What if the Universe Were to Disappear in Light?

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

Adi Da Samraj

A talk that appeared in 1980 in Laughing Man Magazine, Vol 2, Number 1 (pp. 48-52).

DEVOTEE: You have said, Master, that the Adept's ultimate function is the enlightenment of the whole universe.

ADI DA: Yes, that motive is the disposition of the Divine, and once the Divine is realized, then that disposition becomes apparently one's own. But, on the other hand, there already is no universe. All space-time is spontaneous; therefore, all past is present, all future is present, all possibilities exist, and their dissolution is already true. It is a matter of what slice of possibility or space-time one wants to fix upon or is made to fix upon or is tending to fix upon. Even the philosophy of the conventional physical sciences now recognizes that space and time are relative conceptions. They each change dramatically as you change your position in space and in time. There are paradoxes like the observations that space itself is curved and that all time is simultaneous and that time depends on your position in space. It is all arbitraries, paradoxes, and it is only by assuming a fixed position-which is not really possible — that you make sense out of space and time, you see. As soon as you become mobile, you are confronted by nothing but paradoxes, and what you experience does not make sense anymore.

It is because we have this apparently fixed body [slapping His body] that space is fixed, time is fixed, and our point of view is fixed. We make philosophy out of that fixation, and we conceive the necessity for salvation because of that fixation. As soon as we cease to be fixed in our manifest expression, it is not necessary to be saved any more, and the dimension of existence becomes one of paradoxes rather than fixed states. One can be of an entirely different mind, and the human mechanism is in fact structured to be of an entirely different mind than you are all tending to be. Now you enjoy some intuition of an expanded conception or realization of existence. But you could be of an entirely different mind wherein that intuition is the bare fact of your perception and wherein it conditions or determines the conditions of life. Now you are conditioned by conditions or circumstances in themselves. Your spiritual intuition gives you a little distance from it all somehow. But in another state of mind that intuition itself could be the intelligence that conditions or determines conditions.

Now, since this state can be realized and has been realized by various individuals in human form, it is apparent that all human beings therefore are structurally capable of such transformation. It is just that we are adapted to a lower form or organization of our own structure. We determine our experience and destiny based on this lower organization, this lower adaptation, and our state of mind reflects this lower state of adaptation. Thus, an aspect of the spiritual process involves the evolutionary transformation of the state of mind, the fixed presumptions in the structural adaptation of the individual. These brain cases here are filled with potential chemical alignments that can make this brain into a much more extraordinary instrument than it now appears to be. Now it is really a very crude, low level of the brain that is in operation. It is related basically to the lower vital mind, operating in reaction to physical events in their conventional form. Unfortunately, that crude brain activity is controlling the chemistry of the total brain.

DEVOTEE: Can you still talk about the process of evolution within the paradox of simultaneity of the past, present, and future?

ADI DA: Yes. To be highly evolved in human terms is to be capable (while remaining fundamentally present as a human individual) of consciously, psychically entering into a time-space framework that is profoundly expanded beyond your present conception, which is a fixed space-time perception.

Now, if human beings in general began to adapt themselves in all kinds of new ways along these lines, you might begin to look different physically. Not only might you look different physically, but part of your appearance could be energy. Now we do not tend to see very much of the energy in which we are all appearing, but the body is expressive of energy, and that energy could become commonly visible. In other words, it could be a convention of perception, not just an uncommon occurrence seen in the case of somebody extraordinary. This mind could be of a different kind, the chemistry of the body-mind could be totally transformed. Walking around, appearing among others, you would see the light emanating from your own body and emanating from others, and you would contact one another through association at the level of energy and psyche. And that dimension in which you function psychically would be visible physically. You would see your own minds, in other words. Now you can only see the body, but you would see the mind as well. You would see the energy field in which mind is operative, and you would observe that mind is not in the body, but is in that field of universal energy and therefore has no fixed location.

In My own case, I have seen how this individual body-mind arose. I see how it is arising now and what holds it in place. This arising has nothing to do with a "me" deciding to do it, requiring this life-experience to happen for My own sake, you see. That is the significance of bodily life for the usual individual, but not for those who are awake. And this individuated body-mind does not have an eternal existence. It is just mocked up for a purpose that transcends individuality, for a spiritual function. So it may exhaust itself in this lifetime, destroying the seeds of even enlightened rebirths. Or maybe it won't! [Laughs]

Thus, there is a different point of view in my existence than that which animates people ordinarily. The usual individual looks at death, for instance, as a possibility of being personally disturbed and annihilated — and "who knows what is going to come next?" I see death as just a drawing back in of this extension here. My so-called death will just draw this psycho-physical being back into the Position in which I am already living. This body is not My position. It is just an electronic appearance.

