain old Happy, Happiness It’self, doesnt it seem clear to you, you would just see that that’s what life is and luxuriate in it, and not bother with anything else? Not get elaborate about seeking, you see? So the Happiness It’self, as you might imagine, would simplify your life exquisitely. [quiet laughter]
Which is another way of you all saying to Me that you’re not Happy. You know?
DEVOTEES: Yes. Yes.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Doing all your doings and so forth, thinking all your thinkings, even though you’re practicing as My Devotee, I mean, you all say you know very well that that is a Happy circumstance, but even so, you’re not just plain old Happy, and your life, such as you’re designing it, then, has something to do with the fact that you’re un-Happy and looking to get Happy, or despairing of it sometimes, or whatever.
Imagine if you were Infinitely Perfectly Happy, how would you change your life, your overall life? [chuckles from devotees] I mean, you need not even say anything about it if you don’t care to, but it would be interesting for each of you to “consider” this. Look at absolutely every aspect of your life, internal and external, altogether, and get a feeling for your own use of what you would change about all of that altogether, if you were completely Happy. [pause]
I generally don’t go anywhere, or do anything. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: I thought it was so wonderful that You Granted Your Darshan in Your Home, to Your devotees, because for them that was a really exquisite form of that intimate access. [Beloved Adi Da Granted Darshan in the Darshan Hall at the Manner of Flowers to all devotees present at the Mountain Of Attention for the celebration of The Feast of the Horse-Sacrifice.]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Ah, Tcha.
DEVOTEE: And for You it was so wonderful because You didn’t have to play the “institutional figure”. You didn’t have to wander from Your Quarters, you know.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: I definitely prefer to do it that way. That’s why I’ve asked to have My places of association with devotees be right around where I live daily. The place of association with Me should be where I Am, not where you are and I have to be driven to it. [laughter]
And most often, just like these recent occasions, over the years My Contacts with devotees have always been in the place where I spend all My time, right in My bedroom, because I typically only have that one room. I prefer just to do it that way. Im used to it. So you’re in My bedroom right now. [laughter] There are no couches and coffee tables. [Beloved chuckles.]
So I don’t go anywhere and do things, then. You all have been intruding on Me for twenty-three years or so, almost twenty-four actually. And in My Play of Submission to you to Instruct you, I oblige My Self in all kinds of ways. And in this Santosha time, still I am active, even like right now, in this “consideration”, for some reason, because you are intruding upon Me, and I am noticing this and that, so I appear to be active in some respects. But if there werent that kind of a Play, you would see Me not doing much at all. But even with that Play, I still do it, basically, but not moving around very much, or doing very much other than that.
So, if you’re sensitive to Me, then you see what an apparent Being, Who is Unutterably, Infinitely Happy does. [laughter] And you would especially see that more and more profoundly, if you would just let Me Do what I Do, and Be As I Am.
But that’s the way its been even from the earliest years. So I never had any inclination apart from the Great Matter. The whole life was conserved to that “Bright” purpose. But I didn’t engage in the usual model of pursuit of Happiness by means of exploiting what can never grant Ultimate Happiness. [pause]
There is no pursuit of Happiness. Whatever I am doing in My Working with you all and so forth, its not about any search for Happiness. It’s just My Play with you all, Manifesting It’self, Instructing you in all ways about that. But Im not doing anything to achieve Happiness. So I don’t do the things in general that people do when they feel that heart un-Happiness, to try and cope or get Happy somehow, they hope, you know? [pause]
You always know a period of “consideration” is over when people start looking for something to do.
DEVOTEE: Is somebody looking?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: No, not at the moment. [chuckles from devotees]
Well, like at Sugar Bowl for instance, it seemed like most of the people who were there were hot dog for skiing. That’s why they were there. [Devotees are laughing.] Passionate interest in skiing. So when the intoxicated skiing game is over because it gets dark, they come to the house, and they’re not skiing. So the ecstasy time is over, and they start looking for things to do, you know. Shall we play Trivial Pursuit? Wouldnt you like to just rest tonight and have some needles [acupuncture] and some massage? And go to sleep [speaking more loudly and intensely] real early for a real long time!? [laughter] [Beloved laughs.] [in the same voice] Wouldnt you like to give up this life of “consideration” and have some treatments instead? [laughter] No, when the “consideration” is over, then that’s that, and you go on to do what you’re supposed to do next, or because of it.
When we were back there at Sugar Bowl, nobody could even really get into “consideration” at all. I tried it with everybody over there in the Pavilion, three weeks ago, or whatever it was. [groans and exclamations from devotees] I couldnt get a “consideration” out of anybody there. Who were those people? Were you among those people? [laughter]
DEVOTEE OKUN: We were off that night.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Everybody was off that night. [laughter]
And I stayed there for eight hours or so. It was more like an autograph party or something, [laughter] autograph T-shirts or something.
So then we were at Sugar Bowl the next week, and everybody was a skiing fanatic, and every evening time is yodeling until you pass out. [laughter] I thought we ought to “consider” this Way of life, you know. So, we had those conversations, but it wasnt that anybody had a “consideration” there, either. But a few, like Devotee and Devotee, made some what they thought were earnest statements about their practice and such.
DEVOTEE: Ever to be regretted.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And they rather epitomized the limitations in practitioners in general which I had been addressing all these months here. So, those who were there didn’t really suggest any profound “consideration”, but the limits in the communications they did make, [laughter] limitations in those communications, became the basis for Me addressing everyone, all devotees, about some basic matters relative to what Guru-devotion is about and so on.
And then, still as I said, nobody tried to enter into any profound “consideration” with Me. It was all pretty much nuts and bolts ordinary life. [asking] What is it again? [laughter] The “overall life” context of practice that was being addressed.
So then I spoke just with the Kanyas one evening. I cant recall if they suggested anything particularly profound, either, now that I remember. [light laughter] They wanted to just lie around, listen to music and so forth, and I wanted to . . .
DEVOTEE: You said You wanted to talk about Light and Consciousness.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, Light and Consciousness, whatever. I thought it was a good occasion to try and develop a “consideration”.
DEVOTEE: Oh, Youre so beautiful, Beloved. [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: As I said, they’re more inclined to music, or just an evening of relaxation and massaging. So I did speak to them, and they recorded some of our conversation, which I then passed on to you, and then I heard was then passed on to any number of people. But Tripura especially, then, was telling me how this had become serious “consideration” for people, that kind of thing. So I thought I might still have a shot at getting a “consideration” going, with a small gathering here, before how many more years pass of this stay here. [laughter]
So, its been a lot of good “consideration” here. Thinking back on it, [laughter] I don’t think you introduced any “considerations” either. [laughter] But something of the non-communication or pieces of communication that were otherwise utterly bereft of “consideration”, I was again able to address limitations, not only in you all but in practitioners generally, especially relative to the essential or profound aspects of this Way. We haven’t spent a lot of time talking about lesser matters, except in sort of pointing at it here and there. We have consistently entered into this most profound “consideration”, from hearing through to even the seventh stage Realization.
So whatever little bits of pieces you said, it always just became a context for doing that again. So you’ve had many examples over half a dozen nights or something like now? Evenings? Long periods of again and again, in different ways, from different angles, or based on this and that little thing that somebody may have suggested, gone through exactly the same kind of in-depth process again. I suggest you could use these transcripts and guided meditation times. Well, its good that there have been a lot of examples of doing the same thing. Otherwise it would become rather routine, if you only had one example, or a couple of pages and just used it over and over and over again. It is good to approach it from different angles, in other words.
But when it comes down to it, its just a matter of allowing yourself to feel that only a fool is going to cling to this. [laughter] It’s just a matter of dropping it, that’s it, when it comes down to it, all your preparations and gradual disciplining of yourself. Because what it amounts to is allowing yourself to be Where you Are, As you Are, in the Place of Being. And the only reason you’re not doing it is because of entanglement. And when you just relinquish your entanglement, spontaneously know, feel, utterly that this is not Happiness, and it is not going to become it, all of that is a disposition of detachment or Freedom or dissatisfaction that allows you to Stand as you Are. So you’ve got to go outside the Native Position as long as you feel somehow its interesting to cling to.
But if you’re really sensitive to it, then you wont be giving yourself reason to cling to it. You wont be giving yourself illusions, bullshitting yourself. To Stand as the Witness is simply to not do otherwise. And if your entanglement in the body-mind suggests you do otherwise, then that’s what you do until, by directing yourself constantly counter-egoically in Communion with Me, you’re restored to your right disposition again.
Only a fool is going to merely cling to a gross, dying physical existence and believes that’s all there is. I mean if you yourself don’t know, go find a wiseman. At least have some interest in it. But you’ve got to be really bummed out to just mechanically consent to be attached to and driven to a mortal physical existence. You have to really be a cretin to not have any sense that theres something more, or whatever its called these days, you know, a real Neanderthal idea. Youve got to have that kind of a sense of yourself. You just stop being a fool. You relax from your tenacious contraction and identification with conditional existence.
So somehow or other that’s a kind of event that has to happen. But more than anything else, its about, in this Communion with Me, Realizing the Sublimity of Reality It’self, the Beauty, the Bliss of It. In this really knowing Me, knowing Me better and better. It’s that Communion, that experience itself, that is the basis for your relaxation of your tenacious hold on conditional existence, ultimately, rather than some negative chopping away. It’s this attraction, this Realization of Samadhi, the Self-Sufficiency of the Inherent Reality, the Utter Happiness of It. More and more taste of It, more and more depth of It. That Fullness converts you to the Witness-Position. It retires you from clinging. It replaces the egoic life.
So when you get really full, then you lose your life of emptiness. As long as you think its full, you can hold on to it. When you really get Full, then all the doings and all the attachment of mere conditional existence relax in It. So its not merely words but Fullness that converts you. I convert You. My Presence converts you, My “Brightness” converts you, as you, responding to Me, do the sadhana, and grow more and more in Communion with Me. This becomes the substance of it. So Ultimately That is what grants you permission, so to speak, to stand in the Witness-Position. I Stand in the Prior Place. So in your submission to Communion with Me, it becomes your disposition likewise.
If you cling to no experiences at all, but only to Me, then it is a quickened, inherently quickened process to pass to the “Perfect Practice”.
DEVOTEE: Beloved, when You were talking earlier about Neanderthal, I was feeling how, as we just started these “considerations”, You just spoke the “radical” Dharma, I mean the “radical” Teaching, just from Your first Word out of Your mouth.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: And, what feels so incredibly Graceful to me is that it feels like when You have been speaking with us, I’ve just felt its the difference between day and night, you know, Neanderthal, and somehow in this “consideration”, its like I’ve read Your Teaching but somehow this “consideration” is having a different impact on me, where I feel like Youre reclaiming me, in a sense. I mean in a complete sense.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Ah, Tcha.
One way of characterizing what we’ve been doing lately, you could say its been a kind of . reality group, as a . reality group should be. [appreciative murmurs and delighted laughing] In the sense of persistently focusing in, regardless of what came up as an offhand remark, or whatever, constantly staying focused in this central, profound business.
DEVOTEE: You have to admit that we’ve got a really particularly Great group leader. [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Good, let Me be an example to you all then. But all your group leaders will be geniuses because theyll be reading from My Transcripts. [laughter] [Beloved chuckles.]
But to say something more about that, in all these previous years, there have been all kinds of gatherings for the purpose of “consideration”. It was always about the Great Matter, certainly. But, you all are so elaborate about everything less than that most profound “consideration”, all of your entanglement life and so forth, that we’ve used up vast amounts of this nearly a quarter of a century discussing all of that stuff.
And I’ve told you that . practice should be beyond that kind of matter. Everything about adaptation to the disciplines and refining them in your life-business and so forth, is not the business of the . process and the reality groups and so forth. It’s not that something of that kind, lived individual practice, something to be addressed, shouldnt come up, or wouldnt. It does. But in all necessary respects everyone should have done the fullest, right student-beginners sadhana to the point of handling all of that.
So in our gatherings here in the last several days, we haven’t been addressing those kinds of matters, ordinary life-business, practice matters and such. Weve made references to some weaknesses in practice and what they are all about. But we’ve been rather consistently, even with some of that here and there, continuing in this, always in this central “consideration”. So that’s a pretty good example of how it would work then, what . reality groups ought to be about.
Except that its not just entering into “considerations” altogether characteristic as we’ve done here, because I said you should use My Word relative to hearing, specifically that, and sometimes “Perfect Practice” Teaching, perhaps. But otherwise and in general, its My Word relative to hearing. So that would be the basis of your staying focused. You might “consider” something further down the line or whatever in your conversation, the Witness and so on, but essentially youd stay focused in My argument, My “consideration”, specifically relative to the hearing matter, because that’s the business of your sadhana at that point.
Now, I’ve said a lot about this matter. A quarter of a century of conversations, many, many of which would relate to this matter. Not that you have to cover every one of those, even though many of you may have been to nearly all of them! [laughter] But nonetheless, there is a large amount of My Teaching Word that needs to be selected out from the whole mass of it, and that sufficiently covers it all, and they should be the focus of the “consideration”. There is only so much you can read in a group occasion, so you have to have people reading it, systematically reading it, everyone at the same time reading these materials extensively.
What else? [pause]
Oh, and another thing that might help you all is if I don’t talk to you, ever again. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: How could that possibly help? [laughter]
DEVOTEE: How could it happen?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well. Not that exactly, but without being intruded upon by the religion business and any demands from that direction, or otherwise without being surrounded by people who don’t seem to understand a thing about this Way of life, and having to address them about limitations, then, Hermitage is supposed to be a place where people have the practice and they are doing it, and they approach Me to Realize Me. And that’s the way I have been assured it is going to be. [Eyeing the sarvadhikaris.]
DEVOTEE: Wed better send these transcripts back right away.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil. [laughter] The sarvada-monkeys. [laughter] What about them? Oh, they have given Me these assurances. All devotees are giving Me these assurances, right?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, in that circumstance, I wont be particularly talkative. But if, as it sometimes does, occasion comes up to have a conversation with Me, and of course it will not be about any business what’soever because youll be handling it, and so youll have conversations with Me that are actually about Realizing Me! Why come to Me and “consider” anything else? And instead of My saying, “Wait, wait, wait, wait, first of all, what is your stage of practice?” so I know in what terms I must speak here, no, taking no regard for that what’soever, that’s your business to do, your obligation. It shouldnt be a point of discussion with Me. I’ve made My Revelation about that, so I presume that that’s what you’re doing. So if you’re going to talk to Me, why should I have to address your stage of practice as a point of view?
So, it would be useful to you, then, if when I did speak to you, I simply Revealed My Self and communicated to you in those terms, ultimate terms. Why should I be talking to you about you?
[laughter] Youre here to Realize Me. So, I should be talking about that. And why should I be talking about anything else? Those that are serving Me are supposed to know how to do that and anticipate requirements and so forth. Why should I have to interact about that particularly? Youre all handling the business of Purnashram and Suva, worldwide, why do I have to be concerned about that? So what am I going to talk about then? Just Revealing My Self, just addressing You with a capital “Y”, and not getting into lesser “considerations”. So that ought to be what you fully allow, but cultivate. [pause]
So I’ll speak about the Great Affair on occasion, and otherwise paint nudes. [laughter] And thatll be it. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Last night You said after You paint nudes, then you were going to paint everything.
DEVOTEE: For twenty years.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes. I thought I would paint nudes for twenty years, and then after that, a very long time, paint everything else. Only after I have thoroughly enough addressed this one subject which epitomizes all, the objectified She apparently, seen, Recognized as She Is. Then I’ll paint everything else. [laughter]
I could get very interested in that, and become even less interested in talking. So if you come, we wont have a “consideration”. I’ll just paint. [laughter] I may paint you, male or female, but the whole time you’re asking Me questions and requiring Me to “consider” the matter with you, [laughter] you will be nude, [laughter] and I will be painting you. [laughter] This will be the only circumstance in which I will respond to devotees verbally in the future. [laughter]
I heard you said you wanted to gather again this evening because you had various “considerations”. Have we already covered them? Hm?
