Krishnamurti's Notebook Part 4 Paris 4th September to 25th September 1961
Coming down from the valleys and high mountains into a big, noisy, dirty town affects the body.* It was a lovely day when we left, through deep valleys, waterfalls and deep woods to a blue lake and wide roads. It was a violent change from the peaceful, isolated place to a town that's noisy night and day, to a hot clammy air. Sitting quietly in the afternoon, looking over the roof-tops, watching the shape of roofs and their chimneys, most unexpectedly, that benediction, that strength, that otherness came with gentle clarity; it filled the room and remained. It is here as this is being written.
5th From the top of an eighth-floor window, the trees along the avenue were becoming yellow, russet and red in the midst of a long line of rich green. From this height the tops of the trees were brilliant in their colour and the roar of the traffic came up through them, somewhat softening the noise. There's only colour, not different colours; there's only love and not different expressions of it; the different categories of love are not love. When love is broken up into fragmentation, as divine and carnal, it ceases to be love. Jealousy is the smoke that smothers the fire, and passion becomes stupid without austerity, but there is no austerity if there is no self-abandonment, which is humility in utter simplicity. Looking down on that mass of colour, with different colours, there's only purity, however much it may be broken up; but impurity however much it may be changed, covered over, resisted, will always remain impure, like violence. Purity is not in conflict with impurity. Impurity can never become pure, any more than violence can become non-violence. Violence simply has to cease.
There are two pigeons who have made their home under the slate roof across the courtyard. The female goes in first and then slowly, with great dignity, the male follows and then for the night they remain there; early this morning they came out, the male first and then the other. They stretched their wings, preened and lay down flat on the cold roof. Soon from nowhere other pigeons came, a dozen of them; they settled around these two, preening, cooing, pushing each other in a friendly way. Then, all of a sudden, they all flew away, except the first two. The sky was overcast, there were heavy clouds, full of light on the horizon and a long streak of blue sky.
Meditation has no beginning and no end; in it there's no achievement and no failure, no gathering and no renunciation; it is a movement without finality and so beyond and above time and space. The experiencing of it is the denying of it, for the experiencer is bound to time and space, memory and recognition. The foundation for true meditation is that passive awareness which is the total freedom from authority and ambition, envy and fear. Meditation has no meaning, no significance whatsoever without this freedom, without self-knowing; as long as there's choice there's no self-knowing. Choice implies conflict which prevents the understanding of what is. Wandering off into some fancy, into some romantic beliefs, is not meditation; the brain must strip itself of every myth, illusion and security and face the reality of their falseness. There's no distraction, everything is in the movement of meditation. The flower is the form, the scent, the colour and the beauty that is the whole of it. Tear it to pieces actually or verbally, then there is no flower, only a remem- brance of what was, which is never the flower. Meditation is the whole flower in its beauty, withering and living.
6th The sun was just beginning to show through the clouds, early in the morning and the daily roar of traffic had not yet begun; it was raining and the sky was dull grey. On the little terrace the rain was beating down and the breeze was fresh. Standing in the shelter, watching a stretch of the river and the autumnal leaves, there came that otherness, like a flash and it remained for a while to be gone again. It's strange how very intense and actual it has become. It was as real as these roof-tops with hundreds of chimneys. In it there is a strange driving strength; because of its purity, it is strong, the strength of innocency which nothing can corrupt. And it was a benediction.
Knowledge is destructive to discovery. Knowledge is always in time, in the past; it can never bring freedom. But knowledge is necessary, to act, to think, and without action existence is not possible. But action however wise, righteous and noble will not open the door to truth. There's no path to truth; it cannot be bought through any action nor through any refinement of thought. Virtue is only order in a disordered world and there must be virtue, which is a movement of non-conflict. But none of these will open the door to that immensity. The totality of consciousness must empty itself of all its knowledge, action and virtue; not empty itself for a purpose, to gain, to realize, to become. It must remain empty though functioning in the everyday world of thought and action. Out of this emptiness, thought and action must come. But this emptiness will not open the door. There must be no door nor any attempt to reach. There must be no centre in this emptiness, for this emptiness has no measurement; it's the centre that measures, weighs, calculates. This emptiness is beyond time and space; it's beyond thought and feeling. It comes as quietly, unobtrusively, as love; it has no beginning and end. It's there unalterable and immeasurable.
7th How important it is for the body to be in one place for a length of time; this constant travelling, change of climate, change of houses does affect the body; it has to adjust itself and during the period of adjustment nothing very "serious" can take place. And then one has to leave again. All this is a trial on the body. But this morning, on waking, early before the sun was up, when dawn had already come, in spite of the body, there was that strength with its intensity. It's curious how the body reacts to it; it has never been lazy, though often tired, but this morning, though the air was cold, it became or rather wanted to be active. Only when the brain is quiet, not asleep or sluggish but sensitive and alert, can the "otherness" come into being. It was altogether unexpected this morning for the body is still adjusting itself to new environment.
The sun came up in a clear sky; you couldn't see it for there were many chimneys in the way but its radiance filled the sky; and the flowers on the little terrace seemed to come to life and their colour became more brilliant and intense. It was a beautiful morning full of light and the sky became a marvellous blue. Meditation included that blue and those flowers; they were part of it; they wound their way through it; they were not a distraction. There's no distraction really, for meditation is not concentration, which is exclusion, a cutting off, a resistance and so a conflict. A meditative mind can concentrate which then is not an exclusion, a resistance, but a concentrated mind cannot meditate. It's curious how all-important meditation becomes; there's no end to it nor is there a beginning to it. It's like a raindrop; in that drop are all the streams, the great rivers, the seas and the waterfalls; that drop nourishes the earth and man; without it, the earth would be a desert. Without meditation the heart becomes a desert, a wasteland. Meditation has its own movement; you can't direct it, shape it or force it, if you do, it ceases to be meditation. This movement ceases if you are merely an observer, if you are the experiencer. Meditation is the movement that destroys the observer, the experiencer; it's a movement that is beyond all symbol, thought and feeling. Its rapidity is not measurable.
But the clouds were covering the sky and there was a battle going on between them and the wind, and the wind was conquering. There was a wide expanse of blue, so blue and the clouds were extravagant, full of light and darkness and those to the north seemed to have forgotten time, but space was theirs. In the park [the Champ de Mars] the ground was covered with autumn leaves and the pavement was full of them. It was a bright, fresh morning and the flowers were splendid in their summer colours. Beyond the huge, tall open tower [the Eiffel Tower], the main attraction, passed a funeral procession, the coffin and the hearse covered with flowers, followed by many cars. Even in death, we want to be important, to our vanity and pretence there is no end. Everyone wants to be somebody or be associated with someone who is somebody. Power and success, little or great, and recognized. Without recognition they have no meaning, recognized by the many or by the one who is dominated. Power is always respected and so is made respectable. Power is always evil, wielded by the politician or by the saint or by the wife over the husband. However evil it is, everyone craves for it, and those who have it want more of it. And that hearse with those gay flowers in the sun seems so far away and even death does not end power, for it continues in another. It's the torch of evil that continues from generation to generation. Few can put it aside, widely and freely, without looking back; they have no reward. Reward is success, the halo of recognition. Not to be recognized, failure long forgotten, being nobody when all striving and conflict has ceased, there comes a blessing which is not of the church nor of the gods of man. Children were calling and playing as the hearse passed by, never even looking at it, absorbed in their game and laughter.
