It is like the air itself that experiences its own wind.
Jan van Delden on love, Love, Bhakti .. in answer to questions from Amigo.
Amigo: It is said that, that if you discover that a 'somebody' cannot be found anywhere Love reveals itself. Can you say something about this?
(Jan van Delden and Jan Koehoorn)
Jan: The love that we are talking about here is Love with a capitol letter. This can only be made clear if everything is brought back to the recognition of the one, all encompassing, objectless consciousness. Or, as I like to call it: the first cause. All other forms of love where the concept of love seems to apply, are under closer inspection always coupled to an object and have absolutely nothing to do with Love (with a capitol letter).
When the all-encompassing non-dualistic standpoint of Love has more and more corrected the false object/subject standpoint, at a given moment it will not be able to look at anything without Love being the very first it sees. This actually means that you can no longer see the waves of the play of waves separately from the fact that it is only water playing with itself.
Amigo: Is Love then another word for surrender or grace? Surrender is not something that you can rationalize or do or not do. Surrender if it happens is grace ... Is the offering of the person an act of love or is love the result of that offer?
Jan: First of all you have to ask yourself who could take that decision to sacrifice his personality (or ego). You think that the personality can initiate something to overtake the thinking. Sacrifice is nothing, a knot in the thinking.
Love is exactly the feeling of grace; just as you become aware of the wind if you have heard about the invisible air (the first cause) and you recognize it's all inclusiveness. Thus, you cannot see it objectively, but you can really experience it.
Now we always experience, as long as we think we are a personality, a subject-object relation. So, the thinking says: I experience this as a subject here and that comes about because of that object there and after that I find it to be nice, delicious, boring, terrible and so on. That makes it seem as if we are stuck with the thinking, as if we are totally dependent on having or not having objects towards which our longing goes out and to what these objects as player of the supporting role have to say or give.
So long as there is still someone (the leading actor) who experiences, and so long as there are still experiences, it seems as if the air and the wind are caused by something outside yourself and Love is still divided. It appears as if the wind comes and goes. To be undivided Love, you first have to see through 'having experiences' and dissolve as a person or doer in the being of the experience itself. Everything is experienced. There is nothing else but 'experiencing'. After a thorough investigation, the content of experience is seen to be an impersonal happening of the first cause itself. Shiva dances with himself, standing still within. Air enjoys immovably its own wind.
Amigo: You have once said - and I also read it in Wolter - that Love in the world is so fragile. What do you mean by that precisely? Do we have to make a distinction between love with a little 'l' (the opposite of fear and hate) and love with a capital 'L' that has no opposite?
Jan: Yes, that distinction is paper thin. If you still don't live without difficulty in experience itself, then before you know it, thought is there to divide everything. And in that dividing, in cause and effect, you again lag behind the experience instead of being the unchangeable experiencing itself. When for example, the hormones come into play, it become very difficult to remain seeing that happiness/unhappiness is at that moment not caused by (and by the way is also never is caused by) the interaction between the leading character and the supporting character.
All the craziness that seems to be called up in the splashing of the waves, is only the play of the one water. Never more or less. But try to explain that to you partner! Grace is needed to not lose sight of the water during the hurricanes of life. The grace of seeing only water. This is thus not grace for one wave, but from the water itself. In general, and that is true also for the speaker, this happens in phases, as a result of which step one is just as important as seeing that no step has ever been taken.
Amigo: Is it now possible for you to react in words to the question that you once put to Wolter: 'Why is it that I don't know what love is?' Love seems to be an important 'motive' for the search...
Jan: Love is the only reason for activity. Searching to become this love, allows all activities to transform step by step into an easy, undefined, self-evident happening. If I still run after my longings like a crazy man, I nevertheless do it unconsciously for the sake of the state free of longing that is Love. Because, a longing that is satisfied by the object of that longing, provides nothing more than a moment free of longing. So, whatever happens you are already on the right track - and if it is granted to you- you will slowly go for it totally.
Love is by definition a being there without longing. Once you have seen that no object and thus no situations exist, that these objects and situations have never existed and shall never exist, there arises a certain self- evidence. Just like the recognition of the futility of the years' long seeking of a wave in wave land is direct and definitive when the water is recognized in one wave and subsequently in all waves, until the self-evident nature of this recognition finally leads to the seeing only of water that moves immovably.
Amigo: How is it actually possible that we all know what the word Love stands for in the core and hunger after it without ever being able to feel or know what it is?
Jan: But you experience it without interruption! Out of ignorance you only pay attention to the content of the experience (the experiencing), instead of being the experiencing itself. If you are lucky - to say it like that - you will suddenly be surprised as to why you care more about one wave than about another wave. While your thinking may find some other wave far more attractive, you feel attracted to another wave for unclear reasons. So shall the powerlessness of the thinking to do something about this happening be recognized more and more until the thinking doesn't pay attention to it anymore and your reality follows the saying: it is HIS cup (and no more Jan's).
Little by little you will begin to see your thinking as a sort of child of yours, about three years old, and you will no longer pay any serious attention to that child. You enjoy the baby talk of that infant and just let it calmly come along. If you learn to let your thoughts pass by, it is in practice the seeing of the objectless Love - that you are Love! - a question of timelessness.
Amigo: Is love a difficult subject? Can it even be talked about? Why is it such a bhakti-subject? Many jnana- spiritual masters speak with so much love about their own spiritual masters...
Jan: Yes it is because a jnani knows from experience that the thresholds, that the ideas about love can create, are so many and difficult to pass, that he shall first try to direct the attention to the theoretical seeing and perceiving of the object-less impersonal being a witness. In this way he tries to take the attention away from thinking to one is a 'somebody' who always wants to experience and follow after his feelings of happiness.
Wolter was for me the first person who needed nothing from me and still gave me full attention. Also, nothing had to be kept in balance as in normal life: I do this and now you have to do that. Slowly my mistrust was broken through in this way and he showed me that love and attention is something that is beyond subject and object. He took me slowly towards being love. But that is something so totally different from everything that we had up to that moment known (call it: normal) has experiences, that the handling of that experience - namely having attention for the attention itself - took some time.
It demands going past the giving of attention to the coming and going of thoughts, opinions and feelings by holding that attention on the attention itself. It is an undivided experiencing, without opposite and opinions about the experiencing, because there is no one in the experiencing. It is the experiencing itself, the quiet burning of being there. It is like the air itself that experiences its own wind. This being carried along by something that I still thought at first came from and was from Wolter, was afterwards taken away from him and Jan, and become something from the Love itself, the Love which had never been away. It is because that happening is mixed with tears and emotion the first time that talk about it often seems bhakti-like. Now, that is beautiful, because you can see thus that a bahkta and a jnani are for all that like two hands resting on one and the same belly. In practice it is thus first apparently the force of the attention of the spiritual master for you as a seeker within which the talking and the being together and such tells its story, until you may see spontaneously that everything is happening by itself and that the knowing is finally a kink in the thinking, a little joke of the Self.
[Jan van Delden] 2002