DEVOTEE: It seems like You went right to the heart of them, covered them.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Does that mean after we break up tonight, you will have no further “considerations” required with Me? That we wouldnt gather again tomorrow?
DEVOTEE: Havent we said that to You each morning?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: No, you said you would, you know, look into it, “consider” it together during the day but you’ve each day said you did want to gather, and you said you did have a “consideration”, although it seems like basically you just wanted to gather. [laughter] And you said that, yes, each evening when the question was put to you, including this one, it was a conversation worth having, things were added and, so is there an end point to this “consideration”? Such that it now can just be taken and used in all the ways we’ve discussed? Or is there something more we need to discuss? Hm?
DEVOTEE: I cant imagine what more there is to speak about Beloved? Unless more . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You can just “blah-blah-blah-blah-blah”, and well see.
DEVOTEE: Im not talking about just this evening, Beloved, but, in terms of perpetuating gatherings.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: As I said, if you don’t have anything further, specific questions to ask or whatever that was coming out of your conversation today, were already gathered, you could just speak about anything what’soever, and well see what comes of it.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: One of the things that You said last night . . . [someone laughs]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: That was a totally meaningless statement I just made to you?
DEVOTEE: No, not at all.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: [laughing] Is it time for a piss break?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Youre not all sitting on newspapers yet? [laughter] So we have to take a break.
DEVOTEE: Beloved, did You pick one of the photographs of the cabin at Tunitas Creek that You had taken, did You favor one of those? You know, when You were looking through the albums for photographs that might be used as pieces of art?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Did I particularly favor any of them?
DEVOTEE: Did You pick one from the cabin at Tunitas Creek Beach? Where You took a photograph of the front door and of the table with books on it.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm. Yes, there was one of those I remember from years ago.
DEVOTEE: I was watching as You moved things around on Your bed just now. It reminded me of how You always do that.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: The one with the desk with the apple on top of the books.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: That one?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: Beautiful. [pause]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Is everybody back here yet?
DEVOTEE: No, a few more.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So, Devotee was about to ask something, right? That’s what we were doing.
DEVOTEE: Well, I wasnt sure if I was interrupting Stan, if he was about to make a response. [pause]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Doesnt look like it. [laughter] Doesnt look like it. And you, Devotee? Do you have something there? A “consideration” of some kind? [to one of the Kanyas] Where are My reading glasses? You don’t? Well, you’ve lost your chance. I want to move on to, a thought. [Beloved picks up a framed miniature of the face of Jesus, which He had brought in from His bathroom during a break in the gathering.] I didn’t look at it very closely yet. I haven’t seen it in a while, but I thought, I remember there is some interesting . . .
DEVOTEE: Is it Nicodemus?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, they didn’t include all the information on here. But, its a face of Jesus, but its sort of floating in space, and the space is gilded to a degree. So its supposed to be a visionary face of Jesus. A face as envisioned by the painter. Says, “This miniatura has been painted by a Flemish whose name is Bachalaurus de Ludovicioso di Ulode”, pronounced something along those lines, “in “, this was painted, “probably in Holland. But rare enough, it has been framed or reframed in Florence”, having been painted probably in Holland. “The frame is in fact a typically Florentine work of the same period”, seventeen hundreds, mid-seventeen hundreds, “made of mahogany, ebony, and turtle.” [DEVOTEES: Oh! Beautiful! Wow!]
So this frame and this image are from . And I don’t know how much you can see of the color or the detail, but its got a certain quality like Dali. And, you can all take a look at this if you want [DEVOTEES: Thank You, Lord.], this [referring to a small mala] was hanging on it. And I was just recalling it. Do you remember this, Nina?
DEVOTEE: Mm-hm. I do.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: When we were traveling, Patricia and Nina also, in , we went to Toledo, El Grecos house was there. He painted there. So we went there. In a little shop right near El Grecos house, where, remarkably enough, since we were in Spain, they sold a lot of Spanish things. [laughter] So this is of no particular importance to pass around. It’s actually more of a part of the history, Sacred History. Put some of these in the Sukra Kendra, maybe.
Oh! [looking around] And the painting has completely disappeared! [laughter] [mimicking a “solution” a la the board game “Clue”] It’s been stolen by Captain Peach, in the refrigerator.
[The art piece is slowly moving among the devotees.]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Trying to get him to pass it to you?
DEVOTEE: I’ll just go back to him.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: [in a most proper voice] The ladies art society has to look at it first. [Chuckles from devotees. Beloved chuckles.]
IO: Devotee, will you pass it back here?
DEVOTEE: It’s Hal actually.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Hal wants to look at it?
DEVOTEE: He is the chairman of the ladies art society. [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Were studying our Flemish Florentine art night. [laughter] [Beloved chuckles.]
The effort of the painter, I guess I mentioned it sort of briefly, is to make this figure appear to be Radiant. Im not really in a very good light to notice how that’s done with the gilding and the field and various other devices. You can see a kind of yellowish halo immediate to the face?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And then it gets, what? A kind of rosy color or whatever, it looks in this light. And even though the face is wearing a thorn crown, and appears to be drops of blood, let Me see the glasses again, here.
Yes, that yellow is the gold, in fact. So if you hold it in a right light, the light intended, the gold, its perhaps painted on a gold plate, now that Im looking at it carefully, the gold is immediate to the face, and then the painter has put in this kind of chalky looking rose color field out from the head. So it appears that there is this golden radiant halo around the face. And when you hold it in the correct light, it actually looks, its almost like a hologram. Im just noticing that. I never quite saw that before. It is, like Devotee was mentioning about the thangka that was here last night, you could feel the space it was standing in? This head appears to be rather three dimensional, floating in space, when the gold is held properly to the light. It illuminates it.
So there is this head with a crown of thorns, and blood coming down, where the skin is being pricked, and yet theres no expression of pain on the face. It’s disembodied also. It’s a vision, not just a face. So in other words, theres absolutely no reaction to pain.
DEVOTEES: Mm. Right.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: The face doesnt have any sorrow in it, either. It’s very calm, basically, and assured, rather full of certainty. And its looking straight at the viewer, with a very intentional look of reminding the viewer of him and so on, but also Communing with him, looking beyond the pain, even the humanness, beyond it altogether, to a luminosity, in which the head exists. [pause]
So, if you can, notice how the artist has tried to generate a feeling of Radiance. You don’t really have any direct light over there, so its probably a little difficult to see. But nonetheless that’s the way it was done. And clearly that’s the intention. It’s actually quite interesting. You don’t see a disembodied head of Jesus, or some religious figure, done like that very often . . . if ever. [quiet laughter] Has anybody ever seen it?
DEVOTEE: Oh, the Veronica. The Veronica was just a head I believe.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Oh, on the cloth? Supposedly?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It’s just supposed to be an imprint, though, . . .
DEVOTEE: That’s right.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: . . . from the physical face.
DEVOTEE: Yes, that’s right. He did the whole body there.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And to present Jesus in this manner as just a Spiritual form, in a luminous Divine Space is unusual, because the expectations of artists was to show the Divinity of Jesus but also his humanity. It’s fundamental to the doctrine, official doctrine of the church. And here he is showing, yes, the humanity signs in some respects, but its not a head connected to a body. It’s a visionary Jesus, with a God-Message.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And, even without the humanity thing being historically important and so forth, the people making the doctrines feared that people wouldnt see any difference between Jesus, then, and any other Teacher or Divine Influence. But it is the same as any other Teacher or Divine Influence, generally speaking. This is one of many ways of Contemplating it through a traditional religious system, but this is probably a little bit heretical maybe, or from some secret sect, or just the private visioning perhaps of some individual.
So whoever painted this wanted to have the feeling that his Teacher and his religious presumption was before him and really demanding that he practice. So its a little bit like you use the Murti or wear it around your neck. This person was using a similar device. He didn’t have any Polaroid, though. [laughter] [Beloved chuckles.] So its pure imagination in the ordinary sense, or perhaps imagination or whatever in a visionary state.
This is his idea of what Jesus looked like, actually looked like. This is his version of a Polaroid. Very thin but not emaciated, with a long aquiline nose, all those kinds of things that are rather commonplace in Jesus pictures. This little teensy weensy, in his body here.
Do any of you persist in having some remarkable beliefs about Jesus?
DEVOTEE: Remarkable beliefs?
DEVOTEE: [quoting the punch line from one of Beloveds favorite jokes] “I can see Peters house from here.” [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, not all of you, but many of you were raised as Christians or dallied with it somehow or other, otherwise. Theres all kinds of beliefs you pick up along the line with that stuff.
DEVOTEE: I don’t think I ever got in church the sense of the core of the Christian teaching, about the ascended, rising to Heaven and all this stuff. To me it was real mechanical, kind of socially oriented. Like You said, its more about behavior.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So you didn’t pick up any beliefs otherwise?
DEVOTEE: Only because I dropped out by the time I was about eleven, or twelve.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, you had a good shot at it there at that age. Twelve years of it is pretty good.
DEVOTEE: Well, it was being offered, only because it was being offered.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: But you were brought up in a Christian church until twelve, eleven or twelve?
DEVOTEE: Only casually.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Oh yes? So your basic experience of it was not religious, but sort of critical of it in a social way, or something?
DEVOTEE: It didn’t seem religious in the sense that it neither touched the heart or even more simply dealt with the core of that particular belief structure, as Youve explained it. I’ve learned about it listening to You, and Your summary criticism of it.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. So you don’t, in your experience, or in your manner, feel very much combined with Christian beliefs?
DEVOTEE: Well . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Or traditional conventional religious beliefs at all?
DEVOTEE: No, except insofar as they kind of permeate the culture I was raised in.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, but apart from that you have no beliefs you could say are Christian?
DEVOTEE: No. Well, none other than the ones that You said resonate with Your own Teaching, like “love thy neighbor as thyself”.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, that’s one way of being related to those sort of things. Theyre probably things that could be talked about, that have some bearing on . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: . . . belief.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And it would be good to talk about it. I was just thinking that Devotee is one of these kind of guys. [laughter] You can just count on it. That somewhere along the line, he got involved with some real “new age” beliefs about Jesus. [laughter] [Beloved laughs.] Did you?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Ahhhhhh. [laughter] How do I know these things? I must be psychic again! [laughter] Hm, yes. And do you persist in any of these beliefs?
DEVOTEE: I hope not.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Dont be guarded about it.
DEVOTEE: You know, as You were talking I was actually reminiscing on a moment when I was young. And there was something, and I kind of lost the connection, but it was interesting. Because I was raised a Catholic, and everything that goes along with that is pretty intense Christian doctrine.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It’s also a way that the wealthy luxuriate in religious associations. You cant do that as well in a Presbyterian church, not with a lot of style and class.
DEVOTEE: Oh, no.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: But if you’re among the wealthy, the Catholic church is the one to belong to, because theres so much theatre around religious luxury that way, all kinds of ceremonial this and that. So that was part of the connection, too, I assume.
DEVOTEE: Well, its actually funny, because my father wasnt a Catholic. My mother was. And my father really had the money. So . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Protestant money.
DEVOTEE: Protestant money. [laughter] [Beloved laughs.]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. [pause] And did you get involved in other kinds of beliefs about Jesus even later on?
DEVOTEE: [laughing embarrassedly] Oh, my god.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You know what Im talking about, Devotee.
DEVOTEE: I don’t think he wants to talk about it. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Oh, Beloved. You are too much. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Oh, god, its so hilarious.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Lets hear it.
DEVOTEE: I’ll just tell You what came to mind, you know, spontaneously.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes.
DEVOTEE: Without pre-figuring, trying to figure it out.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, get on with it.
DEVOTEE: Yeah, right. Youd better hurry up!
DEVOTEE: Well, when I was in, when in, when I [laughter] was living in Crested Butte, Colorado, where I had the tepee?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: [imitating Devotees way of saying it] Te-pee? You couldnt just say, “Where I had the tepee.” You had to go, “Where I had the te-pee.” [laughter] Crested Butt. [laughter] Crested Butt. Crusted Butt. [Beloved laughs.] That’s where you were. [Laughter, Devotee is laughing so hard he cant talk.] And what happened?
DEVOTEE: He was up in his tepee. [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: In the mountains. [laughter] Are you going to tell us what happened, Devotee?
DEVOTEE: It was the time when I began to get in touch with so-called Spiritual literature.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes?
DEVOTEE: I went to this bookstore in Denver and ended up buying this book there, and I came home and I read this thing, and it was . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: What was the book, Devotee?
DEVOTEE: I cant remember the name of it, but it was by this group, that supposedly was a channel . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. Somebody was a channel in the group?
DEVOTEE: Yes, a channel in the group. And they had this whole configuration of how the world was going to devolve and all this kind of stuff. And the person that they were, am I taking too long?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: I don’t know yet. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: This person, this so-called entity that they were connected through the channel was none other than, Jesus.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Ah-ha. Personally.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Using this channel, which made that a very important channel.
DEVOTEE: So, anyway the one thing I do remember which was a little aside to it is that . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Are you telling us you read this book and had feelings of belief about it? [laughter]
DEVOTEE: I think that’s what he was trying to say.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And that is what we were trying to get at.
DEVOTEE: Pardon me?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: That’s what we were trying to get at.
DEVOTEE: Yes, I know. I tried, believe it or not, I was trying to figure out how big that belief was. Im trying to remember.
DEVOTEE: Picture you in the tepee someplace. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: In the mountains above Crusted Butt. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Well, on some level obviously I did, you know.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes. What part of it did you like? In this picture painted in this book, what was the kind of stuff that you especially liked, and wanted to have it be so in your “overall life”? [loud laughter] What did you like about it?
DEVOTEE: I think that . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Dont give Me this you “think” stuff, Devotee. Just tell Me. What were you really enjoying fantasizing about being true?
DEVOTEE: I think probably the prediction that [he begins to laugh] this is a new age, the prediction that after the year two-thousand or whatever, or something like that, we were going to move into a Golden Age. I think that was it.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: That’s what you liked?
DEVOTEE: I think, that’s what just, I kinda remember. I don’t remember . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: The Golden Age on Earth.
DEVOTEE: Pardon me?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: The Golden Age on Earth?
DEVOTEE: [laughing] Oh, of course. [laughter]
DEVOTEES: Overall life!
DEVOTEE: That’s the overall life.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Right. It fitted right with your scheme.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So it wasnt about you ascending to some higher planes or something.
DEVOTEE: Well, that was . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It was about God sending you on a rocket to . . .
DEVOTEE: That was from other books, I guess.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: . . . paradise where you were, is that it?
DEVOTEE: That was other books I got that whole side.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes.
DEVOTEE: That was much more powerful, actually.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: The heavenly world or ascended world or higher plane kind of descriptions?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: That’s what you liked about that?
DEVOTEE: Yes. I liked the idea of not being associated with the body so much.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Associated with it so much.
DEVOTEE: So much, right. [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: How much do you want to be associated with it? [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Oh, My Lord.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: My observation is you get the whole pill.
DEVOTEE: Yes, that’s right.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Theres no “so much” about it. [murmurs] But you wanted some kind of what? Some sort of a blissful bodily state and circumstance, but filled with all kinds of extraordinary magical delightfulness, including a much bigger consciousness and psyche and happiness altogether?
DEVOTEE: [delighted] You got it! [laughter] [Devotee laughs.]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: A kind of eternal palace life.
DEVOTEE: Eternal palace life.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes.
DEVOTEE: I guess . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You know, super glorified, everything beautiful, delicious.
