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Renouncing the Search for the Edible Deity


excerpt from
The Eating Gorilla Comes In Peace


Love or not. That is all there is to it. If you can come again to the position of loving, of being sustained and being a sustainer in the natural flow of things, then you will continue to grow, and the very structural dimensions toward which you are experientially disposed will show themselves in the form of experience. You must be responsible for the effects of those things. You must be responsible in every moment, so that, no matter what arises, the contraction of feeling-attention is not your destiny, not your disposition in the moment. You must be able to cut through that contraction, whatever the experience, high or low.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj


Avatar Adi Da Samraj
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: We chronically consider our individuation, our birth, our mere bodily existence, to be a form of separation. We use events such as coming out of the womb and the conflicts of childhood to elaborate this fundamental philosophical point of view. The inherent vulnerability of our apparently independent existence is a shock, and we reflect on all experience, even the most primitive movements in the womb, as a kind of rejection. When we look out into the universe we feel insulted, rejected, unloved. And so we make philosophy out of our apparent independence.

Thus, the primal event of suffering is not some circumstance that happens to us. It is not an event within our objective experience. It is not some thing that we conceive to exist in relation to us, or over against us. The primal event of suffering is us. Our suffering is not recognized as separation from something else in particular. It is our own appearance, our own independent existence, and we interpret this present event as separation on that basis. That interpretation is our first philosophical gesture, the first time we say or feel "you don't love me."

Fundamentally, it is not our experiences in particular relationships that tell us we are not loved. Some people do not love us, surely, but nevertheless we are simply, always, and already philosophically disposed to believe that we are not loved. It is our interpretation of existence, not on the basis of any relational experience we have had with other human beings, but on the basis of our apparent independence itself. Our sense of independent bodily existence means separation to us, whereas, you see, it is really only the sense of independent bodily existence. When you become strong if you ever can become truly strong autonomous, able to take a deep breath, then you stop interpreting the universe as a form of rejection, as a great parent from whose company you have been expelled, under whose domination you live, who has rejected you and does not love you. Everyone is simply born into the conventional condition of independence and everyone interprets that condition as rejection, as "you don't love me."

There is a fundamental disposition in us to be contracted in our feeling. It is not really the result of our experience, whatever our experience. It may be reinforced in all kinds of social and other chronic ways, but it is not the result of experience. It is our philosophy, our point of view, our disposition. It is the presumption we make in the instant we recognize our functional independence. Thus, "I/me-apart" is felt as "you don't love me" and therefore lives as unlove, as "I don't love you." Such unlove remains our disposition until we become awakened from that sleep, from vital shock, from the shock of birth, not the birth trauma in the pure physiological sense, but the recognition of independence, in which we each steadily and increasingly observe that we are vulnerable, that we are subject to circumstances, that our very existence can apparently depend on circumstances. The more you observe existence in that disposition of vital shock, the more justified you feel in presuming under all conditions that "you don't love me."

What is of interest and significance about diet and health is implicit in this consideration, this metaphysical supposition by which everyone presently lives and also by which he interprets his past. Birth, or the recognition of one's independent existence, is interpreted by us to be separation. It is interpreted by us as an instant, prolonged through time, in which we are essentially unloved. And all of that interpretation is based on the feeling that we are not sustained. In other words, independent existence itself is felt as separation from the ultimate food source.

The Eating Gorilla
the eating gorilla

We are mad then, you see. We are not like the eating gorilla. The eating gorilla finds a cabbage in the jungle, sits down like a slob and munches away at the cabbage, and is completely benign, completely peaceful. There is nothing threatening about this gorilla, nothing dangerous about him. He is not eating anything killed that has an independent consciousness in the ordinary sense. He is just eating cabbages, vegetables. If some other gorilla or another being comes near, he still has his food. He is connected to the food source. He is not disturbed as long as that creature will show that he also is eating. The eating gorilla is peaceful.

