What happens when everything disappears?

Advaita Post Volume 14 No. 16


Text satsang

From an Advaita talk with Douwe Tiemersma ,Gouda, October 27, 2004

What happens when everything disappears?

That transition is always very striking. You are chatting with each other and then suddenly: stop. Then you can be aware of everything that you bring with you to that conversation. Because everything that you bring with you means tension. When it’s quiet everything can disappear. Just notice that disappearance. What would happen if everything were to disappear? What happens then?

Nothing remains.

Wrong answer.

(Someone else) Openness.

Wrong answer.

(Someone else) It’s just temporary.

Wrong answer.

(Someone else) There’s only spirit left.

Wrong answer.


What happens when everything really disappears? And then you keep talking from out of that fullness! Take a more precise look. What does it mean when the last I-tension falls away? What about the I-tension, the I-heaviness, the separation between inside and outside? See the possibility of the I-tension, this I-weight, that separation falling away. When you see that I-tension somewhere then you can imagine what it means when it drops. You see that that little I has no chance to survive in that space. Just imagine what it means when you forget that little I, that it’s resolved into space, such that it never returns. Experience that it’s a complete surrender. Stay clear. Whenever you are not present then you have that ‘I’ back before you know it and without you being aware of it. In that transition remain aware of the absolute space in which everything dissolves, in that absolute black hole into which everything sinks. Let this absolute dimension remain open. Otherwise it remains a limited, lethargic state. Is there anything that’s still unclear?

Everything still forms into words, ideas.

The point is that you can see these concretions anew with their I-tensions. When the absolute really breaks it open somewhere, when that really happens, then that dimension doesn’t disappear anymore. And that breaking-open continues to function. That’s not something you do, it happens. The only problem is when you become distracted and completely dive back in somewhere so that you build up imaginary walls around it once again, so that you are so concentrated on other things that that other is pushed away. When you have the slightest experience that that absolute is key then this won’t happen. Do you see the essence of surrender? It’s a complete forgetfulness of everything that was of importance to your ‘I’.

Your question was: what happens when everything disappears.


Nothing, of course.

Sure, but look out for your words.

It’s very clear what I’m saying.

Be careful with words.

Of course there is no answer to that question.

There is only one possible answer to that question.

No. That ‘I’ who should answer the question is gone, of course. That’s no longer there. So the question disappears.

There is only one answer.

What is it then?

I asked you.

I can’t give the answer, because if everything is gone, then the one who can give the answer is also gone.

You’re doing quite a bit of talking.

But you asked me.

Yes, and I hoped for the correct answer.

And if I try to give it than I’m doing quite a bit of talking.

Right. Because you are trying to give it.

Aha, so silence is the right answer.


So there is no answer.

There is.

So I can’t think of an answer.

Then you are already one step closer.

I ‘m a step closer when I can’t think about it?

No, when you say it like that.

So the answer lies beyond thinking.

Just one step further.

And I can’t find the answer with thinking, of course not, because it’s beyond thinking. So thinking must remain silent in order to find the answer.

That was the further step.

That was the answer?

That’s still no answer. It’s a small step further in the direction of a response.

But everything that I’m saying is dual, is from the mind. So thinking teaches me that thinking can’t find the answer. Thinking should become silent and then there’s nothing more to say.

And then you come to the point.

To not say anything anymore?

When you don’t say anything anymore, then it might happen.

Then the search stops.

So just for once just stay there.

One is speechless …

Notice how many things disappear around that absolute. When that really manifests we could be sitting here for maybe a couple hundred years. Time disappears. When time returns you notice: time is tension. Because something must be projected: time and something that is spun out within it.

I am experiencing an opening in which everything disappears, but …


… But it doesn’t just continue. Time returns, as it were.

The important thing is that the other dimension just remains open.

That’s always there. But it’s like standing on the edge of a knife.

That is a time period in which  you have to stay incredibly alert so as not to get caught, so that it closes back up again.



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