Paradox of Morality – Unfortunate Dilemma



“The paradoxes of time and space and egoity and
Reality Itself confound all speech and all accounting and
all knowledge, all ‘self’ images, all mummers.”

Adi Da Samraj – 2004


“The ultimate end of …the search for Truth, is the confounding of the need to know. All knowledge is a reaction to the threat of experience, but the need for absolute certainties, or fixed conditions, within or without, is undermined and vanished in the mindless Humor of the Heart. When perplexity is inherent and overwhelming, the inner stresses all dissolve, and uncaused Wisdom Shines. When despair and hope are equally impossible, frustration yields to Life.”

The Enlightenment of the Whole Body
Adi Da Samraj

Our Unfortunate Dilemma (or Confrontation)
in the Realization of Ignorance

“Ignorance is not our misfortune. It is our Nature!


Listen to Bubba Free John (Adi Da) respond to a student’s question about paradox and confusion – 1975


Philosophers, Pandits, Fools, and Just Plain Idiots


Lately I’ve been reading some materials on the Internet that discuss Adi Da Samraj and some of his outlandish behaviors. Many of these discussions (if I can be so generous) center around the questions of Adi Da’s sanity and authenticity of realization. There seems to be an inconsistency in Adi Da’s questionable ethical behaviors that date back to 1974 and were highlighted in the San Francisco papers in 1985.

In spiritual life, particularly in the East, the problem of ethics and questionable behavior from a Guru has long been a question of the Guru’s legitimacy or has historically evoked questions about the Guru’s legitimacy. In the The
Nine States of Spiritual
one of the more accepted books in the West that has
some credibility in discussing even the possibility
of having a ‘Spiritual Teacher’, Greg
Bogart states in the introduction: to his book,

“I use the term
spiritual apprenticeship deliberately to
counterbalance what I perceive as the heaviness
implicit in the word discipleship. Disciple implies
a master, a concept that often creates mistrust in
Americans, who have been bred on a tradition of
autonomy and freedom from bondage to masters of any
kind. I don’t believe the notion of masters
and servants is intrinsic to the process of
spiritual training; this is only one way of framing
the power relations that emerge on this path. Yet
it’s a conception that leads to two related
problems: exaggerated attempts at surrender,
sometimes leading to loss of will and autonomy; and
the need to angrily repudiate a figure to whom one
may have given too much power in the first

Here lies the heart of the
problem, the Master/Disciple relationship and the
intrinsic mistrust of it in the western and eastern
psyche. Not only is there an inherent mistrust in
the Western psyche but there are many examples of
“masters” who have mistreated, mislead, and deluded
many disciples in the East. In extreme cases
disciples have even been lead to the ‘promised
land’ by following their Guru’s instructions to
their death.



How can individuals who
claim “enlightenment” do so many hurtful and evil
things under the name of truth? Why would Upasani
Maharaja throw a rock and hit Meher Baba
Meher Baba devotees say about his
} in the head
and cause it to bleed? If Adi Da is enlightened the
how could he do all the bad things people obviously
experienced in his company? If there is any
“rationalization” given, it is usually presented as
‘teaching demonstration”, such as this story from
the life of Shirdi Sai Baba:

“They both decided to go
to Shirdi. They came from Korallah to Rahata where
Tatya’s Munim brought them to Shirdi. Baba abused
and beat him and he was often afraid of Baba. But
Dixit allayed his fears saying it was a blessing in

How does this “square” with
truth and enlightenment? It simply does not square
with anything! It doesn’t and it can never be
‘reconciled’ with our notions of enlightenment or
what is good. Isn’t ‘ethics’ a part of
enlightenment? After coming out of the 1960’s and
1970’s it surely doesn’t seem to be!

But yet the question still
remains and exists as paradox. A paradox for some,
a crucible for others’ and a big red flag for many

If one were to inquire in
real spiritual terms as to the condition of an
enlightened being and his or her behavior, which is
supposed to be all about love, light, bliss and
gentleness how can “wackin” someone around or
engaging in sexual behaviors be in any way
‘consistent’ with Bliss, Love, and Awakening?

Wisdom Gone Crazy

A Story about the antics of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

As unenlightened beings who
still retain with our sense of goodness and sanity.
we seem to be left with our own questions and
logical inconsistencies. Any reasonable person who
wants things to work out “right” can not just
settle for “oh well” answers!

