Failure in The Way of the Heart

 

A Beezone Enquiry

Failure

In the Life, Teachings
and Community of Adi Da Samraj

 

“(Enlightenment) requires
everything of you. Unfortunately for you, a huge amount of
what it requires is all kinds of things that really you
don’t want anything to do with.”
Adi Da Samraj,
1982

  ***

“The force of the inner temple
grants integrity to the outer temple. Without that, this
institution is emasculated”

Adi Da Samraj, 1987

 

If
anyone has been a steady student of the teachings of Adi Da
Samraj it does not take long before they will be confronted
by his incessant ‘complaint’ of the failure of his ‘work
and the lack of response of his devotees. The failure of his
devotees to Recognize Adi Da and their inability to bring
students into The Way of the Heart (The Way of Adidam) seems
to be a foremost ‘shout’ heard from Adi Da throughout his
lifetime as Spiritual Master. His shout is paradoxical and
not an absolute ‘mark’ of how it should to be understood and
what it signifies. The full import of this ever incessant
criticism is not only to his devotees, but the world at
large.

There are two aspects to the
criticism that Adi Da (or anyone else for that matter), had
of his devotee. The first is in the conditional nature or
background from which the criticisms and assessments are
made, and the second is what real
sadhana
demands.

Experience in and of itself and its
potential success and failures have always been the subject
of all religions. The Christians call it sin, the Buddhist,
dukkha and Hindus call it Maya or illusion and Islam, Dhanb.
All these terms point to the nature of conditional life and
the individuals state in it. It is clear from all religions
that human beings are ‘flawed’ and life in and of itself is
a dead end street, literally!. But the real import of the
nature of this doom’s-day failure has more to do with the
individual than with Real Nature of conditional
existence.

In 1977, Adi Da addressed directly
this failure in an essay in The Enlightenment of the Whole
Body:

My Work Is Necessary, but It Must
Also Fail

Truth does not win.
Fundamentally, the entire affair of the communication of
Truth to mankind has been a failure, and it will always be a
failure. It is a fruitless enterprise – if we consider its
results in terms of the true and perfect Awakening of great
numbers of people and the Divine Transformation of human
society as a whole. However, since a few in every generation
are prepared to respond to the Teaching of Truth, the
communication of Truth must be continued in the
world.

A few in every generation become
a Sacrifice in God, while mankind in general ignores,
denies, and otherwise betrays the Teaching, the Way, and the
Agents of God. This is so, not only because of the subhuman
evolutionary stage of mankind at this time, but because the
embodied soul is naturally motivated toward its own
experiential fulfillment, not the transcendence of itself.
Therefore, only a random few in any generation Awaken, while
all others are oblivious in their bewildered
intoxication.

The times are bad, but they are
not extraordinarily so. The times are merely bad, as the
common world of desire must always be. But Truth is prior to
desire and the world. Therefore, in My lifetime, a few may
Awaken in My Company. This Teaching and the Community of My
Devotees may even survive for countless generations as a
Witness to the Truth that Awakens and Enlightens the soul of
Man. These Good Events may come to pass, or they may not.
There is a Way in God, but there is no Way to
win.

Clearly this is both a simple and
complicated matter. For Adi Da, this failure took a very
ominous turn when on January 11, 1986, in complete despair
at what He felt to be the failure of His Life’s Work, Adi Da
Samraj fell to the floor in his house on his Hermitage
Island in Fiji. He had fallen into a deep Yogic “Swoon”, in
which only the faintest of life-signs were seen by the
doctors and devotees that ran to his aid. This incident,
later to be known as ‘death event’, marked a pivotal turning
point in the way in which Adi Da would from that time
forward would ‘work’ with his devotees. This event marked
the time in Adi Da’s life he moved away what was know as his
‘teaching demonstration’ to what now would be called his
‘Blessing’ work. “That submission to others became
summarized in the Death Event in 1986 and was brought to an
end there, and now a new Work continues as a potential, if
people will make use of my Company. If they will not, there
is no Work going on.” – Dawn Horse Magazine,
‘There
is Nothing Left But the Ash’
,
Adi Da Samraj, 1988

