We began this Overview by pointing out that,
in general, "Crazy Wisdom" refers to any unconventional means employed by the
Master to serve the Spiritual liberation of His or Her devotee.
Wisdom for reflecting devotees to themselves. Adi Da's use of Crazy Wisdom
took a very specific form: He used it for the express purpose of
reflecting devotees to themselves.
But why was it important to reflect
devotees to themselves? When He began His Work as Spiritual
Transmission Master in 1972, Adi Da started with the most direct approach:
He simply Transmitted His Divine State, and asked His devotees to contemplate
His State through contemplation of His human form. In principle, their meditation
on His State would result in their duplicating His State. In principle, over time,
this would ultimately result in the same Realization for them, because of the
spiritual law: "you become what you meditate on." But Adi Da (and His devotees)
very quickly discovered that this didn't go anywhere. The principle only works
in practice if one's entire energy and attention can be turned to the Guru. And
it quickly became apparent that Adi Da's devotees — all of us — were very much
typical "Westerners", worldly people preoccupied with "money, food, and sex",
who even had trouble sitting still for five minutes without fidgeting. Locating,
recognizing, and responding to Adi Da's Divine State requires a tremendous sensitivity,
based on a lot of free attention and energy. His devotees simply didn't have that
free energy and attention; they were completely preoccupied. Spiritual life was
an attractive notion, but they didn't meet even its most basic prerequisites.
importantly, those same devotees were almost entirely unconscious of the
degree to which they were preoccupied by money, food, and sex. And until they
became conscious of their preoccupation, they would have no ability to consciously
re-direct their energy and attention to the Guru instead.
To make matters
worse, most Westerners are not only unconscious, but rather complicated,
about their preoccupations with money, food, and sex. Those obsessions get mixed
up with Judeo-Christian religious and cultural training that programs them to
feel guilty about their obsessions, puritanical in their judgement of themselves
and others relative to these tendencies, and consequently, suppressive of these
tendencies (and even awareness of them) in themselves and others. So many people
live much of life by alternating between unconsciously "buttoning down" their
obsessions most of the time; helplessly indulging now and then (when their obsessions
build up to the point of taking them over and moving them into action); and then
feeling guilty and regretful later, and engaging in actions to try to compensate
for the time when one was "possessed": dieting to make up for that period of binging;
trying to make up with one's spouse for that affair; paying off the credit card
debt for years for that large purchase one probably shouldn't have made; on and
Adi Da was faced with the task of transforming unconsciously obsessed
and psychically double-minded Westerners (whose attention was all over the place) into psychically simplified, one-pointed
spiritual practitioners — no easy task!
radical teaching represents a threat to all traditions. It doesn't make any difference
what a person's game is. Whether he is an Ashram figure or a businessman, a man's
ego has become attached to certain qualities. They can be so-called "spiritual"
things or worldly things. These attachments are just the theatre of his separateness.
The radical teaching is a threat to even the spiritual life of an individual,
not just his worldly life and desires, but all his desiring, the whole complex
affair of his existence is threatened by the radical teaching. Of course people
are skeptical. It is a threat, a danger. It is too wild, too free. They think
if they somehow did give in to it, they would have to yield to all kinds of craziness
in themselves that they have never really confronted. This is one of the good
things about Alan Watts' essay on The
Knee of Listening. He talked about how this is "dangerous wisdom".
It is true! That is why traditional and ordinary people react to such a teaching.
They do not react because of what the teaching is, but because of what they are.
In retrospect, and after years of deeply considering a completely amazing relationship with Adi Da Samraj and the Adidam community, I am in Mystery.
Most Spiritual Teachers currently will promise you a vision, a meditation, or something, something that will alter your present State of dissatisfaction or unhappiness. Adi Da Samraj promised me nothing. I have been asked by younger spiritual seekers if I recommend Adi Da Samraj, and I say "No" — not because I feel He is invalid . . . Instead, it is because most spiritual seekers are casual "seekers", looking for the "Blue Pearl", a "Chakra High", or some casual "Enlightenment" to surmount the world and remove their fear of death. Adi Da supplies none of that. He was a disappointment to casual spiritual seekers.
He was everything you did not expect, or want. If you sought asceticism, He appeared to be self-indulgent. If you wanted self-indulgence, He only offered you the deepest personal asceticism. He would upset you deeper than any relationship you ever had, and you became enthralled with Him more than with anyone — ever.
