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


Part One: Live With Me

Divine Distraction

The function of the Divine Siddhi, its natural force, is
not to fulfill our manifest lives, but to dissolve us,
absorb us, redirect, turn around, and undo us. As Bubba
often explains, the true meaning of the word “sin” is to
“miss the mark.” The mark or goal that we cultivate and
cognize is the one toward which we feel directed by
tendency, inclination, even destiny, whether we conceive it
in common human terms or in absolutely Divine terms. But the
conception makes no difference—to assume the mark in
any sense is already to have missed it. Before you even take
conscious aI’m at your “goal in life,” you have sinned!

The only way that this constant activity of missing the
mark can be undone, and life and consciousness restored to
their prior rest and position in very God, is through the
potent, graceful activity of the Divine Siddhi itself,
operating through the Guru. The vehicle of that process is
the love relationship between the Guru and the devotee. It
moves not by any kind of action the devotee performs on
himself and his “sinful” tendencies, but by an increasing
distraction from all such self-meditation and absorption of
attention into the Divine itself.

Satsang is absolute attachment to the Guru in God. It is
maddening attachment, totally distracting attachment, love
of the Guru that distracts one from the whole course of
conventional life. And if that attachment is not there, if
that glorious, ecstatic kind of happiness and distraction by
the Guru is not present, sadhana is not

The ancient legend of Krishna and his gopis illustrates,
through allegory, that the attachment of the devotee to the
Guru is the principle of spiritual life. The gopis were
women who tended and milked the cattle in the fields where
Krishna wandered. In spite of themselves they fell in love
with him and completely forgot about the cattle. All they
wanted to do was to look for Krishna every day. They would
wander away and forget to go home, forget to cook for their
husbands. They were completely distracted by their love for

Eventually Krishna established them in palaces of their
own. He would see that each one had everything she needed,
and then he would leave, saying that he would return in
forty years or so! And of course the gopis wept and suffered
and lost weight and had emotional breakdowns, but they did
not fail in their attachment to him. His absence was a kind
of theatre he created in order to intensify their
attachment. He did not reject them. He played upon their
attachment to test and intensify it, to make it more
absolute and consuming.

These ordinary women were madly involved in an absolute
attachment to Krishna, or the Divine manifest in human form,
the Guru in God. As a result of this attachment they became
more and more ecstatically absorbed in the God-state. And
the foundation of the sadhana of Satsang with Bubba is
exactly that same attachment. It is attachment to the Guru
in God, not a cultic attachment to one who appears in human
form, but Divine attachment to the Guru. And if that
attachment that overwhelms the life completely and distracts
you from the conventional destiny to which you are fitted by
your desires and inclinations and circumstances, is not
present, then not only is it I’mpossible for sadhana to be
fulfilled, but it does not even exist in principle.

The cattle that the women abandoned represent the force
of all the tendencies of life. The husbands they left are
the fundamental attachment to separated existence, to
existence in form, to bodily existence, individuated
existence, egoic life on its own, motivated toward survival
and distinct from the Divine in Consciousness. Thus in the
allegory of the relationship between Krishna and his gopis,
we see a fundamental description of the principle of this
sadhana. Sadhana is not about bearing down and being
motivated by problems in your life, by some sort of
philosophical detachment or inclination to have yogic and
mystical experiences. Nor is it about doing what you have to
in order to produce the changes that you desire. This
sadhana is about distraction from the life of tendencies. It
is a distraction from that life. It is not a motivated kind
of detachment from your life of tendencies or an effort
relative to them or the taking on of conditions to stop
tendencies from arising or lifetI’mes from occurring. It is
not a method of the ego. It is not characterized by any kind
of effort relative to tendencies—for such a path is
completely hopeless

There are innumerable conventional paths that involve
self-conscious efforts or hopes to produce changes, high and
low. These efforts and hopes are themselves forms of
tendency that may be realized and suffered in human and
other terms. They are not liberating in the fundamental
sense. They are not God-realizing. They are themselves
expressions of the movement toward fulfillment. The way of
sadhana, the way of Truth, is the way of complete
distraction from the current of life, from the tendencies
that produced your birth and that produce the drama of your
existence from day to day. Only when there is complete
distraction by the Guru, by the Divine, from the way of life
that is producing your experiential destiny, do your
tendencies become obsolete. They do not become obsolete when
you direct effort against them. It is only when that
distraction appears in the midst of the affair of your life
that another principle, another process is

The gopis simply left the cattle. They did not say,
“I’m not going to tend cattle anymore! I’m not going to
submit to my desires, my tendencies, my job!” They did not
make any such decisions. They simply forgot about the
cattle. They were so distracted, so in love with Krishna, so
ecstatic, that they just forgot to go home. It never even
occurred to them to go home. They never worried about
“Should I go home or should I stay here? Should I watch the
cattle or should I go look for Krishna? Should I discipline
myself?” They did not create a problem out of their sadhana
or their relationship to God

Anybody who approaches me is obliged to involve
himself or herself in just this kind of ecstatic spiritual
relationship. When that becomes the condition of their
conscious existence, fully, through all the conditions of
life, then the force of lI’miting tendencies is weakened,
not by doing anything to it, but by virtue of the fact that
you are no longer even involved with it. If your
relationship to me is essentially ordinary, mechanical,
mediocre, not Divine, not a form of contemplation, then you
are not doing this sadhana. You are intending to do some
other kind of conventional sadhana perhaps, but you are not
doing this sadhana. And you are not involved in the sadhana
of Truth, you are not involved in Divine sadhana, you are
not involved in that opportunity that is made available in
human tI’me through the agency of the Guru

