The Life of Understanding – Week 10

The Life of Understanding Series

Week 10

Lessons on the Knee of Listening

A twelve week course taught by Franklin Jones

January – April/May 1973

The Knee Of Listening Tapes/transcribed discourses entitled the ‘Life of Understanding’ took place in Los Angeles in 1973. The following is from an early (and present) devotee, Tom Riley about the classes held.

“The classes were held from January – April or so, 1973. I was fortunate to have been part of a small group invited by Beloved up to His Home at 2509 Thames Place, Laurel Canyon, Hollywood, CA atop the Hollywood Hills. (In hindsight and thus appropriately enough, that particular section, where Beloved Resided, atop these Laurel Canyon Hills was formally named Mt. Olympus).

He was not present physically at His Ashram on Melrose Ave. and we implemented, for the first time, some basic life disciplines as per his instructions to us during these every – Wednesday Night Sittings – Silent Satsang, Life Discipline Instruction and The audio taped Knee Of Listening Elaboration/Discourses.

The blessings, instruction and fruits of our formal spiritually – intimate time with Beloved (still Franklin Jones at this time) were communicated and brought into the general community of devotees by those of us in weekly attendance with Beloved in the living room of His Home.

Each and every Wednesday evening for approximately 12 consecutive we would arrive at 7:00 p.m. sharp. Each Wednesday evening with Him consisted of Sitting In Silence with Beloved, for approximately one hour. Beloved would then instruct us on some fundamentals of Right Life Disciplines including diet, hygiene, etc. He discoursed and elaborated (the one and only time He’s ever done this w/The Knee of Listening to my knowledge) on The Knee Of Listening; His Early Life Spiritual Autobiography. The handful of us would arrive at 7:00 p.m. and leave His Residence generally somewhere between midnight and 2:00 a.m. All of this took place between January of 1973 and into April or so of same year prior to His Pilgrimage to India in August 1973,returning to The Melrose Ashram as Bubba Free John in September 1973.”


So tonight I want to talk about the activity of the Guru, the Guru as Spiritual Master, the Man of Understanding as Spiritual Master. It’s very short, I’ll read to you the paragraphs and comment on them to you. Beginning near the top of page 262. “Unqualified existence, conscious as bliss, appears in the Heart and arises as love, which is the Amrita Nadi, the ‘Bright.'” I’m speaking here of love as the Amrita Nadi, love being its quality. “Love is the original, creative impulse. It is the generative source and primary form of all creativity, all manifestation. The Man of Understanding arises as love, mad with love. He is not Narcissus. Creativity is love. The world is love.” Narcissus is avoidance, separation, non-love, contraction. The Man of Understanding who has destroyed Narcissus, transcended him, obviated him, is what Narcissus is not, which is continuousness, the force of reality unobstructed, which is love.

“I do not speak from mere sentiment. I am trying to describe what is actually the case. The Man of Understanding appears as love. He is not separate from love. He does not remain only as the prior Self, pure existence, functioning only as compassion. He is generative love. Love is also that Self. It is the Fullness, the light, the Brightness of Reality. It is the Form of Reality. I am He.” In other words, the Man of Understanding, the true Guru, the Siddha Guru doesn’t just vanish into the exclusive Self, exclusive Nirvana.

We’ve gone over this throughout our discussion of meditation for instance. It is not a matter of exclusive withdrawal into the prior condition of the Heart, but of the perfect realization of the Heart and its resurrection or regeneration in Amrita Nadi, the true Form, the perfect Form, the real Form, the non-exclusive Form, the Form of creativity, the Divine Form. So the Man of Understanding does not remain only as this prior Self, this pure inwardness. He is unqualified. He is generative love. He is moving in the world. He is alive. He exists as the Divine Form not just as the root of the Divine. He is Full, he is Light, he is Bright. So this quality of love or the generative aspect, the perfect aspect, the inclusive aspect, the Divine manifestation of the Guru is the form of the Man of Understanding. This is the nature of his characteristic Presence. So this is by way of introduction them to the next paragraph.

