Jürgen Ziewe – The Ten Minute Moment
Interview by Iain McNay
Iain: Hello and welcome, once more, to Conscious TV. I’m Iain McNay and my guest today is Jürgen Ziewe.
Jürgen: Hi Iain.
Iain: And Jürgen’s from Germany but he lives in Worthing, on the south coast of England, so he hasn’t come too far today.
Iain: So, Jürgen has three books out and one of the books I found – and it really interested me – called ‘The Ten Minute Moment: A Week-Long Adventure in Consciousness’. And we’re going to spend a bit of time talking about this when he was on a retreat for a week in a remote cabin in Scotland, and his experiences during that time.
There’s two other books out: ‘Vistas of Inifinity’ and ‘Multi-Dimensional Man’. And actually the interview’s really in two parts because my wife, Renate, is going to do a second part after this, which will cover more the latter two books. I’m going to cover more the meditation side, which is more the first book.
So, Jürgen, like so many people you experimented at a fairly early age with meditation and exploring consciousness, and I know you realized also that… Well, you’ve said in one of the books you ‘refused to accept my 5 senses were all there is to reality and that led to a lifelong quest’. So you understood that at a fairly early age, didn’t you?
Jürgen: Yes. I mean the earliest time I remember that I queried reality was actually when I was 4 years old. And the interesting thing was I couldn’t figure out who this body was, who it belonged to. So I asked my mother, “Who am I?” She said, “Oh, you’re Jürgen,” I said, “No, no, who’s behind Jürgen?” she said, “You’re Jürgen”. And I couldn’t get to grips with the concept of me being a name and, in the end, I started crying, you know. And I think that’s probably quite natural for kids anyway. But there was always this searching awareness.
But the big break came I think, upheaval came, when my father died when I was 9. You know, he was torn away out of my life in a very dramatic way. When I came back from holiday, children’s holiday, he was actually at home dying. And he looked unrecognizable to me because I hadn’t seen him for 6 months before, because he was in a university clinic in south Germany. And this was a tremendous shock to me, and so much so that I never really touched on it, I couldn’t bear the idea of addressing it.
But now, of course, I feel that was possibly instrumental for me to search for permanence in life; something that doesn’t die, that cannot go away. Subconsciously, that must have been at the base of everything that followed.
Iain: And, in a way, we’re all searching for this permanence in life, aren’t we?
Iain: And, even if we aren’t necessarily interested in consciousness or looking, somewhere in our daily life we look for this stability, or ground of being as it’s often called.
Jürgen: Yes, yes. And therein lies the problem, mostly, because where we try to find this stability is in things which can’t give us a feeling of permanence. And so we start building up, more and more, a kind of world which we associate with stability, education, a family, a home, an income, and so on, you know. And around these things we build our identity. And then we cement it, we build beliefs, until in the middle of life we have firmly established our persona, you know. But, of course, that’s not the real thing, is it? [both laugh]
Iain: And the cracks also start to appear! Cracks have appeared already.
Jürgen: Gradually things start to fall apart and we become ill. Things don’t work, we lose our jobs and so on. So the stability, we try to cement it again and keep it back together, but we know deep down it’s not going to last.
Iain: So your, kind of, practical journey, one of the things you did as a student, you took LSD when it was still legal.
Iain: And that was quite significant, wasn’t it?
Jürgen: Yes. It was interesting because we were – I studied Art and we were interested in Marx and surrealists and, as we know, these people were quite into experimenting with all sorts of substances. And then a friend of mine gave me this book by Aldous Huxley and I thought ‘that’s something I want to try’. Aldous Huxley ‘Doors of Perception’ – I read this and then we set out on this very controlled environment, nobody had any idea what we was going to happen. And, of course, that literally flung the doors open for my mind. I suddenly realized that everything I, sort of, believed in and put together was just surface appearance.
Jürgen: Underneath it all there was a shiny… something a little bit more substantial, which didn’t change, you know, which was continuous. And that was something that grabbed me, that grabbed my attention.
Now I wanted, of course, to have more of this kind of experience, so the next 6 months we said, “Once a month, set time aside to repeat the experiment.” Until the last time, I had the same experience of an underlying, stable reality, and the euphoria that goes with it, you know. But the crucial thing was, when the trip finished, suddenly the opposite sunk in. That, I was confronted with a physical reality which seemed to be totally overwhelming and a total contrast to what I had experienced. Then I made the decision that, you know, I have to find another way to attain this permanence, this state of mind.
