The Great Tradition – The Basket of Tolerance

The Basket of Tolerance 

A Guide to Perfect Understanding of the One and Great Tradition of Mankind

By The Divine World-Teacher and True Heart-Master, Da Avabhasa (The “Bright”)


THE BASKET OF TOLERANCE Study Series,  For Students and Practioners of the Wisdom-Teaching of Heart-Master Da (The Avadhoota Da Love-Ananda Hridayam, Whose Teaching Name Is Da Free John.)

“If you use the tool of my instruction relative to the esoteric anatomy of man and the seven stages of life, you can understand any communication at all made within the great tradition at any time and the basket of tolerance is a demonstration of this fact.”

The Basket Of Tolerance

The Basket Of Tolerance has approximately 5,000 documents. This collection includes materials as divergent as Hollywood movies, excerpts from now extinct Indian ashram periodicals, compact discs of classical music, twentieth-century fiction, to popular exercise manuals. However, this collection also contains the essential gathering of mankind’s cultural, religious, mystical, Spiritual, Transcendental, and Divine literature. Avatar Adi Da Samraj describes this list in The Basket Of Tolerance:

My intention relative to the documents included in this essential gathering is that they should be studied with discrimination, and in the context of formal, guided study (however brief and general, or, otherwise, prolonged, extensive, and detailed).

Some individuals, because they are expected to serve a role of instructive communication in relation to others, must necessarily engage this formal study both intensively and extensively (to the degree that their service requires), whereas most individuals must (most likely) only acquire a basic discriminative overview of the Great Tradition (sufficient to relieve them of provincial and uninformed views and to equip them with a basic capability to understand the essentials of traditional Wisdom.

Also, optimally, and as is traditional, this (and any such) formal, guided study should be engaged in the context of a life established in, or at least preparing for, a comprehensive culture of religious discipline and practice.

Therefore, The Basket Of Tolerance is especially (but certainly not exclusively) Given for use by practitioners, and by those preparing (or, otherwise, aspiring) to be practitioners, of religious (and especially esoteric religious) discipline and practice. And, most especially, The Basket Of Tolerance is Given for use by practitioners, and by those preparing (or, otherwise, aspiring) to be practitioners, of Adidam, which is the Comprehensive and All-Completing Way I have Revealed and Demonstrated for the sake of all and All, and which I have thoroughly described in My twenty-three “Source-Texts of Divine Self-Revelation and Divine Heart-Instruction.

If you use this tool then there is no need to be confused because you can identify the universals within all the particulars so you can examine any particular tradition and see by its evidence what elements the stages of life and of the esoteric anatomy fully understood are being fully activated or addressed In that tradition.

So there is a tool or key for understanding traditions and I’ve given it to you and the basket of tolerance is my essential communication about it in relation to the great tradition.

The Reality-Way of Adidam does not have the same basis as any of the historical traditions of humankind. All of the historical traditions of humankind are founded in one or more of the developmental (or first six) stages of life. Every one of the historical traditions of humankind is based either on the revelation of a teacher (or teachers) who demonstrated (and gave instructions related to) one or more of the developmental (or first six) stages of life or (otherwise) on collective lore that represents one or more of the developmental (or first six) stages of life. Therefore, all historically-given teachings are to be rightly understood in terms of the actual psycho-physical structures of the human being, as those structures correlate with one or more of the first six stages of life. The fact that each stage of life is uniquely associated with particular psycho-physical structures in the human mechanism is the reason why I Describe Spiritual Masters as being of different degrees and different modes of Realization. The manner of teaching (and of Realization) demonstrated by any particular Realizer of the fourth or the fifth or the sixth stage of life is (necessarily) determined by his or her stage of life.

The Divine Avataric Self-Revelation of My Person, Given by Me to all, Is a Unique Revelation. The Divine Avataric Self-Revelation of My Person Is the Consummation, the Fulfillment, and the Completion of the entire Great Tradition of humankind.

It is possible to understand the totality of human history in terms of the esoteric anatomy of the human being – and it is also possible, using these means, to understand why the Reality-Way of Adidam is Unique, why My Revelation is Avataric and of universal significance in the history of the Great Tradition of humankind. Indeed, an important aspect of My Reality -Teaching is My Unique Revelation (presented in detail in The Basket of Tolerance) of exactly why and how the totality of human cultural history can (and should) be understood to be a single (coherent, but multi-faceted) Great Tradition.