Begins the description of how the Spiritual Master works. “The presence of one who consciously lives in the heart of reality and remains present as the Amrita Nadi, the Form of Reality, tends to reverse the ordinary current of consciousness and action of those around him. Thus, his mere presence tends to draw others toward understanding.” Now this is very important. His mere presence does this. The true Guru, the Siddha-Guru, the Maha Siddha, the Great Siddha, the Perfect Siddha, one who manifests the spontaneous or perfect or great Siddhi does not do anything in order to awaken his disciples. In other words, he doesn’t make use of the lesser siddhi’s, the indirect siddhi’s, the methods of approach in the ordinary sense. He doesn’t make use of secondary things that the disciples apply to themselves in order to awaken them. He doesn’t depend on any such thing. He doesn’t depend on any super-normal powers, the simply extraordinary, indirect powers that we’ve talked about, all of the psychism’s and lesser siddhi’s, magic siddhi’s. He doesn’t depend on any form of action in order to do his work of awakening. His mere presence does the awakening, his mere existence in the world in relation to his disciples, his mere Satsang is his instrument. He doesn’t have to add anything else to that. That is it, simply, his mere presence is his work, because of what his mere presence is, his simple presence.

The presence of the Man of Understanding is the Maha-Siddhi, the spontaneous Divine force, the perfect Divine force, not just the limited siddhi’s, the yogic siddhi’s. But the absolute Divine manifestation is present in the Man of Understanding. And it is functioning simply, directly without having to go indirectly through the media of traditional spirituality. So in other words, not purposive powers, now technical powers or methods are the way of the Maha-Siddha, the true Guru, the Spiritual Master, but his mere presence, Maha-Siddhi. This tends to draw others toward understanding, his mere presence tends to do this. His mere presence tends to reverse the ordinary current of consciousness and action of those around him. So mere Satsang, the condition of Satsang is the spiritual means awake in the community of this Maha-Siddha.

“The ordinary current of consciousness and action tends to lose its necessity, its compulsive motivation, its unconsciousness.” So that those who live in Satsang with the Man of Understanding begin to hear, insight beings to awaken in them in various ways. They begin to move, become more intense, more alive. The qualities within them are stimulated, shaken loose. Purifying activities tend to begin. Always in due time, always in an appropriate order for the individual. And the ordinary forms of his active life tend to lose their necessity first of all. The edge of compulsiveness begins to die down and the unconscious, predetermined quality of his suffering tends to break down.

“The mere presence of such a one acts as the force of enquiry upon all that he meets.” So then in Truth, what the Man of Understanding is recommending when he says to enquire is to live Satsang with him, because his presence is perfect enquiry. Living in Satsang is perfect enquiry. It does all the things that are going on in the true disciple when he is enquiring of himself, when the processes of understanding have begun to become involved with his conscious life. Satsang is the enquiry. This is the secret of The Knee of Listening. Satsang is enquiry, the condition of Satsang with the Siddha-Guru is the awakening, is the transforming process. And of course, it tends to duplicate itself as activities in the disciple, but it’s essential, fundamental form is Satsang, living in the mere presence constantly, living in the mere presence of the Guru.

“Even so, those with him may not sense anything unusual.” Some live very casually in life in the Ashram. There’s something extraordinary going on in this work and yet everybody is sort of casual and more or less oblivious. When do people begin to realize what is going on? But they take it more or less casually. They find some way to adapt to it or not think about it or not believe it or whatever. It all remains very casual, very easeful even though this extraordinary thing is going on, this extraordinary Satsang, this extraordinary Siddhi.

“Indeed, their changes are only a move toward the natural.” In other words, there isn’t anything ultimately negative about the non-gleefulness, about the relative easefulness of the Ashram. That’s not in itself negative. Partially, it’s a representation of unconsciousness. Essentially the process that’s going on in Satsang is a move toward the natural, not a move toward some psychotic state or some exaggerated state or some exclusive state. No, it’s always becoming more and more natural so there’s no reason why the people should act exaggerated, seem exaggerated. In fact, if they begin to seem exaggerated, it’s because they’re beginning to buy their own game. They’re beginning to think that these qualities that are being generated in the mere presence of the Guru are their own qualities. And they begin to think that they are the yogis, that they are realized, they are this, they are that. They’re acquiring things then, again, from the point of view of the self, the limited self. But if a person lives Satsang truly and naturally, he only becomes more and more natural, less and less exaggerated, more and more functional, intense in a real way.

