For this reason, Adi Da always uses the construct, ego-"I", rather than just the word I by itself, wherever "I" refers to the separate self (not the Divine Person). In this way, He never gives the self-promoting, self-centered ego the free propaganda that automatically derives when the capital I appears all by itself. Instead, when referring to the "I" that is the separate self, He always attaches the word "ego-" to the "I" (in His construct: ego-"I") — something like requiring a person to hang a sign around his neck, whenever he appears in public.
Similarly, a presumed separation between "subject" and "object" is automatically built into the grammar of languages like English which have sentences with "Subject-Verb-Object" word order, and the subject (the ego) is given primacy by always appearing in the first position of the sequence. Words like "I" are used by convention, without our ever taking even five minutes to consider whether they actually refer to anything real, or what it is (real or unreal) that they actually refer to.
Even nouns can be misleading, when considered from the viewpoint of Spiritual Realization:
Thus, in many ways, conventional language reinforces the egoic viewpoint, rather than helping us transcend egoity. Most of us simply submit to use the language as given, without any thought about it. However, not surprisingly, some of our modernist poets and writers the "advance guard" of the language of our culture, reaching out with their antennae in playful, new directions have challenged such conventions. Twentieth century poets and writers like E. E. Cummings and Gertrude Stein carved out new possibilities for capitalization and other aspects of linguistic syntax. But the experiments of such writers are largely an egoic reaction to the constraints represented by ordinary conventions, rather than an expression of Realization and ego-transcendence. For example, the following excerpt from one of E. E. Cumming's poems illustrates his sometimes almost anarchic reaction to "grammarians" (in this example, indiscriminately tossing out all capitalization and all punctuation other than line breaks and one apostrophe):
In contrast, the linguistic experiments of a Spiritual
Realizer are based on using and reshaping language to more directly
and accurately communicate the greater-than-material Reality.
Over the many decades in which Adi Da developed Adidam's Source-Texts
the books that summarize His Teaching He evolved
unique uses of language, intended to communicate the Transcendental
Reality (much as He would later develop unique forms of Image-Art
to communicate the Transcendental Reality), rather than the ego's
separative misinterpretation of Reality. In this article, we mention
a couple of the devices He used in His "Transcendental Orthography".
2. Adi Da's Unique, Revelatory Use of Capitalization
Throughout His Source-Texts and particularly in that magisterial and comprehensive manual for the practice of Adidam, The Dawn Horse Testament, Adi Da frequently capitalizes words that would not ordinarily be capitalized in English. And such capitalized words include not only nouns, but also pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and even articles and prepositions. By such capitalization, He is indicating that the word refers (either inherently, or by virtue of the context) to the Unconditional Divine Reality, rather than the conditional (or worldly) reality.
Adi Da's chosen conventions of capitalization vary in different "Source-Texts" and in different sections of a given "Source-Text". In The Dawn Horse Testament (and certain other Texts), Avatar Adi Da employs a convention in which the overwhelming majority of all words are capitalized, and only those words that indicate the egoic (or dualistic) point of view are left lower-cased. This capitalization convention (which Adi Da has worked out to an extraordinarily subtle degree in ways that are often startling) is in itself a Teaching device, intended to communicate His fundamental Revelation that "There Is Only Real God", and that only the ego (or the dualistic or separative point of view) prevents us from living and Realizing that Truth.
Here is an example:
Note that "and" and "or" are lower-cased because these conjunctions are (here, and in all contexts) primary expressions of the point of view of two-ness, or duality.
Also note that "all conditions", "any object", "any other", and "self" are lower-cased, while "Heart-Stress", "Contraction", "Dissociation", "Clinging," "Boredom", "Doubt", "Discomfort", "Diminished", and "Forgetfulness" are capitalized. Through this use of capitals and lower case, Adi Da is telling us that unpleasant or apparently "negative" states are not inherently egoic. It is only the presumption of duality and separateness as expressed by such words as "conditions", "object", "other", and "self" that is egoic.
Note how even in Adi Da's Mahavakya (or "Great Statement"), "He-and-She Is Me", He does not capitalize "and". This Mahavakya is a good illustration of how Adi Da uses capitalization and punctuation with surgical precision. Each of the great aspects of the Divine — the "He" that is Consciousness and the "She" that is Light is capitalized. But the perception of Consciousness and Light as distinct is not Enlightened, so the "and" in "He and She" is lowercase. Because the Realization of "Me" (Adi Da, the Very Divine) is coincident with the Realization of Shiva-Shakti, of non-duality, Adi Da adds in the hyphens and the underlines, "He-and-She Is Me", to reflect the seventh stage Realization. In other words, before Enlightenment, there is He and there is She, and Reality is comprised of He and She, apart. But after Enlightenment, there is just the Divine Me, but that Divine Me can also be viewed from two aspects that are now inseparable from each other: He-and-She. The inseparability is reflected by the hyphens. But because "He alone" or "She alone" is not the Divine Realization, the "and" remains lowercase.
3. Adi Da's Unique, Revelatory Use of Quotation Marks
Adi Da uses quotation marks to indicate one of two things:
As an example of the first use of quotation marks, Adi Da places quotation marks around the word "self" throughout the book, Not-Two Is Peace, to indicate to the reader that the separate "self" has no real existence (even though we all constantly presume it does). Similarly, frequently Adi Da uses the term, ego-"I", placing quotation marks to indicate that there is no such thing as the "I". While there is no "I" thing, ego is a reference to an actual process the activity of separation and so Adi Da does not place quotation marks around it.
The following passage illustrates Adi Da's second use of quotation marks:
"Bright", "Thumbs", and "Radical" are have technical meanings specific to Adidam.
Note: One common use of quotation marks in conventional writing is to signify irony or sarcasm. Adi Da never uses quotation marks in these ways, so readers of His Word should never interpret the quotation marks in His Words as indicators of irony or sarcasm.
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The Books of Adidam: Related Articles and Miscellaneous Questions