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Seeking and desensitization



 

T.S. EliotWe shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything).

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

 
 
The Structure of the Ego
FIGURE 1: the structure of the ego
 


Even though we always are acting (mostly unconsciously) on
all levels of egoic activity depicted in Figure 1, most of our time we find ourselves only consciously inhabiting the outermost circle of ego activity. This is the most peripheral or superficial level, corresponding to the least depth of feeling. In fact, our motive for only being conscious there is to desensitize ourselves from what is being generated at the deeper levels of ego activity, especially the pain at the core. Avatar Adi Da Samraj describes our occupation at the peripheral level as seeking generally in the areas of money, food, sex, and relationships. This search is driven by an uninspected (and unfounded) motive that suggests that, if one could find what one was seeking, whether the search is for a million dollars or the intimate partner of one’s dreams, one would become happy; one would be relieved of the pain. This is basically how most of us pass most of our lives. The searches can never fulfill their promise because they don’t in any way relieve the fundamental sense of separation at the core that is creating the pain:



 

You have little searches that can be attained in the next moment, and you have bigger ones that take a little longer, and you have immense ones that could take you forever. . . . And this is how you prevent yourself from finding out that you are just a seeker [the "Periphery" ring of Figure 1] and the search is based on pain [the "Subjectivity" ring of Figure 1] and that it is founded on an act of separation [the "Core" ring of Figure 1] and cannot be fulfilled. You keep yourselves from finding this out by projecting some of your searches onto such a large scale that you can never prove the point.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

 


Even seeking for "spiritual" experiences proves to be exactly the same kind of search. It is still motivated by the pain associated with "being" a separate self. And, like more conventional materialistic self-fulfillment, it is only a distraction from what we actually need to be doing to be free of the sense of being a separate self :



 

Every time I met Rudi [Adi Da Samraj's first Spiritual Teacher], He would hand Me a bag of garbage. I cannot remember a time when I went to see Rudi when He did not hand Me a bag of garbage. It was always the first thing He would do. Then I would go and throw the garbage away, and I would come back, and We would sit together for a little bit, or I would do some work. Sooner or later, He would give Me some more garbage. It is really very simple. You just throw it away. . . .

The key to the matter is not how to throw the garbage away. The key to the matter is noticing that it is garbage. . . .

You are looking at a lot of garbage and thinking that it "Is" the Divine! One of My Functions is to "package" the garbage. I have spent a lot of My time packaging your garbage, trying to get you to notice that it is garbage. You will throw it away as soon as you notice this. You cannot surrender something that you do not see to be garbage. You compulsively hold on to it. So you must notice that it is garbage.

But I will Tell you right now it is all garbage! Everything I Give you in the realms of experience is, ultimately, garbage and I expect you to throw it away. Nevertheless, you tend to meditate on it instead of meditating on Me! Every one of these seemingly precious experiences, all of this profound philosophy, is ultimately just more of the same stuff. But you have "bought" the conventional religious and Spiritual propaganda so you think that these experiences and this philosophical "profundity" are the Divine Itself. None of that is the Divine. It is all garbage. . . .

You are expected to throw the garbage away under the most extraordinary conditions conditions in which you would, ordinarily, not even consider throwing it away. You are sitting in the precious blissfulness of the spine why should you throw it away? It is all so delicious. You have been a fool all your life, and now you are a Yogi! why should you throw that away? No one wants to do that. You do not want to throw it away. You have no True Humor in relation to it. You have no detachment from all this that you have accumulated through vast aeons of existence in conditionally manifested form. You do not want to throw it away. The demand to throw it away seems mad, impossible . . .

What is required of you is this sacrifice of separate and separative self and such self-sacrifice only becomes possible through the Influence of My Perfect Siddhi of Divine Liberation. . . .

It is real sacrifice not a sacrifice in the traditional sense of some gloomy self-abnegation and emptying. It is the sacrifice which is itself based on True Humor and expressive of overwhelming love of Me, in which there is not anything whatsoever to be attained.

There is not anything to be attained. I mean not anything. Not anything!

There is not anything to be attained. Not one thing is to be attained. Not anything. There is not a single thing to be attained.

There is no conditional experience, no conditional vision, no conditional transformation of state that must be attained.

There. Have I said it?

