public denunciation of his Sat-Guru succeeded in covering
Wilber's reputation. He would then go on to write a letter to the
Adidam community which he obviously had intended to be private (until
it somehow found its way into the public spotlight not too long
after he sent it). I say "obviously", because the contradictions
with his public letter stand out glaringly. Only a rather naive
reader would miss how much Wilber has to "stretch" to
try to make his "denunciation" of Adi Da look like something
other than a denunciation. But it just doesn't work. It is painfully
obvious that he is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. In the
denunciation, he insults Adi Da Samraj by referring to Him repeatedly
as just "Da". Further, he uses the small "h"
in "he", "his", and "him". Watch how
he changes that to "Master Adi Da" and "He"
and "Him" when he doesn't think he has the public reading
along as he writes. Obviously he wanted to save his career, but
also not jeopardize his receiving Adi Da Samraj's Blessing, so he
tries to play it both ways. He even pleads with the community not
to use his endorsements, because he has received so much "grief"
for publicly acknowledging his own "love and devotion to the
KEN WILBER: I have been asked, on
numerous occasions, to clarify the comments that I made about Master Da,
posted on the Shambhala website. The critical aspect of those comments
was obvious enough, but I think it led many people to misinterpret my
overall stance towards Master Adi Da. I have not, and have never, renounced
Da as Realizer, nor have I in any way abandoned my love and devotion for
Him. The thrust of the criticism — meant as much for His devotees and
advocates — was that the status of World Teacher carries the burden of
opening to, and meeting, the World; and that, therefore, an even more
aggressive outreach program needs to be taken seriously by the community.
I understand full well the necessity to shield Master Da from the toxic
shock of merely skeptical and cynical nonbelievers, as well as the completely
appropriate preparatory stages requisite to receiving the Grace of His
Company. Nevertheless, this does not relieve the Community from a more
graceful outreach than has been demonstrated in the past. Truly, the insularity
of the community has resulted in an extremely negative public image, quite
beyond that which would be expected from a generally nonspiritual world
toward a truly realized Adept. The general consensus, believe me, is that
the Community and its final Authority have demonstrated a genius for negative
public relations. As a longtime and devoted friend of the Community, and
as a devoted student of the Master, it is my obligation to point this
out. Which I did. And I did so in a way that I thought would rattle the
Community out of a certain complacency, which apparently it did. But that's
the extent of those comments.
Do I believe that
Master Adi Da is the greatest Realizer of all time? I certainly believe
He is the greatest living Realizer. Anything beyond that is sheer speculation.
How could any of us judge? Who among us has met Gautama Buddha? Who has
experienced Satsang with Sri Ramana Maharshi? Who has lived in the company
of Padmasambhava? I have sat in satsang with Master Adi Da, and with numerous
other great Adepts, and my own opinion is that Master Adi Da is the living
Sat-Guru. Beyond that, how could I say with any personal authority?
If Da is the living
Sat-Guru, then why did I say that I can no longer automatically recommend
people to his Church? Only because, in this culture — where the guru principle
is mightily feared and resisted, and where strategic legal and political
forces are dedicated to its eradication — I cannot, as a blanket and public
statement, recommend to people that they pursue that noble Path without
also informing them of what a culturally and personally hazardous course
it is indeed.
people have made their way to Master Da because of my own writings. I
am completely happy about that, and I hope I can continue that positive
influence. At the same time, I have received an enormous amount of grief,
from personal and professional quarters, for my endorsements. I do not
regret those endorsements, nor do I retract them. But blanket, public
statements of endorsement are simply no longer a diplomatic, intelligent,
skillful way to steer people to Da. And therefore I have requested that
the Community be selective and thoughtful in how they use my endorsements.
But for those students
who are ready, and who fully understand the gravity of the decision, I
speak of Master Da as the Sat-Guru, and recommend that they pursue that
Way to the extent that they are capable: student, disciple, devotee. And
I have always said — and still say publicly — that not a single person
can afford not to be at least a student of the Written Teaching.
I affirm my own love
and devotion to the living Sat-Guru, and I hope my work will continue
to bring students to the Way of the Heart. I hope, as well, that the Community
on the whole will take seriously a more gracious and graceful outreach
program, and thus begin to reverse the powerfully negative images of the
Master and His Community, images much more negative than they need to
be, even in these God-forsaken times.
I send my best wishes
and love to the Community, and a deep bow to Master Adi Da. I hope to
be able to get out to the Mountain of Attention in the near future and
say hello, again, to many of you in person.
Wilber: Update on the Case of Adi Da