Thus, the entirety of human history is a demonstration of the inherent psycho-physical anatomy of the human entity, “situated” within the cosmic domain. Consequently, the Great Tradition of humankind is an unfolding of possibilities that are inherently “mapped” by the human structure.

My Divine Avataric Self-Manifestation here Is Unique.

The Reality-Way of Adidam-Which I Alone Reveal and GiveIs Unique.

My Divine Avataric Means Are Unique

My Divine Avataric Revelation-Teaching Is Unique.

Therefore, to embrace the Reality-Way of Adidam in My Divine Avataric Company Is a Unique Opportunity.

The only-by-Me Revealed and Given Way of Adidam Is the Avatarically Self-Revealed Divine Reality-Way, Wherein the ego which is at the “root” of the historical Great Tradition in all of its forms – is (Ultimately, Most Perfectly) transcended.

Therefore, the only-by-Me Revealed and Given Reality-Way of Adidam Transcends the perspective (or “point of view”) in which the Great Tradition of humankind is embedded.

Examination of world religions

Over a period of many decades, His Divine Presence undertook a massive examination of the world’s religious traditions, culminating in an annotated bibliography of approximately 10,000 items, entitled The Basket of Tolerance. A briefer “epitome” version of The Basket of Tolerance is scheduled for publication by The Dawn Horse Press in 2009.

Avatar Adi Da also created original translations of traditional Spiritual texts, translations in which He brings out the deepest meaning of the original texts. The recent publication Reality Is All the God There Is (published by Inner Traditions) presents His translations of texts from the traditions of Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta.

 The reason why Ultimate Divine Self-Realization has not become the case within the context of the Great Tradition is that the Great Tradition always operates on the basis of the self-contraction. The ego-knot is fundamental to all the stages of life previous to the seventh. The key to the transcendence of the psycho-biography of the ego has not been grasped before now, and that is why there has never been Ultimate Divine Self-Realization, or seventh stage Realization, before. Because that is so, other states, which are conditional in nature, or dependent on conditions, have been proposed as God-Realization or Truth-Realization or Reality-Realization. But they are not Ultimate Divine Self-Realization, precisely because they are either conditional in themselves or because they are dependent on that which is conditional. They are founded on the self-contraction, ego-bound, however great they may appear. By comparison to lesser states, the advanced and the ultimate stages of life in the Great Tradition are great—but they are not Ultimate Realization. There is no Ultimate Realization without Most Perfect transcendence of egoity.”

My First Word – Foreword to The Basket of Tolerance


The Basket of Tolerance – Introduction

October 1981

The significance of the Great Tradition is not that every Spiritual way may ultimately be seen to be the same, but that all ways taken together represent a single process of human and Spiritual growth through the seven stages of life. In the following essay-intended as an introduction to Holy Books (the initial title for an earlier version of The Basket Of Tolerance)-Da Love-Ananda emphasizes that traditional literatures are inherently bound to the point of view of one or another stage of life. Even seventh stage literatures do not necessarily account for the practice and discipline that must precede the Realization of Transcendental Consciousness. Therefore, the “Grand Argument”is an essential means to recognize and outgrow the limitations represented by each stage of life.

The Truth Transcends the Body-Mind of Man

Humanity is shrouded and sometimes instructed by the great mass of cultural mind. Each individual is minimized and sometimes expanded by the universal show of ideas. And among this crowd of conceptual influences is the most profound core, which consists of all the forms of religious and esoteric Spiritual presumptions.

Particularly in the time in which we now live, when the ideas of all the provinces of Earth are now gathering together for the first time in human history, and all the absolute dogmas find themselves casually associated, to be judged like a crowd of silly Napoleons or mad Christs in an asylum, the complex mind of Everyman is remembering itself all at once. Therefore, we are obliged to discover the Truth again by penetrating the bizarre consciousness of all the races combined as one.

Those who are seriously involved in the study and agonizing practice of religious and esoteric Spiritual teachings are now confronted by a great mass of doctrines, absolute creeds, sacred histories, secret formulae, and perfect paths. What is the Truth? What stands out in the wilderness of doctrine as singly as the “I” of the body-mind?

