Beezone Interview with Julie Anderson
(Formerly Kanya Samarpana Remembrance)
Julie Anderson, 2016
Session 7 - Grateful For Getting Kicked Out of the Nest
Ed: You have said a number of times, in hindsight, if you had been mature enough during your early life with Adi Da you would have spoken out more. Could you explain what you mean by that?
Julie: Yes, but not simply spoken out. I would have liked to ask him a lot more about how his seventh stage process was occurring in his own person, and more details of how he accomplished his work, and why we engaged certain aspects of our life and practice with him as we did and how this impacted him personally. I don't mean to say I would want to have asked him questions like he was a “buddy of mine. That is a far cry from the way I felt and lived the relationship.
I was conforming to a new way of living in addition to embracing the direct relationship to him intimately. In the very early days, this conforming had more to do with observing the manner in which the devotees already there were relating to him, than actually being told what to do.
There were fewer formalities in the earlier days. So I would like to have been more confident within myself to be able to ask more profound questions of him and others about why we all engaged certain aspects of life as we did. It was not as though I was in the dark given I had studied Adi Da’s books and was beginning to put his function and my relationship to him into a historical context. When I feel back into what I was like then, I was responding mostly from my intuitive heart, yearning for love, truth and freedom and not as much from the faculty of a maturely discriminating heart or intellect. There was also my lack of human maturity at the emotional level that rendered me a bit more timid at the time. The fascinating uniqueness and the happiness of it all made it quite easy to “go with the flow". It was overwhelmingly attractive and mysteriously intriguing in so many ways that I was drawn in, quite willingly and one pointed.
You have to remember. I was very young at the time I came to know of Adi Da, just 18. I had no background in the guru/devotee relationship. I was a second-year college student, then at UCLA, and an artist. I never had a relationship with a spiritual teacher, let alone a guru. During my early time with him, I was rather formal in many respects, with a healthy dose of respect, understandable fear, and awe; given it was all an unknown context in a very real sense. His function and manner as a guru were something I had to adapt to. We were all learning by example, study and consideration how to live the guru/devotee relationship and as gurubhais, cooperatively. This new adaptation was inevitably necessary as we had all come from a modern westernized secular culture that had very few examples of such, no locally respected precedent for this unusual reciprocal dynamic.
The whole notion and orientation of being spiritually open, vulnerable, subordinated, submissive, surrendered, devotional, all of that was foreign to me. It was also generally an anathema in the culture I was raised in.
Ed: It's clear to me that you are a strong and inquiring person. I would think it would be natural for you to be inquisitive, genuinely wanting to understand. You apparently did not just lay your head down blindly.
Julie: No, not at all. The spiritual heart recognition was the logic that opened my eyes and evoked responsive devotion, which was fluidly natural and obviously auspicious for me. It is just in looking back I see there were greater strength and clarity I could have exhibited and thus consequentially I would have made better use of the gift of the relationship and life experience earlier on and all the way through. Also and more importantly perhaps, my immature contributions that caused difficulties for him and others could have been dampened.
I could have been more feeling and discriminative in my communications and interactions. This is not a significant regret because the way it all unfolded is what it is and cannot be changed now. Besides, the mistakes have grown me. I am happy and grateful I have come through as I have and that I was able to be a participant with others in his revelation.
In my relationship with Adi Da and other devotees, I was somewhat outspoken to the degree I was able at any given time, possibly even more than many others, especially as time went by. As I felt into my new life, was lovingly embraced, challenged and understood more I became more rested, confident and communicative.
Even so, in retrospect, I wish I would have, knowing what I know now, as a mature spiritually awake woman, I would have asked him more questions about his own process at the human level and also spiritually. What was occurring for him? I wish I could have asked him more questions to be there for him at a greater depth, in the context of his ordeal. The trick here would have been to be able to go beyond merely relating to him as an ordinary human familiar “other yet be able to be truly human with him, in maturely aware and compassionate love. This is now how I can feel him and how I regard the history of my relationship to him, the all of him, altogether. But this took a real transformative process for this to come about.
