|Author Laura Tietjens.
I will not answer that it's better for animals,
better for the environment, better for world economy,
and so better for the Third World, better for
my health, better for our landscape, better for
my spiritual development, better for my taste
buds and better for my emotional stability. This
is all indisputably true, but not the most profound
reason why I am a vegetarian.
There are a number of characteristics that belong
with me in this life, in this body, in this capacity.
For instance, I'm a woman, my hair is dark blonde
and I'm a vegetarian. As for the latter, I remember
the choice (what I mean to say is that I don't
rule out choosing the former two characteristics
at some point). I was fourteen at the time, and
the only one in my family. It was a consequence
of my big heart for animals, and especially for
their wellbeing and freedom.
This was beyond my reasoning, even though at night
in bed I rehearsed my intellectual arguments out
loud, just in case some critics would question
me. I just had to win every discussion about this
subject, as if there was something to lose. Apparently
I didn't think that my feelings on the subject
were enough to justify myself to the meat eating
outside world. As if I had to justify myself anyway!
Poor, diligent teenager.
Anyway, I know it wasn't a rational choice, because
I remember the recurring nightmares I had for
a long time in which I found bloody chicks in
boiled eggs, and how I would avoid the kitchen
when it was filled with the thick smoke of frying
fish, and how I would gag at the thought of having
to eat meat.
But dear God, what is my most profound reason
for not sinking my teeth into another animal?
You know what, why don't I ask him, why not!
play for three phenomena
| Dear God, why am I
|I have heard your question.
|It's me, Laura.
|Right, but which part?
|(sighing). I wouldn't
know, but ….
| Let's make
this communication clear. Otherwise we can't trust
each other. With which part of Laura am I dealing?
|God, do you even exist?
Maybe I'm just dreaming up this conversation.
|Aha, there's the Brain.
Welcome Brain, from now on you may speak for yourself.
|Thank you. Do you even
exist? It seems convenient to start with that.
|Very sensible. I shall
answer with another question: Brain, do you even
|Absolutely. I think,
I do. That's evidence to me.
|If I were to apply your
argumentation to myself, I exist as well.
|Still I'm not convinced.
|Laura, do you exist?
|I move, I swirl, I feel,
I experience. I don't know whether I exist. And
that doesn't interest me. What does that mean actually,
|Existence is a concept
Brain likes to work with. Laura, you experience
yourself. Do you experience me as well?
|Definitely. Brain, do
you experience God?
|I never experience.
I observe. And I'm observing a number of things
that cannot be reconciled. But to call that God….
|While this talk lasts,
could we accept the insecurity of its, or mine or
our existence? Otherwise we won't be able to start.
And it may be a nice game.
|Game? I thought there
was a question.
|Yes, game or question.
I propose that we each stake something, something
that seems most precious to us now.
|Then I'd like to stake
|I stake my honesty.
|And I my love. Laura,
what was your question?
|Why I'm a vegetarian.
|Why do you want to know?
|I don't want to know.
It was Brain's idea to ask.
|Someone else asked Laura
the question. She didn't want to use my arguments
in her answer because she thinks they do not get
down to the root of the question. But she cannot
name this root. So she asked you the question.
|Laura, you've been calling
yourself Me until now. But from where do you speak?
|I don't know.
|Brain, from where is
|I would say 'emotion'.
|Very adequate. Maybe
we'll find a more adequate term later.
|Laura, what do you feel
with the idea of eating meat?
|Sorrow. And outrage.
I'm not a cannibal!
|Do you see animals as
members of your species?
|But of course, they
are my brothers and sisters, my teachers, my children.
They are nourished with the same love and wisdom,
carried by the same Mother, shielded by the same
Father. It's not my place to determine the time
of their deaths, much less execute it. And it's
completely against my nature to rob an animal of
its right to freedom and to tune its living space,
daily schedule, food and lifestyle solely to their
suitability for my stomach.
|Well, this is a perfectly
clear answer. Brain, what would you call the essence
from which she speaks?
|Laura, how come you
couldn't find this answer before?
|Shame for what?
|She was ashamed that
people would think it strange or sentimental.
|The feeling that animals
are your brothers, your equals.
|Now it's my turn to
be sad. What's it coming to with man and creation
when man isolates himself from creation and all
other living beings, and doesn't look upon them
as his equals, coming from the same source?
|You eat plants. They're
living creatures too. What's the difference?
|I don't know.
|What do you feel when
you eat plants?
|When I do this unconsciously,
I would renounce You and myself. If I do it with
respect and love for plants and the powers that
make it possible for me to live on this earth, I
feed myself with them, with plant life, creation
and mother earth.
|I don't understand this.
