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Integral World: Exploring Theories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Brad Reynolds did graduate work at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) before leaving to study under Ken Wilber for a decade, and published two books reviewing Wilber's work: Embracing Reality: The Integral Vision of Ken Wilber (Tarcher, 2004), Where's Wilber At?: Ken Wilber's Integral Vision in the New Millennium (Paragon House, 2006) and God's Great Tradition of Global Wisdom: Guru Yoga-Satsang in the Integral Age (Bright Alliance, 2021). Visit: http://integralartandstudies.com/Portfolio3.php
Adi Da's Peace Law
Spiritual Choices, Part 5
Humankind is in the midst of a process of globalizing itself, and as a result, all the past signals of tribalism are breaking down. And so, in reaction to that, there is a lot of effort to re-nationalize the mentality of people. People are re-tribalizing themselves because they are reacting to the chaos associated with the process of being globalized.
The Peace Law: Right Life for the Global Human Family
T he authenticity of the World-Sage and Enlightened human being Adi Da Samraj (1939-2008) would naturally compel him to speak out about world politics, the tragedy of warfare, the destruction of the Earth's natural environment, and how to attain peace and cooperation among individuals and the world. Obviously, like all Sages or highly-evolved Mystics, Adi Da identifies the core problem, the root of all war, as being that of the ego-I or the felt sense of being a separate entity disconnected (and fearful) of all others (or whatever is “not-self”). Sure, we all learn to not necessarily act out of fear, but deep inside, the desire for self-preservation is a mode for survival. Death denial and unconscious motivations have become the provenance of modern psychology, as well as much of ancient religious theology, so this isn't just idle speculation. For example, the Brihadaranyaka Upanishadthe “Great Forest” text, probably the oldest Upanishad (composed around 8th-century BCE)famously stated: “It is from other that fear arises.” (I.4.2) Adi Da summarizes:
The un-Enlightened human individual is in a state of constant concern for his or her self-preservation (even though this concern may not always be conscious). This self-based (or egoic) pattern (or orientation toward existence) is manifested as the psychology of search and conflict relative to all that is presumed to be “not-self”. Thus, human beings are inherently disposed to control and dominate all that they presume to be “not-self”. For this reason, individual egocentric lives are a constant expression of fear, sorrow, anger, and un-love. Except for the greatest Saints and Sages, every individualwhether “leader” or “follower”is controlled by this egoic pattern. And the collective life of egocentric human beings (expressed in organized groups of all kinds, including governments) is dominated by the same motives toward self-preservation and toward control of what is “outside”leading to the collective expression of fear, sorrow, anger, and un-love….
And when anger becomes the mood of human societies, the quality of fire (or the primitive and destructive intent of the frustrated ego) invades the plane of humanity. That fire is expressed as all of the aggression and competitiveness (and all the resultant sufferings and painful illusions) of mankind including all of the ego-based politics of confrontation. And that ego-fire is, finally, summarized in the acts of war.
This point of view is precisely the same as Ken Wilber, who pointed out in his groundbreaking chapter on integral politics, “Democrats, Republicans, and Mystics” (in Up from Eden, 1981), where he summarized the view of the world's great Mystics:
[According to the Mystics] men and women are unfree because there exists a belief in the existence of a “true” [separate] self in the first place. Unfreedom, anguish, and inequality do not arise because of something the object does to the subject, or because of something the subject does to the object, but because of the prior duality between the subject and the object itself. We are not to repress or unrepress the self, but rather undermine it; transcend it; see through it.
This is exactly the same solutiontranscendence of the ego-I or presumption of a separate self-sensethat Adi Da, like all other genuine Mystics, suggests. Wilber, again, summarizes: “The aim of the Mystics is to deliver men and women from their battles by delivering them from their boundaries. Not manipulate the subject, and not manipulate the object, but transcend both in Nondual Consciousness. The discovery of the ultimate Whole is the only cure for unfreedom, and it is the only prescription offered by the Mystics.” Or, as Adi Da said: “When the way of living becomes the active surrender of egoity, then the conditions of life will constantly prove the Truth.” And the truth is: all people want Freedom because everyone has the urge to reach toward an Infinite Life beyond the confines of mortality. An innate instinct in our hearts compels us to fulfill this (hidden) truth. Because of this we have the Perennial Philosophy and the true Gurusto guide us on the Way. The Ruchira Buddha Da clarifies what we know is true deep in our hearts:
The urge to contemplate is apparent in all conditionally manifested forms. The urge to contemplatenot merely the urge to relax. In other words, the urge to be entered into, or to be combined with, or to discover and be in real association with, That Which Is Greater than your mortality, and Which Supports your existence in the form in which you are now appearing, while also Giving you an existence exceeding your mortal limits. (The fundamental urge can beand, in the history of the Great Tradition of humankind, has beendescribed in many different ways)….
Human beings must understand that the transcending of mortality is what they were purposed for, what they are living for. Human beings are not alive on Earth merely to be cogs in the machine of hoped-for progress to utopiamerely to sing their “cricket song”, make a baby or two, and then drop dead. No. There is also the impulse based on the knowledge that this human birth is a mortal condition. It is the urge to Find What Is Greater and to be included in That. Every living being has the instinct of Infinite Life. That instinct, that urge, must be allowed, cultivated, even educated. Sacred culture happens only if human beings create it.
