Feeling – Adi Da Samraj- Laughing Man Magazine





 

MASTER DA FREE JOHN: You are
all becoming philosophical in the midst of a life in which
you are hoping to Realize the Truth. If you examine the
Great Tradition, you will observe that whenever people
appear to have become very serious about Truth, they have
also become very philosophical. In fact, the philosophical
ideas associated with Truth are ordinarily presumed to be
the basic content of the traditions. Generally, when people
become philosophical, they confess that they are trying to
Realize the Truth.

But, it is not the commitment to
Truth itself, as if Truth were already known, that produces
philosophy. Rather, the absence of Truth produces
philosophy. Philosophy is an effort to solve the problem of
the absence of Truth. In other words, the disease produces
the philosophy. But if the Realization of Truth is not a
philosophical matter, what precisely is the process in which
Truth is Realized?

The human individual is suffering
primarily from the obstruction of feeling. By this I do not
mean an inability to be emotional, an inability to get
angry, or be loving, or be affectionate, and so forth. Any
of these disabilities may very well be a sign of neurosis.
But the specific disease that characterizes all human
individuals is the disease of Being, of fundamental Feeling.
Therefore, all neurosis is fundamentally a spiritual
disease, the transcendence of which requires spiritual
Realization.

If you observe yourself in any
moment, in any situation, you will discover that you are
always obstructed in your feeling. Whether circumstances are
relatively pleasurable or relatively painful, you are always
active as the contraction of Being, the contraction of
Radiant Self-Existence. The Feeling of Being Itself is
obstructed by this contraction. Therefore, you interpret
everything that arises, within or without, as a limitation
on your own Being, and you feel short of
Infinity.

To feel infinitely, to be present as
unobstructed Feeling, you must feel beyond what you are
noticing. To notice anything at all is to have attention
fall short of Infinity. You regard your noticing of things
to be an ordinary matter, and it is ordinary, but it is also
a convention of egoity, merely a habit. All your noticing is
associated with a contraction of fundamental
Feeling.

People sometimes notice about
themselves that they do not feel good, they do not feel
strong, they do not find themselves free to be emotionally
expressive or sympathetic, and they try various devices to
cure themselves of this inability. Sometimes people try to
develop a counter emotion. If they are depressed by
tendency, they try to be very jolly and outgoing. If they do
not tend to be sympathetic with people, they try to become
really interested, to really put out energy, love
vibrations, and love stares at everybody. (Laughter.) They
constantly tell people how much they love them, or they may
use psychiatric devices to enable themselves to be more
emotional. They review their past, trying to locate memories
of experiences that may have wounded them and made them
emotionally rigid.

People may observe their dreams,
looking for some key that will unlock their emotional power.
They may try to become religious in order to believe
something great about Reality that will make them able to
feel more strongly and more openly. Or they may try to fall
in love again and again, or become very promiscuous. They
may indulge themselves physically to create a feeling of
pleasure by being full of food, never empty, never not
eating, never not sexing. They may talk or think
compulsively as a way of generating energy in themselves to
counter a feeling of depression or emptiness. They may
become socially motivated humanitarians. They may teach
others in order to confirm to themselves that there is
something true that everyone can feel good about.

Everybody is trying to cure an
emotional problem. Not just a few people, who are unable to
be angry or happy or emotionally expressive, but everybody
is doing something to try to cure what they regard to be a
disease of emotion. Yet, the reasons for being emotionally
retarded, emotionally dissociative, or emotionally disturbed
are not eliminated through such counter efforts. People may
perhaps feel a little better, but they fail to become
finally, simply Happy. Everyone tries again and again,
through their unique style, to become happy, to become
emotionally free, emotionally alive. Yet, all they are doing
is dramatizing this emotional disease. All social, physical,
mental, psychic, or emotional actions are dramatizations of
a disease of Feeling.

Everyone dramatizes a neurotic state
of feeling, a state of obstructed Feeling, a limitation on
Feeling. By “Feeling” I do not mean mere emotion. I mean the
Feeling of Being. Even though what I call Feeling is
obviously related to emotion, this Feeling cannot be
separated from mind or body, located in a portion of the
brain or the chest. Every aspect of the body-mind-the
psyche, the thinking mind, emotion, the body, relational and
social life is a limit on the Feeling of Being, a
dramatization of contraction. Therefore, to recover the
Feeling of Being, or to be unobstructed in this Feeling, you
must not merely become more emotional. The entire body-mind
must submit to Be, to Feel without obstruction.

