BOYT: Please explain how you define consciousness, this term is often used but also often misunderstood.
Ivan: Consciousness cannot be defined, it has never been defined and it will never be defined. To define something you have to create a distance, you need to stand out of it; you need a space between definer and defined. How can you define yourself? If you are outside of yourself, who is there to define it? Everything else can be defined, watched, observed, experimented, moved, dissected, but not the definer, because everything else is before consciousness. Who will define consciousness? Consciousness is you. It is mystery not to be known, but to be lived. You can know outside, but you can never know inside—because you are already there, melted in oneness with the essence of you.
This is the paradox: those who claim to know the consciousness are unconscious, and those who come to a point where they don’t know the consciousness are conscious. If you say, “I am conscious,” then the question arises, “Conscious about what?” Consciousness has no idea of “I” or “Me”; it has no personality, no ego, no idea of one’s separation from the wholeness. It is one with the existence. It is flowing into the wholeness, and the wholeness is flowing into the one. Consciousness is a process, a flow like breathing—when you breathe in, the whole enters in you, when you breathe out, you enter the whole.
When we think about consciousness we usually think about the mind. The mind is not consciousness. The mind is using consciousness for its own existence. So, the mind cannot exist without consciousness, but consciousness IS the existence. Consciousness without thinking is awareness, or what I like calling it, The Infinite Consciousness. It is awareness that YOU ARE—whole, wholly, present, alive and infinite. It is not a thought; it is alertness without the thought. It is the essence of ALL THAT IS. What is IS at this moment of NOW. So, the moment of NOW is consciousness. Be in the moment and you are with it, you are IT.
BOYT: Many people hope to achieve a constant state of divine being, presence, consciousness but struggle. How does one achieve this state of being?
Ivan: When you identify with outside, accidental reality you have to struggle. So, from where is the struggle coming from? It is from the mind trying to achieve divine. The divine state of being is not an achievement, divine is already in you, it is you. You have to be conscious of it in order to be it. You have to be present in the moment of NOW to be the moment of NOW. There is no separation from you and the divine moment of NOW. It is available always; any time and yet timeless, any space and yet spaceless. Just a glimpse of the consciousness, a tiny fraction of awareness that you are as you are, relaxed and present with the essence, and the moment of NOW opens itself in you. In order to achieve that state of being, you have to totally trust “unknown”, with witnessing. Consciousness is the process of witnessing WHAT IS. Consciousness is the essential reality expressed in your individual reality. We have to be an individual witnessing, conscious of everything in order to be the essential reality. When there is nothing to witness anymore and only consciousness remains, conscious of itself, we become the whole. To achieve that infinite state of being, hope, belief, conflict or any doing will not you get you there; on the contrary, it will take you further and further from the essence of you. Only through witnessing responsiveness to each moment do you recognize your connection with the essence of What Is.
Consciousness is the essential reality. The mind is accidental reality. In accidental reality you have to doubt. In essential reality you have to trust. Doubting is the non-surrendering attitude—the attitude of judgments, conflict, fight, struggle. When the divine state of being becomes a hope, belief or a goal, you enter the conflict, suffering and struggle; you become the conflict, suffering and struggle.
Divine state of being is already the essence of WHAT IS. The immediate portal to it is surrender. What to surrender? You can’t surrender One Self to it because you are it. Divine is you forever, you are just not aware of it. You cannot surrender the essence, but you can surrender everything that is not yours, everything you identify and attached yourself with, your mind, your body, your beliefs, your knowledge your possessiveness, your unconsciousness. Surrendering means to be conscious of your unconsciousness. When everything becomes consciousness you attain unattainable.
BOYT: Are there people who, no matter what they do or try, cannot truly connect with a higher being or state of consciousness? If so, why?
Ivan: We are all deciding what to experience, even if that experience is constant failures. There are always valuable lessons in everything we experience. The failure to connect to the infinite being is not a failure; it is a process of expansion. It is like expanding intelligence infinitely. There is no status quo in existence. And another point, there is no backward movement. There is only forward. The wholeness is the infinite expansion in itself.
