Experiences, Questions and ‘Turning’
BYRON D: Beloved Master, I bow at Your Feet. Thank You for all Your Gifts that You’ve given me over the years. I just wanted to ask You for, if You would [inaudible] to both clarify some events that have occurred in my practice. There were certain events that have occurred in my practice over the years that were very profound and unexpected, that occurred when I was in Your Company at various times, in Europe and Naitauba, Yosemite. They were very different than just absorptive experiences or something. They were more of a change of awareness, and they seem to be obviously a result of Your Influence and being around You and of a response and my response to You.
” If you didn’t have that sense of Me to begin with, you couldn’t practice the Way at all. Because this Way, the Way of Adidam, is not about seeking Me. It’s about finding Me, from the beginning. And this becomes the principle, a very context in which the sadhana develops.”
What happens, what happened was, for example, in Naitauba in 1998, was that, the change in awareness was that, that my experience in the body-mind was just as it always, just as it ordinarily is. It was just the characteristic experience that I would have. But my relationship, but the relationship to the experience was entirely changed. It wasn’t, there didn’t seem to be any identification with the experience, whatever it was, and some unusual signs happened during that time. For example, there was, it seemed to be continuous, spontaneous self-observation, and also when I would sleep, I would be awake during the dream state and even the deep sleep state. And I think one of the most notable things about it was the fact that I wasn’t, I wasn’t, “I”, “I”, I wasn’t aware of this occurring until just, actually just before it ended or as it ended. But it did occur. I don’t know if that’s clear, but there was a definite sense that it would not end and that it wasn’t, that it wasn’t threatened by any experience. I just wondered what it was, and I would be grateful for any comments that You would make about it.
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Did you have any doubt about what it was at the time, so called time?
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, in the instant in which it was actually happening, it wasn’t associated with a question about what it was all about, right?
BYRON: No. There was –
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: So, why is there a question now? Is the question associated with what you just suggested, the arising of the “I”, the sense of yourself, separately, that appeared to be the end of the experience?
BYRON: Yeah. Again, it didn’t seem like an experience, because my experience was just normal. It was unchanged.
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes. Well, I mean you’re referring to it as if it were an event in the midst of your life. So, to use that convention, it was an afterwards, somehow, right, in which there was a –
BYRON: It ended.
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: The consciousness in which you’re asking the question now, somehow re-emerged?
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: But when, so that one is asking the question or that state is the basis for this asking of the question. But the state that you’re referring to, in what we can refer to as these incidents of awareness, didn’t have a question. It wasn’t associated with a question. There was a kind of self-evident reality to it that wasn’t associated with a mind that was wondering what it was. It had its own authenticity. It was self-authenticating.
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: So, what use is the question? The question is something that is arising from a different perspective or from a point of view, the every point of view that was transcended in the kind of events you’re describing.
BYRON: There seems to be a carryover. There seems to be a, an intuition of something, a reference that does effect and change my practice.
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Presumably, from what you’re saying. You’re at least saying that that is the case. On the other hand, you’re asking a question about it.
BYRON: Yeah. I think the question was more, it’s the doubt, you know, the doubt –
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: But the questioner is the doubt.
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: The question is the what that arose afterwards that obscures it or that it was different from in its moment of happening. And it’s being superimposed on something that doesn’t have a question associated with it, that is a mode of knowing Me or experiencing My Transmission beyond the activities of the faculties that are coming together to ask a question about it now. The identity that is the question that appears to be asking a question is a super-imposition on the something that you even suggest somehow tacitly is continuing. But the question or the difference from it seems to be more powerful than it at the moment, such that it has you doubting or being something that doubts it or wonders what it was or is or means, which is simply evidence that it is not the case presently, at least it is not overwhelmingly the case. It is suggestively the case. It is in some tacit sense the case, but you’re, you’ve somehow become dissociated from it enough to be asking a question about it. This could be said to be the case with anyone who has some recognition of Me, is turned to Me. Somehow, there is simply in the origin of that a tacit recognition of Me, a tacit participation in My State, although there are obstructions to its realization prior to all that might limit it.
