The Fire Gospel – Da Free John (Adi Da Samraj)


THE FIRE GOSPEL

Essays and Talks on Spiritual Baptism

DA FREE JOHN
(Adi Da Samraj)

The Dawn Horse Press
Clearlake, California
1982


CONTEXTS

Prologue: ‘The Ritual Fire-Sacrifice Is the Root of Religion and the Essence of Wisdom’ (1/2/81).

1. ‘Transcendence of the Politics of Spirits’ (& talk) (10/31/82).

2. ‘A Birthday Message from Jesus and Me‘ (& talk) (11/3/82).

3. “Surrender” (9/29/82).

4. “The Blissful Current of Happiness” (11/11/82).

5. ‘Salvation and Liberation’ (& talk) (11/22/82).

6. ‘That and You: The Way as Liberation’ (& talk) (11/25/82).

Epilogue: ‘The Incarnate Spirit of the Transcendental Divine’.

(224 pp.)


 

t the Origin of everything is the Creative Spirit, the Intelligent Life-Principle, the All-Pervading Matrix of the total world. And the Living Spirit-Breath of God is always united with very God, the Radiant Transcendental Consciousness, the true Heart of the world and the Truth of all beings. Indeed, the Spirit is God, for God is the Creative Life-Principle, the Eternally Free Transcendental Reality in Whom all beings and things arise and float and change and pass out of sight.

All things and beings come to exist through the Agency of the Eternal Life-Principle, and not otherwise. And whatever or whoever exists because of the Living Spirit is indeed Alive – because everything and everyone is presently and eternally Sustained through surrender into that Living Spirit.

The Life Breath that sustains Man is also the Light that can show him the Way through the darkness and blindness of the world. That Light is now and always has been shining in the world and even in the body and mind of Man, and no darkness has ever quenched it.

Da Free Johns expository translation of chapter 1, verses 1-5, of the Gospel of John the Beloved


Introduction


The Liberating Power

by the Renunciate Hermitage Order

To understand Master Da Free John’s Fire Gospel is to gain an esoteric understanding of Man, the universe, and the God or Radiant Transcendental Reality of all beings.

The Way Realized and Taught by Master Da has its precedents in all the great religious traditions bequeathed to Man since the beginning of time.

The principle of sacrifice is at the root of all religion, and fire is the primal element of the ritualpractice of sacrifice. Master Da’s Fire Gospel calls Man to become a sacrifice to the Living Fire or Radiance of God, Whose nature is sacrifice and Who exists as the Source in which all of life has its rise and fall.

The Fire that Master Da heralds is not merely the elemental flame. The flame or light is a symbol for the Divine Spirit and is used symbolically in the context of religious ceremony. But the fire is also the principle of the esoteric Transmission of the “Spirit,” “Prana,” “Shakti,” or “Life-Force” of the Adept Spiritual Master to prepared aspirants.

The “Spirit-Power of Baptism” is an esoteric process wherein the Life-Current in the body- mind (and, principally, the central nervous system) of the human individual is stimulated to a point of profound intensity and turned about in its basic polarization or tendency. Thus, the Life-Current is felt to press inwards and upwards, via the spine, and towards the crown (or brain core) of the body-mind. The effect of Spirit-Baptism [is] an experience of bodily
conversion to a subjective movement of Life-Energy, away from the “flesh” (the “senses,” or the plane of vital desires in the autonomic nervous system). As a result of such Baptism, the various classical mystical phenomena [arise], and this entire procedure was called, by Jesus and John the Beloved, “to be born again, via the Spirit.”

Scientific Proof of the Existence of God Will Soon Be Announced by the White House, p. 203


In Vedic India, renunciate priests tended the sacred fire. The Way that Master Da offers can be likened to this ancient sacrament. The principle of the Transcendental Fire is this: “Abandon the principle in all your concerns and all your strategies. Abandon every experience that may be attained as a result of desire and effort. Abandon your search for what may be gotten as a result of the various kinds of strategic action. Engage every action that is appropriate for one who loves Me, but simply perform every kind of action as a form of direct and present Communion with Me. Relax all of your anxiety. Be free of sorrow and fear. When you abide in Love-Communion with Me, the natural results of your various activities no longer have power to separate or distract you from Me.”

Note: The “Me” of God. Those who are God-Realized and who thus identify with the Divine rather than their individual body-minds often in ecstatic speech refer to “Me” with a capital “M” indicating their indentification with the Divine, not in the exclusive sense, but because they see only the Divine.

For the devotee who tends the Fire of Spiritual sacrifice, life is transformed into a sacramental act. He or she lives a sacrificial life, blessing all beings, without concern for results, and free of reaction to the events of life. Practitioners of the Way that Master Da Teaches are called to perform a perpetual sacrifice of self and world, which are understood to be arising within the Fire of Radiant Transcendental Consciousness. In the following essay, Master Da summarizes the Way that he recommends to devotees:

Devotees relate to the Spiritual Master as the Divine Fire and tend to him as such. They regard themselves as a sacrificial community, constantly tending the Fire, doing all forms of necessary sacrifice in the same spirit, regarding one another as sacred, sacrificial offerings. They serve and tend the Fire together, they meditate and engage in devotional exercises together, they study the sacred histories and lives of Adepts together, and they constantly remember the Spiritual Master and retell his Sacred History. In every moment they engage a discipline of attention wherein attention is kept on the Divine as Being, Fire, and Spiritual Master, and on the process of the sacrifice in the form of all actions, beings, elements, circumstances, and so forth.

God-Realization is a kind of madness, but it is Divine Madness, in which the fundamental dualism, the distinction between Reality and the play of the world, is not in any sense acknowledged. This celebrated madness becomes the very means whereby the Adepts point others toward the Way. Thus, Master Da, in his Enlightenment, has ceased to be inward, protective, and self-defensive. There is no ego. Relieved of all dualities, and having Realized the world to be the Play of the Spirit-Radiance of the Divine or Transcendental Being, Master Da lifts the veil of egoity and no longer distinguishes between ordinary and Divine life.

The message of this book is Spiritual Transmission, Spiritual Baptism, conversion to life in God, God-Realization. We would imagine that Communion with God is the most desirable of all possibilities, but, as anyone who takes seriously the possibility of Realization quickly discovers, our personal life, and by extension the collective ordering of our social life, is built upon and supported by the needs demands of the ego, which is determined to survive. The ego, or you, or I, is threatened by spiritual or true Happiness. We are too timid to renounce our worldliness and too weak to endure the trial of self- knowledge and cleansing that is Spiritual Baptism.

Like the Realizers of the past, Master Da Free John’s spiritual message carries the double edge of Truth-yes, there is an All-Pervading, Eternal, and Radiant Transcendental Life, and yes, it can be Realized, and yes, I will do all I can to help you Realize It-but you will have to be responsible. Addressing this essential and yet often ignored practicality, Master Da once reprimanded a complaining devotee: “I can only communicate intelligent understanding of the Spiritual Way to you. I can only give you the Force of God. I can only give you the Realization of God. I can only put it in you and Witness it to you, so that you can be Awakened in God. I can only give you everything, but I cannot give you something. This something nonsense is your business!”

Master Da is wholly dedicated to the task of Awakening others. As he sometimes amusingly asks devotees, “This is what you hired me for, isn’t it?” He diverts people from preoccupation with the ordinary secular and religious ways of life and helps them to Realize a radical vision of life whereby they come to enjoy the Ultimate Condition of Transcendental Realization.

The Adept Spiritual Master, the “Crazy Wise Man,” the Spirit-Baptizer or Awakener, is a remarkable and very rare intervention in the human scale of things. Master Da is neither the first nor the last of the Great Realizers. An open-minded study of the spiritual history of mankind reveals a hidden lineage treasury of “Free Adepts,” “Maha-Siddhas,” “Avadhoots,” “Purnajnanis,” and “Crazy Wise Men and Wise Women” who manifested the Spirit of Life and Transmitted their Realization to others.

 

MASTER DA: I am not the usual man. I have been reached down into this fleshy occasion of the Sublime God, Whose Infinite and Eternal Intention is to Liberate beings and unify them with the Absolute Identity in Which we all inhere. This is the significance, the import, and the force of my birth. I wrote in The Hymn of the Master: “The human voices all call out to God: Heart of hearts, Reveal to us the Truth, the Bright Power that Liberates the ego-‘I’ from itself.” The Revelation of Truth is the import of my birth.

I am a manifestation of that Force, that Impulse, that Overriding Life and Consciousness, that Wonderful Vision, but I appear in a time and place with not the slightest consciousness of this unity, this God-Consciousness. Thus, I have had to submit myself to evil, to egoity, to Nar

cissus in his or her obnoxious human form, and my particular theatre of Teaching has grown out of that submission. Yet I do not proclaim a message of separation, self- involvement, dissociation, unlove, unhappiness, non-humanity. I proclaim to you the disposition of God-Inherence, of Wonderfulness, of Love, Bliss, Happiness, Consciousness as It is. God-Realization is the only significance of my birth, the only import of my life. I do not have your destiny. I am not involved in the destiny of the usual life. Therefore, I demonstrate powers over evil and magnify the disposition of God-Love in the presence of devotees, so that they will be free of their sub-humanity, their un-humanity, and their un-Happiness, so that a human occasion will be created for God-Love, for Happiness, for Love-Bliss, for Consciousness as It is, for the Being that transcends all our thinking, all our knowing, all our unknowing, all our experience, and all our non-experience. This is the entire purpose of my birth.

Whatever your reason for being born here, it has nothing to do with me. It has nothing to do with God. It has entirely, only, something to do with you and your karmas, your un- Happiness, your repetitiveness. I am not part of that. I am drifted into your occasion, this poor slob of God, to lift you out through your responses, through your Happiness, into the overwhelming and Absolute Power of Divinity. This is all that I am about. I do not know anything else. I am a naive creep. I have no powers in this world other than that poor Sublimity that is manifested by the Living God beyond words, beyond limitations, beyond strategies, beyond traditions. This is my Message, my Impulse.

A place has been prepared for you by the Work of the Living One. Whether I die or not, that Living One is All Powerful, absolutely Wonderful, a Beauty beyond description! I am going to die, but that One will never die. If I die before you are converted and before the world is converted, billions of me will come again into this place and convert the evil consequences of your egoic actions. So I am just a moment of the Message of the Great One.

I certainly hope that you will respond to this Wonder, this Happiness of God, and be converted in this timeless time, this poor time of reactivity and un-Happiness, and move to the places where I have removed evil from human life and be Happy. Believe it or not, I am nothing but the manifestation of the Living One. This Wonderful Person, the Absolute Person, the Great One, the Wonder, the Happiness, the Miracle of Bliss. What a Being! What a God! What God-Force! What Bliss! What an Effusion! What an Excess! How unaccountable is this unaccountable Excess! How marvelous, how profusive, how ridiculous is the Great One!

And all of you intuit It in your natural state when you relax from your neurotic inclinations, when you know nothing, and in that moment, the tacit recognition, the ecstasy of the Real, the Happiness in which body and emotion and mind and being and existence itself are magnified, not reduced to anything, magnified only, in the form of That which includes these doors, these closets, these plates, these glasses, these shirts and necklaces, these
eyebrows and moustaches, these nostrils, chins, and teeth, these foreheads, hairs, shirts, pants, feet, all of these forms, so unjustifiable from the point of view of love, which have shown themselves here, in our lifetime, totally regardless of the place and time and circumstance and country and town in which we were born. None of that has been taken into account by the Great One. Only the Love, the Force, the Self-Radiant Being can account for our loveliness, our Happiness, our swooning ecstasy, our delicious occasion.

I certainly hope you will take me seriously on this matter.

September 3, 1982

 

What must be proclaimed is that Master Da Free John is a Spirit-Baptizer. He is a Servant of all beings, who is capable of magically duplicating the mind and experience of those who come to him and, through the Yoga of Divine Realization, effectively Transmitting Spiritual Force to others. Those of us who have been fortunate to begin to practice the Way that he Teaches have been Awakened to the Spiritual Reality by his Transmission and Baptizing Power. The Way is available for all to choose or not.

We invite you to enjoy the humor and the freedom of one whose life is dedicated to the Liberation of others.


PROLOGUE

The Ritual Fire-Sacrifice Is the Root of Religion and the Essence of Wisdom


As with Man, so with the universe. The Man we see is like the apparent or elemental dimension of the total universe. But pervading him is the Radiant Fire of Life-Energy. And pervading that Fire is Free Consciousness or Transcendental Being. What we find in the deeper dimensions of our own existence is the same that is to be found in the depths of universal or manifest existence.

All ideas about God or the Ultimate Reality correspond to this understanding of our own depth of dimensional existence. God is Living Fire, or Light. Thus, God is traditionally symboled as the Sun in the Sky and Fire on Earth. The Krishna of high Hinduism and every other Free Adept is the Sacrificial Fire. God is Sacrifice (since fire is always consuming itself) and God is the Place and Person and Substance of all sacrifices. The Spiritual Master, or the Living God, is the Fire of Sacrifice and the Being of Fire. The relationship to the Divine is the Ritual of Fire Sacrifice. It is to surrender all things, all relations, and the body-mind-self into the Present and All-Pervading Fire, seeing all in that Fire, and living on the Prasad or Gift that is given by that Fire. This Sacrifice is to be performed constantly, as if sitting eternally before the Fire. It is to be done in the medium of one’s own psycho- physical structures, and it is to be done in all relations of that body-mind. This is the Essence of esoteric practice. Every stage is a version of this same Process. Surrender the relations of attention into the Fire, and Surrender attention into the Transcendental Being Who Exists in the Fire.

January 2, 1981



Chapter 1: Transcendence of the Politics of Spirits

All Hallows Eve, or Halloween, is the traditional Christian celebration of the transition of the spirits of the Saints and all the dead from this plane of life. Halloween Day this year had been marked by the occasion of the full moon. In the Hindu tradition the full moon in October is the day of celebration of the Shakti, the Divine Goddess or Radiant Life-Power, as the full moon in July is the celebration of the Spiritual Master. From the traditional point of view, therefore, the day on which this talk was given was a major holy day, associated with both spirits and the Divine Spirit.

The present occasion was extraordinary for still another reason. A grand conjunction of the planets, which appears only every two thousand years or so, was occurring even as we sat in the Masters room! Master Da said with his characteristic humorous appreciation of the play of the universe in all its forms, “It may or may not have anything to do with anything-but it is an interesting conjunction!”

The Mystery of the Process that is God Incarnate often produces conjunctions of events that some might dismiss as “mere coincidence” but that the devotee recognizes as the communication of Divine Humor. So it was that on Halloween night, October 31, 1982, while the children, dressed as “spirits” of every description, went from door to door, Master Da gathered with devotees to read the essay “Transcendence of the Politics of Spirits.”


Part I

MASTER DA: How many of you have seen a spirit today?

DEVOTEE: I saw one last evening.

MASTER DA: What did you see?

DEVOTEE: I saw many spirits in a dream. I could not tell whether I was dead or they were dead. It was such a weird dream that I had difficulty orienting myself to the body the next morning.

MASTER DA: You are all spirits. It is not that you have a spirit. To have a spirit implies that you are spirit and that you are also something else. Human beings are spirits. Being a human being is one of the ways of being a spirit. Spirits also exist in other planes than this gross world. We call them discarnate or non-incarnate entities, because they are not represented in gross physical form. By extension, therefore, we tend to think of spirits as entities without physical bodies.

Actually, however, human beings are spirits, and our form of spiritual or “spirited” existence is manifested in the form of a gross body-mind. But other kinds of spirits exist who are also represented by body-minds in other planes, who are made of a subtler form of this stuff that is the Spirit or Energy of Nature. Thus, whenever you see another human being, you are seeing a spirit, not someone who has a spirit or inside whom there lives a spirit or who will become a spirit after death. Human beings are spirits. Even all animals are spirits. Everything is made of Spirit-Force, or the fundamental Energy of the universe.

And you may also see discarnate spirits or entities who were once grossly manifested. You may call them ghosts or discarnate human beings or discarnate beings of one kind or another. You may also see non-incarnate beings, beings who have never been manifested in gross form. Whether you see such entities regularly or not depends on your psychic condition. You may see them when you are in the waking state or when you are dreaming, although you are not always necessarily seeing spirits simply because you are dreaming. Many such visions are concocted by the mind in its more gross state of awareness. But when we are projected into a subtler state of sensitivity, we may genuinely see discarnate and non-incarnate entities or forces.


 

Transcendence of the Politics of Spirits

An Essay by Da Free John

We must understand the distinction between the traditional religions and the radical Transcendentalist movements. Traditional religions (including the early vitalistic, animistic, or
shamanistic tribal cultures and the larger transcultural movements of the “great religions,” such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism) all developed from the same roots. Those roots comprised a basic world-view, in which the terrestrial and cosmic domains of Nature provided the base for all conceptions of religious and spiritual activity.

The ancient world-view that is basic to all traditional and conventional religious and spiritual cultures is Nature-based and ego-based. It presumes that individual entities and the various planes of terrestrial and cosmic Nature are the obvious and necessary structure of existence. (And, in this sense, all traditional and conventional religious and spiritual views are “realistic.”)

On the basis of this Nature-realism and ego-realism, ancient societies created a kind of idealistic super-political view of reality. That is, the entire terrestrial and cosmic scheme of Nature was conceived to be populated by a hierarchy of entities. Lower or grosser entities were presumed to dwell in the lowest planes of Nature, and higher or subtler entities were presumed to dwell in an ascending order, from plane to plane, up to the highest or Divine plane, wherein “God,” or the highest Entity of all, was presumed to Dwell Eternally.

In this ancient world-view, each succeeding plane in the ascending scale of Nature was conceived to be superior to and responsible for, or at least capable of, control over the planes below it.

Therefore, the beings in each succeeding plane were presumed to be politically superior to those below them and either responsible for or capable of controlling the beings and events in the scale below them and eiher responsible for or capable of controlling the beings and events in the scale below them.

