What is You Intention – Love Ananda Gita – 1988


home.gif" width="40"/>




 

THE LOVE-ANANDA GITA
(1989)

Part III: I Am What you
Require

 

Listen to Excerpt

CHAPTER 6

What is your Intention?

DEVOTEE: Sat-Guru Da, I feel I
should speak to You because You have Given me so much. When
I simply Contemplate Your Body, I feel expanded completely
beyond myself and drawn into a feeling of no-difference and
no-contraction, and just the purity of Your Being, which is
all that I love and desire. I thank You for this most direct
and full Revelation of the Truth of Your
Wisdom-Teaching.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: And how
is this feeling-Contemplation developing? What kind of
orientation are you maintaining that determines the fruits
of this feeling-Contemplation? The One you feel (and thereby
Contemplate) is Consciousness Only, Self-Radiant,
Self-Existing, Unmodified. But what is your Realization of
Me? Are you feeling-Contemplating Me and yet maintaining an
orientation toward gross embodiment and the changes within
it? Or are you feeling-Contemplating Me and maintaining an
orientation toward subtler evolutionary development, moving
beyond the gross planes into subtler planes and higher
evolutionary development? Or are you feeling-Contemplating
Me and feeling beyond all the planes of modification into
the Divine Domain of Being Itself? What kind of Realization,
in other words, is being demonstrated in your case,
presently and potentially?

DEVOTEE: When I Contemplate You,
everything becomes transparent. That is what I
feel.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: But
what is your motive? The One Contemplated is the same,
regardless of the level or degree or kind of Realization. It
is the one who Contemplates who makes the difference-and
“difference” is what is made. So what is your motive? What
are you looking toward? Improvements in gross embodiment?
Evolution into other planes? Or “Divine
Translation”?

DEVOTEE: Just You. I have no
interest in the rest.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA:
Nonsense! [Laughter.] There is a motive. It must be
discovered. To discover it is fundamental to sadhana. There
is not only the Contemplation. There is the transcendence of
self by means of Contemplation. This self that is to be
transcended is a design. It is a motive. It is an effort.
The counter-effort, then, is specific. It transcends
specific motives-or perhaps indulges in them.

Is your impulse to transcend all? Or
is your impulse to “improve your situation”, after your
present lifetime here, by moving into higher planes? Or is
your impulse and the motive of your attention such that you
will likely repeat this kind of circumstance? What is your
preference? Hmm?

DEVOTEE: I don’t know.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: Are you
reinforcing gross bodily existence, or going beyond it? Do
you want a happy physical human life? Is that your principal
impulse? Or are you moved to sacrifice the happy human life
for something greater?

DEVOTEE: I feel that the sacrifice
of that is very much what You have Revealed to me over these
last few years. I felt the resistance to that, but Your
Teaching Demonstration has made it very clear.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: Yes, I
have made My Self very clear. [Laughter.] But what
about you? What is your disposition? What is your intention?
You only have three options, basically. In some sense they
correspond to My three Signs-My bodily (human) Form, My
Spiritual Presence, and My Very (and Inherently Perfect)
State. In other words, there is a sense in which these
options represent three different kinds of destiny, or
Realization.

You can either reinforce gross
conditional existence, or you can go beyond gross
conditional existence into subtler planes of conditional
existence, or you can go beyond conditional existence
altogether. The only one of these things that is likely to
happen automatically is the continuation of gross
conditional existence, which is already set in motion. For
one of the other two to be Realized, there must be a
sacrifice. There must be an intention to sacrifice. And you
must do tapas. You must do the sadhana of that
intention.

A kind of evolutionary potential is
fundamental to existence itself, which can remain more or
less as it is, grossly manifested, or it can evolve higher
and higher, subtler and subtler, or it can go Beyond,
Utterly. The One you Contemplate is Utterly Beyond, but also
made manifest, Revealing Himself, even in this plane where
you are grossly perceiving, and asking you which is your
intention. Which of these three options is the mover of your
life, your attention, your sadhana?

DEVOTEE: I am just a beginner in
that sacrifice.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: Is that
another way of saying that your attention is grossly
oriented?

DEVOTEE: I can feel what I have not
sacrificed in gross terms.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: But do
you even want to? Really? Want to? That is the point. It is
possible to live a religious life that Contemplates the
Divine, even the Realizer, without having a working
intention to go beyond gross existence. We could say that
that pretty much covers exoteric religion. In general, the
sign given to Me by those who have come into My Company over
the years seems to indicate this choice. Although the Way of
the Heart is itself an esoteric Way, it also has its own
kind of exotericism, if you will. In other words, a
dimension of its process is animated within the limits of
gross existence.

