Indifference. Not acting.
Wolter Keers

Question: Isn't there a great danger of becoming indifferent if one begins to think like that?

W.K.: No. Indifference is a form of resistance. If I am indifferent then I don't have to bother with you, then I can say 'figure it out for yourself!' Indifference is a kind of wall that I put around myself. Actually it is not daring to really look. But, someone who has understood that happiness is not to be found in things doesn't chase after them. Then indeed a certain kind of indifference does happen. But this is compensated a hundred fold by coming closer to the actual source of true things. Because, finally what is the right inspiration for a relation between us? That is the love itself. When I am Love itself, then I have nothing more to gain from you; then I also do not need for you to think that I'm nice, to love you nevertheless. Love itself is the force that allows the body, thinking and feeling to do the appropriate thing. Things do themselves in harmony with the Harmony itself that I am. As soon as discover that then everything that is laziness and passivity disappears. That may appear to be indifference, for example, when I decide to buy a new car. But in fact that indifference exists only superficially, it is a difference in determining values. I now know that the real worth is somewhere else. And I discover that I don't love someone because of his or her beautiful hair, but because of the love in him or het, that is in fact the same as the love in me. There are not two loves. There is one love in which persons seem to manifest. Therefore, the indifference, insofar as it exits, is only on the surface, founded from within through a deep self-recognition. In the same way the laziness is also only superficial. Laziness belongs to the body. The body is a heavy and unwieldy thing, flesh and bones. Let me say it like this, if seen as an extension of the Known, then life becomes a dance even if you're sitting on a chair. There is nothing more left of heaviness, listlessness, unwieldiness and so on.
No, there is no indifference. But, if I am still searching for things of this world and someone else does not do that then I can naturally think that the other is indifferent.
It can also happen, in certain cases, that we are less impressed by someone's suffering. That may be the case when we see that the suffering is something that is feeding the person. That is not always so: if there is a tornado that collapses your house so that you lose your husband and children, that is something else entirely. But very often the suffering of mankind is something that people themselves seek and feed. There are very few people who really want to come out of that, extremely few! Therefore one must not allow oneself to be intimidated. The criterion is always: what does that person do with the suffering? Does he really want out of that or are they perhaps only pity seeking compensation. Well, don't fall for that, because then you only strengthen the person in their suffering.
But, for whoever actually asks for your help it is another question; in that case there can be compassion, because you begin at the place where the other finds himself. And from out of compassion you allow them to gradually see who he actually is. Suffering is always at the level of the personality. When the personality disappears the suffering also disappears.
For suffering we always need the world. You always suffer from something, from the loss of somebody or something, or out of fear of something. But, there is always a connection with something of the world. Therefore to see what the world is offers a possibility of actually coming out of the suffering. Not in terms of another piece of the world, no, but in terms of the Reality, seeing that the world is nothing other than a reflection of myself. Then suffering loses its meaning, because suffering can be a way to keep the person in place. There are people who prefer to remain in suffering rather than facing an unfamiliar situation.

Question: If you look at life like that, then what is the point of our actions? Is there any sense then in remaining active?

W.K.: This question doesn't occur in practice, and the question also doesn't appear in, what shall I call it, the philosophical side. It's a question that sometimes comes up when we think: 'Oh God, what should I do now?' Recognition of the 'I' means recognizing the One Essence in everything manifests action. Because, who is acting, who does, who thinks? The body acts, the body walks, swims, bikes, sits, stands; movement occurs in the thinking and feeling. Just the very fact that I can ascertain that, that I can see that, means that I stand apart from the movement and that I am not the one who thinks, or feels, or acts. I am always the Knower of that; otherwise I could not recall these things in my memory.
It's not about whether I will nevertheless still be active: it's about recognizing that I have never been active. The body, the senses, thinking and feeling were active, but I wasn't.
A phrase that occurs repeatedly in the shastras, in the classical Hindu literature, is: 'I am not the doer, I am not the enjoyer' I am not the one who appears to act, who is active or passive. Active and passive are ways of thinking.
The 'not-acting' that especially the Chinese always come back to ('wu-wei') is the exact opposite of being lazy. You can be lazy if you identify yourself with an unwieldy, heavy, body that might, for example, be tired. But 'not-acting' is to not be identified with everything that does, that is active, and that is therefore objective. Allow things to do themselves, allow things to do themselves spontaneously. Even if we had always learned that I was the one who acted, thought and felt. Seen now, in the right prospective, I see: it was not I who walked, the body walked. It wasn't I who thought, but thoughts manifested themselves.
When a thought ends I do say: I have thought. But while the thought was there, while it manifested itself there was absolutely no idea that it was I who produced these thoughts. Only afterwards, by means of a cultivated automatism there is a principle that claims authorship for what happened, while the principal was absent.
We also do not approve in daily life of someone who claims authorship of a book that they had never written; that by definition he could never have written, since he is himself a character appearing in the book!
Well, that is one of the functions of the ego: the principle that after the completion of a body action, the conclusion of a thought or feeling, comes out of nowhere to say, I have thought, felt, seen, heard, walked, swum... but that 'I' was completely absent during the action.
When we thus see it in the right perspective, seeing what is the object and what is the subject, then we see that action, observing, thinking and feeling are things that allow themselves to be witnessed in a completely impersonal way, exactly as clouds passing by in the sky. Actually it is just as foolish to say, when you are looking at clouds: 'I am clouding', as it is to say: 'I am thinking'.
Thus, the body will continue to walk, swim, bike, just as always; the thoughts will continue to come, the feelings will continue to stream, probably more than before, only you will no longer think that you are the active one, because you now know that the active gentlemen or lady that you have made out of it by means of this foolish combination has no truth. The I-experience was there, because the I-experience is always present. But I have riveted the I-experience to all the actions, all the perceptions, all the roles that I play in life: the housemother, the chauffeur, the professor, the housefather, and so on; we have all attached strings to them and have said: I, I, I, I, I.
But in fact, you can see very easily, you don't need to be a philosopher, that the strings are not correct. The relation between these actions and me is always: that these things in me, in the Consciousness, are witnessed in the Known. There, I am completely inactive.
I am always and effortlessly the Knower. Even if I am dog tired, so beat that I can't even undress myself, because I tumble into bed out of exhaustion, even then I am completely effortlessly the knower of this situation. Thus, there is nothing that we have to learn to become the Knower, something we have to acquire or anything like that. No, I only need to recognize that I cannot be any different from that. Just as much as water can stop being wet, or fire can stop being hot, can any one of us even for one second stop being the 'Knowingness', in which things manifest themselves.
All these questions can be solved, or solve themselves when we look I in the right perspective. The action does itself. I know that I am not an acting being; I know that I am not a passive being. I am that in which the ideas of active and passive manifest themselves. I am the consciousness-essence, the Knowing that in which they occur. This is true for each one of us, independent of the form in which it appears. This is the one essence that all and everyone have in common.