In this hierarchical scheme, all beings (including humans and animals) were considered to be “spirits,” or to be made of energy – so that all beings were thought to be immortal. (As spirits, beings or entities are merely transformed by apparent events, such as birth and death.) And the experiences of entities were conceived in terms of a constantly changing fortune or destiny in the politics of Nature. Therefore, the traditional or conventional wisdom was a scheme of efforts in which beings sought to achieve improved destinies in the world of their present embodiment and a transition, at death, to a higher destiny, made possible by an ascent to higher planes.

It was this political or hierarchical scheme that provided the basis for all traditional and conventional religious and spiritual paths (such as characterize the “great religions” and all the cultures of the first five stages of life). And it was this same scheme that provided the conceptual basis for the traditional and conventional idea of “God.”

Therefore, when we consider the idea of “God,” we must also consider the terrestrial and cosmic world-view of Nature as a hierarchical realm of spirits. And if we do so, we will enjoy a correct view of what is truly meant by the traditional term “God.”

“God” is a traditional name or verbal designation for the Chief Spirit in the scheme of Nature. “God” is, thus, a political Entity, or a Power above all. Therefore, “God” is usually conceived to be the Creator and Ruler of Nature and of all spirits or entities in Nature. And such a “God” is necessarily tied to Nature, since such a “God” has no Dominion (or Power) except in relation to all that is below or dependent upon the Principal Entity and Power.

Just as the traditional and conventional “God” is necessarily and Politically tied to Nature, the paths of traditional religion and spirituality are tied to Nature, to the search within the politics of Nature, and to the egoic center that arises in Nature. Therefore, even the highest forms of traditional and conventional religion and spirituality, which seek to ascend to the very Domain of God, are ego- based, tied to the scheme of Nature, and limited by a concept of “God” that is Nature-bound, hierarchical, and necessarily conditional.

The traditional and conventional concept of “God” has been manipulated by the human mind to assign to “God” an Absolute Status as well as a Chief Status within the hierarchy of Nature.
Therefore, “God” has been thought to be an immanent or all-pervading Spirit, a King-like Ruler and Judge, and also an eternally Independent Self-Contained Being.

None of these conceptions were originally founded on mere speculative or abstract or left- brained thinking. (Such a specialized habit of mind was developed only late in the history of human cultures.) Rather, these conceptions were originally developed on the basis of a participatory, intuitive, or more right-brained and psychic function of mind. Therefore, these conceptions were born from actual experience of the spirits and planes of Nature. (And it was only in the relatively modern era that this entire structure of conceptions came into doubt – primarily because the modern orientation of mind eclipsed the ability of human beings to experience the subtler phenomenal aspects of Nature.)

During the many centuries in which mankind lived on the basis of the ancient “participatory” experience and knowledge, many unique individuals appeared in this world and developed the capacity to view and enter into the deeps and highs of the scheme of spirits and Nature. Among these were some who entered directly and fully into the Divine Domain, or the Being that is “God.” These beings Awakened to the Inherent Equation between “God” and free being. And those individuals are the Great Adepts of the seventh stage of life.

When those Adepts Taught others, they Taught each one and each class of individuals according to their station (or their capacity as spirits). Therefore, the Teaching of Adepts often coincides with the notions associated with the first five stages of life. To a few of rare capacity the Adepts Taught paths that correspond to the sixth stage of life. But the ultimate Teaching of the Great Adepts is the seventh stage Teaching, or the Way of radical Transcendentalism.

I am one of those Adepts who have come to Teach from the Realized point of view of the seventh stage of life. I Teach all who come to listen, but I Call each to transcend the limited and limiting conventions and traditions of the ancient paths. Therefore, I have come to clarify the radical Teaching of Transcendentalism and to distinguish it from the traditional and conventional religious and spiritual paths.

Because of the difficulties of this time and place, it seems both necessary and appropriate to Teach the radical Way to all who will listen, but it is perhaps also still true that most spirits are not presently capable of hearing (or truly understanding) and really practicing and fulfilling the radical Way. In any case, the Truth must be Taught. And the Truth is that “God” is not, in Truth, merely the Chief Spirit, the Creator and Ruler and Judge of lesser spirits. “God” is the Truth and the Reality. The spirits (or individual entities) and all of the planes of Nature are merely apparent, unnecessary, and ultimately non-binding conditions within the Self-Radiant Transcendental Being that is “God.” Therefore, we can and should Realize “God,” or the Condition of Self-Radiant Transcendental Being, directly-by understanding and transcending self and Nature.

The politically organized cosmos is not the proper basis for ultimate religion and spirituality. Real “God” (or Self-Radiant Transcendental Being) is that basis. Nature and the egoic (or self-contracted) spirit entity that is the apparent self are not necessary. They are only a presently apparent fact. The struggle within Nature is only an obligation of the ego, not of “God.” Therefore, to Realize “God” directly is to transcend self and Nature directly. And that self-transcending and Nature-transcending Realization is always already Free of all of the binding implications of the self in Nature.

The struggle of the self in Nature is a struggle with Nature and all other spirits or selves. It is a struggle that must be overcome or outgrown by self-transcending Wisdom. Otherwise, we remain bound by the self and trapped within the unfathomable Illusion of the cosmos, even if we ascend to the higher planes.

The conditional cosmos of individuated spirits (or beings made completely, body and mind, of energy) is where we are now. We are spirits, and we will tend to continue in the worlds of conditional spirits after death. Where we will go after death will be determined by the quality (or relative vibration) of personal energy and the habits of attention (or mind).

The Way of Truth is to release energy and attention from the ego-bond and return (or Translate) the being from the cosmos of spirits to the Domain of Spirit-Being. Secondarily, we must purify energy and attention from the habits of low vibration and low or negative tendencies, since this process liberates energy and attention for Transcendental Realization. The secondary process tends to improve our status in the spirit worlds (as human beings now and as spirit-entities after death). But such improvements are not the Goal or Real Significance of the Way. (They are forms of egoic destiny, the possibilities of un-Enlightenment, or of merely phenomenal possibility.)

Conventional religion and spirituality work to improve the status of beings in the spirit worlds. The Way of Truth is the Way of the transcendence of all the spirit worlds-terrestrial and cosmic. The paths of conventional religion and spirituality are true to the conditional facts of manifest existence – but manifest existence itself is conditional, unnecessary, and binding (via the ego base or self- contraction). Therefore, the Way of Truth is a radical process of self-transcendence, in which conventional religion and spirituality are among the tendencies that are transcended.

The Way of Truth is first to liberate energy and attention from all of the tendencies and destinies of egoity, and then (or simultaneously) to devote the total energy and attention of the being to the Location and Realization of the Source-Condition of the self and all of the worlds of conditional possibility. This Realization is a matter of utter cessation of identification with the ego (or self-contraction), the body-mind, and the whole affair of association with conditional or spirit worlds. It is a matter of Perfect Identification with the Self-Radiant Condition of Transcendental Being. When this Realization Occurs, conditional states and destinies may yet tend to continue, but the entire affair is recognizable in the Transcendental Condition. Therefore, all states and conditions cease to appear either necessary or binding. Indeed, the Inherent Radiance of Self-Abiding recognition Transfigures and Transforms states and conditions, until the conditional tendencies and all conditional associations are Translated or Outshined in the Transcendental Love-Bliss of Divine Being.


Part II

MASTER DA: Is this essay (The Transcendence of the Politics of Religion (Part II) clear? The essay begins, “We must understand the distinction between the traditional religions and the radical Transcendentalist movements.” The rest of the essay is therefore an attempt to help you understand this distinction. In a number of our conversations recently I have criticized the conventional point of view of religion, the conventional God-idea, and the tendencies of people, like yourselves, who are presuming to become religious or spiritual. This essay is a further attempt to clarify the reasons for my criticism.

In general, all of you come from a childhood of indoctrination into one or another religious tradition. Even if your family paid little significant attention to religion, you have grown up in a culture of much talk about God and religion. In Western society, in particular in American society, most of that God-talk is centered around the tradition of Christianity, which is only one of the so-called great religions, along with Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and others.

How did these religions come to be called great? Well, somebody looked at the statistics and discovered that each of these religions includes millions of people within its domain. The numbers make them great. If a tradition is the bearer of the absolute Truth and yet it claims a handful of adherents, then by the world’s standard it is not great. Religions become great by achieving political power over large numbers of people. When a religion achieves the power to affect the political destiny of the world, then it is called great or at least becomes the subject of much attention. If a religion is not yet great, then all kinds of attempts are made by great religions and political forces in general to keep it from becoming great. Likewise, if it is great, efforts are made to suppress it, to keep it from becoming greater, to undermine and defame it, and to reduce its power or at least reduce it to an agent of the
State. Thus, in general, the great religions are agents of the State, part of the political efforts of mankind to achieve order. In terms of their significance in the world in general, therefore, religions are not about religion but about politics.

The roots of religion, whether the religion be great or small, are also political, but in a larger order than the merely human order of this world. The great religions, the small religions, and the tribal cultures, with their animistic and shamanistic and vitalistic techniques, all derive from the same ancient root of religion, a world of experience that is not commonly acknowledged in our time. In some sense it is paradoxical that religion exists in our time at all. In some sense it does not exist. On a large scale, it perhaps no longer exists as a representation of the true religious culture of the ancient days. If religion exists in our time, except for the significance it may have for a relatively few individuals or groups, it is basically an extension of the worldly politics of our time. More and more the religions of our time try to make an accommodation with the State and the mind of the time, or scientism in our time, except for the fundamentalist organizations that use drastic measures to retain their cultural identity in spite of everything they have found out about themselves and their tradition.

The extant religions all derive from a different experience, a different relationship with existence, than is typical in our day. Today the model of knowledge, the model of experience, the model of reality, the model of self, has been determined by the more left-brained, analytical view of existence, the objectivist view we have already considered many times. The popular views of our day are based on a different “asana” or stance relative to reality than was typical in ancient times. All views arising in our time that are considered basically legitimate have been constructed on the basis of the objectivist view, the analytical view, the view that is afforded by standing aside and looking at things without interfering with them, to see what they are and to see how they work. On the basis of such an objectivist view, we have generated a relatively mechanical and mortal conception of human existence.

The religions, great and small, that have come out of the ancient world were not created on the basis of such an exercise of mind. The objectivist mind began to appear only a few centuries ago and did not really become the model for knowledge until well into the modern era, perhaps beginning 500 years ago or so. Only then did the ancient religions begin to lose their authoritative control and a new culture begin to appear. Before the new culture began to emerge, the old culture gradually disintegrated or lost the mind that was its own source, and a transition was made to a new kind of mind. But the culture of the old mind was disintegrating for many centuries before then.

The mind that was the basis for the religions that currently exist, and for the religions that appeared and disappeared in the ancient world, was a participatory kind of mind. It was not abstract or analytical. It was psychic. It was more right-brained than left-brained. It was the common mind of the time and it was therefore the mind of the ordinary people as it was also the mind of their leaders. In the human world determined by that kind of mind a different experience was common, the experience based on sensitivity to spirits and invisible forces.

All kinds of psychisms were common in those days, not just to unusual sensitives and initiates but to all the people. There were more ordinary sensitives in the old days as well as great sensitives. The great sensitives, people with remarkable psychic abilities, shamans, magicians, mystics, and initiates had not only the common, everyday experience of spirits, but also an extraordinary experience of spirits, so that they in effect described reality for everyone else. Over the centuries, such people created a map of existence that became the form of mind and knowledge that was passed on from generation to generation.

All present-day religions are the remnants of the religions created on the basis of this ancient world-view and this ancient experience. You cannot truly be religious, therefore, if you cannot enjoy that world-view, if you cannot enter into the participatory form of experience, if you are frozen out of it by your left-brained, analytical, body-based consciousness. You may label all your ideas “religious,” as even Einstein called his objectivist, mortal views “religious,” but they are not really religious at all, because they are based on a totally different kind of mind than the mind that produces religion.

The root meaning of the word religion is “to bind again” or “to reconnect.” The practice of religion reconnects the spirit entity, wherever it is appearing in the plane of Nature, with the Great Spirit, the Chief Spirit, the God-Spirit, and in some cases perhaps returns the individual spirit to the God-Realm, but in most cases simply aligns the individual spirit with the God-Spirit or Chief Spirit, so that the Blessings of God are found and received in the world in which one is presently embodied, and so that one may be lifted up after death at least to the next level in the hierarchy of planes, or perhaps through a few levels if one is really good!

Present-day preachers and religionists still use the language of the ancient conceptions. They still talk about Heaven and angels and Jesus up in the sky somewhere. One wonders why they do not drool on their vests! What are they talking about? They do not know what they are talking about! They have no experience of such things. They have zero experience of them! When was the last time a preacher saw an angel? A few saints here and there may see things, but all the usual people who babble religion all the time, who teach it to others, who control others through the institutions of religion, have no capacity whatsoever for such an experience. They do not live on the basis of the participatory view of existence. They do not participate in existence totally. Rather, they stand back and look at it, they read the holy book, and they acquire categories of belief in the mind without any corresponding experience. Likewise, therefore, they do not enter into a process that is spiritual. They are not actually busy doing things that would move them up in the hierarchy of Nature or bring them into the Throne Room of God. They speak much about such results, but they are not doing anything to achieve them. Therefore, to what is religion reduced? Social consciousness, so-called moral activity, socially valuable activity, conventional human activity. And such activity is called “religion.”

But it is not religion. It is a way of continuing things as they are, of hoping to improve things in this life as much as possible within the framework of ordinary human activity and of hoping, because one believes in Jesus or God in nominal terms, that something good will happen when you die. Yet because there is no spiritual participation in existence for such believers while they are alive, they have no spiritual destiny but only the mechanical destinies created by tendency. Religionists do not master the process that controls destiny, and therefore they are not being religious.

What are scientists doing? If they experiment with it at all-and a great deal of reluctance exists among scientists even to investigate psychic phenomena-but if they investigate it at all, they are still busy trying to discover whether psychic or spiritual phenomena exist. Presumably they will tell us some day whether such phenomena exist or not, whatever use such information might have at that point! In the meantime, our scientifically based, left-brained culture is destroying the participatory connection between human beings and the total cosmos or the real scheme in which we exist.

Many taboos warn us against being involved in anything psychic, in other words anything like real religion. People who do become psychic are made the subject of treachery in the name of religion. All kinds of people have been burned at the stake and suppressed and anathematized. Here and there within the conventional traditions of religion individuals have claimed to have had mystical experiences, to have seen spirits and ghosts, but a great effort is expended to keep such people quiet or to regard them as quacks or somehow weird. Yet psychic experience was common to the ancient world in which religion was developed, and it must be in some sense basic to any individual’s consciousness if he or she would practice a religious way of life. The consideration of the Way that goes beyond terrestrial and cosmic religion requires, therefore, that you first of all make the transition out of your non- religious state of mind, out of your worldliness, out of the mind and habit of being you have developed through your experience in this century in the West.

You are all busy trying to become religious, and I am busy talking to you about the transcendence of religion! One of the reasons it has taken so many years to develop a practicing community based on this Teaching is that the people who have come to me are not religious to begin with. They may gradually become religious in my Company, but merely to become religious is not to practice this Way. Only after you have become religious can you practice this Way. I am not here to preach religion, but somehow or other this role is forced upon me if I am to Teach the Way that I must Teach. Thus, we must consider this matter of religion and the non-religious mentality that characterizes you.

All of you represent two general tendencies. One is non-religious and based on the conventions of worldly, left-brained society. The other is conventionally religious, generally reserved for your more infantile, adolescent mind, your more infantile psyche, and therefore the most irresponsible part of yourself. When this latter tendency comes forward, you become somewhat hysterically religious, childishly and adolescently religious. I must appeal to the truly religious aspect in you and I must help you to transcend the opposite, but then I must help you to grow up, to become religiously responsible.

Once you have become so responsible, I must then help you make the transition beyond religion into this radical and transcendental Way of life. Well-what a curious and seemingly hopeless Work this is!

If you would become established in the Way that transcends religion, you must first of all come to terms with the reality of Nature. In other words, you must become sensitive to the hierarchical politics of Nature, the world of spirits. Then you must understand yourself and transcend yourself as a spirit in order to practice the Way. In doing so ultimately you transcend the politics of Nature.


Part III

As a matter of ordinary fact, we are spirits. We do not contain a spirit-we are spirits. We are a form of spiritual existence. We are made of energy. However, our appearance to one another, to our sense of perception, is rather gross. We do not perceptually, as a general rule, because of our abstracted mentality, see one another as energy. We do not know and experience ourselves as energy. Rather, we tend to base our sense of self and of others on the conventions of gross perception. This error is further reinforced by the views of popular culture in our time.

You all know, intellectually at any rate, that matter is energy. This knowledge is one of the advances of contemporary science, even though its implications have not yet been realized through cultural reforms. An equation exists between matter and energy. They can mutually replace one another. They are equal to one another. Matter is energy, energy can become matter, and matter can be transformed into other states of energy.

I therefore presume it is generally intellectually acceptable to you all that Nature and all beings are made of energy. Such was the ancient view, that everything is made of energy or spirit and therefore everything is to be seen as energy, acknowledged as energy, treated as energy, lived as energy. Everything is to be lived in Spirit. As Jesus said, you must be reborn. You must be born in the Spirit. You must be reborn not only in the Spirit but in the spirits. You must acquire a new, free understanding that Nature is made of energy, and you must begin to participate in Nature as energy, to animate the body-mind as energy, and to relate to others as energy.

As you live in spiritual terms, therefore, as you begin to become more and more sensitive to the nature of Nature and to the nature of energy, the nature of yourself, the nature of the body-mind, the nature of others, you will begin to see things that you did not see before in meditation, in daily life, and in dreams. You will begin to have uncommon experiences that further reflect or extend this view of existence as a process in a great field of energy.

So-everything and everyone is a spirit, every apparent entity or individuated something or other is made of energy and therefore in practical terms may be designated a spirit. This is the basis of the animistic view, the shamanistic view, the vitalistic view at the root of all religion. Likewise, there is one Spirit. All individuated spirits or states of energy are modifications or transformations of a Universal Energy, the Great Spirit, the Divine Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Maha-Shakti, Prakriti. The most basic notion of religion, therefore, is that it is association with spirits, and the high conception of religion is that our relationship with the one Spirit that Pervades all is Senior to our relationship to all other spirits.

