Who is John de Ruiter and why does he do what he does?
John de Ruiter is a Canadian philosopher, who in his youth awakened to deeper levels of reality, and continues to deepen, learn, and grow. Since 1986, a few friends, and gradually hundreds more have responded to John, his presence inspiring deeper levels of sincerity and awareness. Like the trades in which he is versed, John’s meetings are hands-on, focused on detail and integrity. What do you truly know? How can you grow and change based on your most profound and sincere realizations? John is a man, shaped by his deepest known truth, who shares his awakening with those who appreciate its meaning.
While making orthopedic shoes and mining his heart for the significance of his awakening, John responded increasingly to the people who found life-giving truth in his words and presence. Thousands have found healing, inspiration, and fulfilment in John’s meetings, and while the fruit of John’s work has been tremendous, the reason for it is still as subtle and simple as the tiny bit of rock-solid truth that John said “yes” to when he was seventeen.
You can find an extended biography of John de Ruiter at www.atticuscutter.com.
Is John qualified to offer psychological or spiritual advice?
John is not trained as a psychologist or therapist. His meetings are not based on schooling or reading, but on his own direct knowing and the same core-splitting honesty he awakens in others. John’s meetings and teachings are not to be simply believed or followed. His message is that the responsibility is yours to believe only and precisely what you know is true.
What is The College of Integrated Philosophy?
The College of Integrated Philosophy is an organization focused on all aspects of human development from the core values of honesty and knowing.
The College of Integrated Philosophy organizes meetings and seminars with philosopher John de Ruiter to explore deeper meaning through dialogue and silent reflection. Meetings are four per week as well as extended seminars for each season. The College complements these meetings with The Jewel Cafe, film viewings, and other events and celebrations. From the cafe to the New Year’s Eve party, events at The College provide an opportunity to speak about meaning in life or simply meet with others who share an interest in profound reality.
What kinds of topics do the meetings cover?
The meetings are open to any topic relating to truth, goodness, reality, and knowledge, while personal issues, family, relationships, work, and life are all included within the perspective of meaning in life. The meetings are not a forum for academic debate about politics or religion, unless the focus matches the question underlying all meetings: how can I be true?
Are there any obligations implied by attending a meeting?
There are no obligations implied in attending a meeting. Anybody may come or go. Of course, there are understood codes for politeness as well as practical guidelines for the café and speaking in the questioner’s chair.
Do I need to register or become a member?
There is no official membership or registration. Meetings are on a drop-in basis. However, the quarterly seminars and international events do require registration.
Do meetings with John lead to some kind of certification?
Going to meetings implies no official requirement or result. The entire focus is knowing and realizing deeper meaning and nothing more, except for social events like cinema nights and other festivities.
Are the meetings arranged as a course?
There is no official structure guiding meetings, but meetings may develop themes or new concepts that grow and change over time.
What do the meetings have to offer me?
Recognizing what meetings offer is understanding what they are not intended to be — sessions for self-help, therapy, or entertainment, though the best of all three often feature. Meetings could be compared to a meaningful life: steady and deep, where the profound is in the subtle and sustained attention brings moments of awe.
The orientation of meetings is around any traces of awareness actually known to be true. Meetings are an opportunity for each person to discern and know what is true within, and love it. It’s a subtle focus with profound benefits. Clean, deep honesty changes your life. Relationships, family, and your own self heal and grow. Difficulty becomes no longer a threat, but an opportunity, and meaning and goodness is found in even the most surprising places. This reorientation is perhaps sweetest in relationships. It is life-answering to know within your own heart that joy and love belongs to what is deeper. For two in relationship, that surrender is a mystery beautifully unfolding. The meetings uphold that truth, as John continues to elaborate on the intricacies of what it means to be with another person. The result is more depth and love in relationships, while the source remains goodness for its own sake.
Meetings may seem at first like uneventful meditations, but so much is happening in the silence and the words between John and those attending meetings. The quality of connection and dialogue is that of legends, as people go deeper within and speak with one who conveys the sublime. The questioner alone provides a rare glimpse into the human being. In a world of millions of strangers, how often do you see the expression of what a person really is? In meetings, you bear witness to the deeper within people and see the subtleties of change in their faces. One after another, questioners present their deepest concerns, awakenings, and inspiration. A treat and an honour to behold.
After nearly thirty years, gentleness and care continues to be John’s response to both the meekest and most challenging questioners. John uplifts the best in each person. Sometimes he is witty and playful; sometimes direct. His replies range from pithy flashes of insight to entire manifestos on consciousness and reality. Together, the beautiful questioners and John’s teachings are a goldmine of meaning.
