Awareness and feeling will have to come together

Advaita Post, Volume 14 No. 18

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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.

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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.

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