There is the Liability of the Mind, and that Liability is a Matter for Understanding
Adi Da Samraj (Bubba Free John) - 1973
"People imagine that to be realized or to understand you must sit in mindless samadhi."
For a practioner of this way one doing sadhana should be capable of dealing with his karmic theatre when it arises without becoming hysterical, or full of self-doubt or doubt of the Guru.
For such a one, study has also become enquiry. Not only is his life stable and full of humor, but all his study has become enquiry. There is a tendency among those who engage in the traditional versions of spiritual life to anathematize the process of thinking and to consider the natural state to be literally thoughtless. Such people imagine that to be realized or to understand you must sit in mindless samadhi, dry as a dead toad. This is not true. The natural state is completely prior to thought, and therefore not in itself exclusive of thought. It is free of thought even while thinking occurs.
It is not being suggested that you engage in some process of emptying your mind. Or that you become an asshole and no longer think, no longer study, no longer require the mind to conform to the real structures of existence. You must do such things. You will think in any case, and you will also analyze yourself in any case. Self-analysis comes under the heading of all those things that will arise even though you are living the life of Satsang. It is just that the fundamental insight, the radical realization, is one that is prior to all thought, that is not created by thinking.
There are two aspects of the thought process. One is negative, the whole compulsive drama that is worked out at the plane of the mind, including self-analysis and accumulation of thoughts. This drama will occur in any case. And principal insight will appear, freedom will be realized in the midst of the thought process, just as freedom will be realized even though there is also the breath process.
In contrast to the negative drama of the mind, there is the purely functional aspect of the mind. The mind is an ordinary and useful function of human existence and, like all the functions of your life, it must be brought to the condition of Satsang as well as to the useful communicative, ordinary conditions of life. This functional dimension of the mind, the purely practical use of the mind, is quite apart from that whole problematic life of the mind which everyone is suffering. But in the usual man, whose functions are rooted in dilemma, that practical, functional aspect of the mind has become enmeshed with the problematic use of the mind.
The sadhana of the life of understanding requires that you use the mind consciously, bring it to the functional, real conditions of life, to study and service, in order to lift it out of that identification with the search, with problematic existence, with self-meditation.
The man of understanding still uses the mind. He does not sit in "nirvikalpa samadhi" all the time. He has not lifted himself out of the world. He uses the mind. So don't yield to the temptation to identify the perfect enjoyment of the life of understanding with some peculiar psycho-physical condition in which there is no thought. The life of understanding is a condition in which there is always already no thought. Therefore, there can be thought. It is a condition in which there is already no body and no self, and yet there is conventional self-existence in the world. There is the body as a functional condition, just as there is the mind as a function, but this condition is not limiting. And this apparent condition of self-existence is not lived as self-meditation. It is realized as Divine existence, in which there is no separate self as the principle.
Do not expect me to propose that you become anti-intellectual. I expect you to bust your ass in studying this work. But you will tend to yield to the dilettante's view of the mind, if you are lazy and do not apply yourself to study. You will think it is contaminating your meditation or something. This is not true.
So there is the liability of the mind, and that liability is a matter for understanding. Nothing you do with the mind can in itself serve that understanding, even though you will continue to manipulate the mind because it is your tendency to do it. But there is also the simple, practical, functional aspect of the mind, which you must discipline by bringing it to the ordinary forms of life and study, and by making it useful entirely apart from the drama of Narcissus.
When one becomes free of the drama of Narcissus, he begins to discover that the mind is quite different from what he might have supposed previously. And so he might make statements like those made by Bubba Free John: "There is no thought when I am speaking. There is no thinking going on apart from the speech." In other words, there is no longer that problematic, dualistic contact with the mind that assumes the separate self. The so-called mind is fundamentally a spontaneous display of conventional communications like, "Let's go to lunch." It does not in itself involve self-meditation, illusion, suffering. It involves none of that. It is an amusement. But in one who does not understand, the mind is identical to self-meditation like everything else he does, including going to lunch.