Beware of the Blank State – Jean Klein

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Rick
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Beware of the Blank State – Jean Klein

Post by Rick » Fri May 25, 2012 4:18 pm

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Question:You said the other day that first one knows the objectified silence and later one comes to real silence which is not within the subject-object relationship. How does one go beyond objectified silence?

JK: By objectified silence you mean an absence of thought, what we call the “blank state”? Yes, an absence of thought is still an object, but you, as the ultimate subject, are the knower of the absence of thought. So you ask how to go beyond any subject-object relationship, how to come to the absence of the absence.

Let us say you are aware of a particular body sensation. You feel your body is warm or cold, or you feel a certain emotional state. The moment you are conscious of a perception, you are automatically outside it, meaning there is no longer any involvement or identification with the perceived. In this sense of non-involvement or “letting-be,” you may become aware of silence. But this blank state, this absence of thought, is still an object of which you are aware.

So the question may arise, “To whom does this blank state belong?” When this question comes up, there is a stop. And there comes a spontaneous switch-over from accenting the blank state, the object, to accenting the perceiver, the subject. And as the perceiver is without an image, as the perceiver can never be perceived, you find nothing to refer to. You are totally open, open for a response. You are now at the threshold of being.

The accent is on awareness itself and the object, the blank state dissolves into awareness. There is no longer a subject, an observer, and an object, the state observed.

For this to happen there must be unqualified observation, an observation free from all reaction. Up to now you know only observation of something. But you may come to really live an observation without anything observed. Then what we call the observer loses its attribute as observer, and is pure being.

We are very accustomed to maintain this relationship of subject-object; observer and things observed. But we must accept the possibility that there can be observation without any observed object, that there is an alert stillness without any perception. You may first come to this in meditation.

In meditation you are first aware of something, of your thoughts, your emotions, or of your body. You may notice you are not really in touch with your body, that, instead, you are contacting a projection, a schema inscribed in your mind. And you also note that you are the producer of this schema. With this insight, production stops.

We can speak of meditation as a moment of non-interference wherein we see how attached we are to producing sensations just to give the “I” a foothold. In granting the perception full expression, the body takes itself in charge. It reveals the conditioning, it tells you its real nature. In other words, you give it the opportunity to be a body because previously it was a defense, a habit. And you’ll observe a new body sensation you have never know before, the original perception of your body.

The body, like every object, is an expression of awareness in space-time. So in the moment free from interference, all energy previously localized in a body sensation returns to its origin, dissolves back into awareness, and there is only stillness.

-Jean Klein

From The Ease of Being, pages 64-65
Daily life IS spiritual exercise.

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Re: Beware of the Blank State – Jean Klein

Post by ashley72 » Sat May 26, 2012 12:13 am

And as the perceiver is without an image, as the perceiver can never be perceived, you find nothing to refer to. You are totally open, open for a response. You are now at the threshold of being.
Thanks for sharing. I particular like this passage.

Our attention is the perceiver.... Which can never be perceived (objectified) because it is not an object and has no form. But Attention can still attend to itself. :wink:

Where attention goes energy flows... If attention goes to itself... It becomes free and open.... Because there is no form for it to outline and define... It expands and is open for new content to arise.

When you attend to any part of the body, bodily sensations start to be felt (resonate). This is very evident in any meditation practice.

When he say's a moment free from "object" interference, he is saying our attention "negates all objects". If a part of the body (object) doesn't have your attention... It won't resonate (bodily sensation). Because energy is not flowing to define & separate that body part for interference or resonance to occur.... Meta-attention - where attention is attending to itself - Real Stillness occurs.

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Re: Beware of the Blank State – Jean Klein

Post by nowist prime » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:38 pm

thanks a bunch rick for the post. this question is to either rick or ashley

can you explain the idea of attention looking back into itself? please give me as many examples so that i can get this concept past my brain.

thanks

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Re: Beware of the Blank State – Jean Klein

Post by Sighclone » Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:41 am

can you explain the idea of attention looking back into itself? please give me as many examples so that i can get this concept past my brain.
JK worries around about the blank state on p.78 of "I Am" also. He says the mind will get stuck there -- that the "blank state" is the ultimate object.

I say "fine." So the mind gets stuck. One of the many benefits of meditation is to quiet the mind. In this example it gets stuck trying to analyze something it cannot penetrate. The mind is the wrong tool for "getting this concept past my brain." There are no examples which will do it.

And that is no problem. Much of the discussion in many spiritual traditions mentions that awakening is a "trans-mental" experience. It is hard to imagine something that the mind cannot classify. The mind is a fine tool for dealing with the relative world in remarkably and beautifully complex ways. But it will not awaken you. In fact, after a big kensho, the mind has to adapt to its new role....second fiddle. Strong second fiddle, but still, second chair. After a few months, it adapts.

