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Transmission of the Flame, by Jean Klein

August 16, 2009

I studied with Advaita master Jean Klein for approximately three years both in the United States and England. I took part not just in weekend intensives in New York and Berkeley and other locations, but also in extensive retreats in Joshua Tree, CA, as well as in England.

People frequently ask me about the esoteric form of yoga Jean Klein taught and the role of the body in his non-dual teachings. The following book review explores some of the reasons that Jean believed it was important to undertake the subtle, energy-oriented bodywork that he brought us.

Transmission of the Flame, by Jean Klein

Transmission of the Flame, by Jean Klein

Jean Klein, the remarkable Advaita Vedanta master, who was also a medical doctor and accomplished violinist, died on February 22, 1998. Those who are searching for truth and meaning and who did not have an opportunity to meet him and work with him would do well to read some or all of his many wonderful books.

In his book Transmission of the Flame,  for instance, we have the opportunity to relive in ourselves the illuminating dialogues that took place between Jean Klein and his students during seminars in Holland, America, England, and France in 1988-89.
But these are no ordinary dialogues. As we listen closely, and as we try to understand, we see that it is finally only through living in a deep, silent “not knowing” that we can awaken to our fundamental nature, to the “I am” of pure consciousness.

Until the publication of this book, little was known publicly about Jean Klein’s history and awakening. This book, however, includes a fascinating prologue in which he discusses certain key events of his life, including some meetings with his teacher in India.

Jean Klein

Jean Klein

Although Advaita has to do with the realization that we are not the mind, body, and senses, that we are the consciousness the lies behind, at the core of Jean Klein’s teaching one find great emphasis on both the body and the “energy body,” or “vital body.” Jean Klein tells us in the prologue why he emphasized so much this work with what we are not. After returning from India, he says, “It became apparent, through meeting people, that identification with what we are not is confirmed and reinforced by contraction on the psychosomatic level. The I-concept is only a contraction on the level of the body-mind. It has no more reality than a bad habit. It is a defense against being nobody. … In getting to know the body-mind, one can discover more clearly the nature of the identification, and so let it go. The relaxed body is a relaxed mind. In a relaxed body and mind you are open to receiving, available, welcoming, open to the openness. The relaxed, light, energetic, sattvic body-mind are a near expression of your real nature.”

Later, in response to a question about the “vital body,” Jean Klein says “When you close your eyes for a moment and detect the subtle body, you will realize that your body is not limited by the formation of the skin, of the bone-muscle structure. You will feel yourself expanded. I myself have no idea or sensation of my body being limited. Whether my eyes are open or closed, I am everywhere, expanded in space.”

In this beautiful book, Jean Klein takes us beyond lineages, beyond techniques, and beyond our self-image to the underlying reality of global consciousness and being.

To further explore Jean’s approach to ”bodywork, I am including here something that Jean said in the July 1991 issue (Number 4) of his wonderful journal “Listening,” in the section “Body Approach” (you can find a compilation of 10 issues of the journal in The Book of Listening):

“The body is an object of our awareness; it is sensed; it takes place in our awareness. The body is in us, but we are not in the body. If we were we could not be aware of it. …”

“When we do the bodywork the sensation is felt and explored in our awareness. There is space between ‘I’ and the sensation. You are no longer stuck to it, the object. The goal of the bodywork is to make us aware of this space between the ‘I’ and the object, a space that is habitually cramped. This space between the object and ‘I’ is still in duality, but there comes a moment when the space is felt as our real nature, we abide in it, and the object, the sensation, appears in it.”