8th Even the stars can be seen in this well-lighted town and there are other sounds than the roar of traffic - the cooing of pigeons and the chirping of sparrows; there are other smells than the monoxide gases - the smell of autumn leaves and the scent of flowers. There were a few stars in the sky and fleecy clouds early this morning and with them came that intense penetration into the depth of the unknown. The brain was still, so still it could hear the faintest noise and being still and so incapable of interfering, there was a movement which began from nowhere and went on, through the brain, into unknown depth where the word lost its meaning. It swept through the brain and went on beyond time and space. One is not describing a fantasy, a dream, an illusion but an actual fact which took place, but what took place is not the word or the description. There was a burning energy, a bursting immediate vitality and with it came this penetrating movement. It was like a tremendous wind, gathering strength and fury as it rushed along, destroying, purifying, leaving a vast emptiness. There was a complete awareness of the whole thing and there was great strength and beauty; not the strength and beauty that are put together but of something that was completely pure and incorruptible. It lasted by the watch ten minutes but it was something incalculable.
The sun arose amidst a glory of clouds, fantastically alive and deep in colour. The roar of the town had not begun yet and the pigeons and sparrows were out. How curiously shallow the brain is; however subtle and deep thought is, it's nevertheless born of shallowness. Thought is bound by time and time is petty; it's this pettiness that perverts "seeing". Seeing is always instantaneous, as understanding, and the brain which is put together by time, prevents and also perverts seeing. Time and thought are inseparable; put an end to one, you put an end to the other. Thought cannot be destroyed by will for will is thought in action. Thought is one thing and the centre from which thought arises is another. Thought is the word and the word is the accumulation of memory, of experience. Without the word is there thought? There's a movement which is not word and it is not of thought. This movement can be described by thought but it is not of thought. This movement comes into being when the brain is still but active, and thought can never search out this movement.
Thought is memory and memory is accumulated responses and so thought is always conditioned however much it may imagine it is free. Thought is mechanical, tied to the centre of its own knowledge. The distance thought covers depends on knowledge and knowledge is always the remains of yesterday, of the movement that's gone. Thought can project itself into the future but it is tied to yesterday. Thought builds its own prison and lives in it, whether it's in the future or in the past, gilded or plain. Thought can never be still, by its very nature it is restless, ever pushing and withdrawing. The machinery of thought is ever in motion, noisily or quietly, on the surface or hidden. It cannot wear itself out. Thought can refine itself, control its wanderings; can choose its own direction and conform to environment.
Thought can not go beyond itself; it may function in narrow or wide fields but it will always be within the limitations of memory and memory is always limited. Memory must die psychologically, inwardly, but function only outwardly. Inwardly, there must be death and outwardly sensitivity to every challenge and response. The inward concern of thought prevents action.
9th To have such a beautiful day in town seems such a waste; there isn't a cloud in the sky, the sun is warm and the pigeons are warming themselves on the roof but the roar of the town goes on without pity. The trees feel the autumnal air and their leaves are turning, slowly and languidly, without care. The streets are crowded with people, always looking at shops, very few at the sky; they see each other as they pass by but they are concerned with themselves, how they look, what impression they give; envy and fear is always there in spite of their make-up, in spite of their polished appearance. The labourers are too tired, heavy and grumbling. And the massed trees against the wall of a museum seem so utterly sufficient to themselves; the river held in by cement and stone seems so utterly indifferent. The pigeons are plentiful, with a strutting dignity of their own. And so a day passed by on the street, in the office. It's a world of monotony and despair, with laughter that soon passes away. In the evening the monuments, the streets, are lit up but there's a vast emptiness and unbearable pain.
There's a yellow leaf on the pavement, just fallen; it's still full of summer and though in death it's still very beautiful; not a part of it is withered, it has still the shape and grace of spring but it's yellow and will wither away by the evening. Early in the morning, when the sun was just showing itself in a clear sky, there was a flash of otherness, with its benediction and the beauty of it remains. It's not that thought has captured it and holds it but it has left its imprint on consciousness. Thought is always fragmentary and what it holds is always partial, as memory. It cannot observe the whole; the part cannot see the whole and the imprint of benediction is non-verbal and non-communicable through words, through any symbol. Thought will always fail in its attempt to discover, to experience that which is beyond time and space. The brain, the machinery of thought can be quiet; the very active brain can be quiet; its machinery can run very slowly. The quietness of the brain, though intensely sensitive, is essential; then only can thought disentangle itself and come to an end, The ending of thought is not death; then only can there be innocency, freshness; a new quality to thought. It's this quality that puts an end to sorrow and despair.
10th It's a morning without a cloud; the sun seems to have banished every cloud from sight. It is peaceful except for the roar of traffic, even though it is Sunday. The pigeons are warming themselves on the zinc roofs and are almost the same colour as the roof. There's not a breath of air, though it's cool and fresh.
There's peace beyond thought and feeling. It's not the peace of the politician nor the priest nor of the one who seeks it. It is not to be sought. What is sought must already be known and what's known is never the real. Peace is not to the believer, to the philosopher who specializes in theory. It is not a reaction, a contrary response to violence. It has no opposite; all opposites must cease, the conflict of duality. There's duality, light and darkness, man and woman and so on but the conflict between the opposites is in no way necessary. Conflict between the opposites arises only when there's need, the compulsion to fulfil, the need for sex, the psychological demand for security. Then only is there conflict between the opposites; the escape from the opposites, attachment and detachment, is the search for peace through church and law. Law can and does give superficial order; the peace that church and temple offer is fancy, a myth to which a confused mind can escape. But this is not peace. The symbol, the word must be destroyed, not destroyed in order to have peace but they must be shattered for they are an impediment to understanding. Peace is not for sale, a commodity of exchange. Conflict, in every form, must cease and then perhaps it is there. There must be total negation, the cessation of demand and need; then only does conflict come to an end. In emptiness there is birth. All the inward structure of resistance and security must die away; then only is there emptiness. Only in this emptiness is there peace whose virtue has no value nor profit.
It was there early in the morning, it came with the sun in a clear, opaque sky; it was a marvellous thing full of beauty, a benediction that asked nothing, no sacrifice, no disciple, no virtue, no midnight hour. It was there in abundance and only an abundant mind and heart could receive it. It was beyond all measure.
11th In the park it was crowded; everywhere there were people, children, nurses, different races, they were talking, shouting, playing and the fountains were going. The head gardener must have very good taste; there were so many flowers and so many colours all mixed together. It was quite spectacular and they had an air of gay festivity. It was a pleasant afternoon and everyone seemed to be out, in their best clothes. Going through the park, crossing a main thoroughfare, there was a quiet street with trees and old houses, well kept; the sun was just going down, setting fire to the clouds and to the river. It promised to be a nice day again tomorrow, and this morning, the early sun caught a few clouds, turning them bright pink and rose. It was a good hour to be quiet, to be meditative. Lethargy and quietness don't go together; to be quiet, there must be intensity and meditation, then it is not a meandering but very active and forceful. Meditation is not a pursuit of thought or idea; it is the essence of all thought, which is to be beyond all thought and feeling. Then it is a movement into the unknown.
