The World’s Greatest Unpublished Spiritual Book

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Now we can understand the deepest fear that possesses Evelyn Disk, drives the action of The Scapegoat Book, and seals Raymond Darling’s fate; that is to say, the reason why we yet continue to make even the Heart of Consciousness a hollow eidolon. The entire motive and thrust of our egoic self-enactment is animated by a single fear.  The passage where this is identified begs to be quoted in full:

This knowledge of heart-craft grants responsibility to humankind—but perfect knowledge is a final draft of what was written by the heart. That final, perfect knowledge is a vanishment of heart itself—and all it wrote is flashed to ashes in the Lighted fire of What Stands free where heart once was. One in whom the Conscious Light of perfect knowledge has Awakened where it Stands, is seeming-nullified to an indifference to all what mummery so talented the life before. One who once acted every part of “keenest sharp” of thinking mind, or exemplified all “right behavior” of the socializing kind, or vigored “healthy living” to an excess of success—becomes as if a muted, barkless dog of thinklessness, inert, “desocialized”, immovable from home, and, altogether, worriless about absurd intents, and will not move to buy an any famous wanted-“thing”, or even entertain a foolish guest. Because of fears about the threat to “creativity”—all egos shun and mock and scandalize the wise. Even perfect knowledge is defamed of all its Truth, by those who move by seeking and desire—and would yet find their perfect ending in utopia, imagined in advance, to be forever waiting there, for them, at end of life’s great chain of right consumptions, for which breadless goods and “quality-time” all egos queue forever, in a line.  [emphasis supplied]

    The Scapegoat Book is, in the author’s words, a “Hard! Parable” of the ego’s self-divided struggle with its own Benefactor and with the open secret and great Law of both life and spirit—sacrifice, self-relinquishment, renunciation. Insofar as we fail to recognize Adi Da’s outré caricature of the human ego, Evelyn Disk, as a metaphor for our own spiritual indolence, excess, and bad faith, we will find it more than a little difficult to grasp our present likeness to him. Given that Gautama Buddha occasionally called his first disciples “fools” for their failures of discipline, how can we cavil about being addressed as a “Great Fool” for not only blithely ignoring the unalloyed peril and futility of our natural life, but also for denying our absolute need for the graceful Help of the one who has fulfilled the necessary course we have yet to begin? In a summary discourse given in 1981, Adi Da put the matter this way:

People read the Teaching and they want to be the Gurus of others. They think about the Teaching a little bit and they want to be famous as Adepts. They manage to keep their physical life somewhat straight for six months and they want to be regarded as Avatars! Life is foolishness. This is no time, in any case, to be tolerant of foolishness. The world is mad, and these are dreadful times. Things are not going to be easier in the years ahead. The spiritual process tolerates no fool. The spiritual process itself will spit you out. It is not an easy attainment, but a profoundly difficult affair. Even what you have listened to today has been heard by only a fraction of the human race in all of history. The opportunity to practice is extremely rare, and the fulfillment of practice is practically unknown.

It is important to keep in mind that although the venue of this drama is Raymond Darling’s “First Room”, the domain of the blissful truth of Consciousness Light Itself, the parable encompasses the totality of egoic mind. If The Scapegoat Book is to fulfill its cathartic and edifying function, then, we must allow ourselves the artistic freedom to completely identify with any and every character put before us while also being carried by That which transcends one and all.

There was a moment in the the Da Orpheum Theatre Guild’s inaugural performance of The Scapegoat Book when the full emotional impact of its core truth overwhelmed both author and audience. Known for most of his life as a legendarily life-positive Tantric Spiritual Master, while Adi Da was in the body few, if any, ever fully appreciated the unremitting disconsolation and sorrow that he was obliged to endure in his epochal, Orphic love-embrace of all beings. We were given an extremely rare glimpse of the price of authorship when the playwright came to read verse seven in chapter ten of his book. As Adi Da confessed the unavoidable, heartbreaking truth “of this heartless plane of unrequited inclinations”, his speech suddenly faltered and broke into a near gasp:

It never made a difference, how attached we were—by desire’s hold or seeking’s gain—to all the seeming world of life, and children for the heart, and lovers at the side, and embodiment itself, and pleasures for a little while of here. Intensity of feeling never kept a moment for a time—and all was lost, before another breath could tide our objects back, with the helpless, grasping home of all our cruelly, meanly separated hearts.

    In The Scapegoat Book each of us is called, in language that rivals Shakespeare but at a depth of wisdom that knows no peer, to participate in a fictional dialogue between fictional characters that is entirely purposed to explore our real relationship to the author himself. Mysteriously imbued with Adi Da’s own awakened Consciousness, this great fiction not only breeches the established boundaries between literature and philosophy, but the larger barriers we have erected between these and life itself. It perfectly confronts us with the most essential lessons of life and spirit that we must grasp during our brief passage here on Earth. Like most great art, it is both a caustic and a balm. Granted, such instruction is difficult to endure. Nevertheless, it is one that is absolutely necessary and utterly healing and liberating. And now that we have this book, I confess that I do not now know how I could have hoped to fulfill my spiritual practice without it. Truly, it is a master guide for the perplexed for this and for all future time.

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