Attention: Neo-Advaitans

“I beg myself as well as my readers not to mistake understanding for attainment; and not to imagine, on the strength of their realization of certain truths, that they possess them, or still less, that they can use them. Our being, in which alone truth is possessed, is still a long way behind our understanding.”

A. R. Orage

This was seen on the Gurdjieff Organization website at:  http://www.gurdjieff.org/

Franklin Merrell-Wolff’s Realizations

Franklin Merrell-Wolff

Franklin Merrell-Wolff’s Realizations

Wolff grounds his philosophy in his Realizations, and not in mere rational speculation. In his written report of his mystical unfoldment, Wolff identifies three premonitory recognitions and two fundamental, or transcendental, Recognitions.

First Premonitory Recognition: “I am Atman”

Wolff’s first premonitory recognition took place in 1922, approximately 14 years prior to his transcendental breakthroughs. Wolff describes this first recognition as a noetic insight into the truth of “I am Atman”. The term “Atman” is a Sanskrit term that Wolff uses to refer to the transcendental subject to consciousness (see the discussion above of the second fundamental of the philosophy). Just prior to this insight, Wolff had been engaged in the practice of discrimination of subject (Atman) and object (world). This practice of discrimination is fundamental to the teachings of Shankara, the founder of the Advaita Vedanta school of nondual philosophy. The purpose of this practice is to effect a disidentification and detachment from the objects of consciousness, and a realization of identity with pure subjectivity. Although Wolff previously had been intellectually convinced of the truth of the proposition “I am Atman”, this time he suddenly realized its truth at a deeper level than the intellect. Although this was only a veiled Realization, it nevertheless brought a sense of Light and Joy, and had persistent positive effects, such as a certain change in the base of thought, bringing clarity where there had previously been obscurity.

Second Premonitory Recognition: “I am Nirvana”

The second premonitory recognition took place in late 1935, approximately 9 months prior to the first fundamental breakthrough. Wolff describes this recognition as the realization that “I am Nirvana”. Prior to this noetic insight, his thought upon the subject of Nirvana had been involved in the confusion that Nirvana is a kind of other-world separate from the relative world of subject-object consciousness. While meditating upon Nirvana, however, it suddenly dawned on him that “I am Nirvana”, where “I” is understood here to mean the inner core of subjectivity. Like the Atman, Nirvana is never an object before consciousness. It is therefore identical with the subject to consciousness, or the true “I”. As with the prior recognition, this insight was accompanied by a sense of Joy and Illumination within the relative consciousness, and had persistent effects. In addition, there was a sense of a Current with profound depth.

Third Premonitory Recognition: “Substantiality is inversely proportional to ponderability”

The third premonitory recognition took place in late July, 1936, about two weeks prior to the fundamental breakthrough. Prior to this insight, Wolff experienced certain logical difficulties reconciling Transcendent Being with the physical universe. These difficulties arise from the habit of regarding objects of consciousness, i.e., any appearance in consciousness that we can ponder or experience, as in some sense substantial. Although Wolff had a prior intellectual conviction that the Transcendent Being was more substantial, the intellectual idea alone had failed to have a powerful transformative effect on his consciousness. This third premonitory recognition, however, had a profound effect on his consciousness that served to clear the way for the fundamental breakthrough that would follow in a matter of days. Wolff expressed the insight with the following proposition: “Substantiality is inversely proportional to ponderability”, or “Reality is inversely proportional to appearance”. In other words, the degree of true substance or reality is the inverse or opposite of the degree of ponderability. Thus, concrete objects of experience, which have a high degree of ponderability, are the least substantial. Subtle or abstract objects of experience, on the other hand, which are less ponderable, partake of a higher degree of substantiality and reality. The effect of this insight upon Wolff was an acceptance of substantial reality where the senses reported emptiness, and a greater capacity to realize unreality, or merely dependent or derivative reality, in the material given through the senses. This insight brought about a more profound shift of identification with the transcendent supersensible reality, and a correspondingly profound detachment from the objects of consciousness. This shift was decisive in clearing the way for the fundamental realizations that were to follow.

First Fundamental Recognition: Realization of Self, Liberation

The first of Wolff’s two fundamental Realizations took place on August 6, 1936. In contrast with the prior insights, which retained objective elements in his own consciousness and thus fell short of genuine identification, the fundamental Realizations unequivocally transcended the subject-object or relative consciousness. Just prior to the first Realization, Wolff had been meditating upon the teachings of Shankara, particularly the discussion of Liberation. Upon meditative reflection, he realized that his efforts to attain Liberation involved a seeking after a subtle object of experience. But any new object of experience, no matter how subtle, was something other than the objectless transcendent consciousness. Thus, Liberation does not necessarily involve any new object of experience or change in the content of consciousness. To seek such a new object or experience, therefore, is a mistake. Genuine Realization, therefore, is a recognition of Nothing — but a Nothing that is absolutely Substantial and identical with the SELF. The result of this profound realization was the complete and instant cessation of expectation of having any new experience or relative form of knowledge arise. The light of consciousness then turned back upon itself, toward its source, and the pure Atman was realized as absolute fullness and as identical with himself. This Recognition was not an experience of any new content in consciousness, but a Re-Cognition of a Truth that is, was, and always will be. It is a nondual knowledge of identity that transcends space and time. Nevertheless, there were various effects experienced within the relative consciousness, that may be considered expressions of the Recognition. Because the Recognition is not the recognition of any particular effects or phenomena, they should not be confused with the Recognition itself. Some of the effects Wolff experienced were: (1) A shift in the base of reference in consciousness, transplanting the roots of identity from the relative to the transcendent, (2) a transformation of the meaning of self from a point-like principle opposed to objects of experience to a space-like identity with the entire field of consciousness and all its contents, (3) a sense of penetrating knowledge into the depths of reality, (4) a transcendence of space, time, and causality, (4) complete freedom and liberation from all bondage. Also experienced were qualities of joy, felicity, serenity, peace, and benevolence.

Second Fundamental Recognition: High Indifference, Equilibrium

Although Wolff’s first fundamental Realization was an unequivocal transcendence of the subject-object consciousness, for a period of approximately 33 days there remained certain unresolved tensions preventing it from being a full state of equilibrium. This tension consisted in the contrast in valuation between the superlative Joy, Peace, Rest, Freedom and Knowledge of the Transcendent and the emptiness of the relative world. There was a distinction between being bound to embodied consciousness and not being so bound, with a subtle attachment to being not bound. Counter-acting this subtle attachment, however, was Wolff’s prior acceptance of the bodhisattva vow, a commitment to the value of relative manifestation and embodiment, motivated by compassion for all sentient beings. With this motivation, Wolff resisted his strong inclination to retreat into the transcendent bliss of nirvanic consciousness. Instead, he sacrificed his strictly personal enjoyment of those transcendent values in order to maintain a relative embodiment and help liberate all sentient beings. This act of compassion and ultimate renunciation led to an unexpected second fundamental Recognition that resolved the residual tensions between the universe and nirvana. The Realization represented a complete Equilibrium, not only a relative equilibrium between objects, but also an ultimate Equilibrium between relative and absolute levels of consciousness. Because this realization does not give any more valuation to nirvana than to the universe, and recognizes no ultimate difference between the two, Wolff called it the High Indifference. It is the complete resolution of tension between all opposites, the complete transcendence of all distinctions, including the distinction between the transcendent and the relative. At this profoundly deep level of Recognition, all self-identity, both in the highest sense of the transcendental Self and the lower sense of the ego self, was no more. In Wolff’s words, “I was no more and God was no more, but only the ETERNAL which sustains all Gods and Selves.”

This posting comes from the site:  http://www.integralscience.org/gsc/

Seeing From Behind – Jean Klein

The following is an excerpt from a dialog held at Joshua Tree, California, May 25, 1995

What do you mean by seeing from behind?

