What qualifies as artistic enlightenment

Not-two is peace

World friend Adi Da Adi Da was born on Long Island, New York, in 1939 and has shown extraordinary signs of spiritual enlightenment from the start. Nonetheless, from infancy to full spiritual awakening at the age of thirty, he submitted to the limitations and sufferings of ordinary human existence.

In his childhood and youth, Adi Da said he concentrated on two fundamental concerns: He wanted to find out how it is possible to recognize the truth of "reality itself" in the context of ordinary life and to convey this truth through literary and artistic means .

Adi Da studied philosophy at Columbia University in New York City and graduated in 1961 with a Bachelor of Arts. He then studied English literature at Stanford University in California, graduating in 1966 with a Master of Arts. His thesis deals with the main aspects of classical modernism, in particular with the literary experiments of Gertrude Stein and with painters of the same era.

In 1964, Adi Da began an intense spiritual practice. In 1968 he went to Ganeshpuri in India to see the well-known spiritual master Swami Muktananda, who immediately declared that Adi Da had been a spiritual master from birth and was the "most extraordinary Westerner" he had ever met. A year later Swami Muktananda handed him a letter in which he formally and publicly confirmed that Adi Da, due to his unmistakable spiritual qualities, was qualified to teach others and to awaken them spiritually through direct transmission.

After another year of focused practice, Adi Da spontaneously awoke again in 1970 to the continuously enlightened state that had been his state at birth. After this awakening, Adi Da began to teach and to create an immeasurable wealth of wisdom in a lively dialogue with his students. His work on literary, philosophical and practical life issues comprises more than sixty books.

In the early 1970s, Alan Watts, author of numerous works on religion and philosophy, expressed his respect for Adi Da with the following words:

"It's clear from all sorts of subtle signs that he knows what it's about ... one of the very few."

And in the late nineties, the poet Robert Lax said of Adi Da's radically experimental novel The Mummery Book (which is the first part of The Orpheum trilogy):

"I've lived and worked as a writer for decades and have never come across a book like this, which in an unfathomable and unbiased way conveys so much of the unspeakable reality."

After Adi Da had fully stated his teaching, he lived in his main ashram in Fiji, where he worked tirelessly to express the truth of existence in literary, dramatic, artistic and philosophical works in such a way that it is accessible to all. On November 27, 2008, Adi Da left the body at the age of 69.

Adi Da wasn't political in the usual sense of the word. The need for a new civilization arose for him through his lifelong striving to expose the driving forces by which man usually limits himself and makes his life a painful existence. It was always his intention to show people a way to a civilization in tolerance and cooperation and thus to peace and freedom.