Archive for October, 2011

The more specific your being-experience of pure self-being is, the faster the process of realization.
October 31, 2011

Volume 12 No 17

Indefinable light: then a scene and someone who looks at it

Indefinable light: then a scene and someone who looks at it


Everything comes so close to me;

it overwhelms.

So I am the self of everything.


Text Satsang

From a talk with Douwe Tiemersma in Gouda, September 21, 2011

The concreteness of the being-experience “You are That” – Part 2, The realization

Visitor: A realization of the great non-duality is still nothing more than insight…

Douwe: Yes, first there is a vague sense on the insight level: “I recognize that more or less”. That insight can be intensified. The realization is the actualization: the self-being internally confirms that the non-dual openness is its own reality. Then all separations and restrictions are gone.

The less the mind interferes with it, the better.

Of course, because the mind has nothing to do with it. Insight and realization are not positioned on the level of thought. It is on a much more essential level. There is clarity of mind still present, so that a recognition and confirmation is possible. You aren’t positioned any longer on the level of mind and not even on the level of insight, thus no longer on the level of the person.

Even if you talk about realization, I experience it as a concept.

Then you should stop using that word. I usually indicate that awakening with the term ‘being-experience’. It is something of yourself and in that sphere there is a clear aware experience of: yes, I am that and that’s how it is. It’s about the actualization of what you have already known on the mental and insight levels. That actualization is a question of being.

Thinking is not contradictory to it, but does come up short on all sides.

Yes, that’s clear. You confirm that the realization can’t take place on the level of thinking. It can be a point of departure, but then that will really have to happen. Once again: just start from your own situation with all its separations, but focus on your sense of the essential. Then something opens and that something, far beyond the thinkable and expressible, will manifest itself. Leave it open, leave it open, and as long as it remains open its affect will be on your own sphere of being.

That openness itself is also a concept.

Yes, if you remain on the mental level. But in the beyond conceptual being-experience you know exactly what it means: I just leave the openness open. It is something which, up to a certain point, you can do with your own self-being. The alternative to leaving it open occurs all too easily: that you have attention for something limited which then limits your awareness. Then that is a distraction. Let the unfathomable openness stay open. You will notice that it is acting.

At first you are there as I-person. Then there is a center of I-being, self-being, especially a bodily center from which you view everything, from which you act, to which you relate everything, even in your thought, while you are alive. Gradually you will recognize the meaning of: “You are That”. Here that ‘you’ doesn’t refer to the forms of body and mind. It applies to yourself. Thus the infinite depth of yourself, also on the subject side, becomes even more clear. It’s the same depth as the “That” of “You are That”. It’s applicable here once again: the more specific your being-experience of self-being is, the faster the process of realization. So you will have to recognize your self-being in a very specific and practical way.


The more open you are for the Openness the faster all your forms will dissolve.
October 17, 2011

Volume 12 No 16

Advaita Post 12_16

My view is infinite, the clear space my expansion.
The seen embraced external, internal,
all duality disappears in its origin.


Text Satsang

From a talk with Douwe Tiemersma in Gouda, September 21, 2011

The concreteness of the being-experience, “You are That”

Douwe: One particular point that continues to recur is the concreteness of the self-experience as absolute openness. Jnana Yoga, the yoga of knowledge in the advaita approach, is about this direct being-experience.

Visitor: Is that what is meant by insight?

That is insight into yourself, but it often begins as knowledge on the mental level. First you hear the important truths and start thinking them over, so that you can put them in order, so that you gradually come to know what it’s all about. Traditionally, that means studying the important texts of the Vedas, especially those of the Upanishads, also with the structure of thought that it is present there. Then you know from the Upanishads that it’s about the recognition of yourself as Brahman, the identity of Atman and Brahman, and how that relationship exists within the physical world. That is an initial starting point for achieving clarity. First you’ll have to acquire knowledge of the important things and then you’ll have to think about them on a mental level until you have the truth clearly in mind.

