The Life of Understanding – Week 3



The Life of Understanding Series

A twelve week course taught by Bubba Free John starting in January 1973

Life of Understanding – Lessons on the Knee of Listening

Franklin Jones (Adi Da Samraj) – 1973

(Week 3 – pdf)  


Tonight I have a very long portion of the book to talk about, pages 39-83, which covers the whole period from my meeting with Rudi, all the way through all the years I was with Rudi, including going to seminary, and then going to India to Muktananda’s Ashram and then coming back. It represents about 4 years.

Most significant about this transition is that it was from this point on that I began to do sadhana in the body, in the form of the body, in the conditions of psycho-physical life, whereas previous to this my life condition had been sort of secondary. My sadhana did not involve conforming to the limitations of the body and trying to transform the life and mind; rather I was involved first of all in exploiting life and mind, and then simply in acts of attention, extreme inwardness in relation to life and mind and what is prior to life and mind.

And so at this point I became available to the influence of another, the process, the activity of the Guru, in life. So I told you how I began to have repetitive visions and premonitions of meeting a teacher in an oriental art store in N.Y. and it was very obvious to me that’s the way it was going to be, and I was very free to be able to make this decision, to just follow this intuition. So we just found some friends who happened to be in N.Y. and they had an apartment that they wanted to move out of so we just sort of casually moved in there and as it turned out Rudi’s store was just a few blocks away.

As soon as I saw it I thought very likely that this was the place. Nina and I went in the next day under the pretense of looking for some art or something, so in the midst of wandering around trying to find something that I might be interested in buying to have in the house for a medication place, (I saw,) there was this desk in the back of the store, and I saw these pictures there of swamis and they turned out to be Muktananda and Nityananda. Now I instantly felt something about the quality of those people, and for all I knew the person who owned this store was going to be one of them. It turned out to be – Rudi’s picture was not there. It was obvious to me that this was the place I had been led to.

And the next day I went over there by myself, and of course it was a tremendous emotional experience for me. And there’s all kinds of things that you lay on the line when you approach the Guru. From the moment I walked into that store my life had to change, my physical life had to change and I knew that. So it meant the difference between being able to sort of freely wheeling myself around, and accepting discipline as a way of life. And also there’s all the fears in relation to who this individual might be, and all of that. So finally I just sort of walked over there, and tried to keep my breath quiet and act cool, and I walked into the store, and I got to talk to him and asked if he was a teacher and he said yes, and I asked him if he was an adept at this kundalini process and he said you don’t teach it if you can’t do it. And he said, “What do you do?” and I told him some little mickey mouse meditation practice I was used to doing. Essentially what I was up to was this writing thing. The other meditation I did was really very secondary. And that I was a writer and all of this and I lived with Nina. He said, well I can’t take anybody in this work who doesn’t have a job. Get a job and come back in a year. And he shook my hand and basically that was it. I was eased out of the store.

Well, you’ve read in the book what happened after that. As soon as I left there was the experience of the kundalini force, the transference of it. And I felt it coming through the arm and going all over the body, just after I left the store. So there were these remarkable aspects of my meeting with Rudi, but what is most remarkable, most extraordinary about that meeting was the beginning of this period of sadhana. And Rudi was the Guru instrument for a certain aspect of the sadhana that was necessary for me.

And there were two fundamental qualities that he brought to me. The one had to do more with the external aspects of life, and the other more with the internal. In terms of the external aspects of life there was the demand for work, sadhana as work and surrender. Work and surrender in the life, in life terms, strictly in life terms, not in sitting at home imagining you’re surrendering, and imagining you’re really working, but literally working. And so he had everybody around him literally working, all the time. That’s what you did when you came around there. You didn’t talk about spiritual things and all of that. You came and you did some sort of work, generally in his art business. And the form of practice that he recommended was essentially this opening and surrender in very life terms. And this points to the other aspect, the other quality that Rudi brought to me, that was the more internal one, of the descending force. In my time with Rudi I did sadhana in relation to the descending aspect of the divine force. The ascending phenomena, the qualities of ascending energy, the things that we recognize to be the kundalini manifestation of its classic form did not occur in any consistent or remarkable way while I was with Rudi. They came later.