So, devotees do sadhana, not – My devotees do sadhana not in seeking realization of My State, but because they tacitly recognize and participate in My State. And it breaks through in various ways in the case of individual, apparently individual experience. I am found. I break through the mummery of egoity in various ways in the experience that individuals describe. It varies in the case of the individuals or in each individual case, it’s different. But it is this kind of breakthrough experience, this tacit locating of a state that is however described, is tacitly beyond and prior to questions and bondage. If you didn’t have that sense of Me to begin with, you couldn’t practice the Way at all. Because this Way, the Way of Adidam, is not about seeking Me. It’s about finding Me, from the beginning. And this becomes the principle, a very context in which the sadhana develops.
Well, that sadhana of being turned to Me shows itself through various kinds of experiencings that people describe, and usually they’re in the coverings of fourth, fifth or sixth stage phenomena. There’s some kind of association with it. Some people describe it in more in the visionary sense or an energy sense, and so forth. You’re describing it in the particular manner of a kind of locating of awareness prior to the waking, dreaming, and sleeping business. But it’s, it’s still breakthrough moments. It takes the form of a particular kind of experience and it fades into a kind of tacit level, not quite reached, not quite coherent or self-evident in the other apparent moments. And this is where questions come from.
“What you describe are incidents of the tacit obviousness of My Very Condition, the Condition that is Reality Itself”
Questions come from the context of presumed separateness or point of view, the identification with gross, subtle, and causal phenomenal conditions, waking, dreaming and sleeping conditions, identification with mind, identification with the act of separateness. What you describe are incidents of the tacit obviousness of My Very Condition, the Condition that is Reality Itself in moments that stand out over against the rest of experiencing such as this moment of being a question and asking a question about a state, My Transmitted State, that is in some other moments, somehow convincingly, tacitly obvious, revealed as self-evidently so. And then in other apparent moments, usually in waking state moments, you are in the thinking position, the point of view position or some kind of double position in which the state that was experientially so in a very obvious way in some moment, is less obviously so now, and yet it’s still tacitly so, and yet you’re thinking about it and looking at it from, in a kind of perspective, almost as if it is a kind of a horizon point or at a distance, and yet it is not at a distance. So, it’s a kind of a double position. That’s the, that IS the position of egoity. Egoity is not an absolute isolation. It can seem to be so, but it is like a wax apple. The wax apple still exists in reality itself. It doesn’t exist in the context of natural apples that come from trees, but nonetheless, it’s still in the universe. It’s associated with reality itself, not the reality of being an apple.
“You are describing a kind of experiencing that…has this sixth stage kind of quality”
And that is the case with egoity. It’s not absolutely exiled from reality. I can break through it in various kinds of moments if My devotee is turned to Me, available to Me. Then, there are, then there’s evidence of this reality that is always already the case. The experiential evidence, such as you’re describing is always limited by the mode of experiencing that is its typical metaphor. So some people speak in terms of energy more like, closer to the body identification, or gross identification. Some people speak in terms of visions and such, experientially, more like the realm of mind or fifth stage phenomena as opposed to energy more in the fourth stage sense. Then, or otherwise as you seem to be speaking in the mode of a kind of sixth stage language of awareness, a kind of causal dimension of perspective on it.
But because the experiences are always conditionally framed, given through metaphor in the midst of psycho-physically experiencing which inevitably returns as the overlay of existence, every kind of experiential tendency represented differently by different devotees, or different moments in any devotee’s life, has a characteristic associated with the stages of life, often a dominant expression. You are describing a kind of experiencing that you have had in My Company some number of times, and it has this sixth stage kind of quality, the awareness kind of description. But it is still framed in the metaphor of the body-mind. It’s not perfect awakening. It’s not seventh stage realization. It is a tacit realization given through a metaphor, and yet it is a tacit awareness of Me prior to conditions.
