The Dreaded Gomboo or The Imaginary Disease That
Religion Seeks To Cure.
A Collection of Essays and Talks on the “Direct”
Process of Enlightenment.
By Da Free John.
Compiled and edited with an introduction and commentary
by the Renunciate Hermitage Order.
THE DREADED GOM-BOO
Part II: Renunciation
The Taboo against Owning and Knowing Too Much
February 14, 1983
MASTER DA: Part of the purpose of spiritual practice is
to participate in a very natural process of psychic
elimination. Obviously spiritual practice is for the sake of
Transcendental Realization, but at another level it is just
a very natural eliminative process. Everybody should be
meditating, if only for the purpose of psychic elimination,
just as everybody should engage a rational approach to diet
that enables the body to maintain a high level of
elimination. Perhaps the most basic capacity of the body,
which you must serve through a rational approach to living,
Since it is so that for psychic and physical health you
must be able to eliminate from the body, just think of the
great harm done to people in a society like ours where
taboos exist against elimination, excrement, emotional
expression, sexual experience, sexual expression, and on and
on. What is the effect of all those taboos? What kinds of
neurotic people do such taboos create?
To be a truly human being you must heighten your capacity
to eliminate. You must be an intentional eliminator.
Strangely enough, grotesquely enough, and disgustingly
enough, that is what you have to be, intentionally,
efficiently, with great energy, great power, great interest!
Isnt this amazing? Isnt this disgusting!
DEVOTEE: That is what we are built for!
MASTER DA: (Laughing) Yes! That is what the physical
body, or the “food body,” is. This eliminative capacity is a
major aspect of the necessary function of not only the food
body, but all the bodies, even the subtler ones. And you
must not retard it. You must get into it. Otherwise you will
become ill, not just physically but in all kinds of
Trained as you are to be neurotics in our society, you
tend not to be efficient at this primary function. You tend
to retain things, to hide things in yourself. You hide
toxins, feelings, thoughts, and psychic debris, and you
poison yourself with your own neurosis. Unfortunately, our
society forces people to acquire the neurosis of retention.
Perhaps neurosis could be described most basically as the
chronic inability to eliminate efficiently, in all kinds of
ways, not just physically.
Neurosis is a retardation of the eliminative exercise,
which is fundamental to well-being. Neurosis is the
self-contraction itself, retention, the inability to
release, to let go, to be continuous with the present moment
of existence. The self-contraction is the self-toxifying
motive. It backs up all the forces of life, and you become
deluded, possessed not only by toxins in the body that
distort your bodily self-awareness, but possessed by
distorted psychological imagery and illusions about
So much of what we call religion is the occupation of
people who cannot release themselves psychically. They need
the support of the illusion of conventional religion because
they are so self-toxified, so self-bound. They have backed
up so much of the Force of Being through their neurotic
habit that they cannot release these neurotic contents, they
cannot enjoy a sense of well-being and be continuous with
That which is Real. Thus, they need to support themselves
All neurotics support themselves with illusions, and are
deluded not only psychically but also physically. The eating
habits of neurotics tend to be associated with taking false
food, food that really does not sustain the body or promote
a sense of well-being but that becomes toxins or
obstructions in the body. This is why there is so much junk
food in our society. Junk food is the equivalent of false
psychic, psychological, and philosophical views. It is fake
food, plastic, an illusion of food, just as conventional
religion is an illusion of Truth.
Perhaps we could say that our primary problem, the
illusory problem, the “Dreaded Gom-Boo,” is a distortion of
the eliminative capacity of the total being, and is
therefore associated with illusion, delusion, falsity,
imitation Reality, fake food. What we need to do, then, is
to break out of this contraction and restore the eliminative
capacity or the capacity for release, and release the
self-contraction, not just as a psychological event,
however, but as a total event in every area of the being.
Therefore, you must submit yourself as a physical being to
becoming an eliminative character.
This conclusion is not compatible with the conventional,
social self-idea promoted in our society. We are not
supposed to think of ourselves as eliminative characters. We
are supposed to think of ourselves as acquisitive
characters, people who acquire things, the consumer always
stuffing itself, filling itself, consoling itself.
