Conscious While Dreaming – Osho

Will you please explain to us what are some of the other factors which can make one conscious while dreaming?

This is a significant question for all those who are interested in meditation, because meditation is really a transcending of the process of dreaming. You are constantly dreaming – not only in the night, not only while you are asleep; you are dreaming the whole day. This is the first point to be understood. While you are awake you are still dreaming.

Just close your eyes at any time of the day. Relax the body and you will feel that the dreaming is there. It never disappears; it is only suppressed by our daily activities. It is like the stars in the day. In the night you see the stars. In the day you cannot see them, but they are there always. They are simply suppressed by the sunlight.

If you go into a deep well, then you can see the stars in the sky even in the day. A certain darkness is needed to see the stars. So go into a deep well and look from the bottom, and you will be able to see the stars in the day also. The stars are there. It is not that in the night they are there and in the day they are not, they are always there. In the night you can see them easily. In the day you cannot see them because the sunlight becomes a barrier.

The same is true with dreaming. It is not that you dream while you are asleep. In sleep you can feel dreams easily because the activity of the day is no more there; thus that inner activity can be seen and felt. When you get up in the morning, the dreaming continues inside while you start acting on the outside.

This process of activity, of daily activity, simply suppresses the dreaming. The dreaming is there. Close your eyes, relax in an armchair, and suddenly you can feel: the stars are there; they have not gone anywhere. The dreams are there always. There is a continuous activity.

The second point. If the dreaming continues, you cannot be said to be really awake. In the night you are more asleep, in the day you are less asleep. The difference is relative, because if the dreaming is there you cannot be said to be really awake. Dreaming creates a film over the consciousness. This film becomes like smoke – you are surrounded by it. You cannot be really awake while you are dreaming, whether in the day or in the night. So the second thing: you can only be said to be awake when there is no dreaming at all.

We call Buddha the awakened one. What is this awakening? This awakening is really the cessation of inner dreaming. There is no dream inside. You move there, but there is no dream. It is as if there were no star in the sky; it has become pure space. When there is no dreaming, you become pure space.

This purity, this innocence, this non-dreaming consciousness, is what is known as enlightenment – the awakening. For centuries spirituality all over the world, East or West, has said that man is asleep. Jesus says this, Buddha says this, the Upanishads talk about this: man is asleep. So while you are asleep in the night you are just relatively more asleep; in the day you are less asleep. But spirituality says that man is asleep. This has to be understood.

What is meant by this? Gurdjieff, in this century, emphasized this fact that man is asleep. “In fact,” he said, “man is a sort of sleep. Everyone is deeply asleep.”

What is the reason for saying that? You cannot know, you cannot remember who you are. Do you know who you are? If you meet a person in the street and you ask him who he is and he cannot reply, what will you think? You will think that he is either mad, intoxicated, or just asleep. If he cannot answer who he is, what are you going to think about him? On the spiritual path everyone is like that. You cannot answer who you are.

This is the first meaning when Gurdjieff or Jesus or anyone says that man is asleep: you are not conscious about yourself. You do not know yourself; you have never met yourself. You know many things in the objective world, but you do not know the subject. Your state of mind is as if you had gone to see a film. On the screen the film is running, and you have become so absorbed in it that the only thing you know is the film, the story, whatsoever is appearing on the screen. Then if someone asks you who you are, you cannot say anything.

Dreaming is just the film – just the film! It is the mind reflecting the world. In the mirror of the mind the world is reflected; that is what dreaming is. And you are so deeply involved in it, so much identified with it, that you have completely forgotten who you are. This is what being asleep means: the dreamer is lost in the dreaming. You see everything except yourself; you feel everything except yourself; you know everything except yourself. This self-ignorance is the sleep. Unless dreaming ceases completely, you cannot awaken unto yourself.

You might have felt it sometimes while looking at a film for three hours, and suddenly the film stops and you come back to yourself. You remember that three hours have passed, you remember that it was just a film. You feel your tears… you have been weeping because the film was a tragedy to you, or you were laughing, or you were doing something else, and now you laugh about yourself. What nonsense you were doing! It was just a film, just a story. There was nothing on the screen – just a play of light and shadow, just an electrical play. Now you laugh: you have come back to yourself. But where were you for these three hours?

You were not at your center. You had moved completely to the periphery. There, where the film was moving, you had gone. You were not at your center; you were not with yourself. You were somewhere else.

This happens in dreaming; this is what our life is. The film is only for three hours, but this dreaming is running for lives and lives and lives. Even if suddenly the dreaming stops you will not be able to recognize who you are. Suddenly you will feel very faint, even afraid. You will try to move again into the film because that is known. You are acquainted with it; you are well adjusted to it.

For when the stopping of the dreaming happens there is a path, particularly in Zen, which is known as the path of sudden enlightenment. There are techniques in these one hundred and twelve methods, there are many techniques which can give you sudden awakening. But it can be too much, and you may not be capable of bearing it. You may just explode. You may die even, because you have lived with dreaming so long that you have no memory of who you are if there is no dreaming.

If this whole world should suddenly disappear and you alone are left, it would be such a great shock that you would die. The same would happen if suddenly all dreaming disappeared from the consciousness. Your world will disappear, because your world was your dreaming.

We are not really in the world. Rather, “the world” consists not of outside things to us, but of our dreams. So everyone lives in his own dream world.

Remember, it is not one world that we go on talking about. Geographically it is, but psychologically there are as many worlds as there are minds. Each mind is a world of its own. And if your dreaming disappears, your world disappears. Without dreams it is difficult for you to live. That is why sudden methods are not used generally, only gradual methods are used.

It is good to note this: gradual methods are used not because there is any need of gradual processes. You can suddenly jump into realization this very moment. There is no barrier; there has never been any barrier. You are already that realization, you can jump this very moment. But that may prove dangerous, fatal. You may not be capable of bearing it. It is going to be too much for you.

You are attuned only to false dreams. Reality you cannot face; you cannot encounter it. You are a hothouse plant – you live in your dreams. They help you in many ways. They are not just dreams, for you they are the reality.

Gradual methods are used not because realization needs time. Realization needs no time! Realization needs no time at all. Realization is not something to be attained in the future, but with gradual methods you will attain it in the future. So what are the gradual methods doing? They are not really helping you to “realize realization,” they are helping you to bear it. They are making you capable, strong, so that when the happening happens you can bear it.

There are seven methods through which immediately you can force your way into enlightenment. But you will not be capable of bearing it. You may go blind – too much of light. Or you may suddenly die – too much of bliss.

This dreaming, this deep sleep we are in, how can it be transcended? This question is meaningful in transcending it:

Will you please explain to us what are some of the other factors which can make one conscious while dreaming?

I will talk about two methods more. One we discussed yesterday. Today, two more that are even easier.

One is to start acting, behaving as if the whole world is just a dream. Whatsoever you are doing, remember this is a dream. While eating, remember this is a dream. While walking, remember this is a dream. Let your mind continuously remember while you are awake that everything is a dream. This is the reason for calling the world maya, illusion, dream. This is not a philosophical argument.

Unfortunately, when Shankara was translated into English, German and French, into Western languages, he was understood to be just a philosopher. That has created much misunderstanding. In the West there are philosophers – for example, Berkeley – who say that the world is just a dream, a projection of the mind. But this is a philosophical theory. Berkeley proposes it as an hypothesis.

