Q: “Why are you writing in English while you mostly speak Dutch in daily life?”
I prefer to go worldwide. Mocht er voldoende vraag komen om iets in het nederlands uiteen te zetten, dan komt er een gelijkaardige nederlandstalige site (geen 1 op 1 vertalingen echter, da’s te saai).
Daarenboven vind ik het Engels, wat de meest geavanceerde, expressieve en eenvoudige taal is ter wereld, ronduit gemakkelijker om zaken mee uiteen te zetten, en ik tracht hier en daar ook aan te sluiten op bestaande terminologie.
Ook de meeste van mijn referenties zijn van Engelse oorsprong en zijn totdusver niet vertaald naar het Nederlands.
Q: “Why are you doing this?”
Good question. Because it’s the right thing for me to do. Because i’m crazy perhaps. Because i want to help you see through the illusions that are destroying harmony, on a personal and the global level.
Q: “I don’t see any difference between what you are saying and J. Krishnamurti’s words. Aren’t you simply repeating his message? Why bother?”
Some answers can be found in this post: Krishnamurti vs. me. I am moving further in some ways, investigating other metaphors, other ways of putting points across. My different background, including my IT education and interest in psychology and neurology, could be of some use in this respect. More specifically, i am trying to address the biggest obstacles that prevent change from happening.
Q: “How do you relate to other teachers and traditions?”
Contrary to most teachers, including Krishnamurti, i have no formal background in any spiritual/religious tradition, absolutely none. This i find very interesting and a serious “advantage”, but hard to overcome at the same time.
The last few years i have examined a series of contemporary well-known spiritual teachers. To position myself a little bit, let me do a bit of name-calling. I have little to no affinity with:
- Ramana Maharshi‘s spiritual drivel
- the states and stages of Ken Wilber,
- the unrealistic drivel of Eckhart Tolle,
- the charades and dangerous mind tricks of Byron Katie,
- the masked illusions and psychopathologies of Andrew Cohen,
- the limited and likely apathetic views of many neo-advaitans (Tony Parsons, Nathan Gill, Jan Kersschot, …) and any person or group that uses a lot of uppercase concepts such as “the Witness”, “Being”, … Life is already complicated enough.
However, as long as they don’t inflict harm and you get something out of their teachings, good for you, but i have my doubts. Some of these people actually cause pain and confusion, consciously or unconsciously. Furthermore, any religion based on dogmas and/or exclusivity is troublesome because they promote conflict by definition. I know too little of Buddhism, Zen Buddhism and Yoga, and although i’m quite sure these systems provide all the tools to liberate oneself, it seems to me they are not quite enough adapted for ordinary people, and there usually is a retreating from the world, which is problematic in many cases.
My views are more in line with:
- most of J. Krishnamurti‘s words (he was too fixated on the absolute imho),
- the better moments of master manipulator Osho and master nihilist U.G. Krishnamurti (watch out with these two),
- the zen perspectives of Shunryu Suzuki,
- the scientific approach of formal meditation master Shinzen Young
- (para)psychology professor Charles T. Tart (the latter has done essential work on identity states and has revisited some interesting teachings of questionable mystic Gurdjieff).
- I also added some links to some teachers that i don’t know that well but seem trustworthy (see right).
- To top it off, i very much like the pragmatic approach of oldschool Taoists such as Lieh Tzu, Chang Tzu and Lao Tzu. Seriousness and humor are essential.
- And there are also the later works of quantum physicist David Bohm, which have been ignored almost completely, which is a damn shame!
Q: “You make it sound all so easy. You’re so rational and seemingly cold, surely you are just projecting your personal opinions and theories like any other philosopher. Or aren’t you?”
Why are you so interested in me? What if i happen to see a lot of things in a clear or less distorted way, more fully, wholly, i.e. rationally, emotionally, practically, …? I am not digging into a lot of theory and interpretation, i am digging mostly into facts which you can verify yourself. Real meditation surpasses theory, and the meditator, the occasional philosopher, is also meditated upon. Thus, i am NOT a philosopher, that term is way too restrictive.
And just because i do not cling to words, images or symbols does not mean i am apathetic or sociopathic. You base your views upon what you know, and the point is that there is a mind state beyond the known, that there is a way of living that is not (yet) part of your experience.
Q: “Aren’t you simply trapped in an illusion of being different than the rest of us? And adhering to that role we are all fooled, including yourself?”
That is always possible of course. Remain utterly skeptical.
Q: “Are you enlightened?”
First of all, what do you mean by that word, and, even if i said i was, what difference would it make to you?
From my own experience, there is such a thing as “enlightenment”, a sudden big insight which radically changes one’s thoughts and actions, even though most part of my unconditioning was a gradual process of “enlightening”, of consecutive insights, which is still continuing. It came about by both seeing and doing, by fully experiencing and understanding.
Thus the enlightened state is certainly not the most important thing. The key issue is the movement of enlightening, towards the allowing of insight, away from illusion, away from the images of yesterday and just a minute ago. Integrating insight into daily life, maintaining a healthy balance for mind and body, … That job is never done.
Life and the world change constantly, so to act intelligently, one has to be aware at all times. There are too many factors that can disrupt the harmonious flowing of intelligence, therefore the cycle of making mistakes and subsequent learning never ends.
To provide further explanation of a couple of my answers above, i’ll let Shinzen Young do some talking about the whole “e” thing (as i agree to most of what he is saying):