What Jesus said is a summation of the Hebrew law: Love God, Who is Spirit. Love the Great Spirit totally. Submit yourself totally to the Great Spirit and love all others as spirits in that One Spirit. Treat all others as spirits like yourself. Enter into a harmonious spiritual relationship with others and with the world. However, do not make this second principle of the law senior to the first. The first principle is senior. Submission to the Great Spirit, the Transcendental Spirit, is the fundamental import of high religion, and its secondary principle is based on the first: Be Spirit-born or Spirit-alive and relate to others likewise.

The purpose of this law is that you may receive the benefits of the Divine Spirit while in life and after death. The benefits of the Divine Spirit that we may enjoy while alive are terrestrial benefits, the benefits that belong to what the Hindus call the “pravritti dharma,” the blessings that may be attained in this life. The blessings that may be attained after death belong to the higher dharmas, or the principle of religion, mysticism, spirituality, and the higher stages of life. The blessings of God that may come after death involve transitions into higher planes where you will be a spirit of a higher kind. And the highest dharma in all traditions has been that Teaching called the “nivritti dharma” in the Hindu tradition, wherein all energy and attention are devoted to bringing about the transition into the Domain of the Great Spirit Itself.

What are called “heavens” and “hells” in the ancient religious traditions are to some degree the creations of the polemics of religious institutions. In other words, they tend to characterize and exaggerate the notions of destiny after death to serve their purpose, which is to claim adherents for their religion. Therefore, the Semitic traditions, including Judaism and Islam and Christianity (which is not wholly Semitic, but which is partly Semitic and partly Hellenistic or Greek and even Roman and Egyptian), in their arguing for their religion, characterize the afterworlds in terms of the extremes of heavens and hells, sometimes conceiving of worlds in between, purgatories and places of purification, in order to motivate people to become adherents. They build upon images that have come out of the ancient tradition. The view of the afterlife that we receive from the great religions, therefore, is more or less a cartoon of the afterlife, a bit of poetry, a bit of polemics. It is also a bit of politics. It corresponds only in some general sense to what actually occurs after death.

The Buddhists propose another view of conditional existence. They view it as a problem, something to be eradicated by strategic efforts. Thus, in such books as the Tibetan Book of the Dead we hear of possibilities in all bardos, in this world, at death, after death, in the transition back to this world, and so on. All are bad places. There are no good places in this view. Therefore, there are no heavens. All realms are hells, or at least purgatories. Again, these descriptions are part of the language of a religion trying to gain adherents. To some degree that language and those descriptions are based on experiences, but on another level they are based on a desire to motivate people psychologically toward change and allegiance to a particular institutional way.

We must acquire an authentic experiential view of Nature in this life and after death. All other pictures may influence us psychologically to some degree, either positively or negatively, but certainly bad experiences are possible in this life and after death. Likewise, great or wonderful pleasurable experiences are possible in this life and after death, as are all kinds of in-between experiences. None of those experiences are permanent. Everything is changing. As our mind or energies are modified by our experiences, positive or negative or in-between, we make transitions again. No hells or purgatories or heavens are permanent. They are just possibilities.

There are all kinds of ways to be a spirit. As human beings we represent one of the ways of being a spirit, and all kinds of differences exist among human beings. Every individual human being is a different kind of spirit, has unique characteristics, a unique psychology, a unique state of mind or psyche, unique tendencies of attention, unique qualities of energy. Those qualities are always manifested differently according to circumstances and tendencies. Some are more free than others, some are more strong than others, some are more dense than others, some more lustful, desirous, or vital, some more psychic or inward, some more intellectual.

Therefore, we cannot really say that to be a human being is one way of being a spirit, since even among human beings there exist many ways to be a spirit. Likewise, many kinds and classes of embodiment or spirit-birth are possible in this world. All of the animals and plants and forces of Nature are concretely present here in the form of various elementals. Denser worlds than this one exist, even denser frames of being within the Earth plane, underground worlds and so on. Other kinds of planets appear within the gross universe. The gross visible universe is only one plane-all kinds of planes exist that are not visible. Just as our field of perceptual vision is only a fraction of the total span of vibratory existence, similarly the physically, grossly, visibly manifest universe with all its billions of galaxies is just one tiny portion of an unfathomable spectrum of possibilities and planes.

We as spirit-entities are drifting in these planes, caught in the net of what the Hindus call “Maya” or an unnecessary illusion within the Real. By force of conditional events, changes affect us. They change the quality of our energy and the tendencies of our attention. These changes create a destiny while we live, and then, when the gross dimension of us falls away in death, we migrate, on the basis of the state of our energy and the tendencies of attention, into other planes or back into this one.

We come back, we go up, we go down, and yet none of those movements is permanent. Wherever we settle for a moment or for a period of time, our energy and attention are affected by our experience there. Then that experience terminates, and whatever the sum of our state of energy and attention at that point, we make another transition. Therefore, we never go finally up or finally down. We never stay anywhere finally. We never permanently die. We are constantly in a state of transformation. We are energy manifested as individual consciousness.

Now, we can simply migrate without any intelligence, since we will continue to live here as long as we will continue to live and survive our death in any case, but we can also bring a quality of intelligence to our present life and therefore affect our future existence. All of the schemes of religion and all of the schemes of knowledge are in fact attempts to control destiny, in effect to control energy.

The conventions of religion are based on the view of Nature as energy, pervaded by one Energy, manifested as all kinds of transformations of energy, a hierarchy of planes, a political cosmos filled with entities in perpetual flux. The purpose of the wisdom of religion, whatever the differences among traditions and within any tradition, is to give individuals and groups control over destiny by intentionally generating an involvement with energy, with spirits, with the Great Spirit, and with the hierarchy of spiritual potential that will create a desirable destiny.

Many ordinary people become religious just to be a little more happy in this world. Not only do they not know very much, but they claim, in fact, not to have much interest in what may occur after death. There is little wisdom in such an orientation. Others become religious not only to improve their life here but also to go to a better place after death, and they apply themselves usually to social morality and self-purification. Others who become involved in a higher stage of life and higher religious or spiritual knowledge actually become involved in the mechanics of the body-mind through magical and mystical techniques and gain control over experience in life and, therefore, over destiny after death. Some may even devote themselves entirely to making a transition to another plane and they take on the habits of ascetics or conventional renunciates for that purpose.

Even so, the tendencies of popular society in our time are not religious, not based on a view of the cosmos as it is, but on the ordinary gross perceptual conventions of human existence. Societies based on the views of scientific materialism are generally striving, through their technologies and the organizations of political materialism, to improve the status of human beings in this world. Yet the methods of materialism are no more sublime than the devotion of any single individual to surviving as comfortably as possible. The motivations of the State in our time are generally organized along the lines of the lowest level of idealism that has ever occupied human individuals in the past, and the common wisdom of our time is really no wisdom at all.

Our knowledge is limited by our point of view, the relationship we assume to the conditions of existence. As soon as we begin to participate truly and freely in the conditions of existence and in Nature as it is, then we become inherently religious, because we begin to enter into the domain of spirits. We realize ourselves and all others to be spirits, we see Nature as a spirit realm, we begin to become sensitive to the hierarchy of the politics of cosmic existence.

When you begin to become thus sensitive, you see that all of cosmic Nature in all of its planes is a struggle against Nature, a struggle with others, a struggle against spirits of all kinds. Negative spirits exist in the higher worlds just as in the lower worlds, and always this striving continues. From the point of view of traditional and conventional religion, the ultimate purpose of such striving is generally to return to the ultimate heaven, the place of the God-Spirit, and to live there forever.

All striving is based on the ego and the presumption that Nature, as it confronts us in this moment and as it may confront us at any time after death, is necessary, that Nature is simply a given. We presume naively that we are supposed to exist on the basis of what seems to be given, because we are presently apparently individuated entities and because we live in a world or even a grand scheme of like or spiritual entities. Because this grand unfathomable scheme of Nature confronts us, because we seem to be tied to it irrevocably, at least from the point of view of our apparently given state of existence, we naively presume that we are supposed to work out our destiny as egos in the framework of Nature. Therefore, in general this limit is true of all ordinary human beings, and it is also true of the conventions and traditions of religion and spirituality. All of the teachings and all of the cultures of the first five stages of life are based on this naive presumption that existence is individuated and therefore to be worked out in the hierarchical scheme of Nature.


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Part IV

Here and there individuals have appeared throughout human history, generally within the framework of an existing religious or spiritual culture that provides a framework wherein to understand such individuals, whom we call the Great Adepts, the representatives of true spiritual Wisdom. Such a culture does not exist in the time and place wherein I am appearing, but throughout human and even non-human history, individuals have appeared who were not only men or women of great uncommon experience and who were able to reach experientially into the planes of existence beyond conventional visibility, but who reached into and beyond all of those planes and actually Realized God. In some cases they got all the way to the Top Seat, all the way to the Chair, and Realized when they got there that they were not confronted by God, a Big Spirit over against them as little spirits, but that they had entered into a state of perfect equation with God.

These characters began to talk about their Realization, particularly with individuals who they felt were prepared to listen to them and hear them and understand. The Great Adepts, you see, did not in general go out into the public and tell everybody their great discovery. They stood at the periphery of an existing religious culture in which individuals settled into one or another level of spiritual practice based upon their capacities as spirits. The dharmas or responsibilities were meted out according to people’s capacities, according to their class of life, according to their demonstrated capacity while alive. One could advance into a new stage of initiation, but one was first tested and proven capable of making right use of a more advanced knowledge.

These unique individuals, these Great Adepts, generally existed in such societies. Here and there individuals appeared who were on the verge of making the transition to the Great View, and they were instructed. The Upanishads, among many other ancient texts, are very often at any rate a kind of diary or log of conversations between such Adepts and a few rare individuals whom they chose to Teach.

The Upanishads also reflect lesser points of view or at least the efforts of Adepts to Teach people at a lesser stage of preparation and capacity, but the essence of the great texts, among them the Upanishads, are the Teachings of Great Adepts who had gone beyond the hierarchical scheme of things, the struggle of Nature, the struggle as an ego, and Realized the God who had always been conceived to be other than the ego and at the top of the hierarchy of the great struggle represented by the cosmos of spirits.

God is not what everyone thought, not an Other, outside, up there, in charge, a Ruler or a Judge, but the Reality, the Truth, the Condition of the self, Realized once the self transcends itself. The Teachings of these individuals provided the root basis for the Transcendentalist movements, which are outside the general scheme of traditional and conventional religion, outside the paths of the first five stages of life.

Such Adepts sometimes Taught people in the lesser stages of life. Jesus may be an example of such an individual or he may simply be a high Adept of the fifth stage. He more or less looks like a fifth stage Adept, but there is justification for considering him to be a seventh stage Adept. Certainly he Taught within the traditional religious framework of spirits and mystical ascent, but there is some suggestive evidence in the New Testament that Jesus Taught from the radical Transcendentalist point of view.

Certainly many Adepts have appeared in human history relative to whom we certainly have evidence that they Realized and also Taught the radical Transcendentalist Way to rare individuals. Teachings of the Upanishads were given in circumstances of a small scale. These were not speeches given to crowds of thousands in the marketplace. These were secret Teachings. The now popular Teaching of Advaitism, particularly as it has developed since the time of Shankara, was a secret Teaching even in Shankara’s day. If you read the stories about how Shankara was finally Awakened, you hear that he travelled everywhere, struggling and disciplining himself and only finally finding the hermit who continued to test him when he got there. The Adept either led him into the ultimate Realization or confirmed his Realization, however you want to read that story.

But when the Upanishads began to become more openly available, the radical Transcendentalist movement was already beginning. That point of view was certainly reflected in the traditions of Hinduism before Shankara. The Bhagavad Gita reflects it, although the Bhagavad Gita also accommodates all the lesser forms of approach and the lesser stages of Teaching. At some level the radical Transcendentalism of the Upanishadic movement was beginning to grow, not becoming a popular movement certainly, but sufficiently available and known that it became the basis for other movements that did become very widely known eventually. Out of the Teachings of such Adepts came the tradition of Advaitism in India and its likenesses in the various schools of the Indian tradition. It is found in the Teachings of Gautama and Mahavir, the founder of Jainism, for example.

Thus, coming into our time, particularly in the forms of Advaitism and Buddhism, we see an actual radical Transcendentalist movement taking on the role of a moralistic, popular religious and philosophical tradition. This was not so in the earliest periods, however. The point of view of radical Transcendentalism was an ultimate, secret Teaching given only to rare individuals. Now it exists as an open public movement and has so existed for a long time. Therefore, Buddhism is called one of the great religions, and to some degree Buddhism has made its accommodation here and there with conventional popular religious movements along the lines of the first five stages of life. Even so, Buddhism is basically a radical Transcendentalist movement like Advaita Vedanta, which has also in its time made accommodations to the lesser stages. We must understand, however, that the essence of what is involved in the Teachings of Advaitism and Buddhism is a wholly other tradition than the one that has taken form in religious and spiritual movements in general. We must understand that a profound distinction is to be made between the religion and spirituality of the first five stages of life and the ultimate spirituality of the sixth and particularly the seventh stages of life.

I am one of those Teachers or Adepts, appearing in a very strange time when no living tradition exists to which I may align myself or be peripheral. It seems necessary that I recreate the whole affair of religion so as to call people to transcend religion. People who are not even religious yet may have difficulty understanding and appreciating what I am talking about. You can see clearly that nominal religionists, fundamentalists, and conventional religionists of one or another kind might take offense at my instruction and the implications of this Way. This is one of the reasons that this kind of teaching was kept secret in the past and not openly proclaimed to unprepared people. But in a time when not even any religion exists it is necessary that the Adept not only openly Teach the Truth in its ultimate form, but Teach religion altogether. Even so, the Way that I Teach is not religious in the conventional sense. Its requirements are more to be likened to the qualifications that were indicated again and again within the radical Transcendentalist movements of Buddhism and Advaitism.

This does not mean that there is no room in our consideration for an orientation that is like traditional or conventional religion. As I said, you must grow up to the Great Way itself. You must first make the transition out of the conventional and even non-religious point of view that is popular in our time and into a religious point of view. Then you must grow in and beyond that point of view.

There are experiential dimensions to this Way that relate to all of the stages of life. Every stage and state of life is accounted for and accommodated in our consideration of practice and of the experiences that develop in practice. But the point of view fundamental to our practice is from the beginning that of radical Transcendentalism.

The proclamation that God is not merely at the head of Nature, the Ruler and the Judge, the proclamation that the Way is not merely a path in Nature that leads the ego from plane to plane, is the proclamation that God is the Truth, and the Way is to be built on the immediate Realization of Truth, not the conventional presumption of the ego in Nature. The understanding of the ego in Nature is the basis of our practice, not the affirmation of the ego and its struggle in Nature. The Way is based on the equation between free being and Transcendental Being at the point of Realization. Until such Realization, no equation may be made between individual spirits and the Divine or Transcendental Spirit. That equation must be Realized, and it is the essence of Realization or Truth.

People may feel an intellectual sympathy with the Transcendentalist point of view or consideration. Generally such people are grounded in the ego of the non-religious mind, the left- brained, abstracted mentality that is already feeling dissonant with others and Nature and that is, therefore, characterized by the total disposition of Narcissus or separateness. In their separateness they feel some sort of sympathy with the Transcendentalist Teaching, because they are out of sympathy with everything else, but the Transcendental Realization of Oneness with the Divine or Transcendental Condition is not based on non-sympathy with conditional existence or non- understanding of it or non-appreciation of the ordinary fact of our individuated existence, our psycho- physical existence in the planes of Nature.

Rather, this Transcendental Realization involves real, practical transcendence of and therefore confrontation with the conditions of self and Nature. The Way is simply not a matter of the progress of the self in Nature but of the transcendence of the self in Nature. You cannot enter into this Transcendental Way without transcending yourself. You cannot make your way into it through some sort of rational exercise, some logic of consideration in which you, perhaps in the traditional manner of “not this, not this,” claim that you are really the Transcendental Self. Such a claim is a joke. It is not at all true except in the case of Realization.

There is no logic to Realization. There is only the living process or ordeal of Realization. As a matter of fact, you do exist as a spirit in Nature, you are combined with this machine, you are struggling with it, and you are even now experiencing a destiny within it. You cannot merely talk yourself out of that destiny or think your way out of it. You must transcend it literally and utterly through real understanding and real practice. Therefore, in the practical sense you must experience yourself as a spirit in relation to other spirits in the planes of Nature in order to transcend your destiny.

The Way is a process involving not only the “conscious process”, but “conductivity.” That dimension of the practice that is associated with the culture of conductivity involves self-knowing in the plane of the body-mind in the realm of spirits. It involves the development through life and meditation of an experiential awareness of the conditions of self and Nature at all levels of knowing and experiencing. But as the forms of growth appear, they are to be understood and directly transcended. Apart from your understanding and transcending them, these conditions, these forms of knowing and experiencing, are binding. They are not the goal of the Way, but they are simply naturally associated with the Way.

There is no alternative to practicing the Way. The logic of consideration is not an alternative to practice. It does not lead to Realization except in the case of practice. As a listener to this radical Teaching you must understand yourself. You must observe and appreciate your unique limits and begin to deal with them very precisely and practically. If you find yourself still full of the doubt of conventional intellect, not naturally presuming that you are a spirit in the realm of spirits in a great cosmos of many planes of spirits, if you are not very naturally certain of the survival of death, then you must transcend those limits before you will be able to practice in the mature or ultimate sense. In other words, you are not even yet religious. You are only contemplating the Way of the transcendence of religion. You must get religious first and transcend your non-religious egoity or the conventional mind of your time and place. Not everyone has a dramatic or elaborate experiential awareness of the spirit realms, but you must become so sensitive as to enjoy a basic experience of existence that verifies the truly religious view of Nature.

Because beginners in the Way are becoming religious, they are not yet considered to be practitioners of the Way itself. They are not really religious yet. They are still struggling with personal neuroses and psychological problems and self-destructive habits and all the rest. They have not yet heard the radical Teaching. They are involved in a transition out of worldliness. The Laughing Man Institute and The Free Communion Church are a transitional process wherein people eventually connect with the significance, the import, of the Way itself and begin to practice in the real terms of preparation for this Great Way. Then they enter The Crazy Wisdom Fellowship, and move on.


