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The Nondual Highlights
Non-duality Press has reprinted two titles by Dr. Jean Klein, Who Am I?: The Sacred Quest, and Be Who You Are. You may order them at http://www.non-dualitybooks.com/Jean%20Klein%20N-D%20Press.htm
Jean Klein taught independently of Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj. He never mentioned them. His own guru is more or less a mystery.
Jean Klein has been mentioned often in The Highlights. Enter his name into the nonduality.com search engine to see where: http://nonduality.com/search.htm
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 desire.
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
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 success.
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 moment.
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.
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Be Who You Are, by Jean Klein
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