Energy and Consciousness – Adi Da Samraj


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The Energy
of Consciousness

a talk by Da
Free John, June 2, 1982

This talk was originally in The
Lesson vol. 2. Published by the Educational arm of the
Johannine Daist Communion in May of 1983 for students of
Adidam.

It was given after
The
Liberator (Eleutherios)

had been written, but before its publication. Prior to this
talk, Master Da had discussed the content of the book for
several hours with the devotee whom he addresses
here.)

 

MASTER DA: What have
you understood as a result of our consideration together? Is
there anything fundamentally obvious to you that is not part
of the conventional mind?

DEVOTEE: Obvious to
me?

MASTER DA: Yes. Is
anything of a spiritual nature significantly obvious to you,
anything uncommon?

DEVOTEE: My Lord, I
can’t properly phrase what consciousness represents
or…

MASTER DA: What it
represents? What does consciousness represent? Do you think
it is a postage stamp? Is consciousness a photograph? What
color is it? Does consciousness have a color?

DEVOTEE:
No.

MASTER DA: Well,
what does it have?

DEVOTEE: It just is
what it is. Consciousness is…

MASTER DA: What does
consciousness have to do with you?

DEVOTEE: I am
consciousness.

MASTER DA: You are
consciousness?

DEVOTEE: Yes. It may
be hard to believe it, but I do tacitly understand this to
be true.

MASTER DA: That you
are consciousness? Do you function as consciousness, or as
something else?

DEVOTEE: No. I
function as consciousness.

MASTER DA: You do?
Not as mind, thought, self idea, body?

DEVOTEE: Those
things are arising.

MASTER DA: They are
arising? I

DEVOTEE (Unsure of
himself by this time): They are modifications of things that
are arising?

MASTER DA (Laughs
uproariously): And you believe in God, right? (Laughter) Why
are you unable to speak lucidly about this
matter?

DEVOTEE: I do find
it difficult, my Lord, to my surprise. I have no mental
comprehension of it.

MASTER DA: What is
difficult?

DEVOTEE: To phrase
it properly, to organize it into some kind of logical
structure. But I know it to be true, and I know exactly what
you are saying, and I know how to live, through the feeling
sense of it,

MASTER DA: Instead
of trying to communicate this great matter, you could just
tell everyone that you believe in God. But what would that
mean?

DEVOTEE: That is a
good question.

MASTER DA: What do
you mean when you say you believe in God? What is God? Who
is God?

DEVOTEE: I would be
dead.

DEVOTEE: Well, I–I
really don’t think of God as the guy in the sky. I associate
God with what you are.

MASTER DA: Instead
of an old guy in the sky with a beard, he’s a middle-aged
guy with long hair, is that it? (Laughter) Do you have a
sort of stained glass-window notion of God? Is God
associated with a couple of little stories? What is It? I
can see it’s not going to be any easier for you to talk
about God than to talk about consciousness!

DEVOTEE: Well, I was
going to communicate what the Divine Reality is when…(
Laughter)

MASTER DA: What?
What is It? I am not asking for some abstract description,
but you are supposed to be a spiritual practitioner, so you
must be in touch with something substantial about which you
may communicate very simply and straightforwardly. Some
people may talk about spiritual practice in elaborate
philosophical and technical terms, but if this Way is real
to you, then it must at least be something you can refer to
concretely.

DEVOTEE: Well, I
feel a Presence when I am with you.

MASTER DA: Do you
mean that God is Somebody or Someone or some Force or some
Being or Power that you contact bodily?

DEVOTEE: I feel
It.

MASTER DA: Do you
need the body to associate with God? Is the body the means
whereby you associate with God? What if you did not have a
body?

MASTER DA: Even
worse than that,’ according to your testimony, you would not
have any connection to God. What happens when you go to
sleep?

DEVOTEE: Well, God
is always present.

MASTER DA: But you
have no sense of the body, so how do you have any awareness
of God when you are asleep?

DEVOTEE: When I say
“body,” I refer to the feeling sense of the body, perhaps as
consciousness. I don’t feel that God is in my
body.

MASTER DA: No, but
you said you had a tangible, physical sense of God as a
Presence, presuming God to be something like an Energy or
Something that you feel bodily. But if you did not have the
body, you would not have that sense of God. Is it true that
you would not have any awareness of God if you did not have
a body?

