Pity and compassion can just cross over into the non-duality of one experience

Advaita Post, Volume 9 Number 11

Many layers, many worlds in consciousness …

Text Satsang

An introduction and talk given in Gouda May 14, 2008

Non-duality of experience (2)

Douwe: Is it clear that with physical sensing there really is just one thing? Skin and wind, subject and object, can no longer be experienced separately. Isn’t that right? You have to start thinking in order to pull them apart. You hear the beautiful music. And the distance disappears. You have to start thinking quite actively in order to detach yourself from the music. See for yourself what kind of construction this thinking implies. The natural non-duality that you find everywhere prevails. Through separation, a body is contructed, a person with a self-image and personal data; and in thinking about the music, the whole of tonalities, the composition that a composer has written, and so on. Can you see the complexity?  Can you see the construction?

Of course, you can always withdraw back into your consciousness and see the content of every experience at a distance as an objective manifestation.  In a sense, that too, is good, namely to become free of all kinds of unconscious identifications, of all kinds of attachments and ties. But at a given point everything will revert again to the natural non-duality.

Visitor: Is the process of returning to consciousness a dualistic process? Of: ‘I am aware of some thing’?

Initially there is indeed an enhanced duality. This withdrawal will help you to become aware of all the attachments, of the unconscious identifications. “I thought I was the body, but now that I withdraw into myself as consciousness, I can see that I am not a specific body.”  It creates a large space in which everything can be present and merge with yourself. So it’s not a question of letting go of everything with the sense: “I want to keep a certain distance.” That would mean flight. Everything can return in openness, without resistance and in non-duality. But that can only happen when those old specific identifications have come loose.

Yes, space is important, because distance dissolves the attachment.

On a personal level there is a limited ‘I’-self, an ego which functions in the world. That ego is a hardened and concentrated energy which wants to take all the good things in order to increase itself, but it also wants to keep away the less beautiful things.  This hardening of the ego prevents the acceptance of pain, of suffering and of other people. The ego always has its own resistance and defense mechanisms.

When that ego-cramp is broken through, everything comes open. Then everything is allowed to be without distance. That can happen from the I-person, when you are looking very precisely at what’s going on within your own experience. We were just speaking about that. In the experience the person disappears, and also what you experience, “Oh how delightful, the taste.” Where is the person? Where is the ice cream? They aren’t there anymore. What remains is: one taste.

But on the other hand, there is still suffering …

Yes, also regarding the suffering, there is no distance. That too can be accepted. The ego with its own self maintenance program can’t accept that. It can’t take the suffering upon itself and doesn’t want to. That’s precisely the process of resistance and of maintaining a distance. Only when relaxation enters in yourself and also your experience then you don’t hold on to anything any more.

Even though you merge with the suffering of another, still there can be a very subtle feeling to ease the suffering of the so-called other, to want to help.

In the experience of suffering, as the immediacy of the experience becomes stronger, it can just happen that pity and compassion can cross over into the non-duality of one experience. And that is universal. Then there is no longer a person involved in it.

It’s good to recognize that. These moments occur regularly for everyone, the beautiful experiences and the less beautiful. When you come together, the separations disappear, the person with its resistance reactions disappear. Primarily, there is one experience. That becomes universal and after that it’s silent. Then there’s nothing left to say. The qualities disappear and all is still. Grief and suffering aren’t to be located on the psychological level,  so that “you can handle them”. Whether with others or not it can become one experience, which is universal. The specific qualities are going to dissolve. Are you sad?  When you think about yourself and your feelings: yes. When you don’t think about it: I don’t know. When the I and its great grief have increased for a long time, they can suddenly disappear and what remains is inexpressible silence.

Then the ice cream doesn’t taste sweet any more.

No. See what people really value in an ice cream. First because it is sweet and has a delicious taste. But when they are really going to enjoy it, it’s not so much the specifically sweet taste of the ice cream as it is the universal enjoyment. When that enjoyment is allowed to continue, everything becomes still. You don’t hear children and adults any more while they enjoy their ice cream and have merged into it. How about happiness? “Oh, my life is good.”  Yes, but when that converts into happiness, it’s immediately clear that happiness is infinite. Otherwise it’s not happiness, but a good feeling of a person who also experiences other things.  No, when there is happiness, it’s universal, without a person. So too with an ice cream: First, there is a delicious taste that is in the ice cream. When you don’t resist this experience by maintaining a distance, then there is but one delight. “It’s delicious!”  The delight overwhelms you and becomes universal. One lick of an ice cream … and you’re enlightened, when you really enjoy it 100%.

So, let the enjoyment and the suffering enter in completely.  Let each experience fully develop without resistance.


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