This article if a compilation of three talks by Da Free John (Adi Da Samraj) in October, 1982 on the subject of 'The Conscious Process'.



The Conscious Process
a Beezone compilation


MASTER: This is an essay for the Three Ways book, or the Dreaded Gom-boo book, and this new booklet. Also it seems to me this essay would be appropriate to read this weekend at these occasions. I don't know how it could be done cause its quite long. But ... there's not only the Mainland, there's all of these other Centers and so on. I don't know how it would be communicated to them. But if it could be, that would be useful to read it before this sitting occasion on Saturday.

Also this booklet that we're contemplating, you'll all have to see how the Dreaded Gom-boo book works out. Whether all of these recent materials should be included in it, and then decide whether its useful to select out some of these things to make another booklet or not, I don't know. So the new booklet is just an idea, I don't know if its useful.

So this essay is called What Is the Conscious Process (The Master reads the essay).

after the reading of the essay the talk continues......


Sri Ramana Maharshi

I mention him at the end of this essay, "The mere "I" thought is not now an indicator of the Great One". The "I" is Narcissus, more than a thought, but a profoundly complex pattern of destiny. Now perhaps this would remind you of the teaching of Ramana Maharshi, who recommended to people, simply to concentrate on the "I" thought and observe and intuit the consciousness, or the condition in which that is arising. Well, for him, this made complete sense. For him the whole force of egoity, the whole force of the "I" had been transcended. And from the Advaitic point of view, the "I" thought is a pointer to the Atman, which is ultimately identical to the Paramatman, or Brahman.

In the case of lesser teachers, the recommendation to concentrate upon the source of the "I" thought would be considered to be a perfectly and sufficient recommendation, sufficient for instant enlightenment, Maharshi was not a fool, you see. He knew full well that the ordinary individual, concentrating on the "I" thought, feeling into, or intuiting its source, was still ego bound. So therefore he presumed that this method was a sadhana, a lifetime practice, that would gradually dissolve the force of the ego. In other words he didn't belong to the talking school. He didn't mean to concentrate on the "I" thought, see that consciousness underneath that and realize that's Atman, that's Para Brahman, that's Brahman and now you're enlightened, now go and be enlightened, you see. No. That wasn't his sense of teaching. But rather he followed the traditional Advaitic approach in the general structuring of his philosophy. He knew full well that the ego is a great force, and that the "I" is the ego.

But from his Advaitic point of view, he thought a good technique for people, instead of fulfilling the motivations of the ego, the motivations of the "I", to constantly fall back from the activity, and rest in the Atman. Doing this over time, would purify the "I", undermine the ego, dissolve the ego. And eventually this meditation would become self-realization. So it is implicit in his teaching that the ego must be transcended. He's not a representative of the talking school.

Also you should understand the Maharshi did not presume the role of a teacher. People asked him what he had realized, and what was it all about, and how could they realize it and so forth. And he spoke in the terms he did. He didn't elaborate beyond that, all of the kinds of associated means and processes and so on, which would have to be communicated to people, if your going to presume the role of a Siddha in their company, or counteract a total teaching for their benefit.

Now I'm aware of the fundamental truth associated with Advaitism, and the teaching of Ramana Maharshi. I'm also aware of the implicit realities that are behind this Advaitic recommendation. Those implicit realities or realities of the ego, are there to be undone, there to be overcome. They can't be overlooked. You cannot reduce the Advaitic recommendation to the academic or logical exercise of the talking school. And therefore I have elaborated a complete teaching, that involves all of the kinds of disciplines that must necessarily be associated with life and practice if the ego, the force of "I", the force of Narcissus is to be transcended. And I have established this practice in my company, and have accepted the role of the Siddha in your company. So this produces a much more elaborate culture of practice that is suggested in Maharshi's company, and is altogether outside the kind of mediocrity that belongs to the talking school.

But to consider further the implications of this notion that you can trace the "I" thought back to its source - in the case of the beginner, the ego-bound individual, as I've said here, the "I" thought is not merely a thought. It is the name for a whole complex of existence. The "I" thought exists only in the plane of waking consciousness. What about the rest of it? It exists subconscious, unconscious, walking, dreaming and sleeping, bodily, emotionally, and so on.

