Life of Understanding – The Meditation of Understanding – Part Four (Section 8)


The Life of Understanding Series

A Twelve Week Course
Taught by Bubba Free John starting in January 1973


(Week 8 – pdf
 

The Meditation of Understanding,
Part Four (Section 8)

So starting with this section that
begins in the middle of the page on page 187, “The enquiry
doesn’t produce an instant result simply because it is
used.” It’s not there to produce a result to begin with. I
mean it’s not a method, like a remedy and when you say it
you start feeling moisture in your ears or something. But
some people look for that. They’ve had an experience related
to the rise of enquiry or related to the awakening of
understanding in them and so they look for some sort of
opening, release, psychological effect, physical change,
psycho-physical change of some sort to be related to the use
of enquiry. When they enquire, they look for whatever
peculiar disturbance they are involved with in enquiry at
the time to disappear, because they are asking this
question, and then if it doesn’t happen, they begin to get
involved in aggravation over it or they think there is some
mystery or some dilemma involved with the fact that it’s not
going away and as a matter of fact, at that point they are
no longer enquiring; they’re using this verbal enquiry. But
they’re not doing the thing that I’ve called enquiry, which
is simply an extension of understanding itself. At that
point when they are getting disturbed by the fact that
things are not disappearing, they are not enquiring of the
quality of avoidance that is really primarily operative at
that moment. They’re looking at something else. This
something else is being held in place by the thing that they
have not enquired of at that moment. The thing that they are
forgetting to enquire of because they are obsessed with the
thing they are waiting to disappear.

But in any case, even where enquiry
is alive in a period of meditation, a time of meditation on
any particular day, you don’t just sit down in a certain
condition. You come out of a previous condition whether it’s
coming out of sleep or out of some daily activity. So when
you sit down there is generally a period of time of warming
up, of adjusting or adapting to that situation, adapting to
conscious Satsang at that moment, moving through the various
preliminary stages that we’ve discussed in the weeks
before.

So “often you must enquire for some
time before enquiry becomes conscious and intense, operative
as understanding rather than as method.” When you enquire
you are not dealing with words but meanings. And these
people who get involved in the kind of problem I mentioned a
moment ago are obsessed at that time with enquiry as a
verbal symbol, a verbal formula of some kind. As if this
enquiry were a magic wand or mantra in the usual sense that
they repeat and the repetition itself is supposed to gain
results. Enquiry is of no value unless it is combined with
consciousness, unless it is a conscious event. There is no
real enquiry apart from the conscious event of
understanding. Enquiry simply as the application of a verbal
activity is not enquiry. That’s something else, something
more like a traditional religious practice. In any case, you
are dealing with meaning, in other words with the quality of
consciousness, not with simply a linguistic or material
form.

“And you are directing it not to
unconscious and material forces but to mind and
consciousness, which are also aware of these.” You’re not
directing the enquiry, you’re not asking the question of
something that is unconscious and inert. You’re not asking
your body, your solid body for an answer. Enquiry is a
process in consciousness. So it’s not in itself thrown into
something unconscious and inert. On the other hand, it
doesn’t mean that the processes related to consciousness
that are ordinarily sub-conscious and unconscious, it
doesn’t mean that these do not become involved in the
ultimate what we might call answer to the enquiry. They are
as a matter of fact. The whole event of this enquiry does
move into the unconscious and subconscious life.

And the recognition that arises,
that awakens in the midst of enquiry is contributed to by
what you have not yet observed. By what is subliminal, by
what is not mentally conscious. The activity of enquiry or
of understanding, is in itself an activity in consciousness.
It’s just that once the activity goes on, it includes the
other dimensions of awareness, the other dimensions of the
mind. So when you sit and enquire, for instance, of some
quality that has arisen, and you enquire of it, and you
remain in the condition of that enquiry in order to discover
the answer, or you are waiting on, during that time of
remaining in the state of the enquiry, waiting on all of the
qualities, unconscious, subconscious, conscious,
super-conscious, that are involved in the present event of
your life to manifest the answer. So other qualities arise
in consciousness after the moment of enquiry itself, and
reveal themselves. The things that are at the moment of
enquiry outside the field of awareness may arise in the
process of enquiry. For that matter as you continue during
the time of meditation many, many qualities arise that you
are not aware of at the moment you sit down, and all of
those qualities are at the moment when you sat down, at that
very moment, they are unconscious, not conscious. But
enquiry itself, as an activity, as something you sit down
and do, is an activity in the conscious
dimension.

