3. MY CHILDHOOD
Natural medical doctor 4. ON THE "OTHER SIDE"
The Great Experiences/Ten years of uniterrupted Bliss
Vision of the Grail
My Inner Woman
To make love and be free Tantra
REVELATION OF THE GREAT MOTHER
THE GREAT LIGHT
THE GREAT DEATH/THE UNDERWORLD
The Ultimate Sutra
Amsterdam, August 1980
Nothing Is/The Cycle
5. DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL
(Sermon of the Valley)
The Return 7. TERESA OF AVILA
Teresa of Avila
A Miracle/PilgrimCare 8. MY LIFE'S MYTH
9. LAMENT FOR THE PLANET
10. THE GREAT MOTHER
Great Mother Hymn 12. EPILOGUE
The Green Grass ABOUT THIS
| Looking Back
Looking back on it the main lines of my development become
clear to me. For the first two years I lived in paradise, followed by the extremely
painful experience of "rejection". In my experience, from one day to the next -
immediately after the birth of my brother I felt no longer loved or seen, I felt
totally abandoned, left to my own devices. From that moment on "I had to do it all by
myself." My deep inferiority complex I had become a nobody, by a chronic lack
of confirmation - was overcompensated by an ideal vision of myself, to which I clung on
to. My life was a major attempt to be somebody. Without realizing it, I became addicted to
this self-image. It was deeply painful for me to confess that despite the joyous ten years
- which existed in the Non-Being, and after the trial and error of the dark years that
followed it - I again was identified, but now with my spiritual self image, my
realization, my being a teacher and my impact on the world. The inflatedness,
resulting from the childish inferiority complex, turned out to be the last obstacle on the
road to complete surrender. The depletion as a result of running after my Self addiction,
however, forced me to my knees time and time again. Now that I finally reconciled with my
Non-Being, a miraculous calmness and peace came into me. Now there is nothing that can
pull me out of my True Nature. That I may constantly stand with empty hands is my most
Unexpectedly, I was granted the Realization of Divine Wrath. The provoking elements being shock, angst and rage. It was shortly after my wife spent three weeks in the hospital (intensive care!) after a serious accident. Through a "cold shock" her lungs were oversaturated with fluids. So she had to be on the machines all the time. It was God-Given luck that she survived. Some months later we were on holiday. We had rented a small house from a friend who knew about MeiMei's background. While sitting in the garden, enjoying the fine weather, we suddenly saw a man behind the hedge - on only two yards distance - in protective clothing, spraying weeds with pesticides. Immediately I got a shock, in a flash seeing MeiMei laying in her hospital bed, fighting for her life. I felt acute danger in every cell of my body, one that involved by whole spiritual-emotional and physical being. Within a split-second my entire system reacted like a tiger mother, defending her baby. I was in a state of Divine Wrath. Although I experienced supernatural Rage, no cell in me had the intentention of attacking my friend. My anger was transcended to a Divine Space, in which everything was timeless and limitless. My whole Being was Rage, truly a special kind of Enlightenment. At the same time the Divine "kept overview" all the timel. Not for a second, the Rage could have damaged my friend. Something "I" was constantly aware of. Hence, no additional fear for getting out of control, at all. Much later I realized that this had been a great gift. Never before, I could have let go anger, without being afraid of hurting somebody. Therefore, I had been always afraid of aggressive confrontations. Through "my" Divine Wrath I know now that transcendence of defensive! rage is possible. I am much less afraid of my own aggression now. Noteworthy to mention is that my friend didn't experience my Rage as hurting him, while his girlfriend, who saw the scene said with sacred awe: "I have never seen you so "angry". There was something very special about it, something I cannot define".
