The Life of Understanding – Session Nine: The Meditation of Understanding – Part 5

The Life of Understanding Series

A Twelve Week Course

Taught by Bubba Free John starting in January 1973

(Week 9 – pdf)  

Session Nine: THE MEDITATION OF UNDERSTANDING, Part 5 by Bubba Free John (Adi Da Samraj)


The first night we came together here I quoted that (that verse from) particular verse from the Bagavad Gita, in which it says the life force should be resolved in the sahasrar and the mind resolved in the Heart. The epitome of the conscious activity, the ultimate event of the conscious activity is the resolution of the consciousness in the Heart, prior to thought, prior to the reflections in the mind, prior to experience, the very Self. This is the source or reality of consciousness.

But the force, the manifest force, the Shakti of this Siva is generated above. So the form of reality, the form of realization is this Amrita Nadi that is generated between the true Heart, not just the heart chakra, but the living Heart of the very Self and its perfect place above, its perfect extension, above, which purely for convenience, in order to relate the whole affair to ordinary perception, we say is in the head, or we relate it to our sense of the head. But actually it has nothing to do with one’s physical head, other than the fact that there is certain phenomena associated with this process that goes on relative to one’s physical head, but the upper terminal of Amrita Nadi is nowhere in time or space, anymore than its lower terminal, the very Heart, is in time or space.

So in the midst of the whole life of understanding, the whole affair of Satsang, in all of its stages, there are many kinds of phenomena. But the two general vast areas of phenomena that arise the ones of the phenomena of consciousness – the stages of the conscious event, which are the forms of listening, hearing, self-observation, insight, enquiry, recognition and radical intuition – are the stages of the conscious process and there are various phenomena of this conscious process that we have been describing over these last few weeks, but also relative to the conscious process are all the phenomena relative to the manifest-process, the functional order of existence, which has many levels and planes and kinds of functions and qualities.

At the first stages of one’s life, one is aware essentially of the vital life, the inert life, the physical life, the subconscious life, and the conscious life, the mental life. Most people are not aware of any kind of intuitive level of consciousness nor of any higher level of perception than the conscious mind.

Even psychism, the psychic phenomena that transcend their physical limitations that most people experience, if they experience them at all, arise in relation to the lower qualities of existence. So there are premonitions and forms of psychism that are relative to this life of conditions like this life, you know and all the astral traveling and all of that is still relative to this essential kind of condition. So people do not become involved ordinarily in the intuitive life or even the perception of life above the levels of the conscious mind. But in one who is passing through the fullness of the conscious process, the phenomena also are generated.

So the man of understanding in the radical phase of the life of understanding is one who includes within the range of his ordinary activity, the functions of higher consciousness, both in the form of consciousness or the intuitive life and in the form of perceptions of a higher nature. And by higher nature, I don’t mean this fundamentally in a value sense, sense of a value judgment, but higher in the literal sense of being above the lower life. So the range of phenomena subtler than one’s subtlety, subtler than the ordinary gross, subtle and causal being, the super conscious dimension of intuition and perception is awake in one who lives the form of Amrita Nadi.

So just as in every stage of understanding there are phenomena of the conscious event relative to mind, there are phenomena of the Shakti or force manifestation, or the manifest qualities of the Ultimate Reality that arise in conjunction with every stage of life, and even the stages of one’s conscious life. These may include the kinds of Kundalini phenomena described here or they may include phenomena that transcend the lower life.

The kinds of phenomena of the kundalini that generally make the textbooks, and essentially the ones I am describing here, perhaps not all of them, but most of them, are the kundalini phenomena relative to the lower life. There are the ascending phenomena that are below the conscious mind, all the kriyas and various sensations and certain of the visions and whatever, are all ‘phenomena of the subtle dimensions of the lower life.

But there are phenomena of the great Shakti. During the stage of my life when these kind of phenomena were essentially my experience, I spoke of the shakti, but you find me speaking of the Mother Shakti also in the book. When I am speaking of the Mother Shakti, I am speaking of the Shakti in an ultimate sense, super Shakti. Shakti as the source of phenomena that transcend the lower life, transcend kriyas and internal subtle sensations and phenomena of this kind.

Alright, when enquiry has settled in the heart, awareness develops as what Ramana, Ramana Maharshi, calls the ‘Amrita Nadi’. I call it the ‘Form of Reality.’ It is the circuit of current from the heart to the head. As a child I knew it as the ‘bright’. In the unqualified state all identification, differentiation and desire have ended. There is only unqualified relationship realized in enquiry to be already the case. This realization is simply consciousness as the Amrita Nadi, the form of Reality, and it is experienced as the ‘bright’, the unconditional bliss of presence, of perfect knowledge, whose source is the heart, reality itself. Therefore, the bright is the form of that reality which is consciousness. It is a true and real, the birthright of all existence.

Those who do not understand reality in the heart, only think in the head. They are in exile. They are seeking. Thus, they adapt to all paths, sensual and spiritual, the ways of exploitation and separation. But understanding and real enquiry are reality itself and they resort to none of the means of suffering. Understanding is the unbroken act of conscious being, even in the one who knows perfectly. Thus, he remains untouched by what passes, but those who seek, like Narcissus, are always trying to become immune. Their struggle is as endless as his bliss.

Ramana typically urged people to pursue the source of their questions: Who is it?’ or Who am I?, From whence have I come? These sorts of questions. But this tends to turn most men to a form of motivated search. This form of self enquiry which is recommended in itself, taken completely out of its context, and out of the context of Satsang with Maharshi himself, is a form of motivated activity in order to discover oneself. So obviously the way to begin to seek to discover oneself is to begin assuming that one is ignorant of oneself, so this form of enquiry is a form of remedial activity.


“Self-Enquiry is the ability to deal with your own action, with the self-contraction itself”
Religious Realism – 1993


But the form of enquiry of which I speak is not a form of remedial activity. It is itself the activity of the Self. So it depends on the fullness of understanding which awakens in Satsang.