So there were these two limbs of his influence. The one was the descending force, and the other was the sadhana or work. And what joined these two was the exercise that he recommended, or surrender, and this exercise of surrender was to be your attitude in relation to this force, and also in relation to the conditions of work. So whatever you were doing either work sadhana or internal practice, surrender was the attitude, the form of practice.

I was very willing to meet these conditions that Rudi had given me; I took them as a serious requirement. I didn’t take it as a brush-off. It wasn’t a brush-off. He was just demanding that I worked and expected it would take a long time for me to do the sadhana in the body that would be necessary to bring it into a harmonious condition. Cause the work I’d been doing, was in physical terms, largely one of exploitation. So the psycho-physical life did need this purifying and harmonizing influence that work could bring, and I knew that very well, and that’s why Rudi was a very appropriate teacher.

And of course he liked Nina immediately. He reacted about Nina as if he had been waiting for her for twenty centuries. And as long as we were with Rudi, this was the game he always played. But that was a constant test of my tendencies as well, so it was perfectly all right. So Nina, as it turned out, started to go to his classes a few weeks before I did.

And I finally got a job by volunteering. It was very difficult to get a job in those days but I worked for WBAI radio station in N.Y. on a volunteer basis, and they finally hired me part time. So I satisfied that requirement, and then I wanted to wait until my birthday, I think, before I would come to the first class, just a matter of waiting a couple of extra days. So I went on my birthday.

The subject of these classes, he called them classes, was the forced, what he called the force. Sometimes he would speak a little bit at the beginning, but in most cases we would all just come and sit. We would already be sitting there about 15 minutes or so, and he’d sit down and cross his legs, and shake around, and then he’d open his eyes. His eyes would be very intense, and then he would tell us that he would look at us for a period of time in each class, and that when he was looking at us we should receive this force through the eyes and bring it down into the sex organs, and then relax that allow it to go up the spine. But always a surrendering, a surrendering of the mind, surrendering physically with the life and this whole being as much as that was possible.

This first class I went to, nothing particularly extraordinary happened. In fact, my essential contact took place the moment I first met Rudi. That was when it took place. The rest was just the working out of my relationship to that part of the work for as long as it lasted. But there certainly were incidents periodically throughout my contact with him when there was internal phenomena that were remarkable, and just so, there were constant changes, externally.

The external changes were more dramatic than the internal ones because the aspect of the force that was working in relation to Rudi was the descending force that moves into the life functions. So naturally it’s reflected more in external life than it is in internal, visions and such. But there were such experiences, periodically. I did become sensitive to the force as it was generated by him specifically, and that was the specific sadhana we were to be doing. And there were times when I would sit with him when I would feel it coming down like a lead safe; I could actually feel it descend into the room, and click all through the body.

Many people there had kriyas. Rudi had violent kriyas. And a number of others who were in these classes would have these violent kriyas at times. Generally the head would rotate, you’d see a lot of back movement and all of that seemed a little strange to me. I wondered if this was put on, or people were exaggerating, or whatever. I felt it was essentially genuine in Rudi, but in others I was never quite certain. Cause they didn’t seem other than that to be extraordinary. And that’s the truth; they weren’t. It doesn’t make you extraordinary. It’s just, on one level, just an activity of the nervous system, that can quiet and purify and harmonize the nervous system, and it has certain psychic functions as well.

So it was continuous work throughout this time. And there were phenomena related to this force, essentially of the descending variety, felt as force descending, and internal movement of energy, very few kriyas, most I felt was a little sort of bubbling maybe very slight sensation at the base of the spine, that sort of thing. Very little kriyas.