The non-religious gross life simply
indulges in tendencies, fulfills gross motivations, and,
therefore, in general gets worse. If it is truly religious,
a religious life lived in the context of gross existence
necessarily involves a process of purification, or
relinquishment of karmas such that gross existence is
purified and improved. Such purification has been the common
aspiration of people practicing exoteric religion since the
ancient days. Such is the common religious practice, the
active God-orientation that purifies existence and improves
its potential. Even so, the exoteric religious orientation,
like the non-religious orientation, does not lead toward a
Realization of existence that is beyond gross phenomenal
existence. The grosser religious path leads to purification
and improvement of gross existence, but it does not lead
beyond gross existence, even though the One Contemplated is
utterly beyond gross conditional existence
itself.

Most people, if they are moved
toward the religious life at all, seem to fit into this
category. The purification of gross existence seems to be
their intention, at least. People have come to Me for the
last two decades as if coming to Me for the Great Process
Itself and altogether, but they are always bargaining and
resisting and withholding and in one way or another
indicating to Me that their intention is only at the
beginning, or limited to this grosser, what we might call
“exoteric”, aspiration.

The beginners orientation, then, if
it is religious, is a life of feeling-Contemplation that
purifies gross existence through devotion, service, and
self-discipline. It improves the gross condition itself,
progressively, and its after-death Realization does not go
beyond gross consciousness but proceeds toward a like
embodiment, either through the mechanism of reincarnation or
through the mechanism of continuation in the grosser
dimension of the Cosmic Mandala. This seems to be the
intention of most people, and, therefore, also of most
people who come to Me.

My Confession to you, My Revelation
to you, My Wisdom-Teaching, covers the entire Process of
God-Realization (which becomes Divine Self-Realization) in
its totality. Therefore, when you all consider this Way of
the Heart and talk about it, you tend to use My own
language, the language of the total Way. Your practice, your
demonstration, is another matter, however. What does your
practice, your demonstration, indicate about your intention?
The motivation to transcend conditional existence must be
found if practice is to be real and effective. But even if
you find it, you must still measure your aspiration or
intention, because you will not, simply because in some
sense you practice the Way of the Heart, Realize Divine
Translation automatically. Simply because you belong to this
Communion and you are My devotee does not mean that you will
Realize Divine Translation or the seventh stage Disposition
or any degree of significant advancement beyond the
beginning.

I hope, if you are a practitioner of
this Way of the Heart, that you will at least be relieved of
a certain burden of karmic tendency, and therefore improve
your disposition and your destiny, not merely in this
lifetime but after it. I hope there is at least that minimum
intention or strength of participation in you. But nothing
beyond that, nothing more than that, will be Realized simply
because you take up this Way of the Heart as an ordinary
practitioner. Movement into subtler or higher planes of
embodiment does not happen automatically. It does not happen
merely because you function in religious terms and are
becoming purified to some degree. That potential destiny
occurs only if you live the sadhana in very specific terms.
It requires the sacrifice of lesser tendencies of embodiment
and the release of attention into the higher planes. Such is
a specific kind of sadhana, then, you see, that necessarily
involves the sacrifice of the gross orientation of
attention.

And if there is to be Perfect
Awakening to the Realization of “Open Eyes” (and,
ultimately, Divine Translation), a sadhana must be engaged
that directly and effectively sacrifices all forms of
attention, all intentions toward conditional embodiment,
gross or subtle or causal. If that literal sacrifice is not
made, persisted in, Realized, Accomplished, then you may
enjoy some of the virtues of the religious life, but you
will not Realize a destiny beyond the present
form.

The One you Contemplate is the same,
regardless of your intention relative to this what we might
call “evolutionary” matter. But those who Contemplate Me are
all differently disposed, and most often those who
Contemplate Me are inclined toward a religious development
of gross human existence rather than anything beyond it.
Although there is much fantasizing by people that they are
actually moving toward higher planes or even perhaps
ultimate Realization, it is just mentalizing and
fantasizing. Because you are associated with Me and this
Wisdom-Teaching, you acquire a kind of mind through
familiarity. But that mind has nothing to do with the actual
Realization of What is beyond this present manifested form
in which you are appearing.