Also missing so far, but mentioned in "I Am" on the same page is grace. Grace arrives...from somewhere...it's a mystery. It does "cometh from afar," much like the mystery and delight of synchronicity. Resolving paradoxes like "self, no-self and true self" or "form is emptiness, emptiness is form" or "what is the sound of one hand clapping?" are tail-chasing exercises. But there is nothing wrong with tail chasing...finally the mind gives up. And in that moment, another portal opens. Be there.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Beware of the Blank State – Jean Klein

Post by Rick » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:26 pm

Sighclone wrote:
can you explain the idea of attention looking back into itself? please give me as many examples so that i can get this concept past my brain.
JK worries around about the blank state on p.78 of "I Am" also. He says the mind will get stuck there -- that the "blank state" is the ultimate object.

I say "fine." So the mind gets stuck. One of the many benefits of meditation is to quiet the mind. In this example it gets stuck trying to analyze something it cannot penetrate. The mind is the wrong tool for "getting this concept past my brain." There are no examples which will do it.

And that is no problem. Much of the discussion in many spiritual traditions mentions that awakening is a "trans-mental" experience. It is hard to imagine something that the mind cannot classify. The mind is a fine tool for dealing with the relative world in remarkably and beautifully complex ways. But it will not awaken you. In fact, after a big kensho, the mind has to adapt to its new role....second fiddle. Strong second fiddle, but still, second chair. After a few months, it adapts.

Also missing so far, but mentioned in "I Am" on the same page is grace. Grace arrives...from somewhere...it's a mystery. It does "cometh from afar," much like the mystery and delight of synchronicity. Resolving paradoxes like "self, no-self and true self" or "form is emptiness, emptiness is form" or "what is the sound of one hand clapping?" are tail-chasing exercises. But there is nothing wrong with tail chasing...finally the mind gives up. And in that moment, another portal opens. Be there.

Andy
That about sums it up.
Daily life IS spiritual exercise.

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Re: Beware of the Blank State – Jean Klein

Post by Sighclone » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:58 pm

The accent is on awareness itself and the object, the blank state dissolves into awareness. There is no longer a subject, an observer, and an object, the state observed.

For this to happen there must be unqualified observation, an observation free from all reaction. Up to now you know only observation of something. But you may come to really live an observation without anything observed. Then what we call the observer loses its attribute as observer, and is pure being.

We are very accustomed to maintain this relationship of subject-object; observer and things observed. But we must accept the possibility that there can be observation without any observed object, that there is an alert stillness without any perception. You may first come to this in meditation.
JK is writing about an experience in consciousness, first discovered in meditation. He gets there through a logical process involving subject, object, etc. And I like his analysis, especially the result, "pure being."

There is a parallel observation: he has reached a pointer from an experience we can have. The importance of the point he has reached is emphasized by the answer to a fundamental question: "What do you know for sure?" The basic answer to that is: "I am aware." Or in nondual-speak: "There is awareness here." That is at once trivial and obvious but also profound. Just awareness. Pure being. That is something known to a nine-year-old. And to someone who has never heard of nonduality or Hinduism or Buddhism or Eckhart Tolle.

Much of what ET and other writers are suggesting is that the beginning (“I am aware”) is also the end of the search (“Pure awareness is all there is.” “Unity Consciousness is the end of the path/no path.”) Everything else is part of the relative world, including our identification with our “separate inside selves” as “Andy” or “Your Name,” and egoic aspirations, family, hiking, eating, laughing, loving, service, war, famine and bananas. ETs great discovery was a “falling through” all the manifestations into pure Being. It took him several years to re-integrate that experience into the rest of his egoic life as “a person.” He always points away from personhood. From the “false self” of egoic identity. And that is the really difficult leap. Especially for young people (he said he could not have made it before age 30.)

Peter Fenner says of this:

“One of the most delightful paradoxes is that at the end of the nondual path we realize that we haven't travelled any distance -- that no path has been traversed and that we haven't attained "anything." But we also realize that if we hadn't believed that there was a path and made the effort we have made, we wouldn't have arrived at the point we are at. Even though we realize that our struggle and commitment has been pointless, in the absence of this effort we would still be drifting in the illusion that there actually is somewhere to go and something to achieve. Without doing what we didn't need to do, we wouldn't realize that we didn't need to do it. “

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Beware of the Blank State – Jean Klein

Post by Rick » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:27 pm

Sighclone wrote:
Peter Fenner says of this:

“One of the most delightful paradoxes is that at the end of the nondual path we realize that we haven't travelled any distance -- that no path has been traversed and that we haven't attained "anything." But we also realize that if we hadn't believed that there was a path and made the effort we have made, we wouldn't have arrived at the point we are at. Even though we realize that our struggle and commitment has been pointless, in the absence of this effort we would still be drifting in the illusion that there actually is somewhere to go and something to achieve. Without doing what we didn't need to do, we wouldn't realize that we didn't need to do it. “
Yes, and it is only through Grace that this is revealed to be so. Like the man wearing glasses on his nose who hunts for them everywhere while looking through them. He laughs when it becomes obvious.