You feel yourself behind and look from behind, hear from behind. It gives you a new quality. First you must know how to see yourself from behind, and then you will know yourself in front.

Does feeling from behind take you out of the forebrain?

Yes. You don’t feel yourself located in the object. You have the sensation of expansion behind you. You are not identified with the object. You have the feeling that the perceiver is behind you, that you are no longer stuck to the object. Body, senses and mind are all objects, objects that need a perceiver to be known. A perceiver can never be known, only what is perceived can be known.

When you knowingly say, “I am not the body, senses and mind, because these do not exist on their own, they need consciousness to be known,” you become integrated; it gives you enormous distance. Then you perceive and live with the surroundings free from psychological involvement. You see facts as they are, free from bad and good. This is whole seeing, global seeing. You know when you are psychologically involved in daily life. But here there is no interpretation, there is only seeing facts as they are. It is important to see how this way of living, this way of seeing, this way of touching, acts on you, how you feel. Then you have a functional relation with your surroundings, also aesthetic and ethical. You see the truth, you see the beauty, you see the functional. Our seeing mainly refers to the ego. You do not see the situation in its verite. When you are appropriate to the situation, then you observe what is aesthetic, ethical and functional. It belongs to you, but this doesn’t mean it is appropriated to your ego. You are taken by the seeing. One can say it is not you who sees it, it is the seeing who sees it.

Taken From The Book of Listening. Non-Duality Press 

To read more from Jean Klein see:  https://o-meditation.com/category/jean-klein/

A Perfect Tool – Jean Klein

How can I empty myself of the sense of “I”?

Body, senses and mind are tools, vehicles, instruments. There may be moments in daily life when there is no function but this absence of functioning has nothing to do with tranquility. Function and non-function alike appear in tranquility. Tranquility is the ground of existence, all perception. Very often what we call meditation is only the non-activity of the senses. Many people make a great effort to bring these tools to rest through various techniques. These methods of concentration are completely artificial procedures. The rest thus achieved is localized. Real tranquility is multidimensional. It is diametrically opposed to any concentrum. It has no direction. It is openness, receiving. Tranquility comes naturally. All concentrated effort is a violation. A concentrated mind is never free. It is stiff with no subtlety.

See that in all effort to bring to a stop organs which by nature are meant to function, there will be fixation on the object. The natural state of the mind is movement so why impede its natural functioning? In real meditation there is no achieving, no controlling, because there is no one who meditates. When you let go of the doer tranquility immediately appears. Your existence in space and time appears within this tranquility. All existence is in tranquility but tranquility is not in existence.

Must the mind come to stillness, to quietness, first in order to see its contents?

The mind is an object of perception. It does not need to be still to be perceived. First see that there is agitation in the body-mind. Don’t get involved in controlling, escaping or changing this situation. Just listen to it. You will discover then that you can’t listen, that the reflex to discipline, dominate, manipulate is very strong. I repeat that it is a waste of energy to try to still the mind. The nature of the mind is movement. But you are not in the movement. It is in you. When the body-mind functions in you, in your wholeness, it will come spontaneously to its inherent rhythm without agitation. Then it is a perfect tool.

-Jean Klein

Taken from The Ease of Being. Acorn Press

To read more from Jean Klein see:  https://o-meditation.com/category/jean-klein/

First and Last Public Talk of U.G. Krishnamurti After His Calamity

U.G. Krishnamurti[At the Indian Institute of World Culture Bangalore in the year 1972]

Let me, at the very outset, thank the authorities of the Indian Institute of World Culture for giving me this opportunity to meet you all here. I was very reluctant to accept the invitation of Mr. Venkataramaiah. But somehow, if I may use that word, I was trapped into this kind of a thing.

As Mr. Kothari pointed out, I don’t like to give talks at all. You all seem to be very fond of listening to speeches, talks, lectures, discussions, discourses, conversations, and so on. I do not know if at any time you realize for yourself and by yourself that you never listen to anybody or anything in this world. You always listen to yourself. I really don’t know what to say. I don’t know what you want to listen to and what I am expected to do.

This is supposed to be a discourse and a dialogue. I very often point out to those who come to see me and talk things over that no dialogue is possible and no dialogue is necessary.   It may sound very strange to you, but, nevertheless, the fact does remain that no dialogue is possible and yet no dialogue is necessary.

If you will permit me, I will say a few words, to set the ball rolling, as it were. That’s a very hackneyed and over-worked expression, but that would serve our purpose.

I am going to say a few words about the state of not knowing. How can anybody say anything about the ‘state of not knowing?’ I have necessarily to use words. Can we use words without indulging in abstract concepts. I say we can. But I do not, at the same time, mean that it is a non-verbal conceptualization. That is a funny thing — there is no such thing as non-verbal conceptualization at all. But, perhaps, a few words like this will enable you to understand [that] the methods of thought prevent you from understanding the limitations of thought as a means to directly experience life and its movements.

This ‘state of not knowing’ is not [just] my particular state. (This I call it a ‘Natural State’ of your being.) This is as much your natural state as it is mine. It is not the state of a God-realized man; it is not the state of a Self-realized man. It is not the state of a holy man. It is the natural state of every one of you here. But since you are looking to somebody else and you are reaching out for some kind of a state of liberation, freedom, or moksha — I don’t know what words you want to use — you are lost.

But, how can one understand the limitations of thought? Naturally, the only instrument we have is the instrument of thought. But what is thought? I can give you a lot of definitions, and you know a lot of definitions about thought. I can say that thought is just matter; thought is vibration; and we are all functioning in this sphere of thought. And we pick up these thoughts because this human organism is an electro-magnetic field. And this electro-magnetic field is the product of culture. It may sound very inappropriate on this occasion to say that in order to be in your natural state, all that man has thought and felt before you must be swept aside and must be brushed aside. And that means the culture in which you are brought up must go down the drain or out of the window. Is it possible? It is possible.   But, at the same time, it is so difficult, because you are the product of that culture and you are that.   You are not different from that. You cannot separate yourself from that culture. And yet, this culture is the stumbling block for us to be in our natural state.

Can this ‘Natural State’ be captured, contained and expressed through words? It cannot. It is not a conscious state of your existence. It can never become part of your conscious thinking. And then why do I talk of this state of not knowing?   For all practical purposes it does not exist at all. It can never become part of your conscious thinking.

Here, I have to explain what I mean by the word ‘consciousness’. You and I mean two different things, probably — I don’t know. When do you become conscious of a thing? Only when the thought comes in between what is there in front of you and what is supposed to be there inside of you. That is consciousness. So,you have to necessarily use thought to become conscious of the things around you, or the persons around you. Otherwise, you are not conscious of the things at all. And, at the same time, you are not unconscious. But there is an area where you are neither conscious nor unconscious. But that ‘consciousness’– if I may use that word — expresses itself in its own way; and what prevents that consciousness to express itself in its own way is the movement of thought.

What can anyone do about this thought? It has a tremendous momentum of millions and millions of years. Can I do anything about that thought? Can I stop it? Can I mold it?  Can I shape it?  Can I do anything about it? But yet, our culture, our civilization, our education — all these have forced us to use that instrument to get something for us.  So, can that instrument be used to understand its own nature? It is not possible. And yet, when you see the tremendous nature of this movement of thought, and that there isn’t anything that you can do about it, it naturally slows down and falls in its natural pattern.