My Work in the world is to communicate the summary of religious and Spiritual Wisdom, so that mankind may again be devoted to the Way of Life in Truth, even now that all religious and Spiritual cultures confront us collectively and at once (rather than, as before, when each individual was usually confronted only by the primary institutional or cultic influence in power in his nation or province). The literature I have already produced, and whatever may be produced in my name in the future, serves to clarify the Truth and the Way of Life based on a profound consideration and Realization in the present, prior to all of the doctrines or persuasions of our inherited mind.

The present book is an attempt to allow the great traditions to summarize themselves through their most potent literatures. I have chosen and collected a relatively small number of texts-small enough in number to be capable of being read and surely studied by a serious individual over a finite number of months or years. Study of these books, generally in the sequence in which they are listed, will allow the serious and discriminating student to grasp the fundamental content of religious and Spiritual esotericism. In the process, he will transcend his own provincialism and his attachment to conventional persuasions, including all the downtown absolutes of popular exoteric religion. What is more, he will discover that this sequence of individual books flows, volume by volume, as an argument between all the parts of the religious or Spiritual mind, and as a progressive summary of the whole. And I have surrounded and interspersed this argumentative summary with critical essays and annotations, founded in my own lifetime of actual practice and Realization of all the Ways that you can read. Thus, any serious student of these matters should be able to get his “education” in the “school” of these books, and, as a result, he should at last be able to discriminate the Way of Life from all these Ways of Man, and the Divine Truth from all these moments of human consideration.

The Truth that Man or every individual human being must Realize is that his present and actual Condition is Transcendental-that is, his very Life-Energy and Consciousness (or very Being) presently and eternally exist as a single Transcendental Condition, prior to all the forms of psycho-physical experience, prior to this or any other world, prior to the psychophysical identity or mind or soul or “I” of his present self: reference. Once the Real or Divine Condition is Realized, there is native Ecstasy, or inherent transcendence of all self-limits and all phenomena. Such is true Humor, Liberation, Salvation, or Happiness. And that Realized Enjoyment is fully established whether or not any or all kinds of psycho-physical or subjectobject conditions arise as experience.

The Way of the Realization of Truth is complicated in any moment by the relative psycho-physical maturity of the individual. The particular practice of the Way that is both appropriate and attractive to the individual during any one period of his life is determined by his relative position in the pattern of the seven stages of human development and his relative freedom (or degree of transcendence) of the stages of life through which he has already passed. Thus, the various traditional literatures, and the various teachers who represent the traditional cultural, religious, and Spiritual motives of mankind, are each and all an expression of one or another degree of intuition of the ultimate Truth from the point of view of one or another relative stage of life, maturity, and self-transcendence. The “problem” inherent in the traditional and conventional literatures is that Truth (or the Realization of Truth) tends to be associated with one or another kind or degree of identification with aspects of the functional psycho-physical anatomy of Man. The Ways described in the various literatures were written by individuals (or prepared through centuries of consideration by a single cultural movement) that were founded in one or another of the seven stages of life, and thus the various and often conflicting religious and Spiritual traditions of Man do not express the Truth or the Way of Life in fully Transcendental terms, free of the limitations of the body-mind of Man.

In this book, I have selected those literatures that are most profound, most insightful, and also most representative of the traditional approaches to Truth. And I have placed these literatures in a sequence, and with certain annotations, that reveal how the traditions speak from various levels of relative maturity (or relative positions in the seven stages of life that I will also describe). This list of books is intended as a guide for serious students and practitioners. And those who find their own minds to be clarified and informed by this study, and who would appreciate the opportunity to consider the Truth and the Way of Life in direct terms, free of the limitations created by fixed cultural association with the stages and psycho-physical patterns of Man, should consult the various other books published in my name. 23

23. Heart-Master Da Love-Ananda in Vision Mound, vol. 2, no. 11 (1979), pp. 56-57

Basket of Tolerance – Preface and Booklist (1987 version)

My First Word – Foreword to The Basket of Tolerance

Also see:

Great Tradition Collections

The Adidam Library houses physical collections of Great Tradition materials based on Avatar Adi Da’s work with this material, and His creation of The Basket Of Tolerance.

Current Basket of Tolerance book for sale by Dawn Horse Press