There are some people who stand apart. Amidst the crises of society and personal lives, they remain calm and strong. Their words are like shafts of light in darkness: piercing and disturbing, yet illuminating. Dada is such a man. He touches people's lives. He challenges the basic structure of our existence. His clarity of perception opens the way for the possibility of our own inward vision. Dada's quiet yet intense energy, his sincerity and unique presence are bringing him world-wide friendship and interest in his work. Early in his life, Dada heeded a demanding internal urge for spiritual understanding. As a young man who had inherited a family business, he became disillusioned with the exclusive nature and binding effect of wealth, prestige, and comfort. Recognizing the dehumanizing effect of commercial culture and surrounding influences, and also the limitation of tradition, he went off by himself in search of the true significance of living. After wandering, and many times of trial and testing, he finally realized to his amazement that the search was indeed totally within. By being with himself in watchful attention, he faced himself totally.
Without following any prescribed discipline, he saw the activity of his own mind very aloofly, and questioned the projections and workings of the entire mechanism of mind. As Dada says: "I had to be with myself wholly in order to face my-self. I was confronted with the play of ceaseless and countless thought-desires. By watching the drama of thought-mind, without getting involved in it or carried away by it, I began to understand the whole content of myself. As I was observing the play of my mind, I suddenly realized that the established pattern of thought-emotion was disturbed, and the whole mind structure was in turmoil.
There were no layers, no orderly arranged movements of thought anymore. Intellect and logic lost their validity, and the whole consciousness was in flux. Everything was in intense motion, like boiling water. The ego itself became highly disturbed, agitated and sensitive. I came face-to-face with fear. I had to sense that fear fully and stay with it, without reacting to it. With this challenge, my watchfulness and alertness grew and became much deeper, keeping me in the moment of the present; creating room - a space in my inner being - to absorb the thrust of thought. This was a prelude to change - a jump". Such - a jump, beyond the mind, appears to be a totally unpredictable and unexpected occurrence. With this change in Dada's life came a tranquility, joy and understanding never known to him before. Since then, his living has been a sharing of understanding with those seriously interested.
This took him to the United States in 1975, where he gave talks and lectures to many different people and groups, in homes and in universities. Dada devoted much of his time to interviews with individuals. He prefers to speak with small groups and individuals, and to communicate on a personal level. He found many eager to explore and find peace in their lives. As they began to see the illusory nature of thought and that their pursuits were based merely on hope, many started looking for new understanding. Some of these interviews were compiled for his first book, Beyond the Mind, published in San Francisco in 1977.
In these discussions with people from various walks of life, Dada deals with their serious questions about liberation, family life, emotional problems, sexual energy, creativity, and spiritual growth. He talks openly and directly and points out the basic problem underlying the human predicament. You, who open this second book, may already be a seeker, a person looking for guidance, truth, peace. There are many books and persons offering various techniques for spiritual growth. But how is the mind, which is in disorder, doubt and conflict, to choose between partial solutions and truth? Dada offers no routines or patterns as exercises. He suggests in this book that you understand the mind mechanism first, before you can use it to search for anything.
You use the torch of inquiry to locate and understand the very birth of thought, its intricate moves and all its blind spots. In reading this book you will feel the presence of a man who sees, somehow, something greater, something more clear than our usual vision. His words are different, they represent something unusual, not the easy answers. His clarity of perception and ability to transmit his vision to the listener are so very unique that it makes him stand apart. Each chapter represents a talk given by Dada during his three-year stay in the United States. Some adjustment was necessary in taking words spoken spontaneously before informal groups and giving the words structure in written form. The intent was to make it as clear, simple and precise as possible. Dada becomes an artist with words, selecting a poetic style ideally suited to the simple brush-stroke statements.
Yet, far from merely a stylized format, it allows the act of reading to be-come a flow without resistance. Sense this flow, how the eyes and mind play only a part in absorbing the whole of what is being said. The essence is not that which is governed by intellect. Rather, let the essence be absorbed into an unknown part of yourself. Let loose your reliance on the mind and in analysis. Feel, even if only for a moment, this movement without thought, without struggle. Let words emit flashes of feeling, and each line evoke new understanding. Remain open, hesitant and sensitive as you read along. Wait and wonder, to listen in silence, to let the unknown fill you.
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