The seventh stage of life involves a
process called Transfiguration2 wherein the
body-mind and all of its relations, and therefore the entire
cosmos, is implicated. How is the body-mind Transfigured?
What is so powerful that it can Transfigure not only the
body-mind but every relation of the body-mind, even the
whole universe, the whole cosmos? What is it that
Transfigures all in the Enlightened state? It is Feeling. It
is Love-Bliss, the inherent Radiance of Being, or what we
might also call Free Energy. The un-Enlightened personality
is most fundamentally characterized by bound energy and
attention, whereas the Enlightened personality exhibits the
signs of free energy and attention. Thus, the spiritual
process involves the liberation of energy and attention from
bondage, contraction, limitation, and
obstruction.

Limited or obstructed energy and
attention are both evidenced by the same phenomenon the
limitation of the Feeling of Being. We do not Feel freely.
We do not Feel simply, completely. Rather, we are limited in
our feeling relative to absolutely everything. In every
function we feel short. Our fundamental disease, even though
it is unnecessary, and could therefore be called imaginary,
is a limitation on Feeling.

Rather than trying to overwhelm our
feeling of emotional disease with some counter effort or
regimen where by we hope to relieve ourselves, we must first
profoundly observe our own characteristic limitations. The
Spiritual Master, his Argument, and his Play help us to make
these observations. This is why it is good for there to be
such characters! Such individuals, Awakened beyond the
disease of Being, help others to Realize the Truth. But to
Realize the Truth you must go through a process of
self-transcendence, and since this process begins with
hearing,3 it begins with considering the Argument
of the Adept.

How do you consider the Argument?
Not merely by philosophical thinking, but by observing
yourself, no matter what you are doing. The Spiritual Master
helps you to become sensitive to yourself altogether and to
enter into a profound state of self-awareness, wherein you
will notice not merely that you are un-Happy, emotionally
disturbed, or limited, but that you are doing
that.

You are being un-Happy. You yourself
are the action that is your neurosis, or limitation. That
neurosis is not merely something that is happening to the
body-mind, or that happened sometime in the past. It is not
outside yourself. You are the very party, the very process
of limitation t4 at is creating the phenomena you notice and
acknowledge to be sour un-Happiness.

Your un-Happiness is not a disease
at all. It is an action. It is something that you are doing.
Pinching yourself is not a disease, you see? But if you do
not notice that you are pinching yourself, then that pinch
gradually becomes chronic, prolonged pain to which you react
in various ways. Your whole style of life begins to change
around it. You could call that pain a disease then. But the
action of pinching yourself is Dot a disease. It is merely
an action. If you notice you are doing it, you can stop
doing it. Then, sure enough, all the symptoms will disappear
as well.

Generally, people know very well
that they are un-Happy, that they are suffering. They can
acknowledge it to some degree, and at least in private
conversation will confess it. People know life is difficult
and they know they are suffering.

The classic Buddhist formula holds
that life is suffering, but that there is a cause for and a
way out of that suffering. People notice that they are
suffering, assume there are various reasons for their
suffering, and are busy trying to eliminate those causes.
This is why people think so much, emote so much, and desire
so much, why they do so much, and this is also why they
suffer so much. The search to release suffering is a form of
suffering. It is not the solution to it.

One of the reasons I criticize the
classical Buddhist point of view is that we must do more
than notice we are suffering and strive to eliminate that
suffering. This tactic is only minimally intelligent and
ultimately it is fruitless. You can never do enough to
yourself to eliminate suffering absolutely. Those who only
try to eliminate suffering do not get happier and happier.
They get more and more dry, serious, and emotionless,
although relieved of some of the psychological content of
their disturbed reaction to existence. But corpses are also
relatively free of the evidence of disturbed reaction to
existence. (Laughter.)