DEVOTEE: Yeah, yeah.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Howe’ver you want, you take care of the architecture and the interior decoration, [laughter] but there are the basic things that have to be there, you know.
DEVOTEE: Pardon me?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: There are just the basic things that have to be there for your expanded delight. And you’re beautiful and everybody else is beautiful and . . .
DEVOTEE: [laughing] Right, right.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: . . . lie on a pillow of ladies as thick as you like, right? [laughter]
DEVOTEE: I leave that to Your Imagination, Beloved.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: But you certainly know what Im talking about don’t you?
DEVOTEE: I do know what Youre talking about.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: That’s the place where the Goddesses are all so beautiful that the fruits turn to their color. [murmurs] [pause]
Hm. Do you have any beliefs like that, Michael?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: None! You have no beliefs about big worlds, heavenly . . .
DEVOTEE: Oh, yes.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Do you ever associate that wondering with any kind of pictures of what kind of situation youd like to be in?
DEVOTEE: No. If I lift my head enough above the kind of daily identification with what Im doing, Im drawn to You and the Heart. Because nothing else in between this and That ever seemed that beguiling to me particularly.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So it doesnt sound like theres going to be a lot of fifth stage of life horseshit then, Michael? [Beloved laughs.]
DEVOTEE: No. [Beloved is still laughing.] I think You Gave me some kind of a descending colonic the other day that did a lot of that work. I could feel it doing that Work, even in the midst of descending Transmission.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: If you do it ascendingly, the colonic blows the shit out of your face. [laughter] [Beloved laughs.]
DEVOTEE: I wouldnt want to do that on Your bedroom rug. [exclamations from devotees]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Exactly. So we do things more naturally. [laughter] [Beloved chuckles.] Well, different dispositions show different signs of how the process develops. Although sometimes someone might speak as you, Michael, and things occur along the Way that Awaken things that you werent aware of before and so on. So that’s always a possibility. But generally speaking, you’re characterizing your disposition straightforwardly. In some other cases, perhaps someone like Devotee, [chuckles from devotees] who does like to go into an imagination of form-life that is glorious and so on, that’s his quality in general, and his style of imagination and so on, that kind of disposition is also the kind that could show later on a strong inclination toward ascending phenomena and require it as part of their sadhana. It seems on the face it would be more likely to be somebody like Devotee would be showing such signs rather than someone like yourself, Michael.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: On the other hand, when you become Spiritually full in My Company, you might wind up with a shit-eating religious grin on your face. [laughter] [Beloved laughs.]
DEVOTEE: That sounds good.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: That sounds good? You might, you know, more and more find you’re not so down to earth as you thought.
DEVOTEE: Well, that’s certainly been my experience here these last few evenings. I was surprised to find myself sometimes seemingly being swifted through space, and seeing stars and the blue field, the bindu, seeing all these forms, like forms around Your Physical Form and other forms. And then through all that You keep cutting through that, and finding me again.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: And then sometimes when Youd be talking about Yourself, Id lose the sense of separate self, and everything would be visibly arising in You and remarkably full of this Love-Bliss we were talking about earlier, that is You.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Ramana Maharshi apparently was the Source of that description of His Awakening event, approved of it. And so we can take it to be His statement, when He, in description of that event says that the terror came over Him and so forth, and He lay down as if a corpse, and spontaneously passed through different levels of “consideration”. Until He saw that He was simply the Self, not the body-mind. He said even though the body was lying there as a corpse and so forth, He said, and this is the point I wanted to make, He said He could still feel the full force of His personality. Even though He was not associated with the body-mind at all. He described the fundamental Consciousness as having the quality of the full force of His personality.
That could mean many things. But most of them would be based on identification with the body-mind somehow. In other words, He can mean His personality like His attitudes, His thoughts, any number of things. But He specifically stood beyond the body-mind in the Self-Position. So what He simply must have meant, then, a couple of things can be said about it, one is by personality He meant His Being, theres His existence, still felt, just such, as His existence. He didn’t feel dead and empty in other words, or non-existent. He felt the full force of person-ness, of presence, of Being, existing as That. So I presume that that’s an aspect of it.
Another thing that can be said about it is in that instance, certainly perhaps He was speaking in still individual terms, in the sense of a personal essence of self. [murmurs] He was still making such references. There were other things that occurred after that event, when He left home and went through various periods, sitting in a room alone and such. So there was a process beyond that first event, which could perhaps be described as Realizing the Witness-Position, just that, but not having gone into what I describe as the second stage of the “Perfect Practice”. There was a first noticing after which it became, through a certain kind of progress, full in the sixth stage Jnani sense.
So He still did all of that for a while. And essentially what He was doing is the second stage of the “Perfect Practice”, at least in some basic sense that’s what it was, in other words entering into Contemplation of Consciousness It’self, or simply Oneness with It, rather than Witnessing anything. And at some point He got steady in that and was not so reluctant to associate with people and be communicative even. So you could say He exhibited the sign of sixth stage Sahaj Samadhi, established in the Transcendental Self, but able to function without losing that, able to function in the usual ways people function, but always maintained a rather simply Contemplative kind of disposition.
So, there is that curious line, then, in His statement about that event in His room, that He still felt the full force of His personality. It seems like there was still a dimension of individuation in it, at that stage, and perhaps also a reference to the feeling-nature of the Self, the Transcendental Self. [murmurs]
And how did we get into that “consideration”?
DEVOTEE: Religious beliefs from your childhood.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Oh, or from your entire life for that matter.
Craig, among others here, comes from a long line of people who believe that the Divine never incarnates, never appears in any other form what’soever, except has been known to appear in the form of a bush. Bush, small tree, howe’ver described, its not exact, but the basic point of view in the Jewish tradition is that God is entirely apart, and doesnt appear in human or any other form, can be communicative somehow in the dreams or religious communion of prophets and so on. But, doesnt become the form of anything conditional, so to speak, you see? And yet, there is the, what’s usually called “burning bush” incident, legend about Moses, becoming “Bright” with God, and it is indicated there that God, the Divine Being, took the Form, was in fact, Incarnated, at least, for this Great List that was passed on, the ten basic principles of the traditional law that became very complex.
This event, or this body of the law, is so profoundly important in the view of that tradition, that its just that transmission of the law itself that gets the biggest miracles around it because it is itself valued so highly. The legends that get passed down around it are particularly prominent around just that, the law. The fact that God communicated it is what gives it authority, but its basically a body of social rules, mainly, principally social rules and such, very important in that tradition, became very elaborate over time.
But at the head of it we have this story about Moses receiving all of this, not merely in a vision, in his mind, but by seeing God Incarnate in the form of tree, or bushy growth of some kind. Tree, bush, whatever. And this is an example, then, in the Jewish tradition of belief, that God appears in a manifest Form because its otherwise strictly denied that there can be such a thing, and this is of course one of the arguments for the non-responsive Jews to the Christian doctrine.
So a Transfigured tree Divinity, and trees were also worshiped in the ancient tradition, and would have been by such people at that time. Part of many different kinds of worship which would have been considered idolatry later. And it was involved in doing all kinds of ritual things with living trees, and parts of trees and so forth, invoking the power that can be shown through such a form, internal to man as well as external.
And perhaps something of that tradition is behind the glowing bush myth. That ancient veneration of trees, expecting therefore some Divine message to come through them, is the kind of sympathy that could have had some associations very much like that. A tree is holy, can be regarded as such and so on, and be a source of Divine Inspiration. Maybe he was just sitting under a tree or something, and felt God was speaking about how to organize all these people.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. Maybe something like that, rather than going up on the mountain and, well, the way its portrayed in the typical expression. Maybe all of that is just a kind of legendary picture, for doctrinal reasons, to make much of the law, but behind it there was some sort of original something or other that suggested a metaphor maybe.
There are all kinds of curious beliefs when you look on the face of them in all traditions, which on their face maybe don’t seem quite right or believable. But behind it there is something else. It’s what we’ve talked about before, at times, about how the belief system about the nature of the world at the time of Jesus and the time following that even, was that basically the earth is a flat plane with a crystal dome above it, and the stars are spirits or the world of angels and so forth, and the dead, all the rest of it, all the different planes. And at the top of this crystal vault is the Divine World, God World, Heaven, the place where God is. That’s what they thought of in these terms. And so as you know, as I’ve said, when it came time to mythologize this message, Jesus ascension is described according to the presumed nature of the world at the time.
To be One with the Father, go back to Heaven, theres only one way to do it. Youve got to go up into the sky, and disappear into the vault, get to Heaven. That’s because that’s where it literally is. So that was the point of view about the world. And so when they’re describing whatever they intended to communicate through this ascension story, it was built on the presumptions of the time of how the world is constructed.
And of course they say he did this bodily, you know, . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: . . . in the concrete body, perhaps somehow transformed along the way, but that’s an important part of the message. Youve got to have that body there. That’s why that picture we were looking at is not an image in the usual tradition.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Because its already presumed that a lot of others are already up there.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And one of the main importances of Jesus going up there, is because hes going to go there bodily. It ultimately becomes an exoteric message to human beings and the body of believing Christians that bodily existence is blessed. You should get on with it and do as best as you can and make a utopia here.
So that’s a fundamental part of the Christian message, this presumption that the human life, just in its own terms, no high or deep particularly, but just human life as anyone might live it, is blessed by the Divine to be your business, that’s it. That’s what you’re here to do. You don’t do anything high or deep, . . .
DEVOTEE: The whole Western . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: . . . all that profound stuff, so that you go beyond this, you see.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So its basically a message that the world is blessed, or that living life in the kind of utopian direction generally is the teaching. That’s what you’re here to do. So its not really a tradition of mysticism and esotericism, but a tradition of moral philosophy and social philosophy and so on, even political philosophy, and is very much like the other Semitic traditions, the Jewish tradition and the tradition of Islam, in this respect.
They all have their esoteric side groups, so to speak, you know, some of which were tolerated and some not. So there is some mystical tradition associated with all of them. But fundamentally that’s not their message. It’s a very social message, a human life message. At least that’s what it became.
Originally there were many different kinds of what you could call Christianity. They werent even called that. But the one that won out, so to speak, that became official, was one that suits the needs of a State. Rome at that time. So it couldnt have a public religion that was about mysticism, and going beyond the body. It had to be a public teaching about human life, and fulfilling expectations as a social personality. So at that point the traditions that were still calling themselves Christian just as rightfully as any other, and which were more mystical and thought of Jesus in Spiritual terms and not bodily ascension, any kind of variations on all of that, Gnosticism, there are many rather mystically oriented or esoteric Christianities. And they all got anathematized.
They were tolerable when it was just a loose religious kind of tradition, with all different kinds of forms, not official to the State, and not really tolerated even. The difference between how that religion developed in that context for the first three hundred years, and then was stopped, and only one was allowed to be the official doctrine, but the Semitic religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, all have a likeness, which is this orientation toward the blessing of human life kind of attitude. And basically they’re a social kind of pursuit, even political pursuit, of ideal social conditions and ideal conditions altogether. Utopia is in the seed of all those three religions.
And religions that don’t have that kind of orientation don’t go down too big with the large states.
DEVOTEE: That’s right.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: The official religions all have to be this-world oriented. Sometimes they allow for there to be esoteric groups and whatnot, too, but the public religion is publicly oriented, socially oriented. It’s all about incarnation or perfection of human life somehow, but at the same time it has a very body-negative view and sex-negative view, meaning its sort of negative about the very thing that makes more bodies. So its double-minded, because there is a fundamental stress behind all of this looking for Utopia through mortal means.
Those three religions have all kinds of mythologies, and therefore beliefs, accumulated by the people associated with them. But when it all comes down to it, its about supporting a program for social existence. In the esoteric offshoots of any such groups there may be something more, to some degree or another that goes on, but that’s the general attitude of public religion in the West.
In the East, howe’ver you may define that altogether, demands have still always been made on religion by the State, because religion always has been identified with the State, until very recently. Separation of church and State doesnt have much of a history. It’s recent. So in the past there was always a State religion, or perhaps several or whatever. So all those religions had to serve the needs of the State for governing people and having positive social outcome all the time. So the official State religions usually have a strong element of that kind because of the necessities of the State, and of trying to bring order to human beings.
But perhaps we could say that even so, in Asia, the esoteric elements or aspects of the public tradition were not hidden, were not suppressed, or are more obviously there, perhaps, than you would say in the West. So there was a time when the Confucians had the doctrine that the State used overall for all of its population, Confucian rules, very socially oriented. But coincident with it, part of the State religion was also Taoism and many things of that nature. And that was okay, too, in certain other aspects of your rather non-public life presumably. Buddhism became part of it also.
So you find official or State religions in Asia often encouraging the people in rather esoteric religious life to some significant degree.
DEVOTEE: Why do they feel they can do that?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, an older tradition, it seems, in which something about the Divine or esoteric nature of existence, became so fundamental, over such a long course, that it is inherent in the culture and not so readily relinquished as it has been in the West. You can see it in the political goings-on of the day, the struggle in the East to retain something of its own disposition and not just have to become Westernized for the sake of some new political game being considered elsewhere.
In China, as an example, theres been a lot of suppression of everything, other than a kind of Confucian or state, strictly political social religion for some time. Still troubles in Tibet about that. But something of that shows signs that it may be loosening up. They may restore a lot of things in the future, potentially anyway. It seems like theres a lot of politicking to go on for a while though.
India is a better example where it is supposed to be a secular state now. It’s not strictly identified therefore with Hinduism, although some want it to be. A lot of politicking about that presently. It’s supposed to be a secular state, but one based on essentially religious principles, and a sense of a religious state, a religious culture because theres a kind of view that all religions are a possible path for some and are about the same thing ultimately. So theres a kind of universal view, but its still a universal religious view.
And so you still find a mass of traditional attitudes persisting there. Conflicts also, but nonetheless a kind of allowance of things more than material pursuit and consideration. Of course there is in India, a lot of people want to move in a very strictly secular, Westernized fashion. But that’s a country that’s a good example of how theres a resistance to becoming grossly oriented as in the West.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Even Islam has a kind of oriental quality to it. It’s not just from the Middle-East, but its also been influenced by a lot of Asian, it has particularly Indian associations and so forth. So even though its not mainly oriental in India or somewhere, but is in the Middle East, represented there largely, it is still representing, it seems like, in the Western world, a demand for the state being something like religious.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Secular perhaps as in, only in the sense that it tolerates various kinds of religious affiliation and such. But its all about religious life, religious laws, and dominated of course by what is presumed to be the principal religion there. So they’re practically in the West, somehow, also through the news media and everything else, and are directly confronting Westerners with something rather oriental, among other things. A demand for there not to be absolute secularization of life but a religious view of life made the context of presumption of everyone.
And theres so much chaos of intermingling of people from all different kinds of traditions, it vulgarizes everyone, vulgarizes religion, too, then. And then you get a kind of gross secularism. But the impulse some are expressing is to have a state that is tolerant but not about gross secularism. In some basic sense essentially religious.
So the argument for that, even the demand for that, is coming from Islam and from Asian societies. It’s not coming from the West, which is supposed to be religious, too, semi-officially, Christian. Muslims, they presume basically Americans are Christians and some of them are Jews, but its basically that same kind of tradition that they’re in. And they are just amazed at how the willful secularism that they see in what they presume to be a Christian society, or at least a society based on the religion of the Prophets somehow.
So they really don’t understand why Westerners are so inclined to secularism, total dissociation of the state and life altogether from religion. It’s a paradox to them, because they think of the West as being made up of religious countries, but within their own tradition.
And how did we get into talking about all this? Even talking about the East, we still wind up talking about politics.
DEVOTEE: You asked us what beliefs of Jesus were left in any of us.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, nobody seemed to indicate very much.
DEVOTEE: One thing I was thinking about, . . .
