Heart Felt Attention


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The Key to the
Process

A TALK GIVEN BY BUBBA FREE
JOHN


AT VISION MOUND SANCTUARY

MAY 16, 1977


BUBBA: What is this matter of transformation, of
God-Realization, that we have considered for several years,
with all its stages, with all its considerations? What is
the essential process? What is the key to it
altogether?

DEVOTEE: You, Bubba.

BUBBA: What is it as a
process?

DEVOTEE: It seems to me that
enlightenment precedes everything.

BUBBA: Yes, but what is the
process?

DEVOTEE: Serving others no matter
what is arising in you.

BUBBA: That has something to do
with the action involved, but what is it as a process? When
you consider the essential criticism that relates to our
suffering, our bewilderment, what is the essential process
that is our transformation, our enlightenment, our release?
To have realized it seems to me to be very important. What
is the key to all the stages, to the whole matter? What is
it?

BUBBA: You are all so dumb Oh, I
have had these conversations before. Always the Teacher
says, “What is it?” and the devotees reply, “Well,
‘humbumbly,” and then he lectures to them. Basically I just
want to communicate to you a summary point of
view.

The criticism expressed in this
Teaching, though directed to all areas of our experiential
life, is always a criticism of one essential activity. There
is a principal activity that is our suffering, the activity
of contraction, of recoil. Therefore, what is
transformation? What is the key to the undoing of that
activity?

The answer is expansion.
contraction is suffering. It identifies centers, locates and
defines the being in illusion. The whole affair of release,
then, is expansion, counter to the reactive, unconscious
recoil to which we are subject by birth. Transformation at
every stage is a matter of expansion, not through an effort
to be expansive from the egoic point of view, but through
the undermining in consciousness of this contraction. The
conscious process is, effectively, expansion, passage beyond
the zero, the center, the self-definition, the point of view
that defines consciousness.

DEVOTEE: Bubba, isn’t that what
service is, though? Isn’t service expanding your
self?

BUBBA: Yes. But if I had simply
said to you at the very beginning of your practice, “You are
contracting inward, now expand, be more outreaching, give
your energy,” that wisdom would not have served you.
Everything that we have considered together, of the process
and the practice, is true. Everything is as we have
considered it, but as a process, spiritual transformation is
a matter of expansion. Yet it is not the expansion of a
balloon that expands from pressure within. That is not the
expansion that is God-Realizing and true. The expansion I am
describing is the expansion that comes when you puncture a
balloon and it is equalized with all space.

If you consider expansion as a
pressing out from the center to infinity, then infinity is
conceived as some sort of location, an uncountable dimension
in time and space and distance from the center. But infinity
is not an absolute number beyond the center. Infinity is the
point of perfect equalization between contraction and
expansion. When expansion is perfectly counter to
contraction, that is infinity. It is not measurable, you
see. It is a paradox of two movements, expansion and
contraction.

The essential process of spiritual
life or Realization, of our true and real Condition, is
expansion. The whole affair of recollection of the Presence
is movement out of subjectivity and self-possession. The
whole affair of enquiry is movement out of the recoil toward
self into the, displacement of relationship, beyond the
center. The whole affair of re-cognition is movement beyond
the subtler contractions that are mind and life-force and
identity into a perfect disposition that is infinite. The
whole affair of Sahaj Samadhi is the recognition that every
quality arising, subjective or objective, has the same
force, the force of contraction, of modification. If it is
priorly re-cognized instantly, tacitly recognized-then
contraction has no force and no implication whatsoever. In
Sahaj Samadhi the being rests at the point of infinity,
which has no dimension, no center, no form, no pressure
within or without.

The fact that God-Realization is a
matter of expansion is very meaningful to the born being.
Sitting here in this moment and in the midst of these
considerations, you can feel, bodily and psychically, the
essential disposition of your born existence, which is to
contract to a point, to be defined, to be a something, to be
a someone defined, to be spatially, temporally, personally
limited, to contract out of infinity. Likewise, in the
stages of discipline you become more and more profoundly
sensitive to the essential movement of the being that is our
suffering-it is enclosure, contraction, withdrawal, recoil.
In the conscious process of re-cognizing, or knowing again,
that essential recoil or contraction of the being that we
are by birth, as that re-cognition occurs in the stages of
practice, there is dissolution of the whole effect of
contraction, of centering, of birth, of separation, of
recoil. ,

Thus, transformation can be
described as a process of expansion, of moving beyond
recoil. By habit, by disposition, by birth, we recoil from
infinity. The process that is God-Realized and God-Realizing
in the present passes beyond that recoil, that contraction,
into an undefined sublimity. It is expansive. And to realize
it, one does not become expansive as a center, like a
balloon swelling with air. The traditional way to
transformation, however, is to expand the balloon to some
place far beyond comprehension, beyond the body, beyond this
earth, into the subtlest of subtle planes. In this
traditional view you perceive your existence as a great
expansive balloon, at the center of which is the subjective
entity, the witness, however concretely defined it is. In
Truth, however, being free is being as expansive as you are
contracted in every moment.

