I Am Offering You a Whole Way of Life
A talk given by Bubba Free John
at Vision Mound Sanctuary
September 14, 1977
You are struggling with your mediocrity all the time. It is what you are committed to. But at some point you must start shining beyond it. It is so lowly a tendency to be struggling with, to be trying to overcome. It is just a way of meditating on the slime of unconsciousness. You must brighten up! You must bring energy into your relations in the present moment.
There is some awkwardness in shining at first, because you do not have any use for it-nobody does. It does not have an essential value. It is too free, you know. Still, people like to shine, so you will find some way to make use of it. You must function with it. You must bring shining into all your functions.
The first levels of this practice, the first three stages of the Way of Divine Ignorance, are essentially purification. True Samadhi appears only at the end of the third stage. Absorption’s in one yogic process and another are still associated with purification in the first three stages. The process at those levels is the awakening, through hearing, of feeling-attention.
It is only at the end of the third stage of this Way that attention itself is translated into the Divine. Even at that stage the feeling dimension is yet to be translated into the Divine. That translation is the business of the fourth stage of spiritual practice, the true, spiritual stage of life. Then you are free of all subjective changes and all the tendencies and commitments of this and all other worlds. You are no longer the independent ego. You are in Communion, one with the absolute Consciousness. Spiritual practice truly begins then. The ultimate sacrifice or translation into the Divine occurs then, and not before.
In the earlier stages you are still toying with your extremely worldly, droning, unconscious, stupid, and amebic life. You are engaged in the argument of the self in your crankiness, still reacting to birth trauma and picking your nose. All of that is fine, it has to be confronted, but you must realize the lowly level of your concerns at this point. If you are going to realize this Way significantly during this lifetime, you must start bringing energy and feeling into your existence, because the realization of this Way is translation into God.
The suppression of feeling is strategic, a reaction to the frustration of this or that desire and a persistence in demanding its fulfillment. When the desire is acknowledged or fulfilled, then you permit yourself to feel better. It is very strategic. But you can feel completely at any moment. You can be happy at any moment. You can be cutting through your strategic suppression of feeling.
The fact that a tendency appears does not mean you should be dramatizing it. You can be responsible for it in that moment, and it ultimately dissolves. That is the process in meditation. But people sit around dramatizing all the time, becoming mediocre.
Real life is not important to people in general. They do not really feel their mortality always. They are involved with this and that distraction, and every now and then they suddenly become aware of some threat or difficulty. They get sick, or they lose something, and all of a sudden they want God. You cannot really live spiritual life if you are not profoundly sensitive, moment to moment, to the vulnerability of your existence. Only then will you be sensitive enough to live in the Divine in this moment. Otherwise, because of your insensitivity, you will be living all of your experiential possibilities in themselves, all your inwardness and the elaboration of your own stupidity, all your complex unconsciousness and thinking and the rest of your camouflage. People are consoled by the things that distract them. Only occasionally do they feel and become therefore vulnerable in the midst of their distractions. But in that moment they get a little loose, interested in the Divine again, but that interest is temporary until the next distraction. It is not that the functions and experiential possibilities of existence are to be avoided, but 1t is just that now they are distractions in themselves. They turn the being away from its native Condition
In the devotee, however, the distractions of existence do not have such force. The devotee participates in the ordinary affair of existence, but existence is always a condition of Divine Communion. To most people, Communion with the Divine is just not important, at least not consistently important. It is important to them occasionally. When they are not really feeling their vulnerability, well, then they are cool and blasé. They are not able even to hear about feeling, and they have no idea what feeling is all about, as if there were something complicated about it. You are right here, and there are these relations, and all of your functions connect into these relations. Therefore you can either be closed up and turned away, or you can live as attention and feeling
What we are offering people is not a face-to-face association with some primary individual, nor a practice that they can realize this weekend. We are offering them a whole way of life. Spiritual life is necessarily a whole way of life. People are already involved in a whole way of life, a destructive one, on that is not oriented toward the Divine or Infinity. So naturally, to become oriented to something entirely different, they must have another way of life. The esoteric matters and the higher spiritual influences are therefore not offered except within the framework of a whole way of life. They cannot be abstracted and condensed as it is pretended by those who offer enlightenment in a single weekend, without testing and the demand for stability and mature responsibility. To present basic spiritual, matters for consideration and to serve the foundation approach is obviously necessary. But truly esoteric spiritual practices cannot be lifted out of the Divine way of life and offered to people in the midst of their TV neurosis. They will just take them on without changing themselves. Yet such an approach is the illusion that is fostered by so many of the so-called gurus or spiritual masters we hear about today. They are not true teachers at all. Many of them are not even real practitioners.
