Francis Lucille on Jean Klein

Francis Lucille

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 him from 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 we felt in Jean’s presence.