Apart from the transformation of inner and outer life, meetings offer a healing stillness, an ambience of goodness, and wonderful company, plus the elegance of the café, the grand hall, and the summer garden.
What is the practical benefit of attending a seminar with John?
Meetings with John orient to transcendental realities, but the realization of goodness, at the heart of meetings, is also transformational in the practical aspects of life. Deepening the heart’s sincerity is essential to the mind and emotions; healthier relationships and functionality in life naturally result. For stress or conflict, there is no remedy like openness and softness of heart. The learning in meetings doesn’t park at the benefit, but as people continue to realize deeper levels within themselves, the practical growth is endless.
The four seasonal seminars at The College of Integrated Philosophy are an intensive exploration of life’s meaning. Each day of realization and dialogue builds upon the last. On deeper human levels, the seasonal seminars are groundbreaking. In the arena of daily life, the seminars are a well-spring. And when you go to work, or school, or your more challenging relationships, you will notice a perspective and equilibrium that may change your whole life.
What is the format of meetings with John?
Meetings follow a simple format. Seats are arranged facing the stage on which John sits easily visible. By the time the café closes, everybody has had a chance to find a seat. According to schedule, John takes the stage and the meeting begins.
Anybody wishing to speak with John signs up at the back of the hall. Either in person or by two electronic notice boards, the selected questioners are asked to go to the audio centre at the back of the hall for further instructions. John slowly looks around the room at the beginning and end of each meeting. His eye contact with the questioner is the cue to pick up the microphone. The questioner may say much or little to John, who often sits silently in response. Only the person sitting in the questioner chair in connection with John is expected to speak. The other people in the room may sit, listen, watch, and go as they like. Meetings are between two and three hours long. John ends each meeting by looking around the room and then he simply removes his microphone and walks off stage.
You can read a more detailed descripton of meetings on www.atticuscutter.com.
Why does John sit on a stage above everyone?
When John meets people in the café, he sits at the tables; when at the espresso machine, he stands next to the barista; in the grand hall, he sits on the stage so that he can see everybody and everybody can see him. His elevated seating is not to do with power, as some may suppose. He meets people in the most practical and appropriate way for each setting.
What is the purpose of the screens that show John and the questioner?
All the inner transformation shows in subtle ways in the face and body. The screens allow the audience to see these subtleties in John’s face and the questioner’s.
Why do I have to sign up to speak with John in the meeting?
The sign-up table is a practical way of organizing the meetings. A spontaneous system may seem more flowing at first, but the flow in meetings is internal. The sign-up table takes care of a selection process that would otherwise be a social and personal distraction.
Why does the questioner have to speak into a microphone?
As the meeting hall is large, it would be difficult to hear the dialogue without microphones. The communion people experience in meetings is not only between the questioner and John, as everybody in the room is connected. The microphone allows everybody to follow the dialogue.
Why does John gaze around the room before and after the meeting?
From his deepest awareness, John connects with the whole room. He makes eye contact with each person because everybody’s heart and awareness contributes to the deeper levels occurring in the hall. John supports these deeper levels by staying in his deepest awareness and sincerity.
What is the meaning of the gazing in the meetings?
The gazing is part of the nature of meetings. The focus is inward, so there is no need for conversation or physical activity. Sitting there facing John, the eyes are naturally open and relaxed.
But the visual connection is more than just a result of the seating arrangement; it’s an active way of taking part and deepening in meetings. Looking toward John and the questioner is like opening inner eyes and letting everything in, and as there is much to see inside, so is there in the meeting hall. People describe golden light and other reflections of deeper meaning. There are not only visual and physical counterparts to realizations of the heart, but also a numinous element in John’s presence which people see and feel. John is active in his connections with the questioner and everybody in the hall. He perceives deeply and speaks and emanates the qualities of goodness flowing through him.
Is the gazing a form of hypnosis or mind control?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines hypnosis as:
1. The inducement or the gradual approach of sleep.
2. Artificially produced sleep: esp. that induced by hypnotism; the hypnotic state.
Opening up inside and letting go of distracting patterns and preoccupations is essential to both meetings and going to sleep at night. The body can respond to both similarly, so people occasionally become drowsy in meetings. It can also be the relaxation after a long day’s work.
There is no induced sleep or hypnotic process in meetings. As for mind control, the meetings support you to place your mind in the control of your own integrity. John teaches that the mind is innocent and not an illusory force. The mind is a facility that reflects and expresses what is deeper within a person. Meetings build up the resources of goodness inside, who and what you really are, so that you can support your mind to function fully and truly. The mind belongs to the deeper levels of you and meeting with John only brings the mind back to that crystal clear basis. You take responsibility for your own mind.
