The following excerpts are from THE “BRIGHTENING” WAY TALK SERIES, The Yajna Discourses of Adi Da Samraj (1995-1996) Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, California on the topic of the ‘self-contraction’.
“You can’t get rid of the self-contraction so you may want to forestall sadhana, go on a vacation, take a trip, join a club. But, once you get it that’s it! Once you find yourself out, you can’t escape it, your game is up and that’s when the sadhana really begins.” Adi Da Samraj (Beezone adaptation)
I‘ve Communicated to you the uniqueness of this Way from the very beginning, but your grasping of it is slow. All experiencing, and all thinking for that matter, all conditionality, is a development of the self-contraction. It’s a development from a place of anxious dissociativeness, the ego, wanting to expand it’s sphere to feel better and better. And ultimately what will it discover in it’s own utter dissolution? The Divine Condition is to be discovered. But It is simply Reality from the beginning.
Egoity is self-contraction. It governs all of your life-absolutely every detail of it. It is inherently suffering because it is contraction, a strangulation, a shutting off, a disturbance. Therefore, you are motivated to seek. You are seeking to be relieved of that stress that is your own creation, to satisfy yourself out of it somehow, to enjoy yourself out of it somehow, by exploiting the capability for experiencing the modifications of Existence.
But still the sadhana is a matter of actually dealing with this dis-ease. In other words, the religious life, this Way in particular, is not about consolation merely and distraction and so forth, in the conventional sense, or ego-supporting sense. The process, moment to moment, goes beyond the self-contraction, particularly as hearing awakens. Thats when there is most profound understanding, knowing of this self-contraction, and that it is your own activity. But even the sadhana from the beginning is about going beyond this knot and not avoiding it through conventional-mindedness and consolation and such.
And unfortunately, you are stressfully identified with the fundamental modification, which is the self-contraction Its self, and all of It’s results, which is every kind of experiencing, or every kind of condition. So you live in the domain of egoity, presumed separate self, indulging in or otherwise suffering the modifications that come from presuming such a point of I’vew. It’s all a lie, because Natively, Inherently, you are already in the Condition That precedes all of that. You just don’t notice it. It’s not obvious to you, because you are indulging in the self-contraction and It’s results, and pursuing the search that comes from your dissatisfaction, having made that choice of self-contraction.
The self-contraction is the reality of your own creation. You’re bound to it naively. The naive realism of your experiencing is controlling your life. Apart from truly doing the sadhana I’ve Given you, all of that illusion is controlling your existence Its self. You are in a dream made of presumptions. You’re not Realizing the Truth, the Inherent Condition, My Very Person.
You’re in the position of egoity, self-contraction and naive realism, and the modifications of Reality. And you don’t know what is modified. You don’t know the Truth. You’re not in the position of Truth, and all you can do is guide yourself, pull yourself along by the ego, and complicate yourself further, and waste your life in seeking.
My fundamental argument relative to seeking and self-contraction, all the disciplines intact-that argument is very simple, very straightforward and it doesn’t take a genius other than Me to be effective. So, that could be three months. Literally six. I’m a fool saying you could take a year at it. It doesn’t take that long. The reason you all are taking so long is you don’t set Me as you Guru. My Word is not Law for you. You’re “self-possessed”, picking and choosing, doing your own thing. And so you never get your life act together. You’re never in a position to listen to Me to the point of hearing.
So human beings in their ordinariness not only demonstrate the fact that they identify with the body-mind rather than with the Ultimate Reality, but they show signs of the play of opposites physically, emotionally, mentally. The breath changes as a sign of it. All the leading faculties are constantly modified by the egoic or separative presumption of being identified with the body-mind. So human beings are full of these adaptations, and this is why Realization, Enlightenment, which is to be established in the Condition of Light-that’s what that means-Unqualified Consciousness, is not something that, in the usual case anyway, is entered into readily. It requires profound practice that overcomes these adaptations-identification with the body-mind itself, but everything that came about as a result of that, all this negativity, this suffering, and pain, psychological pain, emotional disturbance, and so forth. These are all signs of contraction, self-contraction, the effect of it being that the inherent Nature of Reality, Which is Radiant Love-Bliss, Self-Existing, Self-Radiant, is apparently an experience lost .
Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga covers all moments, you will be doing sadhana in the moments that are relatively negative, in your disposition or dealing with circumstances, whatever it may be. But you’ll do sadhana as these things appear. And by going beyond that in self-surrendering Communion with Me, you’ll notice something about all of these knots. Ultimately, you discover the principal knot, the one you’re doing all the time, the self-contraction itself, which is the basis for all the other knots or forms of contraction in your life, your body, your emotions, or your mind.
My first Teaching Sign to everyone was this Gesture of My hand, clenching the fist versus opening the hand. Well, its presuming darkness versus being Radiant. And the fundamental process, then, in sadhana – I just outlined it to you in terms of all kinds of matters, and there are many ways I could Describe the fundamental process as well-but one way to describe it is that, in every moment where there is the dark tendency to identify with self-contraction and all the things that come with it, or to identify with the body-mind, just in and of itself, and all that comes with that, in every moment as that comes Up, the process is about being Radiant instead.
But you cant do that just by willing to be Radiant, or merely doing that. You have to visit the root of every kind of contraction, and the self-contraction itself, ultimately, and feel beyond that. So this is what Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga involves, not some gleeful devotionalism but this profound process of self-surrendering Communion with Me, which submits the faculties in other words, roots them out from their involvement in conditional states and relaxes the entire being in Communion with Me so that the Quality of My Very Nature and Person is experienced, as Love-Bliss, freedom from stress, freedom from contraction.
