Archive for March, 2016

You are everything and still there is freedom, because everything is released
March 6, 2016

Advaita Post Volume 17 No. 4

 

Text Satsang

 

From an Advaita talk with Douwe Tiemersma. Gouda, Retreat day, August 30, 2009, noon

 

Stay aware of what happens with yourself when you start sitting and everything becomes still. See what happens when you let that proceed. The expansion of your own self-being proceeds all by itself when you remain in the consciousness-space. Even when there is just a little piece of consciousness, the opening proceeds infinitely. Consciousness always remains greater than what is given: the form, the phenomenon, the field. When the field increases, you always experience yourself in your consciousness more expansively. When your consciousness becomes infinitely great, these forms are going to dissolve all by themselves in this great space. That process of opening and dissolving proceeds infinitely.

Once you have experienced the infinity of your own consciousness, you realize that it’s obvious that that process continues, because consciousness simply is infinite. So let it proceed. Only then will you come to your natural self. That self points towards That which precedes all possible forms of-and-in space and time.

When the clarity of consciousness disappears, the old patterns come to the fore all too easily. That’s why it’s necessary that the clarity remains, the space of consciousness. Then it’s clear what you are not and what you truly are. You’ll have to consistently affirm that for yourself. You’ll have to dedicate yourself to it. Sometimes the development goes slowly, sometimes very quickly. But there’s always the recognition: my self-being as consciousness is infinite and not dependent on space and time. Letting everything go within it, that’s surrender. In fact, you have been this openness all along. It’s only the ignorance that disappears.

 

The mists arise. But even if the mists and clouds don’t directly disappear, you always have the possibility of returning to the space above the clouds. Everyone who has made a transcontinental flight understands that then you are above the weather. Below there can still be a thunder cloud, but it doesn’t matter. So recognize that what you perceive depends upon your point of view. When you take up a ‘lower’ position, you know that you’re ‘in the weather’ and that you have to deal with the alterations of rain and sun, with the changing of your own weather, your moods. But when you rise a little bit above, you see that the air is clear and remains so. Below you might still have weather conditions with areas of high and low pressure. All of that can’t be predicted, even by the national weather service. But you see it and you can let it go. Then there is a natural situation. That’s how it goes in life: there’s rain and there’s sunshine. But you let it go.

 

As consciousness you are the clear space in which the phenomena come and go. This indicates that these phenomena are not different from yourself and that you are not absorbed by them. Life is one great whole of energies and forces. You are that life, but you’re not obsessed by it and you’re not completely absorbed by it either. You do that when you take up a position there within. That means an identification with yourself, there, in that place. Then the free space is gone.

 

Once you’ve experienced something of freedom then you see the relativity of the world and of life – and you see the danger of illusion which sits therein. The world and life are not an illusion. The belief that this world and that life are absolute, that everything within it is so serious that everything there depends on it, that’s an illusion. The world is not absolute, simply because it’s a temporal world.

 

In the clarity there is non-duality. You are everything – internally – as first person and yet there is freedom, because everything is released. Then it no longer matters whether there are phenomena or not. When there is a creation there is the immense wealth and splendor of that creation. Then there’s also the clear being-experience that everything is one. Understand well what that means. When the world is there and you realize that everything is one, then it means that you are also one with it.

 

In your consciousness that insight is very clear: that’s how it is. On the mental level there is a definitive knowledge. On the emotional level there is a feeling of unity, a feeling of love. Then through love you can accept everything as your Self. Just see it clearly, then every doubt disappears, every resistance disappears. The fog lifts. You affirm: that’s how it is.

 

When you stay sitting on a mental level, questions and problems will constantly arise. If you are going to start naming all kinds of things apart, bringing on separations, making separate concepts of them and then absolutizing these concepts, then yes, you won’t get it. Then, for example, the relation between the body and the mind is an unthinkable question. When it concerns human beings and the environment, and first you want to make a separation between nature and human beings in order to dominate and manipulate, then yes, you’re going to have difficulties. Internally there is no separation. There is one whole of being, of life. If you’re first going to create a concept of God and then a concept of man, there will be all kinds of theological problems which have kept people busy for millennia. Because then what about the ‘divine man’, someone like Jesus? Islam is consistent. There it is said: “There is an absolute separation between man and God. Jesus was just a prophet.” But when you let go of all that conceptualization and just stick with your own experience, then you’ll have to conclude that there simply are no boundaries between what at first was (conceived of as) so separated. You can see that in the great religions there’s always a certain sense of that Original. But all these different forms of conceptualizing and then the absolutizing of them continue to create problems.

 

In Christianity, if a person imagines that he is God, it’s called a great sin. Of course, that’s right. Be honest. Only when there’s absolutely no more separations, is there the complete love that mystical union means.

 

Stay clearly aware, that’s the only thing that you can do. As soon as dullness strikes, you pick back up on the old patterns. When you remain clear, the original non-duality manifests itself.

