Adi Da Samraj-Realized or/and Deluded?

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9781879514379: Adi Da Samraj-Realized or/and Deluded?

The first critical assessment of the life of Adi Da Samraj and his teachings. Born he said in the "Bright" with his kundalini risen after only a few years of practice, Franklin Jones had a breakthrough into the pointless point of view. Young, hip, articulate and funny, this first American-born guru had a meteoric rise, bringing him thousands of seekers until the sex scandals brought a public shaming and his withdrawal to a Fijian island hermitage where he, now Adi Da Samraj, announced he was God Incarnate.
CONTENTS
Preface
I In the Beginning
II The Cult of Pairs & the Saturday Night Massacre
III Radical Shock Tactics & "Divine Emergence"
IV Sex Scandals, Naitauba & Seventh Stage Realizer
V The Last Days of Adi Da Samraj
VI What Is Adi Da Samraj's Teaching?
VII So Who Was Adi Da Samraj?
Afterword
Chronology
References
Appendices:
Franklin Jones' Vedic Horoscope
Franklin Jones & Gertrude Stein
The Myth of Narcissus
Scott Jones' "The Outlaw Christs"
Of Swami Muktananda & Rudrananda
G. I. Gurdjieff

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Review:

William Patrick Patterson's newest book, Adi Da Samraj: Realized or/and Deluded, is the first evenhanded and detailed exploration of one of the most enigmatic, self-styled spiritual gurus of the last half of the 20th century. America's first young, hip guru, Adi Da Samraj, ne Franklin Jones (1939 2008), self-proclaimed Avatar of Avatars, not only of this age but all ages to come, had a meteoric rise and subsequent fall after devotees went public with his crazy wisdom teaching of sex, drugs and alcohol. Totally committed to spiritual realization, Jones took only six years to realize Sahaj Samadhi, the pointless point of view. Preceding this was a copious use of drugs, and then contentious relations with his two teachers, Albert Rudolph ("Rudi," later Swami Rudranada), a former student of Gurdjieff's Fourth Way, and Swami Muktananda. Intuiting that everyone unconsciously lived the Narcissus myth of separation and denial as he had, Jones founded what he believed was a radical new teaching combining elements of Kundalini Yoga, Fourth Way, Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta along with the acceptance of himself as God incarnate. To break through the narcissism that blocked devotees spiritual realization, he persuaded them to enter into sexually shocking situations with himself and each other. Though experience proved this method hurt far more than helped, Adi Da insisted on what he called "sexual theatre," later renamed "sexual communion," until his last days on the remote Fijian island hermitage to which he had withdrawn. After tracing Adi Da's life from beginning to end, Patterson gives a penetrating analysis of the key concepts of the teaching before coming to the heart of the question - How can someone be realized at the highest level and act this way with his devotees? Adi Da always maintained that realization does not destroy the "person", so just who was his "person"? From a careful reading of Adi Da's books, Patterson gleans an assemblage of facts pointing to a hidden wound that usurped Adi Da's realization for its own ends, giving an archetypal example of wrong crystallization. The esoteric and spiritual questions Adi Da Samraj Realized or/and Deluded raises are acutely seminal and ones every seeker and adept needs to long ponder. --The Gurdjieff Journal

This is the first critical study of Adi Da Samraj, examining the facts of his life and avoiding the sensationalism of cult busting or the hagiographies of his devotees.
What are we to make of Adi Da? He began as simply Franklin Jones (born in 1939) and ended his life claiming to be an avatar, a perfect incarnation of the universe in whose very presence illumination would be achieved without effort. He lived on his own island near Fiji and from there spread his message as the ultimate guru. His books became more and more obscure with their the own unique grammar and terminology. He may be strangely compelling but was he a voice of enlightenment? That's the question William Patterson sets out to answer.
Jones early training was through his own drug based experiences, then with Albert Rudolph who taught Kundalini Yoga and his own version of Gurdjieff's Fourth Way. Jones continued to study a myriad of systems from the Lutheran form of Christianity to Scientology. Under Swami Muktananda he had many visions and experiences which led him to develop his own unique teaching and the publication of his first books.
In 1972 he opened Ashram Books (later called Dawn Horse Books) and offered his first public teachings. He broke with all his teachers and offered his own path to experiencing the divine including a method of breaking traditional sexual mores with a Western form of Tantra.
He attacked the cult of pairs and notions of marriage which ultimately led to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre"— the night when he initiated new teachings on relationships. The radical methods he used shocked his bourgeois followers, but it did have parallels with crazy wisdom traditions in Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as the heterodox sexual method of Tantra. Using such methods on Westerners brought problems including all manner of legal cases.
In 1979 he declared himself Da Free John, an incarnation of god, and in 1983 moved to Naitauba Island, Fiji. Celebrated by some, he was more often attacked by others, and he gradually withdrew from the outside world. He never believed the world truly understood his teachings, and died a sad figure on 28 November 2008, aged 69.
Following an exhaustive biography that is objective and critical, William Patterson presents a clear and insightful analysis of Adi Da's teachings. He points out what he sees as misunderstandings within Adi Da's teachings, and the cost of his crazy wisdom approach.
While his teachings can be seen in terms of the more radical forms of Hindu and Buddhist Tantra, one has to wonder if Adi Da fully appreciated the devastating effect of these methods. Or perhaps the sheer power of these unleashed metaphysical forces overwhelmed self-discipline. Any Tantric technique demands immense WilI and self control, otherwise the practitioner will be outmanoeuvred by the Ego, the very thing they are trying to transcend. It seems that ultimately Adi Da became ensnared between the two.
Patterson offers a challenging examination of Adi Da and leaves it for the reader to make judgments. The question often dealt with is how to understand Adi Da's supposed illumination with his narcissism and extreme behaviour, that continued for so long after it had supposedly served its purpose of shocking his students out of their mental chains. It is one thing to use sex to shock your students; it is another to become seemingly addicted to the path of excess, overtaken by the power of indulgence, or Tamas in Hindu terms.
Adi Da Samraj, Realized or/and Deluded? is a critical and well researched examination of Adi Da, his crazy wisdom and heterodox techniques, and the human costs. --Robert Black, New Dawn, Sept-Oct 2013

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