The Adept – Adi Da Samraj

Selections from Talks and Essays by
Da Free John on the Nature and Function of the Enlightened

The Adept

Selections from Talks and Essays by
Da Free John on the Nature and Function of the Enlightened

V. Biographical Confessions:
The Early Life.
The Teaching Work.
The Hermitage Phase and Universal Blessing.
After the Death of the Adept.


Da Free John – 1983


The Adept Da Free
John and His Compassionate Work




Most of the great Adepts who have
graced this planet with their benign and transforming
Presence are now only remembered in stories and myths. And
in the case of Jesus of Nazareth and Gautama the Buddha, the
available biographical records are clouded by present-day
“church” doctrine. Also, the scriptural accounts of the life
and Work of these two spiritual giants reveal little of the
actual process of their spiritual struggle and
transformation into Enlightened Adepts.

Master Da Free John’s disclosures
about his own remarkable personal conversion and
transmutation, as generously recorded in The Knee of
Listening and other writings, are therefore a unique kind of

The excerpts in this second part
are meant to convey a sense of the extraordinariness of the
birth, life, and Teaching Work of this great living Adept
and, by extension, of all other fully Realized Teachers. Of
course, for a rounded consideration the reader should refer
to the original sources themselves, notably Master Da’s
above-mentioned spiritual autobiography.


The Early Life

Master Da Free John was born
Illumined – in a condition he refers to as “the Bright.”
This state must not be confused with Enlightenment proper,
which transcends the Bright and cannot be lost. His birth,
like that of all other Adepts, was a voluntary, if
spontaneous, assumption of the limitations of a human being
for the sake of Demonstrating the Truth of existence to
others. “The Bright” was a transitional state between his
transcendental Status prior to his birth and the full
incarnation as an un-Enlightened human being.

Even after foregoing the
condition of Illumination, Master Da Free John (then
Franklin Jones) experienced until his teens numerous
extraordinary psychic states and mystical phenomena. And his
intuitive link with the Reality that showed itself in the
Bright was never completely severed, although he had to
suffer all kinds of personal crises and even moments of
utter spiritual despair. The Adept’s original Impulse to
Guide others to God Realization continued to inform his life
and led him on a remarkable spiritual odyssey that, in 1970,
brought him to the recognition of the futility of all
seeking. It was then that he assumed the Enlightened
disposition that he was destined to Realize so that his
Teaching Work could burgeon.

The following passages focus on
the critical moment of the Adept’s assumption of an ordinary
human life, since this highlights the astounding paradox
that the Adept represents.


As a baby I remember crawling around
inquisitively with an incredible sense of joy, light, and
freedom in the middle of my head that was bathed in energies
moving freely down from above, up, around, and down through
my body and my heart. It was an expanding sphere of joy from
the heart. And I was a radiant form, a source of energy,
bliss, and light. I was the power of Reality, a direct
enjoyment and communication. I was the Heart, who lightens
the mind and all things. I was the same as everyone and
everything, except it became clear that others were unaware
of the thing itself.

The Knee of Listening, p.


Franklin Jones was born into an
ordinary American household. He was not born in a manger,
nor was he surrounded by religion and classical art. One
would wish to be born in the presence of strong and human
and God-Realizing people with kings coming to visit bearing
frankincense, myrrh, and gold. But he did not see anything
like that. In fact, in the moment he was born, he nearly
died. His umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, and he
nearly choked to death. But when he did open his eyes, he
was totally conscious of what his surroundings were all
about. His entire life is an expression of his prior
intuition of Divine Enjoyment. Who knows where it came from?
I cannot account for it.

A very difficult vision of existence
appeared before him. He saw the stupidity and lovelessness
of people’s lives, their willingness to tolerate an entire
lifetime of frustration, obscenity, fear, and all the things
that make men self-possessed. So he took all of that on and
lived it, just like you – except he did it consciously, as a
service to those who suffer.