I suggest that there is something
corpselike about the results of such extreme effort to
eliminate suffering. Everybody is already something like a
Hinayana Buddhist, but without the sophistication, without
the revolutionary approach, without the profound effort
engaged by such individuals to get rid of all these
mechanics of existence. Still, everybody is noticing that
they do not feel good, and everybody is trying to feel
better.

What do you do to feel better? You
notice why you are not feeling good, and then you try to
make a counter effort. All your desiring, all your
activities, all your emoting, and all your thinking are a
kind of monastic discipline. They are what you are doing in
the solitude of your un-Happiness, no matter how many people
you are associated with.

I suggest we must do more than make
this minimally intelligent and ultimately ineffective
counter effort. That “more” is what I am trying to
illustrate in this picture of you pinching yourself. You
must observe yourself more profoundly, much more thoroughly
than merely to acknowledge that you do not feel good or that
you are generally un-Happy, complicated, obstructed, and so
forth. You must not merely think about yourself, but you
must observe yourself thoroughly, moment to moment, in every
detail. You must observe that this not feeling good is
something that you are doing and not something that is
happening to you.

Un-Happiness is not the inherent
Condition of the body-mind or of manifest existence. It is
something added to that Condition. It is a reaction to that
Condition. Understanding relieves us of the principle of
disease and the effort to solve a problem and puts us in a
different position altogether, just like that of a person
who discovers he or she has been pinching himself, and
stops. In that case we become responsible for a primitive
mechanism that we are animating but that we do not have to
animate. This understanding must be at the base of our
existence if we are going to practice spiritual life.
Certainly, practice in our Way is based on this
understanding.

By practice, I do not mean merely
changing your diet. I mean practicing the conscious process
and conductivity,4 engaging the real force of the
spiritual exercise. The basis of this practice must be this
understanding in which you discover that your un-Happiness
is simply something that you are doing to yourself,
something that you are fully responsible for, something that
is without necessity, something that you are adding to
existence. It is something that you are being, in fact,
instead of simply Being, truly and fully. This understanding
exists, if you stop pinching yourself, if you simply stand
prior to this gesture of un-Happiness, then you are in a
position to locate, become intimate with, and be submitted
to the Condition in which you truly exist, in which all
beings exist, in which all of Nature exists. Having located
That, you can practice, and practice is primarily submission
to that Condition. Practice makes use of this capacity for
insight. It makes use of all kinds of disciplines that serve
your equanimity, or that release energy and attention from
habitual tendencies to dramatize un-Happiness. But
primarily, practice is submission to the Condition of Being.
Practice is Feeling without obstruction.

In every moment a different
circumstance arises, and in every moment you tend to limit
feeling in a different fashion. In a moment of desire you
limit feeling to what is desirable, to what you are seeking
to attain, to the sensations and activities associated with
desire and its fulfillment. In a moment of thinking you
exercise the limitation of feeling by limiting attention to
the conceptual categories of thought. In a moment of
emotional reaction you limit feeling to the emotional force
of reactivity-fear, sorrow, anger, or even what we
conventionally call love. Every object and condition that
arises suggests or mechanically calls into being a different
kind of limitation on feeling. Typically, you become that
limitation, and because you chronically take on a limitation
in every moment, over time you begin to have a sense that
you are un-Happy, that you are obstructed, and your search
to become Happy intensifies.

Many people look for something in
the conventional round of experience, some solution, that
holds the possibility of being completely free and Happy.
But some people eventually learn the lesson of life. They
discover that they are un-Happy not merely because manifest.
existence is un-Happy, but because they are being un-Happy.
Those who learn this lesson of life, at least to some
degree, before they meet a Spiritual Master, may then go and
find one. Others may be frustrated enough that they look for
a Spiritual Master before they even understand very much, or
really learn the lesson, and eventually they learn this
lesson of life in that Company.

You must eventually learn this
lesson, make this discovery, if you are going to enter into
the stream of spiritual life. What you must discover, once
that lesson is learned and once you find a source of
Transmission, is that you are precisely that which you are
suffering. You are not merely un-Happy-an entity definable
as that suffering-but you are active as un-Happiness, as
suffering. This action is primarily a limitation on Feeling.
This limitation on Feeling may be observed in relation to
absolutely everything, during any activity, and in any
circumstance, any relationship, any incident. If you observe
yourself even now, you are not Feeling without obstruction.
You are feeling the apparent limit.