Every trace of the contraction that
defines you subjectively creates a sense of an independent
and necessary self, a sense of mind surrounding this egoity,
a sense of a body and energies that animate it and surround
it in its relations. Thus, if you are to be truly free,
every aspect of the contraction that surrounds you and
presses upon you must be recognized, tacitly undone. And if
it is, then ordinary experience creates no effect
whatsoever.

Attaining the expanded heaven from
the egoic center of birth is not Liberation. Liberation is
exploding the balloon, cutting through the process of
contraction that is the ego. The usual man, supported by all
his traditions, is looking for a way to be expansive,
expanded, and released through the process of the center,
the defined being. But the search for release through
subjectivity is a homely and hopeless adventure, a dream at
night, something everybody is hopeful for, something about
which everybody is to one degree or another enthusiastic
because it is so delicious by conception and so
distracting.

Contrary to the expectations of the
usual man and his traditions, enlightenment is the
penetration of the entire process of existence, every aspect
of it, subjective and objective, internal and external, at
the surface and at the center. The whole pressurized balloon
of the ego must be exploded through penetrating insight,
which is the force of expansion. Thus, in the true process
of consciousness, you become distracted by the presence of
God instead of meditating inwardly in your separation. You
are expanded, moved beyond the egoic conception. Instead of
separating, in the manner of Narcissus, into your mentality,
your emotions, your life-force, and your body-sense in the
cave of your relations, you enquire (in the form “Avoiding
Relationship?”) and thus, through enquiry and re-cognition,
move out of the recoil, the reflex of your egoic nature,
into an expanded condition. Re-cognition, then, is a higher
and thoughtless disposition in the midst of physical, vital,
emotional and mental experience. Every quality that arises
is re-cognized to be a form contraction. In that
re-cognition, or knowing again, you pass beyond the effect
and the definition of contraction, until the expansion is so
great that there is re-cognition of the attention at the
center of it, the pressurizing motive of the ego. When the
center is finally re-cognized, this is the explosion of the
balloon. From top to bottom, in and out, all existence is
priorly and tacitly re-cognized to be the force of
contraction, the lie of being some thing. None of it is
important then. None of it has any force
whatsoever.

Thus, in Sahaj Samadhi there is no
surface, no dimension, no center, no size. There is perfect
rest at the surface and at the center. There is no
definition to the being. There is perfect expansion then,
which is not equivalent to having achieved a point above or
outside or inside, but which is the same as having achieved
no point whatsoever, having

perfectly penetrated the whole
affair that defines the being. The natural disposition in
Sahaj is perfectly formless, without quality, without world,
without relations, without size, without dilemma-absolute
freedom from all the implications of birth and death,
survival and transcendence, inwardness and adventure. Am I
right? Is this true? It seems true to me.

DEVOTEE: Bubba, does the balloon
begin to explode when you feel really humble?

BUBBA: Its explosion can coincide
with all kinds of feelings. What is to feel humble? It is to
be “me” of such limited size that even the picture on the
wall overwhelms me by its magnificence. Humility is a kind
reactivity, a way of observing your state defined by
experience. On the other hand, it is not a way of
penetrating of experience. In the perfect penetration of
experience, of contraction, there is no humility, no size,
big or small. There is no status, nothing achieved. Humility
has nothing to do with it ultimately. No quality has
anything to do with it. All of this life, past and future,
up and down, in and out, is just an hallucination. Every
aspect of it is fundamentally of the same size as any other,
and of no size. What are the stars you see in dreams? What
is that great universe? It is presumed and comprehended in
dreams, but it is absolutely nothing in the morning. When
you awake, it is vanished, not available to you, ineffective
and impotent. Likewise, in our enlightenment the appearing
universe is impotent, no longer the intentional creation of
a holy God at all. The holy God is not the creator-apart, a
justification for choosing the earth in our mortality. The
holy God is most absolute, and the realization of the holy
God makes all this completely unnecessary and completely
ineffective.

What is the question?

DEVOTEE: A lot of times lately I’ve
had a sense of ecstasy.

BUBBA: Do you know what ecstasy
means?

DEVOTEE: No.

