Concentration in thc Way of Divine Ignorance
August 20, 1977 – Adi Da Samraj
The practice of the Way of Divine Ignorance is founded in paradox. There is no direct method for removing either behavioral tendencies or the obsessive stream of thinking. Nonetheless, these patterns must be mastered and undone, since they are the essential content of the motivated, compulsive, and illusory display of egoic suffering, or subjective differentiation.
It is simply that they cannot come to rest by attacking them directly. Such only reinforces the subjective pattern itself, by establishing a double bind pattern in which the subjective being works against itself.
To try and stop thinking itself is the same as trying not to think a particular thought. Try not think of a tree. It is impossible, because you must keep the thing in mind in order to try and not think it.
The same is true of the strategic attempt to control the entire thinking mind itself. Try and not think. It is impossible, because the thinking process must be kept intact in order to intend not to think. If you remember not to think, you may keep up an effort that makes the mind blank, but you will not bring an end to the intention of thought itself. You will only frustrate your own intentional and automatic thought process.
This simple functional observation is the ultimate key to actual control of obsessive subjective activity, indeed, to responsible control of all life processes. To seek to control any living process directly only reinforces the process itself. This is felt as an irreducible double bind, the tacit sense of dilemma. Such a state is constantly motivated and remotivated to seek its own solution, but it remains forever in the condition of the problem.
There are two laws at work in the situation of living processes that should particularly be observed in this case:
1. What is initiated (or set in motion) tends to continue in motion (or in evidence) until diverted or replaced by another initiated motion.
2. What is not used tends to become obsolete. On the basis of these two laws we have the options of two primary modes of operation in any functional situation: concentration, and observation.
The stream of subjective appearances or impulses is a stream of motions or tendencies to either mental, emotional or physical action. The tendency of subjective motion is constant, until the process that initiates the subjective illusion, or the illusion of independent consciousness, becomes obsolete. Therefore, what tends to arise from moment to moment is not the cessation of the stream of subjectivity, but, rather, changes in its tendency of motion. Until we are utterly or radically responsible for subjective motion (as thought and impulse) we do not cease to initiate or continue the process. Therefore, the pattern of subjective thoughts and impulses, or feeling/stresses, is itself continuous, but it is constantly changing.
Our egoic mind is a pattern of countless motions, founded in many kinds of experience or reactivity, kept in a constantly stimulated and changing condition by the presently arising events of the total living experience. Therefore, subjective motion will not tend to cease, but always tends to continue and to change. Even physical death does not bring it to an end, since physical death is superficial or external relative to the field of energy in which the subjective process is initiated. The subjective process does not come to an end as a result of any objective or circumstantial change. Rather, like the physical body, it arises as a result of a reaction response at the level of light, or the field of Awareness, rather than as a result of solid, elemental, or material events, which are themselves only lower vibratory versions of the light itself. The thought, desire, or feeling impulse – the present tendency or direction of subjective motion – tends to change eventually, even momentarily, but subjective motion itself tends to be continuous, throughout life, after death, and throughout the eternity of time and space.
The ordinary method for controlling subjective motion is concentration, or the prolonged maintenance of a single intention of thought. But this does not tend to bring thought or intention itself to an end. On the contrary, it reinforces it. However, it does tend to prevent changes in the motion of subjectivity for a finite period of time. It fulfills the natural law: What is set in motion tends to remain in motion unless deflected or interrupted. Profound concentration on a single subjective motion prevents other tendencies from becoming effective, or replacing the intended motion. By constantly reintending the intended motion over time other tendencies of motion continue to arise, but they are cancelled or immediately replaced by the intended and reintended motion or thought.
Such is the secret of both meditation and ordinary effectiveness. However, as already suggested, this method does not bring an end to subjective motion since it is itself a form of intended subjective motion – but it does control and direct the process toward specific ends, either in the world of objective activity or in the subtle worlds of mind and higher subjective or mystical intuitive knowledge.
If, however, there is to be ultimate freedom and responsibility, there must also be an end to the compulsive continuation of subjective motions. To such an end, the method of concentration will not be the means. It is not itself a way of ceasing to initiate subjective motion, since it is only a way of continually intending a specific subjective motion. Even so, individuals constantly seek to overcome behavioral, mental, and egoic patterns by the method of concentration – and they are frustrated.
