In June 1961 Krishnamurti began to keep a daily record of his
perceptions and states of consciousness. Apart from about fourteen
days he kept up this record for seven months. He wrote clearly, in
pencil, and with virtually no erasures. The first seventy-seven
pages of the manuscript are written in a small notebook; from then
until the end (p. 323 of the manuscript) a larger, loose-leaf book
was used. The record starts abruptly and ends abruptly.
Krishnamurti himself cannot say what prompted him to begin it.
He had never kept such a record before, nor has he kept one since.
The manuscript has received the minimum amount of editing.
Krishnamurti’s spelling has been corrected; a few punctuation
marks have been put in for the sake of clarity; some abbreviations,
such as the ampersand he invariably used, have been spelt out in
full; some footnotes and a few interpolations in square brackets
have been added. In all other respects the manuscript is presented
here as it was written.
A word is needed to explain one of the terms used in it – «the
process». In 1922, at the age of twenty-eight, Krishnamurti
underwent a spiritual experience that changed his life and which
was followed by years of acute and almost continuous pain in his
head and spine. The manuscript shows that «the process», as he
called this mysterious pain, was still going on nearly forty years
later, though in a much milder form.
«The process» was a physical phenomenon, not to be confused
with the state of consciousness that Krishnamurti variously refers to in the notebooks as the «benediction», the «otherness»,
«immensity». At no time did he take any- pain-killing drugs for
«the process». He has never taken alcohol or any kind of drug. He
has never smoked, and for the last thirty years or so he has not so
much as drunk tea or coffee. Although a lifelong vegetarian, he has
always been at great pains to ensure a plentiful and well-balanced
diet. Asceticism is, to his way of thinking, as destructive of a
religious life as overindulgence. Indeed he looks after «the
body» (he has always differentiated between the body and the ego)
as a cavalry officer would have looked after his horse. He has
never suffered from epilepsy or any of the other physical
conditions that are said to give rise to visions and other spiritual
phenomena; nor does he practise any «system» of meditation. All
this is stated so that no reader should imagine that Krishnamurti’s
states of consciousness are, or ever have been, induced by drugs or
In this unique daily record we have what may be called the well-
spring of Krishnamurti’s teaching. The whole essence of his
teaching is here, arising from its natural source. Just as he himself
writes in these pages that «every time there is something `new’ in
this benediction, a ‘new’ quality, a `new’ perfume, but yet it is
changeless», so the teaching that springs from it is never quite the
same although often repeated. In the same way, the trees,
mountains, rivers, clouds, sunlight, birds and flowers that he
describes over and over again are forever «new» because they are
seen each time with eyes that have never become accustomed to
them; each day they are a totally fresh perception for him, and so
they become for us.       On June 18th, 1961, the day Krishnamurti started writing this
record, he was in New York staying with friends in West 87th
Street. He had flown to New York on June 14th from London
where he had spent some six weeks and given twelve talks. Before
going to London he had been in Rome and Florence, and, before
that, for the first three months of the year, in India, speaking in
New Delhi and Bombay.

In the evening it was there: suddenly it was there, filling the room,
a great sense of beauty, power and gentleness. Others noticed it.
19th All night it was there whenever I woke up. The head was
bad going to the plane [to fly to Los Angeles] – The purification of
the brain is necessary. The brain is the centre of all the senses; the
more the senses are alert and sensitive the sharper the brain is; it’s
the centre of remembrance, the past; it’s the storehouse of
experience and knowledge, tradition. So it’s limited, conditioned.
Its activities are planned, thought out, reasoned, but it functions in
limitation, in space-time. So it cannot formulate or understand that
which is the total, the whole, the complete. The complete, the
whole is the mind; it is empty, totally empty and because of this
emptiness, the brain exists in space-time. Only when the brain has
cleansed itself of its conditioning, greed, envy, ambition, then only
it can comprehend that which is complete. Love is this
20th In the car on the way to Ojai,* again it began, the pressure
and the feeling of immense vastness. One was not experiencing
this vastness; it was simply there; there was no centre from which
or in which the experience was taking place. Everything, the cars,
the people, the bill-boards, were startlingly clear and colour was
painfully intense. For over an hour it went on and the head was
very bad, the pain right through the head.
The brain can and must develop; its development will always be
from a cause, from a reaction, from violence to non-violence and so on. The brain has developed from the primitive state and
however refined, intelligent, technical, it will be within the
confines of space-time.
Anonymity is humility; it does not lie in the change of name,
cloth or with the identification with that which may be anonymous,
an ideal, a heroic act, country and so on. Anonymity is an act of the
brain, the conscious anonymity; there’s an anonymity which comes
with the awareness of the complete. The complete is never within
the field of the brain or idea.
21st Woke up about two and there was a peculiar pressure and
the pain was more acute, more in the centre of the head. It lasted
over an hour and one woke up several times with the intensity of
the pressure. Each time there was great expanding ecstasy; this joy
continued – Again, sitting in the dentist’s chair, waiting, suddenly
the pressure began. The brain became very quiet; quivering, fully
alive; every sense was alert; the eyes were seeing the bee on the
window, the spider, the birds and the violet mountains in the
distance. They were seeing but the brain was not recording them.
One could feel the quivering brain, something tremendously alive,
vibrant and so not merely recording. The pressure and the pain was
great and the body must have gone off into a doze.
Self-critical awareness is essential. Imagination and illusion
distort clear observation. Illusion will always exist, so long as the
urge for the continuation of pleasure and the avoidance of pain
exist; the demand for those experiences which are pleasurable to
continue or be remembered; the avoidance of pain, suffering. Both
these breed illusion. To wipe away illusion altogether, pleasure and
sorrow must be understood, not by control or sublimation, identification or denial.
Only when the brain is quiet can there be right observation. Can
the brain ever be quiet? It can when the brain, being highly
sensitive, without the power of distortion, is negatively aware.
All the afternoon the pressure has been on.
22nd Woke up in the middle of the night and there was the
experiencing of an incalculable expanding state of mind; the mind
itself was that state. The «feeling» of this state was stripped of all
sentiment, of all emotion, but was very factual, very real. This state
continued for some considerable time – All this morning, the
pressure and the pain has been acute.
Destruction is essential. Not of buildings and things but of all
the psychological devices and defences, gods, beliefs, dependence
on priests, experiences, knowledge and so on. Without destroying
all these there cannot be creation. It’s only in freedom that creation
comes into being. Another cannot destroy these defences for you;
you have to negate through your own self-knowing awareness.
Revolution, social, economic, can only change outer states and
things, in increasing or narrowing circles, but it will always be
within the limited field of thought. For total revolution the brain
must forsake all its inward, secret mechanism of authority, envy,
fear and so on.
The strength and the beauty of a tender leaf is its vulnerability
to destruction. Like a blade of grass that comes up through the
pavement, it has the power that can withstand casual death.
23rd Creation is never in the hands of the individual. It ceases
entirely when individuality, with its capacities, gifts, techniques
and so on, becomes dominant. Creation is the movement of the unknowable essence of the whole; it is never the expression of the
Just as one was getting to bed, there was that fullness of ill.** It
was not only in the room but it seemed to cover the earth from
horizon to horizon. It was a benediction.
The pressure, with its peculiar pain, was there all the morning.
And it continues in the afternoon.
Sitting in the dentist’s chair, one was looking out of the window,
looking past the hedge, the TV antenna, the telegraph pole, at the
purple mountains. One was looking not with eyes only but with
one’s whole head, as though from the back of the head, with one’s
entire being. It was an odd experience. There was no centre from
which observation was taking place. The colours and the beauty
and lines of the mountains were intense.
Every twist of thought must be understood; for all thought is
reaction and any action from this can only increase confusion and
24th The pressure and the pain was there all day yesterday; it is
all becoming rather difficult. The moment one’s by oneself, it
begins. And desire for its continuance, any disappointment if it
does not continue does not exist. It is simply there whether one
wants it or not. It’s beyond all reason and thought.
To do something for its own sake seems quite difficult and
almost undesirable. Social values are based on doing something for
the sake of something else. This makes for barren existence, a life
which is never complete, full. This is one of the reasons of
disintegrating discontent.
To be satisfied is ugly but to be discontented breeds hatred. To be virtuous in order to gain heaven or the approval of the
respectable, of society, makes of life a barren field which has been
ploughed over and over again but has never been sown. This
activity of doing something for the sake of something else is in
essence an intricate series of escapes, escapes from oneself, from
what is.
Without experiencing the essence there is no beauty. Beauty is
not merely in the outward things or in inward thoughts, feelings
and ideas; there is beauty beyond this thought and feeling. It’s this
essence that is beauty. But this beauty has no opposite.
The pressure continues and the strain is at the base of the head
and it’s painful.
25th Woke up in the middle of the night and found the body
perfectly still, stretched out on its back, motionless; this position
must have been maintained for some time. The pressure and the
pain were there. The brain and the mind were intensely still. There
was no division between them. There was a strange quiet intensity,
like two great dynamos working at great speed; there was a
peculiar tension in which there was no strain. There was a sense of
vastness about the whole thing and a power without direction and
cause and so no brutality and ruthlessness. And it continued during
the morning.
During the past year or so, one would wake up, to experience, in
wakened state, what had been going on while asleep, certain states
of being. It is as though one woke up merely for the brain to
register what was going on. But curiously, the particular
experience would fade away quite soon. The brain was not putting
it away in its scrolls of memory.       There is only destruction and no change. For all change is a
modified continuity of what has been. All social, economic
revolutions are reactions, a modified continuation of that which has
been. This change does not in any way destroy the roots of
egocentric activities.
Destruction, in the sense we are using the word, has no motive;
it has no purpose which implies action for the sake of result.
Destruction of envy is total and complete; it implies the freedom
from suppression, control, and without any motive whatsoever.
This total destruction is possible; it lies in seeing the total
structure of envy. This seeing is not in space-time but immediate.
26th The pressure and the strain of it was there, very strongly,
yesterday afternoon and this morning. Only there was a certain
change; the pressure and the strain were from the back of the head,
through the palate to the top of the head. A strange intensity
continues. One has to be quiet only for it to begin.
Control in any form is harmful to total understanding. A
disciplined existence is a life of conformity; in conformity there is
no freedom from fear. Habit destroys freedom; habit of thought,
habit of drinking and so on makes for a superficial and dull life.
Organized religion with its beliefs, dogmas and rituals denies the
open entry into the vastness of mind. It is this entry that cleanses
the brain of space-time. Being cleansed, the brain can then deal
with time-space.
27th That presence which was at il I. was there, waiting
patiently, benignly, with great tenderness. It was like the lightning
on a dark night but it was there, penetrating, blissful.
Something strange is happening to the physical organism. One can’t exactly put one’s finger on it but there’s an «odd: insistency,
drive; it’s in no way self-created, bred out of imagination. It is
palpable when one’s quiet, alone, under a tree or in a room; it is
there most urgently as one’s about to go off to sleep. It’s there as
this is being written, the pressure and the strain, with its familiar
Formulation and words about all this seem so futile; words
however accurate, however clear the description, do not convey the
real thing.
There’s a great and unutterable beauty in all this. There is only
one movement in life, the outer and the inner; this movement is
indivisible, though it is divided. Being divided, most follow the
outer movement of knowledge, ideas, beliefs, authority, security,
prosperity and so on. In reaction to this, one follows the so-called
inner life, with its visions, hopes, aspirations, secrecies, conflicts,
despairs. As this movement is a reaction, it is in conflict with the
outer. So there is contradiction, with its aches, anxieties and
There is only one movement, which is the outer and the inner.
With the understanding of the outer, then the inner movement
begins, not in opposition or in contradiction. As conflict is
eliminated, the brain, though highly sensitive and alert, becomes
quiet. Then only the inner movement has validity and significance.
Out of this movement there is a generosity and compassion
which is not the outcome of reason and purposeful self-denial.
The flower is strong in its beauty as it can be forgotten, set aside
or destroyed.
The ambitious do not know beauty. The feeling of essence is beauty.
28th Woke up in the middle of the night shouting and groaning;
the pressure and the strain, with its peculiar pain, was intense. It
must have been going on for some time and it went on for some
time after waking up. The shouting and groaning take place quite
often. These do not take place from indigestion. Sitting in the
dentist’s chair, while waiting, the whole thing began again and is
going on, in the afternoon, as this is being written. It is more
noticeable when one is alone or in some beautiful place or even in
a dirty, noisy street.
That which is sacred has no attributes. A stone in a temple, an
image in a church, a symbol is not sacred. Man calls them sacred,
something holy to be worshipped out of complicated urges, fears
and longings. This «sacredness» is still within the field of thought;
it is built up by thought and in thought there’s nothing new or holy.
Thought can put together the intricacies of systems, dogmas,
beliefs, and the images, symbols, its projects are no more holy than
the blueprints of a house or the design of a new aeroplane. All this
is within the frontiers of thought and there is nothing sacred or
mystical about all this. Thought is matter and it can be made into
anything, ugly – beautiful.
But there’s a sacredness which is not of thought, nor of a feeling
resuscitated by thought. It is not recognizable by thought nor can it
be utilized by thought. Thought cannot formulate it. But there’s a
sacredness, untouched by any symbol or word. It is not
communicable. It is a fact.
A fact is to be seen and the seeing is not through the word.
When a fact is interpreted, it ceases to be a fact; it becomes something entirely different. The seeing is of the highest
importance. This seeing is out of time-space; it’s immediate,
instantaneous. And what’s seen is never the same again. There’s no
again or in the meantime.
This sacredness has no worshipper, the observer who meditates
upon it. It’s not in the market to be bought or sold. Like beauty, it
cannot be seen through its opposite for it has no opposite.
That presence is here, filling the room, spilling over the hills,
beyond the waters, covering the earth.
Last night, as it has happened once or twice before, the body
was just the organism and nothing else, functioning, empty and
29th The pressure and the strain of deep ache is there; it`s as
though, deep within, an operation was going on. It’s not brought on
through one’s own volition, however subtle it might be. One has
deliberately and for some time gone into it, deeply. One has tried to
induce it; tried to bring about various outward conditions, being
alone and so on. Then nothing happens. All this isn’t something
Love’s not attachment. Love does not yield sorrow. Love has no
despair or hope. Love cannot be made respectable, part of the
social scheme. When it is not there, every form of travail begins.
To possess and to be possessed is considered a form of love.
This urge to possess, a person or a piece of property, is not merely
the demands of society and circumstances but springs from a far
deeper source. It comes from the depths of loneliness. Each one
tries to fill this loneliness in different ways, drink, organized
religion, belief, some form of activity and so on. All these are escapes but it’s still there.
To commit oneself to some organization, to some belief or
action is to be possessed by them, negatively; and positively is to
possess. The negative and positive possessiveness is doing good,
changing the world and the so-called love. To control another, to
shape another in the name of love is the urge to possess; the urge to
find security, safety in another and the comfort. Self-forgetfulness
through another, through some activity makes for attachment.
From this attachment, there’s sorrow and despair and from this
there is the reaction, to be detached. And from this contradiction of
attachment and detachment arises conflict and frustration.
There’s no escape from loneliness: it is a fact and escape from
facts breeds confusion and sorrow.
But not to possess anything is an extraordinary state, not even to
possess an idea, let alone a person or a thing. When idea, thought,
takes root, it has already become a possession and then the war to
be free begins. And this freedom is not freedom at all; it’s only a
reaction. Reactions take root and our life is the ground in which
roots have grown. To cut all the roots, one by one, is a
psychological absurdity. It cannot be done. Only the fact,
loneliness, must be seen and then all other things fade away.
30th Yesterday afternoon it was pretty bad, almost unbearable;
it went on for several hours. Walking, surrounded by these violet,
bare, rocky mountains, suddenly there was solitude. Complete
solitude. Everywhere, there was solitude; it had great,
unfathomable richness; it had that beauty which is beyond thought
and feeling. It was not still; it was living, moving, filling every
nook and corner. The high rocky mountain top was aglow with the setting sun and that very light and colour filled the heavens with
It was uniquely alone, not isolated but alone, like a drop of rain
which holds all the waters of the earth. It was neither joyous nor
sad but alone. It had no quality, shape or colour; these would make
it something recognizable, measurable. It came like a flash and
took seed. It did not germinate but it was there in its entirety. There
was no time to mature; time has roots in the past. This was a
rootless, causeless state. So it is totally «new», a state that has not
been and never will be, for it is living.
Isolation is known and so is loneliness; they are recognizable
for they have often been experienced, actually or in imagination.
The very familiarity of these breeds certain self-righteous contempt
and fear from which arises cynicism and gods. But self-isolation
and loneliness do not lead to aloneness; they must be finished with,
not in order to gain something, but they must die as naturally as the
withering away of a gentle flower. Resistance breeds fear but also
acceptance. The brain must wash itself clean of all these cunning
Unrelated to all these twists and turns of self-contaminated
consciousness, wholly different is this immense solitude. In it all
creation takes place. Creation destroys and so it is ever the
All the evening of yesterday, this solitude was and is there, and
on waking in the middle of the night it sustained itself.
The pressure and the strain continue, increasing and decreasing
in continuous waves. It’s pretty bad today, during the afternoon.
July 1st It’s as though everything stood still. There’s no movement, no stirring, complete emptiness of all thought, of all
seeing. There’s no interpreter to translate, to observe, to censor. An
immeasurable vastness that is utterly still and silent. There is no
space, nor time to cover that space. The beginning and the ending
are here, of all things. There is really nothing that can be said about
The pressure and the strain have been going on quietly all day;
only now they have increased.
2nd The thing which happened yesterday, that immeasurable
still vastness, went on all the evening, even though there were
people and general talk. It went on all night; it was there in the
morning. Though there was rather exaggerated, emotionally
agitated talk, suddenly in the middle of it, it was there. And it’s
here, there’s a beauty and a glory and there’s a sense of wordless
The pressure and the strain began rather early.
