Frits van der Ploeg - 1951

Growing up in an atmosphere of protection as well as repressed war-pain, I never knew what I was or wanted. I thought something was wrong with me. I did know that I could listen and feel very deep. However, the expression of that always got stuck in my throat. There was confusion, loneliness and a very low self-esteem.

Two 'specialties' came up: denial and pretending. This seemed necessary. Fear could disguise itself in different ways, from a pact in obedience, respectability or victim-hood… to rebellion, jealousy, blame or depression.

A marriage followed. After two years my older brother came to tell me that daddy had moved in with his girlfriend. There was desperation and sadness, but immediately denial was applied. Years later I realized that right there and then my carefully constructed world-image collapsed completely, and it seemed too much.

My life was built on a perfect image of my family and the denial of child-pain. My marriage turned out to be a flight from the depression of youth. Five years later the marriage ended. For the first time I was on my own in a world that seemed very strange… the escaped fear came back.

Through music, drugs, free-lance work and bartending, I had entered the night-life. In the end searching, fear, helplessness, failure, smuggling, feeling lost and more denial, forced me to face the lonely desperation. The big admitting started.

I became aware of a deep longing for peace. Later on this turned out a yearning for God. In the middle of desperation and depression came the experience that 'stepping out' wasn't gonna fulfill the yearning. This was a turning point in which the ego gave up on part of its pride.

In 1986 I discovered Tarot, Rune and Animal Cards. From 1990 until 2006 I lived a very withdrawn life. There was intense inquiry, meditation, several moments of awakening, and a growing awareness of the one Life underneath and in everything. I found the Bhagavad Gita, Meister Eckhart, Nisargadatta, Ramana Maharshi and Krihna Menon.

Music already taught me the safety of spacious, open presence. It became clear that Consciousness happens by itself. Observant It is aware. I realized that the other is not separate from me, but an appearance of the same One Source from and in which everything appears. The insight came that the Being is untouched Awareness.

The search ended in recognizing the one Light, in seeing that the small me is a gathering of conclusions about old experiences. This was held together fearfully as proof of my existence and fell apart in the revelation of the one Source as That which always Is and manifests as Light and ever changing circumstances.

Identity was recognized as an imagined story. A psychological contraction became a self-image, which, in the seeing, brought the realization: I am not that, I am the one untouched Light.

Life is as it is, 'things' are neither good nor bad. Light manifests as child-father-mother… consciousness-cosmos-earth… being-energy-matter… Life-Light-Love… All is One… Being isn't broken. The mind relaxed in this realization.

After the dismantling, memories of Oneness from my youth came. As a child I was lying on my back in the meadow, being one with boundless space, without a me. There was no sense of amazement yet… it seemed quiet natural not to have boundaries.

There came a deep gratitude and love for my parents, my family and all that lives… and a recognition of the one Light that animates and enfolds everything, and in which all that until then looked like suppression becomes soft.

Since 1993 I give words to how people are aware of being that Stillness, in relation to a context. Realization of silent Truth behind and in everything brings insight, forgiveness, a sense of wholeness… and great joy in verbalizing life-processes and translating them into universal language.

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