DEVOTEE:
Right.

MASTER DA: This
realization or awareness of God does not seem to be
sufficient to help you very much, do you see? It might make
you feel a little better, a little consoled as an ordinary
personality with some sense that the Divine Presence
surrounds you, but it will not change you very much or very
profoundly. Is God this Presence with which you connect
bodily, or is that Presence you may feel bodily a sign of
God and a means for perhaps entering into the contemplation,
of God? In other words, do you sit around feeling that
Presence or do you use the Presence to enter into
contemplation?

DEVOTEE: When I
meditate, the form of my meditation is the feeling that you
are right there.

MASTER DA:
(Laughter) Do you have any real sense of God? An actual real
sense of God?

DEVOTEE: Well, I’m
probably deluded…

MASTER DA: You are?
Why?

DEVOTEE: Well, I
feel I am, I feel I do have a sense of that.

MASTER DA: Of that?

DEVOTEE: Of
God.

MASTER DA: And what
is God?

DEVOTEE: God is
Reality, it is Consciousness, it is all of this.

MASTER DA: But how
could you have a sense of God as a Presence if God is
Consciousness?

DEVOTEE: Well, I
mean, you know–it’s semantics. I can’t phrase it properly,
so I’m using…

MASTER DA: No, it is
more than semantics. You have a totally different connection
to Consciousness than you do to energies you are connecting
with bodily. What kind of sense of God are we talking about
here? You have a bodily sense of some sort of Energy–is
that it?

DEVOTEE: That’s part
of it…

MASTER DA: But you
do have this?

DEVOTEE: Yes. When I
was meditating I realized I was just turning inward to that
Energy.

MASTER DA: Well,
what happens when you connect with this Energy? What do you
do with It? Do you relax with this Energy?

DEVOTEE: Absolutely,
yes. And I breathe.

MASTER DA: And why
do you call this God?

DEVOTEE: I don’t
call It God. I’m just saying that It’s part of
It.

MASTER DA: It’s not
God?

DEVOTEE: It is
God.

MASTER DA: Is that
Energy God or isn’t It?

DEVOTEE: No, it’s
Energy.

MASTER DA: Is it
Energy that is already in your body, or is It outside your
body and you feel It with your body? What does It come
from?

DEVOTEE: Well,
sometimes It’s in my body, but sometimes I feel it as Energy
surrounding me.

MASTER DA: But It
comes on you and contacts you?

DEVOTEE: I don’t
know if It contacts me…

MASTER DA: And do
you feel that Energy come over you in some circumstances,
some place, or when you are meditating? Are there some
unusual circumstances when you connect with this
Energy?

DEVOTEE: Yes, that
does happen.

MASTER DA: Do you
always have a connection with this Energy? Does It go away,
does It get stronger, or weaker?

DEVOTEE: Oh,
yes.

MASTER DA: And what
is It like?

DEVOTEE: I always
have a connection with It except when I become distracted
and caught up in what I do. Then I don’t have attention for
It, I don’t pay attention to It. But then I relax into It or
feel It in other people.

MASTER DA: Is there
some Energy associated with me at this moment?

DEVOTEE: Well, It’s
pressing upon me, and It’s all-encompassing.

MASTER DA: So your
practice is basically a response to this Energy?

DEVOTEE: It is
sometimes, yes.

MASTER DA: Is this
basically what you would say it is?

DEVOTEE: I’m afraid
so.

MASTER DA: You’re
afraid so! (Laughter) This isn’t a test!

DEVOTEE: I don’t
know.

MASTER DA: That is
how you would basically describe your practice, is that
it?

DEVOTEE: Yes. I feel
also the world as…

MASTER DA: As
Energy?

DEVOTEE: I’m afraid
so.

MASTER DA: You are
afraid so?

DEVOTEE: No. I’m
just using that phrase. But the world…

MASTER DA: So
basically you are contacting Energy, is that it?

DEVOTEE: Well, no.
You see, I feel that I am Energy also. I feel naturally
relaxed into It. It’s very, very relaxing and also very
normal to enter into It. There is a completeness to It. I
experience this all the time, but I feel more expressive of
it now and recognize it. I thought that Energy was
Consciousness, you know! I thought that It was
Reality.