DEVOTEE: Talk to more Catholics. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: . . . the really dominant thing that I remember in terms of beliefs was this matter of the existence of a soul, and how the soul was directly associated with Jesus. And that if you lived a profoundly religious life that, lots of examples of Saints who have done that, and they’re always surrounded with a halo, showing that their soul is basically at one with Jesus. But there was that strong . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: All of this is Plotinus.
DEVOTEES: Hm. Oh, right.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It’s the same structure using the Christian language. Live the good, commune with the good, and you get the reward of the good. Plotinus is all about the soul and its qualities, and its qualities in relation to the One, and union with the One, all that kind of thing. So its not that that kind of thing is not exclusively Christian, but its garbed in Christian concepts and figures and such.
And what about this? You do not believe this any longer?
DEVOTEE: Well, it was striking in a sense that, growing up in Ireland, it wasnt exactly a rich country. There wasnt a lot of distraction available, and there was a lot of suffering around, so there was this kind of strong orientation towards fulfillment in the next life kind of deal rather than presently.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You mean this means its not true?
DEVOTEE: Well, no, the ticket to that was your soul, you see, hoping things that . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: What makes you think this is wrong? [laughter]
DEVOTEE: No, Im not saying . . . [laughter] Yes. In thinking about Your question earlier, if there was any belief like this that informs you. And then everything that Youve been Instructing and showing us, all these years but especially in these gatherings, is that there is no such thing as the individual soul. And as long as you persist in that . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, but you see, you cant just sort of blap that out as doctrine. [murmurs from devotees] This is a matter of Realization.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Initially, and in the earlier stages, the position is that of the body-mind. And an accounting has to be made for the in-depth part, howe’ver, that is ultimately free of the body-mind. So, not yet having entered most profoundly into the Realization of that, language developed for this, referring to this in-depth part, this eternal part, with words like soul. But perhaps you can say that that word has become associated with limiting matters. But its apt enough for use in the earlier stages of life. I mean its not just a patently false notion. It’s just a reference. It’s a word used to refer to the eternal dimension of the apparent personality, while still identified with the body-mind. And then philosophy gets built around that. “That deep inner part, well. That’s still you. It’s just your deep part, and its separate from the Divine, Who has some similar characteristics but is absolutely beyond you.”
So even that in-depth soul part must surrender to, commune with, the Divine, Who is One. But the body-mind is not capable of direct communion with the Divine, because its a body-mind. Only the soul has some likeness, or the in-depth part has some likeness to the Divine, its felt, you see. So the body-mind can be made compatible with the religious life by being obliged to do this, that, and the other thing. But the part that communes with the Divine is in secret. It’s the soul, the in-depth part, feeling toward the Divine.
Well, its apt enough language you see, for something about how it feels in the earlier stages of life because, except in extraordinary states of absorption, there is the feeling that there is an in-deep part, called soul, but it is bound up with the body-mind and so forth. So its a created entity of a kind. It has likeness to the Divine. The body-mind can sing and dance religion and so forth, but ultimately its this deeper part that has to do the approach to the Divine, feeling, surrender, love, and so on, all the ways of participating in what is beyond your Radiant deeper part, reaching into Infinity. Well, that is an apt enough description for the kind of religious work that occurs in the first five stages of life because there is the body reference in those stages, the body-mind reference.
So all the concepts about God apart and all these sort of things, all these ways of reunioning the deeper part with the Divine, through great communion but not identity, all this comes out of that earlier stage viewing, being serious, being religious, but viewing Reality based on earlier stages of realization, presumption, and so forth because those views construct reality through point of view. But its a point of view that is not Awake to the Truth Most Perfectly. So the vision of Reality is not Most Perfect. [murmurs]
Nonetheless, what you just described in Christian language is an apt enough description of the universal religious process in the first five stages of life. And you don’t believe this anymore, is that what you’re saying?
DEVOTEE: [Devotee laughs, laughter.] . . . I don’t believe that. That when You draw us into this Contemplation of You, like Youve been doing the last several days, I certainly don’t believe in that, in the sense of what Youre showing us is that Truth is Prior to the body-mind. [ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.] So in that sense I don’t believe in it in the same way. I feel kind of liberated from that. Whereas when I . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: But you are asserting some things, but they’re based on your actual “consideration” and experience. And that’s what makes it genuine for you. Whereas when you’re talking in that other language or whatever, you’re talking about a system organized in the mind and philosophizing toward something. [pause]
Religious life must be based on actual Realization and experience. But there are all kinds of tendencies in the world that reorient religion in all kinds of ways, and miss the mark again. [pause]
In any case, the mysticism or esotericism associated particularly with the fourth and fifth stages of life is one whole kind of thing because of the association with the body-mind. Weve been talking about the “Perfect Practice” as being a practice of another kind entirely, because it is generated prior to the body-mind and is not a process that itself is about entering into the conditional domain, but of Identifying Most Perfectly with the Prior Domain.
So from the Point of View of that “Perfect Practice”, the kind of universal language of the first five stages of life relative to whatever language, “soul” or whatever, doesnt seem to be very apt, because the thing that was otherwise looked at and felt as within, and a philosophy built that around, about all of that objectivity or distance, has now become obsolete with the Realization of the Condition and Place of that deep inside, not the body-mind at all, not separate from anything, just One. This is Communion without “difference”, God-Realization without “difference”.
Well, from the point of view of the mysticism of Plotinus or the universal mysticism of the first five stages of life, this is not understandable, particularly when you start describing from that new so-called Point of View, you start describing Reality. You start breaking through barriers that are presumed to be absolutes in the earlier stages. Youre eliminating the difference between God and the soul, so to speak, the being. Ultimately you undermine the difference between the Divine and the world.
Youre proposing things about the nature of Reality at that stage of Realization that sound like heresy to those associated with earlier stages who have a complex life built on those earlier stage presumptions.
DEVOTEE: I always felt that certainly the Christian images that dominated when I was growing up, I don’t know if its because of the inherent limitation of not knowing anything about the dharma beyond the body-mind, but all the images had this limitation of sorrow ultimately. [ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.] They werent fully Radiant.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, theres a strong message in the Christian tradition about embracing human life, as in the Semitic traditions generally, but even stated more fully, its an embrace of human suffering. Human life is essentially described by the Jesus symbol of the suffering man on the cross, and this is basically a description of what the world is.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: But what is preached is not a going beyond the world, even though it is identified as suffering, but of taking it on as a Yoga, so to speak, embracing, then, not merely human life with all of its amusing possibilities you might pursue, but embracing human life as suffering.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And so if you look at the presumed Saints and such in that tradition, they are most typically individuals who suffered a great deal. Their life always turned out to be somehow coincident with this and that that required great endurance and such. So this kind of image is especially valued in that tradition. It’s not merely embracing life so that you can turn to utopia. It’s embracing life as suffering in order to have life work as God-Communion.
So it is specific to the Christian disposition to embrace life as suffering. And then there are other portions of the doctrine that are about going beyond the desires in the body, going beyond sex, all these sort of, in some sense, body-negative presumptions. But of course, the basic reason why that is not regarded positively is because its not suffering. Youre not supposed to embrace life as pleasure. Youre supposed to embrace it as suffering. Youre supposed to embrace those who are suffering and not disregard them. So its a meditation on suffering, but ultimately for the purpose of going beyond suffering, entering into beatific Communion with the Divine. But if you were pictured in that, like Jesus, you’re shown with suffering signs all over the body, and going beyond it into the light.
So the mysticism of that tradition is always associated with the humanity of Jesus, the human life kind of requirements, and this life is suffering.
It’s quite the opposite of the Buddhist language, life is suffering, therefore, you have to comprehend it and Realize beyond it. The Christian message, the official one anyway, is that you intensively embrace suffering altogether and make it a means of prayerful Communion. Dont resist it. Embrace it, and, experiencing its condition, be humbled and opened by it and such. That’s the basic requirement of Christian mysticism. There can be different attitudes even in the other two religions closest to it, Islam and Judaism.
So there has to be this suffering sadhana element always in the Christian tradition, and you even noticed it as a kind of quality of sorrowfulness and so on?
DEVOTEE: Oh, yes. In all their images, you know, this sorrow is such the preferred sign even, and is cherished.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: For this reason, as I just said. So its like in India you find people take a vow to hold their hand up in the air for years, or whatever, a lot of physical restriction and discomfort in it, pain and so forth. Why do they do it? It’s a kind of penance, to purify attachments, egoity, and make you Godward and free, then, of the body encumbrance, so you can enter into Divine Communion. Well, its the same basic idea made into an entire culture rather than just one of the options that somebody might choose.
But you’re not particularly sympathetic with a sadhana that requires that dose. Is that it?
DEVOTEE: That’s true, Beloved.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: [pause] Well, it neednt be done in that particular manner. But nonetheless you have to deal with the same things. So in some elements of Tantrism which we’ve discussed, theres an orientation to embrace pleasure and pleasure-making as Yoga, for the sake of Divine Communion and Divine Realization. And if some other group can choose to embrace suffering and turn it into a means of Realization, why cant somebody just as well embrace pleasure? [mild laughter]
DEVOTEE: It would be a higher Yoga.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And have it become, well, I mean, if its a matter of embracing conditional existence and turning it Godward, why, at least you have the option. You could embrace suffering if you want to, but you could embrace pleasure, too, or both, as you all tend to do. [laughter]
Well, maybe something like that is behind the Tantric method and inclination, some observation like that. You didn’t have to do it ascetically, necessarily. The same logic basically could be turned around and take a look that you could just as well, then, choose pleasure, just as you can make a Murti out of anything, because everything is in the Divine, make a Murti out of it, regard the Divine with it. So they thought, you could just as well do this with all the things that those who are ascetically oriented say you shouldnt do.
But they werent anti-religious. They werent saying, “I used to be a Catholic,” or whatever, you know, “and I was so restricted by it that now Im going to do what I please.” You see, that’s not Tantrism, although some people think about it in more or less those terms really. No, Tantrism is as religious a choice as asceticism or embrace of suffering and so on. It is, in its true forms, profoundly religious and philosophically oriented. And its serious about trying to do that kind of a Yoga, didn’t exactly achieve Ultimate Realization with it, but neither did the others. Neither those who chose the pain course, or suffering course, nor those who chose the pleasure course showed any remarkable results, beyond a point anyway, beyond a stage of possible Communion, and most often got all kinds of stuck with the things previous to it, previous to true Communion, just all the business of getting to that point, all the preoccupations with pleasure or pain, whichever the path you chose. Most of it is time wasted with that, rather than fully, truly entering into Communion and going through the stages that transcend all limitations progressively.
In your case, you have to deal with these things, in other words. You have to be equally religious as you were being asked to be in another form.
So the Way of the Heart is not a way of avoiding any of the aspects of the true requirements of religious life. It’s a profound approach to all of it, most profound.
So in maintaining some of the pleasurable conditions of life, not being those inclined to embrace suffering as a way of life, you may have to deal with it when it happens, you include things in your practice, or at least many devotees include things in their practice, such as intimate relationships and so on. And so you’re being something like Tantric about that decision, because you’re not doing it, generally speaking, for the sake of producing the next generation of children. Some have had children, but largely devotees enter into intimacies without the intention to have children, or not a strong one, anyway.
So you’re entering into these intimacies for the sake of pleasure. You don’t embrace these intimacies with one another hoping to have an unpleasurable or disturbing life with them. [chuckles from devotees] You do not embrace them in order to suffer them. You embrace them in order to enjoy pleasure by association with them, at least that was your initial intention and expectation.
So that was the purpose of it, and that’s a rather Tantric kind of choice rather than the Christian embrace of suffering choice. But you must understand that Tantrism is a very serious religious life, Yogic life, and you have to really, then, in embracing that, transform it into Yoga, not binding, but a means of Communion along with all the other aspects of your life, a means of being steadily religious, even under such circumstances.
Making it that is not supposed to be something you look forward to achieving at the end of your lifetime, or after a long period of time. It’s a present-time obligation. You have to do it immediately. If you’re going to embrace the potentially binding things of life intentionally, then you must exhibit the great capability in the midst of it. And you must do so immediately. Theres nothing in your life that should be allowed to be unfinished business relative to this conversion. So a brief period as a student-beginner, then that’s just what you do. If theres anything about your intimate life in emotional-sexual terms, the relationship itself, anything about it that’s not, or that you’re not participating in in such a way that it is fully conducive to your sadhana of Contemplation, you have to deal with. You have to change it or have some sort of discussion, whatever, but you cant allow it to persist. [pause]
So true Tantrics are just as diligent and dramatic about their fulfillment of their religious intention as Christian saints in their embrace of suffering, and humanness in the ordinary sense. So that’s how you should understand true Tantrism in the traditions, wherever you can locate that. But that’s also how you should understand this aspect of your own practice, aspects of your own practice in My Company that are similar.
In the Free Renunciate Order those who are sexually active with any other could be called a Tantric sannyasin. It’s an apt enough description, if you understand it. But if they’re going to be active in such ways as members of the Free Renunciate Order, they must by obligation do it as Yoga. And that is the expectation in the Lay Renunciate Order as well, then.
Another reason why I said, generally speaking, if someones in intimacy, their intimate partner must be involved in the LRO as well, or how can the whole matter of intimate partner be Yoga? How can your absent partners business with you be addressed if shes not in the Lay Renunciate Order or hes not in the Lay Renunciate Order? It’s not under the view, therefore, of the culture of renunciate practice.
So this Tantrism you’ve added in your lives must be dealt with very seriously until you Stand in the Witness-Position. I had to put that in there somewhere, because all of our “consideration” was . . . [mild laughter] So well end that one with that one. Isn’t it true no matter what is arising now, you are the Witness of it? And that Witness is Radiant and Infinitely Self-Contained? Did you notice?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Someone was saying something over here?
DEVOTEE: I was, I was going to. Through the Grace of Your Darshan over the last extended period of time, I’ve been enjoying Your Witness-Position. And its much different than what I was experiencing in the evenings before, because . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Tonight particularly is different, you say?
DEVOTEE: Oh, yes, much different.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Different than the other evenings?
DEVOTEE: Yes. In finding, Locating Your Witness-Position there was an equanimity that came over me, [ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.] where I could tolerate the “conductivity” in the heart and the right side of the heart. [ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.] It became tolerable, where before, in the evenings before, I was overwhelmed by that through identification with the body-mind and Id be overwhelmed by the Transmission. And now I can enjoy the Transmission in Your Witness-Position and not be identified with it. And I felt this occurred through the Grace of Your Darshan and the great self-forgetting capacity enjoyed in Your Darshan.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. Tcha. So you feel this Stand Prior even to attention?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And Prior to the body-mind altogether?
DEVOTEE: It’s relaxed. And identification with the body-mind is relaxed.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: But do you feel yourself Standing Prior to the body-mind altogether? Or are you in the position of the body-mind?
DEVOTEE: Now Im in the position of the body-mind.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You are? Now you are?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
See, in the Witness-Position truly, you luxuriate in not being the body-mind . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: . . . rather than being concerned that the body-mind feel good, too.
DEVOTEE and OTHERS: Mmm. Ohhh. Mm-hm.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So you get some kind of a taste of it, but then theres a kind of a reflex, start reading the signs in the body-mind, . . .
DEVOTEE: Mm-hm, Mm-hm.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: . . . and in doing so you’re identified with it again.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Are you all getting sleepy?
DEVOTEE OKUN and DEVOTEE DAVIS: No.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It’s :.
[a couple of people talk at once.]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Are you all getting finished or not?
DEVOTEE: I don’t think so.
DEVOTEE: We get later and later every day, Beloved. By the time Youre done, well be operating on Fiji time.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes. [mild laughter]
DEVOTEE: That’s great.
DEVOTEE: Twenty hours later.