25 Comments leave one →
  1. August 22, 2009 8:38 am

    Jean Klein was indeed a veritable exponent of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy. However, from personal, direct experience it would appear that Advaita Vedanta clings to a dualistic approach as it assumes that there exists three ‘things’, i.e. the body, the gap between body and self and self. The witness is a creation of thought as much as the so-called ‘small self’ or ‘jiva’ is a creation of thought. On direct present evidence there is never a distinction to be made between body and the observing self to be able to agree with Jean Klein that the body is fundamentally an object of consciousness. This is never true, but as an assumption within thought. As long as thought is mistaken for truth, then of course, this assumption will remain true. But when thought is no longer regarded as truth, then it is clear that experientially the body is never an object of consciousness. The truth of the matter is that when the body arises, awareness arises, and when awareness arises, the body, and all aspects of present experience arises. Stated slightly differently, one could say: without content there is no awareness (consciousness) and without consciousness (awareness) there is no content. The ‘two’ are always a joint-phenomenon of awareness/content. And as this is true, there never existed a gap between the ‘observer’ and the ‘observed’. This gap to which Lean Klein refers is as much a construct of thought as is the presumption that the observing ‘I’ is separate from its object. It is dualistic thinking which underlies this philosophical argument. The entire concept of body, consciousness and space between them, is created and sustained by thought. It is not founded on direct personal experience.
    Hope this makes sense.
    For those interested, please visit my website http://www.spiritualhumanism.co.za There are some articles readers may find of interest.

  2. August 22, 2009 10:17 am

    Fortunately, I don’t mistake thought for truth. And so, although I publish your thoughts quite freely (even including your promotional link to your book and articles), I am unable, after several readings, to attribute much significance to them, especially since you finish your criticism of the “concept of body, consciousness and the space between them…” (related to Jean Klein’s teachings) with the statement that “It is not founded on direct personal experience.” While the “It” is more than a bit ambiguous here, your intent to say what Jean did or did not personally experience (or perhaps you were just talking about your own experience? If so, I apologize for the rest of my statement.) shows great presumption, great arrogance. More could be said, of course, but there is little point.

  3. August 23, 2009 12:18 am

    Thanks, Dennis, for your honest and passionate reply.

    My sense of Advaita Vedanta is that is nothing but another school of thought within the Vedantic tradition. Shankara, not unlike many commentators of on the original Vedic literature, was a philosopher who attempted to bridge the schism between the so-called little self and Atman. he invented the philosophy that looked at correctly, jiva = Atman. Yet, he did not address the problem of the world as illusion and Atman as the only reality. To my understanding, this is fundamental Advaita Vedanta philosophy and presents a dualistic view. It still regards Brahman as real and the world as unreal. My personal experience has led me to say the things I do about this philosophy and anyone who bases their teaching on it. It is philosophy, and philosophy is words, and words is thought.
    It is pity that you take the personal attack approach rather than discuss the content of what I am trying to share. I hold nothing as sacred or beyond re-investigation – including Advaita Vedanta. If you care to discuss with me from your own personal experience where you disagree from my position on the unity between consciousness and its content and that the one can never be separated (on present evidence) from the other, I would be delighted. Perhaps you may be able to point out where I am going off the mark and where you and Jean Klein are right in stating that there is a gap between the observer and the observed, and how you propose this presumed ‘gap’ could ‘be felt as our real nature’.
    From my insight, the gap will disappear when the presumption of separation between the observer and the observed disappears. What remains is our real nature. Only what is. The gap can never become our real nature as it is still part of the false notion of separation. Observer, observed and the gap between them exist together. All three are created and sustained by thought. If one of them is regarded as not thought, then the one making this statement mistakes thought for reality.

    Your kind discussion will be much appreciated.

  4. August 23, 2009 9:17 am

    Dear Moller,

    You write beautifully and well about some of the philosophical aspects of Advaita. And some 45 years ago (I was a philosophy of religion major) I would have entered into a lengthy exchange with you about the subtleties of Shankara and Advaita. Today I have absolutely no interest in such an exchange. My real interest is what impact this teaching–indeed any teaching or practice–has on awakening to the truth, the wholeness that we are, insofar as we can actually be and experience it without illusion. I have tried in several places to recount some of my own experiences in this regard, but thought, however logical or resilient, cannot describe these experiences fully, since many other dimensions of ourselves besides thought are at work.

    That said, my biggest issue with your first post was your statement in reference to Jean Klein that “The entire concept of body, consciousness and space between them, is created and sustained by thought. It is not founded on direct personal experience.” I called that statement presumptuous and arrogant, since, of course, you and I have no idea what Jean Klein actually experienced. (For that matter, you have no idea what I have experienced directly and vice versa.) And, without attacking you personally, I would still say the same thing about your statement.