When I say that, I do not, of course, mean what these people in India talk about– that thought must be used in order to get into a thoughtless state or into a meditative state. But there is no such thing as a thoughtless state at all. Thoughts are there;  they will be there all the time. Thoughts will disappear only when you become a dead corpse — let me use these two words – ‘dead corpse’. Otherwise,  thoughts are there and they are going to be there. If all the religious teachers tell us that you are going into a ‘thoughtless state,’ they are taking us all for a ride. They can promise you that in that thoughtless state — in that state of silence, in that state of quietness, or in that state of a ‘Quiet Mind,’ or whatever phrase you want to use — there will be this real ‘bliss,’ ‘beatitude,’ ‘love,’ ‘religious joy,’ and ‘ecstatic state of being’. All that is balderdash. Because, that state — if there is any state like the state of bliss — it can never become part of your consciousness. It can never become part of your conscious existence. So, you might as well throw the whole thing — the whole crap of these ideas, concepts and abstractions about the blissful states — into a cocked hat, if I may use that American slang.

So, what is one to do? Can anybody help you? No outside agency can help you. That means a complete and total rejection, as I said in the beginning, of all that man has thought and felt before you. As long as there is any trace of knowledge, in any shape, in any form, in your consciousness, you are living in a divided state of consciousness.

He [Mr. Kothari] referred to my coming into a state of ‘not knowing’ or ‘the calamity,’ as I myself refer to that.  What happened? I don’t know.  Suddenly thought has fallen into its natural state. The continuity has come to an end.  So, what I am saying is not the product of thinking. It is not manufactured by my thought structure inside.  Nor is it a logically ascertained premise. But what is happening here is only the expression of that state of being where you do not know what is happening. You do not know how this organism is functioning. As he [Mr. Kothari] himself referred to, this is a pure and simple physical and physiological state of being. It has no religious undertones or overtones. It has no mystical content whatsoever.  And, at the same time, this extraordinary thing, the extraordinary intelligence that is there, which is a product of centuries of human evolution, is able to express itself and deal with any problem and any situation without creating  problems for us.

Q: May I interrupt you? I was told by people who are around you that when this calamity befell you, you couldn’t recognize even ordinary things. You were asking like a newborn child, “What is this?” Even if there was a flower in front of you, you did not know if that was a flower.  Then you would ask, “What is this?” And the Swiss lady who was keeping house for you, who was looking after you, Valentine, [she is here with us], said “This is a flower.” Then you would ask again, “What is this?”  You mean to say that at the time when the calamity took place, all recognition was gone?

U.G.: Not only then, but even now,  as I said, this is a state of ‘not knowing’. Since the memory is there in the background, it begins to operate when there is a demand for it. That demand is created by an outside agency, because there is no entity here. There is no center here. There is no self here.  There is no Atman here.  There is no soul here at all. You may not agree. You may not accept it, but that unfortunately happens to be a fact. The totality of thoughts and feelings is not there. But [in you] there is an illusion that there is a totality of your feelings and thoughts.   This human organism is responding to the challenges from outside. You are functioning in the sphere —  so, thousands and thousands, perhaps millions and millions of sensations are bombarding this body. Since there is no center here, since there is no mind here, since there is nothing here, what is it that is happening? What is happening here [is that] this human organism is responding to the challenges, or to the stimuli, if I may put it that way. So, there is nobody here who is translating these sensations in terms of past experiences. But there is a living contact with the things around. That is all that is there.  One sensation after another is hitting this organism. And at the same time there is no coordinator here. This state of not knowing is not in relationship to your Brahman, or your Nirguna Brahman or Saguna Brahman or any such thing.  This state of not knowing is in its relationship to the things that are there around you. You may be looking at a flower. You may think that it is a crazy state.  Perhaps it is — I don’t know. You do not know what you are looking at. But when there is a demand for that — and that demand always comes from outside, [asking] what is that, and then the knowledge, the information that is there, locked up in this organism comes and says that it is a rose, that this is a microphone, that’s a man, that’s a woman, and so on and so forth.  This is not because there is a drive from inside, but the outside challenge brings out this answer. So, I say that this action is always taking place outside of this organism, not inside.

How do I know that these sensations are bombarding or hitting this organism all the time? It is only because there is a consciousness which is conscious of itself and there is nobody who is conscious of the things that are happening. This is a living organism and that living state is functioning in its own way, in its natural way.

Mr. Kothari: U.G., it appears to me this Nirguna Brahman, Atman, whatever it is — when somebody uses the word Bhuma, another uses the word “unknown,” the third man says “akal” [the timeless], the fourth one says something else — all of them say that this cannot be described, “Neti, Neti.”  Probably they meant the same thing; I don’t know.  I think they meant probably what you are saying as “totality.”  As I understand it, Brahman means “totality.”  If I would translate this state into terms of those times, probably this state is the state of Brahman and [it is] thought which is limiting the “alpa“, which is limiting the “bhuma“, which is limiting the limitless, since it does not function like that, creating an individuality within you.  Maybe I am wrong, may be I am translating, but I say that it is possible that the person who listens to you doesn’t know the old terms. You are not going to use the old terms, because the new terms are your terms. And every teacher, every person who has come into some state like this has generally used a different term, a different word, according to his background. But personally I think you mean the same thing.  This is a commentary on what you are saying.

U.G.: What do you want me to say? [Laughter]  If they have understood what there is, they wouldn’t be here. They wouldn’t go to anybody. They wouldn’t ask these questions at all. If they translate what I am saying, in terms of their particular fancy or their particular background, that’s their tragedy; it would be their misery. It hasn’t helped them.  This is my question:  Has it helped you? Why are you hung up on these phrases? They are after all phrases.  When once you realize, when once this is understood — how this mechanism is operating, how automatic it is, how mechanical it is, you will realize that all these phrases have no meaning at all. You may very well ask me why I am using these phrases: [it is] because you and I have created this unfortunate situation where you have put me here on the dais and asked me to talk, and naturally, as I said in the beginning, I have to use words. So, the moment I stop talking, the whole thing has come to a stop inside. Is that so? It is so here [in my case], because there is no continuity of thought.

We go back to the thing he [Mr. Kothari] referred to, about  the things around me. Here there is a table. I don’t know what it is. And, at the same time, if you ask me, “What is that?” I would immediately say, “It’s a chair.” It [the knowledge] is there in the background. It comes automatically, like an arrow. But otherwise, this [the impression I have] is just a reflection of this [the thing in front of me].  I don’t translate this as “bimbavatu [like an image]” at all. But I have to use that word: this is reflecting the thing exactly the way it is. I don’t want to use these metaphysical phrases because you will immediately translate them in terms of your particular parallel. There is no subject here independent of the object at all. So, there is nothing here [inside of me]. What is there is all that is there, and you do not know what it is. So, now you turn there, and this object has just disappeared, there is something else. This has completely and totally disappeared from here and then what is there is a thing that is there in front of me and it is just like this object, exactly the way it is. But you do not know what it is. That is why I say it is a state of not knowing. Probably you will find parallels to these things. What I am trying to point out is the absence of what you are all doing at this moment; [that] is the state that I am describing, and it is not [just] my state [but] that is the way you are [also] functioning.

May I give an example of what is happening in the field of spectroscopy. I don’t read books, but sometimes I read magazines. I get interested in these things. They have developed very powerful lenses to take photos of objects. They have developed micro-seconds, nanoseconds and picoseconds. It doesn’t mean anything to you and me — it’s all technical language. Now they are able to take pictures of objects, say for instance, of this table, every pico second. Every picture is different. In exactly the same way, the reflection of that object was once new; another time,  you turn this side, and look back again — it’s again new. But don’t translate this in terms of newness and oldness.  It cannot be communicated to you at all. This can never become part of your experiencing structure.

I am throwing a lot of conclusions at you. But even a thing like this cannot be experienced by you at all. I don’t know if you understand this. You have necessarily to abstract this in order to experience a thing. So, what I am trying to say is that you can never experience your own natural state. This can never become part of your experiencing structure. And what you are all trying to do all the time is to make that — whatever you want — to realize or discover — part of this experiencing structure. So your experiencing structure and your natural state cannot co-exist at the same time.