That is the very Condition of conditions. It is the Reality Itself in which both natural apples and wax apples are arising. It is My Own Person. It is not merely there. It is transmitted by Me as Me. And by continuing in the turning to Me that is true devotion, the true yoga of Adidam, this tacit participation in My State ultimately goes beyond the metaphors of the body-mind, the metaphors of waking, dreaming, and sleeping, the metaphors of gross, subtle and causal, and is realized in its fullness in the seventh stage awakening to My State and Person, or State of Person beyond all associations, beyond all limiting metaphors and beyond all changes, gross, subtle, or causal, all space-time changes, all perspectives, all point of view, overlays, all ideas of self, all questions. It is an unbroken Samadhi of realization of Me in which there is no conditional reference or foundation for the realization of Me. It’s not in time, and therefore it doesn’t proceed and it doesn’t stop.
It doesn’t exclude the cosmic pattern either. So it is not quite right simply to identify it as awareness and not the states and objects of conditional existence. It is not not that. It is that. But all of that is recognized, and so there is no conditional dependency providing the frame or metaphor for the realization. It cannot be lost. It’s not about having to be in a state separate from gross, subtle, and causal conditions or separate from waking, dreaming or sleeping or separate from the body-mind. It’s not a separate state or realization. It cannot become hidden then. It is what is. It is that which is always already the case. And nothing can arise that is not that.
“What you are describing is of the nature of this kind of breakthrough participation in My State”
So, what you are describing is of the nature of this kind of breakthrough participation in My State. It could be described as an experience, though it’s not merely an experience in the conventional sense of something merely or only conditional. And it also seems to be temporary, or it has its moments, you’ve had your moments where this was shown to you without limitation by waking, dreaming and sleeping phenomena. And in other moments, such as the one now in which you’re asking the question, it is somewhat covered, somehow covered, and has a kind of quality of being mysterious and untouchable, and yet it is not lost. And that’s simply the actual state of the ego.
Even if it’s a wax apple instead of a natural one, even though it doesn’t come from a tree, it’s still has its source in the same reality that is always already the case. That’s the true tree, not the one from which a natural apple falls. The natural apple arises in the same reality as the wax apple. They are equal in that sense even though they are wholly different in the realm of perception or thinking. Waking, dreaming and sleeping are different from one another, from an experiential perspective, and yet, they arise in the same reality.
So, whether a person is describing energies or visions or mind forms of any kind or tacit modes of awareness that seem to be transcendental or are by description what could be called transcendental, it doesn’t make any difference what the framework or mode of experiential state associated with the Transmission of My Own State appears to be. And ultimately, there is realization of Me without the metaphor in between. But that’s why the sadhana is required, the sadhana of turning to Me and all of the process of this Way that I’ve revealed is necessary because of the apparent believability of the metaphor of your own experience. And the sadhana is necessary or is required until the mysteriousness or power of conditional experience is perfectly transcended, which means this devotion must be perfect.
State, if the word can be used for the moment that you experienced, is Mine, not yours, not an abstraction, not a something to turn to in and of itself, not a something that’s there now in you, behind you, for you to locate. It is Me. As you said, these experiences occurred in My Company in various times and places. To understand them correctly is to understand that these were experiences of Me in the circumstance of My Transmitted, Self-Transmitted Person, and not experiences of you or of some abstractly proposed reality. You were simply in a position or an attitude in certain circumstances of My Company where the Force of My Person broke through in what could be called an experiential manner, such that something of My State was tacitly obvious. And then in another moment, it’s less than merely obvious, or simply the case, meaning I am somehow felt to be at a distance. You are returned to your self, so to speak, or as an activity, you are contracted as the body-mind on your self.
The state you are referring to is not now hidden within you. It is Me. When you notice the source of such experiences, then your turning to Me, your devotion to Me increases. When you are confused, even about experiences of My Own Person or State, Radiantly Transmitted, then you become confused about the Who it is, the Where it is, the What it is, and tend to feel it’s mysteriously a characteristic of your own person, and you turn upon yourself. You even make, tend to turn inward and try to relocate the experience or the state that you say tacitly continues.
