What are the requirements to participate in this teaching?
There are a multitude of prerequisites, for example, to be sincere and have integrity towards oneself, to be able to endure over time, to be prepared to question in depth, to have as your main goal in life to arrive at the end of oneself, not to be in search of permanent happiness, to unlearn judging, etc.
I don’t know anybody around me that would likely be interested in this topic. How come there are so few people who question the meaning of life?
The answer to this is the same as the given to the previous question. Observe most of the human beings in relation to the prerequisites i listed.
I know several people who have had deep intuitions or revelations, others speak of spiritual experiences leading them to deeply question their model of the world. Does it play a role in your teaching?
We call such events “existential breakthroughs”. Indeed, they can play a big role in someone’s life and can cause him (or her) to get going on the ultimate quest.
What is the kind of your teaching, its practices? Meditation? Therapy type exercises (catharsis, breathing, …)? Physical practices (yoga, Chi Kong,…)? Other?
The main form is the sohbet (it is from the turkish tradition and is used by some sufi groups to describe what takes place in their group meetings.)
Sohbet comes from the place of “egolessness”.
The general mood is that of mutual respect, caring and the specific emotion of loving friendliness. It is a sincere, kind, conscious conversation around meaningful and essential issues, among people having no operating defenses or power agendas. Sometimes participants come up with deep existential insights. Sohbet can last for several hours. It is cultivation of empathy and friendship towards one-another; abstaining from therapeutic interactions and issues; existential focus of enquiry; self-disclosure; deep listening; sincerity, or whole being engagement; generosity; listening and talking from the heart.
The sufis say:
There are three ways to relate to the Divine:
one is prayer;
a step up from that is meditation;
and a step up from that is sohbet.
Simply put, it means conversation of a totally different nature. It is conversation between friends of spirit and heart, it is deep listening and transmission of heart as well. It favors the understanding of what we are and the understanding of what emerges from us during the meetings.
Sometimes we do a whirling type of dance, we repeat zikr and practice overtone singing (also call singing from the heart), which is to create a vibration of the marrow of listening, and we perform any kind of necessary work such as gardening, do-it-yourself projects and constructions.
What is the place of esotericism and mysticism in this teaching?
We don’t use those terms.
Can we say that behind every necessary suffering lies a basic truth about our true nature that we don’t accept: that I am powerless, nothing happens by my will, I am not loved, I am alone, I am nothing…?
Does the necessary suffering send us back ultimately to “I am nothing”, “I don’t exist”, to our nothing-less-ness?
Yes, the doors of the nothingness open if we welcome the necessary suffering every time an opportunity appears.
What is the dynamic of welcoming useful/necessary suffering? What does it trigger or what does it produce in us? What are its “useful” effects in us?
Each time we welcome a useful suffering we also remove a cause of useless suffering, and we live a mini-transformation, we get rid of superfluous dirt accumulated from the past.
Could you say that fear of useful suffering is worse than the real-life experience of the pain?
There is nothing worse than avoiding the welcoming of a useful suffering. The fear of the necessary suffering is a pretext not to welcome it.
“I am” in the absolute is impersonal, the essential value is the individual expression of the absolute.
“Openness”, “welcoming”, “open presence”, “acceptance of life as it is…” don’t they necessarily lead to live useful suffering?
When Gurdjieff speaks (according to some of his students as Nicoll and Ouspensky) not to express negative emotions, is it in fact an invitation to live useful suffering which one seeks to escape through anger, criticism, jealousy…?
On the other hand, is it not useful to express anger consciously lived as long as you accept in advance the consequences of this expressed anger?
Anger can be an adequate response to a given situation, right?
The conscious anger can indeed be an appropriate response; it doesn’t denigrate or accuse oneself nor the other and doesn’t create separation as does the usual anger.
Expressing a conscious anger when the situation demands it is only possible after the point in time when we have learned to systematically welcome necessary suffering.
Can everyone follow such teaching?
When I surf on sites about enlightenment or social networking groups, it is often mentioned of “spontaneous awakening” or in the sphere of influence of the Neo-Advaita movement, that everything is already there, and that there is nothing to do … How can I make sense of this, and do we really need a guide to awaken?
The Neo-Advaita is a trickery.
