The Old Religions, the New Scientism, and the Awakening of the Psyche

Volume 2 , Number 9


The Old Religions, the New Scientism, and the Awakening of the Psyche

A talk by Bubba Free John (Adi Da Samraj)

EDITED (italics) by Beezone (see original talk)


ADI DA SAMRAJ: Common people remain common, not very illumined and basically have no real sense of the nature of the universe. They cannot accept basic truths about the universe, about consciousness, about the psyche. Such individuals have no way of connecting with what is real. They only go to their jobs and watch TV; they have no consciousness at all. At the present time, then, we do not have a higher level of culture. We have instead a nonculture, dead humanity.

This cultural emptiness is complicated and made ominous by constant propagandizing against the awakening of the psyche. The psyche is kept asleep by our mechanistic scientism and religious movements that are bereft of Divine life, and even of etheric energy and astral vision. No psyche remains in them. They do not permit the flowering of the psyche, the awakening of the consciousness. Dreams are anathema; mysticism is anathema. Enjoying ecstatic states is anathematized by our hard-edged, materialistic thinking. Even the old religions, having become full of doubt because they have lost their connections with the realms of psyche and power, are themselves influenced by the pervasive scientific and materialistic thinking that does not sense the etheric level of reality, not to mention the astral dimension, or the transcendental Consciousness.

Thus, people claim to be religious and associated with traditions that belong to a somewhat higher human culture, but they have no sense of the powers behind the world, no sense of the psyche, or of what it truly means to be religious, or of how one must live in order to realize a truly religious life. True religion is to enter ecstatically, through higher intuitive and mystical processes, into the realms of the psyche, the realms beyond material visibility. It is a way of making changes even in ones gross life, as well as passing consciously beyond this gross life into another destiny at death. However, people do not have any understanding of this process.

It is only later in time, in recent centuries, that people lost their psychic connection to the universe and religion became nothing more than a collection of moral precepts for downtown life, for how to manage your business, and so forth. True religion is based on the psychic connection to Reality. There can be no religion without psychic activity. Religion is the disposition of the psyche, the feeling core, of Man. Contemporary religion has no psyche remaining from its etheric origins, only verbal mind and meaningless, heartless rituals. It is not based on a sense of the invisible realities with which we need to enter into right association in order to live well and to be happy, in order not to be undone, bound up, smothered, and destroyed by elemental movements in Nature. All true religion and spirituality are founded in the way of the psyche.

In order to live such a religious Way of life, individuals must enter psychically into the play of their experience in the universe. They must move beyond this stupidity of the verbal mind, which has no sympathy, no heart, no feeling, no psyche, move beyond the stupidities of the mere bodily exploitation that we inevitably engage when we are frozen in this mind without a psyche. The usual man in our time is limited only to verbal thinking and exploitation of his physical experience. Everything else is taboo. He cannot go beyond the hard-edged appearance of the physical body, because he is not permitted his own psyche.

Precisely what is wrong with the universal scientism of modern society and the forms of politics that derive from that scientism is that the modern scientific world view and politics do not permit the human being his psyche. Scientism constantly forces him to stand face to face with mere elemental experience and denies all reality to the higher dimensions, which since ancient times have been recognized by human beings as their fundamental resource. Scientism denies our connection to the energies and creative sources of the world. We are denied true religion by scientism.

Scientism is simply an activity of the verbal mind. It is oriented toward the investigation of elemental phenomena without any psychic participation in the world. Even when scientists consider phenomena that are not merely elemental, but that belong to the realm of energies and the psyche, they do not study these things through the psyche. They study them objectively, as if these invisibles were butterflies under a pin. But in order to investigate such phenomena, one must enter into consideration of them through the medium of the psyche, through feeling, through intuition, through all the aspects of the mind and heart that precede the verbal consciousness.

We are not permitted to recognize and acknowledge the invisible dimensions of existence. Nor are we permitted any psychic connection to them, or to anything else for that matter. We are encouraged to watch TV and go to work and wait for science to save everyone. But science can never save anyone. Science is not a method of salvation. Salvation depends upon the psyche of the human individual; there is no salvation apart from psychic awakening. Science, however, is not a psychic activity or adventure; therefore, it does nothing for the psyche of the individual. It is merely a method for the investigation of aspects of the externalized, experiential universe. It can produce useful technologies and benign changes in the environment, but it cannot improve our lot in any fundamental sense, because human beings are liberated only through psychic awakening and psychic participation in the universe. We must be awakened psychically in order to be truly happy.

That the scientific point of view dominates human beings is a profoundly negative state of affairs, because science strictly anathematizes the awakening of the psyche of human beings. The propaganda of science is most profoundly about the anathematization of the psyche. Whatever benign changes it may bring technologically, science represents a philosophy that is opposed to the psychic awakening of human beings. That is what is wrong with it. As soon as anybody shows an inclination toward psychic life, toward the things of the psychic world, toward mysticism, toward religion-in the psychic sense, rather than just the downtown morality-he is considered crazy, bizarre. The conventional scientists appear before the press immediately, claiming that the movement toward psychic life is nonsense, falsehood, superstition.