The failure might look like a deep suffering, but when you look from infinite perception, it all makes perfect sense. There is no non-sense in existence; everything is for a reason. What is the reason? I don’t know! It is not my individual reality. We all individually have infinite possibilities within us, and we can change our experience any moment of our inner decision. That is the power we all have. There is a saying: “God loves you infinitely. Out of God’s love you are free to choose anything you like. Your choice will be God’s command.”
What I know in my own experience of being in failure, of not connecting to my being, is my struggle and work to connect to it. It was my doing that kept me from my infinite being, creating conflict, struggle and frustration. What changed my approach was the non-doing act of The Middle Point. Non-doing act is watchful consciousness, or witnessing consciousness. Watchfulness is the greatest spiritual key to enlightenment. The deeper your watchfulness becomes, the deeper your connection with your awareness becomes.
Witnessing involves the present moment, right now and here. Whether you are at work, at home, shopping, on vacation, you carry that moment with you. Whatever you are doing, it is your mind that is doing it, not you. Your mind is your “doing, and every “doing” is always external and bombarded by thousands and thousands of sensual distractions. The present moment of now contains your “being.” This is always internal and filled with undisturbed stillness and calmness. It is non-temporal, non-local, non-spatial flowing. It is witnessing watchfulness.
Watch with awareness the entirety of a situation. Whatever is happening, or whatever you are doing, just be in alertness, in undistracted silence. Do not become preoccupied by expectations; nobody can predict outcomes, since ultimately outcomes are static and cannot exist. Do not participate in your observations. Through watchfulness, you will automatically go beyond polarities and be in witnessing. If you spread watchfulness throughout your day, a new consciousness will arise, and the Whole will rejoice.
Watch every act you do, every breath you take in and out, every thought that passes in your mind, every emotion that surfaces out of your darkness, every sentiment and reaction to things, every desire that takes possession of you, every gestures you body—walking, talking, eating. Move in your life continuously watchful. Watch outside passing phenomena, anything that comes and goes. Create the opportunity for everything to be watched. Watch everything. The whole point is not to get attached in what you are watching. When you are attached to what you are watching, the mind takes possession of you projecting a failure and the sense of guilt, which is the greatest obstacle to meditation.
If you forget your watchfulness, don’t become miserable or with guilt. Remember, it is natural. The moment you remember, again watch. When you watch, clarity arises, and out of your clarity gracefulness arises. With watchfulness the energy is not going to the mind and its thoughts. The mind is becoming less stable, less concrete, and more transparent. As the thoughts start disappearing, the clarity arises. The mind becomes no-mind. It becomes a mirror of what is.
BOYT: To be able to experience the ultimate state of consciousness, do you find it’s only possible through meditation?
Ivan: I am proposing The Middle Point to the Ultimate State of Consciousness. Every point towards awakening is easy, but we are not the point. All methods, all techniques in the world are not for the point, but towards the point. The pointalready exists. You are the point. There is nowhere to go, there is no need to go, and there is NO ONE to go. You are already enlightened. That is the truth. It is a question of awakening to this truth. It is a question of discipline. The Middle Point is the Point of discipline; it is a Point of consciousness. To understand this Middle Point discipline, or more precisely, the pointless point, we have to understand two historic paths; the path of meditation and the path of love.
Historically the path of meditation and the path of love have been seen with diametrically opposite values, with different directions, different methodology and attitudes in search for the enlightenment. In order not to be confused one has to decide very clearly what to practice, and stick to that decision.
Through meditation you are alone in your search for the ultimate truth; through love you are with the other in search for the ultimate truth. Through meditation you will be in love; or through love you will be in meditation, and either way you will be one with the Whole. The two paths move differently but they meet at one point as one realization. Like a mountain, all ways up the mountain lead to the same top.
In love, one plus one is one, two beings are simply present to each other in oneness, doing nothing, like two mirrors reflecting each other, being in each other’s presence, illuminated and saturated by the other. In that state of consciously reflecting each other, consciously melting in each other’s joy, awareness comes on its own accord.
In meditation one plus one is zero. You are alone, there are no others, only your awareness doing nothing, reflecting itself, and love comes on its own accord. Once you settled in meditation you are in rhythm with existence, and love becomes a consequence. When you are in love with One Self, you are in love with the whole.
