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THE METHOD OF THE SIDDHAS

Invocation
Narayana Sooktam
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(1) I worship the Lord, who has thousands of heads, thousands of eyes, who =
is the source of happiness in the world, the Eternal God. All this is nothi=
ng but the Present God. All this lives by Him.
(2) I worship Him who is the Self and the Lord of the Universe, the Eternal=
God, the benign and undecaying Divine Soul, the Supreme Being who is to be=
known, the Self of all, the Supreme Goal.
(3) The Lord is the Absolute Supreme Being, He is the Supreme Reality, He i=
s the Supreme Light, He is the Supreme Self, He is the Supreme Meditator, H=
e is the Supreme Object of Meditation.
(4) The Lord abides pervading whatever is seen or heard in this universe, w=
hatever is within and without.
(5) I worship and meditate upon the infinite and immutable Seer who is the =
other end of the ocean of identification with birth and death, and who is t=
he source of all happiness.
(6) The Heart, the perfect seat of meditation, resembles an inverted lotus =
bud.
(7) In the region below the throat and above the navel there burns a fire f=
rom which flames are rising up. That is the great support and foundation of=
the Universe.
(8) It always hangs down from the arteries like a lotus bud. In the middle =
of it there is a tiny orifice in which all are firmly supported.
(9) In the middle of it there is a great fire with innumerable flames blazi=
ng on all sides which first consumes the food and then distributes it to al=
l parts of the body. It is the immutable and all-knowing.
(10) Its rays constantly shoot upwards and downwards. It heats the body fro=
m head to foot. In the middle of it there is a tongue of fire which is extr=
emely small.
(11) That tongue of fire is dazzling as a streak of lightning in the midst =
of a dark cloud and as thin as the awn at the tip of a grain of rice, golde=
n bright and extremely minute.
(12) In the middle of that tongue of flame the Supreme Self abides firmly. =
He is God. He is the Immortal, the Supreme Lord of all.
(13) I bow down again and again to the Eternal Law, the Truth, the Absolute=
Supreme Being, the Divine Being who is dark blue and reddish, the pure cel=
ibate, with extraordinary eyes, who has assumed all forms.
(14) We shall try to know the Lord, we shall contemplate on the Divine Bein=
g. Let Him be pleased to guide us.=20
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Method of Siddhas Table of Contents
Invocation (Narayana Sooktam)

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THE METHOD OF THE SIDDHAS
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The Method Communicated by the Great Teachers of Mankind Is Communion with =
the Spiritual Master in God=20
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Preface to the Revised Edition of The Method of the Siddhas (1978)
The first talk in this book, titled "Understanding," marked the beginning o=
f Bubba Free Johns formal Teaching work as Spiritual Master. During the spr=
ing and summer of 1972, Bubba invited all who were interested to sit with h=
im in formal meditation and to engage him in conversation about life and sp=
iritual Realization. The talks in The Method of the Siddhas , then, represe=
nt Bubba Free Johns direct communications and confrontations with the moder=
n mind and temperament.
Bubba delivered all of these discourses in 1972 and early 1973. Since that =
time, he has further elaborated his verbal communication of the Way that he=
teaches, which he has named the Way of Divine Ignorance, or Radical Unders=
tanding. The entire development and communication of his Teaching over the =
years has been a living, responsive process. This Way cannot be summarized =
as mere verbal philosophy. Bubba has always been moved, in his speech, writ=
ing, and living action, to find the clearest ways possible to communicate h=
is Teaching, so that people can truly hear his argument and take up the pra=
ctice with great need and real conviction! Therefore, his verbal expression=
of the Teaching has taken many forms, and it has been elaborated over time=
.
In this book, for instance, you will find Bubba still using many traditiona=
l technical terms, particularly in Sanskrit, that relate to spiritual philo=
sophy, practice, and realization. However, in his recent and summary source=
texts (such as The Way That I Teach , The Enlightenment of the Whole Body =
, The Paradox of Instruction , Breath and Name , and Conscious Exercise and=
the Transcendental Sun ) Bubba has expressed his Teaching almost entirely =
in English language equivalents to the ancient esoteric terminology. In The=
Method of the Siddhas he speaks of sadhana-but in the recent texts he simp=
ly speaks of "spiritual practice," or perhaps "right action." He refers to =
the Guru or the Siddha as "Spiritual Master" or "Divine Teacher." Where he =
would have used the term Satsang, he now speaks of "Divine Communion" or "t=
he relationship to the Spiritual Master in Truth."
Understanding is one of the great principles that Bubba communicates in The=
Method of the Siddhas . People commonly associate understanding with menta=
l insight or conceptual appreciation. The understanding to which Bubba Free=
John points so forcefully in this book, and which he constantly demonstrat=
es in the company of his devotees, is the native Condition and heartfelt, i=
ntuitive wisdom of all beings. It is only secondarily a process of the conc=
eptual mind. It is, in reality, unobstructed and free feeling-attention, th=
e unqualified, whole body sense of relationship, or love. One who understan=
ds radiates as undefined feeling and free attention under all conditions, i=
n all relations, as and with every part and function of the whole body-mind=
. In other words, he is love under all conditions, without ceasing. Underst=
anding is the Intuition and action of Radiance, or love.
Just so, understanding is itself Satsang, or Communion with the Real Divine=
. Satsang literally means "the Company of Truth." The devotee who lives in =
Satsang is alive as love. He enjoys present God-Communion, intuitive and he=
artfelt Realization of Truth. This Condition is awakened as his very existe=
nce through his devotional and sacrificial relationship to the Spiritual Ma=
ster, who is the Heaven-Born Siddha or Agent of Awakening. When we hear and=
feel the Truth in the Company of the Spiritual Master, when we enter into =
a real spiritual relationship with such a Man or Woman, then we enter into =
the living, transforming Company of God.
This is literally true. However, men and women are always reluctant to hear=
and feel and live the Truth, and to be transformed through the sacrificial=
intensity of love. We are all so complicated, so determined to persist in =
our worldliness, our mere religiosity, our middling experience and mortal d=
estiny. In the years since compiling The Method of the Siddhas , Bubba Free=
John has worked ceaselessly to create the true cultural foundations for th=
e spiritual practice of life among men and women of the modern world. For a=
n individual to complete such human preparation and acculturation, however,=
requires real changes. No ordinary man or woman, Eastern or Western, is pr=
esently and by tendency prepared to live and communicate the Divine in the =
midst of an ordinary life. Bubba Free John remarks that all kinds of people=
are willing to advertise and claim a Divine Life, but few find such suffic=
ient. Few are willing to adapt themselves to the unconsoling, unfulfilled, =
and naked happiness of the Absolute.
People in the West tend to be particularly impatient and naive about spirit=
ual life. They want spiritual realization to come to them like food at a qu=
ick-service diner. They imagine and are led to believe that all that is nec=
essary is to place their order-to practice some scientific, effortless, qui=
ck, self-applied, and usually non-religious psycho-physiological technique =
for a few minutes each day, or perhaps to associate now and again with a ma=
n of great and spiritual experience-and then the Realization is on its way-=
it is just a matter of time! Meanwhile, though they perhaps push themselves=
through sporadic fits of self-discipline, they essentially remain committe=
d, at least in their tendency, to self-indulgent, self-referring habits and=
methods of life.
All such activity is futile, foolish, and deluded. Human responsibility at =
every ordinary level must awaken before we can even begin to engage in real=
spiritual practice. Such responsibility must stabilize before we can enter=
into the esoteric dimensions of real meditation. The practitioner must fir=
st make the great transition from the life of Narcissus (the usual self-pos=
sessed man or woman, bound by his own egoic motivations, self-sensation, an=
d experiencing, high and low) to the sacrificial life of the devotee, who l=
ives in constant Satsang, or God-Communion. Meditation and esoteric practic=
es do not lead to love, happiness, freedom, and the Sacrifice that can be c=
alled God-Realization. Rather, exactly the reverse is true-only active sacr=
ifice, God-Communion in the moment, the life of love, happiness, and freedo=
m in every ordinary action, is the ground for real spiritual practice and R=
ealization.
This demand for ordinary, human preparation is one of Bubba Free Johns most=
emphatic points in The Method of the Siddhas . You cannot live a sane and =
moral life by turning within and above to seek mystical and transcendental =
experiences, hoping to become a hero in the world by virtue of your inward =
immunity and secret knowledge. That is the great illusion of spirituality p=
romulgated by so many teachings all over the earth. No-the message of Bubba=
Free John and all other Great Teachers of mankind is that you must become =
a sacrifice in place. You must embrace your present functions and activitie=
s and relationships through the selfless discipline of understanding or lov=
e. Self-generated, motivated disciplines will not lead you to Reality or Tr=
uth. You must be Truth or love in the present pattern of relations. That is=
the only real discipline. Spiritual life is to bring the Intensity of Infi=
nite Existence into every moment, in the midst of a full and orderly life o=
f practical, truly moral, and sane pleasures and responsibilities. Understa=
nding, or Intuition of Truth, is the core and foundation of the real practi=
ce of life-not its result.
Because it was necessary to engage people in living, practical ways in orde=
r to communicate his Teaching, Bubba Free John not only spoke with his earl=
y questioners, he also sat with them in silent, formal meditation, displayi=
ng the Transforming Power that is at the Heart of his Teaching and Presence=
. And he dealt with individuals in relation to every aspect of their daily =
practice and spiritual preparation. Eventually, when he had shown and taugh=
t the Truth in relation to every kind of experience, high and low, worldly =
and sublime, Bubba brought this initial, dramatic, and revelatory dimension=
of his Teaching work to an end.
That was in late 1976. Since that time Bubba has largely retired from daily=
personal and informal contact with those who are approaching him as Spirit=
ual Master. Through the educational services of The Free Communion Church, =
Bubba continues to clarify the preparatory disciplines for true spiritual l=
ife and to invite all men and women to move into the truly devotional, spir=
itual, mature, and esoteric relationship to him as Divine Master, the Siddh=
a, or Perfect Agent of God.
This relationship is sacred and hidden. Bubba indicates its nature in many =
ways and points to it constantly. His devotees confess their own feelings a=
nd understanding of it. We are all ordinary men and women who have been dra=
wn into the beginnings of actual Divine Life. For us, there is no greater p=
leasure, no greater enjoyment than the Company of the Spiritual Master, whi=
ch is itself the ultimate Happiness. Bubba Free John is a living Fire of Bl=
iss. To live in his Company is to come under the discipline of the demand o=
f Truth, which requires us to stand up, to become human, and then to underg=
o the great Sacrifice of God-Realization. Through the love that is awakened=
in his Company, devotees of Bubba Free John become capable of an entirely =
new quality of existence-which is love itself, the paradox of infinite Feel=
ing.
Because Divine Feeling is forbidden in the daily world, because ecstatic ha=
ppiness and true freedom are taboo, the relationship to the Spiritual Maste=
r cannot be grasped by the conventional mind. The true Spiritual Master is =
not an ordinary man. He lives as a constant Agent of God for devotees. The =
devotional relationship to him is itself God-Communion. It is Love in the h=
ighest, most sublime, and also most ordinary sense. The Way that Bubba Free=
John lives and teaches is built upon this relationship, as he himself says=
, from the beginning to forever. Therefore, like the Spiritual Master himse=
lf, this Way of Divine Ignorance, or Radical Understanding, is incomprehens=
ible. It is Paradox. No one can figure it out. No one can make common sense=
of it. It only offends those who cannot yet appreciate it.
The Way begins with "hearing" the Spiritual Masters Teaching, the argument =
of the Real. On the basis of that hearing, the individual must change his w=
ay of life in very practical, human ways. The human or preparatory dimensio=
n of spiritual life is itself most profound. It requires practical changes =
in every area of life, including constant and increasing responsibility for=
body, emotions, and mind, and the awakening and intensifying of devotional=
sacrifice. The initiatory processes and more esoteric responsibilities of =
the Way are founded upon this human realization. Bubba Free John sits in me=
ditation only with those who are prepared. He no longer meets with the usua=
l man or woman under any circumstances, but waits for devotees to come to h=
im already alive in the practice of Truth.
Just so, those of us who have persisted in our approach to Bubba Free John =
as devotees have also become profoundly convinced of the real necessity for=
right preparation for his Company. During the early years of his Teaching =
work, Bubba awakened an unprecedented display of unusual, higher, or "spiri=
tual" phenomena. This was part of his work to prepare people just to begin =
real spiritual practice. Before anyone can actually take up the Way Bubba t=
eaches, which is the discipline of love and the sacrifice of all experience=
, he must necessarily feel the limitations and delusions of mere experience=
in itself. For Bubbas present devotees, it was not enough merely to listen=
to his verbal argument. We had to feel and hear, in our own lives, the Tru=
th of his Teaching. Once we had begun to hear the Truth, we could commit ou=
rselves to the right practices of preparation for his Transforming Communic=
ation of Siddhi, the Awakening Power of God. But that was only after Bubba =
had demonstrated to us, both in our experience and through his critical arg=
ument, the limitations of all kinds of experiential phenomena: visions, bli=
sses, "kundalini" phenomena, occult perceptions, travel to other realms (hi=
gh and low), healings, trances, and miraculous changes in the weather and t=
he environment, as well as every kind of ordinary social fulfillment.
It was necessary for Bubba Free John to Reveal all the possibilities of exp=
erience to us in order that we might realize the futility of the search for=
happiness, peace, and Truth through experience itself. Then we could begin=
the unconsoled practice of love in Truth. It is our hope that the further =
dissemination of Bubba Free Johns Teaching, along with the living testimony=
of his devotees as they mature in this Way, will draw all who are availabl=
e to take up this practice with fierce energy and enthusiasm. Everyone must=
pass through the disillusionment with the possibilities of experience. The=
Teaching must reach into your brain, your heart, and your navel. It must b=
ecome your living certainty, the disposition of devotion to God rather than=
to changes and experience. For the ordinary man, that transition in ones d=
isposition is profoundly difficult. It certainly has been and remains diffi=
cult for those who are presently approaching Bubba Free John-they must cons=
tantly reorient themselves to the Truth and the real discipline of the Way.
Bubba Free Johns historical Demonstration of the Teaching is now part of hi=
s written Teaching, and it is alive in the experience and confession of pre=
sent devotees. It is itself part of the argument of his Teaching. Bubba no =
longer intentionally awakens higher experiential phenomena in those who are=
just beginning to approach him to become devotees. Nor does he engage them=
in personal contact, either informal or formal, until they have already be=
gun their practice and are awakened in a true devotional response to him as=
Spiritual Master. For those who do hear and take up the Way of Divine Igno=
rance, now and in the future, the higher experiential potentials of the bod=
y-being will awaken quite naturally in Bubbas Company. But that evolutionar=
y development is available to us only if we are already committed in body, =
mind, and heart to the love of God, the Way of Sacrifice. Vision Mound Cere=
mony and The Free Communion Church provide the written literature and educa=
tional media, courses, and counseling, both locally (in northern California=
) and in the world at large, to serve each individuals preparation. But the=
responsibility for that preparation is entirely ones own. There are no sho=
rtcuts. You must make real changes in your whole way of life in order to be=
come a devotee.
If you are genuinely interested in this Way, or in the great affair of spir=
ituality in general, you should read Bubbas other source texts, particularl=
y The Way That I Teach and The Enlightenment of the Whole Body . These outl=
ine his argument in summary, concise terms and introduce the whole Way of p=
ractice and Realization. Then you should read the other principal source te=
xts of this Teaching. (Other principal source texts of this Teaching are no=
ted on the inside rear cover of this book.) Altogether, these books represe=
nt the complete foundation and ultimate vision of a truly enlightened cultu=
re of man. They stand, each and all, as an invitation to you directly.
The occasion of the Spiritual Masters life is brief. While he is here, as B=
ubba tells us in "The Gospel of the Siddhas" at the end of the present book=
, the Spiritual Master works to give true devotees the gift of Absolute Tru=
th and Light, the Radiance of Immortal Existence that persists beyond and t=
hrough and prior to all possible births and deaths. That Divine Existence i=
s the Spiritual Masters own constant Enjoyment, even in the midst of an ord=
inary human life. And he is radically Powerful in God, capable of communica=
ting that same Bliss to others-if they will turn to him and prepare themsel=
ves to enter into his Sacred Company.
Therefore, if you respond to the Teaching of Bubba Free John, the Destiny o=
f Eternal Life is available to you. This Teaching is not a Western version =
of what has been transmitted as traditional wisdom in the East. Nor is it a=
typical Western religion. This Way has no complete and specific precedent =
in any tradition or culture. Yet, paradoxically, it recapitulates and fulfi=
lls all of the great traditions of religious culture and of esoteric spirit=
uality, both Eastern and Western. Through the mutually sacrificial process =
of Satsang, the Spiritual Master communicates his very Existence to the dev=
otee. And that communication gracefully initiates in the devotee all the es=
oteric transformations that are described in the classic traditions, but wi=
thout any of the traditional dilemma, motivations, and seeking.
For those who enter the Fire of this sacred relationship, the Bliss of God-=
Realization is present and increasingly constant Enjoyment. Their existence=
becomes identical to the Divine Mystery itself. Free of both answers and c=
onsolations, they are lost in the Infinite while still alive and active as =
the body. Such true devotees do not become righteous and ascetic priests of=
inwardness, as the ancient traditions would have us believe. Rather, like =
the true Master himself, they remain ordinary, capable of natural pleasures=
-but they have become Everything Altogether.
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Method of Siddhas Table of Contents
Invocation (Narayana Sooktam)
Part One:
Preface: The Method of the Siddhas:
1. Understanding
2. The Avon Lady
3. Money, Food, and Sex
4. Vital Shock
5. Walking the Dog
6. The Gorilla Sermon
7. Relationship and Association
8. Meditation and Satsang
9. One-Pointedness
10. The Path of the Great Form
11. Phases
12. No One Survives Beyond That Moment
Part Two:
The Gospel of the Siddhas

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"I am here in order that seekers may understand their ways. Understanding i=
s always the understanding of seeking and not the embrace of any kind of ob=
ject."
unpublished 1970=20
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"the way of understanding is founded in the radical truth that is fundament=
al to existence at any moment, in any condition And it is also the genuine =
basis for creative life, prior to all the magical efforts toward healing, e=
volution and the victorious appearance of "spiritual" life."
The Knee of Listening
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(from The Method of the Siddhas, The Dawn Horse Press, 1973. Part One,
Understanding=20
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On April 25, 1972, the date of this talk, Franklin invited devotees, discip=
les, students and seekers to approach him for the first time at his Ashram(=
1) in Los Angeles. Agroup of about 30 people assembled in a newly renovated=
storefront at 6913 Melrose Avenue, in a Hollywood business district. As th=
ey arrived, they were ushered into a modestly sized hall, passing through t=
he small bookstore that faced the street. There they sat quietly, waiting f=
or the evening's event to begin. It was on this date that his public work t=
ruly began. Before this time, prior to the creation of his Ashram, he taugh=
t only a few intimates. But since that time he has been involved in a progr=
essive and open communication and demonstration of the way of Truth, the wa=
y of the Siddhas or "Completed Ones," who come in the forms and activities =
of God.
Once seated, Avatar Adi Da began to gaze silently around the room. He Radia=
ted simplicity and ease. As He continued to sit, the room became thick with=
the feeling of Fullness characteristic of His physical Company.
After a few minutes, He closed His eyes and sat quite still. Some of the pe=
ople in the room also closed their eyes, while others continued gazing at A=
vatar Adi Da. Everyone showed their respect by remaining silent and attenti=
ve.
After about an hour, Avatar Adi Da stretched His body from side to side, le=
ft to right, signaling the end of the silence.
Then he spoke in an undertone barely audible to anyone but Himself, "Who wi=
ll cast the first stone?"
Then, addressing everyone in the room in a clear voice, He asked, "Everyone=
has understood?" As Avatar Adi Da spoke these words, the room was silent i=
n response. Then a man near the back of the room stood up and declared that=
he had not understood.
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FRANKLIN: Are there any questions? (the people who were in attendance say t=
he first statement of Adi Da was "Who will cast the first stone?"
No one replied, so Franklin spoke again.
FRANKLIN: Everyone has understood?
QUESTION: I haven't understood. Explain it to me.2
FRANKLIN: Very good. What haven't you understood?
QUESTION: Well, you said "Did everybody understand?" and everyone seemed to=
understand but me. Would you explain it to me?
FRANKLIN: Explain what?
QUESTION: Well, you could start with the word "understanding."
FRANKLIN: Yes. There is a disturbance, dissatisfaction, some sensation that=
motivates a man to go to a teacher, read a book about philosophy, believe =
something, or do yoga.3
What we ordinarily think of as spirituality or religion is a way to get fre=
e of that sensation, that suffering that motivates us. So all paths, yogic =
methods, forms of seeking, beliefs, religion, grow out of this sensation, t=
his subtle suffering. Ultimately, all these paths are attempting to get fre=
e of that sensation. That is the traditional goal. So all men are seeking, =
whether or not they are very sophisticated about it, using very specific me=
thods, yoga, philosophy, religion, whatever.
When that whole process of seeking begins to break down, the man no longer =
quite has the edge of his search left. He begins to suspect himself. He beg=
ins to doubt the whole process of his search. Then he is no longer fascinat=
ed with his search, his method, his yoga, his religion, his ordinary teache=
r. His attention begins to turn to this sensation that motivates his entire=
search.
When a man begins to re cognizee, consciously to know again that subtle mot=
ivation, this is what I call "understanding." When he begins to see again t=
he subtle forms of his own action, which are his suffering, that recognitio=
n is understanding. When this becomes absolute, perfect, when there is utte=
rly, absolutely no dilemma, no form in consciousness interpreting the natur=
e of existence to the individual, when there is no contraction, no fundamen=
tal suffering, no thing prior to consciousness, this is what I call "radica=
l" understanding. It is only enjoyment.
The traditions call this enjoyment the Self, the Heart,4 God Union, Satire,=
5 Nirvana,6 Heaven. But it is simply consciousness. There is no thing prior=
to consciousness. We are not some piece of Divinity seated inside the body=
, that somehow must get released from the body and go back to its spiritual=
Home and Source. There is no such entity. The Home and Source is also the =
very Nature of the "entity." There is consciousness, and the apparent entit=
y is within consciousness. So that when consciousness begins to enjoy its o=
wn state or real nature, even in the midst of conditions, even where there =
is life, that is true understanding. When, no matter what event appears, th=
ere is only the enjoyment of consciousness itself, not transformed or modif=
ied by events, when no implication arises on the basis of events to change =
the nature of consciousness, that is "meditation." When there is fundamenta=
l enjoyment of consciousness, that is called "liberation." All of that is s=
imply "understanding."
There is a subtle contraction in the process of man, and it constantly chan=
ges the quality of consciousness. It creates the identification of consciou=
sness with the contracted sense. That form, that body, that mentality. And =
in that act of identification, it differentiates itself from other forms, o=
ther beings. Then the rest of life is spent, through exploitation of the mo=
vement of desire, to overcome that creation. Through the movement that is d=
esire we seek constantly to create a connection, a flow of force between th=
e contracted identity and everything from which it has differentiated itsel=
f. Yoga, religion, spirituality, philosophy, all our strategies, even our s=
imple psychological strategies, our lifestyles, have this same form. They a=
re all attempts to release energy between this contracted, separated one an=
d all from which it is differentiated. Thus, all ordinary activity is found=
ed in this dilemma, this self created contraction.
Traditional spiritual life is a search in this same form. There is dilemma,=
and there is the spiritual method, which is an attempt to overcome this di=
lemma. When the individual begins to see again the dilemma that motivates h=
is method, that seeing is understanding. As long as he is simply seeking an=
d has all kinds of motivation, fascination with his search, this is not und=
erstanding. This is dilemma itself. But where this dilemma is understood, t=
here is the re cognition of a structure in consciousness, a separation. And=
when that separation is observed more and more directly, the person begins=
to see that what he is suffering is not something happening to him, but it=
is his own action. It is as if he is pinching himself without being aware =
of it. He is creating a subtle pain, and, worse than the pain, a continuous=
modification, which is "mind," which consciousness identifies as itself. T=
he more he observes this, the more his search is abandoned, spontaneously, =
intelligently. He simply sees his motivation, his actual suffering. He can =
only live that suffering. It does not move, until conscious life becomes a =
crisis. Then he sees the entire motivation of life is based on a subtle act=
ivity in consciousness. That activity is avoidance, separation, a contracti=
on at the root, the origin, the "place" of consciousness.
In the beginning of this crisis a man only observes the contraction as a se=
nsation, as a sense of dilemma, as a search. But the more directly he obser=
ves it, the more clearly he recognizes the action itself. At first he sees =
the avoidance, the strategy, the life technique. Then he begins to observe =
this activity in terms of what it is excluding, what it prevents, what is a=
lways being eliminated from consciousness and conscious life. That which is=
always excluded is the condition of relationship.
Ordinarily, a man is unaware of relationship, as relationship. He only live=
s the drama of separation. But when he becomes directly aware of this contr=
action, this separation, this subtle form, he observes or enjoys relationsh=
ip as that condition which is always already the case. Relationship is alwa=
ys already the condition of living consciousness. When this contraction is =
observed perfectly, radically, there is only relationship, and no obstructi=
on. Then, spontaneously, it is also perfect awareness. That perfect awarene=
ss is called the Heart, the Real, what always already is the case.
The Heart is always active, always accomplishing the thing that desire alwa=
ys seeks but never finally realizes. The Heart 15 always unqualified relati=
onship, always force, conscious force without obstruction. But the life of =
desire is always already based on separation. Separation has already occurr=
ed in the usual man, so desire tries to heal the sense that arises as a con=
sequence of that separation. But there is no ultimate success by the means =
of desire, even "spiritual" forms of desire. There may be temporary release=
s, fascinations, but desire never radically escapes its own dilemma. This i=
s because it does not deal with the dilemma. The search is concerned only w=
ith desire and the objects of desire. But beneath that is this subtle contr=
action.
Therefore, the Heart is always, already the absolute continuum, the flow of=
power, without obstructions. It is always already like desire fully satisf=
ied, because the flow is always already accomplished. Always already accomp=
lished, not the result of any motivated action.
The great Siddhas,7 men of radical understanding, are those who live consci=
ously as the Heart. They function as the Heart for living beings. And that =
function is simply relation ship, unobstructed flow. The pressure of the pr=
esence of such a one stimulates and intensifies the flow of force in living=
beings. All obstructions tend to fall away in the presence of this force. =
Where it moves there is either surrender or flight in its path. The Siddhas=
communicate the living Force of Reality. They live it to living beings. Th=
ey simply live the natural state of enjoyment with other beings. And those =
who stay to live in friendship with the man of understanding tend also to u=
nderstand.
QUESTION: Franklin, I have to go, but I have one more question. You said th=
e Siddhas live as the heart. What about the mind? Do they live as the mind =
also?
FRANKLIN: What is it?
QUESTION: Do they live as the mind as well? It is connected with the heart.
FRANKLIN: What mind?
QUESTION: What mind? The mind that they exist in. There is only one mind.
FRANKLIN: There is? Which?
QUESTION: Of course their brains are functioning too. Right?
FRANKLIN: And?
QUESTION: And?
FRANKLIN: What is the point you are trying to make?
QUESTION Well, I asked you the question about the mind.
FRANKLIN: Yes. What mind?
QUESTION: What mind?
FRANKLIN: The brain?
QUESTION: Yes, the brain.
FRANKLIN: Ah, well that is something very specific. You are talking about t=
he brain, or the "One Mind"?
QUESTION: Well, there is only one mind, of course.
FRANKLIN: You are talking about the mind now, and not about the brain?
QUESTION: Well, I was asking you what is the relationship between the two. =
Between the mind, the brain and the heart.
FRANKLIN: You are talking about the physical heart?
QUESTION: Not necessarily.
FRANKLIN: Well, which?
QUESTION: You can answer whichever way you like.
FRANKLIN: I do not have need for the answer. What specifically are you aski=
ng?
QUESTION: Well, actually you answered me, because I wanted to see what you =
wanted to say.
FRANKLIN: No, that is not what you wanted to see. Don't play games. I am no=
t here to entertain. All these little dramas you are playing have no place.=
I have no interest in them, and neither have you. I am not here to "lay so=
mething on" to you. I am not concerned with that. If you want to discuss so=
mething with me for a real purpose, that is something else. But if you want=
to play at polemics, and idle cleverness
QUESTION: That's not what I want.
FRANKLIN: No, no. That is what you want.
QUESTION: Do you think that is what I am trying to do?
FRANKLIN: Yes.
QUESTION: Why do you think that?
FRANKLIN: What is all of that? (pointing to his expression)
QUESTION: What is what?
FRANKLIN: What has all of that (pointing to his expression) got to do with =
anything, hm? You are very upset. What are you upset about?
QUESTION: I'm not upset at all.
FRANKLIN: Yes you are, my friend. (to another) Does he look upset to you?
ANOTHER: Yes. I recognize that. (to the questioner) You know what that is? =
It is fear stone cold fear.
FRANKLIN: Something here is upsetting you. I would like to talk about that.=
That would be worth talking about.
QUESTION: I don't feel upset.
FRANKLIN: You don't feel the least upset?
QUESTION: No.
FRANKLIN: Very good.
QUESTION: If what you say of me were true, why would I have come here tonig=
ht?
FRANKLIN: I think you have good reasons for being here, but I don't think t=
hat is what we are dealing with at the moment. Before we can deal with your=
good reasons for being here, you must overcome the social dilemma it repre=
sents to you. Yes? The whole spiritual life or thinking associated with spi=
ritual life which you bring here is perhaps somewhat threatened. Well, that=
is fine. But we have to get beyond simply being threatened by one another.=
And before we can get beyond that, it must be acknowledged. The obviousnes=
s of it must be acknowledged. The obviousness of our strategy, our cleverne=
ss, our inability to be direct, to love. We must acknowledge this creation =
of artifices. All of that must be understood. If you have not understood th=
at, what is there to defend? I could sit here and have a discussion with yo=
u about the mind, the brain, the heart. But what does all of that have to d=
o with anything? Hm? We could talk about the shape of clouds. But what is g=
oing on? What is this sensation, this feeling that you have, that everyone =
has?
QUESTION: What sensation do you speak of? I am not sure what you mean.
FRANKLIN: Exactly. What is that sensation that you have at this moment? You=
r awareness?
QUESTION: I am sorry, I don't understand what you are talking about. You ar=
e saying awareness is a sensation, right now?
FRANKLIN: What exactly is the nature of your awareness at this moment?
QUESTION: I don't know how to answer that. But I know it exists, I am aware=
of it.
FRANKLIN: Of what?
QUESTION:
My awareness.
FRANKLIN: You're aware of your awareness?
Yes.
And is it always truth, sublimity, and beauty?
It just is, brother, it just is!
Good.
Yes!
Then why are you so uncomfortable?
QUESTION: You keep seeing that, so there must be something.
FRANKLIN: What is this attitude that you are using at this moment? I am not=
"concerned" with it, you see. I don't want to put you down for it. But I w=
ant to get to it, because it is the primary quality in all your comments to=
me. Hm? You are aware of it. How you use your body, your eyebrows, the ton=
e of voice, the way you are expressing yourself.
QUESTION: What is wrong with that?
FRANKLIN: I am not saying there is anything wrong with it.
QUESTION: Well then, why are you making any mention of it?
FRANKLIN: Because you are using it to communicate to me. It is your communi=
cation.
QUESTION: Well, so what?
FRANKLIN: What is this attitude? What is that? That is an attitude, isn't i=
t?
QUESTION: Well, obviously it's me.
FRANKLIN: What is the purpose of it? What are you doing with it? What is it=
s nature? You have communicated in other ways, at other times. Sometimes yo=
u laugh, sometimes you cry.
QUESTION: Yes.
FRANKLIN: All right. You are not laughing or crying now. You are doing this=
! What is it you are doing?
QUESTION: I am in the process of communicating with you.
FRANKLIN: Why in this particular form?
QUESTION: Because that is the form I choose to use.
FRANKLIN: Yes. And it does not have any resistance in it at all?
QUESTION: Well, it has a resistance. Yes, it has. I feel that there is a la=
ck of communication going on.
FRANKLIN: OK. That is what I am talking about.
QUESTION: When I'm communicating with somebody or they are trying to commun=
icate with me, if I feel there is a lack, sure I feel a resistance.
FRANKLIN: Exactly. That is what I am feeling.
QUESTION: You feel it too, huh?
FRANKLIN: Yes. And if there was simple, direct communication between us, it=
would be unnecessary for you to have that sensation and to communicate it =
to me in the way you now feel you must. But what is actually coming through=
is that fear, that resistance, that upset about the nature of this communi=
cation. And that is exactly what I have been talking about tonight. It is e=
xactly that contraction, that resistance, that formation of awareness that =
is suffering. Behind that are all the thoughts, illusions, memories, ex per=
iences, searches. But that contraction or resistance is always first. That =
is always the subtle structure we are living. Wherever we go, wherever we a=
re, it is that subtle sense, that subtle resistance, that subtle discomfort=
, that subtle un pleasantness, failure of love, of energy, of presence. And=
that is exactly the thing I am talking about. And this present sensation o=
f which you have become aware is the quality by which it is always experien=
ced. It may also be very elaborate. It can take on all kinds of forms, but =
this present sensation is the "contraction" I am talking about. It is not u=
nique to you. I just happen to feel it functioning this way at this moment =
in you. But you are no different from me or from anyone else. Everyone's su=
ffering the same tendency and activity. And its results are always the same=
. Everyone is suffering in exactly the same way. There are only different l=
ife methods, styles, complex experiences, whatever. But the essential struc=
ture is common to us all.
There is first the periodic awareness of that sensation, then the awareness=
of it as a continuous experience, then the observation of its actual struc=
ture, the knowing of it all as one's own activity, a deliberate, present ac=
tivity that is our suffering, that is our illusion. The final penetration o=
f that present, deliberate activity is what I have called under standing. I=
t is simply the penetration of that process which structures all conscious =
events, all of your experience. And the primary, even the most obvious effe=
ct, of this subtle activity of suffering is the destruction of the consciou=
sness of relationship.
That is exactly the way it was functioning between us in the last few minut=
es. There was the sense of an obstruction in this relationship. But when it=
is not there, when the contraction does not take place, when it is not med=
itated upon, when it is no longer a matter of concern, when there is simply=
this unobstructed path, there is no dilemma. Then there is no one superior=
to the other, no problem, no jealousy, no distinction. There is only enjoy=
ment. And where life is constant as that enjoyment, there is the Infinity o=
f Liberation, the Cosmic Consciousness of Truth, the Siddhi8 of the Real. B=
ut it is always simply that basic enjoyment, that unobstructed, spontaneous=
, moment to moment existence as relationship. It is what is called "love." =
It is simply the force of the Heart, the Real, which is unobstructed, unqua=
lified existence. When there is no resistance, no contraction, no separatio=
n, there is just this ease of pleasure in one another. And where there is t=
hat ease of pleasure, there is no problem. Give it the names if you like. I=
t is simply our natural state.
What I call the Heart is consciousness. It is called Atman, the very Self o=
r Nature of the apparent individual. It is not a separate organ or a separa=
te faculty. It is identical to what is called Brahman, the formless, absolu=
te, omnipresent Divine Reality. It is very consciousness, absolute bliss, u=
nqualified existence. It is intuition of unspeakable God. Anything secondar=
y that we could call "mind," body or brain, any function at all is containe=
d within the "Heart" like an event in a universe. Within that universe is t=
he appearance of living beings. Naturally, if you speak of the physical bod=
y, or the psycho physical entity, there is the physical heart, the physical=
brain, and many other functions, physical ones and subtle ones. But all of=
these are contained in that perfect consciousness, that unobstructed natur=
e, the Heart. From this "point of view" there is no dilemma in the appearan=
ce of things, no misunderstanding of it, no threat. All of this is a form o=
f enjoyment.
It is common for those who constantly live in the obstructed state to posse=
ss an elaborate, dramatic concept ualization of things. But that conceptual=
ization of things is not equivalent to things themselves. It is simply a di=
splay of modifications of energy, subtle internal energy, your own function=
ing mind. It is only a structure, a figure, an imposition, a distraction, a=
nd its root is this contraction of which I speak. It is utterly beside the =
point whether my conceptualization of things is bigger than yours, whether =
it has all seven parts in it while yours has only four. It is only that we =
have a different traditional structure, different theatre. It doesn't make =
any difference what these minds contain. It is not merely the saint who can=
understand. Every fool can understand. It doesn't make any difference what=
is inside. It all has to go. Because it is this contraction, this obstruct=
ion, this self containment that every man is suffering.
When the obstruction is no longer the force that is patterning a man's stat=
e, then it becomes possible for him to enjoy the very state of things, the =
real structure of things, directly, prior to conceptualization and the ordi=
nary drama of his life. From that point of view, which is already free and =
true, perhaps something meaningful can be said about the structure of thing=
s, but, from this very point of view, nothing is gained or lost by the exis=
tence of the manifest structure of worlds or the description of it. If the =
principle of suffering is released, something can be said, but the speech i=
s not necessary.
A person came to Bodhidharma9 and said something about his "mind" that is s=
imilar to your remarks. He sat in the presence of Bodhidharma, trying to at=
tract his attention. He did this for a long time, without success, so that,=
finally, he was moved to hack off his arm, which he presented to Bodhidhar=
ma. You must have heard the story. He held this arm up to Bodhidharma, who,=
at last, turned to him. He was willing to have a brief discussion. But he =
wasn't upset, excited, or particularly interested in the bleeding and morta=
l condition of this seeker. The person wanted to know something about his m=
ind. He wanted to be liberated from his perpetual disturbance of mind. Bodh=
idharma said, "Show me your mind." Show me this mind that is upset, that yo=
u want to understand, that you claim to possess. According to tradition, th=
at was sufficient to enlighten the man. He saw that what he was upset with,=
what he was suffering or owning, had no tangible existence. There was not =
in fact any "thing" that he was suffering or owning. He was simply obsessed=
. His suffering and his "mind" were present self creations. All Bodhidharma=
did, or served to do, was to bring about this spontaneous re cognition of =
the nature of that which the man was presenting all the time as himself, as=
his state. So, there was this sudden turnabout.
Traditions are filled with such meetings between questioners or seekers and=
their teachers. It is always the same story. The guy has some very elabora=
te search going on in him, some very elaborate structure of mind that he al=
ways presents and that he wants to defend or overcome. But, whatever his nu=
mber or his game, the usual man always communicates one thing to others. It=
is his own mind form, his own state. It is always this we present to one a=
nother and to life. By the performance of his own state a man destines hims=
elf to certain reactions of life, certain experiences. His state also becom=
es his action and his destiny. True "spiritual life" is always that process=
whereby the present and chronic modification of consciousness, this compul=
sive state, this action that becomes dilemma, seeking and suffering is unde=
rmined in understanding. True "religion" is the crisis of consciousness in =
which unconsciousness is undermined. It is the crisis of our ordinary, comm=
on state, where it is utterly turned about, undermined. That is the essenti=
al event to which all traditions try to bring men, regardless of the lore a=
nd technique peculiar to the time and place~ It is always a crisis. It is n=
ot some self possessed artifice. It is not a defense of the person's limite=
d condition. It is where all of this is utterly destroyed. The Christian tr=
adition talks about "spirit ual death" as the basic event. It is a sacrific=
e, a cross. In the East it is the crisis of satori, or the difficult, long =
term of sadhana,10 or self purifying action. But it is always the crisis, t=
urnabout, obliteration of that form in which the person is helplessly alive=
. And if that has not taken place, there is no spirituality, but there is s=
imply the same thing that always was, the same obsession with forms, the sa=
me suffering, this disability, dilemma, disappointment, or whatever emotion=
al quality is manifest in the individual case.
When there is no defense left, when the bottom falls out, when there is not=
hing to stand on, that is "liberation." As long as there is something left =
to defend, something with which to resist, as long as there is something st=
ill left to die, the same state persists, the same suffering, the same sear=
ch. When it is all "dead," when the greatly feared event has already occurr=
ed, then there is no longer the thread of seeking or the defense of its hid=
den dilemma.
The kind of resistance we discussed in relation to the questioner who opene=
d this discussion is exactly the thing that everyone brings to the teacher.=
The drama between the disciple and the teacher is always the hour to hour =
confrontation with that condition. It is not special in anyone's case. It i=
s the very thing that creates the spiritual drama. It is the very thing tha=
t is dealt with throughout spiritual life, in always more subtle forms. The=
re is no particular enjoyment in it. There is no special honor in it or any=
special dues that come across because you deal with this suffering and res=
istance. The teacher must always deal with the state that people bring to h=
im. And that state is never radically free. The new disciple is never a for=
m of enjoyment. He is not blissful. He is not Truth. The teacher must funct=
ion with communicated obstructions consciously and deliberately. He must no=
t forget the suffering and dilemma of his disciple. Therefore, he may not s=
imply console and fascinate his disciple with promises, words and smiling n=
otions. He must constantly deal with the obstruction in his disciple, until=
his disciple is no longer suffering that. But in order for him to no longe=
r be suffering that, there must be a crisis, a difficult confrontation. And=
it is always absolutely difficult. Even between the teacher and the calmes=
t, most apparently loving devotee there is that obstruction. It is only on =
the surface, in the personal strategy, that the new disciple appears to be =
calm and loving. But he is also bound up with his suffering. Some appear to=
be very loving and capable of service. Others appear very resistive and an=
gry. There is no distinction. It is just a difference of qualities, but ess=
entially the same event is going on. The same thing is brought to the teach=
er in every case. The same thing has to be lived by the teacher in every ca=
se. Therefore, from the human point of view, there is no great privilege or=
pleasure in performing the teaching function for people. It is simply that=
the Heart functions that way. Always, spontaneously, it moves into relatio=
nship. It moves through the structures of consciousness. It flows through. =
It breaks do wn the obstructions. The Heart is always already enjoyment.
The person in whom this whole strategy has broken down looks like a pane of=
glass. There is no 'peculiarity" about him, no resistance. That whole stru=
cture of force in which he lives is open. But when we meet the usual man, w=
e immediately experience the limitation to life that he will accept or dema=
nd in our relationship to him. And this tends to stimulate, by reaction, ou=
r own limitation. So everybody complains about how ordinary experience with=
people is unsatisfying. But when that contraction just opens a little, the=
force of delight and of love begins to flo w, and the obstructions begin t=
o break down, until, finally, the person is shattered. At last, the whole o=
rdinary form of his existence is absolutely destroyed. He no longer lives f=
rom the point of view of this contraction and all of the assumptions about =
life that it requires. His own consciousness falls out of the usual form, a=
nd the point of view of consciousness in which he lives is that of the Self=
, the Heart, the radical intuition of Reality or God. He no longer contains=
the least trace of a separate self sense. It doesn't even tend to arise. A=
nd yet, the apparent functions of life remain.
Those who live in genuine spiritual community have value for others who com=
e into contact with them. They will only allow people to live as the Heart,=
to function in relationship with the Force of the Heart. They will not ind=
ulge a person's strategy. They will provoke the crisis of his suffering.
(At this point the young man who had been questioning Franklin got up to le=
ave. He had obviously felt quite antagonistic toward Franklin. It was not c=
lear why he felt it was necessary to assume a superior manner, but his cont=
empt as well as his insecurity had been made plain to all. After he left, m=
any of those present expressed their relief with laughter and criticism, bu=
t Franklin continued to remind them that the drama they had just witnessed =
was a kind of exaggerated version of the process that is enacted between th=
e teacher and every one of his disciples.)
FRANKLIN: It is always the same. Every one is like that. He wasn't extraord=
inary. He just played the obvious drama that he played. He was good. I appr=
eciated his questions. It was good that something that dramatic or emotiona=
l could take place. You should read the documents which record the history =
and teaching in the Ashrams of various teachers, such as Ramana Maharshi,11=
or Sri Ramakrishna.12 It is always the same thing. This Ashram is not goin=
g to be any different.
QUESTION: Would you please speak about this contraction, and ho w the form =
of enquiry you describe in The Knee of Listening passes beyond all the form=
s of separation?
FRANKLIN: A lot of words could be used. The traditions describe different "=
knots" that are opened, and the goal of spiritual life is often said to be =
the opening of these various knots. There is a knot in the navel, a knot in=
the heart, and a knot in the head. There are many knots, but these are per=
haps the primary regions discussed in the traditions. What they are really =
talking about are functional forms of contraction in the organic and subtle=
processes of life. The chakras or subtle centers through which the life fo=
rce moves are like the lens of a camera. When they are contracted and close=
d, no force flows. If there is a force trying to make them open, the resist=
ance of the contraction creates pain, heat, and all the various yogic manif=
estations, many of which are described in The Knee of Listening. As a livin=
g center of consciousness opens a little bit more, then the mind begins to =
get a little "flowery." So there are these little visionary things, and per=
ceptions and insights. When it is completely open, there is just the intuit=
ive force of consciousness and bliss. Then the life force moves on, until i=
t hits the next obstruction. The life force is ultimately the force of the =
very Heart, the God life, the Power of Reality, moving through the various =
centers of life, which are chronically obstructed or contracted. And the va=
rious experiences associated with the release of these centers are called t=
he process of yoga or spiritual life. But what is ultimately the case is no=
t all of these experiences. They just take place because there are obstruct=
ions. If there are no obstructions, there is only absolute consciousness, n=
o dilemma, nothing to be ac complished. There is no body in which to accomp=
lish anything. Therefore, one in whom understanding and enquiry are perfect=
ed passes from limited and even extraordinary forms of knowledge and experi=
ence into the intuitive and spontaneous life of Reality or God.
QUESTION: Is the activity of the mind and thought an obstruction?
FRANKLIN: What is your experience?
QUESTION: My experience is that in spite of what I will or wish, I have lot=
s of strange thoughts.
FRANKLIN: If you close the eyes meditatively, you turn yourself mainly to c=
oncentration on mind forms. But if your eyes are open, there are people, fu=
nctional demands and the whole cosmic event. And while you are sitting ther=
e with your eyes open, you will become aware that all of this thought is al=
so going on. You will begin to feel, almost see, how thought slides between=
you and all contact with the moving world. Thought is an actual, solid obs=
truction. It is a form of matter, a modification of energy. What we call ou=
r mind is wave lengths of force, functioning, taking on forms, through the =
subtle processes of electrical interchange. So when you have a thought, you=
have modified the energy flowing through the brain regions. In other words=
, you have contracted it, and you are always concentrating on that contract=
ion. If you pinch your arm, attention centers at the point of pain. If you =
have a thought, attention centers at the point of thought. Whenever there i=
s distraction by a particular entity, form, function, or whatever, there is=
loss of direct awareness, of relationship. When there is concentra tion, e=
verything else is excluded. The "ego" is just another form of concentration=
, of distraction. In the case of the ego, the distraction is not a particul=
ar thought, but the separate self sense that all contraction generates. The=
ego is an activity, not an entity. The ego is the activity of avoidance, t=
he avoidance of relationship.
Therefore, any thought, any function, anything that creates form, that appe=
ars as form, that seems form, is produced by concentration or contraction. =
Thus, apart from understanding, all processes, even life itself, tend to be=
come an obstruction. The root of it all is called the "ego," but it is actu=
ally contraction, in countless forms, endured without consciousness. The ab=
sence of consciousness is the key, not the acts of concentration themselves=
(which are only more or less functional). Apart from consciousness, functi=
onal contraction tends to become the assumed condition of life. Unconscious=
contraction creates separation, which manifests as identification, or the =
sense of separate self.
The root of spirituality is not some activity like desire that seeks to get=
you to the super Object. Genuine spirituality is understanding of the whol=
e process of motivation. It is to recognize the root of it, this contractio=
n, this separation. When you no longer have any more options, when you have=
worn yourself out doing your number, and you have tried all the trips and =
methods, paths and lifestyles, strategies and places to go, all the forms o=
f concentration, whatever they are, then all of that begins to break down. =
You discover that you just don't have the jazz left to really carry it on a=
ny more. You find yourself more depressed, just a little bit too much depre=
ssed to meditate or to hunt for sex. You just don't have the jazz, the nece=
ssary fire of motivation. Then upsetness begins to overwhelm you. The crisi=
s begins to come on. You don't really have a path anymore. You may talk a l=
ot about it, feel a lot about it. It remains a part of your mind, but you d=
on't really have a path any longer. That is really the most hopeful sign. T=
he guy is beginning to rot! When fruit begins to rot, then it falls with se=
ed into the earth. But as long as a man is very righteous, as long as he ha=
s got his trip, lie is not ripe. It is only when the trip begins to kick hi=
m in the face that he begins to soften up, bruise a little bit, feel his fe=
ar, his suffering, his dilemma, this constant upset of all our mortality.
We are all going to die. We are all going to lose this awareness, this enjo=
yment. I can't endure that dilemma from day to day. From the moment I was b=
orn, that upset me. I wasn't the least interested in tolerating moment to m=
oment existence as that kind of suffering. Life wasn't worth the involvemen=
t if its summation had to be death, zero. What difference does it make ho w=
turned on I can get if I must fall out the bottom, arbitrarily. Everything=
is wonderful today. But you wake up tomorro w and the world of lovely frie=
nds is delivered to you dead, the insane parcels of everything disappearing=
. So all righteousness, all ordinary spirituality or the search for consola=
tion is nonsense. It is a refusal. It is unreal.
The usual perception is that of the agonizing fact of identification, the a=
ct that is ego, this refusal of one another, this lovelessness, and this li=
ving craziness. And all of your ordinary processes are bound up with that c=
raziness, until you begin to get sick of it. Then you are no longer talking=
about your 'trip," your yoga, how groovy it is and how you're going to get=
there, everything is so soul beautiful, and all this crap. You will become=
obsessed with your darkness, your heaviness. You will try to feel good, bu=
t you know you feel lousy. You really feel upset. It is really bad, it is r=
eally an annoyance. You are only upset, so what difference does the search =
make? If you go through that long enough, you begin really to get upset, an=
d your meditation becomes concentration on your upset. Whereas before you w=
ere al ways doing your number to avoid that upset, now you can't do anythin=
g but be upset. And while you are meditating on your upsetness, you happen =
to get involved here, in this Ashram, and you get even more and more upset =
all the time. You come to me, and I make you more upset. You think you are =
supposed to be having a very groovy spiritual experience here, becoming mor=
e and more turned on. But when you come around, people yell at you. They ca=
ll your attention to your crazy number. You are trying to do your best, but=
everybody is hitting you over the head. All such experience is very aggrav=
ating, but it begins to reinforce the real meditation that has now started =
to go on in you. It is this crisis, this falling apart, this rot. And it wi=
ll persist, until you begin to observe, somehow, this activity of yours.
When you begin to see what you are doing, when you begin to re cognize it, =
you will see it first of all in very direct, human terms. You will see it i=
n the simple, human, practical things that you do. Later, you will begin to=
see it in subtler ways. You will observe the whole quality of your mind, y=
our ordinary activity, your game, the drama, the event that is always going=
on, until you begin to see it most precisely and in a 'cry subtle way. Whe=
n you see it absolutely, that is radical understanding. When you see the th=
ing itself, the simple thing, that is the end of it. You fall apart. You sc=
ream, or you can t say anything, but it just ends. All of a sudden the whol=
e process is not going on anymore. And this apparent event, unlike all othe=
r apparent forms of action in the manifest worlds, is not follo wed by a re=
action.
In The Knee of Listening I have described this "event" in my own case. When=
there was this simple, radical turnabout, there was nothing about it that =
would have appeared remarkable to anyone who might have observed me. I didn=
't smile. I didn't feel high. There was no reaction to that event, because =
there wasn't anything left over of the thing that now was thro wn a way. Th=
ere was no thing to which I could react. There was no one to react, to feel=
good about it, happy about it. There was no peculiar emotion to the event =
itself. The Heart was all. Its quality became more and more apparent. There=
was a preliminary period of that fundamental enjoyment which lasted for pe=
rhaps several months. During that time there was no longer this whole compl=
ex life in dilemma, but I didn't really function in any way different than =
before. I didn't experience any comparative impression about the event. I d=
idn't really "see" or interpret it clearly and fully for a good period of t=
ime, even though I consciously enjoyed a state that was untouched, unqualif=
ied by any event or circumstance, which would seem remarkable in itself. Bu=
t I hadn't begun to function as it in relation to manifest life. Only when =
I did so, and then only gradually, was I able to estimate and know my o wn =
event. It was as if I had walked through myself. Such a state is perfectly =
spontaneous. It has no way of watching itself. It has no way to internalize=
or structure itself. It is Divine madness. The Self, the Heart is perfect =
madness. There is not a jot of form within it. There is no thing. No thing =
has happened. There is not a single movement in consciousness. And that is =
its blissfulness. It was not the fact that certain functions of internal li=
fe had been stimulated. It was peculiarly free of vision, movement, and all=
the blissful phenomena characteristic of the activities of yoga shakti13 A=
nd when such phenomena did happen to arise, they were of another kind, or t=
hey were kno. wn from a new point of view. Their qualities had become cosmi=
c and universal rather than yogic or personal in nature. Until there is onl=
y God, the living One.
The mind acts as an obstruction. When the process of understanding begins i=
n you, you will enquire of yourself as I have described in The Knee of List=
ening. You will enquire of the mind, you will enquire in this moment of thi=
nking, and you will understand it. When consciousness moves into relationsh=
ip, the mind falls away. The mind is replaced by a form of intensity. The m=
ore that simple intensity is enjoyed as existence, the less obtrusive the m=
ind becomes. Even though it continues to arise, it becomes less and less ob=
trusive. You notice it less. Now you think you are the mind. You are thinki=
ng, thinking. But it is actually something that is arising in consciousness=
. It is only a modification of your own nature. The man of understanding si=
mply does not notice the mind in the usual way. It is not that he has quiet=
ed his mind. He is not his mind. There is no one there to be the mind. The =
"mind" is simply one of the functions that spontaneously arise. But if you =
identify with it, then you have already separated yourself. Only when that =
whole structure of the separate self is undermined by radical perception of=
its root does thought resume its natural state.
Ramana Maharshi advised seekers to find out who it is that asks the questio=
n, thinks the thought, whatever. The "who" is not an entity. When Maharshi =
spoke, he used the symbology and language of Advaita Vedanta, the classic m=
onistic or "only One Reality" school of Hindu philosophy. The imagery of th=
is way of describing the process of Truth deals in statics, things in space=
. So there is the ego, the objectified, solidified self. But I speak more i=
n terms of process or movement. I speak in terms of concepts of experience =
with which the modern mind is more familiar and which is more appropriate i=
n this time and place. I do not speak of "the ego" as an object within a co=
nceptual universe of objects, because we think in terms of process, energy.=
Therefore, the concept of the static ego is not terribly useful. It doesn'=
t communicate our actual experience. To say seek the "I," find out who the =
"I" is, is not terribly meaningful, because we don't approach the Conscious=
Nature from the mental structure assumed by that question. But we all are =
dealing with activity, with process, movement. Therefore, what is called "t=
he ego" in the traditions is more appropri ately and conclusively re cogniz=
ed by us to be an activity. And understanding is that re cognition, that di=
rect seeing of the fundamental and always present activity that is our suff=
ering, ignorance, distraction, motivation and dilemma. When this activity i=
s thus known again, there is spontaneous and unqualified enjoyment of what =
it excludes, that which is always already the case, always already there.
The process I describe as understanding is ultimately the same that Maharsh=
i was describing. The same state or enjoyment is being communicated and ser=
ved. It is the same Force of Truth. It is all absolutely the same. The thin=
g is that, since we are all presently existing, we cannot simply and naivel=
y embrace the fixtures that we have inherited. There must be conscious re c=
ognition of our present condition. Therefore, the old concepts and methods =
are simply not useful, even though they may be pleasant and consoling. Ther=
e must be an absolute penetration of the form of life. Thus, it must be app=
roached within the living, present structure in which it is suffered and en=
tertained.
QUESTION: On this basis, how does formal meditation stand? You don't seem t=
o think that formal meditation has much great benefit.
FRANKLIN: If you understand what you call your formal meditation, that unde=
rstanding is meditation. The understanding of your activity is meditation. =
If you have an inclination to do some particular kind of sitting, concentra=
ting, yoga method, whatever, all of that is an activity that you are alread=
y tending to do. The point is not whether to do that or not. The point is t=
he understanding of that whole ordinary motivation, the process in this mom=
ent that is producing this particular tendency that is "formal meditation."=
Intelligence is the fundamental meditation. Consciousness is itself medita=
tion. The usual man is always already seeking, so it is not a matter of doi=
ng or not doing some particular kind of motivated search. We are always alr=
eady seeking, whether at this moment we are doing it in the form of a yogic=
technique, or the next moment we are doing it in the form of a sly glance =
at somebody as we pass them in the street. We are always already doing it, =
so it is not the point whether we should do a particular form of it or not.=
There is simply and always the process of our own action. When there is th=
e engagement of action by real, unmotivated intelligence, understanding beg=
ins to develop as a spontaneous, real process in consciousness. As this pro=
cess of intelligence matures, it tends to appear to become a little more fo=
rmal, so that perhaps a man actually sits down, actually seems to meditate =
for a half hour, an hour, or even longer periods. He may appear to everyone=
else as if he is doing what they recognize to be formal or, more properly,=
motivated meditation. But that is not in fact what he is doing. He is livi=
ng consciousness. It is just that, from a practical point of view, if the b=
ody is relaxed, sitting in a natural pose in which its fluids and energies =
can move freely, such is an appropriate manner in which to enjoy the critic=
al activity of real intelligence. Even so, the same intelligence can be act=
ive under any conditions, formal or random and circumstantial. There is sim=
ply the endless return to this re cognition of our own activity. The gather=
ing of our Ashram, our conversation together, our sitting together, the rea=
ding or study we do, our life with one another, everything we are doing con=
stantly reawakens this re cognition in some form or other, through crises, =
endurance of the resistance of our suffering, whatever. As we pass through =
ordinary life in this way, and we see this same quality, always this same d=
isturbance, that seeing, that understanding, which is to be no longer trapp=
ed in the unconscious process of action, is meditation. And such meditation=
is the necessary foundation of all spiritual activity, the life of Truth.
The form that arises in consciousness at any moment is the avoidance of rel=
ationship. It is the obstruction. The whole quality that arises in consciou=
sness, which appears as forms of body sense, awareness of life, thought, th=
e whole spontaneous event of waking, dreaming and deep sleep is, in itself,=
the avoidance of relationship in the usual man. Whatever arises is a manif=
estation of this same process. Once you begin to re cognize it, once you ca=
tch the little pieces that are prominent, then you begin to see yourself fu=
lly. Understanding begins in that way, in very practical observa tion, in t=
he real observation of something that is obviously and practically a hindra=
nce, an avoidance of the condition of relationship. When real observation o=
f that kind has begun in you, this intelligence that is understanding has a=
practical basis. To that degree, you are able to respond with the intellig=
ence of understanding to the events that arise for you. The more there is o=
f this re cognition, of this practical re cognition, the more understanding=
has become your intelligence. At the point when you really begin to see th=
e all embracing technique and strategy of life, when you really begin to se=
e the structure of your suffering, at that point the form of enquiry I have=
recommended in The Knee of Listening becomes a natural extension of consci=
ousness. And it may appear to be used in a very formal way, but its use is =
rooted in understanding itself. Genuine enquiry in the form "Avoiding relat=
ionship?" is utterly dependent on prior understanding. Without understandin=
g enquiry is just like anything else. It is just a question in the head. It=
is just another preference. And understanding itself depends on Satsang,14=
the company and conditions generated by the Siddha Guru,15 one who lives T=
ruth in the world.
People do in fact tend to use the enquiry as a "method." They may read abou=
t it, or they may even have begun to engage themselves in the preliminary s=
tages of life in the Ashram, and they begin to "meditate" by using this for=
m of enquiry or some other form of looking at themselves. But in such cases=
, enquiry is always used in the spirit of method and seeking. Everything te=
nds to become the search, until understanding or real intelligence is alive=
. But even though such people are going on with all of that, still doing th=
eir number, if they are involved in the conditions of this work, everything=
will eventually break down. If only a person has the endurance for it, or =
the need for it, the looseness for it, or only the inability to go out and =
play his game again, whatever it is. Some such inner quality must keep a ma=
n or woman in place, so this work can take hold in them. And the highest or=
most potent inner quality is faith, devotion and surrender to Guru.=20
________________________________________
1. An Ashram is a place where a Spiritual Master gathers the. community of =
his devotees and disciples in order to live with them, instruct them, and c=
ommunicate the divine force of his Presence.
2. The questioner in this case is a seeker, relatively unfamiliar with Fran=
klin's teaching or the quality of his approach to individuals, particularly=
to those who, while remaining enamored of themselves, like Narcissus, pot =
on the masks of spiritual awareness.
3. Yoga is a general term for the various ways of consciously functioning i=
n union with the Divine Reality. The term commonly refers to the Hindu desc=
riptions of these ways.
4 You will hear Franklin using this term throughout these talks, and it sho=
uld become progressively clear what is meant by it. It is recommended that =
you also read The Knee of Listening for a full understanding of this key sy=
mbol of Franklin's work. In general, the term signifies the unqualified gro=
und and power of being and of all manifestation. The man of understanding i=
s conscious as and from this 'ground," this foundation position and capacit=
y. The Heart is perfectly thought free. The man of understanding is mindles=
s, not because he suppresses thought, hut his understanding of all that ari=
ses has become re cognition or knowing again of thought itself, so that min=
d, or its principle, has fallen in the Heart. Even so, he continues, parado=
xically, to function as any ordinary man.
5 Satire is the Japanese 'Zen" Buddhist term for the experience of enlighte=
n ment or sudden awakening to the Nature of self and world.
6 Nirvana is a classical Buddhist term for the extinction or quenching of a=
ll qualities of suffering, of ego, of birth and death. Entry into the trans=
cendent realm of unqualified Reality.
7 Siddha means a perfectly fulfilled or accomplished one, a completed uric.=
It is used to refer to the Great Souls or Master Teachers who live perfect=
ly in God while they arc also active in the paradoxical and spontaneous fun=
ctions of the Divine in the created worlds.
8. A siddhi is a form of yogic accomplishment. an extraordinary or subtle f=
unctional ability. The 'Siddhi of the Real" is the Mahasiddhi, the great, s=
pontaneous Perfect Consciousness, Activity and Presence of the Siddha, or o=
ne whose understanding is Perfect.
9. A Patriarch of the Ch'an or Zen Buddhist tradition, who brought the teac=
hing to China from India in the 6th century A.D.
10. Right or true action, action appropriate to real or spiritual life. It =
commonly refers to spiritual practices directed toward the goal of spiritua=
l attainment. Franklin uses the term without the implication of a goal. He =
intends it to mean appropriate action, which is generated where Truth is al=
ready the case, not where it is sought.
11. Ramana Maharshi was a spontaneously Self realized Sage of modern India.=
He abandoned the gross physical body in 1950.
12 Sri Ramakrishna was a great devotee of God who flourished in the mid 19t=
h century and passed on in 1886.
13 Yoga shakti is the power, energy or living force that is awakened in the=
yogi spontaneously or through the agency of the spiritual Master. This int=
ernal energy produces a wide range of phenomena in the body. mind and subtl=
e faculties of the adept.
14. Satsang literally means true or right relationship. It is commonly used=
to refer to the practice of spending time in the company of holy or wise p=
ersons. One can also enjoy Satsang with a holy place, a venerated image, th=
e burial shrine of a saint, or with the Deity. Franklin uses the term in it=
s fullest sense, to signify the very relationship between a genuine Siddha =
and his devotee. That relationship is seen to he an all inclusive condition=
. effective at every level of life and consciousness.
15. Guru is a term properly used to refer to one who functions as a genuine=
spiritual Master. The Siddha Guru is a perfect Master, a Siddha who functi=
ons as Guru for others, who is himself the very Truth that is awakened in t=
he disciple. This Siddha Guru is what Franklin generally means to indicate =
in his use of the simple term "Guru"=20

THE METHOD OF THE SIDDHAS


The Avon Lady=20
________________________________________
FRANKLIN: (Laughing) What is there?
DEVOTEE: Is there free will?
FRANKLIN: What would that be?
DEVOTEE: I don't think we have free will. I think only=20
God has free will.
FRANKLIN: And who are we?
DEVOTEE: Part of God.
FRANKLIN: Does God have free will?
DEVOTEE: Then what about evolution? If there is such a
thing as evolution, we will all get to God eventually.
FRANKLIN: You are assuming that you are not there for
the moment.
DEVOTEE: Well, I am not aware that I am there.
FRANKLIN: That "awareness" that you are not there is what our work in the A=
shram is all about. What kind of free will are you concerned with? To do wh=
at?
DEVOTEE: Well, if we have free will and there is evolution, why do we have =
to work at it? Why not let evolution take over and eventually we will all b=
e evolved into illuminated Masters.
FRANKLIN: Are you trying to become a Master?
DEVOTEE: I didn't think you could leave this plane of existence until you w=
ere a Master.
FRANKLIN: What is wrong with this plane of existence?
DEVOTEE: There are other planes to work on. Eventually all attain the state=
that Christ attained, without physical bodies.
FRANKLIN: Where did you hear all of this?
DEVOTEE: I don't know.
FRANKLIN: You are making a lot of assumptions to begin with. God, Masters, =
evolution, free will or not, getting there, other planes. What has all of t=
hat got to do with you?
DEVOTEE: I am somewhere, but I don't know where.=20
FRANKLIN: Well, that would seem to be the first order of business. That is =
just it, isn't it? You are very confused, and there is suffering, apparentl=
y. You read all these books, and you do all this thinking, all this hoping =
about Christ and whomever else, about getting there, and doing this and tha=
t to get there. That is suffering. And it is true, why go through all this =
effort to get there? I wouldn't use the excuse that we are going to get the=
re anyway because of evolution, but there is something very meaningful in t=
his doubt about the whole attempt to "get there." You have discovered this =
feeling that the trying to get there is very closely related to suffering. =
There is suffering, and there is the trying to get there. Those two things,=
I would imagine, are very real to you: the conscious suffering involved in=
life, and this whole attempt to get free of it.
This whole attempt to get free of it is a very elaborate, very involved not=
ion. You have to do so many things before you "get there." There is all of =
this "stuff," which doesn't do one thing to your suffering. The concept of =
Jesus doesn't do anything for your suffering. The idea of becoming like Jes=
us doesn't do anything for your suffering. The effort to become like Jesus =
doesn't do anything for your fundamental suffering. Your constant evolution=
to become like Jesus doesn't do anything for your continuous suffering. Su=
ffering persists as the basic content of your consciousness. On top of that=
, there is all of this seeking, wondering, thinking about how to get there,=
how to get free of suffering. If you were already free of suffering, it wo=
uldn't make any difference to you whether this room appeared, or a ballroom=
in Vienna, or a Seventh Plane party! The fact that suffering is gone would=
be the thing that makes you happy. When suffering no longer distracts, you=
see that you are already happy, that you are happiness. From the purely pr=
actical and real point of view, the thing that concerns you is not other pl=
anes, God, Jesus, or getting there. Suffering is your concern, because it i=
s already your real experience.
DEVOTEE: It seems to me, if you look at any realized man, you see how far y=
ou have to go.
FRANKLIN: How do you know how far you have to go? How do you know where he =
is?
DEVOTEE: Well, I'm still suffering, so I still have a long way to go. If I =
am not in a perfect state of living, if I am not
here now, then I am separate.
FRANKLIN: What is this suffering?
DEVOTEE: Well, there are different forms of suffering. Not
being realized is suffering.
FRANKLIN: What is it right now? As a perception right
now, what is this suffering?
DEVOTEE: Being trapped in the human body.
FRANKLIN: What is there about that that is suffering?
DEVOTEE: I don't want to be in it.
FRANKLIN: Are you in it?
DEVOTEE: Now I am, yes.
FRANKLIN: What makes you think you are a something
that could be inside the body?
DEVOTEE: Well, that is the way I feel now. Since I assume
it now, it's real now.
FRANKLIN: Your assumption makes it real?
DEVOTEE: Yes.
FRANKLIN: Is your assumption the thing you are suffering?=20
DEVOTEE: Well, you could say that, yes.
FRANKLIN: That which is called realization, liberation, God union, or whate=
ver, gets represented to people in various symbolic ways, as a path, as som=
ething with lots of planes and worlds, colors, lights and visions, figures =
and forms, methods, universes, "inside" and "outside," going here, going th=
ere, distance, direction, shape. These are all conceptual communications, s=
ymbols, pictures for the mind. Fundamentally, they exploit your suffering, =
by motivating you to acquire whatever it is they represent or hide. True sp=
iritual life is not a motivation to these symbols, a belief in them, nor ev=
en the acquisition of what they represent. Spiritual life is the process in=
consciousness in which there is understanding or re cognition of suffering=
, the present experience.
Where there is no suffering, that which stands out or becomes the obvious i=
s called heaven, nirvana, liberation, the Self, Brahman, God, God union, Tr=
uth, Reality. When there is no dilemma, when there is no formation of consc=
iousness, when consciousness itself ceases to take on form or become identi=
cal to form, this is what is called liberation. The process that is involve=
d is not one of search based on suffering. Ordinarily, if you suffer, you i=
mmediately seek to get free, and you attach yourself to all kinds of hopefu=
l signs. But true life or spiritual life is the reverse of that. Ordinarily=
, a man is seeking, pursuing forgetfulness from his suffering, his dilemma,=
his contraction, this separation, this unconsciousness. He pursues the abs=
ence of that in delight, enjoyment, distraction, search for perfection, sea=
rch for all kinds of acquisitions, food, sex, money, good weather, lunch, u=
ntil this whole process begins to become uninteresting. He tries every reso=
rt, either by contemplation or actual adventure. He looks at every "movie" =
on the subject. He seeks, until that whole movement in him, that whole reac=
tion to his suffering which is this search for the absence of suffering, be=
gins to wind down. Now he begins to realize its hopelessness. The search be=
gins to lose its capacity to occupy him. It becomes less exotic, less fasci=
nating, less hopeful. Some quality in consciousness begins to turn away fro=
m this whole process of seeking, this whole reaction to his suffering, and =
rests in the suffering itself. He is no longer reciting his mantra,' stretc=
hing into holy shapes, thinking about long ago Jesus, wanting to be in the =
seventh plane, con centrating on a spot on the wall to get out of the body.=
He is no longer really interested in any of that. Even a vague disinterest=
in life's pleasures may come over him. He begins to realize that he is act=
ually suffering, whereas before he was completely occupied with his seeking=
, and suffering wasn't really the object of his contemplation. It was just =
some vague "whatever." The search was what involved him. But now he begins =
to fall out of his search. He begins to live this suffering. Suffering beco=
mes his experience, his obsession. It completely absorbs him. It becomes th=
e object of his meditation. His actual state becomes absorbing. This rather=
than all the things to which he attached himself to forget this, to get ri=
d of this. Then he begins to see his suffering, to re cognize his suffering=
. He begins to see, in fact, what his suffering is. That subtle sensation t=
hat is motivating his whole search becomes the thing that occupies him. He =
can no longer do anything about it. He sees what suffering itself is, at th=
is moment. He begins to see it precisely. It is a present activity. He begi=
ns to re cognize it, to know it again in consciousness. He sees this contra=
ction of his own state, moment to moment, this separation, this avoidance o=
f relationship. He begins to see this more and more exactly, specifically. =
It becomes an overwhelming re cognition, until that portion of himself, tha=
t quality of himself that enjoys the re cognition, that is the intelligence=
of this re cognition of suffering, becomes his intelligence, becomes the v=
ery quality of consciousness that he lives, with which he approaches all ex=
perience moment to moment. Then, instead of simply suffering, he enquires o=
f the nature of this experiencing, moment to moment. He sees beyond this co=
ntraction that is his suffering. And he begins to enjoy that which his chro=
nic activity and state always prevent.
Our suffering is our own activity. It is something that we are doing moment=
to moment. It is a completely voluntary activity. We cognize it in the for=
m of symptoms, which are the sense of separate existence, the mind of endle=
ss qualities, of differentiation, and the whole form of motion, of desire. =
We are always already living in these things, but their root, the source of=
it all, the thing whose form they are all reflecting, is this contraction,=
this separative act, this avoid acne of relationship, which constantly cre=
ates the form in consciousness that we cognize as suffering. Where it is re=
cognizee, known again, this activity and its symptoms cease to be the form=
of consciousness. Then what is always prevented by the usual state becomes=
the form of conscious ens. Where there is unqualified relationship, where =
there is no contraction, where there is no separation, no avoidance, there =
is no differentiation, no necessary mind, no necessary desire, no identific=
ation with separate movement. Then consciousness falls into its own form, w=
ithout effort.
Symbolically, this is called knowing or cognizant the Self. But in fact it =
is not possible to fix attention on the Self. Your own nature or Reality it=
self cannot become an object of attention. The actual process involves atte=
ntion and re cognition of this suffering, this contraction. Where suffer in=
is thus "known," what it prevents is suddenly, spontaneously enjoyed, not =
as the "object" of enjoyment, but as the enjoyment itself. Then, prior to e=
ffort, motivation, or attention, there is only the "Self," Reality, the Hea=
rt. Where there is this re cognition of suffering, the whole structure of e=
xperiences, concepts, searches, strategies, that is our ordinary life, our =
search, ceases to be obsessive or even particularly interesting. It loses i=
ts significance, its capacity to qualify what always already is. This undis=
tracted state, this natural enjoyment prior to the activity that is our suf=
fering, is called realization, Janna,2 understanding. It is the enjoy mente=
of Reality, that is Reality, what is otherwise Sam bollixed as God, the Ma=
sters, whatever. From the point of view of the Self, the storybook Masters =
are of no more significance than a hamburger at McDonnell's. The "Masters" =
are only more imagery that tends to fascinate and occupy the seeker, the on=
e who is already suffering. But the search and the seeker are themselves of=
no real concern. They are already secondary, because the "seeker" is only =
a reaction to his own suffering. The prior action, the thing that is really=
occupying and motivating every man, is suffering itself.
Therefore, suffering is the appropriate and spontaneous object of meditatio=
n, rather than the artifices to which seekers attach themselves. Not mantra=
s, not the images of Masters, not ideas of psychic power, of other worlds. =
These are not the appropriate object. They are no solution. They are more o=
f the same. This room is of no concern to somebody who has never even been =
to the United States. If he lives in Germany, but he reads a lot of books a=
bout this Ashram, his reading does not create an actual involvement with th=
is place. It is not the equivalent of being here. It may be playful, humoro=
us, enjoyable, but it is not itself equivalent to being here. Reading about=
Jesus and wanting to be like Jesus is not the equivalent of being Jesus. I=
t never will be the equivalent of being Jesus. "Jesus" is like the statemen=
t you made, that you are in your body. You are suggesting Jesus to yourself=
, but in fact Jesus is not here.
DEVOTEE: Isn't the experience here?
FRANKLIN: What is that?
DEVOTEE: It is the love.
FRANKLIN: If there is love here, why does it have to be Jesus? What is adde=
d to this moment by thinking that the love that is here is Jesus' love? Why=
does it have to be Jesus? Maybe it is Sam Smith, whom nobody ever heard of=
! Why does it have to be Jesus? It is only because the mind is associated w=
ith that symbol, and it consoles itself with that symbol. Rather than penet=
rate our own suffering, rather than penetrate the unlikeliness, the unloosi=
ng quality of our own lives, we console ourselves with the images of things=
we do not contain. When you understand that, when you see what you are doi=
ng, it really becomes impossible for you to turn yourself on with symbols. =
A person can read about Jesus and think that love is his love, but sooner o=
r later there is going to be a real need for love, a real dissatisfaction w=
ith no love, a penetration of this whole plaster mind that doesn't really d=
o the job. Then he will see that all of these consolations are forms of his=
own mind. They are entertainment's, distractions, for a purpose that is al=
ways hidden. Then he will begin to observe this motivation, this need to be=
consoled. And that is a very difficult affair, because in this process of =
re cognition there are no consoling images. There is nothing by which to be=
consoled.
There is a "death" declared in all the traditions. There is a "spiritual" d=
eath, a dark night, the death of the ego and all the imagery it uses to sup=
port itself, to console itself, to occupy itself. But consolation is the eg=
o. The thing Jesus recommended was re birth or realization through spiritua=
l death, the cross. Pick it up and follow me, suffer the world. He didn't r=
ecommend that you think about his aquiline profile every day and feel good =
until he comes again.
All the traditions, even those that Westerners tend to associate with, are =
talking about a crisis in consciousness, spiritual death as the event of sa=
lvation, liberation. In that death there certainly is death. There is no th=
ing. There is the holding on to everything, and the falling away of everyth=
ing. When it takes place, there is no longer any resistance, there is no lo=
nger any one to die. When this death has occurred, what is enjoyed from tha=
t point of view has been named love, salvation, liberation, realization, Go=
d union. But there must be this death, a crisis in consciousness, a crisis =
in that ordinary process of surviving and seeking which is itself responsib=
le for the creation and maintenance of these images that console us. All su=
ch images are forms of seeking. We are responsible for their creation. They=
are phantoms that we hold on to for reasons. The observation and re cognit=
ion of those reasons, even their very motivation, that sense which supports=
the whole process of consolation, is spiritual life. And that is also what=
Jesus recommended. He didn't say that he was love, but God is love. Where =
Jesus is not, only love is. Truth is love. Reality is love. This is love. T=
his love has nothing to do with images of some cosmic super guy. Truth is l=
ove. We are love. This is love.
DEVOTEE: What about "Jesus freaks" and other people who go through a sudden=
change and become very light and happy?
FRANKLIN: We would, of course, have to be talking about somebody in particu=
lar to make much sense out of it. There are all kinds of testimonials, all =
kinds of salvations, and all kinds of claims made by people. There are thou=
sands of religious and philosophical methods that have been tried by human =
beings, and all of them have a certain amount of "success." There are alway=
s a few individuals who make great claims for some particular way. Christia=
nity is one for which we have many such testimonials, because it has been g=
oing on for a long time, and many, many people have tried some form of it. =
There have been a number of great men and women among the Christians. There=
have also been a lot of mediocre people. Some of those mediocre people hav=
e also enjoyed a revolutionary change in their state, for reasons that othe=
rs find hard to understand. Many other people have claimed to have gone thr=
ough the enlightenment experience with various Zen masters, or whatever. Th=
e Christian experience is typically "holy," but the Zen experience is typic=
ally "ordinary." The Zen insight may be precipitated by a punch in the mout=
h, a smack on the head with an oar, or some crazy thing, and the next momen=
t the "smackee" claims to be entirely transformed, living from an entirely =
new point of view! So this spontaneous turning around can take place under =
all kinds of apparent circumstances. Enthusiastic claims are not exclusive =
to Christianity. They are found in all religious and spiritual traditions. =
The phenomenon of change is itself the essential or common factor in all of=
them. And, in general, they are hard to understand on the face of it.
If you took a survey of all religious and spiritual claims and tried to mak=
e sense of them, you wouldn't be able to isolate something that occurred, i=
nternally or externally, that could justify the claims. And that is precise=
ly the point. In this turnabout, which can appear dramatic or not, nothing =
is added. Its reasons are not identifiable, because it is not a matter of a=
ttaching something to the person's life, externally or internally. It is a =
matter of a turnabout of consciousness itself. One of the things the great =
traditional teachers have tried to communicate is the value of that turnabo=
ut, and also something about how it actually takes place. If you took a sur=
vey of all the apparent examples of this turnabout, you couldn't make sense=
out of it, so the historical Masters, Gurus or Teachers have always tried =
to communicate that process itself, by whatever particular means they had a=
vailable to them.
For the most part though, the experiences to which religious people testify=
represent, except in relatively few cases, an emotional and temporary dist=
raction, a kind of mood. It is an experience. It can be described. It can b=
e held onto, and it can be lost. It can even be proclaimed. But what is cal=
led enlightenment, liberation, or God union in its true sense, is profoundl=
y unlike experience. Truth is not an experience. It is not a particular sta=
te, and it cannot be identified with a particular way of life, a particular=
appearance. Seekers of all kinds talk about dramatic events in their lives=
as if they were this enlightenment of Truth. But most of these events are =
forms of temporary distraction. They are only intense experiences. And men =
want to hold on to such things. They want to preserve or repeat them throug=
hout life, and look forward to the repetition of them in heaven or after li=
fe. But Truth rests on no experience whatsoever. It is not in itself an exp=
erience, it cannot be held onto, it cannot be repeated, it cannot be looked=
forward to, it cannot be lost, it cannot even be recommended. It is an abs=
olute obliteration of what we commonly call "life."
What is ordinarily called salvation is a form of satisfaction imagined by a=
separate, fearful man. When a man is 'saved," his separate life is console=
d, distracted and involved with a path, an image, an experience. But when t=
here is nothing to be satisfied, when there is no one to be satisfied, when=
there is no one to give a testimony, when there is no one to meet Jesus, t=
hat is liberation. When the ego, the separate self sense that is our suffer=
ing, is undermined, and there is a sudden or prolonged penetration of the s=
tructure of consciousness, of mind, of motion, of self sense, when all of t=
hat is undermined, penetrated, understood, re cognized, and the very thing =
that it prevents is enjoyed, there is no longer any one to survive his deat=
h. Then there is no separate one living, there is no "one" to be in a body,=
there is no one to be out of the body. Nothing has happened. There is no s=
eparate one.
=20
DEVOTEE: If we are all already conscious, then we are not in this Ashram to=
become conscious, right?
FRANKLIN: What you think is consciousness is not consciousness itself. It i=
s a form in consciousness.
DEVOTEE: So we are separating ourselves, we are identifying with the form i=
nstead of consciousness.
FRANKLIN: But there is no method to be recommended to go and find that cons=
ciousness. Ramana Maharshi spoke about a method, but his way is really quit=
e paradoxical, humorous, and not, as it seems, straightforward. If you reme=
mber, he was always saying: Find out "who" it is that has experiences, that=
wants to seek, that thinks it is in the body. Find out who that is. But, o=
f course, there is no way to find that out. There is no "one" to find that =
out. It is a spontaneous event, a paradoxical event, the most absolute of a=
ll events. It is a gift! It is itself God, Truth, Reality!
The highest responsibility of men is Satsang, to live in the condition of r=
elationship, the condition of the Heart, the company of the Self, the Guru.=
The essential responsibility of the Guru is Sat sang, to live the Heart to=
his friends. The highest responsibility of those who live this Satsang is =
to make it available to others. So this Ashram involves Satsang. living com=
pany, a continuous relationship as the condition of life. It is the one thi=
ng done. Nothing else is exchanged, no special techniques, no thing. None o=
f this seeking is exploited. The essential work of those who are responsibl=
e for the Ashram is to make Satsang available to others. Everything else is=
secondary. Everything that serves the availability of Satsang is the respo=
nsibility of this Ashram.
There is a danger in all associations of men. Because we appear within this=
human condition, this "dream" world, men tend to live from the point of vi=
ew of this condition. There is an ancient ritual that men unconsciously des=
ire to re enact. Wherever you see an association of men gathered for the. p=
urpose of spiritual life, the same thing is tending to be created. There is=
an ancient game called "Scapegoat." There is an ancient ritual called the =
'round dance." Men tend to encircle the center, a book, a man, a symbol, a =
Guru. They tend to encircle him, and acquire all things for this circle. Th=
e group becomes inward directed. It becomes "occult."
Anciently, the highest product of this cult is the sacrifice of the one in =
the middle. Traditional societies, throughout the ancient world, did this y=
early. The guy in the middle was killed, or ritually deposed, and a new guy=
was, installed in the center. The execution of Jesus is an example of this=
same ritual. The addition of this ancient ritual process makes the death o=
f Jesus into the "sacrifice of Christ."
In the New Testament you read how the soldiers tortured Jesus. They played =
this game called "Scapegoat." It is a game of "man in the middle." The tend=
ency of those who become involved in spiritual work is to create a cult, a =
circle that ever increases its dimensions and its content, beginning from t=
his center, surrounding it, ultimately destroying it. The form that the "cu=
lt," or spiritual association of men, tends to take is the same form that m=
en are living individually. It is self or ego in the middle. It is this avo=
idance of relationship, this contraction, which creates the sense of mind, =
the endless habits of desire. It is what we call "life." A man begins to se=
nse this separate existence to be his very nature, and spends his life crea=
ting a circle of content or acquisition all around it. He encloses all othe=
r beings he can acquire, all of the things he can acquire, all of the state=
s and thoughts he can acquire, all the emblems, symbols, experiences, sensa=
tions. When he begins to involve himself in some spiritual association, or,=
for that matter, any association outside his own subjectivity, he tends ag=
ain to create that same circle about a center.
The cult is a re enactment of the ego. The ultimate fate of every cult is t=
he same as that of the ego, the separate and separative self. It is the sac=
rificial destruction of the center, the death of the one in the middle. But=
true Satsang is an anti cultic or non cultic process. It is not inward dir=
ected. It doesn't tend to become a cult in the sense I have described. It i=
s inclusive, but the "center" is not its motive. In Satsang the center is a=
lways already undermined as a center, as a separate and separative entity. =
The "center" of Satsang is conscious ness itself. It is the light, the very=
force of unquaiified consciousness. It is communicated directly to a man's=
life, in relationship, so that he no longer needs to turn inward, to creat=
e survival for the center. Instead, he turns toward function, freely, the l=
ight already assumed. So Satsang, the company of Truth, tends to serve life=
, to move into life, to contact life in relationship, not to acquire life.
My intention with men is not to absorb them into a society or spiritual gan=
g with which they are to become symbolically and ritually preoccupied. I wo=
uld bring them the force of consciousness, whereby they can become capable =
of life. I demand the functional capacity of men. I do not require it to be=
eliminated, resisted, or escaped through some phony meditative impulse. I =
require the functions of men to live. I do not require the separation from =
vital life, vital enjoyment, existence in the form of life. I require these=
functions to be known, to be understood, to be lived from the point of vie=
w of Truth.
Such is the genuine effect of Satsang, the accompanying "mood" of Satsang. =
It is one of capacity for relationship, of no search, no dilemma. It is not=
the tendency to some "other" state. It is the obviation of the dilemma wit=
hin the present state, the undermining of it. One who understands and whose=
life is lived as the condition of Satsang, is not necessarily, in his appe=
arance, different from any other man. He hasn't necessarily acquired some p=
sychic abilities, visionary abilities, whatever. Understanding is not itsel=
f the acquisition of some particular experience. He might, by reason of his=
tendencies, experience the arising of extra ordinary abilities, but not ne=
cessarily. He becomes, like the Guru, one who is simply awake within the dr=
eam.
Satsang is a natural process in which the contraction that is our suffering=
is operated upon by the Guru. The disciple is preoccupied with his search,=
but all the while the Guru is acting upon his fundamental, motivating dile=
mma and strategy. And there are two tendencies by which the Guru is always =
being confronted by his disciple. One is the tendency to seek rather than t=
o enjoy the condition of Satsang. And the other is the tendency to create t=
his contracting circle, this cult, this ritual of fascination and unconscio=
usness. The Guru has only one resort in either case. It is Satsang, his sim=
ple relationship to his friends.
DEVOTEE: Are all awakened men Gurus?
FRANKLIN: No. Guru is not a kind of status. It is a specific function. Ther=
e are some who awaken, but who simply live, without becoming active as the =
function of Guru. There are others who awaken and do in fact perform that f=
unction. Truth, not the "role" of Guru, is the enjoyment of all who are awa=
ke.
DEVOTEE: It's hard to figure out what I have read. One "realized" man wiped=
out his father, another killed off his whole family. How can such phenomen=
a be explained?
FRANKLIN: There is a point where one's search becomes inappropriate. This i=
s that point. All of the Scriptures a person reads, all of the remarks and =
experiences and traditions come to an end when the import of those Scriptur=
es ceases to be academic. In the presence of the Heart, seeking is inapprop=
riate.
It makes no difference what those sentences meant. That's not the point. Th=
e universe devours billions upon billions of entities every second. If we w=
ere to judge by actions those to whom enlightenment should go the universe =
itself would be the last. Only the righteous fools within it would be enlig=
htened, but the universe would have to wait until the very end on account o=
f its crimes. It is not any kind of significance, any appearance, any sugge=
stion, any implication of what we see that is the Truth. The traditions say=
that you can't find the Guru in his actions. In other words, it is not by =
watching how various people act and speak that you find the Guru. He is alw=
ays a paradox. His action is a paradox, like the universe itself.
The old texts that talk about realized beings killing others are allegories=
for spiritual transformations within a man. One of the classic statements =
of Vedanta is that once a man has realized the Self he could slay a hrahmin=
and it would not be a sin for him. It wouldn't affect him. All of these st=
atements are simply suggesting or somehow trying to imply the freedom of th=
e Jnani, the Self realized man. So it is that Self, that Reality to which t=
hese Scriptures are trying to turn you. If you miss the point, and the Self=
doesn't become your direction after reading such Scriptures, you are stuck=
with something you can't understand. You are stuck with something that see=
ms to say what can't be true. So all of these old Scriptures are loaded. Th=
ere are always two sides. But they only have one purpose, which is to creat=
e interest in the Truth, in realization. After the interest has been create=
d, the Scriptures have served their purpose. They just serve to move you al=
ong and entertain you for a period of time until this whole possibility bec=
omes significant enough that a crisis, a breakdown in your ordinary functio=
ning begins to take place. And, hopefully, when this crisis begins, you wil=
l also find yourself in the company of a truly Self realized man, one who l=
ives as the Self. When that contact is made, all of these suggestive senten=
ces become obsolete. They lose their function at the point where that meeti=
ng takes place. The more you have accumulated before that moment, the more =
there is that becomes obsolete. And so also the more resistance there is.
Truly, the Self is mad. The Self is unlearned. The appropriate foundation o=
f human life is not an entity, a separate self sense, an ego, even a soul. =
Such is not the appropriate foundation for human life. The appropriate foun=
dation for human life is the Heart, the Self. It is utterly mindless, utter=
ly free, uncontained, unqualified. But, paradoxically, when the Heart is li=
ved the human being becomes functional, usable, alive, moved. Such a one ma=
kes no complicated use of the things an ordinary man uses to survive. Like =
a child, he moves by delight. He is a man of pleasure, of enjoyment. Like a=
madman, he learns nothing from life. He doesn't helieve what he sees. He d=
oesn't take it to have any limiting significance. He throws away all the th=
ings that seem to everyone so profound, so serious. He attributes nothing t=
o them. So the realized man is like a madman and a child. But apart from ac=
tual realization, radical understanding, what I have just said is a form of=
entertainment. It doesn't affect your impending death. And your death is w=
hat interests the Guru.
DEVOTEE: What about Lord Yama?
FRANKLIN: Lord Yama, the storybook Lord of Death? He barely enters into it!=
He is only a symbol in consciousness. As if death were some entity, some b=
eing or other. But your death is your concern. It is not the concern of any=
"other." That "other" is your Self. So it is only the true Guru who is ver=
y interested in your death. Your death, not all the things you call your li=
fe. And he is very interested in bringing it about very quickly. He doesn't=
want a long engagement! He wants a sudden "death" for everyone.
DEVOTEE: What if a guy's heart, breath and mind were suspended for twenty m=
inutes. He'd be free then, wouldn't he?
FRANKLIN: It depends on what has occurred during those twenty minutes. Many=
people have been in a coma for months, or even years, but they didn't wake=
up any less immune to death, or any more intelligent. The "death" I am tal=
king about is not the death of which you suspect yourself. It is not simply=
that physical, that vital event. The death I am talking about is the turna=
bout, the dissolution of the principle by which you live, the fundamental a=
ctivity that you are animating, dramatizing, considering to be yourself, li=
ving to others, your state. It is that death which is significant.
DEVOTEE: Sir, would you like to compare that with, say, the physical act of=
suicide.
FRANKLIN: The physical act of suicide is an impairment. It is an obstructio=
n. It takes away from you the functions you have available for intelligence=
. So the mere act of suicide is not it, any more than extreme fasting, self=
immolation, deprivation of the senses, exclusive internal concentration. N=
one of these psycho physical events is the crisis of Truth. They are all ex=
periences. They are symbolic at best. They don't achieve the thing that is =
needed.
We have talked about traditional yogic methods of seeking Self realization =
or God union. They are something like sitting in a room, breathing heavily,=
and looking at erotic pictures. You can generate something that is like pa=
ssion, but you are never going to make love! It never becomes that. Just so=
, you can sit and breathe methodically, turning inward, contemplating Divin=
e images or God ideas, but it is never going to become God union. God has n=
ever entered into it. It is a very hopeful practice at best. There is no Go=
d union until God is there to be unioned with. As a lover depends on his lo=
ved one, the God seeker depends on the living Presence of God before there =
can be any God union. And when God appears you are not going to have to do =
your spiritual breathing! It will all be very obvious. You won't have to th=
ink about what is necessary to be done to become one with God. It is only t=
he absence of God, the suffering, the ignorant condition that gets you invo=
lved in all of this seeking. It is only where God is already not that all o=
f these practices begin.
DEVOTEE: Well, should we just wait it out until God comes then? Like waitin=
g for God or something?
FRANKLIN: This deliberate waiting is also another form of that same seeking=
. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the search goes on in spite of you until t=
his connection is made. Everything you do is that search until God, the Sel=
f, the Heart enters into the picture, as a reality, in relationship.
DEVOTEE: If consciousness is divided between waking, dreaming and deep slee=
p, then how do we get behind these three to find the Self?
FRANKLIN: That has been the mysterious approach of the Advaita Vedanta, of =
jnana yoga and other traditions of spiritual practice. They build up this c=
onceptual dilemma, and then they try to solve it. So the Self is pictured a=
s an alternative to waking, dreaming and sleeping. The Self is pictured or =
proposed as a something else, another state that is hidden beneath the usua=
l three. It is hardly in the waking state, barely in the dreaming state, on=
ly implied in the sleeping state. Thus, in order to get underneath all of t=
his it appears that you must go through a subtle process of internalization=
, which is traditional meditation. For a while you try to go inward. Then y=
ou open your eyes again, and at the same time you are looking at this, the =
appearing worId, you are trying to concentrate on an internal one that is n=
ot really in this one. So there is all this "interior" and "out here" at th=
e same time. You go crazy after a while.
The Hindu formula is not complete as spoken. The central formula of the anc=
ients as stated by the Hindus is: the jivatman (the individual soul) and th=
e Paramatman (the Great Soul, the Universal Self) are one. Therefore, seeke=
rs in that tradition are led into a process of interiorization and union. T=
he formula of Buddhism, the classical tradition, might well be added to thi=
s. It is stated in the form: nirvana and samsara are the same. In other wor=
ds, the Great Self, the unqualified Reality, is not different from this, th=
e condition al appearance, the world. When taken together these two reflect=
something in a symbolic way of the nature of Reality. This, the entire for=
ce and form, the intensity arising as this moment, is the Self. It is not t=
hat there is some hidden Being underneath the three states that is the Self=
and all of this is just sort of hanging around on it. There is no distinct=
ion whatsoever in consciousness. There is always already no dilemma. There =
is no inwardness that is equal to the Truth. There is no special subjectivi=
ty that is the Truth itself. There is no special objectivity that is the Tr=
uth itself. But the sub jective and the objective are already the very thin=
g, the very Truth.
Even so, there is a dilemma meanwhile. There is suffering, non comprehensio=
n as that simplicity. And since there is suffering, men are motivated to re=
cover the sublimity they have been suggesting to themselves and which some =
men have claimed to have enjoyed. But it is only when the whole process of =
interior and exterior, all these movements, all these searches, all these e=
xperiences, when all of that has failed, then suffering itself becomes the =
point, becomes the experience, rather than all of the seeking that is only =
a reaction to it. Then a man falls into his suffering, dies from his suffer=
ing, becomes conscious as his suffering, understands his suffering, and see=
s what is already the case. So all the seeking is just a prolongation of th=
e suffering.
DEVOTEE: When the realized man has turned the switch off, how does he get t=
o functioning back in this world?
FRANKLIN: The Self is not behind all of this. The Self is this without a do=
ubt. There is no separation whatsoever. Therefore, Self realization is perf=
ectly compatible with human existence. The truly Self realized man is no lo=
nger suffering, no longer inward, no longer outward. The dilemma is gone. H=
e sees the obvious, he enjoys the obvious, and all the human functions beco=
me functions in fact, usable, realizable, and enjoyable. You are dealing wi=
th images. These images imply things about your present state that are not =
quite true. They are metaphors: the idea of the "switch," the idea of the f=
ourth state beyond the three states. Truth has been represented in the form=
of images to interest you in realization, to suggest to you what is not re=
alization. But realization is of another kind than this interest, this fasc=
ination developed by means of the texts. Thus, all of the traditions agree =
that the best thing a man can do is spend his time in Satsang, in the compa=
ny of the realized man, the Guru. That is meditation. That is the real cond=
ition. That is realization. That is perfect enjoyment.
DEVOTEE: How can that affect you? Just sitting with such a person?
FRANKLIN: A man tends to take on the qualities of the things he spends his =
time with. If you watch a television program or a movie you go through a di=
stracting drama. Then, all of a sudden, a commercial! It breaks that whole =
trance. So you feel disturbed. If you spend your evening in a "topless bott=
omless" bar, another game attracts you. If you take drugs, there is that nu=
mber. If you get amused tonight, smoking cigarettes until dawn, there is th=
at whole form of mind and life. Perhaps you go on a picnic, fishing, or to =
church on Sunday. There are all these dramas being played. Now it happens t=
hat in the ordinary drama in all of its millions of forms and in all the mi=
llions of people living it there is a contraction. Every drama is a play of=
separation, of suffering, of seeking. The contraction is its subtlest elem=
ent, its foundation. So that when you become involved with all ordinary thi=
ngs, regardless of what they appear to be at this moment, they carry with t=
hem the subtle implication of your suffering. Now there is this pleasure, n=
ow this, now this entertainment, and now this one. The appearance varies bu=
t it is always the same, the same implication, the same thing by associatio=
n is being reinforced in consciousness. The man of understanding, the Guru,=
doesn't appear to be any different, essentially any different. There is no=
standout on his la pel thing obviousness about it. But he lives as the Sel=
f. Thus, of all your associations, it is this company that does not support=
the contraction. It does not support it. That is what is unique about it. =
You continue to attempt to live this contraction in various ways, you conti=
nue to be entertained, you continue to seek. You even continue to expect wh=
at it looks like you should expect from that association. But the Guru does=
not support the contraction, the very suffering.
The Guru is like an elevator. He's in the hotel lobby with a nice marble ca=
sement and a needle above pointing to the numbers of floors. It looks perfe=
ctly stable. You know it has been there for a while. You dare to walk up to=
it. You see buttons on the wall. The doors open. You look inside. It is ni=
cely decorated. A couple of people nicely dressed come out to go to the coc=
ktail lounge. So you step in. You expect to rise, as all the traditions say=
. But you fall right through the bottom of the floor! He doesn't support it=
, but he appears ordinary. His activity is non support in endless subtle fo=
rms.
The effect of this non support is that the quality of contraction in you be=
gins to become self conscious. The search winds down, the suffering becomes=
self conscious, and, intuitively, you become alive within it. This quality=
of contraction simply begins to get flabby and fall apart. You begin to re=
cognize it, to know it again. Therefore, in that living association or rel=
ationship with the Guru the Self is lived to you, whereas in all other cond=
itions it is this contraction, the avoidance of relationship that is lived =
to you.
DEVOTEE: Would you describe some of the levels on which the Guru operates?
FRANKLIN: There is no particular point in describing them. The most it woul=
d do is make you self conscious and wary. On every level that awareness is =
possible the Heart is active. The important thing is that even though men a=
re suffering they intuitively recognize the living Self. What they will do =
about that is another matter. But the recognition is there in some intuitiv=
e form. Rather than any other kind of informa tion, it is upon that recogni=
tion that disciples and devotees must depend, both for the knowing whether =
a man is Guru and for the knowing whether he himself wants to be involved i=
n that kind of relationship. Many have had enough, so that once they see th=
e Guru they stay to live with the Guru. Through that process they begin to =
see how the Guni, the living Heart, operates. Others come and they resist i=
mmediately. They defend their state, and so they leave.
The concern of the disciple is the relationship to his Guru, which is Satsa=
ng. Sitting with his Guru is his meditation. It contains all of the element=
s of meditation: sitting in relationship with the Self, consciously sitting=
in relationship with the Self or God Nature. What else could meditation be=
? So it is simply sitting or living, aware of that. And it becomes more pro=
found, more subtle. It becomes intelligence. It becomes self enquiry. It pe=
rhaps becomes something form al looking to some degree, appearing as what w=
e ordinarily think to be meditation. But that sitting, that relationship to=
the Guru, Satsang, sitting, living it from day to day, living the conditio=
ns this relationship creates for you, that is spiritual life. It is meditat=
ion, it is spiritual effort, sadhana. And, on top of that, there is enterta=
inment, because life is an entertainment. There is as much entertainment in=
that relationship as any other. There is a humor to it, but the entertainm=
ent is utterly enjoyable. That relationship is humor, it is obvious, becaus=
e the most fundamental enjoyment is always taking place.
Until a man recognizes the Heart alive and lives that relationship, everyth=
ing he does is a form of his search. Every action reinforces his suffering.=
It is not it. There must be a radically new life, a radically new presence=
, a radically new communication. The Heart itself must appear. Otherwise th=
e seeker is like the guy with the girlie magazine in his room. He is not go=
ing to make it. And all of the "spiritual" books have no more ultimate sign=
ificance than pornography for such a one. All of the seeker's "spiritual re=
ading" is perhaps a little subtler than erotica, but the same motivation is=
behind it. The same suffering is there. It is a form of entertainment. On =
different days there are different kinds of entertainment. Some days you pr=
efer girlie magazines, other days.you prefer the Rhagavad Gita.9 But it is =
the same guy, the same search, the same dilemma. This is why certain Zen ma=
sters burned the traditional sculptured images of the Buddha. The same thin=
g must be done for the Scriptures. It is not necessary to go out and burn t=
hem in the street, but there must be this understanding of their significan=
ce in relation to the Heart, the true spiritual life. The intelligence of t=
he Heart is a genius, a fire, not a little pipe smoking philosopher. The sa=
me power that wields this universe and devours the billions of beings is th=
e Heart. One who lives as the Heart can read these Scriptures and use them,=
consume them, destroy them, play with them, do whatever he likes with them=
. Such a confrontation with the Scriptures is alive, but the seeker's confr=
ontation with the Scriptures is mediocre. It doesn't amount to God union. I=
t is only one that is already realized who reads such things and comprehend=
s them.
For the man who does not understand the books are simply ways of gaining hi=
s interest, moving him toward a moment when he will seriously begin. And ev=
en then there are many pit falls. The guy puts down the girlie magazine, ge=
ts dressed, and goes out to a pornographic movie house! This instead of goi=
ng out to find himself in human company, in relationship! So it takes more =
than just putting down the books. There are lots of "gurus" around, lots of=
movie houses where you go in for a zapping. They entertain you, they take =
a couple of bucks, they do a number for you. It's in sound and color, two f=
ull hours! And what does it come down to? They tell you to go home and do i=
t yourself! You were home trying to do it yourself all night! But now they =
give you a "Harry Umpty Ump" mantra. You take it on home, and you clean up =
the corner of your bedroom! You throw away all the girlie magazines, or at =
least you keep them in the bathroom under the hamper. You clean up a corner=
of the room, and you open up the blinds so that the sun comes in on it rea=
l nice. Then you get up at dawn, and you say:
"Harry Umpty Ump, Harry Umpty Ump!"
Such a man is in the same condition that he was the night before, even less=
intelligent. He has taken on some path or other, professionalized his sear=
ch. The night before he was just a guy, just a slob. But now he is a "YOGI!=
" He puts on the outfit, wears the beads on his hand, starts collecting mon=
ey for his trip to India next year. He does this number for however long it=
takes him to get sick of all that. And after that he says the hell with it=
. He messes up his room again. He throws away his robe and beads. He takes =
the girlie magazines back in the bedroom. But he really hasn't got it any m=
ore. Besides, he is probably fifty years old by now. So he is really The Av=
on Lady with the living condition. And it precedes all of this mentality.