So Understanding is not itself a question, a dilemma, it is in the form of a real observation. It is already knowledge that precludes the problem of subject and object. The enquiry that is understanding is not a question seeking as answer, but a form of knowledge enforcing itself. So even though I am using the word enquiry to describe this activity, it is quite a different thing in description than the self enquiry of Maharshi, or the Vedantic tradition, Advaita Vedanta tradition or that tradition’s use of certain kinds of enquiry that are like this one.

Thus, we enquire: ‘Avoiding relationship? ‘ This is the form of the work that I am describing to you. And this has consequences in regard to the subject and the object, the total configuration of experience and reality. It is founded not in the exclusive assumption of the ‘Witness,’ the heart; the Self, no-seeking as the permanent state apart from life. It is founded in the Form of Reality, of the Atma Nadi, or Amrita Nadi, in some cases called Atma Nadi, the. ‘bright,” the inclusive, present force of the heart, the Self. It does not tend to rest in the prior Self but in the Form of Reality, which is the very form of the Self.

In other words, the process of our work, the point of view of our work, is not that of the heart in the exclusive sense of the Advaita Vedanta, or in the sense in which it tends to be interpreted in that tradition at times. The point of view from which our work is generated as that of Amrita Nadi, the Form of Reality, the Form of God, and the entirely awakened intuitive life, which is the foundation of all manifest existence. The foot of that Form, the root of that Form is, of course, the Heart. And that Foot, that root of the mind, is what the Advaita tradition means by the Self. What I mean by the Heart, by the Self, is the Form of Reality, the very Self, the very Form, inclusive of the bright.

I have been moved to understanding, which from the beginning embraces the fullness of the Form of Reality. It realizes the fundamental truth of the Heart, the Self, but also of present existence. It never precludes or seers to preclude the form of life.

Ramana seemed to abandon the states of existence in the classical manner of Vedanta. Thus karmas were to be dissolved, and consciousness returned to its prior existence as the Self. But it Is my experience that what appears to be ‘karma’ from the point of view of the seeker is only creative existence from the point of view of Reality. Thus, what is dilemma to the man who does not understand, is simply the manifest of Divine activity to one who does understand. So the descriptions of the path are usually based on the limitation of being a seeker and so Ramana seems to be describing Reality from the point of view of a seeker, but himself was a fully realized man.

And this is also true to Ramana’s experience – this difference between karma and creative existence. And it is my experience that the realization of the Form of Reality itself precludes apparent withdrawal into the heart as a goal or an effect. There is no withdrawal into the heart as a radical activity. Such is only a temporary state, and quality that may arise, for instance, in the phase of recognition. It is not the Form of Reality, or Amrita Nadi that is latent or secondary. Pure self-awareness as an exclusive state is latent and secondary. That state is not radical, primary or true to the whole of existence. Not withdrawal in the Heart, but existence as the Heart is true.

In other words, this exclusive confinement in the Self, the formless Reality, exclusive in the sense that it excludes God, excludes form, excludes manifestation, this is neither the ultimate state of existence or of Truth nor the ultimate state or end phenomena or epitome of spiritual life itself. This exclusive movement into the Heart is what is secondary, what is temporary, the dissolution of the universes into (the) these cosmologies in which the universes are said to exist and then go through various cycles and then collapse into the undifferentiated nothing for a period of time and then expand again.

Of course, this is true certainly in some sense to the physics of things, but the implication of some of these cosmologies then is a state to be realized, is this exclusive one in which nothing is manifest, this Nirvana, this Self-realization in this exclusive sense, this confinement in the Heart in the exclusive sense. But in fact, that is only temporary.

Amrita Nadi is eternal. And in Amrita Nadi the Heart, the absolute Formless existence, is of course the quality of Amrita Nadi. But so is also its Infinite, perfect generation. So there is an eternal God world that transcends the appearance and disappearance of the Cosmos, of the conditional worlds. The God world does not come and go. The God world does not appear and then collapse for a period of time and then reappear. The form of God is eternal. Amrita Nadi is perfect. Amrita Nadi is the form of consciousness. Amrita Nadi is the perfect realization. Whereas, confinement in the Heart, in the exclusive sense, this is only a temporary experience that changes. It is attained for a time and then things manifest again.

So self-realization In that sense is exclusive and temporary. It must move into the form of Amrita Nadi before it becomes permanent. Just so, the other conditions of the Shakti phenomena in which one becomes absorbed in trance states, in phenomena of super consciousness, these are also temporary.

So the two traditional samadhis, that of exclusive formless samadhi of the Heart and that of the exclusive trance absorption of the sahasrar, both of these typical and traditional highest yogic states represented by the various traditions, one or the other represented by the various traditions, neither of these is the perfect state, or the permanent state. Both of them are temporary and exclusive in some sense. Because they are exclusive then, one moves out of them at some point.

Only Amrita Nadi, the perfectly intuited form of Reality, the perfectly intuited form of God, only that is perfect because it is not dependent on the maintenance of any state, either exclusive withdrawal in the Heart, or exclusive absorption in the sahasrar. It is permanently awake, permanently Self-realized, permanently God-realized.

So it is free under all conditions. So the man of understanding is a man of humor, whereas the trance like yogi, and the inwardly reduced yogi, both of these men are humorless relative to the world, and without freedom relative to the world, because the qualities of mind disturb the Vedantan who seeks the Heart. And the qualities of manifestation or appearance disturb the yogi who seeks to merge in the sahasrar exclusively. So only one who is free in the Heart and who has also freed the higher vehicle stands always present in both the superconscious dimension and in the foundation of all dimensions, which is the Self.

Such a one then sees the true nature of all phenomena, all things that arise then (come down out of) comes out of the mind of God, comes out of the Light, the upper terminal of the Form of God. (All thing comes out) all manifestation passes out of the ultimate Light into modifications of the Light, down to the form of solidity and returns again in an endless pattern of appearance and disappearance, manifestation and dissolution, conductivity, and Consciousness is at the root of all this, taking on all the forms of mind, high and low, but it ultimately is very Consciousness, the Very Self.