DEVOTEE: The being naturally moves toward Fiji time, Beloved. [some laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Maybe so. The Fijian being does. [more laughter]
DEVOTEE: A true being.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, what other thiss and that’s should I talk about? We seem to have talked about a lot of unusual different kind of things this evening, haven’t we?
DEVOTEE: Christian mysticism.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It’s because you brought up Christianity, that’s what it was. So we got into a whole excursion about everything that belongs to all those things.
Dare I ask again if anybody else has any curious beliefs about Jesus? I mean like Jesus did ascend or some kind of in control of everything, or . . .
DEVOTEE: One really strong belief in Ireland, and also in a lot of countries, small countries obviously, is belief that the Virgin Mary is active [ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. Oh, yes.] in Shakti form and is actually effective, you know, through various miraculous appearances and interventions.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes. A lot of these visionary appearances or giving messages to young children and that sort of thing started particularly vigorously in the nineteenth century. But it still goes on. Theres still new ones. Well, what about that?
DEVOTEE: Well, I know its a very strong belief in my culture, and I feel I probably have inherited some of that.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Something about the Virgin Mary?
DEVOTEE: Yeah, something like that. [Devotee laughs along with a few others.]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: What do you feel or believe about the Virgin Mary?
DEVOTEE: Well, . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You still believe something about the Virgin Mary?
DEVOTEE: Well, when I read Your description of Your Pilgrimage, and how You actually became, for a period, almost a devotee of the Virgin Mary, there was something about that that really struck me, because I think as a kid the part of Christianity that I believed in the most was the fact that the Virgin Mary was effective through, like the miracle at Lourdes and stuff like that.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, I wasnt acculturated to believe that at all.
DEVOTEE: You werent at all as a Lutheran?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You don’t get any Virgin Mary culture there.
DEVOTEE: That’s why You said, Beloved, you almost laughed.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Almost what?
DEVOTEE: In The Knee of Listening, You said You almost laughed when You started having the vision of the Virgin Mary.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Right. But nonetheless there is a structure of mindforms psychically deeper than the outward profession of religion, perhaps, in the mind. But nonetheless, it was about the mind. That is, if you study that in The Knee of Listening, that portion of it, youll see how it all developed and what it was all about, and it disappeared just as suddenly as it began. It was a burning off of a deep internal religious structure, Christian at some level, but beyond that, at another level, not specifically Christian. But it burned off through these images, these exaltations, was clearly understood to be the structure of mind, the depth of the ego-structure, more profound than what you have on your mind otherwise.
So at the end of that, the sense of it was a feeling of purification. [murmurs]
DEVOTEE: Beloved, I remember when I first read The Knee of Listening and came to that part and was reading about Your relationship with the Virgin Mary and how she appeared, and something cracked in me, and maybe, I don’t know if was because of my past association with Christianity, but I started weeping ecstatically. [ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.] And I, I don’t know, there was, something really broke in me in that point when I was reading The Knee of Listening. And then as I continued on from that point, there was some recognition of You as the Divine. And up until that time I was reading The Knee of Listening almost as a philosopher or something. But something actually, kind of snapped in me at that point and I felt You were my Sat-Guru. And its just an amazing Grace.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. Tcha. [pause]
Well, what else?
DEVOTEE: Well, Beloved, theres one other thing [mild laughter], that I thought of, something about this book I read. Jesus was the ascended Master, and he was associated with the Earth, and he was in this, there was this hierarchy of ascended beings associated with one of the planets in the solar system. And he was ruler of the solar system.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, of course. You like that kind of idea.
DEVOTEE: Pardon me?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You like those kinds of ideas?
DEVOTEE: Well, at that time it was very fascinating, but it didn’t last too long. I realized that was real horseshit. [Devotee laughs. Beloved chuckles.] But there was a point in time when it seemed pretty fascinating.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Hm-mmmm. [very long pause]
DEVOTEE: I just wanted to mention one other major archetype, this concept of the devil as an actual real entity. [ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.] You know, it was used as profound propaganda when I grew up, to keep you straight. But it seemed like it went . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It was like there used to be a complex sense of the invisible world, so to speak, but then when the Jesus image became so fundamental, all the hierarchy of beings became even some kind of heretical. So instead of there being lots of hierarchy leading you and “blah-blah-blah”, theres just this one figure. So hes the super good figure. You had to then conceive of all evil in a person, an opposite kind of person, whereas theres all kinds of negative force, or forces going one direction or another, contrary to your best inclination.
But such descriptions or images suggest a fixity about it all, a kind of a description of reality as being somehow divided and not One. Reality has a dark side and a bright side. Therefore, the religious course is necessarily about some kind of rejection of the one, and choosing of the other, and a struggle of that kind. Theres no other way to do it. Theres no more direct way to do it.
So the devil is like somebody doing a cartoon in the newspaper to represent something. It’s a religious cartoon, a religious notion, a myth. It’s not merely there to account for evil, because there was evil there before, but a way of making it doctrinal somehow and conform reality to certain religious presumptions that exclude the old picture of there being lots of evil thiss and that’s and lots of bright lights leading you, or Light It’self, replaced by some sort of another image, or aided perhaps in moving toward It in some cases who use it that way.
If you want to be steady as anything, you’ve got to be it. Anything you don’t completely identify with keeps disappearing. When you identify with something, it becomes fixed. You become what you meditate on, you see? And then you become established as that, fixed as that. It’s the law in the conditional domain, the reason for everything else that happens. This is how it works. You become what you meditate on. And what you meditate on, you meditate on to the point of identifying with it, samyama.
But if what you’ve chosen to meditate on is gross or without Contemplation, then you also trap yourself. So don’t meditate and become one with something you really don’t want to become. It could be added to the summary commandments. [mild laughter] Every time you agree to a quality that you otherwise dislike, you agree to meditate on something to the point of becoming one with it even though you would not otherwise want it. So if you meditate on Me, you become “Bright”, because of What you’re meditating on. It is “Bright”, the “Bright” It’self. And you can do that or meditate on any number of appearances or dispositions. And that basically is the choice in every moment, Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga or not.
Well, what about this great Law, you become what you meditate on? Have you all “considered” this to the point of satisfaction? Do you really know that this is how it works?
DEVOTEE: Yes, Beloved.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Even to give your attention to something, then, is meditation and results in identification with whatever, including all kinds of structures of the “I” which you call into play. So presumably you choose to meditate on Me, Commune with Me instead.
On the other hand, you have these entanglements with the body-mind, and you have to deal with all of that. And then when you become it, you have a destiny that you have to deal with. So there are just so many things you can reasonably become, so that once you’ve done it you’ve made your choice, and the meditation doesnt work so well anymore, because now you’re stuck with the results of one of those choices, and you cant, by changing your attention, have a different body or no body or whatever. See, you’re stuck with that decision. So it becomes the entanglement that you have to deal with.
To meditate intentionally for greater purposes is the means for breaking out of these fixtures of your previous casual meditation, and make meditation looser, make it work again. Your meditation has worked very well. It’s just that you meditated on the wrong things there. [laughter] And you became them, you see. [groans from devotees] Now you have to re-meditate again, very intentionally. And the purpose of this is to get your meditation loosened up again, and you can enter into another kind of a destiny.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: That’s why meditation is Given. It’s on top of a meditation that’s already worked but did the wrong thing. So if you can get to be able to really meditate again, then you can re-acquire the capability and make changes and also go beyond. So that’s what Patanjali Yoga is about, and other systems. It’s re-learning an ability that you have already succeeded at, except you were stuck with the result and forgot the capability, [murmurs of amazement] because you did wrong meditation.
DEVOTEE: Wow! [some laughter]
DEVOTEE: That’s how you create life and everything?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Hm?
DEVOTEE: That’s how you create your life and all of it?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Everything, yes.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: The entire association is a meditation to the point of fixity. And then it takes its course, and it disappears, and theres something else. So if you get the Law of this, you can get out of the entanglement. Youre loose again with a capability for right life and meditation, Contemplation, Samadhi, and the ability to meditate at will on what you choose rather than what you’re driven to, or stuck with, such that, then, you can do samyama on the Divine.
DEVOTEE: Beloved, Youre answering tonight one of my questions that I didn’t articulate, but one of the things I was going to ask is, what are the actual signs that are shown when one is actually hearing and living this practice profoundly? You just Gave that description.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. All the stages are about being profoundly involved in a condition that is beyond the body-mind. How could anybody be religious if it were not so?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Who gave Me this little frog here? Him?
DEVOTEE: Yes, Beloved.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Devotee, you gave this to Me?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It’s a little Japanese frog, kind of netsuki, I guess.
DEVOTEE: That’s right, Beloved.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Does it have another kind of specific name when used this way?
DEVOTEE: No. That’s the name I was given. And I also thought it was a lily pad . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm, right.
DEVOTEE: . . . but it isnt.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: That’s what it looks like, though.
DEVOTEE: I know. I don’t know if that’s true, but the person that I purchased it from said that it was a lotus. It’s supposed to be a lotus. And I said, “Gee, it doesnt look like a lotus.”
DEVOTEE: The bottom has drawings.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: What would you think that sort of stamen-like form is?
DEVOTEE: Well, that looks like the bottom of a leaf, doesnt it?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: This does.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: In the way its shaped.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And this also looks like an orchid stamen or something.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Or one of those anthuriums?
DEVOTEE: Right, right.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Or it could just be the stem underneath the leaf.
DEVOTEE: Uh-huh. [pause] And then the two holes are there. I guess they attached it.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yeah, the cord goes through there.
DEVOTEE: Right. Oh, they wore it like a belt?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It’s at the end of a belt. I think at the other end of it is a little case they carry traditionally, when they wear the robe garb. They have little bits of this and that in it. This is the kind of counter-weighter to keep it from coming up under the belt. There are more lines on the top of it than on the bottom, but they more or less correspond to one another. And it looks like the top is just supposed to be essentially a continuation of the bottom. And the bottom looks like the bottom of a leaf [DEVOTEE: Yeah.] with a stem coming off, unless you want to suggest that’s a flower, in which case it wouldnt have a flower on the other side.
DEVOTEE: It always has a thick point at its base.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm. So I think its the stem, I guess, under a leaf, and that’s a leaf on top.
DEVOTEE: Yeah, yeah.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Rather than a lotus.
DEVOTEE: Yeah, that’s what I thought it . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: The frog would typically cling to the leaf to float on it, and look for, as this guy appears to be doing, looking for bugs. [some laughter] Or perhaps another frog to diddle. [laughter] But they don’t do much else than those two things. And most of the time they do the eating part. So they spend a lot of time hanging out on leaf pads like this on the water top, [DEVOTEE: Right.] not looking for mates or food. And they even use the sunlight to buzz themselves, like cats purr. The reptile types use the heat of the sun, seek shade sometimes, and evenness between the heat and the cool. But they gain energy from the sunlight. It generates heat in their body, but also energy altogether. It’s a kind of communion making use of cosmic energy, you see? So they sort of buzz out there and do their long periods of Communion. So that’s this picture there, not a symbolic frog on a lotus but an actual frog on a leaf in a state of Communion, making use of the “conductivity” of cosmic energy, but in that buzz relinquishing body-mind consciousness. [murmurs] Did you know that that’s what that was, Devotee?
DEVOTEE: [laughing, others also laughing] No, I certainly didn’t know it!
ADI DA SAMRAJ: But this is a good example of something we’ve been talking about a lot.
DEVOTEE: Yes, its perfect.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So you Commune with Me just like that.
DEVOTEE: Beloved, would you like me to get the photograph of the art piece now?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mmmmm. Might be interesting to look at. [kind of in W. C. Fields voice.] How long will it take ya?
DEVOTEE: About five minutes.
DEVOTEE: Yes, do it.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: I guess we can dig five minutes.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And we were talking about what? How did he happen to bring up this . . .
DEVOTEES: You were talking about the frog.
DEVOTEE: The frog was in Communion.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Oh, yes. [pause] Now Devotees going to bring in some photographs of something or other, of some image that might be of interest. And as soon as he brings it in, were going to become totally involved in it.
DEVOTEE: That’s his hope.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So if we have anything else to “consider”, wed better do it. We have five minutes. [mild laughter]
DEVOTEE: Beloved, theres one last thing about Jesus that Id like to bring up.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: Because many years ago You described Your relationship to him as a Threshold Personality.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. Yes, in that envisioning, a kind of spontaneity that occurred, yes.
DEVOTEE: Yes. I never completely understood what You meant by that.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: By what exactly?
DEVOTEE: By the fact that Jesus was a Threshold Personality.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, meaning in these spontaneous meditations, in which Jesus became a spontaneously recurring figure, I was engaged in profound meditation, would have been so even with other, totally other kinds of images. These are just the ones structured there to have to be passed through, representing all of that.
So, that image being a subject of meditation, Contemplation, and going beyond that, that’s how it functioned, at the threshold, or the place between conditionality in the ordinary sense and the next step, or going beyond it, a means for that purpose, a sign that was the focus for the Contemplation, so a threshold personality in that sense. Did you think I meant that structured into Reality permanently there is a Jesus Threshold Personality [DEVOTEES: No. Mmmm], which could be encountered, or would have to be necessarily encountered because its part of Reality It’self, and is universally true? Is that what you were wondering?
DEVOTEE: He looked kind of Flemish.
DEVOTEE: Flemish! [Daniel laughs.]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Is there a circle of big guys up there . . .
DEVOTEE: Yeah. It’s like Devotee was . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: T.P.s [laughter], all.
DEVOTEES: Oh, Lord! Tee-pees!
ADI DA SAMRAJ: No. Threshold personality was what I meant actually. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: T. P.s!
ADI DA SAMRAJ: T. P.s, yes.
ANIELLO: Very good, Lord.
DEVOTEE: Very good.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Is that what you were wondering? A permanent Jesus chandelier in the celestial ceiling? [Beloved laughs] [uproarious laughter] Hm?
DEVOTEE: That’s really . . .
DEVOTEE: We obviously didn’t know what to think about it. [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: [laughs] Well, I was just telling, then, some of the things you could have thought [laughter] if you had even half a wit! [Uproarious laughter, Beloved laughs.]
[to Devotee] Is that what you were wondering?
DEVOTEE: That fully answers his question, Beloved.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Or that even perhaps in that massive hierarchy of chandeliers [some laughs] of all the big guys [more laughter] . . .
DEVOTEE: Yeah, all the big guys, yeah.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: . . . the Jesus chandelier is in the center? [Beloved laughs uproariously, laughter.] Were you perhaps wondering that, Frans?
DEVOTEE: I hadnt thought about it that way, but I can see that its true, yes.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You have wanted there still to be some Jesus in the sky there. Right?
DEVOTEE: Yes, a little bit. [Frans laughs.] How ridiculous. Oh, god. [pause] [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Whats happening, Devotee?
DEVOTEE: [laughing] I just,
ADI DA SAMRAJ: What have we got now?
DEVOTEE: The vision of You and Your description of the chandeliers. [Devotee breaks out laughing, Beloved and everyone laughs.] [still laughing] You put Jesus in the center.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, that’s how even the most, that’s the most even the most liberal of Christians will suggest. [laughter] They may accept your chandelier, but they have to be in the middle. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Beloved, You are so liberating, [Beloved chuckles.] and so funny! [laughter] [Beloved laughs.] The two shouldnt, you know, traditionally the two shouldnt go together.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Oh yes? [Beloved chuckles.]
[Everyone talks at once.]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: [imitating the voice of W. C. Fields] Never met a Siddha who couldnt make Me laugh. [laughter and clapping] [pause]
I can think Im the One Who is Teaching them how to laugh.
DEVOTEE: Yes, yes. Exactly.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Devotee has been gone more than five minutes. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Yes, definitely.
[Everyone talks at once.]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well now, since hes taken so much extra time, whatever hes going to show Me has to be really good. [mild laughter]
DEVOTEE: I think it will be nice. Im sure it will.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You know if he has actual photographs?
