Drums and Words

A Celebration of Life and Wisdom

A Forest in Spring: My Connection with John de Ruiter

A Forest in Spring: My Connection with John de Ruiter

In meetings with John de Ruiter, the prospect of the questioner’s chair was glowing brighter and brighter in me, until a whisper said “go.” Previously in the chair I had reached as deep as possible, but now more intermediate levels were calling. My focus of late had been held less by a sense of responsibility to meetings, and more by a delight in their creativity. It was this ease, perhaps, that limbered me up to speak to John on a personal note. Aware of the potential of meetings, a childlike plunge brought me to a place that is both personal and numinous: addressing the gaps between my heart and John’s love.

The experiences that followed may sound strange, but unlocking the secrets of awareness is not like every other day.  Neither concrete nor imaginary, these phenomena exist somewhere between metaphor and perception as the heart and mind kindle with light. With a faint awkwardness sitting before my father and 300 other people, I am appealing to higher truth. I knock on the door – and enter. Beyond the threshold are golden pathways, threads of sincerity traversing consciousness by me yet unchartered.  John’s face dissolves, revealing myriad forms, some structural like ropes and wheels, and others animate,  beings, faces and bodies. I can see otherworldly figures, climbing, standing, and looking straight at me. There are forests and walls, doors and rooms. Through a warm subliminal communication, I feel invited to explore, roaming a house of precious artifacts. As we accept, without understanding, the reality of dreams, I embraced this space with confidence.

I sensed that this otherworldly space was not wholly innocuous. As John was unveiling it, he seemed to convey graveness and the presence of much more as yet unseen. I sensed that he trusted me with all I saw, and in him, a vast trustworthiness filling the inner rifts in love and connection. These gaps in intimacy are like air bubbles that slip away from pressure, eluding the intensity of love which breaks them open. Beginning when I was 11, others’ vehement reactions to John overhauled my perception of him. Insistent influences at a young age were so thorough that even after 14 years of discerning sense from sensationalism, I still find disturbed notions in my subconscious. Lacking substance, this ‘dust of non-trust’ settles in the hidden cracks of my psyche until the heart’s clarity comes through.

The dusty corners result not only from past trauma and external influence: some are my own, the shyness of opening my deepest consciousness to my own father, for example – vaguely akin to the awkwardness an adolescent might feel about discussing sexuality with a parent. Another example is the inclination toward a sense of independence, but the embarrassment of intimacy is a beautiful threshold to step through, and my independence, I know, is intrinsic to the quality of my relationship with John. Meeting John in the chair was my chance to let his magnanimous depth wash into the gaps of indifference. When John opened a door to his inner world, I saw the rock-solid love that constitutes our bond, as well as dimensions foreign to my concept of love. I sensed a power contingent upon purity of heart, a stream that, in a word, I would call ‘grace.’

As I felt that current, there surfaced a thought that has recurred throughout my life. I remember standing at the edge of a harbour in Groningen, the Netherlands. The black water reflected a mixture of star and urban light, boats moored and sleeping, crowds of nightlife bustling through an old city. The beauty revealed a tension between the core-piercing sublime and the brokenness of human life. I thought of the perfection of water: we can drink it and swim in it, but we remain flesh and bone. We cannot become the perfection we drink. However, in meetings I have found that profound truth can be the bricks of building a new self, the cells of regeneration. By pouring all my belief into the deepest knowing of goodness within, I remake myself from the purest outward. Looking into John’s eyes, I thought, blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. John refers to a ‘greater reality,’ that comes to the earth through the heart.

As greater reality moves and touches us, we awaken and we know differently. We awaken to the knowing of a resonance within that is dear and true and not understood. What we know within and in our hearts is to respond, to respond to what we know the truth of despite all inconvenience.

The phrase ‘greater reality’ has cosmic resonance, but occurred to me then as a meekness that is both ‘out of this world’ and essential to it. The meekness is pure knowing, almost sorrowfully soft, and John seemed to say ‘this is how meek you have to be to grow into the more of you.’ Evolution from knowing bridges sublime levels of awareness and material life. ‘Inheriting the earth’ becomes a profound inward surrender, bringing heaven to this world.

I focussed on John again, and found myself walking with him among leaves and spring blossoms. The expansive world I saw in him was a meekness as pure and bright as a forest in bloom. I had glimpsed the intensity of otherworldly creation within, and experienced the loveliness holding it together. I continued to enter those depths, knowing that they were foundational to my relationship with John. The gaps of intimacy were washed through. I saw that the higher dimensions of our father-son connection are as natural as physical life, but that we’re also connected in a realm that has a poetic resemblance to this material world. I felt that my task was completed and I envisioned a sea by night and me on a raft beneath the stars, the winds calm and warm.

‘No, keep going,’ I told myself. Paul’s words in Philippians spurred me on: press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling. Diving in again, I saw in John an ageless wisdom, like the mysticism of a motionless snake. There was majesty in his eyes saying, ‘there is so much more and it is just as lovely, and true, and new.’




John de Ruiter quote from ‘The Appeal to Our Beings’

More from John de Ruiter on greater reality.

Featured Image: ‘De Zittende Jongeling,’ Groningen

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