The following is a video of the last portion of the talk ‘The Grace of Suffering” by Adi Da Samraj (Bubba Free John) given on January 18, 1976 and published in ‘The Way That I Teach‘.
The following text is from the book.
s devotees mature through the practice of this action that makes the old action obsolete, the grosser levels of obsession begin to weaken and attention falls into subtler tendencies.
At first there is much attention to life circumstances and struggling with a relatively orderly life. Later the gross ordinariness of your life begins to become orderly without great strain, and the content that arises becomes more subtle. Thus, you may very well, and in general you will, have subtle yogic experiences. You may even pass out of the sense of this body into visionary states and move into subtle perceptions. But the spiritual disciplines are not a way of aligning with the subtle dimension through techniques. They are a responsibility for Communion with the Divine.
Thus, whatever arises, you are to persist in Communion or devotion and yield even the subtle experiences. In this way, then, you will gradually be drawn into greater and greater sensitivity to That from which all this experiencing arises, all this thinking, all this knowing, all this being “me.” This Way is not something that you do and then God-Realization happens as a result. All who take up this practice must presently fulfill the Law. Grace cannot be communicated in a realizable form unless you fulfill the Law. Only to the degree that you fulfill the Law, which is sacrifice, or love, will you realize this Grace.
You will, in the course of this practice, see many things that may seem to you to be God. And not a single one of them is God, I will tell you this right now! Many of the traditions enshrine a something or other that they consider to be God, usually based on the experience of some great individual. These relics are not God. People are always saying about another that he worships idols, not the true God, as in the great religious wars, for example. There are idols within. There are idols within all the worlds. Your very functions are idols, not only the gross ones but the subtle ones as well. All the conditions of existence are possible idols. And you tend to worship all extraordinary perceptions.
Thus, when you begin to sense the Divine Presence, you will feel it first as force, and you will tend to make force an idol, consider it to be God, and become obsessively involved with self-manipulation for yogic or mystical experiences. Just so, when the body and life-force sensations cease, you may begin to hear inner sounds and you will want to make sound an idol, thinking it to be God. You will manipulate yourself in order to have experiences of subtle planes, visions and so forth. Or at some point you may begin to see light or lights and you will perhaps think that a color of light is God or that visible light itself is God. You will begin to manipulate yourself so that you can have experiences of light or contemplative experiences of a great brilliance. But these are not God. God is That from and in and as which all things or conditions arise.
You will notice, while watching things arise out of the force or the sound or the light, that something is not arising-which is “you”! You, who are wherever you are, are watching these things arise out of the gross physical or subtle physical or spiritual material, mental, or higher mental substances. But the Divine is of the nature of Consciousness itself. It is only in the case of perfect intuitive absorption that the Divine is Realized. Only when even self is yielded do you truly begin to see that Consciousness, rather than your inwardness or subjectivity or your consciousness. Then for a while you will think that being distracted by this intuition, to the exclusion of every possibility arising, is Realization. You must sacrifice that also and thus begin to permit the world, to see that the world is a modification of that same foundation, a play upon it. Even so, you will be somewhat “spiritual,” setting yourself apart in various ways and protecting your sublimity. At last your eyes will open fully, when you are sacrificed perfectly and perfectly undone in this devotion. Then there is only God, regardless of what arises-only God. Then preferences fail, designs disappear, strategies are of no consequence. The character of your present circumstances will cease to have any ultimate significance whatsoever.
Then you will be absorbed in the Divine always, regardless of the circumstances-waking, dreaming, or sleeping, alive in the gross plane or passed into some other appearance. You will truly realize the psycho-physical nature of the world. In the same moment that you appear in conventional terms-bodily, personally, doing, thinking, appearing ordinary-in that same instant and in every moment there is the Divine Intuition. It is not that Consciousness is some other principle against which this fantasy appears. It is one Reality. You will see that all this appearance is Consciousness. It has the same quality exactly as what appears when you look within to think. The manifesting world is mind. And it has no necessity. It simply persists. It goes on, it is play, it is humor. There are endless possibilities for other kinds of worlds and also endless possibilities for experiencing in this world-none of which is of any consequence to one who is free in God.