“Thus often in meditation it takes
some time for understanding to arise and real meditation to
begin. Therefore, when you meditate, meditate with
understanding, and continue to enquire until it moves into
consciousness, recognizes the forms of avoidance, resumes
the form of relationship, and creates an opening and release
of bliss.” This is the beginning of a description of what we
might call the end phenomenon or the answer, the quality of
what we might call an answer. Enquiry does not operate as
method in which we do something and it has a result, so to
talk about an answer really is not quite appropriate. But
you all understand what I’m talking about, so we’ll use the
word answer to refer to the qualities that arise when
enquiry is genuinely operative. So you sit down in Satsang
and enquiry begins, and at first there’s this sort of
crankiness, you know, it’s not flowing yet, and the verbal
enquiry may be generated. But it may not be full, it may not
be loose for a bit of time when you first sit down, but
continue this whole process of sitting in Satsang and of
enquiry until it becomes a conscious activity, until it
becomes alive, til the enquiry is existing it its genuine
form, until there is the recognition, knowing again of the
forms of avoidance that are generating in life and
consciousness at that instant. (That instant) until you
resume the form of relationship, the condition of
relationship rather than this previously unconscious
condition of separation and avoidance, and creates an
opening and release of bliss.

“When there is no contraction, no
dilemma, no avoidance, when this has been obviated through
knowledge, re-cognition, and you’ve passed from this
contracted state into the conscious awareness of
relationship, whenever that occurs quite naturally then,
there is usually a sense of opening in some form or other
and a release of energy with the quality of blissfulness
associated with it.

“Frequently you will find a sudden
opening or release in the heart.” Perhaps not so frequently.
In the early stages or in some people this is just a quality
that may arise, but if it does arise in your case and when
it does begin to arise, you may notice that this occurs with
some sort of frequency. “It is the release of consciousness,
bliss and energy to the Amrita Nadi. This opening, fullness,
ease and release is the typical result of each daily
meditation.” This is in the mature form, the mature stage of
enquiry. “Of course, it is not a ‘required’ experience. It
is only that you may perceive it and so I have accounted for
it. Simply understand and enquire with intensity, not as a
method or program to create various effects, but as an
activity in consciousness.”

Now fundamentally what is being said
then in these few paragraphs, this notion that enquiry
should be the condition of Satsang and of understanding,
observation and enquiry should be maintained as your
condition until it becomes an intense living process, until
it is conscious and alive in all the ways that we’ve
described in these last several weeks. It should not be
adhered to as a method, as a programmatic plan, to create
various effects such as liberation and such as perhaps the
effects that I have described here as the answer to enquiry,
these openings of bliss. If you look forward to them as
phenomena that you hope to generate by doing various
ritualistic things you’ve learned how to do inwardly, you
will eventually run into problems and the same dilemma you
were in before. But you will discover that it doesn’t truly
work that way. Just so if you look for any of these
qualities for the conscious eruption of enquiry to begin,
for understanding itself to begin, for observation to begin,
for some sensation of Satsang to begin, if you look to
recognize the form of avoidance as a specific end phenomenon
of enquiry or of sitting there, you’ve devoted yourself to a
methodical activity at that time. If you look for the
sensation of relationship in any sense whatsoever, this is
again the use of method, the application of consciousness to
method in dilemma. And senses of opening, of bliss, or the
opening of the Heart, if you look for all of these tidings,
in themselves, if that is what your attention is on, you
will always be living in the limited condition. You’ll
always be creating the sensation of separation. As your
present state, you’ll be looking forward from it to these
other symbolic releases.

