Death is Not Your Concern – Bubba Free John – Adi Da Samraj


home.gif" width="40"/>



 

 

The Dawn Horse

Number 6 (Volume 2, Number 4), 1975.


Editors
introduction:

‘Death Is Not Your Concern,’
Bubba Free John criticizes men’s (and woman’s) preoccupation
with possible forms of personal survival after death, and
insists that falling into the Real Condition during life
rendrs all such concerns obsolete. This talk was originally
published in shorter form in the July, 1974, East West
Journal. The editors of that magazine rquested a piece by
Bubba on the subject of death, and this present article is a
fuller rendition of the talk Bubba subsequently gave to his
community.

From a talk by Bubba Free John to
his devotees on February 18, 1974. A shorter version of this
talk was published under the same title in the July 1974
issue of the East West Journal.

 

 

There
is no idea that lasts beyond your final breath.
This massive philosophical and psychological
defense that people create through a lifetime of
seeking, all this goes, just like that. It is so
fragile. And they wind up after death in the same
condition, or worse, with more from which they must
be purified. But the individual who understands the
functions of life and the mind and his relationship
to them is released from dependence upon the drama
that the usual man exercises in the midst of his
functions. At the point of death such a one goes
through the same rip-off process as any other one,
but he is released, truly. He passes into a
different functional existence, relieved of the
secondary bondage that the usual man has to deal
with, everything that causes the usual man to drift
back, unconscious, to lesser states and confusions
and mysterious conditions.

So it is better to
understand the mind than to create philosophy with
it. The fundamental condition of consciousness is
what passes beyond this life, not your philosophy
and all your ideas and experiences. Such things
don’t have the strength to pass from one room to
another. You can’t even hold on to your philosophy
or your mantra when you pass by a cross-legged nude
on a couch! So what do you think happens from life
to death and back to life again? As soon as a
desire or some intense condition arises, philosophy
and the usual practices go out the bottom. If your
little search is that fragile during life, what do
you think occurs in the midst of such a profound
event as psycho-physical death?

It is not just the body
that you are not. It is also the psyche that you
are not. People who get involved with spiritual and
philosophical matters like to consider they are not
the body. They like to pursue out-of-body
experiences. The yogic phenomena are hopeful in
this regard. They project you into psychic
dimensions that are free of the common physical
limitations. But there is no ultimate distinction
between the psychic and the physical. There is a
psycho-physical condition manifest in the infinite.
The psyche and the body may not be perfectly
separated. There may be experiences in which there
is a sensed or felt separation between them, but
ultimately there is no separation. (What is psychic
and what is physical are essentially the same
condition.)

So the Divine realization, perfect
dependence on God or radical inherence in the Divine Reality
as the condition of life, is not just getting out of the
body and going into some cosmic place or some psychic place
or some astral place. It is also passing out of the psychic,
out of all the things that you identify within
consciousness, all the kinds of thinking, self feelings,
memories. All of that is also abandoned in the perfect
ecstasy of Satsang or Divine enjoyment.

The “other” world is the inside of
the outside. What was within you during life becomes your
environment after death. And the measure of the purification
that will occur, or the depth of your involvement with the
phenomena after death, is the quality of your true spiritual
life, the quality of Satsang in you, the quality of your
present life as a devotee in God. Whatever the tendencies
that may move the apparent individual into various
dimensions after death, those experiences can be brief and
essentially subliminal and dreamlike if the force of the
life of the devotee in its truest sense is active in life,
allowing him to pass out of these conditions quickly into
something great.

Why shouldn’t there be form after
death? It’s all an amusement anyway. Understanding is not
passage into the soup. One who understands is already in the
soup. This is the soup. The absolute, infinite, unqualified
Divine is the consciousness of one who understands. And he
doesn’t have to die in order to realize that. All of these
worlds, all of these possible apparently limited dimensions
are forms of enjoyment for him in which the Divine is still
the Condition. So he is fully capable of passing into other
kinds of forms, other dimensions, subtle worlds,
transcendent worlds, sub-worlds. He is free to become a
Shiva lingam somewhere. His condition is flexible. But it
happens in God.