It seemed that he always communicated everything to us, as is signified by his voluminous speech and works. But he did not speak much of how the ordeal was for him personally. He did describe his frustrations and often described symptoms to us, to his doctors and healers, that he endured yogically, physically or psychically. He did, of course, speak of important yogic spiritual events that occurred which revealed the phases of his seventh stage process and revelation.
So yes, there was always a real dialog happening. But I am talking about my not abstracting him, the whole of him including his truly human aspect which is key in truly understanding him. But I abstracted him by making these two aspects different than one another and therefore did not truly understand or relate to each sensitively, rightly and purely, as one. I loved him to the degree I was able at any time. It is not as though I am flogging myself for the mistakes made. Gratitude to be going beyond is more true to what I feel.
As you mentioned, earlier this was not a scripted process. What was being revealed and how this was to occur was unknown not only to us but him also. It was all spontaneous in real human time and with vulnerable and sensitively yearning human beings, of which he was the epitome. His yearning for our freedom in radical understanding and divine self-recognition was beyond inspiring. It breaks my heart. This is where I feel I abstracted him. I related to him as “God, the knower, and the doer, as though he was some all powerful man, lover, father, and God all rolled into one.
Ed: I can see how you would consider this given his writings about being “alone in my house. It appears that he's not even here. That he's 'someplace else,' waiting.
Julie: Yes, however, this is the 'abstraction' he talks about, as I understand it. He was not ever and is not someplace else! We are the ones not present in our deluded ego act, collectively and individually. He was always more truly humanly present and engaged than we ever were.
This was very deeply felt one time when I was alone with him in an afternoon at Love-Ananda Mahal. We were embracing one another and as he looked into my eyes, his eyes full of tears, his head gently swaying side to side in an act of sorrow, he then quietly and repeatedly whispered, as if defeated, “I can never love you enough”. This deeply pierced my heart, such pain and then silence and soft weeping.
For a while, I assumed that this confession was about my inability to receive love and to trust it. But in time understanding deepened and it was clear that my true love and devotion to him could bridge that apparent inadequacy; this was the necessary paramount reciprocation. In the full acceptance and embrace of the sorrow he expressed looking into this face and place of such certain betrayal, separation, difference, and death, I was by my love's breath, brought into his house: Only Da. This, “he, is not elsewhere. Recognition of “him, even as an apparent other equals the sufficiency of divine love. As he has said: No seeking in the heart, only the certainty of divine love. The key to this knowledge is the recognition response of “him, given in his unique darshan and thus the samadhi of the thumbs, in the midst of all of THIS; nothing is sought, negated nor avoided, no matter what the quality of the content of arising conditions. This gift of radical understanding has been given over and over and over again in countless circumstances either directly received or observed in others reception of him, either physically close or at a distance makes no difference, and now it does not end.
Ed: You served him bodily for so many years. He was clearly not somewhere else!
Julie: I was very close and intimate to him all the years I was with him. I was also very intuitively sensitive to many of his psycho-physical feelings. This, I believe, was because I was always so close to his body. I spent a lot of time massaging him too, and it was through touch that I was attuned to what he was feeling or rather how he felt to me! (laughing) This line was regularly blurred during times of such proximity! I often had my hands on him, attending to him, caring for him, bodily. Amazing, beyond pleasure and also demanding beyond my ability to give. In gratitude, this feeling touch of him remains throughout my whole being, consistently and effortlessly.
My relationship to him was very visceral in this regard. I was somewhat aware, from my feeling intuition and by being more and more “familiar with him in time, of what was occurring for him regarding his emotion, breath, his heart, his skin, his muscles, underlying energetic and yogic processes and also the symptoms he would have to endure as an extremely sensitive and vulnerable feeling being in his ordeal of conducting and working with everyone. Also, his strengths and weaknesses became clear to me over the years. His bodily being would always reflect what he was working within his own process and with all. Both are the same spiritually divine process.
