"You...think of the seventh stage of life as a return to conditional existence"
Adi Da Samraj*

"Sacred instruction is offered to anyone today because the traditions have lost their scope. The possibility of living within a tradition from birth has been profoundly diminished all over the world by political and cultural events over the last few hundred years. Thus, people off the streets are called to listen to discourses and to read books about Wisdom Teaching, whereas traditionally one would do so only after passing through the preliminary stages in the outer corridors until one showed signs of preparation"
Wisdom Teachings

Seventh Stage Realization is
Not 'Old Dog' Realization

"The gate of his cottage is closed and even the wisest cannot find

him. He goes his own way, making no attempt to follow the steps

of earlier sages. Carrying a gourd, he strolls into the market;

leaning on his staff, he returns home."

Zen Master Kakuan, 12th Century.

Have you noticed when people talk, most especially in chance meetings, their conversation seem to have a 'summary' or 'existential' quality to it? You might hear them say, "Oh, that's the way it always is" or "That's the way it goes". Both statements are so common that their subtlety almost goes unnoticed. This is most especially true when people talk about Life in terms of psychology, religion or philosophy. "It's genetics" or "You have to have faith" are common scientific or religious comments. Taoist ideals are heard as, "Just go with the flow". Friends giving friends Life messages are so common their profundity goes unnoticed. This kind of talk when inspected, is actually referring to a deeper understanding of Life. It is as if, in any causal everyday moment, the awareness and address is to the deeper aspect of our Being.

 

"There's only One" - Everyone is a Philosopher

There is a common understanding in the 'downtown' spiritual conversation that says, in effect, we're all enlightened. Perhaps this is an Enlightened 'point of view' but coming from an unenlightened understanding, it's far from the truth. 'Downtown' conversational talk 'revealing' deep spiritual understanding sounds like everything is A-O.K. But summarizing life in 'one-liners', although innocent, is actually harmful for it gives a false sense that everything IS A-OK, while in truth, everything is not A-OK.

There are plenty of traditional spiritual stories that reinforce simple methods of conveying ultimate matters. One famous story from the Zen tradition called the Ten Bulls or Ten Ox Herding Pictures. In the story of the Ten Bulls, the last stage of an enlightened journey is where the practitioner is back 'In the World'. 'In the World' refers to the last and final stage of a Mahayana Buddhist practitioner's progression of full enlightenment, "chop wood and carry water" as you may have heard it downtown.

Many of Adi Da Samraj's statements about enlightenment could also suggest the same thing ideas about enlightenment. In Adi Da's teaching the enlightened condition is 'completely ordinary', 'always already' the case. As he says: "There is nothing whatsoever to be attained. There is nothing to be attained. I mean nothing. Have I said it? Nothing, damn it! There is nothing to be attained. Not one thing is to be attained. Nothing. There is not a single thing to be attained. Have I said it? There is no experience, no vision, no transformation of state."

"Enlightenment is not something you need attain, but the fact of existence on the basis of which you should live."

And:

"Things do not live themselves, beings are not generating themselves. Nothing exists independently even at this moment. There is no separate individual that must return to the source. All individuals are already in the condition of that very source... This is the divine realm... the divine manifestation is free and full and by creating to cosmic manifestation the divine does not limit itself to some form of cosmic ignorance that goes on for billions of eons or whatever until it evaporates the universe and again returns to itself. The cosmic manifestation is free and full and without dilemma from the point of view of the divine."

Great Myths

When people tout an enlightened point of view as if they are Realized they are not only deluded they are misleading others. They are deluding themselves because they are NOT enlightened, and the 'always and already' and 'chop wood and carry water', is not the case. It's a nice thing to say, but it's not something anyone can make philosophy from.

Although some people try and make a life out of such talk. 'Be Here Now', "There is nothing to achieve", "Go with the flow". All one needs to do is keeping reminding themselves of such truths. They may continually need to give or attend talks and inspirational events to remind themselves. In these simple one-liner beliefs, one can also add elements that go along with wise and enlightened talk. You can always clean up your diet, work on your relationship, develop a relationship to, pet your cat, scratch your dog, love your neighbor and keep on believing your working on 'being there'. This is all entertaining and a form of the subtle search, the search for the higher and lighter dimensions of our being.

"(You discover) some really delightful visions and you feel good, and you go into Samadhis perhaps a little bit. But the next day, you're in there grinding away at it, trying to get up enough Shakti to even make your breath even.

