The Essence of Meditation – THE WAYS OF EXPERIENCE AND THE WAY OF DIVINE IGNORANCE – The Bodily Sacrifice of Mind – The Experiential Realization of God and the Way of Sacrifice into God Transcendence of the Idea of God and the Illusion of Separation from Infinity – The Elements of World-Knowledge – Beyond Mystical Experience – The Way of Divine Communion and Traditional Yoga – The Center Transcending the Results of Yoga and Mysticism – The Ultimate Work Is the Humorous Work of Divine Incarnation, or Love in Freedom – THE HEART IS THE KEY TO THE ENLIGHTENMENT OF THE WHOLE BODY – Bodily Enlightenment Esoteric Knowledge Is Transcended in the Seventh Stage of Life – The Bodily Structure of the Self-Transcendence of Man – The Bodily Center of Self-Realization and God-Communion – The True Heart and the Heart of Mystical Vision – The Key to Enlightenment Is at the Center of the Body – The Way beyond Light and Sound and Thought and Fear –
stay tuned more to come
The Essence of Meditation
A free rendering of the Bhagavad Gita, chapter eight, verses eleven through thirteen, by Bubba Free John
I will tell you in a few words the exact and secret meditative Process, whereby those who transcend the independent self-illusion, or the desire for experience, Realize the Eternal and Divine Condition.
Those who Love Me, those who Commune with Me through every function of the body-mind, and in the process of every action, under all circumstances, transcend all of the possibilities for experience by uncovering the root of attention in the heart. They do this by a process of intuitive self-observation, and growth in self-mastery, relative to the functions of the body-mind, above the heart as well as below the heart.
When absorption of the mind, or attention, becomes steady in the heart, or direct intuition of the Unqualified Consciousness of the uncovered soul, then the tendency and direction of the Bodily Current of Life spontaneously reverses. In this manner, the internal Vibratory Force of the body-mind becomes polarized toward the upper limits of the brain, or to the Prior and All-Pervading State of the Universal Radiance, rather than to the subjective internal and external experiential modifications of the independent body-mind.
One who thus abides in the intuition of the Self in the heart, surrendered even bodily into the Radiance of Eternal Life, is suddenly and then perfectly Awakened as the true Self, the Radiant Heart and Divine Domain that Eternally Transcends the World of Changes.
THE WAYS OF EXPERIENCE AND THE WAY OF DIVINE IGNORANCE
The idea that all paths lead to the same Goal is a popular misconception of the great traditions of esoteric spirituality. Each of the traditional yogas (literally, “ways of reunion’) in fact uses its own methods to manipulate functions of the bodily being, ultimately to attain a unique psycho physiological condition in the gross, subtle, or causal dimensions of experience. Bubba Free John’s principal contribution to the critical understanding of the great traditions has been his map of the “great path of return. ” In The Paradox of Instruction, Bubba has shown how each of the principal forms of traditional practice relates to the others, in terms of presumption, practice, and realization, and how, taken together, all of the principal paths trace a single path of return from self-conscious gnosis through gross, subtle, and causal transformations to the ultimate Realization of the Heart.
The Way of Divine Ignorance involves the awakening of every structural center and function of the body and mind. Thus, this Way duplicates all the principal yogas and follows or traces the “great path of return, ” but from a radically illumined point of view. Its method is free of seeking and attachment to the experiential evidence of growth. It requires the inspection and conscious transcendence of every dimensional “body ” of our experience, gross, subtle, and causal.This is not to say, however, that the Way of Divine Ignorance is the o true religion. It is simply true religion itself-or religion rightly understood. Religion is the birthright of every being arising in the midst of the Infinite Conscious Life of God; therefore, how can there be only one form of true religion? Bubba Free John’s critical estimation of the great traditions fully acknowledges and honors them. His criticism only demonstrates the completeness of his own Realization and of his consideration in creating the Way of Divine Ignorance for the modern world.
The Bodily Sacrifice of Mind
What has anciently and commonly been named and called upon and believed and attained as God is ultimately nothing more than a permutation or state of the human brain and nervous system, or the human body-mind in general. Truth is not within us, nor is it in any way a solution to any problem we conceive as fundamental to human existence. The Realization of Truth is not a matter of the transformation of the individual. It is a matter of the human sacrifice of mankind.
The Experiential Realization of God and the Way of Sacrifice into God
The Way of Divine Ignorance is the natural Way of human adaptation and self-transcendence through Communion with the All-Pervading and Transcendental Divine. This Way is religious and spiritual in the highest or truest and most radical sense. And it involves specific disciplines of ecstatic or self transcending psycho-physical Communion with the Living Divine, in which each and every level of the psycho-physical structure of the individual is positively adapted to practical and wholly regenerative functional patterns.
The essential discipline in this Way is not a matter of inversion toward subjectivity, nor of self-possessed exploitation of the relational and functional conditions of the separated individual. Rather, it is a matter of adaptation of every function of body, emotion, and mind to Communion with the Living Divine under all conditions. And through this loving sacrifice, the independent self, or body-mind, both within and without, is transcended through ecstatic Translation in God.
The body ceases to be self, and becomes the form that is sacrificed, or yielded as a sacrificial offering to the Divine.
The mental dimension, high and low, ceases to be self, and becomes free awareness, wherein the bodily form is rendered into a most subtle offering-transformed from its gross solidity into an essence that may dissolve and combine with the Radiance of God.
The emotional dimension ceases to be self, and becomes unobstructed feeling, or love, the native and natural sacrificial fire by which the bodily offering, made bright in the sacrifice of mind, is transmitted into the Radiant All-Pervading and Transcendental Divine.
The sacrifice of the vital bodily form into the higher mental Light is the human sacrifice of the individual into Man. Such is the Way of Prophets, Mystics, Yogis, and Saints.
The sacrifice of the supra mental “soul” of Man into the fire of the Awakened Heart is the sacrifice of Man into the World. Such is the Way of Sages.
The sacrifice of the whole and entire body-mind into the All Pervading Radiance and Transcendental Ignorance or Absolute Consciousness of the Living and Eternal Divine is the sacrifice of the World into God. Such is the Way that I Teach.
The traditional Ways by which men transcend their limitations are, in general, Ways in which God may be Realized in the form of human experience. The Way of Divine Ignorance is a radical Way of Life, in which the very Divine, prior to all experience, is Worshipped through sacrifice of self in God-Communion. Thus, the Way of Divine Ignorance is not ultimately about experiential Realization of God-since the Reality of God is not absent or in doubt even in the beginning of this Way-but it is about the sacrifice and utter dissolution of all experience, and the experiential self, in God.
The traditional Ways either console human beings, glorify Man, or reduce Man to absorption in the apparently independent and moveless Foundation, Source, or Cause of the World. The Way of Divine Ignorance is the perfect Way of the Translation of every aspect of the experiential Theatre of our existence into the Radiant and Unqualified Transcendental Existence of the Unknowable Divine.
The traditional Ways are attempts to solve the problem of the reactive human sense of separation from God. The Way of Divine Ignorance is founded from the beginning on intuitive freedom from reactive separation from God. Therefore, it is simply a Process in which all experience is dissolved in Communion with God and translated directly into the unknown Divine Domain.
Transcendence of the Idea of God and the Illusion of Separation from Infinity
The cults of religion promote and reinforce many childish, naive, and merely symbolic conceptions of the Divine Reality. We must awaken, become responsible for our subhuman ways, and pass beyond ideas about “God” (the Deity of the verbal mind) and become a sacrifice into the Unqualified Transcendental Reality that is the Condition and Destiny of all beings and things.
Just so, the cults of spiritual, mystical, and psychic approaches to the Divine Reality promote and reinforce many childish, naive, and merely symbolic “ways to reunite” with the Divine Reality. We must awaken, become responsible for ourselves, and pass beyond subjective mental and bodily solutions to the conceived problem and illusion of separation from the Real.
Ideas about God, or conceptions of God, as well as methods to return to God, or to reunite with God, are all essentially expressions of a childish, subhuman level of our adaptation and our consciousness. At best, all of that is a beginning, a lesson, a functional design or solution that we must overcome through further growth.
All knowledge and belief about the Reality that is our Condition and Destiny must yield and dissolve in the primal intuitive Realization and humanizing confession of Ignorance. Since we are not in an independent position of knowledge, since we are unable to inspect and know what the Reality or even any ordinary thing is, Unqualified Ignorance is our true mind, and our Ultimate Consciousness in the Real. Abiding in the liberated profundity of Ignorance, prior to all forms of knowledge or objective certainty, is the core of true and higher religion.
