When enlightenment comes, the whole world becomes enlightened.

January 4, 2016 - Leave a Response

Advaita Post, Volume 17, no. 1

Text Satsang

From an introduction in Stoutenburg, August 28, 2005 – Part 3

When enlightenment comes, the whole world becomes enlightened.

Q: You point towards the open lucidity, even in dreamless sleep. I understand very well what you mean, but when you go to sleep, you disappear. When you wake up again, there is a sort of recollection of this openness. Some people claim that they can retain this lucid openness when they sleep. Is that really so?

Douwe: When you have consciously recognized this original openness somewhere, you recognize this sphere more and more frequently. In the waking period of the day you recognize more and more of those quiet moments, even though they were previously there as well. If you haven’t recognized this stillness somewhere in a conscious way, then you also don’t recognize it in many other moments that are open and still. So when the recognition is there in a given situation, such as in deep meditation, the process of recognition goes even further, especially during the day. Then you notice the moments when it’s just totally still and open, moments about which there’s nothing to say because there is no content. Between thoughts everything falls quiet. Thought flows are not continuous. Also, you aren’t always busy. If momentarily you don’t have anything to do, everything disappears. Slowly you recognize that these periods are more frequent and become larger. It happens just like Swiss cheese: the holes just get bigger and bigger. At first there is cheese with a few holes. But at a certain point there are holes with a little bit of cheese. That also happens by itself at night.

Of course, it’s a completely different kind of consciousness. It is not a ‘consciousness of’ something. That is the difficulty of recognition: in the West consciousness is always defined as ‘consciousness of something’. So when there’s nothing, it’s difficult to recognize. If you want to be well aware of something, right away you ask where you should look. When it’s about the recognition of your own openness, it’s a completely different type of consciousness. It’s an internal consciousness and certainly without content. It’s very strange, and therefore you frequently make mistakes. You want to be aware of the dreamless sleep where nothing is. So you say, “I will focus on nothing.” But then that’s wrong, because there is no object there, also no empty object-space that you could become aware of. No, it’s your own being-aware self. It’s a blank being-knowing without a someone who confirms something.

What’s that like, then? Is there a kind of aware presence-ness?

You are going in the right direction when you suggest ‘an aware presence-ness’. But look out, and see what else is there. For as long as there is a sense of ‘I confirm that’, you’re still saddled with an ‘I’ and an object. The best approach is to point towards the disappearance of this structure ‘I perceive that’. ‘I’ gone, ‘that’ gone and the perceiving gone. That is the original blank state about which you can’t say anything other than: “it is blank”, “there is nothing”. And still, there is an internal knowing of this original nature.

But isn’t that internal knowing then a memory afterwards?

Of course not. If there were to be a memory, there would be a memory-image. Now, that can also happen, such as in the morning when you say: “I had a wonderful sleep”. In that confirmation there is still a memory of this wonderful state of emptiness in which there was nothing. This memory can become stronger, so that you recognize that this ‘state’ which was there, is also here now. It is not something which stops in the transition from dreamless sleep to dreaming and waking. No, this always remains as a certain kind of knowing, a being-knowing. This continues by itself and intensifies. So we can only speak about the transitions. But then, the direct recognition can also come: “Yes, this”.

Learning to see these transitions is important in itself, because then, they can flow more easily. Then you know the direction of development and can see what’s still stuck. That confirmation immediately allows the fixation to become relative. Then the block is no longer absolute. Seeing through, itself means that the blockade is lifted. Therefore, be precise in your seeing, in your recognition, otherwise you will easily remain hanging somewhere.

In that blank consciousness, the ‘consciousness of’ something also manifests.

Yes, ‘consciousness of’ something is always a limited sort of consciousness. Usually we call that ‘attention’. Attention is a focused consciousness and therefore a limited form of consciousness. So there are all different kinds of consciousness-forms during the day. Sometimes you are concentrating here, and then something else asks your attention, then there is a more spacious consciousness. That just continues. The one thing that remains is yourself as open being-awareness.

