Zeus having fun
Amigo in conversation with Jan van Delden
Direct and indirect questions for Jan about tradition, about Wolter Keers and the publication of his book 'Vrij Zijn' (see text of Wolter in this edition of Amigo), questions about silence, knowing and the now, or about the four doors that Jan van Delden offers us... We remain fascinated by the variety of approaches to our favorite subject. The difference between Jan's approach to 'clear seeing', and Tony Parson's radical 'invitation' (everything is as it is; this is all there is) is 'fascinating'. They are both 'crystal clear' – the same message but in totally different packages. And naturally we also touch on the two different 'paths': the 'way of devotion' and the way of the 'impersonal'.
Amigo: The basic question is: if there is 'nothing' and 'no one' then who takes courses and goes to visit so-called 'clear' people, and especially: why do we do that?
Jan van Delden: There is no one who does or does not do anything. It just happens, or with a wink for Tony Parsons, 'it is as it is'… Just as water is also wetness (incidentally), it seems as if the all-encompassing 'water' is sometimes caught in thinking that it is a 'wave'. (By 'wave' Jan means 'the ever-changing body and all it's little 'I's and by' water' he means 'the all-encompassing unchangeable'. ed.) As a result it suffers from the apparent separation. It is as if the water lies in bed to cure itself of a non-existent sickness. And yes, sometimes, very rarely it does heal itself. The way that it heals itself varies so much from wave to wave that there are a multitude of different stories by waves who tell how they have found the water again, each one in his or her way. The problem with this might be that you, as a wave, begin to compare the different stories of how the different waves have found the water. In that way you incidentally run the risk of taking the non-existent waves and their healing seriously. Because, no matter how you twist and turn it, it is one and the same water playing hide-and-seek with itself, including the game of 'finding the water', without the water becoming more or less wet. To make this simple and digestible I use the words 'water' and 'wave' as metaphors.
Homer tells the story that Zeus (the water) gives a party for the gods (the waves) to which one wave is not invited: Eris, the goddess of strife. Of course she doesn't take being excluded sitting down and takes revenge by throwing a golden apple with the inscription, 'To the most beautiful' in among the partygoers. That causes the three most beautiful goddesses to begin fighting with each other. That was the beginning of the fight that we see all around us in the world. Because of this 'my-team-against-your-team' fight we no longer see that in fact this is all about the one 'water'– the very basis of all waves – that directs and plays this entire game and that it is not 'the other' the one we usually blame. In this connection, seeing that Zeus is always and in every situation the water, and never one wave against the other, is the only goal that is scored. But for that to happen, you first have to abandon every belief in the idea of being a wave in a wave-world, with a wave free will, and so on, etc. etc. Only then can you free the holy terror that you are yourself, from the spell of believing that you are something other than the all-encompassing water itself.
In that process it seems as if that wave-little-I has to do or not do something in order to become water and see all the other waves as water again. The last step is seeing that the I, as a 'wave', was always already water and thus was never a wave and that all the so-called effort has actually not taken place. With that, every why question becomes nonsense and there is also no I that can give an answer if a question arises.
Amigo: So, we can do all the courses in the world for the sake of the game, not for the sake of truth or reality. In other words, naturally I may do everything, as long as I don't believe or think that my adventures, experiences, opinions, ideas, convictions – in short my stories – are true. Nevertheless, there are many people who do everything, or have done everything to 'help the world', or to 'change'. I have also gone through life singing mantras in all kinds of languages to beseech the gods 'love' and 'peace' and so on; all from an intense longing to transcend the personal… Does everyone go through a phase like that? Is that what you call 'the way of devotion'?
Jan: That is a question about 'heart'-waves and 'head'-waves and for me that is the same apparent distinction as the male-female distinction. One has to see through all these opposites as being untrue, before one can see everything as water just dancing its dance, as a water ballet that refutes all opposites forever.
