Now with even happier ending:
another round of answer and response was added at 22-12-’15.
I have a history of writing long and detailed reports about events.
Here is another one.
This time it is about my email exchange with Isaac Shapiro in the aftermath of an event that took place during the last retreat that I attended May last in Venwoude.
Our face to face exchange about this was video recorded and you can dig it out of the closet Satsang Archeology here: The love and perseverance to go deeper
Not content with part of what was going on being overlooked there, I wrote a detailed report to Isaac by email.
His answer took me by surprise and only after another few month I wrote a reply to his answer.
During all the years that I have been in satsang with him, my basic rule was that all our exchanges are part of satsang and therefore en plein publique.
That’s why since 2003 there has been a open access report of our meetings, first as written texts taken from the recordings. Since recent years in the form of youtubes in my blog Satsang archeology.
Fully anonimized below is my first mail to Isaac, followed by his answer, after which there is my last reply.
Letter about what happened before and after my feedback about how you communicated to N.
On vrijdag 04-09-15 14:01, Hans van der Gugten wrote:
It took a few month for certain coins to drop.
Also it took a few month to make the video in which I bring to you in the chair in Venwoude that you did not acknowledge my shared observation of how you treated N. after she had brought something specific in the sangha (“sangha” I should say, because again and again over the years I am so disappointed about how easy it behaves like a emotional herd).
Her point was that she was deeply shocked by the fact that there had been a rumor going on for quite a while and that nobody had spoken that directly to her.
At some point you asked her if it was okay for her to share what the rumor was about.
She shared this with us.
The rumour was that you have a sexual relationship with her.
And then you started behaving funny, in a way.
You avoided a direct answer.
Allowing a tension to build in the “sangha”.
Then, in your well known stand up comedy mode, yet fully hidden, you answered in a way that again seeded unclarity, for a few hundred miliseconds only.
Yet, that is enough and of great influence on what happens in conversations.
(See this research report to get an idea of what I’m talking about: http://flov.gu.se/digitalAssets/1536/1536925_semdial2015_godial_proceedings.pdf#page=165).
While N. was in a strongly vulnerable state about the lack of trust and the lack of honesty and directness in the “sangha”, you kind of took the attention away from that by bringing the attention to the subject of the rumor.
And you did that in a way that was by me experienced as being manipulative and as creating confusion.
Instead of answering directly you anwered like the typical man in confusion, becoming funny about ‘sex’.
You did not answer direct, although the question was not the most important question, you made it indirect and confusing, bringing in about 1000 miliseconds instead of the 300 miliseconds that belong to a straight no.
You spoke to N. (and to the 120 members of the “sangha”) and you spoke about the sex, .. that we …. didn’t have.
Also you couldn’t help telling that you would have loved to have sex with N.
And a bit later you suddenly began to share with us, speaking to N., that it was undeniably so that she had hugged you often in such a way that you can imagine that others have been confused and mislead by that.
A bit later one woman from the “sangha” asked N. if she could give her an example of what you were talking about.
N. agreed (what else could she do, you just made a strong statement that there was ‘something’ with her behaviour) and then J. came with a story that was even worse then yours: it was full blown blaming, covered by repeatedly saying that it was just an example and that is was not meant personal. And N.was pointed to the fact that she had been embracing J.’s partner in the dining room in a way that was hurting J.’s feelings and she was doing this while she is the therapist of this partner etcetebla, etcetabla.
The observation of this behaviour of you made me say the next morning that I was upset about what happened the night before.
Then you explained in full your behaviour about another remark that you had made the evening before that had arousen almost the whole “sangha”.
So I had to say that this is not what I meant and could explain in detail what I have summarized above.
On this you wiped my observation aside by saying ‘that is just your perception and there are many perceptions’.
The rest of the day I stayed with the pain that was touched.
Also during that day I mentioned twice in the “sangha” that I still was upset and in proces with it.
The second time you invited me to speak directly at that moment. Yet I was not yet done.
I was awaiting N. to speak to the “sangha”.
I spoke to N. again during lunchtime.
During the evening satsang I started crying from the depth of my toes.
And when it was my time, I climbed on the chair.
What happens there was also very painful to me.
And it took till now to sort it out.
The old pain was about my direct observation being denied.
The new pain was that you avoided to acknowledge my observation.
And when you watch the video you can see me try and try and try and try to make you see what I saw.