MASTER DA: You
thought that Energy is Consciousness?

DEVOTEE:
Yes.

MASTER DA: You might
realize that Energy is Consciousness at some point, but at
present you are not describing Energy as Consciousness. You
have just communicated an awareness of Energy. You are
conscious of Energy. But the only consciousness in your
description is your awareness of the Energy. You are the
consciousness, and the Energy is something that you are
experiencing. So you are consciously aware of Energy, and
you are surrendering to It or submitting to It bodily. But
how does that Energy then get to be
Consciousness?

DEVOTEE: Through
intelligence, through discipline.

MASTER DA: How does
it become Consciousness?

DEVOTEE: It is
Consciousness. It can’t become Consciousness.

MASTER DA: In what
sense is It Consciousness?

DEVOTEE: I don’t
know. I don’t know what Consciousness represents. I can’t
say that I do, you know.

MASTER DA: Do you
ever have any experience with Consciousness?

DEVOTEE: I’d like to
think I do.

MASTER DA: Are you
having an experience with Consciousness right
now?

DEVOTEE: Right. See,
that’s where I get confused. To me this is
Reality.

MASTER DA:
Consciousness is Reality?

DEVOTEE: Yes. I’m
experiencing it right now.

MASTER DA:
Consciousness?

DEVOTEE: Right. Or
Reality.

MASTER DA: And what
about Energy?

DEVOTEE: Energy is
inherent in that.

MASTER DA: In the
Consciousness?

DEVOTEE: Yes. I mean
there’s Energy, and Consciousness is there pervading
it.

MASTER DA: Do you
see Consciousness in the Energy?

DEVOTEE:
No.

MASTER DA: Then what
has the Energy to do with Consciousness? How do you make a
connection between Consciousness and Energy?

DEVOTEE: The Energy
is felt bodily. Consciousness is the awareness of
It.

MASTER DA: I see.
You feel the Energy bodily. And where do you experience the
Consciousness?

DEVOTEE: From the
head.

MASTER DA: You are
at the head being Consciousness?

DEVOTEE: No, I guess
I identify Consciousness from the head.

MASTER DA: You
identify Consciousness?

DEVOTEE:
Right.

MASTER DA: Then what
are you?

DEVOTEE:
Consciousness, and Energy.

MASTER DA: You are
Consciousness and that Energy?

DEVOTEE:
Yes.

MASTER DA: Then I am
asking how the Consciousness becomes equated with the
Energy. You are experiencing the Energy?

DEVOTEE:
Right.

MASTER DA: You feel
the Energy bodily, you feel It outside your body and inside
your body. But the “you” that is feeling and observing this
Energy is what you are calling the Consciousness, right? Are
these two different things?

DEVOTEE:
No.

MASTER DA: How did
they get to be one thing?

DEVOTEE: They are
one thing.

MASTER DA: You never
experienced them as one thing, nor are you describing
experiencing them as one thing. On the one hand you are
Consciousness and on the other hand there is this
Energy.

DEVOTEE:
Right.

MASTER DA: You are
conscious of Energy. You are Consciousness, aware of
Energy?

DEVOTEE:
Right.

MASTER DA: Now, how
do the Consciousness and the Energy get to be one
thing?

DEVOTEE: I don’t
know.

MASTER DA: Are they
one thing?

DEVOTEE: I thought
they were.

MASTER DA: Well,
thinking is one thing, but what about the actual awareness?
Are you ever aware that Consciousness and Energy are the
same thing, or are they always two things?

DEVOTEE: No, they
are one thing.

MASTER DA: But you
never have an awareness of Energy being Consciousness, you
are always aware only of Energy?

DEVOTEE:
Right.

MASTER DA: You as
Consciousness are aware of Energy?

DEVOTEE:
Right.

MASTER DA: It sounds
like your awareness of Energy is always of Energy as an
Object.

DEVOTEE:
Right.

MASTER DA: Or as
something other than Consciousness. At least in the only
description you have given me so far you are always aware of
Energy as an Object, not as something that is the same as
Consciousness.

DEVOTEE: Yes, I
think that’s true. But, that’s my definition.

MASTER DA: So as an
actual experience, in other words, you have awareness of
yourself as Consciousness?

DEVOTEE:
Right.

MASTER DA: And you
have an awareness of Energy?

DEVOTEE:
Right.