Is it not presently obvious to you
that you are feeling short, not Feeling fully, but feeling a
limit, based on your interpretation of whatever you are
noticing in this moment? You are not Feeling freely, unless
you have fulfilled this process already, and most of you are
still engaged in the earlier stages of practice. You must
notice, if you observe yourself, that even now-in a
circumstance you would presumably regard to be pleasant and
untroubled-you are feeling short, you are feeling un-Happy,
in fact. You are not un-Happy in the sense that you are in a
negative emotional state. What I suggest that you observe is
that you are not Infinitely Happy, not Feeling without
obstruction. If you are not Feeling without obstruction, you
are feeling short, or contracting upon the force of Feeling,
the force of Being, and therefore you are actively being
un-Happy.

The limit on Feeling that I have
been describing in this consideration is what I am pointing
to with such descriptions as “spiritual neurosis,”
“Narcissus,”5 “the self-contraction,” and
“un-Happiness. That fundamental limit, which you can observe
in your own case in any moment, is an obstruction of Feeling
that is demonstrated in every form of your functional life.
It is demonstrated as all kinds of habits of mind, states of
the psyche, tendencies toward emotional reactivity,
tendencies of desire, habits and rituals in relation to
other people, self-indulgence, seeking, and your unique
personality game.

Patients of psychiatrists typically
project onto the psychiatrist the emotional reactions and
patterns that they otherwise tend to live out with parents
and others. In effect, they make the psychiatrist the same
person to whom they react in their daily life. The
phenomenon of counter transference also exists.
Psychiatrists, because patients transfer certain emotions to
them and interpret them in a certain way, begin to feel they
are that projected personality and to respond to the patient
as a primary figure in their own lives. It never comes to an
end then. Both become the very people they are
suffering.

You do not have to be the patient of
a psychiatrist to be involved in this play. Everyone engages
in a primary form of transference. In fact, all our problems
are an expression of transference. We all transfer, or
superimpose upon others and upon the whole world, the
disease from which we are suffering. This disease colors the
whole world. It causes us to act and feel and think in
certain ways in relation to others. The infantile
personality that develops the Oedipal conflict actually
transfers upon the parents an emotional state-the feeling of
limitation-and interprets parental behavior as a literal
betrayal. The sense of betrayal is generally so profound
that it affects the child for the rest of his or her
life.

However, everything else that we do
is also an example of transference. We are all superimposing
upon the world and all our relations a state for which we
ourselves are responsible, a state that originates in
ourselves. The cause of this state is not out there in the
world.

You could say that the classical
Buddhist interpretation of reality or of the universe is a
form of transference. “Life is suffering. Existence is
suffering.” How did existence become suffering? How did the
universe become suffering? Even if a Buddhist actually
examined everything and came to this conclusion, he would
always be looking through the color of his or her own
disease. He would transfer that disease, then, to the world,
and begin struggling to eliminate the apparently objective
phenomena of the body-mind as if they were evil.

The notion of sin in the
Judeo-Christian tradition is a similar example of
transference. Human un-Happiness is attributed to an
objective cause, such as what Adam and Eve did in the
Garden. It would follow, therefore, that you must be
objectively caused to get to heaven, or to be happy, or to
be spiritually alive. This would require not a Spiritual
Master, specifically, but a God-incarnate individual to go
through an objective ritual that makes your guilt
objectively unnecessary, whereas previously you were
necessarily guilty.

We engage in this rather primitive
effort of transference because we are not responsible for
ourselves. Therefore, having made this act of transference,
we must transcend all our religion, all our
philosophy-everything we do, insofar as it is merely an
extension of our own irresponsible suffering. And, in
general, all our actions are of this kind.

Clearly, individuals appear here and
there in the Great Tradition whose lives are about
transcendence and Transcendental Realization, but these
individuals represent only a small part of the traditions.
Human history contains great moments, great individuals, but
most of history is the product of human irresponsibility,
egoity, or un-Happiness. History is made of the same state
that you in this homely moment acknowledge to be the case
obstructed feeling.