What I can say about him, in my observations is that he was not manipulating his response to life as if to appear a certain way for any reason of his own. His energy and manifestation were pure in this regard. Not pre-meditated or concerned about his appearance. He was highly sensitive, present, open, sensual, intuitive, psychic and vulnerable. He was very witty, curious, flexible, watery and sweet while also fiery and grounded. He was also very strong with incredible focus, brilliance, creativity, endurance, and passion. Oh! And what a sense of humor! He was moved, always moved in and by true Love, in response to what was around him and that roundedness was infinitely wide and fully pressed down into all! This is “him”, the “I of which is spoken and from this, truth is revealed.
I was so incredibly grateful and happy to be able to be close to him, to see, touch, hear, feel, smell, taste and to be whole bodily breathed into a spontaneous yield into his descent of dense fullness of heart and to then realize I had been brought into and surrounded by the place and person from which all is understood, seen and felt, and it is conscious love-bliss. In this, there is nothing else needed, no sense or motion towards any necessary experience or definition. And yet everything continues to rise and fall without disturbance. This fullness of luminous love, beauty, stillness, and ease are understood to be fundamental reality. Adi Da’s being or darshan is the awakened awareness that this is the one true self-synchronous with and as all. We were grown to move in this and understand the act that turns from this love and truth of being. This process is continuous.
Ed: When people look at the history of his work and his life one remarkable feature of it was it was always changing.
Julie: Yes, like the weather! Phew, all the factors that create the weather on any day, you cannot account for it! That was what it was like observing the influences he was combined with that generated his work. When I look back on it now, it's amazing that he was willing to do what he did because there was nothing in it, at least from what I could see, in it for him!
Julie: Yes, it was his to do, without qualification or holding back, he gave all of himself all of the time.
Ed: Yes, no pre-planned script.
Julie: Yes. He was young too during the beginning of his work with others. When you study the early periods of his work, you see that his revelation work was being revealed even to himself! The synchronicities and the mystery of it all could not be pre-determined. This was so even until the last days. I would often observe his delight in this very fact. He was as amazed as we were in the way the reality process worked!
Ed: There is much confusion for people in the person of Adi Da or Franklin Jones, Bubba Free John and The Divine Realized Guru. These two identities are significant obstacles in understanding his 7th stage proclamations.
I remember a talk in 1996 where he talked about people's problems with him, as an individual and people's problem about the Divine. He equated this problem as a problem of feeling and as a problem with the feminine. He said people's inability to feel the feminine aspect of life was a major issue in creating a false view (abstracted) of not only him but of his life as a whole.
Julie: Yes, the feeling dimension, the true heart was always the central focus in anything we did. His address was not only about the ego act or the behavior but primarily about the feeling dimension, feeling attention, feeling discrimination, feeling into... and as.
Only in time have I been able to understand more this dimension and the way I lived with him when I was a young woman. I learned how many false assumptions I had about life with him. In the context of learning how to relate to him as Guru and as a devotee there were huge errors I made, and it has always been a continuous learning experience.
Even though I thought my love and devotion was genuine and my passion for liberation one pointed I can see now the gross and subtle errors I was making. I was always serious and always felt I was coming from a place of integrity but now see in retrospect the errors I was making were part of the process itself. The errors have to be seen and understood, and actions changed. There was nothing I could do though to avoid such necessary insight. I couldn't take the blinders off so to speak. So, I could only see more clearly at some point in time through a process that unfolds mysteriously by grace.
Ed: A point that seems to allude people continually is the illusionary nature of being a separate persona; an individual with a distinct point of view and an individuated mind. I believe Adi Da has always stated that one has to 'yield the mind' to enter into the feeling dimension.
Julie: Yes, this is core to his argument and blessing. It is clear to me now that my conceptions and perceptions of how we manifest as apparently continuous separated individuals (gross, subtle and causal), as “karmic personalities are fundamentally, at root, false. It is an error of true identity, beyond any point of view, all of mind or any experience.
There was an incredible afternoon I spent with Adi Da at Love-Ananda Mahal when he spoke to me about the error of identification with the body-mind. He asked me after this dialog happened to write down what he had communicated. One of the devotees who was serving as a writer and editor helped me do this. I loved these times of sitting alone with him and having such profound initiatory dialogs. This would frequently happen for those of us who served him up close, an incredible blessing these times were.
