Wilber's Writings on
Adi Da Samraj:
"Contradictory and
Deeply Problematic"

Wilber: "A Short Appreciation"

Wilber: "On Heroes
and Cults"

Wilber's Review of "The
Dawn Horse Testament"

Wilber's "The Strange Case of Adi Da"

Wilber's "A Spirituality That Transforms"

Wilber's "Private" Letter to the Adidam Community

Wilber's "Update on the Case of Adi Da"

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Adi Da and Adidam: Personal Perspectives

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An Update on the Case of Adi Da

Ken Wilber
August 28, 1998

Alas, poor Wilber! His private communication to the Adidam community leaked out to the public, and now he came across looking worse than ever to his public: as someone who was completely two-faced, and with neither loyalty nor integrity.

You would think that, at this point, Wilber would have no place to go, no way to write himself out of his quandary. But he has built his trade on his clever writing. How did he next defend himself to his public? By trying to suggest that it was Adi Da Samraj who was contradictory! So "obviously" he had to be contradictory if he was to faithfully reflect Adi Da Samraj in his writings.

And if you believe all that, we have a bridge we'd like to sell you.

He also tries to account for his own contradictory writings by saying Adi Da Samraj is a "very strong" personality. I suppose this is meant to suggest that the flip-flopping in his own writing is due to his own relative "weakness" of character, and that he is trying to portray himself as having being overpowered by, victimized by, and forced into writing contradictory statements by such a strong personality.

That's rather lame, don't you think?

He says here, "I accept my faults and admit them." That feels disingenuous to us. When it comes to his writing about Adi Da Samraj, Wilber's main "fault" is that he has been afraid to be associated in public with Adi Da Samraj, and has equivocated in his communications about Adi Da on that basis. We can't find Wilber's acknowledgement of that "fault" anywhere.

KEN WILBER: Over the years I have made numerous very strong and sometimes contradictory statements about Adi Da, mostly because he is a very strong and sometimes contradictory personality. In the Foreword I was asked to write to his book Scientific Proof of the Existence of God Will Soon Be Announced by the White House!, I stated my opinion that Da was one of the greatest spiritual Realizers of all time, unparalleled in his grasp of many profound spiritual issues. Yet in The Strange Case of Adi Da, I called attention to the fact that, even though Da might be highly spiritually realized, he seemed to have several problematic, perhaps even pathological, aspects to his personality and the way he was running his community. Yet again, in an open letter to his community (which was posted on the KW Forum), I again affirmed my belief in Da’s great spiritual realization. Contradictory? Perhaps, but only because Da is contradictory. Contradictory and problematic — deeply problematic.

This is why, as a blanket statement, I can no longer — and do no longer — recommend Da’s community for the typical spiritual aspirant, and I have asked his community to cease using my name in this regard. Nonetheless, for those individuals who realize full well the extremely risky nature of the adventure, but who feel a strong pull toward complete and total surrender of their lives to a spiritual Master, I can certainly recommend Adi Da — with all the caveats of which I have written.

The real difficulty of "the strange case of Adi Da" is that the guru principle is neither understood nor accepted by our culture, and therefore anybody entering into Guru Theater does so at great, great risk. Added to this is the fact that — as I mentioned in The Strange Case of Adi Da (and explained at length in The Eye of Spirit) — individuals can be at a relatively high level in their spiritual development but at relatively low levels in other lines of their development, and this mixture can be very problematic. This is true for many, perhaps most, people, and I believe it is so with Adi Da as well.

When I point this out, the typical response of members of Da’s community has been to point to faults in my own character — as if that had anything to do with the faults in Da. I accept my faults and admit them. Let us hear Da and his community do the same for Da.

In the meantime, I affirm all of the extremes of my statements about Da: he is one of the greatest spiritual Realizers of all time, in my opinion, and yet other aspects of his personality lag far behind those extraordinary heights. By all means look to him for utterly profound revelations, unequalled in many ways; yet step into his community at your own risk.


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