Vision Mound Magazine – Adi Da Community


Volume1 , Number 8


The Seven Stages of Eternal Life

by Bubba Free John

In the traditions of spiritual culture, the development
of a human being has commonly been described in terms of
seven stages, each spanning a period of seven years. There
is a rational basis in Awakened Wisdom for this scheme. That
basis is the very structure of the body-being of every human
individual. We are a composite made of elements and of
functional relations, a coherent life-form expressed via the
nervous system and brain, and levels of mind that may
consciously reflect not only the gross or “material” realm
but the realms of life-energy and all the cosmic realms or
media of light. At the root of this system is the heart, the
primal organ not only of life but of consciousness in man.
It is here that the presumption and conception of egoic
independence, or the separate “I,” arises in every moment.
It is on the basis of this presumption that the human
individual is predetermined to a reactive life of fear,
vulnerability, flight from mortality, and a universal
constitutional state of contraction. That contraction
encloses consciousness in the limits of skin and thought,
and it separates the whole body-being of man from the Divine
Radiance and Perfect Consciousness that is otherwise native
to it and eternally available to it in every part.

The Way of Divine Ignorance, which I teach, is a complete
Way of life. It is not merely a system of self-applied
methods of inwardness or of exclusively external and worldly
functional improvement. It is a whole culture, lived
principally among others who do likewise, and in complete
touch with every level of our structural humanity, from the
gross physical to the subtle and Transcendental ranges of
Light. The presumption of independent conscious existence,
rooted in the heart prior to mind, and expressed as forms of
contraction or self-definition at every functional level of
the body-being, as well as in all relations, is the present
foundation of the conventional and chaotic “culture” or
habit of adaptation of most human beings. Therefore, if we
are to be adapted (or readaptedto another Principle than the
ego, or independent and separative self, we must likewise
become involved in a total culture of that alternative.

The culture of the Way of Divine Ignorance may also be
related to the traditional scheme of seven stages of growth.
But it is founded on the Awakening of the heart, from
self-possession to free feeling-attention, via all
functions, in all relations, under all conditions. Indeed,
the whole Way is the Way of the heart. The first three
stages purify and readapt the whole body being via the life
heart, the gross physical epitome. Thus, they involve the
foundation growth of the vital-physical, the
emotional-sexual, and the lower mental, including the will,
or integrated responsibility for the whole of the common
human foundation. The fourth and fifth stages purify and
readapt the whole body-being via the middle heart, the
subtle epitome. Thus, they involve the higher growth of the
conceptual mind, the psyche, the subtle intuitive gnosis of
the elemental world and the higher or cosmic gnosis of the
planes and “heavens” of the Great Process of manifest
experience. The sixth stage purifies and readapts the whole
body-being via the right heart, the epitome of the
independent conscious entity. Thus, it is in this stage that
the presumption of independent, separate, and separative
conscious existence is dissolved in the true Heart, the
“Ignorance” or Unqualified Consciousness that is our
Condition in Truth. The individual body-being is not
“snuffed out” at this stage. It simply persists free of the
illusion of separate existence in consciousness, and exists
in utter Identity, or radical Communion with the Condition
of all beings and conditions. Thus, in the seventh stage,
the whole body-being exists in a fully responsible alignment
with its Source, “Food,” and Condition, and continues to
grow at Infinity. This leads into more and more perfect
identification, even bodily, with the Light, Love, and
Consciousness that is the Absolute God and Self of Man.
Thus, this final stage, which goes on into eternity, shows
the Divine Signs of Transfiguration and Regeneration while
alive, and ultimate Ascension or Translation of the
individual into the Divine Plane, the Heaven above all
heavens, which is God and Truth. The general culture of the
first three stages naturally belongs to the first twenty-one
years of life, but men and women in general fail to complete
these stages to maturity because of reactive adaptation to
the false, or ego, principle. Thus, most “adults” are only
bordering on the awakening of a life committed to love, the
life of the heart and of psychic awakening. They phase back
and forth from actual commitment to love and spiritual
ascent, but spend most of their time in various forms of
problematic concentration in vital-physical,
emotional-sexual, and lower mental dilemmas of will,
morality, belief, and conventional knowledge. The reason for
this is that the first three stages of their adaptation are
immature, so they are still foundering in childish and
adolescent motivations of character, the theatre of the
struggle between dependence and independence. And this
chaotic sub-human struggle will continue to bind the
individual and human societies as a whole until there is
release from the ego, the contraction of the heart and the
whole body-being, the commitment to separation, avoidance of
relationship, loveless self-possession, obsessive
self-indulgence, doubt, and unconsciousness of the Source,
Light, Love, Living Food, and Eternal Life by which all
things are sustained forever.