I even felt advaita shuffled: ‘what’s the cost for that?’
Come on, my proces was done and clear, it was just about me wanting to see you what I saw happening.
And finally the coin dropped.
You say, rightfully so, that by now I can see patterns in almost everyone. That includes you.
And at that moment asking the “sangha” if anyone of them has no patterns is humiliating and part of your defense system in action.
I recall that once, years ago, I came to you fully enthusiastic about suddenly (and finally) having seen something specific.
You were happy for me and you added: “And we only can see it when we do”.
The new pain (of course based on an old habitual belief) was that you did not see something that I did see.
Yet, this is how it is.
By now I am fully allowed to see what is happening.
I do not need your approval anymore.
Or something like that.
And don’t worry: check, check, double check and double check again will be a habit that I cherish.
Hopefully this detailed report will elucidate what I am talking about.
PS. A coin that only recently dropped is the one with this text: “Isaac, during the week that I attended in Venwoude, you explicitely asked for feedback.
You said that people tell you that you treat women different than men and that you don’t see what they are talking about. So, please let me know when you
see it, was your request.”
Well, I gave it to you, and I tried and I tried and I tried and I tried.
After I gave up you said: you are one of the most persistent motherf*ckers on earth.
I take that as a nickname that I’m proud of, a term of endearment from you to me. Thanks a lot.
Yet, then and there you were not aware of what I actually had been persisting on.
I wish that we could communicate about this over a smoothy or something like that.
Alas, different trails at the moment.
Quick as always an answer came:
On vrijdag 04-09-15 16:35, Isaac Shapiro wrote:
Yes we are on different trails.
The way I receive this is that there is something wrong somewhere.
That “I” did something wrong and you will not be happy until it
resolves. Of course thats a perception and you may have a different
I watched the video and from my perspective, and this dynamic has
played repeatedly over the years.
There seemed to be an upset in you, that “something should or could
be different” and that others were upsetting you by not validating
your seeing. Over the years, how many different forms this has taken.
At the level of direct observation or perception, there is no reality. At a quantum levels its either a particle of a wave depending on what is being looked for.
When its loaded with an upset, seems like its worth exploring and
seeing whats happening with the upset rather then trying to validate
a perception which seems to be the trail you are on.
I love the nectar of now which has nothing to do with perception.
Thanks for communicating.
With all love, Isaac
It took me another three month to write the following reply.
On woensdag 02-12-15 20:22, Hans van der Gugten wrote:
It took month to make the step to reply to your answer to my email of the 4th of September last.
I have the strong feeling that I’m making a fool out of myself, yet not writing this is apparently no option for me.
The first version of this reply, which will follow after this (month-later-)introduction, was already written in September and October.
The woman that I will quote later as a wise woman, advised me to drop the idea of responding at all.
I gave it another two months and still the outcome is that it is written, as you can see.
Stupidly late, but hey, time also doesn’t exist on the quantum level.
(9/9/’15) Dearest Isaac,
Asking for feedback, whilst enjoying the nectar of now.
Receiving feedback, whilst enjoying the nectar of now.
When I read your answer, my first thought was “that’s a state of the art advaita shuffle, with a quantum physics substantiation attempt”.
Now it feels more like your good old “why don’t you go into the absolute?”
You can either let my feedback in, or keep it out.
Yet, there is no choice. We only can see something when we do.
That I would love certain things to work out differently in the future then they did in the past is indeed something that I can have the upset of impatience about.
Yet, and you can go into the absolute as much as you want or have to, this is what motivates people to hang out with you in retreats.
Apart from your expertise to make people have a taste of “who they are”, (Thank you again and again for ever), your great skill to point people to subtle differences in their perceptions, is exactly what is so liberating for us.
That’s your second greatest trick I’d say.
And for me it has done the trick to my full satisfaction for over fifteen years now.
And the fact that you love the nectar of now and that that for you has nothing to do with perception does not do away that your work is done
especially in the field of perceptions and the analyzing of the knots that make them stay as knots in our nervous systems.
For the same reason that people come to you and keep coming to you, you yourself do session after session with the best (e.g. Somatic Experiencing) therapists.
And yes, that all happens in the nectar of now.
As does my feedback.
So far so good.
(9/10/’15) Part 1 was finished a month ago and in accordance with your adagio ‘can we slow this down please’,
a strategy that fits me like a glove, I kept looking for yet to be clarified ‘leftovers’.
