So at a given moment, the experience will come that sets a hatchet into your body: the inside-out. 

Advaita Post, Volume 10 No. 2

Image from a space probe to Saturn (2004); the light dot is the earth.


An introduction and talk on January 17, 2007

Bodily inside-out (Part 6)

Visitor: I find it so odd that turning inside-out can be felt almost physically.
Douwe: It should happen on the bodily level too, otherwise you can get stuck there. That’s where the hardest knot of identification is. You should experience the inside-out then in your own bodily feeling sphere. With the return to yourself, ‘yourself’ is first and foremost physical. You should experience that a reversal happens there: the inside-out.

You say: “I am myself most in the core of my heart.”  So you go back to the center of your heart. There everything is turned inside out. The internal space of the heart appears to be greater than everything, absorbs everything.  In your experience the area of the heart is physical. It is this bodily being-sphere that expands itself infinitely and becomes universal.

The body has cosmic dimensions. You are that body, so a universal self-being arises there without a center. First, there was a center, but the center has opened from the inside out and reverses. Then there is a universal self-being. Because it is physically experienced, the experience is very clear and concrete. If it is not bodily, the experience remains vague, if there is any experience at all, and nothing changes on the level of the body. So at a given moment, the experience will come that sets a hatchet into your body. On the physical level it will break open.

 Not like a hatchet, but more like a balloon that pops open.
OK, but still the inside-out, as the balloon pops.

See that tiny space in the center of your heart, that center of self-being, and that space becomes larger than anything else. Then you experience that your real situation is always like that, that the self-being of everyone, of every living creature, is the infinite space, that there is no multiplicity in self-being, that actually there is only non-duality.

As long as you are still confined to the body, you experience the endless space: Brahman, from out of your ‘I’-center in that body.  ‘I’, as a physical human being, am really nothing in comparison to Brahman.

Go back to the center of your heart. That breaks open and you experience the Self as identical with Brahman.

Then the body is no longer experienced?
As long as there is something to experience, you experience it inside-out as self-being, so long as you experience your own body as self-being.

You can first look at the everyday situation of your own body. In the internal sphere of your body isn’t there already a non-duality? Internally you feel your left hand and you feel your right hand. There is a non-duality. Why? Because that is all included in the sphere of yourself. Go further: your left and right shoulder …

 But you can also look with your eyes at one or the other hand.
Yes but then you return to an external viewpoint of the experienced things to establish a limited position and then there is duality. Now it’s a matter of going very clearly internally into your own body to recognize that there is a non-duality. You don’t set yourself up in the position of your right shoulder and say: “Left shoulder – buzz off; you’re a competitor.” When this sphere of non-duality becomes universal, then you find that everything in your own body exists in a non-duality. You yourself are everything! Then all competition is gone, all combat and every war.

 I find it easier to experience the space in which everything is in me.
But that experience still has a bodily quality doesn’t it? You should experience it as concretely as possible, otherwise it doesn’t work and remains a vague awareness. You must experience it very concretely as you experience your own body internally. Otherwise, it just stays more or less theoretical.

 I have the idea that I don’t feel my body internally.
That’s not good. Fortunately, it’s not true. Just for once feel your left foot …

 I thought we just confirmed that there’s nothing.
As long as there is a body, it is there. You sit in your body, so it’s good to experience something from the inside-out. If you clench your left or right fist and relax it once again, then don’t you feel your hands from the inside-out? Let them go again … Now, that’s what I mean.

I look from inside-out in my head.
You’re positioned very strongly in your head, but isn’t everything  in your body in a kind of non-duality? Isn’t it all your own internal sphere?

If you were to be less centered in your head, your sense of self would be more spread throughout your whole body and therefore the experience of non-duality would be stronger.


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