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The Only Revolution

Europe 1969

The Only Revolution Europe Part 2

Innocency and spaciousness are the flowering of meditation. There is no innocency without space. Innocency is not immaturity. You may be mature physically, but the vast space that comes with love is not possible if the mind is not free from the many marks of experience. It is these scars of experience that prevent innocency. Freeing the mind from the constant pressure of experience is meditation.

Just as the sun is setting there comes a strange quietness and a feeling that everything about you has come to an end, though the bus, the taxi and the noise go on. This sense of aloofness seems to penetrate the whole universe. You must have felt this too. Often it comes most unexpectedly; strange stillness and peace seem to pour down from the heavens and cover the earth. It is a benediction, and the beauty of the evening is made boundless by it. The shiny road after the rain, the waiting cars, the empty park, seem to be part of it; and the laughter of the couple who pass by does not in any way disturb the peace of the evening.

The naked trees, black against the sky, with their delicate branches, were waiting for the spring, and it was just round the corner, hastening to meet them. There was already new grass, and the fruit trees were in bloom. The country was slowly becoming alive again, and from this hilltop you could see the city with many, many domes, and one more haughty and higher than the others. You could see the flat tops of the pine trees, and the evening light was upon the clouds. The whole horizon seemed to be filled with these clouds, range after range, piling up against the hills in the most fantastic shapes, castles such as man had never built. There were deep chasms and towering peaks. All these clouds were alight with a dark red glow and a few of them seemed to be afire, not by the sun, but within themselves.

These clouds didn't make the space; they were in the space, which seemed to stretch infinitely, from eternity to eternity.

A blackbird was singing in a bush close by, and that was the everlasting blessing.

There were three or four who had brought their wives and we all sat on the floor. From this position the windows were too high for one to see the garden or the wall opposite. They were all professionals. One said he was a scientist, another a mathematician, another, an engineer; they were specialists, not overflowing beyond their boundaries - as the river does after heavy rain. It is the overflowing that enriches the soil.

The engineer asked: "You have often talked about space and we are all interested to know what you mean by it. The bridge covers the space between two banks or between two hills. Space is made by a dam which is filled by water. There is space between us and the expanding universe. There is space between you and me. Is this what you mean?"

The others seconded the question; they must have talked it over before they came. One said: "I could put it differently, in more scientific terms, but it comes to more or less the same thing."

There is space that divides and encloses, and space that is unlimited. The space between man and man, in which grows mischief is the limited space of division; there is division between you as you are and the image you have about yourself; there is division between you and your wife; there is division between what you are and the ideal of what you should be; there is division between hill and hill. And there is the beauty of space that is without the boundary of time and line.

Is there space between thought and thought? Between remembrances? Between actions? Or is there no space at all between thought and thought? Between reason and reason? Between health and ill-health - cause becoming the effect, and the effect becoming the cause?

If there were a break between thought and thought, then thought would be always new, but because there is no break, no space, all thought is old. You may not be conscious of the continuity of a thought; you may pick it up a week later after dropping it, but it has been working within the old boundaries.

So the whole of consciousness, both the conscious and the unconscious - which is an unfortunate word to have to use - is within the limited, narrow space of tradition, culture, custom and remembrance. Technology may take you to the moon, you may build a curving bridge over a chasm or bring some order within the limited space of society, but this again will breed disorder.

Space exists not only beyond the four walls of this room, there is also the space which the room makes. There is the enclosing space, the sphere, which the observer creates around himself through which he sees the observed - which also creates a sphere around itself. When the observer looks at the stars of an evening, his space is limited. He may be able, through a telescope, to see many thousands of light years away, but he is the maker of space and therefore it is finite. The measurement between the observer and the observed is space, and time to cover that space.

There is not only physical space but the psychological dimension in which thought covers itself - as yesterday, today and tomorrow. So long as there is an observer, space is the narrow yard of the prison in which there is no freedom at all.

But we'd like to ask if you are trying to convey space without the observer? That seems to be utterly impossible, or it might be a fancy of your own."

Freedom, sir, is not within the prison, however comfortable and decorated it may be. If one has a dialogue with freedom it cannot possibly exist within the boundaries of memory, knowledge and experience. Freedom demands that you break the prison walls, though you may enjoy the limited disorder, the limited slavery, the toil within this boundary.

Freedom is not relative; either there is freedom or there is not. If there is not, then one must accept the narrow, limited life with its conflicts, sorrows and aches - merely bringing about a little change here and there.

Freedom is infinite space. When there is a lack of space there is violence - as with the predator, and the bird who claims his space, his territory, for which he will fight. This violence may be relative under the law and the policeman just as the limited space the predators and the birds demand, for which they will fight, is limited violence. Because of the limited space between man and man aggression must exist.

"Are you trying to tell us, sir, that man will always be in conflict within himself and with the world so long as he lives within the sphere of his own making?" Yes, sir. So we come to the central issue of freedom. Within the narrow culture of society there is no freedom, and because there is no freedom there is disorder. Living within this disorder man seeks freedom in ideologies, in theories, in what he calls God. This escape is not freedom. It is the yard of the prison again which separates man from man. Can thought, which has brought this conditioning upon itself, come to an end, break down this structure, and go beyond and above it? Obviously it cannot, and that is the first factor to see. The intellect cannot possibly build a bridge between itself and freedom. Thought, which is the response of memory, experience and knowledge, is always old, as is the intellect, and the old cannot build a bridge to the new. Thought is essentially the observer with his prejudices, fears and anxieties, and this thinking-image - because of his isolation - obviously makes a sphere around himself. Thus there is a distance between the observer and the observed. The observer tries to establish a relationship preserving this distance - and so there is conflict and violence.

In all this there is no fancy. Imagination in any form destroys truth. Freedom is beyond thought; freedom means infinite space not created by the observer. Coming upon this freedom is meditation.

There is no space without silence, and silence is not put together by time as thought. Time will never give freedom; order is possible only when the heart is not covered over with words.

The Only Revolution

Europe 1969

The Only Revolution Europe Part 2

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