When Shankara says that the world is a dream it is not philosophical, not a theory. Shankara proposes it as a help, as a support for a particular meditation. And this is the meditation: if you want to remember while dreaming that this is a dream, you will have to start while you are awake. Normally, while you are dreaming you cannot remember that this is a dream; you think that this is a reality.

Why do you think that this is a reality? Because the whole day you are thinking everything is a reality. That has become the attitude, a fixed attitude. While awake you were taking a bath – it was real. While awake you were eating – it was real. While awake you were talking with a friend – it was real. For the whole day, the whole life, whatsoever you are thinking, your attitude is that this is real. This becomes fixed. This becomes a fixed attitude in the mind.

So while you are dreaming in the night, the same attitude goes on working, that this is real. So let us first analyze. There must be some similarity between dreaming and reality; otherwise this attitude would be somewhat difficult.

I am seeing you. Then I close my eyes and I go into a dream, and I see you in my dream. In both seeings there is no difference. While I am actually seeing you, what am I doing? Your picture is reflected in my eyes. I am not seeing you. Your picture is mirrored in my eyes, and then that picture is transformed through mysterious processes – and science is still not in a position to say how. That picture is transformed chemically and carried somewhere inside the head, but science is still not able to say where – where exactly this thing happens. It is not happening in the eyes; the eyes are just windows. I am not seeing you with the eyes, I am seeing you through the eyes.

In the eyes you are reflected. You may be just a picture; you may be a reality, you may be a dream. Remember, dreams are three-dimensional. I can recognize a picture because a picture is two dimensional. Dreams are three-dimensional, so they look exactly like you. And the eyes cannot say whether whatsoever is seen is real or unreal. There is no way to judge; the eyes are not the judge.

Then the picture is transformed into chemical messages. Those chemical messages are like electrical waves; they go somewhere in the head. It is still unknown where the point is that the eyes come in contact with the surface of seeing. Just waves reach to me and then they are decoded. Then I again decode them, and in this way I know what is happening.

I am always inside, and you are always outside, and there is no meeting. So whether you are real or just a dream is a problem. Even this very moment, there is no way to judge whether I am dreaming or you are really here. Listening to me, how can you say that really you are listening to me, that you are not dreaming? There is no way. That is why the attitude which you maintain the whole day is carried over into the night. And while you are dreaming you take it as real.

Try the opposite; that is what Shankara means. He says that the whole world is an illusion, he says the whole world is a dreaming – remember this. But we are stupid people. If Shankara says, “This is a dream,” then we say, “What is the need to do anything? If this is just a dream, then there is no need to eat. Why go on eating and thinking that this is a dream? Don’t eat!” But then remember – when you feel hunger, it is a dream. Or eat, and when you feel that you have eaten too much, remember, this is a dream.

Shankara is not telling you to change the dream, remember, because the effort to change the dream is again falsely based on the belief that it is real; otherwise there is no need to change anything. Shankara is just saying that whatever is the case is a dream.

Remember this: do not do anything to change it, just remember it constantly. Try to remember for three weeks continuously that whatsoever you are doing it is just a dream. In the beginning it is very difficult. You will fall again and again into the old pattern of the mind, you will start thinking that this is a reality. You will have to constantly awaken yourself to remind yourself that “This is a dream.” If for three weeks continuously you can maintain this attitude, then in the fourth or fifth week, any night while dreaming you will suddenly remember that “This is a dream.”

This is one way to penetrate dreams with consciousness, with awareness. If you can remember in the night while dreaming that this is a dream, then in the day you will not need any effort to remember that this is also a dream. You will know it then.

In the beginning, while you are practicing this, it will be just a make-believe. You start just in faith… “This is a dream.” But when you can remember in dreaming that this is a dream, it will become a reality. Then in the day, when you get up you will not feel that you are getting up from sleep, you will feel you are simply getting up from one dreaming to another. Then it will become a reality. And if the whole twenty-four hours becomes dreaming, and you can feel and remember it, you will be standing at your center. Then your consciousness will have become double-arrowed.

You are feeling dreams, and if you are feeling them as dreams you will start to feel the dreamer – the subject. If you take dreams as real, you cannot feel the subject. If the film has become real, you forget yourself. When the film stops and you know that it was unreal, your reality erupts, breaks out; you can feel yourself. This is one way.

This has been one of the oldest Indian methods. That is why we have insisted on the world being unreal. We do not mean it philosophically; we do not say that this house is unreal so you can pass through the walls. We do not mean that! When we say that this house is unreal, it is a device. This is not an argument against the house.

So Berkeley proposed that the whole world is just a dream. One day, in the morning, he was walking with Dr. Johnson. Dr. Johnson was a hardened realist, so Berkeley said, “Have you heard about my theory? I am working on it. I feel that the whole world is unreal, and it cannot be proved that it is real. And the burden of proving it is on those who say that it is real. I say it is unreal – just like dreams. Johnson was not a philosopher, but he had a very astute logical mind.

They are on the street, just walking in the morning on a lonely street. Johnson then takes one stone in his hand and hits Berkeley’s leg. Blood oozes out, and Berkeley screams. Johnson says, “Why are you screaming if the stone is just a dream? Whatsoever you say, you believe in the reality of the stone. What you are saying is one thing, and your behavior is something different and contrary. If your house is just a dream, then to where are you returning? Where are you returning after the morning walk? If your wife is just a dream, you will not meet her again.”

Realists have always argued this way, but they cannot argue this way with Shankara because his is not a philosophical theory. It is not saying anything about the reality; it is not proposing anything about the universe. Rather, it is a device to change your mind, to change the basic fixed attitude so that you can look at the world in a different, an altogether different way.

This is a problem, continuously a problem for Indian thought – because for Indian thought everything is just a device for meditation. We are not concerned about its being true or untrue. We are concerned about its utility in transforming man.

This is emphatically different from the Western mind. When they propose a theory they are concerned with whether this is true or untrue, whether this can be proved logically or not. When we propose anything we are not concerned about its truth; we are concerned about its utility, we are concerned about its capacity, its capability to transform the human mind. It may be true, it may not be true. Really, it is neither – it is simply a device.

I have seen flowers outside. In the morning the sun rises and everything is just beautiful. You have never been outside, and you have never seen flowers, and you have never seen the morning sun. You have never seen the open sky; you do not know what beauty is. You have lived in a closed prison. I want to lead you out. I want you to come out under the open sky to meet these flowers. How am I to do it?

You do not know flowers. If I talk about flowers, you think, “He has gone mad. There are no flowers.” If I talk about the morning sun, you think, “He is a visionary. He sees visions and dreams. He is a poet.” If I talk about the open sky, you will laugh. You will start laughing, “Where is the open sky? There are only walls and walls and walls.”

So what am I to do? I must devise something which you can understand and which helps you to go out, so I say that the house is on fire and I start running. It becomes infectious: you run after me and go out. Then you will know that what I said was neither true nor false. It was just a device. Then you will know flowers and then you can forgive me.

Buddha was doing that, Mahavir was doing that, Shiva was doing that, Shankara was doing that. We can forgive them later on. We have always forgiven them because once we go out we know what they were doing. And then we understand that it was useless to argue with them because it was not a question of arguing. The fire was nowhere, but we could not understand only that language. Flowers were, but we could not understand the language of the flowers, those symbols were meaningless for us.

So this is one way. Then there is a second method at the other pole. This method makes one pole; the other method makes another pole of the same thing. One method is to start feeling, remembering, that everything is a dream. The other is not to think anything about the world, but just to go on remembering that you are.