The path of meditation is to understand the mind and expand the consciousness, until you reach the boiling point where you ultimately melt in oneness.
The path of love is to disconnect the consciousness from the mind, and devote it to divine. Then you love for no reason, no demands, no possessiveness or conditions. You enter a pure meditation and become the wisdom. You love because you are love. You love because you are fully aware of One Self. To be saturated with that truth is enlightenment. To share your enlightenment with the rest of of the world is compassion. You recognize your inner divine love in meditative state of being, and out of your recognition, you share it with the whole existence.
If you decide to follow the path of meditation, choose the method that brings excitement and joy. Certain meditation methods can help you to reach certain states. When you reach that state, move on to another method. Be in tune. You have to know that the method cannot lead you to the end; it is only a passenger to your journey towards eternity.
Love is not a technique. Love is methodless approach. It is not about traveling through the mind in order to attain the no-mind; it is intimate love-relation with eternity in this moment of now. Learn a meditative state of patience. Meditative-love is one feeling of two hearts, your heart and divine heart beating in the same rhythm.
The whole point of the Middle Point is to be in meditative-love, methodless, nontechnical, in non-doing. Through the effort you attain effortless being. Lao Tzu says, “Open now,” meaning, give up the search, give up the method. Use the method with awareness and drop it immediately. If for some reason you are not able to do that, you can try again, and again. Be aware, in trying you can become locked in the method, it can become your addiction. In trying to love you are trying to fulfill your ego. Love and meditation are happening. There is no destination. You are the end point of your beginning.
Don’t journey, don’t seek, don’t search, don’t ask, don’t demand—just be where you are at this moment. Relax and do nothing. Wherever you are, you are in the moment, just relax. If you relax in the moment, you are as you are. If you relax, you start vibrating with What Is. That is methodless method, real Middle Point.
BOYT: When not in a space or a place of mediation, how can one begin to incorporate that feeling or divine state of being into their daily life?
Ivan: When you are not in consciousness, you are unconscious. In unconsciousness you cannot incorporate the divine state of being into your daily life. In unconsciousness you are in attachments to your past actions and reactions. You are not, the society is. In order to incorporate the divine state of being, you have to bring consciousness in every act, in every moment of your life. You have to be in the meditation in order to be the meditation.
BOYT: What type of mediation do you practice or recommend and why?
Ivan: I can recommend this method which I call “Ordinary moment as a method to discipline One Self’ from my new book The Middle Point..
Live this moment of your ordinary life or your discipline is bound to become something of an escape. When this discipline has really deepened, the mind will melt in nothingness, and time will disappear. Time and mind are nothing but two aspects of the same thing. The time is the mind and the mind is the time. It is an invention in order for the thoughts to exist.
The whole point of this simple discipline is to stop the mind activities instantly, without warning.
Whatever you are doing, walking, working, talking.., suddenly stop yourself and remember. Whatsoever the situation, stop yourself completely, no movement, just be present to whatsoever is happening NOW. Then start moving again. Do the stop meditation for 30 seconds, at least seven times a day, or as much as you can. Do not plan stopping, do it out of blue, it has to be done suddenly.
The mind means continuity of thoughts. By stopping your doing and being aware of the moment, the continuity that was going on in the mind stops. The purpose of this shock meditation technique is in stopping the mind, creating the gap between the thoughts, so that the mind becomes open. The mind needs time to continue thinking in unpredictable shocking situations. Observe the situation with awareness. Do not try to activate the mind to find a rational explanation of your irrational behavior. Not only will you become aware, others will become aware of your change of energy. Something has entered in you from the unknown and others are noticing it.
Discipline is not an experience; it is to become aware of the experiencer. Look with dispassionate eyes. Just watch and remain attentive in the watching.
BOYT: Why as a society are we so conflicted in the idea to surrender?
