spiritual practice must become true magic. You must
be a shaman, but you also must be more than a shaman.
You must practice beyond the limitations of the vitalistic
shaman, but you must be at least as good as that, at
least as conscious as that, at least as aware of the
magical nature of everything, at least as perceptive
and sensitive, and at least as capable of acknowledgment,
so that you can see what is trying to influence you
through the medium of all kinds of relations, odd appearances,
and coincidences. Everything altogether is trying
to be a revelation for you. It is just that you are
not sensitive to it in your ordinary habit.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Only
one human force is dominant on Earth at the present time. It
wants to take over and change the entire world. It wants all
human beings to conform to a model of existence. It wants to
change the total environment of Earth into a technologically
mastered condition. And when mankind leaves the Earth and physically
goes out into space, this force wants to do the same thing in
people have been associated with outer space for thousands of
years through the medium of psychic association with the universe!
People have visited other parts of the physical universe and
the total cosmos through psychic means. Through the medium of
psychic association or participatory knowing, people have already
left the sphere of Earth. They are being prevented from doing
so now by the anti-psychic trend of the new Man. The only way
the new Man can envision getting off this planet is through
the medium of technology and scientism. The only relationship
to the universe, therefore, of which such people conceive is
to move around in association with analyzed, technological environments,
pursuing that one kind of knowing and entering into relations
of power with all forces. Science fiction is always conceiving
of the ultimate human destiny in outer space in very much the
same territorial, power-mad terms people live on Earth, in which
there are galactic wars and people blow one another to pieces
with superior machinery and all the rest of that nonsense.
Beloved, you mentioned the American Indians. It always seemed
to me that the story told in the book Black
the end of the magical way of relating to the world.
ADI DA SAMRAJ:
That epoch was the end of magic for that particular cultural
group, or at least was a profound end of a certain part of its
history. Some of those people are still active, but they do
not have the same world to live in, nor the same freedom nor
even the same intention to live in the old, magical ways.
other parts of the world other kinds of ancient human groups
are still active in this magical fashion. Magic, you see, is
of many types. There are vitalistic, older magical cultures,
of which the American Indian is an example, as are the Mexican
Indian, the South American Indian, and the Hawaiian Indian.
Many vital magical cultures still exist in little pockets of
activity. First they are usually studied by anthropologists,
then the missionaries come, and then the territorial politics
starts enclosing them. Eventually they are assimilated.
magical cultures of a higher type exist, although calling them
a "higher type" does not mean that they rightfully
or in absolute terms dissociate themselves from the domain of
vital magic, but that they presume a more expanded, spiritual
purpose for magic and are less associated with the negative
or black magic that tends to be pursued obsessively in vital
cultures. These so-called higher magical cultures include certain
aspects of Hinduism or the culture of India in general.
our own time and very recently we have seen the destruction
of such a culture in Tibet. There has been no great outcry about
what has happened in Tibet, and yet one of the principal philosophical
magical cultures that has ever appeared on Earth has been systematically
destroyed within our lifetime by the encroachment of the Chinese
in Tibet. Many Tibetans have had to flee from their homeland.
Those who stayed have been systematically washed out of their
magical world into the idealism of Communism and a kind of objective,
occidental Man's view of things. The Tibetans have been dispersed,
just as were the American Indians, the Jews, and many other
groups. Today these peoples are trying to survive as groups
by regenerating their traditions in other places. But in general
we see a movement all over the Earth to destroy all vestiges
of the spiritual, magical disposition and the kinds of culture
and human life created on its basis.
a just-coming-to-life spiritual culture, we too are being met
by the same kinds of intrusions. The same forces are threatening
us and would want to complicate us. Those same forces are in
you because you have not been born into a spiritual culture.
You have for one or another reason come to the point of entertaining
the possibility of wanting to generate the spiritual Way of
Adidam in your own case; but there exist features in your disposition
that work against your practice and the development of this
Way of life in your case as well as in this community and in
disposition in Man at the present time is opposed to this Way
of life, and the evidence of opposition is visible all over
the world. We are witnessing the worldwide development of insane,
power-mad, analytical Man and all the self-destructive and other-destructive
habits that that kind of man generates when he is otherwise
bereft of Wisdom —
other words, when he does not have the ability to bring into
balance what he discovers through the one way of knowing called
science. The scientific man cannot bring science into balance
with a total understanding or a higher Wisdom about life and
that reason, we see warfare everywhere on Earth, which can produce
the terrible consequences we have already discussed, nuclear
explosions and the technological and political domination of
mankind by the point of view inherent in the psychology of science.