Iain: Because the LSD was only ever going to give you a taste, an artificial taste, wasn’t it?
Jürgen: Yeah, just a taste. And, of course, it also led to depression. Seeing the discrepancy between the high experience and the reality of physical existence led to a deep depression in me. And I couldn’t function until a friend of mine suggested, “Why don’t you try meditation?” Until then, it really hadn’t occurred to me.
So I then enrolled on a course of Transcendental Meditation and then, indeed, after about 3 or 4 months, my meditation went [gestures movement upwards and outwards] and I took a real interest in the whole process of meditation because I could clearly see the beneficial aspects of it.
Iain: So you, again, could find this ground, this permanence?
Jürgen: No, I couldn’t at that time. But, I felt it had a calming, soothing influence. It stimulated my interest in the origin of meditation, which was the eastern philosophies, you know, and then I opened myself up. First somebody recommended a book by Paul Brunton that was the first book on spirituality I ever read. And then I became more and more interested in the eastern philosophy at that time. You have to bear in mind at that time there was this revival, or the hippy trail, which led to India. A lot of people went to India to hear the teaching from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
Jürgen: That included myself. I also went to India for six months and came back. Then I got seriously involved in all kinds of different types of meditation.
Iain: You were doing four or five hours a day at one point, were you?
Jürgen: Yes, at one stage. At one stage I felt I really wanted to become enlightened. I had no idea what that meant—I had a vague idea what it could mean because of the previous experience. But, that became a little bit of an obsession. Of course, I was also quite young so there was a sort of useful energy and drive behind it.
I very much treated it like attaining a qualification from trying to study and do a lot of work. That was not how I understand meditation, or how my meditation is now.
My mediation consisted of going inside, focusing my attention, focusing on the mantra, on the sound, on the light, and doing yoga in-between falling asleep, waking myself up. It was almost quite a torturous exercise which lasted two, three, four hours.. then, in the evening again.
Iain: So you put together a program yourself, that you thought worked for you?
Jürgen: Yes, yes. But, it didn’t work. It had the opposite effect, really, because for one thing, it made me, if anything, a little bit more aggressive, agitated.
I also noted that it brought things to the surface which came from the subconscious—anxieties.
Iain: Yes, that’s what happens. Yes..
Jürgen: I had no way of dealing with it. My way of dealing with it was painting. At that time I painted what was called ‘surrealistic’ or ‘fantastic realism.’
I had a teacher from Vienna, Goutta Husna, who taught this type of painting style which was very detailed, very realistic. I started painting my shadows, my demons, my inner demons. I became very fascinated.
They created a form of release and took on very minute detail and shape. I could feel the energy channeling into these demons. In the picture I reserved one space in the middle, which wasn’t a demon.
That was my outlet of dealing with my shadow.
Iain: Yes, but was all part of the meditation, wasn’t it? It’s all one process.
Jürgen: In a sort of way, yes.
Iain: Yes. Then, you were telling me that you were in a market one day having breakfast, and you had quite an experience then?
Jürgen: Yes, but that came.. The story carries on a little bit because what happened on night when I was painting, I then went into my meditation room, which was next to my studio. Then suddenly, I heard this mighty bang and a clutter. As I went back into the studio, the painting had fallen off of the easel and an ashtray was flung right across the room—over five meters. Tumbling across the room is the ash—back then I smoked—scattered all over the room and there was no open window, nothing, that could have caused it. At that time I didn’t believe in anything supernatural. To me, that was just superstition.
The first thing I noticed was an incredible fear..
Iain: A type of fear in you?
Jürgen: Yes, I was incredibly scared. I didn’t know what was going on and there was a distinct turn in the room
Then I decided whatever I had been doing was not the right thing to do. I had to stop this. So, I then decided to give up meditation for good. I turned my back to it and thought “that was a really bad, bad call. I’m never going to do it again.” By that time I had already meditated for about two-and-a half, three years.
That was a total lifestyle change for me. But in a way I was also quite relieved because, what it meant was I could do what normal people did at my age not the hedonistic way of living.
Iain: I think it’s useful, maybe, for other people that are watching this, to briefly look back on that.