If you will continue to observe
yourself, you will discover that you are not merely
chronically limited in feeling, or un-Happy, but you are
doing that. You are not obliged to be invited in your
feeling, you are simply doing that. If you do not want to be
un-Happy, then don’t do that anymore! Do not appeal to the
universe to cure you, or propose that the universe is evil,
or become involved in counter efforts, psychically,
mentally, emotionally, physically, and socially to make
yourself Happy. You cannot become Happy by any method. If
you really do not want to be un-Happy anymore, then you must
observe yourself and stop being un-Happy. Stop doing
un-Happiness.

Whatever arises, you habitually feel
either “appropriately” or “inappropriately” in relation to
it. If you see a gorilla chasing you, an appropriate
emotional response is to be afraid and also to run! An
inappropriate response would be to laugh and start telling
the gorilla stories about your childhood. An appropriate
response for a person at a funeral would be to weep or feel
sorrowful, and an inappropriate response, at least in the
conventional point of view, would be to laugh and do a tap
dance.

I am suggesting that what we might
call an appropriate response is at best only a logical limit
of emotion, a logical state of limited emotion, relative to
some apparent fact. To so respond is not Feeling without
limit. Likewise, appropriate emotional responses are also
clearly imitations on Feeling. No matter what arises,
whether you tend to react appropriately or appropriately
from a conventional point of view, you always present
yourself as a limit of Feeling. And this, as you might
gather, is from my point of view inappropriate! (Laughter.)

You must do more than feel afraid
when it is appropriate to be afraid, sorrowful when it is
appropriate In be sorrowful, or gleeful when it is
appropriate to b gleeful. You must Feel completely, without
obstruction. In that case, you will not merely afraid or
angry or sorrowful. You will feel emotions, but by being
completely free to these feelings, you will not merely
dramatize them (although you might tend to dramatize them to
some degree). You will simply Feel. In other words, the
feeling of the appropriate emotion will become Feeling
itself, and will eventually become Feeling simply, or
Feeling without obstruction.

Remarkably enough, the reason we are
so disturbed about events that might make us fearful,
sorrowful, or angry is that whenever something arises about
which we might appropriately feel these emotions, we do not
feel it completely. We limit our feeling of these reactions,
and we certainly limit our feeling of the circumstance
itself. We are always exhibiting the evidence of limited
feeling, obstructed feeling.

If feeling becomes limitless, if we
do not contract, then feeling becomes Being. When there is
no reaction, no contraction, Feeling without limit, this
Feeling goes beyond fear, sorrow, anger, and even
conventional happiness and loving attitudes. What do we Feel
in that case? It is Bliss. It is the Self-Radiant Force of
Being, without the slightest obstruction. It is
Enlightenment. It Transfigures the body-mind and becomes a
great Power. To look at manifestation through this Color,
this One Flavor, this free Force or free Energy, allows you
to interpret everything differently.

In that case, you will not interpret
manifest existence to be evil or suffering or sinful, or
others to be unloving, or life to be terrible. Instead of
that, you will regard all of manifest existence to be
pervaded by Bliss-not merely Bliss coming at you from every
direction, but Bliss Radiating from every direction in the
Place Where you Stand. This Bliss has no center, no bounds,
no limits. It is free Energy. In the midst of free Energy,
you are free as attention, not limited, not obstructed. When
attention is without limit, it is Consciousness Itself. Only
Consciousness. When energy is without limit, it is free
Force, Love, Bliss. When there is no limit on energy and
attention, there is only Self-Radiant Being, without limit,
and even the whole world becomes obviously That. You, in the
form of the manifest personality, become active as the
Transfiguring Power that is inherent in and Transcends all
of Nature

 

1. The term “Great Tradition” is
used by Master Da Free John to refer to the totality of
Man’s religio-spiritual traditions, past and
present.

2. See The
Enlightenment of the Whole Body

for a definition of “Transfiguration”.

3. ‘Hearing
is a technical term used by Master Da Free John to describe
the foundation process of intuitive understanding on which
spiritual life is based.

4. See The
Conscious Process
for an
explanation of conductivity and the conscious
process.

5. Please see “Narcissus
for an explanation of the use of the term
Narcissus.

 


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