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Moving Beyond Childish and Adolescent Approaches to Life and Truth, An Essay by Avatar Adi Da Samraj (excerpt)
It was also in 1974 that Adi Da's seminal Essay on childish and adolescent character strategies--the substance of human neurosis--was Written. It remains His most expansive communication on this topic.
"Experiences", high and low, are required by those who are still lingering in the conditions of their childhood and adolescence. Everything a child does is a manifestation of one underlying assumption: dependence. When you are a child, the assumption of dependence is eminently realistic and useful. But it should be a temporary stage of psycho-physical life, in which one's functions are nurtured and developed in appropriate ways. However, there is commonly a lag in the transition to adulthood, because of the shocks experienced in the immature attempts to function in the world. Thus, to some degree, every adult lingers in the childhood presumption of dependence. And, insofar as adults are children, they seek to enlarge that personal presumption of dependence into a universal conception, in the form of the God-Cosmos-Parent game, the game of dependence upon and obedience to That upon Which all depends. That childish aspect in each of us seeks always to verify the condition of dependence in forms of safety and relative unconsciousness. That childish demand in every man and woman is the principal origin of conventional, or exoteric, religion.
There must be a transition from childhood to adulthood. That transition is also commonly acknowledged as a stage in the psycho-physical development of a human being. It is called adolescence. This stage also tends to be prolonged indefinitely, and, indeed, perhaps the majority of "civilized" adults are occupied with the concerns of this transition most of their lives.
The dilemma of adolescence is a continual goad to dramatization. It is the drama of the double-bind of dependence versus independence. Adolescence is the origin of cleverness and, in general, of mind. What we conventionally call the "conscious mind" is a strategic form of awareness that is always manufacturing motivations. And, in the adolescent, these motivations (or desires) are mutually exclusive or contradictory.
Conventional, or exoteric, religion, in the forms in which it is most commonly proposed or presumed, is a characteristically adolescent creation. It is not a life of mere (or childish) absorption in the mysterious enclosure of existence. It is strategic absorption.
Clearly, the search for Realization via experiences of whatever kind is the principal characteristic of both the childish and the adolescent stages of human development. Those who come to Me are, like all other human beings, temporarily, more or less fixed in the demands of their childhood and adolescence. They look for experiential justifications to fall back into the childish sense of unconscious dependence, while at the same time they struggle to realize some kind of idealized and experientially justified independence. Therefore, they are always rising and falling, coming and going.
The experiential dimension, or life-dimension, of the All-Pervading Spirit-Power contains every possibility for the holy or unholy fascinations of children and adolescents. But I must always Work to disentangle people from their lingering and strategic life-motives, so that they may mature to become true adults. It is only in that mature phase of functional human existence that life in Truth may be realized and the experiential drama of unconsciousness, egoity, conventional mind, and strategic motivation may be understood.
I Am the Heart. The Way awakened in My Company is not one of accumulation and attainment. It is the Way of dissolution, in which the usual purposes of life are undermined.
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