Talks and Essays on the Inherent and Ultimate Transcendence of Death
and Everything Else.
By Da Free John.
First edition: 6/83.
©1983 The Johannine Daist Communion.
ISBN: 0-913922-57-9 (paper).
Compiled and edited with an introduction and commentary by Georg Feuerstein.
Foreword by Kenneth Ring.
Introduction: Immortal Death and Human Civilization by Georg Feuerstein.
I: The Truth about Death:
1. ‘The Truth about Death’ (5/21/80). (Can we know anything about the death
process? Death and birth. The need to prepare for death. Fear of death.
Surrender as the key to “easy” death. Death as a transitional
2. “There Is No Self That Dies” (12/28/80). (“After-life”
phenomena and the illusion of the ego. The nature of consciousness. Enlightenment
and the fear of death. Why “easy death”?).
3. ‘The Illusion of Survival of Death’ (12/28/80) (“After-life”
experiences and the release of ego-stress. The body as a construct of a
“local” self. The Transcendental Being as the true self. The
nature of the cosmos).
4. “Conscious Death” (8/1/80) (A case of voluntary death. Death
through fasting. The need to consciously choose and cooperate with the
5. ‘Death and the Process of Perfect Transcendence or Sacrifice in God’
(7/29/77) (The different phases of death. Life as a school. Death as a
spiritual sacrifice. The true significance of physical existence. Death
is not a negative event. Our destiny: Light and Bliss).
6. ‘The Scale of Limitations and the Glorious Domain of God’ (7/2/80) Death
as an opportunity for self-transcendence. Spiritual practice during the
death process. Death as a superficial modification of Reality. Death in
7. “Death Is a Form of Meditation” (10/9/80) (Death is an example
of how a person should live in the waking state. On unlearning the fear
of death. Similarities between death and sleep. Death and meditation. Sahaj
8. “Get Up from Bed and Drop Dead!” (4/6/79) (Death as translation.
Dying is self-transcendence. The taboo on pleasure in death. Surrender
must be unconditional. The loss of bodily consciousness in ecstasy. Ecstasy
as a way of life. You must die every day).
9. ‘Only Life Overcomes Death’ (3/13/80) (The idea that ‘I’ must die is
false. The spiritual practice is to presume Life, not death).
10. ‘Death and Eternal Life’ (4/20/78) (The nature of personal existence.
The ego as process. Perfect death is God-Realization).
11. “Death Is Not Your Concern” (2/18/74) (Life and death are
a continuum. Death involves not only the body but also the psyche. The
ego cannot tolerate change, least of all the transformation of death. To
become truly capable of physical death, one must have passed through psychic
death in life. Worlds of relative immortality. The comparative unimportance
of human death. The nature of desire and mind. The significance of understanding.
The limitation of philosophy and true understanding. The man of understanding).
12. ‘The Vision and the Way of Eternal Life’ (3/19/78) (Life lives the
individual. Life is the Absolute Reality. The nature of the Way of Eternal
Life. The illusion of independent existence. The intuition of Divine Ignorance).
13. “You Do Not Know What a Single Thing Is” (12/23/77) (The
“philosophy” of Divine Ignorance. On the nature of things and
Man’s fundamental ignorance. Knowing about something and knowing what something
is. There are no real answers. The nature of Truth. The iron law of incessant
change. Sacrifice is the Law. The nature of spiritual life).
II: The Transcendence of Fear:
14. ‘What Is Wonderful Is Not Threatened’ (11/16/78) (On the necessity
to surrender the ego to the Whole).
15. ‘The Commitment to the Creative Struggle of Life’ (1/15/79) (True survival
is self-transcending, ecstatic surrender).
16. ‘Death Is the Way to Life’ (3/22/78) (Accepting the reality of death.
Moment to moment death is the Way of Life).
17. ‘Fear, Love, and the Other’ (3/8/80) (The illusion of an independent
body-mind. The root of unhappiness. The perception of duality gives rise
to fear. Fear as contraction. The transcendence of fear through surrender).