This is precisely what the authentic Guru-Adepts are here to do; this is their Great Function: to serve people in the transcendence of their egoity and fear by Awakening them to the prior unity of our True Self, known as Divine Realization or Enlightenment. Therefore, this is not something the State can do but is the responsibility of each and every individual, regardless of land of origin, ethnicity, race, religious persuasion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Adi Da, unlike most political theorists, recognizes that this responsibility resides in intimate cooperative community or a real down-to-earth cooperative social culture, one that will allow human beings to attain their highest potentials. The Sat-Guru (or “True Guru”) beautifully and directly explained this view in an essay originally titled “'Radical' Politics For Ordinary Men and Women” (based on a radical or “at the root” understanding of egoic activity or the contraction away from love and happiness):
The existence of the big political “system” does not make any ultimate positive difference in the daily life of the individual. You can and must live a truly free, responsible life, regardless of the “system” or the “news”…. Regardless of the larger politics, or the state of the “news”the truly human (and humanizing) politics of intimate, cooperative living can (and, indeed, must) be done. And, therefore, the ego-transcending discipline of intimate, cooperative living is the only real and true politicsor the only genuine “realpolitik” (or Reality-politics) for ordinary (or truly human) men and women.
“Intimate, cooperative living is the only real and true politics.” Wise social wisdom from a genuine Mystic, an Enlightened human being. However, I must make clear from the outset that Adi Da insists that he is not here merely to suggest social solutions for world peace and the end of war, as important as those aspirations may be. It is true, as a “World-Friend” or “World-Teacher” (names he gave himself)or as Jagad Guru or “Global Guru” (jagat, literally, in Sanskrit, “Guru of the entire world”)that is part of the service arising from his true function as Siddha-Guru or Avatar. His main function, as I have made clear [see Parts 1-4], is esoteric in nature, addressing the sacred domain of human life. This is because the real Guru is ultimately about the transmission of the Transcendental (beyond all forms) and Spiritual (pervading all forms) Shaktipat (or “psychic-energy”) since this is where the Guru'sand this Avatar'sgreatest value lies [see Part 2]. Avatar Adi Da's presence here on Earth is primarily one of Blessing-Transmission in offering Satsang, or a sacred relationship to Him as Spiritual Master. This is the true essence of real Guru Yoga as it's been practiced for millennia (as my recent book clearly explains). This is Adi Da's principal Divine Gift to all beings, including humankind as a whole, today and forever hereafter into the future. Not just for him but for all the Great Gurus (or Maha-Siddhas) of world history: from Krishna to Buddha to Jesus to Ramana Maharshi, and so on.
Like all Sages or highly-evolved Mystics, Adi Da identifies the core problem, the root of all war, as being that of the ego-I or the felt sense of being a separate entity disconnected (and fearful) of all others (or whatever is "not-self").
Secular and Sacred Domains of Human Existence
N aturally, of course, this means Adi Da also addresses the exoteric or outer domain of secular society and collective governments (which this essay focuses on). With typical insight, Bhagavan Adi Da clearly outlines the right relationship to both the sacred and secular domains of human life:
There is the sacred domain of life, and there is the secular (or public, or outer) domain…. There needs to be a clear division between these two domains. Both domains must exist, but they must exist in their right hierarchical relationshipwith the sacred domain always remaining senior to the secular (or public) domain. People need to be anchored in the sacred domain even in order to function rightly in the secular domain…. Human beings need to be centered in the sacred domainthe place of human intimacy, of true culture, of intimate cooperative community, the sphere of the primary culture of the arts and the intimate exercise of life.
Since the early years of his Teaching-Work, Adi Da openly discoursed on political matters, including the appropriateness of properly using the exoteric secular domain and how it is to be rightly aligned with the esoteric sacred domain. Beginning with Scientific Proof of the Existence of God Will Soon Be Announced by the White House! (1980), which included a brilliant foreword by Ken Wilber, there are such gems as the essay (now titled): “I Am Here To Awaken A Bright New Age of Global Humankind.” Adi Da continued to expand his considerations on the necessity for “cooperative human community,” both for his devotees and the world-at-large, throughout his life. This culminated in 2006 with the publication of Not-Two Is Peace: The Ordinary People's Way of Global Cooperative Order (later editions have also appeared), where he introduced the idea of a “Global Cooperative Forum” as a means to rationally and cooperatively deal with the world's problems. However, I must mention right away that this does not mean some type of monolithic “New World Order” forced upon people, for as the Avatar clarifies:
To bring the cooperative global human community into existence is not a matter of creating some kind of monolithic “world government”. Rather, it is a matter of global cooperation among governments (or among representatives of various collectives)a global cooperative politics that is no longer based on mutual opposition, unmanaged competition, or strategic efforts to dominate. The politics of confrontation and competition must be disciplined by the real (and really exercised) mutual dependency of human beings and human collectives on one another.
In other words, the secular domain must be disciplined by the insights gained in the sacred domain of authentic spiritual life. And the core of spiritual life is founded on the awareness of our Divine and spiritual existence, which as billions of egos know, is an understanding that does not come easy. This is precisely the advantage offered by Guru Yoga-Satsang. The approach of Satsang or Guru Yoga offered by Adi Da Samraj is ultimately based on the realization of Non-Dual Consciousness (aka “Not-Two”) where our prior unitywith each other and our Divine Conditionis consciously recognized. Only this Realizationwhat is traditionally called Enlightenment or God-Realization, the true essence of mystical awakeningcan undo the dualistic attitude of the separate self who is living in fear of others (or whatever is “not-self”, including Nature “outside” us), as mentioned earlier. The integral pandit Wilber brilliantly points to just this mystical “solution” in his insightful chapter on integral (and enlightened) politics:
Men and women are potentially totally free because they can transcend the subject and the object and fall into unobstructed Unity Consciousness, prior to all worlds but not other to all worlds. The ultimate solution to unfreedom, then, is neither Humanistic-Marxist nor Freudian-Conservative, but Buddhistic: satori, moksha, wu, release, awakening, metanoia [i.e., Divine Enlightenment].