MASTER DA: In other
words, you may at some point realize Energy and
Consciousness to be one thing. But as actual experience they
are two things.

DEVOTEE:
Right.

MASTER DA: At your
present level of experience you are perhaps making an error
in thinking of them as the same thing because in doing so
you are not becoming more profoundly involved with
Consciousness, you are becoming more and more unconsciously
involved with Energy.

DEVOTEE:
Right.

MASTER DA: In other
words, you are just submitting yourself to Energy. The
primary error of human beings is that they get deluded by
their own energies. They submit Consciousness to Energy.
They have this idea that Energy and Consciousness are the
same thing, perhaps. But basically their life involves
submitting themselves as Consciousness to Energy, to motion,
to impulses, instead of realizing what Consciousness itself
is and perhaps finding Energy to be the same thing
ultimately. They pay no attention to consciousness itself
and just submit themselves as consciousness to the play of
energies. And there is nothing Enlightening about that, you
see. Energies appear everywhere. As you say, you feel them
in people, you feel them in various places, and so forth.
Ultimately all of our experience is an experience of Energy.
Everything is Energy. Everything is pervaded by Energy and
in some real sense everything is just a form of plain old
Energy. This is not only a metaphysical proposition or a
mystical proposition. It is a scientific presumption that
everything is a state of Energy, a state of light. But to
know this or to believe this or even to experience this is
not Enlightening. Merely to submit to energy is not to be
Enlightened.

There’s something
pleasurable in submitting to energy. After all, that’s what
we are doing when we are enjoying sex or food. Anything we
enjoy is a pleasurable association with energy. But
likewise, everything we don’t enjoy is an unpleasant
association with energy. We are all the time submitting
ourselves to energy and getting involved in circumstances of
energy. There is nothing particularly illuminating or
Enlightening about such submission in and of
itself.

Therefore, the Way
that I consider with people is not a way of merely
submitting to experience or energy. It is not a matter of
submitting to the kundalini force or any expression of
energy. It is not a matter of submitting to life and
experience itself. The Way that I consider with people is
the
Way
of understanding what we are doing so that we can transcend
this bondage.

If we understand
ourselves, we will realize that we are bound by energy. Your
description of your religious life, for instance, doesn’t
necessarily represent anything more than bondage. It is just
another guy submitted to energy, the play of energy. He
finds something about it to be pleasurable. On the other
hand, much of his life is not particularly pleasurable
either, and it is still an association with energy. When you
are experiencing pain, you are still associated with energy.
When you experience pleasure, you are associated with
energy. Energy takes the form of all the things you like,
but it also takes the form of all the things you don’t like.
It takes the form of consolation, and it takes the form of
your doubt and bewilderment also. Thus, there is nothing
about energy itself that is either desirable or
illuminating.

To submit to energy
is therefore not Enlightening. To submit to energy or to
make a religion out of submitting to Energy is just to do
the same thing everybody is already doing. Everybody is
submitting to energy already. Some people may find a way of
contacting certain kinds of energy that make their lives a
little bit more consoling, perhaps, than somebody else’s.
When you die, you are going to be submitting to energy. When
the body is going through its agonies, it is, going to be
full of energy. So to call God Energy’ or to call religion
surrender to Energy is not to put yourself in touch with
anything ultimately profound. It’s just another way of
describing things as they are. And, therefore, merely to
submit to energy is to continue to live as you already were
living. It doesn’t ultimately change anything.

Now, much of the
consideration I’ve had with people, including yourself, over
all these years has been devoted to clarifying this matter:
that this very description you’re ‘making of your practice
is not the Way at all. That is absolutely not the Way.
There’s a dimension of meditative practice that may involve
bodily submission into the Life Current in a particular
form. In any case, that is only a secondary aspect of the
process. That is what I call conductivity. The fundamental
process is the process in consciousness. It begins with
basic understanding, or insight into the self, and then
becomes surrender and self-transcendence. But it’s not
merely a process of submitting to energy.

The first five
stages of life all represent one or another kind of false
submission to energy, or one or another kind of illusion
based on submission to energy. Therefore, I consider
existence with you in another light, or from another point
of view. And that point of view is also suggested by your
own description. You described a state of existence in which
there are basically two fundamental quantities or
categories. The one is yourself as awareness of whatever may
be arising, and the other is everything else, everything
that consciousness is aware of. And everything that
consciousness is aware of ultimately amounts to Energy
Itself. In other words, no matter what arises in this
moment, no matter what object or objects arise, no matter
what experience arises, no matter what particularity there
is in this moment, it’s still a form of Energy.