But I fear I won't have to expect a reasonable explanation
about the difference in the right to existence of
plants, animals or people respectively.
have a right to exist. Each unique phenomenon or
individual in its own way.
|God, something is bothering
me a lot. I used to be a starry-eyed idealist, a
campaigner. I stopped that when I realized that
in the long run my fighting injustice would not
lead to the liberation of man and animals I wanted
so desperately. I thought I could do more for the
world in trying to gain my own inner liberation.
Since then I've been focusing on that, but sometimes
I feel that I'm abandoning the world, as if I've
withdrawn from it, instead of striving for its wellbeing
through my own development. I don't know what to
do anymore. My wires are crossed.
|Which wires? What wires
I have to take to make sure that people and animals
can live in freedom.
|Is that your task?
|What pride, what delusions
|What is your purpose
|O Jesus. I used to want….
|But I'm asking you now.
What's your purpose now?
|For starters, letting
go of concepts, goals, ideas, letting go of everything
that binds me to this reality. I want to be free.
|Can you be more specific?
|I want to be free.
|What does that mean?
|Is all this still interesting
in the light of vegetarianism and such?
|What I would like to
be free of, for instance, is the negative jabber
in my brain. It goes on and on, judgment after judgment,
unsolicited advice after unsolicited advice. It's
driving me mad. Sometimes it seems I'm its slave,
instead of it being my tool!
|Brains have the tendency
to start bellowing when they feel that nobody's
listening to them, when they're not appreciated
for their merits.
|But what in God's name
are their merits?!
is there to observe, to bear witness, to clarify,
to differentiate, to nominate. If you invite the
brain to perform these tasks, it can be very very
sharp and valuable.
| But it's
not here to lecture me?
not. A brain that judges and gives unsolicited advice,
that doesn't serve your inner wisdom but seems to
want to control you, is an undervalued and therefore
|So where did it go wrong
in the relationship between me and my brain?
|You give it responsibilities
it isn't equipped to bear.
|What do you mean?
|You want your brain
to show you the way. It can't do that. If it tries
because you ask it, it'll prattle.
|But who should I ask
for the way then? I've lost it.
|Me, for instance.
|God, where is my way?
|You are your way.
|Oh, this is much too
vague for me. I can't see myself, how can I see
|Precisely. For starters,
|You know what the point
is, I keep getting lost. Even now, in this conversation.
Weren't we supposed to talk about vegetarianism?
Well, we're talking about purposes of life, where's
|You were the one who
tried to make the very interesting connection between
vegetarianism and life purposes. Allow yourself
to get lost in this investigation.
|All right. It feels
like I'm moving on thin ice, but OK. Where were
|You, precious upright
creature, are the way. You are a channel that connects
heaven and earth. That is your capacity as a human
being in this life. Let life flow through this channel.
Let it flow freely, I mean without judging, without
cramping, without fighting, without suppressing.
Let flow through what will: experiences, thoughts,
feelings, desires, hope or despair. That's all.
Really that's all. When you do something, suppressing
or protesting against feelings and thoughts, judging
the experiences life gives you, or judging yourself,
the channel will cramp. It will narrow itself and
folds and humps will appear in its walls. With the
consequence that what wanted to flow through is
obstructed. Instead of letting it flow, the channel
holds on to life. This causes pain and frustration,
sickness and loss of energy. And you will remain
constipated, and suffer discomfort, until you relax
as a channel, experience the flow of life and let
|So Laura is a channel.
|To let spirit descend
|What's that good for?
|Matter is dead, absence
of conscience I mean. Spirit is conscience. The
spirit descends into the matter to increase consciousness.
Put differently, to replace darkness with light.
Consciousness is an equivalent of freedom and love.
So when spirit descends into matter, this leads
to all creatures living as matter.
about me being aware of what I experience, feel,
think or want? That's all?
|And if my conscience
is big enough I'm free, in love and peace?
|And what good is that
to animals, if Laura is going around being free?
|In the first place,
animals will receive only love from Laura. Because
someone who has experienced suffering and injustice
totally and consciously, will no longer be able
to hurt others, no matter who they are and what
they may have done. And someone who has truly experienced
love, will pray that others, no matter who, will
also find such happiness.