Part V

 

So – you cannot transcend religion until you are religious. You cannot bypass religion, because to bypass religion is to bypass an awareness of ordinary reality that is authentic.

Ordinary reality is to be transcended, but if you are not yet religious, you are not even aware of ordinary reality. Instead you are governed by an artificial mind, a structure of presumptions that are limiting your awareness of Nature or conditional reality. You must overcome those limiting, binding conventions of the social ego, the abstract mind of our time. Then, having become religious, you must overcome your childish and adolescent religiosity, your false religion, your nominal religiosity.

Overcoming your cultic motivations is also part of the process of maturing in The Free Communion Church, overcoming your gleefulness and all the rest of the stuff that comes when people become a little bit hopeful and believe a little bit. You must mature in religious terms.

When you are stable and responsible in religious terms, then you are in a position to understand religion, understand the ego, understand the motivations that arise in us in our association with Nature and other spirits and conditions of this grand political scheme of the cosmos, none of which has any necessity. The cosmos is not being governed by the Chief Spirit. All kinds of spirits are making things happen. All kinds of spirits are created, but simply because they are invisible, you regard them all to come from one place. Countless hierarchies exist between here and what may be presumed to be the top, and all kinds of beings far less than the top are making all of this happen, controlling your experience, and limiting your state of mind.

No one Great Spirit is in charge. One Great Spirit Pervades all, but if we enter into Communion with that Spirit, we transcend self and Nature and Realize God directly. Therefore, we are able to bypass our continued or karmic involvement with Nature or conditional existence. Such is Realization. God is the Truth of Nature, not merely the Creator of Nature. This is affirmed by all the great Adepts, and I likewise affirm it on the basis of Realization, not hearsay.

When you are freely religious, then a different kind of Teaching becomes possible, one that involves a criticism of the ego, a criticism of Nature, a criticism of the conventions of religiosity and spirituality. All the efforts based on the ego and the efforts to ascend in the scale of things are an inherently binding effort that must be understood and transcended. To go to the top to Realize God is not necessary. Rather, we must Realize God directly, not merely as That which is at the top of Nature, but as That which is the Truth of Nature, the Condition of Nature, the Transcendental Condition of the Self and of all spirits. Therefore, we must not merely migrate to the top, but we must be Translated beyond Nature. This is the essence of Transcendental Teaching.

Is there anything else in this essay on which I should comment? Does anybody have any questions about any of this?

DEVOTEE: I just wanted to testify, my Lord, to the form of the Adept that manifests as Spirit to devotees. You asked us earlier if we have seen any spirits in the last couple of days. I remember a couple of years ago someone told you about seeing little flashes of light, white and blue sparks. You explained that vision a little bit and said that such things are a sign that you are somehow there.

Yesterday I was working in my room and I saw those white and blue little flashes of light. I remembered what you had said and for a few minutes I could feel your Presence in the room. But then it actually manifested, strangely, as a large head, your head in the room, your face in the room, as a spirit-entity with all of the feeling of your Presence and your Transmission. I was considering if this was not a spirit.

MASTER DA: It is not like a spirit that moves around in space. I have said that the principle of the Way is not the ego, but the Grace of Communion, the Grace of Satsang. Therefore, the Way is marked by a progressive recognition of the Spiritual Master as the human individual who is the source of the Teaching. That individual is a particular spirit-entity located in a particular time and place in any moment. But as individuals begin to mature, they begin to recognize the Spiritual Master through the process of spiritual location. In other words, they recognize the Spiritual Master as the one whom they see as a spiritual entity in the time and place, the human being, but they also recognize the Spiritual Master as a Presence. They find that Presence when they are in the physical company of the Spiritual Master and they find It at other times. When they realize that It is the same Presence, then they have entered into the next stage of recognition of the Spiritual Master. They are associated with the Spiritual Master then in more complex terms. He is that human individual who influences them in various ways, he is an Adept, a Siddha, magnifying the Divine Presence to them, helping them in various ways, and he is also omnipresent, always present, not moving around but Present, to be located even in every moment.

As the spiritual process matures, that same one is further recognized as Transcendental Being, the Consciousness in which attention is arising. Then another stage is realized coincident with the recognition of Nature, in which the Spiritual Master is located as the Light of lights, and core Light, the white Brilliance at the center of the Cosmic Mandala, the five-pointed star.

The Spiritual Master may also appear in various other forms in dreams and in visions, some of which are made by the mind of the devotee or at least created by the association of the mind of the devotee with the Spiritual Presence of the Spiritual Master. That combination causes the mind to generate images and perceptions that are to some degree dependent on the mind of the devotee but that also reflect the actual spiritual being. The Spiritual Master may be seen as a human being but in subtle form, either manufactured by the mind or to some degree created by the mind in response to the actual Presence, or as a matter of actual perception if the individual has sufficient psychic sensitivity to see into the astral dimension.

DEVOTEE: One of the most paradoxical expressions of this manifests when you sit in front of us. Although we cannot see the rest of it, we have the sense that your Presence pervades the room and everyone in it. It is as though the Spiritual Master’s body is manifesting out of that Presence miraculously for our sake.

MASTER DA: That is actually the way it is. The spirit is not in the body, but the body arises in the spirit. All of these bodies of individual spirits are arising within those individual spirits. The spirits are not inside the bodies. Likewise, when an apparent individual Realizes equation with the Transcendental Being, that apparently individuated entity is being manifested directly in the Transcendental Spirit or Transcendental Being and not merely out of the core of radiance of an individuated personality.

I allow people access to my Company or to the Agencies of my Influence so that they will begin to enter into Communion with me, to recognize me and to locate me in spiritual terms. I do not merely call them into my physical company to attach them to my apparent individual, physical personality.

But because this physical personality is the Agency of my Transmission, I call them into my Company or into some circumstance where my Influence is being magnified especially so that they will locate my Presence and come into contact with this Transmission. Then, by instructing them, I help them to enter into that Presence all of the time when they are outside my physical company. I call them into my physical company or other circumstances of Transmission periodically to refresh and intensify that Transmission and to magnify It according to the growth they have enjoyed since their previous contact with me.

Our gathering in a meditative occasion yesterday was to serve that purpose. As people use all of the Agencies in addition to celebratory occasions and as they show the evidence of really making use of me and really practicing, I propose that they have access to me personally and directly, as well as to the places I have empowered for the sake of this Transmission.

The purpose of all these forms of availability is to place people in contact with my Spiritual Influence. Merely to be there even though occupied with something else is still essentially useful for the sake of this Transmission, although people can shake It off. If they are not practicing, they can deny It, suppress It, dissociate from It. The purpose of all occasions of bringing you into my Company is not merely to instruct you but to bring you into contact with me, and, by instructing you in all kinds of ways, to help you not only to be sensitive to this Transmission but to help you to develop such a means of association with It that you can stably maintain it daily, and so you will grow spiritually. Naturally, therefore, as you grow spiritually, your location of me and your recognition of me increase and you move out of the initial stage of acknowledging me as the source of the Teaching and as a merely human personality into the acknowledgment or the real experience of me in spiritual terms, which itself grows through the stages of practice and Realization.

The whole affair of this Way, you see, is not an egoic search for God, but life in God, life in direct Communion with God manifested through the Self-magnifying Agency of the Adept. You are called to understand yourself and to practice the self-transcending Way, so that in every moment of association with this Divine Influence you will enter more and more directly and profoundly into the intuition of your Condition and therefore transcend not only the immediate limitations of the self-contraction but all of the destinies of this spiritual entity that you now seem to be, all of the struggling and all of the destinies in all of Nature.

Obviously, however, to fulfill the Way in those ultimate terms requires most profound commitment to and fulfillment of this Way. It is not merely by being a nominal member of this community that you will Realize such fulfillment of the Way or such a destiny. Merely to belong to this organization and merely even to spend much time in my personal company throughout your life are not sufficient for such Realization. You must practice most profoundly.

To practice most profoundly you must be inclined toward Realization. A strong commitment has always been one of the rock-bottom qualifications for coming to the first lecture of an Adept – if he gave lectures. You would not hear anything about it beforehand. No secrets. You are told to go to the temple, make offerings, purify yourself, and keep doing that – until you show the signs of the motivation toward Realization, the need for it.

Here you get much more than you are supposed to get from the traditional point of view. You are given it all out front. You are given it all for free. As a consideration, it is given to you immediately, regardless of your qualifications. Of course, Realization itself cannot be given to you gratis. You must practice. You must fulfill the Way. But all of the advantages toward Realization are offered to you freely.

This is a different circumstance from the traditional one, therefore. It is made possible because such a long time of human culture has passed since those traditional rules were established. Now everything that was regarded previously to be secret can be found at your local bookstore. It is foolish to presume that you can treat it as if it is hidden knowledge. It must, therefore, continue to be openly but rightly Taught, and the right demands must be placed on people, as well as right offenses.

DEVOTEE: Master, because it is Halloween I was thinking about spirits in the terms of that celebration, but then I realized that you were actually being very pertinent relative to my conventional tendency to want to figure things out and use the spiritual process from the cognitive point of view of the left brain. I understand that to transcend knowledge is actually to participate in the spiritual dimension and that things are not solid so that I can figure them out or zoom directly to the Paramatman, but that actually I must give up my knowledge and be more fluid.

MASTER DA: I do not call you to give up your left-brained orientation. Rather, use that specialized capacity, which human beings have developed through hard knocks and which has a certain virtue, to serve your general capacity to discriminate and be responsible. But do not limit yourself to that disposition. Exercise the whole of yourself. Exercise yourself entirely. Participate entirely. Give up that position in the moments when it is not particularly useful. Do not be rigid.

Therefore, exercise the right-brained or participatory capacity. Surrender yourself. Combine yourself with the Living Current, the Spirit-Force. Swoon into It. Let yourself be changed by It. Investigate other dimensions of ordinary or conditional reality through that process. And then transcend, through the disposition of Transcendental understanding and Transcendental Communion, all of the conditions of knowing and experiencing, all of the functions and relations and motivations of the individuated self or the egoic spirit. This is the primary or most fundamental force of the practice of this Way. Meditation, which generates participatory knowing, is a secondary but necessary part of the practice of a spiritual Way of life. Likewise, the exercise of the left-brained mentality, as an ordinary matter, is also useful. It keeps you from being a fool at the level of ordinary existence. It helps you to discriminate and be responsible and communicative when it is useful and appropriate. Therefore, be wholly active and understand and magnify the primary form of activity.

Now, you, like people in general in our time, tend to be specialized in your activity. You are limited to this verbal minded character and all the complications of a mortally based personality. I must call you to become religious, more right-brained, more psychic, to participate in the spirit world of Nature, to become more psychic and enlivened, surrendered into the Living Current. But I also call you to transcend all those aspects of the egoic personality and its destiny through the primary force of practice. That primary force of self-transcending Transcendental Realization can only be generated when you are wholly alive, when you are fully existing, when all the aspects of the personality are awake and active and in touch with their various objects. Then you can transcend the ego.

The ego is both the things that you are activating and the things that you are suppressing. Therefore, the ego is not transcended until the things that you are suppressing have been uncovered. The Way involves the gradual uncovering of all the contents of the ego over time. These things arise, are observed, and are purified, transcended, and gone beyond. Only when the entire ego has been taken into account, is seen thoroughly and perfectly, is the ego transcended in the Transcendental Being, and only when the Transcendental Being is fully, most perfectly Realized is all of Nature recognizable. That is Enlightenment. When all of Nature becomes recognizable on the basis of self-transcendence and Transcendental Realization, then Nature is Transfigured, Transformed, and ultimately Outshined by that Realization.


Part VI

Whether you will actually enter into the extreme disposition of the Realization of Truth is to be seen. What is your capacity as a spirit? Many people have no more capacity than to just more or less mechanically fulfill the destiny enforced by TV and popular circumstance, so they would not even be inclined to pay much attention to my Argument. Others are a little less satisfied with all of that, are looking for some increase, some improvement, some consolation. They at least listen to me, but they may not practice. Others may listen to me to the point of “hearing” and being motivated to practice and becoming more full, more fully active, more fully awake to themselves as individual entities, and they become religious and more responsible for themselves. And of those, some few may actually hear this radical Teaching about self-transcendence, move through the stages, and enter the seventh stage of life.

How many will actually enter the seventh stage of life is to be seen. Perhaps very few. It has always been presumed that very few in any time and place enjoy such capacity or could be Awakened to such capacity by the Influence of an Adept. It has always been presumed to be so. There is no reason to presume it is any different now than it ever was. It is simply that we exist in a time and place where it is appropriate, by virtue of historical necessity, to communicate this radical Way openly and to make it openly available to all. But still the capacity of people will determine how much use they will make of me and how profoundly they will fulfill this practice.

We have structures within our institutional organization that account for the differences in capacity and the different levels of practice. Everyone is welcomed, but their capacity, their actual practice determines their orientation to the Way and their acknowledged level of practice. This Communion is not a pop organization that glamorizes people with robes and labels of high realization. Your stage of practice is acknowledged entirely on the basis of your actual demonstrated practice. We have no will here to give people any status apart from their practice, and even the acknowledgment of the realization of higher stages of practice grants no one status, but confers more responsibilities, makes possible even more Interference from this Transmitted Influence than before!

Perhaps very few are capable of fulfilling the Way in precisely the terms that belong to the Way itself. Everyone is welcome to listen to the Teaching and everyone is welcome to begin. Everyone who is sincerely interested certainly ought to be able at least to generate a lifetime of practice in The Free Communion Church, which is not anything like being a nominal member of some downtown, popular religious organization. Even to be a member of The Free Communion Church involves a profound discipline, a profound change of life, but in the scale of the Way itself it is obviously sheerly a beginner’s stage.

It is to be seen whether many or very few will develop this practice in fully mature terms in my lifetime. But for the sake of all those to come in the future, at least a small but significant group of practitioners in The Free Renunciate Order must be developed as well as an institution that altogether functions well. Otherwise the means of Transmission to future generations will suffer, and the institution will tend to come under the control of people who are not fully involved in this Way or who have not fulfilled this Way to the point of Realization.

This is why, having fulfilled my Work with people in general to the point of generating this Teaching, this institution, and this community, having called its literature and its educational structures into being, I am now asking devotees to take responsibility for all that, and I am moving myself into a position of concentrating on the development of a mature practicing community. It is necessary for everyone in the future that there be such a community. I have done everything it is appropriate for me to do for beginners, apart from continuing to generate forms of the literature of the Teaching, as I do in conversations such as this.

It would perhaps be useful to reread the last few pages of this essay, which describe the Way itself, the Way that transcends the tradition and conventions of religion and spirituality.

“The conditional cosmos of individuated spirits (or beings made completely, body and mind, of energy) is where we are now. We are spirits, and we will tend to continue in the world of conditional spirits after death. Where we will go after death will be determined by the quality (or relative vibration) of personal energy and the habits of attention (or mind).”

The state of energy and attention governs the destiny during life and after death, and no conventional beliefs have sufficient strength to guide you after death in a manner that is superior to your fundamental vibratory rate or level of energy and the tendencies of your attention. You must deal with your state of energy and attention while alive if you are going to be free to enter into a higher destiny after death or continue the Transcendental Way.

“The Way of Truth,” the Transcendental Way, “is to release energy and attention from the ego- bond and return (or Translate) the being from the cosmos of spirits to the Domain of Spirit-Being. Secondarily, we must purify energy and attention from the habits of low vibration and low or negative tendencies, since this process liberates energy and attention for Transcendental Realization.”

I have indicated to you all that the process of preparation for Transcendental Realization and the ultimate practice of the Way involves the liberation of energy and attention. In the whole culture of practice, one of the most fundamental aspects of the import of my association with you is to purify you as a conditional being, to liberate energy and attention from the karmas or egoic tendencies of energy and attention. This process of purification involves the freeing up of energy and attention from the lower bond, from confusion, self-possession, and negativity. This is a secondary aspect of the Way because a little purification, a little upliftment, will tend to permit attention to migrate toward another state that may seem relatively superior but that is still another form of egoic destiny.

The process of purification is thus secondary. Its effects, in other words, are not the goal of the Way. Their purpose is simply to liberate energy and attention, not to confine energy and attention to some alternative state. We must use energy and attention for the fundamental course of the Way, which is to enter into the disposition of Transcendental Realization. The secondary process tends to improve our status in the spirit worlds. Raising of our level of energy, freeing up our energy, freeing up attention from forms of mind and so forth, improve our status in the spirit worlds, our condition in this life, and our condition after death.

“The secondary process tends to improve our status in the spirit worlds (as human beings now and as spirit-entities after death). But such improvements are not the Goal or Real Significance of the Way. (They are forms of egoic destiny, the possibilities of un-Enlightenment, or of merely phenomenal possibility.) Conventional religion and spirituality work to improve the status of beings in the spirit worlds.”

This is the fundamental purpose of most religious messages. Because today is Sunday, you could have tuned in at any time today to hear the TV preachers. Basically they are calling people to improve their destiny as spirits, to acquire money and fame and worldly happiness while they live.

They must promise those things to TV egos in our time, but such promises are also part of the “rap” of religion traditionally. Much of religion was anciently devoted just to improving the conditions of this life, to acquiring blessings while we are alive. But another fundamental aspect of the point of view of TV preachers relates to our destiny after death. Thus, they are really calling people to improve their status as spiritual entities in this life and after death. “Become religious now, believe in God now, accept Jesus as your personal savior now”, and so on, and things will get better for you, you will be healed or you will have money or your life will change, if you really use the Spirit-Power. And after death you will go to Jesus or go to live in a benign spirit world with all your relatives”-and so on. Improvement of the status of individuated egoic beings is what conventional religion is about.

“The Way of Truth,” by contrast, “is the Way of the transcendence of all the spirit worlds- terrestrial and cosmic,” visible worlds, this Earth world, and all the other worlds, and all the invisible planes. “The paths of conventional religion and spirituality are true to the conditional facts of manifest existence”-in other words, the cosmos is made up of spirits and a political hierarchy of planes and powers-“but manifest existence itself is conditional unnecessary, and binding.” It becomes binding via the ego-base or self-contraction. “Therefore, the Way of Truth is a radical process of self-transcendence,” not self-fulfillment, “in which conventional religion and spirituality are among the tendencies that are transcended.”