Conventional religion is just another consumer product for
neurotics who cannot release and let go of things, and who,
being in a self-toxified state physically, psychically, and
altogether, need to console themselves with illusions.
Conventional religion is a McDonalds hamburger for the mind.
It is not real food. It is not Truth. It is just a support
for a being that cannot be free, that cannot release
Our entire society is based on the consumer psychology,
not the eliminative psychology of free being. Thus, you feel
guilt and shame relative to the bodily function of
elimination, and the same relative to sex, which on one
level has an eliminative function. You do practice sex as
elimination, but you eliminate Life through your obsession
with the convention of orgasm, whereas in the sex function
you should be releasing not precious vitality but negative
feelings and physical self-consciousness. You should conduct
Life, not let It go.
Neurotics as we are, trained as we have been in our
conventional society, we eliminate Life, we eliminate what
is precious, and we hold on to what is false. In order to Be
Free, therefore, you must, among other things, somehow come
to terms with the fact that you as a bodily being are an
eliminative character, and you must begin to live as such.
Get amused with it. Get strong with it. Somebody who does
not shit is full of shit. (Laughter.) Somehow you must feel
right with the idea that you are a shitter, an eliminator.
You must feel it as an expression of your strength, your
freedom, your purity. Only neurotics hold on to all this
garbage, not just physically but in every way, and they are
unwell and need illusions to support their diseased
You must become a person who does not need illusions to
live. And if you are going to be a person who does not need
illusions to live, you must become capable of eliminating or
releasing the self-contraction and all accumulations. You
must become a renunciate, not an ascetic but a releaser, a
true renunciate. Renunciation in the Way that I Teach is the
capacity for self-release, the constant exercise of release
of accumulations. It is to cease to be an accumulator or an
owner and instead to be a released being in the Real
As an expression of the Free Position of Spiritual
Realization, some highly evolved beings sit around on piles
of shit. Why do they do this? What is the real meaning of
it? It is an acknowledgment of the truth of the food body,
that it is an eliminator, not an accumulator. These guys sit
around naked on piles of shit and own nothing. They seem
offensive to us because in our neurosis we do not find one
another attractive as eliminators. We find one another
attractive as accumulators or owners. This attitude has
become the design of consciousness everywhere, and we have
become consumers and owners, associated with attributes,
clinging to forms, substances, states, imageries. We release
nothing, and we are not free.
There seems to be no shit around in our society, at least
nothing people would generally acknowledge to be shit. Yet
there is nothing else but shit around, but it appears in the
form of some consumer product, something ownable, something
attractive. Everybody tries to look attractive, yet people
are not eliminators. They turn all their shit into gold,
into TV sets and automobiles and beautiful clothing and
jewelry. They renounce nothing. There is no freedom in
Somebody who is free and who is an eliminator begins to
be offensive. To break the chain of ones impulse toward
ownership is to perform an act with which people in the
world in general do not feel comfortable. They feel that the
renunciate is violating some great principle, whereas the
body itself is designed to be a renunciate, an eliminator, a
releaser. The body wants to simply stand free in a state of
equanimity. It cannot accumulate and stand free at the same
time, however. As soon as the body starts accumulating, it
becomes out of balance, toxic, and diseased, and its
diseased state is manifested in every dimension of the
being, psychological, psychic, and spiritual.
DEVOTEE: Master, you once told me, “If you ever begin to
own too much or know too much, you will get yourself in
MASTER DA: Yes. There are two basic taboos in traditional
societies, communities, and tribes: the taboo against owning
too much and the taboo against knowing too much.
The taboo against knowing too much is associated with the
idea that knowledge is power. The knower has a unique,
almost magical power over the known. Knowledge is the power
to control, manipulate, or even enslave the known.
Therefore, traditionally, there have been taboos against too
much accumulation of private, secret, or unshared knowledge.
This is the root of popular ambivalence toward sorcery,
magic, occultism, priestcraft, and even authority.