Gurdjieff used this second method. This second method comes from the Sufi tradition, from Islam. They worked on it very deeply. Remember “I am” – whatsoever you are doing. You are drinking water, you are eating your food – remember, “I am.” Go on eating and go on remembering, “I am, I am.” Do not forget it! It is difficult because you already think that you know you are, so what is the need to go on remembering this? You never remember it, but it is a very, very potential technique.

When walking remember, “I am.” Let the walking be there, go on walking, but be constantly fixed in this self-remembering of “I am, I am, I am.” Do not forget this. You are listening to me – just do it here. You are listening to me. Do not be so much merged, involved, identified. Whatsoever I am saying, remember, go on remembering. Listening is there, words are there, someone is talking, you are – “I am, I am, I am.” Let this “I am” be a constant factor of awareness.

It is very difficult. You cannot remember continuously even for a single minute. Try it. Put your watch before your eyes and look at the hands moving. One second, two seconds, three seconds… go on looking at it. Do two things: look at the movement of the hand which is showing seconds, and continuously remember “I am, I am.” With every second go on remembering “I am.” Within five or six seconds you will feel that you have forgotten. Suddenly you will remember that “Many seconds have passed and I have not remembered ‘I am.’”

Even to remember for one complete minute is a miracle. And if you can remember for one minute, the technique is for you. Then do it. Through it you will be capable of going beyond dreams and of knowing that dreams are dreams.

How does it work? If the whole day you can remember “I am,” then this will penetrate your sleep also. And when you will be dreaming, continuously you will remember, “I am.” If you can remember “I am” in the dream, suddenly the dream becomes just a dream. Then the dream cannot deceive you, then the dream cannot be felt as reality. This is the mechanism: the dream is felt as reality because you are missing the self-remembering; you are missing ”I am.” If there is no remembering of oneself, then the dream becomes reality. If there is the remembering of oneself, then reality, the so-called reality, becomes just a dream.

This is the difference between dreaming and reality. For a meditative mind, or for the science of meditation, this is the only difference. If you are, then the whole reality is just a dream. If you are not, then the dreaming becomes reality.

Nagarjuna says, “Now I am, for the world is not. While I was not, the world was. Only one can exist.” That doesn’t mean that the world has disappeared. Nagarjuna is not talking about this world, he is talking about the world of dreaming. Either you can be or the dreams can be – both cannot be.

So the first step will be to continue remembering ”I am” constantly; simply, ”I am.” Do not say “Ram,” do not say “Shyam.” Do not use any name, because you are not that. Simply use, “I am.”

Try it in any activity and then feel it. The more real you become inside, the more unreal becomes the surrounding world. The reality becomes “I”, and the world becomes unreal. The world is real or the “I” is real – both cannot be real. You are feeling that you are just a dream now; then the world is real. Change the emphasis. Become real, and the world will become unreal.

Gurdjieff worked on this method continuously. His chief disciple, P. D. Ouspensky, relates that when Gurdjieff was working on him with this method, and he was practicing for three months continuously this remembering of “I am, I am, I am,” after three months everything stopped. Thoughts, dreaming, everything stopped. Only one note remained inside like eternal music: “I am, I am, I am, I am.” But then this was not an effort. This was a spontaneous activity going on: “I am.” Then Gurdjieff called Ouspensky out of the house. For three months he had been kept in the house and wasn’t allowed to move out.

Then Gurdjieff said, “Come with me.” They were residing in a Russian town, Tiflis. Gurdjieff called him out and they went into the street. Ouspensky writes in his diary, “For the first time I could understand what Jesus meant when he said that man is asleep. The whole city looked to me as if it was asleep. People were moving in their sleep; shopkeepers were selling in their sleep; customers were buying in their sleep. The whole city was asleep. I looked at Gurdjieff: only he was awake. The whole city was asleep. They were angry, they were fighting, they were loving, buying, selling, doing everything.”

Ouspensky says, “Now I could see their faces, their eyes: they were asleep. They were not there. The inner center was missing; it was not there.” Ouspensky said to Gurdjieff, “I do not want to go there anymore. What has happened to the city? Everyone seems asleep, drugged.”

Gurdjieff said, “Nothing has happened to the city, something has happened to you. You have been undrugged; the city is the same. It is the same place you moved around in three months ago, but you couldn’t see that other people are asleep because you were also asleep. Now you can see because a certain quality of awareness has come to you. With three months of practising “I am” continuously, you have become aware in a very small measure. You have become aware! A part of your consciousness has gone beyond dreaming. That is why you can see that everyone is asleep, dead, moving, drugged, as if hypnotized.”

Ouspensky says, “I couldn’t bear that phenomenon – everyone asleep! Whatsoever they are doing, they are not responsible for it. They are not! How can they be responsible?” He came back and he asked Gurdjieff, “What is this? Am I deceived somehow? Have you done something to me that the whole city seems asleep? I cannot believe my own eyes.”

But this will happen to anyone. If you can remember yourself, then you will know that no one is remembering himself, and in this way each goes on moving. The whole world is asleep. But start while you are awake. Any moment that you remember, start “I am.”


I do not mean that you have to repeat the words “I am,” rather, have the feeling. Taking a bath, feel ”I am.” Let there be the touch of the cold shower, and let yourself be there behind, feeling it and remembering “I am.” Remember, I am not saying that verbally you have to repeat “I am.” You can repeat it, but that repetition will not give you awareness. Repetition may even create more sleep. There are many people who are repeating many things. They go on repeating “Ram, Ram, Ram…” and if they are just repeating without awareness then this ”Ram, Ram, Ram…” becomes a drug. They can sleep well through it.

That is why Mahesh Yogi has so much appeal in the West, because he is giving mantras for people to repeat. And in the West sleep has become one of the most serious problems. Sleep is totally disturbed. Natural sleep has disappeared. Only through tranquilizers and drugs can you sleep; otherwise sleep has become impossible. This is the reason for Mahesh Yogi’s appeal. It is because if you constantly repeat something, that repetition gives you deep sleep; that is all.

So the so-called transcendental meditation is nothing but a psychological tranquilizer. It is nothing – just a tranquilizer. It helps, but it is good for sleep, not for meditation. You can sleep well, a more calm sleep will be there. It is good, but it is not meditation at all. If you repeat a word constantly it creates a certain boredom, and boredom is good for sleep.

So anything monotonous, repetitive can help sleep. The child in the mother’s womb sleeps for nine months continuously, and the reason for this you may not know. The reason is only the “tick-tock, tick-tock” of the heart of the mother. Continuously there is the beat, the heartbeat. It is one of the most monotonous things in the world. With the same beat continuously repeating, the child is drugged. He goes on sleeping.

That is why whenever the child is crying, screaming, creating any problem, the mother puts his head near her heart. Then suddenly he feels good and goes into sleep. Again it is due to the heartbeat. He becomes again a part of the womb. That is why even if you are not a child and your wife, your beloved puts your head on her heart, you will feel sleepy from the monotonous beat.

Psychologists suggest that if you cannot sleep, then concentrate on the clock. Just concentrate on the clock’s tick-tock, tick-tock. It repeats the heartbeat, and you can fall asleep. Anything repetitive will help.

So this “I am,” the remembering of “I am,” is not a verbal mantra. It is not going to be repeated verbally – feel it! Be sensitive to your being. When you touch someone’s hand do not only touch his hand, feel your touch also, feel yourself also – that you are here in this touch, present totally. While eating, do not only eat, feel yourself eating as well. This feeling, this sensitivity must penetrate deeper and deeper into your mind.

