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

under construction



Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


The Sadhana of Discriminative Intelligence

The nature of all manifest existence, simply indicated,
is Consciousness in sacrificial relationship. In the way of
Divine Communion that true Consciousness abides as the Guru,
and the devotee sacrifices all that he has and is to that
Consciousness and receives it as Grace, to the point of
perfect submission and absorption in that Consciousness

But in the way of Understanding, as soon as one begins
it, that same Consciousness is also made the very and active
principle of your own sadhana. The principle of sadhana,
then, remains sacrifice. You maintain and continue to engage
the activity of reception and release and to enjoy the
Prasad of the Gurus Presence. But more and more the activity
of sacrificial action relative to all the forms of
limitation you represent is replaced by motiveless
inspection of all that arises and intuitive identification
with Consciousness itself. That inspection, that
discriminative insight, is not merely a matter of noticing
things about yourself, of watching events as a mind. It is
an intense fire and demands instantaneous responsibility for
what arises. It is the true action of the Heart itself, very
Consciousness, in which what is seen is immediately, already
sacrificed. You must thereafter, once understanding has
appeared relative to some arising condition, maintain
responsible freedom from the compulsive binding quality of
that particular form of your activity. So understanding
involves intense heat, tremendous discipline and energy.
That is why not many of us are fit for this path, at least
not when we first come to the Guru

Discriminative insight in some sense is part of everyones
sadhana. But as an elaborately developed possibility, it
only appears fundamentally in the way of Understanding. The
way of Divine Communion, the way of submission, of
surrender, of dependence on Grace, of participation in the
eternal process that is Grace, of absorption in the Divine,
that way is the fundamental form of approach. The way of
Understanding develops on the foundation of Divine
Communion. Those who mature in the special way that makes
the way of Understanding appropriate for them develop this
life in Grace in a special form, via the process of critical
and intuitive insight

Suffering is your own action. It is the action of
contraction, of self-definition, of obsession with what
arises in itself, independent of its ground, its substance,
or its true condition or status. That is what suffering is
and that is what ignorance is. Suffering and ignorance
produce the usual life, from the usual comprehension or
failure, as karma, as illusion, as suffering, as negative
destiny, as unconsciousness. The way of Divine Communion
involves a specific responsibility relative to that action
that is your suffering. That way involves a life of
counter-action, of other action. Whatever is not used
becomes obsolete. This is the principle of the way of Divine
Communion: a devotional life that is realized in practical
terms and that involves a form of action different from the
action that is suffering, ignorance, turning from God or
from the condition of Truth, Reality

The way of Understanding appears within this way, but it
is a development of the process of critical and intuitive
insight. And in that process this false action is
comprehended, seen, inspected under all kinds of
circumstances—gross, subtle, and causal—to the
point of responsibility or no-limitation. In inspection, in
understanding, that action is obviated and undone

In the way of Understanding, the specific responsibility
of discriminative intelligence begins to appear and develop
in you, and that development is served by the Ashram. In
that way many technical responsibilities are given at
different stages of sadhana. These technical
responsibilities serve the inspection of specific forms of
events, specific dimensions of consciousness or experience.
But that inspection is for the sake of the same affair that
is served in the way of Divine Communion, which is simply to
see or to intuit That from which all of this is arising.
When that insight, that enjoyment, appears, then the life of
the devotee in the way of Understanding begins. And the
devotee in the way of Understanding also moves through the
three stages of God-Realization. Both these paths in my
Company are ultimately forms of participation in the same
process and in the same realization.3


3. Bubba Free John, “The Grace of Suffering,” a talk to
the Ashram, January 18, 1976.d


Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


Only Then Does the Student Touch My Heart: The Conscious
Process as Prasad

[Students] also continue to approach me through
the formality of Prasad, and their lives continue to develop
as service to me. However, the formal process of Prasad is
not engaged during our times of sitting. It is done by
students before or after I appear in the Hall. The time of
sitting is an outwardly non-formal extension or realization
of the formal sacrament of Prasad. Therefore, the student
engages in an inwardly formal process that essentially
duplicates the outward formalities of the sacrament of
Prasad. This inwardly formal process is what is implied by
my invitation to students to simply sit with me and be
consciously involved, along with me, in the enjoyment of our
mutual company

Satsang is the condition of life in which there is
constant and conscious involvement in a total, practical,
and mutually sacrificial relationship with the Guru, or the
living Divine Presence. This Satsang is the foundation
principle of the way of Understanding. It is realized in
action in more total, perfect, and spiritually profound ways
as the stages of sadhana develop. The new Communion devotee
realizes this Satsang in the form of the practical or
functional devotion of his or her life as service to me. The
student takes this a step further. When sitting with me in
the Satsang Hall, at Persimmon or at home, the student
constantly sacrifices himself to me and constantly receives
the Prasad of my spiritual influence. As long as he or she
can consciously maintain this activity while sitting with me
in the Satsang Hall, the student may remain until I get up
to leave. If distractions begin to hold his attention too
powerfully, then the student should leave the room and
continue his sadhana in the form of practical service to me.
(When sitting at home or under circumstances when I am not
physically present, the student may spend up to an hour each
time, twice a day, in this non-formal process of

Sitting with me is Satsang, it is always the great occasion
of Prasad, it is mutual sacrifice. The life of Satsang is
right fulfillment of the Law, which is Sacrifice. Therefore,
the student simply sits with me, just as all my devotees
simply live with me. But the living and the sitting must be
forms of the Law, forms of sacrifice in the manner or after
the model of the formal occasion of Prasad.4

Since he is already involved in the second or spiritual
stage of the way of Divine Communion, the new student in the
way of Understanding will already have been sitting with
Bubba in formal Satsang. And the initiation of the
Guru-Siddhi will essentially already be active in him. And,
in the beginning of his work in the way of Understanding,
the form of his sadhana is not essentially different from
his practice as a Communion devotee. He continues to witness
the stirring up of his whole subjective life in the intense
Presence and Power of the Guru. If he maintains the form of
his sadhana, he will neither indulge nor suppress all this.
He will simply observe it as it arises while continuing in
the momentum of his ordinary, functional life. We all tend
to get distracted—if not horrified—at some of the
content that is revealed to us. Thus, we temporarily lose
(actually abandon) the thread of sadhana. But when the
student sees something about himself, he should, like the
Communion devotee, simply take it into account and continue
to sacrifice himself to Bubba through the practical
conditions of life. In the midst of formal sitting, if some
sort of content arises, he should simply turn his attention
again to Bubba.

Therefore, the student should sit in my Company, but he
should constantly and consciously sacrifice or surrender
himself to me all the while. This is not to be a
self-conscious effort. It is not a kind of “working on
yourself.” It is simply a matter of the constant return of
attention, with love, to my Presence. In the process the
individual will observe the modifications of his attention.
He will observe distractions and subjective involvements of
all kinds. When these arise, he should simply return and
yield his attention to me. This is his gift of self, his
real sacrifice. When this is done, I return to him my own
Gift, my own Presence, my Prasad, my spiritual

It is not that your subjective “stuff” may arise in
Bubbas Presence. It is supposed to, so that the conscious
process may begin in you. But if you get involved in that
content and distracted to the point of being unable to
return attention to the Guru, then it is time to get up from
meditation and go out and perform that same sacrifice in
more tangible ways. Many students find that when they
actually do leave the Satsang Hall and go serve in some
practical fashion, they feel the Gurus Presence in their
lives more powerfully than when they were sitting distracted
in his Presence in the Hall. Bubba recently wrote,

The true sacrificial approach to me, the true turning of
self to the practice of devotion, which is the whole life
made to serve me under all conditions, ensures that our
spiritual connection is alive and my quickening and
awakening Siddhi will be effective.6

What Bubba means by devotion is not emotional enthusiasm,
but living commitment. If you are committed to the Guru
rather than to your own transformation, you will always do
what is appropriate

The core of the students life, then, is the continued
self-sacrifice that began in the second stage of the way of
Divine Communion. As a student, however, you are beginning
to receive the Gurus Prasad in forms that you perhaps could
not fully appreciate as a Communion devotee. Unless you are
constantly reestablishing yourself in the principle of
sacrifice to the Guru, you may not be able to appreciate
these forms of Prasad even now. It sometimes seems
impossible, when starkly witnessing your withdrawal from
others, to recognize and use that observation as Prasad. You
have to be sensitive to the intuitively happy, free quality
of all real observation as a spontaneous event of Grace. And
you have to live your sadhana of surrendering your life,
negativity included, to the Guru. As Bubba says, happiness,
freedom from concern, is itself the discipline. Again, it
sometimes seems unnecessarily austere to really surrender
the delicious energies and blisses that may awaken in you as
a result of the Gurus Presence. In that case you have to
resort again to service and sacrifice to Bubba. Those
effects of the Gurus Prasad also must be observed; as a
student you have no right to them. Your business as a
student is the comprehension of your entire life game. In
the Community, the way of action that serves such
intelligence will always be demanded of you, again and
again, every day and every hour. And so, in time, as you
yield without dramatization all your preferences,
inclinations, and patterns of avoidance, the conscious
process will intensify as real self-observation, insight,
and enquiry

When Bubba speaks of non-dramatization, by the way, he
does not mean that the student must become a perfect human
being! To try to do that would miss the point. The student
has to see the failure of his life, the impossibility of
“succeeding” at sadhana. His vital stance and motion as a
separate human being in the world must be undermined in
student sadhana. So the actual play of it does not read like
a story of perfect will, intensity, commitment, and
faultless action. The student is continually seeing his
faults, continually being confronted with his inclinations
to dramatize his emotions, his laziness, his boredom, his
cravings—you name it, it all comes up. And every now
and again, he blows it. But the secret to sadhana, even if
youve blown it temporarily, is to pick up again the thread
of your submission to the Guru and become responsible for
what you have seen. As Bubba says, “just dont do that any
more.” It is not a matter of correcting your failings or
suppressing your tendencies, but of allowing yourself to see
immediately what all that amounts to—the avoidance of
relationship. If your observation is true, you may then
become responsible in those areas, instead of remaining
automatically subject to your unconscious and subconscious

The students service to me, under and as all conditions, is
his only meditation, until enquiry. My service is in the
forms of Teaching, Community, and Siddhi (as Prasad and
Grace in every phase of sadhana)

I look for this service, this loving sacrifice. Only then
does the student touch my heart. Such a one is given
everything freely, happily, and in the proper time.7

As this process of Satsang or Prasad continues over time
under all the conditions of sadhana, the student will see
the development of true hearing, random self-observation,
and insight. When these have matured, then he may also adapt
to the responsibility of enquiry. Enquiry, then, becomes the
form of his meditation in Satsang, under all conditions, the
responsible means whereby he abides always, consciously, and
intuitively in my Presence.8


From all this, we can see that the whole development of
the conscious process at the core of the way of
Understanding is a manifestation of the Gurus Prasad. It is
all Grace and all dependent upon your surrender of your life
to the Guru in practical terms. Moreover, once we do become
sensitive to its truly Divine qualities, even the early
stages of this conscious process become very happy events
for us. Self-observation, for instance, which sounds a
little dry and often reveals our subjective life in its most
grotesque and nasty forms, is in fact a perfectly joyous
occasion of Grace

Now that members of the Community only begin to deal with
the conscious process if they are obviously inclined to it,
and only when their sadhana as devotees of the Guru is
mature, it is easier to appreciate that real conscious joy
more quickly and truly than in the early days of the Ashram.
Bubba spent several years laying the groundwork of the way
of Understanding. Because he took such pains to describe and
demonstrate in detail the nature of the activity of
Narcissus and the various qualities of action that we would
see in the course of understanding that activity, and
because we tend, due to our own karmic inclination, to focus
upon the content of our lives rather than to enjoy his
Presence with us, most devotees involved in the early stages
of the Community became obsessed with trying to achieve
self-observation, insight, etc. We treated these activities
in Consciousness as if they were activities of mind. We
became very concerned to have it all occur in us, very
absorbed in seeing all kinds of negative things about our
own lives and those of our friends.

All of that, of course, had nothing to do with the true
dynamics of the way of Understanding. In this radical way of
inspection, you certainly do see all kinds of unpleasant
things about yourself—there are nothing but unpleasant
things about yourself, from the point of view of real
Consciousness! But that witnessing in Truth is an absolutely
ecstatic event

Why? Because self-observation in the way of
Understanding, in the midst of the life of Divine Communion,
is simple, immediate, and instantaneous restoration to
perfect God-consciousness. It doesnt carry with it all the
celestial trumpets and miraculous feelings of expansion that
we ignorantly associate with God-consciousness in our
thoughts and imagery. But it is very God-consciousness,
nonetheless. Self-observation is spontaneous, present,
uncaused, perfect absorption in the Guru, who is
Consciousness itself

The process of discriminative, intuitive insight is a
good indicator of the simultaneous sublimity and simplicity
of life with the Siddha-Guru. There is nothing extraordinary
about it. As an illumination, it is so quiet and free of
dramatic effects that we quite often miss its appearance or
fail to enjoy its true quality. Self-observation is entirely
a Grace—it involves no effort whatsoever. And it occurs
in the midst of any and all of the ordinary moments of our
lives, when we are already founded securely in the
devotional life of sacrifice to the Guru through the
practical conditions relative to money, food, sex, study,
and service. It is completely different from any form of
deliberately watching, observing, or analyzing yourself

Self-watching is a kind of solution: you analyze your
behavior, your experiences, your circumstances, your
thoughts, feelings, and all the rest. You assume a kind of
abstracted “witness” point of view, stand back, see it all,
and then you get disgusted with yourself or decide to do
something about it, etc. You will notice that whenever this
occurs, you become dull, self-concerned, very conscious of
dilemma, of problem

Self-observation is that insight in which what you might
otherwise watch, or notice in yourself, is undone. It cannot
occur as a method, as a kind of practice. True
self-observation is not a matter of putting yourself forward
in some kind of witnessing point of view to see the things
that are occurring. Self-observation occurs when you are not
present as a self, watching. Self-observation occurs in
natural, functional moments of self-forgetting in which you
are simply doing things. In other words, basically when you
are fulfilling the conditions for sadhana that the Guru has
given you, when you are living them in the spirit of
Satsang, in the spirit of the Teaching, simply doing it in
ordinary terms, at random within such a process you suddenly
see or comprehend something. . . . When we are seated in the
dimension of consciousness itself, not in the seat of the
brain as a strategic position, we suddenly grasp the entire
play that is our humanity. When you are free of all
manipulative exercise, you are like a mirror to your own
event and the process of your life shows itself to you in
instant comprehension.9

DEVOTEE: I’m not sure what the difference is between
self-observation and self-watching

BUBBA: The difference becomes clear if you do sadhana.
Self-watching, or conventional self-observation, is itself a
technique, a method. It is not necessarily one that you
adopt, that you devote time to, like reciting a mantra. It
is something that some people do as that kind of technique,
but it is more commonly the kind of method that is a natural
strategy, a common strategy, a part of the accepted notion
of sanity. Everybody is engaged in this practice of
self-watching to one or another degree. Thus, you find
yourself at random moments all day long looking at yourself,
thinking about it all. But self-observation, real
self-observation, is not something done methodically as a

DEVOTEE: It just happens?

BUBBA: In a sense you could say it just happens. It is not
an activity of the ego, of your deciding to analyze
yourself. This sadhana is not generated by my prescribing
self-observation to you. Rather, it is generated on the
basis of a consideration of the Teaching, a natural turning
to the Guru, accepting his conditions with understanding,
and fulfilling these conditions from hour to hour, always
turning into the form of these conditions, making them the
form of ones relationship to the Guru. This is sacrifice in
its natural form. In the midst of that life there are real
moments of insight from time to time. And when such insight
appears, it is not in the form, “Oh, shucks! Will you look
at that!” That kind of information comes from self-watching.
When you find yourself out, that is self-watching. That is
data. That is images that you capture about yourself. All
that analysis is a natural product of self-watching

But the natural product or expression of real
self-observation is radical insight. Where there is such
insight, all the things that you feel bad about on the basis
of your self-analysis or self-watching are undone. In a
moment of real insight, there is no obstruction, there is no
bad guy. The principle of the ego is not present in the
moment of real self-observation, but it is always there in
the moment of self-watching

Understand that everyone engages in self-watching. You
are not prohibited from self-watching. However, you are not
asked to self-watch. You will simply and randomly notice
yourself self-watching, and you will begin to understand
this strategy in yourself. You will see what it represents,
why it is there. You will see what it really is. What is
self-watching? It is self-meditation. What is that? It is
contraction. You will really see it. You will know it to be
that. And in those moments, that is insight. That is
self-observation, that is understanding.10

Essentially, the conditions are preventions of
dramatization. They are simple, appropriate, natural,
life-supporting, and all of that, and from a certain point
of view they are good, harmonious, sattwic things to do. But
that is not their essential function. They are not true in
themselves. Their essential function in the way of
Understanding is to prevent the dramatization that you are
always enacting via your functions. When, in some functional
area, you are prevented from dramatization, you
automatically observe yourself. Dramatization prevents
self-observation because it gives you self-enactment through
energies of various kinds and provides you with the
consolation of unconsciousness. The conditions are all ways
of frustrating the intention to dramatize and be
unconscious. Therefore, self-observation arises. It appears
as cognition at the plane of the mind, and thats how you
know youve observed yourself. But actually the root of
self-observation is the Heart of Consciousness itself. That
is why this self-observation is tantamount to
Self-knowledge, knowledge of Brahman, knowledge of the Heart
or Real-God ultimately.11

Thus, it should be clear that self-observation is
essentially an ecstatic instant of absorption in our
natural, Divine Condition, which is Satsang or Divine
Communion. This is not anything like our usual notion of
what ecstasy is. Commonly, ecstasy is thought of as a great
rush of energy, or even absorption in energy or visionary
light to the point of loss of body-consciousness. Real
ecstasy, however, is this very understanding. It involves no
loss of consciousness, but, on the contrary, restoration to
the true position of Consciousness, which is always already
ecstatic relative to the plane of life events. And that is
the kind of free, spacious, clear enjoyment that occurs in a
moment of real self-observation.