Vision Mound vol. 2, no. 5
(1978), p. 7


During my childhood I experienced
profound developments of the process of kundalini that were
not initiated by human agents of the Divine. The process of
the awakened kundalini was present and operative in me from
my birth. And this state, which was obvious to me in infancy
and which is described in The Knee of Listening, is not a
state with which every man or woman can identify. It is not
the state that everybody realizes in childhood or infancy,
and in that book I was not trying to describe it as such. It
is uncommon, unique. Ultimately it may be realized by
everyone, but the process that was active in me at birth is
not “Everyman’s” life. It is the process of the higher
developments of the nervous system, a summary realization of
the seven stages of life. The state I have enjoyed since
birth is a Transfigured state – a condition wherein the
entire being, down to the cells, is continuously irradiated,
pervaded, and “outshined” by the conscious, Radiant Ecstasy
of Divine Life.

Throughout my boyhood I periodically
passed through profound events or crises of intense
psychological force. They were not understood by the people
around me, and I, of course, likewise had no sophisticated
verbal or mental understanding of them. I endured terrifying
processes that most people could not pass through even as
adults. Traditionally, if anyone were to become involved in
the kundalini process at all, he (or she) would not engage
it until he was an adult and had some understanding of
traditional esoteric spiritual processes or until he enjoyed
a relationship to a spiritual teacher who could initiate and
guide him. I did not have such associations, however.
Therefore, I simply passed through these terrifying events
whereby the kundalini energy was transforming the nervous

The process of Divine awakening
revealed itself throughout my childhood. In fact, my entire
childhood was a continual expression of this spiritual
transformation. The kundalini process is not the same as
what one may experience when he or she feels energies
coursing blissfully through the body. The true kundalini
awakening is totally disorienting. If you resist it and do
not allow these obstructions, tensions, or stresses to
dissolve, it can literally drive you mad. It can drive you
insane and then kill you. It is a deadly process if you are
not surrendered into it completely. I can remember periodic
incidents of anxiety and sudden fear, almost madness, that
produced signs in the physical body. I was taken several
times to doctors to have my heart and my breathing examined.
In fact the symptoms in the body were just energy, the
awakened kundalini, but I knew nothing about kundalini then.
I did not have any names for what was occurring, even though
it was obvious to me that I was swept up in a great forceful

I have witnessed in myself this
entire sequence of Awakening. Thus, it is on the basis of
real experience that I Teach the Way that I Teach. This Way
is not a frivolous affair. All kinds of illusions may arise
– and visions that are essentially just your own mind
boiling off, all kinds of experiences that lead you to think
and act strangely and to assume that these experiences are
signs of profound Realization. All visions and experiences
must be transcended, every last one of them. I have passed
fully through the process of this yoga, and I know that you
must transcend all forms of experience that arise or you
will go mad.

That is why one needs a guide, a
Spiritual Master, to counter the torment and free one from
illusions. If I had not had a direct association with God
all my life, I would have gone mad. I would have died from
that process. Thus, the advantage of devotees in this
Communion is that I am fully Conscious and Awake, having
Realized the entire process of Transformation of the
body-mind. But even with that advantage, it is a difficult
process. It is literally a fire. It burns you up – and that
is what it is supposed to do.

The Bodily Location of Happiness,
pp. 74-82


Franklin Jones was a fictional
character that I created when I was a boy. In a real sense,
that is true. When I was born, there were no complications,
there was no failure to understand, there was no lack of
illumination. But in relation to family and friends it soon
became apparent what kind of life is allowed in this world.
It was obvious that my parents and their friends were
unwilling to live as if they were in God and be happy, That
was not permissible. So, obviously, I could not do that. I
had to become their son and do the usual things that a child
does, and, while doing that, continue to make the point of

Franklin Jones is essentially a
series of lessons, and The Knee of Listening is about that
essentially fictional character and his spiritual adventure,
his transformations, and his learning experiences. He was my
way of dealing with the cultic content of this world.
Instead of making God knowing the continuous manifestation
of my life, I made it the periodic event of my life, so that
it would serve as a lesson for those who had an ongoing
relationship with me. I entered this plane of existence
without limitations and took hold of a psycho-physical form
which was no more illumined than any other psycho-physical
form. It needed to be transformed. And Franklin Jones is a
fictional character, a series of lessons consciously
manifested for my devotees.

