The Ego Manifests as Self-Contracted Identification, Differentation, and Desire
has described the ego as manifesting as three separate activities: identification,
differentiation, and desire. These three activities correlate with
the three components of the human body-mind: the "gross" or physical
body, which manifests in every moment as desire or movement; the subtle body or
"mind", which manifests in every moment as the activity of differentiation;
and the causal body, which manifests in every moment as the activity of identification.
Divine Realization requires self-transcendence, and self-transcendence requires
transcendence of these three egoic activities or "presumptions" in every
appearance, the quality of rising experience, tends to inform one's intuition.
This "information" tends to become one's presumed condition. And this presumption
corrupts and ultimately superimposes itself on the force of intuition. It does
so by reinforcing the process of identification, or "ego" (the stream of self-cognition),
differentiation, or mind (the stream of thoughts), and desire (the stream of motivations,
the endless movement toward contact, connection, union, and temporary loss of
the sense of separate existence).
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, The
Conscious Energy (or the One and Only and inherently
individible Conscious Light) becomes trapped in the area of Its concentration.
Thus, Conscious Energy (or Conscious Light) tends, most often, to be trapped in
life-problems. . . Only when Conscious Energy is Realized as no-dilemma and no-seeking
is It neither trapped nor exclusively concentrated. It is Realized as Freedom,
Existence, Joy, Enjoyment, and Consciousness without qualification. If one examines
this process of Conscious Energy in relation to the human vehicle, one sees that
It remains trapped in life-seeking as long as It is concentrated (by identification,
differentiation, and desire) in any of the various chakras.
Adi Da Samraj, The Knee Of Listening
You have said that this activity [the self-contraction] takes the form
of identification, differentiation, and desire. In a concrete situation, what
ADI DA: The ordinary sense that you have — while sitting,
standing, walking, lying down — is of separate existence. It is not that
you are constantly saying to yourself, "I am this body. I am this mind. I
am this. I am that." There is no mental process that is responsible for communicating
to you the sense of separate self. You already have this sense. You wake up alive,
you move in bodily terms — it just seems very obvious. There is the root-sense
of some sort of limit, size, shape, or "difference". That is identification.
It is called "ego".
Differentiation is expressed through all the
forms of knowing (or mind) by means of which all experience becomes an extension
of the separate-self-sense that one has assumed. Everything becomes a "this".
"Look at this. Look at this." Suddenly, there are endless planes of
significance. The very structure of your thought is "this, this, this".
Spontaneously, everything is already multiplied, distinct.
acquired this sense of separate existence — already perceiving, already
thinking, presuming a range of multiplicity, a range of separate natures, forms,
and forces — you move. That motion is desire. This separate one moves. The
one you call "I" conceives a realm of multiplicity in which to move,
because that one presumes itself to be separate. There is something, even a world,
that you are up against — so you move. And that movement is desire.
these three assumptions (of identification, differentiation, and desire) are made,
an endless adventure inevitably ensues. That adventure is what human beings are
up to. Indeed, all ordinary beings (human and non-human) who are karmically manifested
in the conditional worlds are living that adventure. Each one lives the adventure
with particular qualities, in particular circumstances, with characteristic ranges
of subjectivity — but all beings are living their adventure on the armature
of this same structure, this same form, this same complex of assumptions. Therefore,
the best practical (or concrete) example of the process of identification, differentation,
and desire is simply your present state — "me", separate, with
everything around "me" moving. The best example of it is simply what
you ordinarily perceive to be your condition in any present moment . . .
waking life, what you know as the ordinary waking state, is a continual drama
based on these three activities of identification, differentiation, and desire.
The causal body (which is the seat of deep sleep) manifests as the activity of
identification (or separate self-sense), through contraction of the causal center
in the right side of the heart. The subtle body (which is the seat of dreams)
comprises the internal (or subtle) range of functions — manifesting, essentially,
as the elaboration (or differentiation) of thought, feeling, energy, and sensation.