So, you got the message for yourself that you were still fairly young, you were an art student at that time, to do what? What art students normally do, which I’m sure there is lots of interesting things.
Looking back on it now, do you see something deeper? Or do you see more of an explanation of what was actually going on?
Jürgen: Yes. I think what I’d done was I’d entered into quite a deep, deep thing then. I stirred some shadows up. But I also went quite deep because, what I had done started working in the unconscious, it kept on working.. then went back to my student life, to my normal life. It still was working its way through me without me actually doing anything.
Then, this things happened—what you were just referring to..
Iain: Yes, I guess I’m getting the message was to cool things down for at time?
Iain: The process was going on though you weren’t actively meditating..
Jürgen: No, I wasn’t even paying any attention to it.
Iain: And, what you were doing appeared to be doing was maybe too intense?
Jürgen: So then the market experience happened totally out of the blue.
I went to the market, which was on every Wednesday. I bought fresh bread, cheese and a very strong cup of coffee. I really enjoyed breakfast; every Wednesday there was a bit of a ritual. But this day—it was about six months after I’d stopped meditating—this time I was just trying to eat my sandwich and I suddenly lost my connection to my hands and to the act of having breakfast. I couldn’t relate to it. I was effectively alienated.
I suddenly had the thought, “Who am I? Who is this? Who is doing this?” At that moment, I was taken.. this question was taking me over. It zipped me out of this current reality. It was almost as if some voice said to me, “Oh, there you are. Where have you been? There you are.” It was like a welcoming, a very benign, beautiful experience of welcoming me back, like from exile.
The moment this happened, I surrendered myself to this feeling and I went into this incredible ecstasy of light. Suddenly everything took on luminous quality. Before I knew, I was surrounded by this incredible feeling of homecoming, arriving back to the source where I’d sprung from.
It didn’t stop. It went on, and on, and deeper and deeper. I felt I couldn’t take much more of that. Because, when I thought I had arrived at some point, it took me deeper and deeper, until one point I had incredible clarity. There was nothing that I could give any attributes. There was just total clarity. There was no bias, no attributes. It was just pure consciousness, if I can use this word.
Then, of course, this didn’t last. But everything became brilliantly clear to me. Everything made sense.
The light sort of around me dimmed and I was taken back to the physical reality, which was accompanied with quite intense emotion, emotional pain, if you like. Feelings. I started falling down, crying like a child.
That was the experience that set me up on my path.
Then I took up meditation again, after that, but then my meditation was more like a thank you rather than wanting something. It was more like something coming from the heart focus..
Iain: So it wasn’t this drive to become enlightened.
Jürgen: No, that has had to disappear. Because I knew that wasn’t the issued; that was irrelevant. That was an illusion.
Iain: That’s interesting because life really was guiding you somehow, wasn’t it?
Jürgen: Yes, yes it was.
Iain: It was taking you, gently, to find your authentic path.
Jürgen: Of course for two weeks after this experience, I was in a state of oneness. I was everything I saw, everything I experienced, that happened around me. I was intimately related to.. And incredible peace.
I couldn’t talk to anyone about it, I wouldn’t even know how to begin. I went back to college. I just left it and it gradually subsided, this feeling.
But what I was left with was a knowing where I had to go. I was left with a direction. It was almost as if this experience had left a lighthouse on the horizon which showed me where I had to pin my attention on.
Gradually, after this, we’d been to England and things..
Iain: You got married and went to England.
Jürgen: Yes, that’s right.
The interesting things was, that I’d also mentioned, I had this presence which started to help establish itself in my life—which I’ve referred to as my silent companion—an awareness that there was something more to me, something bigger. That presence never left me.
Iain: Talk more about the silent companion. How you felt your relationship with it? I know it changed at a time.. How you felt it initially..?
Jürgen: First thing was I became aware of the silent companion. When I moments of stillness—when I was waiting for a train or something, whenever I wasn’t doing anything—I felt there was a presence of beingness. This presence was almost like a person, it was a very personable feeling I could relate to. It was gentle and beautiful.
But, it had no identity as such. It was just an aspect what I saw as a higher awareness, if you like.
I didn’t have a voice or spoke to me. It was just an awareness, so I could direct any questions to it and it would answer with silence. The silence gave me space deep into the deeper levels. Sometimes I would find the answers this way.
