The Primal Urge for Sanctuary
A talk by Adi Da Samraj, 1979
ADI DA SAMRAJ: The principle of the relationship between the Spiritual Master and devotees is that he includes them in the field of his light. The literal physics of the physical universe is involved in that fundamental process. Through right relationship, the devotee enters into the aura, the field of energy, of the Spiritual Master. That field of energy works on the field of energy of the devotee, drawing it, through sympathy, into the same condition as the field of energy of the Spiritual Master. Before that absorption becomes complete, there is much that the devotee must learn, and much adapting and evolving he or she must do, until, at some point, he or she realizes permanently the same state as the Spiritual Master in the domain of energy. From that point the devotee does the same work that the Spiritual Master is doing bodily, which is to radiate the physical body to the point that it becomes energy.
The Adept is, in addition, returned to the pre-evolutionary stages through which he has already passed. His work is now to bring others to the same Realization by drawing them into his field of force. Thus, the Spiritual Master must stay involved in all of the games of those he presumes to be in his field of influence. He must play with them, deal with them, and suffer the same limits that they do. That relationship is the Truth of the spiritual process. It is the esoteric teaching. The Spiritual Master’s field of energy includes and works on that of his devotee. The devotee cooperates with that transformation through all his psycho-physical functions. He can retard the process, or he can serve its fulfillment. That physics is the real esoteric teaching, and it is knowable basically only by experience, only by entering into it. Then you are able to confess it; then you are part of that process. Such people are the community of true devotees.
DEVOTEE: I would like to think that we cannot ultimately retard that process though. Is this true?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: When everything returns to Infinity you will be there, too-I suppose that is what you mean by “ultimately.” You can retard the process of your transformation for a long time certainly. That is why people come and go from my Company, you see. They cannot let the process happen. They differentiate themselves and bring it all to an end. They settle for some ordinary development of their own limited body-mind. But even those who stay are always living in stress, always maintaining the problem situation, always failing at creating a foundation of sanctuary for the Church community. Thus, you see, everybody is working against true existence all the time.
What have you all been doing? You are beginning to acknowledge that you are serious about religious practice and that you intend to do it. But practicing religion is another matter. You are practicing a discipline that fundamentally is a modestly healthful way to live, both physically and mentally, but you are living in stress. You are living in the mind of stress, negativity, and fear. You live a frenzy of fear, always eating and sexing.
The sex drive in human beings, for example, is simply a product of the evolutionary state we are presently presuming. We live in stress, with the verbal mind awake and the sympathetic nervous system pounding us out into the world. The body has its own messages. When you have to confront mortality in every moment, then the body sets up stress chemistry that helps it to function in various ways. That stress chemistry keeps the verbal or problem-solving mind active, and, among other things, it keeps us sexually driven constantly. Thus, human beings do not have a few weeks of every year when they are interested in sex. Sex is a continuous capacity as well as an obsession. Whatever the psychology of your relationship to sex, sexual obsession is fundamentally the stress chemistry of the body urging you to constant and superfluous reproduction.
The human male produces millions of sperms for one egg-a superfluity. That superfluity is a sign that Nature wants to reproduce itself in multiples. The lower creatures multiply by thousands. Sometimes a single creature will give birth to thousands. There is in Nature a superfluity of reproductive energy. The creatures must reproduce themselves constantly because they instinctively feel that they are threatened, that they can be eaten. Likewise, human beings have retained this mechanism, because human beings have not evolved socially and spiritually into a more inclusive state wherein both halves of the brain are fully functioning. We are still living in the jungle, striving to survive against odds.
Our sexual mechanism naturally reflects that negative approach to existence. Sex is not simply obsession with pleasure. It is the bodys own obsession with reproducing itself under stress. If we could eliminate the stress factor, you see, and enter whole bodily into the field of Life, in which there is no fear, our sexuality then would also be transformed. All of the energies of the body are converted and balanced then, and you cease to be sexually obsessed, because sexual obsession is fundamentally a reproductive urge. The energy that we enjoy in the body during the full and loving enjoyment of mature sexuality should be our blissful enjoyment all the time, not just during sex, you see.