In other words you're always working on the mechanism, on its limitations, you're always possessed by your search, your dis-ease then. And sometimes there are breakthroughs, but they're always temporary. Altogether the course is another version of struggle like what you do in the gross play of the world. And, yes, there are high attainments in it certainly - they are not eternal. But there are such things, other planes. There is transition to such planes - while alive and after death. This is certainly possible, but it is not that the Truth has been Realized. Its temporary, as I said. It has certain kinds of limitations of its own. Its still fundamentally rooted in the dis-ease of the ego, which must constantly be gone beyond. Contemplative states are achieved, this and that is achieved, as a temporary matter.

Adi Da Samraj - Torque of Attention - 1996

 

What does Full Enlightenment look like?


There is an old saying in traditional literature, "if you want to know what enlightenment looks like, go and sit at the feet of a Realizer". The literature of the great wisdom traditions has stories that reveal what Realizers have taught. One such story comes from the Mahayana Tradition of Buddhism.

The story which follows, The Ten Bulls written by Tibetan meditation master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, tells an old Zen story of the journey of enlightenment.

The beginning of the journey is about the 'undisciplined mind' and a 'suspicion'. There is a mood that something is not quite right, there is an uninspected search happening. This search has taken on a form of an adventure. We've been told that there is something to get. This search of adventure takes on family, cultural and religious forms. The search is about exploring possibilities. As one explores one begins to see something familiar in all the adventures, but it's not quite clear, something has not yet formed itself. Something may be something corrupt. You may have to defend your adventure, the search and adventure has a struggle to it. This suspicion is not a belief, it's something deeper, something in your gut. It's not all just a journey of love, light and peace.

As one continues on the journey, the subtle nature of this suspicion begins to reveal itself. The traveler begins to see that maybe he or she has a more direct play. Maybe the traveler is not just an innocent bystander. In fact, the travelers thirst, ones desire for more, more experiences and knowledge is generating it. The search, the journey, ones trip, is beginning to come to the front. At first the journey had a goal or an object but now the subject is appearing. What was in once in the background (unconscious) is now in the foreground. One's motive is beginning to show itself. With this also comes the understanding that one can't stop. It's like going down a hill without brakes. What was once a journey of conviction, something attainable, the journey is now becoming a battle of opposites. The 'problem' of conviction which drove the journey is now becoming one of personal responsibility. The Creation of the journey is revealing itself. YOU are becoming suspect. Your motives and efforts are coming to the front.

This is the first level of the inner journey. The journey and adventure itself begins to become suspect. Your conviction is corrupt. The trip is starting to get serious. You begin to see the insatiable nature of your own mind, your unfulfilled emotions, your inability to relax. In this part of the journey, you start to 'get wise' and clean up your act. You and your convictions are not as bold and formable as you thought. Your knowledge, although helpful from a practical point of view, does not seem to touch the subtle fabric of what your feeling. Your awareness is growing. Something bigger is beginning to show itself. There is something bigger going on.

 

“The Ox has never really gone astray, so why search for it? Having turned his back on his true nature, a man cannot see it. Because of his defilements he has lost sight of the Ox. Suddenly he finds himself confronted by a maze of crisscrossing roads. Greed for worldly gain and dread of loss spring up like searing flames; ideas of right and wrong dart out like daggers.”

 

You are not as independent as you once believed. Your basic sense of mistrust and feelings of being a victim start to show themselves. You can begin to show a little paranoia at this point. You begin to be cautious and retreat. Many leave the journey at this point and return the the simple ways of sleep. Others start to fly a flag and start digging in. They start to build fortifications around themselves to protect their beliefs and possessions.

The traveler is now at the part of the journey where to go Real Trust is needed. The traveler must leave behind what was once familiar; old memories, stories and identities. The once solid ground of ego, any sense of security dissolves. Even the guru can't help. There is a gap, a chasm. There is a psychological mind form that must be met if one is to go forward and to do that True Trust must develop.

To take that leap into the unknown requires trust, Real Trust based on wisdom. The traveler understands something greater is going on. There is guidance. There is testing. There is a sense of being informed. The luminosity that you always had a sense of, the basic sense of goodness, is beginning to appear. The Mandala is showing itself. This is the beginning of the Matrix.

In the World  

In the Mahayana story of The Ten Bulls, the completion of the journey is called 'the return'. The 'return' to a fully enlightened state from which you never were absent. The luminous nature of your own being reveals itself. The 'search' is over. You have understood, from the beginning there was no place to go. This is called 'In the World'.

"Nirmanakaya (physical realm) is the fully awakened state of being in the world. Its action is like the moon reflecting in a hundred bowls of water. The moon has not desire to reflect, but that is its nature. The state is dealing with the earth and ultimate simplicity, transcending following the example of anyone. It is the state of 'total flop' or 'old dog'. You destroy whatever needs to be destroyed, you subdue whatever needs to be subdued, and you care for whatever needs you care."

