Volume 3, Number 3 – MARCH 1984
a talk by Da Free John – November 7, 1983
ADI DA SAMRAJ: The signs of true self-understanding and emotional conversion to the Divine are still weak in devotees. Some of you are practicing at this basic stage, some even beyond it. But many of you are skill sitting in that reluctant stage of being a fan of Da Free John and this Way of life instead of presuming the responsibilities of a true devotee. I look for signs of real practice. I look not merely for a large membership in our institution, but for a large practicing membership. I look not merely for well-attended lectures or for practice of the dietary disciplines, although such signs are important. I look for a gathering of devotees who practice the Way of Divine Communion, this moment to moment devotional relationship with me, this Happiness. I look for devotees who are steady in that practice, whose affirmation of their relationship with me is founded on such maturity rather than merely on being a religious fan.
Too many of you are indulging in reluctance, and even though you are still expecting to see the virtues of spiritual practice in your lives, you have not accepted the responsibilities for a spiritual Way of life. I am happy for students in The Laughing Man Institute, but how happy can I be with those who are still Laughing Man Institute students after eight, nine, or ten years? The Laughing Man Institute has become a fan club when it continues that long. It is supposed to be a brief period of examination of the Teaching, adapting to the disciplines, and moving on to the true practice. Students should be moved to truly take up this practice and inspire my other devotees to get out of The Laughing Man Institute.
The Laughing Man Institute is simply a service we have provided to help people make the transition from worldly pursuits into the community of devotees and a life of true practice. It is a service, not a way of life. It is bullshit to make The Laughing Man Institute into a way of life. Yet, many people are making careers of their distance from me as “Friends” of the Work, subscribers to the magazines, LMI-1, LMI-2. These categories are not meant to be a way of life. They are just services. However, people are making a life out of that distance, that weakness, that failure of nerve, that failure of responsibility, that ambiguity, just as they have done during all the years of my Work.
You must take on this Way, both hands full, as much as you can receive, and devote yourself to it, throw yourself into it, and be fruitful with what you are given. That is what you ought to be doing. How long does it take to hear what there is to hear and see what there is to see? You must put yourself on the line, give up your mediocre, karmic career of self-possession, accept the Revelation you have been given, and be Happy with it. Motivate others to be Happy with it as well and give up your devotion to being a beginner.
Human existence lived from the born point of view is ultimately a tragedy. When you are old, your are possessed by the same desires as when you were young. You simply do not have the machinery to fulfill those desires. Thus, human life lived for its own sake, for the sake of its mechanics, is a tragedy. Inclination without the capacity to fulfill itself is the essence of this tragedy, and the final moment is a heaving, strangling fear, without the slightest sensation of what might come next. You experience that horror but have no responsible mind, and therefore the mechanical mind repeats its destiny again. That is the essence of the future. We call it reincarnation. It does not necessarily involve returning to this earth plane, but it does involve mechanical repetition of disposition and destiny.
You must become involved with the Source, the Truth, the Current that pervades the world and is modified as all of this appearance, and you must be Happy, be full, and realize the unique, transforming destiny of those who submit themselves to the literal Reality. You are given that opportunity in my Living Company, which will continue even beyond my physical, human lifetime. If you refuse to submit yourself during my physical lifetime, what will you do when this body-mind dies? What can we expect of people who will never see me in the flesh and yet will be called to the same practice? Not to have seen me in the flesh is not an impediment in me nor in this Teaching. It is not even an impediment in you. Only through the ordinary mechanics of fear and self-possession do you dissociate from what Is. You must be man or woman enough to relinquish that self-possession in the face of Revelation. If you cannot make that gesture, you cannot practice. It is simply that self-transcending gesture that is required of you. Everything is given by Grace to those who will make that gesture.
I want to hear that my devotees are relinquishing their self-possession and are making transitions in their practice. That is what we must support in one another. We must not be mediocre intellectuals, trying to decide whether this Teaching is true or not. (Speaks in a mock-serious tone) “Is it really true what this Da Free John is saying?” (Laughter.) “Shall we surrender or shall we not?” (Laughter.)