Then of course it’s about making this knowledge, that you’ve picked up and gotten to know, your own. That happens through a kind of meditation. You make things your own first by having them as an experience or as mental knowledge, but then later by letting that distance between yourself and that experience/knowledge disappear. It’s a sort of object meditation through which the object distance disappears and the two poles come together. You as subject and that which you know or experience in an objective sense, melt together. That is the realization. Then it’s a direct being-insight, a truth that you realize as reality, as your own being-reality. Making it your own will need to happen in a very concrete manner if the knowledge is to become reality. It’s not just a ‘you realize’, a recognition, an awakening. That awakening will need to be so concrete that it means a total change of  your whole experienced situation. That is the realization, that is the actualization: that it becomes reality. There are many people who have slowly proceeded to the stage of knowing and recognizing. But then see what else is necessary: the total coinciding with that which you have come to know. On the mental level it still remains abstract. Namely, it is something that is not connected to your own concrete situation. It is still a theoretical knowledge. The content of this knowledge will need to merge with your own existence, your own way of being.

If that coinciding is to happen in a very concrete way, then you will first have to have a very clear sense of both poles.

You are That. For most people in India that “That” is something which is well known. That is Brahman, first in the form of a deity, but eventually even that which precedes it. When there is a certain sense of it, a certain notion of it, then it is said: you are That. Of course, you can easily repeat it as a formulation. The actualization is something else. This can only occur very practically until that truth coincides with yourself.

Let’s first talk about Brahman, ‘That’, the infinite, groundless and unfathomable, that which is experienced on the object side as the absolute. Scientists also have to deal with it, to the extent that they persevere with their thinking. They study the object-world in time. When you go back in time far enough you eventually come to, for example, the Big-bang. The next question for the mind is: what was there before the big-bang? Nothing can be said about it. But that’s just it: we have a feeling for what precedes it. Our thinking never stops, but the content of that thinking appears to evaporate beyond its borders. The point is that we do have a sense of it.

The clearer that sense is, the better the starting point for a spiritual development. Sooner or later, that sense of infinity, let’s call it Brahman, arises for anyone who enters a deeper spiritual path. Then again I hear: I’m standing before a boundary, I experience that beyond it there is ‘nothing ‘, there is fear of totally letting myself go into that great nothingness. When you proceed further along a spiritual path, you see that this absolute openness is manifesting. That Great is going to manifest itself.

So you have received an interpretation of it in all the different religious traditions. It is said: we cannot know it, but we do have a revelation. Then it is a sacred text. That’s how it works: you see that throughout history people have had a sense of it. In many places that sense appeared to go further than all the different divine projections. In ancient India it was called Nirguna Brahman, Brahman without attributes; you can say nothing about it. In Judaism, Christianity and Islam there is the prohibition: make no graven image of God.

So the recognition of the Absolute on the object side, is something that occurs everywhere. To the extent that you continue to proceed along a spiritual path, that greater will continue to manifest itself, then it is acting. To the extent that you feel that it is functioning there is also the direct recognition of a transition in yourself towards a greater passivity through which your activity is taken over by that greater.

It is said that something must be done, while at the same time it is said that nothing needs to be done because you are that already.

That’s difficult. It can be very tricky for the mind to hear that something is still needed. Yes. But you see the transition. And that transition will need to come. So the activity of the I-think and the I-think- that-there-is-still-something-needed is going to disappear at a particular point.

But if you know what you are, relaxation arises by itself. That relaxation is a byproduct, it’s not something you seek, it just happens.

Excellent. We just spoke about your sense of the infinite in which there is an infinite relaxation.

When you have the sense of the boundless you have two sides: the subject and the object side…

Yes, so it is something that fits into an experience that at first is dualistic. Then you can immediately say: subject and object are always already one. But as long as there is still a separation somewhere in your own life you will have to take a look at it. Secondly: the more you are open for the openness, the better it is. That’s what I’m talking about now. The clearer your feeling sense is of that total openness, the better. Therefore I point it out and ask: is that also something that you recognize? Yes? Excellent, because then it will be able to show itself sooner or later. And the more clearly it is allowed to manifest the stronger and more forcefully will it act to dissolve whatever residues may still remain stuck somewhere.

Because you have your foundation there, you see what you are not …

It all completely dissolves in that great. We once had a weekend in the Hoorneboeg [a woodland retreat near Gouda] about “the dissolving action of the Absolute”. That is the action: it dissolves, it dissolves. The absolute space functions almost like a vacuum. When you really have a vacuum in space everything dissolves within it. We make use of it in chemistry. With a very low air pressure a solid dissolves into a liquid phase for a very short period and then into a gas. That liquid phase is hardly noticeable, so the material actually transforms directly from a solid into a gaseous state. It dissolves very quickly, because it is a vacuum. That’s called sublimation. It has very old historical backgrounds in alchemy, but the experience is just: with openness for the Open all your forms dissolve.