THE METHOD OF THE SIDDHAS


Money, Food and Sex=20
________________________________________
FRANKLIN: There are patterns in our individual lives that are responsible f=
or the quality of tamas,1 or inertia, immobility, sluggishness, the backlog=
of everything. The earliest period of sadhana, or life in relationship to =
the Guru, deals especially with this "tamasic" condition, the inertia of th=
e disciple, his tendency to remain in or return to the very state of suffer=
ing and ignorance in which he began. Therefore, the disciple must find a wa=
y, a practical way, to fulfill the Guru ~s demands for a responsible realiz=
ation of life. When you are capable of functioning, that is when spiritual =
life begins. Until then it doesn't make any difference how many times you c=
ome to see me, or how many lectures you hear. Now is the time to begin to l=
ive, and to live is to be responsible for your life, not to continue old pa=
tterns. I cannot release you from responsibility. How can I release you fro=
m the responsibility of your breath?
When people become involved in any kind of religious or spiritual activity,=
particularly a group activity of some sort, there are a few subtle notions=
that tend automatically to be awakened in them. There is the subtle sugges=
tion that spiritual life has something to do with separation from vital and=
physical life. Indeed, in many of the ancient traditions that is exactly w=
hat it was. Spiritual life was an exclusive and terminal inward-turning, ge=
tting away from all of the life-force, the life-form, the life-mind, the li=
fe-appearance, the life-sensation, into some inward, subtle non-life percep=
tion or vision, heaven or whatever. Because this traditional association of=
ideas tends to be blanketed over everything that looks like religion, spir=
ituality, yoga, and the like, every demand, every quality suggested within =
religious and spiritual life that involves the physical and vital being mee=
ts immediate resistance.
Money (and, in general, the commitment of life-force in the forms of effort=
and love), food and sex are the essential activities of life. Those are th=
e vital processes, the forms of vital appearance and function. And money, f=
ood and sex are the first things that people begin to resist or manipulate =
when they get involved in anything that is even remotely like religion or s=
pirituality. Religious people, for the most part, are extremely confused an=
d guilty about money, food and sex. People involved in spirituality, yoga, =
and esoteric religion, are endlessly involved with experiments about money,=
food and sex. What are such people always doing? "Should I or shouldn't I?=
" "What is the right diet?" "Fasting? Macrobiotics? No food?" "Renunciation=
? Poverty?" They are on and off the food all the time, on and off sex. They=
may be celibate for years in order to get enlightened, but then, just as d=
ramatically, they are seeking the "tantric bliss"2 or the restoration of 'm=
ental health" in a perpetual orgasmic exercise. Then there are all of the o=
ther games of self-denial, no work, no income. All of these things arise wh=
enever anything like spirituality or religion comes into a person's life.
Because of the automatic resistance's built into religious and spiritual en=
deavor, the practical need for money and for the means of survival is a ver=
y complicated and frustrating affair for even the most sophisticated religi=
ous and spiritual groups.
________________________________________
1. The principle or power of inertia. The Hindu texts declare that manifest=
existence is a complex variable of three qualities or Gunas. These are tam=
as, rajas, and sattwa. Rajas, or the rajasic quality, is the principle or p=
ower of action or motivation. Sattwa, or the sattwic quality, is the princi=
ple or power of equilibrium or harmony. The manifest spiritual process is a=
spontaneous or intended purification of the living being, wherein it is fi=
rst relieved of the limiting powers of tames and rajas, so that it takes on=
the sattwic quality. Then even the sattvic quality is released into the un=
qualified, transcendent and Divine Nature.
2. The term 'tantric" refers to the spiritual philosophy of Tantra, common =
to India and Tibet. It is essentially a system of yoga practice in which th=
e principle of Nature' or manifest life is made the principle of spiritual =
practice as well. Thus, various aspects of experience considered taboo by o=
ther schools are often used, ritually and not as self-indulgence, in tantri=
c practice. This could include the sex act, intoxicants, etc. But the funda=
mental tantra is an esoteric system of internal or yogic meditation practic=
es, and a system of philosophy and experience from which the practices are =
(derived. The core of the yoga of tantra is the Universal Creative Power, w=
hich may function in man for his liberation just as it ordinarily functions=
to create and fascinate him.
________________________________________
But all of this should be a very obvious matter. We are not in heaven. This=
is the earth. Everything here costs life, effort and money. It costs a gre=
at deal of life, effort and money to maintain a religious or spiritual comm=
unity. The purposes may be "spiritual," but as a living community it must f=
ulfill the same functional laws as any household and any business corporati=
on. Even so, whenever practical demands are made for effort, commitment, lo=
ve, or money, people tend to lapse into the "tamasic mood." Such reluctance=
retards life. And the ability of an individual or a group to transcend thi=
s tendency is the measure of freedom and survival.
There is the suspicion that if you are "spiritual" you are not supposed to =
need money, you are not supposed to require anything, and you are supposed =
to abandon the functions of life. Obviously though, money is needed in most=
circumstances, and work, force, love, and energy are necessary for functio=
nal survival. Why isn't it obvious then, why isn't it patently the responsi=
bility of individuals that they bring life and commitment to their own reli=
gious or spiritual community, that they take on its creative work, and cont=
ribute a responsible amount of money for its continuation? Why isn't that o=
bvious? Why is there always so much wheeling and dealing involved with any =
religious and spiritual organization? It is because of the traditional illu=
sion of spiritual attainment, which is pictured as a kind of evaporation pr=
ocess, wherein you become more and more "elusive," and finally disappear in=
side your something, or dissolve into your someplace else.
Now there are people who teach that such goals are Truth. If that is the ga=
me you want to play, you must go to such people. There are few and always f=
ewer responsibilities at the level of life involved in such teachings. A ce=
rtain amount of food must be taken, but some teachers have even suggested t=
hat if you begin a fast and never eat again, at death you will merge into t=
he enlightened state. So they have handled that side of it too. Such "enlig=
htenment is a cave without money, food or sex. If that seems to represent t=
he Truth to you, then go to the forest and fast until death!
I think this traditional orientation is utter nonsense. I do not teach it, =
and I do not support it. The Truth that already is the case is the Truth fr=
om this one's point of view. I live very naturally in the human world, and =
its responsibilities do not make me "unspiritual." Its responsibilities are=
a creative manifestation, requiring intelligence. All life-conditions are =
forms of relationship. All of life is ordinary. A man who is incapable of h=
is ordinariness hasn't even begun to become involved in spiritual life as s=
ubtlety.
The first level of sadhana or spiritual discipline that I had to endure wit=
h a human teacher wasn't any sort of otherworldly yoga, nor did it involve =
love and acknowledgment from the Guru, or even kind words. I spent about tw=
o minutes with Rudi3 when I first met him. He told me to get a job and come=
back in one year! But I was perfectly willing to do that. As it happened, =
within a month or two later, my spiritual work with him did begin. It wasn'=
t in fact necessary for me to be away a year, but I was perfectly willing f=
or it to be so I was ecstatically happy to have made this contact, to have =
a beginning, to have become capable of spiritual life. It was a profound jo=
y to me to have found someone who was obviously capable of drawing me into =
a condition at least more profound than the one I was living. From that mom=
ent it was one demand on top of the other. It was work. Work was the sadhan=
a, work was the spiritual life. There was no "Come to me and sit and chat."=
It was "Take out the garbage, sweep out this place." If I came to sit and =
talk with Rudi, I was most often told "Scrub the floor," or "There is a new=
shipment in the warehouse, so go and unload my truck." I worked constantly=
, day and night, for four years. On top of the heavy physical labor, Rudi h=
ad me going to seminaries, where I studied Christian theology, masses of hi=
storical literature, ancient languages, all kinds of things in which I had =
no fundamental interest. I had to live in Protestant and Orthodox seminarie=
s, but I was not a Christian. My sadhana was continuous work and self-trans=
cendence. There was no ending of it. Even in sleep and dreams, there was no=
ending of it.
________________________________________
3. Rudi (Albert Rudolph) was Franklin's spiritual teacher from 1964-68. He =
helped Franklin prepare the foundation for the mature phases of his spiritu=
al life, which began with the meeting with Swami Muktananda Paramasansa in =
1968. (Rudi, also called Swami Rudrananda, died February 21, 1973.
________________________________________
My time with Rudi did not see the fulfillment of my spiritual life. I moved=
on to other relationships and the order of my sadhana and my understanding=
changed. But his requirements for sadhana in the functions of life and bod=
y, in terms of money, food and sex, were more than useful to me. The sadhan=
a performed in those years became the very foundation of my spiritual life.=
During that time I was strengthened and stabilized in mind, body and life.=
When I came to Rudi, I wasn't prepared for an elusive yogi. Such a one cou=
ld have been of no use to me in the beginning. Truth is resurrected from th=
e ground up. The conscious force can never leave the ground if you begin yo=
ur sadhana in the air. If sadhana is begun as an effort to become "spiritua=
l," then what is merely alive remains a mass of confusion and craziness. So=
I must insist that all who come to me take on functional responsibility fo=
r the powers of life, which are money, food and sex.
My way of working with people is to take hold of them and establish a relat=
ionship with them, so that this relationship becomes their conscious, overw=
helming and continuous condition. When they become conscious of it on any l=
evel, then I give them responsibilities at that level. From that moment, I =
require and expect them to function at that level. I never pat them on that=
part of the head again. I expect them to live that function responsibly in=
the Ashram and everywhere in life from that point on. I expect all of you =
who are already with me to do sadhana at the levels of money, food and sex.=
And to do sadhana on those levels is, at times, going to be just as diffic=
ult for you as it was for me. If you are ready for spiritual life you will =
be very happy to have something in your hand at last, to function at last, =
to have begun. All other responses to this sadhana are your unreadiness, yo=
ur unwillingness, your resistance. They are Narcissus.4 Narcissus has no su=
pport from the Heart, from the Guru, from the Truth, or even from the unive=
rse. Narcissus is already dead. Death is his karma,5 his destiny, his reali=
zation.
=20
________________________________________
4 Narcissus. the self-lover of Greek mythology, is a key symbol in Franklin=
's description of man as seeker, as one who suffers in dilemma.
5. Action which entails consequences or reactions. Thus, karma is destiny, =
tendency, the quality of existence and experience which is determined by pr=
ior actions or conditions.
________________________________________
And everyone will only die who lives as Narcissus. Narcissus will die in hi=
s own pocket. His head will fall from a sleeve. He will not die a sublime d=
eath. He will die alone, unconscious for a long time. He is the destiny of =
unconsciousness, of foolishness. But all waking comes suddenly.
People have become involved with all kinds of patterns of life that are the=
ir suffering. Your sadhana involves that level of complication or suffering=
that you are already living. It doesn't necessarily involve visions. Even =
if visions appear, they have no ultimate consequence. Suffering is the plac=
e of sadhana. Sadhana meets this complication, this resistance, this fear, =
this stupidity, this lethargy, this craziness, this violence, separateness,=
this heaviness, this endless distraction by the current of experience from=
hour to hour. All of that is terrifying, if you could consciously see it. =
Sadhana is involved with that. It requires a great deal of a person. It req=
uires him, ultimately, to be a genius, a hero. It requires him to manifest =
the great qualities, the greatest human qualities. Everyone who does sadhan=
a must manifest those qualities in his own life. Of course, it is not all r=
equired or even possible in one afternoon, but functional intelligence must=
manifest at a certain level even at the beginning.
Spiritual life is not a form of consolation. Its foundation is not a fascin=
ating promise. It is not generated in the form of "Get along, do the best y=
ou can, and after death you will go to heaven," or "I will come again and m=
ake everything all right, no matter what you do, because everything is real=
ly okay, you rascal!" There is a profound sense in which everything is real=
ly all right, even now, regardless of the conditions, but that profundity r=
equires the most radical kind of humor, intelligence and discipline to be u=
nderstood.
So a man must become responsive at the simplest level, the level in which h=
e is living, in which he exists. There is nothing very profound about it. A=
nd this requires him to conduct or make lawful use of the life-force, not t=
o abandon it, not to become separate from it. He must become capable of rel=
ationship at the level of the vital, on all the levels of the physical bein=
g, ultimately including the whole range of psycho-physical life. When there=
is no obstruction to relationship, there is no praise, no blame. There is =
no praise, no blame in the responsible, appropriate enjoyment of sex-relati=
onship. There is no praise, no blame in vitality itself, nor the appropriat=
e management and enjoyment of food. In the earning and use of money there i=
s no praise, no blame. Nor in the creative exercise of power and creativity=
, in the use of functional ability and force. But the man who is living in =
the pattern of separation is enormously complicated in the functions of mon=
ey, food and sex. Most of the problems he perceives in his own case have to=
do with money, food and sex. The mishandling of those three things manifes=
ts as poverty and lawsuits, hoarding and financial complications, ill healt=
h, and compulsions at the level of food and sex. Those are the daily experi=
ence of the usual man. The daily round is a complication of money, food and=
sex. Sri Ramakrishna used to say "women and gold" were the chief distracti=
ons and sources of bondage. He was perhaps a member of the school of "getti=
ng away from the vital," but he was right about "women and gold," the funct=
ions of money and sex. And we must include food in the list. These are the =
areas in which suffering is most apparent. Therefore, a person's life becom=
es very complicated to the degree that he has not understood the vital proc=
esses, to the degree he is living the life of Narcissus in relation to mone=
y, food and sex.
Simply because you have come to this Ashram and have expressed a certain wi=
llingness to begin this radical life does not mean that you have ceased to =
live in the usual way. Since you came here you have begun to observe the re=
sistance's that are in you, the reluctance to function in at least human te=
rms, all of the craziness, and the forms of crisis that make it all so very=
apparent at times. So it hasn't disappeared simply because you are here. B=
ut the process that undermines all of that has begun. Satsang does not supp=
ort the forms of your reluctance, your "tamasic" tendencies. These things r=
emain to occupy you, until a different intelligence replaces them. And that=
is precisely what this work is all about. In the meantime, while you are a=
ll still a little nutty, you must survive in time and space. Indeed, the As=
hram itself must survive. Therefore, rather than have the Ashram accommodat=
e itself to resistance, your responsibilities must be made plain. What is a=
ppropriate must be made known in a simple way, and all who come here must b=
e required to function at that level immediately.
People think they are supposed to be allowed a little time to get through a=
ll of their functional problems. You are supposed to analyze it for a few y=
ears, under very supportive conditions, and get it a little bit straight ab=
out two, three, maybe four years from now. But that has nothing whatever to=
do with the Truth. It is only another sign of reluctance, inertia, tamas. =
Spiritual life is not the support of your malfunctioning, with a few little=
bits of wisdom thrown in until you come out of it. Spiritual life is sadha=
na, the always present demand of function. How do you think the spiritual c=
risis was brought about in traditional monasteries and spiritual centers? C=
ertainly not by coddling and consoling mediocre disciples. That is why very=
few people went to those centers. The moment you stepped in the door, ther=
e was a guy waiting with a stick. He took all of your clothes, all of your =
money, all of your belongings, put you in a little cell, gave you brief ins=
tructions about the four or five things you were going to be allowed to do =
for the rest of your life, and then demanded you do all five before dinner!=
You found out how you were failing to function by trying to function, by l=
iving under the conditions where nothing but functioning was allowed.
Spiritual life is a demand, not a form of therapy. It is a demand under the=
conditions of Satsang, the relationship to Guru. It is the practice of lif=
e in a world where the living Heart, not your own dilemma and search, is th=
e condition. The demand itself does not make real sadhana possible. It is S=
atsang, the prior condition of Truth, that makes it necessary. Sat sang con=
tains and communicates itself as a demand. And this demand acts as an obsta=
cle for those who are not certain about their interest in this radical life=
. They have read a little about it, heard a little about it, and now it tes=
ts them in the fire of living.
Such is the way it has always been. The monasteries, the ashrams, the schoo=
ls of teachers in the past were conceived like fortresses in the hills. The=
y were difficult to get to, and very few people ever returned from them. Pe=
ople didn't gaze nostalgically at the place up on the hill, or hear about i=
t on the evening news, and say, "Wow, I wish I could just go up there, you =
know, turn on to where it's really at, go up there and everything is groovy=
forever, great macrobiotic food, and my mantra, man, and really get it on.=
" Traditional spiritual life was never confused with any sort of playful ge=
tting high. All of that is only a mediocre interpretation fabricated by peo=
ple who have no real capacity for sadhana or the true and radical bliss of =
conscious existence. Spiritual life is not getting high. From the human poi=
nt of view, the resistive, narcissistic, ordinary human point of view, spir=
itual life is the most completely oppressive prospect. And it creates massi=
ve resistance in such people as soon as they get a taste of it. Traditional=
ly, incredible obstacles were put out front, so that people would not bothe=
r even to come to the door. It was purposely intended that people would nev=
er even ask about it unless they had already overcome tremendous resistance=
in themselves. The great Oriental temples, for instance, were built with i=
ncredible images of demons, guardians and ferocious beasts surrounding the =
entrances, so that people would not approach such places in their usual sta=
te of self-obsession. Their heads were required to be bowed. The devotee wa=
s expected to be crushed within, in a humble state, reflecting awareness of=
his habit of living. The devotee was expected to arrive on his knees, and =
never without a gift. Such people would never come irreverently. They would=
never display an inappropriate attitude. The traditional ways of approach =
are perhaps too ritualistic and too purely symbolic. They can be superficia=
lly learned and imitated, and so they do not necessarily reflect the inner =
attitude. Just so, all must realize and demonstrate the appropriate and gen=
uine manner of approach and life in our Ashram.
Every poor man is welcome to come here, regardless of his present state of =
life. I am not about to throw poverty-stricken people into the street becau=
se they can't pay the "dues." But Narcissus is not allowed to play here. He=
is not supported. He is abused, he is called names, he is cursed. I put on=
masks in front of him, I say and do idiotic things in his company. We have=
n't created an artificial environment here in which everyone is supposed to=
be "Simon-pure." We have nothing to defend. We can all know one another ve=
ry well. That is one of the freedoms of such a place as this. So people her=
e are generally very out front with one another about their nonsense. And t=
hat is perfectly all right, perfectly allowable, because it is a righteous =
demand for relationship. It is a purifying demand. Spiritual life is such a=
demand. It hurts at times, it puts you into confusion, it creates conflict=
, it makes you feel ugly, it makes you recognize crazy things about yoursel=
f. It forces you to function in spite of your refusal to function, it offen=
ds all of the self-imagery that you have built all of your life. But, after=
all, that is what we are here to deal with. Everything a man brings to the=
Heart to defend is destroyed. Everything he defends is undermined. His gam=
e is not supported. It is aggravated. And people often become aggravated in=
Satsang.
DEVOTEE: What is the nature of the demand you make upon your disciples?
FRANKLIN: The conditions for understanding are Satsang. Satsang itself, whe=
n it is most consciously lived, is understanding. It already is enquiry int=
o one's condition and action. It is meditation. Satsang is the real conditi=
on. That is why it goes on apart from the search, prior to your dilemma and=
suffering. A man should not approach his Guru in order to carry on his sea=
rch. He should approach his Guru with devotion, as one who has found, and p=
ut his search down at his Guru 's feet. The true disciple is a devotee who =
simply lives with his Guru. That is the spiritual practice or sadhana of Sa=
tsang. Every bit of seeking, dilemma and self-obsession that you lay down i=
s your true gift to the Guns. All gifts symbolize that true and inner gift,=
and make it visible. A man may bring a flower to his Guru. The flower is v=
ery fresh and fragrant. When he smiles and puts it on the ground or in a va=
se it may all seem like a pleasantry. But what is represented by that flowe=
r could be the most difficult crisis of his life. The truth of that flower,=
of that gift, is the crisis itself.
When a man begins to live his life functionally, as relationship, when he a=
ccepts the simplest level of responsibility and lives it consciously, in sp=
ite of conflict, of difficulty, then life itself becomes sadhana, real spir=
itual practice, an expression of Satsang. Such functional and responsible l=
iving is the first gift of a disciple to his Guru. Therefore, it is also th=
e first demand of the Guru. I truly expect those who live with me to master=
life, to create my Ashram, to live this work, to give it their life-force,=
to produce it with intensity and love, and to make Sat sang available to e=
very human being who has the sensitivity to this one. I do not expect, nor =
do I support anything less than that. I expect you to function. Confrontati=
on with the functional demand of life is your test from day to day. It is a=
sign to you of your state from hour to hour. It is on this functional leve=
l that people begin to enjoy realization, understanding and Truth.
I am not interested in dealing with the superficial and smiling level in yo=
u. I am always aware of your visible suffering. I always want to deal with =
that suffering, seeking, dilemma, contraction and resistance. Satsang deals=
with that. It undermines your lack of functioning. It is your craziness th=
at we must deal with. We can already be friendly, but we can't already enjo=
y the Heart together. Since that is the case, we must deal with it. We must=
deal with the obstruction as it is. And Satsang is the appropriate way to =
deal with it. I do not mean some sort of confrontation, where we have it ou=
t with one another, or where you get to yell at me, make demands, get very =
upset, or go through a whole emotional act. Things happen like this occasio=
nally, but, essentially, that is not Satsang. Satsang in itself doesn't nec=
essarily have any obvious drama associated with it, and yet these fundament=
al obstructions are continually dealt with.
I have lived this work with people for a long time, and I have seen the dra=
ma that gets played with the symbol of the Guru. I have seen people approac=
h me as if they were either my parent or my child, for months or even years=
, always being conscientiously pleasant with me, praising me, seeming to be=
a devoted disciple, but in time I have seen these same people try to work =
"black magic" on me, obsessed with threats, undermining the sadhana and har=
mony of other people in secretive ways, until they finally separated from m=
e, and remained preoccupied with all kinds of negative judgments about me f=
rom then on. Such people never suspect that the drama they are living from =
day to day is their own. They always suspect that it is in life somewhere, =
that it is something that comes on them, like bacteria. Everything they dea=
l with on a relational, functional level is interpreted in that symbolic wa=
y. They never suspect themselves. But the true disciple must become very su=
spicious of himself. He must have played his game long enough, so that he k=
nows what he is up to. It is fine that he knows what he is up to. And I kno=
w what he is up to. I find his drama, his seeking, completely acceptable. I=
find it completely livable, endurable, understandable, and transformable f=
rom the point of view of the Heart. I am not the least interested in preven=
ting it. I am entirely willing to allow that to be my disciple's present st=
ate, and to live Satsang from that moment in those terms. But when we begin=
to live it in those terms with one another, a creative event has replaced =
the ordinary round of life. There is no longer any suffering or seeking to =
justify, to defend, to support, to make survive through time. For the momen=
t, particularly tonight, we are looking at this fact: at the level of life =
there is essentially the failure to function. That is the fact about this g=
athering. That is the fact, not the Truth.
My disciples have agreed to do sadhana in the functions of life. They are w=
illing to see this contraction, but to function in any case. The first stag=
es in Patanjali's6 yoga system are yama7 and niyama8 things not to do, and =
things that must be done. The first steps in yoga are the fulfillment of fu=
nctional prescriptions. The first thing that a man must do is get straight.=
He may not feel like being straight. After all, he is not yet enlightened!=
But he is just plain going to be straight in a very fundamental way. This =
is the demand of all traditions and of all the Siddhas. It is agreed, it is=
acknowledged, it is accepted from the beginning that he is upset, that he =
is suffering, that he is not functioning well at all, and that life is fill=
ed with pleasures, but also with burdens and fears and obstacles. When he a=
rrives at the door, this is already understood. Nothing needs to be said ab=
out it. So the keeper of the door says, "Okay, now that we have heard that,=
I've got these twelve rules for you to do." And the would-be disciple look=
s at the list with amazement. He is supposed to do all the things that he c=
ame here because he wasn't able to do! These things are not what he is supp=
osed to do when he gets enlightened. They are what he is supposed to do sta=
rting this afternoon. And all he gets at the beginning is a handshake and a=
broom! He gets up before the congregation, and they say, "This is Jack Ump=
ty-ump, he has just joined the church." Everybody looks, "Very good," they =
read a brief prayer over him, and from that moment he is supposed to be str=
aight. He may rise up from there into some magnificent, creative, spiritual=
life, perhaps. But his straightness has got to be right out there. It is t=
he first demand. He is not given anything miraculous to make him capable of=
that. And to fulfill that demand he perhaps has to go through all kinds of=
difficulty, all kinds of conflict, all kinds of crises, but, even so, he i=
s expected to fulfill that demand. And he is expected not to burden his fel=
lows with his suffering while trying to fulfill that demand. He can be pass=
ing through the most incredible turmoil, and yet he is supposed to be well-=
groomed, clean, smiling, able to do what is required, loose, straight.
=20
________________________________________
6. Patanjali flourished in India in perhaps the second century B.C. He syst=
ematized the system of yoga, particularly yogi meditation, in a classic tex=
tbook.
7. Elementary rules of self-restraint, or restraint of external actions, su=
ch as continence, non-stealing and non-killing.
8. Elementary rules of mental restraint, or restraint of internal and perso=
nal actions and states, such as purification of mind and body, study, and w=
orship of God.
________________________________________
=20
But the therapeutic point of view, the point of view of the search, is of a=
different kind. The guy comes to "the healing man." He is completely incap=
able of functioning, in many obvious ways, and he is offered somebody who w=
ill listen to him express that failure day after day, week after week, with=
out adding anything to that misery except more things to console and occupy=
him, and by which he can further express the same dilemma. He gets a mantr=
a to express his craziness with. A religion, an idol of "God," a belief. He=
gets a few brief psychiatric analyses by which to express that craziness. =
He gets medicine and magic to vanish symptoms. But these are all just added=
to his craziness. They give him a more elaborate expression for that crazi=
ness. The remedy tends to indulge a man's suffering, because it indulges hi=
s search. His search depends on his dilemma, and his dilemma is his sufferi=
ng. From the point of view of Truth, a therapeutic confrontation is not use=
ful. Only the most radical approach to a man's suffering is useful.
The Guru does not respond to, support or act upon the premise of the functi=
onal failure and suffering of his disciple. He demands that his disciple fu=
nction on that level in which some consciousness already exists. He is not =
given the absolute demand out of the Heart of the universe in one shot, but=
he is expected to function on the level in which he is living his confusio=
n. That demand of functioning creates in him a disturbance, a crisis, a for=
m of conscious conflict. That is the core of sadhana. Of course it is diffi=
cult! It can create great physical and mental disturbance at times, particu=
larly in those who have not yet surrendered and found the Truth already pre=
sent as their Guru. That is why those who begin this way are generally thos=
e who have tried the alternatives, even magnificent, creative, spiritual li=
fe, perhaps. But his straightness has got to be right out there. It is the =
first demand. He is not given anything miraculous to make him capable of th=
at. And to fulfill that demand he perhaps has to go through all kinds of di=
fficulty, all kinds of conflict, all kinds of crises, but, even so, he is e=
xpected to fulfill that demand. And he is expected not to burden his fellow=
s with his suffering while trying to fulfill that demand. He can be passing=
through the most incredible turmoil, and yet he is supposed to be well-gro=
omed, clean, smiling, able to do what is required, loose, straight.
But the therapeutic point of view, the point of view of the search, is of a=
different kind. The guy comes to "the healing man." He is completely incap=
able of functioning, in many obvious ways, and he is offered somebody who w=
ill listen to him express that failure day after day, week after week, with=
out adding anything to that misery except more things to console and occupy=
him, and by which he can further express the same dilemma. He gets a mantr=
a to express his craziness with. A religion, an idol of "God," a belief. He=
gets a few brief psychiatric analyses by which to express that craziness. =
He gets medicine and magic to vanish symptoms. But these are all just added=
to his craziness. They give him a more elaborate expression for that crazi=
ness. The remedy tends to indulge a man's suffering, because it indulges hi=
s search. His search depends on his dilemma, and his dilemma is his sufferi=
ng. From the point of view of Truth, a therapeutic confrontation is not use=
ful. Only the most radical approach to a man's suffering is useful.
The Guru does not respond to, support or act upon the premise of the functi=
onal failure and suffering of his disciple. He demands that his disciple fu=
nction on that level in which some consciousness already exists. He is not =
given the absolute demand out of the Heart of the universe in one shot, but=
he is expected to function on the level in which he is living his confusio=
n. That demand of functioning creates in him a disturbance, a crisis, a for=
m of conscious conflict. That is the core of sadhana. Of course it is diffi=
cult! It can create great physical and mental disturbance at times, particu=
larly in those who have not yet surrendered and found the Truth already pre=
sent as their Guru. That is why those who begin this way are generally thos=
e who have tried the alternatives. They have tried the ways of indulging th=
eir search, and found this strategy does not affect the core of suffering. =
But when they become sensitive to the presence of the Heart in the Guru, th=
ey become capable of Satsang as enjoyment. Only the true devotee has the fo=
rce of consciousness that will permit him to endure this crisis of consciou=
s life. But a man who still pays a great deal of his life to his suffering =
and resistance is burdened with alternatives. He continues to suffer, and t=
o be involved in tremendous conflicts that have nothing whatever to do with=
spiritual life. They are simply the expressions of his failure to live Sat=
sang as his condition. They are the expressions of his suffering.
All suffering is Narcissus, an obsessive distraction by one's own mind form=
s. That is all that suffering is. The modifications of the force of one's o=
wn life are one's suffering. Therefore, the quality of dilemma, which is su=
ffering, is present even where the forms of life are apparently delightful =
from a social point of view, even apparently successful, apparently making =
for survival. Whatever a man holds in consciousness and defends in the face=
of all relationships, all conditions, is his suffering. The endless stream=
of modifications or formulations of the force of your own consciousness is=
the face of Narcissus in the water. Modifications obstruct consciousness. =
They tend to replace relationship with forms within consciousness, with con=
tractions of the field of awareness. Therefore, the qualities of experience=
may change from moment to moment, but always, the force of consciousness i=
s providing the individual with a current of distraction.
It is this current of distraction or psycho-physical modification that prev=
ents relationship. It is this that implies the center, the ego, the separat=
e one, the dead perceiver. People are really just dummied up with their own=
machine. They express their suffering in various ways, but it always has t=
he same structure.
Narcissus is a good symbol for suffering. He has separated himself from all=
relationships, especially the primary relationships of mother, father, lov=
ed-one, and environment. He confronts only his own image, which he does not=
re-cognize as such. Obviously, Narcissus doesn't know that the face in the=
water is his own image. He does not recognize his own image or quality as =
such. And suffering is in the failure of a man to re-cognize, to know again=
, his own distraction, which is his own state, his own quality, his own mod=
ification. When he re-cognizes it, he ceases to be enamored, fascinated and=
distracted. His drama is undone by simple and yet radical knowledge. If Na=
rcissus understands his fundamental activity, his insane condition will com=
e to an end. So all that a man is suffering is fascination with the force o=
f his own activity and experience, which represents to him the separate sel=
f sense (identification or "ego"), the field of differentiation (the concep=
tualized world), and the endless adventure of seeking (mysterious motivatio=
n or desire). The things flashing and moving before him, the "objects" of c=
onsciousness, imply the separate perceiver over against the field of percep=
tion. And where this implication becomes the point of view, the true and pr=
ior nature of the world ceases to be obvious. This structure goes on and on=
, magnified through all forms, all the types of experience, all the worlds =
of experience, all the conditions, gross, subtle and causal, that arise. Ev=
ery thing that arises is fitted within this structure. So it makes no diffe=
rence where Narcissus moves, what experience occurs, what technique or sear=
ch he applies to this dilemma. No matter what occurs, he fails to know it d=
irectly. Even the Divine Vision fails to be conclusive, because he knows it=
in terms of this structure of fascination and separation. A man is always =
being Narcissus until there is the re-cognition of this primary activity, a=
ssumption and root of cognition. But when this re-cognition occurs, he is l=
ike a man discovering that he has been pinching himself. His pain was alway=
s his own event, the theatre of his own action. When he finally sees, it is=
a simple matter. He no longer needs to go through any sort of complicated =
affair to get free of pain. He doesn't have to go through any kind of thera=
py, special diet, yoga, or mantra in order to be free. All he has to do is =
take his hand away. Re-cognition is of that kind.
And the Guru is the water itself, upon which this image of Narcissus is ref=
lected. By creating a disturbance in the water, the prior nature of his dis=
ciple, the Guru makes himself known. He intensifies the true nature of Narc=
issus, so that this re-cognition can take place. However, the Guru does not=
do it simply by creating modifications of your experience, binding you to =
mind-forms, appearances, visions, distractions. All of that is only a secon=
dary process in the life, not the very communication of Truth. All of that =
is only more of the face in the water for one who does not understand. But =
the Guru communicates the water itself to Narcissus. He only intensifies th=
e true nature of Narcissus.
Therefore, it is not by the elimination of conditions or the destruction of=
your responsibilities that you are served. You are served by the communica=
tion of your responsibilities in the ordinary way. It is not by distracting=
you while you remain irresponsible and in trouble that you are served. It =
is by the forceful demand for responsibility that you are served.
DEVOTEE: What are the responsibilities of those who live in Satsang with yo=
u?
FRANKLIN: Those who enjoy Satsang are responsible for appropriate action in=
life and in the Ashram. They must remain in regular contact with the Ashra=
m, and assume responsibilities there. They must be employed, or else respon=
sible for children. They must be responsible for an orderly household. They=
should abstain totally from drugs, alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, and the =
like. They should eat moderately, and essentially use only foods that are u=
sable and supportive of bodily life and vitality. In most cases the diet sh=
ould consist of natural vegetables, grains, fruit, milk and milk products, =
seeds and nuts. The key to diet is to discover what is supportive and use i=
t wisely and, exclusively. Food does not create spirituality. The disciple =
must spiritualize his food, whatever it is, by appropriate sadhana. The pro=
blems of excess, laziness, instability, chronic weakness and irresponsibili=
ty are the patterns of Narcissus. The patterns of avoidance are the very ma=
terial or fuels of sadhana. Bring all of that to Guru. But even while the d=
ilemma of life is being considered and confronted in Satsang, all are expec=
ted to function in appropriate ways. Remember that Satsang is itself a func=
tional relationship to Guru, to others in the Ashram, and to the world. A r=
esponsible, relational, intelligent way of life is the condition for Satsan=
g.
Men have gained a great deal by liberating themselves from the earth. The n=
atural cycle of the earth is a difficult condition in which to survive, and=
if survival is the preoccupation of human activity, the subtler faculties =
of man do not develop. Therefore, men have created great cultures and cente=
rs of culture, in order to enjoy common freedom from bondage to the point o=
f view of survival against odds, and to develop the subtler or hidden facul=
ties of human destiny. But we are living in a period of reaction to the art=
ifices of culture and technology. Many have decided that the ideal is to be=
come a righteous farmer, or a wandering singer of love-full protest songs, =
and live Mother-Goose-beautiful out in the woods. But it has only been a re=
latively short time since the great cities have existed. The human experime=
nt has barely begun. The reasons why men have tried to create great cities =
are reactions to the ancient bondage to the cycle of the earth. Men are try=
ing to transcend the limitations of the natural cycle, so they may be free =
to realize a higher order of common life. Therefore, men have, in their rel=
ationships with one another, found ways to transcend the limitations of the=
natural cycle of earth and water.
Countries like India anciently belonged to the earth. The Indian population=
is barely breaking away into a genuinely human order of life. In India, if=
a man wants to seek for God, which is inappropriate to begin with, he can =
freely abandon his life responsibilities, his work, his relationships to fa=
mily, his attempts to support himself, and become a wanderer. This is a tra=
dition of the earth and water cultures of India and certain other areas of =
the world. There are massive areas of land in India that are unowned or unt=
enanted, where a man can be irresponsible in relation to the earth and his =
own earth life. He can find a cave and sit in it. But when men have begun t=
o live with one another, when they have broken the cycle of attachment to e=
arth and water, they must accept responsibility for their own survival. The=
refore, it is inappropriate under the conditions in which "fire" or the cul=
tural and technological means of material and human transformation are deve=
loped for a man to be without work or responsibility for his own action. Ei=
ther he must work for his own support, and in most cases that is necessary,=
because most people don't have the money to live without work, or he must =
do so simply because it is appropriate to work. Work is a peculiarly human =
activity. It is the means for transcending the limitations of "lower," elem=
ental conditions. Thus, it is not appropriate for people who come to live i=
n Satsang to remain irresponsible for their own survival, or irresponsible =
for creative, supportive action in the human way.
Another thing people bring to the Guru, because of the nature of this time =
and place, is attachment to drugs. Whatever its function at the time it beg=
an, positive or negative, it has no purpose whatsoever in real spiritual li=
fe. It is an aggravation. It toxifies the body, creates one illusion on top=
of the next. The person involved with drugs and its illusory "spiritual" c=
ulture is back and forth every day. He is not ready for Satsang. Drugs are =
a heavy alternative until he understands the limitations of that bondage. T=
he other forms of stimulation men use, like tobacco, alcohol, coffee and su=
ch, should be abandoned as well. They don't have the immediate kinds of eff=
ects that are witnessed with hallucinogenic or even so-called "healing" dru=
gs, but they are remnants of the culture of "gentlemen," forms of self-indu=
lgence and distraction that reinforce dullness and only kill at last.
People very often ask about diet. For some reason or other, food has become=
like drugs. People are using it to become realized or spiritual. Neither d=
rugs nor a special diet will make you realize the Truth. People tend to use=
diet as a form of search. There is no "search" that is appropriate. Theref=
ore, there is no form of diet that is appropriate for the sake of realizing=
Truth. You will not become Self-realized or understand because you only ea=
t fruit, because you fast one out of every two days, or_ because you are a =
macrobiotic gourmet. However, there is an appropriate form of eating and fa=
sting. The appropriate diet is one that sustains and supports the body and =
vital force. For the most part, natural, whole and fresh vegetables, fruits=
, grains, milk, seeds and nuts are the basic diet.9
9. This "lacto-vegetarian" management of diet is applied by all the active =
members of our Ashram community. It is a practical and wholesome approach, =
proven by the ages-long experience of vast numbers of the world's populatio=
n. Its experimental justification may be found in the written works of nutr=
itionists such as Are and Ebba Waerland, and Paavo Airola. It is not an ide=
alistic approach to diet, nor is it practiced here for the sake of any extr=
aordinary effect. It is simple and living food.
How much a man eats is just as important as what he eats. People eat too mu=
ch. Overeating disturbs the body functions and makes food unusable. Unused =
food as well as unnatural and inappropriate food toxifies the body and crea=
tes disease. Much of what people think are their spiritual problems are jus=
t the results of toxicity. Therefore, you must simplify and moderate your d=
iet. Make it natural and pure. Eat only what is usable by the body.
Satsang and spiritual life do not go on while you indulge yourself and rema=
in irresponsible. Even though you do not understand, even though perhaps yo=
u live in dilemma, you are responsible for an appropriate life. To engage l=
ife under appropriate conditions makes you aware of your limitations, your =
struggle, your search, your dilemma, your resistance.
The form of life is sacrifice. Nothing needs to be added to life, no attitu=
de, no special sort of yielding, to make life sacrifice. Life is already sa=
crifice, and all appropriate action is in the form of sacrifice. The symbol=
s of religion tend to indicate that you should add something, some sort of =
payment to life, in order to make it sacrifice. But sacrifice is the form o=
f every function. It is the universal law. It is even the rule of pleasure.
The self-indulgent and irresponsible man is not aware that all action, all =
manifestation is itself sacrifice. Speech is sacrifice. Sexual activity, se=
x-relationship is sacrifice. All action tends to break the life-current, th=
e sphere of force, of descending and ascending force. Where action is perfo=
rmed, the internal circle of life or energy tends to be ,broken and release=
d temporarily. Do that enough, do it in ignorance and absolutely, and there=
is only death as a result. Do it intelligently, and it gives life, it crea=
tes life through relationship, for relationship is a universal duplication =
of the internal circle of energy. To sacrifice or open oneself into relatio=
nship is to realize the greater Form, the true and perfect Circle, the Comp=
letion that transcends limited or separative individuality. Therefore, true=
and conscious sacrifice is a form of completion,. not of interruption or s=
eparation. Thus, for the intelligent man of understanding, death is only tr=
ansformation, because he is consciously intimate with the real process of l=
ife. But the unintelligent man is already broken. In death, he is the sacri=
ficial meal for one he does not know. Even so, life doesn't become intellig=
ent by doing something to it, by preventing all kinds of things, by never t=
alking, never enjoying sex-relationship, never laughing, never doing anythi=
ng. Life is action. There must be action or conscious sacrifice.

Money, Food and Sex - part II


Money, Food and Sex
Part II
________________________________________
Money Food and Sex - part I
Money, Food and Sex - part II
=20
Satsang and spiritual life do not go on while you indulge yourself and rema=
in irresponsible. Even though you do not understand, even though perhaps yo=
u live in dilemma, you are responsible for an appropriate life. To engage l=
ife under appropriate conditions makes you aware of your limitations, your =
struggle, your search, your dilemma, your resistance.
The form of life is sacrifice. Nothing needs to be added to life, no attitu=
de, no special sort of yielding, to make life sacrifice. Life is already sa=
crifice, and all appropriate action is in the form of sacrifice. The symbol=
s of religion tend to indicate that you should add something, some sort of =
payment to life, in order to make it sacrifice. But sacrifice is the form o=
f every function. It is the universal law. It is even the rule of pleasure.
The self-indulgent and irresponsible man is not aware that all action, all =
manifestation is itself sacrifice. Speech is sacrifice. Sexual activity, se=
x-relationship is sacrifice. All action tends to break the life-current, th=
e sphere of force, of descending and ascending force. Where action is perfo=
rmed, the internal circle of life or energy tends to be ,broken and release=
d temporarily. Do that enough, do it in ignorance and absolutely, and there=
is only death as a result. Do it intelligently, and it gives life, it crea=
tes life through relationship, for relationship is a universal duplication =
of the internal circle of energy. To sacrifice or open oneself into relatio=
nship is to realize the greater Form, the true and perfect Circle, the Comp=
letion that transcends limited or separative individuality. Therefore, true=
and conscious sacrifice is a form of completion,. not of interruption or s=
eparation. Thus, for the intelligent man of understanding, death is only tr=
ansformation, because he is consciously intimate with the real process of l=
ife. But the unintelligent man is already broken. In death, he is the sacri=
ficial meal for one he does not know. Even so, life doesn't become intellig=
ent by doing something to it, by preventing all kinds of things, by never t=
alking, never enjoying sex-relationship, never laughing, never doing anythi=
ng. Life is action. There must be action or conscious sacrifice.
In Satsang action becomes natural. The natural order of life is awakened by=
the force of Truth. A man who simply. A man who simply indulges his possib=
ilities continually breaks the circuit of descending force. He never allows=
the ascending, internal return of force. He is always breaking the circuit=
. He exhausts himself.
In Satsang there is a natural tendency to return to the normal, the ordinar=
y, the pleasurable, the intelligent. However, a man who is simply indulging=
himself while in Satsang, even though his body is in the Ashram, continual=
ly prevents return to the normal. So there are conditions for Satsang. But =
they are not exaggerated conditions. I ask for a natural ordinariness, an o=
rdinary pleasurable life. If you bring a relatively normal, pleasurable exi=
stence into Satsang, it will tend to become more harmonious, more intellige=
nt, more alive, more enjoyable, subtler, in a very natural way. The force t=
hat is in Satsang is the force of Reality. The quicker it becomes in you, t=
he more intelligent, the more "like" Reality you become.
There is no Satsang without sadhana. Satsang is not just sitting around and=
turning on to spiritual force. Satsang is a functional, relational life. O=
ne of its forms is this sitting in meditation, along with all the other phe=
nomena that tend to arise within it. There is meditation, enquiry, all the =
spiritual sensations. But Satsang has many forms throughout the day. It is =
relational life itself. In fact, what is difficult for man is not the extra=
ordinary, the thing that requires the great, the dramatic, the heroic. It s=
eems very amicable to go and sit in a cave, or wander in India reciting the=
Hare Krishna mantra all day. Abandoning everything and going to India is a=
n idea that commonly fascinates people who have heard a little about spirit=
ual things. Men can imagine doing that. It is very dramatic. But to be an o=
rdinary man, to function alive in the human world is a notion that men resi=
st. The usual images of spiritual life, of spiritual attainment, implicitly=
contain the refusal of ordinariness. The common "spiritual" motivation is =
a form of resistance, this contraction of which I often speak. Some men dev=
ote themselves to this illusion of the fantastic which they call Truth. Wha=
tever it may involve, including every kind of vision and miracle of the occ=
ult, it is simply resistance to ordinariness, the sadhana of sacrificial ex=
istence.
Becoming ordinary, functioning in the stream of manifest life, is what men =
resist. Indeed, suffering is a disorder in human functional life. It is not=
that Truth is absent. Truth is always already the case. It is simply not o=
bvious to men. Truth is not absent. Men are suffering. There is this contra=
ction, this disorder, this refusal of functional life, of ordinariness. Thi=
s extraordinary suffering obscures conscious Truth. The extraordinary, the =
search for the extraordinary is nonsense. It is adventure without intellige=
nce or real beauty. Men create extraordinary seeking in order to compensate=
for self-created but unconscious suffering. The adventure itself never dea=
ls with its own motivation.
Thus, the plane of sadhana, of spiritual action, of action appropriate to S=
atsang, is the ordinary. Not the extraordinary, not the search, not methods=
, but simple, ordinary, functional life. Such sadhana is the most difficult=
to attain. But it becomes possible in one who understands. And it becomes =
simple for one who lives Satsang with the true Guru. And such ordinariness =
is essential for a natural, pleasurable life.
Sadhana is not the extraordinary. Sadhana is not sitting in the cave, recit=
ing the mantra. Sadhana is simplicity, it is relational life. It is your co=
nscious humanity. You must live it. You must become a human being. You don'=
t have any choice. Either you become a human being, and function truly as a=
human being, or your humanity becomes obsolete by non-use. Much of the tra=
ditional spiritual search is a way of making ordinary life obsolete by Jnat=
tention and non-use. The popular Indian version .;of the search, for instan=
ce, is detachment. and abandonment of all the "lower" desires, the "lower" =
forms of experience. The concern is only to ascend beyond life. By inattent=
ion to life, life becomes obsolete. Life certainly can be murdered by desig=
n. But the result is not enlightenment. If non-life were enlightenment, all=
you would have to do is kill yourself. So it is not making things
obsolete by inattention that is the way of Truth. It is by the re-cognition=
of what you do under the conditions of the ordinary. In that re-cognition,=
Truth stands out.
Truth is always already in life. Truth is not someplace else. Truth is not =
itself identical to any experience or any place. There is no inner world, n=
o chakra,10 no sound, no light, no form, no loka,11 no experience, no attai=
nment that in itself is Truth.
10 Literally, a "wheel" or a "circle." The term refers to the internal cent=
ers, symbolized as lotus flowers, through which the yoga-shakti flows, prod=
ucing various "spiritual" phenomena in life, body and consciousness. The ch=
akras are associated with but not idential to the various ganglia of the ne=
rvous system, of the spine and brain.=20
11 A world or realm of experience. The term usually refers to "places" visi=
ted by mystical or esoteric means.
=20
There certainly are such experiences, such manifestations, but they are not=
in themselves Truth. Truth is always already the case. Truth is the presen=
t condition, the real condition of every moment, whatever arises. It is not=
necessary to do one thing to make Truth arise in the present. There is onl=
y Truth, Reality or God. It couldn't be more obvious. There is no dilemma. =
Only perceive your own action, your subtle strategy, moment to moment. Re-c=
ognize it, and see what is always prevented by your own action. That which =
is always being prevented is Perfect. Where there is this re-cognition, all=
things, conditions and states become obvious. Dreams become obvious, sleep=
becomes obvious, death becomes obvious, birth and life become obvious. All=
manifestation becomes obvious as Truth, as the very Force, the very Intens=
ity that is that One Reality, called God, Brahman, Nirvana. But Truth becom=
es obvious only to one who lives the ordinary, whose thirst for the extraor=
dinary has begun to die, has begun to show itself as seeking only, as a rea=
ction to fundamental disturbance or dilemma.
So men must become ordinary in order to live Satsang. By "ordinary" I don't=
mean that you become sort of empty and nondescript., I mean that you begin=
to function humanly. And when you function as a human being, you can be a =
marvelous, intensely creative person. But your activity will not be itself =
a way to Truth. It will simply be an expression of life already in the Trut=
h, which is Satsang. Your activity will simply be appropriate. Your life wi=
ll be controlled by your human functions.
Just so, Satsang, the conscious relationship between Guru and disciple is, =
at its base, a form of ordinariness. It is a human function. It is the prim=
ary human function. It is simply a relationship. It is ordinary. It has man=
y subtle aspects, which may also become conscious, but it is ordinary from =
the beginning. It is functional. It is a relationship. It is obvious. Satsa=
ng is the enjoyment of relationship, being in relationship, becoming intell=
igent under those conditions, perceiving it in subtler ways, perfect ways, =
until fundamental intelligence and enjoyment are entirely awake and alive.
Everything that we would call extraordinary is an alternative to Satsang. A=
nd everything that is ordinary is a form of Satsang. That very thing that y=
ou resist, whatever seems oppressive in ordinariness and the functional con=
dition of being alive, that very sensation is the cognition of present dile=
mma, the motivation to seek, the guarantor of suffering and mystery. That c=
ondition, in all its forms, must be endured and lived until it is re-cogniz=
ed or known again. Therefore, only ordinariness, the functional endurance o=
f your actual condition moment to moment, is the appropriate condition. Thu=
s, Satsang, also provokes a man, because it manifests his resistance to his=
ordinary or actual condition.
Much of that disturbed condition that people bring to the Guru is not a mat=
ter of anything subtle or spiritual. For the most part, it is simply a func=
tional disharmony. In many cases, the simple moderation and purification of=
diet is the most dramatic form of sadhana. The simple moderation and intel=
ligent selection of diet purifies the body. The judicious use of occasional=
fasting also aids this normalization of psycho-physical life. All "ordinar=
y" sadhana purifies the body, and returns it to a normal condition of vital=
ity. Extreme forms of desire, of functional attachment to non-functional pa=
tterns of money, food and sex, extreme forms of emotion, all the things tha=
t men think they should bring to an end through spiritual methods become qu=
iet in a very natural way in the regimen of ordinariness to which they appl=
y themselves in Satsang.
The use or transformation of food is the fundamental process at the level o=
f organic life. Therefore, the simple intelligence of diet is very useful, =
very appropriate. The thing that is your suffering, this contraction, is no=
t necessarily a matter of exaggerated desires and needs, and every kind of =
craziness. You need not be half psychotic before real spiritual life become=
s useful to you. The way of understanding and Truth is a subtle, intelligen=
t matter for ordinary men to consider. You will simply see that by the inte=
lligent use and moderation of diet the level of organic life, and even the =
whole of psycho-physical life, tends to become functional, usable, harmonio=
us, free of disturbance or dis-ease. But appropriate diet is not a means to=
Truth. It is simply appropriate.
It is not appropriate to cut off a finger each day. To stop cutting your fi=
ngers off, however, will not make you realize the Truth. It is simply appro=
priate to put fingers to proper use. Just so, there is appropriate use of f=
ood and life. If you obstruct the natural process by excess and wrong use i=
t is like cutting off a finger every day. It creates suffering, disability.=
On the other hand, if you correct your diet, moderate it, you don't realiz=
e the Truth for doing that. It is simply appropriate to do that. Seekers pr=
opose diet as if it were the way. They talk about lunch as if it were the A=
bsolute, or the very method of Truth. The various food cultists talk about =
their dietary practice as if it were the means for absolute realization: ra=
w only, yin-yang, grain is basic, only fruit, high protein, seven basics, n=
on-mucus, total fast! All purely idealistic and exclusive views are the ref=
usal of ordinariness. Diet is a simple matter of lunch. It is a practical m=
atter of experimental self-observation. Extreme assumptions about it, overu=
se of food, extreme attachment to food-thinking and arbitrary dietary deman=
ds, use of foods that toxify the body, fasting for long periods, all such t=
hings are extensions of the search, the refusal of ordinariness. There is a=
n appropriate diet, there is an appropriate time to fast, but it is always =
simple, moderate and satisfying.
The appropriate use of food tends to manifest natural control of mind, brea=
th and sex. You will perhaps discover that the force of sex-desire is secon=
dary to food. If a man's diet is conscious, the sex-force tends to be harmo=
nized. What you are always contending with as sex-desire at times trying to=
suppress it, then to control it, but always finally giving up, that whole =
drama of sex cannot be separated from "lunch." There is no necessary proble=
m about sex. But it is disturbed by all the jazzy, self-indulgent, unintell=
igent use of food, drink and stimulants. You will find that on a natural di=
et, an intelligently moderated diet, the whole force of sex gradually becom=
es intelligent. There will be nothing compulsive about it any more, or it w=
ill at least have become available to your understanding and the force of S=
atsang. It will become a natural, usable force, a relational capacity. Sex,=
after all, is a functional form of relationship. But people try to deal wi=
th it as an intense, internal and isolated personal demand. They don't brin=
g it into relationship. They don't confine it to the conditions of relation=
ship. So sex becomes obsessive, as any desire that is not made to function =
in full relationship. But that whole extraordinary disharmony and problemat=
ic demand of sex is essentially a matter of improper diet and the inappropr=
iate use of the sources and functions of bodily energy. Thus, in one who un=
derstands in Satsang, the whole search for "orgasm," or convulsive release =
and stasis, through the sex-function as well as every other function of lif=
e, is replaced by prior and continuous conductivity of the force of life.
The "orgasm" is an instrument of procreation, an instinctual, sub-conscious=
, and unconscious demand that guarantees the survival of the race. It is no=
t, as some seem to think, a necessary instrument of physical and mental hea=
lth. It is not the necessary or even desirable accompaniment or repetitive =
attainment of marriage. Marriage itself is the union. The relationship is t=
he union. Therefore, marriage, not orgasm, is the fulfillment of the sex-fu=
nction. Orgasm is only one of its functional or sacrificial capacities. Mar=
riage is itself continuous communion. It need not include orgasm, or even t=
he sex act itself, as long as the internal conductivity of vital force is u=
nobstructed in each partner. Indeed, when the search for orgasm becomes the=
principle of sex-relationship, even marriage becomes disturbed, its harmon=
ious communion becomes impossible, and the separative qualities of mind and=
action develop. But in a marriage that exists under the conditions of unde=
rstanding in Satsang with the Guru, the generative thrill of orgasm gradual=
ly becomes a controlled, occasional, and perhaps even obsolete activity. It=
is controlled and even replaced by the prior, regenerative bliss of the hi=
gher faculties. In one who understands there is spontaneous, constant condu=
ctivity of internal force, down from above, through the vital and sexual or=
gans, and up through the spinal plexuses to the creative mental and suprame=
ntal functions. Such is the circle of bliss that is natural to man.
The symbol of marriage is a ring, a circle of purity. It symbolizes the unb=
roken circle of light or life-force that is continuous within each individu=
al, and which is also the principle of the true sex-relationship, which is =
marriage itself. This principle transcends and, ultimately, controls the se=
parative principle to which individuals become attached in ignorance. There=
fore, it also transcends and controls the dilemma of vital obstruction. Thu=
s, true and conscious marriage, rather than orgasm, is the human or spiritu=
al form of the sex-relationship. The exploitation of sexuality outside of t=
he condition of marriage in Satsang is always separative, founded in dilemm=
a, motivated to the search, manifested as narcissistic attachment to orgasm=
and all the social forms of violent release.
In the continuous communion of love that is true marriage, the internal for=
ces of the partners are conducted in a circle to the higher centers and not=
thrown out in arbitrary, frequent, and obsessive orgasm. Thus, the sex-fun=
ction, in Satsang, is self-transcending, always yielding to a subtler or mo=
re prior fulfillment. And such fulfillment is realized without either the s=
earch for orgasm (which manifests as excess, promiscuity, obsessive sexual =
aberrations, and masturbation) or the search for celibacy (which manifests =
as the brittle solitude of devitalized self-consciousness). Loving communio=
n is the human fulfillment of the sex-function. Therefore, marriage is a mo=
st appropriate condition for those who live in Satsang with the Guru. It is=
appropriate. It does not make you "spiritual." It is itself an expression =
of our prior and real condition.
Essentially, human beings are lazy and passionate. They are too lazy to do =
many things that are necessary, and they are very turned on to a number of =
other things that are unnecessary and destructive. Ordinary life is spent, =
from hour to hour, being turned off and being turned on. That is all the us=
ual life is doing. The opposite must begin. Where a person is lazy, he must=
begin to work, not because it "does something," but simply because it is a=
ppropriate. A man must begin to function. Where he is simply crazy, passion=
ate, all over the place with his desires, he must become practical, intelli=
gent.
The moderation of diet is a key factor in that whole process. To a large de=
gree, that to which a man is responding with his strategy of laziness and p=
assion is his own enervation and toxicity. Intelligence about diet is our v=
ital responsibility. And this includes all the substances taken into the bo=
dy. Drugs are craziness. They are mediocre, like all addictions, all method=
s. They only intensify or reinforce the fundamental stupidity and insanity.=
At the very least they toxify the blood stream and contract the nervous sy=
stem, producing estrangement from the environment and from the subtle sourc=
es of energy. Even one marijuana cigarette contracts the nervous system for=
a long time. None of that has anything to do with spiritual life. It is ju=
st drugs! It is only self-indulgence and the search. It is a form of suffer=
ing.
Arbitrary attachment to an orthodox or idealistic system of diet is another=
form of addiction. Diet does not lead to the Truth. Diet is not itself Tru=
th. There is no universal spiritual dogma about diet, because diet is not t=
he way. There is simply an appropriate way to eat, and the individual must =
discover it if he is to remain vital. There are appropriate patterns of lif=
e that allow it to live, to be intense, sensitive, intelligent, to create. =
Life is not contained in some dogma about how to live, how to correct yours=
elf. Life is simply the realization of "ordinariness." Appropriate patterns=
of vitality are a primary instrument for Satsang. They create those condit=
ions of simplicity and the necessary subtlety, physical and mental,` that a=
llows this process to begin. The disciple is responsible for the appropriat=
e maintenance of these patterns of vitality, at the level of his physical a=
nd relational conditions. Diet is very fundamental, and then the observatio=
n in a practical way of your laziness and your passion. You must energize a=
nd activate your life where it is dead, and you must harmonize it where it =
is freaking out. This is why I require everyone to work and to., have- regu=
lar responsibilities in life, and also to function responsibly in the work =
of the Ashram.
12 Prana means vital force, life, breath, the energy that is everwhere, wit=
hin us, in the environment, in every atom of the universe, in all substance=
s and forms.
A man's perfect food is Truth. This is literally so. Truth is not just a co=
ncept. Truth is the living Force of Reality. It is Intensity. It is life, a=
nd life-usable. There have been cases of people who did not take ordinary f=
ood at all. They lived on the universal prana 12 or life force, which is th=
e fundamental substance communicated in food and air. But such revolutionar=
y abstinence is not the appropriate goal of one who eats. It is simply nece=
ssary to restore your natural and human relationship to things, which is to=
fulfill the demands of Sat sang. And the process of Satsang itself is esse=
ntially feeding, conversion, and waste. There is no process in the manifest=
universe that is without these three qualities or functions. Psychic waste=
, the subtle by-product of conscious life, is a form of pollution. Where Sa=
tsang is not consciously lived, men suffer one another. Common men are suff=
ering mutual enervation and toxification. They do not have the' conscious m=
eans to conduct and transform the communicated energy of life. Thus, they b=
ecome disabled, poisoned, without love or freedom. They have lost sight of =
the source. Food and light have become mysterious to them. Common men are o=
bsessed with their toxicity, their dis-ease. Going to the Guru, to Satsang,=
is restoration of food, life, and the conscious powers of freedom and refr=
eshment. The self-sustaining powers of conversion, of "digestion" go on spo=
ntaneously in those who live the conditions of Truth. Then this psychic was=
te is returned to the natural course wherein it can be converted. In such c=
ases, individuals no longer toxify the subtle life of the human world. For =
this reason it is said that, of all the things a man can do, Satsang is the=
best.
It is important to remain vital. People think spiritual life has -something=
to do with becoming weak. Some people get addicted to fasting because of t=
he airy and artificially exalted weakness that comes upon them when they fa=
st. Excessive, unintelligent use of fasting combined with inappropriate die=
t weakens the vital. The --vital loses its ability to inform consciousness =
when fasting and diet are managed by the ignorance of seekers. People feel =
this "weakness" is a very spiritual tendency. But it is just vital weakness=
.
A truly spiritual man is a very strong man. Traditionally, in Japan and cer=
tain other places, the vital center is valued and protected. Wherever you w=
ant to pinpoint its center, in the navel, or just below, the vital area is =
that entire region of the body extending from the solar plexus, or even the=
heart and lungs, down to the anus. It should be strong, not weak. There sh=
ould be force there. You should conduct this force. Sneezing, coughing, vom=
iting, and generally exploiting vital tendencies are all the same activity.=
Even laughter and speech are forms of this same psycho-physical ritual. Th=
e life-force is thrown upward and outward through the front of the body. Th=
e movement is counter-clockwise. It is the reversal of force. rejection of =
energy. but the force of life should always be conducted fully, spontaneous=
ly, clockwise through the body. If you tendency is to be weak in life, in r=
elationships, to be sort of fawning, fey, ambiguous, elusive, empty, not fo=
rceful, or even forceful in an exaggerated way, then you also will tend to =
take on vital problems of various kinds. Once you are sick there are a numb=
er of things wrong in the vital circuit.
There are a number of things that you must be responsible for. There is die=
t, exercise and the taking of good, strong breaths, function or work, the s=
pontaneous attitude of strength, the whole intensity of understanding in Sa=
tsang. There is a conductivity necessary to life, a conductivity of force. =
People ordinarily are only rejecting, becoming empty all the time by variou=
s positive and negative strategies. But there is this natural conductivity,=
downward, through the frontal functions of the psycho-physical life, and u=
p the spine. This full circle is the law of manifest life. That should be s=
pontaneous, simple. That is health. It is also sanity. That is the human cy=
cle, the psycho-physical circuit.
Force, strength, intensity, has got to be brought to the functions of life.=
Better stop indulging your games and strategies of seeking. Otherwise you =
will constantly go through cycles of disease, disturbance, sickness, annoya=
nce, negativity. All of that is a direct result of your activity, your rela=
tionship to things. Everything you suffer is a direct result of your own ac=
tivity, your own involvement with the force and the pattern of manifest and=
unrr anifest existence. I am not suggesting you should begin to become ver=
y self-conscious about your physical state and feel guilty.: if you happen =
to get a little sickness of some sort. It is simply that you should know in=
general just what the life process is, and begin to observe the results of=
your own action. See the results of your action. See your action prior to =
results. See your motivation prior to action. See the roots of motivation o=
r motion in yourself. This is fundamental intelligence at the level of life=
. Usually people don't become sensitive to their own action until they see =
its results. They always only see life fall apart or become difficult, to t=
he point of death.
Episodes of sickness are purifying events. Sometimes these things occur whe=
n the living shakti13 is activated in various ways. Latent illnesses someti=
mes appear by such means. But those in Satsang are continuously responsible=
for the appropriate order of psycho-physical life in the ordinary ways.
13 Internal spiritual energy activated in contact with Siddha-Guru.
=20
DEVOTEE: What about exercise?
FRANKLIN: Just as you must discover the appropriate diet in your own case, =
you must discover the kind or level of activity necessary to keep the body =
supple and strong. All of it is a matter of intelligence at the level of yo=
ur specific constitution. You must discover what foods and vitamins are nec=
essary to keep your chemistry at a constant level. You must discover what t=
ypes of activity and uses of life you can enjoy without breakdowns of vario=
us kinds. In every case there must be an individual and intelligent self-ob=
servation and learning.
There is really no basic man. Everyone is manifesting a very different karm=
a or range of tendencies and conditions. Some people need and tolerate a lo=
t more exercise than others. But, in general, every one, because he has a v=
ital, physical body, needs a certain amount of regular, conscious physical =
activity. I am providing the Ashram with detailed instruction in matters of=
diet, exercise, and every functional aspect of vital and spiritual life. T=
hose who are my disciples must become masters of the ordinary.=20
DEVOTEE: What about sleep? Does it also depend on the individual? How much =
do we require?=20
FRANKLIN: You should.., always feel refreshed, rested and full of energy wh=
en you get up. If you can get. that in half an hour, then sleep for half an=
hour every clay. If you get it in five or six hours, then sleep that long.=
If you need seven or eight hours then take that. Every one is different. B=
ut what every one must observe is how he feels upon waking. There is such a=
thing as over-indulgence in sleep. It actually weakens you, devitalizes yo=
u. If you sleep long into the period of dreaming, particularly very superfi=
cial dreaming, that morning twilight dreaming, where you are almost awake, =
you are sleeping too much. You will feel tired and probably moody on that d=
ay. All kinds of subliminal mind-forms establish themselves by such over sl=
eeping, and these subtle tendencies contract the vital during the whole day=
. You should find that period in your sleep when you can awaken and feel re=
freshed, without the subliminal twilight of dreams. Most active people need=
anywhere from six to seven and a half or eight hours sleep.
The diet is very important in terms of the vital. Exercise is important. Sl=
eep is important. The breath is very important. Therefore, speech and thoug=
ht are also important. If you feel anything like a cold or any sort of vita=
l difficulty, it is very good to walk, and breathe intentionally as you wal=
k. Deep-breathe while you walk. Walk as an exercise. Don't just sort of flo=
p down the street. Walk very deliberately, forcefully, with spine straight =
and muscles loose, and breathe deeply, rhythmically. Inhale profoundly, wit=
h the entire body, and exhale completely while walking. This helps remove i=
mpurities, opens up the breath system, and feeds you through the transforma=
tion of energy in the chemistry of air.
It is not that the goal of absolute health has a great deal of reasonablene=
ss about it. Whole spiritual systems have been based on the ideal of becomi=
ng absolutely healthy, even immortal. This whole event of life is much more=
complex than that. But every individual should at least be responsible for=
the basic quantities in his life, and this will manifest as optimum health=
, free of attachment to psycho-physical conditions, good or bad.
Everyone seems to be subject to a mysterious cycle in the vital. There are =
attacks in the vital. I have called these attacks and their source "vital s=
hock."14 There are periodic attacks, cycles of compulsive contraction in th=
e vital. You don't necessarily feel a physical cramp, but very often there =
is some sort of somatic sensation. These attacks are evidence of various co=
nditions, various associated phenomena, external and internal. The peculiar=
crises that occur in this real spiritual work -or sadhana correspond in ge=
neral to these periods of vital shock. Therefore, you must begin to become =
as intelligent as you can about the basic vital process. You must not delib=
erately allow the vital to become weak. Keep the essential vital quantities=
constant. Learn the secret of moderation, which is continual alternation o=
r rhythm of appropriate use and intelligent abstinence.
14 For a complete discussion of this term, see Chapter 4, entitled "Vital S=
hock"
Under the heading of food, which is very basic to this whole affair, are al=
l the things on which the vital thrives. That not only includes the basic q=
uantities in the diet, including vitamins, but it includes the breath or co=
nductivity of the life-force or prana itself. Sexuality and the communicati=
on of force as money, effort and love are also very fundamental functions o=
f life. All forms of exploitation and of willful exaggerated non-use tend t=
o weaken the vital, break the conductivity of life-force, and make the func=
tions of life obsolete in the negative or destructive sense.
All social activity, all relational life is communication of vitality, of f=
orce, of energy. In various of the world's Scriptures people are told to lo=
ve one another. What is being recommended through such language is use of t=
he internal mechanisms of the life-force. These mechanisms harmonize the vi=
tal at the level of intercommunication. If you haven't become intelligent a=
t the level of life, if you haven't seen the results of your action and the=
nature of your action, you can never become subtle enough to enjoy the ver=
y force that is consciousness, that is Reality. In that case, you will be c=
ontinually distracted, continually returned, as a compulsive form of attent=
ion, to the adventures of dilemma and seeking.
All people enjoy little glimpses of the gracefulness of Reality. At times t=
hey may feel a "Presence" influencing them in some way. But until they begi=
n to go through the crisis of intelligence at the level of life, nothing co=
nstant, nothing truly subtle and alive occurs in their own case. That is wh=
y, as a condition of Satsang, I require people to deal with some very pract=
ical things I require them to work, to manage their personal environment, t=
heir diet and their sexual life intelligently. Work and all the things surr=
ounded with our responsibilities in the environment are indispensable means=
of bringing us into responsible, repetitive contact with the conditions of=
human existence and human energy. Self-indulgent, irresponsible living is =
not the proper or workable foundation for Satsang. As long as the self-indu=
lgent, irresponsible pattern is lived compulsively, there is only the endle=
ss cycle of vital shocks. And these shocks continually interrupt the proces=
s of Satsang. What I require from you is practical intelligence and respons=
ibility at the level of the vital.
DEVOTEE: Would you please discuss the advantages of the sex-relationship fo=
r real spiritual life?
FRANKLIN: It is a relationship. That makes it a form of Satsang. It is no m=
ore or less "spiritual" than any other form of relationship, but it is very=
fundamental to life. You aren't advanced to Truth if you engage it, or if =
you don't. It is neither one nor the other from the point of view of Truth.
But there are human -and sub-human uses of sex. Only the human use of sex i=
s acceptable in one who would live in Satsang with the Guru. And the human,=
conscious, responsible, love-use of sex is, in general, an extension of th=
e process of conductivity and regeneration rather than of the exclusive org=
asmic violence of generative sexuality. When the truly human functions are =
optimally realized in human beings, orgasmic or generative sexuality become=
s a sacrificial and intelligent activity, limited not by an act of will, bu=
t by the functional realization or enjoyment of prior fulfillment, the circ=
le of regeneration, the natural state of man. In one who lives the way of u=
nderstanding in Satsang with the Guru, all functions tend to return to thei=
r human, conscious, responsible forms, including the sex-relationship, whic=
h takes on more and more of the regenerative character, even to the point o=
f transcendence-of the sex act itself.
We have been speaking about how life-dilemma is perceived by men in three e=
ssential areas of function. These are money (or, in general, the commitment=
of effort, love, energy or life), food and sex. These are the most fundame=
ntal human functions. Therefore, they are also the most obvious places wher=
e we discover- that we are suffering. Most individuals are chronically obse=
ssed with the functions of money, food and sex. Most individuals are. drama=
tizing their fundamental dilemma by seeking in relation to the functions of=
money, food and sex. Some pretend to be very "subtle," very spiritual, but=
they, like most others, are simply reacting to money, food and sex, which =
appear to them not as simple functions, but in the form of problems. Most m=
en are at times either exploiting these functional possibilities, or they a=
re resisting them, trying to overcome them. But the only reason to exploit =
any function or to overcome it is the fact that you are already in dilemma,=
that you conceive it as a problem rather than a function.
When a man understands his search, his dilemma, then all of his functions r=
eturn to their natural state. Then the functions of money, food and sex bec=
ome possible in a very natural way. Every man emphasizes each of these func=
tions the sex-relationship is among the most fundamental, and perhaps the m=
ost obvious from. the point of view of life, it is a very obvious place for=
Satsang, for sadhana, for understanding.
Until a man understands, neither money, food nor sex is
lived as a form of relationship. Instead of living these functions as forms=
of relationship, he lives them as forms of identification, differentiation=
and desire. If he is having sex,
he is having sex. It is his own pleasure, his own satisfaction. If he is ha=
ving food, he is acquiring it to himself. If he has money, energy or power,=
they are his own. Money, food and sex are conceived as his possessions rat=
her than as functional, relational possibilities. He is a seeker, and these=
things reinforce his dilemma, his separateness. But when his life takes on=
the form of Sat sang and the intelligence of relationship, then these thin=
gs become forms of relationship, and, as forms of relationship, there is no=
praise, no blame in the appropriate use and functional enjoyment of them. =
They are simply the enjoyable and creative faculties of the earth.
From the traditional spiritual or religious point of view, sex, for example=
, is always very ambiguous, very threatening. Traditionally, people are per=
iodically wondering whether they should give it up forever. They try to bec=
ome celibate for a period of time, then they try willfully to draw the sex-=
force up their spines, then they try to sublimate it into painting, office =
work, poetry and prayer, without otherwise understanding the motive of thei=
r lives. But" there is no true motivation to abandon sexuality, and, in Tru=
th, there is no true motivation to acquire it. When a man understands, all =
of his functions suddenly, spontaneously, are alive. His intelligence is al=
so spontaneous and alive. Then all relationship is a living, spontaneous en=
joyment in which there is no loss, no separation. But for the seeker there =
is only loss and separation. The yogi, out of fear of loss and separation, =
prevents the sex-relationship and retains the sex-force in order to possess=
the intensity whereby he can enact his adventure, his search. But when a m=
an understands, the sex-force becomes a natural process in relationship, wi=
thout loss, and without gain. Therefore, in answer to your question, there =
is no advantage to the sex-relationship whatsoever. It can be very enjoyabl=
e, and a profound condition for the sadhana or real practice of Satsang. Bu=
t if a man doesn't understand, it makes no difference whether he does or he=
doesn't function sexually.
Just as in certain forms of yoga there is attention to an
internal mechanism, a subtle process of energy, something
like the positive and negative of electricity, just so, in life
there is a pattern of communicated force. Men and women live this pattern i=
n the sex-relationship. Many other forms of relationship in the natural env=
ironment are also mutual forms
of this pattern of energy. The enjoyment of relationship at the level of th=
e vital life includes not only sex, but the whole process of vital force, a=
nd the whole ordinary activity of energy and exchange, the communication of=
money, food and sex. At the level of life something is being done that is =
quite similar to what is done internally, subtly. Whenever a temporary bala=
nce is achieved through mutual conductivity of opposing- forces, positive a=
nd negative, this is felt as pleasure or fulfillment on the level of the ph=
ysical and vital life. Whether there is sex or any other relational functio=
n, when there is this balanced conductivity of force, there is pleasure.
Human beings are continually involved in a mutual activity in which somethi=
ng like positive and negative is harmonized. The "electrical" impulse at th=
e level of human nature is the quality of desire in its natural and functio=
nal form, as a simple impulse. Because _functional desire is there, the sur=
vival of the race is realized through sex. Just so, the survival. of the in=
dividual is realized through the process of food transformation, and the su=
rvival of community is realized through the exchange of force, energy, work=
, money, creativity, love, and commitment of life. At the level of life thi=
s necessary and functional mutuality is continually being enacted, satisfie=
d, and also frustrated.
This relational impulse, this very ordinary impulse, is natural to all men.=
In some, relational force is more intense than in others. From the point o=
f view of life, relationship is the natural or functional form. But men are=
also suffering, living in dilemma, avoiding relationship. Therefore, the s=
ex-relationship has become one of the most corrupt forms of experience poss=
ible for human life. It is one of the most disharmonious and aggravated for=
ms of opposition that men can encounter. It is one of the chief sources of =
the chief sources of fascination, preoccupation, dysfunction of intelligenc=
e, frustration, fear, guilt, and dis-ease of life. Therefore, like all form=
s of relationship, it requires a great deal of both man and woman. The esse=
ntial thing about it is that, in Truth, it is a form of relationship, not o=
f acquisition
or of sensation. When sexual union is lived as relationship, the circle of =
energy, the conductivity of life, is complete, and there is no loss. But wh=
en the sex function is lived purely as a form of obsession, for the sake of=
release, there is only separation. Therefore, the sex-relationship, as wel=
l as the functions of money and food, are forms of spiritual theatre. In Tr=
uth, they are a creative enactment of the form of consciousness. They are f=
orms of realization. They are all these things from the point of view of li=
fe, and yet, from the point of view of Truth, they have no significance wha=
tsoever.
Most people use sex as experience rather than relationship. They have lots =
of sex experiences, which are all modifications of their own mind and life.=
Therefore, they tend continually to reinforce the sense of separation. But=
where sex is always enjoyed as relationship, it has no effect, positive or=
negative, on the primary force of consciousness. From the point of view of=
Truth, there is no need for self-conscious or willful conservation of the =
sex-force, but also from the point of view of Truth, there is no motivation=
to -exploit or destroy it. In one who understands, conductivity or self-co=
nservation and regenerative, creative use of what otherwise appears as the =
sex-force is a spontaneous activity.
This spontaneously regenerative activity cannot be "taught," or realized ap=
art from the whole life of understanding in Sat sang. The relationship betw=
een man and woman can no more adequately be described than the Heart. That =
relationship is simply the expressed intensity of the Heart, of the Self, o=
f Real God. In fact all there is is this one Intensity. This is why it is s=
aid in the Indian tradition that the husband is Siva15to his wife. The very=
force of prior and unmoved consciousness is represented in the male. And a=
man's wife is considered to be Shakti16 to her husband. She is the very cr=
eative power and motion of the cosmos.=20
15 The Perfect, Formless, most prior, unspeakable Divine being.
16 The living Conscious-Force or Divine Cosmic and Creative Energy
=20
From the point of view of Truth, there is no activity, no moment in time th=
at is not Siva-Shakti. It is always this union. Union is already the nature=
of all relationship. Union or relationship is always already the case.
=20
DEVOTEE: What form does it take during sleep?=20
FRANKLIN: It depends on what is going on during sleep. It depends on the na=
ture of the sleeper, his state of consciousness. To those who are awake in =
the world, all sleepers only sleep. But those who are asleep may also dream=
, or pass through many forms of cognition and experience. There is a proces=
s at the level of the "causal being," the unmoved realm of deep sleep, that=
also corresponds to the vast complications of the subtle and gross worlds.=
It is very simple, subtle beyond subtlety. But it could also be called Siv=
a-Shakti. The perfect union of Siva-Shakti is fundamental and unqualified I=
ntensity, the.very Self. There is no ultimate difference, there is no Siva =
and Shakti. Even here, in the waking world, there is no Siva and Shakti. Bu=
t it is easier for us to think in those concrete and symbolic terms: Theref=
ore, we can say that all relationships, all forms-of exchange are ritual en=
actments of the One Intensity that is Siva-Shakti. And the sex-relationship=
is one of them.
The very cells of the body are Siva-Shakti. The atom is Siva-Shakti. Simply=
because the world exists doesn't mean that Shakti is separated from Siva a=
nd must return, or that the yogi is somehow separated from Siva, and must r=
eturn to Siva in the form or vehicle of Shakti. All that arises is already =
the union of Siva and Shakti. It is not necessary to raise the kundalini17 =
one inch. It is already raised. It is continually rising. And it is continu=
ally descending. It is a circle of conductivity about the Sun, the Heart. W=
hen manifest existence is lived from the point of view of the Heart, all as=
cent and all descent is already and continually accomplished. But when a ma=
n lives purely from the point of view of ascent, he has a great deal to acc=
omplish, and when he lives entirely from, the point of view of descended na=
ture, he also has a great deal to accomplish. Thus, in terms of the sex-rel=
ationship, as in any other kind of relationship, the quality of a man's awa=
reness, the quality of the ritual or the drama that he is playing varies fr=
om day to day. Sometimes it is very serious, sometimes it is very confused,=
sometimes very complicated, sometimes very frustrated, sometimes very sati=
sfied, sometimes very humorous. And if he doesn't understand, all of this i=
s an obstacle and a dilemma to him, which provokes his seeking. But if he u=
nderstands, all of that becomes enjoyable. Therefore, in terms of sex or an=
ything else there is no exclusive recommendation. Only understand.
17 The kundalini or kundalini shakti is the "serpent power" of esoteric spi=
rituality. It is the very Creative Power of the universes, but it also lies=
dormant in man, coiled at the base of the spine. It may be awakened sponta=
neously in the disciple, after which it ascends within him, producing all t=
he various forms of yogic and mystical experience. Franklin indicates that =
the internal spiritual force is eternally awake, but man is not awake. Ther=
efore, he recommends no efforts to awaken this force itself. but puts all a=
ttention to the awakening of the seeker to his prior, eternal and always pr=
esent condition.
=20
DEVOTEE. What is the most common form of avoiding relationship?
FRANKLIN: It has only one principal form. It is that very act which I have =
described as the avoidance of relationship, which one who understands has b=
egun to identify as his primary activity. At times, he may find it dramatiz=
ed at the level of his ordinary life in some particular way. He may discove=
r particular and strategic forms of it that are characteristic of him, eith=
er during a special phase or as a pattern throughout his life. But there is=
ultimately only one form that is that, and everything else is an extension=
of it. At last, for one who understands, there are not many forms of suffe=
ring and ignorance, and there cannot be one that stands out among common ac=
tions as the primary form of that action of which I speak, for that action =
is perceptible only to understanding. It is only that in the case of an ind=
ividual, each individual, it has its chronic appearance.
Those areas of a man's life in which this activity is most obvious are" gen=
erally functions of the vital process, the vital force or energy that becom=
es effort, work, exchange, love, money, food and sex. Those are the areas i=
n which life communicates itself most obviously, most fundamentally. The fo=
rce of life is communicated as sex-force, as food-transformation, and as re=
lational energy. In other words, the activity that is our suffering does no=
t appear apart from the life-process itself, in its gross, subtle and causa=
l forms. From the point of view of Truth, the life-process itself cannot be=
called the obstacle. If so, to become realized would only be a matter of k=
illing yourself, or something similar, some sort of revolutionary detachmen=
t or separation from life. But in fact life itself is that area wherein a m=
an senses his conflict, feels it dramatized. The suffering of men is essent=
ially a life-dilemma. It becomes a subtle dilemma only after it has arisen =
in life. People who desire some sort of remarkable subtle experience to tra=
nsform them, are really responding to a very primitive life-conflict. All o=
f their striving to subtlety is really a reaction to life suffered as dilem=
ma. Therefore, it is not a matter of getting rid of one aspect of life, a h=
ang-up somewhere within.life. It is a matter of understanding under the con=
ditions of life. And when the force of life is no longer communicated as di=
lemma, then this avoidance of relationship becomes obvious.
There is no higher world that is the special and exclusive communication of=
Truth. All worlds communicate Truth in exactly the same way, so there is n=
o special advantage in any world beyond here. Truth is always already the c=
ase. It is the condition of all forms of existence. If you do not grasp it,=
then you will pursue subtlety, or a new state. But when your present condi=
tion is no longer lived as dilemma, then you are like one who is awakened f=
rom a dream. The quality of such awakening is not to have some "other" kind=
of experience, it is not some vision, some thought, some experience, some =
form of self-analysis. Waking itself is the freedom. When a man is awake, t=
his contraction, the avoidance of relationship becomes obvious.
Ours is not a solid universe in which we are inserted like little capsules =
of force, separated from other capsules of force, trapped within bodies. Th=
is is a realm of consciousness. Consciousness is the primary event, the pri=
mary fact, the primary movement, the primary drama. It is not that consciou=
sness must evolve. Consciousness must be lived. And it is lived in one who =
understands.
DEVOTEE: What creates this contraction or avoidance?=20
FRANKLIN: It is not an activity outside you.=20
DEVOTEE: How does it arise?
FRANKLIN: It is arising. When it is seen directly, it has no cause. It did =
not begin in the past. It is presently arising. It is a spontaneous activit=
y whose mystery is understandable only in the instant of re-cognition. Prio=
r to that, nothing can be said about it that makes any difference. Because =
it has not begun in th past. It is always arising presently. At the subtles=
t level, it is a completely voluntary activity. That is why it is a simplic=
ity. That is why understanding, Self-realization, whatever you want to call=
it, is a simplicity. That is why understanding is possible. It is like a m=
an who is pinching himself, unknowingly. He will try all kinds of extraordi=
nary healing methods, psychic methods, yogic methods, anything to get rid o=
f this subtle sense of pain and agony that he has all the time. He will con=
tinue to pursue every kind of means until he realizes that all he is doing =
is pinching himself. When he realizes that, he just takes his hand away. Th=
ere is nothing complicated at all about it. But prior to that it is an imme=
nsely complicated problem, and the sense of life itself tends to be identif=
ied with that problem. The cognition of problem or dilemma motivates a man =
to every kind of distraction, and the understanding of it cannot occur prio=
r to the most radical recognition of his essential and always present activ=
ity. To seek its origin, to seek a cause for it is like trying to find the =
beginning of breath.=20
DEVOTEE: How does it arise in the present moment?=20
FRANKLIN: If it is arising in the present moment, how can you think of it i=
n terms of a cause? All causes are past. But this entire process is a prese=
nt activity.=20
DEVOTEE: What brings it on or stimulates it?=20
FRANKLIN: It is not caused. The only proper investigation of it, the only a=
nswer to the question one can formulate about it is Satsang (the condition =
of relationship to one's Guru), understanding, and enquiry. There is, no sa=
tisfactory answer apart from the present re-cognition of it.=20
DEVOTEE: What do you mean exactly by the word "re-cognition"?
FRANKLIN: Knowing again. Most of our activities are forms of cognition or s=
imple knowing. We are experiencing that, that, that, that, that. The search=
, the forms of motivated yoga, the remedial techniques people acquire, are =
also forms of cognition. "Look at this `chakra,' look at this `light,' look=
at this `sound,' look at this God, look at this deliciousness, look at thi=
s, look at this!" "Oh, yes, I am looking at this!" Narcissus is always look=
ing at his picture. I am always looking at this. Such is the ordinary adven=
ture, until a man re-cognizes, rather than cognizes. Then he not only knows=
what he is doing, but he knows what it is that he is doing. When you know =
it again, it has no fundamental importance. Then all of this chattering, "O=
h look, look, I'm seeing this, oh look, look at this," just comes to an end=
. This contraction and unconscious formulation of consciousness no longer o=
ccurs. Narcissus realizes, "Ah!" All of a sudden "Ah!" And .he just gets up=
and walks back into town. Re-cognition in itself is the utter, radical rev=
ersal of all dilemma. It is sudden, spontaneous, perfect, and it cannot in =
any way be indicated prior to its accomplishment.
DEVOTEE: You have said this action takes the form of identification, differ=
entiation and desire. In a concrete situation, what happens?
FRANKLIN: The ordinary sense that a man has, sitting, walking, is of separa=
te existence. He doesn't ordinarily say to himself, "I am this body, I am t=
his mind, I am this, I am that." No mental process goes on that is itself t=
he communication of this sense to him. He already has this sense. He wakes =
up alive, he moves in bodily terms, it just seems very obvious. And there i=
s the. sense of some sort of subtle limit, size, shape, or difference. That=
is identification. It is called the "ego."=20
Differentiation is all the forms, all the qualities of cognition or mind, i=
n which everything becomes an extension of this same thing that he has assu=
med. Everything becomes a "this." Look at this, look at this. Suddenly, the=
re are endless planes of significance. The very structure of his thought is=
"this, this, this." Spontaneously, everything is already multiplied, disti=
nct. Having already, spontaneously acquired this sense of separate existenc=
e, and while already perceiving, thinking a range of multiplicity, of separ=
ate natures, forms and forces, he moves. And that motion is desire. This se=
parate one moves. He conceives a realm of multiplicity in which to move, be=
cause he is separate. There is something, even a world, that he is up again=
st, so he moves. And that movement is desire. An endless adventure is possi=
ble when these three assumptions are made. And that adventure is what peopl=
e are doing. All men, all ordinary beings who are karmically manifested in =
the material worlds, are living this adventure. Each one lives it with diff=
erent qualities, different circumstances, different ranges of subjectivity,=
but all essentially are living it on the armature of this same structure, =
this same form, this same complex of assumptions. There present state, "me,=
" separate, with everything around me moving. What you ordinarily perceive =
to be your condition at any moment is the best example of it.
Now all adventures, all human adventures are possible from that point of vi=
ew, and all are built on that point of view. And that point of view is the =
dilemma. All accomplishments take place within the framework of that dilemm=
a. Therefore, all pursuits, all searches, all activities, all accomplishmen=
ts, spiritual and mundane, are possible adventures within that same framewo=
rk. It is not that the spiritual ones are better than the mundane ones. The=
y are all the same adventure. And, of course, the dilemma and its search ar=
e manifested between human beings as all kinds of conflicts and preferences=
. They are reflected at every level of awareness.
The waking life, what we cognize to be the ordinary waking state, is a cont=
inual drama of these three activities of identification, differentiation an=
d desire. The "causal" being, which is also the seat of deep sleep, manifes=
ts as the activity of identification, or separate self sense, through contr=
action of the causal center on the right side of the chest.18 The subtle bo=
dy, which is also the seat or condition of dreams, is the internal or subtl=
e organ, and it manifests essentially as the elaboration or differentiation=
of thought, feeling, energy and sensation. This is done by contraction of =
the subtle mechanism, which has many centers or functions in the spine and =
brain. Then the waking state adds this movement of desire or manifest vital=
ity, the descending and "frontal" life. The traditional searches are an att=
empt to return to the simpler origin. When they turn inward in the waking s=
tate, away from desire, this is religion. When they turn inward from subtle=
life and dreams to forms of subtlety or light beyond mind, this is spiritu=
ality or yoga. The intuitive methods of the would be Jnani or Buddha turn b=
eyond life and subtlety into the causal ground. But in fact all of these ar=
e simply ways of going from one state into another, moving from one conditi=
on to another that is relatively more subtle, or relatively more free of co=
nditions. None of these functional movements is the Truth itself. But when =
a man comprehends his own adventure, and his search occupies him less and l=
ess, when his suffering becomes the only real possibility for him, when suf=
fering or dilemma becomes his essential condition, regardless of his state,=
waking, dreaming, or sleeping, then there is the possibility of real intel=
ligence, of spontaneous re-cognition, of understanding, of Truth.
18 See The Knee of Listening for Franklins' descriptions of that aspect of =
the sponteneous internal yogic process which deals with the "causal" center=
and its opening.
The "natural" state is neither waking, dreaming nor sleeping. It cannot be =
identified with the three characteristic functional conditions. It has been=
called turiya, the "fourth" state, beyond the three common states. When it=
is enjoyed perfectly, this has been called turiyatita, "beyond the fourth.=
" Therefore, one who understands is awake while only waking, awake while dr=
eaming, awake while sleeping. He always enjoys this simple intensity that i=
s Reality prior to the contraction of functional life. He has become humoro=
us. Mortal seriousness has fallen from him. I don't mean that he is always =
giggling, but the subtle aggravation, contraction, that mystery of his own =
suffering is absent. He falls through it, always.
DEVOTEE: Are you saying that desire has to stop?=20
FRANKLIN: One of the typical methods within the great search is the attempt=
to obstruct or stop desire, because it is a very fundamental area in which=
the dilemma is conceived.
The dilemma is most obvious at the level of desire, at the level of life. T=
he seeker either exploits his desire or resists it, but neither one of thes=
e strategies is appropriate. Both of them depend upon the dilemma itself. D=
esire itself, the movement of life itself, is not the dilemma.
DEVOTEE: Desire arising out of identification, and differentiation. Isn't t=
hat the problem?
FRANKLIN: That quality as oneself is the dilemma, but that same quality liv=
ed from the point of view of the Self or Truth is without dilemma. Thus, in=
one who understands, there still is the apparently individuated being, the=
re still is the capacity for subtle life, mind and all its forms, there sti=
ll is the capacity for movement, which is desire. His appearance is not cha=
nged. He remains ordinary, but he lives from the point of view of the Self,=
as the Self. But where consciousness itself becomes identification, differ=
entiation and desire, this is the dilemma, because it is not true. Consciou=
sness is not that. The sense of that is the dilemma. And it is nothing more=
than that.
So the attempt to remove desire is a secondary reaction to this dilemma. Th=
e dilemma has already occurred, so anything done to the function of desire =
is secondary. You can do anything you like to your desire, but nothing you =
can do to your desire becomes realization, understanding, or Truth. All thi=
s doing to desire is itself desire, a reaction to desire as dilemma. When d=
ilemma is understood, there is no motivation to do anything about desire it=
self. Why should you want to do anything about desire? What is wrong with d=
esire?
It will seem to you at times that you need to block desire. It will seem at=
other times that you need to enjoy it. It will change from hour to hour, b=
ut your occupation must turn from desire to the dilemma itself. And that is=
the focus of Satsang. The preoccupation with your methods, your ways of de=
aling with your search, is fruitless. The more you try, the clearer this be=
comes. Each "way" is just another strategy, another form of experiencing th=
at tends at last to reinforce the dilemma. Each way has its satisfactions. =
The libertine has his satisfactions, and his liabilities. The one who pursu=
es sainthood has his satisfactions, and his liabilities. Both only reinforc=
e this dilemma. When at last they fall out of their search into their suffe=
ring, from within their suffering they will begin to intuit Truth.