The Guru is not simply present to rap out a philosophy
or distribute techniques that you may apply depending on
your intelligence. The Guru is present to enjoy a Divine
relationship with all those who are willing to assume such a
relationship, with all those who have the capacity for
distraction by the Guru in an absolute love relationship
that is more and more distracting. But if that distraction
is not present, if that love-desire distraction is not
present in an individuals life, then the form of this
sadhana is not initiated. It cannot begin. There is no point
in even discussing the technical and abstract aspects of the
development of this sadhana until the individual has begun
to enjoy an ecstatic relationship with me, a spiritual
relationship, not one that is in the air, but one that
includes the whole of life, that draws the emotion, that
awakens the love, that awakens the heart. That distracting
relationship that is the principle of this sadhana must be
established. On its basis the individual may begin to assume
life-conditions, turn them into service to me, and realize
that service in more personal and complex ways over

The foundation of this path is the distraction that is
described between Krishna and his gopis. You must flee to me
from all your life, from all your tendencies, not from your
obligations—that is not what that allegory is all
about—but from your tendencies, from the foundation of
distraction by yourself, by your own thoughts, your own
conditions, your own belongings, your own relationships,
your own hopes, your own beliefs, your own thoughts, your
own reading, your own mystical intentions, your own
philosophical presuppositions. You must flee to me from all
that. It must be completely uninteresting to you. It is
certainly not interesting to me!

You can’t argue a woman into loving you, and you can’t
argue individuals into the Divine Satsang of distraction.
Satsang can be offered and a circumstance provided in which
people can approach and become sensitive to that
communicated Presence, that Siddhi. But apart from making it
available openly and providing a way of approach, there is
no argument whatsoever. I am completely without argument.
There is nothing I can do to convince you of the Truth of
this path, nothing I could do outwardly or verbally that
could in itself fundamentally convince you of the
relationship you must enjoy with me in order to fulfill this
sadhana. It is like falling in love with someone in
conventional terms in life. It is not something you argued
yourself into doing. It was initially a form of distraction,
of absorption, without any reasons, and perhaps if you
examined it to find a reason for it, it would seem
unreasonable to you, not justified. You know, your lover
doesnt look the way you wanted him to look. And in many ways
I dont look and act and talk like the conventional, cultic
guru is supposed to! . . . I’m not even pretty! . .

This allegory of the gopis “Divine distraction” in
Krishna is indeed a perfect symbol of the way of sadhana
with Bubba Free John. People have spent months, even years,
in the community, concerned about their lives and their
tendencies, always trying to get it straight, to make
themselves perfect, to live the disciplines with great
intensity, but always remaining fundamentally unhappy and
confused, because they were missing the point. They were
still curling inward upon themselves, minding their own
cattle and their own lI’mited associations instead of
allowing themselves to be distracted by the Divine.

The process is not the same as becoming unconscious of
your ordinary responsibilities and existing human
relationships. It is just a matter of seeing your concerns
drop away; you find yourself simply dwelling on the Guru
more and more. You think of him, you want to be with him.
You find that the only true pleasure you derive from all the
ordinary moments of your life arises when you live those
moments in service to him. Not to him as the super-guy who
has the ultI’mate status in the community, but to him as the
Divine Master, whose personal presence is the perfect medium
of the Divine itself. The intuition of Bubbas Presence is an
undeniable connectedness at the heart. It is humor,
lightness, clarity. Each devotee reads it through his or her
own mechanisms differently than the others, but it is always
itself enjoyment and happiness and love. And it gets to the
point where you find that nothing else is worth living for.
You simply lose interest in whether or not you are living
the conditions of spiritual life perfectly, and thus you
begin to live them with ease and without concern as handy,
tangible expressions of your love for the Guru. To perform
any discipline nominally becomes intolerable, even painful,
because you have forgotten him

And the Guru, of course, plays the theatre of this
distraction to the hilt. Krishna does not merely satisfy the
gopis longing for him—he plays with it, drawing it out,
coaxing and teasing them into more and more mad and
ceaseless distraction in him. Bubba works the same way. He
lures all who come to him with feeling as devotees, into
deeper and deeper longing for intI’macy with him. Then he
plays on that constantly, So the love-desire we feel for him
very often does become painful. When the Guru doesnt invite
you to dinner, when he doesnt acknowledge you personally,
when he doesnt treat you with apparent kindness, it is
painful. As Bubba puts it, the theatre he engages with his
intI’mates is “emotionally effective.” There is no way you
can defend against it. And in truth you dont want to,
because that would amount to a denial of the love that is
growing spontaneously and of the increasingly distracting
intuition of his true and prior Presence and Divine

So the whole process is radically unlike any form of
self-applied technique, or even any conventional
relationship to a mentor or teacher. It is the high theatre
of absorbing, wrenching, ecstatic, disorienting, offensive,
delicious, and joyous relationship to your own Divine Nature
and that of the very world, manifest in familiar human terms
and apparent “otherness” as the human Guru, the living

The sadhana initiated in the Company of Bubba Free John
is from the beginning a humorous play of Grace and fire. It
marks the “easy” transition from a life of suffering to the
inclusive, ordinarily remarkable life of Satsang. Grace is
the vehicle, and it is given spontaneously and appropriately
when sadhana is lived as loving service to God in the form
of the Guru.

No Remedy – Table of

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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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