THE YOGA OF CONSIDERATION AND THE WAY THAT I TEACH
A Summary of the Argument of This Way
An essay by Da Free John, February 6, 1982
“You understand the dilemma of self-contraction, then the Way can begin. The self-contraction is always arising in the Reality, Transcendental Self, or Unqualifiedly Radiant Condition that is Divine Happiness or Love-Bliss. There is never any justification for presuming the standpoint of the self-contraction. That standpoint is assumed, however, as a matter of uninspected convention or automatic reactivity. And we tend to develop a progressive life of seeking on the basis of this self¬contraction. This is my fundamental Argument”
I do not propose a Way conceived in a likeness to the traditional mode. Rather, I simply consider conditional existence itself and each and all of the propositions (in the form of problems and solutions) we tend to build upon our reaction to conditional existence. Conditional existence and our reactions to it (which are themselves nothing but conditional existence) can thus be seen to develop in human form as what I call the first six stages of life.
Those who consider all of this with me begin to develop patterns of action and attention in the form of the basic practices I have described under the headings of the Way of Divine Communion, the Way of Relational Enquiry, and the Way of Re-cognition. But the Way that I Teach is not truly identical to those processes. Rather, those processes are simply the natural patterns of action and attention that develop as people consider with me the various stages of our reaction to (or presumption of) conditional existence.
It is only when this consideration has fulfilled itself—or when it has been utterly transcended in Transcendental Awakening—that the Way that I Teach has actually or Really begun. Thus, the Way of Radical Intuition (which is the fourth or ultimate form of my description of the Way) is truly the Way of Radical Understanding or Divine Ignorance, and all other forms of the Way are simply stages in the consideration that must develop and then become Awakened Insight (or Radical Intuition) before the Way Itself can begin. Therefore, the “consideration” of the Way is actually a disciplined life of practice wherein the first six stages of life (or reaction to conditional existence) are progressively and experientially inspected. That life of practical consideration begins when the Argument of the Spiritual Master is first effectively heard and the Presence of the Spiritual Master is first effectively seen or encountered. And that consideration develops as the Way of Divine Communion, the Way of Relational Enquiry, and the Way of Re-cognition, until Awakening into Sahaj Samadhi (or the native standpoint of the Way of Radical Intuition).
The Way that I Teach truly begins only after that process of “consideration” has become Sahaj Samadhi. That is to say, the Way that I Teach is not a process that takes its standpoint in the problem or the conventions of conditional existence. The Way that I Teach is not an effort to solve that problem 62 through the exercise or the progressive transcendence of the body-mind-self, or the effort of turning attention away from the body-mind-self and toward the Transcendental Self, Condition, or Reality. The Way that I Teach is necessarily founded upon prior or previous understanding of the entire standpoint of conditional existence (or the conditional body-mind-self) and all of the possible permutations or stages of reaction or development of experience and presumed knowledge that may arise on the basis of that conditional standpoint.
What I consider with you is that the standpoint of conditional existence is in fact an arbitrary and false presumption. The standpoint of conditional existence is the conventional or common presumption. That presumption is one in which an independent body-mind-self is confronted and affected by a great range of possible relations, objects, conditions, experiences, cognitions, or states that are not-self. And that very confrontation, in all of its forms or stages, is always felt to be a limit, a dilemma, a problem to be solved or escaped. Therefore, we live as a total psycho-physical reaction to conditional existence, constantly motivated to go beyond the present mode or even to escape conditional existence altogether. In this manner we develop our individual lives, and all of the paths and philosophies of mankind have this common basis.
What I have always Argued is that this entire process should be inspected and understood. I have not proposed that the Way itself be built upon this situation. I have not proposed a Way based on a problem and developed in the form of one or more of the conditional stages of life. Rather, I have simply considered the situation, the dilemma itself, and all of the stages of action, experience, presumption, and manifest attention that we inevitably build upon this base situation. The Way that I propose is simply the Way to which we Awaken when this consideration has become real understanding or radical intuition.
Fundamentally, I ask you, in every moment and stage of life, “Avoiding relationship?” This question reminds you of the inherent dilemma or contraction in every context of conditional existence. If this question (or self-enquiry) becomes most profound insight, then no path based on the conditional standpoint of any of the six progressive stages of life (or the traditions associated with them) will continue to motivate you. When this insight or true hearing is perfect, the conditional standpoint (which is self-contraction) is no longer presumed, and the search based on that standpoint is no longer animated.