DEVOTEE: It seems that the lower the species, the more it reproduces.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Human beings reproduce fairly slowly, usually one child at a time. But the urge to reproduction still represents this superfluous sexual energy, the reproductive urge. Once one egg is fertilized, a woman may not conceive for nine months. Then she bears one child usually, and she usually cannot begin that cycle again for several months! So perhaps a woman can reproduce once a year. Why then does the male produce superfluous reproductive chemistry? Why not mate once a year, since we can only reproduce once a year? Because the body is programmed for superfluity. It has the feeling that it is threatened and that therefore it must reproduce itself. The body is constantly giving itself the signal that it should be reproducing itself in thousands.
DEVOTEE: Are women less committed to the reproductive urge then?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It is true that the woman does not produce many eggs at one time. She usually produces one. Thus, the woman’s body is conserving the production of eggs, because she can be impregnated only once in any case. Nevertheless, the erotic urge is continuous in the woman, because of the urge that we should always be involved in the reproductive cycle.
This obsessive urgency is a product of the stress of the lower-adapted human being. The higher chemistries of the body that stimulate the right brain and higher functioning are not being developed. Except for a few rudimentary vital activities and thinking of the lower mind, the brain is basically asleep. There is not much of a psyche, not much of a force of life. We are living under stress, more or less in the animal mode, somewhat higher than the animal because we have this capacity to think and to solve problems, and to make machines and such. But basically we are still functioning within that realm of the threatened existence of beings who get eaten. Thus, we animate the urge to reproduce because we feel that everybody is being eaten! We feel, bodily, that everybody is prey to something else.
In fact we see the drama of hunter and prey all over the world. Listen to the news! People are being killed all over the Earth every day, simply murdered in weird conflicts. Such a dreadful circumstance is just part of the unevolved state of Man. Everybody asks “Why are we doing this?” But nobody has come up with any reason to stop doing it! We could just as easily change our circumstance. Why don’t we just change it then? The animal is still in our hormones, you see. Our body chemistry is still keying us to live like the creature. Thus, we must have conflicts and opponents. We must eat and be devoured ourselves.
At the same time we can also observe this mechanism in ourselves from a more highly evolved point of view, so we feel somewhat confused about our situation. We would like our existence to be different, but people in general are not yet moving toward anything significantly different. Thus, the world is still a lower-adapted, subhuman world. Perhaps some people are a little more highly evolved-people who can live an apparently moral, ecstatic, spiritual life-but they are not common. Most people are living under stress, and they do not know enough to create sanctuary for themselves.
To create sanctuary is the one true urge, the primal urge. In other words, we are looking for a human and natural environment in which we can live without stress chemistry. We want to be transformed bodily. And we know, deeply, psychically, that we cannot realize that transformation until we can create the culture in which people can live without stress. Sanctuary is the motive for spiritual communities.
Because we believe that we are not surviving, that we are under threat, we die early. We think that it is extraordinary to live to the age of sixty-five or eighty. Our expected life span is better than it was even a few decades ago, but still it is no time at all. And we live under stress the whole time! Very little can be accomplished in such a span. We are always dropping the body and having to begin again. You must find the ways to overcome the stresses, to transform the chemistry of the body literally, so that you can live long and without stress, both chemical and social, or cultural. Such a life is not possible for a group of people until they create sanctuary with one another, a mutually protected, stable, basically unthreatened way of life.
“We are threatened!” is the message of the news. It reminds us of our situation. The program of the news is all about people who are threatening one another, either with terrible violence or with just social nastiness, the exploiting of one another. Loveless society is basically the idea that we constantly reinforce in one another. We teach each other and we pass on to our children all the techniques for living as a stressful personality that reinforce the negative content of social interaction. We believe bodily, stressfully, that our life cannot, even should not, be long, that it is not good to be alive in the body, that we are supposed to go elsewhere. We have all these ideas that are Life-negative in bodily terms, but the ultimate way of Enlightenment is to become Life-positive in bodily terms, which is just the reverse of what we are tending to do. Human beings are living way down at the bottom of their evolutionary potential. Nevertheless, if you can personally, and with a few others, grasp the higher realities of the mechanisms in which you live, then you can practice a Way of life that stimulates those factors. You must have sanctuary, a relatively protected world, to do that because you must live in a way that is not compatible with the way other people want to live. So you must eliminate stress, bodily. Under stress, in fear, mortally self-conscious, we are poisoning ourselves with our own chemistry. All those negative reactions are actually setting up signals for the body so that it will function as an animal strives to survive.