    Another issue is that if you actually read Jean Klein’s books you will see that he does not maintain that there is an ultimate gap between the observer and the observed. Not at all! What I referenced in my book review was simply with regard to the bodywork he offered and the kinds of openings that can occur that can lead one to deeper experiences of one’s real nature. I quoted Jean as saying: “This space between the object and ‘I’ is still in duality, but there comes a moment when the space is felt as our real nature, we abide in it, and the object, the sensation, appears in it.” That quote should have given you the indication that Jean’s teachings do not promote duality, which they don’t. I recommend you read some of his books. A good one is “The Book of Listening,” which I referenced in the review. In one of the gatherings recounted in this book, Jean said: “In listening to oneself there is no outside and inside. It is silence, presence. In this silence-presence there is a total absence of oneself as being somebody.” There is certainly no duality in this living experience.

    I tend to agree with you in general that many people discussing the Advaita approach and so-called non-dualism do mistake thought for reality. I worked with Jean for several years, however, and he did not. One aspect of Jean that is difficult (at least for me) to talk about but well worth pointing out is the great sense of love and non-judgment that we all felt in his presence. Yes, I believe with you that nothing is “beyond re-investigation.” But a real investigation requires more than thought, and it certainly cannot be based on the presumption that we know what someone else has or has not experienced.

  5. August 26, 2009 10:14 pm

    Hi Dennis,

    If I may interrvene in this conversation, it seems that apparent contradictions often originate from statements taken out of context. Jean Klein never meant for the world to be an illusion pure and simple, for the world as an experience is undeniable. What he meant was that a world existing independently from consciousness is an illusion. But as an expression of reality, or consciouness, the world is real. Jean Klein’s teachings are at the crossroads of Advaita and Tantrism (Kashmiri Shaivism) and the latter tradition emphasizes the reality of the world, and the inrinsic oneness between the world and consciousness, between Shakti and Shiva.

    JK would often say that the distinction between subject and object used in the teachings was a pedagogical tool: if the disciple believes to be a separate perceiver, provisionnally assuming that to be true, he is told that just as he is the witness of the world, he is the witness of his feelings and of its thoughts. This understanding liberates thimfrom his identification with the body-mind, and opens the possibility for consciousness to be universal rather than personal. But this distinction has to be eventually transcended: the subject and its object are one, there is no “gap”.

    Now there is a gap of a different nature , the one Jean is referring to when he says: “but there comes a moment when the space is felt as our real nature, we abide in it, and the object, the sensation, appears in it.” This space, this gap, is no longer between subject and object. At that point the conceptual subject has vanished. All objects appear for what they are: an expression of the space/awareness/reality in which they appear and of which they are made, just as waves are nothing else than the water they are made of. The problem we are facing here is that for most of us, the experience of pure Presence without objects is not recognized, and when we speak of it, our words are checked against the sole touchstone of phenomenal experience and miss the mark. All we can hope for is for the listener to be open to the possibility of a different type of experience, a non phenomenal, non objective form of knowledge, the mode of knowledge through which we know that there is consciousness, reality, the kind of knowledge through which we experience happiness. If this openness is there, the experience will sooner or later follow, an experience which is not a thought or a perception, but rather something like the perfume of love, peace and happiness that you and I felt in Jean’s presence.

    Dear Dennis, it was sweet hearing from you on the web after all these years.

    My warmest regards to Moller and to you,

    Francis Lucille

    • August 26, 2009 10:29 pm

      Hello Francis,

      It is great to hear from you! I remember well our lovely walks and talks at various retreats with Jean.

      Thanks for taking part in this conversation.

      If you ever get to the Phoenix/Scottsdale AZ area, please let me know.

      With warmest regards,

      Dennis

  6. August 27, 2009 6:54 am

    Dear Francis,

    I have so much about you here in far away South Africa from someone Ii used to correspond with in US, Greg Goode. So, I am delighted to read your input in this conversation. I must thank you for your honest, intelligent and thoughtful reply. You make the whole thing considerably clearer and places Jean’s position in excellent perspective.

    >>If I may interrvene in this conversation, it seems that apparent contradictions often originate from statements taken out of context. >>

    (M) Yes, happens very easily. Especially if one finds just a short snippet of information which appears to say something that might contradict an overall teaching.