Instead of composing a whole new piece of prose I add the following:
I showed our conversation to a wise woman that also knows you, (thank god for wise women), and she wrote:” Wat de brief aan Isaac betreft, mooie brief, mooi antwoord. Jullie hebben mijns inziens allebei gelijk;
verschillende gezichtspunten vanuit verschillende posities (in de multi-dimensionaliteit).
Jammer dat Isaac je daarin niet kan ontmoeten, dat zou heling geven, voor jullie allebei.”My translation:
” Regarding the letter to Isaac, beautiful letter, beautiful answer. in my opinion you are both right;
different points of view from different positions (in the multi-dimensionality).
It’s a pity that Isaac can not meet you there, it would give healing for both of you.”
Actually this would do, but you know my fondness of precision that we have in common.
In your rather short reply to my letter, you make a few quite strong statements, about me and about yourself.
About me, you remind me of having a history of wanting things to be different.
Yes, thank god for that.
We are human beings. And social beings. And beings with a culture. And a language.
And we have a lot of garbage stored in our nervous systems, our fascia, our muscles, our memories, our languages, our ideas, et cetera.
For me is being in the moment with what is, and with all the ecstasy about the miracle of life that comes with it, not able to do away with the seeing,
the noticing, of inherently not okay constructions or patterns.
Like for instance finding myself and my family constricted in a fully unfair family secret about incest.
As you know I worked on altering this situation for the better for a long period of time.
And yes, I have bothered you with this subject many times, without giving up.
Meanwhile not being blind for your withhold impatience with me in this. It was just noted over the years.
(Just as an intermezzo, I started as you might know a Tao training. In his most recent ‘message of the Sifu’,
the Tao trainer writes after the first three weekends this to his new load of student: ” It is impossible to do all the exercises,
techniques and meditations that you will be offered in the coming years. In one way or another, everyone must find his own path in the training.
Feel especially invited to discover that track. Also opinionatedness, own wisdom and stubborn behavior have well helped me over the years.”).
Another thing is that for me when somebody asks for feedback, this implies reflection on a situation that is perceived and valued as not optimal.
When on receiving feedback you move to the non reality in waves and particles, you in a way tell me that you do not want to relate at the level of how the waves and particles are perceived in the moment, nectar included.
And yes, I want certain things to improve.
Yet one quality of those kind of things is that they only can change when they are seen.
This is what I have seen you assist people with for over 15 years now.
And yes, you also kept searching for more profit for those people: you added Feldenkrais lessons to your retreat.
More recently you embraced Somatic Experiencing therapy sessions into your retreats.
With great benefit for a lot of people, myself and yourself included.
And I heard you say about this that you did not come further with certain people and that is why you brought Somatic Experiencing in.
And certain people, actually a lot of people started healing even deeper as a result of that. We know that.
I see no difference between your wanting things to be different and mine. We differ in strategies and temperament.
Another thing that recently dawned on me is that there is a similarity between how I felt when James Swartz swept my feedback to him aside with a appeal to something higher and when you swept my feedback aside.
First as just a opinion amongst many. And later with the denial of the existence of perception as such.
With Swartz, (I am grateful for all his ‘answers’), it took more than three and a half years before I found the pattern that kept it going.
Thanks to Alfred Tomatis: when one is unrightfully attacked or denied, this very act generates energy in the brain of the ‘victim’.
See last report if interested: https://www.hansvandergugten.nl/?p=4337
Enough for now.
I still think that an annual update in the form of a one week retreat in Venwoude,
(as already mentioned in my thank-you-to-you-blog of eight months ago (https://www.hansvandergugten.nl/?p=4195),
might be a good idea.
As always, from the heart thru the mind.
Only after publishing this blog an answer came:
On maandag 14-12-15 23:58, Isaac Shapiro wrote:
Dearest Hans,I appreciate the gentleness that this email expresses. I can find some of what you talk about.Thanks and love, Isaac
To which I responded thus:
On dinsdag 22-12-15 22:23, Hans van der Gugten wrote:
Thank you for your answer.
I am happy about it.
And I am happy for you and happy for me.
Wow, that’s a lot of happiness.
I will add your answer to the blog I made of our exchange.
And will announce it at the beginning thus: now with even happier ending.
Reminds me of the good old That’s all folks:
Again and again, from the heart thru the mind.