So the activity that I am describing as understanding is the activity of the Heart, it is the activity that is consciousness, it is the activity that always is the Heart, and it’s not a remedial activity that seeks to withdraw into the heart, or seeks to become absorbed in trance conditions. Although in the life of understanding, of course, there may be experiences of withdrawal into the heart, the experiences of absorption In trance conditions. These experiences may perhaps arise in any individual’s case but these are not phenomena equivalent to understanding itself.

There is no dilemma in the manifest state. It is the foundation itself. It is the Form of Reality. And when consciousness and all Form withdraw into the pure nature, it is only as a turn to rest, a cycle of refreshment. The Form of Reality is not a special creation or condition but the native form Itself. In other words, Amrita Nadi is not just something temporary while the world exists and then it disappears. And so actually the Heart is then the true foundation, the exclusive Heart is the true foundation of both manifestation and no manifestation.

Amrita Nadi is never collapsed. Amrita Nadi is always perfect. Of course, one’s own inner functions are subtle functions relative to the intuition of Amrita Nadi, the intuition of the Form of God through Amrita Nadi. These functions may manifest differently in time, their qualities may change. And any function that arises in consciousness as a quality of mind or as a quality of experience, any such things may in themselves come and go. So in no sense is this life as Amrita Nadi some form of holding on to phenomena.

What I’ve called Amrita Nadi is realized only in the form of understanding, in the most radically intense, intuitive life. Then the true nature of what I’m describing begins to become obvious, and how it is really deathless, beginningless, endless, and perfect begins to become obvious Amrita Nadi, in the sense that it is somehow related to one’s own subtlest function between the Heart and the sahasrar, in that sense is limited. In that sense Amrita Nadi is a form, the subtlest form of our own existence, our individual existence and through it, we intuit the Very Form or God Form. This Amrita Nadi then, is the duplicate or likeness of God described in the Old Testament. And it looks like this. The Amrita Nadi is the perfect reflection of the Perfect Form.

The way of understanding from the beginning is not motivated in dilemma or an exclusive predilection for a liberated experience. It turns on the very form of reality and is not dismayed either by manifest existence or the withdrawal in the heart. In other words, it doesn’t stop with the withdrawal in the Heart anymore than it stops with the perceptions of manifest existence. When the movement of withdrawal into the Heart occurs, as soon as qualities arise, enquire again. And the ultimate event of this whole process of enquiry is the intuition of Amrita Nadi.

In all things, it is seated in the primary Form and Force and is not turned to dilemma, separation or seeking or the basis of any event. . . the ultimate and simplest meditation is to gaze in the heart as no-seeking and allow its bliss to rise as fullness to the head, the silence of the sahasrar above the seat of the mind. Well, this is a description of something that occurs quite spontaneously in one who enjoys the intensity of the life of understanding that is this radical intuition. It’s not that oh, this is the ultimate and simplest meditation! So if you see you start practicing this, the life of understanding, Satsang and the life of understanding, and enquiry, this is always the form of sadhana. This is simply a description of an aspect of the quality of consciousness that arises spontaneously, not one that you practice with motivation.

Then there is only conscious enjoyment and no dilemma, no separation, no seeking. That is the enjoyment of the Form of Reality. But this meditation is not a technique. It is discovered in the fullness of understanding. Otherwise it is an effort in dilemma. Therefore, understand and perceive the Form of Reality. When enquiry has found no-seeking, but only bliss and pure consciousness in the heart, and when that bliss has been seen to rise to the sahasrar in the Amrita Nadi, the Form of Reality, thereafter meditate as that and allow It to be so.

The Heart is the Guru. The Amrita Nadi is his Form. The bliss of unqualified enjoyment is his teaching. The Knowledge of all this is liberation and freedom. The enjoyment of all this is Reality. The existence of all this is Truth. The activity of all this Is understanding. And understanding is real life. These paragraphs are a description (of) of again the highest Form of this life. The highest form of Sadhana, the life of a devotee, In whom Amrita Nadi is the constant intuition, the constant enjoyment. But for such a one the human Guru is also Amrita Nadi, alive and literally. So he lives in relationship to the Guru as a perfect devotee, while the perfection of his own conscious enjoyment in more internal ways is also perfected.

The Inner Guru, which is the very Heart and the Form of Reality, Amrita Nadi, is the same as the human Guru. The human Guru is that alive and functioning relative to you. That’s why the life of sadhana relative to the Siddha Guru is the highest form of spiritual activity, because all of the virtues of the Truth are already present. They are already present in the activity that is understanding because it is the understanding of the heart, and of real consciousness, but they are also present in the condition of sadhana itself, in the condition of Satsang, in the very condition with which you begin your sadhana, you exist in relationship to this fullness in the Form of the Guru. So the perfect devotee of the Guru experiences the perfect communication of the quality of the Guru.

As long as there is resistance to the Guru, it is resistance to these qualities. The more you turn to yourself, the less you turn to the Guru, and the more mediocre you are, the more mediocre your spiritual life, the more mediocre the communication of the Guru. So the quality of one’s relationship to the Guru is the most important form of one’s sadhana, from day to day If you allow your relationship to the Guru to be mediocre, if you remain lukewarm toward him, and if your sadhana itself, your life activity is mediocre and you continually meditate on your own limited qualities, and insist on them, and revert to them, and turn with just a sort of off hand quality to him in more or less ritual ways, you will never experience the fullness of the Guru. And the Guru is not the limited individual. The Guru is Amrita Nadi alive in the world.