“In a moment this method was
relinquished….due to the failure of My Teaching
Work…this was a despair collapse bodily and
emotionally….and utter relinquishment of the body…giving
up the body..then the turnabout…the despair
disappeared…no more giving the body up to death…I was
simply (as always) simply ‘standing In and As my True
Nature.” –
Saniel
Bonder – Dawn Horse Testament, In Praise of the “Bright”
Divine Teacher
,
1991

It must always be kept in mind that
Adi Da taught in a world, that by many observers, is less
than perfect! In the essay, My Work Is Necessary, but It
Must Also Fail
it could be seen that Adi Da was
prophesying his own failure and therefore his death. It
seems a little ‘dark’ to suggest this but where does
conditional existence leave all of us? Whatever the reasons
the outcome in this world is the same and we are only left
with Divine Paradoxes.

 

Devotee:
Master, when will you be satisfied?

Adi Da: (with a
smile) When you all glow in the
dark!

 

 

Throughout Adi Da’s work, in
developing his teaching, establishing a community and
developing mature practitioners, failure was always in the
forefront. No matter where one delves into the
teaching
or blessing years
you will
always hear His Shout!

The Spiritual Master is indeed a
voice that rises in this wilderness, to Awaken every
neighbor from the illusion of his acre of land, his ordinary
pond, his body-mind. It is a necessary voice, the voice that
sounds whenever the Truth of human experience is Revealed to
one who is Awake. Therefore, such a one speaks, even with
urgency and anger. It is the prophetic voice, the awful
shout, expressed with all the gestures of frustrated
Divinity
. – The Enlightenment of the Whole Body, p. 152

During Adi Da’s life, he was
imprisoned, abstracted and ignored by self-guruing devotees,
as he called them. If anyone actually reads and studies the
teachings of Adi Da and gets an over arching view of what he
went though, it is actually depressing and frustrating. This
is most evident after what is known as ‘Lopez Event’ in
2000. In the communications Adi Da gave to his devotees
their failure was most evident. It is heartbreaking and
frustrating because his devotees continually tried to
respond in every possible manner they knew how. He said that
his devotees were ignoring him, but they were also
frustrated. They were frustrated because they did not truly
‘Understand’ Him or for that matter themselves. Devotees
responded and at times did not respond but the response
never completely ‘answered’ His Shout.

The community in all its forms was
always called into a ‘crisis’ of conscience. His devotees
were always needing to respond and at the same time feeling
the complete inability to do so in a manner that would
please the Guru. “Do what always pleased the Guru and
nothing else” was the edict but the reality was hardly or
ever so. Clearly this ‘lack of response’ was not a business,
ethical, or behavioral issue, it was a spiritual matter. He
was calling for real response with a true devotional based
on ‘
hearing
and ‘
seeing‘,
based on self-understanding, which are the core matters in
any discussion about Adi Da, his teaching or community. The
impass was laid out within a true ‘
double
bind
‘ – a call to respond
and the inability to do so! Grace was truly the
calling.

Tapas

 “There is a secret…that
is most fundamental to sadhana in the Way of the Heart.
Allow yourself to be cooked, to be burned alive, to avoid
nothing. To be, in this moment, in such a place where
surrender is not even your only choice, where it is only
inevitable this is the secret of most effective sadhana. It
is the secret of renunciation. It is why renunciation is the
secret of Realization, bereft of all means, all strategies,
only There, without resorts of the egoic kind, in Place with
the One Who Is,only devotion and not by choice. There is no
choice. Giving yourself no choice whatsoever is the greatest
principle of sadhana.”

