Q.While in India, you found a teacher with whom you studied for a number of years. What is the value of a teacher for the spiritual life?
JEAN KLEIN - A teacher is one who lives free from the idea or image of being somebody. Thereâ€™s only function; thereâ€™s no one who functions. Itâ€™s a loving relationship; a teacher is like a friend.
Q.Why is that important for someone on the spiritual path?
JEAN KLEIN - Because generally the relationship with other people involves asking or demanding â€“ sex, money, psychological or biological security. Then suddenly you meet someone who doesnâ€™t ask for demand anything of you; thereâ€™s only giving.
A true teacher doesnâ€™t take himself for a teacher, and he doesnâ€™t take his pupil for a pupil. When neither one takes himself to be something, there is a coming together, a oneness. And in this oneness, transmission takes place. Otherwise the teacher will remain a teacher through the pupil, and the pupil will always remain a pupil.
When the image of being something is absent, one is completely in the world but not of the world; completely in society, but at the same time free from society. We are truly a creative element when we can be in society in this way.