But if your point of view is always
that of Satsang, and of understanding, and of enquiry, and
of abiding in that, living in that condition of
understanding and enquiry, then secondarily you will begin
to observe, notice these other phenomena arise. And one of
the phenomena that may arise in meditation is the sense of
opening in the Heart, particularly the sense of opening on
the right. And it is quite different from the opening of the
heart chakra, or of certain other vital openings in the
chest area, which have purely physical qualities associated
with them of ease, and of opening, pranayama, automatic
pranayama, whatever may arise at times which are associated
with openings in this trunk area of the body. The opening of
the heart chakra involves other sensations of love and
devotion, these qualities. But particularly the kind of
experience in the Heart that I’m describing is an event is
consciousness. Not so much an event that consciousness
witnesses; you can be aware of a blissful feeling, you can
be aware of a sensation of opening. But this opening of the
Heart on the right is an event is consciousness itself, an
event in this awareness itself. So it involves the
undermining of the ordinary limited condition of
consciousness. So the bliss that’s associated with it is
also a conscious bliss. Bliss as a quality of consciousness
itself, rather than bliss as a quality of mind and body,
psyche, or whatever instrument of perception to which
consciousness attaches itself, of which consciousness may
become aware. Nonetheless, when there is this opening in the
Heart on the right, there are very often other sensations
that are accompanied with it, and these do have the
associated feelings of energy, of fullness, of devotion,
whatever.

Now “this meditation,” what I’ve
been talking about here, “This meditation is described in
terms of the vital physical body, but it is not identical to
it or contained in it. This meditation can be done exactly
as described in any body, even some subtle, psychic body.”
In other words, I’ve been talking about, last week we talked
about this process of sitting down and beginning to observe
things as they arise and how they related to levels of the
body and levels of unconscious, sub-conscious,
super-consciousness. How these qualities of consciousness or
qualities that are reflected to consciousness are reflected
from various areas in the body or one’s functional life that
transcends the physical body. But in general the kind of
situation that I’ve been describing is one that assumes your
ordinary vital physical human form, living in the world, and
sitting in Satsang, sitting in enquiry. But as a matter of
fact, this process I am describing is not a process of
bodily life. In other words, it is not a process of bodily
life itself. It’s not equal to bodily life, it’s not equal
to the human condition as a physical limitation. This
process I’m describing is the process of intelligence, the
process of very consciousness.

It can be generated under any
conditions, in any body you may happen to be, any world
where you might happen to be born, any state in which you
may happen to feel yourself. Now there are conditions that
may arise in the life of meditation and Satsang in which you
actually do become aware of being in another body and in
another place, or at the same time you are aware of this,
some how, this form, this physical form, in the environment
where you may happen to be sitting, you may have some vague
awareness of that, but at the same time you’re more
overwhelmingly aware in the terms of sensation and
perception, of another form and environment. So it is
important to make this point, because regardless of the
condition, the bodily condition, now, not just the qualities
of mind that arise, but regardless of the perception you
have of your bodily condition in time and space, regardless
of that perception of your condition, this enquiry is still
appropriate, because it’s an activity in consciousness and
consciousness is the fundamental under all these conditions
of state.

“Every body is in the Form of
Reality, the Amrita Nadi.” We might say every body is an
expression of it. In a sense, a duplication of it, a ritual
duplication of it, a reflection of it, of the ultimate form,
Amrita Nadi. “The same centers and the same relationships
pertain in each body and every realm of universe. Every
experience and every plane of being is a manifestation
within the same instrument. From the point of view of the
Form of Reality, there is no higher or lower body. Every
body is the same form, the same terminal of bliss and
enjoyment. The same seat of consciousness and Truth. There
is no need for ascent or descent in the name of truth. There
is only present understanding.” In other words, regardless
of the apparent condition in terms of time and space or
bodily existence, the same functional condition pertains in
terms of consciousness. The same condition is naturally
being generated in different terms, with different shapes
and colors. But actually all conditions in time and space,
all bodily conditions, all perceptions of this kind, are
reflections of the same ultimate form. They are expressions
of it. And consciousness is the very activity of that
ultimate form. So the process of understanding is
appropriate under all conditions. Therefore, when a person
begins to have sensations of existence in another time span
or in the astral plane, or whatever, it’s not that then he
should start meditating on the color of his forehead. He
should abide in the same condition, the same intelligence is
awake in him, the same possibilities are there, the same
quality of suffering, the same activity of contraction, the
same Narcissus is alive in other forms of perception, other
forms of bodily life.

