Archive for March, 2012

With great clarity let the great space and its source remain as the reality of yourself.
March 10, 2012

 Volume 13 No. 6

What about your own position?

What about your own position?


I am life,

I am not life.

How is it possible!


I am aware of myself as the self of life,

I am self-aware prior to life:

a groundless non-duality.


The anesthetic

After the pain and insanity surrounding the operation there is a third theme it’s important to speak about: the anesthesia.

What is anesthesia? Literally the word means: rigidity, stupor. From a withdrawn third-person point of view there is a lot that can be said about the biochemical processes through which the functioning of a large part of the nervous system is shut down. It is “just a non-lethal poisoning of the brain …” (Schwaab, We are our brain, p. 247).

In the individual experience it is a black hole about which nothing else can be said other than that it has nothing to do with the conditions of an experienced world. That ‘black hole’ is not a localized place that you can walk around in. No, it’s about the first-person perspective and the sphere you experience when you slip into it and dissolve. There is only ‘knowledge’ of it in the transition. In that transition, you can establish that the forms and qualities disappear. The forms of the world and your body fall apart and away in a great space. That is the space in which the qualities of ‘I am’ and ‘I am aware’ still exist, without separations, without borders, without any further elaborations. With great lucidity there is the confirmation a) that this clarity, this being-awareness is, b) that the qualities dissolve into something which has no form and quality and c) that you are and always have been this absolute, groundless openness.

There is a recognition of the reverse process too, when you are alert on the ‘return’. Then again there is just something, and this something simply arises from the ‘big nothing’. There’s nothing to say about it and yet there is the affirmation that it is the source from which you and the world re-emerge. You know it as your own origin from inside-out as well as the origin of everything that exists. The first that is, is the indescribable space. It is indescribable because it’s empty, without forms and qualities. Then there is the sense that it can be known and the ‘I am aware’ and ‘I am’ already exist quite vaguely within it, the principle of being and consciousness without form. That is the beginning from which the formation of the individual body, the world, and of yourself in the world proceeds.

Life provides ample opportunities to become acquainted with the above, for example, around sleep and in meditation. It also happens if you just remain sufficiently aware to the disappearance of the personal and bodily life. It is hoped that the reader will so thoroughly recognize it in their own experience that the great space without a center remains established as the source of their own self-reality, stable and aware. That is enlightenment.


Text satsang

An advaita talk with Douwe Tiemersma, Schiermonnikoog, June 18, 2011

The first step

When you remain alert, repeatedly confirming and accepting things as they are, you come to know everything you need to know. So you don’t need to do anything because the internal and the external are just reflections. The further development continues by itself through the reflecting and accepting. You notice that the development goes in the direction of the dissolution of your self, to the extent that self-limitations still exist therein. They are self-limitations in the unlimited self-being that you always already are. Continue to maintain the right attitude, with the right clarity and openness. The conditions form such that you come to know what you need to know. That’s how the process of relaxation and release of the limited self-being proceeds. With lucidity the opportunities that are always there don’t just pass you by. That certainly happens when you are still stuck somewhere in a limited consciousness. Then you let the possibilities of dissolving, of letting go, pass you by. In the silence of clarity everything increases: the sound of the rain, the sound of silence, and so on. Everything cooperates. It happens by itself, but only if you are open. In the openness you re-affirm that that’s true. You experience that you can trust in this and that you don’t have to control everything in a personal ‘I’-way.

So the first step on the spiritual path is the withdrawal to the position of the observer: remain there, alert and relaxed, observing what happens; nothing else. It’s very simple. When you have heard and practiced this a few times, you quickly get the idea that you know it well. Go towards yourself there until you know it well enough. Has the shift or expansion really happened so that you permanently have the position of the observer? If your center of gravity is permanently located there, that’s great. Then we don’t need to talk any more about it. But it is a first step. In the last years of his life Nisargadatta said: “I’m not talking about that any more, that belongs to nursery school (kindergarten).” It is the first step. But if this step is truly consciously taken, then you can remain in this openness. That first step is crucial and decisive. But that step will need to be very concrete. This reality of the great insight space will need to be as concrete and real as the material world of everyday life.

In the first phase you still have to deal with conditions, with a form of a limited ‘I’ that does something, that can do something. You shouldn’t pass this by too quickly. That certainly happens to most of the people interested in Advaita. They think they have nothing to do with it because “after all, you can’t really do anything.” They say this even though they haven’t clearly stabilized on the level of the observer, let alone recognized that a further development is possible. You will need to accept what your situation is and to what extent you can still act. You will need to consciously take distance towards the position of the observer.

So you have to be very honest with yourself. If something isn’t completely open, no judgment is necessary. You just confirm it. That’s a good starting point for further observation, for returning to the more expansive form of consciousness. If the limited forms are still quite stubborn, confirm it every time. When you continuously accept these limitations as they apparently are you notice that they begin to dissolve. That’s possible because a greater space is already there. In that space everything can dissolve. But every limitation must certainly first be recognized as something that will have to dissolve. When you set something aside or shut it out, it will avenge itself sooner or later.

Everything will need to come into the light before a definitive change can take place. Something can only dissolve after you first clearly confirm and then accept it. Only after you truly accept something, can you also let it go. That acceptance can only come from a wider sphere of yourself. When you don’t accept it you hold it tensely at a fixed distance. When you accept it, it is literally allowed to un-fold. That chunk of energy in which tension and restriction existed is now allowed to develop and that means that the energy fills the entire space. When the energy fills the space, the cluster dissolves.

I describe all this in such a way so that you can mentally understand it, because it’s logical. But it’s not about solving problems on the level of the problem. An attempt like that just goes on ad infinitum. Problems only dissolve when there is a more expansive sphere in which they can dissolve.

There is also a feeling side. An accepting consciousness is full of love and trust. If you have already experienced that process a number of times you only need to confirm it: yes, it’s already been like this a few times before, so I can trust in it and accept it unproblematically. But extract the consequences: this is clear to me, I have had these experiences, just let it continue in a good way. Of course, I can return to that problematic position but it only leads to more anxiety and suffering. More love comes to you as well as to others through greater trust. You speak of compassion on the level of the observer. That is not the pity of an ‘I’-person whose pity has a self interest. Compassion is from a higher level. But just recognize that it already exists in your openness to the problematic situation. These are things that perhaps are extremely sensitive, but you can just let them be, in your own experience. It can continue on from here. Is that clear? Before you proceed further towards non-duality, you must learn well the lesson from kindergarten.