18. “Going Beyond Fear” (2/8/80) (The impact of fear on the chemistry
of the body. Fear as a bodily attitude. Fear in animals. Man’s natural
state is free of fear. Fear and the sense of otherness. The alternative
to fear is the recognition of fear as an ordinary bodily mechanism. Transcendence
of fear through Divine Remembrance. Fear in Primitive Man. Fear must become
converted into the will to Radiance. Feeling into fear. Fear is the inability
to relax and be surrendered. Fear and the Mystery of existence. The fear
19. ‘Life, Sex, and Death Must Become Meditation’ (4/16/82) (Fear is the
root of the tendency of non-participation. Fear-psychology and social existence.
Social control and sexuality. Social change and freedom. Sexuality and
death as the two primary organic functional events of human existence.
The self-conscious habit of Man. Mind and fear as Man’s basic burden. The
falsification of life, sexuality, and death in our culture. Transcendence
and full participation in existence. Life and sexuality as a search for
death. Regenerative sexuality. Life, sexuality, and death as free participatory
motivations. Death, like life and sex, must be practiced, not suffered.
Real meditation as preparation for conscious death. Death can be liberating
if the mind is transcended).
III: Beyond the Traditional Wisdom on Death:
20. ‘Transcendence of the Politics of Spirits’ (10/31/82) (The distinction
between traditional religion and Transcendentalism. The ancient world-view.
The hierarchy of beings. The concept of “God”. The Teaching of
the Adepts. Man’s after death destiny. Transcending all the realms of cosmic
21. ‘Divine Incarnation and the Traditional Method of Death’ (11/26/79)
(Traditional meditation as a duplication of the death process. The “path
of return” is unnecessary. Enlightenment as the basis of the Way of
22. ‘The Western Way of Bodily Self-Sacrifice’ (5/21/80) (The Eastern ideal
of recoil from embodiment. The Western ideal of bodily motivation. The
Way of Life is founded on the prior transcendence of any conception of
dilemma or problem of existence. The “Western Way” or Way of
Truth is a higher critique of the conventional Eastern and Western traditions
of seeking. The ideal of self-surrender or Ecstasy. Suffering as the habitual
action of self-possession. ‘I’ as the total body-mind process. Recoil from
experience is recoil from God. The Law of love. The after-death self is
not the Transcendental Being. Rebirth. God-Love is the true practice of
23. “The Destiny of Man beyond Death” (2/1/80) (Life as Divine
Play. Is there a heaven? The two ways of death. The nature of the Divine
Domain. The appropriateness of human life. The transcendence of embodiment.
God as the Destiny of Man. The Transfiguration, Transformation, and Translation
of the devotee).
24. “Recognition Is the Key to Enlightenment” (11/26/80) (A person’s
spiritual status at death determines his after-death condition. The Tibetan
teaching on the “clear light”. Recognition of phenomena as the
Transcendental Reality is possible at death. The role of attention in the
spiritual process. The Buddhist conception of Nirvana or nothingness. The
“clear light”. Subtle visions during life and after death. Whatever
arises is non-binding. Hallucinogenic drugs and after-death experiences.
God-Realization is the recognition of the habit of association with phenomena.
To recognize all phenomena, all experience, is the Teaching)
25. “Real Meditation Is Not the Strategy of Inwardness” (5/31/80)
(The Eastern approach to meditation. Meditation and the death process.
Critique of the Western approach. Esoteric Western teachings resemble the
Eastern approach. The “Western Way” or Way of Truth is not based
on the inversion of attention. The mood of unhappiness and the adoption
of Eastern forms of meditation by Westerners. The Way of Truth is founded
on Man’s prior Happiness. Awakening to the Spiritual Divine is a precondition
for the practice of the Way of Truth. The essence of the Way of Truth is
love, or the love of God. Through surrender one discovers true esotericism,
true meditation, and true wisdom.
26. “The Paradox of Reincarnation” (12/8/80) (The nature of memory.
The sense of identity. The changing self. Fear is a fundamental obstruction
to memory. Entering into the domain of the unconscious. The nature of the
conscious mind. Superconsciousness. Memory of past lives through the expansion
of consciousness. The spiritual process is the reclamation of the unconscious
by consciousness. The Enlightened mind. The paradox of reincarnation).
27. “The Lower and Higher Personalities and the Transcendental Personality”
(8/2/79) (The popular notion of reincarnation. Out-of-body experiences.
The personalities of the lower and the upper coils. We hallucinate the
people we see. The perception of esoteric colors. Lower and higher personality
and physiological correlates. The Transcendental Personality pervades and
masters the lower and the higher personalities. Equanimity is the first
stage of higher spiritual practice. Awakening of the upper coil. The seventh
stage of life. Man as a composite. The universe is paradoxical. The uniqueness
of Man. Possession. The Spiritual Master is the Transcendental Personality.
