Jean Klein taught independently of Ramana
Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj. He never mentioned them. His own guru is more
or less a mystery.
The excerpt in this issue of the Highlights is from Be
Who You Are.
Knowledge without object, which is the theme of these talks,
is a non-dual experience; it can be obtained neither by an accumulation of
information, nor by any discipline or ascetic practice. In plain language, it is
the fact of being aware.
We are completely unaware of our true nature because we
constantly identify ourselves with our body, our emotions, and our thoughts,
thus losing sight of our unchanging centre which is pure consciousness. When we
return to our true nature, our thoughts and perceptions no longer appear as
modifications of a single substance, they come into being and subside like waves
of the ocean.
We have already seen how important it is for us to understand
what it is that we are really seeking when we pursue the satisfaction of a
We must therefore begin with the analysis of desire. "What
do I want?" Can my desire be gratified by the possession of objects?
Objects, are they what I seek? Do they contain what I seek? Let us observe what
happens when a desire is satisfied. We see that the gratification of a desire is
nothing but its death and that therefore, when we are in search of bliss, we
really are pursuing nothing but the death of desire. This proves that our
ultimate desire is "non-desire". But "non-desire" appears to our normal
consciousness as being blankness. And yet it is in this "blankness" that we must
try to probe with open eyes, so as to discover its true nature. In fact, this
nothingness is experienced by everybody in infinitesimal gaps which occur
between thoughts, each time one desire dies, giving place to the next.
If from time to time we experience moments of stillness and
deep attention turned towards these gaps of nothingness, little by little the
emptiness will reveal itself as being full, and finally as supreme plentitude.
One should adopt this attitude as often and as clearly as possible, thereby
allowing it to be more penetrating and effective. With this in view, one should
be available, ceaselessly questioning oneself, calmly observing one's own
behaviour without passion.
A new and non-objective outlook may then progressively prevail
on us and we may come to understand that we are not the ego. We may then, with a
new and complete awareness, taste the unexpected flavour of those moments of
non-desire which will be revealed as being plentitude, silence, and peace. This
flavour which is only fleeting at first will become more constant and vigorous
until that time when it will appear as a reality which carries us, enfolds us,
and is our very substance. The bliss which is then experienced is entirely
different from what we usually call happiness. For at this level of
consciousness, one cannot even say "I am happy," since a consciousness which
establishes a distinction between a subject and an attribute would be a dual
consciousness. We are now speaking of "the Peace of God which passeth all
understanding" (St. Paul).
We have mentioned watchfulness and availability. It must be
understood that these must be perfect in their quality. The quality and the
purity of attention which result are the essential conditions of
The exercise of this pure attention implies the complete
elimination of all elements from the past, thus allowing the authentic purity of
the present to be completely grasped. We must forget everything and wait, yet
wait for nothing. This entails a state of complete receptivity which seizes and
is open to the complete, eternal and perfect newness of each
It is also important that the body should be in a state of
perfect relaxation, as the slightest attraction or repulsion results in tensions
which impede the purity of attention.
~ ~ ~
Be Who You Are, by Jean Klein