Secondly, if you turn on a light, what happens?
It's not just the lamp that lights up.
|But its surroundings
|Right. Spreading light
leads to the spreading of light. And expansion of
consciousness leads to expansion of consciousness.
Because when someone is touched by someone else's
light, they will want to feel more of it and try
to find it.
|Maybe that's true for
people, but how about animals?
|With animals it's different.
They don't have a personal will of their own. What
moves them could be called an urge, not willpower.
So they don't go searching for more light. They
don't have to, because they are in constant and
direct contact with the divine source. They are
one with their creation and one with the creative
forces, or to put it differently, in a way they
are at one with themselves and with God. But when
they come into contact with a conscious human, a
person that is an open channel for the spirit, animals
benefit from that immediately. Their own consciousness
is enlarged, like a lamp lights up its surroundings.
Man is the only living being with a personal will.
On top of that, he has cut himself off from his
source. He has forgotten where he came from and
where he belongs. That's why he can act self-willed
from a motivation that goes directly against natural
laws. If he were to remember his source, he would
no longer desire to chase his own little will.
This free will has led to immense suffering, in
humans as well as animals. But people's free will
is one of the rules of the game in this creation.
To a certain extent, people can do as they please.
|To a certain extent?
|Yes. If they threaten
to cross certain boundaries, there will be intervention.
|By forces greater than
|What is this awfully
cruel free will for? And why don't these forces
|Free will is for the
good of the expansion of conscience. Man, creation,
can gain experience through it.
|I don't want this free
will, it makes me sick. What people do to animals
is in direct violation to God's love. This cannot
be what you had in mind!
|Dear child, you are
judging. Don't. The injustice makes you angry, you
are judging the situation and thereby encapsulating
it. You turn it into a story and decide the story
is no good. What good will it do you, to treat it
|Then I can handle it.
|What do you mean by
|Just for the sake of
research. Try this: imagine how people with their
free will are inflicting suffering on animals. And
don't judge it, just let it be. You are a channel
and what you see flows through the channel. What's
|I hate it. I hate people
and their godforsaken free will.
|When you look a bit
deeper inside yourself, what's beneath this hatred?
|And when you look at
the animals in question?
|Then I feel endless
sorrow. It's more than I can bear. It crushes me.
|Dear child, you don't
have to bear it, that's not your task. It's not
people's task to bear sorrow. Let it flow through,
surrender it to me. Now look closely at the animals
involved. What's going on?
|I feel them. I experience
them. Their pain, their gentleness, their total
vulnerability and also … their love.
|What's happening now
between you and those animals?
|There's a connection,
an understanding far beyond words. A shared love,
a shared heart. As if we are the same being. It
moves me deeply, my heart is expanding. O God, I'm
are feeling the essence of these animals, is that
|Yes, that's right.
|And you feel the force,
the light that breathes through you both, and that
|Yes. It's as if we are
in reality this light, this force.
|You are. After this
experience, would you still want to judge the use
of free will and the moment higher forces should
I'd want to, I can't. This surpasses my capacity
to understand and judge.
a question just now, which we haven't come around
to quite yet. Would you like to formulate it again?
|I used to be active
in the struggle against injustice toward man and
animals. At a certain point in time I realized that
I could only really help the world by trying to
gain my own inner liberation. But now I sometimes
feel like I've withdrawn and that I'm no longer
active where I should be. And this under the guise
of my personal development, which is supposed to
be for the higher glory of people and animals.
|What I hear in your
question is theory, cynicism, self-judgment and
a very strict morality. Let's first talk about the
insight you gained a number of years ago.
|I'd rather not, if you
|Why not? Is it no longer
|Yes it is,
in the sense that it still determines my thinking
and my actions. But it's started to feel like a
noose, like a sermon from the minister that I've
had enough of.
|Brain, could you summarize
|She gained the insight
that life in this visible world is finite and dualistic.
That is to say, good always goes hand in hand wit
evil, love with hate, happiness with suffering.
There's a balance between the two extremes; if you
ease suffering in one place, it will come back some
other place. In short, improving the world is no
use. That's not the way to ultimate freedom for
the world and all that lives here. Not by fighting
There was a second insight, namely that the source,
our creation and our home, cannot be found on this
planet and in this dualistic reality, but in an
everlasting, all-encompassing reality, where there's
unity, and where ultimate freedom and satisfaction
are found. Some call this God. This reality is not
a heaven that opens only after death, it's a reality,
a capacity that can be manifested during this earthly
life and that gives freedom and satisfaction to
those who fully surrender themselves to it.
