The Need Connection
a talk given by Bubba Free John (Adi Da Samraj) to his devotees
BUBBA: As a child, every individual begins to suspect or presume that he or she is unloved and betrayed. This sense of betrayal is more than psychological; it is even a profound physical sense of the loss ol our unqualified connection to Life and security. No matter what the actual circumstances of his life, the child always experiences some degree of this sense of betrayal or unlove. Eventually, the child, this vulnerable individual, concludes that “you don’t love me.” The life of the ego is based on this illusion of betrayal. And it is an illusion, whatever the facts of anyone’s experience. It may be that as a child your experience communicated betrayal; perhaps there was someone who did not love you. On the basis of those events you presumed “you don’t love me; I am not loved.” Such a presumption defines the individual as the ego. To be a defined consciousness implies separation, and this separation is naturally projected into the scene of one’s human experience. If an event of betrayal did not actually occur, you would invent it in your childhood in order to differentiate yourself. Children invent monstrous interpretations of otherwise ordinary events, because they are at an age in which they do not have much insight into experience. Their awareness of things is inherently incomplete. Some of the conceived events of betrayal may be relatively true; others really do not have any of the significance the child presumes. Nevertheless, presumptions of betrayal are the inevitable basis of our emotional learning, even from the earliest moments of life.
This sense of betrayal or “you don’t love me” is the same as “me.” It is ego. Ego is not an entity; it is an action, a process. It is the avoidance of relationship, the contraction of feeling-attention. The life of the ego is separation and “you don’t love me.” But we may be converted, we may be transformed, we may be rightly adapted, and thus we need not live as the ego, or the sense of separate self. Rather, we may live in Divine Communion, in Communion with Infinity. We may release the self-contraction, and we may love. When we are relieved of the ego we are also necessarily relieved of the emotional contraction in the midst of relationships.
Without this conversion of the contracted self, or ego, to Radiant love, there is no Enlightenment. They are the same thing, you see. Enlightenment is relief from the ego contraction, which is the avoidance of relationship. Therefore, if you desire to live a spiritual life, your childish presumption of betrayal, of being unloved, must be transformed. It is a childish presumption, but you are no longer a child. You are relatively mature. Yet you represent a history of the presumption of betrayal that developed in infancy and upon which you have built your whole life. Even now, in your relative maturity, you still represent that emotional presumption. In-the years beyond childhood it is totally inappropriate to be obsessively watching to see whether or not you are loved. Such a strategy may be appropriate at the infantile stage of your life, but it is at least neurotic at any other stage. It is loveless and dreadful.
In order to be free to love and to be responsible in your intima cies, you must be free of your infantilism, your childish dependence, your independence, conflict, coming and going, looking for love, feeling certain it is going to disappear. The point to be considered in any moment is not whether or not you are being loved. What must be observed is that you are not loving. The feeling of betrayal, of not being loved, is a cover for your own failure to love, for the contrac tion that is the ego. You are failing to realize and confess that you arc Narcissus, that it was you who abandoned your parents, your friends, your lovers. It was not their abandonment of you that caused you to cease to love, and to become a betrayer of all love. The reaction of unlove is entirely your own responsibility.
If you remember the story of Narcissus, you will recall that it begins with his leaving his parents to go off on his own because he feels betrayed by them. Like Narcissus, you also defined yourself. You left home. You are the one who presumed betrayal, and ever since you have been failing to love. Maybe your parents did not love you for a few minutes—who knows? In any case, whatever they did or appeared to do occurred under the stress of this ordinary human predicament, and they, unlike you, did not have the benefit of the service of the Spiritual Master and the Teaching of Truth to convert them from their childishness.
Clearly, our “sexual” consideration is not about sexuality in itself. We cannot address the consideration of sexual practice until we have first inspected the history of our emotional adaptation. The key to the consideration of your sexuality is how you have adapted as an emotional being. Sex is not an isolated function, nor are you controlled by the function of sex exclusive of emotion. Your relationship to sex is determined absolutely and entirely by your emotional adaptation. If you are emotionally responsible, if you are love, if you are no longer emotionally crippled, no longer constantly watching to see whether you are loved or not, then it follows quite naturally that you are also sexually responsible. But if you try to become responsible for sexuality exclusive of prior responsibility for emotion, you will never be able to do it. You must first confront the emotional adaptation that is responsible for your sexual pattern.
