Excerpts from The Knee Of Listening
Print Version of the Introduction (pdf)


Reality Itself Comes into the "Room" — In Person
by Carolyn Lee, Ph.D.

"It is the first-person account of the life of
an unparalleled Spiritual Genius — alive today..."

Adi Da Samraj, 1940 From time to time, there is a book that challenges, and eventually changes, the entire perspective of a civilization.

In modern times, Charles Darwin's Origin of Species was such a book — and, centuries before Darwin, On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres of Copernicus (the first publication of the theory that the earth orbits the sun).

The Knee Of Listening is such an epoch-making book — in an entirely different way. Appearing at the beginning of the third millennium of the common era, it carries a Revelation that has the potential to transform all future time. This book is not about how life on earth physically evolved, nor the design of the solar system (of which this planet is a part).

The Knee Of Listening is about Reality Itself, the Reality within which this earth and its cosmic locale arise — the Blissful, Effulgent, Conscious Force of Being which is always so, and which can be located and enjoyed under every possible condition, and in every dimension of space-time.

There are many worlds within the book — from simple narrative to ecstatic poetry to complex argument and sublime revelatory discourse. But there is one single Voice.

The Knee Of Listening is autobiography. It is the first-person account of the life of an unparalleled Spiritual Genius — alive today — whose appearance can only be rightly understood by referring to the tradition of the avatar, or the incarnations of the Divine.

Aldous Huxley speaks of this tradition in The Perennial Philosophy, where he refers to the Divine Being by the Greek term "Logos " (or "Word ").

The Logos passes out of eternity into time for no other purpose than to assist the beings, whose bodily form he takes, to pass out of time into eternity. If the Avatar's appearance upon the stage of history is enormously important, this is due to the fact that by his teaching he points out, and by his being a channel of grace and divine power he actually is, the means by which human beings may transcend the limitations of history....

That men and women may be thus instructed and helped, the godhead assumes the form of an ordinary human being, who has to earn deliverance and enlightenment in the way that is prescribed by the divine Nature of Things — namely, by charity, by a total dying to self and a total, one-pointed awareness. Thus enlightened, the Avatar can reveal the way of enlightenment to others and help them actually to become what they already potentially are....

And, of course, the eternity which transforms us into Ourselves is not the experience of mere persistence after bodily death. There will be no experience of timeless Reality then, unless there is the same or a similar knowledge within the world of time and matter. By precept and example, the Avatar teaches that this transforming knowledge is possible, that all sentient beings are called to it, and that, sooner or later, in one way or another, all must finally come to it.*

Writing in 1944, Huxley was more right than he could have known. The Ruchira Avatar, Adi Da Samraj, the author of The Knee Of Listening, took birth on Long Island, New York, in November 1939. He was born in the most ordinary of circumstances — to Frank and Dorothy Jones, a middle-class couple, who named their son Franklin Albert Jones.

His Life, from the first, has been marked by unusual and miraculous signs — indicators of a Divine Process (or Yoga) that has always been active in Him. Nevertheless, as Huxley suggests, the Avatar must relinquish the free enjoyment of the Divine State and embrace the condition of an apparently ordinary unillumined human being in order to "earn enlightenment ", and thus "reveal the way of enlightenment to others ".

This was exactly the pattern of Avatar Adi Da's early life, as He recounts in Part One of The Knee Of Listening. He was born in a state of unconditional radiant awareness, which He called the "Bright".

But, then, in a spontaneous gesture around the age of two years, He fully Submitted to the usual human life — as He describes here in a Discourse given to His devotees. When He speaks of "I " and "Me ", He is referring to Himself as the Divine Being, Who is associating with the conditional worlds via the human form of "Franklin Jones ".

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: For approximately the first two years after My Birth, I allowed the gross vehicle to be gradually prepared for Me. Then, at approximately two years of age, I Spiritually Descended to the region of the heart and thus established My basic Association with My manifested personality.

This Spiritual Descent into the gross body to the level of the heart occurred on the basis of a sympathy (or heart-response) to those who were around Me at the moment. It was through this sympathetic response that I acquired the Vehicle of this body-mind.

However, I was Born to make this Submission. Therefore, it is not that the Decision to Acquire the gross body-mind did not occur until I was two years old. It is simply that the Vehicle of this bodymind was not sufficiently prepared until that point. I had consciously Decided to Do this Work before I Incarnated. My Avataric Descent into Incarnation was for the sake of the total world and all beings.

I had consciously Decided to Take a Birth in the West. My Intention before this Birth was to Take this Birth and to Do My Avataric Divine Work by complete Submission to the ordinary Western circumstance.

— February 5, 1989

In 1939, the year of Avatar Adi Da's birth, the western world was poised on the threshold of war, completely ignorant of Who was about to be born in the suburbs of New York City.

Even so, we know of at least one individual who was attuned to the unparalleled dispensation of Divine Grace that was about to descend into human Form.


next: The Prophecy

*Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy,
1st Harper Colophon ed.
(New York: Harper & Row, 1970), 51, 56.

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