Low, Middle, and Higher Self

Excerpts from


November 11, 1978

edit by Beezone

Adi Da Samraj – 1978

Low, Middle and Higher Self

The Evolution of Understanding




True hearing, summary and most fundamental self-understanding, involves the core. It involves being responsible for that key dramatization. But it is a matter of being most fundamentally responsible for the act that precedes even that key dramatization. Therefore, it is also a matter of being responsible for all the other kinds of dramatization that are general tendencies of yours. True hearing covers it all, because it deals with the root.

The quality of your commitment and your practice varies from day to day, you’re constantly being persuaded by all kinds of subhuman influences, by bad company.

Hopefully, you’re beginning to know the difference between your moments of right preparedness, right approach, true devotional practice, true service, you see, and all the other moments when you’re haggling with your adaptation in the first three stages of life.

You must constantly be refreshed in this hearing through study of the Teaching, through hearing it read, through recitations, through communication with one another, through devotional society, Good Company, right counseling. You must bring yourself in this spirit to the fulfillment of the discipline, consistently.

In your present stage of life or evolution represent the argument between what is traditionally called the middle self and the low self. In your present moment of life this middle self is basically under the control of the mind.

The low self is the subconscious and unconscious vital being, which has its own brain in the solar plexus, which doesn’t have thoughts but it represents specific urges beneath consciousness.

The middle self, the thinking mind, the waking mind, is complicated, at the present time in your case, it’s adolescent. You move with your desires. Your desires are constantly complicating your life. You can think clearly for a moment and in the next moment you want to be completely irrational, motivated by urges that haven’t been fuly considered.

You’ve got to become mature at this middle self, this conscious mind, which means that you must realize the relationship between this middle self and this lower self that’s something like that between a true parent and its child. You must become the parent. You must come to an understanding of this vital life, and cease to be without arms, constantly complicated, motivated by childish subconscious, unconscious urges that relate to the realm of your ordinary vital-physical, emotional-sexual life.

In the third stage of life, this middle self, this thinking mind, this personality which has a will which can be responsible for this vital life, must come to maturity. That is why it is important in the third stage of life that you not enter into pattern of self-indulgence, but rather realize patterns of self-control, not rigidity like the solid person, you see, but true self control, true responsibility for your vital life.

Because you did not live that way in the third stage in your teenage years, your developmental years, essentially, the core of the problem is presently as an adult you have all kinds of adolescent adaptations, all kinds of patterns of phasing, of being clear-headed and in control and being irrational and self-indulgent. You’re constantly phasing between those two qualities in yourself because you haven’t fulfilled the third stage of life, you’re not responsible for your vital life, you can’t choose to live lawfully and then do it. You’re constantly having to fade away, become weak, irrational, be overwhelmed by the vital.

The development of this conscious personality which can be responsible for itself and live lawfully, live right conditions in its life, the development of that disposition is not an end in itself. It is simply the third stage of life.

With Understanding, you must begin to adapt in a way that you have never adapted before, never fully. That means you’ve got to begin to enter into adaptation to the high self. You must adapt this thinking mind and this vital personality to the evolutionary mechanism that is in the body or the body-mind of man.

This middle self and this low self are really the autonomic nervous system or the extended nervous system, thinking and desiring in terms of the bodily extended lower life. The evolutionary mechanism of the high self is the central nervous system, the cebebro-spinal nervous system.

All religious practice, all occult practice, all esoteric spiritual practice has at its foundation a process whereby the individual becomes responsible for all of his phasing in the autonomic nervous system. In other words his whole irresponsible, weak, childish life fully of irrationality, vital desiring, sex, food, bad company. All the methods whereby he exhausts himself, enervates himself and deludes himself by exploiting his vital and thinking capability

When you come to the point of having become purified in this extended nervous system, this lower life, purified in your mind and your vital, so so that that it is harmonious, stable, the two sides, the sympathetic and parasympathetic mechanisms are harmonious, balanced, the left and right are balanced. So that this body-mind can rest in the life current. Then the higher evolutionary stage of the spiritual process may begin.

This evolutionary mechanism of the cerebro-spinal nervous system is your future. The Fourth stage of life is the beginning of an association with this evolutionary mechanism and it is fulfilled in the fifth stage. This higher evolutionary mechanism in man is just another part of you you see, it is just an expression of this atom, this ego, this narcissus also, and it must be transcended in the sixth and seventh stages of life. But it cannot be bypassed. You must become responsible for the whole body-mind. So you can’t merely think you are enlightened you see, you can’t really quiet the mind and be enlightened. The life current must be awakened in you bodily, in your feeling, in your psyche, in your brain you see, this mechanism must be awakened and then transcended. There is no enlightenment without that.

Because enlightenment is this literal bio-physical transformation, which changes the mind, the inward person. That transitional stage is not the principle of this transformation, it is the awakening beyond the inward principle.

You are still arguing

Truly enlightenment is the realization of the transcendental self, prior to the nervous system, prior to the body-mind altogether, but it is not realizable, not stably realization without this awakening and purification of every aspect of the body-mind through submission to the life current, not be inversion on the life current but through Love-Communion, the awakening of the Heart, the transcendence of Narcissus.

You must become stable in the third stage of life. You must be able to Understand the Teaching and accept the discipline and accept this relationship and allow that to be the situation, the condition of existence within which you adapt, within which you live.