    >>Jean Klein never meant for the world to be an illusion pure and simple, for the world as an experience is undeniable.>>

    (M) Yes. This is also my experience. This is why I am critical of Shankara believing that the world is unreal and only consciousness/Self/ Brahman is real.

    >>What he meant was that a world existing independently from consciousness is an illusion. >>

    (M) Yes. This may be saying the same I was trying to suggest when I pointed out that the content of consciousness and consciousness is always a joint phenomenon. Present experience is ‘what is’ and what is is awareness/content. On present experience, and therefore present evidence, these cannot be separated. The content of awareness and the awareness of content is a non-dual event. At least in my more lucid moments, this seems true.

    >>But as an expression of reality, or consciouness, the world is real. Jean Klein’s teachings are at the crossroads of Advaita and Tantrism (Kashmiri Shaivism) and the latter tradition emphasizes the reality of the world, and the inrinsic oneness between the world and consciousness, between Shakti and Shiva.>.

    (M) Yes. Without bringing in the traditions, and looking at personal experience, this seems to be absolutely true.

    >>JK would often say that the distinction between subject and object used in the teachings was a pedagogical tool: if the disciple believes to be a separate perceiver, provisionnally assuming that to be true, he is told that just as he is the witness of the world, he is the witness of his feelings and of its thoughts. This understanding liberates thimfrom his identification with the body-mind,>>

    (M) I agree this a very clever device to create space in which to view internal mental, emotional and psychological complexities. This is a kind of Hinayana approach, and certainly has merit. In my book, I describe a similar kind of practice but I take the matter considerably deeper than just giving the reader this useful psychological device to work with. But as starting point, you are right, it could help breaking the identification between the person and their psychological stuff.

    >> and opens the possibility for consciousness to be universal rather than personal, But this distinction has to be eventually transcended: the subject and its object are one, there is no “gap”.>>

    (M) Yes. This is why I mentioned before that the gap between the observer and the observed cannot be seen as the reality of one’s true nature. Perhaps Jean used an unfortunate analogy here. Because, as I indicated, the gap which is experienced between the presumed observer and the observed, is false, and cannot become the thing Jean may be referring to. For this to be the subject has to disappear and with the subject, the object, as objectively existeing, also disappears. Then the gap also falls away. And what remains, when the subject is no more, is what i refer to as ‘what is’. I.e., non-dual present arising.

    >>Now there is a gap of a different nature , the one Jean is referring to when he says: “but there comes a moment when the space is felt as our real nature, we abide in it, and the object, the sensation, appears in it.” This space, this gap, is no longer between subject and object. At that point the conceptual subject has vanished. >>

    (M) Yes, As I said, when the subject vanishes, the object as object also falls away.

    >>All objects appear for what they are: an expression of the space/awareness/reality in which they appear and of which they are made, just as waves are nothing else than the water they are made of. >>

    (M) Here we seem to back by the traditional approach that everything is a modification of consciousness/awareness. My problem with this analogy is that it inevitably places the water in a superior position to that of the waves. Waves may come and go, but the water remains. Things appear within consciousness, but when they disappears, consciousness remains. To my insight this is still a dualistic position. This is why I am critical of any notion of what we may call the ‘substance’ principle of reality: everything is a modification or expression of one ultimate substance, called Brahman or Consciousness. Here we are back to the God concept in just a modified form.

    My own inner exploration has not come upon this thing people refer to as consciousness. On present evidence, when the I is not, and the being is deeply attuned to its inner nature, there still remains only ‘what is’. There is the very real sense of being awareness of content of non-dualistic present arising, but no sense or experience that consciousness or awareness could in any way be separated from what is present. I am not unaware of the profound experience of ‘Presence’ as you call it, but this presence is just unadulterated (no-self, non-dual) present arising.
    >>
    The problem we are facing here is that for most of us, the experience of pure Presence without objects is not recognized, and when we speak of it, our words are checked against the sole touchstone of phenomenal experience and miss the mark. >>

    (M) I fully agree. What i am trying to point to, if I consider my own deepest experiences during meditation, is that there is no such experience as pure Presence without content. Do you mean by ‘pure Presence’ perhaps pure Consciousness? Presence for me is the present fact of non-dual arising. In this experience there is no conflict between any form of present arising and the sense of being aware of it. Am I missing something here?

