Steven, I know there is a whole lot more you can talk about. I know because you told me some. And I notice I benefit very much from it. Why don’t you put all that just out on the website?
That is because you first have to know the basics and be able to apply it well. If you are a violin student and you can’t yet play a scale very well, then I can give you Tchaikovski’s violin concerto – and that will probably excite you immensely –, but it won’t serve you very well. Then all you will learn is believing that there is an valid excuse for ignoring the basics.
You can only step from where you stand. Everything else is dreaming about walking in some place where you are not.
Only if and when you have learned to really walk, so to step from where you are actually standing, only then it makes sense to start telling about the rest, for then you need to develop a sense of direction. So then you must know more about where you are, and where you want to go and why.
The difficulty is that we all start with this feeling we already know where we are and where we want to go and how to apply the essentials, and we all want to be supported with doing so. Of course, this won’t work. For that reason, uncompromised honesty with ourselves, rooted in a genuine love of truth, is the first thing we need to develop. From there a dedication to truth will arise naturally, which includes the willingness to always re-examine your basic points of view.
We really don’t like to hear our cherished points of view are only half-truths, or even no truth at all. This is always loaded with an enormous amount of instinctive resistance. So the first thing we need to learn is dealing with this resistance and defensiveness in a sane and conscious way, instead of letting ourselves be led by it.
If someone is clearly able to do so, then I love to tell all I know. However, I always have to assess this individually first, and that is why I don’t put it out on the web.
“I’m as problem-free as it gets, except for one teeny tiny detail that is the problem of not understanding why mind works in certain ways. My whole spiritual obsession has revolved around this. I guess it’s just humbling to say “I dunno”, but something screams inside “I HAS GOT TO KNOW!” ￼
Steven: “Believing to know is just believing… but sometimes very practical. I don’t know if gravity next minute will change direction. I can’t know that, but i choose to believe it will just remain downward. And that seems to work.
But the whole word ‘knowing’ doesn’t really mean anything much as long as we mean ‘getting to understand via the thinking mind’. Then all you know is your thinking.
That is why it is a journey in consciousness
A scientist knows atoms a science by studying them from the apparent (!) outside.
However, a spiritually aware mystic has found the way to study it from the inside, by BEING the atoms and laws of physics.
That is Knowing – being aware of your Being’s perception of experience, not just your mind’s. Your mind’s experience is just another part of the whole experience.
Q: “omg that probably means I will have to stop asking so many questions.”
Steven: “Asking questions just from the mind won’t get you very far. It is just the mind’s obsession with trying to get control, which it will never have.
However, the soul, your Being, can sometimes use the mind to to help integrating His/Your perception into into the human level. If the human mind surrenders and cooperates, then that is living the enlightened life.
Then the human mind can become an instrument of your Being, instead of itself. So, the art is honouring that, your Being’s intentions and aspirations. That is what “Thy will be done” actually means.
So, rather than recommending to stop asking questions, I’d recommend to see that those questions just try to satisfy the curiosity and hunger of the mind and its intentions to exert control, and see that all that is a distraction of recognising the whispers of your Being and cooperating with them. See it happening.
There is no Heart in those thoughts, for it is not connected to the interests and aspirations of your Being. So, don’t bother if they come by, just don’t nurture them.
“Thoughts come and go, just don’t serve them tea” – S. Suzuki
Except for the ones that do have Heart in them and indeed are coming from your Being! Serve those thought with all that you have!
Q: ￼”Thank you ￼ that’s quite clear”
Steven: “In “stage 3” of the checklist meditation you will have many thoughts that are worth following. In stage 1 very few.
it is the obsession of the ego with itself and its own interests which pulls in those many useless thoughts. So allow it to be, don’t fight it. Just refuse to be it’s slave or servant.
Spirituality is not about getting rid of the ego, but rather losing interest in it because you know something way better and far more interesting.
“I find it hard to reconcile the difference between the adwaita and the Christian view of God. They are so different I don’t know how to deal with it.”
Oh, don’t think too much.
Our thinking faculty can never deal with more than one perspective at a time. However, Truth with a big T is all perspectives at the same time.
