Archive for September, 2011

Can you be aware of your unlimited consciousness?
September 14, 2011

Volume 12 No. 14

teh Great Wave of Kanagawa

The Great Wave of Kanagawa

movement and stillness

life and the absolute

everything and nothing

by Hokusai


Satsang Text

From a talk with Douwe Tiemersma on Schiermonnikoog, evening June 13, 2010.  

Becoming aware of your being-awareness

Douwe: Again and again, check and see how things are with yourself. Can you remain aware of your own self-being, your own structure, your own qualities? Where are you? In what way are you there?  What structure does your self-space have?

You always have to deal with your self-being, both in the aspect of being, as well as that of consciousness as long as you exist. There is a self-being that coincides with the being of all the phenomena of body, mind and world, but you are also consciousness and within that you’re always somewhat more spacious. Thus you experience these two sides in becoming aware of your self-being. On the one hand you are that body and mind. You are that existence and you experience it from the inside-out. In your consciousness you are more spacious than that existence. You are more than your body, more than your mind, so that you have a view of it from a distance. Of course, that can continue to develop.

Visitor: But isn’t that strange, Douwe, because still, can’t you only be aware of what is? In that sense, consciousness can’t be more expansive, because then there would be something more spacious, of which you were aware, and that isn’t there.

The field of consciousness can be more spacious, while the self-being still knows a certain limitation. In principle, being-awareness is infinite. For the full realization of that to be complete and stable you will have to hold on to the consciousness of your being-awareness for a long time.

You begin by becoming aware of yourself in the form of your body in space. What about your own self-being? You experience the body from inside-out, you experience your existence-world from inside-out. In your consciousness you also have a somewhat more expansive view, a more external view, so that it’s clear that you don’t completely coincide with that being. The two sides will have to remain as two until everything comes together. But for that  you will have to remain very alert. When it does occur then it’s a question of whether it’s a lasting breakthrough. Just take a look at the deep sleep in which this coinciding already always occurs. You will have to be internally aware of the limitations that are present in your being. You will need to retrieve the specific identifications with your body and mind and with everything that is important to your world. The whole specificity of your own being with its limitations will have to consciously fall away. One important way is to pull that investment of yourself in this and that back into a more expansive viewpoint of consciousness. There, you confirm that you are not that body and not that mind. That distance taking in your consciousness is a return to yourself. And that movement, as we have seen, will need to continue, always further, further, further, further, to the precise center of your self-being. So, always  more precise and always further, also in the subtle world. Still further back, even further back, until suddenly there seems to be a total openness.

As long as a further turning within is possible, that same level of clarity and motion will need to remain active. If you stop too soon, you’ll stay stuck in a specific condition that seems to limit your own self-being. Precisely because it acts on an increasingly subtle level you will have to be incredibly alert in order to let the process of liberation, the release of those restrictions, proceed. That goes further than your witness consciousness and further than your infinite ‘I-am’.

See, as long as you are present in the world and look and listen to things, you have all kinds of patterns in your background which are associated with your subjectivity of seeing and hearing. You see all kinds of things, they come at you, but before they become conscious images, before they are the things that you recognize, the pattern is formed unconsciously and automatically. Partly it is a concept formation: this is this and that is that. But this pattern formation has already taken place in your background. You look outwards, but in that outward looking you’ve taken an entire pattern formation with you. So you are the subject of seeing, the subject of knowing, the subject of hearing, but in that subjectivity all these patterns already exist, including judgment. It’s necessary to take some distance in order to release these patterns, so that you can see better what’s going on. When you are really living primarily in the world, everything flows in a direct way, but also everything is determined by your current knowledge and patterns, complete with all your past, your ideas, and so on. Then you live primarily in the world, you respond to it directly, even as you judge something and say “of course this is so; you have to do it; now I have to do it.” So that’s your behavior. Those who have come to know themselves a bit have already had some element of turning within, in this way they are more aware of their own prejudices, their own core patterns. Only then can these patterns be relativized.

When you stand before a class, you have a certain posture, a certain way of talking, a way of approaching the class. When a video is recorded, you are surprised to see – “Oh, is that me? Am I like that? That’s crazy.” Then suddenly you get a broader view, a reflexive look at yourself, through which you become more aware of yourself. Are you that body with that behavior, these movements? Yes, you are that, but you also have an external view of it. That means that you don’t fully coincide with it. Of course, that’s always the basis on which you can change something about yourself. That’s also the basis on which your being-awareness can be more expansive because all kinds of restrictions disappear. Can you be aware of yourself on that new level? How far can it go?

Most philosophers of the 20th century have pointed out that man, in his consciousness never coincides with himself. Therefore, he is never satisfied, he doesn’t accept his finitude, and so on. Yes, that’s also true. Only the further possibilities of the individual being-awareness are not seen. When the process of increasingly turning within proceeds, increasingly more experience with how the pattern formation occurs, always on a deeper level, then there is also the experience that more relaxation and space comes for the self-being and that your being and consciousness come together. Through the withdrawal from a limited perspective and letting go of the distraction of your self-being with things, the self-being rediscovers itself in its original quality, where there is no duality of being and consciousness any longer. Thus, turning within means an increase in awareness, seeing more. It also means more being: that an infinite completeness of self-being comes from out of the diversion and that completeness is unity with everything and everyone. That is sat-chit-ananda.