    >>All we can hope for is for the listener to be open to the possibility of a different type of experience, a non phenomenal, non objective>>

    (M) I see no conflict in the non-dual state between phenomena and non-objectivity. In fact, it is the fundamental characteristic of the non-dual state that no phenomenal arising is in conflict with it. Non-duality is not non-form.

    >>form of knowledge, the mode of knowledge through which we know that there is consciousness, reality, the kind of knowledge through which we experience happiness. >.

    (M) Here we again have the notion that reality = consciousness. What does consciousness look like, feel like, taste like. How could it be described as something existing without content, as you seem to indicate? Perhaps I am reading you incorrectly on this one? What is real about consciousness that is not real about its content? Can and does it ever stand on its own?

    >>If this openness is there, the experience will sooner or later follow, >>

    (M)
    Yes. Openness is very important. But to my understanding openness is not only a different way of thinking, as you seem to suggest above (perhaps you mean only right at the beginning?) openness is an actual experience of inner silence.

    >>an experience which is not a thought or a perception, but rather something like the perfume of love, peace and happiness that you and I felt in Jean’s presence.>.

    (M) Yes. This sense of love, peace and happiness is indeed wonderful and very liberating. I am very happy for you and Dennis to have experienced it with JK.

    >>
    My warmest regards to Moller and to you,>.

    (M) And to you, as well. What a delight to be part of this discussion!
    Moller de la Rouviere

    *
    2009 August 26
    Dennis Lewis permalink

    Hello Francis,

    It is great to hear from you! I remember well our lovely walks and talks at various retreats with Jean.

    Thanks for taking part in this conversation.

    If you ever get to the Phoenix/Scottsdale AZ area, please let me know.

    With warmest regards,

    Dennis
    Reply

  7. August 29, 2009 8:24 pm

    What a beautiful and clear dialogue, a meeting in truth. 🙂

    Nice blog, Dennis!

    Chris Hebard

  8. Ingrid permalink
    January 3, 2010 12:38 pm

    Dear Moller, as long as there exists the illusion of a personal identity there is a confusing of the content (the objects) of consciousness with the seer (the ultimate subject)which of course is a distinction in consciousness made by mind. And it is the first and last step in the teaching to become aware and examine these two faculties. For example: Who am I in the field of body sensations? It is a practical approach which allows through not-involvement into the field of sensation s a detachment that allows the sensations to reintegrate into awareness, the seer.Ultimately the discovery is that seer and seen are empty and have allways been one. So as francis pointed out it is a pedagogical device. as I knew jean Klein well I knew he was established in that ultimate consciousness. He radiated silence and love in his presence and that was for me the proof of the words.
    With best wishes Ingrid

    • January 4, 2010 11:15 am

      Dear Ingrid,

      You said:

      >>Dear Moller, as long as there exists the illusion of a personal identity there is a confusing of the content (the objects) of consciousness with the seer (the ultimate subject)which of course is a distinction in consciousness made by mind.>>

      (M)
      Yes. You are absolutely right.

      >>
      And it is the first and last step in the teaching to become aware and examine these two faculties.>>

      (M) Absolutely! Except one could say ‘these two apparent faculties’, as in truth they are not separate and from my understanding and experience can never be separated.

      >>
      For example: Who am I in the field of body sensations? >>

      (M) Yes. This is a most useful approach and I have used it also in my own work as explained in my book: Spirituality Without God’. If one sets out to discover the ‘I’ in relation to the ‘body sensations’, direct experience will soon reveal the impossibility of this exercise. When the mins is absolutely quiet, there is just the direct experience of pure sensation and here no distinction could be made between what is sensed and the awareness of what is sensed. The sensing is the sensed. This is the point I was trying to make in first letter to Dennis. The question ‘ who am I in the field of body sensations’ therefore gets translated into the truth of the non-dual truth of the non-separation between the presumed ‘sensor’ (awareness) and the ‘body sensations’.

      >>It is a practical approach which allows through not-involvement into the field of sensation s a detachment that allows the sensations to reintegrate into awareness, the seer.>.

