January 18, 2023 @ 11:00am
The feeling of spiritual fulfillment easily flows into a wish to teach or share with others, but what makes a person ready to take such a step?
Q: I just need to clarify with you how you use the word awareness and how you use the word consciousness. Is there a difference in your teaching between awareness and consciousness? I think that probably at the deepest level of reality there is no distinction between, there’s no subject and object relationship in awareness, it’s just one. Everything is awareness – if that’s the way you use it, but I would be interested to understand more.
John: When you have awareness of something, that’s awareness in your self, or you in your self. There are multiple levels of you. On each level of you, wherever you are aware, awareness is. Awareness in your self is something that you focus, so your self is, for you as awareness, is your environment. It’s the environment you’re most used to.
As you go levels deeper, awareness in your being doesn’t focus in the way that awareness in your self focuses. The reason that awareness in your self focuses is because in your self you have your mind, so you’re able to direct the attention of your mind. In that way you become accustomed to directing your awareness. In anything deeper than your self, awareness isn’t focused. Awareness responds to knowing. When awareness is relaxed it naturally moves by what it knows.
Q: Awareness knows, there’s a knowing function of awareness; like for example, I know or I am aware that I know. Is that what you’re saying?
John: In your self, you’re aware that you know. In levels deeper than your self, you don’t experience. You don’t experience you as awareness knowing something. In what’s deeper than your self, you simply are aware, and what you’re aware of is what you know and you naturally move exactly as what you know. In what is deeper than your self, what you are is awareness and knowing moving as one. So what you are in what’s deeper than your self is oneness.
When awareness separates from what it knows, it separates from its real function. It separates from what it is.
Q: So there’s a more unified aspect to being. Being doesn’t work on a subject/object perception.
Q: It works on a unified field.
Q: Then how can we bring that unified field into our ordinary levels of being, in ordinary levels of like when I’m functioning as a self? How do we bring that into that?
John: When you’re not relaxed, you have the option of multiple ways of moving and none of them are like you are. In moving that way, you’re giving your power to something that you have ability in, in your self, and that ability is not a reflection of you. It’s an unintegrated ability that you have in the form of your self.
Q: We are manifested as this form. Awareness manifests itself as an unintegrated self. Then the unintegrated self has to go back to find unity in itself. Is that the way it works? It just seems we are very incomplete beings. We’re just like running around and sort of not understanding what we are.
John: Your self, on its own, isn’t separate from you. When you, awareness, are relaxed, then you are being what is pure you. When you’re being pure you, your self responds to you. Your self is an unintegrated form. It’s a raw material. It can come with structures and genetics, ways of doing things and ways of being that are not like you. But when you are being what you really are in the midst of that unintegrated self, your unintegrated self responds to you. It follows you.
Q: So we are responsible for our own integration.
John: For the integration of your self. For you to integrate your self is for you to move in the midst of your self being precisely what you really are. When you conform to your self, when you be your self instead of you, you separate from what you really are. In that separation, you separate from what you know the truth of.
Q: Awareness needs to know that one is not integrated in order to become integrated. So awareness has to tell you that you’re not integrated. Otherwise, how would you know that you are acting not like your being?
John: You don’t start out knowing that you’re not acting like your being. You begin in a self that is just simply not like you. So being in your self is strange and odd. When you believe your self instead of believing what you know, then you, awareness, separate from what you know and you believe something that you perceive based on what you experience in your self. Then you become that strangeness that your self is like. As soon as you become accustomed to that strangeness, then it becomes strange for you to be what you know.
Q: In the early 20’s I had this sense of being incomplete and there was something missing. Is that the sensation that arises in the incomplete self that moves you towards integrating more with your being? The whole of my life I’ve been thinking, “where am I incomplete?”
John: You experience being incomplete, as awareness, when you’re being your self, as soon as you become accustomed to your self. In being your self, you’re not being what you really are. So the incompleteness is you’re not whole, and the wholeness doesn’t come from anything in your self. So whatever you do in your self to achieve that wholeness has you experiencing more of your own unwhole self.
When, in your self, you respond to being in your heart, there’s wholeness. But when you’re being in your heart, you won’t be addressing what is unwhole in your self. What is unwhole in your self isn’t something that fundamentally matters to you.
Q: That’s when I first engaged with you when you were that teaching of being in the heart. There were so many other teachers, Advaita teachers and things, talking about the nature of reality and all this stuff and that really they weren’t coming to the true point. They weren’t actually mentioning that the heart is the centre of everything.
