Everything is light in differing gradations. See the source of that light.

Volume 13 No. 1

Do you see the source of the light?

Do you see the source of the light?

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Douwe: We have often talked about the radicality of the Advaita approach. It’s about real freedom. When there is still a dependency somewhere, an identification, an attachment, even if it’s only a little, then that freedom is gone. Self-inquiry is a large element of the Advaita path. So that self-inquiry will need to become radical. Where are there still attachments? To what extent is the freedom complete? Life provides all the possibilities that you need for that inquiry. All the things that at first you felt were so important, with which you were totally identified, you release in the course of your life. When that process proceeds you always come closer to yourself. You become increasingly aware in the core of yourself, you become more aware – also in your awakening – of your starting point. That is the blind spot. The blind spot itself generates no image. But in the movement towards greater awareness of yourself that blind spot gets smaller. How can that last piece of blindness dissolve? What does it take to let go of that last piece of blindness? Then the whole structure of observation is released. Observation always has a dualistic structure. I see that. Even when you do self-inquiry: I see that in myself. What is the last standpoint when you come closer to yourself? That is the position of the observing insight, the witness. What happens when that last standpoint also disappears? That disappearance is necessary for the transition from duality to nonduality. What could that mean? Take a look in your own experience. (…)

Return to that what precedes the observer. I am. Without forms. Without viewpoints. And then it slowly disappears into the absolute. I was confused when Nisargadatta Maharaj suddenly started talking about the food body. Everything depends on the food body. In the ancient Upanishads there is a beautiful story about a teacher and his son who is also seeking self-knowledge. The father says, “Just go a few weeks without eating and then try to recite the Vedas by heart.” It doesn’t work. The spiritual world is dependent on the food body. That sounds pretty materialistic. How should you take that? Of course the food body is conditioned. Of course everything that develops on the basis of the food body is conditioned. Of course all knowledge is conditioned. Of course every spirituality is conditioned. Everything that is conditioned and temporal has certain laws, dependencies, processes. But what’s it really about? What about yourself? The highest truth is not dependent upon the whole world of events, however spiritual they may be. Do you see how radical that is? Advaita is not for spiritual people. People who want to be spiritual drop off with Advaita, they stop there. Conversely: spirituality is nothing once you take Advaita seriously.

Visitor: What about free will?

Don’t speculate. Take a look for yourself to what extent you’re already aware of freedom. You should be able to recognize that. Otherwise, it’s just stories. That’s also the strategy of spiritual people, just keeping busy with stories. Then they avoid the real consequences.

Traditionally it was so: for the teacher which element in the student was most decisive for taking them on as student? You find it in all different places in the Advaita tradition. The most important is: the longing for absolute liberation. It’s not about living just a little bit more freely, but absolute liberation, through which reverting back cannot occur. It’s clear: the Advaita path is not for everyone.

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