The more focused and intense your consciousness is in and of itself, the more open and spacious you seem to experience yourself.

Volume 11 No.12

Advaita Post 11-12

What does your own situation look like?

Text Satsang

From an introduction and talk in Gouda, May 12, 2010

Self-Meditation (1) Reflexive clarity

Douwe: Yes, so it’s always a return, once again back to the beginning. So we begin here too, always anew, just with the beginning. Why are you sitting here? Apparently there is an experience of your own life in which two aspects exist. On the one hand you have a sense of total freedom and on the other hand you have an experience of limitations. Everyone knows this conflict. It has to do with your own existence.

If a solution is possible, it must come from a clarification of your own existence; from what concerns the aspect of freedom as much as the other aspect, the limitations. It has to do with your own existence, your own identity, your own way of being. So again it always has to do with becoming aware of your own self-being. We have spoken about this the last two Wednesday evenings: self-meditation is very important for the expansion of self-consciousness.

Self-meditation means a return to yourself, so that you become more aware of yourself, in the depth of self-being that you apparently have. You can return more and more to your source and core. Then it appears that the sense of limitations has to do with a limited identification in which you imagine that you are limited. This restrictive identification is artificial and not necessary. Certainly it is very deep, anchored in your feeling, but it is learned somewhere. By returning to yourself it becomes clear, through it you can then experience your self-being in  its continually more original quality. Thus that is the quality of unlimited being, free-being. You can be continually aware reflexively of that self-being. That is the point of self-meditation. When you forget that self-being momentarily, you’re busy with things in the outside world or your mind and you forget your own self-being as the origin of perception and action. And because you have forgotten, the old patterns grab their chance anew and once more you are back in a limitation. We’ve already confirmed that the self-meditation should go on continuously, that you, as long as it doesn’t yet occur in a very natural manner, will be giving attention continuously to it in an aware way – a continuous, aware meditation: this, so, this, this, this … a constant being-awareness of your self. It’s good to take a closer look at this.

Reflexive clarity

Allowing self-meditation to go on continually requires a clarity of consciousness. So for self-meditation which is clarity, the clarity of consciousness is necessary. They certainly go together: when the clarity of self-meditation is there, the reflexive consciousness immediately starts forth from that clarity: in my clarity I know that I am alert. Of course it is quite strange. You have a daily life, in which all sorts of things are important. Now you do this and then you do that. You go over here and then you go over there. How is it possible to exercise clarity, when clarity can only come from clarity? Now, everyone can confirm this: clarity is something that belongs to yourself. When you leave the stress for what it is for awhile, when you are just relaxing by yourself in presence, then the clarity appears to come by itself. This indicates that in principle you always already are that clear consciousness and that, if you just give it the chance by not being tensely occupied with all sorts of things, then the clarity appears by itself. So the clarity is something of your own, of yourself. Clarity opens by itself, when there’s no tension and no focus on all different kinds of things. When the clarity is there, you can say something about the clarity. Thus that happens internally. It’s not something separate. While you are lucid, you are internally aware that you are lucid. Thus in consciousness there is also self-reflexive consciousness simultaneously: I know how it is with my lucidity. Then you have a  knowing that is completely different than knowing an object, than object-knowledge. It’s important to recognize that. Attention and knowing normally come out of a subject, a first person, who has attention for something or sees something as an object. Then there is a duality: I am aware of something ‘other’. That is the western model of knowing. Here we are speaking about another sort of consciousness, namely that in which the subject and object coincide. You are both.

A greater clarity

In clear consciousness you are aware of the quality of that consciousness. When you are really aware of that, you must take a look at what happens there. In a clear way you are aware of your own clear consciousness. Do you see that the clarity then increases? That it develops itself? You are aware of the lucid quality of your consciousness and you notice that the intensity of the clarity increases. It’s continually clearer within your own sphere, increasingly lighter, increasing in intensity. So now we have, as qualities of your consciousness, that it is in any case a reflexive consciousness, in which no separation between subject and object arises, because it is an internal clarity that is aware of itself. Secondly, it is a light which through internal reflexivity becomes increasingly intense, increasingly clear.

A clearer openness

Another point: in self-meditation you certainly direct yourself towards the core of yourself, but it’s not concentration. In your daily life when there is something you’re doing and you want to keep your eye on it, you concentrate your attention on it. Then you have an intense concentration for something, an intensely directed consciousness. However a tension easily arises there in your concentration. Here that is precisely not the issue. When you are the object of your own intense attention, you notice that this attention is not directed and that there is no real concentration in it. The intensity of the attention can increase, there can be an incredible intensity, without necessitating a concentration. That comes, because there is attention as being-awareness in yourself. There is no longer an ‘I’ that concentrates itself upon something else, but you become aware of yourself without concentration. By simply being aware of yourself, your consciousness-space becomes open. The intensity can increase, but it is not a sharp concentration. The field of consciousness becomes open on all sides. An overall tingling quality comes therein, that is the amplified intensity of consciousness. Through which it becomes increasingly spacious, precisely not concentrated, without tension. Your own being-awareness becomes increasingly open.  Do you see that? The more focused and intense your internal consciousness, your being-awareness in and of yourself, the more open and spacious you appear to experience yourself.

So with the self-meditation there is a continually further attention on the source of yourself. Through this there is a continually further return in your consciousness towards the point of origin. Then it appears that this is a sphere of a steadily increasing aware being-space and openness. That is so, because by returning to the source of yourself all sorts of forms and qualities of yourself disappear.


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