Truly there is nothing but
Consciousness-Self-Radiant, Self-Existing, Infinite,
Absolute, Radiant Consciousness. It is so even now. But by
virtue of attention, you are associated with a mechanism, a
body-mind, that is structured in such a way that it
associates with modifications of the Absolute that are of a
particular kind, what we call gross. The body-mind with
which you are presently associated is a mechanism, a
machine, if you will, that is sensitive to only a certain
range of vibration. It therefore perceives the Absolute in
the form of this gross modification.

At the same moment in which this
perception is taking place, there is still nothing but
absolute Energy, absolute Consciousness. The perception is
an appearance. Someone associated with a subtler body-mind
in a higher plane within the “Cosmic Mandala” is enjoying a
very different kind of perception and state of mind and
experience than you at the present moment. But even so, what
is determining that perception or experience is the fact
that attention is associated by tendency with a certain
degree of modification, a certain portion of possible
vibration or apparent modification of the
Absolute.

All are appearing within the same
Absolute, but attention associates with degrees of vibration
or appearance or modification of that One Absolute. You are
associated by virtue of attention with this gross mechanism,
which is a machine, a way of tuning in to the Absolute and
perceiving It through a certain color, a certain vibration.
And you are, by virtue of this association, habituated to
perpetuate that kind of awareness. Therefore, you will
continue thus, unless you either raise attention up or
transcend it altogether. Without the sacrifice that goes
beyond this gross range, you will either stay more or less
as you are, or get better, or get worse, but only within
this plane of gross attention.

It is useful, then, to discover just
what is your intention. What is your intention relative to
attention, relative to experience? Are you basically moved
to cling to this kind of experiencing, or not? If you are
not inclined to cling to it, then the sacrifice that goes
beyond it is potential for you. If you are clinging to this
gross experience, then you must examine your
heart-intention. Are you willing to submit to tendencies and
fulfill your karmic destiny through self-indulgence such
that your destiny becomes grosser? Decreases? In other words
becomes more difficult? Or are you not willing to have it be
so? Are you not willing even to just live a less exaggerated
life of self-indulgence and simply continue more or less as
you are? Are you dissatisfied enough, in other words, to
seriously embrace the religious life and purify your gross
karmas so that your Realization, even though continuing
within the gross planes, will improve?

You first must find out what your
intention is. And then, having found that out, you must make
such measures as this. It is useful to do this, you see, and
not to fantasize that you are involved in a greater
intention than is true of you.

[To the questioner] What is
your sense of yourself, then, in these terms?

DEVOTEE: I feel that I dramatize the
intention to cling to the gross drama. You have talked about
the two-sidedness of the being, and I see that on the one
hand Your Communication Awakens me and, I feel, grows the
impulse to move beyond gross existence, and on the other
hand, I can see the complete attention of this person, this
body-mind, to itself, which is gross.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: It is
inevitable. The body-mind is just what it is. The body-mind
is not here to Realize God. The body-mind is here to be what
it is, to persist in being that. What is your intention? You
can either submit to this mechanism, the present trend of
attention in gross form, or you can make it into a sacrifice
and go beyond it. Even if your intention is to make it a
sacrifice and go beyond it, you are still going to have to
struggle, you see. It is an ordeal. It is sadhana. It
requires tapas, the discipline of the sacrifice. It is not
that if your choice is to go beyond, all of a sudden you are
not going to be struggling with tendencies. That is what
there is to struggle with, a mechanism that is tending to go
its own way and fulfill its destiny. All the body-mind in
itself wants to do is be what it is. An old-time radio from
the 30s does not want to become a TV set in the 80s, you
see. Attention has to be different and make something
new.

DEVOTEE: I do feel my intention to
go beyond the body-mind, Sat-Guru Da. I feel that You have
Given it to me. I feel that it is Your Gift.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: Yes,
but to what degree are you embracing this Gift
intentionally? In other words, is your concrete, moment to
moment intention to sacrifice this gross form of attention,
or not? Are you simply trying to improve the situation, or
do you not care that much about it and just want it to go
its own way? Or would you really like to indulge yourself in
it? What exactly is your intention?

DEVOTEE: I dont feel it is just to
indulge in it.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: So the
grossest, to get worse, is not your intention. You have
indulged yourself a little bit in your life, but you cannot
really say such is your commitment. Well-is your commitment
toward just getting along, then, just hoping it will not get
worse?

DEVOTEE: No.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: That is
not good enough, either? Is your intention, then, to be
purified in this body-mind so that it improves through a
religious life lived humanly?

DEVOTEE: I do feel my attention is
to be purified, although purification simply occurs by the
Grace of Your Company.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: If you
do the sadhana.