Everybody's deepest desire is the desire for love,
to be unified with their divine source, to coming
home. Total satisfaction of this desire can only
be obtained in this great reality, and not in the
finite, dualistic world.
People are driven by their desires. They are the
motors of all their movements. When they are not
aware of their primal desires, they translate them
into a desire for power, riches, regard, recognition
etc. And they will try to find comfort in each other,
in earth and in animals. People who are unaware
of their source and their primal desires, and who
haven't experienced for themselves that ultimate
happiness cannot be found on earth, but in their
own divine source, have nothing to give. They only
want to receive. The world is full of greedy, needy
people, who try to find succor in each other. This
unfailingly leads to disappointment and injustice,
to animal and human suffering.
But when people look inside and let themselves be
led by their deepest desires, they will come home,
to themselves, to their own divine source, and they
will find true satisfaction. They will no longer
have to project their disappointments on other people
and animals. And with their light they will also
touch others, even without opening their mouths.
Fighting injustice in the world doesn't lead to
everlasting and total liberation. What will lead
to that, is the realization of all that is in the
world, suffering as well as happiness. As soon as
people are totally convinced of the unchangeable
dualistic and finite character of this earthly life,
and have felt the pain of the world in their bones,
as soon as people know that as people they are powerless,
but when they would give anything for the total
liberation of themselves and all that lives, they
will open themselves up to the light and be prepared
to serve as channels.
|God, is this story right?
Is it the Truth?
cannot be Truth with a capital T, if only for the
fact that Brain put it into words.
It's not your task to put Truth into words, Brain,
because you can't. Brain is just a little piece
of creation, it will never be able to encompass
all of creation.
|But who can put Truth
|God made the Truth known,
in everything that She is and everything that He
does. And that says it all.
|But God, can you tell
me a bit more about this story?
|No, I can only ask you
something about it. Can you use it?
|That's the only thing
that's relevant: Does it work for you? Will it help
you reach your purpose? What were your purposes
|Good, and now what's
|And have you found out
what that means yet?
|I have no idea.
|Come on, Laura. What's
your purpose now? Now.
|I want your love.
|Thank you. That's all
I want. There's nothing more.
|If you could feel how
grateful I am that you ask…. I would cherish you
forever in my love, but I can only do that if you
ask for it.
|Can? Is there anything
God cannot do?
|God respects the rules
of the game of his creation. Among other things,
free human will. When man chooses to cut himself
off from God's love, so be it.
As for Brain's story about your insights: You desire
my love. In what way do your previous insights help
you experience my love?
|I learned then that
it is very important to me to be aware at any given
time of what goes on inside me. If I completely
experience what is, I experience your presence,
my oneness with You.
|Thank you. Is this all
from this long story that's now relevant to you?
we throw the rest away then?
|All right. Out with
it. Right, that's better. By the way, are you prepared
to accept that your truth is changing constantly?
Much more often than once every few years? Have
we answered all of your questions now?
me that I sometimes get the feeling that I have
withdrawn from the world, when instead I should
be active. Because I'm occupied with my personal
|Question number one:
What's that feeling called?
|Question number two:
Who says you should be active?
even remember, can you, so ingrained is this Calvinist
thought! What is it exactly?
|That I must do good
in the world, so I'll go to heaven.
|What is that, good?
|Eh… According to this
morality it is ….
|And what is that, heaven?
|O Jesus, I have no idea.
Does heaven even exist?
|What is that, existence?
|This is making me dizzy.
another word: Personal development. What is that?
|It's that I get to know
myself better and that I….
|What is that: myself?
|Myself, that's the whole
of feelings and thoughts and experiences I have.
|Adequate. What are you
experiencing now? What are you thinking now? What
are you feeling now?
|I feel sort of cheerful.
|And how about your guilt?
|Do you realize that
you just used a whole bunch of words that at that
moment weren't supported by experience or feeling?
|Every word that isn't
supported by your experience, words that aren't
experienced, are useless. They are dead, they are
in your way. Be hygienic, clean them up. Don't burden
yourself and your surroundings with dead morality.
So how about your question. Is anything left of
|Laura, 24 years ago
you decided to become a vegetarian. Why are you
a vegetarian NOW?
|Because I love You.
I see Your face in animals.