So Franklin Jones is just an
argument, not an existing person with whom we need to be
concerned. He did not have any fundamental existence to
begin with. Individuals do not commonly know it, but all
personae by which beings represent themselves have very much
the same status in the world. They have no fundamental
existence. They are just a strategic play. It is just that
in the case of the usual man, it is the strategic play of
Narcissus, of suffering. It must become the strategic play
of the undoing of Narcissus, which is what happened in the
case of Franklin Jones.

The Dawn Horse, vol. 1, no. 2
(1974), pp. 3-6


The Teaching Work


Shortly after his Enlightenment
on September 10, 1970, Master Da Free John assumed the role
of Teacher for which he had incarnated on the human plane.
Having finished with the struggle of transforming the
body-mind of “Franklin Jones,” he now began his struggle
with equally recalcitrant devotees. His formal Teaching Work
commenced in spring 1972, when he started to simply sit with
people in meditative Communion. He soon realized, however,
that those who had come to him were in need of a more
rigorous and “muscular” Demonstration of the Way of Radical
Understanding or Divine Ignorance, which he had been born to
Communicate. This recognition led to a different Teaching
style, culminating in the experiential theater of the
mid-1970s, where he fell into the Teaching mode of a Crazy
Adept. To wean his devotees from the glamour of both worldly
and so-called spiritual experiences, he created the context
for all kinds of experiences in which they could immerse
themselves – all the while bringing to them the radical
point of view of standing free of whatever is occurring in
one’s life.

In November 1976, having given
devotees all the means to truly practice the Way, Master Da
ceased to have frequent intimate contact with them and
adopted a life of relative seclusion, working concentratedly
with a small group of more mature


the pattern of things or experience, I have been born into
association with the usual man. I have incarnated him. I
have lived with him. And I have transcended him.

In the Domain of God, I am Rested
and Full of the Excellence of Bliss. I have Incarnated that
One. I have always been Served by that One. And I have
Transcended everything, even all experience, through the
Grace of that One.

It is only now that I see what has
always moved me. I have been struggling since birth to
transform the usual man. I have been tormented and motivated
by the loveless and Godless state of the people with whom I
have been associated.

For the first thirty years of my
life, this tormented motive caused me to submit to the most
profound identification with the usual life, and also the
most profound effort to transcend the usual life. This
produced my unique spiritual adventure.

In the years that followed my own
Re-Awakening, I was again motivated by the same tormented
love for ordinary people. I had spent my life preparing to
Serve them, and now that Service was begun most

I was exceeded by the Ecstasy of
God-Love, but I had always been outwardly habituated to the
usual life. I was not grown up to be a saint, but I was
moved to transcend the usual man. And when it came time to
Serve ordinary people, I was not outwardly unlike

Therefore, just as I myself became
the usual man in order to transcend that destiny, when it
came time to Teach, I embraced the company and the ways of
immature and worldly people. No other kind of devotee ever
came to me in those early years. Only the worst of mankind
has always come to me. Those who were already pure and true
did not come to me. Only those who were failing came to me.
This was my born destiny, until now.

The Enlightenment of the Whole
Body, pp. 90-91



The Way I Teach

I do is not the way I am, but the Way I Teach. What I speak
is not a reflection of me, but of you. People do well to be
offended or even outraged by me. This is my purpose. But
their reaction must turn upon themselves, for I have not
shown them myself by all of this. All that I do and speak
only reveals men to themselves.

I have become willing to Teach in
this uncommon way because I have known my friends and they
are what I can seem to be. By retaining all qualities in
their company, I gradually wean them of all reactions, all
sympathies, all alternatives, fixed assumptions, false
teachings, dualities, searches, and dilemma. This is my way
of working for a time. Those who remain confounded by me,
critical of me, have yet to see themselves. When their
mediocrity is broken, when they yield their righteous
reactions and their strife toward all the consolations of
the manifest self, they may see my purity.