Return to the previous
Deep insight into the cause and the cohesion of suffering was the first condition, the first step on a long road. Without the influence of time, where everything is being re-chewed time and time again, it wouldnt have been possible. Courage was necessary to repeatedly confront that same pain, anger and fear to pass through me: the constant feeling awareness, allowing and accepting the "ugly" in myself and learning to love it, to embrace and to acknowledge and finally to confess it before God, without reservation or hesitation. From the deep despair, that it would never turn out right I constantly gave myself back to From-Where-I-Came and (re)discovered the relationship with the Absolute ( that I Am MySelf, which ultimately would reveal itself as the Great Mother*): the prayer, not my will, but Thy Will be done and the whisper of Her Name. Continuous I was looking for an answer to my deepest desire to forever be part of the Whole, to be an instrument in Her Hands.
See: chapter 10
Just being-myself, this kitsch slogan
from the me-culture,
My lifes myth of he who came back a fool,
drunken on the Divine, living in the Here and Now, from the Other Shore I come
to you as someone who brings your inheritance back to you. In my exile I have kept, what
you've lost, so you - in spite of your obsession with "happiness" - are still
deeply unhappy. I'll bring you what has survived in me, but What is not mine. I was
privileged in having kept my Innocence, now I cant do anything but lead you to the
same Innocence, your True Self. I Am Truly Free and cant bear to watch how you are
imprisoned in your self-made hell. It was with intent that I after having had my Divine
Decade of Blissfulness that I quite deliberately chose to return to the world of conflict
and the transitory, only to know better what you must endure. My guideline to this is the
Grail Vision*. It is a gift from the Great Mother. She gave it at the very beginning of my
spiritual Journey. As we know it consists out of Striving
for Enlightenment, restructuring (integrate) your life and serving the other"
symbolized by the St. Johns Wort, the Jewish (Canaanite) Chandelier (the Tree of
Life) and the ever outpouring Grail Chalice. Every time when I lost the Way, I found
support in the Vision. It time and time again confirmed my destination and direction.
Because the Vision was of transcendent character, it was not only intended for me.
Everybody may adopt it as guideline.
As you know the Grail is linked to the Percival legend. My life is
closely intertwined with this. Not only because wise man once had made a prediction about
it too me*, but also very practical. My life runs along the same pattern. And in the past
I was often nagging about lack of guidance! This heroic aspect of my existence
should, however, repeatedly be updated. It requires courage, perseverance, confidence and
strength. Central is the carrying out of your mission. Therefore it is necessary that you
coincide with your destination. This happened to Percival starting with the gift of the
Enlightenment (with me it was the Triple Realisation). With one big blow you are put on
the right track, engaged in the Divine Plan. However this is only the
beginning. By the Divine Opening, there are countless unprocessed or archetypal types that
surface. You will be confronted with it whether you want it or not. They are
symbolized by the countless! of adventures Percival encounters upon his Path. The
challenges are really aspects of himself that need to be integrated. After a long period
of maturation he then is for the second time invited at the Grail castle (symbol of
Enlightenment). Unlike the first time he does not fail to ask about the health condition
of the king. Full Enlightenment is synonymous with compassion! Only then can you
participate in the Kingdom.
