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Feeling Without Limitation

May 24, 1983


If you will continue to observe it, you will discover that you are not merely chronically limited in feeling, or un-Happy, but you are doing that. You do not have to be limited in your feeling, but you are just doing that. If you don't want to be un-Happy, then don't do that anymore! Don't appeal to the universe to cure you, or say the universe is evil, or get involved in all kinds of counter-efforts in psyche and mind and emotion and body and socially to make yourself Happy. If you are already un-Happy, you cannot get Happy by any of that. And if you really do not want to be un-Happy anymore, you must observe yourself and stop being un-Happy, stop doing what is un-Happiness. And what is un-Happiness, fundamentally, but the limitation on Feeling?

Avatar Adi Da Samraj


Avatar Adi Da Samraj
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: People sometimes notice about themselves that they do not feel good, they do not feel strong, they do not find themselves free to be emotionally expressive or sympathetic, and they try all kinds of methods to cure themselves of this.

They may try to develop a counter-emotion. If they are depressive types, they try to be very jolly and outgoing. If they are not sympathetic with people, they try to get really interested and really put out energy and "love-vibrations", make "love-stares" at everybody, and constantly tell people how much they love them.

Or they may use psychiatric methods to get themselves to be more emotional. They may review their past, trying to locate memories that cause them to be emotionally rigid, or memories that are a kind of wound that is preventing them from being emotional. Or they may watch their dreams to see if they can find some keys in their dreaming that will unlock their emotional power.

Or they may try to become religious. They may read a lot about religion. They may go to religious organizations and try to believe something great about reality that will make them able to feel more strongly, feel more openly, just feel happy and not resistive and contracted.

Or they may try to fall in love all the time again and again and again. They may indulge themselves sexually and become very promiscuous. They may try to make a lot of friends. They may look to be loved.

They may indulge themselves physically, creating a sense of feeling-pleasure about themselves by being full of food, never empty, never not eating, never not sexing. They may talk compulsively, they may think compulsively, as a way of generating an energy in themselves to counter their feeling of depression and emptiness.

They may make themselves very helpful to people by engaging in humanitarian works, social motivations, "do-good-erism". They might want to teach people, to go out and tell people where it's at in order to confirm to themselves that there is something true they can feel good about.

And so on and on and on and on. In other words, everybody not just a few people who cannot be expressive emotionally, but everybody is doing something to cure what he or she regards to be a disease of emotion. And yet the reasons for being emotionally retarded, emotionally dissociative, or emotionally disturbed are not eliminated through all the things that people are doing. Anyone can in some moment perhaps feel a little better, but people fail in the ultimate sense they do not become finally, simply Happy.

Whatever you are doing, then social, physical, mental, psychic, or emotional is a dramatization of an emotional disease, or what I would rather call a "disease of feeling". By "feeling" I do not mean merely emotion, in the sense that you could engage in a counter-effort to your obstructed emotionality or obstructed feeling by becoming more and more emotional. By "feeling" I mean the Feeling of Being, which cannot be compartmented into that neurological portion of ourselves in which we acknowledge emotion, but which is really an occupation of the entire personality.

The total body-mind is established in this Feeling. Feeling is as much a part of mind as it is of emotion. It is just as much a physical matter, or a social matter. It is equally a psychic or psychological matter. It is a Spiritual matter. Every aspect of the being Is, or is established in, the Feeling of Being. Therefore, even though what I call "feeling" is obviously related to what you acknowledge to be emotion, it is not a feeling that can be compartmented, separated from mind or body, located in a portion of the brain or the anatomy of the chest. Every part of the being every aspect of the body-mind-psyche, thinking mind, emotion, body, your relational or social life, and so forth is a limit on the Feeling of Being, a dramatization of self-contraction. And, therefore, to recover the Feeling of Being, or to be unobstructed in this Feeling, you must not become more emotional merely, by developing the emotional aspect of yourself. Rather, the entire body-mind must submit to Be That, to Feel That, and without obstruction.

The Spiritual Process involves the liberation of energy and attention from bondage, from contraction, from limitation. And limited or obstructed energy and attention are both signed by the same phenomenon the limitation of the Feeling of Being. Whatever arises, you do not Feel completely, you do not Feel freely, you do not Feel simply. You are limited in your feeling relative to everything, absolutely everything. And so your fundamental disease, even though it is unnecessary and therefore could be called "imaginary", is a limitation on Feeling.