There is an article here about this:
http://www.quete-ultime.org/le-neo-advaita-demystifie/ (in french version) http://www.spiritualteachers.org/neo_advaita_article.htm (in english version)
What does really mean to be awake?
We don’t use that term because it is often understood as something acquired definitively.
Do I have to make big changes in my lifestyle as a consequence of this teaching, e.g. give up interests or personal possessions?
No. It might happen or not once engaged.
Is this teaching something one finishes or is it just going on and on?
When a satellite is brought into orbit, it needs a rocket to get there.
Once it’s on its orbit, it moves by itself.
It’s the same with this teaching: one needs to work on oneself to get rid of one’s shit in order to become able to live the natural dynamics of life.
Do I have to travel to and participate in meetings in order to participate in this teaching?
Later yes, but not in the beginning.
Are there any rituals or worshipping involved in this teaching? Do I have to give up my own religion as a result of this teaching?
No rituals, no worshipping here.
Religions are comparable to second hand shops.
We’re into the genuine stuff.
I am a smoker and I drink alcohol occasionally. Is that ok or do I have to quit?
Why are you giving this teaching? What’s your own motivation, what do you want to achieve?
The only thing I can say is that I’m existentially obliged to do so, it’s my destiny.
What would you say is the ultimate goal (if there is one) for anyone that engages in this teaching?
Finding the ultimate Truth of life and death.
In engaging in this teaching, are there any risks for my own wellbeing? I am aware of cult-like teachings where people have become hurt for life.
This teaching is for the one who is capable to take full responsibility for himself (herself). Cult-like teaching adepts are unable to do so. In cults usually the entrance door is wide open, and you have to crash the exit door to get out. With us, it’s the opposite.
I am confused because in your site, there is no name or photo. You talk about “we”, of a group, but also of a teacher: who is the teacher? And why so much mystery?
Photos and names are helpful, especially when you need a passport. 🙂
The personal history, social status and names and portraits are of no importance here.
We work on the Essential in life, personal history doesn’t matter.
Some teachings speak about direct way, about no-effort. Others seem more progressive. How do you place your teaching?
Direct way, no-effort: the imaginary dream of every researcher…
Progressive; which means understanding takes place in stages which are different for each.
My partner is not interested in spirituality. Is that a problem if I follow your teaching?
Who is the teacher in this group or school or whatever it is?
He’s what you would call “a nice guy” who is available to work with people who are seriously interested in coming to the end of their evolution.
Why should I follow him instead of someone else?
Something within yourself will tell you.
What exactly is this teaching, where does it come from? Does it have a living heritage or…?
The teaching started more than 20 years ago; on this website there are quite some indications of what’s going on. There is a lineage but we don’t talk about it. It may happen that the lineage reveals itself to a student.
What exactly is the place of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic programming) in this teaching? I have been a student of many different teachers and teachings and never saw one that used any NLP (that I can recognize).
The teacher had been an NLP trainer in the past. There are some advanced techniques in NLP that can be useful to trigger insights and to become aware hidden aspects of false identity.
Are any students or individuals involved in this teaching that are living the same as what the teacher lives?
Is he really enlightened?
Enlightenment often sounds like some ultimate achievement, that’s why we do not use this term. The only ultimate “achievement” is physical death. We prefer to remain with constant self-observation without denying the possibility of unearthing “uncooked seeds” by deluding ourselves that we’re done.
I don’t understand 3/4’s of what I read on your website, what’s wrong with me?
Nothing is wrong with you; it’s just that this teaching is most probably not the right one for you.
Have any students left or been kicked out? If yes, why and for what reasons?
The door to leave this teaching is wide open and regularly a student is tempted to quit, and some do. It is easy to find good reasons to leave, especially when “uncooked seeds” are showing up that are difficult to deal with. Nobody has been kicked out, some were recommended to look elsewhere.
Your teaching, or what I understood from your website, felt liberating and authentic. But there was also an implacability which leaves no room for concessions. My question is: how can I be sure that this way is appropriate for me, if I don’t know how I might react to dealing with the necessary suffering if it becomes too strong? How can I commit myself, and continue to honor the commitment when the temptation to quit arises at some point in the future?
The necessary suffering cannot by definition be “too strong”. Nevertheless, it can sometimes subjectively, appear to be too strong, and lived as such. What is imperative in these moments it is to remember why and for what we made a commitment, and to renew this commitment, or to leave.