Mr. Kothari:  The way you want to say is that everything is in a continuous flux all the time. The human eye being limited and the human ear being limited, and the human senses being limited, [they] cannot respond to the quick movement of existence.  They don’t respond, they don’t reflect. You say, unless there is a need of recognition — which is thought, which is verbalization, which is word — it is just a way of affecting the life within you, and that’s all. There is no need to verbalize, or translate, if possible. Am I describing what I understand of your state?

U.G.: That’s what you understand. [Laughter] [I am not trying to be irreverent.]

Mr. Kothari: [I am Neither.]  What happens is, it seems to me … [is he trying to mislead you by saying?…] that all these persons coming to this have tried to express this in terms of what somebody else has said. It is all the time new. It is all the time fresh. It is all the time indescribably beautiful. When they came into the world they have to say [something about it]. He says it is neither new nor old. It is never old. It is never old because he does not take [it] into the [past] experience. It is not translated, unless, as he says, it is needed for translation. Otherwise, every time, life is indescribably, extraordinarily — all that is outside — is extraordinarily fresh, extraordinarily new, though he doesn’t use the words `fresh’ and `new’.  This is how I understand.

U.G.: This I must stress: that the need for the operation of thought, or the movements of thought to come into being, is decided by factors outside of this organism. When and why and how this translation is to come into being is decided by an action outside. The actions are always taking place outside. When there is a demand, the movement of thought probably separates itself for a while to meet the demands of the situation and then it is back again in the movement of life. So, thought is only functional in value, and it has no other value at all.

What is more is that the continuity of thought is destroying the sensitivity of your senses. When the movement of thought is not continuous, the senses begin to function in an extraordinarily sensitive way. When I use the word sensitivity, I mean the sensitivity of the senses and not the sensitivity of the mind. The sensitivity of the mind is a trick of your mind, and you can create a state of mind where you feel sensitive to the feelings of everybody, to the things around you and wallow in that sickly state of mind and think you are getting somewhere. This is a thing that is there [you are doing this] all the time.

There is nothing to achieve, there is nothing to accomplish, nothing to attain, and no destination to arrive at. And what prevents what is there, this living state, from expressing itself in its own way is the movement of thought which is there only for the purposes of functioning in this world. When the movement of thought is not there — I have to use the clauses in terms of time — but time is thought. When thought is there, time is there. When thought is there, sex is there, when thought is there, God is there. When thought is not there, there is no God, there is no sex, nothing is there. It may sound objectionable to you to accept my statement [Mr. Kothari:” Not at all.”], but the drug of virtues you practice, the practice of virtues is not a foundation for it at all. And the practice of abstinence, continence, and celibacy is not the path to it. But if you want to indulge in them and feel greatly superior, it’s your own business. I am not here to reform you. I am not here to lead you anywhere. But this is a fact.  You have to understand a fact as a fact. It is not a logically ascertained thing, it is not a rational thing [so as] to understand it rationally. A fact is a movement. Truth is movement. Reality is movement. But I don’t want to use these words, because they are all loaded words. You know all about them. The unfortunate thing about the whole business is that you know a lot about these things, and that is the misery of you all. This is a thing which you do not know at all. I am not claiming that I know it.  I myself don’t know. That is why I say I don’t know. It’s a state of not knowing. Let alone God, let alone reality, ultimate or otherwise, I don’t know what I am looking at — the very person who has been with me all the time, day and night. That is my situation. If I tell this to a psychiatrist, he will probably put me on a couch and say something is radically wrong with me. Probably, I am functioning like any other human being. He doesn’t understand that. That’s his problem, it is not my problem anymore.  So, all your search — for truth, God, Reality — you use any phrase you like, is a false thing. You are all on a merry-go-round, and you want to go round and round and round.

How can you ask for a thing which you do not know? How can you search for a thing which you do not know? You all seem to know. You have an image of this state.   From the description of this state probably you have already created [an image]. What state?  Somebody asked me: “What is the state you are in?” “What State? Mysore State or Tamil Nadu State? What state are you talking about?” This is my response. What is the state you are talking about? This is your natural state. You don’t want to understand that. You don’t want to be in your natural state. It requires an extraordinary intelligence to be in your natural state, to be yourself.

You always want to be somebody else; you want to imitate the life of somebody else — you want to imitate the life of Jesus, you want to imitate the life of Buddha, you want to imitate the life of Shankara. You can’t do it, because you don’t know what is there behind. You will end up changing your robes, from rose to saffron, saffron to yellow, or from yellow to rose, depending upon your particular fancy. How can you ask for a thing which you do not know? How can you search for a thing which you do not know? That is my question. So, search has no meaning at all. Only when the search comes to an end, what there is will express itself, in its own way. You cannot tamper with that.  You cannot manipulate that. You cannot manipulate the action of the thing which is there, which has an extraordinary intelligence.

To be yourself is the easiest thing. And you don’t want to be in your state. You’d rather be somebody else, imitate the life of somebody else. That’s your problem.  To be yourself doesn’t need any time at all. But you talk of timelessness, which is a mockery. To be yourself, do you need time? To be a good man, to be a marvelously religious man, to be in a state of peace, to be in a state bliss, naturally you need time. That will always be tomorrow. When tomorrow arrives, you say, “All right, day after tomorrow.” That is time.  [I am] Not [talking about] this metaphysical or philosophical thing. I am not talking about metaphysical time and timeless. There is no such thing as the timeless.

I am making assertions, statements and conclusions — you will object to them. Take it or leave it. I don’t expect you to accept anything that I am saying. You are not in a position to accept or reject it. You can reject it because it does not fit into your particular framework of your philosophy — Shankara, Gaudapada, Ramanuja, Madhvacharya, God knows what — we have too many of them here. So how can you understand this? The only thing to do is to throw in the towel. Turn your back on the whole business. That is why, it takes extraordinary courage, not the courage or the bravado of these people who climb Mount Everest or try to swim across the English Channel, or cross the Pacific or Atlantic — whatever their fancy — on a raft. That is not what I mean. What I mean is the courage. You quote your Bhagavad Gita, or your Brahma Sutras, “kaschid dhirah.” All these phrases. What do they mean? “Abhayam Brahma.” [Fearless is Brahman.] Why do you all repeat these phrases? It has no meaning. It’s a mechanical thing. “How are you?” “I am all right, I am fine. Just fine. I couldn’t be better.” In America, you know, [they say] “How are you this morning,” “I am just fine. I couldn’t be better.” In exactly the same way, you throw these phrases at everybody.   If you understand the way this mechanical structure is functioning inside of you, you see the absurdity of the whole business of discussing these matters everlastingly. Can you throw the whole business out of the window and walk out?

[Mr. Kothari]: I think what he means is… When I meet him…. I have known him for about five years now. And I am many times reminded, on account of my having read the Upanishads and this and that,….  I am reminded of  [the passage in] the Isavasyopanishad, “asmai  nayatu patha,” “Oh fire, takes us on the right path!” I find there is a sort fire in him which sometimes, I fear, would frighten a person who does not understand, quite grasp, even intellectually, what he is trying to convey. As I understand it, he is not advocating anything. His whole approach is….  He has no system.  He says something about these states — that this is your natural state. But the whole thing, this achievement business, to get something, [the state being] like something, comparing something to some imaginary state which one has formulated, an image we got by reading about those things — that he says is all futile. It is strengthening the mental structure, it is strengthening the thought structure, and it is giving a life to it — which, he says, is all useless. It is the cause of your very misery, all the problems. It seems he has seen it himself.  And the structure went phut, the whole thing broke inside, and, as he says, he even does not know [it himself].  That is the state of unknowing. When he says this, I am reminded of the words of Jnaneswar who says, “I don’t know what I am or where I am.” Even avidya has gone, and vidya has gone also. So, I see… only I want to remind some of my listeners here… that the newness of expression … but whatever he is trying to convey, is as old as the hills and as fresh as the vibrations from that thing now. It is as fresh or even fresher than the words I am speaking, the sounds that I am throwing at you. It is more fresh than that.  It is sanatana [ancient] and puratana [old]. But, he says that it requires total courage.

