Pauline Chew

Pauline Chew and the Transcendental Nature of Adi Da Samraj


The following is an email Pauline sent me which then precipitated a dialogue and consequentially this video interview with Pauline and myself.  Reader, enjoy what follows.

Pauline Chew and the Transcendental Nature of Adi Da Samraj

Hi Ed,

I don’t know if you feel moved to publish this (and/or edit it) but it’s a Leela that came about spontaneously recently in dialog with my Devotional Group.  I felt it would be appropriate to share with you, at the very least, as we had discussed some aspect of my telling my Leela, and I haven’t yet found the right context on which to base such a Leela, but this one feels like a good basis on which to start.

The Interview

The Leela

When I say ‘dialog’ below I am referring to a process that is happening in and via the psyche, even prior to words.  There’s a kind of exchange that happened with Beloved that was happening at the subtle/causal level of perception that didn’t even require words, let alone words on paper.  But it resulted in a fully alive process coincident with real happenings with and in relationship to Him…(not just as His Bodily Human Form) but as He was Revealing Himself, As He Is, Prior to all forms.

In 2006 Beloved invited me to be a photographic subject for Him because ‘I was similar to RQSP’ and He was intending to us me in images of ‘doubles with her’.  He was even going to include Toto in those Images.

I arrived the same night ‘The Happenine’ recitation began.  It was followed by the recitation of The Gospel of Jesus of Galilee.

After arriving I was already feeling the pressure of being His photographic subject and the coincidence of this meaning I would need to re-enter the serving lady consideration which I was having an extremely strong bodily reaction (like massive anxiety attack around) and I had nobody to discuss this process with Culturally.  It was between Beloved and I.  When I really got to the core of it, my reluctance was rooted in the notion that I could be engaged in a truly intimate (emotional sexual) consideration with Him, with someone else being there to ‘present all my communications’ to Him (on my behalf).  To me, that was utterly crazy and incompatible with what I deemed was True Intimacy.  He had already, by then, Proven to me that He did not require physical written communications to be in direct contact or ‘dialog’ with me about anything.  So here’s what happened.

Coincident with this, Beloved was granting Darshan at Aham Da Asmi Sthan every day and all of a sudden when He went to Indigo Swan one day (which He would do every day following Darshan), He proceeded to criticize my posture, even mimicking what He said He saw I was doing which was that my right shoulder was raised up high (near my ear) and suggested that I was not fully surrendered to Him.  He was also suggesting that I should maintain an open eyed gaze always, and not close my eyes (which I guess I was allowing myself to do).  

I was instructed to find a way to respond to His Criticisms.  So I went back to my room and simply sat in front of a mirror, invoking Him (because I was having to look at my own reflection in the mirror) while trying to see if I could see what Beloved was describing, since the Culture could not see it either and didn’t know what He was talking about.

More or less the exact same thing happened, though this time Beloved used it as a means to criticize not just me an my posture and what He was seeing, but the Clinic, the Culture and the Institution for not rightly serving me to understand whole bodily what would be required logically to reveive Him whole bodily during Darshan (even just through right posture).  This time the Culture had to respond as well as me and they said they couldn’t see anything wrong with my posture.  So I spent another day doing the same process of sitting in front of a mirror, looking at my own reflection, while invoking Him.

Again, the same process of Him going to Indigo Swan and addressing my posture, this time acknowledging that He could see that I was doing everything I possibly could to address what only He could See, that the Culture and Clinic obviously were not able to see it, and that maybe I would need some kind of bodily treatment(s) to rectify it, that it was some ‘early life’ trauma at the source of it.  He also indicated at this same time that I would need to find a woman in the Culture that I could trust to really open up to about my process.  (what’s interesting about this to me is that He was acknowledging that I was stuck in my process and that I had tried writing to RQSP many times but had not been acknowledged even at all and that fundamentally this was the main obstruction to my feeling free to re-enter as a ’serving lady’ in that domain because she was acting as ‘mediator’ in a process (in view) that I simply couldn’t be totally intimate with and through with Him if that continued UNLESS she because totally transparent to Him and I simply hadn’t experienced that in her, as evidenced by her total lack of even acknowledging my letters to her about my process.  

That day, when the Art Crew came back from the Matrix I noticed this (series) were the Image(s) He had created coincident with that time [of His hand mirror with “This Is Not An Object” written on it, standing upright on a plain wooden chair].

(there’s a whole part to the series that came out of this including this same Image with ‘Das’ in the Mirror itself).

The process or dialog with Beloved about the significance or meaning or yoga associated with ‘being a photographic subject’ (which was the only reason I was even there) continued. I expressed to Him, ‘what’s so special about RQSP (or even my own) form’ as a subject for your Art? What are you Showing through your Art? Isn’t it the Revelation of Yourself? Why not Your Own Form then? I would much rather gaze at You, then at her.

In the days that followed, RNK was called upon by Beloved to take His Image as He was intending to do a ’Self-Portrait’. This became part of this image series….