DEVOTEE: I see that very clearly. It
has been demonstrated for me since I have been here in
direct relationship to something very specific about the
second stage of life, in my own case, an emotional obsession
with loss and sorrow, and feelings of rejection, that kind
of emotionalism. I never really felt before that I could
make the gesture of self-transcendence in relationship to
it, and I felt the tapas in doing that. It is
tapas.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: Yes.
You must renounce sorrow. It is not that you must figure it
out or analyze yourself or go into reveries and try to
discover when it first appeared and what is holding it in
place. No. You must sacrifice it, relinquish it, Stand Prior
to it, be in a senior position relative to it. You must
surrender it, just that, period. No mind about it. It is
just a mechanism, a level of vibration, if you will, a
thought. It is just something to be let go of. If you want
higher thoughts, greater thoughts, you must sacrifice the
ones you are tending to have right now. But you must do it
intentionally, and, therefore, consistently. You must make
it into a way of life. Your way of life must become one of
intentionally and consistently relinquishing your
association with lesser tendencies.

If you do not relinquish them
systematically and consistently, the tendencies will
persist. If you indulge in them, you reinforce them and
accumulate further destiny. It is not enough to feel
sympathetic with the idea of becoming purified and going
beyond. You must do the sadhana consistently. You must
constantly deal with these tendencies that arise, no matter
what they are. You must make the sacrifice. Your
Contemplation of Me must be a sacrifice or it is not
effective sadhana. You must literally be going beyond
limitations constantly.

But, as I indicated earlier, you
will go beyond only those limitations that you do in fact
sacrifice. Therefore, if there is a limit on what you submit
through this practice, then that limit necessarily becomes
your destiny. You see-it is a choice. You see how Lawful it
all is. It is not that there is some petty Divinity
punishing you for not fulfilling certain rules and rewarding
you for doing some other things you are asked to do. It is a
structure within which you are free, at all times free, to
change, if you will fulfill the Law of change. Basically,
that Law is Contemplation and tapas-in simple terms
devotion, service, and self-discipline. These cover the
process very basically. And it is a matter of doing that
consistently, profoundly, going beyond the limitations that
are arising such that attention moves beyond its present
apparent level of manifestation. It will do so, by Grace,
through feeling-Contemplation, if you do the sadhana
consistently. Give your life up completely to that
sadhana.

But you define the result. You must
understand that it is not someone other than you who is
determining the result. You determine it. Therefore, you
must discover in yourself-through development of
self-awareness, self-observation, and
self-understanding-just what limit you are placing on the
sacrifice, because you are determining the result, or the
Realization.

[To the questioner] You just
suggested that your commitment is not toward self-indulgence
and getting worse, nor even toward perpetuating the status
quo and just going along with living a sort of moderated
life and fulfilling your destiny. You are at least inclined
toward some kind of purifying sadhana. But how does that
commitment define itself? Does it define itself in terms of
gross embodiment or in terms of going beyond it? What is
your intention?

Real sadhana is a consistent
sacrifice. The actual qualities of your performance of the
sacrifice determine the result. You must find out if you are
using attention in the midst of this ordeal of sadhana in
such a way that at most you are simply a little bit at a
time purifying and improving your grossly limited state of
existence. This is something you must discover. If you
discover that it is so, then you can still change it. You
can still go beyond it. But you must find it out. Otherwise,
notions of the seventh stage of life are just fantasies.
Life will not turn out that way, you see, if you do not do
the sadhana.

People practicing conventional
religion imagine that, because they believe in such and such
a religious doctrine, they are going to go to heaven after
death. You must do the sadhana. Belief does not determine
it. Belief only cuts so deep. What do you do? What is
attention about in your case? Attention is
destiny-guaranteed. What you do with your attention-and you
are completely free to do what you will with it-what you do
with attention determines destiny. Just that. That is
exactly how it works.

Attention, you could say, is pure
location. It has no dimension. The location of attention
determines destiny because where attention goes, so to
speak, becomes a choice in space-time. Attention itself has
no dimension to it, but what it is associated with has all
kinds of dimensions. If attention is by tendency locating
itself in the grosser space-time configuration, then it will
remain there, and the dimensions of space-time that are
gross in nature will remain the apparition, the destiny in
the Absolute, until such a time as attention is deflected or
moved otherwise. Once attention is established in such a
configuration as the present one, the apparition perpetuates
itself, because attention tends to remain there. You must be
moved in your attention to go beyond this particular
configuration, or it will simply continue to unravel as this
gross destiny, which is only one fractional range of total
possibility.