Just so, all our efforts to return to the Real, or to reunite with the Divine, are founded in a relatively infantile, subhuman, self divided psycho-physical condition. And all spiritual, mystical, or psychic methods of return or reunion are merely personal psycho-physical efforts to regain or grow into an harmonious, mature, and more fully awakened psycho-physical condition. What is named or referred to as the Divine Reality attained by such means is nothing more than a psycho-physical condition of the human individual himself, just as the method of attainment was only an expression of a negative psycho-physical condition that needed to be changed.
All efforts of return and reunion with the Real, all attempts to solve the childish dilemma of separation from the Real, must ultimately become obsolete, as we awaken to the Condition that is always already the case and always was the case.
In the Way of Divine Ignorance, all ideas and all knowledge of the Divine Reality, Condition, and Destiny are dissolved in the intuitive depth of irreducible Ignorance. And all strategic methods for returning to the Reality are dissolved in the intuitive re-cognition of the human psycho-physical tendencies that produce and reinforce the illusion of separation itself. Thus, in the full maturity of this Way, there is only direct, radical, transcendental self-releasing intuition of the Condition of the body-mind and all experience.
In this Way, knowledge and belief dissolve in ultimate Ignorance. Just so, self-binding psycho-physical techniques and experiences are progressively inspected and released as unnecessary and deluding habits of existence. In the process of such inspection in practice, the entire “great way of return,” the traditional and ancient psycho-physical sequence of methods of transcendental reunion, is fully engaged and ultimately abandoned. Thus, many “yogas” appear in the course of practice in this Way, including karma yoga, bhakti yoga, hatha yoga, mantra yoga, kundalini yoga, ashtanga yoga, tantra yoga, raja yoga, kriya yoga, shabd or nada yoga, laya yoga, jnana yoga, and so forth. But all of these yogas, all these spiritual, mystical, and psychic techniques or responsibilities, are eventually abandoned. The legitimate task of each such approach is the conventional one of awakening a new level of psycho-physical adaptation and awareness. But when this is done, that very state of adaptation or experience must be penetrated and released, or else it will only reinforce the illusions of consoling knowledge, independence, and separation.
There is a Radiant Condition or Consciousness wherein the whole and entire body-mind and all environments of experience are arising as modifications or stepped-down intensities of Itself. The higher or true Mind of Man is that very Consciousness. And it is only Realized when there is transcendence of the limiting force of the entire body-mind. Such is Transfiguration and Translation of the body-mind in the Reality that is its Condition and Destiny.
That Mind or Realization, in which every aspect of the bodymind is first awakened and then yielded, is not Realized through any psycho-physical self-manipulation. It is not attained via any of the yogas or any spiritual, mystical, or psychic techniques of return and reunion-nor via any religious beliefs, or social disciplines, or any kind of knowledge, however scientific or inspired. Only release from all of that-all of which is only a reflection of a problematic psycho-physical orientation or disposition of self-permits the Intuitive Realization of Truth to Awaken. That Awakening is Realized only when the self-division and self-meditation of the functional body-mind comes to rest or release in a total sympathetic or feeling opening. There must be ecstasy, or release of the self, the whole and entire body-mind, into the Condition or Destiny that is intuited only in Ignorance. Only when body and brain become free of contraction, concept, image, and object does the Radiance of the Real stand forth.
Therefore, at every stage of practice in the Way of Divine Ignorance, the conscious process (as bodily prayer and remembrance, enquiry, re-cognition, and radical intuition) is senior to all of the yogic or higher-adapting disciplines that are applied. Through the conscious process, the eye or mind of Ignorance in every moment, the limitations of psycho-physical experience, high or low, in every moment, are penetrated. And, in this manner, Ecstasy in the Real Condition becomes the consistent Realization of the devotee. When the conscious process passes beyond all knowledge and all meditation into Whole Body Enlightenment and Divine Translation, the body-mind as a whole dissolves or is released in Transcendental Ignorance-Radiance, the absolute Intensity that is the Reality, Condition, and Destiny of all and everyone that appears and passes in the Wonder of Brightness.
The Elements of World-Knowledge
The Four Primal Elements of the World are Form, Life, Sympathy (or Feeling), and Awareness (or Attention) “Earth,” “Water,” “Fire,” and “Air” the “Substances” that combine to appear as all things and beings. All of these arise within the Transcendental Element – “Ether” – which is Absolute Ignorance-Radiance, the Transcendental Source and Self of the Four Primal Elements and their manifestations. And all Five Elements are Included or Contained within the Totality or Paradox of the Absolute Personality, which Transcends even the Transcendental Structures of the World.
Yogis, Saints, and Mystics of all kinds, who are Awakened in the fifth stage of life, Realize the “Spirit” of Manifestation, the Universal Power or Mind, made of the Four Primal Elements.
Sages of all kinds, who are Awakened in the sixth stage of life, Realize the “Soul” of Manifestation, the Pure and Universal Consciousness or Radiant Self, the Transcendental Element of Existence.
Devotees of the perfect kind, who are awakened in the seventh stage of life, Realize the Absolute Personality, the Paradox of Love, which unlocks the nervous system from the structural limits of Man and World, and releases the Five Elements into the Divine Domain, the Ecstasy of Infinite Bliss, the Mindless Radiance and Joyous Occupation of the Great Divine.
Beyond Mystical Experience
All yogas, all spiritual, mystical, psychic, mental, and religious techniques or presumptions, are, at their base, forms of concentration, or objectification of awareness. And all such processes are essentially mechanical manipulations of the functional psycho-physical structures of the human body-mind. They result either in absorbed contemplation of various personal psycho-physical states and objects, high or low, or else in a diffused state of psycho-physical release that is both temporary and ultimately self-meditative.
Only the conscious process of radical intuition of the Real Condition penetrates the illusions of both ordinary personal life and extraordinary religious or spiritual effort. Only in the self-released disposition of radical intuition are the limitations of the independent body-mind relaxed, released, or dissolved in the higher or true Mind, the Self, the inherently selfless Mind or Condition that Transcends the entire bodily being. Only in radical intuition of the Real Condition is there utter release of the deluding force of psycho-physical modifications, self-division, self-possession, contractions, states of concentration, and illusory objectifications or stepped-down intensities of the absolute Intensity of Radiant Bliss.
The Way of Divine Communion and Traditional Yoga
The Way of Divine Communion begins with “yama” and “niyama,” or restraints and disciplines. On the basis of the “hearing” of the argument of the Spiritual Master, the individual accepts the initial conditions of a life of sacrificial devotion. This process matures through devotional observances, the discipline of personal conditions relative to money, food, and sex, and the constant maintenance of general conditions of study (regular attention to the argument of the Spiritual Master) and the moral practice of service (love, or unobstructed feeling-attention, in all relations, under all conditions.)
In time, the prepared devotee enters into formal spiritual contact with the Spiritual Master. In that contact, Divine Communion is awakened and stabilized through direct spiritual initiation. Thus, the devotee becomes responsible for constant meditative recollection of the Divine (the “Name” of God) and service to the Divine through whole body participation (the “Breath” of God, or the psycho-physical love of God).
The awakening of spiritual responsibility in the Way of Divine Communion effectively includes the yogic disciplines of “asana” (right posture, attitude, and approach), “pranayama” (right breathing, or right participation of the living being in the Divine Condition), “pratyahara” (release from obsessive fascination, concern, and fixed attention in worldly events or life-conditions in themselves), “dharana” (concentration of attention in the process wherein the Divine or Real Condition is constantly Revealed), and “dhyana” (meditation, or contemplation of the Divine or Real Condition under all conditions).
The Way of Divine Communion matures on the basis of these seven limbs of discipline (yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, and dhyana). But the key to them all is the Revelation of Truth in “hearing” the argument of the Spiritual Master and entering into spontaneous devotional sacrifice in his spiritual Company. That is “samadhi, ” equanimity, or unity with the Real Condition, which is Divine Ignorance. In that unity there is the constant flowering of wisdom, or a life that manifests spontaneous ordinary and extraordinary knowledge (“samyama”) as well as absorption in the Condition that is Truth.
Therefore, the Way of Divine Communion essentially and truly duplicates the eightfold (“ashtanga”) process of yoga described by Patanjali -except that “samadhi,” or the ultimate Unity, is the foundation and core of the practice rather than its result.
The stages of practice that follow the Way of Divine Communion are stages of maturing responsibility that develop on the basis of the foundation Realization and disciplines of the Way of Divine Communion. The Way of Divine Communion is never abandoned. It simply matures toward its own perfection. The Way of Divine Ignorance as a whole is not the method of yoga, but the priorly awakened Way in which yoga is fulfilled and transcended.