Intelligence is not the mere capacity of design, remembrance and communication; it is more than that. One can be very informed and clever at one level of existence and quite dull at other levels. There knowledge, however deep and wide, does not necessarily indicate intelligence. Capacity is not intelligence. Intelligence is sensitive awareness of the totality of life; life with its problems, contradictions, miseries, joys. To be aware of all this, without choice and without being caught by any one of its issues and to flow with the whole of life is intelligence. This intelligence is not the result of influence and environment; it is not the prisoner of either of them and so can understand them and thus be free of them. Consciousness is limited, open or hidden, and its activity, however alert, is confined within the borders of time; intellgence is not. Sensitive awareness, without choice, of the totality of life is intelligence. This intelligence cannot be used for gain and profit, personal or collective. This intelligence is destruction and so the form has no significance and reform then becomes a retrogression. Without destruction all change is modified continuity. Psychological destruction of all that has been, not mere outward change, that is the essence of intelligence. Without this intelligence every action leads to misery and confusion. Sorrow is the denial of this intelligence.
Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge but of self-knowing; without self-knowing there is no intelligence. Self-knowing is not accumulative as knowledge; learning is from moment to moment. It is not an additive process; in the process of gathering, adding, a centre is formed, a centre of knowledge, of experience. In this process, positive or negative, there is no understanding, for as long as there is an intention of gathering or resisting, the movement of thought and feeling are not understood, there is no self-knowing. Without self-knowing there's no intelligence. Self-knowing is active present, not a judgment; all self-judgment implies an accumulation, evaluation from a centre of experience and knowledge. It is this past that prevents the understanding of the active present. In the pursuit of self-knowing there is intelligence.
12th A town is not a pleasant place, however beautiful the town is and this is. The clean river, the open spaces, the flowers, the noise, the dirt and the striking tower, the pigeons and the people, all this and the sky make for a pleasant town but it is not the country, the fields, the woods and the clear air; the country is always beautiful, so far away from all the smoke and the roar of traffic, so far away and there is the earth, so plentiful, so rich. Walking along the river, with the ceaseless roar of traffic, the river seemed to contain all the earth; though it was held by rock and cement, it was vast, it was the waters of every river from the mountains to the plains. It became the colour of the sunset, every colour that the eye had ever seen, so splendid and fleeting. The evening breeze was playing with everything and autumn was touching every leaf. The sky was so close, embracing the earth and there was peace past belief. And night came slowly.
On waking this morning early, when the sun was below the horizon and dawn had begun, meditation yielded to that otherness whose benediction is clarity and strength. It was there last night as one was getting into bed, so unexpectedly, so clearly. One had not been with it for some days, the body was adjusting itself to the ways of the town, and so when it came, there was great intensity and beauty and everything became still; it was filling the room and far beyond the room. There was a certain rigidity, no, a certain immobility of the body, though relaxed. All during the night it must have gone on, for on waking it was there actively present, filling the room and beyond. All description of it is of no significance for the word can never cover the immensity nor the beauty of it. Everything ceases when that is, and strangely the brain with all its responses and activities, finds itself suddenly and voluntarily quiet, without a single response, without a single memory nor is there any recording of what is going on. It is very much alive but utterly quiet. It is too immense for any imagination, which is rather immature and silly anyway. What is actually, is so vital and significant that all imagination and illusion have lost their meaning.
The understanding of need is of great significance. There is the outward need, necessary and essential, food, clothes and shelter; but beyond that is there any other need? Though each one is caught up in the turmoil of inward needs, are they essential? The need for sex, the need to fulfil, the compulsive urge of ambition, envy, greed, are they the way of life? Each one has made them the way of life for thousands of years; society and church respects and honours them greatly. Each one has accepted that way of life or, being so conditioned to that life, goes along with it, struggling feebly against the current, discouraged, seeking escapes. And escapes become more significant than the reality. The psychological needs are a defensive mechanism against something much more significant and real. The need to fulfil, to be important springs from the fear of something which is there but not experienced, known. Fulfilment and self importance, in the name of one's country or party or because of some gratifying belief, are escapes from the fact of one's own nothingness, emptiness, loneliness, of one's own self-isolating activities. The inward needs which seem to have no end multiply, change and continue. This is the source of contradictory and burning desire.
Desire is always there; the objects of desire change, diminish or multiply but it is always there. Controlled, tortured, denied, accepted, suppressed, allowed to run freely or cut off, it is always there, feeble or strong. What is wrong with desire? Why this incessant war against it? It is disturbing, painful, leading to confusion and sorrow but yet it is there, always there, weak or rich. To understand it completely, not to suppress it, not to discipline it out of all recognition is to understand need. Need and desire go together, like fulfilment and frustration. There's no noble or ignoble desire but only desire, ever in conflict within itself. The hermit and the party boss are burning with it, call it by different names but it is there, eating away the heart of things. When there is total understanding of need, the outward and the inner, then desire is not a torture. Then it has quite a different meaning, a significance far beyond the content of thought and it goes beyond feeling, with its emotions, myths and illusions. With the total understanding of need, not the mere quantity or the quality of it, desire then is a flame and not a torture. Without this flame life itself is lost. It is this flame that burns away the pettiness of its object, the frontiers, the fences that have been imposed upon it. Then call it by whatever name you will - love, death, beauty. Then it is there without an end.
13th It was a strange day yesterday. That otherness was there all day yesterday, on the short walk, while resting and very intensely during the talk.** It was persistently there most of the night, and this morning, waking early, after little sleep, it continued. The body is too tired and needs rest. Strangely, the body becomes very quiet, very still, motionless but every inch of it very alive and sensitive.
As far as the eye can see, there are short small chimneys, all without smoke for the weather is very warm; the horizon is far away, uneven, cluttered up; the town seems to stretch far out endlessly. Along the avenue there are trees, waiting for winter, for autumn is slowly beginning already. The sky was silver, polished and bright and the breeze made patterns on the river. Pigeons stirred early in the morning and as the sun made the zinc roofs warm they were there warming themselves. Mind, in which are the brain, thought, feeling and every subtle emotion, fancy and imagination, is an extraordinary thing. All its contents do not make up the mind and yet without them, it is not; it is more than what it contains. Without the mind the contents would not be; they exist because of it. In the total emptiness of the mind, intellect, thought, feeling, all consciousness have their existence. A tree is not the word, nor the leaf, the branch or the roots; the whole of it is the tree and yet it is none of these things.
Mind is that emptiness in which the things of the mind can exist but the things are not the mind. Because of this emptiness time and space come into being. But the brain and the things of the brain cover a whole field of existence; it is occupied with its multiple problems. It cannot capture the nature of the mind, as it functions only in fragmentation and the many fragments do not make the whole. And yet it is occupied with putting together the contradictory fragments to make the whole. The whole can never be gathered and put together.
The activity of memory, knowledge in action, the conflict of opposing desire, the search for freedom are still within the confines of the brain; the brain can refine, enlarge, accumulate its desires but sorrow will go on. There's no ending of sorrow as long as thought is merely a response of memory, of experience. There's a "thinking" born out of the total emptiness of the mind; that emptiness has no centre and so is capable of infinite movement. Creation is born out of this emptiness but it is not the creation of man putting things together. That creation of emptiness is love and death.
Again, it has been a strange day. That otherness has been present wherever one has been, whatever the daily activity. It is as though one's brain was living in it; the brain has been very quiet without going to sleep, sensitive and alert. There's a sense of watching from infinite depth. Though the body is tired, there's a peculiar alertness. A flame that is always burning.
14th It has been raining all night and it is pleasant after many weeks of sun and dust. The earth has been dry, parched and there were cracks; heavy dust covered the leaves and lawns were being watered. In a crowded and dirty city, so many days of sun was unpleasant; the air was heavy and now it has been raining for many hours. Only the pigeons don't like it; they take shelter where they can, depressed and have stopped cooing. The sparrows used to take their bath wherever there was water with the pigeons and now they are hidden away somewhere; they used to come on the terrace, shy and eager but the driving rain has taken over and the earth is wet.
