A Show of Force – by Andrew Johnson
The first time I saw Master Da Free John was in 1974 at an incredibly powerful Darshan occasion during which he walked into the meditation hall surrounded by a golden aura and proceeded to blast the room and its inhabitants with a show of Force so potent it seemed as if the walls would explode. Devotees were overwhelmed with the Shakti–some swooning in bliss, some snarling like wolves, some speaking in tongues, some jerking around like Holy Rollers, and some–like myself–simply sitting immobilized, absorbed in and virtually breathless in awe of the overwhelming Display of Divine Presence. After about forty-five minutes of this extraordinary demonstration, Master Da visibly relaxed in his chair. After a brief pause as the room quieted down, he lit a Camel cigarette, blew a perfect smoke ring, shrugged and said, “Maybe I’ve gone too far this time.”
During the four years (1970-1974) prior to my commitment to the Way, and for one year (1976-1977) during my involvement in this practice (1976-1977), my occupation and career was that of a standup comedian and comedy writer, primarily in night clubs and television. I believe this background has given me a certain professional level of discrimination with which to speak and write about what is truly funny and what is not, and who is truly funny and who is not. I have had occasion to personally witness many of the best funnymen of our time when they have been at their funniest: Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters, Rodney Dangerfield, Redd Foxx, Johnny Carson, Albert Brooks, etc., etc. And I have enjoyed the elegant, droll, and often inspired wit of top comedy writers such as Monica Johnson, Jerry Bebon and Lenny Ripps.
Never mind that you haven’t heard of these people. Take my word for it–they could make you laugh until your throat is raw. But as brilliant as these jokers are–believe it or not—their mortal offerings cannot be compared to the Transcendental Wit and Humor of my Spiritual Master, Da Free John. Why? I think I’ve just said it: mortal (and ironic) vs. Transcendental; comedy vs. true Humor. Master Da Free John happens to have at his command not only the clever wit of a Woody Allen, the facial expressiveness of a Jonathan Winters, the improvisational ability of the Second City troupe, the lack of social constraints of a Redd Foxx, and the hair-trigger quickness of a Johnny Carson, but also the Wisdom of a Buddha, the love of a Swami Ramdas, the Divine Madness of a Lama Kunley, and the freedom of an Avadhoot.
His Humor is not only brilliant, outrageous, and hilarious. . .it is also compassionate, wise, and transforming. This curious tendency of mine toward comedy has given my Beloved Spiritual Master a rather plump and juicy piece of karma with which to work for the edification and liberation of myself as well as amused bystanders.
It is well know in our fellowship that Master Da compassionately allows devotees to exercise their tendencies as forms of service to him. Thus, if a person has some talent as a silversmith, for example, and is rightly situated in Satsang, he will sooner or later find himself being asked to work on a special ornament of some type or another for Master Da. This form of personal service is most auspicious, usually “hot,” always enlivening, and more often than not is made particularly memorable and enjoyable by at least one or two Holy Zingers directed at the devotee from the All-Embracing Treasure Trove of Divine Humor that Extends from Da Free John’s Heart to Infinity.
My own particular form of service has included providing entertainment of the comedic variety for the Master, often in person. A limitation of space in this book of many voices does not allow me to describe the history of this service in detail, but suffice it to say that I have been on the receiving end of so many Holy Zingers that I am moved to respectfully suggest that “God’s Fool” (as the Master has called himself) could also be appropriately titled “The Divine Heckler”. Although some of these moments in front of him have had me squirming and perspiring, the heckling has always been directed at Narcissus, and the Heckler has always been Divine. The remarks have served my understanding, and the mood of Love in which they were delivered has always been so strongly Transmitted and so palpably felt that I could not possibly have taken them as anything less than acts of unqualified Service.