It’s not about turning within or turning toward some presumed state that you feel is tacitly underneath your own body-mind conditions and looking for it through some inwardness or turning upon self. This matter of getting the secret of the experiences, which is in this devotional turning to Me in the self-forgetting manner. To cling to the experiences, whatever they are is to cling to self or to be bound up in the bewildering force of self-contraction.
Over these months in which I’ve addressed devotees in occasions such as this one, many people have, as you are in this conversation, have put a question to Me in some form or other in which they describe some experience they’ve had, usually something rather suggestive of some kind of super-normal event of energy or vision or transcendental phenomena of some kind, such as you’ve just described, and then they ask Me a question based on that as if that experiences has become the basis of a question, for a question. It takes the form of a question now, whereas it did not in the event itself. The event was just what it was. It was tacitly obvious. It was a kind of self-evident state, not accounted for otherwise in the body-mind, but in and of itself, it was not associated with a question.
But as soon as the “I” returned or the body-mind returned in its self-contraction, something about it became mysterious and unavailable, and yet, at the same time, it became something in you, or part of your identity. And then, at some time, in your case, now, you come and ask Me a question about it, and it feels to you to be uniquely your question. On the other hand, you have just done, in a kind of even ritual sense, it could be said, precisely the same thing that has been done by dozens or however many, have asked questions in these occasions in which they’ve based the question on first describing some kind of experience they’ve had.
And in the asking the question to Me, the experience is now the basis for the question, as if having an experience of whatever nature, gross, subtle or causal, subtle or causal, necessarily required a question. It doesn’t in itself require a question. It is simply Me. But it is Me seen through the perspective or point of view mechanism, the point of view machine of the body-mind, which is now operative and making a question out of it.
Describing or defining the phenomenon to Me or the experience or the state that took place, but describing it as a characteristic of self or in the form of a question, whereas it has nothing to do self. It has nothing to do with a question. It has nothing to do with you. It is not in you. It’s not still there. It’s still Me. Puzzling over it, questioning it, doubting it, looking for it again, engaging in various attitudes of the body-mind in order to re-locate it, is the seeking effort, the ego effort itself. What must be understood is just that, that all of that is ego effort. It is egoity, and that’s how egoity works. And the process of realization is not that search, not that line of questioning, but in the understanding of all that that enables you to be turned to Me and self-forgotten in that turning.
All phenomenal modes of experiencing My Transmitted Person must be understood and understood in the manner I just described. This is their import. They should turn you to Me. If they turn you upon yourself or turn you into a question, you are being bewildered by your own experience of Me and it’s like pointing at the moon and looking at your finger instead of the moon. It is to be stepped back on yourself such that even some kind of breakthrough experience of Me, however it may be given, becomes at least for the time being, a puzzle about self, a source of questions. I have said many times in these gatherings, or many times in these gatherings I’ve given exactly this resume, speaking to everyone in general or speaking to a particular individual as in your case now. Said, fundamentally what I just said to you about how they, as others, began by describing an experience, presumably some kind of transmission experience of being receptive to Me, describing it in some terms or another, and then asking Me a question on that basis. The experience, instead of being revelatory of Me becomes a question about self and the basis for asking Me a question becomes mysterious, a puzzle, rather than a revelation. And instead of it making the devotional turning to Me more profound, it becomes the basis for seeking. Usually takes the form in the individual case of seeking to have that experience again or have that kind of experience again or have some kind of experience, and there’s always some kind of again-ness about it, that breaks out of the mold of the continuous suffering of self-contraction, the contrariness that is the ego-I in action.
The answer to every question is a conversion from being the questioner to being turned to Me, to being more profoundly My devotee. Otherwise, all exceptional experience, even experience of My Transmission or being effected by My Transmission, is used by the activity of ego-I, and becomes self-deluding or the basis for seeking rather than the basis for retiring more profoundly from seeking. The only retirement from seeking is this devotion to Me.