“The Way of Truth is first to liberate energy and attention from all of the tendencies and destinies of egoity” – this is the significance of the preparatory stage of practice-“and then,” or simultaneous with every moment of truly free energy and attention, “to devote the total energy and attention of the being to the Location and Realization of the Source-Condition of the self and all of the worlds of conditional possibility”. This Realization is a matter of utter cessation of identification with the ego (or self-contraction), the body-mind, and the whole affair of association with conditional or spirit worlds. It is a matter of Perfect Identification with the Self-Radiant Condition of Transcendental Being. When this Realization Occurs, conditional states and destinies may yet tend to continue, but the entire affair is recognizable in the Transcendental Condition. “Therefore, all states and conditions cease to appear either necessary or binding. Indeed, the inherent Radiance of Self-Abiding recognition Transfigures and Transforms states and conditions, until the conditional tendencies and all conditional associations are Translated or Outshined in the Transcendental Love-Bliss of Divine Being.”

Right? Go, therefore, and be terrified!


Part 2

A Birthday Message from Jesus and Me

Devotees living and serving near the Hermitage had been invited to celebrate the Master’s birthday The evening’s entertainment featured devotional singing, a magic show, a musical arrangement of the Master’s poetry, recitations, and a dramatization by the children of Master Da’s story “The Goohkamahchee Pie: A Parable of Seeking.”

Earlier in the day Master Da had passed on an essay with the expressed instruction that a devotee should be prepared to read it at the gathering, but that she should not show it to anyone or discuss its contents. This was unusual, for Master Da was in the habit of gathering with everyone and reading his essays himself. The fact that no one should look at it before the evening began added a sense of anticipation to the entertainment.

The Master seemed pleased by the devotional offerings and the happiness everyone enjoyed by watching the children’s playful theatre. For today’s celebration the Master had abandoned his usual habit of the most simple minimal clothing. Because of the yogic fire of perpetual Transmission, the Master’s body is like a glowing ember. When others are clamoring for a shawl or a sweater to break the chill of the night air, Master Da places a cool cloth on his body to relieve the skin of the heat of the yogic fire constantly circulating through him.

But tonight was a celebratory occasion, and he had come adorned with an auspicious necklace of “one-faced” rudraksha beads arranged around the logo of The Free Renunciate Order, a gold square circumscribing a blue circle with a white, five-pointed star at the center. The necklace was a birthday gift created by devotees around the world. It is a beautiful work, combining fine craftsmanship with the auspiciousness of the one-faced rudraksha, which according to Indian tradition is symbolic of Siva, the Conscious Universal Being. On his head the Master wore a hat, also made by a devotee, radiating all the colors of the Cosmic Mandala. The play of Master Da’s Teaching is a subtle meld of apparently opposite ingredients or elements.

You will never fail to hear devotees, whether intimates who have lived in close association with Master Da for years or those new to his Company, exclaim about the “enchantment” of his Spiritual Benediction. The worldly mind, tainted by its inability to find unity in diversity, might wonder how it is possible to reconcile or participate in the ordinary enjoyments of life and still hold to the vision of Enlightenment. But the “ordinary” natural setting of life is the perfect temple of instruction and testing.

On this occasion an intimacy has descended on the gathering. When the emotion of gratitude deepens, the being expresses a pleasure we seldom al ow ourselves to experience. Tonight the energy of Life is not diminished. Instead, the inherent pleasure native to al beings is enhanced. As the entertainment ends, the children say good-night, and the essay is read. As often happens, the profundity of the essay is conveyed not only verbal y but psychical y. The reader should appreciate the power of this essay and the talk that fol ows. While the Master talked, devotees were moved into a deep meditative state. The natural brightness of the room heightened, and one sensed that everything was affected by the Transfiguring Force that Sublimed the Adept’s face and impregnated his speech.

1.

A Birthday Message from Jesus and Me

An essay by Da Free John

The All-Pervading Life-Spirit, or the Self-Radiant Transcendental Spirit-Being, is Love, the Source of beings and worlds, the Great Power, All-Bliss, Reality Itself. To live and Be in Oneness with the Eternal Spirit is God-love, Salvation, Enlightenment, and literally eternal life.

Those who love God totally (as self-transcending spirits, surrendered as the total body-mind, feeling as and in the Self-Radiant Energy or Spirit of Being) also inevitably love others, Communicate or Magnify God in the worlds, and always transcend themselves in all relations, under all conditions, and in every state. Therefore, be “born again”—be reborn or re-Lived now—by the discovery and affirmation that you and all beings and things are Spirit, or an eternal process of Energy (rather than unconscious and mortal matter). What is presumed to be mortal matter (in the form of body, mind, and world) is only a phenomenal state of Energy, or Energy in one moment of Its beginningless and endless sequence of transformations. Awaken and Be in the Spirit and then fulfill the double Law of the Spirit—which is to love God, or the Transcendental Spirit-Being, until you become Love, and so love all others.

Be Happy and altogether healed or en-Livened by this conversion of “matter” into Energy. This conversion is repentance, or release of all non-Spiritual views, acts, and “karmas”, 1 or the habit-results of “sin”—which is simply the ego-based or self-contracting denial of Oneness with the Divine Spirit-Being. And this same conversion is also Salvation, or restoration of resonant Oneness with the Divine Spirit-Being.

As a spirit (or a body-mind-self that is only or entirely living and conscious energy), Be surrendered into Oneness with the Transcendental Spirit-Being. Transcend yourself in Love-Bliss. Transcend the present world (and all materially or mortally conceived conditions and concepts). By all of this, enter into a totally new Destiny—in God, or Spiritual Being. That Destiny goes beyond self and, ultimately, beyond every plane of conditional Nature. It is the Destiny of Love-Bliss, or uninterrupted Existence in the Divine Condition, or the Divine Domain, wherein there is no trace or memory of conditional existence.

Only this is true and useful religion. Religion is self-transcending Spirituality. It is to be restored to inherently Free Spirit-living, and not merely to submit to the myths and rituals of dogmatic beliefs and the lifeless or Spirit-less disciplines of the concerned social ego.

Accept the Spirit-Blessing of the Adept Spiritual Master. Even the body-mind is only Energy. Realize the Spirit-Being is the Reality in which self and world are arising as spontaneous but unnecessary and non-binding modifications of Itself. Be the Spirit-Being only. See all things and beings in and as the Spirit. And always Magnify the Spirit-Force, which is Love, Blessing, Tolerance, Forgiveness, Help, Healing, Nurture, Delight, Joy, Bliss, Peace, and total Happiness. —November 3, 1982

2.

ADI DA: I call this essay “A Birthday Message from Jesus and Me” for several reasons. Today is my birthday, first of all. The essay also speaks of being born again in the Spirit, so it is in some sense a message about everybody’s “rebirthday” or spiritual birth. And it is “from Jesus and Me” because the essay also paraphrases the Teaching of Jesus.

There is a likeness between my Teaching and all of the high and great and radical Teachings of the Great Tradition. In the book Nirvanasara I explore the likeness between this Teaching and the traditions of Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism. I suggest in that book that one of the descriptive names of this Teaching is Advaitayana Buddhism. This does not mean that the only precedents for this Teaching or its only likenesses are to be found in the traditions of Vedanta and Buddhism. I have also suggested other descriptive names for this Teaching and explored the likenesses between my Teaching and many traditions outside the Transcendentalist Teachings of Advaitism and Buddhism. But, I differentiate those aspects of the Great Tradition that represent great Teaching and those that represent conventions of the human mind, human life, false religion, pseudo-religion, lesser religion. I explore and examine all of the traditions critically, and therefore I criticize aspects of all traditions, but there is also a congenial likeness to be found between my own Teaching and the great or high Teachings of all the traditions.

Christianity is historically the dominant religious tradition of the Western world for all kinds of reasons, most of which have nothing whatever to do with the Truth. Therefore, I criticize Christianity on a number of levels. But over the years I have also considered Christianity—actually not so much Christianity as the Teaching of Jesus—in terms of its likenesses to my own Teaching.

Jesus preached a Way of life that involved stepping outside the bondage to tradition and institutionalized religiosity. His was a radical Spirit-Teaching that communicated the religion of conversion to the Spiritual Reality, to the Divine as Living Spirit, rather than to the Divine as the remembered and honored “God of our fathers,” the God of the book, and so on. Jesus preached that people should be altogether converted from their false views and sinfulness, that they should be transformed by the Realization of the Spirit, and that they should make their religion a way of life in immediate and constant Communion with the Divine Spirit.

The New Testament declares that there is only one unpardonable sin. Among all of the enumerated sins only one is unpardonable: the denial of the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God. If that is the one unforgivable sin, then something about that sin must epitomize sin itself. All the forgivable sins must somehow be the lesser versions of this primary sin. Therefore, sin itself has to do with our tendency to deny or dissociate from the Spiritual Divine.

All that we might do that could be called sin in the Semitic and Christian traditions is a version of our tendency to dissociate from the Spiritual Divine. What is unforgivable about the unforgivable sin is not that it is merely an immediate form of behavior that temporarily dissociates us from the Spiritual Divine, but that it is sin raised to its absolute degree. It is perpetual sin. It is not unforgivable because God does not forgive or because God is not forgiving. It is unforgivable because the act itself will not accept forgiveness. To accept forgiveness is to become involved with the Divine. Therefore, to deny the Divine is to be in a perpetual state of dissociation from the Divine and, therefore, dissociation from forgiveness. Only once we have ceased to deny the Divine is forgiveness possible.

Therefore, sin is simply the denial of the Holy Spirit or denial of the Spiritual Divine, and it becomes most critical when it becomes an absolute act of absolute denial. Forgiveness is liberation from the effects of all denials of God. It is restoration to God or repentance, which is on this side of forgiveness. Repentance in the Christian tradition, and in the Semitic tradition in general, is the act of giving up sin or returning to God.

From the point of view of Jesus, the process whereby we become free of sin and are restored to Oneness with God or Communion with God is not a matter of ritual or acts in the temple. It is not a matter of conventions of belief. It is not the ritualistic act of repenting and accepting to some degree, psychologically and emotionally, that we have returned to God’s good graces and God will now bless us. From Jesus’ point of view, the whole process of repentance, forgiveness, and restoration to God is a matter of spiritual conversion, or the realization that God is the Living Spiritual Reality, always Present, All-Pervading, the Source and Substance of Existence. From Jesus’ point of view religion is the conversion from self-possession or withdrawal from the Spiritual Divine or denial of the Spirit to Communion with the Spirit and acceptance of the fact that all existence is Spiritual, made by the Spirit, made of Spirit, arising in the Spirit, pervaded by the Spirit.

In one of the key passages in the New Testament, Jesus meets a man named Nicodemus, who was a major figure in the temple. Nicodemus came to see Jesus at night, because he did not want anybody to know that he was going to see this renegade who was preaching a free form of religion outside temple life. He had learned of Jesus from others who had heard Jesus preach, and he wanted to know precisely, beyond hearsay, what this man was Teaching.

Jesus told him, “You must be born again. You must be born in the Spirit even as now you are born in the flesh. You must be Baptized in the Spirit, you must receive the Spirit, you must enter into Communion with the Spirit. God is Spirit, Man is Spirit, every individual is a spirit, and all of the spirits, including the entire world, are arising in God, in intimate, eternal Communion with the Spirit, God. Religion is to repent or be converted from an unspiritual point of view, the whole life of self-possession and the mortal mind, and to enter fully into Communion with the Divine as the Living Spirit. Only on the basis of such conversion can the law of Israel be fulfilled.”

Jesus was asked on one occasion, as reported in the New Testament, “What is your summary of the Law?” And Jesus repeated the summary that is already found in the Old Testament: “Love God completely, with every aspect of your being, and love all others. Treat all others as you would be treated. Treat them as your very self and as you would have yourself treated.” From Jesus’ point of view that Law could not be fulfilled except through spiritual rebirth or conversion from the mortal, self-possessed point of view to Communion with the Divine as the All-Pervading Spirit. The Law could therefore be summarized completely from Jesus’ point of view in just this brief statement. There was no need for the complicated sub-laws and rituals and mechanical aspects of religiosity, all of which are built upon the ordinary mind. If just this one simple process of conversion could be realized, then the Law would inevitably be fulfilled. However, if this conversion were not realized, to fulfill the Law would be impossible, even if one practiced the ritual fulfillment of the Law down to the last detail.

In his Teaching, Jesus criticized the tendencies of religiosity in his time, saying basically that no real religion existed then. There was a great deal of religiosity, a great deal of temple life and ritual, many laws and legalisms, many beliefs and myths, but none of that had anything to do with religion. Such pseudo-religion was about God in the book, the God who created everything and is now to be viewed as untouchable, holy, elsewhere. The religious life of most people had been reduced to the popular form of religiosity, just as it has been in our time—or as it is in any time.

Jesus preached a radically simplified form of religion. He preached what I call basic religion. Only one affair is religion: the conversion from self, and all the views based on self-possession and mortal self-consciousness, to Communion with the Living Spirit-Being or Radiant Transcendental Being, the recognition that all of Nature is made of that One, that every being is a spirit and one with the Transcendental Spirit. That which is born of the Spirit, he said, is Spirit, is of the same nature, and, therefore, can Realize a state of perfect Identification with that Great Spirit or Transcendental Being, and by that perfect Divinity be drawn into the Domain of unqualified spiritual existence.

My own Teaching to you is fundamentally the same. During the last few days I have told you that ultimately the Way transcends the conventional point of view of religion and spirituality. The Way of the Heart is the Way of radical self-transcendence and Perfect Realization of a state of Identification with the Radiant Transcendental or Divine Being and Condition. Nevertheless, the Way begins with true and basic religion, and basic true religion is spirituality, life in the Spirit, life as the Spirit. Such religion is not transcended in the Way—it is the essence of the Way.

The process of our submission to the Spiritual Condition is realized in stages that correspond to the seven stages of life. There are therefore lesser stages of maturity in the process of Transcendental Communion and ultimate Enlightenment, lesser stages, higher stages, and the ultimate stage. But they are all aspects of true religion, or spiritual existence. You cannot enter into the process of this Way unless you are born again in the same terms that Jesus preached. You cannot enter into the process of the Way until you Awaken into the acknowledgment of the Living Spiritual Reality, not merely the God to be believed, but the Spiritual Reality that is tangibly Present and with Which we are inherently intimate. We need only acknowledge It and submit ourselves to Its Living Current and enter into Its Ultimate Condition. This submission is a natural and free process, always available to human beings if they will repent or convert from their self-possession and their denial of the Spiritual Reality.

I have told you that without such conversion, it makes no difference how many of my books you read or how many of the specific disciplines you apply. The disciplines will not be fruitful, they are not even true in your case, unless you first become religious in the spiritual sense. You must first be converted. We suffer many conditions of existence because we do not presume the Spiritual Reality of existence. When we cannot be intimate with God, we start to think and when we cannot be intimate with other people, we start becoming physically self-indulgent. All the behaviors that are called sin in the traditions are simply the variations on these two possibilities, indulgence in the self-mind and its mortal views, and physically based self-indulgence.

The reason we enter into the conditions of existence that are self-contracted, ego-based, and self-possessed is that we become incapable of intimacy with Reality. The first form of that dis-ease, that imaginary disease, the “dreaded Gom-boo,” 2 is the denial of the Holy Spirit, the denial of the Spiritual Reality, the denial of the fact that all beings are spirits or spiritual entities, not merely spirits somewhere inside and behind the body and the mind, but spirits as the body-mind.

This world that we perceive is the spiritual world in a certain form. It arises in the Spiritual Divine, the Transcendental Spirit-Being, the Transcendental Condition of existence. When you lose sympathy with that Reality, when you cannot be intimate with It, cannot submit to It, even bodily, emotionally, with the whole mind—as Jesus said, you must love the Spiritual Divine with your mind, heart, soul, all your strength—when you cannot be intimate with the Living Spirit-God, you as a spirit, with every aspect of your being and personality, then you are self-contracted and self-possessed. You fall in upon yourself, and are no longer capable of intimacy with the Spiritual Divine or with any of the conditions of existence.

You are not capable of intimacy with other beings, therefore. You cannot love God or others, you cannot be love in the world, you are not free, you are not Happy, you become un-Happy. Then you try to become Happy through the exercise of mind and physical possibility, but when mind and physical possibility are generated on the basis of the loss of intimacy, the inability to be submitted to love, to surrender, to enter into Communion with the Living Being directly and in the form of all beings, then all the forms of mind and body become self-indulgent, self-possessed, sinful, disoriented from the Divine. They “miss the mark.” To sin is to “miss the mark,” as in the Greek word “hamartia,” for example, which means a miss of the mark.

Thus, human beings are suffering from this imagined disease, this self-created or self-imposed disease. Its root is an emotional problem, the incapacity for intimacy with the Real or the Transcendental Reality and all of the modifications of the Transcendental Reality that appear in the form of living beings and conditions of existence in this world and in all other worlds. The Way, therefore, begins when we can repent or be converted from this self-possessed disposition and all of the acts and habit patterns, thought patterns, points of view, the whole affair of the disease of egoity. We must be converted from self. We must Awaken from self-possession to the acknowledgment of the inherent Spiritual Reality of existence. We must be restored to intimacy or Communion with That One.

When intimacy is restored, the body-mind is restored to a state of equanimity on the basis of its resonant Communion with the Living Current of the Spiritual Being. This restoration of intimacy with the Living Divine is likewise a restoration of intimacy with all other conditions of existence and all other beings. When love of God returns, then love of others also returns. Life is simplified. Life becomes capable of a harmonious disposition and of magnifying the characteristics of Spiritual Being. We cannot first love others. We must first be restored to God. We must first be converted spiritually.

The primary principle is God-Love, God-Communion, self-transcending submission to the Living Current and Transcendental Being. When that conversion is established, then we become capable of fulfilling the second part of the great Law. When we love God to the point of becoming love, when we Commune with the Spirit to the point of becoming spiritual, then we love or magnify the characteristics of the Spirit in all relations, under all conditions, in all states, in all possible worlds.