This is tapas.
Tapas is the fire of transformation, the inner workings of
purification which religion and spiritually are all about.
It is only those who persist in this ‘fire’ are the ones
that are ‘cleansed’ of their sins, as the Christians would
say.

“You must take up this Way as a
whole life. Just sitting here with whatever attention you
have freely available at the moment is not sufficient to
change your presumption in the future. It will simply
establish you in the moment, more or less, in this
consideration of Ignorance. But the discipline is obliged
upon you in every moment. You must take it up as a way of
life. You must be constantly available to the Spiritual
Master, constantly available to his instruction, his
argument, his disciplines, his Company. The life awakened in
his Company serves the penetration of the dream. When that
Realization becomes summary, most radical, in your case,
then you are simply happy. Until then, you enjoy it more or
less profoundly in some moments, and at other moments the
usual life grinds in on you. But then you have the
discipline to occupy you rather than the right you
ordinarily assume to dramatize your self-possessed
tendencies and illusions. The whole affair of this practice
ultimately serves perfect transformation in
Truth.

Difficulties persist because the
ordinary life or dream persists. Things continue to arise.
So there is heat in the process. But the heat is your
advantage. The heat is not some negative side effect. The
heat is free attention, available for this profundity.
Secondarily, it is painful in a sense, but it is free. It is
available force, attention. Free attention is not otherwise
so available, because it is usually sunk into dramatizations
and distractions. Now it is without an object. It cannot
find a way to be relieved. It is hot. And so it can consider
itself, the occasion itself.

If, through true bearing, you
will be committed to such present consideration, and if you
will persist in it and not restrain yourself from the whole
discipline of my Company, that same enlightenment that is
now argued to your face will also be true of you.”

Bubba Free John The Paradox of Instruction

In the End, as in the Beginning
and So in the Middle

In 1975 Adi Da wrote an essay
entitled, “I am John” published in The Enlightenment of the
Whole Body that parallels what he wrote in The Dawn Horse
Testament (1991).

“I have lived as a serving
brother among my devotees. Since childhood I have been
called Bubba, meaning brother. And by this role and all its
friendly excesses I have made my friends to see themselves.
Thus, when they had learned their lessons in my own form,
they began to “hear” and “see” me through God-Feeling. And
when I felt them grow transparent through that love, I
sought a place of Solitude in which to wait in Brightness. I
am John, through whom God is Gracious, and who is therefore
Free among the living.”
– 1975

I Am That Which, By Myth and
Error Sought, Mankind Has Avoided At Every Turn and Phrase.
I Am The One Whom Mankind, By Seeking, Has Lost and Failed
To Realize. I Am The One From Whom Mankind, By their Failure
To Realize Me, Is Now (but Not Forever) Separate and
“Different”. I Am The One and Only (and
Self-Evidently Divine) Person—Who Has Come (and, Now,
and Forever Hereafter, here Stands) To Remove the ego From
Religion (and, Thereby, To Make Religion True). –
1991

What is this Failure all about? What
had been Adi Da calling his devotees to endure and
ultimately pass through? “The…great crisis of life is
this process of serious understanding of un-Happiness and
conversion to the Way of Happiness (rather than the futile
search for Happiness). Such understanding is what I call
hearing
and such conversion is what I call “
seeing.”
It is only when such hearing and seeing prevail that the
practice of the Way can begin.”

Adi Da Samraj has always said The
Way of the Heart, in and of itself, was not a conventional
path. It did not respond to the ‘ways of the world’. The
ways of the world had to do with the
first
three stages of life
or what
he called the foundational stages of human development.
Spiritual life had to do with tapas, self-observation,
devotion, self-understanding and Sadhana. The never
compromising Spiritual Master is the ‘nature’ of the game.
The game is not about perfection or a simple matter of a
method.