We don’t want to be duped
and “had” by some mad man or woman! So, what’s

The Party's Over

Wisdom Gone Crazy – William Merwin, Dana Naone, Chogyam Trungpa and ‘The Halloween Party’

“Chogyam Trungpa, at a Halloween party (1975) ordered everyone to undress. Merwin and Naone refused. Trungpa’s bodyguards tried to batter down the door to their room. “I was not going to go peacefully,” Merwin recalls. “I started hitting people with beer bottles. It was a very violent scene.” Trungpa’s bodyguards stripped them”Try and Square This into Your Sanity Box, Beezone

I have been around two
‘crazy wise’ teachers – Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
and Adi Da Samraj – for a good number of years, and
I have heard first-hand accounts of behavior that
surely would never “hold up” under the scrutiny of
a “code of ethic” review board! I don’t want to
give you the impression that there is anything
duplicitious about these two teachers but to try to
‘square’ their actions is a hard stretch for anyone
trying to understand the meaning of their
behaviors. The only “explanation” that I have found
is it’s a “paradox”. The word paradox is used to
describe something that has elements that seem to
be contradictory, but which are all true. Something
is both GOOD and BAD at the same time.

Bubbha Free John 1973

“Bubba started talking about the way we all were dressed. He very humorously explained how our personal limitations determined the clothing that we were wearing. His descriptions were perfect portraits of the basic self-protected, insecure, fearful, seeking aspects of each of us, and there were a lot of jokes and laughter from Bubba about our reactions to His comments. His Humor loosened our defenses and helped us laugh at our self- images and our reactions to the revelations about them.

Bubba said instead of trying to present an image, why not just relax all our self-imagery? We were willing but didn’t know how to just do it. He then said if we understood His comments about clothing as forms of self-protection and self-imagery, why not see what difference it would make by doing something about it? We agreed; but what could we do? We could take off some of our clothing, Bubba suggested. We laughed at first. But then we began to seriously consider the proposition” – At the Feet of The Spiritual Master – Gerald Sheinfeld, p. 199



What WAS it like to be in Chogyam Trungpa’s Company?

This is a clip of an original talk entitled Meeting Life – Reggie Ray


Living on the razor blade means at the same time living in the total space, because the possibility exists that it might cut us through, destroy us, and the possibility also exists that we might be able to avoid the razor’s cut. But both those possibilities amount to the same thing at this point. The sense of the razor blade’s sharpness is very interesting, extraordinarily interesting. That is what we call intelligence, primordial intelligence. We feel that razor blade’s sharpness and its cutting quality. We sense that, we feel it, and we also want to run away from it. We would rather sit or perch on something more solid, like a toilet seat, some place where there’s no razor blade. But when we are on the razor blade, such an invitation becomes a fantasy. That is our basic intelligence beginning to sense all kinds of areas that are impossible but still somehow possible at the same time. This happens all the time.The Razor’s Edge

“Yogi Ramsuratkumar
was a ruthless taskmaster who wielded a flaming
sword. To be near him with sincerity was to
experience a literal internal fire that spared
nothing in its path”

Most Unusual Man in the World

– Mariana Caplan.
Unfortunately, our minds
think in a logical and sequential manner and we
can never fully come to terms with a paradox
We can never come up with final answers that will
“solve” these questions.

We can come up with
relative answers based on the laws of nature, but
not absolute answers. If we pose a question and try
and solve it by using our minds we will ultimately
come to an unresolved ‘pair of

So when we look at Adi Da
or any
other “realized” being
there is no way to ultimately resolve these
outrageous and inappropriate behaviors, which are,
by all logical and common sense account’s “hurtful”
and wrong. We have ideas that enlightened masters
should be like holy saints. Saints would never have
contradictory natures. They’d always be on one
side; they’d always be good, morally and

The following is from Adidam, the official church of Avatar Adi Da Samraj

Read more from Adidam

It is exactly this “not
wanting to be duped” that continually keeps us in
the contradictions and impossible dilemmas of our
own minds. Somewhere along the line to infinity we
must let go of ALL ideas and expectations and every
speck of what we think ourselves to be. We must
ultimately lose ourselves and that means lose all
sense of what we think is RIGHT, GOOD, and SANE!
There is no other way to do it.

