A Video Presentation

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Transcendental Realism

The Art of Adi Da Samraj

Watch a video of Adi Da Samraj — at work in His studio during the period from 2006 to 2007 and speaking about His art process.

Visit the website for an in-depth exploration of Adi Da as artist.

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"True art heals. True art restores equanimity. Art must regenerate the sense of well-being. That is its true purpose."

— Adi Da Samraj

You are also invited to subscribe to a new educational website about Adi Da's art. You'll find articles about His art, His instruction on true art, views of many of His images, retrospectives, and more:

Book Excerpts

Transcendental Realism

Section 2


Icon Transcendental

by Erik van Erp, PhD

"Art then is a becoming and happening of truth."
— Martin Heidegger
"The Origin of the Work of Art"

Art speaks for itself, in silence. Yet, some words can be spoken to assist its reception.

In the text you have before you, Transcendental Realism, the artist, Adi Da Samraj, speaks of His art, His purposes, and the unique artistic discipline by which those purposes are realized.

This is an unusual text. You will find that it does not conform easily to familiar categories of "art speak". It will not fit in comfortably and unobtrusively in the mental planes of discourse that surround modern art. It resists quick and easy digestion, even by those of sophisticated intellect.

Like Adi Da's art itself, this text is a confrontation, and is deeply at odds with the trends of post-modernism. It requires — and deserves — attentive reading.

Adi Da crafts His writings with the same serious intent and meticulous discipline with which He makes His images. More than a verbal explanation of what His art is "really" all about, this body of words, much like Adi Da's art itself, is a "transformational environment".

If you have seen Adi Da's art, and wonder what or who it was that moved you, a careful consideration of this text will serve to integrate the immediacy of the aesthetic experience into a transformed understanding — of Adi Da's art, of art altogether, and of the most profound dimensions of human experience.

The text of Transcendental Realism is a speaking that accompanies the art. It requires, first of all, a right viewing of the art. The words of this artist must be heard in the same open space in which His art exists.

An introduction like this runs the risk of performing the anti-miracle of turning wine into water. Schopenhauer once remarked that scholars who write commentary on great philosophy are filtering great intelligence through a small mind, which is like trying to fit the ocean in a thimble.

Adi Da's text is poetic, yet precise; profoundly logical, yet full of paradox. And, while requiring thoughtful study, its meanings do not reside, exactly, at the level of thought.

On the cover of the book is printed a circular word-image:

"Reality Itself Is Truth Itself Is The Beautiful Itself"

This, at once, defines the circle of essential meaning in which the text moves.

It is a circle that encompasses Plato, the Upanishads, and the alchemical experiments of Gertrude Stein. It is a circle in which antiquity meets modernism — a circle that freely embraces all serious achievements of human civilization and culture.

There is no irony here, no post-modern tongue-in-cheek. In Transcendental Realism, Adi Da announces His serious intent to renew the "modernist" program, and He is not going to settle for less than the traditionally required measure of art as Reality, Truth, The Beautiful, realized as an indivisible unity.

The text itself is a perfect circle, an integrated whole that is hard to break into "chewable" pieces without removing its essential force. It proceeds from the universal to the particular — without, in fact, ever leaving the universal. Adi Da always returns the reader to the unity of Being, no matter what the topic under consideration.

This "circularity" (or indivisible unity) that underlies the text is responsible for the astounding depth of its beginning. The first essay of the book presents a tower of meaning on a single page. Through the universality and reiterations of its statement it connects to the circular poem on the cover.

But here the circle is manifested in the guise of logic. The language is precise, mathematical, without redundancy. But the logic guides us into an abyss of meaning, where the mind loses its foothold.

As best as language can support it, Adi Da states here how the measure of art (and all culture) is grounded in reality. In Adi Da's understanding, there is nothing arbitrary about true culture. True culture is grounded in reality. Virtue is grounded in reality. Art, and its rightful purpose, is grounded in reality. And to be grounded in reality, the book, at its very "beginning", must call its own language into being, and provide its own context.



— from The Dawn Horse Press —

Transcendental Realism Cvr Transcendental Realism
The New, Expanded Second Edition
The Image-Art of egoless
Coincidence with Reality Itself
by Adi Da Samraj

The new edition of Transcendental Realism contains many never-before-published writings by Adi Da, including a remarkable, detailed explanation of how His own final image-making process evolved.

266 pages plus a
24-page full-color insert


To purchase offline, call:
877-770-0772 within the US
or 707-928-6590 internationally