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8. Making Life Changes Before Becoming a Devotee

This is Part 8 of Chris Tong's eight-part article, The Necessary Artfulness in Taking Up Disciplines in the Way of Adidam.

We are now in a position where we can consider the original question: "Can any of the disciplines be taken up before the Gift of recognition of Adi Da as the Divine Person is received, to further the possibility of that happening?"

Making any changes in life that free up energy and attention before one becomes Adi Da's devotee (to serve the Revelation of recognition of Adi Da as the Divine Person, that enables one to practice the Way of Adidam) can be guided by the same principles that guide devotees taking up disciplines, and which we have discussed in parts 1 through 7. Really get the principle of "the ego escaping out another door" and the need to discipline and understand both the self-indulger and the self-controller. Thoroughly study (and allow yourself to be moved by) Adi Da's Instruction on the discipline. When possible, consult a devotee who has already adapted to the discipline for advice, particularly on the logic of adaptation for this particular discipline. Definitely consult devotees for advice on choosing disciplines, keeping in mind the pitfalls that such devotees themselves can fall into, in their advice-giving.

Measure your own self-understanding against the taking on of such a life change. Measure your capacity for enduring heat. Measure your response to Adi Da. Even before you receive the Gift of recognizing Adi Da as the Divine Person (that enables you to become His devotee), He can certainly already serve you as Spiritual Teacher. These are the "arms" that allow you to take up a discipline without complication.

And to be sure, for each of us, some changes of behavior simply are not that difficult, and don't produce the kinds of side effects we've been describing. This is particularly true when we're early on in practice, and we haven't put all that much "pressure" on the ego altogether yet. After all, ordinary people are making lifestyle changes all the time (healthier diets, more exercise, qutting smoking, being more loving in their intimacies, etc.), even without any help from the Divine! But more than this, these disciplines support and magnify God-Communion, creating a "positive feedback loop" if one can hang in there long enough to experience it:

God is the Truth, and God is the Principle of our existence. . . .

Therefore, I call you to meditate, and all the other disciplines I suggest to you are based on this consideration. The personal and relational disciplines are intended only to create a circumstance of support in the chemical and biological nature of this body-mind for this submission, this alignment, this attunement, this Happiness. They create a biochemical basis for God-Love. That is their only import. They are not hard disciplines. They are circumstances of God-Love, of Bliss, Happiness, God-Communion, Mystery, Wonder, Delight.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
The Dreaded Gom-Boo

It's only when we want to completely circumscribe the ego with disciplines — and confine it to tiny "sattvic" circles of behavior, with the intent of transcending it altogether — that the ego fights for its life like a cornered animal, and we absolutely need the help of the Divine to bring the process to completion.

All devotees of Adi Da take on some disciplines. But it is only those devotees who take on all disciplines (including not only the generic ones that everyone is asked to take on, but the ones designed to uniquely frustrate that particular devotee's ego) — taking them on in the artfully paced, intelligent, and responsive manner described in this article — who become advanced practitioners in the Way of Adidam.

Adi Da SamrajYou have to do the discipline in the Divine Avataric Company of the Real-God-Realizer. You cannot avoid that. You cannot get Realized without going through the ordeal. It is not a believing matter. You do not get it for free, in that sense. You get the Grace for free, yes, but you Realize It by accepting the ordeal. In every heart, there is this disposition to Realize That. And there is no end to karma, no end to struggle, no end to life, until there is that Perfect Realization.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
December 31, 1994

My devotees are tested to the point of Infinity. My devotees are obliged to live in the fire and be purified. And only when you have been in the fire long enough does it begin to Enlighten you. When you have burned up in it, then it is Light. Until that time it is heat. When there is nothing left to burn, then the fire of this Process is Self-Radiant Divine Love-Bliss, but not before then.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
The Fire Must Have Its Way


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