The Method of the Siddhas=20


Vital Shock
=20
CHAPTER 4
Vital Shock
DEVOTEE: I wonder if you could expand on a discussion you had with some of =
us the other day regarding the "vital." You were telling us how men become =
obsessed with anger, fear, jealousy and the like as a result of a contracti=
on in the vital or life function.
FRANKLIN: Yes. I've talked about how the force of consciousness operates in=
life through a structure or pattern of conductivity, a clockwise circle of=
descending and ascending force. The special point of view of "life" or vit=
ality is an epitome or center in the midst of the body, in the general area=
of the navel, this lower body area. This center, or this aspect of the lar=
ger circle of force, is in the frontal and descending pattern of life. It i=
s most intimate to us. And it is in the area of life, of vitality, that men=
experience most obviously, most directly, the nature of suffering. It is a=
t the level of vitality that men cognize existence for the most part. The w=
hole ascending life, the subtle life, is more obscure than this vital life.=
In fact, when men pursue spirituality, they are not responding to somethin=
g "spiritual." What makes them seek is not a spiritual motivation, not a su=
btle motivation. What motivates them is suffering, and essentially sufferin=
g in the vital, in the life.
The usual man lives in what I have called "vital shock." This shock ultima=
tely includes more than the vital. It operates even on a very subtle level.=
But its most obvious and motivating form is the sense of shock in the vita=
l being. Ordinarily, the vital, at its chief center in the midst of the bod=
y, is contracted, and a man continually feels it, even physically. He may f=
eel a kind of cramp, this tension in the midst of the body. And every man t=
ries to relieve it continually through various experiences, pleasures.
This vital center is like the shutter in a camera. Like the shutter in a ca=
mera, it curls in on itself in order to close, or else unfurls in order to =
open. It is like your hand. If you clench your fist and hold it together as=
tightly as you can, it begins to become painful. Just so, this vital cente=
r is alive, sentient, and when it contracts, like your hand, it creates a s=
ensation. Not only does it create a physical sensation, but also many other=
reflections in life and consciousness. Therefore, when this contraction oc=
curs in the vital, we not only get a cramp in the stomach, we have a whole =
life of suffering.
Every aspect of vital existence is controlled by this image, this state, th=
is vital shock. The patterns to which men become addicted are simply extens=
ions of this contraction. For instance, here in Satsang, you may go through=
a period of obsessiveness, when its very difficult for you, when you are c=
ontinually obsessed with various kinds of desires, feelings. At the beginni=
ng of that period, something occurred. Something in life, somewhere, suppre=
ssed or appeared to suppress the vital. And all of the patterns, the ritual=
s, the strategies that began to come on to you were reactions to that suppr=
ession of the vital. The sensation or cognition of that suppression or "blo=
w" is the form of vital shock that currently obsesses you. But even before =
you began the present episode, the vital shock was already your condition. =
There is a continuous vital contraction.
In fact what people are suffering is not their peculiar life-patterns or st=
rategies in themselves, but this original shock, in the form of a primary r=
eaction, this contraction of which I speak. Men seek through all kinds of m=
eans to become free of their various symptoms, their various strategies, in=
cluding the cramped sensation in the midst of the body. But if a man unders=
tands or re-cognizes this contraction itself, this activity, this drama, at=
the present, he doesn't have to deal with all the endless extensions of it=
. True spiritual life, radical life, is to deal with this fundamental, pres=
ent activity, this contraction, not with the search that is an expression o=
f it. It is not to deal with the symptoms, not with the strategies that it =
manifests, but with this activity itself, presently. This primary activity,=
this contraction, is the root and the support and the form of all the ordi=
nary manifestations of suffering, all of the patterns of life that men ackn=
owledge to be their suffering. This contraction, this "avoidance of relatio=
nship," is, fundamentally, a mans continuous, present activity.
A person can be set into a whole period of dramatizing his suffering by so=
me simple event in his life, a frustration of some kind, a threat, a loss, =
whatever=97a vital shock. But release is not a matter of looking into your =
memory and discovering the various sources or incidents of these shocks in =
the past. You know, the day your father hit you, the day your dog died, and=
all the rest. Those are only past instances of this same process. The proc=
ess itself is always instant, present, spontaneous. It is a reaction to lif=
e itself. Life is its own shock. The awakening of consciousness into the fo=
rm of life is that shock. Birth is that shock, not merely the original phys=
ical event that may be remembered, but every moments cognition of being ali=
ve. All the events within life are just extensions of that life-shock.
In The Knee of Listening I mentioned an experience I had at one point, wher=
e I remembered, even relived my prenatal state, my awakening into the body.=
There was a kind of gloriousness about it, a fantastic form of energy, sha=
ped, as I described it then, "like a seahorse." That was the original awake=
ning of the kundalini, if you will. But in the same instant there was inten=
se sorrow. The shock was life itself, the shock of embodiment. The "seahors=
e" is already contraction. The spinal form is already this curve. The ordin=
ary life is already this tendency, this compulsive qualification of conscio=
usness, this unconsciousness. Everyone, "after birth," develops a peculiar =
drama of this shock. Peculiar experiences occur during every life, and each=
individual develops a peculiar pattern of reaction to that. So everyone is=
living the drama and strategy of suffering in a peculiarly unique way, a p=
eculiarly complex, individual way. But in every case there is one fundament=
al activity. One thing is the suffering. It is an activity, this activity, =
this contraction, this avoidance of relationship, this differentiation, thi=
s separation. Wherever it occurs, that is suffering.
All ordinary suffering is only a cramp. It is this contraction. Wherever th=
ere is this contraction, there is obstruction to the flow of force. There i=
s also the tendency in consciousness for there to be the sense of separate =
existence. If you cramp the hand together in a fist, there is a sensation i=
n the hand, as the hand, that is different from the space around it. When t=
he vital itself is contracted in this way, the center of the "hand" is the =
ego, the "me," the separate self sense. The mind of this "me," like its for=
m, is separate, separative, compulsively differentiating. So the whole dram=
a of seeking that is a reaction to this contraction or reaction to life, al=
ways begins with this "me." "Me" is the core of this experience. It is the =
center of the "fist." Every person seeks by every means to be relieved of h=
is suffering, but the suffering cannot be relieved, this contraction cannot=
be uncoiled without the "me," which is its center, dissolving. The whole a=
ffair, at the level of life, of vitality, involves the dissolution, not onl=
y of the physical manifestation of this contraction, not only of the life d=
rama, but of all its qualities, all of its peculiar psychology, all of its =
mentality, all of its assumptions. Spiritual life involves the undermining =
of the whole point of view of vital shock.
When the contraction unwinds, conductivity replaces obstruction. Then there=
is conductivity of the force that descends as life. As long as this compul=
sive contraction or shock exists, there is no conductivity. There is only o=
bstruction or limitation and constriction of the flow of force. This may be=
experienced as intense stimulation of energy, of force, in the vital, felt=
as all of the various forms of desire. The fundamental forms of this inten=
se cramp of energy, felt as the fire of desires in the vital, are the drama=
s of money, food and sex. And if the cramp of obstruction is too severe, th=
ere is loss of vitality, desire and function in these same areas of life. N=
o vitality, no survival.
One who exploits the apparent condition of desire no longer conducts the fo=
rce of life. There is only the use of it, the revulsion of force, the empty=
ing of force. He does this because the contraction is painful. He discovers=
that if the force itself is diminished, the pain goes away. If the hand fa=
lls asleep, there is no pain. If you empty the vital of its force, the cram=
p is not felt, even though the contraction remains. So the self-indulgent p=
erson empties the vital constantly, and he feels relief, he feels open, he =
feels satisfied. But as soon as his strength returns, he feels the pain aga=
in, unless he has exhausted and contracted the vital to the point of impote=
nce. Such a one tries by every means to satisfy himself, to be free of his =
pain. But all of his means are from the point of view of this contraction, =
this avoidance. He will continue his efforts until the entire process of hi=
s search fails, and he feels its failure. At that point, Satsang becomes po=
ssible, the life of understanding becomes possible.
One who is dramatizing or living this state of vital shock is not truly ali=
ve, not enjoying life. He is always self-enclosed, always suffering, always=
unconscious, always obsessed, always seeking. Among men, there is always t=
he same complaint "Everybody is asleep, everybody is unconscious, everybody=
is self-obsessed, everybody wants to be satisfied." Everyone who comes to =
the Guru wants to be satisfied. When will I become enlightened? When will I=
have this experience? What is happening to me? I am suffering. Everyone wa=
nts to begin spiritual life as a search. They want to carry on spiritual li=
fe as an extension of the same thing they've always been doing. They want t=
o be satisfied, they want to be emptied, they want to be free of this cramp=
. They want to be free of it. Me. But "me" is the center, the core of this =
contraction.
If you go to the usual and traditional spiritual sources, you are given for=
ms of satisfaction, ways to satisfy your inclination to be free of this cra=
mp. You are told to believe in Jesus, do such and such meditative exercises=
, concentrate this way or that way, think only of Krishna, religious practi=
ces, spiritual methods, not to mention the whole range of "therapies" that =
have been created to satisfy this search at various levels. All of these th=
ings are responses to the demand in the vital. But those who come to our As=
hram in the impulse of that point of view are not satisfied. They are frust=
rated here. The search is not the point of view of Truth. This contraction =
and its healing are not the point of view of Satsang. Satsang, radical spir=
itual life, is the undermining of this contraction, at every level, the und=
ermining of the point of view of this contraction, the undermining of suffe=
ring, of seeking, and its separative existence. So it is only those who hav=
e become sensitive to the failure of their search who are able to tolerate =
the quality of Satsang.
Satsang is a paradox. For one thing, this contraction in life is the avoida=
nce of relationship, the avoidance of that essential condition that is the =
primary law or form of the cosmos: relationship. Nothing arises on its own,=
or only as its "self." People come to the Guru who are separate, and separ=
ating themselves from all conditions. But Satsang is relationship. Therefor=
e, Satsang is an offense to Narcissus, an offense to this contraction, not =
a satisfaction of it. Only a man who has become sensitive to his own failur=
e can tolerate that offense.
Living in the condition of relationship creates tremendous resistance by re=
action in people. And the life of Satsang, the sadhana or spiritual practic=
e of this Satsang, is to live relationship over time. It is the same thing =
that yogis and religious practitioners traditionally try to do by putting t=
hemselves into a cave and various other ascetic circumstances. The most "as=
cetic" circumstance is relationship. The condition of relationship stimulat=
es all of the reaction, all of the "sinfulness," all of the impurity that i=
s in a person. All of it is awakened in the condition and relationship that=
is Satsang. Satsang is an offense to this contraction, and it stimulates i=
ts content.
Satsang is a relationship, a connection, a form of conductivity. The force =
of Truth, the force of that descending and ascending life, is communicated =
through that connection. At the same time all of the subconscious of buried=
reactions, the whole search, is being stimulated by the condition of relat=
ionship in Satsang, the force of Satsang is also added to stimulate and qui=
cken the whole process of its manifestation. This provokes the crisis that =
is spiritual life. When this activity has loosened the vital significantly,=
when functional ease is restored to vital life, then the subtle life, the =
true subtle life may begin to manifest itself. But, in the beginning, it is=
at the level of vitality that this work begins, not at the level of vision=
s and other phenomena. Such phenomena are not what is significant at any ra=
te, although a person may tend to have some experiences. Essentially, at th=
e beginning, there is this apparent work in the vital, dealing with this vi=
tal shock. The person who is just entering the life of Satsang is like a pa=
tient coming to a hospital in shock. The force and condition of Satsang mus=
t unloose the condition of vital shock. Because people arrive in "shock," t=
heir earliest experiences of Satsang are the activities of this force, the =
purifying and healing intensities of shakti. Later, when the unconscious, c=
ompulsive point of view and the strategies created by the peculiar state of=
vital shock have been critically loosed in the individual by the force asp=
ect of Satsang and practical living of the conditions of Satsang, the consc=
ious aspect of spiritual life, which is "understanding," begins to awaken.
Sitting, functioning, living in the presence of the man of understanding an=
d the community that surrounds him are the means to release vital shock. Bu=
t the means are entirely an activity of the Guru himself, for the disciple =
cannot do what that presence, force and condition does. The disciple only l=
ives in that presence and force under the conditions communicated to him in=
Satsang. Such is the true grace of spiritual life, for it undermines the v=
ital shock with spiritual force, with very Reality or Truth.
DEVOTEE: It seems that a person who is only seeking is never dealing fundam=
entally with this contraction, but is merely reacting to the shock of life.
FRANKLIN: Yes. To its manifestations, its symptoms. The secret of suffering=
is not in the past. It is not in the universe, "out there." Your suffering=
is entirely your own. It is your own activity. And it is a radically prese=
nt activity, not caused by something else. So the real activity of spiritua=
l life is not generated from the point of view of this search, this reactio=
n, this suffering. It is not a matter of discovering these devils or, whate=
ver they are, these key memories, these mortal and cosmic events. It is a m=
atter of re-cognizing, knowing again, your own activity, your present activ=
ity.
There is a present activity, an absolutely present activity, an only activi=
ty, that everyone is performing all of the time. There are conditions and r=
eactions to conditions that build up patterns, but the root of all of this =
is what is significant. The support of all that, the paradigm of that. You =
can go on and recall the incidents, the conditions that conditioned you, en=
dlessly, but you will have done nothing except the practice of your own obs=
ession. Why are you conditionable? Why are you suffering these conditions? =
It is your own action. When this contraction does not occur, no conditionin=
g occurs, no thought binds. There is only bliss.
The approach of Truth is a radical one, not a revolutionary one. It is not =
a matter of the search from any point of view within the condition of suffe=
ring, but it is a matter of the absolute re-cognition of this present activ=
ity. You are operating as it.
DEVOTEE: Can you clarify what you mean by "radical"?
FRANKLIN: Radical insight is an irreducible insight. Nothing can go behind =
it, beyond it. The radical point of view is not one of seeking, step by ste=
p, through experiences, but by penetrating, prior to any movement at all, t=
he present condition. We could take the point of view of the suffering, the=
symptom, the whole life-game that we are playing individually, and make th=
at the point of view of spiritual life. That is essentially what people hav=
e traditionally and always done. They begin from the point of view of their=
suffering. Instead of resorting to the Truth, they search for it. They go =
on this vast circle. But every point on this circle is the same point of vi=
ew with which they began. Each point is simply a different condition or exp=
erience from that point of view. Every individual begins to know that, howe=
ver far on this infinitely wide circle he may go before he discovers it. Wh=
en he begins to suspect or see, re-cognize the nature of this adventure tha=
t he is living, he is "at the center." He is already at the center the mome=
nt he knows what this whole adventure is. So revolution is the nature of th=
e search, but Truth is always radical, always already at the core, the cent=
er.
DEVOTEE: What is the nature of Paradise?
FRANKLIN: Paradise! What is Paradise? What is that?
DEVOTEE: Paradise is where there is bliss.
FRANKLIN: Where there is bliss! Bliss is paradise. All of this is already b=
liss. Bliss is the nature of this. "Paradise" is an hallucination about wha=
t it must be like where lots of blissful people are! But bliss is the natur=
e of consciousness. Bliss is the nature of this event. There are lots of so=
meplace elses, but they will be no more blissful for you than this if you a=
re not already blissful. The lokas or spiritual realms of the Siddhas, the =
great spiritual beings, are just as dismal as the earth for a stupid man. B=
ut the Siddhas are very smart. They find ways to keep the stupids out! If s=
ome commonly distracted being gets anywhere near they say: "Psst. Have you =
been down to uh=97earth?" And they really hard-sell it, so everybody comes =
down here! But this bliss, this unqualified enjoyment, happiness, is the na=
ture of Truth. The nature of consciousness, your very nature, and the natur=
e of all of this, the nature of the cells of the body, the nature of light =
itself is this unqualified openness, no condition.
DEVOTEE: Does that mean there is no separation between any of us?
FRANKLIN: Do you see any? Do you feel there is? In Truth there is no separa=
tion at all. But from the point of view of the seeker, one who suffers, the=
re is only separation, at every level. When he wakes, when he re-cognizes h=
is own adventure, his own state, in every form that it takes, he cant find =
separations anymore, he cant discover them, and he goes mad. But that madne=
ss is intelligence.
DEVOTEE: Higher than that one cant go?
FRANKLIN: Higher than that? It wouldn't occur to you! It is the seeker who =
is always going someplace. The one who is already in trouble is always goin=
g someplace else, because he is suffering, because this contraction has occ=
urred. All of the chakras, all of the so-called "centers" in the subtle bod=
y, the ascending conductivity, the subtle life, are in the same form as thi=
s vital chakra, this vital center, this life. And they are contracted, clos=
ed, not conducting this force of the descending and ascending light. When t=
he vital begins to open a little, when Satsang is lived, when this conducti=
vity begins to occur again, movement also tends to begin in the subtle life=
as well. Then these chakras begin to open, and various phenomena arise. Sp=
ontaneous physical movements, all kinds of things that we have talked about=
, that you have read about, may occur. But, as you see, they are not in the=
mselves the Truth. Whenever there is an opening of some sort, or a relaxati=
on in any level or center of conscious life, there tend to be experiences t=
hat are associated with that level. These experiences can be movements, rus=
hes of energy, a blissfulness, various sensations, various kinds of psychic=
phenomena, visions, lights, sounds, but all of these are simply things tha=
t were stuck around inside this "fist." As the contraction opens up, they s=
ort of klink off. But the seeker, the one who endures that process from the=
point of view of his suffering, thinks that all of these things are it. Hi=
s hand opens up, and he sees the rings on his hand, the lines on his hand. =
Everything becomes very fascinating to him, and he thinks of that as spirit=
ual life. He thinks that these visions are Truth.
Seekers, for instance, think that the kundalini or internal force actually =
ascends. If the kundalini ever for one moment came down and didn't make its=
connection with the Sahasrar, the upper region of the brain and its subtle=
counterparts, you would be dead, from that moment. That circuit always exi=
sts, just as the descending circuit exists. It is just contracted in peculi=
ar ways. As it begins to awaken, to come alive again, to be free again, var=
ious experiences occur at the different levels, and people think that the e=
nergy itself is rising. But it is just that the characteristic centers are =
opening, in a kind of progress that looks sort of "upward." And certainly t=
here are sensations that are like rising force. But in fact this circuit is=
always there, always continuous, except it is obstructed by this tendency =
to contract, to be separate, to avoid relationship at the level of life.
Thought itself, simple thought, mind-forms are forms of suffering in the se=
eker. The simplest mind-form, any mind-form, even a blissful thought of Don=
ald Duck, is a condition of suffering, of contraction. If you examine it wh=
ile distracted, while happy with that image, that thought, if you examine y=
ourself in that moment with any kind of sensitivity, you will realize that =
you are suffering, distracted only, but suffering. When all of this contrac=
tion, all of this life of avoidance, subsides, when all of this identificat=
ion with thinking subsides, there is only the absolute conductivity of the =
form of reality. And it lives only as its own nature.
The momentary or temporary experience of such a relaxation of the vital and=
subtle contraction is samadhi, yogic or psycho-physical trance, meditative=
enjoyment. There are many kinds of samadhi, most of them, the traditional =
kinds of samadhi, are the samadhis of the life-force, vital and subtle. The=
refore, they are temporary, they are symptomatic, they are experiences that=
occur when there's a peculiar activity in relation to this living circuitr=
y. When certain forms of concentration are coupled with certain movements w=
ithin, we have these samadhis of the life-force. But the highest and only t=
rue samadhi is Truth itself, the very Self or Reality. There are the tempor=
ary samadhis of the life-force, and there is the eternal samadhi of Truth, =
sahaja samadhi, not distinguishable from any of the states of consciousness=
, ordinary or extraordinary. One who enjoys that, permanently, is always fu=
ll, and he does not have to go into the trance states for his realization o=
f Truth. Perhaps he may do so for enjoyment, but not for his realization. H=
e may go into trance states or yogic samadhis for fun, but not in order to =
realize the Truth. True samadhi is to live the present condition consciousl=
y, without bondage to vital shock, without contraction, without the avoidan=
ce of relationship, without identification with its subtle forms, which are=
all forms of thought, modifications of consciousness. When all of these mo=
difications come to an end, not necessarily in fact or terminally, but as a=
compulsive activity, then there is already "paradise," only bliss, only th=
e Self, only real consciousness, only Light, only Truth, only Reality. In s=
uch a one, all the forms of wisdom are communicated spontaneously.
This gets us back to the beginning of our discussion, the notion of "vital =
shock." Every individual creates his own life drama. Everything that has ha=
ppened to you in the past, the things you feel uncomfortable about, that yo=
u feel upset about, when you think about them now, are things that you stra=
tegically commanded from beginning to end. Even the most arbitrary experien=
ces are peculiarly appropriate for the individuals who enjoy or suffer them=
. And the manner of an individuals relationship to events is not only appro=
priate but also fundamentally intentional. All of these dramas essentially =
take place in relationships of various kinds, because the avoidance of rela=
tionship, the contraction in relation to the life-force, is that activity t=
o which men are bound compulsively. Where there is relationship at the leve=
l of life, there is the tendency to separate from it, and if the ordinary m=
an cannot righteously separate from it, he creates reasons to separate from=
it. Every individual continually creates the failure of relationship. And =
men become compulsively bound to their special methods for complicating and=
destroying relationship. These strategies are the life patterns that men a=
re suffering. And their searches are ways of trying to get free of the limi=
tations they are compulsively creating.
If you are going through a period like that now, while involved in Satsang =
the symptoms, feelings, the moods, the thoughts, the whole period of days o=
r weeks, or whatever, of negativity and unhappiness, obsession, do not have=
to be "bought." They do not have to be lived. All of that is a secondary a=
ffair. The disease has already occurred. These are just the symptoms of the=
healing. If you will look back at the beginning of any of these periods, t=
here is usually some frustrating event to which all of this is the strategi=
c reaction. Not that you should always be looking for these events in your =
past. All I mean to have you discover by pointing this out to you, is what =
you do in relationship to the frustration of life, to the suppression of li=
fe, to the shock that is life. What are you doing about that? What does you=
r life drama consist of? It is always this contraction, this avoidance of r=
elationship.
Relationship is always already the case. If you are sitting in the house, w=
eeping, screaming, feeling upset and negative about somebody you live with,=
then this is it, this is your suffering. This activity is your suffering. =
Remember that person. Remember the relationship. Live the relationship. Let=
the force of life move again, and there is no suffering at all. You've obv=
iated that whole "tour," including the making up and everything else. None =
of it has to take place. All of those things are merely the "subtleties" of=
your suffering. But suffering itself is always the avoidance of relationsh=
ip. Wherever you re-cognize your activity, that activity was the avoidance =
of relationship. Where there is relationship lived, this contraction does n=
ot take place, and the force of life is conducted as life. And that conduct=
ivity is felt as pleasure, as free consciousness, without distraction by th=
ought. It is loving, open, light, forceful. So the key to spiritual life is=
not the life-force itself, not any activity, not kundalini, not any of the=
se secondary manifestations that occur in Satsang. Such things are not the =
key to spiritual life, but only some of its possible phenomena. The key to =
spiritual life is this re-cognition of your own activity.
In Satsang, the simple relationship to the man of understanding tends to st=
imulate all of this. There is also the communicated force of Truth or real =
consciousness. All of this tends to intensify and to build a person up at t=
he beginning. He is also given conditions at the level of life, simple cond=
itions, practical ones, functional things for which it is appropriate for h=
im to be responsible. Gradually, the stronger he gets, the simpler he gets,=
the more experienced he becomes in Satsang, the more he begins to listen w=
ith free attention, so that he begins to hear, to observe himself, to move =
toward this insight, this re-cognition of which I speak. And that is the re=
al event of Satsang. Without this re-cognition, he can have all the spiritu=
al phenomena he likes, but they will be only more experience, more sufferin=
g. However, if he lives from the point of view of Satsang, these other phen=
omena can arise and be of interest, and they will provide conditions in whi=
ch understanding must take place.
This understanding, when it occurs, will not be your enlightenment, because=
when it occurs there is no one left. I don't mean that you will be dead, t=
hat you will be unconscious, that you will be in oblivion, but the entire p=
rinciple which is the center of this contracted life will have disappeared.=
When you open your hand, what happens to your fist? When you release the c=
ontraction, the "me" is gone, the search is gone, the whole principle of su=
ffering is undermined. In Satsang we are moving toward the time when this r=
adical insight will become significant, real activity. Until then people ar=
e looking for release from their symptoms. They want to seek, they want rel=
ief. They are not prepared for Truth.
Every moment there is this curvature being created. Why do you think there =
are thoughts all of the time? Why one thought after the next? Why doesn't i=
t come to an end? The light is curving compulsively. Why is there suffering=
all of the time? This activity is compulsive. It is not life. That's not t=
he "way it is." There is compulsive activity, automatic activity, unnecessa=
ry activity. There is compulsive curvature, shaping, contraction of the rad=
ical force of existence.
DEVOTEE: Why does it happen?
FRANKLIN: Once you already have this shape, this human body, why is there s=
uch a strong tendency to walk around and talk and be a man? It has already =
occurred! That is the shape of it. Its not that it is wrong. It is not that=
you should make a judgment about it. It is very easy, from a superficial s=
tandpoint, to get out of sympathy with your own craziness, and then start t=
o resist it again. But all of that is more of the same. When there is this =
absolute turnabout, this perfect re-cognition of your own activity, then it=
no longer exists. But the judgment about it, the feeling that you are sort=
of screwed up, is another form of the whole process. It is more of that vi=
tal shock. The whole affair of Satsang is a movement of conscious intensity=
, looking forward to the moment when you begin to see it, to know it.
When present activity is truly known, the dilemma no longer exists. That do=
esn't mean that from that moment no more thinking goes on, no more life goe=
s on. This activity that is our suffering is not life itself, nor has it cr=
eated life. It is only the obstruction to life, an illusory pattern within =
life. But it is utter, fundamental, inclusive. You cant pick your nose with=
out doing this. You cant see without being involved in this activity, this =
avoidance of relationship. You cant think, feel, move, breathe, you do not =
live one moment without performing this activity and experiencing its manif=
estations. So, from the point of view of the dilemma, everything is a form =
of this activity. The cosmos seems to be made out of suffering to someone w=
ho is wedded to dilemma. That is why people become atheistic, insane, chron=
ically depressed. The whole universe seems to justify despair to them, beca=
use everything has become a form of it, an extension of their own activity.=
Their own activity has become the means and form of their perception. Ther=
efore, re-cognition takes place also at every level, absolutely, at every s=
ingle level, down to the cells, and as high as it can go. On every level wh=
ere this contraction occurs, this re-cognition also can take place. When it=
has occurred, when this activity, this contraction, this avoidance of rela=
tionship is thoroughly undone, undermined, and only the Truth is lived, the=
n something about the nature of the phenomenon of universal and cosmic life=
begins to become clear. From the point of view of Truth, life is allowable=
and good. Perhaps one might choose other forms of life, but in itself the =
present form becomes clear.
In its simplest form, its most intimate form, its most obvious form, the ac=
tivity I'm talking about is the avoidance of relationship. And it is to be =
seen in a very simple, practical witnessing of life, of you alive in relati=
onship. There is really no subtlety whatsoever to this seeing. It is the cr=
udest kind of self-knowledge. But it is also the most unavailable from the =
ordinary point of view, because what is to be known is the ordinary point o=
f view.
DEVOTEE: Is it possible, as some have said, for a man to die and then be re=
-born as an animal?
FRANKLIN: This whole question of reincarnation and the knowledge of process=
es like that can be approached from a couple of points of view. For most pe=
ople it is a matter of experimental living and experiencing. By the use of =
various internal and psychic means they recollect past lives, see images of=
other peoples lives, see their destinies, whatever. This is the usual way,=
particularly among Westerners, that men have approached such phenomena, to=
discover if they are true or real. But there is another way, which is the =
way of the Siddhas, the "completed" ones. That is the way of Self-realizati=
on, the realization of Truth. When there is this radical re-cognition of wh=
ich I speak, when there is perfect understanding, such a one lives only as =
Truth. Then he also knows what birth is, what mind is, what life is. He see=
s it is all the result of tendencies subtly manifest in the light of consci=
ousness, which take form in and as the manifest world. He knows this with a=
bsolute certainty. He sees this clearly. Truth, therefore, is the basis of =
his knowledge of all phenomena, including reincarnation. But he may enjoy t=
his realization without the least suggestion or recollection of reincarnati=
on in his own case, without remembering, even vaguely in a dream, a single =
moment of any past life. This is because Self-realization or perfect knowle=
dge is not compatible with "birth." One who lives as the Self has no sense =
whatsoever of being born as this body, no sense whatsoever of containment, =
of existing now, limited now to his own mind, his own life. If he has this =
kind of relationship to the apparent phenomena of his present existence, ho=
w could he possibly get involved with knowing anything at all about the pas=
t of his dying personality? What could possibly interest him about it? How =
could he possibly discover anything about it? Every time he zeros in on his=
own mind, he sees billions of worlds and other beings. How is he going to =
pick himself out? Where is he? How does he find a destiny for himself in th=
e midst of the universes, when he cannot even discover his own life as a su=
bstantial and separate event? So this fullness of Truth has also made it im=
possible for him to get serious and experimental knowledge about his own pa=
st or future as an individual. But his root-awareness of the structure itse=
lf, which comes out of the Heart, shows him clearly the nature of all patte=
rns, without otherwise giving him experience on the plane of recollection, =
on the plane of mind, on the secondary planes of life.
Examining the nature and fundamental structure of life itself, it is clear =
that something like regression, or, whatever, rebirth, apparent rebirth in =
animal form after once having lived in human form, is clearly possible, jus=
t as it can occur in dreams. In dreams you can take on various forms in var=
ious worlds. The same condition applies to birth in these waking realms of =
life. But if you begin to become sensitive to your present condition, you m=
ay become terrified even of moving into this human condition again!
An affinity for plants and animals is another thing altogether. The vital, =
descending life in man is made up of mechanisms that are found elsewhere in=
nature. It is made of the same forces, the same kind of functional life. I=
n one of our talks I made an analogy between our human mechanism and a man =
walking a dog. We are like a mind walking a dog. The vital mechanism is an =
animal and vegetable mind, a mind like that which governs the organisms and=
compounds of nature below man in the scheme of processes. Therefore, in th=
e vital level of consciousness, we have a strong affinity and identificatio=
n with animals, plants, natural phenomena, nature. Because we partake of th=
at same functional life, that same level of energy, we recognize it in the =
environment, and enjoy association with it. Someone once asked Ramana Mahar=
shi about the practice of retiring to the forest. As it is described in cer=
tain of the old texts, such as the Bhagavad Gita, you should set up a seat =
in the wilderness, in a forest area, under nice circumstances, with streams=
nearby, etc. This person asked the Maharshi's permission to do this. But R=
amana pointed out that when people go out and do this sort of thing, to get=
away from humanity and all of the complications of ordinary life, they beg=
in to become fascinated with animals instead, and animal life, vital life. =
They sympathize with it, enjoy it, and gradually become like it. As a conse=
quence, they wind up in a worse condition than before. The relationship tha=
t we tend to take up with living beings, animals, plants, nature, is a dire=
ct indication of our relationship to the vital, and that is all. If you bec=
ome very sympathetic with the vital movements in yourself, the forms of vit=
al desire, you will also tend to be very "sympathetic" with animals. If you=
tend to exploit your own vital life, you will tend also to fail to manage =
animals, plant life, and the like. If you resist utterly, and are vitally c=
ontracting to the point of interference with your own vital life, even to l=
ife itself, you will tend to have the same effect on other life-forms. No o=
ne, for instance, can tolerate being disliked by their friends animals! If =
you go to visit a friend, it is very upsetting if the dog doesn't like you,=
if the cat doesn't like you. It is very upsetting if you cant grow plants,=
if flowers die quickly when placed near your bed! But all of this, our rel=
ationships to plants, animals, to life forms are a precise dramatization of=
our relationship to the vital in our own case.
In many people who are unconscious, the vital is smarter than they are. The=
vital takes over, absorbing their lives from birth to death, and they neve=
r exceed it. You must have at least seen photographs of people who are wedd=
ed to the earth, who live in isolated farm lands. How unconscious these peo=
ple seem, from the point of view of one who has been brought up in cities, =
or whatever, in sophisticated social regions. How unconscious these people =
seem, asleep in the vital without their minds: "They don't speak very much,=
they are quiet, slow, they seem stupid. They seem like cattle, but they ar=
e often strangely violent." City people, however, tend to be contracted in =
relation to the vital. Western men are essentially very resistive to the wh=
ole vital life. Americans are obsessed with sex. Not really obsessed with t=
he having of sex. They are obsessed with the failure of sex, and the wantin=
g of it. There is very little actual or successful having of it, because th=
e whole sexual process is so obstructed. The whole participation in the lif=
e-force has been undermined by Western society's bondage to its idiot symbo=
lic religious path. The Jesus-Yahweh number. Not that all of that was neces=
sarily or actually contained in the work of Jesus and the Hebrew men of kno=
wledge, but it is contained certainly in the religious movements that have =
come down to us. There is a strong suppression in relation to the vital. So=
everybody is trained in his "vital shock" from the beginning, to resist hi=
s entire vital life, his life line. Money, food and sex are problematic for=
everybody, in the sense of a chronic resistance, a chronic doubt about whe=
ther or not you are supposed to have anything to do with such things.
Many people come to the Ashram whose marriages have broken up. There was a =
case the other day where a marriage had broken up because the guy tended to=
get into the "celibacy" number. In many other cases, people have come who =
may not have broken up a marriage over this, but they have just never reall=
y been able to sustain a sexual relationship over any length of time, and p=
art of the rationale is that they want to become celibate. They want to bec=
ome swamis and nuns! For the most part, this "swami" idealism that many Wes=
terners are getting into is an attempted solution to their resistance to vi=
tality, their chronic social reaction to the vital condition, to life. The =
popular swing toward swamiism, toward artificially induced spiritual celiba=
cy, is a form of emasculation. It is a way of being impotent. But there can=
be no spirituality without the life-force. If you cut off the life-force, =
you have gone back to zero. The spiritual process makes immediate use of th=
e life-force and its conductivity. Really, the problem of spiritual life, f=
or anyone, West or East, is not whether to be celibate or not. Your choices=
about sexuality are always a manifestation of your dilemma, not your wisdo=
m. The core of it all is the re-cognition of this contraction in the vital.
DEVOTEE: Why is it that so many of the Eastern teachings we read seem to in=
sist on celibacy as necessary for spiritual life?
FRANKLIN: Examine the cultural life from which the Eastern wisdom comes, es=
pecially among the Hindus. It is essentially among the Hindus that celibacy=
is insisted upon, not really so much, or at least as universally, in other=
cultures. This is because the traditional Hindu notion of spiritual realiz=
ation is one in which the vital and subtle life has been abandoned, and the=
conscious existence has returned to a high or highest state, never to be r=
eborn. Therefore, the processes by which they seek realization necessarily =
involve the reduction of the whole pattern of life, even the subtle life, t=
o the point of abandonment. Such is the precondition for realization in the=
ir terms.
Now when this pattern of conductivity of which I speak is restored, such a =
person may, because of his subtle tendencies, be celibate. In fact, when th=
is current is felt very intensely at the level of the life-vehicles, very o=
ften the sexual impulse just disappears for various periods of time. In som=
e people it disappears permanently. And there is an internal process that r=
eplaces their sexuality entirely. But the arbitrary demand of celibacy, in =
the sense of idealistic avoidance of marriage, or avoidance of appropriate =
realization of sex in the form of marriage, as an absolute practice for all=
, is of relatively recent origin even among the Hindus. The ancient Rishis =
were almost always married men.
The Guru is not some impotent old rascal. The Guru should be able to popula=
te the earth. The Guru is strong. He is alive. He enjoys mastery over the s=
ex-impulse. He may, as a spontaneous practice, be entirely celibate, even i=
n marriage. But he is not in any case empty or obstructed in relation to th=
e life-force.
In Western culture it is not terribly appropriate or necessary to be celiba=
te in the exclusive sense of the avoidance of sexual realization in the for=
m of marriage. However, it is absolutely necessary from the spiritual point=
of view for the whole dilemma in the vital to break down. And it is not ju=
st in terms of sexuality that this dilemma is manifest. It is money, or lif=
e exchange, food and sex. It is the whole vital life. Many people have what=
appears to them a functional sex-life, one that is enjoyable and seems to =
work fine for them. But their relationship to the force of life may itself =
be very mediocre. They may have functional problems in other areas, in othe=
r forms of life or psyche, in the environment, in relation to diet.
In the East, particularly among the Hindus, there is a tendency to de-vital=
ize, to separate from the vital. In the West there is a tendency to exploit=
the vital. There is that tendency, but on top of the tendency to exploit t=
he vital there is a vast system of taboos against the vital. So, in relatio=
n to the vital, the West has a peculiar problem, and the East has another p=
eculiar problem. In the East there is orientation to what is beyond the vit=
al, and in the West the orientation is to the vital. In the East they say y=
ou are here for the wrong reasons, because you are suffering from illusion,=
you have left the Truth, you have left God. In the West we say we are here=
because God sent us. And in each case there are peculiarly different drama=
s at the level of ordinary life and vitality. But from the point of view of=
the real process of conscious life, the vital is a primary seat of spiritu=
al activity.
Suffering is felt, seen, experienced from day to day essentially in vital t=
erms by human beings. The best "cave" is an ordinary life, a relational lif=
e, a functional life. That is where you find your discipline, that is where=
you become strong, that is where you become a master. Relationships are th=
e best form of spiritual practice. Marriages, intimate relationships, funct=
ional conditions, these are the best "Bodhi Tree." These are the true "asce=
tic" practices. Marriage is the primary ascetic practice, as everyone who i=
s married knows! Anyone can be "religious," anyone can be "spiritual," but =
anyone who lives with the Guru knows how difficult and demanding spiritual =
life really is. It is easy to play imaginary games about religious and spir=
itual things, but to live spiritual life as the condition of relationship i=
s a very difficult task. To think about sexual experiences, to think about =
men, women, pornography, whatever, to have sexual desires and images is one=
thing, but to live sexuality as a relationship is very difficult. So with =
spirituality as a relationship, it is also very difficult. But just as ther=
e is no real sexuality without relationship, there is no real spirituality =
without relationship. There is no fulfillment of spiritual life without the=
Guru, and without truly living conditions for sadhana.
In all traditional religious cultures you find the professionally ascetic p=
eople. They are not necessarily living spiritual life any more than anyone =
else. In most cases such "asceticism" is a form of self-indulgence. It is a=
n expression of the failure of life. It is an expression of the contraction=
from life. A vital and subtle shock is the origin of all ordinary spiritua=
l and religious means. But under the real conditions of spiritual life inte=
lligence begins to arise in relation to sexuality. The individual becomes v=
ery sensitive to that process and its true nature.
Simple exploitation of sexuality is another way of trying to exhaust this c=
ontracted vital. Most people use sexuality as a way of letting off steam, a=
s a form of release. They are attached to the goal of orgasm. They manage t=
o achieve temporary physical stasis by revulsion of force. But one who live=
s genuine spiritual life is always conducting the force of life, as vitalit=
y and as subtlety. He lives these functions that appear in the circuit of f=
orce appropriately, in relationship. He gets smart! When he employs sexual =
energy out of relationship, or purely for the sake of orgasm, when he simpl=
y exploits it, he only empties himself, and he discovers that he suffers. S=
o the truly spiritual man has simply become intelligent. His way of life is=
not a result of preferences to be lifeless, sexless or anything else. He b=
ecomes intelligent. He becomes capable of relationship. He becomes capable =
of the real use of the vital functions. So he knows when not to use them, a=
nd how not to indulge or exploit them. He allows this force of life to cond=
uct itself fully. He need not, because of the contraction in the vital, sim=
ply release this force in vital ways. He is not compelled to enjoy it only =
in his belly, only in his sex organs. He can enjoy it in the top of his hea=
d. He can enjoy it in his face. He can enjoy it in his spine. He has got al=
l kinds of places he can enjoy it. The subtler he becomes, the more his enj=
oyments increase. He discovers the source of energy, so that he doesn't wea=
ken himself, so that he doesn't become involved in a pattern that only empt=
ies him, that weakens and kills him.
There is a process, a spontaneous, internal, yogic process that can be felt=
in the sex organs, in which the force that normally becomes sex-stimulatio=
n is felt going in the opposite direction, backward and upward. Instead of =
seeking release in the sex function, that energy can be felt pulling, drawi=
ng towards the spine, upwards. When that particular process is very active,=
intensely active, there is natural celibacy. Then even in the sexual commu=
nion of marriage, the event of orgasm is not sought, but the relational for=
ce of love and community pleasure is intensified.
The kundalini process is closely associated with what is otherwise felt as =
sex energy, although it doesn't simply come from the sex organs, and is not=
itself literally or exclusively sex energy. It is the ascending movement o=
f the circle of total force in which we live. It is a continuation of the c=
onductivity of the descending force. Its lowest terminal in the body is in =
the sex organs, behind the sex organs. And that terminal is the turning poi=
nt, from descent to ascent, but not the origin of force itself. The muladha=
r is this turning point. The intense kundalini manifestations are generally=
associated with this reversal of the sex current. A person who is going th=
rough a period of strong kriyas, or some such episode of intense internal a=
ctivity will often quite naturally be celibate during that time. Or he will=
discover that if he exploits himself sexually, through orgasm, while going=
through this process, certain unpleasant things occur, physiologically and=
psychically. And so he learns by experience of processes of this kind how =
to deal with his sexuality. Therefore, the use or non-use of sexuality is a=
matter of intelligence, not a matter of preference, not a matter of "the w=
ay it is supposed to be if you are getting spiritual."
Perfect "celibacy" is death. Then the cycle of life-force turns from descen=
t to ascent, draws up completely into the sahasrar, and never comes down ag=
ain. That is precisely what the yogi whose point of view is willful celibac=
y is trying to do. He is trying to die consciously, and literally. Now the =
yogic process of "spiritual death" will take place, in any case, whether yo=
u have literal separation from life as your peculiar goal or not. True celi=
bacy is yogic or spiritual "death." Yogic death is part of the nature of re=
al meditation, but it doesn't in itself imply the literal end of life or th=
e diminution of life-involvement. Continued living of an ordinary, function=
al life on every level is perfectly compatible with the realized state, bec=
ause life itself is an expression of what is Real. It is a manifestation of=
the conscious Light. It has tended to take on this peculiar form because o=
f certain tendencies, which are modifications of that Light, but in itself =
it is not false. Only its complications are false. The life of Truth is abs=
olutely compatible with life itself, with vitality and with sexuality as th=
e regenerative union of marriage.
The bellies of the yogic Siddhas are often full, soft and round. They are n=
ot devitalized beings, even if they happen to be celibate. That swelling of=
the abdomen is a yogic manifestation. When this force is conducted, the ab=
domen becomes full of force. Swami Nityananda of Ganeshpuri was such a yogi=
. He spent his days sitting and lying around, letting this current circle a=
bout. He rarely allowed it to turn outwards. That is why he hardly ever spo=
ke.
I have told you that speech is a form of sacrifice. It is a sacrifice of th=
e life-force. It is not entertainment. People generally talk in order to em=
pty themselves. That is another form of throwing the force out of this cont=
raction so they don't suffer it any more. Whenever there is speech, wheneve=
r there is communication with the environment, whenever there is relationsh=
ip, whenever there is use of the life-force, it is sacrifice. Sexuality is =
a form of sacrifice. It does tend to make you empty, unless you know fully =
how to make use of that process, how to conduct its generative energy into =
the cycle of regeneration. If I sat here and talked endlessly, occasionally=
going to sleep and taking food here, the talking alone would kill me in a =
relatively short time. I would die from speech! Any exploitation of the lif=
e-force will kill you, and people are in fact dying from this abuse. People=
are dying from a complex exploitation of the life-force. They don't conduc=
t it. They only use it. They don't refresh themselves. They don't live this=
circuit of fullness even a little bit. Some of the yogis only lived it. So=
they left. Others continued to be communicative at the level of life in va=
rious ways, knowing the consequences, knowing what they needed to do to rem=
ain fresh. That is why I look forward to the time when I can speak less and=
write less, or at least have such control over it that I only need to do i=
t when it seems absolutely useful and necessary. Because this current is co=
ntinuous. When I am sitting, my teeth are clenched, my tongue presses again=
st the roof of my mouth. The circuit is continuous, and as it flows even th=
e cells are transformed.
The death of a Siddha is really not separation from anything. He is simply =
gone into meditation perfectly. After death his "body" is meditation. And h=
is disciples have access to him through real meditation, because meditation=
itself is his eternal or perfect Form. He simply abandons his sacrificial =
function, his outward movement, his psycho-physical game, and goes permanen=
tly into his simple or transcendent state. He was already in it before, but=
he abandons the functions that were attached to it, at least those which w=
ere the manifestation of his present life. This is why people prize the "sa=
madhi site," the burial site, of their Guru. Because the Guru has gone into=
meditation in its most intense form while associated with that body. Many =
people find the force communicated from the Guru seems to get stronger afte=
r death, because it has become completely without complication by the life-=
form. He has moved into the most intense manifestation of that real conscio=
usness.
It is said that Saint Jnaneshwar consciously took mahasamadhi. He had a tom=
b built for himself, and he went down inside. He was a young man, only abou=
t twenty or twenty-one years old. He went down inside and sat in his chair.=
They sealed it over, and he just didn't come out anymore. It is also said =
that about three hundred years later another Indian Saint somehow got into =
Jnaneshwars tomb and approached the body. He reported that the body was app=
arently still alive. It had a certain heat to it, and it wasn't the least d=
ecomposed, because the yogic activity was going on in this body permanently=
. The site of Jnaneshwars tomb is supposed to be a very potent one. Not tha=
t he is conscious of trucking with that body anymore. Nityananda's tomb is =
also like that, very strong.
DEVOTEE: Can a Guru who has died still be Guru for the living?
FRANKLIN: It is limited only at the level of life. He can't function as Gur=
u in any way that requires a physical presence. So he usually tries to leav=
e genuine disciples in the world who can continue certain aspects of the Gu=
ru-function. One who has had real experience spiritually can read a book wr=
itten by an experienced man in spiritual life and see things there that he =
knows are true. It corroborates his own experience. Just so, one who is alr=
eady living the real form of spiritual life can approach the burial site of=
a deceased saint or go to holy places, and benefit from the pilgrimage in =
that same sense of corroboration or recognition. The current of spiritual f=
orce continues to be emanated by such beings after death, but Truth is not =
lived by them bodily in the world. At times people appear to have experienc=
es on a subtle level with people who are dead. In my own experience, in the=
case of Swami Nityananda, Ramana Maharshi, Sai Baba of Shirdi, and others =
there have been very concrete and complex experiences of their subtle influ=
ence. Baba Muktananda remains in physical form to this day, but I am able t=
o visit him only occasionally. Therefore, my experiences with him are gener=
ally of a subtle although perfectly concrete variety, entirely apart from t=
he gross physical medium. Just so, my own work with disciples is fundamenta=
lly subtle.
DEVOTEE: Are there other people in the world who are like you?
FRANKLIN: I don't know what it is to be like me. Everybody seems to be up t=
o about the same thing that I am up to. There are some people walking aroun=
d who claim to be the only incarnate God, the repetitive Avatar of all the =
ages, the exclusive true Guru, and such things. But they are the least amon=
g us. That is the spiritual circus. That is not the life of Truth. That is =
more of the illusion. Those who are living Truth in the earth plane cant be=
discerned by simple signs. They are ordinary. Perhaps also in some sense e=
xtraordinary, but they are real. Of those who are appearing publicly as tea=
chers, very few have anything to do with Truth.
DEVOTEE: You have said that all men are suffering. I have the feeling that =
everybody except for you, and those teachers that you have had, and all the=
great Siddhas, are the only people who are not suffering.
FRANKLIN: The only ones who are not suffering are those who are living Trut=
h. And who those are that are living Truth is to be seen. Truth is the most=
profound, the most radical Reality. It is the nature of all beings and the=
nature of all life. It is already all men. When I see men in the world I d=
on't see them as garbage, all screwed up, simply insane, as nothingness tha=
t I am supposed for some reason or other to turn into Divinity. I see every=
body already as that same Reality. I am no exclusive form of it. But I see =
men suffering. While they are being Truth only, I see them suffering. The f=
act that they are suffering doesn't make them any less the Truth, any less =
the same thing that is all beings, all things. It simply means that they ar=
e suffering. If you look at all beings from the point of view of Truth, the=
re is only Truth, and the Truth has this little chronic problem!
From the point of view of men it all seems very heavy, because their point =
of view is the point of view of this limitation. But once they themselves b=
egin to see from the point of view of Truth, they see that everything is al=
ready Truth, and every one. To realize that you are already Truth doesn't m=
ake you any more than anybody else. It makes you the same as everybody else=
. It is the sameness of very Truth, that sameness from which all the functi=
onal inequalities of relative, conditional existence arise.
There is a certain obnoxiousness that comes into this illusion as well, in =
the form of righteousness, in the form of false claims, in the form of expl=
oitation. That is also part of this illusion. And, at times, I speak critic=
ally about that. I must, because people are suffering from their idiot Guru=
s. If I see a phony telling everybody he is God-Exclusive, I am likely to t=
ell you so. Why should I stand for such lies, that exploitation of men, tha=
t reinforcement of suffering?
DEVOTEE: I am curious about this notion of responsibility, especially from =
your point of view. Why should you care at all about a mans suffering by ha=
ving a false Guru?
FRANKLIN: It is a natural function of the intensity of Truth, as it moves i=
nto life, to purify. When the force of Satsang approaches an individual, it=
cant do anything but be the force of Truth when it gets here. It doesn't s=
tart to fade out on the way and become a black widow spider! It is Truth, i=
t arrives as Truth, and it functions as the Truth in that life. It does onl=
y that purifying work. It becomes only that fullness, only that intensity o=
f Light, and it leads only into the process of Truth. Where Truth is lived =
in the life-plane, it only functions as Truth. Not out of some sort of "con=
cern," some karmic concern to save the world, but as a natural extension of=
its own nature, its real activity.
DEVOTEE: So in other words it is a spontaneous thing?
FRANKLIN: When a man starts to gain some sort of position among other men b=
y representing Truth to them, he is implying something about the great work=
of the Divine Siddhas. It is not that I am going to start taking out newsp=
aper advertisements about various people, exposing them. I don't have anyth=
ing to say about it socially. And I am not going to go over to these people=
or to their disciples and get into arguments with them about the nature of=
Truth. But there are many here who know of various teachers. I am here spe=
aking to you. I am not somewhere else, speaking at a paid lecture. So in or=
der to serve the very thing I am attempting to communicate, when there is s=
omebody specific we are discussing, I must clarify what is being represente=
d by them. That is simply a responsible extension of the work that I am doi=
ng. Apart from that, I don't have any concern for it. As a social event, I =
have no particular concern for it. I enjoy seeing people become sensitive t=
o the real manifestation of Truth, and begin to see the falseness of charla=
tans, people who are themselves deluded and who are only exploiting others.
DEVOTEE: It seems that, from the point of view of Truth, the process of bei=
ng born creates an automatic reaction that is death.
FRANKLIN: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The act=
ion of life produces the reaction of the living, even to the point of death=
.
DEVOTEE: It seems like we are born with three strikes against us.
FRANKLIN: Yes. That is why we have got to get smart down here! A living bei=
ng arising in the midst of life is automatically the reaction to the prior =
action which is life itself. It is quite a natural mechanism. If it becomes=
the principle of life, reaction creates death. And the natural tendency of=
organic life is to contract, to become more solid and lifeless. It begins =
to die the moment it makes its appearance. And there are more than three st=
rikes against you. You are already out, already, before the strikes. I have=
lost my taste for the usual life. Not that I cant enjoy the quality of rea=
l life, but I have lost my taste for this whole affair of suffering and com=
pulsive existence. I see perfectly well what it depends on. I wouldn't choo=
se, on the merits of the experience itself, ever to be born in this human c=
ondition again. There is no percentage in it. It gains nothing. It is just =
a period of time in which to understand. Apart from that, it has no ultimat=
e value. It never goes beyond that. Human life is not particularly delightf=
ul. It is an endless concern from birth until death. Every minute is suffer=
ing of the limited state, or an attempt to break out of it through various =
kinds of activity. Trying to find the answer. From the moment of its awaren=
ess, this life is a question. It seems absurd to be actually existing and y=
et not to know what actually existing is, and to spend the entire period of=
actually existing trying to discover what actually existing is! This is an=
insane condition! It is a compulsive tour of unconscious activity for the =
most part. If Truth begins to manifest in life, as life, it glorifies life =
to some degree. But the glory that enters life is not that of life itself. =
It is the glory of the fullness of Truth, which is manifest as life, whose =
modifications are life. The more the life of Truth grows, the more the tast=
e for Truth you acquire, not for life apart from or other than Truth. And w=
hen Truth is perfectly enjoyed, life becomes secondary, perhaps profound, b=
ut unnecessary. Your death in Truth should precede your physical death by a=
t least a few moments! Otherwise the tendency to regain this condition is t=
here automatically.
The "condition" that is Truth is far superior to this limitation. And those=
who live Truth while alive are not glorifying life in itself. They are glo=
rifying Truth. When you enjoy Truth, you are already free. And if you are f=
ree, what has all of this compulsive limitation to do with you? Such a one =
lives Truth until death, and then slips away. And everyone will slip away i=
n Truth sooner or later. The Guru is only looking for company on his way ou=
t! He has already discovered who you are, he already is living with you in =
another sense, as real life, as love, as Truth. He no longer requires your =
physical existence or his own. He looks forward to your perfect enjoyment. =
But he sees that those who are living in the earth plane are not clear abou=
t this, not certain of it, a little confused. So he communicates it in as m=
any ways as he can. But all he is trying to do is to take you away, to take=
your separate life away, to snuff you out of darkness into Light.
Real meditation is not unlike death. The same process goes on in this spont=
aneous meditation that happens in death. The only difference is that in dea=
th the life-force permanently moves out of this vital mechanism, but in rea=
l meditation, sahaja samadhi, in the true state, the life-force may continu=
e to conduct itself in this form. One who has lived this whole process and =
knows it well, knows very well that he is not merely alive. He knows absolu=
tely well that being alive is not his real limitation. It is absolutely cle=
ar to him. He is not believing it, not thinking it. He is already dead, pre=
sently dead, presently not alive as the limitation that is the psycho-physi=
cal life, the body. If he were alive as that limitation, he would still be =
afraid. If it were still clear to me that I was alive as the limitation of =
life, I wouldn't have any time to sit with you in this Ashram. I would be b=
usy doing, hysterically doing all the things that occupied me in the search=
.
When that "death" is attained and only Truth is enjoyed, there is no more =
of that search. Then there is only the creative enjoyment of living this pr=
ocess in relation to other beings. And that radical meditation is continuou=
s, perfect. No embodiment, no identification with the life-force, no identi=
fication with the subtle forms of existence, no identification with the lev=
els of mind, with thoughts, with visions, with lights, with phenomena of an=
y kind. They are not lived. That is the paradox of the jnani, the man of re=
al knowledge. Maharshi said he was like somebody asleep while awake. While =
awake, while the manifest forms are flying around, while the body hangs out=
and all the feelings and sensations are there, while the thoughts are runn=
ing along, the man of understanding has no sense at all of any containment,=
any limitation to that process. He doesn't have to meditate in the traditi=
onal way at all in order to feel free of that. He doesn't have to stop the =
thought-process in order to be free of thoughts. His samadhi is perfect, en=
dless. The whole life phenomenon takes on a kind of indefinite, fluid, homo=
geneous quality, a paradoxical form, a kind of brilliance, so that it loses=
its capacity to define existence or consciousness. Everything becomes cons=
ciousness, everything becomes his own consciousness, everything becomes his=
own thought. He has nothing left but humor while alive. And his humor is o=
f a radical kind. He is not necessarily always laughing. His humor is of th=
e nature of no-identification with all of this. His freedom is extreme, bey=
ond the point of wildness, so that he is no longer wild. His extremes are m=
anifest as ordinariness. His extremes are his natural appearance. Walking i=
nto a room is a maddening extreme from his point of view. It is odd, it is =
wildly imaginative! When he contemplates his own consciousness, when he con=
templates being conscious, he almost falls into trance. So, instead of cont=
emplating consciousness, he looks at people, he talks, he does ordinary thi=
ngs. Because everything has become insubstantial and unnecessary for him. H=
is blissfulness has exceeded all of the yogic states, all of the phenomena =
of spirituality, because they again are forms of containment, forms of self=
-modification. He has lost the taste, the motive for mere experiencing. He =
lives only as that unmodified Reality, lightless, soundless, formless, with=
out qualities. And yet, everything is its modification. Therefore, when liv=
ing the humor that is his formlessness, his qualityless existence, he, para=
doxically, lives. For such a one, all life is paradox. And life is no longe=
r a question. For such a one there is not the least trace of "mystery" left=
in the universe. He has no question, and he has no answer. He is only humo=
rous.
In many cultures, such "humorous" people have taken on the role of a fool. =
They acted crazy, so that people wouldn't burden them with demands for "wis=
dom." Because they really didn't have anything to say. They just enjoyed bu=
bbling in the street. And bubbling is really what it is all about. Having t=
o work with everyone at the life level, the vital level, from day to day te=
nds to become very humorless, because everybody is very serious about his l=
ife problems. Every day people come here with their crisis, their revolutio=
n this week, their number. All of that is very heavy, very disturbing for t=
hem, and rightfully so. But to deal with it, to manufacture seriousness ove=
r all of that, has none of the beauty of bubbling. So the more people begin=
to enjoy Satsang, in its subtle form, in its absolute form, the sillier th=
e Guru gets, the more absurd he gets, the more he begins to act in ways tha=
t symbolize or express his true state. Such humorous people become very "od=
d," and everything they do is a symbol of their own state. Just so, everyth=
ing that any man does symbolizes his own state. The humorous person becomes=
less and less involved in trying to communicate to people the nature of th=
eir true state, and he begins simply to manifest his own state as a playful=
activity.
An Ashram must be very straight for such a person to act so freely. So you =
only find people of that variety acting so freely in very traditional cultu=
res. In Nityananda's Ashram he was free to bubble all the time. So he becam=
e a symbol for the Self, because he took on very few functions at the life =
level as Guru. Someone like Swami Muktananda has a great many functions, an=
d he has less of that kind of quality that Nityananda had, at least in his =
appearance. But as the years have gone by, even Muktananda has taken on mor=
e of the "silliness" of the Truth. Maharshi also was a relatively functionl=
ess person. The more functions the Siddhas have had, the less of a symbol t=
hey posed in the world, the less they seemed to symbolize or play the Truth=
while alive. That doesn't mean they were of a lesser nature. It is just th=
at they took on various functions, the functions of this sacrificial activi=
ty. Even so, all such people, in spite of their many functions, remain para=
doxical, humorous figures.
THE METHOD OF THE SIDDHAS=20
________________________________________
CHAPTER 5
Walking the Dog=20
=20
DEVOTEE: Would you explain what you mean by "relationship"?
FRANKLIN: What does it mean?
DEVOTEE: Im not sure. Perhaps simply not to avoid reality.
FRANKLIN: What is relationship?
DEVOTEE: To be with someone is to be in relationship. Talking to you is bei=
ng in relationship.
FRANKLIN: What if there is no one there?
DEVOTEE: Then you are in relationship to your surroundings, and to yourself=
.
FRANKLIN: What if there is no thing there?
DEVOTEE: Then you are in relationship to no thing.
FRANKLIN: Then what is the problem about relationship?
DEVOTEE: I guess I am trying to dig into it and grasp something that is not=
there.
FRANKLIN: What is not relationship?
DEVOTEE: It seems to me there is nothing that is not relationship.
FRANKLIN: Did you appear on your own?
DEVOTEE: No. Not that I know of!
FRANKLIN: Is there any thing that arises on its own?
DEVOTEE: No.
FRANKLIN: Is there any thing perfectly or radically separate from any other=
thing?
DEVOTEE: Intellectually I may think there is. But I dont really think of th=
ings as separate.
FRANKLIN: Do you think of yourself as being separate?
DEVOTEE: Im afraid that is my state of consciousness. I am thinking of myse=
lf as separate.
FRANKLIN: That is the point! There is only relationship, no separation, onl=
y mutuality, interdependence. If anything has arisen, there is only relatio=
nship. Yet most of the time you do not observe that fact, you do not observ=
e relationship. Most of your time is spent being obsessed with your separat=
eness. This separateness is not true. But all of the time you are thinking =
this separateness. All of the time you are acting as if it were so. All of =
the time you are meditating on it. All of the time you are seeking to becom=
e free of it. And yet, among all things that arise, this thought is not tru=
e, and it is truly the least valuable of all that arises. Understanding is =
the re-cognition or knowing again of that assumption of your separateness.
If I ask, what is there? you might think: "This space. I move around in it.=
I am this one." When you think about that, it doesnt strike fear in you. Y=
ou live that, with a grin on your face, as if it were so. But that is not t=
he problem. The problem is that "I" am suffering, that "I" am in dilemma, t=
hat "I" need this, that "I" havent realized this, that "I," that "I," that =
"I." This sense of separate existence, this form of consciousness is suffer=
ing. And it is obviously so to everyone, whenever they fail to be distracte=
d and so fall only into the mood and condition of separate, mortal existenc=
e.
But Truth is not even the destruction of that. Truth is not the suppression=
, the quieting, or the explosion of that, nor the union of that with anythi=
ng. Truth is not anything done to that "I," or with it. Truth is in the spo=
ntaneous re-cognition or knowing again of the entire form of consciousness =
in which this "I," this separate sense, also appears. Therefore, Truth is n=
ot a state, it is not a state of inwardness, of attachment to mindlessness,=
quietness, formlessness, nor to vision or lights, to sensations, sensual o=
r supersensual. Truth is in the radical re-cognition of all of that, that e=
ntire form and force of consciousness. Truth is in the knowing again of you=
r entire adventure, which is a span of possible qualities, from ordinary su=
ffering to the intuitive contemplation of Self, Reality, Guru, and God. But=
Truth itself is a radical simplicity. Prior to actual realization, it cann=
ot even be called the Self or contemplation of ultimate Reality. There is n=
o-thing. Reality cannot be cognized, not even as an ultimate object outside=
your own consciousness. Truth can only be already enjoyed, already the cas=
e.
Understanding is simply to observe this separation, this contraction of whi=
ch I often speak. Really observe it. When you really observe this contracti=
on, only relationship stands out. To truly observe it is to see what it is.=
Not just as a symptom, the "feeling" that "I am separate," or "I am suffer=
ing" or any other form of thinking, thinking. But to actually observe it is=
to "see" it, to comprehend it as the avoidance of relationship. To "see," =
to re-cognize this separate self sense is to turn consciously into relation=
ship.
The natural state of consciousness is not "me." It is not in any sense the =
feeling of being apart, observing things apart, or feeling the dilemma of b=
eing separate. The natural state of consciousness is no-contraction. No-dil=
emma. Instead of this turning away, it is relationship. It is all of this-c=
onnection! All of this relationship. The natural or true state is no-obsess=
ion with this contraction, no-obsession with "me," no-obsession with all of=
"That," separate from me. Simply, no-contraction. When there is no contrac=
tion, what is there? There is only relationship, presently enjoyed as the s=
tate of consciousness itself.
Consciousness is relationship. Consciousness is not separate "me." Consciou=
sness is relationship. To enjoy the state that is consciousness is to be co=
nscious as relationship, no-contraction, the perfect force of existence. An=
d when consciousness is enjoyed as it is, as relationship, not in relations=
hip but as relationship, then it is also seen that relationship contains no=
"other" and no "me."
There is a fundamental quality that we are familiar with all the time in ou=
r ordinary occupation: feeling others, feeling in connection, observing rel=
ationship in that simple sense. That quality is consciousness itself. It is=
ones own form! Consciousness is not "in" relationship, experiencing an "ot=
her." Consciousness itself is relationship. Therefore, one who enjoys no-co=
ntraction sees there is only consciousness. Indeed, such a one has never pa=
ssed a single moment of involvement with anything but consciousness, his ow=
n real state. All of the time he spent "observing" everything outside himse=
lf, thinking all of this was outside himself, was actually the observation =
of his own state, the endless modifications that are his own state. But as =
long as he was busy separating himself, contracting, avoiding relationship,=
the force of consciousness appeared as "me." And that is the dilemma.
The usual man "observes," but only intellectually, mentally, whatever, that=
there is only a vast universe of interconnected events, phenomena, forces.=
And yet he remains continually, chronically obsessed with the notion of be=
ing separate, self-contained, isolated, containing only twenty volts, or wh=
atever it is, always becoming empty, threatened to death, becoming more and=
more "compact," until he disappears. Men fail to live the principle of the=
ir own observation. They continue to remain obsessed. And the adventures of=
obsessed men are endless. There are endless ways to play it, but none of i=
t makes any sense whatsoever.
I am continually impressed, newly impressed from hour to hour, with the ins=
anity of human beings! Animals, plants, inert things have much more intelli=
gence! They are simpler, more pure. While driving a car or walking down a s=
treet, I have often seen people walking their dogs. And the dogs almost inv=
ariably appear more intelligent than the people who are walking them. The g=
uy walking his dog seems insane. He is obsessed with his idiotic program of=
existence. But the dog is just breathing, walking, pissing on the grass. N=
o sign of disturbance at all. The dog sits down at the corner, and I see hi=
s clear eyes ! But the guy is everywhere else, costumed, crowded into time,=
bent, driven, mysterious to himself!
The only release from the burden of the insanity of this world is humor. Th=
ere are two forms of that humor. There is mortal humor and Divine humor. Or=
dinarily the best men do is mortal humor. Thus, we tend to laugh about this=
image of the man and the dog. But the only true humor is Truth. The comic =
humor of our mortal appreciation of things is only laughter. It doesnt chan=
ge the conditions or even truly understand them. Mortal laughter does not c=
hange the condition of men, apart from the creation of temporary amusement.=
But Divine humor, Truth, delights men and also utterly transforms their li=
ves.
Until this Divine humor, this Truth, awakens in men, they are intimidated b=
y "animals," or the vital forces of life. Without a little of Truth, they h=
avent even got enough of manhood to be the master of a dog. A good dog is t=
oo straight for most men. And I have met very few men who could master a ca=
t! Just so, men are intimidated by their own desires, their own moving life=
, their own vital nature. Animals and other vital beings are just extension=
s of a mans own vitality. Every man or woman is endlessly "walking a dog." =
The animal hangs below your chest, and you walk it night and day. You are i=
ntimidated by it, completely obsessed by it, absolutely distracted by it, i=
ncapable of being the master of it, unwilling to go through the period of m=
astery, of training, of responsibility. And so, the "dog" takes over.
When people come to visit you at your house, you all sit around and talk ab=
out the dog! Have you noticed that whenever somebody has a pet, people who =
visit tend continually to talk about the animal, and to the animal? And whe=
n conversation drifts away from the animal pets, they talk about the same t=
hing in themselves. They talk about sex, conflict, desire-their obsessions!=
People are always talking about the dog. Therefore, men are ordinarily hum=
orless. They have no transcendent humor. They only learn how to create the =
ridiculous to entertain one another. The usual entertainments are forms of =
mortal or comic humor. And the way to make others laugh is to take on the f=
orm or "costume" of the dog. Put on a dog costume and go to visit a friend.=
He wont be able to believe it. Fantastic! Hell laugh. Hell go out of his m=
ind.
There are many forms of the dog, many varieties of the "dog costume." The d=
og costume is all your adventures, your acquisitions, your knowledge, your =
every thing, "you." This contraction of which I speak is the dog costume. I=
t is this avoidance of relationship, this falsity, this thinking separation=
. But true humor is not to appear in the dog costume among your friends. Yo=
u must restore their humor by showing them the nature of the costume of the=
ir mortality, their unhappiness, all the forms of this contraction, this av=
oidance of relationship.
The ordinary humor is a revulsion, like vomiting. It is heaving the force, =
the vital force, upwards, throwing it away, casting it out. All the ordinar=
y obsessions, including the entertainments of comic laughter, are forms of =
revulsion, like vomiting. In that case, the force of life falls down the sp=
ine and is thrown out the front. But when a man understands the nature of t=
he whole activity that is his obsession, then all of the activities of revu=
lsion tend to subside, and the current of life returns to its natural cours=
e, descending and ascending. Thus, the natural conductivity of the life-for=
ce is clockwise. But in the usual man it is counter-clockwise.
In the ordinary man the "dog" is always hanging out. He always appears as t=
he ridiculous imitation of the dog, laughing, grinning, being stupid, insan=
e, confused, self-indulgent, all the things of which animals themselves are=
commonly free. But when a man understands, the "dog" is overcome, he is ma=
stered.
Therefore, spiritual life is real humor. It is Divine life, the life of Tru=
th. It is a mans "straightness."
The usual man is always distracted, always concentrating on some invisible =
point, obsessed with self-awareness, this sense of separation, distracted i=
n endless thoughts, concerns, experiences. Men are simply obsessed, distrac=
ted, only fascinated. What is amazing, in this manifestation of billions of=
beings, with millions of human beings, is that one can appear to be born a=
mong so many and yet have so little company for a lifetime. Because every o=
ne is obsessed ! Every one is moving that way, the other way, at light-spee=
d.
Once I worked as a chaplain in a mental hospital. In such places you see th=
e symbol of ordinary men. There is no communication in such an asylum. Inde=
ed, the disturbance of communication or presently created relationship is p=
erhaps what we identify as insanity. Therefore, the Guru appears in the asy=
lum of ordinary men. And what is the function of Guru? It is to distract yo=
u again, to stand before you and command attention, to draw you into relati=
onship, to draw you out of your chronic obsession. And that will not happen=
to you while you are sitting apart in your room, meditating inward! What a=
re you looking at in this turning inward? The same thing that you are alway=
s looking at! The same obsession. The usual meditator is just another obses=
sed man, unaware of relationship as his actual condition. So the function o=
f Guru is continuously to draw you into conscious relationship. He works to=
draw the thread of attention into the form of life. And where the connecti=
on is made again, where relationship is consciously lived, the force of exi=
stence returns, flows, tends to move into its natural course again. Therefo=
re, in that relationship or Satsang there is energy, force intensification.=
Until a moment arrives when the disciple is not totally distracted, no lon=
ger totally obsessed, not totally inward-turning, but somehow equalized, ta=
citly aware of relationship. At that stage, insight arises. It is always a =
very practical insight. The individual sees the avoidance of relationship, =
if only in one particular form of action. He sees in the particular form of=
certain kinds of his chronic action the characteristic activity of his own=
avoidance. He observes it very directly, without complication, as his actu=
al activity. In that instance he sees both his avoidance as well as relatio=
nship itself. He sees his natural state, and he sees himself contracting. O=
nly then has practical wisdom arisen.
This process of intensification and insight continues, in terms of particul=
ar actions, particular thoughts, the concrete, actual forms of the disciple=
s tendencies, his movements, his "dog costume." At some point perhaps, the =
"enquiry" or "real meditation" I have described in The Knee of Listening ma=
y begin. It is the positive approach of intelligence to the particular form=
s of thought-stress, of action and thought, moment to moment. This is the b=
eginning of the fruitful, self-mastering stage of the true disciple. The "r=
eligious" quality of understanding may be manifested at this stage. Its cen=
ter is the massive vital region above and below the navel. In this case the=
dog has begun to turn to his master. Then at some point, the disciple begi=
ns to become "subtle." Suddenly, spontaneously, he finds his attention is m=
oved out of the vital center, and he finds himself seated in the "brightnes=
s" of the mind of consciousness, mysteriously within, and even above, where=
he observes the pattern of his own thought and life. Now he sees patterns =
as they arise, not already arisen, not in gross forms and already binding l=
ife-conditions. He observes thought-stress, the modified force of conscious=
ness, rising out of the heart. He feels it rising. He re-cognizes it to be =
contraction, separation, modification, obsession. And this moment to moment=
re-cognition vanishes the force of thought as it rises out of the heart. I=
n yet another moment, this same one may find himself spontaneously to have =
fallen out of the "bright" of consciousness, even the sahasrar, the epitome=
of subtle cognition, into the formless place of consciousness which feels =
itself into life at the point of the Heart, the "causal" being, on the righ=
t side of the chest. There the whole force of manifest existence is felt as=
a single point, the point of unqualified relationship. In the complex life=
-state, the individual felt relationship in particular forms: "me" and "tha=
t." Later, he felt relationship as confrontation with the force of thought =
and subtle forms of cognition. But now he senses very existence as a point =
only. This "point" is the single condition of his conscious existence, mome=
nt to moment. It is the very structure of existence. It may appear containe=
d, a center, a limit, but it is very Consciousness, the Self. Now the disci=
ple has come from the life center to the subtle center and, finally, to the=
causal center. And this imageless, formless, unqualified, spaceless "cente=
r" manifests as a point, the point of the Heart, tacitly sensed on the righ=
t side of the chest. In this state, the enquiry ("Avoiding relationship?") =
manifests beyond thought. Thought is already vanished when subtle enquiry i=
s transcended. Now the force of this radical intelligence, this re-cognitio=
n, is active in terms of this single point of perfect consciousness, which =
is the epitome of all experience. But, suddenly, there is the re-cognition =
of this point itself. There is seeing that this "point" is also only modifi=
cation, only a form of contraction. When this re-cognition arises, the "poi=
nt" vanishes or dissolves. And the state which remains is called Nirvana, L=
iberation, Mukti, Moksha, Bodhi, and the rest. Yet in that same instant of =
re-cognition, the entire form that has been transcended or resolved in this=
total process will return. It rises out of the Heart, and it is reflected =
above as the "Bright" of very Consciousness. That Light in turn is reflecte=
d below, in the circle of descent and ascent, the manifest condition of psy=
cho-physical life. The usual form returns, but the separate one does not re=
turn with it! In such case, consciousness is no longer implicated in the pr=
ocess of identification, differentiation and desire. Very existence no long=
er appears limited by its own modifications. Then the force of very existen=
ce, rather than the force of thought, rises out of the Heart, and appears a=
bove as perfect Light, brightness, living consciousness. It is reflected do=
wnward as forms of consciousness, it descends as fullness, and it ascends a=
gain as fullness. Such a one appears in the world as before. All forms have=
returned. All the functions remain. There is no peculiarity in him, no thi=
ng tangible that makes him stand out, unique and separate from the ordinary=
. But there is in him this fullness, this brightness, this force, this very=
consciousness. And this may be discovered in him by his friends, even his =
disciples.
The very functions in which men ordinarily perceive their bondage, their su=
ffering, are the means of their deliverance when brought to them in the for=
m of the Guru. In the Guru, these functions in which ordinary men perceive =
their bondage are open, and the fullness, the force, the brightness of Trut=
h manifests in and through them. Those who move into relationship with such=
a one enjoy the process of intensification that flows from him, between Gu=
ru and disciple. And the disciple becomes intelligent with that intensity, =
because that very intensity is the Shakti of Truth, the Living Power of Rea=
l God. The Shakti of the true Guru is not simply or exclusively the kundali=
ni shakti, which is always returning to Truth, seeking the Truth, seeking t=
he union that is Truth. The Shakti that flows through the true Guru is alre=
ady the Truth. It is the Force of Truth, it is the One Intensity that is al=
ways already Truth.
Where that Intensity is enjoyed in Satsang, the secondary or functional for=
ms of the Shakti, such as the kundalini, all of which are modifications of =
that One Intensity, may also be experienced. The qualities that are experie=
nced in the individual cases are unique. The forms of modification, or shak=
ti, in which the individual is characteristically bound or contracted, are =
unique from case to case. So the living spiritual process of Satsang manife=
sts itself uniquely in each individual. Some live primarily or characterist=
ically in the qualities of the bhakta, in the moods of loving service, whic=
h are awakened when the vital being is turned into the condition of Satsang=
. Some live in the qualities of the yogi, in the purifying moods of ascent =
to the sahasrar. Some live in the qualities of the man of intuitive wisdom,=
the jnani, whose home is in the heart, on the right side of the chest. And=
some pass beyond these conditions. Some randomly manifest all of these qua=
lities. Some manifest them all, more or less continually. In some the proce=
ss of understanding, of radical insight and enquiry, manifests in all of th=
e ways I have described, while they continually change from one expression =
of the process to another. Some reside in a single form for long periods. B=
ut the key to all these spiritual manifestations is the Guru-disciple relat=
ionship itself, the condition of Satsang. All the spiritual qualities rest =
on Satsang. All of them are Satsang. Satsang is the great condition, the on=
ly condition. It is always already your condition, but it is not lived. It =
is denied, forgotten, resisted.
The drama of Narcissus is what obsesses all men. Therefore, the great condi=
tion of Satsang is denied in all the usual events of the world. Thus, the f=
unction of Guru arises in the world, to re-establish conscious Satsang thro=
ugh re-cognition of the strategies which prevent it. All things serve this =
Satsang, but the true Guru establishes it, by virtue of the Siddhi or great=
spiritual Power of Truth. Then, in the case of the true disciple and consu=
mmate devotee, Satsang again becomes the great condition, the conscious con=
dition, even of the world.
Therefore, spiritual life begins with Satsang. And sadhana, or true spiritu=
al practice, is to live the condition of Satsang for a lifetime, even etern=
ally, always recollecting that condition, living in it, becoming intelligen=
t with it. Truth in life is to live the primary condition of relationship u=
nder all conditions while enjoying Satsang with the true Guru at all times.=
When such sadhana is lived consciously, moment to moment, you have somethi=
ng against which to observe your own contraction, the ongoing pattern of Na=
rcissus. Thus, Satsang is the condition that makes it possible for you to s=
ee your own tendencies.
A mans tendencies are always forms of contraction, the avoidance of relatio=
nship, which, ultimately, is always turning from Satsang. So every day, hou=
r to hour, there is an endless drama going on in those who live this Satsan=
g. There is the repetitive cycle of coming and going. Every day there is a =
question of whether my disciples will return. It seems never to end. It is =
the same every day, in everyones case. In everyones case there is the conti=
nual wondering in the mind: "Should I go back there, or shouldnt I? I dont =
want to put up with this anymore, or do I? Dont I really have it already? K=
rishnamurti says ratatatatat. The Presence always surrounds me already. And=
Franklin is crazy anyway!" Every day there is a new symbolic form of self-=
sufficiency, a new "temptation" from Satsang and the discipline of Truth. T=
herefore, the disciple must become sensitive to what he is up to. He must r=
e-cognize his own game. Previously he was only played by life, and now he s=
eems to play it by ritualizing his drama in Satsang. Satsang is not here to=
make you forget that drama of your suffering. The Guru has not come to con=
sole you with pleasant and hopeful distractions. He always functions to ret=
urn you to that state, that activity of avoidance. Satsang does not fulfill=
your search. Satsang acts, by a subtle frustration of your search, to retu=
rn you to your dilemma, so that it may be understood. The power of intensif=
ication that is alive in Satsang is active in the very seat of dilemma. The=
Shakti of Satsang operates in the dilemma. The crisis in consciousness is =
sadhana. The suffering and the intensity is sadhana. Sadhana is not merely =
the pleasantness, it is not the forgetfulness, not the easiness, not the dr=
ifty-blissful, smiling and stupid meditation of a man sitting cross-legged =
in a dog costume. Sadhana is living intelligence, conscious in dilemma, but=
with intensity. The sadhana of Satsang with the true Guru makes a differen=
ce!
It is not that the disciple shouldnt go through the dilemma of his sufferin=
g. He must go through it. It is only that, even though he is going through =
it, he should continue to maintain himself in the condition of Satsang. The=
greatest mistake people make is to abandon Satsang when they begin to expe=
rience its "tooth." No, even this crisis in relation to Satsang itself must=
come. It comes in everyones case, now or later. And it comes in an incredi=
bly powerful and seductive form, usually very soon after one begins to expe=
rience the Gurus discipline. And it always involves the feeling that you sh=
ould abandon Satsang, abandon this mad Guru. The first form of this crisis =
is always a personal conflict with this work and this place. And if the dis=
ciple gets through that one and stays, the next time it comes in the form o=
f self-doubt rather than Guru-doubt: "Its not working for me. This sadhana =
is not possible in my case. Im damned. Im too crazy. Im not ready for it." =
But if the disciple gets beyond these two times, from then on, for the most=
part, he deals with all such phenomena as qualities of his hidden strategy=
, this avoidance of relationship, the drama of Narcissus.
When the disciple becomes capable of enduring this repetitive crisis, when =
he is able to live it as sadhana, as the very spiritual process, then the i=
ntelligence of Satsang becomes intensity, and insight becomes possible. But=
if real understanding is to arise, the condition of Satsang must not be ab=
andoned. Narcissus endlessly abandons Satsang. That is his business, his ro=
le in life. That is what the ordinary man is up to. He is always abandoning=
the condition of relationship.
Many so-called spiritual seekers are just Narcissus in drag. They dont have=
enough gut for spiritual life. They are not interested in the demand that =
is the Guru. They are dogs coming for a bone. Such dogs only come to the ma=
ster for a bone. A dog whose mind is set on the bone his master possesses w=
ill do any ridiculous thing to acquire it. He rolls on the ground and he wh=
ines, he barks and jumps through hoops. He does whatever he must, until his=
master gives him the bone. And then he runs away with the bone. He wants t=
o see nobody. The dog doesnt want anybody around him when he is chewing his=
bone. He doesnt want to be touched. He doesnt want to be approached. He ma=
kes a vital circle around himself, and he just works on his bone. And if it=
is a good, big bone, so that he cant do it all in one sitting, he usually =
hides it somewhere, to protect it, after he has finished his chew. And he d=
oesnt go back to his master again until hes out of bone. He does not go to =
his master in order to be with him, to delight in him, to be mastered by hi=
m. He only goes for another bone. Such is the ordinary spiritual seeker. "G=
ive me initiation into your yoga. Give me the mantra. Give me the breathing=
exercise. Teach me the kriya yoga. Give me Shaktipat. Give me the Divine V=
ision." He always asks for the bone! And should he in fact be granted one o=
f those things (any one of the traditional forms of initiation will do-mant=
ras, shaktis, beliefs, whatever), the guy goes. He leaves to play his game =
with that technique or consolation. He consumes it in solitude. He doesnt w=
ant to be touched. He doesnt want to be interrupted. He doesnt want to be r=
eminded of what is outside, in relationship. But the Master waits for his t=
rue disciple to come and submit to him. Satsang is the relationship between=
the disciple and the Guru, not between the disciple and his "bone."
The relationship to the Guru is Satsang. That is the discovery. That is the=
process. That is the secret of the Siddhas. That relationship is the yoga.=
It is the universal process. It is the single means. It is very Truth. Eve=
rything else, all bone chewing, is only a ritual re-enactment of the proces=
s that arises spontaneously and alive in relation to the Guru. At best it i=
s a ritual re-enactment. Therefore, spiritual life is not the activity of s=
piritual seekers. It is the activity of those who discover their spiritual =
search is false, fruitless, founded in dilemma, a manifestation of the same=
suffering that all other men are suffering. Spiritual life begins when the=
spiritual search is abandoned and Satsang is begun. And Satsang is a diffi=
cult condition, a spiritual discipline that must be lived from day to day. =
Anyone can spend an hour at home every day reciting a mantra or doing a con=
centration exercise. Anyone can do ritual repetition of technique from day =
to day. In that case, nothing is required beyond your own willingness to co=
nform to a certain pattern. But the relationship that is Satsang is a livin=
g condition. It creates conditions that awaken the functions you always pre=
vent. It demands relationship, it demands fulfillment. So it is difficult, =
and it does not fulfill a mans search. It continually turns him from his se=
arch into relationship.
When a man or woman lives that condition, that relationship, when he actual=
ly lives Satsang it becomes enjoyment, it becomes easy, spontaneous. But as=
long as he resists that condition, the Gurus company and its implicit dema=
nd will make him darker, heavier, more obsessed with self-enclosure and the=
strategies of Narcissus. It is said in the traditional Scriptures that, fo=
r one who is prepared, the Force, the Shakti that is Reality of Truth itsel=
f, will turn him into the Divine. But for one who is not prepared, that sam=
e Force will drive him into hell. Those who are not ready to live the condi=
tion of Satsang, but who somehow come into the company of those who do live=
in it, tend to become obsessed, angry. Their separativeness becomes dramat=
ized, their narrow mood becomes absolute. Such people always find a way to =
eliminate themselves from the company and the conditions of Satsang. Becaus=
e Narcissus is unwilling to meet the conditions. He is unwilling to live re=
lationship as the condition, the very nature of conscious existence. He res=
ists the form and condition of life. He contracts from it into the reflecti=
ng medium of his own functions. If the Force that emanates from Satsang ent=
ers his obsessive enclosure, its intensity aggravates him, so that he runs =
farther into the wilderness. But if he begins to see his own activity, his =
own obsession, his own contraction, and turns into Satsang, he becomes full=
of humor, easy. He becomes an effortless man, full of spiritual experience=
s, unconcerned about spiritual experiences. The responsibility of those in =
Satsang is to live Satsang as the condition of their lives hour to hour, da=
y to day, and to maintain that relationship in very practical terms. They m=
ust live an appropriate life, an ordinary pleasurable life.
Coming to the Guru for techniques, methods and even experiences is a form o=
f self-defense. It is the defense of ones condition, ones search, ones suff=
ering. The seeker who comes to the Guru, however holy or serious he may see=
m to be, comes to defend himself, to be righteously served, to be satisfied=
. But spiritual life is not the satisfaction of the search. I offer no "bon=
es," no methods, no consolations, no beliefs, no thing! And I will never gi=
ve the seeker his bone. Those who have come for bones have no business wait=
ing, because it is not going to happen. All of that has nothing whatever to=
do with Truth. Its all a lot of bullshit! Thats all it is, and I dont spen=
d any time tolerating it. There is no yoga. Your trouble is an illusion. Yo=
ur search is a reaction to your suffering. Your actual dilemma has barely b=
een conceived by you, barely experienced. You come to me for another way to=
prevent consciousness of your suffering. You come for distraction, a fasci=
nation, a charming vision. You want to be consoled. But why do you want to =
be consoled? What state are you in that you should want to be consoled by m=
e? You are suffering! Yes? Since you are only suffering, why are you defend=
ing all of this nonsense? It is time to be rid of all of that. It is utterl=
y unnecessary. It can be abandoned! All of that is what I want surrendered =
as gifts around my feet. I want to see all the beards, all the hair, all th=
e mantras, all the clothing, all of the suffering, all of the sorrows, all =
of the long faces, all of the yoga, all of the kriya shakti, all of the vis=
ions, all of the beliefs, all of the philosophies, all of the religion and =
spirituality, all of your racial and personal history, I want to see your b=
irth and your death. I want all of it! Such are the implications of Truth. =
But because men arrive not simply suffering but to defend their search, the=
y come with conditions . How can I satisfy these holy demands? I do not rep=
resent yoga. I do not represent jnana or Vedantic Self-knowledge. I do not =
represent the "enlightenment" of the Buddha. I do not adorn my body with sy=
mbols. I have no symbolic significance whatsoever. These are all your own i=
mages. Since you are only delighted by images, you will always end up doing=
sadhana at your own feet!
What is appropriate is not offense with me , but, finally, at long last, to=
be offended with yourselves . All your lives you have been angry with vari=
ous people, dissatisfied with various people, criticizing them. You have be=
en critical of society, of life and experience, of birth, of mortality, of =
politics. You have been capable of anger, of fear, of doubt as reactions to=
conditions of life. But it is time to turn all energy to your own event.
The Guru does not come to satisfy devotees or disciples. A satisfied discip=
le is still the one he was. The Guru is only interested in the utter, radic=
al dissolution of that whole limitation that appears as his disciple. He is=
not here to satisfy that limitation, to make it feel comfortable. He is he=
re to return men to their own experience, their always present, chronic exp=
erience, their dilemma, their unconsciousness. He is here to return men to =
that, not to prevent them from seeing it, not to keep them obsessively invo=
lved with symbols or yogic stimulations of light, of sound, or some complex=
vision of God, some image of Reality, so they will never experience and re=
cognize their own state. The Guru moves by non-support. He undermines the d=
isciple. He skins him! He does not torture him for fun, but he undermines t=
hat process which is his suffering.
The Guru assumes that suffering is what brings people to Satsang. But peopl=
e in this time and place tend to assume it is their search that has brought=
them to the Guru. Arriving at the Gurus feet is a form of success for the =
seeker. But when such a devotee begins to turn from the illusions of his se=
arch and the demands for the satisfaction of its goals to the sense of his =
actual condition, his suffering, his dilemma, then Satsang has truly begun.=
Until then, the pretended devotee sits, waiting for satisfaction. He hears=
what is being said. The suggestion of real spiritual life or conscious lif=
e is there, but he supposes that somehow the search to which he has already=
attached himself is going to be satisfied.
The game of seekers is ended, from my point of view. I am no longer enterta=
ining that suffering. I am no longer concerned for ordinary life in the sen=
se of this obstructed stupidity, this fascination, this search. It doesnt i=
nterest me. If you have become sensitive to your suffering, your dis-ease, =
then Satsang is available to you. Only as such is it usable to you. Your se=
nsitivity to your suffering will give you the strength to endure the period=
s of self-criticism, of negativity, of crisis, because you will be very wil=
ling to go through them. Then such episodes will become interesting to you,=
because you wont care about the things that are threatened or undermined b=
y the crisis of consciousness. But if you are attached to your search, you =
will be unable to endure the crisis of your own transformation. Transformat=
ion will threaten the very thing you came to defend. In fact there is no "s=
adhana," no spiritual practice in the sense of something you can do to be "=
saved," to attain the goals of seeking. Sadhana in that sense is not approp=
riate. But what in fact is appropriate is always appropriate.
The force of Satsang, the subtle and concrete demands of Satsang, should aw=
aken sensitivity to what is appropriate. Just as the functions of our Ashra=
m depend on appropriate action, all of life depends on it. In every place o=
r condition there is a functional appropriateness that must be understood. =
Everywhere in life, what is appropriate must come alive as action. There ar=
e no "reasons" to come to Satsang, and there are no "reasons" to do what is=
appropriate. There are no "reasons" to visit ones parents. Just so, there =
are no "reasons" to visit the Guru. There are no "reasons" to do what is ap=
propriate in life. What is appropriate is simply obvious, and it is the nec=
essary form of action. The appropriate movement of a planet is its proper c=
ircuit around the sun, not its eccentricity. What is appropriate is functio=
nal living. It is not done for the purpose of realization, nor does it prod=
uce Truth as a result. It is simply appropriate. It is natural, it is spont=
aneous, it is intelligent.
The Guru always expects what is appropriate to be manifested by his discipl=
e. So he doesnt always or even frequently tell his disciple what to do. He =
lives Truth to his disciple, and looks to his disciple for appropriate acti=
on as a sign of his understanding. The actions of the disciple are a very s=
imple indicator of his preparation, the condition of his life in Satsang. I=
f he does what is appropriate, his Guru enjoys him. If he does not, he will=
quickly feel abandoned. He will feel separated from his Guru, not necessar=
ily because of some violent attitude or condition his Guru has put on him, =
but, more often, it is a subtle sensation created by his own inappropriate =
action, his nonfunctional life, his eccentricity. It is not the overt punis=
hment of the Guru, or his demands, or his formulas for living that bring ab=
out the appropriate activity in the disciple. It is the disciples awareness=
of his real orientation, his consciousness of Satsang, his relation to the=
"sun," and then to the other "planets," to all beings, to all of life. Whe=
n the disciple becomes oriented, functional, when his movement is appropria=
te, the "sun," the light of the Guru, shines on him. If he is eccentric, he=
keeps moving in and out of phase with the light. His own discomfort commun=
icates itself to him as his Gurus displeasure.
What is always appropriate is understanding and the spontaneous surrender o=
f seeking. What is always inappropriate is the search and its defense. The =
life of seeking is founded in prior dilemma, and it does not work. The sear=
ch does not obtain true spiritual realization, and it does not permit appro=
priate functional life. The seeker is not a functional being. He is eccentr=
ic. He is elsewhere. He is involved in all kinds of peculiar artifices, att=
achments, symbols, both internal and external. He doesnt "work." He has no =
capacity for relationship, for simplicity. There is no love, no functional =
light. The force of conscious life, of bliss, does not move as him. He is a=
lways a little screwed up, always somehow unhappy. He is a profound devotee=
of the man of understanding today, but tomorrow he is someone elses yogi, =
or he has become "already" realized! He comes and he goes. He is in and out=
of opposing moods. He is always wondering whether this Satsang is the Trut=
h, whether Franklin is enlightened. But in fact the drama and the limitatio=
ns are his own, and when he becomes sensitive to that, his position in Sats=
ang is secured. Then Satsang is no longer threatened, and he will turn from=
childish games in relationship to his Guru to the penetration of his own s=
uffering, his dilemma, his contraction, his separation, his arrogance.
DEVOTEE: How can one consciously overcome the resistance if, when he become=
s aware of resistance through understanding, the appropriate behavior doesn=
t come?
FRANKLIN: Understanding is not itself a method for correcting behavior. You=
have only seen a little bit. You have seen enough of your game to resist i=
t only. Therefore, you want to resist it, you want some means to intensify =
your resistance so that it can become perfect and press the bad behavior ou=
t of life. But real understanding, true insight, is not just to observe som=
e negative pattern, acknowledge it to be negative, and then resist it. It i=
s truly to "see" or comprehend that pattern as the avoidance of relationshi=
p. It is not to sit around analyzing and observing your craziness. It is to=
see your craziness as the avoidance of relationship. It is to turn into re=
lationship. If there is not this comprehension followed by turning from the=
perceived pattern into the condition of relationship, there is no understa=
nding. Where genuine insight exists, relationship is enjoyed, not concentra=
tion on negative behavior or concepts. And where relationship is enjoyed, a=
ll forms of contraction become obsolete through non-support. But when you o=
nly see a little bit, you only see the contraction itself. Through self-ana=
lysis, a little self-observation, whatever, you only see the negative sympt=
om. And you acquire preferences. You "prefer" to be a little more spiritual=
, to be free of certain kinds of compulsive behavior. This is the tradition=
al state of the spiritual seeker. His attempts to correct himself are simpl=
y another form of unintelligence. His "preferences" have no intensity. He i=
s still mediocre. His "spiritual life" is still more of the same.
When a man has resorted to Satsang and has "seen" his activity, when he tru=
ly comprehends the process of his life as the avoidance of relationship, he=
is turned into relationship itself, the condition of Satsang. He is no lon=
ger concerned with negative behavior and the stream of desires or preferenc=
es. He is only in relationship. He is blissful. He is happy. He is already =
free. He is straight! He is no longer entertaining the problem of his obses=
sive behavior, because its foundation, its structure, its motivation is not=
being lived. And so, simply as a secondary affair, he notices the obsessiv=
e behavior in his life to be disappearing, becoming weak, less obsessive. H=
is chronic obsessions, his habitual life-obsessions, on the one hand come u=
pon him less and less frequently, and, on the other hand, when they do come=
upon him, he re-cognizes them. He only enjoys prior relationship because h=
e sees these obsessions as the avoidance of relationship.
Relationship is the prior condition. The avoidance of relationship is secon=
dary, a re-action to the prior and always present condition of relationship=
. Therefore, one who understands simply turns from the activity of avoidanc=
e to the condition of relationship. He does not willfully turn from the avo=
idance of relationship or its manifest patterns of behavior. He comprehends=
his usual activity, and in this comprehension the prior condition of relat=
ionship stands out as his true and present condition. He simply and spontan=
eously falls into it. He falls into Satsang and its current of bliss. When =
insight into his compulsive pattern reveals what his ordinary activity alwa=
ys prevents, he falls into that-the condition of relationship, the true, gi=
ven and prior form, Satsang. And when he falls into relationship from his c=
ontracted state, there is the sense of release, of freedom, purity, of clar=
ity and real enjoyment. Then obsessive mental and psycho-physical forces ar=
e dissolved.
In the process of understanding, the contraction is undermined, not resiste=
d and overwhelmed. It is obviated from the point of view of intelligence, n=
ot resisted, suppressed or escaped from the point of view of the search. Th=
erefore, in all cases it is a matter of Satsang, living the relationship to=
the Guru, his teaching, and his natural, always appropriate discipline. It=
is never a matter of analytical concern for behavior, for life-patterns. T=
hat is the search. That is the obsession. That is the self-analysis game of=
"finding yourself out," in which you spend part of the day analyzing your =
craziness, and you spend the rest of the day dramatizing it.
Most men are not prepared at the moment for what we could call genuine "spi=
ritual" concern. But the origins of what is truly spiritual are not as prof=
ound as all that. The condition of human dilemma is practical and life-visi=
ble. Men are possessed by patterns of irresponsibility and self-indulgence.=
It is not some profound technique or some deep psychic meditation that the=
y need to perfect at this moment. A revolution in the life-pattern is requi=
red in simple, practical terms. The beginnings do not involve trampling one=
s sexual obsessions with some fantastic self-analysis, deep insight into th=
e past, or heroic smacking of the flesh. No, it is only to live in Satsang,=
to live the condition of Satsang, and simply to do what is appropriate, ac=
cording to the Gurus measured instruction. Enjoy the condition of Satsang w=
ith open intensity, and you simply wont be obsessed anymore! It is not a ma=
tter of doing anything about the obsessions. It is doing something about th=
e basic life-pattern in practical terms. Then the minor notes of obsession =
are swallowed in the greater form. But this becomes really possible only wh=
en Satsang has begun, when Satsang is enjoyed.
When Satsang has turned a man or woman on, and he is alive with it, expecta=
nt, pregnant with it, full of that condition, that relatedness, that openne=
ss, that profound enjoyment, then he can do what is appropriate in life. Th=
at is why I present real, practical conditions to those who want to embrace=
this Satsang: Get a job, get rid of drugs, get into a natural, moderate pa=
ttern of diet. Such conditions seem easy enough, and yet there is something=
for everybody in the conditions of my Ashram. Something here touches every=
individuals key obsession in some form. Therefore, the conditions seem imp=
ossible to those who are not ready for Satsang at all, but they seem someho=
w possible to those in whom Satsang is beginning. My conditions are not som=
e massive thing. I do not ask you to become a saint before you come to me. =
Mine are simple, natural, ordinary requirements, but they are sufficient to=
turn away those who are not ready for Satsang, while they attract those fo=
r whom Satsang can live.
Satsang is humor, delight. There is only enjoyment. Truly. There isnt this =
crazy asylum. There is only enjoyment. Everything is a form of bliss. Consc=
iousness is a ride. There is no dilemma. And those who truly live Satsang a=
re living no-dilemma. They may appear to be going through various kinds of =
practical life-transformation, but this transformation involves no dilemma.=
It is Satsang. My disciples are not even concerned anymore whether they wi=
ll "attain" the famous states or not. What difference does it make if you g=
o through some fantastic psychic revolution in which all the time you are l=
ooking at a blue image with three curves around the outside? What differenc=
e does it make if, no matter where you go, you see this thing, and it is bl=
ue, and it has three circular shapes here, and it shows a sort of brilliant=
knob in the center? "Ive attained this after two thousand lifetimes." That=
is only the dog costume! For those who truly live Satsang, Satsang is suff=
icient. Satsang is the discovery, Satsang is the realization. Satsang is un=
derstanding. It is meditation, it is Truth, it is enjoyment, it is humor. I=
t is the principle of life! It doesnt require your strategy, your ordinary =
strategy of separation. Neither does it support your dilemma and seeking. S=
atsang is only Force, Intensity. It is One! The absolute vision is communic=
ated in Satsang all the time! Satsang itself is the absolute vision. It is =
above your heads! Just sit up a little straighter!
What more can I tell you? I dont know. I cant make it any plainer. My speec=
h is over. I cant convince you. Send in the next group! We were originally =
going to open this place as a restaurant. Give the public what it wants. On=
tonights menu we have choice Medjool dates!

