Your Hidden Destiny
a talk by
Adi Da Samraj (Heart-Master Da)
July 31, 1983
MASTER DA: By tendency, ego-bound individuals invest only a portion of themselves in practice of the Way. They bring to school only the most superficial aspect of themselves–their social, outward character. Behind that superficial character is a hidden personality that comes out in the difficult circumstances of life, particularly those that impinge upon the emotional being. You must become sensitive to this hidden personality and oblige yourself to go to school with your whole personality.
If you are not obliged by right understanding of your practice to submit yourself in totality to the spiritual process, you could seem to be even an advanced practitioner at any moment. However, if you are obliged to consistently demonstrate a stage of practice beyond your level of real responsibility, you begin to show signs of difficulty. You simply cannot practice any better than you practice at the feeling level, in the emotional domain of your hidden personality that only comes forward in difficult confrontations. You practice no better or deeper than that. That dimension must be brought to school. If it has not been touched, then you are still in the domain of listening, and listening is your discipline, then. If you assume any other discipline, you will either show signs of obvious emotional aberration or you will simply magnify your relatively feelingless social personality, which looks like it has got it all together. You will be an idealistic character who can conform to orderly patterns rather easily. Of course, none of that has anything to do with practice.
You must bring the feeling being to school and submit it to my Argument, to the community, and to me. Through self-understanding you must relinquish your commitment to your hidden destiny. Only then can you see and practice and transcend all the limits on the core of the personality. This basic principle applies to every practitioner.
DEVOTEE: When I consider your Argument, Master, it seems that the only option is to be Consciousness or not, which is the Perfect Practice. Sometimes I feel I am able to practice the admonition to be consciousness. However, I am only practicing at the beginning level.
MASTER DA: (Laughing): Yes, “be Consciousness or not.” In your case, it is “not.”
Everyone who has heard me even a little bit is enlightened with a small “e.” Any devotee who has heard me in any sense at all can confess the Truth when confronting my Argument very directly, the same as someone who confesses the disposition of the seventh stage of life or the earlier stages of the Perfect Practice. However, the fact that you can make such a confession does not mean you are established without cause in that Transcendental state.
You are tending to identify moment to moment with the self-contraction, as a matter of course. Therefore, a specific discipline is appropriate in your case. The character you animate by tendency must be taken seriously. It determines the discipline that is appropriate for you, and there is a different discipline for each individual.
You must be vulnerable, and bring yourself to my Argument, to the critical force of this community gathering, and to me personally, with every aspect of your personality. Devote yourself to the practical disciplines, nearly all of which are your obligation at the beginning level. Do not approach study merely as an intellectual exercise. Bring yourself to the “tooth” of my Argument as it confronts every aspect of your personality. Observe yourself in every shade of your expression in daily life until hearing coincides with self-understanding and a self-transcending disposition relative to every aspect of your personality–social, physical, emotional, mental, and psychic. Then you will be truly available to my Transmission, and the next stage of your maturing practice will appear.
As you say, you must “be Consciousness or not.” However, you cannot be Consciousness until Consciousness is your state without cause. That state can be true of you only if energy and attention are released from the self-contraction. Such release requires the discipline of the yoga of consideration, from its earliest stages through to its final stage. The yoga of consideration is the discipline that prepares you and fully qualifies you to truly practice the third stage of the Perfect Practice. You cannot bypass that discipline. Otherwise, everyone could begin with the yoga of the seventh stage of life. Apart from occasional moments when you are at your best, you would find it unbearable to be met with the obligation of the seventh stage. It is not the right discipline, because it cannot include all your moments.
You must associate yourself with a discipline that you can practice in every moment and that coincides with your level of responsibility. If you release energy and attention from the self-bond at every level, then ultimately you will be able to practice the yoga of the seventh stage of life. You will be truly qualified for it. You cannot practice the seventh stage yoga without the qualifications of consistent, uncaused, native Abiding in the Transcendental Self-Position, and the siddhi of recognition that is manifested spontaneously moment to moment. It is difficult enough to practice the seventh stage yoga, even if you have Awakened. If you have not, it is impossible.