About a month after the previously mentioned Darshan occasion, I was invited to Master Da’s house for a relatively small gathering of devotees. This was the first time I had been so honored, and I did not know what to expect. I was somewhat overwhelmed at the prospect of being in his Company in a small gathering. I had read his Great Dharma and witnessed his Great Siddhi and had no doubts whatsoever that he was the Divine Lord Incarnate. I did not feel worthy of being in his Presence so directly, but the invitation implied that I should go straight on over to his house ASAP. Two minutes later I arrived at the front door and timidly knocked for admittance. The door opened, I took two steps forward, and found myself in his living room looking directly at the Master in repose on his couch. He motioned me in and indicated I should sit down with the handful of other devotees. I did so. A few moments of silence passed. Master Da then turned to gaze straight at me and simply said, “Would you like a beer?” I accepted his Offering. A few more moments of silence passed. He turned to me again and said, “Andrew?” I edged forward nervously and replied, “Yes, my Lord?” The Lord of All the Worlds then Said, “How many people of the Polish persuasion does it take to build a bathtub?”
For the next hour I found myself being charmed, disarmed, put at ease, bedazzled, and made happy as the Maha-Purusha ran off a non-stop string of ethnic jokes, puns, Rabelaisian one-liners, wildly inventive word plays, and shaggy dog stories. A few hours later he gave a brilliant Dharmic exposition on Hui Neng, the Sixth Patriarch of Chinese Zen Buddhism, and everyone went home “enlightened”. Master Da will say or do anything to serve his devotees, including being a zany Fool of God in one moment and a Dharmic Sage in the next. Once you have gotten hip to the Lord’s Freedom and unremitting Attention to this Service, such an unlikely combination of roles or content does not even seem paradoxical.
The story I just related to you is only one minor example of his Humorous Play. Literally thousands of leelas like this abound in our culture. And, in fact, I cannot resist relating two more shorter ones. On one occasion Master Da was instructing a female devotee about her tendency toward promiscuity. The young woman launched into a rather long-winded explanation of herself, and at one point was saying, “. . .and so I began to think about my actions, and I considered the Teaching and my relationship to my husband. After awhile I realized that I didn’t have a leg to stand on . . .” Master Da interrupted, “Right. Because they were both in the air at the time.” And I’ll never forget Paris Panico’s fortieth birthday party at Master Da’s house. As most members of our community know, Paris is a longtime devotee of the Lord who, prior to his meeting with the Master, had grown quite immersed in his suffering. After meeting Master Da, his heart had opened and he had been saved. On this fortieth birthday occasion, five years after that fateful meeting, a group of devotees gathered at the Lord’s house to celebrate Paris’s birthday. A toast was called for. Master Da raised his glass and said, “Here’s to Paris!” Everyone quaffed their drink, feeling great affection for our friend and fellow devotee. Master Da continued his toast with glass raised again, “When I first met Paris, he was contemplating suicide. But now, after five years of spiritual practice in my Company, he is afraid of death.”
The Way of the Heart for the most part is a profound purification. Its transformations require utter surrender, without a leg to stand onblack! You (must) go through that dark passage when you have no other resource, no information, no guarantees.
The more the heart-motive comes to the front, the more willing you are to endure this life without a leg to stand on and go through real transformation. The rest is silliness. And, talk, as much as anything else, is how you avoid the ordeal.
You must realize that real sadhana is done without a leg to stand on. This does not mean that you should dramatize. Dramatization is how you bypass it. You use all kinds of means to desensitize yourself to the darkness of the ordeal of real surrender. And this is how you prolong your beginners life. You always introduce a leg to stand on.
And death is what is requiredego-death. Just surrender to Me, allowing the One Who is Great to be the Governor of the process even though you do not know anything about it. All you have left is just that string of devotion to Me itself, no guarantees, no thoughts, no visions, no Blessedness.
You suffer the purification. Endure it, persist, discipline yourself relative to the darkness of the necessary purificationthat is what is required. That is how the great transitions occur. That is how the real process develops. Not by your knowing this and that, your egoic self-possession and self-“giving”not that. Just by devotion given to Me, surrender to Me, trust in Me, even when you do not have a leg to stand on.