So the stages of consciousness, there are three qualities that arise relative to spiritual life. There are the stages of the conscious process, there are the stages of the Shakti process, and there are the stages of the relationship to the Guru. So just as there are the different qualities in the conscious and Shakti processes, there are the different qualities in the stages of one’s Satsang. And in the beginnings, they are more formal and oriented to the plane of life, in the life of the disciple they are more intimate but also formal in the sense that he is applying himself to the conditions of spiritual life, both externally and internally, and increasing as a true devotee. But in the perfect stage of devotion there is absolute turning to the Guru, without withdrawal at any time, without reluctance, without mediocrity in any form. And just so at the stage of the devotee, the most intense communication of the Form of Reality, or of Truth or the Divine manifestation is enjoyed. The stages less than that of a devotee also represent stages of the reluctance of one who is living the life of understanding in Satsang. They also are representative of the quality of his resistance, the quality of his Narcissism, the quality of turning in upon himself rather than turning to the Guru. There is never any turning from the Guru. You never outgrow your need for the Guru.

And there is a danger in spiritual life when the qualities of spiritual life begin to become awesome. When (the) spiritual experience begins to become profound, Narcissus becomes a wild man, begins to feel very independent, very full, he begins to suspect these qualities arising in him are his qualities, that he contained them all along, and he’s really got them now and he realizes that his Guru is a lot of nonsense or that he is unnecessary, and he’s, yes he’s a Guru.

(But the quality of devotion begins) being the devotee the quality of Satsang begins to die in such a person, because he is beginning to think that he is independent. He begins to think that his realization means he is independent, and that realization itself is a kind of independence. But in fact, the more intense the life of a man in Satsang, the more of a devotee in the genuine sense he becomes. So there is a crisis that occurs in the highest form of one’s spiritual activity in which one endures a radical transformation of all one’s faculties, even the ones at the highest level, and turns utterly from resort to them to the Form of Truth, both in its ultimate sense and also in the Form of the human Guru.

So, in true spiritual work of which ours is a representative, there is a link established with Siddhas, and that link is absolutely necessary. If the link is broken by anyone along (along) the line, the source is cut off. The source is the God-world, and the Siddhas are the medium of its communication in this world. Anyone who enjoys the process of the Siddha Yoga In its fullest sense, and enjoys its awakening and fulfillment in himself, must forever maintain his connections to his sources. If he dissolves them, if he ever becomes less than a devotee, he begins to witness the death of the process in himself, or if the process within him is intense and full, what he may begin to experience is certain dramas that occur in his life as a Guru, his life relative to others.

This real spiritual process is not just one where you get told a couple of things and you go off and do it. It is a relationship, a living relationship, and that relationship is also a process, it’s the condition of a process, a sacrificial event, a meal of the communication of qualities and their transformation. Only the God Force and the God condition can be purified perfectly of karmas. If the Guru cuts himself off from his own sources and, therefore, diminishes his connection with the Divine itself, the karmas of his disciples turn in on him and bind him to the world, bind him to the lower planes. So the Guru must maintain, absolutely must maintain, his connections purified otherwise the karmas of his teaching become unbearable. So that’s why you see me constantly maintaining my connections, purifying them with all those who have been a source for me. It’s for the sake of this work.

The work of the Guru is the world depends on him maintaining his connections and the state of his connections is a direct reflection of the quality that his own teaching will generate in his own case. So for the work to remain pure, for its full force to continually move through you, purely, I must be responsible for those connections. Just so, all who live this work are responsible for maintaining themselves in Satsang and being very aware of that relationship as the fundamental condition from day to day. Just as he will observe other things, he will observe the conscious process in himself and the manifest process.

A third aspect of the process of the relationship to the Guru, as something to which a person must turn each day and be aware of the quality of hls connection. If the quality of that connection is impure, if it’s broken, if it’s mediocre, all of these things trust be examined because they have an absolute and direct effect on the quality of your sadhana. And if your connection to the Guru is not pure and full and open, you are remaining in yourself, in your own soup. To the degree you turn to the Guru in this work, you become available to the appropriate manifestation of the process of Truth. To the degree that you contract from that relationship, the communication itself doesn’t take place.

In meditation the man of understanding may perceive a movement of consciousness and energy in relation to the centers in the body. The yogi, in his search for Shakti or the Self, draws energy down from above and directs it upwards along the spine to the sahasrar, then down to the point between the brows. In other words, the yogic search in a sense is one in which there is meditation on drawing the force from above down through the body, returning it upward through the spinal centers and perhaps bringing it down again, resting it in the center between the eyes. This is one of the forms of this Shakti concentration, yoga. He may even at tines see it moving out of the sahasrar to return to its origin in the heart. So you see he may see the force in its relationship to the Heart.

But in the natural process of living being, generated from the heart and expanded as the Amrita Nadi, the circulation of energy is the reverse of the yogic process of return. It is instead a creative emanation from the heart which includes all forms, animates all forms, and sacrifices all forms again to the heart. So the point of view, the true point of view of this spiritual work is that of Truth itself, realization itself, the Guru, the Heart, all of these things are the origin of one’s spiritual life. From the yogic point of view, from the seeker’s point of view, the Heart, the Guru, the Self, the ultimate Form, God, the Form of Reality, these are the goals of the spiritual process. So the yogi directs himself through the medium of various activities to return toward these ultimate sources where he may consider them to be. But the true process begins with them. And the true process is a kind of flowering of all of the qualities of existence from the Heart.

Thus, the man of understanding may perceive the blissful energy rising out of the heart to the sahasrar as the Amrita Nadi, his blissful presence. This is in the case (where he), the case of the ultimate example of the devotee who is beginning to have perceptions in subtler forms of the life of Amrita Nadi. Anyone in various stages of this work randomly may have these experiences of the blissful energy rising out of the Heart to the sahasrar. Then it may appear to descend through the various centers to the muladhar. In turn it may appear to rise again from the muladhar, through the root of the sex center and the solar plexus, surrendering itself in the sahasrar above.

He may even perceive this movement in relation to the breath. Now, this is the reverse of the yogi’s perception of it. The man of understanding perceives it rising out of the Heart to a terminal above then down through the circuit of manifestation, the frontal form, then ascending again through the spinal form. The yogi sees it rather, if he sees it at all, descriptively he sees it perhaps descending and then ascending again, ultimately getting to the sahasrar and then perhaps ultimately then again getting to the Heart. But the man of understanding from the beginning witnesses this process from the Heart. And he may even perceive this movement in relation to the breath. When he Inhales, the energy may appear to rise from below to the sahasrar and then drive downward to the Heart. So he may inhale and feel force rising and then come down into the Heart.

