You needn’t fear death because you already are that great space.

Advaita Post, Volume 11 No. 3

Advaita Post 11 03

Sure, you can say: “Horse fly”, but the strangeness makes everything strange, including yourself.

*

Text Satsang

From a talk in Gouda on August 30, 2009 (Part 3)

Contraction and expansion

Visitor:  I often find that I try to improve things and ideas in order to match them better to my goals and desires, so that they suit me better.
Douwe: This often happens: you’re busy in your work or anywhere and you find that it should go differently, in a way that is better for you or is more desirable. That situation is always a mix, a mixture of the one and the other. Initially there is a greater consciousness, a sense of something that is better and more authentic than what currently exists. Secondly you quickly connect that understanding to a variety of practical goals in the world and in your life. Then you go after it with all the tension which already exists there.

You can look at your own spiritual path in this way. Each path begins with a dual situation in which a person thinks that can he achieve something by committing to one path. “I will adjust my life to what I experience for myself as more authentic.” The positive is that there is already a sense of what is really authentic and that there is the desire to realize it. Of course you know that, because you are that, even though the realization is not yet fully aware. If you keep projecting the authentic onto particular conditions, you’ll notice that you haven’t moved much, and have even gotten stuck. Then, as soon as possible, it’s best to reaffirm what your real impulse is, your true desire, your true authenticity. This goes further and is also closer to you than you could ever imagine. So take a look again at your own situation and stay true to your own notion and impulse from the start. Within it there is already something of the infinite. When you stay aware of “what fits better for you”, then you get a certain development in which the restrictions continue to disappear and proceed towards the infinite openness.

When that happens, then life appears just as it is, organizing itself in the best way possible, however it may go. Principally, there’s no worry any longer; so it’s free.

When the self recognizes its own nature as freedom, then not only the self but everything along with it becomes freed. Your whole life becomes free, your claims on other people become free.  So you release others.

So stay with yourself as an infinitely free sphere. Stay lucid. When you establish it clearly, internally there is the immediate knowledge: this is good.

Sometimes I fall into a deep sleep with great awareness. But up until now I always awaken quite suddenly. It’s a startling response of the physical body.
This is an I-residue with biological roots that suddenly rise back up within the aware sinking into deep sleep. This mechanism doesn’t exist at the mental level, but much deeper. The feeling suddenly arises: “I’m going to die”.

The I-residue arises from that deep seated will: “I want to live”. Then you are at that level. While you sink away into a dreamless sleep, you experience that everything disappears, that you disappear. Apparently there is still such a strong “I-want-to-live” will that it suddenly says: “Stop.” At that deep level, the “I-want-to-live” is a kind of cramp, which opposes further relaxation. In such a situation that cramp can suddenly strike.

And if that doesn’t happen, you go from the waking to the dream state.
The point is that there is usually a closing off of consciousness and there is nothing more for you to worry about. As awareness of this process increases there is a release of the last remnant of ego tension. Just stay aware of yourself as you go to sleep. And keep floating in the sphere previous to the reaction. Confirm it with awareness: here it is so spacious and relaxed; I am myself and it feels good. The process can continue in that familiar realm of self-being without forms. Then it becomes increasingly clear that you are not dependent on an I-remnant for ongoing survival. The self-being doesn’t need to be afraid of death, because it already is that great space. When that becomes somewhat obvious, you can stay longer, you become more relaxed and feel at home.

How can you halt that falling off process for a moment?
This is possible by becoming more aware of the process of relaxation. “Delicious, I feel all the heaviness fall away; I feel the deep relaxation; I feel myself dissolving in infinity, that’s wonderful, because I already am that space.” When that continues to define the situation, there is no fear.

You can compare that fear with agoraphobia (fear of open spaces). How can someone get over it? Of course, behavioral therapy can help by becoming used to the space, but the  question is whether the fear then won’t take on another form. A deep trust must come, for example through someone else who will go with you and say: “Come on; you don’t need to be afraid; you’ll see it will be all right.” Only when more trust comes, you see that there is nothing to be afraid of.

So have trust; it is good.

It is and stays good, because you are yourself and remain so.

The more clearly that you can be aware of yourself on the subtler levels, the better it can go. If you’re not aware of yourself there, there can be a sudden panic which totally disrupts the whole situation. You see that the same processes exist there as on coarser levels. When you are clearly aware of yourself there, you can have trust and let go. That can continue in your conscious feeling sphere, until it’s clear that there’s nothing to hold on to and that there is no self-being that could and would hold on to anything.

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