This is done by contraction of the subtle mechanism — which (in the vertical
plane) has many centers (or functions) in the ascending (or spinal) line of the Circle and in the brain, and which (in the horizontal
plane) is eptomized as the middle station of the heart. Then the waking state
adds the movements of desire (or manifested vitality) — which (in the vertical
plane) manifests as the descending (or frontal) line of the Circle and which (in
the horizontal plane) is felt as the contraction in the left side of the heart.
Adi Da Samraj, "Money, Food, and Sex"
But in Reality, there is no experience,
no identity, no differentiation, no desire. . . . In the unqualified State of
the most perfect Realization . . . all self-contracted (or egoic, or separate
and separative) identification, differentiation, and desire have ended (in centerless
and boundless "Bright" Feeling-Awareness, or the always-already State,
Which Is Self-Existing and Self-Radiant Love-Bliss-Consciousness).
Adi Da Samraj, The Knee Of Listening
Man of "Radical" Understanding is not "entranced". . .
He Is Merely and "Brightly" Spiritually Present.
no obstruction in the form of mind, identity, differentiation, and desire.
uses identity, differentiation, and desire.
He is passionate.
Adi Da Samraj, The Knee Of Listening
Da indicates that the sense of dilemma is created by self-contracted identification,
differentiation, and desire. Identification, differentiation, and desire don't
have to stop. They simply have to stop being used as extensions of the self-contraction.
There is no problem (or ego, or sense of dilemma) when identity, differentation,
and desire are being used for the functional purposes of the Divine, by the Divinely
The Relation between the "Two Halves of the Ego Script" and the "Three Activities of the Ego"
In the last section
Only the Self-Indulger but the Self-Discipliner), we considered Adi Da's observation
that the ego is always appearing in the form of opposing tendencies (self-indulgent
and self-suppressive/self-controlling) and:
hearing doesn't really awaken until there is total self-awareness and the freedom
from having to identify with one or the other half of your script in any given
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "Beyond
The "two halves of the script"
(the self-indulger and the idealistic self-controller) correspond to the three
activities of identification, differentiation, and desire in the following way:
self-indulger is all the various forms of self-contracted desire (manifesting
vitally through the body).
- The self-discipliner (or
self-controller) is all the various forms of differentiation, or mind, or ideas
about self and world (and how things should be, or how "I" should be).
- In any moment of egoity, there is always a sense of dilemma
because these two tendencies (of self-indulgence and self-control) point in opposite
directions: eating and ideas about eating; relating to others and ideas about
relating to others; etc. One half is enjoying "eating", while the other half separates
itself from the act of eating by thinking about it. One half is moving outward,
while the other half is moving inward. It doesn't matter which one is currently
active — the other tendency is there (even if only dormant), creating a
sense of dilemma.
Progressive Relaxation of Identification via Self-Understanding
the deepest egoic process, originating in the causal body (via the contraction
of the right side of the heart). Disciplining of the self-indulger (associated
with the self-contracted body) and the self-controller (associated with the self-contracted
mind) — combined with Ruchira Avatar Bhakti Yoga — indirectly relaxes
the process of identification, leading it to progressively "unwind"
or "loosen up". (Adi Da has used the metaphor of the fist for the act
of self-contraction. You can think of the progressive relaxation I am describing
here as the "fist" of self uncurling progressively.)
The way this "works"
in the beginning — the listening process — is that the disciplining
of both opposing tendencies (associated with body and mind) in every moment leads
to moments of self-understanding, based on an inability to identify with either
one of the opposing tendencies:
see both sides so you must be aware of all of your complexity and in all areas
you must see yourself in pairs of two minds of someone living in a dilemma or
problem. You see when you are fully self-aware and when you are no longer really
able to be one or the other side of any position.
Adi Da Samraj, "Beyond
When disciplining of both tendencies
in a pair of opposing tendencies has led to such a degree of awareness of both
tendencies that one can no longer identify with either one (the self-indulger
or the self-controller), a moment of self-understanding can occur. Adi Da uses
this word "understanding" in its "root" sense: in a moment
of true (or "radical") self-understanding (as opposed to merely intellectual self-observation),
you are "standing under" your self — standing in a position prior
to either of those opposing tendencies. Hence, in this new position, your own
activity of identification has been relaxed a bit. You are no longer identifying
with either of these tendencies, and so long as you remain in this position, these
tendencies can no longer bind you, regardless of which side you happen to animate
(for functional reasons) in any given moment. The animation of either side (for
example, when you are choosing whether to eat or to not eat in any moment) is
not based on self-contraction (either in the form of self-indulgence, e.g., "I
need to eat to feel good"; or in the form of idealistic self-control, "I
weigh too much, so I shouldn't eat") but self-understanding.
