How to Study and Read the Teachings

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The Way of Understanding

A Course of Study of the Life and Essential Teachings
of Bubba Free John (Franklin Jones)

Book One
The Life of Understanding

The Dawn Horse Press – 1974

pp. 3-4


Notes on study from one of Bubba’s talks

The usual student develops all kinds of agonizing devices
to retain information long enough to take an examination:
underlining, keeping notes on cards, memorizing, grinding
the material over and over again in his head. Then when the
examination is over, it is all forgotten! This is because
people think that the mind is a little box in their heads
with only a certain number of volts, and that they have to
play all kinds of games to get it to hold things.

But the student must, through one or another crisis in
his life, come to the point where he trusts his mind,
realizes that it is not a little box that he has to play
games with to get it to retain and do things, but it is
completely fluid, formless, boundless, capable of
remembering everything, doing anything he wants. And when he
begins to ,make that assumption, while being a student at
the same time, study will become much easier for him.

Understanding must take place in the midst of that whole
affair of looking at the page and falling asleep and
drifting away and thinking. Understanding must awaken in the
midst of life, and so it must also apply to this particular
activity of study. Understanding is not an unconscious
activity. It depends entirely on the force of your insight
at the level of consciousness at any moment.

Ordinarily we assume we have to be interested in
something in order to be able to learn or to deal with it in
any way. Otherwise we suspect we will go to sleep or get
angry. When you are in school, you have to study things,
whether you are interested in them or not, and so school
provides the circumstances in which you have to. deal with
the mind, at least to a certain degree. In this case you are
not about to get a degree. You are not about to get paid or
applauded or anything else for studying this course. So
there is no external motivation. And if sadhana is going to
be meaningful in relation to you in this study, you must
first of all find some reason for doing it. But, ultimately,
the problem we are describing is not one of interest. It is
one of resistance. It is resistance, contraction, the
functions: the Spiritual Master, the Divine Form, and the
Man of Understanding.

While the principal content of the course is The
Knee of Listening
, The
Method of the Siddhas
should be studied alongside The
Knee of Listening. The principle of Satsang or the spiritual
relationship between Guru and devotee described in The
Method of the Siddhas is the key to an understanding of the
process described in The Knee of Listening. The study course
therefore also includes reading assignments from The Method
of the Siddhas.

There are twelve study sessions (Life
of Understanding
). Course materials for each session
consist of readings from The Knee of Listening and The
Method of the Siddhas; tapes (published here for the first
time) of Bubba’s talks with his devotees on The Knee of
Listening; study questions; and study outlines of The Knee
of Listening.