Then there was the experience of the thumbs, as I call them, I referred to them earlier in the book in relation to the experience during those drug trials in Mountain View at the VA hospital, but this was an experience that had happened a number of times throughout my life previous to these drug trials, and they happened periodically again after that time, which was now very shortly before meeting Rudi, a couple of years, maybe. But those experiences began to arise in Rudi’s classes, and also times when I’d be meditating at home. We didn’t just meditate with Rudi, we’d do the same exercise at home, once or twice a day.

But now when this experience began to occur, I was more prone to allow it to occur, I worked with it. It wasn’t so unfamiliar to me now because (now) I’d have these experiences of descending force brought to the conscious mind and the conscious life so I was familiar with this process of energy relative to life and consciousness, and when the characteristic form of it that I had identified as the thumbs came on me now, I recognized it had to be this descending force that had always been there as a potentiality in my life and (Rudi’s,) my time with Rudi was when this particular aspect of the force became conscious and stable.

So now when the descending force, or the thumbs would come down I would allow it to happen completely. And of course there was resistance to it and then when I’d become self conscious of it, it would stop.

But there were a number of times when it would happen totally, and those times what occurred was the samadhi of the descending force, which is a peculiar experience, that’s not especially described in yogic literature, cause yogic literature deals fundamentally with the ascending energy. But in this case there was the opening of all the functions in the descending path, and when this descending force had fully come down through the body to the lowest point, the muladhar, it was reconnected with the ascending current. It wasn’t a matter of the energy rushing up the spine at this point, it was just reconnected. And so there was no tendency in consciousness to go down or to go up. There was no descent or ascent. There was no limitation or containment, in consciousness, at those times.

And so the whole sensation of the body, of the vital life, of the physical life, of the gross form, all of this dissolved in this sphere of bliss, which was at the same time conscious. The mind was latent in it, not completely destroyed, but it was usually quieted, although sometimes I’d be lying in this spaceless state thinking as before, thinking very intensely and rapidly but with no sense whatsoever of a physical body or being in a special environment. And then at some point this experience would just lift off and then I’d return to the usual gravitational orientation toward the physical life, but it’s purely an arbitrary orientation, that we’ve just held in place with this sense of up and down and this physical shape and all this by mechanisms, functional mechanisms that can be out away in an instant.

My father would periodically come over and talk to Rudi. So one of those days at this time Rudi, as he told Rudi that at one point just before I went to college and during my early days in college I was going to be a minister and then all of a sudden something happened and I’d never been the same. So the next time I see Rudi he’s right away talking about me going to seminary. He said, why didn’t you continue to be a minister and all of this. I told him I just wasn’t a Christian anymore. It was completely beside the point. And so he argued this whole thing, argued it as a form of sadhana, and how he felt my tendencies would coincide with it, that I could work it out. I didn’t really have any other sort of career number in mind. I didn’t have anything else that I was planning to do, although I felt that I was going to do something relative to spiritual things. But at the time nothing really seemed possible except maybe a religious career. So I thought I would go through this.

So in general all of these very practical changes were required and they were of great benefit. And during that time I did become much healthier, much straighter, I was able to bring sadhana into the physical life and that’s absolutely the necessary foundation for a spiritual life. It does not take place without it. There was great resistance to it and I had tremendous resistance to it when I’d be working night and day, I would feel a fever in my skin from the resistance to working. I would feel it all over my body. I worked very hard at this sadhana. I wasn’t a minor student at this work. I worked very hard at this form of practice, and assumed all the conditions as he gave it and went through a very difficult time for four years.

Now he wanted me to go to seminary after initial discussion and really it wasn’t a long time of resistance, I planned to go to seminary starting about a day or two after this discussion. I never spent long times of fretting and resisting. So it turned out I decided I would go to the Lutheran seminary. But they required you to have some background in Greek, Koine Greek, in which the New Testament manuscripts are written generally. So instead of going to this seminary in Philadelphia right away, I spent a year in Manhattan at New York Theological Seminary it was called, (It was) many denominations supported I believe. I think maybe it was mainly Presbyterian. I’m not sure. So I spent this year there studying Greek. I worked very hard at it, translated a book of the New Testament, and studied it all the time, and worked very hard, I took it as sadhana and got all A’s in this Greek course. It really had nothing whatever to do with me.

