All a Bunch of Hogwash

robert-adamsYou have heard it said that you are your own worst enemy and this is true, you are your own worst enemy. Why? Because you live in a universe of light and bliss and yet you’re not seeing or feeling this light or bliss. You’re feeling something else. You’re seeing something else. And in your erroneous thinking you believe and feel if only things were going this way I would be so happy. This is an illusion. It really makes no difference which way things are going the only thing that matters is how you react to things that are moving along in your life. That is the only thing that matters. How you react to every situation that comes into your life. You begin by learning to leave the world alone. Have no feelings for or against. What do I mean by this, “Have no feelings for or against?” How would you be able to function? Yet there is truth in this statement.

As an example, you know the elections are coming up. Some of you like Clinton. Some of you like Bush. Some of you like Perot. Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with this as long as you do not become emotional over it. As long as you do not become wild and feel it in your heart and begin to stick up for your rights. Telling everybody how good your man is and how bad the other party is, do you see what I’m saying? You’re not supposed to do nothing really, if you’re working with this world. You can get involved in the world but not mentally. That’s the secret. Physically you will do something, go out and vote if you like. Join the Peace Corp, protest, do whatever you like but mentally realize that it’s all a bunch of hogwash. In your mind be completely free. This is the way to live in this world.

-Robert Adams

From Satsang of Oct. 22, 1992

The Mind is Not Your Friend – Robert Adams

Robert: Some of you look so serious. This is not a serious satsang, it’s a lot of fun, feel happy. Happiness is your real nature. You might as well get used to it, it’s going to overtake you whether you like it or not.

I want you to ask yourself a question: Why am I here at satsang? Why did I come here? Did you come to observe the speaker? To compare him to other speakers? Most of you have gone to so many meetings, you’re totally confused. Going to meetings for some of you is like going to the movies. You ask, “What’s playing this week?” The same way you ask, “Who’s speaking this week?” But, some of you never do anything about it. You listen to the message and then you go home and then you say, “Well wasn’t he or she an eloquent speaker, that was great! What are we going to do now? Let’s go bowling. Let’s go watch TV” And you forget all about the meeting until next time.

Some of you have been going to meetings for thirty years or more. What have you accomplished? You have read every book that has been written. Where are you? Are you happy? Are you liberated? Are you free? Ask yourself.

What we offer here, is absolutely nothing, no thing. It’s all in the invisible. It all has to do with consciousness and consciousness is your real nature. It’s really what you are. When you identify with consciousness, you become your real Self. When you don’t, you’re a part of humanity, struggling, trying to become free.

In order to understand the body-mind phenomena, that you are not the body-mind, you first have to understand what the mind is. What is the mind? It is merely a conglomeration of energy, of thoughts, thoughts about the past and the future. That’s all the mind is. The mind is not your friend. But you can use the mind to accomplish many things. We’ve all been programmed, brainwashed. It started, when you were in your mother’s womb. All of her feelings, all of her negation or positiveness, all of her energy was transferred into you. Not only that, but you have samskaras, past life tendencies, fears, prejudices that also go into your subconscious before you were born.

When you come out into the world, you’re put in your crib and you pick up the vibrations of your house, people fighting, parents hitting each other, loving each other, all that goes into your subconscious mind and makes up you. When you’re at the age when you walk you go outside and play with some friends and your environment soaks into your subconscious mind. Then you go to school, you go to church, temple, synagogue and all those teachings go into your subconscious. Then you grow up you get a job, have a family and here you are. You’re a product of preconceived ideas, of concepts. But is that really you? It’s you as long as you believe it’s you.

When you get tired of playing games, something within you gives you a push.  That’s called the inner guru. It pushes you from within and something outside leads you to the right person, to the right book, to the right environment that you have to be, because you have given up playing games. In other words you’ve become tired of the world and you want liberation. Wanting liberation is very funny to me. It’s like a person taking a shower saying, “I want to get wet.” Liberation is your very nature, you have to wake up to it, to realize it’s you. So you are a conglomeration of thoughts, of energy, that has programmed you since you were a baby. And here you are. So, now that you’re here and you know how you’ve been programmed, what are you going to do about it?

But let’s talk a little bit about the mind a little more. If you know about the mind, you will know what you have to get rid of. The mind doesn’t really exist. But you’ve been programmed to believe that the mind is an entity, that it does exist. Therefore you have to play this game, getting rid of the mind. Let’s see again how the mind works. Let us compare the mind to the earth.