You must become strong enough, you must have that capacity for self-control, not like the solid, single-minded desire, you see, but like one who Understands, so that you can consistently live this discipline, so that you are not always coming to me at zero wanting some sort of energy zapping to make you feel good and then you feel intoxicated for a little while and then you go and do what you have always done. That’s not enlightenment, that’s not yoga, that’s not mysticism, that’s not God-Realization. It’s just an extension of your childhood, your earlier adaptations trying to conform this Teaching.

There are thousands of people all over the world, perhaps millions of them are imagining that they are involved with some sort of higher psychological, religious or spiritual practice but they have not fulfilled the condition of the fourth stage of life. They don’t live the life of God-Communion, they don’t transcend the heart of narcissus, they indulge themselves childishly with all kinds of religious organizations, spiritual cults, and all kinds of people associated with them, and typically they are involved with forms of renunciation, mystical inversion, and external manipulation. None of that has anything to do with enlightenment nor does it produce the signs of evolution.

You must literally be evolved, the life-current must literally transform the body-mind and it will naturally show the signs, not merely of mysticism but of a clarified intelligence, of a truly moral, creative personality. Not the invert, not the professional ascetic you see, not the whiz kid who knows how to pop hormone pills and so forth and manipulate his nervous system in one or another way to simulate mystical states. But the truly enlightened personality must show its signs in you and will only do so if you live by surrender from the heart bodily.

The evolution of the body-mind is the end result of spiritual practice. It is simply that the mechanism native to man, which is an urge in human beings toward evolution within the cosmic scheme must be awakened in you. It is part of your body-mind.

You must understand the things that you regard to be Divine, all the mystical artifacts that you may be seen. These have nothing whatever to do with God, they are expressions of the nervous system, or the evolutionary mechanism inside the body-mind. These things must and will be awakened and perceived but also must be transcended.

You must fulfill the evolutionary law but you must also transcend it.

All of this is just conversation you see until you can stably enter into the practice of the fourth stage, until you can hear this Teaching and surrender into the Life Current of the Living God with feeling, whole bodily. Not only in your formal devotional practice but in all of the forms of activity you engage in every day. You must be morally transformed, you must be physically transformed, you must practice the principles of a moral and physically transformed life, as a daily regimen, without fail, that’s what the conditions of practice are about.

The conditions of adaptations are the lawful limit, obliging you to adapt in a way

Your waking conscious life must come in alignment with this Teaching.

This middle conscious being, is vital life must be released it from its childishness adaptations. The thinking mind cannot contact the life Current directly. It must use the medium of the living being through the extended nervous system, which is now oriented, contracted toward childish sub-conscious adaptation. So you must bring your attention to this argument and you must awaken from the Heart of Love and therefore surrender bodily,

When you begin to adapt the Life Current will begin to move in the vital being and in the Heart. When it does so, the thinking mind you see gives way and the higher mind begins to show its signs in Consciousness. And that is how the fourth and fifth stages begin to develop.

To “hear” the Teaching is to be awakened, the whole body-mind. It is essentially a heart awakening. from the contraction of feeling into the generation of feeling, from feelinglessness and reactivity into love.

It is only when the body, the literal body becomes involved, you see, and is submitted to the life-current that this bio-physical transformation can take place. If you are simply present as Narcissus with thinking, attention, verbal attention, mental attention, the feeling dimension or the heart is not awakened and therefore the body does not become involved in becoming the foundation of your practice.

The body itself is the medium of spiritual transformation, not the internal mind. That is not the one. It is the whole body, the entire person is transformed by the Divine Radiance, the life-current. The Transcendental Consciousness that is realized is not this thinking mind, your mental attention.

Making the transition to the fourth stage of life is the best almost anyone on earth is at the present time. Most people are involved in lesser stages of complication or growth. Very few people on earth are entered into higher stages than the fourth. And the urge of the Teaching in the world is to draw people toward the fourth stage of life, which is the foundation of higher existence or human sacrifice.

You must begin to appreciate that spiritual realization, Enlightenment is not simply a matter of some sort of subjective understanding or belief or good feeling or quietness, you see. All of that is nonsense. The most dramatic kinds of psycho-physical change are the foundation of Enlightenment. Not only must you enter into the evolutionary cycle of this body-mind, you must transcend it ultimately, and that is what the seventh stage is about, being established in the condition of the-transcendence of man.

Between your present disposition and that seventh stage is the evolutionary cycle in which the Divine Life-Current must become most intimate with your body-mind, obliging it to go through stages of purification and transformation. Without the transformation of the literal body there is no possible enlightenment.

So consider this and study this Teaching.

Those who imagine this evolutionary mechanism is simply some sort of energy in the nervous system you see don’t understand that it is a Divine matter.

Stimulation in the nervous system will cause you to become more self possessed.

You are vulgar by trying to make this baptism happen by manipulating yourself. You must understand that this baptism is what our relationship is about, and it does not occur by you manipulating yourself, but only when you have Understood yourself.

You must present yourself to Me through love, bodily surrendered. You must able to be sensitive to the Force of My Company, and then allow that Force to coummunicate itself, to make changes, to lead you to further insight, to give you more energy for service, to bring you closer to me through the response of Love.

Watch the Video of the talk.


See more: RIGHT PRACTICE DEPENDS ON “HEARING” – November 11, 1978