The following dialogue was published in '"I" Is the Body of Life - I-Am-the-Body Is Love, a dialogue with the Spiritual Master as recounted by a devotee', 1981,
As I attended the Divine Master one evening, he turned to me, touched my arm, and asked, "So what is your relationship to this body?"
I looked at him for a moment, considering his question. I did not know exactly what to say.
Then he asked me again, "What is your relationship to this body?"
Pointing to my navel, he asked where I am and who I am. He asked me if I am above that point. He pointed to my forehead and asked if I am below that point. Then he pointed to my throat and asked if I am above that point.
As he pointed, I observed the tendency to feel confined to the body. Then, "Are you confined to this body? Or are you outside the body?" he asked. "Are you inside the body? Where is 'I'?"
I replied that I am not identified with any point.
The Master directed me then to think of another room, and then he asked if I was in that other room or just aware of it. I said that I was in the other room only through my awareness of it.
"Consider the body in the same way," he replied. "Consciousness is aware of the body as you are of the other room, but the conscious being tends to identify with the body."
Then he asked, "Where is the mind? Is it up here?" He pointed to my head. "Where is the point from which you are aware of the body?"
"Master," I answered, "I do not feel that consciousness is confined in this body, because I am aware of and can perceive things outside the body."
"Are you not aware of the mind in the same way? Well, then, who is aware of the mind and the body?" I began to feel that "I" am simply awareness. I was aware of both the mind and the body. The mind was aware of, or perceived the forms of, the body and everything else, but "I" was also aware of the mind that was aware of these things.
Now the Master's instructions took a different turn. He began to consider with me why I do not simply live as that which I truly am.
"You are not being what you are. You are being or identifying with the body-mind, but that is not what you truly are. Why is it that you do not live as the Self, or very Consciousness, in every moment?"
When I confessed to him that to live this principle is my practice, yet I still feel identified with the body-mind and not absolutely identified with the Self, he pointed out that when I sleep, I am free of identification with the body and the mind. When I dream, however, I am not free of identification with the mind. The mind creates the images in the dream that imply an "I" or a subject of the dream. Yet when I awake, it is very easy to recognize that the dream is not true.
He asked, "Why is it, then, that in the waking state you cannot simply acknowledge that what is arising is not true?"
I confessed that somehow I find it easier to realize non-identification with the mind than with the body.
He replied, "What is revealed to you in the dream state and the sleep state is that 'I' is not the body, because 'I' still exists as awareness, even though the physical body is not present." He was showing me that I am present in those states even when the body and the mind are absent.
"In sleep," I said, "it seems to me that I am not aware of the mind or the body."
The Master replied, "That is not true, because when you awake in the morning you are able to say 'I slept well' or 'I did not sleep well.' In other words, you are always conscious or aware of the conditions of the body-mind in waking, dreaming, and sleeping."
When the Master asked me why I do not live in this condition in every moment, I felt how absurd it is that I identify with the body-mind as if it were my true being. In that moment of initiation and since then in my moments of most profound intuition of God, I feel identified with the Radiant Transcendental Being, which is Consciousness, which is the true Self.
The Master told me that I must explore what I truly am, and then practice being That.
"Simply surrender into being who you are, who you really are, rather than who you are not."
By way of analogy, he considered what we mean when we say someone is crazy. "We think that someone who pretends to be Napoleon is crazy because he is obviously not Napoleon. But every person is pretending to be someone. Everyone is simply Consciousness, but not realizing this, everyone is crazy, everyone presumes he or she is something or someone that he or she is not. (editors note - see The Three Great Myths)
Therefore, you must begin to practice identification with Consciousness, with the true Self, and allow that Self to be revealed. If you live in the Condition of the Self, or the true Being, then you are totally free of the body-mind, its limitations and illusions, and all of the suffering and disturbance that it represents."
The Master asked over and over, "Well, why don't you just do this?"
I replied, "I am spending more time doing this."
"Time? What does it have to do with time? Consciousness living as itself, being the Divine Self, has nothing to do with time and space. Nor does it have anything to do with doing it 'more and more.'"