When I read JK, Tolle and certain others, I sometimes marvel at the labor of Love, the near thankless effort they expend in trying to reach others and never seeming to tire. They themselves are only able to speak as they do, with the authority they have, because of a sudden, unexpected encounter with Grace that radically shifted their perspective out of the mind and into Presence, usually followed by a certain amount of time to become established therein. Perhaps there is something about trying to learn mentally/intellectually what they teacher is saying that precipitates the exhaustion/stillness of mind Andy spoke of early, making an opening for Grace. I wonder.
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Re: Beware of the Blank State – Jean Klein

Post by Sighclone » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:26 pm

I haven't been very active lately here - maybe that will change. And in my absence, I had forgotten several personalities, yours included, Rick...so I looked through your posts. Always clear, always respectful, always well presented. Thanks again for joining, and for being a welcoming member as well.

I am a jnani. By that I mean I like to think. I grow from knowledge. So my kensho, nearly five years ago now, was deeply impressive to me because it was nonmental, and very convicting. But within hours, my brave little mind had to go searching, and I ended up here. A few months and 200 books later, I had found a soft cushion for the second chair, the new seat for my monkey mind. And I am not alone -- I know many scholars who have had to "back and fill" to wrap their mental arms around the simple value of the "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind." Peter Fenner is one. So is Gary Weber, and Greg Goode. Others like Gina Lake and Chuck Hillig, Jack Kornfield, and often Nisargadatta listen to and speak to the heart. I think that convictions of the heart are more final and permanent than convictions of the mind. Home is felt in the heart, and that was true of my "big experience."

I think our favorite, tireless writers are moved by a joint interplay between "love for all things" (the primary motivator for action after some threshhold of awakening) and the confidence and skill they had acquired as a communicator as a "person in form." The result is often splendid.

I do not believe that concepts (particularly concepts like "awakening" or "enlightenment") serve much beyond their ability to become a pointer. (Your example of the man searching for the glasses on his nose...) In fact, the word concepts in Zen koans serve to disengage the mind...allowing a deeper sense of Being to take over.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Beware of the Blank State – Jean Klein

Post by Rick » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:50 am

Sighclone wrote:I haven't been very active lately here - maybe that will change. And in my absence, I had forgotten several personalities, yours included, Rick...so I looked through your posts. Always clear, always respectful, always well presented. Thanks again for joining, and for being a welcoming member as well.

I am a jnani. By that I mean I like to think. I grow from knowledge. So my kensho, nearly five years ago now, was deeply impressive to me because it was nonmental, and very convicting. But within hours, my brave little mind had to go searching, and I ended up here. A few months and 200 books later, I had found a soft cushion for the second chair, the new seat for my monkey mind. And I am not alone -- I know many scholars who have had to "back and fill" to wrap their mental arms around the simple value of the "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind." Peter Fenner is one. So is Gary Weber, and Greg Goode. Others like Gina Lake and Chuck Hillig, Jack Kornfield, and often Nisargadatta listen to and speak to the heart. I think that convictions of the heart are more final and permanent than convictions of the mind. Home is felt in the heart, and that was true of my "big experience."

I think our favorite, tireless writers are moved by a joint interplay between "love for all things" (the primary motivator for action after some threshhold of awakening) and the confidence and skill they had acquired as a communicator as a "person in form." The result is often splendid.

I do not believe that concepts (particularly concepts like "awakening" or "enlightenment") serve much beyond their ability to become a pointer. (Your example of the man searching for the glasses on his nose...) In fact, the word concepts in Zen koans serve to disengage the mind...allowing a deeper sense of Being to take over.

Andy
Thank you for the kind words Andy.