Adi Da Samraj fulfills the Classical Guru function. He is a "Fire", and He burns you. One does not approach the Guru without a gift, or casually.
With most people, I do not share my relationship with, or experiences of Adi Da Samraj — they are too close, too personal, too dear, and only a very few have the capacity to understand such a relationship. He was not a conventional man.
this was the "why" behind Adi Da needing to reflect devotees to themselves. Now
for the "how".
"The Way That I Teach."
We might imagine Adi Da sitting His devotees down on a therapeutic couch and talking
to them about all of this, to "raise to conscousness" all their unconscious obsessions
and patterns. But such an approach is very slow, and does not have any great track
record of success. The well-known caricature of talk therapy (Woody Allen does it perfectly in his movies) is of the guy lying
on the couch and, twenty years later, is still talking to the therapist about
the same problems. In other words, he's just as unconscious and bound by his egoic
patterns as when he started.
Because of His Spiritual Realization, Adi Da
had another, far more powerful means of "teaching" available to Him. His Enlightened
Realization is that of Perfect Non-Separateness: All apparently "separate" things
and beings are recognized by Him as arising in His own Consciousness, the One
Divine Consciousness, like dream forms in the consciousness of the dreamer. This
extraordinary Realization endowed Him with an amazing practical capability; as
Adi Da put it: "By a simple act of attention, I can become you." That capability,
unique to His Divine Incarnation, made possible the way that Adi Da taught: He
could literally become us, and thereby use His own body to "make pictures" of
us. He could literally reveal ourselves to us, at levels we were not yet aware
of. As He put it:
My Play with My devotees
is associated with profound physical discomfort. This process of Submitting Myself
to you all involves physical suffering, because in doing so I become you.
I take on your mind-force, your karmas, your vision, your state. I duplicate you
in this body. I express you. I do the same things as you. It is not Me — it is
a reflection, a mirror, a form of sacrificial participation. . . .
become what you meditate on. I meditate on My devotees and I become them. I become
exactly them. I take on all the limitations that they are. I become just like
them. I become more like them than they are. I become exaggeratedly what they
are. I become what they are altogether, while they remain only what they can express
in the midst of their limitations, their self-consciousness. I become them completely.
This is such a profound
capability that He was able to "become" any of His devotees spontaneously and
instantaneously, without any planning or conception required. Without taking away
from the human and Divine love that moved Him to Teach His devotees in this manner,
you could say that, in some sense, He was functioning as a perfect "mirror" or "reflection
I remember the first time I got
this point directly. I was one of a small group of devotees, kneeling before Him
as He stood before the brass gates of Aham Da Asmi Sthan, on Naitauba (in Fiji).
He looked at each of us in turn, as is often His way. He turned to me briefly,
perhaps for a second, and then His gaze moved on to the next devotee. But in that
second that He was looking at me, a single tear fell from His right eye.
remember being very moved by seeing that, and, when I wrote to Him later that
day, I mentioned it and tied it to what I presumed was His empathy for all of
us. It would only be much later that I realized that I was seeing — me!
He was painting for me the picture of my own tendency to be sorrowful, so that
I could become conscious of it, and released from its unconscious possession of
me. This would later be borne out by other comments He would make to me about
my "sad" character. But in that moment He had literally become me to reflect me
An occasion similar to the one I
must come to know Me. That is why there have to be Leelas told, telling the
story with a right understanding. Merely to talk about My behavior is not a Leela.
A Leela is to talk about My life and work in fullest terms. It is to tell the
story of My lifetime with a right understanding — not merely to talk about My
behavior. All kinds of so-called "behaviors of Mine" are just reflections
of people. How can you say that is "Mine"? This body did it — fine;
but why? What were those happenings about? What were they for?
Adi Da Samraj, March, 2008
"The Way of the Mirror Is
Me." What is most amazing was that He did that in the brief second that He
was looking my way! This goes way beyond any conventional notion of "empathy",
and is clearly completely spontaneous, not pre-meditated in any way, and functioning
literally like a mirror: from me, to His body, and back again, without anything
else intervening. That's why I like using more suggestive phrases such as "a reflection
machine" or "an instantaneous mirror" — because that is the way it seems to work.
