Beezone Interview Series
with Stephan Blas
The Deeper Process
“When push comes to shove”
Adi Da Samraj (Bubba Free John), 1975
The Deeper Process
“When push comes to shove”
Never Inspected, Never Understood
“It was only by allowing it to be so and fully experiencing ..this, that I could come eventually to perceive what is always and stably the underlying truth of all experience. All the latent imagery, necessity and unfulfilled devotional energy ..had been trapped in the heart since childhood. Only when these images were completely and consciously experienced, and the energy surrounding the heart utterly released ..could I remain stable in the true consciousness that is the heart of reality itself.”
Adi Da Samraj, Knee of Listening (1971), The Diary of My Pilgrimage
Ed: Recently, while telling other people about the leelas and stories while in the company of Adi Da you were conveying to them how you were seeing how the ego more than the devotee continued to show itself.
Stephan: There were times when I was confronted with something like an expose of certain things, especially as you and I discussed many times the area of feeling rejected and betrayed and abandoned. Sometimes it was a little bit more graceful where I could fall into the ‘wound of the heart’, and there actually be the release of energy and in a depthfulness of vulnerability in feeling. When I was able to do this it allowed me to feel the Guru with a depth of love in the midst of the wound of betrayal, heartbreak and such.
But there were other times in which I not only was not able to go to that deeper place, but reacted. I at times stood my ground, argued and even became disrespectful, acted like a real asshole believe it or not. I don’t think I’m exaggerating or overstating when I say this. I’m sure that you have been at times with a family member or dear friend when that has happened.
Listen to Stephan continue – click triangle
Ed: Let me just say for my audience here, that you have spoken a little bit about times when you were asked to leave the company of the Guru. And that is probably to me, the only time that you, if you will, argued or resisted or confronted Adi Da in any kind of, let’s say hurtful, where you were hurt, but you were more angry.
Stephan: I was like a rat in the corner.
Ed: Are you speaking, when you were telling those leelas the other day that those are the incidences that you’re referring to?
Stephan: Yeah.. They’re the same incidences. We actually talked about all this same incidences, I think there are three or four of them that are more major. Or five or six, I don’t know how many, but that were major where I would fall into this place. But I guess the difference in telling you the story and telling Stanley and Rachel, is that when I was speaking with you, we would pretty much just focus most of the time on one incident, one time period. We may have also mentioned and remembered another one that was similar and therefore we could weave that into the story. With Stanley and Rachel, it seems like I was able to hit on all of them almost from the beginning to the end. They literally were telling the exact same story, even though they were years apart, decades apart in some case.
It showed an even more, kind of a comprehensive purification that to me, it showed the Guru, his work, and the devotee. As I had mentioned to you, the process is always a re-examination and a reinspection at all the stages of life, continually. Every time there seems to be some kind of understanding and matured in a certain way, then it all starts again.
Ed: On these other incidences that you didn’t mention with me because of the focus of the dialogue, were they all surrounding times and the situations were they similar in the sense that you were asked to leave his company?
Stephan: Yes. Either I was asked to leave or given some kind of critical communication, which I responded to by removing myself. I can give you one example of how this lesson was literally from the beginning to literally the last time I actually spent time in Beloved’s physical human presence. You would think, “Okay, after 40 years, right, that someone matures and therefore has transcended some of their earlier stuff.“
“I don’t care how profound and spiritual you may assume yourself to be
– regardless of the years and the gifts”
If you look at the history of my relation to Beloved you would actually see different levels of practice, different levels of maturity and self-understanding. Yet, if there was still something that was not fully inspected. This something is going to rear its ugly head, regardless of what you’ve gone through or what you think you’ve understood. I don’t care how profound and spiritual you may assume yourself to be – regardless of the years and the gifts. I was able to feel this particular description of the process that Beloved has always revealed to us, even in the midst of his incredible magnificent seven stages of life and allowing us to even receive and feel and animate the highest stages of life.
Ed: What was the incident that you were referring to?
Stephan: I believe that I told you this story already.
Ed: Yeah, I believe you did, but just refresh me.
Stephan: When Isabelle and I were asked to leave Naitauba. (see session 5)
Ed: You were saying even just the last time you saw him, you were referring to that incident. That you were demonstrating this sense of betrayal and rejection.
Stephan: Yes, it occurred again, of course.
Ed: What was that incident?
Stephan: It was with Beloved in 2003. This was in Kauai (Tumomama Sanctuary) where Paul and I were living and He had come there to serve Him.