THE METHOD OF THE SIDDHAS=20


________________________________________
CHAPTER 6
The Gorilla Sermon
DEVOTEE: Can drugs be used to expand the mind?
FRANKLIN: What is this mind you are talking about?
DEVOTEE: I mean the simple act of life.
FRANKLIN: How can you get closer to that by expanding?
DEVOTEE: Can the simple act of life create death?
FRANKLIN: What arises falls, what appears disappears, what expands contract=
s. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Neither the expansion n=
or the contraction, neither the action nor the reaction is Truth. It is sim=
ply expansion, contraction, action, reaction. There is the dream, and there=
is sleep.
The "expansion of consciousness" is not Truth. It is the stimulation of per=
ception. Why must you seek Truth by this expansion? The reason you must pur=
sue the Truth with it is because you are suffering. You are already sufferi=
ng, whether you expand your mind or not. Even if you succeed in expanding y=
our mind, you suffer. The one who feels his mind expand is the same one who=
feels his mind is not expanding or even contracting. He is a contraction, =
a dilemma, a sense of separate existence. That is the motivation to this se=
arch. The sense of contraction is the motivation to expand the mind. Simply=
to experience is to expand the mind. It increases the objects of conscious=
ness. But all of those objects of consciousness, high or low, beautiful or =
not, imply the same status in consciousness, which is the separate self sen=
se.
If you see one thing, a red balloon, "I" am seeing this red balloon. If you=
see everything, "I" am seeing it. "I" am seeing the seventh heaven. "I" am=
seeing dog shit on the street. It is always the same. This contraction is =
motivating the search. The separate self sense is its form. Understand this=
. That understanding is called Truth. Nirvana, God-realization.
Truth has nothing whatever to do with expanding the mind or not expanding t=
he mind. Truth is not a form of experience. The pursuit of mind expansion i=
s a form of the search, dependent on separation, motivated by this contract=
ion. And successful expansion does nothing whatever to the motivating condi=
tion itself. This separate one only acquires various objects for itself, th=
us creating a feeling of security, an illusion of survival. But it cannot s=
urvive, it has no independent and formal existence.
"I" is felt as a limited capsule of energy, surrounded by mystery. It is li=
ke a time bomb. It has a certain amount of time until it terminates. If you=
experience a lot with it, it burns out quick. If you throw it off a cliff,=
it smashes. "I" assumes itself to be this limited little thing under the c=
onditions of life. And we manipulate it from the point of view of whatever =
strategy we happen to choose. But always this original assumption is our su=
ffering, our limitation.
It is really a simple matter. The usual man thinks: "This body and its psyc=
he are dying. This world is dying. Everyone is suffering, everyone is seeki=
ng. There is mortality, there is frustration and limitation." But none of t=
hat is Truth. Those interpretations are not Truth. The world itself is not =
Truth, nor life, nor psyche and body, nor death, nor experience. No event i=
s itself Truth. All that arises is an appearance to consciousness, a modifi=
cation of the conscious force that is always already the case. All of this =
is a dream, if you like. It is an appearance in consciousness. Truth is ver=
y consciousness itself. Truth is to all of this what the waking state is to=
the dreaming state. If you awaken, you don't have to do anything about the=
condition you may have suffered or enjoyed in the dream state. What happen=
ed within the dream is suddenly not your present condition. It is of no con=
sequence any longer, once you are awake. If you persist in dreaming, and yo=
ur point of view remains that of the dreamer and his role within the dream,=
then your possible actions are numberless. But none of them will "work." T=
hey will simply occupy you in the dream. They will modify the dream state, =
but no action in the dream is the equivalent of waking. There are simply fo=
rms of fascination, of occupation, of seeking, until you awaken. Nirvana, R=
eality, the Siddhas, the Masters, Truth, all of that is simply waking, no-i=
llusion. It is not a condition within this appearance. It has nothing whate=
ver to do with the "mind," regardless of whether it is expanded or contract=
ed.
Perception is simply what it obviously is. There is no reason for any perce=
ption to change in order for Truth to appear as a consequence. The dream do=
esn't have to be changed in any way for the waking man to feel that he is a=
wake. Nothing has to happen to the dream. Only waking is necessary. To one =
who is awake, the dream is obvious. There is no illusion, no suffering, no =
implication, regardless of what appeared in the dream. A blue god, a dirty =
old drunk, the gorilla of death, it makes no difference. It makes a differe=
nce within the circumstances of the dream, to those who are dreaming. But t=
o the man who is awake, it no longer makes any difference. Perception, waki=
ng consciousness, is obvious if you are truly awake. If you are asleep, if =
you do not understand, if consciousness evades you, there is nothing obviou=
s about this at all. Then life is a very serious predicament, very serious.=
What do you have in such a case? "A few more years and everything is dead.=
" It doesn't make any difference what the drama is, what you manage to get =
"on" during that time.
There have been some who have been wide awake while they appeared in the "d=
ream." Subtly, by not supporting the dream, they awakened others. The signi=
ficance of the work of the man of understanding is not in anything he does =
within the dream. He simply does not support it. He does not live as it. He=
does not believe it. He does not take it seriously. Apparently, he can fee=
l and act in any way he pleases. He persists in the common or ordinary way.=
But he does not support the dream. He does not live from its point of view=
. He does not live its structure to others. He does not live this contracti=
on to others, this avoidance of relationship, this separate self sense. Sim=
ply because he lives this way, others tend to become awake. But while they =
are awakening, they persist in dreaming to various degrees. Forms of the dr=
eam persist. The search persists. Often, they get a little distance from it=
, it seems to break up at times, seems to disappear. It becomes vague, it b=
ecomes uninteresting, it becomes unserious, it becomes serious again. They =
play.
You are just beginning to wake up. Satsang is the dream wherein the man of =
understanding appears. Now it is as if you are beginning to wake up in your=
room. You are in bed, and it is morning. There are a few things you begin =
to notice which indicate that you are in another state. Those who are wakin=
g in Truth begin to notice something. They begin to recognize the "signs." =
They begin to recognize the activity of dreaming. They begin to sense somet=
hing very odd about the man of understanding, the Guru. Prior to their actu=
al awakening, the Guru appears as all kinds of things to them. He suggests =
all kinds of fantastic things. All the things they can imagine while they d=
ream, everything unbelievable is what they think the Guru is. He may appear=
to be extraordinary, a doer of famous things. He may appear playfully as t=
hat. But he is simply awake. Nothing is happening. Nothing has been accompl=
ished. All he has been is awake.
The Guru is like the sunlight in the morning. He intensifies the light of m=
orning until you awaken. Until the light awakens a man, even the true light=
of consciousness, he continues to dream, he tries to survive within the dr=
eam, manipulates himself within the dream, pursues all kinds of goals, sear=
ches, none of which awaken him. All ordinary means only console a man and d=
istract him within the dream. The Guru, the one who would awaken you, is no=
t a person, he is not an individual within the dream. He is your very consc=
iousness. He is the Real, the Self, he is the Light, he is the true waking =
state, the Heart, breaking through the force of dreaming. So it is not that=
you are some poor guy who needs some other poor guy to help him out. It ma=
y appear that way within the dream, but essentially it is your own nature a=
ppearing within the dream to awaken you. The Guru is your awakening, and yo=
ur always already conscious state.
Even while dreaming, you may experience suggestions of waking. You may beco=
me momentarily aware of the body, momentarily aware of lying in bed. For a =
moment, the images may stop. Just so, the Guru within the world is truly yo=
ur own real consciousness. The person of the Guru in the world is like an i=
mage in a dream. But, in fact, he is more like your own moments of wakening=
awareness that move you into the waking state. He is not some separateness=
, some individual. He is very consciousness, the Real.
No images. Images, blackness, brightness, all these things are appearances =
to consciousness. They are objects. Nothing needs to happen to them for con=
sciousness itself to exist. Nothing needs to happen within the dream to ver=
ify waking. Waking is its own fullness. While awake, anything can appear. W=
aking is the foundation of this world-appearance, it is its support. It is =
its very nature. Real consciousness is not antagonistic to this world or to=
any form within it. It is the Truth of all appearance, disappearance or no=
n-appearance. Even when it is enjoyed, human life continues. Perhaps it is =
enjoyed even more. It is used. It becomes functional to an extraordinary de=
gree.
The usual man barely functions at all. A couple of good days a month. The r=
est of the time he is healing or exploiting himself, he is trying to get st=
raight, he is trying to work, he is trying to get with it. Every now and th=
en a little clarity, where he just stands up, walks across the room, opens =
the door, and goes outside. The rest of the month, dreaming and thinking, w=
hen just to walk across the room is part of an enormous search, an unkind a=
dventure, an approach to victory against odds. But all he is doing is simpl=
e things, simple functions.
One who understands, who is awake, functions very well under the conditions=
that appear. Those conditions may be forms of this waking world, or they c=
an be subtle forms, subtle worlds, any of the possible forms. Under all con=
ditions, understanding is appropriate. There is no experience, no state tha=
t is itself identical to Truth. Just so, the Truth is not different from an=
y experience or state. It is the Truth of all of that.
The Guru is a kind of irritation to his friends. You cant sleep with a dog =
barking in your ear, at least most people cant. There is some sort of noise=
to which everyone is sensitive, and it will keep them awake. The Guru is a=
constant wakening sound. He is always annoying people with this demand to =
stay awake, to wake up. He doesn't seduce them within the dream. He doesn't=
exploit their seeking. He is always offending their search and their prefe=
rence for unconsciousness. He shows no interest in all of that. He puts it =
down. He is always doing something prior to the mind. He always acts to ret=
urn you from the mind, from fascination.
The Guru is not what the dreamer thinks he is. The dreamer thinks the Guru =
must look certain ways, say and do certain things, have certain magic power=
s, produce certain magic effects. The dreamer associates all kinds of glori=
ous and magical things with the Guru. But the Guru is always performing the=
awakening act, putting an end to the dream. Therefore, he doesn't satisfy =
the seeker. Those that come to be satisfied are offended, they are not sati=
sfied. They feel empty, they don't feel their questions have been answered,=
they don't feel they have been shown the way. They came for some thing.
Within the dream, the dreamer is always being satisfied by the Guru. He cli=
mbs up on the top of the mountain, and the Guru is sitting in a cave. The G=
uru hands him a little silver box. When he opens the box, there is a blue d=
iamond in it. He takes it out and swallows it. Then his body explodes into =
a million suns, and he shoots off into the universe! But the Guru does not =
function in that way. He isn't noticed by someone who is seeking for such s=
atisfaction, who is looking for the "signs" of the Guru, who is "hunting" t=
he Guru. The Guru doesn't assume any particular visibility that can be coun=
ted on. He is likely to remain unnoticed. People are likely to be offended =
if they don't feel any force, any energy in the presence of one who is supp=
osed to be Guru. They tend not to notice or value someone who is simply awa=
ke. They are looking for the guy who has the blue and yellow light over his=
head. All of this, until they become dissatisfied with the search. When th=
ey stop being sensitive to their own search, they begin to feel simply desp=
erate. Then all that is left is this contraction I have often described. Wh=
en the search begins to wind down, and a man begins to realize he is suffer=
ing, then he becomes sensitive to the presence of one who is awake. He beco=
mes attentive to the subtle nature of one who is awake.
It is stated in the traditional writings that, of all the things a man can=
do to realize his freedom, the best thing he can do, the highest thing he =
can do is spend his time in the company of one who is awake. That is Satsan=
g, living in relationship to the Guru and the company of his friends. All o=
ther activities are secondary. And Satsang is not a method, not an exercise=
or meditative technique a man applies to himself. It is simply the natural=
and appropriate condition. It is Reality. It is itself Truth or enlightenm=
ent. There are no other means given to disciples.
There is nothing that a man can do to save himself, to become enlightened, =
to become realized. Nothing whatsoever. If there were something, I would te=
ll you, but there is nothing. This is because a man always approaches the T=
ruth from the point of view of the search. He seeks the Truth. But the sear=
ch is itself a reaction to the dilemma, an expression of this separation, t=
his avoidance of relationship. So none of this seeking, nothing he can do b=
ecomes or attains the Truth.
All the means of transformation belong to the Truth itself, to the Guru, th=
e Heart. Therefore, Satsang is itself the only sadhana, the only true spiri=
tual practice. Living, working, sitting with the Guru is sadhana. It is med=
itation. It is realization.
To enjoy Truth is simply to be awake. Someone asked Gautama Buddha, "What i=
s the difference between you and other men?" and he said, "I am awake." I h=
ave often used the contrast between the waking and dreaming state to symbol=
ize the difference between radical understanding and all the forms of seeki=
ng. All attainments, all forms of cognition, all forms of mind, however sub=
lime, belong within the "dream." When extraordinary and even miraculous con=
ditions are actually enjoyed or experienced, they reveal themselves to be e=
ssentially of the same nature as the ordinary experience of suffering that =
provoked the search to begin with. In my own case, there is no consolation =
in samadhis or trance states, no consolation in visions, no consolation in =
going to other worlds, no consolation in any realization that could be atta=
ined. At last, even the subtle force of re-cognition itself dissolves, that=
whole process which I have described as enquiry in the form "Avoiding Rela=
tionship?" comes to an end in Truth itself. Even its spontaneous form, its =
true form, its utterly useful and intelligent form, dissolves in its own en=
joyment. When understanding is perfect, it becomes obvious that all that ha=
s occurred, that has ever occurred, has been a modification of your own con=
sciousness. This whole thing that has been upsetting you, all this movement=
, all this seeking, all this attainment, this whole revolutionary path of s=
piritual life has been a modification of your own state. Even this attainme=
nt, this knowledge, this jnana is a modification of your own state. There i=
s a conscious instant in which it becomes obvious that this is so. And that=
is, if we can still apply any name or significance to it whatsoever, radic=
al understanding. It is absolutely nothing.
But the yogi, whose spiritual principle is the search, is involved in fanta=
stic dramas of experience. He has all kinds of things to do to himself, wit=
h himself, and around himself, with his body and mind, with all his ornamen=
ts, his beads and suffering, his extremes of fasting and limited feeding, c=
oncentration and breathing, mantras, the whole endless number of reading, s=
tudying, thinking and motivated meditating, of controlling time, life, visi=
ons and lights and sounds. The yogi-ascetic has a fantastic, a fantasticall=
y distracting, a fascinating life! It is a great, great adventure. Even the=
jnani, the philosophical ascetic, the man of Self-knowledge, is absorbed i=
n a "fascinating" life of silence, of peace, of formless blissfulness, of w=
aking sleep. He is absorbed in his own phenomena. But for one who has under=
stood, there is no drama. He has nothing with which to fascinate people. No=
sign, no act, no word, no costume can represent it. No closing of the eyes=
, no blissful smiles, no shuddering, no reports of visions, nothing is usef=
ul any longer to keep his disciples interested from day to day. Nothing is =
happening anymore. He has become an ordinary man. The only forceful communi=
cation is that which he can no longer communicate by any means , neither by=
purposive silence nor by speech.
Truth does not specially appear under the form of anything extraordinary or=
fascinating. It is the most subtle communication, the most absolute commun=
ication, the most obvious communication, and its only condition is the obvi=
ous. The condition of relationship, the condition of Satsang or relationshi=
p to Guru, even relationship itself already exists as your condition. What =
has to be added for that to take place? Nothing! Our true condition is expr=
essed in every ordinary or present situation. All that is required is relat=
ionship itself, Satsang itself, the condition that is always already the ca=
se.
DEVOTEE: Will you say something more about the state of turning around when=
we re-cognize our consciousness? I think you once spoke about an intuitive=
feeling of something prior to our state.
FRANKLIN: What is re-cognized is not Reality. What is re-cognized is your a=
ctivity. Pick up an apple, then put it down. You can see yourself doing tha=
t. The seeing doesn't involve anything apparently extraordinary. You can al=
so "catch" yourself thinking certain thoughts. The re-cognition of which I =
speak is that kind of thing. It is to see yourself, but in the most intelli=
gent way, the most direct, the most all-inclusive way.
Of course, people already, intuitively, live in Reality, as the "Self," as =
the "Heart," as "real consciousness." They already do that. That is why all=
of you can sit here in various limited conditions, but none of you is scre=
aming in fear. The implications of all that is ordinarily being done in con=
sciousness are not presently suffered. It takes some profound event to awak=
en the latent sense of fear. Understanding is very Reality, what is always =
already the case, clarifying itself, enforcing itself. Reality is the prese=
nt impulse, it is always the present movement, but, temporarily, it appears=
under the form of the search, then of weariness from the search, then of r=
eal insight, of understanding, of real enquiry, until it appears under no f=
orm at all apart from the simple spontaneous, obvious re-cognition of all t=
hat arises. Where the present activity is re-cognized, where the avoidance =
of relationship is known again, the natural or ordinary state is already Re=
ality.
It is not Reality that is being cognized or found. It is separative activit=
y that is being found, re-cognized, known again. When present activity is k=
nown again, then what it is always removing from consciousness stands out. =
And in the perfect form of that re-cognition everything is obvious. No dile=
mma. There is no longer the sense of a separate one in trouble, suffering, =
needing to survive, needing an attainment for its happiness. There is no id=
entification with subjectivity, either as separate "I" or an ego, or as the=
whole display of internal life. Then all that you had piddled around with =
for years, thinking it to be your own consciousness, all of this subjective=
mind, pattern of brain-waves, psycho-physical drama of impulses and shapes=
, becomes obvious in Reality. Then only the very force or conscious intensi=
ty that is Reality stands out, utterly free of all that arises, and yet not=
distinguishable over against any thing or state that arises. Then consciou=
sness is lifted out of that image of barriers created by skull and skin. Ps=
ycho-physical existence no longer serves to create the image of the limited=
and necessary form of consciousness. As Ramana Maharshi said, the body-ide=
a is the root of suffering, the I-am-the-body idea is the original limitati=
on. This "idea" disappears in one who understands. Where there is understan=
ding, the limited identification of consciousness, as the separate body or =
separate self, dissolves spontaneously, not as a result of anything being d=
one to it, but by virtue of the spontaneous, prior enjoyment of that in whi=
ch it arises.
The seeker is always trying to do something to his separate self. First he =
is just exploiting it, enjoying the strategies of life-games, until he begi=
ns to break down a little bit, in despair of his ordinary destiny. Then he =
begins to turn towards "spiritual" life, or to some sort of remedy, but eve=
n then he is always trying to do something to this separate and personal st=
ate, to get rid of his suffering, to make his mind quiet, to get "one" with=
something, to get free, to get out of this THING. That is the point of vie=
w of the seeker. He is always only modifying that original sensation, tryin=
g to get rid of it with deep relaxing sighs, all the efforts of pleasure an=
d transcendence, but always he comes back to it again. Because he is always=
working from the original point of view that is his suffering. His dilemma=
is his self-image and the separative principle of his action. The seeker o=
nly plays with his original limitations, until the game begins to lose its =
ability to distract and entertain him. Then the energy he formerly had for =
seeking begins to dissipate, and he falls into his actual state, which is s=
uffering, this separateness. Hopefully, at this point he also moves into as=
sociation with a man of understanding, a true Guru, and begins the life of =
Satsang, of Truth. In such case the Truth is lived to him, and he lives it =
as his condition. Gradually, he becomes less and less involved with the suf=
fering and seeking images of himself. He becomes less concerned with the us=
ual process of his life. He is doing less and less about it. He is trying l=
ess and less to get free, to get realized, to get to God, liberation and pl=
easant sensation. He is not trying to stop doing all of that. It just begin=
s to wear down, while he lives the conditions given by his Guru. He simply =
notices it. He ceases to be occupied with it, because the Truth is being li=
ved to him. It is being lived as him, by the grace of the Guru. That enjoym=
ent which does not support separation and seeking is the ground of his true=
understanding. It replaces the ordinary operating basis of his life. He si=
mply forgets his adventure of suffering, that's all. Another intensity, the=
Power of Satsang, distracts him until he realizes that it is not truly out=
side of him. Therefore, Truth is not a matter of doing something to this eg=
o, this separate sense, this identification with the body, or anything else=
. It is a matter of living the Truth, and Truth obviates what is not Truth.
At first, it is essentially the Guru who lives the intensity and generates =
the conditions of spiritual life in relationship to one who approaches him.=
But, over time, these responsibilities are passed over to anyone who becom=
es a genuine disciple. The intensity that is Reality comes on the individua=
l first as a sense of presence, perhaps, or of subjective energies and sens=
ations, various "spiritual" experiences. But then the process begins to ass=
ume the more genuine qualities of consciousness, the intuition of Reality, =
the power of understanding. Finally, present existence becomes both force a=
nd consciousness, a single intensity, which is Reality.
One of the oddities of teaching in this time and place is that people arriv=
e already committed to some form of madness. Because there has been so much=
of the search, people don't arrive simply suffering, knowing full well the=
y are only suffering, regardless of what kind of a good time they had last =
weekend. They don't come even in this condition of mortal sensitivity. Now =
there is very little of the simplicity that you read about in the Bible and=
other Scriptures. This time and place is unlike the "old days" in Israel o=
r India. Now people come committed to the search. They come to defend it, t=
o make arguments about it, to get angry about it, to feel displeased about =
the criticism of it, to resist the Guru, to "hunt" the Guru, to offend, fig=
ht and blame the Guru. There has been some element of this always, but it i=
s a peculiar quality of this time and place that people come to defend thei=
r search. What must be demanded of them is the understanding of their searc=
h. Their search is always offended by the word and life of the man of under=
standing.
DEVOTEE: What are we seeking?
FRANKLIN: Listen. There is a dilemma. Hm? Is there a dilemma? There is no d=
ilemma? When you walk out of the door of the Ashram, and the usual activity=
resumes, there may seem to be a dilemma, but is there a dilemma? There is =
no dilemma. There is only the sensation, the appearance, the assumption of =
dilemma. If you understand it, you understand in this moment that it has no=
existence. It does not exist. In that case, the question about how the dil=
emma comes about is unnecessary and itself untrue, because, as soon as you =
look for the dilemma, it has no substance. But some of us continue the assu=
mption of dilemma and suffering. And the assumption is your own activity. A=
t the same moment in which we assume there is suffering, dilemma, that our =
search is appropriate, the dilemma is not discoverable. In fact there is on=
ly "this," there is only the obvious, only the event itself, prior to dilem=
ma or "experience."
The dilemma never arises. As soon as you begin to feel it, if you examine i=
t, you realize it has not occurred. It has no substance. If it is something=
that has no substance, no existence, how can we be in it? If you understan=
d, there is no dilemma. If you do not understand, there appears to be a dil=
emma. But as soon as you ask yourself about it, as soon as you enquire into=
it, as soon as you examine it, you realize it does not exist. The seeker g=
oes on reinforcing his assumption, but that does not mean the dilemma exist=
s. If it existed, there would be something we could do about it. It would b=
e substantial, it would be different from something else. It would have som=
e kind of cognizable shape, limitation, dimension, consequence. Then ordina=
ry "magic" and "yoga" would be appropriate, seeking would be appropriate. B=
ut as soon as you examine it directly, you cannot find it. You can only ass=
ume it, but you cannot find it. Therefore, since it cannot be found, since =
dilemma does not exist, the search is not appropriate. The search is only w=
hat we do when we assume the dilemma to be the case. As soon as you underst=
and the assumption, the search falls away.
DEVOTEE: I've found that the dilemma often manifests in a number of differe=
nt sensations. The external level that creates them is not real. But the re=
action feels real. Would you explain this?
FRANKLIN: Why do you assume that your internal reaction is more real than t=
he external forces to which you react? What you are saying is that your ass=
umption of dilemma or suffering is real in any case, even if external or co=
nditional circumstances do not justify it! This assumption you want to make=
about your own contraction is the assumption that I have been talking abou=
t. It is your assumption, isn't it?
DEVOTEE: Well yes, the assumption is a mental thing, but the sensation is s=
omething else.
FRANKLIN: On the mental level there is an assumption, but can you distingui=
sh it radically from what you call the "sensation"? It is all one process, =
and that whole process is what I mean by the assumption. If you put your ha=
nd in a fire, and then draw it away in reaction to the heat, haven't you as=
sumed it to be hot? Haven't you acted as if it were hot? You may think abou=
t it afterwards, and say it was hot, but whether you think about it or not =
in that instant in the fire, there is this response, this reaction. Thought=
s are of the same nature as pain, or any other reaction. All personal event=
s are forms of contraction. They all have the same quality, the same struct=
ure.
Withdrawing of your hand because the fire is hot is of the same nature as t=
hinking that the fire is hot before or after you touch it. It is just as mu=
ch an "assumption" in other words. To assume something is to suppose, act o=
r react as if it were so. It doesn't require thinking. Thinking is not the =
only form of assumption, of supposing. We suppose on all kinds of levels. O=
ur affirmations about things are not simply mental. There are mental assump=
tions, there are physical ones, there are vital ones, there are mechanical =
ones, subconscious and unconscious. The mental or the conceptual assumption=
is one form of it, but there are many forms. And the mental doesn't exist =
in isolation.
Would you please clarify what you mean by "dilemma"?
FRANKLIN: We have been speaking about it in the same sense that it was used=
in The Knee of Listening . All forms of seeking, all pursuit, all searches=
for the goal, all yoga, all spiritual processes that pursue an attainment =
of some sort are responses to a felt dilemma, however we may categorize it,=
however it may appear at any moment. The dictionary definition of dilemma =
is "two assumptions," an impasse, a predicament, a living state or conditio=
n of contradiction.
The root of the search is something prior to the seeking itself. The seekin=
g does nothing to its own motivation. The seeking simply fulfills its parti=
cular desire. Its function is not to modify its own motivation, its source,=
its root, the dilemma itself. A search can never exceed its own motivation=
, its fundamental assumption, which is dilemma. Therefore, we have spoken o=
f spiritual life in terms of the re-cognition or knowing again of motivatin=
g dilemma or suffering rather than the pursuit of attainments. We have talk=
ed about spiritual life or real life, conscious life, as the spontaneous re=
-cognition, the radical understanding of this motivation, this suffering th=
at is prior to our seeking. Traditionally, spiritual life has been oriented=
to the search and to the realization of the goals of seeking.
DEVOTEE: When you speak of "relationship," do you mean relationship to ones=
elf or to another?
FRANKLIN: All forms of it. Relationship itself, as the essential condition.=
What we have called dilemma here is this sensation, this motivating sense,=
this assumption, this feeling of contradiction, this experience which impl=
ies and reflects something that has already occurred, which is the avoidanc=
e of relationship, this contraction, this separation. The avoidance of rela=
tionship is that root-activity that has always already taken place, prior t=
o the search. And we feel it as the dilemma, this subtle sensation, a knot =
in the stomach, the drive, the movement, the motivation that creates and ne=
cessitates our seeking. Where the avoidance of relationship has not occurre=
d, where there is only relationship, there aren't any of these knots, these=
motivating reactions.
Apart from understanding, it is certainly true, we do experience and react =
to the knots of contradiction. The "assumed" forms of suffering are experie=
nced, they are appearances, they are conditions in which we must somehow li=
ve and survive. If you have some sort of subtle aggravation, fear, anxiety,=
anger, you feel the knots here and there. And you go about your search on =
that basis. You seek to be free of the sensation of the knots. But in spite=
of all the things that you do, nothing is done to the original state to wh=
ich you are always responding. As a result, you begin to assume more and mo=
re that this state you feel you are in is actual, that it is your real cond=
ition. You become more and more convinced that your search is appropriate. =
And so you become less and less intelligent about the present motivation of=
your life. You become more and more involved in this pattern of always doi=
ng something about it. You always and only react to the dilemma as if it we=
re your fundamental condition. The great seekers are those who make the mos=
t dramatic attempts to "do something about it," perfectly, absolutely.
Now all the forms of seeking that take the dilemma seriously, and "assume" =
it as the essential fact of life, are of the same nature. This prior contra=
diction is what they assume, this avoidance of relationship. The dilemma, t=
he "knot" is the foundation of the search. It is the actual "Lord" of your =
yoga. Dilemma is the yogi! Simply to do some mentalizing, some philosophizi=
ng, some relaxing yoga, doesn't do anything to all of that. Only understand=
ing obviates the search and its root. Understanding is consciousness, the a=
ctivity of consciousness, the life of consciousness, the force of conscious=
ness, living, awakening, existing, prior to this assumption of dilemma. The=
only thing already free of the dilemma in consciousness is that which is v=
ery consciousness itself.
The whole reaction to subtle aggravation has shown itself to be fruitless. =
When it has been followed to its end, when you have taken the whole course =
and gotten all the lessons, when you have done all the usual meditations an=
d have gone through all the experiences, when you have read all the books, =
this dilemma is still it. At the very best, the search itself begins to bre=
ak down. Then, gradually, the dilemma ceases to be reinforced by any second=
ary activity. Then the force of life's awareness falls into this dilemma, i=
t becomes only this, it is no longer doing anything about this, nothing. It=
is not even trying to analyze the dilemma, so that it will come to an end.=
No thing is being done. Consciousness, for the time being, becomes identic=
al to dilemma. When the search falls away in natural frustration, conscious=
ness becomes this dilemma. In other words, it is doing nothing else, nothin=
g apart from this. This is the profound stage of spiritual practice when, w=
hile holding on to the teaching, or to the Guru himself, the crisis of cons=
ciousness is endured. Then there is the re-cognition of the dilemma, and on=
ly consciousness, or that very Reality which appears otherwise isolated as =
consciousness, stands out.
The dilemma, like the search, is ultimately re-cognized to be your own acti=
vity, your always present, chronic activity. It is the structure and motiva=
tion of the usual drama of every life. When there is that re-cognition, the=
re is understanding. Prior to that radical crisis, all the things that you =
may consider to be understanding are only secondary approaches, secondary e=
xperiences, in which the dilemma has already been assumed.
DEVOTEE: How does this relate to the different levels of consciousness?
FRANKLIN: There are no levels. Temporarily, we consider there to be all of =
these structures within our being. We assume there to be barriers, separati=
ons, forms that we are, forms that we are not, activities that are ours, ac=
tivities that are not ours, separate functions in our selves like boxes and=
drawers, functions here, functions here, functions here, different pieces =
of ourselves. But there is only one, single intensity that is. It is our na=
ture. It is all things. There is only this intensity. It has no form, no di=
vision, no separation, no me, no this, no that, no inside, no outside. No s=
uggestion of division arises in real consciousness, even where all worlds a=
ppear. Therefore, understanding is an absolute, radical event. It is not so=
me remedial event, some cure. It is not identical to some thought or cognit=
ion, some feeling, some symbol, some vision, some suggestion, some belief, =
some sensation. Those are all forms of experience and, therefore, they are =
secondary. They are all forms of the dilemma.
How could a person seriously exist for one moment consciously thinking that=
he has a thought level, and a feeling level, a this level and a that level=
, all kinds of separate "bodies," functions and the rest? How could you exi=
st for one moment really considering that to be your present and ongoing co=
ndition? You would go insane! Indeed, such a picture of life is insanity. I=
n such a case, you are already shattered. Then you are imagining yourself t=
o be a whole bunch of little things with no fundamental existence, no funct=
ional or prior Self-nature, no force. But in fact you do not assume that. Y=
ou do not fundamentally assume there are these levels, pieces. All of that =
is only many words, but the mind is one. Every living being intuitively ass=
umes only his real nature, the power of Reality. Therefore, we are able to =
witness the massive complexity of ordinary life, but, ordinarily, we remain=
relatively calm and capable of functioning. This is not because we are par=
ticularly wise, but because we do not really live as if division, multiplic=
ity and death were already our condition. Fundamentally, already, this unit=
y, this singleness, this force, this intensity, this consciousness, this Re=
ality that is our nature is also our present enjoyment. This is so at the r=
udimentary level of primitive intuition, and it must be so if functional li=
fe is to continue.
If we did begin seriously to assume separateness, multiplicity, and divisio=
n in consciousness, we would go insane. Indeed, that assumption has taken p=
lace in rudimentary, functional life in those whom we call insane. They hav=
e become relatively incapable of intuiting their own nature. The ordinary m=
an has just become incapable of conceptualizing it, of experiencing and gen=
erating life consciously from that point of view. But, intuitively, the sam=
e man remains always and already in the force of his true nature. He assume=
s, most fundamentally, this simplicity, this intensity, this singleness, th=
is non-separation. One whom we might call an enlightened man, a realized ma=
n, is one who not only intuitively assumes the condition of Reality, but wh=
o lives it consciously. He lives without any doubt whatsoever regarding thi=
s ultimate simplicity, the obviousness of moment to moment existence.
Until it is lived consciously, our ordinary state appears as a mystery, a s=
ubtle dilemma, and a motivated search. Intuitively, every being always, alr=
eady lives as the Self, the Heart, the force of Reality, but, in the functi=
ons of ordinary consciousness, there is the appearance of particularity, of=
multiplicity, of separation. All of this appears to run counter to our int=
uitive assumption. The appearance, the quality of rising experience, tends =
to inform our intuition. This "information" tends to become our assumed con=
dition. And this assumption corrupts and ultimately superimposes itself on =
the force of intuition. It does so by reinforcing the process of identifica=
tion or "ego" (the stream of self-cognition), differentiation or mind (the =
stream of thoughts), and desire (the stream of motivations, the endless mov=
ement toward contact, connection, union, and temporary loss of the sense of=
separate existence).
The ordinary man, the "sane" man, passes into the force of his own intuited=
nature during sleep. But during the time of waking, and even in dreams, he=
carries on his search, this movement within the assumed dilemma of experie=
nce. Such is the pattern of his life, until there is radical re-cognition o=
r knowing again of his essential activity. Whenever that re-cognition takes=
place, he not only intuits his own nature in the subtle depths, but it bec=
omes obvious in every condition of conscious life that there is, in reality=
, no separation, no actual identity with the states of birth and death. The=
re is not, in that moment, even the slightest impulse to believe the implic=
ations of ordinary experience. The force of the Self, of the Heart, overwhe=
lms the qualities of experience and consumes them. The Self or unqualified =
Reality is the foundation of all experience. What the ordinary sane man int=
uits without consciousness is already his nature, it is already Reality. Bu=
t in the man of understanding, it is obvious, it is apparent, it is conscio=
us. For him it is always, only, and already obvious, and he need not go thr=
ough any sophisticated mental operations for it to be so. It depends on not=
hing. It is just as obvious as ordinary perception is to the usual man.
When you are dreaming, you take the dream very seriously. You assume your r=
ole within it, your drama within it. You respond to the condition that seem=
s to be so, whatever the particular circumstances of the dream. If the gori=
lla is chasing you up the beach, you feel all the threat. All the emotions =
become involved, all of your strategies of survival, or non-survival, becom=
e involved. If it is a sweet, enjoyable, astral sort of dream, with all kin=
ds of friends and voices and colors and movements, you assume that to be so=
. You float around in it. You take it seriously. You assume it to be so. Yo=
u assume it because you have no other point of view from which to enjoy or =
suffer the dream except that of the dreamer. But when you wake up in the mo=
rning, the gorilla that was just about to bite off your head loses all sign=
ificance. All of the implications of that are already undone in one who is =
awake. It no longer has any real significance, it no longer has any implica=
tion for life. It no longer is a genuine threat to life. It no longer is an=
ything except that appearance. And the only difference is that you are awak=
e. Nothing has been done to the dream itself. You have only awakened, and t=
herefore the dream is obviously not your condition.
Understanding is very much this same kind of thing. Understanding is to the=
waking state what the waking state is to the dream. In the ordinary waking=
state you assume all conditions to be so: my life, my symptoms, my knot in=
my stomach, my headaches, my fear, my everything else, my circumstances, m=
y poverty, my need to do this and that, my death, the news, the war, and al=
l that appears in life, we all take it very seriously. Here we are, in this=
spiritual place, this Ashram. We are very seriously here to get out of all=
of this. Everyone has come here very seriously for this very serious spiri=
tual purpose. Now since you have come here for such a purpose, if I were to=
tell you to go home and recite "harry-umpty-ump," concentrate on the inner=
green light, or believe in Master Gumbo, what would I be doing? I would be=
offering you an alternative within the dream itself. I would be asking you=
to remain within the condition of dreams. I would only be telling you to d=
ream another kind of dream. "Don't worry about your headaches." "Recite the=
mantra all the time." I would simply be exploiting the dream itself, which=
in this case is the ordinary waking state. I would be recommending experie=
nce to you as the path of Truth. But all of that is more of the same thing.=
It is only another condition for you to take seriously and assume to be yo=
ur own.
Understanding is not a form of philosophy. It is not a method. It is not so=
mething within the "dream" itself. It is like the waking state as opposed t=
o the dream. The man of understanding, the true Guru, the Heart, is radical=
ly conscious, real, alive, free by his very nature from the implications of=
the ordinary waking state, of all states. But the ordinary yogi, the usual=
teacher, the philosopher, is a role within the "dream" of waking. He opera=
tes from its point of view. He is identified with it, suffering or happy wi=
thin it. His dilemma is there. His realization, however extraordinary it ma=
y appear, is an artifice whose roots are in the condition or point of view =
of the "dream." He is only recommending some distraction to you, some occup=
ation, some solution within the "dream" itself. But the Heart, understandin=
g, is simply awake. Understanding is the true waking state, the Self, Reali=
ty. It has no philosophy, no subtle vision, no peculiar state associated wi=
th it. Like one in a dream, one who understands is not presently affected b=
y the waking state. But, unlike one who dreams or appears within a dream, h=
e is always, already, consciously free.
The waking state is simply a radically different condition from the dream. =
That is why you feel free of the dream upon waking. The Guru appears in the=
midst of the dreams of ordinary waking life like sunlight in the morning. =
When you are still dreaming, still asleep, the sun comes up. It gets bright=
er and brighter, and the light comes into the room. At last, the light, the=
day itself becomes sufficient to wake you, and then, all of a sudden, you =
are not dreaming, and everything is all right. The Guru is simply that sunl=
ight process, that intensification, rising on you always, without any other=
special activity. His relationship to you, your condition of relationship =
to him, just that relationship is sufficient. There is only sunlight on the=
pillow until that intensity is sufficient to wake you up. It is the kiss o=
f the Prince and Sleeping Beauty. Such is understanding.
But the teachings that are generated in the great search are all exploitati=
ons of your dream-state. They take it seriously, they assume it to be the p=
resent condition, even if it is regarded to be only temporary. And that is =
the fundamental error of all traditional and remedial paths. They are all g=
enerated from the point of view of your suffering. They serve your sufferin=
g, and they reinforce it in spite of themselves. Therefore, to the seeker, =
to the man suffering in dreams, the teachings of the ordinary yogis and phi=
losophers seem very hopeful. They seem to represent something very desirabl=
e.
You are running down the beach away from the gorilla. Now, suddenly, there =
is a guy sitting outside a hut next to a pool of blue water. He has long ha=
ir, and he bears all the great signs of an ascetic. He says, "Just sit down=
here. Very quickly now, because the gorilla is not too far away. Breathe v=
ery deep and concentrate between the two halves of your brain." He hasn't c=
hanged your essential condition, but he has distracted you. The form of exp=
erience that he has stimulated in you by the force and influence of his per=
sonality certainly appears to be desirable over against being devoured by t=
he gorilla. But, at last, it is simply a distraction within the dream. It i=
s another form of the dream. It is an event within the dream. All of the se=
arches that men are involved with are attempts to forget the gorilla. And t=
hat is their highest attainment. When you have perfectly forgotten the gori=
lla, all of a sudden you are smiling again. You feel fantastic! There is no=
gorilla! There is? No, nothing! People assume that the consolations and ex=
changes or transformations of state generated by seeking are pleasure, crea=
tivity, freedom, realization, liberation, God-Union and nirvana. But do you=
see how all such attainments relate to suffering itself?
The gorilla is what is going on for men. It is death. Are you interested in=
that? Hm? It doesn't make any difference what you do for the next thirty y=
ears, if you have that long, you are just going to go back to zero. Some of=
us were looking at a book this morning called How to Face Death , or somet=
hing like that. How absurd, this notion of facing or confronting death. The=
first thing you lose in death is face! That is why the peculiar forms of m=
orality in the Orient are largely based on the "saving of face." Loss of fa=
ce is loss of life, loss of real existence. Well, that is what happens in t=
he terminal psycho-physical event we call death. That is what death is all =
about. How can you face it? Everything you do to face it, everything you do=
to prevent the gorilla, has no ultimate effect on the gorilla. All seeking=
is simply your distraction, your make-up, your false face, your fascinatio=
n, but Zap! the gorilla gets you every time. Everybody dies. Everybody who =
has ever lived has died. There are billions and billions of human beings wh=
o have died. Multiples of billions of other entities or creatures die every=
moment, even as a by-product of your breathing. All these breathings disin=
tegrate billions of tiny entities in organic fires. There is no righteousne=
ss, no non-killing. The death by slaughter, the consumption and literal tra=
nsformation of apparently separate entities is going on all the time. There=
is no escape from death. There is no sanctity in vegetables, nor even free=
dom for those who reduce cattle to sandwiches. The entire cosmos is a conti=
nuous sacrifice in which all things, all beings are ritual food. At best, t=
he search can only modify the apparent circumstances of our death. The ordi=
nary yogi or the religious man may at last manage to forget the gorilla. He=
may think he is looking at the blue of Krishna or the white of Jesus, unti=
l he loses face. Until the sudden zero, he is looking at Krishna or the Chr=
ist. He is only consoled, only distracted. His realization and his death ar=
e kneeling in one another.
There is no philosophy whose force is stronger than the force of death. The=
philosophies by which men counter or react to death are opposite, and at b=
est equal to the power of death. Therefore, it is possible to be consoled a=
nd distracted, but nothing greater is attained by those who react to death,=
who make adventure in relation to the gorilla. There is no philosophy, no =
vision, no attainment, no success that will make death a literal delight, t=
hat will make it anything less than it appears to be within the dream itsel=
f. But if a man simply awakens from the dream, then, as the waking state is=
already free of the "awful" that appears in dreams, he is already free of =
the implications of the billions upon billions of deaths that can be dreame=
d. The man of understanding is simply a man who is awake. He has no other s=
pecific and necessary peculiarities. He is not elaborate at all. It is the =
guy within the dream who is very complex, because he has so many things to =
do. But the guy who is simply awake is simply awake. He is "straight." He i=
s the waking sunlight, the very Light of Truth, but he appears within the d=
ream of men as an ordinary man. He may seem extraordinary and a paradox to =
the dreamer, because the dreamer is very serious about all of this, but the=
guy who is only awake is not serious about it anymore. He does not fundame=
ntally assume the condition of the dream as his limitation.
The guy in the dream is waiting. It is going to happen any day now, either =
Jesus is coming, or the quake is coming, one or the other. Or the war, or t=
he bomb, it is all coming. And you have got to prepare for it, boys and gir=
ls! But this guy who is just awake slowly sips a cup of sweeted herbs. Ever=
ybody else is phewww! hitting the mantra, sucking dope, trusting God. But t=
his guy is unreasonable. He just doesn't care. There is no sign in him of a=
ny seriousness about this whole problem. For the seeker, life itself manife=
sts as a problem, a fundamental dilemma. For the man of understanding there=
is no fundamental dilemma.
Only the condition of genuine waking is truly and radically free of the con=
dition in the dream. But that true waking condition is not the thing that i=
s attained by any of the means generated in the dream, the search. And the =
means designed within the "dream-state" are often magnificent, extremely el=
aborate. They are created by practical necessity, and so they are very comp=
lex, very elaborate. They take many, many factors into account. Traditional=
religion and spirituality, yoga, magic, occultism and mysticism, not to me=
ntion all the "sciences" in life, the life strategies and remedies, are all=
highly complex, and often very successful in relieving the symptoms or dis=
-ease of unconscious life. And the methods and artifices of seeking fascina=
te those who are simply suffering. Everybody is looking for "the man," look=
ing for the gift, the revelation, the satisfaction, the "head" or "fix" tha=
t distracts the best. Everybody is willing to pay money for what is not bre=
ad. They are not truly looking to be sustained. They do not require Truth. =
They only desire to forget or escape the gorilla. But the Guru is not such =
a "man." The man of understanding lives only Truth to men.
I have talked about the relationship between the man of understanding and h=
is friends as being the essence, the fundamental condition that is sadhana =
or real spiritual practice. But this sadhana is not a form of concentration=
on "the man" as some separate, symbolic entity until you are distracted in=
to forgetfulness. That is not relationship. That is your own fabrication, y=
our own suffering again. Where there is relationship, there is no need for =
all of these symbolization's. And the true nature of sadhana is to live the=
condition and the conditions of relationship to the man of understanding i=
n his function as Guru. Within the dream, the distracting images are consol=
ing, and even hopeful, but distraction is not the equivalent of being awake=
. Distraction depends upon your being asleep. The forms of seeking exploit =
your capacity for identification with the fundamental dilemma of dreaming, =
which is its unconsciousness. They may satisfy you within the context of yo=
ur assumptions, but they are not the equivalent of waking up.
What is required to wake up? What can you do within the dream to wake up? N=
othing. There is only the waking itself. All actions within the dream are f=
orms of the dream itself. Waking is an other process and it occurs by other=
means, by already conscious means. The Guru is not an image, a condition o=
f the dream itself. Such a one cannot wake you up. The Guru is the light of=
consciousness, the Self, already awake, functioning alive. The man of unde=
rstanding appears as the human Guru within the dream of life, not to distra=
ct you, but to awaken you through the crisis of real consciousness. The tru=
e Guru is a frustration to the unconscious condition of the dream.
People continually arrive at our Ashram with the usual expectations and dem=
ands: "Give me a mantra." "Heal my body." "Dear Lord, show me the light in =
my head." There are plenty of guys around who will do that, or at least put=
on a good show of trying. And there are indeed "yogic" powers, by means of=
which some men are willing to create internal, subjective displays for you=
. There are also those who preach various forms of mental preoccupation and=
subtle preoccupation. "Turn inward." "Look at this." "Listen to this." "Do=
this." "Believe this." They are all the same. They are all doing the same =
thing. They are all serving the dream. They are not the Self of Reality. Th=
ey are not what Jesus is, what the Buddha is, what the Guru is, what the gr=
eat Siddha truly is. The man of understanding, functioning as Guru, is an a=
wakener. He is always already awake. He couldn't care less about your urges=
and demands within the dream. He refuses to satisfy them. I would rather b=
eat you on the head with a stick than give you a mantra. I have no intentio=
n of satisfying anybody here. All the demands for satisfaction that you bri=
ng are frustrated here. What is satisfied, what is made to grow, is that fu=
ndamental intuition of Reality that is already the foundation of your exist=
ence. That is intensified in Satsang, the condition of relationship between=
the man of understanding and his friends. And all the rest, the fascinated=
search, begins to fall away. In this Satsang, the search begins to reveal =
itself, until it becomes obvious.
And understanding itself wont necessarily have anything peculiarly dramatic=
about it. How dramatic is it to wake up in the morning? You don't go, "Wow=
wwwwww!!!" You don't go screaming, "Fantastic! Oh, Revelation!" All you do =
is open your eyes and live. You just wake up. The moment of the realization=
that you are not stuck in the dream has a certain pleasure associated with=
it, but it is not usually a fantastic sort of fireworks. It is a natural, =
already happy event. In The Knee of Listening I described this process in m=
y own case. That ultimate event was not dramatic at all. I was sitting on a=
bench in a little temple. In the moment of waking, I simply opened my eyes=
and walked out into the street. I didn't talk to anybody on the way, and I=
didn't say anything about it to anybody at home. I didn't describe this pr=
ofound event to anybody at all for many weeks, even months. And when I bega=
n to talk about it, I tried to make it clear that its true import was extre=
mely subtle. It was not "extraordinary." It was without "drama." It was sim=
ply being awake. There was nothing to compare it to. It wasn't the attainme=
nt of anything.
Within the dream there are all kinds of attainments. The gorilla is chasing=
you and Smack! the big purple mountain has a crystal cave underneath. You =
go running into it, and you enter the water that is there. You go deep. And=
then there are red brilliant lights. Pearls and sacred ornaments hit you o=
n the head. And you go shooting up like a rocket of gleaming silver and gol=
d fire. You flash to the top of the mountain. Your head explodes into billi=
ons of serpents. At last you stand immortal and victorious on the mountain =
top. You scream at all the gorillas from the top of the mountain. You destr=
oy them and smother them and smash them to smithereens! That is the attainm=
ent within the dream. That is the usual yoga. That is the typical vision. B=
ut understanding is simple waking up.
Now this dilemma, this unconsciousness, this "contraction" I have often des=
cribed to you is the "dream." It is the crucial assumption. It is not chang=
ed or undone by the fact of the ordinary waking state, nor by any ordinary =
life activity or seeking. It is without benefit of this intuited Reality in=
which you truly live. Therefore, you assume and live that condition of suf=
fering, separation, and fundamental dilemma, until you awaken in spontaneou=
s, radical insight, or until you become shattered, insane, corrupted, thoro=
ughly unconscious. If the gorilla eats you in the dream, you feel eaten. Yo=
u are eaten. Those who dream long enough, who try all the alternatives with=
in the dream, who have suffered all the attainments and failures within the=
dream, who no longer have anywhere to go, who are only dreaming, who are s=
uffering, who no longer take their search "seriously," for whom the search =
is no longer the thing to which they resort, who have despaired of their ow=
n adventure, their ecstasies, their attainments, their ways, their methods,=
who are only suffering, who are only in dilemma, who in fact are only expe=
riencing this contraction, the compulsive avoidance of relationship, but ar=
e doing nothing about it any longer, who know they cannot do anything about=
it any longer-they become sensitive to the sunlight.
To move into the presence of the Guru is not something the disciple does. H=
e doesn't actually go to the Guru. He cant decide one morning to go to him.=
He doesn't know where the Guru is. How can he go to the sunlight? The disc=
iple is somebody lying asleep in bed. He doesn't go to the Guru. The Guru i=
s the sun, rising, intensifying the light, until the disciple realizes that=
he is in that presence. That realization is Satsang. And understanding is =
itself true waking, true knowledge or re-cognition of the "sunlight." All s=
eeking for the Guru, all going after the Guru is an activity within the dre=
am. The Guru cannot truly be found within the dream. Only the imagery of th=
e dream can be found. Perhaps the human person of the man of understanding =
can be found, but his true nature and his function as Guru cannot be compre=
hended by the "dreamer," the seeker, or his methods.
If a man yields to the gorilla at last, if he gives up his search, not will=
fully, but spontaneously, having despaired of his seeking, essentially he h=
as surrendered or yielded to that Reality he has always intuited. And that =
spontaneous surrendering, that conscious dying, that yielding to the gorill=
a, is a sign of waking. It is the far end of sleep. It is the beginning of =
that sensitivity to the morning. As soon as you become sensitive to it, you=
just wake up and go about your business.
The life of a disciple is a very natural, functional life of real enjoyment=
, of intelligence. It is a waking life. It is not a life in "bed." It is no=
t spent meditating in the crystal cave. It is a simple, normal, ordinary li=
fe of bliss. It is to live already awake. Of course, I have been talking in=
similes. Perhaps I have impressed you with the idea that the "waking state=
" is the only condition uniquely free of the limitations of the "dream stat=
e." But even though all men are apparently awake, they know no other state =
that transcends the ordinary limitations of the waking state. Men ordinaril=
y do not pass into a fourth state (other than waking, dreaming or sleeping)=
in which even the ordinary waking state loses the force of its implication=
s. That is why the function of Guru is lived by the man of understanding in=
the waking world. He is that "fourth state," alive in the waking world, un=
der the appearance of the waking condition. Just so, real meditation is not=
a fixation of the eyes on physical sunlight, nor on the shakti's or energi=
es, ordinary or extraordinary, that appear and move in the waking life. Rea=
l meditation is present enjoyment of the sun itself, the true sun, which is=
Reality. That "fourth state" is awake to the waking state. To recognize th=
e Guru, to enjoy the companionship of the Guru, who is always already "awak=
e," is to be awake yourself. When you truly see who the Guru is, you are al=
ready awake. Until that moment, you are still woozy. But if you live in the=
company of the man of understanding and fulfill the conditions he creates =
for your sake, you begin to feel a distance from the dream, from its compul=
siveness, its repetitiveness. What is happening in such a case is that the =
Self, the Heart, the true Sun, the Guru, is being intuited, enjoyed, and wh=
en you truly see the Guru, when you truly see the sun, then you yourself ar=
e awake. The morning sun, the appropriate hour, the physics and biology of =
a mans condition, conspire to awaken him to the ordinary world from his nat=
ural sleep. Just so, Satsang with the Guru, the whole condition and sadhana=
of real spiritual life awaken the ordinary man to his radical, always pres=
ent, and true state. All of the secondary ways of associating with the Guru=
are indeed secondary. All of your ordinary waking activities, even those i=
n which you communicate with the man of understanding, are effective only i=
n the ordinary waking state itself, the "dream" of usual life. They may be =
appropriate, even necessary, but they are not themselves the way. The way i=
s the condition itself. The relationship itself. It already exists. It is t=
he sadhana, it is the meditation. There is nothing else that needs to be ad=
ded to it. The condition itself, the relationship itself is the sadhana.
There is no end to the numbers of living beings who can do this sadhana. Th=
e sadhana of relationship to the Guru is a condition which the disciple mus=
t realize and live. Since the Guru always, already enjoys it, it takes up n=
one of the Gurus time. There is no limitation to the Gurus capacity to be t=
hat fundamental enjoyment for all beings. The limitations are on the discip=
les activity within the life-appearance, and on the Gurus apparent activity=
, the activity of the man of understanding, within that same appearance. Bu=
t those limitations are only the forms of pleasure and communication, where=
in we represent our understanding to one another. Even so, the Guru is risi=
ng above the house. He is not this limited state. He is your own enjoyment,=
perfectly known.
Since this true waking is our Reality, our true condition, the dilemma cann=
ot be found when it is sought. It is purely an illusion that is assumed by =
the dreamer, by the man who only seems to be awake. As soon as he gets seri=
ous enough about his seeking to examine his motivation to seek, he cannot f=
ind it. He spends his whole life within the dream, within this vast adventu=
re, to find the princess in the crystal palace and save her from the dragon=
. He lives an endless, endless adventure, millions and millions of ages, ye=
ar after year after year, of numberless complications. But at some point al=
ong the way, he examines the motivation, the cause, the root, for which thi=
s goal is only the symbol. At last he realizes that he cannot find his symb=
olic satisfaction. And this falling into his dilemma, then falling through =
it, is the unqualified intuition of his ultimate nature and real condition.
There is no "fated" time when this will occur. You need not persist to the =
end of your seeking before it is appropriate to understand. A person can wa=
ke up at any time. You do not have to go through the whole dream process un=
til you seem to find the princess sleeping in her castle. You do not have t=
o dream the whole sequence of the dream. Karmas or destiny are not absolute=
and necessary in this sense. It is appropriate to wake up at any time. It =
is only one who continues to believe in his own search who must do a great =
deal before realization is appropriate for him. He has twenty more years of=
striving, or twenty more times to be born for deaths sake. He has a minimu=
m number of purifying things to do to himself. He must do certain things "i=
n" the body, he must earn a certain amount of money, he is "born" with vari=
ous conditions to fulfill. But the ideal of seeking is really absurd. You c=
ant imagine the dreamer defending all of that, but only one who appears wit=
hin a dream. And even he will not defend his "destiny" of seeking in the pr=
esence of the gorilla. You can only imagine him saying it when surrounded b=
y delights, or when he is full of capabilities. Then he is like a boy whose=
mother wants him to wake up to go to school. He doesn't want to get up. He=
says, "No, Ill get up later." He doesn't want to go to school. The seeker =
doesn't want to go to "school." He doesn't want to live the sadhana, the di=
scipline, the real conditions of life that are found in the company of the =
Guru. He does not want to understand his own adventure.
The waking state promises something relatively undesirable to one who is su=
spended in the twilight state of a pleasant dream. He is reluctant to under=
stand. He is too distracted to be interested in understanding. The ordinary=
reluctance of men is not truly caused by a premonition that the life or sa=
dhana of understanding is so difficult. It is only that they do not yet car=
e about it. Somehow, for the moment, everything seems all right. The usual =
man possesses relatively healthful physical life, certain satisfactions, ce=
rtain opportunities, things to do, books to read, even holy men and philoso=
phers to go and see, a future of places, physical pleasures, mental pleasur=
es. With all of that, who wants to awaken? And most people come to the Guru=
in that condition. Therefore, the Guru doesn't take them "seriously." He k=
nows they are only enjoying themselves, even if to others the new arrivals =
seem to deserve only mercy and the grin of salvation. When these seekers co=
me to the Guru, they make all kinds of complaints about their fundamental s=
uffering. "Please give me this salvation, this realization, this release!" =
But they are not really looking for that. They are unwilling to endure the =
discipline of Truth.
There are certain limitations to the whole adventure and pleasure of ordina=
ry life. You know you are going to die some time, but, essentially, mysteri=
ously, life is full. Thus, consciousness is not about to enter the usual pi=
cture without the intervention of some fundamental, transforming event. But=
if a man is smart, if his life is generated with conscious intensity, he d=
oesn't have to become desperate before he will turn to the Truth. His circu=
mstances don't have to become empty, corrupted and diseased. He doesn't hav=
e to wait for the failure of life itself before he will turn to Truth. A ma=
n who is waiting for life to disprove itself is only enjoying himself. Ther=
e is nothing truly "serious" about his search or his suffering. But if a ma=
n is smart, if his life is an intensity, he is always turning to Truth from=
birth. The more distracted he is by the pleasures of existence as the life=
condition the more mediocre his realization, on every level, even the leve=
l of life itself. The man who is just plain satisfied with how good his bod=
y feels barely functions at all. There is no force in him. No intelligence.=
He does nothing. He just smiles and plays with ladies all the time. He doe=
sn't create anything. He realizes nothing. He doesn't intensify the quality=
of life. He has achieved nothing more than symbolic existence. And he may =
have to suffer drastic conflicts and upheavals before his unconsciousness b=
egins to break up, but the suffering is not truly necessary. It is unnecess=
ary to go through the long term of seeking, of suffering, of breaking down,=
of corruption, before Truth becomes appropriate. The realization of Truth =
is not a matter of heavy, self-involved, constricted, willful effort. It is=
as natural as a simple response to sunlight. It is simply the relationship=
to the Guru, the intelligent life of real sadhana.
Truly, what a man brings to the Guru is not his dilemma. The dilemma has no=
real existence. He may be preoccupied with it, but the Guru pays no homage=
to it. The Guru may appear to take it quite seriously, or he may display o=
nly the most playful attitude toward it, even allowing his devotee to suffe=
r or enjoy it temporarily, because it is of no ultimate consequence. Truly,=
what men bring it to the Guru is their intuition of Reality. It is only th=
at they are not consciously living it. But it is the very premise of their =
lives, and so they come to the Guru, who lives it consciously, who is the s=
un to their deep-seated intuition, and he draws it into this instant.
Only the seeker takes his dilemma seriously, but the waking state doesn't t=
ake your dreams seriously. It is not the least concerned with your dreams. =
And, luckily, all beings are already alive with their intuition of Reality.=
Therefore, they have this affinity with sunlight, with the true waking sta=
te, with the Guru. The unqualified Reality is what they are already living,=
and that is what is consciously discovered in relationship to the Guru. Be=
cause they are already holding on to the unqualified Reality, it is Reality=
that makes men return. It is intuition of Reality itself that leads a man =
to the Guru, and to maintain himself in his company. All "reasons" for hold=
ing on to the Guru fall away, and also all the reasons for not holding on t=
o him. None of these reasons has any ultimate significance. The affinity of=
your nature, your intuition of your nature, the Heart, is entirely respons=
ible for this sadhana. When you become less concerned for your particular s=
earch, for your inwardness, for your adventure, you have simply become more=
sensitive to your real condition. You have felt the sunlight falling on yo=
ur sleeping eyes. When your eyes have opened in the morning light, everythi=
ng will be obvious to you. And you will know that you have never slept, tha=
t you have never dreamed, that you have never been limited to any thing tha=
t has appeared. You have never been in any condition that you have assumed.=
There was always only Reality, your true Nature, which is Bliss, Conscious=
ness, the unqualified Intensity.