Even the subtler planes are
countless, and none of them are absolute, as you find out in
the ordeal of sadhana when you encounter them. In the
subtler planes you can make the same choice you made
relative to the gross plane. You can choose to make it a
sacrifice and go beyond. Those who make higher dimensions of
existence into a sacrifice do not become fixed in them. They
go utterly beyond them, ultimately. But those who cannot
make that choice remain fixed in that higher locus until
they are moved above it or below it or variously within
it.

Attention is moving about in a
Matrix of space-time, tending to become fixed in one
location or another, perpetuating destiny there until it
becomes unsatisfactory. Ultimate Wisdom Realizes that there
is limitation everywhere in this Grand Matrix, or Cosmic
Mandala. Therefore, by that Wisdom, the sacrifice of
attention itself is made. And that is the Ultimate, or
Perfect, Process that becomes the Realization of the seventh
stage of life, and, ultimately, Divine Translation. But it
is not an automaticity.

I have said that the simplest
practice in the Way of the Heart can potentially Realize
even the seventh stage Capability. That is true. It is
possible. But it requires the profundities of sadhana. I had
the feeling when I first passed The Love-Ananda Gita to you
that people were imagining that with a little casual
devotional practice the seventh stage Realization will
happen to them, as if there is nothing to it.

Great Realization requires a great
sacrifice. There are no two ways about it! I have Given you
all the Means for it, but you must do the sadhana. It is not
going to happen as an automaticity, and you will not move
beyond the beginners practice unless you become involved in
the greater sacrifice. It is not possible without the
sadhana. You are Given the sadhana that is associated with
Grace, so you have a great advantage. But that does not mean
the sadhana itself can be bypassed. If you are moved to the
religious life, at least toward some purification of the
grosser life, you must discover whether or not you are moved
to any more than that, other than in your imagination,
because there is no movement beyond the beginners practice
if this greater motivation does not awaken in you. And the
practice of the Way of the Heart does not even move beyond
the gross plane until after practicing stage three in the
elaborately detailed course of practice of the Way of the
Heart (or an equivalent Realization of practice).

Without sadhana, there is no destiny
greater than the sector I call the gross plane-which
includes not only this gross physical plane here, but a
range only slightly subtler than this-and no movement beyond
it. Even through practicing stage three (or an equivalent
Realization of practice), all sadhana relates to this gross
life, which is progressively purified, and thus
progressively improved, so to speak. But, through practicing
stage three, there is no indication, at any rate, of a
possible destiny beyond these grosser planes. There may not
necessarily be reincarnation in this grosser physical sense,
but what is indicated is continuation in the grosser sector
of the subtle worlds, if one has advanced as much as
practicing stage three.

It was presumed anciently that in
any generation, if you have at least any interest in
Realizing something more than the mayhem of your own
suffering, go and find a Realizer. Try very hard to find
such a One. And when you have found Him, throw yourself at
His Feet and take His Instruction, because that One is the
only One, or one of a few, in that generation who enjoys the
capability to go through the ordeal and discover what the
structure of Reality is and what to do within It. This is
not something that every individual can find out on his or
her own. You are not born with the tendency to do it, and
you will not do it on your own. Rare are the individuals who
have the capacity to Realize even to any degree at all, and
rarer still are those who have passed through the entire
Process and who can speak with authority about it in its
totality.

Well-if one finds the Great Process
at the Feet of a Realizer, you see what difficulty this
generation is in! This generation is dramatizing a
disinclination toward authority-every man for himself, every
woman for herself. A struggle against authority
characterizes this generation and many generations now past.
The great link to the Ultimate Process is being thrown away
with this disinclination.

Some apparently think that because
of the orientation of Westerners the Great Way cannot be
brought to them as It truly Is, and It must be changed for
Westerners-therefore, the Guru and all kinds of matters
associated with devotion and the Spiritual Process as It has
been traditionally communicated must be eliminated, and the
Great Way must be changed into something a Westerner can do
by himself or herself. However, simply because Westerners
are (or have been), by tendency, not disposed (or inclined)
to take up the Great Way as It Is does not mean that the
Great Way can be changed, and that they will (thereby) wind
up Realizing It. It does not work that way.