Whatever knowledge is gained by Man should be shared by
mankind. Otherwise, the few “owners” of knowledge will tend
to develop a hierarchical league of power, to suppress,
limit, control, and exploit others. This view corresponds to
our American ideal of free speech, a free press, and so on.
But ultimately it means that Wisdom, not merely information
and conventional knowing, must be made accessible to the
people. The Adept is the Champion of such access, since he
shares his own Secret with all beings.
If you own too much, if you become too rich, if you look
like a “super-owner,” you also look like a dominator, and
there are taboos against domination. Certain systems have
therefore developed in traditional societies to enable
people who begin to accumulate too much to share their
excess with others and redistribute it. This practice
actually corresponds to the mechanism used by the Adept. The
Adept receives peoples gifts, but he redistributes them,
makes them part of the substance of the community, rather
than accumulating a great pile, and he is constantly acting
as the instrument for equalizing the content of existence
within the community. This same design has been used in
traditional societies since ancient days.
Are you familiar with the ritual of the potluck supper in
Christian churches? It is a carry-over from the “potlatch”
of the tribal societies of the American Indians.
Periodically somebody who has been very successful and
accumulated a great deal of goods prepares a great feast for
everyone in the tribe, using up his wealth in feeding
everybody and giving extravagant gifts to everyone. In this
way the individual redistributes his goods and therefore no
longer owns so much as a result. But he achieves great
honor. The potlatch is a very honorable event, and therefore
he achieves great prominence in his community while no
longer being a super-owner. This is the traditional way
whereby people become honorable.
In our society we have no such system. The ideal of our
society is to accumulate as much as possible. People do not
necessarily like you if you are rich, but to be rich is
still an ideal of which they feel envious, because everybody
else wants to be rich too. Unfortunately, the democratic
systems, as well as all other systems for that matter, tend
to be based on the ideal of the millionaire plumber, every
man in his castle, everybody super-wealthy, rather than
everybody free, released of the bondage of ownership and
living in a common domain where much is enjoyable and where
everyone has an opportunity to participate.
This is the principle of community. It is part of what
community life and family life are all about. We should not
live as little white-castle families fulfilling the ideal of
accumulation. We should live in communities where we share
all the goods and energies of life. Everyone should live as
well as possible, but the concepts of sharing and
cooperation are basic to equalizing the trends toward egoic
accumulation and releasing people from relational
The principle of community is an extension of our right
attitude toward embodied existence. Our fundamental activity
is not to accumulate but to eliminate, to release, to stand
free. Nothing with which we are associated should represent
bondage to us, but should rather be part of our free regard.
We should not own our relations. Having a castle and a dozen
cars in the garage and gold piled high in the attic is the
same as having a body full of fat and toxins, and being
diseased and deluded and consoled by things that are not
real or that do not last.
The principle of elimination or release is fundamental.
We should all understand it and we should make use of it in
the personal terms of our psycho-physical existence
altogether, as I have just indicated. But clearly we should
make use of this principle in our social life, which should
be eliminative and not merely accumulative. Obviously what
we do produces results that we may accumulate, but we should
equalize the process by living cooperatively in community,
not by living as individual super-accumulators. If things
are accumulated, they should be accumulated for
This ideal can be developed rather abstractly, as in the
super-States of communism, but it does not really work out
on such a large scale. It is a principle that must be worked
out in intimate terms, in the body-mind and in the scale of
truly human existence. We do not need a great State to
equalize us all. Such a State breeds a kind of domination
that everyone suffers. Instead, and even in order to avoid
the possibility of such domination, we should live in
community. We should be self-releasers constantly in our
daily living. We should live cooperatively with others,
equalize the goods of life in some basic terms, and grant
everyone a basic capacity for sustenance by participating in
cooperative life. Then everyone should have all kinds of
wonderful things to enjoy in common.
Such is what our institution and our community are
supposed to be about. As a renunciate I do not own anything.
Things are accumulated by our institution, but they are
everybodys. Thus, we make Sanctuaries and we have beautiful
places where we can all go on retreat and gather together.
All the great things that we accumulate are ours in common,
and we should meet and enjoy these things together.
