When you have deeply accepted your groundlessness, there is freedom and self-reliance.

Volume 12 No. 9

No control

No control


The cosmos is my body,

experienced internally and externally.

It is clear:

I am this, I’m not this –

Naturally, just as everyone experiences the body.


Jenny Curran: Forrest, do you ever dream about who you’re gonna be?

Forrest Gump: Who I’m gonna be?

Jenny Curran: Yeah.

Forrest Gump: Aren’t…aren’t I going to be me?

From the movie “Forest Gump”


Text Satsang

From a talk in Gouda, March 30, 2011

Self-Reliance (Part 1)

[Douwe has just spoken a bit about his physical condition of having a cancerous tumor.]

Human existence finds itself at the cutting edge. You are born, but life can stop at any moment. This applies to everyone. When there is a kink in the cable, the possibility of the end of life is very real. In May there will be an examination to check the status of the tumor. As for the results, let’s just remain open. Life goes on, as long as it goes on. Life lives itself and in every organism it does so for a while. At a certain moment that individual piece of life ends. And this applies to everyone.

In this interim period between birth and death learning to be independent is very important. What does that mean? When you are independent, you are free from coercion, free from dependencies.

In everyday life people say: “Of course I’m independent.” By this they mean that you can arrange your life more or less, that you can find your way in the conditions that are there and that you are not blindly led by others. “I can choose for myself how I live.”

Usually the idea of being a person is contained within it. “As a person I am independent.” But if you look deeper, you see that internal conditions play a role in that person and that in relation to them there is no independence. There are all kinds of things that you have learned – things that you think about, all kinds of feelings and behavioral patterns. To the extent that they are there, they are there. You have to accept that. But what about your consciousness of that and your self-reliance in relation to those conditions and patterns? There must be an increase in your awareness of the whole situation. Then an awareness arises of your independence from these internal conditions. It frees you. You’re no longer situated there unconsciously, you’re not cramped there, you don’t hold tightly on to anything, you’re aware of your own freedom.

It’s exactly the same for external conditions. When you are self-reliant, you don’t hold tightly on to things in order to shape them in a way that is beneficial for you. Then there is no attachment and addiction to particular things, and also no defense. There is no grasping and no resistance. When you are self-reliant, you let the world and other people go free. Enlightenment is nothing more than letting go of everything, so you set not only yourself but also the world free. The world becomes free, others that at first you held onto in a compulsive grip become free. Your whole orientation with the intention to shape, to control, falls away. Only then is the relation of dependency broken through.

Then it is clear how great the riches of creation are. Only then everything is a miracle. Because you have released everything. Only then is there real independence. When the self-reliance is total, you are totally free of any conditions whatsoever. Of course, that has always been the case. Only, now you recognize it consciously! When it’s not conscious, compelling patterns arise in which you experience limitations and dependence. There is little self-reliance to be found in that.

So independence in relation to conditions means that you are yourself as groundless openness. The ‘self stand’ of  ‘zelf-standigheid’ [translated as independence or self-reliance] also means that you are aware of the groundless openness. As soon as you seek out land somewhere on which to stand, a place to give you stability, you become dependent once again. Sooner or later that ground appears to tremble or a tsunami crashes over. Then you see very clearly how relative that stability truly is. And that applies to every ground. Independence means that you let go of every tendency to establish a ground. That also applies to all ideas you have about yourself. It concerns everything. Also your relationship to someone from whom you have learned something. Independence is absolute independence, otherwise there is no independence. The freedom that is in it is absolute, otherwise it’s not freedom. Usually it consists of freedom under conditions. That sounds familiar. But then again you assume that you are a person with a certain freedom within a world of conditions to which you are subject. When you return to the true self of self-reliance, you see that the existence-world is indeed a certain area, but you do not are subject to it, that the idea “that you are a person living in a conditioned world” is an assumption which is connected to a very limited existence. However you twist or turn it, the essence of independence is total freedom. The point is: can you let that so fully penetrate through in your consciousness that it becomes a realization? That means that you release your last tether, that you let go of your last orientation, that you let everything go.

I have often called it a situation of beyond the point of no return. While swimming in the sea, you are sucked even further out and at some point you know you’ve gone too far to ever return to shore. You are in a spaceship that has missed its celestial destination and is shooting on into infinity. You are beyond the point of no return, so you know you can’t go back. Go back, but where to? To a limited sphere in which you can stand on the ground, namely the earth and on it a spot where you feel at home? People settle down somewhere where they feel good and try to make it nice, where they experience a certain base on which they can rest. When they are attacked they do everything to defend the ground, to keep their home intact. But basically people know that that never works in an absolute sense. When you accept that in the deepest way, there is freedom and independence.


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