John: The heart isn’t the centre of everything. Awareness, one with what it knows, functions as the centre of everything. It doesn’t matter where it goes, it’s one with everything that it enters.
Your heart is the form that you have that is just above your being. It’s a form where, when you as awareness are relaxed within that form, you experience the form of your own being. So your most basic beingness is experienced in form in your heart.
Your heart as a form of beingness is able to distort and it’s able to relax. So it’s a constant, immediate reflection of what you are being as awareness. When awareness relaxes, the heart opens and softens. When awareness abandons what it knows, it needs to incorporate a beingness that isn’t what it is really like. When awareness separates from what it knows, it has to contract. When awareness contracts, it experiences that within the heart as closing and hardening.
Q: How do you look at consciousness then? Is that the same as awareness?
John: Consciousness incorporates everything that you’re actually capable of being aware in. That doesn’t mean that you are aware in all of that. When you are aware in your self but not in your heart, then you’re a tiny, tiny aspect of what you are as consciousness.
When you open into your heart, then you open into the beinginess that is in your heart that is the same as your own being. So, as consciousness, you become aware of your most basic real beingness.
Awareness in the heart that is open and soft then becomes aware that there’s more. The more has nothing to do with your self. The more has to do with what is deeper than your own heart. When you’re in response to what you know, you naturally enter your own being. You enter your own being by being the same as the beingness of your own being.
Q: You make a distinction between beingness and my own being. So my own being is a more personal thing in the sense that it’s more defined as me, rather than being this as something which is more open.
John: The natural beingness of awareness is the same as the beingness of your own being. So when you are being the same as your own being, you naturally enter your own being. You naturally enter what you’re being the same as.
When you, from within your self, as awareness, know that you have a being or know that there’s something deeper within than your self and you want to enter that, the wanting to enter that or the yearning and the longing to enter that, makes you being something that isn’t the same as your own being. That wanting and that yearning, the longing, doesn’t exist in your being. So as long as the yearning and the longing exists in you in your experience, and you’re identified with that, you’re not able to enter your own being.
Q: How do you avoid or wanting the move there or yearning to move there or longing to be complete? How do you move away from that? If that’s never going to get you there, what do you do?
John: There’s truth in the longing and in the yearning and in the wanting. Longing is a half truth.
The reason that you long for something deeper than your self is because you know the truth of something within that’s deeper than anything to do with your self. The longing points you in the direction. The longing doesn’t enable you to move in the same way that your own being is. So when you move as the longing, you’re being what is unintegrated in your self. The longing is a use of your self. Your self isn’t like your own being. As soon as you long for what you know is deeper within than your own self, awareness is pointed in the direction of what it knows the truth of, but it’s experiencing that within the context of its self.
When awareness relaxes within that longing, the longing dissipates and awareness becomes relaxed in the truth of what it knows. It becomes the same as what it knows. As it becomes the same, then it’s being the same as its own being, so it naturally enters that which it was longing for. The longing needs to fall away.
The deeper that you, as awareness, enter your own being, the deeper the level of your own being, the more your own being is not like your self. At the surface of your being, that’s where there is a beingness that you’re quite familiar with in your self, and that’s because it is the most basic beingness that is in your heart. At the surface of your being, a beingness that easily comes into your heart is a warm okayness.
Q: You’re saying the deeper you go into your being, the more it’s completely different from your self. It’s just something completely unknown or completely different. Is that what you’re saying?
John: Yes. When you enter some of the deepest levels of your being, you have a capacity of being to be something that is completely different from anything that you’re capable of recognizing in your self.
Q: Is that where surrender comes in? When you die, that’s the process, when you die you have to go there, don’t you?
John: Surrender is something, it’s a beingness in your self that you respond to, that enables you within the context of your self to enter a beingness that is like your own being instead of a beingness that is like your self. So surrender is an unravelling. When awareness within the self takes to heart what its self is like, that’s like a circle becoming a square. It takes on these corners and these points, but it’s a distortion of awareness. When awareness within the square or being a square just simply relaxes, the square returns to being a circle. So it’s a tension within the square that maintains the four points. Surrender is awareness releasing that tension.
