"The Torque of Attention" From The Brightening Way Talk Series

Author(s): Adi Da Samraj


The Yajna Discourses of Santosha Adi Da (1995-1996)

Volume 1, Number 8

The Torque of Attention

A Gathering "Consideration" with Beloved Adi Da Samraj in the Manner of Flowers on January 13, 1996

Discriminative Intelligence, Will and the
Third Stage of Life

How You Find Out You're Not a Victim


Adi Da Samraj: The exercises that we've done here in this "consideration" are so fundamental, so obvious—and yet you have to be instructed in it, you see? And seem to have this and that limitation associated with all of it.

You must be able to exercise the deeper faculties. The mere physical energy, the etheric force, the emotional being, the mind and so on—these are all relatively mechanical. Their doings are subject to your intention. But they themselves are rather mechanical, will do anything. So the higher, deeper aspect of human personalities, the senior, is about discrimination, discriminative intelligence—measuring, understanding, observing, and directing the faculties below it according to that disposition, according to that understanding. But see how difficult it is for you all to get to the point where you're willing to live based on understanding, rather than based on what the body-mind wants to do at the moment?

Its such a simple matter, so obvious. You're not exercising the faculties at your central position, the faculties that are closest to you as the conscious person here. Those are closest to you, so to speak, so it would seem that these would be the faculties you would most readily use.


"It's a straightforward matter. You've discriminated, "considered" this discriminatively, and come to a conclusion about it, and now you intend to do such and such and such."


But your signals from birth are so primitive, basically from the physical on in, that by the time you get to the point of development where you could exercise will and discriminative intelligence, you're so bound up in what is lesser than it, the places of your experience—such complex entanglements and patterns directed from without—that the discriminative intelligence and the will is weak. You can't just observe, understand, change your act. That's the way it ought to be. Why go to a weight-loss program, you see? You can be served in your understanding, and observation, and so forth, but when it comes down to it, it's a straightforward matter. You've discriminated, "considered" this discriminatively, and come to a conclusion about it, and now you intend to do such and such and such.


"The higher faculties exercised determine right action"


See the higher faculty then, the higher faculties exercised determine right action. But you all keep looking for the active part, the body, the energies in it, the emotions, the thought patterns—you keep looking for these things to tell you what to do. Or you've consented to allow them to be in charge. Like someone going to a weight-loss program—basically finding a pseudo-parent.

So it seems somehow the core faculty's the last to develop somehow. You know the infant who is born gets lots of physical sensation but no discriminative intelligence yet, you see? All the signals come from the flesh in. So its not that you perfected your faculties of will and discriminative intelligence first, and then got involved with everything. No. You got involved with everything first, and now you want to exercise discriminative intelligence and will, and the machine is just not set up that way. Its set up to make all kinds of demands, its confused, full of desires and constrained rituals. It didn't get that way from the exercise of discriminative intelligence with the will. It developed without that exercise, or at least without it being profound. And so its an accumulation of rather robotic events.


"Finishing the business of the first three stages of life"


In this Way, then, I Call you to examine this matter of discriminative intelligence and will and develop it. That's finishing the business of the first three stages of life. "Consider" your "Oedipal", this and that, all the ins and outs, and do what you have to do to grow up. And I've told you exactly how to do that. So your vow to Me must be exercised based on discriminative intelligence and done with a will, embraced absolutely, never put up for a vote to the body-mind again. "Consider" it, realize what's right, take the vow, and then never argue with yourself again. Persist in the upholding of the vow.

So that's an example of how to live by exercising discriminative intelligence and will. And the Way is going to require that adulthood of you—or you will be weak in devotion, weak in Contemplation, weak in discipline and on and on.

I'm not here to parent you so that eventually somehow you'll do what's right with Me. I'm there where the doing right happens. So that means you must "consider" this Way, receive My Instruction, and do it. It's plainly obvious why its right and what its all about. You've "considered" that, and that's that. And don't be childish anymore, give Me all your apologies and excuses and all of that business. That's being childish, childlike. Needing a parental slap on the wrist or a raised voice or something—just straighten out a little bit, but always curiously unavailable.

So to grow up means you accept as your responsibility the faculties your parents exercised for you previously. See, you didn't need the will and discriminative intelligence when you were an infant, or youngish. So you depended on them for that. And they did so, and you didn't have to exercise it. All kinds of effects developed, life developed, and along the line it becomes necessary to exercise the will and discriminative intelligence. Your parents aren't going to treat you like infants forever. So then at some point you're in a situation where you have to do all of that—unparented. And to really grow up means you have to be equipped to do that.

So it would seem then that part of right education involves the exercise of will and discriminative intelligence—the actual exercising of that and examining things clearly, and "considering" this Teaching, as the way of embracing it. Then when they get of the age where the parents aren't going to replace their discriminative intelligence and will, they'll know what to do. They'll be equipped to do so. They won't be in the self-indulgent, childish habit—just waiting for the parent to leave so you can indulge yourself, or whenever you have any difficulty at all, especially will required of you, you want to be parented, dependent and independent at the same time. Sort of adolescent, then, until you embrace responsibility for discriminative intelligence and will.