DEVOTEE: Yes, I think he does, Beloved.
DEVOTEE: That’s what he said.
JULIA KNOX: That’s what he said he was getting.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Because last week he said he had some descriptions, but no photographs yet.
Anything else about any of that, Frans?
DEVOTEE: No, thank You, Lord.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Would you like to go to Jesus-land when you die? [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Then you gotta get all of it out of ya.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: All your thoughts are destiny, especially the ones inside there.
[Devotee returns with the photographs.]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: [to Devotee] We just had lots of important discussions since you took extra time, but as I was just saying, now you’re obliged to have whatever you’re about to show Me, it must be [in a deeper voice] fantastic. I don’t want to look at it till I have My glasses here. Since its so fantastic, I have to have a full clear view of it.
[long pause while Beloved looks at what Devotee brought]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It’s pretty gooood. [laughter]
[Beloved Adi Da converses for a while with Devotee about the Indian temple goddess figure in the picture.]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Temples can sometimes be nice places to hang around in when you’re just a wanderer.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Temples, yes, meaning in the form they appear in India, sometimes elsewhere, I assume. In India in particular they’re huge complexes, an immense kind of courtyard, large structures all over on the outside, usually what they call a tank there, a pool to wash in and such, and many temples, bigger ones, smaller ones. Some are out into the court area, some around the outside, as at Tiruvannamalai. A rather vast place, not just a building, you know, like a temple might be typically in America, but almost a kind of a city. A little more than that, a place of constant religious Contemplation, with lots of spaces and people in it and sacred places and such.
So very often, then, wanderers will go into one of these places and find it a generally better place to be in than any other place in that town where they may stay. [murmurs]
Maharshi did this at Tiruvannamalai temple. That was basically what He liked about it. Coming in off the streets rather commonly, would go into this temple complex. He liked that environment as a place for Samadhi.
Many of the wanderers there sit around in the courtyard itself, particularly near the gateways and such, usually, generally calling for, you know, begging, calling for food or whatever, otherwise just sitting there for long periods, but out in the open. And Maharshi didn’t have the inclination to do that, so He found places in the temple interiors, including this one little room. I’ve been in there. It’s got a Lingam in the center of it. You go down stairs. I guess it was just a little oil lamp there or whatever. But when He had used it years before, He went down in it. It really wasnt even clean or kept, I gather. The light was out, I guess. And then once He had gone down into it, nobody really even knew that He was in there for some time, I guess.
So He liked the idea of Samadhi in this temple location. But even there He wanted to be undisturbed or secluded. Or perhaps a better way to put it, He essentially buried Himself, and didn’t expect to return. [DEVOTEES: Mmmmm.] But He happened to. It was just how that particular body was willing to do its thing, you see. So He didn’t particularly expect to come out of that cave once He went into it. And He just entered into the second stage of the “Perfect Practice” there, entered into prolonged profound states of Jnana Samadhi for extended periods, rarely any return of attention to the body-mind at all. I guess at some point He was discovered there, and people took Him somewhere else and protected Him, whatever.
DEVOTEE: And they said, Beloved, that they basically rescued him because they were afraid that he was going to die, because he wouldnt take care of himself at all, and bugs were crawling on him, and . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. Rats and such.
DEVOTEE: Yeah. And they actually, well, as I heard, they actually required him to come out, and then they had to take, somebody had to take care of him. [ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.] He kind of refused to do it. So somebody would just do it. Somebody recognizing him as a holy man kind just took on the sadhana of making sure he was kept alive.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. It wouldnt work that way in America particularly.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Anyway, I liked this going to a temple environment for Samadhi also. [pause] Did so on numerous occasions also. But it also was the situation in the culmination of My “Sadhana Years”, in the Vedanta Temple. I discovered it to be completely congenial to what I was about just then, you see.
DEVOTEE: Now You have Your Sukra Kendra.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. Yes, I keep the Sukra Kendras for such purpose. They are something like wayside temples. They are small and contain all the things that you might find in a little country temple. In fact its based on the temple in Ganeshpuri, because of the unique event there as I left India in . So we’ve, over the years, served that temple, helping to get it in shape and so on. And the Sukra Kendras are essentially based on that same place as if it was a wayside temple, has all these images in it, the Durgas and so on.
Also we have all of the tile and broken materials and so forth from the base that was there [in the Ganeshpuri Temple] in when I was there. That entire base was taken apart, and we received all the material, the tiles and everything else, and then we purchased a new marble base for the images. So in return for that, we got all the fragments. They would have just thrown them out. They are, of course, of significance in My Company. So I keep some of this in each of the Sukra Kendras too. So they’re all essentially that temple, as it was in .
And this is the Place where I go to just get away from all the other places that everybody else uses. These Places I reserve, and they’re only served very simply, to clean them and such. A little bit of priesting goes on there. The flowers are put on the images. Theres a little bit of that every day, Puja there. So they’re treated as a village or wayside temple might be, small village temple might be treated.
So when I want to step apart from places that are associated with everyone else, I go in there. And its as if I go into this temple, or village temple. It is a village temple in many respects, or even the same temple in India in , or even the Vedanta Temple as well, because of the imageries in these places.
So its a kind of a ceremonially prepared Loka for My private Place, based on those associations of the Vedanta Temple, the Ganeshpuri Temple, and temples in general.
So to seclude oneself in a truly Sacred place is a good and congenial space for Contemplation. So you all do this every day yourselves. You go into a temple for Samadhi, effectively. It’s, well, a village temple there. In this case rather than some mythological image or whatever, archetype, theres a Spiritual Masters Image there. But that’s not uncommon either in village temples. Some are devoted to one Master or another. And those are the principal images.
So you do something similar to what I’ve always found to be congenial, which is to go into a temple for this purpose, not for conventional religion but this great purpose, because it has been brought under control by Sacred intention. It’s a little bit like the chameleon finding that nice limb that’s completely safe and nicely related to the sun and the leaves also. And nothing else goes there. It wards everybody else off it. So they make these little temples, and do invocation there to keep them purified, and now you have to use them for Samadhi, and not just to relax, then, for a little while so that you can go back to work.
DEVOTEE: One of the things You Said last night was that hearing is the first Enlightenment.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, I believe I’ve Said that one time or another.
DEVOTEE: Right. And I was reflecting today on some of Your Teachings, when You refer to the process, You were talking about it in bodily terms, “I is the body”.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: And, You Said the first form of the process, to get to the point where it really begins, is that “I” has to become the body.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: And prior to that, its in reaction to it, its caught in all kinds of subjectivity.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. Internalizing gestures, like thinking and so on.
DEVOTEE: Right, right.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Not perceptual. Not deep.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: But its also an indication that the practice at that stage is submission as the body-mind, that means with all the leading faculties. So the sadhana involves this submission of the body, submission of the self, submission beyond self-contraction by granting the total body-mind. Effectively, the whole body-mind becomes one flower, which you can Radiate rather than contract.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Radiant because it enters into Communion with Me directly, and it consents to be Radiant rather than contracted. You usually find reasons, in all your cogitations, to have the heart feel contracted. This is what people are by tendency. You keep the flower relatively contracted, always fundamentally contracted, but sometimes a little loosely packed, sometimes a little tight.
So what you’re meditating on is causing you to contract. And is a meditation based on contraction to begin with. So you should look to meditate on what makes it open instead.
DEVOTEE: Beloved, in the midst of that, one of the things I feel Youve Done also, during this time, is Given us a much deeper Revelation of Who You Are, somehow.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm.
DEVOTEE: Not that its anything new, but somehow Communicated in such a way that deeply impressed upon our beings.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: And . . . [Devotee begins to weep and continues to cry for a minute or so.]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, there need not be any feeling of sorrow associated with it.
DEVOTEE: [laughing] No, I, its just,
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You neednt have paid your Christian dues quite in that fashion.
DEVOTEE: Yeah. [Devotee laughs, laughter.]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So you would take less pleasure in it than its really about. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Aw, that’s great. That’s great.
DEVOTEE: Beloved, you are so beautiful. [Beloved Adi Da chuckles.]
DEVOTEE: What I, what I came to really feel is, is this extraordinary nature of this relationship with You that You assume with us.
DEVOTEE: Oh, yes.
DEVOTEE: And just rip away all our doubts.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: And allow us to submit to You and Do Your Work with us. And I feel that we’ve been just holding You back. You know?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: [Gruffly] Mm.
DEVOTEE: Keeping You at bay.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: [In the same tone.] Yes. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: And its . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: All of you.
DEVOTEE: . . . a torment to us. It’s such a torment to us, you know? It’s like, not only is it horrific for You, but its a stupid choice. So anyway, its just been such an extraordinary part of this period. Such a Gift. “Consideration” is so much deeper than, you know, the superficial level of understanding that can be equated with it without real Communion with You.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So remember Who you’re dealing with, you see? In your profoundest moments of “consideration” with Me in these last several days, whatever you have to deal with and so forth, remember that I am Doing This! [laughter, then silence] Being This, you see? So that’s not going to change for Me, even though it may change for you in some sense, and you’re doing sadhana in its direction.
So you see, you have to know Who I Am. You have to make use of the knowing of Who I Am. It’s not just some nice idea. To find Me As I Am, to know Who I Am, is the basis of your Contemplation of Me. So its nothing to be coy about. It’s something to be found out and be changed by. And then also you wont require Me to assume your likeness. Youll want simply My Sign as It Is. Rather than accommodating you, since all Instruction has been Given, that shouldnt be necessary any longer.
So maybe you’re all seriously noticing Who I Am. [devotees agree] That should be so for all devotees, then, because its knowing that that gets you earnest with Me. And also that knowing, truly expressed, will show itself in My experience, My Circumstance. If you know Who I Am, youll make that right, that Circumstance, entirely.
So people being coy about that very matter have provided Me with rather strange circumstances for years. Otherwise, I Recognize you as the Divine Person, because I do that with you, you must do likewise! I Recognize You. You must recognize Me.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: What else should we “consider”?
DEVOTEE: I want to say something very humorous about the new art building that would be fun to pass on. When we showed You the designs, there was a room in the front that was just set out for drying racks. And its a small room with a door on it. And You looked at that, and You Said, “Oh, is that where I keep My nudes?” [Beloved laughs loudly.]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So now there is a much larger entry way.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And a cabinet for the nudes. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: You also Said it was a nude storage, I think, Beloved.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Nude storage? Yes, right. Women who don’t exist unless you look at them? [laughter] So when you don’t look at them, you put them in the cabinet because they only have existence as nudes. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: It’s a special form of sadhana.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm. Non-existence otherwise. [laughter] That’s often how nudes are painted, by the way. Theyre a nude, you know?
DEVOTEES: Hm. Right.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: They don’t have any other significance other than as the formal nude. [chuckles, then laughter from devotees] In other words, it is a principal subject for artistic “consideration”, but theres a lot more about it than its nudity. Theres something ultimate about it that its really all about. So in this painting and such you see Me Doing, that’s what Im Doing, not observing them or making an indication about them that’s just a selection of the conventional view, but Recognizing them, Enjoying them Non-Differently, and somehow making the quality of that Realization visible through some Sign that I leave afterwards, you see?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So its a kind of Samadhi Painting, you could call it. So its not just like that visionary painting of the Jesus face in golden space. It’s Ultimate Samadhi. No imagination what’soever! Only sees What Is. So those art works are not an exercise in imagination. They are a Sign of the Realization of What Is.
So nudes are a basic epitome of human existence. So they are a basic subject for Me to relate to in Demonstrating the Sign of Divine Recognition. So if on some occasion I did Gaze at some nudes and made a painting, if you looked at the painting, you wouldnt know that that’s what I had Done, generally speaking. So its not about nudes. It’s about the Divine Recognition of them.
DEVOTEES: Hm. Mm.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It is also something like seeing the room As it Is, seeing the nude As it Is. Divinely Recognized. So in that there are no conventions of painting that apply. I don’t even care what surface I use, or instruments, or any of that. Theyre just something that’s required to leave the Sign behind. So I just tell others, you know, “What are the best paints these days and best surfaces.” And they find things for Me to use. So its not that part that’s interesting to Me, the concerns in painting that have to do with all that kind of business, and therefore, even in the doing of the art, have a lot of concerns about the media and such, and how the paintings are going to be looking? So put a lot of concentration on how the brush strokes are going to look from that kind of a point of view?, no. For Me its entirely, simply, the matter of this Regard of Divine Recognition, direct relationship, apparent relationship, to some specific subject or other, a nude, whatever it may be.
So its that act that is the important one. There should not be any other concerns that require any attention, beyond just setting up somehow a recorder. So its a direct expression of Divine Recognition It’self. No other convention is applied to it.
So this is what you should understand about it, if you ever amuse yourself by looking at some of these paintings, or wonder what Im doing over in the art room with a bunch of nude women! [laughter] Or whatever, could be a chair or Saakshi or whatever. The thing about using a human subject is that you can communicate with them and they can know what you’re up to, what its all about, and make agreements with you and so on. They can participate intelligently in what its all about. At least the kind of intelligence they need to demonstrate to make their participation in it interesting.
Whereas if you just put some thing there, its not responsive and so forth. But, even so, I can do the same thing with some thing just sitting there. And sometimes do. Ultimately, the subject doesnt make any difference because what Im doing with it is not imitative in any ordinary painting or photographic sense.
So truly it doesnt make any difference what the subject is, or what I was gazing at at the moment. It’s the same Recognition Demonstrated. So its just a matter of what I find amusing to gaze at at the moment. [Sounds of swooning from devotees.]
I don’t know if a school of painting is going to come from this, exactly. [laughter] It requires seventh stage Realization and twenty years of art school! [Beloved laughs along with everyone.] And learning how to do art before the seventh stage will not help you when you’re actually There and doing the kind of Painting Work that I Do or that Im “considering” with you.
DEVOTEE: Beloved, I believe when You were just Speaking about Your Painting, You Said towards the beginning that when the Divine Person Paints, it has no imagination.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes.
DEVOTEE: And, thus, its simply Painting.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, its an interesting “consideration”. You see, the arts have, in the past, been presumed to have everything to do with an artists imagination. Of course, many arts, or certainly crafts or whatever, make great use of that. So its a curious notion, then, to do something you call painting without even the slightest exercise of imagination. Or in other words, of locating something in you that you want to show to people, some ego-content, something inside you like that that has got to be expressed, kind of thing.
So it doesnt have that motivation to add content, or shape, and so on, from some source other than the subject, what you are regarding in making the painting. The kind of Work I Do with it, I cant Do without a subject. Like some guy at the Disney Studios sits down, hes going to draw Mickey Mouse and such from his imagination. He doesnt have Mickey Mouse walking around in front of him. [chuckles from devotees] Generally speaking! [laughter]
But what I Do with it requires a subject. Otherwise, the painting wouldnt happen. So its not about any inner content trying to be expressed in that conventional sense. It’s about Recognizing What Is. So that requires a subject to be Regarded. But as I said, then theres no imagination in it what’soever. Nothing added other than Divine Recognition It’self, or, in other words, that Samyama in which the thing itself is Known, Most Perfectly. But in this case not by becoming it, but by “Brightening” it altogether. Transcending it, also.
So there has to be a subject. But it could be anything. So its whatever seems interesting or amusing at the moment.
But you don’t want to talk about that, do you?
DEVOTEE: [whispers] Yes!
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, we just did, then. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: It’s interesting trying to “consider” how to explain why it makes such perfect sense, that simple statement, “painting without imagination”, because its simply a phrase of a few words put together as when You Spoke them. But what those words convey, its perfectly obvious what its trying to convey. But then I couldnt figure out any way to describe why that makes such perfect sense. And to hear You just there, Beloved, take us through the process . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: . . . of how it makes such sense was really extraordinary.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: I discovered something about this, or how I might be able to go about it. I was interested in art from the time I was a boy. But I discovered something about it, a way of going about it, at Columbia. I took a number of art-related courses, art history and so on. But also for a year, I guess, the better part of it, I took a drawing and painting class. And typically nudes were the subject. Theyd have a model come and sit.
