Appreciation for Avatar Adi Da's Work

On Avatar Adi Da’s
Spiritual Work and Writings

"A rare being...

It is obvious, from all sorts of subtle details, that he knows what IT’s all about— a rare being . . . I think we have an avatar here. I can’t believe it. I have searched for such a one all my life.

"A Pole around which the world can get its bearings...

If there is a man today who is God-illumined, that man is Avatar Adi Da Samraj. There exists nowhere in the world, among Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, or any other groups, anyone who has so much to teach. Avatar Adi Da is a force to be reckoned with, a Pole around which the world can get its bearings.

"A contemporary religious genius...

From the day I first encountered the writings of Adi Da (as Da Free John) in the mid-80s, I knew I that I was reading a contemporary religious genius. The writings of Adi Da Samraj . . . are the most doctrinally thorough, the most philosophically sophisticated, the most culturally challenging, and the most creatively original literature on radical nonduality currently available in the English language.

"A glimmering of eternal life...

Adi Da Samraj has spoken directly to the heart of our human situation—the shocking gravity of our brief and unbidden lives. Through his words I have experienced a glimmering of eternal life, and view my own existence as timeless and spaceless in a way that I never have before.

"Thank you for this masterpiece...

Easy Death is an exciting, stimulating, and thought-provoking book that adds immensely to the ever-increasing literature on the phenomena of life and death. But, more important, perhaps, it is a confirmation that a life filled with love instead of fear can lead to ultimately meaningful life and death. Thank you for this masterpiece.

"If you thirst for truth, here is a rare opportunity to drink...

My relationship with Adi Da Samraj over more than 25 years has only confirmed His Realization and the Truth of his impeccable Teaching. He is much more than simply an inspiration for my music, but a living demonstration that perfect transcendence is actually possible. This is both a great relief and a great challenge. If you thirst for truth, here is a rare opportunity to drink.

"A prophetic voice...

Every once in a while a prophetic voice is raised in the midst of crisis and chaos. It cuts through the walls of indifference, neglect, and just plain ignorance, and exposes the heart of the issue.... The voice of the World-Friend, Adi Da, which speaks to us through [Not-Two Is Peace] addresses none other than the issue of our collective survival.

"A message of compassion..."

At this critical moment in the history of the human family, when the very foundations of civilization are being challenged, there is a message of compassion being spoken by one grounded in enduring wisdom and true discernment. In Not-Two Is Peace, Adi Da writes of the urgent need for a new form of global discourse, based on the recognition of the underlying unity of humankind. Such discourse would renew the ideals that originally underlay the foundation of the United Nations. And it would require humankind as a whole to listen to the ordinary people all over the world who are in dire need of greater human security.

"Extraordinary collection of illuminating essays...

This extraordinary collection of illuminating essays [in Not-Two Is Peace] offers a deep diagnosis of humanity’s predicament. The cure Adi Da prescribes, based on higher laws, is simultaneously radical, urgent, and straightforward. Adi Da’s is a uniquely authentic and compelling voice in this global age.

"Such wisdom cannot be ignored...

In a world beset with innumerable challenges, Not-Two Is Peace offers a new vision for the future. Adi Da emphasizes “prior unity” as the basis for our decisions and actions. If we proceed with putting the interests of the whole of humanity first, then there is the possibility of growth and development for the nearly seven billion people on the planet, not just a privileged minority. Such wisdom cannot be ignored.

"An absolutely unique literary experience...

At the level of form and style, The Mummery Book is reminiscent of Gertrude Stein, e.e. cummings, and Joyce. Adi Da makes words crackle and swoon, pound and console with an endless suggestiveness guided by a desire to open up the reader’s heart and imagination to the possibility of transformation….As playful as it is profound, as heart-breaking as it is consoling, The Mummery Book is an absolutely unique literary experience.

On Avatar Adi Da’s Art

"Expressive depth and profound intimacy...

It is a rare artist who can convey, convincingly, the sense of being face to face with the source of being. Adi Da can clearly live in the depths without succumbing to their pressure, bringing back pearls of art to prove it.