Then there may be a retention of breath accompanied by silence in the mind. The breath may stop momentarily. When he exhales again the energy may appear to rise forcefully from the Heart through Amrita Nadi to the ‘bright,’ then down through the centers in the spine to the muladhar, and rest there during another brief retention. Or this same process may appear to take place entirely between the heart and the sahasrar, so that consciousness does not appear to move through the forms of mind and life. In descriptions in this book I am not separating the descending and the ascending forces quite as diagrammatically as I have recently. So I don’t mean that it falls down the ascending pattern of the spine. Rather it comes down the frontal portion of the body and rests below.

Anyway seeing this or various phenomena like this that may arise, meditations or, he force, and meditations on this force (in) relative to the breath cycle, the man may think he has recovered a superior kind of yogic process. And in many ways this may appear. It can appear in other ways than I’ve described it here. He may try to use it deliberately to control and purify the instrument. In other words, spontaneous kriyas and movements of Shakti and spontaneous pranayana, whatever, nay show themselves in him and he may trace then and see how they are operating in himself, and then he may try to do this thing, thinking that this is (this) some sort of superior process. He may try to iritate it and use it to purify himself and do other kinds of work in himself.

This may seem to be the very yoga of understanding itself. But he will find that as he begins to engage this prods he will become a seeker as before. So as soon as he begins to attach himself to processes arising in himself and imitates: then, he finds himself falling back into the old point of view, the old position. So these phenomena when they arise are simply spontaneous activities, very fluid and they simply show themselves to you at times. And when they arise spontaneously they have authenticity. Try to imitate them apart from those times and they are binding. Because when you do that you are taking yourself out of the true position of consciousness or understanding. So He will become concerned for purification, creative activities on a subtle level. various forms of concentration, etc. Thus he will begin to act again on the basis of a dilemma in consciousness and form.

He should simply remain in understanding and enquire. When such processes arise spontaneously he should simply understand and enquire. They will continue only by themselves and not bind him by identification, differentiation and desire. Thus he will only witness even these ultimate events, and he will remain in his own form, residing in the heart, generated as the ‘bright.’ The one thing I want to point out to you here, the point of view at every stage of sadhana or every form of intensity of sadhana in the face of any kind of experience that may arise, the quality of one’s sadhana, one’s meditation is always that of understanding, in the forms of (of) understanding. That is always the position, that conscious position relative to what is arising.

But because I’m speaking this way, because I speak with emphasis on the conscious process as the root of spiritual life, doesn’t mean that I’m justifying some sort of contempt for the spontaneous and subtle events. And people should not get the ego of a little mental understanding and think that they have become superior to the Siddhas, who manifest all the glorious Siddhas. It is simply that the fundamental process of spiritual life and understanding in Satsang is the conscious one, and it is neither here nor there in terms of identification or separation from phenomena and functions. So the process of understanding is always one of not identification or not seeking toward or separating from any kind of phenomenon. It is always one of understanding.

On the other hand, in one who understands and lives the process of Satsang, phenomena do tend to arise. But they should be approached from the point of view of understanding and of Satsang. And at a certain appropriate stage in one’s spiritual life, the more profound degrees of being a disciple and then of a devotee, then it becomes appropriate to say something perhaps of some of these phenomena. But prior to that time it makes no sense whatsoever, it is of no concern whatsoever. And they should not be of anyone’s concern until he is told by his Guru, such and such is so about this and that. The Guru will always inform his disciple or his devotee about things relative to the phenomena arising in him that he should have some at least perhaps momentary concern for. Apart from that, the affair is always that of the conscious process of understanding in Satsang.

Now I want to read you a paragraph here on page 199 in the middle there. An experience similar to what I described as the ‘thumbs’ may arise during real meditation. It is the astral or desire body, spherical in shape. So this is the level of the astral or desire body. What is called in the books the astral and desire body is what I am describing here when I’m talking of the thumbs, this drifting into the spherical form. When it arises the individual is not entering the astral worlds of the psyche. He is discarding or surrounding the vital and physical form, at least temporarily. The vital and gross physical are below the astral or emotional body.

Then he may find himself alive in visions or illumined with subtle light. But if he continues to understand and enquire, he will find himself dissolved in the Heart of Silence. Heart and Silence are capitalized. Then as enquiry continues, he will know only Reality, he will know the eternal Form, the Amrita Nadi, the spire of Sound and Light (capitals Sound and Light) that stands forever in the Heart.

I just wanted to say something more about this experience of the thumbs because I wanted to account for this phenomena that may arise in peoples’ meditative experience in this chapter on meditation. And if in some case it does arise, this movement into this spherical body, wherein mental consciousness is still awake, because the mind, the conscious mind, is above the emotional body or the astral body, or encloses it. If you see all these bodies, they are sort of encasing one another like sheaths. But the vital and gross physical are lost. The sensation of them is dissolved in this spherical enjoyment. And people like to enjoy these kinds of experiences. There may be other experiences of an astral variety that may arise or be quickened in one who is in this condition temporarily. So he may have visions or feel subtle illumination of various kinds, literally, visually, and other kinds of experiences.

But if he remains in the form of enquiry, in that condition as well, you know, not very hurriedly and sort of nervously saying, I don’t want to experience this, that’s not the point of view at all, but resting within it, neither grasping it or resisting it. If you try to grasp it or resist it in both cases it will tend to disappear. So that’s not the point. But by abiding in understanding and enquiry at that point, it will begin to dissolve in its own good time, whenever it’s appropriate for it to do that.