This is what keeps you focused seriously, this capacity. Its not a matter of just riding on the body-mind and its adaptations. Discriminative intelligence and the will are in charge. So don't play the child with Me. I'm not your parent. This is what it takes.

There are all the forms—physical, subtle, mental, emotional—but, to locate this discriminative intelligence, all of those forms are before it. But its not the Witness. Discriminative intelligence is that observation, examination of all those contents. You're making judgments and decisions using the force of will, the fundamental energy of the central personality to function on that basis. It should be perfectly natural for the human being to function based on that leading faculty. But the adaptations are in the reverse, as I've said, then you wind up weak-willed, and all of a sudden you're out of your parents house and you're supposed to be a man or a woman. Whereas you didn't get enough education at replacing what they did all of that time. And, therefore, you remain rather childish all of your life, in need of the ritual of being parented somehow. And you also tend to use Me that way, therefore. Its a ritual you use to feel parented, and yet still be rather adolescent. It's a false relationship to Me.


"The ground testing of devotees or practitioners in the traditional setting largely has to do with this business: Does the individual show the sign of really being able to live on the basis of discriminative intelligence and will, with clarity, so he or she can receive the instruction and apply it?"


In the Great Tradition, the Master replaces your parents. He's not someone on whom you project your parent-child inclinations. He's a different figure altogether. You don't relate to this One as your parent. He's not one of the scheme of conventional relations.

So your parent-child ritual doesn't belong in My face—and your claims of irresponsibility, signs of weak-willedness, lack of discrimination. You did all of that when you were a child with your parents. You don't do that with your Master.

The ground testing of devotees or practitioners in the traditional setting largely has to do with this business: Does the individual show the sign of really being able to live on the basis of discriminative intelligence and will, with clarity, so he or she can receive the instruction and apply it?

You've heard the traditional stories where somebody begins in a Masters sphere by being a menial servant, gets no instructions and all that. They think they're just being good while they're waiting for the instructions, you see. There's many things happening there, but one of them is the Master testing them. Not merely relative to conventional behaviors, but relative to this exercise of discriminative intelligence and will. And of course, the greater heart-disposition, certainly. But you must be able to function that way no matter what the circumstance is, most menial or whatever, in order to be seriously involved in this Communion with Me and address the limitations on it, discriminatively and directly, with a will.

So this whole student-novice, student-beginner process is supposed to be the growing up stage. You shouldn't come out of there without all kinds of signs, including this sign, this central faculty. It is the "Adam and Eve" that's empowered to be in charge of all the non-humans, in the Biblical story. Its discriminative intelligence and will, the central faculty. It's supposed to be in charge of all of the rest. The observer is the female, the "considerer" is the male.

This must be exercised every moment relative to everything lower than that. You exercise it by your Communion with Me, beyond and Prior to that. Communing with Me thus, My "Brightness" passes into your principal faculties as you enter into the domain of the body-mind.


So are we "considering" anything, or was that the end of that one?

DEVOTEE: Beloved, we were "considering" discriminative intelligence, and I just never had heard quite so clearly Your description of the effect of Your Transmission, and the essential component of discriminative intelligence.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. If I Crash down through the top of your head, I'm going to get there first, you see? [laughter] So how can you receive Me in this frontal Yoga without the awakening of discriminative intelligence and a will that can function on the basis of it?

DEVOTEE: I was reading one of Your Essays, Beloved, and You were saying that one of the signs of true hearing is the capacity for free functional attention.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes. Because its not bound in the rituals of self-contraction, you see? Attention is freed by this conscious process. Instead of being caught up in the mechanics of the body-mind.

The development of discriminative intelligence, and the will that functions on the basis of it, is the business of the third stage of life. In other words, the third stage of life is the stage of moving out of the parented state. To do so, you have to replace the faculties previously assumed by the parents and everything, then. And those specific faculties are the ones of discriminative intelligence and will. All the others up to that point have been adapted to provide the basis for human functioning. And then the mother and father step aside—and your head is vacant. [laughter] No discriminative intelligence followed with the will, you see? Just a sort of soupy, self-indulgent adolescent who's noticing that he or she's not being looked at so much by the mother and father, so then they get into an indiscriminate life of self-indulgence, sometimes.

So its just a sign that the faculties of discriminative intelligence and will have not yet been sufficiently established, functioning, in the life.

So that's the time when children leave home, so to speak, go out of the parented state into the adult state. Still related to the blood parents, but not being parented any longer, in that childish sense. And therefore you will not view anyone as a parent, or take anything as a parent-force merely—influencing you without the exercise of discriminative intelligence and will on your own part.

This is how you find out you're not the victim. It's the one whose discriminative intelligence and will is weak who feels he or she is victimized by whatever. There may be an unfortunate circumstance, but nonetheless the victimization is your own doing. You can exercise discriminative intelligence and will, all kinds of right life, right practice, and deal with that. Even grow on the basis of it, like Yeshe Tsogyal who, in a situation of being apparently victimized, used it as sadhana. It doesn't mean the circumstance wasn't unfortunate, but her involvement was such that she passed beyond its limitations and used it for more profound development.