What is perhaps most striking about Adi Da’s photographs is their gnostic quality—the intricate movement of light and shadow that gives them their expressive depth and profound intimacy. It is more than a matter of standard chiaroscuro. Adi Da is not simply employing the evocative power of light and shadow, but bringing out their emblematic character. Interweaving them—and in numerous works skeins of light (“the fire of the sun”) play over and within shadowy if transparent water (“the water of life”)—Adi Da suggests the union of opposites that is the core of mystical experience. Ecstatic experience of their unity brings with it a sense of the immeasurable.

"Images that returned me to an experience of “epiphany”...

I believe that art should always be a surprise. It must create, even in the critic, not emotion, but a sense of insecurity. When one views Adi Da’s art, it is easy to see “pop art”, “op art”, all the possible linguistic, ethnological, and iconographic references—but, in the end, the final work is always a surprise. With Adi Da’s work, I did not simply find myself in front of a new personal iconographic universe, but rather in front of images that returned me to an experience of “epiphany”.

"Restore(s) a transcendental spirituality to the materialism of the machine aesthetic...

Adi Da’s pursuit of the spiritual paths found in early abstraction, from Kandinsky to Mondrian, and [his] translation of that pursuit into the digital age, restore a transcendental spirituality to the materialism of the machine aesthetic.

"He gives that which we see around us meaning...

Clearly Adi Da is an artist focused on understanding the basis of real life, of human life, and trying to understand the connection between everyday life and human needs. Everyday life is not simply something realistic and linked to the needs of the human body. It is something linked to superior considerations. The art of Adi Da is clearly focused on this.

Beauty is balance. Adi Da takes chaos and in a certain sense simplifies it, but in another sense makes it even more complex; and in an aesthetic, moral, philosophical, and spiritual sense, he gives that which we see around us meaning.

"Redifining the nature of art...

Through his artwork, Adi Da is redefining the nature of art, returning art to its ancient, sacred origins. In his remarkable, transformative artwork, viewers are being given both an embodiment of Adi Da’s realization, and an opportunity to experience the ecstatic unity of creation. His images…offer a truly rare opportunity for revelation.

"Adi Da challenges our culture to return art to its original, sacred purpose...

Before we can participate in truth and the beautiful as aesthetic experience, Adi Da says, our emerging world culture needs to be transformed by the possibilities of sacred energy, the Light that runs through all things. It is a mystical view that runs through both Western and Eastern cultures, from the biblical call to “see with new eyes”, to St. Francis Assisi’s understanding of the natural world as expressing divine presence, to the Chinese scholar-artists’ perception of the formlessness in form, to the transformative spaces of Monet or Rothko. This intuitive stance provides hope for romantic and mystical artists, hope that the essence of their work will become manifest.

That Adi Da challenges our culture to return art to its original, sacred purpose without merely recreating a long lost past makes Transcendental Realism a significant work, not only for artists but anyone who senses the limitations of contemporary culture and strives to create a more vivid way of being.

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On Avatar Adi Da’s
Spiritual Work and Writings

"A rare being...

It is obvious, from all sorts of subtle details, that he knows what IT’s all about— a rare being . . . I think we have an avatar here. I can’t believe it. I have searched for such a one all my life.

"A Pole around which the world can get its bearings...

If there is a man today who is God-illumined, that man is Avatar Adi Da Samraj. There exists nowhere in the world, among Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, or any other groups, anyone who has so much to teach. Avatar Adi Da is a force to be reckoned with, a Pole around which the world can get its bearings.

"A contemporary religious genius...

From the day I first encountered the writings of Adi Da (as Da Free John) in the mid-80s, I knew I that I was reading a contemporary religious genius. The writings of Adi Da Samraj . . . are the most doctrinally thorough, the most philosophically sophisticated, the most culturally challenging, and the most creatively original literature on radical nonduality currently available in the English language.

"A glimmering of eternal life...

Adi Da Samraj has spoken directly to the heart of our human situation—the shocking gravity of our brief and unbidden lives. Through his words I have experienced a glimmering of eternal life, and view my own existence as timeless and spaceless in a way that I never have before.

"Thank you for this masterpiece...

