Excerpts from The Knee Of Listening
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CHAPTER ONE

The "Bright"

"So I experienced in myself the meaning of death, conflict, and separation..."


I did not tell my parents I was about to die. I decided to be with them and enjoy with them for two days and make an easy transition. On the last day, we drove in the country. I watched in the clouds, seeing only heaven and Bootsie and God.

Then it was the evening of my death. We had dinner and sat in the living room watching television. I went and prayed to God, and I was certain He would take me at nine o'clock. But as the hour approached, I began to realize the importance of this move.

I was about to leave life! I was about to suffer the loss of the world, my parents, my future possibility.

I felt a tremendous connection to the living world, and saw that the absence of one I loved did not amount to the destruction of love, of life-positive energy, of "Bright" Fullness, or of Heart-Joy. I saw that I was alive!

Nevertheless, I presumed that much of this "conversion" might be due to fear and regret. I knew that I had bargained with God, and, therefore, I would not abandon His Will. And so I only sat and waited. I watched the television and continually relaxed the awesome fear that kept rising in me. Nine o'clock came, and I did not die.

I do not remember if I was alone in my room or with my parents at that hour — but, when it passed, I went and prayed to God. I thanked Him for my life and asked forgiveness for my wavering.

But something in me had died or become hidden at that hour. I remember that, for several years afterward, I would end my prayers with the request, "And please, dear Lord, allow me to live until I am eighty-nine years old or older."


For some time after this incident, I suffered a constriction in my chest, and I felt as if I could not breathe deeply enough. I even had my father take me to a doctor. The doctor and my father watched me breathing behind a fluoroscope.

And it was determined that I was in good health. After that, I gradually took some relief, for I had not been certain that my promise to die had not crippled my heart in some way.

I remember that even in the days before our visit to the doctor, and then for weeks afterwards, I experienced a sublime enjoyment of the air and light, the fact of my life, in spite of the feeling of weakness in my heart.

So I experienced in myself the meaning of death, conflict, and separation, which I knew to be the primary fact in all suffering. I saw how the sentiment of separation from love can, as a problem or concern in the humanly-born conscious awareness, draw one out of the "Bright" of Illuminated, Free Consciousness Itself — until one no longer perceives the perfect Form that is always already here.


Such early experiences in my life are not merely clinical, nor did they alone "create" the later personal form of my life. I was Awake and full of Clarity in those early episodes, just as I am now. Even then, and forever before then, I was What I am now. And it is clear to me that I have always operated on the basis of a few fundamental perceptions, and these have structured all of my life.

And the basic, few perceptions that have structured all of my life are the fundamentals of Reality (altogether, both conditional and Un-conditional), and not merely the idiosyncrasies of character (or of conditional personality) in and of itself.

Character is built through experience, through the accumulations of one's use of certain given options in the humanly-born conscious awareness.

Disturbances of the personality, which form so much of the data of clinical observations, are not the results of a given disorder in one's Real (or Ultimate) Nature. Rather, they are the result of a misuse (and unconsciousness) of the options associated with the humanly-born (or conditional) conscious awareness.

Therefore, it was clear to me from the beginning of this lifetime (and, over time, it was repeatedly reconfirmed) that true healing (or the establishment of the capability necessary for free, "creative " life) is not a matter of concentration on memory, the past, or the history of the functional personality, good or bad — but it is (rather) a matter of understanding the fundamental and present activity of the humanly-born conscious awareness and making right conscious and intentional use of one's living options.

 

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Adi Da Samraj Autobiography

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