I am not this body, I am not my emotions, I am not my thoughts. Tell us about the identification.
These words, if they remain at the intellectual level, have no value. It’s a lot of hard work to get rid of identifications, attachments that have been accumulated for years. These identifications have an effect similar to hard drugs on the nervous system, and weaning is not easy.
Nevertheless, to return to our gross physical sensation, without body identification and intellectual or emotional interpretation is the way “to transform” a “coarse” material into “subtle” material. What is transformed?
This transformation which takes us back to “the natural state” is not “coarse” towards “subtle”. The transformation takes place when we decrease the impact of the identification mechanisms by welcoming the necessary suffering. That must be done systematically, even with the slightest of necessary sufferings like those caused by constraints of all kinds.
Is it incompatible to follow several parallel teachings at the same time?
In general, yes.
If there is one, what is the common point between all those who follow your teaching?
All are seriously committed to reach the end of themselves before dying and fulfill the conditions set out above.
What made you choose this path?
This path chose me.
How to be sure this is the way which we have to follow?
In the ideal, there is something imperceptible which echoes in oneself.
Can we, should we, give full confidence to the only teacher?
I recommend you to view Stephen Wolinsky’s video which answers well to that.
If one is confronted with his (her) aloneness in the depths of the intimacy of oneself, what role does the teacher play in the transmission and the possible transformation evoked through the teaching?
The teacher knows what you live because he lived it on his side. He accompanies you closely in this process.
Is there a possible recourse to participate in this teaching if we cannot fulfill all the required conditions?
Can we, by being conscious not to understand everything, participate in it?
We work on 3 centers: intellectual, emotional and physical/instinctive. If one of these centers is underdeveloped, it makes sense to put the emphasis there.
What would make that your teaching stops?
When I feel it turning around and that there is no evolution anymore.
It has already stopped twice, and then that began again not long after.
Why would you ask someone to leave this teaching?
When I feel that it is better for him and for the group. But that has never happened.
Normally people leave of their own free will.
Were there people who returned after having left?
Have we really the choice of its commitment to this teaching, or is the choice an illusion?
Each is able to make an existential decision, which does not compromise. We have clearly the choice. Often this decision to want to get to the end of one’s life, to want to grasp the meaning of life before dying, was already taken before meeting an authentic teaching. It must be regularly renewed.
Does it matter if I have not followed a teaching before meeting you?
Do you make a selection?
Do you have some criteria for a new person to meet before you accept them in your group? What is your requirement for a new request to become part of the group?
It is done gradually. When someone new arrives, at first I sound out his (her) ability to be sincerity towards himself (herself), and their capacity to challenge himself (herself).
Is it easier to participate to your teaching when one works in the felt more than in the mind?
What is the place of intuition in your teaching?
Intuition is not specific to teaching. According to the dictionary Larousse there are two definitions:
1. Direct, immediate knowledge of the truth without recourse to reasoning, to experience.
2. Irrational, not verifiable feeling that an event will happen, that something exists.
When an intuition emerges simply observe without adhering to it.
How do you favor the liberation of the creativity of the individuals in your group?
It is done alone.
How do you do for an individual to flourish in its value of being can evolve, can free himself from himself?
There are multiple examples on this site on this matter.
Do you create opportunities or it is the life which takes care of it? Or both?
It is always life which takes care of it. My role sometimes is to highlight that there is an opportunity not to miss.
Is it by intuition that you know what is useful, necessary for a person? Does it come to you, does go through you?
It comes to me in the moment as an obvious fact.
Could you say of you that you inhabit your body?
I am above all inhabited by Simplicity and by an impetus to accompany those who desire the same.
When we seize an opportunity right now we can be rid of superfluous useless parts and attachments instantly.
With a little luck, a new similar opportunity can appear (sometimes years) later, but normally the “price to pay” will have increased, this said, letting go of the attachments will be harder.
What is the place of faith in your teaching?
The faith in life is the basis of life.
Without faith, no life.
Faith is there when we were born but it gets lost most of the time later.
To recover it before dying is one of the noblest projects for a human being.
Does the grace play a role in the liberation of a being?
Yes, without grace no liberation.