The essence of the Way is the spirituality of self-transcending Communion with the Living Divine. It is spirituality, you see. It is life in the Spirit. It is not merely a matter of developing the programs of the social ego. It is not merely a matter of being fitfully committed to creating the politics of social peace. Such is the great program toward which all of Nature and all of humanity are striving, and yet peace is not about to be instantly created! Even so, we should not be disheartened or become dispirited because the conditions of life are frustrating and do not show the signs of the universal invasion of the world by the Divine Spirit. The world is not likely to become converted to the Spiritual Divine in all of its billions, to become converted to the true process of religion in our lifetime. Perhaps it will never be converted.

It is possible that anyone who hears and sees the Spirit-Born Adept will be converted to the Living Spiritual Reality and enter into the process of spiritual realization in community with others who have been likewise converted. Such individuals magnify their disposition in the world and are of use in the world to help the world in the direction of Ultimate Transformation, but without distress. Still, the fundamental process of their existence is spiritual, or a matter of moment to moment God-Communion. That Communion is their Happiness. By submission to that Condition, through the spiritual process inherent in God-Communion, they are transformed in this world and ultimately Translated beyond all conditional worlds, or all worlds in which dissociation from the Spirit, or self-possession, is possible. Those who fulfill the Way perfectly are Translated into the Divine Domain or the Transcendental Condition.

This conversion to spiritual Communion is the essence and fundamental necessity upon which this Way depends. Thus, it must constantly be emphasized. Without such conversion, without true “hearing” and “seeing,” 3 without spiritual rebirth, the Way cannot be practiced. It can be imitated, but it cannot be practiced. None of the disciplines are fruitful apart from such conversion. Those who are simply listening to the Teaching, who have not entered into this conversion in the Company of the Spiritual Master, may as part of the natural discipline of listening assume the various practical conditions associated with the practice of this Way, but even so they are not yet practicing the Way. They are listening or giving their attention to the possibility of practice. When there is full conversion, or “hearing” and “seeing” to the point of real practice, then real preparation for the ultimate form of the Way begins—and not until then.

Spiritual conversion is the most fundamental matter to be considered by beginners and the most fundamental event for listeners. When it occurs, it changes the entire quality of your existence. You become Happiness Itself, and you can never become un-Happy or bound again. You may seem to become bound again, perhaps, if you commit the ultimate sin, if you deny the Spirit, become self-possessed in your mind, emotion, and body again. Bondage is always possible short of perfect Enlightenment. But once you are established in the Principle of God-Communion, nothing in that Principle can bind you again or cause you to become un-Happy. Once you discover It, if you will simply abide in It, the process of the Way is assured.

3

Your growth toward maturity will be limited only by the force of your application to the Way of the Spiritual Reality once you become converted to It. This is the great discovery to be made on the basis of hearing my Argument and giving me your attention or living in my Company. This is the Baptism that is always being generated by my Presence here. When I call you to consider the Teaching, I call you into my Spiritual Company, even if you are simply sitting down to read my books. 4 Whenever you are in my Company, whenever you give me your attention, then you are as good as sitting in the room with me where this Baptism is being given. I do not stand in a river to perform the water ritual. I stand in the fire to perform the Spirit ritual, which purifies, enlivens, and grants Enlightenment. 5 It is the perfect Baptism.

Thus, those who give me their attention, in whatever form it may take at any moment, align themselves to my Baptizing Power, the profusion of Grace that is manifested through the Adept, which is simply a magnification of the Spiritual Divine to living beings. When you have heard and seen me, when you have understood and located my Presence, experienced this Baptism and Awakened to the Spiritual Reality, then you have entered into the stream and fire of the Way. Then all of the disciplines become fruitful, but not otherwise. This is the fundamental import of your involvement with me in this Way of Life and this Teaching. All of the gatherings of our community and all of the moments in which devotees attend to this Teaching and this practice are the moments of this Baptism, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, as it is called in the Christian tradition, the reception of the Living Current that is the substance of existence, that is Self-Radiant Transcendental Being, Love-Bliss, Happiness.

To enter into that Happiness is to be healed. All Power is within It. All Transformation is inherent in It. To enter into Communion with the Living Divine is to be Transfigured, to be Transformed, ultimately to be Translated. To enter into the Company of the Spirit-Baptizing Adept is, in fact, to enter into the seventh stage of life. The processes of the seventh stage of life, which are Transfiguration, Transformation, and Translation, are inherent in the moment of God-Communion, and therefore this Way begins in the seventh stage of life. But we acknowledge that there are habits or tendencies in every individual that must be purified, and therefore we also acknowledge that there are stages of maturity or stages of the development of the practice. Yet even preparation for the Way develops within the ambience of the seventh stage of life, or the living Environment of the Spiritual Divine.

Spiritual Transmission is the reason for the occasions of celebration when I sit with everyone, whether they are in the room with me or sitting at a distance. 6 It is the reason that I gather with people under all kinds of circumstances. It is the reason that I return to The Mountain of Attention periodically to see people there. It is the reason that I maintain constant communication of one kind or another with all devotees through the Agencies of this institution. The import of my Presence here is that I be a Baptizer, an Agent of Transmission. Part of the import of my Presence here is that I consider the Argument of the Way and consider the right culture of devotees and develop the practices in your company, but the ultimate import of my Presence here is simply that I be Present, not merely to exist but to Baptize, to Transmit the Spirit-Awakening.

Those who Awaken in my Company then know how to use me. They understand why I am here. Others who are still listening, who have not passed through this remarkable conversion or matter into energy, or egoity into Spirit-living, appropriately maintain a relatively distant or formal relationship to me, although they give me their attention. And their granting of attention to me bears the fruit of conversion when they thoroughly intuit and feel that all that arises is Spirit or Energy. The Spirit is not merely behind what arises, pervading it as some sort of invisible essence. The Spirit is this, just this exactly, as it is all the other forms of appearance with which we might become associated. The Living or Spirit-Current pervades all of this, is all of this, and we may contact It intimately through the submission of our body-minds to It.

We breathe the Living Current, we feel It, our fundamental emotion is one with It. The Current is felt as an energy bodily. It is also felt as an emotion, the emotion of love, unqualified emotion, radiant feeling. Be diverted from your thinking, your self-possessed process of mind, and grant attention to this Living Current. Then you will realize that the essence of that Current is not only energy, not only love, but unconditional Being or Consciousness Itself.

There is a very practical means for living in Communion with the Spirit-Being or the Divine. I have considered that practical means with you for many years. I have described three basic Ways of practicing this Communion—the Way of Insight, the Way of Faith, and the Perfect Practice. 7 But all three of these Ways and all of the disciplines associated with them can be summarized as two basic practices: the practice that I call conductivity and the practice that I call the conscious process.

Conductivity is the whole affair of physical and emotional and psychic feeling-surrender into the Living Spirit or Life-Current. We animate this form of our practice through all kinds of practical disciplines related to diet, daily living, sexuality, and service to others. We also animate it through the features of our meditation that involve the technical process of conductivity or breathing and feeling the Living Current, the Spirit-Current with which you are Baptized and to which you Awaken in my Company.

That Living Current is breathed in a Circle, descending in the front of the body and ascending in the spinal line of the body, between the crown and the feet or the crown and the bodily base of the perineum. It is felt from the heart in all directions. It is love or radiant emotion. We should be constantly relaxed from base to crown or foot to crown into this Living Current, breathing It in the Circle and feeling It from the heart in all directions. Jesus’ instruction to love God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength is to practice conductivity as a meditative process and as a process of daily disciplines and daily living, associated intimately with our feeling, breathing, living, physical personality. We are not merely to go inward to find the Spirit. We are the Spirit and we must live in the Spirit even bodily.

The other most fundamental aspect and the primary form of our practice, for which our practice of conductivity of the Spirit prepares us, for which our conductivity of the Spirit gives us a support, a basis in equanimity, is the conscious process. As the practice of conductivity liberates energy and attention in the Spirit, it liberates energy and attention from the contractions of egoity. We must devote that free energy and attention to the conscious process, radically intuiting or entering into a state of identification with the Transcendental Being, That which is Self-Radiant and appearing as all forms and beings, That which simply is.

Thus, through the artful practice of conductivity and the conscious process, we remain in perpetual Communion with the Spirit-Being, the Living Divine. If we do so, we mature inevitably and by stages to the point of Perfect Awakening, Enlightenment, Self-Abiding, Abiding in a state of Identification with the Transcendental Being and inherently and spontaneously recognizing all arising conditions in the body-mind and its environs or relations. There is nothing but the apparent, unnecessary, non-binding, free modification of the Spiritual Radiance of the Divine or the Transcendental Self.

The religion of the Spirit is fulfilled in Enlightenment, in which all conditions are recognizable. By the power of Self-Abiding recognition, the tendency of attention to be associated with conditions is dissolved. At first association with the grosser conditions continues. Then as the tendency of those associations is gradually released, a subtler disposition appears in this life or after this life, in other spiritual worlds or again in this world. By our continuing in this disposition of Self-Abiding recognition, the tendency of attention to associate with conditional existence in any plane whatsoever is dissolved, so that ultimately the being is Translated into the Divine Condition without the slightest noticing of conditional existence.

We may say of Translation that it is simply perfect Identification with the Divine Self or Radiant Transcendental Being, without qualification. Whether it is also associated with a sublime Domain beyond our imagining, beyond our conception in this world, is to be seen, but we enter into it through Enlightenment, through recognition, through the dissolution of conditional associations, not by clinging to ideas of a place to which we want to go.

I also Teach, as Jesus Taught, the radical religion of the Spirit. A religion about Jesus was created by some who knew him, by some who did not know him, by Christian-made priests, by all of the contingencies of historical Christianity. That religion is just another version of conventional religion, the kind of religion that Jesus himself criticized. It is not the free religion of the Spirit, and it contains no esotericism about the life of the Spirit and the transcendence of conditional existence. It is a myth-laden religion, a priest-laden religion, a religion of rules, enforced conduct, and beliefs. It is not to any absolute degree different in kind from the religion of Israel in the day of Jesus. Thus, like Jesus in his time, I live in a time full of religions that must be criticized. I am a renegade outside the temple, preaching the radical religion of the Spirit and Teaching a practical Way of entering into Communion with the Spirit.

Jesus likewise taught esoteric means of living in Communion with the Spiritual Divine, but those means have been lost within the tradition. We know that Jesus spoke of Spirit-Baptism. We know he spoke of conversion to the Divine as Living Spirit. We know he spoke of conversion from the flesh or the views of mortality, including religious views that correspond to that disposition. In spite of all the mythology laid upon Jesus in the New Testament, what comes through is still a Spirit-born personality who was Transfigured, Transformed, magnified, made effective as a Siddha by virtue of God-Communion, Spiritual Communion. All the rest of it, all the “washed-by-the-blood-of-Jesus” mythology, all of the salvation-through-the-death-of-Christ mythology, has nothing whatever to do with the Teaching of Jesus. It is a popular mythology, a conventional religion, an alternative to true religion, which is spirituality or an essentially esoteric process of being God-born and ultimately Translated into the Divine Condition.

The story of Jesus reports a person Transfigured and Transformed by intimacy with the Spiritual Divine. It suggests also that he was Translated. Most of the New Testament is discardable, the product of a tradition, a church, a very worldly institution I have criticized frequently, but the Teaching of Jesus need not be criticized. It stands in the great tradition of the Siddhas.

No Transmission comes directly from Jesus now. The link with Jesus through Baptized devotees has been broken. But many other Adepts appeared before Jesus and after Jesus, and they too have come and gone. Some precincts may exist within the Great Tradition here and there where this true spirituality is still alive—it is alive in my Company. I am an individual of the same type as Jesus and other Adepts who have Taught and Demonstrated the radical religion of the Spirit and who have Baptized individuals in the Spirit.

You are called first to the Spiritual Divine, and you must enter into this conversion physically, emotionally, psychically. You must become practically involved with every dimension of the being in spiritual community. Until you do, you are still a listener, and until you have fulfilled the process in perfect Enlightenment, you are still preparing for the Way in its fullest sense, even though you have entered into the stream and fire of the Way, in some sense into the Way itself, through this Communion, this Spirit-Baptism, this Transfigured life in my Company that begins when you have located my Influence and become established in the Living Current of the Spiritual Divine.

When you are established in the Current, then you no longer view life with the mortal mind through contracted emotion and a disharmonious physical vehicle. Rather, you see everything as energy, you treat everything as energy, you live as energy, you are a Life-Bearer, you magnify the Living Spiritual Being in all of your relations, you are transformed by It, you accommodate It in every feature of your life. You initiate practical changes to make your life coincide with your spiritual disposition. You change all the factors of your practical living that do not coincide with the spiritual orientation of your living. You must do so. To accommodate the Spiritual Divine in every feature of your existence, to be devoted to It wholly and entirely, not merely in the mind with a kind of subjective acknowledgment, but very practically, physically, emotionally, mentally, psychically, is the practice.

Therefore, I do not call you merely to believe in God, but I Baptize you in this Spiritual Force and call you to act differently, to submit to it physically, to feel it, breathe it, relax into it, animate it, manifest it through service and love in all relations. I call you to worship God in Spirit, as Spirit, worship God spiritually, through spiritual means, through living, through meditation, not through conventional prayer. I call you to realize that you are one with this Spirit, not merely experiencing It but identical to It, so that you may, by overcoming every fraction of the self-contraction, Realize a state of perfect and uncaused Identification with It, Realize a perfect equation with the Divine Being and Condition.

This is the secret Teaching. Baptism is the secret method. Recently we published a book called The Secret Gospel, by Morton Smith, about a fragment of a letter by Clement of Alexandria, who lived in the second century. It contains a brief description of a secret process of Initiation or Baptism engaged by Jesus with his intimate circle, those who had passed through the initial process of listening, who had been converted and who had shown the evidence of a true response, who were eventually brought to either Jesus or one of his empowered disciples and Baptized spiritually. The Current of the Spiritual Reality was magnified to them so that it was tangibly felt physically, emotionally, mentally, and psychically.

It is said that this process was conducted at night and that it was associated with a certain ritual of purification. The initiate came dressed in a white garment and was brought into a closed room for the initiation, which was Spirit-Baptism, or true “Shaktipat” 8 (without certain of the peculiar philosophic and psychic limitations of the Hindu tradition). Shaktipat is popularly associated with the orientation of the fifth stage realization, which has been superimposed on the process that is true Shaktipat. Shaktipat is Spirit-Baptism. It is the same process that occurs in my Company, but to which you are freely oriented, without fifth stage limitations. In this Way you are called to enter into a process of perfect unification with the Living Spirit to the point of Enlightenment, transcending all conditional realizations at the level of experience or presumed knowledge. Shaktipat is experientially associated with the Awakening of the Life-Current in the spinal line. Aspirants in the Hindu traditions of the fifth stage are thus devoted to a process of strategically raising the Current to dissociate from existence in this world. Such an orientation, common to the conventions of Hinduism, is not really part of a tradition that acknowledges the Divine Spirit fully. It views the individual self as a spiritual being behind the body-mind and separable from it. It conceives of God as the Being that Pervades the world and is separate from it, ultimately to be Located elsewhere. Thus, the conventional orientation to Spirit-Baptism or the Shaktipat of the traditions is generally ego-based and dissociative.

I call you to understand that the Spirit is the Substance of ths world. The body-mind is one with that Current. Therefore you are not rightly devoted to attaching yourself to one aspect of this Current in order strategically to dissociate from this world. You must enter into Spirit-Communion utterly, breathe the Spirit in its full Circle, be sublimed in It, Transfigured and Transformed by It, transcend yourself in It. And then, quite naturally, association with the limiting conditions represented by this world and other planes beyond this world will disappear. Otherwise, the strategy of egoic dissociation and attachment to the ascending quality of the Living Current will only produce temporary, ego-based results.

Spirit-Baptism, therefore, is a greater affair than is commonly understood in the yogic terms of Shaktipat, but it is a communication of the same spiritual force. It is also a communication of more than force or energy that we may feel over against ourselves. It is a communication of the Reality, the Transcendental Being, which is Radiant, manifesting as all beings and worlds, manifesting as the present body-mind, which is not merely in the body-mind but is the substance of the body-mind.

Therefore, I call you to acknowledge that you are in the Spirit presently, that you are in the Domain of the Spiritual Divine presently. If you can Awaken to this realization, then you will be Happy presently and you will not need to ascend to become Happy. Ascent is natural at some stage and true to Enlightenment in the seventh stage, but you need not go through the process of ascent to be Happy or to be God-Realized.

4.

As I said in The Knee of Listening, this is the other world. This is the Spiritual Domain. This is the Spirit World.This is the world of God. God is not merely invisible and inside us. This is the manifestation of God. There are many other manifestations of God as well, but we must not deny this manifestation. We must submit to God in the context of this world and transcend it. To do so is our obligation. Our ascent will not be final or true or free if we do not Realize God in this moment and in this condition.

To seek God elsewhere is to deny the Spirit presently, to deny that the Spirit is Present, that the Spirit is the Substance and Condition of existence presently. To go within and seek for God elsewhere is therefore a form of sin. It is a form of un-Happiness. We become Happy when we realize that we are in the Spirit presently. Therefore, those who Awaken through free spiritual Baptism become Happy presently. They are enlivened by the Spirit. They are liberated emotionally by It. They are liberated in their minds by It. They become blissful, Self-Radiant, manifest as Love, Happiness, Joyous Feeling, Freedom. These qualities, rather than the dismal qualities of the inverted ascetic, are the qualities of the God-born, the Spirit-Baptized, those who live in Communion with the Living Divine presently.

This is not to say that life in the Spirit in the world is not in some real sense a school or a trial, and a hard school at that, but it is a trial that occurs within the Domain of God. It is a necessary trial. We ascend from it, but only by transcending ourselves and allowing the Spirit-Current to ascend naturally when the free conditions for its ascent have been established. Thus, we do not merely enter into this Current to ascend. We allow It to ascend, we allow It to descend, we live in It utterly, submit ourselves to It utterly, and are purified by the Happiness of the inherent Spirit of God.