Enlightenment – in the form
of “Crazy Wise” teachers – does appear to be a kind
of madness. (See Crazy
article and
Madness, Chogyam Trungpa “Crazy
). To come
up with a moral certainty in this climate is
…..forget it! It can’t be done. Reconciling some
“enlightened” behaviors or even trying to
rationalize them is not only impossible, it’s
futile. NO ONE can claim “absolute knowing”. Adi
Da, Meher Baba, or whoever can claim that the adept
is That Which is Beyond All Opposites and therefore
WHATEVER that one does is “purifying”,
“instructive” and “balancing” but the claim can’t
be either proven or denied from “this side of

beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is
a field. I’ll meet you there….Ideas, language,
even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any

Mevlana Jelaluddin
Mankinds fear tell us that
this kind of stuff is “crazy” and that kind of
logic can be used by manipulators to do evil and
perform self-justifying actions. And that IS true.
We have to be aware of ‘deception’ and protect
ourselves from falling under the spell of someone’s
evil intentions. But paradoxically the higher one
goes up the scale of things, the less and less the
things of this world can be brought with it – and
that includes logic and the concepts of good and

“The notion that one is incapable of making mistakes poses obvious ethical concerns, no matter what one’s level of realization. Anyone who has studied the spread of Eastern spirituality in the West knows that these elephants often stumble – even stampede – injuring themselves and many others in the process.” Sam Harris

I’ll end this with a quote
from Adi Da himself from the introduction to The
Dawn Horse Testament written by Saniel

“The question comes down
to, what it really is, is an expression of doubt.
If I Am you, there does not have to be any way it
works! There is not any difference between us to
need something to work. So I have completely
accounted for what you are asking about. It is just
that My answer is not satisfying to the egoic mind.
Only in the mode of Communion with Me, direct
Realization in My Company, would you be satisfied
by some of these descriptions. As long as there is
that knot in the heart, then What is Great is not
perceived, and so you look for signs, structures,
to open the heart, to relieve you of yourself so
you can see plainly.”

to The Dawn Horse Testament

“The motive force of
real morality is the refusal to take on anything
other than the form of love or to allow anything to
rest in other than the form of love. Its foundation
is radical understanding, but its force is love,
the demand for love, the discipline of love, the
radical action of love. Where there is no radical
understanding there is also no morality, no love.
And this absence is the condition the man of
understanding finds in the world. Therefore, his
moral life is difficult, requiring profound
intelligence and action that is a paradox to the
world. His attention is not driven to his own
sacrifice or the manipulation of the world. He
moves with subtle and dramatic intelligence, but
the effects of his action are not the moralization
of the world. He creates a moral world, an actual
world of love, only where understanding also arises
in the world.

There is a radical
distinction to be made between the action of the
man of understanding and the more or less ethical
motivations of society. His action depends on
understanding, whereas the social management’s of
mankind now depend on external matters more or less
independent of true consciousness. Therefore, his
action is not a pattern for an external morality.
He is not a model for the world. But he is the only
moral hope of the world.

My approach to the lives
of those I serve has duplicated the approach I made
to my own life. I have approached them on the level
of their ordinary dilemmas. I have even exploited
and magnified their particular patterns of
experience in myself. Then I have made these
exploits the ground for some insight, some
understanding, and as this understanding arose I
have moved into more fundamental representations of
their experience. By this I have hoped to move them
into a radical consideration of their primary
experiences and patterns.

But this manner of
teaching is very exhausting and difficult for me.
And very often I have devoted myself to people who
are incapable or unwilling to involve themselves in
a radical exercise. Therefore, my way of working
with others has begun to change. I want my writing
to replace my former work. Those who are capable of
understanding should discover their lessons in
relationship to the literature of understanding.
And I will work personally only with those who have
begun to work in a fundamental way.”

This manner of working
will enable me to create a circle of intelligent
people who can manifest the light and force I have
to give on the highest level. At the same time, the
instrument of my writing will work on its own to
serve those now and in the future who will begin
the understanding of the ordinary.

Franklin Jones (Adi Da
Samraj), unpublished writing, 1971.

Also see:

Not a rationalization,
just a fact:

“Whatever the model of
the universe in the context of which any Spiritual
Adept is conceived to arise in the human plane, the
teaching of the great Spiritual Adepts (whether
historical or legendary) always speaks in contrast
to the conventional ‘wisdom’ (or popular culture),
and (therefore) in contrast to the way of social
morality for its own sake, or the conventional

Dogmas of Social Morality Versus the Esoteric
Spiritual Teaching That Is At the Origin of
Traditional Religions

the Guru Awaken Individuals

Sleeth’s excellent letter on ‘why’ Adi