So it was my own experience,
whenever phenomena arise of being consciously alive in some
other place, some other loka where the qualities of
appearance were dramatically different perhaps than this
manifestation. But even though such things were arising, the
same dilemma pertained. The same thing is ignorance in such
a place, that is ignorance here, the same quality in
consciousness is suffering in such a place as it is here.
And therefore the same process of understanding is
applicable under such conditions. Therefore, perfect
understanding, or real knowledge, is fully liberating. It
doesn’t just apply to the earth plane then, because it is
the real activity, realization of the very Truth or Reality
that applies, that is the core of experience in all planes.
So the liberated man is simply liberated. The man of
understanding is that, regardless of the change of state.
This process is alive in him, this consciousness is his very
nature. So the man who understands while alive is free
forever, regardless of his change of state after death for
instance. This does not modify his ultimate enjoyment. So he
remains creatively present where he goes.

And just so, one who is living the
path of understanding must remain in the form of
understanding, must continue to enquire, must maintain the
condition of Satsang, under all these conditions that may
arise. So there’s no higher or lower body in terms of
preference. From the point of view of Truth, all bodies, all
conditions, all lokas, all realms are reflections of itself.
They are the same form, the same expression, have the same
ultimate nature, involve the same essential process. So
there’s no preference from the point of view of Truth in
terms of worlds. You don’t have to go to some other place in
this world. Or go into a change of state in order to
experience Truth, because Truth is not itself a state, it is
not identical to a condition, a world, a place. So from the
point of view of Truth itself, there is no need then to
ascend to realize the Truth. Understanding is an activity of
consciousness, which is the core of all
manifestations.

“Enquiry is not simply directed to
various actions that are concrete avoidance,” anymore than
it was said in the previous paragraph, you know, enquiry is
not delivered to the body, or to unconsciousness itself.
It’s a process in consciousness. Just so you’re not
enquiring of the form of avoidance itself. In fact it has no
independent existence. It has no existence independent of
consciousness, just as your body has no existence
independent of consciousness. So the enquiry is not
delivered to the avoidance itself, “it is delivered to
oneself directly. “Enquiry is not in the form “Is this
action the avoidance of relationship in some sense? Rather,
its significance is in the form: ‘Presently avoiding being
already, entirely in relationship?'” In other words, enquiry
is not a meditation on the avoidance, on the contraction. As
we said last week, it is not a meditation on negative
qualities. It’s not directed to the qualities. It’s not a
consideration of the qualities in themselves.

Under the conditions of whatever
qualities are arising at this moment, you are enquiring of
yourself, “presently avoiding being already, entirely in
relationship?” You are enquiring of yourself, “Avoiding
relationship?” “Thus enquiry moves you directly to
self-awareness that is ineffably, unqualifiedly in
relationship.” In other words, if you simply were to analyze
some quality of avoidance in yourself at some moment, you
could see “Oh yes, this is doing this and this is doing
this,” and you could see the whole bad there and how it was
working. But you haven’t examined yourself, you haven’t seen
that affair of avoidance in terms of consciousness. You’ve
only seen it as an event, it’s qualities as an event. So
enquiry is conscious and it is self enquiry. It is enquiry
to itself. It is an event in consciousness. And so the
nature of enquiry involves realization of oneself in
relationship.

“The enquiry is not in the form:
‘Are you avoiding relationship?'” as if you were asking
somebody else. It is not in the form, “Am I avoiding
relationship?” This enquiry that I’ve mentioned to you could
have been put in any one of these forms, for instance, that
I’m describing here. “There is no dramatized separation in
this active enquiry between oneself as the questioner and
oneself as the hearer. The one consciousness enquires of
itself. Or in actual effect, observes itself alive in the
present moment. There is simply the observation of the total
present context of real experience.” So the question is
simply, “Avoiding relationship?” And it’s not there to have
you meditate on the qualities of avoidance itself, it’s
asking oneself. It’s contemplating within oneself, without
assuming the position of a questioner over against the
hearer as someone else. But if someone were to take up this
form of enquiry as a method, he would be doing just that. He
uses it to get results. He uses it from the point of view of
a motivation, a dilemma. He’s actually asking someone else.
He’s looking for an answer to come from someone else. He’s
looking for some magical effect.