I confessed to him, "Master, when you ask me why I do not live as the Divine Self, I really do not know what to say. This is what I desire to do, and I do understand clearly that it is the Truth of my life-but I can't tell you why I don't do it in every moment."
The Divine Master said, "Now in your practice you have a strong intuition of your true Condition, you have a profound understanding of meditation, and you live certain personal and esoteric disciplines, but you still go about perpetuating and living as the habits of this body-mind."
At this point he began to instruct me about pleasure. He pinched my arm a few times. When I tried to withdraw my arm in order to avoid the pain, he said, "See? You are still identified with the body-mind, because you react when I pinch you. The identification with the body-mind is still present even at a subtle level, because the body-mind is always trying to feel pleasure. In all your activities, even though you are engaged in practice of this Way, the body-mind is still trying to maintain a pleasurable feeling."
"Master, I am not aware of this search for pleasure or good feeling." I wasn't quite convinced. But when he pinched me again, and again I recoiled, then I understood what he meant. The body-mind does not want to feel bad. It seeks pleasure in order to avoid the inherent suffering that arises when consciousness is identified with the body-mind.
The Master continued: "Even though you are engaged in this practice, even though you have this intuition and meditate, you still go about identified with the body-mind, pleasurizing it, not willing to renounce it completely. The reason this is so is that, because you have been born, the karmas of this life must be fulfilled."
"Master, why is this so?"
"The spiritual discipline that you engage allows one's karmas to be fulfilled but not perpetuated. In other words, when you engage this spiritual discipline, you are not engaging your karmas and creating more karma for the body-mind. Rather, the karmas are undermined and dissolved and made obsolete.
Because of the karmic motion of this body-mind, the karmas must be fulfilled, but they can be fulfilled quickly, depending upon how profoundly you engage the spiritual discipline. By engaging the spiritual discipline and thereby making the karmas obsolete and also by not creating any more karma for the body-mind, you bring the karmas to an end.
"Now, why is it that you do not live identified with the Self in every moment? Because the karmas of this body-mind are still in effect. Therefore, you must live spiritual discipline even in the midst of the fulfillment of those karmas, so that you practice the intuition of identification with the Self and acknowledge and understand that you are simply consciousness, inherently free of the suffering and limitations of this body-mind. Through meditation and the disciplines given at any state of practice, the karmas of the body-mind are neither created nor perpetuated, but they are obviated. At some point they will simply be dissolved, and at that point you will exist as the Divine Self. Until the karmas are totally fulfilled and released, you can only acknowledge that you have the intuition and understanding of your true Condition. Paradoxically, even now you are nothing but Consciousness."
Then the Master asked if I am willing to live this discipline, if I am willing to live as the Self, identified with Consciousness, and if I would begin to explore what the Self truly is.
I said that I do desire to live the discipline. He looked at me playfully, squinting his eyes, and he said,
"Are you sure?" He asked me over and over again, "Are you sure you want to do this? This does not seem strange to you?"
I told him that it does not seem strange to me at all, that I have a full and complete intuition of my true Condition, and that I feel the suffering of identification with the body-mind and do not want to perpetuate it anymore, but simply desire to live as the Self.
The Spiritual Master took the consideration a step further. He asked if I would be "lonely" if I lived in this Condition. Even now I do not quite understand the implications of that question.
But I did feel in the moment that I longed to continue to enjoy the conversation and his Company. Things flashed before me that I am attached to in this life, things that would simply fall away if I lived this discipline perfectly.
Identified with the body-mind, I feel separate from those things, but in that moment I felt so wholly identified with the Self that I did not feel the least bit lonely. And I could feel that I would never be lonely, because "I" as consciousness am identified with everyone and everything and am not separate in any way.
"Now you see how profound this discipline is and how energetically you must engage it. It is completely up to you. How quickly these karmas will be undone depends upon how forcefully and profoundly you engage this discipline and this intuition. You see all the habit-energy of the body-mind that you must transcend in order to practice truly. Even the most subtle movement toward identification with anything that arises creates more karmas and more births, even in subtle realms. The practice must become so profound that even the habit-energy toward being manifest in realms other than this is transcended.