The Oxherding Pictures - Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche

 

In the Oxherding pictures the evolutionary process of taming the bull is very close to the Vajrayana view of the transmutation of energy. Particularly returning to the world as the expression of the compassion of the Nirmanakaya shows that the final realization of Zen automatically leads to the wisdom of Maha Ati.

 

Adi Da describes this in a dialog with a devotee who entered into the fully enlightened condition in 1983:

DEVOTEE: ....it seemed completely ordinary to reengage everything.

MASTER DA: This disposition in Sahaj Samadhi is such that there is nothing to be gained by deepening, nor is anything to be lost by becoming superficial or involved with the body-mind and the play of appearances. There is no need for meditation any longer. There is Samadhi now. Meditation is that last stroke of the yogic process or spiritual sadhana that precedes Samadhi. When Samadhi is Realized permanently, when it is Sahaj Samadhi, never interrupted, then there is no need for meditation because meditation has fulfilled itself. Samadhi is the goal of meditation or the end phenomenon, the fulfillment of meditation. When It Awakens, there is no need for meditation any longer. The Realization is perpetual.

and:

"You are already not the ego or, self­contraction. You are already Enlightened. Therefore, as I have been saying all these years in our various times of consideration, Enlightenment is not something you need attain, but the fact of existence on the basis of which you should live. You live from the position of consciousness, therefore, you should very naturally permit the body-mind to enter into a state of equanimity. When it is in an ordinary, lawful, balanced condition, managed by simple, natural disciplines rather than ascetic one, the body-mind does not bind you. Equanimity grants you the free attention to explore consciousness and realize its Status."

 

"You sometimes think of the seventh stage of life as a return to conditional existence. The seventh stage Demonstration...is not based on a return to conditional existence. It is a Demonstration based on Inherent Identification with the Divine Self-Condition, and perpetual Abiding as such."
Adi Da Samraj - Misunderstanding the Seventh Stage of Life

 

"Another kind of misunderstanding that you all express from time to time, is relative to the seventh stage of life itself. You sometimes think of the seventh stage of life as a return to conditional existence, and entrance into a conditional process. And you think of that conditional process in terms of the four demonstration stages of the seventh stage of life-Divine Transfiguration, Divine Transformation, Divine Indifference, and Divine Translation. You think of this as a kind of phenomenal (or conditional) process that comes about as a result of a return to conditional existence...." - Adi Da Samraj

 

Now I have had to correct you on this point numerous times. I have a feeling you still do not quite understand Me.

Seventh Stage Realization is Not 'Old Dog' Realization

"People today tend to live in the common mold of modern society, even though authentic Spiritual traditions exist here and there. Today the traditions cannot be depended upon to support the "school where people develop; so people are often invited to listen even to discourses about ultimate matters without any preparation at all. Very often the tradition, then, is reduced to a "talking school. Individuals may be associated with ultimate Wisdom, and may even take on meditative practices, without showing any signs of real capability".
Adi Da Samraj - 1983

"As long as you think you are where you think you are, conditional existence is a serious matter, filled with all kinds of laws and paradoxes and obligations. And you have sadhana to do. If you stand in the Source-Position itself, you have no sadhana to do. So you have to do sadhana until you stand in the Source-Position. Standing in the Source-Position is what Enlightenment or ultimate Realization or Divine Self-Realization is all about. You understand"? - Adi Da Samraj - 1995

ADI DA SAMRAJ: Another kind of misunderstanding that you all express from time to time, is relative to the seventh stage of life (completed stage) itself. You sometimes think of the seventh stage of life as a return to conditional existence, and entrance into a conditional process. And you think of that conditional process in terms of the four demonstration stages of the seventh stage of life - Divine Transfiguration, Divine Transformation, Divine Indifference, and Divine Translation. You think of this as a kind of phenomenal (or conditional) process that comes about as a result of a return to conditional existence.

Now I have had to correct you on this point numerous times. I have a feeling you still do not quite understand Me. When there is fullest entrance into the second stage of the "Perfect Practice", there is never again any return to conditional existence. In other words, in the transition to the third stage of the "Perfect Practice", or the seventh stage of life, there is no return to conditional existence. Instead, there is Most Perfect identification with the Divine Self-Condition. The last gesture of egoity, or that which is a sign of sadhana based on egoity, or the search to escape egoity - however it may be described - that last sign, which is the strategic exclusion of conditional existence, is transcended.