THE METHOD OF THE SIDDHAS=20


________________________________________
Chapter 7
My "Bright" Word
by Adi Da Samraj
The Divine Siddha-Method Of The Ruchira Avatar
Relationship and Association
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: I was talking to someone here the other day about cer=
tain associations everyone has with people, with environments, and so on. T=
his person was wondering whether some of his old relationships would contin=
ue, now that he had become involved in the practice in My Company. He wante=
d to know if these friendships would necessarily come to an end, or if they=
could still continue now that he is doing sadhana as My devotee.
I pointed out to him that many such involvements are not rightly to be rega=
rded as relationships. Rather, they are associations. They are (essentially=
) forms of your own desire. Therefore, they are not true friendships. Such =
associations with people, and even with environments and objects, enable yo=
u to indulge certain qualities of experience at will. Even though there see=
ms to be something there-a person, a place, a thing-in fact, you are not tr=
uly enjoying relationship. You simply have an association that reflects you=
r desire, and (thereby) gives you the opportunity to indulge it, to satisfy=
it, to suffer it.
Associations come and go, just as desires come and go-but relationship is, =
in the context of conditional existence, the living function and living con=
dition of Conscious Existence. And, truly, relationship has neither beginni=
ng nor end. When there is genuine relationship with an individual, a place,=
a thing, an environment, it is not subject to the quality of desire. Desir=
e does not generate the relationship. The end of desire or a change in desi=
re does not bring the relationship to an end.
When relationship is discovered and lived, it never comes to an end. Its qu=
ality may change, and there may be apparent separations in time and space-b=
ut the relationship itself is fundamental, continuous, real. Where there is=
relationship, there tends to be apparent growth, intensification, change-b=
ut the relationship itself does not come to an end.
Associations, however, come and go. Associations belong to periods of one's=
life, stages in one's experience. They are functions of time, space, and d=
esire. Therefore, when some particular desire-or desire itself-ceases to be=
the point of view of conscious awareness, then associations tend to fall a=
part, disappear, come to an end. But, when (by Means of My Avataric Divine =
Spiritual Grace) there is most perfect "radical" self-understanding, then t=
here are no longer any associations at all. There is only relationship, onl=
y relatedness. There is no separation, no separateness. And relationship is=
enjoyed under all circumstances, all conditions, with all beings, in all e=
nvironments.
Because people are identified with their own desires and live by the habit =
of association rather than relationship, there is suffering. Because people=
do not become more for one another than extensions of their own minds, the=
ir own desires, there is no relationship.
Until there is "radical" self-understanding, there is the tendency to live =
mere association through desire-even with those with whom you enjoy the qua=
lity of relationship. Thus, until there is "radical" self-understanding, al=
l your relationships involve conflict. They are always threatened by mere d=
esire, mere association. You move in and out of them. You never truly enjoy=
them, except in brief moments.
Where there are simply associations in the form of desire, your connections=
tend to disappear, and certain relationships tend to become corrupted, des=
troyed, impossible at times. But all separateness is an illusion. It is imp=
ossible for there to be any separateness. There is no such thing. It has ne=
ver occurred. There is no separately existing thing anywhere. There is no s=
eparately existing being anywhere. There is no separate anything! Separaten=
ess is only an impression caused by disturbance, by this compulsive contrac=
tion I have often described. When self contraction comes to an end, when th=
e avoidance of relationship comes to an end, there is no "difference".
All separateness is an illusion, and all attainments are an illusion. There=
is no separateness, and there is no attainment of union. The state of the =
traditional Yogi is as much an illusion as the state of the ordinary person=
who is suffering and dying. If you are an ordinary sufferer, you think you=
have become absolutely small-whereas, if you are an expansive Yogi, you th=
ink you have become absolutely great. But, when you think you have become g=
reat, you truly suspect that you are small. In Truth, there is only the pen=
etration of your search, the understanding of it-and, then, existence becom=
es capable of being lived Freely and Happily.
People are busy communicating their own mind-forms, their own contracted pe=
rceptions, rather than living from the "Point of View" of Truth. Thus, peop=
le are only, punishing one another. Everyone causes pain for everyone else.=
Everyone reinforces the illusion of separate life. Therefore, everyone is =
seeking. Everyone suspects "it" (whatever the presumed goal of anyone's lif=
e may be) is somewhere else, or that "it" does not exist.
But, when there is the most perfect understanding of that entire search, th=
en there is only the Communication of Consciousness Itself-That Very Power,=
That Condition, That Is Reality Itself-in relationship. And the ultimate f=
orm of that Communication is Satsang with Me-the Communication, Condition, =
or Company of Truth. When the Presence of Reality (or the "Bright" Consciou=
s Light Itself) is Communicated in Satsang with Me, you are Assumed by This=
Presence, Acquired by It. This Communication undermines all ordinary assum=
ptions-until you cease to believe them, and you become intelligent with Tru=
th.
Apart from "radical" self-understanding, all human beings are distracted an=
d turned in on themselves. They appear to have been born, but they are stil=
l bent. Every human individual, in fear of the born-condition, lives not-ye=
t-straightened from the curve of the womb. And all the people who surround =
you, since they are also in the same state, only reinforce the fear that ma=
kes you bend and curve inward.
I Am the Man of "Radical" Understanding. I Exist and Live as the Communicat=
ion of That Which makes it possible for people to open, uncurl, be turned t=
o relationship.
The process of restoration to Truth has been called "second birth". Until y=
ou become capable of existence in this apparent (human) form, open in relat=
ionship, you tend to reject the force of existence in a continuously repeat=
ed ritual activity, like vomiting. The force of life is abandoned constantl=
y. Even laughter is a form of this ritual abandonment. Non-regenerative sex=
ual activity is a form of it. Ordinary perception is a form of it. It is to=
throw off, to fail to conduct, the force of life. It is unconsciousness, s=
leep, the refusal to be born. And its symptom is a life that is not in rela=
tionship, that is not whole, that is full of dis-ease, confusion. Such a li=
fe cannot function. It only forever seeks its own release as if release fro=
m life were the goal of life.
In Satsang with Me, this rejection of the force of life, this rejection of =
birth, tends to become quieted-such that, more and more, the life-form cond=
ucts the force of life rather than rejecting it. The subtle form of the hum=
an structure is something like a Sphere, in Which the Current of natural li=
fe-energy (and also of the Divine Spirit-Energy) continually descends in th=
e frontal line, and. then turns at the bodily base and. ascends in the spin=
al line. In Satsang with Me, that Current is not rejected-It is conducted.
The force of life rounds the heart, like the planets round the Sun. And the=
True Divine Heart Is the "Sun" of the living human form. The Fullness that=
people begin to feel in Satsang with Me is this Circle of natural life-for=
ce (and, eventually, also My Avatarically Self-Transmitted Divine Spirit-En=
ergy), allowed to be conducted in descent (down the frontal line), and allo=
wed to be conducted in ascent (up the spinal line). When that Fullness is f=
elt, there is no more rejection (or "ritual vomiting") of the Current of En=
ergy. Rather, by means of spontaneous "conductivity", the Current (of natur=
al life-energy and, in the case of My by-Me Spiritually-Initiated devotees,=
of My Avatarically Self-Transmitted Divine Spirit-Energy) is turned and re=
-turned-in a spherical Cycle that is completely at ease, without dilemma.
When (by Means of My Avataric Divine Spiritual Grace) the "Sun", the Living=
Heart of Reality, the Divine Conscious Light That Is the Self-Condition (a=
nd Source-Condition) of all of this, is Most Perfectly Realized, That is mo=
st perfect "radical" self-understanding, Most Perfect Divine Self-Realizati=
on. From That "Point of View", all of this is Obvious.
The religious and Spiritual traditions communicate various aspects of this =
phenomenon of "second birth". The religious search, particularly the form o=
f seeking that is characteristic of Westerners, is a strategic effort to re=
ceive the Spirit, to receive the Power of the Divine, and to bring the Grac=
e of this Power down into life.
The traditional Eastern seeker-and, in general, the practitioner of Spiritu=
ality-is sensitive to the ascending movement of Energy. Traditional Yoga is=
a ritualization of this process of strategic ascent to the Divine just as =
traditional religion is the strategic ritual means for becoming at ease, re=
ceptive, full of the Divine.
But these two-East and West-are simply modes of exclusive (and ritualized) =
attachment to one or the other of the two principal aspects of this Real Pr=
ocess, or "second birth". Thus, the East is traditionally very busy with th=
e ascending Power, knowing little of descent-and the West is traditionally =
very busy with the descending Power, knowing little of ascent. And both Eas=
t and West approach this "second birth" in the seeker's mode.
The "second birth" truly is a possibility. It is the only Real possibility =
for human beings. And its Process is most perfectly enacted only in Satsang=
with Me-in the living, present-time, devotional (and, in due course, Spiri=
tual) relationship to Me, the One Who Is the True Divine Heart Itself. Not =
someone who only suggests the Heart Itself, who has (at some time) merely e=
xperienced It, who merely envisions It, who only thinks about it, or who on=
ly teaches about it-but the One Who Is the True (and Living) Divine Heart, =
without any limitations whatsoever.
I Am That One. When My devotee lives the conditions Given by Me, in the con=
text of Satsang with Me, then the Circle of descent and ascent is restored-=
in a very simple, natural manner. As My devotee, you need not apply yoursel=
f methodically to the generation of that Circle, to the strategic restorati=
on of that pattern of Energy. As My devotee, living Satsang with Me as the =
Condition of your very existence, you do not exercise any kind of strategic=
approach, nor do you engage any of the remedial methods of conventional re=
ligion and conventional Spirituality. My devotee's practice is to live the =
Condition of this devotional (and, in due course, Spiritual) relationship t=
o Me.
My true devotee is not distracted. by any form of the religious or Spiritua=
l search-whether the search to "be filled" by the descending Spirit-Energy =
or the search to "escape upward" by means of the ascending Spirit-Energy. M=
y true devotee turns simply to Me-and is (thereby) turned to the Real condi=
tion of life, which is relationship. As My devotee, you pass through variou=
s forms of crisis, until there is spontaneous insight into (or understandin=
g of) the ordinary pattern of your life, which is the avoidance of relation=
ship. By Means of My Avataric Divine Spiritual Grace, the direct observatio=
n of this pattern becomes "radical" self-understanding. And Most Perfect Re=
alization of such "radical" self-understanding is Absolute Truth.
The Real Spiritual process alive in Satsang with Me involves no problematic=
concern relative to the reception of My Avataric Divine Spirit-Baptism. Th=
e process in My Avataric Divine Spiritual Company is generated and maintain=
ed by the Spontaneous and Intelligent Siddhi (or Real Spiritual Power) of t=
he "Sun", the True Divine Heart-Which Is Reality Itself. My devotee is not =
engaged in a strategic (or ego-based) process of (downward) reception of Di=
vine Blessing, or of (upward) return to the Divine Source, or of both. My d=
evotee abides simply in relationship with Me-and the Primary Intensity of M=
y Divine Heart-Light, the Conscious Spirit Power that proceeds in Satsang w=
ith Me, is the entire Means for the crisis in consciousness (or self-unders=
tanding) that must occur in My devotee.
In the meantime, there may be secondary phenomena associated with Satsang w=
ith Me-and these are the effects of My Avatarically Self-Transmitted Divine=
Spirit-Current, in Its Flow through the descending and ascending arcs of t=
he Circle. But all such phenomena are purely secondary. They are simply con=
ditional enjoyments. Like right diet, they are not (in and of themselves) T=
ruth. If you are distracted by such phenomena, then you contract (and there=
by separate yourself) from all forms of relationship.
Only relationship is appropriate. There is no need to be concerned with the=
effects of the Descent or the Ascent of My Divine Spirit-Power. There is n=
o need to seek My Divine Spirit-Power or to grasp It. All such concerns are=
an expression of the root-dilemma.
DEVOTEE: What is it about the experience of this Force (or Light) that caus=
es people to reject It? Is the experience itself painful? Or is it somehow =
threatening?
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: It is not so much that the forms of rejection are an =
effect of something else. They are the action. The rejection (or reaction) =
is spontaneous. It is the self-contraction. But its basis is subtle-precedi=
ng life, thought, and perception. The perceiver and the perception are alre=
ady bent. They are (themselves) this rejection. They are already forms of t=
he root-dilemma.
The true answer to any question is always prior to words, not able to be sp=
oken. Indeed, even the question itself (if it is true, or real) is prior to=
words. The question that is phrased in the form of concepts is not the rea=
l question. Your real question is the sensation of self-contraction that mo=
tivates your thoughts and words. The answer, likewise, is not in the form o=
f concepts. The only true (or real) answer is the direct observation and un=
derstanding of the root-activity that is your real question, your suffering=
, your dilemma, the motivation of your search. Nothing else can satisfy. No=
explanation is equal to this direct self-understanding.
There is a sense in which the entire process of rejection (or the avoidance=
of relationship) is a spontaneous reaction to the action that is condition=
ally manifested existence. Wherever there is an action, there is an equal a=
nd opposite reaction. There is the True Divine Heart (or Reality Itself), t=
here is conditionally manifested appearance, and there is the self-contract=
ion that is the reaction to that appearance. People are living as that reac=
tion. When My devotees turn to Me, and (in that turning) observe and unders=
tand their own activity (which is their suffering), then (by Means of My Av=
ataric Divine Spiritual Grace) they Realize the True Nature of Consciousnes=
s As the Living Divine Heart Itself-Which is Always Already Open, Which is =
Prior to conditional manifestation, Which is not any form of dilemma.
The genuine roots of your suffering, your disturbance, are not truly explai=
nable in any conceptual terms. They can only be undermined (or obviated) by=
means of the self-understanding that becomes possible in Satsang with Me. =
Therefore, moment to moment (whole bodily) turning to Me (thereby allowing =
self-observation and self-understanding to take place) is the root process =
of sadhana, the spontaneous and intelligent process of Satsang with Me.
There is no "second birth" apart from Real Spiritual practice in My Avatari=
c Divine Company. There is no "second birth" apart from Satsang with Me, ac=
tual moment to moment living of the heart-relationship to Me-the Divinely S=
elf-Realized Siddha Guru, the Avatarically Self-Manifested Incarnation of t=
he True Divine Heart Itself. The form and function Given (by Means of My Av=
ataric Divine Grace) to human beings for living this Satsang is the direct =
relationship to Me-the One Who Lives As the Very Divine Heart Itself, the O=
ne and Only (and Self Evidently Divine) Reality.
When people realize that they are suffering, that they are bent, that there=
is a root-dilemma, then they begin to seek. The only places where it is po=
ssible to seek are the gross, subtle, and causal dimensions of existence, w=
hich account for the entire structure of conditionally manifested life. The=
refore, people go about the business of alternating between exploitation an=
d discipline-until they realize the failure of the search. When that realiz=
ation occurs, they have become capable of Satsang with Me.
DEVOTEE: Is it necessary for us to have a True and Conscious relationship w=
ith You and with everyone we know if we want to live a True Spiritual life,=
a life of understanding?
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: It would only be nicer! If it were necessary as a pre=
condition, then Satsang with Me could not take place. If this process depen=
ded on people already enjoying the relationship with Me Consciously, perfec=
tly, then the process would never begin. it is certainly a positive sign wh=
en the process becomes Conscious, when you begin to move into the natural "=
conductivity" of Satsang with Me, when you begin to live Its True quality, =
Its in-depth quality. But such is not required as a precondition.
There are no conditions for relationship. It is already the case. Some are =
conscious of it, and some are not. In some cases, you may enjoy the Real co=
ndition of relationship with another, while (to that other) you serve only =
as a form of association (and, thus, an extension of desire). And the oppos=
ite may also be true. When there is such an apparent discrepancy, you must =
decide whether you have the strength or the interest to live that relations=
hip, whether you should release that relationship or (otherwise) change the=
quality or the conditions of that relationship.
DEVOTEE: Do we have a responsibility to make the other person in a relation=
ship more conscious?
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: That responsibility is inherent in relationship itsel=
f. The very fact of living in that direct, relational manner, rather than i=
n the usual self-contracted manner, is (itself) a means to serve the commun=
ication of True intelligence. Therefore, that responsibility is already sat=
isfied by the simple fact of living the relationship itself. It is not nece=
ssary to add to that relational force any secondary motivation to change th=
e other person. When such motivations appear, your relationships tend to be=
come an extension of your own search. To that degree, you fall back into as=
sociation again. But, when you live relationship with other beings, you eve=
n extend and serve the form of Satsang with Me because that form is heart-r=
elationship to Me.

THE METHOD OF THE SIDDHAS=20


________________________________________
=20
CHAPTER 8
Meditation and Satsang
FRANKLIN: Spiritual life is Satsang. It is the company of Truth. It is a re=
lationship to one who lives as Truth. Satsang is also the very nature of li=
fe. It is the form of existence. Relationship. Not independence, not separa=
tion, but relationship. So the principle of true life is relationship.
All attempts to relieve the life of suffering by various means, remedies, d=
o not produce Truth. They may heal dis-ease. But only Truth produces Truth.=
Sadhana or spiritual practice is to live Satsang as the condition of life =
forever. Sadhana is not something you do temporarily until you get free. It=
is to live Satsang forever. A lifetime of Truth.
The beginnings of ones spiritual life are the coming into relationship with=
the Guru-living in his company, which is Satsang, living the conditions cr=
eated in that relationship. Getting straight. There is a force, a Siddhi, o=
r spiritual power alive in Satsang. The earliest experiences of spiritual l=
ife are generally the sensations of force or presence communicated in Satsa=
ng. These are enjoyed as various feelings, peace, kriyas (spontaneous purif=
ying movements), bliss, a sense of presence, the qualities of energy. But, =
in truth, spiritual life is not something that happens to you. It is not a =
process that takes place independent of your conscious existence. If it did=
, all you would need do would be to wait for it to come to an end in libera=
tion, or some such state. Spiritual life is conscious life. It doesn't real=
ly exist until your consciousness comes into play, becomes active. Spiritua=
l life is an intelligent process. It is not a kind of mediumship, wherein y=
ou simply enjoy certain experiences, certain energies, a certain shakti. Th=
e shakti or force aspect of spiritual life has one purpose. It is to commun=
icate to you the energy alive in the Truth, to purify, harmonize and intens=
ify your life, so this conscious process can begin. All of the shakti exper=
iences are simply means created to strengthen and intensify your life so th=
at you have the energy, the force with which to live this conscious life. S=
adhana is a process in consciousness. It is intensity. It is force of consc=
iousness. It is intelligent. It is not just energy that you witness. Consci=
ousness does not happen to you.
All of you here tonight have begun to live Satsang. To some degree, you are=
committed to it. You have begun to live it as the condition of life. Some =
of you have these experiences of force, of energy, of movement, internal aw=
arenesses, various kinds of purification. In some cases, Satsang appears si=
mply as a very practical influence. But now it is time to begin to use this=
teaching which brought most of you here. I want to read you a couple of pi=
eces from The Knee of Listening , from the very beginning of that portion c=
alled "The Process of Real Meditation." It is a long section. It gets into =
many of the subtleties of this affair of "enquiry." I am only interested in=
getting into the very beginnings of it here, because the beginnings of it =
are the practical affair which is the foundation and unending circumstance =
of real or spiritual life.
"The usual meditation" (traditional meditation, the motivated remedy) "is o=
nly a consolation, an effect and a good feeling. It provides no radical rev=
ersal of ordinary consciousness, and when situations arise out of meditatio=
n the person has no control over the process of identification, differentia=
tion and desire."
I spent years with all kinds of people who were going through the phenomena=
of yoga, of kundalini yoga, dealing with presence, force, miraculous spiri=
tual experiences. I have never seen anyone fundamentally changed by these e=
xperiences. I was never thus changed by any of these experiences. Their int=
ention is not to change you. They are change. They are phenomena only. They=
depend on the force, Guru-Shakti, the force aspect of Satsang. The phenome=
na themselves are not the point. They are there only to assist in the inten=
sification of the quality of your life. You are not intended forever to sit=
in them, bathe in them and watch them perform. These phenomena, if they ne=
ed to happen in you at all, will happen in any case. They are a relatively =
minor aspect of spiritual life. Enjoy them. But see that they are not thems=
elves spiritual life. They will not lead to liberation. They are not Truth.=
They will not affect the motivating character or source of your peculiar l=
ife one iota. Thirty years of shakti experiences will occupy a fool, but th=
ey will not awaken him. Increase of energy or experience does nothing whats=
oever to the fundamental quality of conscious life. At most it intensifies =
it, providing the functional strength, so that conscious life can begin as =
a real process.
"Only radical understanding avails." (In other words no motivated process, =
no simple influence of energy does.) "Only radical understanding avails. It=
is the viewpoint of reality itself. It is not attachment to some body, rea=
lm or experience that is seen as the alternative, remedy, cure and source o=
f victory. It knows that every motive and action is made of avoidance. Thus=
, it has no recourse except to understand. And understanding as well as the=
one who understands, are Reality, the Self, the Bright.
"The yogic search only enjoys forms of shakti, the bliss of energy. Only ra=
dical knowledge is real bliss, dependent on nothing.
"Understanding arises when there are true hearing and self-observation in r=
elationship."
"Relationship" here is, ultimately, a reference to Satsang. Satsang is the =
relationship to the man of understanding, or the Guru, lived, made the cond=
ition of life. A person begins to become stronger, straighter, under those =
conditions. Perhaps some of these phenomena, this energy, this shakti, beco=
me awake in him, perform certain purifying activities, intensify him. And a=
fter a while he begins to listen . At first there is simply the contact wit=
h his Guru. When he becomes strong, more intense, he begins to listen to wh=
at is spoken in Satsang. And after a while he also begins to hear what is s=
poken. At first he only listens, and what is said modifies his mentality in=
various ways. But at some point he begins to hear. The communication takes=
place in fact. And the sign of its having taken place is that it takes the=
form of spontaneous self-observation. So, understanding arises when there =
are "true hearing and self-observation in relationship."
"Therefore, make use of such teachings as this present one and observe your=
self in life. Observe yourself when you seek. Observe yourself when you suf=
fer to any degree. Observe your motives. Observe the activity of identifica=
tion. Observe the activity of differentiation. Observe the activity of desi=
re. Observe the patterns of your existence."
Self-observation under all conditions is the beginning of this process in c=
onsciousness.
I was talking with one of you today, and it was asked whether it was approp=
riate for someone simply to begin this enquiry "Avoiding relationship?" as =
it is described in The Knee of Listening . Right now, reading the book, why=
not just begin it? But this intelligence that is understanding is a form o=
f Satsang. It is Satsang in another peculiar form. This enquiry is Satsang.=
It is that same condition that we enjoy in the relationship to the Guru, b=
ut only in another form. Just so, there are subtle forms of this enquiry, i=
n which no mental enquiry takes place. But it is the same enquiry, and it i=
s still Satsang. And perfect understanding is itself Satsang, perfectly rea=
lized and enjoyed. It never comes to an end. It is perfect enquiry-enquiry =
going on eternally, absolutely. At some point this verbal or mental enquiry=
becomes appropriate. But it is only one of the stages in a process. This f=
orm of enquiry is necessarily preceded by insight. It must first be made al=
ive as intelligence, as real re-cognition in your own case. Then, instead o=
f simply observing the quality of your life, you will begin to enquire of t=
he quality of your life. A more or less passive quality in consciousness is=
replaced by a more or less active quality. But that actual enquiry, asking=
of this question ("Avoiding relationship?") in a more or less formal way, =
is not appropriate at the beginning in most cases. Satsang must begin, the =
influence of Satsang, the condition of Satsang must begin. You must begin t=
o adapt to Satsang, make it your sadhana, meet the conditions of spiritual =
life in a very simple way, take on the qualities of an ordinary pleasurable=
life, assume responsibility for the relationship that is Satsang. And begi=
n to listen.
You will simply begin to listen, and you will simply begin to hear. When yo=
u begin to hear, when this process in consciousness has begun, you will beg=
in to observe yourself, see yourself under the conditions of life. This pro=
cess of self-observation, carried on here in our discussions about this con=
traction or avoidance of relationship, and in all your study, reading and l=
iving of this work, at some point becomes communication received, real obse=
rvation of how, yes! this contraction, this avoidance is the quality of you=
r life. Therefore, this process of self-observation as the result of hearin=
g in Satsang, of living in Satsang, is the beginning of this process that b=
ecomes enquiry. Enquiry is not a method any more than Satsang is a method. =
Enquiry at some point is the natural, spontaneous, intelligent activity of =
one who is living Satsang. But first he must hear and observe. Yes?
"When you see that you are always seeking, understanding is emerging. When =
you see the pattern of Narcissus as all your motives, all your acts, all yo=
ur seeking, understanding is emerging. When you see you are always sufferin=
g, understanding is emerging. When you see that every moment is a process i=
n dilemma, understanding is emerging. When you see that every moment is a p=
rocess of identification, differentiation and desire, understanding is emer=
ging. When you see that every moment, when you are at your best as well as =
when you are at your worst, you are only avoiding relationship, then you un=
derstand. When you see that which already is, apart from the avoidance of r=
elationship, which already absorbs consciousness prior to the whole dilemma=
, motivation and activity of avoidance, then you have finally understood."
So this process of self-observation in Satsang, which is a result of hearin=
g in relationship to the man of understanding, grows and becomes insight, a=
ctual living intelligence.
"When you have understood" (when this insight has become real) "understandi=
ng will become the natural response of your intelligence to any experience,=
the total content of any moment. Then approach every moment with understan=
ding, and perceive the original truth within it. Devote some time in the mo=
rning and evening to conscious understanding. Sit down, turn to understandi=
ng, and enquire of yourself as thoughts, feelings, and movements arise with=
in to distract you. Enquire in the form of understanding: Avoiding relation=
ship?"
When this insight has developed as a result of self-observation, initiated =
through hearing, under the conditions of Satsang, this enquiry, which is th=
en a form of the intelligence already alive in you, becomes appropriate. An=
d a practical way to enjoy this intelligent activity is simply to set aside=
some time for it. Morning and evening is convenient. When you get up in th=
e morning, that is convenient. Just before bed, that is convenient. Any tim=
e is all right. But such times are appropriate and convenient.
"Do this for a half hour or an hour in the morning and evening, when you ri=
se from sleep or just before retiring. Do it also briefly at any moment in =
the day when strong distractions absorb you. Devote yourself to understandi=
ng in the midst of all experience, instead of any kind of remedial action t=
hat arises as a way to handle the problem of life at any moment.
"Make understanding and enquiry your radical approach to life. Become more =
and more absorbed in understanding and the cognition of present freedom. Un=
derstand and enquire, until these things become realized permanently as you=
r form. Enjoy and create according to the wisdom of your own form."
The last two lines refer to the radical, most subtle forms of this process =
of enquiry. Yes?
A number of people have asked me about this enquiry, "Avoiding relationship=
?" Some of them want to use it immediately, simply because they read about =
it in the book. Some started to use it and found it very troublesome and pr=
oblematic. Some started to use it as a "method." But the only genuine use o=
f it depends upon its having come into existence in you, as your intelligen=
ce, which is a very different thing from reading it in a book. The enquiry =
depends on Satsang. It depends on making Satsang into radical spiritual pra=
ctice, true sadhana, your way of life, the very condition of your life.
Enjoy the quality of Satsang, the force of it, until you become free enough=
, so alive with the intensity of that force that you begin to listen, which=
is to become spontaneously available to the intelligence of Satsang. Then =
you will begin to hear what is said or otherwise communicated. All of this =
will take place in you and become self-observation. When this self-observat=
ion that is spontaneously awakening in you continues under all conditions o=
f life, you will begin to observe this contraction of which I speak. You wi=
ll begin to see this avoidance of relationship. It will become clear to you=
in your living experience. When it has become clear to you, when it takes =
place as a certainty, as your very knowledge, then that very knowledge can =
be used positively, directly. It becomes your approach to life. It is your =
intelligence. At that point, this enquiry begins. Examine this chapter on m=
editation in The Knee of Listening . See what is involved in the beginnings=
of it.
Our work is not the exclusive kundalini yoga. It is the all-inclusive, univ=
ersal and perfect way of God. Many of you have begun to become sensitive to=
the energy, the force, the shakti of this work. And no doubt about it, the=
re is a living force in Satsang. This work is not simply an intellectual or=
mental liberation. The force alive in Satsang is the very force of the Hea=
rt, the living Reality. But it is not unconscious. It is conscious. And the=
way is conscious. True sadhana is an intense, forceful way of consciousnes=
s. So it is not a matter of forever receiving the blessing or darshan of sh=
akti and allowing it to do things to you. Begin to listen. Accept the condi=
tions of this relationship. Remove the ordinary obstacles. Abandon them. If=
you truly engage and use this relationship from day to day, more obstacles=
and more demands will be created for you than you could ever have imagined=
as a discipline for yourself. The relationship will discipline you. You do=
n't have to be concerned with spiritual techniques, purifying methods, thin=
gs to do to yourself, apart from the responsibilities for practical mainten=
ance of life which were discussed with you when you entered the Ashram.
As you make Satsang the condition of your life in a very practical way, you=
will begin to listen. You will begin to hear, and you will begin to observ=
e your own action, even your most subtle action. The real process of enquir=
y rests upon all of that. Therefore, a great deal is required of a man befo=
re this enquiry comes into play. It is not a method. It is not a form of mo=
rbid self-analysis. It is a form of real, living, spontaneous intelligence.=
It is itself already understanding, the force of Truth. So it simply does =
not arise as an option for you, as something of use to you, until it has co=
me alive. First there must be Satsang and this activity in consciousness.
Listen! There is this contraction, this avoidance. All men are living this =
avoidance of relationship. That is all anyone is doing. Nothing else is hap=
pening. Only this contraction of living and subtle forms. It is suffering. =
It creates by implication the notions men have about the very nature of lif=
e. This contraction implies a separate self, separate from the world and al=
l other beings. The appearance of many, much and separate me is an expressi=
on of our suffering, but the force, the intensity, the bliss of Reality per=
sists and is felt even under the conditions of ignorance. Therefore, it app=
ears as the drama of desire, the search for union between the separate me a=
nd the manyness. Every mans life is the drama necessitated by this fundamen=
tal contraction. Every mans life is the adventure he is playing on this con=
traction. Every mans life is bullshit! The drama of an ordinary life is wit=
hout significance, or real intensity. It is deadly ignorance. No Truth, no =
Satsang.
Satsang must begin. Satsang must be enjoyed as the condition of life. Then =
the whole drama of which even traditional spirituality is a manifestation c=
omes to an end, dies. This contraction becomes flabby and opens. The real f=
orce of conscious existence comes into play and becomes the way, the sadhan=
a itself.
Meditation is not something that takes place in the dilemma. Real meditatio=
n is not a method to get rid of your suffering. It is not perpetual preoccu=
pation with your own thoughts, the content of your life, in order to get fr=
ee of them, get aside from them, make them be quiet. The you who does all t=
hat is itself the dilemma. It knows nothing. It is itself the suffering. It=
is itself obsession with the endless stream of its own thought. Therefore,=
the attempts by such a one to do something about his "mind," to make it qu=
iet, to make it see visions, whatever, are within the form of this original=
motivating dilemma. Such strategies are expressions of his separate life, =
attempts to fortify and save his separate life, which is already an illusio=
n.
Real meditation arises only in Satsang, only under the conditions of Truth,=
already lived. There is force in such meditation. Real meditation is an in=
tense fire. It is a marvelous intelligence, a brilliance, a genius, a livin=
g force. It is not a pious attempt to quiet your little thoughts. It blasts=
the hell out of these thoughts! From the point of view of the Self, the Tr=
uth, the Real, there is no concern for all of these thoughts, all of these =
dilemmas, all of this mediocrity of suffering. It is nothing.
When Satsang lives as the principle of your life, and Truth becomes the for=
m of your meditation, it consumes thought. It is a presence under which tho=
ughts cannot survive. It is an intelligence that needs only to look at some=
obstruction for it to dissolve. This is the process that comes awake in Sa=
tsang, not some method, some remedy. The whole point of view of dis-ease is=
false. Spiritual life is not a cure. Spiritual life is the life of Truth, =
Satsang. One who is looking for a cure is obsessed with his disease.
The first true thing a man does when he comes into contact with his Guru is=
to relax the obsession with his dis-ease, his trouble. Therefore, the orig=
inal activity a man enjoys in relation to his Guru is not this sophisticate=
d meditation, this enquiry. What he does is nothing very sophisticated at a=
ll. He comes and relaxes his search. He begins to find himself in the condi=
tion of Truth, in Satsang. He begins to enjoy that condition in a very prac=
tical way, enjoying the force of it, the intensity of it, the beauty of it,=
the blissfulness and happiness of it. Only then does he begin to hear, obs=
erve and become intelligent, sophisticated. Yes? So the "beginnings" of Sat=
sang may last for a very long time.
The more a man persists in the drama of his resistance, the longer he preve=
nts Satsang. If a man comes into association with one who he suspects might=
be alive, functioning as Guru, but spends the next forty years wondering a=
bout it, he has never entered into Satsang. Satsang is not simply coming in=
to a room and sitting. Satsang is the relationship itself, the relationship=
to the Heart, the Self, the Guru, the paradoxical person of the man of und=
erstanding. The drama of the avoidance of relationship to the Guru is the p=
aradigm, the epitome, the archetype of all the dramas played in all relatio=
nships. It is better if, upon meeting his Guru, a man surrenders his search=
and enters suddenly into that relationship. But in most cases there is a p=
eriod of time, of drama, of wondering, of in and out, of yes and no, of won=
dering again, of thinking, none of which is spiritual life. None of that ha=
s anything to do with spiritual life. It is only the drama of suffering, re=
sistance, reluctance. Spiritual life begins for a man or woman when that re=
lationship openly becomes the condition of his life. Then he becomes willin=
g to accept the conditions it demands of him. He begins to enjoy the force =
of that presence, that Satsang. He becomes alive, intense with that force. =
Then this activity in consciousness begins to awaken.
Observe your connection here. Examine your relationship to this one. See th=
e drama you are playing in terms of this Satsang, and live this Satsang ins=
tead. I am only interested in this Satsang as a real process. I have no int=
erest whatsoever in gathering an enormous organization of silly, fascinated=
people. I am concerned that this real process begins in fact, in whomever =
it is possible for it to begin. If there is no one, I will stay home. If th=
ere is only one, I will deal with one. If there are fifty, it will be fifty=
. If there are fifteen million, that is fine too. But I am not willing to d=
o what is necessary to acquire a following through promises, methods, conso=
lations, illusions and one-shot-liberation baloney.
Conditions are continually being created for you here. And these conditions=
are always appropriate. They are the pure instruments of Self-knowledge. B=
ut if you don't live this relationship, this Satsang, it will always be an =
offense to you, it will always create an obstacle for you. Then Satsang wil=
l only make you angry and uncomfortable. Live this Satsang, learn the real =
conditions of spiritual life, observe your resistance to it, be purified of=
your seeking, understand and surrender this search. Lead an ordinary, plea=
surable life. Remove exaggerated, self-toxifying practices in life, all the=
absurdities, the forms of self-indulgence. Become more sophisticated with =
your desire. Come here as often as you can. Simply sit in this relationship=
, enjoy the force of it, begin to observe yourself. Ask me questions about =
your sadhana. Not the usual questions: "Where is George Washington today?" =
or "What is the shape of the next universe?" These are not your real questi=
ons. What do you care about all of that? That is not the point. You are suf=
fering only. If you have to fly a rocket between here and Mars, then it bec=
omes a practical necessity to discuss what the conditions are between here =
and there. When you are elsewhere it is appropriate to consider what it is =
like in other worlds. After death it is appropriate to examine what it is l=
ike after death. If you are dying this evening, then we can deal with the d=
eath process. But you are only suffering. You are resisting Satsang.
Ultimately, all of this avoidance of relationship is only the resistance to=
Satsang. It is the resistance to making Satsang the condition of life. It =
is dramatized in relation to the Guru because, whatever he is in Reality, h=
e symbolizes Satsang or spiritual life. Therefore, people feel very free to=
aggravate their relationship to the Guru. But they should be approaching t=
heir own ignorance, their suffering. Come to Satsang with real need, not wi=
th anything to defend.
The world is absolutely insane. But your spiritual life does not depend on =
the world. You are not going to get up from Satsang today and suddenly find=
that everything and everybody in the world is absolutely beautiful. You ar=
e not going to find that all your suffering has been taken away by magic. T=
he world is going to create obstacles. The world does not want to function.=
People do not want to function. They are not yet alive. If you are coming =
alive in Satsang, you are going to have to be intelligent in your relations=
hips, intelligent in life.
Require Truth. Take yourself to Satsang, the company of Truth. Don't believ=
e the usual company of life, of resistance, of avoidance. The world will cr=
eate conditions that will awaken your own aggravation, your own ignorance, =
your own game. It will demand your game of you. It will demand that you suf=
fer it, and that you live it as well. When a person is still weak, still be=
ginning, the world seems a vast alternative to his spiritual discipline and=
to Truth. The patterns of sudden desire seem so much more pleasurable than=
this sadhana. Therefore, especially in the beginning, a man must make good=
use of the company of his Guru and his Ashram. When he becomes stronger he=
will also make good use of the world.
The same thing you enjoy as Satsang is itself understanding. That blissfuln=
ess of relationship is already realization, already Truth. The more profoun=
dly you enjoy it, the subtler its nature appears to you. Satsang does not p=
roceed toward a goal of Truth. Satsang is Truth. It is the life of Truth. I=
t is the force, the consciousness that is Truth. Over time Truth itself pro=
duces change, apparent transformation. But Truth is the very condition of s=
piritual life, not its end phenomenon. Therefore, from the moment Satsang b=
egins, the demand of Truth is put to a man in the form of an obstacle. If s=
adhana, the practice of Satsang, were a method, some sort of means toward T=
ruth, there would be no conditions. Anyone could come for "initiation," reg=
ardless of his state of preparation. Then I would give him a little techniq=
ue of some sort, and flatter him with promises. No, the way is Truth itself=
, the Tao is itself the way. Truth is the way. So the "initiation" of spiri=
tual life involves the communication of this obstacle, this demand that is =
Truth. The first form of that demand is the person of the Guru. Thus, the f=
irst form of a previous spiritual encounter is generally the life drama of =
his association with the Guru, the man of understanding. Even so, it is not=
the Gurus function to destroy the resistance of the world by magic. If a m=
an responds to the teaching he must prepare himself, and make an appropriat=
e approach to Satsang.
The first obstacle, and the primary obstacle, to spiritual life is the rela=
tionship to the Guru. It is also the fundamental condition, content and sou=
rce of spiritual or real life. If it were not for that, everybody could bec=
ome spiritual by the mere practice of some method or another. They would re=
ad books, they would manipulate themselves with arbitrary beliefs. But spir=
itual life is a relationship, a living demand. It creates an obstacle from =
the very beginning. And that obstacle provokes the crisis and fundamental s=
acrifice that real life requires.
Nothing is offered but Satsang. Nothing is given but that relationship, bec=
ause it is Truth. Those who finally live it as the condition of life receiv=
e everything, because that relationship is the medium of Truth. Everything =
rests on a mans ability to realize that relationship. I know very well who =
lives it and who does not. It doesn't require any psychic powers to know it=
. If a person lives Satsang, I live Satsang with him. With those who do not=
, I must be involved to some degree in the drama of their resistance. Essen=
tially, this involves the application of conditions to their demands, so th=
at the resistance in them is set aside, broken down. Chastisement, or an ap=
parently negative approach to someone, as you may see in some cases here, o=
r in your own case, is not in fact "punishment." It is a form of Satsang, t=
he communication of Truth. It is only that the individual involved in such =
a case is, for the time being, incapable of assuming the condition of Satsa=
ng, and the responsibilities of Truth.
DEVOTEE: Could you define the "enquiry" that you mentioned in your book The=
Knee of Listening ?
FRANKLIN: I have written in the section on meditation, "enquiry" is not som=
ething for you to do. It is not a method to achieve anything. This enquiry =
has no intrinsic value whatsoever. It has only a possible functional value.=
It is true only when it is real, an extension of present understanding, wh=
en the understanding of which I often speak is alive as your own intelligen=
ce. This enquiry arises spontaneously and becomes usable entirely apart fro=
m the search. Prior to understanding, it has no value of any kind. Until un=
derstanding itself arises, it doesn't make any difference how you enquire, =
whether you enquire, or when you enquire. It doesn't even make any differen=
ce if you ask this question ("Avoiding relationship? ") and it seems to be =
doing you some good. It is still some form of narcissistic, separative, obs=
essive activity, a form of the search. It is functioning in dilemma. So the=
re is no need to define this enquiry for you, or in other words, to make it=
more usable.
Understanding, the Heart, this re-cognition of avoidance and contraction, i=
s the necessary preliminary to the use of any kind of enquiry. Understandin=
g is a spontaneous intelligence, arising in Satsang, in the company of the =
Guru. Satsang is a mans discovery, it is his meditation, it is his highest =
responsibility. When the structure of Satsang, and the quality, form and wo=
rd of his Guru communicate themselves in their true form, what is called un=
derstanding, this real intelligence, begins to grow in a very natural way. =
Then it becomes appropriate to enquire, for the disciple is free of his sea=
rch.
Prior to understanding, there is nothing to be perfected about the enquiry =
itself. Prior to understanding, a mans only concern is Satsang. How he resp=
onds to it, how he feels about it, all of the resistance, doubt, gravity, a=
ll of the qualities in him that are stimulated in Satsang are his meditatio=
n. The intelligence represented in the words of the Guru, or the Gurus appr=
oach, his form, his energy, his shakti, whatever the communication of Satsa=
ng to which the disciple is sensitive, is the only true or radical alternat=
ive to all that the disciple finds reflected or stimulated in himself.
DEVOTEE: When the enquiry "Avoiding relationship?" is really effective in m=
y daily life, it arises spontaneously. Sometimes it takes the form of an in=
ternal mentalization of the question "Avoiding relationship?" At other time=
s it seems to be only a process of intelligence or spontaneous movement of =
consciousness itself. In other words, sometimes it arises as intelligence i=
tself, and at other times I find myself using the internal mentalization of=
the idea, the mental enquiry. Why are there appearances of different quali=
ties of enquiry? I have an idea about this. Perhaps it is that, when I am d=
istracted more, the internal mentalization serves to bring me back to the p=
resent, to what I am up to, and serves to dissolve the tendency to distract=
ion of mind.
FRANKLIN: This enquiry ("Avoiding relationship?") is in the form of a re-co=
gnition or knowing again of ordinary activity, but its also an extension of=
something much subtler than mind and life. Its an extension of that very i=
ntelligence that already is re-cognition. So there is a form of this enquir=
y that is speechless, mindless, thoughtless, imageless, and yet also an int=
ense form of activity. That is why I have said that enquiry rests on prior =
understanding or intelligence. If understanding is not alive, enquiry is no=
nsense. But when this intelligence is alive, then it is the enquiry. When y=
ou are sensitive to this re-cognition, this force of intelligence, then you=
are free to let it live, either as a mental enquiry at this moment, or as =
a silent re-cognition of mind or mentalization itself.
Real meditation is begun by sitting in Satsang, here with me, at home alone=
, or even while active under ordinary, functional conditions of life. In th=
at conscious condition that is Satsang a kind of quieting arises, and, at t=
he same time, an intensification of your self-awareness. Depending on the p=
eculiar quality of your state at that time, you will become attentive to fo=
rms of desire, differentiation, or identification. Impulses are the form of=
desires. Thought, or separation of things that arise, is the form of diffe=
rentiation. The various forms of separate and separative self sense are the=
form of identification. Therefore, when various of these qualities begin t=
o draw your attention, this enquiry may begin. And, generally it begins as =
an internal or mental verbalization. The enquiry ("Avoiding relationship?")=
is evoked randomly, not repetitively, but as a real question, and followed=
until there is a real answer. And the "answer" is not itself a thought, bu=
t a spontaneous re-cognition of thought, of action, of the forms of identif=
ication, differentiation and desire. When enquiry truly arises, founded in =
prior insight, then the very forms and processes that have attracted attent=
ion tend to fall away. They cease to distract you. And you simply, spontane=
ously fall into the condition of relationship, which is always already the =
case, prior to the obscuring activity of the avoidance of relationship. In =
this same sitting, you may proceed through various forms. At first forms of=
desire, perception, awareness of life-activity. Then the process may move =
into subtler forms. Forms of thought, forms of impression, memory, images. =
Then it may move into the various subtle senses of separation, the qualitie=
s of self sense. All the time, this verbal enquiry, randomly activated, ada=
pts to the various qualities that are arising. But in the depth of consciou=
sness, there begins to arise a sense of what is always taking place at any =
and every moment of enquiry. It appears as a kind of "shape" in consciousne=
ss. A subtle activity begins to form an impression and then a direct compre=
hension in consciousness. Then the mental form of enquiry tends to fall awa=
y. Instead of mental enquiry, this other activity that has always taken pla=
ce at every moment of enquiry begins to move into every instant of awarenes=
s. It moves in terms of the same processes that were arising before, includ=
ing forms of desire, thought, and separate self sense, but without mental v=
erbalization. Then, in each moment, these qualities vanish, as they did whe=
n enquiry was mentalized.
At first, what is enjoyed in this whole process of enquiry is a kind of int=
ensity in relationship, a sense of relationship with great intensity. But t=
he subtler this process becomes, the more there tends to arise a re-cogniti=
on that the only thing that is ever happening in every instant is a modific=
ation of the very Reality that exists. Every impulse, every desire, every t=
hought, every sense, every sense of separate self, all of these begin to ap=
pear as one activity, a continuous modification, a shaping of what is, of T=
hat which is also ones own Nature or Condition. This is the subtlest form o=
f re-cognition. And no sense of limited or qualified relationship exists in=
this re-cognition at last. The very point in space by which one approaches=
everything, this separate self sense, is seen, felt and known to be a modi=
fication, an arbitrary shaping of ones own existence. Wherever this "shape,=
" this contraction, this modification, this formation of awareness is re-co=
gnized, it is obviated. It is disappeared in the instant of re-cognition, u=
ntil there is absolute, perfect enjoyment of That which underlies all of th=
is activity. At last only It is enjoyed, only It is lived. And that is call=
ed Self-realization, Liberation, Nirvana, all those names.
There are various traditional forms of dhyan, or meditation. But perfect, a=
bsolute, radical understanding is the most intense, the endless or eternal =
Form of meditation. When that meditation is itself perfect, radical, absolu=
te, when re-cognition has become total, when every thing has been re-cogniz=
ed, so that nothing arises in consciousness that is not at the very same in=
stant already re-cognized, when regardless of the condition that arises, re=
gardless of the activity that is performed, whether one is sitting as if in=
meditation, or walking, or performing ordinary activity, the Real Form is =
only obvious, when re-cognition is constant, this is the fundamental state.=
This is true Samadhi, Sahaja Samadhi, constant realization of ones true st=
ate prior to all conditions in the worlds. This true Samadhi or realization=
is not itself an experience, a kind of trance or any kind of "yogic" state=
. It is only enjoyment of and as that Reality which one has always been, an=
d which all things are. One who simply enjoys and lives this enjoyment is t=
o be called a "man of understanding." In him true spiritual life has begun =
. He lives in the Heart, at the "foot" of Amrita Nadi, the Form of God. And=
when such a one moves into association with other beings, he begins to spe=
ak in very strange ways about the nature of life.
All men are only seeking, all are involved in this peculiar activity, the a=
voidance of relationship, and all are pursuing an answer in the forms of th=
eir present experience. Therefore, men want a truth that consoles their hum=
anity. But very Truth has nothing whatever to do with human identity, limit=
ed to what presently appears. From the point of view of Truth, this birth i=
s an obsession, unnecessary, already non-existent. But men want to hear abo=
ut birth and reincarnation, experience and after-life, fulfillment and fasc=
inating creativity. Truth is the most radical penetration of this whole eve=
nt. And only at that moment is there happiness. Until then, every thought, =
every thought, regard less of its content, is in the form of dilemma. You c=
an be thinking, "Ice Cream Cone," or, "Run Spot, run," and you may imagine,=
because of the content of your thoughts, particularly if they are "good" t=
houghts, that everything is all right. But all thought is in the form of a =
dilemma for one who does not understand.
Observe the entire content of an instant of thinking. Not just its apparent=
content, the "sentence," concept or image you have in mind, but the entire=
event, including your involvement with the thought, your relationship to t=
he thought and the tendencies created by the thought, the tendencies create=
d by thinking itself. Apart from Truth all thought is dilemma. The quality =
of thought is dilemma. The quality of ordinary life is dilemma. Apart from =
radical understanding or real meditation, life is only suffering, search, e=
ndless self-creation, endless qualification of the Force that is Reality. E=
very thought is "shape."
DEVOTEE: Suppose you are sitting, looking at a very beautiful lake. You are=
sitting by a lake, and you are looking at it, and you are thinking it is a=
very beautiful lake. What would be the dilemma about that?
FRANKLIN: As I have said, the content of the experience is apparently only =
delicious. But witness this entire event. No one has ever been utterly reli=
eved in the presence of a lake! If you were to become truly sensitive to th=
e current of your ordinary awareness, you would find yourself getting angry=
in gardens, terrified on vacation! It is only that you are chronically una=
ware of the nature of your own event.
What is occurring in this moment by the lake? Sitting, looking at the lake.=
It seems to be very beautiful. But it seems only beautiful because you are=
thinking of it in contrast to other experiences. You have been very busy, =
harried, distracted, demanded, frustrated, and so you go and you sit in the=
country. You create an interval, to eliminate the conditions of all these =
things that ordinarily distract you. You sit in the country, and you relax.=
You feel a little vital, psychosomatic peace. This sitting in the country =
by a lake, and all things like it, are actually forms of traditional practi=
ce. This seemingly natural repose is actually a sophisticated practice of m=
editation. There is a long and ancient tradition for it. We could justifiab=
ly claim that "a lake in the country" is as fixed and formal an object of m=
editation as the "Our Father," the "Name of Ram," or "Om Mani Padme Hum." A=
s you spend your several days in the country, that first moment of ease int=
o distraction begins to disappear in the currents of usual awareness. And y=
ou begin to become sensitive to all kinds of movements within. Thoughts, fe=
elings, sensations, desires, demands, frustrations. When the power to distr=
act is lost, neither mantra, sexual beauty nor country lake can remove from=
you the pain of ordinary existence. It is the same with those who sit with=
me in Satsang. Nothing apparently is going on. It is a nice room. It is ve=
ry quiet here, generally attractive. But you can sit here, in Satsang, and =
go through the most incredible internal drama. And where does all of that c=
ome from? It is not created by the room. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it=
is not so good. Good trip, bad trip. Just so, in the country. In a matter =
of time we pass from rest and return to the same internal self-revelation. =
If you were forced to remain in the country and it became your condition ra=
ther than your distraction, you would find out that you are disturbed, stil=
l disturbed. Then your search goes on in the country, as everywhere else. Y=
ou discover that the very condition of being someone looking at a lake is a=
form of suffering. It is a symbol for Narcissus. Compared to running away =
from a shotgun, perhaps it seems like pleasure. But if you examine the cont=
ent of experiencing itself, even at ease and pleasure, every instant is thi=
s shaping or limitation of the fundamental sense of existence. There is the=
creation in consciousness of the separate self sense (this "me" watching t=
he lake), of differentiating thought ("lake" is different from "city," diff=
erent from "shotgun") and desire ("Oh my, this forever"). Consider all the =
various desires awakened on vacation! What is disturbing men (and all men a=
re disturbed, regardless of their relative condition) is not simply their e=
xternal condition, or their present experience. What is disturbing is their=
human condition, their birth. You are disturbed by the fact that you are s=
itting here, that you are alive in some separate sense, in a world of condi=
tions. This is the disturbance. And as long as that condition exists in con=
sciousness, there is suffering. That is the suffering. You can change the i=
mages, you can change the apparent conditions, you can "change" the world. =
You can go from here to another world, another condition. You can go into a=
nother state while alive, a drug state, a yogic state, a different house, a=
different country, a place in the country. You can modify all the conditio=
ns, external and internal, but you will never change the essential conditio=
n that is your suffering. Only the man of understanding is always already f=
ree.
What are men like on vacation? What are people like who are sitting in the =
country? Most of the time they are obnoxious! All these people on vacation,=
who are all of a sudden so terribly "fulfilled." How do they treat one ano=
ther? What kind of capacity do you have for frustration on a vacation? Prac=
tically none. There is no peculiar intelligence required to sit by a lake a=
nd feel quiet. Any ding-dong can do that. There is no sighted person who ca=
nt feel pleasure looking at a sunset. What is so extraordinary about that? =
People talk about country, earth and vacation as if they were a real altern=
ative to the demands of Truth. Anybody can go down to the ocean and feel co=
mforted. But what has that got to do with your death? What has that got to =
do with your genuine state? All it has done is distract you from your chron=
ic state. Temporarily, distractions make you insensitive to your common sta=
te. Vacations are for that purpose, only to desensitize and rest you for a =
brief period of time. They are sleep and refreshment in life. They are not =
a way of life. And sitting by a lake, or any ordinary or extraordinary dist=
raction and pleasure, is not a way of life. Even traditional, motivated spi=
ritual activity is only a temporary distraction. Truth is not a matter of a=
ny of these distractions. It is a matter of intelligence, the activity of r=
eal intelligence. If there isn't this activity of real intelligence, you ar=
e only distracted, and you are only suffering. Eventually, every individual=
begins to realize that he is only suffering. Eventually, people realize th=
ey are fundamentally disturbed. The more sensitive you are, the more obviou=
s it is to you. The less sensitive you are, the more experience you require=
before it becomes obvious. The more force there is in intelligence, the mo=
re obvious things are, and the more intense is your conscious life. The les=
s sensitive, the more distracted you are, the more in terms of time or expe=
rience you require. But the ultimate event is the same in every case. This =
intelligence, this sensitivity, this real observation of ordinary activity =
arises. And that is yoga, true yoga. That is meditation. That is spiritual =
life. That is religion. That is the way of Truth. Truly, there is no satisf=
action in mere birth. Life is not a form of satisfaction. Life is a form of=
modification and motivation. It is self-creating. It is also Self-realizin=
g. It is for the purpose of experiencing or dramatizing and elaborating lat=
ent tendencies, and, by a process of radical understanding, to transcend an=
d transform the given drama by the grace of Truth.
People who get a little religious, or whatever, like to make all kinds of p=
ious statements about what this all is. But this is simply a realm of drama=
tized desire. Of course, all things arise within the Truth, or within the R=
eal, but as soon as the Truth itself becomes obvious, "you" disappear. So t=
his world is not itself the Truth. Truth is that real activity, that real i=
ntelligence that is the transcendent core of all manifestation. When Truth =
becomes active and alive, when this real process takes place, the whole for=
m of motion that demands this limited and compulsive experience, this birth=
, is dissolved. Thereafter, if anything arises, humor is not lost. Therefor=
e, the man of understanding continues to live, but with humor, and he dies =
with humor.
The peculiar quality of all such men is unique. Ramana Maharshi, from the m=
oment of his "realization," wanted to get out of here. From that moment, he=
wanted nothing to do with life. There came a certain stage in his continue=
d existence when people surrounded him, asked him questions, and wanted to =
serve him. He consented to live the function of Guru among them, but he nev=
er wanted it to last particularly long. He was really very anxious for his =
death. Not anxious in the sense of a neurotic need to die. But he was more =
than happy for life to come to an end. And his death was very ordinary. It =
was a lot of festering and pain and moaning and groaning. Because he unders=
tood very well what this ordinary life and death was all about. His death w=
as a demonstration of the nature of this common pain, illusion, suffering. =
There have also been other "saintly" people whose life appeared as a kind o=
f flowery, miraculous pleasure. Even so, you must remember that these peopl=
e also have all died! The quality all such beings have in common is this "h=
umor," this freedom in the midst of conditions. And all such men demonstrat=
ed this "humor" by their lives, in different ways, in different times, and =
for different people.
There is no moment of this usual birth that is not in the form of desire, o=
f thought, and of separate self sense. Nothing is going on but these, which=
are the usual qualities of man. And none of these truly arises separately.=
They are a complex event, a single event. And that event is the usual cond=
ition and limit of man. If you begin to become aware of your activity, your=
state, your condition from moment to moment, you see there is nothing but =
this. Nothing but desire, thought and separate self sense. The ones who are=
regarded by the various traditions to have been enlightened Sages, Siddhas=
and Saints were those who had become extremely sensitive to this fact. At =
some point, usually relatively early in life, they became incapable of dist=
raction and fell into their ordinary state, which is fear. When there is no=
distraction, there is only fear. The great ones are those who have utterly=
passed through their fear. They re- cognized it, knew it again. Other men =
are of the same nature as these great ones. They are perhaps momentarily in=
sensitive. They are capable of distraction. And the differences between all=
beings and all disciples are the differences in their capacity for distrac=
tion. The kinds and degrees of distraction to which they are subject, and t=
he intensity of their distraction, these are the differences. These qualiti=
es create the differences. And the experience of individuals in this great =
process of Satsang is one in which their capacity to be distracted is under=
mined, frustrated, turned about. Therefore, periodically, every individual =
passes through a time of crisis, of great resistance and fear. Ultimately, =
every disciple and devotee must go through the same process the Guru has al=
ready gone through. Perhaps not precisely in the same apparent form, but, w=
ithin the pattern of his own conditions, that same process must occur.
Thus, spiritual life is this undermining and frustration of the capacity fo=
r distraction. That is why spiritual life has often been described in harro=
wing terms. That is why the disciple must be very responsible for the basic=
quantities in his life, for his relationship to his Guru, and for the dram=
atization that he is tending to create as a result of this spiritual proces=
s in the world. Spiritual life is a crisis. Therefore, spiritual life does =
involve discomfort at times. When discomforts of the crises occur, this doe=
s not mean that spiritual life is failing, or that you are not good enough =
for it. Crisis and discomfort must occur. The crisis or turnabout is what i=
t is all about. It is supposed to occur. You are supposed to suffer the pur=
ifying events. You are supposed to encounter resistance in yourself. You ar=
e supposed to discover all kinds of garbage in yourself. So why should ther=
e be any special resistance to it when it occurs? There may be discomfort, =
and you may wish you didn't have to go through it. But apart from that, the=
re is no reason why you should be overwhelmed or completely disenchanted by=
the fact that you are witnessing a period of intense conflict, crisis, suf=
fering, and disturbance. The more time you waste identifying with all of th=
at, the less sensitive you become to the event. Therefore, Satsang, devotio=
n to Guru, and a loving and intelligent approach to all of life should natu=
rally increase in the periods of apparent discomfort.
All of these apparently disturbed or crisis episodes in this real process o=
f spiritual life are themselves very intelligent, very meaningful. They hav=
e a great deal to show you. The more capacity you have for passing through =
these times, the more useful they become. The man or woman who is really us=
ing this process in himself can be passing through this crisis almost conti=
nually, with great frequency and intensity, and yet, like a soldier on the =
march, he never misses a step, he never reveals it in any peculiar, outward=
way. He continues to function, and he apparently only enjoys his life. He =
doesn't get involved in a whole drama of upset. But in the beginning, when =
a man or woman is just beginning to pass through this kind of crisis in con=
sciousness, there tend to be reactions and breakdowns whenever this crisis =
process begins. In the beginning there is very often an emotional collapse,=
even a physical collapse. There are these episodes that have an almost psy=
chotic quality to them. And it is during those times that the guy is wonder=
ing whether to come here or not and all of that. But as he passes through t=
hese purifying episodes, he begins to realize how he must function in terms=
of the real spiritual process.
When this event begins to arise in the mature disciple, there is always alr=
eady something familiar about it. He knows the signs, he knows what is abou=
t to occur, and he knows the kinds of reactions that will build up. He know=
s that, instead of clenching his teeth and resisting it, he should find som=
e more work to do during that time. Instead of planning a vacation or a bin=
ge when he sees a crisis coming, he cancels all forms of entertainment or d=
istraction, every thing that he would normally use to distract himself from=
his internal state. He plans a lot of work for the coming days. He plans o=
n an ordinary, functional life. He makes good use, really good use of these=
episodes. The more intelligent he is, the better the use he makes of them.=
The less intelligent he is, the more capable he is of distraction at that =
time, the more he will look for ways to dramatize his state, and to distrac=
t himself from the lesson that turns purification into transformation.
You must know that everything I am doing is a means to bring about this cri=
sis. I desire this crisis in you. I don't want it not to happen. I don't wa=
nt to console you. I don't want you to be happy in your unconsciousness. I =
want you to become sensitive to your actual state. I want you to know very =
well what you are always up to. I want you to become capable of seeing your=
self under all kinds of conditions. I want you to see the machine of your o=
rdinary activity. And I want it all to collapse. I want it to come to an en=
d. I want the death of all of that. If that death does not occur, there wil=
l be no release, no real enjoyment for any of you. There will just be the c=
ontinual round, the self-creation of this unconscious event of life and dea=
th that is already distracting you. I look to create the various means nece=
ssary to serve this crisis. Because to serve this crisis is to serve unders=
tanding, to serve the joy and true bliss of liberated realization, of radic=
al understanding. Every instant in Satsang is working to bring this about.
In the Buddhist tradition it is said there are three things to which the as=
pirant must resort. In their language, these three are called the Buddha, t=
he Dharma, and the Sangha: the Siddha-Guru (or descended spiritual Master),=
the Teaching (including the living spiritual Power and the discipline), an=
d the company or community of those who are living the Truth. The first eve=
nt that occurred in our work together was the meeting in which you and I es=
tablished a relationship. The next quality that began to be developed was t=
he understanding of what spiritual life is, what this relationship is, what=
this process is, and what it demands. So the Guru, the Teaching, the disci=
pline and the communication of the spiritual power of Truth have been the t=
hings that have held our attention in the early stages of our Ashram. In th=
e last few months you have seen me begin more and more to emphasize the Ash=
ram as a living process, an activity, a responsible activity of communion o=
r community. I have been creating various functions, first by bringing them=
to life in myself, and then passing them on as responsibilities in others.=
So we have been working in the last few months to create the Sangha, the c=
ompany, the community of this work.
The ordinary man is avoiding relationship in complex ways. Therefore, it is=
necessary, in the midst of this work, wherein we re-cognize this avoidance=
, for relationship to be the condition. There must be living, working, func=
tional relationship. So there must be the opportunity for those who are liv=
ing Truth to live it in relation to one another, to examine together the Te=
aching, and to turn as a living community to the Guru. Community is the nat=
ural condition of all true spiritual activity.
People who are moved to approach spiritual things are generally motivated b=
y their illusions. They use what they gather through reading and the usual =
meditation to isolate themselves further, to console themselves, to create =
forms of self-imagery, good feelings, immunity, various narcissistic qualit=
ies. But I intend for this Teaching always to be displayed in relationship,=
because it is only in relationship that it begins to make any sense, that =
it begins to show itself. So there must be this functional confrontation be=
tween those who are using it. That confrontation is the use of it.
Many of you have at one time or another expressed to me your feelings about=
organized spirituality, organized religion, whatever. People commonly have=
negative and resistive feelings toward all forms of community and human re=
lationships. And the reason, the ultimate root of these feelings, is the te=
ndency towards separation itself. In a certain way you can see that it is c=
ompletely justified. There is a great deal about organized spiritual and co=
mmon life worthy to be resisted! On the other hand, Truth is manifested onl=
y in this relational condition, and it is perceived in relationship. It is =
a crisis that occurs in relationship. Therefore, the community of Truth, th=
e community that lives this Teaching is absolutely necessary. But what make=
s it a thing to resist is your lack of involvement in it, your separation f=
rom it, your dramatized resistance to relational and community life. So the=
spiritual community must be alive. Every one must be alive within it. Ever=
y one must be active in relationship and function within it. So if you do b=
ecome active, responsible, alive, and intimate with others who are living t=
his way, the whole sensation of resistance to so-called "organized" spiritu=
al life will disappear, because you will be dealing with the problem of com=
munity only as that which it truly is: an expression of your own avoidance =
of relationship. But if you do not live it, if you do not move into functio=
nal relationship with this work, you will only see it externally. Everywher=
e you will only see your reasons for separating from the Guru, the Teaching=
, and the Community, because you will have made it into something without l=
ife, something worth resisting. Therefore, it is the responsibility of thos=
e in this work to live it, to become active in it, to use it, and to become=
responsible for it.

