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Gurdjieff & The New Age, Part X From Franklin Jones To Adi Da Samraj, Part II

Gurdjieff & The New Age, Part X From Franklin Jones To Adi Da Samraj, Part II

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Adi Da, the self-exiled teacher and self-described Avatar of our Age lived among his devotees for some 23 years on his own island in Fiji. His first teacher was Albert Rudolph, aka Rudi, a former Fourth Way student who had "the Force."

This is Part II of III, printed in "The Gurdjieff Journal," and is available at http://www.Gurdjieff-Legacy.Org.
Adi Da, the self-exiled teacher and self-described Avatar of our Age lived among his devotees for some 23 years on his own island in Fiji. His first teacher was Albert Rudolph, aka Rudi, a former Fourth Way student who had "the Force."

This is Part II of III, printed in "The Gurdjieff Journal," and is available at http://www.Gurdjieff-Legacy.Org.

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Published by: The Gurdjieff Journal on Feb 09, 2010
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Gurdjieff & The New Age, Part XFrom Franklin Jones To Adi Da Samraj, Part II
by William Patrick Patterson
In the late summer of 1966, Jones and Nina, now married at Rudi’s request, movedto Philadelphia so he could enroll at a Lutheran seminary.
 
Jones doesn’t make clear in thefirst edition of 
The Knee of Listening 
why he left Rudi,
 
 but in a later edition
 
he says thatRudi sent him to the seminary after speaking with his father. In his youth, Jones had beenan acolyte in a Lutheran church, so that may have been a reason, but he had long sincefallen away from Christianity. But also, spiritual teachers sometimes do send their students away when they can learn no more from them, but usually this is after manyyears of study. That it happened after only a year-and-a-half suggests that perhaps Rudiwanted to get rid of him. As Rudi said, “A teacher who is in personal conflict with astudent should release the student for both their sakes. Teaching should be a harmony of learning between teacher and student.” Certainly Jones was a handful. Not only highlyintelligent and well-educated, Jones claimed that since infancy “I have always beenSeated in the ‘Bright.’... Even as a little child I recognized It and Knew It, and my lifewas not a matter of anything else.”Jones, for his part, sawRudi as “a kind of super- parent.” He says his family,which from his descriptionsounds rather dysfunctional,rejected his experiencing of the“Bright.” Later on, he writesthat “my own ordinary tendencywas to seek a loving connectionon which I could becomedependent. Where love was not poured on me, I tended to become angry and resentful. ButRudi used, and evenintentionally stimulated, thesetendencies in me.”Through Rudi’s insistenceon work, diet and exercise,Jones’ weight fell from 230 lbsto 170 lbs. The habits of the olddays weakened. “I would oftenexploit the possibilities of sex,”Jones says, “or become deeplydrunk on wine, engage in orgiesof eating, or smoke marijuana
 