Merely to trace the "I" thought and feel the consciousness behind it, is not to be self-realized, transcendentally self-realized it is perhaps in Advaitic terms, to begin a kind of exercise that should be associated with a whole life of disciplines and profound practice, in which everything that is "I" would be transcended, and the Atman would cease to be merely this individuated consciousness.

What you must enter into through this conscious process, is not merely the consciousness behind thought. That is simply attention. And attention is the fundamental, or ground mechanism of Narcissus or the ego, as it says at the beginning of this essay, quoting from The Liberator: "Be Consciousness as the feeling of Being, and Realize that it is Radiant Happiness." This ultimate intuition breaks beyond the framework of manifest consciousness. It breaks beyond the framework of attention, mere attention. It is associated with the most profound intuition. It is not like a thought in any sense then. And it is not like attention standing off here, next to objects, viewing whatever may seem to be arising, witnessing whatever may seem to be arising. It is more to be likened to feeling. It is formless, centerless. It is not something separate, or separable from objects. It is not interior. It is not self-conscious in the conventional sense. What's behind the "I" thought is merely attention. What must be realized that is far beyond the "I", is the feeling or Condition of Being.

Transcendental Consciousness is the consciousness of this feeling of Being, mere Being, Being without qualification. The Being that is the Condition, not only of the conscious self, but of all of its objects, all of nature. When we've entered into that condition of Being, when our consciousness is that fullness of being, then we realize that it is Happiness, Self-Radiant Love-Bliss. It is the Substance of the universe. It is That to which Maharshi points in his considerations. It is That to which the Advaitic tradition ultimately points. It is That to which the Buddhist tradition points. In fact, it is That toward which all traditions are pointing. But apart from the Realization of it, all kinds of lesser conceptions and perceptions and senses of it may substitute for enlightenment.

And so you cannot take heaven by storm. There is no method of immediate self-analysis that is equivalent to Enlightenment. Self-observation, self-knowing, self-transcendence is a lifelong exercise. It never comes to an end. It is always going on, always developing, there's nothing instant about it.

The ego that is behind the "I" thought. Its not the Transcendental Self. The Self is Realized.

Maharshi really enquired of everyone, "Who, who, who, who?" Well, he said yes, "concentrate on the 'I' thought. Well, who is aware of the 'I' thought?" Well, its the ego that's aware of the "I" thought. Its the individual consciousness. That's not the end of it. He would again say: "Who? Find out who." Well; if you persist in that, that becomes a whole life of discipline. It even becomes the life of submission to the influence of the Adept, quite naturally, quite spontaneously.

And that in fact is what occurred in the case of his true devotees. And that is a form of the ultimate question. Who is it ultimately that you are? Who are you arising within? In whom is all of this arising, you see. But its not a question with an immediate answer. Its not really a problem to find this out. It is a process. It is found out through a process of self-transcendence. His questions are indicators of it. They are queries to help people become oriented toward the profundity of self-transcendence. And he had his peculiar way of doing these things. And as I said, did not presume the role of the teacher in the fullest sense, did not feel obliged to communicate a total teaching.

He appeared within the context of traditional Indian society. For those who weren't ready to be awakened very directly in his company, he presumed they would just go elsewhere, they'd find countless numbers of teachings, and teachers and means and so forth. He was simply certain that ultimately, all these ways would fulfill themselves in Transcendental Self-Realization. So his considerations are limited to this fundamental query, this fundamental suggestion that what you must discover is the Condition in which the self is arising. But to discover that condition, you must transcend the self, not merely ask yourself a question, not merely invert upon attention itself, because attention is the ego. The "I" thought like any other thought arises to the ego. The ego is what must be transcended. Merely to put attention on the consciousness in which the "I" thought is arising, is not to realize the Transcendental Being. It is to make a gesture toward realization. If you made that gesture those means, ultimately you would break through the egoic limit, the illusion that's associated with attention. That is a profound complete, if if occupied the whole of your life, then by all of process. Now we do not ... we consider the same truth, this Realization, we do not consider it in the context of a traditional society, with a long history of involvement with the quest for Transcendental Realization.