A farmer has two seeds. One is of Nightshade, a deadly poison and the other is of corn. The seeds are thoughts. The farmer plants both seeds. And once the seeds are planted, the earth has no alternative but to grow in abundance, whatever has been planted. In the same way, when you accept certain thoughts, your mind grows those thoughts until they become your experience. And this is why you have the problems that you’ve got today. You have created them yourself.

Take another example. Have you ever planted seeds? Sure you have, some of you have. Say a farmer plants a rose seed, a tulip seed, a carrot seed and let us imagine that these seeds are like us. They can think and talk like humans. And the rose seed says to itself, “look at that beautiful rose, they say that I will grow into a rose. I will become a rose.

But that sounds impossible. How can I ever be a beautiful rose like that. It’s virtually impossible for me to do that.” By that very thought the seeds would stagnate and not grow. The carrot seed says the same thing, “I’m just a nothing, a nobody, how can I ever grow into a beautiful carrot?” By that very thought the seed would stagnate.

In the same way I say to you, “You are absolute reality. You are Brahman, infinite awareness, consciousness.” But you say, “How can that be? That sounds impossible. I’m just a lowly person, I’m nobody important.” And you keep identifying with your body and your mind. As long as you identify with your body and your mind, the lord of karma, Ishvara, becomes your Master. And you’re under the jurisdiction of the Lord of Karma. Therefore you keep coming back again and again to this earth. And then you become sort of earth bound, until you become totally free. But you have to do this by yourself. You have to practice certain techniques.

Somebody asked me just recently, “You say that consciousness, reality, is like a screen and the body, the world are all images on the screen.” And the question is “Since I believe I’m an image, can I change my image to a better one?” In other words, as long as you believe that you’re an image and you are not consciousness, can you improve your lot? Can you improve your lifestyle and change your image?

Now, that is up to the lord of karma. As most of you know everything has been preordained, determined before you took up your body. But you have certain freedom, depending on your karma. And the question really is, “Can you make a sick body well? Can you make a poor person rich? Can you make a depressed person happy?” You’re working at a mind level when you do this. You’re not going to the ultimate truth, but you’re working from your mind. And you can never find freedom and liberation by working from your mind.

As an example: Let’s say for instance, you manipulate you mind enough and you’ve got cancer. You’ve been working on yourself for fifteen years. You use imaging techniques, you use mind control. You imagine that the white blood corpuscles are attacking the cancer and you finally heal yourself of cancer. You get written up in the “National Inquirer.” You appear on “Phil Donahue.” And you feel great and proud of yourself, you’ve healed yourself of cancer. Next month you’re crossing the street, a truck hits you and you’re dead. That’s what happens through mind manipulation.

Let’s take another case. You’re working on yourself to become rich. You take the proper real estate courses. You learn business administration. You use mind control. And after twenty years you become a multimillionaire. You get married and have three children. Then your wife and children get killed in an automobile accident. Somebody kidnaps you and holds you for ransom. And you have to pay out ten million dollars. And you’re back where you started from.

What I’m trying to say is, working with the mind is not the answer. We bypass the mind. We realize the mind is not our friend. The idea is to annihilate the mind. To annihilate thought. How we do this? Through the method of Jnana Marga, through the method of vichara, self-inquiry, this is the fastest method to liberate you from confusion and ignorance.

When you have a problem, when you have some sort of confusion. You simply ask yourself the question, “To whom does this come? Who has this problem? Or who has this karma?” And pretty soon the answer will come by itself, “I do.” Then you further ask, “From where does this I come from? What is the source of I?” You abide in the I, you hold onto the I. You start to use a meditation called, “I-I,” You simply abide in the I as long as you can. And you follow the I thread into your spiritual heart. You say to yourself, “I, I, I, I, I, I.” You remember that everything in the world is attached to I. Isn’t it?

Think of all the times in your life you’ve said, “I. I feel sick. I feel depressed. I feel happy. I feel out of sorts.” Who is this I that you’re talking about? Is it your body? It can’t be your body. Because when you sleep and you wake up you say, “I slept.” When you dream, you wake up you say, “I dreamt.” And when you’re awake you say, “I’m awake.” To whom are you referring when you say, “I?”

