Is it like this or like that ?
- Hans Laurentius -
Amigo in conversation with Hans Laurentius over ideas of what Realization is and what it means.
Amigo: Recently I read the following: 'There is nothing to be gained or that can be reached; you are already perfect. You only need to accept the diploma, that you earned long ago ' isn't Realization mystified too much by the person?
Hans: What we actually are is very certainly perfect. Perfect in the sense that nothing needs to be added, and that nothing can be taken away from it. That is why I say that Realization is your birthright. You are already That, nevertheless we see that many traverse a path lasting many years to be able to come to that recognition. For that reason the recognition is very important. And that occurs only when the whole thing has become perfectly clear, and that how a person is and behaves, has no influence, had no influence and will never have any influence on Consciousness itself. Thus we are often freed from the idea that we the person that we take ourselves to be has to satisfy certain conditions to participate in the highly praised enlightenment. That we first have to become this or that before
That becoming this or that has naturally everything to do with ideas and ideals, as you say, that dominate the thinking and feeling on the subject of what enlightenment is and how you will be when you are finally 'that far'. Most people are full of all kinds of ideas about that, and you can be sure that 90% of them are of no relevance. (The last 10% evaporates by itself in the long run).
Amigo: In fact there is an idealistic picture made about Realization, (how it will/should [has to] be). That idea sets the seeker on the way, but finally it actually blocks her/his way.
H: The ideas about realization certainly set the seeker on the path, and will eventually all be smashed to pieces. That dismantling of ideas and ideals about realization can indeed be fairly hindering in the process. But it only once again proves the proposition that it is only our ideas that stand in the way, not some factual something. It is about Seeing, not about the concepts, preferences, fears, longings and ideals. Every ideal points to Consciousness that which is after all the Knower. So whatever idea we might have about how 'I' will be when 'I' am enlightened, is purely an idea and with that gone. For the rest, it is all not so strange, because many things will shift when it is discovered that the person is not the center, but that the person is one of the many phenomena that I Consciousness perceive. The center of gravity no longer lies in that 'I; that 'I' also no longer needs to become different or to be like this or like that. Naturally, a lot of fuss thoroughly dissolves. And most seekers want the natural 'dissolved' easiness, because many have more than a bit of trouble with them, don't you think?
Amigo: You have said somewhere: having seen it, does not yet mean that you are it (from Seeking to Seeing to Being). Is that 'process' not caused by the ideas that we have about it and that the reaction after Seeing even a glimpse of it, is interpreted as disappointment (Is this all there is?) , doubt and disillusionment.
H: My experience is that many people are capable of seeing that Consciousness, silence, space, Openness or however you want to indicate it always IS fairly easily, and that already creates a certain amount of relaxation. But it is something different from the realization: Being That. However for many it is important to first realize that Consciousness is always there, that nothing can be experienced unless the relaxation and the trust that the mind gains through that makes it possible to realize the next step, namely that you yourself are that Witnessing, that Consciousness. Sometimes the 'step' appears to not to be possible at once. So it as you indicate: first searching for Truth, then seeing the truth, and then seeing that you are the Truth. That process as you call it has everything to do with all sort of traces living in the mind. No one can if you have really looked at it for a while deny the 'being-there' of consciousness, nobody! But that is something different from accepting that as what you are. That goes too far for many. Among other things that has a lot to do with all sorts of ideas circulating about enlightenment, that you completely change, become a better person, or wise or something. Well now about that last one I sometimes say: first we wake up, then we become wiser, but alongside. In general, except for a few, we are enormously afraid of arrogance. In part because of remarks such as: 'those who call themselves enlightened are not', or also by our Calvinist streak. On the other hand that is not so bad, then in any case we don't cheer too soon, should I say. But to come back to your question for a minute, I think that it is correct to say that our notions about enlightenment and the consequences of realization-experiences play a great role in that fact that it costs most people some years to really allow what our true nature is to penetrate.
That 'process', I also want to approach in two ways, because I think it would be good to make a distinction here. At first there is the apparent process that leads to the recognition or the realization of the fact that we are Consciousness. Secondly, we can suppose that there is one more process after the realization, that I call the working through of the process of embodiment.