You cannot, as was said at the beginning of this essay, remove tendencies of behavior and of thinking, including the ego illusion, the illusion of independent consciousness itself, by direct efforts that only manipulate the egoic or subjective processes of conceiving, thinking, perceiving, feeling, desiring, and acting. Concentration is a method of effective and chosen use of the force of subjectivity and mind. It may temporarily bypass a particular tendency of thought or a complex impulse to action, but it cannot bring an end to subjective motion itself.
Therefore, any subjective motion that has been previously established in the complex subjective order will inevitably return to motivate us in the future. Even if contrary concentration is wilfully maintained to the point of trance, the motive or tendency we seek to avoid will arise again in time.
Therefore, meditation, which is founded in concentration, is not sufficient for enlightenment. It cannot achieve enlightenment, or prior and radical Feedom in Truth. It is simply a conventional and useful method for using our born functional capacity.
How, then, does the reactive, subjective, egoic, moving, impulsive, independent experiential drive itself come to rest as a matter of ultimate responsiblity? If the illusory and irresponsible motion of subjectivity is to cease, it must simply not be initiated!
This way sounds simple, but what will you do about it? The conventional response or wisdom is to try and stop thinking and motivated existence (rather than simply not thinking, not presuming an independent consciousness or any independent Object) . But the effort to stop what is otherwise already and irresponsibly initiated is only the way of concentration. It does not radically cease to initiate the motion of subjectivity. It only tries to stop or prevent the already and mysteriously initiated subjective tendencies or motions.
The true or ultimate and native means is not the direct one of concentration, which depends on the law that whatever is set in motion tends to remain in motion. Rather, the true means is the natural, free, or prior intuitive presumption of mere observation, which depends on the law that whatever is not used tends to become obsolete.
Whenever we are consciously present as simple awareness of arising motions (or internal and external objects arising to the egoic witness), we are not then principally active to initiate, continue, or bring an end to any arising tendencies Therefore, we do not then reinforce the presently arising pattern of subjective motion, nor do we reinforce the pattern of subjective, egoic arising or motion itself.
The Way of Divine Ignorance, in each of its four fundamental stages, is founded in the process of free feeling-attention, or mere intuitive observation of the whole process of the present arising of gross, subtle, and causal objects to present awareness. The conscious process in each stage is a version of this native disposition, which is not in conflict with present tendencies, but neither is it possessed by present tendencies. It is the key attitude of every stage. True observation, which is the foundation of the various forms of the conscious process in the midst of experience, does not create, intend, support, or oppose any arising, any subjective tendency or motion, or any moment of differentiation and objectification. Observation does not intend. It is not a form of subjectivity, but of prior intuition. Concentration, which includes all forms of meditation, conductivity, and so forth (as well as the meditative or intentional aspects of the application of the various forms of the conscious process is intentional. Concentration is the principle, the primary functional or intentional structure of egoic experience, or the motion of subjectivity, the play of consciousness and all objects (internal or external).
Paradoxically, the attitude of observation, or the intuitive rather than the intentional disposition, is not in itself a sufficient practical foundation for Realization of the whole Way of Divine Ignorance. In this Way, intuitive observation is always linked to and presently combined with various forms of responsible concentration of the whole bodily being. Thus, in every stage of practice, free feeling-attention, or mere observation, is linked with Lawful concentration, or appropriate and responsible activity of the whole bodily being. This dynamic combination of observation and concentration is the natural process wherein the whole bodily being is economized, or turned to its Lawful, sacrificial form, and also utterly or radically transcended or obviated at the same time. There is no appropriate element of irresponsibility at any stage of the process. It is always from the beginning, a matter of radical responsibility for the whole affair of arising experience, through responsible intention or concentration, and intuitive responsibility for attention, or mere observation.
Mere observation, or free feeling-attention, is not itself a form of subjective motion or intention. It is merely to observe arising motions. But true or intuitive observation cannot itself be intended. It can be obstructed, or made ambiguous. It can be temporarily, and even then only apparently, put to sleep, or “forgotten,” under the profusion of fascinations, distractions, desires, impulses, and all the forms of knowledge, high and low. But it is itself native to us at every moment. It is mere or free attention, or natural awareness of all events, within and without. It is always already true of us and as us, but we are free to be present as such mere awareness or mere presence only when we are intuitively free of identification with all forms of subjective motion, distraction or knowledge.
Thus, in every stage of practice, free feeling-attention, or mere observation, is linked with Lawful concentration, or appropriate and responsible activity of the whole bodily being.
