Archive for February, 2015

The basic unity in every situation
February 1, 2015

Advaita Post Volume 16, No. 2

Text Satsang

From an advaita talk with Douwe Tiemersma, Schiermonnikoog, February 6, 2005

The basic unity in every situation

With most spiritual traditions it’s about learning to see and experience certain things. These can be beautiful experiences or great truths. But when the person who has these experiences stays more or less the same, what’s really changed? The experiences can be important for the person, so the person remains. In Advaita it’s about a realization that is so radical that everything changes. The insight that breaks through means that a totally different situation arises. There is an insight of how it is, while at the same time, there is an actualization of that newness. Both go together. If you want to stick to a certain place and attempt to understand everything from there, things may become a bit clearer mentally, but it goes no further. You can learn many wise things, but if it stays with: “I know it”, “I find that important”, “Now I know that”, then you get a head full of wisdom while the old situation remains essentially the same. So you can fill up all the bookshelves in your head, but it doesn’t do much. It’s about the complete realization of the absence of the old ‘I’-person, the absence of the ‘I’-person who says, “I think”, “I know”, “I understand”. It’s about that ‘I’ disappearing.

The ‘I’ is a set of self-images, stories and cramps. They are just stories, it’s just a little piece of tension. When you relax, there’s just nothing left. You walk on the beach, the sea, the blue sky and there’s no person to be seen. Actually, this situation is always already there. It’s just that when you hold onto all kinds of things in your head, an ‘I’ gets recreated. When these wrong images disappear, when these contractions disappear, it’s lucid. See how easily this lucidity is disrupted when you create certain images. It clouds the view and narrows the consciousness. When the grasping after those images ceases, it’s all clear again. It’s that simple. That grasping has to do with the creation of boundaries. That is the basis of all suffering. When the grasping disappears, everything is open and lucid; there is no boundary to be seen. For so long as things continue, they happen by themselves. There is no ‘I’ that has to do anything.

But you can’t force that, can you? Doesn’t it just happen to you?

It’s a question of looking. You look and see: there’s absolutely no ‘I’. It’s artificial to bring in all sorts of ideas there. When you let go of all that artificiality there’s no person to be found. You have to think about it in order to create a person again with all kinds of ideas about characteristics, functions, locations, etc… When you just let go of all that, it’s gone. Then, at most, they are phenomena that come and go. They remain light and transparent. There’s no clumping together of something that wants to maintain itself. When these clots dissolve, what’s left over? Temporary energetic phenomena in the great space. It’s a game. So too, reciprocally: don’t restrict one another. Because you don’t just restrict yourself internally, but in relationships, too. All kinds of images are projected onto a particular place with a particular name. Partially, you take that on. Also partially not, and then you emanate: I’ll just show you who I am. Then you get the situation of relationships and individuals who try to hold themselves and each other down to a particular place. When you create separations you need all kinds of external rules in order to keep the ball rolling. Then there can be many ideals, but if the starting point is wrong, the suffering remains. Actually, it’s much more like a sea with waves. A small wave rises and a moment later it’s gone again and then other wavelets arise. There is just one ocean and some wavelets arise there, but the basic unity remains.

Then wouldn’t you be completely unable to communicate with one another? When you use words, immediately there are all kinds of images.

Of course, that’s how it goes, but these are all things that disappear again too. Of course, the chatter about this and that is all nonsense. You shouldn’t make it more important than it is. But what’s it really about? We enjoy being together and so we say something now and then. What we say doesn’t matter that much. The underlying connection doesn’t depend on talk. It wouldn’t be so good if that was the case. So when you talk, don’t restrict the other in images. When it’s a relationship that rests on this deeper connection, something can be said now and then and then it’s good. You can be quiet and then it’s also good.


So it’s best to stay with your own openness.


That’s the most important. That should be very clear, in every situation. Because every situation has the tendency to harden. Especially in reciprocal discussions, in communication, in relationships, it happens very easily and subtly. It’s not just on the level of the sentences that you speak, it also happens quite directly on the emotional level, on the energetic level. When you stay with yourself, when you remain completely open, then you see a change in your environment. Then something has changed, not only in yourself in relation to this cramp, but you see that the whole situation has changed through this openness. Then the old things just aren’t so important anymore. When you are open, this basic unity is there. You don’t even have a clear center anymore. Then it doesn’t matter anymore if a particular energy comes towards a particular body, you don’t feel attacked by it because you’re not closed in there. If, for example, some aggression comes towards you and you begin to laugh from out of that openness, that aggression is immediately gone.