The one who truly enquires comes out
of this whole process that we’ve been describing for several
weeks, and this activity is an activity within his own
consciousness. That’s why the form of enquiry can be
nonverbal. It ultimately is nonverbal. The verbal form of
enquiry is a reflection of real understanding, or prior
insight, which isn’t in itself verbal, otherwise you would
only be chanting it all the time. You’d have to be
continually talking to yourself in your head in order to be
understanding. So this process of enquiry is self-generated
within one’s own consciousness and self-observation within
the context of various events that are arising at that time.
“One does not enquire as or of some surrogate entity.” Some
secondary person, some dwarf within oneself. You don’t
enquire as that or of that. “One does not enquire as or of
some part of the mind, some separate function, or etc. The
one who understands enquires of himself in the creation of
the present moment. The enquiry is not a means of
liberation, but real consciousness enforcing its own form as
the present moment. Thus it is necessary that the man who
enquires be one who already understands. Enquiry is the
activity of understanding. The enquiry is not understanding
isolated as a method to produce an effect. The entire action
of enquiring and realizing is understanding and each part of
it is itself understanding.”

Previous to this time we’ve been
speaking in very much the same terms that we were speaking
last week, which began saying that enquiry is an activity of
the conscious mind. It’s an activity in consciousness. And
in the conscious mind the various movements, things that
arise from unconscious, and subconscious, and superconscious
ranges, various things from these dimensions are reflected
in the plane of mind. And enquiry is an affair of observing
these reflections in the conscious mind, of the various
functional levels, and enquiring of them, or enquiring of
oneself under those conditions from moment to
moment.

Now we’re going to get into the
description of the next stage of enquiry. This is at the
bottom of page 189. “Simply enquire of yourself as yourself.
When you feel yourself in the heart, enquire of yourself
there as any tendency, any moment arises. There is no
mystery, no difficult implied in this activity. Understand,
and enquire of the instant of your being. In the beginning
it may appear to you that you are seated in the mind and
enquire of your deeper self in some unrecognizable place or
in the heart. But the process of enquiry is in fact in the
heart, and realizes itself in the heart. It is no-seeking
and knows itself at last as no-seeking. When understanding
becomes this revolutionary knowledge, the enquiry persists
still. Until there is a radical realization utterly retired
of all dilemma. Then, again, the fullness of being is
assumed in the non-separate cognition of present
reality.”

You recall I’ve talked about three
stages of enquiry. The first I have simply called enquiry.
That is the stage of understanding relative to the conscious
mind. The conscious mind reflecting the various functional
levels of existence, and enquiring of oneself under those
conditions. But I’ve spoken of another stage of enquiry
called recognition. And a third stage which I’ve called
radical intuition. This form of enquiry that’s being
described here is that stage of enquiry that I’ve recently
begun to call re-cognition. In other words, at this stage
one is no longer moving as the conscious mind relative to
the various levels of manifestation. So just as there are
many of these preliminary stages leading up to true enquiry,
all the stages of Satsang, and self-observation and insight,
that become true enquiry, just so, when enquiry itself
begins, it has several stages.

The first stage is very directly
involved and related to the process of conscious mind. But
here it says, “Simply enquire of yourself as yourself.” This
whole thing I’ve been discussing here tonight has been
emphasizing the point of view that enquiry is an activity in
consciousness not a activity of something arises in
consciousness, not an activity of the body. Not an activity
of some inert area. Not an activity of some function, of
which consciousness is the witness. Enquiry is itself the
activity of consciousness. When these earlier stages, not
necessarily early in time, like you did them last year, and
now you don’t do them anymore. For instance, this form of
simply observing yourself and enquiry beginning may take
place at the beginning of any time of meditation. And then
as the meditation matures in you over time or at any one
sitting, you may suddenly move out of the mental activity of
reflecting the forms of consciousness in the conscious mind
and enquiring of them. Your enquiry may have dissolved
beyond all of that. So it’s no longer dealing moment to
moment with the qualities that are arising in the conscious
mind from the various planes of consciousness. Instead,
spontaneously, and subtly, you’ve begun to identify with
consciousness itself. Just as at the beginning one is
chronically identified with the functions of life, and the
functions of manifest mind. Now you have become just as
spontaneously identified with consciousness itself, and the
activity of consciousness. So you find yourself rested
beyond the mind then. And the stage of re-cognition is
re-cognition of the mind. Whereas the stage that I’m calling
enquiry, simply enquiry, is enquiry through the mind, and
through the various qualities or functions that are
reflected in the conscious mind. So in the early stages of
enquiry, one is usually very involved with one’s problems in
life, vital dilemmas, sensations, feelings toward others,
particular kinds of thought, and particular states that one
is oppressed by or tending to.