Again, most of the night, that blessing, that otherness was there; though there was sleep, it was there; one felt it on waking, strong, persistent, urgent; it was here, as though it had continued throughout the night. With it, there is always great beauty, not of images, feeling or thought. Beauty is neither thought nor feeling; it has nothing whatsoever to do with emotion or sentiment.
There is fear. Fear is never an actuality; it is either before or after the active present. When there is fear in the active present, is it fear? It is there and there is no escape from it, no evasion possible. There, at that actual moment, there is total attention at the moment of danger, physical or psychological. When there is complete attention there is no fear. But the actual fact of inattention breeds fear; fear arises when there is an avoidance of the fact, a flight; then the very escape itself is fear.
Fear and its many forms, guilt, anxiety, hope, despair, is there in every movement of relationship; it is there in every search for security; it is there in so-called love and worship; it is there in ambition and success; it is there in life and in death; it is there in physical things and in psychological factors. There is fear in so many forms and at all the levels of our consciousness. Defence, resistance and denial spring from fear. Fear of the dark and fear of light; fear of going and fear of coming. Fear begins and ends with the desire to be secure; inward and outward security, with the desire to be certain, to have permanency. The continuity of permanence is sought in every direction, in virtue, in relationship, in action, in experience, in knowledge, in outward and inward things. To find and be secure is the everlasting cry. It is this insistent demand that breeds fear. But is there permanency, outwardly or inwardly? Perhaps in a measure, outwardly there might be, and even that is precarious; wars, revolutions, progress, accident and earthquakes. There must be food, clothes and shelter; that is essential and necessary for all. Though it is sought after, blindly and with reason, is there ever inward certainty, inward continuity, permanency? There is not. The flight from this reality is fear. The incapacity to face this reality breeds every form of hope and despair.
Thought itself is the source of fear. Thought is time; thought of tomorrow is pleasure or pain; if it's pleasurable, thought will pursue it, fearing its end; if it's painful, the very avoidance of it is fear. Both pleasure and pain cause fear. Time as thought and time as feeling bring fear. It is the understanding of thought, the mechanism of memory and experience, that is the ending of fear. Thought is the whole process of consciousness, the open and the hidden; thought is not merely the thing thought upon but the origin of itself. Thought is not merely belief, dogma, idea and reason but the centre from which these arise. This centre is the origin of all fear. But is there the experiencing of fear or is there the awareness of the cause of fear from which thought is taking flight? Physical self-protection is sane, normal and healthy but every other form of self-protection, inwardly, is resistance and it always gathers, builds up strength which is fear. But this inward fear makes outward security a problem of class, prestige, power, and so there is competitive ruthlessness.
When this whole process of thought, time and fear is seen, not as an idea, an intellectual formula, then there is total ending of fear, conscious or hidden. Self-understanding is the awakening and ending of fear.
And when fear ceases, then the power to breed illusion, myth, visions, with their hope and despair also ceases, and then only begins a movement of going beyond consciousness, which is thought and feeling. It is the emptying of the innermost recesses and deep hidden wants and desires. Then when there is this total emptiness, when there is absolutely and literally nothing, no influence, no value, no frontier, no word, then in that complete stillness of time-space, there is that which is unnameable.
15th It was a lovely evening, the sky was clear and in spite of city light, the stars were brilliant; though the tower was flooded with light from all sides, one could see the distant horizon and down below patches of light were on the river; though there was the everlasting roar of traffic, it was a peaceful evening. Meditation crept on one like a wave covering the sands. It was not a meditation which the brain could capture in its net of memory; it was something to which the total brain yielded without any resistance. It was a meditation that went far beyond any formula, method; method and formula and repetition destroy meditation. In its movement it took everything in, the stars, the noise, the quiet and the stretch of water. But there was no meditator; the meditator, the observer must cease for meditation to be. The breaking up of the meditator is also meditation; but when the meditator ceases then there's an altogether different meditation.
It was very early in the morning; Orion was coming up over the horizon and the Pleiades were nearly overhead. The roar of the city had quietened and at that hour there were no lights in any of the windows and there was a pleasant, cool breeze. In complete attention there is no experiencing. In inattention there is; it is this inattention that gathers experience, multiplying memory, building walls of resistance; it is this inattention that builds up the self-centred activities. Inattention is concentration, which is exclusion, a cutting off; concentration knows distraction and the endless conflict of control and discipline. In the state of inattention, every response to any challenge is inadequate; this inadequacy is experience. Experience makes for insensitivity; dulls the mechanism of thought; thickens the walls of memory, and habit, routine, become the norm. Experience, inattention, is not liberating. Inattention is slow decay.
In complete attention there is no experiencing; there's no centre which experiences, nor a periphery within which experience can take place. Attention is not concentration which is narrowing, limiting. Total attention includes, never excludes. Superficiality of attention is inattention; total attention includes the superficial and the hidden, the past and its influence on the present, moving into the future. All consciousness is partial, confined, and total attention includes consciousness, with its limitations and so is able to break down the borders, the limitations. All thought is conditioned and thought cannot uncondition itself. Thought is time and experience; it is essentially the result of non-attention.
What brings about total attention? Not any method nor any system; they bring about a result, promised by them. But total attention is not a result, any more than love is; it cannot be induced, it cannot be brought about by any action. Total attention is the negation of the results of inattention but this negation is not the act of knowing attention. What is false must be denied not because you already know what is true; if you knew what is true the false would not exist. The true is not the opposite of the false; love is not the opposite of hate. Because you know hate, you do not know love. Denial of the false, denial of the things of non-attention is not the outcome of the desire to achieve total attention. Seeing the false as the false and the true as the true and the true in the false is not the result of comparison. To see the false as the false is attention. The false as the false cannot be seen when there is opinion, judgment, evaluation, attachment and so on, which are the result of non-attention. Seeing the whole fabric of non-attention is total attention. An attentive mind is an empty mind.
The purity of the otherness is its immense and impenetrable strength. And it was there with extraordinary stillness this morning.
16th It was a clear bright evening; there wasn't a cloud. It was so lovely that it was surprising that such an evening should happen in a town. The moon was between the arches of the tower and the whole setting seemed so artificial and unreal. The air was so soft and pleasant that it might have been a summer's evening. On the balcony it was very quiet and every thought had subsided and meditation seemed a casual movement, without any direction. But there was, though. It began nowhere and went on into vast, unfathomable emptiness where the essence of everything is. In this emptiness there is an expanding, exploding movement whose very explosion is creation and destruction. Love is the essence of this destruction.
Either we seek through fear or being free from it, we seek without any motive. This search does not spring from discontent; not being satisfied with every form of thought and feeling, seeing their significance, is not discontent. Discontent is so easily satisfied when thought and feeling have found some form of shelter, success, a gratifying position, a belief and so on, only to be roused again when that shelter is attacked, shaken or broken down. With this cycle most of us are familiar, hope and despair. Search, whose motive is discontent, can only lead to some form of illusion, a collective or a private illusion, a prison of many attractions. But there is a seeking without any motive whatsoever; then is it a seeking? Seeking implies, does it not, an objective, an end already known or felt or formulated. If it's formulated it's the calculation of thought, putting together all the things it has known or experienced; to find what is sought after methods and systems are devised. This is not seeking at all; it is merely a desire to gain a gratifying end or merely to escape into some fancy or promise of a theory or belief. This is not seeking. When fear, satisfaction, escape have lost their significance, then is there seeking at all?