Because of the ego-I, the presumption of separation and
independence, we are constitutionally divorced from the
Infinite Condition wherein we have appeared. We are
separated from our primal Food-Source. Mankind is not merely
hungry. We are starving. We cannot even hope to be
satisfied, and, therefore, our hunger has become doubt,
un-love, fear, self-possession, self-indulgence, violence,
dis-ease, and a death that is not merely a change of state
but a suppression of existence to the point of

However, there is Wisdom to the point of freedom, and not
merely or only immortality but eternal Bliss in God. There
is Truth, Sustenance, Light, and Life. There is Awakening,
even bodily, to the utter Consciousness and Radiance or Love
that is God and Truth. The Way of that Awakening is
expressed through a culture or Way of life that evolves
through seven stages. The first three may generally be
associated with the first twenty-one years of life (three
periods of seven years), but the last four (which grow
beyond the limits of the grosser elementsmay not truly be
considered in terms of limits of time, whether brief or
long. Each stage develops as a process of adaptation (or
readaptationto a specific, functional point of view relative
to the totality of experience. That specific point of view
in each case depends on the organization of life and
consciousness relative to any one of seven primal centers of
the functional being of man. Those centers are expressed at
the physical level, but they also reach deep into the
subtlest and most transcendental planes of light.

The seven centers relate to seven levels of adaptation,
integration, and Realization in the case of man. Adaptation
to the whole of existence via each of these centers in
succession is the native Process of growth for which we are
fitted by virtue of our inherent structure. And growth, at
every stage, is a matter of “food,” or the success of the
functional pattern of reception, ingestion, elimination, and
adaptation-not only at the physical level, but also at the
vital level, the mental level, the psychic and supermental
level, the foundation level of consciousness, and the
Transcendental level of Radiance, Light, Vibratory Power,
Love, and Creation.

There are as many kinds of food as there are levels of
adaptation. Elemental food is the common food of the lowest
dimension of our appearance. But we require other kinds of
food to sustain us in our parts above or subtler than
elemental physical. All manifest things and beings appear
within a universal cosmic theatre of the physics of light.
Even the most solid configuration is an illusion, or a
mysterious objectification that is not other than light. The
essence of things is light, and the right functioning of
life depends on right communion with light, or the Light
above all lights, and all the levels of energy or vibration
between the subtlest light, or mind, and solidity.

Therefore, there are many kinds of food on which we
depend and which we must learn to eat, humbly and in peace.
There is the elemental food of the physical aspect of the
whole body-being. There is, at the next level, the etheric
food, the life-force or pranic “substance” that is received
and ingested via the processes of breathing and feeling. And
beyond this are all the ascending and subtle degrees of
chemistry and energy associated with each of the primary
physical, glandular, and nervous centers of the gross
body-being and their subtle extensions to Infinity.

The primary centers of the whole body-being are seven.
And we are obliged to adapt our whole body-being to the view
established at each center in succession. Thus, there are
seven primary stages of growth or adaptation native to man.
But since we are generally born into conditions where human
development is minimal or rudimentary, and where the culture
of Wisdom is unknown, in doubt, or denied altogether, we
tend to adapt, through random influences, to arbitrary,
reactive, ego-based, and even subhuman levels of awareness,
ability, experience, and responsibility. We tend to develop
in patterns that disintegrate rather than integrate the
body-being, and human societies tend, therefore, to function
as “schools” of disintegration, reactivity, and mediocrity,
rather than as cultures of adaptation to Wisdom in Truth.
Truly, most human beings are human only in the sense that
they are specimens of an inherent structure that can realize
a human level of expression. If we consider the level of
actual adaptation and responsibility of the usual man or
woman, he or she is certainly subhuman, either in the sense
of being little more than a talking beast without instincts
or in the sense of being merely adapted to the physical,
emotional-sexual, and mental levels of experience, but
severely compromised or unstable in the demonstration of the
integrity and natural superiority even such adaptation
should represent in action.