3rd Been out all day. All the same, in a crowded town in the
afternoon, for two or three hours the pressure and the strain of it
was on.
4th Been busy, but in spite of it, the pressure and the strain of it
was there in the afternoon.
Whatever actions one has to do in daily life, the shocks and the
various incidents should not leave their scars. These scars become
the ego, the self, and as one lives, it becomes strong and its walls
almost become impenetrable.
5th Been too busy but whenever there’s some quiet, the pressure
and the strain was on.
6th Last night woke up with that sense of complete stillness and silence; the brain was fully alert and intensely alive; the body was
very quiet. This state lasted for about half an hour. This in spite of
an exhausting day.
The height of intensity and sensitivity is the experiencing of
essence. It’s this that is beauty beyond word and feeling. Proportion
and depth, light and shade are limited to time-space, caught in
beauty-ugliness. But that which is beyond line and shape, beyond
learning and knowledge, is the beauty of essence.
7th Woke up several times shouting. Again there was that
intense stillness of the brain and a feeling of vastness. There has
been pressure and strain.
Success is brutality. Success in every form, political and
religious, art and business. To be successful implies ruthlessness.
8th Before going to sleep or just going off to sleep, several
times there were groans and shouts. The body is too disturbed on
account of travelling, as one leaves tonight for London [via Los
Angeles]. There is a certain amount of pressure and strain.
9th As one sat in the aeroplane amidst all the noise, smoking
and loud talking, most unexpectedly, the sense of immensity and
that extraordinary benediction which was felt at il L., that
imminent feeling of sacredness, began to take place. The body was
nervously tense because of the crowd, noise, etc. but in spite of all
this, it was there. The pressure and the strain were intense and there
was acute pain at the back of the head. There was only this state
and there was no observer. The whole body was wholly in it and
the feeling of sacredness was so intense that a groan escaped from
the body and passengers were sitting in the next seats. It went on
for several hours, late into the night. It was as though one was looking, not with eyes only but with a thousand centuries; it was
altogether a strange occurrence. The brain was completely empty,
all reaction had stopped; during all those hours, one was not aware
of this emptiness but only in writing it is the thing known, but this
knowledge is only descriptive and not real. That the brain could
empty itself is an odd phenomenon. As the eyes were closed, the
body, the brain seemed to plunge into unfathomable depths, into
states of incredible sensitivity and beauty. The passenger in the
next seat began to ask something and having replied, this intensity
was there; there was no continuity but only being. And dawn was
coming leisurely and the clear sky was filling with light – As this is
being written late in the day, with sleepless fatigue, that sacredness
is there. The pressure and the strain too.

* The Ojai Valley, some eighty miles north of Los Angeles.
** A house above Florence where he had stayed in April.

Little sleep but wake up to be aware that there is a great sense of
driving energy which is focused in the head. The body was
groaning and yet it was very still, stretched out flat and very
peaceful. The room seemed to be full and it was very late and the
front door of the next house was shut with a bang – There was not
an idea, not a feeling and yet the brain was alert and sensitive. The
pressure and the stra1n were there causing pain. An odd thing
about this pain is that it does not in any way exhaust the body.
There seems to be so much happening within the brain but yet it is
impossible to put into words what exactly is taking place. There
was a sense of measureless expansion.
11th The pressure and strain have been rather heavy and there is
pain. The odd part of all this is that the body in no way protests or
puts up resistance in any way. There is an unknown energy
involved in all this. Too busy to write much.
12th It was bad last night, shouting and groaning. The head was
painful. Though little sleep, woke up twice and each time there was
a sense of expanding intensity and intense inward attention and the
brain had emptied itself of all feeling and thought.
Destruction, the complete emptying of the brain, the reaction
and memory must without any effort wither away; withering away
implies time but it is time that ceases and not the ending of
This timeless expanding that was taking place and the quality
and degree of intensity are wholly different from passion and feeling. It was this intensity totally unrelated to any desire, wish or
experience, as remembrance, that was rushing through the brain.
The brain was only an instrument and it’s the mind that is this
timeless expanding, exploding intensity of creation. And creation is
In the aeroplane it’s going on.*

* Flying to Geneva from where he drove to a friend’s chalet at

I think it’s the quietness of the place, of the green slopes of the
mountains, the beauty of the trees and the cleanliness, that and
other things, has made the pressure and the strain far greater; the
head has been bad all day; it becomes worse when one is by
oneself. All last night it seems to have been going on and woke up
several times shouting and groaning; even during rest, in the
afternoon, it was bad, accompanied by shouting. The body is
completely relaxed and at rest here. Last night, after the long and
lovely drive through mountainous country, on entering the room,
that strange sacred blessing was there. The other also felt it.* The
other also felt the quiet, that penetrating atmosphere. There is a
feeling of great beauty and love and of mature fullness.
Power is derived from asceticism, from action, from position,
from virtue, from domination and so on. All such forms of power
are evil. It corrupts and perverts. The use of money, talent,
cleverness to gain power or deriving power from any use of these
is evil.
But there is a power which is in no way related to that power
which is evil. This power is not to be bought through sacrifice,
virtue, good works and beliefs, nor is it to be bought through
worship, prayers and self-denying or self-destructive meditations.
All effort to become or to be must wholly, naturally, cease. Only
then that power which is not evil, can be.
14th The whole process has been going on all day – the pressure, the strain and the pain at the back of the head; woke up
shouting several times, and even during the day there was
involuntary groaning and shouting. Last night that sacred feeling
filled the room and the other felt it also.
How easy it is to deceive oneself about almost everything,
especially about deeper and more subtle demands and wishes. To
be utterly free of all such urges and demands is arduous. But yet it
is essential to be free from them or else the brain breeds every form
of illusion. The urge for the repetition of an experience however
pleasant, beautiful, fruitful, is the soil in which sorrow grows. The
passion of sorrow is as limiting as the passion of power. The brain
must cease to make its own ways and be utterly passive.
15th The whole process was bad last night; it has left one rather
tired and sleepless.
Woke up in the middle of the night, with a sense of immense
and measureless strength. It was not the strength that will or desire
has put together but the strength that is there in a river, in a
mountain, in a tree. It is in man when every form of desire and will
have completely ceased. It has no value, has no profit to a human
being, but without it the human being is not, nor the tree. The
action of man is choice and will and in such action there is
contradiction and conflict and so sorrow. All such action has a
cause, a motive and hence it is reaction. Action of this strength has
no cause, no motive and therefore is immeasurable and the essence.
16th The whole process went on most of the night; it was rather
intense. How much can the body stand! The whole body was
quivering and, this morning, woke up with the head shaking.
There was, this morning that peculiar sacredness, filling the room. It had great penetrating power, entering into every corner of
one’s being, filling, cleansing, making everything of itself. The
other felt it too. It’s the thing that every human being craves for and
because they crave for it, it eludes them. The monk, the priest, the
sannyasi torture their bodies and their character in their longing for
this but it evades them. For it cannot be bought; neither sacrifice,
virtue nor prayer can bring this love. This life, this love cannot be
if death is the means. All seeking, all asking must wholly cease.
Truth cannot be exact. What can be measured is not truth. That
which is not living can be measured and its height be found.
17th We were going up the path of a steep wooded side of a
mountain and presently sat on a bench. Suddenly, most
unexpectedly that sacred benediction came upon us, the other felt it
too, without our saying anything. As it several times filled a room,
this time it seemed to cover the mountainside across the wide,
extending valley and beyond the mountains. It was everywhere. All
space seemed to disappear; what was far, the wide gap, the distant
snowcovered peaks and the person sitting on the bench faded
away. There was not one or two or many but only this immensity.
The brain had lost all its responses; it was only an instrument of
observation, it was seeing, not as the brain belonging to a particular
person, but as a brain which is not conditioned by time-space, as
the essence of all brains.
It was a quiet night and the whole process was not so intense.
On waking this morning, there was an experiencing whose duration
was perhaps a minute, an hour or timeless. An experiencing that is
informed with time ceases to be experiencing; what has continuity
ceases to be the experiencing. On waking there was in the very depths, in the measureless depth of the total mind, an intense flame
alive and burning furiously, of attention, of awareness, of creation.
The word G not the thing; the symbol G not the real. The fires that
burn on the surface of life pass, die away, leaving sorrow and ashes
and remembrance. These fires are called life but it’s not life. It’s
decay. The fire of creation that is destruction is life. In it there is no
beginning, no ending, neither tomorrow or yesterday. It’s there and
no surface activity will ever uncover it. The brain must die for this
life to be.
18th The process has been very acute, preventing sleep; even in
the morning and in the afternoon shouting and groaning. The pain
has been rather bad.
Woke up this morning with a great deal of pain but at the same
time there was a flash of a seeing that was revealing. Our eyes and
brain register the outward things, trees, mountains, swift running
streams; accumulate knowledge, technique and so on. With that
same eyes and brain, trained to observe, to choose, to condemn and
justify, we turn inward, look inward, recognize objects, build up
ideas, which are organized into reason. This inward look does not
go very far, for it’s still within the limitation of its own observation
and reason. This inward gaze is still the outward look and so there’s
not much difference between the two. What may appear to be
different may be similar.
But there’s an inward observation which is not the outward
observation turned inward. The brain and the eye which observe
only partially do not comprehend the total seeing. They must be
alive completely but still; they must cease to choose and judge but
be passively aware. Then the inward seeing is without the border of time-space. In this flash a new perception is born.
19th It had been rather bad all the afternoon of yesterday and it
seems more painful. Towards the evening that sacredness came and
filled the room and the other felt it too. All night it was fairly quiet,
though the pressure and strain were there, like the sun behind the
clouds; early this morning the process began again.
It appears one’s awakened merely to register a certain
experience; this has happened quite often, for the past year. One
was awakened this morning with a living feeling of joy; it was
taking place as one woke up; it wasn’t a thing in the past. It was
actually taking place. It was coming, this ecstasy, from «outside»,
not self-induced; it was being pushed through the system, flowing
through the organism, with great energy and volume. The brain
was not taking part in it but only registering it, not as a
remembrance but as an actual fact which was taking place. There
was, it seemed, immense strength and vitality behind this ecstasy;
it wasn’t sentimental nor a feeling, an emotion but as solid and real
as that stream crashing down the mountain-side or that solitary
pine on the green mountain slope. All feeling and emotion are
related to the brain and as love is not, so was this ecstasy. It is with
the greatest difficulty, the brain can recall it.
Early this morning there was a benediction that seemed to cover
the earth and fill the room. With it comes an all consuming
quietness, a stillness that seems to have within it all movement.
20th The process was particularly intense yesterday afternoon.
In the car, waiting, one was almost oblivious of what was going on
around one. The intensity increased and it was almost unbearable
so that one was forced to lie down. Fortunately there was someone in the room.
The room became full with that benediction. Now what
followed is almost impossible to put down in words; words are
such dead things, with definite set meaning and what took place
was beyond all words and description. It was the centre of all
creation; it was a purifying seriousness that cleansed the brain of
every thought and feeling; its seriousness was as lightning which
destroys and burns up; the profundity of it was not measurable, it
was there immovable, impenetrable, a solidity that was as light as
the heavens. It was in the eyes, in the breath. It was in the eyes and
the eyes could see. The eyes that saw, that looked were wholly
different from the eyes of the organ and yet they were the same
eyes. There was only seeing, the eyes that saw beyond time-space.
There was impenetrable dignity and a peace that was the essence of
all movement, action. No virtue touched it for it was beyond all
virtue and sanctions of man. There was love that was utterly
perishable and so it had the delicacy of all new things, vulnerable,
destructible and yet it was beyond all this. It was there
imperishable, unnameable, the unknowing. No thought could ever
penetrate it; no action could ever touch it. It was «pure», untouched
and so ever dyingly beautiful.
All this seemed to affect the brain; it was not as it was before.
(Thought is such a trivial thing, necessary but trivial.) Because of
it, relationship seems to have changed. As a terrific storm, a
destructive earthquake gives a new course to the rivers, changes
the landscape, digs deep into the earth, so it has levelled the
contours of thought, changed the shape of the heart.
21st The whole process is going on as usual, in spite of cold and feverish state. It has become more acute and more insistent. One
wonders how long the body can carry on.
Yesterday, as we were walking up a beautiful narrow valley, its
steep sides dark with pines and green fields full of wild flowers,
suddenly, most unexpectedly, for we were talking of other things, a
benediction descended upon us, like gentle rain. We became the
centre of it. It was gentle, pressing, infinitely tender and peaceful,
enfolding us in a power that was beyond all fault and reason.
Early this morning, on waking, changing, changeless purifying
seriousness and an ecstasy that had no cause. It simply was there.
And during the day, whatever one did it was there in the
background and it came directly and immediately to the fore when
one was quiet. There is an urgency and beauty in it.
No imagination or desire could ever formulate such profound
22nd Waiting in the doctor’s dark, airless office, that
benediction, which no desire can construct, came and filled the
small room. It was there till we left. If it was felt by the doctor it’s
impossible to say.
Why is it that there is deterioration? Inwardly as well as
outwardly. Why? Time brings destruction to all mechanical
organizations; it wears out by use and disease every form of
organism. Why should there be deterioration inwardly,
psychologically? Beyond all explanations which a good brain can
give, why do we choose the worse and not the better, why hate
rather than love, why greed and not generosity, why self-centred
activity and not open total action? Why be mean when there are
soaring mountains and flashing streams? Why jealousy and not love? Why? Seeing the fact leads to one thing, and opinions,
explanations, to another. Seeing the fact that we decline,
deteriorate is all important and not the why and wherefore of it.
Explanation has very little significance in face of a fact, but to be
satisfied with explanations, with words is one of the major factors
of deterioration. Why war and not peace? The fact is we are
violent; conflict, inside and outside the skin, is part of our daily life
– ambition and success. Seeing this fact and not the cunning
explanation and the subtle word, puts an end to deterioration.
Choice, one of the major causes of decline, must wholly cease if
it’s to come to an end. The desire to fulfil and the satisfaction and
sorrow that exist in its shadow, is also one of the factors of
Woke up early this morning, to experience that benediction.
One was «forced» to sit up to be in that clarity and beauty. Later in
the morning sitting on a roadside bench under a tree one felt the
immensity of it. It gave shelter, protection like the tree overhead
whose leaves gave shelter against the strong mountain sun and yet
allowed light to come through. All relationship is such protection
in which there’s freedom, and because there’s freedom, there is
shelter. 23rd Woke up early this morning with an enormous sense
of power, beauty and incorruptibility. It was not something that had
happened, an experience that was past and one woke up to
remember it as in a dream, but something that was actually taking
place. One was aware of something utterly incorruptible, in which
nothing could possibly exist that could become corrupt, deteriorate.
It was too immense for the brain to grasp, to remember; it could
only register, mechanically, that there is such a «state» of incorruption. Experiencing such a state is vastly important; it was
there, limitless, untouchable, impenetrable.
Because of its incorruptibility, there was in it beauty. Not the
beauty that fades nor something put together by the hand of man,
nor the evil with its beauty. One felt that in its presence all essence
exists and so it was sacred. It was a life in which nothing could
perish. Death is incorruptible but man makes of it a corruption as,
for him, life is.
With it all, there was that sense of power, strength as solid as
that mountain which nothing could shatter, which no sacrifice,
prayer, virtue could ever touch.
It was there, immense, which no wave of thought could corrupt,
a thing remembered. It was there and the eyes, the breath were of
Time, laziness, corrupts. It must have gone on for a certain
period. Dawn was just coming and there was dew on the car
outside and on the grass. The sun wasn’t up yet but the sharp snow
peak was clear in the grey-blue sky; it was an enchanting morning,
with not a cloud. But it wouldn’t last, it was too lovely.
Why should all this happen to us? No explanation is good
enough, though one can invent a dozen. But certain things are
fairly clear. 1. One must be wholly «indifferent» to it coming and
going. 2. There must be no desire to continue the experience or to
store it away in memory. 3. There must be a certain physical
sensitivity, a certain indifference to comfort. 4. There must be self-
critical humourous approach. But even if one had all these, by
chance, not through deliberate cultivation and humility, even then,
they are not enough. Something totally different is necessary or nothing is necessary. It must come and you can never go after it, do
what you will. You can also add love to the list but it is beyond
love. One thing is certain, the brain can never comprehend it nor
can it contain it. Blessed is he to whom it is given. And you can
add also a still, quiet brain.
24th The process has not been so intense, as the body for some
days has not been well, but though it is weak, now and then one
can feel the intensity of it. It’s strange how this process adjusts
itself to circumstance.
Yesterday, driving through the narrow valley, a mountain
stream noisily making its way beside the wet road, there was this
benediction. It was very strong and everything was bathed in it.
The noise of the stream was part of it and the high waterfall which
became the stream were in it. It was like the gentle rain that was
coming down and one became utterly vulnerable; the body seemed
to have become light as a leaf, exposed and trembling. This went
on through the long, cool drive; talk became monosyllabic; the
beauty of it seemed incredible. All the evening it remained and
though there was laughter, the solid, the impenetrable seriousness
On waking this morning, early when the sun was still below the
horizon, there was the ecstasy of this seriousness. It filled the heart
and the brain and there was a sense of immovability.
To look is important. We look to immediate things and out of
immediate necessities to the future, coloured by the past. Our
seeing is very limited and our eyes are accustomed to near things.
Our look is as bound by time-space as our brain. We never look,
we never see beyond this limitation; we do not know how to look through and beyond these fragmentary frontiers. But the eyes have
to see beyond them, penetrating deeply and widely, without
choosing, without shelter; they have to wander beyond man-made
frontiers of ideas and values and to feel beyond love.
Then there is a benediction which no god can give.
25th In spite of a meeting,** the process is going on, rather
gently but going on.
Woke up this morning, rather early, with a sense of a mind that
had penetrated into unknown depths. It was as though the mind
itself was going into itself, deeply and widely and the journey
seemed to have been without movement. And there was this
experience of immensity in abundance and a richness that was
It’s strange that though every experience, state, is utterly
different, it is still the same movement; though it seems to change,
it is still the changeless.