The Seventh Stage of Life

The seventh stage of life is not what one might feel is suggested from the literature of seventh stage Adepts. One might expect, at least in some cases or on some occasions, some sort of return to the conventional world. A great deal of ill-considered scholarly literature strives to interpret ultimate wisdom as some sort of return to the conventional involvement with samsara. In the seventh stage awakening the Self, or the Transcendental Reality, or Nirvana, is not dis- criminated from objects, from samsara, from conventional existence, from the ego. Rather, samsara, the ego, the body- mind, and all relations are tacitly recognized to be nothing but the Nirvanic Self, nothing but a moment of It. What is unique in the seventh stage of life, therefore, is the recog- nizability of samsara, not the return to samsara. The dis- criminative faculty of mind, not spirituality, is transcended in the seventh stage of life. Spirituality is perfected in the seventh stage of life.

 

DEVOTEE: When I Contemplate You, everything becomes transparent. That is what I feel.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: But what is your motive? The One Contemplated is the same, regardless of the level or degree or kind of Realization. It is the one who Contemplates who makes the difference - and "difference" is what is made. So what is your motive? What are you looking toward? Improvements in gross embodiment? Evolution into other planes? Or "Divine Translation"?

DEVOTEE: Just You. I have no interest in the rest.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: Nonsense! [Laughter.] There is a motive. It must be discovered. To discover it is fundamental to sadhana. There is not only the Contemplation. There is the transcendence of self by means of Contemplation. This self that is to be transcended is a design. It is a motive. It is an effort.

Is your impulse to transcend all? Or is your impulse to "improve your situation", after your present lifetime here, by moving into higher planes? Or is your impulse and the motive of your attention such that you will likely repeat this kind of circumstance? What is your preference? Hmm?

So what appears to be in association with conditional existence, in the case of a seventh stage Realizer, is just a perception or a presumption from the point of view of others who are yet bound to conditional existence, who exist in the knot of egoity, identified with attention, the body-mind, and the play of conditional existence. For the seventh stage Realizer, it is not so. Consciousness Abides, Self-Existing and Self-Radiant, as It Is . That is the seventh stage Realization.

The seventh stage Demonstration then, is not based on a return to conditional existence. It is a Demonstration based on Inherent Identification with the Divine Self-Condition, and perpetual Abiding as such. It is perpetual Samadhi, unbroken Samadhi, not held in place by any condition whatsoever.

There is the paradox, then, of Divine Recognition in the seventh stage of life, as compared to the sixth stage of life in the Way of the Heart. The Process of Identification with the Ultimate Self-Condition is expressed through Divine Recognition. Whereas, in the sixth stage case, it is expressed through relinquishment of conditional existence, exclusion of it in a process of more and more profound identification with the Ultimate Self-Condition. In both cases however, fundamentally, there is simply identification with the Ultimate Self-Condition. In the sixth stage case, it is done through the mechanism of apparent exclusion of conditional existence. And in the seventh stage case, it is done through the process of Divine Recognition of merely apparent condition, existence.

There is nothing to be transcended in the seventh stage case, nothing to be excluded. And in fact, there is no "event", except for That of the Divine Self-Condition Itself. The things arising are merely an appearance in the seventh stage case. And even to say that is not quite correct. Truly, from the "Point of View" of the seventh stage Realization, there is no "thing" that arises. To say that conditions apparently arise is a paradox, or a paradoxical statement, because even though, in some paradoxical sense, that may be said to be true, in the instant of the apparent arising, whatever arises is Inherently Recognized to be nothing but the Divine Self-Condition Itself. Therefore, only the Divine Self-Condition is Realized in the seventh stage of life. And Divine Recognition is the demonstration of that.

The only Realization, and the only "experience", so to speak, in the seventh stage of life, is the Divine Self-Condition, Self-Existing and Self-Radiant. There is no "thing" that arises apart from that, or over against it. There is just that.

The correct view of the entire process of the Way is different from the view of it made by the ego and the ego-mind in its identification with conditional existence. So you often tend to make errors, then, in your interpretation (or understanding, even) of the process in the stages previous to the seventh. So I have helped you to correct some of these errors in discussions in recent days, and in fact, for all these twenty-three years."

from: The Search For Perfection

For more go to:

The Oxherding Pictures - Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche

or

The Seven Stages of Life

What is the total process of human growth? What would occur in us if we were able to grow to the full extent of our potential? Avatar Adi Da Samraj offers a schema of seven stages of life which represents His Wisdom on the entire spectrum of human possibility. He has systematically described not only our physical, emotional, and mental development, but also all the phases of Spiritual, Transcendental, and Divine unfolding that are potential in us, once we are mature in ordinary, human terms. This unique schema, which proceeds from birth to the final phases of Divine Enlightenment, is a central reference point in Avatar Adi Da Samraj's Wisdom-Teaching. It is an invaluable tool for understanding how we develop as individuals, and also for understanding how the Teachings and practices proposed by the various schools of religion and spirituality fit into the entirety of human potential.