And I have accepted the role of Teacher, the role of the Siddha in the company of devotees. So I have assumed the obligation to communicate the Way fully, and to communicate it in the company of those who will practice it, you see. So there is a difference between my historical role and the historical role of Maharshi and many others, as there was a difference between Maharshi and his historical role and all kinds of other teachers.

The same ultimate truth is realized by all free Adepts, and they communicate it in a particular fashion in their time and place. Some aren't very communicative, some communicate in part only, some assume the role of the Adept or Siddha in relation to devotees, and some do not. Some function as the Siddha without accepting the role of the Siddha. They are the Siddha by virtue of Realization, and for those who somehow or other develop a real practice, they make use of that though the Adept assumes no personal responsibility. In your case there's no ambiguity about it however. I make this Teaching plain, I've communicated all the details of its practice, I accept this role in relationship to you, I've explained to you all of the aspects of the process that takes place in my company, and therefore its up to you, without any ambiguity, to practice it as you will. If you will, then the kind of process that I've just described in this essay, will develop in your case, and you will see all the signs of it. If you will not take it on, in the forms indicated in this essay and elsewhere, then you may in some fashion be attached to this Institution and this community, even have some familiarity with me, but this does not necessarily mean that the process described here will take place. The process required your responsibility, for hearing and developing the means of practice, which constantly, moment to moment bring you into the sphere of my Influence. And you must maintain that responsibility always, not merely occasionally when I happen to be sitting with you, or when you happen to be in my company, or when your in meditation or when you feel good, or when you feel bad, but always you must develop the full force of this profound practice.


Adi Da Samraj talks about the difference between traditional non-dual teachings and his revelatory Seventh Stage teaching.
Adi Da 2006


A fundamental aspect of the Way is the progressive recognition of the Spiritual Master. In other words entering into that Company, the sphere of the Spiritual Master's Influence more and more profoundly. By entering into more and more profound levels of recognition of the Spiritual Master, beginning with obvious acknowledgment of the Spiritual Master, as a Living Master, but then going on to recognize and locate the Spiritual Master as Siddha, as Siddhi, as that Influence, which is directly present to every practicing devotee, in every moment, not merely in occasions of being in the Spiritual master's human company, or being in meditation, of being in an empowered place, or being in the community and so on, but always. Those who truly practice begin to locate and recognize and acknowledge this Influence in every moment of life and meditation. it is always available. It is a matter of turning to it, of acknowledging it, recognizing it, locating it, making your practice into communion with that Influence. Therefore allowing that Influence to transform the conditions of existence that are arising from hour to hour, moment to moment, not only in meditation, but in daily life. In daily life all kinds of changes occur, all kinds of moods, all kinds of circumstances, physical, emotional and mental states, relations, changes in relations and so forth. Those are just as much within the sphere of Transcendental Influence, as any of the activities that occur in the subjective realm of meditation. Therefore these also, you will discover, remarkably, are constantly being changed, in various ways by this influence.

The Influence, or Siddhi that you have entered into is the Power and Being in which all of nature is arising. And therefore it has its effect on all of the apparently objective conditions of your existence, just as it has an effect upon the subjective conditions. So in daily life, you notice this influence making changes, if you are sensitive and really practicing in this company, in both the subjective and objective levels of your existence. In meditation, you notice this influence more in terms of the subjective changes and the effects this Influence has on you immediate personal experience, you physical, emotional, mental states, and those kinds of states that may arise in meditation.

You should also begin to notice how this Influence is operative beyond the waking state, in dreams, in sleeping, in every moment of existence. There is a tradition in which Adepts have asked devotees, usually advanced devotees, to go to sleep at night, with the intention of entering into the Spiritual Master's company. Sometimes this instruction is given in very specific detail, to go to sleep with the intention in the astral or dream form, to go to a specific location, usually the Communion Hall, or the place of residence of the Spiritual Master, with full visual expression and so on, during the dreaming time. Also with the intention in the sleep state, to be entered into communion with the Transcendental Condition and presence of the Spiritual Master, or the Consciousness, or Being that is the Adept and the Divine.

