The “Reality” You Are Asking Questions About Is Your Own Illusion
April 22, 1995
Devotee: Beloved Master, what was the purpose for this whole event of separation to have occurred? Why did it have to happen? I have always wanted to ask this question. I don’t understand.
Adi Da Samraj: You are asking the question from a point of view of presuming yourself to be separate. You are engaging in the exercise of naive realism, just presuming to be a body-mind and seeing reality from that point of view. And so you ask this question. If you had practiced to the point of Realization, and could take all of reality into account, were not merely fastened in that presumption of separateness, fastened to an organism, then see if you would still have that question.
The source of the question is not that you are looking at all of reality and coming up with a notion about it. The source of the question is your divorce from Reality – “How did all this separateness, all this blah-blah-blah, how did this occur?”, you see. You presume that separation has occurred, and that it has occurred in the form in which you perceive it to exist, which is an illusion based on a gesture of ignorant organism life.
But, in reality, it is not so. Reality Itself, Realized, is free of that complication that is based on your presumption. Reality doesn’t have to account for the illusion you are suffering from. Reality doesn’t contain that illusion. What is actually happening is not what you think, nor what you are presuming. What you are presuming is an illusion, ultimately. And if there was the Realization of reality, that question would not exist, because you would not be suffering the illusion. And then, seeing even this appearance, perhaps, in that Realized State, the question would not evolve and it would have no basis, because Reality is not what you think, or, as Shakespeare says, “There is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy.”
You are constructed in your questioning by egoic “self-possession”, by illusion, by results of error, and so on. So you want to account for what you think to be reality by asking great questions and wanting great answers. But the question itself is based on illusion. What you think exists doesn’t exist.
Devotee:I do understand that. I understand that illusion my question is based on. I just don’t understand what the point was of this whole event.
Adi Da Samraj: What event? The event you are suggesting exists and asking “Whats the point of it?” is not what it seems to be to you. So there is no ultimate answer for it-like “Did it come from some Divine Intention, blah-blah-blah-blah-blah?”, because it doesn’t exist . Its just a presumption. Reality is actually much more profound than your question suggests.
Devotee: I intuit that, Lord.
Adi Da Samraj: Yes, but then you still ask, “But why is all of this happening?” All of what? You see, the “all of this” that you are asking the “why” of is your illusion of Reality. Your illusion of reality, then, is your creation. I don’t have to give you some metaphysical, theological explanation, and so forth, you see. That reality which you are asking Me about-“Why does it happen, and whats the point of it?”-is entirely your creation, and is not a universal reality or condition. Its entirely your creation, this separate thing and all the rest of it you perceive on the basis of it, you see. Why did it happen? You did it. You tell Me-why are you doing this? Hm?
Devotee: Well, my question is, why are any of us doing this?
Adi Da Samraj: Well, I have thoroughly accounted for it: self-contraction. It doesn’t have any great purpose. You are doing it out of fear. You are perceiving reality out of fear, because you have reacted to your apparent association with a mortal organism, and your questions come from this. But not only your questions-your perception of reality comes from this, you see. So that thing that you’re wondering about-“Why isnt it, whats the purpose, blah-blah-blah-blah-blah?”- doesn’t have any purpose. You are doing it.
Devotee: I don’t understand why, in the whole cosmic creation, this had to happen.
Adi Da Samraj: What you are presuming to be the whole cosmic creation, or whatever, or what you are perceiving to be reality, is just an evolute, an extension, of your own self-contraction. Its not the universal reality, its your illusion , the result of your self – contraction ! It doesnt have any purpose, except for you. You see?
What you perceive to be a universe, a cosmos of separate things, and blah-blah-blah, doesnt really exist. Its a result. Your perception suggests that it is such. It is not in reality such. What you perceive to be reality is a naive realistic notion based on your own fear, your own self-contraction. Its not a universal reality. The universal reality is quite different than you perceive it to be in your self-contraction. So this great cosmos that you presume to be a separate something, full of separate somethings, and separate beings, and so forth, is not so ! It is your presumption, based on a local activity-self-contraction. And so you must go beyond that, and, by this Process in My Company, Realize reality itself, no longer asking questions from the egoic point of view and no longer perceiving reality from the egoic point of view.
Then, in that Realization Itself, your question is answered, vanished, undermined. It no longer exists, because the illusion doesnt exist, you see. Then, bereft of illusion, self-contraction, egoity and its effects, there is the Realization of reality. And the reality of the cosmic domain is not what you are now perceiving it to be. Its not that way. I tell you quite frankly and directly, it is not at all what you are thinking and perceiving it to be. So that which you are referring to does not exist, except as an illusion on your part. So its not a universal reality. Its just an effect of your own self-contraction.