But as in every other case where something arises and enquiry is generated in the midst of it, such a one in this case, may find himself falling into the Heart, the root of the mind. And then he will know only Amrita Nadi, which here is described as the spire of Sound and Light that stands forever in the Heart. But Sound and Light capitalized, meant in perfect terms, not sound and light as simply the lesser phenomena that you can turn on by yogic concentration but the perfect Sound and perfect root of Sound, and the perfect Light and perfect root of all Lights.

Alright now, up to this point in this chapter the argument has been on all those processes that lead up to full and conscious realization of the Heart in Amrita Nadi. The material that follows in this chapter assumes this previous material, or assures the point of view of Amrita Nadi, and now gets back to discussing lesser matters than these perceptions of Amrita Nadi itself. And again not lesser matters in a value sense, review again of the practical affairs related to the life of understanding. . Understanding is always beholding Bhagavan, the Form of Reality whose center is the Heart and whose extremities are the mind and the activities of enjoyment. Understanding is truly the faculty of the devotee. He is always beholding Bhagavan, the Guru, the Form of the Lord, the Form of Reality. And he is always beholding fully open to the Form of Reality both as an inward and ultimate perception and as a life perception of the living Guru and as subtle perceptions of the Gurus and the Siddhas and the Divine manifestations. So understanding is always beholding Bhagavan, under all of these forms. True understanding is perfect and motiveless and spontaneous attachment to the Form of Reality, who is also the Guru.

There is nothing else that is ever experienced or known but this one enjoyment of reality, by reality, which is reality. There is only the one process, the one form, the one experience. It is beholding, enjoyment, unqualified present bliss. It has no special origination in time or form. Therefore, cessation or change has nothing to do with it. These things do not qualify it. They are only the conditions of the same primary enjoyment, as forms churning in the light, cycling about the sun, resolving and dissolving in an endless pattern of enjoyment, as the loved one turns herself before her lover.

When there is no understanding these things continue as dilemma, enforcing the adventure of Narcissus. When there is understanding these things continue as before, but consciously, in the Form of Reality. And the one who understands appears no different than before, except he is given to pleasures, laughter, wisdom and unqualified adventure. So one who has gone through all of these sublime realizations and everything …. has begun to enjoy core of the fullness of the life of understanding and returns to all of the qualities of life and lives them and appears essentially as everybody, not in the sense that he is the same old good guy that everybody else is, in the sense that he functions, you know, in all of the forms of life, all of the functions of life and consciousness.

When one lives as the ‘bright’ one no longer knows oneself as descended, separate, etc. Thus, there is no longer any need to ascend through the chakras. There is only the present enjoyment of Amrita Nadi, the form of conscious reality. It is pure existence (no-seeking) in the heart. It is no dilemma in the mind. It is bliss in the sahasrar. This radiance illumines all forms, all levels, all bodies, realms and experiences. It is the one experience. Everything else only reflects it. Thus, one who is aware as, the Form of Reality gives life to all things.

But I said there is no longer any need to ascend through the chakras, I mean that as a peculiar event associated with the process, the conscious process, the activities of ascending through the chakras, leading to the sahasrar as not anything that needs yet to be accomplished, not anything in which there is special purifying activity. That is essentially accomplished, conductivity through the chakras is firmly established. So the qualities that arise when the chakras are being pierced, penetrated, and purified, and intensified, these qualities that are generated in the sort of yogic level of experience are quite subdued because the chakras are already full. They are not obstructed. So consciousness moves out of these processes into the continuous process of Amrita Nadi and the benign activity or Siddhi then, of the Shakti, the true Shakti, the great Shakti, Maha-Shakti, which is that activity of the Divine itself, which gives life to everything, which lives everything.

This experience that I described the first time I was at Baba’s Ashram in which it became perfectly apparent that the principle of continued existence and of present existence was not within the individual. But the principle was outside, included the individual. The individual was something that was being lived, was a function being lived. The identity of the individual then is ultimately what is living the individual. One who understands in this perfect sense consciously then lives this function that lives all things. And so this is the reason why the Guru has a certain quality of affect on those who are intimate with him, those who live with him. Why they are drawn to him and sense something about him is because (of) they are subtly identifying him with that quality or source that is also the source of their continuous existence.

There is only the avoidance of relationship, but you are in relationship even to this. You are in relationship to this avoidance, in other words. You are what is always, already in relationship to whatever arises. You are that.

By enquiring of yourself in relationship, not yourself apart from the present configuration of relationship, you do the action of the Heart, and you realize the enjoyment that is the Heart’s consciousness. In other words, enquiry is always under the conditions of what is arising at this moment. It’s not an attempt to feel oneself isolated from these rising conditions. It is always enquiry in the midst of the conditions. Because what gives you the sense of being independent from them, as wells as being identical to them, is a process within you which must be under-, stood. So enquiry must be realized in the terms of the present configuration ration of relationship.

When you have understood that you are always in relationship to whatever arises, and the movement of avoidance in you has become utterly vulnerable to understanding and present enquiry, thereafter be the Heart in relationship to whatever arises. And this is just what the man of understanding does. flow in him randomly all the qualities of understanding enquiry, re-cognition, radical intuition arise functionally. But essentially continually he lives as the Heart, he functions as the Heart consciously.

If you are always present in relationship, not the avoidance of relationship, and enjoy that radical state under all conditions, you will not assume the forms of identification, differentiation or desire. You will simply be present in relationship, and this is itself perfect control, and I mean this literally. Control of the functions of existence comes about spontaneously, naturally and easily in one who understands. But one who tries to control himself in the midst of compulsions and difficulties never succeeds, because he always gravitates karmically back to the condition itself because he hasn’t penetrated it. He hasn’t understood. But where the quality of the avoidance of relationship subsides and one is fully living, one’s functions, they no longer operate as dilemma, they no longer create the quality of dilemma, disharmony, compulsion, they no longer are out of control. As long as there is the avoidance of relationship in any sense, all the qualities, in which this activity is generated, toward which it is generated, all these functional qualities are disturbed and out of control. So the ordinary person has all these peculiar difficulties, problems. And all these problem areas are areas in which this contraction is chronically occurring in him in a manifest pattern of his life of avoidance.