Awareness doesn’t specifically know to be a circle when it’s being a square. When awareness is being a square, all it simply knows is that that tension isn’t needed. The tension isn’t needed for awareness to be awareness. When awareness within that tension responds to what it knows, it releases the tension. It lets go of holding its configuration to something that requires a tension. As that occurs, there’s a return to being a circle and the abandonment of needing to be a square.
Q: How does the practice, does one do it?
John: You’re doing it all the time. There’s a code to sitting down. There’s a code to walking. There’s a code to everything that you’re doing in your body. Everything that works on a physical level works because you’re incorporating an aspect of truth of what you are in your being, within the physical.
When you’re all tense and fatigued and tired and holding things together because you’ve been in some higher level of physical performance, and you decide to sit down, when you sit down you’re responding to an undoing of tension, and you know how to do that really well.
Q: That works on the psychological level as well.
John: Yes. The difficulty is that when you invest in your self, when you invest the truth of what you are in your self, then you take on your self as being you instead of you being one with knowing – moving with knowing, being really you. Once you’ve made that investment, that investment holds. So you’ll naturally let go when you sit down, but you won’t naturally let go when it comes to any personal investment. Once you’ve made the investment, you’ll naturally uphold that investment. You’ll intuitively defend that investment.
Q: Because it’s making you feel comfortable, is that what it is? You invest emotion and feeling in that and that’s the place where I’m most comfortable, I can function, all this kind of stuff.
John: The investment gives you a sense of importance. As soon as you invest in an importance that is other than a configuration of your own being, you can’t abandon that investment without feeling the loss of that in your self.
When you invest in your self, and you move away from what you really are, you turn you into how you experience your self. The form that already exists in your self then becomes strengthened. Whatever you strengthen in your self holds.
When you’re being what you really are in your self, your self responds to you. In the response of your self to you, that makes your self uncomfortable and there’s an experience of pain in that. It’s a stretch for your self, but regardless of that stretch your self responds to you.
Q: You just bring amazing clarity to inner processes. It’s just amazing, clearing things a little bit.
John: Your self is a little bit like a dog. When you get a dog and you follow your dog around, this untrained dog is going to rule. You will do everything the dog wants you to do. If there’s a problem with your dog, the problem is not the dog; the problem is you. In the same way that when you acquire a dog you need to train it. You need to pattern the dog in the way that you have real clarity in, instead of letting the dog stay the way that it presently is.
Q: I have a little grandchild and she’s two years old. You can see the beginning of her self arising and she’s beginning to learn to manipulate, and this and that. But she doesn’t know that. It only seems to be at a later stage that we begin to understand or we begin to know that the self we have is not complete.
John: A child responds to its own experience of power that it has in its self. It responds to it because there is a knowing of awareness that this needs to be sorted out. The way to sort it out is by being it and doing it. What awareness also knows is that its natural beingness or its natural way isn’t like that self. It’s like what it experiences in its own heart. So a small child easily moves in its own heart and it easily moves in what is integrated in its self. So then you see a child teetering between being unruly in its self in its trying to sort out its own power, or being in its heart and everything is fine.
A child on its own loves learning. So as soon as you show a child, particularly by example, of how to be in the heart while being in this strange, odd power that it experiences in its self, as soon as you show it how to move, it gets it, it knows the truth of that and it loves it. A child loves learning. When a child is frustrated, that’s really just a reflection of how much it really wants to learn, and learning isn’t working.
A baby is accustomed to its own beinginess. It hardly has anything of a self. When it starts to come into its self, it comes into this interesting strangeness. It’s interesting because awareness knows that it’s to move into these forms, but when it does move into these forms, it’s constricted to be in a way that it isn’t like.
There’s a code, and it’s the same for everyone. It’s a universal code. It’s highly complex and every little movement within the self requires a correct code to be able to move as a self in a way that is just like your own being. If you don’t get that code right, frustration occurs and pain occurs.
Q: Where is the code seated? Where is the knowledge of the code?
John: It’s embedded in the form of your self. The access to that code is dependent on you being what you really are in the midst of the particular aspect of your self that you begin to come into.
When you close and harden your heart, you cannot access that code, the code in your self. When there is openness and softness of heart in the midst of this new aspect of your self that you’re coming into, your self opens and softens like you. When that aspect of the self opens and softens, the code is released.
The entrance to that code is you moving in a way that is just like your own being within an aspect of your self that isn’t yet like your being. So then you are being in your self to code that is in your self instead of being an aspect of your self in the way that you experience that aspect. The experience of that aspect doesn’t reveal the code. It reveals precisely what that aspect feels like and thinks like.