The cause of that thing you are asking Me to account for is you . Even the cosmic domain is quite different than you perceive it to be in your self-contracted illusion. So it doesnt have to be accounted for by some universal or ultimate description of cause. Its not caused by That Which is universal or Ultimate. Its caused by you . By virtue of your self-contraction, you think and perceive reality to be a particular kind, and thats not what it is.
So relative to your question, the true answer, then, is that even the question itself and all of your perception and the thing you’re wondering about is an illusion based on your own fear. And it is not necessary. It is not caused by any Divine or otherwise universal Force. Its caused just by you, in your fear. You feeling identified with a mortal organism, you see, produces all kinds of illusion and, therefore, questions. And you expect answers to your questions to somehow be satisfactory from your egoic point of view.
An illusion does not have to be accounted for in ultimate or universal terms. An illusion must be transcended. It is false. Hm? This great cosmos-how much of it do you experience, by the way?-this great cosmos does not exist in the form that you presently think it exists. Its like, you look up into the night sky and-Ah! there are the stars! They are all at different distances from earth, which is your point of view for perceiving them. And light in the functional domain of the cosmos has a certain speed. It takes a certain time for things to be perceived at a distance. All those stars are at different distances. So you look up at the night sky and you see the stars and so forth, and there they are-but they are not there! Those stars are actually in quite different positions than you perceive them to be, in this location. you’re looking at an illusion of light. you’re not only looking at an illusion of light, you’re looking at it from the point of view of a presumed separate perceiver, self-bound in a body and full of fear. So how much of the cosmic domain are you actually accounting for? you’re just suffering yourself, and looking at everything from the point of view of that suffering, that limitation. You are not seeing it as it is. Mm?
Speaking from the point of view of ordinary knowledge, the term “universe” refers to a local system, in some location in space-time. The totality is not rightly described as “universe”. So I call it the “cosmic domain”. In reality, the cosmic domain exists in Infinite Ecstasy, without the slightest differentiation. And, while in some sense it may be said to appear, it does not. In reality, there is not the slightest differentiation. So the Condition of even the cosmic domain is Infinite, Unbounded Ecstasy, without the slightest differentiation.
You have asked Me your question, describing, even in your question, the cosmic domain as being about separations and separate persons, separate beings, separate things, separate everything, and all the things that go along with it in human terms-the suffering, the limitations, and so forth. But thats not how I just described the cosmic domain. In reality, the cosmic domain is as I just described it. It is, and it is not. It is in Ecstasy, and it is without differentiation. That is reality.
Mysteriously, then, in that reality, there can be the illusion of separation. There is no “why” about it, as if it is caused. It is not caused by some Ultimate Will. Its an illusion, a presumption-possible within this Infinity, because everything exists. But even though everything exists, it is without differentiation, without error. It is Ecstatic, it is all Love-Bliss, and without the slightest separation.
So there is no Divinity causing egoity, separateness, and suffering. That is a local-universe gesture-so local a universe, its not very large. It takes forms like your own body-mind-which is a kind of universe, which, by a subtle gesture of reaction, has entered into the presumption of separation, or non-Ecstasy, has entered into the presumption of differentiation, and is under its own illusion.
This illusion is not necessary. The self-contraction itself is not necessary. It is not caused from without by some universal or Divine Cause. It is a possibility in the context of everything. So you are making that presumption, but you are making it. It wasnt forced upon you. It is not necessary, and you can transcend it. And you can Realize the True Condition, the Reality-Condition, from Which even the question you just asked is nonsense! But its not nonsense from the point of view of your own contracted condition. By self-contraction you cut the lines of Force that are the mechanism of universal Ecstasy and Unity, without differentiation. No one caused it. There is no universal Force causing it, no evil force causing it, no Divine Force causing it. Its a strictly local manifestation that can be overcome.
Perhaps you did not know this before. Thats why I am here-so that you can be Drawn out of your illusion, Realize the circumstance of reality, transcend your suffering, your questions, and so on.
Now, speaking locally, then-not only local universe, but local you -you are living on the basis of self-contraction, fear of your own locality, fear of process. You want to be a “thing”, you want to be some ” one “. But the proceedings of reality are process, without differentiation, without separateness. Although you are clinging to your own position, no position can be maintained forever. All positions dissolve into other positions in process. There is no fixed position, no separateness at all . To presume it is to be under an illusion and to cause your own suffering. Your own suffering is not caused from without. Your egoity-your suffering, in other words-is not caused by the Divine or some universal Force. It is not necessary. Its a liability inherent in reality, but its not reality itself.