Freedom is the only purity. There is
no Teaching but Consciousness itself. Da Free John as he
appears is not other than the possibilities of

The Enlightenment of the Whole
Body, p. 53



The only Virtue is the Virtue of
God, the Virtue of the Holy Spirit, the Virtue of the
Sublime Being. I am here to demonstrate to you that the
Great One can be Manifested perfectly through a vehicle that
is lowly born, ordinary, obsessive, neurotic, disgusting. I
am not here to look like a saint. I am not here as a
super-pure character of no sex, no eating, all whiteness. My
demonstration to you is that to withdraw from life is not
necessary, that we should be God-born, and if we are, then
the limitations we suffer or enjoy by birth are not taken
into account. They have no binding force. They have no
binding force whatsoever!

This is why I have persisted in
being active. I talk, I breathe, I emote, I actively and
even sometimes exaggeratedly do all the things that are
human to do, that a human being could do, to demonstrate to
you that there is the Great Force of God that Transcends our
genetic and social limitations. Yes, we must be purified of
some things, but we need not eliminate our human character
in order to Realize God. Our human character can be
expressed at the same time that we Realize God. I do not
even talk very well! (Loud denials and laughter from

DEVOTEE: (Shouting) I think, Master,
that is probably the only thing you ever said that was
wrong! (More shouting.)

DA FREE JOHN: I do not have an
elegant accent. I do not speak as if I am reciting
Shakespeare. I use four-letter words and I have a New York
accent. All of this is a sign to you that God is given to
you freely and absolutely, and that when you receive the
Great One, inhaled and exhaled, the Great One does not
eliminate your human character. In fact, many things we call
human are totally unnecessary. Many of the idiotic
conventions in this world have nothing whatever to do with
God-Realization. They are just suppressive notions,
Life-negative and sex-negative notions, that we impose upon
ourselves. But I have never been a celibate

Maybe I will be a celibate next
week-who knows? The traditions say, “You must be a celibate
in order for the kundalini to rise to the
“sahasrar.”1 You can know in my person that this
is not necessary! Instead of devoting myself to celibacy and
the “problem” of sex, I have converted the activity of sex
and transformed it into a process of Transcendental

1. The sahasrar is the
highest “chakra” or center of Life-Energy, the terminal goal
of the conventional yogi. It is associated with the crown of
the head, the upper brain and higher mind.


DEVOTEE: Your life is a

DA FREE JOHN: I am so Life-positive
because we have so many Life-negative and sex-negative
notions. I am lowly born like you people! Full of neuroses,
but having overcome them through the spiritual process. But
the spiritual process did not make me a celibate. It left me
an unconventional man. At the same time I am an
unconventional man, I am not Life-negative or sex negative.
The Life-Current has risen to the sahasrar and beyond in my

Let this be a sign to you, a lesson,
a Grace to you all. Receive It as such. You need not be
celibate, but you could be. You could also be very ordinary
in your sexuality-in fact most of you are. The motion of the
Spirit in my life is my Teaching demonstration-to Teach you,
to change you, to convert you, to move you around, to
relieve you of your negativity, your self-consciousness,
your guilt, your shame so that you will put your attention
on the real matter. I am, by what I seem to be, forgiving
you for your ordinariness. This is why I appear as I do in
our time. In another timer will appear differently, but now
I appear in this peculiar fashion to relieve you of your
guilt and shame and self consciousness and your idiotic
notions about spiritual life!

The Dreaded Gom-Boo, or the
Imaginary Disease That Religion Seeks to Cure, pp.