This principle is simply the extension of our rational
understanding of what we are as manifest beings. We are not
in principle accumulators. We are more fundamentally
releasers or eliminators. Only as releasers are we free.
Therefore, obviously, the principle of life is renunciation,
not self-bound accumulation.
To be able to participate in the self-transcending Way of
life, we must overcome our egoity. The ego is the principle
of accumulation, the self-bound knot, the castle in the air,
the superior self-protected adversary of all other beings.
We must understand ourselves spiritually and in real human
terms begin to practice a personal discipline that
characterizes true renunciation, or commitment to Happiness
rather than emptiness, and on that basis, then, become
capable of a different way of living with other people
whereby many great and wonderful things can be created and
enjoyed by everyone.
This is why it is good to live in community and develop
cooperative systems, to get out of the ego-mold, or the mold
of the accumulator, the successful capitalist, or communist,
the successful ego that accumulates, stuffs himself or
herself with everything from worldly goods to food to
beliefs and phony ideals of all kinds.
Such a cooperative way of life is based on recognizing
the fact that the body shits. The body is a food bag, a food
sheath, a big balloon, a vessel. It needs to communicate
substances to itself to regenerate its cellular existence,
but it must not accumulate or it will go out of balance. It
must eliminate, most basically. The primary part of the
breath, for example, is the exhaled breath. If you cannot
release, then all your reception will be a kind of negative
accumulation. All the inhaled breaths will be an attempt to
accumulate independently, a diseased motivation.
You must first be able to exhale, release, or surrender.
In the released disposition you can receive-not accumulate
but conduct what you receive and be sustained by it. Then
you can release what is not needed and share what is not
necessary for existence. This principle, then, is magnified
into the whole domain of spiritual understanding and into
the whole domain of social existence. Those who live in
community should be renunciates, not ascetics but people who
live according to this principle, understanding themselves
functionally, spiritually, and socially.
The State is not here to command us, like a parent. As
soon as the State must command us to socialize ourselves, we
are in a different position. Unfortunately, such is the
position of most States and the political position of most
people, because people do not have access to Wisdom. They do
not understand the Way of Life. They need to be controlled
by State mechanisms, therefore, all of which, whether they
are called capitalist, communist, free, or totalitarian, are
artifices, called into being to command the existence of
people who do not understand themselves. The State in a true
society, a society of people who understand the Law and who
live humanly and cooperatively, should basically be an
extension of their free cooperation with one another and
their agreement to accomplish something on a larger scale
for the general benefit.
I do not recommend that we become revolutionaries,
aggravated with the State. Particularly in a free society,
such conflict should not be necessary. We should be free to
engage in truly radical politics, however, which is not an
effort against the State, but which is the devotion of human
beings to human politics, to living with others according to
the principle of renunciation, self-release, cooperation.
Our existence in the realm of the State should be
cooperative, not submissive to arbitrary limits on our
freedom. We must struggle with limits in any society, but we
must be free to cooperate positively with the ultimate or
right purposes of any State. And particularly in a free
society, we should be able to do so.
The purposes of our State should be to represent and
organize the cooperative will of free people, and not to
superimpose limits on anyone, not to command religion,
belief, what we do privately, what we do in the small scale
of our lives. Such is not the business of the State. Such is
an intrusion. It occurs even in a so-called free State, and
especially it occurs in terrible form in totalitarian
States, or formalized systems that exist only to command and
make order and that have no notion whatsoever of the
necessary and inherent freedom of living beings.
Cooperation and self-transcendence are the essence of
human life, and they fulfill the Law commonly known through
the Christian and Hebrew religious traditions: Love God
absolutely, and love your neighbor. Live a self-transcending
life in relation to others. What is the Law then?
Self-transcendence and cooperation. The Law is twofold,
simple to understand. Where you are, where you stand in the
Existence Place, you must be a self-transcender, and in
relations you must be a cooperator.
The Law of Jesus and the Old Testament can be reduced to
this notion: Transcend yourself, and cooperate with others.