Adi Da Samraj – Beezone compliation
By now, you must have understood the difference between the humor of Woody Allen, Johnny Carson, Richard Pryor, et al., and that of Master Da Free John. The Divine Humor of our Lord is spontaneously created to break our commitment to self, suffering, and mortal seriousness, and to enable us “to see the Brightness of God.” It gives us insight, and it makes us happy. In essence, it is a form of Darshan. Master Da’s wit and humorous actions are gifts of Love, pieces of Divinity as tangible as a Shiva Lingam. Think about it for a moment. It is really so obvious what happens when we are confronted with his Humor. The heart expands . . . the mind vanishes . . . and the body resonates with bliss. In these moments of enjoyment we are connected with the Happiness of God. Selves forgotten, we are ecstatic. Undone again by God’s Fool, we contemplate the Blessed One Who Stands before us Radiant with Laughter.
his story is about a man and an ancient holy site, a river and surrounding jungle shrouded with magical forces and elemental powers. The pool and waterfall formed by the river as it runs down from a sacred mountain were anciently used as a place of human sacrifice, and in long-forgotten times had been revered as places of great power.
The man’s name is Andrew Johnson, a devotee of Master Da from the earliest years, who had been invited to serve at the Hermitage Sanctuary. One morning, Andrew accompanied another devotee along the jungle path that leads to the river. They spent several hours felling overgrown guava trees that obscured the view from a temple overlooking the river.
When nearly finished, they spotted a devotee coming down the path, motioning them to halt their work. He said Master Da had sent a message to stop working. They supposed the noise of hacking machetes and the crack of falling trees had carried up the cliffs, disrupting the quietude of the Hermitage. But since the cutting was finished and there would be no more noise, they decided to complete the task and float the trees downriver toward the mouth of the fal s.
Earlier the same morning devotees who live at the Sanctuary had offered wreaths of flowers and holy ash to the river. On the way to the river they had come upon a large frog sitting on a rock in the middle of the path. The Hermitage is a natural preserve for frogs, and nowhere do frogs receive more auspicious attention than at the Hermitage of Master Da, who has an unusual affinity for these creatures. Instead of hopping away as usual at the approach of footsteps, the frog remained stationary. The devotees stopped to examine the creature more closely, as the frog held his rock. They accepted the frog’s presence as a psychic sign, an omen of warning signifying caution when approaching the dangerous river. Being familiar with the intensity of Master Da’s approach to the river on his infrequent visits there, and accepting the frog’s warning, they proceeded carefully. Performing the morning sacrament in silence, they returned up the path passing the frog stil perched on his rock.
Andrew was familiar with the lore surrounding the Hermitage and the history of Master Da’s psychic combat with the forces there. However, having failed to observe the laws about entering such places, he became easy prey for the forces that be.
As the men began to swim the logs down the river, Andrew suddenly found himself helpless on the edge of the waterfall, realizing that within seconds he was doomed to be carried over the falls. In an instant, when no options remained, he let his life merge with the flow of the water and tumbled over the falls.
Miraculously Andrew survived without serious injury.
Later that evening, when Master Da gathered with devotees, he asked Andrew to tell the story.
Andrew began: “The mass of trees floated with the current to the edge of the fal s and lodged on the rocks.
Frank tugged to free them on one side and I tugged from the other side. I stood in the water at the top of the falls, trying to work the trees loose and feeling safe. The current did not seem strong, and I felt I was close enough to reach the bank if I had to get out of the way, or I could dive under the water and swim upstream.
“Then suddenly everything happened at once. The mass of trees floated free, I lost my footing and fell into the water, and the current increased when the jam of logs broke. I lunged toward the bank, but a large branch blocked my way. I tried to move toward the opposite bank, but another branch caught me on that side. I was trapped in the mass of wood floating over the falls, and I realized I was going with it.