Find out, go within, ask yourself, “Who am I? Where did I come from?” But never answer, just pose the question, “What is this source of I?” and one day you will realize that I does not exist. When you follow I to the source, one day there will be like a big explosion and you will see myriads of light particles all around you. You will then realize that the whole universe is nothing but a bunch of light particles. Yet this is not the answer. For where did the light particles come from? They come from no thing, from nothing. And nothing is consciousness.

Consciousness is like space. It has no shape. Yet it takes the shape of every creation. It appears to take the shape of the world, of people. Everything is consciousness. Consciousness is like a chalkboard. And the objects of the world are like images on the chalkboard. You can draw any image that you like. You can draw an Indian. You can draw two people fighting. Two people making love. And then you erase it and draw something else. But the chalkboard never changes. The chalkboard is always the same. So it is with you. You go through all kinds of experiences. But the realization is that you are not the experiences you’re going through. You are consciousness, that is your real nature. Think about that.

My real nature to you.

I am not a preacher, nor a philosopher. I am not a minister nor a lecturer. I can only share with you the way that I feel. When I use the word, “I-am,” I-am referring to all of you. I-am is another word for God, the first name of God. Another word for consciousness, omnipresence is I-am. I feel that I-am not the body nor the mind. I am absolute awareness.  I am ultimate oneness. I-am infinite intelligence, nirvana, emptiness, I-am that I-am. I am sat-chit-ananda. I am parabrahman. I was never born and I can never die. I Am That I Am.

The world is a product of my imagination. I see the world as consciousness. I see the reality, perfection, peace, love, happiness. This is the real Self and nothing else exists.


Welcome to satsang. Satsang is where we sit around and rejoice in each other. And if there are any questions you wish to ask feel free to do so. If you wish to make a statement or say anything you like, this is the time to do it. For you don’t expect me to keep talking do you? Feel free to ask any question about the spiritual path, or about anything else.

SL: Robert, I know that when we try to meditate or just clear our minds, you said that we could do it by asking the “I” question. Someone also mentioned before about clearing the mind by just trying to listen is that also another way?

R: It makes no difference what method you use to clear your mind. The idea is to make your mind quiescent. To make your mind still and calm. When your mind is still and calm you solve the problem. All the methods, self-inquiry, breath control, yoga, everything is to quiet the mind. Use whatever method suits you. You can become the witness to your thoughts. You can watch your thoughts as they go by. When you become the witness and you do not interfere with the thought process, the thoughts automatically begin to weaken by themselves, until they dissipate entirely.

You can ask yourself, “To whom comes these thoughts?” Whatever method you use is fine. But by all means do something to still the mind. And again when the mind is still and quiet, everything will take care of itself. The secret is to quiet the mind. Your real nature is self-realization. When the mind is stilled, you just return to your real nature, to what you always were.

SL: Earlier you said that, something was the fastest path to self-realization? That versus what?

R: Versus anything. It has been proven that vichara is the fastest path to awaken. Vichara means self-inquiry. By inquiring within yourself and finding the source of your existence, your body-mind disappears. And you become your Self once again. But it’s not for everyone. Most people seem to have some kind of difficulty. Then you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, and do whatever helps you. Breath control, mantras, japa, repetition of Gods name, everything brings you to the top. But by all means do something.

This is why I share these various methods of meditation with you. If you get tired of one you can use another one. If you practice something will give eventually. Something will happen to the one who practices.

-Robert Adams


From the Collected Works of Robert Adams, transcript #15, 14th October, 1990

The Ultimate Happiness: A Conversation with Robert Adams

This article was published In the Fall Issue of Inner Directions, 1995.