You will see—you must see—that you have lived as if betrayed in order to justify the egoic gesture of the avoidance of relationship. Having inspected the history of your life, you must confess that you .ire Narcissus, that you are unlove, that you are not loving, and that you have failed to love all the while. You could just as well have been a saint, full of love, when your parents seemed to betray you, but you were not, because you preferred to separate yourself from them. Perhaps that separation is necessary at a certain stage of life; we do need to differentiate ourselves functionally. But it does seem humanly unnecessary that functional differentiation must be associated with a bizarre emotional episode that can go on for many years, even many lives!
You must be converted from the irresponsible emotional pattern of “you don’t love me” to emotional responsibility, or love in relationship. Through Communion with the Divine, through real understanding, you must live as “I love you.” You must live the sacrifice that is love via all your functions, in all of your relations, under all conditions. That is the demand of real Life. Yet, even though you may respond to that demand, your functions themselves have not yet been adapted to the perfection of love. Thus, you must practice the principle of love and not dramatize the life of “you don’t love me.” You must adapt to the functional, Lawful order of existence. You must in every moment be positively oriented toward open-hearted, energetic, bodily service to the Spiritual Master and all beings.
You must at the same time recognize that acquired emotional patterns tend to remain in place, instigating the repetition of old patterns. You now know this very well, and you must not forget it. What is set in motion will continue, until it is deflected or replaced by another motion. That is the law of natural physics. Therefore, you must change your action on the basis of this understanding. And you must also recognize that you will temporarily continue to experience the subjective signs of your old adaptation. The “motion” of old adaptation will continue in your feeling, in the casual moments of desiring that may appear, and in reactions in the midst of the circumstances of life.
Even so, you must mature in your responsibility for old, Narcissistic adaptation. You must not dramatize the old pattern in any form—emotional, mental, or physical. You must simply not be concerned about it. If it appears, that is just the way it is. It is mechanical. It is just machinery. It will inevitably appear and continue to appear, until it becomes obsolete through non-use, or present non-reaction. Whatever is not used becomes obsolete. Therefore, you must not dramatize or become concerned for the old tendencies that arise. They will become obsolete if you remain oriented through understanding and devotional sacrifice to the Lawful practice of life.
The more firmly adapted you are as the whole bodily being to the Lawful order of Life and to the Principle of unqualified relationship, rather than to the principle of the ego, the avoidance of relationship—the more positively adapted you are to that true Principle, the weaker will be the subjective signs of loveless adaptation. Eventually, the motion you represent in life will be only love and Divine Communion. The subjective urges to loveless action will have disappeared. Until then, you will have to put up with a certain amount of kicking from the old order.
The Spiritual Master is your advantage in that entire affair of re-adaptation. When you enter into spiritual Communion with the Spiritual Master, the subjective evidence, the tendencies that are the egoic motion of the being, may be relieved through all the many forms of contact with the Spiritual Master—through instruction within the Church, through your sharing of Life with other devotees, and through the unseen spiritual influence of the Presence of the Spiritual Master. The immediate effect of the devotee’s relationship with the Spiritual Master is the purification of the subjective tendencies or the motions of the being, in meditation, in dreams, in ordinary circumstances, and in subtle ways rather than exaggerated You must be committed to the Spiritual Master through most profound love or devotional sacrifice, which is the very principle of the life of the devotee. Otherwise, you are still just Narcissus struggling to be free of your tendencies. In your spiritual submission or Communion with the Spiritual Master, the evidence that is now within you will not be dramatized, it will not be a matter of your concern, and it will also be dissolved sooner and easier and surer than your new adaptation alone would have dissolved it.
The force of your tendencies is tremendous. It goes beyond this lifetime. It is the force of all tendencies, ultimately the force of all incarnation. Thus, a Divine Service enters the plane of human events through the Agency of the Spiritual Master, who makes it possible for apparent individuals to be released from mechanical destinies. We are not new. We are patterns, we are memory, these very bodies are memory. Memory is not just in the mind. All the forms that exist are conditioned by previous influences. These bodies are memory. And how are we relieved of these memories, these dreams? Through the mutually sacrificial relationship we enjoy with the Spiritual Master, who is the Agent of the Divine, and, in that Company, through transcendental Absorption into the Divine Condition that is prior to motion, memory, and objects. The process whereby we may be so transformed is the life of Divine Communion, in which we are converted in our action, from identification with the separate and separative ego, and to Communion with What is everything, What is not differentiated, What is untouched, prior, and perfectly Transcendental. That Reality is manifest as all conditions and yet is utterly beyond all conditions.