Adi Da has recently greatly clarified and expanded upon this point, as
well as an even deeper esoteric significance:
Human beings live in and as the mind. If you are My devotee, are
you seeing Me, the Mirror Itself? Or are you only seeing the reflections
in the Mirror? Are you persisting in self-imagery — such that you never actually
see the Mirror, and such that you are never actually converted to Me (the Self-Condition
of the Mirror Itself, even Prior to all reflections). Are you merely continuing
in your self-deluded manner, because you are so defensive that you keep shunning
the Mirror Itself — and running away from It? . . .
You (in and as mere
conditions) are what you see in the Mirror. That reflection is not Me.
I Am the Mirror Itself. The metaphor of "Narcissus" should be revealing to you
relative to the nature of egoity. As "Narcissus", what you are doing is looking
at Me and seeing yourself. You are not seeing Me — and you are not even seeing
yourself as you actually are. You are merely seeing an idea of yourself, because
the reflection with which you are characteristically associated and identified
is mind, ideas, mental programming — programmed into the brain, and into the body
altogether, on the basis of impulse, desire, reaction, bondage, and illusion.
. . .
If you are My true devotee, you accept Me As I Am —
not as the reflection, and not as the process of reflecting, but As the
Mirror Itself, or Reality Itself. . . .
Reality Itself Is a Mirror — Indifferent,
egoless, Acausal (or not causing anything). Reality IsAsIs.
Reality Is Me. That Is My Avataric Divine Self-Revelation. . . .
. . The process of the Way of Adidam is about renunciation, Spirituality, and
Realization — such that, Most Ultimately, everything is Divinely Self-Recognizable.
When everything is Thus Recognizable from the Position of the True Mirror, That
Is Reality Itself.
A common misunderstanding. And so my recount of my experience
of Adi Da as "reflection machine" also illustrates another crucial point: It is
the easiest thing for someone who is in front of that "reflection machine" to
mistake the reflection for Adi Da Himself. I did: I really thought for a while
it was Him crying, for some profound reason of His own.
Why did I
eventually come to a different conclusion? Because He has specifically instructed
us about the nature of His "Teaching Work", again and again. But even so, many
devotees have sometimes made the common mistake of misinterpreting the reflection
for the mirror. For instance, during the time when Adi Da was using that "reflection
machine" capability to mirror the suppressed tendencies or obsessions of devotees,
it was easy for devotees to fall into the mistaken impression that Adi Da Himself
was somehow obsessed — apparently even more than they were! They might think subconsciously,
"I wish we could light up a cigarette". And He would then shout to everyone in
the room that they all should start smoking! Or He would even start smoking Himself.
That sort of thing.
Fortunately, most of Adi Da's devotees sooner or later would remember His Instructions
about the way He taught, realize it was themselves they were seeing reflected
in Adi Da, and allow the reflection to penetrate them and do its work:
What I Do is not the way that I Am, but the way that I Teach.
What I Speak is not a reflection of Me, but of you.
People do well to be offended or even outraged by My
actions and behavior. This is My purpose. But their reaction must turn upon themselves,
for I have not Shown them Myself by all of this. All that I Do and Speak only
reveals people to themselves.
Needless to say,
not everyone got this point. Some devotees stayed fixed in their presumption that
it was Adi Da Himself they were seeing. And a significant proportion of
the negative stories about Adi Da's "outrageous behavior" stem from that mistake.
be sure, Adi Da used every manner and modality of Teaching, not only the modality
of "becoming devotees". He spent thousands of hours communicating verbally to
devotees as well, including very specific descriptions of this or that devotee's
liabilities which were preventing further spiritual growth in that person. But
there is something uniquely different and far more potent and penetrating in actually
"seeing yourself" (when Adi Da "became you") than getting mere verbal descriptions
of oneself, which can be received in a merely intellectual manner. Just think
of any time you've been annoyed by someone else, and then suddenly realized: Oh
my God, that's what I do! Adi Da took that form of "generating self-reflection through incident" to the
limit with His devotees.
Alan Watt's Foreword to The
Knee Of Listening:] As I read Franklin Jones, especially the Epilogue,
which is worth the price of the book he has simply realized that he himself as
he is, like a star, like a dolphin, like an iris, is a perfect and authentic manifestation
of the eternal energy of the universe, and thus is no longer disposed to be in
conflict with himself. Dangerous wisdom and yet fire, electricity, and technical
knowledge are also dangerous.