4. Bubbas written instructions, November 28, 1975

5. Ibid

6. Bubbas written instructions, November 20, 1975

7. Bubbas written instructions, November 14, 1975

8. Bubbas written instructions, November 28, 1975

9. Bubba Free John, “Hidden Plumbing,” a talk to the
Ashram, April 14, 1975

10. Bubba Free John, “My Company,” a talk to the Ashram,
June 28, 1975

11. Bubba Free John, “Hidden Plumbing.”


When one begins to do sadhana, the principle of the
search is undone and replaced in us by the Divine Principle.
The moment you enter responsibly into relationship with
Bubba Free John as Guru, you are already saved. There is
only God. Your coming to know and live that Truth involves
this crisis of transformation, but there is nothing riding
on it because you are already living with the Guru, who is
living God to you. From this point of view, the practical
life-conditions become a humorous responsibility, a
pleasurable discipline one undertakes as service to the


The conditions themselves are life-supporting, and they
serve to turn you from exploitation of your karmic life to
fulfillment of the natural laws that govern psycho-physical
existence. They also have a larger purpose: to align all
your functions to the great and universal Law of sacrifice.
Thus, while they may be undertaken happily in response to
the Gurus Presence and demands, you will probably not always
enjoy fulfilling them. Because they are intended to
frustrate you. All your inclinations toward fulfillment will
be frustrated if you take on the conditions of sadhana with
great intensity. As Bubba likes to say, “Theres something
here for everyone!” Some one or several of these
appropriate, harmonious, natural ways to live in the human
world will really get on your nerves, really test you. You
will feel the heat, the tapas, of this sadhana if you turn
to Bubba in the midst of that test and continue to serve him
through the very condition that offends you. That is the
crisis, the turning. That heat brings your suffering to
consciousness and serves your increasing absorption in
Satsang itself


The way of Understanding requires that you live the
life-conditions absolutely. You may not opt for relief from
these conditions, because of what they must serve in you. On
the other hand, as soon as you get good and comfortable with
them, Bubba or his disciples are likely to call a
spontaneous Community celebration, and require you to
completely ruin your purity with cigarettes and whiskey!
This is an Ashram, again, not a health food store or a
monastery. You are here to be undone, not fulfilled or
allowed to succeed as a separate individual. At those times,
the breaking the practical conditions in one form or another
becomes your condition, and produces the same heat in you
through different means. And, perhaps, just as you get used
to parties, suddenly everyone is returned to an “ordinary,
pleasurable life.” The heat generated by maintaining sadhana
in the midst of all these changes, by always assuming the
practical conditions (or their suspension) with intensity
and consciousness, and without self-indulgence, awakens and
intensifies the process of self-observation, the foundation
of real understanding



The condition of living in community itself serves this
crisis, this heat. You cannot rationalize your misery or
mediocrity in the company of an unreasonably happy devotee,
nor can you avoid the demand to be happy and straight in God
when you are among those who are truly doing such sadhana.
Contact with the Community serves you by simply demanding
that you serve the Guru, by requiring that you drop all
concerns, by showing you your persistent avoidance of
relationship in myriad ways, by refusing to indulge you or
to let you exploit yourself. It is often infuriating to have
to put up with such demands from other people, until you
become sensitive and available to the process of losing
face. Such difficult moments, when you come smack up against
your refusal, are the times that serve the most if you do
sadhana and make use of them


Because the condition of community is so potent, a
student in the way of Understanding is obliged to enter the
formal Community as a condition of his sadhana. This means
that you share your life in intimate household circumstances
with other students and Communion devotees, and surrender
all the paraphernalia of private survival, yielding your
body, your money, and your very life to the Community. No
one is going to come along and take the shirt off your
back—but, still, you should by this time in your life
with Bubba be prepared to give it! As a student you have no
doubt that Satsang or Divine Communion is your very Life,
and the Guru is all that counts, really. Because you live
intimately with others who are doing sadhana, you feel very
directly the Gurus demand for study and devotional practice,
for service, for the lawful and appropriate management of
your vital functions, for the practical maintenance of your
household, for conscious, humorous responsibility in all
areas of your ordinary life. Sadhana with the Guru is a
happy affair, but it is not a lark!

You are also encouraged, as a student, to assume personal
conditions above and beyond the generally stated disciplines
of student life. These should be carefully considered
disciplines that get to the core of some particular pattern
of dramatization that is dear to your heart, some habit that
you repeat unconsciously, some little interpersonal ritual
that the stated conditions do not really handle. If
something like that arises or becomes obvious to your
intimates, you should, with their agreement or that of other
responsible members of the Community, assume a personal
condition designed to undermine that strategy. This is how
you will begin to make that area of dramatization obsolete.
Taking on such conditions is simply a way of maintaining
yourself in relationship and becoming vulnerable to your
intimates. Like any other discipline, it must be lived in
the happy, sacrificial spirit of Satsang with Bubba. (In
general, by the way, you will find that most personal forms
of dramatization can be redressed by applying one of the
already existing conditions with great conscious


In the way of Divine Communion, devotees gather regularly
for devotional singing, discussion of their enjoyment of
Satsang, readings from works by Bubba and others about God
and Divine Realization. In the way of Understanding,
students likewise meet in groups, which can also be
devotional in nature, but, further than that, which are
intended to serve the process of self-observation and
responsibility in individuals


If you and your fellow students undertake a sadhana group
in the spirit of analysis and problem-solving, without
presently enjoying Satsang in each others company, you will
find it a very unpleasant and basically useless occasion.
Take it from us. Bubbas longtime students and disciples have
been sitting together in so-called sadhana groups regularly
for years, and whenever we have gotten into analyzing each
other and trying to correct behavior, everything has become
dull, grim, and full of tension. When people try to “deal”
with each other without already acknowledging their love for
each other in Divine Communion and their love and present
enjoyment of the Gurus Presence, they commit all kinds of
offenses to each other and do anything but “serve.” If you
approach a sadhana group as a possible remedy, you will in
most cases come out feeling a lot worse!

If, however, you live these occasions with humor and
love, full already of Bubbas Presence and Grace, they become
another kind of event entirely. Then you can talk to each
other about what you observe, confess your own humorous
pratfalls, even difficulties, in sadhana—you can say
anything and it will not affect the fundamental
communication you are sharing, which is that of Divine
Communion itself.

dYou do not make your relationship to one another a form
of your relationship to me. You do not relate to me through
one another. You relate to one another. Well, what are you
going to find if you relate to one another? You will find
more limited assholes, more problems, more demands, more
roles to play, more circumstances, more fulfillment of life.
But if you make your relationship to one another the form of
your service to me, just as living all the conditions of
sadhana, then you will undo the limitations through which
you approach one another. You will contemplate me in your
relationship to one another. You will go beyond all of these
limitations and be humorous in one anothers company. You
will then love one another


But if you are not enjoying me in one anothers company,
there is no way you are going to get it straight, no way
that a sadhana group can come to an end! And no sadhana
group should come to an end until each individual is
enjoying my Company. If everybody sits down in some sadhana
group enjoying my Company, there will be no dealing with one
another, you know, “You do this and I do that.” You will
talk about me, you will talk about God, you will enjoy one
another, and you will get up, you will study or do some
practical form of sadhana. Sadhana groups can be very brief.
It is better if they are brief, because they are basically
annoying!14dd* * *


d12. Bubbas written instructions, November 10, 1975


13. Bubba Free John, “Guru as Prophet,” The Dawn Horse,
Vol. 2, No. 2 (1975), page 38


14. Bubba Free John, “Divine Distraction,” a talk to the
Ashram, December 16, 1975.



Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


Vitals, Peculiars, and Solids

As the student becomes more attuned to this naturally
ecstatic quality of self-observation in Satsang, he becomes
less concerned for the particular content of his life, all
the qualities and habits that comprise his separate
individuality. But that looseness, that space only allows
the process to quicken in him, so that he sees more and more
of what he is “always doing.” The various strategies of his
life are revealed to him, and he must take responsibility
for them


Over time, if you become a student in the way of
Understanding, you will see the whole content of your life
as the manifestation of your avoidance, your resistance to
turning, to giving yourself to the Guru fully. By then, in
fact, you will have already seen and become responsible for
your gross, dramatic strategies—stuff on the level of
beating your wife, all the heavy, obvious negativity,
withdrawal, self-obsession, and resistance. You could never
have realized your ordinary human life as service to Bubba
if you had not already surrendered that sort of stuff


This brings up an important point, which we mentioned
when first discussing the life-conditions in Part II, “The
Way of Divine Communion.” It is not as if the devotee in the
way of Divine Communion never enjoys self-observation or the
conscious process. He cannot help but enjoy it! The Siddhi
of the Guru is the Presence of the Heart, Real
Consciousness, and it naturally reflects a mans activities
of avoidance back to him through its potent intensification
of his own Conscious Nature. It is only that the devotee in
the way of Divine Communion is not obliged to make that
reflection itself the personal focus and vehicle of his
sadhana. The same reflection occurs in the Communion devotee
as in the student. However, he has a very different
relationship to it. On the basis of that reflection, the
devotee then consciously and deliberately turns himself to
the Guru, yielding the particular content of what he has
seen to the Guru and receiving the Gurus Presence


The student, however, must stand in that instant already
responsible for what he has seen in consciousness. For him
the observation itself implies responsibility. He certainly
must go ahead and sacrifice his lifes content to the Guru in
active terms, like the Communion devotee. But the
observation itself, used with intensity and commitment,
should establish him in a fundamental knowledge that stands
like a brake against that particular form of unconsciousness
in the future. More and more, he stands present in the form
of that very Consciousness that observes these turnings
away. Less and less does he allow himself to sink
unconsciously into dramatization of these patterns of karmic
tendency. It is not a matter of willful determination,
though sadhana certainly does involve effort and discipline.
Rather, it is a matter of too much knowledge. The guy has
seen it too clearly! He already has too much distance from
it. The conscious, free nature of his observation only
intensifies his natural intelligence to the point that he
simply cannot perform the old acts of resistance
unconsciously any more. If he does do that same thing again,
he finds it excruciating, because now it is no longer
unconscious resistance to sadhana and the Guru, but
deliberate refusal of the Guru, who he already knows is his
very Life


The following discussion of “vitals, peculiars, and
solids” provides a good example of the kind of inspection
that the student of the way of Understanding must become
responsible for


Every person represents a complex mixture of these three
basic human strategies. Everyone is predominantly a vital,
solid, or peculiar person, usually with some of the other
two patterns also evident in his case. If you remain a
devotee in the way of Divine Communion, you will certainly
observe certain of these qualities in yourself. Other
members of the Community, in the natural play of our lives
together, will certainly bring your qualities and games to
your attention! But you will not be responsible for any
genuine inspection of these qualities in yourself. (If that
were necessary, we would have included this section in the
earlier part of the book!) No, all you have to do as a
devotee in the way of Divine Communion is sacrifice it,
whatever it is, to the Guru, and enjoy his Presence. You
dont even have to know what it is that you are sacrificing,
except that it is not him, and Communion with him in God is
what you are here for, what you crave, what you exist to


As a student of the way of Understanding, however, you
very definitely are responsible to inspect these qualities
in yourself and to become responsible for them in
consciousness. Not as a way of cataloguing or analyzing your
existence, but as a way, through intelligent discrimination,
of penetrating more and more perfectly the action by which
you compulsively turn from present Communion. You also exist
only for that, you crave it you thrive on it, but, because
of your particular karmic make-up, you must be smart as well
as devoted. In fact your intelligence, not merely mind but
consciousness itself, must become your devotion



Every moment in life is a strategy relative to vital
shock, that contraction of the life-force which is felt as a
cramp in the solar plexus, in the vital center, and which is
effective through subconscious and unconscious influence.15
It is at the level of vital life that we cognize our
existence most intimately, and it is in the area of life, of
vitality, that we experience suffering and dilemma most


The student stage of sadhana in the way of Understanding
is the stage in which the phenomena of the gross physical or
vital life are inspected and their effects obviated in
consciousness. Everything that arises is a response to the
life-force, whose qualities or manifestations in the gross
dimension of existence have been negatively developed in the
usual man. What you observe as the content of your life is
actually a reaction to the force of life itself, to the
literal fact and energy of being alive. And as the process
of self-observation awakens in you, you will begin to see
patterns of reaction that define your own participation in
the process of life


Because of vital shock, the usual man resists the process
of life, which Bubba calls conductivity. The life-force
emanates from the God-Light, its Source above the body, the
mind, and the world, and moves into the psycho-physical
being down through the frontal functions and up the

dThis full circle is the law of manifest life. That
should be spontaneous, simple. That is health. It is also
sanity. That is the human cycle, the psycho-physical

dThe usual man does not participate in this blissful
circuit, though if it ceased for even a moment he would die!
Instead he reacts to it, resists it, tries to escape it,
suppress it, or empty himself of its energy. His very birth
is a contraction of that process, and so he adapts his life
to contraction rather than to the lawful process of
conductivity. Thus, he aligns his life with the effects of
the life-force rather than to its Source and spends his
life, either consciously or unconsciously, looking for ways
to rid himself of the sensation of dilemma


The extent to which an individual participates in the
conductivity of the life-force has been described in the
scriptures of the Hindu traditions in terms of the three
qualities of life, or gunas: tamas, rajas, and sattwa. Tamas
is the degree of available life-energy prior to motion.
Rajas is flow or movement. And sattwa is clarity,
intelligence. These qualities, which simply describe the
qualities of life as they are manifested in every human
being, are nevertheless negatively developed to a greater or
lesser extent in everyone. Thus the negative development of
tamas, or the degree of available life-energy, appears as
inertia, enervation, emptiness, and absence of force. The
negative development of rajas, or flow, manifests as
obstruction, emotion, agitation, disturbance. And the
negative development of sattwa or clarity appears as
aberration, suppression, and concern


Now there can be no doubt about it: Everyone who comes as
a devotee to Bubba Free John is nothing but a “usual man.”
Every one of us represents some odd, karmic, negative
development of these three qualities of life, some personal
variation on a life of vital shock. If you remain in the way
of Divine Communion, this particular, gross aspect of your
life as Narcissus is undone in the course of the maturing of
the first three stages of practice


If you go on, however, to include the disciplines of the
way of Understanding, then this gross avoidance
fundamentally becomes a matter of responsibility in the
student stage, and these three functions of vital existence
are transformed during that period of sadhana


The three qualities of life are also identified with
specific functions and dimensions of vital existence. Tamas
is identified with the vital center and physical life. Rajas
is associated with the heart center and the emotional-sexual
dimension of existence. And sattwa is associated with the
mind and the mental dimension


In the process of self-observation, quickened by contact
with the Siddhi of Satsang with the Guru in God, the
strategies by which you dramatize the qualities of life are
undermined, and you begin to include the qualities of life
that you have been excluding and to align the functions of
your existence with their Source. Thus, as a mature student,
you enjoy intensity where there was enervation, harmony
where there was disturbance, and clarified intelligence
where there was aberration. You become human


Bubba describes three “types” of people (or strategies of
people) who embody the three general forms of play on life
conceived as dilemma. He has named these “types” the solid
person, the peculiar person, and the vital person. These
three types represent the three fundamental strategies by
which men seek to escape the pain and destiny implied in
vital shock. Each one represents a different play on life as
dilemma. Therefore, each represents a fundamental liability
that must be understood and transcended.

These strategies are karmic, binding one to a ritual of
avoidance. Until you take into account the liabilities
represented by the types you may see in yourself, your
sadhana will not be fruitful. You will always be fulfilling
the conditions of sadhana from a false point of view,
because you are not accounting for your fundamental game. So
you should consider the qualities, the resistance,
represented by these types and observe how you tend to
dramatize these strategies in your own life



The vital person has a “moon” in his navel. He exploits
or yields to the descending power of the vital (which is
strengthened by his refusal to be at odds with it either
through the conscious minds resistance or by urges to escape
its manifest conditions via ascent). As his moon phases, he
may take on apparent qualities of solidity and peculiarity,
but they are only a play in him which further demonstrates
the underlying power of his fixed strategy. Just so, the
peculiar and solid strategies may reflect one another,
becoming temporarily exchanged, in order not to be subject
to consciousness


The vital person characteristically dramatizes the
negative development of tamas, the degree of available

dHe is obsessed with submission to the vital force. Just
as the moon is the reflection of the light of the sun, the
vital person must turn to the sun itself and become a
devotee in sunlight. His recourse must be to the Guru and
the Teaching and the Community. He must do the sadhana of
attention to the principal communications and agents of
Truth. This is his only recourse. He too must understand his
own liability, how he is continually going through this
cycle of fascination with the vital force, which is only a
reflection of what is prior and transcendent and ultimate.
To the degree that he knows this liability in himself, to
that same degree and with even more force he must turn to
what is the source, the ultimate and True Condition of all
of that, and only that turning will make obsolete his

dWhen his moon is full, the vital person may be
hyper-active, ironic, gleeful, negative, indulging
compulsive habits of speech or eating, violent,
self-conscious, obsessed, all qualities which anyone may
manifest at any time. But the vital person communicates
these qualities with force, from the navel. There is no
humor in him, only irony or hysteria. He becomes completely
absorbed in whichever aspect of his vital life happens to be
in phase


The vital person is usually a very simple, lively person,
very strong, earthy, energetic, even apparently
enthusiastic, but also crazy, always reacting to the endless

dWith that same intensity and more he must turn to the
sun, not out of any motivation, not out of any simple
obedience, but based on his understanding of what his
liabilities are. Just as simply as he is imbedded in vital
fascination, he must be simply involved in his sadhana, in a
life of Satsang. The vital persons sadhana is simply
devotional, not in the emotional sense only, although he may
be emotional. He must do very simple service. He must
continually be turned to that dimension of Truth which
appears as the Dharma, the Teaching itself, in the person of
the Guru as well as the Divine Nature which is itself the
Guru. And he must be turned to the Community, which is the
living manifestation or process of the Dharma and the Gurus
influence. The vital person must do very simple service to
the three principal forms of the Truth as it is communicated
(the Guru, the Teaching, and the Community). To the degree
that the vital person simply serves, the cycle of vital
fascination is made obsolete. It is undone through non-use,
just as anything is undone that is limited.18


The peculiar person has a “hole” in his navel. He
exploits the ascending power of the vital (which is weakened
in vital shock and thus made capable of abandonment of the
descended conditions by a refusal to reflect them to the
conscious mind). He dramatizes the negative development of
rajas, or flow, movement. This type finds it difficult to
meet the conditions of ordinary life, preferring instead the
exotic or extraordinary experience. He finds it difficult to
be ordinary. He is always tending to drift out of life into
illusory attachments. The peculiar person characteristically
dramatizes the negative development of flow, of movement of
the life-force (rajas).

dIn the peculiar person there is more or less exclusive
attention, or subjection, to the ascending movement, the
movement out of life. The peculiar person has a hole in his
navel. He is weak in his stability relative to life and is
tied to these ecstatic possibilities. They occur in him as
functional liabilities just as they occur in a psychotic.
The peculiar person is not, in general, psychotic, but the
same thing that makes psychosis is evident in the peculiar


Those who are more or less peculiar tend toward dingbat
religious and spiritual bullshit. They read and sympathize
with all the books and are inclined to say that it is all
true and right. They are generally unstable at the level of
life, vitally weak in various ways. They sympathize with all
that gets them out of life into some twinkle spiritual
dimension that is free of the body. So they are subject to
ecstasies and mysticisms of an illusory kind, with
practically no stimulation at all, by yielding to the
pattern of subjective distraction which is their karmic

dThe special demand or discipline for the peculiar person
is that he direct his attention to the practical affairs of
life at every moment. He must function in practical ways, by
working with speech and body, by truly listening in his
encounters with others, by turning to life instead of
“spacing out” of life. The peculiar person often tends
toward unusual interpretations of the life-conditions,
involving himself in extraordinary business schemes,
justifying part-time work, endlessly modifying his diet, and
romanticizing sexual relationships.

dThe peculiar person is one who has to assume a life of
functional responsibility from the time he opens his eyes in
the morning until the time he goes to bed at night, and if
he cops out for just five minutes, he will be crazy before
dinner. So he has to do very practical things. No illusory
airy-fairy crap. He has to really do something that is
physical, mechanical in nature. He has to integrate himself
with that level of function and assume it as a

dBecause he is weak in the vital, the peculiar person
frequently manifests chronic physical dysfunctions, and he
may spend a very long time indulging his physical weakness
with exotic treatments. In many, if not most, cases of
people who manifest the more extreme tendencies toward
peculiarity, these tendencies are founded in an organic
disorder of some kind, an organic karma, a physical
liability. So the peculiar person should have a medical
examination, and his physical dysfunctions should be handled
in a very matter-of-fact way, without lingering involvement
in therapies of various kinds. He should follow a very
strict and simple diet and harmonize the chemical aspect of
his peculiar liability. (The peculiar person tends to become
enervated, and so he must not indulge his tendency toward
super-ascetic diet, prolonged or frequent fasting, long
hours of work with little sleep, etc.)