Hatha yoga is a matter of balancing and finding the center (the heart, the still point) of the living and physical being.
Kundalini yoga is a matter of balancing and finding the center, heart, or still point of the nervous system.
Raja yoga is a matter of balancing and finding the center, heart, or still point of the lower mental or reactive mind.
Shabd yoga is a matter of balancing and finding the center, heart, or still point of the higher brain.
Jnana yoga is a matter of balancing and finding the center, heart, or still point of the verbal or conceptual mind as a whole.
The Way of Divine Ignorance is a Way in which there is realization of responsibility for all of these yogas, and more. It is the Way in which every aspect of the functional and whole body-mind is enlivened, inspected, brought to a condition of balance, and the center found in each case. But the primary significance or uniqueness of this Way is that it is the center, heart, or still point of the whole or entire body-mind that is ultimately revealed, and the whole body-mind, the total “I” (not just the subjective being), resting as that heart, is yielded and sacrificed into the prior absolute Reality-which is beyond all human structures.
1. Patanjali (1st
century A.D.) is the reported systematizer of the eightfold
yoga system of Hindu philosophy. The principal text
accredited to him is the Yoga Sutras.
Transcending the Results
of Yoga and Mysticism Bhakti yoga and karma yoga, or the
disciplines of devotional remembrance of the Divine and
sacrificial action in the world, are the aspects of the
total Way of Divine Ignorance that transform emotional
reactivity and the arbitrary, self-oriented tendencies of
desire and will. The aspects of kundalini yoga and
kriya yoga that relate to the body and nervous system below
the brows are the aspects of the total Way that control the
Life-Current and the habits of attention in the gross bodily
dimension of experience. Shabd yoga, or nada yoga, and the
aspects of kriya yoga and kundalini yoga that relate to the
brain centers themselves are the aspects of the total Way
that control the verbal mind and release attention to
intuition above thought. (The yogas themselves simply focus
attention on the centers of the brain that do not relate
either to the action of the gross bodily senses or to the
verbal mind. Thus, they provide a basis for bypassing
thought, imagery, and bodily sensations or perceptions. They
do not, however, as traditionally supposed, lead to
perceptions of the literal Divine or the Heavens of God.
Rather, they themselves lead only to savikalpa samadhi, or
states of objective internal contemplation, and nirvikalpa
samadhi, or a state of nonobjective internal absorption of
attention. Basically, these methods bypass conventional
bodily and mental states and, after a period wherein
fascinating dreamlike visions appear, often in profusion,
there is a kind of blissful, nonobjective absorption of
attention.) Jnana yoga, or the discipline of
intuitive penetration of the natural act or gesture of
attention itself, is the aspect of the total Way that yields
a summary awakening to the Condition of consciousness
independent of all mental objects, high or low, and all
bodily objects or states. All of these yogas, and others, are
represented in the form of physical, moral, and mental
disciplines or responsibilities in the first three stages of
the Way of Divine Ignorance. They serve a conventional
purpose, of adapting the body-mind to the higher and total
psycho-physical structures that are its form. But their
results are also constantly penetrated, dissolved, or
exceeded by the foundation discipline and responsibility of
the conscious process at every stage. Thus, the true and
ultimate Realization of the Real, or the Awakening of the
Ecstatic Mind, beyond every part of the individual or
independent body-mind, occurs only in the instants of the
conscious process and in simple surrender of the entire
bodily and mental self to the Spiritual Master.
Grace and awakened intuition are the
means of that sacrifice that “pleases God.” That is, the
superphysical Help or Influence of the Spiritual Master and
the radical intuition of the unqualified Condition of
Ignorance-Radiance (prior to and pervading all of body and
mind) are the Agents whereby Truth becomes as obvious as the
eye of one’s lover.
The Ultimate Work Is the
Humorous Work of Divine Incarnation, or Love in
Freedom Condition is Transcendental,
Absolute, prior to all definition of form or consciousness,
and yet associated with specific form, consciousness, and
experience. Our Condition is Divine Ignorance-or Unqualified
Consciousness-and Perfect Radiance, Eternal Life, or Love.
Except that, by association, we presume ourselves to be
exclusively identified with our body-mind, or experience,
and thus limited to the destiny of change, death, and
separation. The Way of Divine Ignorance is a
Process whereby we first observe and adapt to our total
functional structure and situation, and then we trace each
aspect of the body-mind back toward its Transcendental Root.
Each sense-function and every thought are followed back to
their subtlest focus, their primal origination in
experience. Thus, at last, there is a Perfect Awakening to
the Condition of “I,” the Free Radiant Consciousness or Love
from which the experiential self is arising moment to
moment. In this manner the first three stages of our
practice (or the first six stages of life) are devoted to a
Great Way of Return to the presumption of our true and
Divine Condition. In the seventh stage of life and in
the fourth stage of practice (the Way of Radical Intuition)
the devotee stands Free in the Paradox of his Divine
Condition. The Work in this ultimate, perfect, and native
Disposition of Man is the Work that is generated when we
stand in the Realized presumption of our right association
with the phenomena of experience. Thus, it is the Work of
Incarnation, or the paradoxical Work that is generated when
the Radiant Divine Nature is presumed and all phenomena are
viewed from that point of view. (In the earlier stages of
the Way, the body-mind or experiential self is the point of
view, and the Real or Divine Condition is approached by a
process of gradual self transcendence, or transcendence of
inherent or structural psycho-physical limitations at
subtler and subtler levels of manifestation.) Therefore, in the seventh stage of
life and in the Way of Radical Intuition the Divine
Ignorance-Radiance, the Absolute Personality or true Self,
is natively presumed to be the Position of one’s existence.
The devotee functions as that Radiant Self in association
with all aspects of his functional or experiential
existence. And all conditions of his experience are
constantly re-cognized, or identified as only modifications
of the Transcendental Divine Self. Thus, as the devotee matures in this
Work of Incarnating the Radiant Divine Self, all conditions
are Transformed by Love, and even the body becomes Radiant.
It is neither a particularly inward nor a particularly
outward Process. There is no effort either to avoid or to
exploit any experience in itself. Whatever arises is
intuitively presumed to be a modification or Play of the
Divine Personality, in which the devotee inheres by virtue
of his Perfect Realization. Even the gross universe appears
to be the Vision of God to such a devotee. And in his Humor
all necessity is dissolved, so that only God is his Destiny,
even as only God is his every moment Realization.
The Work of Incarnation is not
founded in any intention to perfect this world or to
immortalize any state of experiential existence. It is a
Humorous Work. It is that Work which is obvious only to one
who is already God-Realized and Free. It is a Work in which
there is no necessity whatsoever to the phenomena of
experience, but in which all phenomena are re-cognized to be
moments of the Eternal Radiance or Love that is God.
Therefore, the Perfect Devotee abides in the State of God
while alive, and only God is Shown as that Devotee. Just so,
all phenomena are inherently transcended by such a one. He
is a perfect Sacrifice into the Divine Disposition. This is
the ultimate Demonstration of the Work of Incarnation: not
utopia and immortality, but Freedom, Love, Humor, Surrender,
THE HEART IS THE KEY TO THE
ENLIGHTENMENT OF THE WHOLE BODY “In the human body, in the middle
of the chest, hidden behind the two lungs, is the physical
heart, which is the reservoir of blood. Through blood
circulation this heart supplies life-energy and nourishment
to every part of the body, from the skin to the bones;
further it nourishes and sustains the sensory and motor
nerves and every organ and limb of the body. It is in this
heart that the Linga Sharira or Bliss Sheath abides. This is
the seat of Atman, the self. If the heart is dissected
longitudinally into two parts, you will find an oval-shaped
hollow similar to a small seedless grape; the Bliss Sheath
pervades this space. The heart is the centre of blood
purification; it attracts gross or impure blood, purifies it
and infuses pure blood throughout the body. With the
circulation of the blood, the functions of knowledge and
action also pervade the entire body. The atom-like soul that
is located in the subtle area of this space uses its nearest
instruments, Chitta (mind-stuff, Ahamkara (ego principle),
Buddhi (intellect), Manas (mind), Indriyas (senses) and
Prana (vital air or energy). Thus it operates the entire
body and fulfills the purpose of Bhoga (enjoyment) and
Apavarga (release)…. The anatomical feature
described by Swami Yogeshwaranand Saraswati may be located
in the right atrium of the heart (sometimes called the right
auricle). While the anatomy of the heart may be inspected
through psychic, visual means, as in Yogeshwaranand’s case,
the vision he describes may not be identified with the
grosser physical anatomy. Rather, it is a phenomenon of
light and energy associated with the nervous system and
appearing in the general region of the upper center of the
heart, more or less coincident with the anatomical recess
illustrated here. Please see illustration on page
Transcending the Results of Yoga and Mysticism
Bhakti yoga and karma yoga, or the disciplines of devotional remembrance of the Divine and sacrificial action in the world, are the aspects of the total Way of Divine Ignorance that transform emotional reactivity and the arbitrary, self-oriented tendencies of desire and will.