It is always from the beginning, a matter of radical responsibility for the whole affair of arising experience
it is itself native to us at every moment
It is mere or free attention, or natural awareness of all events, within and without
Observation is true only in the effortless, native moment, in which Divine Ignorance is the obvious Condition of self and all conditions
Thus, new levels of sacrificial responsibility constantly appear as the devotee matures in the stages
Mere observation, or free feeling-attention, is not itself a form of subjective motion or intention
true or intuitive observation cannot itself be intended
Simple awareness of arising conditions is not willful, cool, detached, and self-involved
It is not looking-watching, whereby neither the egoic, subjective witness nor the witnessed objects ever change or become obsolete.
Simple awareness is not true “observation” when it is intended. When it is intended, it is at best a form of concentration, or meditation. Mere observation is not a condition in itself.
It does not turn toward or in on itself
It is not a method that can be taken up in order to control or watch arising events. It is not a strategy. It is not itself identified with any problem.
We are always already free or present as mere awareness of any arising conditions (gross, subtle, causal, waking, dreaming, or sleeping), unless the pattern of subject-object conditions has distracted us to the point of irresponsible absorption in condit ions themselves. Therefore, if we are so distracted, we will not tend to presume our native disposition of mere awareness of conditions, unless we arc awakened to that disposition (or free attention) via true “hearing,” or spontaneous intuition, in which the pattern of subjective motions is interrupted and its prior Condition revealed.
Such “hearing” occurs in the case of those who are drawn into the Company of the Spiritual Master; when attention is moved to concentrate in the Spiritual Master’s demonstration and argument, there is spontaneous awakening to true, “hearing” and the disposition of mere attention or intuitive observation. Devotees of the Spiritual Master are those who have thus “heard” the Teaching, and who are naturally committed to the forms of concentration. The Lawful or sacrificial disciplines, the forms of love or heart-radiance, including the various developments of the conscious process and of meditation. Which are revealed as obviously true when attention is liberated from the subjective stream of knowledge, or experience.
Simple awareness of arising conditions is not willful, cool, detached, and self-involved. It is not looking-watching, whereby neither the egoic, subjective witness nor the witnessed objects ever change or become obsolete. Such detachment is itself attachment, if only to the fixed position of the presumed and independent self, and, therefore, it only reinforces the ego illusion and its desires or conditions. Simple awareness is not true “observation” when it is intended. When it is intended, it is at best a form of concentration, or meditation. Mere observation is not a condition in itself.
It does not turn toward or in on itself. It is tacitly disposed to whatever arises, if anything arises, subjective or objective. It is not a method that can be taken up in order to control or watch arising events. It is not a strategy. It is not itself identified with any problem. It is simply our natural, present disposition when we are “hearing ,” that is, when we are simply at rest in the intuitive presumnption of Ignorance, rather than any subjective form, any experience, any condition, any kind of knowledge.
The true form of observation, or mere awareness, is native to the devotee in moments of “hearing” the Teaching, or in Revelations of the Divine Reality or Presence (rather than willful presumptions of the Reality or Presence). True observation is present in random (not strategic) self observation, and in true moments of the conscious process, as in Remembrance of the “Name of God” (or the Revealed Presence) enquiry, recognition, and radical intuition. It is not observation or simple awareness if it is a willful strategy, without the foundation of mere or intuitive observation or awareness. Observation is not self watching – which concentrates upon events intentionally, notices them, and identifies with the act and the data of the noticing. Observation is true only in the effortless, native moment, in which Divine Ignorance is the obvious Condition of self and all conditions. True observation does not merely confront or perceive a condition – rather, it is priorly free of that condition, and, therefore, intuitively recognizes it, feels it without obstruction, and dissolves (through non-reinforccment) its limiting and binding force. True observation is identical to Divine Ignorance, and, therefore, it acquires no knowledge by association with conditions, but abides as no mind, no experience, formless, pristine, and void. Thus, from observation, or free attention, which is identical to Divine Ignorance, springs the force of love, or unobstructed feeling, which is identical to Divine Radiance. Simple awareness, or non-strategic and intuitive observation, and love, or native concentration, are the practical expressions of the Divine Reality, or Ignorance-Radiance.