But rather than just feeling diseased emotionally (and perhaps altogether), and trying to overwhelm your limitation with some other effort, some palliative or medication or regimen whereby you hope to relieve yourself, you must first simply and profoundly observe your own characteristic limitations. And you are helped to observe your characteristic limitations through My Argument, through My Play. This is what I do although that is not all that I do. One Who is Awakened beyond the disease of Being helps other people to Realize the True or Divine Condition.

But to Realize the Divine Condition you must go through a process of self-transcendence. That process begins with considering My Argument relative to the self-contraction, the limit on Feeling. And how do you consider My Argument? Not merely by thinking philosophically, but by observing yourself no matter what you are doing, even while thinking philosophically.

My Work helps you to become sensitive to yourself altogether, and to enter into a profound incident of self-awareness in which you will observe not merely that you are diseased or un-Happy, and not merely that you are emotionally disturbed, or in any other way disturbed, or even in every way disturbed but that you are doing that. You are being un-Happy. You yourself are the action that is your neurosis, your limitation. It is not merely something that is happening to the body-mind, or that happened sometime or other in the past, or that is somewhere in the organs of the body or in the brain. It is nowhere in time or space outside yourself. You are the very party, the very process, that is the limitation creating the phenomena you notice and acknowledge to be your un-Happiness.

And so your un-Happiness is not a disease at all. Disease is like a sore foot. It is down there, on the foot. A foot is something you treat objectively. Your own un-Happiness is not a disease. That is another reason I call it an "imaginary disease", because it is not a disease in any case. It is an action. It is something that you are doing. Pinching yourself is not a disease. But if you do not notice that you are pinching yourself, then the pinch gradually becomes chronic, even prolonged, pain. You react to it in various ways, and your whole style of life begins to change around it. You could call that pain a "disease", then. But the action of pinching yourself is not a disease. It is just an action. If you noticed you are doing it, you could stop it and all the symptoms would disappear as well.

Even without great insight, people can acknowledge that they are suffering, that they are uncomfortable, that they are un-Happy. Certainly in private conversation they will confess it, even though they are doing all kinds of things to make themselves feel better all the time. That is why people think so much, that is why they emote so much, that is why they desire so much, that is why they do so much, and that is also why they suffer so much. The search to release suffering is itself a form of suffering. It is not the solution to suffering. You must do more than notice that you are suffering and strive to eliminate it. That is only minimally intelligent and ultimately fruitless.

That "more" that you must do is something that I am trying to illustrate in this picture of you pinching yourself. You must observe yourself more profoundly, much more thoroughly, than merely to acknowledge that you do not feel so good, or that you are generally unhappy, or complicated, or obstructed. You must observe yourself thoroughly and moment to moment in every detail, and truly, and directly, and altogether, not merely by thinking about yourself. Merely observe yourself in every sense, altogether, including your tendency to be thinking and mulling over everything.

Observe yourself until you get beyond the mere acknowledgement that you do not feel so good and beyond the tendency to try to feel better. Observe that this not feeling good is something you are doing. It is not something that is happening to you. Un-Happiness is not the inherent condition of cosmic Nature, or of the body-mind, or of manifest existence. It is something added to conditional existence. It is a reaction to all of that. A person who has been pinching himself or herself for a long time, and who finds out that that is what he or she is doing, stops doing it. Understanding is like that it relieves you of the concept of disease and the effort to solve a problem. It puts you in a different position altogether, the position of responsibility for a primitive mechanism that you are animating and that you do not have to animate. There must be this understanding, or the discovery that what you acknowledge to be disease, un-Happiness, obstruction, and so forth, is simply something that you are doing to yourself, something that you are fully responsible for, something that is without necessity, something that you are adding to conditional existence something that you are animating, in fact, instead of simply Being, truly and fully.