If the motive of all search has withered away, discontent and the urge to succeed are dead; is there seeking? If there is no seeking, will consciousness decay, become stagnant? On the contrary, it is this seeking, going from one commitment to another, from one church to another, that weakens that essential energy to understand what is. The "what is" is ever new; it has never been and it will never be. The release of this energy is only possible when every form of search ceases.
It was a cloudless morning, so early and time seemed to have stopped. It was four-thirty but time seemed to have lost its entire meaning. It was as though there was no yesterday or tomorrow or the next moment. Time stood still and life without a shadow went on; life without thought and feeling went on. The body was there on the terrace, the high tower with its flashing warning light was there and the countless chimneys; the brain saw all these but it went no further. Time as measure, and time as thought and feeling had stopped. There was no time; every movement had stopped but there was nothing static. On the contrary there was an extraordinary intensity and sensitivity, a fire that was burning, without heat and colour. Overhead were the Pleiades and lower down towards the east was Orion and the morning star was over the top of the roofs. And with this fire there was joy, bliss. It wasn't that one was joyous but there was ecstasy. There was no identification with it, there couldn't be for time had ceased. That fire could not identify itself with anything nor be in relationship with anything. It was there for time had stopped. And dawn was coming and Orion and the Pleiades faded away and presently the morning star too went its way. 17th It had been a hot, smothering day and even the pigeons were hiding and the air was hot and in a city it was not at all pleasant. It was a cool night and the few stars that were visible were bright, even the city lights couldn't dim them. They were there with amazing intensity.
It was a day of the otherness; it went on quietly all day and at moments it flared up, became very intense and became quiet again, to go on quietly.*** It was there with such intensity that all movement became impossible; one was forced to sit down. On waking in the middle of the night it was there with great force and energy. On the terrace, with the roar of the city not so insistent, every form of meditation became inadequate and unnecessary for it was there in full measure. It's a benediction and everything seems rather silly and infantile. On these occasions, the brain is always very quiet but in no way asleep and the whole of the body becomes motionless. It is a strange affair.
How little one changes. Through some form of compulsion, pressure, outward and inner, one changes, which is really an adjustment. Some influence, a word, a gesture, makes one change the pattern of habit but not very much. Propaganda, a newspaper, an incident does alter, to some extent, the course of life. Fear and reward break down the habit of thought only to reform into another pattern. A new invention, a new ambition, a new belief does bring about certain changes. But all these changes are on the surface, like strong wind on water; they are not fundamental, deep, devastating. All change that comes through motive, is no change at all. Economic, social revolution is a reaction and any change brought about through reaction is not a radical change; it is only a change in pattern. Such change is merely adjustment, a mechanical affair of desire for comfort, security, mere physical survival.
Then what brings about fundamental mutation? Consciousness, the open and the hidden, the whole machinery of thought, feeling, experience, is within the borders of time and space. It is an indivisible whole; the division, conscious and hidden, is there only for the convenience of communication but the division is not factual. The upper level of consciousness can and does modify itself, adjust itself, change itself, reform itself, acquire new knowledge, technique; it can change itself to conform to a new social, economic pattern but such changes are superficial and brittle. The unconscious, the hidden, can and does intimate and hint through dreams its compulsions, its demands, its stored-up desires. Dreams need interpretations but the interpreter is always conditioned. There is no need for dreams if during the waking hours there is a choiceless awareness in which every fleeting thought and feeling is understood; then sleep has altogether a different meaning. Analysis of the hidden implies the observer and the observed, the censor and the thing that is judged. In this there is not only conflict but the observer himself is conditioned and his evaluation, interpretation, can never be true; it will be crooked, perverted. So self-analysis or an analysis by another, however professional, may bring about some superficial changes, an adjustment in relationship and so on but analysis will not bring about a radical transformation of consciousness. Analysis does not transform consciousness.
18th The late afternoon sun was on the river and among the russet leaves of autumnal trees along the long avenue; the colours were burning intensely and of such variety; the narrow water was aflame. A whole long queue was waiting along the wharf to take the pleasure boat and the cars were making an awful noise. On a hot day the big town was almost unbearable; the sky was clear and the sun was without mercy. But very early this morning when Orion was overhead and only one or two cars passed along the river, there was on the terrace quietness and meditation with a complete openness of mind and heart, verging on death. To be completely open, to be utterly vulnerable is death. Death then has no corner to take shelter; only in the shade, in the secret recesses of thought and desire there is death. But death is always there to a heart that has withered in fear and hope; is always there where thought is waiting and watching. In the park an owl was hooting and it was a pleasant sound, clear and so early; it came and went with varied intervals and it seemed to like its own voice for not another replied.
Meditation breaks down the frontiers of consciousness; it breaks down the mechanism of thought and the feeling which thought arouses. Meditation caught in a method, in a system of rewards and promises, cripples and tames energy. Meditation is the freeing of energy in abundance, and control, discipline and suppression spoil the purity of that energy. Meditation is the flame burning intensely without leaving any ashes. Words, feeling, thought, always leave ashes and to live on ashes is the way of the world. Meditation is danger for it destroys everything, nothing whatsoever is left, not even a whisper of desire, and in this vast, unfathomable emptiness there is creation and love.
To continue - analysis, personal or professional, does not bring about mutation of consciousness. No effort can transform it; effort is conflict and conflict only strengthens the walls of consciousness. No reason, however logical and sane, can liberate consciousness, for reason is idea wrought by influence, experience and knowledge and all these are the children of consciousness, When all this is seen as false, a false approach to mutation, the denial of the false is the emptying of consciousness. Truth has no opposite nor has love; the pursuit of the opposite does not lead to truth, only the denial of the opposite. There is no denial if it is the outcome of hope or of attaining. There is denial only when there is no reward or exchange. There is renunciation only when there is no gain in the act of renouncing. Denial of the false is the freedom from the positive; the positive with its opposite. The positive is authority with its acceptance, conformity, imitation, and experience with its knowledge.
To deny is to be alone; alone from all influence, tradition and from need, with its dependence and attachment. To be alone is to deny the conditioning, the background. The frame in which consciousness exists and has its being is its conditioning; to be choicelessly aware of this conditioning and the total denial of it is to be alone. This aloneness is not isolation, loneliness, self-enclosing occupation. Aloneness is not withdrawal from life; on the contrary it is the total freedom from conflict and sorrow, from fear and death. This aloneness is the mutation of consciousness; complete transformation of what has been. This aloneness is emptiness, it is not the positive state of being, nor the not being. It is emptiness; in this fire of emptiness the mind is made young, fresh and innocent. It is innocency alone that can receive the timeless, the new which is ever destroying itself. Destruction is creation. Without love, there is no destruction.
Beyond the enormous sprawling town were the fields, woods and hills.
19th Is there a future? There is a tomorrow, already planned; certain things that have to be done; there is also the day after tomorrow, with all the things that are to be done; next week and next year. These cannot be altered, perhaps modified or changed altogether but the many tomorrows are there; they cannot be denied. And there is space, from here to there, near and far; the distance in kilometres; space between entities; the distance which thought covers in a flash; the other side of the river and the distant moon. Time to cover space, distance, and time to cross over the river; from here to there, time is necessary to cover that space, it may take a minute, a day or a year. This time is by the sun and by the watch, time is a means to arrive. This is fairly simple and clear. Is there a future apart from this mechanical, chronological time? Is there an arriving, is there an end for which time is necessary?