Thus, if you would be converted to the life of Communion with that Divine Reality, and if you would Realize the Living God now, in this moment, then you must go far beyond the consideration of the suffering of your childhood and your parents and your adolescence and your sexual obsessions and all of your problems and your inability to love. You must become responsible as love in all relations, under all conditions, and as early in your life as possible, so that you can transcend this repetitive destiny of the ego, of separation, of the avoidance of relationship, of unlove, of “you don’t love me,” that keeps you out by the pond, meditating on yourself like Narcissus. Then you can go on to fulfill the Divine Destiny of Life in God while alive.
The universal religion is a call to mankind to love, because all human beings are living as betrayed children, as unlove, justified by some memory or complex of memories, not only in the mind and the subconscious, but in the body itself. The eternity behind us in time is a limiting condition on our loving, on the heart, on our psychic awareness, our opening into Infinity. Thus, religion is the call to men to abandon their childishness and their adolescent rebellion in the face of conceived betrayal or reactive unlove. It is the call to turn to the Divine, which is eternally superior to men and to any single event. It is the call to be love again, to be fully in Communion again with the Source of Infinite Light, the Sustenance, Creator Power, and Absorber of our being and forms.
Once you have begun to practice true religion, rather than the childish and vitalistic religion that binds you to the cult of betrayal— once you have begun to practice true religion, which is the responsibility of love or free feeling-attention via all functions, in all relations, under all conditions—then you can grow beyond the human and gross world, beyond its necessity. Then you can begin to perceive what your higher nature is as an individual, as an ego-soul. You may perceive the subtle energy or light of the ego. It is the energy of which the physical part is just the outer, more superficial and solid percolation.1
Once the heart of love awakens and the attention of the being can move via the internal Life-Current to the throat and midbrain, you will enjoy an intuitive vision of yourself as energy, as light, which manifests as the physical but which is prior to physical form and awareness. You will see, from the point of view of that light, how the awareness of the physical comes into experience in this moment. When you have realized that process, then the body becomes secondary, an extension, a superficial and unnecessary aspect of experience. It becomes something you can live, something with which you can love, because it is no longer threatened with terminal death and annihilation.
1. For Bubba’s full description of the Awakening of Man to the Radiant Consciousness of God, please see The Enlightenment oj the Whole Body.
But there is more to Realize than that. Even the subtle light or mind of the born soul is nothing more than a temporary and superficial contraction in the field of Universal Light, or Divine Radiance. We must pass beyond it to the Realization of the true Condition of t he “covered ” soul or the ego. That Condition is without qualification. On the basis of that unqualified Realization of the Eternal and Transcendental Condition of our own consciousness, we are able to be a Sacrifice into Infinity. We no longer need go through this round of betrayal and eventual transcendence. For what purpose? Why go through it again and again? There is nothing inherently desirable about it. This world is a place in which to learn. If you learn the lesson of this world, you can remain in the disposition of Infinity, or love, regardless of events. And when you reach that point, you will be Translated out of this dimension altogether.
For the childish individual, a high percentage of the pleasure gained through sexual activity is derived from the fact that his circumstances permit him to do the sexual activity. He has the same kind of relationship to the circumstances of life as he would with a parent. Circumstance as parent is the logic of his vital activities. Thus, instead of understanding his total life and responsibly choosing the forms of his action and responsiveness, he is generally irresponsible, minimally aware, emotionally reactive, and always, secretly or openly, seeking to attain a circumstance in which degenerative self-indulgence is made possible. Circumstance that makes self-indulgence possible is immediately embraced, through desire, as permission for self-indulgence. On the other hand, circumstance that requires love and responsibility tends chronically to be the grounds for reactivity and the dramatization of frustration.
There is no truly human and free way of life until the common individual is obliged to adapt beyond childish dependence and adolescent ambivalence in the vital functional dimension of life. Until then, the individual is a subhuman and chaotic influence in the world—irresponsible, stupid, crazy, and unfit for common participation in the mature community of mankind. The pity is that the mature community of mankind is generally made up of a relative handful of humanity, largely scattered and, therefore, isolated in effect, whereas the immature mass of “everyman” comprises the great population of the Earth. When “children” multiply so greatly that human maturity is a relatively rare incident, then such human maturity itself tends to become obscure, entrapped, and even outlawed, and so-called human society tends to remain fixed along the lines of parent-child and totalitarian structures, alternating with anarchy, rebellion, social chaos, war, and pestilence.