26th All yesterday afternoon the process was on and it was
pretty bad. Walking in the deep shadow of a mountain, Beside a
chattering stream, in the intensity of the process, one felt utterly
vulnerable, naked and very open; one hardly seemed to exist. And
the beauty of the snowcovered mountain, held in the cup of two
dark pine slopes of curving hills, was greatly moving.
Early in the morning when the sun was not yet up and the dew
on the grass, still in bed, lying quietly, without any thought or
movement, there was a seeing, not the superficial seeing with the
eyes but seeing through the eyes from behind the head. The eyes
and from behind the head were only the instrument through which
the immeasurable past was seeing into the immeasurable space that had no time. And later, still in bed, there was a seeing in which all
life seemed to be contained.
How easy it is to deceive oneself, to project desirable states
which are actually experienced, especially when they are pleasure.
There’s no illusion, no deception, when there’s no desire, conscious
or unconscious, for any experience of any kind, when one’s wholly
indifferent to the coming and going of all experience, when one’s
not asking for anything.
27th It was a beautiful drive through two different valleys, up to
a pass; the sweeping mountainous rocks, fantastic shapes and
curves, their solitude and grandeur, and far away the green, sloping
mountain, made an impression on the brain that was still. As we
were driving, the strange intensity and the beauty of these many
days came more and more pressing upon one. And the other felt it
Woke up very early in the morning; that which is a benediction
and that which is strength were there and the brain was aware of
them as it is aware of a perfume but it was not a sensation, an
emotion; they were simply there. Do what one will, they will
always be there; there was nothing one could do about it.
There was a talk this morning and during the talk, the brain
which reacts, thinks, constructs was absent. The brain was not
working, except, probably, for the memory of words.
28th Yesterday we were walking along the favourite road beside
the noisy stream, in the narrow valley of dark pine trees, fields with
flowers and in the distance the massive snowcovered mountain and
a waterfall. It was enchanting, peaceful and cool. There, walking,
that sacred blessing came, a thing that one could almost touch, and deep within one there were movements of change. It was an
evening of enchantment and of beauty that was not of this world.
The immeasurable was there and then there was stillness.
This morning woke up early to register that the process was
intense, and through the back of the head, rushing forward as an
arrow with that peculiar sound as it flies through the air, was a
force, a movement that came from nowhere and was going
nowhere. And there was a sense of vast stability and a «dignity»
that could not be approached. And an austerity that no thought
could formulate but with it a purity of infinite gentleness. All these
are merely words and so they can never represent the real; the
symbol is never the real and the symbol is without value.
All the morning the process was on and a cup that had no height
and no depth seemed to be full to the overflowing.
29th Had been seeing people and after they left, one felt as
though one was suspended between two worlds. And presently the
world of the process and that unquenchable intensity came back.
Why this separation? The people one saw were not serious, at least
they thought they were serious but they were serious only in a
superficial way. One could not give oneself completely and hence
this feeling of not being at home again, but all the same, it was an
odd experience.
We were talking and a little bit of the stream between the trees
was pointed out. It was an ordinary sight, an everyday incident, but
as one looked, several things took place, not any outward incidents
but clear perception. It’s absolutely necessary for maturity that
there should be – 1. Complete simplicity which goes with humility,
not in things or possessions but in the quality of being. 2. Passion with that intensity which is not merely physical. 3. Beauty; not
only the sensitivity to outward reality but being sensitive to that
beauty which is beyond and above thought and feeling. 4. Love;
the totality of it, not the thing that knows jealousy, attachment,
dependence; not that as divided into carnal and divine. The whole
immensity of it. 5. And the mind that can pursue, that can penetrate
without motive, without purpose, into its own immeasurable
depths; that has no barrier, that is free to wander without time-
Suddenly one was aware of all this and all the implications
involved in it; just the mere sight of a stream between decaying
branches and leaves on a rainy, dismal day.
As we were talking, for no reason, for what we were talking
about was not too serious, out of some unapproachable depths
suddenly one felt this immense flame of power, destructive in its
creation. It was the power that existed before all things came into
being; it was unapproachable and by its very strength one could not
come near it. Nothing exists but that one thing. Immensity and
Part of this experience must have «continued» while asleep for
on waking early this morning it was there and the intensity of the
process had awakened one. It is beyond all thought and words to
describe what’s going on, the strangeness of it and the love, the
beauty of it. No imagination could ever build all this up nor is it an
illusion; the strength and the purity of it is not for a make-believe
mind-brain. It’s beyond and above all faculties of man.
30th It was a cloudy day, heavy with dark clouds; it had rained
in the morning and it had turned cold. After a walk we were talking but more looking at the beauty of the earth, the houses and the dark
Unexpectedly, there was a flash of that unapproachable power
and strength that was physically shattering. The body became
frozen into immobility and one had to shut one’s eyes not to go off
into a faint. It was completely shattering and everything that was
didn’t seem to exist. And the immobility of that strength and the
destructive energy that came with it, burned out the limitations of
sight and sound. It was something indescribably great whose height
and depth are unknowable.
Early this morning, just as dawn was breaking, with not a cloud
in the sky and the snowcovered mountains just visible, woke up
with that feeling of impenetrable strength in one’s eyes and throat;
it seemed to be a palpable state, something that could never not be
there. For nearly an hour it was there and the brain remained
empty. It was not a thing to be caught by thought and stored up in
memory to be recalled. It was there and all thought was dead.
Thought is functional, is only useful in that realm; thought could
not think about it for thought is time and it was beyond all time and
measure. Thought, desire could not seek for its continuation or for
its repetition, for thought, desire, was totally absent. Then what is it
that remembers to write this down? Merely a mechanical record
but the record, the word is not the thing.
The process goes on, more gently, probably because of the talks
and there is also a limit beyond which the body will crack. But it’s
there, persistent and insistent.
31st Walking along the path that followed the fast-running
stream, cool and pleasant, with many people about, there was that benediction, as gentle as the leaves and there was in it a dancing
joy. But there was beyond and through it that immense, solid
strength and power that was unapproachable. One felt that there
was immeasurable depth behind it, unfathomable. It was there,
with every step, with an urgency and yet with infinite
«indifference». As a big, high dam holds back the river, forming a
vast lake of many miles, so was this immensity.
But every moment there was destruction; not the destruction to
bring about a new change – change is never new – but total
destruction of what has been so that it can never be. There was no
violence in this destruction; there is violence in change, in
revolution, in submission, in discipline, in control and domination
but here all violence, in any form with a different name, has totally
ceased. It is this destruction that is creation.
But creation is not peace. Peace and conflict belong to the world
of change and time, to the outward and inward movement of
existence, but this was not of time or of any movement in space. It
is pure and absolute destruction and only then can the «new» be.
This morning on awaking this essence was there; it must have
been there all night, and on waking it seemed to fill the whole head
and body. And the process is going on gently. One has to he alone
and quiet, then it is there.
As one writes that benediction is there, as the soft breeze along
the leaves.
August 1st It was a beautiful day and driving in the beautiful
valley there was that which was not to be denied; it was there as
the air, the sky and those mountains.
Woke up early, shouting, for the process was intense but during the day, in spite of the talk,*** it has been going on with mildness.
2nd Woke up early this morning; unwashed one was forced to
sit up and one has generally sat up in bed for some time before
getting out of bed, But this morning it was beyond the usual
procedure, it was an urgent and imperative necessity. As one sat
up, in a little while there came that immense benediction and
presently one felt that this whole power, this whole impenetrable,
stern strength was in one, about one and in the head, and in the
very middle of all this immensity, there was complete stillness. It
was a stillness which no mind can imagine, formulate; no violence
can produce this stillness; it had no cause; it was not a result; it was
the stillness in the very centre of a tremendous hurricane. It was the
stillness of all motion, the essence of all action; it was the
explosion of creation and it’s only in such stillness that creation can
take place.
Again the brain could not capture it; it could not record it in its
memories, in the past, for this thing is out of time; it had no future,
it had no past or present. If it was of time, the brain could capture it
and shape it according to its conditioning. As this stillness is the
totality of all motion, the essence of all action, a living that was
without shadow, the thing of shadow could not, by any means,
measure it. It is too immense for time to hold it and no space could
contain it.
All this may have lasted a minute or an hour.
Before sleeping the process was acute and it has continued in a
mild way all day long.
3rd woke up early with that strong feeling of otherness, of
another world that is beyond all thought; it was very intense and as clear and pure as the early morning, cloudless sky. Imagination and
illusion are purged from the mind for there is no continuance.
Everything is and it has never been before. Where there is a
possibility of continuance, there is delusion.
It was a clear morning though soon clouds would be gathering.
As one looked out of the window, the trees, the fields were very
clear. A curious thing is happening; there is a heightening of
sensitivity. Sensitivity, not only to beauty but also to all other
things. The blade of grass was astonishingly green; that one blade
of grass contained the whole spectrum of colour; it was intense,
dazzling and such a small thing, so easy to destroy. Those trees
were all of life, their height and their depth; the lines of those
sweeping hills and the solitary trees were the expression of all time
and space; and the mountains against the pale sky were beyond all
the gods of man. It was incredible to see, feel, all this by just
looking out of the window. One’s eyes were cleansed.
It is strange how during one or two interviews that strength, that
power filled the room. It seemed to be in one’s eyes and breath. It
comes into being, suddenly and most unexpectedly, with a force
and intensity that is quite overpowering and at other times it’s
there, quietly and serenely. But it’s there, whether one wants it or
not. There is no possibility of getting used to it for it has never
been nor will it ever be. But it’s there.
The process has been mild, these talks and seeing people
probably make it so.
4th Woke up very early in the morning; it was still dark but
dawn would soon come; towards the east there was in the distance
a pale light. The sky was very clear and the shape of the mountains and the hills were just visible. It was very quiet.
Out of this vast silence suddenly, as one sat up in bed, when
thought was quiet and far away, when there wasn’t even a whisper
of a feeling, there came that which was now the solid,
inexhaustible being. It was solid, without weight, without measure;
it was there and besides it, there existed nothing. It was there
without another. The words solid, immovable, imperishable do not
in any way convey that quality of timeless stability. None of these
or any other word could communicate that which was there. It was
totally itself and nothing else; it was the totality of all things, the
The purity of it remained, leaving one without thought, without
action. It’s not possible to be one with it; it is not possible to be one
with a swiftly flowing river. You can never be one with that which
has no form, no measure, no quality. It is; that is all.
How deeply mature and tender everything has become and
strangely all life is in it; like a new leaf, utterly defenceless. 5th
There was, as one woke up this morning early, a flash of «seeing»,
«looking», that seems to be going on and on for ever. It started
nowhere and went nowhere but in that seeing all sight was
included and all things. It was a sight that went beyond the streams,
the hills, the mountains, past the earth and the horizon and the
people. In this seeing, there was penetrating light and incredible
swiftness. The brain could not follow it nor could the mind contain
it. It was pure light and a swiftness that knew no resistance.
On the walk yesterday, the beauty of light among the trees and
on the grass was so intense, that it left one actually breathless and
the body frail.       Later this morning, as one was just going to have breakfast, like
a knife thrust into a soft earth, there was that benediction, with its
power and strength. It came as does lightning and was gone as
The process was rather intense yesterday afternoon and
somewhat less this morning. There’s a frailty about the body.
6th Though one had slept, not too well, on waking one was
aware that all night the process was going but, much more, that
there was a blossoming of that benediction. One felt as though it
was operating upon one.
On waking, there was an outgoing, outpouring of this power
and strength. It was as a stream rushing out of the rocks, out of the
earth. There was a strange and unimaginable bliss in this, an
ecstasy that had nothing to do with thought and feeling.
There is an aspen tree and its leaves are trembling in the breeze
and without that dance life is not.
7th One was done up after the talk**** and seeing people and
towards the evening we went for a short walk. After a brilliant day,
clouds were gathering and it would rain during the night. Clouds
were closing in on the mountains and the stream was making a
great deal of noise. The road was dusty with cars and across the
stream was a narrow, wooden bridge. We crossed it and went up a
grassy path and the green slope was full of flowers of so many
The path went up gently past a cow shed but it was empty; the
cattle had been taken to pastures much higher up. It was quiet up
there, without people but with the noise of the rushing stream.
Quietly, it came, so gently that one was not aware of it, so close to the earth, among the flowers. It was spreading, covering the earth
and one was in it, not as an observer but of it. There was no
thought or feeling, the brain utterly quiet. Suddenly, there was
innocence so simple, so clear and delicate. It was a meadow of
innocence past all pleasure and ache, beyond all torture of hope
and despair. It was there and it made the mind, one’s whole being
innocent; one was of it, past measure, past word, the mind
transparent and the brain young without time.
It went on for some time and it was late and we had to return.
This morning, on waking it took a little time for that immensity
to come but it was there and thought and feeling were made still.
As one was cleaning one’s teeth, the intensity of it was sharp and
clear. It comes as suddenly as it goes, nothing can restrain it and
nothing can call it.
The process has been rather acute and the pain has been sharp.
8th On waking, everything was quiet as the previous day had
been tiring. It was surprisingly quiet and one sat up to carry on
with the usual meditation. Unexpectedly, as one hears a distant
sound, it began, quietly, gently, and all of a sudden, it was there in
full force. It must have lasted for some minutes. It was gone but it
left its perfume deep in one’s consciousness and the seeing of it in
one’s eyes.
During the talk this morning that immensity with its benediction
was there.***** Each one must have interpreted it in his way and
thereby destroying its indescribable nature. All interpretation
The process has been acute and the body has become rather
frail. But beyond all this, there is the purity of incredible beauty, the beauty not of things, which thought or feeling has put together,
or the gift of some craftsman, but as a river that wanders,
nourishing and indifferent, polluted and made use of; it’s there,
complete and rich in itself. And a strength that has no value in
man’s social structure and behaviour. But it is there, unconcerned,
immense, untouchable. Because of this, all things are.
9th Again this morning, on waking one felt it was an empty
night; it had been too much, for the body, with the talk [the day
before] and seeing people, was tired. Sitting up in bed as usual, it
was quiet; the country was asleep, there was no sound and the
morning was heavy with clouds. Wherever it has its being, it came
suddenly and fully, this benediction with its strength and power. It
remained filling the room and beyond, and presently it went,
leaving behind a feeling of vastness, whose height was beyond the
Yesterday, walking amidst hills, meadows and streams, among
pleasant quietness and beauty one was again aware of that strange
and deeply moving innocence. It was quietly, without any
resistance, penetrating, entering into every corner and twist of one’s
mind, cleansing it of all thought and feeling. It left one empty and
complete. Suddenly all time had stopped. Each one was aware of
its passage.******
The process is going on but more gently and deeply.
10th It had rained sharply and very heavily, washing off the
white dust on the big round leaves by the unpaved road that went
deep into the mountains. The air was soft and gentle and at that
altitude not heavy; the air was clean and pleasant and there was the
smell of rain-washed earth. Walking up the road, one was aware of the beauty of the earth and the delicate line of the steep hills
against the evening sky; of the massive, rocky mountain with its
glacier and wide field of snow; of the many flowers in the
meadows. It was an evening of great beauty and quietness. The
stream so boisterous, was made muddy by the recent, heavy rain; it
had lost that peculiar bright clarity of mountain water but in a few
hours it would again become clear.
As one looked at the massive rocks, with their curves and
shapes and the sparkling snow, half-dreamily with no thought in
mind, suddenly there was an immense, massive dignity of strength
and benediction. It filled the valley on the instant and the mind had
no measurement; it was deep beyond the word. Again there was
On waking early this morning, it was there and meditation was
a little thing and all thought died and all feeling had ceased; the
brain was utterly quiet. Its record is not the real. It was there,
untouchable and unknowable. It would never be what has been: it
is of never ending beauty.
It was an extraordinary morning. This has been going on for
four solid months, whatever the environment, whatever the
condition of the body. It’s never the same and yet the same; it is
destruction and never ending creation. Its power and strength are
beyond all comparison and word. And it’s never continuous; it is
death and life.
The process has been rather acute and it all seems rather
August 11th, 1961******* Sitting in the car, beside a
boisterous mountain stream and in the middle of green, rich meadows and a darkening sky, that incorruptible innocence was
there, whose austerity was beauty. The brain was utterly quiet and
it was touched by it.
The brain is nourished by reaction and experience; it lives on
experience. But experience is always limiting and conditioning;
memory is the machinery of action. Without experience,
knowledge and memory, action is not possible but such action is
fragmentary, limited. Reason, organized thought, is always
incomplete; idea, response of thought, is barren and belief is the
refuge of thought. All experience only strengthens thought
negatively or positively.
Experiencing is conditioned by experience, the past. Freedom is
the emptying of the mind of experience. When the brain ceases to
nourish itself through experience, memory and thought, when it
dies to experiencing, then its activity is not self-centred. It then has
its nourishment from elsewhere. It is this nourishment that makes
the mind religious.
On waking this morning, beyond all meditation and thought and
the delusions that feelings create, there was an intense bright light
at the very centre of the brain and beyond the brain at the very
centre of consciousness, of one’s being. It was a light that had no
shadow nor was it set in any dimension. It was there without
movement. With that light there was present that incalculable
strength and beauty beyond thought and feeling.
The process was rather acute in the afternoon.
12th Yesterday, walking up the valley, the mountains covered
with clouds and the stream seemingly more noisy than ever, there
was a sense of astonishing beauty, not that the meadows and hills and the dark pines had changed. Only the light was different, more
soft, with a clarity that seemed to penetrate everything, leaving no
shadow. As the road climbed, we were able to look down on a
farm, with green pasture land around it. It was a green meadow, a
rich green that is seen nowhere, but that little farmhouse and that
green pasture contained all the earth and all mankind. There was an
absolute finality about it; it was the finality of beauty that is not
tortured by thought and feeling. The beauty of a picture, a song, a
building is put together by man, to be compared, to be criticized, to
be added up but this beauty was not the handwork of man. All the
handwork of man must be denied with a finality before this beauty
can be. For it needs total innocence, total austerity; not the
innocence that thought had contrived nor the austerity of sacrifice.