BUBBA: Ex stasis, to stand outside
yourself that is ecstasy. But most people recognize ecstasy
to be a kind of stimulation of self, a heightening of the
pleasurable illusion of the ego, like orgasm. But orgasm is
not ecstasy. Orgasm is simply a way of consoling the born
being. The perfect Realization is beyond ecstasy in the
conventional sense. It is literally to stand outside
yourself, to stand outside the pressurized condition of a
birth, so that the birth, the world, and the whole affair of
life become nonsense, no longer impinge on you, have no
implication whatsoever, absolutely none. There is no force,
no necessity, to the continuation of existence. It could
casually end. It does continue, but it is no great matter.
You are awake, and the process of existence goes on with its
own laws. So much the worse for it. The dream is for its own
sake then. It no longer implies a center of limitation, of
adventure, of past and future, of necessity. It is
unnecessary. That is liberation.

DEVOTEE: So ecstasy is insight, but
it isn’t a feeling.

BUBBA: True ecstasy, yes. It has
nothing to do with subjective, objective, bodily, emotional,
or mental processes. It has nothing to do with sensations,
conceptions, feeling conceptions, nothing to do with
kundalini. It is absolutely still. It has no resort and no
alternative. It is simply, completely, and absolutely
free.

There is a kind of egoic
expansiveness that relieves us. It is gained in pleasurable
moments, moments of success, sexual union, orgasm, reunions,
gifts, a great circumstance, a gift of one million dollars.
Such relief is called ecstasy, and that is what the usual
man or woman pursues, the ecstatic moment of consolation in
which he or she remains a born and egoic personality, at the
center of the experience, witnessing it, being consoled and
surrounded by it. This so-called ecstasy is just another
form of torment. It is not sufficient. It is pleasurable
enough and there is no reason to feel depressed about it.
But you must see it exactly as it is, and it is not
liberated, it is not free, it is not happy. It is craving.
When the moment has passed in which the million dollars was
announced, when sufficient time has passed and you have
adapted to life with a million dollars, being a twelve-inch
balloon instead of a three-inch one, then the weight of
significance comes over the being. Again it feels surrounded
and captured. Now it craves forty million dollars! There is
never an end to it.

Thus, through all the machinery of
our possibility we only learn this disposition, this sulk of
unenlightenment. At some point to penetrate it becomes
significant and very important. At what point it becomes
significant or important enough for you depends on your
tolerance for torment, the point at which you stop looking
forward to the consoling event and are essentially
indifferent to it. Not indifferent to it in the ordinary way
anybody can be happy with a million dollars-but indifferent
to it in the ultimate sense, so that it does not capture
you, so that consolation does not become
philosophy.

All of us value a long life by
which to be fulfilled in this mystery. All of us crave some
sort of continuation, either as a gross body or as some
subtle form, because we are entertained by the occasion of
our birth. All of us are craving in mystery, because there
is no answer to any of this appearance here. None of you can
account for a single thing. You do not know what a single
thing is. You cannot be defined, ultimately, nor can you
define anything, ultimately. It is all an hallucination, a
fluidity that impinges upon you and motivates you through
the process of definition and consciousness, to achieve
consoled states of one or another kind. Thus, what is
important to a human being seems to be attaining the
consolation of pleasure. But such motivation has nothing to
do with -Truth. It is simply the adventure of the dream. The
dream has many modifications, many possibilities, many
exaggerations, mortal and immortal, but they all represent
the same impulse toward consolation.

Truth is the penetration of our
birth and of our whole existence. When that penetration
begins to occur, it undermines the motivation toward
survival. It is no longer significant to live twenty,
thirty, forty, or fifty more years, nor five billion more
lifetimes, nor innumerable years or extensions of time in
some subtle plane of deliciousness. Such motivation is
nonsense from the point of view of Truth. When this
comprehension becomes absorbing in anyone, such an
individual becomes the manifest Siva, the Destroyer, the
Absorber of everything, That into which everything is
restored at the end and from the beginning and even in the
present. Thus, such an individual no longer represents the
usual motivated life!

I have discovered this Truth in my
own case. There is a movement in me that is counter to the
usual pressure of existence to continue, to play it out, to
have more rounds, more fulfillment’s, more exaggerations,
more distractions, more pleasures, up and down, in and out.
The play of existence has become unimportant to me. There
is, however, in the impulse of the life that I animate, a
disposition to be creatively involved in a like
transformation of others, to duplicate this incarnation of
enlightenment in the form of devotees. But the impulse in me
is neither toward survival nor toward death. It is at
infinity. It is neither expanding nor contracting any
longer. There is no significance to any survival nor to any
continuation. I am involved in another matter altogether.
There is no superficiality to it. It is most profound and
fiery, though not even heavenly. It has nothing to do with
anything. It is a profound absorption.

God is Absolute. There is no
limitation to Grace. Everything is being given. The process
of Grace is a great sacrifice represented as all bodies, all
rooms, all earth, all relations. All hallucination signifies
a profound sacrifice at every level. If the sacrifice
ceased, there would be the most dismal darkness. We would
not be here then! But in God all the realms are animated.
They all are God-given. They are not necessary, but they are
God-given. They are Graceful.