Question: You haven't written anything in two months. How come? Are you still in limbo?
Jan: I have never been in limbo. In the last satsang I merely wanted to make certain confusions clear, that may attack you just after Selfrealization. I haven't written anything for two months because my state has been changing dramatically.
Q: So what's your present state?
J: I live in a state of love-bliss. Like being hopelessly in love all the time. I am in love with absolutely Nothing and this Nothing is present in everything around me and in everything inside me. It is the dawn of perpetual bliss. It is divine, it is God revealing Himself and you loving it. Mind you, it goes up and down in intensity. Some days there is immense bliss, other days just a gentle joy.
Q: How long has this state lasted? I mean, do you think it is a fleeting experience?
J: It has been steadily growing ever since I got gnyan vidhi. Initially there were ups and downs as the new state stabilized, but the last two months have been a steady increase in perpetual bliss. Even to the point, that I don't loose it while I sleep either. At the peaks of this state, whether I dream or not there is just bliss. I go to bed in bliss, I sleep in bliss and i wake up in bliss. This has been growing for two months and is still growing in intensity and omnipresence.
J: Yes, what I mean is I see this bliss in everything around me all the time. Or rather this is dawning on me, since it can become so much deeper, I think. Shakti in me recognizes Shakti in everything else, and this recognition is love-bliss. Again, the intensity and clarity goes up and down, but it is never entirely lost.
Q: Is the bliss-state part of the nature of pure Selfrealization, or is it a different state?
J: Enlightenment comes in stages. First stage is when you loose identification with anything, even with non-identity, because you are pure soul which of course is Self. This state in its purity is what I call Self-realization, because you realize the Self, become one with the Self, and no longer have any identification with anything. You have no identity anymore and there is only nothingness. Of course the ego and psyche you previously had remains, but it is no longer you as Self. You are a constant witness to everything and perpetually separate from everything. It is not a nice state. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi called this state Cosmic Consciousness, which actually is a loose term the psychiatrist Bucke coined in the 1890'ies. The name Cosmic Consciousness is silly, because there is nothing cosmic about it at all. In fact it is the most humble state since there is pure nothingness and you are that nothingness. It is actually a painful state... well, you can have it in a perfectly clear and pure form, then it is peaceful and quiet prescence in the now, but as soon as you begin to move towards the bliss state, it becomes very painful.
Q: Is this the state you got with gnyan vidhi?
J: No, to be honest, I got it in 1984. I got so much more with gnyan vidhi. It took twenty two years in The dark night of the Soul plus gnyan vidhi to expand the Selfrealization to experience the Self in everything around me, and to open the door to the next stage og pure love-bliss. As I said, moving on from pure Self-realization is not nice, because you are a witness to everything and everything is so, so empty. Gnyan vidhi opened the door to God-consciousness.
Q: So the bliss you are experiencing, is that the next stage?
J: Yes, exactly. Suddenly emptiness transforms itself and you realize it is pure bliss, pure love. This is God-realization. Everything is seen as a manifestation of the divine and everything is seen to contain the divine, to be the divine and to express the divine. You enter a love relationship with God.
Q: What's the third stage, then?
J: I think everything merges into one. All distinctions vanish. I don't know much about this. Only at this stage it is moksha, true liberation. This is real enlightenment, the other stages are just preparations, I think.
Q: I had a period, when I saw everything as divine. Is this a glimpse of the second stage?
J: No. Seing everything as divine is a projection of your state of happiness or peace. In the second stage, you se the divine in everything, not things as such as divine. Big difference. You don't see things AS something, you see the Self of everything and recognze that Self as divine and recognize it as the same Self as you know yourself to be.
Q: Let's round up Self-realization, OK? What you said about sleep caught my attention. Are you, as the witness, separate from the one who experiences dreaming?
J: Yes, of course.
Q: Does this mean you can control the content of the dream and change its course?
J: No. It has nothing to do with lucid dreaming. And likewise, lucid dreaming has nothing to do with this state of witnessing. Nothing what so ever.
Q: It seems as if your understanding of the process has only recently dawned on you. Is that so?
J: Yes, funnily enough, after losing self-identification in 1984, after losing my small self, I became quite miserable for many years. And since no one could tell me what was going on, I of course assumed something was wrong with me. I could see others were happily identified with their ego's and had a self, yet I did not, and since I believed Selfrealization should be a happy and peaceful state, it never really dawned on me, what had happened to me. This misunderstanding of my process prolonged my suffering unnecessarily, I think.