But there is no reason to be
concerned about the quality of the phenomena that will arise
after death, any more than there is reason to be concerned
for the quality of phenomena that arise while you are alive.
Every instant of concern locks you into a fragment, a
limitation, both while alive and after death. There is no
resort but to the condition of Satsang, which is unqualified
relationship to the Lord or inherence in the already Divine
Condition every moment, through the death experience and
beyond the death experience. And the intensity of that pure
Satsang is what guarantees the ultimate event in every
moment.

Conditions or experiences themselves
do not determine us. The Divine does. If you live in the
Divine, any event, any apparent condition, ceases to
condition your quality and your humor and make it something
less. So one who has become free in God is truly free. He no
longer has concerns about whether he will appear or not
appear, in what shape he will appear, or anything like that.
He is happy, and God is sufficient for him. That is the
Condition to be in. Only that Condition permits appropriate
purification to occur. Only that will allow you to be drawn
into happiness wherever you may arise.

Because of our position in the midst
of things, we tend to think of death over against life. But
when we begin to understand, then we see the whole process,
the transforming event that manifests as living, as
experiencing, as dying, as all of that, as a continuum, a
single process. Because of the fixed position of Narcissus,
the eternally recurring mortal, the seeker tends to think of
death as a fundamentally physical event. Because he is
frightened, he likes to think of it as something that stands
over against his psyche. He likes to think of how the psyche
perhaps survives, that individuated consciousness, that
sense of forms and complications and images and ideas and
experiences and memories. But when he begins to understand,
he sees that death is a psycho-physical event. It is not
merely a physical event, but a psycho-physical event, in
which not only the body dies, but the psyche also. Just so,
while alive we must enjoy wisdom relative not only to the
body and the world, but also to the psyche. We must be
equally free of the search for God, Truth, or Reality, the
whole preoccupation with dilemmas and inwardness.

The life-death process is a
transformation, a necessary and ultimately happy
transformation, in which one’s fundamental existence is
being realized. But when the individual examines things from
the point of view of Narcissus, who is fearful and separate,
he cannot tolerate this endless transformation. He has no
tolerance for the psychophysical life or death. When he
begins; to assume his mortality and feels he cannot escape
it, he tries to think of how to escape psychic
transformation, or psychic death. But the entire
transformation must occur. And when the resistance to
radical transformation breaks down, then the fullness of
that transformation is enacted, and ecstasy is continually
realized with greater profundity in the midst of this
endless transformation of existence.

So one who understands not only at
some point allows physical death, but he also allows psychic
death. And if he is smart he allows it while alive. Then
there is no ultimate fear represented by these transforming
events. Then he doesn’t have to defend himself against them
with philosophies, descriptions, dogmas, experiences and
various kinds of psycho-physical rigidity. He lives fully
and creatively. He passes through psychic death while alive,
and enjoys genuine understanding of his relationship to the
body or the various bodily states. He becomes capable of
bodily death.

Such an individual has a totally
different kind of relationship to the ending of his own
apparent life than one who is prepared through the
instruments of seeking. The seeker looks forward, through
the vision of his consolation of his fear, to certain kinds
of fixed phenomena. But one who understands allows the
radical process to take place. He is not interested in being
consoled by any fixed event or any limited realization. He
rests or allows himself to be rested in the Divine as his
Destiny or Condition.

To the degree one lives in Satsang
while alive, death is not a threat but an instrument of the
Lord. One who enjoys the Divine as his Condition, regardless
of his apparent condition at this moment, has grasped the
principle in which perfect happiness is the only possible
destiny. He no longer has to be concerned for his temporary,
immediate or future condition. While living in the Divine,
while living in Satsang, he begins to see the spontaneous
transformation of his existence into forms of happiness
while alive. The decline of his vitality, or the
transformation of it toward the event of his psycho-physical
death, begins to become transparent to him in the Divine and
ceases to be frightening. He sees that he can grasp the
enjoyment of God under all conditions. And in the event of
his psychophysical death, he sees it then as well. He
doesn’t go into the black. He passes into happiness, always
in newer forms.