THE METHOD OF THE SIDDHAS=20


________________________________________
"One-Pointedness" From The Method of the Siddhas - 1978
Author(s): Adi Da Samraj
THE METHOD OF THE SIDDHAS (1978)
Part I: The Method of the Siddhas
CHAPTER 9
One-Pointedness
DEVOTEE: When in Satsang, Ive started to have this experience of being draw=
n into some kind of trance, almost like a sleep, and Ive been trying to dea=
l with it, but I dont know whether I should hold back, hold onto it or let =
go.
FRANKLIN: It makes no difference. Why does this experience seem to create a=
question in you?
DEVOTEE: I wonder if a decision or will is required, or is it all you?
FRANKLIN: There are two things here. You have this experience that comes on=
you in Satsang, and you have your search. The experience is not what you a=
re really asking about. What are you observing about yourself?
DEVOTEE: Well, Im trying to get the answer. Im trying to find out what to d=
o. Im still searching.
FRANKLIN: And what is this searching, this getting? What does this trying t=
o find the answer involve? What is it you are doing when you are asking the=
se questions and manipulating yourself? What are you up to all the time? Wh=
at are you doing? You are disturbed!
DEVOTEE: Yes!
FRANKLIN: That is the truth. Always disturbed. You come here disturbed, and=
you go through some changes. Then you feel very restful. Then you start wa=
nting to wake up, but you also want to go back to sleep "Should I do this, =
should I do that?" You are disturbed! You are asking questions. You have th=
is dilemma. That is true. That is the whole point.
The point is not the answer to this question, not whether you should allow =
yourself to go into this trance state or not. Such answers are only a respo=
nse to this question. But this question is what you are all about! It is th=
is chronic disturbance, this dis-ease, this contraction, this avoidance of =
relationship, this whole process in all its forms.
And all of this is going on while you are just sitting here! But "just sitt=
ing here" is a potent means of making you gradually aware of your ordinary =
activity. That is the point, not these experiences in themselves. The entir=
e process is to make you aware of your ordinary state, your ordinary activi=
ty, to see it directly, to know it, to re-cognize it, to know it again. Und=
erstanding is the point of all this. Since understanding is the point, the =
experiences themselves are not what it is all about, nor your reactions to =
the experiences, nor your questions about them, nor their content, nor thei=
r interpretation. What you do about this particular experience is no more s=
ignificant than the interpretation of dreams. The having of dreams is signi=
ficant. The fact that they occur is already their meaning. That is their si=
gnificance. Their very activity, the fact that they occur=97that is the pro=
cess. Apart from the process itself, it makes no difference what a dream "m=
eans." It is a process in consciousness, having its own value. So also with=
the process of your experiences in Satsang. But while this process is goin=
g on, you are disturbed. And this disturbance manifests as endless changes =
in your state. You are wandering, and wondering about it. So it begins to s=
eem that even this simple experience, just sitting here, has become a quest=
ion! It is as if the sky were a question! But in itself it is not a questio=
n. There is no question. "You" are the question! Your state is the quality =
of dilemma, of dis-ease. Your state is your question.
The force of Satsang produces phenomena at various levels. It represents it=
self in many ways. But the value of it, the ultimate purpose of it, is for =
you to see your own activity. If you were not always becoming a question, a=
lways contracting, there would be nothing to ask about these phenomena. And=
what is this process of becoming a question, a fundamental dilemma? You mu=
st have listened to music through a pair of stereo speakers or headphones. =
The sound appears to arise from some point in the middle of your head. If y=
ou become very attentive to that process itself, the point of hearing seems=
to be generated in the very midst of your head. If you become even more at=
tentive, this point of "hearing" will become the thing in which you are int=
erested, and you wont hear the details or even the sounds of the music anym=
ore. The psycho-physical organism as a whole operates in very much the same=
way. The functional mechanisms of perception, such as the ears, seem to "t=
arget" phenomena. When we are weak, when we have suffered through not livin=
g these phenomena from the point of view of Truth, we become obsessed with =
this point of awareness, the target itself. We begin to identify with it. P=
erception or experience creates the self, the ego, and we begin chronically=
to live in terms of this target as if it were the source and center of lif=
e.
No matter what phenomena arise, you habitually manipulate them in such a wa=
y that this target becomes the focus and apparent source or origin of your =
attention. This target becomes the chronic implication of all experience. J=
ust so, this "trance" experience arose in your case. As usual, there was th=
e attempt to return to the point of view of this target, to give it all "si=
gnificance," until the experience itself was lost in the dilemma. The targe=
t became the obsession. In this way, the intensity or potency of all experi=
ence is used to reinforce Narcissus, the sense of separate, independent sel=
f.
That target is "me," ego, but it is also a question. It is always in the fo=
rm of a dilemma. Because it is a form of contraction, a point, it is always=
separate, even from the phenomena that create it! When this target becomes=
the obsession in consciousness, the living phenomena of our spontaneous ex=
istence are no longer clear. If you are focused compulsively upon the targe=
t of the sound, you cant differentiate the patterns of music any longer, yo=
u cant enjoy the sound, you cant turn to the source of sound, you contract =
from it continually. So the sense of existence as this contracted point is =
the dilemma. When we speak from the point of view of self, it is always as =
dilemma. And when we begin to perceive, to turn back to the spontaneous wor=
ld from this point of view, everything seems mysterious, threatening. Then =
every thing assumes the form or quality of a question. And there is a conti=
nual return, folding back in on that target or point again and again, until=
this activity is re-cognized, known again.
When re-cognition takes place, this "point" is seen to have no fundamental =
and fixed or necessary reality. It is simply a functional means of organizi=
ng phenomena. The apparent implication, the self, the ego, that "point," is=
unreal, a temporary and dependent event. It is a secondary creation. It do=
esnt actually and presently exist as the form of consciousness. It is purel=
y a functional phenomenon, a psycho-physical habit. But this habit persists=
, until there is a turnabout in consciousness, from compulsive orientation =
upon this point, this target, to what is prior to that.
What is the nature of sound and of hearing prior to that target? Before the=
re is the avoidance of relationship, before there is this contraction, with=
its sensation of self, what is the nature of consciousness? The whole psyc=
ho-physical mechanism is a mass of these targeting agencies. From top to bo=
ttom, inside and out, the whole life-process amounts to this sense of a poi=
nt, a target, and men identify compulsively with that, so that they begin t=
o live from its point of view, forgetting entirely the origin of this point=
.
Now, Satsang is like the origination of sound. It is received by men in the=
ordinary way, through this targeting mechanism, and they compulsively try =
to manipulate or orient themselves in relation to the experiences of Satsan=
g, so that they can continually regain the sense of this point, this target=
, this ego. As if that were the significance of these experiences! But when=
they remember they are in Satsang, when they turn to the origin of this ph=
enomenon of Satsang rather than upon this target of experience, something h=
appens quite naturally in consciousness. It is not at once illumination or =
perfect knowledge. It is a spontaneous and momentary release of the separat=
e point of view. It allows the force that is being communicated to fill thi=
s mechanism, to harmonize it without the compulsive contraction, the compul=
sive creation of this point of view. Over time, this fullness begins to bec=
ome a kind of intelligence, an effortless receptivity, a new event in consc=
iousness that begins to see this activity perfectly, to see this contractio=
n as it is, as contraction.
The avoidance of relationship is a purely secondary activity that is suffer=
ing, that is dilemma, that is not real, not itself Reality or the present a=
nd true condition. It has only a conventional value, but no ultimate realit=
y. One who understands begins to fall from this compulsive activity into op=
enness, no-contraction, and such is true Self-Knowledge. The true "Self" or=
Reality is not a point, it is not the implication of experience, it has no=
significance in time, it is not limited to any visible form, any form of e=
nergy or light, it is not located in space, it has no center, and no bounds=
. So, Satsang is the communication of that Truth, the force of that Truth, =
to those who are still living this contraction.
The virtue of Satsang is that it communicates its own nature. It makes this=
activity of contraction obsolete by various means. It begins by creating i=
n the devotee a gradual re-cognition of his own activity, in the midst of S=
atsang, in the midst of the force of life, of Truth. Therefore, temporarily=
, this activity goes on, this questioning, this wondering, this self-manipu=
lation, even while some other things are going on that are in themselves qu=
ite natural, intelligent, or extraordinary.
What you do in Satsang is a ritual duplication of what you are always doing=
. You come here already hung-up, already disturbed. This avoidance of relat=
ionship, this contraction is what is always going on. And, we buy it! We co=
ntinually buy it. I often make a fist out of my hand to indicate this activ=
ity to you, because it shows very clearly what happens when there is this c=
ontraction. If you curl your hand in upon itself, a sensation is created at=
the center of the hand that concentrates attention. This sensation in the =
hand is differentiated from every possible thing that is outside it. It bec=
omes the center of concentration. The same process, generated in the psycho=
-physical life as a whole, becomes the point of view toward all of this, wh=
ereas it is only a functional reflection of various forces. At every level =
of consciousness, the entire psycho-physical mechanism is devoted to this a=
ctivity, this curling in upon itself. This is Narcissus. And all the search=
es of men, all the traditional approaches men have taken to Truth, are from=
this point of view, the point of view of this dilemma, this contraction, t=
his "ego."
Men want to know what happens after death. What happens after this sensatio=
n is released? Nothing! They want this sensation of independent existence t=
o survive. They become frightened. All questions are from this "point" of v=
iew, because this is the archetype of questions. This is the only question,=
this is the dilemma! This is our fundamental experience from moment to mom=
ent. So men are suffering, they are afraid, they are self-obsessed, they ar=
e distracted, they are unconscious, they are turned in upon themselves. The=
y are always turning, curling. What do you do?
I was looking at some people here earlier, while we were sitting quietly to=
gether. Some of you are always doing something when you are only sitting. I=
t would be amusing to put it on rapid film. It is an incredible ritual, an =
endless dance, touching and examining your bodies, creating this sensation =
of separate existence by every kind of nervous perception. There are number=
less tiny adjustments of the physical position, endless touching of various=
parts of the body, moving of the body, creasing the body, creating little =
tensions in the nervous system that concentrate attention. It is going on i=
nternally as well, with every form of perception and thought, every possibl=
e kind of communication from the environment and the internal functions of =
the psycho-physical life. This same targeting, this compulsive contraction,=
goes on and on and on and on. And what do you think you do when you get up=
to leave this room? Do you think that the strategy of your activity change=
s when you say good morning to someone or when you walk down the street or =
when you go to work? This same thing is always going on. Its an endless con=
traction, endless self-sensation.
Sit quietly in a chair sometime. You will observe how every moment of perce=
ption is combined with a symbol in consciousness, a thought, an image, an i=
nterpretation, a contraction of the field of consciousness. Always, this ta=
rget is created. So men are always "meditating," men are always tending to =
be "one-pointed." Every moment of life is devoted to the creation of this "=
point." And this contraction ultimately becomes terminal. It becomes psycho=
-physical death, because it is endlessly intensified, to the point of absol=
ute contraction, so there is no longer any flow of force. If I hold my hand=
clenched tightly in a fist, increasing the tension, so that no blood will =
flow, it will eventually wither. So men are dying of this one activity. All=
physical pain is a contraction. Fear is a contraction. All emotions are co=
ntraction. All thought is a contraction of the force-field of consciousness=
. All that a man ever experiences are the forms of his own contraction, thi=
s avoidance of relationship.
So all men are like Narcissus, who sought to escape from all conditions by =
separating himself from all relationships, all confrontation, who removed h=
imself to the wilderness of absolute isolation, so that he was left sitting=
nowhere by the side of a pond. What is more, he spent the rest of his life=
looking into the pond, gazing at his own image, and supposing it to be his=
loved-one, some other that he loved. Not only is Narcissus separate, isola=
ted, but he is conscious only of an illusion, perpetually. All men are just=
like that. There is this avoidance of relationship, this continual contrac=
tion and meditation only upon the internal reflection of events, this endle=
ss thinking, this endless motivation from the point of view of the ego, the=
assumed "place" of perception and cognition, so that there is no real perc=
eption, no real knowledge.
When a man looks with eyes, he sees this point. When he hears, he concentra=
tes on this target. When he acts, he acts from the point of view of this ta=
rgeted center. He never deals with the source of these perceptions, he neve=
r communicates with the nature of events. He never realizes that he is not =
the point of perception, that he is always already one with perception itse=
lf and all that is perceived. The origin or the "Self" of every man is not =
this ego, this target, this sensation. The Self is the origin of all these =
sensations. The body arises within the Self. Sound arises within the Self. =
Light arises within It. All things arise within It, but the Self is not qua=
lified, nor is there any separately existing self or thing.
In Satsang the force of this Self, this Reality, is communicated. Just as y=
ou function on many levels, including the solid physical being, the vital e=
nergy of life, the psychic life, the emotive or emotional life, the process=
es of thought and subtle cognition, just so, Satsang, the communication of =
Truth, manifests on many levels. It manifests as physical, human relationsh=
ip with the man of understanding and his friends, as a force, which manifes=
ts in many ways, vital, emotional, psychic, and the rest, as a radical cond=
ition of life, as the communication of verbal concepts, and more. But while=
this communication goes on over time, the individual begins to perceive hi=
s own activity in Satsang. Satsang does not simply remove that activity as =
if by magic. It reveals that activity. So Satsang, the living of Satsang, w=
hich is spiritual life, involves a crisis in consciousness, the crisis of c=
onsciousness. Therefore, the activity that is our suffering is not removed =
by magical, external and willful methods, but it is shown, demonstrated, ev=
entually perceived, and finally, perfectly understood.
Even while in Satsang, there is a kind of warfare going on in the disciple =
or devotee. There is this contraction. But he is continually being drawn ou=
t of that, by the force and very condition of Satsang, into the company of =
Truth. The Truth draws him, even though he continues to contract. And the r=
esult of that tension is a dredging up in him of the perception of his own =
activity, on many, many levels. It must take place on every level.
While talking with one of you today, I used the simile of a well. When a ma=
n first comes to Satsang, he is like a dark, deep well. Way up at the top, =
the light comes in around the edges, but it is black, unconscious below! Wh=
en the light of the Truth shines down into it, all of these weirdo, slither=
ing things come climbing up the sides. All the hidden, slimy activity begin=
s to be disturbed, awakened, and moved into the light. Just so, every momen=
t in Satsang increases the necessity for responsibility in the disciple, be=
cause the force of Satsang isnt merely a good feeling, a consolation, somet=
hing smiling, happy and pleasant. It is not magic. It is a living force, th=
e force of Truth. This force moves into the "well," into the human function=
, this circuit of descending and ascending life, and brings up the chronic =
patterns of ordinary and unconscious life, revealing them at the level of t=
he actual conditions of life. In the midst of this real process the subtle =
tendencies of life are revealed as desires, as incredible compulsions, whic=
h, even if they were known before, now seem to become worse. The intensific=
ation of everything is the activity of Satsang. And what is there to be int=
ensified in the usual man, except this negative pattern, this contraction? =
So, of course, there are difficulties. Real spiritual life requires everyth=
ing of a person. Spiritual life is a crisis!
One who lives in Satsang experiences many revelations of his state. Dreams =
become intensified. There may be spontaneous physical movements, changes in=
the physical body. Life may become burdensome at times, thoughts seem to b=
ecome endless. The individual may become disgusted with his own game. But t=
he whole effect of this communication of Truth over against his own tendenc=
ies is to bring about a consciousness of his own activity or contraction on=
every level. Where this begins to occur, all of the hidden qualities can e=
scape into the light and be merged in the light of consciousness. If a man =
maintains himself in Satsang through the intense and perhaps protracted per=
iods of crisis, this whole process appearing in him will begin to become in=
teresting. He will cease to react to it, to resist it, to attempt mastery o=
ver it, to do anything about it. He will live Satsang. He will simply live =
this relationship and condition that is Satsang. Self-indulgence or outward=
dramatization of these patterns will cease to be his motivation, because h=
e will understand this activity to be a purifying event.
So the true devotee lives this Satsang, enjoys this communication of Truth,=
sees his own activity, and begins to know what it is. An intelligence begi=
ns to awaken in which he re-cognizes this perfectly. But none of it is a fo=
rm of magic. It is a miracle. It is a grace. It is an absolute activity, pr=
actically unknown in the world, because the world is devoted to this ordina=
ry action of contraction, the avoidance of relationship. Neither the proces=
s nor the force of Satsang is magical. It doesnt simply "come on" to you, s=
o that you feel good, ready to smile at everyone, as if you were on a drug.=
No wisdom is gained by that magic. You are required to go through the puri=
fying event, so that when you arrive at the point of intelligence, where yo=
u can live these human functions from the point of view of Truth, you have =
the wisdom by which to do that. If the negative effects of life were simply=
removed, as if by magic, without any of your real participation, you would=
gradually and unconsciously move back into the same condition. However, in=
general, the participation that you are required to have in this process t=
ends, by the force of Satsang, to be made more of an internal than an exter=
nal one. For the most part, instead of having to live through the latent pa=
tterns of karmas of your life in the form of massive and unyielding disaste=
rs, you are brought to live through them in ways that can at least be handl=
ed, perhaps with difficulty, but they can be handled. Much of it takes plac=
e in dreams, in self-purifying kriyas, in various yogic processes.
Spiritual life is a demand, it is a confrontation, it is a relationship. It=
is not a method you apply to yourself. Your "self" is this contraction, an=
d this contraction is what must be undermined in spiritual life. Therefore,=
the Guru comes in human form, in living form, to confront you and take you=
by the neck. He doesnt merely send down a grinning photograph, to be repro=
duced with a few fairy comments for everybody to believe. The traditional i=
mages and records of past help serve very little. At best they may help a p=
erson move into a position where he can actually begin spiritual life. But =
Truth must come in a living form, absolutely. Truth must confront a man, li=
ve him, and meditate him. It is not your meditation that matters. Truth mus=
t meditate you. And that is the Siddhi or marvelous process of Satsang. Eve=
n while Truth is meditating you in Satsang, you are busy doing more of the =
usual to yourself, waking yourself up, putting yourself to sleep, reacting =
in every possible and unconscious way to the force of Satsang, but you are =
being meditated.
You cannot be "meditated" by one who is not alive. Even if you believe in o=
ne who is no longer alive in human form, you cannot provide the necessary, =
living means for this meditation. Truth must come in living form, usually i=
n the human vehicle of the Guru, the true man of understanding. Spiritual l=
ife involves this marvelous process, this Siddhi, this Satsang. If this Sid=
dhi or living spiritual process is not activated, it doesnt make a damn bit=
of difference what exotic or humble spiritual methods you apply to yoursel=
f, for it will always be of the same nature. It will always amount to a for=
m of this contraction. All of your methods, all mantras, all yogic methods,=
all beliefs, all paths, all religions are extensions of this contraction. =
Truth itself must become the process of life and communicate itself, create=
conditions in life, and make demands, restoring the conscious participatio=
n of the individual. Dead Gurus cant kick ass!
At the beginning, the position of the individual in relation to Satsang is =
relatively passive, apparently passive. The fullness of Satsang is given to=
him as a grace. When this process begins in him, it acts as an intensifier=
of his various internal and external activities. A practical relationship =
is established with him, conditions are applied to his life, demands are ma=
de of him. The force, the energy aspect of Satsang intensifies, wakens and =
fills him. His vitality, his health, his relations with the environment, hi=
s life condition, these are the things that are confronted first. Essential=
ly, during that early period, he is responsible for being in Satsang, respo=
nsible for maintaining that connection, and fulfilling the practical demand=
s given to him through that relationship. He is also responsible not to ind=
ulge or dramatize externally, in life, the phenomena that are arising in hi=
m as a result of Satsang.
People dont begin to believe any of this, really, until they begin to have =
the experience. They experience Satsang and the quality of spiritual life h=
ere as something very enjoyable, profound, whatever. Then, all of a sudden,=
they come to that first point of crisis in this work. An insane compulsion=
, almost like possession, overcomes them and seems to demand they leave thi=
s work. They wake up one morning: "Franklin is no good, the Ashram is no go=
od, spiritual life is no good, none of this has anything to do with me, I s=
hould leave and return to my previous relatively happy existence." If they =
are able to hold on through one or two of these episodes, they begin to see=
it as their own activity, not anything that truly reflects on this work, a=
nd they become stable again in Satsang. When this form of the crisis is thu=
s overcome, a new one develops, just as suddenly, and with equal force. The=
n they think: "The work is good, Franklin is good, the Ashram is good, Trut=
h is good, spiritual life is good, but Im no good, Im not ready for it yet,=
Im not an old enough soul yet, Im still full of desires, I guess Im still =
supposed to seek for a while." This is the crisis of self-doubt. It is ofte=
n topped off with the "observation" that "Franklin hates me." And so they w=
ant to leave, if only for that reason! Narcissus is always a form of contra=
ction, of separation, of leaving. But if they are able to pass through this=
one, still holding on to Satsang, still maintaining a responsible refusal =
to exploit this internal movement in a life drama, they begin to settle sta=
bly into the real self-recognition that is spiritual life.
All of the great Siddhas, the realized ones, who have taught in the world, =
have given Satsang to their disciples as grace. That was their essential ac=
tivity and gift. They didnt come to give a method, to give a conceptual tea=
ching only, to create a myth, a structure for the mind, some sort of mental=
ity. They brought themselves. They entered into relationship with the world=
, with their disciples. That relationship is the very structure and outward=
sign of the process I have described. That is spiritual life. That process=
is spiritual life. The Siddha "lives" his disciples. The Truth "meditates"=
those in Satsang, through a period of relative passivity, until there is m=
ore experience of this actual process, more responsibility, more consciousn=
ess. Then, at some point in time, when this insight into the usual pattern =
of activity is developed and has become real, has become the actual intelli=
gence of the disciple, then perhaps this form of enquiry described in The K=
nee of Listening will develop. But, apart from understanding, prior to the =
time when the real process of Satsang has actually come alive in a man, for=
him to enquire of himself "Avoiding relationship?" is neither valuable nor=
intelligent. You can ask yourself any question, recite any mantra, carry o=
n any sort of deliberate internal activity or form of concentration, and it=
will have neither more nor less value than this "Avoiding relationship?" B=
ut when this Satsang has become fruitful in you, when this intelligence is =
alive, when understanding already exists, then this apparently more deliber=
ate activity of enquiry in the form "Avoiding relationship?" may become app=
ropriate. Even so, as you will see, it is just an extension of the thing th=
at the individual is beginning to see in himself as a consequence of every =
moment in Satsang. The more there is of Satsang, the more a person sees his=
own activity, his disturbance, until he begins to re-cognize it, to see th=
at there is the avoidance of relationship, this contraction. When he knows =
this utterly, when this contraction is undermined in real knowledge, that v=
ery insight is what I have called "understanding." And when that understand=
ing is alive, it may approach experience moment to moment as enquiry, as th=
e conscious enforcement of this insight itself.
So Satsang is this condition, the relationship or condition of relationship=
to the man of understanding. Truth itself is communicated in Satsang. And =
the life of Satsang is simply to live this relationship. It is simple enoug=
h in concept, but when you live it from day to day, it becomes complicated.=
It becomes a question, a dilemma. This is because you dont in fact or simp=
ly abide in Satsang, you dont live the condition of Satsang without qualifi=
cation. You continue to live this contraction, this avoidance of relationsh=
ip. You still tend to separate yourself from the condition of Satsang. Ther=
e is this tension, this drama, this warfare in Satsang. Periodically you se=
e again what youve been up to, and quite spontaneously, you fall out of thi=
s contraction into the condition of Satsang again. Periodically you catch y=
ourself running, contracting, moving into your own forms, so that you see i=
t all again and return to Satsang.
One of the earliest manifestations of Satsang in certain people are these k=
riyas, these spontaneous movements of body, posture, attitude and breath. A=
s a way of understanding the difference between the force of Satsang and th=
e usual state of human activity, look at the difference between these kriya=
s and the kind of nervous activity that men are always performing. Examine =
the usual man at "ease," with his constant picking and grabbing and self-co=
nscious posturing, his endless attempts to become comfortable while still m=
aintaining an inner feeling of confinement or entrapment. All of that is re=
-action to outside or generalized forces. Such actions are always in the fo=
rm of reflexive, self-directed movements. But genuine kriyas are internally=
and spontaneously generated. They are movements from within outward, not a=
curling inward from without. That is why these kriyas are themselves a kin=
d of purifier, because they tend to break or reverse compulsive contraction=
. But these kriyas are not themselves profound. They are not Truth. They ar=
e active at the level of the psycho-physical body only. There is nothing "o=
ut in the cosmos" about them. They are evidence of a process which is resto=
ring the nervous system to its natural harmony and intensity.
Whatever arises as experience in the course of Satsang and its meditation i=
s not itself the point. Visions, subtle phenomena of all kinds are themselv=
es only images of this "target." They are themselves forms of contraction. =
They come in order to disappear! As I have said, the man of understanding i=
s not endlessly engaged in all kinds of occult phenomena, or even simple in=
ternal phenomena. That whole affair has come to rest, and the force that co=
ntains and supports all such phenomena is consciously alive in the man of u=
nderstanding. The "Light" of which all visions are only a modification is c=
onsciousness itself. The man of understanding no longer lives from the poin=
t of view of the target in any sense. Not this gross body, not the vital bo=
dy, not the subtle body, not the subtle mind, not the mind at all, not any =
form of subtlety, not any center, not any "light" body, not any eternal bod=
y, no body! The point of view of Truth is alive in the man of understanding=
. It is no longer separate. It only manifests or appears to manifest as all=
of these points, all of these functions. Therefore, such a one also appear=
s in all the ordinary forms. But wherever the "target" tends to arise, it v=
anishes in him. He doesnt buy it. He doesnt act from its point of view. He =
doesnt dramatize it. He doesnt believe it. He never becomes it. For him, th=
ere is never the loss, under any conditions, of profound, direct awareness =
of his true nature, his real and actual condition.
Whenever the man of understanding appears, a new function has appeared in l=
ife. The man of understanding is not another thing to be made into a target=
, he is not an other ego that has appeared to be worshipped, glorified, con=
tained and fitted into a cult. When he appears, a new function, a living pr=
ocess has become possible, which is Satsang. But, paradoxically, it is very=
difficult to get anyone interested in Satsang, because men are devoted to =
this process of contraction. From the point of view of the world, of the se=
arch, Truth and Satsang are always rejected. Satsang always has only a para=
doxical presence in the world, because it always works to undermine the sea=
rch. Those who truly become interested and are capable of enduring the acti=
vity of this Satsang are those in whom the whole process of seeking in all =
its forms has begun to fail in a critical way. In such people the options o=
f the search have begun to subside, to die. Such people have become immobil=
e, truly desperate. They are not necessarily about to go into a psychotic s=
tate! It can be a very "natural" and non-clinical despair. But it is a crit=
ical failure. Such people become capable of Satsang, and Satsang may also b=
ecome their opportunity.
DEVOTEE: You have said that those who live in Satsang must be responsible n=
ot to dramatize or act out the tendencies that are awakened and revealed in=
them. But I dont think you mean they should be repressed. Would you explai=
n it?
FRANKLIN: We are speaking of these things as they occur under the condition=
s of Satsang, not in life without conscious benefit of Satsang. Prior to Sa=
tsang, an emotion, an impulse would develop, and, under certain circumstanc=
es, you just plain did it. The point of view of Satsang never entered into =
your decision or your reaction. But when you begin to live the condition of=
Satsang, you have an entirely different principle of life from which to vi=
ew these phenomena. When Satsang truly becomes the condition of your life, =
then, as tendencies arise, it is not a matter of repressing or suppressing =
them, or of doing anything to them. They are mechanical, internal phenomena=
, patterns reflecting themselves in the force of consciousness and in the b=
ody. The more a person lives Satsang and begins to understand the activity =
that creates these phenomena or causes them to rush up in him, the less he =
tends to identify with the phenomena themselves. Then the activity and the =
patterns become only interesting to him, rather than sources of motivation.=
He begins to acknowledge them to be patterns only, not "me," not something=
"I" must suppress, but patterns arising, and which he is observing. The tr=
ue disciple simply lives Satsang during that time. He doesnt even become co=
ncerned with the patterns. He enjoys Satsang. If some episode is causing hi=
m particular distress, mental or physical, he doesnt suppress it, he does n=
othing to it. He scrubs a floor, washes a window, types some letters, goes =
to work, has a sandwich, goes to the seashore! He doesnt get involved in th=
at drama, either by suppressing it or exploiting it. He does nothing about =
it. He enjoys Satsang! This thing that is arising in him is only a form of =
contraction. It is always a form of contraction. To "buy" it, perform it, o=
r to suppress it is to contract further, to take on the form and point of v=
iew of contraction, to reinforce it. But the point of view of Satsang is re=
lationship, not avoidance. So one who lives the condition of Satsang is alr=
eady free of the stress of this contraction. He lives and is aware beyond i=
t, living another condition. He is already not living this contraction, and=
so he has neither to exploit it nor suppress it. He is living Satsang. The=
refore, he sees this is a phenomenon only, a phenomenon that arises in Sats=
ang, a purifying event.
One who lives in Satsang allows the revelation of tendencies to occur as a =
subliminal activity, as a display of impressions, as a sensation, but not a=
necessary motivation. Regardless of the form in which it arises in him at =
the time, he carries on his practical activity. He doesnt sit alone in his =
room, trying to keep from going out and indulging all his desires to the po=
int of bewilderment. No, he stands up, he goes down to the Ashram, he sits =
in Satsang, he sees some friends, he goes to work, he takes himself to life=
s functions, its functional responsibilities. He can permit this thing to a=
rise in him, without distress, without identification, because of present S=
atsang. When Satsang becomes real, the actual and present condition of your=
life, your relationship to these self-revealing tendencies begins spontane=
ously to change. The more a man lives Satsang, the more he begins to see ho=
w his relationship to this process is changing, how it is unnecessary to dr=
amatize or live the latent tendencies. Indeed, he sees that to live the ari=
sing tendencies, even the apparently pleasurable ones, is the very strategy=
of suffering.
At the beginning of a persons life in this Satsang, I simply require, as a =
condition, that people be responsible in certain functional and practical l=
evels of life. There must be a foundation for this process. Thus, when you =
first arrived, various practical matters were discussed with you, including=
diet, your work and responsibilities, your environment and living conditio=
ns, the relationships in your life, and the like. This is to be certain you=
are willing to assume practical responsibility for an endlessly dramatized=
life. Those in Satsang must be essentially responsible for the processes o=
f money, food and sex. I do not mean that one who enters Satsang must becom=
e a sudden saint! But when he lives it all with some sort of practical inte=
lligence, there is a living firmness, a foundation for this process. If the=
re is nothing but a hole out the bottom, every time something is thrown in,=
it goes out the bottom. If you are only ready to indulge what arises in yo=
u, Satsang will only give you more energy for it. Such people need a parent=
, not the Guru.
So I require people to take on real responsibilities at the practical level=
of life. You do not require the absolute perception of Truth in order to m=
oderate your diet. It is simply a practical affair. A supportive, enjoyable=
diet that gives strength, keeps the body vital, keeps the life vital, is s=
imply a matter of intelligence. To be intelligent, you need not first reali=
ze absolute Truth. But no one can realize Truth absolutely who has not firs=
t become intelligent. If a person moderates and purifies his diet, then, in=
the primary activity of taking food, dramatization is not taking place. If=
a person is carrying on some sort of insanity, some gross craziness, in th=
e forms of sexual indulgence, I require him to understand something about t=
he relational necessities of his sexual life and his creative communication=
of force into the world. Then he will have some practical hold on the use =
of this primary function. All of this is not in itself for ultimate reasons=
, but for purely practical reasons, for the sake of the spiritual process, =
to prevent exhaustion of the vital life, and the distractions of unconsciou=
sness, weakness, disease. Just so, at the level of money and general condit=
ions of life, for purely practical reasons, I want each of those in Satsang=
to be fundamentally responsible for his income, and the quality of his env=
ironment. All of this for purely practical reasons, not for any idealistic =
reasons.
Every single thing that could possibly be dramatized is a form of contracti=
on, of separation. And what are these things you are concerned about "repre=
ssing"? You dont worry about repressing or exploiting your tendency to love=
people, to share life with them, and help them! There is no danger represe=
nted by that, so there is no problem about having to repress or exploit it.=
What are the things you are wondering about exploiting and repressing? The=
y are all negative, destructive, separative tendencies. Therefore, from the=
beginning, a little of that knowledge which is the principle of Satsang mu=
st be clear. A person must have seen something about his ordinary activity,=
his suffering, his usual state. When he sees that, fundamentally, his usua=
l state is his suffering, he falls into that relationship that is Satsang. =
Then all of these forms of contraction begin to lose their force. They are =
undermined by relationship, whereas they are reinforced by exploitation, su=
ppression or repression. The more there is this intensity of relationship i=
n Satsang, the less force these impulses have. They begin to wind down; the=
clenching of the "fist" weakens. So dont repress it. Live Satsang. And car=
ry on a practical order of life. It is only when you have the point of view=
of this contraction, this dramatization of tendencies, that you have to be=
concerned with repression or exploitation. If your point of view is Satsan=
g, all of this is only a secondary affair, only an impulse. If you are not =
identical to its center, it is not necessary to do anything about it.
Replace concern and worrying about your tendencies with some practical acti=
vity or some pleasurable activity in the ordinary way. You must become inte=
lligent in how you live this life while you are busy being responsible for =
it. Sadhana or spiritual practice is not a matter of living "uptight" all t=
he time, preventing all of your craziness. You must learn how to treat this=
psycho-physical entity from the point of view of real enjoyment, of relati=
onship, of Satsang. You must increase life-pleasure in subtle ways, through=
the practical enjoyment of functional activities in relationship. This als=
o serves to undermine that whole process of suffering and bewilderment.

THE METHOD OF THE SIDDHAS=20


________________________________________
CHAPTER 10
The Path of the Great Form
DEVOTEE: Does proximity to you, closeness to your body, have any relation t=
o the intensity or the effects of Satsang?
FRANKLIN: What is your experience?
DEVOTEE: It doesn't seem to have that much to do with the body. It seems mo=
re to be how much I am in felt contact with you and how open I am to you.
FRANKLIN: It all depends on the quality of your relationship. Everything is=
its medium, because everything is it. The body seems to be a very potent s=
ource for some, whereas for others the process seems to take place mainly o=
r only in very subtle ways. Neither one is superior to the other. A person =
must discover the quality of Satsang for himself.
DEVOTEE: I have two feelings or ideas about what is happening that I would =
like to discuss. I have had the feeling that you were receiving uptight or =
bad karma and transforming it inside yourself.
FRANKLIN: What do you think?
DEVOTEE: That's what I see, that's what I experience, but I'm not certain.
FRANKLIN: Why do you doubt it?
DEVOTEE: The other thing, after sitting with you for a little while, I seem=
to be observing a pattern in myself in Satsang, and tonight I had the feel=
ing that maybe there is a specific way that it happens. It is somehow diffe=
rent every time, but there seems to be a continuity in terms of a pattern. =
At least I experience it in terms of a movement up through the chakras. Is =
there some sort of non-verbal instruction being communicated?
FRANKLIN: In you?
DEVOTEE: In myself, yes. Something you do and, therefore, I am also learnin=
g to do, because I am sitting in your presence.
FRANKLIN: Many structures are used in the subtle process of Satsang, and it=
appears different all the time, the experience is different from person to=
person, and the quality of Satsang seems to change in the same individual =
from time to time. The reason there are differences, apparent differences, =
is because different aspects of the mechanism are animated or become a focu=
s of attention at different times. In different individuals, the obstructio=
ns, the qualities of the mechanism, are different, and so different things =
must occur. If you have a head cold, you must clear out your head. If you'v=
e got an ulcer, you must heal your stomach. In each individual there is a d=
ifferent structural dis-ease, and these structures are physical, psycho-phy=
sical, psychic, subtle. Each person may observe a characteristic activity i=
n himself in Satsang. A particular kind of process may be characteristic ov=
er a certain period of time, then it may change. But these experiences in t=
hemselves are only purifying movements. Like that time when you blow your n=
ose and your head finally gets clear. You don't go around pointing to your =
sinuses for the rest of your life, saying they are the center of Truth!
At various times, we have discussed the qualities of this structure in whic=
h we live. In describing its various levels, I have spoken of the three pri=
mary centers. One is the region of the solar-plexus, or the soft region of =
the lower body, which is the epitome of the psycho-physical organism. It is=
the center or point of view of all religious activity in men, and it is th=
e center of all ordinary human activity. The current of the force or light =
of Truth moves down into life by a process of descent into this region. But=
that same force or light also ascends. The structures through which the cu=
rrent ascends have been described in various traditions. The yogic traditio=
ns of India, in particular, describe the pattern of ascent through chakras,=
the wheels, lotuses or centers which are the etheric and subtle counterpar=
ts of various vital and strategic locations in the spinal structures of the=
physical body. The epitome or fundamental "goal" of the ascending life is =
the sahasrar, that massive area at the crown of the head, or, more properly=
, just above the head. It is the primary center of all subtle activity, all=
"spiritual" activity.
"Spirit" means breath in the Latin. In Sanskrit the word is prana, usually =
translated as life, breath or vital force. Spiritual life is the aspiring l=
ife of the vital force. The kundalini is prana. The kundalini shakti is pra=
na-shakti, the subtle or ascending activity of the life-force. In the pract=
ical activity or yoga of spiritual life, the vital force ascends or is made=
to ascend (by the methods of the yogi or the initiatory grace of his Guru)=
toward the sahasrar, the point or region above. The yogi attempts to merge=
his manifest vital-force with its subtle source above. This produces the t=
rance or samadhi states of yoga. There are many types of yogic meditation o=
r contemplation, but they are all meditations of this same subtle process. =
All spiritual life is simply an exploitation or realization of the ascendin=
g, aspiring aspect of the life-force. Just as all religion is essentially a=
surrendering or waiting on the descending power, whose source or nature is=
called "God," all yoga or spiritual life, all spiritual method, is a conte=
mplation, concentration, or exploitation of this subtle mechanism of the as=
cending activity of that same power or vital force.
The yogi may do various things to control and harmonize the breathing proce=
ss in order to go inward and upward. To the same end, he may add strict con=
trol of sex-force, diet, thought processes, etc. There are also various for=
ms of concentration on the subtle centers or chakras. Some yoga's involve t=
he contemplation of internal, subtle sounds, or concentration on the intern=
al "lights" of the life-force. There are many forms of traditional yoga tha=
t contemplate the various qualities of our subtle mechanism. The highest fo=
rm of yoga or the ascent of life is the spontaneous kundalini manifestation=
, in which all the classic "spiritual" events arise spontaneously by the gr=
ace of the Guru. But the entire affair of the ascending yoga is only one of=
the possible major events in this activity that is real Satsang. The activ=
ities of descent are also a primary form of the purifying operations of Sat=
sang.
Some who live in Satsang begin to have kriyas, spontaneous physical movemen=
ts. Breathing activity or automatic pranayama may appear in the form of sud=
den breathing, fast breathing, quieting or even cessation of the breath. In=
ternalization may come quite naturally, then concentration, inward experien=
ces of centers, visions, lights, sounds, experiences of the merging of blis=
s. Some people may have these experiences. Others may not have those kinds =
of experiences, or they may have them only occasionally, or they may only h=
ave certain of them. These other people may experience more of the calming =
descent of that same bliss and force that purifies the mind and the life of=
the yogi by ascent. Where the obstructions or limiting tendencies of a man=
are essentially in this descending path, then we have awakening or opening=
of the descended, human life, the "purification of the navel." Where the o=
bstructions and the tendencies lie more in the subtle or ascending path of =
the same mechanism, then we have the yogic manifestations, the spiritual ma=
nifestations. The pattern of descent and ascent is the circle or circuit of=
the life-force, the true "round dance." And in the man of understanding, t=
he conductivity of that full circle is re-established and full, whatever st=
imulation's of descending and ascending activity arise in the stages of pur=
ification.
So far we have covered two of the three major centers. There are many chakr=
as, and there are also many points within the descending parts of the total=
mechanism. The epitome of descent is the belly, and the epitome of ascent =
is a point above the head. But there is a third "place" or epitome of consc=
ious life. It is described in the tradition of jnana or Self-knowledge, rep=
resented by Ramana Maharshi and others. The religious traditions speak from=
the point of view of "life." The esoteric, spiritual and yogic traditions =
speak from the point of view of subtle "planes" of existence or "light." Bu=
t the philosophical traditions of the jnani speak from the point of view of=
the "causal" being or body, the seat of deep sleep, and also of the formle=
ss state, whose epitome is in the heart, on the right side of the chest. Th=
e physical heart of the waking and descending life is felt to the left, and=
the "heart chakra" of the subtle or "dreaming" life of ascent is in the mi=
ddle, but the "causal" center or heart is on the right. The "causal" center=
is without light, without sound, without form, without movement. The seat =
of the causal body, the formless "body" of deep sleep, is also, when opened=
and conscious, the seat of the "fourth state" (beyond waking, dreaming or =
sleeping) called turiya, which transcends all modification.
The yogi seeks to merge in the sahasrar, or the highest, subtlest place of =
light. The religious man seeks to be full, to receive and be full of truth,=
life, the descending grace of God. But the jnani, the man who resorts only=
to the intuitive process of Self-knowledge, tends toward this "causal" cen=
ter beyond the mind, beyond form, beyond visions, experiences. When this ca=
usal center opens, beyond the apparent unconsciousness of sleep, the state =
called turiya arises. It is a conscious state which, like a witness, transc=
ends the three ordinary states of waking, dreaming and sleeping.
All of the traditions that have arisen in the great search of mankind have =
been communicated, whether consciously or unconsciously, from the point of =
view of one of these three primary centers of conscious existence. One or m=
ore. Read the traditional texts. Where the jnani speaks in terms of identit=
y with the Self, the yogi, the spiritual man, speaks in terms of union with=
Truth, Light, God. And the religious man, the one who surrenders to God an=
d serves God among men, talks about his relationship to God and his creatur=
es. But all three of these centers are only portions of one great mechanism=
that all men share, all living beings share, all worlds share. This mechan=
ism is duplicated in all forms, including this manifest universe. The manif=
est cosmos is structured in the same manner as our own tripartite mechanism=
.
But Truth itself contains and is prior to all of that. And Satsang is the c=
ompany of Truth. Satsang is not simply, then, the attempt of seekers to do =
various things with these three centers or functions of manifest existence =
to which the traditions have paid so much attention. The traditions always =
start from a low position and seek to attain their goal, which is fullness,=
union, or identity. But the point of view of true spiritual life is alread=
y that of Truth itself, not of the search, but of the enjoyment of Truth, t=
he living of it, the present enjoyment of it as our real condition. All rea=
l transformation that occurs within the form of life at any level, is a man=
ifestation of Truth, of Satsang, not of the search. When a person moves int=
o that association that is Satsang, and lives it as the condition of his li=
fe, he may begin to experience curious manifestations in any of these three=
great or traditional forms. So, as in the case of the questioner, there ma=
y be these experiences of the chakras, the phenomena of the "subtle body." =
In others there may be another kind of experience, more of opening, and ful=
lness. In another it may tend to take the form of intuitive directness. Som=
e speak of their spiritual life in terms of "life," others speak of it in t=
erms of "spirit" and "light," others speak of it in terms of unqualified "b=
eing," "consciousness," or "Reality."
Even so, each of those points of view is a limitation, expressing only a po=
rtion of the structure that is within the possibility of Truth. This is bec=
ause your experiences occur only in the areas where purification is stimula=
ted by the obstructive presence of your peculiar tendencies. Therefore, Sat=
sang is the true resort of all men, regardless of their peculiar tendencies=
. And very Truth and radical understanding is the necessity of all men rega=
rdless of their experiences. Now, exactly how this mechanism of Satsang wor=
ks is not clear at the outset. Prior to its perfect realization, it cannot =
be grasped. It is elusive. So, as you say, you are trying to get down to it=
. But if you try to discover or perform it yourself, your blood vessels wil=
l burst. It wont happen. If you don't already live the point of view of the=
heart, vital, subtle or causal, how are you going to move into it? Your po=
int of view is in your head, or your legs, wherever. Satsang, the company a=
nd condition of Truth, is your true resort, and in Satsang you will find yo=
urself falling spontaneously into the "Heart," the Heart of Truth, which tr=
anscends the manifest realizations.
There is no real contraction. There is only that enjoyment that is Truth, w=
hat is always already the case. The body is a process of conductivity in wh=
ich the force of life moves in a circle, descending and ascending. The cent=
er or epitome of the life aspect of this force is the vital center in the g=
eneral region of the navel. The epitome of the subtle "body" is in the regi=
ons of the head, above the eyes, even above the head. It manifests not as l=
ife or vitality, but as Light, unqualified Conscious Light. The modificatio=
ns of most subtle, pre-cosmic Light are everything we know as Life. The cen=
ter or epitome of the prior, "causal" or transcendent existence is the regi=
on of the "Heart," on the right side of the chest. It manifests as very con=
sciousness, absolute space, formless, unqualified existence, the vast bliss=
. Nothing is being communicated but That which includes these three. There =
is nothing but That. That is Amrita Nadi, the Great Form, the conscious, mo=
veless spire which extends from the Heart to the Light.
I called the most subtle region the "Bright," because it is only Light. All=
of life descends from it, and returns to it in a continuous cycle, conduct=
ing it as force, becoming movement and form. But even this Light is a refle=
ction of the Heart, unqualified existence, just as the moon reflects the su=
n. This Heart, which is the source of all light and life, and of which ever=
y thing is the reflection, is itself without quality. But the Heart, the Li=
ght and the Life are all included and transcended in that which is very Tru=
th, the Great Form. Therefore, those who come to Satsang, where the Truth, =
this Living Reality, is communicated, see it manifested in them in three ch=
aracteristic ways. One is in the form of movement or of life: kriyas (spont=
aneous vital and physical movements), changes in the life-pattern, experien=
ces and circumstances at the level of life, waking phenomena. Others experi=
ence it more in terms of subtle or dreamlike manifestations: lights, vision=
s, dreams, sounds, patterns internal to consciousness. Others move into the=
intuitive or "causal" awareness, falling into a profound sleep at times, e=
ven moving into turiya, the "fourth state" which transcends waking, dreamin=
g and sleeping. But all of those phenomena are manifestations at particular=
levels of the greater process that is Satsang.
Satsang is communicated from the point of view of Turiyatita. It is the asc=
ended life of the Heart. It is Amrita Nadi, the Form of Reality. Satsang is=
the very point of view of Truth, in which all things arise as a modificati=
on. Truth, Satsang, simply manifests as these three qualities I have descri=
bed, and Truth itself, the point of view which generates the processes of S=
atsang, may be said to exist as a fourth and a fifth quality. The two quali=
ties of Truth are transcendent and unqualified. The first and foundation qu=
ality is the Heart. It is the very Self of Reality, enjoyed when the mind f=
alls into its source, and the gross, subtle and causal qualities are purifi=
ed of obstruction and contraction. This is Turiya in its Perfect State. And=
the fifth quality is Perfect Form, Turiyatita, beyond the fourth, ascended=
from the fourth. It is the Eternal Form of the Heart, the Form of Guru, Se=
lf and God. When the Guru speaks ecstatically of his Divine and All-Pervasi=
ve Nature he is not speaking of some egoic magnificence, but of That which =
is all that is and which stands out when ego is dead.
The Truth, which is Satsang, and living the Truth, which is sadhana or real=
practice, make possible the entire event of the transformation and revelat=
ion of this great mechanism. It is alive. It is not a structure that can be=
blueprinted and then prescribed. Something can be said about it, but the s=
aying is not equivalent to the sadhana or life of Satsang. It is alive. Jus=
t as it is very hard to control the breath once it leaves the body, just so=
, this incredibly subtle mechanism, whose source and very condition is the =
Truth, is infinitely elusive, absolutely elusive, paradoxical. That is why =
the image of the Mother Shakti and the images of Deity in general, particul=
arly in the Orient, have a paradoxical quality. They are almost comical at =
times, and at other times they are treacherous, violent. Krishna is beautif=
ul and blue. But he teases those who desire him. He eludes them. He runs aw=
ay, and he says "Yes, I'm coming, I'm coming." But you wait and you wait an=
d you wait, and he doesn't come.
The Mother Shakti appears in all kinds of forms. The holy yogi bathes his m=
ind with repetition of mantra until it is pure of desires, and then he walk=
s down to bathe his body in the Ganges. But when he gets out of the water, =
without his bathing suit, this fantastic woman is standing on the beach wit=
h a basket of fruit, with chicken sandwiches, and a little wine. The next d=
ay he has to turn in his mantra and his robe! He goes to tell his Guru how =
he broke his vows. His Guru asks, "With whom?" "With that beautiful chick o=
ver there!" says the penitent. And his Guru says, "That is the Mother Shakt=
i. She got you!"
The image of this great process of conscious life has been symbolized as al=
l of the paradoxical deities, and the symbols themselves have a life. In my=
own experience, the Mother Shakti has appeared like anyone else, then diff=
erent, as all kinds of forms, very strange, then beautiful, then wise. But =
what is being communicated through the imageries of these experiences is th=
is great process, only a piece at a time. It is perfectly glimpsed only whe=
n there is resort to Truth absolutely. Otherwise a person will buy the expe=
rience to which his tendencies gravitate. So, if you are willing to buy a l=
ittle foggy light between your eyes, then that is where you will be. Whatev=
er you are willing to buy, you will be given. That is why the deities are p=
ictured in such paradoxical ways. They will give you a little pink fruit, i=
f you will come and take it. The dog comes for his bone, he gets the bone, =
and he leaves. Thus, if you begin to get very interested in the process tha=
t is awakening in Satsang, you may become attached to the experiences thems=
elves. Perhaps, at some point, you will buy it. You are already buying it. =
That is why this question was asked. You may even become very angry, and re=
ject Satsang, because of the position you are put into by craving your own =
internal life. Narcissus is addicted to looking at himself. It is the only =
thing he will defend.
DEVOTEE: Will you say something about how the Shakti relates to Truth?
FRANKLIN: What is called Shakti, the Divine Creative Power, is not a separa=
te thing, not a special force. It is the same that is meant by the Self, Re=
ality, Truth, Guru, or God. The name Shakti is simply used to describe that=
aspect of the Truth that is movement in manifestation. Siva-Shakti is perh=
aps a more appropriate or complete designation of the Truth. In other words=
, the Real is moving-creative, but it is also static-perfect-untouched. The=
true Shakti is the Conscious Force in and as which every thing exists. It =
is the present nature of every thing, of all beings, and it is also the cau=
se, substance, support and end of all that arises.
Now as it pertains to practical spiritual life, there are those in whom the=
way of understanding or Satsang with the Guru involves a pronounced subtle=
purification or transformation. The peculiar qualities of their spiritual =
experiences tend to arise in the "subtle body" as opposed to the "physical,=
gross body," or to what is called the "causal body," the deep well of bein=
g in which there is no form, no modification. The subtle body is actually t=
he range of internal functions, of inward-directed energy and awareness, of=
dreams, visions and thoughts. There are many who are sensitive in that ran=
ge of functions, and whose view of the cosmic process is essentially throug=
h the subtle media. The apparent process of their conscious life is more ob=
viously like internal yoga and meditation than the austere intuitions of Bu=
ddhism or Advaita Vedanta, or even the continuous practical orientations of=
those in whom human activity in the world is the center of sadhana and exp=
erience. Such people witness the specific, yogic activity of the universal =
conscious force.
The force alive in yoga is called prana-shakti. It is an aspect of the univ=
ersal life, the subtle life of the Self of Truth. The Shakti in this form h=
as a specific involvement with the internal processes of living beings, par=
ticularly human beings. If the internal energy can be stimulated, or if its=
source and path can be concentrated upon, there are internal awarenesses a=
nd transformations of a subtle kind that arise. Ordinarily, this process is=
not something over which a person has the least control. He doesn't "awake=
n" it himself. It is always already there. It is just unconscious and subdu=
ed. It feeds the outward tendencies of life. The actual process of the spon=
taneous kriya yoga, which I have described in The Knee of Listening, is sti=
mulated by contact with a living Siddha-Yogi in whom this force is unobstru=
cted and functioning very consciously. The contact with such a person stimu=
lates this energy and breaks down or purifies the inner functions of their =
obstructions. By virtue of that contact, this internal process, this subtle=
process, becomes conscious, awakened, and manifests itself through a serie=
s of purifying events, both internal and external. The obstructions are bro=
ken down, perhaps on an apparently gross level at first, then always subtle=
r and subtler.
The first experiences such a person might have are various bodily sensation=
s. He may feel a certain energy, a certain heat or cold, a certain tendency=
to move, little jerking, spontaneous movements, a feeling of discomfort, a=
n intense, even erotic feeling all over the body, or in specific regions of=
the body, such as the head. These purifying movements are an automatic hat=
ha yoga. Sometimes such a person does yogic postures spontaneously. He cant=
help but do it at times. He might perform postures of which he would be ph=
ysically incapable were this force or yoga-shakti not active in him. He may=
perform automatic pranayama or vigorous and curious exercises of the breat=
hing functions. The whole process of all that can be called "yoga," includi=
ng all the types of yoga, may arise spontaneously in that person, beginning=
with the more physical forms of yoga, then moving on to the subtler purifi=
cation's and the qualities of meditation. There may be times when the mind =
becomes rapid, when there is endless thinking, without apparent cause, and =
then, just as spontaneously, it breaks down, breaks apart, slows down. Such=
a one may begin to have visions at times, and to perceive internal forms, =
colors, smells, tastes, sounds. He may hear the nada, the sounds which are =
always vibrating within. There may be visions, symbolic experiences, dramat=
ic mudras or poses of hands and body, movements of all kinds, shaking of th=
e body, ecstasies, spontaneous devotion, love, bliss, and profound concentr=
ation in the various psycho-physical centers, always moving toward and culm=
inating in the primary region of the subtle life in the crown of the head. =
The movement is always upward. And since the yogic centers are subtle, not =
limited to the physical form, the highest subtle centers are actually above=
the physical head, but the process is sensed as a concentration in the gen=
eral area of the crown. This region is called the sahasrar.
This subtle, ascending, yogic process is that which most people would ident=
ify with "Shakti." But in fact it is a demonstration of only one path or on=
e aspect of the greater path of the universal and absolute activity of the =
true Shakti. There are essentially three paths, forms or qualities of spiri=
tual life, based on the three primary functional points of view. The classi=
c texts talk about the "knots" that need to be opened. "Liberation" is the =
opening of these "knots."
There is a knot associated with the region of the navel, including the enti=
re solar plexus and the soft organs which extend above it (including the he=
art, lungs, tongue and parts of the brain) and below it (to the anus). Some=
indicate its center to be just below the navel. That entire region is the =
gross-vital center, the life center. There is a tradition of practice relat=
ed to this center. If you are centered or stable there, you are strong, upr=
ight, direct, straight, active in proper relationship to things, in the pro=
per harmony. The purification of the "navel" or of the life itself is the i=
mminent goal of religious devotion, and the various harmonizing practices w=
hich are applied to life. Religion essentially looks toward life-purificati=
on, life-stabilization, life-opening. And the life-center is its point of v=
iew. This is the first of the three paths.
The second path is the subtle path. Such is the point of view of yoga and t=
he various processes that are very similar to yoga. Such are the various pa=
ths that exploit the internal qualities rather than abandon them. The "subt=
le body" is conceived in terms of various chakras or centers through which =
the subtle force moves. These centers culminate in the sahasrar, the primar=
y center of subtle life. Several of these subtle centers are described as p=
rimary "knots" in the traditional texts. The sahasrar itself is not include=
d among these knots, but a primary one is just below the crown, in the midb=
rain, behind the eyes. When all of these subtle centers are open, in other =
words when the living, inward-directed energy moves and merges in the sahas=
rar (the "thousand petalled lotus"), that is the highest realization from t=
he point of view of the traditional ascending yoga.
The third path is one we see represented in such men as Ramana Maharshi and=
in the monistic Hindu traditions, such as Advaita Vedanta. In such cases, =
the path is generated from the point of view of the "causal being," the con=
scious seat analogous to our deep sleep state. The gross path is analogous =
to our waking state, the subtle path is analogous to our dream state, and t=
he causal path is analogous to our deep sleep state. The paths associated w=
ith the formlessness of the Divine or ultimate Reality are essentially form=
s of this causal path. And the "knot" of the causal heart, on the right sid=
e of the chest, is the center from which these causal paths are generated, =
and toward which they move by various critical and intuitive means. When th=
is center or knot is open, waking, dreaming and sleeping no longer limit th=
e primary enjoyment that is the Self or true and prior state of consciousne=
ss.
Now all three paths necessarily involve force, the Shakti or Conscious Forc=
e and Power of the Divine, the living Reality. Christianity, an example of =
the religious or life path, is very concerned with the "Holy Spirit." That =
is the Force, the Shakti, conceived from the point of view of the life-knot=
, the vital center of the descending force, the conductor of the descending=
Power of God. "Prayer," the most characteristic religious appliance, is al=
ways looking for this descent of Power. And "fasting," the ancient companio=
n of prayer, is the means of purifying or preparing the "place" for the des=
cent of Gods Grace and Power. The worship of the Mother-Shakti in the cults=
of Hinduism is expressed yearning for Her to descend, to send Her gifts do=
wnward. All religious points of view want Power to come down. Western occul=
tism is the worshipping of the descending Power. That is the descent of Sha=
kti. All movements, all of this visible world is Shakti.
The subtle path is also concerned with Shakti in a peculiar way. The subtle=
yoga's exploit the capacity of prana-shakti to ascend. They do not hope fo=
r the descent of Power, but they seek to become involved with and ultimatel=
y identified with the ascending functions of that same Power. In that case =
we have the subtle process of internal movement, generated in an inward and=
upward direction, toward concentration and merger in the subtle regions ab=
ove.
In the causal path there is also force. The formless Divine, the Self, Brah=
man, is absolute, unqualified Force. It is only that this particular path i=
s not associated with the kind of "movements," this kundalini process, that=
are talked about from the yogic point of view. But it is the same Force.
Ultimately, the teaching that is Truth is not generated from the point of v=
iew of any of these three knots, or these three dilemmas, and the paths cre=
ated to open or solve them. The descending (life, gross), the ascending (su=
btle), and the moveless original (causal) Force are there in all men. And e=
ach individual will tend to go through a characteristic purifying process, =
according to his particular tendencies in relation to these three qualities=
, when he moves into Satsang with the Siddha-Guru. The point of view of Tru=
th is not the point of view of dilemma, or any of the three traditional qua=
lities of Force, or their primary centers, or any secondary centers associa=
ted with them. No particular process of experience is equal or identical to=
Truth, the Heart, the Self, or Real God.
What is necessary is the absence of obstruction, of the ego, of contraction=
, the avoidance of relationship. Then only Truth stands out. Therefore, Tru=
th is the communication from the point of view of the true Teaching. The tr=
ue Guru always turns his disciple toward Truth, Reality, not to his experie=
nces, not to the possibility of experiences, not to any psycho-physical sta=
te. The gross, the subtle, and the causal, as I have spoken of them here, a=
re psycho-physical and temporary in nature. They are equal to the three sta=
tes, waking, dreaming, and sleeping, into which experience is analyzed in t=
he classic texts. The higher state than these, all the texts declare, is tu=
riya, the fourth state. In other words, the more fundamental state is the w=
itness to those three states. The "witness" is not the religious man, not t=
he yogi, not the intuitive philosopher, but turiya, the fourth, prior to al=
l that, witnessing it all. And even higher than that is perfect realization=
, turiyatita, beyond the fourth, unspeakable, neither formless nor formed. =
It is Amrita Nadi, the form of Reality, whose Foundation and very Nature is=
the Heart. Therefore, Truth is not identified with any process, any knot, =
any opened knot, any dilemma, any solved dilemma.
Everyone's experience in relation to the Guru is different, depending on th=
e quality or tendency of his conscious life. But all experience the single =
force of the Guru and of God as Shaktipat, the transmission of Divine Consc=
ious Power, the Power of Consciousness. Some tend toward association with t=
he descending force. The life-center and life-functions tend to be the dime=
nsion in which they feel both obstruction and opening. Their sadhana tends =
to be a life-level activity, and they become aware of the force of the Guru=
and of Truth as a descending blessing, originating extremely above. Others=
tend more toward the internally-directed, ascending process. Their experie=
nce is more like that of the kundalini yogis. Others tend more toward the c=
ausal, intuitive level of spiritual knowledge. Instead of the yogic process=
es or the apparently life-active, religious and devotional processes, their=
s is more a process of intuitive understanding, without special inclination=
to visions and the various forms of mystical cognition.
The true Guru must live the conscious Force of Truth at all of these fundam=
ental levels. He must necessarily be Guru in all of them. He must be fully =
aware in all three paths. In him there must be no obstruction in the descen=
ding path, no obstruction in the ascending path, no obstruction in the move=
less or intuitive path. These three "knots" are open in him. He sees from t=
he point of view of the Heart, unobstructed. There must be in him no obstru=
ction to the whole path, the complex Force of the Heart, the presence of Am=
rita Nadi
There are many that are called Teacher or Guru simply because they perform =
a consoling or apparently beneficial function of a peculiar kind. But such =
are not living the great function of Guru. They are not what I call "the ma=
n of understanding." They are teaching from the point of view of dilemma, t=
he knots and their paths. Generally, they teach those who are by tendency o=
riented to the same quality of dilemma to which they themselves are tending=
. The practical-religious-devotional type teaches those who are sensitive i=
n this way. The yogi type teaches those who are sensitive on a subtle level=
. The more philosophical or intuitive type teaches those who are similarly =
inclined. But the point of view of Truth is not dilemma, not the knots. It =
is not equal to any kind of experience, solution or form of perception and =
cognition. Therefore, the true Guru teaches Truth as Truth, from the point =
of view of Truth. Then, only secondarily, the purification or opening of th=
e knots occurs in the ways peculiar to individual tendencies.
So you see, spiritual life in Satsang with such a Guru manifests as many di=
fferent qualities and types of experiences. From the point of view of the H=
eart and the understanding of the processes of manifest existence which I h=
ave just described, the variations are easy to comprehend. Only when the sp=
iritual experiences of men are looked at from the outside and from a limite=
d point of view do they seem disorderly. Then it seems as if there is too m=
uch difference between people and traditions, and no single, comprehensible=
process stands out. Truly, the great spiritual process is not understandab=
le from any point of view that is not already the Perfect Heart. Spiritual =
things seem confused from a point of view that is not the Heart, just as th=
e world seems confused from the limited point of view of experience and cir=
cumstance.
The "Shakti" that most people have heard or read about is that force manife=
sted and used in the subtle process associated with what we call yoga. But =
the true or perfect Shakti is the Conscious Force that is the Self, that is=
the Heart, that is Truth, Amrita Nadi, or very God. And this Shakti is man=
ifesting as all that arises or does not arise. It is the Truth, the fundame=
ntal Reality. It is That which manifests on all levels, as the descending p=
ower, the ascending power, the moveless power. One and the same Shakti is a=
ll of that. Therefore, in Truth, Shakti is not limited to the subtle proces=
s with which people generally identify it. It is greater than that, not lim=
ited to that. It does not necessarily tend to manifest the dramatic course =
of the subtle process in the case of some individuals. It is the Heart Itse=
lf. It is Truth Itself. It is Real-God, God-alive. When there is the Realiz=
ation of the Self or Truth, Perfect Understanding, there is also perfect ma=
nifestation of Shakti, perfect communication of Shakti, because the Heart i=
s Shakti, it is Conscious Force, it is the Fire that is Reality.
Wherever there is any sort of an opening, there is the flow of Shakti. Any =
person who is open on any level, to any significant degree, is very attract=
ive. People like to be around such a person, because there is movement ther=
e. There is not solidity, fixation. There is a certain energy, a liveliness=
with which we like to be associated. It is only that the usual liveliness =
of men tends to be limited. The easiest to identify is the person who is op=
en on a very human, vital level. But there is also the liveliness of a subt=
le variety, to which we are, individually, more or less consciously sensiti=
ve. Ultimately, we are also sensitive to the liveliness that is Reality its=
elf. So, there can be a man, a great saint, stone dead, whose "liveliness" =
remains in the world. The burial shrine of Swami Nityananda is one of the m=
ost lively places to which I have ever been in my life. Ultimately, our con=
scious sensitivity must awaken to the real, eternal liveliness that is the =
very Heart or Real God. And it is perfect movement, not limited movement.
The liveliness or Shakti of the Heart is communicated by the living Siddha-=
Guru. Whatever the tendencies of the individual, it is the Satsang, or rela=
tionship with the Siddha, with the true Guru, that is the simple condition =
under which the utter and complete process of Truth may take place. All tha=
t exists is relationship. All that appears as suffering and dilemma is cont=
act or conscious relationship, relatively obstructed. The less obstructed a=
ny condition or function is, the more it is a path, a flow of force. The pa=
th of Truth is the relationship to the Siddha-Guru. It is that course or fu=
nctional path established between a man and his Guru. That is the path. The=
path is not the methods and strategies a man applies to himself. Satsang, =
the living, active, functional relationship itself, is the "current," the "=
wiring" in which the Conscious Force, the Truth, flows and manifests its ac=
tivities at every level. So the simple relationship to the man of understan=
ding is the path. It is the place where the search comes to an end, where t=
he obstructions are abandoned.
There are also various activities internal to the Siddha-Guru and the realm=
s of his awareness, but they are not spoken. There is no point in talking a=
bout them, unless, in the progress of Satsang, the Guru sees fit to instruc=
t his disciple. These processes are subtler than the mind and require equal=
subtlety to be understood. Even so, certain activities are eventually obse=
rved by the disciple in contact with his Guru. There are various things the=
disciple observes his Guru to do which he associates with his own awakenin=
g and with the arising of certain experiences in him. Those activities of t=
he Guru are not utterly comprehended by the disciple at the time. The tradi=
tions describe these activities in terms of effects and appearances. In Ind=
ia, these activities of the Guru are called Shaktipat or Guru-kripa, the tr=
ansference of the Conscious Force of the Heart or God. The effects of this =
transference are observed in various enlivening activities, gross, subtle a=
nd causal. The Guru is observed to be apparently involved in this in severa=
l possible ways: by looking at the person, by touching him, by speaking to =
him, or simply by thinking of him in some way. And the highest form of that=
"initiation" is where the Guru simply and silently abides as the Self, or =
very Truth. Then his continuous existence as the living Reality initiates e=
verything that lives to Truth. All that turns to the Guru in appropriate wa=
ys is enlivened by him. And that is initiation, that is movement, that is t=
he beginning of the whole process of spiritual life.
Naturally, it is on the level of life that the relationship to the Guru is =
perceived by the disciple. He observes the occasional looks, occasional thi=
ngs said, occasional touches, the effects of the Gurus occasional remembran=
ce of him. When he is with his Guru he may suddenly feel his Guru is thinki=
ng of him. Or he may simply and continuously resort to his Gurus Presence, =
whether or not his Guru is considering him in particular at any moment. The=
se various sensations of the activity of the Guru are the apparent means, f=
rom the disciples point of view, of the transference of the Light, the Trut=
h, the Shakti of the living Self or Real God. The disciple may tend, as a r=
esult of some enlivening experience generated by his Gurus grace, to look a=
gain and again for that particular experience or that particular form of "i=
nitiation" to be repeated. He may tend to associate some peculiar experienc=
e or some particular activity of his Guru with Truth itself. But in fact an=
y specific experience in the disciple, or any specific activity of the Guru=
, such as looking, talking, thinking, touching, whatever, is generated in a=
particular moment when it is appropriate. It is thus not a necessary exper=
ience or action that must be repeated again and again. Different forms of t=
he action of initiation may be used, or no apparent action may be used. The=
Guru always remains unpredictable, in order to test and mature his discipl=
e. And, at last, simply abiding as the Self, as the Heart, as Truth, is ess=
entially what the Guru does for all beings. Just so, the quality of the rel=
ationship that the disciple is living to his Guru is what determines the na=
ture of his present experience. The Guru does not withhold. He always lives=
Truth openly. He always communicates it on many levels, to transform the e=
xpectations, the obstructions, the tendencies, the limitations that the dis=
ciple is living to him. So the "drama" of this relationship or Satsang is a=
t the level of the disciple. It is he that must understand obstructions. Th=
e Guru does not create obstructions. He only lives the Heart of Truth. But =
he may dramatize or intensify the obstructions already in the disciple, in =
order to make him aware of them, to draw his attention to them, so that thi=
s flow of Life can move through, unobstructed by any particular tendency. T=
he Guru always works so that awareness can be lived on a more profound leve=
l.
Many things can be said about this activity to which I have been referring.=
It is the greatest mystery, how the Heart lives in the world, how it funct=
ions among apparently separate, living beings. The whole process that occur=
s is as complicated as the cosmos itself, and what is beyond it. It cannot =
be described perfectly. Only certain things can be said about it. Essential=
ly, it is the very Life, the Self, very Existence, Reality, God manifesting=
under these conditions, under all conditions. All the traditions, taken to=
gether, are essentially a way of retracing the structure of manifest life b=
ack to its source. Each particular incident or tradition does it in a limit=
ed way, from the point of view of a particular dilemma, a particular center=
, a particular viewpoint of experience or consciousness. Those in whom this=
drama of realization is essentially a life-process are concerned with the =
descending force and the opening of life to it. They are tracing the curren=
t of descent, from the highest to the lowest. The processes of yoga and the=
like, the subtle processes, trace the current of ascent, from the lowest t=
o the highest. These two taken together, the gross and the subtle, form a c=
ircle. They trace that portion of the circuit of existence which descends t=
o life and ascends or returns again from life to its structural source. The=
refore, life is always descending-ascending. It is a circle. Then there is =
also the "causal" aspect or portion of this circuit. Ramana Maharshi talks =
about the path that leads and even begins beyond yoga, and which is prior t=
o subtle and gross existence. He points to the place of the Heart, on the r=
ight side, which is the causal center. And this center is connected to the =
subtle center, the Sahasrar, by that transcendent portion of the circuit ca=
lled Amrita Nadi. Thus, if the three centers or portions of the circuit are=
taken together with the Form which includes them we see the great path, th=
e circuit of manifest and unmanifest life, the secret path of all spiritual=
processes, all traditions.
The "shape" of man is like a fruit. His core is the causal being, untouched=
, unborn, like waiting seed. When the fruit falls into the earth (when the =
mind falls into the Heart), there springs up an inconceivable thread, of th=
e same substance as the seed of being, which rises above, becoming a great =
tree and extending even into the heights, into the sky and cosmos of very G=
od. This is Amrita Nadi.
Until the seed is ready for life, it is concealed in the form of the fruit.=
This fruit is the dependent and not conscious form of man. It is the condi=
tion of suffering, and also of sadhana in Satsang with the Guru. The stem o=
f the fruit is the route of the Light and Life which descends into the frui=
t from places above, from the parent tree, and at last passes down through =
the sahasrar, the crown of this body or fruit. That Light and Life descends=
into the fruit and makes it full and ripe below. Just so, it also ascends,=
thus keeping the circuit or circle, until the fruit falls and its seed is =
eaten in the earth. Such is ordinary death and in the mature devotee, also =
"ego" death. Ordinary death is the termination of a phase of the outer life=
of the individual, but also the beginning of a new phase of the manifestat=
ion or expansion and revelation of what he is inwardly and ultimately. Just=
so, a man becomes perfectly "fruitful" only in Satsang with the Guru, who =
is himself the process, the goal, the means, the Power and the very Life. T=
herefore, in Satsang the fruit ripens and falls into the "earth," the found=
ation, and opens. Such is the Heart.
When discipleship to the Siddha-Guru is perfected, the whole circuitry is k=
nown and understood. It is seen to be within your own real Nature or Condit=
ion, rather than to contain you or limit you. And this is what is truly cal=
led Self-Realization, the Heart of Truth, Nirvana, God-union. It is perpetu=
al freedom to enjoy Satsang with the Perfect Guru. And one who understands,=
even one whose understanding is Perfect doesn't necessarily disappear from=
the world. Gautama Buddha, for instance, got up and walked back to town. S=
o it was with Jesus, and all the great Masters of men. After their return t=
o the common life of the world, they spent the rest of their lives trying t=
o communicate their understanding to all of those who felt limited by this =
fruit-shape, this phantom circuit of manifest existence. And in the case of=
all the Siddhas, the fundamental Teaching or method was that functional re=
lationship or Satsang which living beings realized with them. This Satsang =
is the Method of the Siddhas.
Satsang always serves to destroy or undermine the fixation of attention and=
its implications. Whenever Satsang is lived, there tends to be the opening=
of the knots in which attention is fixed, so that consciousness falls into=
its original form, which is the Self or Real Nature. Therefore, one who ha=
s realized the ultimate end of the whole path or cycle of the form of exist=
ence now exists "outside" of that whole process, no longer limited by it. B=
ut he remains consciously related to this whole structure in an entirely di=
fferent way than seekers and all those who do not understand the process an=
d form of existence. The path of a mans experience will always return to ze=
ro, always back to the dilemma. It will always fit him back into the fruit,=
like a worm. Thus, the Siddha-Guru appears in the world, to speak from the=
point of view of Truth or Reality, not of experience, and to return the te=
ndencies of the disciple back to the essential structure in which Truth is =
communicated, until he sees there is no path, no difference, no separation.=
And when the disciple is perfectly one with his Guru, he sees and enjoys t=
he true Form of his Guru, and participates directly in the functions of his=
Guru, who all the time has been only the Self of the Real One.
Those who speak from the point of view of the Heart, the living Truth, are =
always very radical, very eccentric in the manner of their teaching. This i=
s because they are no longer limited to the "path" I have described, to the=
point of view of dilemma, to the limiting structures of experience. Saint =
Tukaram is a good example. Tukaram was a very strange man. He grew up and l=
ived in India, in a very traditional order of society in which religious an=
d spiritual life was a fixed part of the cycle of life. He participated in =
all of that, ritually, religiously. He performed all the apparent externals=
of it, and this would seem to have made him acceptable or ordinary. But if=
you read his words, you realize he was a "heretic"! He spoke only in the m=
ost radical way.
Tukaram lived in a culture that was devotionally oriented, committed to the=
duality or radical separation of God and man. But he would go around telli=
ng everybody there wasn't any God. When he sat down, he could find no One t=
o meditate on. He claimed that he was himself God. He went on and on like t=
his, disturbing all the orthodox devotees, until, one day, he just disappea=
red. He had been sitting with his disciples all night, chanting, enjoying d=
eep meditation, when, all of a sudden, there was a blast of light, and he d=
isappeared! There have been a number of such cases of people who were repor=
ted to have abandoned their life in the world by such "absorption." It is n=
ot a common form of "death," even among the Siddhas. It happens rarely as a=
matter of fact. But Tukaram was a very humorous guy! And all of those who =
live from that point of view are very radical, very eccentric. The acceptab=
le and the expected are not really a part of their communication. They are =
always communicating from the Perfect point of view. For this reason, their=
apparent manifestation is often very odd.
Meher Baba spent a period of his life teaching or serving the masts (pronou=
nced "musts"), a class of eccentric people in India who live in extraordina=
ry but still limited states of conscious awareness. These masts were all, f=
rom a human point of view, particularly a Western point of view, psychotic,=
literally psychotic. Many of them spent their time in catatonic states, di=
splaying an automatic, strangely ritualistic and incomprehensible way of li=
fe. When such individuals come into contact with a genuine Siddha-Guru they=
tend to become quieter, more "normalized." The flow of the "path" tends to=
become more harmonious in them. This is because the eccentricity in which =
such individuals are fixed is not natural to the realized enjoyment I call =
the Heart. It is, rather, a form of aberration, or exclusive fixation. Gene=
rally, it occurs in those who become more or less exclusively involved in t=
he ascending, internally oriented process. Such exclusive fixation disturbs=
the descending process, and produces the manifestation we call psychosis. =
Nonetheless, genuine Siddhas or "completed ones" also may manifest this ecc=
entric quality, this oddity, this radical unpredictability. This is because=
the Heart is absolutely radical, not identical to any thing, any dilemma, =
any path or moment in the path, any quality, any experience, any limitation=
whatsoever. The Heart obliterates and destroys limitation all the time. It=
is a wildness! That is why the Guru is worshipped as Siva. He destroys eve=
rything. He walks through town and burns everything. He hits people over th=
e head. He cuts them in half. Look at all the traditional pictures of Siva.=
He is always wiping everybody out, tearing their bodies apart, and sitting=
on them in meditation. But all of that is a symbol for the perfect humor o=
f the Self! Such images are not intended to represent literal acts of God o=
r justifiable acts of man. They are only "meaningful." They represent medit=
ative comprehension of an aspect of the conscious and universal process. Th=
e representation of this paradoxical display is intended to awaken the blis=
sfulness of non-separation, and non-identification with mortality.
The disciple is oriented towards his own obstruction, his own path, and so =
he is delivered this process of the apparent destruction of obstructions an=
d limitations. This causes him discomfort. But the great remedy for that di=
scomfort and the conscious crisis that must occur is Satsang, the very and =
functional relationship to the Guru. The more the disciple lives Satsang, k=
nows it, enjoys it, the less he is affected by his own crisis. Then the cri=
sis of transformation becomes a very simple, pure, harmonious process. But =
the more he turns from that condition, relationship and process which is Sa=
tsang, the more he becomes fixed in his own obstructions. Then, when his ob=
structions tend to get shaken up, even broken apart, he has only them to wh=
ich he can resort, so that he feels the discomfort, prolongs the suffering,=
and exaggerates his "path."
The eccentricity of the Siddhas and Saints, their radical quality, is a dem=
onstration of the living Nature, the Self, Real God. The formalized, fixed,=
predictable quality is not that of the Heart. Rigidity is the tamasic, fix=
ed, repetitive orientation of the limited mind. So the Real Self, alive as =
the Guru, performs this eccentric display, constantly abandoning all servic=
e to expectations. It is the Divine leela, the humor or play of freedom. It=
always disturbs the fixed, unconscious quality. It creates motion, then re=
turns to harmony, then settles into the formless consciousness, then arises=
as creative Light. But whatever the display, whatever the changes through =
which Guru and disciple go from day to day, whatever the change in the disp=
lay or action of the Guru, there is always one thing he continually does, w=
hich is simply to remain as the Self, the Heart, the Very Reality or Truth.=
His apparent activity, his drama, his play is always changing. He constant=
ly builds up expectations in the disciple, and then changes it around. He c=
ontinually disturbs the fixed quality, the rigidity, the path to which the =
disciple always tends.
There appears to be a certain security in fixation, but in fact it is a for=
m of disturbance. It is only an illusory security, because there is, in Tru=
th, no fixed state. That is why death is such a threat. But the more fluid,=
the looser, the more rapid and intense within, the more like consciousness=
the disciple becomes, the less fixed, the more functional, the more harmon=
ious, the more like fire, the more there is of Truth and the less there is =
of the "path," the more there seems a movement in the direction of freedom.=
It appears to be a direction. Perhaps we should only call it a sign. It is=
a sign of that which is, always and already.
THE METHOD OF THE SIDDHAS=20
________________________________________
CHAPTER 10
The Path of the Great Form
DEVOTEE: Does proximity to you, closeness to your body, have any relation t=
o the intensity or the effects of Satsang?
FRANKLIN: What is your experience?
DEVOTEE: It doesn't seem to have that much to do with the body. It seems mo=
re to be how much I am in felt contact with you and how open I am to you.
FRANKLIN: It all depends on the quality of your relationship. Everything is=
its medium, because everything is it. The body seems to be a very potent s=
ource for some, whereas for others the process seems to take place mainly o=
r only in very subtle ways. Neither one is superior to the other. A person =
must discover the quality of Satsang for himself.
DEVOTEE: I have two feelings or ideas about what is happening that I would =
like to discuss. I have had the feeling that you were receiving uptight or =
bad karma and transforming it inside yourself.
FRANKLIN: What do you think?
DEVOTEE: That's what I see, that's what I experience, but I'm not certain.
FRANKLIN: Why do you doubt it?
DEVOTEE: The other thing, after sitting with you for a little while, I seem=
to be observing a pattern in myself in Satsang, and tonight I had the feel=
ing that maybe there is a specific way that it happens. It is somehow diffe=
rent every time, but there seems to be a continuity in terms of a pattern. =
At least I experience it in terms of a movement up through the chakras. Is =
there some sort of non-verbal instruction being communicated?
FRANKLIN: In you?
DEVOTEE: In myself, yes. Something you do and, therefore, I am also learnin=
g to do, because I am sitting in your presence.
FRANKLIN: Many structures are used in the subtle process of Satsang, and it=
appears different all the time, the experience is different from person to=
person, and the quality of Satsang seems to change in the same individual =
from time to time. The reason there are differences, apparent differences, =
is because different aspects of the mechanism are animated or become a focu=
s of attention at different times. In different individuals, the obstructio=
ns, the qualities of the mechanism, are different, and so different things =
must occur. If you have a head cold, you must clear out your head. If you'v=
e got an ulcer, you must heal your stomach. In each individual there is a d=
ifferent structural dis-ease, and these structures are physical, psycho-phy=
sical, psychic, subtle. Each person may observe a characteristic activity i=
n himself in Satsang. A particular kind of process may be characteristic ov=
er a certain period of time, then it may change. But these experiences in t=
hemselves are only purifying movements. Like that time when you blow your n=
ose and your head finally gets clear. You don't go around pointing to your =
sinuses for the rest of your life, saying they are the center of Truth!
At various times, we have discussed the qualities of this structure in whic=
h we live. In describing its various levels, I have spoken of the three pri=
mary centers. One is the region of the solar-plexus, or the soft region of =
the lower body, which is the epitome of the psycho-physical organism. It is=
the center or point of view of all religious activity in men, and it is th=
e center of all ordinary human activity. The current of the force or light =
of Truth moves down into life by a process of descent into this region. But=
that same force or light also ascends. The structures through which the cu=
rrent ascends have been described in various traditions. The yogic traditio=
ns of India, in particular, describe the pattern of ascent through chakras,=
the wheels, lotuses or centers which are the etheric and subtle counterpar=
ts of various vital and strategic locations in the spinal structures of the=
physical body. The epitome or fundamental "goal" of the ascending life is =
the sahasrar, that massive area at the crown of the head, or, more properly=
, just above the head. It is the primary center of all subtle activity, all=
"spiritual" activity.
"Spirit" means breath in the Latin. In Sanskrit the word is prana, usually =
translated as life, breath or vital force. Spiritual life is the aspiring l=
ife of the vital force. The kundalini is prana. The kundalini shakti is pra=
na-shakti, the subtle or ascending activity of the life-force. In the pract=
ical activity or yoga of spiritual life, the vital force ascends or is made=
to ascend (by the methods of the yogi or the initiatory grace of his Guru)=
toward the sahasrar, the point or region above. The yogi attempts to merge=
his manifest vital-force with its subtle source above. This produces the t=
rance or samadhi states of yoga. There are many types of yogic meditation o=
r contemplation, but they are all meditations of this same subtle process. =
All spiritual life is simply an exploitation or realization of the ascendin=
g, aspiring aspect of the life-force. Just as all religion is essentially a=
surrendering or waiting on the descending power, whose source or nature is=
called "God," all yoga or spiritual life, all spiritual method, is a conte=
mplation, concentration, or exploitation of this subtle mechanism of the as=
cending activity of that same power or vital force.
The yogi may do various things to control and harmonize the breathing proce=
ss in order to go inward and upward. To the same end, he may add strict con=
trol of sex-force, diet, thought processes, etc. There are also various for=
ms of concentration on the subtle centers or chakras. Some yoga's involve t=
he contemplation of internal, subtle sounds, or concentration on the intern=
al "lights" of the life-force. There are many forms of traditional yoga tha=
t contemplate the various qualities of our subtle mechanism. The highest fo=
rm of yoga or the ascent of life is the spontaneous kundalini manifestation=
, in which all the classic "spiritual" events arise spontaneously by the gr=
ace of the Guru. But the entire affair of the ascending yoga is only one of=
the possible major events in this activity that is real Satsang. The activ=
ities of descent are also a primary form of the purifying operations of Sat=
sang.
Some who live in Satsang begin to have kriyas, spontaneous physical movemen=
ts. Breathing activity or automatic pranayama may appear in the form of sud=
den breathing, fast breathing, quieting or even cessation of the breath. In=
ternalization may come quite naturally, then concentration, inward experien=
ces of centers, visions, lights, sounds, experiences of the merging of blis=
s. Some people may have these experiences. Others may not have those kinds =
of experiences, or they may have them only occasionally, or they may only h=
ave certain of them. These other people may experience more of the calming =
descent of that same bliss and force that purifies the mind and the life of=
the yogi by ascent. Where the obstructions or limiting tendencies of a man=
are essentially in this descending path, then we have awakening or opening=
of the descended, human life, the "purification of the navel." Where the o=
bstructions and the tendencies lie more in the subtle or ascending path of =
the same mechanism, then we have the yogic manifestations, the spiritual ma=
nifestations. The pattern of descent and ascent is the circle or circuit of=
the life-force, the true "round dance." And in the man of understanding, t=
he conductivity of that full circle is re-established and full, whatever st=
imulation's of descending and ascending activity arise in the stages of pur=
ification.
So far we have covered two of the three major centers. There are many chakr=
as, and there are also many points within the descending parts of the total=
mechanism. The epitome of descent is the belly, and the epitome of ascent =
is a point above the head. But there is a third "place" or epitome of consc=
ious life. It is described in the tradition of jnana or Self-knowledge, rep=
resented by Ramana Maharshi and others. The religious traditions speak from=
the point of view of "life." The esoteric, spiritual and yogic traditions =
speak from the point of view of subtle "planes" of existence or "light." Bu=
t the philosophical traditions of the jnani speak from the point of view of=
the "causal" being or body, the seat of deep sleep, and also of the formle=
ss state, whose epitome is in the heart, on the right side of the chest. Th=
e physical heart of the waking and descending life is felt to the left, and=
the "heart chakra" of the subtle or "dreaming" life of ascent is in the mi=
ddle, but the "causal" center or heart is on the right. The "causal" center=
is without light, without sound, without form, without movement. The seat =
of the causal body, the formless "body" of deep sleep, is also, when opened=
and conscious, the seat of the "fourth state" (beyond waking, dreaming or =
sleeping) called turiya, which transcends all modification.
The yogi seeks to merge in the sahasrar, or the highest, subtlest place of =
light. The religious man seeks to be full, to receive and be full of truth,=
life, the descending grace of God. But the jnani, the man who resorts only=
to the intuitive process of Self-knowledge, tends toward this "causal" cen=
ter beyond the mind, beyond form, beyond visions, experiences. When this ca=
usal center opens, beyond the apparent unconsciousness of sleep, the state =
called turiya arises. It is a conscious state which, like a witness, transc=
ends the three ordinary states of waking, dreaming and sleeping.
All of the traditions that have arisen in the great search of mankind have =
been communicated, whether consciously or unconsciously, from the point of =
view of one of these three primary centers of conscious existence. One or m=
ore. Read the traditional texts. Where the jnani speaks in terms of identit=
y with the Self, the yogi, the spiritual man, speaks in terms of union with=
Truth, Light, God. And the religious man, the one who surrenders to God an=
d serves God among men, talks about his relationship to God and his creatur=
es. But all three of these centers are only portions of one great mechanism=
that all men share, all living beings share, all worlds share. This mechan=
ism is duplicated in all forms, including this manifest universe. The manif=
est cosmos is structured in the same manner as our own tripartite mechanism=
.
But Truth itself contains and is prior to all of that. And Satsang is the c=
ompany of Truth. Satsang is not simply, then, the attempt of seekers to do =
various things with these three centers or functions of manifest existence =
to which the traditions have paid so much attention. The traditions always =
start from a low position and seek to attain their goal, which is fullness,=
union, or identity. But the point of view of true spiritual life is alread=
y that of Truth itself, not of the search, but of the enjoyment of Truth, t=
he living of it, the present enjoyment of it as our real condition. All rea=
l transformation that occurs within the form of life at any level, is a man=
ifestation of Truth, of Satsang, not of the search. When a person moves int=
o that association that is Satsang, and lives it as the condition of his li=
fe, he may begin to experience curious manifestations in any of these three=
great or traditional forms. So, as in the case of the questioner, there ma=
y be these experiences of the chakras, the phenomena of the "subtle body." =
In others there may be another kind of experience, more of opening, and ful=
lness. In another it may tend to take the form of intuitive directness. Som=
e speak of their spiritual life in terms of "life," others speak of it in t=
erms of "spirit" and "light," others speak of it in terms of unqualified "b=
eing," "consciousness," or "Reality."
Even so, each of those points of view is a limitation, expressing only a po=
rtion of the structure that is within the possibility of Truth. This is bec=
ause your experiences occur only in the areas where purification is stimula=
ted by the obstructive presence of your peculiar tendencies. Therefore, Sat=
sang is the true resort of all men, regardless of their peculiar tendencies=
. And very Truth and radical understanding is the necessity of all men rega=
rdless of their experiences. Now, exactly how this mechanism of Satsang wor=
ks is not clear at the outset. Prior to its perfect realization, it cannot =
be grasped. It is elusive. So, as you say, you are trying to get down to it=
. But if you try to discover or perform it yourself, your blood vessels wil=
l burst. It wont happen. If you don't already live the point of view of the=
heart, vital, subtle or causal, how are you going to move into it? Your po=
int of view is in your head, or your legs, wherever. Satsang, the company a=
nd condition of Truth, is your true resort, and in Satsang you will find yo=
urself falling spontaneously into the "Heart," the Heart of Truth, which tr=
anscends the manifest realizations.
There is no real contraction. There is only that enjoyment that is Truth, w=
hat is always already the case. The body is a process of conductivity in wh=
ich the force of life moves in a circle, descending and ascending. The cent=
er or epitome of the life aspect of this force is the vital center in the g=
eneral region of the navel. The epitome of the subtle "body" is in the regi=
ons of the head, above the eyes, even above the head. It manifests not as l=
ife or vitality, but as Light, unqualified Conscious Light. The modificatio=
ns of most subtle, pre-cosmic Light are everything we know as Life. The cen=
ter or epitome of the prior, "causal" or transcendent existence is the regi=
on of the "Heart," on the right side of the chest. It manifests as very con=
sciousness, absolute space, formless, unqualified existence, the vast bliss=
. Nothing is being communicated but That which includes these three. There =
is nothing but That. That is Amrita Nadi, the Great Form, the conscious, mo=
veless spire which extends from the Heart to the Light.
I called the most subtle region the "Bright," because it is only Light. All=
of life descends from it, and returns to it in a continuous cycle, conduct=
ing it as force, becoming movement and form. But even this Light is a refle=
ction of the Heart, unqualified existence, just as the moon reflects the su=
n. This Heart, which is the source of all light and life, and of which ever=
y thing is the reflection, is itself without quality. But the Heart, the Li=
ght and the Life are all included and transcended in that which is very Tru=
th, the Great Form. Therefore, those who come to Satsang, where the Truth, =
this Living Reality, is communicated, see it manifested in them in three ch=
aracteristic ways. One is in the form of movement or of life: kriyas (spont=
aneous vital and physical movements), changes in the life-pattern, experien=
ces and circumstances at the level of life, waking phenomena. Others experi=
ence it more in terms of subtle or dreamlike manifestations: lights, vision=
s, dreams, sounds, patterns internal to consciousness. Others move into the=
intuitive or "causal" awareness, falling into a profound sleep at times, e=
ven moving into turiya, the "fourth state" which transcends waking, dreamin=
g and sleeping. But all of those phenomena are manifestations at particular=
levels of the greater process that is Satsang.
Satsang is communicated from the point of view of Turiyatita. It is the asc=
ended life of the Heart. It is Amrita Nadi, the Form of Reality. Satsang is=
the very point of view of Truth, in which all things arise as a modificati=
on. Truth, Satsang, simply manifests as these three qualities I have descri=
bed, and Truth itself, the point of view which generates the processes of S=
atsang, may be said to exist as a fourth and a fifth quality. The two quali=
ties of Truth are transcendent and unqualified. The first and foundation qu=
ality is the Heart. It is the very Self of Reality, enjoyed when the mind f=
alls into its source, and the gross, subtle and causal qualities are purifi=
ed of obstruction and contraction. This is Turiya in its Perfect State. And=
the fifth quality is Perfect Form, Turiyatita, beyond the fourth, ascended=
from the fourth. It is the Eternal Form of the Heart, the Form of Guru, Se=
lf and God. When the Guru speaks ecstatically of his Divine and All-Pervasi=
ve Nature he is not speaking of some egoic magnificence, but of That which =
is all that is and which stands out when ego is dead.
The Truth, which is Satsang, and living the Truth, which is sadhana or real=
practice, make possible the entire event of the transformation and revelat=
ion of this great mechanism. It is alive. It is not a structure that can be=
blueprinted and then prescribed. Something can be said about it, but the s=
aying is not equivalent to the sadhana or life of Satsang. It is alive. Jus=
t as it is very hard to control the breath once it leaves the body, just so=
, this incredibly subtle mechanism, whose source and very condition is the =
Truth, is infinitely elusive, absolutely elusive, paradoxical. That is why =
the image of the Mother Shakti and the images of Deity in general, particul=
arly in the Orient, have a paradoxical quality. They are almost comical at =
times, and at other times they are treacherous, violent. Krishna is beautif=
ul and blue. But he teases those who desire him. He eludes them. He runs aw=
ay, and he says "Yes, I'm coming, I'm coming." But you wait and you wait an=
d you wait, and he doesn't come.
The Mother Shakti appears in all kinds of forms. The holy yogi bathes his m=
ind with repetition of mantra until it is pure of desires, and then he walk=
s down to bathe his body in the Ganges. But when he gets out of the water, =
without his bathing suit, this fantastic woman is standing on the beach wit=
h a basket of fruit, with chicken sandwiches, and a little wine. The next d=
ay he has to turn in his mantra and his robe! He goes to tell his Guru how =
he broke his vows. His Guru asks, "With whom?" "With that beautiful chick o=
ver there!" says the penitent. And his Guru says, "That is the Mother Shakt=
i. She got you!"
The image of this great process of conscious life has been symbolized as al=
l of the paradoxical deities, and the symbols themselves have a life. In my=
own experience, the Mother Shakti has appeared like anyone else, then diff=
erent, as all kinds of forms, very strange, then beautiful, then wise. But =
what is being communicated through the imageries of these experiences is th=
is great process, only a piece at a time. It is perfectly glimpsed only whe=
n there is resort to Truth absolutely. Otherwise a person will buy the expe=
rience to which his tendencies gravitate. So, if you are willing to buy a l=
ittle foggy light between your eyes, then that is where you will be. Whatev=
er you are willing to buy, you will be given. That is why the deities are p=
ictured in such paradoxical ways. They will give you a little pink fruit, i=
f you will come and take it. The dog comes for his bone, he gets the bone, =
and he leaves. Thus, if you begin to get very interested in the process tha=
t is awakening in Satsang, you may become attached to the experiences thems=
elves. Perhaps, at some point, you will buy it. You are already buying it. =
That is why this question was asked. You may even become very angry, and re=
ject Satsang, because of the position you are put into by craving your own =
internal life. Narcissus is addicted to looking at himself. It is the only =
thing he will defend.
DEVOTEE: Will you say something about how the Shakti relates to Truth?
FRANKLIN: What is called Shakti, the Divine Creative Power, is not a separa=
te thing, not a special force. It is the same that is meant by the Self, Re=
ality, Truth, Guru, or God. The name Shakti is simply used to describe that=
aspect of the Truth that is movement in manifestation. Siva-Shakti is perh=
aps a more appropriate or complete designation of the Truth. In other words=
, the Real is moving-creative, but it is also static-perfect-untouched. The=
true Shakti is the Conscious Force in and as which every thing exists. It =
is the present nature of every thing, of all beings, and it is also the cau=
se, substance, support and end of all that arises.
Now as it pertains to practical spiritual life, there are those in whom the=
way of understanding or Satsang with the Guru involves a pronounced subtle=
purification or transformation. The peculiar qualities of their spiritual =
experiences tend to arise in the "subtle body" as opposed to the "physical,=
gross body," or to what is called the "causal body," the deep well of bein=
g in which there is no form, no modification. The subtle body is actually t=
he range of internal functions, of inward-directed energy and awareness, of=
dreams, visions and thoughts. There are many who are sensitive in that ran=
ge of functions, and whose view of the cosmic process is essentially throug=
h the subtle media. The apparent process of their conscious life is more ob=
viously like internal yoga and meditation than the austere intuitions of Bu=
ddhism or Advaita Vedanta, or even the continuous practical orientations of=
those in whom human activity in the world is the center of sadhana and exp=
erience. Such people witness the specific, yogic activity of the universal =
conscious force.
The force alive in yoga is called prana-shakti. It is an aspect of the univ=
ersal life, the subtle life of the Self of Truth. The Shakti in this form h=
as a specific involvement with the internal processes of living beings, par=
ticularly human beings. If the internal energy can be stimulated, or if its=
source and path can be concentrated upon, there are internal awarenesses a=
nd transformations of a subtle kind that arise. Ordinarily, this process is=
not something over which a person has the least control. He doesn't "awake=
n" it himself. It is always already there. It is just unconscious and subdu=
ed. It feeds the outward tendencies of life. The actual process of the spon=
taneous kriya yoga, which I have described in The Knee of Listening, is sti=
mulated by contact with a living Siddha-Yogi in whom this force is unobstru=
cted and functioning very consciously. The contact with such a person stimu=
lates this energy and breaks down or purifies the inner functions of their =
obstructions. By virtue of that contact, this internal process, this subtle=
process, becomes conscious, awakened, and manifests itself through a serie=
s of purifying events, both internal and external. The obstructions are bro=
ken down, perhaps on an apparently gross level at first, then always subtle=
r and subtler.
The first experiences such a person might have are various bodily sensation=
s. He may feel a certain energy, a certain heat or cold, a certain tendency=
to move, little jerking, spontaneous movements, a feeling of discomfort, a=
n intense, even erotic feeling all over the body, or in specific regions of=
the body, such as the head. These purifying movements are an automatic hat=
ha yoga. Sometimes such a person does yogic postures spontaneously. He cant=
help but do it at times. He might perform postures of which he would be ph=
ysically incapable were this force or yoga-shakti not active in him. He may=
perform automatic pranayama or vigorous and curious exercises of the breat=
hing functions. The whole process of all that can be called "yoga," includi=
ng all the types of yoga, may arise spontaneously in that person, beginning=
with the more physical forms of yoga, then moving on to the subtler purifi=
cation's and the qualities of meditation. There may be times when the mind =
becomes rapid, when there is endless thinking, without apparent cause, and =
then, just as spontaneously, it breaks down, breaks apart, slows down. Such=
a one may begin to have visions at times, and to perceive internal forms, =
colors, smells, tastes, sounds. He may hear the nada, the sounds which are =
always vibrating within. There may be visions, symbolic experiences, dramat=
ic mudras or poses of hands and body, movements of all kinds, shaking of th=
e body, ecstasies, spontaneous devotion, love, bliss, and profound concentr=
ation in the various psycho-physical centers, always moving toward and culm=
inating in the primary region of the subtle life in the crown of the head. =
The movement is always upward. And since the yogic centers are subtle, not =
limited to the physical form, the highest subtle centers are actually above=
the physical head, but the process is sensed as a concentration in the gen=
eral area of the crown. This region is called the sahasrar.
This subtle, ascending, yogic process is that which most people would ident=
ify with "Shakti." But in fact it is a demonstration of only one path or on=
e aspect of the greater path of the universal and absolute activity of the =
true Shakti. There are essentially three paths, forms or qualities of spiri=
tual life, based on the three primary functional points of view. The classi=
c texts talk about the "knots" that need to be opened. "Liberation" is the =
opening of these "knots."
There is a knot associated with the region of the navel, including the enti=
re solar plexus and the soft organs which extend above it (including the he=
art, lungs, tongue and parts of the brain) and below it (to the anus). Some=
indicate its center to be just below the navel. That entire region is the =
gross-vital center, the life center. There is a tradition of practice relat=
ed to this center. If you are centered or stable there, you are strong, upr=
ight, direct, straight, active in proper relationship to things, in the pro=
per harmony. The purification of the "navel" or of the life itself is the i=
mminent goal of religious devotion, and the various harmonizing practices w=
hich are applied to life. Religion essentially looks toward life-purificati=
on, life-stabilization, life-opening. And the life-center is its point of v=
iew. This is the first of the three paths.
The second path is the subtle path. Such is the point of view of yoga and t=
he various processes that are very similar to yoga. Such are the various pa=
ths that exploit the internal qualities rather than abandon them. The "subt=
le body" is conceived in terms of various chakras or centers through which =
the subtle force moves. These centers culminate in the sahasrar, the primar=
y center of subtle life. Several of these subtle centers are described as p=
rimary "knots" in the traditional texts. The sahasrar itself is not include=
d among these knots, but a primary one is just below the crown, in the midb=
rain, behind the eyes. When all of these subtle centers are open, in other =
words when the living, inward-directed energy moves and merges in the sahas=
rar (the "thousand petalled lotus"), that is the highest realization from t=
he point of view of the traditional ascending yoga.
The third path is one we see represented in such men as Ramana Maharshi and=
in the monistic Hindu traditions, such as Advaita Vedanta. In such cases, =
the path is generated from the point of view of the "causal being," the con=
scious seat analogous to our deep sleep state. The gross path is analogous =
to our waking state, the subtle path is analogous to our dream state, and t=
he causal path is analogous to our deep sleep state. The paths associated w=
ith the formlessness of the Divine or ultimate Reality are essentially form=
s of this causal path. And the "knot" of the causal heart, on the right sid=
e of the chest, is the center from which these causal paths are generated, =
and toward which they move by various critical and intuitive means. When th=
is center or knot is open, waking, dreaming and sleeping no longer limit th=
e primary enjoyment that is the Self or true and prior state of consciousne=
ss.
Now all three paths necessarily involve force, the Shakti or Conscious Forc=
e and Power of the Divine, the living Reality. Christianity, an example of =
the religious or life path, is very concerned with the "Holy Spirit." That =
is the Force, the Shakti, conceived from the point of view of the life-knot=
, the vital center of the descending force, the conductor of the descending=
Power of God. "Prayer," the most characteristic religious appliance, is al=
ways looking for this descent of Power. And "fasting," the ancient companio=
n of prayer, is the means of purifying or preparing the "place" for the des=
cent of Gods Grace and Power. The worship of the Mother-Shakti in the cults=
of Hinduism is expressed yearning for Her to descend, to send Her gifts do=
wnward. All religious points of view want Power to come down. Western occul=
tism is the worshipping of the descending Power. That is the descent of Sha=
kti. All movements, all of this visible world is Shakti.
The subtle path is also concerned with Shakti in a peculiar way. The subtle=
yoga's exploit the capacity of prana-shakti to ascend. They do not hope fo=
r the descent of Power, but they seek to become involved with and ultimatel=
y identified with the ascending functions of that same Power. In that case =
we have the subtle process of internal movement, generated in an inward and=
upward direction, toward concentration and merger in the subtle regions ab=
ove.
In the causal path there is also force. The formless Divine, the Self, Brah=
man, is absolute, unqualified Force. It is only that this particular path i=
s not associated with the kind of "movements," this kundalini process, that=
are talked about from the yogic point of view. But it is the same Force.
Ultimately, the teaching that is Truth is not generated from the point of v=
iew of any of these three knots, or these three dilemmas, and the paths cre=
ated to open or solve them. The descending (life, gross), the ascending (su=
btle), and the moveless original (causal) Force are there in all men. And e=
ach individual will tend to go through a characteristic purifying process, =
according to his particular tendencies in relation to these three qualities=
, when he moves into Satsang with the Siddha-Guru. The point of view of Tru=
th is not the point of view of dilemma, or any of the three traditional qua=
lities of Force, or their primary centers, or any secondary centers associa=
ted with them. No particular process of experience is equal or identical to=
Truth, the Heart, the Self, or Real God.
What is necessary is the absence of obstruction, of the ego, of contraction=
, the avoidance of relationship. Then only Truth stands out. Therefore, Tru=
th is the communication from the point of view of the true Teaching. The tr=
ue Guru always turns his disciple toward Truth, Reality, not to his experie=
nces, not to the possibility of experiences, not to any psycho-physical sta=
te. The gross, the subtle, and the causal, as I have spoken of them here, a=
re psycho-physical and temporary in nature. They are equal to the three sta=
tes, waking, dreaming, and sleeping, into which experience is analyzed in t=
he classic texts. The higher state than these, all the texts declare, is tu=
riya, the fourth state. In other words, the more fundamental state is the w=
itness to those three states. The "witness" is not the religious man, not t=
he yogi, not the intuitive philosopher, but turiya, the fourth, prior to al=
l that, witnessing it all. And even higher than that is perfect realization=
, turiyatita, beyond the fourth, unspeakable, neither formless nor formed. =
It is Amrita Nadi, the form of Reality, whose Foundation and very Nature is=
the Heart. Therefore, Truth is not identified with any process, any knot, =
any opened knot, any dilemma, any solved dilemma.
Everyone's experience in relation to the Guru is different, depending on th=
e quality or tendency of his conscious life. But all experience the single =
force of the Guru and of God as Shaktipat, the transmission of Divine Consc=
ious Power, the Power of Consciousness. Some tend toward association with t=
he descending force. The life-center and life-functions tend to be the dime=
nsion in which they feel both obstruction and opening. Their sadhana tends =
to be a life-level activity, and they become aware of the force of the Guru=
and of Truth as a descending blessing, originating extremely above. Others=
tend more toward the internally-directed, ascending process. Their experie=
nce is more like that of the kundalini yogis. Others tend more toward the c=
ausal, intuitive level of spiritual knowledge. Instead of the yogic process=
es or the apparently life-active, religious and devotional processes, their=
s is more a process of intuitive understanding, without special inclination=
to visions and the various forms of mystical cognition.
The true Guru must live the conscious Force of Truth at all of these fundam=
ental levels. He must necessarily be Guru in all of them. He must be fully =
aware in all three paths. In him there must be no obstruction in the descen=
ding path, no obstruction in the ascending path, no obstruction in the move=
less or intuitive path. These three "knots" are open in him. He sees from t=
he point of view of the Heart, unobstructed. There must be in him no obstru=
ction to the whole path, the complex Force of the Heart, the presence of Am=
rita Nadi
There are many that are called Teacher or Guru simply because they perform =
a consoling or apparently beneficial function of a peculiar kind. But such =
are not living the great function of Guru. They are not what I call "the ma=
n of understanding." They are teaching from the point of view of dilemma, t=
he knots and their paths. Generally, they teach those who are by tendency o=
riented to the same quality of dilemma to which they themselves are tending=
. The practical-religious-devotional type teaches those who are sensitive i=
n this way. The yogi type teaches those who are sensitive on a subtle level=
. The more philosophical or intuitive type teaches those who are similarly =
inclined. But the point of view of Truth is not dilemma, not the knots. It =
is not equal to any kind of experience, solution or form of perception and =
cognition. Therefore, the true Guru teaches Truth as Truth, from the point =
of view of Truth. Then, only secondarily, the purification or opening of th=
e knots occurs in the ways peculiar to individual tendencies.
So you see, spiritual life in Satsang with such a Guru manifests as many di=
fferent qualities and types of experiences. From the point of view of the H=
eart and the understanding of the processes of manifest existence which I h=
ave just described, the variations are easy to comprehend. Only when the sp=
iritual experiences of men are looked at from the outside and from a limite=
d point of view do they seem disorderly. Then it seems as if there is too m=
uch difference between people and traditions, and no single, comprehensible=
process stands out. Truly, the great spiritual process is not understandab=
le from any point of view that is not already the Perfect Heart. Spiritual =
things seem confused from a point of view that is not the Heart, just as th=
e world seems confused from the limited point of view of experience and cir=
cumstance.
The "Shakti" that most people have heard or read about is that force manife=
sted and used in the subtle process associated with what we call yoga. But =
the true or perfect Shakti is the Conscious Force that is the Self, that is=
the Heart, that is Truth, Amrita Nadi, or very God. And this Shakti is man=
ifesting as all that arises or does not arise. It is the Truth, the fundame=
ntal Reality. It is That which manifests on all levels, as the descending p=
ower, the ascending power, the moveless power. One and the same Shakti is a=
ll of that. Therefore, in Truth, Shakti is not limited to the subtle proces=
s with which people generally identify it. It is greater than that, not lim=
ited to that. It does not necessarily tend to manifest the dramatic course =
of the subtle process in the case of some individuals. It is the Heart Itse=
lf. It is Truth Itself. It is Real-God, God-alive. When there is the Realiz=
ation of the Self or Truth, Perfect Understanding, there is also perfect ma=
nifestation of Shakti, perfect communication of Shakti, because the Heart i=
s Shakti, it is Conscious Force, it is the Fire that is Reality.
Wherever there is any sort of an opening, there is the flow of Shakti. Any =
person who is open on any level, to any significant degree, is very attract=
ive. People like to be around such a person, because there is movement ther=
e. There is not solidity, fixation. There is a certain energy, a liveliness=
with which we like to be associated. It is only that the usual liveliness =
of men tends to be limited. The easiest to identify is the person who is op=
en on a very human, vital level. But there is also the liveliness of a subt=
le variety, to which we are, individually, more or less consciously sensiti=
ve. Ultimately, we are also sensitive to the liveliness that is Reality its=
elf. So, there can be a man, a great saint, stone dead, whose "liveliness" =
remains in the world. The burial shrine of Swami Nityananda is one of the m=
ost lively places to which I have ever been in my life. Ultimately, our con=
scious sensitivity must awaken to the real, eternal liveliness that is the =
very Heart or Real God. And it is perfect movement, not limited movement.
The liveliness or Shakti of the Heart is communicated by the living Siddha-=
Guru. Whatever the tendencies of the individual, it is the Satsang, or rela=
tionship with the Siddha, with the true Guru, that is the simple condition =
under which the utter and complete process of Truth may take place. All tha=
t exists is relationship. All that appears as suffering and dilemma is cont=
act or conscious relationship, relatively obstructed. The less obstructed a=
ny condition or function is, the more it is a path, a flow of force. The pa=
th of Truth is the relationship to the Siddha-Guru. It is that course or fu=
nctional path established between a man and his Guru. That is the path. The=
path is not the methods and strategies a man applies to himself. Satsang, =
the living, active, functional relationship itself, is the "current," the "=
wiring" in which the Conscious Force, the Truth, flows and manifests its ac=
tivities at every level. So the simple relationship to the man of understan=
ding is the path. It is the place where the search comes to an end, where t=
he obstructions are abandoned.
There are also various activities internal to the Siddha-Guru and the realm=
s of his awareness, but they are not spoken. There is no point in talking a=
bout them, unless, in the progress of Satsang, the Guru sees fit to instruc=
t his disciple. These processes are subtler than the mind and require equal=
subtlety to be understood. Even so, certain activities are eventually obse=
rved by the disciple in contact with his Guru. There are various things the=
disciple observes his Guru to do which he associates with his own awakenin=
g and with the arising of certain experiences in him. Those activities of t=
he Guru are not utterly comprehended by the disciple at the time. The tradi=
tions describe these activities in terms of effects and appearances. In Ind=
ia, these activities of the Guru are called Shaktipat or Guru-kripa, the tr=
ansference of the Conscious Force of the Heart or God. The effects of this =
transference are observed in various enlivening activities, gross, subtle a=
nd causal. The Guru is observed to be apparently involved in this in severa=
l possible ways: by looking at the person, by touching him, by speaking to =
him, or simply by thinking of him in some way. And the highest form of that=
"initiation" is where the Guru simply and silently abides as the Self, or =
very Truth. Then his continuous existence as the living Reality initiates e=
verything that lives to Truth. All that turns to the Guru in appropriate wa=
ys is enlivened by him. And that is initiation, that is movement, that is t=
he beginning of the whole process of spiritual life.
Naturally, it is on the level of life that the relationship to the Guru is =
perceived by the disciple. He observes the occasional looks, occasional thi=
ngs said, occasional touches, the effects of the Gurus occasional remembran=
ce of him. When he is with his Guru he may suddenly feel his Guru is thinki=
ng of him. Or he may simply and continuously resort to his Gurus Presence, =
whether or not his Guru is considering him in particular at any moment. The=
se various sensations of the activity of the Guru are the apparent means, f=
rom the disciples point of view, of the transference of the Light, the Trut=
h, the Shakti of the living Self or Real God. The disciple may tend, as a r=
esult of some enlivening experience generated by his Gurus grace, to look a=
gain and again for that particular experience or that particular form of "i=
nitiation" to be repeated. He may tend to associate some peculiar experienc=
e or some particular activity of his Guru with Truth itself. But in fact an=
y specific experience in the disciple, or any specific activity of the Guru=
, such as looking, talking, thinking, touching, whatever, is generated in a=
particular moment when it is appropriate. It is thus not a necessary exper=
ience or action that must be repeated again and again. Different forms of t=
he action of initiation may be used, or no apparent action may be used. The=
Guru always remains unpredictable, in order to test and mature his discipl=
e. And, at last, simply abiding as the Self, as the Heart, as Truth, is ess=
entially what the Guru does for all beings. Just so, the quality of the rel=
ationship that the disciple is living to his Guru is what determines the na=
ture of his present experience. The Guru does not withhold. He always lives=
Truth openly. He always communicates it on many levels, to transform the e=
xpectations, the obstructions, the tendencies, the limitations that the dis=
ciple is living to him. So the "drama" of this relationship or Satsang is a=
t the level of the disciple. It is he that must understand obstructions. Th=
e Guru does not create obstructions. He only lives the Heart of Truth. But =
he may dramatize or intensify the obstructions already in the disciple, in =
order to make him aware of them, to draw his attention to them, so that thi=
s flow of Life can move through, unobstructed by any particular tendency. T=
he Guru always works so that awareness can be lived on a more profound leve=
l.
Many things can be said about this activity to which I have been referring.=
It is the greatest mystery, how the Heart lives in the world, how it funct=
ions among apparently separate, living beings. The whole process that occur=
s is as complicated as the cosmos itself, and what is beyond it. It cannot =
be described perfectly. Only certain things can be said about it. Essential=
ly, it is the very Life, the Self, very Existence, Reality, God manifesting=
under these conditions, under all conditions. All the traditions, taken to=
gether, are essentially a way of retracing the structure of manifest life b=
ack to its source. Each particular incident or tradition does it in a limit=
ed way, from the point of view of a particular dilemma, a particular center=
, a particular viewpoint of experience or consciousness. Those in whom this=
drama of realization is essentially a life-process are concerned with the =
descending force and the opening of life to it. They are tracing the curren=
t of descent, from the highest to the lowest. The processes of yoga and the=
like, the subtle processes, trace the current of ascent, from the lowest t=
o the highest. These two taken together, the gross and the subtle, form a c=
ircle. They trace that portion of the circuit of existence which descends t=
o life and ascends or returns again from life to its structural source. The=
refore, life is always descending-ascending. It is a circle. Then there is =
also the "causal" aspect or portion of this circuit. Ramana Maharshi talks =
about the path that leads and even begins beyond yoga, and which is prior t=
o subtle and gross existence. He points to the place of the Heart, on the r=
ight side, which is the causal center. And this center is connected to the =
subtle center, the Sahasrar, by that transcendent portion of the circuit ca=
lled Amrita Nadi. Thus, if the three centers or portions of the circuit are=
taken together with the Form which includes them we see the great path, th=
e circuit of manifest and unmanifest life, the secret path of all spiritual=
processes, all traditions.
The "shape" of man is like a fruit. His core is the causal being, untouched=
, unborn, like waiting seed. When the fruit falls into the earth (when the =
mind falls into the Heart), there springs up an inconceivable thread, of th=
e same substance as the seed of being, which rises above, becoming a great =
tree and extending even into the heights, into the sky and cosmos of very G=
od. This is Amrita Nadi.
Until the seed is ready for life, it is concealed in the form of the fruit.=
This fruit is the dependent and not conscious form of man. It is the condi=
tion of suffering, and also of sadhana in Satsang with the Guru. The stem o=
f the fruit is the route of the Light and Life which descends into the frui=
t from places above, from the parent tree, and at last passes down through =
the sahasrar, the crown of this body or fruit. That Light and Life descends=
into the fruit and makes it full and ripe below. Just so, it also ascends,=
thus keeping the circuit or circle, until the fruit falls and its seed is =
eaten in the earth. Such is ordinary death and in the mature devotee, also =
"ego" death. Ordinary death is the termination of a phase of the outer life=
of the individual, but also the beginning of a new phase of the manifestat=
ion or expansion and revelation of what he is inwardly and ultimately. Just=
so, a man becomes perfectly "fruitful" only in Satsang with the Guru, who =
is himself the process, the goal, the means, the Power and the very Life. T=
herefore, in Satsang the fruit ripens and falls into the "earth," the found=
ation, and opens. Such is the Heart.
When discipleship to the Siddha-Guru is perfected, the whole circuitry is k=
nown and understood. It is seen to be within your own real Nature or Condit=
ion, rather than to contain you or limit you. And this is what is truly cal=
led Self-Realization, the Heart of Truth, Nirvana, God-union. It is perpetu=
al freedom to enjoy Satsang with the Perfect Guru. And one who understands,=
even one whose understanding is Perfect doesn't necessarily disappear from=
the world. Gautama Buddha, for instance, got up and walked back to town. S=
o it was with Jesus, and all the great Masters of men. After their return t=
o the common life of the world, they spent the rest of their lives trying t=
o communicate their understanding to all of those who felt limited by this =
fruit-shape, this phantom circuit of manifest existence. And in the case of=
all the Siddhas, the fundamental Teaching or method was that functional re=
lationship or Satsang which living beings realized with them. This Satsang =
is the Method of the Siddhas.
Satsang always serves to destroy or undermine the fixation of attention and=
its implications. Whenever Satsang is lived, there tends to be the opening=
of the knots in which attention is fixed, so that consciousness falls into=
its original form, which is the Self or Real Nature. Therefore, one who ha=
s realized the ultimate end of the whole path or cycle of the form of exist=
ence now exists "outside" of that whole process, no longer limited by it. B=
ut he remains consciously related to this whole structure in an entirely di=
fferent way than seekers and all those who do not understand the process an=
d form of existence. The path of a mans experience will always return to ze=
ro, always back to the dilemma. It will always fit him back into the fruit,=
like a worm. Thus, the Siddha-Guru appears in the world, to speak from the=
point of view of Truth or Reality, not of experience, and to return the te=
ndencies of the disciple back to the essential structure in which Truth is =
communicated, until he sees there is no path, no difference, no separation.=
And when the disciple is perfectly one with his Guru, he sees and enjoys t=
he true Form of his Guru, and participates directly in the functions of his=
Guru, who all the time has been only the Self of the Real One.
Those who speak from the point of view of the Heart, the living Truth, are =
always very radical, very eccentric in the manner of their teaching. This i=
s because they are no longer limited to the "path" I have described, to the=
point of view of dilemma, to the limiting structures of experience. Saint =
Tukaram is a good example. Tukaram was a very strange man. He grew up and l=
ived in India, in a very traditional order of society in which religious an=
d spiritual life was a fixed part of the cycle of life. He participated in =
all of that, ritually, religiously. He performed all the apparent externals=
of it, and this would seem to have made him acceptable or ordinary. But if=
you read his words, you realize he was a "heretic"! He spoke only in the m=
ost radical way.
Tukaram lived in a culture that was devotionally oriented, committed to the=
duality or radical separation of God and man. But he would go around telli=
ng everybody there wasn't any God. When he sat down, he could find no One t=
o meditate on. He claimed that he was himself God. He went on and on like t=
his, disturbing all the orthodox devotees, until, one day, he just disappea=
red. He had been sitting with his disciples all night, chanting, enjoying d=
eep meditation, when, all of a sudden, there was a blast of light, and he d=
isappeared! There have been a number of such cases of people who were repor=
ted to have abandoned their life in the world by such "absorption." It is n=
ot a common form of "death," even among the Siddhas. It happens rarely as a=
matter of fact. But Tukaram was a very humorous guy! And all of those who =
live from that point of view are very radical, very eccentric. The acceptab=
le and the expected are not really a part of their communication. They are =
always communicating from the Perfect point of view. For this reason, their=
apparent manifestation is often very odd.
Meher Baba spent a period of his life teaching or serving the masts (pronou=
nced "musts"), a class of eccentric people in India who live in extraordina=
ry but still limited states of conscious awareness. These masts were all, f=
rom a human point of view, particularly a Western point of view, psychotic,=
literally psychotic. Many of them spent their time in catatonic states, di=
splaying an automatic, strangely ritualistic and incomprehensible way of li=
fe. When such individuals come into contact with a genuine Siddha-Guru they=
tend to become quieter, more "normalized." The flow of the "path" tends to=
become more harmonious in them. This is because the eccentricity in which =
such individuals are fixed is not natural to the realized enjoyment I call =
the Heart. It is, rather, a form of aberration, or exclusive fixation. Gene=
rally, it occurs in those who become more or less exclusively involved in t=
he ascending, internally oriented process. Such exclusive fixation disturbs=
the descending process, and produces the manifestation we call psychosis. =
Nonetheless, genuine Siddhas or "completed ones" also may manifest this ecc=
entric quality, this oddity, this radical unpredictability. This is because=
the Heart is absolutely radical, not identical to any thing, any dilemma, =
any path or moment in the path, any quality, any experience, any limitation=
whatsoever. The Heart obliterates and destroys limitation all the time. It=
is a wildness! That is why the Guru is worshipped as Siva. He destroys eve=
rything. He walks through town and burns everything. He hits people over th=
e head. He cuts them in half. Look at all the traditional pictures of Siva.=
He is always wiping everybody out, tearing their bodies apart, and sitting=
on them in meditation. But all of that is a symbol for the perfect humor o=
f the Self! Such images are not intended to represent literal acts of God o=
r justifiable acts of man. They are only "meaningful." They represent medit=
ative comprehension of an aspect of the conscious and universal process. Th=
e representation of this paradoxical display is intended to awaken the blis=
sfulness of non-separation, and non-identification with mortality.
The disciple is oriented towards his own obstruction, his own path, and so =
he is delivered this process of the apparent destruction of obstructions an=
d limitations. This causes him discomfort. But the great remedy for that di=
scomfort and the conscious crisis that must occur is Satsang, the very and =
functional relationship to the Guru. The more the disciple lives Satsang, k=
nows it, enjoys it, the less he is affected by his own crisis. Then the cri=
sis of transformation becomes a very simple, pure, harmonious process. But =
the more he turns from that condition, relationship and process which is Sa=
tsang, the more he becomes fixed in his own obstructions. Then, when his ob=
structions tend to get shaken up, even broken apart, he has only them to wh=
ich he can resort, so that he feels the discomfort, prolongs the suffering,=
and exaggerates his "path."
The eccentricity of the Siddhas and Saints, their radical quality, is a dem=
onstration of the living Nature, the Self, Real God. The formalized, fixed,=
predictable quality is not that of the Heart. Rigidity is the tamasic, fix=
ed, repetitive orientation of the limited mind. So the Real Self, alive as =
the Guru, performs this eccentric display, constantly abandoning all servic=
e to expectations. It is the Divine leela, the humor or play of freedom. It=
always disturbs the fixed, unconscious quality. It creates motion, then re=
turns to harmony, then settles into the formless consciousness, then arises=
as creative Light. But whatever the display, whatever the changes through =
which Guru and disciple go from day to day, whatever the change in the disp=
lay or action of the Guru, there is always one thing he continually does, w=
hich is simply to remain as the Self, the Heart, the Very Reality or Truth.=
His apparent activity, his drama, his play is always changing. He constant=
ly builds up expectations in the disciple, and then changes it around. He c=
ontinually disturbs the fixed quality, the rigidity, the path to which the =
disciple always tends.
There appears to be a certain security in fixation, but in fact it is a for=
m of disturbance. It is only an illusory security, because there is, in Tru=
th, no fixed state. That is why death is such a threat. But the more fluid,=
the looser, the more rapid and intense within, the more like consciousness=
the disciple becomes, the less fixed, the more functional, the more harmon=
ious, the more like fire, the more there is of Truth and the less there is =
of the "path," the more there seems a movement in the direction of freedom.=
It appears to be a direction. Perhaps we should only call it a sign. It is=
a sign of that which is, always and already.
=20