Only when the brain is free of time, and its responses; utterly still,
is there that austere innocency.
Woke up long before dawn when the air is very still and the
earth waiting for the sun. Woke up with a clarity that was peculiar
and an urgency that demanded full attention. The body was
completely motionless, an immobility that was without strain,
without tension. And inside the head a peculiar phenomenon was
going on. A great wide river was flowing with the pressure of
immense weight of water, flowing between high, polished granite
rock. On each side of this great wide river was polished, sparkling
granite, on which nothing grew, not even a blade of grass; there
was nothing but sheer polished rock, soaring up beyond
measurable eyesight. The river was making its way, silently,
without a whisper, indifferent, majestic. It was actually taking
place, it wasn’t a dream, a vision nor a symbol to be interpreted. It was there taking place, beyond any doubt; it was not a thing of
imagination. No thought could possibly invent it; it was too
immense and real for thought to formulate it.
The immobility of the body and this great flowing river between
the polished granite walls of the brain, went on for an hour and a
half by the watch. Through the open window the eyes could see the
coming dawn. There was no mistaking the reality of what was
taking place. For an hour and a half the whole being was attentive,
without effort, without wandering off. And all of a sudden it
stopped and the day began.
This morning, that benediction filled the room. It was raining
hard but there would be blue sky later.
The process, with its pressure and ache, continues gently.
13th As the path that goes up the mountain can never contain all
of the mountain, so this immensity is not the word. And yet
walking up the side of the mountain, with the small stream running
at the foot of the slope, this incredible, unnameable immensity was
there; the mind and heart was filled with it and every drop of water
on the leaf and on the grass was sparkling with it.
It had been raining all night and all the morning and it had been
heavy with clouds, and now the sun was coming out over the high
hills and there were shadows on the green, spotless meadows that
were rich with flowers. The grass was very wet and the sun was on
the mountains. Up that path there was enchantment and talking
now and then seemed in no way to [word left out] the beauty of
that light nor the simple peace that lay in the field. The benediction
of that immensity was there and there was joy.
On waking this morning, there was again that impenetrable strength whose power is the benediction. One was awakened to it
and the brain was aware of it without any of its responses. It made
the clear sky and the Pleiades incredibly beautiful. And the early
sun on the mountain, with its snow, was the light of the world.
During the talk******** it was there, untouchable and pure,
and in the afternoon in the room it came with a speed of lightning
and was gone. But it’s always here in some measure, with its
strange innocency whose eyes have never been touched.
The process was rather acute last night and as this is being
14th Though the body was done up this morning after the talk
[of yesterday] and seeing people, sitting in the car under a
spreading tree there was a deep strange activity going on. It was
not an activity which the brain, with its customary responses, could
comprehend and formulate; it was beyond its scope. But there was
an activity, deep within, which was wearing out all obstruction.
But the nature of that activity is impossible to tell. Like deep
subterranean waters making their way to the surface, so there was
an activity far deeper than beyond all consciousness.
One is aware of the increase of sensitivity of the brain; colour,
shape, line, the total form of things have become more intense and
extraordinarily alive. Shadows seem to have a life of their own, of
greater depth and purity. It was a beautiful, quiet evening; there
was a breeze among the leaves and the aspen leaves were
trembling and dancing. A tall straight stem of a plant, with a crown
of white flowers, touched by faint pink, stood as a watcher by the
mountain stream. The stream was golden in the setting sun and the
woods were deep in silence; even the passing cars didn’t seem to disturb them. The snowcovered mountains were deep in dark,
heavy clouds and the meadows knew innocence.
The whole mind was far beyond all experience. And the
meditator was silent.
15th Walking beside the stream and with the mountains in
clouds, there were moments of intense silence, like the brilliant
patches of blue sky among the parting clouds. It was a cold, sharp
evening, with a breeze that was coming from the north. Creation is
not for the talented, for the gifted; they only know creativeness but
never creation. Creation is beyond thought and image, beyond the
word and expression. It is not to be communicated for it cannot be
formulated, it cannot be wrapped up in words. It can be felt in
complete awareness. It cannot be used and put on the market, to be
haggled and sold.
It cannot be understood by the brain, with its complicated
varieties of responses. The brain has no means to get into touch
with it; it’s utterly incapable. Knowledge is an impediment and
without self-knowing, creation cannot be. Intellect, the sharp
instrument of the brain, can in no way approach it. The total brain,
with its hidden secret demands and pursuits and the many varieties
of cunning virtues, must be utterly quiet, speechless but yet alert
and still. Creation is not baking bread or writing a poem. All
activity of the brain must cease, voluntarily and easily, without
conflict and pain. There must be no shadow of conflict and
Then there is the astonishing movement called creation. It can
only be in total negation; it cannot be in the passage of time, nor
can space cover it. There must be complete death, total destruction, for it to be.
On waking this morning, there was complete silence outwardly
and inwardly. The body and the measuring and weighing brain
were still, in a state of immobility, though both were alive and
highly sensitive. And quietly, as the dawn comes, it came from
somewhere deep within, that strength with its energy and purity. It
seemed to have no roots, no cause but yet it was there, intense and
solid, with a depth and a height that are not measurable. It
remained for some time by the watch and went away, as the cloud
goes behind a mountain.
Every time there is something «new» in this benediction, a
«new» quality, a «new» perfume but yet it is changeless. It is utterly
unknowable. The process was acute for a while but it’s there in a
gentle manner. It is all very strange and unpredictable.
16th There was a patch of blue sky between two vast, endless
clouds; it was a clear, startling blue, so soft and penetrating. It
would be swallowed up in a few minutes and it would disappear
for ever. No sky of that blue would ever be seen again. It had been
raining most of the night and the morning and there was fresh snow
on the mountains and on the higher hills. And the meadows were
greener and richer than ever but that little patch of limpid blue sky
would never be seen again. In that little patch was the light of all
heaven and the blue of all the skies. As one watched it, its form
began to change and the clouds were rushing to cover it lest too
much of it be seen. It was gone never to appear again. But it had
been seen and the wonder of it remains.
At that moment, resting on the sofa, as the clouds were
conquering the blue, there came, quite unexpectedly, that benediction, with its purity and innocence. It came in abundance
and filled the room till the room and the heart could hold no more;
its intensity was peculiarly overpowering and penetrating and its
beauty was on the land. The sun was shining on a patch of brilliant
green and the dark pines were quiet and indifferent.
This morning, it was very early, the dawn wouldn’t come for a
couple of hours, on waking, with eyes that have lost their sleep,
one was aware of an unfathomable cheerfulness; there was no
cause to it, no sentimentality or that emotional extravagance,
enthusiasm, behind it; it was clear, simple cheer, uncontaminated
and rich, untouched and pure. There was no thought or reason
behind it and neither could one ever understand it for there was no
cause to it. This cheerfulness was pouring out of one’s whole being
and the being was utterly empty. As a stream of water gushes out
from the side of a mountain, naturally and under pressure, this
cheer was pouring out in great abundance, coming from nowhere
and going nowhere, but the heart and mind would never be the
same again.
One was not aware of the quality of this cheer as it was bursting
forth; it was taking place and its nature would show itself,
probably, to time and time would have no measure for it. Time is
petty and it cannot weigh abundance.
The body has been rather frail and empty but last night and this
morning the process has been acute, not lasting for long.
17th It had been a cloudy, rainy day with north-west wind, hard
and cold. Up the road that led to the waterfall which became the
noisy stream, we were walking; there were few on the roads and
few cars went by and the stream rushed on, faster than ever. We walked up the road with the wind behind us and the narrow valley
widened and there were patches of sun on the sparkling, green
pasture. They were widening the road and as we passed they
greeted us, with friendly smiles and a few words in Italian. They
had been labouring all day digging and carrying rocks so that it
seemed incredible that they should smile at all. But they did and up
further on under a large shed, modern machinery was cutting
wood, drilling holes and cutting patterns on heavy lumber. And the
valley opened more and more and there was a village further on
and still further on was the waterfall from the glacier high up in the
rocky mountain.
One felt more than one saw the beauty of the land and the weary
people, the fast running stream and the quiet meadows. On the way
back, near the chalet, all the sky was covered with heavy clouds
and suddenly the setting sun was on some rocks, high up in the
mountain. That patch of sunlight on the face of those rocks
revealed a depth of beauty and feeling that no graven image can
hold. It was as though they were alight from within, a light of their
own, serene and never fading. It was the end of the day.
Only on waking early next morning, one was aware of the
previous evening’s splendour and the love that went by.
Consciousness cannot contain the immensity of innocence; it can
receive it, it cannot pursue it nor cultivate it. The entire
consciousness must be still, not wanting, not seeking and never
pursuing. The totality of consciousness must be still and only then,
that which has no beginning and no end can come into being.
Meditation is the emptying of consciousness, not to receive, but to
be empty of all endeavour. There must be space for stillness, not the space created by thought and its activities but that space that
comes through denial and destruction, when there is nothing left of
thought and its projection. In emptiness alone can there be creation.
On waking early this morning the beauty of that strength, with
its innocency, was there, deep within and coming to the surface of
the mind. It had the quality of infinite flexibility but nothing could
shape it; it could not be made to adjust, to conform to the mould of
man. It could not be caught in symbols or words. But it was there,
immense and untouchable. All meditation seemed trivial and
foolish. It only stayed and the mind was still.
Several times during the day, at odd moments, that benediction
would come and pass away. Desiring and asking have no
significance whatsoever.
The process goes on mildly.
18th It had been raining most of the night and it had turned
quite cold; there was quite a lot of fresh snow on the higher hills
and mountains. And there was a sharp wind too. The green
meadows were extraordinarily bright and the green was startling.
And it had been raining most of the day too and only towards the
late afternoon it began to clear up and sun was among the
mountains. We were walking along a path that went from one
village to another, a path that wound around farmhouses, among
rich green meadows. The pylons that carried heavy electric cables,
stood startlingly against the evening skies; looking up at these
towering steel structures against scudding clouds, there was beauty
and power. Crossing over a wooden bridge, the stream was full,
swollen by all this rain; it was running fast, with an energy and
force that only mountain streams have. Looking up and down the stream, held in by tightly packed banks of rocks and trees, one was
aware of the movement of time, the past, the present and future; the
bridge was the present and all life moved and lived through the
But beyond all this, there was along that rain-washed and slushy
lane, an otherness, a world which could never be touched by
human thought, its activities and its unending sorrows. This world
was not the product of hope nor of belief. One was not fully aware
of it at that moment, there were too many things to observe, feel
and smell; the clouds, the ale blue sky beyond the mountains and
the sun among them and the evening light on the sparkling
meadows; the smell of cow-sheds and red flowers around the
farmhouses. This otherness was there covering all this, never a
little thing being missed, and as one lay awake in bed, it came
pouring in, filling the mind and the heart. Then one was aware of
its subtle beauty, its passion and love. It’s not the love that is
enshrined in images, evoked by symbols, pictures and words, nor
that which is cloaked in envy and jealousy, but that which is there
freed from thought and feeling, a curving movement, everlasting.
Its beauty is there with the self-abandonment of passion. There’s no
passion of that beauty if there is no austerity. Austerity is not a
thing of the mind, carefully gathered through sacrifice, suppression
and discipline. All these must cease, naturally, for they have no
meaning for that otherness. It came pouring in with its measureless
abundance. This love had no centre nor peri- phery and it was so
complete, so invulnerable that there was no shadow in it and so
ever destructible.
We always look from outside within; from knowledge we proceed to further knowledge, always adding and the very taking
away is another addition. And our consciousness is made up of a
thousand remembrances and recognitions, conscious of the
trembling leaf, of the flower, of that man passing by, that child
running across the field; conscious of the rock, the stream, the
bright red flower and the bad smell of a pig-sty. From this
remembering and recognizing, from the outward responses, we try
to become conscious of the inner recesses, of the deeper motives
and urges; we probe deeper and deeper into the vast depths of the
mind. This whole process of challenges and responses, of the
movement of experiencing and recognizing the hidden and the
open activities, this whole is consciousness bound to time.
The cup is not only the shape, the colour, the design but also
that emptiness inside the cup. The cup is the emptiness held within
a form; without that emptiness there would be no cup nor form. We
know consciousness by outer signs, by its limitations of height and
depth, of thought and feeling. But all this is the outer form of
consciousness; from the outer we try to find the inner. Is this
possible? Theories and speculations are not significant; they
actually prevent all discovery. From the outer we try to find the
inner, from the known we probe hoping to find the unknown. Is it
possible to probe from the inner to the outer? The instrument that
probes from the outer, we know but is there such an instrument that
probes from the unknown to the known? Is there? And how can
there be? There cannot be. If there is one, it’s recognizable and if
it’s recognizable, it’s within the area of the known.
That strange benediction comes when it will, but with each
visitation, deep within, there is a transformation; it is never the same.
The process goes on, sometimes mild and sometimes acute.
19th It was a beautiful day, a cloudless day, a day of shadows and
light; after the heavy rains the sun shone in a clear, limpid blue
sky. The mountains, with their snow, were very close, one could
almost touch them; they stood out sharply against the sky. The
bright brilliant meadows were sparkling in the sun, every blade of
grass did a dance of its own and the leaves were heavier in their
movement. The valley was radiant and there was laughter; it was a
magnificent day and there were a thousand shadows.
Shadows are more alive than the reality; shadows are longer,
deeper, richer; they seem to have a life of their own, independent
and protecting; there is a peculiar satisfaction in their invitation.
The symbol becomes more important than reality.The symbol
gives a shelter; it is easy to take comfort in its shelter. You can do
what you will with it, it will never contradict, it will never change;
it can be covered with garlands or ashes. There’s an extraordinary
satisfaction in a dead thing, in a picture, in a conclusion, in a word.
They are dead, past all recalling and there is pleasure in the many
smells of yesterday. The brain is always the yesterday, and today is
the shadow of yesterday, and tomorrow is the continuation of that
shadow, somewhat changed but it still smells of yesterday. So the
brain lives and has its being in shadows; it is safer, more
Consciousness is always receiving, accumulating, and from
what it has gathered, interpreting; receiving through all its pores;
storing up, experiencing from what it has gathered, judging,
compiling, modifying. It looks, not only through the eyes, through the brain but through this background. Consciousness goes out to
receive and in receiving, it exists. In its hidden depths, it has stored
what it has received through centuries, the instincts, the memories,
the safeguard, adding, adding, only to take away to add further.
When this consciousness looks out, it is to weigh, to balance and to
receive. And when it looks within, its look is still the outer look, to
weigh, to balance and to receive; the inward stripping is another
form of adding. This time-binding process goes on and on with an
ache, with fleeting joy and sorrow.
But to look, to see, to listen, without this consciousness – an
outgoing in which there is no receiving, is the total movement of
freedom. This outgoing has no centre, a point, small or extensive,
from which it moves; thus it moves in all directions, without the
barrier of time-space. Its listening is total, its look is total. This
outgoing is the essence of attention. In attention, all distractions
are, for there are no distractions. Only concentration knows the
conflict of distraction. All consciousness is thought, expressed or
unexpressed, verbal or seeking the word; thought as feeling,
feeling as thought. Thought is never still; reaction expressing itself
is thought and thought further increases responses. Beauty is the
feeling which thought expresses. Love is still within the field of
thought. Is there love and beauty within the enclosure of thought?
Is there beauty when thought is? The beauty, the love that thought
knows is the opposite of ugliness and hate. Beauty has no opposite
nor has love.
Seeing without thought, without the word, without the response
of memory is wholly different from seeing with thought and
feeling. What you see with thought is superficial; then seeing is only partial; this is not seeing at all. Seeing without thought is total
seeing. Seeing a cloud over a mountain, without thought and its
responses, is the miracle of the new; it’s not «beautiful», it’s
explosive in its immensity; it is something that has never been and
never will be. To see, to listen, consciousness in its entirety must
be still for the destructive creation to be. It is the totality of life and
not the fragment of all thought. There is no beauty but only a cloud
over the mountain; it is creation.
The setting sun touched the mountain tops, brilliant and
breathtaking and the land was still. There was only colour and not
different colours; there was only listening and not the many
sounds. This morning, waking late, when the sun was pressing the
hills, like a brilliant light that Benediction was there; it seems to
have a strength and power of its own. Like a distant murmur of
waters, there is an activity going on, not of the brain with its
volitions and deceptions, but an activity of intensity.
The process goes on with varying intensity; sometimes it is
fairly acute.
20th It was a perfect day; the sky was intensely blue and
everything was sparkling in the morning sun. There were a few
clouds floating about, leisurely, with nowhere to go. The sun on the
fluttering leaves of aspen were brilliant jewels against the green
sloping hills. The meadows overnight had changed, more intense,
more soft, a green that is utterly unimaginable. There were three
cows far up the hill, lazily grazing and their bells could be heard in
the clear early morning air; they moved in a line steadily chewing
their way from one side of the meadow to the other. And the ski-
lift passed over them and they never even bothered to look up or be disturbed. It was a beautiful morning and the snow mountains were
sharp against the sky, so clear that one could see the many small
waterfalls. It was a morning of long shadows and infinite beauty.