The Dangerous Beast
the dangerous beast

Therefore, the eating gorilla is the image of the true man, the true woman. He demonstrates the principle of true politics, of real human existence, in which we are always presently connected to the Food Source in Truth, and are always presuming connection, relationship, "I love you." But the gorilla in the desert, or the conventional man, is cut off from his food source through the presumptive recognition of his separate existence, of his mortality. He feels unloved. He is a dangerous beast. He is in conflict with himself, struggling, looking for a way to be permanently sustained.

All of our conventional efforts in life are searches to be permanently, absolutely, unqualifiedly sustained, to be fed perfectly and eternally and to be simply happy, kept alive by whatever put us into existence to begin with. But until we make our connection with food or with sustenance, we are mad. Since sustenance is scarce, we threaten one another. We live like beasts! If we get a little bit that sustains us, we become anxious about sustenance, we cannot get enough. We overeat, or we overseek. We are always believing the logic that we are not sustained, that we are cut off from the source, that we are not loved, that what essentially and permanently and absolutely can sustain us is something from which we are separated. We may get a meal, but where are we going to get the next one? Or even if we can get the next one, how can we live forever?

Thus, we must ultimately deal with this metaphysics, this philosophy that "I am not loved," that "I am separate from what sustains me." The whole drama,of human existence is about that feeling of separation, and that is all that it is about. The Eating Gorilla Comes in Peace is really a meditation on this consideration. It is about sustenance, about love, not really about conventional matters of diet and health, just as Conscious Exercise and the Transcendental Sun is not really about exercise. It is about exercise in some secondary way, but exercise is just a way of meditating on love, on the responsibility for love and the process wherein we are love. Eating is also a way of meditating on love. When you sit down to eat, you are obliged to meditate on sustenance. If you consciously approach the whole matter of eating, you must become aware of unlove, of separation, of fear, sorrow, guilt, anger, doubt, anxiety terrible things. In that condition, there is no way to finish a meal! In your chronic subjectivity, your Narcissistic and unloving self-consciousness, you think these negative feelings are true of you. You think they are real and justified by experience. That is why you are not sustained by all your eating and all your relations. But you have adapted socially in such a way that you are willing to accept a vision of mortality and make the best of it. You know that you can eat and continue for a while; you know that you can create circumstances that allow you to continue to live; so you can eat with relative ease, even though you are fundamentally in mortal fear.

Now there are many ways to approach this whole affair. First of all, in our recognition of ourselves, our self-consciousness, our realization of our independence through functional manifestation, in the first instant and in every moment of that recognition, is it true that we are actually separated from sustenance? It is very important to find this out, because everyone simply and mechanically presumes that it is true. The vulnerabilities of childhood reinforce that presumption. All the social habitual learning that comes out of childhood and adolescence and into your later life supports this essential metaphysical view that we are unloved, that we are separated from what sustains us in the absolute sense, that we are mortal. The more we meditate on being unloved, the less we live as love. If we allow ourselves to feel our Condition, to feel as our Condition, to feel completely our Condition in this moment, can we discover any separation from anything whatsoever? Are we anything that can be separated, that is separate, that is an anything when viewed as a totality? Obviously this is the essential consideration that I entertain with you through My Teaching. If you could simply feel your Condition, feel as your Condition in this moment without obstruction, without making an interpretation, then you would not any longer be what you already are being. In that case, you would not be in the condition of obstructed feeling-attention, defining yourself, feeling vulnerable, separate, a being. You would directly and intuitively discover the nature of your Condition, which in no sense is separated out, which is pure, absolute energy without qualification, which is sustained absolutely, which was never separated from anything, which does not exist in an inherently separated state.