But the true war is not occurring at the level of technological
weapons. The true war is taking place at the level of consciousness.
It is a war between the species of Man who lives according to
the model reflected in scientism and the species of Man who
lives in his old form, which is magical and tends to be more
exclusively subjective and unable to understand and control
certain of the forces that perhaps human beings should try to
control or associate with in a more sophisticated fashion.
it is a war between the left-brained model of Man and the transcendental
development of Man, which is not magical in the old sense but
Magical in the perfect sense, wherein Man is unified and enjoys
a unified understanding of the universe and his position as
a process or as an expression of the active Principle that is
manifesting and evolving in the apparent world.
urban world in which we all tend to be crammed reflects a basic
Even in the country, the urban design of Man still encroaches.
Living out here in the country trying to safeguard this place,
trying to survive as a sacred institution, we therefore endure
all kinds of problems. The city is a form of consciousness,
not merely a place in space. It reflects an attitude, a way
of life altogether. It is a dogma, a psychological field. It
is a vision. And it is antithetical to magical culture.
the culture of magic, the world is approached as it is, not
as it becomes after human beings have manipulated and changed
it. The world to which the magician looks to relate himself
is the spontaneously living world into which he is born, not
into which he is educated and with which he is combined through
human strategies. People who work to develop the magical process
in an advanced form usually dissociate even from their villages
or tribes for a while. They go out into the wilderness to dissociate
themselves, as a temporary technique at any rate, from all kinds
of ordinary human activity, to readjust, to balance themselves
out, to become resensitized to the larger dimension of their
existence. Having become magically active, they then see the
given world in magical terms, and they simply and sensitively
observe the changes that take place and then perform various
activities that constantly generate and regenerate the magical
forces in the world.
this magical point of view the features of the observed world
the gross, so-called "outer" world —
understood to be magical. In particular, certain characters
of that world, certain of its characteristics, are considered
those that are in a state of free flow rather than unchanging.
The animals, the patterns of weather, human others apart from
the ordinariness of daily social obligation —
features of the world are conceived in magical terms, are constantly
observed for any changes, and are approached via magical activity
to generate certain kinds of changes. These magical features
of the world are conceived to be a bridge to the total world.
The so-called objective world is not viewed as a thing in itself,
but it is always a form of connection to the total psycho-physical
deer, for instance, is not just an animal in the objective world.
It is a living psycho-physical feature of the formal universe
and is therefore a bridge between the various dimensions of
the formal universe. The deer is not merely an animal in the
objective physical world but a psychic presence. It is a way
of relating to the more fluid, psychic dimension of the world.
Likewise, this fluid, psychic dimension of the world makes its
bridge to the objective world through these creatures and forces.
the magical, shamanistic point of view everything is alive.
The cosmos is a living process. A little while ago we were talking
about accepting the positive as well as the magical significance
of creatures other than Man. From the magical point of view,
so-called inanimate objects are also conceived as being alive
and participating in a living, magical cosmos. And this is certainly
true. The more psychically awake you become, the more you are
aware of the psycho-physical nature of what you call the objective
you see that the world is psycho-physical in nature, you begin
to appreciate the living condition of everything that arises
in the field of experience —
living, perhaps, in the sense that a chair can get up and walk
out of the room, but living in a magical sense. Your association
with so-called inanimate objects can go through many changes.
Association with an inanimate place, even just a room, can change.
There are feelings associated with it, a sense of energies,
emotions, moods, influences, all kinds of factors to which you
become sensitive relative to so-called inanimate things, just
as you can be sensitive relative to moving and living things.
is not that you should just arbitrarily take up a view that
is alive, as if everything were a creature. Rather, you must
develop and mature in your psychic sensitivity to things and
then begin to appreciate just in what sense everything is alive,
and in what sense everything has effect and should be acknowledged
as a force. Living things are significant to us because a force
is associated with life. Inanimate things are also living in
the sense that a force is associated with them. They are living
in this sense rather than in the sense that they are mobile.
Perhaps it is also true that they can move around. This is not
totally out of the question, but it must be observed. At any
rate, so-called inanimate objects are alive as forces and influences,
and the forces can change and vary in our association with them.
then, is part of the magical consciousness that is natural to
us: to awaken to this sense of the total cosmos as a living
presence, a circumstance of forces. At the root of all these
things, animate and inanimate, is Radiant Being, the Utterly
Living Conscious Reality. Inanimate things, lower creatures,
Man, Nature, the Earth, everything is a modification of That
Which is ultimately perfectly Alive, Radiant, Forceful, Conscious,
Existing. Thus, to have this sense that everything is alive
is not illogical or somehow strange. Everything is alive as
force, as energy, as psychic reality.
all can see that table, right? You call it a thing, and in calling
it a thing or an object and getting involved in the objective
consciousness we analyze with our left brain, you tend to reduce
that object to something not alive. But if we naturally relate
to that table, first of all we realize that it is a perception.