Strange, how love has its being in this beauty, there was such
gentleness that all things seemed to stand still, lest any movement
should awaken a hidden shadow. And there were a few more
It was a beautiful drive, in a car that seemed to enjoy what it
was built for; it took every curve, however sharp, easily and
willingly and up the long incline it went never grumbling and there
was plenty of power to go up wherever the road went. It was like
an animal that knew its own strength. The road curved in and out,
through a dark sunlit wood, and every patch of light was alive,
dancing with the leaves; every curve of the road showed more
light, more dances, more delight. Every tree, every leaf stood
alone, intense and silent. You saw, through a small opening of the
trees, a patch of startling green of a meadow that was open to the
sun. It was so startling that one forgot that one was on a dangerous
mountain road. But the road became gentle and lazily wound
around to a different valley. The clouds were gathering in now and
it was pleasant not to have a strong sun. The road became almost
flat, if a mountain road can be flat; it went on past a dark pine-
covered hill and there in front were the enormous, overpowering
mountains, rocks and snow, green fields and waterfalls, small
wooden huts and the sweeping, curving lines of the mountain. One
could hardly believe what the eyes saw, the overpowering dignity
of those shaped rocks, the treeless mountain covered with snow,
and crag after crag of endless rock, and right up to them were the green meadows, all held together in a vast embrace of a mountain.
It was really quite incredible; there was beauty, love, destruction
and the immensity of creation, not those rocks, not those fields, not
those tiny huts; it wasn’t in them or part of them. It was far beyond
and above them. It was there with the majesty, with a roar that no
eyes or ears could see or hear; it was there with such totality and
stillness that the brain with its thoughts became as nothing as those
dead leaves in the woods. It was there with such abundance, such
strength that the world, the trees and the earth came to an end. It
was love, creation and destruction. And there was nothing else.
There was the essence of depth. The essence of thought is that
state when thought is not. However deeply and widely thought is
pursued, thought will always remain shallow, superficial. The
ending of thought is the beginning of that essence. The ending of
thought is negation and what is negative has no positive way; there
is no method, no system to end thought. The method, the system is
a positive approach to negation and thus thought can never find the
essence of itself. It must cease for the essence to be. The essence of
being is non-being, and to «see» the depth of non-being, there must
be freedom from becoming. There is no freedom if there is
continuity and that which has continuity is time-bound. Every
experience is binding thought to time and a mind that’s in a state of
non-experiencing is aware of all essence. This state in which all
experiencing has come to an end is not the paralysis of the mind;
on the contrary, it’s the additive mind, the mind that’s
accumulating, that is withering away. For accumulation is
mechanical, a repetition; the denial to acquire and mere acquisition
are both repetitive and imitative. The mind that destroys totally this accumulative and defensive mechanism is free and so experiencing
has lost its significance.
Then there’s only the fact and not the experiencing of the fact;
the opinion of the fact, the evaluation of it, the beauty and non-
beauty of it is the experiencing of the fact. The experiencing of the
fact is to deny it, to escape from it. The experiencing of a fact
without thought or feeling is a profound event.
On waking this morning, there was that strange immobility of
the body and of the brain; with it came a movement of entering
into unfathomable depths of intensity and of great bliss and there
was that otherness.
The process goes on mildly.
21st Again, it has been a clear, sunny day, with long shadows
and sparkling leaves; the mountains were serene, solid and close;
the sky was of an extraordinary blue, spotless and gentle. Shadows
filled the earth; it was a morning for shadows, the little ones and
the big ones, the long, lean ones and the fat satisfied ones, the squat
homely one and the joyful, spritely ones. The roof-tops of the
farms and the chalets shone like polished marble, the new and the
old. There seemed to be a great rejoicing and shouting among the
trees and meadows; they existed for each other and above them
was heaven, not the man-made, with its tortures and hopes. And
there was life, vast, splendid, throbbing and stretching in all
directions. It was life, always young and always dangerous; life
that never stayed, that wandered through the earth, indifferent,
never leaving a mark, never asking or calling for anything. It was
there in abundance, shadowless and deathless; it didn’t care from
where it came or where it was going. Wherever it was there was life, beyond time and thought. It was a marvellous thing, free, light
and unfathomable. It was not to be closed in; where they closed it,
in the places of worship, in the market place, in the home, there
was decay and corruption and their perpetual reform. It was there
simple, majestic and shattering and the beauty of it is beyond
thought and feeling. It is so vast and incomparable that it fills the
earth and heavens and the blade of grass that’s destroyed so soon. It
is there with love and death.
It was cool in the wood, with a shouting stream a few feet
below; the pines shot up to the skies, without ever bending to look
at the earth. It was splendid there with black squirrels eating tree
mushrooms and chasing each other up and down the trees in
narrow spirals; there was a robin that bobbed up and down, or what
looked like a robin. It was cool and quiet there, except for the
stream with its cold mountain waters. And there it was, love,
creation and destruction, not as a symbol, not in thought and
feeling but an actual reality. You couldn’t see it, feel it, but it was
there, shatteringly immense, strong as ten thousand and with the
power of the most vulnerable. It was there and all things became
still, the brain and the body; it was a benediction and the mind was
of it.
There is no end to depth; the essence of it is without time and
space. It’s not to be experienced; experience is such a tawdry thing,
so easily got and so easily gone; thought cannot put it together nor
can feeling make its way to it. These are silly and immature things.
Maturity is not of time, a matter of age, nor does it come through
influence and environment. It’s not to be bought, neither the books
nor the teachers and saviours, the one or the many, can ever create the right climate for this maturity. Maturity is not an end in Itself; it
comes into being without thought cultivating it, darkly, without
meditation, unknowingly. There must be maturity, that ripening in
life; not the ripeness that is bred out of disease and turmoil, sorrow
and hope. Despair and labour cannot bring this total maturity but it
must be there, unsought.
For in this total maturity there is austerity. Not the austerity of
ashes and sackcloth but that casual and unpremeditated
indifference to the things of the world, its virtues, its gods, its
respectability, its hopes and values. These must be totally denied
for that austerity which comes with aloneness. No influence of
society or of culture can ever touch this aloneness. But it must be
there, not conjured up by the brain, which is the child of time and
influence. It must come thunderingly out of nowhere. And without
it, there’s no total maturity. Loneliness – the essence of self-pity
and self-defence and life in isolation, in myth, in knowledge and
idea – is far away from aloneness; in them there is everlasting
attempt to integrate and ever breaking apart. Aloneness is a life in
which all influence has come to an end. It’s this aloneness that is
the essence of austerity.
But this austerity comes when the brain remains clear,
undamaged by any psychological wounds that are caused through
fear; conflict in any form destroys the sensitivity of the brain;
ambition with its ruthlessness, with its ceaseless effort to become,
wears down the subtle capacities of the brain; greed and envy make
the brain heavy with content and weary with discontent. There
must be alertness, without choice, an awareness in which all
receiving and adjustment have ceased. Overeating and indulgence in any form makes the body dull and stupefies the brain.
There is a flower by the wayside, a clear, bright thing open to
the skies; the sun, the rains, the darkness of the night, the winds
and thunder and the soil have gone into make that flower. But the
flower is none of these things. It is the essence of all flowers. The
freedom from authority, from envy, fear, from loneliness will not
bring about that aloneness, with its extraordinary austerity. It
comes when the brain is not looking for it; it comes when your
back is turned upon it. Then nothing can be added to it or taken
away from it. Then it has a life of its own, a movement which is
the essence of all life, without time and space.
That benediction was there with great peace. The process goes
on mildly.
22nd The moon was in the clouds but the mountains and the
dark hills were clear and there was a great stillness about them.
There was a large star just hanging over a wooded hill and the only
noise that came out of the valley was the mounta1n stream as it
rushed over rocks. Everything was asleep save the distant village
but its sound didn’t come as high up as this. The noise of the stream
soon faded; it was there but it didn’t fill the valley. There was no
breeze and the trees were motionless; there was the light of the pale
moon on the scattered roofs and everything was still, even the pale
In the air there was that feeling of unbearable immensity,
intense and insistent. It was not a fanciful imagination; imagination
ceases when there’s reality; imagination is dangerous; it has no
validity, only fact has. Fancy and imagination are pleasurable and
deceptive and they must be wholly banished. Every form of myth, fancy and imagination must be understood and this very
understanding deprives them of their significance. It was there, and
what was started as meditation, ended. Of what significance is
meditation when reality is there! It was not meditation that brought
reality into being, nothing can bring it into being; it was there in
spite of meditation but what was necessary was a very sensitive,
alert brain which had stopped entirely, willingly and easily, its
chatter of reason and non-reason. It had become very quiet, seeing
and listening without interpreting, without classifying; it was quiet
and there was no entity or necessity to make it quiet. The brain was
very still and very alive. That immensity filled the night and there
was bliss.
It had no relationship with anything; it was not trying to shape,
to change, to assert; it had no influence and therefore was
implacable. It was not doing good, not reforming; it was not
becoming respectable and so highly destructive. But it was love,
not the love which society cultivates, a tortured thing. It was the
essence of the movement of life. It was there, implacable,
destructive, with a tenderness that the new alone knows, as the new
leaf of spring, and it will tell you. And there was strength beyond
measure and there was power that only creation has. And all things
were quiet. That one star that was going over the hill was now high
up and it was bright in its solitude.
In the morning, walking in the woods above the stream, with the
sun on every tree, again it was there, that immensity so unexpected,
so still that one walked through it, marvelling. A single leaf was
dancing rhythmically and the rest of the abundant leaves were still.
It was there, that love that’s not within the scope of man’s longing and measure. It was there and thought could blow it away and a
feeling could push it away. It was there, never to be conquered,
never to be caught.
The word to feel is misleading; it’s more than emotion, than a
sentiment, than an experience, than touch or smel1. Though that
word is apt to be misleading, it must be used to communicate and
especially so when we are talking of essence. The feel of essence is
not through the brain nor through some fancy; it’s not
experienceable as a shock; above all it’s not the word. You cannot
experience it; to experience there must be an experiencer, the
observer. Experiencing, without the experiencer, is quite another
matter. It is in this `’state», in which there is no experiencer, no
observer, that there is that «feeling». It is not intuition, which the
observer interprets or follows, blindly or with reason; it is not the
desire, longing, transformed into intuition or the «voice of God»
evoked by politicians and religio-social reformers. It’s necessary to
get away from all this, far away to understand this feeling, this
seeing, this listening. To «feel» demands the austerity of clarity, in
which there is no confusion and conflict. The «feeling» of essence
comes when there is simplicity to pursue to the very end, without
any deviation, sorrow, envy, fear, ambition and so on. This
simplicity is beyond the capacity of the intellect; intellect is
fragmentary. This pursuit is the highest form of simplicity, not the
mendicant’s robe or one meal a day. The «feeling» of essence is the
negation of thought and its mechanical capacities, knowledge and
reason. Reason and knowledge are necessary in the operation of
mechanical problems, and all the problems of thought and feeling
are mechanical. It’s this negation of the machinery of memory, whose reaction is thought, that must be denied in the pursuit of the
essence. Destroy [in order to] to go to the very end; destruction is
not of the outer things but of the psychological refuges and
resistances, the gods and their secret shelters. Without this, there’s
no journey into that depth whose essence is love, creation and
On waking early this morning, the body and the brain lay
motionless for there was that power and strength which is a
The process is gentle.
23rd There were a few wandering clouds in the early morning
sky which was so pale, quiet and without time. The sun was
waiting for the excellency of the morning to finish. The dew was
on the meadows and there were no shadows and the trees were
alone, waiting for them. It was very early and even the stream was
hesitant to make its boisterous run. It was quiet and the breeze
hadn’t yet awakened and the leaves were still. There was no smoke
yet from any of the farmhouses but the roofs began to glow with
the coming light. The stars were yielding reluctantly to dawn and
there was that peculiar silent expectation when the sun is about to
come; the hills were waiting and so were the trees and meadows
open in their joy. Then the sun touched the mountain tops, a gentle
soothing touch and the snow became bright with the early morning
light; the leaves began to stir from the long night and smoke was
going straight up from one of the cottages and the stream was
chattering away, without any restraint. And slowly, hesitantly and
with delicate shyness the long shadows spread across the land; the
mountains cast their shadows on the hills and the hills on the meadows and the trees were waiting for their shadows but soon
they were there, the light ones and the deep ones, the feathery and
the heavy. And the aspens were dancing, the day had begun.
Meditation is this attention in which there is an awareness,
without choice, of the movement of all things, the cawing of the
crows, the electric saw ripping through the wood, the trembling of
leaves, the noisy stream, a boy calling, the feelings, the motives,
the thoughts chasing each other and going deeper, the awareness of
total consciousness. And in this attention, time as yesterday
pursuing into the space of tomorrow and the twisting and turning
of consciousness has become quiet and still. In this stillness there is
an immeasurable, not comparable movement; a movement that has
no being, that’s the essence of bliss and death and life. A movement
that cannot be followed for it leaves no path and because it is still,
motionless; it is the essence of all motion.
The road went west, curling through rain-soaked meadows, past
small villages on the slope of hills, crossing the mountain streams
of clear snow waters, past churches with copper steeples; it went
on and on into dark, cavernous clouds and rain, with mountains
closing in. It began to drizzle, and looking back casually through
the back window of the slow-moving car, from where we had
come, there were the sunlit clouds, blue sky and the bright, clear
mountains. Without saying a word, instinctively, the car stopped,
backed and turned and we went on towards light and mountains. It
was impossibly beautiful and as the road turned into an open
valley, the heart stood still; it was still and as open as the
expanding valley, it was completely shattering. We had been
through that valley several times; the shape of the hills were fairly familiar; the meadows and the cottages were recognizable and the
familiar noise of the stream was there. Everything was there except
the brain, though it was driving the car. Everything had become so
intense, there was death. Not because the brain was quiet, not
because of the beauty of the land, or of the light on the clouds or
the immovable dignity of the mountains; it was none of these
things, though all these things may have added something towards
it. It was literally death; everything suddenly coming to an end;
there was no continuity, the brain was directing the body in driving
the car and that was all. Literally that was all. The car went on for
some time and stopped. There was life and death, so closely,
intimately, inseparably together and neither was important.
Something shattering had taken place.
There was no deception or imagination; it was much too serious
for that kind of silly aberration; it was not something to play about.
Death is not a casual affair and it would not go; there’s no
argument with it. You can have a lifelong discussion with life but it
is not possible with death. It’s so final and absolute. It wasn’t the
death of the body; that would be a fairly simple and decisive event.
Living with death was quite another matter. There was life and
there was death; they were there inexorably united. It wasn’t a
psychological death; it wasn’t a shock that drove out all thought, all
feeling; it wasn’t a sudden aberration of the brain nor a mental
illness. It was none of these things nor a curious decision of a brain
that was tired or in despair. It wasn’t an unconscious wish for
death. It was none of these things; these would be immature and so
easily connived at. It was something in a different dimension; it
was something that defied time-space description.       It was there, the very essence of death. The essence of self is
death but this death was the very essence of life as well. In fact
they were not separate, life and death. This was not something
conjured up by the brain for its comfort and ideational security.
The very living was the dying and dying was living. In that car,
with all that beauty and colour, with that «feeling» of ecstasy, death
was part of love, part of everything. Death wasn’t a symbol, an
idea, a thing that one knew. It was there, in reality, in fact, as
intense and demanding as the honk of a car that wanted to pass. As
life would never leave nor can be set aside, so death now would
never leave or be put aside. It was there with an extraordinary
intensity and with a finality.
All night one lived with it; it seemed to have taken possession
of the brain and the usual activities; not too many of the brain’s
movements went on but there was a casual indifference about
them. There was indifference previously but now it was past and
beyond all formulation. Everything had become much more
intense, both life and death.
Death was there on waking, without sorrow, but with life. It was
a marvellous morning. There was that benediction which was the
delight of the mountains and of the trees.
24th It was a warm day and there were plenty of shadows; the
rocks shone with a solid brilliance. The dark pines never seemed to
move, unlike those aspens which were ready to tremble at the
slightest whisper. There was a strong breeze from the west,
sweeping through the valley. The rocks were so alive that they
seemed to run after the clouds and the clouds clung to them, taking
the shape and the curve of the rocks; they flowed around them and it was difficult to separate the rocks from the clouds. And the trees
were walking with the clouds. The whole valley seemed to be
moving and the small, narrow paths that went up to the woods and
beyond, seemed to yield and come alive. And the sparkling
meadows were the haunt of shy flowers. But this morning rocks
ruled the valley; they were of so many colours that there was only
colour; these rocks were gentle this morning and they were of so
many shapes and sizes. And they were so indifferent to everything,
to the wind, rains and to the explosions for the needs of man. They
had been there and they were going to be past all time.
It was a splendid morning and the sun was everywhere and
every leaf was stirring; it was a good morning for the drive, not
long but enough to see the beauty of the land. It was a morning that
was made new by death, not the death of decay, disease or accident
but the death that destroys for creation to be. There is no creation if
death does not sweep away all the things that the brain has put
together to safeguard the self-centred existence. Death, previously,
was a new form of continuity; death was associated with
continuity. With death came a new existence, a new experience, a
new breath and a new life. The old ceased and the new was born
and the new then gave place to yet another new. Death was the
means to the new state, new invention, to a new way of life, to a
new thought. It was a frightening change but that very change
brought a fresh hope.
But now death did not bring anything new, a new horizon, a
new breath. It is death, absolute and final. And then there’s nothing,
neither past nor future. Nothing. There’s no giving birth to
anything. But there’s no despair, no seeking; complete death without time; looking out of great depths which are not there.
Death is there without the old or the new. It is death without smile
and tear. It is not a mask covering up, hiding some reality. The
reality is death and there’s no need for cover. Death has wiped
away everything and left nothing. This nothing is the dance of the
leaf, it is the call of that child. It is nothing and there must be
nothing. What continues is decay, the machine, the habit, the
ambition. There is corruption but not in death. Death is total
nothingness. It must be there for out of that, life is, love is. For in
this nothingness creation is. Without absolute death, there’s no
We were reading something, casually and remarking about the
state of the world when suddenly and unexpectedly the room
became full with that benediction, which has come so often now.