All you reluctant people must become true men and women. You are different from the animal. You have reached into a realm of mind in which animals do not participate. You have a greater advantage than the animal and therefore a greater responsibility. You have an opportunity and an obligation to become men and women. Even so, you have touched nothing! You have entered into only a fraction at the outer perimeter of the totality of manifestation, because your brains hide much more than they reveal.
You know nothing about That in which you inhere, but you must not exist in this separated state. Submit to That which you intuit but which is beyond your knowing. You must find the Beloved pervading this space through the total submission of your body-mind. Wake up and become a true human being and get out of The Laughing Man Institute. To public people, I say get into The Laughing Man Institute. To those who have been students for some time, I say get the hell out of The Laughing Man Institute and start to truly practice. You are wasting your lives at that distance.
If you love Me, you know that I serve you by becoming exactly what you are, by suffering every bit of your life. I have lived every fraction of it and I am still living it. When I gather with you I absorb the contents of your lives. When I sit with devotees around the world, I suffer pain throughout the body. There is a tremendous absorption of insanity. I must be crucified by the intense energy that passes through my system, and then resurrected. A great living process must be endured.
I do not Teach you in the abstract, like an ascetic swami telling you to give up sex. I accept your condition, not only in you, but in myself. I live with you intimately, accepting your stage of existence, your circumstance in this world exactly.
I have fully accepted all of this by being born. I have not reserved anything from this sacrifice and therefore none of you should reserve anything. You must participate in this sacrifice and enjoy my Ultimate Disposition. We are not engaged in mere philosophy but rather in a great process in the superphysics of cosmic manifestation. You must become involved in it, you must become sympathetic with it. A great event in the history of mankind has occurred through this birth, and a great process in the superphysics of the universe is involved in my Work with all of you. All you need to do is participate in it. I withhold nothing. I suffer everything you suffer. You must enter into this relationship with me in love. I withhold no love from you, and you must not withhold a fraction of your love for me. Why should you be full of doubt? Live your life full of wonder!
A great event is involved in my life. It has been said of past incarnations of the Divine that only the most intimate devotees of an Adept can know Who that One Is and understand the significance of that Presence. That is nonsense! Perhaps it tends to work out that way, but the Divine does not enter into human form to be known by a few intimates. I am here to be known by everyone! There is no law in the universe that says I can be known as I Am by only a few. I can be known as I Am by everyone, and I will not be satisfied by anything less. I may be forced to put up with something less, but I will not be satisfied with it.
You must know me. You must hear me and see me. Be awakened into this passion of life that I have for you and that you must have for me. Be changed by that passion, be liberated, made Happy, made creative, made human by it. All who have seen me have this obligation. All my devotees, having heard me, must contact me as I Am altogether, and all of you must be Agency for Who I Am.
I acknowledge the changes that are occurring. I am seeing more obvious devotion from my devotees, and this is wonderful. This Hermitage is a great place, not just for me but for all devotees. Very positive changes have begun to occur in the last year, but this is still the beginning. Your lives can be changed utterly by this conversion, this disposition to which I call you. You do not invent this disposition in yourself. All you must do is hear me and see me, know me and practice.
The absurdity of this moment will be utterly clear to my devotees in the future. You do not yet know how to estimate the effect of my birth and what will occur as a result of my incarnation. You are the seed of a great historical change, and you cannot even see what is before your eyes. We have accomplished great things already, although you are not yet aware of it. You are a handful of people full of good-heartedness and making positive gestures, but you still do not know exactly what has happened here and what the result of it will be. As decades pass, you will see the import of what you have all experienced in seed form but cannot yet recognize.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Da Free John is not an egoic religious leader. Sooner or later, the world will come to know that the purpose of my birth is to transform the world in a critical moment in history. And I will do it. But I need this vehicle of response. I need the human vehicle, because the purpose of my birth is to transform mankind, everyone, human history, by bringing us through this terrible transition in which we now find ourselves. My birth is an epic moment of spiritual intervention, and you are showing the same reluctance that has always appeared in those associated with Adepts in the past. This moment, however, is more important than any moment in the past. When you have passed through this crisis of growth, you will begin to understand what has happened, what Force has been brought into the flesh through my birth. I hope that moment will occur before I die, before this body dies. That is what I mean when I say, “Maybe the Big One will win this time!” It very well could happen that way. It should. That is my purpose.