And there was a little teaching device that the art professor suggested there. I don’t recall exactly what he said his reasons were, maybe something to get away from the automaticities in your own eye-hand connection. Most drawing and painting is done regarding the surface. So eye-hand coordination comes in. And you learn habits by doing that that are too wiggly or too smooth or whatever. They are not conformed to real forms. And so just as an exercise in the class, he suggested look at the model, but don’t look at the paper.
And there are many other exercises he suggested, for various other learning purposes. But basically they all involved checking the page and look at the model, but attention to the page. They were not like this one particular suggestion he made. But for him it was just one little technique to unlearn some habit or whatever.
I immediately felt in it a way to approach painting, I had an impulse along those lines, a way of doing it that satisfied an impulse I had relative to it. Getting the eye out of it, the mind out of it, imagination out of it, automaticities out of it, conventions out of it to the point where the artists usual regard for the medium and the surface and so forth is not even a part of it anymore. Nor even how, from the point of the view of the eye, the forms line up on the surface.
In other words, its a practice of art-making being totally absorbed in the subject, and making no self-reference, no reference to the surface, and so on. There is a reference to the surface, because there is contact with it that reflects this absorption in the subject. So you could say that it makes aesthetic judgments of some kind. It’s aware of the surface, forms, shape, size, and its own shape. And so to some extent, I work within that, or in that context anyway. So there is a sense of the surface and painting it, but its not about eye contact with the surface.
DEVOTEE: Beloved, its interesting that You mention that exercise, of having somewhat of an initiation of that when going to school.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: Because I was given another explanation for that exercise when doing art classes and so on, because it came up on a number of occasions. And the professors would say that when you look at an image, you immediately distort it with all your presumptions and all your thinking that you know about the way it is.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: But when you actually simply look at the object and then paint here at what you really see, that when you do that, you actually paint what it really is, rather than transposing it in that process of going back to your painting here. You immediately project all the things that you presume about it into it.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: That’s why so many portraits, they say, often resemble the painters. So You took that to the ultimate degree of true painting.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, well, what I Do is not about that being a truer way of getting a replica of what you’re looking at. That purpose is still a convention in limitation, still part of the body-mind technique. What I am describing doesnt have any such intention. And that’s not why it, therefore, is an approach that I use. It’s about, as I said, being totally absorbed, and concentrated and absorbed, in the subject, in the Play of Divine Recognition of it. Directly.
So My eye is on the subject, not on the surface being painted. But the body somehow is itself informed by My regard, visual regard, of the subject, and conducts the effect on the surface without consulting the eye. The eye informs the body, and the body does the painting. The eye doesnt go back and do the painting. It lets the body do the painting.
But it is that visual regard of the subject in detail, moving about, not trying to replicate it but freely associating with it. Then every moment of that regard that is somehow recorded by the body is the Recognition of what is the subject of the gaze. Exactly coincident with it. And that is, then, reflected by the bodys act on the surface, with the brushes or whatever.
So in some sense its a replica of that event, but not merely of the subject as it appears from the ordinary eye point of view.
Anyway, that’s actually what I Do with it. [murmurs of appreciation]
DEVOTEE: Beloved, how do You deal with color?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: I haven’t, well, a long time ago I used to deal just with ink or ink washes and such, which have no color other than the kind of variations that are produced by thinning and thickening the mass of the ink. To start using color, introducing color, suggests a judgment has to be made. Otherwise it will be just a blob of smear. And sometimes it has some of that quality to it. But it suggests, if you’re going to introduce colors, they are differentiated necessarily from one another. And the eye sees that. So it suggests that judgment has to be made somehow about how and where to apply the colors.
So there is some of that, but not with the eye. It’s done also, but the eye kept on the subject entirely. The surface is consulted, but its consulted by whole body feeling and not by the eye checking it out.
So a color judgment does get made in that fashion because I would usually notice a color I stuck My brush into, and so on. That’s remembered, but not regarded by the eye. Howe’ver, a sense of a kind is made out of it. It suggests that the touch of a black-tipped pen would coincide with what is being gazed on. So I would know what color I was putting down, and it would not touch the surface until My regard was such that it coincided with that exact direct visual contact, whatever piece, or whatever of it, I was exactly regarding visually at the moment.
And now that I’ve explained it, I guess I don’t have to Do it! [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Beloved, You mentioned a number of times that the subject would move around.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: What would be the significance of that, besides focusing and fixing in a position?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, first of all, bodies are always moving in one manner or another. But to fix a position suggests that you’re using the subject as a fixed something, as if you wanted to make a portrait in a certain body attitude or whatever, you wanted a fixed view, and therefore one that’s held, one that’s unnatural. Models would have to stay not only in a fixed position for long periods, which gets uncomfortable, but they would have to be able to resume exactly the same position or the same flexing of the body and so forth, exactly again, for another period of painting, because this kind of painting requires that kind of time, the traditional kind of painting.
So I don’t tell people to fix themselves in a position or in an attitude or an expression, any of that. I want them to be completely self-revealing, natural, spontaneous. And so, perhaps sometimes somebody might lie down, even though they even move there. But, generally, I just tell them to move about and do so obliviously. You don’t have to constantly do object-directed specific kind of things. Just let the body exist in space freely. Have the attitude of it being that way, instead of moving the body into conventional mudras, functional adaptations.
So in other words, I like for the subject to be as free as the process itself, or at least participate in that. So I don’t study them in My regard, such that they have to be in a fixed position, all the while. No, they move in every kind of way. My regard is just at that moment, and now this moment. It accounts for this entire, free display in a summary moment of Recognizing it in its totality.
So I generally do these paintings rather quickly. At least any major aspect of it is done quickly. I may do something similar to that many times. I’ve done that occasionally. I may try to do that more. “Look like you’re Recognized”. You know? [Beloved laughs.]
So theres no imagination in it, for the subject either. It’s just this free whatever. And in that space I constantly regard them. Indications of that are in just a fraction of this or that, or perhaps in this larger area. But I keep associating directly with whatever the subject, in its changes, without trying to fix it in just one mode. And this becomes a comprehension of them, at least for that space of regard, totally. So there is inevitably a singularity to the image, you could call it.
Now, theres a way of going about that that can produce something amusing, as well. So I’ve done that, sometimes. Youve seen some of these. In fact I guess that’s maybe why they were called “Transcendental Cartoons”, images I would make with people who happened to be around Me at the moment. I did them in a way that was amusing because when you look back, you do see a lot of the likenesses of body parts and some of the generalized likeness of something you can recognize somehow as related to the individual. But these things would be apparently very chaotically associated with one another, and produce amusing conjunctions. They look a little nutty, or mad, and so forth.
But generally this kind of work that I’ve been Describing to you is done differently, such that there is not much recognizable about it, at least often there isnt much ability on the part of you looking at it later, or picking out the body parts in silly conjunctions. It doesnt resemble them that way. And its not intended to be funny.
DEVOTEE: Were some of them meant to be funny, though?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, yes, as I was just describing. I didn’t add funniness to it, but that way of doing it inevitably produced something that was amusing because the likeness was shifted around in odd conjunctions. Just approaching it that way makes something that is typically funny, or oddly plastic.
But that requires an intention to follow a line of shape for a certain period of time. That intention has to be maintained, rather than allow the brush to be a sign of an ecstatic, or non-egoic, association, you could call it, I guess.
DEVOTEE: Mm-hm. You have one Transcendental Cartoon that I think is called, its either “Man” or “Dancing”. Is there one called “Dancing”? Yes, theres one, I cant remember the name of it now, but its completely ecstatic. I mean, it is so ecstatic. I mean, I look at it and its just Bliss-Radiance . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: . . . exploding! You know? It has that kind of quality of complete ecstasy to it.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, that’s particularly the Sign, then, that My approaching it in this total way I’ve been Describing to you makes. It allows for that to be shown, whereas all other kinds of devices are really about another kind of intention, a limiting intention.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Of course, what gets left behind is then viewed just as it is, as a kind of a shape or a design or something. Maybe here and there something looks like it resembles something, so it catches your eye. So as itself its something else already. And then people make aesthetic judgments about it, based on how those things feel to them set up that way. And that’s one way of looking at them. But if you were to look at them with some regard to what I’ve Said about it, then you would have an interest beyond those kinds of aesthetic judgments.
In other words, you should, by viewing them rightly, feel something about the Nature of reality. But you have to get through layers of false interpretation, or getting caught up in some particular visual aspect of it, or whatever.
To feel, as I said, what the room is altogether. What is any form? Really? Hm? Your most profound experience of it, of any conjunction? Theres a way to show that, somehow. That’s basically what I do with it.
But it can look just like a design or an abstract painting or whatever and be appreciated as that, if you like. But its more interesting to “consider” it as I’ve really done it. [murmurs of agreement]
DEVOTEE: This is great Instruction, Beloved, for devotees who will see Your Art and . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: I haven’t been doing much of this, obviously. With all the other things I’ve been doing.
I’ve made some cookies, by the way. And where are they? [laughter]
So the last time I painted significantly was a year and a half or so ago.
DEVOTEE: Mm-hm. And then the other night, up at the kitchen, You were making cookies. I know, its a different,
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, but its something like it. [sounds of appreciation] I mean, I did it as a what you call Transcendental Cartoon, or as I’ve just been Describing it altogether.
DEVOTEE: You know, its wonderful seeing You do it, too. For me, I think that was the first time I’ve actually seen You do art.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Cookies are a difficult medium! [laughter]
DEVOTEE: I thought You did an incredible job.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It has all its own qualities. So after I did some basic work in the manner I just described to you, then I did do some eye-hand coordinated work with it. Very quickly, yes, a lot of spontaneity in it. But I took some cookies that Id made before, various shapes and so on, and moved them about in relation to the ground figure Id made. So its a combination of two approaches, really.
One of the reasons I haven’t done any painting since a year and a half or so ago is because theres so much difficulty around them cracking, not being able to be shipped. All these things were not solved. And so they didn’t even have a sense of what media I should use, and so on. So its been delayed for that reason. And also not having a place nearby.
So I may amusedly do some of this. [Beloved lowers His voice and speaks in a mock serious tone.] Including, lots of nudes! [laughter]
If you’re going to Recognize something, why not have it be a nude? [Beloved laughs, laughter.]
DEVOTEE: I took a class once. [laughter] Painting the nude. And . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Painting using nude models?
DEVOTEE: Yes, using the nude model.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Something tantalizing about that, wasnt there?
DEVOTEE: Yes! It was really very strange, Beloved, because . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You get to really concentrate on a strange naked woman. As long as you keep putting something on the piece of paper, they say its okay. [laughter] On what?
DEVOTEE: The thing that’s very amusing about this is that my mother was taking the class also.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Ah ha! [sounds of amazement]
DEVOTEE: Oh, very strange!
ADI DA SAMRAJ: We know how that might have inhibited you as well.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: But you secretly indulged, nonetheless.
DEVOTEE: Of course! [laughs] But it was very interesting . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It’s like going on a date with your mother. [laughter] Shes right there in the midst of your fantasy life.
Something more about that?
DEVOTEE: Just that You were talking about how the nudes would have to hold the pose for a long time.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, and they’re generally supposed to be very modest about it all.
DEVOTEE: I just noticed how there were two things going on, in actually in painting and viewing her. One was seeing that there was this discipline that she was actually doing, like You said. “You sit there for two hours while people are painting you.”
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Except for the occasional breaks at which time shes supposed to get up very modestly.
DEVOTEE: Put a robe on.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Right. So there is this kind of associated sexual morality thing in these academic situations. People want to look at these nudes, male or female, and they’re somehow supposed to pretend that they don’t want to see them.
DEVOTEE: Mm-hm. Mm-hm.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Including anything that might be fascinating, any body part, whatever it is. So all these rules about containing it all within an acceptable social kind of limit. And so the painters do so likewise, because that’s what they’re looking at.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You support conventional emotional-sexual blah-blah.
I mean, a nude can be, so to speak, vulgar or any other kind of a quality. So which ones the nude? I mean, what is the room? Just what you are seeing from your point of view? Or is it the totality that can be seen from any point of view? So the nude is not some selected view. The nude is whatever it is totally, all the different qualities, then, and seen from every view, without exclusion, without patterning it, by such choices.
So, the, so to speak, model in such a situation has a very different requirement. Above all, don’t be just one thing. Or display the body for conventional purposes and poses or whatever it is that has just an ordinary social purpose, a way of fixating the body. Instead, the individual must be in the disposition of revealing the nude, revealing the body, without conceptions about how it should be.
Theres a book I’ve put on The Basket of Tolerance, a book of photographs in which the photographer asked his models, and they were generally well-known people, to jump up in the air. It’s called The Jump Book, I think. It’s even got President Nixon jumping.
DEVOTEE: Yes, I think I saw that.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: A lot of people, recognizable figures. And he noticed there was something about them that when they did this they had to break out of their social disposition, at least to some degree, not entirely. But they had to break out of it to some degree and would be captured in that, if they’re doing that, rather than using the body in some long-studied manner. So he got a little something revealing out of them, photographing them after giving them such instruction.
So that is what I do, then, Instruct the proposed subject, or subjects. Im going to Recognize them anyway! But you could call it a puja of a kind. It’s something that the so-called model should enter into, not just the painter. An exercise in something completely revealing and real and Recognized.
But still, if you looked at the painting afterwards, you probably wouldnt know if it was a nude woman or a box of chocolates. [soft laughter]
And theres nothing particularly sexual about it, either. There are the obvious erotic connotations of certain ways the body may be posed and whatnot, but nothing is fixed. So anything of that is just one element in the body being shown in all of its attitudes and signs. Whereas the fixed nude is more of altogether an erotic, and yet also somehow hidden, showing of the figure.
DEVOTEE: That’s interesting. I guess I had a couple of different models, but this one model you could feel her enjoyment of being able to be a model and display herself this way.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: She liked being looked at?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, that’s a whole kind of model. It’s called the good model. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: Right! [laughs]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Of course, they have to like it or take enjoyment in it, or that’s just going to make them use the body conventionally and not be revealing.
It seems that women in general especially like that.
DEVOTEE: And men appreciate it.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Another reason that this is a good subject. The disposition of women, generally speaking, seems to have an association in it that likes to be looked at, likes to be the object of view. And the more general characteristic typical of men is that they like to view. [laughter]
But it is a very important distinction. It’s not that women don’t like to view, and men don’t like to be viewed absolutely. But, nonetheless, there is some significant difference there. Most men would feel rather self-conscious displaying themselves for a woman of theirs in any way like the men require the women to display themselves. [Chuckles from devotees, then laughter as devotees understand more of what Beloved is actually saying.]
Some men like to display themselves. But its more typical for a man not to be into that, to deliberately be a visual object thoroughly enjoyed by being looked at. That’s not really altogether what men typically feel their disposition is about. Whereas its very common for women to have this as part of their disposition. And this is made use of in intimate relationships. Women like to be looked at, and the men like to look at them.
So you men think of all the things that you, in your intimacy, look at or rotate around in order to view. And think of you doing that for her! [laughter] Just exactly in that way. I suppose the women check out their male intimates thoroughly, but its done in a different way because the men are not exhibiting themselves so unambiguously as women do. The women see it anyway, but its a different display game.
It’s also part of the penetrator and the one being penetrated kind of difference. The attractive powers are receiving, is a receiving energy. It draws attention. So the woman plays at being attractive, and the man plays at being attracted. And they may do all kinds of other things, too, but this is one of the dominant qualities of what they’re up to.