The door was open in the little room and we were just going to eat
when through the open door it came. One could literally, physically
feel it, like a wave flowing into the room. It became «more» and
«more» intense, the more is not comparatively used; it was
something that was incredibly strong and immovable, with
shattering power. Words are not the thing and the actual thing can
never be put into words; it must be seen, heard and lived; then it
has quite a different significance.
The process has been acute the last few days; and one need not
write about it every day.*********
25th It was very early in the morning; there wouldn’t be dawn
for another couple of hours or more. Orion was just coming up
over the top of that peak that is beyond the curving and wooded
hills. There was not a cloud in the sky but from the feel of the air, there would probably be fog. It was an hour of quietness and even
the stream was sleeping; there was a fading moonlight and the hills
were dark, clear in their shape, against the pale sky. There was no
breeze and the trees were still and the stars were bright.
Meditation is not a search; it’s not a seeking, a probing, an
exploration. It is an explosion and discovery. It’s not the taming of
the brain to conform nor is it a self-introspective analysis; it is
certainly not the training in concentration which includes, chooses
and denies. It’s something that comes naturally, when all positive
and negative assertions and accomplishments have been
understood and drop away easily. It is the total emptiness of the
brain. It’s the emptiness that is essential not what’s in the
emptiness; there is seeing only from emptiness; all virtue, not
social morality and respectability, springs from it. It’s out of this
emptiness love comes, otherwise it’s not love. Foundation of
righteousness is in this emptiness. It’s the end and beginning of all
Looking out of the window, as Orion was climbing higher and
higher, the brain was intensely alive and sensitive and meditation
became something entirely different, something which the brain
could not cope with and so fell back upon itself and became silent.
The hours till dawn and after seemed to have had no beginning and
as the sun came up the mountains and the clouds caught its first
rays and there was astonishment in splendour. And day began.
Strangely meditation went on.
26th It had been a beautiful morning, full of sunshine and
shadows; the garden in the nearby hotel was full of colours, all
colours and they were so bright and the grass so green that they hurt the eye and the heart. And the mountains beyond were
glistening with a freshness and a sharpness, washed by the morning
dew. It was an enchanting morning and there was beauty
everywhere; over the narrow bridge, across the stream, up a path
into the wood, where the sunshine was playing with the leaves;
they were trembling and their shadows moved; they were common
plants but they outdid in their greenness and freshness all the trees
that soared up to the blue skies. You could only wonder at all this
delight, at the extravagance, at the trembling; you could not but be
amazed at the quiet dignity of every tree and plant and at the
endless joy of those black squirrels, with long, bushy tails. The
waters of the stream were clear and sparkling in the sun that came
through the leaves. It was damp in the wood and pleasant. Standing
there watching the leaves dancing away suddenly there was the
otherness, a timeless occurrence and there was stillness. It was a
stillness in which everything moved, danced and shouted; it wasn’t
a stillness which comes when a machine stops working;
mechanical stillness is one thing and the stillness in emptiness is
another. The one is repetitive, habitual, corrupting which the
conflicting and weary brain seeks as a refuge; the other is
exploding, never the same, it cannot be searched out, is never
repetitive, and so it does not offer any shelter. Such a stillness
came and stayed as we wandered along, and the beauty of the
wood intensified and the colours exploded to be caught on the
leaves and flowers.
It was not a very old church, about the beginning of the
seventeenth century, at least it said so over the arch; it had been
renovated and the wood was light-coloured pine and the steel nails looked bright and polished, which was impossible, of course; one
was almost sure that those who had gathered there to listen to some
music never looked at those nails all over the ceiling. It was not an
orthodox church, there was no smell of incense, candles or images.
It was there and the sun came in through the windows. There were
many children, told not to talk or play which didn’t prevent them
from being restless, looking terribly solemn and their eyes ready to
laugh. One wanted to play, came close but was too shy to come
any nearer. They were rehearsing for the concert that evening and
everyone was dutifully solemn and there was interest. Outside the
grass was bright, the sky clear blue and shadows were numberless.
Why this everlasting struggle to be perfect, to achieve
perfection, as the machines are? The idea, the example, the symbol
of perfection is something marvellous, ennobling, but is it? Of
course there’s the attempt to imitate the perfect, the perfect
example. Is imitation perfection? Is there perfection or is it merely
an idea, given to man by the preacher to keep him respectable? In
the idea of perfection there’s a great deal of comfort and security
and always it is profitable both to the priest and to the one who’s
trying to become perfect. A mechanical habit, repeated over and
over again can eventually be perfected; only habit can be perfected.
Thinking, believing the same thing over and over again, without
deviation, becomes a mechanical habit and perhaps this is the kind
of perfection everyone wants. This cultivates a perfect wall of
resistance, which will prevent any disturbance, any discomfort.
Besides, perfection is a glorified form of success, and ambition is
blessed by respectability and the representatives and heroes of
success. There’s no perfection, it’s an ugly thing, except in a machine. The attempt to be perfect is, really, to break the record, as
in golf; competition is saintly. To compete with your neighbour
and with God for perfection is called brotherhood and love. But
each attempt at perfection leads only to greater confusion and
sorrow which only gives greater impetus to be more perfect.
It’s curious, we always want to be perfect in or with something;
this gives the means for achievement, and the pleasure of
achievement, of course, is vanity. Pride in any form is brutal and
leads to disaster. The desire for perfection outwardly or inwardly
denies love and without love, do what you will, there’s always
frustration and sorrow. Love is neither perfect nor imperfect; it’s
only when there’s no love that perfection and imperfection arise.
Love never strives after something; it does not make itself perfect.
It’s the flame without the smoke; in striving to be perfect, there’s
only greater volume of smoke; perfection, then, lies only in
striving, which is mechanical, more and more perfect in habit, in
imitation, in engendering more fear. Each one is educated to
compete, to become successful; then the end becomes all
important. Love for the thing itself disappears. Then the instrument
is used not for the love of the sound but for what the instrument
will bring, fame, money, prestige and so on.
Being is infinitely more significant than becoming. Being is not
the opposite of becoming; if it’s the opposite or in opposition, then
there is no being. When becoming dies completely, then there’s
being. But this being is not static; it’s not acceptance nor is it mere
denial; becoming involves time and space. All striving must cease;
then only there is being. Being is not within the field of social
virtue and morality. It shatters the social formula of life. This being is life, not the pattern of life. Where life is there’s no perfection;
perfection is an idea, a word; life, the being, is beyond any formula
of thought. It is there when the word, the example, and the pattern
are destroyed.
It has been there, this benediction, for hours and in flashes. On
waking this morning, many hours before sunrise, when there was
the eclipse of the moon, it was there with such strength and power,
that sleep for a couple of hours was not possible. There is a strange
purity and innocency in it.
27th The stream, joined by other little streams, meandered
through the valley, noisily and the chatter was never the same. It
had its own moods but never unpleasant, never a dark mood, The
little ones had a sharper note, there were more boulders and rocks;
they had quiet pools in the shade, shallow with dancing shadows
and at night they had quite a different tone, soft, gentle and
hesitant. They came down through different valleys from different
sources, one much further away than the other; one from a glacier
and from a winding waterfall and the other must come from a
source too far away to walk to. They both joined the bigger stream
which had a deep quiet tone, more dignified, wider and swifter. All
the three of them were tree-lined and the long curving line of trees
showed where these streams came from and where they went, they
were the occupants of the valleys and everyone else was a stranger,
including the trees. One could watch them by the hour and listen to
their endless chatter; they were very gay and full of fun, even the
bigger one, though it had to maintain certain dignity. They were of
the mountains, from dizzy heights nearer the heavens and so purer
and nobler; they were not snobs but they maintained their way and they were rather distant and chilly. In the dark of the night they had
a song of their own, when few were listening. It was a song of
many songs.
Crossing the bridge, up in the sun-speckled wood, meditation
was quite a different thing. Without any wish and search, without
any complaint of the brain, there was unenforced silence; the little
birds were chirping away, the squirrels were chasing up the trees,
the breeze was playing with the leaves and there was silence. The
little stream, the one coming from a long distance, was more
cheerful than ever and yet there was silence, not outside but deep,
far within. It was total stillness within the totality of the mind,
which had no frontiers. It was not the silence within an enclosure,
within an area, within the limits of thought and so recognized as
stillness. There were no frontiers, no measurements and so the
silence was not held within experience, to be recognized and stored
away. It may never occur again and if it did, it would be entirely
different. Silence cannot repeat itself; only the brain through
memory and recollection can repeat what had been, but what had
been is not the actual. Meditation was this total absence of
consciousness put together through time and space. Thought, the
essence of consciousness, cannot, do what it will, bring about this
stillness; the brain with all its subtle and complicated activities
must quiet down of its own accord, without the promise of any
reward or of security. Only then it can be sensitive, alive and quiet.
The brain understanding its own activities, hidden and open, is part
of meditation; it’s the foundation in meditation, without it
meditation is only self-deception, self-hypnosis, which has no
significance whatsoever. There must be silence for the explosion of creation.
Maturity is not of time and age. There is no interval between
now and maturity; there is never «in the meantime». Maturity is
that state when all choice has ceased; it’s only the immature that
choose and know the conflict of choice. In maturity there’s no
direction but there’s a direction which is not a direction of choice.
Conflict at any level, at any depth, indicates immaturity. There’s no
such thing as becoming mature, except organically, the mechanical
inevitability of certain things to ripen. The understanding, which is
the transcending of conflict, in all its complex varieties, is
maturity. However complex it is and however subtle, the depth of
conflict, within and without, can be understood. Conflict,
frustration, fulfilment is one single movement, within and without.
The tide that goes out must come in and for that movement itself,
called the tide, there’s no out and in. Conflict in all its forms must
be understood, not intellectually, but actually, actually coming
emotionally into contact with conflict. The emotional contact, the
shock, is not possible if it is intellectually, verbally, accepted as
necessary or denied sentimentally. Acceptance or denial does not
alter a fact nor will reason bring about a necessary impact. What
does is «seeing» the fact. There’s no «seeing» if there is
condemnation or justification or identification with the fact.
«Seeing» is only possible when the brain is not actively
participating, but observing, abstaining from classification,
judgment and evaluation. There must be conflict when there is the
urge to fulfil, with its inevitable frustrations; there is conflict when
there is ambition, with its subtle and ruthless competition; envy is
part of this ceaseless conflict, to become, to achieve, to succeed.       There’s no understanding in time. Understanding does not come
tomorrow; it will never come tomorrow; it is now or never; there’s
only now and there’s no never. The «seeing» is immediate; when
from the brain the significance of «seeing», understanding,
eventually is wiped away, then seeing is immediate.»Seeing» is
explosive, not reasoned, calculated. It is fear that often prevents
«seeing», understanding. Fear, with its defences and its courage, is
the origin of conflict. The seeing is not only with the brain but also
beyond it. Seeing the fact brings its own action, entirely different
from the action of idea, thought; action from idea, thought, breeds
conflict; action then is an approximation, comparison with the
formula, with the idea, and this brings conflict. There’s no end to
conflict, small or great, in the field of thought; the essence of
conflict is non-conflict which is maturity.
On waking very early in the morning, that strange benediction
was meditation and meditation was that benediction. It was there
with great intensity, walking in a peaceful wood.
28th It had been rather a hot sunny day, hot even at this altitude;
the snow on the mountains was white and glistening. It had been
sunny and hot for several days and the streams were clear and the
sky pale blue but there was still that mountain intensity about the
blue. The flowers across the way were extraordinarily bright and
gay and the meadows were cool; the shadows were dark and there
were so many. There’s a little path through the meadows going up
across the rolling hills, wandering past farm-houses; there was no
one on the path except for an old lady carrying a milk can and a
small basket of vegetables; she must have been going up and down
that path all her life, racing up the hills when she was young and now, all bent and crippled, she was coming up, slowly, painfully,
hardly looking up from the ground. She will die and the mountains
will go on. There were two goats higher up, white, with those
peculiar eyes; they came up to be petted, keeping a safe distance
from the electric fence which kept them from wandering off. There
was a white and black kitten belonging to the same farm as the
goats; it wanted to play; there was another cat higher up still, in a
meadow, perfectly still waiting to catch a field rat.
Up there in the shade, it was cool and fresh and beautiful, the
mountains and the hills, the valleys and the shadows. The land was
boggy in places and there grew reeds, short and golden coloured,
and among the gold were white flowers. But this was not all. Going
up and coming down, there was during that whole hour and a half
that strength which is a benediction. It has the quality of enormous
and impenetrable solidity; no matter could have, possibly, that
solidity. Matter is penetrable, can be broken down, dissolved,
vaporized; thought and feeling have certain weight; they can be
measured and they too can be changed, destroyed and nothing left
of them. But this strength, which nothing could penetrate, nor
dissolve, was not the projection of thought and certainly not matter.
This strength was not an illusion, a creation of a brain that was
secretly seeking power or that strength that power gives. No brain
could formulate such strength, with its strange intensity and
solidity. It was there and no thought could invent it or dispel it.
There comes an intensity when there is no need for anything. Food,
clothes and shelter are necessities and they are not needs. The need
is the hidden craving, which makes for attachment. The need for
sex, for drinking, for fame, for worship, with their complex causes; the need for self-fulfilment with its ambitions and frustrations; the
need for God, for immortality. All these forms of need inevitably
breed that attachment which causes sorrow, fear and the ache of
loneliness. The need to express oneself through music, through
writing or through painting and through some other means, makes
for desperate attachment to the means. A musician who uses his
instrument to achieve fame, to become the best, ceases to be a
musician; he does not love music but the profits of music. We use
each other in our needs and call it by sweet-sounding names; out of
this grows despair and unending sorrow. We use God as a refuge,
as a protection, like some medicine and so the church, the temple,
with its priests become very significant, when they have none. We
use everything, machines, techniques for our psychological needs
and there is no love for the thing itself.
There is love only when there is no need. The essence of the
self is this need and the constant change of needs and the
everlasting search, from one attachment to another, from one
temple to another, from one commitment to another. To commit
oneself to an idea, to a formula, to belong to something, to some
sect, to some dogma, is the drive of need, the essence of the self,
which takes the form of most altruistic activities. It’s a cloak, a
mask: The freedom from need is maturity. With this freedom
comes intensity, which has no cause and no profit.
29th There is a path beyond the few scattered chalets and
farmhouses that goes through the meadows and barbed wire
fences; before it goes down, there is a magnificent view of the
mountains with their snows and glacier, of the valley and the little
town, with so many shops. From there one can see the source of one stream and the dark, pine-covered hills; the lines of these hills
against the evening sky were magnificent and they seemed to tell
of so many things. It was a lovely evening; there hadn’t been a
cloud in the sky all day long and now the purity of the sky and of
the shadows was startling and the evening light was a delight. The
sun was going down behind the hills and they were casting their
great shadows across other hills and meadows. Crossing another
grassy field, the path went down rather steeply and joined a bigger
and wider path, which went through the woods. There was no one
on that path, it was deserted, and it was very quiet in the woods
except for the stream which seemed to be noisier before it quieted
down for the night. There were tall pines there and a perfume in the
air. Suddenly as the path turned, through a long tunnel of trees, was
a patch of green and a newly cut piece of pine wood with the
evening sun on it. It was startling in its intensity and joy. One saw
it, and all space and time disappeared; there was only that patch of
light and nothing else. It was not that one became that light or one
identified oneself with that light; the sharp activities of the brain
had stopped and one’s whole being was there with that light. The
trees, the path, the noise of the stream had completely disappeared
and so had the five hundred yards and more between the light and
the observer. The observer had ceased and the intensity of that
patch of evening sun was the light of all the worlds. That light was
all heaven and that light was the mind.
Most deny certain superficial and easy things; there are others
who go far in their denial and there are those who deny totally. To
deny certain things is comparatively easy, church and its gods,
authority and the power of those who have it, the politician and his ways and so on. One can go pretty far in the denial of things that
apparently do matter, relationships, the absurdities of society, the
conception of beauty as established by the critics and of those who
say they know. One can put aside all these and remain alone, alone
not in the sense of isolation and frustration but alone because one
has seen the significance of all this and has walked away from
them casually and without any sense of superiority. They are
finished, dead and there’s no going back to them. But to go to the
very end of denial is quite another matter; the essence of denial is
the freedom in aloneness. But few go that far, shattering through
every refuge, every formula, every idea, every symbol and be
naked, unburnt and clear.
But how necessary it is to deny; deny without reaching out,
deny without the bitterness of experience and the hope of
knowledge. To deny and stand alone, without tomorrow, without a
future. The storm of denial is nakedness. To stand alone, without
being committed to any course of action, to any conduct, to any
experience, is essential, for this alone frees consciousness from the
bondage of time. Every form of influence is understood and
denied, giving thought no passage in time. Denying time is the
essence of timelessness.
To deny knowledge, experience, the known is to invite the
unknown. Denial is explosive; it is not an intellectual ideational
affair, something with which the brain can play. In the very act of
denial there is energy, the energy of understanding and this energy
is not docile, to be tamed by fear and convenience. Denial is
destructive; it is unaware of con- sequences; it is not a reaction and
so not the opposite of assertion. To assert that there is or that there is not, is to continue in reaction, and reaction is not denial. Denial
has no choice and so is not the outcome of conflict. Choice is
conflict and conflict is immaturity. Seeing the truth as truth, the
false as false and the truth in the false is the act of denial. It’s an act
and not an idea. The total denial of thought, the idea and the word
brings freedom from the known; with the total denial of feeling,
emotion and sentiment there’s love. Love is beyond and above
thought and feeling.
The total denial of the known is the essence of freedom.
Waking early this morning, the sunrise many hours away,
meditation was beyond the responses of thought; it was an arrow
into the unknowable and thought could not follow it. And dawn
came to brighten the sky and as soon as the sun was touching the
highest peaks, there was that immensity whose purity is beyond the
sun and the mountains.