Another thing that I have noticed in him is a kind of — I am talking personally about you —  but, since there is no personality, it doesn’t matter. [Laughter] — is a tremendous, fearlessness, “abhayam tattva samsuptih.”  I would again quote the Gita, the daivika sampatti [the divine qualities], this is something that does not happen in the usual, normal men in whom the animal fear is functioning all the time, as he says. But he does not come out of that [state]. I don’t know how he came to it. But [there is in him] a tremendous fearlessness and a sense of abandonment. He is not a perfect specimen of all the wonderful virtues. He gets annoyed, and he gets angry also.  But, for a moment you see the cloud of anger on his face, and after a minute you see the full moon is again on his face, smiling.  The clouds have disappeared all of a sudden. So, I say, he says there is no system, no matter. Probably, in whatever he conveys, there is some suggestion. He says you don’t have the courage to throw in the towel. You don’t have the fearlessness. “[inaudible]…have got to go.” He says, “You throw out the speaker also.” I hope some of you certainly have got the hang of what he is trying to convey.

Q: [Inaudible]

[Mr. Kothari:] Your question is, when there is hunger and pain in the body, what happens? You mean what happens to him or what happens to you?

U.G.: I will tell you. First of all, there is no hunger at all, in the sense in which we use the word. It’s pure and simple chemistry. And then there is what you call hunger which is like any other sensation, you understand.  The consciousness or life, or whatever you want to call it, becomes conscious of that thing [called hunger]. And [the next moment] it is gone. It is not there. It does not push you to reach out for food. And so, the next sensation is coming. It’s a continuous movement. You are looking at something which is finished. Probably your body will become weaker and weaker, if you don’t eat food. People give me food; so I eat food. Otherwise, there is no such thing as hunger at all. And the pain, there is a physical pain. Since there is no continuity of thought, as I pointed out, there is no continuity of the pain. It comes in impulses like that — just the way you are throwing out words.  There is no continuity of the pain. I don’t want to use the word psychological pain, because it gets us involved in…, because we will begin to tie things in knots. There is only physical pain and there is no other pain. But even that physical pain is not continuous, and so it is not much of a pain, in the sense in which we use the word.

Q: What is the way or method of getting into this state?

U.G.: What state? When the movement in the direction of wanting to be into your own natural state or in the state of God knows whom you want to be, your idol, or your hero or your master [is there] — it is there — this movement in any direction, is taking you away from yourself. That is all that I am pointing out. When the movement is not there, you are your natural state. So, the sadhana or the method, or system, or the technique, is taking you away from yourself in the direction of the state you want to be in and that is the state of somebody else. As I pointed out, you have the knowledge about this state. Unfortunately, so many people have talked about it. I am already doing the mischief, perhaps. Kick them all out, on their backs. [Mr. Kothari:Not now!” — Laughter] Yes, throw stones at me and walk out. [Mr. Kothari: “They don’t have any.”] My interest is to send you packing, as the expression has it. If you can do that, you will never go to listen to anybody. [Someone in the audience: “If I throw stones, I will go to jail.”] I will not take you to jail. That’s a problem with the society in which you are caught. I can’t help you. I will not be the first one to complain about it…. Whose body is it? If it get hit, that’s all probably; that’s the end of it. … Are you not tired? I can go on. That’s enough, I suppose.

I haven’t said anything. What all you think I have said is a `bag’. You think it makes sense. How can this make sense? If you think that it makes sense, you haven’t understood a thing. If you think that it doesn’t make any sense, you haven’t understood it either. It’s just words — [you are] listening to this noise — words, words, words — mechanically coming out of this organism. I don’t know how they are coming. I wish I knew. I wish I knew how I got into … what state? It always irritates me when people ask me “You tell us something ….” About what state? What state are you talking about? I know Mysore State. I am in the Mysore State. How do I know that I am in the Mysore State? Because people tell me that I am in Mysore. So, what state you want to get into? That is your natural state, I am saying.

What takes you away from your state is this movement in the direction of wanting to be in some state other than yourself. To be yourself doesn’t need time. If I am a village idiot, I remain a village idiot. Finish.  I don’t want to be an intelligent man. Even if my neighbor takes advantage of his extraordinary intelligence and exploits [me], good luck. What can I do? To accept the reality, this is the reality of the world. There is no other world. There is no other reality, ultimate reality. This is the only reality. You have to function in this world. You can’t run away from this world. How can you run away from this world? Because you are that world. Where you can you go? Hide yourself in a cave? Yes, you are taking your thoughts wherever you go. You cannot run away from your shadow. It’s there all the time. So, you can’t do a thing about thought. That’s all that I am saying. When you realize the absurdity of all your effort to do something about the thought — it’s creating the problem; it’s misery for you; you can’t do anything — when you can’t do anything, when you realize that you can’t do a thing about it, it’s not there. You are not using it [thought] as a means to get something for you.

I want to say this again. You desire. If you do not want anything, there is no thought at all. You understand? Wanting is thinking, it doesn’t matter what you want — want self-realization, want God-realization — you want anything, that means you have to use this instrument. These are not your thoughts, these are not your feelings. You may not like it. They belong to somebody else. You want to make them your own. You have unfortunately made them your own. That’s why you ask all these questions. Why do you ask all these questions? These questions have been put before to so many people — all the sages, saints and saviors of mankind, the holy men dead and alive. They are all ready to answer. They have composed a lot of lullabies. You go and listen to them and go to sleep, if you want to. That’s what you are interested in. You want somebody else to pat on your back and say, “Oh, fine, just fine, you are doing very well. Do more and more of the same and you will reach the destination you want to arrive at.” What is the destination you want to arrive at? To be gentle, meek, to be soft, to talk in whispers. You know if you go to some of these monasteries in the West, the Trappist, they talk in whispers. They don’t even understand what the other man is saying. That’s the secret to the spiritual path.

Mr. Kothari: When a man is in love, he talks in whispers to his beloved. What objection have you to anybody talking in whispers?

U.G.: I have no objection at all. I wonder if he is really in love. [Laughter] You don’t even have to talk about it. You want to reassure your partner that you are in love with that person. It isn’t worth a tinker’s damn, that love. That’s not love at all. You can call it love. I don’t want to go into that. It’s a forbidden subject.  You will ask me, “Do you have anything to say…?” It’s a four letter word.  It’s like any other word — `dog’, `pig’, `love’. In love, can there be any relationship at all? Can you have any relationship? This is your problem. You are all the time trying to have relationship with  people. You cannot have any relationship with people at all. “Love is relationship.” “Life is relationship.” All that guff. Trite. Crap. You memorize and repeat them [those phrases]. They all become fancy phrases these days. “Freedom,” “first and last freedom,” and “the freedoms that come in between.” What is this nonsense? This is like any other trite [phrase], any other crap that these people are repeating. You have memorized a new set of phrases. That’s all you are doing. You sit and discuss everlastingly all this awareness. What is that awareness you are talking about? How can you be aware of this? Can you at any time be aware of this? If you are aware of this once in your lifetime, the whole structure has collapsed; it has fallen in its proper place. You don’t have to do a thing about it. So, it doesn’t mean a thing at all. You can talk of awareness — choiceless or otherwise — or conditioning. Conditioning — what can you do about it? Conditioning is intelligence. You can’t do a damn thing about it. You can’t free yourself [from it]. If you want to free yourself from your conditioning, or uncondition yourself and all that nonsense that is going on …. How are you going to uncondition yourself? You create another conditioning — instead of repeating Upanishads you will repeat some other books, the fancy books.

Q: What is the secret of total happiness?