When you identify yourself with something the fate of that something is your own fate.
October 1, 2011

Volume 12 No 15

Do you recognize the non-duality?

Do you recognize the non-duality?


Self Realization is being-awareness of everything.

So, as long as you still have a viewpoint and as long as you still focus on something, you are mistaken.

It’s about the falling away of that structure. In the core of yourself that structure is not present.

Within it being-awareness is being-awareness of everything.


Text Satsang

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

Becoming aware of your being-awareness. Part 2 – The self-scattering identifications

Visitor: The turning within takes place from out of your own scatteredness?

Douwe: Yes, see how much your own self-being is scattered in all kinds of things that you find important, things you think belong to your individual life. These are, for example, all the things of your past, all the things you have done, in which you have invested yourself, the people in whom you’ve invested. Also these are the things and people against whom you have a resistance and the things in the future to which you’ve attached yourself. Now all those scattered pieces of yourself can return to the origin of who you are and the one who has invested himself in innumerable things. When these pieces return, you experience your wholeness very directly. Your self-being returns to its natural state and that is a state of wholeness, completeness.

Then what about the body?

The body is a whole set of phenomena in which you also have invested a great deal of your self-being, so the self-being will have to withdraw there, too. When you turn within to the insight level and you become aware of yourself there, you confirm that you are no longer situated in the gross physical body. Then your physical self-being is already quite different. The gross body is either not present or is present in such a way so that it no longer has an effect upon you. You have, then, an insight body. So that’s what you get with every ongoing self-meditation: with the inward turning motion you become more aware of yourself as self-consciousness. On the insight level so much has already been released. You experience this shift in your center of gravity on the spiritual path. Everyone notices it: you’re no longer stressed by all the things that you used to worry you. Why? Because your investment in them has been withdrawn. The identity of yourself with this and that, with things that you thought belonged to you, is released, the identification no longer exists. You are free. For years you have collected stamps, invested a lot of money in it and at some point you realize that it’s no longer valuable. I know people who are incredibly frustrated by this. Why? Because they have invested so much of their own self-being. When you keep the same structure and you stay stuck at the same level, obviously you are frustrated when it appears that now it is worthless. When you are positioned there, you experience that you are worthless. Then you understand why people put a bullet in their head when the prices of stocks fall. Why? Because they suddenly saw that their own investments were worthless, so they saw themselves as worthless. When you identify with something, the fate of that something then is your own fate. When that something is no longer valuable, then you yourself are no longer valuable. That’s how it works. Most people feel that very strongly with respect to their own bodies. When the body gets sick, they themselves are sick one hundred percent. When the body deteriorates, they deteriorate and when the body dies, they die. So then your fate is identical with your physical body. That is result of the self-scattering identification.

Can’t you still strive for something?

Sure, you can have everything. But remain aware of your whole situation. What does the situation look like? When you strive for something, you have a particular goal. So you identify with your aspirations and already you have identified at least partially with the goal that corresponds to them. When the goal is not reached you fail, so then you are frustrated. When such a question arises, go directly to how things are with yourself. Is there an open self-being? No, because there is an identification with the striving and with the goal. And just take a look at what that produces. When other people try to hold you back from your aspirations, then they are bad people. When the goal is very important to you, you’re capable of anything. See how that works.

You have to get to know the geography of the area of your own life so as not to get stuck. That kind of knowledge is considerably more difficult than learning the physical geography of the world. Why? Because the landscape of your existence-world is constantly changing and you are constantly changing along with it. You continue to exist in different ways. So most of these structures are not very stable. They are dynamic and still you will need to take a look at it. Now, that requires a clear consciousness, a lot of inquiry and a lot of experience. What do you mean when you say that some elderly people are wise? Yes, in the course of their lifetime, through scandal and loss, they have learned many important things about their own way of living: the forms their world had and now has, everything that can happen and what is foolish and what is sensible. In their wisdom they see a lot and, when all goes well, they become free.  Learn from them to get insight into your own situation. Become free by pulling your scattered identifications back into yourself.