All of them!
This means that every way to put things into words contains something of value and at the same time will be misleading in another as well.
Words are just that: mental constructions that at best help us to focus on some facet of Truth. The usefulness lies in highlighting that very facet at the moment this actually serves a higher purpose.
The misleading part is the addictive nature of insights, because the liberating feeling of an relevant insight tempts us into the illusion that it always applies, permanently, so then we keep it as a belief.
However, that won’t work, because life is ever changing and so each and every moment an different aspect becomes relevant. So, Truth is as lively as life itself. So, once some aspect isn’t totally relevant anymore, it has already become a distraction.
For instance, the often heard adwaita statement that there is no free will can be a wonderful way to point at the emptynes of our essential nature. This can be very useful and can work very well. However, actually believing there is no such thing as free will means handing yourself over to your own dualistic thinking by making one facet all important and regarding the opposite facet to be untrue, or even nonexistent. Still, a diamond has always factes at the backside that are just as beautiful as the ones you can see, and in this metaphor the Truth of course consists of the whole diamond, so all facets at the same time.
That is why reasoning and philosophy will never bring realization, in the sense of actualization, of spirituality. It is a ladder that reaches only half way to the roof. or better: a great ladder that does bring you to the roof, but then you just have the view from that roof only, still not an overview from all possible poits. There still are a whle lot more roofs, and each of can show some quite interesting things.
But then, one might ask, which roof do you need to see the sky?! You can see it from the ground…
Indeed. So remember there is not one perspective that will bring your questioning mind to rest, that will give an all encompassing answer to all big questions. neither from the ground, nor from whichever roof will you ever be able to see the whole sky. At best, like from the top of the Eiffel tower or so, you can see half of it, because the other half is at the other side of the Earth. And still, even from the Eiffel tower you can’t look at all directions at once, simply because you don’t have eyes in the back of your head!
Many people think enlightenment to be some super insight that will quieten down one’s thinking by answering all questions, but that is really not the case, and therefore useless as a aspiration.
The art is simply – “simply..!? – to not ever regard any perspective as final, but always “chose” intuitively – which means recognizing based on heart resonance – which perspective is relevant in this very situation here and now. Each and every moment anew.
Each and every moment anew!
“Relevant for what?” I can hear some adwaita expert saying.
Truth knows what is needed and relevant here and now, and it whispers it in your own very heart constantly.
That is happening already.
However, as long as you are preoccupied with knowing or wanting to know “how things are” you will never be able to hear this voice.
So in short, nether the Christian nor the adwaita description of God is final or fully true. I could write long stories about why and how, but those will probably only bring you in your mind. If I do well and “succeed” then you will have the feeling your questions have been answered, and I will have the feeling of being some expertologist, but actually I will have distracted you very successfully from the very thing that does matter and instead got you all excited about nothing much.
What on Earth could one ever achieve with an instrument that when one says “this” right away concludes “so not that”?! That will just not work.
Not-knowing remains. And that is fine.
For such big questions and subjects our human mind is just too dualistic and too small.
Way too small.
== // ==
Some time ago you said for you taking up teaching and giving satsang again meant a step back. How can that be?
Yes. I rather look at our future than the past, and the time of gurus and students is almost over. It is something of the old dying world. Soon spirituality will function according a whole other principle, totally different from the outdated teacher-student model. When people cooperate together for a common goal that serves the good of all humanity, and if they can do so out of their inner spiritual experience, as good as they can, then this will attract Divine Presence and Inspiration in a way that makes a guru superfluous and often far surpasses it.
The whole is always larger than the sum of all parts, and that is exactly the reason why you can never levie for your own spiritual liberation only. That is just too limited and implicitly still confirms being a separate “me”.
So now is the time people grow up and start living from their Knowing of being the Whole, a small cell in the body of humanity – so not an individual who knows he is n essence the Whole. especially demonstrating this understanding is the magic trick. Jesus referred to this when he said: “Where two or more come together in my name, there I will be present also” Of course you can explain this as bent as you wish – and many do so with the proper bad taste and understanding –, but it refers to the esoteric principle I just mentioned. When people cooperate in the way I just explained, then the need for a guru or teacher will fall away, because the group receives its own direct inner inspiration and thus functions as an organic whole. Literally. Like a human is the manifestation of an individual soul*), so such a group is the manifestation of a group soul. And that perspective, that form of manifestation is what we are heading for collectively.