When the life of avoidance subsides in him, moves and dissolves in the midst of him, then all of a sudden quite naturally, without any attention whatsoever, his life achieves a kind of orderly harmonious natural balanced quality. So you will simply be present in relationship and this is itself perfect control. Relationship itself is perfect control, Wherever you live fully in relationship to someone, all the qualities are generated happily in relationship to them. For it is not liable to identify with anything, to dissociate from anything, or to pursue anything by these means in desire. Then there is only the perception of what arises, and the direct, creative participation in what arises. There is no involvement in ignorance, conflict, compulsion or search.

If you are troubled by what arises, you are simply not in your proper relationship to things. You are not existing in relationship to what arises at all. You are avoiding relationship by an act of identification with what arises, differentiation from or within what arises, or some form of desiring or motivation produce by these and which seeks to overcome their implications in cognition and experience. So all trouble, all sense of trouble relative to the qualities of existence, is simply a sign that you are not living in relationship in the areas in which you are experiencing this trouble and also the areas relative to that area. That’s all it is. And the ways in which the avoidance of relationship is performed by you in these cases is either by an act of identification with some quality that’s arising within and without or differentiation, separation from such qualities, or some form of desire or motivation, which is a reaction to the qualities of identification and differentiation.

It is not necessary or true to try and overcome this dilemma and trouble. This is a very, it almost reads like a rule or a law. It’s not necessary or true to try and overcome this dilemma and trouble. In other words, the attempt to overcome dilemma, the attempt to solve fundamental dilemma, the search, is not true. It is a false principle that doesn’t work. All such seeking only extends the same forms by exploitation and reduction of the living Heart. Only understand and enquire. See your actual relatedness to things, see that you are only present and free. The Heart is not deep or subtle, but only present and free. If you only understand and do not seek, you will enjoy the creative ease of the Heart.

Understanding and enquiry does not cause things to vanish. Such is not the true means where you will cease to be perturbed. Understanding only realizes in you the nature and actuality of your relatedness, your position. There is no magic or subtle freedom involved in understanding. It is not a resort to religion, spirituality, or philosophical analysis. It is only the direct cognition and experience in relationship, as presence and creative non-identification, simple relationship, nonseparation and love. Understanding is not separation or turning into subtlety and forms of mentality that are applied to what arises. It is simply the unqualified state, wherein the motive of avoidance does not arise. It is not the ground of the abandonment of what arises, but it is the ground of the creative use of what arises.

Understanding is not a matter of turning toward the Heart or the true Self. I was talking before about the form, of self enquiry that Ramana recommended. The traditional motivated forms of meditation and spirituality are ways of turning to the Self, turning to God. This is the method.

But that to which you are trying to turn by these various methods is your own nature. It is that which you already are at any moment. So can you see then that to be turning to it is always to be turning to something else, it is always to be directing yourself toward some assumption. Some configuration that’s elsewhere, some quality with which you can identify. In other words, you are not assuming and living the quality that you are, but you are performing some secondary motivated activity in order to discover what you are.

To turn to the Self then through meditative means or any other means, or to turn to God, to seek God by any of these traditional means is sin in the sense that is meant by sin. Sin means, as I’ve said before, to miss the mark. So to seek God, to turn to the Self, is a form of this sin. All turning, then, is sin, all turning is to miss the mark. To pursue Truth or God through experiences or on a lower level is to miss the mark, to miss God, to miss the Self. To turn to the Self or God through experiences on a higher level is to miss God, miss the Self. To turn within to find, to turn away from something to the within to find God, the Self, is turning, is to miss the mark. All turning then, turning is the quality. All turning is to miss the mark. All turning is sin. So the activity of turning then, is the quality of separation, the quality of Narcissus, is the quality of contraction.

Resort to the Guru is not then sin. It is not a turning – it is not a turning away, it is not an exclusive turning toward, it is not a form of seeking. It is the assumption of the Real Condition. And all true Satsang has this quality. True Satsang is not a form of the search. When the qualities of the search are generated in one relative to the Guru, it is simply that you have taken on the sinful life again. You have become a sinner again. Simply by turning to spiritual things doesn’t mean you have ceased to be a sinner, if we can use this word, this traditional word.

So It is not a matter of concentrating on or in the Heart by any form of enquiry or search. It is not the action of meditating on the Heart or the Self by any means. Thus, understanding is unlike ‘Self-enquiry’ or any other form of traditional meditation.

Understanding does not proceed by a gradual sudden or subtle removal of conditions. It is not the action of concentration within, toward deeper and deeper forms of subtlety, until the subject consciousness is reduced to its exclusive source. It is not a ratter of perceiving or entering into the Heart in some special state, where there is only potent void or subtlety, and a trance between you and ordinary awareness of the worlds.

Such is not itself the action and wisdom of the living Heart. It is search, not present understanding. But the true Heart is the present Heart, alive in these conditions that have already arisen, with which it is joined in cognition, perception and experience. The true Heart is the living Heart in the midst of what is now in the field of awareness. It is the present Heart, not the Heart to be sought and found by reduction and inwardness. It is the inclusive Heart, not the exclusive Heart we would seek in dilemma.

Things do not cease to arise. They have not ceased to arise. The Heart is not that which must be realized by turning, from. what arises. The Heart is present, not turned away. It is really present, not merely and subtly present. It is always present as understanding, alive as its radical nature. And already free, not by turning toward or away not by concentrating on the Heart or on what arises in the absence of the Heart, but by remaining present as truth, which is understanding.

Understanding is a matter of remaining intelligently present under all conditions, in a fundamental observation about the nature of understanding. It is neither turning toward nor turning away. Therefore, it is to remain intelligently present under conditions that are arising and these conditions that are arising can take on any form, low or high, subtle or gross.