“Below me the falls fell in large steps. In places the water runs shallow over flat boulders before it makes its final rush to the bottom. I landed, still standing on one of the shallow rocks and even maintaining my balance, and then I bounced, standing up, to the shal ow step beyond. The next ledge, however, was six feet below at the bottom of the fal s. This time there was nothing to jump to or grab. The branches were pushing me from behind and above, and I realized I had to dive. So I dived toward the massive rocks at the foot of the fal s, propelled by a force of water and trees that could have kil ed me or at least done me serious injury. If the skull is thrown against a rock with that much force, you know, it could crack wide open!
“I felt one desire in that moment, one very strong desire: that I would hit water and not rock. I put out my hands, as you naturally do to break a fall, with my palms open, like this. As I fell forward, I knew I would hit wherever I would hit, wherever that was, and I landed bel y down in a shal ow pool of water that lay in the lap of a big boulder. The water in this little pool was deep enough to break the fall. Then my hands hit the big rock, which was tilted away from me toward the stream, and the force of my fall threw me forward so that I slid over the rock and into the river as if on a water slide.”
Someone asked, “Andrew, did you make an offering to the river when you first went down there? Did you perform any kind of sacrament there?”
He responded, “No, I didn’t.”
Master Da then interjected, “I warned you about this, but you still did not do it!”
The devotee who had delivered Master Da’s message added, “I was sent to tel Frank and Andrew to stop chopping trees because the noise was disturbing you, Master. I intentionally offered a flower to the river because I felt it was appropriate. Maybe that kept Andrew’s accident from being worse than it was.”
Master Da turned to Andrew. “But you were supposed to leave at that point. My message was that you should stop work and come back up to the Sanctuary.”
Feeling somewhat apprehensive, Andrew did not reply. Master Da persisted. “Well—?”
“That was the communication, that we should leave?” “Yes—leave!”
“Master, we didn’t hear that part. We thought we were supposed to stop. But you told us to leave?” Master Da hummed a quiet song of amazement about the whole event. Then he said, looking sternly at
Andrew, “This morning I happened to walk to the cliff and glance into that area, something that I never do. Andrew, you could have been the first human sacrifice there in a few hundred years— subhuman sacrifice, anyway!”
In the midst of appreciative laughter, someone said, “My Lord, Andrew told me when it was all over that now he has a very clear understanding of renunciation!”
Many people have experienced the unusual psychic forces at the river. For hundreds of years the negative influences were most apparent, but because of Master Da’s purifying psychic work the area is now basically benign. Even so, people experience an uncomfortable force there from time to time.
“Did you have a sense of being pushed over?” someone asked Andrew. “Many people have felt an energy run up their spine as if to push them in.”
“No,” he replied, “I felt it was just the conspiring of the natural forces, the logs and the water.” Master Da burst out laughing. “That is the way everything seems to you, Andy!”
Other devotees added their experiences. “The last time I was down there, which was quite a while ago, I had a very strong sense of something forceful. I even turned around and looked upstream because I had a premonition that a log would float down and move somebody over the falls.”
“I had a premonition, too, a few days ago that something would happen at the river. It kept me from going there for a few days and it made me very careful when I did go there.”
“Master, did you say that you rarely go down there, and yet this morning you did?”
Master Da replied, “Not to the river—I walked to the corner of the property here that overlooks the river area, but I never go there either!”
Andrew, and everyone else, knew that he was fortunate to be alive.
Andrew has red hair and a ruddy complexion, and as he listened to his beloved Master, he beamed with appreciation and awe, realizing with everyone else in the room the extent of Master Da’s spiritual Work.
In general people tend to disregard ghosts, demonology, and psychic forces as superstitious fabrications.