The pigeons were on the roof, so early in the morning; they were cooing, preening and pursuing each other. The sun wasn't up yet and there were a few vapourous clouds, scattered all over the sky; they had no colour yet and the roar of traffic had not yet begun. There was plenty of time yet for the usual noises to begin and beyond all these walls were the gardens. In the evening yesterday, the grass where no one is allowed to walk except of course the pigeons and a few sparrows, was very green, startlingly green and the flowers were very bright. Everywhere else was man with his activities and interminable work. There was the tower, so strongly and delicately put together, and presently it would be flooded with brilliant light. The grass seemed so perishable and the flowers would fade, for autumn was everywhere. But long before the pigeons were on the roof, on the terrace meditation was gladness. There was no reason for this ecstasy - to have a cause for joy is no longer joy; it was simply there and thought could not capture it and make it into a remembrance. It was too strong and active for thought to play with it and thought and feeling became very quiet and still. It came wave upon wave, a living thing which nothing could contain and with this joy there was benediction. It was all so utterly beyond all thought and demand. Is there an arriving? To arrive is to be in sorrow and within the shadow of fear. Is there an arriving inwardly, a goal to be reached, an end to be gained? Thought has fixed an end, God, bliss, success, virtue and so on. But thought is only a reaction, a response of memory and thought breeds time to cover the space between what is and what should be. The what should be, the ideal, is verbal, theoretical; it has no reality. The actual has no time; it has no end to achieve, no distance to travel. The fact is and everything else is not. There is no fact if there's not death to ideal, to achievement, to an end; the ideal, the goal are an escape from the fact. The fact has no time and no space. And then is there death? There is a withering away; the machinery of the physical organism deteriorates, gets worn out which is death. But that is inevitable, as the lead of this pencil will wear out. Is that what causes fear? Or the death of the world of becoming, gaining, achieving? That world has no validity; it's the world of make-believe, of escape. The fact, the what is, and the what should be are two entirely different things. The what should be involves time and distance, sorrow and fear. Death of these leaves only the fact, the what is. There is no future to what is; thought, which breeds time, cannot operate on the fact; thought cannot change the fact, it can only escape from it and when all the urge to escape is dead, then the fact undergoes a tremendous mutation. But there must be death to thought which is time. When time as thought is not, then is there the fact, the what is? When there is destruction of time, as thought, there's no movement in any direction, no space to cover, there's only the stillness of emptiness. This is total destruction of time as yesterday, today and tomorrow, as the memory of continuity, of becoming.
Then being is timeless, only the active present but that present is not of time. It is attention without the frontiers of thought and the borders of feeling. Words are used to communicate and words, symbols, have no significance in themselves whatsoever. Life is always the active present; time always belongs to the past and so to the future. And death to time is life in the present. It is this life that is immortal, not the life in consciousness. Time is thought in consciousness and consciousness is held within its frame. There is always fear and sorrow within the network of thought and feeling. The ending of sorrow is the ending of time. 20th It had been a very hot day and in that hot hall with a large crowd, it was suffocating.**** But in spite of all this and tiredness, woke up in the middle of the night, with the otherness in the room. It was there with great intensity, not only filling the room and beyond but it was there deep down within the brain, so profoundly that it seemed to go through and beyond all thought, space and time. It was incredibly strong, with such energy that it was impossible to be in bed, and on the terrace, with fresh, cool wind blowing, the intensity of it continued. It went on for nearly an hour, with great force and drive; all the morning it had been there. It is not a make-believe, it's not desire taking this form of sensation, excitement; thought has not built it up from past incidents; no imagination could formulate such otherness. Strangely every time this takes place, it's something totally new, unexpected and sudden. Thought, having tried, realizes that it cannot recall what had taken place at other times nor can it awaken the memory of what had taken place this morning. It is beyond all thought, desire and imagination. It is too vast for thought or desire to conjure it up; it is too immense for the brain to bring it about. It's not an illusion.
The strange part of all this is that one's not even concerned about all this; if it comes, it is there, without invitation, and if it doesn't, there is an indifference. The beauty and the strength of it is not to be played with; there's no invitation or denial of it. It comes and goes, as it will.
Early this morning, somewhat before sunrise, meditation, in which every kind of effort has long ago ceased, became a silence, a silence in which there was no centre and so no periphery. It was just silence. It had no quality, no movement, neither depth nor height. It was completely still. It is this stillness that had movement expanding endlessly and the measurement of it was not in time and space. This stillness was exploding, ever moving away. But it had no centre; if there was a centre, it would not be stillness, it would be stagnant decay; it had nothing whatsoever to do with the intricacies of the brain. The quality of the stillness which the brain can bring about, is entirely different, in every way, from the stillness that was there this morning. It was a stillness that nothing could disturb, for it had no resistance; everything was in it and it was beyond everything. The early morning traffic of lorries bringing foodstuff and other things to the town, in no way disturbed that stillness nor the revolving beams of light from the high tower. It was there, without time.
As the sun rose, a magnificent cloud caught it, sending streaks of blue light across the sky. It was light playing with darkness and the play went on till the fantastic cloud went down behind the thousand chimneys. How curiously petty the brain is, however intelligently educated and learned. It will always remain petty, do what it will; it can go to the moon and beyond or go down into the deepest parts of the earth; it can invent, put together the most complicated machines, computers that will invent computers; it can destroy itself and recreate itself but do what it will, it will ever remain petty. For it can only function in time and space; its philosophies are bound by its own conditioning; its theories, its speculations, are spun out of its own cunningness. It cannot escape from itself, do what it will. Its gods and its saviours, its masters and leaders are as small and petty as itself. If it's stupid, it tries to become clever and its cleverness is measured in terms of success. It is always pursuing or being chased. Its shadow is its own sorrow. Do what it will, it will ever remain petty.
Its action is the inaction of pursuing itself; its reform is action that ever needs further reform. It is held by its own action and inaction. It never sleeps and its dreams are the awakening of thought. However active, however noble or ignoble, it is petty. There is no end to its pettiness. It cannot run away from itself; its virtue is mean and its morality mean. There is only one thing it can do - be utterly and completely quiet. This quietness is not sleep or laziness. The brain is sensitive and to remain sensitive, with its familiar self-protective responses, without its customary judgments, condemnation and approval, the only thing it can do is to be utterly quiet, which is to remain in a state of negation, complete denial of itself and its activities. In this state of negation, it's no longer petty; then it is no longer gathering to achieve, to fulfil, to become. It is then what it is, mechanical, inventive, self-protective, calculating. A perfect machine is never petty and when it functions at that level it is a wonderful thing. Like all machines, it wears out and dies. It becomes petty when it proceeds to investigate the unknown, that which is not measurable. Its function is in the known and it cannot function in the unknown. Its creations are in the field of the known but the creation of the unknowable it can never capture, neither in paint nor in word; its beauty it can never know. Only when it is utterly quiet, silent without a word and still without a gesture, without movement, there is that immensity.