U.G.: There is no happiness.   I never ask myself the question. So many people ask me that question: “Are you happy?” What is that question? Funny question. I never ask [myself] that question, “Am I happy?” ‘Total happiness is an invention. [Mr. Kothari: “Invention of the mind, you mean? Naturally.”] There is no mind. There is no such things as the mind at all. Where is the mind? Is the mind separate from the body? Distinguished from the body? Apart from the body? These questions have no meaning at all. You have no way of separating yourself from what is going on. The moment you separate yourself means you have a knowledge about it — the knowledge given by either the biologists, the physiologists, the psychologists or the religious people. So through that you are looking at it. You cannot experience anything without knowledge. You cannot experience this at all, let alone Brahman or reality. You cannot experience this at all. Only through abstraction.  And what is that abstraction? The knowledge you have about it. This has been put there. Your mother told you, or your neighbor or friend told you that this is a table. What the hell is that, you don’t know, apart from what you have been told. Every time you look at this, you have to repeat to yourself that it is a table. What are you doing that for? This is my question. This is the continuity I am talking about. You want to reassure yourself that you are there. The “I” is nothing but this word. There is no “I” independent of this word. Maybe you find some parallel  [to what I am saying] in Shankara or God knows what.

[Mr. Kothari:] Plenty, plenty. Because this is the same thing that they have talked about.
Q: [Inaudible]  …thoughtless state as in “cit, cit, cit.”

U.G.: Yes, yes. “The consciousness I am talking about, is a state where there is no division which says that you are asleep, that you are awake, that you are dreaming …. There is no division at all. I don’t even know if I am alive or dead. This is my state. I have no way of knowing for myself. The doctor can come and say that I want to examine your lung, your lung is functioning all right — there is heartbeat, there is this, that and the other — you are alive. That’s all right. I am delighted. You reassure me that I am a living being. But…

Q: How do you know at any given time that you are in your Natural State?

U.G.: That, as I said, can never become part of your conscious existence. It begins to express itself.  The expression of that is energy; and that is action. It is acting all the time. This is not a mystical term. What I mean by action is [that] the action is taking place always outside. The senses are working at their peak capacity all the time. It’s not because you want to look at a particular thing. There is no time even for the eyelids to blink for a second. They have to stay open all the time. And when they are tired, naturally, it [the body] has its own built-in mechanism, which cuts off the sensation. And then it’s back again.

Q: What is that mechanism?

U.G.: What is that mechanism? Supposing somebody gives you an answer. So, where are you? Can you separate yourself from that mechanism? This is what I am saying. You can separate yourself from the mechanism and look at it only through the knowledge, whether the knowledge is provided by a physician or by a saint or by a sage.  And that [knowledge] is worthless. Because you are projecting this knowledge on what you are looking at, and that knowledge is creating or producing these experiences. That can never become part of that experiencing structure. That’s the trouble. You want to experience this. You can’t experience this at all. Whether it is the consciousness that I am talking of, or the living state or the state of not knowing or the things that are there around you. How is it expressing itself? It is expressing itself as energy; it is expressing itself as action, in its own way. If I use some words, “It is aware of itself, it is aware of its own its incredible depth, it is conscious of itself;” — all these phrases may sound very mystical to you — but you cannot [experience it]. The brain physiologists, if I may quote somebody, — they are trying to understand the brain. And they have to find some means to define [it]. They have defined the brain as an instrument with which we think that we think. They are not so sure. You cannot separate yourself from the brain and its activity and look at the brain. Can you look at your back and tell me something about your back. Somebody else must come and tell you. And he has his own ideas, fancy ideas. “You have a straight back.” … The doctor always observes people. … And from his point of view he says that that man is sick, this man’s back is not correct, and so forth. Or, if I see a painter, his description is something else. So, this is a thing which you cannot communicate to somebody else. Can you communicate your sex experience to somebody else? [Mr. Kothari: “Why sex experience, any experience.”]  Or any experience, for that matter.  That’s what everybody is trying to do — a painter, a poet or a writer. He is trying to communicate some experience, which he calls extraordinary experience, through his medium — writing poetry, sculpture. He is like any other artisan.

Q:  How do you reconcile your existence with the world?

U.G.: I don’t bother. Do I exist in this world? Does the world exist for me? Where is the world? I am not trying to be clever with all these phrases. I don’t know a thing about it. Am I talking, am I saying anything? This is like the howling of a jackal, the barking of a dog or the braying of an ass. If you can put this on that level and just listen to this vibration, you are out, you will walk out, and you will never listen to anybody in your lifetime. Finish. It doesn’t have to be the talk of a self-realized man. You will realize that there is no self to realize. That’s all. There is no center there. It is working in an extraordinary way.

Q: In the extinction of sense organs…, if the sense organs do not function at all, for instance with death, is the state of not knowing still functioning?

U.G.: There is no death. You are never born. You are not born at all. [Laughter] I am not trying to mystify. Because life has no beginning, it has no end. Has it a beginning, has it an end? What creates the beginning is your thought. Why are you concerned about death? There is no such as death at all. Your birth and your death can never become part of that experiencing structure. If you want to experience death, you are not going to be there. [Laughter] Somebody else will be there. It will be somebody else’s misery.

unique early talk of U.G. Krishnamurti:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3jl7cm3LQ0

1998 video of U.G.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0N6auYllMY&feature=related

To read more of U. G. Krishnamurti see:   https://o-meditation.com/jai-guru-deva/some-good-books/downloadable-books/u-g-krishnamurti-books/

The Very Perception Is Action – J. Krishnamurti

KrishnajiKrishnamurti:

We were asking how to put aside the whole menagerie that one has in oneself. We were discussing all this because we see—at least I see—that one has to penetrate into the unknown. After all, any good mathematician or physicist must investigate the unknown and perhaps also the artist, if he is not too carried away by his own emotions and imagination. And we, the ordinary people with everyday problems, also have to live with a deep sense of understanding. We too have to penetrate into the unknown. A mind that is always chasing the animals that it has invented, the dragons, the serpents, the monkeys, with all their troubles and their contradictions—which we are—cannot possibly penetrate into the unknown. Being just ordinary people, not endowed with brilliant intellects or great visions, but just living daily, monotonous, ugly little lives, we are concerned how to change all that immediately. That is what we are considering.

People change with new inventions, new pressures, new theories, new political situations; all those bring about a certain quality of change. But we are talking about a radical, basic revolution in one’s being and whether such a revolution is to be brought about gradually or instantly. Yesterday we went into all that is involved in bringing it about gradually, the whole sense of distance and that time and effort needed to reach that distance. And we said, man has tried this for millennia, but somehow he has not been able to change radically—except perhaps for one or two. So it is necessary to see whether we can, each one of us and therefore the world—because the world is us and we are the world, they are not two separate states—instantly wipe away all the travail, the anger, the hatred, the enmity that we have created and the bitterness that one bears. Apparently bitterness is one of the commonest things to have; can that bitterness, knowing all its causes, seeing its whole structure, be wiped away on the instant?

We said that is possible only when there is observation. When the mind can observe very intensely, then that very observation is the action which ends bitterness. We also went into the question of what is action: whether there is any free, spontaneous, nonvolitional action. Or is action based on our memory, on our ideals, on our contradictions, on our hurts, our bitterness and so on? Is action always approximating itself to an ideal, to a principle, to a pattern? And we said, such action is not action at all, because it creates contradiction between what ‘should be’ and ‘what is.’ When you have an ideal there is the distance to be covered between what you are and what you should be. That ‘should be’ may take years, or as many believe, many lives incarnating over and over again till you reach that perfect Utopia. We also said there is the incarnation of yesterday into today; whether that yesterday stretches back many millennia or only twenty-four hours, it is still operating when there is action based on this division between the past, the present and the future, which is ‘what should be.’ All this, we said, brings about contradiction, conflict, misery; it is not action. Perceiving is action; the very perception is action, which takes place when you are confronted with a danger; then there is instant action. I think we came to that point yesterday.

