Archive for May, 2011

Because you are everything there is no ‘person’ that can fall into an abyss.
May 28, 2011

Volume 12 No. 8

The world and the forms of me: pictures in pictures - they are me in me.

The world and the forms of me: pictures in pictures – they are me in me.


Longing and consciousness are infinite

When I saw that, I realized that I was really That,

and that there is no I-form and nothing is ‘other’.



A lover knocked

At the door of his beloved.

“Who’s there?” Came the voice from within.

“It is I, let me in.”

“There is no place in this house

for you and me.”

Whatever the lover tried,

She would not let him in.

He withdrew to the desert

And fasted and prayed.

After a year

He returned to her.

Again he knocked on the door

“Who’s there?” Asked the voice.

“You, darling, it is you.”

Then she opened the door for him.

[From: Jacques Benoit, Lust of Love – Sufism, the mysticism of Islam, Ankh-Hermes, Deventer 1983]


Satsang Text

From a talk with Douwe Tiemersma, September 3, 2003, Advaita Center, Gouda

The Frightening Void

Visitor: I have an idea of self-realization that my ego dissolves and so I dissolve like a drop in the ocean and that, when my body dies, I will exist no longer, forever and ever. And I wonder: why would I want that?

Douwe: What a question. And you pose it based upon a particular idea.


While you already know: that the concept is wrong. And also I say it differently.

Yes, but …

You cannot create a representation of it! Still you do it and say: should I want it? If you can’t create an image of it, then also the question remains unanswered. Then you return to your situation here and now.

At certain point you fall into the abyss and then it is too late. There is no turning back …

Again you are creating a concept from your restricted ‘I’. And then that concept is black, because this little ‘I’ knows that it will disappear. Then you say: still it doesn’t seem right to me. Therefore you’ll need to approach it from the other side. See where your ideas come from. Every idea about self-realization is wrong.

What I have also read is that you disappear and that the personal stops.

You read too much and you create too many ideas about it. Return to the situation here and now. The only thing you can do is affirm your own situation again and again. I’ve already pointed out all the possibilities of your identity. There are very limited and very expansive forms. First, you’ll have to see them for yourself very clearly. Secondly: which do you rate as positive and which as less positive.

Well, okay …

Now just go along with it. When you set your own different situations on a scale of expansive and constricted …

Then  the wider, lighter, warmer and more connected is preferable to the limited person.

When you affirm that so directly from your own experience, then you should stay there with it.

Don’t I ultimately fall into the trap, as it were?

Again, that’s another idea. You’re so afraid of the idea that it prevents you from staying in the here and now.

That’s also why I ask you, because I am really terrified of that void that in my perception or  imagination is a negative void.

This is an experience you have had from a limited ‘I’ form. You’ll have to let it go, because it has nothing to do with what this is about. So you affirm right here and now that there is a beautiful, big space in which more and more fixed forms fall away, that there is more and more light, more warmth, more space, connectedness, unity. Can you stay with that now?

But all those books still go on about a death of the ego, a death of yourself.

I said: you read way too much and you create a particular idea of it that makes no sense. You can use these words such as death, but see from where they come. You’re immediately going to give it form from your limited ‘I’: “then I will fall into the void and I really don’t like that”. It is actually dangerous to read things, just because you’re creating certain ideas in which you tend to get stuck.

So as you now return to yourself and say: “I will take on nothing else, also not even when I read a book or when I hear something; I will take nothing on from others other than what I can affirm for myself.” Then you have reached a point where you’re independent. “I will stay here and see things in a clear manner. Now there is more space and that’s positive. I confirm that for myself. Just let it continue like this.” Then you are always with yourself there. Yes, it seems that you receive less and less forms. But through this you become more and more yourself and you see a growing unity with everything. That is a very positive experience. You come more and more into your true nature. Just keep affirming: now, now, now, now, now. Less and less forms of yourself arise. You become steadily more expansive. As you become more expansive – it just happens – you’ll see at some point that you are everything.