The aspects of kundalini yoga and kriya yoga that relate to the body and nervous system below the brows are the aspects of the total Way that control the Life-Current and the habits of attention in the gross bodily dimension of experience.
Shabd yoga, or nada yoga, and the aspects of kriya yoga and kundalini yoga that relate to the brain centers themselves are the aspects of the total Way that control the verbal mind and release attention to intuition above thought. (The yogas themselves simply focus attention on the centers of the brain that do not relate either to the action of the gross bodily senses or to the verbal mind. Thus, they provide a basis for bypassing thought, imagery, and bodily sensations or perceptions. They do not, however, as traditionally supposed, lead to perceptions of the literal Divine or the Heavens of God. Rather, they themselves lead only to savikalpa samadhi, or states of objective internal contemplation, and nirvikalpa samadhi, or a state of nonobjective internal absorption of attention. Basically, these methods bypass conventional bodily and mental states and, after a period wherein fascinating dreamlike visions appear, often in profusion, there is a kind of blissful, nonobjective absorption of attention.)
Jnana yoga, or the discipline of intuitive penetration of the natural act or gesture of attention itself, is the aspect of the total Way that yields a summary awakening to the Condition of consciousness independent of all mental objects, high or low, and all bodily objects or states.
All of these yogas, and others, are represented in the form of physical, moral, and mental disciplines or responsibilities in the first three stages of the Way of Divine Ignorance. They serve a conventional purpose, of adapting the body-mind to the higher and total psycho-physical structures that are its form. But their results are also constantly penetrated, dissolved, or exceeded by the foundation discipline and responsibility of the conscious process at every stage. Thus, the true and ultimate Realization of the Real, or the Awakening of the Ecstatic Mind, beyond every part of the individual or independent body-mind, occurs only in the instants of the conscious process and in simple surrender of the entire bodily and mental self to the Spiritual Master.
Grace and awakened intuition are the means of that sacrifice that “pleases God.” That is, the superphysical Help or Influence of the Spiritual Master and the radical intuition of the unqualified Condition of Ignorance-Radiance (prior to and pervading all of body and mind) are the Agents whereby Truth becomes as obvious as the eye of one’s lover.
The Ultimate Work Is the Humorous Work of Divine Incarnation, or Love in Freedom
Condition is Transcendental, Absolute, prior to all definition of form or consciousness, and yet associated with specific form, consciousness, and experience. Our Condition is Divine Ignorance-or Unqualified Consciousness-and Perfect Radiance, Eternal Life, or Love. Except that, by association, we presume ourselves to be exclusively identified with our body-mind, or experience, and thus limited to the destiny of change, death, and separation.
The Way of Divine Ignorance is a Process whereby we first observe and adapt to our total functional structure and situation, and then we trace each aspect of the body-mind back toward its Transcendental Root. Each sense-function and every thought are followed back to their subtlest focus, their primal origination in experience. Thus, at last, there is a Perfect Awakening to the Condition of “I,” the Free Radiant Consciousness or Love from which the experiential self is arising moment to moment. In this manner the first three stages of our practice (or the first six stages of life) are devoted to a Great Way of Return to the presumption of our true and Divine Condition.
In the seventh stage of life and in the fourth stage of practice (the Way of Radical Intuition) the devotee stands Free in the Paradox of his Divine Condition. The Work in this ultimate, perfect, and native Disposition of Man is the Work that is generated when we stand in the Realized presumption of our right association with the phenomena of experience. Thus, it is the Work of Incarnation, or the paradoxical Work that is generated when the Radiant Divine Nature is presumed and all phenomena are viewed from that point of view. (In the earlier stages of the Way, the body-mind or experiential self is the point of view, and the Real or Divine Condition is approached by a process of gradual self transcendence, or transcendence of inherent or structural psycho-physical limitations at subtler and subtler levels of manifestation.)
Therefore, in the seventh stage of life and in the Way of Radical Intuition the Divine Ignorance-Radiance, the Absolute Personality or true Self, is natively presumed to be the Position of one’s existence. The devotee functions as that Radiant Self in association with all aspects of his functional or experiential existence. And all conditions of his experience are constantly re-cognized, or identified as only modifications of the Transcendental Divine Self.
Thus, as the devotee matures in this Work of Incarnating the Radiant Divine Self, all conditions are Transformed by Love, and even the body becomes Radiant. It is neither a particularly inward nor a particularly outward Process. There is no effort either to avoid or to exploit any experience in itself. Whatever arises is intuitively presumed to be a modification or Play of the Divine Personality, in which the devotee inheres by virtue of his Perfect Realization. Even the gross universe appears to be the Vision of God to such a devotee. And in his Humor all necessity is dissolved, so that only God is his Destiny, even as only God is his every moment Realization.
The Work of Incarnation is not founded in any intention to perfect this world or to immortalize any state of experiential existence. It is a Humorous Work. It is that Work which is obvious only to one who is already God-Realized and Free. It is a Work in which there is no necessity whatsoever to the phenomena of experience, but in which all phenomena are re-cognized to be moments of the Eternal Radiance or Love that is God. Therefore, the Perfect Devotee abides in the State of God while alive, and only God is Shown as that Devotee. Just so, all phenomena are inherently transcended by such a one. He is a perfect Sacrifice into the Divine Disposition. This is the ultimate Demonstration of the Work of Incarnation: not utopia and immortality, but Freedom, Love, Humor, Surrender, and Delight.
THE HEART IS THE KEY TO THE ENLIGHTENMENT OF THE WHOLE BODY
“In the human body, in the middle of the chest, hidden behind the two lungs, is the physical heart, which is the reservoir of blood. Through blood circulation this heart supplies life-energy and nourishment to every part of the body, from the skin to the bones; further it nourishes and sustains the sensory and motor nerves and every organ and limb of the body. It is in this heart that the Linga Sharira or Bliss Sheath abides. This is the seat of Atman, the self. If the heart is dissected longitudinally into two parts, you will find an oval-shaped hollow similar to a small seedless grape; the Bliss Sheath pervades this space. The heart is the centre of blood purification; it attracts gross or impure blood, purifies it and infuses pure blood throughout the body. With the circulation of the blood, the functions of knowledge and action also pervade the entire body. The atom-like soul that is located in the subtle area of this space uses its nearest instruments, Chitta (mind-stuff, Ahamkara (ego principle), Buddhi (intellect), Manas (mind), Indriyas (senses) and Prana (vital air or energy). Thus it operates the entire body and fulfills the purpose of Bhoga (enjoyment) and Apavarga (release)….
The anatomical feature described by Swami Yogeshwaranand Saraswati may be located in the right atrium of the heart (sometimes called the right auricle). While the anatomy of the heart may be inspected through psychic, visual means, as in Yogeshwaranand’s case, the vision he describes may not be identified with the grosser physical anatomy. Rather, it is a phenomenon of light and energy associated with the nervous system and appearing in the general region of the upper center of the heart, more or less coincident with the anatomical recess illustrated here. Please see illustration on page 400.
Jivatman, the individual soul, abides in the Bliss Sheath situated in the space of the heart, the reservoir of blood…. It can be seen by divine vision that this human body, which is like a castle, . . . contains the heart, of the size of a pear, or like the lotus bud drooping downwards. Inside this heart is a hollow of the size of a small seedless grape. Inside this hollow is the size of a small seedless grape. Inside this hollow is the Bliss Sheath, luminous like a golden egg. It is very pleasant to see and appears like an oval mass of light” (Swami Yogeshwaranand Saraswati, Science of Soul, pp. 184, 186).
A special alchemy of transformation occurs when the devotee begins to Awaken from the condition of gross delusion.
The glandular chemistry, the nervous system and mind, even the very cells are progressively transformed in the course of the soul’s Awakening. Bubba Free John’s account of this transformation is founded on his own experience and Awakening. In describing this process, he draws corroboration from both the most accurate reports of esoteric spiritual practitioners, ancient and modern, and the most sophisticated biomedical understanding of the functions and parts of the body, brain, and heart. However, our sciences are not conformed to the Wisdom of Whole Body Enlightenment, and our cultic traditions are commonly out of touch with the ancient Way. Thus, Bubba had to discover this Wisdom himself, by observing the special processes of Divine Grace as they are active in his own bodily being.
