No Remedy – Bubba Free John – An Introduction to the life and practices of the spiritual community of Bubba Free John


No Remedy
An Introduction to the Life and Practices
of the Spiritual Community of Bubba Free John.

Compiled & edited by Bonnie Beavan
and Nina Jones in collaboration with Bubba Free John.
First edition: 6/75 – Revised edition 1976

Come to Me When You Are Already Happy

This is the outrageous, paradoxical command of a
Siddha-Guru. How is it possible to come to the Guru already
happy? What does Bubba mean?

Come to me when you are already happy. In other words,
do not approach me as a common seeker, but approach me on
the basis of the Teaching, when it has made its point in
you. When the Teaching has made its point, the individual
comes to me with gratitude, in a spirit of self-sacrifice
(or self-giving), surrender, and

The Teaching having “made its point in you” does not mean
that you have somehow become intellectually convinced by it.
It is not as if, upon reading Bubbas books, seeing a film,
or hearing a tape, you merely feel that it makes sense, or
that it is better than most other teachings you have come
across, or that certain aspects of it answer your personal
questions about spiritual life in a way that really aids
your spiritual development, and you can take it from there.
People have these kinds of responses to the Teaching all the
time, and many of them approach Bubba as Guru on that basis
but unless an entirely other kind of response arises in
them, they never stay with him for long.

That true response, when the Teaching really makes it
point in you, is a spontaneous, humble, and defenseless
acknowledgment of the very core of Bubbas gospel to the
common or usual man: that his life, no matter what form it
may apparently take, is entirely literally, and always a
form of suffering. Not simple pain, which is different from
and can be alleviated by pleasures, successes, etc., but a
form of misery and complication that cannot be touched even
by the best of lifes common happinesses.

There is only God. Well, how can there be such
God-enjoyment without loss of face? Without sacrifice
itself? Without being undone in God? And how do you begin to
realize such enjoyment? By suffering. No one begins to do
sadhana until he or she has suffered, has begun to observe
and know that whether the circumstances are pretty good or
not so good, fundamentally his destiny is suffering, life is
suffering. It is a complication, a depression. There is a
fundamental sense to life itself over time that is
suffering. But you get to know this only by suffering, by
living an ordinary manifest life and doing what you feel
like doing, doing what everybody does, doing what is
culturally impressed upon you, doing what circumstances
require you to do by reaction, trying to make this a heaven
world or a utopia, trying to make human life some sort of
perfect vessel, trying to make your own life work out
terrifically. By living a life you will know

Therefore suffering is the first form of grace. And it
is only when you begin to comprehend your life as suffering,
as limitation, as dis-ease, in some very fundamental way,
that you will do sadhana in its true form. Anybody can want
to be consoled, anybody can feel that life could be better
or that life is not really so terribly good right now. But
the practice of sadhana rests in the critical comprehension
of life itself as bondage.6

This recognition of life itself as suffering can come in
the midst of any apparent life circumstance. You dont have
to be failing miserably and full of neuroses—in fact,
most people who seem to be always getting kicked in the
teeth by life generally can never get enough distance from
it to see its inherent limitations. But, at the other
extreme, there are plenty of people in Bubbas community
today who were drawn into that comprehension in the midst of
a life that was apparently successful, full, and happy. So
it cannot be determined, on the basis of outward evidence,
in what kind of person or in what kind of circumstances such
a realization may begin to awaken. That awakening is
entirely a matter of the Divine process.

When this recognition of life as suffering appears,
your perception of the world begins to change, not
necessarily coincident with a philosophical or mental
comprehension. Prior to this acknowledgment of dis-ease, you
continue to think of the world as a something. You objectify
it as a place, as a circumstance, as a material event, just
as you do yourself. You imagine that the world is a massive,
solid, physical process and that even your thinking is
somehow produced by chemicals. And you go on living that
solid, muscular life until you begin to suffer, until you
cant be blithe and naive any longer

With this breaking up that suffering produces comes a
tacit awareness that the world is not physical in nature,
but psycho-physical. All of the spiritual and religious
traditions essentially acknowledge that the world is a
psycho-physical process, not a physical one. The world
itself, not you only, not man only, but the world, this
stuff, this universe, is a psycho-physical process whose
essential foundation is consciousness. All the imagery of
God and language about God develop within a tradition based
on this supposition

You become more and more sensitive to this principle
yourself the more you are released into a sense of your own
true existence. When you cease simply and mechanically to
move about and do what you do and exploit yourself in purely
vital terms, but instead you are opened up through failure,
through suffering, through insight, then the world begins to
seem very different to you. The more psychic and conscious
you become, the more obvious it is that the world is also of
that nature. You begin to enjoy a psychic relationship to
the world, not just a physical one. Suffering has released
you into your own depth

