We have to go to the end of thinking

Jean KleinJean Klein

The longing to search for life in many directions, to discover your true being, comes from an inner urge to find the truth, the inner urge to discover yourself. If you really seriously search in all directions you become exhausted and speaking psychologically, bankrupt. You feel completely helpless: you are in despair; you no longer know where to turn; all streets are dead ends; your thinking can no longer help.

This crisis is the most important moment in your life. You come into a state of complete not-knowing. You have no hope or expectations anymore. It is a rare occasion in which the thinking is confronted with its limitations, and because it is useless as such, the thinking gives up, then you are open, open for nothing, only open for openness. This openness is the threshold of your true nature.

Remain there in not knowing and you will see what happens. We are accustomed to using thinking and feeling in order to understand, so we have to go to the end of thinking, to the moment of total exhaustion. Said differently, the human mind needs to know its limitations. By means of this a completely relaxed state arises.

Thinking operates in time and space, but what we actually are stands outside of time. Thus time, thought, can never understand what lies beyond time. When thought is exhausted we are on the threshold of our true nature. This threshold is a global perception, free of mental concepts. Intellectual understanding dissolves in silence, and this silence is our true nature. Maybe we have a clear mathematical idea in our thinking, but this understanding is still objective; the mathematical idea has to completely dissolve in being the understanding, which is a global perceiving.

You know moments in your daily life when you are completely absent as a person. You cannot think this absence, you are it. If you consider yourself to be a person, then you make an object of yourself, and as such you are connected as an object with objects. Then you occupy a part of yourself, and a part can only be a part. By seeing only one part nothing else can arise except reactions, and reactions can only create conflict. But if you are free of yourself, free of the idea of being a person, in this absence of yourself, you are actually presence, all-encompassing presence. Then you see the surroundings without reference, out of your totality, out of your all-encompassing oneness. There is no reaction anymore, there is only action. There is no entity in the cosmos. There is only functioning. There is not anyone who functions.

‘I’ as such has no existence; it is just a thought.

Excerpted from ‘Open to the Unknown’, talks in Delphi, Greece in 1990. Jean Klein was a French author, spiritual teacher and philosopher of Advaita Vedanta.  His 106th birth anniversary is being observed on October 19

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