But as Master Da has explained often, not only do elemental and celestial forces exist, but they also have a strong influence on human beings, weather, and other natural events. The Adept works within the hierarchical ranges of these forces to purify and align them to the Radiant Transcendental Being.
To transform these nonhuman energies is part of the Adept’s spiritual Work.
Occasionally devotees have reported seeing a species of freshwater prawns or crawfish in the river, whose most outstanding features are their long pinchers and dark black shells. Recently one of the men noticed something unusual, which he described to Master Da and the gathering.
“A few days ago while I was performing the sacramental service at the river, I saw the biggest crawfish I have ever seen, a big, red one.”
“It was written then!” Master Da replied. Surrender (A Conversation with Da Free John)
Surrender -A Talk by Avatar Adi Da (Master Da)
MASTER DA: We are psychologically disposed to being affected by the conditions of existence most profoundly onlywhen the conditions of existence seem conventionally most profound. So when
Andrew went over the falls today, what was his point of view? “I’m going with it! I’ve got to do it!” There was no returning, no alternative, only surrender. He could just as well have surrendered in exactly that way before he even came close to going over the falls. He could be doing it right now, as perhaps to some degree he is. But we do not seem to surrender as profoundly as in the moment when we feel we have no options.
As long as you feel you have an option, you do not surrender completely. Your presumed options are the basis of the drama of living, and thus the alternatives to sadhana that you also want to fulfill turn your spiritual practice into drama. That drama is karma. That is ego-bondage. The ultimate principle of the spiritual process is the realization that you have no options at any moment under any circumstances. When you realize that, then you enter into the same disposition you would otherwise enjoy under the most conventionally profound or dramatic moments of life or death.
Most people only surrender in some sense when there are obviously no options and when they find
themselves in the worst possible moment they could experience. Such surrender is not sadhana. It is ordinary life. Real practice is to regenerate the capacity for release under all conditions so that
existence becomes roleless, motiveless, free renunciation. You simply do not live in that disposition by tendency. By tendency you are trying to survive against the apparent threat of existence, always.
The sense that you are fundamentally threatened at the same time that you exist is the basis of the contraction over the solar plexus, the knot of the navel. It is the basis of all the knots in the being and the motivator of existence in any form, whether you are flesh-born or existing in some subtler condition.
There is always the sense that you exist and that existence is threatened, and you contract in the face of it. You look for alternatives to merely being snuffed out, and life becomes the attempt to generate alternative motivations, responses, techniques, desires, goals, all of which are efforts apart from the recognition that you have no option but absolute surrender.
Absolute surrender occurs only in the moment of such recognition. In the moments of ordinary life, you feel relativelygood and you can try to surrender, but when you are going over the falls and death is imminent, you do not try tosurrender. Surrender is the only natural recourse. The moment of true surrender is motiveless. No contraction stands behind it, because you are no longer struggling with alternatives. This is the secret of wisdom, then, to realize that you never have any alternative, that you are always in the moment of death.
When you discover that there are no alternatives and simply exist in that surrendered state, you also tacitly realize that existence is never threatened and that no one is threatened. The sense of threat is a psychological superimposition based on the apparent facts of experience. When you enter into wisdom, you have entered into the native capacity of surrender wherein you realize that there are no alternatives. That wisdom is the natural state, the clear state. It is true Samadhi, the state of clear comprehension and clear consciousness. It is not only the disposition into which we should enter when we are threatened absolutely, when we know we are to die, but the disposition in which we should always live. Then life would be another proposition altogether
But, instead of living in that disposition, we live by struggle, by problem. We all know that surrendering feels good, that it is the best thing to do. We have a native sense that surrender is good and that we really are trapped somehow and have no alternative. But superimposed on that native understanding in the mechanism of the extended personality is another that thinks it can survive, beat the odds, enjoy itself, that consoles itself with all kinds of absurd opinions and hopes, that gives itself excuses, in other words, not to surrender, not to live surrendered, not to recognize the nature of existence.