This model of the seven stages of life is an important conceptual tool formulated by the Spiritual Master Adi Da Samraj to clarify, and so help others to similarly understand, the spiritual implications of all the individual and collective expressions of human experience and knowledge. The following paragraphs will provide a general introduction to this unique model.

1. Human life develops or evolves in seven stages.

2. The first three stages of human life are the stages of lower functional (physical, emotional, and mental) adaptation to the universal Life-Energy.

3. The fourth stage of human life is the stage of whole bodily surrender and adaptation to the universal Life via Love-Communion (the disposition of the heart or deep psyche of pure energy).

4. The fifth stage of human life is the stage of mysticism, or evolutionary adaptation to the higher brain and mind.

5. The sixth stage of human life is the stage of ego-death, or transcendence of mind, independent self, and primal fear.

6. The seventh stage of human life is the stage of bodily Translation, or Transfiguration of the total body-mind and the atomic soul in the Infinite Radiance of the Living God.

Full Study of The Seven Stages of Life


Taming the Wild Ox

Ten Oxherding Pictures, by Zen Master Kakuan, China, 12th C.

"Desolate through forests and fearful in jungles, he is seeking an Ox which he does not find. Up and down dark, nameless, wide-flowing rivers, in deep mountain thickets he treads many by-paths. Bone-tired, heart weary, he carries on his search for his something which he cannot yet find. At evening he hears crickets chirping in the trees.”

“The Ox has never really gone astray, so why search for it? Having turned his back on his true nature, a man cannot see it. Because of his defilements he has lost sight of the Ox. Suddenly he finds himself confronted by a maze of crisscrossing roads. Greed for worldly gain and dread of loss spring up like searing flames; ideas of right and wrong dart out like daggers.”

"Innumerable footprints he has seen in the forest and along the water's edge. Over yonder does he see the trampled grass? Even the deepest gorges of the topmost mountains can't hide this Ox's nose which reaches right to heaven.”

“Through the sutras and teachings he discerns the track of the Ox. He had been informed that just as different shaped golden vessels are all basically of the same gold, so each and everything is a manifestation of the True Self. But he is unable to distinguish good from evil, truth from falsity. He has not actually entered the gate; but he sees in a tentative way, the tracks of the Ox.”

“A nightingale warbles on a twig, the sun shines on undulating willows; there stands the Ox. Where could he hide? That splendid head, those stately horns, what artist could portray them?”

“If you will but listen intently to everyday sounds, you will come to realization and at that instant see the very Source. The six senses are no different from this true source. In every activity the source is manifestly present. It is analogous to the salt in water or the binder in paint. When the inner vision is properly focused, one comes to realize that, that which is he, is identical with the true source.”

"He must tightly grasp the rope and not let it go, for the Ox still has unhealthy tendencies. Now he charges up to the highlands, now he loiters in a misty ravine.”

“Today he encountered the Ox which has long been cavorting in the wild fields and actually grasped it. For so long a time it has reveled in these surroundings that breaking it of its old habits is not easy. It continues to yearn for sweet-scented grasses and is still stubborn and unbridled. If he would tame it completely, the man must use his whip”

"He must hold the nose rope tight and not allow the Ox to roam, lest off to muddy bounds it should stray. Properly tended it becomes clean and gentle. Untethered it will willingly follow its master.”

“With the rising of one thought, another is born. Enlightenment brings the realization that such thoughts are not unreal since even they arise from our true nature. It is only because delusion still remains that they are imagined to be unreal. This state of delusion does not originate in the objective world but in our own minds.”

"Riding free of air, he buoyantly comes home through evening mist in wide straw hat and cape. Wherever he may go he creates a fresh breeze, while in his heart profound tranquility prevails. This Ox requires not a blade of grass.”

“ The struggle is over. Gain and loss no longer affect him. He hums a rustic tune of the woodsman and plays the simple songs of the village children. Astride the Ox's back he gazes serenely at the clouds above. His head does not turn in the direction of temptation. Try though one may to upset him, he remains undisturbed.”

“Only on the Ox was he able to come home. But lo, the Ox has now vanished and alone and serene sits the man. The red sun rides high in the sky as he dreams on placidly. Yonder beneath the thatched roof his idle whip and idle rope are lying.”