DEVOTEE: Some of us were talking about this last night and we realized that each individual must die.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes. But we think about death in terms of the end of a lifetime. We do not want to give up to death until we are actually dying in bed. But the urge to death contains the secret of evolution. The bodily capacity for death, for giving itself up to the Life-Principle, is its primary evolutionary mechanism. It is our resistance to death, in every moment, that creates negative life-chemistry. We are always protecting ourselves under stress, living with a tightness over the heart. We feel afraid to die, and we are always afraid. We are constantly contemplating death. The fact of it is awesome, overwhelming. We are always thinking about it! In our social superficiality we talk about sex and violence, but we are always dwelling on and mulling over death.
Thus, you live your whole life afraid, trying to be relatively free of anxiety. You have a sufficient number of pleasures in your life to help you overcome a basic sense of absolute terror, a continuing, underlying fear. But you are always afraid you are going to die. Always! Death is what we do not talk about, you see. You are expected to be cool, and charming, and sexual, and full of pleasure; and you are expected to be a moral person, and to do good deeds and to learn a lot. You must be all these things, but you are scared. You know you are being this thing that may drop dead at any moment. That knowledge makes you reluctant to engage life and relationships and love.
Your religious practice must deal very explicitly and directly with that fear, and deal with it in physical terms. You must also deal with it in psychological and personal terms, relational terms, that is true, but fundamentally it is a physical matter. At the heart, you are under the stress of the death threat, all the time. Therefore, you must release the heart into Life, by giving yourself up to death in every moment. Then the whole process of the bodys chemistry changes. When you have already died in this moment, when you have already given yourself up to the point of death, when you have surrendered into Life perfectly, you do not have any fear because you have already done it. You must feel into the threat of death in every moment. It is not a matter of being morbid. It is a matter of giving yourself up to energy and Life. Lose yourself. Realize ecstasy.
You wonder why you feel so rotten, why you must take things into the body, like alcohol or drugs, in order to feel good. Such intoxicants do something to the body that you should be doing for yourself, but you are just not able to do it. You are afraid. Thus, you are always making choices that protect you in your fear. Protecting yourself is basically what you are doing for your entire life, until finally you do die. It could happen in any moment. What is it going to be like? Your breathing stops, you strangle, and your body rots! What will you have left then? You do not know, and it is scary. Right? So you put everything aside for death. In the future you will confront death if it has to come, but in the meantime you protect yourself, and protection becomes your whole life. But you should be dying now. You must trust whatever your life is. It put you into being, so you already depend on it. It is what you are, and you must be willing to surrender to it and then let it show you the body’s secret. But you will never realize it while contracted and full of stress.
Real life, then, the higher evolutionary process, is a basic matter of surrendering from the heart in every moment and feeling to the point of dissolution or ecstasy. Only that practice stimulates the body differently. Until you begin to stimulate pleasure in the body differently, in the native way, you will have no means for feeling as good as you may feel when you are artificially intoxicated. You will never in an ordinary moment feel that good. You may calm down a little, but you will not eliminate stress chemistry altogether. Even though nothing is particularly threatening in this room right now, we are still living recoiled, afraid of death. We are always under that stress, you see, and that is the stress that we must eliminate, not just our ability to react to some immediate threat, but our chronic stress, our chronic fear of death.
Thus, you must actually be prepared, in your feeling, to die in every moment. Then you will begin to change in all the other ways. Then you can truly take up the disciplines of religious practice. You must “hear” me first and enter into the Communion of relationship with me in which all of these disciplines become more and more mature.