21st The evening light was on the river and the traffic across the bridge was furious and fast. The pavement was crowded with people returning home after a day's work in offices. The river was sparkling; there were ripples, small ones pursuing each other, with such delight. You could almost hear them but the fury of the traffic was too much. Further down the river the light on the water was changing, becoming more deep and it would soon be dark. The moon was on the other side of the huge tower, looking so out of place, so artificial; it had no reality but the high steel tower had; there were people on it; the restaurant up there was lit up and you could see crowds of people going into it. And as the night was hazy, the beams of the revolving lights were far stronger than the moon. Everything seemed so far away except the tower. How little we know about ourselves. We seem to know so much about other things, the distance to the moon, the atmosphere of Venus, how to put together the most extraordinary and complicated electronic brains, to break up the atoms and the minutest particle of matter. But we know so little about ourselves. To go to the moon is far more exciting than to go into ourselves; perhaps one's lazy or frightened, or it's not profitable, in the sense of money and success, to go into ourselves. It's a much longer journey than to go to the moon; no machines are available to take this journey and no one can help, no book, no theories, no guide. You have to do it yourself. You have to have much more energy than in inventing and putting together parts of a vast machine. You cannot get this energy through any drug, through any interaction of relationship nor through control, denial. No gods, rituals, beliefs, prayers can give it to you. On the contrary, in the very act of putting these aside, in being aware of their significance, that energy comes to penetrate into consciousness and beyond.
You can't buy that energy through accumulating knowledge about yourself. Every form of accumulation and the attachment to it, diminishes and perverts that energy. Knowledge about yourself binds, weighs, ties you down; there's no freedom to move, and you act and move within the limits of that knowledge. Learning about yourself is never the same as accumulating knowledge about yourself. Learning is active present and knowledge is the past; if you are learning in order to accumulate, it ceases to be learning; knowledge is static, more can be added to it or taken away from it, but learning is active, nothing can be added or taken away from it for there is no accumulation at any time. Knowing, learning about yourself has no beginning and no end, whereas knowledge has. Knowledge is finite, and learning, knowing, is infinite.
You are the accumulated result of the many thousand centuries of man, his hopes and desires, his guilts and anxieties, his beliefs and gods, his fulfilments and frustrations; you are all that and more additions made to it in recent times. Learning about all this, deep down and on the surface, is not mere verbal or intellectual statements of the obvious, the conclusions. Learning is the experiencing of these facts, emotionally and directly; to come into contact with them not theoretically, verbally, but actually, like a hungry man.
Learning is not possible if there's a learner; the learner is the accumulated, the past, the knowledge. There is a division between the learner and the thing he is learning about and so there is conflict between them. This conflict destroys, diminishes energy to learn, to pursue to the very end the total make-up of consciousness. Choice is conflict and choice prevents seeing; condemnation, judgment also prevent seeing. When this fact is seen, understood, not verbally, theoretically, but actually seen as fact, then learning is a moment to moment affair. And there is no end to learning; learning is all important, not the failures, successes and mistakes. There is only seeing and not the seer and the thing seen. Consciousness is limited; its very nature is restriction; it functions within the frame of its own existence, which is experience, knowledge, memory. Learning about this conditioning breaks down the frame; then thought and feeling have their limited function; they then cannot interfere with the wider and deeper issues of life. Where the self ends, with all its secret and open intrigues, its compulsive urges and demands, its joys and sorrows, there begins a movement of life that is beyond time and its bondage.
22nd There is a little bridge across the river only meant for people; it is fairly quiet there. The river was full of light and a big barge was going up, full of sand brought from the beaches; it was fine, clean sand. There was a heap of it in the park, purposely put there for children to play with. There were several and they were making deep tunnels, a big castle with a moat around it; they were having great fun. It was a pleasant day, fairly cool, the sun not too strong and there was dampness in the air; more trees were turning brown and yellow and there was the smell of autumn. The trees were getting ready for the winter; many branches were already naked, black against the pale sky; every tree had its own pattern of colour, in varying strength, from the russet brown to pale yellow. Even in dying they were beautiful. It was a pleasant evening full of light and peace, in spite of the roar of the traffic.
There are a few flowers on the terrace, and this morning, the yellow ones were more bright and eager than ever; in the early morning light they seemed more awake and had more colour, much more so than their neighbours. The east was beginning to get brighter and there was that otherness in the room; it had been there for some hours. On waking in the middle of the night, it was there, something wholly objective which no thought or imagination could possibly bring about. Again, on waking the body was perfectly still, without any movement as was also the brain. The brain was not dormant but very much awake, watching without any interpretation. It was the strength of unapproachable purity, with an energy that was startling. It was there, ever new, ever penetrating. It wasn't just outside there in the room or on the terrace, it was inside and outside but there was no division. It was something in which the whole mind and heart were caught up and the mind and heart ceased to be.
There is no virtue, only humility; where it is, there is all virtue. Social morality is not virtue; it is merely an adjustment to a pattern and that pattern varies and changes according to time and climate. It is made respectable by society and organized religion, but it is not virtue. Morality, as recognized by church, society, is not virtue; morality is put together, it conforms; it can be taught and practised; It can be brought about through reward and punishment, through compulsion. Influence shapes morality as does propaganda. In the structure of society there are varying degrees of morality, of different shades. But it is not virtue. Virtue is not of time and influence; it cannot be cultivated; it is not the result of control and discipline; it is no a result at all as it has no cause. It cannot be made respectable. Virtue is not divisible as goodness, charity, brotherly love and so on. It is not the product of an environment, of social affluence or poverty nor of the monastery nor of any dogma. It is not born out of a cunning brain; it is not the outcome of thought and emotion; nor is it a revolt against social morality, with its respectability; a revolt is a reaction and a reaction is a modified continuity of what has been.
Humility cannot be cultivated; when it is, it is pride taking on the cloak of humility which has become respectable. Vanity can never become humility, any more than love can become hate. Violence cannot become non-violence; violence has to cease. Humility is not an ideal to be pursued; ideals have no reality; only what is has reality. Humility is not the opposite of pride; it has no opposite. All opposites are interrelated and humility has no relationship with pride. Pride has to end, not by any decision or discipline or for some profit; it ceases only in the flame of attention, not in the contradiction and confusion of concentration. To see pride, outwardly and inwardly, in its many forms, is the ending of it. To see it is to be attentive to every movement of pride; in attention there is no choice. There is attention only in the active present; it cannot be trained; if it is, then it becomes another cunning faculty of the brain and humility is not its product. There is attention when the brain is utterly still, alive and sensitive, but still. There is no centre from which to attend whereas concentration has a centre, with its exclusions. Attention, the complete and instant seeing of the whole significance of pride, ends pride. This awakened "state" is humility. Attention is virtue, for in it flowers goodness and charity. Without humility there is no virtue.
23rd It was hot and rather oppressive, even in the gardens; it had been so hot for so long which was unusual. A good rain and cool weather will be pleasant. In the gardens they were watering the grass and in spite of the heat and lack of rain the grass was bright and sparkling and the flowers were splendid; there were some trees in flower, out of season, for winter will be here soon. Pigeons were all over the place, shyly avoiding the children and some of the children were chasing them for fun and the pigeons knew it. The sun was red in a dull, heavy sky; there was no colour except in the flowers and in the grass. The river was opaque and indolent.
Meditation at that hour was freedom and it was like entering into an unknown world of beauty and quietness; it is a world without image, symbol or word, without waves of memory. Love was the death of every minute and each death was the renewing of love. It was not attachment, it had no roots; it flowered without cause and it was a flame that burned away the borders, the carefully built fences of consciousness. It was beauty beyond thought and feeling; it was not put together on canvas, in words or in marble. Meditation was joy and with it came a benediction.