And then I went to this seminary in Philadelphia for this full year and worked tremendously hard, used the mind not because I desired it, not because I wanted to know about this subject matter. I couldn’t care less about it. So I just used it as work, used it as sadhana, that was the principle. And I got all A’s. Nobody had ever gotten all A’s in this place before. It was impossible to get all A’s. It was impossible for me to get all A’s in some of this stuff. I studied classical Hebrew, and all kinds of strange Biblical theological technical courses, and had to memorize practically the entire Bible, and I would memorize thousands and thousands of minute details. One of the professors told me, you know that you have a photographic memory.

But it was just work. So it was very useful. It broke down a lot of the resistance in the mind. Because a part of the resistance in the mind is this precious notion that you’re supposed to feed the mind with the things it’s interested in, instead of just making it function without interest, which is tapas, real discipline. And I had to live without interest. I had to live happily in this community that had nothing whatever to do with me, that had no satisfactions coming through at all, (cause) I suffered having to do this kind of sadhana a great deal. And I would protest it inwardly, and in some conversations and all of that but I did it, committed myself to it.

But there was a point when it began to become very obvious that my life was simply an ordeal, that was all that it was, that was the summation of its content. Living this principle made my life something that was always negating itself. In other words when I had passed beyond the time when I needed discipline simply to straighten out the descending cycle of functions, the principle of sadhana in this form became obsolete. And so there was a time when it began to become obvious, when I was not simply protesting anymore, when I had fulfilled the conditions and understood my protesting, when in fact the principle of sadhana in this form began to become obsolete.

And then I began to see something of the nature of a form of sadhana that was of another kind. And already I understood something about seeking when back in college there and other experiences. But it began to become clear to me that the principle of search or work, effort, as spirituality not only reinforces your awareness of the thing that you’re trying to overcome, which it does by constantly putting your effort against an obstacle. And the purpose of, the very method of, this sadhana was to continually create the sense of an obstacle, because you had to continually create work as your sadhana. So it not only reinforced the sense of simply being in bondage to an obstacle and always having to work against it, but for this very reason it became obvious that the principle of sadhana as effort was founded in the conception of an obstacle, was founded in dilemma. So at some point my feelings about the nature of this principle of sadhana began to develop and become intelligent. But this was very late in the game. I wouldn’t even say that it particularly clarified itself terribly until this turnabout in seminary.

But before I get into that event in seminary I probably should just cover a couple of things that still remain to be said about my specific work with Rudi. The spiritual life as a process that involved a higher force, a spiritual force, whatever you want to call it, was not unfamiliar to me. This experience was always in my life. It took the form of a few remarkable experiences especially, which we’ve already covered. In all such cases, even early in my life as a child, there was no sense of this force being outside, it was always lived from the point of view of identity and sadhana involves transformation of the karmic vehicle, so it was necessary for me to do sadhana in relation to something that was not myself, in relation to an influence that was not myself. No other way would it be possible for me to encounter the limitations in the karmic vehicle, the life vehicle.

So what was unique in the case of my life now with Rudi, was the fact that I was dealing with this force through the medium of another individual. It was being brought to me through another person, it was confronted in another person. It was not arbitrary then, it was always there, stably there. My experience of it may vary, but it was a constant outside myself. And essentially the benefits of my involvement with Rudi were involved in this peculiar form of sadhana which I was dealing with karmic vehicles in order to transform them, and essentially this involved the abandonment of a self indulgent and irresponsible habit of life on every level, physical, vital, emotion and mental, so that there were no longer any obstructions in the descending circuit.

