Love is not a word
It’s very special that someone moves so many people. No matter how you are touched and something special happens. For those who seek their heart, it is like coming home. So tangible that you can almost grasp it, yet so indescribable that no words come close.
Real love, not the fleeting kind. The love that has no rules, no conditions, and no boundaries. Those who are lucky enough to meet that in their lives experience a richness that surpasses everything.
We are lucky to have met such a person and we would like to share that happiness.
We are honored to introduce you to Carien Hoekman.
We asked Carien a couple of questions to get to know her. This way, you get to hear the story behind a true teacher.
Carien can you tell us what it is that you do?
“Actually, I don’t do anything at all.
I don’t decide anything, I don’t control anything. I don’t experience any kind of intention. It’s not something that “I” do, it’s just being.
There is no word for what I do. If I have to name a word it would be ‘silence’.
And from that silence or nothingness, a response arises. That just happens naturally.
We are all looking for love that is already within us. How is it possible that we can’t experience that? It seems like you need someone else for that. I’ve come to tell you that it really is within you. It is my task to confront you with reality, step by step. The realization that it cannot be found in anyone other than yourself.
The mind always creates the illusion of separation.
I’ll explain it to you: On the table is a can of Coke with a colorful print and a white mug.
Carien points to the can and the mug. You think you are this can and take on all kinds of roles in your life.
But in reality, you are the white mug. So you are the mug but you act like the can of Coke.
And I know how to push the buttons that will make the can of Coke explode until you’ll realize that you are the mug.
People who come to me know that there will come a time when they will be confronted with themselves. They know this is necessary to grow.
The mind wants to control and determine everything.
Suppose you run into something in your life. The first response is to start looking for a solution. But you are not in charge. By being silent, you let nature take its course.
Everyone wants to be free but it has to be on their terms. That’s not freedom, that is selfishness. If everyone does it their way, there can be no connection and we lose sight of each other.
What I do is not always appreciated. Except when people wake up. Until then people will have a love-hate relationship with me. You are discovering yourself in this, it’s a process of growth. We don’t manage our mind, we are identified with it.
People quickly say: “I feel love”, but if I do something you don’t like then suddenly there is no love anymore, that’s not possible! Love is constant and has no conditions. But that in itself is the journey of discovery.”
What moves you to spread this love?
“From an early age on there was already a certain clarity in me. I don’t know how it’s possible either, maybe from a past life or something but around me, I saw that people didn’t have this kind of clarity and I thought that I was strange. You have to imagine that as a child you feel that connection and you cannot share it with anyone, but you just know it exists. Of course, you will look for someone who feels the same way.
For years I tried to reach my mother in this and later my partner.
But it doesn’t work like that. One needs to want to move by themselves.
Such a realization doesn’t just come overnight, there is a lot that precedes it.
It started, for example, when I thought: “it cannot be true that the opinions and beliefs of other people can make me feel completely upset.”
It intrigued me so much that I went to investigate. I did this by always allowing myself to break with the things I thought were true. For example, I would seek out people who ‘I’ found difficult and I would continue to seek them out until I could allow all the emotions to rage through me. Over and over again, until there was nothing left. I just wanted to be free. That’s the most important thing to me. It might sound easy but on the contrary; it was a hard and difficult journey. I would have loved a guide or a master by my side in this.
If you happen to come across a guide that resonates with you, that will make this journey a whole lot easier.
I was so afraid to speak but I felt the drive to share what I had discovered.
Though I just knew that if I talked about it, everyone would walk away from me.
But I had no choice. If you feel this so strongly then you must listen. You cannot turn away from this. You would deny your heart and the divine within you.
I felt that I wanted to speak: there’s a fire burning in me to wake people up.
I have to do this! You have to share the love.
The less “I”, the more you become the “self”. The less ‘I’, that sounds so cliche doesn’t it, but to be able to do this you really have to know yourself. You have to dare to face yourself. All your principles and all your fears; you have to give yourself up.
Everything I thought I was didn’t matter. I am not at all someone who wants to be in the spotlight. But it wasn’t about what I wanted, it was about the message.
It was a period in my life when I was completely alone. Suddenly there was no one left.
You have to become who you truly are. That goes for everybody.”
Carien, my question to you is: I am looking for love that is already within me. How is it possible that I do not experience it?
“If you say that love is within you, why don’t you experience it yourself?
How is it possible that you say this?”
I have read that somewhere.
“So you have lost yourself in knowledge. To become conscious the knowledge has to become true knowing.
Referring back to your question: The mind quickly settles for a simple thought. In this case: “I am looking for love which is already within me.” But the truth is you don’t really know what it is, not yet! You have to find it inside yourself.
So you’re saying that I haven’t found it, yet? What it really is, you have never become aware of.
You have a word; in this case, love. You cannot experience it, or only temporarily because we have an opinion or belief about what it should be. If we use our mind in this way and believe those thoughts then we cannot experience what IS. And the reality is overshadowed by opinions, assumptions, interests, beliefs etc. A feeling of “I and me” dominates.
Then how can I experience what love is? It is a question that has been with me for a long time.