The key to the “esoteric anatomy” that Bubba Free John describes is the heart. A few individuals in recent times, such as Sri Ramana Maharshi and Swami Yogeshwaranand Saraswati, 2. corroborate Bubba’s placement of the psycho-physical seat of the Free soul or Self, and also of Divine Realization, in the heart. The popular religious and spiritual esotericism of the modern era considers the brain-mind (rather than transcendence of the brain-mind) to be the seat of ultimate Realization. But such is only a reflection of the immature preference for experiences of the higher or subtle astral phenomena of the body-mind. Such phenomena are transcended in the sixth stage of life. Therefore, the heart is ultimately found to be the doorway to the Absolute. The Adepts of ancient times commonly held this view, as we may presume from a study of the older Upanishads and other such sources. In the following essays, Bubba elaborates upon the heart’s function as the center and medium of the Enlightenment of the Whole Body, particularly in relation to the mystical and, ultimately, Transcendental awakenings of the brain.
2. Swami Yogeshwaranand Saraswati (formerly Swami Vyas Dev. c. A.D. 1889-1985) is (was) a modern yogi whose writings provide a firsthand account of the esotericism implicit in hatha yoga and ashtanga yoga. Gifted with a special ‘siddhi’ or capacity, for internal visualization, he has created a unique esoteric anatomy of the internal and subtle most structures of the body-mind. Bubba Free John as written of him: “His Way ultimately transcends the Gross Path of Yogis and explores the Revelation made by Light, even as the Way of Saints explores the Revelation most particularly made by Sound. Although the Realization indicated in his Way is summarized in the Yogic view of Patanjali, his esotericism reveals much that is hidden in all the usual ‘secret’ texts. He also, in Science of Soul, describes the precise relationship between the hart (as the true seat of the ego-soul) and the crown (the seat of the subtle mind)”
Bodily EnlightenmentEvery stage of the Way of Divine Ignorance is a stage in the process of the heart, the core of the bodily being, and of the Heart, the Transcendental Condition of the bodily being and of all conditions. Divine Ignorance, or Unqualified Conscious Radiance, is the Heart. Therefore, the Way of Divine Ignorance is the Way of the Heart. Bodily Enlightenment is the Process of the Sacrifice of the Heart into the Infinity of its own Radiance. Thus, the whole and entire bodily being dissolves towards the crown and into Divine Translation, while the Heart simply abides as the Infinity of Ignorance-Radiance. In Bodily Enlightenment (or the Condition previous to Divine Translation) the Heart is always Awake, under all conditions of experience. All conditions are Realized to be only modifications of the Heart, the All-Pervading Divine Self, and, therefore, they are felt to be identical to the Self. All conditions are Pervaded and Radiated by the Love-Radiance of the Heart in all directions and from all directions in the Infinite Ecstasy of God.
Esoteric Knowledge Is Transcended in the Seventh Stage of Life
Conventional mysticism communicates through metaphors of the Objective or Independent Creator Deity, the immortal soul, and the Spiritual Cosmos or Hierarchy of planes and heavens and powers. Thus, the language of mysticism is wedded to the religious or dualistic conception of God and soul, as well as the conception of a cosmic scheme, wherein the soul descends from God and, by ascending, returns to God.
But, truly, the secret key to the Wisdom concealed in mystical language is not religious philosophy nor any visionary or scientific description of the cosmos. The literal plane in which mystical activity takes place is not the cosmic world of soul travel but the ordinary body of Man. The key to mystical language and religious metaphor is not theology or cosmology but anatomy. All the religious and cosmological language of mysticism is metaphorical. And the metaphors are symbols for anatomical features of the higher functional structures of the human individual.
Those who enter deeply into the mystical dimension of experience soon discover that the cosmic design they expected to find in their inward path of ascent to God is in fact simply the design of their own anatomical or psycho-physical structures. Indeed, this is the secret divulged to initiates of mystical schools.
The world of ordinary men has traditionally been given only the exoteric instruction, wherein Man is described as a fleshy mortal with an immortal inner part. The exoteric instruction is essentially a moral and devotional teaching, offering salvation after death, when the mortal part falls away and the soul stands naked before the God above Nature.
But those who mature in self-discipline, moral sacrifice, and prayerful surrender are naturally drawn into a deeper consideration of the Condition of human existence. They enter into the inner path, the esoteric or mystical path. When they begin to enter the mystical path, they are given “secret teachings,” or esoteric descriptions of the cosmic planes that will be experienced during the ascent to God. And such new initiates are also given instructions in the mystical attainment of inversion (or withdrawal of attention from the outward movement of the sense organs)-in the form of higher methods of prayer, yoga, and so forth.
However, the instructions given to new initiates into the mystical or inner path are themselves only metaphors for experiential revelations that will develop as the inner practices develop toward maturity. Therefore, only the most mature devotee both experiences and understands the secret of mystical religion and cosmology. Mystical knowledge is knowledge of the body-mind of Man, not the material and knowable universe outside the body-mind of Man.
In the Way of Divine Ignorance, devotees are led directly to the bodily or total psycho-physical consideration of the mystical instructions that have been given to initiates since ancient times. Devotees in this Way do not merely pass from exoteric to esoteric levels of experience and understanding. They also mature beyond the limits of esotericism, into the Transcendental Disposition of true Enlightenment, wherein the entire body-mind is Translated into the Radiant Transcendental Consciousness.
In the fourth, fifth, and sixth stages of life, devotees enter into and gradually transcend the esoteric or mystical conception of human existence. Thus, in the Way of Divine Communion, the Way of Relational Enquiry, and the Way of Re-cognition, the ancient “Great Way of Return,” or the inner path of the soul’s ascent to God, is inspected and re-cognized, or intuitively transcended. And in the seventh stage of life, or the Way of Radical Intuition, the Enlightened, Free, or Transcendental Way is Realized, independent of all conventional conceptions or metaphors of mystical religion, esoteric cosmology, or inward techniques. In the Way of Radical Intuition, neither the body (in its outward relations) nor the mind (in its inward relations) is exploited for the sake of mystical experience. Rather, the total body-mind, or experience itself, is transcended in radical intuition of the Radiant Transcendental Consciousness, the Absolute Life-Current in which the body-mind, all experience, and the world itself is floating. Thus, in the ultimate practice of the Way of Divine Ignorance, the body-mind is tacitly or natively released into the Life-Current or Radiant Consciousness, the Living Heart or Self of all beings. And both body and mind become transparent in the Radiant Self, yielding an even bodily Enlightenment.
Therefore, the Teaching of the Way of Divine Ignorance is not truly either exoteric or esoteric. Rather, the Way involves Transcendental Awakening, or radical intuition, from the beginning. That intuition, or the Realization of Divine Ignorance, is Awakened through “hearing” or truly understanding the argument of the Teaching of Truth, and “seeing” or truly surrendering into the Company or Presence of the Spiritual Master.
Once this hearing and seeing are true of the devotee, the Way begins. And the beginning of the Way involves the transcendence of self through application to exoteric disciplines of a religious, moral, and personal kind. But these very disciplines are engaged from the point of view of true understanding, or prior Awakening to the Disposition of Divine Ignorance and direct surrender into the Transcendental Current of Life.
The fourth stage of life is the stage in which devotees are occupied in this Way until the end of the first phase of the Way of Re-cognition. Thus, the fourth stage of life continues until the attention of the devotee has come under his voluntary control, and he is able to submit or invert his attention, inward and upward, from the lower and outer bodily plane of the senses, and into the brain core.
The higher esoteric dimension of the fourth stage of life is contained in the practice of the awakening of the mechanisms whereby the Life-Current is stimulated bodily. Experiences of the bodily awakening of the Life-Current may arise all throughout the phases of practice in the Way of Divine Communion and the Way of Relational Enquiry. However, the devotee does not become technically responsible for this process until the second phase of the Way of Relational Enquiry and, especially, the first phase of the Way of Re-cognition.
Thus, as the devotee matures in the fourth stage of life, the religious, moral, and personal disciplines that form the exoteric dimension of practice are expanded into the first degree of esoteric practice, wherein the elemental body is found to be pervaded and inwardly controlled by the subtle energies of the Life-Current. This lower bodily esotericism includes disciplines relative to diet, sex, breathing, and surrender of mind, or attention, into the Life-Current. And the practices at this level have correspondences with such disciplines as hatha yoga and kundalini yoga.
The fifth stage of life is the stage of higher esotericism. It does not begin until attention is stabilized at the brain core by the inverted or ascending force of the Life-Current. Thus, the devotee must not only have transcended the anatomical movement of attention via the senses and toward outward bodily experience, but he must also have transcended the movement of attention into the Life-Current in relation to the lower body. Attention must be capable of abiding easily at the brain core. Speaking in traditional yogic language, the attention must rest above the Life-centers of the anus-perineum, sex organs, navel, heart, and throat, and it must be stabilized at the “sixth chakra,” the “ajna chakra” or “third eye,” above and behind the brows.