There is also the instant when there is a great crisis, a challenge, or a great sorrow. Then the mind is for an instant extraordinarily quiet, it is shocked. I don’t know if you have observed it. When you see the mountain in the evening or in the early morning, with that extraordinary light on it, the shadows, the immensity, the majesty, the feeling of deep aloneness—when you see all that your mind cannot take it all in; for the moment it is completely quiet. But it soon overcomes that shock and responds according to its own conditioning, its own particular personal problems and so on. So there is an instant when the mind is completely quiet, but it cannot sustain that sense of absolute stillness. That stillness can be produced by a shock. Most of us know this sense of absolute stillness when there is a great shock. Either it can be produced outwardly by some incident, or it can be brought about artificially, inwardly, by a series of impossible questions as in some Zen school, or by some imaginative state, some formula which forces the mind to be quiet—which is obviously rather childish and immature. We are saying that for a mind that is capable of perception in the sense we have been talking about, that very perception is action. To perceive, the mind must be completely still, otherwise it can’t see. If I want to listen to what you are saying, I must listen silently. Any vagrant thought, any interpretation of what you are saying, any sense of resistance prevents the actual listening.

So the mind that wants to listen, observe, see or watch must of necessity be extraordinarily quiet. That quietness cannot possibly be brought about through any sense of shock or through absorption in a particular idea. When a child is absorbed in a toy it is very quiet, it is playing. But the toy has absorbed the mind of the child, the toy has made the child quiet. In taking a drug or in doing anything artificial, there is this sense of being absorbed by something greater—a picture, an image, a Utopia. This still, quiet mind can come about only through the understanding of all the contradictions, perversions, conditioning, fears, distortions. We are asking whether those fears, miseries, confusions, can all be wiped away instantly, so that the mind is quiet to observe, to penetrate.

Can one actually do it? Can you actually look at yourself with complete quietness? When the mind is active then it is distorting what it sees, translating, interpreting, saying ‘I like this,’ ‘I don’t like it.’ It gets tremendously excited and emotional and such a mind cannot possibly see.

So we are asking, can ordinary human beings like us do this? Can I look at myself, whatever I am, knowing the danger of words like ‘fear’ or ‘bitterness’ and that the very word is going to prevent the actual seeing of ‘what is’? Can I observe, being aware of the pitfalls of language? Also, not allowing any sense of time to interfere—any sense of ‘to achieve,’ ‘to get rid of’—but just observe, quietly, intently, attentively. In that state of intense attention, the hidden paths, the undiscovered recesses of the mind are seen. In that there is no analysis whatsoever, only perception. Analysis implies time and also the analyzer and the analyzed. Is the analyzer different from the thing analyzed?—if it is not, there is no sense in analysis. One has to be aware of all this, discard it all—time, analysis, resistance, trying to reach across, overcome and so on—because through that door there is no end to sorrow.

After listening to all this, can one actually do it? This is really an important question. There is no ‘how.’ There is nobody to tell you what to do and give you the necessary energy. It requires great energy to observe: a still mind is the total energy without any wastage, otherwise it is not still. And can one look at oneself with this total energy so completely that the seeing is acting and therefore the ending?

-J. Krishnamurti

Taken from The Flight of the Eagle. Chapter 12

To see more posts of J. Krishnamurti see:   https://o-meditation.com/category/j-krishnamurti/

To read more of J. Krishnamurti see:   https://o-meditation.com/jai-guru-deva/some-good-books/downloadable-books/j-krishnamurti/

I Felt Myself in Globality – Jean Klein

Jean Klein answers questions about time spent with his Teacher and his subsequent Awakening in Bombay

The following is excerpted from the prologue of The Transmission of the Flame by Jean Klein

How then did you meet your “unknown teacher”?

Some of the friends I met, and with whom I spoke of peace, freedom and joy, had a spiritual guide. One day I met their teacher and on this and several other meetings, I asked him many questions, questions that expressed all my earnestness to find my real center.

It seems that you trusted him at once.

I was open to him. I was struck by his lack of striving, his humility. He never tried to impress or convince. There was simply no personality. All his answers came from nowhere, no one, and yet his gentle openness was apparent. I was struck too by his argument that potentially you are, it only needs actualizing. He never saw anyone as not knowing. He gave no hold to my personality.

He gave me many answers, but during the several weeks that I didn’t see him I became aware that all my questions had been an escape, an evasion of the real question. The existential crisis I had always lived in became acute. I lived with this feeling that I had missed the real question, a question I was not able to formulate. Then I had the opportunity to visit him where he lived in a little room in the Sanskrit College at Bangalore where he was a teacher. Two other young Indians were present and they were talking about the Karikas of Gaudapada and the Mandukya Upanishad. The talk was of the four states, waking, sleeping, dreaming and turiya (the absence of objects). He said that turiya is not properly speaking a state which one enters and leaves. It becomes a non-state (turiya-citta) when you are awake in it. It is the absence of ourself which is our total presence. Then there was a silence, the other students left and he suddenly looked at me and asked, “Do you know yourself?” I was a bit disturbed by this question because I didn’t really know what he meant. I couldn’t find a way to look at it. I said hesitantly, “Yes,” because I was thinking I knew my body, senses and mind very well. He said to me, “You are the knower of your body, senses and mind, but the knower can never be known, because you are it and there’s nobody to know it. It can never become an object of observation because it is your totality.” This saying had a very strong impact on me. I had a glimpse of reality in this moment because it stopped all intellectual faculties. We were silent and I left.

And did this impact remain with you when you got home?

It left a very strong echo in me of freedom from old beliefs. I went home and lived with it free from all conceptualization and felt myself awake in this not-knowing. It was completely new, there was no absence of knowing.

Did life change or go on as usual?

Life went on, eating, meeting people. But there was now a feeling that I was behind all daily activities. I saw Pandiji many times afterwards and realized that he was my guru because this profound impact could only come from a guru. So you see he found me when I was not looking for him!

Were you at any point in the quest convinced that you would one day know your real nature?

Yes. After the first meeting with him in Bangalore. I never formulated it. It was never a goal. The word “enlightenment” never entered my thoughts. Pandiji certainly didn’t use the term. It was simply a lively feeling, without formulation, of being free from myself, free from all restrictions, all ideas, free from the knowing of freedom.

Did you ever spend a lot of time together, live together?

Yes. For three or four months.

Is it important to live with the guru?

No, it’s not important. He stayed in my house purely for practical reasons.

How did you spend the time together?

He was teaching at the college all day. Sometimes we ate together and every morning he knocked on my door very early and we sat together in silence. Sometimes we spoke about the scriptures, because, being a man of tradition, he very often referred his sayings to the scriptures. But he never did so arbitrarily. Each time he spoke this way, it was exactly the moment when I needed to know it. There was really a feeling of oneness. I was not aware of a “me” and a “he” in our being together. There was real love, not in the way we are accustomed to mean it. It was the most exalted being in love. His presence was continually drenched with warm feeling.

Did he ever transmit to you through touch?

That was not his way with me. We communicated mostly through the eyes. Sometimes he touched my shoulder or hand, but our closeness was closer than all touching.

We also walked together. He was an admirer and this appealed to my artistic nature. He loved music and singing and could imitate the sound of any bird.

Were there any disciplines or exercises that he taught you during this time?

Only to be aware of when conditioning comes in in daily life. He emphasized the problem of day-dreaming and strategy-building. He also emphasized that one should never push away conditioning but only see it clearly, and he reminded me to constantly refer to the first insight, the first non-experience.

You mean, to remember it?

Go knowingly in it, not remember it intellectually. It is presence, not a memory.

Did he teach you any yoga exercises?

