Vital Shock

The following dialogue is from a
seminar Bubba Free John gave to his community on July 26,
1975 on various aspects of the teaching and disciplines of
the developing Sadhana.

TOM RILEY: Bubba, the release
to me seems to be the
equivalent of
self-observation and insight
How does
fit with that, is
that, on a life level the release of vital shock occurs, but
is ego death something that takes place in the
or is that impossible
in the release of vital shock?

BUBBA: Well, in its ultimate
sense, certainly, yes. It is when the casal being is opened,
when that knot in the causal being is opened
But that event as well as a lot of more superficial versions
of it essentially amounts to forgetting of the
self-definition, release of it. And that occurs whenever
there is real insight, real enquiry.

In such a moment consciousness falls
into its natural position and releases ego, mind, and
desire. So at the same time is the mind is perhaps effected,
stilled in some moments in this affair of enquiry and
desires also come to rest at random times. Well, just so,
this self-meditation, this activity of self-definition, also
comes to rest in the midst of the same insight, the same

Ego death is simply the absence of
self-definition, the absence of self-meditation. And that
occurs whenever the consciousness that is otherwise defining
itself as a “me” rests in its prior condition of the Self,
of the Divine. Whenever that occurs there’s not
unconsciousness, there’s not the death of somebody and then
you sit in the darkness feeling dead. No, there’s the
passage of consciousness from one assumed condition into
another that is not assumed.

Ego is a matter of attention,
contraction of the field of consciousness. When
consciousness rests in its prior condition, there is no
attention, no contraction in the field of consciousness,
natural, prior happiness, radiance, without a sense of being
separate one, without the sense of having died and now
become a big one either. It’s the prior condition, not an
achieved condition. So, another one of the lessons in these
seminars is that passage through the principal mood is not
to go through an episode of fear. Some people just like to
go through phases and then have experiences of that kind
they way I’ve described it. But passage though the
is to go beyond the
contraction of fear and of self and so forth into the
natural intuition that is the condition of
And that obviates fear, that obviates the principal mood. It
doesn’t bring it on so that you can cut it out of yourself
and so forth.

So just so, there’s no ego death
experience either that is a necessary aspect of this affair
of understanding. It’s not a required experience. It doesn’t
have to happen at all. There needn’t be anything, in
experiential terms, that’s particularly far out about this
whole affair of understanding, from beginning to end. That
is, if you really grasp it. If that fundamental realization,
which is not just a minor little psychological adjustment,
but an absolute realization of the Divine, as long as that
is served, there needn’t be any karmic dramas that amount to
anything. There may be, but there needn’t be, it’s not
necessary. And you shouldn’t try to manipulate yourself into
a very dramatic and heroic kind of spiritual life because
you think that otherwise you’re not having it or something.
No, you must be sensitive to what the process itself
fundamentally is and you’re responsible for what sadhana is
by description, what it is as a natural process. And if in
the midst of doing all of that there is no special drama
,well, that’s fine.

TOM: I don’t know if it’s
useful for this or not, but today I was in study group, I
was mentioning to people that sometimes a confusion arises
in my own case as to what, like, a sensation of the
experience of clarity, what I would call Presence. I’m
beginning to wonder about that, it’s a sense of, like, maybe
a sense of great immunity, just sort of removing myself

I don’t know, it’s not some little
trick that I do, you know, I never really got it out, but,
maybe a little trick that, some internal trick that I’m
fooling with that clears out the mechanism, as a sense of
community as opposed to…

BUBBA: Is this

TOM: Yeah, like the

BUBBA: Is that what you

TOM: It seems like there’s
somethin’ goin’ on. I’m suspecting myself.

BUBBA: Well, in some moment
without really getting concerned about it now, trying to
look at it and watch it, at some moment it may be very clear
to you that that’s what you’re doing. That;s the difference
between understanding relative to the mind in your own case
and watching it. You can sit here and watch it now and see
what you’re doing. But all you’ll get out of that is some
data about it, some information. But just by doing
in the practical terms in which at some random it’s been
given to you at some random moment you may see something
specifically about that….

At this point in the discussion
another devotee asks a question….

The first three stages of the Way (The Way of Divine
Communion, The Way of Relational Enquiry, and The Way of
Re-cognition) are a process of ‘whole body readaptation to
Lawful (sacrificial) responsibility for the contractions of
the lower coil (gross being), the upper coil (subtle being),
and the manifest dimension of the heart (causal being). This
process is awakened through “hearing” the argument of the
Spiritual Master, entering into Communion with the Spiritual
Master, and enjoying the Revelations that are natural and
native to that Company and that Teaching.
Way Matures as Transfiguration, Regeneration, and
Translation of Man into God

– Vision Mound Magazine

2. There are two forms of
self-Enquiry being practiced in My Company. One is
self-Enquiry based on real self-understanding and,
especially, on true hearing. In that case, self-Enquiry is
most fruitful, obviously, and it takes the form I have just
described. The other form of self-Enquiry is that which may
be used by any of My devotees, even from the beginning of
practice in the Way of the Heart, with little or no
self-understanding. In that case, you exercise self-Enquiry
relative to all kinds of things. You just described an
instance of how self-Enquiry is done in that case, in the
sheer beginners sense, with little or no self-understanding.
But, as you described, in the doing of it, you observed
something a little deeper behind this vital enthusiasm, a
sense of despair. So your practice of self-Enquiry had some
usefulness in the sense that it enabled you to observe
something more. Using self-Enquiry in this ordinary fashion
may serve self-observation, but, in that case, it is not the
exercise of self understanding itself. It is not true
self-Enquiry.” – Adi Da Samraj –



of Vital Shock
– The

Tom Riley and Adi Da Samraj –