Han Marie Stiekema Sermes
Q. What is the main characteristic of the human
A. To identify itself with its
Q. What or who is identifying itself with its
A. Something most people don't
Q. We don't know?
Q. How do you explain this?
A. In the West, we have
neglected to develop our True Self. Hence, it is constantly taken in tow by every thought,
that comes up in your mind.
Q. But aren't we conscious of our thoughts?
A. Because we are "in
thoughts", we do know the content of the latter, but not the "I" who is
aware of them.
Q. Who is aware of our thinking, then?
A. Unfortunately, in an
ignorant mind it isn't your True Self. What is "aware", is the part of your
thinking, that we call reflection. It is giving comments, judgements, interpretations and
opinions about everything that pops up in us.
Q. Which we call "consciousness".
A. We call it
"consciousness", but in reality it is part of your thinking, which is a
derivative of consciousness. The point is, that when you read something, you are not aware
of the one who is reading. The crucial thing is simultaneity. That means, that there is no
here and now feedback between your Self and the reading. Only afterwards comments etc.
Q. Why is that a problem?
A. You miss the opportunity of
the impact, the reading could have on your True Self (your inner observer), while the True
Self cannot have any impact on the reading. In short, you are continuously missing the
Q. And why is that a problem?
A. Your True Self is the
unbiased deeper layer of Consciousness, within. The interaction between this layer and
your reading will always be fresh, surprising and creative, giving you real new insights
all the time. Your reflection is the result of your conditioning, though. Commenting on
your reading, will therefore be colored by your past experiences, judgements, prejudices
etc. The outcome is accordingly. Every "new" information confirming your
existing points of view, only.
Q. Creating wiseacres.
A. An "additional"
problem is, that by unconsciously identifying yourself with something, you exclude other
things. Being "in thoughts", the actual situation, your bodily sensations, your
feelings, emotions and other thoughts, cannot penetrate anymore. Through identification,
you thus have isolated yourself from your environment. You appear to be an island in the
ocean of life.
Q. Our suffering defined by being cut off from
A. To restore aware
body-contact is the first step toward integration. Feeling your body gives you the
opportunity to step out of your identifications. "Grounding" for instance,
immediately brings you back to the here and now. It is the starting point for
re-establishing your inner observer (awareness). Awareness and body-contact prove to have
a positive feedback to each other. The more intense you feel your backside in contact with
the chair, the more clear your awareness and vice versa.
Q. This can be difficult.
A. This can be so difficult,
that when I ask a person to feel the soles of his or her feet, they start thinking of
their soles, instead of feeling them. Feeling requires a "receptive awareness".
You stay "where you are" - in the center - while the sensations come to you
(from the periphery). Only then, the feedback will be fruitful.
Q. Like a flower receiving the rays of the sun.
A. Exactly. You now understand,
why the body is so important. You can only relax in the body and only through relaxation,
you will be able to create inner distance within yourself. Inner distance in its turn is a
pre-requisite for the release of content: thoughts, emotions and desires. Through
"stepping back" the latter appearing "in front of you". While
awareness is gaining in quality - clarity, stability, expansion, receptiveness - more and
more of the content of your consciousness can pop up. Especially your rejected, denied,
excluded and suppressed emotions, will have the chance to come to the surface.
Q. How to handle these unwelcome guests?
A. In the beginning, they will
certainly be unwelcome. Until you start discovering, that watching, feeling and allowing
them to enter your innermost being, your within is going to be transformed. Your normal
reaction (the pain/pleasure principle) is to keeping them out. Thus, you have to do
conscious effort to let them in. Overcoming your resistance means, that your awareness has
to expand in order to letting them in. In their turn, your negative emotions will
become part of the whole again, losing their separateness and therefore their viciousness.
Their energy will start benefiting your entire system. In the end you will be grateful to
Q. Most people will tell you, that
"negativity" is something that should be excluded.
A. Excluding them is the root
of the problem. When you were young, all emotions, that were too painful to you, were
excluded. Together, they became your shadow. You were carrying them along your whole life,
until you started opening up. The more receptive you become, the more chance, that these
suppressed emotions would still knock on your door. Excluding them once again, shows your
deep ignorance about their "true nature". They are not your enemies, but your
stepchildren. Your task is to yet embracing them.
Q. What happens, if you are opening up (e.g.
through meditation), but don't see the necessity of working on the integration of your
A. A potential danger will be
there. Suppose, there is "undigested" pain in you. By opening up, it comes into
your inner space. This pain can be best visualized, as a highly energized complex. More
opening up means, more energy will become available to you. Not only to you, but also to
the pain. It sucks the energy, blowing itself up. The paradox is, that the more light is
emerging, the more darkness (your pain) is benefiting from it. Light and darkness growing
simultaneously. Until a moment, that your light part cannot cope with the internal
pressure anymore. While collapsing, the pain is taking over. These are the people, who
suddenly turn from "love and harmony" into bitterness, frustration and
Q. Emotional self-integration thus being a
vital part of the spiritual Path.
A. It may even occupy a great
deal of your effort. It is therefore important to have good guidance. A therapist is not
always needed. You may try some self-help techniques first.
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