No, it was not on the program! When we were sitting together he occasionally made me aware of certain patterns. I knew a few yoga postures already and, if he found me doing them, he sometimes corrected them. Mostly, we sat. Our togetherness, our meditation was never intentional. He emphasized only awareness free from objects and not to try to become a better man. Doing things was a defense for him. His presence was all that was needed—and his sayings, the way he brought the truth to me through words which emphasized the silence. He emphasized the silence after the sayings, the silence in which understanding becomes alive, free from words.

Was he in your thoughts very often?

I did not think of him because I could not personify, objectify him. There was a deep feeling of oneness. I was not at all attached to his physical being. Everything he gave was a pearl. I took it as a pearl and lived with it.

There were moments when we were just happy to be together, not talking, not thinking. His presence was my presence and my presence was his presence. His being was the transmission. In a real teacher this is all transmission is. Any intentional transmission is sentimentality, romanticism.

You have often said that you like to be pushed into the corner with questions. Did you do this with your teacher? Did you ask many questions?

Oh yes, many questions! These brought us to the edge of thinking. They exhausted thinking.

Were your questions ever of a practical nature, how to conduct your daily life and so on?

Almost never. I tried to use all my knowledge to solve the problem myself. I had a very great veneration for him and when I really looked at my feelings, I did not want to bother him with things I could solve myself. I left my time with him for other questions.

Would you mind my asking whether you remember any of the questions you asked him?

From time to time I would ask about spontaneity, or about thinking and how it functions in complementarity, how I could not think of light without reference to dark, and so on. So I asked him how I could go beyond complementarity, beyond thinking, how I could go beyond “to be or not to be.”

You obviously have a very good intellect. Would you say your questions were intellectual?

As you say, my intellect was a very good tool and I used it, but my questions arose not from the mind but from my existential conflict. As I had a strong intellect, I went as far as possible with my questions. For me the intellect was a vital element in the search. Sometimes he answered me in the form of a question which gave me no hold. He pushed me to the edge of the thinkable. Sometimes he did not answer verbally and that silent answer was even more tangible.

Would you say your approach was more jnani than bhakti, more the way of knowledge than devotion?

Yes. Not so much bhakti, of course. But all my questions were carried by love. It was never a dry, mental exercise. He also had a great intellect. Traditionally, when you are a pandit there is nothing you must not know. (laughs)

But you can only come to knowledge when there is love, unconditional adoration.

Were you ever curious about him, about his life, his role as a teacher or as a man, possibly as a husband or father, how he related to other students and so on?

No, never. I never asked personal questions and I never spoke personally about him. It was a sacred relationship. It was a profoundly serious togetherness. I never doubted his integrity for a moment.

At this time, even though you knew intellectually that there was nothing to achieve, did you still feel and function as if there was?

No. There was no thought at all of becoming or attaining. The most I could say would be that perhaps there was still a residue of eccentric energy, energy to become. But every time I was with Pandiji, his presence channeled the energy that was dispersed.

Then it is important to spend some time with the teacher?

Oh, yes.

Because you often downplay this…

It is not a question of time. It can happen at any moment in life. But there are people who have a slow intellect, slow understanding, or who are stuck in the garage. It can also be that they have such conditioned minds through years of wrong training that the mind has lost its subtlety and is the same as a slow mind.

You had, I believe, at this time some freedom from family and financial obligations.

Yes. I had previously organized my life to make this possible.

You are aware that many people wonder whether to organize their lives to be more free from their obligations and social responsibilities. Do you think that a serious inquirer into truth should do this?

One should do all in one’s power to realize this for some time. It usually means foregoing material wealth, letting go of a way of living, living in the most functional way: food and sleep.

We often hear, “First I will make money and then I will retire and devote myself to truth-seeking.”

This comes from the calculating mind. It is a statement from complete ignorance. There is nothing functional in this reasoning. It is only postponing. The right moment does not come from the mind. When you feel the urge to leave the competitive world, the desire is very strong. You don’t, of course, avoid your family responsibilities, but you see them in a different way. The reasoning to make enough money to retire on is an escape from what belongs to the immediate moment.

But what if one has several children, for example, and simply cannot change one’s job?

What is important is that you feel the inner need to be. Then your surroundings—what belongs to you—arrange themselves accordingly. Existence on this earth gives everyone the opportunity to know Life and to be awake in Life. What we are looking for is our nearest.

I am interested to know why, though your teacher never emphasized yoga, you pursued your study of it, presumably because you still had an interest in the relation between biology and psychology. Was this why you went to learn yoga with Krishnamacharya?

Yes. But I was not at all attracted to yoga from the exercise or gymnastic point of view. I wanted to become more conscious of the body. I wanted the body to become more subtle, more energized, more expanded. It was for the love of feeling the body elastic and receptive. And he was a lovely man to meet.

Was this before or after the awakening?

Oh, before…

Did you see other teachers on the level of Pandiji while you were in India?

I saw Krishna Menon four or five times later on, and found him highly able in vidya vritti, the formulation of what cannot be formulated. Absolutely a beautiful being.

And Ramana Maharshi?

Unfortunately I never met him because he passed away a few months before I arrived in India.

So while you were a disciple of Pandiji’s you were never drawn to other teachers for clarification?

There was no desire at all in me for that. I didn’t go to India to find a teacher. The teacher found me. There’s only one teacher. I quickly came to the conviction that there is nothing to teach and that what you are looking for doesn’t belong to any teaching or “teacher.” So why look for anyone? It is the presence of the guru that shows there is nothing to teach because the teacher is established in the “I am.” So I realized that only the “I am,” not a mind or a body, can bring you to the “I am.”

How long did you live in this way, seeing Pandiji?

For about three years.

And then you left Bangalore and went to Bombay?

Yes, I went sightseeing.

And during this stay there was the moment of enlightenment?

Yes, it was a total switch-over from the residual conditioned state to the unconditioned state. Awareness expanded completely and I felt myself in globality.

Had this happened before?

No. There had been glimpses, but this was more than a glimpse. There was no going back. I had found my real ground.

Did you know in the moment itself that it would be permanent or did you discover this in the days that followed?

Because of the quality of the switch-over there was no doubt that I could be again taken by duality, and this was confirmed in the days and weeks that followed. I felt a rectification in my body and in my brain, as if all the parts had found their right place, their most comfortable position. I saw all daily events spontaneously appearing in the non-state, in my total absence, real presence.

Could you say what were the exact conditions, physical and mental, before this moment: The Threshold?

There had been, for two years, a retreat of all the energy commonly used in becoming, so that when some flying birds crossed my horizon, instead of becoming lost in them, they were lost in me and I found myself in awareness free from all objects. This time what I admired, the birds, dissolved in my admiring, in presence. And admiring dissolved in the Admired. Before the birds appeared, I had been in a profound and prolonged state of being open to openness. Now I found myself as the openness, identical with openness. Openness was my being. There was no more duality.

Was there any other difference between this time and other times when you had looked at birds?

Before, there was still a looker looking at something. This was a moment when there was simply looking without a looker. Previously, it had become my nature to live in pure perception with objects, not living in the divided mind. I had for a long time ignored the arising of all qualifications.

Ignored?

It belongs to the traditional approach, and so that of my teacher, never to refuse or indulge the coming up of qualification, but simply to ignore, and eventually forget them. Neither to look for freedom nor avoid non-freedom. The mind simply ceased to play a role except in a purely functional way.

So in a certain way you were ripe for the moment?

In other words the moment was waiting for me!

How is life different now?

There is no more identification with time and space, body, senses and mind. All events happen in awareness.

Did your relationships change?

There was no more relationship. As there’s no longer an “I,” there is not another.

Can this non-state be described at all?

It is love where the mind is dissolved in love.

(long pause)

Interview with Jean Klein taken from the prologue of Transmission of the Flame. Third Millenium Publications. 1990. 

To read more from Jean Klein see:  https://o-meditation.com/category/jean-klein/