“In the dharma there is no two-ness. The Ox is his Primal Nature. This he has now recognized. A trap is no longer needed when a rabbit has been caught; a net becomes useless when a fish has been snared. Like gold which has been separated from dross, like the moon which has broken through clouds, one ray of luminous light shines eternally.”(29)

"Whip, rope, Ox and man alike belong to emptiness so vast and infinite, the azure sky, that no concept of any sort can reach it. Over a blazing fire a snowflake cannot survive. When this state of mind is realized, comes at last comprehension of the spirit of the ancient patriarchs.”

“All delusive feelings have perished and ideas of holiness too have vanished. He lingers not in this state, 'I am a Buddha'. He has passed quickly on through the stage of: 'And now I have purged myself of the proud feeling of I am not Buddha.'. Even the thousand eyes of 500 Buddhas and Patriarchs can discern in him no specific quality. If hundreds of birds were now to strew flowers about his room, he could not but feel ashamed of himself.”

"He has returned to the origin, come back to the source but his steps have been taken in vain. It is as though he were now blind and deaf. Sealed in his hut he hankers not for things outside. Streams meander on of themselves, red flowers naturally bloom red.”

“From the very beginning there has not been so much as a speck of dust to mar the intrinsic Purity. He observes the waxing and waning of life in the world while abiding unassertively in a state of unshakable serenity. This waxing and waning is no phantom or illusion but a manifestation of the Source itself. Why then is there need to strive for anything? The waters are blue, the mountains are green. Alone with himself he observes things endlessly changing.


"Bare chested, bare footed he comes into the marketplace. Muddied and dust covered, how broadly he grins. Without recourse to mystic powers, withered trees swiftly he brings to bloom.”

“The gate at his cottage is closed and even the wisest cannot find him. His mental panorama has finally disappeared. He goes his own way, making no attempt to follow the steps of earlier stages. Carrying a gourd, he strolls into the market; leaning on his staff he returns home. He leads innkeepers and fishmongers in the way of the Buddha."

 


Misunderstanding The Seventh Stage of Life

 

ADI DA SAMRAJ: Another kind of misunderstanding that you all express from time to time, is relative to the seventh stage of life itself. You sometimes think of the seventh stage of life as a return to conditional existence, and entrance into a conditional process. And you think of that conditional process in terms of the four demonstration stages of the seventh stage of life-Divine Transfiguration, Divine Transformation, Divine Indifference, and Divine Translation. You think of this as a kind of phenomenal (or conditional) process that comes about as a result of a return to conditional existence.

Now I have had to correct you on this point numerous times. I have a feeling you still do not quite understand Me. When there is fullest entrance into the second stage of the "Perfect Practice", there is never again any return to conditional existence. In other words, in the transition to the third stage of the "Perfect Practice", or the seventh stage of life, there is no return to conditional existence. Instead, there is Most Perfect identification with the Divine Self-Condition. The last gesture of egoity, or that which is a sign of sadhana based on egoity, or the search to escape egoity - however it may be described - that last sign, which is the strategic exclusion of conditional existence, is transcended.

But this does not mean that Consciousness returns to conditional existence via Amrita Nadi. Consciousness does not, once again, identify with attention and then all of the proceeding faculties of the body-mind then become re-attached to conditional existence. That is not what happens. It does not happen at all. Consciousness does not return. It abides as Itself, Inherently and Most Perfectly.

So what appears to be in association with conditional existence, in the case of a seventh stage Realizer, is just a perception or a presumption from the point of view of others who are yet bound to conditional existence, who exist in the knot of egoity, identified with attention, the body-mind, and the play of conditional existence. For the seventh stage Realizer, it is not so. Consciousness Abides, Self-Existing and Self-Radiant, as It Is . That is the seventh stage Realization.

The seventh stage Demonstration then, is not based on a return to conditional existence. It is a Demonstration based on Inherent Identification with the Divine Self-Condition, and perpetual Abiding as such. It is perpetual Samadhi, unbroken Samadhi, not held in place by any condition whatsoever.

There is the paradox, then, of Divine Recognition in the seventh stage of life, as compared to the sixth stage of life in the Way of the Heart. The Process of Identification with the Ultimate Self-Condition is expressed through Divine Recognition. Whereas, in the sixth stage case, it is expressed through relinquishment of conditional existence, exclusion of it in a process of more and more profound identification with the Ultimate Self-Condition. In both cases however, fundamentally, there is simply identification with the Ultimate Self-Condition. In the sixth stage case, it is done through the mechanism of apparent exclusion of conditional existence. And in the seventh stage case, it is done through the process of Divine Recognition of merely apparent condition, existence.

