The following is a talk by Adi Da Samraj.
Guru Shakti – Excerpts and Modifications
iscipline allows you to be wholly sensitive—not desensitized but wholly sensitive—to the great Force of Divine Reality in Which you are arising, in Which you exist, and Which you must Realize. Without the daily course of right discipline, there is no sensitivity to Reality, no sensitivity to My Spiritual Heart- Transmission.
The reasons for right life and discipline is not a moralistic expectation, as if rules are an end in themselves. It is a matter of answering the question, What must you do? How must you live in order to be sensitive to That Which must be Realized, to That to Which you must surrender yourself in order to Realize?
When you become too full of the natural energies even of the body-mind itself, you become unaware, insensitive to That Which is beyond individual self. You become distracted, entertained or absorbed in the body-mind complex. All of sadhana can be described in these terms. This is the logic of your practice of the Way of the Heart, the logic of your devotion to Me and of your life in My Company. It is not that these energies are bad or a moralistic matter. It is a matter of what you must do to be available, to be sensitive, to That Which is Greater, That Which is to be Realized, That Which purifies you, That Which Awakens you.
“You do not really enter into anything like the Spiritual Process, even in its beginning forms, until you have passed through the ordeal of self-confrontation and struggle with your childish and adolescent character in the context of the first three stages of life.” – Good Company
The sadhana of the Way of the Heart is an ordeal. In the midst of your sadhana, pleasurable moments arise, painful moments arise. They are all parts of the same ordeal. Sadhana is not a matter of functioning in such a way that whenever the unpleasant or painful aspects of life arise you are supposed to find a palliative or some special root whereby you feel pleasure or feel good and have no pain. Pain is part of the sadhana.
Suffering, pain, and unsatisfactory life are entirely the result one’s own action. The body-mind can suffer in difficult conditions, and there is pain and suffering in this world as it is not a utopia nor an idealistic domain. There is a natural sympathy and compassion for others in pain. But the domain of pain is not the domain of Liberation. It is not the domain of Truth.
It is just the domain of suffering. And to deal with it, you must transcend your own act and not merely uncover all the memories in which you were caused to suffer in the body-mind. That’s “Narcissus”, you see. Pain is part of the reason to do sadhana. It is part of the acknowledgment of the nature of reality. Sadhana is a matter of dealing with reality as it is ultimately, but also in all of its dualistic aspects conditionally.
Until this is acknowledged you are involved in a dualistic struggle in which only an aspect of reality is acceptable. Therefore only an aspect of the Divine is acceptable, and likewise only an aspect of life is acceptable. Thus people assume only an aspect of their total conscious responsibility. They remain childish and struggling, and the whole universe looks like a war between light and darkness, whereas in truth it is all Light.
The difficulty must be confronted. Difficulty has the potential of teaching you. It gives you understanding if you relate to it rightly. Suffering, even bodily suffering, is an aspect of sadhana. It is not necessary that such difficulty become excruciating beyond your ability to cope with it, but it is appropriate to renounce or resist uncomfortable or what may relieve pain, until pain becomes so excruciating. Pain is to be endured like all the other difficulties in daily life. It is all part of the sadhana.
The domain of physical existence is made of two. It is a duality. Inherently it is a play of opposites, of pairs. Sometimes it feels good, and sometimes it does not. Most of the time it is somewhere in between, and this fact, truly visited, truly inspected, truly accepted, is part of the whole process that grants you the Gift of devotion to Me to begin with. It brings you to the understanding that moves you to transcend yourself, that moves you to transcend mere conditionality or two-ness.
Therefore, fundamentally conditional existence must be endured. You must, as My devotee, be willing to accept all the pairs, all the opposites, inspect them all, endure them all, persist in the process of devotion to Me, of self-understanding in My Company, of self-transcendence in service to Me, persist in all the acts of devotion to Me, all the acts that are religious, embracing all the truly religious means, which are embraced and used in the context of the play of opposites and not merely a device for avoiding one half of that play, the half you would rather not experience.
See how you function every day. Every day you are trying to avoid a bad day, avoid difficulty, through some means or other, whether something you regard to be a technicality of practice of the Way of the Heart or just some ordinary device, so that you can experience pleasure rather than pain, disease, discomfort, frustration, limitation. To accept it all, to accept the play of duality, to make it the context in which you do sadhana, is the religious principle, not avoiding one half of what appears but embracing it all and doing sadhana in that context.
Everyone can shine to some degree or in some sense when everything conditional is joined together to make the person feel good. Anyone can do that. The test of the religious life is to so shine, and, greater, to shine in the context of what is difficult, in the midst of limitation that is inevitable in this realm of appearances made of two.