You tend to play upon or be played upon by that superficial motivation. The degree to which you identify with your superficial personality is the degree to which you cannot really practice. To really practice is to be like Andrew going over the falls, before he got the idea that he could possibly survive and just slip into the water and miss the rocks. That pristine will that acknowledges the inevitable and goes with it has no content, no mind. It knows no stress. It is the native disposition.
Inherent in it, deep within it, is all that is to be Realized. We must enter into it fully and continuously, therefore, in order to enter into it deeply.
Go with the flow! Not the flow of events, but the flow of Being, very existence, the Mystery of existence, no holding on, no clinging, no difference, no self-possession, no contraction, no philosophy, nothing but the native state. That is Samadhi. Well-you can glimpse it, you can think something or other about it, you can be different from it, in other words, consider it, contemplate it, think about it, hope for it, but somehow or other, through the process of hearing and seeing in the context of your life, you must again become capable of it. You must recapture the awareness that it is your fundamental and inherent capability. You must enter into Samadhi. Then follows life in Samadhi, existence in Samadhi while you live in human form, in the transition of death and after death, but it is another kind of existence altogether than the one marked by the usual human struggle. The difference is the difference between surrender and self-contraction.
When there is no self-contraction, when there is only the Divine Reality, Realized in native surrender, then there is wisdom. Such Realization is the principle of true or free existence. It is the principle of true renunciation. Conventional renunciation is not that at all. Conventional renunciation is something we build on the distinction between surrender and self-possession. We try all kinds of techniques to break through to Reality. Conventional renunciation is just one of many techniques, including all the techniques of ordinary life, religious techniques, mystical techniques, and on and on.
Until we Realize this simple Awakening to the native disposition, all we are doing is struggling with the difference, looking for an alternative, trying to work it out. And so we are afraid.
Tonight you all have been telling stories about your experiences with death. They are horrible. You can die asmiserably as any wretched animal, you see. Anybody could. You could die suddenly or you could die many years from now. Who knows when death will happen to you? And in the meantime, all kinds of other calamities could befall you that would not in any sense be enjoyable. Yet in spite of these facts, you have the subtle feeling that there is an alternative, that you can struggle against death and troubles and preserve yourself. Thus, you bind yourself and make fear the necessary vehicle of all your changes.
It is not necessary to be afraid. It is not necessary to suffer in the midst of limitations. There is another dispositionaltogether that is founded on wisdom, the native freedom. It is in that disposition that you should live and not only die.
DEVOTEE: Master, I was thinking how perfect an expression of that disposition is the “Easy Prayer.”
MASTER DA: Like easy death, it is the simplest presentation of the fundamental attitude of being.
To fulfill that prayer most perfectly is the same as Enlightenment or Samadhi. It is also intended for beginners, because it is easier for them to do than the complicated versions of the meditative cycle.
DEVOTEE: Master, I was feeling today that once I recognize something about that disposition toward surrender, nomatter what occurs or what circumstances impinge upon this bodily being, I can continue to perform that action andneed not fear becoming attached again or drawn into the contraction you are talking about. I felt that would be profoundfreedom.
MASTER DA: Even if you are afraid, you can always understand your fear. Once you have truly understood, then fear is not just a something, like an object or a force outside yourself that you must endure. It is merely the psychological, emotional, even physiological expression of something you are doing. Enquiry is the expression of that understanding. You can always understand or recognize the self-contraction, which always has the same force. Every moment of suffering, unhappiness, dilemma, or pain is built upon the same mechanism of self-contraction, or the avoidance of relationship. Once you understand, therefore, you can always recognize the essential content of every moment of suffering and feelbeyond it, transcend it, be established beyond it. Understanding is great arms
against difficulty and a great power in time of trouble.
DEVOTEE: It feels that I have finally realized a kind of mastery over this condition that before now never seemedpossible.