I say, "There is that table over there", but this
table is a perception, a development of My own nervous system.
It is made to seem a table by virtue of a convention, a process
of the nervous system, a process of cognition and perception.
I do not see the thing itself. I see this perception. The table
exists only as a psychic condition. It is itself a psychic condition,
because it is not other than a perception. If we relate to it
openly, without defining it, excluding it, or analyzing it into
something not alive, we realize its natural livingness, its
natural psychic condition.
to understand things in analytical, scientific terms, we must
recognize that everything is a species of Light, a modification
of Force. Even from that point of view, then, without otherwise
sympathetically participating in everything as energy, you must
presume that everything is Light. To enter into open psycho-physical
participation with this world is to recognize it as Force, as
Energy, as Light, and therefore as something alive and something
that is not absolutely separable from Consciousness, from Being,
from the psychic Condition of our existence.
world participates in Conscious Being utterly because we have
no way to dissociate ourselves from the world to the point that
it is no longer a psychic phenomenon. Therefore, we cannot have
any association with that table without being involved in a
psychic phenomenon, because our perception is nothing but a
psychic phenomenon. It is never not that, in other words. We
presume in some sense that the table is "over there,"
but in between "over there" and "me" there
exists this game of perception/conception.
all that arises to perception is transparent, and something
about the nature of so-called reality begins to become clear
to us. We are all the time chattering about the external world
and presuming ourselves to be separate from it. But when we
enter into the deepest recognition of the actual circumstance
of our existence, we realize that we are never involved with
anything but a psychic phenomenon. Our entire existence is for
us a psychic phenomenon, a perception of Energy, a convention
of Energy. Therefore, it is temporary and changing. It is to
be gone beyond. It is not forever, and as it appears now is
not the only way Reality or Light can modify Itself. It is just
modifying Itself in this way at the present time.
a particular kind of psycho-physical mechanism were not in operation
in us, if a particular kind of brain-mind and nervous system
were not active, we would not observe this world as we now do.
We would be in another state altogether. And some day you will
be in that state, and it will be perfectly natural for you.
It will just be a development of the same State that is fundamentally
yours at the present, except that you are not acknowledging
It as such. You are presuming another convention, another design.
You develop a convention of presumption about the world that
is based on bodily relations as they are perceived and analyzed
by this nervous system. But that convention is not otherwise
necessary. It is just a convention, a temporary model, and it
does not describe Reality as it Is. Rather, it is a description
of a particular way Reality gets modified. Reality otherwise
transcends the description.
is Reality? Is it the objective, material world? What is that,
anyway? Even science is finding out through its investigations
that space-time is a paradoxical affair and that our consciousness
is determined by the local "Earth-universe" game in
which we see things in a certain temporal and spatial frame.
But if you get out beyond this local consciousness, the universe
is a very paradoxical affair. Space-time is not always as linear
and fixed as it seems to be here. Space does not always look
precisely as it does here, cannot always be cognized or perceived
as it is here. Objects have a different kind of locus, a different
kind of process. Light appears differently, modifies itself
differently. Mind, therefore, would presumably be entirely different
under those expanded conditions. Psychic states would also,
therefore, be entirely different in that context of awareness.
The knowledge and experience we can develop under the present
conditions are therefore local knowledge and local experience.
They are not absolute in any terms. And therefore, ultimately,
they are transcended.
Krishna says, "I am the Recipient and Lord of all the sacrifices."
be reduced to the one Dharma of sacrifice to the Universal,
Transcendental Being. However, we are all used to a monotheistic
notion of the Divine wherein very little evidence of the Power
of God is demonstrated in people's lives. People believe that
there is only one God and that all these other gods are untrue,
that there are no ghosts, that there is nothing but one God
there is also no God-Power. This is because people do not understand
this world as the Divine Domain, as a psychic realm fundamentally,
and they do not see that in fact all conditions and all beings
live in God and are a bridge to God.
things and beings are a bridge to the Infinite. They are not
simply things in themselves, but they are in fact such a bridge.
Merely to think, then, in terms of the One Transcendental Being
is not necessarily to generate a process wherein the Power of
God and the Person of God, or the Being That Is God, is directly
contacted through practice of your Way of life. You must Awaken
and discover the Divine World wherein everything is a bridge
to the Infinite, One Being.
