The Way of the Whole Body Is Neither Eastern nor Western


Mound Magazine



1 no 5

November 1977

The Way of the Whole
Is Neither
Eastern nor Western

from a talk given by Bubba Free John

Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai,
South India,

September 7, 1977


The schools of the method of ascent
or the method of turning inward and away variously describe
the unitary experience of being one with God. The kundalini
yogis for example work toward a state of emergence and a
loss of, or diffusion of body consciousness, and blissful
awareness of light. The bindu or subtle door behind the
brows, known as the ajna chakra is the ultimate vision they

The shard yogis also describe this
bindu but it is the first of a series of eight stages of
ascending visionary experiences (see
). They would not say
that bindu is the ultimate. They would say that you must
penetrate it then pass through this and that phenomenon
while having visions and the like until ultimately you pass
beyond body consciousness to the condition that they regard
to be single and Ultimate.

But even these are essentially
states of awareness are themselves witness to states or
conditions of experience. Thus the school of the jnanis goes
beyond them does not even bother as a matter of fact, to get
into the process of ascent. Just as the shabd yogis do not
bother with the gross element of yoga, jnanis do not involve
themselves with either its gross or subtle aspects. They try
to merge themselves with that condition wherein the
“I”-consciousness, or the ‘ego, arises.

All of these schools which arose in
the East, and which still flourish there are dramatizations
of a psychological orientation. At the root of all of them
is an estimation of the multiple world as suffering in which
pleasures whatever they are, pass. The manifest world is not
permanent and
it is not true.
Thus, the proponents of these schools are reductivists –
they try to reduce manyness to one. They are also
subjectivists – they turn in rather than out – either toward
the subtle or toward what is prior – to the subtle as the
Condition that is Truth. But in all these cases the
condition identified as truthh is an alternative to the
present state. All Eastern approaches are based on this
psychology which is rooted in recoil or reaction to
conventional states of manifest existence. It is based on
doubt in other words, of being alive and existing in a
manifest realm.

Western psychology on the other hand
is based on a positive orientation toward manifest
existence. God created the world and God created me. There
is no inherent doubt relative to living and existing. There
is no built-in tendency to get away from the world. There is
reactivity but it is not a psychology or a philosophical
premise in which escape from the world is the scheme of life
itself. Of course people in the West are also subjective and
inward turned. When they have problems they become neurotic
and psychotic. But essentially the philosophy of reduction
is not inherent to the Western consciousness. The Western
consciousness stands in the sunlight born and moving to
fulfill itself, to elaborate its experience, to have more
and more complicated experience to fulfill itself. On the
other hand, it does not move to Infinity. It does not pass
beyond the condition that is confronted in the moment. And
therefore in itself it is simply life itself, partially
fulfilled and then failing. It essentially dramatizes the
very thing that the Oriental is criticizing.

Therefore, neither the Oriental or
left sided view nor the Occidental, or rightsided view, is
the Truth of the whole body. The Truth of the whole body is
simply the Truth. It is the prior Condition not an
alternative condition. It is not realized strategically. It
is tacitly true. It is the Truth of the whole body. It is
not to be associated with strategies and strategic
reactions. It is a process in which the whole body can
participate. Therefore it cannot be left sided simply nor
can it be right-sided simply. It cannot be exclusively
reductive, subjective, and other-worldly because that
approach excludes the right-sided, positive orientation
toward manifest life. On the other hand, it cannot be simply
turned outward and stopped short of Infinity as every

move and experience, because that
approach by passes the left-sided intention.

The Whole Body is the Way of Love.
It is not recoiling in any sense. It is not subjectivity nor
turning inward. It is relational to Infinity. It does not
stop short of any present relationship. It feels to Infinity
through every condition that arises. In this way, in any
moment when conditions do arise, the being is founded in
oneness, the Truth, at Infinity. Yet there is no recoiling,
no strategic separating from conditions themselves. And if
no conditions arise, then the being simply abides in that