The Complete Yoga of Emotional-Sexual Life
Avatar Adi Da Samraj
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Buy *The Complete Yoga of Emotional-Sexual Life: The Way Beyond Ego-Based Sexuality* by Avatar Adi Da Samraj online

The Complete Yoga of Emotional-Sexual Life: The Way Beyond Ego-Based Sexuality
Avatar Adi Da Samraj
Inner Traditions
176 pages
October 2008
rated 2 of 5 possible stars

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This book is the creaion of Franklin Jones, who changed his names many times in his 69 year incarnation. Perhaps best known as Da Free John or Baba Free John, he took the name Adi Da Samraj in later years and began to call his movement, which has perhaps a few thousand adherents, Adidam. There has been speculation that Adi da Samraj (an amalgam of spiritual name words from the Hindu tradition) didn't believe his own teachings and thought those who did were gullible and foolish. He had to deal with numerous lawsuits and allegations of emotional, financial and sexual abuse from people both insude and outside of his small cult. He spent his final years on the island of Fiji in an ashram of his own devising.

I say all this to preface my analysis of this book. I did not realize beforehand that Franklin Jones was its author, assuming, from the name, that it had been written by some Eastern proponent of yoga. The yogic traditions contains many elements of sexual or sensual control, some leading to higher states of mind and some to higher states of sexual ecstasy. Either, I figured, would make interesting reading.

However, I found the book tedious and self-serving. For one thing, the use of capital letters is nigh to maddening. In an introductory segment we are told that these capitalizations (along with special punctuations and underlinings) represent a "picture" of the author's intentions, "a form of speech not based on egoity." Egoity is but one of Samraj's personal lexicon of made-up words (the correct term in the preceding quote would be simply, "ego") which can be perceived as charming or merely bothersome, depending probably on whether you are on the Adidam bus or off the Adidam bus. In one chapter, entitled "I Am Above and Beyond, In the Greater, Brighter Room," nearly all the words are capitalized. Here is an excerpt:

In Order To Truly (and Really Effectively) Transcendentally "Locate" and "Know" Me, You Must Do Much More Than Merely egoically "Come Into The Room" With Me." With Me, You Must Cultivate The Devotional (and Inherently Counter-Egoic, and Really ego-Surrendering) and (In Due Course) Transcendental Spiritual Relationship To Me - By Intensively, Consistently, and Profoundly Practicing To-Me-Turned Surrender-To-Me (In and As My Avatarically Born Bodily Human Divine Form and Person).
To condense the Adidam teaching regarding sex and yoga is not so difficult, since there is no real practical aspect involved. Everyone, we are told. comes to adulthood with certain tendencies (Samraj always calls them "Oedipal" though this is merely a catch-phrase - what he describes is not necessarily related to the teachings of Freud or to the myth of Oedipus). These tendencies make us unable to love fully, afraid to trust, sure that we have some emptiness within ourselves that requires fulfilling by another. A spiritual aspirant has to grow beyond these insecurities. The best life for an aspirant is that of celibacy, but not a celibacy that is cold and self-righteous. The second-best choice is sexual activity with an intimate and loving partner. None of this goes much farther than the statement of the Biblical Paul that "it is better to marry than to burn."

Samraj adds a few new twists, telling us that we all want to go to bed with our mommy and daddy and we have to progress beyond that stage, relinquishing the desire to blame others for our lacks and failures. We must take responsibility for our sexual selves. He states that even those of us who had loving parents still feel rejected by the opposite-sex parent. He also seeks to proscribe how intimate partners, those who engage in responsible sex, would conduct themselves - living apart, having sex with proper frequency. Samraj says that the mind is double, and that to understand oneself fully one must keep his or her Oedipal mind in "the same room" with the mind of the mature person. He also recommends "own-body Ygic sexual practice." I think I need not elaborate on that except to say that he advocates it even for those who are celibate. That is certainly a departure from the standard traditional path taken by monks or nuns in conventional religion.

This book will probably not harm those who read it. If the reader is inclined towards such things he or she may become interested in other writings by the same author (under one or another of his many titles). Since there are more than 70 such publications, this could take up quite a lot of one's time. Unfortunately for such devotees, Adi Da Samraj is no longer with us to give personal guidance. My own sympathies lie with those faithful transcriptionists who have had to decide which words to capitalize now that their leader has passed on.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Barbara Bamberger Scott, 2008

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