The Dutch Humaniversity from the Inside
Ramses Shaffy (1933-2009) was a well-known Dutch singer and actor. He participated in Veeresh programmes and worked with theatre and creativity at the Humaniversity in the 80′s and 90′s. Here is a letter, translated into English, that Ramses wrote about one of his Humaniversity experiences which Sannyasnews saw as revealing as well as insightful.
It’s crazy to sit here on the balcony while life thunders on in Grada with hammering hits, outbursts of crying , hurricanes of laughter, ingenious creations and attempts to run away, marathon, though the ‘official’ daily routine or the ‘normal’ way of life, is still a marathon, breathtaking, maddening, loving, collapsing, rebirthing, straining hard work with yells of “Speed it up! Speed it up!” In short, driving us crazy from six in the morning –dynamic – until three at night – disco in the Boozeria. There is little sleep, ‘do that when you’re old’. I work in the kitchen like I’m in a fast forward movie, peel potatoes hysterically, run like a possessed person from the basement to the attic. This all under the supervision of German ‘Ma’s’ who are worse than Prussian generals in the first world war. I get pull up’s every second one after the other. That means you get the full load and you can’t react, only say thank you.
The next moment I am appointed ‘head of cleaning’. Now I also have to scream “Speed it up!” to sweet, innocent people who are already doing dishes with frantic speed.
I can’t do this. I become very unhappy and exhausted. I hear a voice from another part of the kitchen calling me with a German accent, that I’m not making a sound, that she doesn’t hear anything. That day I wanted to leave. The next day I had to record a song with Liesbeth and I found it hard to go back. I was afraid.
And as things like this turn out, returning to Grada was just fantastic, with fabulous sessions with Veeresh, Fellini-like transvestite parties, dead chique staff dinners and sometimes happy nights of love. I play in every Satsang on my grand piano (there is also one here)with a magnificent flautist, Helmuth, and a very poetic guitarist, Sambodhi.
I have a new name ‘Yes, but…’, for one month, for the time of the Bodhidharma group. Having the name is very confusing, because it’s often used in normal conversation, so I jump up again as a nervous deer, as I think someone is calling me. Its one thousand volts here, meetings happen continuously, often totally crazy with strange therapeutic assignments. I walked around, for instance, for one week with a sign around my neck with the text ‘Yes, but”, and had to explain this name to whoever happened to ask me what it meant.
We had 2 marathons of 48 hours without sleep and practically without food, hard work and sessions, of which dynamic was the mildest. It is about not falling back for one moment, every now and then comes, believe it or not, a Beer Break and it is surprising to dance in the disco with a glass of white wine after these forty eight hours, having the feeling that you can continue through another night.
Samadhi is so beautiful I can’t explain. The whole staff by the way is very intelligent and centered. It’s all about love. Bhagwan is here and he loves us. Where this all leads to is a true mystery. Boy oh boy, what did I get myself into?
Yesterday I rehearsed the ‘Stad liedjes’ again. I am so grateful that I lived there.
Goodbye, see you soon, one way or another. Bye,
Ramses AKA ‘Yes but’