We cannot depend on anything except God. What is the after-death destiny
of an Adept?).
28. “Ego-Death and the Chaos of Experience” (1/1/79) (Popular
mysticism does not involve ego-death. Mystical phenomena pertain to the
ego itself. Conventional religion and mysticism are a consolation for Man’s
mortal fear. The ego is the illusion of independence. The Truth is not
within. Without self-criticism, religion and mysticism are merely forms
of enthusiasm. The ego makes the World-Process appear to be defined and
logical. The ‘I’ is the total body-mind. Liberation does not require the
inversion of attention, but ego-death. Mystic, Sage, and Transcender. All
aspects of the body-mind must be inspected and transcended in God-Communion.
God-Realization is permanent. The ego-death of Ramana Maharshi. Ordinary
habits or beliefs have no power to protect one in extreme moments of naked
fear. The ritualization of everyday life. The death of the ego coincides
with the spontaneous confession “I am the body”. Fear is an inevitable
experience in the transition from un-Enlightenment to Enlightenment. The
body-mind arises in the Transcendental Consciousness. The disintegration
of the body into Light).
IV. Transcending the Cosmic Mandala:
29. ‘Death Is a Radical Fast’ (1/79 ?) (Death as a purifying crisis. Possible
forms of existence after death and Translation into the Divine Domain).
30. “Attention, Death, and Realization” (7/9/82) (The nervous
system acts as a lock on attention. Existence is built out of the convention
of attention. The ego cannot be fulfilled. Man’s fundamental motive is
to be released. Science as a search for release. Taboos against the higher
stages of life. The purpose of the first three stages of life. Attention
in the higher stages of life. The transcendence of attention. One must
discover the Source of attention. The ascent of attention. Mystical states
and out-of-body experiences. Experiences of light and color. Cosmology
and color. Worlds are simply possibilities. Manifest existence is impermanent.
The Way of Truth is a matter of perfect release from bondage to the patterning
of attention. The indirect way of seeking, and the direct way of investigating
the root of attention. The seventh stage of life and renunciation. The
seventh stage of life is itself a form of spiritual practice. Transfiguration,
Transformation, and Translation. The yoga of recognition. Happiness is
dependent on God-Realization).
31. “The Cosmic Mandala” (7/11/82) (Computer images and visions.
Near-death experiences. Scientistic taboos against the exploration of uncommon
phenomena. The materialistic bias of science. Out-of-body experiences.
Different psychic experiences share underlying common structures. The nature
of the human mind. The external world is an electronic apparition. Near-death
phenomena are impure perceptions of the mechanism wherein experience is
arising. The function of attention. Attention is a mechanical gesture of
consciousness within the frame of possibilities. The experience of mind-forms
in the near-death state. The perception of the Mandala of light through
free attention. The colors of the Cosmic Mandala. The Tibetan Book of the
Dead. Knowledge alone is not sufficient to transcend the mechanisms of
attention—wisdom is needed. The binding power or maya of the manifesting
force. Returning attention to its Source. The Perfect Practice. The seventh
stage of life. Fifth-stage mysticism. Transfiguration, Transformation,
and Translation as the three phases of the seventh stage of life. Levels
or realms of the Cosmic Mandala. Equanimity. The colors of the Cosmic Mandala
and brain processes. Moving beyond the brain. Surrender and focusing of
attention in the center of the Cosmic Mandala. The Great Siddhi is the
capacity for free attention. Man as bio-computer. The horror of existence.
The esotericism of the seventh stage of life).
32. ‘The Penetration of the Cosmic Mandala’ (7/20/82) (The progression
of lights seen in the Cosmic Mandala. Visions of the Cosmic Mandala in
meditation or at death, and its penetration in the seventh stage of life.
The sixth-stage realization of ego-transcendence and the seventh-stage
Realization of transcending the separative ego-consciousness in the Divine
Self-Consciousness. The Cosmic Mandala is not within. The ego is not the
33. ‘The Paradox of Translation’ (8/14/82) (Attention and objects as perturbations
of the Transcendental Self. Enlightened recognition of attention and objects
is penetration of the Cosmic Mandala. The ultimate transcendence of everything
in Self-Radiant Being).