Above all, the peculiar person should understand the
liabilities of his constant “heights” and ecstasies, the
special resistances that his “spirituality” represents.

dAn interesting thing about the traditional
communications about spiritual life, particularly those of a
mystical, esoteric, or yogic variety, is that they seem to
favor the peculiar person. The more peculiar you are, it
seems, the more spiritual you are, because these traditions
are rooted in the problem of life and are trying exotically
to get beyond it. So they exploit some of the peculiar
patterns also evident in schizophrenia. They dont ultimately
intend that you should become mad like a schizophrenic, but
all their symbology, all their recommendations, seem to
demand these exotic patterns of madness. So somebody who is
peculiar will find a great deal of literature to justify his
madness. That is why he must understand how this liability
is effective in his own case.21

dUnlike the solid person, who tends to hold the life
movements in place, especially those that are ascending,
mystical, and expansive, the peculiar person exploits the
movements of the life-force. The intuitive plane of
consciousness, which is not something the peculiar person
is, by tendency, very much involved with, does not tend to
break through in his case. By not indulging his tendency
toward the ascending movement of life and by stabilizing the
center of life-consciousness at the navel, he becomes more
sensitive to the conscious process, which is even prior to
mind (although it does not exclude it), and is capable of
doing real sadhana.

dWhat I am criticizing in the peculiar type is his
exclusive and strategic involvement with the ascending
life-energy. By doing ordinary, functional sadhana, he may
regain the entire spectrum of his existence, and the entire
functional order will come alive in him—descending,
ascending, transcendent, and prior. If he does not engage in
sadhana relative to his strategy, he wont grasp the fullness
that he represents


Apart from his strategic involvement, what he does
represent is part of the full realization of existence. The
ascending life process must, indeed, be realized, and it is
the purpose of one area of your sadhana ultimately to fully
realize the life-dimension. But, before it can be realized
in Truth, your strategic and exclusive involvement with it
must be understood. The student sadhana, by requiring that
you not dramatize or indulge the tendency in itself, serves
the crisis of that understanding. Then, in the disciple
stage the ascending energy is regained in another form, and,
coupled with other dimensions of this process, it retains
its humor and fullness and does not involve the exclusion of
other dimensions of existence.22


The solid person has a “stone” in his navel. He stands on
the vital with the conscious mind, which remains subject to
vital shock, and suppresses the activity of the vital, which
is founded in dilemma and is full of complexes (fixed


The solid person dramatizes the negative development of
sattwa, clarified intelligence. He manifests concern. He is
the organizational type who conceptualizes and mentalizes
life. He tends toward philosophies, mental structures, the
practical ordering of existence. Basically he is afraid of
the vital, so he suppresses his vital life in favor of the
mind. He is always operating from the head, although he is
continually subject to the invasion of emotions. Indeed, his
“cool” or mental strategy is the product of a debilitating
emotional reaction to life.

dIt is very difficult to get the solid person interested
in the life movement. He is afraid to let it do what it is
going to do. He thinks it is a raving gorilla or something,
so he is always standing on top of the navel. It is
difficult to get him interested in letting life become free
and Divine until he falls out of the mental game, the
defense that he builds out of fear, into that more intuitive
affair. And when he does, all of his concerns for staying on
top of life become gradually obsolete and the life movement
begins in him again


The solid person is suppressing the life phenomena. He is
always cool, on top of it. So the life movement above and
below that stone in his navel does not occur in him by
tendency. He must do a natural sadhana that releases him
from attention to the purely mental faculty so that he moves
into that intuitive life, a life free of constant concern,
of standing on the stone. The life movement will begin again
in him at the same time that he stops fixing in mere
mentality out of fear and moves into a more natural
(emotional-vital) and intuitive consciousness.23

dThe solid person must do sadhana under very functional,
ordinary conditions, as everyone must. But he must do it
without concern, without righteousness. The Guru has no
problem getting the solid person to function. The solid
person usually works very efficiently. But the Guru may work
with a solid person by changing his functions a little bit,
so that his functions are not so serious (or are not
acknowledged to be so serious), and then he may do all kinds
of things to upset the solid persons expected routine. It is
also useful for the solid person to function in ways that do
not require him to stand on his navel, that require him
instead to see what he is doing. As Bubba says, “If all you
have to do is cook dinner and wait on tables, and you are
creating a universal philosophic system out of it, it
becomes pretty clear to you what your game is.”

Breaking down the expected flow of the solid persons life
serves the crisis in him. The solid person freezes out
everything below the mind. He freezes out or mentalizes
vitality, sexuality, energy, everything robust and
emotional. So if this pattern of suppressing vital life is
confused or interrupted in such a one, the solid person
finds himself living in these functions and feeling alive in
them. And one of the first things to awaken quickly is his
emotional life


The solid person tends to be aggressively ordinary. He
rarely, if ever, experiences kriyas or other exaggerated and
ecstatic “spiritual” phenomena. Yet he is always hoping that
he will have a spiritual experience. He is always waiting
for the grand spiritual event to happen to him. For this
reason, the peculiar person, who has these experiences all
the time, is an offense to him. In the company of a peculiar
person, the solid person feels that he should be
experiencing something that he is not experiencing (or is
afraid to experience).

dThe solid person must become interested in the practical
affair of the life of understanding. He has to understand
that he is packed into the mechanisms that control his vital
existence, that there is nothing rising in him, no lightness
in him, and that his need to have experiences is just a
reflection of the whole body of his concerns. So, rather
than looking for a proof of the spiritual process in his own
life, for these grand events to occur, rather than waiting
for a kriya or a vision, he should understand what the life
of understanding is in his own case. He should understand
that extraordinary experiences are not even necessary. They
simply occur when it is appropriate. The spiritual process
occurs in consciousness, for all persons, so the solid
person should look for that level of spiritual life as
anybody else should. But he will not realize the conscious
process by exclusive reliance on the strategy of mind. He
must first become established in a non-exclusive, open,
relational condition of life, in which he is also alive in
the emotional-vital dimensions of his psycho-physical

dBubba has discussed the implications of the solid and
peculiar strategies relative to the descended

dIt is interesting that both of these types ultimately
wind up resisting the descended life-process, the solid
person by standing on top of it and being very mentalized,
and the peculiar person by leaping out of the body all the
time. The fundamental movement of all traditions of seeking
is the search for escape from the body, escape from the
psycho-physical conditions. Peculiar and solid people
represent the extreme dispositions of the traditions in
general. In every case it is the body, the bodily condition,
the function of descended life, that is assumed in itself to
be the problem. There are all kinds of asceticisms and
moralisms that peculiar and solid people are addicted to,
just as everybody else is, but these types represent the
classic kinds of resistance


The sadhana in both of these cases is one that
reintegrates them with the natural process of the descended
life vehicle. Neither of these two types by tendency is
interested in such a thing. In fact, every man by tendency
is resistive to the realization of the descended life
because it is the symbol in which he reads his fear. We
identify the body itself, the psycho-physical condition
itself, with fear, limitation, ignorance


We are always trying to resist this hulk, escape it, stay
on top of it, do all kinds of things to it. But, it is the
conventional implication of the body that we are suffering.
The conventional assumption we make about the body is the
root of our fear in functional terms. And in the peculiar
and solid persons you see the classic examples of what
happens when you assume the body, the psycho-physical
condition itself, to be ignorance or threat and try to
escape it in the two unique strategies that peculiar and
solid people represent


There are peculiar and solid traditions, too. The whole
human adventure is made up of this arbitrary split between
the dimensions of energy (or life) and mind (or functional
consciousness). The exploitation of the strategies of one or
the other dimension is essentially and exclusively based on
this prior fear, this conventional assumption that the
descended life is a threat. If you read the traditions you
will see how occupied they are with dealing with the body
itself, and with desensitizing you to all the possibilities
of having experiences at the level of ordinary life. The
traditions are filled with such notions, and they are
founded in ignorance. They are founded in this principal
mood of fear in which we contract and make the conventional
assumption of separate existence


When that conventional assumption is no longer made, the
descended life is free to be a game from the point of view
of Truth. It is no longer a threat. It is no longer
necessary to encase it in moralities, no longer necessary to
stand on top of it, to conform it to any of the cultural and
social cultic games that the world requires you to conform
to. So in the man of understanding, life (inclusive of mind
and energy ), which is suppressed and manipulated from the
usual point of view, is liberated when known from the point
of view of prior Consciousness in Truth.25

dThe three types are presented here as classic examples
of the extremes of resistance. Most people cannot be
classified as one type. Almost everyone represents one of
these types at some time or another. The average person is a
mixture of these possibilities. So it is useful for every
individual to become familiar with all three types in order
to know the liabilities of his personal strategies


Each of these types represents an extreme or classic form
of resistance to sadhana. However, the perfect form of the
solid, peculiar, or vital strategy is rare. Everyone
manifests all of these strategies, to a greater or lesser
degree, in his approach to life. Therefore, the particular
qualities presented by each type should be understood so
that you can recognize them when they arise in your own
case. It is not necessary that you try to determine which
type you are. You probably dramatize the strategies of more
than one of these types. But recognize them when they arise
and apply the appropriate functional conditions.

dThe three types are a play on life in which life is
conceived, on the unconscious basis of vital shock, to be
dilemma. The three types are simply three characteristic or
karmic strategies, each distinct and different from the
others. The Real Condition may be described as the Sun. Each
of the three types or strategies conceives of the Sun in
limitation. The solid person conceives of the Sun as a stone
(dead life which is always threatening to reawaken), and he
stands on it with the armor of mind. The peculiar person
conceives of the Sun as a hole in space, and he is always
taking flight from the world through the exit of his own
vital weakness. The vital person conceives of the Sun as a
moon, a reflection of itself in fascinating vital form.
Thus, he is always yielding to vital phases as if they were
delight while always suffering in his independent soup.

All three types or strategies are a seekers manipulation
of the vital principle from the point of view of fear,
mystery, suffering, unconscious motivation, and vital shock.
Thus, each strategy is itself a continual meditation upon
the felt sense of dilemma, and such ways realize only
suffering in spite of their achieved distractions


These three ways are the strategic characteristics of
Narcissus. The way of Understanding is a communication
directed to that one.26

dSomeone asked Bubba if it is important for each person
to know what type he is. Bubba replied:

dThere is no appropriate strategy for determining what
type you are. The Dharma is always present to confound you
and confuse you and break down the position that you have
already assumed. So it does not appear in the form of a
simple formula or an easy solution to your problem. In fact,
you are not supposed to solve the problem of what type you
are. These descriptions are given to you only so that you
can account for what you have already observed and
thereafter be a little more intelligent in your own life.
Your observations should lead to the taking on of conditions
that are appropriate to what you are really all about. Apart
from that genuine insight into yourself that reveals the
nature of your characteristics, it is not important to know
what type you are. There is no way to know what type you are
apart from the real confrontation with the Teaching. So stay
with the Teaching as the core of your study and your
day-to-day occupation with sadhana. Student sadhana is
stated clearly and is the center to which you should always
be returning All that you need to know will always be
revealed in its appropriate form.27

dAs we mentioned earlier, there is no need for any
student to become concerned about discovering what “type” he
is—the Community will reveal it to him soon enough! The
play between these three general types of people is taken
very seriously in the world. Flighty, mystical poets dont
hang out with athletes, and neither of these types care
particularly for egghead intellectuals—thats how it is!
But in the Community, which has its fair share of each
classic type, along with all sorts of exotic personal
mixtures, the play of life takes on another quality
entirely. A solid may find a vitals earthiness downright
disgusting and a peculiars emotional hysteria simply
unnecessary, but neither of them will let him get away with
his lack of warmth and his pretentious head. So the vital
type might grab him around the waist or tickle him, while
the peculiar pokes fun at his mind. Neither of them,
however, is any less offended by the other than they are by
their heady friend. So the play goes round and round, and,
in the course of time, each type of person is very naturally
served in the realignment of all the dimensions of his
humanity by this humorous play of qualities in the

dIn every case, whatever characteristics you discover in
yourself, their transformation is mainly a matter of
reassociating with the aspects of life that you exclude. It
becomes a practical matter then. When you begin to notice
these things about yourself, you begin to take on little
practical conditions that essentially associate you, combine
you in practical terms, with the aspects of your ordinary
life that you tend to exclude. The process is not a cure. It
is just a very ordinary, practical responsibility that will
intensify the crisis, as well as, in some ordinary way,
generally improve your common life


But you must do it! You tend to be very childish,
neglecting things and refusing responsibilities. That is why
it is of great value to do this sadhana within the
Community, because then you can be continually served by
others to the point of responsibility, unless you hide
yourself completely (and a lot of hiding goes on). But as
soon as you begin to show your qualities and live them, then
the Community will make demands of you, and you should also
make them of yourself. Your sadhana will always intensify
then, becoming more than a nominal cultic involvement. Your
sadhana must be sustained eternally, and it cannot be
sustained eternally if your approach to it is mediocre and
childish. It must be continually regenerated and


Because of the tendency of individuals to be
irresponsible then, the Community is made the fundamental
condition within which the practical activity of sadhana
takes place. Hopefully, the condition of community can
magnify the sadhana of everyone. But to do it requires your
real presence, your real involvement, real insight on your
part, real awareness of what it is that you are doing.28dd*
* *d

[To view the following topic, select the title (in
red) and click on it with the right mouse button.]d

Attention and Intuition

(Prepared from Bubbas writings on the three fundamental
life strategies.)

d* * *d

To conclude this chapter on the basic life strategies, we
give the following excerpt from one of Bubbas informal talks
with students in the Ashram. It is a beautiful presentation
of the relationship that exists between the conventional
sadhana of the student stage and the foundation principle of
Communion with the Divine through the Guru. This talk also
illustrates Bubbas way of dealing with people in his
Company, turning every event into a demonstration of the
living Teaching


While Bubba was talking about other things, a young woman
near him began to scream and manifest other forms of kriyas,
or the spontaneous signs of the movement of the life-force.
On another occasion, or for another person, it may have been
perfectly appropriate to allow these phenomena to run their
course. But in this individuals case it was a dramatization.
Bubba spoke to her about it and went on to talk to other
devotees about their own characteristic strategies in

The Mechanical Solutions Must Become Obsolete

d* * *


15. For a complete discussion of vital shock, please see
“Vital Shock,” The Method of the Siddhas, (Los Angeles: The
Dawn Horse Press, 1973), pages 94-124


16. Bubba Free John, The Method of the Siddhas, page


17. Bubba Free John, “Peculiars and Solids Revisited,” a
talk to the Ashram, December 10, 1974


18. Ibid


19. Ibid


20. Bubba Free John, “Solids and Peculiars”, a talk to
the Ashram, November 30, 1974


21. Bubba Free John, “Peculiar and Solid,” a talk to the
Ashram, June 30, 1974


22. Bubba Free John, “Peculiars and Solids

23. Ibid


24. Bubba Free John, “Peculiar and Solid.”

25. Bubba Free John, “Peculiars and Solids

26. Bubbas written instructions, April 5, 1975


27. Bubba Free John, “Peculiars and Solids

28. Bubba Free John, “Time Together”, a talk to the
Ashram, October 25, 1975.



Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


If It Has Become Complicated, Return to the Basics

As you can see, if one were not already absorbed in a
life of Divine Communion, he could very easily become
obsessed by the content of his inspection and observation in
the way of Understanding. And, in fact, that is certainly a
possibility for any student. There is one sure sign of this
kind of obsession: You become unhappy. You forget the simple
principle of this work and opt for forms of mind and action
that have nothing to do with the natural, present joy of
Divine Communion. If this occurs at any time in your
sadhana, and you find yourself confused, upset, fascinated,
or concerned to the point of chronic unhappiness, then it is
time to return to the basics. It is far, far better to be
already happy in God. So what if you dont understand. If you
are already living God, who cares?

(1) The Guru enters into the affair of human life in
order to communicate this process and to generate it.
Therefore, the Gurus appearance is a significant event. It
makes spiritual life a graceful possibility, rather than a
heroic affair for those who have the intensity to struggle
through the great circle of the cosmos. And the fundamental
condition for this real process is Satsang itself. Satsang
is the realization, the communication, the samadhi. As one
enters into direct sacrificial relationship with the Guru,
that intuition and the conditions that serve it are
established. If that relationship, Satsang, becomes the
principle of your sadhana, it can indeed be a graceful
process. If, however, through lack of insight, you remain
bound to your own theatre, your own possibility, your own
separate and heroic spirituality, you are going to have to
go through a prolonged period of vacillating and struggling
and hoping you look great when you are announced a disciple,
and so forth. But there will be no such dramatic occasions,
because this process is simple and natural. It is


(2) The affair of this sadhana is graceful You consider
the Gurus argument and then you meet the Guru. On the basis
of your response to the Teaching, which has made its point
in your own case, you enter into that relationship
naturally, voluntarily. The more you live that relationship,
the more it communicates itself. On the basis of that
relationship, you accept the discipline of the
life-conditions and of the Community, of service and study
and this theatre of our life together. But the process
itself is very natural. It begins with that intuitive
response of essential and spontaneous surrender to the Guru.
That response becomes Satsang, natural intuition and
happiness. Considering the Gurus argument and fulfilling his
disciplines become insight, enquiry, recognition, and
radical intuition


(3) Understanding rests upon that single principle, the
living condition of Satsang. Everything that is associated
with it is very concrete and demands responsibility of you,
intelligence, real life. There is nothing vague about it.
There is nothing confusing about the Dharma. You must simply
continue to return to its fundamentals. Any of you who take
on this sadhana as a process of Grace in this way I have
described can see it. But if you remain bound to some
possible heroic self-transcendence and overcoming filled
with endless experiences and complications, then it will
take a great long time and it will not essentially be a
process of Grace, except perhaps at random moments.
Basically, then, it is not to that graceful possibility of
Satsang that you have committed yourself, but rather to the
possibility of your own transformation. In that case you
have not essentially made Satsang the principle of your
spiritual life. To that degree, it takes a long time and
your spiritual life is very dramatic. But those who grasp it
most simply, most fundamentally, as a graceful affair,
natural and practical in its implications, are not basically
very dramatic. They are not terribly interesting to others
either, because they cant account for their spiritual life
in laudable and fascinating terms. All of that has been
undone for them


(4) On any given day it is possible for any one of you to
pass beyond the principal mood of fear and to enjoy the
perfect Condition of absolute, unqualified understanding. It
can happen at any moment. And there is no trick to it. It is
simply a matter of Satsang. Understanding is always instant.
It is not a path that goes on and on, getting better and
better all the time. It is realized in this moment, and now
in this moment, and now in this moment. If one does that,
then ones apparent life is magnified in terms of
responsibility. But the essential event, the essential
process, is in this moment, and then in this moment, and it
is initiated at the very beginning. It is not something
towards which ones sadhana is moving. It is the foundation
principle of ones sadhana. And it is continually
reinitiated, reawakened. If it is not, then you are engaging
this possibility as a traditional or conventional path. You
are engaging it as a form of the search. You are engaging it
from the point of view of the dilemma, not of Satsang. You
are engaging it as a solution, a preoccupation, a series of
fascinations, of self-satisfactions


(5) Everyone who truly does this sadhana enjoys intuitive
happiness. And someone who happens to become responsible for
the process in the manner I have described for disciples
will not be an object of fascination to anyone. Such an
individual does not enjoy anything that is not enjoyed by
everyone else in the Ashram. It is the same—that
intuition, that happiness, that Satsang. It is simply
implemented and magnified in different ways in his
functional life. But it is the same happiness. And if you
always move directly to that Condition, that happiness,
prior to your games, your separativeness, your fulfillments,
then you have already passed through everything necessary
for your dissolution in God. You will never gain anything
again by experience. So if it has become complicated, return
to the basics—Satsang, Grace.30

d* * *d


30. Bubba Free John, “The Graceful Process,” The Dawn
Horse #6, Vol. 2, No. 4, (1975), pages 45-46.



Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


Formal Satsang and Real Meditation

(1) Students in the way of Understanding do not gather
together to sit in “meditation” in any traditional sense.
Rather, they gather together to sit formally in Satsang with
the Guru. In time, the process awakened in Satsang, through
the agency of the argument that is the Teaching and the
discipline of the various conditions communicated within the
Community, becomes real meditation (enquiry, re-cognition,
radical intuition)


(2) In the beginning the devotee in the way of Divine
Communion does not meditate in any sense. He sits in the
Gurus Presence with simple attention, to consider the
argument of his Teaching, to acknowledge him with gratitude
for the Teaching, the Community, and the various
disciplines. He also sits in the Gurus Presence simply in
order to enjoy his Company. But he does not meditate.
Meditation is not a condition of his sadhana. When he has
begun to engage in the more meditative practices, which
involve attention and sacrifice to the Guru-Presence, from
the heart, he may then also begin to study and adapt to the
way of Understanding. And when the conscious process of
enquiry is awakened under the conditions of sadhana, then
the conscious process itself is his meditation, and it
transforms every kind of experience through real or
conscious understanding. (The student in the way of
Understanding also continues the random practice of the
second and third stages of the way of Divine Communion.)