Further Progressive Relaxation of Identification
Adi Da has laid out certain
milestones that occur in this process of progressive relaxation of identification,
in which the self-contraction is increasingly "letting go" or "unwinding".
"I" is a
point in the head
— In the beginning, as ordinary egos, the self-contraction
is "wound" so tight, that we are not even identifying with the entire
body-mind. Most of the time, we are contracting inside the body, so that we are
identifying with a point in the head we associate with the mind, over and against
must have listened to music through a pair of stereo speakers or headphones. The
sound appears to arise from some point in the middle of your head. If you become
very attentive to that process itself, the point of hearing seems to be generated
in the very midst of your head. If you become even more attentive, this point
of "hearing" will become the thing in which you are interested, and you wont hear
the details or even the sounds of the music anymore. The psycho-physical organism
as a whole operates in very much the same way. The functional mechanisms of perception,
such as the ears, seem to "target" phenomena.
When we are weak, when we
have suffered through not living these phenomena from the point of view of Truth,
we become obsessed with this point of awareness, the target itself. We begin to
identify with it. Perception or experience creates the self, the ego, and we begin
chronically to live in terms of this target as if it were the source and center
of life. No matter what phenomena arise, you habitually manipulate them in such
a way that this target becomes the focus and apparent source or origin of your
attention. . . . The target became the obsession. In this way, the intensity or
potency of all experience is used to reinforce Narcissus, the sense of separate,
independent self. . . .
When this target becomes the obsession in consciousness,
the living phenomena of our spontaneous existence are no longer clear. If you
are focused compulsively upon the target of the sound, you can't differentiate
the patterns of music any longer, you can't enjoy the sound, you can't turn to the
source of sound, you contract from it continually. So the sense of existence as
this contracted point is the dilemma. When we speak from the point of view of
self, it is always as dilemma. And when we begin to perceive, to turn back to
the spontaneous world from this point of view, everything seems mysterious, threatening.
Then every thing assumes the form or quality of a question. And there is a continual
return, folding back in on that target or point again and again, until this activity
is re-cognized, known again.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "One-Pointedness"
is the body (or whole body-mind)
— This is the first major step
in the progressive relaxation of identity and self-contraction.
first thing you've got to go through is the process of understanding in which
you simply stand as the 'I' as the body without contracting into some abstract
sense of being interior, being the mind against the body.
You've got to
relax from this identification with the conceptual mind or the interior perceptual
mind and be the total which is the whole body or the total psycho-physical person.
The conditional self is the I. The 'I' is not merely some interior mental preoccupation.
It is that but it is more than that. It is the total body mind physically present,
physically felt, not contracting. You must see this and understanding it as it
is. . . .
It's like a two-step process. You have to discover what it is
altogether and let it be. Be it. Let the 'I' be it, but this 'I' you see which
is the body-mind and not merely the mind. It is contraction. It is something being
superimposed in the present instant on existence. So this process of listening
whereby you allow the ego to be identified with the body mind is not merely some
interior drama. It's just the first step in a process in which you find out the
'I' . . . .
Every stage of the Way has a progress of events or stages of
demonstration. In the listening stage there is a progress or there are stages
of the demonstration of it. 'I' as the body is not hearing. It is simply an early
event in the process of self-understanding or self-observation. To acknowledge
the 'I' as it is which is the total body mind and not an interior dramatization
merely, puts you in a position to go further in this process of self-observation.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "Beyond
Narcissus perfectly, hearing, and communing with That Which is prior to
— Hearing occurs when the listening devotee understands
the ego at a fundamental (or comprehensive) level, such that the mechanism of
self-contraction can be recognized in any moment and felt beyond. One of the key
communications about hearing that Adi Da has given is the understanding that hearing
requires one — as the prerequisite just the moment before hearing —
to be able to "be" Narcissus (the self-contraction) perfectly and in
, rather than simply identifying with one or another half of
the many pairs of tendencies that comprise the totality of our egoic patterning:
I observed this deep sensation of conflict
and endlessly multiplied contradictions, such that I was surrendered to its very
shape, as if to experience it perfectly and to be it.