Ivan: The mind is afraid to be vulnerable, so it defends against what it does not know. This is normal survival response; perhaps the result of a time when being vulnerable was not safe. But back then, you did not have the capacity to create a feeling of safety internally. Now you do— this is the difference. Now, you can choose to simply allow life to flow and feel safe within. There is nowhere to go, nothing to do, no goal to reach in a distant future. Just be aware, relaxed and allow life to be in the moment of now. Life is nowhere else than in this moment now. Bring awareness in the moment of now and you will be allowing life to flow freely. That is surrender.
Blissful existence in this moment of now is a miracle. In this moment of now, everything is possible. When you get rid of the concept of “impossible” and allow yourself to sink into the now, you will experience One Self as the miracle. That is the real magic of knowingness; knowing your miraculous existential nature. The “impossible” is blocking you from WHAT IS. If you surrender everything that is not you, you will attain that which you ARE. Surrender is letting go. You can only let go of that which is not yours. The ownership of that which is not ours is your attachment. All our attachments come from one source, one big attachment—our mind.
Surrender means emptiness, trust and relaxation. It means you don’t see life through the mind, but through Consciousness, through your real One Self. Surrender harmonizes, rejuvenates and heals you. Once you know how to let go, you now know one of the great secrets in life. In total surrender, there is spontaneity, and whatsoever comes out of spontaneity is God.
BOYT: Is it possible to achieve a state of the highest consciousness without total surrender?
Ivan: No! Total surrender is total consciousness.
BOYT: What changes in life when you experience total surrender and consciousness?
Ivan: The obvious change is the clarity. You perception is absolutely clear; the sense of infinite joy for no reason; total relaxation with what is at the moment; no thoughts confusing the stillness of the joyful moment; no past no future; nothingness, stillness, soundless, spaceless. There is no I, Me, Mine—just Wholeness.
BOYT: If you can offer three suggestions to implement that would change one’s life dramatically, what would you suggest?
Ivan: In this reality we exist in three layers: the body, the no-mind and the soul. Whatever we do, we are doing it in three ways, either through the mind, or through the body or through the soul. Love is the Oneness. In this reality when we love through the body it becomes sex; when we love through the mind, we fantasies in romance; when we love through the soul we become kind. Three energies acting differently, but they are the same.
The whole of existence is vibrating and pulsating with the sound vibration of OM. It is the original and primordial sound which brought the universe into existence. OM is also known as the “Unstruck Sound.” It was not created by the clash of two things coming together. Rather, it is beyond duality; it is the sound of Oneness. The sound can only exist if there is something there to create it. The Mind creates the sound because the mind is the sound. Sound is the property of the mind; but no-mind is filled with OM. OM is the real nature of no-mind spaceless nature. OM consists of A-U-M, a symbol of three basic musical notes. AUM represents inner music, inner harmony, and inner humming soundless sound. If those three musical notes becomes one, there is silence. The same way, when we unite three layers of our existence in this reality in one (the body, the no-mind and the soul), we attain consciousness. When the manifested and unmanifested function together in deep accord we enter the wholeness.
Respect your body. Doubt your mind. Trust your Soul.
Use those three suggestions together in perceiving every situation in your life, every moment you are in, and you will hear soundless consciousness.
BOYT: What part does poor health play in a disconnection from consciousness?
Ivan: Everybody is born with possibility to remain healthy and happy, but something is missing and everybody becomes unhealthy and unhappy. Health is natural, disease is unnatural. Disease is an indication that you are separated from your existential nature. Disease is a state of uneasiness and imbalance. Whenever you find yourself with disease, that means you are doing something unnatural to create it. Unnatural means the balance with the Whole is lost; you have been diverted from your natural flow. Every obstacle is obstructing your natural, healthy flow. The mind is disease, obstructing and suppressing consciousness. Your Infinite Consciousness is health. Health is natural process of your being. Health will arise out of the removal of the disease. When you remove the rock blocking the spring flow, the spring will start flowing again. Health is not in rock, the rock was blocking the flow of health. The mind is blocking the flow of health in this very moment now.
Illness is different from disease. Illness is warning you, talking to you, pointing a direction you have to take; asking you for your acceptance, for your expression, for the transcendence, for your awareness, your consciousness. If you are not listening; if you are not in tune with the nature, you are repressing your consciousness, which is creating the experience of the dis-ease. You are avoiding the warning and repressing One-Self.