Of course, you want a ready-made answer. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that it doesn’t work like that.
Even if I were to tell you in detail what love really is, you still cannot experience it.
You keep looking for the answer outside of yourself, but you don’t ask yourself; what is love truly?
You’ll say: my children, my parents or my partner but these are people in your life, not you.
What is love truly for you?
And then the journey inside yourself can either start or stop there. (Carien laughs)
If you ask God the question: “God, what is love?” Even then you will experience it outside of yourself, as if you were speaking to someone else. And so you will experience everything outside of yourself for a long time without knowing it.
The trick of the trade is that it is all within you.
Do you want to discover what love is? Then completely fall in love with someone else. It doesn’t matter who or what, just give yourself completely. Then you’ll know what love is. And now you still don’t know what I mean. (Carien laughs again) Don’t believe it, but find it.”
Can you tell us something about your search for a spiritual master?
“No, I don’t have a master. I had to discover the master within myself.
There was a search for a master though.
I was looking for love and I was looking for it in someone older and wiser.
A master who radiates real love.
One learns to serve. To serve what is greater than the “I”.
But it was actually already there: I had been serving all my life.
I just wasn’t mopping the floor of an Ashram in India. No, I did that in the Netherlands at home. (Carien laughs)
Of course I had teachers but I never have been close to a master to whom I could devote.”
Are there masters that you experience then?
“There are many masters that I feel here. (Carien points to her heart)
Anyone awake, known or unknown, they are here and that’s all I follow. We all speak from the same source. When you are awake you speak from the same source.
Take Jesus for example. You meet him in your heart; you really experience what he spoke of but he is no longer alive.
I would have loved a living master because with a living guide you come so close to the earth, to humanity, the all-encompassing and also the incapacity of being a human.
I don’t run from the things that scare most people away. On the contrary, it’s what I face head-on. Jesus, of course, was betrayed by everyone and he still loved them. I have not found anyone of that caliber yet. But I don’t want the religious side of it. No that is not necessary.
Now you yourself are a guide to many, can you tell us something about that?
Other people already recognized it in me. Teachers of mine who said: “But you are the teacher, you are that yourself.”
I didn’t realize that. As a matter of fact, I didn’t want to. I thought it was too much of a responsibility.
I was still so focused on “I can’t do this” and mainly on “I’m not allowed do this”.
I still had a deep belief because I thought; “only ‘Earth’s Greatest’ may do this. You have to be really great to interpret God’s word. You can’t just do that.”
What was the turning point for you to start speaking?
The turning point was a vision of Jesus.
In my vision, I saw a golden room with a large table. All the masters sat at this table. Jesus sat at the head of the table and signaled me “come over here and sit with us”. I felt very shy, standing in the corner of the room like: …no, no, no, not me.
He spoke to me, “Come sit with us.”
It was a great realization that I had to be who I am.
I secretly wanted a master who would guide and support me. Not anymore. It is possible but it’s not necessary anymore. I don’t feel that anymore.
I see all of us as one. I feel one heart, one great intelligence.”
Who is suitable to receive your teaching?
“Anyone with a beating heart can do this, so it’s suitable for everyone.
But not every guide resonates with you.
If you still want to be anointed with beautiful words, you will be attracted to that. There’s nothing wrong with it; everything has its function.
Only those who are tired of beautiful words knock on my door. Because I’m not easy on your ego. I can’t accept any nonsense.
With me you’ll face the truth. I look at the facts.
Life gives you a direction and I’m here to make you look the right way. That’s already hard enough. At first, you don’t want to look. You just want to keep following your own direction.
People who live with me learn to see that you can get something out of everything. Awareness is not only experienced in Satsang but throughout the whole day.
There are life lessons everywhere. Even in pain there is a color. The trick is to see what it is and have no opinion about it. God is in everything. Even in the tiniest twig.
However, you can only feel this if you really look. You’ll have to go beyond logic to experience this. Because logic and awareness do not go together.
Logic is great with all practical and logical things, for example if you want to build something. But if you try to understand me from just logic you won’t succeed. You cannot understand it, you can only discover it.”
What makes you unique?
You can’t say that you are unique at all. You cannot claim such a thing.
I do see what God does and what it is, yes that is very unique. That brings tears to my eyes.
If God had the voice of a bearded man he would say: “It’s not something unique; I am you, you are me.” So there is nothing unique. You just are.
And that makes it unique. A better word would be authentic. To be complete with ISness, with the Divine.
What do you mean by unique?
Everyone is trying very hard to be unique in something. You want to be the best. You want to distinguish yourself and try to be unique that way.
I speak more about being unique in being. That everything just is. That’s unique.
You are also unique, right? It’s that specific something. You are something that you are.
I see that everyone is unique. And maybe it is unique that I see what makes someone unique. (Carien laughs).
Awareness is simply the most important thing. Your Sadhana must come first. You’ll have to find God within yourself and during that Sadhana you will learn that you are not alone.”
This conversation has touched my heart directly in an indescribable way. The truth cannot be captured in words, but in the depth and love with which Carien speaks.