      (M) Yes. You put it beautifully! I presume you mean by ‘ not-involvement into the field of sensation’, not thinking about the sensations, but having a quiet mind.
      In a way one could say that there is no ‘re-integration’ of the sensations into the awareness. rather in this state of inner quiet it becomes self-evident that the separation between the ‘seer’ and the ‘sensations’ have been an illusion all along, although it seemed quite true while the mind was active with its interpretations of what is actually going on.

      >>Ultimately the discovery is that seer and seen are empty and have allways been one. >>

      (M) Yes. No distinction between seer and seen. It is indeed a discovery, as it has been the case all along but just obscured by the involvement of thought.

      >>So as francis pointed out it is a pedagogical device. as I knew jean Klein well I knew he was established in that ultimate consciousness.>>

      (M) Two points here: 1) I am not sure one can ever vouch for another’s inner states or state of being. 2) Advaita Vedanta mentions this ‘ultimate consciousness’ as though it has some kind of independent existence from content. My sense is that there is never this realization of pure, contentless consciousness. The content of awareness (consciousness) and the awareness of content is always (at least in the human context) one indivisible process. I asked Denis and Francis to describe this thing they refer to as consciousness to me, but I yet have to get their reply. My point on this is clear: consciousness and the content of consciousness is always a joint phenomenon. The one is not to be experienced without the other. For me, pure consciousness is a myth – a creation of thought.

      >> He radiated silence and love in his presence and that was for me the proof of the words.>.

      (M) I have not had the privilege to have met Jean Klein. No doubt, from what you say, and what I have read of his teachings, we must have been an extraordinary human being.
      With best wishes Ingrid

  9. Savannah permalink
    February 3, 2010 8:22 pm

    Thank you for your blog Dennis and this wonderful review in particular. I also appreciate your incisive and insightful additional comments.

    Kindest Regards

    Savannah Considine

    • February 3, 2010 9:57 pm

      Savannah, you’re most welcome.

      And thank you for enjoying the review and finding value in this conversation that I began by posting the review here. We need to talk and feel and sense with one another–and face the profound questions that great masters like Jean Klein awaken in us, and that we can sometimes awaken in each other.

      I hope you will feel free to comment on this blog often!

  10. April 15, 2011 1:59 am

    Hi guys

    Just a quick note to let you know that I found great value in this little conversation, especially the remarks by Francis, which as it happens – were a direct answer to a very specific question or set of questions that only days prior I had expressed a wish to hear the answer to from Francis. Imagine my suprise when, as I searched for an image of the cover of Transmission of the Fame (For artistic purposes) I found myself stumbling upon the very answer I had silently wished for. Gods grace is truly awesome.

    I am happy to have found your web blog Dennis, I am also happy to see that so many are carrying forward the “synthisis” of Advita and Tantra, embodied by teachers like Jean Klein.

    Yours in gratitude

    Dave in Oz

  11. Stephen permalink
    July 7, 2014 5:10 am

    Hello Dennis,

    thank you for this beautiful and interesting review. I came across Jean Kleins Teaching some few years ago and was struck by the simple clarity of his style and the very refined or sensitive air sourrounding his words. Thats quite a pleasant combination, I feel. Very direct and yet very gentle, that always gives me a very tangible sense that this is someone speaking from deep wisdom (…as I am not a native speaker of the English language I find no better words to describe what I mean–but Im sure you know what I mean). I am very glad to have stumbled upon him and regard his teachings a real jewel. However I was quite surprised when I learned that he put such an emphasis on body work.

    Lets say it was the part of his teaching that estranged me a little or to put it a little more mildly, that I had a weaker connection with (while reading his books). I guess its because Im more the intellectual type. But one thing I’ve learned reading Jean Klein is that we are compelled (…required?) to open up to ever new horizons of understanding and must be willing to investigate into ever new aspects or ‘deeper layers’ of truth. Reading Jean Klein I increasingly get the feeling: Although the underlying truth of existence, consciousness, may be all encompassing and universal, there is no end to discovery in regard to its countless expressions.