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, He-and-She Is Me

 


So most of our life passes by on the periphery of self-awareness, in cycles of stress-generation (as we engage the next search) and stress release (when a goal is attained). We try to stay consoled and pleasurized; in other words, we try to stay immunized from the always present, underlying pain produced at the core of the ego. But sometimes, when suffering is sufficiently profound, those distractions fail to work “I was fired from my job”, “my mother died”, “my husband left me” and we fall into our suffering at a deeper of self. We feel more fully the underlying motivators of seeking and distraction: fear, anger, sorrow, anxiety, and so on. But it is at this deeper level, for the length of time we can endure staying in it, that we can consciously discover and master a deeper level of our patterning: our constant need to distract ourselves, to occupy ourselves in seeking, so as not to feel this generally covered-over “pit of snakes”. Obviously investigating this level by conscious choice at a time of our own choosing is better than being thrust into this level by random circumstance (through the death of a loved one, a disaster, etc.)

This increasing depth of feeling-awareness painful though its discoveries will be is the direction we need to move in, because in fact, we must consciously fall into the core of all this egoic activity and suffering in order to find the true and completely effective key to freedom from suffering. We need not wait for our distractions to fail in order to fall into this deeper level. Understanding our mission, we can intentionally and voluntarily discipline ourselves, renouncing or reducing our seeking activity in specific areas systematically. It’s very simple:

As soon as we cease to engage distractions,
we feel precisely what we are always trying not to feel (via those distractions).


There are two good reasons why we do not hear too much about people making it all the way to the core, and telling the world they have found the way beyond being a separate self, and all the suffering that stems from that:

  1. Even if could bring ourselves to engage the process, we couldn’t possibly endure the suffering that passage involves, totally undistracted, totally unconsoled, and totally defenseless; and

  2. It would be a hopeless task, a guaranteed dead-end, without the help of the Fully Awakened Spiritual Master. It is only by way of contrast with the feeling-awareness of the Divine, the feeling-awareness of the underlying State of utter Non-Separation, that we discover the specific activity of separation that is the self-contraction.

And so the road to fundamental self-understanding is paved not with the exquisite torture of deeper and deeper self-meditation, but rather, with the progressive taking on of disciplines that curb or renounce our various forms of distraction, while our primary activity remains our surrender to and contemplation of the Divine. For it is only the consciously embraced Happiness of the Divine that allows us to endure the falling into our undistracted suffering, and only the Revelation of the Divine that, by way of contrast, also Reveals the self-contraction. We are basically relaxed by Grace into our own True Depth and Ultimate Nature (beyond ego), in (and by) the Divine, as we feel to, through and beyond all the self sensations to the Divine. Thus, the discovery of the primal activity is a Revelation by and Gift from the Divine.

Of course, in order to take on specific disciplines that counter the specific forms of distraction each of us indulges, the process of self-reflection must be going on every day, aided by the wisdom of the Fully Awakened Spiritual Master:



 

You cannot confront My Wisdom-Teaching only once a month. You must deal with it in some form every single day, because a new form of the ego's game appears every single day. Therefore, you cannot have read one of My books last month and have it still be working on your behalf, because you only remember a few key phrases. You must continually return to My Wisdom-Teaching, confront My Wisdom-Teaching. That is why study is so important. . . .

Understanding arises in the midst of intense, regular, and frequent confrontation with My Wisdom-Teaching, My Arguments, and My Instructions. The kind of study that is required of you . . . is the continual, daily confrontation with My Wisdom-Teaching that requires you to observe your tendencies, your strategies, the games that prevent your Happy enjoyment of a life of understanding. Such study requires conscious participation, not only of mind. And, as self-observation begins to arise in the midst of such study, you will begin to see in yourself the flowering of understanding.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

 


It is also the case that the disciplining of the body-mind must be cumulative: we must not forsake earlier disciplines as we take on new disciplines. All the aspects of egoity — "the whole guy", as Adi Da calls it — must be covered (there can be no "loopholes" through which egoity is "escaping" and being dramatized) if one is to heat to the point of "boiling" — if one is to "listen" to the point of hearing. Otherwise it is like trying to flatten a waterbed: no sooner do you smooth one bump, than another bump crops up somewhere else. The ego is always looking for an "escape hatch", and listening to the point of hearing requires giving it none.

Quite in contrast with our conventional patterning which avoids fully feeling suffering in all its forms fullness of feeling is the key to the process of understanding, because the self-contraction is most fundamentally a limit on feeling-awareness:



 

Remarkably enough, the reason you are so disturbed about the facts of life that might make you fearful, sorrowful, and angry is that whenever something arises that you might appropriately be angry, fearful, or sorrowful about, you do not feel it completely. You limit your feeling of even these reactions. . . . If feeling becomes limitless, if you do not contract, then feeling becomes Being itself no reaction, no contraction, Feeling without limit. . . . What is It? It is Love-Bliss.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

 



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