The Hermitage Phase and Universal

The relative seclusion that
Master Da Free John chose during the late 1970s in order to
create the “source literature” for the Way of Radical
Understanding, led naturally into the hermitage phase of his
life. At present, Master Da lives in an isolated sanctuary
together with a small group of renunciates, many of whom
have already transitioned into the Enlightened stage of
life. This mode of life allows him to magnify his spiritual
Transmission and extend his benign Influence to an
ever-increasing number of people throughout the world. As
always, the Adept lives his life as a total sacrifice and in
perfect submission to those men and women, whether in his
immediate company or elsewhere, whom he has come to


have come to that phase of my Work in the world in which it
is not my attention on individuals that is the essential
instrument of this Siddhi, but the attention of individuals
on me. Endless numbers of individuals can meditate on me.
There are individuals who can enjoy that meditation without
ever meeting me in the body. In most cases, they will
require some contact with this community, but they can
become devotees while they spend most of their time living
somewhere else in the world. Just so, it is not your
dependence on my attention toward you that serves the
spiritual process in you in the future. It is your attention
on me.

To the degree that there is that
attention, you enjoy the spiritual process. To the degree
that you do not give me that attention, you are absorbed in
self meditation. All attention on the Guru, even though it
may take the very humble and practical form of seeing his
physical form or thinking of it, is actually attention on
the Divine. Wherever there is that attention, the Divine is
made present in the living functions of that

Therefore, you can meditate at all
times and at any time, and you need not depend on these
formal occasions when I am physically sitting with you for
the intense generation of this Siddhi. You should find
occasions to sit together as a community and turn to me. You
should find occasions to sit by yourself and turn to me. The
more you do this, the more you will realize my work with you
independent of limitations, even the limitation of my human
presence here.

Garbage and the Goddess, pp.


purpose of my living is in its mere existence, not in any
outward Work that I might do in the future. It is a matter
of mere Being or Transmission, inherent Radiance. That
Radiation of the Transmitted Realization of Truth is useful
to others even while they are in the various stages of this
yoga of consideration. Such usefulness does not oblige me in
any personal terms. Ultimately, though, as a living
personality simply existing or merely Being, I can be of use
to those who have fulfilled this yoga of
consideration2 and who enter into the disposition
of the seventh stage of life. That Function is what I should
be reserved for, or left Free to Serve.

Any future Service that I personally
may represent, then, should Serve priorly Enlightened or
Awakened personalities in the development of the Way of the
seventh stage of life. We need the culture of this yoga of
consideration to develop in the form of all of its Agencies,
and we also need some sort of Community of practitioners in
the seventh stage of life to develop while I live. Thus, our
institution and every devotee should be devoted to the
culture of the Salvation and Liberation stages of the Way
(the yoga of consideration), but also to the culture of the
seventh stage of life. This seventh stage culture is
represented by the mere existence of my Hermitage, my mere
existence, and the potential of some among you, some within
this total gathering, to enter into the practice of the
seventh stage of life during my lifetime.

There is a practice in
Enlightenment. Enlightenment is simply the basis of ultimate
practice, real practice, true human existence and true
Existence in terms that transcend the human, obviously. That
is the Way, the Way that is the ultimate fulfillment of
human existence and that transcends human existence. That is
the Way that I am here to Teach and to Establish -not
through any kind of motivated work in the world, because
this kind of Work can only be done spontaneously, in
relation to people who are already prepared.

Crazy Wisdom, vol. 1, no. 12 (1983),
pp. 1-3

2. Rather than
practicing the first six stages of life (which precede
Enlightenment) for their own sake, as in the traditional
paths, the practitioner of the Way that Master Da Teaches
observes them as a “yoga of consideration,” a preparation
for the Way Taught by Master Da, which is the Way of the
seventh stage of life, or the tacit recognition of what
arises as a non-binding modification of the Transcendental


the future, I am at Rest in our Happiness. I choose
simplicity, and a kind of austerity. I am Alone. I choose to
live privately, even outside the daily culture of devotees.
This is in order to give devotees time to mature, separate
from my urgency. And it also permits me to find Sanctuary
from the usual man, whose burden I no longer

I will return to the Community of
devotees as often as it is auspicious and useful for me to
do, in order to sit with all my devotees in spiritual
Communion. And, at all times, I am available to them in
their devotion to me, through every moment of their practice
in my spiritual Company.