Now the next very important event, one of the primary events in my life, took place in seminary in the spring in the third quarter, near the end of the school year. And that’s described pretty well in the book. I describe it specifically as the death of Narcissus, as I mentioned to you last week, when this whole affair that surrounded my writing, the yoga of my writing, began to become most profound and I began to recognize the activity within me. I saw it as a drama, as the drama of Narcissus, and I know that my own death was the death of Narcissus. I knew that my own life, in other words was moving toward the same fate essentially that Narcissus’ life was moving toward. We tend to take on the tendencies, we tend to fulfill the destiny of whatever distracts us, and we are most profoundly distracted by the activity of Narcissus, and the destiny of Narcissus is essentially ours then.

This endless distraction, this endless commitment to our own modifications becomes an ever more solid and contracted condition for which the only relief is periodic death, literal death. And you return through the natural refreshments available in the cosmic process and then return to another body in which you do the same thing, and die again.

I think maybe it would be good to read something of the last event that occurred. There were several days leading up to this final event in seminary. Beginning on page 62, the next to the last paragraph beginning with finally: “On the third day after this process began I was lying home alone in the afternoon. It was as if all my life I had been constantly brought to this point. It seemed that all of the various methods of my life had constantly prevented this experience from going to its end. All of my life I had been preventing my death.” And it was absolutely clear to me, that this ultimate fulfillment of the destiny of Narcissus was what I was always trying to prevent, always resisting. The contraction or vital shock, in a very real sense was a reaction to the necessity of death. And it was necessary not simply because physical bodies die, but necessary because of the game I was playing. Its destiny is this psycho-physical death. Its ultimate meaning is this death. That’s what was actually taking place. It was complete dissolution of my functional life, lifting out of consciousness from identification with the lower vehicles, and in order to do that, there’s a terrifying process that actually results in a literal death.

So finally on the third day after this process began I was lying home alone in the afternoon. It was as if all my life I had been constantly brought to this point. All my life I had been preventing my death. I lay on the floor, totally disarmed, unable to make a gesture that could prevent the rising fear. And thus it grew in me. But for the first time I allowed it to happen; I could not prevent it. The fear and the death rose and became my overwhelming experience. And I witnessed the crisis of that fear in a moment of conscious voluntary death. I allowed the death to happen, and I saw it happen. When that moment of crisis passed I felt a marvelous release. The death had occurred but I had observed it, I remained untouched by it. The body and the mind and the personality had died, but I remained as an essential and unqualified consciousness.

When all the fear in dying had become a matter of course, when the body, the mind and the person with which I had identified myself had died, and my attention was no longer fixed on those things, I perceived or enjoyed reality, fully and directly. There was an infinite bliss of being, an untouched, unborn sublimity, without separation, without individuation, without a thing from which to be separated. There was only reality itself, the incomparable nature and constant existence that underlies the entire adventure of life.

So there were these various automatic attempts to prevent this thing from taking place, but finally in this moment it took place, and I was fully consciously involved, participating in that process. And there was literal death. I don’t know what it looked like from an outside point of view, I don’t know whether the body was unconscious, or I was completely unaware of any of these things. But it was the essential death, the fundamental death, that is ours even in physical death, which begins with the loss of physical awareness.

But its significance is in consciousness. Its significance of the death of Narcissus, the limited one. So this conscious process took place, whatever else took place physically, or didn’t take place physically. And what was remarkable about it was the immortality, because the death had occurred but I was still present. And literally the death had occurred. There was no longer any sense of identification with the manifest existence. There was complete tacit intuitive perfect direct consciousness as that which is not identical to any limited state, and it persisted regardless of the changes in the manifest life.

So there was great bliss, great happiness, once the event had taken place. It was like the individual who might die in the usual sense, and suddenly he wakes up in some other very ordinary environment, some between life environment, and feels the sense of life in him, except such a person doesn’t do it with consciousness, he doesn’t really understand what has taken place, doesn’t understand the significance of it, he’s still going through the tour of phenomena. But it was something like that, being mortal and waking up to be immortal.