MASTER DA: Until you understand, you always relate to the self-contraction as something outside yourself, a substance, a thing, a machine, an object, something over which you have no control, something you can only endure and put up with. But truly, as I have mentioned a number of times, it is
a little bit like pinching yourself and not realizing you are doing it. You feel pain in the body, a little bit like fear. A terrible feeling of pain overcomes you. When you realize you are pinching yourself, you look beyond the pain into the act of which the pain is only an effect or a sign of something else. Getting in touch with that something else is like taking your hand away. When you stop pinching yourself, the pain disappears mysteriously, no matter what the immediate origin of the pain may be.
The operative effect of this wisdom, this simple understanding, will always demonstrate itself as liberation, a return to equanimity or fundamental Happiness.
DEVOTEE: I have been considering your description to us recently about how our relationship to you is basically the process of allowing ourselves to be interfered with. I see how this ties in with the consideration of release. Allowing the ego to be interfered with constantly provides what you have described as the pristine release.
MASTER DA: I find you all to be a bunch of funny people! You come around me, and I ask, “What’s happening?” and you give me all your problems and your difficulties, and you are always seriously rapping your view of it all to me and to one another and being interviewed about it year after year after year. You come and sit around me and I hear it or sense it, you communicate it somehow or other in this solemn voice, this serious, self-involved attitude. But to me you are very funny. You are all sitting around here pinching your ass and describing the pain to me! I see you pinching your ass, but you are so involved with the pain and all your subjective ruminations about it that you do not even realize what you are doing, nor do you see that everyone else in the room is sitting around pinching his or her own ass!
Ultimately I call your attention from this pain and all your subjective gaming about it. I grant you sufficient free attention so that you can see. “Look! Look!” That is when you start laughing. That is the moment of humor. You see what it is. You are no longer dwelling on the pain and trying to get rid of it.
You see that you are just pinching yourself, sticking your nails in your ass. Well-stop doing it! When you see what you are doing, it is a laughing matter and you stop doing it. You are no longer involved in the whole affair of the self-contraction. You are not pinching yourself.
To say you are pinching yourself is to use a metaphor, but what you are doing is just as obvious as that, just as crude, just as foolish, just as laughable. To get the laugh, however, you must be able to observe yourself, to move your attention away from your subjective gaming and attachments and self- meditation. Just to get your attention off all of that is a trick in itself.
To say that I am functioning in a manner to interfere with you is simply to say that I am breaking the train of yourattention from this sensation of pain and the mountain of subjectivity you are building on it, in effect calling your attention to the simple act that is the basis of all this stress, all this thought, all this fake philosophy, all this suffering, all this seeking. When you have observed yourself to the degree that you are not merely watching the sensations of pain and thinking about them, you can look down and see your nails digging into your hip.
You can see the self-contraction just that directly. It is even a laughing moment. Suddenly there is a resource that youalways have and that is always usable. You can magnify it, and you must then live it, of course, but it gives you the greatest arms there are, the greatest source of power or release or freedom. You are associated then with this moment of existence and every possible moment of existence in a uniquely free manner that has nothing to do with the ego.
The ego is the pinch, you see, the self-contraction, the self know, the fear, the resistance, the non- surrender. Until yousee the pinch, however, you can try to surrender. Rudi said, “Surrender!
Surrender! Rip your guts out!” (The Master takes deep breaths to mock Rudi’s way of using the breath to surrender) “Break through it!” And so forth. But that is just something you do when you are feeling the pain, when you have not seen the source of it yet, when you are not yet responsible. You can work on your pain, your self-contraction, your presumed disease, your imaginary disease, every day of your life, and create the struggling you all endure to try to be spiritual and to become Enlightened. But effort has nothing to do with surrender.
When Andrew went over the falls, he did not make an effort of surrender. Surrender was inevitable and natural.That effortless or natural surrender is the essence of meditation and real practice. You must realize true self-observation and self-understanding. You cannot surrender otherwise. The futile
effort of surrender is made before and in the absence of real self-understanding. That is why it is not sufficient.
