Han Marie Stiekema Sermes
Q. I think, everybody is
waiting for this talk of today. Self-realization is very much popular nowadays.
A. This your opening statement
is very provocative. It doesn't promise many good things for today (laughter).
Q. Well, I have understood,
that your experiences are rather different from those of the "main stream".
A. It is the reason, why many
will feel disappointed. Especially those who think, that Self-realization is just another
thing they can acquire.
Q. Your criticism of
"spiritual materialism" is very well known. Nevertheless, it has pervaded the
minds of many. What could turn the tide?
A. The most important thing is
the receiver, not the received. It means, that Enlightenment f.i. is only fertile, if it
is received by someone, who is a worthy candidate. In many cases, it turns out to be a
curse though, rather than a blessing.
Q. That sounds very serious
indeed. Is it really that crucial?
A. Well, spirituality is not a
commodity, you know. On the contrary, it is the most sacred thing on earth. The irony is,
that we set high standards for our new car, while in the realm of spirituality it is
automatically assumed, that everybody is suitable.
Q. What is your basic
A. Self-investigation e.g.
motivation should precede the first concrete steps on the Path. Purity of intentions is
where it is all about. Do I genuinely feel attracted to Oneness, or is personal greed the
Q. Please, continue.
A. The reason, why this is so
important is the following. Usually a very "idealistic" picture is being
portrayed of "the outcome" of the Path. Teachers make you believe, that
"once Attained, for ever Attained". This is not according to reality though.
Sooner or later the power of Realization will subside, together with the re-appearance of
"more normal" states of mind, including the identification with the ego.
Q. I thought the ego to have
disappeared after Realization?!
A. If this would be the case,
then indeed there should be no reason for worry. Without an ego, things cannot go wrong
anymore, certainly not after Enlightenment. The thing however is, that this isn't true.
The ego does come back. If the ego is pure, it will act in accordance to the Newborn Self,
if not, then you are in trouble.
Q. Isn't the ego being purified
A. Good question. This depends
on the power of Enlightenment on the one hand and the purity the ego had before Attainment
on the other. Especially, if Attainment is imperfect, incomplete or
"superficial" (as is often the case), together with "impure"
motivations right from the start, then things could go very wrong indeed.
Q. For the first time I
understand the reason for your concern.
A. Okay, then. There are
two kinds of motivations: one coming from your deeper layers and one coming from the mind.
The first consists of genuine longing for the Ultimate, including being prepared to giving
yourself up, while the second kind of desire is all about having. You - the ego - is
unhappy with its situation, therefore it seeks to be freed from suffering, dreaming of a
state in which it will be "forever happy".
Q. Wow, this is a hard hit.
A. Instead of being obsessed
with the question "how to attain", you better exhaust yourself in
self-investigation about your inner motivation.
Q. I don't know of any teacher
paying attention to it. On the contrary, they all want their pupils to become Enlightened.
A. The underlying reason, why
this issue is crucial, lies in the tendency of the ego to identify itself with those
things, with which it can boost its self-image. Everyone knows the attraction of daily
things to the ego: a new tie, a glamorous appearance, a new partner etc. The ego cannot
resist such temptations. What happens though, if an "impure" ego discovers
"himself" to be Enlightened?*. Right, for the ego this will be the ultimate
conquest, a "challenge" it could have never dreamt of.
* In reality the ego cannot be
Enlightened. It is afterwards, that the ego may take possession of It e.g. identifying
itself with It.
Q. The ego starting to use the
Realized state for its own purposes, indeed the beginning of a disaster?
A. It could be of great help to
understand, how the Great Mother could "make a difference" here. It starts with
having insight into the primordial forces of the universe. One is centripetal, going from
the periphery to the center. It is the direction of death, of returning to e.g. dissolving
into the Mother. The other one is centrifugal. It is the driving force behind
manifestation, it is the Mother's life-giving force. There is a dynamic balance between
those forces. It depends on "the tide", which force is dominant at a particular
Q. Sounds interesting.
A. The most interesting thing
has yet to come. Both on the way toward the Mother as well as from Her, one passes an
"intermediary layer", which is Her Light Body. You remember the Vacuum is the
Essence of the Mother, while the Divine ("God", Being) proves to be Her first
"emanation", resulting in the universe as Her second emanation
("Body"). Thus "on your way" to and from the Mother you encounter Her
Light Body, which is Enlightenment. That's why everybody eventually will become
Enlightened, namely in the process of physical death.
Q. You are telling me things,
which are completely new to me.
A. The conclusion is, that
Self-realization is the result of "going with the flow" - the Cosmic Movement -
which uninterruptedly flows from the periphery (you) to the center (the Great Mother).
This flow is always there. In order for the flow to take you with it, you have to give up
every ego-ambition. The latter proves to be contra-productive. The more you emphasize it,
the more surrendering will be blocked, preventing what you want to attain.
Q. It is really turning the
things upside down.
A. Surrender to the Great
Mother and She will grant you Her Light Body!*. Enlightenment will then come as a
"Heavenly Gift", rather than being a self-acquired commodity. (Attainment based
on greed is the ugliest thing in the world). Because ego-surrender being the pre-requisite
for having this Grace being bestowed upon you, the chance for the ego to take over after
Attainment, will be considerably reduced. Not (personal) achievement, but gratitude will
be the foundation of your Self-realization. For the rest of your life, you will never
cease to praise the Mother. Wouldn't that be a benediction?!
* Surrendering can be difficult.
It underlines the necessity of ego-purification, elaborated above. The practice of
"inner prayer" could be of great help here.
Q. The affluence is there, we
only have to learn how to receive it.
A. Tune in to the generosity of
Live with gratefulness!
| Autobiography | Personal
Reactions | Picture Gallery | Poetry | Q & A online
| MatriTalks |