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Expansion, care and indifference
March 1, 2016

Advaita Post, Volume 17 No. 3

 

Text Satsang

 

From an Advaita talk with Douwe Tiemersma, Gouda, retreat day morning, August 30, 2009

 

Expansion, care and indifference

 

Everyone has the ability to be aware of themselves in the situation in which they find themselves. Just let that happen now. Then you see yourself sitting. With this reflection, you are aware not only of the situation, but also of yourself in the greater ​​space of consciousness. And that greater space is the condition in which the process of expansion continues! Your consciousness-standpoint is the situation through which you become aware of yourself anew. Thus, becoming aware sits directly in yourself: become spacious. Experientially, it is very simple, when you go along with it. You become aware of the relaxation, the silence, the expansion, and still, you remain aware of yourself. The relaxation continues, the release continues, the space continues, but there is always this greater space of your own consciousness. That is the precondition or the engine through which the process of expansion proceeds. And that just continues.

Take a look and see where that goes. Your horizon is getting wider, ever wider, until you confirm at a certain point that there is an infinite cosmic space. Then immediately you establish: apparently my own consciousness is infinite. And that is a very simple determination.

Now, when that’s clear, it means that no single limited situation can grab hold of you, in the sense of enclosing. No, just because you are infinite. Isn’t that free-being unenclosable by anything else? You are free!

Every situation is finite. You are always more than that finite. So you are not subject to anything that ends. When you go along with it, then it’s clear. So simple; clear as day.

 

Is it wise to be indifferent toward limited things? Yesterday I experienced a fogginess and an indifference.

 

Always take another look and see: apparently this is my current situation now, with this mood and that feeling. That is a given and you have to accept it. Only then do you ask yourself the question: what about myself? Oh yes, space; there is a space greater than the realm of moods and feelings, including those of indifference. So that signifies an expansion in a vertical sense.

On a personal level, you are thinking: there must be something other than indifference. I have to do something about it. No, here it’s not about changes on the horizontal level. Just leave that open. Just take everything as it is. And then it turns out that, due to the presence of space, everything will become organized by itself, in the best possible way.

You really don’t have to interfere with all those psychological conditions – not with the feeling states, not with the mental states – precisely not. When you come to yourself, you see: all of these things resolve by themselves. That’s very beautiful. You don’t have to worry about it! For example, the body takes care of itself. When it’s cold, it puts on clothes. When it’s hungry, then it’s going to eat. When there’s a need for a chat, then there will be a chat. No need to look around for it! You remain with yourself, in your original nature.

You have to take a look at the ‘normal’ state. There is so much care in it – concern and worry. Thinking always recurs: now this must happen, because otherwise … This happens because thinking is ‘I’-centered; the importance of the me is the most common basis for feelings and the motivations for action.

But you see how much this care constitutes a limitation to your self-being. The more care, the more you limit yourself. The less care, the more freedom and joy. No worries at all … See how easy it is. And that’s precisely because there is no ‘I’-care; instead there is an open stance for everything and everyone.

 

Other people worry about that fact that I no longer worry about myself. How should I handle that?

 

Well, now you’re really worried, about others who might worry, because you’re not. And that you should do something about it. Do you see the complexity? Keep it simple. You can rest assured that that’s also the best for others.

 

You are going to interpret it again on a personal level. When a person has indifference, what do you get? An indifferent person. I’m not talking about things on that level. It’s about becoming aware of yourself as free-being. That means that there is non-duality, also that you are everything and everyone. From that perspective, everything will happen in a good way. When a person says, just let everything go, then others are going to be worried. But when they discover that something else is going on and that within that everything seems to flow in an open easy manner, then it’s a completely different situation. Precisely because in the non-duality, you are this other, too. Whatever happens in the world then, will just be the best of what’s possible, because there is no self-interest any more.

 

To a certain extent thinking about it is still possible and then that’s quite logical, too. The less people are stuck in an ‘I’ with self-interest, the better it is. That’s logical. So you can understand it this far on the mental level, too. But don’t stay with just thinking it, it’s about realizing it.

 

Once you have had this being-experience of free-being, you clearly see how much the cramps and identification with this person and that body is the plague of the whole situation, not just for yourself but also for others. Always this cramping, that suffering … and then you see that it’s completely unnecessary. It’s absurd. It’s masochistic.

 

When I notice that my cramping hurts someone else, isn’t it better to investigate the cramping instead of going straight into the expansive spaciousness?

 

When you do that as a person, you are going to search psychologically. But does the situation really change from that fundamental cramp out of which this difficult situation arose in the first place? No, because you remain with the person who has this cramp. At best, you might gain a little more insight into the conditions. But the fundamental problem is not solved that way.

 

There is but one solution: letting go of the level on which the problem arises. The core of the problem is duality, the ‘I’ in opposition to the other, which the ‘I’ fears. When the duality dissolves, the sting is out and the cramping dissolves by itself. So keep it simple, right from the start. When you say: first this must happen and then that must happen, you’re not done yet.

 

No, see the simplicity directly: I return to myself in relaxation, silence and opening. Just let it proceed. Even if there are disturbances now and then it does not matter, just so long as you let the ‘I’-am expansion continue. At a certain point there is nothing left to say …