In that way, when you enter an aspect of your self, you can’t trust what you think and feel to tell you the truth of how to move. The truth of how to move opens up within that aspect when you are being the same within that aspect as your own being. That aspect opens and softens, becomes as you are and releases the code revealing how to move as that aspect in a way that is just like your being and fulfills the depth of that aspect. That’s you integrating that aspect.
Q: I don’t know what to say because that’s, to experience that would be the most amazing thing, to actually be aware of that process. One would have to be very awake within one’s normal functioning to see that happening
John: Awake to your heart. No one needs to understand how all of this works to be able to integrate one’s self. When you’re being openness and softness of heart unconditionally in your self, you will through a lot of pain and difficulty integrate your self. You will experience the uncomfortableness and the stretch of being in a form that is not at all like you. If you stay true to what you really are in the midst of that form, that form opens. It will change to be like you. The innermost of any form is just like you are, so when you open that form opens. When that form opens, it releases within what it is the same as what your own being is like.
Q: So even forms like anger or things like, negative forms, at their root they’re the same as one’s being, that pure energy …
Q: Of a part of being.
Q: So that is the wisdom of going into these negative states rather than avoiding them, going into their energy, is that correct?
John: Yes, but you can’t go into that energy using the energy of your self. When you use the energy of what is not integrated to try and integrate something, you’re being an unintegration, trying to open what is unintegrated.
Q: How does one do it without using the energy of the self? How does one do it?
John: By being awareness. By being you without the use of your self. When you relax as awareness in the midst of what anger is, anger relaxes.
When you see someone whose locked in anger, as soon as there is a relaxation, and usually it requires a cracking of the self for awareness to relax in the midst of that anger, but it’s easy to see when someone relaxes in the midst of that anger that the anger turns into crying, because there’s a brokenness of heart. At the centre of that anger there isn’t anger. There’s a yearning to be in this form that isn’t working. At the very centre of anger is the love of learning.
Learning, real learning, is moving control in a way that works universally; moving control in a way that is consistent with what your own being is like, and moving that control in a form of yours that isn’t yet what your own being is like. When you get the code of that just right, you’ll realize. You’ll realize how to move as a being in form that isn’t like you yet, and when you move as that, that form changes and becomes like you. When that occurs you love that, and in that, you love learning.
Q: So innately, being wants to learn about its self?
John: It’s not that being or your being wants to learn about the self. It’s that when you are in a form that isn’t like what you really are, you naturally move to integrate. So that causes a pull in awareness in response to what awareness moves to move into that form, to be present in that form. But the only way the integration works is it needs to be just like what it really is; it needs to be like its own being; it needs to be oneness in the midst of that unintegrated form. It’s oneness that integrates that form.
Q: Yeah, I was naïve. I understand.
John: It’s similar to solving a problem. To really solve a problem you can’t start with the problem. You have to start with what is not part of that problem. To solve a problem you have to start with something that’s already clear.
When you start from a point of clarity, then you can look at the problem. When you can sustain that point of clarity you’re able to step into the problem. As soon as you separate from that clarity, you will be the problem and you won’t be able to solve it.
It’s clarity moving within a problem that solves a problem, and clarity always finds its way.
The feeling of spiritual fulfillment easily flows into a wish to teach or share with others, but what makes a person ready to take such a step?
This conversation highlights the difference between awakening and full embodiment: the first is easily come by, but the second is rare and requires an unusual depth of character.
How is it possible to stay in your heart with those things in this world you really don’t feel okay about? John’s answer reveals what creates disturbance within, and how to move past it.
This questioner asks John about going home within, to what we really are. Together, they travel through the levels of personality, the self, the nervous system, the mind, all the way to our real purpose of being here. It’s a lively dialogue, full of real answers.
• A core okayness with what is outside your control
• As a being, you are not vulnerable to anything
• Your being is safe, and you are safe in your being
• The purpose of the universe
• Intimate connectivity of meaning and essence
• When you are in your heart, you cannot help but give
• Real relationship: a partnership in givenness
* Note: this video is slightly out of sync with the audio.
Two participants speak with John for the first time, each wanting his help to move deeper, within. How can we flow in the world as what we really are without creating more self, or becoming caught in the mind? There is only one way, an absolute, universal truth, and it is natural to you.