It is necessary for each individual to return to all
previous levels of functional adaptation that have been
developed as reactive and egoic mechanisms. Every functional
level must be re-awakened and re-adapted to the Divine
Principle beyond and yet pervading all contractions, all
parts of the whole, all defining limits of light and
consciousness. Even the cells of the body are obliged by
this Principle. Therefore, the Way or Culture of this
Process is a Way of total re-adaptation or re-birth. It is
the Culture of Resurrection, or the Enlightenment of the
whole body-being of man.

The seven centers of progressive readaptation are the
body base (at the perineum), the root of sex, the region of
the navel and solar plexus, the heart, the region between
the lower throat and the lower rear of the brain, the
midbrain, and the crown or Light-Terminal of the whole

But the Principle of human adaptation (or readaptationis
not found in either the lower or the higher dimensions of
the body-being. It is at the center, between the lower and
the upper divisions or coils, each represented by three
centers. The center wherein the human being becomes Awakened
to the Principle on which it always already depends is the
heart. The heart is the key to human consciousness, human
Awakening, and truly human adaptation. Therefore, the
culture of human readaptation depends, from the beginning,
on the intuitive Awakening of the heart to its Condition in
Truth. That Awakening is Realized through true “hearing” of
the argument of the Spiritual Master, and it is
progressively intensified through spiritual Revelation in a
whole life of “hearing,” “seeing,” and “feeling” in
Communion with the Divine Company of the Spiritual Master,
wherein devotees are restored to God, even bodily.

Since the Awakened heart is the Principle of the culture
of true human adaptation, that Awakening must come at the
beginning of the Way and progressively intensify or mature
through its stages. Therefore, the Awakening of the heart
does not only come, as one might expect, in the fourth stage
of life. It is continuous, from the beginning. In the fourth
stage, the intelligent psychic dimension of the heart must
flower, but the heart must be already Awake. And in the
sixth stage of life the Awakening of the heart becomes
perfect, so that the presumption of independent or separate
consciousness is forever dissolved in radical intuition of
the Divine Condition of all beings and things. Therefore, in
the seventh stage, the apparent individual (no longer
suffering the illusion of separateness, but, paradoxically,
still persisting as an integral structure in the conditional
realmsis able to be yielded perfectly into Light, Love, the
Radiant Bliss that is communicated via the crown of the
whole body-being. In the seventh stage of our Divine
re-adaptation we are perfectly restored to the primal Food
that the ego contraction and all the bodily and psychic
locks of our reactive adaptation have denied us. All the
centers of the whole body-being have then become open doors
to the stream of Vibratory Bliss, and we are Transfigured,
Regenerated, and Translated into Light, in both the
spiritual and the literal bodily sense.

The stages of readaptation in this Culture of
Resurrection are the physical-vital, the emotional-sexual,
the higher vital (the will), lower mental, and moral, the
higher mental and the lower psychic, the higher psychic, the
cosmic “gnosis,” the atmic, or the Realization of the
unqualified Condition of consciousness, and the mutual
Sacrifice of the individual and the Divine, or the
Translation of Man into the Divine Domain.

In the higher stages of readaptation, esoteric spiritual
responsibilities in life and meditation become natural,
creative extensions of the life of the human being. In the
fourth stage of life, the Way of Divine Ignorance, which I
teach, truly begins. Prior to that time, the individual must
pass through functional disciplines in the common dimensions
of life-physical, emotional, and mental. And it is only when
that rudimentary human foundation is established that the
esoteric or higher development of man may begin.