30th It had been a cloudless day, hot, and the earth and the trees
were gathering strength for the coming winter; autumn was already
turning the few leaves yellow; they were bright yellow against the
dark green. They were cutting the meadows and the fields of their
rich grass for the cows during the long winter; everyone was
working, grown-ups and children. It was serious work and there
wasn’t much talk or laughter. Machines were taking the place of
scythes and here and there scythes were cutting the pasture. And
along the stream there’s a path, through the fields; it was cool there
for the hot sun was already behind the hills. The path went past
farmhouses and a sawmill; in the newly cut fields, there were
thousands of crocuses, so delicate, with that peculiar perfume of
their own. It was a quiet, clear evening and the mountains were closer than ever. The stream was quiet, there were not too many
rocks and the water ran fast. You would have to run to keep with it.
There was, in the air, the smell of freshly cut grass, in a land that
was prosperous and contented. Every farm had electricity and there
seemed to be peace and plenty.
How few see the mountains or a cloud. They look, make some
remarks and pass on. Words, gestures, emotions prevent seeing. A
tree, a flower is given a name, put into a category and that’s that.
You see a landscape through an archway or from a window, and if
you happen to be an artist or are familiar with art, you say almost
immediately, it is like those medieval paintings or mention some
name of some recent painter. Or if you are a writer, you look in
order to describe; if you are a musician, probably you have never
seen the curve of a hill or the flowers at your feet; you are caught
up in your daily practice, or ambition has you by the throat. If you
are a professional of some kind, probably you never see. But to see
there must be humility whose essence is innocence. There’s that
mountain with the evening sun on it; to see it for the first time, to
see it, as though it had never been seen before, to see it with
innocence, to see it with eyes that have been bathed in emptiness,
that have not been hurt with knowledge – to see then is an
extraordinary experience. The word experience is ugly, with it goes
emotion, knowledge, recognition and a continuity; it is none of
these things. It is something totally new. To see this newness there
must be humility, that humility which has never been contaminated
by pride, by vanity. With this certain happening, that morning,
there was this seeing, as with the mountain top, with the evening
sun. The totality of one’s whole being was there, which was not in a state of need, conflict and choice; the total being was passive,
whose passivity was active. There are two kinds of attention, one is
active and the other is without movement. What was happening
was actually new, a thing that had never happened before. To «see»
it happening was the wonder of humility; the brain was completely
still, without any response though it was fully awake. To «see» that
mountain peak, so splendid with the evening sun, though one had
seen it a thousand times, with eyes that had no knowledge, was to
see the birth of the new. This is not silly romanticism or
sentimentality with its cruelties and moods, or emotion with its
waves of enthusiasm and depression. It is something so utterly
new, that in this total attention is silence. Out of this emptiness the
new is.
Humility is not a virtue; it is not to be cultivated; it’s not within
the morality of the respectable. The saints do not know it, for they
are recognized for their saintliness; the worshipper does not know
it for he is asking, seeking; nor the devotee and the follower for he
is following. Accumulation denies humility, whether it be property,
experience or capacity. Learning is not an additive process;
knowledge is. Knowledge is mechanical; learning never is. There
can be more and more knowledge but there is never more in
learning. Where there is comparison learning ceases. Learning is
the immediate seeing which is not in time. All accumulation and
knowledge are measurable. Humility is not comparable; there’s no
more or less of humility; so it cannot be cultivated. Morality and
technique can be cultivated, there can be more or less of them.
Humility is not within the capacity of the brain, nor is love.
Humility is ever the act of death.       Very early this morning, many hours before dawn, on waking
there was that piercing intensity of strength with its sternness.
There was in this sternness, bliss. By the watch it «lasted» for forty-
five minutes with increasing intensity. The stream and the quiet
night, with their brilliant stars, were within it.
31st Meditation without a set formula, without a cause and
reason, without end and purpose is an incredible phenomenon. It is
not only a great explosion which purifies but also it is death, that
has no tomorrow. Its purity devastates, leaving no hidden corner
where thought can lurk in its own dark shadows. Its purity is
vulnerable; it is not a virtue brought into being through resistance.
It is pure because it has no resistance, like love. There is no
tomorrow in meditation, no argument with death. The death of
yesterday and of tomorrow does not leave the petty present of time,
and time is always petty, but a destruction that is the new.
Meditation is this, not the silly calculations of the brain in search of
security. Meditation is destruction to security and there is great
beauty in meditation, not the beauty of the things that have been
put together by man or by nature but of silence. This silence is
emptiness in which and from which all things flow and have their
being. It is unknowable, neither intellect nor feeling can make their
way to it; there is no way to it and a method to it is the invention of
a greedy brain. All the ways and means of the calculating self must
be destroyed wholly; all going forward or backward, the way of
time, must come to an end, without tomorrow. Meditation is
destruction; it’s a danger to those who wish to lead a superficial life
and a life of fancy and myth.
The stars were very bright, brilliant so early in the morning. Dawn was far away; it was surprisingly quiet, even the boisterous
stream was quiet and the hills were silent. A whole hour passed in
that state when the brain was not asleep but awake, sensitive and
only watching; during that state the totality of the mind can go
beyond itself, without directions for there is no director. Meditation
is a storm, destroying and cleansing. Then, far away, came dawn.
In the east there was spreading light, so young and pale, so quiet
and timid; it came past those distant hills and it touched the
towering mountains and the peaks. In groups and singly, the trees
stood still, the aspen began to wake up and the stream shouted with
joy. That white wall of a farm-house, facing west, became very
white. Slowly, peacefully, almost begging it came and filled the
land. Then the snow peaks began to glow, bright rose and the
noises of the early morning began. Three crows flew across the
sky, silently, all in the same direction; from far came the sound of a
bell on a cow and still there was quiet. Then a car was coming up
the hill and day began.
On that path in the wood, a yellow leaf fell; for some of the
trees autumn was here. It was a single leaf, with not a blemish on
it, unspotted, clean. It was the yellow of autumn, it was still lovely
in its death, no disease had touched it. It was still the fullness of
spring and summer and still all the leaves of that tree were green. It
was death in glory. Death was there, not in the yellow leaf, but
actually there, not an inevitable traditionalized death but that death
which is always there. It was not a fancy but a reality that could not
be covered up. It is always there round every bend of a road, in
every house, with every god. It was there with all its strength and
beauty.       You can’t avoid death; you may forget it, you may rationalize it
or believe that you will be reborn or resurrected. Do what you will,
go to any temple or book it is always there, in festival and in
health. You must live with it to know it; you can’t know it if you
are frightened of it; fear only darkens it. To know it you must love
it. To live with it you must love it, The knowledge of it isn’t the
ending of it. It’s the end of knowledge but not of death. To love it is
not to be familiar with it; you can’t be familiar with destruction.
You can’t love something you don’t know but you don’t know
anything, not even your wife or your boss, let alone a total
stranger. But yet you must love it, the stranger, the unknown. You
only love that of which you are certain, that which gives comfort,
security. You do not love the uncertain, the unknown; you may
love danger, give your life for another or kill another for your
country, but this is not love; these have their own reward and
profit; gain and success you love though there’s pain in them.
There’s no profit in knowing death but strangely death and love
always go together; they never separate. You can’t love without
death; you can’t embrace without death being there. Where love is
there is also death, they are inseparable. But do we know what love
is? You know sensation, emotion, desire, feeling and the
mechanism of thought but none of these is love. You love your
husband, your children; you hate war but you practice war. Your
love knows hate, envy, ambition, fear; the smoke of these is not
love. Power and prestige you love but power and prestige are evil,
corrupting. Do we know what love is? Never knowing it is the
wonder of it, the beauty of it. Never knowing, which does not
mean remaining in doubt nor does it mean despair; it’s the death of yesterday and so the complete uncertainty of tomorrow. Love has
no continuity, nor has death. Only memory and the picture in the
frame have continuity but these are mechanical and even machines
wear out, yielding place to new pictures, new memories. What has
continuity is ever decaying and what decays isn’t death. Love and
death are inseparable and where they are there’s always destruction.
September 1st The snow was melting fast in the mountains for
there have been many unclouded days and hot sun; the stream had
become muddy and there was more water and it had become more
noisy and impetuous. Crossing the little wooden bridge and
looking up the stream, there was the mountain, surprisingly
delicate, aloof, with inviting strength; its snow was glistening in
the evening sun. It was beautiful, caught between the trees on
either side of the stream and the fast-running waters. It was
startlingly immense, soaring into the sky, suspended in the air. It
wasn’t only the mountain that was beautiful but the evening light,
the hills, the meadows, the trees and the stream. Suddenly the
whole land with its shadows and peace became intense, so alive
and absorbing. It pushed its way through the brain as a flame
burning away the insensitivity of thought. The sky, the land and the
watcher, all were caught up in this intensity and there was only the
flame and nothing else. Meditation during that walk, beside the
stream on a path which meandered gently through many green
fields, was not there because of silence or because the beauty of the
evening absorbed all thought; it went on in spite of some talk.
Nothing could interfere with it; meditation went on, not
unconsciously somewhere in the recesses of the brain and memory,
but it was there, taking place, like the evening light among the trees. Meditation is not a purposeful pursuit which breeds
distraction and conflict; it’s not the discovery of a toy that will
absorb all thought, as a child is absorbed by a toy; it’s not the
repetition of a word to still the mind. It begins with self-knowing
and goes beyond knowing. On the walk, it was going on, stirring
deeply and moving in no direction. Meditation was going on
beyond thought, conscious or hidden, and a seeing beyond the
capacity of thought.
Look beyond the mountain; in that look are the nearby houses,
the meadows, the shapely hills and the mountains themselves;
when you drive a car, you look well ahead, three hundred yards or
more; that look takes in the side roads, that car that is parked, the
boy that is crossing and the lorry that’s coming towards you, but if
you merely watched the car ahead of you, you would have an
accident. The distant look includes the near but looking at what is
near does not include the distant. Our life is spent in the immediate,
in the superficial. Life in totality gives attention to the fragment but
the fragment can never understand the totality. Yet this is what we
are always attempting to do; hold on to the little and yet try to
grasp the whole. The known is always the little, the fragment, and
with the small we seek the unknown. We never let the little go; of
the little we are certain, in it we are secure, at least we think we
are. But actually we can never be certain about anything, except
probably, about superficial and mechanical things and even they
fail. More or less, we can rely on outward things, like trains, to
operate and be certain of them. Psychologically, inwardly, however
much we may crave it, there’s no certainty, no permanency; neither
in our relationships, in our beliefs, in the gods of our brain. The intense longing for certainty, for some kind of permanency and the
fact that there is no permanency whatsoever is the essence of
conflict, illusion and reality. The power to create illusion is vastly
more significant to understand than to understand reality. The
power to breed illusion must cease completely, not to gain reality;
there’s no bargaining with fact. Reality is not a reward; the false
must go, not to gain what’s true but because it’s false.
Nor is there renunciation.
2nd It was a beautiful evening in the valley, along the stream,
the green meadows, so rich in pasturage, the clean farm-houses and
the rapturous clouds, so full of colour and clarity. There was one
that hung over the mountain with such vivid brilliancy that it
seemed to be the favourite of the sun. The valley was cool, pleasant
and so intensely alive. There was a quietness about it and a peace.
Modern farm machinery was there but they still used the scythe
and the pressure and the brutality of civilization hadn’t touched it.
The heavy electric cables on pylons ran through the valley and they
too seemed a part of that unsophisticated world. As we walked
along the narrow grassy path through fields, the mountains, with
their snow and colour, seemed so close and delicate, so utterly
unreal. The goats were bleating to be milked. Quite unexpectedly,
all this extravagant beauty, colour, the hills, this rich earth, this
intense valley, all this was within one. It wasn’t within one, one’s
own heart and brain were so completely open, without the barrier
of time and space, so empty of thought and feeling, that there was
only this beauty, without sound or form. It was there and
everything else ceased to be. The immensity of this love, with
beauty and death, was there filling the valley and one’s whole being which was that valley. It was an extraordinary evening.
There’s no renunciation. What is given up is ever there and
renunciation, giving up, sacrifice do not exist when there is
understanding. Understanding is the very essence of non-conflict;
renunciation is conflict. To give up is the action of will, which is
born of choice and conflict. To give up is to exchange and in
exchange there is no freedom but only more confusion and misery.

* The friend he was staying with at Gstaad.
** The first of nine talks given at Saanen, the village next to
*** The fourth talk at Saanen.
**** The talk had been the day before.
***** This was the seventh talk. It was principally about
****** Presumably he had been walking with several friends.
******* The larger notebook begins here, giving the year for the
first time.
******** This was the last talk. It was chiefly concerned with the
religious mind.
********* The process is not mentioned again, though
presumably it continued.

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
***** He gave his last talk in Paris on this day.

Walking* along the pavement overlooking the biggest basilica and
down the famous steps to a fountain and many picked flowers of so
many colours, crossing the crowded square, we went along a
narrow one-way street [via Margutta], quiet, with not too many
cars; there in that dimly lit street, with few unfashionable shops,
suddenly and most unexpectedly, that otherness came with such
intense tenderness and beauty that one’s body and brain became
motionless. For some days now, it had not made its immense
presence felt; it was there vaguely, in the distance, a whisper but
there the immense was manifesting itself, sharply and with waiting
patience. Thought and speech were gone and there was peculiar joy
and clarity. It followed down the long, narrow street till the roar of
traffic and the overcrowded pavement swallowed us all. It was a
benediction that was beyond all image and thoughts.
28th At odd and unexpected moments, the otherness has come,
suddenly and unexpectedly and went its way, without invitation
and without need. All need and demand must wholly cease for it to
Meditation, in the still hours of early morning, with no car
rattling by, was the unfolding of beauty. It was not thought
exploring with its limited capacity nor the sensitivity of feeling; it
was not any outward or inward substance which was expressing
itself; it was not the movement of time, for the brain was still. It
was total negation of everything known, not a reaction but a denial that had no cause; it was a movement in complete freedom, a
movement that had no direction and dimension; in that movement
there was boundless energy whose very essence was stillness. Its
action was total inaction and the essence of that inaction is
freedom. There was great bliss, a great ecstasy that perished at the
touch of thought.
30th The sun was setting in great clouds of colour behind the
Roman hills; they were brilliant, splashed across the sky and the
whole earth was made splendid, even the telegraph poles and the
endless rows of building. It was soon becoming dark and the car
was going fast.** The hills faded and the country became flat. To
look with thought and to look without thought are two different
things. To look at those trees by the roadside and the buildings
across the dry fields with thought, keeps the brain tied to its own
moorings of time, experience, memory; the machinery of thought
is working endlessly, without rest, without freshness; the brain is
made dull, insensitive, without the power of recuperation. It is
everlastingly responding to challenge and its response is
inadequate and not fresh. To look with thought keeps the brain in
the groove of habit and recognition; it becomes tired and sluggish;
it lives within the narrow limitations of its own making. It is never
free. This freedom takes place when thought is not looking; to look
without thought does not mean a blank observation, absence in
distraction. When thought does not look, then there is only
observation, without the mechanical process of recognition and
comparison, justification and condemnation; this seeing does not
fatigue the brain for all mechanical processes of time have stopped.
Through complete rest the brain is made fresh, to respond without reaction, to live without deterioration, to die without the torture of
problems. To look without thought is to see without the
interference of time, knowledge and conflict. This freedom to see
is not a reaction; all reactions have causes; to look without reaction
is not indifference, aloofness, a cold-blooded withdrawal. To see
without the mechanism of thought is total seeing, without
particularization and division, which does not mean that there is
not separation and dissimilarity. The tree does not become a house
or the house a tree. Seeing without thought does not put the brain
to sleep; on the contrary, it is fully awake, attentive, without
friction and pain. Attention without the borders of time is the
flowering of meditation.
October 3rd The clouds were magnificent; the horizon was
filled with them, except in the west where the sky was clear. Some
were black, heavy with thunder and rain; others were pure white,
full of light and splendour. They were of every shape and size,
delicate, threatening, billowy; they were piled up one against the
other, with immense power and beauty. They seemed motionless
but there was violent movement within them and nothing could
stop their shattering immensity. A gentle wind was blowing from
the west, driving these vast, mountainous clouds against the hills;
the hills were giving shape to the clouds and they were moving
with these clouds of darkness and light. The hills with their
scattered villages, were waiting for the rains that were so long in
coming; they would soon be green again and the trees would soon
lose their leaves with the coming winter. The road was straight
with shapely trees on either side and the car was holding the road
at great speed, even at the curves; the car was made to go fast and to hold the road and it was performing very well that morning.***
It was shaped for speed, low, hugging the road. We were too soon
leaving the country and entering into the town [Rome] but those
clouds were there, immense, furious and waiting.
In the middle of the night (at Circeo], when it was utterly quiet,
save for an occasional hoot of an owl which was calling without a
reply, in a little house in the woods,+ meditation was pure delight,
without a flutter of thought, with its endless subtleties; it was a
movement that had no end and every movement of the brain was
still, watching from emptiness. It was an emptiness that had known
no knowing; it was emptiness that had known no space; it was
empty of time. It was empty, past all seeing, knowing and being. In
this emptiness there was fury; the fury of a storm, the fury of
exploding universe, the fury of creation which could never have
any expression. It was the fury of all life, death and love. But yet it
was empty, a vast, boundless emptiness which nothing could ever
fill, transform or cover up. Meditation was the ecstasy of this
The subtle interrelationship of the mind, the brain and the body
is the complicated play of life. There is misery when one
predominates over the other and the mind cannot dominate the
brain or the physical organism; when there is harmony between the
two, then the mind can consent to abide with them; it is not a
plaything of either. The whole can contain the particular but the
little, the part, can never formulate the whole. It is incredibly subtle
for the two to live together in complete harmony, without one or
the other forcing, choosing, dominating. The intellect can and does
destroy the body and the body with its dullness, insensitivity can pervert, bring about the deterioration of the intellect. The neglect of
the body with its indulgent and demanding tastes, with its appetites
can make the body heavy and insensitive and so make dull thought.
