Breath and Name – Chapter 5



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8

THE SPIRITUAL MASTER: MY DEVOTEE
ALWAYS FEELS ME TO BE PRESENT

8.1

The true Spiritual Master is one who
originates spontaneous and true Teaching in the company of
others, and who generates and awakens devotees to the sacred
occasion of Divine Communion, not merely through apparent
silence or no-response, but through a literal Power in
Silence that communicates itself as a realized influence
that quickens insight and awakens intuitive contemplation.
Such a Master then leads devotees toward the radical
Realization of that same awakening, prior to any world,
body, force of life, mind, transcendental experience, or
ego-soul illusion.

There must be natural love, or
coincidence, and duplication, rather than an exclusively
passive and separated attitude that seeks only to receive,
to be affected to the point of happiness, and to reside at
the opposite end of a line of transmission. Come live with
8.2 me, be aligned with me in your feeling, your action,
your sacrifice, in Ignorance, or Love. In that case you will
always duplicate me instantly, presently, priorly. You will
always duplicate me more and more perfectly.

Ignorance is identical to Love, or
unqualified Radiance, without center or bounds. Since it is
without center (ego-soul) or bounds (body,
thought-conception-perception, world), Ignorance or Love may
not be willfully presumed or generated. It is a Process
realized by Grace, beginning with true hearing of the
Teaching and maturing through the stages of the Way until it
is altogether true.

8.3 In 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 whileI 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 psychophysical 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 psychophysical 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 Ignorance.

1. Bubba Free John,
The Method o f the Siddhas (Los Angeles: The
Dawn Horse Press, 1973), p. 314. This passage has been
revised from the original to express more directly the
current terminology of Bubba’s Teaching.

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
psycho-physical 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 irx the
community of my devotees, those who know me as the Divine
Master beyond conditions.

Thus, I want you to know how to live
the true form of this Divine Communion, this Divine
Ignorance which pertains before my life, during my life, and
after my death. “Sravana” or hearing the word of the
Spiritual Master is the beginning and ongoing necessity of
the Way of Divine Ignorance. Therefore, always study the
written and spoken Teaching which I have given among
devotees. Do this each day.

The fundamental response of one who
listens to the Spiritual Master’s word and knows him as
Spiritual Master is surrender. Therefore, moment to moment,
surrender to me all your seeking, the very sense of your
separate self, all thoughts, all desires, every
circumstance, even your body. The true devotee surrenders
all of this always and turns to his Spiritual Master as the
Present Divine Reality and the Power or Function of Truth.
To surrender the whole drama, content, experience, and
destiny of Narcissus to the Spiritual Master is not to be
concerned at all with these things themselves, or even the
effects of the surrender. Rather, it is to be turned to the
Spiritual Master constantly, without concerns for what is
always arising.

The surrendered devotee of the
Spiritual Master is responsible for abiding always in that
Divine Communion or unobstructed relationship to the
Spiritual Master. Therefore, he must maintain the
appropriate psycho-physical conditions which the Spiritual
Master requires in the case of all who turn to him. Do this
always, freely, and with humor.

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
presence.

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
mankind.

8.4

The transitional stage of life,
beginning with the Way of Divine Communion, is initiated by
the Teaching work of the human Spiritual Master. His
Teaching moves into the world to convince men of the
necessity for the transformation of life, and the
opportunity as well as the Way for doing so. The Way of
Divine Communion is taken up by devotees in response to the
Teaching. And the Teaching is a call, by the Spiritual
Master, or the very Divine, for devotees to prepare
themselves to enter into Communion with the Real Divine Form
and Nature. The Way of Divine Communion leads, at maturity,
to the processes of the Way of Relational Enquiry, then the
Way of Recognition, and, finally, the Way of Radical
Intuition. The Spiritual Master in his human form is active,
while alive, to serve the Process of true Communion with the
Real Divine Form and Nature, but the conventional human
functions of the Spiritual Master change over time and may
disappear entirely from the 8.4 regular affairs of devotees
even long before his apparent or physical death.

After the Spiritual Master’s
retirement or death, his initiatory function may be presumed
still to be alive in and relative to the living functions of
his true devotees. Therefore, wherever his devotees gather
together, the initiatory Power is also Present. After the
death or complete seclusion of the Spiritual Master, or
whenever at any other time he indicates it to be
appropriate, acknowledged devotees should gather, on
occasion, in groups, for ordinary meditation. The times and
places set aside for such occasions, as well as the
participants, should, as in the case of formal sitting with
the Spiritual Master, be determined by the appointed or
elected staff of Vision Mound Ceremony. On those occasions,
such acknowledged devotees should welcome other individuals
who are beginning their life of practice, or else maturing
in its stages. No individual should represent or succeed to
the position of the Spiritual Master on those occasions. Nor
should any experience or experiential influence be permitted
to distract devotees from the true Spiritual and Initiatory
Grace which the Master always served in the past. All that
arises should be tested by the Teaching. All devotees may,
from that time, also gather for meditation in places set
aside by the Spiritual Master for that purpose, such as
Communion Halls maintained by Vision Mound Ceremony, or the
Spiritual Master’s place of burial.