*) Bit of a strange term, for lack of anything better, because it implies things that are not true. However, if I wish to get around that I will have to give a lecture on this subject first, so for now we will leave it like this.
It will be clear that as long as you are caught in your personal opinions about how things are, you are not yet mature enough to function in such a way. As a dedicated adwaita-guy you will have to be able to put all those wonderful insights into perspective. Not only you will have to let go of the importance of them all, you even will have to recognize the qualities of someone who comes from a whole different tradition, and cooperate in spite of the differences and terminology. For some awaita devotees this might be a tough inner nut to crack. I regularly bump into those who are strongly attached to their insights and beliefs about how things are. They behave then in a sectarian way, or even irrational. Then they come with a bromide like “Adwaita is so radical, there is no need for meditation or any method,” or “”it all makes no difference because there is no one who suffers, chooses or acts,” or even the cringeworthy “I don’t do thoughts any more” and such terrible – ehm.. – crap.
Insight without sufficient conscious contact with the heart is a dangerous thing in the hands of an ego, not so different from matches in the hands of a young child. Especially for that reason I took up giving satsangs again.
And, of cours, when an opportunity presents itself to be part of a group like I mentioned, I won’t hesitate.
== // ==
It is almost Christmas 2013 and the whole world still keeps turning like it always did. This whole Dec 21st 2012 thing, has that been all just nonsense, then?
Nonsense? Oh no! Definitely not. There sure is a whole lot going on. However, many influences are undetermined or very changeable, so an exact and reliable prediction can never be made. Nevertheless it is very true this is a period of big changes in which spiritual doors are opened that are beyond imagination. Literally! So that is why I keep hammering to cherish your aspirations and to direct them high, and not to limit yourself to what old traditions tell.
Compare this period with full moon. During a full moon people tend to be less stable, like more crimes are committed and all that. However this doesn’t mean all those crimes are committed exactly at this one very minute the moon is exactly full. So, then how much time is a full moon? Yeah, well, that of course, is a question that can never be answered. Matter of taste.
However, during our cosmic “full moon” a new kind of human will arise that compares to us normal humans like we compare to animals. This has been pointed out already by many, although just a few really knew what they were talking about. Aurobindo knew. He called the new man the “supramental man” who does’t live through the mental – his understanding and his beliefs –, but through something that surpasses that level entirely. Yogananda demonstrated some of it.
Still, a whole lot of nonsense is trumpeted around – some 98% of all info about the matter –
and all this nonsense only distracts us from the very transformation process. Usually it plays into human emotions and desires like the hope for a better world, or the fascination with all sorts of exotic scientific information, like that Dec 21st 2012 date.
Remember, the only thing that really matters is your own contact with the acpect of the heart that is able to recognize which information is both true and relevant for you here and now, together with your dedication to respond to that recognition, of course. Same old tune. All the rest is just distraction.
If you don’t want to thwart or block the transformation process, but cooperate with it, then unconditional willingness to experience what is, like awaita emphasizes, is undoubtedly key number one. That still stands.
== // ==
I wondered why we keep explaining here on Facebook to each other how things are.
Because we like to confirm to ourselves that we are a somebody who knows how things are.
== // ==
Where do our thoughts come from? I can see how they appear, and in which they do so, but where do they come from?
Oh my, that can be a whole lot of different things. The most common source is your own subconscious that like a machine scans the present moment constantly, and based on its experience brings strategies to your conscious mind. However there is a “super-consciousness” too, which is, let’s say, the mind of you as a soul – some call it your Higher Self. That part can bring suggestions via the subconscious mind to the conscious mind too.
Furthermore, your own reasoning mind can produce its own thoughts by thinking and evaluating.
(Here I have, by the way, divided our mind in three parts for convenience, based on functions. So I don’t mean to say there are three distinct “things”, just that there are three different functions that have a lot to do with each other.)
