Question: You say your state has been changing dramatically. What's the situation now? (in 2007)
J: Apart from correcting the expression that it is a "state", I live in a state of lovebliss. I am in love with absolutely Nothing and this Nothing is present in everything around me and in everything inside me. It is The Absolue Self revealing Itself in the manifest and you recognizing the Self. Mind you, it goes up and down in intensity. Some days there is immense bliss, other days just a gentle joy.
Q: How long has this state lasted? I mean, do you think it is a fleeting experience?
J: Initially there were ups and downs as the new state stabilized, but the last two months have been a steady increase in perpetual bliss. Even to the point where I don't loose it while I sleep either. At the peaks of this state, whether I dream or not, there is just bliss. I go to bed in bliss, I sleep in bliss and I wake up in bliss. This has been growing for two months and is still growing in intensity and omnipresence.
J: Yes, what I mean is I see this bliss in everything around me all the time and it is a recognition of the Self. Or rather this is dawning on me, since it can become so much deeper, I think. Shakti in me recognizes Shakti in everything else, and this recognition is love-bliss loving itself. Again, the intensity and clarity goes up and down, but it is never entirely lost.
Q: Is the bliss-state part of the nature of pure Self-realization, or is it a different state? What's god-realization?
J: Enlightenment comes in stages. First stage is when you loose identification with anything, even with non-identity, because you are pure soul which of course is Self. This state in its purity is what I call primary Self-realization, because you realize the Self, become one with the Self, and no longer have any identification with anything. You have no identity anymore and there is only nothingness. Of course the identity, the ego and psyche, you previously had remains, but it is no longer you as Self. You are a constant witness to everything and perpetually separate from everything. In its purity it is cool enough, but when you move on it is not a nice state. Tolle talks about this pure state as being "in the Now". Maharishi Mahesh Yogi called this state Cosmic Consciousness, which actually is a loose term the psychiatrist Bucke coined in the 1890'ies. The name Cosmic Consciousness is silly, because there is nothing cosmic about it at all. In fact it is the most humble state since there is pure nothingness and you are that nothingness. You can have it in a perfectly clear and pure form, then it is a peaceful and quiet prescence in the now, but as soon as you begin to move towards the bliss state, it becomes very painful. This mothin is god-consciousness.
Q: So the bliss you are experiencing, is that the full stage of Self-realization?
J: Yes, exactly. But during The dark night of the Soul there is a phase called God-realization. Everything is seen as a manifestation of the divine and everything is seen to contain the divine, to be the divine and to express the divine. You enter a love relationship with God and you long for God so intensely, words fail. This longing comes about because of the utter emptyness of primary Self-realization, or Cosmic Consciousness.
Q: What's the final stage, then?
J: I think everything merges into one. All distinctions vanish. I don't know much about this. Only at this stage it is moksha, true liberation. This is real enlightenment, the other stages are just preparations, I think. This is beyond full Self-realization, or rather its culmination since once you reach full Self-realization it is inavoidable.
Q: I had a period, when everything seemed divine. Is this a glimpse of God-realization?
J: No. Seing everything as divine is a projection of your state of happiness or even ananda. During God-consciousness you se the divine in everything, not things as such as divine. You see divinity manifesting in and as everything. But the only place you can't see God, is inside yourself, where there is only nothingness. That is why it is a painful phase. You know there can be so much love and bliss and divinity, yet you know yourself to be nothingness, a void. This is what Juan de la Cruz, who coined the term Dark night of the Soul, wrote so much about 500 years ago. In full Self-realization you see the Self of everything and recognize that Self as the divine and recognize it as the same Self as you know yourself to be.
Q: Let's round up primary Self-realization. What you said about sleep caught my attention. Are you, as the witness, separate from the one who experiences dreaming?
J: Yes, of course.
Q: Does this mean you can control the content of the dream and change its course?
J: No. It has nothing to do with lucid dreaming. And likewise, lucid dreaming has nothing to do with this state of witnessing. Nothing what so ever.
Q: It seems as if your understanding of the process has only recently dawned on you. Is that so?
J: Yes, funnily enough, after losing self-identification in 1984, after losing my small self, I became quite miserable for many years. And since no one could tell me what was going on, I of course assumed something was wrong with Jan. I could see others were happily identified with their ego's and had a self, yet I did not, and since I believed Self-realization should be a happy and peaceful state, it never really dawned on my mind, what had happened. This misunderstanding of my process prolonged my suffering unnecessarily, I think.
