Insight only on the level of consciousness is still not realization

Advaita Post, Volume 16, no. 3

Text Satsang

An advaita talk with Douwe Tiemersma, Schiermonnikoog, June 20, 2012

Insight only on the level of consciousness is still not realization

Many people have difficulty with the transition from the observer’s point of view to a totally open sphere of infinite being. We have already established that this transition will happen by itself because there is no ‘I’ any longer that can do something. But that naturally occurring process will only take place when you have truly stabilized on the level of the observer. When you’re easily distracted, you’re right back on the mental or material point of view. So stay in the spacious sphere of that observing consciousness. Of course too, that consciousness is already infinite, but there’s still always an observer’s standpoint and an object space in which things appear.

You will have to to remain on level of the observer for a long time until you become aware of yourself anew there and the process proceeds. That only happens when it is the most important thing to you. When other things are more important, your attention is focused there and then there’s a concentrated, focused form of consciousness. Invariably when you have become distracted by something in the outside world or internally in your mind, you have the old situation again of restriction, in which you’re stuck to a restricted location. Gradually you come to know the value of remaining on the level of the observer. When you have recognized how important and valuable it is, then you can stay there continually. That is then the most important for you. The further release then goes by itself.

Many people find this very interesting, it fits into their lifestyle, but fundamentally nothing changes. If something fundamental is to change it will need to be total. What does that mean? It will need to totally come to the fore. I can point it out and then it remains to be seen whether it happens. But I can say that those who have ever really gone along with this process of total breakthrough had that attitude. Because that was the most important, the rest could fall away. Despite all the interest in advaita the number of those who have actually continued with it is very small – because it requires everything. Who is ready for that? It will just be apparent. So it has everything to do with your orientation. This sphere of orientation is more important than the content of your actions within that sphere. The way in which you are and the way in which you do things is more important than what you do. At a certain point it no longer matters what you do. But you will certainly need to be totally present in that process.

Could you go a little more deeply into the importance of insight and total involvement?

Primarily, insight will need to be there, the recognition of what’s most important to you. You have gotten to know it, but at the outset it’s not present in a stable way. When you remain lucid, it can stabilize. Through this you receive a greater view on the level of clear insight: This. It doesn’t happen on the level of mental consciousness. Mental consciousness is always mediated by all kinds of ideas, thoughts, words, patterns. You withdraw and you see these patterns from the level of insight. From there you directly establish what’s important and what’s not. You’re not reasoning from the mental level. Ask yourself: what about myself? This sphere with this external view through which I see everything, this is my most important attitude. What I see is much less important than the way in which I see it. I am consciousness on the level of insight.

Of course, there is also a feeling side. Clear consciousness by itself doesn’t have that much force. Something can certainly be confirmed, but it will have to become total. The whole feeling sphere will have to go along with it. You can say a hundred times that you are not the body, but whether that’s actually realized remains to be seen. When the body falters and the end is in sight, then do you so easily say: of course, my own being isn’t dependent on what happens to the body? Insight only on the level of consciousness is still not realization. It will have to concern all aspects of yourself. It will need to be a very concrete experience. Of course the daily life can continue more or less in the old way, reasonably adapted to society, although a crack is always possible. But however it goes, your real interest, your real attention, your heart lies there with the reality of the Great being-awareness. And of course that doesn’t correspond with what is commonplace in society. When you are grasped by this open sphere then the importance of everything else lapses. They become relative with respect to the One which then functions as the center.

This spacious sphere becomes the framework within which phenomena arise and can be accepted, in which life goes on. We all want to live together in a good way. Everyone agrees with that. What does that ‘good’ mean for co-existence? It means that there is feeling for each other and a togetherness. On a certain level there are no separations, there is a non-duality. Don’t focus on all the details in which we differ but focus yourself increasingly on this non-duality. Then you will feel in contact with it and this sphere will become steadily stronger. That doesn’t mean that everything is the same, but there is a fundamental goodness, a unity which carries everything. That will become very clear when you relinquish your standpoint as the observer.


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