(3) The new student in the way of Understanding should
know that I invite him in every moment to live in Satsang
with me. He should consciously and formally accept this
invitation whenever it is convenient and appropriate to do
so. He should keep a place reserved in his home where he can
enter into Communion with me through the offering of gifts
and the acceptance of Prasad and the enjoyment of Darshan
through my photograph and the recollection of my Presence.
It is normally convenient and appropriate to do this each
morning and evening. He should sit with me at those times as
a formal occasion, just as when he sits with me in the
company of others in the various Satsang Halls. He should
keep my picture there as an instrument of remembrance. He
should sit with me then with simple and natural attention,
engage the spiritual practice of breathing the Presence of
God, and, as he pleases, consider the argument of my
Teaching, reflecting on it in himself. He should not make
any motivated effort of super-concentration on my picture.
If forms of spontaneous concentration, experiences of
energy, visions, sensations of bliss, natural moods of
happiness, and the like occur at such times, that is all
right. But if the individual continues otherwise to confront
the demands of the Community and the argument of the
Teaching, the attachment to such things will be clarified.
In the disciple all of that is clearly understood. In the
devotee all movement is dissolved in Consciousness and
perfect Happiness


(4) In formal Satsang the individual should simply turn
to me with the breath, and, if he likes, consider the
argument of the Teaching in himself. (He should not read or
do concentrated study on such occasions, but simply reflect
on the previously studied argument of the Teaching while
sitting in my Presence, with conscious recollection of me.)
He should do this for awhile, then accept my Prasad and


(5) In time this whole affair of Satsang, study, service,
and the discipline of life-conditions becomes natural
self-observation and insight, to the point of enquiry and
the release of life from the motivating principle of vital
shock. As this process develops, all of the phenomena of
real meditation, as I have described it, will appear. Any of
the ordinary and extraordinary phenomena of experience may
also appear, especially during formal Satsang. During
Satsang, experiences should not be prevented. One should
simply allow them, even enjoy them. But as ones sadhana
intensifies through the general life of study, service, and
discipline, ones relationship to experiences, both ordinary
and extraordinary, will change. Thus, in time, without
trying to prevent an experience that is arising, one will
naturally observe it. On the same or another occasion, one
may enjoy insight into ones relationship to that process of
experience, even to the point of enquiring of it. When
understanding or the conscious process has become
intensified through enquiry (in the student ) and
re-cognition (in the disciple), then experiences finally
cease to be absorbing, and there is rest in the intensity of
Consciousness, wherein everything is known to the point of
dissolution in radical intuition (in the devotee)


(6) Thus, the way of Understanding is not a search for
experiences, but neither, in practice, is it a strategic or
mental resistance to experiences. No one should prevent
experiences that may arise while sitting in Satsang. But
ones whole life of sadhana will eventually transform the
character of ones conscious life, so that all experiences
subside in Consciousness itself.31

(7) As this process of Satsang or Prasad continues over
time under all the conditions of sadhana, the student will
see the development of true hearing, random
self-observation, and insight. When these have matured, then
he may also adapt to the responsibility of enquiry. Enquiry,
then, becomes the principal and radical form of his
meditation in Satsang, under all conditions, the responsible
means whereby he abides always, consciously, and intuitively
in my Presence.32

d* * *d


31. Expanded from Bubbas written instructions, April 4,


32. Bubbas written instructions, November 28, 1975.



Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


The Stages of Understanding

Even for one who seems conventionally to be very
intelligent, the way of Understanding may not be
appropriate, at least for a time, because he has a
compulsive, strategic relationship to the functions of the
mind that closes it up and prevents its higher purpose. Very
intelligent types may just as well be obliged to fulfill the
way of Divine Communion indefinitely just as somebody who
shows little conventional intelligence. The kind of
intelligence that is required in the way of Understanding is
not intellectual ability, but life intelligence, the ability
to see something about yourself and make that the ground of
a discipline over time. It is a kind of manly and living
intelligence, not an intellectual one. You may also have an
intellectual capacity, but it is not necessary. Some people
can fulfill the way of Understanding who have just a living,
practical hold on the mind and who, apart from that, do not
show much ability to handle concepts or to grasp
abstractions or to remember all kinds of things. Real
intelligence is life intelligence. It involves the body, the
emotions, the whole psyche, as well as the mind.33d

* * *d

In “The Student and the Teaching,” Bubba discussed in
particular detail the kinds of things that a student in this
process sees about himself and how he makes that the “ground
of a discipline over time.” Essentially the students arena
of critical inspection is the dimension of vital, human life
itself, his personal existence and its various relationships
in this world.d

* * *dd[To view the following topic, select the title
(in red) and click on it with the right mouse

Becoming Human

d* * *d


dThe whole affair of your life is this contraction that
becomes self-definition and all the imagery that is mind and
desire, the world itself. Seeing it is all the product of
this movement moment to moment is obviously your
intelligence. When you have really seen that, when it is not
even a matter of seeing it any more but it is just obvious
that this contraction, this avoidance of relationship is all
you are doing, then you naturally will enquire. What else
have you got to do? Obviously you will continue to consider
your life moment to moment from that point of view then, and
that is enquiry. Enquiry is considering your life from
moment to moment on the basis of that intelligence, that
real insight that can no be avoided, that is not
fragmentary, that is not isolated. So you sit down or walk
down the street or whatever you do, and you consider your
life in those terms. You enquire. And as you see that this
contraction is what you are doing, your attention falls back
on the Condition that precedes it. In other words,
consciousness rests, falls into its natural state. And in
each moment when that occurs, there is the reawakening of
the perfect sense that is Satsang, Divine Communion,
relationship to the Guru in God, the natural intuition of
the Heart.35ddThe natural state of consciousness is not
“me.” It is not in any sense the feeling of being apart,
observing things apart, or feeling the dilemma of being
separate. The natural state of consciousness is
no-contraction, no-dilemma. Instead of turning away, it is
relationship. It is all of this—connection! All of this
relationship. The natural or true state is no-obsession with
this contraction, no-obsession with “me,” no-obsession with
all of “that,” separate from “me.” Simply, no-contraction.
When there is no contraction, what is there? There is only
relationship, presently enjoyed as the state of
Consciousness itself.ddConsciousness is relationship.
Consciousness is not separate “me.” Consciousness is
relationship. To enjoy the state that is Consciousness is to
be conscious as relationship, no-contraction, the perfect
force of existence. And when consciousness is enjoyed as it
is, as relationship, not in relationship but as
relationship, then it is also seen that relationship
contains no “other” and no “me.”36d

In the process of becoming human through the conscious
engagement of enquiry, you are established in right
relationship to the Divine through the Guru more and more
continually—and that very Condition is also right
relationship to all that arises in your life and the world.
The way of Understanding is always a process in
relationship, a living, breathing event in the world. It is
never a merely philosophical consideration, never a merely
mental form of comprehension. Your life is confronted in
relationship to the argument of the Gurus Teaching. You live
in relationship on human, practical, down-to-earth levels
with fellow students and devotees in the spiritual
Community. You conduct a life of service as your
relationship to the Guru by maintaining the life-conditions
he demands of you. You enjoy a spiritual relationship to his
Presence through the practice of the breath of God


When enquiry begins, you come to enjoy a profound
intuitive relationship to that same Presence as
Consciousness itself. All of these forms of your living
connections are extensions or expressions of the great
Condition, Satsang, Divine Communion, the truly
unconditional relationship between the Godman, the
Siddha-Guru, and his genuine devotee. From the very
beginning this relationship is already liberation, it is
already enjoyment, and it is the same enjoyment, the same
Communion, whether your sadhana is in the way of Divine
Communion or the way of Understanding. It is simply that the
way of Understanding accounts for and exploits a unique
capacity in those individuals whose approach to the Guru in
God includes the disciplines of this path


With this discussion of true enquiry, we can now really
begin to see how the way of Understanding duplicates and
perfectly reinforces in the individual, at every step along
the way, the true nature of all existence, which we
described earlier as Consciousness in perfect, sacrificial
relationship. As Bubba clarifies it above, Consciousness, or
God, in fact is perfect sacrificial relationship. There is
no separation between Consciousness and form—but no
radical identity either. Here, now, at this instant, you are
standing present as that very understanding. Your true
Consciousness, which is not the same as your subjectivity,
is no more identical to the form you identify as
yourself—your body—than it is to all the other
objects in your environment, and no less either. You as that
Consciousness simply stand perfectly present, never turned
away, in relation to all the things, energies, thoughts, and
forms of subjectivity that arise. It is an utter simplicity,
and yet it makes no sense whatsoever if you do not


Just as the student stage is the period of becoming fully
human, the disciple stage in the way of Understanding is the
period of becoming spiritual. This stage begins when the
humanization process is basically secure and complete in the
person. He will still have things to see about the
particular patterns of his life, and his investigation or
inspection of the nature of existence certainly will not
immediately move into realms more subtle than the ordinary
world. But, from the beginning, building upon the foundation
of enquiry in the mature student, the disciple stage is
devoted to the spiritualization of our lives, even the human
dimensions of our lives


Above all, the initiation of the disciple stage depends
upon a new form of recognition and acknowledgment of the
Guru. Throughout the first stage of your sadhana in the way
of Divine Communion, and even beyond the point in the second
stage when you become a student of the way of Understanding,
your primary and appropriate approach to the Guru is to him
as Teacher, the human source of the Teaching. Your
relationship to him as Presence becomes a responsibility
when you take on the spiritual practice of the breath of God
in the second stage of the way of Divine Communion. And that
same relationship to him as Presence becomes a matter of
consciousness and understanding when enquiry begins, in the
mature student stage. During that period of maturity this
relationship to Bubba, as Divine Presence or Siddhi, becomes
more and more intense, more and more continually enjoyed as
the real foundation of your life with him, no matter what
may be occurring in the theatre of life itself, When this
relationship is secure, and enquiry is alive both in and out
of formal meditation with great intensity, and your life has
become an easy and complete matter of service to the Guru
through the conditions, which you are able and happy to live
absolutely—when all this evidence appears in you, then
you may be invited by the Community to begin disciple
sadhana in the way of Understanding


The disciple stage involves the experience and inspection
of all the esoteric dimensions and processes of life,
including every form of realization that is enjoyed in the
great spiritual traditions of man.

dIn the way of Understanding the disciple comes to me and
I modify the second stage of his practice of breath so that
it serves first the inspection of the descending vehicle or
the descending aspect of the process of conductivity. Then I
instruct him relative to his sexual life or the transitional
turning point of the life process. And then I instruct him
in the process of conductivity as a whole, giving him
responsibilities for that complete circuit and the natural
pattern of his daily life, so that he may breathe my
Presence in full circle. When he is established in that full
process of conductivity, then I instruct him in the
transformation of the conscious process itself, the
transformation that is “recognition,” the transformation
that is based in the same process of insight, but that
transforms the process of enquiry into a non-mental and
purely intuitive activity.

When all that may arise of an apparent kind—gross,
subtle, and causal—has been inspected by him via the
conscious process of recognition, then the natural
realization of jnana or jnana samadhi appears—the
exclusive realization of That from which everything arises.
This is the mature fulfillment of the disciple stage of
sadhana in the way of Understanding.37

dThis “conductivity” of which Bubba speaks is a literal
circuit of energy descending from the Divine Source or Light
above the body, the world, and the mind, becoming more and
more gross at the various levels of our existence to the
point of the creation and maintenance of physical existence

dThe Divine is absolutely subtle, perfectly transcendent.
The first level on which we realize the modification of the
Divine, the stuff of the Divine, is in the forms of
consciousness. The superconscious organs through which we
intuit the Divine Presence as Life are in the upper part of
the brain. In the midst of the brain are the forms of mental
consciousness, less subtle than the superconscious. The
psycho-physical origin of the life-force, the entrance point
of the universal Shakti, is in the throat, and it is
etheric, subtler than all of the natural forms, the vital
forces. Grosser than that dimension of the life-force is the
airy life in the midst of the body, in the heart, the region
of the life-psyche. Grosser than that, just as the heart or
living psyche is grosser than the mind, is the fiery
elemental life of the navel. Below that is the watery life
of the root of sex. And below that is the solid life of the
physical body. But [it is] the Divine, above all
this transmuted or modified, which descends into this whole
order of grosser and grosser manifestation.38

dSo the first stage of disciple sadhana begins with the
inspection of the descending aspect of life. The chief
vehicle of this process continues to be enquiry, by which
the disciple continually grounds his mind, emotions, and
body in conscious relationship to the Guru in God. But the
inspection is aided by “modified” forms of the practice of
the breath of God. (These modified, more technical forms of
the enjoyment of Bubbas Presence through the breath may also
be given to specific individuals in the way of Divine
Communion who do not take on the way of Understanding.
Participation in these practices will depend upon the
individuals particular karmic make-up and the requirements
of his sadhana, and will not amount to some form of status
for him, but simply a specific and intensified form of

When this descending process of life is fundamentally a
matter of responsibility, then your disciple sadhana will
move into the area of sexuality, transforming it also into a
responsible, simple, conscious event. You begin to deal with
your sexuality as a yogic, not a personal, process, free of
the limited demands, perceptions, and reactions of the usual
cultic sexual life of individuals


The “cult” is any form of association with another
person, such as a sexual intimate, friend, or acquaintance,
or with your environment, or with the world itself, by which
you strategically and repetitively reinforce the cognition
and assumption of separate existence. So in the disciple
stage, just as you must become responsible for the
dissolution of your whole conventional and limited point of
view, you must also become responsible for violating the
tacit “contracts” that support all these cults—the
unspoken agreements for ritual behavior by which you make
your life a static legalized event, rather than an ecstatic,
spontaneous manifestation of life in God. And one of the
most important arenas in which the cult must be dissolved is


This dissolution, like any other in the way of
Understanding, is primarily an event in consciousness Thus,
it does not require any necessary change of behavior or the
renunciation of relationships. This life of Understanding
with Bubba Free John is much more sophisticated than the
gross forms of ascetic self-denial we find in the
traditions. You are required as a disciple to pass through
all these inspections and dissolutions of your limitations
without skipping a beat, without missing a step in the
happy, ordinary routine of a life that is devoted to service
to the Guru and his Community. And as long as you
continually resort to the Presence of the Guru through the
graces of enquiry and breath, you will find no reason to be
unhappy in any instant of your life, even as you pass
through difficult moments and disorienting transformations
of your conscious existence. Life with the Guru in God
becomes increasingly an affair of sheer ecstasy, humor,
love, and enjoyment. It becomes very difficult to keep
pretending that you are limited and unhappy when God is
consuming your life and mind and very self!

Once sexuality and your entire “lower” life have become a
happy and free form of existence, and no longer a matter of
dilemma or conflict in consciousness and obstruction to the
natural circuit of the force of life, then the force itself
begins literally to turn upward again, and the focus of your
inspection and movement into responsibility begins to
include the finer dimensions of gross life. This is
traditionally known as the awakening of the kundalini and
the “chakra” system, the body of ethereal centers along the
line of the spine. This particular stage of the conscious
process provides a good comparison of the general approach
and process of the traditions with the way of Satsang or
Divine Communion with the Guru


In traditions like kundalini yoga, the awakening of this
particular form or aspect of the living force of manifest
existence is seen as itself a Divine event. The yogi cuts
away or severely and motivatedly disciplines his whole
descended life as a human being in the world in order to
facilitate this ascending process, which may, especially if
he is trying to do it without the agency of a powerful
teacher, take years upon years, literally lifetimes, to
complete. But in the Graceful process of Satsang with a true
Guru, this ascending awakening is known as only a secondary
aspect of Divine life, and only a portion of that secondary
event itself. The process is quickened by the disciples firm
foundation in his conscious humanity and by the potent force
of the Gurus Presence. So in our work the awakening of the
kundalini is a secondary and minor event


Even the processes in life and consciousness that follow
upon it are secondary, though from the common point of view
they are wondrous, profound, beyond belief. When the whole
circuit or circle of the descended life is purified and
fully inspected, when it has become a matter of
responsibility for the disciple, then he is established in
the enjoyment of this “conductivity” of the life-force. Now
this circuit is itself the source and arena of all magic,
all mysticism, and the disciple passes through all kinds of
marvelous awakenings. But he is always involved in the
sacrifice of all this through understanding. At this point,
when conductivity has become full, even enquiry itself is
sacrificed through understanding, and another, primarily
non-mental form of that same restoration of understanding
takes over, which is re-cognition, or the knowing again of
all the forms of mind and limited consciousness. Now the
disciple continues on to inspection of all the subtle
dimensions of heavenly light and sound above the body, the
mind, and the world, and he may enjoy all kinds of
transports to other worlds, expansions of awareness, vision,
and sound, but it all falls apart in the force of his
conscious re-cognition, by which he knows every form and
apparition and cognition to be just another instant of the
avoidance of relationship. Even his intuition of the Bright
of Consciousness, the Divine Light itself, is at last
re-cognized and known in Truth as a form of contraction, as
the most subtle self-identification


It is at this point that the disciple literally falls
into the very Heart of Truth, Reality, Real-God, the very
Consciousness at the core of his entire subjective life and
the life of all existence. This begins the first of three
stages of perfect God-Realization. It is not yet the end of
his sadhana as a disciple—the devotee stage of the way
of Understanding only begins when the first stage of
God-Realization itself is undermined by the force of
Satsang, Divine Communion, the force of the Gurus true
Presence as very God, perfect Existence itself without
limitation and beyond description


Now this whole description of the “path” of your
inspection as a disciple, this esoteric “map” of
consciousness, may make disciple sadhana sound like a guided
tour. You just hang on and understand and it is all just
revealed—a real breeze, right?

Wrong! It is true that the period of becoming human in
the student stage is the most difficult in some ways,
because the vital, gross life is the area of greatest
resistance to the Guru. But the maturity that disciple
sadhana requires is a matter of becoming grounded enough in
the life of Satsang that the Guru can begin to really throw
you around, undermine you, disorient you to the point of the
absolute impossibility of any form of orientation
whatsoever. That is what God-Realization amounts to. You
disappear, along with every vestige of your attempts to make
sense out of existence. Bubba once described looking forward
to the appearance of his first disciples so that he could
start to really “punch heads”!