Amigo: Because of everything that I now 'know' I can no longer believe in doing anything to arrive somewhere else. With that everything that was fun has fallen by the roadside. That drone in the background: everything is as it is… All my stories disappear in that and come out of that. I do see that very clearly, but my 'little-I' experiences that as emptiness. It is disagreeably just emptiness. That is my bottom question. What now? If you immediately 'know' that everything is nothing else than what there is, then it all means nothing to me any more...
Jan: That is because you still listen to Belle's questions and answers as it they were true and you apparently have to do or avoid something. You are not allowing yourself to relax in the notion of being water while you see the Belle-wave just chattering on. You are not the wave, and to live in yourself – the water – you only have to learn, or rather you may realize, that you, the leading role player-wave and its wave world, no longer need to take that role seriously. You have to get used to being at home for a while in that empty water before it becomes 'enjoyable'. As long as a little-I-wave and its idea about how it should be is not recognized and gone beyond, seeing that you are the water and not a wave remains meaningless. The world of waves just goes on telling that it is real, even if you already know that the waves are just water. And it becomes even more difficult if these non-existing waves bother or hurt a non-existing Belle, or tell her that there is nothing good about the nothing. Because this is a hurdle that occurs quite often, I have developed the course The Killing of the Suitors. That course (could) help one to not lose sight of the water and to liberate the unchanging Attention, the Now and the Silence, from experiences that unjustly try to play the boss, and to experience the happiness of JUST BEING.
Amigo: We are assuming that you have read something of Tony Parsons and have an opinion about that. It is interesting to see so clearly that here are two people, you and Tony, who have both realized who they are and speak about that in two completely different ways when they in fact mean the same and radiate the same love, whether they want to or not.
For Tony It was suddenly there; suddenly on a Sunday afternoon in a park Clarity was there. He was 21, grew up with Christianity that had no more attraction for him after this experience. Tony takes the view that there is nobody, not here and not there. No one here, no one there. Thus, there is no one who has to make something clear, or do or not do something. Life is the Invitation of That Which is. There is expression and that is all. I am this moment. Here is what I am. Tony offers nothing because there is no one to take or give anything. If he were to offer something then one could speak of a 'something' or a 'somebody'. If he were to offer me something then that would strengthen the I-feeling. That is why he does not use any methods that might confirm the existence of the I-feeling.
Personally I think that this is about two things: Tony 'became enlightened' at a very young age and had to learn how to live with his new vision the following years. He is a bit of a 'lucky one', never any problems. He was Christian until he realized that the church had nothing to offer. Unlike you, he never had a teacher; there is no tradition that he can fall back on. You did not have an easy life as a child, and the rest of your life was also somewhat problematic. Your luck was Wolter Keers, your mentor, your teacher on the path of enlightenment. Wolter had a tradition behind him. Alexander always used to say that the tradition does its work via the spiritual master, whether you know that or not. A tradition steers along; the teacher can build on the tradition, it can help the student take hurdles. A tradition sees to it that everyone doesn't have to invent the wheel over and over again. What is usefulness of a tradition according to you?
Jan: Strictly speaking traditions have no use, because water does not become any wetter if you discover from mentors and their box-of-tricks that you are, always were, and always shall be, not a wave but water. Nevertheless, it seems that in Wolter's 'tradition' there does exist a wonder in what happened to the wave-Jantje. This wave-Jantje got a method shoved under his nose that slowly made him tumble under the rain of facts of Wolter's tradition. That's how he learned that there is only the all-encompassing water and that the rest is nothing more than a story, because the wave-Jantje was never a wave, thus there never has been a search or a finding, and there were only stories. Thus tradition is something that can only mean something at the level of being a wave, but as soon as the wave-Belle realizes that she is water, both the tradition and the insight become jokes of that one water itself.
Amigo: Nevertheless, don't you have the feeling somewhere of being anchored in The Tradition thanks to Wolter?
Jan: Do you think that you have support from that consciously or unconsciously? … Yes and no. Yes because the wave-Jan apparently got the proof that he isn't a wave but the water itself, through the immortal dear wave-Wolter. In my case it happened then very slowly by the dismantling of the automatism of being a Jantje and understanding that it was not Wolter who helped me with his tradition, but the water itself. That water told me that it was, is and always will be water. With that, the duality was broken through, and the wave Jan just became the all-encompassing Being itself.