So this was a very fundamental moment in my life, in my sadhana, and in the growth of the teaching. And we could say that this death was the perfect Samadhi, or Amrita Nadi, or the formless intuition, of God, of the Heart. It was not associated with any kind of visions, or internal phenomena, or external phenomena, no quality whatsoever. But it was absolute inherence in the fundamental reality, without distinction, without limitation, without ego, without self, without separation, without suffering.

And so from this moment there was a new sense of the quality of sadhana as well. A peculiar form of sadhana arose in college; that determination to duplicate the search that mankind was already living, and then another form of sadhana arose after the crisis experience in my junior year in college, after which I no longer pursued a truth, a goal, but sought only to undermine through understanding the inner contradictions.

And so that became the process of writing and continued all the way through my work with Rudi, in that time that began through the writing experience this perception of Narcissus as the fundamental strategy. But then I began to live as that one, and do sadhana as that one, in Rudi’s presence. And now finally this is the fulfillment of that whole adventure. And it was the awakening of the fundamental enjoyment which is the root of this work. However there were still some transforming activities, some transforming sadhana in relation to the vehicles that needed to occur. But this very definitely was the end of a stage in my life.

And then you all know at one point, one day I was in the store just sitting there, and there was a couple of little booklets from Muktananda’s ashram there, and I read them, and the notion of sadhana that Muktananda was describing was obviously compatible with my understanding of sadhana at this point. He spoke of sadhana as being entirely dependent on the grace of the Guru and not the efforts of the disciple. And this was obviously compatible with my understanding, and you could see that I did not separate understanding from the relationship to the Guru, from Satsang. It’s not independent of that, it’s very subtly involved with that.

So I began to make these arrangements to go to India. And not only did Muktananda say that sadhana was an activity generated by the Guru, the force of the Guru, but he said that apart from all efforts of the disciple, the purifying activities and the spiritual awakenings would occur spontaneously, so wasn’t dependent on the principle of effort. The principle of effort was the main thing that was absent from what I read of Muktananda’s teaching at this time. And of course you remember that when I first walked into Rudi’s store the pictures that were on the wall were Muktananda and Nityananda, and it began to seem to me that Rudi was an instrument, a form of the Guru, a form of the divine activity, but useful only for a stage of my work and that in a sense he was preparing me to do sadhana with Muktananda and Nityananda. The specific work that was needed to come through Muktananda was just as free as the real thing that came through Rudi. But Muktananda as a master like any other spiritual teacher puts his disciple through the discipline of sadhana. It’s just that at this particular time he had a particular function to perform for me, that involved the recognition that the principle of effort was gone and that the Guru was finely, absolutely, available for the transforming work.

All right, so now I went to India. I got a job with Pan American Airways so that I could get a free trip to India, and all of this, and worked this crazy time schedule with guys on this job so that I could get six days to be come, and I knew that if I came only one day late that I wouldn’t lose the jobs, so I knew that I had seven days. But you need about two days on either side to do your traveling in. So I would have only four days there and about three days or so traveling.

So we arrived in Bombay very early in the morning. It’s always very misty and damp there, very mysterious. It’s a strange environment, it’s a different world, different level of energy. It’s an earth culture, and you can feel the force of the earth as you begin to move into the middle east. And we were met by this odd person, Peter Dias, very intense, strange, nervous, compulsive guy, who spoke English very well and could communicate with Westerners. That’s why Baba would send him out. He met me on my second trip as well.

So we got out there. It was the middle of the morning and at that time the Ashram was still a very small place. Nityananda hadn’t been dead that long, he’d been dead about, not quite even seven years, and there were still relatively few people there; people didn’t come there in great masses. Particularly at this time there was nobody around, there were just a few inmates of the Ashram, and some others who were staying there for a few weeks or months, temporarily.