What I am describing is a different event than a subjective, personal dream. When you awaken from a personal dream, you at least have the sense that all those individuals you may have seen in that dream were emanations of yourself. They were obviously animated by your own being and energy. The appearance of beings and phenomena in the waking state is somewhat different. It seems that all of these others here are suffering from an independent sense of their own existence. Even so, you could say that the same thing is actually true of the dream as well. You know from the point of view of the waking state that all those people in your dream were in fact your own emanations. But in the dream state itself, you encounter all those individuals as others than yourself. That is why you are motivated to take seriously everything that seems to happen in a dream.

Thus, enlightenment wakes you up and frees you from the seriousness of this appearance. As long as it persists, however, you are like a person awake in this dream we call the waking state. You act with the assumption that others are taking seriously the appearance of their bondage and their independence within the dream. So you play it as such, at the same time realizing that there is really no one in trouble here. There are no unenlightened beings and there is no one in bondage, needing to be liberated.

All of this appearing universe could vanish in a moment. Just as one can wake up in the morning before one's dream is over, this world could vanish long before it has fulfilled its projected term, you see. It does not have to wait to disappear only after all beings get enlightened. It could disappear because all beings are already enlightened. The appearance of phenomena is the only suggestion of unenlightenment. No appearance, no unenlightenment!

Well, there is something very strange about all of this here! [Laughter] If there could be a sufficient awakening on the part of all of us, perhaps the universe would disappear. There are psychic forces determining its continuation, you see. There are states of mind that are disturbing the universal Force and causing certain appearances to arise and remain fixed. Once something comes into being, once a certain motion is established, it tends to persist until it is disturbed, in which case it changes, or until there is complete awakening, in which case this motion just vanishes. Then enlightened equanimity is restored. So if there could be sufficient awakening to the point that equanimity is established at the level of universal Force, then all of this moving universe would vanish.

However, it does not have to explode or violently disintegrate. Nothing has to explode for you to wake up from your dream. The room that you saw just before you awakened does not have to break up, it doesn't have to explode in order for it to vanish. Just so, the universe that we experience in the waking state does not have to blow up, all the stars do not have to collapse or blow up or blend into one another again, none of that has to happen for this appearing universe to vanish. Why, then, do we have to presume in this waking state that the whole extended universe must somehow fulfill its term before it can come to an end? It could fulfill its term, it could also be mightily changed, and it could also vanish in an instant. It could become unnecessary, obsolete, and disappear altogether.

Therefore, we can say that it is possible in the Divine or real physics of manifestation for the entire manifest universe to vanish suddenly and at any time. But there are so many beings, so many events set in motion, so much psychic or mind force establishing a disturbance in this universal Energy, that such an event is extremely unlikely in the near future. It takes more than an occasionally awakened individual to transform the universe for others. Any single individual can realize the transparency of the manifest universe and enjoy the absolute condition of Light or Radiant Being, and for that individual none of this will exist, it will vanish. But he or she is thereby awakened from the waking state like a single ordinary individual waking up from a dream. The world of the dream that he left has not been exploded or made utterly obsolete. Attention and energy have just been transferred temporarily. Likewise, individual beings can become enlightened, and are in that sense then translated out of this universe and all of the states through which experience arises waking, dreaming and sleeping. For translation to take place in the highest sense, the entire material universe would have to be translated out of material existence.

Individual beings can go up in light, but that is not the same as Divine Translation. And an individual body can be disintegrated without disintegrating the entire material universe. I am not just talking about spontaneous combustion where the body burns to a cinder. That has been known to happen, apparently for various chemical reasons. But there are also cases of yogis, for instance, who to the view of others have gone up in a flash of light and disappeared. Tukaram, the 17th century saint of India, was such a person. But this kind of event is not the same as Divine Translation in the highest sense. It is a kind of translation that can be coincident with the enlightenment of that individual, but it is basically a manifestation of the yoga of the Life-Force in the body. For perfect Divine Translation to take place, rather than mere disintegration of an individual physical body, the total physical universe would have to be translated. This is why Translation in the ultimate sense that I have described relative to the seventh stage of life is not likely to happen in physical terms, at least not in these times.

DEVOTEE: Master, why is the ultimate Translation of any individual dependent on the Translation of the whole physical universe?