But death for the seeker is a
fascination; it is unknowable, it stands over against his
life. The seeker, who is not truly and radically living in
God while alive, is fascinated with this whole death
possibility and the possibility of being psychically
separated from life. He actually aids the decline of his
life in an unnatural way, because the fascination with death
serves death through the agencies of his subconscious and
unconscious life. Whereas there is no unnatural need to die
at this moment, and there is no need to separate yourself
out psychically from any function or condition of life or
death.

This life is the Divine
manifestation at this moment, and no manifestation is of any
consequence to you at this moment other than this present or
living one. This is the condition you are presently given in
which to realize God. Your death isn’t being held out to you
as that great event in which you are going to have to be
busy with the whole possibility of realizing God. This
moment of life is already such a condition, and in the
moment of death that will also be such a
condition.

There is no reason to bring death
on. There is no unnatural reason to leave this world. For
very real and unreasonable reasons this psycho-physical
manifestation is given to you to deal with, and it is fitted
to the qualities of your karmic and pre-conscious
dependence. It is a continual test, and it contains the
continual possibility for lessons, for freedom, for
liberation into the Divine, for humorous life in God. So
this life is very much the appropriate business to be up to,
not philosophical and traditional spiritual considerations
about how to get out of it. You are not ultimately released
from life except in the fullness of the enjoyment of
God.

The human manifestation is unique,
and the traditions have valued it. They have valued it above
the apparently glorious, heavenly states that may be lived
in subtle worlds. In man there is the capacity to move
through all functional conditions, all limited states, all
subtle states and all Divine states. It’s possible to
realize the Divine absolutely in human form. This capacity
is not enjoyed by beings in the subtle worlds any more than
it is enjoyed by chickens in this world. So the human state
is valued. And in traditional spiritual communities people
become very serious about the fact that they are alive in
human form, and they become very seriously involved doing
self-transcending sadhana. But there is no call for
seriousness at all. There is never any call for seriousness.
There is no reason to be serious about anything whatsoever.
You must already be happy, already full of humor.

There is no fixed world. In this
world, which is essentially a vital manifestation,
everything seems so fixed and solid and moveless and not
capable of being influenced by your mere mentalizing. But
even this world is not fixed, as you begin to see as soon as
you fall into God and become humorous. Then you see how
unfixed and fluid this world is, and how unfixed and fluid
the condition of the vast, infinite cosmos is. It is all
fluid, shapeless, and unreasonable. The God-world is God.
And when you fall into God, then every world becomes the
God-world, because you are constantly intuiting the Divine
therein.

You can’t analyze the possible
conditions and make sense of them. There are countless,
infinities of possible conditions for all beings,
enlightened or not. So you can’t measure them. You can’t
determine your future, your destiny. Your only real destiny
is the Lord, and the Lord is also your present Condition and
eternal Condition. Only by falling into that and remaining
in it and becoming alive in it fully with all your
functions, only by doing that are you doing appropriate
sadhana. And if you are doing that, you can allow the Divine
to manifest your forms without concern.

There are great dimensions, great
cosmic possibilities. You may drift into them and enjoy a
kind of mortality that seems immortal. There are worlds’ in
which longevity is intensified almost to the point of
immortality. But it is not literal immortality. Those very
worlds themselves are declining and going through cycles, so
there is no fixed condition. There is no condition to be
maintained other than the Divine, the Real, Eternal
Condition. There are siddha-worlds and angelic worlds,
endless kinds of worlds which cannot be conceived from the
point of view of man. If you look out into the night at
those infinite numbers of stars and planets, what you see is
just one little tiny galaxy. Through a large telescope you
can see thousands of galaxies, in which there are billions
of possible worlds. And yet these are only those visible
within this little portion of the light spectrum, this
narrow little vibration in which we conceive
visibility.

All these visible galaxies that we
can see are perhaps something like a single cell on the big
toe of what seems to us to be a gigantic person. But he’s
perhaps a little troll in some other world much like this
one. You can’t analyze the possible conditions in the worlds
and the planes of consciousness and come out having gained
some knowledge or having fixed for yourself some superior
spiritual destiny. Investigating the possibilities of
existence can only ultimately confound you. It is a kind of
suffering, and it serves you like suffering, in that it
makes you fall apart and only at last yield to the Divine.
All these endless, endless possibilities are being lived by
the Divine, who is a single, absolute Person.