Look at this room,
all these people sitting in it, your own body. There are
certain characteristics to this scene that we may perceive
at the present moment, but ultimately it is simply a form of
Energy. It’s an apparition made out of Energy, solidified by
the mechanism of this body-mind, this brain. The body-mind
is tuned in to making Energy appear to be solid. That is
what the brain does. But everything in this room is just
Energy. So there are two basic quantities, two basic
conditions, in this moment. The one is all the forms of
Energy, or not-self–all the objective forms of
existence–and the other, fundamentally, is self, or the
environment or state of the self, and that is
consciousness.

The spiritual
process that I consider with you is ultimately a matter of
identifying with consciousness and realizing its Status, so
that, having realized that, the objective states of
existence, or all the forms of ‘Energy, may become
recognizable not merely as Energy but as Consciousness.,
Until there is this identification with consciousness, and
until the Status of consciousness is Realizes, this
conception that Consciousness and Energy are the same is
false. It is like the conception that “Nirvana and samaras
are the same.” It is an error. It’s only an idea you have.,
It is not something that you really have experiences, by
your own description. You’re not aware that Energy and
consciousness are the same. You are always consciously aware
of Energy. You’re aware, of Energy and consciousness, in
other words, as being different. One is the subject and the
other is the object. And that, is how it is.

At this present
moment Energy and consciousness are not the same for you,.
Likewise, Nirvana and samaras are not the same until Nirvana
is Realized, until the Transcendental Condition is Realized.
Phenomenal existence is samsaric, deluding, binding. It’s
not Nirvana, Blissful, Free, Happy, and non-binding, you
see. Likewise, until there is the Realization of
identification with consciousness and the ultimate
Realization of its actual Status, there is no Realization
that Energy and consciousness are identical. That, of
course, is what there is ultimately to Realize. When Energy
becomes recognizable as Consciousness, then the entire Realm
of Nature vanishes, It is outshines by Consciousness itself.
That’ is the secret of the seventh stage of life. But it is
not possible to recognize Energy as consciousness until we
identify with consciousness and Realize its Status.
Therefore, no amount of surrendering to Energy is going to
Enlighten us.

The submission to
Energy is just exactly what the ego is doing all the time.
The ego is deluded by energy. It is bound up in these
motions. It’s failing to contemplate its own ultimate
Condition. It’s failing to contemplate Consciousness itself.
It is, without knowing what Consciousness is, simply
submitting Consciousness to the play of energies. There is
nothing Enlightening about this activity. It is illusion.
You’re describing the egoic illusion from your point of
view, in the third to fourth stage of life. Other people
could describe it from another point of view. The shakti
yogis or kundalini yogis would describe it from their point
of view. Shabd yogis from another. Bhaktas of a traditional
kind describe it another way.

Ordinary people who
have no religious consciousness at all could still describe
themselves as being involved in a process of submitting to
energies in the form of bodily states and relations.
Thoughts are just energy. Everybody’s already doing this.
What’s illuminating about it? Everybody knows by reading a
little bit of contemporary popular science that the entire
universe is just a solidification of Energy. Everything that
you see, everything that you perceive or experience is just
a state of Energy. Everybody knows this now. You hear it on
television. You practically hear it on the news every night.
This is absolutely common knowledge. Well, if that knowledge
were enlightening, then why isn’t everybody enlightened by
the fact that they’ve made this discovery?

The reason is that
this is not ultimate knowledge. This is conventional
knowledge. Everybody already knew it before. It’s just been
translated into another kind of language, scientific
language. But everybody has already known that everything is
Energy. There’s never been any doubt about this. It’s been
known since ancient times. Everybody knows it instinctively.
Everybody is basically just submitting to Energy. They can’t
help themselves. Energy is happening to them, Energy is
controlling them. Energy is Prakarti, Maha-Shakti, Nature.
You could also call it, in its deluding aspect, the
Devil.