    Setting out on the ‘spiritual path’ I held (and was actually fed with) so many ideas about stages, roadmaps, signposts and so on. But Jean Klein gives you no hold for all this. In this sense he is so radical, but in another way he is very flexible, totally in tune with the requirements of the moment, as it seems. Perhaps the best term would be: ‘without preconception’, unbias, unconceited by theories and personal opinions. I find that very appealing and impressing, and in my view it carries the flavour of true wisdom. A wisdom springing from a certain type of letting go, of ease…. Now I don’t want to go rambling on, I just wanted to let you know, that your post was much appreciated–and ask you: In this Book ‘Transmission of the Flame’, does one find out more about his body work approach?

    Up to now I have read ‘The Ease of Being’, ‘I AM’ and some excerpts from others of his books (I have just ordered ‘Be Who You Are’). I think, in the end I will just read all his books. The first two mentioned I have read several times already, always finding new aspects to his statements (atleast if I have been patient enough to let some time pass before reading again 🙂 ).

    Regarding Mr. Moller de la Rouviere’s remark related to Jean Klein view of the body and his relation to truth or non-dual presence (….Hi to you!): In my feeling he doesn’t ulitmately seems to make a differentiation between the body and consciousness, just as he doesn’t seem to make a division between consciousness and his content, all phenomena. The more I read of his, the less I see contradictions betweens single statements. I also had few points on which I tended to remaind unclear about reading his teachings (e.g. how do I recognise the artificial stillness of a merely calmed mind and how the true stillness, the natural stillness of ‘beingness’, as Jean calls it …..)

    Influnced by buddhist teachings–which I don’t mean to put down by saying this–I also often feared that some of his statements were to be understood in a moral sense. But soon I realised that his view point was completely free of all moral bias and religious piety. Just to give you an example of how you can get someone wrong even if you have read more of him.

    Anyway. The way I read Jean Klein, he understands the body as a field of sensual experience, that is ultimately not cut of from anything. Thats its ultimately the same as everything else and not different from the experience of consciousness in general. Regarding what you said about the mutual dependence of awareness and its content. Maybe Jean Klein would answer here, that your doubt regarding this finer philosophic is still due to second hand knowledge. After all theorizing about this dualism (or non-dualism) between the body and presence still betrays a hint of the believe that there is a world of objects actually existing separetly from anything. That we were born into it and when we die it will vanish from our sight or we from its sight.

    Then one asked oneself, I have never seen this consciousness apart from what I see here everyday. But thats the whole statement, that this Life or this wolrd is not a place, but a mode of existence, a mode of thinking. Structured by our concepts of ourselves, our bodies, our fellow ‘I’s’ (egos) etc. A theatre play that is empty at its core.

    I have the feeling, that this is the biggest challenge of all: Leaving preconceived ideas behind and opening to the completely unknown. Trusting that we wil be fine if we let go.

    Best wishes to everyone patient enough to make it up to here 😀 …And thx again to you, Dennis!

    Stephen

  12. Stephen permalink
    July 7, 2014 5:16 am

    Of course I am aware, the comments which I refer to in my posting are 5 years old…. so I am sure, the positions stated have modified or moved on since then…… But I still wanted to contribute some thoughts to the conversations.

  13. ajay permalink
    July 18, 2014 11:48 am

    A deep feeling brings the insight that essentially needs no words to explain.
    If at all,then lesser use of words, conveys the real silence.
    Love

    • Stephen permalink
      July 20, 2014 3:38 pm

      Yet in the end, even such statements must turn on themselves. From that point of view even one word is one too much 🙂 I would say, we are where we are and we can do nothing about it except be aware. But you’re right: The tendency to proliferate intellectually or enter verbal discourses stem from the same kind of entanglement in duality as the need to alter society or to seek diversions of any sort: We haven’t yet understood that its all vanity, that it’s all our own play. Good night.

      • July 20, 2014 4:02 pm

        Stephen, though I appreciate your comment, you seem to have forgotten, as you said, that “even one word is one too much.” Saying that “it’s all vanity” doesn’t help anyone, does it?