One day, suddenly, you are awake at your center, functioning for the first time. And then the whole world becomes a dream, then you can know that your dreaming is a dreaming. And when you know that your dreaming is a dreaming, dreaming stops. It can continue only if it is felt as real. It is stopped if it is felt as unreal.

And once dreaming stops in you, you are a different man. The old man is dead; the sleepy man is dead. That human being which you were, you are no more. For the first time you become aware; for the first time in the whole world that is asleep, you are awake. You become a buddha, an awakened one.

With this awakening there is no misery, after this awakening there is no death, through this awakening there is no more fear. You become for the first time free of everything. To be free of sleep, to be free of dreaming, is to be free of everything. You attain freedom. Hate, anger, greed disappear. You become just love. Not loving, you become just love!


From The Book of Secrets, Chapter Six

The Book of Secrets

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Self-Enquiry – Ramana Maharshi

Disciple: Master! What is the means to gain the state of eternal bliss, ever devoid of misery?

Master: Apart from the statement in the Veda that wherever there is body there is misery, this is also the direct experience of all people; therefore, one should enquire into one’s true nature which is ever bodiless, and one should remain as such. This is the means to gaining that state.

D: What is meant by saying that one should enquire into one’s true nature and understand it?

M: Experiences such as “I went; I came; I was; I did” come naturally to everyone. From these experiences, does it not appear that the consciousness “I” is the subject of those various acts?
Enquiry into the true nature of that consciousness, and remaining as oneself is the way to understand, through enquiry, one’s true nature.

D: How is one to enquire: “Who am I?”

M: Actions such as ‘going’ and ‘coming’ belong only to the body. And so, when one says “I went, I came”, it amounts to saying that the body is “I”. But, can the body be said to be the consciousness “I”, since the body was not before it was born, is made up of the five elements, is non-existent in the state of deep sleep, and becomes a corpse when dead? Can this body which is inert like a log of wood be said to shine as “I” “I”? Therefore, the “I” consciousness which at first arises in respect of the body is referred to variously as self-conceit (tarbodham), egoity (ahankara), nescience (avidya), maya, impurity (mala), and individual soul (jiva) . Can we remain without enquiring into this? Is it not for our redemption through enquiry that all the scriptures declare that the destruction of “self-conceit” is release (mukti)? Therefore, making the corpse-body remain as a corpse, and not even uttering the word “I”, one should enquire keenly thus: “Now, what is it that rises as ‘I’”. Then, there would shine in the Heart a kind of wordless illumination of the form ‘I’ ‘I’. That is, there would shine of its own accord the pure consciousness which is unlimited and one, the limited and the many thoughts having disappeared. If one remains quiescent without abandoning that (experience), the egoity, the individual sense, of the form ‘I am the body’ will be totally destroyed, and at the end the final thought, viz. the ‘I’- form also will be quenched like the fire that burns camphor.* The great sages and scriptures declare that this alone is release.

D: When one enquires into the root of ‘self-conceit’ which is of the form ‘I’, all sorts of different thoughts without number seem to rise; and not any separate ‘I’ thought.

M: Whether the nominative case, which is the first case, appears or not, the sentences in which the other cases appear have as their basis the first case; similarly, all the thoughts that appear in the heart have as their basis the egoity which is the first mental mode ‘I’, the cognition of the form ‘I am the body’; thus, it is the rise of egoity that is the cause and source of the rise of all other thoughts; therefore, if the self-conceit of the form of egoity which is the root of the illusory tree of samsara (bondage consisting of transmigration) is destroyed, all other thoughts will perish completely like an uprooted tree. Whatever thoughts arise as obstacles to one’s sadhana (spiritual discipline) – the mind should not be allowed to go in their direction, but should be made to rest in one’s self which is the Atman; one should remain as witness to whatever happens, adopting the attitude ‘Let whatever strange things happen, happen; let us see!’ This should be one’s practice. In other words, one should not identify oneself with appearances; one should never relinquish one’s self. This is the proper means for destruction of the mind (manonasa) which is of the nature of seeing the body as self, and which is the cause of all the aforesaid obstacles. This method which easily destroys egoity deserves to be called devotion (bhakti), meditation (dhyana), concentration (yoga), and knowledge (jnana). Because God remains of the nature of the Self, shining as ‘I’ in the heart, because the scriptures declare that thought itself is bondage, the best discipline is to stay quiescent without ever forgetting Him (God, the Self), after resolving in Him the mind which is of the form of the ‘I’-thought, no matter by what means. This is the conclusive teaching of the Scriptures.

*i.e., without leaving any sediment.

-Ramana Maharshi

From Self – Enquiry (Vicharasangraham) of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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Living Stillness – Jean Klein

It is only through silent awareness that our physical and mental nature can change. This change is completely spontaneous. If we make an effort to change we do no more than shift our attention from one level, from one thing, to another. We remain in a vicious circle. This only transfers energy from one point to another. It still leaves us oscillating between suffering and pleasure, each leading inevitably back to the other.

Only living stillness, stillness without someone trying to be still, is capable of undoing the conditioning our biological, emotional and psychological nature has undergone. There is no controller, no selector, no personality making choices. In choiceless living the situation is given the freedom to unfold. You do not grasp one aspect over another for there is nobody to grasp. When you understand something and live it without being stuck to the formulation, what you have understood dissolves in your openness. In this silence change takes place of its own accord, the problem is resolved and duality ends. You are left in your glory where no one has understood and nothing has been understood.

– Jean Klein

From I Am

You can read more from Jean Klein here.

Conscious Doing – Osho

As I look in your eyes I never see you there – as if you are absent. You exist absently, and this is the core of all suffering. You can be alive without being at all present, and if you are not present your existence will become a boredom. And this is what has happened. So when I look in your eyes I don’t find you there. You have yet to come, you have yet to be. The situation is there, and the possibility is there – you can be there any moment – but yet you are not.

To become aware of this absence is to begin the journey towards meditation, towards transcendent.

If you are aware that somehow you are missing… you exist but you don’t know why, you don’t know how, you don’t know even who exists within you. This unawareness creates all suffering, because, unknowingly, whatsoever you do will bring suffering. It is not what you do that is basic; it is whether you do it with your presence or with your absence that is significant.

Whatsoever you do, if you can do it with your total presence, your life will become ecstatic; it will be bliss. If you do something without your presence there, absently, your life will be a suffering – bound to be. Hell means your absence.

So there are two types of seekers: one type of seeker is always in search of what to do. That seeker is on a wrong path, because the question is not of doing at all. The question is of being – what to be, how to be. So never think in terms of action and doing, because whatsoever you do, if you are absent it will be meaningless.

Whether you move in the world or you live in a monastery; whether you function in the crowd or you move to an isolated spot in the Himalayas will make no difference. You will be absent here and you will be absent there, and whatsoever you do – in the crowd or in the isolation – will bring suffering.

If you are not there, then whatsoever you do is wrong.

The second type, and the right type of seeker, is not in search of what to do, he is in search of how to be. The first thing is how to be.

One man came to Gautam Buddha. He was filled with much compassion, with much sympathy, and he asked Gautam Buddha, ‘What can I do to help the world?’

Buddha is reported to have laughed and said to the man, ‘You cannot do anything because you are not. How can you do anything when you are not? So don’t think of the world. Don’t think of how to serve the world, how to help others.’ Buddha said, ‘First be – and if you are, then whatsoever you do becomes a service, it becomes a prayer, it becomes compassion. Your presence is the turning point. Your being is the revolution.’