This Realization, however, is ultimately accomplished by Grace, not by efforts of the ego. Yet, Grace is made more available by spiritual practicesor Right Life with a genuine Guru-Adeptwhere we must be responsible for our choices (by exercising free will) in how we live and what we meditate on. This does not mean escaping the world (or human existence) but living fully in the world while centered beyond the world. This means accepting personal responsibility within the framework of intimate cooperative human community, not some control method enforced by either religion or the State. Adi Da guides us in this true understanding:
A truly rational and benign politics cannot be enacted merely by investing humankind in a worldwide system of parent-like bureaucracies. The abstract system creates childish dependencies and illusory solutions, and it discourages the general possibility of genuine personal responsibility, or daily “right life” (and the ego-transcending Realization of the Only and Non-Dual Self-Nature, Self-Condition, and Self-State of Reality and Truth). The true politics of the individual is in relation to what is intimate to him or her. Truly human politics is in the sphere of directly effective relationships, experienced on a daily basiswhere the individual's voice and experience can be directly heard and sympathetically felt. That, fundamentally, is politics. All the rest is only the vulgar and inherently daily “news” of the world-mummery of human egos.
A “world-mummery of human egos.” “Mummery” is a word used by Adi Da that the dictionary defines as “a ridiculous, hypocritical or pretentious ceremony or performance.” Adi Da uses this term to point to all of the unenlightened activities of egoic beings who are committed to their false view of separativeness and separation. As Wilber confirms: “As long as the soul separates itself from the All, it will feel both fear and desire, Thanatos and Eros, terror and thirst. The boundary between self and other is the terror of living; the boundary between being and non-being is the terror of dying. As long as men and women are slaves to their boundaries, they will be caught in battles, for as any military expert will testify, wherever there is a boundary there is a potential war (i.e., samsara).” Again, it is egoic activity, the self-contracting gesture of the separate Ifearful of the other, defending its boundaries, separated from Nature (or the All)that generates the root cause of war and most of the world's major problems. Let's allow the Global Adept to clarify once more “the root of war” and all human unhappiness:
The path of egocentricity is recognizable as separativeness, or the complex avoidance of relationship (or avoidance of the life-condition of inherent relatedness, or of universally patterned dependency within, and upon, the Indivisible Unity of Light-Energy Itself). Thus, the characteristics of the path of egocentricity are the struggle between the life-motives of childish dependency and adolescent independence, and the constant dramatization of every kind of seeking (based on chronic self-contraction, and the subsequent chronic sense of unfulfilled and threatened existence).
The treatises in Not-Two Is Peace, as given by the World-Friend Adi Da, should be studied by everybody, even those not interested in approaching him as a Siddha-Guru, for they appeal to the entire human race. Integral thinker and physicist Ervin Laszlo affirms this view in his Introduction to this important book: “Every once in a while a prophetic voice is raised in the midst of crisis and chaos. It cuts through the walls of indifference, neglect, and just plain ignorance, and exposes the heart of the issue. This book [of Adi Da's] is such a voice…. The voice of the World-Friend Adi Da, which speaks to us through these pages, addresses none other than the issue of our collective survivalthe survival of the species that calls itself Homo sapiens.” There is no more urgent need than to heed the Call of this Enlightened Adept, the Prophet of the Heart, for his “solution” and advice is not partial or inadequate to the task at hand. A new reformation of humankindgenerating a true global “Cooperative Democracy” where all individuals in socio-cultural collectives participate in cooperation working together on our futureis the demand that must be met:
An ego-based civilization, like any ego-based individual, is suffering, seeking, and indulging in every kind of separate and separative effort toward mere survival and conditional satisfaction. Therefore, just as any individual who has become sunk in the patterns and results of egoity must become reformed or released from the patterns and results of egoity, and, Ultimately, Most Perfectly Awakened To and In and As the Self-Evidently Divine Truth That Is Reality Itselfjust so, any civilization that has become sunk in the patterns and results of egoity must become likewise reformed (and, Ultimately, likewise Most Perfectly Awakened).
And the struggle by individuals and groups to practically re-establish human-scale, cooperative, and truly sacred community living is the necessary and principle revolution… whereby all human beings… can, at the practical (political, social, and cultural) human level, purify themselves (and, more and more, even civilization itself) from the negative effects (including, ultimately, the loss of individual and collective integrity) that comes… with the expansion and universalization of civilization.
We, as individuals and collective societies, must break beyond, undermine, transcend, see through the illusions of the separate self and accept, act upon, and celebrate our unity as one human race, as interrelated creatures of Nature (among countless species and types), and as being part of God's glorious and magnificent Kosmos of Spirit-in-action (set within the Mysterious Silence of the nondual “Bright”). Yet it is our responsibility to engage in such self-transcendence via, as Adi Da says, “a 'radical' understanding (or root self-understanding) that is neither strategically self-destructive nor strategically world-denying.” Wilber, too, is quite clear: “For unfreedom, aggression, and anxiety are not characteristic of the nature of humanity, but characterize of the separate self of humanity.” Indeed, even an Enlightened Avatar agrees that democracy, as a cooperative effort among human-scale communities with a representative form of government, is an effective way to secure our freedoms, as long as our representatives are responsible to the people as a whole, and not merely invested in economic or war-like interests. Is that not the challenge facing every generation? Adi Da clarifies:
Freedom is a matter of consciousness (or real intelligence) and responsibility. It is the duty and fundamental political motive, or social urge, of free men and women to create an intimate, cooperative union with other men and women. Therefore, the basic idea of democracy (or of the “free society”, in general) is not mere personal independence (nor impersonally organized collectivism), but it is cooperative human community, or the culture of responsible human intimacy.