The Great Way is just the way It Is.
Its own Laws are inherent within It. The Great Way is
characterized by certain Laws of process. They simply cannot
be changed. Individuals are all born with certain tendencies
of attention, and they are simply tending to fulfill their
destiny. Realizers appear to help break the spell and to
link individuals with the Great Process, but one by one. So
what is your inclination? What is your intention? How are
you purposed? To what degree will you enter into this
process? Yes, in some sense one Way is Given to all-I Give
you all this Way of the Heart-but on the other hand I am
Giving you as many Ways as there are individuals. Each one
practices the same Way of the Heart within certain
characteristic limits, in a certain characteristic fashion,
with a certain characteristic intention. Each one will,
therefore, Realize differently within the same
Way.

You will not Realize the seventh
stage of life simply because your Heart-Master is a seventh
stage God-Realizer. You will Realize according to the motive
of your own attention. You will Realize according to the
quality of your sadhana in My Company.

So, you see, even in the simplest
gesture that I describe in The Love-Ananda Gita , there is
still a necessary function that we can call
self-understanding. This Way is still the Way of
Understanding. Even in the simplest practice you come to
understand yourself more and more. The more you enter into
feeling -Contemplation, the more you understand yourself,
and the more you are reflected back to yourself. Even the
simplest practice is not only Contemplation of Me. It is
Contemplation of Me in the context of functional, practical,
relational, and cultural disciplines. Contemplation and
self-discipline-the two go together, you see, even in the
simplest practice.

Necessarily, a process of
self-understanding is involved in this practice. The limit
of your devotion, service, self-discipline,
feeling-Contemplation-the limit of all of this is constantly
being exposed to you. To do even the simplest practice you
must go beyond the limits that are exposed to you. The Way
is, therefore, still the Way of Understanding.

That being the case, then, observing
yourself, you must come to understand the limit you are
enforcing in your sadhana. And you must decide whether you
will accept that limit or not. First you must find out what
that limit is, and then you must decide whether you will
accept it or not, and whether or not it is enough sadhana
for you.

Many people read or listen to My
Teaching-Word and have the intention to honor Me, have a
positive orientation toward Me altogether, but they are not
inclined to do anything more than that. They like studying
the Wisdom-Teaching and having some positive feelings about
Me. They read My books when they are published. But they are
basically not inclined to do more than be what we call a
“formal Friend”. They are not inclined to take on the
disciplines of this practice.

What is such an individual saying?
“That is enough for me, just this much. Im helped by this
Wisdom-Teaching and by knowing that You exist, and that is
about all Im willing to do about it. Im satisfied with how
things will go if I accept just this much Gift.” Of course,
this view may change over time, since the more experience
there is, the more suffering there is, but that is what such
a person is saying.

Likewise, someone who is willing to
take up this Way by taking up the basic functional,
practical, relational, and cultural disciplines, and
intentionally responding to the Call to devotion, service,
and self-discipline, such an individual, having embraced
that sadhana-and there are many such people among the
members of this Communion presently-is standing at the
beginning of the process. There are approximately nine
hundred formal practitioners at the present time, and almost
all of them are standing at the very beginning. Some are
standing right at the door, just entering into the Way, only
beginning to adapt at all to this practice. Some others,
however many there may be at the moment, have advanced to
some degree in the student-beginners dimension of practice,
but they have not yet exceeded the student-beginners
practice. Such is the limit of almost all practitioners at
the present time.

What is everyone saying to Me, then?
To choose to be at the beginning-and in many cases that
choice is being announced perhaps even after a decade or
more of association with Me-to stand at the beginning is to
say that your choice as a practitioner is limited by the
gross orientation of attention. You are saying that it is
enough for you to assume only this much discipline and you
do not want to overdo it. You do not want to press yourself
too much, or require any more of yourself at the present
time. All such language is an expression of a
choice.

If you are still saying this after
many years, you must understand that it is very much an
expression of your intention. It is not merely that you are
a beginner. For how many years can you be a beginner? You
have intentionally, in other words, limited your sadhana to
the beginners expression, and by this you have indicated a
choice. You must take this fact seriously.

Particularly those who have been
associated with Me and this opportunity with Me for some
number of years need to examine themselves and see that
being a beginner after so many years is an indication of a
choice. It is a statement about practice. You are basically
satisfied with the minimum of the Way of the Heart and the
minimum discipline, and you are content with the destiny you
will Realize on that basis.

As I said earlier, the first thing
you must do is find out what choice you are animating.
Having found that out, you have the option to make another
choice. But to do so is not just a matter of momentarily
feeling that you really want to Realize the Absolute. It is
not a matter of being a fan of the Divine. If you are going
to make a choice that goes beyond the destiny your current
sign indicates, then you must perform the sacrifice. You
must do the sadhana with that much more intensity, and you
must do it consistently.