It's very odd how each one craves power, the power of money, position, capacity, knowledge. In gaining power, there's conflict, confusion and sorrow. The hermit and the politician, the housewife and the scientist are seeking it. They will kill and destroy each other to get it. The ascetics through self-denial, control, suppression gain that power; the politician by his word, capacity, cleverness derives that power; the domination of the wife over the husband and he over her feel this power; the priest who has assumed, who has taken upon himself the responsibility of his god, knows this power. Everyone seeks this power or wants to be associated with divine or worldly power. Power breeds authority and with it comes conflict, confusion and sorrow. Authority corrupts him that has it and those that are near it or seeking it. The power of the priest and the housewife, of the leader and the efficient organizer, of the saint and the local politician is evil; the more power the greater the evil. It is a disease that every man catches and cherishes and worships. But with it comes always endless conflict, confusion and sorrow. But no one will deny it, put it aside.
With it goes ambition and success and a ruthlessness that has been made respectable and so acceptable. Every society, temple and church gives it its blessing and so love is perverted and destroyed. And envy is worshipped and competition is moral. But with it all comes fear, war and sorrow, but yet no man will put these aside. To deny power, in every form, is the beginning of virtue; virtue is clarity; it wipes away conflict and sorrow. This corrupting energy, with its endless cunning activities, always brings its inevitable mischief and misery; there is no end to it; however much it is reformed and fenced in, by law or by moral convention, it will find its way out, darkly and unbidden. For it is there, hidden in the secret corners of one's thoughts and desires. It is these that must be examined and understood if there is to be no conflict, confusion and sorrow. Each one has to do this, not through another, not through any system of reward or punishment. Each one has to be aware of the fabric of his own make-up. To see what is, is the ending of that which is.
With the complete ending of this power, with its confusion, conflict and sorrow, each one faces what he is, a bundle of memories and deepening loneliness. The desire for power and success are an escape from this loneliness and the ashes which are memories. To go beyond, one has to see them, face them, not avoid them in any way, by condemning or through fear of what is. Fear arises only in the very act of running away from the fact, the what is. One must completely and utterly, voluntarily and easily put aside power and success and then in facing, seeing, being passively aware, without choice, the ashes and loneliness have a wholly different significance. To live with something is to love it, not to be attached. To live with the ashes of loneliness there must be great energy and this energy comes when there is no longer fear.
When you have gone through this loneliness, as you would go through a physical door, then you will realize that you and the loneliness are one, you are not the observer watching that feeling which is beyond the word. You are that. And you cannot get away from it as you did before in many subtle ways. You are that loneliness; there is no way to avoid it and nothing can cover it or fill it. Then only are you living with it; it is part of you, it is the whole of you. Neither despair nor hope can banish it nor any cynicism nor any intellectual cunning. You are that loneliness, the ashes that had once been fire. This is complete loneliness, irremediable, beyond all action. The brain can no longer devise ways and means of escape; it is the creator of this loneliness, through its incessant activities of self-isolation, of defence and aggression. When it is aware of this, negatively, without any choice, then it is willing to die, to be utterly still.
Out of this loneliness, out of these ashes, a new movement is born. It is the movement of the alone. It is that state when all influences, all compulsion, every form of search and achievement have naturally and completely stopped. It is death of the known. Then only is there the neverending journey of the unknowable. Then is there power whose purity is creation.
24th***** There was a beautifully kept lawn, not too large and it was incredibly green; it was behind an iron grill, well watered, carefully looked after, rolled and splendidly alive, sparkling in its beauty. It must have been many hundred years old; not even a chair was on it, isolated and guarded by a high and narrow railing. At the end of the lawn, was a single rose bush, with a single red rose in full bloom. It was a miracle, the soft lawn and the single rose; they were there apart from the whole world of noise, chaos and misery; though man had put them there, they were the most beautiful things, far beyond the museums, towers and the graceful line of bridges. They were splendid in their splendid aloofness. They were what they were, grass and flower and nothing else. There was great beauty and quietness about them and the dignity of purity. It was a hot afternoon, with no breeze and the smell of exhaust of so many cars was in the air but there the grass had a smell of its own and one could almost smell the perfume of the solitary rose.
On waking so early, with the full moon coming into the room, the quality of the brain was different. It wasn't asleep nor heavy with sleep; it was fully awake, watching; it wasn't watching itself but something beyond itself. It was aware, aware of itself as a part of a whole movement of the mind. The brain functions in fragmentation; it functions in part, in division. It specializes. It's never the whole; it tries to capture the whole, to understand it but it cannot. By its very nature, thought is always incomplete, as is feeling; thought, the response of memory, can function only in the known things or interpret from what it has known, knowledge. The brain is the product of specialization; it cannot go beyond itself. It divides and specializes - the scientist, the artist, the priest, the lawyer, the technician, the farmer. In functioning, it projects its own status, the privileges, the power, the prestige. Function and status go together for the brain is a self-protective organism. From the demand for status begins the opposing and contradictory elements in society. The specialist cannot see the whole. 25th Meditation is the flowering of understanding. Understanding is not within the borders of time, time never brings understanding. Understanding is not a gradual process to be gathered little by little, with care and patience. Understanding is now or never; it is a destructive flash, not a tame affair; it is this shattering that one is afraid of and so one avoids it, knowingly or unknowingly. Understanding may alter the course of one's life, the way of thought and action; it may be pleasant or not but understanding is a danger to all relationship. But without understanding, sorrow will continue. Sorrow ends only through self-knowing, the awareness of every thought and feeling, every movement of the conscious and that which is hidden. Meditation is the understanding of consciousness, the hidden and the open, and of the movement that lies beyond all thought and feeling.
The specialist cannot perceive the whole; his heaven is what he specializes in but his heaven is a petty affair of the brain, the heaven of religion or of the technician. Capacity, gift, is obviously detrimental, for it strengthens self-centredness; it is fragmentary and so breeds conflict. Capacity has significance only in the total perception of life which is in the field of the mind and not of the brain. Capacity and its function is within the limits of the brain and so becomes ruthless, indifferent to the total process of life. Capacity breeds pride, envy, and its fulfilment becomes all important and so it brings about confusion, enmity and sorrow; it has its meaning only in the total awareness of life. Life is not merely at one fragmentary level, bread, sex, prosperity, ambition; life is not fragmentary; when it's made to be, it becomes utterly a matter of despair and endless misery. Brain functions in specialization of the fragment, in self-isolating activities and within the limited field of time. It is incapable of seeing the whole of life; the brain is a part, however educated it be; it is not the whole. Mind alone sees the whole and within the field of the mind is the brain; the brain cannot contain the mind, do what it will.
To see wholly, the brain has to be in a state of negation. Negation is not the opposite of the positive; all opposites are related within the fold of each other. Negation has no opposite. The brain has to be in a state of negation for total seeing; it must not interfere, with its evaluations and justifications, with its condemnations and defences. It has to be still, not made still by compulsion of any kind, for then it is a dead brain, merely imitating and conforming. When it is in a state of negation, it is choicelessly still. Only then is there total seeing. In this total seeing which is the quality of the mind, there is no seer, no observer, no experiencer; there's only seeing. The mind then is completely awake. In this fully wakened state, there is no observer and the observed; there is only light, clarity. The contradiction and conflict between the thinker and thought ceases.
* He had flown to Paris where he stayed with friends in an eighth-floor apartment in the Avenue de la Bourdonnais. He gave the first of nine talks in Paris on this day. They lasted until September 24th.
** This was the third talk, chiefly about conflict and consciousness.
*** He gave the fifth talk that morning.
**** At his talk the day before. It was the seventh talk and had been concerned mostly with death. At the beginning he politely suggested to his audience that they should refrain from taking notes.
***** He gave his last talk in Paris on this day.
Krishnamurti's Notebook Part 4 Paris 4th September to 25th September 1961
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