Is this not the urge of all free men and women? To be Free! Is this not what we all yearn our lives to be framed within, for our children, and their children, ad infinitum, set within the secular domain of collective existence protected by laws of justice and equality? And to be buttressed by the Freedoms and unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, as well as the Right to worship as we feel best in serving our religious feelings (and knowledge) arising within the sacred domain of human existence? But humanity, as individuals and as the group of collectives, can only accomplish this Great Task of the Human Race through the guidance of one basic Law and Principleor “the simplest Law and Measure of humankind” (in Adi Da's words)as stated in one paramount formula given by an Enlightened Avatar to the entire world culture (for all time). This is not a law or commandment etched in stone given on a mountaintop, but as one revealed from the depths of a human heart touched by the Bliss of Divine Awakening:
I n early 1999, just prior to the turn into the Third Millennium, Adi Da Samraj spent forty-three days in seclusion at his temple “The 'Brightness'” (on his island of Naitauba in Fiji) while keeping his attention on the war taking place in the former Yugoslavia between the Serbs and the Kosovan Albanians. The ethnic cleansing and mass murder of civilians in the middle of Europe finally led NATO to engage in bombing campaigns (begun in March 1999) to bring both parties to peace talks and a settled resolution. Adi Da entered a period of intense austerity as he attempted to serve the world situation through psychic and spiritual means. His deep concern for the plight of humankind, which at the time also included the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado (on April 20, 1999), manifested in profound bodily symptoms. This period would later become a turning point in his world-Work of Blessing-Transmission (eventually culminating in the “Translation Event” of April 2000).
Later, Adi Da spoke about the potential perils facing humanity, especially with the turn into the new millennium. As a result, he predicted (not forecast) within two years, if world leaders did not more directly confront this perilous situation, it would be very difficult to reverse course. Then on September 11, 2001, with the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, collapsing them into a pile of rubble, death, and destruction, the course of human history was irrevocably altered for the worse. The only way out of this downward spiral, I believe, is to listen and practicedo the yoga!that the world's Great Guru-Adepts have always suggested we do. Now rather than later! No political solution or idealistic movement, or philosophical model (including the “fourth turning” of Integral Metatheory), is going to accomplish these great goals, for it absolutely involves a transformation of consciousness. We need to turn to the Adepts for guidance and wisdom on how to actually Grow Up and Wake Up (Clean Up and Show Up). With a worldwide ecological crisis precipitating immense destruction caused by global climate changeand now (in 2022) with a deadly war in Europe started by Vladimir Putin's delusion of “Holy Russia” potentially leading to WWIII (and possibly nuclear war)time is running out… if it hasn't already passed. We must act now!
During the Kosovo war, a devotee working as a senior advisor on the United Nations High Commission for Refugees asked Adi Da if he would write an open letter to humankind addressing the urgent issues facing humanity. This communication resulted in “The Peace Law: An Open Letter To The Global Human Family, Calling For The Universal Establishment of The Collective Principles of Cooperation and Tolerance” (which this essay is based on). In Adi Da's written response, the Avatar gives a summary discourse on this simple, and now well-known, equation:
I Call upon all of the leaders and educators of mankind (now, and forever hereafter) to actively embrace, and to universally declare and promote, and to actively require and measure the universal real fulfillment of My simplest Law and Measure of Man: Cooperation + Tolerance = Peace. Beyond This Call for universal fulfillment of My simplest Law and Measure of Man, I (now, and forever hereafter) Call (and Look) for those who can understand and utterly transcend the pattern and destiny of the separate and separative selfin this world and in all higher (or subtler) worlds.
This political call to “social wisdom” is named the “Second Calling” (in Adidam), for it addresses the secular public domain, from governmental leaders and educators to the common crowd of interested listeners, ordinary women and men (and their families). However, since this is not Adi Da's primary function as Siddha-Guru (which is offering Satsang or “The Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam”), then I must point everyone to “The First and Only Calling,” the Avatar's true purpose that arises within the senior sacred domain of human existence:
I am Calling (and Looking) for those who will go directly to the Source-Condition of “self” and all worlds. I am here to Serve every one's basic understanding (and basic practical transcending) of the egoic habit of living, but I am especially Looking for those who will formally embrace the full practice of the only-by-Me Revealed and Given Way of Adidamso that the Way of Adidam many be fulfilled by them (especially in its formal renunciate forms), and formally passed on by them to future generations.
For this greater purpose the retreat sanctuaries and empowered Holy Sites are maintained by the formally-empowered institution of Adidam Ruchiradam (as I've explained in Parts 1-4). However, the secular domain needs to be rightly realigned to handle our encroaching crisis or else our future, and our progeny's future, is bleak (if not downright extinct).