Teresa of Avila, my great spiritual sister, made some VERY pointing remarks. She said, that the initial God-Experience (Enlightenment) is easy, compared to the second one. What does she means by that? Well, in the beginning, either through self-effort or grace everything has an excitement of the New in it. Your whole body-spirit-mind is focussed on one thing only. It creates the right breeding ground for a Great Opening. The "lucky ones" may experience an actual Realization of a few seconds, minutes. In my case a full day! After that I lived for ten years in uninterrupted Bliss. Whether after a few hours or after ten years, one thing is sure: the ego returns. I recognized the importance of it (what not everybody does....), while starting the "Dark Night of the Soul", in which residues of my old self had to become integrated in my New Identity. Since the East considers 1. the personality being an illusion 2. the spiritual Path completed through realizing Enlightenment (which is not true), I searched in vain for inspiring examples. I found it through reading E.Underhill's book "Mysticism", a unique, nay, totally unsurpassed account of the Western (Christian) Mystic Way. It fully confirmed Teresa's experience, describing the stages of the Way in a "logical" sequence. The Path doesn't end with Realization, the latter appears only to be the beginning of it.....In my previous chapters I have given you a detailed account already. What matters here is that through committing yourself with the integration process, which is equal to go into therapy (....), the mind and its functions (temporarily) regain emphasis. You are busy with the content of Space - thoughts, emotions and desires - and less with Space itself. In a way you alienate (somewhat) from your Inner Being. The stronger your ego-parts, your suppressed emotions and (in my case) mind-activities (like writing), which took about 12 years, the distance towards what once was your Divine Nature, can be quite considerable. In order to once again coming closer to it, you have to give up all identifications with the mind. In my - and Teresa's - case the latter proved to be rather stubborn. On the other hand, after so many years of "working on yourself", often without any "progress", you (often by surprise) come to a point of "accomplishment", a deep experience of Wholeness. Very gently the Space re-established itself as the foundation of your Being, thoughts sink down even before they come up. Its omni-presernt Peace has taken away all stress out of your head. From that moment on there is nothing to do anymore. All interest in the mind has evaporated. There is only one (big) longing left: to become re-united with the Divine, to live the rest of your life in Oneness.Criteria of the Unitive Life
You are (supernatural) Space, including
everything "around you".
Bright, gentle, peaceful Oneness,
connecting the world to a single Whole.
It's unchanging, timeless and limitless.
No ego, no thoughts, no distractions.
Everything - the shrubs and the trees - is new, fresh.
Bliss and beauty have taken possession of you.
"You" feel light, uplifted, not of this world.
while everything is part of You.
The second problem that took a rather heavy toll on me was the question, when and how to "show my Original Face" to the world. Should I take the initiative myself or should I wait "for a sign of the Cosmos?" This sometimes grew out to obsessive proportions. Remarkable was, that every time I undertook some action myself, it always ended in "failure". At last I did it it just to be able to drop another illusion. Fortunately the pressure behind the obsession - the desire to be recognized - diminished. I was already "chosen" by the Cosmic Mother*, so why the need to get it from humans, was one of my more candid thoughts. Through it I got more and more convinced that "the Mother" would show me the Way. Supported by a series of dream patterns. Every time I was about to take a wrong decision the Mother send me a dream with a warning: "don't do this". She hardly ever did the opposite: telling me what to do. So, I went back to where it all started. First of all to the Parzival prophesy. More than 40 years later I had to admit that my life was indeed a "fulfillment" of the Grail legend, every reason to be confident in Divine Guidance. Afterwards it is amazing - despite overwhelming Divine Gifts - that my skepticism was so big at times. It certainly protected me from all too quick involvement in worldly affairs. My awareness about the necessity of completing the "Dark Night" first - wholly and thoroughly - certainly played a decisive role also. Time and again I was contemplating my Grails' Vision, offering me great support. It time and again put me on the right track. As you remember, this consisted of St.John's Wort (Enlightenment), the Jewish (Canaanite) Tree of Life (Integration) and the outpouring Chalice (Compassion, Service). For years I had overlooked the transition between stage two and three. Before pouring itself out, the Chalice had a crucial Moment of Oneness with its Dark Background. Only after this split second the pouring started. It emphasized the necessity of continuously returning to the Mother. In fact, it said, that Oneness with the Mother is the pre-condition for being active in the world. "Not me, but the Mother "behind, in and through me". It led to a most joyful conclusion: the only thing "to do" is being One with my (the) Origin. No inner argueing with my ego anymore, no thinking about the right strategy, no planning for the future. It was a test for my trust in the Cosmos. If indeed, "everything comes from the Origin", my only task is not to be in Her Way.
* See chapter 10: "The Great Mother".