“Some may feel resistive and defensive in such a presence.” And we continually see people becoming very resistive, very defensive to the point where they can’t tolerate life in the Ashram. And everybody periodically goes through this experience of witnessing their own tendencies, a crisis of witnessing their own tendencies. But those who have any understanding at all know that there are their own tendencies and they don’t particularly get out of shape as a result of this stimulation in them of their own negative qualities. They pass through those times by applying themselves even with more intensity to some practical activity in the Ashram and in life. Some, however, because of their karmic nature, are mainly resistive and mainly defensive. So we’ve had a number of examples of people who’ve even spent a considerable period of time in the Ashram who’ve never been anything but resistive and defensive and finally found some way to justify their resistance and their defensiveness, their Narcissism, their separativeness, and when they were finally able to make that argument sufficient for themselves through whatever means, they left. But in any case, everyone experiences these qualities to some degree with more or less intelligence.

“Others may simply feel comfortable.” And this is also a quality of some people. They don’t seem, at least outwardly, to go through dramatic crises in Satsang, although everyone goes through the purifying work in some way. Just some people seem to be very natural, smooth, unruffled. And this is another quality, it’s another common quality.

“Others may be moved to the consideration of understanding.” So, we get the resistive types, we get the calm types and we get others who seem to get very involved, concerned with the whole process. They talk about it a lot, they think about it a lot, without necessarily heavy negativity in them otherwise, and yet they have a sort of agitated concern, that ultimately does become insight in them.

“But Reality tends to include all things in its own form.” This is the law of Satsang. Those who live Satsang with the Guru tend to become the Guru, in other words, tend to become those qualities that are also the Guru. They tend to become like that, they tend to become absorbed into the true form, the true nature. Because this is the quality of Reality, over against all of the karmic natures that may exist, all of the karmic trends that may exist. It’s the quality of Reality to make everything like itself. Everything that attaches itself to the Truth, to the Guru, is absorbed in the Truth, and in the Guru. This is a law that works everywhere as well. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Whenever we get resistance’s of various kinds, karmic tendencies, when you attach yourself to some karmic quality or nature, you tend also to become like it or become opposite to it. But the law works toward perfection, works in Truth, in Satsang. And, truly, there’s nothing worth becoming like except the Guru, God, Truth, the Self, Reality. Everything else that you’re becoming like is taking you to zero. Everything else is a form of the separative movement, the drama of Narcissus.

“My practice with people is to talk about understanding and its way, in order to give them the opportunity to know the reality and power of understanding through hearing.” Now this is how I work with students, this is how I work with people who are first becoming involved in Satsang. This is why during this whole last year, I’ve done a lot of talking. That’s why we’re printing talks, that’s why we’re printing the writings. That’s why we have a student course. That’s why we have interviews, that’s why we have all the forms of conversational contact in a more or less formal way in the Ashram. That’s why on Prasad Day I usually spend time answering questions. Because this process of listening, listening to the word of the Guru until you begin to hear, and until you begin to observe spontaneously until insight awakens. This is a very important phase of the whole process. This initiates the conscious process or this is one of the forms of its initiation. This is the outer form of its initiation. So I talk about Understanding and the Way of Understanding, the process of understanding so that people will have the opportunity to know the reality and power. In other words, to begin to understand through hearing, through listening and hearing.