Well, devotees over the years, frequently report random, unintentional experiences of this kind. Similar experiences in fact occur even during waking hours, various kinds of visionary experiences, of seeing me in the meditation hall, or having some vision of me and so forth, in a moment of activity. These are reported by people. they also report all kinds of extraordinary dreams. Now these dreams in general do not have anything to do with me in the sense that I am personally, at the level of my human mind and so on, aware that you are having these dreams, although I very often am aware of them. But the fact that somebody has a dream in which I appear to them, does not necessarily mean that I would be able to tell them the next day that I was aware of it. I may or may not be aware of it. Or I may be aware of it in a different form. Or I may be aware of it in the same form. But most of the time I wouldn't be aware of it, there would be no reflection in my waking mind of it. But this does not mean that the experience if false. It can be falsified by the individual who just uses it for his own self-glamorization, to console him or herself so they can feel they're had some profound experience. But generally the essential content of such dreams is a feeling of entering into this communion, and something about the meaning of the dream, will generally have some pertinence, some significance that is real and appropriate enough, worth remembering, worth allowing to have some effect on you whenever it will.

Therefore since this possibility exists, some people might try this. You should feel free to try this. These gatherings we have on celebration occasions are something like this. People gather in Centers and various parts of the world, at the same time I'm sitting here with you all. And they prepare themselves through the devotional occasion, and use my photograph as a way of associating with me. They are literally tuning into me, allowing themselves to enter into the sphere of my Influence, personally. During meditation, or perhaps in dreams, or some other visions afterwards, they may have some sense of coming to some place where I'm sitting with them and so forth. During that time of meditation, they may have visions of it, of my being in the room with them, or them being in a room some place or other with me.

In other words the psyche may function automatically to create some sort of association with me that's tangible. Whether or not that tangible association has anything directly to do with my actual physical location or not. It is imply something that adds a dimension to the whole force of their alignment to me.


Read more on the Conscious Process

Originally published in Crazy Wisdom magazine, Vol 1, No 3, June 1982.



MASTER DA: Because the basic work that I do with people is not noticed by them very well, I must keep reminding them of it. My Teaching Work is not something that I do every now and then when I gather people for instruction, but it is constant. In one fashion or another my influence in people's lives is always interrupting the conventional or karmic motion of the self. I am not motivated to give you, the karmic or manifest self, something to be interested in, to give you visions or extraordinary experiences that pleasurize the manifest self. If visions arise in my company, they arise not to pleasurize but rather to stop the flow of the grosser self. They are possible moments of Awakening. I Teach a Way that enables you to make use of my spiritual Influence, as well as all the ordinary moments of life, as a process of Awakening and transcendence, until attention is perfectly free to directly and intuitively Realize the Condition of existence, or That in which all of manifest conditional existence is arising.

Particularly because you are Westerners, you have a sort of dogged interest in perpetuating the egoic state in every moment. The psycho-physical personality is tenaciously reinforced in the state of consciousness to which you have become habituated. No other influences have interrupted the flow of egoity in your acculturation as Westerners. Westerners do not have time for Enlightenment. They generally think of Enlightenment as they think of all the goods of the ego and the pleasures of the manifest self. They view Enlightenment as a big pleasure, one of the delights of the manifest being. For the Westerner, Enlightenment is built upon the conditional self, pursued by the conditional self, and conceived as a state or object of the conditional self, whereas in fact Enlightenment has nothing to do with the conditional self. No "one" is Enlightened. In Enlightenment there is no individuality, no separate person, no separate anything. The manifest conditions of existence may continue to arise, but they are utterly recognizable, they have no binding power, they are tacitly recognized to be merely apparent or unnecessary.

Ramana Maharshi is a teacher to whom I frequently point as an example of the sixth to seventh stage Adept. You all know the story about how he suddenly became Enlightened when he was about seventeen years old. Even he remarked that people should understand that Enlightenment happened in his case because of preparation in previous lifetimes. Thus, from his early years, his lifetime as Ramana Maharshi is regarded as an Enlightened lifetime, but an Enlightened lifetime that was the result of extensive preparation nonetheless.

Just so, there must be preparation in everyone's case and an intense orientation toward Realization. Perhaps the Enlightenment of most people takes many lifetimes-how can we account for it? Fundamentally you must understand the Way as a person who is already born or incarnated egoically. You must be turned about, you must be converted, and you must enter into the stream of preparation. You must use attention and body and mind in a different fashion if you are going to realize Wisdom and Awaken to the Truth that transcends egoity. Without understanding the Spiritual Master, valuing such Awakening, and entering into the stream of practice, there is no such thing as Enlightenment, and. Enlightenment will not be true of you. There is no Enlightenment, no Awakening, without fierce practice.