We are not truly or Really in the situation we presume as a matter of convention. There is no problem to solve, no dilemma to escape, no self to transcend, no God or Reality or Happiness or Transcendental Self to be located. All of that is a presumption that is based on the uninspected convention of self-contraction (or the presumption that the self-contraction is our actual situation and the not-self—or all objects, including gross relations, thoughts, subtle forms and states, and the Transcendental Reality, Condition, or Self—is to be sought and found).
If you will rightly consider this entire process of self and not-self, or all of the progressive stages of life, you will ultimately Awaken naturally into the Real Condition, Self, or Happiness that is always already the case. That Awakening, or that Real Condition or Self or Happiness, is not separate from us now. It is only presumed to be so, and the stages of life are our progressive strategy for attaining or re-acquiring that Reality that is already the case. The search is unnecessary, even as its motivating standpoint is false. We are already in the Transcendental Condition, but we are presuming otherwise because of our uninspected assumption of the conditional standpoint of self-contraction in relation to the conditions of manifest existence.
The traditions recommend various paths that are based on the conventional standpoint of self-contraction, egoity, psycho-physical individuality, dis-ease, desire, pleasure, higher aspiration, evolutionary motivation, despair, philosophical analysis of phenomena, and metaphysical speculation. I do not recommend any such path. I simply consider all of that, even while people are in the midst of the stages of it all, until there is understanding and transcendence of the viewpoint of the first six stages of life.
When you have considered all of this with me, so that you understand the dilemma of self-contraction, then the Way can begin. The self-contraction is always arising (or apparently arising) in the Reality, Transcendental Self, or Unqualifiedly Radiant Condition that is Divine Happiness or Love-Bliss. There is never any justification for presuming the standpoint of the self-contraction (or the body-mind-self in the midst of its relations). That standpoint is assumed, however, as a matter of uninspected convention or automatic reactivity. And we tend to develop a progressive life of seeking (which becomes the first six stages of life) on the basis of this self-contraction. This is my fundamental Argument. Those who come to me consider this in the context of their ordinary lives. And they go on to consider it as their lives develop into the higher or progressive stages of experience and presumed knowledge. I have communicated all the kinds of discipline and practice whereby this consideration may be continuously generated in the midst of the progressive stages. But the Way that I Argue truly begins only when this progress is transcended in truly radical understanding—or that understanding that is the transcendence of self and not-self (or all of the patterns of self-contraction that appear as the first six stages of life).
When that understanding is Awakened, then the self-contraction (or the body-mind-self) is no longer presumed to be the actual limit of present existence. Instead of being the body-mind-self and pursuing either its various possible objects (high or low in the scale) or the transcendence of the body- mind-self itself in the Transcendental Reality or Self, there is simply the recognition of the body-mind-self, all objects, the Substantial Energy of the Cosmos, and the sense of the Divine or Transcendental Self as Other. All forms of self and not-self are recognized as merely apparent, transparent, unnecessary, and non-binding modifications of That which is always already the case. The standpoint of the Way that I Teach is not the self-contraction but the Condition that is already the case and in which the self-contraction, or the body-mind-self and all its objects, can naturally be seen to be arising as a modification of Itself. In brief, the traditions begin by being the self and seeking either the fulfillment or the transcendence of the self, whereas the Way of Radical Understanding begins by Being the Transcendental Self (or the Condition that is always already the case) and recognizing the self and all its objects in That. Therefore, the process of consideration is to inspect all the forms of self-contraction until That which is prior to contraction (or in which contraction in the form of self and objects arises as a modification of Itself) becomes Obvious. And the Way itself is simply to Abide as That, recognizing all that arises, naturally transcending all that arises, ultimately Outshining all that can arise.
The consideration of the Way that I Teach begins when an individual first responds to my Argument (in the form of the primary question “Avoiding relationship?” as well as any of the other fundamental questions I have proposed, such as “Do you know what anything is?”). That consideration then develops on the basis of the individual’s response to the Transmission of the Divine Influence in my Company, and so the various stages or levels of discipline and practice evolve. Those who hear me and see me most profoundly are quickened in this practice, and so they are able to evolve through the practicing stages of this consideration and come directly into the disposition of radical understanding. It is only those who have thus understood who are free of the bewildering and deluded adventure of the ego (Narcissus), or the stages of life. It is only those who have so understood that simply Abide in the Native Condition, What is always already the case, the Nirvanic Reality or Full-Void, the Divine Love-Bliss, the Radiant Transcendental Being, Self, or Free Domain. In that Position, all arising conditions, in the form of self and its conditions and objects, are inherently transcended and tacitly recognized. And That is the Way that I Teach.