Devotee: But why is it a liability inherent in reality? Other than the fact that everything can arise within reality? Im not looking for a moral answer (I don’t think), but I just don’t understand the necessity for that.
Adi Da Samraj: But you’re looking outside yourself. There is no necessity for it. You are doing it. Examine yourself, you see, and thats the answer. Not all the objective things-the perceptions, the questions, and so forth-but your own search, your own self-contraction is what you must address. And, in examining it, you will see the “why” of it. It has no Ultimate, or universal, or Divine Purpose. Its something you are doing, by presuming to be you, in the separate sense, because you are afraid rather than surrendered.
Reality-universally, ultimately-is inherently and infinitely surrendered. The infinitely surrendered cosmos can be said to be “caused” in some sense, but not the un surrendered universe. Blessed to exist in infinite complexity without differentiation-thats a Gift, thats the Divine Gift. But you have presumed your separateness and broken the threads, the cords of Unity.
With this Blessing to be allowed universal existence, without differentiation, comes the possibility of divorcing yourself from it. Hm? Reality itself is not a problem and is not in pain. Being Blessed with this Play of forms in Bliss, you have chosen, for the moment, to differentiate yourself, as a “you”, in this self-contracted sense. But its not part of the universal existence. Its not part of reality. Reality, even in the multiplication of forms, is just a Blessing, in Bliss. But the forms-appearing, by Blessing- can divorce themselves.
So that Blessing, by Grace Manifested at all, Comes in Person sometimes, to relieve you of your illusion, of your distress, your suffering-because you are doing the suffering, and the collective of like-minded divorced beings are doing the suffering. Not merely experiencing or suffering the suffering- doing the suffering. Hm?
This is what I tell you, then. “Consider” it.
Even your questions come from this suffering, from your own act. Even the human bodily form is a Blessing, you see, a spontaneous Blessing without differentiation, is all Love-Bliss. you’re making it into a problem. Yes, there are discrete forms, in some sense, but they are in utter Unity, blended with one another absolutely, and in process eternally. So theres no fault in the fact of universal cosmic manifestation, no lack of Bliss or Ecstasy in it. But that Blessing having been Given, these apparent forms can divorce themselves from the Unity. Even though they are necessarily associated with Consciousness, because it is the universal reality, these forms can divorce themselves from the Unity. They can contract, they can react, rather than submit. Thats what you’re doing-reacting rather than submitting, not trusting the Condition in Which you are apparently arising.
Really, it all comes down to this lack of trust, or un-Love. If your heart were full, you would live in this Ecstasy, and even the cosmic domain is a dance of appearance and disappearance, but no fault. So you are out of joint with this Blessing, and I am Revealing to you-have Revealed to you-how to get with it. You must surrender. You must trust, just as, when an infant, newly born, you trusted your mother. While lying in the womb, there was inherent trust. Thats why the fetus grew, without complaint, without complication. It existed, heart-born, in utter trust of its container, its associate, its source, the energies of its existence-in Bliss.
Then you get booped out of the womb, you see, cut off the cord, and-hhht! hhht! hhht! [imitating gasping for air]-air, and more and more experiences. You fall out of this Reality of Bliss, because of fear. You could just as well have feared not , continued to trust absolutely. You could have just as well not been concerned about process based on appearance. Then you would have been blended with the Whole, in Ecstasy, and maybe still walk and talk.
But instead, you got uptight, you got afraid. Hm? And violated the Law-lost trust, lost faith, lost love, presumed you were threatened-and you have made an entire culture out of it, an entire way of life out of it-out of fear. Fear is just mistrust of reality. Ordinary fear is a mechanism in the body to react to physical threats to your survival. Thats just a moment. But constant fear, anxiety, egoic “self-possession”, negativity, isolation-thats your own doing. It has no survival use. It has no great purpose. Its just lack of trust, failure to surrender.
If you don’t trust, if you don’t surrender, if you don’t live in the Infinite Ecstatic Sphere of Love, then you come up with questions like the one you just asked Me. Trust, love, enter into Ecstasy, enter into Reality-then there is no question about it, because the cosmic domain is not something booped out like a baby, separate forever and suffering. The cosmic domain exists in the Luxury of Infinite Love-Bliss, without differentiation, allowing the proceedings of changes-even births, deaths, all the rest-without the slightest philosophical or metaphysical complication about it.