There is nothing to be transcended in the seventh stage case, nothing to be excluded. And in fact, there is no "event", except for That of the Divine Self-Condition Itself. The things arising are merely an appearance in the seventh stage case. And even to say that is not quite correct. Truly, from the "Point of View" of the seventh stage Realization, there is no "thing" that arises. To say that conditions apparently arise is a paradox, or a paradoxical statement, because even though, in some paradoxical sense, that may be said to be true, in the instant of the apparent arising, whatever arises is Inherently Recognized to be nothing but the Divine Self-Condition Itself. Therefore, only the Divine Self-Condition is Realized in the seventh stage of life. And Divine Recognition is the demonstration of that.

The only Realization, and the only "experience", so to speak, in the seventh stage of life, is the Divine Self-Condition, Self-Existing and Self-Radiant. There is no "thing" that arises apart from that, or over against it. There is just that.

So, yes, there is this apparent Demonstration of the four epochs of the seventh stage of life. But it is merely an appearance and a paradox. Truly, there is nothing but Samadhi. And therefore, in truth, there is not the slightest difference between Divine Translation and any of the three epochs that precede it. So the seventh stage Awakening is the Awakening to the Eternal, Unconditional, and Unconditioned Samadhi, or Divine Self-Realization.

So even your understanding or your presumption about the seventh stage of life tends to be conditioned by egoity and the identification with conditional existence. This is so until the actual Realization of the seventh stage of life, which is nothing but the Realization of Divine Samadhi.

So just as you, prior to Most Perfect Realization, tend to seek, and tend to project yourself toward, conditional goals, your interpretations of the seventh stage of life are likewise conditioned or subject to misinterpretation or misunderstanding. The correct view is the one I just described to you. That is the correct view of the seventh stage of life.

Just so, the correct view of the entire process of the Way is different from the view of it made by the ego and the ego-mind in its identification with conditional existence. So you often tend to make errors, then, in your interpretation (or understanding, even) of the process in the stages previous to the seventh. So I have helped you to correct some of these errors in discussions in recent days, and in fact, for all these twenty-three years.

And among those errors is the tendency to associate any transition in this Way with the achievement of some kind of conditional state or goal-called "Perfect" or "advanced" or whatever. You tend to presume transitions must be associated with certain idealized conditions or states-including various behavioral signs and so on. Whereas none of the transitions are correctly so characterized. The transitions are events in the process of the transcendence of egoity. And, therefore, they are about more and more profound advances in the process of transcending the ego and entering into identification with the Divine Self-Condition.

Now, it is certainly appropriate to examine conditions, or what people do and so on, in the process of evaluating them relative to transitions. But it is not a matter of looking for ideal conditions, or states of perfection, or perfect fulfillment of behavioral norms and so forth. The principal judgement is always relative to the core of the practice and signs of the core becoming or being more profound. Anything that can be conditionally observed or that is of a conditional nature, can be taken into account and often must be - but not because some perfection is expected, but simply because the reality of that core does express itself in the life of the individual. And that must be observed as a way of becoming serious or taking seriously the fact that the transformations at the core are actually taking place, or have actually taken place. But that is far different than looking for some perfect conditional achievement.


ADI DA SAMRAJ: Another kind of misunderstanding that you all express from time to time, is relative to the seventh stage of life itself. You sometimes think of the seventh stage of life as a return to conditional existence, and entrance into a conditional process. And you think of that conditional process in terms of the four demonstration stages of the seventh stage of life-Divine Transfiguration, Divine Transformation, Divine Indifference, and Divine Translation. You think of this as a kind of phenomenal (or conditional) process that comes about as a result of a return to conditional existence.

Now I have had to correct you on this point numerous times. I have a feeling you still do not quite understand Me. When there is fullest entrance into the second stage of the "Perfect Practice", there is never again any return to conditional existence. In other words, in the transition to the third stage of the "Perfect Practice", or the seventh stage of life, there is no return to conditional existence. Instead, there is Most Perfect identification with the Divine Self-Condition. The last gesture of egoity, or that which is a sign of sadhana based on egoity, or the search to escape egoity - however it may be described - that last sign, which is the strategic exclusion of conditional existence, is transcended.

But this does not mean that Consciousness returns to conditional existence via Amrita Nadi. Consciousness does not, once again, identify with attention and then all of the proceeding faculties of the body-mind then become re-attached to conditional existence. That is not what happens. It does not happen at all. Consciousness does not return. It abides as Itself, Inherently and Most Perfectly.

So what appears to be in association with conditional existence, in the case of a seventh stage Realizer, is just a perception or a presumption from the point of view of others who are yet bound to conditional existence, who exist in the knot of egoity, identified with attention, the body-mind, and the play of conditional existence. For the seventh stage Realizer, it is not so. Consciousness Abides, Self-Existing and Self-Radiant, as It Is . That is the seventh stage Realization.