8.5

After the apparent death of Bubba
Free John, devotees should continue to approach Vision Mound
Ceremony as before. Vision Mound Ceremony should continue to
serve its educational functions as custodian of the written
Teaching and of the living places of spiritual Presence
established by Bubba Free John while alive.

The One who has been the Teacher
cannot die. Thus, the Divine should be approached through
the Teaching and served as before, except that Bubba Free
John should not be considered to be present in any ghostly,
bodily, metaphysical, astral, or soul capacity, nor assumed
to exist in any conventional way that can be known. The
Divine should be approached and served directly and simply,
through the instruments of the Teaching and the community of
devotees. As such service matures, the individual will feel
and intuit God as a moving Presence, and so the spiritual
process will begin as it did during the lifetime of Bubba
Free John.

During my life and after my death,
devotees may continue to use my photographs as points of
contact with me, but they should know it is only truly
contact with the unqualified Divine. Thus, such photographs
may be hung in the conventional living spaces and in places
of instruction, but not in the Communion Halls, the places
set aside for formal meditation. Meditation should not be
related to any imagery or cult of my apparent life, even
while I live. Those who approach me are shown and also find
only the Divine Reality.

The spiritual Company of all
devotees will also be present after my death, as during my
life, to quicken the spiritual life of all who enter into
the truly spiritual, intelligent, and devotional sacrifice
to God. I am not present apart from the Divine. All who
approach Vision Mound Ceremony approach only Divine. The
withdrawal of my human influence changes nothing. My human
influence is active in Vision Mound Ceremony only as long as
it is necessary to establish, stabilize, and fulfill the Way
itself. Thereafter, the Way must be lived, since only that
will 8.5 prove the Way, and no amount of my lingering play
could change that obligation. Not even my birth has changed
that obligation. And neither my retirement nor my death can
or will change it. The Way is the same after my death as
before my life and during the whole of my life.

 

8.6

I will make myself available several
times each year for formal occasions of Communion with
devotees. These occasions are my specific initiatory
responsibility relative to all those who practice in the
stages of the Way of Divine Ignorance. Individuals 8.6
should prepare themselves for such sacred occasions through
the whole discipline that has been communicated to them as
their living spiritual obligation.

The Awakening served by such
occasions, when truly felt, is the ground for the further
intensification and maturing of the devotee’s life and
meditation, as communicated in the written Teaching.
Therefore, study, live the discipline, and meditate in the
true manner. In time, you will always feel me to be Present,
prior to the senses, the mind, the psyche, or any
inwardness, high or low. Then you will simply breathe the
Presence by which you recognize me.

I do not presume a personal, daily,
psychic responsibility or interest in any individual
devotee, except where the devotee has been tested by me for
a

 

 

 

 

 

long time, and gained the heart of
me through practical and stable devotion and maturity. Do
not imagine I am made magically active in your case through
deluded emotional attachments on your part, fetishistic
preoccupation with my words or pictures, or any other power
you imagine in your own case while you still persist in an
aberrated, self-possessed, and unyielding way of life. I
respond to devotees, and they realize me through
intensification of the intuition of the Divine or Real
Condition.

Therefore, practice the Way truly,
with commitment of the whole body-being. I am communicative
through the Teaching and the services of Vision Mound
Ceremony. Make use of my formal availability. The more you
mature, the more you will realize the real form of my
spiritual influence, which precedes all that is of
subjective or objective value to you in your ordinary
inclinations toward consoling experience.

8.7

The core of this Way is not
attention to the performance of practices for the sake of
some experiential effect, but attention to the Divine
through the Spiritual Master. Such is dependence on
Divine

8.7

Grace rather than on efforts of
self.

8.8

I have no past lives and no future
lives in any dimension. This is my only birth, and it is
only apparent. This birth, this body, these conditions
have

8.8 been assumed and undone in one
lifetime, in order to

 

 

9

 

THE LAW MUST BE FULFILLED IN BOTH
DIRECTIONS

9.1 In the Way of Divine Communion,
the transition is made from self-possession, the contracting
life of Narcissus, to the constant, moment to moment
condition of submission to Grace, through the

9.1 constant recollection of the
Real, Divine Presence, constant reception-release of the
Presence with every breath, and through bodily, whole-being
participation in service through right disciplines. The Way
of Divine Communion, in its maturity, involves a specific
meditation. It is not merely a philosophical point of view.
It must be realized in intentional living and in formal
meditation. However, its initial stages are not meditative.
The first thing the individual must do is be very clear in
the twofold argument I have presented, which includes the
criticism of the usual life in the form of Narcissus and the
consideration of Divine Ignorance, the Principle of Grace,
or That

 

161

 

which is prior to the contraction
which is the separate ego-soul. On the basis of that
consideration, in response to that argument, he takes on
conditions of life, including the personal disciplines and
the orientation of service and study. Then, on the basis of
9.1 his response to me, having entered into this Company on
the basis of the Teaching, the individual will come to enjoy
conscious initiation into the Divine Condition and
Presence.