So anything that is complicated about it is your own lack of trust, your own self-contraction. Out of this you make questions and life-activities that are based on an illusion of un-Love, non-Ecstasy, an illusion of differentiation.
Theres nothing wrong with the cosmos. Its not separate from the Divine Domain. It is not separate from Me. This is what I am Revealing to you. But if you start asking questions about the cosmic domain which are based on the presumption of separation, you are already under an illusion, so you want to blame the universe and God for your suffering. But it didnt come from there-the suffering didnt come from there. It comes from you. Hm?
All the fishes in the sea are in process, ultimately like trash. And you, too. But, in Ecstasy, absolute Trust, without differentiation, in the Samadhi of Divine Realization, it is all allowable. It is all a Grand Display, a Play, a Play in Ecstasy. A Great Gift, to be in Infinite Play.
This is why the Source-Condition, the Divine Reality, is sometimes pictured in ferocious and obscene forms-like the Kali image in the Hindu tradition-suggesting that you be Ecstatic in the circumstance of death, of apparent suffering, of process, that, even to trust and Commune with the Divine, you must accept process, death, and not wink. Hm? Not in the slightest.
Of course, you all like to imagine that the Divine is telling you, “Everythings okay. I love you, just love one another, everythings fine.” You don’t want no Mother Kali! With thousands of arms lifting up heads of beings chopped off, fangs, suggesting to you that Ecstasy requires trust and the utter acceptance of death! No, you want some comforting message, a rather utopian message that doesnt require you to transcend yourself or accept the appearance of reality as just an appearance in the context of That Which is Infinite Love-Bliss without the slightest differentiation.
Ramakrishna was one of those devoted to the Divine as that Force Which is also about death. He went into Ecstasy relating to the Divine in that manner, you see. He didnt fear death. He accepted process, but not as itself Reality, just an appearance. For Him, Reality is Ecstasy. No differentiation. Didnt require the vanishing of this. Didnt cling to it, didnt dissociate from it.
But you think death of bodies and all of that is a philosophical matter that causes untrust, distrust in you, and fear, and that fills you with philosophical propositions that are Godless, Ecstasyless, Loveless, Blissless.
As a matter of fact, the cosmic domain is just like Mother Kali. Exactly so. It is full of death, full of process, full of changes. So, maybe a way to put it in brief is: In the face of all this that appears, don’t lose your life-force. don’t distrust. don’t be a naive realist.
So I said that. What else?
Devotee: You have Drawn me beyond my question.
Adi Da Samraj: Mm. Then thats really what its about. The resolution of questions is not really in the answers, but in the transcendence of the question. The Way of the Heart is not about seeking and achieving one end or another. Its about the transcendence of seeking itself; transcendence of the cause of seeking, which is self-contraction.
You all haven’t even seen the cosmos yet. Not as it is, you see. you’re “Narcissus” at the pond. you’re preoccupied with yourself. You don’t see reality, conditional or Unconditional, except through this illusion of divorce from trust, Love-Bliss, undifferentiated Unity.
So the body is going to die. Thats it, thats right. But theres not a jot of differentiation in the True and Divine Condition when that occurs.
Devotee: Beloved, You do Give Your Devotees glimpses of that.
Adi Da Samraj: I am here to Give you more than a glimpse. Shivapuri Baba was asked, you know, about God-Realization, suffering, and so forth. He said, “Yes, the suffering is still there, in some sense, but it doesnt hurt”. Theres no one to be hurt. It doesnt carry with it the implication of differentiation or of divorce from Ecstasy.
From the point of view of the ego, the day of death has got a lot of fear potential in it. You just tend to participate in it in a naive realism sense, focused on it as a gross event that implicates you negatively-or you may have some hopes, some aspirations, some motive to practice, some way of dealing with it thats more profound. Thats an individual matter. But for those who are Godward and do right sadhana, they not only live rightly and transcend all apparent limitations, but they die rightly and transcend all of its limitations. Doesnt mean its a casual day. Its one of those really good, profound days. Not some pain-in-the-ass boring day.
In fact, all beings are arising in the same Divine Radiance and Consciousness. All , everything. All is One in That. Nevertheless, all beings want to live . They want to exist . All would struggle to survive in the moment of intrusion. The fish in the sea, the fly on the wall, the mosquito-they all experience the same sense of self-contracted differentiation and a will to survive as that. All . If you understand this, you can’t draw the lines or the circles around your own sphere and be just localized in your love and compassion. Your compassion, your understanding, must extend to all that is . How can you possibly protect it? How can you possibly protect all? You can’t. How can you prevent death? How can you prevent killing, when your own body kills living organisms who want to live? Hm? When just breathing kills them? When just doing whatever you have to do to eat, to feed the body, to make it survive, kills something or other, even if a plant or something? You cannot be perfect in that sense. You cannot be morally righteous. There is no non-killing. Its an infinite realm of death .
