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