The simple formula or direct equation: “Cooperation + Tolerance = Peace”also abbreviated as “C + T = P”therefore, is not merely some idealistic or naive summary statement. Rather, it also is a “Call to Right Life and Peace” that must be founded on authentic spiritual practices and meditation (best done as sadhana in Satsang with a genuine Siddha-Guru). Thus, this “Call” or prophetic pronouncement originates from the authenticity of the Enlightened State of God-Consciousness. Adi Da Samraj makes plain his intent by openly declaring his Message for all to hear:
My Call to the natural order of all human beings is this: Accept, with humility, that your rightful position (and that of every one) in the world family of Earthkind (including humankind) is not the “ego-place” of separateness, separativeness, domination, and control, but the “heart-place” of ego-transcending cooperation and tolerance. Only on the foundation of ego-transcending cooperation and tolerance is it possible for peace (or right life) to be established among living beings of any form or kind. Indeed, the Call to Right Life and Peace is a great and absolute moral Law, which I have Epitomized in the equation “Cooperation + Tolerance = Peace”. It is absolutely essential that the universal collective of humankind formally embrace and really enact this universal moral disposition.
This might seem quixotic when seen as words and ideas on paper, but it is much more than that. Remember, these suggestions are founded on real spiritual practices of the ego-transcending type given by an authentic Avataric Siddha-Guru capable of initiating the Transcendental-Spiritual Realization of Real God (which is always already the case). Consequently, all egoic seeking for God (as most traditional religions suggest) is understood and undermined. Importantly, Adi Da critiques the traditional (or perennial) path of seeking for God or feeling God as being separate from us and Nature, supposedly controlling everything from afar, as many religions suggest (especially in the West):
The traditional (or perennial) path is not based on inherently ego-transcending understanding (and always present-time Divine Communion), but (rather) the traditional (or perennial) path is the path of every kind of seekingand all seeking is based on the egoic (or self-contracted) presumption of a problem to be strategically escaped.…
For thousands of years, humanity has generated its history on the egoic (or separative) basis of opposition, confrontation, and competition. That history represents the developmental period of human infancy, childhood, and adolescenceand that early-life history must now (and forever hereafter) come to an end, in the truly adult generations of humankind.
Our future, therefore, requires that We, The People, Grow Up now! Not fifty years from now, not a century from now (which will probably be too late), but now, at this moment, within a decade or two (mid-century at the latest)! Wake-Up Call! Now is the time to do the yoga, engage Satsang for real… or else… doomed! Prophet Da thus spake in his “Open Letter To The Global Human Family”:
This is the moment of truth for humankind. Critical choices must now be made, in order to protect the continued existence of human society and of the Earth itself. This Letter is a Call to righten the collective moral disposition of humanity, and to establish a truly cooperative global human community on that basis.
In this Message to all, I Call upon the leaders and educators of humankind to actively embrace, and to universally declare and promote, and to actively require the universal real fulfillment of the simplest Law and Measure of humankind, which I have Stated in the form: “Cooperation + Tolerance = Peace”. The acceptance of this Law as a universal discipline is the basis for (progressively) resolving the current plight of humankind…
Everyone should become positively disposed to the establishment of a real and true global cooperative human communitybecause the global cooperative human community is not merely a “utopian ideal”, but a practical and actually realizable necessity for the physical survival and natural well-being of humankind and even all of Earthkind.
And why not? How well have the ways of the past worked out so far? They have not! Even the so-called Western Enlightenment, the “Age of Reason” with its “good news” of liberal values, failed to bring about world peace. No doubt, in large part, because they jettisoned the sacred domain by focusing on the secular. Science, for all its knowledge and good work, has created weapons of mass destruction and supplied armies that are nothing but extremely efficient killing machines. The separative ego has emerged fully in force, enshrined with illusions of grandeur, and is wreaking havoc around the world, killing the Earth, brutalizing living species, from Africa to Asia, from Europe to the Americasit must end! Now! Wilber's idea of an “Atman project,” where the ego substitutes “immortality projects” for actual Atman (or God-Realization), is only finally undone in transcendence, even if tempered in a progressive manner, as the wise pandit explains:
If men and women were instinctually evil, then there would be no hope, whereas if they are substitutively evil, we have two choices: offer actual transcendence [e.g., Satsang, satori], or offer benign substitutes [e.g., cooperation + tolerance = peace]. For, odd as it might initially sound, a fairly decent and loving society does not have to offer massive doses of Atman (that would be a utopian society or sangha), but simply has to arrange for individual Atman projects to overlap each other in something of a mutually supportive way. When this occurs, then the satisfaction of the individual Atman project tends to benefit the community at large…. Benign synchronous illusions are at least not terribly deadly ones.
How peaceful is our Earth and its people currently? In the 20th-century alone, it's estimated that over 160 million people were killed as a direct result of warvastly more than any other century in world history! Currently, we are destroying the natural ecology of the entire planet, our only oasis in the vast region of cold space, our very Home. Today we are ruining our capacity to grow food, distribute water, to keep our homes safe from superstorms, drought, hurricanes, tornados, out-of-control forest fires, floods, and rising sea levels, among other life-killing impending disasters. All because human beings have an ego run amuck. We are destroying our planet for our children and future generations. We know this but seem impotent to do anything about it. Perhaps now it is time we turn to the Wisdom of the Ages, as embodied in the Guru-Adepts, the God-Realizers, women and men, who have appeared throughout human history. Even though they founded every major world religion, the resulting egoic priesthoods and cultists have corrupted their Enlightened intentions. Perhaps now we need to learn how to properly adjudicate authentic Spiritual Masters from cult-clan totem-leaders so we can honor and use the real Gurus instead of living in fear and crying “cult, cult, cult” simply because it gives us a good excuse (we think) to avoid Gurus altogether. Now is the time to Grow Up and Wake Up! It is time to no longer allow war! This is how people need to vote!