In your place, transcend yourself. In relations, cooperate,
since cooperation is also a form of self-transcendence. Live
as a renunciate, live in God-Communion through
self-transcendence, and live cooperatively with others,
transcending your own self-possessed, accumulative habit in
If you abandon this Law, if you do not transcend yourself
and do not cooperate, you become a neurotic, an aberrated
being. Since neurotic people will not cooperate, will not
live rationally, will not be responsible for themselves,
since they will only be afraid, they create political
systems that presume only one purpose, which is to bring
order and control the people. Neurotic people bring
totalitarian states and terrible political systems into
being by not living according to Wisdom, by not living Free.
When people will not be human, will not submit themselves to
the Law of human existence, they require that Parent States
come into existence to control them, to bring order.
If there is political trouble in this world, therefore,
ultimately it is the fault of the people themselves. Of
course they must have access to Wisdom in order to become
responsible and to call a different kind of State into
being. Thus, it is my Work, as well as the Work of some
others perhaps, to introduce people to Wisdom, to give them
access to Wisdom, so that the people will change. If the
people will change, then the State will change.
But I am not here to change the State, to be a political
figure or a public figure. I am here to change the people by
giving them access to the Way of Life, to the Truth. If you
will enter into the Way, you will change. Everyone will
change ultimately, to the degree he or she can become
attuned with this consideration. If all the people did it,
then the State would change and world politics would change
necessarily. It is not very likely that such change is
imminent at this moment in history, but at least those who
are interested in this consideration can change themselves,
and in the small scale of their natural human life they can
fulfill the Law.
Whatever limits superimpose themselves on us in our time,
you can live a Happy life in human terms. And certainly
there is no limit on your capacity to live a Happy life in
spiritual terms, no matter what the times. Given access to
Wisdom, there is no limit on your spiritual capacity. You
can be perfectly Happy where you are, in the Existence
Place, living the self-transcending Way, and you can
certainly be Happy in your expression in relation to all
others. Whatever the times, that enterprise in relationship
with others can be more or less Happy, depending on the
limits introduced historically during your lifetime.
To receive the Divine Gift you must have made a gift. You
must have presented yourself ready. In other words, you must
have released something first. Come to me when you are
Happy, already Happy, when you have heard the Teaching. Come
for the Spirit-Blessing, come to receive the Gift, when you
have understood yourself, when you have released your
self-bondage, when you are prepared physically, psychically,
emotionally, mentally, spiritually, altogether, and receive
the Gift in that disposition.
The exhalation or the release precedes the reception,
then. The Spirit-Force is not accumulated. We submit
ourselves to It. It surrounds us. It is All-Pervading. It
transcends our self-contraction, our limitation, our
isolated individuality. We are not accumulating the
Spirit-Force through our practice of this Way, through
conductivity, or any of our spiritual Work. We are rather
releasing ourselves into It. And thus releasing ourselves
into It, we are also capable of conducting It. It does move
through us, It does sustain us, but we do not hold It in
ourselves nor are we Its independent center. This
understanding pervades the Teaching of this Way and every
aspect of our discipline.
Likewise, in your intimate life you must not be
accumulators, you must not be owners, you must not be
self-possessed, you must not be motivated by reactive
emotions, you must not be jealous, you must not be angry,
you must not be independent. You must go beyond yourself.
You must grant freedom to your relations, and all your
relations should grant you freedom. We should not depend on
our relations. We should be freely related to those we love.
If we depend on our relations, then we step outside the Well
of Happiness and begin to imagine that our Happiness depends
on our relationships, and then we become involved in all the
aggravated egoic forms and patternings of egoic
We should relate to others on the basis of the primary
Law of self-transcendence, self-release, freedom, so that we
are in the position to magnify into the plane of relations
the Happiness Inherent in the Well of Being. We should be
freely related in intimacy and friendships and society. In
daily life, all our relatedness should be utterly free,
founded on prior self-transcendence or immersion in the Well
of Inherent Happiness in the Existence Place, in the
Self-Position. Only then are we capable of right human
The model of conventional marrying in the domain of
intimate life, for instance, is not an appropriate model. It
is an egoic model of life. It is about ownership and
dependence. We should live freely with one another, in our
chosen intimacies, magnifying the Inherent Happiness of our
spiritual life in those relationships. True intimate
relations should be cooperative relationships among free
people, not relations based on ego-bondage and ownership and
It is not that we are to be independent. We are to be
free, not owned and not owning, free of all conventional
emotions associated with the accumulative egoic character.
