The “Point” of Powerful Words
When I fist listened to a discourse by Adi Da Samraj in the year 2005, the first thing that struck me was His incredible eloquence even in public gatherings while speaking spontaneously. He spoke in polished, essay like, prose that was simultaneously very humorous and understandable while being evocative and precise. He has a masterful command of language. It was no surprise to find He did an MA in English Literature at Stanford University.
Believe it or not, I have a dyslexic’s brain. I read 10-15 pages an hour with huge print through most of my teens until I discovered my issue. At that time I committed to learning to read and write in English as well as I possibly could and ended up earning scholarships to university in English literature. This is really just a demonstration of stubbornness and mind over matter, but as a consequence I came to deeply appreciate when words are well employed. Beloved extracts as much use out of language as anyone I’ve ever read or heard.
Here are some of the words that really stand out for me.
“Egoity is self-contraction. It governs all of your life-absolutely every detail of it. It is inherently suffering because it is contraction, a strangulation, a shutting off, a disturbance. Therefore, you are motivated to seek. You are seeking to be relieved of that stress that is your own creation, to satisfy yourself out of it somehow, to enjoy yourself out of it somehow, by exploiting the capability for experiencing the modifications of Existence.” -Adi Da Samraj, beezone.com
Adi Da refers to the primary error of the apparently separate egos as “self-contraction“. The root of contraction is of course, to “contract“. Used in this sense it’s a verb meant to describe how the self shrinks or reduces itself down from being the Divine Self to a separate self through the act of self-contraction.
But this word also refers to an agreement made between people in which two or more separate parties agree to exchange things of value with each other. Up until the moment two people have established an agreement or signed a contract with one another, they have total freedom with regards each other (other than those presumed social contracts relating to behaviour and the golden rule of course). But the moment two people make a contract with one another they’ve limited their freedoms with each other in regards to the exchange.
I’ll dig you a ditch for $50. I’m now bound to dig the ditch and when complete, you’re bound to pay me the fifty bucks. So people who make contracts are “bound” by the terms of the agreement. So to be self-contracted is to be bound to your self! Further, a contract can only be entered into freely or it’s invalid in western law and might otherwise be called slavery. So we freely bind ourselves through self-contraction!
There really are so many nuances with which this word is employed by Adi Da that it’s staggering. As a final example, to get a virus such as Covid-19 is to contract the disease. Beloved refers to “egoity” as the disease humans suffer from through self-contraction. Websters describes the transitive verb as, “to bring on oneself especially inadvertently”. So we inadvertently, but freely bind ourselves through our own action to the disease of egoity; we are thus contracted.
“Avatar Adi Da revealed and fully demonstrated that, in truth, all beings and things are “merely apparent modifications” of Consciousness Itself—the Prior Condition in which everything seemingly appears and ultimately vanishes.” -Adi Da Samraj, adidafoundation.org
He most often uses the word, apparent, in the sense of something that appears to be true but is not, as in something that is apparently so, but not in fact truly so. So the be a “merely apparent modification” is to seem to be so but then is also diminished by the adjective, merely, to in-substantiate appearances even further.
So the world and all things appear to be substantial but are in Reality, merely apparent, mere apparitions, like the boogie man or any other fiction created by the mind.
“The ordinary means only console you and distract you within the dream. I Myself, the One Who would Awaken you, am not a person, not an individual within the dream. I Am your Very Consciousness. I Am Reality Itself, the Divine Conscious Light, the True Waking State, the True Divine Heart — Breaking Through the force of dreaming.” -Adi Da Samraj, www.adidam.org
In ordinary use, the verb, to console, refers to comforting someone who grieves. It’s a word which implies a positive act. To be someone who consoles another is an act of kindness and empathy. But when Adi Da uses the term, he uses it in a pejorative sense meant to point out our lesser motives to avoid the inevitable or distract us from a situation which is dire; like eating a tub of Häagen-Dazs after getting dumped by a lover.
So we distract ourselves in the world of money, food & sex, in an endless search for consolation to take our minds off fear, pain, loss and death. A consolation prize is awarded to those who have lost already in order to help them feel better. Consolation prizes imply a mediocrity or willingness to settle for a lessor outcome.
“The common presumption of daily human life is that there is an objective world, but this presumption is simply a convention of egoic life and of present-day society. Science bases its sophisticated activity upon this conventional view of life. It seems natural enough to say that you live in the physical world. You are sitting around here in this physical world with many other people, right? To speak of a physical or objective world is simply a convention of your existence, whereas in fact you do not have any actual experience of an objective, or independent, world. Your actual experience is much more complex and undefined than that convention suggests.” -Adi Da Samraj, aboutadidam.org
Adi Da uses the word convention in it’s most extensive sense. A convention is an agreement about the rules used by people to measure or describe any system that does not in and of itself have inherent laws that govern it. The metric system is a convention. It allows two people to agree that a specific distance is equal to one meter. But measured in Imperial that same distance would be differently described. Whether using Imperial or Metric it’s obvious there is no inherent law that gives rise to either system.
An object’s nature is unaffected by the convention used to measure it. To know that something is one meter long is not to know something inherent about it’s nature. And yet, we often assume that this kind of conventional knowledge is telling us something absolute. How long is that same object for an amoeba? For that matter, would that same object be even “seen” or objectified by an amoeba?
Beloved uses conventional, unconventionally by extending it to mean that all knowledge built upon references to separate objects is like any other convention, based on agreements and presumptions which are not built on fundamental laws. We believe we know things about the manifest world, but we do not.
And then to complicate matters even more, we use language to try to describe “things”, but languages themselves are mere conventions. We use conventions layered upon conventions to try to understand the world.
All words and grammatical structures merely point to something else and our ability to understand one another is based on the conventions of the language used. The word, “rock”, is a concrete noun that points to something this writer presumes actually exists. And when I write, “rock”, every reader’s mind envisions a different object. Some will see a stone others a diamond, still others might recall the actor last named, Hudson.
Adi Da always uses the word convention to undermine our presumption that our point of view based experience is built upon fundamental laws. It’s not. It’s built upon loose agreements and interpretations of experience and shared consensus just as language is built on conventions and interpretations that allow so simple a noun as, rock, to be only pointed to in Reality. And like the underlying substance any convention might be used to measure, Reality is unchanged by being measured conventionally.
One of the benefits of dyslexia is that it inherently undermines my faith in language as it enters my mind. The letters jumble and shake. Just ask my wife, beddie. Even as my mind tries to unscramble the words I mistrust, I know they are only meant to point toward Reality Itself.
I believe this is the point that Adi Da is always making whether when spoken, in writing, using art, or with gesture. Adi Da is the Means and the Method pointing to His State which is Reality Itself. With grace, we turn our attention to Him rather than be caught staring at the words.