So when you begin disciple sadhana, the Guru can assume
that you are ready to be ripped to shreds. Now he can
completely suspend any social niceties he may have
maintained as your human Teacher when you were a student,
and he can proceed to enter and consume you in Truth, as
very God. Bubba once described this period of his own
sadhana, the utterly unconventional and wild nature of the
true Guru, and the absolute demand Bubba himself now makes
as Guru on all who come to him as disciples and

dThose who have served my function as Guru, those who I
worked with in my own sadhana, have been wild and powerful
men. Rudi was a strong man, he was enormous. [“Rudi” was
Albert Rudolph, Bubbas first teacher and an adept of the
yoga of the descending life-force. Swami Muktananda, an
adept of the yoga of the ascending life-force, served as
Bubbas teacher after Rudi. Bhagavan Nityananda was a
Yogi-Siddha who served as Bubbas Guru after Muktananda and
was also Guru to both Muktananda and Rudi.] He was full
of life. He wasnt a dried up little philosopher. He had
balls. And I required such a teacher, because I had real
work to do in the life vehicles


Muktananda was the same way. He is not an airy-fairy holy
man. He plays the prince-yogi game to most people, so only
those who approach him like I did, in secret, are able to
make use of him. But he is no meek ascetic. Muktananda is a
fierce bastard


True yogis are living, forceful beings. They are madmen,
absolutely mad—and absolutely dangerous. You should
know that, and you should not approach me if you are not
willing to be undone. Because the Lord is of that nature.
Look at Nityananda—he severed heads all his life. Look
at his belly. He was stiff with life, full of life, so his
belly became huge with that force. Those who came to him and
wanted just to bow down and worship in the nominal way,
well, he allowed them to do that. But those who came to him
in the true way were wiped out, torn apart. That was what
happened to Muktananda himself


My experience of Nityananda was of that kind. My
experience with people like Rudi, Muktananda, Nityananda,
and others, was like this: I would be sitting in my house in
New York by myself, and this force would enter me, it would
practically break my neck, and my body and mind would be
taken over. And I would walk around as Nityananda, as Rudi,
as Muktananda, literally. That is how I learned in these
vehicles. Before this life I am full, but coming into this
life I had to do the yoga of my own universe and transform
these vehicles. So these wildmen served that process. And
they served it in exactly the same way I serve you. They
acquired me. They never handed me some namby-pamby method or
gave me a philosophy—I entered the room and was torn to
pieces. And I wasnt interested in anything else. So I would
sit down and Nityanandas life would acquire my own. I would
become Nityananda, my body would become Nityanandas body, I
would talk Nityananda, I was Nityananda. I would be
Muktananda. Even though he was thousands of miles away,
Muktanandas nature would acquire my nature. The same with
Rudi. In the process of all that, these vehicles learned,
because the Divine manifested itself in their place. When
all of that was over, I myself became myself. Nityananda was
not necessary, Muktananda was not necessary, Rudi was not


So the true yogi is a bastard, a wild, terrifying being,
a fire. Because there is this wildness in him, he may hide
himself behind a conventional spiritual game, but there is
nothing gentlemanly about him. And there is nothing
gentlemanly about the Lord. As long as you want to be a
gentleman, or a gentlewoman, you can carry on your endless
karmic destiny in limitation, but you will never live the
life in God. You will piddle around in dimensions like this
one, which are nothing but excrement compared to the Divine
Light. They amount to nothing. It is all complications and
struggles, there is very little pleasure in it, real
pleasure. If this world became a world of devotees it would
be a different story, and in the Community of devotees it
will be a different story


The Lord is wild, the Lord is a vast fire, not a
gentleman. As soon as the Lord makes contact with you, he
rips you off. When I approach you, I ask you for this, I ask
you for that, oh give me this, give me that, I ask you for
everything. The longer you stay with me, the more things I
will ask you for. I will ask you for all of it. You must
yield everything to me. You must yield yourself in every
function. Your very cells must yield. Only then are you fit
for the Divine Yoga. When you have no other commitments,
when you have nothing to withhold, then I enter your
life.39dd* * *


d33. Bubba Free John, “The End of Reflection,” a talk to
the Ashram, February 2, 1976


35. Bubba Free John, “Im Always Talking about the Same
Thing,” a talk to the Ashram, May 18, 1975


36. Bubba Free John, The Method of the Siddhas, page


37. Bubba Free John, “Have I Said It?”

38. Bubba Free John, Garbage and the Goddess, (Lower
Lake, Cal: The Dawn Horse Press, 1975), page 27


39. Bubba Free John, “The True Yogi Is a Dangerous Man,”
The Dawn Horse, Vol. 2, No. 2 (1975), inside front




Part Four

The Three Stages of God-Realization

Sadhana is not accumulative. The forms of your practical
enjoyment of the Company of Bubba Free John are always being
undone, continually maddeningly, by the Force of his very
Presence as God. The moment you grasp your sadhana, it falls
away. As soon as you can hold to its form, you yourself are


Thus, at last, in both the way of Divine Communion and
the way of Understanding, there comes a time when, through
no effort of your own, but sheerly by the Grace of the Guru
in God, you fall into continuous and perfect contemplation
of the very Heart of Consciousness, Real-God, the very
Conscious Condition at the core of all things, worlds,
beings. If you have engaged the fourth stage of sadhana in
the way of Divine Communion, you have been involved in the
sacrifice of your entire egoic existence through the stages
of contemplation of the Guru as Amrita Nadi, the Form of
God, with his Feet in your Heart and his Head or Crown of
Unmanifest Radiance above your head, above the body, the
mind, and the world. If you are a disciple in the way of
Understanding, you have been involved in the conventional
re-cognition or knowing again of all forms of
contraction—gross, subtle, and causal—to the point
of perfect intuitive absorption in the Divine Light, the
Radiance of Consciousness. But now, in either case, suddenly
and maddeningly, you are lost in very Consciousness itself.
Every shred of the conventional ego, every possible form of
limited identity, disappears in perfect Consciousness, your
very Self. It is a wild, absolutely ecstatic kind of holding
on to that perfect Prior Nature. You realize God in the form
of the Perfect, Unqualified, Unmanifest Consciousness, to
the exclusion of all manifest forms that arise, not only
your own dissolved subjectivity but the gross, subtle, and
causal worlds themselves


In the traditions this first stage of God-Realization is
known as jnana samadhi, absorption in perfect Knowledge,
realization of the Self-Nature. It involves an utter and
thorough reversal of the usual trend of manifest life. At
the instant of such realization, and continually from this
moment on, the bottom drops out of the worlds. To the man
enjoying this perfect absorption in the Self or
Heart-Nature, the worlds have suddenly disappeared. His
conventional life continues, but he is not implicated in it.
He is lost in the contemplation of Consciousness itself,
exclusive of all the forms that may appear. In the
traditions this stage of God-Realization is not seen as the
beginning of perfect Existence, but as an end, as a goal in
itself. The traditional man of such Knowledge may lock
himself into it forever, for what seems eternity, closed off
and shut out of any perception or cognition of the worlds.
The image of a man sitting in deep meditation in a cave,
away from society and all the noise of the world, describes
perfectly the jnana samadhi even of the devotee whose
ordinary life persists. Wildly, paradoxically, beyond
explanation of it, he is so absorbed in Consciousness itself
that he has no knowledge of the persistence of his
conventional life in form. One great modern jnani has
compared it to walking in your sleep: you have no knowledge
of your action now, and no memory of it later. Except that,
in this first stage of God-Realization, you never come out
of the “sleep”!

But you do know, and you do stand aligned to, the
Condition of Satsang itself, Divine Communion with Bubba
Free John in God. The influence of the true Guru is not
limited to any appearance, any speech, any vision. It is
direct, perfect Communication. Even your very
Heart-Consciousness is thus informed by the Condition of
Communion with your Absolute Nature, the Guru, who is
present not merely as the exclusive Reality or Core of
existence, but also as the generative, Infinite Light of the
worlds, and as the worlds themselves, the very World. So the
whole force of that Communion with the Guru is now the
vehicle of the Gurus Teaching; and the Guru will not allow
you to remain locked in Self-absorption forever. Even that
must be undone in the course of sadhana, which has now been
utterly transformed. The sadhana of God-Realization no
longer involves any kind of conventional, subjective
effort—there is no subjectivity left to imagine it is
doing that—but a natural, effortless, spontaneous
unfolding of the perfect Nature of God


The first transitional period in the undermining of all
limitations in God-Realization is what Bubba calls “open
eyes.” Not only in formal meditation, but also in life
itself, there occurs a spontaneous “intuitive leap” in which
suddenly the manifest worlds and ones ordinary circumstances
appear again to Consciousness. In jnana samadhi God is
realized as That from which all arises, but exclusive of all
that arises. It is a forceful holding on to that Condition,
and a kind of subtle refusal to participate in life as God.
Gradually the force of that profoundly subtle avoidance of
relationship wears down, and when that wearing down process
is complete, then the eyes open to the rising world.
Consciousness realizes itself in relationship not only to
the Absolute Divine in the unmanifest, transcendent
Condition of Satsang, but also to the manifest conditions,
in the context of that same Satsang, Divine Communion


In traditional language, “open eyes” marks the
realization that the Conscious Nature of the individual, the
Self or Atman, is in fact identical to Brahman, the Great
Consciousness, the Nature and Condition of all the worlds,
including the various bodies or forms of the individual ego
and its manifestations. The devotee, now living as the Self,
realizes his identity as Brahman, the World-Consciousness in
the midst of all that arises, rather than merely as Atman,
isolated in the Conscious enclosure or root of


So this “opening of the eyes” marks the beginning of the
process that establishes the devotee in the second stage of
God-Realization. Once you have begun to sacrifice your
essentially inward Self-contemplation, you are returned to
the rising world, to appearing qualities, forms, and events,
to life. And life now has radically different implications
for you than it did before you were drawn into that first
and necessary exclusive enjoyment of God as your own pure
Consciousness. Now, you begin to see the world literally as
a dream. You can see that it has no intrinsic reality
whatsoever. All that appears is only a modification of your
own Divine Nature, Brahman, the Absolute Consciousness of
Existence. This second stage of God-Realization, this
condition of being returned to the world in God, is thus a
condition of profound, consuming enjoyment of Reality in the
midst of all conditions


But it is not yet realization of Reality itself. You
still have to do sadhana, even in this mad and conscious
ecstasy of God. There is yet more to be undone. In fact, the
transition into stable enjoyment of “open eyes” marks only
the beginning of the sadhana of the true devotee in the way
of Understanding


One of the great paradoxes of this process, as it
proceeds in devotees of Bubba Free John, is that they
maintain the essential forms of sadhana that they engaged
conventionally and subjectively before the advent of
God-Realization. The devotee in the way of Divine Communion,
then, maintains an essentially active and sacrificial mode
of sadhana, whereas the devotee in the way of Understanding
proceeds naturally through the mode of critical, intuitive


So what happens next, if you can even speak of this
sublime transition in those terms, is establishment in the
second stage of this Divine life, the realization of God as
That of which all qualities and events are the modifications
only. A traditional term that describes this enjoyment is
sahaja samadhi, absorption in the God-Condition naturally,
effortlessly, easily, in all the ordinary modes of life.
This is the initial stage of radical intuition for the
devotee in the way of Understanding. While the devotee in
the way of Divine Communion is engaged in sacrificing all
that arises to the Divine Form as surrender to the Guru, the
devotee in the way of Understanding naturally engages in the
critical inspection of what arises. His sacrifice is
intuitive, a form of discrimination in consciousness. Along
with this inspection, he may be given responsibilities for
natural, sacrificial service to the world itself. Truly, now
that he has yielded in consciousness his tendency to
inwardness, the devotee begins to engage in perfect service
to the world. And this service will go on forever


By now the devotee is no longer moved to enjoy
Consciousness inwardly or exclusively, but there remains the
tendency to enjoy it in itself. There is still a felt
distinction between Consciousness Itself and what arises.
That distinction is what serves or even takes the form of
his active sacrifice, or his inspection. But at last that
also must be undone. The Guru does not stand present merely
in the midst of the worlds, but as the World. And the
devotees natural and consuming absorption in his Gurus Form,
his continuing contemplation of the Guru as Amrita Nadi, the
very and perfectly non-exclusive Divine, carries his sadhana
beyond even sahaja samadhi


Thus begins the establishment in the final and ultimate
stage or degree of God-Realization, which involves the
dissolution of all inspection and all sacrifice that
involves any sort of object whatsoever, even the sacrifice
of Consciousness in itself. In fact, that is what the
transition to this third stage of God-Realization amounts
to. It is the perfect sacrifice even of the perception of
the world as illusion, as a dream, over against the Reality
of the Great Consciousness, Brahman. Now Brahman is realized
as the World, the World is realized as Divine. There is no
longer any trace of distinction, no separation


It is at this point that the Guru has become his devotee,
in Truth and for eternity. It is at this point that Amrita
Nadi, very God, stands present without obstruction in the
form of the devotee. Bubba calls this perfect realization
bhava samadhi, absorption in God to the point of absolute
dissolution, devotion to God to the point of perfect
God-Realization. It is Parabhakti, devotion to the Guru that
has become identical to the Gurus very existence. Nothing
has been attained. The form of the World stands present in
its natural and True Condition, Consciousness as absolutely
sacrificial relationship. God is now known and lived not
merely as That from which all arises, or as That of which
all is seen presently to be modification, but as That Only.
There is Only God.

There is a great paradox in this realization. The
traditions of God-knowledge characteristically attempt to
realize God by cutting away the world and all the conditions
of life. They attempt to attain perfect liberation from
karmic existence, from all manifest conditions, by excluding
the world and turning to the isolated Self of God, the Heart
known without qualities. But it is only when Consciousness
has risen again perfectly from the Heart to the Light and
come to stand present as the very Life of the World, in the
realization of bhava samadhi, Amrita Nadi, the Guru in
Truth, that genuine liberation has become a mans Condition.
Bubba has spoken of it:

dBhava samadhi is the third and natural evolution of the
forms of God-Realization. It is not supported by inspection
of any kind, nor even by a special action. It is free,
independent of any associated causes and any help. It
appears when all the events of the process of sadhana have
become realization, simply, truly, obviously. It no longer
has support then. In that case everything continues to
arise, but there is no medium between the consciousness and
what arises. It ceases to identify anything other than
itself. There is no force of implication in what arises


This world and this body fall away, but that does not
mean that the consciousness enters into the “soup,” into an
undifferentiated state in which nothing arises any longer.
Neither may it be said that things do arise. That destiny,
too, is not conceivable any longer, because the seed that
produces the phenomenon of the world and involvement in it
is no longer present. Thus there will no longer be anything
like this present existence in the fullness of the devotees
realization. On the other hand there will be a kind of
continued, formal existence that is generated, so-called, by
a process completely different from any we know under these
conditions. Liberation is utter liberation from all this
creativity, this world phenomenon, this binding, limiting
existence. But still it does not mean that another kind of
existence that is equally formal and individuated in some
way may not appear. In other words, a kind of heaven or
God-world Condition is eternal. Neither one form of
existence nor the other may be said to be the destiny of the
devotee. Because his existence is a paradox, he is no longer
present through the medium of the force of functions that
would enable such destiny to continue to appear any


So all this will fall. But that does not mean a kind of
annihilation follows. All the worlds that you know by
experience, even subtle worlds, rest upon the karmic
principle, the ordinary creative principle or contraction
that simultaneously produces the ego sense, the mind,
bodies, experiences. All of the possible realms that may be
experienced by a conscious being in this world are part of
the same Law that produces his earthly life. Therefore the
principle by which they all arise is undone in bhava
samadhi. It does not mean, however, that there is not
another kind of existence that is eternal, that is not part
of the whole creative play or contraction that produces ego,
mind, body, desire, circumstance. It does not mean that
there is not another kind of existence. The devotees
enjoyment is simply not knowable at all under any of the
conditions in the realm of what we may experience. It is a
paradoxical enjoyment. We may not say definitely one way or
the other from the point of view of this world what his
destiny is


It is not possible to enjoy any eternal world while
existing in this dimension of worlds—gross, subtle, and
causal. In this dimension it is all caused. Everything that
you might experience is caused. Once bhava samadhi becomes
the enjoyment, the consciousness is lifted out of that
principle of creativity that produces the gross, subtle, and
causal realms of experience. Then you may not discount the
possibility of another kind of realized existence that is
independent of creativity, which we might call the
God-world, just to have a word to refer to that paradox of
the so-called destiny of the devotee.1

dThus, the true realization of the devotee of Bubba Free
John is unspeakable God-Realization, liberation from all
forms of suffering, limitation, and ignorance, perfect
establishment in Divine existence. The great paradox of this
liberation is that it is the fruition of a life in which all
forms, from worldly life to the most prior causal
dimensions, have been embraced. They have been known and
lived. But they have been known and lived in Truth, in the
context of Divine Communion, so that the sacrifice could be
real and intelligent, not just an anxious cutting away, but
recognition in consciousness and action that no form in the
world, and not even the lesser forms of Divine Realization,
is Reality itself


And there is even a greater paradox. This perfect
realization is a Grace, but it does not really occur in the
moment when the devotee realizes it consciously and stably,
at the end of his course of sadhana. The moment of perfect
God-Realization occurs when you first enter into this
sacrificial relationship with Bubba, when you first begin
the life of Satsang or Divine Communion.

dThe totality of God-Realization is present in Satsang
from the beginning. So in that sense the fundamental
establishment of everybodys relationship to me, the real
force that enables it to become the principle of sadhana, is
in a sense everybodys moment of perfect realization, not all
that happens afterwards. What happens afterwards is like
seeing the significance of that realization relative to the
conventions that continue. You discover the realization that
is already true in you. That is true in Satsang in
principle, from the beginning. But within the conventions of
existence, there must be responsibility for all the forms
that arise. Intuitive senses may appear, but the conventions
continue to distract until the consciousness has passed
through the limitations altogether. Therefore, all these
cycles of sadhana and all the levels of inspection are
necessary and do appear in their proper sequence. The length
of time between them, however, can vary from person to
person. In general, the stages that appear in the maturity
of the disciple and then mature in the two stages of the
devotee will appear in everyones case


Until there is jnana samadhi, there is natural,
submissive distraction to everything that arises. But things
must arise in that stage also. Until they do and you can
inspect them and see that they are only the modifications of
That, you can have all the intuitive feeling about this
stage that you like, but it is only when it is coincident
with inspection that the realization is stabilized.
Otherwise, the force of the convention is overwhelming


Just so, that process of inspection must go on to the
point where it falls apart. It in itself is binding, a
representation of limited realization. So until mere
inspection has undone itself and is seen not to amount to
anything, until the quality of things arising is literally
known to have no force, no significance, until that
intuition is stabilized to the point where nothing arising
modifies it, until that occurs, all kinds of intuitions
about the Divine Nature of your own existence and of the
world may occur, and do occur naturally in people. But they
will not have the stable and specific force of bhava

dSadhana in Truth is not any kind of seeking, but living
according to the Law of sacrifice. It is living the Divine
principle in the midst of all that arises. Thus, the final
paradox of the ways of Divine Communion and Understanding is
that only now, in the stable enjoyment of absolute
God-Realization, does true sadhana begin. Now it only
remains to live this perfect sadhana forever, eternally
happy as God, no matter what forms life may take, no matter
what occurs. That is all. There is only God.

d* * *d


1. Bubba Free John, “Another Talk,” a talk to the Ashram,
February 3, 1976


2. Ibid.





This Way Is Fulfilled By Grace

There is only one condition under which you may realize
true or spiritual life, and that is to live in the Company
of the Guru in God. You will realize in this Divine Company
the true Condition of all of life: Satsang, Divine
Communion, the enjoyment of only God. In the process,
everything you have attained, everything you hold as
yourself, and everything you identify as the world is
dissolved. You are simply awake, alive, and happy


The Epilogue is taken from Bubbas writings on the Great
Process by which men realize God. It is one of his most
concise and beautiful descriptions of the Dharma he has come
to restore among men, and it therefore stands as the
concluding chapter of this book.