The institution should refuse to
be reduced to a dull, low energy, hyped, worldly
communication. We must be more than an institution. We must
be committed to a lively, vigorous, intelligent,
sophisticated, stable, cool, and Enlightened communication
of the Way of Truth. Some games should simply never be
played. Some games you only suffer profoundly until you drop
them. Therefore, do not begin them. Simply refuse to
function in certain ways. Look at other religious
organizations, you can see something in all of them that
reveals how they have compromised themselves. Some things
should just never be done.

The Spiritual Master should be
known for maintaining a commitment to authenticity, to a
true and free communication of the Teaching of Truth, and to
the Way of life that necessarily follows. Likewise the
institution should be so known. It is in this principle that
we can see the struggle. In our attempts to grow and make
peace, you make compromises, and bit by bit you stray from
the center. You then find conflict between what you are
trying to do and what you are supposed to be. We should not
do anything that we could not do and still practice the Way
at the same time. Have some class.

The failure is in reducing a
radiant, happy, expansive and creative process to a dull,
rote, low energy and ‘failed case’ orientation to his Shout.
As he wrote in Breath and Name in 1977, “The most
destructive of these habits or points of view that weaken
the transforming power of the heat of your discipline is
that of concern relative to the tendencies that characterize
your life.”
Sadhana is a process, a moment to moment
that involves all aspects of life many of which the
individual has no ‘voice’ in at all. There is the Law and
the demand to fulfill it. The more purified one becomes the
more one sees the ‘gap’ between what is Real and what is not
and what is keep the two apart!

“My approach…is the Adept’s
approach, not the lineage approach. It is the Source of
Teaching, the circumstance in which true Teaching is
generated. I refused to accept the conventional role. Can
you not see the difference between the conventional role of
institutional figures and the unconventional role of a free
Adept? This Way is the Adept’s Process. It is a
non-institutional Process. And our institution is the bearer
of this kind of Teaching.

Devotees must do real samyama,
rather than opt for the traditions in a way that shows a
weakness on their part to understand the Adept. You can read
all kinds of traditional literature, but you must understand
the actual living process or else you will fail to
communicate it in Truth. Everyone must practice the art of
Agency of Spiritual Transmission, and devotees must become
serious about it. Let those who practice with depth and
power and strength and faith come forth, and let them
communicate the living Teaching, the Living Reality. Let
them practice the Way and thus in every moment be an Agency
of Transmission. Let them help others make this adaptation
to the Living Reality. This is their
service!”

Adi Da’s criticism is real and the
frustration he and everyone with a heart feels is not a
‘goad’ in the traditional sense:

“Life is a creative opportunity,
motivated by frustration of the impulse of life toward
ecstasy. There is no factual end to the struggle. There is
at best a human maturity, in which frustration is not
permitted to become negatively dominant, permitting no
change or motion. Rather, frustration is maintained as a
positive or creative circumstance for motion, change, and,
ultimately, ecstatic participation in the Transcendental
Reality. In any case, the Law will be
fulfilled.”

“The meaning or purpose of
individual human existence is not evident in the bare fact
of birth and experience. Rather, the meaning and purpose of
individual human existence is Man, or the ultimate ritual of
Incarnation.

The test of human existence is in
our confrontation with frustration and fear. We are not born
merely to exist and to experience. We are not born for our
own sake. We are born in God and for the purposes of God,
Who is the Living One, the Radiant Being in Whom all beings
and things are arising and changing. We are born to
transcend ourselves in ecstatic Love-Communion with the
Present Divine.

Those who are overcome by
frustration and fear recoil or turn back upon themselves,
and…. – The Ritual of Incarnation – 1978

It’s All Up to You Ladies and
Gentlemen

In His Divine Formless Form, He
Stands Prior, Standing In Place, One, Already Accomplished,
even in the mists of the appearance and the Shout of
Failure, the ‘heaps of yes-and-no’ or any opposite the mind
can manufacture. The Play is there, the call is Inherent,
and One Has Appeared.

The heart must be permitted to
achieve a universal feeling-ecstasy!