So these are the two paths: the path of action and the path of meditation. They are diametrically opposite. The path of action is basically concerned with you as a doer. It will try to change your actions; it will try to change your character, your morals, your relationships, but never you. The path of meditation is diametrically opposite. It is not concerned with your actions; it is directly and immediately concerned with you. What you do is irrelevant. What you are is relevant. And that is basic and primary, because all action springs from you.

Remember, your actions can be changed and modified, can even be replaced by diametrically opposite actions, but they are not going to change you. Any outward change will not bring the inner revolution, because the outward is superficial and the innermost core remains untouched; by what you do it remains untouched. But the vice versa brings the revolution: if the innermost core is different, the surface automatically changes. So think a basic question; only then can we enter these techniques of meditation.

Don’t be concerned with what you are doing. That may be a trick, that maya be a device to escape from the real problem. For example, you are violent. You can make every effort to be non-violent, thinking that by being non-violent you will become religious; by becoming non-violent you will come closer to the divine. You are cruel, and you may make every effort to be compassionate.

You can do it, and nothing will change and you will remain the same. Your cruelty will become a part of your compassion – and that is more dangerous. Your violence will become a part of your non-violence – that is more subtle. You will be violently non-violent. Your non-violence will have all the madness of violence, and through your compassion you will be cruel.

You can even kill through your compassion; people have killed. There are so many religious wars – they are fought in the mood of compassion. You can kill very compassionately, very non-violently; lovingly you can kill and murder, because you are killing for the sake of the person you are killing. You are killing him for himself, for his own sake, to help him.

You can change your actions, and this effort to change the actions may be just a device to escape the basic change. The basic change is this – first you must be. You must become more alert, more conscious of your being; only then a presence comes to you.

You never feel yourself, and even sometimes when you feel, you feel through others – through excitement, through stimulation, through reaction. Someone else is needed, and via someone else you can feel yourself. This is absurd. Alone, without excitement, with no one there to become a mirror, you fall in sleep, you get bored. You never feel yourself. There is no presence. You live absently.

This absent existence is the non-religious mind. To become filled with your own presence, with the light of your own being, is to become religious. So remember this as a basic point: that my concern is not with your actions. What you do is irrelevant. What you are – absent, present, aware, unaware – that’s my concern. And these techniques we will enter are techniques to make you more present, to bring you here and now.

Either someone else is needed for you to feel yourself, or the past is needed – through the past, through past memories, you can feel your identity. Or the future is needed – you can project in your dreams. You can project your ideals, future lives, moksha. Either you need past memories to feel that you are, or you need a future projection, or someone else, but you alone are never enough. This is the disease, and unless you alone become enough, nothing will be enough for you. And once you alone have become enough unto yourself, you have become victorious, the struggle is over. Now there will be no suffering any more. A point of no return has come.

Beyond this point there is beatitude, eternal bliss. Before this point you are bound to suffer, but the whole suffering, strangely, is your own doing. It is a miracle that you create your own suffering. No one else is creating it. If someone else is creating it then it is difficult to go beyond it. If the world is creating it then what can you do? But because you can do, it means no one else is creating your suffering – it is your own nightmare. And these are the basic elements of it.

The first thing: you go on thinking that you are, you believe that you are. This is simply a belief. You have never encountered yourself, you have never come face to face with yourself; you have never met yourself, there has been no meeting. You simply believe that you are. Throw this belief totally.

Know well that you are yet to be, that you are not, because with this false belief you will never be able to transform. On this false belief your whole life will become false.

Gurdjieff used to say to his disciples, ‘Don’t ask me what to do. You cannot do anything, because to do something first you will be needed. And you are not there, so who will do it? You can think about doing, but you cannot do anything.’

These techniques are to help you, to bring you back; to help you to create a situation in which you can meet yourself. Much will have to be destroyed – all that is wrong, all that is false. Before the real arises the false will have to leave; it must cease. And these are the false notions – that you are.

These are the false notions – that you are a soul, atma, you are Brahma. Not that you are not, but these notions are false.

Gurdjieff had to insist that there is no soul in you. Against all the traditions he insisted, ‘Man has no soul. Soul is simply a possibility – it can be, it may not be. It has to be achieved. You are simply a seed.’

And this emphasis is good. The possibility is there, the potentiality is there, but it is not yet actual.

And we go on reading the Gita and the Upanishads and the Bible, and we go on feeling that we are the soul – the seed thinking that it is the tree. The tree is hidden there, but it is yet to be uncovered.

And it is good to remember that you may remain a seed, and you may die a seed – because the tree cannot come, the tree cannot sprout by itself. You have to do something consciously about it, because only through consciousness it grows.

There are two types of growth. One is unconscious, natural growth: if the situation is there, the thing will grow. But the soul, the atma, the innermost being, the divine within you, is a different type of growth altogether. It is only through consciousness that it grows. It is not natural, it is supernatural.

Left to nature itself it will not grow; just left to evolution it will never evolve. You have to do something consciously; you have to make a conscious effort about it, because only through consciousness it grows. Once the consciousness is focused there, the growth happens. These techniques are to make you more conscious.


From The Book of Secrets, Chapter 51   The Book of the Secrets

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can find all of Shiva’s 112 Meditation Techniques.

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

All of Shiva’s 112 meditation techniques can be found here.

Wherever Your Attention Alights – Osho

Wherever your attention alights,
At this very point, Experience.

In this technique, firstly you have to develop attention. You have to develop a sort of attentive attitude, only then will this technique become possible, so then wherever your attention alights you can experience—you can experience yourself. Just by looking at a flower you can experience yourself. Then looking at a flower is not looking at the flower only, but at the looker also—but only if you know the secret of attention.

You also look at a flower, and you may think you are looking at the flower, but you have started thinking about the flower, and the flower is missed. You are no more there, you have gone somewhere else, you have moved away. By attention is meant that when you are looking at a flower, you are looking at a flower and not doing anything else—as if the mind has stopped, as if now there is no thinking and only a simple experience of the flower there…. Attention means a silent alertness with no thoughts interfering. Develop it.

You can develop it only by doing it; there is no other way. Do it more and you will develop it. Doing anything, being anywhere, try to develop it. You are traveling in a car, or in a train. What are you doing there? Try to develop attention; don’t waste time. For half an hour you will be in a train: develop attention. Just be there. Don’t think. Look at someone, look at the train or look outside, but be the look, don’t think anything. Stop thinking. Be there and look. Your look will become direct, penetrating, and from everywhere your look will be reflected back and you will become aware of the looker.

You are not aware of yourself because there is a wall. When you look at a flower, first your thoughts change your look; they give their own color. Then that look goes to the flower. It comes back, but then again your thoughts give it a different color. And when it comes back it never finds you there. You have moved somewhere else, you are not there. Every look comes back; everything is reflected, responsed, but you are not there to receive it. So be there to receive it. The whole day you can try it on many things, and by and by you will develop attentiveness.

With that attentiveness do this:

Wherever your attention alights,
At this very point, Experience.