Easy Death is an exciting, stimulating, and thought-provoking book that adds immensely to the ever-increasing literature on the phenomena of life and death. But, more important, perhaps, it is a confirmation that a life filled with love instead of fear can lead to ultimately meaningful life and death. Thank you for this masterpiece.

"If you thirst for truth, here is a rare opportunity to drink...

My relationship with Adi Da Samraj over more than 25 years has only confirmed His Realization and the Truth of his impeccable Teaching. He is much more than simply an inspiration for my music, but a living demonstration that perfect transcendence is actually possible. This is both a great relief and a great challenge. If you thirst for truth, here is a rare opportunity to drink.

"A prophetic voice...

Every once in a while a prophetic voice is raised in the midst of crisis and chaos. It cuts through the walls of indifference, neglect, and just plain ignorance, and exposes the heart of the issue.... The voice of the World-Friend, Adi Da, which speaks to us through [Not-Two Is Peace] addresses none other than the issue of our collective survival.

"A message of compassion..."

At this critical moment in the history of the human family, when the very foundations of civilization are being challenged, there is a message of compassion being spoken by one grounded in enduring wisdom and true discernment. In Not-Two Is Peace, Adi Da writes of the urgent need for a new form of global discourse, based on the recognition of the underlying unity of humankind. Such discourse would renew the ideals that originally underlay the foundation of the United Nations. And it would require humankind as a whole to listen to the ordinary people all over the world who are in dire need of greater human security.

"Extraordinary collection of illuminating essays...

This extraordinary collection of illuminating essays [in Not-Two Is Peace] offers a deep diagnosis of humanity’s predicament. The cure Adi Da prescribes, based on higher laws, is simultaneously radical, urgent, and straightforward. Adi Da’s is a uniquely authentic and compelling voice in this global age.

"Such wisdom cannot be ignored...

In a world beset with innumerable challenges, Not-Two Is Peace offers a new vision for the future. Adi Da emphasizes “prior unity” as the basis for our decisions and actions. If we proceed with putting the interests of the whole of humanity first, then there is the possibility of growth and development for the nearly seven billion people on the planet, not just a privileged minority. Such wisdom cannot be ignored.

"An absolutely unique literary experience...

At the level of form and style, The Mummery Book is reminiscent of Gertrude Stein, e.e. cummings, and Joyce. Adi Da makes words crackle and swoon, pound and console with an endless suggestiveness guided by a desire to open up the reader’s heart and imagination to the possibility of transformation….As playful as it is profound, as heart-breaking as it is consoling, The Mummery Book is an absolutely unique literary experience.

On Avatar Adi Da’s Art

"Expressive depth and profound intimacy...

It is a rare artist who can convey, convincingly, the sense of being face to face with the source of being. Adi Da can clearly live in the depths without succumbing to their pressure, bringing back pearls of art to prove it.

What is perhaps most striking about Adi Da’s photographs is their gnostic quality—the intricate movement of light and shadow that gives them their expressive depth and profound intimacy. It is more than a matter of standard chiaroscuro. Adi Da is not simply employing the evocative power of light and shadow, but bringing out their emblematic character. Interweaving them—and in numerous works skeins of light (“the fire of the sun”) play over and within shadowy if transparent water (“the water of life”)—Adi Da suggests the union of opposites that is the core of mystical experience. Ecstatic experience of their unity brings with it a sense of the immeasurable.

"Images that returned me to an experience of “epiphany”...

I believe that art should always be a surprise. It must create, even in the critic, not emotion, but a sense of insecurity. When one views Adi Da’s art, it is easy to see “pop art”, “op art”, all the possible linguistic, ethnological, and iconographic references—but, in the end, the final work is always a surprise. With Adi Da’s work, I did not simply find myself in front of a new personal iconographic universe, but rather in front of images that returned me to an experience of “epiphany”.

"Restore(s) a transcendental spirituality to the materialism of the machine aesthetic...

Adi Da’s pursuit of the spiritual paths found in early abstraction, from Kandinsky to Mondrian, and [his] translation of that pursuit into the digital age, restore a transcendental spirituality to the materialism of the machine aesthetic.

"He gives that which we see around us meaning...