Robert Adams: There is one thing I can tell you for sure. All is well. Everything is unfolding as it should. I can tell you that truly nothing is wrong anywhere. If you think you have a problem, that’s the mistake — thinking you have a problem. As soon as you stop thinking, everything will go right.
Questioner: Isn’t everything going right while you are thinking?
R: Yes, but you don’t know it. Some of us don’t think it is, saying, “I’ve got a problem,” or “I’m involved in some-thing I can’t handle which is bigger than I am,” or “Some-thing hurts me,” or “I feel anger.” But I can assure you, there is nothing wrong! All that you have to do is watch yourself. As soon as your mind starts thinking past your nose, grab it — not your nose, but your thoughts. You can grab your nose too if you want (laughter). Grasp your thoughts with your mind, and put a stop to them any way you can, either by observing the thoughts or by practicing self-enquiry and asking to whom they occur. Whatever you need to do, do not allow yourself to think. If your mind does not think, you will be exceedingly happy. You will have unalloyed happiness.
Some people ask me, “Robert, why don’t you just speak the highest truth all the time?” Some others tell me to speak in such a way that they can understand what I am talking about (laughter). So that is the dilemma. I do whatever I have to do. I plan nothing. Everything is extemporaneous. I have no rehearsals.
A man called me yesterday telling me he had been practicing for two weeks, took a seminar and paid seven hundred dollars, and is still not realized. I get calls like this all the time. What you say determines the answer I give you. But there is a standard answer. Think of the question, “When will I become self-realized?” Before I answer this one, I usually ask, “Please tell me what do you mean by `I’?” Then I further ask, “What do you mean by `Self-realization’?” They usually become silent, so I finally ask, “Who do you think the `I’ is? Who wants to become Self-realized?”
If you can’t do anything else, surrender to consciousness. By surrender, I mean surrender your ego, your problems, your emotions, your fears, your frustrations and anger. Give it all up. Say, “Take it, consciousness!”
Do not get carried away by your emotions. Stop in the middle and watch. Watch your emotions ruling you. Watch your fears controlling you. Watch your anger arise. Do not try to stop it, just watch and observe. Look intelligently and realize who it is that is getting angry. It is not you. It is not even your ego because there is no ego. It is not your body because there is no body. It is not your mind because there is no mind. Therefore, what is making you angry? Nothing.
I was talking about all the phone calls I’ve been receiving. People still ask what I think about this or that teacher, this or that person, or why shouldn’t they go to see other teachers as well? I really don’t know what to say. You have to do what you have to do. I can tell you that the more people you consult, the more confused you’ll become. I don’t care if you never come back here again because I am not looking for anything.
If you do find a teacher that you seem to have an affinity for, you should stick around for a while. If you run from teacher to teacher, you will become totally confused. Every teacher has his place. You will be attracted to the person you have to be with for as long as necessary. It depends on where your consciousness is.
Q: Robert, throughout the spiritual literature there are distinctions made between a gradual path and instantaneous enlightenment. A lot of this stuff about passing through stages — I can’t relate to it. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.
R: What can’t you relate to?
Q: Just the idea that you pass through one stage to the next stage.
R: This is for the person who is striving. The truth is there is nothing to pass through. It appears that some people, who need to understand these things and research them for themselves, will be helped to see where they are coming from. Perhaps you don’t need it.
Q: The state of happiness you talk about I would not call happiness. The state seems far above happiness. Happiness as the opposite of sadness.
R: You are right.
Q: Sadness could even come into that state you are I and it would only be something that was passing through with no identification.
R: You are right. As an example, I can cry at a funeral but I realize who is crying. I can have sadness if I want to but I am never really sad.
Q: The state of non-attached mind, that’s really the closest thing to it, isn’t it?
R: That’s true. I am looking for words to describe things. More importantly, there is always total happiness. It is not human happiness. For most people to be happy, there has to be a person, place, or thing involved in their happiness. In true happiness, there are no things involved. It’s a natural state. You will abide in that state forever.
Q: From the standpoint of practice, I have noticed that no matter what state arises, the problem is whether I am willing to let this go. Is it important for me to stay in my emotional state? The answer is that there is nothing you can do anyway as it comes and goes.
R: Act as if there is something you can do, even though there is nothing you can do. If you were passing a starving man in the room, don’t think there is nothing you can do. Give him a piece of bread.
Q: But in that state of mind arising, emotions arising, perceptions arising, there is nothing you can do.