THE METHOD OF THE SIDDHAS (1995)


Part I: The Method of the Siddhas
CHAPTER 11
Phases
DEVOTEE: What is the point of images and visions?
AVATARA ADI DA: It is always different. In one case, such an experience may=
coincide with one or another degree of Real transcendence. In that case, t=
he one in whom the experience arises suddenly understands and is free of it=
. In another case, some conditional manifestation may arise, but one does n=
ot know what it is. One becomes disturbed by it, but one does not give in t=
o it. Then perhaps some source=97a teacher, book, something=97will clarify =
it, and then one is free of it. In yet another case, such a thing will aris=
e without any understanding on ones part, and one "buys" it. In that case, =
one enjoys it, one takes it as it is, one becomes full of it, one identifie=
s with it, and one is full of regret and longing when it goes. Thus, all th=
e extraordinary manifestations of vision, art, culture, thought, and life a=
re, ultimately, ordinary=97simply a part of the universal "creativity". Apa=
rt from Satsang, apart from the life of understanding, such things have no =
more ultimate significance than any other simple or ordinary event.
There are people who, because of their chronic condition, because of the te=
ndencies of their conditional state, manifest psychic powers of various kin=
ds. Thus there are mediums and psychics, people who see your "aura", who se=
e pictures around you, who hold your ring and tell you the answers to your =
questions, who give seances, who make predictions. These people are not the=
mselves extraordinary. Apart from these "gifts" most of them are very "ordi=
nary", even peculiarly unintelligent. You would expect, because these manif=
estations are extraordinary, that the character of the individuals through =
whom they are expressed would also be extraordinary. But it is not so. Thes=
e phenomena are simply qualities that arise, just like a stomachache, or a =
left hand. There is nothing Ultimate, Truth-like, or even Truth-directed ab=
out occult, supernormal, and psychic phenomena, but if some such phenomenon=
arises in you and you buy it, then it becomes an aspect of your suffering.=
And all people are suffering, regardless of the qualities that are peculia=
rly theirs.
From the Spiritual point of view, the future is a "creative" activity, not =
a predetermined one. Very often there are mysterious indications that arise=
, perceptions of a tendency that is operating or of a possibility of some k=
ind. But Spiritual sadhana is not a matter of being determined by tendencie=
s or premonitions. Spiritual sadhana in the world is always "creative" invo=
lvement with conditions. True action involves the transformation of time an=
d space into the Conscious, Spiritual Event. Therefore, there may be indica=
tions of tendencies, of possibilities, of things that may occur, but all of=
this arises in relation to the Living Heart. "Creative", Free, and Conscio=
us activity, generated in Satsang with the Most Perfect Realizer of the Hea=
rt, constantly breaks down the entire machine of destiny. There is no neces=
sary event. It is all a "creative" activity. The more "tamasic", or inert, =
the body-mind is, the more likely you are to experience and suffer the even=
ts toward which you are tending. But the more movement toward purification =
there is in you, and the more harmony there is alive in you, and the more u=
nderstanding there is in you, the less your future is likely to be determin=
ed by karmas, within and without.
When people are talking about "seeing the future", they are really just see=
ing the tendencies in individuals, in groups. Some such people see psychic =
imagery, some have a complex intuition. It comes in various forms, but in a=
ny case what is seen is only a tendency, a possibility, a trend. And that i=
s the limitation of the "psychic" functions. They do not in themselves enjo=
y "creative" involvement with the process of life. The naively psychic indi=
vidual may profess to another, "Yes, you are going to die at the age of for=
ty-two," or, "You are going to marry a rich man when you go on your round-t=
he-world trip to Shangri-la." But that is not in fact how it necessarily wi=
ll or must be. These are just possibilities, and the more you speak of them=
as necessary events, the more you make of life an un-"creative" process, a=
determined process. Therefore, the "Point of View" in this Satsang is alwa=
ys the "creative" viewpoint. Certainly, at times there may be intuitions, f=
eelings, psychic premonitions, and the like, but they always arise within t=
his "creative" process, this "understanding", this Siddhi, or Living Power,=
of Satsang.
Satsang, or life in the Condition of Truth, breaks down rigidity, the "tama=
sic" quality. The functions associated with the phenomena of the occult and=
astrology, for example, are "internal" virtues of the vital and astral-emo=
tional, or subtle, being, not of the Very Heart. They tend to interpret lif=
e as a fixed event, either in the past or in the future. There have been ve=
ry few individuals who interpreted the conditionally manifested cosmic and =
human conditions from a position of Transcendental Illumination. Psychology=
's and sciences of the ordinary kind tend to treat the past as a fixed even=
t determining the present. And the occult and astrological sciences, even w=
ith their attendant psychic phenomena, tend to interpret the future as a fi=
xed event. But nothing is absolutely fixed. Consciousness Itself is utterly=
Uncontained. It is always a "creative" Force. It is always Humorous. The p=
ast is not absolutely determining the present. Therefore, one does not have=
to get deeply into ones past in order to be free. The future is not absolu=
tely fixed by the stars. At every moment all possibilities exist in the sta=
rs. Therefore, it does not make any difference what fixed moment in time an=
d space one takes as the point of view from which to read past, present, or=
future. What is always the point is this "creative" Realization of Truth. =
The Real life of understanding is the only appropriate point of view under =
any conditions.
One of the Lessons the Great Siddhas have always tried to communicate to pe=
ople is the undetermined, or fundamentally Spiritual, Nature of life. The G=
reat Siddhas always have urged human beings to conceive and know life as a =
Spiritual Event rather than a fixed conditional event. Rather than mortalit=
y and suffering, they communicate existence always to be Life and Truth. Bu=
t in order for that to be so in fact, a new "Point of View must begin to de=
velop. It is always already Free, not fixed. It is not simply a movement, n=
ot simply desire, but It is Conscious, Fluid, Intelligent, inherently and p=
riorly Full of Truth and the Blissful Force of the Truth. The Truth is That=
in Which the stars are hung, and by Which this limited mind of tendencies =
and fixations is supported. When that "Point of View" is Realized, when Sat=
sang becomes your Condition, every moment becomes the Spiritual Event.
Because of this, many great Teachers, such as Gautama or Ramana Maharshi, w=
hen asked about the states after death, or the future in life, or psychic p=
owers, would simply not entertain the discussion at all. On occasion Ramana=
Maharshi gave more or less direct replies to such questions, but, for the =
most part, He would only say, "Find out who wants to know this." This was H=
is manner of turning the person toward the fundamental Truth Which Transcen=
ds and even, at last, Masters destiny. The same is true of Me. I am perfect=
ly willing to talk about these phenomena in general. But they are just here=
, like This Body, this room. They are only conditional phenomena. They do n=
ot determine the Truth or limit the "creative" life-intensity of one who un=
derstands.
Truth must become the "Point of View". When Truth is the "Point of View", t=
here is no past or future that can absolutely limit your state. Then time a=
nd place become relatively insignificant. Then it makes no ultimate differe=
nce whether the "good" thing is going to happen or the "bad" thing. In eith=
er case, you are going to have to understand. Apart from Truth, when the "g=
ood" thing happens you suffer just as much as when the "bad" thing happens.=
Apart from Truth, the individual lives the subtle contraction and the avoi=
dance of relationship under all conditions. But if, on account of Truth, th=
is subtle strategy does not occur, then you can really pervade the "good" t=
hing that happens, and there will even be a kind of enjoyment or interest w=
hen the "bad" thing happens.
Whether they are psychic, extraordinary, or ordinary, regardless of their p=
articular makeup, all human beings are suffering. Just so, in all human bei=
ngs there arises the possibility, in the midst of all this suffering, to li=
ve from an entirely "radical" and Free "Point of View". Seen in these terms=
, then, the purpose of extraordinary things that arise without a persons un=
derstanding is just like anything else that arises, any misfortune or fortu=
ne that may arise. All experiences, "good" or "bad", are there, ultimately,=
to turn one into a crisis relative to ones own search.
All kinds of conditional manifestations, ordinary and extraordinary, arise =
in Satsang, and the Force, the Shakti, the Intensity, of Satsang with Me ve=
ry often tends to bring on relatively unpleasant manifestations in the form=
of purifying events. If you abide in the Condition of Satsang, if you live=
the "Point of View" of Satsang, if you resort to Me while going through th=
ese processes of experience, they can serve the Real process of understandi=
ng. Ultimately, these things are simply what they are, not what they imply.=
They arise like the stars, the world, and all bodies. Either they can serv=
e the formulations of suffering and its search or they can serve Satsang, d=
epending on the present condition of the individual.
DEVOTEE: Why do You at times appear to be weeping when You are sitting with=
us in Satsang?
AVATARA ADI DA: The reasons for it are varied and complex, like any other m=
anifestation in Satsang. This weeping may appear if there is an intense Ene=
rgy process going on in Satsang. This ascending Force, especially, makes th=
e eyes tear. There is no emotion associated with My weeping. It is just a p=
hysical manifestation that purifies the eyes and the centers in the head th=
at are associated with them. Depending on the movement that is going on, so=
metimes there is a subtle activity, an activity in the subtle body, or the =
pattern of ascent, that is like suffering. It is like suffering, but it is =
a Yogic process. When I sit with others in Satsang, there is the communicat=
ion of various forces, of mind-forms, of all kinds of qualities. The transf=
ormation of all of that does not occur without cost, without something happ=
ening.
In what is called "ordinary life", people are rather insensitive to what is=
going on between them and others. For this reason, they are very willing t=
o indulge life. Individuals allow other people to do whatever they please, =
and they themselves do whatever they please, within the limits of their own=
desires or fears. People are unaware of the nature of what I have simply c=
alled "relationship". They do not know what it is, what it involves as a ps=
ycho-physical event, a psychic event, a subtle event. It is the transferenc=
e of life, the communication of the forms of conscious life. In the usual m=
an or woman, though, this transference, or communication, is contracted and=
destroyed, swallowed, reversed, and poisoned. And people do not know that =
this is what is going on in themselves and others. People nowadays talk abo=
ut "vibrations"=97this vibration, that vibration, good vibrations, bad vibr=
ations. There is some vague sort of sensitivity awakening about the qualiti=
es that people manifest in life. But there is a Real process, which is call=
ed "Satsang". It is My Unqualified Communication of the Heart. It is simply=
Unqualified, Conscious Relationship. This process is Consciously Lived by =
Me. That is this Satsang. It is a process in consciousness, even a profound=
Yogic process. But when it occurs, there is often a quality of suffering. =
Something must occur, something must open, something must be done. And when=
that is going on in fact, sometimes there is the appearance of weeping in =
Me. There is the appearance of sorrow, perhaps at times even the apparent m=
ood of sorrow, but it is not identical to sorrow. Something of the Blissful=
ness of the process of transformation is also Manifested, and Bliss is the =
core of that appearance of sorrow. There are other times when this process =
has already taken place, when I have endured the transformation of the karm=
as of My devotee in My own Body, when the Circle of life is open, free, and=
the Flow of Satsang has occurred. Then the vital and subtle mechanisms are=
released in Me. The physical and subtle awareness is let go, and there is =
an intense concentration in the Light, or Force, Above. This weeping also o=
ccurs at those times. But it is just Blissfulness.
The ordinary person is insensitive to this real mechanism. He or she is not=
living it. He or she is not living the "Point of View" of Satsang, or Trut=
h. I have described the quality of life in the usual person as a kind of re=
vulsion. The force of life falls down out of the brain, down the spine. It =
is released sexually. It is released through the various gross manifestatio=
ns of life-energy, in various kinds of self-indulgence. It is only used, an=
d never consciously refreshed. The mood of the usual life is trapped betwee=
n the extremes of comedy and tragedy. People laugh a lot, but what is laugh=
ter? What happens when there is laughter? It feels good, but the process in=
volves a form of revulsion, like vomiting. And vomiting is also a form of r=
evulsion. What happens when a person weeps in the ordinary manner? The brea=
th is disturbed. The person cannot control the breath. The chest is convuls=
ively constricted. There is no genuine humor in the person, no Conscious Fr=
eedom. There is only revulsion in the ordinary person, down the back and up=
the front. But in one who understands there is "conductivity", descending =
in front, ascending in back.
The traditional Yogis talk about the ascending Energy and how important it =
is to conserve the sex-fluid, and the life-force in general. The traditiona=
l Yogi is concerned to get the ascending Current going. There is partial wi=
sdom in that, and in fact the ascending "conductivity" does tend to establi=
sh itself more and more firmly in the process of Satsang with Me. The circu=
lar "conductivity" of life tends to be re-established, as opposed to the un=
conscious tendency of life-functions to revulse, to release their own force=
and become empty. This revulsion begins to be replaced by the movement of =
real "conductivity" in the Condition of Satsang.
But this process tends naturally to occur in various and complex forms in t=
he life of Satsang with Me. That is why I have emphasized a practical found=
ation. I have said that the practical foundation of Satsang is an ordinary,=
pleasurable life, not a suppressed life=97you know, no work, no contact wi=
th life, one apple every three days, and no sex for five generations! But I=
require of My devotees an ordinary, pleasurable life, a functional life, l=
imited to what is supportive, what is enjoyable, what is full. Such a consc=
ious application of life tends to break the chronic pattern of contraction,=
of revulsion, in a person, at least on the level of practical, human actio=
n. And that allows this "conductivity" to begin at the level of life. Some =
people who take up the Way of the Heart begin to feel the Energy, the Force=
, of My Company. They speak of various kinds of Force-manifestations and ex=
periences of My Presence. This is evidence that "conductivity" is beginning=
at the most obvious level, the life-level. Therefore, this Satsang involve=
s "conductivity", descending, ascending, rested in the Heart, Prior to mind=
and form, Prior to knowledge in the mental sense. At last, all of the "men=
tality" of Spiritual life is the contraction of the Heart, the limitation o=
f the Heart.
Spiritual life, for Me, has involved the observation of this entire Manifes=
tation, or Circle, of life I have described, not the control of It by means=
of the search. It continues to Manifest Itself endlessly. It is not stoppe=
d. All kinds of things have occurred since I wrote The Knee of Listening. T=
he same essential Condition and dynamic Enjoyment has remained from that ti=
me, but the Revelation of this Great Process has continued. All I have done=
is observe It and allow It to take place as a Living Function. It is a Mir=
aculous Phenomenon that no one seems to know about. No one appears to suspe=
ct It. The usual man or woman does not suspect that life is miraculous, tha=
t there is this miraculous Process of Satsang, the Communication of Truth, =
Which can make Itself Known on many levels=97on the life-level, in the desc=
ending pattern, in the ascending pattern, in this intuitive life=97this "ra=
dical" Realization, this Love-Blissfulness, this Intensity, this "Real" med=
itation, this "radical" understanding. What most people hear are the little=
stories, little jokes, that appear in the traditions, glimpses and charact=
erizations of portions of that Great Process. No tradition has comprehended=
It fully, even at the level of description. All traditions are limited to =
the viewpoint of one or a limited combination of the three primary centers.=
But there have been great Saints, great Yogis, great Sages, great individu=
als. Wherever such a one has arisen, that one has Communicated through Sats=
ang to various people who were close to that one. All kinds of experiences =
were generated in that manner. And in the midst of all of the people who en=
joyed these different kinds of experience, little groups would gather. You =
know, people sitting in Satsang who had all been having a buzzing in the ri=
ght ear got together after the death of the Guru and established the "buzzi=
ng-in-the-right-ear school". All those who were sensitive to the subtle-bod=
y manifestations went off and talked about chakras, the Kundalini, "interna=
l" sound, and light. Many separate groups, schools, and traditions grew up =
on the basis of particular and unique experiences and tendencies. But all e=
xperiences are generated by one Great Process. The "unity of all religions"=
is not that they have all said the same thing. But if they were all added =
together, they would amount to a collective, nearly complete, description o=
f all but the most ultimate stage of the one Great Process. Each religious =
and Spiritual tradition has represented an experiential portion of that Gre=
at Process. Historically, the unity of all religions will not be realized b=
y everybody's coming into agreement on some abstraction common to all, but,=
Served by My guiding examination of all traditions, there will come an ack=
nowledgment that all of these traditional media together amount to a mutual=
ly dependent description of the One and Single Great Process of Conscious E=
xistence. Therefore, this very Process, Completed by the Revelations that a=
re My own unique Work, will become the Life of Truth in the future, rather =
than the traditional dogmatization and ritualization of random, exclusive "=
internal" and "external" experience.
All of My Life, I have been waiting for the time when I could be outwardly =
Blissful, when I could Manifest that Love-Blissfulness to all. But, all of =
My Life, I have not been doing that. Even as a baby, I learned very quickly=
that It could not be expressed, that It could not be lived openly, not amo=
ng those who were suffering, seeking, motivated in forms of dis-ease. After=
so long, it has now become possible to Live this Love-Bliss, this Truth, o=
penly. I have developed the Means whereby It can be Communicated to those w=
ho are willing to endure the transformation of life. But even in the commun=
ity of My devotees the same resistance is presented to the Process of Truth=
. Even in the community of My devotees there tends to be the same game: "No=
Bliss, do not be Blissful, not already, not already Happy, not already Fre=
e, not yet, not me, not with you." But I am not willing to endure the condi=
tions this resistance would lead to. I will "create" the conditions! The Lo=
ve-Bliss of Truth Itself, not the egoic ignorance of human beings, must Gen=
erate the conditions of life. When Truth becomes the "Point of View", when =
that Love-Blissfulness becomes the "Point of View" that "creates" life, an =
entirely different situation has arisen in the world. The world is not ordi=
narily living from the "Point of View" of Truth. It is living from the poin=
t of view of its suffering, its dilemma, and there is no room for Blissfuln=
ess, for Truth, for unreasonable Happiness. Therefore, the True Guru, the G=
reat Siddha, always seems remarkable from the point of view of ordinary peo=
ple, because that one lives from the "Point of View of Truth. Such a one de=
cides to live the Very Truth, What is only Obvious to that one, and he or s=
he "creates" the conditions wherein It can be Manifested.
All I am doing is establishing the appropriate conditions for Satsang with =
Me. These real conditions are difficult for some people to understand. Peop=
le think I am just supposed to open the door to all, without conditions. Ev=
erybody is just supposed to wander in, listen to a lecture: "Hm, not bad, t=
hink Ill take this Gurus Initiation." No conditions! People think Spiritual=
life is a "high", a form of entertainment, a free lunch. But Spiritual lif=
e involves incredible conditions! Think of the conditions that had to be me=
t for your physical birth. If it were left to human beings to handle the af=
fair of their own birth, no one would ever be born at all. Maybe every now =
and then an arm would be born, or a yelping pile of meat. An entire family =
might consist of an arm, an apple, and a #2 Mongol pencil!
Examine the lives of the Great Siddhas, those who are generally supposed to=
have been great Saviors, great Teachers. They really worked on those who c=
ame to them. People like to imagine Gautama just wanted people to sit quiet=
ly every now and then and read philosophy between their meditations. You sh=
ould examine what the Buddhist community involved at the beginning. The ess=
ential literature that has been left by the early Buddhist communities cons=
ists of lists of conditions, or rules, for living in the Spiritual communit=
y. Not philosophy, not enlightenment experiences, not all that juicy stuff,=
but lists of conditions: when you could bend down, when you could go for f=
ood, in whose presence you could eat food, what you could eat and when. The=
Buddhist communities were concerned, above all, that their members lived s=
traight. The "philosophy" was for those who had already gotten straight. Bu=
t today people think philosophy or some formal meditation process is suppos=
ed to get them straight. So they try all the meditation techniques one by o=
ne, like drugs, without fundamentally changing their condition. Thus, Spiri=
tual life fails for them.
What did Jesus of Nazareth do for people? He really turned his disciples ar=
ound. He really worked them over. He changed their lives first. He demanded=
things of them. He kicked them around. He told them where they were at. Ju=
st so, if this Satsang with Me is to be lived, real conditions must be esta=
blished. There must be an entirely new order of life. An entirely new point=
of view must be lived. Therefore, the traditional points of view, and the =
ordinary human points of view, are not sufficient. They no longer apply. Bu=
t people want them. They continue to defend them, even in Satsang with Me. =
It is ridiculous. They come in pain, and they wind up defending their state=
, their dis-ease. Such people often must be returned to the "Straightener",=
the ordinary world of suffering and death, until they remember again that =
they are suffering. Appropriate conditions must be established in your indi=
vidual life and in your community life with others of My devotees. An appro=
priate order of life must be established, in which there is room for Absolu=
te Blissfulness. This Absolute Blissfulness is too Happy for people in the =
usual condition to tolerate! It is really too much. They cannot live with I=
t, they cannot function with It, they cannot accept It. They are always loo=
king for something that is just a little aggravating! Here=97this little cr=
amp in the solar plexus=97this is what they are living in. But when the lif=
e is only open, when this incredible Force is flowing through, It churns yo=
u, It purifies the life. Then there is nothing at last to be unhappy about,=
nothing to think about. The flood of Enjoyment rushes through the body, di=
ssolves the mind, overwhelms the life. The Real intelligence of conscious l=
ife begins to intensify and function in place of egoic ignorance. And that =
intelligence has no answers. It has no questions. That State without answer=
s and without questions is the True State. From that State, the "creation" =
of marvels begins.
For years, I would sit down in meditation, and all My own forms would appea=
r=97My own mind, My desires, My experience, My suffering, My feeling, My en=
ergies, My this and My that. But, at some point, it all came to an end. The=
re was no thing, nothing there anymore. None of that distracted or interest=
ed Me. "Meditation" was most perfect, continuous. Then I began to meet thos=
e who first became involved with Me as My devotees. And when I would sit do=
wn for meditation, there would be more of these things again=97all of these=
thoughts, these feelings, this suffering, this dis-ease, this disharmony, =
these upsets, this craziness, this pain, these energies=97all of this again=
. But they were not Mine. They were the "internal" qualities and life-quali=
ties of My devotees. So I would sit down to meditate, and do the meditation=
of other people, other beings. When I would feel it all release, their med=
itation was done. And I began to test it, to see if this meditation went on=
in some more or less apparent manner for these people who were not with Me=
. And I found that this meditation went on with people whom I had not even =
met. People I saw in dreams and visions would show up. So the meditation we=
nt on. It was the same meditation I had always done. The same problems were=
involved, the same subtleties, but the content of the meditation was not M=
ine.
After the Events described in The Knee of Listening, there was a period of =
time when the universe, the cosmic process, was Meditated in Me. Various si=
ddhis, or Yogic and occult powers, became manifested. The movement, or proc=
ess, of the cosmos is a Meditation, a purifying Event. Everything is Satsan=
g. There is only Satsang. It is Eternal. But after this is all seen to be s=
o, It must be lived. After the period in which the siddhis appeared, life b=
ecame a matter of dealing with existence as it truly is, as Satsang. But ne=
w devotees do not yet know that life is Satsang. They are not yet experienc=
ing that Fullness, that fundamental Enjoyment, that living Freedom. They ar=
e not conscious and responsible at all levels of conscious life. So a kind =
of seriousness wants to creep in. The dilemma and the search would like to =
reassert itself in the community of My devotees. The temptation arises to t=
urn Satsang with Me into the search again. But the same thing must occur fo=
r others that occurred for this one. And True Satsang is that process. "Rad=
ical" understanding is that intelligence. And the only means to keep the Wa=
y of the Heart from turning into a search is simply to order it, to put the=
life of the community and its sadhana into appropriate form.
There is the tendency, even among those in Satsang with Me, to indulge thei=
r ordinary strategy, to be resistive, to be eccentric, to be self-indulgent=
, to dramatize the avoidance of relationship. To them it does not seem to i=
nvolve anything terribly dramatic. It is easy for them to get involved in t=
hat sort of mediocre strategy again, because they are insensitive to what i=
t does, and to what must be done for it to be straightened again and again.=
But I am very well aware of it.
There have been numberless cases where people dramatize their resistance to=
Satsang, and thus toward Me. To them it may have appeared very simple. Jus=
t a little emotional resistance, a little bit of craziness off "alone" some=
where. But I felt their "little resistance" very strongly. In one case the =
resistance of an individual communicated itself to Me as a kind of black wi=
tchcraft. The individual was not particularly aware of what he was doing, b=
ecause it was on such a subtle level, and he had become insensitive to the =
effects of his own subtle activity as a result of a lifetime of random self=
-indulgence in the dramas of avoidance. When all of that finally got straig=
ht in Me, and I felt it dissolve in My meditating of this person, he sudden=
ly returned, smiling and full of love! "Oh, I have been having a difficult =
period, but I feel better now." The symptoms were gone, but there had been =
no real experience, no responsibility, no Satsang, no sadhana. His relief w=
as more like magic, Graceful medicine. But there was no relationship, no Wi=
sdom, no True Condition lived or restored. Thus, over time, I have begun to=
require more and more of those who move into My Company. I require this pr=
ocess of understanding to be lived, awakened, and endured in them, and I do=
not merely relieve My devotees difficulties by some vicarious Yogic proces=
s in My Self, however extraordinary that may seem.
Satsang with Me is an actual Condition. It is a relationship. It must be co=
nsciously lived. It must become a matter of responsibility, so that this dr=
amatization of reluctance, of resistance, of arbitrary craziness, is set as=
ide, undone with Real intelligence. It must not simply be resisted by My de=
votee or magically relieved by Me. It must be understood. It must be obviat=
ed in the force of life and intelligence. The Condition of Satsang, the Con=
dition of relationship to Me, must be consciously and continually lived, so=
that this process of understanding can go on, simply, happily. Those who a=
re not prepared to live It so directly, simply, with some kind of real resp=
onsibility, are those who leave on their own. They become very resistive, t=
hen angry, and they leave.
People forget. They forget their own positive experiences. They forget what=
Satsang is and has been in their own experience. Temporarily, It becomes c=
lear to them, It becomes intense, It becomes Real. But then as soon as thei=
r drama of tendencies erupts again, for whatever reasons, this cycle of neg=
ativity comes on them again and they want to indulge it freely. They want t=
o go. They want to play all kinds of games, they want to be negative, they =
want to tell you "where its at", they want to get upset, they want to make =
their upsets known. They do not want to be responsible for all of that. The=
y are moved to indulge these urges even though during that entire time when=
they were happily enjoying Satsang they heard Me speak again and again abo=
ut this contraction, this activity that is suffering, this avoidance of rel=
ationship. Even if a person can begin to enjoy insight into his or her ordi=
nary strategy, and live beyond it, live directly, live Satsang, these cycle=
s of negativity and destructive, separative tendencies will absolutely occu=
r, again and again. There will be repetition of urges, again and again, to =
break with Satsang, to feel all kinds of negative justifications for not be=
ing in Satsang, and to play all kinds of dramas in life as a result. Theref=
ore, in spite of the tendency for this contraction to arise at all levels, =
Satsang with Me must be lived. My devotee must continue to live and enjoy t=
he Condition of Satsang with Me, even though he or she may feel the rising =
tendencies, the negativity, the symptoms=97physical, psychic, "internal", i=
n the "external" conditions of life, everywhere. Even so, live this Satsang=
, enjoy this Satsang. It is the only principle that is free of all of that,=
and if you live the transformative conditions of Satsang with Me, Its inte=
lligence replaces the unconscious activity of suffering. To live Satsang ma=
kes the search and its motivating dilemma obsolete. But you must live Satsa=
ng, and the living of Satsang, even under the ordinary conditions of suffer=
ing, apparent suffering, is sadhana, Real religious and Spiritual practice.=
There is no Satsang without sadhana. Satsang with Me is not just a pleasan=
t, consoling experience that you have this week, and if It is not pleasurab=
le next week then the entire thing deserves your contempt. Satsang with Me =
must be lived over time, under all the conditions that arise. It must becom=
e sadhana, the Way of life.
It seems that talking about Satsang tends to make It appear a very complica=
ted process. It is here! I am here. This relationship is a Real Condition. =
My human Form is very useful, because It Lives and Demonstrates the fundame=
ntal Condition as relationships with My devotees. Satsang with Me is Compan=
y, proximity, relationship, living Satsang rather than merely remembering I=
t, listening to Me, so that Truth begins to become obvious, so that this un=
derstanding comes alive. But what is fundamentally important is the fact of=
this relationship as a condition, something that you must live from day to=
day. In that sense it is not something meditative, something ritualistic, =
something you must remember, concentrate on. It is something you must live.=
You may want to sit there thinking and picturing, but I shake you on the s=
houlder and ask you to paint the Ashram wall. Hearing Me speak to you, and =
getting up and painting the wall=97that is sadhana, that is Satsang with Me=
. All the merely mental things you might want to do to try to keep the rela=
tionship in place, to do something about it, to manufacture the relationshi=
p=97all of that is your own insane ritual. But true Spiritual life, Satsang=
with Me, is much more practical than that, much more direct than that. It =
must be. I am here.
The True "natural" State is completely without thought. It is prior to thou=
ght. It is free of thought, even while thinking occurs. There is no thought=
when I am speaking. There is no thinking going on apart from the speech. N=
o thinking went into your birth. All conditional manifestation is a spontan=
eous, free, blissful activity, a "creative" event. Just so, Satsang is trul=
y operative prior to the mind. So all those means of living Satsang that ar=
e purely mental and motivated are secondary. Satsang with Me is more practi=
cal than all of that. Know that you cannot figure It out. You cannot unders=
tand It. You do not understand It. That is the Truth. Here is Satsang. Live=
It. Be happy to have discovered that you cannot figure It out. Some cannot=
even bear the mental process. When the communication of understanding come=
s from without, it puts them to sleep. When it comes from within, it wakes =
them up. The more there is of all this mentality, all this conversation, al=
l this thinking of Spiritual things, the more sleep there is, the more unco=
nsciousness. Too much talk tends to obstruct the "internal", Real Force. Bu=
t where the mind is not satisfied, where the search is not satisfied, Satsa=
ng becomes possible, sadhana becomes possible.
People come to Me to have the search satisfied. If I simply do not satisfy =
the search, they get angry, and disappointed. Then they leave before the Co=
ndition of Satsang has had time even to begin to do Its work. As a compromi=
se, I must continually explain, again and again, why it is that I am not sa=
tisfying the search. So this long conversation we have had this evening was=
only My attempt to explain why it is I do not say anything! But if I did n=
ot say anything in fact, everyone would leave. So it is very difficult to T=
each. The more stable you all are, the less I will have to speak.
DEVOTEE: I find my world, my universe, is becoming more and more oppressive=
ly one of loneliness.
AVATARA ADI DA: Get out of it. Come into this one.
DEVOTEE: I find myself doing a considerable amount of suffering, and at the=
same time I am trying to avoid the compulsive activities that I do to reli=
eve it. I find myself trying to enter a relationship with another, or tryin=
g to find some support in another. I am trying to get something from anothe=
r. When I sit in Satsang with You, occasionally I go through a great deal o=
f physical pain. And most of the time my attention is all over the place.
AVATARA ADI DA: You have got to rejoin the human race. Stop spending all th=
is time contemplating yourself, sitting alone in your room by yourself. Fun=
ction with human beings. Do things. That is all. That is all it will take.
DEVOTEE: My impression is that human beings are not real.
AVATARA ADI DA: Join up! You are not going to negate Me.
DEVOTEE: I am caught in the "all one separate thing".
AVATARA ADI DA: I do not care what you are caught in. We are all here. Your=
suffering is your own. If you want to play your suffering game, these are =
the results. Everybody is playing their own egoic game, and that is yours. =
I do not have any sympathy for it. You are turning it on. You want to do it=
. You like it, as a matter of fact. If you wanted to get out of that game, =
it would be a simple matter of turning in the other direction, from separat=
ion to Satsang. You must live the conditions of religious and Spiritual lif=
e. If you refuse the conditions of religious and Spiritual life and continu=
ally wander in your own dilemma, you will Realize nothing. You want to be y=
our own "guru". You want to be already Realized without doing sadhana, with=
out living the conditions of Truth. If you were doing sadhana, you would no=
t have a moment to be occupied with your problems. If you were living the f=
unctional conditions of life, you would not have time to reflect on your cr=
aziness. You simply do not function. You find every kind of means to live i=
n a universe of your own. But there is no universe of your own. "Universe" =
means "one". There is the universe. But you are only talking about your own=
mentality, your own mind-forms. You meditate on that all the time, instead=
of living the conditions I Give you. If you do live the conditions, there =
is also a crisis. Forms of apparent suffering arise. So what? Everyone must=
pass through that. Nobody patted Me on the head when I went through it. No=
body put you into your present state. No one is keeping you in it. It is a =
present activity. It is your own activity. It is not dependent on the past.=
It is this avoidance of relationship, this contraction. It is time to real=
ize that you are obsessed. I have always known that you are obsessed. That =
in itself never bothered Me. We can begin from there. But you keep discover=
ing it again and again, always as if it were some new realization. And then=
you forget it again. That is the problem. You always forget the very thing=
of which you are certain. You begin religious and Spiritual life only when=
you have already discovered the "terrible truth". Then you can live the co=
nditions of religious and Spiritual life instead. But your entire being is =
still devoted to this separativeness, this compulsive self-meditation. And =
that is suffering. See that this is so. Live the Condition of Satsang in a =
very practical manner. Then Satsang with Me will become your meditation. Sa=
tsang will become the "method" of your Realization.
In fact, Satsang is nothing that you can do to yourself. It is a Condition.=
It is a Condition that must be Given to you, Revealed and made available t=
o you by Grace. It is a process that becomes awakened in your life spontane=
ously. You simply must live It in a much more practical manner. Spend no ti=
me whatsoever analyzing yourself. No time. I mean no time! I really mean it=
. I do not mean just a little time, reading a few books, collecting concept=
ual insights. I mean spend no time whatsoever analyzing yourself. That is t=
he very activity that you are suffering, that self-meditation. Pull yoursel=
f into functional existence. Make everything very practical, very functiona=
l. Then you will give room to this Real process. Then you will see that you=
are always resorting to yourself, always resorting to this separate self s=
ense. Realize that and it becomes much simpler to resort to Satsang. You ca=
nnot resort to Satsang in some sort of mediocre mental fashion, unconscious=
and believing. You must live It. As a child you did not "believe" in your =
mother. You lived with your mother. You lived that condition. You lived all=
the things that arose in that relationship from day to day. You lived all =
the things that were demanded. It is the same with Satsang, or Real religio=
us and Spiritual life, the living relationship to Me, which also requires t=
he living of the functional conditions of existence in the universe.
DEVOTEE: I seem to be having many contrasting experiences lately. Sometimes=
I have near-ecstasies of intuitive knowledge flowing over me, and my body =
will become very relaxed. Then, almost within the very next moment, regular=
impulses and patterns of everyday life seem to become really increased, or=
else I seem to notice them much more concentratedly than before. What is t=
he significance of this? Is something loosening up in me? Even relationship=
s with people get very easy and spontaneous, then at other times they get h=
arder than they were before.
AVATARA ADI DA: There are cycles in the living consciousness. Some of the c=
ycles of experience are very difficult to observe, and people are not aware=
of them. Generally, you are all aware of the seasons. You are commonly awa=
re of the cycle of climate. You are aware of the cycle of night and day. Yo=
u are at least vaguely aware of the phases of the moon. You are made aware =
of social cycles, such as elections, holidays, weekends. But there are also=
subtle cycles in the process of consciousness and conscious life. The "int=
ernal" patterns may seem random, but everyone is aware that they go through=
"phases", or periods of "bad days" and "good days". Individuals know they =
do this. They know they have different kinds of characteristic states. But =
they do not commonly see a pattern to these states. In fact, there is such =
a pattern. There is a characteristic pattern of conscious experience in eve=
ryone, as regular as the seasons. But it is essentially an individual patte=
rn, like fingerprints.
The Force that Manifests in Satsang tends to intensify the characteristic c=
ycles of the living consciousness. One of the first things I began to obser=
ve in this process, as I lived in Satsang with One Who was Guru to Me, was =
how the cycle of My own experience varied between "light" and "heavy". The =
"good day-bad day" sort of thing. I did not map it out on a calendar, but I=
began to become aware that I was moving through patterns of state and life=
-consciousness that manifested as "pulses", phases, or cycles, like the hea=
rtbeat. It was not that under certain "external" circumstances I would reac=
t with a "bad" mood, or, under others, with a "good" mood There was a certa=
in underlying heaviness characteristic of My state at times, and a lightnes=
s at others, regardless of circumstances. As this process continued to reve=
al itself, I began to observe there was a certain regularity to its pattern=
s. And I also began to observe how the patterns were modified by this proce=
ss of Satsang.
At first I spent long periods of time in a kind of negative and mediocre co=
ndition. I commonly approached My Guru in such states. And, occasionally, I=
would suddenly feel good, or released. In time, I began to discover that t=
hese periods of release, or of no contraction, were becoming a little more =
frequent, a little more intense, a little more absorbing. The negative patt=
ern, the lower end of this curve, was becoming less intense, more bearable.=
These crisis periods began to become interesting to Me. Thus, various chan=
ges began to occur in the cycle of consciousness when it was brought into t=
he Condition of Satsang. In meditation, when I was sitting in Satsang, sitt=
ing with My Guru, the so-called "internal" processes, the subtle psycho-phy=
sical processes, were intensified. This is the Work of the Force of God in =
Satsang.
I noticed that when the Force of Satsang was most intense, these highs and =
lows were most intense. And as that Force continued to intensify, the alter=
nations of these highs and lows became more rapid. What you are describing =
is just such a development of sensitivity to this cycle of consciousness. T=
he pattern is intensified and revealed in Satsang, so that, without apparen=
t cause, experience appears to alternate arbitrarily between different and =
opposite values, or qualities.
There is a distinctive mood which is attained when this process of intensif=
ied alternation becomes perfectly rapid. This is the Yogic "ananda", or "bl=
iss", which arises whenever the speed of the cycle of high and low becomes =
absolute. The Saint or Sage is one in whom these alternations have become s=
o rapid that he or she is always already essentially Happy. The Most Perfec=
tly Realized individual, the one who understands most perfectly, is one in =
whom the cycle of consciousness has attained the speed of light. Therefore,=
as this process of Satsang continues in you, you will observe the movement=
of the pattern of your existence. Its cycles are as much a functional mani=
festation as your breathing. The "internal" life of the usual individual is=
not the sort of carefree, aesthetic, spontaneous sublimity that people lik=
e to imagine. The "internal" life is as ordered, as regular, as mechanistic=
, as organic, as the "external" universe. There is nothing arbitrary about =
your experience. It is simply that you have not learned to observe your exp=
erience, you have not become subtle in your ability to observe what is aris=
ing. But the more subtle you become in your capability to observe, the more=
you see the patterns, "internal" and "external".
The arising of this subtlety, or sensitivity, is a good sign. You observe y=
our tendency to identify with the stream of your own consciousness, your te=
ndency to believe you are your own "think" apparatus. When this sensitivity=
arises, the "internal" pattern is already ceasing to be so much a compulsi=
ve activity. Then it is showing itself to you. It demonstrates itself to be=
something as functionally "external" as a hand. It is not something with w=
hich you are identical, but a process that is arising spontaneously, much t=
he same as your hand. So the compulsive tendency to identify with the movem=
ent of ordinary consciousness is beginning to ease just at the moment you s=
eem to suffer it most.
DEVOTEE: The other day I heard You say something that suddenly seemed to ta=
ke on a lot of meaning for me. It seemed to bring about a revelation. It se=
emed to be a combination of the Force I feel in Satsang with You and listen=
ing to what You were saying.
AVATARA ADI DA: There are many means generated in the Way of the Heart. All=
the events that are necessary occur, and they all occur appropriately. Tha=
t is why I do speak at times. There is a function for it=97something is ser=
ved by My speaking in Satsang. But I do not always speak. Then Satsang cont=
inues wordlessly, as a subtle process. Just so, I do not only speak or else=
sit in silence. I also do things with people. And apart from what I appare=
ntly do in a personal manner with you, you all have different kinds of cont=
act with the Influence and effects of My Work, different experiences, diffe=
rent exposures to all My forms of operation. Although the complex of these =
things may seem to you to be somewhat arbitrary, it is actually a manifeste=
d and exquisitely intelligent design. It is not arbitrary. Nothing happens =
arbitrarily to those who live Truth. Your dreams are not arbitrary. Your dr=
eams are a very intelligent process. But if you think of them while in the =
waking state, you cannot make real sense out of them. All experience is of =
that same nature. It is all a subtle design, a spontaneous, paradoxical pro=
cess. You were brought to consider what I said, just as you were brought to=
Satsang Itself. Many things combined at that moment to produce this "revel=
ation". I believe it is said in the New Testament: "Everything works togeth=
er for the good of those who love God." This bit of Biblical wisdom pertain=
s also to the process, or quality, of Satsang. Everything happens appropria=
tely, even for those who live in ignorance of Truth. It is just that, apart=
from Satsang, apart from the life of Truth, the appropriate thing that hap=
pens is suffering and death! When Satsang begins as a Real process, you may=
begin to observe the appropriateness of all experience. Not a breath is sp=
ent outside of Satsang once It begins. And all of the possible ranges of ev=
ents, from the gross, apparently "external" world to your reactions to it, =
including your thoughts, and all things that happen to you within the world=
, within the waking state, in dreams, while sleeping=97everywhere everythin=
g combines for the sake of the Truth.
Until this begins to become obvious to you, you can believe it or not. It r=
eally has no importance until you begin to observe it. And people do begin =
to observe it in Satsang with Me. There was a time in My own Life when I be=
gan to see there was no difference whatsoever between My "internal" life an=
d My "external" life: There is but one process going on everywhere and alwa=
ys. The world is the psyche The world is founded in the psyche, or the root=
of the world is essentially of the same nature as the psyche. The entire p=
rocess is a single event. Everything is moving together as a single design =
with a single intent. Nothing happens to you that is not appropriate. All e=
vents serve Truth. It is only that when you begin consciously to serve Trut=
h, events themselves take on more and more the quality of Truth. You will b=
egin to experience the coincidence, or simultaneity, of "within" and "witho=
ut". You will begin to observe that this Satsang is actually Alive, that It=
has somehow taken over the universe.
Of course, people are ordinarily attached to their subjective identity, tha=
t force they separately identify as themselves. And they have all kinds of =
bad relations with the world. The seeker typically likes the concept that a=
ppears in many of the worlds Scriptures which says that Truth is within you=
, God is within you, all Power is within you. But this idea just reinforces=
the tendency of Narcissus, this subjective tendency, this inward-turning, =
this self-contraction. The Truth is no more within you than It is in the la=
mp shade. The Truth is everywhere and no "where". It is not especially with=
in you, nor is It especially without. There is Truth.
DEVOTEE: It would seem that except for the fact of fear my life would have =
everything it could possibly want. It appears to me that fear is the underl=
ying fabric that is shot through my entire life. It is almost omnipresent, =
and it is representative to me of all of the selfishness, all of the self-o=
bsession, and all of the self-seeking that exists. I make such desperate de=
mands upon life. It is a continual, desperate demand. It is as if I am cont=
inually dying moment by moment. And when those demands are not met, or if I=
am afraid that what I already have will be taken away, it is always one fo=
rm or another of that fear. I am going through a period when all of this ha=
s been more active. It seems to me that there is some kind of pernicious bu=
llshit going on, and that I actually want it. I go through all the self-tor=
ture games, and when I come out the other side I say: "What was that all ab=
out?" And then it starts all over again.
AVATARA ADI DA: This "I" that you have mentioned several times just now is =
a sort of post on which you hang all these experiences. It seems to be in t=
he center of it somehow. "Ego" means "I"=97the self-reference, the implied =
self, this separate-self concept. One could call that self-reference, or se=
lf-image, the "ego". But "ego" is not essentially an entity or a concept. "=
Ego" is an activity. It is the activity of the avoidance of relationship. J=
ust as the separate "I", the self-concept, the self-image, is an expression=
of this activity that is the ego, fear is also the ego. Fear is the very m=
ood, the "nature", of the ego. It is said in the Upanishads: "It is from an=
other that fear arises." As soon as there is an other, as soon as this sep=
arative act has taken place in any sense whatsoever, from that instant ther=
e is fear. Then life is fear. Conscious awareness is fear. It is not that y=
ou are afraid. Fear is your necessary attribute, your very "body". Fear is =
the ego. As long as you persist in your present ego-bound condition and dra=
ma, fear will continually be the mood that you discover. Whenever you fail =
to be distracted, you will fall into this chronic state, this sense of your=
separate self, which is fear. Where there is separation, there can only be=
fear. You have broken the Current of life, of Real and Original Existence,=
the Process of the Heart. You have contracted the Field of Consciousness. =
You have made it impossible for the Force of Existence to flow between this=
process of contraction, this "ego", and everything from which it different=
iates itself. Therefore, everything outside this apparently separate "self"=
becomes fearful, frightening, other. And when you are being afraid, you ar=
e simply meditating on the quality of your separated existence. If you try =
to get rid of fear, it is impossible. Because the "you" trying to get rid o=
f this thing is that fear. So the search is futile.
At some point you fall into your chronic state, this fear, this avoidance o=
f relationship. And when you have fallen into it under the conditions of Sa=
tsang with Me, this quickening, this insight, awakens. And this insight, th=
is understanding, this re-cognition of which I speak, is the obviation of "=
ego", the separate self sense, which is fear. Only understanding is without=
fear. Only one who understands is fearless. Only one who understands is se=
lfless. Only such a one lives always prior to fear. Until then you are dram=
atizing the form of the separate self, you are living it, and so you are su=
ffering its very condition. You must become sensitive. You must become esse=
ntially aware of the conditions that you bring about through the activity t=
hat is the ego. When your life begins to fail, you begin to become aware of=
the condition that is the ego. Therefore, there must necessarily be a cris=
is. Spiritual life must involve this falling into the chronic state, and "r=
adically" comprehending it. The Force of Satsang with Me makes this passage=
possible, because if you simply fell into your fear, you would go mad. The=
random tastes of fear are what constantly disturb the form of life. But Sa=
tsang is the Condition of Truth. The Force of Satsang, the Consciousness an=
d Intelligence of Satsang, the Condition of Satsang, is already Free of thi=
s contraction, this separate self, this fear.
The greatest of the Hindu traditions aspire to "turiya, the "fourth State"=
=97beyond waking, dreaming, and deep sleep, and beyond fear=97wherein they =
may feel that Fullness, that Ease, that Enjoyment, and all of the Spiritual=
qualities, all the Spiritual events, generated as a spontaneous happening =
in the Company of the Guru. Just so, those who live Satsang with Me already=
live this Condition that is without fear, without separated self, without =
the function of ego, the chronic avoidance of relationship. They Enjoy that=
unreasonable Happiness, that Love-Blissfulness, that is the "mood" of Trut=
h. But those who do not resort to Satsang with Me, who only resort continua=
lly to the state they suffer apart from Satsang, find their fear only inten=
sified in My Company. They find that "ego" is intensified, that the dilemma=
, the problems, and the search are intensified, that their egoic ignorance =
is intensified, and that all of it becomes frightening, and unbearable. Tha=
t is why periodically you see people storming out of the community of My de=
votees, without any apparent reason. Nothing has "happened" to them. I have=
not done anything to them. Nothing has really occurred except the process =
of Satsang Itself. That is what disturbs these angry, self-obsessed ones wh=
o renounce My Company and My Teaching. Those who have not suffered their ow=
n condition enough, and who have not seen its perfect failure, are wise to =
avoid Satsang with Me. Because Satsang is a fire! This Ashram is not a plac=
e where we talk "philosophy". There is a Living Force enacted here. It is t=
he Living Force of Consciousness Itself. That is What Satsang is all about.=
And those who arbitrarily pile on, not mindful of the conditions, wind up =
having to separate themselves very aggressively, with all kinds of righteou=
sness. The Force of Satsang with Me simply acts to intensify their separati=
veness. But one who has really seen the failure of his or her search, who c=
an somehow spontaneously resort to the Condition of Satsang, experiences th=
at unreasonable Happiness. Thus, Satsang becomes the Condition wherein the =
form of suffering, this contraction, this fear, this ego, all of the elemen=
ts of suffering and dilemma, are dissolved in a spontaneous, natural, appro=
priate order.
Certainly one must also suffer the intensity of this process of ego-dissolu=
tion, including periods of apparent crisis, but it will always be somehow b=
earable, always intelligent with Truth, always something for which one has =
the capability. That is why many who have found a Guru have said that, at s=
ome point, they gave up all interest in salvation. They were no longer conc=
erned for liberation, heaven, and healing, or even moved to go through any =
special "Spiritual" processes or the classic round of Spiritual experiences=
. They lost their interest in all of that. They became unreasonably happy o=
nly, and they forgot to seek beyond the Gurus Feet. The living Guru is a sp=
ecific Function that arises again and again in the worlds. People can indul=
ge any kind of illusion with a dead Guru, Master, or Savior, or with a symb=
olic image, a God they only believe in. People are very willing to do anyth=
ing they like, and then forgive themselves with the same liberal attitude. =
They want God, or Truth, to stay in Its own Place. But the living Guru is a=
Condition to be lived with. The living Guru establishes conditions in the =
world. Such a one remains continuously mindful of the devotee and of the pr=
ocess that the devotee is going through. And the Guru uses every kind of or=
dinary and extraordinary means to always re-establish the connection.
Real religious and Spiritual life involves a Great Condition Given to you a=
nd many conditions demanded of you. The Great Condition and the real condit=
ions of religious and Spiritual life are never anything that you particular=
ly want to assume on your own. People are capable of believing all kinds of=
things on their own, and of arbitrarily generating what they think is sadh=
ana, or the religious and Spiritual life. But it is always just another exp=
ression of their ordinary or usual state. It does nothing, fundamentally, t=
o their ego-bound condition. The matter of Truth is entirely academic until=
the Truth Communicates Itself to you, until the Truth takes you over, unti=
l the Truth does the sadhana and "creates" the conditions for transformatio=
n. So the Truth must find some means to Communicate Itself as a Function in=
specific relationship to you. Therefore, the human Guru is the appropriate=
Means, and that is why the human Guru exists, that is why I have Come.
DEVOTEE: Why and how did we fall into this condition, this miserable condit=
ion?
AVATARA ADI DA: People like to fabricate mythologies. You would like to hea=
r some sort of "creation" myth about this suffering, or some sort of philos=
ophy that explains why it came about. When something is "explained", when i=
ts "name" is known, then you feel free to forget or exploit it. But it did =
not "come about". It is presently happening. It is not a matter of somethin=
g that happened. There is nothing hidden in time or space that is making th=
is affair of suffering occur. It is not happening as a result of anything. =
It is a spontaneous, present activity for which you are entirely responsibl=
e. So, truly, it does not make any sense to try to describe some means or o=
ther by which it might have come about.
I have said, however, that there is a sense in which this specific activity=
that is your suffering, this contraction, is a reaction to life, to condit=
ionally manifested existence. For every action there is an equal and opposi=
te reaction. The entire event of the manifested, or conditional, cosmos ari=
ses as a spontaneous event, a single event. The universe is the original ac=
tion. But for every action there is necessarily an equal and opposite react=
ion. So this process of which I have been speaking is, in a sense, the reac=
tion to conditionally manifested life.
A baby is not born with a concrete sense of a separate life in the world. A=
baby is not able even to differentiate its body from the other movements a=
round it. Everything is all one massive sensation. A baby does not differen=
tiate. A baby does not, for all practical purposes, differentiate itself as=
an entity from any other individual, or even from the world itself. Only w=
hen the baby learns to react to life does it begin to "create" an identity =
that functions in life. And if the baby has no capability to react, it will=
have no capability for individual life. A human organism that has no capab=
ility to react is catatonic,. a vegetable", or else dead. A catatonic has m=
any of the apparent attributes that are assigned to the Realized individual=
. The catatonic is selfless, fearless, but he or she is obviously not "aliv=
e", not conscious, functioning, and sane. Therefore, simply to go about try=
ing to discover how not to react is obviously not the cure. To try not to r=
eact to your conditionally manifested existence at this moment is not the W=
ay of Truth. Yet people have elaborated vast traditional methods of "realiz=
ation" that are fundamentally only attempts not to react. They try to de-co=
ndition themselves, to become detached, to become self-less. But the Truth =
is not a matter of compulsively and strategically suppressing any form of a=
ction, even if that action is the re-action to something else.
Truth is in the spontaneous re-cognition, or knowing again, of an activity =
in the midst of that activity. Therefore, one who understands is not in a c=
atatonic state. Understanding is not itself characterized by any trance or =
any conditional Yogic state. Understanding is not itself an other state. Th=
e state of one who understands may appear to be extra-ordinary from the poi=
nt of view of the usual man or woman. But actually one who understands is e=
ntirely ordinary, conformed to the realm of the conditionally manifested. W=
hile living in this ordinary manner, he or she Enjoys the Perfect Condition=
That Is Real God, or Truth. Therefore, the life of one who understands is =
a paradox. But the seeker and the attainments of the seeker are not paradox=
ical. They are always dimensionless and winded to a point. The seeker is al=
ways turned to specific goals, specific states. They may be complex and inc=
omprehensible, but they are always as specific and mind-based as a bowling =
trophy.
Truth Itself is not identified with a state, with an experience, nor with t=
he avoidance of any state or any experience, neither with the dissociation =
or forceful separation from any state or experience, nor with the suppressi=
on of it. Truth is not even identical to the suppression of thought. In one=
who understands, everything continues to arise, but coincident with everyt=
hing that arises there is Perfect Intuition of the Real. One who understand=
s perpetually, spontaneously, under all conditions, intuits the Real. Such =
a one intuits the Real in the most "radical" sense, without separation. Suc=
h a one requires no special condition for Realization. The Realization of s=
uch a one does not only exist when that one is in certain meditative moods,=
only when that one is quiet, only when that one is performing certain Spir=
itual functions, or only when that one is talking about certain Spiritual t=
hings. The Realization of such a one is spontaneous, absolute, continuous. =
Therefore, religious and Spiritual life in the form it is lived in My Compa=
ny is a span of Conscious adventure, generated in the relationship to Me as=
the Divinely Self-Realized Siddha-Guru, and summed up in the Perfect Enjoy=
ment of Which I am the Evidence, the Demonstration, and the Very Form.
The Method of the Siddhas
"No One Survives Beyond That Moment" From The Method of the Siddhas - 1978
Author(s): Adi Da Samraj

