Q: You use the words being and knowing very often. For me in my inner experience they’re often identical. Can you explain the difference that you see there?
John: Knowing is more fundamental to you than your own being. It precedes your being. Your being is a level of yours.
Q: I have followed Buddhist masters for decades and when we talk about being, there, it means basic being, the most fundamental awareness. Is your knowing different from that?
John: There’s deeper in you than your own being. You have levels of form that are seen and levels of form that are unseen. The seen levels are the levels of your self. They’re recognizable through the different facilities that you have in your self: through your thinking, your emotions, your feeling, your will, and you’re able to make constructs of all of these for you to function as a person, so your person is an outward level of your self.
Q: I wouldn’t call that being. Do you call that being?
John: Anything to do with thinking, feeling, will, emotion, is your self. It’s not your being.
Q: When I look into my mind and I experience formless, clear light, would you call that being or knowing?
John: When you’re seeing the light, as awareness, you’ve dropped beneath the forms of your self into some of the primary forms, very basic forms of your being. As you drop into the initial levels of your own being you see differently. What you see there is light. The seeing of the light is you moving within your own being.
Awareness is inseparable from knowing. Awareness always knows, even if awareness is not present within its own being. Anywhere awareness is, awareness knows. When awareness drops into its own being, it knows from within a deeper level. As you move into deeper levels of your own being you enter levels of direct knowledge that are much more unrecognizable than anything you’re familiar with in your self. The more surface levels of your being have a lot of a light and a lot of movement.
Q: So the deeper levels don’t have the light?
John: The deeper levels of your being are where the light comes from, so from what you’re familiar with in your self, if you could bring your self into the surface levels of your being there’s a lot of light. If you bring your self into the deeper levels of your being, there’s a lot of darkness. There’s not less meaning; the meaning is more dense. It’s meaning of you.
The deeper levels of your being, from the perspective of your self, are alien. They’re completely foreign to anything that you can recognize in your self, whereas the initial levels of your being are not alien to your awareness in your self. There’s some familiarity. That’s because the surface levels of your being easily move into your self.
Any time you relax, as awareness, within your self, there’s going to be a subtle movement of your being that comes into your self. So as you grow up and in the development of your self, there’s a continuous familiarity with your own being. It’s so much part of your self that you identify your self as being a part of that, a part of that sense. If you were to be completely separate from your being you would, in your self, be absolutely devoid of any movement of meaning.
Each level of your self that you come into, the initial levels being very basic, where all it requires is an openness and a softness of heart, that openness and softness is your beingness. As you are softening and opening as awareness you have natural entrance to your being. With that entrance your seeing changes and you’ll easily see the light.
As you move into the much deeper levels of your being, those levels don’t have to do with the same as the surface levels of your being. The surface levels of your being – the initial levels of your being – are very feminine. It’s a feminine energy. That’s why the entrance to your being is openness and softness: very feminine. The initial movement in your being is a feminine energy. There isn’t a masculine energy to the initial levels of your being.
The powers of your being are in the deeper levels of your being. For you to come into that power, which is more of a masculine power, you need to come through, you need to become one with the initial levels of your being which is a more feminine movement of your being: the openness and the softness.
Q: What is the way to get from this more feminine level to the deeper, more masculine level?
John: The masculine is where the power is, and you can’t be trusted with power if you can’t be the feminine. When you’re mastered by the feminine, by the openness and the softness, that brings you in response to what you know, so it’s a beautiful undoing within your self by you being the initial levels of your own being.
The whole nature of the self is that the self relates to power. The greatest power is in the depth of the being. As awareness, you’re seated within your self because you’re in a body, so when you begin to awaken, you awaken to the initial levels of your being, so you have openings, and within these openings you come into a profound softness, the first movements of your own being. That settles your relationship with power in how you’re seated in your self, so in this way your self is turned right side up; that your way of relating in your self is through openness and softness of heart. The way that you move in your self is by the initial levels of your own being. That settles your whole relationship, within your self, with power.
When your issues with power are profoundly settled because you’re moving through the initial levels of your being, then you’re able to come into the power that’s available in your being, which is more of a masculine power. If your issues with power are not settled within your self because you’re mastered by the initial levels of your own being, you coming into the deeper levels of your being would be to your own destruction in your self. It’s too much power. If you have any issues with power you would corrupt the power. If you could access it, you would corrupt the powers of your own being.
Q: Could you give an example for issues of power on these upper levels?