The following concerning the first process: the realization-experience is often accompanied by one or more sensational 'states' that are naturally temporary, as is every state. An experience of realization is after all an experience, and what it is really about is to realize, that which is not a temporary experiential state. Often, the experience that can be seen as a guiding phenomenon, is mistaken for the realization. Periods of great clarity or being soaked through by intense joy or love are of course very impressive, but too soon we have the idea that having similar experiences is the permanent state of the 'realized', which is naturally not correct. When such an experience recedes we remain behind with a spiritual hangover, and then we say: 'I had it totally, and now I have lost it again', whereupon there follows at least one sob. Very understandable as I described in 'the joy of enlightenment', very recognizable. It was no different for little Hans. He also had to get that it is not about the one beautiful experience, but about the fact that he is Consciousness, that which is effortlessly conscious of the coming and going of experiences, including spiritual or realization experiences. This phase is often difficult and it is handy if there is a 'competent teacher' in the neighborhood, to steer the all too dramatic business a little, so to speak. About these experiences I have already stated in the last 'Amigo' that they are emanations of the Self, but the Self is as it were Knower of its radiations and the consequences of these on body and mind.
As far as the second process is concerned: if the actual realization has taken place something seems to happen at the body-mind level. Because the center of gravity no longer lies on 'I-the- person', but on that in which everything takes place, all kinds of things are unveiled, by which the Self seems as it were to be more inclined to make its emanations known via the body-mind. All kinds of pieces of the ego that stood in the way of Love before fall apart so that the light can come through more easily. There is however no one anymore who wants that or doesn't want that, it just happens, and there is a natural availability for that process. That is natural because there is indeed realized availability to be. The difference is that where Hans was busy becoming this or that or reaching this or that, Hans is no longer busy, and exactly because of the not tinkering, improving or reaching, insight arises by itself in all kinds of things that dissolve spontaneously and make the little cramps that are still there disappear, whereupon Love/Truth can again be easily expressed via body/mind. Thus, that process of embodiment happens all by itself at a given point, just in your daily life, not from the meditation cushion or something. Learning just continues, in reality everything becomes very common. You are just commonly totally yourself, and the learning and life also just go on all by themselves as usual, just as it should: naturally you know.
Amigo: How did you find your 'way' in that?
H: How did I find my way in the first process? Just like everyone I think: falling down and standing up again, joy and sadness, through confusion to reality. Through desperation, ecstasy, silence and pain. So also very ordinary, also sometimes by means of similarities to Hans's character, who can sometimes be a very intense fellow. What brought the relaxation naturally was seeing in to the fact that 'I' am consciousness, and so it made absolutely no difference if there was ecstasy and clarity, or despair and boredom or such. The understanding came that there is where the teaching is precisely. 'She' conjured up all sort of experiences; fine and not fine, up until it was seen that I was the Seeing and not what the mind did with it all or thought about it.
Amigo: There is no waiting room for realization, nevertheless we wait and expect. If we reread the various 'teachers', on the 'going of the one who apparently waits', we read about 1000 roads that lead to Rome. Is each person's way then different?
H: Yes and no. Osho said: Everyone is their own path, and that is true. At the same time, finally it is all the same. We go from here and now, via then and there. The flowers and thorns along the way are just a little different, the stones bigger or smaller, the rivers a little slower, deeper or more turbulent, or maybe not. But apparently we all go on an in reality superfluous, but at the same time, apparently unavoidable detour. However, with 'arrival' it makes absolutely no difference any more. Freedom also frees you of the past, in any case from the troubles of it. When it how it is was seen, there a wave of anger came up before the laugh welled up. The thought came; god damn it, but it's always been already like this! What have I been so busy for! The thought was not quite finished when an enormous laughing came up, until the tears ran over my cheeks. Then this experience also de-parted and the screen was empty again; still, clear, available for the following that wished to offer itself. And indeed it had always been like that, only I had just forgotten it for a bit. And life rolls on without leaving the tiniest trace in the Ultimate. Isn't that tremendous?
Amigo: It seems like a surrounding movement that finally closes itself like a circle. You are back where you started, but this time without resistance but reconciled. 'And nothing ever happened' And there you are with your mouth agape
H: ..so it is, that is well said; and then suddenly you are back at the market place, with your mouth agape, and empty, open hands. WHAT A MIRACLE!
[interview: Kees Schreuders]
website Hans Laurentius: www.hanslaurentius.nl