And if there is this understanding, if you stop pinching yourself, if you simply Stand Prior to this gesture of un-Happiness, then you are in a position to contact, to "Locate", to be aware of, to be intimate with, and then to be submitted to the Condition in Which you truly exist, in Which you always already exist, in Which all of cosmic Nature exists, in Which all beings exist. And having "Located" That, you can practice the Way of Adidam. Practice of the Way of Adidam is primarily submission to that Divine Condition, through My Agency. Practice makes use of this capability for insight. It makes use of all kinds of disciplines that serve your equanimity, or that release energy and attention from habitual tendencies that simply dramatize un-Happiness. But primarily practice is submission to the Divine Condition of Being by surrendering the faculties of your body-mind to Me. Primarily, then, practice of the Way of Adidam is Feeling without obstruction.

In every moment a different circumstance arises, and therefore in every moment you tend to limit feeling in a different fashion. In a moment of desire, you limit feeling to what is desirable, to what you are seeking to attain, to the sensations and activities associated with desire and its fulfillment. In a moment of thinking, you exercise the limitation of feeling by limiting attention to the conceptual categories of thought. In a moment of emotional reaction you limit feeling to the emotional force of reactivity fear, sorrow, anger, what is called "love" in the conventions of gesturing to one another socially. Every object, every condition, that arises mechanically suggests or calls into being a different kind of limitation on Feeling. And you typically become that limitation. No matter what arises, you take on that limitation. And because you chronically take on a limitation in every moment, over time you begin to get the sense that you are un-Happy, that you are obstructed. And your search to become Happy becomes intensified.

Some people keep looking for something more, something else, something in the conventional round, some solution that still may hold out to them the possibility of being completely free and happy. But some people eventually get the Lesson of life, or perhaps, by coming into the Company of a Spiritual Master, through consideration they may come to the conclusion finally that they are chronically un-Happy and not because manifest existence is un-Happy. They discover eventually that they are un-Happy because they are being un-Happy, and for no other reason whatsoever. Those who get the Lesson of life, at least to some degree, may then go and find a Spiritual Master. Others may at least become frustrated enough that they begin to look for a Spiritual Master, and eventually they may get this Lesson in the Spiritual Master's Company.

In any case, you must get this Lesson, or make this discovery, if you are going to enter into the stream of Spiritual life. And what you must discover, once you get this Lesson, and once you find a Source of Spiritual Transmission, is that you are precisely that which you are suffering. You are not merely being it as an entity who is suffering, but you are active as that suffering. This action is primarily a limitation on Feeling. And this limitation on Feeling may be observed in relation to everything, absolutely everything, in the moment of any kind of functional activity and in any circumstance, any relationship, any incident.

Even now, if you observe yourself, you are not Feeling without obstruction. You are feeling the limit that is apparent. Isn't it obvious to you that you are feeling short, not Feeling fully, but feeling a limit based on whatever you are noticing, or however it impresses you, or however you are interpreting it in this moment? You will notice, if you observe yourself, that even now in a circumstance that you presumably regard to be pleasant, happy, not troubled, with no heavy threats even in this circumstance you are feeling short. You are feeling un-Happy, in fact not un-Happy in the sense that you are in some kind of negative emotional state, but what I suggest that you observe is that you are not infinitely Happy, not Feeling without obstruction. If you are not Feeling without obstruction, you are feeling short, or contracting upon the force of Feeling, the force of Being, and you are, therefore, being actively un-Happy. This limit on Feeling that you all have been noticing during this consideration is what I am pointing to with such language as "Narcissus", the "self-contraction", "un-Happiness", and so on.

That fundamental limit that you can observe in your own case in any moment is a limitation on Feeling, an obstruction of Feeling, which is demonstrated in every form of your functional life. This limit on Feeling that you can observe in any moment, if you will grant attention to it through our consideration, is otherwise demonstrated as all kinds of habits of mind, states of the psyche, tendencies toward emotional reactivity, tendencies of desire, habits and rituals in relation to other people, self-indulgence, seeking of every kind, and personality games. All of that is built on this one specimen, this one incident, this one state, which is continuous. And that chronic state of un-Happiness is transferred to the whole world.

You all know that in the world of psychiatry, people speak of transference. Patients of psychiatrists typically project onto their psychiatrist feelings, emotional reactions, and patterns that they otherwise tend to live out with individuals in their private lives such as parents and in effect they make the psychiatrist the same person that they are reacting to in their daily living.