Then look anywhere, but simply look. The attention has alighted—and you will experience yourself. But the first requirement is to have the capacity to be attentive. And you can practise it. There is no need for it to take some extra time. Whatsoever you are doing—eating, taking a bath, standing under a shower—just be attentive. But what is the problem? The problem is that we do everything with the mind, and we are planning continuously for the future. You may be travelling in a train, but your mind may be arranging other journeys; programming, planning. Stop this. One Zen monk, Bokuju, has said, “This is the only meditation I know. While I eat, I eat. While I walk, I walk. And while I feel sleepy, I sleep. Whatsoever happens, happens. I never interfere.” That’s all there is – don’t interfere. And whatsoever happens, allow it to happen; you be simply there. That will give you attentiveness. And when you have attention, this technique is just in your hand….

Wherever your attention alights,
At this very point, Experience.

Just remember yourself. There is a deep reason because of which this technique can be helpful. You can throw a ball and hit the wall—the ball will come back. When you look at a flower or at a face, a certain energy is being thrown—your look is energy. And you are not aware that when you look, you are investing some energy, you are throwing some energy. A certain quantity of your energy, of your life energy, is being thrown. That’s why you feel exhausted after looking in the street the whole day: people passing, advertisements, the crowd, the shops. Looking at everything you feel exhausted and then you want to close your eyes to relax. What has happened? Why are you feeling so exhausted? You have been throwing energy.

Buddha and Mahavir both insisted that their monks should not look too much; they must concentrate on the ground. Buddha says that you can only look up to four feet ahead. Don’t look anywhere. Just look on the path where you are moving. To look four feet ahead is enough, because when you have moved four feet, again you will be looking four feet ahead. Don’t look more than that, because you are not to waste energy unnecessarily. When you look, you are throwing a certain amount of energy. Wait, be silent, allow that energy to come back. And you will be surprised. If you can allow the energy to come back, you will never feel exhausted. Do it. Tomorrow morning, try it. Be silent, look at a thing. Be silent, don’t think about it, and wait patiently for a single moment—the energy will come back; in fact, you may be revitalized.

People continuously ask me…. I go on reading continuously so they ask me, “Why are your eyes still okay? You should have needed specs long ago.” You can read, but if you are reading silently with no thought, the energy comes back. It is never wasted. You never feel tired. My whole life I have been reading twelve hours a day, sometimes even eighteen hours a day, but I have never felt any tiredness. In my eyes I have never felt anything, never any tiredness. Without thought the energy comes back; there is no barrier. And if you are there you reabsorb it, and this reabsorption is rejuvenating. Rather than your eyes being tired they feel more relaxed, more vital, filled with more energy.


From The Book of Secrets, Chapter 51

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from and

The Flame of Being – Jean Klein


A Dialog with Jean Klein and Michael Toms, 1989

MT: Jean, what is your idea of life? What is life to you?

JK: Life is consciousness and consciousness is life. But one must make a distinction between consciousness, life, and its expressions. Its expressions appear in space and time, are objects. But these objects refer to consciousness, to life. As long as you have not understood life, consciousness these expressions are still recognized as objects. But once you understand life. That you ARE the life then these objects are no more considered as objects. They are simply consciousness. They refer to consciousness and they have their home ground in consciousness.

This is a very important moment. Otherwise there is only relationship from object to object which means conflict. But when the object refers to its home ground consciousness there is no more conflict. Life, consciousness – we can never objectify it. Consciousness is the ultimate subject, the ultimate subject of all objects. As we said, it can never be an object. And we ARE consciousness. We are really when we are absent. We are the absence of ourselves. In the absence of ourselves there is life, there is consciousness, there is happiness. I love life and life is love.

Mt: We usually see something out there and what I hear you saying is that you are suggesting there is nothing or no-thing out there. That rather we are a part of it.

JK: There is nothing outside of consciousness. Objects, what we see, what we hear, what we smell, what we taste, refer; I would say have their home ground in consciousness, in life and refer to life. So there is nothing outside. All is inside. All that is outside is perceived in space and time but consciousness or life is a continuum, IS. So the expressions of life point to life. They are more or less pointers, but they are not life. They are really life when you are knowingly established in life, in consciousness. Then these objects refer to consciousness. Then they are something different. They are still in a certain way objects but not anymore objects in the ordinary sense.

MT: This is a larger definition of consciousness than we in the West are usually used to – what I hear you saying. Because I think we usually refer to consciousness as either waking or sleeping consciousness. We don’t think of consciousness as residing outside ourselves.

JK: Yes. When we speak of these three states, waking, dreaming, sleeping, the underlying reality is consciousness. Mainly we are awake in the objects. But we aren’t awake in consciousness. Consciousness, our real nature, is when there is an absence of ourselves. We are really our absence. Our absence is presence.

MT: Jean when you say that our absence is our presence. Who is absent?

JK: What we are, we can never objectify. So, all kinds of becoming, achieving, attaining is going away from what we are. What we are, is our nearest. In achieving and becoming, it can be only an object. But what we are can never be an object. We are the ultimate subject. Becoming, achieving, any technique is very good to learn a language, to learn a science, but to know what we are fundamentally – we are it. It is our nearest.

I think it is most important to see that there is nothing to attain, nothing to achieve. When you see it really, when you understand it really, all energy that you have spent to achieve, to become comes to a stop, comes to a standstill. And I would say in this standstill, there is no direction anymore where to go. All energy comes back to its home ground. And this moment refers to itself. It is its own knowing, free from any agent. So the term, we very often speak of, illumination, enlightenment, is only when you see the moment that there is nobody. The moment that you see that there is nobody, there is no entity, personal entity, that is enlightenment. So you can never go to it. You can only see what it is not, what you are not, body, senses and mind.

MT: I recall the words of Lao Tzu, “The Tao that can be named is not the Tao.”

JK: Exactly. Every step that you make, even if it is like a hair, you have only gone out of the way.

MT: We think of ourselves as rational, logical, thinking creatures. What happens to the thinking process in the midst of this living insight?

JK: Thinking, if you see it from a very high level is different thinking. Real thinking never starts with thinking. In real thinking we must look away from thinking. Like we must look away from the target (Jean makes the action of pulling a bow). So thinking must be free from all intention. Of course, rational thinking, practical thinking, scientific thinking starts with a thought. But creative thinking starts from silence. All thinking has its home ground in silence even rational thinking, practical thinking, calculative thinking.

MT: So the source of creativity may be in silence as well?

JK: Yes. In silence is our potentiality, our creativity. But this silence is not the silence of the mind. The mind from time to time can be silent. But the silence of which we are speaking is beyond the mind. When the mind understands its limits, then the mind gives freedom. And I think when the mind becomes still we are open to the real stillness, timeless moments which are no more moments, which are the eternity.

MT: Jean there is a particular desire, I think a tendency for those of us in the West to want to fill up our time, to want to be occupied, to want to have something to do and this stillness is sometimes difficult. It is difficult for us to slow down, to get off the pace that we have created for ourselves. Do you have some suggestions for how to get into the stillness when one is leading a busy life?

JK: Even when living a busy life there are moments in daily life that you are free from all occupation, free from all activities. These moments which we call an absence of activity, we are looking at simply as an absence. But in this absence, in reality, there is a presence of the timeless. So in these moments when we are free from all activity, which is not a state, we don’t go in. It is created by the circumstances that there are moments in daily life when there is nothing to do, nothing to think, nothing to undertake. In these moments when we come attuned to it, I would say we are living the eternity. When we are completely attuned to these moments, there is nobody and there is no cause. It is a causeless moment. So we should in these moments as we said completely be attuned with it. We feel the same moments very often before the body-mind wakes up, the interval between deep sleep and waking in the object. Also in the evening before going to sleep when we put all our clothes on the chair, all our qualifications on the chair. We are free from all qualifications. We feel ourself in this nakedness, and we find also in the morning before the body-mind wakes up. So these are moments when we are the timeless, when the mind is open to it.