“Cooperation + Tolerance = Peace” is the Great Alternative to the egoic path of inevitable universal destructionand, therefore, that moral Law must become a universally accepted (and expected) moral and practical self-discipline. The collective human family should formally, fully, and finally refuse to allow war.
Through this gesture (or fully enacted agreement), the gathering of the Earth-wandering peoples of the world can feel their real strength and connectedness to one anotherand their collective power to transform the “usual” (or “real”) politics of egoity, and so actually create and maintain human peace in the natural world.
Only by acting and participating in the world with real human maturity and spiritual insight will we ever overcome the world's current crises. For thousands of years wars and plagues have brutalized humanity, but now with science (and the miracle of vaccines, for instance), and with worldwide access to the God's Great Tradition of Global Wisdom via interconnectional communications (for the first time in world history)and God-Realized Adepts, such the World-Friend and Global Sage Adi Da Samrajwe have a chance. But, like Ken Wilber (and others) keep emphasizing: We all must Grow Up, Wake Up, Clean Up, and Show Up! In other words, it's up to us! Everybody-all-at-once!
Growing Up By Losing Face: Transcending Childish and Adolescent Humanity
A s usual, Adi Da emphasizes that our current political divisiveness is one of either being childlikeone who “buys into the system”or that of acting like a rebellious adolescent fighting the systemin “perpetual revolution”each nothing more than immature egos. Let me allow the Avatar to reveal our modern overlapping “Atman projects” in detail and depth:
For the usual person, politics is merely a matter of listening to “news” every night. Politics in this “late-time” (or “dark”) epoch is either childish or an adolescent reaction to the fact of being controlled by the “news” of the world and by the abstract, all-controlling politics of the State. One individual plays the “system”, and the other is a revolutionary. The child buys the “system” and expects it to work, and the adolescent is a perpetual revolutionary, whose childish expectations were not fulfilled. Both types are merely relating to the world as a parent-like “thing” that controls them.
The typical response to the observation of the controlling forces of life is to react by joining a revolution, getting drunk, kicking a couple of bad politicians out of office, having a war, getting “high” on popular illusions, becoming “against” a political “something”, or becoming “for” a political “something”but reaction is obviously not the way to rightly transform real politics. What is needed is to establish a completely different principle of human culture and politics. What is needed is a principle of human culture that is not based on reaction to all the bad “news”.
Fundamentally, there is only bad “news” in the ordinary, ego-based, un-Enlightened, chaotic world. Instead of waiting for action from “sources” out in the world somewheregovernment sources, media sources, interplanetary sources, conventional religious sources, mystical sources, or whatever it is that you wait for all the timeyou must, yourself, become involved in intimate, cooperative community (or real cooperative social culture) with other human beings.
Yet, really, how is this “intimate, cooperative community or real cooperative social culture” actually accomplished? By exercising real spiritual practice or authentic Satsangthe Way of the Heart (by whatever name)to turn to Guru Yoga while practicing love, being intelligent, being genuine… and transcending ego and egoic reactivity. We all know this to be so, yet this truth is not on TV or in the “news,” and certainly is not in the “fake news” of stupid (and dangerous) conspiracies theories perpetuated on the Internet and social media: nothing but a mass of crazed egos trying to make sense of a world gone mad.
The solution or only answer is simple yet it is exactly what everyone fears to do: “lose face” (or not get “their way”)which ultimately is about an “ego death” (beyond “I, me, mine”) revealing Real God or our Prior Unity via Enlightenment (satori, moksha, etc.). To “lose face” is to get over yourself and realize our prior unity and thus live in the sacred domain. To “lose face” is to have compassion and empathy and tolerance for “others”those whom we fearor those who are not like you. In other words, everybody (regardless of nationality, ethnicity, race, or religion, etc.) must become dedicated to ecstasy, love, and real happiness based on Real-God-Realization, the essence of sacred culture. This is not a goal to be sought, for it is in fact (as Adi Da has made clear), “always already the case.” Only an Enlightened Adept can further clarify:
The only way to solve the current world-situation is for everyone to “lose face”instead of everyone demanding to “save face”. All of humankind should, as a formalized collective, “lose face” togetherby acknowledging that, unless human beings live in formally established and formally maintained cooperation and tolerance, they, inevitably, sink into grossly and universally destructive behavior.
Only by everyone “losing face” together will the collective of human beings be able to regenerate the moral strength and authority that is necessary if human beings everywhere are to require cooperation and tolerance of each other… This is how humanity can (and should, and must) exemplify its collective and intrinsic heart-Realization of the Greatness of the Real.
This may sound funny, almost as if it's a joke, but it is not; this is truly serious. Yet, ego-transcendence (“losing face”) does not annihilate the individual or autonomy but FREES him or her by allowing anyone and everyone to be happy, always already, without acquiring power or things or objects (or territory). This is precisely why all of the world's Adepts have pointed to God-Realization, to realizing our inherent Divine Condition of Love-Bliss, as being the only way and true key to human happiness and peace. This is why we must live in the sacred domain before rightly entering the secular domain. This is precisely what someone like Avatar Adi Da is here to do on Earth in helping to serve you, beyond all of your resistance and complaints. Have we forgotten where our true Happiness lies? Yes, we have, so the Maha-Siddha reminds us once again:
Everything in the sacred domain is about ecstasy. Everything in the social (or secular) domain is about control of ecstasy and using the human faculties (of body, emotion, mind, and breath) for other (generally, non-ecstaticor ego-based) business in the moment. The basic taboos of the secular social domain are against sex (or bodily pleasure altogether), laughter (or genuine humor and mental freedom), and Real-God-Realization (or Ecstatic Identification with the Divine Reality). From the point of view of the secular domain, sex, laughter, and God-Realization must be controlled, because they are forms of ecstasyand because the social personality would feel threatened by the lack of social self-control implicit in ecstasy.