It is possible to remain a
student-beginner as an orientation to a lifetime of
practice. Such is not a fruitless choice. It is lay practice
in the Way of the Heart to be a student-beginner. You can
remain a student-beginner or become what we call a general
lay member-practitioner and let that level of maturity
characterize your practice for the rest of your life. It is
good practice, because it involves a choice to relinquish
attention on a certain level. If you did not make such a
choice, you would only indulge in attention such that either
your destiny worsened, or, at the very most, your destiny
continued along its present lines.

To take up the Way of the Heart,
even as a student-beginner or as a general lay
member-practitioner, is to use attention differently. It is
to embrace a Way of life that will purify karmas to a
significant degree, not sufficiently to evolve into higher
planes, or to move beyond conditional existence-no, not
that-but sufficient to improve destiny through purification,
such that the destiny after death is superior to the destiny
Realized in the present lifetime.

It is, therefore, good sadhana. It
is true religious practice. But you must understand that it
is a choice of destiny also, and you must decide whether for
you it is sufficient to go through a basic process of
purification to improve your current destiny. If it is
sufficient for you, then perpetuating the student-beginner
practice and the beginners signs in the general lay practice
is good sadhana. Do not suggest that your motive is greater
than that, unless you would be relieved of this gross
imposition and moved beyond it, at least into higher planes,
or utterly beyond it, fulfilling My Teaching-Call Perfectly.
And do not suggest such is your motivation unless it is also
your practice.

If you are not satisfied with the
choice to be a beginner, or even a general lay
member-practitioner-which is true religious practice, or a
purifying process that improves destiny in the context of
gross existence-then you must also practice differently. You
can make another choice to go beyond even that purified
destiny-and even how purified is up to you. You could make a
choice to go beyond the gross potential, but such a choice
requires sacrifice, it requires renunciation, it requires
the renunciate Way of life. Even the renunciate Way of life
has its degrees of sacrifice, which likewise determine
destiny within the higher ranges of conditional existence,
or even the Destiny that is Perfect.

Realization and renunciation
coincide. If Realization is Perfect, renunciation is
Perfect. Fundamentally, it is renunciation of attention, but
such renunciation must be demonstrated in the context of
psycho-physical existence, in other words in the body-mind.
If you do not relinquish the body-mind, you will not Realize
the fulfillment of the Perfect Practice. If you remain
committed in your attention to the Cosmic Mandala, you
cannot practice the Perfect Practice. It is not a matter of
being sort of solid and mental and preferring the
orientation of the sixth stage of life. Your preparation for
the Perfect Practice must be demonstrated through real
sadhana. You must demonstrate the capability, the clear
disposition, to transcend attention in the context of the
Cosmic Mandala. If that disposition is there, then the
sadhana must be done. The renunciation of attention must
increase, and likewise its demonstration in the body-mind. A
clear disposition demonstrated through sadhana, not merely a
mental or philosophical preference, justifies the Perfect
Practice.

[To the questioner] So what
is your choice then? Which one? The beginners
sadhana?

DEVOTEE: That is the sadhana I am
doing.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: So you
are content with that choice for the moment?

DEVOTEE: No.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: You are
not content with it?

DEVOTEE: I feel that Your Grace is
drawing me into the beginners sadhana very quickly, and the
more it becomes my daily practice, the more I am moved to
simply live that practice as my life.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: But
your demonstration is still very much that of a
beginner.

DEVOTEE: Yes.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: Only
beginning to adapt to this sadhana. So you cannot really
answer for any greater motivation than the one to establish
the beginners practice.

DEVOTEE: No.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: So that
is your choice for now.

DEVOTEE: You asked me whether I am
content, and I . . .

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: By
“content” I do not mean necessarily a mood of contentment. I
mean that the choice is clearly yours, and it is just that,
and not more than that, until you are capable of making a
greater choice.

You are not capable of making a
greater choice until you have established the foundation
practice, so it is not even a matter of real discussion
about a greater choice until then. And so it is with
practitioners of this Way in general. Everyone is haggling
about the foundation practice. Other than the Kanyas, people
have not moved beyond that foundation struggle to the point
that they can discuss just what is their disposition
relative to Realization, and what commitment they can make
beyond the lay orientation, or beyond self-purifying
practice in the context of gross life.