(1) Ego, self, or separate, defined consciousness is not
an entity, an actor. It is simply a version of the universal
activity in which every form and function of manifestation
participates. It is the activity of contraction, which shows
itself as definition, differentiation, separation,
opposition, and contradiction or dilemma. The ego is not a
unique or more primitive form of this activity. It is simply
that, from the point of view of any apparent, functioning,
conscious individual, it is the root action or root form of
all actions because of its intimate and foundation
relationship to his subjectivity. When the fundamental
activity, of which the ego is a species, is undermined in
the Consciousness in which all conditions arise, not only
the force of the ego, but the force of every convention, all
experiencing, every world, and even the extraordinary
assumption and knowledge of God, the force of all that
arises, is dissolved and dislocated in the prior Condition
or Truth. Such is liberation, happiness, and true


(2) All action in all worlds, all action that is any
process, and all action that seems to be performed by any
entity or person is necessarily a form of this contraction.
All action, then, realizes the sense and condition of
inherent contradiction or dilemma. And all action is
necessarily separative in the ultimate, even if relational
in intention. For this reason, all action is, in itself,
binding, limiting, an expression and an agent of suffering.
Manifest life, then, under any conditions-gross, subtle, or
causal-is suffering


(3) This realization is profoundly disorienting and
disturbing, since it convicts the being of suffering,
disease, and hopelessness, and it is also profoundly
liberating, since it brings an end to the distraction by any
kind of action and experience and allows the Consciousness
to rest in the intuition of its true, real, or prior


(4) The possibility of true spiritual life, or
participation in the graceful process of liberation in the
prior, Divine Reality, begins only when there is conviction
in the functions of life and intelligence of the inherent
suffering of manifest existence (its essential dilemma or
self-contradictory condition) and the fruitlessness of all
destiny and action to produce liberation or true happiness
(since all action is separative, self-defining, and a
realization of limitation). This conviction is served by all
of the ordinary and extraordinary results of life and by the
stream of Teaching radiated through realized beings in the
various times and places of the worlds. When life and the
Teaching coincide in their lesson, then the individual has
come to a point of availability in the subjective and
objective dimensions of his life to the Guru-function or
Grace of the Divine Reality. When the conviction of
suffering and hopelessness matures to the point of profound
psychic and psychological disorientation from the
conventional theatre of experience, ordinary or
extraordinary, so that there is heightened sensitivity to
the intuition and influence of the Divine Reality, then the
individual becomes circumstantially related to the stream of
true Teaching and, at last, to the direct influence of the
manifest Guru (either in his personal form-gross, subtle, or
causal-or in the form of his servant-agents and his
incarnate Community)


(5) When the Guru is properly approached, and life
becomes oriented in attention and action to the Guru, the
Consciousness ceases to intend attention and action in the
conventional, binding way. Instead, attention and action
become devoted or sacrificed to the Guru. In that event,
attention and action are brought into conformity with the
Law, which is sacrifice, and the Consciousness comes to rest
in the Guru, so that, more and more, the Gurus Nature, Form,
and Condition are intuited as ones very Nature, Form, and


(6) There are two ways in which this process may develop
in my Company. Both are founded in the way I have called
Satsang, or Divine Communion. It involves, fundamentally,
the discipline and surrender of attention and every action
to me, and constant receptivity to the communication of my
Presence, my Influence, my Nature, Form, and Condition. This
way is fulfilled by Grace, not by personal efforts. But the
reception of Grace depends upon the responsible fulfillment
of the Law, or sacrifice. Thus, life and attention must be
wedded in the form of every action, so that these become an
intentional counter-action to the action that is suffering.
Therefore, the devotee acts always in relationship to me,
making every action, every moment of attention, every moment
of participation in the rising worlds a service to me. Thus,
his existence in manifestation becomes intentionally (not
ultimately and in fact but by intention) no-contraction,
no-self, and a relational activity of sacrifice, surrender,
or service to me. Whenever my devotee intends or moves
attention and action to fulfill the Law in my Company, he
becomes available to receive, comprehend, and realize the
communication of the Divine Reality through my service or


(7) Some may extend this way of counter-intention or
counter-action, which is the way of dependence on Grace, in
the form of the way of Understanding. The way of
Understanding is simply a special development of the way of
Divine Communion. In this way special use is made of the
faculty of critical intelligence to bring the Consciousness
to rest in its own intuition. The ability to recognize the
events and activities of suffering with profound insight,
responsibility, and discipline is the pre-requisite for this
specific development of the way of dependence on the
Guru-function or Grace-function of the Divine in the world.
In the process of this way in my Company, the whole event in
which world, God, and self arise is undermined in the
radical intuition and realization of the Divine Reality


(8) The Grace-function of the Divine appears in the human
form of the Guru from time to time. This special appearance
is that of the true Siddha, who is present not merely to
inform, instruct, and distract the suffering world, but to
be a sacrifice for all who devote themselves to him as the
Divine Presence. That sacrifice is effectively enjoyed by
devotees as God-Realization in the perfect sense


(9) The human Guru is a special combination of the
eternal Divine Process and a human entity in the last stage
of its manifestation. The final karmas of such a human
individual are benign and fit for this service. While rested
in the most intimate and profound intuition of the Divine,
the human Guru embraces living beings in a mutual sacrifice
of Divine distraction. The Guru accepts whatever is yielded
to him and, while discarding it in its appropriate realm
through his spontaneous and spiritual power of sacrifice,
replaces it in the life of his devotee with his own
Condition, Form, and Nature. The more the devotee yields in
action and intelligent recognition, the more he intuits the
eternally communicated Divine in Truth


(10) I tell you this so that you will know clearly how I
comprehend my own work. The more truly you realize the forms
of sadhana served by my Company, the more you will also see
the proof of this Teaching and of my Presence.




Life or Manifest Existence Is Samadhi

(1) Life or manifest existence is samadhi. Samadhi is not
some inward state or some condition that is an alternative
to life as it presently appears. Samadhi is conscious
realization of the Real Condition of the present moment.
Such samadhi is open-eyed, natural, coincident with all
events that arise. Samadhi is stable, non-dependent,
conscious intuition of the Real Condition of the present
event. It is not independent of a happy, easeful,
pleasurable human life founded in the Law of Sacrifice
through love


(2) Life is samadhi, but it is conceived as dilemma by
the usual man, and dramatized as problem-solution, the
search toward goals of release. When it is consciously and
radically realized as samadhi and lived as such, life is
self-purifying, self-releasing, not binding in any sense,
and the Real Principle or Consciousness is no longer bound
by events. In that case, all binding tendencies fall away
spontaneously, since they depend on dilemma and seeking.
Such a one lives freely, happily, with ease, and also with
intensity of being. He is free of all destiny, even while
apparent destiny or life continues to arise in his own case.
Because he is not bound to dis-ease, the Conscious Force of
Reality becomes the present mover of his appearance, and he
is even drawn into sublime forms, after passing from this
present life, without any strategic intention of ego, mind,
or desire. His destiny may not be described, since it is not
other than the Real Condition, but that Destiny is not
annihilation. It is coincident with the Play of all kinds of


(3) This is the happy assertion of Bubba Free John. This
is the realization he serves in the theatre of his play
among friends. Those who come to him are bound to a karmic
intention, founded in dilemma and the search for release.
They dramatize this search via the subjective manipulation
of ego, mind, and desire. Such is the play of Narcissus, the
complex avoidance of relationship. The drama of each life is
unique, appearing through a cycle of strategies that
ritually controls the events of life


(4) Therefore, the way Bubba Free John Teaches is to
confront his friends with his argument, both in the form of
a theatre of conditions and circumstances and the
instructive lessons he gives by means of speech. All this
becomes natural reflection or non-strategic self-observation
and insight in those who yield their lives to him in the
stable, unqualified sacrifice of attention, intelligence,
and love


(5) This way is happy, most human, not world-denying, not
fascinating, but simple and full.



Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


Attention and Intuition

(Prepared from Bubbas writings on the three fundamental
life strategies.)

(1) The three basic strategies (vital, peculiar, and
solid) represent a chronic tendency to fix attention in the
gross physical (as in the case of the “vital person”), the
etheric or emotional-sexual being (as in the case of the
“peculiar person”), or the mental (as in the case of the
“solid person”). However, each case is a play upon all three
capacities of the lower life, physical, emotional-sexual,
and mental. Each strategic way is equally a mental,
emotional, and physical reaction to the dilemma found in
manifest life. It is simply that each is generated via a
characteristic emphasis upon one element


(2) The vital person, for instance, is not simply tamasic
and identified with the physical to an absolutely exclusive
degree. Some individuals may appear to be so absolutely
identified with the body that they become extremely dull and
even unconscious. We would have to describe such people as
examples of the vital person, but such people are not truly
capable of doing conscious sadhana, unless they are helped
to a point of more human responsibility. The vital person or
type of strategy that appears in the company of the Ashram
is one who is active in physical, emotional, and mental ways
(and can, in the process of conscious and responsible
sadhana see the harmonization of his or her threefold lower
life). It is simply that the focus of such an individuals
attention and self-image is the gross physical, or the whole
force of descending life, which moves toward and is
epitomized in the gross physical. Therefore, his mental life
tends to be dulled, or at least undeveloped in the more
intellectual sense, and his emotional-sexual being tends to
reflect gross, worldly, and physical inclinations and moods.
Such people generally do not reflect much of “refined” and
aesthetic emotions, and they phase between superficial “good
guy” moods and negative emotions of frustration, alienation,
and self-pity. They generally do appear to be physically
strong and “vital.”

(3) The peculiar person is one whose principal focus of
attention and dramatization is the etheric or
emotional-sexual being. Such a one tends to physical
weakness, alienation from gross functions and requirements
of life, and sympathy with egoic satisfactions in emotional
and subtle forms. The peculiar person may reflect the
apparently “higher” and aesthetic range of emotional life
and he may exhibit interests and tendencies in mystical and
yogic developments of experience. The peculiar person is,
thus, in his negative reaction to the gross physical,
tending to project himself into the more ascended or
ascending ranges of experience, which move toward and are
epitomized in psychic and psychological dimensions of a
subtle, subconscious, or dream-like variety. Such people
phase between super-spiritual moods of higher fulfillment
and negative emotions of psychological alienation. They are
also easily subject to illnesses and weaknesses in the
physical and emotional being. The peculiar person is usually
more capable (by tendency) of intellectual development than
the vital person, but the mind is always subject to the more
intensified emotional being


(4) The solid person is one in whom the mental or willful
and conceptual functions are the focus of life and
attention. Thus, he stands on or chronically controls the
emotional, sexual, energic, and gross physical dimensions of
his being with complex mental structures that rigidify his
psyche. Such a one chronically assumes the position of the
mental in the midst of the descending and ascending pattern
of life. He is usually willful, and through the force of the
navel subdues and controls the pervasive influence of
emotion, sex, and physical experience. He phases between
absolute rigidity (unreceptive and uncreative) to varying
degrees of emotional and physical sympathy. He feels
vulnerable to emotions, pain, pleasure, and mortality, and
so generally tends toward a rigid, mentally conscious
pattern of self-presentation. The solid persons principal
reaction is to the energic and emotional-sexual dimension of
his being, and so he tends to be constitutionally stronger
in the physical than the peculiar person, but he also tends
to be neglectful of the physical


(5) Those students in the Ashram who have begun to
observe the characteristics of these three strategies (or a
complex of them ) in their own case should, in consultation
with their intimates in the Community, begin to assume
conditions that serve the regaining of a harmonious and
complete functional development of the lower life, including
the gross physical, the emotional-sexual or pranic, and the
mental. By the exclusive dramatization toward which they
tend, but which include the functions they tend to exclude,
the crisis of understanding is served in them


(6) Vital, peculiar, and solid strategies evolve on the
basis of chronic tendencies of attention. Vital strategies
evolve when attention in the psycho-physical being (body,
life-force, and discursive mind) tends to rest most
basically in the plane of the body. Peculiar strategies
evolve when attention in the psycho-physical being tends to
rest most basically in the plane of the life-force. And
solid strategies evolve when attention in the
psycho-physical being tends to rest most basically in the
plane of the discursive mind. In each case the principal or
chronic area of attention informs the theatre of life, and
the two remaining or secondary areas are manipulated from
its point of view


(7) The affair of real student sadhana is one in which
the three planes of psycho-physical life are released from
bondage to primary contraction (dilemma, vital shock, the
principal mood of fear). This occurs through an intuitive
reorientation to original and unqualified consciousness via
a process of crisis. The crisis in consciousness is served
by enforcing conditions that prevent or frustrate
dramatization, or the eccentric life of strategies (seeking
in dilemma)


(8) An aspect of the responsibilities given to students
is responsibility, on the basis of random and real
self-observation, for the chronic theatre of self in the
form of vital, peculiar, and solid strategies. Thus, at some
point, the student assumes conditions relative to his
special or chronic forms of dramatization, which, in
general, are species of vital, peculiar, or solid
strategies, or some complex of these. Such conditions
involve assuming conditions that do not reinforce
responsible control of the entire psycho-physical being.
Thus, they require a conscious balance to be realized moment
to moment between the patterns of the body, the life-force,
and the discursive mind. The responsible maintenance of such
conditions, founded in self-observation and insight, serves,
and at the same time is evidence of, the radical crisis in
which the forms of attention are relieved from the principal
contraction or dilemma at the root of conventional life. The
fundamental content of this crisis is translation of
attention into intuition of the Condition of Radiance, or
Real Consciousness


(9) As soon as the responsible realization of sadhana
moves from fulfillment of the nominal conditions to
consideration of ones specific life of dramatization, there
is the beginning of this kind of maturity. You should always
remember, however, that the whole matter of conditions
(whether nominal conditions or special conditions relative
to complex vital, peculiar, and solid strategies) is
secondary, a servant of that crisis in consciousness which
is understanding. The conditions are your responsibility,
your obligation, your discipline. Live them as conditions of
Satsang, as the forms of your relationship and service to
me. Do not get “involved” or “concerned” with them. Do it
all simply and with intensity, as a humorous sacrifice, not
as a fascinating, obsessive, or dismal career


(10) The conditions are not themselves a strategy by
which you may bring about consciousness as an effect or a
result. In the traditions, the conventional strategies of
life are extended in the form of methods of attention. Thus,
if attention is tending to rest in body, life-force, or
mind, one is directed to turn attention, through body,
life-force, and/or mind, to some subtle or subtler object.
This is the traditional method. But it is itself a
conventional strategy, founded in dilemma


(11) In fact, Consciousness, or the Divine
Conscious-Light, is not an object, and it may not be known
over against the ego or defined self. Thus, the sadhana of
understanding does not involve the re-direction of
attention, from a gross to a subtle plane, but the
confounding and radical dissolution of attention itself.
When there is this radical turnabout, it is not that
attention has been projected upon higher objects, closer to
some point of creative origination, but it has been
dissolved or comprehended in its prior Condition, which may
neither be identified with nor differentiated from any plane
or object-gross, subtle, causal, or transcendent


(12) Therefore, it is true, as you will see, that you
experience and dramatize life as a chronic limitation via a
specific orientation of attention. But the way of
Understanding is not a remedy, a strategy of attention
whereby you may project yourself into some alternative field
of perception and so be saved or realized as a result.
Rather, the sadhana of understanding is one in which you
confront the Guru and, in response to his argument, submit
or sacrifice to him in the form of the conditions of life he
demands of you. That confrontation is itself a disarming
crisis, not a communication of arms for personal spiritual
battle. It is not crisis in the form of a breakdown, but in
the form of real self-observation and insight. Therefore,
the life of conditions is not the crisis, but it is itself
evidence of true hearing, in which manifest attention yields
to the intuition of Prior Happiness. Thus, to accept the
Gurus conditions is itself an act founded in understanding,
or comprehension of his argument. Such a way of life already
rests in intuitive sympathy with ones Prior or Real
Condition. And to live with such sympathy under these
conditions manifests as spontaneously intensifying crisis or
perfection of that same sympathy. Such a one sees at first
that he is happy, and at last that he is only happy. In such
a case, all the forms of attention are seen to realize only
God, the Condition of unqualified Radiance or Conscious



Part Two: The Complications of Sadhana


On Sexuality

(1) The confinement of sexuality to conscious play in
relationship (rather than its spurious indulgence or its
suppression, which, in both cases, is a private,
non-relational, exclusive exercise) creates a condition
under which you may observe and surrender your tendencies
relative to the force of sexuality, even to the force of
life itself


(2) Orgasm is the principle when seeking is pursued in
the form of sexuality. Because the ordinary man lives with a
sense of opposition or separation, interpreting life not as
enjoyment but as obsessive desire, he seeks release. He
looks for a momentary release through the contemplation of a
distraction, a fascination powerful enough to absorb him.
When his search is conducted through the functional path of
sexuality, release is sought through orgasm via fascination
with sexual objects which he (or she) defines and feels in
his own body or that of another. Physically, he distracts
himself in the whole “sex-game-promiscuity” number. He
empties and breaks the circle of energy, by using orgasm to
create the status of relief or emptiness, emptied of the
motivating sense of desire. Sex for the usual man is not
founded in enjoyment but desire. Thus, it attains momentary
emptiness, or release from desire (or release from the
energy sufficient to feel desire, which is pressure created
by contraction), rather than constant or prolonged
enjoyment, whose characteristic is fullness


(3) Dilemma is the sense of obstructed enjoyment or
attenuated happiness. Our reaction to felt dilemma is
desire, the search. And the search is always toward the
attainment of the goal of release from desire itself in a
restored sense of enjoyment. But the enjoyment attained or
acquired by seeking is gotten by emptying, suppressing, or
transcending the life-functions, the mechanism of desire.
Therefore, it is enjoyment of a negative or exclusive kind,
in which Truth is not realized as Consciousness but
identified with some change of state


(4) Celibacy is another way to dramatize this whole
problem of sexuality approached from the point of view of
dilemma. Sexuality represents a problem to most individuals.
Therefore, it is ultimately not enjoyable, not fun, not
intimate and relational, but private and separative, so that
celibacy seems to represent an alternative to both sexuality
and self-indulgence. It is generally assumed as a way of
getting free of sexuality, and it is experienced as a
complex and even neurotic self-confinement, resulting in
separation. No one wants to be celibate. It is natural to be
sexual. But the failure of sexual life and life itself makes
celibacy seem like a real alternative


(5) In addition to celibacy and self-indulgence, there
are all sorts of sophisticated structures of seeking built
around the principle of sexuality. There are all sorts of
schemes for psychiatric and transcendent realization via
sexuality by means of suppression, manipulation, or
sublimation of the sex-force. But for one who is living in
Satsang, which is prior Enjoyment, life has become conscious
enjoyment, and there is no exclusive or fixed attention on
either sexuality or orgasm as remedy. In such a case,
sexuality evens out, and naturally falls into a condition
which is enjoyable, natural, and simple, without
self-consciousness. Ultimately, in the maturing devotee,
sexuality becomes a “yoga,” a form of conscious
conductivity, a Divine Event. All of this arises naturally,
spontaneously, when attention is drawn into the condition of
relationship itself and is not exclusively fixated on
sexuality or the phenomena of release


(6) For those in the Ashram, seeking via sexuality is as
inappropriate as all other forms of the search. A true
sexual relationship or relational realization of sexuality
will develop over a period of time in its natural,
appropriate form if one is otherwise founded in the true
Principle of sadhana which is Satsang


(7) Masturbation is a solitary activity. It is a
representation in graphic form of the avoidance of
relationship through sexuality, and should not be indulged
but understood as an urge. The compulsive desire comes from
confinement to vital contraction, or vital shock, the living
of obstruction. If there is no contraction, no avoidance,
masturbation is not felt to be a need. Then the conductivity
of life is constant, and the play of sexuality is generated
entirely and only as a play in specific relationship with
another. If as a devotee this implies no orgasms for a year
or more, because no partner has appeared, then merely
understand and surrender the power of this function


(8) No one in the Ashram should indulge the preference
for no-sex and the strategy of celibacy. That is not
necessary for spiritual life. It is only a mechanical or
functional attainment at best and has no necessary
relationship to Truth. The life-process is a structure of
polarization in an order descending and ascending. Each
organism must master its polarization to what is
functionally below it, establish and intensify its
polarization to what is functionally above it, and realize
or maintain its polarization with what is functionally at
its own level. Thus, we must remain sexual beings in
relationship, while at the same time we enjoy true
functional relationship with what is apparently above and
below. This is the law of function. If we abandon it, we at
least become obsolete in the areas wherein we abandon it.
But whether we abandon or realize ourselves in the polarized
(positive-negative, male-female, descending-ascending,
active-passive, etc.) play of functions has nothing whatever
to do with Truth. Truth is not above, below, within, or
without. It is of a radical nature, the process of
Consciousness itself


(9) Sexual beings are polarized to their opposites. Thus,
we have the play of male and female in the form of various
personal and social roles. It is a creative play, and the
roles need not become fixed, but the polarization must
remain if life is to animate the human game. Therefore, in
general, homosexuality must be understood either as an
aberration, like masturbation, in which one turns on oneself
as an object (even ones own pleasure as an object) and so
avoids the complications of polarized behavior, or else as
an attempt to dramatize the role usually enjoyed by ones
natural polar opposite. In the latter case one flees ones
natural polar role because of some trauma or other that
makes ones natural role too frightening or ones natural or
polar opposite too threatening. One may be homosexual in
order to avoid ones enactment of the role of male or female,
or to dramatize the opposite role, or else to avoid sexual
contact with the polar opposite while still experiencing
sexual release through use of the secondary possibilities
offered by a partner of ones own sex


