You may have noticed, especially in the most difficult or anxious moments, a persistent contraction, or tension of the whole lower trunk of the body,
from the heart to the abdomen. This tension often feels like a fist or a stone, or a knot. Especially in the areas of the navel or the solar plexus.
It makes you chronically anxious. Not only physically tense, but emotionally, mentally, and psychically uneasy. This tangible disturbance is evidence
of a severe and profound reaction to life......
Bubba Free John - 1975
Adi Da Samraj Gives the Talk “Vital Shock”, in which He “Considers” with His early devotees the cramp in the vital region that is the
fundamental response of every born being to bodily existence, and how true Spiritual life deals directly with the activity of the
“self”-contraction itself, not the strategies that it manifests.
[Melrose Ashram, Los Angeles, November 9, 1972]
See all of this essay in Method of the Siddhas book on the Beezone
From "Vital Shock" in My "Bright" Word:
AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: The usual person lives in the state that I call "vital shock". Ultimately, this shock includes more than the vital. Indeed,
this shock operates even on a very subtle level. But its most obvious (and directly motivating) form is the sense of shock in the vital being.
Ordinarily, the vital - at its chief center in the middle of the body - is contracted. You constantly feel that contraction, even physically. You may
feel a kind of cramp, a tension in the middle of the body. And everyone constantly tries to relieve that tension through various experiences, various
The vital center is like the shutter of a camera. It curls in on itself in order to close, and unfurls in order to open. It is like your hand. If you
clench your fist as tightly as you can, it eventually becomes painful. Like your hand, the vital center is alive, sentient - and, like your hand, the
vital, when it contracts, causes a painful sensation. Indeed, it causes not only a physical sensation, but also many other repercussions in life and
Therefore, when this contraction occurs in the vital, you not only get a cramp in the stomach - you have an entire life of suffering.
Every aspect of vital existence is controlled by this state, this vital shock. The patterns to which people become addicted are simply extensions of
this contraction in the vital. For instance, in the course of your life in My Avataric Divine Company, you may experience periods of great difficulty,
when you are continually obsessed with various kinds of desires, various feelings.
At the beginning of such a period, something occurred. Something in life, somewhere, assaulted (or seemed to assault) the vital. All of the patterns,
the rituals, the strategies that began to arise in you were reactions to that assault on the vital. The sensation (or perception) of that assault,
that "blow" to the vital, is the form of vital shock that currently obsesses you.
But, even before you began the present episode, vital shock was already your condition. There is a continuous vital contraction. In fact, what people
are suffering is not their distinctive life-patterns (or strategies) in and of themselves, but this original shock, in the form of a primal
The "self"-contraction may be experienced as intense stimulation of life-energy (or life-force) in the vital, felt as all of the various forms of
desire. The fundamental forms of this intense cramp of energy - felt as the fire of desire in the vital - are the dramas of money, food, and sex. If
the cramp of obstruction is severe, there is loss of vitality, desire, and function in these same areas of life. No vitality - no survival.
One who indulges in the exploitation of desire is no longer conducting the force of life. In that case, there is only the misuse of the life-force,
the reversing of it, the emptying of it. People do this because the self-contraction is painful. You discover that, if the life-force itself is
diminished, the pain goes away. If the hand goes to sleep, there is no pain from the clenching of the fist. If you empty the vital of its force, the
cramp is not felt—even though the contraction remains.
One who is self-indulgent empties the vital constantly—and thereby feels relief, feels open, feels satisfied. But, as soon as strength returns, the
pain is felt again—unless the person has exhausted and contracted the vital to the point of impotence.
A person who is self-indulgent tries, by every possible means, to get satisfied, to be free of pain. But all such efforts are made from the point of
view of the "self"-contraction, the avoidance of relationship. In that disposition, you will simply continue your efforts—until the entire process
of the search fails, and you feel its failure. When you begin to really feel that failure, then Satsang with Me becomes possible, the life of
"Radical" self-Understanding becomes possible.
[from "Vital Shock", in My "Bright" Word.]
See full version of talk: "Vital Shock" in My "Bright" Word:
"I was considering this crap in the solar plexus with you the other evening. We were having a conversation about the yoga of the frontal line.
Perhaps the most common experience people have of contraction in this frontal line is a cramp over the solar plexus, the "knot in the stomach" that
people refer to. If you become aware that you are suffering this knot and this anxiety over the solar plexus, your first resort, by tendency at any
rate, will be to try to relax it. You will take deep breaths and so forth. That may work if the contraction is rather superficial and your attention
is relatively free, but you may also discover that you cannot do it, that you cannot relax it. In that case, you will begin to think some more and
work on your trouble, whereas the most direct way of dealing with it is to divert attention from this knot, rather, than keep attention in, the knot
and try to undo it. I suggest to you, as a practical matter, that instead of keeping your attention in this knot over the solar plexus and trying to
relax it you should simply remember that attention goes wherever the knot is. Attention gravitates toward the contracted states and becomes fretful
suffers the pain of these contractions gets stuck in these contractions and then tries to work its way out of them, you