John: Having aversion to being controlled by someone. Using your power to react instead of openly and softly responding, regardless of someone else’s behaviour. If you’re subject to reaction in your self to others, and to your self, if you could access the deeper powers of your being you would use those powers to master your self and master others. You would use it to control. You would use it to achieve everything you want and need in your self. You would turn into some kind of monster of power.
The powers that are available in the deeper levels of your being are yours, but you’re protected from them because you can’t access them; you can’t access the deeper levels without being mastered by the initial levels of your being, so it’s a beautiful protection. By the time you reach the deeper levels, you are mastered by your own being, within your self, which means you can be trusted with the power that you come into.
Q: You said it’s masculine behaviour if I can’t accept being controlled.
Q: Does that mean to surrender to any kind of control that is exercised?
John: It’s not that you need to surrender to being controlled. You need to surrender, as awareness, deep within where, there, you have need of nothing so you’re relaxed as awareness when someone else’s behaviour affects you or seeks to control you. That doesn’t mean you’re surrendering to someone else’s control. You’re surrendering to what you know as awareness, which is to open and to soften, despite what you experience from someone else.
These levels of your being, they’re all levels of form. Your entire being is made of form but it’s unseen form. They are levels of form that you can’t relate to directly in your self. In your self, what you relate to is form is your thinking, your feeling, your will, your emotions. What you really are is not your being. Your being comprises form that is perfect to you. They’re perfect forms of you. So when you, awareness, move as meaning, these forms move, the forms of your being. What you really are precedes your own being.
As you integrate the levels of your being, you’re integrating levels that are much more the depths of what you really are, and at some point you’re able to move as awareness past your own being and then you are awareness absolutely still. Where there is no movement as awareness, there is no being. Your being doesn’t move unless you move. You precede your own being.
Q: Isn’t that a very boring state
John: Boring only exists in your self. When you precede your own being, what you are is absolutely formless. So you are the meaning of everything, without movement. It isn’t boring; it’s everything, without movement.
When, as awareness, you have need of nothing, because that is what you fundamentally know: you don’t need your self, you don’t need your own body. You need your body to be able to express your self but you don’t need your self or your body. That enables you to drop down into the unseen levels, your unseen forms.
As you continue to have need of nothing, because that is what you really are, you have access into deeper and deeper levels of being, of your being: form that is much more subtle, levels of your being, forms of your being that are increasingly subtle. The more subtle the form, the more power there is of you in that form.
The real power of a being comes from its very deepest level. The power within the being slowly dissipates as the levels of the being are moved more and more into a denser form of the being, until you’re at the surface of the being, which is right next to the heart. There, there is the least amount of power in the being. The power is so little that all there is, is softness and openness, and it’s that power that needs to master you within your self. As it masters you, that’s your access into deeper levels of your being.
Q: These experiences are so sweet that I feel it’s perfect that there couldn’t be more.
John: Yes, it’s complete, but as you’re there, as awareness, you know. And what you know is more than what you’re presently being. You know there’s deeper, and because you respond to what you know you don’t remain in the initial levels of your being because they are so lovely, you respond to what you know. In your response as awareness to what you know, you naturally move more deeply into your being and there’s more there to master your self. So you’re mastered by additional levels of your own being while you’re in your self, which is the deep integration of your self.
Q: Honestly, I feel I don’t know more than that level which I just mentioned. That I know, but I don’t have the impression that I know.
John: You’re not able to not know. Awareness and knowing are synonymous. For you to be aware means you know. You have many, many levels of you: some of them unseen – the levels of your being; some of them seen – the levels of your self. Wherever you are, as awareness, wherever you move as awareness, anywhere in any level of yours, where you are aware, you know. It’s how you move. As awareness, you can in a basic kind of way, separate from your own being by taking your self to heart.
Q: Which being now the most surface level or the deep level of being?
John: Any levels of you deeper than your self, is your being. The levels of your self are not integrated levels so the forms of your self are not yet like your own being. They’re different from your own being.
What makes the forms of your self so perfect and so beautiful is not that they’re integrated and not that they are like your own being, because they’re not. What makes them beautiful is that they are forms of change. They’re made to change. They’re transformative forms. Whatever you’re being within the forms of your self, your self becomes. When you close and harden your heart, your self becomes the same. When you open and soften in your heart, your self becomes the same. Whatever you are being within your self, your self is turning into, so in that way the reflection that you get back from your self shows you what you’re being in it.
Q: So these are all relative and changing levels?
John: Yes. So when you take your self seriously you lock in the present form of your self. You lock it in, based on your past. That leaves you, within your self, without the present.