Ed: Oh, yes. You were not renunciates and He asked you to leave the LRO or whatever the classification was that you were not in that.
Stephan: Right. I wasn’t in the Samraja which were the people who were responsible for serving Beloved, but He did allow us to serve anyway, very personally, because we went with him every day on every outing and attended him. And then one moment, which I told you already, He said, “Why are Paul and Stephen serving me so intimately, they’re not even part of the Samraja?” And that moment when I heard that, instead of responding like a devotee, I immediately fell into this very familiar place of feeling rejected, betrayed, abandoned, and unworthy. As if I had never heard anything, any wisdom about that, never learned a lesson about it ever in my life. And it all was dramatized once again.
“I would go to that place and therefore separate myself, but presuming I was the victim of separation, not seeing I was the actual doer of separation.“
Stephan: That was the last time I saw Beloved. And the reason why I was trying to make such a big deal about that is because that was always the perfect way Beloved served me.
In his response to this particular style and form of dramatization, when I would go to that place and therefore separate myself, but presuming I was the victim of separation, not seeing I was the actual doer of separation. Then the way He would respond to that was for me personally, was very different than all the other intimates who serve him over the years. For me it was the silence. There was no communication. It was almost like He gave me all the rope possible of the sense of abandonment, betrayal, rejection, and all the rest so that it could be reflected back to me and the best way for him to reflect that to me was to not even engage. I could just sit with it and that’s a big kind of a dramatization.
Stephan: It’s what I came with in the beginning, and it’s what I displayed at the end. And you see, that’s what I was trying to explain to Stanley and Rachel, was this other side of the refusal, how the ego can refuse. So, I can’t help but tell the truth because I’m trying to tell the story of what happened. Even though there were these marvelous other times, there was also these specific times, the core.
Ed: Well that’s exactly right, The Core.
Where you hold your fist instead of the open hand.
Adi Da Samraj, 2004
Stephan: That was me doing it once again, 40 years later as if I haven’t learned shit. And as if the Guru hadn’t served me in this area countless times. It was, therefore, appropriate and useful. Now that I can speak about it without trying to have a judgment one way or the other, or try to look good or look bad, just tell it like it is, I can actually now understand what was going on. What I was doing and what He was doing.
It does, of course, only make me appreciate even more what the gifts that I was receiving, even though some of the gifts were very, very unattractive in my interpretation or sense or feeling about it. That’s why I was saying the Guru’s so fucking perfect.
This is not the way He responded to another devotee who may be going through stuff or dealing with their own shit. But for me, it was just this literally non-communication as if I had never lived with him and served him. But He was actually reflecting my activity back to me.
Ed: So, if I were to ask you to make this into a leela, other than a story (What is a Leela?) of rejection and betrayal and your failure, what would you see it that you could learn something from it? How do you interpret that? How would you glean something from that?
Stephan: I’m not quite sure how to respond to you.
Ed: Okay. Maybe I can rephrase it.
Stephan: I think you have to ask me a simpler question. In other words, I could probably answer your question, but if it’s causing too much mind to try to figure all that,.
Ed: I mean, you’re using mind to describe what you’re feeling, right?
Stephan: Not much.(laughter) Ed, I thought you knew me better than that.
Ed: No, I’m trying to goad you. I’m goading you. Because I have my own reading on this and I don’t want to tell you what my reading is,
Stephan: Yeah, you might reveal something about yourself, Ed.
Ed: Well, I mean, if you’re baiting me, I’ll go for it.
Stephan: Hey, maybe I’ll be the interviewer. And now I’d like to hear you explain more about yourself, Ed. For the listener.
Ed: For the listener. Right. All right, let me see.
“I hate to tell you this, but when you really get down to the core of the Teaching you begin to realize that you are not going to be given any answers at all. There are no answers contained at any level in this process. But there is a certain influence that will destroy your questioning. I certainly hope you can make contact with it. As a matter of fact, I am it.”
Stephan: Don’t forget that whenever we try to find an answer to something in front of Beloved, He always made it very clear that the person who was presenting themselves in that moment, they were the question. Not the content of whatever you would presume necessarily that you were going to speak about. But it was actually the person was being the question.
Ed: Yeah, you are the question.
Stephan: He could just look at your forehead and see it all. The animation.
Ed: I understand that, what that does for me, it shuts me up.
Stephan: Yeah. Go ahead.
Ed: I can go back and I want to go back to the time when He would engage people in these questions. He wouldn’t just give a blanket thing that you are their question.
