Original oneness:
'Being God' thanks to your own humanness.

'Another Characteristic of this Thing is it's fantastic absence of characteristics.
No color, no taste, no form, no size, neither large nor small, neither full nor empty:
without properties, not the least attribute: and above all, without place; nothing to repeat: no eye, no light, no outer,
no point of view. 
Nothing to justify the hurricane of certainty: I SEE!
How can NOTHING see?!
Nothing to justify the hurricane of certainty: I see myself.
How can NOTHING be seen?!
Nothing to justify the hurricane of certainty:
Even more impossible, this negates all the laws!
One is not. One is born, one has a body, one is like this or like that, in the best case one exists.

At sixteen years of age the Frenchman Stephen Jourdain experienced a far-reaching change. He calls it
' the awakening of the inner person to itself'. It was about the 'un-born', that he describes as, 'radical, but natural, free,
 and of such a simplicity and originality that it is impossible to connect it to any ' mystical authority whatsoever'

Only some years later did Jourdain gain some reputation and was asked to share his experiences. He had to invent a new language to do that because he did not want to read the spiritual classic and does not use the language of Buddhism or Vedanta. He preferred to read authors such as Rimbaud, Proust and Henry Miller. According to him these are a better preparation for the western person than the esoteric writings of one or another 'Shri something-or-other'. That explains, the somewhat unusual, but still recognizable use of words. -

Jourdain led an inconspicuous, more or less normal life. He had a family, children, and was a real estate broker in Paris. Later he started a ' bed and breakfast' on Corsica. It was especially in response to the book that Gilles Farcet wrote about him (from which the following text comes) that he became more widely known and a stream of visitors started to arrive.
Finally he gave some lectures and seminars and wrote a few books.

Below, there follow fragments from an interview with Stephen Jourdain conducted by Gilles Farcet. He speaks here about awakening from duality and describes non-duality in his very own way.

Moments of oneness

In everyone's life there are moment that form an exception to the usual quality of perceiving. Quite often, the elementary perception of the split between 'I' and 'the rest' disappears. Undoubtedly that is what many people mean when they speak of a 'melting together of subject and object', an expression that for that matter I do not find to be totally adequate.

Namely, a union between subject and object takes place, but they do not melt together, they do not disappear in an amalgamated magma. What is marvelous about these experiences is that I, without losing my identity, while I really remain what I am, become the table, or the mountain, or the whole landscape nevertheless. And also that remains what it is without any change. A remains A, B remains B, and still A finds itself in the midst of B, and B in the midst of A. It would be a wonder if the two lost their individuality in the moment of melting together.

This is an important point because most of the time it is misunderstood. You might believe according to what you read here and there - that if Jan becomes the tree, the tree as such is annihilated, just as Jan is. But it is not like that at all! Jan remains as Jan existing in his integrity, and the tree remains as a tree, but still there is a growing together. The wonder consists in the melting together on the one hand, and in the maintaining of their identities on the other hand. An annihilated A melting together with and annihilated B is nothing special. The extraordinary is that two totally different entities can literally be connected while each of them maintains itself in its original difference.

Healthy and counterfeit duality

Mostly we feel a more or less definite separation between 'I', and 'not-I'. That seems to be an inborn split between our inner reality and the rest. This split disappears during those 'moments'. It is not about a simple removal of the duality, but about the appearance of a oneness within the duality. We come thus to the most important notion of a healthy, legitimate duality.

I am told that many forms of instruction lay the accent on non-duality. If indeed an unjustified duality were to exist, then there is also a completely justified duality that manifests itself not only in space, but also in time. Ordinarily one rather puts the stress on the spatial duality. Obviously there is something that separates me from the tree. But, there is also something that separates me from what I have been and what I shall be, something that separates me from my death for example.  If you consider it well, a person's life is very important! My death is something that is much realer and more certain for me, than the tree that I have nothing to do with. The duality is there, it manifests itself in space and time. But in space and time it is either healthy or counterfeit.

In my opinion it is a heavy tactical fault to deny the duality without making a distinction between a healthy and a counterfeit duality. You cannot deny the duality, that is the life principle. Certainly the unreal duality that is a product of our thinking needs to be annihilated. But, when the veil that we mostly live behind disappears, whenever this enormous soap bubble burst, what do you find then? You find the world, simply the world. There is actually something like that there!  I am there and the tree is there. Duality is there. And that is healthy, simple and godly!

The 'moments', the sudden abysses of happiness that I lived when I was young, those were 'experiences'.
The thing that I now carry in myself is of a totally different nature. Not only is the word 'experience' no longer applicable, but also in a certain sense it is the denial of that - a sweet counterfeit. That Thing (to be definite I will write it from now with a capital letter) is in no way a glorious adventure that 'flows into' a subject, who above all remains unchanged. It is the subject; it is at the same time the subject in his accession: it is a pure subject, a pure not-thing, that arrives by itself: active with the eagerness belonging to love, without beginning or end; it is a pure subject happening; and it means a fundamental change in the subjective nature, a reconstruction of this nature; completely new and unassailable

The origin

We used to talk about 'our soul', but this term has fallen into discredit and saying 'I have a soul' instead of 'I am a soul' was of course wrong use of the word. Now we might call it our 'spiritual essence'. It is the only source of everything. Our essence lies at the source of what we call the world. By 'world' I do not mean only the external reality, but also my mind, my mind in my body, my body in the world, and all of this in time. To say it differently, everything arises out of the core of our self. Our essence is creative. Originally - that is to say - now, immediately, directly - I am not speaking about a historic origin, but about the origin in this moment - generated by the source in my world. It creates the tangible reality as well as my mind and my body.

As long as we remain there we are in the phase of the creation of the world, thus in the paradisiacal phase of things. Immediately thereafter, and this is where it goes wrong, there is a second creation, because our source is so to speak, double.  In this second creation I am the personal Stephen Jourdain, who is the father of the creation. I claim fatherhood and its fruits, while in the first creation everything bubbles up out of my own depth, but not as something personal, without any personal interference from my side. In any case it is impossible for me to demand its fruits. Here there is no self-claiming by the I.

The second one is the source of the counterfeit world, the pale copy of the reality - inner and outer in which we live. This second source counterfeits everything at one go. This counterfeiting begins immediately with birth, so that we live in a state of permanent hallucination from the very beginning, in the bubbling up stream of our impure source.

Sometime people shove eastern Zen-texts under my nose. Then I have the feeling that they concern precisely what I speak about. Nevertheless it seems to me that this experience is not sufficiently described in these Eastern texts, and that this mountain has another slope, that might be the Christian side, but nothing is more difficult to describe. You might think that one could make a choice, but there is no choice to be made. The gash of the Zen-sword and the personal and human essence are one and the same thing. The lightning of Zen is the human being, is my humanity. You don't enter into God except through the son, through his own humanity. In other words: you are God not in spite of but because of your humanity.

From: Stephen Jourdain en Gilles Farcet: L'Irrévérence de l'éveil
(1992) Uitg. Les Editions du Relié
ISBN: 2-909698-01-7

Appeared also in English with the title:
Radical Awakening - Cutting Through the Conditioned Mind
ISBN: 1-878019-16-3

For more French information: www.stephenjourdain.com