“But I also enquire of them directly, in relation to the forms of seeking to which they attach themselves at any moment, I enquire of them if this, or this, or this is the avoidance of relationship.” Now, you don’t see me generally saying, “Is this the avoidance of relationship, is this the avoidance of relationship?” I don’t mean it in this mechanical way. But, whenever I’m with people, I ask if they have questions, I continually point things out about them, or have somebody else say something to them. People in the Ashram are continually having confrontations with their own game. It’s continually through one or another outward way being reflected to them. So, in other words, I talk about it, and I also create conditions and situations, enquire of a person’s life directly, through conversations I have with them, through giving them things to do in the Ashram, through interviews that are given, through having people write me meditation reports, all such things.

“Thus, by the process of hearing and the experience of enquiry, the way of understanding becomes known. And it arises in the one who hears as his own truth and intelligence.” So by my speaking and living the force of this work to them, the activity of enquiry is brought to them in various forms. Until it becomes an insight in their own case. Until something happens as a result of this outward activity in relation to them that awakens insight for them, personally, so they, in fact, themselves, and in consciousness begin to live with various degrees of intensity, this understanding, this conscious process.

“But much talk is simply the indulgence of the self-dramatizing activity of our ordinary mind. It is only a display and a scattering of the force of the Heart in forms that are not themselves intelligence or understanding. Much talk is not relationship but only a reproduction and reinforcement of a state that is not understanding. The patterns that continually arise in us are not served by the responses or answers they imply and demand. We are only served by understanding, enquiry and silence.” In other words, the verbal instructor, and personal criticism and instruction, teaching of lessons in their outward way has a real function in true spiritual life, in the real process of spiritual life. But it is not the way itself. It is one of the functions of the way, it’s one of the activities for which the Man of Understanding is responsible, and for which he makes his Ashram responsible. But these outward forms are serving what? They’re serving Understanding, they’re serving this real process. They are not the thing in itself, and they are not intended to absorb the person’s life absolutely. They are aids to the beginning of this conscious process within him. So, actual understanding, the process of enquiry and the potent silence of Satsang are then the senior means, or the most mature means, the fundamental means of the spiritual process. And even while there are conversations going on between the Man of Understanding and his disciples, he is using the Siddhi of the way of understanding, which is the force of Satsang, that has just been described in the previous pages; by his mere presence, this activity is going on in others. So while he’s busy verbally instructing them through conversations and conditions, he is living to them the Siddhi, the Maha-Siddhi of Truth, which is manifest through the power of love, which (is) must be understood in its true sense, because we’ve heard so much about love, there’s so much love baloney, so much scriptural love, so much symbolic talk about love, that’s it’s very difficult without insight, without genuine awakening to know what is meant by all this conversation about love. But love is really a word meant to indicate something of the quality of the proceedings of reality. It’s meant to distinguish the true force, the all-inclusive, perfect force of the Truth from that sort of exclusive, forceless, collapsed Nirvana that some people associate with the ultimate realization of egolessness. But it’s not just some sentimental oozing sweet. It’s a force, it’s a fire.

So the love of the Man of Understanding for his disciple is not necessarily what the disciple thinks it must be. And the Guru may not particularly manifest what his disciple thinks is love, in the way he always wanted to get it from his parents or something, but never did, or the way he always got it from his puppy dog or something. The Guru is a living fire. He is responsible for the Divine work. So the nature of the love of the Guru is something to which the disciple becomes more and more sensitive, the more he, himself understands.

“Some indication of the nature of seeking and understanding is necessary for ‘hearing’.” So it is necessary to say something, to write something, to instruct, to create conditions, to have conversations. “Some enquiry of the seeker, some countering or reflection of his own ways, and some direct observations about his state may be useful to create the necessary doubt of his ordinary path.” And this is another important statement. This is what is going on, essentially, with all of these conversations and all of these conditions, all of these outward activities of the Guru, personally, and through functions he establishes in his Ashram are there to establish doubt in seekers, doubt of their path, doubt of their way. The Guru is always trying to reestablish this doubt in his disciples, so his disciple will turn away from his craziness and his preferences and his self-enclosure and his dream-world, the dream-world that Narcissus is always creating for himself, so that he will become full of doubt, absolutely in doubt about his preferences, his karmic trend and fall into the condition of Satsang, and into the intelligence of understanding. So, creating the necessary doubt of the ordinary path of individuals is the work of the outward instruction and conditions that the Guru creates in his Ashram.

