For Hans Laurentius willingness is one of the most important conditions for seekers on the path to freedom. For example, in order to see how funny and empty ego stories are.
Interviewer: Hans, are there certain conditions that the spiritual seeker must satisfy?
HL: Are there certain conditions that the spiritual seeker must satisfy? The same basic conditions hold for everyone interested in true spirituality. Willingness is a very crucial one. More specifically the willingness to see what is true in every situation. That is to say, going deeper than what you find to be pleasant or unpleasant. In essence, all of existence allows us to see that there are two possibilities: being in a cramp or openness. If we are really ready to see how being cramped functions, how it makes life difficult or even spoils it, then we will see to it that the cramp leaves us. The more openness we can allow, the more we will be able to clearly see when and how a cramp comes (and disappears again), and it will lose its grip. In this way we leave the delusional world and come into the real world. Some of the conditions are thus, receptivity, clearness and for all, the willingness to have insight and to surrender; the willingness to look-in.
But how do you come to these conditions?
HL: You do not go to them, they come to you. If you allow what is being said here-now to reach you, you will become aware of the patterns that disturb clearness and receptivity. That seeing itself has a liberating effect. Inasmuch as will does not help I use the word willingness. Thus the question is, for example, are you really willing to listen? You can see if there is resistance or openness. You know that, you feel that. Consciousness is always there so you can effortlessly recognize what is happening there at every moment. Simply by being conscious of resistance for example, without wanting to get rid of it or to change it, you get insights into the effects of resistance. When you have thoroughly seen that, the resistance strategy becomes less and less attractive and openness becomes more and more attractive. So it can be of help to ask yourself whether you are acting out of openness or resistance in certain situations. It's really easier than you think. That is why I sometimes say, that you know when you are lying. This is also true for resistance (- not being willing), manipulation, dishonesty and so forth. Knowing is always there, it is all known. You can not avoid this fact, therefore it takes no effort to see what is true and what not. Therefore the path is called discriminating between truth and untruth. Thus, the capacity of discrimination is also an important condition.
But what if I don't have these qualities?
HL: Everyone has these qualities, don't underestimate yourself. One of the basic tactics for remaining not free is self-rejection. But this is completely unnecessary. Everything necessary is already available. Let me ask you a question: are you aware that you, when your mind dishes something up, either make a drama of it or not.
HL: Exactly. You cannot not be aware. Therefore the capacity to discriminate exists. Take a look at where you are willing and where you are not willing. Then you will also see what the consequences are. In this way you will become free of resistance, delusion and untruth by yourself. Whoever sees the consequences of not being willing, becomes willing as a result.
Whoever sees what the result of lack of surrender is, surrenders by himself. So, above all don't create any worries. You will discover that regularly the mind doesn't feel like giving up its delusions and creates arguments to continue to act out its illusions against all common sense. You will also notice what results arise from that; sooner or later you will have enough of it because you understand that the refusal to live what you actually are is the cause of suffering. It is therefore very interesting to contemplate what happens in a conflict or a discussion. Either you are ready to remain by the facts. Or you take it personally and become tense with the result that aggression, dishonesty, manipulation and such happen just so that you can get your own way, or defend yourself. In the presence of openness, such reactions will not happen; there will be clear relaxation and you will be able to see the things that are either part of the discussion or that you are charged with for what they are. If we are really ready to arrive at the truth we will be willing to see the truth of the other's criticism, what truth it might contain, instead of defending ourselves or even going on the attack. Just don't make a duty out of it, but observe how it works in your case, follow its movements. That is very instructive and leads to clarity.
Is this willingness applicable to everyone?
HL: Yes, why not?
I mean, if you have realized what you are, must you still be willing?
HL: Ha ha, yes in the first place there is no must, but if everything goes well it is just completely natural. In the second place, realizing what you are doesn't mean that you are finished. On the contrary, then it is just really beginning, it may take years or even an entire lifetime before it is totally worked through.
That is why I make a distinction between realization and complete realization. Namely there are many realized , but very few are completely realized (I don't know a single one). Ramana was such a one. That seems to be very rare. Therefore, it is of great importance for the self realized, and teachers, to be ready to see what is true in every situation, and not just simply have a private opinion or preference.
I should even like to say that it is especially important for teachers. You could say that they function as role models. They must demonstrate, how truth 'works'. If they themselves are not ready, what good could possibly come of it? Therefore it is really such a pity that there are people who have discovered 'being a teacher' and after that just rest on their laurels, and ensconce themselves in 'I am not the person' and allow the remains of their egos to just happily continue with all its consequences. In my experience, learning just goes on. I claim that it happens all by itself as long as 'truth' is the intention. For me it all happens by itself which is not the same as saying that it is finished. But I do not have to worry any more about willingness. That's why I place so much emphasis on it, because I can see that many people are interested, but not willing enough. The discoveries are sometimes very tiresome or painful, so that some people would rather leave some things covered up. But, that is not possible, everything must come to light. Because half measures are not sufficient according to me. This explain why most often, guidance makes good sense when something is 'discovered'. By the way, you can also not deny it when something doesn't 'tally'. After all, in order to deny something you have to have seen it first. You can not then act as if it is not there. That is delusion. Sooner or later something is bound to go wrong. I have learned that it is actually the other way around; just becoming conscious, learning where there is still resistance, or other things are not straight, leads to ever more relaxation and joy. I find it very amusing when the mind tries once again to go on one or another ego-trip, and does its very best to serve up yet another story or to dramatize another situation. That is droll. By now that never lasts very long, it falls apart in the light of loving truth, again and again it appears to be completely empty. All the talking in the upstairs room with its emotional accompaniment is actually about nothing. That is very funny, you might even say that it is a pity that it happens so seldom. But to keep it short and sweet, simply allow what comes your way and you will see that things will change. Do not try to be open or still; observe that in every form of trying there is resistance, then you will abandon the resistance. Because, whatever you 'do' first you have to be there, then comes the doing. Before you 'do' something you are conscious, during the doing you are conscious, after the doing you are conscious. Those are the facts. You don't have to do anything to be conscious. Being conscious of your consciousness is therefore easy. So, you relax. We will speak to each other again soon. Maybe we will then go a little deeper. By listening to this you become conscious of the qualities mentioned and as it were they come to life. Keep the theme of willingness loosely in your thoughts, but realize that you are there before any theme (or whatever) appears. Thus you become effortlessly aware of how things work. Enjoy.