Everybody is
possessed bye energy. Some people are pleasurably possessed,
other people are painfully possessed, and most people are a
combination of the two. Nobody is absolutely pleasurably
possessed unless they are also ultimately Enlightened. But
even then they suffer all kinds of limitations, no
doubt.

Thus, there is no
profound message contained in your confession of submitting
to energy. In any case, you weren’t even able to say that
very well, so I don’t see how you could possibly do very
much good to somebody else who’s out there struggling along.
It doesn’t sound as if yo found very much, you see. You
falsify the pin of view of this Teaching. I have never
communicated a way that is merely about submitting to
Energy. Absolutely to the contrary: If anybody has
insistently communicated a Way that is not about submission
to Energy, I am the one.

Remember the Garbage
and the Goddess Teaching Demonstration? You sat in this very
room. After all of that you’re still prattling this egoic
nonsense about energy? What you are saying doesn’t have
anything to do with anything that I have considered with
you. It’s a Johnny Carson version of this Way of life. It’s
not a very serious conception of practice, you see. Now I
appreciate that on some level you have al somewhat more
serious or profound and meditative experience. of this than
you were perhaps able to express a few minutes ago. But even
so, what you’ve had to say stands as a general communication
of what you feel or conceive to be spiritual life. It’s as
tally a matter of submitting to energy outside yourself, and
enjoying energy, enjoying vital enthusiasm and letting
energy embrace you, relax you, and pleasurize
you.

There is nothing
wrong with relaxing. It is a very rudimentary exercise that
is not ultimately Enlightening. In any case, it’s just
submission to Nature. And even if in some sense it’s good to
generate the attitude of surrender rather than withholding,
and even if that surrendering is done bodily and in a
feeling response to the Living Energy that pervades all of
nature, that very process must go beyond egoic clinging to
Energy itself. This phase of merely enjoying pleasurable
sensations of energy in your body would not be sufficient
for someone serious about the spiritual process. At most
that would be considered by him to be a beginner’s
realization. It is only the asana in which to
begin.

The real practice is
meditation. And so it has been communicated as such.
Relaxation is merely a practical exercise, a practical
adjunct of this Way. It’s good to provide a base of physical
equanimity by associating the body with the Living Current
through a gesture of relaxation, opening, surrender, and
right alignment. But that’s not much more than sitting down
to meditate. That’s not itself meditation. Connecting with
the Living Current through the forms of concentration that
are preliminary to meditation is not an end in
itself.

The attention must
go beyond these movements of energy, beyond the egoic self
or the body-mind altogether. In other words, the process of
surrendering attention through bodily and mental surrender
into the Living Current must go beyond bodily sensations,
emotions, and mental categories. Ultimately , meditation
simply liberates attention. It’s not supposed to be a way,
of binding attention.

Energy is not the
object of meditation. Bodily and mental states are not, the
objects of meditation. Surrendering bodily and mentally and
relaxing into the Living Current should simply result in the
freeing of attention from states of energy so that attention
itself is merely free to consider its ultimate Condition and
Source. The most we are doing with the exercises of
conductivity is helping to liberate attention for the
process of real meditation. Real meditation involves the
conscious process. In the Way of Faith it is remembering the
Transcendental Being beyond self, mind, body, and energy. In
the Way of Insight it’s a matter of going beyond the
self-contraction, realizing That which is prior to the
self-contraction. Both of these Ways lead ultimately in the
esoteric form of practice to the contemplation of
Consciousness itself, which is That in which all of these
phenomenal states are arising.

But you could get at
that Consciousness directly. And I always ask you to do so,
although to be able to enter into that Consciousness stably
usually requires you to live a long period of sadhana,
life-discipline, to liberate attention stably. But what
there is ultimately to contemplate, meditate on, is
immediately available to you, because in every moment you
are consciousness. When you say “I” you mean a whole complex
personality that’s physical, emotional, vital, mental, and
contains life-energy, psychic phenomena, and so forth. But
that “I” is a relation of yours. In other: words, that
“I”–what consciousness is constantly referring to as
“I”–is simply an object to it. You are always functionally
in the position of being the consciousness that is aware of
the bodymind and its relations. And from the point of view
of consciousness there is nothing more significant about the
body-mind, the immediate, personal, egoic body-mind, than
any other body-mind or any other phenomenon that may
arise.