“But the communication of the Heart is essentially a process in silence, whereby what arises gets no response, no reinforcement.” Again, the activity of the Man of Understanding is mere presence, that is what he does. His mere existence, his mere presence in relation to his disciple, mere Satsang – this is the method of the Siddhas. And it is prior to all forms of action so it is prior to speech as well, it’s prior to all outward activities. Satsang with the Guru is essentially an affair of silence without peculiar activities. So that form of our meeting together that we generally call Satsang is a time when you all sit in a room and do essentially nothing, and I seem to do essentially nothing. There’s no action, no words spoken, because the Siddhi, the true activity to which the disciple becomes sensitive has nothing whatever to do with either his ordinary games or anything that could be communicated indirectly, from without.

So the Guru’s activity, fundamental activity, is absolutely direct, prior to media. So the Guru always works on your fundamental state, your prior state, your very condition. You in the Divine form. “what arises gets no response, no reinforcement” in the external aspects of the Guru’s work. He responds. You ask a question and he says rat-a-tat, umpti-ump. You do things and he responds, he reacts. And every form of reaction, or of response to something you can do has the quality of reinforcement as well, because it takes what you are doing into account. And as long as it does that, to some degree it’s a reinforcement. But the Guru must be very clever, very intelligent with the laws of things. He knows for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. He knows that by merely answering your questions, by merely sitting in a room with you, by having you know him at all, by having you read his books, by having you listen to his words, by having anything whatsoever to do with him or spiritual things, he knows that this is reinforcing the illusion always. It may be doing a lot of other things, but it’s also reinforcing your present state as a seeker. So he must cleverly make use of all the forms of his contact to create this doubt. So that is what he’s always careful to do, that’s why he is turning every instant in Satsang in your continuous Satsang with him into a lesson, into the obviation of your ordinary tendencies. So that when you live in mere Satsang with him, when you live in his mere presence, he doesn’t respond, he does nothing apart from his mere presence, his perfect presence. And so in true Satsang, there is no reinforcement, there is only continuous purification, continuous dissolution in the mere presence of the Guru.

And it is to this Satsang that he is always bringing his disciple by intensifying the doubt that the disciple has toward his own ordinary tendencies. When the doubt is perfect, he is turned to the Guru in simply Satsang, turned to his mere presence, most intensely. And by turning to that mere presence in which there is no reaction, no response, only perfect presence, the qualities, the karmic tendencies, the limitations of the disciple are dissolved. He is literally dissolved into Reality. Reality tends to acquire or include all things in its own form – this dissolution is what is going on in true Satsang.

“Then a man ceases to continue in the exclusive motion of what arises,” (the exclusive motion, the karmic tendencies) “and he will find himself as the Heart, which is the source and form of all this. This confrontation with silence, in relationship to a true teacher, one who manifests the Siddhi, the power of the Heart, is unlike our ordinary experience of frustration in life.” This is the peculiar function of the true Guru. The Maha-Siddha, the Great Siddha. In other words, I’ve said up here in his presence, his mere presence, or silence, what arises gets no response, no reinforcement.

Well, everyone has had the experience in life, (of) in their ordinary daily experience, of having people make no response to them. The constant experience of frustrations, and frustrations are simply no reaction to your intention, your desire, your qualities. And so from the ordinary point of view, it would sound like what the Guru is doing here is just a sort of ritual form of frustrating you. Now in life, “things simply arise in us and life provides the present conditions whereby they are indulged, frustrated or avoided.” That’s the way it is, qualities arise in you and the conditions of life either allow you to exploit and fulfill various qualities in you, or they frustrate them, or they fail in any way to coincide with your own tendencies. This is the natural order of life, yes and no.