My own society will be limited to
the intimates of my household and to those devotees who
demonstrate the Fullness of spiritual maturity in my
Company. I will give them all instructions for practice in
the stages of the Way. They will communicate these things to
all others who prepare themselves in the Way that I

Beyond this, I do not care to Teach.
My struggle with reluctant devotees is over. I am no longer
tormented by the problems of the usual man. It is a burden
and a habit of life that I am so glad to relinquish at last.
Whoever is tormented by his own destiny should prepare
himself and come to me in love, through the Community of my

My message to all is this: Practice
constantly, with insight and feeling, and always Remember me
through every action. If you do this, I will always Serve
your heart, because I love you.

The Enlightenment of the Whole
Body, p. 92


After the Death of the

The Adept is a spiritual Force
that is not confined to the body-mind that he appears to
inhabit in the eyes of others. And the Paradox and Presence
that he represents will not cease after the demise of that
particular body-mind. Nevertheless, the God-Realized Guru in
human form is a “unique advantage” to devotees. While his
transcendental Work will continue even after his death, the
functions that are associated with his embodied state can
only be preserved through the establishment of a core
Community of devotees who are, if not all Enlightened, at
least firmly committed to self-transcending

It is the Purpose of Master Da
Free John to create such a Community for the first time in
known history.


the “Introduction to the Gospel of the Siddhas,” in The
Method of the Siddhas, I have written: “While the Spiritual
Master lives he teaches that Communion with the Divine
Reality which can be enjoyed by all even after his death,
not in the special form it may be enjoyed by a relative few
during his lifetime, but which could have been enjoyed by
all prior to his lifetime. He acts to help his devotees to
realize this form of Divine Communion even while he lives in
the world.” My psycho-physical form is mortal, a function of
the worlds. It is the instrument whereby the Way of Divine
Ignorance is being communicated at this time. I welcome all
my devotees to come and be with me on sacred occasions while
I live. But it is impossible to enjoy that form of Communion
twenty-four hours of every day. And this mortal one will
come to rest some day. This psycho-physical form in which
you recognize me is the fundamental instrument for the
initial communication and generation of our work, but it is
in fact only a secondary instrument of the Divine
Realization. The fundamental instrument of that Realization
is the Power that is eternally and radically Present. While
I live I will be active in this psycho-physical form for the
sake of this Divine Power. Therefore, it is appropriate for
all devotees to come into this mortal one’s presence
whenever possible. But my work is to help you realize this
Presence and Power that is my true and eternal Function. I
am here to establish a perpetual community of devotees who
will live in perfect Divine Ignorance, the Condition of my
eternal Function. The Spiritual Master is an eternal
Function of the Divine Reality. The human Spiritual Master
is the demonstration of that Function, whereby men are
renewed in the true Condition of life, which is Divine

Since it is this Eternal Power that
my devotees enjoy, there is no fundamental limitation
involved in the fact that no one can be in my psychophysical
presence twenty-four hours of every day. Indeed, most of you
see me only on occasion. After my death, no one will ever
see me, but my work will continue in the community of my
devotees, those who know me as the Divine Master beyond

Live in conscious Divine Communion
always. All of my devotees (all who turn to me) live with
me. All of my devotees serve me, and I serve them. This is
what I mean by Divine Communion in life. Even those who
cannot often be in my psycho-physical presence while I am
alive still live with me always. But while I live, come into
my psycho-physical presence whenever possible. After my
death, my outer or worldly functions will be the
responsibility of the community of my devotees. In those
days, come and be in the company of devotees (whom I have
acknowledged as such) as often as possible. And after my
human death, come to my burial site and other places I have
designated for Divine Communion and meditation as often as
you would have come to be in my psycho-physical

My promise to devotees is the same
that all other Awakened Servants have declared: I am with
you now, as I have always been, and I will always be with
you. My Function is without beginning or end. The work I do
in my psycho-physical form is temporary. It is done in order
to reawaken the Way itself. Therefore, my human life is only
a moment. But the purpose of my work while alive is to
establish the Way of Divine Ignorance or Radical
Understanding for the coming generations of

Breath and Name, pp.

Selections from Talks and Essays by
Da Free John on the Nature and Function of the Enlightened


Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven