Vital Shock – Method of the Siddhas – Bubba Free John – 1972



You may have noticed,
especially in the most difficult or anxious moments, a
persistent contraction, or tension of the whole lower trunk
of the body, from the heart to the abdomen. This tension
often feels like a fist or a stone, or a knot. Especially in
the areas of the navel or the solar plexus. It makes you
chronically anxious. Not only physically tense, but
emotionally, mentally, and psychically uneasy. This tangible
disturbance is evidence of a severe and profound reaction to
Bubba Free John – 1975

Adi Da Samraj Gives the Talk “Vital Shock”, in
which He “Considers” with His early devotees the
cramp in the vital region that is the fundamental response
of every born being to bodily existence, and how true
Spiritual life deals directly with the activity of the
“self”-contraction itself, not the strategies that
it manifests.
[Melrose Ashram, Los Angeles, November 9, 1972]

See all of this essay in
of the Siddhas book
on the

From “Vital
Shock” in My “Bright” Word

person lives in the state that I call “vital shock”.
Ultimately, this shock includes more than the vital. Indeed,
this shock operates even on a very subtle level. But its
most obvious (and directly motivating) form is the sense of
shock in the vital being.

Ordinarily, the vital – at its chief
center in the middle of the body – is contracted. You
constantly feel that contraction, even physically. You may
feel a kind of cramp, a tension in the middle of the body.
And everyone constantly tries to relieve that tension
through various experiences, various pleasures.

The vital center is like the shutter
of a camera. It curls in on itself in order to close, and
unfurls in order to open. It is like your hand. If you
clench your fist as tightly as you can, it eventually
becomes painful. Like your hand, the vital center is alive,
sentient – and, like your hand, the vital, when it
contracts, causes a painful sensation. Indeed, it causes not
only a physical sensation, but also many other repercussions
in life and conscious awareness.

Therefore, when this contraction
occurs in the vital, you not only get a cramp in the stomach
– you have an entire life of suffering.

Every aspect of vital existence is
controlled by this state, this vital shock. The patterns to
which people become addicted are simply extensions of this
contraction in the vital. For instance, in the course of
your life in My Avataric Divine Company, you may experience
periods of great difficulty, when you are continually
obsessed with various kinds of desires, various

At the beginning of such a period,
something occurred. Something in life, somewhere, assaulted
(or seemed to assault) the vital. All of the patterns, the
rituals, the strategies that began to arise in you were
reactions to that assault on the vital. The sensation (or
perception) of that assault, that “blow” to the vital, is
the form of vital shock that currently obsesses

But, even before you began the
present episode, vital shock was already your condition.
There is a continuous vital contraction. In fact, what
people are suffering is not their distinctive life-patterns
(or strategies) in and of themselves, but this original
shock, in the form of a primal reaction—the

The “self”-contraction may be
experienced as intense stimulation of life-energy (or
life-force) in the vital, felt as all of the various forms
of desire. The fundamental forms of this intense cramp of
energy – felt as the fire of desire in the vital – are the
dramas of money, food, and sex. If the cramp of obstruction
is severe, there is loss of vitality, desire, and function
in these same areas of life. No vitality – no

One who indulges in the exploitation
of desire is no longer conducting the force of life. In that
case, there is only the misuse of the life-force, the
reversing of it, the emptying of it. People do this because
the self-contraction is painful. You discover that, if the
life-force itself is diminished, the pain goes away. If the
hand goes to sleep, there is no pain from the clenching of
the fist. If you empty the vital of its force, the cramp is
not felt—even though the contraction

One who is self-indulgent empties
the vital constantly—and thereby feels relief, feels
open, feels satisfied. But, as soon as strength returns, the
pain is felt again—unless the person has exhausted and
contracted the vital to the point of impotence.

A person who is self-indulgent
tries, by every possible means, to get satisfied, to be free
of pain. But all such efforts are made from the point of
view of the “self”-contraction, the avoidance of
relationship. In that disposition, you will simply continue
your efforts—until the entire process of the search
fails, and you feel its failure. When you begin to really
feel that failure, then Satsang with Me becomes possible,
the life of “Radical” self-Understanding becomes
[from “Vital Shock”, in My “Bright”

See full
version of talk: “Vital Shock” in My “Bright”

“I was considering this crap in the
solar plexus with you the other evening. We were having a
conversation about the yoga of the frontal line. Perhaps the
most common experience people have of contraction in this
frontal line is a cramp over the solar plexus, the “knot in
the stomach” that people refer to. If you become aware that
you are suffering this knot and this anxiety over the solar
plexus, your first resort, by tendency at any rate, will be
to try to relax it. You will take deep breaths and so forth.
That may work if the contraction is rather superficial and
your attention is relatively free, but you may also discover
that you cannot do it, that you cannot relax it. In that
case, you will begin to think some more and work on your
trouble, whereas the most direct way of dealing with it is
to divert attention from this knot, rather, than keep
attention in, the knot and try to undo it. I suggest to you,
as a practical matter, that instead of keeping your
attention in this knot over the solar plexus and trying to
relax it you should simply remember that attention goes
wherever the knot is. Attention gravitates toward the
contracted states and becomes fretful suffers the pain of
these contractions gets stuck in these contractions and then
tries to work its way out of them, you see.

Well, this knot over the solar
plexus is occurring a little more than halfway down the
frontal line of the body. The Current of Life is not
descending below that point. The knot over the solar plexus
is a little bit like nausea, the urge to vomit, weeping, and
anger. This contraction is a revulsion, a reversal of the
Current in the frontal line of the body, and in effect it
prevents this line of force from going to its lower terminal
in the bodily base.

One way of naturally relieving this
contraction, in addition to the basic resort that is your
devotional practice, is to place your attention lower down
in the body, below the point where you feel that cramp. If
you place your attention above the point of disturbance, the
revulsion will continue. The most intelligent approach,
therefore, is to place your attention below that point,
where there already is no contraction, you see. Place your
attention below the navel in the vital battery region in the
genital region or at the perineum. Do nothing other than
that. Simply place your attention there, and then practice
the meditative disposition, the devotional disposition, the
breathing and relaxing that are your daily practice. You
will very likely notice that in those moments when you
otherwise would not be able to release such a contraction,
it will naturally relax, and you will enjoy the capacity to
breathe and feel and submit the total bodymind to this
Fullness. Indeed, this is how conductivity must be
practiced, by submitting yourself to the native disposition
of the body rather than fastening your attention to some
point in the circuit of the body-mind.

The way, then, to submit whole
bodily when the body-mind is in a contracted state is to
place your attention lower down in the line of the frontal
Current, place it in the lower abdomen, in the genital
region, in the perineum. In these regions there is in
general a residual sense of pleasure, because there is a
portion of this Current always descending – it does leak
through this knot, you see. Thus if you place attention in
this pleasurable expression of the Current, the knot, which
is being reinforced by holding attention in this anxious
place will tend to relax. Then resort to the devotional
disposition, and, the practice of, conductivity will be
found to be fruitful”.
Art of Spiritual Life
– Da
Free John 1983

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