Q: If you no longer had a self, who suffered, then?
J: The psyche did. The fiction called Jan suffered. The ego, the psyche, Jan is just a product of the body and karma, it is not you. It will suffer and enjoy as it has always done, since that is its nature. This will only change after godrealization.
Q: Why is that so?
J: Because before godrealization everything is so, so empty; everything appears to be an illusion. After godrealization you begin to see god in everything, including the crumbling remnants of your psyche and ego. Then, in fact, the remains of ignorance, you carry around, become very funny.
Q: Remains of ignorance? I thought if you were enlightened, then there were no more remains of ignorance.
J: Well, yes and no. Let's not call Selfrealization enlightenment because it is not moksha yet. I admit that once you step out of the small self and become totally identified with the absolute Self, then there is in a sense no longer any remnants of ignorance; but what I mean is that the small self still exists unchanged since it is not you and is solely a product of the body and of your past. I don't consider it full enlightenment until you have reached unity-consciousness (moksha). It is my impression, that in unityconsciousness there is no longer any remnants of a small self lingering around. The funny thing, which is also the source of its pain, is that in Selfrealization, you realize the absolute Self, but the little self remains completely unchanged. You have just stepped permanently out of it and the identification-mechanism is destroyed. Of course, when you step out of the small self and the identification-mechanism is destroyed, then the small self will begin to crumble and disintegrate and this auto-destruction is the real dark night of the soul.
Q: I often feel non-identified with my ego. I have made a practice out of watching it.
J: You can have a sort of non-identification with the small self, but unless the identification-mechanism is destroyed completely, then it is not Self-realization but dissociation.
Q: How do you go about destroying the identification-mechanism? It sounds like the basis of ignorance, and if you are ignorant, you can't confront that basis on your own. How did you do it?
J: Yes, you are right. But today we have gnyan vidhi, which is a special ceremony where this identification-mechanism gets destroyed by a competent spirituel master. In my case the mechanism got broken down in 1984 after I had entered nirvikalpa samadhi for about half an hour. When I came out of that meditation, the identification-mechanism was just crushed. I have no idea how it really happened, since I was unconscious while in nirvikalpa samadhi. I just "woke up" in a state of extreme bliss and no longer had a sense of I, or self as it is sometimes inaccurately called. I did not even know my name or age and could not answer, when asked about it; all was gone. Fortunately I had my guru nearby and he helped me get some sense of small self back, so I could function properly.
Q: Getting enlightened sounds like hell.
J: It has been so for those of us who were totally on our own and really did not know heads or tails of what was going on with us. But now times have changed. Also now we have gnyan vidhi to make the process smooth and fast. And it is time that those of us, who have been hiding our dawning enlightenment, step forward and give a helping hand to those on the way; that support and insight, we can give, will make the transition easier too.
Q: How do the stages of enlightenment relate to kundalini?
J: You can apparently get pure Selfrealization without any awakening or arousal of kundalini what so ever. But to get godconsciousness, you have to anchor kundalini in the sahasrara (the crown chakra on the top of the head). In godconsciousness part of kundalini is permanently in sahasrara, part of kundalini darts around your body transforming it. I think the final stage is when kundalini in its entirety has merged with pure being in sahasrara. That would be unity consciousness. Gnyan vidhi fully opened my sahasrara and anchored part of my kundalini there and it has not come down since.
Q: If I understand you correctly, then Selfrealization comes with a dramatic and well defined shift inside you; something clearly marked. But godrealization is an unstable period of transformation on the way to unityconsciousness.
J: Yes. God consciousness is indeed a period of transformation and is not a clearly marked developmental stage like Selfrealization. It comes and goes in various degrees. However, you can safely say, that if you have reached Selfrealization without any kundaliniarousal at all, and kundalini then becomes active and rises in your spine, then you are on the way to godconsciousness. As kundalinishakti moves round your body and up and down your spine, you will go in and out of divine intoxication, pure bliss, where you see god in everything. This will appear and dissapear until you reach the stage where some significant part of kundalini gets stuck in the crown chakra and never comes down again; then you will never quite lose bliss, though it may be sort of low. Even after kundalini gets anchored in sahsrara, the state will fluctuate.
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