The transmitted state you referred to through the metaphor of your experience cannot happen again. It is fruitless to seek for it to happen again. It is a Graceful event that arises spontaneously as a gift in moments of devotion and should not be looked for otherwise. As soon as it is looked for by efforts of self, as soon as there’s nostalgia for the mystical moments of the past, bondage is reinforced and devotion to Me is forgotten. I am forgotten.
BYRON: Beloved, I am, one thing that was interesting about all this was that it seemed really obvious that there was a correlation between the intensity of my turning to You and my service to You and this breakthrough. So, what You’re saying right now, everything’s saying, so it feels so absolutely true to me, and –
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Your availability to Me allows such to happen.
BYRON: It felt to me also like it was because You, for some reason, were somehow moved, not just –
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes. It’s not, it’s not a technique this turning to Me. It’s actually turning to Me. And the happening, to use a conventional reference of, is a response of Mine. It’s not that turning to Me is a technical exercise that you do as a way of getting at something that I am not. Or a way of turning to someone who is not going to respond, but doesn’t have to respond in order for the gift to be, let us say, experienced. I must respond. And it is I, Myself, who respond. So, it is real devotion to Me, and I really Bless. That process or event of transmission takes place by means that are not necessarily or not at all, except maybe in some dimensions of seeming, obvious in just how it’s happening. Because, in turning to Me, you’re not merely turning to a body sitting here, you see.
To turn to Me in My Bodily Human Form is a focus. But I am operative in a super-normal manner, in a manner that transcends the grossest psycho-physical appearance and all modes of appearance. So, that the how of the response is not necessarily or even at all clear, but that it is a response of Mine should be clear. And therefore, that it is about devotion to Me, turning to Me, being turned to Me in such a manner that you are sensitized to Me or available for My responsive Blessing is fundamental to the why it happens even though it can’t be accounted for in merely conventional terms. It can’t be reduced to something in terms of gross transactions of life. You can nonetheless see how you were available by some coincidence of gestures of apparently your own and of My Own in various times and circumstances, and that’s the “how” it happens, that’s the “how” it is given. That’s the way it works. That’s the way I Work. My devotee should realize this more and more profoundly, and this intensifies the practice, should result in an intensification of the practice, make it more real, inspire it, make it more consistent, more full. Hmm?
BYRON: I thought all that was – I felt much, much more, um, drawn to You and grateful to You and inspired by all these occurrences. It wasn’t, it wasn’t just, it didn’t seem to be just that I was trying to try to have it again and all that. Obviously, some of that was going on, but –
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes. And it shouldn’t be discounted as being a trivial part of it. Just as asking Me a question is not an aggressive act, but it, nonetheless, is a demonstration of what I just said about how egoity works and how it is the very action that sadhana must transcend. In coming to Me asking a question, the question is really a kind of ritual performance, in a sense, it’s not the actual context of the event. The verbal reply I make, hopefully, is usable somehow, but it’s not the “it” of it. It’s in your going beyond the question and asking it to Me. It’s in your surrendering as the question and being turned to Me in the event that the question is transcended, not by being answered in a, by being replaced by some words in reply, but effectively answered or effectively transcended in the devotional event of coming to Me, of turning to Me. So, to truly ask Me a question is to give it up and become silent, question-less, whereas in the moment before you asked Me the question, you were thinking about the question. You were being the question. You were preparing to ask it. You were mulling over the problem and so on. And asking Me a question, at least to rightly ask Me a question, is to turn to Me. It’s to surrender as the question. It’s to be the question yourself and to surrender, turn to Me in that form. And so it’s not merely to sit in your question and engage in a verbal exchange, although that’s part of the event.
It’s an exercise in all the question is transcended, which is by this devotion, by this turning. In the process, whatever I may say or have now said, the importance of the event is that you turn to Me instead of having the question and being it. And now you are, should be, contemplating Me, forgetting yourself, forgetting the question entirely, making room for Me there, in place of it.
BYRON: Yes, Beloved. Thank You, Beloved.
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Tcha.
BYRON: I love You very, very much. I really appreciate everything You’ve said. I surrender at Your Feet.
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Tcha.
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