Finding Adi Da > Martin Goulding

The Timeless Intrusion

Martin Goulding


Martin Goulding first became a formal devotee of Adi Da Samraj in 1984. He has a passion for history, culture and the spiritual process.

Martin GouldingAs a young man, I was an intense and somewhat desperate spiritual seeker. I was driven to find the “answer” to my spiritual “quest”. I remember when I was 17 thinking with great certainty: I should be enlightened by the time I turn twenty-five. What a measure of my naivety! I thought of enlightenment as a state of clear and impeccable mental understanding or knowledge. From what I had read to this point, I assumed the enlightened state was brought about by intense thinking and analysis, and, through this means, finding the secret knowledge that would enlighten one. It was just a matter of finding the right sources of knowledge, until the hidden truth would appear or be found.

The local library (in Tasmania, Australia) had a choice range of spiritual literature. In my quest for secret knowledge, I would look for new spiritual titles or re-read old ones. Some of the influences I was exposed to were George Gurdjieff, Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi, Krisha (via Hare Krisha literature), Yogananda, various Christian saints and mystics, Theosophical Society literature (notably that of Annie Besant and Madame Blavatsky), Guru Maharji, Krishnamurti, Meher Baba, Paul Brunton, and many others.

The Knee Of Listening
click for enlargement

In 1973 (or 1974 . . . I'm not sure of the exact year), I was reading a copy of Fate magazine [1] when I saw a tiny advertisement for a book called The Knee of Listening. There was a picture of a young man with his fist clenched, and a short blurb underneath that read something like, “The Radical Teaching of Franklin Jones”. ("Franklin Jones" was Adi Da's name at the time.)

Looking back now, thirty-seven years later, I see that this apparently very minor event was the first tangible Timeless Intrusion of Divine Reality (or our True Condition) into my life:


I Am your Very Consciousness. I Am the Real, the Light, the True Waking State, the Heart — Breaking Through the force of dreaming. It is not that you are some poor person who needs some other poor person to help you out. It may appear to be so within the dream, but essentially it is your own Ultimate Self-Nature Appearing within the dream to Awaken you. I Am your Awakening, and your always already Conscious State.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, The Gorilla Sermon, My "Bright" Word

I looked at the picture of Franklin Jones and those words, “The Radical Teaching of Franklin Jones”, over and over. I don’t think I even had enough money to buy the magazine; I was just browsing magazines in a news agent store somewhere. The image and words and the import of them had a sudden impact on me — like a shock — not quite at the level of the conscious mind, more like: whoever that person is, I absolutely need to know more about him and must find and read that book!

Even so, I continued my relentless spiritual search. But I believe I dreamed about Franklin Jones, and thought of him from time to time.

A few months after finding the Fate magazine advertisement for it, I found an actual copy of The Knee of Listening. I stumbled across it in a library.

I read it all in one day, and it blew my mind.

Nonetheless, my head was full of the traditional notions of seeking and finding, and traditional spiritual methodology (which is still very much in vogue in contemporary spirituality). And so, on my first read of The Knee of Listening, it was the adventure that I loved: Franklin Jones' marvelous meetings with powerful beings, and encounters with great forces. His wonderful, shakti-filled life and experiences. His imagery of great Siddhas and Yogis was riveting: the tough and earthy Rudi (Rudrananda); the powerful and enigmatic Baba Muktananda; and the benign and incomprehensible Baba Nityananda.

And yet . . . the conclusion of Franklin Jones' book — that the spiritual search and all its imagery and methodology are completely futile, that all of that will never achieve the goal of enlightenment that they seek, and that only the transcendence of all seeking coincides with enlightenment — threw me into revolt and created a deep disturbance in me (as I am sure it has in many others). It is certainly not a "popular" message, when compared with the opposite communication ("spiritual experiences are IT"), exemplified by books like Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi. So after reading it several times — just to make sure I had gotten this (at the time) extremely unpalatable message correct — I resolved I would never go near the book again!

Of course in spiritual life, nothing is quite that simple (thankfully). Even as I continued my life of intense spiritual seeking (as well as trying to raise a family and survive in the world), I had a very powerful dream about Adi Da around that time, and continued to be haunted by the message of The Knee of Listening.