      • Stephen permalink
        July 20, 2014 4:31 pm

        Hi Dennis

        By that I wasn’t addressing ajay anymore. On the contrary, it was a self-critique, I’m reflecting my own experience. It’s something that has been crossing my thoughts a lot These days or something I am realising time and again. That all my need to explain, to discuss, to reflect, systemize etc. stem from a kind of entanglement in a conceptual ‘dream world’. And that all this becomes insignificant when I wake up to myself… in the sense of these concepts dissipating temporallily. So in that part I was (at least I think) agreeing with ajay. At the same time my Point, before that, was that you can’t help falling into certain traps, it’s just part and parcel of the way and you can’t help it, only note. So… didn’t mean to be rude. Is vanity such a strong word? I admit openly, I suffer from it once in a while 😉 But to remind you, the statement that ‘even one word is too much’ was from the view point ajay seemlingly upheld, not from my own. I don’t believe in such formulae. You stand where you stand. Where I stand now, I just get disenchanted with all my activities and agendas every now and then and think to my self: It’s all vanity. Good afternoon… since its day time on your side of the globe 🙂 Going to bed now.

  14. Stephen permalink
    July 20, 2014 5:07 pm

    You indicated in another post above that you’ve become somewhat weary of overly intellectual in-depth discussions. But if you would care to elaborate it would interest me (for another time…) to know what you mean exactly when you say my statement doesn’t help anyone. Maybe there’s more to it than met my eye on first reading and it refered to a stance that could enrich my present understanding. I’m sure your comment box is not just for the exchange of niceties, if I may speak so boldly…. *giving-you-a-playful-poke*

    • July 20, 2014 5:28 pm

      Stephen, just referring to “all is vanity.” It’s one of those phrases that doesn’t open up our perspective very much. If it’s all vanity, what’s the point?, especially since saying it is vanity too. I try not to speak in absolutes, since I know from my own life that it’s not all vanity, and that absolutes seldom help our understanding. I appreciate the playful poke.

      • Stephen permalink
        July 21, 2014 4:48 am

        Hi Dennis,

        I get your point. It’s interesting that at some stage one sooner or later Encounters this view that ist better to Refrain from absolutes. So I appreciate that, too. But at this point we have the cat biting its own tail we start spinning roun in circles as every such Statement must sooner or later turn on its self. I guess thats why one grows tired of these kind of discourses sooner or later 😉 Regarding your words ‘it doesn’t help’, whos to say whats helps whom at what stage? Differnent things, different statements, different ways of relating to our experience (…be it verbally or just by being still, as ajay said) suit us at different times. Also Jean Klein said, everything has ist own time. I think it is important to Keep this in mind when discussing, so as to not take every word so damn serious. In the end ist like a painting in the water. In a year we might meet again somewhere online and our respective Outlooks may have completely changed. So, I think it is not about whats the best view point or or intellectual stance (‘Adhere to absolute ideals!’ — ‘No, there are no absolute and they benifit noone!’), but about what’s our present experience. And I would say to that resolves the conflict between the necessity to take on a temporary stand Point and the insight that every stand Point is incomplete and therefore flawed in a certain sense. So ajay say, just Keep still and deepen that Feeling of peace and letting go acompanying the non-dual inkling, I say yes, but don’t make a fuss about being a bit top heavy, it’s ok. So who’s right? You say, it’s not all vanity, my life in the world is full, I say I get disenchanted by certain aims persued compulsively and feel the need to go beyond them.So from my perspektive, at certain moments, I say: Its all vain. It’s play. Maybe soon this Statement turns into: Its all good 😉 So I leave the scene in the ironic awareness that we’ve come back to the starting Point and though I’ve uttered many words I’ve really said nothing. We just all just do as we please or as suits us best. I’m gaining in trust in Jean Kleins Statement that this is enough; that we are guided from within and meet what we require sooner or later. Regards Steph P.S.: I could have said less, but this is a neat possibility to practice my English, it wears off so quickly 😀 Take care.

  15. ajay permalink
    September 10, 2014 12:41 pm

    it is all such a beautiful play, when everyone is so sincere and in love with such a divine being like Jean Klein.. And all have felt and lived the silence within which we see all around us.. love

  16. jytte heger permalink
    January 11, 2016 6:51 am

    to “all of you ”

    After 4 years Jean talked to me the last 2 times without using a sound ! There is only ONE – everything seen and heard is only the ecco of the ONE. All starts with ONE – if you see two – it’s still 2 x ONE.

    love from jytte.

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