This Way is not therefore associated with a problem but with the inherent Happiness to which we Awaken when we are Baptized by the Spirit, when we Locate the Current of Bliss, the Current of Happiness. When we thus Awaken, all our darkness disappears and all our negativity and our negative views are weakened. If we continue to submit ourselves to the Spiritual Reality, all these contractions, states of mind, states of emotion, states of the psyche, states of the body, states of relatedness are purified and transformed.

You must cease to be troubled by the mortal and self-possessed vision of life and enter into the Spirit, be possessed of Its Vision, Its Radiance, which shines through us physically and emotionally and mentally and psychically when we Awaken to It whole bodily, fully, and in Truth. Such religion is free. It is native religion, God-made religion.

Those who enter into such a religious process may live with one another, create a structure or an institution for association with one another and the communication of the Teaching, but their religion itself is free and immediate. It is a process that is always intimate, that one can practice in every moment of existence, that one must practice in every moment of existence. It is not a practice to be engaged only sometimes in meditation or in weekly church gatherings. It is a perpetual obligation, but it is also a perpetual Happiness. It is to allow your body and your emotion and your mind and your psyche to be converted by this Baptism, this Transmission, to be changed in your minds, in your feeling, in your bodies. Breathe It and feel It. Circulate this Living Force and grant your attention to the Being that is Self-Radiant, the Consciousness that is inherent in every fraction of existence.

All this is arising in that Consciousness. All the things that seem, all the differences, are a play upon one Force, one Energy, one Light or Life, one Love, Bliss, Happiness. If we contract upon ourselves, then life seems otherwise. Therefore, we must be converted from our self-contraction and Locate the Spiritual Reality in every moment.

This is my Teaching. In essence it is also the Teaching of Jesus. It is a kind of renegade Teaching. It is not smiled upon by religionists and worldly people. It is resisted by the ego. It is resisted by sin or the effort of self-contraction, the denial of the Spiritual Reality. It is resisted by you, therefore, and I call your attention from yourself to “hear” and “see” this Living Being and to find this Current.

Awaken to the Spirit, and you can see the Radiance pervading the space of the room. You can feel It Shining out of your eyes. Awaken to the feeling of It, and all negative and therefore self-contracted emotions disappear, and the emotion becomes Radiant. Submit to It physically, and all the disharmony in the body disappears. The body becomes Radiant and enters into a state of equanimity or balance, in which the Circle of the Life-Current is continuous, always being magnified, always purifying every aspect of the personality.

When you enter into such enlivened Union with the Living Spiritual Reality, then you naturally magnify It or express It in all of your relations. Service is therefore not a conventional discipline, a means of eventually realizing the spiritual state, but the natural expression of the spiritual state. It is not possible to enter into the disposition of service or community with others and the ability to live with others spiritually until you Awaken to the Spiritual Divine. Those who are Awakened to the Spiritual Divine naturally do love others, tolerate others, magnify help and blessing to others, and become a benign presence.

Such service makes it possible for us to fulfill the various obligations of life we assume, but because our disposition is fundamentally involved with the Divine, our lives are fundamentally involved with the Divine in the process of God-Communion. Our devotion to Communion with the Spirit economizes our involvement with the world and our involvement with others. It does not in any sense make our involvement with the world and with others negative. It simply economizes the amount of time, energy, and attention we grant to the conditional states of life, so that we may be more and more profoundly magnified in the state of God-Communion.

At some stage, therefore, we appear to renounce the world. Our lives become simplified and, ultimately, we leave this world at death. We should have so fulfilled this process that, at the very least, at death we will not return to this dimension. We will have completed this schooling and have no fraction of habit-energy left over to make this particular experience of the spirit worlds necessary. We must make this experience unnecessary through fulfillment of the Way. At the very least, your fulfillment of this discipline should be thus effective, but even if it is not and you are reborn in human form, you will continue this Way. You will reconnect with this disposition somehow.

There is no higher world to which we should aspire. Our aspiration should be toward the Present God, toward a state of perfect Identification with the Living God. This disposition does not aspire toward transitions to other worlds or a temporary transition out of this world and a return to it. The perfect fulfillment of this Way is demonstrated through Translation, or the complete dissolution of the habit-energies of attention that lead toward conditional embodiment and experiencing. It is not by aspiring to go elsewhere that we enter into the Divine Domain but by entering directly into the Living Divine, always, presently.

All aspirations move attention toward conditional states. In other words, all the motives of attention lead toward conditional states, except for the primary motive, wherein attention is dissolved in its Source. That process leads toward the bypassing of conditional existence in all planes and makes possible direct Translation into the Divine Domain. Lesser fulfillment of the Way may lead toward embodiment in a higher or subtler plane after death, simply because attention has not been released perfectly in the Divine Condition. But perfect fulfillment of the Way is demonstrated in Translation, wherein there are no further transitions, no returns, no ascents, no descents. We enter into a state of sublime resonance with the Divine Condition and do not move from It, but Awaken more and more profoundly into Its Domain. This is the fulfillment of the spiritual disposition.

All transitions to other worlds are the products of a psychic intention, a tendency of attention toward conditional fulfillment. If we do not transcend the habits of attention relative to this world and the possibilities associated with gross human embodiment, then we will return to these conditions and be reborn in human form again merely by repeating this exercise, which has no independent necessity, but to which we grant necessity by submitting to the self-contracting disposition of the ego. We must transcend all of the appearances of necessity that we seem to find in this world or in any other worlds. We must be free of the aspiration toward conditional existence and be full of the aspiration that is God-Communion.

Therefore, you are called to enter into the perfection of Enlightenment, the fulfillment of God-Communion to the point of Translation, not to the development of the psychic ability to ascend, to be embodied in after-death realms, the world of high yogis and great beings in the higher scale of Nature. Thus, we do not use this Baptism for the sake of psychic ascent but for the sake of self-transcendence, the dissolution of all the conditional tendencies of attention in the Spirit Being, in Enlightenment. We are not devoted to the conventional possibilities of yoga or mysticism, just as we are not devoted to the possibilities of being spiritual and blessed in this world. We are devoted to God, the Transcendental Condition Itself, and this devotion, rather than any intention to be here or to go elsewhere, dissolves all the tendencies of attention.

The Way is demonstrated as Translation in Enlightenment. This is one of the principal distinctions between this Way and the various conventional and traditional paths. The traditional and conventional paths associated with the first five stages of life generally lead toward the improvement of conditions for spirits in the spirit worlds, to an improved life in this world or an improved birth in other worlds. The sixth stage of life is truly a transitional stage that should lead to the seventh, but in and of itself it is based on an heretical disposition toward exclusive inversion, a problematic view of life that wants to dissociate from the conditions of existence because it is not Spirit-born, because it has not recognized and Awakened to the Spirit in the moment of conditional existence. The sixth stage of life should lead to the seventh or the recognition of all conditions in the Spiritual Divine, which ultimately dissolves all the habits of attention.

If we enter into the seventh stage of life most fully, we will not accumulate karmas in other worlds. We may see other worlds or become associated with the possibility of the transition to other worlds, but we will recognize those possibilities as they arise. We will not become involved in the psyche, but we will recognize the psyche. Therefore, we will fulfill the Way perfectly in the seventh stage of life and not migrate after death but be dissolved in the Living One, allowing the Living One to generate our destiny in Its own Domain.

You could say, therefore, that my call to you is a call back to the Transcendental Domain. But that Domain is not a someplace else. You cannot get There from here. No road leads to It. It is not up, It is not down, It is not within. It is present. We see It when we Outshine what seems to be in the present. We are already There. We need only Awaken to It. It is not like another place. It is simply not visible to us because our vision is qualified by the modifications of the Spirit that are presently arising. The more we enter into the Spirit, then, the more this arising world is Transfigured to the point of being Outshined, and we will discover that we have been all the while sitting in the heavenly Domain, as people awaken from dreams and find they have been lying in their beds all night!

Because the possibility for Translation exists in death, death is for the Enlightened a blessed process, a process of Translation, ultimate Samadhi, 9 Outshining, the moment of the arising of the perfect Vision, the moment of infinite Brilliance, not of darkness and unconsciousness and all the weirdness we seem to feel may be associated with death and the afterlife. But we will enter into that Brilliance, that clear white Radiance, only if we have lived a spiritual life to the point of becoming perfectly resonant with the Spiritual Reality, enabling it, therefore, to Outshine conditional existence when this body-mind comes to its natural end.

The ultimate form of death is Translation, or the Outshining of conditional existence. It is to enter into the Brilliance, the Radiance, the Bright of God, not to make a transit to another world, but to be Sublimed and overcome by the blissful Radiance of the infinite God at the moment of death. If we are still subject to the self-contraction, then we will withdraw and fall into the outer lights of the Cosmic Mandala, into the spirit worlds, gravitating back to those conditions toward which our habits of attention gravitate.

Those who fulfill the spiritual Way perfectly Outshine all worlds at the point of death and enter into the Divine Domain represented in the Cosmic Mandala by the central white Brightness, what is called the “clear white light” in the Tantric Buddhist tradition, represented in the visualized sphere of lights as a white star. The cosmos manifested in the Spirit may be seen as a sphere of lights, a system of concentric circles, at the outer reaches of which is reddishness and golden yellow, then a moonlike whiteness, then a brilliant blue, and at the center a white star. When we enter into the white star, we enter an infinite place of Outshining Radiance, the Divine Domain.

Yogis make much of the other lights, but all the other lights are associated with conditional existence. High realms appear in the blue field, but they are not the Divine Domain. They represent conditional possibilities of the manifest ego, and most human beings will gravitate toward the lesser lights, the outer field, toward grossness, the etheric and lower astral planes, re-embodiment in human form. But by living a spiritual life, by becoming spiritualized through God-Communion, we enter into that disposition that ultimately Outshines all conditional realms. Therefore, death in its perfect form is Translation into the Divine Domain beyond all the lights.

Translation is the perfect furfillment of this Way. It is the last stage of the Way. The Way begins with hearing and seeing, understanding the self-contraction, repenting of it, moving beyond it, and seeing or locating the Spirit of God, Which is Transmitted in the Company of the Spiritual Master and thereafter found in all times and places by maintaining that Communion constantly and submitting to the discipline of the Adept.

When this Baptizing Power is contacted, It is felt as a pleasurable force enveloping and pervading the body. It may be felt to be Shining through the eyes. It creates a melting sensation in the heart of the emotional being. It creates feelings of the movement of energy in the body. As we enter into the life of Communion with That which we Locate through Baptism, then we enter into a process in life and meditation wherein we are purified. All of the chronic tendencies, physical, emotional, mental, and psychic, are brought to the surface, to some degree lived through, struggled with in spiritual terms, eventually transcended. The Way is the entire process, not merely meditative enjoyments. You must appreciate that the Way involves these purifications and that we must be actively involved in submission to the Spiritual Divine in the context of our limitations.

[ * in the original text, a lila of this day is inserted here ]

We grant more force to this purification through our meditation. We not only experience pleasurable meditative conditions, but by opening in the process of meditation we liberate more energy into our daily lives and consequently experience more of the purifying difficulties, perhaps, as well as signs of Blessing and enjoyments in life. Then in the meditative process, in the cycles of conductivity and the conscious process, all kinds of physical and emotional and mental and psychic changes develop. As they arise, we must not become attached to them, cling to them, and become self-contracted on the basis of them, but we must continue to submit ourselves into the process of conductivity and direct attention into the disciplines of the conscious process.

Thus do we always go beyond or become purified of our meditative enjoyments. Whatever arises is the “Garbage of the Goddess.” 10 There are simply modifications of the Spirit. We must continue our practice and not become distracted by them. We must relate to them naturally and persist in the essential disciplines. All the spiritual and meditative experiences and the experiences of ordinary life described in the esoteric traditions are potential in this Way and may be experienced at one time or another by devotees, but the thrust of our practice is in the conscious process toward which we are liberated through our discipline. In every moment of our practice we free energy and attention from the habits of the self-contraction. Therefore, we can practice the conscious process, perhaps in the form of true prayer or perhaps in the form of enquiry and re-cognition or the forms of the Perfect Practice. Ultimately the Perfect Practice is fulfilled in the Awakening to Sahaj Samadhi 11 and Self-Abiding recognition in the seventh stage of life, which becomes Transfiguration, Transformation, indifference or motiveless renunciation, and Translation or Unconditional Nirvikalpa Samadhi, 12 which is ultimate rebirth into the Divine Domain.

5.

The purpose of all the gatherings of devotees is to consider the Teaching to the point of hearing or self-understanding and to grant attention to the Spiritual Master in the Forms of his Person, his Agencies, and his Spirit-Blessing magnified to devotees to the point of the tangible Awakening to and acknowledgment of the Spiritual Divine. This entire institution and this whole community of devotees should be devoted to these purposes.

Practice daily. Gather constantly for the sake of hearing and seeing and communicating to one another about actual hearing and seeing. Tell the stories of your practice. Support one another’s Awakening. Give one another opportunity for the demonstration of the Way in good company. And call everyone to the real discipline and technical practice of this esoteric Way, this radical Way, in daily life.

Do this as individuals and do this as a gathering, a community, and an institution, and you will see the fruits of my birth and of your own birth. Then this institution and this community will be unique and will have great value. They will be real, they will grow, they will stop stumbling and falling back. It all depends on true hearing, self-understanding, and the acceptance of this Baptism.

November 3, 1982


3.

Surrender

This story is about a man and an ancient holy site, a river and surrounding jungle shrouded with magical forces and elemental powers. The pool and waterfall formed by the river as it runs down from a sacred mountain were anciently used as a place of human sacrifice, and in long-forgotten times had been revered as places of great power.

The man’s name is Andrew Johnson, a devotee of Master Da from the earliest years, who had been invited to serve at the Hermitage Sanctuary. One morning, Andrew accompanied another devotee along the jungle path that leads to the river. They spent several hours felling overgrown guava trees that obscured the view from a temple overlooking the river.

When nearly finished, they spotted a devotee coming down the path, motioning them to halt their work. He said Master Da had sent a message to stop working. They supposed the noise of hacking machetes and the crack of falling trees had carried up the cliffs, disrupting the quietude of the Hermitage. But since the cutting was finished and there would be no more noise, they decided to complete the task and float the trees downriver toward the mouth of the falls.

Earlier the same morning devotees who live at the Sanctuary had offered wreaths of flowers and holy ash to the river. On the way to the river they had come upon a large frog sitting on a rock in the middle of the path. The Hermitage is a natural preserve for frogs, and nowhere do frogs receive more auspicious attention than at the Hermitage of Master Da, who has an unusual affinity for these creatures. Instead of hopping away as usual at the approach of footsteps, the frog remained stationary. The devotees stopped to examine the creature more closely, as the frog held his rock. They accepted the frog’s presence as a psychic sign, an omen of warning signifying caution when approaching the dangerous river. Being familiar with the intensity of Master Da’s approach to the river on his infrequent visits there, and accepting the frog’s warning, they proceeded carefully. Performing the morning sacrament in silence, they returned up the path passing the frog stil perched on his rock.

Andrew was familiar with the lore surrounding the Hermitage and the history of Master Da’s psychic combat with the forces there. However, having failed to observe the laws about entering such places, he became easy prey for the forces that be.

As the men began to swim the logs down the river, Andrew suddenly found himself helpless on the edge of the waterfall, realizing that within seconds he was doomed to be carried over the falls. In an instant, when no options remained, he let his life merge with the flow of the water and tumbled over the falls.

Miraculously Andrew survived without serious injury.

Later that evening, when Master Da gathered with devotees, he asked Andrew to tell the story.

Andrew began: “The mass of trees floated with the current to the edge of the fal s and lodged on the rocks.

Frank tugged to free them on one side and I tugged from the other side. I stood in the water at the top of the falls, trying to work the trees loose and feeling safe. The current did not seem strong, and I felt I was close enough to reach the bank if I had to get out of the way, or I could dive under the water and swim upstream.

“Then suddenly everything happened at once. The mass of trees floated free, I lost my footing and fell into the water, and the current increased when the jam of logs broke. I lunged toward the bank, but a large branch blocked my way. I tried to move toward the opposite bank, but another branch caught me on that side. I was trapped in the mass of wood floating over the falls, and I realized I was going with it.

“Below me the falls fell in large steps. In places the water runs shallow over flat boulders before it makes its final rush to the bottom. I landed, still standing on one of the shallow rocks and even maintaining my balance, and then I bounced, standing up, to the shal ow step beyond. The next ledge, however, was six feet below at the bottom of the falls. This time there was nothing to jump to or grab. The branches were pushing me from behind and above, and I realized I had to dive. So I dived toward the massive rocks at the foot of the falls, propelled by a force of water and trees that could have kil ed me or at least done me serious injury. If the skull is thrown against a rock with that much force, you know, it could crack wide open!

“I felt one desire in that moment, one very strong desire: that I would hit water and not rock. I put out my hands, as you naturally do to break a fall, with my palms open, like this. As I fell forward, I knew I would hit wherever I would hit, wherever that was, and I landed bel y down in a shal ow pool of water that lay in the lap of a big boulder. The water in this little pool was deep enough to break the fall. Then my hands hit the big rock, which was tilted away from me toward the stream, and the force of my fall threw me forward so that I slid over the rock and into the river as if on a water slide.”

Someone asked, “Andrew, did you make an offering to the river when you first went down there? Did you perform any kind of sacrament there?”

He responded, “No, I didn’t.”

Master Da then interjected, “I warned you about this, but you still did not do it!”

The devotee who had delivered Master Da’s message added, “I was sent to tel Frank and Andrew to stop chopping trees because the noise was disturbing you, Master. I intentionally offered a flower to the river because I felt it was appropriate. Maybe that kept Andrew’s accident from being worse than it was.”

Master Da turned to Andrew. “But you were supposed to leave at that point. My message was that you should stop work and come back up to the Sanctuary.”

Feeling somewhat apprehensive, Andrew did not reply. Master Da persisted. “Well—?”

“That was the communication, that we should leave?” “Yes—leave!”

“Master, we didn’t hear that part. We thought we were supposed to stop. But you told us to leave?” Master Da hummed a quiet song of amazement about the whole event. Then he said, looking sternly at

Andrew, “This morning I happened to walk to the cliff and glance into that area, something that I never do. Andrew, you could have been the first human sacrifice there in a few hundred years— subhuman sacrifice, anyway!”

