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Where There Is Love to Infinity, the Whole body Is Radiant
A talk given by Bubba Free John on the road from Poondi to Tiruvannamali, in South India, early September, 1977
BUBBA: The ultimate Truth is not Ignorance alone or Consciousness without qualification. It is Ignorance-Radiance. One day I sent William to ask a man at one of the holy sites we visited if he was happy. Of course he didn’t ask him he did not have to. The man was not happy. It was perfectly obvious that he was not happy. The people here in India are fundamentally not happy. Why not? Because the dimension of Radiance is absent in their character, because their cultural psychology is a turning away from relationship, or energy. Energy is absent in their practice, in their realization of spiritual life. You can see it in all these old men, who are near the end of their lives and who have been turning in on themselves for decades. To a degree, at least, they have gotten in touch with the principle of their own consciousness – but not in Truth. They are not happy. They are not blissful, because consciousness by itself, turned away from phenomena, is not blissful. Jnana Samadhi is not blissful yet in the truest or fullest sense, because it excludes all phenomena. It is turned away. Jnana Samadhi is an illusion, to be inspected and to be passed beyond, with eyes open.
It is in Sahaj Samadhi that the Radiance of ouf Condition is restored. Consciousness is Radiant. It is blissful. It is love. It is forceful. It is creative. That which is realized to be the Truth is also the Truth of the world. Forceless consciousness cannot create worlds. It is dead. It is a corpse. Shiva without his consort is not the Truth. Truth, in the imagery of Inida, is Shiva-Shakti. It is Ignorance-Radiance. These are just names, archetypes, symbols for the single, absolute, ultimate Reality, the very Nature of our existence. There is no realization without Radiance, without love. And one who is involved in spiritual life is happy. If you, are not happy you are not anywhere near it!
Throughout India, particularly in the ashrams, where the Oriental point of view is enforced, you can see the suppression of the radiance of the being, the movement to withdraw, through contemplation of truth as “not this, not this,” toward a formless or at least subtle condition that is not this body, this living being. The living being is in doubt in the Oriental psychology. In the Western psychology, the living being is not in doubt in principle, but it is in trouble, yes, and sick.
When the whole body is a matter of responsibility, however, when both sides, both top and bottom, both inside and outside, when all aspects of the body are fully conscious and fully adapted to one another, then a different way of life altogether is implied. Such a way is not a Western point of view, nor an Eastern point of view, but one that is communicative relative to East and West, that is in touch with East and West. The whole body or the intercommunicative world is what this Teaching represents.
The Way of Divine Ignorance is a new Teaching, based on a world culture, that is, the world that is completely intercommunicative. Therefore this Teaching also communicates a new psychology, in which all sides and aspects of the body are equally enforced, equally accounted for in the demonstration of existence and in the consideration of Truth.
Thus, the principle of this Way is not inwardness at all, nor is it experiencing itself, or the world as an independent and mortal reality. Neither of those points of view is the point of view of this Teaching. This Teaching is founded in the principle of love or unobstructed feeling-attention. Where there is love or unobstructed feeling-attention to Infinity, in this moment, the body and its relationship with mind or psyche are no longer binding. The body is Radiant. Arising phenomena, sensations, perceptions, bodily sense, sense of the lifeenergy, concepts, thinking, psychic appearances above the mind, the egosense-all of these conditions are forms of contraction, forms of the avoidance of relationship. Where there is love to Infinity, no avoidance of relationship, no contraction, the forms of contraction naturally come to rest. No strategy is directed. toward them in themselves, as is characteristic of the Oriental approach. They naturally come to rest in love, in Radiance to Infinity.
The ethic of love is known in the West, through the Middle Eastern religions, but it is complicated by all kinds of misunderstandings and vulgar thinking. It has basically become a superficial gesture of social morality, whereas, when viewed in its proper light, it is a spiritual principle. Love is the process in which all the functions of the being are turned through free feeling-attention to Infinity, in all relations, under all conditions. In other words, contraction in any form is not permitted to become the point of view. The sacrifice that is love or feeling-attention is moving to Infinity in every moment. None of the forces of contraction is reinforced. They are constantly falling away under the force of love. The conditions of existence then become acceptable as spiritual from this point of view.
Life is not in doubt. It is passing, but the phenomenon of life is comprehended from the point of view of the blissfulness of God-Realization. In principle, there is no turning away from the conditions of existence. Therefore, the inherent pleasurableness of existence, even of the manifest form, is acknowledged. Doubt or fear of existence and the body, or the meditation on mortality that arises by reaction to this birth, is undone through real hearing of the Teaching, or awakening to the response of love. Doubt falls away. Thus, men become free to engage in relational enjoyment, feeling to one another, through one another, to Infinity.
Sexual relationships, then, are likewise not in doubt. You are not somehow sinful because you are involved in sex. Your sexual relationship is a love relationship. Rightly realized., fully enjoyed, it achieves its own economy. But there is no obligation, in principle, to abandon it at some point. It is perfectly compatible with God-Realization, just as bodily existence, as long as it lasts, is itself also compatible with it.
In Sahaj Samadhi bodily existence is realized to be only modification of one’s real Condition. It is not in doubt. It is passing, yes, but it is not in doubt. It is unnecessary, yes, but it is not in doubt. It need not be prevented or resisted. The body is not seen as something independent and mortal, something to be sought and held onto and kept from passing. Life in Truth is a radiant existence, a practice based on hearing in the life of Truth, a radiant process, not inward turned or recoiling in any sense whatsoever.
The fundamental discipline or awakened responsibility of this Way is the ability to inspect the tendency to turn away in ordinary activity, to turn out of the process of relationship, out of the condition of relationship. Westerners adopt all kinds of Oriental attitudes, practices, and habits out of fear, because Truth is associated with inwardness even in the West. But Western people are not oriented to Truth. They are oriented toward the fulfillment of their birth. When they begin to think of spirituality and religion, they think that Truth is within. That is the popular notion. If they take it up seriously, they must go to the Orient.
Like all art, the whole world, with its two great divisions, is itself just a description of the body. And until the whole world becomes completely intercommunicative, it is like an irresponsible human being. It is an argument of the body. In the last hundred years in particular, though, we have seen more intercommunication. Therefore, a living synthesis of the great cultures must appear, not only politically, but also spiritually – and that is what this Teaching is all about.
There is certainly a dimension of the East to be comprehended and made useful. It is part of the discipline of spiritual life, but it is not necessary or even desirable to abandon the West and go to the East, which is what people do psychologically, some even culturally and literally, when they become involved in spiritual life. They hang out in India or get born in some Indian or Oriental cult. In fact, they are from the West, though they might appear to be Orientals.
There is a dimension of the left side and of the Orient to which we must adapt and which we must accommodate in our whole body realization of life. Spiritual practice, however, is not to go to the left side, or to the East, to abandon. the right side, or the West. Spiritual practice is to become aware of both sides of the body. The whole body, in other words, must become the sacrifice.