But fundamentally in every moment you’re identifying with contraction and not being Radiant. If you could root out that knot, then the Native Condition of Radiance would appear. Every kind of suffering is about this same thing. Every kind of disturbance-relational, physical, emotional, mental, whatever-everything that you acknowledge as pain, or suffering, or negative somehow or other, is simply self-contraction, or contracted from the Condition of Light or Radiance, contracting from a Radiant condition into a knotted-up condition. Absolutely every inauspicious or non-pleasing condition is something less than Radiant. And the process, then, fundamentally, is one of being Radiant in those very faculties instead of contracted.
If there is true hearing in this Way, then the individual, always, in every moment, has the capability-because he or she is dealing with the root contraction, the basis of all other contractions or signs of contraction-has the ability to demonstrate the capability of moving beyond the self-knot and the contracted state, in any moment. And must demonstrate that, you see. Whereas previous to hearing there can be authentic practice, but you’re dealing with all of the different forms of contraction. So in some moments you may go beyond something, but then when something else comes up it is a further test, and so forth. And then it is all piecemeal. There can be improvements and all that, but the fundamental capability is not there yet. Its only when all contraction is understood, most fundamentally, as your own activity, and as just that, self-contraction, that there is a unique capability that can be exercised in every moment.
At the beginning of our conversation, were talking about how, after so many years of practice, they’ve really gotten sick of their game and of being controlled by tendencies and so on. Well, that’s good, but hearing is not just noticing the self-contraction and not liking it, you see. Or noticing a lot over time and not wanting to have to be obliged to be that way anymore. Hearing is not merely meditating on the self-contraction. Hearing is the capability to transcend the self-contraction, because you’re in the root position, which is the equivalent of the closed fist, in your own nature. You are right in that position, you’re noticing that you are clenching your fist and that’s why your hand hurts, and you open your hand up. You see? Or another simile I’ve Given is that you’re pinching yourself, and you’re suffering the pain, and you’re thinking and emoting, trying to do all kinds of things to be relieved of this, and you never figure it out, and the pain is constant. Then, maybe somebody points it out to you, or you somehow notice that you’re pinching yourself, and you take your hand away and all of a sudden the pain is gone. Well, hearing is this discovery of your own fundamental action that is the root and cause and nature of your own disturbance and your search. So its not meditating on the self-contraction and regretting it. Its enjoying the capability of going beyond it.
Hearing is about that unique understanding in which the self-contraction is not something happening to you. it’s something that you do. Only when that is discovered have you discovered the capability itself, so that you can continue doing it. it’s a unique discovery, most profound discovery. And it’s the basis for the rest of the Way of the Heart. it’s what allows it to be a truly ego-transcending process and not merely a developmental or ego-evolving process.
But you are apparently dissociated from Me, from this Very Condition. The self-knot, the self-contraction, is how you’re doing that. You are doing it. This is what you must discover, and this is what hearing is about. By entering into Communion with Me from that position, moment to moment, going beyond that knot, you enter into the real process of the Way of the Heart, Which is about Realizing the Condition that everybody already knows is True-Light Itself, Love-Bliss Itself, Consciousness Itself, the One Infinitely Conscious Buzz that you are experiencing right now!
So those who do this sadhana seriously, for real, become “Brighter” and “Brighter”, literally. It is Light. It can even be seen. By some it can be felt. So through this process of purification, you don’t just get thinner and thinner and more and more ascetical. You get Fuller and Fuller, “Brighter” and “Brighter”. Hm? This is how devotees should understand it. They always think in terms of getting disciplined and dried up, so they always want to use something or other to feel good. But, no, this Way is a “Brightening” Way. It is not about self-contraction. It is quite the opposite. it’s not about pleasurelessness, but it is about Happiness Itself, Which is greater than ordinary pleasure but allows for it also.
AVATARA ADI DA: Yes, but don’t misunderstand Me. The course need not take long to get out of this lock. Its not that sadhana has to go on for years, once you’ve heard Me, of painful meditation on the stress in your abdomen, or something. Yes, hearing is association with the pain of the self-contraction, but it is in the context of the capability for Communion with Me. So in any moment where you have lapsed from Communion with Me, you’ve got to re-initiate it, and you must function from the point of the self-contraction then. But as you mature, if you are practicing with intensity, you get to the point where you don’t lapse so much. You don’t have to re-initiate it all the time by going back into the sensation of the knot of self-contraction, you see, because you’re always moved beyond it-at least to some sufficient degree-and, rarely, expand even further.
You’re all wondering today how do you stay in the Witness-Position. You see, right away its a problem for you.
It’s not a problem. It’s simply the case that this two-birds-in-a-tree kind of structure is your actual experience and it has been universally acknowledged for thousands of years.
But, of course, with it comes the admonition, “stand in the Witness-Position”. And you can try and do that. [pause] It’s like trying to release the self-contraction by keeping it objective to you. Seeking doesnt work. You see? The method of self-contraction doesnt work, and its search doesnt work.
So it is only discovery of that that is most fundamental self-understanding. It’s not merely a noticing of the ego. It’s being in the very position of that act and using the capability to transcend it. So its not a matter, then, of leaving the self-contraction alone, not strategically anyway. It’s a matter of doing Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga from the position of the self-contraction, rather than doing it at the self-contraction as if its an experience somewhere not under your control, just happening to you.
You’re making the judgement if somethings pleasurable, somethings painful, only after already having contracted upon yourself, and immunize yourself against your own fear in doing so. So the better way to get at it rather than weights and measures is to get at the root of it, the stress of self-contraction, the mood of separateness, the fear in it inherently. [pause] Get in touch with it at its root and there’s no argument about it. You see? [pause] So thats what made Maharshi serious, discovering that His life was about death, that the body is about death. And He just couldnt find anything in Himself to justify identifying with that, ever.