“Sex, laughter, and God-Realization”what kind of Crazy Wisdom is this? Yet, this does not mean for people to simply “follow your bliss” without your actions being set within the context of ego-transcending Divine Awareness. This is not about rampant egoic self-indulgence, which itself corrupts ecstatic feeling into ego-desires and illusions. Such discriminative intelligence and self-discipline, once again, can only be cultivated with genuine sadhana (or spiritual self-transcending practices, such as meditation, compassionate service, and loving kindness to others) cultivated in Satsang with a genuine Siddha-Guru, disciplined by self-understanding and true wisdom, as Adi Da affirms:
Within the context of the secular social domain, such self-control is appropriate, and even necessary, for the purposes of conducting ordinary human business. There should be certain forms of self-control (or social self-discipline) in that domain of practical interaction between people. It is just that the world of human activity and experience must not be reduced to being only that practical (or secular) domain….
Sex, laughter, and Real-God-Realization have their place in the sacred domain, at the center of life. The secular (or public) dimension of human existence should be economized, kept in its proper place, and not allowed to take over the entirety of your life. There must be a sacred core of life, a culture at that core. And everything that has to do with ecstasy should be in that sphere, not in the secular (or public) sphere.
That, in my opinion, is the type of wisdom we allas the human raceneed at this precipitous time in world history. This is the Enlightened ego-transcending Wisdom that can only be fulfilled in a truly Global Cooperative Order based on Right Life and Peace. This is part of the authenticity, as Siddha-Guru, that is offered by the World-Friend and Avatar Adi Da Samraj to the world and to all of humankind (now and in future generations). Do we really want to turn our back on this… on Him? Or would we all be better off to “turn to Him,” i.e., to embody this Wisdom that is Happiness Itself? Adi Da is one the great spiritual alternatives offered to humankind at this time in historynow offered as The Reality-Way of Adidamamong many other spiritual paths in today's world. Yet, this one goes straight to the root, to the heart of the matter, for it is truly radical (from Latin, radix, meaning “forming the root”), while still being thoroughly grounded in God-Realization or Enlightenment. Once more, Adi Da makes this crystal clear:
[The] Way of Adidam is characterized by non-seeking, and by truly counter-egoic (and always already ego-transcending and Divinely Infused) self-discipline, and by inherent freedom from all the self-manipulative and other-manipulative strategies of self-fulfillment (in any and all of the possible stages of life), and by “radical” understanding (or root self-understanding) that is neither strategically self-destructive nor strategically world-denying. The only-by-Me-Revealed and Given Way of Adidam is the Divine Way of the always already presently existing (and always already able-to-be-functioning) heart in every oneand It is, therefore, based on the always present-time-existing participatory intelligence… as right, and truly human, simplicity (and, Most Ultimately, As Divine Love-Bliss, Which Is Divine Freedom).
Would this not, in your opinion, Free the world of itself?
“Everybody-All-At-Once” = Overcoming Divisiveness
T oday, over two decades after Adi Da penned his great “Peace Law”after currently experiencing the reactionary age of Trumpism, which itself was in large part a response to the first elected Black President of the United States, Barack Obamawe live in an era of extremely divisive American (and world) politics. Sadly, the political climate of America (and elsewhere) is founded on the remaining scourge of racism and intolerance (such as being against gays), with rigid religious conservatives (mythic-traditionalists) pitted against progressive liberals (pluralistic modernists), manifested as Republicans and Democrats showing up in an impotent Congress. Such division even evoked an attempted coup and insurrection on American democracy by invading the U.S. Capitol (inspired by the former President), where an aroused mob tried to subvert a free and fair election for the first time in U.S. history. This sets a horrible example for the entire world. Yet people would rather lie to themselves, deny the facts, to follow a cultic totem-master who they believe will revive an outdated culture of backwardness and intolerance (just like Putin and the Taliban), discriminating not only against racial minorities but also women. And worse, with an ideology that's often backed in the name of “religion.” Adi Da Samraj offers a viable alternative arising from his (and our inherent) Enlightened State, as he states below:
The Peace Law of cooperation and tolerance must be embraced as the necessary politics of the future. Cooperation and tolerance is the necessary and exact “price” for peacethe “treaty cost” for the survival of humankind, Earthkind, and Earth itself. This is the necessary “new paradigm” for the human design of future effort.
We live in a dangerous time for time is running out (with the current ecological crisis). A “new paradigm” must emerge and I (and others) contend it must be a more-highly evolved spiritual understanding. It's gotten so bad that even democracy itself around the world, the gift of the Western Enlightenment, is threatened by autocratic rule and dictatorships (even in the United States). Consequently, the global message of “Right Life and Peace,” the clarion call of the American-born Adept-Realizer, is even more vital and urgent, and, no doubt, will remain so for the rest of this century and far into the future. The global Avatar prophetically urges us to change our course of action and Wake Upby Growing Up even more to enact real human maturityand to realize our greater evolutionary (and Enlightened) destiny:
Humankind should realize (and gratefully accept) that it (and even all of Earthkind, and Earth itself) has had enough of humanly-caused global destructiveness and violence. As a collective, humankind has become a dreadful mob of competitive egoshead-to-head, toe-to-toe, always threatening “showdown” and “winner-takes-all”.