I kinda like what you said about the heart and mind. Not long after I found this place over a year ago I made a post by Osho that speaks in an interesting way about the mind and heart using Buddha and Jesus as examples. You can find it here The Intelligent Buddha - The Simplistic Jesus

About the eyeglasses on the nose. Allow me to elaborate a little. If you ask a child if he exists he might say "Of course I do, don't be silly". Ask him how he knows that he exists and he will likely say "Because I know, silly". And he does know. As I got older I forget how to have that simple child-like knowing. The world conspired to insure I would forget. Later, when life got hard and I needed answers, I looked for a God out there, but did not find one. Later still I meditated to find God within. One day, many years later, quite accidently, I suddenly recognized my actual Being-ness, my Presence here in existence, my Is-ness, the gift of Consciousness that knows that I AM, and I laughed/cried out loud upon realizing that what I was looking for had been here all along. Later on I would realize that our individual Presence is overlooked by us with grownup minds precisely because Presence can not be made into an object the mind can see. It is the very thing that sees and gives existence to everything else, mind included. To know it, is to feel it as who you are. Until we realize this for ourselves, we are like a man searching for his glasses while the glasses are on his nose. The thing he looks for is what he is looking through to find what he doesn't yet know is already there.
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Re: Beware of the Blank State – Jean Klein

Post by Sighclone » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:45 am

Of course, and a fine example that is. On re-reading my post, I see that it sounded critical...how silly of me, because, as a student of language, I love verbal pointers. And surely words can touch the human heart...particularly words written by poets and lyricists. Moreover (lecturing myself!), that was my little point about JK and "what we really know for sure": it is right here "just this." But unseen as how vital it is...just taken for granted. The awareness of this, and just the awareness itself. Always present but not recognized for its power and beauty. The Zen people have a phrase I like: "Suchness."

What is common among those here who have begun to fully awaken is a persistent thread of compassion. At first, I was far from that, challenging every newbie, even getting my wings clipped by Eric for a couple of months! I now find myself reading posts and then pausing, recalling an impulse to jump in and hack about with a sharp tongue....recalling that impulse and letting it pass as another subroutine in the egoic autopilot which is now subject to higher authority.

Back to your earlier comment about the dedication of the teachers. Someone once asked Ramana Maharshi why he never travelled. He said, "I might not be here when someone needed me." Some do withdraw and decline interviews, but that seems rare. So Rick...why have you contributed over 400 posts? (That is a lot, you know. :) )

I really enjoyed your first post about the synchronicity of finding the stick and then meeting the dogs. Recognizing that event was a clue for us about you. You may decline to answer, of course, no problem.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Beware of the Blank State – Jean Klein

Post by Rick » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:46 pm

Sighclone wrote:
Back to your earlier comment about the dedication of the teachers. Someone once asked Ramana Maharshi why he never travelled. He said, "I might not be here when someone needed me." Some do withdraw and decline interviews, but that seems rare. So Rick...why have you contributed over 400 posts? (That is a lot, you know. :) )

I really enjoyed your first post about the synchronicity of finding the stick and then meeting the dogs. Recognizing that event was a clue for us about you. You may decline to answer, of course, no problem.
I thought about this question all night and still this morning the only answer I can give you is that it is in my DNA to share what I learn, understand what I don't and to be of use where I can.

Glad you liked the dog story. My hope in posting such stories is that it would inspire others to live in the Now as often as they can, and recognize that there is great power and protection afforded one in doing so.

Thank you for asking.
Daily life IS spiritual exercise.

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Re: Beware of the Blank State – Jean Klein

Post by Sighclone » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:30 pm

I thought about this question all night and still this morning the only answer I can give you is that it is in my DNA to share what I learn, understand what I don't and to be of use where I can.
In this forum our only method of communication is the written word. That means there is no "tone of voice" and no "body language" which have been show to contain 80% of the message. Some of us are more skilled at the use of this limited medium than others. ET surely has a special skill, even in English, his second language. Here, our older comments are present to remind us of the stages of our progress - it's amusing to look back on some of my early comments, and those of others. I've read several of your posts and am struck by three things: 1) you are able to confront without insulting, and 2) you often call on other teachers, quoting them directly, and 3) you are modest and self-effacing. Thanks again for joining!

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Beware of the Blank State – Jean Klein

Post by Rick » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:18 pm

Sighclone wrote:
I thought about this question all night and still this morning the only answer I can give you is that it is in my DNA to share what I learn, understand what I don't and to be of use where I can.
In this forum our only method of communication is the written word. That means there is no "tone of voice" and no "body language" which have been show to contain 80% of the message. Some of us are more skilled at the use of this limited medium than others. ET surely has a special skill, even in English, his second language. Here, our older comments are present to remind us of the stages of our progress - it's amusing to look back on some of my early comments, and those of others. I've read several of your posts and am struck by three things: 1) you are able to confront without insulting, and 2) you often call on other teachers, quoting them directly, and 3) you are modest and self-effacing. Thanks again for joining!

Andy
Forgive me if I don't know what to say but thank you, and I look forward to getting to know you as well.
Daily life IS spiritual exercise.

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