My spiritual seeking evolved. I engaged various techniques, meditative and prayerful effort, rather than mere thinking and the pursuit of knowledge — though this did remain a huge part of my overall (compulsive rather than planned) strategy. More influences available at the time began to appear, including Baba Ram Dass, Sri Chinmoy, Bhagawan Rajneesh (Osho) and some Hatha Yoga teachers.

But my next Graceful brush with Reality Itself came from out of the blue, again with an awakening shock.

In the late 1970’s, I went into a bookstore and found an incredible stack of books at the back of an otherwise conventional store in Melbourne, Australia. It was remarkable: they seemed to have a tangibly energetic, almost glowing quality, as if I had suddenly been thrust into a non-material realm. The book titles included Garbage And The Goddess, No Remedy, and The Method of The Siddhas, by someone called "Bubba Free John", along with some other books about Ramana Maharshi. The humorous thing was — I had previously read (and rejected) The Knee of Listening, and didn't realize that the author was the same person! And so I bought a copy of Garbage And The Goddess and The Method of The Siddhas. I talked with the sales assistant. He seemed to be as perplexed as I was by the mysterious books, almost whispering to me about them. Later I would learn that a very close devotee of Bubba Free John had come to town and distributed the books directly to that store.

The Method of The Siddhas became a constant guide for me. I acquired another copy of The Knee of Listening. Read together, the two books seemed to make a lot more sense to me, perfectly complementing each other in wisdom. Of course my seeking had not ended at all, and I was still tending to just add Bubba Free John to my list of teaching sources — however, very much at the top of the list (or, to use esoteric language: adding him as my "root Guru"). I became something of an annoying and self-righteous zealot. I used to punish anyone who came within range with my personal version of “Bubba Free John”. I somehow got the idea that the goal was to become the “Guru” (possibly like many others at the time). I seemed to not hear what was being said, or heard only selectively.

It may be clear that, so far, books played a major role in this “happening”. But, by themselves, books could only go so far. So around 1978 or 1979, I wrote the Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary (in California) for instruction on how a person in a remote situation such as mine (South Australia) could live Satsang with Bubbba Free John as Spiritual Master. Someone wrote back, telling me there was a "seed community" forming in Melbourne, Australia, and I should make contact with someone there, and formalize my relationship with Bubba via that community.

So I wrote to a man in the Melbourne community, and he told me Bubba Free John had changed his name to Da Free John, and that I should come to a Celebration day and watch a film on great events that were unfolding.

Adi Da at the Day of the HeartI jumped on a train, ecstatic to be involved in something so vast and unpredictable, and headed for the Melbourne meeting place. I turned up looking “like a hippie from the bush”, as one woman told me years later. There were about 18 to 20 people, mostly around my own age, we watched an excerpt from a film about "The Day of the Heart" (September 16, 1979), which evoked a profound and spontaneous response in me that was totally unexpected. I started weeping at the sight of Da Free John. His voice had such a depth of Profundity that it seemed to be speaking from a place far beyond this plane of existence. I took back home a copy of a book called Conversion, later released as Compulsory Dancing, and remained in an ecstatic devotional state for days afterward.

* * *

It is now many years later. Further details of my life story are not necessary. In telling this story, what I really want to write about is expressed by the title itself: "The Timeless Intrusion". The Main Event has already happened. The Divine Intruded early in my life in the human form of Adi Da. I became His devotee in 1984. All the rest of the details of my life and the particular characteristics of my seeking habits are totally incidental. They could belong to anyone. You may find some parallel to your own living or perhaps none at all . . . it doesn’t matter that much.

What does matter is what we all have in common: the capacity to be Graced by Reality Itself, however that may be conceived or described. On looking back to that first contact with Transcendental Reality (and here I am placing no local limitation on this Initiation whatsoever, prior to Adi Da’s appearance in my life), if the Truth had appeared in a form other than Adi Da, I would have accepted that form. It’s a mysterious appearance, and there is a huge joy in contemplating that miracle. (And if it can happen to me, it can happen to you.)

It is now equally clear as I look back, that the appearance of Transcendental Reality in one's life — even in the tangible human form of Adi Da — does not guarantee a short, straight path to “salvation”. It is not always straightforward, or a nicely laid out sequence of "auspicious" events. Indeed, my life took a very long and winding road to even reach the point where I could appreciate what has been given. There were many false turns, many apparent fallings from Grace, many "one step forward, two steps backward" situations. That first Recognition of Transcendental Reality can be viewed as a seed event, that may take many lifetimes to fully flower into clear consciousness.