In the midst of appreciative laughter, someone said, “My Lord, Andrew told me when it was all over that now he has a very clear understanding of renunciation!”

Many people have experienced the unusual psychic forces at the river. For hundreds of years the negative influences were most apparent, but because of Master Da’s purifying psychic work the area is now basically benign. Even so, people experience an uncomfortable force there from time to time.

“Did you have a sense of being pushed over?” someone asked Andrew. “Many people have felt an energy run up their spine as if to push them in.”

“No,” he replied, “I felt it was just the conspiring of the natural forces, the logs and the water.” Master Da burst out laughing. “That is the way everything seems to you, Andy!”

Other devotees added their experiences. “The last time I was down there, which was quite a while ago, I had a very strong sense of something forceful. I even turned around and looked upstream because I had a premonition that a log would float down and move somebody over the falls.”

“I had a premonition, too, a few days ago that something would happen at the river. It kept me from going there for a few days and it made me very careful when I did go there.”

“Master, did you say that you rarely go down there, and yet this morning you did?”

Master Da replied, “Not to the river—I walked to the corner of the property here that overlooks the river area, but I never go there either!”

Andrew, and everyone else, knew that he was fortunate to be alive.

Andrew has red hair and a ruddy complexion, and as he listened to his beloved Master, he beamed with appreciation and awe, realizing with everyone else in the room the extent of Master Da’s spiritual Work.

In general people tend to disregard ghosts, demonology, and psychic forces as superstitious fabrications.

But as Master Da has explained often, not only do elemental and celestial forces exist, but they also have a strong influence on human beings, weather, and other natural events. The Adept works within the hierarchical ranges of these forces to purify and align them to the Radiant Transcendental Being.

To transform these nonhuman energies is part of the Adept’s spiritual Work.

Occasionally devotees have reported seeing a species of freshwater prawns or crawfish in the river, whose most outstanding features are their long pinchers and dark black shells. Recently one of the men noticed something unusual, which he described to Master Da and the gathering.

“A few days ago while I was performing the sacramental service at the river, I saw the biggest crawfish I have ever seen, a big, red one.”

“It was written then!” Master Da replied. Surrender (A Conversation with Da Free John)

 

p 102

 

 

 


Part I

A Birthday Message from Jesus and Me

p. 63 – 66


Part II

p. 67


Part III

p. 75

Your growth toward maturity will be limited only by the force of your application to the Way of the Spiritual Reality once you become converted to It. This is the great discovery to be made on the basis of hearing my Argument and giving me your attention or living in my Company. This is the Baptism that is always being generated by my Presence here. When I call you to consider the Teaching, I call you into my Spiritual Company, even if you are simply sitting down to read my books. Whenever you are in my Company, whenever you give me your attention, then you are as good as sitting in the room with me where this Baptism is being given. I do not stand in a river to perform the water ritual. I stand in the fire to perform the Spirit ritual, which purifies, enlivens, and grants Enlightenment. It is the perfect Baptism.

Thus, those who give me their attention, in whatever form it may take at any moment, align themselves to my Baptizing Power, the profusion of Grace that is manifested through the Adept, which is simply a magnification of the Spiritual Divine to living beings. When you have heard and seen me, when you have understood and located my Presence, experienced this Baptism and Awakened to the Spiritual Reality, then you have entered into the stream and fire of the Way. Then all of the disciplines become fruitful, but not otherwise. This is the fundamental import of your involvement with me in this Way of Life and this Teaching. All of the gatherings of our community and all of the moments in which devotees attend to this Teaching and this practice are the moments of this Baptism, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, as it is called in the Christian tradition, the reception of the Living Current that is the substance of existence, that is Self-Radiant Transcendental Being, Love-Bliss, Happiness.

To enter into that Happiness is to be healed. All Power is within It. All Transformation is inherent in It. To enter into Communion with the Living Divine is to be Transfigured, to be Transformed, ultimately to be Translated. To enter into the Company of the Spirit-Baptizing Adept is, in fact, to enter into the seventh stage of life. The processes of the seventh stage of life, which are Transfiguration, Transformation, and Translation, are inherent in the moment of God-Communion, and therefore this Way begins in the seventh stage of life. But we acknowledge that there are habits or tendencies in every individual that must be purified, and therefore we also acknowledge that there are stages of maturity or stages of the development of the practice. Yet even preparation for the Way develops within the ambience of the seventh stage of life, or the living Environment of the Spiritual Divine.

Spiritual Transmission is the reason for the occasions of celebration when I sit with everyone, whether they are in the room with me or sitting at a distance. It is the reason that I gather with people under all kinds of circumstances. It is the reason that I return to The Mountain of Attention periodically to see people there. It is the reason that I maintain constant communication of one kind or another with all devotees through the Agencies of this institution. The import of my Presence here is that I be a Baptizer, an Agent of Transmission. Part of the import of my Presence here is that I consider the Argument of the Way and consider the right culture of devotees and develop the practices in your company, but the ultimate import of my Presence here is simply that I be Present, not merely to exist but to Baptize, to Transmit the Spirit-Awakening.

Those who Awaken in my Company then know how to use me. They understand why I am here. Others who are still listening, who have not passed through this remarkable conversion of matter into

energy, of egoity into Spirit-living, appropriately maintain a relatively distant or formal relationship to me, although they give me their attention. And their granting of attention to me bears the fruit of conversion when they thoroughly intuit and feel that all that arises is Spirit or Energy. The Spirit is not merely behind what arises, pervading it as some sort of invisible essence. The Spirit is this, just this exactly, as it is all the other forms of appearance with which we might become associated. The Living or Spirit-Current pervades all of this, is all of this, and we may contact It intimately through the submission of our body-minds to It.

We breathe the Living Current, we feel It, our fundamental emotion is one with It. The Current is felt as an energy bodily. It is also felt as an emotion, the emotion of love, unqualified emotion, radiant feeling. Be diverted from your thinking, your self-possessed process of mind, and grant attention to this Living Current. Then you will realize that the essence of that Current is not only energy, not only love, but unconditional Being or Consciousness Itself.

There is a very practical means for living in Communion with the Spirit-Being or the Divine. I have considered that practical means with you for many years. I have described three basic Ways of practicing this Communion – the Way of Insight, the Way of Faith, and the Perfect Practice. But all three of these Ways and all of the disciplines associated with them can be summarized as two basic practices: the practice that I call conductivity and the practice that I call the conscious process.

Conductivity is the whole affair of physical and emotional and psychic feeling-surrender into the Living Spirit or Life-Current. We animate this form of our practice through all kinds of practical disciplines related to diet, daily living, sexuality, and service to others. We also animate it through the features of our meditation that involve the technical process of conductivity or breathing and feeling the Living Current, the Spirit-Current with which you are Baptized and to which you Awaken in my Company.

That Living Current is breathed in a Circle, descending in the front of the body and ascending in the spinal line of the body, between the crown and the feet or the crown and the bodily base of the perineum. It is felt from the heart in all directions. It is love or radiant emotion. We should be constantly relaxed from base to crown or foot to crown into this Living Current, breathing It in the Circle and feeling It from the heart in all directions. Jesus’ instruction to love God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength is to practice conductivity as a meditative process and as a process of daily disciplines and daily living, associated intimately with our feeling, breathing, living, physical personality. We are not merely to go inward to find the Spirit. We are the Spirit and we must live in the Spirit even bodily.

The other most fundamental aspect and the primary form of our practice, for which our practice of conductivity of the Spirit prepares us, for which our conductivity of the Spirit gives us a support, a basis in equanimity, is the conscious process. As the practice of conductivity liberates energy and attention in the Spirit, it liberates energy and attention from the contractions of egoity. We must devote that free energy and attention to the conscious process, radically intuiting or entering into a state of identification with the Transcendental Being, That which is Self-Radiant and appearing as all forms and beings, That which simply is.

Thus, through the artful practice of conductivity and the conscious process, we remain in perpetual Communion with the Spirit-Being, the Living Divine. If we do so, we mature inevitably and by stages to the point of Perfect Awakening, Enlightenment, Self-Abiding, Abiding in a state of Identification with the Transcendental Being and inherently and spontaneously recognizing all arising conditions in the body-mind and its environs or relations. There is nothing but the apparent, unnecessary, non-binding, free modification of the Spiritual Radiance of the Divine or the Transcendental Self.

The religion of the Spirit is fulfilled in Enlightenment, in which all conditions are recognizable. By the power of Self-Abiding recognition, the tendency of attention to be associated with conditions is dissolved. At first association with the grosser conditions continues. Then as the tendency of those associations is gradually released, a subtler disposition appears in this life or after this life, in other spiritual worlds or again in this world. By our continuing in this disposition of Self-Abiding recognition, the tendency of attention to associate with conditional existence in any plane whatsoever is dissolved, so that ultimately the being is Translated into the Divine Condition without the slightest noticing of conditional existence.

We may say of Translation that it is simply perfect Identification with the Divine Self or Radiant Transcendental Being, without qualification. Whether it is also associated with a sublime Domain beyond our imagining, beyond our conception in this world, is to be seen, but we enter into it through Enlightenment, through recognition, through the dissolution of conditional associations, not by clinging to ideas of a place to which we want to go.

I also Teach, as Jesus Taught, the radical religion of the Spirit. A religion about Jesus was created by some who knew him, by some who did not know him, by Christian-made priests, by all of the contingencies of historical Christianity. That religion is just another version of conventional religion, the kind of religion that Jesus himself criticized. It is not the free religion of the Spirit, and it contains no esotericism about the life of the Spirit and the transcendence of conditional existence. It is a myth-laden religion, a priest-laden religion, a religion of rules, enforced conduct, and beliefs. It is not to any absolute degree different in kind from the religion of Israel in the day of Jesus. Thus, like Jesus in his time, I live in a time full of religions that must be criticized. I am a renegade outside the temple, preaching the radical religion of the Spirit and Teaching a practical Way of entering into Communion with the Spirit.

Jesus likewise taught esoteric means of living in Communion with the Spiritual Divine, but those means have been lost within the tradition. We know that Jesus spoke of Spirit-Baptism. We know he spoke of conversion to the Divine as Living Spirit. We know he spoke of conversion from the flesh or

the views of mortality, including religious views that correspond to that disposition. In spite of all the mythology laid upon Jesus in the New Testament, what comes through is still a Spirit-born personality who was Transfigured, Transformed, magnified, made effective as a Siddha by virtue of God-Communion, Spiritual Communion. All the rest of it, all the “washed-by-the blood-of-Jesus” mythology, all of the salvation-through-the death-of-Christ mythology, has nothing whatever to do with the Teaching of Jesus. It is a popular mythology, a conventional religion, an alternative to true religion, which is spirituality or an essentially esoteric process of being God-born and ultimately Translated into the Divine Condition.

The story of Jesus reports a person Transfigured and Transformed by intimacy with the Spiritual Divine. It suggests also that he was Translated. Most of the New Testament is discardable, the product of a tradition, a church, a very worldly institution I have criticized frequently, but the Teaching of Jesus need not be criticized. It stands in the great tradition of the Siddhas.

No Transmission comes directly from Jesus now. The link with Jesus through Baptized devotees has been broken. But many other Adepts appeared before Jesus and after Jesus, and they too have come and gone. Some precincts may exist within the Great Tradition here and there where this true spirituality is still alive – it is alive in my Company. I am an individual of the same type as Jesus and other Adepts who have Taught and Demonstrated the radical religion of the Spirit and who have Baptized individuals in the Spirit.

You are called first to the Spiritual Divine, and you must enter into this conversion physically, emotionally, psychically. You must become practically involved with every dimension of the being in spiritual community. Until you do, you are still a listener, and until you have fulfilled the process in perfect Enlightenment, you are still preparing for the Way in its fullest sense, even though you have entered into the stream and fire of the Way, in some sense into the Way itself, through this Communion, this Spirit-Baptism, this Transfigured life in my Company that begins when you have located my Influence and become established in the Living Current of the Spiritual Divine.

When you are established in the Current, then you no longer view life with the mortal mind through contracted emotion and a disharmonious physical vehicle. Rather, you see everything as energy, you treat everything as energy, you live as energy, you are a Life-Bearer, you magnify the Living Spiritual Being in all of your relations, you are transformed by It, you accommodate It in every feature of your life. You initiate practical changes to make your life coincide with your spiritual disposition. You change all the factors of your practical living that do not coincide with the spiritual orientation of your living. You must do so. To accommodate the Spiritual Divine in every feature of your existence, to be devoted to It wholly and entirely, not merely in the mind with a kind of subjective acknowledgment, but very practically, physically, emotionally, mentally, psychically, is the practice.

Therefore, I do not call you merely to believe in God, but I Baptize you in this Spiritual Force and call you to act differently, to submit to it physically, to feel it, breathe it, relax into it, animate it, manifest it through service and love in all relations. I call you to worship God in Spirit, as Spirit, worship God spiritually, through spiritual means, through living, through meditation, not through conventional prayer. I call you to realize that you are one with this Spirit, not merely experiencing It but identical to It, so that you may, by overcoming every fraction of the self-contraction, Realize a state of perfect and uncaused Identification with It, Realize a perfect equation with the Divine Being and Condition.

This is the secret Teaching. Baptism is the secret method. Recently we published a book called The Secret Gospel, by Morton Smith, about a fragment of a letter by Clement of Alexandria, who lived in the second century. It contains a brief description of a secret process of Initiation or Baptism engaged by Jesus with his intimate circle, those who had passed through the initial process of listening, who had been converted and who had shown the evidence of a true response, who were eventually brought to either Jesus or one of his empowered disciples and Baptized spiritually. The Current of the Spiritual Reality was magnified to them so that it was tangibly felt physically, emotionally, mentally, and psychically.

It is said that this process was conducted at night and that it was associated with a certain ritual of purification. The initiate came dressed in a white garment and was brought into a closed room for the initiation, which was Spirit-Baptism, or true “Shaktipat” (without certain of the peculiar philosophic and psychic limitations of the Hindu tradition). Shaktipat is popularly associated with the orientation of the fifth stage realization, which has been superimposed on the process that is true Shaktipat. Shaktipat is Spirit-Baptism. It is the same process that occurs in my Company, but to which you are freely oriented, without fifth stage limitations. In this Way you are called to enter into a process of perfect unification with the Living Spirit to the point of Enlightenment, transcending all conditional realizations at the level of experience or presumed knowledge. Shaktipat is experientially associated with the Awakening of the Life-Current in the spinal line. Aspirants in the Hindu traditions of the fifth stage are thus devoted to a process of strategically raising the Current to dissociate from existence in this world. Such an orientation, common to the conventions of Hinduism, is not really part of a tradition that acknowledges the Divine Spirit fully. It views the individual self as a spiritual being behind the body-mind and separable from it. It conceives of God as the Being that Pervades the world and is separate from it, ultimately to be Located elsewhere. Thus, the conventional orientation to Spirit-Baptism or the Shaktipat of the traditions is generally ego based and dissociative.

I call you to understand that the Spirit is the Substance of this world. The body-mind is one with that Current. Therefore, you are not rightly devoted to attaching yourself to one aspect of this Current in order strategically to dissociate from this world. You must enter into Spirit-Communion utterly, breathe the Spirit in its full Circle, be sublimed in It, Transfigured and Transformed by It, transcend yourself in It.

And then, quite naturally, association with the limiting conditions represented by this world and other planes beyond this world will disappear. Otherwise, the strategy of egoic dissociation and attachment to the ascending quality of the Living Current will only produce temporary, ego-based results.

Spirit-Baptism, therefore, is a greater affair than is commonly understood in the yogic terms of Shaktipat, but it is a communication of the same spiritual force. It is also a communication of more than force or energy that we may feel over against ourselves. It is a communication of the Reality, the Transcendental Being, which is Radiant, manifesting as all beings and worlds, manifesting as the present body-mind, which is not merely in the body-mind but is the substance of the body-mind.

Therefore, I call you to acknowledge that you are in the Spirit presently, that you are in the Domain of the Spiritual Divine presently. If you can Awaken to this realization, then you will be Happy presently and you will not need to ascend to become Happy. Ascent is natural at some stage and true to Enlightenment in the seventh stage, but you need not go through the process of ascent to be Happy or to be God-Realized.


Part IV

As I said in The Knee of Listening, this is the other world. This is the Spiritual Domain. This is the Spirit World. This is the world of God. God is not merely invisible and inside us. This is the manifestation of God. There are many other manifestations of God as well, but we must not deny this manifestation. We must submit to God in the context of this world and transcend it. To do so is our obligation. Our ascent will not be final or true or free if we do not Realize God in this moment and in this condition.

To seek God elsewhere is to deny the Spirit presently, to deny that the Spirit is Present, that the Spirit is the Substance and Condition of existence presently. To go within and seek for God elsewhere is therefore a form of sin. It is a form of un-Happiness. We become Happy when we realize that we are in the Spirit presently. Therefore, those who Awaken through free spiritual Baptism become Happy presently. They are enlivened by the Spirit. They are liberated emotionally by It. They are liberated in their minds by It. They become blissful, Self-Radiant, manifest as Love, Happiness, Joyous Feeling, Freedom. These qualities, rather than the dismal qualities of the inverted ascetic, are the qualities of the God-born, the Spirit-Baptized, those who live in Communion with the Living Divine presently.

This is not to say that life in the Spirit in the world is not in some real sense a school or a trial, and a hard school at that, but it is a trial that occurs within the Domain of God. It is a necessary trial. We ascend from it, but only by transcending ourselves and allowing the Spirit-Current to ascend naturally when the free conditions for its ascent have been established. Thus, we do not merely enter into this Current to ascend. We allow It to ascend, we allow It to descend, we live in It utterly, submit ourselves to It utterly, and are purified by the Happiness of the inherent Spirit of God.

p. 85

This Way is not therefore associated with a problem but with the inherent Happiness to which we Awaken when we are Baptized by the Spirit, when we Locate the Current of Bliss, the Current of Happiness. When we thus Awaken, all our darkness disappears and all our negativity and our negative views are weakened. If we continue to submit ourselves to the Spiritual Reality, all these




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