The historical origin of scientism is the rebellion of the verbal mind against the institution that tyrannized it. Science was a reaction to religious institutions and other movements in human cultures that prevented the free exercise of mental activity. Scientism appeared as a reaction to that oppression, in order to permit the free exercise of the verbal mind. That reaction was positive, and a certain aspect of science and scientific influence is certainly positive. However, because of that original reaction of science, it now supports the psychology that wants to exclude the psychic awakening. It represents a new kind of priesthood, a different kind of Church, against which others must now rebel. There must be the free exercise of the verbal mind and of intellectual inquiry, but there must also be the free psychic exercise of human individuality. Human beings must be permitted psychic association with their own universe. If it is denied them, they become crazy. And that is exactly what has happened-these few hundred years in which the scientific point of view has gradually become dominant have emptied human culture of its psychic associations.

Now we are looking toward a future of technological domination, a heartless world, a human world without psyche. It is not only totalitarianism that is represented in the image of the future of science fiction. It is a human world without human psyche. It is a universe without a psychic dimension, a merely physical universe rather than a psycho-physical universe. The current state of our so-called culture reflects the same lack. True culture depends on the life of the human psyche.

The scientific community must understand that its positive aspect is its orientation toward free intellectual inquiry. The old religious institutions perpetuated an understanding of the physical universe that was characterized by mythology and nonsense. Fresh and direct inquiry into phenomena needed to be permitted. That aspect of the emergence of scientism was completely positive. The religious institutions that existed when scientism began to appear were not founded in Truth. They were downtown institutions, traditional institutions, without saints and without wisdom. In throwing away this half-baked religion, however, we have thrown away all psychic inquiry into the universe. Intellectual inquiry into experience certainly has its social value, but psychic inquiry into the universe is equally essential, and it is more fundamental. It is primary.

The attention of the psyche can move in any number of directions. There are great teachings and lesser teachings. The so-called teaching of conventional religion and the intelligence that one acquires in the streets and in the school of the common world is no teaching at all. It is the lowest form of human communication, because it denies that the psyche is the fundamental nature of Man and that he must live by his psyche, not by the things of the world, not by the objects of experience, not by the elemental fleshly life, not by thinking alone. To sin is to “miss the mark,” to be without a psyche. It is to be enamored of things themselves, to have lost the psychic, feeling connection to Reality, and to be turned in on yourself without consciousness. To be awakened from sin is to “meet the mark,” to be awakened in your psyche, in your heart. Man must live by his psyche, his unqualified feeling nature. He must enter psychically into relationship with the powers of the world, into relationship with the ultimate Power, the absolute God of the world. If he does not, he is destroyed.

The function of the Spiritual Master is to restore this understanding, this awareness, to reveal all experience in its proper light. The Spiritual Master does not represent any single convention of human experience. He is Awake to all experience, all phenomena of human life. Therefore, he can establish a culture based on the perfect Realization of Truth, in which all aspects of the structure of human experience are recognized. Man must realize a right sympathy with the etheric life; Man must also transcend the etheric life in his astral consciousness; he must evolve beyond the astral dimension into the transcendental Realization of Reality. We cannot exclude bodily life in our perception of the Absolute; we must become a sacrifice, even bodily, to the Absolute Reality and Truth. Our Way of life while alive must represent a right relationship to that Absolute Reality, and, through that relationship, to all of the manifestations of the universe, gross or elemental-etheric, or astral-intuitive, or egoic, that proceed from that Absolute. All things work together for the good of individuals who remain in right association with the Absolute Reality. They are awakened, they see through the limits of their experience, and they transcend the phenomena that bind them.

Thus, the Spiritual Master communicates the entire Way of the psyche, the Way of life in Truth, the right disposition toward all of the phenomena of experience. Therefore, he criticizes all of the forms of exclusive acculturation, all of the less than absolute religions and persuasions. You may hear me criticize all kinds of religious and psychic and mystical approaches, without denying what is real about them. I criticize the exclusive point of view and the limitation of experience and understanding of each approach. Just so, I also constantly criticize the ordinary worldly life, not because people enjoy themselves-enjoyment itself is positive. But there is no psyche in the enjoyment of the usual man, no heart, no Truth, no Life.

The whole world is obsessed with the anathematization of the psyche, and to the degree that people become involved in psychic life at all, they are involved in some little compartment of it, some creepy, petty aspect of it that is not God-Realizing. I communicate the disposition of the heart in absolute terms, the Way of life that involves the psychic or heartfelt relationship to everything. I communicate the Way of sacrifice via the heart, or the psyche, to the Absolute Reality. In the process of this Way, through your awakening to the psyche, you may become aware of uncommon phenomena that are not discussed on television. You are perfectly free to experience everything from ghosts and spirit forces to the most sublime subtle visions and absorptions in the absolute Transcendental Consciousness-and you are obliged to transcend it all through heartfelt understanding and the feeling sacrifice of the whole body-mind and all experience into the All-Pervading and Radiant Transcendental Consciousness.

Just as scientific inquiry must be free, so also must psychic or religious inquiry be free of all kinds of nonsense. As it exists in the world today, religion is largely comprised of accretions of nonsense, the archaic ideas and presumptions of very ordinary people. True religion is the communication of Realized individuals, or Adepts, whose voices must be honored in the world. People must begin to engage in truly religious forms of activity, a truly religious Way of life. Likewise, science or free intellectual inquiry must also be permitted its freedom, its special function in the world. Nevertheless, it must be purified of its anti-psychic interest. If it is not so purified, it will continue to represent an evil influence in the world, an influence that is dominating and destroying the psychic potential and the psychic need of the human being.