In the common world also there is a primary form of transference that everyone engages in. You do not have to be a patient of a psychiatrist to be doing it. All people transfer, or superimpose upon others and upon the whole world, the disease they are suffering. That disease colors the whole world, colors relationships, causes people to act and feel and think in various ways in relation to others. The infantile personality who develops the Oedipal conflict is actually transferring to (or projecting upon) the parents an emotional state, a feeling-state of limitation, and the child is interpreting what is taking place between the parents as a literal betrayal of him or her. Generally, at any rate, the parents are just living out their lives together and loving this little child, but the child thinks that the parents are involved in some horrible betrayal. And the sense of betrayal is so profound that it affects the child for the rest of his or her life.

That is an example of transference. But so is everything else that people do. Everyone transfers upon the world, superimposes upon the world and all relations, a state for which they themselves are responsible, a state that originates in themselves, not in the world. You could say, then, that the classical Buddhist interpretation of conditional reality or the conditional universe is a form of transference: "Life is suffering. Existence is suffering." How did existence get to be suffering? How did manifest existence the whole universe get to be suffering? As if the Buddhist had actually examined everything and come to this conclusion! Even if such a Buddhist has examined a great deal, he or she is always looking at all that through the color of his or her own disease, and transferring that disease to the world. And he or she starts operating on the world itself, or the apparently objective phenomena of the body-mind, struggling to eliminate the phenomena of the world as if they were themselves some sort of evil.

The notion of sin in the Judeo-Christian tradition is a similar example of transference, whereby human unhappiness becomes associated with the idea of an objective historical cause: It is Adam and Eve, and what they did in the Garden with God! Or by birth, because of your character, because of the great universal Fall, you are objectively caused to be a sinner. Therefore, you must be objectively caused to get to Heaven, or to be happy, or to be Spiritually alive. Therefore, God Incarnate must come down and get murdered and go through a ritual that, objectively, makes it unnecessary for you to be guilty, whereas previously you were necessarily guilty.

You all engage in this rather primitive effort of transference because you are not responsible for yourselves. Having made this act of transference, everything you do, then everything you do religiously, philosophically, and so forth is something that you must transcend. You must transcend your religions and your philosophies, insofar as all of that is merely an extension of your own irresponsible suffering, and in general it all is. There clearly are moments in
the Great Tradition great individuals, great evidence here and there that truly are about the transcendence of conditional existence, and about Divine Self-Realization. But then there is all the rest of it just as you could say that the picture of human history has great moments and great individuals, but then there is all the rest of it. And most of it is "all the rest of it". And most of religion is "all the rest of it". Most of the Great Tradition is "all the rest of it", the product of human irresponsibility, egoity, or un-Happiness, It is made out of the same state that you, in this very homely, ordinary moment, acknowledge to be the case: obstructed feeling.

If you will continue to observe it, you will discover that you are not merely chronically limited in feeling, or un-Happy, but you are doing that. You do not have to be limited in your feeling, but you are just doing that. If you don't want to be un-Happy, then don't do that anymore!
Don't appeal to the universe to cure you, or say the universe is evil, or get involved in all kinds of counter-efforts in psyche and mind and emotion and body and socially to make yourself Happy. If you are already un-Happy, you cannot get Happy by any of that. And if you really do not want to be un-Happy anymore, you must observe yourself and stop being un-Happy, stop doing what is un-Happiness. And what is un-Happiness, fundamentally, but the limitation on Feeling?

You notice that, habitually, whatever arises, you feel in relation to it either appropriately or inappropriately. If you see a gorilla chasing you, the appropriate emotional response is to be afraid and also to run, hopefully. And the inappropriate response is to laugh and start telling the gorilla stories about your childhood. If a person goes to a funeral, the appropriate response is to weep or feel sorrowful and be somber, and an inappropriate response, at least from the conventional point of view, is to laugh and do a tap dance, in effect to deny the fact of death. What I am suggesting is that appropriate response, or what one might call "appropriate affect", at best is only a logical style of limited emotion relative to some apparent fact. It is not Feeling without limit. It is the limitation of Feeling, even though it is appropriate. And, likewise, inappropriate emotional responses are limitations on Feeling, clearly. In other words, no matter what arises, whether you tend to react appropriately or inappropriately from a conventional point of view, you always present yourself as a limit on Feeling. And this, as you might gather, from My "Point of View" is inappropriate! [Laughter.]