However, there are also sources from outside one’s own energy system that can have input. Countless thought forms float constantly around us, and the bigger ones search for food which consists of energy and attention for thoughts that have directly to do with theta very thought form. Such thought forms are called “aeons” and are in fact primitive parasites on the mental sphere and because we don’t know what is happening we get into a symbiosis with it, sometimes shortly, sometimes all our life.
Next there are intentionally evil influences, entities that benefit from our confusion, so they intentionally inject distracting or disturbing thoughts (or feelings or energies) into our minds. This can be by means of unpleasant thoughts that seem to stick into out head, but also pleasant but distracting ones that send us off track.
Of course there are benevolent influences as well – call them angels if you like – that inspire us truly towards Liberation.
The best-loved devil’s trick “up there” is, of course, to convincingly pretend to be an angel and thus mislead a whole lot of people with a story. I know not of any spiritual tradition or path that is free of such influences. So we’d better be vigilant…
It is possible to tell if thoughts are coming from your own system, or not, and whether they have a truly spiritually supporting and liberating influence, or not. Many influences play into our personal desires and seem to indicate we are spiritually evolving and all that. However, they are meant to make us swim in circles and stoop the process of liberation. Without a healthy amount of basic understanding and some well evaluated experience we are often no more than easy prey.
As humans we live in a whole series of spheres at the same time that correspond to the layers of our aura, and in all this spheres there is interaction with the surroundings. Also there is interaction between the different spheres. From a higher sphere it is just as easy to manipulate and mislead us, like we can mislead, manipulate and exploit a cow.
Still, like I just said, we can learn to recognize where our thoughts come from. That skill enables you to recognize Divinely Inspired thoughts, and choose to follow them, and to ignore all the others. That is exactly why I keep arguing with this popular awaita dogma that there is no free will, because it implies all this doesn’t matter. But that is nonsense. It sure does matter a whole lot.
Undoubtedly it is true that Divine Love allows everything to be as it is, and that you can step into this perspective be recognizing you are in essence this very Love. However, if you leave things at that, you still blandly ignore there is also such a thing as Divine Intention, the Divine Yang. Divine Love lets everything be as it is, but that doesn’t mean everything that exists is in line with Divine Intention. Not at all.
== // ==
“I learned that good and evil were never created. They are necessary offshoots and tools for living the physical life. Good and evil are necessary for human growth. Do you think so too?”
Oh no!! Evil is the principle of turning one’s back to Source and therefore needing to use other souls’ energies to exist. Separation plus vampirism.
I appreciate you touch upon an esoteric subject. There is much misunderstanding in this field. Let me elaborate a bit. The souls that are vampirized on are generally beings in a lower realm of existence as then they are MUCH more easy to manipulate and mislead, just like it is easy for us to mislead a cat or a dog. By means of such manipulation, we humans have been cut off largely – but not completely – from our own connection with Source, so that we would regard the vampires AS Source. We even have been infused with their thinking, so that we would regard it all as ‘normal’ and regard them, the vampires as our spiritual Source. They gave us their minds and posed their own energy as our God! That is what evil is.
This is the story of the angels (high density creator beings) that fell. However, God (is it alright if I use that word on an adwaita website?) didn’t throw them out, they separated themselves, and ours is not God’s world any more, but the Fallen Angels’ who stole it for their own plans, and God, thus far, let them. And because of their Dark presence and influence, we humans, fell too.
Still, in principle it has always been possible to Return to true Source, but that requires a very strong connection with True Source instead of Fallen Source, and an uncompromised dedication to a long and tough transformation (actually Transfiguration) process. Besides, any attempt in that direction will be thwarted strongly, as one might become an inspiration for others, which can’t be tolerated by the ‘chicken coop farmers’. (That, by the way, is the reason why Jesus, like so many others who did demonstrate this possibility, was killed soon after he started speaking up.)
All religion, personal development, growth, newage beliefs, and the vast majority that we today call ‘spirituality’, they all are essentially nothing but, or at best pervaded with evil, that is: influences that are not Liberating, not freeing a soul from the situation of being fed and vampired on, but rather distracting from influences and energies that do.