But then in this stage when one
begins to fall into the quality and mood of consciousness
itself, that precedes the mind and the Heart is the root of
the mind, the source of the mind, well at this stage then,
enquiry becomes much subtler. It’s no longer verbal enquiry,
because it’s not an activity of the mind. It’s rather a
subtle activity of re-cognition that operates on the mind
itself and not even the mind as particular thoughts. At this
point there may no longer be any particular concern for what
the thought is that is arising, whether it’s some super
conscious manifestation or some manifestation of unconscious
life, or some concept of other or some image. It makes no
difference what’s arising in this stage or this form of the
intensity of the life of understanding. Whatever it is, it’s
a form of mind, it’s a form of the mind, it’s a modification
of the mind. And it is recognized as such. It is known in
itself to be this contraction of the quality of
consciousness. All thought, all that is mind is recognized,
re-cognized, known again at this point to be a contraction
or modification of consciousness itself. Whereas previous to
this time one was observing the contractions of oneself
alive. One’s contraction in life. One’s avoidance in life.
Now one has begun to see quite spontaneously, without trying
to get into some sort of state like the one I’m describing
here. Quite spontaneously one has begun to see and
comprehend the rising quality of existence in quite a new
way. No longer through the mind, but one is re-cognizing,
knowing again, cognition itself. This is only when one has
quite spontaneously begun to rest in the heart, which is the
root of consciousness, which is the root of the
mind.

At this point the verbal enquiry
tends to subside. One feels no particular inclination to it.
One feels no particular disturbance by the qualities, high
and low that may arise and reflect themselves in the mind.
And quite spontaneously and in a very subtle way one
re-cognizes the quality of the contraction, or modification
of the conscious or mental vehicle itself. And wherever this
is known, wherever this is seen to be only this it is
relaxed. One quite spontaneously moves into this condition
that precedes modification. Again, this is not the mature or
ultimate intensity of this process of understanding. This is
the revolutionary stage.

The ultimate stage is a radical one.
So then on page 190, “The activity of enquiry continues as
long as the mind tends to move and take on forms.” So
actually the process of the verbal enquiry is used randomly
throughout one’s life, as long as one has a mind, which
tends to continue with people throughout life. When a person
gets to the stage where the mind is no longer functioning on
any place at all, you know, he has drifted into one of these
trance conditions that’s characteristic of certain types of
spiritual seekers, in India, for instance. They have vast
descriptive catalogues of the various states one can attain,
and there are certain states where the person becomes
absolutely inert and moveless, and without volition, without
apparent mental activity at all. Well in such a case, the
person has moved into an extremely subtle state beyond this
plane of appearances so he is no longer concerned with what
I am talking about here. But as long as one lives in the
world and the life of understanding persists, the activity
of the verbal enquiry remains as a random function in
consciousness.