For those who shine, devotion to Me grows, devotion to Me is magnified, their sensitivity to Me, As I Am, is increased, their equanimity, through purification and rebalancing, is profoundly demonstrated. By enduring that ordeal, in due course, you become My devotee in the Spiritual sense.
Human nature and dignity could at times even be made manifest in the worst setting imaginable, that is, during the death marches. In rare cases, years of camp hardship did not succeed at contaminating, staining, and grinding away the good-heartedness and holiness of a pure heart. These individuals provided other inmates with solace, a model to emulate as well as with good reasons to keep believing in and hoping for humankind. Elie Wiesel remembers Rabbi Eliahu, a most remarkable religious leader.
“The door of the shed opened. An old man appeared. His mustache was covered with ice, his lips were blue. It was Rabbi Eliahu, who had headed a small congregation in Poland. A very kind man, beloved by everyone in the camp, even by the Kapos and the Blockälteste. Despite the ordeals and deprivations, his face continued to radiate his innocence. He was the only rabbi whom nobody ever failed to address as “Rabbi” in Buna. He looked like one of those prophets of old, always in the midst of his people when they needed to be consoled. And, strangely, his words never provoked anyone. They did bring peace.”
Some individuals displayed such integrity, such purity of heart, such wholeness in their devotion to God that goodness emanates from them, overflowing and spilling over, breaking into the hearts of other human beings who, thereby, are forced to acknowledge its existence and pay their respects. Summoned by such holiness, the other inmates were called to offer no less than a religious response: “Rabbi.” Even in Auschwitz, therefore, humanity could be embodied as a mediation of the transcendent into the realm of immanence. In the manifestation of a goodness passing human history lies the justification for Wiesel‟s use of the word “prophet,” for prophets – according to traditional Hebraic understanding – are messengers conveying the divine word and will (in)to this world. Divine light and truth can provide comfort to the distressed human heart in times of greatest turmoil, by conferring an absolutely unshakeable foundation to human existence, empowering the latter to survive and overcome all challenges and obstacles. But then Elie Wiesel‟s remarks seem to entail that God could still be perceived, made present and active even in Auschwitz.
Grace in Auschwitz: A Glimpse of Light in Utter Darkness
As long as you are full of your egoic self, however, and full of distractedness, pleasurized by mundane means, you cannot be sensitive to Me Spiritually. There may be a moment of such sensitivity here and there, but not consistently. This insensitivity in you is something to which you must become sensitive. These devices, these “bad customs”, you use to desensitize yourself must be observed by you and relinquished, disciplined, because to be My devotee in the Spiritual sense requires profound sensitivity, profound steadiness, profound clarity. The background of such sensitivity, such steadiness, such profound clarity, is extraordinary discipline.
Any of you can, just because you are here, experience something of My Spiritual Radiance, but you cannot make great use of it. You cannot even be sensitive to it most of the time. Therefore, the measure of My devotee who is available to Me Spiritually is not that he or she can have some experience of Me Spiritually now and then, but that he or she can be steadily available to Me Spiritually.
That is why there is all the discipline of the listening-hearing process previous to the Spiritual stages of the Way of the Heart. You must endure that beginning ordeal, live it truly, deal with yourself truly, so that you can be steadily sensitive to Me Spiritually.
Such Spiritual sensitivity to Me requires that you become responsible for this vehicle of the body-mind through a course of profound self
discipline and profound devotion to Me.
You think that religion is only effective if you can feel blissful, like someone drugged with pleasure. If that were the case, all Realizers would have lost their Realization in the end, because typically there is pain with terminal disease. If you avoid pain all your life until the end, then where is the proof of sadhana? Where is the gain? You remain possessed by the illusion of self-pleasure, instead of being Awakened beyond your limitations by That Which Transcends pain and pleasure.
Ordinary mortals without great gifts, without great inspiration, have no understanding of this logic. They expect existence to be pleasurable, altogether and constantly, and so they create devices for which they can reach in any difficult moment in order to delude themselves with pleasure. To do this is not wrong in some moralistic or puritanical sense. It is not right in the Divine sense. As My devotee, you must, by growing in My Company through real devotion to Me, become equipped with this intelligence, this understanding, this measure, this discipline.
There must be profound feeling. Yet, if there is to be profound feeling moment to moment, there must be profound sensitivity. You look for the means to desensitize yourself, to avoid the tears, to avoid the stress, to avoid the distress, to avoid the pain, to avoid the circumstance in which you automatically become doubtful. To be truly sensitive to all this arising, this pairing appearance, you must endure, but sadhana is not merely a matter of enduring. To endure the difficulties of life is just a basic principle of right action. Its purpose is sensitivity, to remain in the feeling-disposition moment to moment, sensitive to That Which is Given to you, by Me.