So its interesting to feel, especially the men here, what it feels like to not want to be totally physically exposed or seen. And think of how it is to be a woman, in her typical characteristic, of really liking that very thing which you don’t particularly like. [laughter] I mean, women really sell it, unless they’re kind of bound up about it. But its just an interesting difference.
DEVOTEE: It’s one of those things that actually really works out.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Tcha. [Beloved laughs.] Up to a point.
DEVOTEE: Up to a point. [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Are you simply the Witness, no matter what is arising?
DEVOTEES: Yes, Lord.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Now think of a vagina! [quiet laughter] The most attractive one you can recall. And the women can imagine a penis, the most attractive one you can recall. Are you still the Witness, no matter what is arising? [laughter] Are you?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Can you somehow persist in maintaining that image and still know the Witness Stand? [silence] Youre not oblivious to it, of course. [laughter] Or are you still thinking of the sex organ? [silence] Were you?
DEVOTEE: It was hard to keep that attention.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It was what? [laughter]
Well, anyway, that was a little bit of exercise to notice the power of your sexual associations to draw you out of the Witness-Position, perhaps. Or how you would have to be in order that if it arose, in imagination or physically, you would not leave that Position. I imagine the sex thing for you all would be one of those definite things on your list of things that you do that can not only draw you out of the Witness-Position, but even out of serious practice in that moment.
So its a major alternative to the Witness-Position for you all. [in a throaty voice] You dogs! [laughter]
The sex act is a curious thing to notice in all of its details, what’s really going on with it. I mean, you do that sort of thing long enough, for a long enough period of time, you get to notice a lot about it, at least I’ve noticed a great deal about it. Otherwise, it would be boring as hell, [Beloved chuckles, laughter from devotees.] if it werent for all that noticing that you indulge in at it. And if you do that, theres a lot of things to notice about it. You become extremely sensitive to its actual qualities. It seems strange that anybody would want to do such a thing. And on the other hand, its not strange at all. It seems like perhaps one of the only occasions in which people are straight, in some sense revealing, no social personality, or at least less.
You can bring all kinds of imagination to it and seeking and so on. Theres all that sort of thing to notice, but also, over time, theres more and more to the noticing of just the thing itself, when you’re not just driven beyond discrimination, more sensitivity, but actually sensitive to the thing itself. And sometimes, you know, you sought this contact, now you’ve got to examine the thing itself and see how it corresponds to, or relates to, your desiring.
Theres all kinds of things to notice about it. The strange, well, strange is not the word, but these curious sensations and shapes and all that sort of business, and the fact that it seems so overwhelmingly interesting.
[Beloved is chuckling.] Theres something a little funny about it. [laughter] In fact, theres a lot that’s funny about it! [laughter] And the tricks you play on yourself with it, just the whole thing. You make an entire lifetime out of it.
One of the ways to go beyond your particularized, organ particularized fascinations is to see the nude totally. And that’s called a long-standing relationship, in this community. [Beloved laughs quietly, laughter from devotees.] Theyre called long-standing when they know you’ve had enough time to see the whole ball of wax, [laughter] and not just the organ twilight zone, the genital twilight zone, when you saw the rest of the nude. And they know youll be coming in to talk to them about your problems soon, as soon as you’re listed as long-standing.
Is this true? Im just bullshitting!
DEVOTEE: Yes, You are.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, maybe there is something to that. I mean, when you’ve seen the whole ball of wax, so to speak, the whole nude, when you’ve thoroughly experienced someone in relationship, you’ve had enough time to do such a thing, that is a kind of turning point in a relationship. It’s like having all the foundation practices in this Way all together. Youve got the whole experience, the relationship covering everything, and then you find out if you want to continue with it. You know what I mean? [murmurs of agreement]
Often times its exactly the point where people start separating. It may take them a long time, but they can start a process that’s about separating, because theres something they don’t like about the nude, I mean about the total package, altogether. So at some point people have had enough time where you know theyve gotten that knowledge, and that’s where the relationship has to prove itself, or youll just dissociate to the point where you just want to go and do it with somebody else. So if you’re going to wind up seeing the whole nude, you have to like something about it, afterwards. And youll always have difficulties in relationships if you don’t like the whole nude, if you only like certain poses to meet your expectations, so to speak. You know? [murmurs] It’s because theres something you don’t like about the rest of it, and that becomes problems. But were not going to talk about that. Right?
DEVOTEES: No. That’s right.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Are we going to continue further today? Are we going to have this be the last gathering “consideration” in this spirit or what?
DEVOTEE: We haven’t really stopped for five days.
ANTODEVOTEE: This is our sixth.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: I thought wed been sitting here for five years. [laughter] So this is our sixth meeting?
DEVOTEES: Our sixth year. Our sixth year tonight.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Now, you’re intending that these just sort of continue for more years or what? What is the intention here in terms of when we know that, by agreement, that’s the end of it? Or is this just that you’re going to keep Me here to have these “considerations”?
DEVOTEE: It’s a very difficult “consideration”, Beloved. [laughter]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Sacre bleu!
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Gadzooks, Pinhead! [laughter] What is it? What is the point of view about all of this?
Two questions: Do we continue further, any further today? Secondly, in addition, the second question is: Is this our last gathering “consideration” for this purpose?
DEVOTEE: I like Devotee answer, Beloved. Which is, we continue today, and kind of see where its at at the end of the day. See if we need another gathering.
DEVOTEE: I don’t think Id take it that far, actually. [chuckles from devotees]
DEVOTEE: No, its very open ended.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, well, that’s the technique you have tended to use in your self-“guruing” game. So you don’t bring the integrity of practice to it that could make the profound difference. You just justify the perpetuation. So that point of view alone, or just without any other sides to it, would have it just keep on keeping on. Well, it wouldnt have an end phenomenon because theres no way you’re going to say you didn’t enjoy that evening of “consideration”. [murmurs]
DEVOTEE: That’s true.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So you cant be looking to get to the point where you’re not enjoying it, and then you’re going to say, “Well, that’s the end of it.” There has to be some logic to the “consideration” that suggests when it is complete. So that needs to be the measure rather than just the pleasantness of the occasion.
DEVOTEE: Beloved, You kind of gave the criteria that it has to have made enough difference. What would make enough difference?
DEVOTEE: And will not become boring. That was actually a question I was going to have, Beloved, is basically, throughout this entire “consideration”, Youve even Said this, that people may bring up a little something, a shred of something about this or that, but then You simply use that as a tool to make this Revelation.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: And I think its a matter of our “considering” whether what’s been discussed in these six nights, or six occasions, is sufficient.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. Well, one of the signs of it is, do you have more “considerations” to introduce, you see.
DEVOTEE: Yes. Beloved, I had one that came up when Michael was leaving the room, where I felt very rested here. I felt as though I was Witnessing. I thought I was in the Position of Witnessing, and suddenly there was a strong intuition or association that drew me back more into the room itself.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: And what it was, was a clear sensation that first, somebody wanted to leave the room or needed to leave the room for work purposes or something. And then a split second later, it was focused on Michael. And I was already certain of it. I was expecting him to get up. And then he actually said it, vocally. And I was surprised, but at the same time I wasnt surprised, it was like it was clear that was going to be the way it was. It was already set in motion before then.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, of course! [murmurs] So you just noticed something of the coincidence between inside and outside.
So is there, at present, any further “consideration”? I mean, look at it harder and see if theres a seed of further “consideration” tomorrow. Is there something you’re not addressing yet that you feel less reluctant about addressing tomorrow, so that we can just deal with it now, instead?
As I recall in the earliest of our meetings we especially concentrated on the matter of hearing. But then at some point while references were made to that here and there, basically we’ve been concentrating on matters that belong to the “Perfect Practice”, for probably the last two occasions. Right?
DEVOTEES: Oh, yes. Mm-hm.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: At least? [murmurs of agreement]
And you haven’t come up with anything further, then, about hearing. It seems, though, that what that suggests is that that “consideration” was complete, then. Well, youll have to go back and look at the transcripts to refresh yourself about it in particular, because in the last few days you’ve been playing around with the notion of the “Perfect Practice”.
Of course, the hearing matter is central to your practice at the present. And your serious practice involves constant participation in that “consideration”. “Considering” the “Perfect Practice” from time to time is good, as we’ve discussed. But you must concentrate in this hearing matter, listening to My Word about this hearing matter, until you find yourself located in the place of the self-contraction and have the capability to feel beyond it. That’s the zone of your seriousness because its the capability fundamental to this whole matter of becoming disentangled.
Also, as I recollect, I think I began to talk about these matters greater than the hearing realization, felt Id covered it. And for Me it is like a Teaching-years exercise, . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: . . . to have to conform to that point of view and all its limitations and address it. So then I just began to communicate to you spontaneously about My Own Condition, about the “Perfect Practice”.
DEVOTEE: Your Confession was wonderful.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So I guess I was exhibiting that of, simply My Own Disposition, not obliged to address anything less. [murmurs]
DEVOTEE: Yes, You have. That’s wonderful. [pause]
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Theres nothing else interesting, because Realization is what is interesting. [pause]
DEVOTEE: It seems auspicious with the tenth anniversary of Your Divine Emergence.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Hm, Tcha.
So what else about any of this, then? [pause]
One thing we haven’t done, some of you may have, here and there, closed your eyes during this “considerations”, but we never suggested entering into some “consideration” with everybody closing their eyes, in other words, no outer regard, and see if the “consideration” develops differently when relaxing your visual association with one another. But some of you must have tried this individually. [DEVOTEES: Yes.] But what if we all did it? [murmurs] Sound like an amusing idea?
DEVOTEES: Mm-hm. Yes.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Okay. Close those puppies! Everyones eyes are closed?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: You could just look to see what you see. Whatever somehow, or in any way what’soever, comes up to be seen. Are you searching to see something? Just wait and see if something is seen. Dont be concerned if it doesnt. [long pause] Have any of you started seeing things?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: [laughing] Ha!
How about a piss break? [DEVOTEES: Yes.] But you have to keep your eyes closed. [laughter] [Beloved laughs.] No, you can open your eyes, I guess.
What else should we “consider”?
DEVOTEE: You wanted me to remind You about the Horse.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Oh, yes. Well, we were talking about the Ashvamedha Puja which you all do, and I suggested in a conversation with Tripura that when the brown Horse that you place into the fire is consumed, becomes white ash, then when the fire has consumed it to that degree, a banner or some sort of structure placed in such a way it wont burn at all, could be placed above with a winged white horse on it. Then apart from that, I suggested that perhaps the Horse that is made in the various regions, the wooden Horse, be not just an arbitrary artistic rendering by whoever is making it in the community but that perhaps we make a suitable sculpture of it that satisfies every requirement, and cast a mold from it and have that one, through these molds, be replicated every year. It’s a way of giving continuity to it. [ecstatic murmurs of gratitude]
DEVOTEE: Did You find this Horse beautiful, My Lord? Appropriate?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: The one that you all used today?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Oh, it was fine. It’s similar to the one that’s typically been done for some time. But its, you know, very simple, straightforward, rocking horse kind of look. So, we could, by casting it in something burnable, not only keep continuity with the original icon, but have the images themselves acquire a more fully sacred quality altogether as an object. Because it is a principal puja object that you use every year. So I thought this way another dimension could be added to the simpler kind of forms that have been made recently.
Tripura was wondering whether they should be just made at one of the Hermitages or one of the Sanctuaries and devotees purchase them from there. Maybe. I think also, though, the hands-on making of this by members of the community has some use also, as part of the whole puja. But it would be good if it were the kind of thing that could made by any number of people and didn’t require one local sculpture artist to go off and do it and then bring it out for everybody. Even something that many in the community could work on, applying just simple techniques, maybe at last painted or whatever by somebody especially skilled. But itd be like pressing, moist paper into a mold or something like that.
DEVOTEE: I was thinking about paper.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Theres not a lot of skill in that, the mold would dictate the shape. I don’t know if papier mache is really the usable material, but . . .
DEVOTEE: It would burn so rapidly the puja would be over very quickly, I think.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: Would it be appropriate for, during the course of the year, the basic beginning horse would become more adorned, more showing the signs of being taken care of?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, yes. We never actually discussed the possibility of having the horse that is eventually burned be present in the community for an extended period beforehand. The idea of doing it for the entire year is interesting. A new one would be produced on some appointed day sacred for this purpose and perhaps not at the time of the burning of the other one, or may be. So its something worth considering, it could be kept in the view of the community all year. And the puja for the purpose of this self-surrendering puja to come, the puja could be done throughout the year with that purpose. That would involve adorning the figure and various other things, a kind of a “being dyed in My color” all year use of this image.
We take a large log at the end of every year, select it, and use a piece of it at that time and use wood from it all throughout the year as a way of maintaining a sacred continuity. So, it sounds like a good idea. We should make sure to come up with some ideas for it.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Isn’t it true that no matter what is arising, you are the Witness of it?
DEVOTEES: Yes, Beloved.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: This is obvious to you at this very moment . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: . . . so-called?
And is this Witness-Condition any different with your eyes open as opposed to your eyes closed?
DEVOTEES: No. No. No.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: In that case, get out! [murmurs]
DEVOTEE: Good night.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Im going to prone the Da, pronate, pronianize, the Da. I think lying it prone is definitely My inclination at the moment.
DEVOTEE: Thank You for Your Divine Company.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: I’ll ask you later today if you think we should gather again.
DEVOTEE: Thank You, Lord.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: “Consider” it.
[in a lower tone] Now get out.
DEVOTEES: Thank You, Beloved. Good night, Beloved.
dOm Sri Adi Da, Avatara Hridayamdd* * *d
. Early in this Gathering, Adi Da Samraj begins to speak about the “two birds in the tree”. What do the two birds and tree represent in the ancient Upanishadic story? How do you feel served in your self-understanding by applying this “consideration” of the two birds in your own practice?
. “You see, I do intend for My devotees to consider the Perfect Practice from the beginning. I’ve said so. Everybody knows this, right? And that means all devotees from the beginning should practice this consideration of the Witness. By studying My Teaching about this very matter of the Perfect Practice, you study this matter of the Witness.
Why are we Called to engage in study of Beloved Adi Das Instruction relative to stages of practice that are beyond our current daily level of practice and responsibility?
. Summarize Avatara Adi Das description of the characteristic strategies of males and females and the “yin-yang” play and dynamic between the sexes.
Examine your own play in relationships in the light of His comments, writing your observations in your diary, and “considering” your personal responses with other practitioners.
. “Picture three cats in front of you. One to your left, one in the middle, one to the right . . .
Now look at the one to your left. The one to your right. The one in the middle. The one to your right. The one to your left. The one in the middle. Now very slowly move from the one in the middle to the one on your left, very very slowly. Keep on doing it, such that it would take a very long time now while I speak. Do you feel your attention?”
Take time to engage in this exercise fully. What did you notice about your relationship to attention. Are you aware that you are “the Witness of attention, merely the Witness”?
Repeat this exercise at intervals during the week, and discuss your response when you meet with devotees.
. Adi Da Samraj asks the question: “Imagine if you were Infinitely Perfectly Happy, how would you change your life, your overall life?” Beloved suggests we “consider” this, and look at every aspect of our lives, internal and external, and gives us examples from His own Life.
How do you respond to this question? What would be different about the way you would conduct your life if this were your current realization?
. “Even to give your attention to something, then, is meditation and results in identification with whatever, including all kinds of structures of the I which you call into play. So presumably you choose to meditate on Me, Commune with Me instead.”
In speaking of the great Law that you become what you meditate on, Adi Da Samraj makes a distinction between “casual meditation” and “meditating intentionally for a greater purpose”.
How does this Law operate in these two ways in your ordinary life? Your formal practice? Give specific examples in each case.
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“The perfect among the sages is identical with Me. There is absolutely no difference between us”
Tripura Rahasya, Chap XX, –