As long as you still need to believe what the thinking and feeling little wave says, and you are not yet ready to let the golden apple from the goddess of discord roll away with a smile, the script of a tradition can be an enormous support. Then it is 'grace in action.' Thereby you also need not reinvent the wheel, because there is an entire script ready to help you recognize and avoid all the obstacles and pitfalls that you may come across. I had the blessing that Wolter allowed me to see that it is not totally rounded off with the 'coming home', and in order to erase every trace of the wave-past you still had to do and/or not to do something. In addition I had the luck of finding the ideal scenario of the play in Homer's Odyssey in which water goes to the wave and returns to the water thereafter.
Amigo: Do you think that your teachings give a base to your students?
Jan: Yes, because recognizing the water is a good basis for surviving the violence of the wave world and if that is your wave-tendency then that is your way. If not, then you may have to search for another tradition and see if that can bring you to what you already are.
Amigo: Is tradition important?
Jan: Yes – for this oaf certainly, and with other people who follow traditions you see that they also get the same as what the tradition gave to me. And no – because every road home is finally the same water that was already there all along. Then it seems to be Zeus who plays both sides of the 'my team against your team' game, incites and confuses the whole business and sometimes makes it one again.
Amigo: What did Wolter say about that?
Jan: In 'the prehistory of non-duality in the Low Lands' Wolter, like someone calling out in the wilderness, already spoke about Krishna who said: whatever way you take, I stand at the end. That is why Wolter also promoted and encouraged every path and did everything possible for it, both literally and figuratively. Because, if you see that everything is water and not one or another Wolter with his own way, then it is also clear that every way is the good way, because behind every so called way or wave Zeus/the water is hidden duping the clod.
Amigo: Do you think you are formed by the tradition thanks to Wolter?
Jan: Naturally there was a story about a so-called 'being on the way', and there is a principal character in that story called little Jan, who is very thankful that he received the grace from a light like Wolter whom he will always carry in his heart. But, if you look at it from the point of view of Zeus/Water, and not from that of the wave, then there never was 'no water'. So, it is at the same time complete nonsense. Therefore, in order to learn to handle this apparent contradiction I always say: give to the Caesar-wave what belongs to the Caesar-wave and to Me-the water what belongs to Me-the water. Then the best thing to do is to let them both go their way, just as the left hand need not know what the right hand is doing. What is important in my story is the degree to which you succeed in daily life, in remaining yourself as the water instead of as the non-existent but presenting itself as real, ever changing wave-experiences without at the same time doing or leaving anything.
Thanks to a 'tradition' I received the script (The Odyssey) about what might cross your path along the way, and what you need to watch out for, so that after the insight, you nevertheless don't become enchanted by the apparently real experiences, until you see that an experience doesn't exist, but that everything is just the all-encompassing experiencing itself. If you don't let that roll itself out, you remain resisting so-called 'others'. Then you have landed in the middle of the discord sown by the golden apple; in other words in opinions and judgments. My box of tricks is thus there in order to learn to distinguish the apparently two – Caesar (the wave) and Me (the water) – until you have got it so that Caesar can no longer tell any stories which the water (Me) doesn't immediately recognize effortlessly as nonsense.
Amigo: What do you think about Wolter Keers's book Vrij Zijn (Being Free) being published in the Netherlands?
Jan: Great naturally, because even if it was written in another time it is still clear and to the point. But, in addition it is especially fine because every report about being the water that appears in this wave-world is a celebration, especially if Wolter's nameplate is hanging on it! But now it might seem again as if Jantje is doing something while it is the 'water' that does it, for example by means of all the different 'water bearers' from the publishers Samsara, or just directly.