34. ‘Death and Samadhi’ (4/17/82) (The death process as meditative self-surrender.
Savikalpa samadhi, nirvikalpa samadhi, and Bhava Samadhi. Human death is
a temporary ascent of attention).
35. ‘Death and Divine Translation’ (7/7/78) (When the Radiance pervading
the body-mind is felt to consume all differentiation. Ultimate Translation
is only possible at death).
V. How to Serve the Dying:
36. ‘Death Is a Perfect Insult’ (6/22/77) (Death is the frustration of
knowledge. Sacrifice is the Law. The ‘I’ is the whole body. The ‘I’ constantly
moves in Mystery. To confront death in Truth we must be humbled and confounded).
37. “How to Serve the Dying Person” (5/31/80) (One can serve
a dying person even when his or her external awareness is no longer functioning
fully. Death is not complete annihilation. Surrender to God. On remaining
a devotee in the last moment. Dreams after the death of an intimate. The
virtue of release).
38. “Death Is a Living Process” (6/20/77) (Death is a moment
of change. The body is not the person. Do not hold the dying person to
anything. The three-day transition into the subtle dimension. Sensitivity
to the relationship with the dead person. On cremation. Death is a living
process. The sight of a dead person is a trial. Tolerance for change. Merely
to die is not to accomplish anything. The need for wisdom).
39. “Transcending the Ritual of Sorrow” (2/9/83) (The selfish
aspect of sorrow must be transcended. Ordinary life as unconscious ritual
behavior. Ritual responses to the news of death reflect a neurotic relationship
to one’s own death. The psychology of dependence on people and things for
Happiness. A summary of the ultimate spiritual process: the discovery of
Happiness in the Self-Position, the Transformation of existence by Happiness,
and the Outshining of all conditions in God).
40. “Light after Death” (11/9/80) (Physical signs of death. Near-death
experiences are largely brain phenomena. The reanimation of corpses in
Chinese shamanism. The Tibetan Book of the Dead. The progressive withdrawal
of the Life Current. On instructing the newly deceased. The shutdown of
the nervous system at death should be utter surrender and release of everything.
The significance of the colors perceived after death. Possible after-death
destinies. The force of God-Communion must overwhelm the tendencies of
41. The Story of Derek and Grace by Meg Krenz. (Derek’s premonitory dream
of his death. The fulfillment of Derek’s wish to meet Master Da Free John.
The fatal accident. The Spiritual Master’s instructions on the occasion
of Derek’sdeath. Derek the apparition. The healing power of the Spiritual
Master’s mere Presence. An unexpected gift from the Spiritual Master. Derek’s
first death anniversary. A letter to Lynn Goodman: Whatever is offered
to the Spiritual Master belongs to the Divine. Three years later: the birth
of Grace, or the rebirth of Derek.
42. Preparing for Death by Phillip Greenblatt (Phil’s father is declared
critically ill. Holy ash: a sudden recovery. A Teaching “argument”.
When a father begins to love his son. A recalcitrant devotee preparing
for his death?. On serving the survivors).
43. Death and Near-Death by Richard Johnson (Richard’s car accident and
his experience of the Divine Presence).
44. King Vidor by Toni Whitnah (A case of swift and unexpected death. Toni
and Kerwin come to serve the three-day transition. Spiritual instruction
is given to the deceased. Being sensitive to the state of the one in transition.
Unresolved life-situations complicate the process. Meditation, prayer,
and opening to the Divine. Graceful passage on the second day).
“Awakening from the Dream of Experience” (8/13/79).
Second edition, revised, enlarged and updated 12/91.
Spiritual Discourses and Essays on the Inherent and Ultimate Transcendence
of Death and Everything Else.
By The Divine World Teacher and True Heart-Master, Da Avabhasa (The
©1991 Sri Love-Anandashram (Naitauba) Pty Ltd, as a trustee for
the Sri Love-Anandashram Trust.
ISBN: 0-918801-30-3 (paper).
Compiled with commentary by Connie Grisso, Carolyn Lee, and James Minkin.
Consulting editor, Frans Bakker, M.D.
Foreword by Richard Grossinger.
Introduction: Divine Grace and the Truth about Death:
1. Grief and Grace by Connie Grisso.
2. Da Avabhasa’s Revelation of How to Transcend “Death and Everything
Else” by Carolyn Lee and Meg McDonnell.