“But in the ‘Satsang’ or conscious company of the Heart, what arises is confronted by silence without and the Heart within.” In Satsang, which comes about as a result of the instruction of the disciple, so he begins to grasp what this Satsang is, and can sit in the mere presence of his Guru. And this is what people are doing when they’re sitting at home or meditating in the Ashram, they are sitting in the mere presence of the Guru, that is the nature of their meditation. It becomes all of the other things that we’ve talked about. What’s different between sitting in such company and simply being frustrated in the world, is that something has been grasped through instruction, so that the person has come into the condition of Satsang, first of all. Second of all he is being confronted, not by nothing, but by the Heart, which is prior to the forms of action. So he is not being simply frustrated in relation to the Guru. He is continually enjoying the communication of the Heart. The Heart is always being communicated, the real form is always being communicated, of which the Heart is the feet, the foundation. So the Guru is moveless without, and yet perfectly active within.

Now I have looked for the quality of the contact of disciples with me to be more and more the quality of Satsang, less and less the quality of a relationship or association in life in ordinary terms.

“Therefore, my practice with those who have begun to understand through conversation and enquiry,” (through my conversation with them and my enquiry of them, my stimulation of them, my practice with those who have begun to awaken to this whole way of understanding as a result of this contact, this outward work) “is simply to invite them to sit and be with me.” In other words, people become students and listen to this teaching. Just prior to actually coming into the Ashram, they take on its conditions for a period of time. And then I invite them to come and sit and be with me. This is how I work with them. I am always drawing them into this condition of Satsang. And I make use of all of the outward media first, by which they are instructed and enquired of. Until they have begun to grasp it in some way that becomes obvious to me, and then I invite them toward more intimacy.

But those who have begun to grasp the work, and take on some of its conditions, and do enter the Ashram, well they come on Prasad Day, they have some sort of contact – essentially they hear me talk some more. It’s an extension of their student work, but the contact is there. The communication of the Heart is going on, but through the medium of activities, Prasad, conversations still, taking on the conditions. Then when it has begun truly to intensify in them and take on some real form within them, when, as it says on the previous page, “It arises in the one who hears as his own intelligence, as his own truth and intelligence.” When this has begun in the individual, then he comes and sits with me in the Satsang Hall, sits with me in the condition of Satsang.

“I do not offer them a method, but a relationship.” This is what is being offered through our work. This is the peculiar offering of our Ashram. If you go to the various spiritual centers, they all have some particular thing that you could described that is ultimately what they are inviting you to participate in. And it’s whatever it is, a form of belief, a ritual activity of some sort, a belonging to something, a method that you can apply to yourself, an experience of some kind, a way of creating experiences of some kind. In this work, in the work of the Maha-Siddha, no method, or nothing of that particular kind, nothing that is serving the search is offered to people, but a relationship. Nothing that takes off from the point of view of the avoidance of relationship, their dilemma, their search, is offered to them, but relationship itself is offered to them, the perfect relationship, Satsang is offered to them. And that simply and exactly.

“Then what arises is confronted with silence. This company of silence, this confrontation with silence while remaining in conscious relationship to the teacher, causes the individual to be simply aware of what arises.” (Simply aware.) There’s a difference between simple awareness and sitting there equipped with all kinds of methods to deal with what arises. When one is truly living in Satsang, the condition of Satsang being the process you are living, then the things that arise simply arise. You witness them, you see them in the midst of the freedom of Satsang.

So this Satsang “causes the individual to be simply aware of what arises, without the possibility of indulging or avoiding it.” The very condition of Satsang eliminates, undermines the seeking activity, the ordinary methodical activity of the disciple, because it puts that utterly in doubt. So it eliminates from his quality in Satsang, in his meditation, the possibility of indulging the qualities that are arising in himself, or the possibility of avoiding them. In other words, the mere condition of Satsang tends to put him in the turiya state of witnessing the qualities that arise. Sitting or living in the mere presence of the Guru tends to awaken the turiya state, the fourth state beyond waking, sleeping, and dreaming, and awakens this function of witness in the face of the qualities that arise. And whenever this mere witnessing, this turiya state, this quality is awakened in consciousness, the possibility of real understanding has awakened.