The practices in the fifth stage of life involve the highest forms of mystical ascent into the experiential realm of the brain core, the “heaven” of religion and the outer cosmic limit of esoteric mysticism. In the Way of Divine Ignorance, the fifth stage of life is engaged during the second phase of the Way of Re-cognition. And the practices at this level have correspondences with raja yoga, shabd yoga (or nada yoga), laya yoga, and the higher dimensions of hatha yoga and kundalini yoga.
The phenomena of the fifth stage of life are traditionally described to worldly or exoteric devotees and even to initiates in the fourth stage of life in terms of a hierarchy of cosmological schemes,ascending toward the Absolute Deity. The ultimate goal is described as the union or Eternal Embrace of God and the soul (which remains intact, but in a highly ratified or purified state). However, the phenomena of the fifth stage must be re-cognized as they truly are. They are the phenomena displayed to the internalized sense-functions when attention is firmly directed into the Life-Current in the brain core.
In the esoteric practices of the fourth stage of life, attention is yielded from the outer play of the bodily senses and into the Life-Current, which is felt to be internal to the entire physical or elemental body, toe to crown, particularly along the spinal line, from the perineum to the cerebellum. But in the esoteric practices of the fifth stage of life, the sense functions are internalized to the degree that the physical body is essentially transcended, and the controlling mechanisms of the gross body and the senses are contacted at the brain core.
Thus, just as the extended physical body is the plane of practice, or submission to the Life-Current, in the fourth stage of life, the brain core, or the root of the bodily senses, is the plane of practice, or submission to the Life-Current, in the fifth stage of life. But what is inspected and experienced at this stage is not any cosmological scheme of heavens above, but the subtler functions of the human brain-mind itself. And in the Way of Divine Ignorance, these internal brain mechanisms are gradually transcended, yielding the further Revelation of the Life-Current Itself, which transcends all of the structures of self and of Man.
Thus, in the sixth stage of life (or the third and final phase of the Way of Re-cognition), the position of the brain as the controlling mechanism of the sense functions is no longer the point of consideration. Rather, the mechanism of attention itself, prior to states of mind or body, is inspected in the Life-Current. The practice at this stage has correspondences with jnana yoga and certain meditation practices found in the schools of Buddhism.
The import of practice at this stage is the discovery of the Transcendental Condition of the presumed personal or separate soul.
But the practice and the profoundly inward Realization at this stage must at last be transcended, since it is dependent on the exclusion of the psycho-physical phenomena of both the brain core and the extended physical body.
Thus, the sixth stage leads into the seventh, or the Way of Radical Intuition. Suddenly the “eyes” of the heart are opened, and the body-mind is no longer prevented or suppressed by the extreme motive of inwardness. And there is a profound Revelation in that Event, or Bodily Enlightenment. It is the Revelation that the world, the body, the mind, and all experience are simply forms of modification of the Life-Current, which is Transcendental or Free all the while. And the Life-Current is Realized to be not merely Energy, felt by the body or contemplated by the mind, but it is identical to Consciousness, which is Transcendental, prior to all forms. Thus, in the seventh stage of life, all conditions, internal and external, high or low in the structure of human experience, are tacitly re-cognized to be unnecessary and temporary modifications of the Radiant Transcendental Consciousness, which is prior to all conceptions or experiences of God, or the soul, or the cosmic world.
The Bodily Structure of the Self-Transcendence of Man
The psycho-physical body of the human individual contains many centers of possible function that, at the present stage of common evolution, are either not yet awakened or else not fully developed. The awakening and developing of all of the structures and functions of the human body-mind, through a spiritual or truly evolutionary science and technology of Life, is a major aspect of the Way of Divine Ignorance.
The traditional esoteric descriptions of the human individual commonly point to seven primary structural centers or regions of the bodily being. These correspond to the perineum, sex organs, navel-solar plexus, heart, throat and lower brain, the brain core, and the higher brain. And each center is a complex functional region, including aspects of the elemental physical body, the glandular system, the blood system, the nervous system and breath cycle, programs of the brain, and states of conscious awareness.
The conventional esoteric view of Man and his ultimate evolution is generally dualistic, representing a self-divided and reactively self-possessed view of human experience. Thus, the “way of salvation” is traditionally described in terms of a bodily and cosmic process of subjective inversion and ascent from this world or dimension of experience to a higher world or dimension of experience.
The psycho-physiology of that process, common to most of the religious and spiritual cults of the world, is one of the withdrawal of attention and the current of the nervous system from the physical base, at the perineum, up through the chain of bodily centers, into the brain core (or the “inner sanctum,” above the brows). To be sure, there is both utility and necessity in awakening and developing the whole range of our psycho-physical structure. But the technique and the philosophy in which the brain-mind is exclusively and in itself equated with the Realization of God or the Solution and Liberation of Man is an heretical error that our lowly and reactive state of evolution has itself created.
The body-mind of Man, contrary to the traditions of the conventional esoteric view, is not an inherently negative event, nor an event created or appearing for its own sake. Neither is its Truth within, or subjective and above, to the exclusion of all parts that are below or extended and expressed through relations.
The body-mind of Man has no center that is itself the exclusive connection to the Divine, nor is ultimate Realization of the Divine something the body-mind itself can register or define by experience. Rather, the whole and entire body-mind is the primal “center” of our structures of experience and our Communion with the Divine. And neither personal experience nor dualistic, experiential Communion of the body-mind with the Divine Reality within which it appears is the purpose or the fulfillment of human existence. Rather, the personal, moral, and higher psycho-physical functions of the individual are awakened, developed, and fulfilled through utter sacrifice, or ecstatic self-release into the transcendental Divine. Our ultimate fulfillment is in spontaneous transcendence of the structure that is Man.
The body-mind that is Man is a condition in God, and it is obliged to awaken and develop in all of its structures, bodily and mental, extending into the psychic and supramental dimensions above and beyond the verbal and image-mediated mind of the superficial brain. But the whole and entire body-mind is the field within which such awakening, adaptation, growth, and development occur. The process is not, in its true form, one of exclusive inwardness and upwardness, confining experience to the higher mind at last. Such a way is the expression of vital reactivity and its Narcissistic power of self-possession. Nor is the process the equally reactive one of mental and physical exploitation of the vital or extended personality. Rather, the process is rightly one in which the reactive recoil of the body-mind is itself continuously undermined, and its self-possessed and self-divided strategies made obsolete through prior and present Communion with the Power and Reality of the Divine. It is through ecstatic Sacrifice or whole bodily Communion with the Divine that we evolve and also transcend our own position.
The whole body view of the Divine Life is epitomized in the disposition of the heart of Man. The heart is not the exclusive inward center of God-Realization, but the epitome of the whole bodily integration and sacrifice of Man in God. The brain core is the highest structural center of our functional association with the Radiant Current of Divine Life, but the heart is the Disposition in which all centers, functions, and experiences, high and low, are integrated and made into a single Sacrifice or Offering or act of Worship and Love in the Living Divine.
Men have always exploited their structural potential, both high in the body and low in the body. But all such adventures miss the Mark at last. We must awaken as the body-mind in every part, above and below, but we must do so through the whole bodily Disposition of the heart-which is the ecstatic or self-released disposition of Communion, Sacrifice, and Transcendence, whereby we are Dissolved in the Radiance and Consciousness that is beyond all Knowledge.
Therefore, the structure of Man may be described according to the traditional design of seven centers, with the perineum at the base and the higher brain at the apex above. It is even true that the higher brain is the senior or most high structural center of the extended body-mind. But the structural or bodily being of Man must be seen and understood as a kind of sphere about a center, which center does not point to itself or to the sphere of Man himself, but which is the disposition that makes the entire sphere a whole and single Sacrifice into the Unqualified Infinity of Ignorance-Radiance.
Thus, if the heart epitomizes the unity of the body-mind, then the centers above and below the heart are revealed to be aligned as structural pairs in constant mutual association, encircling the heart. Each center and every pair is secondary to the sacrificial and ecstatic disposition of the heart, or the whole body-mind at Infinity.