Then, noticing all of these coincidences, my process continued in ‘dialog’ with him (consideration) about this matter of being His Photographic subject….as I was feeling into the profundity of His Revelation in ‘The Happenine Book’ and what He was ultimately describing about the process of Revelation that ultimately becomes the process for anyone that Realizes Him…the question spontaneously arose ’so why not anyone as Your Photographic subject)’?

The same day that question arose, I received Notes that Beloved Said ‘anyone that is interested in being my photographic subject (on the island and even off the island) should put themselves forward’. Coincident with that, somehow I was tasked with photographing them all and presenting them to Beloved. So I proceeded to photograph A LOT of devotees, nude, no less. Men and women, both, I met with and photographed in their rooms or in Samraj Mahal or in a Temple or on the beach and I simply allowed them to express themselves in that impulse through those photographs. It was Ecstatic. There was nothing but Beloved. And I put together those images into a binder which I then created a collage front page for (made of many devotees’ different body parts) and Titled it ‘Your Human Shape Palette’.

This was presented to Beloved and He was Pleased. This process went on for several weeks and it became my service to include all new photographs of devotees that were sent in from all around the world.

Finally….one day Beloved Said ‘Well, maybe I don’t ever have to photograph another human body ever again, now that I am working digitally’. And that’s when the Digital Process really took off, when He started experimenting with creating forms that utilized some recognizable elements of human form but that went beyond utterly any recognizable form. I have come to recognize, in my own process, that there is something fundamental about this in the process itself, as it matures…when attention goes beyond the objectification of anything at all…there’ just this field of energy and yet His Work continues beyond this realm of humanly shaped things….there’s also a locating of Him beyond not just His Bodily Human form, but beyond one’s own form, beyond all recognizeble forms.

So my process, there on the island, continued in this asana of just waiting and contemplating all of this.

Finally, it occurred to me spontaneously one day that perhaps the entire saga of my being invited by Him to be His Photographic subject, to begin was just a mere extension of Mirror principle of the content that was already arising in me.

In other words, I was starting to notice that the content of the Images themselves was almost arbitrary to the Process that He would ultimately conform the Image to in how He Portrayed what was being reflected by the presumed ’subject’. So it was, on the one hand, personal to my consideration with Him, but also entirely impersonal because He was Revealing Himself and the process of Realizing Him through those Images…as He did with any Image that He created of any subject. He always Perfect combined Himself Subjectively with His chosen Subject but to enlighten ‘it’ in it’s pectoral representation of the process of Realizing Him.

So in understanding this, I felt moved to release Beloved of all expectations that I may have posed on Him about my even wanting to be His Photographic Subject, that all Images He Created were really His Play and one day I expressed…’if this really was His desire, to have me personally, as His Photographic Subject…and not my own, then He can always call me back here…but I’m venturing to guess that He was merely responding to a subconscious inclination in me to be His Photographic Subject, which I have now gone utterly beyond based on this entire consideration and process of recognition of Him’. I had no more need regarding that play with Him. My only inclination was to Realize Him in all moments.

Keep in mind, He had still not picked up His Camera the entire time I had been on the island. He had only been in the Digital Art Room up until that point, making images there.

My recognition was that it didn’t matter (to Him) who was His Photographic subject, that it literally could be anyone, because what He was Revealing (though aspects of the images were subjective to the subject) were ultimately of Himself…and my ultimate question was: WHAT DOES THE PROCESS LOOK LIKE irrespective of the Subject? In the case of each and every subject universally? Even in the case of all those who will come AFTER your bodily Human Lifetime? What does the Picture look like of That Subjective Process of all the beings that will never get to be your Your Photographic Subject?

I also expressed that, in light of this fundamental question and source of suffering (for me personally) that it was not enough for me to be His Photographic subject since there would undoubtedly be millions who would suffer the illusion that there was some kind of significance to that, which they would never get to experience or share in, the same way that for anyone who came AFTER His Bodily Human Lifetime, they would suffer the seeming loss of never having gotten to experience what He was like in His Bodily Human Divine Form. So I was willing to relinquish that impulse myself, because I was fundamentally JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE.

That day, I chose to leave. And I said very clearly: “Beloved, if You Yourself Genuinely wanted me to be Your Photographic Subject…I will come back. But I profoundly am convicted of what You have Actually been showing me this entire time about the ’Subject-Object’ process in recognition of You, As You Actually Are’.

That was the final day and that was the day He Spontaneously picked up His Camera and shot this series, which He Titled ‘The Autobiography of Everybody’ the series He Entitled ‘Spectra Nine: The Autobiography of Everybody.’

For more:

Adi Da Samraj created art for over 40 years. In his later works, he combined digital technology with photographic and hand-drawn elements, producing sophisticated images that are boldly colored, powerfully structured, and monumental in scale. Since emerging on the international art scene at the 2007 Venice Biennale, Adi Da’s art has consistently drawn broad critical acclaim.