(10) Homosexuality, then, is essentially an aberrated
activity generated because of traumas related to the
fulfillment of natural and polarized sexual roles. It feeds
on vital shock. There may be occasional rare cases in which
an individual is not functionally polarized in the direction
of the natural sexual role to which he or she seems bodily
to be fitted. Such would be the case of one who is
organically developed in such a way as to be inclined toward
the fulfillment of the energy role of the apparently
opposite sex. Others may be so strongly identified with the
functional condition of a subtler and oppositely polarized
state (in some dimension above, such as the etheric) that
they tend to take on mannerisms and the qualities and urges
of the opposite role on the gross physical level. Thus,
there are rare cases of genuine homosexuality, in which the
natural polarization of sexual play is engaged but by
individuals of the same apparent sex, or of the opposite sex
(but the roles played by each may be the apparent opposite
of their visible gender)


(11) Nevertheless, it is not suggested that homosexuals
in the Ashram abandon their sexual life, since homosexuality
does not represent any greater obstruction to a harmonious
and functional life than the ordinary narcissistic sexuality
of heterosexuals. But the same discipline is given to all.
The homosexual must begin to surrender the urges and
resistances represented by his or her sexuality in a
relationship with a single partner, based upon the same
conditions as are described for a heterosexual


(12) In general, the urge to homosexuality should be
simply understood, like masturbation, and the self-degrading
or weakening fear at its core undone, so that the play of
sexuality may be released into its natural form of


(13) Our human realization requires passage through the
discipline of psycho-physical polarization, and, therefore,
it also requires sexual mastery in the form of sexual
fulfillment. One who does sadhana under the conditions of
his sexuality and essentially polarized functional nature
discovers that even sexuality is self-transcending. Union is
equanimity (not stasis, emptiness, solidity, rigidity, or
immobility, but resonance, harmony, and intensity). Such
equanimity is the meaning of the traditional term “samadhi.”
The orgasm, like any other specific attainment, is at best
temporary realization of fulfillment or equanimity (whereas,
in general, it is usually only the experience of temporary
stasis, emptiness, or non-desire). But one who is sensitive
to his own process of existence sees that equanimity, or
union, is his condition always and already. Equanimity is
not the condition realized upon release or the fulfillment
of a desire. Rather, it is the prior condition of all
relationship. It is the quality of enjoyment or happiness


(14) Some exercise themselves sexually, according to the
principle of desire (search in dilemma), in order to attain
samadhi, or equanimity, or union. Therefore, they make the
way of self-exploitation and orgasm appear to be a way to
God (just as others make the way of non-self-exploitation
and sexual sublimation or retention of sex-force appear to
be a way to God). But it is clear in the case of real
understanding that samadhi, equanimity, or union is the very
and prior condition of all relationship. Therefore, samadhi,
equanimity, or union is not attained. It is not grasped by
manipulation of any functional energy or process, high or
low. Rather, it is realized to be always, already,
radically, and thus presently the case. Relationship itself
is the union. Existence itself is enjoyment or conscious and
unqualified happiness. Such is the knowledge of one who
understands, and in this understanding he is free of
dilemma, vital shock, seeking, the whole force of dramatized
desire, and the distractions of every kind of goal, high or

(15) As long as vital shock, dilemma, and the theatre of
separate and separative self, mind, and desire remain as the
motivating core of an individuals life, he is expected to do
sadhana under conditions that serve the conscious process in
his own case. Therefore, devotees in the Ashram are expected
to maintain themselves sexually within the framework of an
essentially conventional and single heterosexual or, if need
be, homosexual relationship. All other forms of sexual play
would be, fundamentally, a dramatization in them, preventing
self-observation, insight, and conscious understanding


(16) It is only in the perfect devotee that it has become
clear that the realization of polarized life is not orgasm
(release and stasis or emptiness) but enjoyment (unqualified
relationship, equanimity, or unreasonable happiness).
Therefore, the perfect devotee may play the polarized and
even sexual game of human life with humor and in freedom.
And he does this without manipulating sex itself,
suppressing it in order to attain Truth (as release) or
exploiting it in order to attain release (as Truth). What is
either exploited or suppressed ceases to be a seat of
consciousness, and so it reappears in other or renewed
forms. Such is the karmic principle of rebirth. But what is
known in Truth becomes itself Divine (non-karmic) and no
longer binds. Such is the Principle of the human freedom of
the man of understanding.



Part Two: The Complications of Sadhana


On Love-Desire

from a talk given on February 15, 1976

(1) There is a vast difference between eroticism, the
conventional obsessiveness that some couples feel for one
another, and the real process of love-desire which may serve
a non-conventional understanding of sexuality. Love-desire
is a play of every sexually-oriented couple, of every
man-woman relationship, of every kind of sexual
relationship. Love and desire are the implications of these


(2) Most conventional relationships are a play upon the
failure of either love or desire. Many couples are very
“horny” for one another, always wanting to make it with one
another, basically because of the failure of love. The more
love fails, the more erotic they become. They are really
very cool toward one another, but also very horny at the
same time. Then there are other couples in whom there is the
failure of desire. In them there is a kind of conventional
exploitation of the feeling of love. They are frigid,
impotent, and sexless, but always holding hands and kissing
and being very cozy with one another. Their obsession is the
result of the failure of desire


(3) The true and useful form of mutual relationship that
includes sexuality is one in which both love and desire are
positively present. In that case there is not the usual
erotic motivation to exploit sex with one another. It is
undone through love. On the other hand, there is not the
similarly conventional motivation to hold hands and be
children with one another. That motivation is undone through
the force of desire


(4) Where there is the full complement of love and desire
in a relationship, there is not the seedy, erotic
inclination to exploit one another all the time, nor is
there the kind of distance where there is no love. Then,
every occasion of intimacy that includes sexuality is
creative, because there is no mind, no imagery. There isnt
the sense that you can succeed at it. When you are horny,
you know you can succeed in sexual relations, because you
are basically obsessed by the exclusive principle of


(5) Where there is both fullness of love and fullness of
desire, you do not have the feeling that you are going to
succeed at it. You do not even have the feeling that you can
necessarily have the orgasm on the occasion of lovemaking.
Orgasm becomes a possibility as the intimacy is played out
in every particular occasion. And such an occasion is very
new, then, and something that human beings are generally not
familiar with. Human beings are generally familiar with the
exclusive forms of loving or the exclusive forms of
desiring, in which the complement is suppressed. The
exclusivity is what creates the energy around desiring or
eroticism or loving or just tacky, airy-fairy emotionalism.
Where there is the fullness of love-desire, there is no
face. There is real attention, real energy, real emotion,
real fullness, without the usual content


(6) Where both elements of the living process of
love-desire are not completely present, you become involved
in a conventional orientation to one another, one of these
two kinds that I have just described. Where both elements
are present, there is a natural commitment to one another
that is not a matter of discipline and decision and “I wont
make love with anyone else, just with you” and all that sort
of stuff. None of those decisions come into play. There is a
natural orientation to one another, and therefore, there are
occasions of sexual intimacy which create their own
immediate destiny through the play of sex but which have no
guarantees beforehand


(7) Where there is so much love, desire does not become
erotic. Where there is so much desire, love does not become
twinkle. Where both are active, where there is love-desire
in a relationship, there is the motive of real play, and in
that case you may begin to grasp the esoteric aspects of the
Dharma relative to sexuality. But as long as you have only
an exclusive desire relationship with your partner, or an
exclusive love relationship, you will never grasp the
Teaching relative to sexuality. You will continue to be a
random, mediocre person, compromisable by the influence of
every other human being who represents sexuality and emotion
in some form to you


(8) Where there is love-desire, there is natural
commitment, natural attention, fullness of presence with one
another, not the usual hominess and obsessiveness and
twinkiness of a conventional relationship. On the other
hand, most relationships are very conventional, a play upon
the suppression of either love or desire. You must see, in
the case of your marriages, how you are consistently,
strategically involved in the suppression of one or another
element of the life union. You must ultimately become
responsible to the point where love-desire is the form of
your connection with your lover. Then you may understand
something about the higher, esoteric nature of the sexual
process, which I have described to some recently and which
most of you will have some contact with eventually


(9) There is nothing more disturbing than a continuous
sexual contact in which there is no love, in which there is
just the conventional and verbal acknowledgment of loving.
But you know when you are loved by someone. When the force
of love and desire is presented to you through someone, you
are profoundly relieved of your conventional mind. And if
you truly respond to it through both love and desire in
yourself, that response is the grounds for a real


(10) Most marriages, though, are just based on either
eroticism or twinkle emotionalism. They are agreements,
cults, that support the suppression of one or another of
these two elements of love and desire. If your marriage is
of that kind, and I am certain that all your marriages are
of that kind to some degree, then you must understand that
play and why you got married-in other words, what the cult
is between you. And you must ultimately come to the point
where the fullness of love-desire is the form of your play
with one another. If it cannot be, then either you will
naturally divorce one another eventually, or you will just
submit to that limitation and not fully realize yourself in
sexual terms


(11) DEVOTEE: Bubba, I have noticed that when there is
real love-desire, that in itself is the fulfillment. There
is no movement towards any satisfaction because love-desire
is the total fulfillment at that moment


(12) BUBBA: The sexual play is not satisfying except to
the erotic mind. Where there is love-desire, nothing changes
through the vehicle of sexual play. Where there is
love-desire between two people, the orgasm does not produce
anything significant. The exercise with one another does not
change anything. The condition of their relationship is
their enjoyment, and it is constant. The ritual of sexuality
does not change it at all. Therefore, only such people, who
are free of the conventional ritual of sexuality that
exhausts the life-force, may begin to understand higher
responsibility relative to the sexual process


(13) So where there is genuine love-desire between two
people, they are very full, very happy, not always agitated
by one another, not always getting horny and exclusive. The
conventional motive to sexuality is completely eliminated
where there is love with desire. But you are all used to
desire without love. You have all seen the magazines and the
movies and been turned on. You know what desire is without
love, and it is the principle of your sexuality. That is why
you get turned on, that is why you respond to eroticisms.
And that is why you require your marriages to be erotic,
because you depend on that loveless connection through which
you may have the orgasm and return to this sense of
emptiness. But where you love one another as well as desire
one another, the connection is constant. It is always a


(14) Where there is the natural relationship of
love-desire, there is also sex play, not only the actual,
typical sexual play that you all know about. But the life
drama between two people is all sexual play. It is all full
of energy. It all brings energy into being. Where there is
love-desire between two people, it continually awakens the
life-force in them and makes them very full. And
occasionally, at random, they engage in actual sexual
relations, but not obsessively


(15) But you are all obsessed with sex. It is all
pornographic. Pornography is desire without love. It is the
specimen of movement without opening. And you are all
involved in this eroticism. You are obsessed with no-love.
The significance of it is not the obsession with desire and
sexuality itself, but the obsession with no-love that
promotes such an involvement. As long as love is not the
principle of your presence in the world, you are completely
limited to the force of desiring, not only of sexual
desiring, but of all desiring. All your life is desiring,
without love. It excludes love. It is based on no-love. It
depends on no-love. And therefore everything you are doing
reinforces no-love. But where there is love, then the
pattern of desiring in the world becomes benign and
intelligent, no longer a matter of suffering. Then at least
there is the possibility of the conscious process, the
sacrificial process, of Divine Realization


(16) As long as you are simply obsessed with desire and
therefore with no-love, there is no realization, there is no
sadhana. And there is great pain in a life obsessed with
desire and its fulfillment without love. Where there is love
there is no obsession. All obsessions fall where there is
love. And there is no hominess in love. There is great
fullness, and all sexual play is fulfilled in the moment
without mind. If you are “making love” and also thinking or
imagining at the same time, there is no love. Where there is
felt love with your lover, there is no pornography. And this
is the only form in which sexuality has any value. Sexuality
without love is terrible. None of you should engage in
sexual intimacy without love-desire. Do not respond to the
exclusive motive in yourself that depends upon the
suppression of one or the other of these two. Become
sensitive to it and develop your intimate relationships to
the point where they are realized in this way. And only then
engage your intimacy with one another, not at any other
time. Never! That is the discipline of marriage. Marriage is
not the excuse to exploit your tendencies in a way that
society forgives or accepts. The private ritual is not the
thing served by marriage, certainly not in this Ashram!

(17) When people love and desire one another, they cease
to be promiscuous. People are obsessively involved with
trying to control their promiscuity. They get married, but
still they want to make it with other people. They play
around, and they do not actually do it a lot of the time,
but they feel it, they want it, and they dramatize it just
short of sex. There is no real way to control promiscuity.
Promiscuity is naturally undermined where there is love and
desire. And where two people truly love and desire one
another, they do not have to make a cult with one another.
They do not have to wonder obsessively if their partner
wants other people and is fooling around. That concern has
nothing whatever to do with their relationship. It is
completely absent, and yet without willful discipline. The
only discipline is that fullness. Satsang is the discipline,
not all the things by which you are motivated to control
yourself. In terms of spiritual life this is true


(18) Just so, in terms of your intimate life, it is the
force of love-desire that economizes the life process and
frees it from its conventional obsessions. If that force is
not there, then your marriage is insane. It is just a porno
movie or an intimate, little hand-holding quietude. Where
there is love-desire, there is great energy between people,
and such couples intensify one another constantly. They are
moved always to love one another and to express their love
for one another. They do not feel self-conscious about

(19) Such unions are very rare. Most people marry for
erotic reasons. Some people, who are not particularly
oriented to sex, marry for so-called love reasons, on the
basis of the aesthetic emotion of loving, without force. But
people who love and desire one another are involved in the
most intimate and forceful kind of play. In such people the
sexual process may be a matter of instruction at some point,
so that it realizes its higher purpose and not the
conventional one of release


(20) So you must transform your marriages. If you are not
married, you must transform your sexual possibility and be
free of eroticism, impotence, and frigidity. That is the way
it seems to me!

(21) DEVOTEE: If the life force is present, then you can
truly be a celibate in that sense. You do not have to be
married, because you are available to all beings


(22) BUBBA: Yes, but there is no call to conventional
celibacy. Theres no genuine motive for actually cutting off
the sex process. That is bullshit. Nevertheless, all of
those who are truly sexual in their orientation are
celibates, because they are not involved in the conventional
use of sexuality. Their sexuality does not serve their
emptiness, their descended fixation in the body. They are
always returning the force of life, sacrificing it to its
Source. And their relationship to one another is
self-intensifying, in other words, spontaneously
intensifying. Their sexual relations are pure, not pure by
being modest, but pure by being very forceful, very
energetic, even very physical. They do not serve the ritual
of limitation


(23) DEVOTEE: This whole culture, because of its
orientation, tends to associate the words “celibate” and
“ascetic” with being empty, but the two words truly mean


(24) BUBBA: Right. Genuine celibacy is sexuality in
Truth. It is the realization of your human functions in
Truth. That realization does not involve separating yourself
from others and becoming literally celibate, having no sex
connection, but rather it involves fulfilling your sexual
obligation. You are obliged, not by society, but by your
body. Your body obliges you to be sexual and human.
Therefore, you must realize your sexuality. You are involved
in it in any case, whether or not you want to shut it off or
exploit it. And so everyone is obliged to realize his
functions in Truth


(25) Paradoxically, there is no realization without
celibacy. However, celibacy must be understood in
non-conventional terms. So the pure celibate is also the
greatest dancer, the greatest lover, because he has realized
the play of life in Truth, and it does not surrender him to
bondage, to limitation. Only when you begin to love one
another as well as desire one another in your intimacies do
you begin to enjoy in human terms the kind of fullness that
I am describing. All your other strategies are reactions to
your obsessions. And obsessions in most cases are obsessions
with desire to the exclusion of love


(26) Where there is desire there is not any real
attention, there is obsession, scattering of the mind, no
real concentration of force, no love, only all kinds of
negative emotions. So people have sex for very negative
reasons. They are beating one another with sex, killing one
another with it. It is a kind of ritual murder in which the
woman gets killed and the man kills her, or the man gets
killed and she kills him, and they get eaten, and all of
that. Most sexuality is very crude, very gross, very
obsessive, and belongs to the whole realm of the orientation
to the body idea


(27) DEVOTEE: What do you mean, though, when you say that
the man should overwhelm the woman?

(28) BUBBA: Where there is love-desire, then each
individual engages in the characteristic form that his or
her birth implies. And so the woman is negative or passive
in the body, and the male is positive and oriented toward
the physical. So the male penetrates the woman. Women should
not become men, aggressive in the way that men are, though
they can be very active sexually. The male overwhelms the
female, but in doing that he is overwhelmed by the female.
The woman is Shakti to her husband. The more the male
penetrates the female, the more overwhelmed he is with
force, the more undone he is in the body. Not the other way
around, which is the way it works out through the
conventional exercise


(29) The usual sex act is not just the overwhelming of
the woman by the male, but the degrading of the woman, her
murder, her submission. And it is all very cool, as you must
have observed. But the true play of sexuality is full of
energy, full of force, full of movement, full of love. It
overwhelms both individuals. It is the medium of the
elimination of conflict in the life affair. Sexuality as it
is played out conventionally is an exploitation of conflict.
But the real sexual union undermines all conflict,
overwhelms both individuals, restores them both to a
contemplative state


(30) But you all use your intimacies in conventional
ways, to exploit what you are obsessed with and to exclude
what you cannot enjoy. So your sexuality is dead. It is
self-meditation. It relieves nothing, except temporarily
perhaps some relief in the lower body. You are left feeling
empty when you exploit intimacy in this way. Where there is
genuine intimacy, the real force of love and desire, then
there is great energy even in sexual play. There is no sense
at all of emptiness, separation, loss, even through the
orgasm. None. You are left with the same sense that you
enjoyed before you played with one another


(31) Well, if your intimacies, your marriages, are not of
this kind, then keep it in your pants until you get it
straight! Require this participation of one another, and
when it is alive, then you can play with one another, but
not otherwise. Real sexual intimacy between individuals in
the Ashram is a play with me.



Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


Becoming Human

The crucial moment in the sadhana of the student is the
awakening of real enquiry, as Bubba has described it in
earlier chapters of this section, “The Student and the
Teaching,” and “Formal Satsang and Real Meditation.” That is
when the conscious process becomes itself a matter of
responsibility from moment to moment, rather than a random
and spontaneous affair generated sheerly by the Grace of the


The process of understanding depends upon radical insight
into the very activity of Narcissus as the mechanics of your
own life. When you have inspected and become responsible for
all the superficial forms of your suffering, all your gross
turning away and your personal “face” and self-imagery, you
no longer have any distractions or consolations to keep you
from noticing what you are always doing at the very core of
it all. This core activity is simple contraction,
self-definition, the creation of limitation and suffering.
When even this is penetrated by real observation, then
understanding has truly come forward in mind and life. This
all-embracing and penetrating intelligence is now available
to you more or less constantly, and the period of real
enquiry begins. By continually enquiring of yourself,
“Avoiding relationship?” you resort to that intelligence,
that space and clarity and humor, more and more steadily,
not only in meditation with the Guru, but also in life. It
is at this time that the conscious process of understanding
and the radical Condition of Satsang or Divine Communion
become one and the same, the very Ground of your own


This period of real enquiry is the mature stage of
student sadhana. During this time you are constantly and
ecstatically becoming responsible in consciousness for what
you previously disciplined, in the first stage of the way of
Divine Communion, through sacrificial action. The whole
arena of money, food, and sex, the realm of gross suffering
that has been your obsession in ignorance for untold eons,
now comes under the intelligent and humorous discipline of
Consciousness itself, through the Grace of the Guru. Through
enquiry you are continually returning to his Presence at the
core of your own Conscious Nature, and thus living all these
once profoundly disturbing functions from the unperturbed
point of view of Truth itself. It is not a matter of
becoming perfect—enquiry continues to mature beyond
even this stage—but in a very basic way, you become
happy in the midst of all the things that used to keep you
miserable. You become human.