When you’re locked into your past because you hold the form of your self to what it presently is, which is based on your past, you’ll be projected into your future. You’ll be looking into the future for your past. In that way you continue to reinforce what your self already is, so then your self is no longer a self of change, in the change that is like your own being. Your self isn’t becoming like your being. Your self becomes worse than what you came into this world with. You make your self worse.
Q: So the way not to do that would be to open and soften as you mentioned before?
John: If you live opening and softening in your heart, what you’re being within your self is openness and softness, so then your self opens and softens because that’s what you’re being in it. So then, as you live, your self becomes more like your own being, but if you’re closing and hardening in your heart because you’re taking your present experience of your self to heart, your self will become as you are being in it. Because you’re closing and hardening, your self becomes worse.
Your self comprises forms of change, magical transformative forms. They’ll turn into whatever you’re being in them. The self that you come into when you come into this world is a genetic self. That self comes from all of your ancestors. It’s a mix of all of your ancestors. So you come into a self made partly of openness and softness, and partly of being closed and hard, and all of the patterns of your ancestors in how they’ve moved within each. As you come into this packaging, so to speak, this self made of all of your ancestors, it doesn’t matter what condition that self is in because of all of your ancestors. What matters is what you’re being in it.
You can come into this world with an honourable self, and you can come into this world with a dishonourable self, depending on your ancestors. It doesn’t matter what kind of self you have that you come into this world with. What matters is that you are being your being in the midst of that self, and that magical, transformative form of your self will become the same that you’re being in it. It doesn’t matter what you come into this world with as a self, but what you’re being in it. So you can come into this world with a genetic self and you can make that self a lot worse, and you can make it a lot better. There isn’t a goal or purpose to make it better.
The reason that you’ve come into this world is to be your being in whatever self is given to you. You’re not disadvantaged by a dishonourable self and you’re not advantaged with an honourable self.
Q: To be this being, to bring this being into the circumstances, do I have to train as you said before, realizing my being while I’m falling asleep? Is that the way to really find it, or can you suggest another way, also?
John: Honestly. When you are profoundly honest, what you know is beingness and you know beingness better than you know your self because the beingness is more fundamental to you than your self. Your self isn’t like you, and when you’re honest you know that. Your being is just like you. Its form and its movement is perfect form and movement of you.
It doesn’t matter how lost you are. Being lost doesn’t actually mean anything. As soon as you are honest you know. You know in a way that is undistorted. It’s unbiased. When you’re lost in your self it’s because your knowing is influenced by your experience, so you cover what you know by your experience and you believe your experience to be you. When you’re honest you know your experience isn’t you. The form and the movement of your experience doesn’t represent you.
When you become honest as awareness, you begin to rest as awareness. You relax, as awareness. The more you relax the more you know. Relaxed awareness knows its own being. When awareness relaxes, awareness becomes honest. When awareness becomes honest, awareness relaxes.
When you lie down to go to sleep – it doesn’t matter how distorted you are as awareness, how lost you are in your self, how separate you are in your experience and in the development of your self from your own being – when you lie down to go to sleep, all of your forms dissipate. They dissolve, they pass away and just as you fall asleep you, awareness, are honest and relaxed. You’re home.
Q: It’s the same when I wake up in the morning, isn’t it? Before I start thinking I can experience that very well in the morning and also extend it.
John: Then while you were sleeping you were opening. As awareness you were opening, so when you wake up you’re free of your self, because openness is free of itself.
Q: And that state I should get into my daily life, integrate it somehow into my self, right?
John: Yes, by being that in the midst of whatever you’re experiencing. Despite anything you experience, you open and soften.
Q: Is this opening and softening something to do with an intellectual wanting to be open and soft?
John: That’s not opening and softening. That’s behaving open and soft. That makes you closed and hard. It doesn’t matter how closed your self feels. What matters is that you are a little bit more open and a little bit more soft than your self. What that means, then, is that despite your own experience of your self you are in your heart.
But if you are a little bit harder and a little bit more closed than your self, you’re in danger because you’re making your self worse. When you’re a little bit more closed than your self, that’s when you’ll behave open, and behave soft because you realize that when you behave that way you can have your way with others. Others will soften and relax because you’re not closed and hard in your self, and it’s a way of manipulating others. So while you’re behaving in your self, manifesting openness and softness, you’re a little bit more closed and a little bit more hard, maneuvering off to the side to accomplish something while someone is watching your self and not what you’re being in your heart, and as you move that way in your self your self will become like that, so your self will become worse than it was.
If you’re a little bit more open and soft than your self, you’re in your heart, and if you live that way your self will keep changing as you live. It will slowly become more and more just like your being.