And when you no longer have a form, what then?

You are everything. Because you are everything, there is no longer a situation of an ‘I’ person who falls into an abyss.


As the experience of separation with the deceased disappears, there is no duality and no suffering any more.
May 15, 2011

Volume 12 No. 7

The Man who Measres the Clouds by Jan Fabre

– But there are no clouds!


People vainly search for rest

in what is limited and transitory.

They don’t find peace anywhere

except where they consciously rediscover themselves

free from conditions,

free from themselves.



Revision of the talk given at the Zuylen Funeral Home, Breda, January 18, 2009 

Dying and mourning – the non-dualistic perspective (Part 3).  Losing someone who is dear to you.

There is a great opportunity to recognize non-duality not only as you face your own death, but also as someone close to you dies. The physical body falls away, but has the other now completely disappeared? No. Many people have the experience that the other is even closer than during his or her lifetime.

When you see the other from a physical point of view: I’m here and the other there, that is duality. Can you see that you have constructed the other this way? Of course you also experience something else, especially if it is someone you love. When you say “I love you”, where are you focused? Not just on the physical body. There is a great depth in that “you” of the one you love. The self-being of the other is infinite and I am focused on that. To the extent that you experience this depth, it is a being-experience of inseparability, of non-duality. So you see that the infinite non-duality is present everywhere in daily life. You only have to recognize it and also positively affirm it.

As long as there is a dualistic structure, you easily shield yourself from the strong proximity and non-duality within everyday life, so long as the physical object-body of the other remains present. When at death the physical aspect of the other fades, the underlying layer of closeness and unity comes more into the light. Namely, you are no longer so distracted by the physical. Precisely as the physical falls away, there appears to be an open dimension in which the non-duality manifests itself. Then it is clear that this non-duality was always there. Augustine said that a friend whom you don’t see often, still gives you an experience of closeness and joy. However difficult the death of another is, this recognition of unity is experienced as positive by all. For the survivors who mourn, this experience of quiet unity dissolves much heaviness.

He who knows nothing of dying, knows nothing of living

That’s the motto of this lecture series: you know little about living, if you don’t know about dying. I have spoken about it in that sense: precisely through letting go of your own personally significant forms, qualities, ideas about death, life comes free in its great depth. This letting go means a return to the source that you are, through which there comes an openness for everything and everyone. This breaking open in consciousness and love thus means a liberation in life. There is the realization of inner unity and this unity is the larger context in which life goes on. Thus there is also the liberation of life itself. Then there are no separations any longer, despite the great diversity that is there. This diversity is included within the great non-duality. So it’s good to know something about death. Only then does it seem that life is able to manifest in all its fullness and richness, without boundaries.

Just at the end of life there is thus an incredibly great opportunity to release everything. Precisely because then it’s so acute. It’s all or nothing. If you still choose to hold on, it’s immediately clear that such a choice is full of suffering. That’s also true within life, but then the contrast is not often so clear. The chance to realize non-duality is great precisely when you are face to face with death, to say goodbye to the limited self and to see that the self is not tied to limited forms and names. Leaving this confrontational dimension open during life is an important meditative practice.

Mourning and guidance for the bereaved

There is mourning when you have lost a piece of your own identity, of your own existence. This applies to a part of your body, when it has been amputated. It also applies equally to someone who has died and was a part of your identity. The mourning stops when a new identity arises without the lost part. There is much that can be said on the level of the person who finds this difficult, but here it’s about letting go of the whole personal identity and the recognition of the all-inclusive space in which the limitations of identity and separation of self and other exists. That release and this recognition is possible and together they indicate a liberation from the suffering that exists within mourning.

How should you best guide the bereaved? That should be clear by now: by remaining yourself, in the infinite openness. Then nothing more needs to happen, even though there is still something that may be said. That openness is infinite silence. Those who grieve rise above their own sad feelings, because also with him or her the being-experience of openness breaks through. The experienced separation with the deceased and the ‘guide’ disappears. Then there is no duality and no suffering any more.