If the devotee will use me in the
spiritual sense, if he will approach me properly, then, in
this Company we enjoy with one another, there is the
awakening to the various aspects or moments of this Divine
Revelation. Its characteristics are different at each of the
stages of practice. In the stage of the Way of Divine
Communion, it is the realization of the Divine as Presence.
If the devotee approaches me only in worldly terms,
argumentative and self-defending, I cannot have this
function for him, it does not work. In that case it works
only to offend, or else seems to support, his illusions,
whereas the true realization of the Divine Presence is
immediately effective in the dissolution of the ego
principle.

People talk in all kinds of
religious.ways about the Divine Presence, but it is commonly
from an egoic, separative point of view, and so they use
childish religious madness to justify the usual life. The
approach must fulfill the Law of sacrifice in both
directions. In the devotee’s own case, there must be
submission to Grace, literally, which is expressed as
release of the possessed and worldly point of view, the
separative point of view of Narcissus. The natural response
on my part is one through which this sense of the Divine
Reality is awakened very naturally in the devotee, and very
directly, so that his surrender is also true.

 

The occasions of my meeting with
people are for the sake of this Revelation, this Initiation,
this Divine Communication. That is why I sit with people in
formal Communion. My verbal communication to

9.1 devotees is served through the
publications and seminars of Vision Mound Ceremony. I sit
and talk from time to time with individuals, but since my
meetings with people are very occasional, they are
essentially formal, meditative, silent-in other words, most
directly useful in the spiritual _way.

So the devotee practices this
approach to me regularly and sacramentally in the natural
way, in his privacy but also directly, personally with me
from time to time. Through that process there is the
awakening of the sense of this Divine Presence, which is the
Real, his Very Condition. It is communicated in a special
sense that initiates the whole process of spiritual
practice. Its communication is coincident with the
dissolution of self-possession, the relaxation of the
separative sense, of anxiety, and the essential refusal of
the Divine as his Condition-which is what anxiety is all
about. Religious people may accept the Divine in some sense,
as Other and Parent to the ego, but they still refuse the
Divine as their Condition. They have a childish, egoic
relationship to the Divine. An individual’s relationship to
the Divine is mature only when he realizes the Divine as his
Very Condition, so that the sense of independent,
self-referring, and selfpossessed existence is dissolved
along with the Otherness of God. The Divine Presence is
properly felt as Other only as long as the ego-illusion
survives.

When this initiation or awakening
begins to take place, then the meditative aspect of the Way
of Divine Communion begins to develop. It has very specific
characteristics, which are principally described in the
Teaching on the Service of God, the

 

demonstrate the whole Way and to
have a fit vehicle for

its present communication. The
undoing is effective in every plane, high, low, gross,
subtle, causal, transcendental. This body-mind, this vehicle
or apparent, karmic being, has extensions and destinies 8.8
in many dimensions, high and low, past, present, and future.
But these are not mine, nor are they effective in me. This
vehicle or karmic being may continue or be taken up by
others after this apparent life is terminated. But I am not
expressed in that destiny. I am before time and space, and
no condition has me. I have not appeared for reasons. It is
only that this vehicle has mysteriously, paradoxically
coincided with me. Therefore, I have conformed it to myself
and come forth. I stand present without qualification in
this theatre of my apparent birth. Through this Paradox, my
mere Presence has become Instructive. I am not a one, a
being, nor a One, a Being. I am not object or subject,
Object or Subject, except I may appear to be so to devotees,
until they Realize me Perfectly.

=0=

 

9.1

very attractive to mentally-oriented
individuals, who cannot submit bodily and emotionally, as
the lifevehicle, who essentially are not convinced of the
argument, and cannot presume it bodily. For them the Way of
Divine Communion is seen as an obstacle. They do not like to
hear about it. They think it is childish and not “really
necessary” for them. They think they are very sophisticated,
and they want to begin the practices of the Way of
Relational Enquiry immediately. The Way of Divine Communion
serves as an obstacle to the usual mind, so that it becomes
very clear what is truly required, what the process of this
devotional Way of Divine Ignorance is all about. It is not a
dry philosophical, mental point of view. It absolutely
requires devotional sacrifice, or perfect submission of the
being. Devotional sacrifice is the foundation of the whole
Way of Ignorance. It is the foundation of every stage and
continues through all four stages.