We cannot deny the best moments of everyone here. However, if we acknowledged merely the best moments, everyone would be practicing in The Crazy Wisdom Fellowship. For the sake of your practice we must acknowledge how you practice in difficult moments as well as in the ordinary moments of daily life. What you do in the difficult moments determines what your discipline should be, not the fact that sometimes you can even confess the Realization coincident with the seventh stage of life. In fact, a devotee could do this every day.
There is not an absolute difference in kind between someone who is practicing in The Crazy Wisdom Fellowship and someone who is practicing in the beginning level. Even those practicing in the beginning level, or certainly in The Free Communion Church, enjoy times when they feel sublimed by Divine Transmission, or understanding. Perhaps they could even confess the Great Awakening, but It would not be consistently true of them. Their energy and attention are bound up in the mechanics of existence so profoundly that they must practice a unique discipline–the yoga of consideration in one or another of its stages–until energy and attention are released from bondage. Then they can be natively established in the disposition wherein the yoga of the seventh stage of life can be confessed and demonstrated.
There is a level of hearing that can be attained rather easily by anyone who is at all disposed toward this Way. It involves the participation of only the superficial social personality. You must hear at a more profound level, however, to really practice this Way. If some portion of yourself has not been brought to school, has not heard and is not submitted, that portion in itself obliges you to stand in an earlier stage of practice. You should not think of an earlier stage of practice as some sort of lesser status, because the spiritual process is not about acquiring status. Your level of discipline should correspond to the true level of your responsibility in the face of all the testing that I myself and this community can bring to you. Such testing gives you signs and evidence. If we are sensitive, all of us know everyone else’s stage of practice by these signs. If the test that life creates for you or the test that is generated in my Company demonstrates that you are chronically obstructed at a more profound level than the social personality, such evidence suggests that you need to bring that dimension to the school of listening.
You must not merely listen by granting attention to the verbal Argument. You must listen and hear emotionally, and observe, understand, and transcend yourself. You must awaken to the disposition of self-transcendence emotionally, sexually, socially, and altogether. Then your participation in the ‘process of seeing and practicing can be magnified beyond the relative superficiality of the usual man’s or woman’s involvement in spiritual life and religious community. We are not here merely to create some sort of commune based on idealistic principles. I call and demand you to practice with the total commitment of the being.
You have been associated with me and with this community for a number of years. Obviously a level of hearing, seeing, and practicing exists in you, but another dimension is almost entirely untouched. It is almost virgin insanity. It has not listened or heard, and it is not associated with the self transcending disposition. It is like an anchor lying in the sea while the ship is trying to move at top speed. You must bring yourself to school at that level. You must bring yourself to school again and again and again in this Way of life–it is a terrible ordeal. I acknowledge this. I myself have had to go through it, and still do. It cannot be avoided. There is no way at all that we can set it aside and say that spiritual life is just a pleasantry. Spiritual life is not meditation, seeing visions, and going to heaven at death. It is a very, very difficult ordeal–but all of life is. Birth is difficult, death is difficult, and everything in between and afterwards is difficult.
You must constantly submit yourself to acknowledge the realities you discover in yourself. Bring to school that which you know about anew or for the first time. Practice to the point of self-observation, to the point of awakening the self transcending disposition in areas of your being you did not bring to school before. To do so introduces an element of chaos into our institution, and such chaos is fine! It is a living, human, real process, with no bullshit. We must be free to allow new levels of reality to be introduced and we must be free to send ourselves back to school. So what! You get amused by changing circumstances when you play Monopoly–why should you not be so amused in life?
When you have cut through it and everything down to the last jot is submitted, then you can make the ultimate Confession. That is good. However, you cannot bypass this ordeal. If you try to submit yourself to a stage of practice that is advanced beyond your true level of responsibility, you will bog down in difficulties and illusions.