There is nothing wrong with being ill. Sometimes it is very good to fall ill. A healthy person has to experience illness sometimes, to pass through it to attain health again; new freshness, new rejuvenation, greater wellness. Existence is always going through the opposite poles in this moment of now, but it is not attached to any part of it, always changing, never staying the same. Everything that changes is alive; everything that becomes stagnant dies. That is the nature; always flowing, changing, and moving from one side of extreme to the other. Going through opposites, without attachments, always gives freshness, blissfulness, healthfulness.
If you fall ill and have to go to bed, take it as a blessing from the Universe. Take it as the opportunity to cleanse and harmonize again. Rest your body on the bed. Mediate. Meditation is medicinal. Close your eyes and look at the illness. Watch the illness, the pain, body imbalance and don’t try to analyze or project. Do not attach to the illness or pain. Do not identify with it. You are not illness and you cannot be in pain. Do not attach to the thoughts. Just watch. Do nothing. The whole body might be tired, in pain, tensed or feverish, but do nothing, just watch. The more you watch without attachment and identification either to objective (your feverish body sensations), or subjective (tensed thoughts and overexcited emotions), you will become aware of a peaceful, calm, and healthy point within you. The fever might be around, but you are grounded in your inner centre, in the moment of now. Your inner centre is the one centre of All That Is. Your innermost centre is a portal for Infinite Energy of Oneness to overflow the body with Infinite Joy for simply being. The body will harmonize naturally.
The temporary afflictions of body and mind, and the confusion, stress and suffering they cause, can temporarily shadow and obscure the fundamentally clear and natural flow of the Infinite Health within. Whatever we see in our reality is nothing more than our projection coming from our own definition of inner self, imprinted or borrowed from others in order to experience limitations and learn. We are all learning about One-Self. When we uncover and make contact with this essentially pure nature of One-Self, and when we have developed an inexhaustible source of inner love and compassion to it, we can then see the reflection of this purity in everything and everybody; we can then see and experience the flow of health in our reality. But if we have not uncovered and not contacted the quality of health within One-Self, we will see and experience Self, not as One, but as separate, and we will see ourselves and everything and everybody else as limited, poor health and diseases.
BOYT: As a society we are beginning to understand the link between emotion and illness, what are steps that we can take to truly begin the healing process?
Ivan: We have to accept the Body as One System. The system is perfect as it is, but there is one loophole—the mind. The mind is controlling emotions and emotions are triggering body reactions. The mind is controlling the body through emotions.
Every organ, every cell, every part of the body, visible or invisible is constantly signaling and communicating with the brain, bi-computer, and other organs in the system, and receiving signals from them via hormones in an infinitely complex, continuous feedback loop. The mind cannot exist without the brain, and it cannot control the body without it; it is impossible. The endocrine system in the body is the link between our emotions and our physical bodies, and the relationship is circular, more precisely spiral or fractal. The emotions have a powerful physical effect on our body via shifting neurochemical levels, and our neurochemical balance has a powerful effect on our emotions.
For example, the pituitary gland is located in the hypothalamus region of the midbrain. The hypothalamus is part of the limbic system, known as the ancient “reptilian” brain that governs our emotions and instinctual processes such as sleep, hunger, thirst and sexuality. The brain is in constant communication with the endocrine system through the neurotransmitters in the brain, known as chemicals neuropeptide. Our excitement is processed in the brain and neuropeptides act as messengers within the nervous system, enabling different parts of the body to act as one system. The hormonal signals from the pituitary gland are in constant communication with the various other glands for appropriate physical and behavioral response. The hypothalamus makes use of some of the neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine) that have been connected with the management of the endocrine system. The brain constantly monitors and regulates billions of electrical and chemical impulses. Neurotransmitters released from nerve endings, transmit impulses to other nerves, organs and muscles in the body.
On the surface of a cell are receptors. Each receptor acts as a lock for a particular neuropeptide, which slips in like a key and turns on the relevant body process. Emotions and thoughts are the triggers that send a surge of neuropeptides through the body. Emotions fluctuate from anger to pleasure— neuropeptides sweep through the body system in response, signaling physical changes such as a rise in blood pressure or relaxation of muscles. Thoughts fluctuate from accepted to rejected, positive, negative—neuropeptides sweep through the body system in response confusing the body and making it more stressful.