So that's an individual who has the capability to exercise discriminative intelligence, choose, and then engage it with a will in spite of what arises. Until then, you are the victim of conditions. All conditions. That's how you feel it. That's what you say. But it's just a childish habit. It's a childish sulk.

So you must bring this capability of discriminative intelligence—able to use it, use it with a will, function through it with a will—to the front in your practice. That's not to say the practice itself, the sadhana of Communion with Me, is about standing in that position. No, it's to give up all positions in Communion with Me. But in terms of the regulation of your life, in response to Me, the fulfillment of My Instruction and so on, you must exercise discriminative intelligence and will. And simply, straightforwardly do it. If you don't, you're being childish. You're looking to be parented. You're looking to be not noticed by your parents so you can indulge yourself. All that kind of stuff. Its what you all do.

Anything more about that?

My "considerations" with you are very straightforward, very intelligent, I presume.

DEVOTEES: Yes. Yes, Beloved.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: And really, if you are humanly basically mature, you would listen to My "consideration", examine what is being brought to you, and come to a fully intelligent conclusion, and then do it! It should be just as straightforward as that, you see? If you're not parented, but a free individual, here, to Realize Me, then it is that straightforward. If you're not playing the child game—with Me or anyone else.

Well, its important, then, to go through the process for real of going beyond being parented. Its not enough just to leave your immediate family situation or whatever at times. You can still carry the child mode, the weak intelligence and will, with you. So to be free of it in yourself, you've got to relinquish the being-parented disposition. Not to become merely an independent ego, but to become one who can exercise all the faculties for the purpose of the sadhana.

So notice how you permit yourself to be parented, then, even by your blood parents or whatever you use. And root it out. Abandon the disposition. Accept responsibility for what that was replacing in you.

As I've Said, if you want Me to do what I do, you have to do what I say. But I don't mean just I say blah-blah, you do it mechanically. All of My Instruction to you, Transmission to you, is "consideration". As I was Saying earlier, its a process of Initiation, of integrating you with it, because you're the one who has to be responsible for that sadhana—not Me.

So you can't practice this Way of the Heart on the basis of belief or faithfulness or good-heartedness merely. You've got to grow up. You've got to become a man or woman, which means you have to take for yourself the responsibility you previously relinquished or never exercised when a child.

The control-from-without game is no good after a certain age, because it doesn't allow you to develop these faculties necessary for your own responsibility as My devotee. You are Mastered by Me, not parented by Me. You shouldn't require Me to parent you. That means you have to give up being a child, one whose discriminative intelligence and will are elsewhere replaced by someone else. You must exercise these capabilities, and when we enter into "considerations" such as this, I'm Calling you to do so.

And you even appear to like doing so when its a matter of "considering" hearing, or the Witness and so forth. But then when I talk about right dietary practice as your obligation and various other practical things, you know the sounds you make and so forth. Like all of a sudden, that's too much! [soft laughter]

All of a sudden you're children again, childishly related to Me. You're willing to exercise these faculties to have this Contemplative experience, but you're not willing to exercise the body so that your whole life can be about Contemplative experience. So all of a sudden you want to play the child when I'm talking to you, Instructing you about responsibility for the body, the functional, practical, relational, and cultural details of this Way altogether. When I "consider" such matters with you, you are all of a sudden "Johnny Carson" now, children now. People show through all kinds of mannerisms and whatnot that you're rather childish, want to be parented—a little bit like Huey, Dewey, and Louie Duck. They're unpredictable also.

No. I expect the same straightforwardness and clarity relative to your fulfillment of that Instruction just as I do if we "consider" the Witness together. It exercises the same faculties. So then if we talk about something somewhat more mundane and so on, what's the difference? You examine it, "consider" it, come to conclusions, make decisions, agreements, then you do it! And you don't need to have a lot of pseudo-parents around to keep pattin you on the back and tell you what a really swell sadhak you are, you know? [laughter]

The Inner Guru

So you stop making a childish or rather adolescent culture out of the community—always conforming to the weak-willedness, lack of discrimination, tendency games of the gathering. Its a "culture of inspiration and expectation". You're obliged to fulfill the rule of the community. It's not a bargaining matter.

You're obliged because you volunteered to be obliged, by the way—remember? Took the vow. So that's what it takes, then. And you've no right to run to another Guru, you see. The little-ji? The body-mind there, you know? "Little-ji, what do you think about this dietary stuff?" "Aw, forget it! It sucks! All right, be a little moderate sometimes. That's it. Leave me alone. By the way, lets have a pizza!" [laughter]

So that's the kind of games you get into when you resort to little-ji—you know, the old "inner guru"? Whenever somebody talks about resorting to the "inner guru", I know damn well they're talking about not having so much to do with their outer Guru. [laughter] They want to be parented, but they don't want to be Guru-ed.


So that's straight, though, right?

DEVOTEES: Yes, Lord. Yes. Mm-hm.


So what else do you want to "consider"?

The Torque of Attention



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  Adi Da, Ramana Maharshi, Nityananda, Shridi Sai Baba, Upasani Baba,  Seshadri Swamigal , Meher Baba, Sivananda, Ramsuratkumar
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