R: Except watch. Just watch. Just observe. Another thing to consider is this: if you were here as a visitor, having only one meeting with me, and you would never see me again, I would expound the highest truth to you and take off. You would say how great that is. But when I see you twice a week or more, I begin to know you quite well, and everything I say is to help you grow because that is what is needed at that time, since I’m going to be with you again. To people who were with Ramana Maharshi as devotees, he didn’t expound absolute truth to them all the time. He would talk to them like an ordinary person. He would inquire about their welfare, their health, about their problems, and he would give them practical advice. He wouldn’t say, “Nothing matters because nothing exists.” They had problems. So he would talk to them in a practical manner.
Q: If we don’t see progress within ourselves and see we are continually getting upset, we shouldn’t let that bother us?
R: Keep observing, keep watching, keep focusing on the Self, and there will be nobody to ask who is bothered or who is not bothered. You only ask such a question when your attention is more on the bothering than it is on the Self. If you change your attention to the Self, see what happens.
Q: The question is, is that gradual?
R: For some people. It depends on how much time you give to it.
Q: We can’t just turn our emotions off. When I go to work sometimes, I find such an intensity there, with people snapping at each other, I get caught up in it. Of course I become aware, usually after the fact, asking myself, “will this disappear gradually by abiding in myself, or will I someday suddenly awaken?”
R: In the morning, when you first open your eyes, that’s the time to work on yourself. Ask yourself, “Who am I? How did I get here?” Reconcile yourself with yourself. If you do that upon first waking up, the whole day will be good, without these problems. Just don’t go straight to work. Get up an hour early if you have to. See yourself for what you are, and realize the truth. Focus on the self. Ask yourself, “Who Am I?” and wait. Concentrate on the source of “I Am,” or say to your-self, “I Am, I Am,” and then go to work. Then you will see changes. You will build up a power that you will carry with yourself all day long.
Q: To follow that “I” to its source, to find the “I” by self-enquiry and abide in it seems to mean non-existence, statelessness.
R: Don’t worry about being non-existent. Simply observe the “I,” and watch it going into the heart.
Q: It is not so much a following then, but that it happens by itself?
R: It happens by itself.
Q: When I contemplate “I Am,” does it mean that already I am the Self?
R: Yes it does.
Q: Robert, it’s because we have the concept we are not the Self that we miss the fact that we are abiding in the Self all the time. As Ramesh Balsekar has said, we only have the doubt we are not the Self, but the truth is we have always been it.
R: Exactly. When we don’t see that, we go through all these troubles and play all these games, until we realize we are the Self. Then that is it.
Q: If we don’t have the Self and are saying, “I am it,” what is to keep that from becoming a parrot-like repetition?
R: It doesn’t become a parrot-like repetition if you do it with your breath. When you inhale, say “I.” When you exhale, say “Am.” A subtle change of energy takes place within the Self, and you will become more peaceful, calm, and soon you will lose all identification with your body and mind. You will remain as “I Am.”
Q: Robert, when we do self-enquiry, actually that is the beginning step to find the “I.” When we develop a sense of abiding in the “I,” there isn’t much need of enquiry because we go straight to the abidance.
R: Self-enquiry has no beginning. If you practice “Who Am I,” it sounds simple, but is very powerful. Only say, “Who Am I?” then pause, then say it again, “Who Am I?” Never answer the question. Just keep repeating “Who Am I?” Eventually, something will happen.
Q: I’m asking, if you develop a sense of self-abidance, you can watch states come and go, watch identification with the ego, and then self-enquiry is not necessary if you can go directly to that.
R: If you are abiding in the Self, there is no ego to watch — there is only the Self. You watch the ego with the mind, not with the Self. If you abide in the Self, there is nothing else. You are finished. You’re cooked. Everything else is of the mind. When I say abide in the Self, I mean for-get everything and be yourself. There is nothing else to know at that point.




O-theism is Religion-less Religious-ness.

It is the No Religion of Whole religion.

O-theism is the understanding that there is no God separate from existence. It is the understanding that God is the Beingness which is experienced when one is at-one knowingly with the whole of existence.

It is the understanding that this Beingness is the potential of all human beings and that it is the identification with a fictitious entity (ego) which prevents the realization of this potential.

O-theism is the understanding that there have been many masters who have attained that Beingness and have expressed that experience in the language and culture in which they lived. Their experience is One but their expressions are many.

It is the perennial philosophy. It is the Heart of the teachings of all the Awakened Masters including Krishna, Lao Tzu, Mahavir, Mohammed, Zarathustra, Guru Nanak, Buddha and Christ.

O-theism is the religion-less of the Sufis, Tao, Advaita, Tantra, Yoga and Zen.

It is the religious-ness of Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi, Meher Baba, Krishnamurti and Osho.

O-theism is the religion of Enlightenment.

It is the ground in which Theism, Atheism and Deism dissolve.

O-theism is the end of theism. It is All-theism and No-theism, hence O-theism.