Emotions, such as anxiety, stress, depression, loneliness, coming from anxious mind are affecting the immune system, reducing the cellular activity and antibody productions.
Without consciousness the mind, with its thoughts, beliefs and definitions, is controlling emotions which are governing our reactions to ever-moving situations; we may get angry, jealous, depressed or react in fear. The mind controls emotions by freezing the body movements, stiffening the jaw, tightening the neck and belly and holding the breath. The way we hold our body tells a lot about what kind of emotions are buried underneath our awareness. Encouraging movement where the body is frozen helps to free the emotions and restore vitality and motility.
The main way of freezing the body energy and burying emotions in unconsciousness is through the mind. The mind sees the world in terms of its desires and pleasures. The mind’s main motivation is to make sure that the pleasurable desires are gratified. Emotions are not in the body, but in the mind. In the body are the hormones and the mind is interpreting them as the emotions. Not allowing hormones from endocrine glands to move freely through the body, is the mind freezing the body and controlling the consciousness.
Hormones are chemical substances, conveyed by the bloodstream to effect physiological activity, including growth and development, cellular metabolism, water and electrolytes, energy, blood balance of nutrients, reproduction, and the body’s immune defenses against stressors. Hormones actually act as messengers, creating harmony and homeostasis through the facilitation or inhibition of bodily function.
Each hormone is designed to transmit its message only to certain target receptor cells that are capable of recognizing that particular hormone. Hormones act by turning on or off the genes for a special function, or by regulating the rate at which these functions are performed. Height, weight, growth, maturation, adaptation to stress, sexual response, reproduction and aging are determined by this “on and off” system.
With constant daily stress, worries, anxieties, guilt, fear, we lose the ability to produce many of our vital hormones, resulting in a myriad of symptoms. These may include heart disease, impotency, poor memory, arthritis, cancer, obesity, hot flashes, depression, fatigue, and many other diseases.
We all have a choice: to repress or to transcend. Repression is about fragmentation; it’s the activities from the mind. Transcendence is about union, the act from the Whole. The energy of repression accumulates in your unconscious and you become that which you repress. Whatever you throw into the unconscious goes into every muscle, every bone, every cell in your body. It operates in secret and shapes your reality from there. As you begin to express your repressed energies, you bring them into consciousness and begin to heal them. Express whatever you are experiencing, otherwise you close the door to your being, to your Soul;. Express it all, the beautiful and what you consider ugly about yourself. Just don’t go throwing it mindlessly at someone else. You don’t want a chain reaction of causes and consequences to deal with later. Choose to create, with the intention of experiencing freedom.
Express the repressed energies through the act of BEING in the moment of now, whether jogging, painting, gardening, walking, and swimming, bring awareness; be an observer, be a witness of the act. You can scream, cry, laugh—just be aware of the energy and watch it as it moves from, into, through and out of you, to you. Even if you become frightened of this raw and powerful energy, do not stop it or it will get repressed again by your mind. The repressed energies need to be transcended. By expressing the repressed energy consciously, you are transcending, relaxing, moving, changing and transcending. You are transcending misery into joy.
The ability to act is the ability to respond in life. That is what responsibility is; the ability to act with consciousness, responding from the moment of now. Responsibility in life arises when you see that you have infinite power to be creative and are free to exercise it. Allow your tears to roll down your face, cry your emotions of helplessness out. Allow emotions to surface, do not repress thoughts, do not fight them, do not think them. Accept everything. Acceptance is the act from the Whole. The Whole is always in the act of giving you the chance to transform and grow. Accept your helplessness, your misery, your anxiety, your illness. Do not fight it, do not create more conflict in your life; just bring in the moment of now into your consciousness. By embracing and accepting your imperfections, your limitations, your madness, your disease and your helplessness, you will be accepted by the Divine.
So keep moving, flowing and loving. Live your life fully, naturally, non-intensely. Live your life totally. Only totality can be in total act of now.