It is a matter of the greatest present-time urgency that this prevailing global mood of political separatism, end-game competitiveness, and endlessly multiplied divisiveness be immediately and thoroughly and universal and permanently (or by means of the formal establishment of a global cooperative order of world populations) relinquishedsuch that the entire world population of humankind becomes universally intelligent with the heart-positive mind of cooperation and tolerance.
If we do not change our act, then our future is bleak. Humanity must Grow Up! Everyone sees this, including our younger generations who are thrown into despair and nihilism, into desperation and suicide. So why do we continue to deny this stark reality, turn on our TV and get lost in the hazy propaganda machine of social media, numbing ourselves to what seems out of control? In a word: EGO! There is, truly, only one way out, so listen to the Adept point the way:
The traditional game of “winning the spoils” must come to an end. If the competitive mode of history is continued, no one is going to winand everyone can (and, inevitably, will) lose. Humankind must come together (cooperatively, tolerantly, and as a whole) to solve the dreadful mass of problems that are already really and concretely affecting (and, otherwise, set to affect) human lives all over the world.
As I have tried to point out in this series of essays on “Spiritual Choices: The Authenticity of Adi Da Samraj” (Parts 1-5), it is foolish, nothing but egoic illusion, to refuse the Divine Gift that this man and his Teaching-Work offers to all of humankind. He is not to be feared as a cult leader but to be understood and appreciated… and (ultimately) embraced. Study him as your Spiritual Teacher until you are moved to turn to him as your Spiritual Master, and then, when you have finally recognized Who He IS, in truth and in reality, then heart-respond to Him as your Siddha-Guru-Avatar. Keep an open mind until your heart opens to God knows where. He will not mislead you; only twisted tales on the Internet will mislead you into delusions of maya and samsara, the realm of the confused (and fearful) ego. But the choice is yours, it is ours, as always, for the Way of Adidam is NOT a cult; it is true human freedom based on Real-God-Realization reaching out and inspiring you to “Follow Me” and “Come to Me” for He is you (in truth). Let me end this essay with His Teaching-Word given from the Awakened Heart to the global human family now (and forever hereafter). Adi Da's Wisdom Call will lead us beyond war and into the Light of the Heart, the “Brightness” of Real God. This is a real human life based on ekstasis, an ancient Greek word meaning “to stand outside oneself,” that is, to transcend ego and become Real:
The restoration of the sacred domain is the means for creating human balance in the world again. Only the sacred culture gives people the means to live a truly sane existence. Ecstasy is a human necessity. This must be accepted and agreed by all. Thus, the creation of truly cooperative human community is not merely desirable for the sake of ordinary social human functioning, but the creation of truly cooperative human community is, itself, a profound necessitybecause it is the means for establishing the sacred domain (and the ecstatic disposition) at the center of the life of every human being…. Now, and forever hereafter, I Call all human beings, everywhere in the world, to establish the sacred domain as the basis for human life.
Yet, obviously, no Guru can “save us,” even an incarnated Avatar, nor any Messiah descending from the sky (or raising “the chosen” upward), nor any strongman ruler, nor a Caesar, nor even an Enlightened King (as Plato suggested), for no one person or State can ever force us into living in cooperative community and to simply be happy. It must be done by all of us“everybody-all-at-once” (as Adi Da says)starting with one person-at-a-time. Remember: “Intimate, cooperative living is the only real and true politics.” Only WE, The People, can take our own lives into our own hands and join with others around the globe, and elect wiser representatives, be smarter consumers, educate ourselves, and get down to business. Educationteaching our youth and young about love and truthis the key. They must be educated within the context of Divine Enlightenment (or the sacred domain) by discovering the Truth and the Real (and that includes Satsang), for that is the only “knowledge” or truth that truly sets the heart Free. Let me close, naturally, with the wisdom words of the Wise Sage, Avatar Adi Da Samraj, for all to hear and contemplate, as he closes his generous letter to the global human family:
Let every one act on his or her heart-desire to preserve this world of Earth and its kinds of life.
Images of and quotations by Avatar Adi Da Samraj are copyrighted and managed by The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd., a trustee for The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam (ASA). All rights reserved.
Brad Reynolds' new book:
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See Brad's YouTube channel GodsGreatTradition
With an introductory video introduction by touring the Table Of Contents, please see: GODS GREAT TRADITION PROMO 2
This book defies many taboos. It unpacks the great tradition of spiritual transmission and the unique critical role of truly enlightened beings. And it advocates, in a full-throated and whole-hearted manner, for my Root-Guru, Adi Da Samraj, in a way that stands in that larger universal great tradition. We're all social creatures, who have internalized these taboos, so some readers may have reactions, and it may be necessary to persist despite them. But if you do, with an open mind and heart, this book will help you to recognize something profoundly important.
"A Tour de Force" is the best way to describe the great work that Brad Reynolds has done with God's Great Tradition of Global Wisdom. It reminds me of the great classic The Passion of the Western Mind by Richard Tarnas, but Reynolds' opus is more thorough, deeper, and more inclusive. Of course, much of this depth and penetrating wisdom is achieved by drawing heavily on the Teachings he elucidates and illustrates, especially the Sage-Wisdom of Avatar Adi Da. Not only will the reader find a high-class education of a host of traditions, they will be treated to a panoply of fabulous, easy-to-grasp illustrations and images. A MUST for any student of the Great Tradition of humankind's spiritual inheritance.