Iain: When you say an answer with silence, it was more like a space you could fall into?
Iain: Is that right?
Jürgen: It gave me a space and out of this space came the answer, in some way.
And, I also noticed it only was there when I was in a state of surrender or in a state of not wanting things. If I wanted things or if I acted out of intent or selfishness, it just wasn’t there; I couldn’t access it.
That was another teaching aspect on my path. I knew that if I behaved unauthentically or out of sync, then I lost this contact with my silent companion.
That is the reason people always say, “who was your teacher;” I didn’t have a teacher. That, to me, was my teacher. The discrepancy between the authenticity and the thoughts or the ego, if you like, the intent was selfishness. I always felt cut off the moment I felt there was something coming in which was selfish, a sense of arrogance..
Certain characteristics that came to the surface. Arrogance was one of the things which I noticed very early on that I had to be very aware of because it destroyed the connection. That kept me on the path.
In the meantime, the other thing that happened, was my out of body experiences.
Iain: You had a lot of those. You are going to cover those, actually, when Renate interviews you in the other interview because there is so much I want to cover in the meditation.
Iain: I know it’s very significant..
Jürgen: Because there’s an overlap..
Iain: Yes. Yes. I appreciate that, yes.
To skip forward—we have to do that if we are going to get to talk to the Ten Minute Moment—you raised your family with your wife and you were still doing some meditation, but less.
Iain: Then it seems, from the notes I’ve picked up, that the next really significant thing was in 2011 you were diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Jürgen: Yes, that’s right.
Iain: Which is quite a shock. Talk about that because something very positive came out of that.
Jürgen: Yes, that was an interesting episode because at that time I felt an invincible bond. I was meditating regularly, two hours, every day. I didn’t pay much attention to my hands or anything.. anything to do with physical thing.. I was quite intensely focused on the pervading awareness around me.
By that time I had nearly forty years of meditation. My path also began to open a bit; I became much more aware these experiences, peak experiences, had become more and more frequent. But the thing was I was still fascinated by everyday reality—there are always trappings and things.
I had a routine, a check-out, and they discover I had bowel cancer. That came to me as a little bit of a surprise, a shock, because I couldn’t figure out where this fitted into my life.
The interesting thing was two of my friends died of bowel cancer the same year—one of my wife’s friends and then another friend died. The thought ‘I might die.. I might be dead in six months..’ Then I suddenly thought the only way to live is to live in the present moment.
For one thing, I didn’t want to engage in this idea of cancer. I didn’t want to engage with the illness. I thought I better leave this to the doctors; I just want to engage with reality.
I suddenly found the best way to deal with it is to focus on every moment, just the pure moment. What’s happening now, in time. And, if there are thoughts, anxieties, or whatever it is, they are just a distraction from the moment.
That was a positive aspect of the cancer because my meditation became a twenty-four/seven exercise.
Iain: When you say you focus on the present moment, what does that mean—practically?
Jürgen: Practically, was that when thoughts came or negative feelings, I looked at what actually was the supporting element of making these feelings happen, which was the present—which was the here and now.
By that time I realized, I found it much more easy to focus on the underlying reality of the appearances in life. That became more intense. I only had to look at things to remind myself. It could be any object; any object also represented the present being state.
So forever, when I got lost or sidetracked—even things like wasting time, going into a library browsing books or something—I thought ‘don’t waste time; just be.’ That became a permanent thing then.
Iain: So it comes down to, in a way, you’re making a decision. You are saying ‘I don’t want that thought because it’s a negative thought or it takes me away from the present..
Iain: ‘But it another thought comes which is to appreciate the flowers or whatever,’ there is an allowing there?
Jürgen: Yes. It wasn’t a thought. It was usually guided by a feeling of, a moment, of joy. I surrendered to thought and there was nothing else but the present that was rewarded with a feeling of joy. So when I favored the presence, or an object—flowers or whatever—when I favored that over thought, I could feel the joy coming from my heart. That enforced the focus on the present so it actually became easier. The meditation became more of a natural thing.
Iain: One thing—we talked about this before we started recording—that I really liked and, and you’ve talked about this in a couple of your books, that.. I’m just reading some notes here.. To put yourself in charge, you learned to focus your attention; found that your brain could be trained like a dog. You did it gently and specifically, reminding it to favor the meditation rather than thoughts, and rewarding it with love.
