Archive for March, 2013

The original light
March 24, 2013

Advaita Post, Volume 14, No. 6

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An Advaita talk with Douwe Tiemersma Gouda, November 15, 2000

The original light

It’s good to reflect further on the statement: “You are That.” What is That? It has to do with that which is totally ungraspable, which precedes all forms, which is beyond all forms. You can approach with specific meditations. You can, for example, take a few steps back, expanding your attention behind you. Or: when you look, mostly you look at things and then it’s closed off. But you can also see through and beyond things and in this way contemplate infinity. You can have a sense of what lies beyond all these forms and is nevertheless their basis. When you just withdraw far enough and enter into this source of yourself, you encounter a great light which creates the possibility for anything at all to appear. If something is to appear only light is needed. There must to be a luminous space in which something can appear. Externally you get the absolute on the world-side, the object side. Internally at a certain point you get that absolute on the ‘I’-side, the subject-side. You can imagine it as the sphere of the universe. Whenever you go far enough you come to the edge of the universe. Whenever you withdraw far enough you also come to the edge. In both directions you become aware of the space in which the realm of the universe exists, that which supports the universe. There’s nothing to say about it: only the things that fall within the universe, that exist for us, these things we can speak of. Within, there is a certain space, a certain time. There are things, there are words, but when you come to the edge all that is going to shift. You get a sense of the space which lies beyond it. So about that there’s nothing to be said. The last thing you can still say is that it’s a great bright light, that it’s the space in which everything appears. It’s an incredibly bright light, even brighter than lightning. You can focus on that, to the extent it still retains a particular quality. When you focus on it then it increasingly becomes your own sphere. So that means that all the old forms of your own identity disappear. The incredibly great on the world side, that which makes the world possible, that ultimate, you also discover within you when you return to the source of yourself. In both directions you come to this border region with the absolute and that is one unity. That is you. You are that.

Therefore, what’s important is the opening of the attention. There is an intuitive sense of this ultimate openness. When you remain within it, then this openness works through. When you close it back up you’re completely back within your own little world, both on the world side as well as the self-side, on the side of the ‘I’-person in the world. So what you can do is exercise this attitude of openness. And then just let everything happen. You should just see what happens then! When there is no resistance, no more cramping, then the process goes very fast. Then you’re no longer fixed onto all those forms of yourself, they dissolve. You see how limited it all is and you experience that Great. It has always, already been there but you have completely gone along with that cramping impulse towards a particular center, and through that, have closed yourself off from that Great. So continually see where you have limited yourself. Let everything remain open. When you have a sense of that highest as a very bright light, then let that bright light completely enter you. Let yourself and that light completely coincide. Just take a look at what happens when you actually coincide with that great light. The forms that still remain are not resistant to that bright light, this space. They dissolve. What’s left over? You are that: that original light. Every time there is a tendency to fix yourself somewhere: an immediate impulse should recur of: no, the light.

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You are everything
March 10, 2013

Advaita Post, Volume 14 No. 5

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Text satsang

An Advaita talk with Douwe Tiemersma Gouda, August 30, 2006

You are everything

If you experience the infinity of your own consciousness just once, you realize it’s obvious that the process will continue, because consciousness itself is simply infinite. When you let go, a natural situation arises that is infinitely spacious. So let it proceed. Only then do you come to yourself. Coming to yourself means: prior to all the possible forms in time and space, prior to time and space. There are many elements that are important in this movement towards the natural situation: dedication, trust, surrender. But the clarity of consciousness – insight – is the most important. When clarity disappears, all the old patterns come to the fore once again all too easily.

When the clarity and the space of consciousness remain, then it’s clear what you are and what you are not. You’ll have to confirm that for yourself. Becoming aware of that endlessness and letting go within it, that’s surrender. You have always been that openness. Only now the ignorance disappears. The fog lifts. And even if the mists and clouds don’t disappear right away, you still have the opportunity to return to a position above the clouds. Everyone who has ever sat in a Boeing knows it: then you’re above the weather. Then there can even be a thunder cloud below, but it doesn’t matter. So you see that what you perceive depends on your point of view. When you take on a limited stance, let’s say a low position, then you know that you’re ‘in the weather’ and that you have to deal with the alternation of rain and sun, with mood swings. If you’re going to stay above, then it’s clear there and remains so. Below you have all the different weather conditions with low and high pressure zones, all of which is unpredictable. You see it and you can release it. Therefore, everything goes by itself. Of course everything continues, but you have released it. That’s the natural situation.

Fundamentally, you are the clarity in which these phenomena arise and that’s why you can release them. Life goes on in this great whole and it is one great whole of energies and forces. But you’re not staring blindly at certain things and certainly not diving into any one particular thing. Again: you see that every standpoint has a corresponding world. That taking a standpoint means an identification with yourself, there in that place. Once you have experienced something of this freedom then you’ll also see the relativity of this identification, the illusion contained within it. The world is not an illusion. What is given, is given. Only the belief that it’s the absolute, that you have to worry about it, that you have to work very hard, that’s an illusion. It’s not absolute, if only because it’s temporary.

In returning to this clarity there is a non-duality. You are everything – internally – as first person and still there is the freedom through which everything stays released. So it no longer matters if phenomena are there or not. When there is a creation, there is the richness of creation, the countless forms, it’s an immense wealth. But then also there is the clear being-experience that everything is one. Understand very well what that means. When the world is there, you realize that all is one and that you too are one right along with it. In consciousness it is an understanding, very clear: that’s how it is. On the mental level: a very clear knowledge. On the level of feeling: a feeling of unity, a sense of love. Then in Love you can accept everything as your Self. Just see it clearly, then every doubt disappears, then every resistance disappears. That’s how it is. The fog lifts, no doubts any more. Others can try to convince me otherwise, and I may try to convince myself otherwise, but I’ve seen through it: this is it.

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