“So he is allowed to see what arises, rather than to become further identified with the stream through the unconsciousness of ordinary conversation and action.” The process of Satsang, the meditation of Satsang precedes all strategies, all methods, all philosophies, all verbalizations, all conceptualizations of Truth, all egoic preferences, all Narcissistic approaches.

“And the ‘space’ between him and what arises is the place where the power of the Heart works to draw him from within.” In this turiya condition of mere witnessing, these qualities arise, and the tendency to identify with them or to avoid them has somehow been undermined, eliminated. And that space between the witnessor, that unfathomable quality between this sense of being the witness and the things that arise, that space is where the power of the Heart works to draw him. It’s in this space, not in the witnessing quality itself, nor in the things that arise, but in this prior quality. This is where the force of the Heart is active. This prior quality is, then, the force of the Heart. This neither witness nor separate self. So the disciple is more and more falling in to that quality, that perfect force, he is being drawn into it. This is the Reality that is tending to include all things in its own form. But it creates this condition, first of all of insight and witnessing in the face of qualities. And then in the midst of this condition that is generated in the disciple it pulls him into the perfect state, the perfect force of the Heart.

So that “He becomes awake as quickening and understanding.” He becomes intensified, really intelligent, spontaneously intelligent, prior to witnessing, prior to the mind, prior to life, prior to all conditions. The spontaneous real intelligence of consciousness is intensified in him, awakened in him.

“The way itself is the relationship to that silence, generated by the teacher and found within, until there is the unconditional perception of the potency that is the Heart.” So the quality of this sadhana in Satsang is where you, by virtue of the creation of the turiya condition within, which is created by the doubt of your tendencies, and you begin to fall into this prior state, this bliss in the company of the Guru. You begin to become sensitive to this unfathomable depth, rather than to the qualities that are arising. You become less and less distracted by the qualities that arise, and are more and more dissolved in this prior quality, the Force of the Heart. So the way of understanding, the way of Satsang fundamentally is this sensitivity, this obliteration, this sensitivity to falling into the Force of the Heart, the prior quality. Until this goes on, subtly, in the disciple, until there is unconditional perception of the potency that is the Heart, until the disciple himself becomes awake through the process of understanding in Satsang, to this very quality itself, becomes alive in it, as it, begins to perceive its functioning, its working, begins, prior to cognition, prior to mentality, enjoying his existence as that, his existence in the mere presence of it, in the form of his Guru. And he, himself, now becoming awake as that very quality that is his Guru.

“Then a man finds only silence in his inner forms,” whereas before he found only qualities arising that fascinated him to the point of identification and exploitation the point of resistance and avoidance. Now he becomes sensitive more and more to the perfect quality in himself. First to the quality that is somehow the witness, separate from what is arising, turiya. Now more and more to turiyntita, beyond the fourth, the perfect force of Reality, the true quality of his Guru awakening within him. Of course, then as this process is going on, the individual becomes more and more somehow aware of the nature of his Guru. Whereas at first he though of his Guru as a philosopher-teacher or a man of experience or this and that, now a man with certain kinds of powers. Gradually over time, his awareness of what his Guru is expands, becomes freer. The more the Guru is awakening his quality within his disciple, the more the disciple begins to see what his Guru is.

At the same time the Guru is always making himself obsolete, he is making himself always more potent. He makes himself obsolete by awakening his quality within his disciple. At the same time he’s always by virtue of that awakening, being seen by his disciple to be more than he even now assumes of himself. So the relationship between the Guru and the disciple is always intensifying and growing, and becoming more elaborate, more perfect, in the consciousness of the disciple, of course. So that one who is growing in this way, growing into the inward communication of Satsang begins to find only silence in his inner forms, whereas before he found only things arising.

“But everywhere, in all the worlds he sees the Heart stand out aloud and Bright.” Not only is this silence within but he begins to enjoy the perception of very Reality in all that he sees. The world itself begins to manifest this same quality that he’s also enjoying as his own quality. The more liberated he becomes, the more he discovers the world to be Divine. So it’s something like that old bit that I’ve heard people say: “When I was a young man I used to think my father was an idiot. But the older I get the more of a wise man he seems to become.” The more you understand, the freer you become, the more you see the world is the Divine form. The world is the manifest Light. So liberation, then, is not a matter of separation from the world, it always involves more capacity in life, more enjoyment of the form of life, true enjoyment.

