Jan Barendrecht


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If you speak, thirty blows
If you don't speak, thirty blows!
-- Chinese Zen Master Tokusan

This mortal frame received many blows, survived them all and is practically
immune to pain. No blow can touch That which is ever free.

I have no intent to write any book because seeing in
retrospect the events from my life, doing the right, spontaneous wish as an
innocent child was all that mattered. As Purohit Swami comments very well, there is nothing
to add. Summarizing, God had to rescue others from me and then me from
myself.... All because God didn't prove to the child God is the Self....

I wasn't
born a blank and memory contained knowledge, coming from "somewhere" with a
simple, natural way of life but a highly advanced technology. My father
attached an object near me, looking like a very simple satellite that gave
the impression I was landed in a rather primitive society and during the
night I roared with laughter because of its backwardness, thinking that by
the time of being an adult, technology could have advanced to enable
returning to "civilization" again. As this is rather unusual behavior for a
newborn, each birthday I had to hear the story of waking up my parents by
laughter in the middle of the night and never forgot it.

Because W.W.II was raging, there is no way of explaining things by
"induction" from adults watching Star Trek. Later, during a phase of chakra
piercing, there was a succession of "inner" images confirming the above.

Although from the perspective of Self-realization reincarnation is
irrelevant, seeing one's life in retrospect shows the influence on sadhana
of the tendencies, inherited from "previous life (lives)" and the ones,
gathered in the present life..

An event at age 7 did set the scene for this life. At school, the teacher taught
us, God was all mercy, but would send thunder and lightning when we dared to
open our eyes during prayer.

Combining the two, I considered that taking the risk
would at least prove God’s existence. Much to my disappointment, nothing
happened and what was worse, the teacher was looking around also. He
punished me.

I went home and told the story to my father. He ran away as
fast as he could! As a result, I became a foremost atheist, "curing"
everyone from belief, even a vicar, by using logic.

Yes, once, as a teenager, I talked a vicar out of
his belief. He called my parents, asking what to do, as without belief he could not
work anymore. Now, you will think "this was evil". My parents gave the
advice, to search for something "deeper" than belief. The vicar succeeded in
doing this - he called back to thank my parents.

Now, you will think: "This
was good". Can you tell what happened with the evil? It never existed -
because the "result" for the vicar was good - he came out of it better. Now
you will think "it was evil for me". It wasn't - it made me conscious of
suffering and being responsible for the results of my actions. It was the
start of my "turning of the mind".

However, being disappointed in what human relations had to offer,
I took part in risky actions against injustice. When one of those actions
failed due to an error I made, I reflected on what would be an appropriate
penalty for fatal failure. Death, of course.

I swallowed what was needed but was taken out of coma by the
police. They subjected me to illegal interrogation. My friends used this in
a petition and the action succeeded after all.

The coma was more like a NDE.
There was supreme peace, not a single thought but it was very faint. The
aftertaste of it was so much stronger than the experience itself, it kept me

As I had taken leave from life for solid reasons, I was faced with
the situation of how to continue life, as one can take leave from life only

At age 25, I had lost all interest in worldly life and merely fulfilled my
duties regarding others with complete detachment and total neglect of self,
remaining passive always, having lost all interest in any participation.
There was no mood whatsoever; no joy, no sadness, no indifference.
There was nothing left to gain or to lose for me, neither in this life nor
in a "hereafter". This situation lasted for about 6 months, then on one
day something happened that changed life completely.

Leaving the post office, there was the sudden feeling of having
to faint. Going down within the compartment of the revolving door, I
realized there wasn’t even embarrassment - obstructing the only
entrance/exit of the building. Going down, it flashed through my mind
that even thoughts like "embarrassing position, obstructing everyone"
had lost validity for me.
Instead of fainting, consciousness seemed to
expand, body feelings vanished and there were no thoughts, no emotions,
although volitional thinking was possible. It was the supreme peace of the
NDE, but now it was real. From then on, I knew what to "do" and where "it"
would end. What I didn’t know was that it takes a kind of miracle to
function without consciousness of sensory feedback.

Between February and October 70, was the period of
the adventure of K. There was a kind of alternative / new age cafe
where one could hear and discuss all kind of new or revolutionary ideas. I
went there in the evening, when the raging K. was at her peak. From my
apartment it was a walk of about 5 miles. During the walk all the strange
siddhis of tele sensing etc. kept me busy and when K. threatened to get out
of control I started with rhythmical pranayama, sometimes doing 24 steps on
one breath, despite the fact that at that time I was smoking... In the cafe
I hardly spoke a word, except when someone started a conversation. The
visits served the purpose of a reality check; changes went so fast that
every day brought something else. At closing time I walked home and recapped
the events of the day, to find out if any clue could be detected (I was
ignorant of K. and spirituality) but the outcome always was "I don't know"
and I wondered if and where it would end.

Kundalini was the first "thing" in life that I really enjoyed
(in a dualistic sense). Not knowing what was happening, how it would end and
not being able to talk about it with anyone, made it, with all the
side-effects, the adventure of a lifetime. My perspective was that of a "dead one",
someone who has consciously taken leave of life but missed the train.
When nothing can be lost anymore, one can only win.

Purohit Swami is the translator/commentator of the
Yoga Aphorisms. It was the first book on yoga I met, after the rapid
succession of events, caused by my spontaneous sadhana, including rising of
K., had quieted down.

Apart from the inner Guru, I never had a teacher. It
gave me the opportunity to read books and see what would be the closest
match to my practice and experiences.

It turned out that my practice had
brahmacarya and ahimsa as the foundation. The way to reveal Self was very
different. Personality can be called the total of all one's personal
opinions. I analyzed opinion into fact(s) + emotion. The facts are
objective, but the emotion isn't. The "root" of opinion is in the emotion.

Uprooting all opinions was easy (because they are linked). I used daily life
(work) to practice this. Making a summary of all daily events and mentally
acting out the correct behavior where an error had been made, prevented me
from making this error again.

In a yogic sense, the personality became
crystal-clear and transcending it went swiftly. One of my colleagues was
familiar with the changes in behavior that occur, if one changes from a
worldly minded person into someone who is turned inwardly. When events had
quieted down for me, he commented, that what he had seen, defied all his
books in terms of speed of change (months instead of tens of years). He
provided me with books and some contacts to verify the experiences. The
confrontation with these contacts confirmed his comments. One devotee of a
Sufi-master asked laughingly if I had followed a crash-course. No doubt, in
my previous life I must have said something like "the inner Guru outperforms
all physical ones", without considering the consequences.

When the 'problem of life' was solved, it was the end of all spiritual 'home-work'.
Because all memory in the form of "this experience was pleasant, that experience
was unpleasant" was reduced to a fact file ( this event happened, that
event happened), what describes it well is the ancient myth: "The 'dead one' (phoenix)
once again rose from its own ashes". It is awareness as Bliss/Grace. The state is
natural as a blue sky on a summer day.

The remaining body consciousness is like clouds in the blue sky, always leaving the
major part of the sky blue. There are no experiences. In this state, attention is always
centered on this state, not as a witness; it is a fundamental property of this state. When
attention is not centered on this state, it is undivided attention on whatever caught the attention.
There is never a witness of anything; both states of attention are the same oneness.
The attention isn't the attention from "before"; it is light and free as a bird that can go anywhere.