What about the negative reception to John?
There are many perspectives around this question. The insights to understanding John are within his own teachings.
For one interpretation, you may enjoy this essay, written by Nicolas de Ruiter at www.drumsandwords.com.
Why are there sometimes long periods of silence in meetings?
Meetings are for realizing deeper and truer levels of consciousness. Not only does the silence leave space for these subtleties of realization, but also naturally results from them. John has said that much of the work in meetings is done in the silences. The space between each word underlies its meaning. The spaces give time for realizations and senses of meaning to go deeper. It isn’t about information, but the way every word reaches the individual. In silence, John inspires deeper awareness because he is actively embodying the deepest that he knows. Likewise, the others in the hall may tune into their own awakenings. The stillness of meetings is an opportunity to quietly reflect and an opening to realize your connection to deeper levels of reality.
Why does John sometimes not answer at all?
When a questioner speaks, John responds to the depth he sees in that person. Despite the convention of responding when somebody speaks to you, the exchanges in meetings are based on levels deeper than social and personal expectations. John speaks only from his finest sense of what is happening in the questioner, the room, and only when words contribute. John’s silence isn’t personal. The silence is like the deeper knowing that has no need for action or results. The words are like choices in life that only need to be if they’re known to be good.
Why does John sit so still and speak so slowly?
John speaks to deeper levels in others through deeper levels in himself. Physical movement and personality has little to do with it and so his expression is toned down to the simplicity of quiet realization. Just as deeper levels inside exclude the superficial faculties that don’t match, John’s communication is minimal to reach deeper, less than is conventional to communicate much more.
Why does John only speak with one person at a time and not address everyone in meetings?
Although John is responsive to the entire room, he primarily works by connecting with the person in the questioner’s chair. He relates to the needs and sincerity of that person and speaks principles that apply generally. The individual connection comes first because John isn’t a theorist; his teachings come from the relevance of the direct connection. When you sit in the questioner’s chair and experience the depth and realness of John’s attention, you understand why his focus is singular.
Are the meetings audio and video recorded?
Meetings are audio and video recorded so that people can enjoy them as podcast episodes, downloadable audio files, CDs, and video on demand.
Why do John’s meetings and seminars cost money?
John’s meetings are facilitated by thousands of working hours. The facilities for John’s meetings, as well as seminars held around the world, require full-time staff to operate. The audio and visual team works hard to produce ongoing recordings and manage hundreds of meeting files and informal talks with John. Generous volunteers help greatly, but it remains expensive to support John’s work in Edmonton and around the world. The entrance fee helps to cover these costs.
What are the prices for John’s meetings and seminars?
Prices for regular weekend meetings in Edmonton are $10 at the door. Seminar prices vary depending on when and whether you register for the full seminar or select individual meetings. There are early-bird rates indicated in the registration details for each seminar. International meetings also vary in price depending on country and on time of registration.
Will I be solicited for financial contributions or donations?
Other than the posted entrance fees for regular meetings, Edmonton seminars, and international events, no financial requirements are entailed in meetings. However, independent groups have launched fundraisers, and donations have helped to make The College the beautiful place that it is.
Can I meet John in person?
There are many opportunities to meet John in person. He attends The Jewel Café before every meeting. He also attends dinners, potlucks, and parties. John is widely available to speak with others about their lives and their awakenings.
Where can I find more information about John?
You can find out more about John and his teaching on the following websites:
● Watch and listen to John de Ruiter teachings and interviews on YouTube: youtube.com/user/officialjohnderuiter
● Listen to the John de Ruiter Podcast on iTunes: itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/john-de-ruiter-podcast/id406219868?mt=2
● Like John de Ruiter on Facebook: facebook.com/officialjohnderuiter
● Follow John de Ruiter on Twitter: twitter.com/johnderuiter
● Read John de Ruiter meeting transcripts on JDR Gems: jdrgems.com
● Read articles and commentary about John de Ruiter on Drums and Words: nicolasderuiter.com
● Watch meetings and interviews John de Ruiter on Vimeo: vimeo.com/johnderuiter
● Join a John de Ruiter Meetup Group: johnderuiter.com/meetup
● Find John de Ruiter on Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_de_Ruiter
● Read the John de Ruiter biography on Atticus Cutter: atticuscutter.com/
● Watch an interview with John de Ruiter on Conscious TV: youtube.com/watch?v=cAN3SRkhaPI