But then in that ‘consciousness of’, you are everything. Because if there is no consciousness of something, then too that something is not there. It’s just like thinking without thoughts; that can’t be, because the idea is the same as thinking. So ‘consciousness of’ is the same as what is seen.

When there has been a clear recognition of yourself as being-awareness without restrictions, then all kinds of forms arising within it do not restrict you. Of course, as long as life goes on, all the living functions of seeing, feeling, hearing, thinking and so forth, also go on. When there is a recognition of that original source, then everything else also comes free. With enlightenment, all life functions become enlightened. Through this, the tensions disappear, the feeling-sense patterns of holding on to internal but also external things. When you remain in a limited identity, you imprison not only yourself, but also the whole world. When enlightenment comes, the whole world becomes enlightened. So nothing needs to go; you are everything. Only the tension-limitations disappear. Then everything is open, infinitely open.

You are that infinite consciousness

December 1, 2015 - Leave a Response

Advaita Post Volume 16, no. 12


Text Satsang


From an introduction in Stoutenburg, August 28, 2005 – Part 2


You are that infinite consciousness


Spiritual development means a further awareness of your own aware self-being, your consciousness. In consciousness, you confirm: there is no border, there is no separation anywhere. Consciousness continues infinitely and you are that infinite consciousness. Consciousness is not something you can grab hold of. Consciousness is your own infinite being-sphere with the quality of lucidity, of a lucidity within which something is clear or can become so. That is your own sphere. That is why the verb is reciprocal and you say: “It is clear to me”, “I am aware of it”. What do you mean by that? That in your own sphere of lucid-being the things which arise are established in it. That’s how it is! The phenomena arise and then they are evident. That‘s how it is! This confirmation is not thinking. No, it is a direct appearance, without intermediary, in its own light. So too, there is the awareness of your own aware being-sphere. A further spiritual development contains this. Accordingly, there is also the recognition that this sphere is infinite, with no boundaries, and that you, yourself, as infinite consciousness, are not dependent on any conditions whatsoever. When you experience yourself as consciousness in a very lucid way, it is clear that this is primary, as compared to all phenomena. There will need to be light if something is going to appear. Yet these phenomena do not affect consciousness. They arise and disappear again within it. As infinite consciousness, you remain free.


Of course, you are also everything, because the phenomena are not other than your aware being-sphere. But, this is so in a very different way than when you become involved in it somewhere. No, you are everything. And still you are free of it. How is that possible? Precisely because it’s about the limitlessness of being-consciousness. The feeling-senseness of it has a quality of joy. When space comes, there is always something about it that is ‘wonderful’, ‘beautiful’, ‘spacious’, ‘freedom’. With each breakthrough towards a greater space or a more spacious consciousness there is the emotional or feeling-sense quality of joy. Expansion brings joy. Conversely, you can also say that when there is joy, there is an obvious expansion. People seek this expansion, in all possible ways. Why? Because it brings joy. People consistently want to cross borders. When new limits are experienced, there is the tendency to want to reach that which lies beyond the limit. When you are open to it, the process just continues. This also applies with respect to joy and happiness. Everyone has a notion of ​​it. When something in your world starts to expand, you become excited. There is joy.


But, stay open for total joy, complete happiness. That means an open stance for the infinite. And look, then the process continues by itself. Then, looking back, you also see that the search for joy can produce something that indeed brings some joy, but that right away there were new borders again. Then the process of longing and seeking continues. Now just let the process proceed completely; let it radicalize itself into infinity. Then there is an infinite joy. Joy, happiness, insight are infinite. They are not platonic, in a separate heaven or something like that. No, they are already there, here and now. They are readily available, when you recognize them. “Oh, so that’s it!” Everyone has joy and happiness in themselves. And when you stay there, they reveal themselves to be infinite in a stable way.