So we were immediately brought into this little hall where Baba used to sit in a very classical setting, and occasionally throughout these days we would go up and sit with him in some little spot in the Ashram and he would discourse. And of course there was now the kriyas in an intense form. Kriyas are the sign of ascending energy.

And so now my movement into a relationship with Muktananda was a sign of the beginning of sadhana in relation to the ascending force, the ascending aspect of the force. There’s only one force, but it has several functions, several particularly important ones, and the primary ones are the descending and the ascending. But within a matter of a couple of days, the entire kundalini process took place, all of the openings took place, instead of what would take years, or lifetimes or whatever took place in just a couple of days. But even so the whole activity of the kundalini manifestation was not what I had come for. I already knew something about it obviously. I had had kundalini experiences, the kundalini manifestation was already completely open prior to this life, and there were periodic experiences relative to it, and it was not what I had come for. But it was something that had to take place. The ascending functions did have to be opened. So they took place in this very rapid way over a couple of days.

It was the last day, it was just a few hours before we had to leave in order to make it back to New York, and it was very super hot out there. It was the beginning of the hot season. I don’t know what the temperature was. I’m sure it was well over 100 degrees. It could have been 110 or 120 or so, I don’t know how it was but it was scalding hot, it felt to me. So I had this big Panama or Planters hat, so I went up to the cottage where we were staying to get this hat. And the hat was on the bed, I think, and as I reached over to get this hat, I just started to disappear. So I thought I’d just lie down for a moment, that was the impulse behind it. And as soon as the body was down it disappeared. If the experience in seminary was the absolute realization of Real-God, the very Self, this was the completion of that intuition, in which it consciously became Amrita Nadi. Well when there was complete lifting out and transcendence of all, not only the (physical) psycho-physical vehicles but all of the manifest places of existence, there was this sensation of being pressed on a point above, and then there was the penetration or transformation to it into the God state. And then as soon as that occurred, there is no way to talk about it in terms of time, but in terms of the sequence of events, there was then a moving down through the planes of manifestation again, until at one point I heard this incredible roaring sound, and then realized that it was my breath, was returning to relationship to the body but without being in any sense contained in the body. I was containing the body in consciousness in this moment, and then Nina, in a moment for which she’ll never be forgiven, (so she) came into the room and at that moment it was absolutely appropriate for her to come in at this moment; this was the return to the normal state, a regaining of the normal relationship to the physical. I don’t know how long this took. I don’t even know how to put it in terms of time. But it was this event, not simply in itself because it’s not an event that happens and never occurs again, it remains alive. But it’s through my explanation of this even, and my description also of the realization in seminary that perhaps you can see the structure of reality and manifestation as I described it to you at the start of the first lesson. It’s not through books that this description comes, it’s through real experience.

I had awakened as the Self, the Witness, the ultimate reality of the ancient scriptures. Whereas we ordinarily remain conscious as the capsule entity contained in the body I had awakened as the One who truly is the life and consciousness of the body and al things. I had seen consciousness move from that absolute and most prior state down through the levels of being, toward bodily consciousness. I’d seen bodily consciousness from the point of view of the Self, Siva, or Siva-Shakti, the universal Being that lives all things. Ordinarily we identify with the point of view of bodily consciousness; either we strive to survive as that dying entity in the face of all obstacles, or else we try by spiritual effort to attain the realization of Self or divine consciousness. But I awakened as that Self, and everything is always and already being lived.

And it’s the quality of living all things that is also the true nature of the Guru’s function. It’s not one in which he gives people things by which they, methods by which they realize the Truth, but he lives the Truth to them, and their sadhana of living in relation to the Truth, living the condition of Truth is a fundamental and motiveless instrument.

Every sense of limitation and false self awareness had fallen away from me. When I had fathomed in the various difficult crises and illuminations of my life had been given to me whole in a single moment of perfect experience without limitations of any kind, I knew with absolute certainty that I was not the seeker or the one trapped in life, but everything was only being lived by the diving Being, and I was that One. The entire truth of all the scriptures east and west had been realized in my own conscious experience.