The ordeal associated with the beginning level of our practice should be appreciated. Perhaps you think that The Laughing Man Institute is a street level, public introduction to the Teaching, and that you do not really get down to it until you enter The Free Communion Church. That is not the way it is at all. The introductory level is served by our public work, our public lectures, and the Friends’ program. The Laughing Man Institute is a very serious, profound level of practice. It is the foundation of everything that follows. There is a great obligation at that level to hear, to observe yourself, to understand, and to enter into the self-transcending disposition in every area of the personality. There is far more to it than taking courses, listening to lectures, and absorbing the structures of my Argument. You must enter into consideration, you must submit yourself to the Argument, you must let it touch your public self and your hidden self. If you do not, maybe you can fool yourself and others for a while and then seem to move on to a more advanced stage of practice, but sooner or later you will have to go back to that school.
The essence of hearing is to observe and understand yourself at the feeling level of the being, the part of you that remains relatively untouched as long as you are designed in egoic fashion. The core of egoity is contraction at the feeling level, and that contraction infests every aspect of the functional being. Therefore, the core of liberation and hearing is at the feeling level.
To make yourself that vulnerable, to observe yourself that profoundly is a great ordeal. Human beings are used to living according to convention, through putting forward only portions of the self. Human beings remain relatively untouched except in the most difficult circumstances of their lives. Even when they are touched, they learn very little and their responsibility level increases very little. Remarkably, the obligation I place upon you is to be established always in the feeling domain. That is where Consciousness is. “Consciousness or not” — that choice is at the heart, not in the intellectual domain. It is at the real level of the being. Egos, people living downtown in the ordinary world, are not used to being emotionally vulnerable. To practice this Way you must always be emotionally vulnerable! You see how difficult this trial is, then.
You are not used to being submitted in this instant with the full force of the feeling being. You are armored against such submission. That is why the first level of our Way, which involves listening to the point of hearing, is so profound. It calls you to confront my Argument and to consider it all together, with every aspect of the personality, in the emotional domain.
I am not trying to create another institution alongside all other institutions just to create order in the world and make people nice to one another. You do not need me to do that. You do not need another Teaching to do that. There is sufficient teaching already that can make you into a nice, orderly, relatively harmless person under most circumstances. That is not what I am here to do.
Maybe all devotees should go back again and again to The Laughing Man Institute. So what! That is fine. Be damned glad we have a Laughing Man Institute to go to. (Laughs.) Why should you care? It is all to serve you. We are not sending you away. We are not separating you from Grace. We are giving you access to Grace by associating you with a proper discipline in every moment, until Grace grants you the greatest possible access in every moment. You are not being denied anything. there is no status in being in an advanced level. If it is true of you, fine. If it is not, go where you should be and practice the discipline you should be practicing. You will still have access to me, to Grace, to this Way of life, and to this community. there is no praise, no blame, nothing lost, nothing to be resisted. We have a structure of practice that should help every individual to pass truly through the ordeal of transcendence and enter into the seventh stage of practice. And to make that transition should be everyone’s interest.
Change your level of practice every day or week, it necessary! Of course, your level of practice will not change so frequently, but you should be able to go forward or backward without concern. It is all submission to the same Reality, all based on the same Confession. Who cares? I do not care. I do not care any more for devotees in the Crazy Wisdom Fellowship than I do for devotees in The Laughing Man Institute! I simply acknowledge a different level of responsibility for each level of practice. Of course, I am fiercely interested in having everyone practice the ultimate discipline, but we cannot manufacture such a circumstance overnight simply because that would be the best way for it to be.
As Freud said, “If you don’t pay for it, you don’t get better.” (Laughter.) Because I have heard Freud say this in so many movies, I have gotten to the point where I think that Freud actually said it! I say, however, that even if you pay for it, you do not necessarily get better. Even so, you must pay for it one way or another. You must pay the freight, give yourself up, be moved, respond, overcome yourself. You must go through the ordeal. And there is not way around it, absolutely none. If it is not important to you, if you would rather be as comfortable as you can until death, that is your business. of course, it has nothing whatever to to with our practice!