Amigo: Do you know Tony Parsons work? Have you read anything by him? I know you're not a reader but still…
Jan: After your e-mail question I quickly ate a 'Tony sandwich' at my vacation place, while I kept the tent poles in view at the same time because it was raining and storming. His way of speaking makes what the taste of the nothing/water is very clear, and dumps all wave-ideas into the godly nothing. So I give him a big ten for his clear descriptions of the nothing, the water and not being a wave.
However, if I didn't look from my water point of view, but would listen to my wave-Jantje little voices then I would immediately give him a big fat zero for his touchingly naïve kicking at and putting down of other directions and ways. Then Jantje – speaking figuratively –sees clear and bigger than life that Tony-wave sitting on the empty chair of the nothing, running down every way that is different from his, as if with the others there does exist a 'something' or a 'somebody' who could do it 'wrong' while, as he so clearly says, there is absolutely no other! This is a good example of how the 'little Jan's in us' are out for war in every possible way. That is not possible from what I call 'The Empty Chair', not for Tony, not for me, not for anybody. But, that is how nothingness (the water) apparently wants to play with the apparent points of view and that is what I call 'the fun of Zeus'. By saying this it seems as if a certain Jan has an opinion about a certain Tony. But that isn't true! There is neither a Tony nor a Jan; there is only Zeus, water, or nothingness as you wish, who is again and again bombarding with the apple of discord; the same apple that Adam and Eva ate from and so were driven out of paradise (the water) and rolled into the waves-nightmare.
Don't be fooled by your own all-encompassing water/nothing, because looking from Me/water there is only the knowing of a Jantje who looks at Tony. The water that always illuminates Jantje's 'standpoint' as well as the apparent duality will remove the 'war' and make everything into the play of the one water again.
Amigo: Tony doesn't reach out to seekers; no lessons or methods; absolutely nothing, frighteningly nothing. His 'way' is utterly radical. Many people never return after one visit. He is available; anyone can just call him up and people do that. You are equally available; everyone can call you or email you. You offer courses. Tony's offering is the great Nothingness. One goes home with empty hands. What do you think of that?
Jan: Every frog has his or her own way of telling the tadpoles what it looks like above the water. But since as far as I am concerned neither a Tony, nor a Jan nor a whosoever is, but always only the water itself that babbles to the water, I would never try from out of myself to say or believe anything about another wave, because naturally there is no other wave. You do remain a witness of one of the Jantjes/little I's who go on having opinions about things, but you have to unmask that as a 'battle sandwich'. You pull on my earlobe to arrive at apparent differences and why-questions from my answers. If that is what you want I can look for a moment at the apparent differences. If you were to see I-am-water at one go, as happened to that Sunday's child called Tony, then mostly there is nothing to say about it other than 'right'! You don't have to do or leave anything. It either happens or it doesn't, period. Then, naturally all the other ways in waterland are nonsense, but inasmuch as he says himself that he 'received' an insight, and that in the following years he had to learn how to live with his new vision of life, then it would be clearer if he would also describe the way. It seems then that the 'insight' was apparently not enough; evidently there was a learning process after that insight. Tony does not name the times and the moments of learning, while in my tradition they are precisely the most important. Because those, as is the case for most 'home-arrivers', who first had to cover an apparently long way full of obstacles and setbacks before seeing that it is all nothing, can offer more tips and tricks about what may or may not work in order to become free of the wave-confusion. Purely and only because it also went like that on your path by accident – just as in The Odyssey – you may possibly help all sorts of seekers to arrive home in their own way, and with their own differences, without one way being any better than another. Only believe what you already believe at this moment. Visit every oaf that you may wish, but keep a sober vision on stories and concepts and question again and again that which doesn't make sense to you, or just go to someone else. Trust and know that it is always the water itself that tells us on every possible path you may tread that we are already, always were and shall be water and never a wave-person whatever you call him or her.
Amigo: I think that people always want something to do during their 'train trip home'.
Jan: If they come to me because they think they are suffering from being a wave seeking for the essence, then yes, I do offer them something. But, this offering like a snake in the grass, is at the same time the possible introduction to breaking up all their ideas and to 'kill' every belief in the little-I-voices. I say from the very beginning that it is all finally nonsense, because there is nothing to reach and therefore there is nothing that can be done or not done to be what you already are.