It is only in the
context of the body-mind and its relations that the “I,” the
ego, the body-mind itself achieves this condition of such
importance. But consciousness is not inherently identified
with the body-mind. Consciousness is aware of the bodymind.
And what all of the preliminary practices of spiritual life
are about, all those exercises that lead to meditation and
finally to Samadhi, is the freeing up of attention from the
body-mind and its relations to the point that it may
contemplate the Source of attention itself, or the
Consciousness that is aware of all conditions. So you can
engage this process directly if you represent a basically
free state of attention in this life. Or, if your attention
is bound, you must do it indirectly. You must perform all
the yamas and niyamas and asanas and pranayama and
concentration of all kinds–pass through all the levels, you
see, until attention is free enough simply to consider and
contemplate the Source of consciousness itself.

Consciousness itself
is not separate or egoic. Consciousness is aware of an ego,
and it is tending to identify with that ego, or separate
bodymind. But consciousness itself doesn’t have any such
qualities. Consciousness is not afraid. Consciousness is
aware of fear. Fear is superimposed upon it by the mechanics
of the body-mind. Consciousness is aware of thoughts. It’s
not even thinking the thoughts. The thinking is something of
which it is aware. Everything that arises is an object to
consciousness. We delude ourselves if we look for God in the
plane of objective phenomena, if we look for God outside
ourselves in the plane of Energy, in the plane of Nature or
beyond Nature. If we look beyond ourselves to God, in or
beyond nature, we will not find God. We will simply be
deluded by the play of phenomenal existence and by the
limitation of egoity. God is the Source, the Subjective
Source of existence. God is located directly in the plane of
consciousness and not in the plane of the relations of
consciousness.

Therefore, there are
preliminary or preparatory exercises, beginner’s forms of
practice, the whole purpose of which is to liberate
attention so that it may consider its own Source, so that it
may examine the Subjective Source of consciousness and
attention itself. The most fundamental form of practice
prior to Enlightenment is the direct contemplation,
investigation, and exploration of Consciousness. But
attention must be fundamentally free to do this. Otherwise
you may have some sort of general sense of your
consciousness right now, but it’s always becoming attention,
identified with the body-mind and playing in the field of
energy and phenomena.

Because attention is
so bound up in people that consciousness is not free to
contemplate That in which it inheres, people are offered
preliminary exercises, or the preparatory stages of the Way.
In our Way those exercises are represented by the first five
levels of practice in the Way of Faith and the Way of
Insight, and by the first stage of the Perfect Practice. At
the second stage of the Perfect Practice, or level 6, the
fundamental form of practice is engaged. You must be
prepared for it, however. Merely to know that that is what
you’re going to do, merely to know something about what it
would be as an exercise, merely to know this philosophy I
have written about for years, is not sufficient. Attention
must be free in order to do this sadhana. For attention to
be free, the body-mind must basically be in a state of
equanimity. In other words, attention can not be
unconsciously controlled by psycho-physical phenomena. If
attention is to be able to consider consciousness itself, it
has to be free of binding association with its objects.
Thus, all the preliminary practices are a beginner’s stage
in which the bodymind is brought into a state of equanimity,
and attention is thereby set free to consider its own
Source, or Consciousness itself.

You are already not
the ego or self contraction. You are already Enlightened.
Therefore, as I have been saying all these years in our
various times of consideration, Enlightenment is not
something you need attain, but the fact of existence on the
basis of which you should live.

You should not
devote your life to the realization of Enlightenment. Devote
your life to what you do when you are
Enlightened.

Becoming Enlightened
is a very simple matter of examine your present state and
seeing its obvious features. The simplest thing to say about
everything that arises is simple related, and not by
necessity. You have nothing directly to do with what arises.
You are never more than aware of it. None of its qualities
are every your quantities. But in your ordinary and
un-Enlightened state you are busy becoming involved with the
drama of conditional existence, and thus you never have time
to explore the Condition in which you actually
inhere.

You do not inhere in
the realm of Nature, but in the realm of Consciousness. Yet,
generally you do not have time for Consciousness because you
are too busy with Nature. You do not have time for Purusha
because you are too busy with Prakarti, and therefore you do
not know what Prakarti is. You never realize its actual
Status. You let It be God. You worship it. You make an idol
out of Nature, change, samara. The great illusion is that
you are fathered-mothered by What you presume to be God, but
Which is really the mechanical Realm of modifications of the
Transcendental Being. That illusion is suffering, or
samsara. To submit to being an ego is the great
error.