The purpose of my birth is not for me to be remembered and acknowledged and glorified after my lifetime, but to be approached, acknowledged, Communed with while alive, so that when this body dies that Communion will not be broken. This birth will then be a tool for the transformation of humanity altogether. This is my purpose. It is true for every single individual who approaches. Every single one is called, every single one is loved, every single one I embrace and submit to, even as you must submit to me.
What I submit to, I become, and this makes my life a crucifixion. What you submit to glorifies you, Awakens you, expands the sphere of your existence, and brings you into a glorious possibility. All of us will participate in that glorious possibility in time. I promise you will see this. But here we are in this human plane, involved in this great struggle, which is difficult, but made easier by my coming here.
DEVOTEE: Master, this last year, coincident with your move into Hermitage, the Institution has grown by leaps and bounds. But more and more, the amazing events that occur turn us to the fact that we have no idea at all what is going to happen next.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes. All of you ridiculous people are the seed of a worldwide institution that will transform the world, and you do not even know where you are! You do not even know how to estimate what will happen. You do not have a sense of it. For you, it is like watching a child grow up-it happens a piece at a time, every day, so you hardly notice what is occurring. If you could see where we all will be twenty years from now, you would be astonished. But you will experience the changes during all those twenty years, and the results will all seem rather natural to you.
DEVOTEE: Master, I have often heard you say that we are literally in your personal Company if we practice, knowing that to be true. Recently, I desired so much to be in your physical Company that I practiced the Prayer of Changes to feel you with me. And I could literally feel your personal Company. To realize that possibility changed my life.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: All my devotees can be in my personal Company in every moment and in my physical Company often if they practice. They can even experience being in my physical Company at any time in the subtle state if they will devote themselves to me.
DEVOTEE: Master, I have to tell you how grateful we are to be staying at Tumomama. Your Presence is so literally felt at that Sanctuary.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: All our Sanctuaries are wonderful. They are unique places on Earth. Anyone who spends time at any one of the Sanctuaries knows this. They are unique not merely because of the physical environments; these Sanctuaries are transformed physical environments. That is why they are so precious to us and why we should not allow them to be disturbed or relinquished for any reason. Others must understand and respect the sacredness of our Sanctuaries. Above all, devotees must respect these places. Yet, how will devotees respect these Sanctuaries if they do not spend time at them?
Each of our Sanctuaries has a unique purpose. We should provide occasions at The Mountain of Attention for all practitioners, including Laughing Man Institute students and students in The Free Communion Church. Ideally, Tumomama should be reserved for members of the Advaitayana Buddhist Order and perhaps for mature members of The Free Communion Church. The Hermitage Sanctuary should be visited by mature members of The Advaitayana Buddhist Order.
Each of these places has a unique quality that serves a unique aspect of practice. Devotees should use these Sanctuaries by regarding each one as a place of pilgrimage and visiting each at an appropriate moment of their practice. Devotees from all parts of the world should, at an early stage in their practice, make a pilgrimage to The Mountain of Attention. They should not expect to then visit Tumomama immediately afterward and Hermitage the week after that. Simply go to The Mountain of Attention at the appropriate time. At a later stage of practice, go to Tumomama. At another stage come here, to Hermitage.