(1) Human beings are still in the midst of an adventure
of standing up. It may have been done for many thousands or
millions of years by something like a human being, but the
full stretch into the totally extended spinal position is
not what we do as a continuous daily affair. We are still
bending over, still looking in the navel, still looking in
the pond for our insight, our resources, our existence, our
life. We are not standing up and appearing to one another
through our human faculties. Thus, in general, truly human
existence has not appeared in this world as yet, even though
entities who possess the functions of humanity have


(2) Truly human life has been, up to now, only a
possibility. As an activity, it has not been realized. The
human being is future time. This period of time is still the
experiment, the passage beyond mere vitality—that
endlessly expanding, life-upon-life number—into a
human, conscious possibility. Therefore, by meeting with one
another in this way, we go beyond the limitations
automatically assumed because we have not completed this
experiment, and we serve conscious life in human form


(3) And it is difficult. It requires real heat, real
energy, real attention, real understanding, real
responsibility. There is a great deal of reluctance to do
it, because we would rather be amoebic. But we do not have
that choice. We act as if we have the choice to be animals,
but we do not have any such choice. Choose to be an animal
and you are a lunatic. You go crazy immediately. We do not
really have that option, yet our own failure is continually
goading us to become inhuman. So even though we are
reluctant, we have the obligation to realize ourselves as we
are, as the entity we are in this form. Truly we have the
eminent possibility to do it, to succeed at it, if we can
use that kind of language, because of the Dharma and the
kind of sadhana that it requires


(4) DEVOTEE: It is our refusal to stand upright. The
realization that seems to be implied or feared is mortality,
even though in truth that may not be so. But at least in our
present form, that straightening up is the realization of
mortality in this form

(5) BUBBA: It seems to be the realization of mortality
because the vital is asleep. The vital is not a conscious
dimension, and vital beings are not conscious beings
essentially. The dimension of consciousness is in them but
the faculties through which it operates are lunar,
subconscious, unconscious fundamentally. And to become human
is more than keeping your spine straight like a yogi,
although it is also standing up, extending the spine. It
involves becoming conscious in the specific ways for which
we have the capacity


(6) In order to become human, then, you must become
conscious of the limitations that existence in a world of
this kind represents. So there seems to be the threat of
mortality implied in the possibility of consciousness
itself. But as soon as we enjoy our truly conscious state we
also pass into the intuitive realization of an entirely
different dimension that has nothing in itself and
exclusively to do with appearing in a world, in a form with,
you know, ten or twelve faculties. After passing through the
obligation of this consciousness and assuming in practice a
fundamentally mortal existence we come to the intuitive
realization of That which we truly are, That which the world
truly is, and it is not mortal. It is not anything. It is
that absolute, Conscious Light that manifests all forms and
that we functionally represent without form itself being the
principle and end of our existence


(7) It is a threatening and very daring thing to do to
become human. The human is a middle term between what is
merely manifest and solid and moving and what is absolute
and transcendent and perfect. We must go through that middle
term. It is a very daring thing to do, but we are built to
do it. We are full of the impulse to do it, and in fact,
even apart from the impulse, we do not have any choice but
to do it. The choice to do anything else involves a kind of
suffering that we will not permit, that we will not endure,
that we try to transcend, undo, pass beyond. But, in
general, so-called human beings try to pass beyond that
suffering through artifices that are not
Truth—obsessions, consolations, pleasures, the media of
the vital itself, most generally, or the media of some other
process of energy above the vital, and even above the human,
which we then call God or Truth or heaven


(8) Thus, through the artifices of the usual search, we
bypass the obligation of the human and do not make it the
medium of our realization, opting instead for consolations
above and below it. The search as it has been generated
among men is not one that has made them human. After
thousands of years of all kinds of spiritual and religious
and practical designs among men, we have not seen the
appearance of human beings. We still have only the daily
news, because the essential content of our lives is the same
old shit that has been the news for centuries. So an
entirely other principle than has been communicated through
the media of the search and the usual round of so-called
human life must be realized. It is the function of the
Dharma to communicate that possibility, and it is the
function of sadhana to implement it.34d

* * *d


34. Bubba Free John, “Becoming Human,” a talk to the
Ashram, December 17, 1974.



Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


The Mechanical Solutions Must Become Obsolete

This excerpt from a Talk by Bubba Free John is a
beautiful presentation of the relationship that exists
between the conventional sadhana of the student stage and
the foundation principle of Communion with the Divine
through the Guru. This talk also illustrates Bubbas way of
dealing with people in his Company, turning every event into
a demonstration of the living Teaching


While Bubba was talking about other things, a young woman
near him began to scream and manifest other forms of kriyas,
or the spontaneous signs of the movement of the life-force.
On another occasion, or for another person, it may have been
perfectly appropriate to allow these phenomena to run their
course. But in this individuals case it was a dramatization.
Bubba spoke to her about it and went on to talk to other
devotees about their own characteristic strategies in

(1) You have to relate to me through this body. Relax
this body. . . . You must become completely present in the
body with me. Do you know what Im talking about? As soon as
you do this, you will discover that the pain in the neck
goes away. I guarantee it. But I leave this pain with you as
a test, because Im not going to free you from it until you
become responsible


(2) The peculiar type does not want to rest in the body.
He has a strong reaction to vital, gross life and wants to
project himself into an emotional and subtle state, a kind
of irrational state that excludes the body. But rather than
indulging or disciplining this impulse, you must see its
root, see the contraction in the vital life, and relate to
me through your emotion. Do not relate to me by being cool
and trying not to be hysterical, but relate to me with
feeling, through the body. You must relate to me emotionally
through the body. Then these solutions that appear in your
psyche will not have such force. The discipline I give you
is not to suppress that impulse, but to understand its root
and to approach me in a way that makes it obsolete. When you
relate to me with emotion and with the body, this peculiar
solution becomes unnecessary


(3) DEVOTEE: Bubba, what is real emotion?

(4) BUBBA: Real emotion is a profound fullness of feeling
that includes the body. It is not a rejection of the body.
It is not a breakdown. Hysteria is a kind of recoil, a
rhythmic exclusion, through emotion, of the sense of the
body. When you can be emotional in the body, through the
body, then the recoil of emotion, as an exclusive and
special solution, becomes obsolete. It is not necessary.
Typically, enthusiastic religious groups exploit this
solution. They get hysterical, roll around, and experience
something like kriyas. And because they become involved in
this emotional recoil, this peculiar solution, they think
that they are somehow closer to spiritual life, that they
are involved in a spiritual process. But in fact, it is not
a spiritual process at all. It is a special kind of solution
that you must become responsible for


(5) DEVOTEE: Bubba, I dont understand


(6) BUBBA: Real emotion is the natural, felt
concentration upon the Guru, upon the Divine, with great
feeling, bodily feeling, bodily emotion, love, or


(7) DEVOTEE: It isnt a negative thing, then, is it?

(8) BUBBA: It is not negative at all. All negative
emotion is contraction. There is a single positive emotion
called love, or devotion, sacrifice of self, which is a kind
of radiance through ones bodily life, which rests in the
emotions or in the heart. And it does not involve hysteria
or breakdown. Yet it is not “cool” either. It is a fullness
of involvement that turns you out from


(9) There can at times be weeping and so forth, but in
general the hysteria that carries with it kriyas and
collapse and weakness is an expression of the peculiar
solution, and it weakens you because that is its purpose, to
get you out of contact with the vital demand. However, the
obligation of sadhana is to turn to me through the body.
Turn to me in my body. And maintain your emotional and life
contact with me constantly. That is the form of this
sacrifice. The more your approach to me is through love,
with full attention, through the body, in living
terms—since I am here—the more obsolete this
peculiar solution, this hysteria, becomes. Now it is a
discipline, certainly, but it is a higher discipline than
cutting it off and being solid about it, preventing this
hysteria and being on top of it all the time


(10) The solid person must also first get in touch with
the emotional life, the emotional-sexual life, because he
rejects that in itself and certainly does not engage in
hysteria. Basically, he is preventing hysteria. So he must
contact the whole force of emotion that fills his being, not
in its negative and neurotic forms, but in the sacrificial
life that is love, full contemplation of the Guru, and
participation in life then on that principle


(11) The vital person breaks out the other end into the
purely vital realm and excludes emotion, the fullness of
feeling or the dimension of the heart, by being sort of cool
and physical and enthusiastic and untouchable, not in the
same way as the solid, who stays “cool” through
intellectual, heady attitudes and roles, but by being the
sort of physical, good guy who loves the body and loves life
and all that. And nobody notices how cool he is or she is
and that basically he or she is excluding the whole
dimension of emotion, and also the whole dimension of the
responsible mind, by attachment to sexual and physical and
vital kinds of appearance. Thats his or her kind of


(12) Real sadhana begins only when you approach me
through the mind and the emotion and the body constantly,
through the act of loving contemplation or service, with the
full feeling in the body in which the whole mind
participates, the whole force of emotion participates, the
whole body and nervous system participate. That is the
approach of the devotee. In such a one, the eternal
communication of the Divine is noticeable. But only in such
a one. Everyone else is missing the point, missing the mark,
failing to perceive that eternal communication because of
involvements with solutions that appear within the mechanics
of existence


(13) The peculiar type is very emotional. He can be
emotional at the drop of a hat. However, all the emotion is
directed toward this recoil of life, so emotion is tending
toward hysteria always. Thus, in the body the peculiar is
very weak and fragile. You can see the solid types solidity
more clearly relative to emotional rather than physical
life. The solid is very often physically in fairly good
shape and seems able to control and manage the physical life
because he is one step removed from it. The solid person is
extremely mental and in his coolness you see the absence of
emotional force, not in complications relative to the
physical body. His strategy appears relative to the
emotional force. In every case it is a matter of real
participation in the three dimensions of functional
life—mind, emotion, and physical being. All three must
be concentrated in a single force of approach to me. Then
these strategies become obsolete over time, but not because
something has been done to them especially. They become
obsolete in that natural attention


(14) DEVOTEE: Whenever I get into the emotional aspect of
my life, a very deep, deep sadness comes over me


(15) BUBBA: That sadness is a demonstration of the
solidity that you live with. It shows you why you do not
want to be emotional, because for you emotion is associated
with negative, karmic imagery and feelings. As soon as you
get in touch with emotion a little bit, you feel all that
negative emotion and it justifies your solidity. Emotional
life is karmic in the usual man. In other words, it is
fitted to a whole range of emotions that are self-referring,
forms of contraction that appear simultaneously in the body
and that are uncomfortable and disorienting, that destroy
his ability to function


(16) DEVOTEE: But why the sadness? It is son strong it
just overwhelms me


(17) BUBBA: The karmic development of your emotional
life, to which your emotional life is bound, is associated
with losses, physical difficulties, and unhappiness.
Therefore, those are the images or the concretions of
emotion that naturally rise up as soon as you are in touch
with your emotional life. But when you become responsible
for the emotional being, then you know simply the felt
radiance of love and attention. In the devotee the mind
becomes attention, the emotion becomes love, the body
becomes a presentation


(18) You must live that principle of devotion. The more
you live it, the more obsolete all these other things
become. They will come up and you will see them. And what
are you doing? With a negative emotion, what are you doing?
You may think that it is caused by some memory or some
circumstances, and that is true enough, but what is a
negative emotion? It is not feeling, it is not relationship,
it is not happiness. It is always a recoil from some
circumstance, some condition, some state. Therefore, all the
forms of emotion, other than love or the natural radiance of
emotion, are karmic in nature, forms of contraction, forms
of suffering that cause you pain in the body, reinforce the
sense of separate self, and cause you to dramatize life in
separative ways, as a seeker


(19) You must live the force of emotion in its true and
fundamental form, which is not karmic, in relationship to
me. You must make life a continuous sacrifice. The mind must
become attention to me, not wandering arbitrarily in
thought. The emotion must become love for me, not wandering
in hate, anger, sorrow, pain. The body must become
presentation to me, not turning upon itself for its own
interest. The sacrifice of all contraction must become the
basic discipline in the devotee. Then all karmic forms, or
plays upon the basic condition of functional life, become
obsolete through non-use. That is the basic principle of
effective sadhana.

(20) Thus, eventually distractions cease to arise with
any overwhelming force, with any force of implication, with
any necessity. They just fall away, without insight or
manipulation. You maintain the simple position of attention,
with the mind, the emotion, the body, the whole of life.
That simple attention is the condition of your sadhana that
naturally makes all complication obsolete, not through
involvement, manipulation, and victory, which are the
secondary excursions everybody makes in his sadhana, but
through non-use.29

d* * *d


29. Bubba Free John, “Have I Said It?” a talk to the
Ashram, January 29, 1976.



Part Two: The Complications of Sadhana


On Service

(1) Another dimension of what I require of people in the
Ashram is service. There is the study of the path, which is
a constant way of dealing with this understanding at the
level of the written Teaching. There is the fulfilling of
the life-conditions, managing sadhana in practical,
personally functional terms. And there is also service.
Service is a form of activity that is not self-referring by
nature. It leads you into a condition in which you do not
make the self-reference, in which you must be directed to
others, and in which you will observe in yourself the
tendency not to want to do that. You will observe the
strategic ways in which you are still withholding even while
you are turning towards others and serving them


(2) People often fail to grasp what I mean by service,
because they think they are supposed to be doing it for some
good reason or other. But it is just appropriate, it is
relational life, it is bringing the life-force into the
life-game. That is all that service is. It is to be
consciously uninvolved in the unconscious drama of
self-reference, self-meditation, contraction, avoidance. It
is a way of living life in appropriate terms, just as the
conditions relative to money, food, and sex provide a way of
living life in appropriate terms. If people will serve one
another, serve life, and serve the world, if they will bring
life into life, allowing life to flow in life, they will
make obsolete all the karmic games that are otherwise only
being dramatized through ordinary actions and forms of


(3) We literally depend on other beings for our
continuing existence in this form, not our ultimate
existence, or even our mere vital existence (except that we
depend on the sex play of others for our birth), but our
human existence We cannot exist as human beings for one more
moment without participation in the communication of life
that other beings give to us, and which the whole grand
affair of the manifest world gives to us. If that
communication is withdrawn, we die to what is greater than
self and mere vitality, and we pass out of our humanity into
some state that is not realizable in the way that we may
truly experience this moment as human beings. When you
realize your dependence on the conscious communication of
life from others, then you see the reasonableness—or,
rather, the unreasonableness—of love. Then, in spite of
what the hell that guy seems to be, you bring your life to
him or her in the form of real energy, real intensity, real
attention. When you do that, then that person is enlivened
literally, he is fed, because the life-force, particularly
in the heightened form to which it is transformed in human
beings, is principal food. The dimension of life that we
communicate through attention to others, unobstructed, is
principal food. The food that we take through the mouth is
gross and secondary. The food that we take through the nose
is gross and secondary. These are also necessary, generally,
but they support a lower organic form of our existence. Many
people eat well enough and breathe well enough, but they are
depressed, insane, because they do not communicate through
the eyes and through the heart. They do not enjoy the
life-process in its subtle form


(4) It is merely intelligent, not moralistic, not a
matter of yoga, to be present with life to other beings, and
to expect their presence to us. We are present to one
another in the form of a demand for life, a righteous demand
for life. We should absolutely demand it. And we should
finally discover what it is we are demanding of one another,
which is life, intensity, love, conscious energy. We
absolutely need it to survive. And so we should cut through
all the crap that we give to one another and absolutely
demand that, settle for nothing less, and also settle for
nothing less in ourselves. We should submit to that
righteous demand in others


(5) That is the politics of life. That is what life is
all about, apart from all the economics, and food, and
bullshit. That is basically what we are here to do with one
another. We are here to communicate life itself through the
faculties of our humanity. And that is merely a natural and
righteous discipline. It is appropriate for you as a
discipline to bring your own presence as life to other
beings and to demand it from them. And that is simply
appropriate in the same way that it is appropriate to take a
meal several times a day


(6) DEVOTEE: It seems like were always demanding life
from another in a childish way


(7) BUBBA: We settle for less than life. A smile, a piece
of ass, a cigarette, that is sufficient. We dont really
require life of one another, and that is what we need. You
cannot survive in your truly human functions without it. If
you all were busy truly loving one another, truly being
present to one another without complication, without making
any assumptions about one another or yourselves, you could
live for a long time, and even if you lived for only 20
years, you would be happy, at least on those ordinary human
levels. You would be feeding one another, and you could die
happily if you happened to have to die some day. Because
everybody would be with you. They would be holding your hand
and shooting you full of conscious life. You would be loved,
free, not prevented from Truth, and who cares then?14

d* * *d


14. Bubba Free John, “Early Morning 4:00 A.M.,” a talk to
the Ashram. December 22, 1974.



Part Two: The Complications of Sadhana


On Turning to Me

(1) You must, through the experiencing of the effects of
your karmic, recoiled life, see that its destiny is entirely
negative, regardless of how you manipulate it. And only then
can you become capable of submitting to the real form, the
sacrificial form that is appropriate relative to each of
your functions. Therefore, you turn the mind into attention.
You turn the emotion into love. You turn the body into
presentation or relationship. It is a painful discipline,
but where there is insight or real sympathy with the Guru,
it becomes possible. And wherever it is done, to whatever
degree it is done, the force of contraction becomes
obsolete. The functions come to rest. You rest more and more
naturally, contemplatively in the Gurus Company and begin to
intuit his communication, his Nature


(2) DEVOTEE: Bubba, it used to seem that it was so easy
for me to turn to you. I just turned to you all the time,
but it is very hard for me now. I feel very much turned to
you now because I have been in your company for two days.
And I know that I could wake up tomorrow and it might be
over. Anyway it seems that it doesnt have anything to do
with me


(3) BUBBA: Obviously this turning to me is a discipline,
not something you do by tendency. It is difficult, so that
obligation must be a certainty in you, especially in those
moments and under those conditions when it is most


(4) DEVOTEE: I dont see that, Bubba. Thats what I wanted
to ask you about. I dont understand it that way. It seems to
me that when I feel that way, all I can do is say, “Bubba, I
dont understand this.”

(5) BUBBA: It has nothing to do with understanding


(6) DEVOTEE: I mean that I feel I cant do anything about


(7) BUBBA: You cant do anything about it, but you can
turn to me


(8) DEVOTEE: What Im asking you is, I feel that you turn
to me then. You know, I just ask you for your Grace


(9) BUBBA: I am always turned to you. But you can turn to
me regardless of what is happening. You cannot do anything
about all that is happening in you. Doing something relative
to what appears in you is not the focus of this way. The
focus is stepping aside from all the strategies you want to
create, positive and negative, relative to your usual
condition, and simply turning to me. You will notice over
time that the tendencies in you become weak and even
disappear. But your obligation is simply to turn to me,
without measuring that turning against what is happening
with you. Simply turn your attention to me, turn your
emotion as love to me, make yourself present to me with your


(10) DEVOTEE: When I surrender that. . .


(11) BUBBA: Simply do this turning


(12) DEVOTEE: Then I cant surrender it


(13) BUBBA: You can do this turning


(14) DEVOTEE: I mean that when I turn to you, I know you
are just Grace. Isnt that the same thing?

(15) BUBBA: Yes, in a certain sense it is the same thing,
but what I am talking about is very simple


(16) DEVOTEE: I dont understand what you are saying,


(17) BUBBA: Turn your attention to me and do not measure
that turning relative to whether or not your mind stops and
you feel better. Love me and do not measure that against
whether or not you still feel negative emotions and
confusion. Give your life to me, turn to me bodily,
recollect me at all times, whether Im physically present
with you or not, and do not measure that activity against
whether or not you feel pains in your body. Maintain that
discipline of turning to me. It can be done, as long as you
do not associate that turning with the reading of the
problems in you. The turning can always be done. You are
never disabled in terms of that turning. It is only these
effects, because you are always reading them and wanting to
manipulate them, that make you doubt your ability to


(18) But you can always turn. That is the principle
wherein these effects become obsolete, not in that moment
necessarily, although on some occasions they disappear
immediately. But ultimately they disappear, because they are
not being used. What you are doing is this turning. They are
simply memories presently communicating themselves as your
functions. They are a kind of remembering. But when your
conscious life becomes participation in relationship to me,
then these effects become obsolete. It is not for you to
measure that process, to decide when they should become
obsolete. Be willing to have these things arise in you
forever. Make your business turning to me.15

d* * *d


15. Bubba Free John, “Have I Said It?” an unpublished
talk to the Ashram, January 29, 1976.





| Beezone
| Adi
Da Articles
| All
| email

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,

All copyright materials are
used under authority of the Fair Use statute.
State Code, Title 17)