Q: If you no longer had a self, who suffered, then?
J: The psyche did. The fiction called Jan suffered. The ego, the psyche, Jan is just a product of the body and karma, it is not you. It will suffer and enjoy as it has always done, since that is its nature. This will only change after final Self-realization.
Q: Why is that so?
J: Because even during godrealization everything is so, so empty; everything appears to be an illusion. The only real to you is the divine prescence in everything, and you only experience that in more or less short periods, then lapse back to emptyness -- and keep yourself going on the memory. During the godrealization phase you occasionally see god in everything, including the crumbling remnants of your psyche and ego, but then you loose it and feel extremely sinfull and impure.
Q: So what about in final Self-realization?
J: Then, in fact, the remains of ignorance, you carry around, become very funny.
Q: Remains of ignorance? I thought if you were enlightened, then there were no more remains of ignorance.
J: Well, yes and no. Let's not call Self-realization enlightenment because it is not moksha yet. I admit that once you step out of the small self and become totally identified with the absolute Self, then there is in a sense no longer any remnants of ignorance; but what I mean is that the small self still exists since it is not you and is solely a product of the body and of your past. I don't consider it full enlightenment until you have reached final and full liberation (moksha). It is my impression, that in moksha there is no longer any remnants of a small self lingering around. In primary Self-realization, you realize the absolute Self as no-thing-ness, but the little self remains completely unchanged. You have just stepped permanently out of it and the identification-mechanism is destroyed. Of course, when you step out of the small self and the identification-mechanism is destroyed, then the small self will begin to crumble and disintegrate and this auto-destruction is the real Dark night of the Soul. In final Self-realization you realize the nature of the pure Self, and that is lovebliss.
Q: I often feel non-identified with my ego. I have made a practice out of watching it.
J: You can have a sort of non-identification with the small self, but unless the identification-mechanism is destroyed completely, then it is not primary Self-realization but dissociation.
Q: How do you go about destroying the identification-mechanism? It sounds like the basis of ignorance, and if you are ignorant, you can't confront that basis on your own. How did you do it?
J: Yes, you are right. In my case the mechanism got broken down in 1984 after I had entered nirvikalpa samadhi for about half an hour. When I came out of that meditation, the identification-mechanism was just crushed. I have no idea how it really happened, since I was unconscious while in nirvikalpa samadhi. I just "woke up" in a state of extreme bliss and no longer had a sense of I, or self. I did not even know my name or age and could not answer, when asked about it; all was gone. Fortunately I had my guru nearby and he helped me get some sense of small self back, so I could function properly.
Q: Getting enlightened sounds like a hard time.
J: It has been so for those of us who were totally on our own and really did not know heads or tails of what was going on with us. But now times have changed. And it is time that those of us, who have been hiding our growing enlightenment, step forward and give a helping hand to those on the way. The support and insight, we can give, will make the transition easier too.
Q: How do the stages of enlightenment relate to kundalini?
J: You can apparently get primary Self-realization without any awakening or arousal of kundalini what so ever. But to get final Self-realization, you have to anchor kundalini in the sahasrara (the crown chakra, the brain). Then part of kundalini is permanently in sahasrara, part of kundalini darts around your body transforming it. I think the final stage, moksha, is when kundalini in its entirety has merged with pure being in sahasrara. In god-consciousness, kundalini sometimes is out of its hiding place in the root chakra and moves up the spine, then you experience the divine in everything. But then kundalini goes back into hiding and everything becomes extremely empty. That is why god-consciousness is not a stable state, but a phase of fluctuation, of transformation.
Q: So, if I understand you correctly, then primary Self-realization comes with a dramatic and well defined shift inside you; something clearly marked. But godrealization is an unstable period of transformation on the way to full Self-realization.
J: Yes. God consciousness is indeed a period of transformation and is not a clearly marked developmental stage like primary Self-realization. It comes and goes in various degrees. However, you can safely say, that if you have reached Self-realization without any kundaliniarousal at all, and kundalini then becomes active and rises in your spine, then you are on the way to godconsciousness. As kundalinishakti moves round your body and up and down your spine, you will go in and out of divine intoxication, bliss, where you see god in everything. This will appear and disappear until you reach the stage where some significant part of kundalini gets stuck in the crown chakra and never comes down again; then you will never lose bliss, though it at times may be sort of low, at other times so intense, you can't function at all. This second shift is also clearly marked and is what I call full Self-realization. It is marked by kundalini shifting its abode from the root chakra to the brain.