Jürgen: Yes, yes.
Iain: That was great, the way you say ‘training your mind like a dog.’
Jürgen: Like Pavlov’s dog. You know, where you reward the dog with a biscuit and the bell—self-salivating. To me the biscuit was the joy felt when I focus attention on the present.
Yes, the brain is basically a machine that can be trained in this way by reward, rewarding action that are beneficial, and ignoring actions which are not beneficial. So when thoughts come which are distraction or negative, you don’t pay any attention. In fact, I would say if there is pain of any sort or a negative thought, you can actually use this to welcome stimulus. Like, some sort of alert to say, “this is not good.. it is a reminder that I should pay attention to reality.” So it’s not even negative. It can have a positive service.
Something painful happens, something negative—somebody insults you and you instantly feel ‘I don’t like it’—that could be a signal to focus your attention on the being state. So, it’s not something negative. It’s actually a welcome stimulus to initiate Pavlov’s biscuit..
There is nothing really negative in life if you follow this concept through.
Iain: And you learned this your self?
Jürgen: Yes, yes.
I learned all sorts of things. I had a boss when I was working, who was a tyrant. I regarded him as possibly my biggest teacher because he told me not to mind. Whenever we had a meeting he was tyrannizing people; some people walked out of the meeting crying. I trained myself that when I went into a meeting and he would bully people, I would actually use this as a stimulus attention on awareness and enjoy the reward of not being affected by it.
Iain: I understand.
Jürgen: Because, that was the biggest thing. When I did that, I wasn’t affected by the bullying.
It went so far that at one stage I actually was looking forward to the meetings because I could prove every time I was rewarded with freedom and liberation by not being affected by people’s negative attitudes. So, in a way, he became my greatest teacher.
Jürgen: There’s an extra story because he later, when I was late or redundant, we had a big big rowl in the end. He was shouting at me and I was shouting back. We were six inches away from each other’s faces.. but I felt great because there was nothing to lose. Then he turned away and he burst out laughing. I had to laugh myself. So something incredible happened.
Three years later, I met him by chance, and he told me he was diagnosed with cancer and he was going to die. We stood on this street corner and had this really philosophical, interesting, conversation. I thanked him. I thanked him for what he had given me. He went on his way knowing that he had done me a great favor.
Iain: That’s wonderful.
I want to now talk more about The Ten Minute Moment book. I think it was in 2013 you made the decision to go for a week, on your own, and stay in a small cabin in the Scottish highlands and just meditate and be with your self?
Iain: Just guide us through some of the significant things happened during that time. Because certainly, from what you say in your book, there was a shift in your reality that hadn’t happened before.
Jürgen: Yes. It was significant because originally I wanted to have the retreat in order to gather all my thoughts and possibly write another book. Then I talked to a friend of mine and she said “That was the wrong way to go about it. If you go on a retreat you don’t go in there with an intent. You just be aware, just focus on meditation..” I thought yes, she has a very good point.
I then said all I want to do this week is focus on awareness 24/7, just being aware and meditate. I spent about eight hours a day in deep meditation. The rest of the time, I used my camera. I went out into the beautiful landscape and used my camera as a focus instrument, to focus on the synchronicity, of the beauty, and everything.. and took pictures.
When I came back, I would enter these into my diary, as summations.
I also kept a diary of what went on in my meditation. Because that was part in parcel of the awareness process.
Iain: But every with the camera, you had quite a lesson one day when you went out?
Jürgen: Yes, yes. I had a fall..
Iain: No, I’m thinking of something else actually. I pulled out from the book, you went out with the camera you realized “I’d wasted time looking without seeing..
Iain: “Feasting my eyes without engaging my heart.”
Jürgen: Yes, that’s true. That was an interesting thing because I was confronted with an interesting environment in Scottland—beautiful! There was so much to take in and I became a bit like a tourist taking snaps. ‘Okay, I just take this photograph and I’ll look at them later..’ While I was doing this, I was missing the whole connection to what I was actually seeing.
Of course, when I came back to look at the photographs, they were all out of focus because I had set the aperture to manual. I’d wasted a lot of time.
I noticed that in order to actually take good photographs, you have to take photographs with your heart, not with your mind. That was it.