The change required for spiritual life is difficult, there’s no doubt about it. It is like weighing 350 pounds and knowing you must get down to 165. There is no movement in you except the desire to weigh 165 pounds. That desire is the only thing of interest. Although you may know that you will be healthier, you will live longer, you will look better, you will be sexier, still your desire to weigh 165 pounds is the only movement for change. Most of the force of your life is devoted to all the things that are keeping you at 350 pounds. All this food you like, for example – you do not want to go through the discipline of eating practically nothing at all. The strength of your desire to lose weight is puny, compared to the strength of all your other desires.
Therefore, you must become concentrated in that desire. You must direct profound free attention and feeling toward realizing your desire, because all the rest of your feeling-attention is directed in the opposite direction with much more force.
That is the way it is for most people. They have a somewhat sympathetic interest in what it must be like to be God-Realized, but they are not attached to it with their whole being. They do not live as free feeling-attention relative to the spiritual process. It is just another idea among all their other ideas, and all their other ideas have much more force, because they represent the trend of their being, all their adaptations. Thus, they really do not want to go through it until life makes its point strongly enough, until they have suffered enough in their ordinary living. When they get to that point, then they will really hear this argument, and in hearing it they will have enough energy, enough feeling-attention, to be able to move through the discipline.
Either way, the discipline is difficult. On the one hand it is possible and on the other hand it is not possible. Possible or not, it is difficult. All the weight of your old adaptations pulls against this new motion, because you have never moved in that new way before. You do not have any tendencies in its direction. Therefore you must live to God for a long time before Divine Life becomes your tendency. After you have lived the discipline long enough, then the being acquires a new momentum. The discipline becomes pleasurable, no longer an effort directed against egoic tendencies. But you have to live the entire discipline for a while. Every part of this discipline is a Lawful demand that will work against a condition to which you have already adapted.
There is just no way around it – everybody is lawless. You will hear the Teaching or receive instructions relative to each aspect of this functional reorientation, and you will find yourself resisting in one way or another, because you have not lived a way of life oriented toward God. You have lived the usual life as your parents and everybody you grew up with. You spent your whole life, at least twenty or so years, before you even considered spiritual life.
Therefore, in spiritual terms you weigh 350 pounds! You have overindulged yourself in every area. Every part of you is fat, inside and outside, not just the body-everything is fat. Your mind is fat with constant thinking. You are sexually fat and obsessed. Everything is fat. Thus, every part of the discipline is just an aggravation unless you are really ready for it, unless you have truly heard it, unless you have suffered enough or are perceptive and sensitive enough to what it is really all about.
Most people do not hear it very profoundly, you see. They are interested enough to try it, but it is just one idea among others. So the obligation is to continuously serve the essential considerations, communicate the argument again and again, because they do not hear it. They have not resorted to it with the whole force of their being, except perhaps in moments, but most of the time it is just a consideration, a conception that moves them to a degree. What they are really involved with is all the rest of what their life amounts to. So they are fretting night and day. They are up and down, in and,,out, coming and going, because they are living the resistance itself, whereas they should be living feeling-attention, this movement in themselves toward the Divine Realization that is offered to them.
That is essentially what it is all about, you see – that is the secret of the process: to be able to hear and to move on the basis of hearing to the point that the trend of the whole body-being is toward God rather than toward the ego This movement is not in some central location of the being – it is the whole body-being. We are translated in our consciousness and in our energy into the Divine Realization, not just inwardly, not just mentally, not just subjectively, but completely, as the whole body.
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