The Adept has a unique Siddhi or Work to perform in relation to others, but everyone who enters into the Enlightened disposition Awakens into a similar capacity. It is the disposition of compassion or love. Love is not attachment, romance, or conventional passion. It is just this spontaneous regard, and it becomes, therefore, a disposition that would release everyone and everything. It is a spiritual passion, but it is inherently, already free, and it sees everyone else also as already free.
It is not an attitude that expresses itself within the framework of problems. It expresses itself differently from thecharacteristic personality that is still self-involved, still working on his or her problem, doing all kinds of spiritual stuff inisolation, meditating, and doing everything people do to somehow break free. It is another kind of activity and it is essential to our Way from the beginning.
Everyone who hears the Teaching enters into this Enlightened disposition in some fundamental sense. Thus, I haveconsidered with you that it is expressed through service, through a unique quality of relational life. In the seventh stage of life, that disposition is magnified most profoundly and perfectly, but it is the same disposition that should characterize all devotees. Those who hear me are not self-concerned anymore. They already possess the arms of wisdom. They already enjoy the Siddhi of the Divine and deal with whatever may arise in the apparent individual experience. They do that creatively and responsibly, but they do not stand as fear. So, where is their attention? Their attention is free. It deals freely with personal circumstance and is not troubled. It is thrown out of the sphere of the body into the environment of all relations and all possibilities, the environment of total existence, not merely of self-existence.
Therefore the true Adept is not just exclaiming, “me-free,” “See me sitting in my cave! See how bright I am!” The true Adept is extraordinarily active. He is concerned for others, not problematically but freely, and compassionately orientedto the total sphere of existence.
When you realize existence, existence is not you independent of anything. All of this exists. All of this is characterized by the One Being. How, in the case of Enlightenment, therefore, can you settle into a medium calm in your cave ofmeditative pleasures? It is not necessary. You need not be isolated anymore. Because of this expansive quality of compassion, a unity with all Being, the Adepts take on the “Crazy” form. Such compassion is the origin of the Adept’s willingness to do anything, not speaking now in terms of the potential to do something terrible and negative, but the willingness to do anything outrageous yet benign for the sake of liberating beings.
The compassionate Maha-Siddha does not do for others everything he can do within the bounds of propriety. Thecompassion of the Maha-Siddha is such that he will do everything, whether in the realm of propriety or not, for the sake of Awakening others. Therefore, the Crazy Adept looks crazy. He or she does what is not within the realm of conventional religious propriety. The Crazy Adept is not bound by propriety or any dualistic conceptions.
This compassionate, “Crazy” disposition is the essence of all practice. It is the essence of this Way. It certainly takes adifferent form in the case of the Crazy Adept than in general it takes in the case of devotees, but it is not a difference inkind absolutely. Siddhis are operative in the case of the Crazy Adept, remarkable powers, extraordinary psychicabilities, all kinds of marvels that have nothing to do with the willful effort of the Adept. I have observed in my own casethe arising of siddhis of all kinds that are spontaneously operative under all kinds of conditions, even though myactions seem to be ordinary and natural.
These powers are not the results of effort or any yogic activity on my part that intended to create them. No self ownsthese powers. They are the inherent powers of the Transcendental Reality. They are unique to the Adept, but the power of compassion, the expression of Enlightenment that always works to Awaken everyone, is a characteristic of all individuals who are truly practicing this Way, You are immediately lifted out of the realm of self-concern, self-contraction, the fear relative to your own potential destinies, as soon as you truly understand. That understanding becomes your arms in every moment, and attention is released from the bond of the self-contraction and gravitates into the Universal Field of Being. The Adept is more effective than merely gesturing toward others through the attitude of help. The Adept is aware of being others, of actually and literally being others. This unique awareness is a reflection of the extraordinary siddhis associated with the Adept’s life.