The profundity of this awareness varies from person to
person, but the possibility of sadhana exists truly only in
that instant. When the world ceases to be so solid and when
you are no longer obsessed, you may still be moving with
your life but no longer obsessed with it as something ideal
and perfect. The entire form of existence has become loose,
its definitions are not so clear, and all kinds of
experiences in which the world becomes like dreams may begin
to occur in a person to create awe and mystery in him, even
drive him a little batty.7

The recognition of the psycho-physical nature of the
world is not, as you might think, a profound or mystical
perception. More often it may seem merely disorienting, just
further evidence of the difficulty and cramp of life. If the
person has been locked into an entirely materialistic view
of his life, to suddenly begin to perceive that it is not
all so linear and solid is very unsettling. But it may also
become grounds for an entirely new form of his lifes search
and exploitation of the arenas of his present suffering.
There begins a period of adventure, of seeking high and low
to undo the inherent complication of life. It may take on
the form of the common adventures of our Western world, the
exploitation of money, power, sexuality, food, drink, and
drugs in a most intense way. Or it might take on the
apparently spiritual form of mystical flights and
exploitation of the subtler mechanisms of our existence.

But contained within the seed of all that change is
the possibility for real sadhana or for God-Realization.
Contained within that acknowledgment of suffering is the
possibility of knowing the Guru. And when you meet the Guru,
then your adventure is halted. . . . Each individual
develops an odd life of his own through this adventure until
that same sensitivity in which the life of suffering was
realized and acknowledged brings him into the company of the
Guru, and he becomes sensitive to the Gurus consciousness
and influence

The Guru constantly indicates that suffering is not
anything that is happening to you or has happened or will
happen. Changes of state are not fundamentally to be equated
with this suffering to which you have become sensitive. Your
suffering is your own action. Even what you call yourself is
a form of action. So the Guru draws the individual into more
and more intimate company, the mutually sacrificial
relationship that sadhana involves, and he constantly serves
this realization in the individual, serves this sensitivity
to suffering and the inspection of its nature, serves more
and more the intuition of That from which all of this is

In this way the individual begins to adapt to a
pattern of responsibility, whereas before, motivated by his
initial sense of suffering, he wandered. In the Gurus
Company his sadhana becomes specific, a matter of
responsibility, not the accumulation of experience nor the
exploitation of the mechanisms of experience.8

So the Teaching makes its point in a man in this way: It
points out to him at long last that he himself is the
suffering and that no action he undertakes on his own can
undo it. But it is not a gloomy Teaching, because its source
is the Guru, one in whom that suffering is already and
eternally finished, one who lives as very God, the utter
radiant happiness that is the ground of all existence prior
to the creation, the hallucination of suffering in all its
forms. So the Gurus criticism of the self-created life of
suffering comes hand in hand with his announcement of his
own Graceful Presence. And there is nothing modest about
that Presence; nothing humble. The Guru may say things like,
“I am empty, the servant of the Divine,” and so on, but
these are not ways of effacing a self that persists in the
notion that it is less than the One it serves. They are ways
of distracting attention from his apparently personal, human
presence to his very Presence, God. The Guru is so perfectly
absorbed in that One that he has no self whatsoever. He
cannot find any identity other than very God, and that is
what he lives to people. It is perfect existence, free of
conflict and fear, and the Guru is potent and capable of
absorbing all who come as devotees into his own very

So it is only natural for one in whom the Teaching has
truly made its point to come to the Guru already happy,
ecstatic to be free of the sorrowful, unyielding burden of
his own search, beside himself with the sudden good news
that he can completely entrust not only his spiritual life
but his whole life to the Divine manifest in human terms. It
is a great, great relief. For many people the moment of
first realizing that Bubba is alive and available, and that
he is indeed a Divine Master, is itself one of the most
profound and ecstatic moments of their spiritual lives. And
that is no accident. Because in that instant of yielding and
surrender, the Guru meets them with his very Nature, already
their own Consciousness. That Consciousness is what suddenly
awakens. The intuition of the Gurus Presence somehow at the
core of your life is happiness itself. It awakens at the
very beginning, and from then on it is simply a matter of
coming to live with him and allowing that life to mature
into all of the ordinary and extraordinary forms of Divine

Thus it is that all true devotees come to Bubba already
happy. True enough, their search must unwind over time, the
sacrifice must be perfect and complete. We all find
ourselves compulsively moving towards all kinds of lesser,
more complicated, often inappropriate ways of approach to
Bubba as Guru. But that simple, initial movement is sublime,
involuntary, and perfect in Truth. It is already
realization. That response is Satsang, Divine Communion,
simply living with the Siddha-Guru in God.


5. Bubbas written instructions to the Ashram, November
14, 1975

6. Bubba Free John, “The Grace of Suffering,” an
unpublished talk to the Ashram, January 18, 1976

7. Ibid

8. Ibid.

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Adi Da, Ramana Maharshi, Nityananda, Shridi Sai Baba, Upasani Baba, Seshadri Swamigal , Meher Baba, Sivananda, Ramsuratkumar
“The perfect
among the sages is identical with Me. There is absolutely no
difference between us”
Chap XX,

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