Now I am celebrating my own biography. I remember it as if it was yesterday. Main part of it was that I felt rejected as a child, thus did not belong to here, nowhere feeling at home. At that time the pain was so unbearable that I as a two year old retreated from this world. It would dominate my entire life. I was not at home with my family, not at school, not in this culture, not with my parents and siblings and finally ... not of this world. That it worked predisposing in reaching the Other Shore, is plausible. Dont all the teachers say - especially the dualistic type that in order, to become enlightened, you must leave everything behind, your past, your biography, your identity, yourself. Well, I have been doing that my whole life. But once you arrived, you have to do exactly the opposite: the adoption of what you had dropped. If you still do not consciously adopt your biography, it will start dominating you. It is the fate of people who for example share the above spiritual philosophy. After the realization, just when you thought you reached it begins the inevitable confrontation with your past, so that your whole enlightened life becomes sour. Because you want to deny this to the outside world - think of all those devout followers that you've gathered through so much effort it thus becomes concealed. I was - though late privileged to fully embrace my past. And have thus - with this book, this giving myself openly done so with great exuberance.
My Triple Return: From the Light, from death and
Actual compassion doesnt start with the other, but with
yourself. It starts with the painful realisation of one's own alienation and the discovery
of your own Wholeness. Alienation as the cut-off experience of your deeper Self and the
Divine, your body and nature and the unconscious respectively oppressed parts of your
psyche. The more you can allow the pain to be here now and experience it, the more intense
the desire for wholeness becomes. The catch here is the idea that you are already
very spiritual and are therefore free of alienation. Usually there
is the fear of ones own shadow - all oppressed, convicted and non-welcomed
negative qualities and impulses at the root of it. They are in conflict
with the positive self-image. There is nothing wrong with
yourself, wrongly called ego, though. Self-centeredness is a
natural function in the service of an individuals survival. Maintaining yourself and
reinforcing is an undeniable aspect of life, something for which we do not have to feel
ashamed. If we deny this function, commonly through some (spiritual) philosophy, than we
deny ourselves and others. Living in a self created illusionary world, benefits nobody.
Denying vital parts of yourself was exactly the cause of the suffering to begin with. Not
condemnation, but awareness, acceptance and integration is the answer.
them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
Antoine De Saint-Exupery. French aviator and writer, author of 'The Little Prince', 1900-1944 Beauty From the first moment you are aware, an entire new world opens itself for you. Observing something without the intervention of thoughts, emotions and desires lifts you above daily functioning. The brightness is reflected in the object, regardless of what it is. Before you were still dominated by your sympathies and antipathies (consequences of your past / you conditionings). Now you suddenly see the world with an entirely different view. The awareness has added a value to everything. You see everything as for the first time. Through your direct perception everything is renewed, instead of you having to be renewed by your surroundings. So it does not really matter what you see, everything is just as fresh, without exception.
Especially if you in your process have attained a conscious feeling connection with the body, a new dimension opens itself to you. Through body awareness contact with everything around you is established. Extension of body awareness and inner space go hand in hand. Does the feeling awareness expand further, then the chair, the table, the floor, the vase with flowers and the cat at a given moment become aspects of your extended Space. The former become the contents of your True Self. Perhaps for the first time in your life, you see (and feel) the beauty of all those little things around you: the grass, flowers, bees, the smells in the woods, the clouds .... and the silence.
Does something enter your own Space, you love it as yourself
Because the Path goes via the body, the latter gets a whole new
appreciation. Looking and feeling brings you into contact with the subtle
energies of the body. It brings you joy, pleasure and happiness. Suddenly, all kinds of
unknown dimensions open before you. In sitting, walking, cycling and dancing for example.
You will appreciate your body for its subtlety, grace, strength or stability, all this
with positive feedback on your self-awareness e.g. confidence. Suddenly you
dare to dress in the manner that suits you best - my father had a company in ladies
clothing, so I personally love beautiful clothes - your perception of love, eroticism and
sex will undergo a deep fundamental transformation etc. etc.........
© 1999 Copyright by Han M. Stiekema. All rights reserved.