“Those who are my friends appear to have many kinds of experiences” my friends here, I mean those in Satsang with the Man of Understanding. “They appear to have many kinds of experiences, some of which are extraordinary” and by extraordinary I mean all of the phenomenal qualities that arise in Satsang, all of the ascending manifestations. And some of the descending manifestations are also extraordinary at times, in some sense. So some of these experiences are extraordinary, more like what we mean by miracles, some even being miracles. “And some of these experiences simplify life.” In other words, some of the qualities generated in Satsang are manifestations of the descending quality. They harmonize life, they made it more functional, they make it more easeful. So these two kinds of qualities are always awakened in Satsang, things are always appearing in Satsang. All the kundalini manifestations may arise, they also become all the practical transformations may arise. All the various qualities of spiritual life arise spontaneously in Satsang.

“But my work and simple activity is not to awaken various processes in consciousness by means of Shaktipat. I do not propose, as my special purpose, that kind of initiation.” Now what I am trying to explain here is the point of view of my work, the point of view of Maha-Siddhi, the Great Siddhi, is not the point of view of the search, and so the point of view of both the path and of the activity of the Guru is not in relation to the search. So the specific activity of the Maha-Siddhi is not the awakening of experiences through the communication of the influence of Shakti. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t occur, or that it’s not a spontaneous aspect of the work of the Maha-Siddhi, of course it is. It’s not the point of view of the work, and it’s not to be held on to. Its manifestations are not the be held on to, and the manifestation of the ascending force, and of the Shakti is not the point of view of the work or to be sought in the work. It’s an aspect of its spontaneous activity, it’s not its point of view.

“My work is in the Heart. It is simply the Heart’s action, whereby it draws all the parts of a man, from within and from without, to the understanding and consciousness that is the Heart. My work is to awaken men to the Heart. And that work is the Shakti or Siddhi that is the Heart itself.” This is Maha-Siddhi, the work of the Heart. The communication of the perfect Reality is the true Siddhi. All the other siddhi’s are secondary, and they appear within the search, with the illusory dogma behind them that if these secondary powers are used, or these methods are used, that they will help you to awaken to the ultimate Reality, the Truth, the Maha-Siddhi. But the point of view and activity of the True Guru, the Maha-Siddha himself is not to work through secondary points of view, methods or powers, but to always work directly, by his mere presence, as the very Reality, the very Heart, which, of course is the foundation of Amrita Nadi.

When I am speaking of the Heart here, I’m speaking of Real Consciousness, Very Consciousness, the Perfect, the Very Heart. But not the Heart in its exclusive sense, the Heart as the foundation of Amrita Nadi, the True Form. So there is a Shakti, an absolute power or Siddhi, Maha-Siddhi that is the form of activity of the true Guru. And all shakti’s, all manifestations of Shakti secondarily may arise in Satsang with such a one. But the perfect Shakti is the same as perfect realization. All its movements are secondary. Shakti is the source or embodiment of all movement, all creativity, but it’s also prior to all of them. So the true Siddhi is prior to all specific reflections or manifestations of Shakti.

“In the process,” (of this Satsang) “many experiences may arise, according to the karma or kind of reflection generated in Amrita Nadi by the Heart in each particular case.” So as I’ve said, whatever is appropriate in the individual’s case arises in him at appropriate stages in Satsang. Whatever experiences, in other words, are appropriate will arise.

“But the Heart itself is this awakening, and not any other adventure of experience.” So, again, the Heart, the Real Form, and its perfect consciousness and its conscious way, or understanding is both the awakening and the way. And it does not exclude any of these other phenomena, it is simply that the point of view of the path and the work of the Guru is not these phenomena themselves. They are its secondary reflections.


Life of Understanding – Table of Contents