I. Understanding Death and Going Beyond Fear:
1. ‘The Truth about Death’ (5/21/80).
2. “Death Is Not Your Concern” (2/18/74).
3. ‘How the Problem of Death Is Overcome’ (from DHT).
4. ‘Death and the Divine Destiny’ (4/28/78).
5. ‘Death Is the Way to Life’ (3/22/78).
6. “Death, Sleep, and Meditation” (10/9/80).
7. “Going Beyond Fear” (2/8/80).
8. ‘What Is More Than Wonderful Is Not Threatened’ (11/16/78).
9. “Surrender and the Process of Grace” (11/9/80).
10. “There Is No Individual self That Dies” (12/28/80).
11.”The Divine Vision and the Vision of Mortality” (7/9/83).
12. “Easy Death” (12/8/82).
II. How to Prepare for Death while Alive:
13. “Use Your Life” (7/3/88).
14. “Death Should Be Transcended, like Everything Else” (8/9/87).
15. “Are You Sure That You Survive Death?” (7/3/87).
16. “Get Up from Bed and Drop Dead!” (4/6/79)
17. “The Choice of Happiness” (7/5/87).
18. “The Significance of Renunciation” (7/13/82).
19. “This Liberating Impulse” (2/1/85).
20. “Your Destiny after Death” (oral communications, 4/9/91 &
21. “After Death, Mind Makes You” (12/11/88).
22. ‘The Scale of Limitations and the Glorious Domain of God’ (7/2/80).
III. “After Death, Mind Makes You”
23. “Death Is an Entirely Different Event Than You Think It to Be”
24. “The Cosmic Mandala” (7/11/82).
25. ‘The Penetration of the Cosmic Mandala’ (7/20/82).
26. ‘The Divine “Brightness”‘ (DHT).
27. ‘Death Is a “Radical” Fast’ (1/79).
28. “The Two Ways of Death” (2/1/80).
29. “Your Whole Life Determines the Process of Your Death” (7/14/87).
30. “Stay on the Zero” (10/17/77).
31. The Paradox of Reincarnation (12/8/80).
32. “The Gross Personality, the Deeper Personality, and the Ultimate
33. ‘There Is No Entity That Passes from Lifetime to Lifetime’ (DHT).
34. “There Is Nothing Left but the Ash” (8/15/88).
35. “I Am the Divine Agent” (5/31/80).
IV. “You Will Treat One Another Differently in Death”: On
Serving the Death Process.
36. ‘Death Is a Perfect Insult’ (6/22/77).
37. “How to Serve the Dying Person” (5/31/80).
38. “Death Is a Living Process” (6/20/77).
39. “You Will Treat One Another Differently in Death” (excerpts
from 3 spiritual discourses: 8/13/87, 4/29/82, 10/15/82).
40. “The Celebration of Passing” (excerpts from 3 spiritual discourses:
12/8/82, 7/3/87, 7/3/87).
41. “The Best Form of Grief” (excerpts from 3 spiritual discourses:
5/20/87, 7/12/87, 4/13/91).
42. “Transcending the Ritual of Sorrow” (2/9/83).
43. Surrender beyond Everything and Everyone (3 excerpts: 4/9 & 4/13
& 12/8/91, 5/21/80, 4/9/91).
V. “I Will Always Be With You, Even in Death”: Leelas by Devotees
of the Divine World-Teacher and True Heart-Master, Da Avabhasa (The “Bright”):
44. The Only Way Out:
1. The Great Giver, by Frans Bakker.
2. Remembrance of My Sat-Guru Was My Anchor by Tom Closser.
45. The Divine Gift by Margot Soley.
46. The Life and Death of a Temple Architect by Deborah Fremont-Smith.
47. Healed of Grief: Two Leelas of Retreat in Sri Da Avabhasa’s Company
by Eileen Haight and Linda Focht (& “afterword”, 7/3/87).
48. Allow Death to Occur: Two Dreams of Going beyond Fear by Raewyn Bowmar,
49. Letting Go by Ron Jensen.
50. King Vidor, by Toni Vidor.
51. The Touch of “The Giver of Love”.
Epilogue: The Heart of Understanding.
Appendix: Serving the Death Transition: A Summary of Sri Da Avabhasa’s
Instruction presented by Connie Grisso, Director of Mate Moce.