Thus, when an individual has matured
in the Way of Divine Communion, he or she shows all the
signs of someone who is surrendered in God. Not in the
usual, dingy, middle-class religious sense, but in the most
genuine sense. A devotee’s life should have taken on the
qualities of harmony, regularity, natural discipline,
intelligence, pleasurableness, and native humor, without
irony or giddiness. The heart, the center and epitome of the
being, should open naturally. There should be the clear
signs of one who is dependent on Grace, not on self-effort,
and whose dependence on Grace does not take the form of
waiting for God to come out of the sky to heal his
tuberculosis and give him a new car. No, it is dependence on
the Grace that is Reality. The whole body-being must be
adapted to Grace-` as his or her very Condition, presently,
completely independent of all the worldly

 

destinies that the mind would like
to assume are initiated by an act of some conventionally
graceful Deity outside the body, in the heavens. When that
natural quality of devotion, of surrender, begins to appear
in the individual, and he or she naturally, 9.1
spontaneously, moment to moment is involved in true
devotional meditation, then the consideration of the Way of
Relational Enquiry can appear for such a one.

People should know very clearly,
then, what the practice of the Way of Divine Communion is.
It does have two stages. There is the more practical aspect,
the preparatory dimension of practice that includes all of
the life-disciplines, the way of service, the preparation
for meditative practice, and the maturing of a real approach
to me. Then, on the basis of all of that (and that can take
some time), when there is natural Awakening into the Divine
Presence, prior to self, in my Company, the beginning of the
real meditation of this stage awakens. That meditation must
be realized formally, privately, during certain regular
times every day. During that time the process is very
specific. It is simply recollection of the Presence and
whole-body participation in That, dependence on It, release
to and into It, release. _of.-everything-of .self, of mind,
of meanings, of similarities, of memory, of body, of all the
kinds of possession, of the.imag c f the world itself.
Meditation is the releasing of everything into the Presence,
which is the Condition of all of it, in time with the
breath, the ordinary life cycle of reception and release.
That process becomes constant under all conditions through
practice.

This meditation is an extension of
the Sacrament of Universal Sacrifice. It is essentially the
same thing. And the Sacrament of Universal Sacrifice is part
of the initial discipline, the practical aspect, the
preparation. It is the Way of approaching me in
the

 

 

I

I

f

 

 

 

 

166

 

true sense. It is the Way of
constantly remembering what the nature of the true approach
is, what the Condition of life is for a devotee, that it is
a mutual sacrifice. Participation in that Sacrament
becomes

9.1 realized as real meditation,
which is the same as that Sacrament, that Universal
Sacrifice which pervades the whole life. This way of
Universal Sacrifice is not an effect like the conventional
sacraments in churches-a bit of bread and wine to produce
some effect, or the awakening of awe relative to some
objective, believer’s Deity. It is not a matter of gaining
anything through the process. Thev,process itself is true.
It is not to be understood in terms of results It is itself
the Real Process of participation in the Divine
Reality.

So the practical and meditative
disciplines of this Way of Divine Communion are very
specific. They are not ambiguous. They are founded on the
presumption of the Teaching and of the lessons learned
through the argument of my play with people. Without that
presumption the Way cannot begin. Having begun, it is very
specific, very orderly, and very real. It is very much a
matter of life-obligation. IL fulfills itself in a natural,
ordinary, human maturity. The Way of Relational Enquiry that
is built upon it is the natural extension of that process.
It is not a matter of drying up, or ending the process of
Divine Communion. The Way of Relational Enquiry is an
extension of the same devotional sacrifice, the same
Universal Sacrifice. It is a way of continuing the
dissolution of the adaptation of separation, of Narcissus,
of the avoidance of relationship, through re-adaptation to
the Real Condition in stages of natural growth. The stages
of the Way of Re-cognition and of Radical Intuition follow
naturally in the same order.

tV1

 

 

 

u

The Divine is not objective to us,
not Other. The Divine is our Condition. That is the
Principle through all four stages, and it is the Principle
of the Way of Divine Communion. But that Divine which is our
Condition is realized as literal Presence,. all-pervading,
9.1 from which we are tending to separate ourselves, and
which we are tending to objectify by separating ourselves.
We must participate in the Presence through submission of
the separative principle, through surrendering of the whole
being into that Condition itself, and thereby falling out of
the adaptations of separation and the subjective
lie.

=0=

9.2 Never abandon the orientation of
Ignorance.

Never abandon the obligation of
service.

Never abandon the attitude of humor,
or

intuitive freedom from the necessity
of any condition,

high or low. 9.2

Always maintain the
disciplines.

Always be confronted by the
Teaching.

Always contemplate and breathe the
Presence to

which you are awakened by all of
this.

=0=

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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