Clearly Adi Da is an artist focused on understanding the basis of real life, of human life, and trying to understand the connection between everyday life and human needs. Everyday life is not simply something realistic and linked to the needs of the human body. It is something linked to superior considerations. The art of Adi Da is clearly focused on this.

Beauty is balance. Adi Da takes chaos and in a certain sense simplifies it, but in another sense makes it even more complex; and in an aesthetic, moral, philosophical, and spiritual sense, he gives that which we see around us meaning.

"Redifining the nature of art...

Through his artwork, Adi Da is redefining the nature of art, returning art to its ancient, sacred origins. In his remarkable, transformative artwork, viewers are being given both an embodiment of Adi Da’s realization, and an opportunity to experience the ecstatic unity of creation. His images…offer a truly rare opportunity for revelation.

"Adi Da challenges our culture to return art to its original, sacred purpose...

Before we can participate in truth and the beautiful as aesthetic experience, Adi Da says, our emerging world culture needs to be transformed by the possibilities of sacred energy, the Light that runs through all things. It is a mystical view that runs through both Western and Eastern cultures, from the biblical call to “see with new eyes”, to St. Francis Assisi’s understanding of the natural world as expressing divine presence, to the Chinese scholar-artists’ perception of the formlessness in form, to the transformative spaces of Monet or Rothko. This intuitive stance provides hope for romantic and mystical artists, hope that the essence of their work will become manifest.

That Adi Da challenges our culture to return art to its original, sacred purpose without merely recreating a long lost past makes Transcendental Realism a significant work, not only for artists but anyone who senses the limitations of contemporary culture and strives to create a more vivid way of being.

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News summaries

'16 Nov 29
Quandra Loka at SCOPE Miami Beach

Quandra Loka at SCOPE Miami Beach

In December 2016, Rademakers Gallery (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) showcased photographic images from Quandra Loka: The Indivisible Space of Conscious Light by Adi Da Samraj at the SCOPE Miami Beach Art Fair.

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'15 Jul 09
Bargello Exhibition at the Bargello Museum

Bargello Exhibition Opens to Media Acclaim

To great fanfare and praise, the exhibition THE ASCENT OF ORPHEUS: Between and Beyond Representation and Abstraction, by the American born artist Adi Da Samraj, opened at The Bargello National Museum in Florence on July 9, 2015. The opening was accompanied by a collaborative performance by the Florence Dance Company of Divina(dot)com, a ballet inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, and integrating monumental projections of images by Adi Da Samraj.

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'15 Jun 04
The Ascent of Orpheus: Adi Da at the Bargello Museum, Florence

The Ascent of Orpheus: Adi Da at the Bargello Museum, Florence

For the first time in its 150-year history, the Bargello National Museum hosts a solo contemporary art show, THE ASCENT OF ORPHEUS: Between and Beyond Representation and Abstraction, by the American-born artist Adi Da Samraj. In an unusual bridging of ancient myth and digitally composed large-scale fabrications, the exhibition is Adi Da’s sweeping and at times demanding retelling of the famous Orpheus and Eurydice myth. The exhibit runs from 9 July to 11 October 2015 in two galleries off the Bargello courtyard.

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'15 Jun 03
Divina.com: The Art of Adi Da with the Florence Dance Company

Divina.com: The Art of Adi Da with the Florence Dance Company

Gala opening July 9th, at Bargello National Museum in Florence.
The ballet, inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, integrates monumental projections of images by Adi Da. The images move on screen in dynamic interaction with the dancers, and are also the inspiration for the costume design. Several musical sources combine to provide a multi-textured soundscape.

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'15 May 02
Prior Unity: A New Book from Da Peace

Prior Unity: A New Book from Da Peace

Prior Unity: The Basis for a New Human Civilization. is now available from Da Peace. The message of the book is that the impulse to peaceful, cooperative coexistence is humanity’s “true north.”

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'14 Aug 24
“The Killers”, a short story by Adi Da, published in MAKE literary magazine

“The Killers”, a short story by Adi Da, published in MAKE literary magazine

The Killers (A True Story About My Life—Re-told As a Parable About The Voluntary Death of Childhood), a short story by Adi Da Samraj, was published in Issue #15 (Summer/Fall 2014) of “Make” magazine.

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