What is complicated is that if you think you are a wave on its way home, then that little I is completely convinced that you have to do or not do all kinds of things to reach that. What I point to is learning to see that as untrue, while the wave world simply continues to believe that it is really true. I accompany them and let them see, step for step, depending on their ripeness, that it is not about 'reaching something'. There is only the realization that water doesn't become any wetter if it realizes that it is, always was, and always will be, water. Every special detail of the water is finally seen to be relative, because we were already it the whole time, and nothing else! Therefore, for future seekers there is never any 'teaching material' or a 'mentor' needed! Everything is just the fun of Zeus, the seventh day game of water dancing with itself while standing still.
Amigo: Nevertheless we can never stop doing something, even if we know that there is nothing to do…
Jan: That depends on ripeness and tendencies. One just like Tony, first gets the insight I am water and not the wave and then tries to break up the automatism of the wave-ideas, using that insight as a candle in the darkness until it is seen that everything is really water. Others, so as this Jan for example, have to first trust a mentor from whom they learn to see through and transcend the 'little-'I's' and 'body' as untrue with other tricks and proofs without the benefit of that insight.
Thereafter, the 'passing of the old point of view' teaches you to become free of every belief in the automatic Jantje-thinking in your daily life. Only after that you may taste the real seeing of being water. Not every waterfinder gets to see that he, after being told that he is water, also has to learn to finish the automatism of a now seen-through-Jantje and his waveworld and to dissolve in life as being water. If not then someone who has 'found' the water goes to sit on the 'chair of doing nothing', accompanied by his not yet recognized 'Jantjes' who in the name of nothing testify how the nothing is and should be. In general you can see that fairly easily, but it is not always easy to keep away from conflicts, and apparently one needs effort to remain seeing the water through all the wave-stories.
Therefore, according to me, the most important is NOT the insight I am water and not the wave, but the learning that follows to get the conditioning I am a wave out of your system while the so called 'world' just goes on. That now 'seen through' wave with its Jantjes, opinions and beliefs will mostly just continue as before, but now without an I that does or doesn't do something that is believed. And also not following an idea or an I-feeling as being true and that now dancing in the round, without leaving a trace.
I do talk about 'the insight', but actually that is much less important than learning not to lose Attention, Peace, Silence or Now-ness to the compelling character of thoughts, feelings or longings (the Jantjes and their 'worlds'). Without seeing through the slippery characters, you are in danger of landing smack back as a wave in the my team-your team competition with only the memory of being water. What good is the 'godly nothing' if you still have to pay attention to something instead of being undefined attention?
Amigo: It is thus clear that seekers who come to you are happy with something that could be called a 'method', even though it is said a hundred thousand times that no 'method' is needed.
Jan: Yes, precisely! Just as with a small child who comes to the side of your bed on a Sunday morning and tells you that they are going to work, you go along with the game and say: 'really good darling! Have you packed your peanut butter sandwich to eat at your work? Instead of saying to that child: 'what are you talking about, you don't have a job. You are still only a child.'
Without losing sight of the fact that all waves are water, you are, at the most, available to tell the one who claims to suffer from being a wave, how you can distill the water out of the wave-thinking and how not to lose sight of the water while looking through the waves.
Finally I want to say something about the wave Tony, the wave Jan and whatever the waves are called. If you may see that every question, every opinion, whatever drivel of any wave whatsoever is a game of Zeus, or call it 'the all-encompassing' water (because finally there is only water), then you don't get caught up any more in the little hot-air wars. There can be a seeming conflict between the wave-Tony and the wave-Jan, but if you remain focused on the water, then there remains only water, which can't make any conflict with itself no matter how hard it tries to play it like that. Thus, Belle-wave, let the Jantjes enjoy their drivel. The unchanging water does know better. We don't take those Janus-drivellers seriously any more, ok?
[Interview: Belle Bruins]
Website (in Dutch): www.ods.nl/la-rousselie