Excerpt from a dialogue with John de Ruiter on September 16, 2015
Q: I have a question about what it is to be in your heart. I feel it’s difficult to connect to it, and I’d like to know how to do it.
John: When you open and soften, that naturally brings you right into your heart.
Q: Is it by being open and soft in your actions or in your belief that this is what you want to do?
John: When you’re quieted within, what you know and what everyone knows is that it’s true to soften. It’s true to soften inside regardless of your experience, and it’s true to open inside regardless of your experience. Opening and softening is the most fundamental beingness. When you are opening and softening within you’re coming into the very surface of your being. Openness and softness gives you access to your own being.
Q: If I’m trying to live in this world, work, and interact with people, then I lose it.
John: Then open and soften unconditionally.
Q: With people, sometimes I feel that if I would do that I would lose something. I think it’s too difficult to practice.
John: It’s not too difficult to practice. All it costs you is everything that you’re holding onto, but what you’re holding onto you’re not able to keep. As soon as you open and soften within, you naturally relax into what you really are; what you first are. When you’re closing and hardening you can perhaps accomplish a lot on the surface in your life by holding and keeping, but then everything that you come into and achieve, you achieve separate from your heart and separate from your own being.
Q: Sometimes it’s difficult for me to choose to open and soften. If I am in a relationship with someone and I try to do that – not to react, or respond with a soft and open heart – at some point it becomes too much and I break apart.
John: Too much doesn’t exist. If you’re closing and hardening inside , then everything is too much. If you’re opening and softening inside nothing is too much.
Q: There’s a part of me that resists that.
John: If you relax within that resistance, the resistance opens. When you soften while there’s resistance, the resistance softens. If there is any kind of resistance inside, it’s because you are in some way closing and hardening.
Q: Why would I or anybody choose to close?
John: Because you can, and by closing you have the experience in your self that you can have something and do something. When you close, you have an immediate access to power: the power of hardening, the power of reacting.
Q: And why do we love this feeling?
John: It isn’t that you love the feeling. It satisfies a false sense of control. When you harden it gives you the experience that you’re in control. But when you harden on a deeper level within, you lose control because when you harden you walk away from your own heart. If your heart doesn’t control you then you are out of control in some way in your self. Hardening and closing keeps you there, and opening and softening lets you return to your heart. Softening within is a universal truth. It’s absolutely true for anyone, anywhere, to soften.
Q: It seems like this is something that we had and forgot.
John: Had and walked away from.
Q: Now we need to come back.
Q: But we chose this experience for some reason?
John: Because you have the power to; you have the power to harden and you have the power to soften. No one makes you harden or soften.
Q: What about circumstances, situations, people around you? If I would go to jail now I’d probably become much harder than I am right now.
John: Going to jail doesn’t make you harden. You can use being in jail to harden. Nothing can make you harden, and you can use anything as a reason to harden.
Q: This is difficult for me. If I would go to a spiritual ashram right now, I would soften very quickly.
John: That softness won’t go very deep, but if you unconditionally soften in the midst of jail you realize the depth of your own being. The greater the difficulty in your self that you soften in the midst of, the deeper your access to your own being.
Q: I can see that by trying to practice it, there’s a fear that I may be making a mistake. Is this a false idea that I should overcome?
John: Yes. When you’re profoundly honest in the midst of fear, that naturally takes you deeper than the fear. Deeper than the fear, you soften, and in the fear you harden. Profound honesty within gives you reason: immediate and direct reason to soften, because softening is what you know.