THE METHOD OF THE SIDDHAS (1978)=20


________________________________________
Part I: The Method of the Siddhas
CHAPTER 12=20
=20
No One Survives Beyond That Moment
DEVOTEE: Are we evolving?
=20
FRANKLIN: What do you think?
DEVOTEE: I think we are evolving toward the astral.
FRANKLIN: What is so good about "astral"?
DEVOTEE: Well, nothing. But as far as evolution goes, there is a constant c=
hange. Is it constant change? Where are we going? What is it doing for us? =
What is it?
FRANKLIN: Is it?
DEVOTEE: Well, it seems to be, but I am in a dilemma. Is evolution part of =
the dilemma?
FRANKLIN: There is this dilemma.
DEVOTEE: There is dilemma. Yes. Then it is part of the dilemma.
FRANKLIN: What is the question?
DEVOTEE: Now, Im really confused.
FRANKLIN: Are you talking about anything? In this concern for "evolution," =
are you really talking about something?
DEVOTEE: I don't really understand what evolution is, or even if there is e=
volution.
FRANKLIN: That is the truth.
DEVOTEE: There is no evolution?
FRANKLIN: That you don't know.
DEVOTEE: Yes.
FRANKLIN: What you know is this dilemma, this confusion, this ignorance abo=
ut your own propositions. That is the truth. That is your experience. This =
"evolution" doesn't really exist as an experience. You are not certain of i=
t, of its existence, of its quality, of its nature, of its direction, of it=
s relation to you. You know nothing whatsoever about it. Why are we talking=
about it?
The truth is that you are confused. There is this dilemma. There is sufferi=
ng. Questions about "evolution" are completely beside the point. Such quest=
ions, for the time being, are ways of drawing attention away from your actu=
al state, of distracting yourself from that confusion, temporarily. We coul=
d take this symbolic category of "evolution," and we could talk about it fr=
om many different points of view. We could create all kinds of mind-forms w=
ith it. But after we have said it all, nothing will have been added in the =
way of real experience, and you will remain in the same state you were in w=
hen you asked the question.
So this "evolution" question doesn't represent anything significant. It is =
not your real question. The real question is your actual state. That is the=
question. That is the question you are truly asking, that you are always a=
sking. You present your very life to the world in the form of a question. Y=
ou are this real question. But you conceal it from consciousness. Therefore=
, it exists only as your chronic state , your suffering, your search, your =
dilemma. Ordinarily a man does not ask his real question. He only lives it =
and performs it as seeking, suffering and death. Sadhana, or real spiritual=
practice in relation to the Guru, is the means whereby men become consciou=
s of their real questions.
Just so, the "answer" to your real question has nothing whatever to do with=
evolution, or any other arbitrary "topic" the mind can select. The true an=
swer is not in the form of a response to a symbolic question. The true answ=
er must be a radical transformation of your state. That is the answer to yo=
ur question. And if this state that you are always in, this confusion, this=
dilemma, is utterly, radically overcome, then the nature of this whole app=
earance of life and world also will become obvious. The answer of the Guru =
to his devotee comes through the discipline of real conditions, demands for=
functional action, the sadhana which is always generated in his company.
There is absolutely no point whatsoever in talking about evolution. It is a=
n arbitrary distraction you have selected from the pattern of your own move=
ments. You have chosen it from the moving confusion of your ordinary state.=
That confusion is our genuine concern in these talks. All our questions ar=
e forms of this dilemma, this state. Every question is in the form of a dil=
emma, and every verbal or mental dilemma is an expression of an underlying =
state that shapes every moment of the usual life. The arbitrary creation of=
"questions," of artifices to occupy the mind, is a way of distraction from=
this state. It is a form of self-indulgence. To answer such questions is o=
nly to serve bewilderment, unconsciousness, fear, ignorance and all the qua=
lities of seeking and suffering. I know that you have been upset for severa=
l days, crazy with this whole movement in yourself, and now you want to tal=
k about evolution. What has that got to do with anything? This suffering th=
at is begun must continue. The death must occur.
DEVOTEE: It just goes on and on and on. It never seems to stop.
FRANKLIN: The death. That is what you want to get away from. You would "evo=
lve" to the astral world, and so escape this necessary death. There is no e=
limination of death, no ultimate avoidance of death. You are trying to prev=
ent death, this very crisis, by occupying yourself with symbolic questions.
DEVOTEE: But that's the only answer, that death. Why don't we? Why do we ke=
ep fighting and fighting?
FRANKLIN: Keep fighting what?
DEVOTEE: This thing. We know we are fighting it, and, yet, we cant help it.=
Why are we avoiding it? How do we get out of it?
FRANKLIN: This desire is another form of that same avoidance. But it has al=
ready begun. This transformation, this conflict, this crisis has begun in y=
ou. It has become intensified. You are beginning to find your real question=
. It is your death. That is the significant event. There is no distraction =
from it. There is no consolation for it. But it is true and real. Evolution=
can make no difference. Translation to the astral plane can make no differ=
ence. None of that can change this chronic state. This crisis would still b=
e necessary, no matter where in all the worlds you happened to appear. This=
crisis is the peculiar event of all life. Going to the astral plane does n=
ot change that necessity. Intelligence is still required.
This question about evolution represents a form of "concern," a search. Tha=
t is what is communicated to me in the form of your question. It has no rea=
l content other than that. It is only because this crisis is occurring that=
you have the least interest in evolution. But for one who is dying there i=
s no evolution. What does he care whether the seven hundred billion that re=
main behind him are transformed into ducks or luminous red astral bodies? H=
is death is the only remaining content of his life. From the point of view =
of his experience, there is no evolution. There is only sudden death. But t=
his death is true, it is the real process. So it is worth seeing, worth liv=
ing, because this real death of which I speak is the very crisis of conscio=
usness that serves both Truth and life.
One who awakens is not concerned for the destiny of those who appeared alon=
g with him in his dream. There is no such destiny, there is no one. All tha=
t appears in the universal form or great cosmic process is a spontaneous di=
splay, like the conditions that appear in dreams. All of that goes on in an=
y case. But now you are beginning to see this more fundamental condition un=
derlying your adventure of distraction in the cosmic event. In the past you=
did not see it, or know it for what it was. To the degree you felt it at a=
ll, it was a subtle sensation, a discomfort, a sort of formless craziness, =
a wildness, but now you are beginning to know what it really is. Now you ar=
e beginning to know it as your chronic state. But you will come to recogniz=
e it as your own activity. You are beginning to be aware of it more or less=
continually. That continuous awareness is the self-purifying sadhana of re=
al spiritual life.
DEVOTEE: Even one who comes to reside in the Heart has patterns and rules w=
hich he has to follow on his journey. Otherwise, certain things wont open. =
There are rules which he cant switch away. So there is in fact a pattern, i=
sn't there?
FRANKLIN: A pattern of what?
DEVOTEE: By which the universe is ordered. Even if a person comes from any =
state, seeks the light, and finally resides in the Heart, he must go by cer=
tain signs along the way. It is different for each person, but still there =
are rules.
FRANKLIN: If they are different, what is this specific pattern?
DEVOTEE: There isn't one that fits everyone, but still there are patterns e=
xisting.
FRANKLIN: Of course, there are apparent patterns in life. But the Heart is =
not someplace else. The Heart is not a point separate from any other place.=
It is not in a certain direction. It is not the end of any particular road=
. It is not the goal. If you are speaking of the "causal" center, the heart=
-center on the right side of the chest, it is indeed a point, a place, a ps=
ycho-physical sensation. But the true Heart is another word for the one, un=
qualified Reality.
DEVOTEE: That becomes true, once you realize it. But between the time you k=
now it and the time you are only approaching it, there are still patterns.
FRANKLIN: They are your own patterns. They are your apparent condition. The=
y are the subtle forms of cognition which help to fabricate the dilemma and=
the search, prior to the enjoyment of the Heart, which is radical understa=
nding. But in Satsang, the relationship to the man of understanding, or the=
Guru, the Heart establishes a living relationship with the individual, and=
then it no longer makes any difference to him what the patterns are. The p=
atterns are simply observed from that moment. Another kind of condition is =
lived, and so these patterns become obsolete. They fall away, until only th=
e Heart stands out. From the point of view of the true disciple, there is n=
o significance to the patterns. There is no significance . "Significance" i=
s your dilemma. It is the pattern of your own mind-forms. That is the only =
thing that obstructs perfect consciousness. It is neither external nor inte=
rnal. All that arises is only a modification of your own ultimate nature an=
d condition. When this is perfectly understood, the enjoyment realized in u=
nderstanding is called the "Heart." There is no subjective, no objective, n=
o external, no universe, no astral world, from the point of view of the Hea=
rt. All such phenomena are simply apparent modifications of the Heart.=20
Until a man truly enters into Satsang with his Guru, he is very concerned a=
bout the way, about this pattern of his own growth and experience, his own =
transformation, his own liberation. But when he enters into the condition o=
f Satsang, his concerns, his path, his patterns become obsolete. All of tha=
t is simply not supported. He simply lives the condition and conditions of =
relationship generated in his Gums company, and the patterns subside. They =
become obsolete, without function. Therefore, concern for those patterns is=
more evidence of the search, of this fundamental dilemma.
All movements within the cosmic and universal form are movements within the=
cosmic and universal form. No movement implies or leads to Reality. All mo=
vements lead to terminals within the great form itself, to more states, mor=
e change, more phenomena. They do not in any way in themselves obviate the =
dilemma that is suffering. A man who assumes that action will lead, to the =
Self has performed an act in consciousness that is not in itself true. Trut=
h is in the re-cognition of motivation and action.
We are always already "there." This is it. There is no dilemma. There is on=
ly one Reality, presently. It is not somewhere else. It is not hidden withi=
n us, nor behind the world. It is only obvious. Satsang is the condition of=
Reality, consciously lived. It is lived to you, within you, as you, along =
with you. It is that real condition lived as life, as a pressure upon the d=
isciple. The Guru lives it to him, until it begins to become obvious, until=
it begins to become intelligent in him. But all he will have realized, aft=
er all, is the obvious. The nature of the rising event, the apparent condit=
ion, becomes clear. It becomes obvious to him that his dilemma is his own a=
ctivity. He sees that in fact there is no dilemma. There is nothing about t=
he present that is not Truth.
Satsang is the real condition. It is the condition of Truth. It is the cond=
ition of conscious relationship to the Guru. When a person enters into it c=
onsciously, with any degree of clarity, he has begun to live under the cond=
itions that are Truth. And that is the entire process. That is spiritual li=
fe, real life. Everything else is an extension, another reflection of a man=
s search, his dilemma, his dis-ease. When this real condition is truly live=
d, whatever arises tends to be consumed.
DEVOTEE: Is it within the power of ones will to remain in the condition of =
Satsang?
FRANKLIN: Apparently not. An individual can maintain himself responsibly in=
the company of his Guru, and fulfill the specific demands imposed on him b=
y his Guru. But to live the conscious condition of relationship, even with =
ones Guru, depends on the subtle grace of that condition itself.
Every man tends to live apart, separately, constantly. Even when he begins =
to sense the unique presence of one who lives as the Heart, he resists and =
defends himself. He covers up his disability, his discomfort, his dilemma. =
He approaches such a one with argumentation, self-defense, the endless form=
ulations of his own mind, and with suggestions that maybe "its all right an=
yway." He continues to do his number, assuming the Guru is a captured audie=
nce for his act. When he overcomes all of that only a little bit, he begins=
to "hunt" the Guru, seeking to "find him out," and justify independence fr=
om the Guru through various kinds of moral and philosophical righteousness.=
He penalizes the Guru, he resists him, he plays with him, he creates drama=
s with him, he goes away, he comes back, he teases his Guru. All of this be=
cause the principle of ordinary life is the avoidance of relationship, the =
"ego," the activity of separation.
But when a man enters into real and conscious Satsang with one who lives as=
the Heart, he no longer has this activity or separate self as his primary =
instrument. The activity that is the "ego" has become obsolete. It may cont=
inue to arise and obsess him, but Satsang has become his condition. The pro=
cess of the Heart itself, the Guru as Truth, performs his sadhana and holds=
on to him. The Guru creates a drama within the drama of his devotee. This =
subtle drama or grace makes it possible for the devotee to maintain his sad=
hana, the living practice of his connection. This grace looks forward to th=
e time when the devotee becomes responsible enough to assume that relations=
hip fully and consciously, as his responsibility, as his real condition. Th=
en he is given responsibilities that will test him, prove him, and awaken i=
n him all the qualities of a true disciple.
DEVOTEE: What are the responsibilities of a person who lives in the conditi=
on of Truth? For years I've fluctuated between everything from total self-i=
ndulgence to forty-day fasts and found basically an inability to eat modera=
tely. I don't think that this is a responsible thing to do. And yet its ina=
ppropriate to be always compulsively responsible. But at the same time, if =
I don't eat properly I become less conscious. I sleep more. I get spaced ou=
t.
FRANKLIN: The point of view that you are expressing is the point of view of=
dilemma, of suffering, which has nothing to do with Truth. It is this very=
condition that men try to destroy by all means. Excessive fasting or eatin=
g, self-indulgence of all kinds, deprivation of all kinds, turning inward, =
turning outward, ascetic practices, "ordinary" practices, all of these are =
only means to overcome the fundamental sense of dilemma and suffering. None=
of that has anything to do with illumination or Truth. All of that is suff=
ering,
The question for such a one is not how to become responsible. That is not h=
is real question. His real question is the state that he is in. And the rea=
l answer is not in the form of a response to verbal dilemmas, or even appar=
ent life-dilemmas. The answer is the obviation of this state. A man will se=
ek by all means to be free of the dilemma as it appears to him, until all t=
he forms of his seeking, all of which are reactions to the subtle condition=
or dilemma that is his suffering, cease to occupy him. He comes to the poi=
nt where the force of his life is no longer fully captured by his search. H=
e knows that his search is failing, that his search does not produce salvat=
ion. He falls from ordinary fascination into a crisis, a form of despair, o=
f doubt. At that point, he has become available for Satsang, for that relat=
ionship which is spiritual life.
Satsang is the answer. It is that process and condition wherein the dilemma=
is undone. Not any spoken word, but that process itself which is enjoyed i=
n relationship to the living Heart, is the "answer." It is not in the form =
of a method, another technique, or a conceptual system that applies to your=
peculiar ideas of your state. The answer is in the form of the force of Tr=
uth, and it undermines that very structure in consciousness that supports y=
our whole search. This becomes a real possibility only when a man has begun=
to suffer from his search, when he has begun to sense its failure, when he=
is no longer totally occupied by it. Then he becomes available to Guru, to=
Satsang. And Satsang is non-support of his dilemma, non-support of his sea=
rch.
In Satsang, all a mans techniques fall away, all fascination with his searc=
h subsides, all his methods become comic. His whole life ceases to obsess h=
im. His need for liberation no longer interests him. His life becomes one o=
f the enjoyment of Truth, the enjoyment of Guru, until the whole form of co=
nsciousness in which he ordinarily rests is utterly dissolved. In Satsang, =
an entirely new and living form of intelligence replaces a mans ordinary st=
rategic mentality.
Some individuals have become involved in the most incredible adventure of s=
piritual technique. They are concerned with all kinds of technique. There a=
re techniques of living, techniques of subjective and psychological states,=
the seekers meditation, strategic diet, and all the rest. Such individuals=
come to Satsang in the moods of spirituality and philosophy. Others are mo=
re "ordinary." They come to it after the equally traditional self-indulgent=
life. Everyone comes to Satsang in the midst of a different form of advent=
ure. All come with the same fundamental dilemma, but all communicate it thr=
ough different artifices, through the form of a peculiar adventure. In esse=
nce, all adventures are a description of the same state: this contraction, =
this subtle dis-ease, the avoidance of relationship. That is so. That is th=
e experience.
From the point of view of the real question, the actual dilemma, a man is h=
appy to enter into Satsang. Spiritual life for such a one is, happily, not =
a technique, a method, a remedy, or a path. Spiritual life is a relationshi=
p. It has always been so. Nothing apart from the relationship to the Guru i=
s offered. Relationship itself is the principle and condition of life. The =
relationship to the Guru is the single principle of sadhana, the single med=
ium of Truth, the one "method" that arises in the life of the disciple. It =
is the condition and the medium through which all things come that are appr=
opriate for the spiritual life of the disciple. And they come spontaneously=
, as a grace. In Satsang a man has become available to Truth itself, Realit=
y itself, for his illumination. Until that point, he has been too occupied =
to be illumined. First he must fall from search and fascination into the cr=
isis of his ordinary condition.
The most difficult thing for a man to achieve is ordinariness. But the prim=
ary condition of Satsang, of true life, is the realization of ordinariness.=
Men are extremely inventive, eminently capable of the extraordinary, the a=
dventure, the search. But the ordinary, what simply is the case, what alrea=
dy is the case, is extremely difficult, because of the principle of action =
by which all men create their lives. When Satsang begins for a man, when it=
becomes his real alternative, he suddenly becomes capable of ordinariness,=
of simplicity. It simply becomes appropriate. It is not the least connecte=
d with anything compulsive, anything like the discipline which a seeker mig=
ht embrace. The functional simplicity of the disciple is only obvious and n=
atural to him, because action has been released from its connection with th=
e search for Truth, liberation and the like. Anything that is pictured as a=
means to Truth belongs to the adventure of seeking and its dilemma. It is =
part of the adventure of extra-ordinariness.=20
When a man is released from the pursuit of Truth, he simply lives it. He li=
ves Satsang as the condition of life. All his ordinary functions become tru=
ly ordinary when he is released from the need to realize Truth. In Satsang,=
a mans ordinary, functional life becomes realizable, usable. There is no r=
eason why diet should be manipulated as a means to Truth. Nor should it be =
considered an obstruction to Truth. The ingestion of food has nothing whate=
ver to do with Truth. Neither food-obsession nor food-righteousness is the =
way of Truth.
DEVOTEE: What it seems to have to do with is my being in a state where Im w=
illing to put my attention on the Truth. If, for example, I am overeating o=
r taking drugs I will not be in a condition to put my attention on Truth.
FRANKLIN: You cannot put your attention on Truth in any case. Truth is not =
an "object." It only appears to be an object from the point of view of the =
same search that motivates you to indulge yourself and also not to indulge =
yourself. Truth cannot be concentrated upon even by a mind that is clear an=
d free. It cant be "noticed." It is not an object. It doesn't appear within=
your view. It already includes you and your points of view.
DEVOTEE: Instead of the term "attention on Truth," could we say "to experie=
nce more consciously"?
FRANKLIN: Experiencing has nothing to do with Truth. Truth cannot be experi=
enced, nor is it an experience. Neither is Truth experience itself. All the=
se expressions you have used have the same form. As far as Truth goes, ther=
e is nothing to be said about it in this sense. No formal communication is =
the equivalent of it. All of the descriptions you might give of the peculia=
r form of your adventure have the same form, the same structure. Indeed, yo=
ur questions are a strategy whereby you prevent the realization of your act=
ual condition. Your concerns are a way to avoid self-recognition.
Truth always appears to the seeker as a kind of alternative . But Truth is =
not an alternative. Truth is your very consciousness, your very nature, you=
r very condition. It cannot be concentrated upon. It is not an object. It i=
s not something in which you can become interested. It is not something fro=
m which you can be distracted. Your interests, your distractions, your noti=
cings, your experiencing's are all expressions or modifications of the fund=
amental Reality. But you are not living them as such. Therefore, you are co=
nstantly obsessed with alternatives, with particular distractions, noticing=
s and experiencing's. Alternatives are all that you have.
When you no longer have any alternatives, when the search has died, then Tr=
uth becomes your real possibility. But Truth is not an alternative. It is n=
ot in the form of an answer to a specific question. It is not something per=
ceived. It is not something that serves you, the subject. It is not somethi=
ng that liberates you as a separate person. It has nothing to do with you a=
s a separate one. It cannot be enjoyed by you as a separate one. Truth is e=
njoyed only in the instant of non-separation, of perfect equality with Trut=
h.
There is no state equivalent to Truth. Every state is only a secondary cond=
ition. There are experiences and states described in the traditional spirit=
ual paths that are identified with Truth or Reality itself. Some traditions=
say Truth is equal to or necessarily coincident with a vision of Krishna i=
n his blue form. For others, Truth must be samadhi in the form of yogic tra=
nce, either with visions or without the least trace of form, objective or s=
ubjective. Still others equate Truth with a concentrated return of the vita=
l force to the sahasrar, a vision of Light, or some other esoteric signal o=
f Deity. But all of these are forms of experience. They may be sublime, sub=
tle, but they appear only as alternatives to other "ordinary" experiences. =
No experience is Truth. And no experience is the sign of Truth, the "sympto=
m" of Truth, or its necessary accompaniment.
Truth is that which stands out as Reality where there is re-cognition of th=
e whole process of experience, where there is absolute vanishing of identif=
ication with alternatives, the whole scheme of conscious life. Therefore, i=
t involves the most radical understanding, even of that which is extraordin=
ary. Until that occurs, the usual and the great events in life are your fas=
cination. It is the memory of experiences, ones own modifications as the re=
sult of experience, that creates the goals of seeking. Impressions in the f=
orm of tendencies continue to fascinate a man and obsess him with the notio=
n that life is made of alternatives, so that all the usual man is doing is =
playing this drama of alternatives continually. One day he is going toward =
the "experience" of Truth, another day toward experience itself, usually of=
a very "human" variety. One day he pursues the enjoyment of trance-samadhi=
, while the next he is a devotee of sexual fascination. But it is always th=
e same adventure.
What appeared in the past as the great moments of your life did not become =
wisdom. All you are left with are the modifications which reflect those mom=
ents. If great experiences had become wisdom, if in the instant of any such=
experience the Truth were perfectly realized, the experience itself would =
have fallen away, the phenomena associated with it would have fallen away, =
but the Real, the force of Reality that is Truth in every moment would have=
then remained. And that Truth is the same Truth that persists at this mome=
nt, when perhaps you are not having such a "great" experience. Truth does n=
ot appear in the form of this drama of ones experiences and alternatives. I=
t appears as a possibility only when that entire process, that entire adven=
ture, the whole force of ordinary and extraordinary consciousness, which is=
seeking, begins to wind down, when it ceases to occupy us mightily, and we=
are stuck with our actual condition, our suffering. Only the crisis in con=
sciousness is that very event in which the process called spiritual or real=
life takes place. It does not take place in the adventure. It takes place =
only in the re-cognition of this contraction that motivates the adventure. =
And such re-cognition becomes possible for a man only when the force of his=
ordinary and extraordinary adventure has begun to die.
DEVOTEE: I think that I might feel a hesitancy to give up that aspect of th=
e search.
FRANKLIN: Good, very good. That is it exactly. Two types of people come. Th=
ose who have died to their search, and those who still have a couple of tri=
ps left. Regarding those who still have the search in mind, there is no con=
demnation, no praise, no blame. That is the truth of their condition. The s=
earch is still their occupation. They have not come for Truth . The Truth h=
as nothing whatever to do with them. The search, the adventure among altern=
atives, that is what "has" them. That is what has all men, until it begins =
to die. Then the Truth becomes possible.
When you no longer have genuine alternatives, when you no longer have the o=
ption of your own preferences, when you no longer have the capacity to pers=
ist, to survive in the form of your search, then Satsang becomes something =
more than academic. Until that time, all men are talking about the same thi=
ng: their adventure! That is what they are talking about. They are not the =
least concerned for the Truth. It hasn't entered into the picture yet. It i=
s only an amusement, an alternative notion entertained in the midst of ordi=
nary and extraordinary suffering. They are still occupied. Fine. But the ma=
tter of spiritual life arises only when the alternatives themselves do not =
present a real option.
DEVOTEE: How do I bring myself to the point of not wanting?
FRANKLIN: Wanting or not wanting are both forms of the same activity. It is=
this occupation, this preoccupation, this distraction or fascination, mome=
nt to moment.
DEVOTEE: How do I get over that?
FRANKLIN: This desire is more of this adventure now. It is the adventure of=
getting over it now. It is all the same. The fact of the matter is that yo=
u are in this present state, and all your actions, desires and even your qu=
estions are only descriptions of it. This much should be clear from all thi=
s talk. The Truth is of another variety. But this lesson about your present=
and usual state can be useful. It is the first lesson of wisdom.
If it begins only to hurt, if all the alternatives fall into one, if they c=
ease to be a real option, if you find yourself continually stuck only in th=
e crisis of consciousness itself, which is the very and subtle form of suff=
ering from which ordinarily you spring in order to seek, when that becomes =
the nature of your daily life, then Truth enters into the picture. Then Sat=
sang, real life, enters as a living possibility. It will be your obvious ne=
ed when you have no options.
DEVOTEE: I am already aware that none of these things work.
FRANKLIN: There is some small wisdom, because you are becoming exhausted wi=
th experience. But the seeker still possesses some potency. He is still spr=
inging, still reacting to this subtle dilemma. When this "springing" stops,=
or when it begins to seem that it is not possible, when the alternatives d=
on't quite have you, when the potency of the search begins to go, then the =
matter of spiritual life begins to take on the form of consciousness. When =
a man is only suffering, then the matter of release or the obviation of suf=
fering begins to become clear. Then the force of Truth, of Reality, which i=
s Truth, begins to move in him. Then Satsang becomes possible, because at t=
hat point, it has a function. But while the search is still a mans task, st=
ill his fascination, Reality or Truth is not his concern. Until then, Truth=
or Reality does not appear except as an alternative, a symbol, another for=
m of distraction. Therefore, as the traditions have always said, Truth or r=
eal life is a matter of death, of crisis, of that dilemma or doubt which is=
the fuel of liberation. When the search, the reactions to his dilemma, beg=
ins to wind down, and only the dilemma remains, only this subtle suffering,=
this dis-ease of life, then the force of Reality begins to move into a man=
s life. Then his real question can be answered. Until then his questions ar=
e his entertainment, his amusement. They have no significance. They are the=
forms of preoccupation and unconscious self-description. Then "spiritual l=
ife" itself is only an amusement, only an entertainment. Then meditation, s=
itting with the Guru, reading spiritual books, all of that is only another =
form of erotica, of "significance." But when a mans hunger becomes intellig=
ent, when his dis-ease becomes mind, then the spoken Truth, the word of the=
Siddha, and the living form of the Guru become his need. He becomes intell=
igent with that need, and he responds. A subtle re-cognition occurs. And th=
is process called spiritual life, liberation, realization begins. Until the=
n it has not begun, it has not entered the picture in any sense.=20
By your own admission, you are yet a seeker. But you have been brought to c=
onsider the futility and the causes of your own adventure. And, at some poi=
nt, very likely it will all become something more than academic for you.
DEVOTEE: If Truth is the natural state, how did we get to deviate so much a=
long the way?
FRANKLIN: You didn't get to do it. You are doing it! It is not a created ac=
tivity. This sense of separation, this dilemma is not something that happen=
ed, for various reasons, at some point in time. It doesn't occur for "reaso=
ns." It is always a present, spontaneous activity, cognized as this sense o=
f separation, of dilemma. But it is not the result of anything. And the att=
empt to trace experience back in time to recover the events from which you =
are suffering is fruitless. It cannot produce Truth as a result, because yo=
u are not suffering the results of anything. Suffering is the quality or th=
e mood of your present activity. Your present activity is your suffering.
At some point a man begins to dwell on his suffering itself, until he re-co=
gnizes it, knows it again, as his present activity. When he knows it again =
as his present activity, and when he re-cognizes its nature, it simply stop=
s. It spontaneously comes to an end whenever this re-cognition occurs, for =
re-cognition makes it obsolete, without present function. But its precise n=
ature is of an extremely subtle kind, so that it is comprehended only by ra=
dical insight. The traditions have often spoken of it as something that hap=
pened in the past, in order to make some sort of sense out of it. But it ha=
s no "sense." It is irrational, mindless. It is understandable only from th=
e point of view of a radical insight. Then its form can be seen. Then its s=
tructure, its nature as a present event is only obvious.
The traditional myth of suffering is that it happened to mankind some time =
ago, or that we are presently in a state that is the result of some beginni=
ng of suffering in our individual past. But our suffering is always a prese=
nt activity . That is what is remarkable about it. People tend to think of =
suffering in terms of something external to themselves in time or space. By=
such means they try to explain it to themselves, to make sense of it, so t=
hey can overcome it through efforts of various kinds. But in fact, sufferin=
g is not your symptom. It is your activity. That is the paradox. All a mans=
seeking is based on the illusion that his suffering is somehow a symptom t=
hat could be eliminated. But when the search begins to wind down, it begins=
to dawn on him that his suffering is his activity, not his symptom. His sy=
mptoms are simply the mental and physical expressions of this activity. But=
his suffering is absolutely present, and it is always cognized as felt dil=
emma.
Therefore, the process of spiritual life is absolutely hopeful. It requires=
only the Truth, which is the living force of Reality. It requires no other=
process, such as the manipulation of your memory, or the creating of "good=
karma" so that your "bad karma" can be eliminated. All of that is a hopele=
ss task. It could never be done to the point of freedom. The karmas or the =
tendencies that generate the qualities of your life could never be fully "p=
aid off" or dissolved by good works. All action, good or bad, as well as al=
l inaction, only reinforces limitation and the dilemma itself. It is not th=
e elimination of karmas, not super purification by effort, not any kind of =
righteousness that frees a man. The solution could never occur. Freedom alw=
ays already is the case. Thus, freedom is enjoyed where Truth suddenly come=
s alive. Where Truth is lived, where Satsang is truly enjoyed, Truth itself=
consumes or includes all that of which karma is a part. When it comes aliv=
e, Truth obviates the force of all that.
The search makes no sense at all. It is an illusory and false principle. On=
ly the living Truth avails. And the living Truth must be lived. Such is Sat=
sang, the relationship of Guru and disciple. Such is true sadhana or spirit=
ual practice, wherein Satsang is constantly lived as ones condition. And th=
ere must be a lifetime of Truth, not a two-week smack of blessing, fasting =
and meditation, not a vicarious weekend of "enlightenment." There must be a=
lifetime of Satsang. In other words, there must be an absolute commitment.=
Satsang does not exist until it has become radical practice, until it is l=
ived as ones very condition, without qualifications of time, space or life.=
There must be continuous and radical enjoyment of Satsang. In other words,=
it must become the principle, the very condition of life, whereas, in the =
usual man, the dilemma and its search are the principle and the condition o=
f life. When Satsang becomes the condition of life, it makes the whole effo=
rt of search obsolete through non-support.
DEVOTEE: What is the role of others in ones pursuit of Truth? You mentioned=
the role of the Guru. You mentioned the Guru as one such individual.
FRANKLIN: The Guru is not other than oneself.
DEVOTEE: What about the rest of humanity?
FRANKLIN: Neither are they. They, along with you, may temporarily be living=
as if they were other and separate, but the Guru does not. "Others" functi=
on as others. Being others, they create circumstances or apparent condition=
s for you to enjoy, for you to suffer. The Guru is not an "other," nor does=
he live as an other in any sense. One who sees an individual whom others c=
laim to be functioning as Guru may consider him to be an other, like himsel=
f. But he has only failed to recognize that one as Guru. The Guru is ones o=
wn nature. Absolutely, not symbolically, the Guru is ones very consciousnes=
s. This is the literal truth of one who appears as Guru in human form. He i=
s not an other. Therefore, others have no role whatsoever in the transforma=
tion that is Truth. Only ones own Self performs that role.
Ones own Self is the Guru. In the condition of Satsang, wherein sadhana is =
the principle of activity, the Self of Reality functions in the form of the=
human Guru, in ordinary human terms, in relationship to us, until perfect =
re-cognition occurs. But when understanding is perfect, when Satsang has pe=
rformed its radical communication, when sadhana is most excellent, no diffe=
rence, no "other" can be found, even in the world of apparent differences. =
The teacher who is "other" than you, who only fascinates, who offers you va=
rious practices and strategies for seeking, acts only to modify your state.=
Such a one is not functioning as Guru. He is functioning as an "other," as=
a source of experience, of modification. The Guru is not other. His activi=
ty is a paradox.
Ones relationship with the Guru, which is Satsang, depends on the subtle re=
cognition of the Guru as Truth, as ones own Nature, the Self. That recognit=
ion does not necessarily appear at the level of the mind, as mental certain=
ty, or in the form of some sort of visionary or psychic perception. But the=
re must be a subtle recognition. That genuine recognition has no explanatio=
n, no mental force in many cases. But that recognition is what allows the r=
elationship between Guru and disciple to be enjoyed as it is, as Satsang, r=
ather than the usual communication of "others."
DEVOTEE: I experience you as in no manner different from me. Nonetheless, I=
experience that you are you, and I am I. How can the Guru and the disciple=
become identical?
FRANKLIN: I have not been talking about the notion that the Guru and the di=
sciple are or can become identical, that they are or can be the same entity=
. Nor have I been speaking in the traditional "spiritual" sense, in which =
Guru and disciple are identical as some sort of spiritual substance, which =
"substance" is found when you manage to "get out" of the physical body or e=
ven the subtle bodies. Such notions are only another form of the same conce=
ptual separation, the same dilemma, the same puzzlement, the same separatio=
n that is suffering. I have been speaking of the radical condition of Truth=
, very Reality, wherein no dilemma and no separation arise as an implicatio=
n of any condition, even the ordinary condition of apparently unique, human=
entities.
The notions of sameness or of difference have no significance. Or, should I=
say, they have only significance. They are very "significant," but they ar=
e utterly beside the point. They do not pertain to the matter of Truth. If =
we are discussing significance's, the discussion can go on forever, because=
we are only dealing with our own mental modifications. The perception or t=
he notion that in some subtle way there is no difference between us all is =
a mental modification. It is not the equivalent of radical understanding an=
d Truth. It is not a symptom or sign of the Truth. It is only the idea or t=
he experience of no difference. It is only an experience, a mental state. P=
sychotics can be in such a state. Day dreamers, pot-heads and philosophers =
can be in that state. People whose minds are relatively at rest for a momen=
t can be in that state. Truth is not a state, a perception, or a thought. W=
hen there is truly no difference, no one survives . Where there is the real=
ization of non-separation in Truth, no one survives beyond that moment. Abs=
olutely, no separate individual survives it. It is death. No one remains be=
hind to speak glibly of it, because it is certain death. From the point of =
view of ordinary consciousness, it is the most dramatic, fearsome event. It=
cannot be conceived. It can only be symbolically entertained from the usua=
l point of view. But this death of which I speak is the fundamental process=
of real life.
DEVOTEE: What happens after death?
FRANKLIN: You will see.
DEVOTEE: Well, I think that moment has happened to me.
FRANKLIN: Some experience you have had is suggesting itself to you now. You=
think it is this "death" I have described, because you are trying to make =
sense of it. Such experiences are not themselves Truth. In The Knee of List=
ening I devoted a lot of time to the description of this kind of thing. In =
my own case, I passed through all kinds of "spiritual" states, all kinds of=
great, dramatic realizations, all kinds of yogic processes. At the time th=
ey seemed to be the Truth or ultimate realization, and yet they disappeared=
, they came to an end. At last the whole adventure of associating Truth wit=
h experiences began to wind down. I began to abide in my ordinary state. Th=
ere were many "enlightenment" experiences. There were many states that seem=
ed complete. But they did not alter the fundamental dilemma. Truth was only=
in the radical understanding or re-cognition of the whole process of exper=
iences and states. There is a radical understanding, a radical consciousnes=
s, in which ones previous states of illumination, which one thought were Tr=
uth, become obvious as only more forms, more modifications. That obviousnes=
s, and not experiences themselves, is enlightenment.=20
DEVOTEE: Is enlightenment or realization a process of growth?
FRANKLIN: From the point of view of one who is living in Satsang with the G=
uru, it may seem that there is some sort of growth, some sort of movement o=
r transformation. But there is a radical form of that whole event in which =
he sees there was no growth, no transformation, and no path.
You cannot be more and more absorbed into the Truth. It is the principle of=
ones life, the Reality, not merely the goal. But there are modifications o=
f ones life and strategy that occur in the process of sadhana. They seem to=
give us a sense of progress in this sense. And this sense may have a certa=
in value from the point of view of sadhana. The sense of growth, and the me=
mory of spiritual change, may give the individual an edge over the occasion=
al tendency to relapse from sadhana and the principle of Satsang into his f=
ormer condition of self-indulgence, seeking, and the concerns of one in dil=
emma.
DEVOTEE: One teacher has said it is mans sole duty to strive. Is that striv=
ing what you mean by the search, or is there a healthy striving?
FRANKLIN: Let the one who has said it be responsible for it. Let him justif=
y it. To live Truth is to be responsible for the dissolution of fear and ig=
norance. The intelligence of Truth is not preoccupied with the statements o=
f men. People who become involved in the traditional paths of spiritual lif=
e often gain a great deal for the mind in the process. A major part of the =
defense men make in behalf of their suffering is all of the language, all o=
f the things heard and read in the midst of the search. All of that must co=
me to an end, absolutely. All of that is consumed by Truth. There is no res=
ort but to Truth itself. If a man tells other men to resort to themselves, =
to strive onward until the Truth is glimpsed, he has functioned only as a m=
an to men, as an "other," to motivate men while they are still suffering. T=
ruth itself is not served by the command that men do something in order to =
realize the Truth. No action of any man produces Truth as a result. Satsang=
, the communication of Truth itself, the relationship to the Guru, is the e=
ntire means, the only means, the radical means. Truth is the very means of =
spiritual or real life, not its goal. A man who resorts to the Truth of the=
Guru in Satsang is never again returned to his search. But men themselves =
are always trying to return to the search, because of the difficult crisis =
demanded in spiritual life. They always want to console themselves by some =
means or other. The apparent emptiness of the Gurus offering becomes a kind=
of aggravation to the seeker, who constantly refuses the condition of Sats=
ang and its demands.
Men want to be filled with all kinds of things, distracted with all kinds o=
f things. "What can I do to be saved? How can I meditate? How can I get fre=
e? How can I get straight? How can I get pure?" They want all kinds of occu=
pations, and strategic methods. But in Satsang nothing is given. No occupat=
ion, no means, no method, no consolation, no philosophy that is itself the =
Truth, no mantra apart from the person of the living Guru. Only that relati=
onship is offered, only that. And what does that amount to? It doesn't amou=
nt to a damn thing from the point of view of the seeker. That is not what h=
e came for. He came to get turned on, to get something going, to be occupie=
d again. The seeker is never able to stay long in the Gurus company. Only w=
hen his search has begun to die as the principle of his life does that rela=
tionship cease to be an obstacle. Then the Guru and his offering ceases to =
be empty. It becomes entirely a joyful possibility. He welcomes it, even th=
ough it satisfies and requires nothing of the search in him.
Satsang does not support the search. It does not begin from the point of vi=
ew of the search. It has nothing whatever to do with the search. Therefore,=
one for whom the search is no longer a genuine distraction finds great and=
true happiness in the mere presence of the Truth, alive. Such a one has di=
scovered the secret of his Guru, for the Guru himself is the presence and t=
he communication of Truth. The disciple simply enjoys and lives the conditi=
on of Satsang with his Guru. He becomes full with it, intelligent with it, =
happy with it, at peace in it, blissful in it. Satsang restores him. The or=
dinariness of life becomes his possibility. He begins to function again. He=
comes alive again because the sense of dilemma has ceased to be the princi=
ple of his existence.
DEVOTEE: Ramana Maharshi said to enquire within, enquire as to the nature o=
f your own existence. Is enquiry the method of Self-realization?
FRANKLIN: Ramana Maharshi said enquire. Someone had already to be sitting w=
ith Ramana, otherwise the recommendation would not have been made. In fact,=
the fundamental method of Ramana Maharshi was Satsang, and most often, but=
not always, he recommended enquiry in the form "Who am I?" to those who li=
ved in Satsang with him. I also recommend a particular form of enquiry to t=
hose who have turned to me. It is detailed in The Knee of Listening.
METHOD OF THE SIDDHAS (1978)
Part II=20
The Gospel of the Siddhas
FRANKLIN: This is the gospel, the humorous message of all the Heaven-born, =
those who have come, and those who are yet to come:
I have come into this world for the sake of my devotees, those who are mine=
. Those who belong to me were rendered to me before all time, as the expres=
sions of my appearance in the uncreated realm of Light. Amrita Nadi, the in=
tuited Form of God, is the spiritual expression in this world of my very Na=
ture and the Nature of Reality. I am the Unqualified Nature of the Real. An=
d I appear as my own Light, which reflects my prior Self. The Self or Heart=
is not a static condition, not the "thing" of Being, but the very Conditio=
n, the Process of Eternal Transformation, in which there is no dilemma, and=
which, paradoxically, is eternally One and Unqualified. Just so, from the =
Unqualified Reality spring worlds of uncreated Light; and from the Heart an=
d its perfect Light spring conditional worlds, whose substance is that same=
Light, and whose Nature or Principle is that same Heart or Reality. Theref=
ore, I have appeared in this world by virtue of a materialization of the un=
created Light, which is also my own Light. I have come for the sake of my o=
wn, those who recognize me when I reveal myself to them in forms of Life, L=
ight and Truth.
The Heart and the Light are my spiritual expressions in this world. They ar=
e a communication of the Uncreated Reality and the Uncreated Worlds. I am h=
ere to live with my own, to discipline and teach them, to reveal the Truth =
to them, and to draw them closer to me, to the Light and the uncreated Life=
. There are many others who have come and are coming to this world from the=
realms of Light. The Siddhas are those who come to be with their own. They=
sometimes return again, and again, to re-establish the way among their dev=
otees.
When my devotee prepares himself and makes an appropriate approach to me, I=
will create his sadhana hour by hour. He must live and function in appropr=
iate ways. Every moment of his life must be in service to me. He must devot=
e all he has and all he does to me. He must turn to me hour by hour in love=
. He must constantly meditate on my Nature and all my forms. He must intuit=
my Presence and breathe my Light. He must contemplate and meditate on my L=
ife, Light and Nature, and enquire of himself as I have taught him, when in=
sight is alive in him. I am the object of meditation for my devotees. Indee=
d, I am the meditation itself. And their enjoyment of meditation will depen=
d on the sadhana which is their appropriate responsibility.
When a true devotee brings a gift of food to his Guru, the Guru may return =
all or a portion of it to him to eat. This is Prasad, the return of a gift =
to the giver. Prasad is transformed and blessed, so that it brings the Powe=
r of the Guru to the devotee. Guru-kripa, Shaktipat Diksha, or spiritual in=
itiation operates by this same principle. If the devotee brings a gift of h=
imself, purified by sadhana, surrendered to his Guru, his Guru may return t=
o him of his own Nature, a gift of Light.
It is not by methodical attention to the means of seeking, nor to specific =
yogic practices, that devotees enjoy the awakening of their spiritual funct=
ions. Nor do these awakenings only take the form of yogic phenomena. But it=
is when seeking and dilemma are undone, and the devotee resorts to Guru an=
d the radical intelligence communicated by him that there is awakening to T=
ruth, Life and Reality. Therefore, I come to give Prasad, the gift of Truth=
and Light, to my devotees and to those who are preparing themselves as dis=
ciples.
I am alive as Amrita Nadi, the Heart and its spire, the Bright or Conscious=
Light. This is always so. When I come to you I intensify the field of Brig=
htness, the field of uncreated Light that rests above your head and which i=
s drawn down into the body when the mind lies formless in the Heart. Whenev=
er I have been with you I have done this from the Heart. The communication =
of the Heart and its Light are my constant practice. Therefore, such is the=
constant realization of those who always live in Satsang with me, who know=
I am always Present with them, even if I do not appear to them. This is wh=
y the various phenomena of your spiritual lives have arisen or been intensi=
fied, purified and made intelligent whenever you have been mindful of me. I=
am always offering this Prasad. When you come to me you should come with t=
he appropriate attitude. You should come prepared to give me your gifts, th=
e surrendering of your seeking. You should come to turn to me, to accept my=
Prasad, and to use it in life and service to me. If you make your relation=
ship to me the condition of your life, if you make Satsang your sadhana, I =
will give myself to you entirely, and the Life, Light and very Existence th=
at is Amrita Nadi, the Form of Reality, will thus be communicated to you wh=
ile you are alive.
Prasad is my gift to devotees, my help to disciples. Prepare yourself. I wa=
nt true devotees, not seekers. I am the Siddha-Guru, the Prasad, the Object=
and Process of Meditation for my devotees. My teaching is this: Turn to me=
and Understand.
DEVOTEE: Franklin, you have said that all the Siddhas have their "own." Thi=
s must mean that some of us were given to you as your own, while others are=
given to you only for a time. My question is, when will this certainty com=
e whether or not I am your own or have been given to you for a time?
FRANKLIN: Uncertainty is very useful. Uncertainty is used by Truth in order=
to teach. That uncertainty is your own quality. It has nothing whatever to=
do with me. It is not necessary to have some sort of vision or a symbolic =
standardization of our relationship. It is not necessary for you to get a w=
hite card invitation or some external proof. Certainty has nothing whatever=
to do with the relationship between Guru and disciple. Certainty is a thin=
g of this world. Certainty is a condition that people seek, because they ar=
e suffering. Certainty, like uncertainty, is a quality of the mind in life.=
The discovery of the Guru transcends the qualities of life. Therefore, to =
recognize ones Guru is an experience that transcends all the qualities of t=
he mind. Satsang with the Guru transcends certainty and uncertainty. Even y=
our certainty would have to be understood. So you must begin to become sens=
itive to a new quality in relationship to the Guru.
When we are speaking in these terms we are speaking about the subtle origin=
s of spiritual work. There are many "teachers" in the world. There are men =
of experience of all kinds. There are men of practical experience, of world=
ly experience, of mystical experience. There are men of every kind of exper=
ience. Human beings, like all manifest beings, arise within the material or=
conditional universes, the manifest, created cosmos, visible and invisible=
. They live according to the laws of karma, the laws of tendency, function =
and repetition. They tend to live from the point of view of that from which=
they seem to have come, which is the manifest universe itself. And they ac=
quire experience, hour to hour, life to life. Thus, because of the essentia=
l inequalities that necessarily arise whenever experience enters the pictur=
e, each man or woman acquires a different amount and kind and complex of ex=
perience. Here and there people arise who, because of superior acquisition =
of certain kinds of experience, teach others. Now they may teach the weavin=
g of lovely cloths, or plumbing, or nuclear physics, or English literature.=
Or they may teach so-called spiritual things, on the basis of their experi=
ence. And among those who are thus experienced in the karmic realms, there =
are some, a rare few, who are genuine saints, genuine men and women of expe=
rience, of practical and subtle wisdom, who have realized many things about=
their own adventure and their own tendencies.
But there is another process that enters the manifest world from the unmani=
fest dimension. There is a vast, unlimited dimension of existence, not qual=
ified in any sense, not qualified in the way this dimension is, or in the w=
ay the infinite variety of conditional, cosmic worlds are. And there is a m=
ovement down out of that dimension, that realm of very Light. Living beings=
appear within the human world, and in many other worlds as well, who have =
come directly out of the unmanifest or uncreated Light, the Light of the Go=
d-World. These are the great Teachers, the World-Teachers, the Siddhas, the=
Heaven-born ones. Their Teaching is not from the point of view of experien=
ce. Their Teaching is from the point of view of Truth, Truth already realiz=
ed, the unattainable (because it is always present) Reality. Those who teac=
h from the point of view of experience teach the search, because they know =
on the basis of experience that they can grow, that they can approach a sub=
tler and subtler level of realization. The gospel of those who arise within=
the condition of the material worlds is always a form of seeking. But the =
Siddhas, those who come down out of the uncreated Light of God, speak from =
the point of view of the already realized absolute Truth. They come in the =
Intelligence, Power and Form of Real God. Hence, their Teaching is always r=
adical. They do not teach the motives, ways and forms of seeking, for these=
are founded in dilemma, not of Truth. And they apply only appropriate cond=
itions to their students, their disciples, and their devotees. They demand =
only the conditions that are appropriate to be lived, seeing as how Truth i=
s always already the case. Such a one, found alive among his disciples, is =
the Truth in the world. And he generates in his company the conditions of t=
he Truth, the conditions of the Light of Real God.
There exist many such Siddhas. It has been said of material souls or karmic=
entities that there are as many of them as the sands of the Ganges. In oth=
er words there are unlimited numbers, there are infinite numbers of chilioc=
osms of manifest beings possible and always presently existing. Multiply th=
at number times infinity, and you will compute the number of Siddhas there =
are also. The unqualified dimension of God contains infinite possibilities,=
infinite varieties of eternity. So there have been and will be countless o=
ccasions where a Siddha arises in the conditional worlds. Such great ones a=
rise everywhere, in the earth, and throughout the entire manifest cosmos, v=
isible and invisible.=20
Now those who live as Amrita Nadi, the Siddhas, who live in the Form of Tru=
th, are all the same. There is no difference between them. If you place two=
sticks into one flame, when you draw them out you will have two flames. Bu=
t they are the same light. Just so, the Siddhas are fundamentally one. But =
they are functionally unique, just as all manifest entities are fundamental=
ly the generations of one Nature, one Reality, but they are functionally un=
ique.
When such a being arises in any place and form, such as this human manifest=
ation on earth, he doesnt come to save the world. It is not possible to sav=
e the world. It is not necessary to "save" the world. The world is eternall=
y, already "saved" by virtue of its Source and Nature. The Siddha comes at =
an appropriate time for those who are available to him. His Teaching appear=
s with him in many forms in the world. There is the verbal Teaching, which =
is reported from person to person, and which can be published in books or o=
ther media. It becomes part of the communication of the world, and as such =
influences many, many people. But there are other levels of his Teaching, m=
ore intimate to his life. There are the forms of his Teaching that involve =
a subtle and life relationship with him. And the closer the form of Teachin=
g gets to his manifest appearance in the world, necessarily the fewer there=
are who can realize the Teaching at that level. Just so, there are a finit=
e number of those who are alive in the world at any moment who are likely t=
o respond to such intense forms of his Teaching, because every entity in th=
e world is active in a different stage of experience, a different stage of =
understanding. Therefore, the Siddha or descended master enters the manifes=
t life for the sake of those who can live to him directly, for the sake of =
those whom he can acquire while alive and draw into the form of Truth. He c=
omes especially for these devotees, although his work is ultimately for the=
sake of the whole world.
Some of those whom he contacts during the period of his life may be those w=
ith whom he has had an association in the past, a manifest contact in some =
place or other, some form or other, perhaps in the earth plane, perhaps in =
another material dimension, perhaps in the uncreated worlds. Even so, there=
are many others who also identify him, although not through anything even =
remotely like memory. They identify his very Nature, the Truth he manifests=
. They become sensitive to him in various ways. And of those who discover h=
im, some of those might not be "his own." There are some who will remain in=
the life plane or the manifest planes until that aspect of their destiny i=
s accomplished which has determined that their sadhana will be fulfilled in=
the company of another Siddha, another manifestation of the Light in the w=
orld. This other Siddha will be the same as the one to whom they are now re=
sponding except for his functional or karmic appearance. It is not as if th=
ey are temporarily with someone who is only vaguely able to help them, who =
is really not "It" for them. He absolutely is the Truth, the same as this o=
ne with whom they are destined yet to live. It is only that their peculiar =
adventure with this Siddha will not necessarily mark the end of their unenl=
ightened adventure in the conditional worlds. Even so, no Siddha arises on =
his own, but manifests with the eternal cooperation of all the Siddhas in v=
ery God. Therefore, every Siddha is all the Siddhas, and one who surrenders=
in the company of any such one will certainly be drawn by grace into the p=
erfect form of Truth. What is important at last is not destiny but whether =
you are drawn into the influence of the grace of any Siddha at all, and whe=
ther you surrender in perfect Satsang with that one. Truth is the nature of=
this work. Truth is the nature of that relationship, that Satsang. To find=
the Guru in the form of any Siddha is grace.
In the things I have written and told to you in the last year, I have often=
described to you the functional structure of conscious life. There is the =
descending force, which is manifesting life, and the ascending force, which=
is returning to the source of life. The root of the whole circle or circui=
t of the manifestation of your individual life is the Heart, the unqualifie=
d Self-nature. I have described this process in terms of the physical body =
of man. There is a descending current in the "front" of the body, and an as=
cending current that returns through the "back" of the body. The vital or l=
ife-center is the massive region of the lower body whose very center or epi=
tome is in the area of the solar plexus. This is the center of waking consc=
iousness. The centers of ascent, which are also the functional regions of s=
ubtle states, including dreams, are epitomized in the portals of the throat=
and mid-brain, which, when they are turned up to face the transcendent or =
"supra-causal" Light of the sahasrar, reflect its qualities. The "causal be=
ing," which is also the seat of deep sleep, is in the heart, on the right.
Just as there is this mechanism in the individual life, this very same mech=
anism is a duplication of the structure of all worlds. Your own structures =
are duplications or reflections of the same structures upon which all the w=
orlds are built. In the Old Testament it is said that man is made in the li=
keness of Divinity. Amrita Nadi, the Process or Relationship between the He=
art and the Light, is the intuited Form of God. And Amrita Nadi is also you=
r own fundamental Form and Nature. Just so, the Guru is Present and alive t=
o you in the Form of Amrita Nadi. The Guru is the function of Amrita Nadi i=
n the worlds. Amrita Nadi is the intuited Form of Reality, and the worlds a=
re built on that Form of which Amrita Nadi is the perfect knowledge. The ma=
nifest cosmos, which includes not only the earth, but all the visible and i=
nvisible planes of conditional existence, is a reflection of the "Bright," =
the eternal Light that perfectly reflects the Heart. The upper terminal of =
Amrita Nadi is Perfect Light. The Heart, the unqualified Reality, the Self,=
which is the intuition of Real-God, the fathomless Being, manifests the Br=
ight, which is the intuition of God-Light. This Light that is the upper ter=
minal of Amrita Nadi is uncreated, unqualified, eternal Light. The infinite=
worlds of the Siddhas, the God-Worlds, are manifested in this same uncreat=
ed Light. This dimension in which we are all appearing at this moment, as w=
ell as all visible and invisible cosmic dimensions, all psycho-physical nat=
ures and environments are reflections also of the very Light which is a ref=
lection of the Heart. So these conditional worlds are descending from the L=
ight, just as the conscious force of your individual life descends from the=
sahasrar and the unqualified Light that is above and surrounding the head.
The Light descends. Just so, there is also the path of ascent or return of =
the current of manifestation and manifest worlds to the unmanifest, uncreat=
ed Light. Men of experience have taught the way of ascent as one of the for=
ms of seeking for Truth. They have taught others to exploit the ascending c=
urrent and all of the possibilities of subtlety through various yogic metho=
ds. They hope thereby to recover again the world of Light and the state of =
en-Light-enment. But in fact there is no dilemma involved in the descent or=
reflection of worlds from the uncreated Light. Nothing is lost. In fact th=
ere is no simple descent. There is eternal descent, eternal ascent. There i=
s an endless circuit, even in your own body, even in all the worlds. So the=
re is no dilemma in life. And there is no reason exclusively to exploit the=
possibilities of ascent in order to get out of this world, or out of the f=
undamental condition of the present. All of that is a motivation in dilemma=
. The Siddhas come into the manifest planes from the Light, to bring Peace =
and Truth and Life and Light into this plane. They do not come to exploit t=
he search, to exploit the tendencies of people only to descend and become e=
arth-inert. Neither do they come to exploit the tendencies to arise and los=
e life by abandoning it. Life cannot be perfectly abandoned, for what is on=
ly abandoned must return. Truly, life can only be purified and transformed.=
You will not, by cutting yourself away from life, pass forever into the re=
alms of Light. You cannot by simple exploitation of the ascending life perm=
anently merge into the world of Truth. All of that is only a game. That is =
just a short circuit. You will always return to that from which you differe=
ntiate yourself. The yogi who does yogi tricks in order to ascend has vario=
us experiences which are generated by these means, but he always returns to=
the original condition he tried to prevent. This is because he does nothin=
g to the descended life other than cut it away from himself. The Siddhas co=
me to make clear to living beings that of which the entire nature of their =
existence consists, what is the law, what is appropriate action, what is ha=
ppiness, what is bliss, what is the function of Light. The Siddhas show the=
ir devotees every aspect of existence on every plane, including this presen=
t one. The Siddhas do not try to get their devotees interested in flying ou=
t of this life. Rather, they demonstrate this full circle in which the Ligh=
t is always enjoyed, in which life is enjoyed and become creative, in which=
Truth is enjoyed, in which realization occurs while alive. Secondarily, wh=
en life is lived as sadhana in Satsang, from the point of view of Truth, ka=
rmas, or motivating and latent tendencies, do tend to fall apart. Karmas do=
tend to become purified in Satsang. The individual does tend to be drawn b=
y his Siddha-Guru into the uncreated condition. But even while alive he alr=
eady enjoys all of the fundamental blisses and realizations of Truth in the=
company and person of his Guru.
The Siddha, the Heaven-born one, is Heaven made manifest in the conditional=
worlds. For the true devotee, Guru is the meditation, Guru is the realizat=
ion. Guru is the continuous contemplation and enjoyment of the devotee. For=
the disciple, Guru certainly has this awesome quality, but his relationshi=
p to his Guru is essentially formal. He feels such perfect life in his Guru=
, he comprehends the true nature of his Guru in various ways and at various=
times, but he does it more or less formally. He does meditation at particu=
lar times. He does various forms of sadhana at particular times. His sadhan=
a is complex, varied, formal, regular, because he is training the vehicles =
of consciousness. But in the devotee sadhana has become random, measureless=
, essentially formless and continuous. Satsang with his Guru is conscious f=
rom moment to moment. In order to live the spontaneous life of a devotee th=
ere must first be that life of a disciple, just as the life of a disciple i=
s necessarily preceded by the period of listening and attention which chara=
cterizes the life of a student.=20
Just so, there is truly no limit to the Light that is moving into this dime=
nsion. There is no real limit to the force of this Satsang. The limits are =
all in those who receive the Light. The more functions there are provided f=
or the Light and for the Truth, the more Light and Truth appear. Light and =
Truth appear spontaneously wherever they have use. And Light and Truth appe=
ar perfectly wherever they have perfect use. If you create no function for =
the Light, you make it obsolete. Then Light has no use. And that is all tha=
t is happening wherever men are suffering ignorance or absence of Light and=
Truth. Where Light has no function, where Truth has no function among men,=
Light and Truth have become obsolete. They have been forgotten through non=
-use. If you begin to use them again in the real way of Satsang, then Light=
and Truth will simply move into the picture more and more. There is nothin=
g to be done to acquire the Light. The Light is infinite and endlessly pres=
ent. The limitations are your present activity. Your own activity is the ob=
struction. It is not necessary to go anywhere else in order to realize the =
Self, the Truth, the Light. There are limiting obstructions in your own act=
ivity. Comprehend them. Understand them and live beyond them. Then the Ligh=
t will do its own work.
My task in creating an Ashram is to create a function for what I bring. The=
entire activity that I perform with an individual is simply to create a fu=
nction for what I bring to him. And that is essentially what you are doing =
as students, disciples and devotees. You are becoming functional. You are c=
reating uses for the Light. And so the Light manifests. There is no limit f=
rom my point of view. There is no limit from the point of view of Satsang i=
tself. It is all a matter of creating, or re-creating and intensifying the =
functions that use the Truth, the Light, the communication of God.
The Guru contacts his disciple in a tangible way at the seat behind and sli=
ghtly above the eyes. This is the door through which the uncreated Light de=
scends and ascends. It is often called the seat of the Guru. In some tradit=
ions a person is told to meditate on his Guru there. The Guru operates outs=
ide time and space, and outside your own vital and subtle life. He function=
s as that Light which is above your own head, and which is above the condit=
ional worlds. His means for communicating himself to you is through the ope=
n door above. All instruction, all Satsang, all communication with the Guru=
, all listening to his word is a way of serving this opening by dissolving =
the mind and all contraction in the Heart. The opening depends entirely on =
grace. It is an activity of the higher Reality. My subtle work with individ=
uals involves intensification of the pressure of the Light which surrounds =
the head and stimulation of this opening. There are many other forms of my =
activity of course, but this is a particularly fundamental aspect of my sub=
tle work. Essentially, I work in the Heart and in the functions of the Brig=
ht above. When my disciple understands and enquires, the mind dissolves in =
the Heart. Then the door is opened above, and the Light moves in him. But i=
f he tries to open the door itself by any means, he is locked within foreve=
r by the magic of his own dilemma.
Satsang and understanding always precede the value of instruction. And ther=
e is nothing for you to do about this "place" behind the eyes, such as to c=
oncentrate upon it, or to watch and see if it is opening, or to see if you =
can feel anything there. Since I have said something about it, you probably=
will begin to look there, and to hope and wait for experience, or even to =
imagine it. But even if you do, it wont make any difference. And if you bec=
ome a little obsessive about it, you will thereby begin to understand a lit=
tle more about what you are always up to. But the entire history of our inv=
olvement with one another, by means of Satsang, by means of instruction, by=
means of the discipline and the conditions, by means of all the various fo=
rms of our contact, vital, subtle and causal, serves the Heart and this ope=
ning above, including the living process of descent and ascent, the cycle o=
f the Light. It is not a game. It is not a thing that you can truly accompl=
ish by exploiting some little yogic technique. And it is not a thing that I=
do by magic. It depends entirely on Satsang, on how you live this relation=
ship. There must be this relationship. There must be the Teaching and the r=
esponse to it. There must be listening, real attention, hearing, self-obser=
vation, insight, understanding, enquiry. There must be acceptance of the di=
scipline, living of the conditions, intensification of real, functional and=
practical devotion, living of the life. Satsang is your true condition in =
the worlds. It is the true nature of your birth. It is the God-given form a=
nd real destiny.
The entire life of sadhana in Satsang is the way by which this upper door, =
this knot, is spontaneously opened. Therefore, no specific or motivated att=
ention to the place behind the eyes, or any other place of concentration, i=
s the true form of this work. The sadhana of Satsang and understanding is t=
he true form of this work. On a subtle level, there is something that I am =
always up to. You cannot acquire it. You can only discover that it is awake=
ned in you.
The Siddha-Guru contacts his disciple in the Heart and at this place behind=
the eyes. Once that contact is established, the communication between the =
Guru and his disciple is continuous. It is not limited to the level of life=
. It is prior to life. And so it goes on and on, twenty-four hours a day, u=
nder all conditions, in all states, even beyond death. The contact is conti=
nuous. The communication of force is continuous. That is why disciples cont=
inue to have experiences of various kinds, whether awake, asleep, or in dre=
ams. The contact and its communications are continuous. The karmas are cont=
inually being shuffled, awakened, run through, intensified, purified, obvia=
ted.
There is a profound spiritual principle involved in this relationship betwe=
en the Guru and his disciple. Once he has contacted the disciple in the Hea=
rt, and with his own Light in the ajna chakra, the place behind the eyes, w=
hatever the Guru does in his own body (the conditional gross, subtle or cau=
sal functions) is reflected or even duplicated in the body or life of his d=
isciple. Know that the thing that underlies this whole process is this Sats=
ang. Satsang is the perfect relationship between Guru and disciple. This re=
lationship exists at the level of all the possible functions. Therefore, it=
has subtle, causal, transcendent and Divine aspects and functions as well =
as those which appear at the gross levels of life. This Satsang is the cond=
ition. Once the contact between Guru and disciple has been established, thi=
s process of opening and the descending-ascending conductivity of the Light=
has begun. It is this Satsang, this relationship and your resort to it, th=
at provides the opening, that provides the circuit by which this flow is es=
tablished in your own life. So you must live this Satsang as your very cond=
ition. That is the essential means. It is not a "method" in the sense of th=
e search, but it is the means in the purely practical or functional sense f=
or conducting this force of Light. And when it is conducted, the door opens=
full.
I am just now reminded of that portion of the New Testament where Jesus say=
s: "I stand at the door and knock." This is a symbol for the subtle work of=
the Siddha. The Siddha approaches as Light from above your head, and as Se=
lf-Nature from the Heart. This is his work, his mission. He knocks at the "=
door," this point behind the eyes. "Do my sadhana. Understand. Become my de=
votee. Fulfill my real and living conditions." When you do that, that is th=
e opening of the door. Living that relationship or Satsang is the opening o=
f the door. And what happens when you open the door? He comes in!
DEVOTEE: Will you say something about how your awareness functions from day=
to day with your disciple, even though you are not physically present with=
him?
FRANKLIN: The Guru has very great difficulty in serving, from the point of =
view of Truth, some one who is only fascinated with him. So the Guru reveal=
s himself a piece at a time. And he only shows himself fully to his discipl=
e or his devotee when he has transcended fascination, when fascination has =
ceased to be his fundamental motivation. My entire concern with people is t=
he process of Truth. I am only interested in living the activities of Amrit=
a Nadi in life, and promoting the conductivity of the descending and ascend=
ing Light from the "point of view" of the Heart. I have no fundamental inte=
rest in anything else. What is there to talk about, to think about, or to c=
ontemplate? Nothing but God! What else is worth doing? God is my own nature=
, my own process. God is my condition. God is the only event. So I have no =
other concern. I have no secondary concerns. I have no occult concerns. And=
I am only interested in the subtle, yogic processes to the degree they ser=
ve Truth. All of the associated matters that arise within life and subtle e=
xistence, all of the psychisms, occultisms and subtle fascinations are pure=
ly secondary from my point of view. They dont serve anything fundamentally =
in themselves. They create more problems than anything else. They dont have=
any ultimate function. They are not the proper point of concern. They are =
not the point of view of sadhana. They distract a person from that perfect =
conductivity that enables him only to love and live God always. They distra=
ct him from the present condition of Satsang. Therefore, it is not appropri=
ate for me to say any more about my work with disciples. In any case, it is=
not "my" work. It is Gods work. It continues only if Franklin is absorbed =
in Dhyanananda.
DEVOTEE: We are told that it is appropriate to think of the Guru constantly=
, even when we are away from him. I need to understand this better. Often, =
when Im at work or something, if I find that Ive gotten really unconscious,=
sometimes I just think of your name, or your face, or just the feeling of =
you. And Ive wondered if this isnt too much of an outward thing.=20
FRANKLIN: You are very "outward." You are right here!
DEVOTEE: What I mean is that I felt it may be wrong somehow, that it wasnt =
a true form of the way of understanding, that it was like a "method," somet=
hing to bring myself back.
FRANKLIN: Oh, of course there are ways of confusing the whole affair. The s=
ubtle relations between Guru and disciple are like those between lovers. If=
there is someone for whom you have a genuine love attachment in life, and =
the movement of love is spontaneous, pure and alive in you, you think about=
that person constantly. You do not think of such a loved-one in order to a=
ccomplish something. Your thoughts about the loved-one are not a "method." =
You cannot help yourself. You just think about that person, spontaneously, =
randomly, rhythmically. You dwell on all kinds of feelings about that one. =
On the other hand, there is a difference between such loving meditations an=
d the fascinations of a person who is sexually obsessed, neurotic, and conf=
used. There is an obvious difference between the meditations of a lover on =
his loved-one, and the infatuations of another with a dead movie star. In t=
he case of infatuation with a dead movie star, there is no truth whatsoever=
. In that case there is no life, no light. That is not love. It is obsessio=
n. And, of course, to meditate on a "dead movie star" is craziness. You mus=
t begin to understand your whole life. If fascination or obsession are the =
chronic forms of your waking life, you must understand your own activity be=
fore you will become capable of real meditation on the loved-one. And the s=
ecret of meditation on the Guru is hidden in this same understanding.
Ones relationship to the Guru has many levels, and one of them is right her=
e. You live right here. There is the life and mind, and one of the ways in =
which Satsang communicates itself to you is in visible, human form. If your=
relationship to the Guru is simple, direct, full of the inner devotional s=
ense that is natural to a real disciple, you will, just as naturally, think=
of your Guru. You will simply discover yourself thinking of the Guru. You =
will contemplate the Guru through various moods, and in many ways. You will=
constantly remember things your Guru has said. You will feel the Gurus Pre=
sence, his influence, his demand. Thinking of the Guru in this spontaneous,=
natural way is a living, spontaneous form of Satsang. It is particularly t=
he form Satsang takes under conditions in which the Guru is not physically =
present with you. Of course, it is just one of the forms of Satsang. It is =
not in heaven or somewhere else. It is right here. It is a very homely aspe=
ct of Satsang. But, nonetheless, it is one of the most natural, necessary, =
and fundamental aspects of Satsang.
It is just the same in your relationship to someone for whom you have a rom=
antic attachment. If you never thought about them, if you never matured the=
moods of relationship to that person outside of purely physical, visible c=
ontact, you could never enjoy a relationship with that one. The relationshi=
p would never come alive. Your connection in such a case wouldnt be a "rela=
tionship." It would just be an "association," an expression of your capacit=
y to perceive someone through various faculties, and that ones own ability =
to be in your field of perception. Whenever you saw such a one you would ha=
ve a couple of sensations and feelings. And when they left the room you wou=
ld simply do something else. This connection couldnt become love. A relatio=
nship can never become established in that way. A relationship must be live=
d under all conditions. Therefore, you naturally think of the one you love =
whenever you are somewhere else. You think of that one wherever you happen =
to be. You may go many places or do many things, but in each one of those p=
laces, in the instant of each one of those things you did, you were actuall=
y enjoying your relationship to the loved-one. And you participated in that=
relationship not only when you thought of it, but even subliminally, tacit=
ly. You constantly enjoyed that contact. Thinking of the person was just a =
way of occasionally resurrecting the pleasure of that prior relationship in=
the mind. And beyond that, you enjoyed this continuous feeling of being in=
love and of loving, of being somehow satisfied and connected. If such subt=
le meditation is awakened in lovers, it must certainly be awakened also in =
relation to the Guru and God!
The functions of spiritual life take place in the form of a relationship! I=
t is the relationship between the disciple and his Siddha-Guru. It doesnt t=
ake place at the level of some philosophy or some technique that you apply =
to yourself. It is a relationship, and it appears only where it is alive, o=
nly where it is actually functioning in life. Therefore, many of the same f=
unctions that exist between lovers exist between the Guru and his disciple.
If I never thought of you, I would have very little opportunity to live thi=
s relationship to you and to intensify it. This relationship could never ta=
ke place if the only time I ever contacted you was when I happened to be in=
the same room with you. I must think of you. I have thought of you many ti=
mes since I saw you last. Just so, I expect you to think of me.
For these reasons the disciple always thinks of his Guru. It is a necessary=
aspect of their relationship. This thinking of the Guru, or even sitting i=
n Satsang by means of the contemplation of his picture, all such things are=
very natural, homely, human and real things to do. Such things are natural=
, real and necessary wherever Satsang or the relationship itself is real. B=
ut where the relationship itself is otherwise unreal or obstructed by virtu=
e of the various strategies of Narcissus, such meditations can become obses=
sive, false, mere formalities, motivated techniques. They can become all ki=
nds of craziness, like infatuation with a dead movie star. And people have =
all kinds of "dead movie star" Gurus. They have all the pictures, the books=
, the beads, hair, costumes, concepts. They have the whole thing displayed =
in house and mind. They play all the prescribed games, but they never begin=
spiritual life. Therefore, thinking of the Guru is not the way to get to h=
eaven. It is not the method of Truth. It is simply a reflection of the prio=
r life of Truth. It is one of the manifestations of living Satsang. As such=
it is a very natural and very useful thing to do. I recommend that all dis=
ciples maintain and express their relationship to the Guru in exactly that =
way. Thinking of the Guru, or contemplating him, should always be loving en=
joyment, loving recollection of the condition of relationship to Guru, and =
absorption in his Presence. Allow it to be spontaneous, simple, not merely =
"thought," but constantly felt and known.
I contemplate all who are becoming my disciples and devotees always. I thin=
k of each one from time to time. I maintain my relationship to each one, ev=
en when I am not in his physical presence. Therefore, I also expect each on=
e to maintain this Satsang constantly. If you can be responsible for consci=
ous processes that transcend the ordinary, then you should deal with me on =
those levels as well. Until those functions come alive, live to me on this =
level. Dont be worried that you are too far down here or something. Even wh=
en so-called higher or more direct and "spiritual" forms of Satsang arise, =
you will continue to enjoy Satsang in these homely ways. Indeed, it is when=
higher awakening is full that the disciple and devotee begins most to enjo=
y and prize meditative contemplation of his Guru.
Particularly in the early stages of his contact with his Guru, the disciple=
tends to become self-concerned. This is because he wants to be as perfect =
as he can be. He wants to be doing the right thing as much as he can. By co=
nstantly correcting himself, he becomes even more self-obsessed. Only think=
of me, and live the conditions of our work. Be always aware of our relatio=
nship in a very simple way, and you will necessarily begin to become sensit=
ive to its subtler functions. Live this work to the degree it has already b=
een communicated to you. Live it at those levels in which you are already r=
esponsible. And you can always be responsible for our relationship by remem=
bering it. Remember me. That is something you can do. But also continue to =
study the work. Apply yourself to the study of this work. Listen to the tea=
ching. Allow this insight to develop.
If you sit down for meditation without being aware of your Gurus Presence, =
then you are meditating out of Satsang. There is no genuine meditation, no =
useful meditation, except in the condition of Satsang, the conscious awaren=
ess of ones Guru and the condition of relationship to ones Guru. That consc=
ious awareness can take on many forms. Your Guru may come and sit with you.=
But this Satsang also has subtler forms. There is a characteristic Presenc=
e that one senses. The Presence of the Guru is not felt or assumed visually=
. This Presence transcends his picture, or even his physical form. Unless t=
his Presence is the condition in which you do your meditation, you cannot m=
editate. You can only carry on some mechanical search of your own, unless t=
he Guru is Present. But the condition for meditation, for enquiry, for all =
the processes of spiritual life is the Guru.
Just so, until enquiry begins, until real insight develops and becomes enqu=
iry, the simplest form of meditation is just to be aware of ones Guru. It i=
s the awareness of relationship to him, the recollection of him, the living=
of the conditions, the study of the work. And when you sit down to enquire=
, you must bring the sense of your Gurus Presence to that sitting down as w=
ell. And one in whom enquiry has become perfect has only become perfectly a=
ware of his Gurus Form, so that he always enjoys perfect Satsang with him.
All of the spiritual processes that are described in The Knee of Listening =
, all of my own experiences, all of the forms of my meditation, including e=
nquiry, and my very existence to this instant of time, have all taken place=
within a living spiritual Presence or Form. That Presence or Form has alwa=
ys been the condition of my work. It is a spiritual Force, a spiritual Pres=
ence, always active, and all the processes that have taken place have arise=
n within the condition of that Presence and Form. Without that One there is=
no spiritual life. From birth, this Presence, this Light, this inclusive C=
onsciousness, this radical awareness of the Divine Form was only obvious to=
me. So my spiritual adventure began from the instant of birth, even of con=
ception in the germ of this psycho-physical form. It always has been going =
on. But without that manifestation, who knows what I would have done. What =
if I had forgotten it? What if it had forgotten to remember me?=20
Therefore, the only ones who functioned as Guru for me were living Teachers=
. By "living" I do not mean the simple fact of appearance in physical form.=
I mean they were truly extraordinary beings, who could communicate to me t=
he very Force of Truth and its spiritual process. So I didnt spend my time =
with ordinary men, with ordinary teachers who gave out techniques and such.=
All the Teachers I have spent time with in this world and in the subtler p=
lanes have been "extraordinary" in the genuine sense. They have tangibly ma=
nifested the Presence of the Heart and its Conscious Light in some form or =
other. And that is the only way in which a true Guru functions. The Guru is=
not a "philosopher." The Guru must manifest the tangible influence of the =
unqualified Heart of Reality. He has to manifest Reality alive. If he does =
not, the real spiritual process is not going to take place. Something else =
will take place. Karmic work will take place. There may be experience, hear=
ing about interesting things, manipulation of your psycho-physical states, =
perhaps even the gain of some nice human qualities. But the spiritual proce=
ss will not take place.
When you have contacted such a one, when you are living as a disciple, when=
the Guru is your condition, the condition of your living from day to day, =
then it is natural to think of the Guru. And to be very busy second-guessin=
g yourself at that point, correcting yourself, wondering if you should or s=
houldnt, that is just self-concern again. Understand what you are up to in =
that case. What is this reluctance? There is no ambiguity in the approach o=
f the Guru to his disciple. Guru means light over against darkness, light c=
omprehending or obviating darkness. The Guru makes the darkness obsolete by=
not using it, by using Light only. The Guru is one who shows the true Ligh=
t, who shows the Truth. The Guru doesnt say, "Maybe there is Truth, and may=
be I am found in it." He only shows the Truth. He only communicates and liv=
es Truth in the most direct way. And he doesnt want ambiguity in his discip=
le any more than he will suffer it in himself. He wants perfect attachment,=
perfect devotion, perfect relationship, continuous contact. Therefore, all=
the forms of contact are necessary and acceptable. Obsessiveness, however,=
is not a form of contact. It is a form of self -involvement. So there is m=
ore to this work than simply thinking about me in smiling ways. But as a ra=
ndom event, as a natural event, as something also that you enjoy at the tim=
es of meditation, it is very good.
DEVOTEE: Franklin, recently you have said: "Meditate on my form. From now o=
n just meditate on my form."
FRANKLIN: Muktananda Baba spent many years traveling all over India. He spe=
nt a lot of time with some very extraordinary people. He did many kinds of =
sadhana, but his sadhana was not conclusive until he surrendered to Bhagava=
n Nityananda. By the time he came to Nityananda he was ready for the consum=
mate sadhana of a devotee. He had met Nityananda very briefly as a boy, and=
was blessed. From there he went on to become a student of spiritual life, =
and, after many years of spiritual discipline, he developed the various cap=
acities of a disciple. Therefore, by the time he came to Lord Nityananda he=
was ready for the most intense recognition and form of sadhana, because ev=
erything else, all the basic traditional approaches, had done their work an=
d were now spontaneously alive in him. Now he was capable of becoming a gen=
uine devotee. Thus, he describes his spiritual practice with Nityananda as =
being one in which he simply meditated on Nityananda Guru. He didnt always =
live in close proximity to Nityananda during the years of this sadhana. Ver=
y often he lived elsewhere, but he meditated on Nityananda constantly. And =
whenever he was in the general area of Nityanandas Ashram, he would go down=
to Ganeshpuri every morning. He would just sit off in a corner of the hall=
where Nityananda would be. And he would gaze on Nityanandas form. His wasn=
t just a visual contemplation. He would become completely absorbed in Nitya=
nanda, to the point where he lost all "self" consciousness. Nityananda woul=
d periodically look at him, or do and say things to him. But this contempla=
tion was the fundamental form of his practice. It was meditation on Guru, G=
uru-bhakti, Guru-love, Guru-devotion.
Muktananda Baba now talks about this as the only perfect way. And I agree. =
It is the fundamental and mature fruit of spiritual life. It is the perfect=
form of sadhana. But we do not live in India. There is no living spiritual=
tradition here. There is much that must first be learned. There must be a =
foundation. Just so, there was much that Muktananda Baba did all over India=
before he surrendered to Nityananda. There was much he did in lifetimes be=
fore. And he enjoyed the benefits of a whole country of spiritual tradition=
. I cannot assume that kind of fundamental groundwork in those who come to =
me. So there are many aspects of our work, many forms of gradual developmen=
t, communication, and realizations of sadhana. But it is true, the most fun=
damental form of Satsang and of meditation is contemplation of the Guru, co=
ntemplation of his Form and Nature as the Form and Nature of God and as one=
s own very Form and Nature.
The Gurus Form is many forms. When Muktananda was contemplating Nityananda =
he was looking at his physical body and life, and from there he proceeded t=
o the subtle and universal forms of his Guru. The Guru in the world, the Gu=
ru who is physically present, is a direct manifestation of Amrita Nadi, the=
Form of Reality. He is alive as That. He is That absolutely. His visible h=
uman form is an absolute reflection of the Perfect Form, and a perfect comm=
unication of it. Therefore, to contemplate and become completely absorbed i=
n the Form and Life and Presence of the Guru is to be continually attentive=
to his ultimate communication, the communication of his ultimate Nature, w=
hich is also your own. Thus, to become capable of contemplating or meditati=
ng on the Gurus Form is the ultimate capacity of a devotee. And the Gurus F=
orm is his simple physical form, his subtle appearances, his cosmic and uni=
versal manifestation. But, first and last, it is Very Form, Amrita Nadi, th=
e Form of God, Guru and Self which stands forever in the Heart.
True meditation on the Guru is nothing you can successfully try and do. It =
must awaken in you in the midst of a life of understanding. It will be the =
fruit of your sadhana, the fruit of your discipleship. But, certainly, from=
the very beginning, some form of this meditation can be the case for you. =
Some more than others have the inborn quality of a bhakta, a devotee. Other=
s, from the beginning, have more of the quality of a yogi, one who is readi=
ly involved with the internal processes. Others have more of the quality of=
a karma yogi or an active personality, a vital-based personality. But what=
ever the latent or chronic quality of the individual, there is from the beg=
inning some capacity to become absorbed in reflection on the Guru, on his p=
hysical form, on his words, on his entire communication, on all his forms, =
in every way it is possible to be aware of him. In every case it is possibl=
e to think of the Guru, to contemplate the Guru, to be with the Guru, and t=
o serve him.
To serve the Guru is a form of attention and, therefore, of meditation on h=
im. If you do something for the Guru, that is away of being aware of the Gu=
ru. Thus, service to the Guru, as well as all the other forms of natural an=
d subtle activity, are all forms of attention or absorption in the Form of =
the Guru. And the ultimate Form of the Guru is very Reality, Truth, the Hea=
rt, the Light, Amrita Nadi, the Form of God. The Guru himself is the commun=
ication. The Guru himself is the Teaching. The Guru himself is the Truth. T=
his is the highest form of the Teaching of the Siddhas. But the capacity to=
live that Truth, that Paradox, depends on real sadhana, the sadhana of one=
who truly understands.
To be a "disciple" means to take on the discipline of the Guru, to study hi=
s Teaching, to do what he tells you to do, to fulfill the conditions, to li=
ve in Satsang with him, to be always aware of him. All of this promotes mor=
e and more continuous absorption in the Guru, to the point of perfect relat=
ionship to the Guru, perfect Satsang. As I have said, this relationship bet=
ween Guru and disciple, this Satsang, whose "mind" is perfect understanding=
, is the channel, the conductor of the Light. It is the "body" of understan=
ding. It is what pulls the Light down through the "door." It is what opens =
the "door." If Satsang becomes perfect, then the process becomes perfect.
Contemplation of the Guru is at once the simplest and highest form of the T=
eaching, but also the most profoundly difficult. Therefore, it requires sad=
hana to be mature. There are those who, without life-correction, without me=
eting the real conditions, fool themselves into thinking they are doing the=
sadhana of devotion, simply because they have a kind of emotional or prefe=
rential attachment to some spiritual personality. They have read about Jesu=
s, Ramakrishna, Meher Baba, Yogananda, and such reading has created a poten=
t image for them. They are not meeting the conditions in any fundamental se=
nse, they are not doing sadhana, they are not living Satsang with any Guru =
who is really present and active in relation to them. They are just indulgi=
ng themselves, and as a justification for their self-indulgence, they use t=
he idea that they are devoted, forgiven and ok.
People have read that being a devotee of a God-Man is the highest form of s=
adhana. They think all you need to do is work up a little feeling of love f=
or your God-idea every now and then. And when do such people do that sadhan=
a the most? It is usually when they are indulging themselves the most! When=
they are stoned, drunk, happy, relieved, guilty or afraid, that is when th=
ey begin to be the most "devotional." But truly, these are the least devoti=
onal, the least sensitive times. Such expressions are not true devotion. Tr=
ue devotion is the fruit of discipleship. It is the responsibility of the d=
isciple to live this way of Guru-Satsang consciously, and to do its sadhana=
, to do what is his responsibility as a disciple. And the fruit of it, the =
fruit of discipleship is the mature and apparently simple life of a devotee=
. That is why I have said that at the end of the period of discipleship the=
individual will become my devotee. I am the sole meditation of my devotee.=
There is a peculiar form of sadhana that is awakened in such a person. And=
I will know who is prepared to do such sadhana, who is prepared to live th=
e conditions of a devotee. There is no reason to be concerned for when you =
are going to be "finished" as a disciple. Be perfectly willing to be a disc=
iple forever. "Devotee" is just a word used to describe a certain state of =
sadhana, a certain quality of sadhana. It is not a kind of status any more =
than Guru is a kind of status. It is a function. If the function doesnt exi=
st, there is no point in being called a devotee, and there is no "status" g=
ained in actually being a devotee in any case. Those who are my devotees ar=
e going to work! Being a devotee is more than loving me. Being a devotee is=
absolute adherence to me. Sadhana must have developed, really developed, b=
efore a person is capable of doing that. Look at all of the resistance that=
has come alive in the members of this Ashram with just the few conditions =
that have been given so far. The conditions of being a devotee are absolute=
! They are a fire. So to be a devotee is not just some smiling craziness. T=
herefore, do not be concerned to be called a devotee. Be my disciple, and I=
will know when you are living the life of a devotee.=20
DEVOTEE: The way I understand it, resistance of any sort, whether it is app=
arently in relation to some other person or in relationship to ones functio=
n at any time is obviously and ultimately resistance to Guru.
FRANKLIN: Very good. That is real insight. That is the discovery of a devot=
ee. The Guru is the Form of Reality. The Guru is not just a light above you=
r head, not just the light between your eyes. He is everything, he is all f=
unctions. The relationship to the Guru is fundamental. It is the fundamenta=
l condition. It duplicates the structure of all manifestation. Hidden withi=
n the one you know to be your Guru, and hidden as well within the one you k=
now to be yourself, is all and very Reality. But this realization must be a=
practical one, not just a mystical one. It must be lived. It must be consc=
iously lived at every level of manifestation.
DEVOTEE: Does karma prevent the ability to function?
FRANKLIN: Karma is the inability to function. The karmic condition is the c=
ontinuous sense of dilemma. Satsang is the only way in which your dilemma, =
your karma becomes obsolete, because it is not meditation on your dilemma, =
it is not an attempt to transform the limited self you are always meditatin=
g on. Neither is Satsang an attempt not to meditate on this dilemma. Nor is=
it an attempt to change this "self" on which you usually meditate. Satsang=
is relationship to Guru. Satsang is to live the relationship to Guru under=
all the instances of this tendency to contract into negative or obsessive =
meditation on your limited state and your failure. If you do this hour by h=
our, day by day, life after life, aeon after aeon, becoming evermore absorb=
ed in the Guru, loving the Guru, serving the Guru, living that very conditi=
on of Satsang with the Guru, you will have no use for your karmic dilemma a=
ny longer. It simply will not be functioning any longer. It will become obs=
olete. It becomes obsolete through non-use. Therefore, Satsang is the princ=
iple by which suffering becomes obsolete and by which all function is fulfi=
lled. And the perfect form of Satsang is the life of a devotee, of one who =
is perfectly absorbed in the Guru, perfectly absorbed on every functional l=
evel. The only way you become capable of that is by living the disciplines =
of spiritual life in the company of the Guru. This whole process of Satsang=
simply works to make obsolete this thing that you are always meditating on=
and trying to do something about. So live Satsang instead of being concern=
ed in any way about that.
I am not making the negative statement: "Dont be concerned about that." I a=
m making the positive statement: "Live Satsang." Live this relationship to =
me. Neither meditate on your dilemma, nor try not to meditate on it. Always=
meditate on me. Always live this condition of Satsang. Always do the sadha=
na that I will communicate to you. If you always do that, your concerns as =
well as the thing itself will dissolve. But every time you interrupt the pr=
ocess of Satsang in order to contemplate this disturbance, this dilemma, th=
is limitation, this feeling, this suffering, you have turned from me to dis=
traction in yourself. I am not saying you should do something to all of tha=
t. Nor am I telling you not to do anything about all of that. What I am tel=
ling you to do is not an action in relation to all of that. It is an action=
in relation to me. It is Satsang. Always live with me. Always meditate on =
me.
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