MT: It sounds like in some ways you are describing the consciousness of little babies. There is this openness and non-self-identification.

JK: Yes, free from all purpose.

MT: They have not built up the trappings of a personal identity.

JK: Yes.

MT: Why is it you think we build up that personal identity? And then we have to, in some ways, deconstruct it.

JK: It is the fabrication of our education and father and mother, experience, society. In a certain way we have to free ourselves from what society has done with us. When we are free from the person, from the ‘I’ image, we are living knowingly in our totality. All our environments find its meaning in our totality. With our totality we are facing facts. The action comes out of the facts itself. We are coming really to this absolutely non-volitional living, free from all reaction. Every situation in our life brings its own solution and its own action. This action is creative. It is not a reaction.

MT: I think of something like how we pursue happiness. We have an experience and we enjoy it. We are fulfilled by it. We experience a sense of happiness and then the mind records that, the brain records that experience as a happy one and then we continue to pursue that experience again. We try to recreate it and it’s like something coming from the mind. It’s not the experience. And it’s like this seems to be a pattern we have in ourselves and you’re suggesting that pattern can be broken?

JK: Absolutely. It is memory. In the moment you live this happiness nobody is happy and nothing is the cause of this happiness. So in reality happiness is causeless. As the mind and the person has been affected, struck by this happiness, the mind takes it for its own and said that the cause of this happiness is this or that. Then the mind creates a state with it. Happiness is really non-dual living.

MT: Jean, in that moment of happiness that experience that we have, there really is no self- consciousness, is there?

JK: In this happiness, nobody is happy and there is not a cause for this happiness. So in other words when you say “I am happy” you are not happy. You have created a state of it.

MT: It’s almost like when we identify it, we come out of it. It’s when the mind injects itself in to the experience then suddenly we are not in the experience anymore. Is that what is happening?

JK: Exactly.

MT: So why do you think we developed this mind, why did we evolve this brain that is so wonderful and has so many possibilities? Why do you think we evolved that in the midst of this insight that you are presenting, that real happiness is outside of that mind?

JK: The brain can understand, the mind can understand what we are not, body, senses and mind. But the mind can never understand what is beyond the mind. The mind can never change the mind. It is only when you have the standpoint, the stand in consciousness.

So, seek it from another way. What seems to me very important is to accept the expressions of life. It is not a fatalistic accepting. It is really a scientific accepting. In this accepting, you will find yourself in accepting. So you don’t emphasize what you accept. What you emphasize is the accepting, the welcoming. In welcoming there is openness. So when we speak of establishing in consciousness, establishing in our real nature, I would say it is an establishing in our welcoming, when we are constantly open. In this openness there is no assertion. We welcome all that life offers to us.

So coming back to our conversation concerning thinking – I would say thinking, when you live in this welcoming, thinking becomes an offering. Thinking becomes thanking. There is nobody to thank, but nature, life has allowed us to be. That is thanking.

What we are really fundamentally is in our welcoming. The seeker Is the sought. The looker Is what it is looking for.

MT: We’ve arrived at the goal and the goal is us.

JK: Yes.

In this welcoming we are completely free from the personality. The personality acts when we need it. It is a useful tool, but we don’t identify ourself with this personality. And in this welcoming we are knowingly in our totality in our completeness. All things, all events, all situations refer to our totality. So we are completely free from choice, from selection. The moment we still are in the choice we have gone out of the way. In this welcoming there is right seeing. There is global seeing and there we’re seeing facts. It is a kind of surrender. But it is not passive. We are passive not to interfere but completely alert in the same moment.

MT: One can imagine this welcoming in the experience of positive things or seeing nature or being with a good friend, enjoying ones children. What about problems? What about welcoming pain? What about the kinds of challenges that life is filled with? How does one practice this welcoming in the midst of life’s turmoil that comes?

JK: The moment we are welcoming our life, in this welcoming there is being free from choice, being free from selection. In this choiceless state the problems of our life presents itself completely different. Problems come when you have established a personal relationship with the situation. When you see the situation from your wholeness, globality there is no problem. I would not say there is no problem but there is nothing problematic. The moment there is reactions, the moment there is resistance you have established a personal relationship. That means a choice: positive-negative, pleasure-pain and so on. In this acceptance, in this welcoming we are present. There is nothing more for end-gaining, achievement, expectation. We are really in the now, in the present. We are free from psychological memory, past-future. In this welcoming there is direct perceiving. Interpretation, estimation, evaluation, comparison belongs to the mind.

But coming back, the mind to a certain extent must understand the perspective. By the perspective I mean the limits of the mind so that the mind is open for something which is beyond the mind. In this absence of what we are not our relationship changes completely. There is no more relationship from object to object, personality to personality, man and woman. It is important. So there in this state when there is a non-relation, a relation in non-relation, that is love. There is no more demanding, asking. Otherwise relationship is more or less a kind of business asking for security, being loved, and so on, considered. It is important there is the right relation with our surroundings. Of course first one must have a right relation with oneself. One must first love oneself. One must love love. Then you can also love the surroundings.

MT: Jean, you were speaking about relationship and what I heard you suggesting is really the relationship we have with another really begins with the relationship we have with ourselves. Is that true?

JK: Exactly. As long as there is somebody, as long as there is a me there is also another. In the absence of ourself there is oneness with our surroundings. Otherwise there is only looking for security. In the absence of ourself every moment is new. Our surroundings appear from moment to moment in a new way. Otherwise we have only to do with furniture, with clichés. Generally we say I see the world, I see my surroundings. I know my wife, my husband, my neighbor. But that is only memory. We superimposed on them certain qualifications and you repeat it. You, in a certain way, you put them in a prison.

MT: So in some sense rather than relating to our wife or our mother sometimes we are relating to the memory of who we think they were then. Instead of being with them.

JK: Exactly.

MT: How do we get beyond that relationship so that we can be in the moment with whoever it is we are relating to or with?

JK: I think, the moment we become aware of it, that we see it and that we take note of how this seeing reacts on us, the impact. That is the transformation. Because generally we are living in a kind of universe of beliefs, second hand information, heresay. And we are feeling ourself not very comfortable and we are trying to go out of this universe by all means, techniques, seminars, and so on and so on. But in seeing it very clearly, the entity which desires to go out of this universe belongs to the universe. When you see it there is a stop. You find yourself automatically out of the process.

MT: Where is love in midst of relationship?

JK: There is only love in the absence of yourself. In the absence of yourself when you live in this unfurnished way there is love.

MT: So there Is no ego or self or identity in love?

JK: No, there is no identity at all in the cosmos. There is only function.

MT: Would that also be like energy?

JK: Energy which we have given some names. But there is only energy. There is only function. There is not a seer there is only seeing. There is not a hearer there is only hearing. There is not a thinker there is only thinking. There is not a doer there is only doing. The doer comes only after the done but during the doing where is the doer?

MT: So when you are in the midst of some activity you are just in the activity?

JK: Exactly. You are functioning. You are doing. But there is no doer.

MT: It is memory that creates the doer.

JK: Exactly, and it becomes a problem.

MT:  Because we start to identify with the doer and the thinker and the lover and that takes us away from who we really are?

JK: Absolutely.

MT: In some ways the necessity for that creative tension needs to be there to allow us to continue to exist as human beings. If that creative tension wasn’t there we would just sort of float away, wouldn’t we?