If devotees truly practice, there will be a flow of people through Hermitage as well as through Tumomama and The Mountain of Attention. We in Hermitage would not then live in cultural isolation. At this moment, if I declared the Hermitage a place where only mature members of The Advaitayana Buddhist Order and members of The Crazy Wisdom Fellowship could spend time, who would come here? If devotees will practice, then after a few months or a year there will be many people coming here on that basis. Basically, we will maintain the Hermitage as a place for such mature practitioners.
In the meantime, members of the Hermitage Service Order will spend time here and then visit the various Centers while remaining in contact with me, so that I am not culturally isolated. My speaking of Hermitage as a place of retreat and Communion for mature devotees is not a communication that no one will see me, you see. Devotees have a great opportunity. If they practice, in a relatively short period of time they will manifest the characteristics, the capabilities, and the qualifications necessary to spend time in Hermitage. Many people could do this.
People are not being kept from Hermitage. This is a place where people are welcome. Great numbers of devotees should come here, just as the institution should experience an influx of great numbers of people-even all of mankind! If, after a while, we need a place bigger than the Garland of Whales, this place can become The Advaitayana Buddhist Order Hermitage and one of the continents will become The Crazy Wisdom Fellowship Hermitage! (Laughter.)
DEVOTEE: Master, I had a subtle experience of a time in the future when our culture had become broadly accepted. I saw the granite steps of a church or temple where it seemed that a devotional occasion had just concluded. I saw many people, dressed in a way that seemed to fit our way of life, coming out of the temple. As they came down the stairs, they were talking to one another in a way that indicated a devotional understanding amongst them. They were obviously part of something very great and very wonderful. And they were in no sense alienated from the society in which they lived. It was an extremely relaxing, happy, and intelligent scene. It was lovely to look at and be part of.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: This was a spiritual vision. Perhaps you imagined that to have a spiritual vision you have to see lights or some other world. Such is also a kind of spiritual vision. You must understand that a spiritual vision is a Transformed realization of what is most obviously before your eyes, before your senses, relieved of the knot of self-possession and un-Happiness. To see it relieved of that knot, Happy in God, is a wonderful vision. You can solidify that vision through your creative activity, through your cooperation with other devotees. The potential destiny of the Earth-world is to become a place of Divine Incarnation for all beings, a transformed world. This requires a great creative effort and evolutionary change, but this Earth is not divorced from the Divine, it is simply peripheral to the Divine Shine and therefore has a darkness in it that must be overcome through struggle.
The Divine enters this realm from time to time, and it is always the same One incarnating in order to bring into the human plane that Feeling, that Disposition, that Light, that Revelation, that Force that Enlightens minds and literally lightens hearts so that beings no longer think of themselves as being in a merely mechanical circumstance divorced from the Great Light. They realize that they are in the Domain of God. They also appreciate the fact that they are in one of the peripheral realms of the Divine where darkness is a great possibility, instead of merely a shadow as in some of the inner realms, you see. Here the darkness is not just a shadow, it is full of the bulk of hate and unlove, death, fear, and doubt. A great heroic struggle is required to participate in and accept the Divine Principle in these peripheral domains. That is the work of humanity.
In some sense human beings are angels scattered in the periphery of the Divine Manifestation to indulge in this struggle. Therefore, the Living One, the Divine Itself, must incarnate in this place to put human beings in contact, through the flesh vehicle, with that Principle that lives all things. Because of this incarnation you are able to have sufficient courage and good feelings to participate in the exercise that will permit you to evolve and be Happy, even during countless lifetimes that precede the perfection of this Earth. There need not be perfection on Earth for there to be Happiness. All that is necessary is Communion with That Which is Perfect. Through Communion with That Which is Perfect, humankind will evolve, and we will be Happy together, free enough at heart to participate in this short-term experience of human endeavor that Magnifies the Principle of Divinity, the Principle that pervades all things.
Can you do this?
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1. Da Free John, an expository translation of the words of Jesus of Nazareth (John 4:23), Scientific Proof of the Existence of God Will Soon Be Announced by the White House! P. 198.