Stephan: He would, of course He would.
Ed: I want to do it in that vein because I hear you saying when you’re describing these incidences of rejection, betrayal and failure, right?
Stephan: Conviction, I was convicted. I convicted myself of the ego point of view. Exactly.
Ed: Correct. And at any moment in that conviction, you have an opportunity.
Stephan: Exactly! That’s why I wanted to remind you of the other story I was referring to. When Isabelle and I were asked to leave the island and I was wailing like a baby.
But I did tell you the part when we came back a few months later and we were at a gathering with Beloved and He looked at me and said, “You didn’t have to leave.” And I didn’t quite know what He meant, but just the fact that He was speaking to me and I was back in his physical company, I was very emotional. So I was starting to cry a lot and He let that go for a while, but then He would repeat it again a little bit later. “Stephan, you didn’t have to leave.” And I don’t know why He was saying this. And I didn’t understand, but I was just thinking, again, into this emotional feeling. I think He may have, not in any kind of harsh way, but just even said, “Okay, enough of the crying.”
I don’t know if He said it that way, but there’s some memory of being suggested that I just listen up here and stop sinking into this emotional catharsis. Then He said, after a while of this going on, He said, “You could have stood up. You could have stomped your feet, jumped up and down, yelled and screamed.” In other words, I just assumed that I was the victim and therefore I had no choice. And He was showing me… I know it sounds so simple, but you have to understand this is like a life changer for me, because of the pattern that I had and the tendencies that I had. And so-called “justification that I had to be a victim”.
He showed me that there was another option. And now did I get it? Well, yeah. Do you get it? You heard the words just now yourself. So when does the ego actually get it? Like really understand it in such that they now no longer have to make that wrong choice. It happened again and again, and again and again, and I forgot that lesson and that demonstration, only until now when I’m talking to you and I’m talking to Stanley and Rachel like, “Oh yeah. Boy, you really did try to help you see that you could do something else rather than close the fist.”
You don’t get it till you get it. So that’s why He would say in most cases they would take many lifetimes.
Ed: What is it that He’s referring to? I hate to bring the teaching in here, because I know you’re not dharma guy. I don’t want to seem like a quick answer man, either, but there is a fundamental element in his teaching that addresses this pattern. What you’re referring to is a very deep, deep psychic unconscious mind form. And you have lots of evidence and you have lots of justification, if you will.
Stephan: So does everybody else.
Ed: Well, yeah, but I don’t want to minimize the direct question to you.
Stephan: Well, here’s the thing, Ed. You have to remember, Beloved’s very first talk to the public. I believe it was titled “Understanding”.
Stephan: It’s His very first conversation. And He describes this particular thing right from the get go.
He uses the analogy of the closed fist and the open hand. He said that this… I mean, literally it’s like He puts this blessing work or whatever it is that he’s trying to help people understand about this false presumption of separate self sense. And He describes the entire thing better than I could ever tell you right there in the very first talk. All I’m doing now is seeing how that was revealed over and over and over and over and over again, in my case.
Ed: He repeated that same talk for 45 years.
Stephan: Well, how He repeated it though, is different than how He has in the early years.
Ed: Yeah but he’s always talking about this same fundamental dilemma and the crisis and the revelation.
Stephan: I wouldn’t actually say that. I would say that in Beloved’s later years, He just more demonstrated the open hand.
Ed: Who He was, not who you were!
Stephan: No, actually, how there is only light, there’s only consciousness. He would demonstrate that. And if we still wanted to carry on presuming otherwise, He wasn’t interested.
Ed: Then, why is it until the end that He said nobody got it?
Stephan: Hello! That’s what I’m trying to say. Because we didn’t.
Ed: And the reason?
Stephan: Look at humanity right now, look at the entire world.
Ed: I don’t wanna look at the whole world, I want to look at devotees.
Stephan: The tendency is to stick to the pattern of the self contraction. And especially in this yellow, red realm.
Ed: Right. But He has a specific, a very specific name for this fundamental crisis that then is only the beginning that one has to go through. It is only the beginning of the true process.
Stephan: Well, He often told us, He said, “I’m talking to you now in the room here, but it’s only because you’re here. It’s not because you’re necessarily going to get anything. This could be for someone else long time later. Whenever anybody is going to get it or hear it or feel it or receive it.” You know what I mean? You don’t really know what the communication of the divine, in the Guru form, when that’s going to be made use of. You don’t know, but we just happen to be the guinea pigs who were in the room and at least it did. Those words did come to the ears and they may not have gone past that in many cases, or not often. Because it’s a rare fucking thing!