And Beauty is not in the
matter-world of thing and death-but only in the singled
universe of the True Loved-One!

Where everything that lives will
be dog-withered by the pack of time, fear arises-at the
crown and bowel, where times orderly extinctions twist the
heart between the North-and-South!

And sorrow fills the mind,
between the eyes-and feels the belly suck the danger of all
the unwanted changes made by time!

And anger burns a laser-breath of
all-destroying speeches-helpless in the klik-klak darks
resistance to all wanted change of times unwanted
changes!

Therefore, the cosmic universe of
temporal and all-destroying Nature must be Transfigured by
undying Love!

Undying Love Is the universal
Principle of re-“Connect”, in the rush-to-dying world of
Natural heaps of yes-and-no!

The world of Man is an eternal
shift of necks-a shuttle of Loves own faces, floating in a
drown of moments-until the “He” and “She” of Me, like the
fingertips of lovers, Touch, through the infinite
transparency of a single tears True Water-and Touch away,
Together, at the Single of Infinity, Where “We” were so
deeply Torn !
I Am The Icon Of Unity” From
He-and-She Is Me

In 1971, a couple of months after
his awakening in the Vedanta Temple in Los Angeles, Franklin
Jones wrote these words.

“It is now the early summer of
1971. Several months have passed since I began to enjoy the
radical life of understanding.”

“I have come to create a radical
change. Therefore, I have not come to oppose any of the
fundamental and remarkable movements of human creativity. I
have only asked you to understand. I have come to bring
consciousness to your judgments, your surmise of the entire
event. I have come to make the abandonment of all dilemmas
possible. I am for all the kinds of perfection and science
here. I am thoroughly in favor of a great world. But I am
also one who is entirely free of necessity, the perfection
or imperfection of this world or any other. In any case, I
am the one who is real and free, who survives all worlds.
Therefore, if you are with me, we can enjoy these
possibilities with humor, grace and love.

I am reminded of Sri Ramakrishna,
on fire within, consumed in God, communicated with all the
forms of truth, but spending his time alone or in the
company of a few friends. His heart yearned for those to
whom he could communicate his gift. He would cry for the
devotees he knew must come. Where are the devotees? His
whole being yearned for the children who would
appear.

I have spent my life in rooms. I
have enjoyed the companionship and the attention of a few
friends. But my life is for the sake of this communication
of understanding. The rooms cannot contain me. My friends
cannot satisfy me. I am surrounded by great forces of love
and truth that I hold off like beasts in the corners of my
room. All of this waits for those who must come. But I am
motionless and confounded until they come. My fulfillment
waits on those who must come. My life has not been for
myself. I already possessed it before I came to this birth.
My life is for those who must come. But where are they? I am
going mad with my own words. I would exhaust myself in
experiences and every excuse for love, every possibility for
a word with another. Where are they? When is my time to
come? At times I don’t know whether to come or go. I have
been exiled here. All the means for my escape have been
denied to me. I am allowed no passage to another place,
another country. I would achieve my dominion in another
world, but I am forced to keep these rooms, this exile in a
hostile realm. I am waiting for you. I have been waiting for
you eternally. My fulfillment is the very world. But I am
not heard. My gestures are unseen. The powers of my delight
are not enjoyed. Even my own bliss is not available to me.
All things depend upon your visit. Where are
you?”

I
Will Be Heard
– Adi Da
Samraj

 

 

 

 

Read more:

Growing,
Standing Still or Dying

Adidam today – An Exercise by Beezone

The
Price Nobody Wants to Pay

I’m Here to Regenerate the Whole
Thing

“There wasn’t sufficient evidence,
sufficient response, sufficient clarity. So we’ve had to
examine the whole matter step by step, stage by stage,
starting from the most basic level of the beginning. But I
think in this examination of all of this, with those who
have been associated with me for so long, what is being made
plain is that the gifts and the lessons have been already
given. The only thing lacking here is this Joyous Response,
this Inspired Response, that will regenerate all the things
that were your responsibility before.