In this manner, we observe that the higher brain and the perineum are a dynamic pair. The middle brain and the sexual region are a dynamic pair. And the throat (including the lower brain and the brain centers that control speech and verbal activity) and the navel-solar plexus region are a dynamic pair. The first pair represents the supramental or superconscious mind as well as the fundamental existence and nonconsciousness or unconsciousness of the bodily being itself. The second pair represents the whole domain of the creative consciousness-higher mental, psychic, preverbal, and subconscious-as well as the creative bodily and emotional disposition that includes sexuality. And the third pair represents the domain of the verbal mind, speech, ordinary waking consciousness, and the entire process of intention, or the power of the will.
These dynamic pairs or processes “surround” the heart, or are epitomized by the whole bodily disposition of the heart-which is the disposition of Love-Communion with the unqualified Reality and Divine Condition of the body-mind at Infinity. Thus, the first three stages of human life, or structural adaptation, involve the lower aspects of the three dynamic pairs-the vital-physical, emotional-sexual, and verbal-intentional (thought and will). But the fourth stage of human adaptation requires that all functions of the body-mind be yielded to the disposition of the heart. In that case, the “lower” functional life is transformed into a regenerative practice of daily or ordinary activity. And when the lower-adapted body-mind is awakened to the disposition of the heart, then the “higher” functional adaptation of the three dynamic pairs may occur. Thus, as spiritual practice in the Way of Divine Ignorance matures, the psychic, higher mental, and supramental functions awaken and develop.In the ultimate stage of spiritual practice, the Way of Radical Intuition, the whole and entire body-mind is awake and moved to Divine Ecstasy through the sacrificial disposition of the heart. The Current of Divine Life is polarized from toe to crown, yielding up every part to the Radiant Power of God and yet pervading the crown and every extended part of the body-mind. And the whole bodily being perpetually yields its own illusion at the heart, where every experience of the body-mind, high and low, is penetrated in the unqualified Consciousness of Divine Ignorance. Thus, at last, body and mind Dissolve in God via the Transcendental and Formless Radiance of the Heart, which is the whole body at Infinity.
The Bodily Center of Self-Realization and God-Communion
A free rendering of the Mahanarayana Upanishad,3 section thirteen, verses six through twelve, by Bubba Free John
That which is Infinite, Eternal, and Unchanging is also Perfect Consciousness, the true Self. The ocean of experience is ended There. All seeking is satisfied only in That. Only This is the very Happiness of the World.
The true Self is Awake in your own heart. Consciousness Radiates from the heart, which is shaped much like the bud of a flower, but upside down, with the broad part above and the narrow part below.
One must be Awakened to this Truth: The Radiant Self, in which the entire World arises, has its locus in the heart, in the body of Man, below the throat and above the navel.
The heart is indeed very much like the bud of a flower, for it is surrounded and supported by the arteries and nerves, just as a flower bud is surrounded and supported by the various parts of the living plant.
In the midst of the heart there is a narrow space. Within the narrow space, the true Self Radiates the Light and Life of the body, the mind, and the World.
There in the narrow space is the Great Eternal Radiance, the Energy of Infinite Consciousness, Shining in all directions. It is the Current of Life in the body, which Radiates from toe to crown. Therefore, Life pervades the body, providing a natural heat, and the powers of every function.
In the core of that Radiant Life is the Shining Center, the atom, most subtle. It may be seen by inner vision, golden and amazingly Bright. It stands out like a flash of lightning in a dark and rain-filled cloud. And yet it seems no larger than a grain of rice, slender and subtle as the edge of a flame.
The Divine Person, the Radiant Self, the Truth, the Real, God, the Source and Master of the body-mind and the World is There, in the Radiant Center of the heart. That One is Realized to be Absolute Consciousness and Eternal Life, the Brightness that Overwhelms the World.
3. The Upanishads (“wisdom heard while sitting at the feet of the Teacher”) are the classical philosophical teachings of the Hindus and the earliest philosophical compositions of the world. They are considered the distillation of the highest, most supreme wisdom of the ancient or Vedic period of Indian civilization.
The Mahanarayana Upanishad (literally, “the wisdom heard at the feet of the Supreme Lord of the World”) was one of the latest discovered, but possibly one of the earliest written (perhaps between 800 and 600 B.C.). Bubba Free John considers it one of the principal Upanishads, because of its full description of the location of the soul in the heart and the esoteric relationship between the heart and the Divine Soul, or the Transcendental Reality. (Such was the most ancient view of the relationship between the body-mind of Man and the Living God of the World.) It is also one of the most devotional of the Upanishadic texts, expressing the attitude of loving and grateful self-sacrifice to God.
The True Heart and the Heart of Mystical Vision
When attention is focused in the brain core, and the function of sight is inverted, the “light of mind” may be seen. It is the visible energy of the higher brain-mind. That visionary light is one of the principal focuses of attention in the gnostic ascent of mysticism and yoga. In that light we may see anything to which we turn our attention, inside or outside the physical body. (But the usual man is so preoccupied with the repetitive cycles of sense desires and the verbal mind that he sees neither the inner light of mind nor anything else of a subtle or extraordinary kind.)
Yogis and other mystics seek to visualize the physical and subtle centers or mechanisms of the body-mind through the projection of attention in the light of mind. The brain may be inspected in this light, as may any part of the body. The region of the heart, which is the seat of the soul and the doorway to the true Self, is one of the primary areas of the body-mind traditionally inspected by mystical vision.
The physical heart was anciently viewed by the light of the mind. The nervous system in the region of the heart was likewise viewed. And the subtle mental energy associated with the heart was also viewed by the same method.
Therefore, there is the ancient report or description of the heart “chakra” – a complex field of colors and intensities radiating from a small chamber in the upper center of the physical heart. In mystical vision, the soul was seen as a golden or brilliant “egg,” surrounded by energies representing the covered soul in its relationships with both extended phenomena and the Transcendental Powers. Such is the manner in which the soul may be considered by the higher mind.
However, the Awakening of the soul into the Free Condition of the true Self has nothing whatever to do with the mind, or the play of attention, or the mystical vision of the subtle energies in the heart (or in the spinal plexus of the nervous system in the region of the physical heart). The true center of the heart is intuitively felt. It is not objective to the soul. It is not seen by the soul. It is the soul. It is Realized through transcendence of the mind and attention, not the exploitation of them.
When the heart-root is penetrated, there is a corresponding feeling-association in the living body. Thus, the devotee points to a place slightly to the right of the median of the chest, and slightly below the level of the nipple. That place epitomizes the “I”-sense, the whole bodily person. And it is the region wherein the “I”-sense of the complex body-mind is utterly transcended.
Therefore, the root or epitome of the heart is not the internal object of mind. It is the root of mind, or attention. And what is found there is not ultimately a state of mind, or vision, or any experience. Rather, it is the doorway to the Realization of the true Self. It is not an inward realm of mind. It is very Consciousness.
The heart-root is prior to the physical and subtle structures of the body-mind. It is prior to the nervous system. It is prior to all energies and forms in the Realm of Nature. It is prior to all subject-object relations. It is prior to all independent emotions. It is the Region of Bliss, Perfect Radiance, or Love. It is the doorway to Perfect, Pure, and Unqualified Consciousness.
The heart-root is first approached through the inversion of attention, toward its source, which is the native witness function of manifest awareness. The heart-root is located by tracing the gesture of attention toward its root. When the heart-root is found, then the Radiant Self is also Revealed, prior to all witnessing of experiential phenomena. It is Radiant Bliss, Eternal Fullness, Very Consciousness, the Transcendental Heart and All-Pervading Energy, the Divine Identity and Domain.
The Key to Enlightenment Is at the Center of the Body
The heart’s root, wherein the entire body-mind is epitomized, is located in the general region of the upper section of the heart. Since the upper heart is tilted to the right, and the primary nerve centers of the heart are on the right side, the root of self-consciousness is felt whole bodily to be to the right of the median of the chest. This is also the heart center of the formless or deep sleep state of consciousness.
The states of dreaming, or subtle mind, and of gross or waking consciousness also have their references in the heart. These states are related to the two parallel nerve currents that operate the two sides of the body and represent the two sides and aspects of the brain.
In most people, the right side and the right hand are positive and dominant. The left hemisphere of the brain operates the right side of the body, and the right hemisphere of the brain operates the left side of the body. The right side of the body is generally associated with expansive emotional and physical conditions, and the right hemisphere of the brain is generally associated with the psychic, intuitive, or preverbal realms of the mind. The left side of the body is generally associated with passive or internalizing tendencies, and the left hemisphere of the brain is generally associated with verbal-mental activities. The nerve currents extend from the brain to the entire body via the spinal cord, apparently alternating with one another, or crossing and balancing one another, at the various primary centers of the body. And the two halves of brain and body must be understood to be in a cooperative relationship, sharing rather than dividing the various physical, emotional, and mental functions. Even so, experientially, the heart focus of waking consciousness may be spontaneously felt by the mature devotee to be on the left side, whereas the focus of the dream state is to be felt in the middle of the heart, and the focus of the deep sleep state is to be felt on the right side of the heart (or to the right of the median of the chest).
