THE YOGA OF CONSIDERATION AND THE WAY THAT I TEACH
An essay by Da Free John, February 6, 1982
"You understand the dilemma of self-contraction, then the Way can begin. The self-contraction is always arising in the Reality, Transcendental Self, or Unqualifiedly Radiant Condition that is Divine Happiness or Love-Bliss. There is never any justification for presuming the standpoint of the self-contraction. That standpoint is assumed, however, as a matter of uninspected convention or automatic reactivity. And we tend to develop a progressive life of seeking on the basis of this self¬contraction. This is my fundamental Argument"
The great religious and spiritual traditions generally take their standpoint in the plane of conditionality. They propose, analyze, and strive to solve or otherwise overcome or escape a primary problem. However that problem is described (as suffering, belief in a self, illusion, sin, separation from God, forgetfulness of the Transcendental Self, etc.), it is, ultimately, nothing but conditional existence itself conceived as a problem.
I do not propose a Way conceived in a likeness to the traditional mode. Rather, I simply consider conditional existence itself and each and all of the propositions (in the form of problems and solutions) we tend to build upon our reaction to conditional existence. Conditional existence and our reactions to it (which are themselves nothing but conditional existence) can thus be seen to develop in human form as what I call the first six stages of life.
Those who consider all of this with me begin to develop patterns of action and attention in the form of the basic practices I have described under the headings of the Way of Divine Communion, the Way of Relational Enquiry, and the Way of Re-cognition. But the Way that I Teach is not truly identical to those processes. Rather, those processes are simply the natural patterns of action and attention that develop as people consider with me the various stages of our reaction to (or presumption of) conditional existence.
It is only when this consideration has fulfilled itself—or when it has been utterly transcended in Transcendental Awakening—that the Way that I Teach has actually or Really begun. Therefore, the "consideration” of the Way is actually a disciplined life of practice wherein the first six stages of life are progressively and experientially inspected. That life of practical consideration begins when the Argument of the Spiritual Master is first effectively heard and the Presence of the Spiritual Master is first effectively seen or encountered.
The Way that I Teach truly begins only after that process of "consideration” has become Sahaj Samadhi. That is to say, the Way that I Teach is not a process that takes its standpoint in the problem or the conventions of conditional existence. The Way that I Teach is not an effort to solve that problem through the exercise or the progressive transcendence of the body-mind-self, or the effort of turning attention away from the body-mind-self and toward the Transcendental Self, Condition, or Reality. The Way that I Teach is necessarily founded upon prior or previous understanding of the entire standpoint of conditional existence and all of the possible permutations or stages of reaction or development of experience and presumed knowledge that may arise on the basis of that conditional standpoint.
What I consider with you is that the standpoint of conditional existence is in fact an arbitrary and false presumption. The standpoint of conditional existence is the conventional or common presumption. That presumption is one in which an independent body-mind-self is confronted and affected by a great range of possible relations, objects, conditions, experiences, cognitions, or states that are not-self. And that very confrontation, in all of its forms or stages, is always felt to be a limit, a dilemma, a problem to be solved or escaped. Therefore, we live as a total psycho-physical reaction to conditional existence, constantly motivated to go beyond the present mode or even to escape conditional existence altogether. In this manner we develop our individual lives, and all of the paths and philosophies of mankind have this common basis.
What I have always Argued is that this entire process should be inspected and understood. I have not proposed that the Way itself be built upon this situation. I have not proposed a Way based on a problem and developed in the form of one or more of the conditional stages of life. Rather, I have simply considered the situation, the dilemma itself, and all of the stages of action, experience, presumption, and manifest attention that we inevitably build upon this base situation. The Way that I propose is simply the Way to which we Awaken when this consideration has become real.
Fundamentally, I ask you, in every moment and stage of life...(that this consideration) becomes most profound insight, then no path based on the conditional standpoint of any of the six progressive stages of life will continue to motivate you. When this insight or true hearing is perfect, the conditional standpoint is no longer presumed, and the search based on that standpoint is no longer animated.
We are not truly or Really in the situation we presume as a matter of convention. There is no problem to solve, no dilemma to escape, no self to transcend, no God or Reality or Happiness or Transcendental Self to be located. All of that is a presumption that is based on the uninspected convention of self-contraction.
The traditions recommend various paths that are based on the conventional standpoint of self-contraction, egoity, psycho-physical individuality, dis-ease, desire, pleasure, higher aspiration, evolutionary motivation, despair, philosophical analysis of phenomena, and metaphysical speculation. I do not recommend any such path. I simply consider all of that, even while people are in the midst of the stages of it all, until there is understanding and transcendence of the viewpoint of the first six stages of life.
When you have considered all of this with me, so that you understand the dilemma of self-contraction, then the Way can begin. The self-contraction is always arising (or apparently arising) in the Reality, Transcendental Self, or Unqualifiedly Radiant Condition that is Divine Happiness or Love-Bliss. There is never any justification for presuming the standpoint of the self-contraction. That standpoint is assumed, however, as a matter of uninspected convention or automatic reactivity. And we tend to develop a progressive life of seeking on the basis of this self¬contraction. This is my fundamental Argument.
The consideration of the Way that I Teach begins when an individual first responds to my Argument. That consideration then develops on the basis of the individual’s response to the Transmission of the Divine Influence in my Company, and so the various stages or levels of discipline and practice evolve. Those who hear me and see me most profoundly are quickened in this practice, and so they are able to evolve through the practicing stages of this consideration and come directly into the disposition of radical understanding. It is only those who have thus understood who are free of the bewildering and deluded adventure of the ego (Narcissus), or the stages of life. It is only those who have so understood that simply Abide in the Native Condition, What is always already the case, the Nirvanic Reality or Full-Void, the Divine Love-Bliss, the Radiant Transcendental Being, Self, or Free Domain. In that Position, all arising conditions, in the form of self and its conditions and objects, are inherently transcended and tacitly recognized. And That is the Way that I Teach.
Read the original talk as published in 'The Yoga of Consideration and The Way That I Teach, 1982
Also see Old and New Dharma - Has the Dharma of Adi Da Samraj Changed in the Evolution of Bubba Free John to Adi Da Samraj?"