You must practice fiercely, not because what is to be Realized is not already your Condition, but because through lifetimes of repetition you have reinforced mechanical states of attention. Because you have bound the consciousness and energy of being to the conventions of conditional existence, there is no residual attention to enable consciousness to stand apart from manifestation sufficiently to realize its own Status. Rather, consciousness is wasted in the repetition of states of attention that are fixed in the process of conditional existence. Spiritual practice must therefore be so fierce as to provide the basis for a natural Awakening so that we may release attention from the bond of conditional states.

In the process of practice, the Spiritual Master serves you in all kinds of ways, one of which is to stop the mind through verbal Teaching, through gestures, through Transmission of Spiritual energy. Through the Spiritual Master flow all kinds of instructional means that are encountered by people who respond to the Spiritual Master and the Teaching, who are practicing daily, who will use the spiritual Influence and not merely notice some parts of it here and there and every now and then while otherwise basically oblivious to it. Devotees are supposed to be those who have attention available for the Spiritual Master and the spiritual process, which is the process of transcending conditional existence, transcending the body-mind-self, transcending attention. If you are not oriented or inclined to transcendence, then of course no amount of help in that direction will be of much use to you.

These little satoris of the momentary stopping of the mind are not of any ultimate significance either. Much is made of them at the popular level of the Zen tradition. On some level Zen is a kind of "pop" Buddhism. Its satoris are for the common people who are very busy in their minds. The highest form of Zen is that which is applied by people who devote their entire life to its practice. For such people satoris are not sufficient. They are drawn to go beyond the moments of the stopping of the mind and glimpses of the space of Consciousness to Realize the Transcendental Condition of existence. Just so, you must also realize more than moments of experience, moments in which the mind stops, moments of meditation.

I know how fierce the mechanics of the body-mind are. I have had to deal with them all my life. Even though I possessed the capacity for Enlightenment at birth, my life became a fierce spiritual practice based on a spontaneous but profound commitment to Realization. Such commitment is absolutely essential for spiritual practice, which cannot fulfill itself without such commitment and which likewise must be fierce and profound.

You cannot be forced to practice, nor can your practice be guaranteed. What there is of Awakening in your case depends on your commitment. You must really practice. You cannot mechanically repeat yourself. If you are basically inclined to ordinary consolations and fulfillments, hopeful of being happy in this world, then when you feel so fulfilled, you step out of the stream of the spiritual process. You have bought and signed for consolation on the dotted line. If self-fulfillment is not sufficient for you, however, then you keep going. You persevere in the practice and you move on to the higher stages.

Some may seem to move more quickly to the higher stages of practice. The fact that they seem to have more talent and natural ability for it is probably a reflection, not only perhaps of their commitment during this life, but primarily of their preparation in previous lifetimes. They too will reach their cutoff point, the point where they will tend to stop, the point where practice tends to be sufficient for them or where further effort is too frustrating and too offensive. Everybody reaches the point where he or she tends to withdraw from the stream of practice. Most people reach that point even before they begin the practice. Either they are never moved to find anything greater than ordinary ego-fulfillment in the world, or they are just "fans" of spiritual life. They like the books, but they basically resist and even resent the interference represented by a Spiritual Master and a Teaching and the idea of practice.

The world is not organized around Enlightenment Wisdom, which is struggling to survive in our time, even though paperback books about spirituality and so-called spiritual teachers are springing up everywhere. The Enlightenment or Wisdom Tradition is struggling to survive. Spiritual life is mocked everywhere, and the culture of materialism is dominant. The politics of egos, with its materialistic force, is in charge in this world and it always has been. The motive to Enlightenment has always been rare. Although the motive to God-Realization has traditionally been a cultural premise and many people have responded to it in one form or another, more so in the Orient than in the West, even so, the spiritual cultures have tended to rise and fall, or become weak or conventional, or be reduced to at most a fourth to fifth stage esotericism, and the practitioners within those cultures have tended by and large to be ordinary people.