The event of a human death in the
midst of all of that is nothing. Everybody attributes so
much importance to it and wants it to be something so
terribly profound. Whereas the human psycho-physical death
is not even worthy of being called a minor incident among
the worlds. And in the midst of the path of your own
ultimate existence, it is not even a minor incident. It just
seems important from the point of view of fear.

It seems important to the mind
because the mind’s fundamental function is to defend the
ego. It is a hedge around the sense of separate existence.
As such the mind is always set against desire. The mind and
desire are two opposing principles. Desire is always moving
you toward a formless, transcendent condition. Desire is
always shattering the sense of separation. Desire is always
moving you toward union, toward concentration on what is
outside yourself, toward attention in something beyond this
knot of self sense. While desire is moving you, you are also
continually obsessed with the mind. And the mind is always
trying to create a hedge around the ego, to continue this
sense of separate existence. So life is a conflict between
these two movements: this enclosure of mind and this
explosion of desire. Both of these movements assume the ego
or the sense of separate self. Desire wants to remove it and
mind wants to reinforce it and make it immortal.

Thus there are two possible
exclusive solutions one that is like the mind and one that
is like desire. Men are seeking this return-to-the-soup
nature which is something like exclusively following the
path of desire. But they also seek this eternity, this
immortality, this fulfillment of a personal kind. So there
are two grand programs, two grand solutions. And they are
both manifestations of what is fatally a conflict. Life is
fundamentally being lived as a conflict between these two
principles of mind and desire. The ego, or the sense of
separate self-existence, is the hidden principle that makes
mind and desire ultimately serve only contraction,
separation, suffering, illusion, mystery. The Truth is not
in following the path of mind or the path of desire,
following the path of self-transcendence or the path of
self-fulfillment. The Truth is not in either of those things
but in understanding, comprehending, the principle that
underlies this adventure of life which is always the
realization of conflict.

When that is understood, when the
separate self sense no longer is the principle of your
manifest existence from moment to moment, then the whole
program of mind and desire is loosed, undermined, undone.
And at the root of your existence there is the continuous
intuition of the fullness of the Divine. That intuition
transforms mind and desire and makes life quite a different
thing, even though it appears to be the same old thing. One
who has understood in this fundamental way is happy while
alive. He continues to think and use his mind and psyche,
apparently, like everyone else. He continues to act and be
moved, apparently, like everyone else. But these are no
longer the principles of his existence. He is no longer
founded in them, because he is no longer founded in separate
self-existence and the drama of Narcissus, which is enacted
in terms of mind and desire.

It is not death that is significant,
but the living process of understanding, or radical
consciousness in God. That process, that understanding,
makes everything from lunch to death something new,
something known in Truth, no longer a matter of concern. It
makes the vast cosmic process no longer a matter of concern.
So this whole profound philosophical consideration of death
is appropriate only in the case of the seeker, who is still
bound to the dramatization of the adventure of Narcissus.
And such an individual is very much concerned with his own
death, with his own destiny, his own spiritual destiny. Such
a person is always interested in hearing all about the way
it is after death and all the planes of consciousness and
all the cosmic dimensions and transcendent dimensions. And
if he is able to believe it with some sort of intensity for
one reason or another, he feels somewhat consoled by these
descriptions of things.

But the man of understanding sees
the smithereens of the worlds and knows them to exist in the
great Consciousness, not merely in space. He knows the
worlds themselves are not fixed, nor do they represent any
fundamental limitation to his state.

The man of understanding knows
absolutely nothing about what will happen after death, any
more than he knows what will happen in the next moment while
alive. He may hear rumors in the world and in his mind about
what might tend to occur, but he is not involved or
concerned with the fixing of future events in his own case
or in any other case. He is involved with the process
itself, instantly. He is always involved with the whole
process, as a conscious event in this moment, and now in
this moment, and now in this moment, and now this
moment.

So he is not a man of concerns or of
programs or of descriptions. He is utterly free of all that.
He has become always already ecstatic. And for such a one
there is therefore no straightforward description of
Reality, or of the cosmos, or of life. Only God is apparent
to such a one. Only the paradox survives.