Even if you were to transcend the ordinary karmas of this body-mind, psychic movements toward other realms might continue to distract you. The practice of identification with Consciousness must be so profound that even movements toward other possibilities are undermined through the spiritual discipline. Such profound practice is Bhava Samadhi. And now you see that this is not how you live.
You still engage many habit-energies that not only perpetuate but even create karma."
As I felt the conversation coming to an end, I tried to ask the Master other questions in order to prolong our meeting. The Master immediately said, "See? You are already beginning to think and identify with the body-mind. But when you are simply identified with Consciousness, there is no need for questions or compulsive thinking anymore."
I bowed in gratitude for the Spiritual Master's instruction and initiation. As I gazed at the Spiritual Master, I was certain that he is pure, totally free of the body-mind and of all movement toward any one, any thing, or any condition. I knew that he is the Self, the Divine Consciousness, and I felt in his Company that this Self is what I am also and what I feel through identification with the Beloved.
--- End of article
This understanding became more and more apparent to me in time. When I left Adi Da's physical company and had to start my life over again my relationship to him changed dramatically. I left the context in which it seemed like I had integrity as I mentioned earlier. But when I was no longer in his physical company I had to confront other realities. Those other realities allowed me to see things from a very different perspective. It allowed me to understand more clearly the mistakes I was making in not only my relationship to the person of Adi Da but my 'world view'.
The first thing I realized was how limited my view of things was. There were so many cultic ideas I had. I'm now very grateful for the apparent separation, getting kicked out of the nest. I can see how much fear I had, fear of loss, fear of being separated. I felt what I had had been special and could be lost by being in a different circumstance. This was an error.
This Manifestation has been caused not by what you might describe as My Intention, in the manner you understand such things typically. Rather it is by invocation, by call, that this conjunction has been made, but a very complex process altogether of that. My Manifestation has been called upon, called for, called to the degree of appearing to one degree or another, in Vehicle Form. But not My Incarnation in the unqualified sense, Incarnate with fullest Realization, beyond all limitations. So the call has been persistent, and yet opposed, or undermined by other incarnations, and lesser dispositions and so on. This conjunction, then, is unique. But you do not understand it in the fullest, rightest sense if you presume that this is simply something that I have Intended to do.
If it were so, there would be no logic for My Appearance that could coincide with beings. So it could only occur by invocation. It is the invocation of the Great. Not only, or merely, the invocation such as might be in the ordinariness of the mass of beings, but in the mode and form of those who made the greatest sacrifice by invocation. They, and also the mass of suffering, heart-feeling, yearning, calling, of all beings, is the Source of My Incarnation.
This is why I'm not here with a plan. You tell Me. You show Me what you want to do about it. You got Me here. And if it winds up I just sit on My couch and nobody comes around Me, then thats the way that will be. Or if you make a Kingdom, and bring Me all beings, then thats the way it will be. I have no plan whatsoever. Anything that you could call "plan" is so utterly beyond comprehension that even if I were to describe it in some relatively straightforward terms, it still wouldnt look like a plan to you. - Adi Da Samraj [back to interview]
Your problem about Me, your problem about the Divine, is a construct of your own, made by self-contraction, but in the midst of human exchanges. You have trouble about God because in the human scale you're not only self-contracted but you've rejected the woman - the other half of the play of the world. The seat of Divine Realization is the heart. Therefore the domain of feeling is fundamental. There is no integration with the Divine Light without integration with the feminine. In other words, the domain of feeling, and the senses must be embraced by you. Cease to reject the feminine, you will cease to reject the world, and you will also cease to reject Me.
You all have an immense emotional-sexual problem based on your self-contraction. It's the root of all of your difficulty. You cannot accept to be in the feeling-place, comfortable (or uncomfortable) in the senses as you would be with a true woman if you were a man - or a true man if you were a woman. You cannot accept it as the foundation of life. You think it's not serious, or it's wrong, or it's dissociating you from the Divine. [back to interview]