The seventh stage Demonstration then, is not based on a return to conditional existence. It is a Demonstration based on Inherent Identification with the Divine Self-Condition, and perpetual Abiding as such. It is perpetual Samadhi, unbroken Samadhi, not held in place by any condition whatsoever.

There is the paradox, then, of Divine Recognition in the seventh stage of life, as compared to the sixth stage of life in the Way of the Heart. The Process of Identification with the Ultimate Self-Condition is expressed through Divine Recognition. Whereas, in the sixth stage case, it is expressed through relinquishment of conditional existence, exclusion of it in a process of more and more profound identification with the Ultimate Self-Condition. In both cases however, fundamentally, there is simply identification with the Ultimate Self-Condition. In the sixth stage case, it is done through the mechanism of apparent exclusion of conditional existence. And in the seventh stage case, it is done through the process of Divine Recognition of merely apparent condition, existence.

There is nothing to be transcended in the seventh stage case, nothing to be excluded. And in fact, there is no "event", except for That of the Divine Self-Condition Itself. The things arising are merely an appearance in the seventh stage case. And even to say that is not quite correct. Truly, from the "Point of View" of the seventh stage Realization, there is no "thing" that arises. To say that conditions apparently arise is a paradox, or a paradoxical statement, because even though, in some paradoxical sense, that may be said to be true, in the instant of the apparent arising, whatever arises is Inherently Recognized to be nothing but the Divine Self-Condition Itself. Therefore, only the Divine Self-Condition is Realized in the seventh stage of life. And Divine Recognition is the demonstration of that.

The only Realization, and the only "experience", so to speak, in the seventh stage of life, is the Divine Self-Condition, Self-Existing and Self-Radiant. There is no "thing" that arises apart from that, or over against it. There is just that.

So, yes, there is this apparent Demonstration of the four epochs of the seventh stage of life. But it is merely an appearance and a paradox. Truly, there is nothing but Samadhi. And therefore, in truth, there is not the slightest difference between Divine Translation and any of the three epochs that precede it. So the seventh stage Awakening is the Awakening to the Eternal, Unconditional, and Unconditioned Samadhi, or Divine Self-Realization.

So even your understanding or your presumption about the seventh stage of life tends to be conditioned by egoity and the identification with conditional existence. This is so until the actual Realization of the seventh stage of life, which is nothing but the Realization of Divine Samadhi.

So just as you, prior to Most Perfect Realization, tend to seek, and tend to project yourself toward, conditional goals, your interpretations of the seventh stage of life are likewise conditioned or subject to misinterpretation or misunderstanding. The correct view is the one I just described to you. That is the correct view of the seventh stage of life.

Just so, the correct view of the entire process of the Way is different from the view of it made by the ego and the ego-mind in its identification with conditional existence. So you often tend to make errors, then, in your interpretation (or understanding, even) of the process in the stages previous to the seventh. So I have helped you to correct some of these errors in discussions in recent days, and in fact, for all these twenty-three years.

And among those errors is the tendency to associate any transition in this Way with the achievement of some kind of conditional state or goal-called "Perfect" or "advanced" or whatever. You tend to presume transitions must be associated with certain idealized conditions or states-including various behavioral signs and so on. Whereas none of the transitions are correctly so characterized. The transitions are events in the process of the transcendence of egoity. And, therefore, they are about more and more profound advances in the process of transcending the ego and entering into identification with the Divine Self-Condition.

Now, it is certainly appropriate to examine conditions, or what people do and so on, in the process of evaluating them relative to transitions. But it is not a matter of looking for ideal conditions, or states of perfection, or perfect fulfillment of behavioral norms and so forth. The principal judgement is always relative to the core of the practice and signs of the core becoming or being more profound. Anything that can be conditionally observed or that is of a conditional nature, can be taken into account and often must be - but not because some perfection is expected, but simply because the reality of that core does express itself in the life of the individual. And that must be observed as a way of becoming serious or taking seriously the fact that the transformations at the core are actually taking place, or have actually taken place. But that is far different than looking for some perfect conditional achievement.

For more see: The Completing Discourses of the 25-Year Revelation - The Search for Perfection - June 27, 1995

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  Adi Da, Ramana Maharshi, Nityananda, Shridi Sai Baba, Upasani Baba,  Seshadri Swamigal , Meher Baba, Sivananda, Ramsuratkumar
"The perfect among the sages is identical with Me. There is absolutely no difference between us"
Tripura Rahasya, Chap XX, 128-133

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