In spiritual development, this joy is going to develop further. It becomes less and less dependent on circumstances, on specific situations, on special things. Why? Because it precedes everything. Because it belongs to one of the first and last of those qualities which comprise the sphere containing everything. And that is your own manner of being. It is good to recognize this: that’s it. Then you also know that it’s always about opening yourself up. This being open to the great is the only thing you can do. There is nothing else that you could do. You can not go looking for it or developing it. No, let the infinite being-consciousness-joy / happiness / love-being just come and let it stay.

Through relaxation the self-being expands itself outwards into everything and everyone

October 31, 2015 - Leave a Response

Advaita Post, Volume 16, no. 11

Text Satsang

From an introductory talk in Stoutenburg, August 28, 2005 – Part 1 

Through relaxation the self-being expands itself outwards into everything and everyone

It is a beautiful process, the process that occurs when silence falls for awhile. The restrictions of your own realm disappear. You can have the experience that you are sinking down through the bottom of your own personal sphere, that you are slicing into the unnamed, the inexpressible.

When you remain internally lucid, it is very easy to confirm that this happens. When you remain clear, you can also see what is not yet dissolved.

That process of elimination and dissolving is the most important. Just let it continue. When it proceeds radically, excellent, then we don’t have anything more to talk about. To the extent that that process does not fully proceed, it’s useful to look at a few things. Then it’s important that you recognize for yourself which mechanisms are there, which situations are there. When you recognize these, then you know what’s going on. Then you also know what your approach should be in order to allow the dissolution process to continue. When your orientation is good, the process of expansion proceeds. In the silent openness the process continues. That’s what it’s about.

Shall we take another look at those different features that change within that process?

You sit down and there is relaxation. There is silence. The space expands. Just look from your own experience: first you chatted like an ‘I’-person with others; you looked at the world around you; there was action and reaction. Then there is silence, relaxation. Your own being-sphere expands.

This expansion – what does it mean? That the borders that initially were there with the “I’m talking with someone else,” and “I’m looking at something else”, that these boundaries between yourself and the others and the world disappear. When this expansion continues even just once, then there is no stopping it, because this expansion proceeds into infinity. Just take a look.

When there is still a blockage somewhere, when there are still tensions, you notice it right away. In clarity you confirm it: the expansion could go even further. When you notice that, you also have a sense of that ‘further’. There is a sense of infinite-being.

When you open yourself in this way, the process continues in that direction. This means that the ‘I’-tension which had kept you limited disappears. Then there is unlimited self-being. Within it nothing is rejected, because with every rejection you hold something at a distance. It is an acceptance of everything that presents itself. Through relaxation the self-being expands itself outwards into everything and everyone.

This occurs most readily on the level of instinctively intuitive self-being. When you return to your heart-feeling, it opens up very easily and becomes infinite. For the other sensory realms, it is the same. With sight you usually look at the things that you see, but that’s not necessary. There is another kind of seeing which is open, infinitely open. You can see your body at a distance, as a thing, but you can also see your body in a way that includes your bodily feeling, by being the internal experiencing body. Unless there is something wrong with your body, like in an accident or something like that, you look at your hand as an object. Then there is a separation between yourself and that which you are looking at. But for the most part, your body is absorbed into the sphere in which your experience is open, without boundaries. You see the many forms of your body and yet you experience your body internally as one whole; you are the totality. In your instinctively intuitive experience your being sphere is universal. The entire cosmos is your body. Returning to yourself in relaxation, you experience that the entire reality is your own, one, unbroken sphere. It is an infinitely spacious being.

When you experience this even somewhat, you see the limitations of a return to a limited ‘I’: I against the other, I against the world. You see how much that is associated with tension, and how artificial such a situation is.

Anyone who is on a spiritual path will experience these phenomena to a greater or lesser degree. You also see that people recognize this very easily. When a little more space comes, there is also the recognition that this is important. Everything that gives space is positive, everything that limits is negative.

So just let the process of expansion proceed radically. The infinity of space without borders has always, already been there.