Archive for June, 2016

Openings to openness are everywhere
June 3, 2016

Advaita Post, Volume 17 No. 6


Text Satsang


From an Advaita talk with Douwe Tiemersma, Schiermonnikoog, September 8, 2010


Openings to openness are everywhere


You can be aware of your situation, but then also, do become aware of the pure essence of that situation, the core around which it turns, the foundation and most important characteristic of it. This is a tool for getting to the original source very quickly. For example: sitting in your chair. That belongs to your situation. You become aware of yourself: sitting is resting; I rest in the place where I sit. What’s the essence of that? It’s about resting, one hundred percent. Accordingly, all specific aspects of the situation can disappear. All kinds of additional forms of that situation, for example the chair on which you sit, the place where you sit, the time, aren’t so important any more. Resting, one hundred percent, means that all other forms disappear. That means that there’s an endless rest, a relaxation. So you become aware of your situation. Then you become aware of the essence of this situation and you go along with this essence. Another example: when it’s good, you have enjoyed a meal tonight. That’s the situation. You can tell a whole story about it. But it’s about that enjoyment. What is the essence of that enjoyment? That’s a pure, infinite enjoyment. Enter into it. Then there is infinite ananda, bliss. Another example: when you experience a little bit of love for someone or something, what’s the situation? You can describe it. What is the essence of this situation; what is that essence of love? Go into this and you enter into an infinite realm of purified love.


We have frequently come across this working principle: in a certain situation you experience something. There is a subject and there is an object. You orient yourself towards your highest notion, the highest essence which is possible in that situation. So this is no longer on the dualistic level and so from there you can let the distance between yourself as subject and the object drop away. Then there is an internal realization of the highest. In order to let go of that distance, you need to be open to that other – which initially you had experienced at a distance. A loving openness is necessary, a complete acceptance, a dedication, a love for this or that other as for yourself, so that you let it coincide with yourself.


You have openings to openness everywhere, if only you will just see it. So it’s available in the very ordinary things of life, in the ordinary situation. Somewhere in your consciousness you have a notion of self-awareness, but still it is completely conditioned. Nevertheless, you have a notion of what it could mean to be fully present in pure self-awareness. You stay focused on this essence of pure self-consciousness. There is a dedication, a relaxation, a dropping away of the distance, a surrender. This means releasing everything which doesn’t belong there. Then there is the realization: infinite aware being. So your orientation is decisive. On what are you oriented? Are you drawn towards all kinds of incidentals and do you make them terribly important? Then you know that you’re stuck in that situation.


Again: realization is not far away. It’s in the very simple things. When you are together and you’re drinking tea or coffee. It’s cozy. What does it mean that it’s cozy? What’s the essence of this situation? Let it grow, enter into it. In this sphere of coziness, in the good feeling, there is a piece of ananda. That’s the essence. You begin with a situation possessing properties. This situation is still conditioned. When you dedicate yourself to the essence, when you completely surrender to it, it becomes universal, free from conditions. Even you too then are universal, because you no longer hold on to the conditions, you leave them behind.


This is what Plato meant by “ideas” (also called “Forms” in the philosophical literature). Through education, you have learned to look at the ideas. And those who love wisdom, the philosophers, the philo-sophers (lovers of wisdom), have gone through this education. But these “ideas” were not concepts, it was more about the essential form, the essential quality in the sense that we are talking about now. Then, you see the essential qualities lying behind the world of shapes and forms. And when you enter into it, you enter into the world of the highest essential qualities: the beautiful, the true and the good. When you pursue this direction, then you’ll soon come to the universal level of sat-chit-ananda: the “I am” without attributes. That is something in which the special attributes have already disappeared long ago. It’s about this essence of self-being, and that is a self-being without content.


Does sat-chit-ananda always have a feeling quality?


Ananda has a positive feeling quality. But it is a universal quality, a quality of universal being-consciousness. You must stay focused on that until the distance has completely dissolved. That means that it is completely realized, that that is your reality.


You start off with coziness and then finish with infinite coziness. But what if you are starting out from less pleasant things?


Then it’s exactly the same. When you really persevere, then you end up at the origin of everything, both good and bad. Grief, for example, is not such a nice emotion, but when you really dive into the essence of that sadness, it’s going to expand, it becomes universal sorrow. You enter right into the origin and then it becomes still. After a while of crying your heart out and sitting in your grief, it becomes quiet and there’s nothing left.

There’s a story about someone who was always stealing, a real professional thief. He was very good at it. He came to Ramakrishna with the question of how he could achieve liberation. Ramakrishna told him to focus on the essence of that stealing, on the perfection that sits there, in the essence of it. In a short time he was enlightened. Because he took the perfection so seriously, only the Perfection remained. So it doesn’t make a difference if the situation is judged as positive or negative.


In this movement towards the origin, it becomes increasingly subtler, increasingly refined. You have, in Indian terms, three basic qualities, three guna’s. These three guna’s are present on all levels. So you have inertia (tamas), fieriness (rajas) and purity (sattva) on all levels, because they are properties of the whole of nature. On the level of sat-chit-ananda these three guna’s are still there even though it has already become very refined and open. As a whole then it moves increasingly in the direction of a sattvic purity, but the three guna’s remain present up until the end.


Does purity dominate then in those three guna’s?


No, I didn’t say that. Maybe you can put it this way: these three are always present, only the zero value gets shifted so that the total always becomes more sattvic (purer). You don’t have to turn off tamas and rajas, you can never do that. At each level you still have to deal with these energies. As long as there are still energies, then you are still dealing with nature, with the three guna’s. As a whole, it becomes increasingly refined, lighter and in that sense, more sattvic. Then the realization of the absolute as the source of the guna’s is no longer a problem.