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The Only Revolution

California 1969

The Only Revolution California Part 1

MEDITATION IS NOT the mere experiencing of something beyond everyday thought and feeling nor is it the pursuit of visions and delights. An immature and squalid little mind can and does have visions of expanding consciousness, and experiences which it recognizes according to its own conditioning. This immaturity may be greatly capable of making itself successful in this world and achieving fame and notoriety. The gurus whom it follows are of the same quality and state. Meditation does not belong to such as these. It is not for the seeker, for the seeker finds what he wants, and the comfort he derives from it is the morality of his own fears.

Do what he will, the man of belief and dogma cannot enter into the realm of meditation. To meditate, freedom is necessary. It is not meditation first and freedom afterwards; freedom - the total denial of social morality and values - is the first movement of meditation. It is not a public affair where many can join in and offer prayers. It stands alone, and is always beyond the borders of social conduct. For truth is not in the things of thought or in what thought has put together and calls truth. The complete negation of this whole structure of thought is the positive of meditation.

The sea was very calm that morning; it was very blue, almost like a lake, and the sky was clear. Seagulls and pelicans were flying around the water's edge - the pelicans almost touching the water, with their heavy wings and slow flight. The sky was very blue and the hills beyond were sunburnt except for a few bushes. A red eagle came out of those hills flew over the gully and disappeared among the trees.

The light in that part of the world had a quality of penetration and brilliance, without blinding the eye. There was the smell of sumac, orange and eucalyptus. It hadn't rained for many months and the earth was parched, dry, cracked. You saw deer in the hills occasionally, and once, wandering up the hill there was a bear, dusty and ill-kempt. Along that path rattlers often went by and occasionally you saw a horned toad. On the trail you hardly passed anybody. It was a dusty, rocky and utterly silent trail.

Just in front of you was a quail with its chicks. There must have been more than a dozen of them, motionless, pretending they didn't exist. The higher you climbed the wilder it became for there was no habitation at all there, for there was no water. There were also no birds, and hardly any trees. The sun was very strong; it bit into you.

At that high altitude, suddenly, very close to you was a rattler, shrilly rattling his tail, giving a warning. You jumped. There it was, the rattler with its triangular head, all coiled up with its rattles in the centre and its head pointed towards you. You were a few feet away from it and it couldn't strike you from that distance. You stared at it, and it stared back with its unblinking eyes. You watched it for some time, its fat suppleness, its danger; and there was no fear. Then, as you watched, it uncoiled its head and tail towards you and moved backwards away from you. As you moved towards it, again it coiled, with its tail in the middle, ready to strike. You played this game for some time until the snake got tired and you left it and came down to the sea.

It was a nice house and the windows opened on to the lawn. The house was white inside and well-proportioned. On cold nights there was a fire. It is lovely to watch a fire with its thousand flames and many shadows. There was no noise, except the sound of the restless sea.

There was a small group of two or three in that room, talking about things in general - modern youth, the cinema, and so on. Then one of them said: "May we ask a question?" And it seemed a pity to disturb the blue sea and the hills. "We want to ask what time means to you. We know more or less what the scientists say about it, and the science fiction writers. It seems to me that man has always been caught in this problem of time - the endless yesterdays and tomorrows. From the most remote periods to the present day, time has occupied man's mind. Philosophers have speculated about it, and religions have their own explanations. Can we talk about it?"

Shall we go into this matter rather deeply, or do you merely want to touch upon it superficially and let it go at that? If we want to talk about it seriously we must forget what religions, philosophers and others have said - for really you can't trust any of them. One doesn't distrust them just out of callous indifference or out of arrogance, but one sees that in order to find out, all authorities must be set aside. If one is prepared for that, then perhaps we could go into this matter very simply.

Is there - apart from the clock - time at all? We accept so many things; obedience has been so instilled into us that acceptance seems natural. But is there time at all, apart from the many yesterdays? Is time a continuity as yesterday, today and tomorrow, and is there time without yesterday? What gives to the thousand yesterdays a continuity?

A cause brings its effect, and the effect in turn becomes the cause; there is no division between them, it is one movement. This movement we call time, and with this movement, in our eyes and in our hearts, we see everything. We see with the eyes of time, and translate the present in terms of the past; and this translation meets the tomorrow. This is the chain of time.

Thought, caught in this process, asks the question: "What is time?" This very enquiry is of the machinery of time. So the enquiry has no meaning, for thought is time. The yesterday has produced thought and so thought divides space as yesterday, today and tomorrow. Or it says: "There is only the present", forgetting that the present itself is the outcome of yesterday.

Our consciousness is made up of this chain of time, and within its borders we are asking: "What is time? And, if there is no time, what happens to yesterday?" Such questions are within the field of time, and there is no answer to a question put by thought about time.

Or is there no tomorrow and no yesterday, but only the now? This question is not put by thought. It is put when the structure and nature of time is seen - but with the eyes of thought.

Is there actually tomorrow? Of course there is if I have to catch a train; but inwardly, is there the tomorrow of pain and pleasure, or of achievement? Or is there only the now, which is not related to yesterday? Time has a stop only when thought has a stop. It is at the moment of stopping that the now is. This now is not an idea, it is an actual fact, but only when the whole mechanism of thought has come to an end. The feeling of now is entirely different from the word, which is of time. So do not let us be caught in the words yesterday, today and tomorrow. The realization of the now exists only in freedom, and freedom is not the cultivation of thought.

Then the question arises: "What is the action of the now?" We only know action which is of time and memory and the interval between yesterday and the present. In this interval or space all the confusion and the conflict begin. What we are really asking is: If there is no interval at all, what is action? The conscious mind might say: "I did something spontaneously", but actually this is not so; there is no such thing as spontaneity because the mind is conditioned. The actual is the only fact; the actual is the now, and, unable to meet it, thought builds images about it. The interval between the image and what is, is the misery which thought has created.

To see what is without yesterday, is the now. The now is the silence of yesterday.

The Only Revolution

California 1969

The Only Revolution California Part 1

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