for long hours.” (Unfortunately, they would later reappear once he began to teach.)In the spring of 1967, while at the seminary, Jones suffered what doctors diagnosedas an anxiety attack, but he believed it was a crisis in which he had died. Because of Rudi’s stress on the practice of self-observation (oddly, the fundamental practice of self-remembering, embodiment, is never mentioned either by Jones or Rudi in any of their  books), Jones believed he had observed his own death. This experience validated his belief that the fundamental dilemma of all human seeking and suffering was that of aseparative and narcissistic avoidance of relationship with “the unqualified state of reality.” Finding his superiors at the seminary didn’t agree with him, he then joined theEastern Orthodox Church with the idea of becoming a priest, only to learn that an ancientcanonical law prevented a man from becoming a priest if he is married to a divorcedwoman, as Nina was.
The Death of Narcissus Denied
The religious avenue blocked, he and Nina returned to New York in the fall of 1967. He spoke to Rudi about what he took to be the death in him of Narcissus, but hesays Rudi also “tended to interpret my seminary experience negatively.” Thereafter, if not before, he increasingly became aware of what he considered Rudi’s limitations. He foundRudi’s conversation “a constant stream of strongly communicated moods, alternating between talk of Spiritual life, his experiences in India, his Spiritual experience andvisions, and the perpetual absorption in business. His business was his principal Yoga.And if you did not know or accept this about him, you could become angry at whatappeared to be his perpetual concern with business and the store.” Jones came to believethat “Rudi was not himself prepared (ultimately and perfectly) to liberate others, or to bring anyone to any truly high or otherwise ultimate Realization.”One day at Rudi’s store Jones found some pamphlets of Rudi’s guru, BabaMuktananda. He was determined to get to India once he read that Baba maintained“Spiritual life is not a matter of egoic effort on the part of the disciple. It is a matter of theGuru’s grace, the Guru’s free gift. The disciple needs only to come to the Guru and enjoythe Guru’s grace. It is as easy as flowers in sunlight.” Learning that he and Nina couldreceive a 90% discount in airfare after he earned a two-day vacation, he got a job withPan American Airways. He traded four days off with some fellow workers so that hewould have six days in all to travel to India and back. In April 1968 he and Nina went toBaba’s ashram at Ganeshpuri, a few hours drive from Bombay. He meditated and chantedand listened to Baba’s dialogues (all translated, for Baba spoke only Hindi) and had manykundalini experiences, visions and the like. But Jones wasn’t satisfied. With typicalintensity he said, “When the last day arrived, I was desperate. I had come for more thanthis. I had come for everything!”Strangely, on his return to New York, though he and Baba had a number of warmexchanges of letters, Jones joined Scientology and became an auditor and trained to become a teacher. There he met a young woman, Patricia Morley, who would come tolive with him and Nina and Sal Lucanias, with whom he became close friends. In taking
 
upper level courses to become “clear” and become a teacher, Jones saw Scientology asthe mind game that it was and left, taking Morley and Lucanias with him. The followingyear he again went to Muktananda’s ashram, this time for four weeks. They had a brief conversation upon his arrival. Near the end, Baba had told him he would become aspiritual teacher of Siddha Yoga. He gave him a handwritten letter to that effect, the firstever to a Westerner, and a Hindi name, “Dhyanananda,” meaning “one whose bliss isrealized in meditation.” Jones rejected the name (later he named himself “Bubba FreeJohn,” the word “Bubba” being what his father called him as a child) and spoke to Babaof how during meditation “a spot of light had often appeared before me, sometimes black or silver-gray, and sometimes blue.” Baba told him that “the spot only appears black  because of impurities.” (Later, after their falling out, Baba would call him “a dark yogi.”And Jones would call Muktananda “a black magician.”)During this time, Jones had numerous subtle and powerful experiences which he began to see as:A seemingly endless revelation of the forms of spiritual reality.... I was already becoming aware of the inconclusiveness of all such experiences. Once the problem of the mind had ceased to endear me, I began to intuit spiritual forms.Then I acquired a new problem. The problem of spirituality. The matter of freedom and real consciousness seemed somehow to depend on the attainment of spiritual experience. Spiritual experiences of an ultimate kind seemed identical tofreedom and reality itself. Thus, I was driven to acquire them.... I began to feel:‘This is not the point. This is not it. Reality is prior to all of this. Reality is myown nature.” But the more this feeling arose in me the more aggressively theseexperiences arose so that I again began to feel trapped. I felt as if my true pathwas not Baba’s Siddha Yoga.
The Hell With It All
At the end of August Jones and the women returned to New York. Duringmeditation he sometimes experienced Bhagavan Nityananda, Baba’s guru, taking over hissubtle form. He had a number of experiences with the chakras and kundalini whichfurther increased his belief that all of this was the play of Shakti, and so he simply sat,using no techniques, no special breathing or mantras or visualizations but simply inquiredof himself whenever anything arose—“Avoiding relationship.” (This, of course, seemsvery much like Ramana Maharshi’s approach of asking “Who am I?” but Jones isspeaking of relationship not only with others but with the Divine.)He rarely went out, but would occasionally go for walks with Lucanias. “One dayhe called me and told me he was going to leave for India for good,” Lucanias says. “ Heand Pat and Nina. That was it, he was just leaving the country. I remember him saying,‘What the hell am I going to do in this place? The hell with it all. I’ve had it.’” And so atthe end of May 1970 he and Nina and Pat left to return to the ashram and, as he says, “Iintended to place myself at Baba’s feet, to give him my household and my life.”

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