In other words, you must do more than feel afraid when it is appropriate to be afraid, and sorrowful when it is appropriate to be sorrowful, and gleeful when it is appropriate to be gleeful. You must Feel completely, without obstruction, in which case you will not merely be afraid, or angry, or sorrowful. You will feel anger, sorrow, fear, and that which is causing or suggesting to you to be angry, sorrowful, fearful. And by being completely free to feel these feelings, you will not merely dramatize these feelings, although you might tend also to continue to dramatize them to some degree, but you will simply feel. The feeling of the appropriate emotion will become Feeling Itself. Eventually, it will become Feeling simply, or Feeling without obstruction.

Remarkably enough, the reason you are so disturbed about the facts of life that might make you fearful, sorrowful, and angry is that whenever something arises that you might appropriately be angry, fearful, or sorrowful about, you do not feel it completely. You limit your feeling of even these reactions. And you certainly limit your feeling of the circumstance, or the condition, that is arising. You are always exhibiting the evidence of limited feeling, obstructed feeling. If feeling becomes limitless, if you do not contract, then feeling becomes Being Itself no reaction, no contraction, Feeling without limit. That Feeling goes beyond fear, sorrow, anger, and conventional happiness and loving attitudes.

What is It? It is Love-Bliss. It is the Self-Existing and Self-Radiant Force of Being, without the slightest obstruction. It is Divine Enlightenment. It Divinely Transfigures the body-mind and becomes a Power, a Great Power, and because now you are looking at manifestation through this color, this "one flavor", this Free Force or Free Energy It even allows you to interpret everything differently. Now you will not be saying that manifest existence is evil or suffering or sinful, or that others are unloving, that we are mortal, that we are going to die, that it is a terrible life, and so forth. Instead, you will regard all of manifest existence to be pervaded by Love-Bliss. Not merely Bliss coming at you from every direction, but Love-Bliss, Self-Existing and Self-Radiant, Radiating from every direction in the Place where you Stand, as you, and everywhere, altogether. It has no center, it has no bounds, it has no limits. It is Free Energy. And, in the midst of Free Energy, you are Free as attention, not limited, not obstructed in your attention.

When 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.

My Play The "Play" to which Avatar Adi Da Samraj refers includes the many forms of Teaching Theatre that He generated during His Teaching years, before 1986.

Consideration In the Way of Adidam, "consideration" is comparable to the ancient Yogic term "samyama": most rigorous, exhaustive concentration of all the force of one's energy and attention upon any topic, subject, object, or person, until its very essence becomes absolutely clear. Then one may proceed to make thoroughly intelligent and auspicious decisions about how to relate to the object of one's "consideration". In true "consideration", one is willing to sacrifice all preconceptions for the sake of Truth, and to change one's entire life on the basis of what is eventually revealed.

The Lesson of life The "Lesson of life" as Revealed by Avatar Adi Da Samraj is that "you cannot become Happy, you can only Be Happy." In other words, ultimate Happiness cannot be achieved through seeking, but one can be. Happy through feeling the inherent Happiness of Being.

Source of Spiritual Transmission Avatar Adi Da Samraj has said that all Realizers, as well as those who are less evolved, by nature spontaneously transmit what they are. But the Transmission of the Fully Enlightened Realizer is the Transmission of "the Heart Itself" the Love-Bliss that is Prior to the body-mind and the separate and separative self.

Narcissus Narcissus is the self-lover of Greek mythology. For Avatar Adi Da Samraj, "Narcissus" is a key symbol of Man in his un-Enlightened condition, enamored of his own self-image and limited self-consciousness. In The Knee of Listening, Adi Da Samraj summarized His insight into Narcissus:

He is the ancient one visible in the Greek "myth", who was the universally adored child of the gods, who rejected the loved-one and every form of love and relationship, who was finally condemned to the contemplation of his own image, until he suffered the fact of eternal separation and died in infinite solitude.

The Great Tradition "The Great Tradition" is Avatar Adi Da Samraj's term for mankind's total inheritance of cultural, religious, magical, mystical, Spiritual, Transcendental, and Divine paths and philosophies.

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