But from your self-contracted, self-generated-suffering point of view, you see, you can’t understand that, and you can’t function infinitely. And so your virtues are all local (if they exist at all), still result in suffering. In your own lifetime, you have already killed billions upon billions of beings. You have killed billions this very day, all of whom wanted to live.
So, what is going on here? This manifestation is a plane of universal sacrifice. It is a process in which all forms appear, continue for a while, are subject to intrusions, apparent differences, effects, and then die-but without bringing an end to life or the process itself, without bringing an end to Consciousness Itself. And there is nothing you can do about it-not absolutely, to the point of perfection, to the point of moral righteousness-absolutely nothing .
So, to understand the “meaning”, so to speak, of cosmic existence, in which beings die, you must examine all of this and be intelligent about it. You must accept the fact that the cosmic domain is a realm of universal sacrifice. It is Wisdom to appreciate this. And True Wisdom is to appreciate it to the point that you transcend all negativity about it. But to do that, you must transcend your own self-contraction, your own separateness, your own egoity, and become Godward and Drawn into that Domain in Which there is no fault, no death. You must accept that your own body-mind is a sacrifice, the body-minds of all are a sacrifice. And even though you can be gentle to some degree locally, you cannot avoid death, or sacrifice.
Death is essential to the reality of this cosmic process. Every apparent form, although in Reality not differentiated, nonetheless in its appearance goes through changes, suffers influences, exists for a time that cannot be predetermined, and then is disintegrated. Yes, there are continuations on a subtler level, and so forth, but it is still the same process: endless changing, endless change, process, endless sacrifice. Reality is sacrifice. The cosmic reality is sacrifice.
Self-protective, self-contracted, you only suffer it. You lose faith, become loveless, in doubt, and full of fear, and then maybe even try devices-like somehow avoid all death, avoid killing. Well, thats impossible. In Truth, then, there must be a fundamental acceptance of sacrifice, of death, of process, of changes. It doesnt mean liking the process of sacrifice. But it does mean a fundamental acceptance of it. But in that acceptance there must be the relinquishment of self-contraction. In that relinquishment there is participation in process with faith, with trust, with love-ultimately to the point of outgrowing and going beyond the negative drama of sacrifice, to the point of entering into the Source of the infinite meal of sacrifice that is the cosmic domain.
You must outgrow your self-contraction and cease to be localized in your disposition. But, having ceased to be localized in your disposition, you must proceed as part of the meal. Become a sacrifice, make meaning out of your apparent life, then, by making it into an intentional sacrifice, full of love and faith and trust, full of self-surrender, Godwardness, God-Communion. Instead of fearing your death, intentionally use your life as a sacrifice. Make it a right and positive sacrifice, a service of love, of compassion, without self-concern. Not serving separate self-serving the Ecstasy of the Whole.
And, as much as you can, relieve the suffering of beings. Minimize it. Its the best you can, do. But you can’t be righteous about it. You can’t be absolutely pure. You must be free of egoic self, and full of trust and love, full of surrender. Be compassionate, and overcome your fear of death by allowing your own apparent form to be a sacrifice-not by violent acts on your person but by service, by love. Enjoy a happy, compassionate companionship with all beings, with the entire cosmic domain. In other words, do not differentiate yourself, do not refuse your own sacrifice. Trust that death is just part of the process in the Divine as long as you are gifted with this form of perception. Be Godward and continue to grow, and this form of perception will pass, you see. You will have to be a sacrifice constantly, as all beings are required to be a sacrifice, until you are Divinely Translated beyond this perception. But, even while this perception exists, be grateful. What an extraordinary Gift! You could just as well not exist, instead. Therefore, be grateful.
What if there were no Divinity, no Absolute, no cosmos, no life, no forms, no persons, no relations, no love? No insistence, then – with you being free to make the choice – no insistence upon Unity, upon love, upon trust
What a Gift it is that there is the cosmic domain! It is an undifferentiated domain of Bliss, one with the Divine Domain! But it has these apparently discrete manifestations, which should not be the basis of separateness. It should just be the basis for sacrifice, for love, for Godwardness. Be grateful that you have this opportunity, rather than nothing
And this something exists in Infinite Bliss. You have infinite opportunity. Thus, the way to transcend your fear is to become a sacrifice in love, full of trust, and Godward and serving.
Adi Da Samraj