Archive for October, 2013

The sword of clear insight
October 27, 2013

Advaita Post Volume 14 No 19


Text Satsang

An Advaita talk with Douwe Tiemersma, Gouda, January 25, 2006

The sword of clear insight

Yes, it is a strange combination: groundless relaxation and yet within it an exceptional sharpness. An endless relaxation on the razor’s edge. Relaxation is often associated with a little fading off. Of course it’s nice, you rest from it, just like a good night’s sleep, but when the relaxation period is over, just like when sleep is over, life goes on in the same way as before. If anything is going to really change then there will need to be something else in that relaxation: a sharp clarity, a presence of mind. In this endlessly deep relaxation there is no ‘I do’ anymore. This presence of mind is free of such an ‘I’-center. From there anything can happen, spontaneously, just like that. Or nothing can happen. Do you see that this is an original sphere which precedes all activity and inactivity? That is your own original nature and so you can stay there in a conscious way. In this source-ness nothing happens, but everything emerges from it. What does emerge from it emerges spontaneously, without an ‘I’ forming itself who says ‘I do this’. The things that happen happen by themselves.

It’s difficult to let that sharp clarity remain present while relaxation continues. But it is possible. You can begin to experience it for yourself. All those phenomena which arise from the origin are not separate from you. In that sense, you remain the self of all. Despite the forms, there is non-duality, apparently there is no duality. Is that clear for everyone? If you’ve lost it, then look again at that relaxation and clarity. In that clarity you affirm: in this relaxed sphere there is absolutely no duality. Get to know it better and better. You can try out how it works for yourself. When you are at rest in yourself you affirm both the relaxation and the clarity. Just that can deepen it, this relaxed clarity radicalizes itself. When there is 100 % relaxation while there is also 100 % clarity: that is yourself. Then you can also affirm that there’s absolutely no duality any longer, there are no real oppositions anymore.  Is there an opposition between head and heart? No. Between ‘I’ and the other? No.  Between inner and outer? No. Between man and God? No. Between being and not-being? No.

Are there tools for remaining alert? Milarepa put toothpicks under his fingernails ….

Yes, it’s possible to do it like that. But recognize this sharp clarity, that incredibly clear sphere, like a cold, frosty night without clouds. The stars twinkle and a slight sound is remarkably clear. And that still a hundred times stronger. Do you see that most people, and probably to some extent yourself, move about in a dreamlike sleep, while saying they’re awake? You only have to see how this sphere looks when you’re drawn first this way and then that. Do you see that those circles infinitely recur? Until the sword of clear insight comes and cuts the whole thing wide open. Then you see how that whole mechanism which traps you again and again in your own constructions works. If that wakefulness isn’t there, then you can do everything, you can surrender to all kinds of spiritual practices – but you see, it doesn’t matter because the attachments and the dream continues. So take a strict look at yourself, to what’s not yet totally clear, see what’s blocking it, what’s going wrong there. Everyone has that possibility. Why? Why do you have the possibility of becoming more aware of that? Doesn’t everyone have this possibility of increasing their own awareness, of taking another look at their own situation? Why is that?

Because you are that.

Yes, you are already that. This was an easy riddle.



Awareness and feeling will have to come together
October 13, 2013

Advaita Post, Volume 14 No. 18


Text Satsang

An Advaita talk with Douwe Tiemersma, Hoorneboeg , October 6, 2007

Awareness and feeling will have to come together

Just like people who have drunk too much as well as with the lyrical mystics, you see the limitations of that situation. They can no longer function in everyday life. A drunken man thinks he can walk along the bridge railing – but look out. Sooner or later the mystic will experience the problem of a confrontation between the spacious realm and that of the on-going realities of daily life. One way or another, these two things will have to come back together again. When you use a particular means to enter into that spacious realm, and then later that means peters out, then you’re back in the old state once again. It was a good experience because there weren’t any worries; it was spacious and so it was positive. But because it’s experienced as positive, there’s a tendency to use that same means again. In this way it becomes an addiction. It’s about dependence on something external. When there is something external which makes this transition possible, for example to a more spacious open feeling, then there’s a great danger that you become addicted to it. The same is also true of the teacher. There too, the same thing can happen when he or she is seen as something external. Always stay aware of this danger.


What do you mean “of the teacher”?

The teacher can function like a drug if you become dependent on him to give you your orientation. Of course, at a given stage it can be extremely useful but a teacher is nothing more than a temporary means. He or she is probably a better drug than most other drugs, because a teacher – least if they have a little ability – will point the student towards self-reliance. And most drugs don’t do that. When you see someone who is quite drunk and you are sober – what’s most clearly apparent? Their limitation of consciousness. That’s the other side of it. It’s wonderful to go along singing Hallelujah with the Pentecostal church. Fantastic, it works and brings about an expansion, but why are you so reluctant to join in? You’re sober and you see the limitation therein. That doesn’t detract from the experience that people have there, but you certainly see the limitations for the people who lock themselves into a particular experiential, imaginary world. When you see it from a distance with a more expansive consciousness, you can see that it’s a limited consciousness. The same is true in your own experience. When you go along with something like that, it increasingly concerns limitation and restriction, not only in the world of feeling but also in consciousness. The dangers and disadvantages of intoxication can only be prevented by being aware. You experience limitation from a larger consciousness. Even though it may feel fully open and unlimited that will only truly be so unless consciousness is also there. If there’s no consciousness in it then it will be limited once again before you know it. So clearly, awareness and feelings will need to come together.

( … )

At a certain point you have the knowledge: that’s how it works, when I orient myself like this then it goes that direction. That’s the only thing you can do. By itself, consciousness is powerless, empty. The world can continue, energies can continue. Consciousness stands on its own. It can provide for this space, but consciousness itself remains empty. By itself it only has this knowingness, but the question is whether this knowingness is sufficient for releasing all the remnants of identification. Then still it will just need to extract itself once again from this identification: the feeling.

When there is surrender, then does it go by itself?

When it does proceed by itself then we don’t even speak about surrender because it goes by itself. Period. If there’s absolutely no problem there’s a direct recognition and then there’s nothing more than this non-dual sphere. When you speak of surrender then you’ve already got something which emanates from an ‘I’-person. In that case everything has already become much more expansive and still a surrender needs to take place. Of whom? Apparently of the person who is experienced and who realizes: now I must totally release this last piece, this center of that ‘I’. That can just spontaneously happen.