Iain: You were also saying you were in such a beautiful part of the world, that really gratitude from inside to really appreciate…
Jürgen: Yes, it was offered to me as a gift and I was just devouring it rather than showing gratitude, reverence, and worshiping it with my heart. To say, ‘thank you, what an amazing gift this is..’
Iain: What were the principal challenges? Here you are, you are in a remote place. You didn’t take much food with you, it seems.
Iain: You did two things which I thought were very smart. You took with you your pillow..
Iain: Because the last retreat I did, the pillow was uncomfortable.
And, you took with you a bean bag so you could sit comfortably.
Iain: I find just find that essential—comfort and a good pillow. You took that with you but, apart from that, you took no books..
Jürgen: No, no books. Just my diary and my pen.
Iain: Yes, yes.
Jürgen: Everything was very basic. The beautiful thing was I connected with everything, the intimacy, to the extent that I had a little squirrel visiting me in my hat.. which became more and more friendly. He actually came into my hat when I didn’t feed it, demanding food.. and the birds..
I felt a little bit like St. Francis. (laughter) I had a really good connection with nature. When my meditation took place I focused on the bird sound, for example. I noticed something completely different, which I hadn’t noticed before; that each sound had a colour. Each note had a colour, a texture. I suddenly found that the birds were talking to each other, responding, and in my meditation I saw these beautiful colours shifting through the landscape.
I found there’s a deeper aspect to what we normally see as nature, on the surface. There is something much, much deeper underneath everything.
Also, when I walked through the woods and looked at the grass and the plants, I could see how everything was connected—the moss, the trees and everything. And I felt this connectedness very intimately as I walked through nature.
Iain: You had this dramatic experience about two days before the end, didn’t you?
Jürgen: Yes, that was when I went into a very deep meditation. Suddenly I fell into an almost limitless abyss of reality. Everything became more and more real. I became more and more anxious because I suddenly found that the person who I was had no substance. Everything was at risk, everything I was..
Iain: When you say that it became more and more real, what do you mean by that? How did you know it’s more and more real?
Jürgen: The thing was I was confronted with something that was more real than I was. Let’s put it this way, more real than the feeling of myself.
Iain: But how do you monitor that? How do you know it’s more real than yourself?
Jürgen: It just felt like an overwhelming force. There was awareness waiting for me..
Iain: Okay, okay..
Jürgen: Almost devouring me. It was something enormous under the surface, waiting to burst out. And whatever was outside it — which was me — had no chance of surviving.
My person, my personal self, was totally at risk of being squashed by the enormity of what was waiting for me. It’s difficult to..
Iain: When you say personal self, what do you mean? Do you mean personality?
Jürgen: My identity. My Jürgen-ness.
Iain: Your Jürgen-ness, yes.
Jürgen: It was scary because at that time I thought I really had come a long way. I solved all the things. I’d been meditating for forty years.
But suddenly, everything was at risk. I found, if I go one step further, I will be obliterated by the enormity that was waiting—which was much, much more powerful than I was. To me, that was God. I was always very reluctant to use such a word because I never dared to go anywhere near it. But I knew if did actually go that far, then I would simply vanish. I had to vanish, completely, which felt it could mean physical death. I would not have been surprised if I would dissolve into nothingness if I went a step further.
That was a very scary prospect and I didn’t see it as a liberating, nice thing. I saw it as a threat to my survival and existence. So I tried to rescue myself by coming out of the meditation and trying to re-establish my ego-identity. I was desperate to find something I could hold onto again.
Iain: In the notes that I’ve pulled from your book, you said ‘In an instant I recognized that I was just a thought, an imagination without any substance..’
Jürgen: Yes, yes.
Iain: You recognized you were just a thought..
Jürgen: That possibility.
Iain: That is strong, to recognize that you are only a thought.
Jürgen: Yes, yes. That was something I found I couldn’t really accept at that time. There was too much. I felt I had too much invested. It’s not just my life, but everything was at risk and its thought was obliterated. I wasn’t sure what was there.
Iain: I really have an interesting question about that one. It’s very interesting.
Anyway, you also say in the book that you arrived at zero point and you were about to be surrendered—you were about to be surrenedered—and reabsorbed into the source.. which I wish I could completely understand.