Thus, reconnecting to your sustenance is a matter of unobstructed feeling-attention, through all your functions, as the whole bodily being, in all your relations, under all conditions. That is all it is. In that native spiritual action you are love. You are an expression of the Nature of all things. When you are not obstructed as what you are, you are love. The body itself is love then. And when you can become responsible for the compulsive contraction of feeling-attention in yourself, then you are naturally sustained and a natural sustainer of others. Your humor is restored, and then you are taken out of the desert. You cease to be a beast, a subhuman, maniacal creature, and you become natural, peaceful, pleasant, loving, intimate, laughable, humorous. Existence becomes a matter of inherent pleasurableness, not the beastly struggle for the acquisition of experiential pleasure, the temporary attainment of a sustained condition.

We are obliged to be the heart in relations, to be responsible, as radiant feeling-attention, for all the things above and below the heart, to make mind and body, attention and action, heaven and earth a felt sacrifice to Infinity. If we live this way we can live a happy and loving and healthy life, an essentially vital life. Although there may be limitations that come upon us through the environmental and human factors around us, essentially we can be the masters of our circumstances, at least in our private lives.

Love or not. That is all there is to it. If you can come again to the position of loving, of being sustained and being a sustainer in the natural flow of things, then you will continue to grow, and the very structural dimensions toward which you are experientially disposed will show themselves in the form of experience. You must be responsible for the effects of those things. You must be responsible in every moment, so that, no matter what arises, the contraction of feeling-attention is not your destiny, not your disposition in the moment. You must be able to cut through that contraction, whatever the experience, high or low.

Therefore, the devotee in the Way of Adidam passes through stages of growth and development, perhaps into higher psychic or mystical experience, but he is not fulfilled by any of it. He is obliged to be responsible in the midst of it, to cut through it, to cut through the limitation on feeling-attention that even a cosmic vision represents. And eventually it all becomes a mass of silliness. It has nothing whatever to do with Truth. You throw everything away, then. In this Divine Enjoyment you hold on to nothing, and even the body itself begins to change into something undefinable.


Conscious Exercise and the Transcendental Sun by Avatar Adi Da Samraj, is a principal practical text for devotees in the Way of Adidam.

Narcissus One of the key concepts in Avatar Adi Da Samraj's criticism of the usual life. In The Knee of Listening, Avatar Adi Da Samraj describes Narcissus as follows:

"He is the ancient one visible in the Greek 'myth,' who was the universally adored child of the gods, who rejected the loved-one and every form of love and relationship, who was finally condemned to the contemplation of his own image, until he suffered the fact of eternal separation and died in infinite solitude.

"I began to see that same logic operative in all men and every living thing, even the very life of the cells and the energies that surround every living entity or process. It was the logic or process of separation itself, of enclosure and immunity. It manifested as fear and identity, memory and experience. It informed every function of being, every event. It created every mystery. It was the structure of every imbecile link in the history of our suffering."

Narcissus symbolizes the activity of suffering, self-limitation, and the recoil of feeling and attention from Infinite Life-the avoidance of relationship, the failure to love. He represents the contracted condition of the soul until it Awakens in Ignorance and becomes Radiant as Love. All men, Eastern and Western, spiritual and worldly, enact the life of Narcissus until they "hear" the Teaching of Truth and release feeling and attention into the infinite stream of present relations, which is the Divine, All-Pervading Condition of all that arises.

unobstructed feeling attention An essential responsibility of all devotees. "Unobstructed and free feeling-attention" is a technical description of Love, which is simultaneously the Divine Condition to which we are awakened by Grace and a heartfelt gesture or action of self-sacrifice that we must perform moment to moment. The usual man does not feel; his heart is closed, and his only feelings are conventional emotional reactions to life. Just so, the usual man has no capacity for free attention; his mind is an obsessive jumble of thoughts, impulses, images, and obsessions. Thus, feel ing and attention are obstructed, attenuated, constantly contracted, and fixed upon the illusory sense of separate self or "me." The devotee who continuously "hears" and "sees" the Truth is constantly releasing attention through feeling to Infinity, under all conditions, into and through all relations. Responsibility for constant maintenance of such unobstructed feeling-attention is the foundation moral discipline of service to others and to God in the Way of Adidam.

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