Howeverm True Spirituality that indeed does Liberate, certainly does exist, but nowadays it is a rare thing. In principle we can recognise it as a resonance with a deep sensitive spot in the heart, but most of us don’t feel or recognise it, or confuse it with something else – usually something mental or emotional – because of our evil programming. That is why newage stuff and religion is so popular. Evil needs us to be confused that way. Chickens that find the way out of the coop are a nuisance for the farmer… (Reminds me of a nice movie: “Chicken Run”)
This is quite disturbing, yes, but because it is now clear that this Creation will never return to it’s original purpose by itself, because evil simply pervades it way too much and all attempts to wake it up to its original state from the inside have failed, our Creation Area (not only Earth, and not only 3D) is now being cleaned out of Evil.
Permanent connection with the True Divine has always been our Divine Birthright, for every one of us. It is definitely not an aspiration to ‘grow’ into. That is what evil made it into! From such a (collective) connection we can manifest our alignment with the Divine into our human lives and thus manifest and live Paradise again. That is how this place has always been intended all along. All else is an aberration caused by evil.
So, in short, Good means aligned with Divine purpose and intention and Evil is not. And remember: The thinking mind will never know how to distinguish between these two!
Have you integrated the realisation of being the Infinite fully?
Hah! 🙂 What is “fully”? If taken literally, I think it applies to no-one. Even Jesus on the cross was screaming his Father had left him – or so I’ve been told –, so at that moment he did take life personally again. However, to get him that far, it was needed to torture him terribly…
The conviction “I am me” will never be totally deleted from your system, for in functioning in every day life there will always be a need for it, but you can change the priority for using it. Very much so.
For me, in ordinary every day life the perspective of being the Infinite is always close. However, it isn’t so that there is nothing any more that can trigger fear, resistance or anger – including the ‘I am me’ identification that usually comes with it. But when it does, then it resolves itself usually soon in the unconditional willingness to experience that fear, resistance or anger. That is the very thing I have learned, and what I help others developing.
I think the process of integration never stops, but at some point, when it has been integrated deeply enough, other – much bigger! – processes will probably matter more. By the time I can speak about this from my own direct experience, I will let you know. 😉
You know, more important that your opinion about your teacher – or his opinion about himself – is whether or not you truly benefit from being in contact.
What is the most common pitfall?
Following a particular pattern of thoughts. For then you make an insight that once was very useful in a certain situation into something that ‘applies always’, a dogma. However, then we make living truth into dead religion. The Truth is always way bigger and more encompassing than what any thought or concept can point at. So, what matters most is which thought you need to hear, right here and now. That one very thought can be recognised, appreciated and fully valued only if and when you are in contact with your love of truth.
I have often seen people making a big spiritual discovery and then getting so excited about it they can’t stop bandying it about, whether relevant or not. This hasn’t so much to do with self realisation in the present, rather than enthousiasm about a discovery in the past. Still, it definitely can be very useful to hammer this big new discovery into one’s mind for a while. So it not only about what is true, but it depends as well on what is relevant for you to hear, right here and now. That last part must be true too. Or else it is just some philosophy.
“Where two or more gather in My name, there I will be present too.” Means: When two people come together out of their unconditional love of Truth, then Truth will be present too and provide what is needed. If our love of the truth gets slightly corrupted by the intention of getting something out of it, some fix or solution of any kind, then Truth is shut out.
Mind, though, the subconscious will do its well intended thing using all your spiritual discoveries. It will regard them as tools and strategies to fix and control life, and so it will influence your intentions. And you will have to look through that over and over again – it is just the mind doing its thing because it doesn’t know any better yet.
What has our subconscious mind to do with self realisation?
Our subconscious is a computer containing a huge database full of convictions, strategies and experiences, and a program that constantly scans the present, weighs the enjoyability of it, and then automatically applies and chooses one of the many strategies from the database. It functions machine like, mostly based on associations. It does not intelligently reflect or consider. But it does influence our intentions constantly. Sometimes strategies get replaced or are given different priorities. So, if you often stop to savour the peacefulness of being the Self, then the subconbscious will more often apply such beingness as a strategy. So then it will come up with that perspective, especially in situations where there is stress and lack of peace. The strategy is in fact ‘apply no strategy whatsoever and be the Self. Just stop. Stop totally and be totally willing to experience what is.’
