The following excerpt is taken from Adi Da’s Autobiography, The Knee Of Listening. Here He is describing the culmination of the experiment of intensive seeking He had been engaging during His first years at Columbia College in New York City:

I went on in this fashion for more than two years, until all the violence of my seeking precipitated an experience late one night in the middle of my junior year. I had rented a small room from an old woman named Mrs. Renard. It was several blocks away from the college campus. When I was not in class, I spent most of my time in that room reading, thinking, and writing.

On this extraordinary night I sat at my desk late into the night. I had exhausted my seeking, so that I felt there were no more books to read, nor any possible kind of ordinary experience that could exceed what I had already embraced. There seemed no outstanding sources for any new excursion, no remaining and conclusive possibilities. I was drawn into the interior tension of my mind that held all of that seeking, every impulse and alternative, every motive in the form of my desiring. I contemplated it as a whole, a dramatic singleness, and it moved me into a profound shape of life-feeling, so that all the vital centers in my body and mind appeared like a long funnel of contracted planes that led on to an infinitely regressed and invisible image. I observed this deep sensation of conflict and endlessly multiplied contradictions, such that I was surrendered to its very shape, as if to experience it perfectly and to be it.

Then, quite suddenly, in a moment, I experienced a total revolution in my body-mind, and, altogether, in my living consciousness. An absolute sense of understanding opened and arose at the extreme end of all this sudden contemplation. And all of the motions of me that moved down into that depth appeared to reverse their direction at some unfathomable point. The rising impulse caused me to stand, and I felt a surge of Force draw up out of my depths and expand, Filling my entire body and every level of my living consciousness with wave on wave of the most Beautiful and Joyous Energy.

I felt absolutely mad, but the madness was not of a desperate kind. There was no seeking and no dilemma within it, no question, no unfulfilled motive, not a single object or presence outside myself.

I could not contain the Energy in my small room. I ran out of the building and through the streets. I thought, if I could only find someone to talk to, to communicate to about this “Thing”. The Energy in my body was overwhelming, and there was an ecstasy in every cell that was almost intolerable in its Pressure, Light, and Force. But it was the middle of the night. There were no lights coming from the rooms. I could think of no one to awaken who would understand my experience. I felt that, even if I were to meet a friend, I would be unable to express myself, but my words would only be a kind of uncontrolled poetry of babbling.

My head began to ache with the intense Energy that saturated my brain. I thought, if I could only find someone with some aspirin or something to tranquilize me. But there was no one. And at last I wore myself out wandering in the streets, so that I returned to my room.

I sat down at my desk and wrote my mind in a long, ecstatic essay. I tried to summarize all the significance of this revolution that had occurred in my living being. Until finally I became exhausted in all the violence of my Joy, and I passed to sleep.

In the days that followed, I described this Event to a few friends, but no one grasped Its importance. Indeed, no one presumed It to be more than some kind of crazy excitement. I even read aloud to one friend the things I had written, but it became clear as I went on that it was only a collection of images. He only laughed at my excitement, and I thought it would be impossible for another to appreciate the magnitude of that great experience of mine.

As it happened, it took me many years to understand that revolution in my living being. As you will see, it marked the rising in me of fundamental and unqualified Life, and it, in its moment, removed every shadow of dilemma and ignorance from the mind, on every level, and all its effects in the body. But I would have to pass through many years of trial before my understanding of that Event became thoroughly established as the constant and truly effective premise of my living being (and, at last, the most perfect revelation of my Very Nature, my Ultimate Condition, and my “Bright” Purpose in the world).

Nevertheless, in the days and weeks that followed, I grasped certain basic concepts that arose in me at that time and which stood out in the mind undeniably, with a self-validating force. Two things in particular stood out as fundamentals.

I had spent years devoted to forceful seeking for some revolutionary truth, some image, object, reason, or idea, the effect of which would be absolutely liberating and salvatory. My seeking had been motivated by the loss of faith, the loss of the “Christ”-object and other such reasons for Joy. But in that great moment of Awakening I Knew the Truth was not a matter of seeking. There were no “reasons” for Joy and Freedom. It was not a matter of a truth, an object, a concept, a belief, a reason, a motivation, or any external fact. Indeed, it was clear that all such objects are grasped in a state that is already seeking and which has already lost the prior sense of absolutely unqualified Reality. Instead, I saw that the Truth or Reality was a matter of the absence of all contradictions, of every trace of conflict, opposition, division, or desperate motivation within. Where there is no seeking, no contradiction, there is only the unqualified Knowledge and Power that is Reality. This was the first aspect of that sudden Clarity.

In this State beyond all contradiction I also saw that Freedom and Joy is not attained, that It is not dependent on any form, object, idea, progress, or experience. I saw that human beings (and, indeed, all beings) are, at any moment, always and already Free. I Knew that I was not lacking anything I needed yet to find, nor had I ever been without such a thing. The problem was the seeking itself, which “created” and enforced contradiction, conflict, and absence within. Then the understanding arose that I am always already Free. This was the second aspect of that fundamental Awareness.

That sudden understanding was the obviation of all striving, and this I Knew to be unqualified Truth. I had been striving for some objective “Truth”, in order to replace my loss with a thereby acquired “Freedom”, but this striving was itself the source of contradiction in me. Now I Knew there was no entity of Truth, and perfect Freedom was always already the case. Freedom exists as life, not when Freedom is “created” or sought, but where there is this fundamental understanding. In that moment of understanding I had simply turned out of the context of my presumed dilemma. I was possessed of the mature cognition of the “Bright”.


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