But even that way of putting it does not convey it exactly, because if we move to the position of Consciousness Itself (which does become more evident and tangible via practice of the Way of Adidam and a naturally developing intuition), we adopt a timeless stance (or asana, or "philosophy", if you like). It just does not matter how long it seems to take (in apparent time and space). On some level, it has already occurred. Thus the fully Radical view is known to be correct, more and more.

The Blessing is Given to each one from the beginning. It is Given completely also. And from then you are living a Blessed life. But you cannot measure it yourself or prefigure how it is going to work out, or feel you have received My Blessing and it is supposed to show itself in some particular way — an energy experience or vision or change in life, or whatever. It will be whatever it is and you simply do the practice and notice how this Blessing works out in your own case.

And this Blessing, like My Work altogether, is not linear. It is the Knight's Move [as in chess]. So it is a Blessing forever, and it can show itself in various ways at any point in time. And so it is true that some may receive My Blessing and experience it in some way, on some occasion, and then, even many years later, find My Blessing being effective and realize that it has something very much to do with that time you noticed previously.

In some real sense it is also true that when you become My devotee, even if you were not in any sense before — having become My devotee, you become My devotee in your past as well as in the present. It covers all time.

You all must have seen films or read stories in which time is played upon — time machines or whatever else, or somebody gets the ability to change the past, and it changes for other people as well. Well, it is literally so when you become My devotee. It may even be that, if you examine your past (having become My devotee), you realize things about it that are different than it was as you remembered it before. And you remember other aspects of it, and they become important even in the present time in a way that they were not before.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
"You Become My Devotee in Your Past As Well As in the Present"

I could describe my own egoic limitations, and my progress (or lack thereof) in transcending these limitations, but in a real sense, the details are besides the point. The apparent "failure" of Divine Grace to have already moved the individual to ultimate and permanent Liberation (or even real growth and change) is partly because life is not seen over a long enough period of time. If one looks at it all from a “timeless” vantage point, not locked into the particular short term “unit” of a single human lifetime, it all gets a lot clearer. The first Intrusion of Grace in tangible form all those years ago was simply a Graceful Wake-Up Call. My unconscious life was Intruded upon by Divine Reality in the human form of Adi Da . . . and in a sense, it took me thirty-seven years to notice this!

I Establish Myself As My devotee. My devotee does not do something in order to attain Me, or to attain My State, or to imitate Me, or to manipulate "self" in its structures in order to (somehow or other, by that method) achieve My Likeness, or to achieve union with Me. Divine Self-Realization is a Grace. Divine Self-Realization is Given directly, by Me, and As Me.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "Radical" Transcendentalism

As Adi Da expresses it, in terms that are consequential not just for me but for all beings:

My Divine Avataric Self-”Emergence” here Is The Consequential (and “Factual”) Breakthrough in cosmic history.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "The Boundless Confession", The Aletheon

For me, the import of this Intrusion of the Timeless Divine into history is a Celebration, absolute and endless. Through the means of the Incarnation of Avatar Adi Da, a bridge to Real God, Divine Reality Itself, is now not merely potential but factual, and the basis for true faith.

Faith changes the world view. I am just writing about what I am actually feeling or seeing. Adi Da often wrote about what He called “Conversion”; well, faith is of that nature. Faith is felt as a joyous fullness that changes everything. You can clearly see how an adherent of any particular religion would see various saints, deities and spirit forms. In Adidam there are none. The psyche is empty, unless you want to pursue various forms that appear, fleetingly, as incidental side effects of practice. The form of the Guru is utterly sufficient. Nothing needs to be added or embellished.

On the back cover of the earliest editions of The Knee Of Listening was a quote: “The End of All Seeking”. These words were said to be a description of the ultimate import of the book. I used to read this and wonder what it meant. Thirty-seven later, I can say that this quote accurately describes the genuine practice of Adidam. That is exactly what I often find when I sit in the meditation room in front of the Master’s Form in Satsang. The search ends right there, because real satisfaction is located and known.

It is the great and ever marvelous Freedom we all have always longed for. Find out for yourself!



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[1]

Still in print. The magazine features true reports of strange and unknown phenomena such as ghosts, UFOs, the paranormal, psychic phenomena and more.

 


Quotations from and/or photographs of Avatar Adi Da Samraj used by permission of the copyright owner:
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