Awakening is what is primary. It is not merely an awakening
to the mental truth that there is only one God. It is a matter
of Awakening to the Nature of your Condition and therefore to
the Nature of the Condition of everything that you are observing.
Because that Awakening is primary, when it occurs you begin
to become sensitive to the world in a new fashion. And in that
sensitivity you will see in magical terms how various presences,
beings, and events —
gross visibility or only in subtle visibility, or altogether
invisible and only sensed —
bridges to this One. Therefore, you may become aware of magical
association with beings or forces, states of presence and the
like, that are actually part of the magical apparatus of your
association with the One Divine. Having made this discovery,
you may continue to enjoy magical association with those entities,
forces, or conditions, but you will not fall prey to the error
of worshipping those features of the world in themselves. Rather,
you will be making use of your association with those forces
or beings as a bridge or medium of association with the Living
beings are that One, but they are each still the being each
appears to be, with the particular characteristics each obviously
has. You acknowledge and recognize that One, but in the form
of every particular individual and the particular relationship
you have to that individual. Likewise, you must become sensitive
to the total world, to the great features of the world and its
fluid, magical features.
four cardinal directions are associated with the movement of
the Earth, the movement of the sun, and the movement of the
winds. Therefore, they are associated with energies, and the
field of those energies corresponds to the directions or aspects
of the field of energy in the body. In this way we are associated
with a complex of forces that can be understood to be wholly
integrated and to abide in One Great Universal and Transcendental
Reality. But we must not abstract that One from the complexity
of the magical universe. We must recognize that One in the complexity
of the magical universe and use the magical universe as a bridge,
a form of association with that One.
should not merely associate with the power of the north wind
and the deer, you see. We should associate with the One, but
through these characteristics, and we should observe and understand
and feel that these characteristics of the moving universe exist,
with their particular dynamic features, their particular proportions,
the particular quality of Energy or Force that they represent
in this complex Unity.
shaman has a magical cosmos in mind. He has names for everything.
He has a diagram of the universe. But the true shaman does not
simply have this scheme in mind, as if he learned it from somebody
or a book. The true shaman has realized this scheme. He is in
the habit of recognizing things in magical terms, and he therefore
begins to become sensitive to what they are indicating about
the world. Once he sees what is shown, then he names it or spontaneously
feels a name for it, regards it in a particular fashion, and
introduces a certain feature into his magical process or his
sacramental life that will continue to acknowledge that which
he has realized.
as a spiritual practitioner you must be able to acknowledge
and recognize all the powers that combine in your perception
and conception to be the magical representation of the One Who
is Alive as everything and everyone. The body-mind is just such
an incarnate representation. It is not an ego. It is a total,
complex configuration of the One Being. Just so, all beings
are That, and the total environment is just such a Singleness,
if we Awaken to understand, recognize, and acknowledge it as
such. If you begin to engage in this recognition and acknowledgment
through sacramental activity and through daily life, you will
discover that much more Power appears in your practice. You
will not just be performing rote rituals. You will see that
an even greater Power, a greater Dimension of influence and
of actual change, appears in your daily practice and in your
practice must become true magic. You must be a shaman, but you
also must be more than a shaman. You must practice beyond the
limitations of the vitalistic shaman, but you must be at least
as good as that, at least as conscious as that, at least as
aware of the magical nature of everything, at least as perceptive
and sensitive, and at least as capable of acknowledgment, so
that you can see what is trying to influence you through the
medium of all kinds of relations, odd appearances, and coincidences.
altogether is trying to be a revelation for you. It is just
that you are not sensitive to it in your ordinary habit. The
shaman, you see, has entered into a discipline to make himself
sensitive. It is not that he is making the magic happen. The
magic is already there. He is just not sensitive to it, not
in a position to observe it. Thus, he must engage in a discipline
that enables him to participate in what is already happening.
Then all of a sudden he sees all kinds of magical things.
likewise should not devalue the media of association with the
Divine. We should not fail to allow this world to be a bridge
of association with the Divine, just as we should not fail to
allow the body-mind to be such a bridge. We should make all
our relations such a bridge. We should recognize the world as
sacred and therefore value its particular features and not desecrate
it. We should rightly use and value
those features, not as fetishes we value for their own sake,
but as what they truly are, as media of Divine Association,
recognizable in the One Divine.
Sanskrit word dharma
many different meanings. Here it stands for "way of life,"
"attitude," "disposition," etc. The supreme
Dharma is the Law of sacrifice which, in human terms, is self-transcending