JK: Jean chuckles. In listening, as we said, there is not a listener. There is only listening. I think pedagogically speaking every listened should bring us back to the listening. Every heard should bring us back to the hearing.

What do you think, is there something to teach? In this optic, is there something to teach?

MT: My question would be is there something to learn?

JK: Ah. You can learn a new language. You can learn a new way of playing the piano. That is true. But what you are, there is nothing to learn. There is nothing to teach. Huh?

MT: But there may be a need for guides, for someone who has been there to show the way, someone who is there to hold up the light and say “Hear look.” Is there such a need? Do we need a teacher? Do we need a guide or can we discover this on our own?

JK: Strictly speaking, as there is nothing to teach, what is the role of a teacher? In principle, the so-called teacher is free from the teacher, is free from the teaching. And when the teacher is free from the teaching there is no pupil, there is no ignorance. So in reality, in the relationship between the teacher and the disciple the teacher is free from the teacher. He is only the flame of beingness and doesn’t superimpose ignorance on the so-called disciple. Then there is a non-relation. And in this non-relation there is really relation. There is only a current of love, a flame of awareness. So in this moment there can be what we call “teaching.” Otherwise the teacher’s role is really to tell the disciple what he is not. What he is, he can never tell him because he IS it. It is unknowable. One cannot name it, one cannot think it. One can only insist what he is not. And to tell him what he is not, in certain way, he must tell him also what it is that he is not. So the real teaching, if we still accept the word teaching, is, in a most pedagogical way, to point to the ultimate itself. So in this way there is only a value in the ‘direct approach’. All progression keeps us in a subject-object relationship.

MT: Going back to what you were speaking of earlier of becoming-is the progressive approach?

JK: So you remain in the subject-object relationship. And even after a long purification you are stuck to the subject-object relationship.

MT: I think in the United States we have the spiritual movement, and the human potential movement.  the consciousness movement. All of these movements, as it were, are always talking about becoming something other than who you are.

JK: The becoming process. Yes.

MT: It’s always the becoming process. Somehow you are not something. You need to become something else.

JK: Yes, you go away from you.

MT: So you are suggesting that this is not necessarily a good thing or a positive thing?

JK: No, no.

MT: Because it does something to our mind?

JK: Absolutely. It gives certain sweetness to the mind, sweetness to the ego. It keeps him alive.

MT: So that we miss the real?

JK: Absolutely. We become in the end a kind of ‘blank state’, which is still a subject-object relationship. Because what we are fundamentally is not a state. A state you go in and you come out. It is the underlying reality.

MT: I think of how much credence we give to the word progress. Progress is the underlying theme of our culture, of our society, that we must have progress. We must progress.

JK: Yes. There may be some apparent progress in our social structure. That I agree.

MT: But personal progress may be something totally different?

JK: Completely different, yes.

MT: Well one of the things it seems we are progressing to in life is death. In a sense, we are all dying. What is death? Who dies?

JK: It is the ego who dies. And the ego dies from moment to moment, every evening going to sleep.

MT: That’s a death?

JK: Yes. In this becoming we create constantly space and time. We create the time.

MT: It’s our conceptual mind that does that?

JK: Yes. The becoming process is completely a psychological structure.

MT: So the fear of death comes from the fear of losing identity?

JK: Exactly. The becoming is constantly for psychological survival. So memory is mainly psychological survival. It relects, to be somebody, which when (inaudible) reflects you. There is no more a role to play. Then also psychological memory goes away. Then there is still astronomical time. But this time is from Monday to Tuesday, from Tuesday to Wednesday, from six o’clock, seven, eight, nine. That’s no problem. But psychological time is constantly past-future, past-future. We are never in the now.

So in a certain way, coming back, the teacher points first in his teaching what we are not. And it is presence when he does not give any hold for the pupil to be this or that. Then really there is a teaching. There is a transmission of the flame.

MT: Jean, earlier when you were talking about relationship, we were speaking of relationship and the importance of knowing ourselves and relating to ourselves and relating. I am thinking of combining that with death and dying. What is the relationship that we should have with someone who is facing a life threatening illness?

JK: Shortly speaking, we should die with him. We should in presence with him put all our qualifications aside, being only really awareness, stillness. This stillness will stimulate the dying person. One should help him, in a certain way, in this giving up.

Have you already assisted somebody dying?

MT: Yes, I have been with someone who was dying, yes. And my experience was that it felt like words were too heavy, too much.

JK: Too heavy, as you said. It is our relaxed presence, completely relaxed, completely giving up.

MT: The same kind of letting go you were talking about in life. Letting go.

JK: Yes. But it is not a process through will, because not giving up and giving up is still something of will.

MT: Like there is something to give up?

JK: Exactly. Really letting go, giving up. Not giving up it but let it giving up itself. In this moment we feel completely dissolved in space. We are space. And the dying person needs space. His own space will be stimulated through our space. And in this space we are oneness.

MT: Do you have any insights as to what happens after death? What happens to consciousness?

JK: For consciousness there is no change. Consciousness remains consciousness. All the expressions of consciousness which means energy remain energy. And in the absence of a personal entity there is no reincarnation. Who reincarnates? Who reincarnates? For somebody who believes to be somebody there is reincarnation.

What is important, coming back to the dying person, that there must not be interference of the family. Because the family will still keep him for psychological survival. They keep the person.

MT: Very challenging to keep the family not involved. Because everybody their personality that is connected to the dying person.

JK: They are looking for security. I have several times assisted people dying. It is beautiful. When you really free yourself from all qualifications, this oneness, this nakedness is so stimulating for the dying person.

In the end there is only love and love can never die, can never be born, can never die.

Our coming here together was beautiful.

MT: Yes, I feel that way too.

JK: So there was only understanding.

MT: Yes, thank you.

Copyright© Jean Klein Foundation 1989, 2011

Copyright© Non-Duality Press 2011

You can read more from Jean Klein here.

Here is an excerpt that I found on Youtube.

Give Yourself Entirely to this Light – Jean Klein

If I am already fundamentally free, then why do l not feel as though l am free?

The only obstacle is your belief that you are an independent entity. That is the only obstacle. You are stuck in this belief. It belongs to a personality invented by society, education, experience, beliefs, second-hand information and all kinds of reading. You have identified yourself with this fictitious “I” and you live from this point of view. You look at and contact the surroundings from this viewpoint. Because the personality is an object like any other, you live in object-object relationship.

What happens when you become aware of it? The moment you become aware of it is the most important opportunity, an opportunity to see how this insight acts on you. Until now your brain has functioned in the pattern of taking yourself for someone, and when this pattern suddenly collapses there is a re-orchestration of all your energy, a transformation of your being. The old reflex, which is so deep-rooted, may come up from time to time, but you are now aware of it. You ignore it and then forget it. Why put yourself in the cage of a fraction? You are the whole, the global.

Is this insight —that you have taken yourself for someone— enlightenment, or is it a forefeeling?

This insight frees the mind from wrong thinking. It comes from your real nature. Often the mind appropriates the insight again, and it appears as a point, an experience in space and time. The insight itself is constant.

Is the insight that you are not the personality the ray of light in the dark room?

Yes, but you are still in the dark room, even though there is light in it. You must give yourself entirely to this light, and it will take you towards its source. Then there will be a sudden moment when you are no longer in the dark at all but are completely taken by the light. This was my experience.

-Jean Klein

From Open to the Unknown: Dialogues in Delphi

You can read more from Jean Klein here.