Mind, however, the subconscious cannot reason, so this message will need to be repeated very often. Many small experiences toghether will have much impact because it always works, and then the strategy will get slowly a higher and higher priority.
So we have to convince our subconscious by giving it the experience. It is not unlike learning a dog to retrieve sticks: if you throw your subconscious the stick of Self, and in a way that it likes it, it will bring it back to you. And later it will even come to you with its own sticks.
But I has just learned free will doesn’t exist?!
Yes, That is right, there is no free will. But it is true too that there surely is free will. It is a sign of integration when this doesn’t bring up questions (or answers!) any more, so when it is not a duality, not a paradox anymore. We must not regard the Absolute and the relative as a duality, like an either-or thing. It is always both at the same time.
The thought that free will doesn’t exists serves often the purpose of convincing the conscious mind of the truth of our Being. Much needed. So it is not meant to make it a dogma in order to estabish a religion. That is what the subconscious mind does with it.
You can turn around every thought, and then it is still true, but in a very different way. A thought is always linked to a perspective, but Truth with the big T is all perspectives at the same time. This shows that we should never hold on to any thought if you want to be in contact with Truth. Papaji said: “Never land anywhere,” so, not either in the thought that free will doesn’t exist.
Yes, but …
On the level of the Absolute there is no free will, indeed. But the understanding that there can’t be free will can’t be there either. So then what are we talking about? And on the manifested level there is free will, at least that is how we tend to experience it. In this way, I mean, that I take my decision, you don’t take my decisions.
However, it is true that this free will turns out to be a little different that we always thought. But gees, once you see and feel directly you are Radiant Unconditional Happiness, how can you still care about such a philosophical tour de force? Do you still feel the need?
Use the statement ‘no free will’ as a pointer, as a way to make the shift from being present only as a ‘me’ to being present as the Infinity as well. And then forget about it! Don’t use it as a toy for your mind, for you will only get addicted to it.
What does ‘Liberation’ mean?
Different traditions use that term in different ways. One of my most important teachrers was a gnostic, and in gnosticism ‘Liberation’ means when You-as-the-Infinite are free of the obligation to experience any duality at all, so freedom of being bound to any dualistic realm of experience.
Other traditions use the term ‘Liberation’ for ‘being free of the obligation to experience the physical realm’. That is possible too. But there are more dualistic realms…
In both cases being free of the I-am-me illusion is just a beginning, albeit a very important one.
Sometimes old unresolved stuff comes up. But why is it at such moments so hard not to forget being the Infinite?
That is because several things come up at the same time:
1) the habit of living from the conviction “I am me”
2) the feelings of hurt. or anger, or whatever it is that comes up
3) the meaning you gave to those feelings
These three maintain and reinforce each other. And, what comes up now, was at that ime apparently too intense to let in, so instinctively you swept it under the carpet. But now it does come up and so you instinctively focus more on your personal self. That is normal: the more danger there is, the less room there is for other things that your problems. And that is, I feel, why you ask the question, for it makes you feel you lost what you once had.
However, the perspective of being the Infinite shouldn’t so much be regarded as something that you can have and therefore loose, but rather as something that you ‘do’ or ‘apply’ – remember –, until it happens naturally all the time. Until that time the stress of suffering will help you remember. 😉
All this stuff coming up is a great gift, a blessing, for it doesn’t only give you the chance to process the feelings and to cut through the meaning you gave them, but also to to clear away a deep root of the “I am me” conviction. For now you know what you didn’t know at that time, that you are the Infinite, and that this means that the real You was never touched.
Maybe the story itself won’t get any different, but it is quite a difference to just have seen a movie or to have experienced it all yourself for real. And now you have the chance to show your subconscious it all was only a movie, so all those cramped ways of dealing with it aren’t necessary at all.