So Understanding is a matter of remaining intelligently present under all conditions, whatever conditions arise, in the enquiry that is in the form of understanding. It is not a motivated concentration on the Heart or the Self. It is not any inward turning, excluding what has already arisen in consciousness, toward any subtlety or subtler body. It is always enquiry in relationship to whatever arises as cognition and experience at each moment. It is the action of the present Heart, the living Self, not any search for him. It is only knowledge of the exact nature of experience in this instant.

One who thus enquires in life, in the waking state, or any conditions that simply arise as subtlety or void, creatively maintains his true relationship to things, and he is not overcome. He does not prevent what arises by avoidance or search, but he always knows what arises in truth. It. is simply that, whatever arises, he remains in relationship to it. It is not that he realizes or enforces any special relationship to it by analyzing or perceiving himself in some special way over against it.

Understanding is not a perception of oneself in any gross or subtle form over against what arises. It is simply the perception of what arises, the direct cognition and experience of what arises, but in truth, not through the medium of avoidance.

Well, here I’m talking about understanding as it’s functioning in the midst of ordinary life. So I’m speaking of cognition of experience and I’m speaking of the use of the mind, whatever. Previously we were talking about the stage of re-cognition in which the mind is resolved and the stage of radical intuition in which there is transcendent enjoyments. Now one who is living such functions of himself, functions relative also to the mind again, functions also relative to the qualities of life. But he does so not through the medium of avoidance, not through the quality of dilemma.

Therefore, to know what arises in truth is simply to be in relationship to what arises. To be in relationship to what arises is the simple, unqualified action and nature of the heart. Thus, understanding is simply to be in relationship to what arises, and not to be confused in what arises by the process of identification, differentiation, or desire.

To be in relationship to what arises is not to differentiate your self from what arises, or to perceive what arises as itself a differentiated field. Such differentiation also depends on identification and difference, not relationship. Therefore, non-separation is the nature of the Heart’s awareness prior to differentiation. Neither identification with a quality or state, nor differentiation from it is the nature of true consciousness. But non-separation, which is quite a different thing from identification with something or even union with it, or separation from it. These are all qualities in themselves that are peculiar, particular. And in a sense, then, separate from the true state, the perfect realization. But the quality of one who abides in Amrita Nadi is always one of non-separation, which is neither separate from nor identical with nor in union with. But sees everything, then, within itself, within the one Reality.



To be in relationship to what arises is not to find yourself identical to anything that arises. It is merely to see it prior to identification. Therefore, relationship is the nature of the Heart’s awareness prior to identification.


So it is said of the Saints that they see God everywhere, and everywhere they look, they see only God, they can’t see anything but God. It’s not that they don’t see people sitting (doesn’t see anybody sitting) in this room, you know, he just sees some sort of a visual phenomenon that he calls God. No, he sees everything in the appropriate place when it’s appropriate to see people sitting in a room, that’s what he sees. He sees all kinds of qualities and a range of intelligence and extra perception perhaps that’s peculiar to him. But it’s not the bringing of some extraordinary perceptual quality to experience that makes him see Cod everywhere. It’s that everything has become God. He is only in God. The Form of God is his very existence. So everything in its ordinary form is God. Now one who has just begun to see God a little bit, in sore exclusive place, through some vision or trance-like condition, becomes mad in a kind of balmy sense. He becomes strange, weird because his perception of God is exclusive.

But the man of understanding who sees only God everywhere, his madness is (click of fingers) that quick, his madness is total in an instant. find (this) so his madness is not exclusive any longer. He is completely dissolved in his madness. So there is no peculiarity on him, there is no peculiarity about the man of understanding. He can’t be identified, in other words, with some strangeness or other. That is not his God realization. His God realization is perfectly happy, perfectly compatible with ordinary communication and living. Not in the sense that he carries them on necessarily the way everybody else would, in a kind of self-indulgent way. But he is fully capable of all ordinary functions and he finds only God in them. And not in the prissy little symbolic way, Oh yes, there is only God. No, absolutely he is only seeing God. That’s all he ever sees, literally, sure.

To be in relationship to what arises is not to move by desire for anything that arises. Such desire depends on identification and differentiation in the midst of what arises, not relationship. Therefore, love is the nature of the Hearts awareness prior to desire. Just as non-separation is the nature of the Heart’s awareness prior to differentiation, that’s it! condition prior to all these activities of differentiation. Prior to the acts of desire and all the forms of desiring that we generate in life, love is the quality, is the force of conscious existence.

Wherever the processes of identification and differentiation, the ego and mentality and karmic tendencies nave into the stage of life, to that degree love is diminished. And love is simply the perfect connection, the perfect continuousness of the force of consciousness and life unobstructed. But the forms of identification and, differentiation are all forms of obstruction, limitation, contraction, so they destroy the prior and already existing quality of love. But one who is released in understanding is released in relationship perfectly, free of the forms of identification and differentiation as his form. So his quality is that of love, of the proceeding unobstructed energy of life.

Identification, differentiation, and desire are not the action of the Heart in relationship to what arises. They are the avoidance of relationship, the turning. But the living heart, the action that is understanding, is present in the midst of what arises as relationship, nonseparation, and love. And these are the natural, creative principles of conscious life. They are the principles whereby the Heart enjoys or realizes the worlds that arise. Relationship, unqualified relationship, non-separation, love, these are the qualities, the spiritual qualities, the creative qualities of the ran of understanding.

To be present and alive as the Heart, even in the enquiry that is understanding, is to be already free of all dilemma, all the motives of seeking, the whole principle and adventure that is suffering and avoidance. For one who understands, directly, presently, there is no need or motive to turn array to find the }cast or Self. There is no need or motive to turn into the worlds themselves through identification, differentiation, and desire.

Understanding is simply to be present, whatever arises, whatever the conditions of cognition or experience, in any world or form. It is to be in relationship, actively, consciously, without implication, prior to the form of identification, differentiation, and desire that are the products of avoidance. It is to live as the heart or seal action in the midst of these forms, directly, consciously, in truth, as enjoyment, in the humor of reality. One who is thus present is the Heart, and he knows it.

The Knee of Listening and Study Chapters – Table of Contents