I’ve even said to you many times in
these gatherings; it is difficult for me to imagine that
there aren’t at least some in this world-wide gathering who
are prepared for practicing stage six. If they’d only
consider it, go through this process of recapitalization,
reexamination of it all, and embrace their responsibility,
the obligation. I would think that there would be some who
are already prepared for practicing stage six. And
certainly, others prepared for the various devotee
stages.

I told you at the beginning when you
all were just being students there, remember, I can’t
imagine after all these years nobody has heard
me”.

In the very beginning of my Teaching
Work, I’ve communicated the Radical Consideration, the
Radical Argument. You must respond to the degree that makes
you capable of radical practice, or the Perfect Practice.
So, I’ve had for many, many years consider with you that
entire progress. But it’s not suppose to be something that
takes you a thousand lifetimes. It’s not a piecemeal
idealism, or idealistic practice, in which you basically
fret over your impulses to be identified with the ordinary
humanity, your conventional motivations as a human
being.

That progressive practice is
supposed to prepare you for the Radical Practice in its
Ultimate form, the Perfect Practice.

The Perfect Practice is practiced in
the context of the sixth stage of life. Therefore it
inherently transcends the sixth stage of life, not
eventually, inherently. It takes place in the context of the
sixth stage of life but transcends it inherently. So do all
the other stages of practice.

The listening and hearing process
inherently transcends the first three stages of life,
inherently does so, when you fully develop it. When it
becomes true hearing, it inherently transcends the first
three stages of life. It’s not that then there’s a long lot
of stuff to do, as a hearing sadhana. It’s direct. The
hearing sadhana inherently transcends the first three stages
of life, so the work becomes complete, readily. This is why
in the first edition of The Dawn Horse Testament have to
define the hearing stage as a separate sort of period.
Because it’s a most direct principle, that allows you to
move on to the devotee stages.

I observed that you were finding
loopholes, and not taking that process completely into
account. I, therefore, I recommended some details that will
help you avoid those loopholes.

Hearing, the sadhana based on
hearing inherently transcends the first three stages of
life, just as the sadhana based on seeing inherently
transcends the fourth stage of life, and the fifth if
necessary, and the sixth. The Way of the Heart transcends
the psycho-biography of the ego, inherently.

Everything from the student response
up to hearing is a process leading up to hearing. Everything
up to hearing if your consideration, your time integrating
yourself with this Radical Way. From the time of the
confession of hearing, you become most fundamentally
obliged, engaged with the Way of the Heart itself. You
become capable of the Way of the Heart itself is capable, of
transcending all of the egoic stages of life. So, from the
time of hearing, you must do so, effectively, as described
in each stage.

In that effective sense, we could
say the Way of the Heart begins at the point of true
hearing. It’s the first of the three great signs. The first
is Hearing, the second is Seeing, and the third is
Identification with the Witness-Position of Consciousness.
Everything that proceeds hearing is a process whereby the
individual becomes integrated with that process that
inherently transcends eogity. This is why the Hearing
Confession is so profound. It’s the cutter, the foundation
that effectively moves through all the phycho-biography of
egoity. From the time of that confession, you are obliged to
that demonstration.

If you have heard me there is
NO MORE dramatizing your egoic reluctance. You will
have understood it all. You will have thoroughly observed it
all, to the point of most fundamental understanding of self.
Therefore this mechanism of refusal, of balking, resistance
will have been thoroughly understood by you. Most
fundamentally understood.

You must establish a culture on that
foundation. You must demonstrate your response in the form
of that culture. You must all develop an inspired and
inspiring Way, and you must do it collectively, in the
culture and the institution, in both the inner and outer
temple. There must be these signs.

If there aren’t these signs then I
say to you, you haven’t heard me”.