Adi Da Samraj, The Knee Of Listening
self-contraction perfectly and entirely (rather than just being a "piece" or "extension"
of it), we are able to see that we are doing it, and can then release it in every
you truly locate the self-contraction in this Yoga of devotion to Me, you simultaneously
locate Me and discover the immediate means always available to you for going beyond
that ego-knot. . . . It's a matter of standing in the position of that act, that
self-contraction, that knot, not just experiencing it from some point of view
outside it, and directly feeling beyond it. So that becomes the basis of practice
once hearing is the case. It's a very direct gesture. . . . And you have the knowledge,
in that position, of Radiance. You can always make this gesture. You always know
what the problem is. It's this knot, that you're doing. And you always can feel
beyond it in Communion with Me. . . .
It becomes more and more profound,
more and more constant. So instead of noticing the self-contraction, feeling beyond
it, or however it works in your own case, you see, instead of those kinds of routines,
it becomes the constant of Communion with Me, Samadhi, just beyond the self-knot.
. . . A taste of that is so full you don't want to drop back. And you find out
how to enter into that Communion under all circumstances.
Adi Da Samraj, The
Knot of 'I' - The Self-Contraction
Samadhi of 'the Thumbs' and identification with the Witness-Consciousness
— "The 'Thumbs'" is Adi Da's technical term for the Invasion of the body-mind
by a particular form of the forceful Descent of His Divine Spirit-Current. In
the fullest form of this experience, which Avatar Adi Da calls "the Samadhi of
the 'Thumbs'", His Spirit Invasion Descends all the way to the bottom of the frontal
line of the body mind (at the bodily base) and ascends through the spinal line,
overwhelming the ordinary human sense of bodily existence, infusing the whole
being with intense blissfulness, and releasing the ordinary, confined sense of
body, mind, and separate self. Eventually, in what Avatar Adi Da calls the "'Radical'
Self-Manifestation of the 'Thumbs'", this process leads to the stable awakening
of the Witness-Consciousness and the transition to the "Perfect Practice" of Adidam.
(Itself) is Inherently Free of the implications, or effects, of the body-mind
and the apparent cosmos of conditional Nature. Therefore, the (Inherently Perfect)
Witness-Consciousness is not (Itself) un-Happy, afraid, sorrowful, depressed,
angry, hungry, lustful, thoughtful, threatened by bodily mortality, or implicated
in the alternately pleasurable (or positive) and painful (or negative) states
of the body, and of the mind, and (altogether) of conditional Nature.
Adi Da Samraj, Eleutherios
— Finally, the Perfect Practice awakens one to Divine
difference between ordinary self-contracted awareness and Divine Enlightenment
is that in ordinary self-contracted awareness you identify with the conventional
(or phenomenal) self, while in Divine Enlightenment there is Most Perfect Identification
with (and Realization of) the Divine Reality.
This is the only difference.
Thus, depending on what you identify with, you will live in either one of two
ways. One is the usual round of obsession, fear, and seeking — in which the egoic
self is the actor and the meaning of the drama. The other is the Way of Unlimited
Intelligence, Love, Freedom, Spontaneity, and Infinite Happiness.
Adi Da Samraj, Easy Death
attention is without limit, it is Divine Consciousness Itself, just Consciousness.
When energy is without limit, it is Free Force, Love-Bliss. When there is no limit
on energy and attention, there is only Self-Radiant Being, without limit — and
even the whole world becomes obviously That. And you, in the form of the manifest
personality, become someone who is active as the Divinely Transfiguring Power
that is Inherent in the realm of conditional Nature and that Transcends It also.
Adi Da Samraj
7: The Artfulness of Helping Others Take Up (and Persist in) Disciplines