ADI DA: Because it is not simply an event that occurs relative to one individual physical being. It is an expression of awakening in terms of the absolute Universal Force. Therefore, it is an event that must take place universally. Now there is a yoga of translation that can take place with an individual body. As I have said, this is a possibility. There is a kind of yogically significant individual experience in which the body disintegrates in a flash or dissolves in a light form. This has no implications relative to the universe for others, though the event in your personal case could perhaps be perceived by others. Your body could be seen to disappear in a flash, or it could become sort of illusive, illusory, and just disintegrate. This is a kind of translation, just as enlightenment itself is translation into Divine Existence inherently. So the kind of translation that is apparent to others can indeed be developed as a yoga of individual translation whereby the body dissolves in light.

I have written in The Enlightenment of the Whole Body that this kind of individual translation can occur in yogis or devotees who extend themselves into the higher, mystical stages of human evolution. This potentiality has been proved by certain individuals in the past.

But the ultimate event of most perfect Transfiguration or Translation signifies truly the translation of the entire material universe and all beings. It is rather the disposition toward which we are all moving, the potential of all beings, than it is something to which you, as an individual beings, should look forward. It is not an individual kind of experience. It is something toward which bodies of this kind are universally moving. But to take place in the highest sense, that translation would have to be coincident with the enlightenment of all beings.

Thus, Divine Translation is the process of ultimate significance. Everything else, you see, is preparation. Spiritual work, for an Adept, is a matter of preparing people for that realization, so that they can exercise themselves in enlightenment. First they must be established in that enlightenment bodily, not just philosophically. The total body-mind must be established in that ultimate Light.

All of the complex disturbance that you represent individually must be undone. Until that time your spiritual life is basically an exercise for sake of your own enlightenment. But what of enlightenment itself, what of the process that is spontaneously expressed in enlightenment? Well, that is yet to be considered and engaged by us together. It is to be seen whether we will ever do it together. In the meantime it is a matter of my engaging you in a consideration that relates to the level or quality of energy and attention that you represent habitually.

You see, if I talk with you, you all tell Me about presumed limitations. You all think in the conventional terms of being a physical personality, an individual being or entity with fears and emotional complexes, and with various desires that are obsessive and difficult or that demand to be fulfilled. Right? Is this true? Is anybody not involved in any of that stuff? Everybody close your eyes. [Laughter] Okay. Anybody who's not involved in all that dreadful stuff I just listed, raise you hand. Aha! [Someone has apparently raised a hand.] Anybody else? [Laughter] Well — you see what I mean?

DEVOTEE: You are saying, then, that Divine Translation would include objects to the extent of the dissolution of very atoms.

ADI DA: Ultimate Translation, yes. It is something, therefore, that no single individual realizes. Perfect Translation is something toward which all beings and every body-mind are disposed, and therefore such Translation really, is recognition of an ultimate enlightenment of all beings, the Divine Translation of the material universe. Looking at objective nature, science only conceives of a scenario for this physical universe that can involve a collapse backward of all material energies, and then perhaps another creative Big Bang following it.[1] The scientists see things in terms of these outward cycles. From a spiritual point of view we should say that the ultimate event is not that energy collapse but the translation of the material universe, so-called, into at least the domain of light-energy that is superior to material existence.

DEVOTEE: Master, lately I have been considering Your teaching on the Divine as the universal or Transcendental Person or Personality. It just occurs to me as You were talking that the spontaneous motive You speak of is the motive of the Divine Person not really individual beings.

ADI DA: Yes — and so to speak of Translation in the ultimate sense, we are speaking of that Destiny which is in God relative to all of this material existence and, therefore relative to any and every individual's material body-mind. You can transcend personal karma, then, and this will change your condition. It can even in yogic terms involve a kind of dissolution of the physical being. But that will simply move you into a destiny coordinated with the universal pattern of manifestation. Ultimate realization is to coincide with the Divine perfectly. Then the universe as we know and perceive it will truly disappear.




Another alternative scientists consider is a "heat death" for the material universe, in which the universe keeps expanding and getting increasingly colder, until it "burns out". Which of the two alternatives — expansion to a point then collapse; or endless explansion — ostensibly depends on how much mass the entire universe has. If the mass is great enough, the universe will pull itself together gravitationally and then collapse down to a point, possibly initiating a new cycle.

Quotations from and/or photographs of Avatar Adi Da Samraj used by permission of the copyright owner:
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