If, for you, the struggle is about
disciplining the gross personality, all talk about greater
Realization is fantasy. Similarly, if you tell Me that you
have all kinds of experiences of My Spiritual Presence,
well, that is fine-maybe you are having experiences of such
things because you live in proximity to Me. But that does
not mean that the process is leading you toward a greater
destiny than one associated with the gross personality-it
does not mean that at all. The measure is what has been
sacrificed at the gross level, not how many subtle
experiences you have. If the gross personality is not
relinquished, not effectively transcended, then it remains
your destiny, regardless of how many mystical experiences
you may have had.You will not Realize a destiny beyond the
gross body if you do not transcend the gross body. Now you
are all kinds of sorrowful and afraid because the gross body
is your commitment. You are afraid to die, and you are
afraid to lose all the relations you can enjoy when you are
alive bodily. Yes, it is the body that has these tendencies,
but you can (ultimately, you must) transcend that gross
personality. It can be as afraid and sorrowful as it
pleases. You must Stand Beyond it. And that requires the
great Ordeal in which you cease to be identified with the
gross body and are instead identified with That in Which it
arises.

There are degrees of that
Realization, you see. You can be identified with the subtler
field in which the gross body is arising. You can be
identified with a subtler field than the lesser subtler
field. Or you can be Identified with the Divine
Self-Condition. There are degrees of Realization.

But, to move beyond the plane of
gross bodily destiny, you must become Identified with That
in Which the gross body is arising, rather than with the
gross body itself. If that sacrifice does not occur, gross
existence will replicate itself automatically. And, beyond
identification with the gross personality, there are all the
subtle possibilities, all the subtle planes of existence,
everything that is mind, in other words. Mind is not merely
the thoughts you have at the present. Mind is planes of
existence. Mind is destiny, ultimately, or
really.

It is one thing, therefore, to
transcend identification with the gross body. It is another
thing to transcend all the possibilities of mind beyond it.
There is no Perfect Realization, no seventh stage Awakening,
and no Divine Translation until there is the transcendence
not only of the gross body, but of all the planes of mind,
all the planes of cosmic existence. You can Commune with,
Contemplate, and sympathize with the One Who is Transcending
all, no matter within what plane you are apparently
resident. But you cannot Realize a different destiny than
the plane in which you are apparently resident without
sacrificing your attention, and literally releasing it from
this locus to another. You can move attention from this
locus associated with the gross dimensions. You can move it
from there to subtler planes, subtler loci, or you can
transcend attention itself and Realize the Divine
Self-Condition Itself, prior to all apparent
modifications.

There is a tendency in people to
trivialize this Great Process. Because I can Communicate
about all this, write it down for you, engage in discussion
with you about it, and, therefore, you can receive all this,
reflect it all in your mind, you tend to imagine that
somehow it is already done, it is already accomplished, it
is already so, somehow. You trivialize it by somehow
locating it in mind, replicating it through certain
mind-forms. People imagine that somehow they have already
done the sadhana. A couple of thrills in the spine, and they
are God-Realized! That is to trivialize the Great Process.
The Great Process is the Ultimate Sacrifice. It is a
profound Ordeal. You cannot Realize the Divine by
trivializing the Divine, familiarizing yourself with the
Divine to the point that no sadhana is necessary, getting so
cozy with Me that you need not accept My discipline or
fulfill My Instruction.

I can be at ease and conversational
with you for your sake, because such is an appearance that
you require, but it does not change the requirements of the
Way.

I am, therefore, waiting to hear
from practitioners about their choice. I am interested to
find out if any individuals in this Communion are going to
take on renunciate practice and embrace the Way of the Heart
with the greatest intention. For those who are content, so
to speak, to assume the lay orientation, or the beginners
orientation, that is good, too. It is admirable practice. It
is just that I expect you to be realistic about what that
practice involves, and not presume that you are casually
moving toward the Ultimate Realization.

The beginners sadhana is good
sadhana. It is basically a process of purification, and of
integrating ones life with the Divine Law at the level of
gross existence. This is good. And it seems that it is
enough for most people, for most people who intend to be
religious at all.

Occasionally, when I ask about this,
numbers of people tell Me that they intend to advance in
their practice. And yet they do not show Me the signs. They
remain reluctant to give Me the evidence of devotion,
service, and self-discipline. As yet, they have not fully or
truly adapted their lives even to the foundation practice,
and yet they are “talking” about advanced practices. There
is yet, in other words, a dramatic difference between
performance and the aspirations some of you have in
mind.