We should magnify that Happiness in our relationships and
choose the relationships that permit us to live the
self-transcending Yoga, live in relationships with others
who likewise practice It. Such is the right rule for
intimate life, friendships, society, community living, the
relationship to the Spiritual Master. All relationships
should be based on this Law, and we should live free, not as
dependent self-possessed characters.
Part of our consideration during these past few months
has been your intimate living, your sexual life. The play
between us has been an effort to break the spell, the
enchantment, of dependency. The essence and the root of
dependency is self-possession, self-contraction, not merely
possession by another or bondage to another. Bondage to
another is created by self-bondage, which is its
Therefore, to transform our relationships, we must first
understand ourselves and be free of our own self-bondage.
Then our objective obsessions, our dependency games, will
likewise be released. We are not capable of relationship
until we have fulfilled the Law in our own place. Thus, the
ancient Law has two forms. The primary form is what you do
in your own place: Love God. Transcend yourself in the
Divine, in the Existence Place, and on that basis, then,
enter into relationships freely, not as the ego does, bound
to itself, accumulating, defending, dissociating, owning,
being owned-not that at all. But live in the Free
Disposition, magnifying the Grace Inherent in the Existence
Place, and transform the patterning of existence altogether.
Live differently, based on Realization and self-transcending
Wisdom. Do this, and the patterning of your ordinary life
and intimate relations, sexual life, friendships, intimate
society, cooperative society-all of that will change.
You must be a renunciate in every sphere of life.
Therefore, you must be a renunciate in your own place first,
and then you will be a renunciate in the first sphere of
relational life, which is the sphere of intimate
relatedness, including sexual intimacy and household
intimacy. The first picture of your bondage is in your
intimate life. You must be a renunciate there, a free being
there, not merely a conventional householder, a married
person, owned and owning, dependent and depended upon,
childishly dependent and adolescently independent.
During these past few months, I have tried to help you to
understand yourself where you are and in your intimate
society and your sexual life. This understanding is most
fundamental. You must be free of this bondage. You see how
much trouble is caused in your lives by your failure to
transcend yourself in your own place, and then by your
failure to transcend yourself in the most immediate sphere
of your relational life, your intimate society, your sexual
What is to be redressed or changed is not your related
life first, but your life in place. Change that first, and
then live differently everywhere. Obviously the first thing
you will change, then, is your intimate society and
therefore your sexual life. As a being related to others
sexually, intimately, you must be free, not bound, not
dependent. You must know your Happiness first, and not think
that you are acquiring It in relationship. You are
magnifying It in relationship if you are free, but if you
think you are acquiring It there, you are just consumers,
self-bound, self-toxified, deluded. The whole domain of
sexuality, therefore, must be profoundly transformed by this
Wisdom of the Self-Position. And then every other aspect of
your relatedness must likewise be changed.
I hope after our consideration that you understand this
Principle and will live differently in your related life,
based on a primary involvement in the Spiritual Work in your
own place, and that you will no longer create ego-bound
sexual or social relations of dependency. Do not do that
anymore! You will not if you understand me, and if you
understand yourself and are committed to the practice.
You must not bind yourself to another. Where there is an
other, fear arises. Fear is the context of relations until
we Stand Free in the Transcendental Reality. Therefore, do
not make dependency relationships with others, sexually,
intimately, in friendships, socially. Do not do that
anymore. Be a renunciate. Be Free. Stand already Free. And
magnify that Freedom through relations. Then your
relationships will be not patterns of dependency, but
patterns of free cooperation and mutually expressed
Happiness, in which each individual in the context of every
relationship is transcending himself or herself in his or
her own place, sharing and granting, in potlatch fashion,
the excess of Realization.
The Dreaded Gom-Boo – Table of Contents