Iain: Reabsorbed into the source.. ‘One more step and there would have been no return.’ As you said, ‘I was staring into the merciless face of God.’ Then, you said, ‘it is not my time, please let me go.’
Iain: I know afterwards, you had a regret about it. Do you still have that regret?
Jürgen: No because the following day it happened naturally. At that time I wasn’t ready—which was only about twelve hours or twenty four hours before it happened—and after, I felt I had to go through this fear process. It was almost like an essential step. Because, after that, I finally got myself back together again and then went to sleep.
During the night a lot of stuff was worked out internally. Then the next day things started in a very gentle nod. My day started very beautifully. It was almost as if something had happened and prepared the way for me to enter through the gate, if you like, in a very natural beautiful way, harmonious way.
A big change took place because it was a really nice morning and the sun was shining, reflecting on the leaves, on the grass, and I thought, ‘how beautiful everything is.’ Then the light which was reflected from the grass and the leaves took on a new intensity and I was enchanted by the beauty of it and the intensity until I realized that it was not the sun reflecting on the grass, it was just pure energy—everything was pure energy. As I looked around me, I found that everything was pure energy.
This energy came towards me and I looked down on my legs, and I found, “I’m pure energy.’ Everything turned into light. I had this rather flippant thought, ‘I wonder whether I am enlightened?’ (laughter) Quite inappropriate; I laughed about it because it was such a curious way of documenting enlightenment.
But what happened was, at that moment, this incredible thing happened which even now I find no words to describe it… which was very much in the vane of my very first experience when I was a student.
Of course each one of these experiences are different. They are always new. I found during this experience, I sort of stepped into this awareness that was a real truth of it. Everything else.. I don’t even know how to describe it.. It was more like a memory, a recall. It was a recall of who I really am, in my essence. And, I’ve always been that except all my life I’ve been distracted from it.
The beautiful thing was, of course, I realized that it applied to everything—every human being, every animal, every blade of grass. It had a true state that was just not recognized because it its preoccupied with so many other distractions.
Then, it was almost like stepping over, ‘oh I don’t have to worry about any of the other things anymore.’ I found my true identity then. That is a natural me. There’s nothing special; it’s just the way it’s meant to be.
Everything from then on shifted into this new type of awareness. I couldn’t see it any longer from my personal reference point. Everything I looked at was seen from this viewpoint and measured, or reflected, back on it. That viewpoint was that I no longer had an outside world; there was nothing separate from me.
Iain: The circle inside and outside were collapsing to one.
Jürgen: Yes, yes. There was just this awareness and there was a permanence and the shining basis of everything that existed. Everywhere I looked, there was no difference. Everything became beautified, in a way. I had a new sense. It was almost like living every moment new. Everything had a purpose, had a place. And this hasn’t stopped.
Since then, I haven’t been able to see things any other way anymore. They are just the way they are. And of course it’s not something that is the same; it evolves. Every day brings new aspects to the surface, which I hadn’t known before.
All I did that day, I simply opened the door. That was the big change, then, that took place.
Iain: Thank you. I’m looking at the clock; we need to finish now.
Iain: It was forty years of mediation and hard work..
Jürgen: It does take..
Iain: I want to say one thing briefly, before we finish. It’s interesting. We’ve had other people on ConsciousTV that got to this point that you’ve got to. Some have somehow allowed themselves to be re-absorbed yet it’s taken them years to build some kind of personality. It seems that you made absolutely the right decision because you said ‘no’ when it was too much.. and then something more gentle happened to you after that. That’s probably a message for people. You don’t always have to force things.
Iain: You don’t always have to be faced with complete annihilation because we have to live as human beings as well.
Jürgen: Yes, yes. There’s a beautiful way of meditating that is very rewarding. I put it in the end of my book.
Iain: Yes. Thank you very much Jürgen for coming to ConsciousTV.
And of course, there’s another hour interview that Renate, my wife, is going to do with Jürgen after this, which is a whole other aspect of his life—which is very significant. I couldn’t cover everything in this interview.
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, do find the other one. If you are watching this on television somewhere then you may have to revert to the internet to find the other one, but you will find it.
I’m going to show The Ten Minute Moment book again, which is very much been the latter part of the interview. Tthe other ones, briefly, that he wrote are The Multidimensional Man and Vistas of Infinity.
Thank you for watching ConsciousTV. As always, I hope we see you again soon.
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