Only those who have accepted the discipline of religious or spiritual renunciation sufficiently to release attention from the bond of the mechanics of ego or body-mind can practice the conscious process in its radical form. The radical process of spiritual practice can be described to people, and I have written a great deal about the radical form of the conscious process. It need not be kept secret particularly, but it cannot be practiced fruitfully by an individual in whom attention is not fundamentally free. One cannot simply communicate to people in general a sixth stage teaching, for instance, such as the teaching of Advaita Vedanta or the mindfulness discipline of original Buddhism, and expect that everybody will therefore be able to practice it. Most people must engage preliminary or supportive practices. Most people should approach the radical Way through the lesser stages of life, because one cannot practice the advanced levels without an increase of available energy and attention.

To realize profoundly the mysticism of the fifth stage of life, for instance, you must demonstrate a great deal of free energy. Energy cannot be locked up in the vulgarities of the physical, outer-directed personality. Only free energy floating in the brain permits the subtle phenomena to arise. Likewise, you must realize free attention to invert beyond the outer-directed mechanics in order to focus in the phenomena of brain and higher psyche. Just as the fifth stage is an advance over the lesser stages, likewise the sixth stage is an advance beyond the fifth, requiring attention free even of the subtle bond of energies and mechanics.

Thus, this radical practice that I communicate based on the seventh stage disposition is not something that people can rightly, truly, fully, and fruitfully practice without preparation, without available energy and attention. Therefore, I have also communicated the forms of spiritual practice that basically represent the preparation for the most radical practice, preparation that releases energy and attention for the conscious process, which is the fundamental process I consider. That process in consciousness cannot really be engaged until there is free attention, because in that process attention itself is encountered and transcended. If you cannot enter into the consideration of naked attention itself, the fundamental mechanics of the being, then you cannot practice in the radical sense. Most people cannot. The attention of most people is wandering in the conditions of the body-mind and is not free to inspect and transcend itself.

Therefore, I have engaged this ten-year display of Teaching Work, and I have written this literature and related to people in many different ways, in a tremendous struggle with people who are basically disinclined to the very process I am considering with them by virtue of the fact that on the one hand they are Westerners and on the other hand they are mechanical beings or egos. Such a struggle with egos is inevitable wherever the Teaching and a Teacher appear. But it is particularly disheartening to spend a decade at it and not have at least some mature practitioners who are sufficiently committed and prepared to practice in the radical sense. Such freedom for the radical process is not easy to find. It never has been easy to find in any cultural setting, yet it seems that there are remarkable impediments in the West. Still, because of the change in our time - worldwide communication, political changes, suppression of the Orient through political, social, materialistic, and technological movementsbecause of all that the technological twentieth century has created, it is necessary that the Dharma appear in the West, which is also the source of the materialistic movement that is overcoming the world. That a Spiritual Master be born in this setting and do this work is therefore necessary. In a few more decades there may not be any such thing as the Orient anymore. There will basically be a worldwide culture, and the esoteric and transcendentalist cultures will perhaps fundamentally have been suppressed in the part of the world we call the Orient.

Then the Teaching must take hold elsewhere. Orientals themselves are moving all over the world. The traditional homes of esoteric and transcendentalist schools or movements are being overwhelmed by the materialistic politics of our time. The Tibetans were suppressed by the Chinese, Communism is taking over in Southeast Asia, and materialistic social movements are overcoming India. The break in the Transmission must be mended, and the Teaching is appearing in the West through my Work. But my Work is obviously immensely difficult and not a very rewarding task, if we can use the word "rewarding" in discussing the work of Spiritual Teaching.

You should see in yourself your mechanical disinclination to the very thing that is brought to you every day of your life. Not so much through an intentional will, but via the mechanics of your own born personality, you find one way or another to by-pass the Divine Influence and the obligation to practice in every moment of your life. This sidestepping of responsibility is Narcissus, the self-contraction. To break the cycle and even glimpse the transcendental circumstance of the ego requires great intelligence and fierce commitment. The Siddhi or perfect fulfillment of that process is rare and remarkable, but you are given all the arms for it, all the Help for it, all the Teaching necessary for it. How well you will use the opportunity is to be seen.

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