“But the most intense meditation is
one in which the form of reality itself absorbs
consciousness. Then understanding does not move with the
mind to enquire of its forms, but rests prior to the mind.
(The function of consciousness which is receptive to and
records experience.) Well this resting prior to the mind
(is) and yet being active in re-cognizing the mind is the
state of re-cognition. The middle phase, or middle intensity
of enquiry. But the highest intensity of enquiry is this
point in which the form of reality itself absorbs
consciousness and this is the stage of radical intuition, of
which I have spoken. This is the stage of perpetual
intuition of Amrita Nadi. At the stage of re-cognition one
is still associated with the mind. But one is re-cognizing
mind itself, or modification of consciousness itself. In the
stage of radical intuition, even the activity of
re-cognition is dissolved and resolved, so that an event
need not take place in the instant of radical intuition in
order to clarify or release one from the things that are
arising. In this ultimate intensity one is holding to the
form of reality. One is alive as Amrita Nadi. One is already
mindless, one is already free. One is already unqualifiedly
in relationship, unqualifiedly unobstructed. The spire of
Amrita Nadi is perfectly enjoyed. The heart is perfectly
enjoyed. Whereas the activity of re-cognition is one in
which the Heart becomes firmer and firmer as one’s stable
condition. In the stage of radical intuition the Heart is
perfectly enjoyed, constantly enjoyed, always already
enjoyed.

So this ultimate stage of radical
intuition is both a stage that may arise in any one period
of sitting in meditation, just as re-cognition and enquiry
and observation and Satsang, and all these other things may
be parts of any one time of sitting in meditation. Just so,
these qualities, enquiry, re-cognition, and radical
intuition may characterize in a more or less general way the
essential activity of any individual in the life of
understanding. So there are some who have not yet begun to
include in a spontaneous way the quality of re-cognition.
There are some for whom it has become the more or less
stable process or activity of their meditation, while yet
they still randomly are active in enquiry and the other
qualities. But yet they have not begun to rest in Amrita
Nadi, or to firmly live in the Heart, which is the foot of
Amrita Nadi just as it is also the source of the mind. But
then again at some point they may spontaneously begin to
include this ultimate enjoyment. The stage of the radical
intuition is the stage of the devotee. The stage of the
disciple is one in which the process of re-cognition
matures. The stages leading up to becoming a disciple are
the stages of enquiry. The stages of Satsang, self
observation, insight, and enquiry are what should become
stabilized in the individual during his life in the Ashram.
When he’s begun to take on the responsibilities of a
disciple it’s because he’s moving into the phase of
re-cognition. And when I begin to take people as devotees it
will be because this phase of radical intuition has
begun.

“Now one of the primary experiences
in enquiry is a kind of letting go, but in its most intense
form it is kind of holding on. In the first case there is
understanding, but also a stimulated life form that tends to
separative experience.” This first case I’m referring to
here is this kind of letting go. The first events in the
life of understanding for an individual is when he has these
experiences of release from his ordinary bondage, his
repetitive life of suffering, and experience in contraction
and repetition. He’s feeling relieved, freed from the gross
form of his separative life. So in the beginnings he begins
to understand, but the life form remains there, tending
toward the separative process. So his experience is
essentially one of release under these
conditions.

“Thus enquiry, the arm of
understanding, moves to view all of these experiences as
they truly are, and we are let loose in understanding, but
when we have seen enough of this and know the game well, and
when we almost naturally stand loose, then an entirely new
form of consciousness emerges. We do not simply stand free,
empty and apart, instead we recognize and enjoy that form
which was always there, the very armature on which all our
parts and functions were set. Whereas before we enquired
‘Avoiding relationship?’ and so felt images and tendencies
dissolve, now we recognize and enjoy the silent imageless
and attentive state of our true being. When the automatic
activity of avoidance subsides, then the natural internal
force and form of unqualified relationship comes into
consciousness. The sense is simply one of unqualified
relationship, always and already, prior to any particular
experience, prior to present limitation, ignorance, or
‘sin’.” In other words, where the beginnings of one’s
spiritual life, of understanding involved these various
forms of release. At first release from the things that are
reflected in consciousness, the various qualities of
functional existence, and then at the stage of re-cognition,
the sensation of release from the mind itself, from the
modification of consciousness itself. In this mature phase
of what ultimately becomes a phase of radical intuition, a
perfect life of a devotee, the continual releasing serves
its purpose. Now he begins to stand firm in his original
state. But his standing firm is a standing firm in
consciousness. It’s an intuitive condition. It’s not in
itself a visionary state. Although there may be visionary
qualities associated with it depending on the individual,
but as the ultimate realization of the form of
consciousness. So at this stage it’s not a matter of being
released from things, but of holding to this very form, this
very condition constantly, effortlessly,
spontaneously.