When the heart-root is penetrated, the heart is Awake, prior to the divisions of left and right, within and without, self and other, positive and negative, expansive and passive, male and female. In that case, only the prior or perfect Radiance of the Current of All-Pervading and Transcendental Life is Awake, and the self-divided limitations of the body-mind and of bodily existence are no longer reactive in disposition or binding in effect. Then that Radiance is communicated centrally and universally in the body-mind itself.
The Origin of that Radiance is not a point or function in the body. The Radiant Divine is All-Pervading, prior to the body. But the complex heart is the center that controls the disposition of the entire body relative to that Current of Radiance. Therefore, only when the heart is Awake does that Current pervade the entire body without obstruction, so that every aspect of the experiential self is transcended in God. And the pattern of that Process in which the body is, in its wholeness or balanced disposition, pervaded by Radiant Life, corresponds to the polarities of the body-mind in its natural state. Thus, the brain itself, which is positive in its polarization relative to the body in general, is the first or primary region of Illumination. The lower regions of the body, which are negative in polarization, or secondary and passive to the brain, are Illumined via the brain, or secondary to the brain. But, in Truth, the whole and entire body is simultaneously and absolutely Enlightened, once the Radiant Current is released from the functional limitations of the heart and the reactive disposition of separate self and separate consciousness.
The disposition of the individual determines if he is self-possessed and experientially separated from the All-Pervading Transcendental Radiance, or if he is free in the Sacrifice of all aspects of the experiential body-mind, and so entered into Communion with the Radiant Divine, which ultimately Enlightens the body-mind and Dissolves the body-mind in Itself. The only structural possibility for such Communion, Enlightenment, and Translation is in the center of the bodily being. That center is at the heart, which epitomizes the whole and entire body, and along the central line of the body, polarized toe to crown, which consists primarily of the white and gray conductor materials, the cerebrospinal fluid, and the very Current of Life in the spine and brain, and which forms the armature or core on which the extended body is built.
Therefore, the Enlightenment of Man depends on the overcoming of reactive self-possession and the entire pattern of self-divided or dualistic phasing between functional domination by the extended or vital and lower body and functional domination by the brain, or the brain mind. Both extremes of the body-mind, above and below the heart, must be balanced and released at the heart. Only then can the Radiant All-Pervading Divine Bliss and Transcendental Current of Life pass freely to the whole and entire bodily being. And only then does Man, in the form of any individual, Realize his Condition in Truth and his Destiny in God.
Bodily Illumination by the Divine Radiance, which is released when the heart surrenders in love and radical intuition of the All-Pervading Divine, is a Process that may express itself in many ways.
Its primary expression is in the signs of Transfiguration, or Tranquil and Radiant Fullness, wherein only God is obvious and no manifest experience has power to define the consciousness independent of the Divine. Secondary to this Transfigured Bliss are the various signs of a Regenerated bodily and mental role within the Play of Life. In that case, psychic and healing powers may appear, and mental genius as well as extreme longevity may also develop. In some cases, the Illumination of the bodily being by the Radiant Life of God may ultimately Dissolve even the physical body into Light, as has reportedly happened in the cases of Elijah, Jesus, Tukaram, Chaitanya, Ramalingam, and others. But true Enlightenment is Awakening to the Onliness of God, through dissolution of the sense of separate consciousness and separated body in the Transfigured Realization of the Living God.
The Way beyond Light and Sound and Thought and Fear
The primary faculties of Man, Awakened in the spiritual or transcendental Realization of the Absolute Personality, or Real God, are those of feeling and intuition. These are the “whole body” faculties, or the conditions in which the entire bodily being is able to participate in a single or simultaneous Realization of Truth.
The secondary faculties of Man, Awakened in the growth toward total or whole bodily participation in the Divine Truth, are those of the root-senses, or the faculties of ordinary hearing and seeing.
Thus, in the Process of the Sacrifice of Man in God, the Current of Life moves all attention into the roots of perception in the brain, and attention revolves in the subtle Life-Manifestations at the very origins of the faculties of hearing and seeing, or the most subtle perceptions of Sound and Light. But both the subtler and the grosser fields of perception are only illusory objectifications or modifications of the Universal Current of Life. It is the whole bodily self-consciousness that monitors all such phenomena. None of it is God. It is all simply experience, or self-indulgence. It is all a hedge around Narcissus, who is the heart’s own fear.
In the fifth stage of life, the growth of Man extends toward the subtler field of perception and conception, including the phenomena of internal sounds and lights and visions and dreams and ideas more subtle than we think. But such phenomena are re-cognized to be only contractions of the self’s own consciousness, or partial stimulations of the independent body-mind.
The range of experience and psyche above the heart is just as internal and native to the ordinary and independent body-mind as is the range of experience and psyche below the heart. Thus, subtle perceptions and conceptions are ultimately re-cognized to be just as much a form of self-indulgence and self-meditation as are ordinary indulgences of food, sex, and reactive emotion.
Therefore, in the sixth and seventh stages of life, the Sacrifice of the independent self, or the point of view of the body-mind itself, is transcended. The root of attention is discovered in the heart, and the separated self-consciousness bursts open in the Infinite Personality of the Divine. The Process by which this ultimate Translation of Man into God is Realized is one that involves the primary or whole bodily faculties of Man. And these same faculties provide the working Foundation and Principle of every stage of the Way of Divine Ignorance.
From the beginning, this Way requires true “hearing” of the Teaching and true “seeing” of the Spiritual Master. Such true “hearing” and “seeing” involve an Awakening beyond self and fear, and beyond the conventional limits and partial states of awareness represented by the secondary faculties of perception and conception. Thus, true “hearing” transcends audition, or mere listening to sounds and words. And true “seeing” transcends vision, or mere observation of lights and forms. True ”hearing” and “seeing” transcend the subjective and self-possessed gestures of sensation, perception, and thought. Thus, they involve an Awakening to whole bodily Communion with the Living Divine, through the primary faculties of feeling and intuition, whereby subjective and objective limits are dissolved.
Ultimately, all the faculties of the body, brain, and mind must yield to the whole body, or the disposition of unobstructed feeling and radical intuition of the Divine Reality and Radiant Condition of all experience. Then all of the objects of sensation, perception, and cognition, subtle or gross, must also yield to that Truth beyond subject and object limitations. The mature devotee passes beyond the childish orientation to his own bodily experiences, his own mind, his own brain, his own psyche. He is released of all holding on to body and sensation and brain and thought and perception and fascination and self. He is Epitomized as unobstructed feeling, or Love, the Radiance of the Formless Heart, prior to self and body and brain and thought and perception, subtle or gross. And he is Awakened as radical intuition, or Unqualified Consciousness, the Heart and Origin of Mind and Form, prior to all personal independence.
Therefore, feeling and intuition, or the faculties of the whole body, are senior to ordinary hearing and seeing, or the faculties within the parts of the body. And it is through true “hearing” and “seeing,” or the transcendence of Light and Sound and Thought and Fear, through Radiant Love and Transcendental Intuition of the Divine, that the individual is Translated into the Absolute Personality, or the Divine Domain.
Ordinary men and women value what is heard and seen in the sensual domain. And extraordinary men and women value what is heard and seen in the supersensual domain. But only true devotees transcend all kinds of seeing and hearing of gross and subtle phenomena. Such a devotee truly “hears” and ”sees,” since all his faculties have yielded to Infinity through Love and Intuition of the Absolute Divine, the Universal Paradox, the Transcendental Personality, prior to self-consciousness, prior to body and brain, prior to sensation, perception, and cognition, prior to recoil, contraction, and reaction, prior to thought and speech, prior to all relations, all experiences, all consolations, and all bad news of vulnerable Narcissus, the suffering subject of all that passes.
When Love follows Intuition at the Heart, Life renounces all of its objects, and the deluded self Awakens to the Amazement of Bliss. Such is true Renunciation of the senses, the mind, and the self. Such is the Process whereby the Current of Life becomes Whole, free of all conditions, unobstructed in its Passage, toe to crown. Such is the Radical Means whereby the mind, or the conscious self, which is only the modifications of bodily attention, dissolves at the heart. Such is the Way of true Remembrance of the “Me” of God, the Absolute Personality beyond self and all of the Illusions or Personalities at the Threshold of our Sacrifice. Such is the Humor of our Enlightenment, the Origin of Laughter and Dance, the Secret of Liberation, and the Death that grants Eternal Life.
Chapter 7 – Part II