There was no longer any need for seeking, effort, for there was no primary dilemma. So at this point the principle of seeking was absolutely dead. There was no dilemma. Absolutely none. There was perfect enjoyment of what had always been the same, of what I had come into this condition with, and now it had been revealed by a process of revelation in terms of all the functional states of existence.

(And) obviously the apparent sadhana of my life did not come to an end at this point, so the reasons for that now must be considered. What has been occurring throughout the process of my own experience is a continuous revelation and stabilization of the functions of existence. Ultimately the whole affair has been spontaneous, but of course being in the manifest human form there is all the appearance of cooperation, participation with it. This is the paradox of such a process.

We could say that in the event of death, the death of Narcissus, the even in seminary, that that aspect of the ultimate reality which the Hindu scriptures call Sat, perfect existence, was permanently realized, perfectly realized in this experience at Muktananda’s ashram. That aspect of the divine principle which the Hindu scriptures call Chit, infinite consciousness or conscious force, was realized. And we could describe the phenomena of this experience in Muktananda’s Ashram as realization of God light, cosmic self realization. But there’s another aspect described in the classical Hindu scriptures called Ananda, which also corresponds to another activity in this revelation of my spiritual life, and I have described this as the fullness, the circle of descending and ascending life.

To this time I had done sadhana in the forms of descending and ascending life, but I had not lived them from the point of view of truth. I had done sadhana in them. So what was required now was to return to all of the functional processes of the descending and the ascending life and live them from the point of view of this principle, the principle or prior realization and when all that had occurred, and the whole process had been duplicated again out of the whole life of my sadhana, when that was completely and the descending and ascending circle was in full consciousness, that was the final event at the Vedanta temple.

So there was actually a period of time now, of a couple of years, before this full circle could be perfected. The fullness, the full manifestation or the manifestation of truth in life in the descending ascending vehicle, that conductivity of the light is what I call the fullness, what the Hindu scriptures call Ananda, the Divine nature as perfect bliss.

So that now this period of living the descending and ascending light from the point of view of truth rather than from the point of view of the search or sadhana in any traditional sense began And it began quite spontaneously by the encroachment of the ordinary phenomena upon this state that was now being enjoyed. There was this perfect enjoyment, perfect knowledge, perfect illumination and all of a sudden the same problems were arising, it seemed out of nowhere. And it was just a duplication of the process of my life.

It began with all of the desires, ordinary suggestions, motivations that were behind my original college experiment. And then it became the problem of the mind itself; how to transform the mind, so I again duplicated the same process that was going on during the year that I was in Scientology. So the beginnings of the urges and sensations and ordinary patterns of the mind and motivation of the mind duplicated the early phase of my sadhana in college, where I took on the program of exploiting experience. And the next phase, of Scientology in the general period of about a year was a time when I approached the problem of the mind from the point of view of realizing its internal cause, the motivating contradiction or dilemma.

But each of these things came and went quite spontaneously until 1970, when the book is being done. And just so after the circle of fullness was complete in this radical sense and that’s the state in which the book ends, that’s the state in which The Knee of Listening ends, even beyond that time there were other experiences, of very important kind, important even for this work, and which will be described, I hope, ultimately in my teaching in this work, in which it was again moving into the manifest enjoyment of the siddhis, cosmic processes. And part of this manifestation of siddhis became the early function of Satsang and had a specific function to perform. In the early years of my life all of my sadhana has been devoted to the transformation of the vehicles in which I am manifest and of the revelation, living revelation of all of the ultimate qualities. But beyond that point, beyond the time of The Knee of Listening begins another phase of my activity which is my activity in relation to others. And this, in the same essential way duplicates again the whole affair. I guess that’s all I have to say about it tonight. Does anyone have any questions about it?


The Knee of Listening and Study Chapters – Table of Contents