As the devotee persists in simple observation over time, changes and new responsibilities appear in the realm of subjective motion, concentration, action, and meditation. The forms of the conscious proccss, founded in intuitive observation (observation founded in the intuitive presumption of Divine Ignorance and in the Revelation of the Divine Condition), and randomly extended as either intentional or tacit understanding, do not reinforce the presently arising motion or intention, and, therefore, the present tendency is weakened. Over time, accumulated tendencies become obsolete in this manner. It is simply that in every moment of the conscious process, or mere observation, extended as intuitive understanding, they are not in fact intended. Thus, as irresponsible or automatic tendencies become weaker, new intentions (forms of Lawful, sacrificial, or more appropriate and responsible concentration) may be established. Thus, new levels of sacrificial responsibility constantly appear as the devotee matures in the stages.
more of this essay is incuded and it is from the same talk and is published in Enlighenment of the Whole Body under the title, The Psycho-Physical Principles of Observation and Concentration in the Way of Divine Ignorance.
As long as we live, the forms of responsible or Lawful concentration cannot and should not themselves be avoided-but they certainly become simpler and fewer. The process of mere or intuitive observation does not take place in a vacuum. There is not any tolerable or absolute cave in which to observe and not act, as long as tendencies (the persistence of subjective intentions) exist. Therefore, throughout the various stages, there appear new levels of free concentration, responsible sacrificial intention, or love, in the extending of the forms of the conscious process and of conductivity, both in meditation and in ordinary action, corresponding to freer levels of subjective simplicity.
From the very beginning of this practice, there must be free commitment (based on “hearing”) to a discipline of nondramatization of grosser reactive tendencies, that is, a tacit agreement to merely observe, as free attention, and without concern, the subjective tendencies that previously controlled your behavior. And this is combined with a coincident agreement to intentionally concentrate the whole bodily being as feeling in forms of Lawful (sacrificial, or appropriate and serving) activity, or love. These two aspects of the primary discipline are combined in various ways at every stage of the Way in a process of growing responsibility or freedom relative to the primal intention or cognition of differentiated consciousness.
The two primary tools-observation and concentration – are the structural principles of the whole process of the Way of Divine Ignorance. They are the instruments of responsibility or recognition of the seemingly irresponsible activities or appearances of thought and motivation, self and body, the whole display of independent conditions that arises as experience. However, this dynamic process that characterizes the Way is itself necessarily founded upon radical intuitive insight into the incident of differentiated or egoic experience. That intutition is the presumption of Ignorance itself, granted through “hearing.” It coincides with the tacit re-cognition that all subjective motion, the whole play of subject and object, is an unnecessary recoil, an unnecessary but primal action from which all conventional actions emanate as reactions by force of implication. The intuition of the prior Condition of all actions, reactions, and conditions is awake in the moment of the presumption of Ignorance. That presumption, including the tacit re-cognition of the non-necessity of all independent or differentiating and subjective motion, is the necessary foundation of the whole Way. It is Realized through listening, or profound attention to the Realized argument and mere Presence of the Spiritual Master, to the point of “hearing,” or feelingcommitment to the disciplines of the Way.
Therefore, the Way of Divine Ignorance is awakened as free attention (or “hearing”) through mere attention (or “listening”), and it is generated as a process or play of observation and concentration, or free feeling-attention and responsible or Lawful, sacrificial, appropriate action, until there is the spontaneous cessation of differentiating intention, or subject-object illusions, in Divine Translation. Divine Translation is not absorptive meditation, but Translation from the stream of independent subjectivity into the Prior Bliss-Fullness of the Divine Condition, the Infinity of Ignorance-Radiance, which knows no center, no independent self, no parts, no other, and no limits.
In the Way of Divine Communion, mere observation, awakened through “hearing,” is extended as the conscious process of random recollection, both tacit and intentional, of the Revealed Presence. Such recollection, founded as it is in prior intuitive Ignorance rather than subjective willfulness or egoic strategies in dilemma, is pure intuitive observation rather than a conventional form of self-possessed concentration.
In the Way of Relational Enquiry, the conscious process of mature recollection (the “Name of God”) has become a profound intuitive disposition that yields the whole and entire bodily being into and through a cycle of true self-observation (rather than selfwatching). This matures as that degree of intuitive insight wherein the conscious process of enquiry (in the form “Avoiding relationship?”) may be generated at random, as a tacit and intentional responsibility. When there is maturity in enquiry, wherein the reactive reflex of self-possession is continually released, then the whole bodily being may also be concentrated in the initial phase of conductivity (which follows naturally and spontaneously on the process of the “Breath of God”).
SELF OBSERVATION, UNDERSTANDING INSIGHT and SELF-WATCHING
July 26, 1975 – Adi Da Samraj (Bubba Free John)