“However, this realization is in
understanding. It is not the same as the believer’s sense of
the all-embracing God outside of him. It is the most intense
form of understanding, enquiry has become fruitful in
resonating the parts of the man, then meditation becomes a
natural activity of holding on, of unqualifiedly asserting
that form, of being unqualifiedly related, non-separate,
included, already inclusive of high and low, whatever the
apparent conditions. When the individual holds on to this
perception, which is intense understanding, a forcefulness
rises in him, that purifies the remnants of mentality and
the automatic demands that force him to identify with
separate levels of his being. Suddenly he ceases to be held
and limited to the concrete mind, the ground of
emotionality, and the lower functions of vital and physical
life. The force of his understanding has become an intense
attention to the form of reality, and he feels the limits of
his consciousness expanding above to include the intuitive
dimensions of super-conscious intelligence.”

Last week we were talking about
turning with the conscious mind upward above the brows,
above the functions that are lower than the conscious mind
into what is above the conscious mind, what is super
conscious. Well essentially there we were talking about the
phenomena that get reflected in the conscious mind from what
is above. And these are generally the visionary and subtle
phenomena of the higher life. In this case I’m talking about
the intuitive dimensions of super-consciousness. The
consciousness of what is above the mind, rather than the
forms that are above the ordinary mind that can be reflected
in the conscious mind through various kinds of super
sensible psychism. When this occurs, “the feeling is a kind
of rushing ascent. The individual holds to his unqualified
perception, the awareness of reality is inclusive, and
allows himself to be drawn into the fullness of being. He
may experience may effects of this purifying expansion
including a stiffening of the body, particularly the spine
and neck. He may make symbolic gestures with his hands or
body. There may be tensions of the face, of the upper head,
of the area between the brows. He may be moved to laughter
or tears, to make strange expressions with the face, to
utter strange sounds. He may hear inner sounds, see visions,
taste or smell internal emanations, or experience unusual
internal sensations. He may feel heat or cold. He may sense
vibrations, vast internal spaces, emptiness, silence, a
living void filling with a descending force and light from
an infinite consciousness and power above.”

Well, in this paragraph I’m
describing some of the various qualities to the phenomena of
the ascending energy. I’ve been describing the events in
consciousness up until this point, the event of
consciousness itself, that is the life of understands
relative to the life of consciousness, relative to the
conscious events that arise at any moment may be manifest
events. And in this case we’re talking about where there is
this rushing ascent that may accompany release beyond the
mind, and then holding to Amrita Nadi. At this time, as well
as during any time randomly, in the meditative life, there
may be these phenomena of the rising force, of the
kundalini.

Alright, so more and more we’ll get
into talking about all the various phenomena, that may arise
when this conscious process arises. And so we’ll be talking
about these things as we go on here. But the process itself,
that is the core of our teaching, is the conscious process,
and I do not teach from the point of view of the phenomena
themselves, or attempt conscious life, is a conscious
process. It’s just that in the midst of a conscious life
these other phenomena may arise in the appropriate
order.

“Thus the primary activity of
understanding moves from recognition to enquiry to holding
on to the form of reality.” These days as I’ve gone on and
elaborated and found more words to use to describe the
various aspects of this process, I’ve used a little
different language. Now I used the word re-cognition,
hyphenated word to indicate the second stage. And holding on
to the form of reality, this is what I call radical
intuition. Well, what I’m saying here is that the whole
process begins with beginning to know, to see, to have
insight into the whole affair of the avoidance of
relationship and then enquiring of it through the medium of
the conscious mind until you fall into the Heart beyond the
mind and then enquiry becomes a purely subtle activity of
re-cognition, of the modification of consciousness itself,
until at last there is this spontaneous resurrection of
Amrita Nadi, the perfect form.

“That form,” Amrita Nadi, “is simply
the armature or structure of being. Understanding or real
meditation turns a man to the basic form of conscious life,
and concentrates him in its primary center or thread, which
as an open circuit between the heart and the head. Thus, by
naturally holding on to that form, that consciousness which
is unqualified, the man grows over time into his real
fullness, and he will include the emanations of the highest
in the creative and functional realization of his
life.”

The
Knee of Listening and Study Chapters – Table of
Contents