Ed: Yes it is.
Stephan: It’s a transformation of a human being who’s not prepared for this and somehow or another gets blessed and graced, too, for the Divine Intervention. Yeah, there are some miraculous and beautiful stories associated with that over and over and over and over again. That’s usually because of the gifts. You allow some of the gifts. You’re in such a vulnerable position because of what the Guru’s doing that you can receive something in a moment and not just be that other pattern of the closed fist. So yeah, I mean that’s why I think it is just wonderful that myself and any devotee who’s come in contact with Beloved can start speaking of what the process is and how it looks in their case, because the more you do it, the more you see how all encompassing it truly, really is. And that’s a really good confession, I think.
I mean, I’m blown away and it’s not something that… I don’t think anybody can just Hear or listen to and just, you know… But I think I can feel that because that’s how I received many of my gifts from Beloved. It wasn’t true, necessarily the words, even though they were associated with it, but there were times when that extra communication that was coming was coming kind of directly into the heart. And my mind may not have comprehended most of it, but my heart did. And therefore I could still fully respond. In what I term, miraculous moment.
I kind of feel like this period of time that we’re in right now, where you and I and Stanley and I, and Rachel and I, and others can discuss the more bigger picture of this process with the Guru. And it’s just, it’s almost like another step in the Guru’s work. It’s almost like another part of the secret of how the Guru devotee process works.
Ed: It surely doesn’t end just because he’s left his body.
Stephan: Oh boy, no. Hello! That’s an understatement. Geez-manee-manauga, it’s actually the opposite. You can say the opposite. It’s almost like the limitation of the human body is no longer there. And so the divine, as the Guru and yet all encompassing rather than just in the presumed form of the human body Guru. So yeah, it’s the same one only bigger. But because of the gift of the human Godman Guru, because of that, the rest of it is able to be felt and perceived. And therefore, it just makes this whole story about the Guru… And here, we’re talking about Adi Da Samraj, Bubba Free John, Franklin Jones. But really we also know that we’re talking about the Divine itself and how amazing that it is actually felt in a personal way, in an intimate way, in a kind of in-love way. You know, it’s just a fucking unbelievable… Not a story. It’s what the history of the Divine is. It’s even said in many different traditions, like the Krishna-Radha relationship and you know what I mean? It’s seeing the Divine in manifest form and you intimately, are a part of that. Not separate from it. So I think that’s the real secret of this gift is..so I can tell the ugly parts of the story. But regardless of that, this also was given the special…
Ed: Personal human connection to the body on the land, on the earth.
Stephan: Yet unseparate. Non separate. One with the divine. So those two things are almost like opposites.
Stephan: I think that’s the koan to the actual koan that at some point has to be accepted by every single so-called one.
Ed: It doesn’t have to be accepted. It has to be understood.
Stephan: Well, once it’s understood, then you live differently. Trust me. And He probably had stopped asking some of the questions.
Ed: Well it’s true.
Stephan: Too busy doing something else.
Ed: If you do have questions they’re informed through that understanding, so questions, whatever they are, just question.
Stephan: I’ll tell you, also Ed, there’s a lot more joy, a lot more humor.
“You’ve been rejected and you love it. You’ve been a victim. And you love it. You love it so much that you even chose to be born into this specific situation so that you could be so justified.”
Ed: Well, it’s very important because it’s getting into the real part of the leela, the lessons. What you have started this conversation with was the rejection, your sense that you were continually being shown the betrayal of the core of that egoic persona that will, you know…. You took coming in here and you still have playing in the background like a 1960s, Moody Blues record. That sometimes you buy it. And there are circumstances that reinforce it and show that it does actually exist, that you are rejected by the world. You are rejected by the Guru. You are rejected by your mother. You are rejected by your father and still you’re required to respond as a devotee.
Stephan: Don’t forget when the Guru told me, Oh, “You’ve been rejected and you love it. You’ve been a victim. And you love it. You love it so much that you even chose to be born into this specific situation so that you could be so justified.” So when you get to that level, you realize, “Oh, the you that he’s talking about certainly goes beyond anything that you could use as evidence.”
Ed: It goes beyond the commercials of who Adi Da is and what the process is about. That’s for darn sure.
Adi Da Samraj and Stephan, 2000
Devotees Are the Instrument
Adi Da Samraj (Bubba Free John), 1975