To Realize the
Divine Reality you must enter the Realm of Consciousness
first. The trouble is that you have begun with Nature with
expectation that eventually you will realize Consciousness.
You do not get to Consciousness from here. You can only
enter into Consciousness directly. You can only enter into
Consciousness directly. You are already established there.
Therefore, the spiritual practice is to enter into the
contemplation of Consciousness directly.

You need not
ascetically cut the world away. You are already free of the
world, and therefore you need not eliminate it. By simply
taking up the position of consciousness, therefore, you
should very naturally permit the body-mind to enter into a
state of equanimity. When it is in an ordinary, lawful,
balanced condition, managed by simple, natural disciplines
rather than ascetic ones, the body-mind does not bind you.
Equanimity grants you the free attention to explore
consciousness and realize its Status.

Such a spiritual
practice should occupy you, not the endless playing with
life-problems and desires and hoping that eventually you
will have visions that will relieve you of the obligation of
real practice. Whether you take up the Perfect Practice or
the Way of Faith or the Way of Insight, you must understand
and bring the body-mind into a state of equanimity wherein
attention is free. That is really all you must do in any of
the three approaches. And you should do it very directly and
quickly so that you can enter into the esoteric order and
not spend the rest of your life in exile, catering to Mother
Nature.

Each one should
really practice whatever the practicalities of your present
discipline – life disciplines, service, meditation. At this
stage of your practice you are required to free attention
from the drama of the body- mind and bring the bodymind into
a state of equanimity or simplicity. Discipline the
body-mind. Do whatever service is required of you. Meditate,
yes, but simply bring the body-mind into a state of
equanimity. Simplify your life. Make your service ordinary.
Do what you are supposed to do. Grant attention to the
spiritual process. In other words, give yourself quite a bit
less to do in the realm of Nature. Free attention by giving
it only a minimal, basic, benign obligation in this life, so
that you can then use that free attention for contemplation
of That in which you already inhere, which is not
Nature.

You are watching
Nature observing Nature, witnessing Nature, but you inhere,
in Consciousness.

What
is consciousness? This is the basic question posed in The
Knee of Listening. What is consciousness? You never discover
what it is by wandering in the play of life and the
body-mind. You can only discover it by entering into
consciousness itself, by contemplating it most profoundly,
locating its Quality, Condition, Status, Force. When you
have fully entered into Consciousness Itself, then suddenly
the Divine Condition of everything becomes
obvious.

You never understand
this “maya,” this illusion that is Nature, until you realize
the Condition of consciousness. This maya, this samsaric
realm, this body-mind, this world of Nature, is just a
machine that drives you, motivates you, traps you, interests
you, and murders you. This maya can never be understood by
taking up a position in the realm of maya, or, in other
words, by being the ego. But this Realm of Nature, this
life, this sphere of energies taking all these forms, can be
comprehended once we realize Its Principle. Then all of
Nature becomes obvious.

Therefore, it is
said in the ancient scriptures of India that there is One
Thing to be known, and if you know It, then you know
everything. To realize Brahman, the Principle upon which all
of this is a play, is the Supreme Science. Until you realize
that Principle, you can never understand the play of
manifestation. You may manufacture all kinds of explanations
for it, none of which is true, but until you Realize
Brahman, Truth, Consciousness, until you are It, until you
enter into It most perfectly, become the Siddha or the
Master of that Realization, existence is a torment, deluded,
absurd, and maniacal.

We suffer the
countless stresses that all the little digits arising in the
infinite Realm of Energy create. Nature does not dictate the
purpose of existence to us. We just imagine that it does. We
can be instantly liberated from that illusion by hearing the
word of the Siddha, the Realized Master, and entering into
the consideration of the Teaching of Truth in his Company.
Then the Siddhi of Realization is granted to us as a Gift
and becomes the Environment of our contemplation.

In general, people
want to practice at a distance. They prefer to not quite
understand the Message or Teaching of the Spiritual Master.
Their practice is to take a little taste of this Way and a
little taste of all the other ways and basically to bow only
to themselves. Well, this is how to guarantee rebirth as
just as much of a bewildered sucker as you are
now!