And thought becoming more refined, more cunning can and does
neglect the demands of the body which then sets about to pervert
thought. A fat, gross body does interfere with the subtleties of
thought, and thought, escaping from the conflicts and problems it
has bred, does make the body a perverse thing. The body and the
brain have to be sensitive and in harmony to be with the incredible
subtleness of the mind which is ever explosive and destructive. The
mind is not a plaything of the brain, whose function is mechanical.
When the absolute necessity of complete harmony of the brain
and body is seen, then the brain will watch over the body, not
dominating it and this very watching sharpens the brain and makes
the body sensitive. The seeing is the fact and with the fact there is
no bargaining; it can be put aside, denied, avoided but it still
remains a fact. The understanding of the fact is essential and not
the evaluation of the fact. When the fact is seen, then the brain is
watchful of the habits, the degenerating factors of the body. Then
thought does not impose a discipline on the body nor control it; for
discipline, control makes for insensitivity and any form of
insensitivity is deterioration, a withering away.
Again on waking, when there were no cars roaring up the hill
and the smell of a small wood near by was in the air**** and rain
was tapping on the window, there was that otherness again filling
the room; it was intense and there was a sense of fury; it was the
fury of a storm, of a full, roaring river, the fury of innocency. It
was there in the room with such abundance that every form of meditation came to an end and the brain was looking, feeling out of
its own emptiness. It lasted for considerable time and in spite of the
fury of its intensity or because of it. The brain remained empty, full
of that otherness. It shattered everything that one thought of, that
one felt or saw; it was an emptiness in which nothing existed. It
was complete destruction.
4th The train [to Florence] was going very fast, over ninety
miles an hour; the towns on the hills were familiar and the lake
[Trasimenus] seemed a friend. It was a familiar country, the olive
and the cypress and the road that followed the railway. It was
raining and the earth was glad of it, for months had passed without
rain and now there were new shoots of green and the rivers were
running brown, fast and full. The train was following the valleys,
shouting at the crossroads, and the workmen labouring along the
metalled way stopped and waved as the train slowed down. It was
a pleasant cool morning and autumn was turning many leaves
brown and yellow; they were ploughing deep for the winter sowing
and the hills seemed so friendly, never too high, gentle and old.
The train was again running very fast and the drivers of this
electric train welcomed us and asked us to come into their cab for
we had met several times in several years; before the train started
they said we must come and see them; they were as friendly as the
rivers and the hills. From their window the country was open and
the hills with their towns and the river that we were following
seemed to be waiting for the familiar roar of their train. The sun
was touching a few of the hills and there was a smile upon the face
of the land. As we raced north, the sky was becoming clear and the
cypress and the olive against the blue sky were delicate in their splendour. The earth, as ever, was beautiful.
It was deep in the night when meditation was filling the spaces
of the brain and beyond. Meditation is not a conflict, a war
between what is and what should be; there was no control and so
no distraction. There was no contradiction between the thinker and
the thought for neither existed. There was only seeing without the
observer; this seeing came out of emptiness and that emptiness had
no cause. All causation breeds inaction, which is called action.
How strange love is and how respectable it has become, the
love of God, the love of the neighbour, the love of the family. How
neatly it has been divided, the profane and the sacred; duty and
responsibility; obedience and the willingness to die and to deal out
death. The priests talk of it and so do the generals, planning wars;
the politicians and the housewife everlastingly complain about it.
Jealousy and envy nourish love, and relationship is held in its
prison. They have it on the screen and in the magazine and every
radio and television blares it out. When death takes away love there
is the photo in the frame or the image which memory keeps on
revising or it is tightly held in belief. Generation after generation is
bred upon this and sorrow goes on without an end.
Continuity of love is pleasure and with it comes always pain but
we try to avoid the one and cling to the other. This continuity is the
stability and security in relationship, and in relationship there must
be no change for relationship is habit and in habit there is security
and sorrow. To this unending machinery of pleasure and pain we
cling and this thing is called love. To escape from its weariness,
there is religion and romanticism. The word changes and becomes
modified with each one but romanticism offers a marvellous escape from the fact of pleasure and sorrow. And, of course, the
ultimate refuge and hope is God who has become so very
respectable and profitable.
But all this isn’t love. Love has no continuity; it cannot be
carried over to tomorrow; it has no future. What has is memory,
and memories are ashes of everything dead and buried. Love has
no tomorrow; it cannot be caught in time and made respectable. It
is there when time is not. It has no promise, no hope; hope breeds
despair. It belongs to no god and so to no thought and feeling. It is
not conjured up by the brain. It lives and dies each minute. Is a
terrible thing, for love is destruction. It is destruction without
tomorrow. Love is destruction.
5th There is a huge, tall tree in the garden,***** it has an
enormous trunk and during the night its dry leaves were noisy in
the autumnal wind; every tree in the garden was alive, rustling, and
winter was still far away; they were all whispering, shouting and
the wind was restless. But the tree dominated the garden; it
towered over the four-storey house and the river [the Mugnone] fed
it. It was not one of those large rivers, sweeping and dangerous; its
life had been made famous and it curves in and out of the valleys
and enters the sea, some distance away. There is always water in it
and there are fishermen hanging over the bridges and along its
banks. In the night the small waterfall complains a great deal and
its noise fills the air; the rustle of leaves, the waterfall and the
restless wind seem to be talking to each other a great deal. It was a
lovely morning with a blue sky and a few clouds scattered about;
there are two cypresses beyond all others that stand clear against
the sky.       Again, well after midnight, when the wind was noisy among the
trees, meditation became a fierce explosion, destroying all the
things of the brain; every thought shapes every response and limits
action. Action born of idea is non-action; such non-action breeds
conflict and sorrow. It was in the still moment of meditation that
there was strength.
Strength is not the many threads of will; will is resistance and
the action of will breeds confusion and sorrow within and without.
Strength is not the opposite of weakness; all opposites contain their
own contradiction.
7th It had begun to rain and the sky was heavy with clouds;
before the sky was covered over entirely, immense clouds filled the
horizon and it was a marvellous thing to see them. They were so
immense and peaceful; it was the peace of enormous power and
strength. And the Tuscan hills were so close to them, waiting for
their fury. It came during the night, shattering thunder and
lightning that showed every leaf aquiver with wind and life. It was
a splendid night full of storm, life and immensity. All the afternoon
the otherness had been coming, in the car and in the street. It was
there most of the night and early this morning, long before dawn,
when meditation was making its way into the unknown depths and
heights; it was there with insistent fury. Meditation yielded to the
otherness. It was there in the room, with the branches of that huge
tree in the garden; it was there with such incredible power and life
that the very bones felt it; it seemed to press right through one and
made the body and brain completely motionless. It had been there
all night in a mild and gentle way and sleep became a very light
affair, but as dawn was coming near, it became a crushing, penetrating power. The body and the brain were very alert,
listening to the rustle of leaves and seeing the dawn coming
through the dark branches of a tall, straight pine. It had great
tenderness and beauty that was past and beyond all thought and
emotion. It was there and with it was benediction.
Strength is not the opposite of weakness; all opposites breed
further opposites. Strength is not an event of will and will is action
in contradiction. There is a strength that has no cause, that is not
put together through multiple decisions. It is that strength that
exists in negation and denial; it is that strength that comes into
being out of total aloneness. It is that strength which comes when
all conflict and effort have completely ceased. It is there when all
thought and feeling have come to an end and there is only seeing. It
is there when ambition, greed, envy have come to an end without
any compulsion; they wither away with understanding. There is
that strength when love is death and death life. The essence of
strength is humility.
How strong is the newborn leaf in spring, so vulnerable, so
easily destroyed. Vulnerability is the essence of virtue. Virtue is
never strong; it cannot stand the glare of respectability and the
vanity of the intellect. Virtue is not a mechanical continuity of an
idea, of thought in habit. The strength of virtue is that it is easily
destroyed to be reborn again anew. Strength and virtue go together
for neither can exist without the other. They can only survive in
8th It had been raining all day; the roads were slushy and there
was more brown water in the river and the slight fall of the river
was making more noise. It was a still night, an invitation to the rains which never stopped till early this morning. And the sun
suddenly came out and towards the west the sky was blue, rain
washed and clean, with those enormous clouds full of light and
splendour. It was a beautiful morning and looking to the west, with
the sky so intensely blue, all thought and emotion disappeared and
the seeing was from emptiness.
Before dawn, meditation was the immense opening into the
unknown. Nothing can open the door save the complete destruction
of the known. Meditation is explosion in understanding. There is
no understanding without self-knowing; learning about the self is
not accumulating knowledge about it; gathering of knowledge
prevents learning; learning is not an additive process; learning is
from moment to moment, as is understanding. This total process of
learning is explosion in meditation. 9th Early this morning, the sky
was without a cloud; the sun was coming up behind the Tuscan
hills, grey with olive, with dark cypress. There were no shadows on
the river and the aspen leaves were still. A few birds that had not
yet migrated were chattering and the river seemed motionless; as
the sun came up behind the river it cast long shadows on the quiet
water.****** But a gentle breeze was coming over the hills and
through the valleys; it was among the leaves, setting them
trembling and dancing with the morning sun on them. There were
long and short shadows, fat ones and little ones on the brown
sparkling waters; a solitary chimney began to smoke, grey fumes
carrying across the trees. It was a lovely morning, full of
enchantment and beauty, there were so many shadows and so many
leaves trembling. There was perfume in the air and though it was
an autumnal sun there was the breath of spring. A small car was going up the hill, making an awful noise but a thousand shadows
remained motionless. It was a lovely morning.
In the afternoon yesterday, it began suddenly, in a room
overlooking a noisy street; the strength and the beauty of the
otherness was spreading from the room outward over the traffic,
past the gardens and beyond the hills. It was there immense and
impenetrable; it was there in the afternoon, and just as one was
getting into bed it was there with furious intensity, a benediction of
great holiness. There is no getting used to it for it is always
different, there’s something always new, a new quality, a subtle
significance, a new light, something that had not been seen before.
It was not a thing to be stored up, remembered and examined, at
leisure; it was there and no thought could approach for the brain
was still and there was no time, to experience, to store up. It was
there and all thought became still.
The intense energy of life is always there, night and day.
It is without friction, without direction, without choice and
effort. It is there with such intensity that thought and feeing cannot
capture it to mould it according to their fancies, beliefs,
experiences and demands. It is there with such abundance that
nothing can diminish it. But we try to use it, to give it direction, to
capture it within the mould of our existence and thereby twist it to
conform to our pattern, experience and knowledge. It is ambition,
envy, greed that narrow down its energy and so there is conflict
and sorrow; the cruelty of ambition, personal or collective, distorts
its intensity, causing hatred, antagonism, conflict. Every action of
envy perverts this energy, causing discontent, misery, fear; with
fear there is guilt and anxiety and the never ending misery of comparison and irritation. It is this perverted energy that makes the
priest and the general, the politician and the thief. This boundless
energy made incomplete by our desire for permanency and security
is the soil in which grow barren ideas, competition, cruelty and
war; it is the cause of everlasting conflict between man and man.
When all this is put aside, with ease and without effort, then
only is there that intense energy which can only exist and flower in
freedom. In freedom alone, it causes no conflict and sorrow; then
alone it increases and has no end. It is life that has no beginning
and no end; it is creation which is love, destruction.
Energy used in one direction leads to one thing, conflict and
sorrow; energy that is the expression of total life is bliss beyond
12th The sky was yellow in the setting sun and the dark cypress
and the grey olive were startlingly beautiful, and down below the
winding river was golden. It was a splendid evening, full of light
and silence. From that height******* you could see the city in the
valley, the dome and the beautiful campanile and the river curving
through the town. Going down the incline and down the steps, one
felt the great beauty of the evening; there were few people and the
odd, restless tourists had passed by there earlier, always chattering,
taking photos and hardly ever seeing. There was perfume in the air
and as the sun went down, the silence became intense, rich and
unfathomable. Out of this silence only, there is seeing, listening
really, and out of this came meditation, though the little car went
down the curving road noisily, with a great many bumps. There
were two Roman pines against the yellowing sky and though one
had seen them often before it was as if they were never seen; the gentle sloping hill was silver-grey with the olive and the darkly
solitary cypress was everywhere. Meditation was explosion, not
carefully planned, contrived and joined together with determined
pursuit. It was an explosion without leaving any remnant of the
past. It exploded time, and time never need again stop. In this
explosion everything was without shadow and to see without
shadow is to see beyond time. It was a marvellous evening so full
of humour and space. The noisy town with its lights and the
smooth running train were in this vast silence and its beauty was
The train, going south [back to Rome] was crowded with many
tourists and businessmen; they were endlessly smoking eating
heavily when the meal was served. The country was beautiful, rain
washed, fresh and there was not a cloud in the sky. There were old
walled towns on the hills and the lake of many memories was blue,
without a ripple; the rich land yielded to poor and arid soil and the
farms seemed less prosperous, the chickens were thinner, there
were no cattle about and there were few sheep. The train was going
fast trying to make up the time that it had lost. It was a marvellous
day and there in that smoky compartment, with passengers that
hardly looked out of the window, there was that otherness. All that
night, it was there with such intensity that the brain felt its
pressure. It was as though at the very centre of all existence, it was
operating in its purity and immensity. The brain watched, as it was
watching the scene racing by, and in this very act, it went beyond
its own limitations. And during the night at odd moments,
meditation was a fire of explosion.
13th The skies are clear, the small wood across the way is full of light and shadows. Early in the morning before the sun showed
over the hill, when dawn was still on the land and there were no
cars going up the hill, meditation was inexhaustible. Thought is
always limited, it cannot go very far, for it is rooted in memory,
and when it does go far, it becomes merely speculative,
imaginative, without validity. Thought cannot find what is and
what is not beyond its own borders of time; thought is time-
binding. Thought unravelling itself, untangling itself from the net
of its own making is not the total movement of meditation.
Thought in conflict with itself is not meditation; the ending of
thought and the beginning of the new is meditation. The sun was
making patterns on the wall, cars were coming up the hill and
presently the workmen were whistling and singing on the new
building across the way.
The brain is restless, an astonishingly sensitive instrument. It’s
always receiving impressions, interpreting them, storing them
away; it is never still, waking or sleeping. Its concern is survival
and security, the inherited animal responses; on the basis of these,
its cunning devices are built, within and without; its gods, its
virtues, its moralities are its defences; its ambitions, desires,
compulsions and conformities are the urges of survival and
security. Being highly sensitive, the brain with its machinery of
thought, begins the cultivation of time, the yesterdays, the today
and the many tomorrows; this gives it an opportunity of
postponement and fulfilment; the postponement, the ideal and the
fulfilment are the continuity of itself. But in this there is always
sorrow; from this there is the flight into belief, dogma, action and
into multiple forms of entertainment, including the religious rituals. But there is always death and its fear; thought then seeks comfort
and escape in rational and irrational beliefs, hopes, conclusions.
Words and theories become amazingly important, living on these
and building its whole structure of existence on these feelings
which words and conclusions arouse. The brain and its thought
function at a very superficial level, however deeply thought may
have hoped it has journeyed. For thought, however experienced,
however clever and erudite, is superficial. The brain and its
activities are a fragment of the whole totality of life; the fragment
has become completely important to itself and its relationship to
other fragments. This fragmentation and the contradiction it breeds
is its very existence; it cannot understand the whole and when it
attempts to formulate the totality of life, it can only think in terms
of opposites and reactions which only breed conflict, confusion and
Thought can never understand or formulate the whole of life.
Only when the brain and its thought are completely still, not asleep
or drugged by discipline, compulsion, or hypnotized, then only is
there the awareness of the whole. The brain which is so
astonishingly sensitive can be still, still in its sensitivity, widely
and deeply attentive but entirely quiet. When time and its measure
cease then only is there the whole, the unknowable.
4th In the gardens [of the Vila Borghese], right in the middle of
the noisy and smelly town, with its flat pines and many trees,
turning yellow and brown and the smell of damp ground, there,
walking with certain seriousness, was the awareness of the
otherness. It was there with great beauty and tenderness; it was not
that one was thinking about it – it avoids all thought – but it was there so abundantly that it caused surprise and great delight.
Seriousness of thought is so frag- mentary and immature but there
must be seriousness which is not the product of desire. There is a
seriousness that has the quality of light whose very nature is to
penetrate, a light that has no shadow; this seriousness is infinitely
pliable and therefore joyous. It was there and every tree and leaf,
every blade of grass and flower became intensely alive and
splendid; colour intense and the sky immeasurable. The earth,
moist and leaf-strewn, was life.
15th The morning sun is on the little wood on the other side of
the road; it is a quiet, peaceful morning, soft, the sun not too hot
and the air is fresh and cool. Every tree is so fascinatingly alive,
with so many colours and there are so many shadows; they are all
calling and waiting. Long before the sun was up, when it was quiet
with no car going up the hill, meditation was a movement in
benediction. This movement flowed into the otherness, for it was
there in the room, filling it and overflowing it, outward and
beyond, without end. There was in it a depth that was
unfathomable, of such immensity and there was peace. This peace
never knew contact, was uncontaminated by thought and time. It
was not the peace of ultimate finality; it was something that was
tremendously and dangerously alive. And it was without defence.
Every form of resistance is violence, so also is concession. It was
not the peace that conflict engenders; it was beyond all conflict and
its opposites. It was not the fruit of satisfaction and discontent, in
which are the seeds of deterioration.
16th It was before dawn, when there was no noise and the city
was still asleep, that the waking brain became quiet for the otherness was there. It came in so quietly and with hesitant care for
there was sleep still in the eyes but there was great delight, the
delight of great simplicity and purity. 18th On the plane.********
There was thunder and a great downpour of rain; it woke one up in
the middle of the night [in Rome] and the rain was beating on the
window and among the trees across the road. The day had been hot
and the air was now pleasantly cool; the town was asleep and the
storm had taken over. The roads were wet and there was hardly any
traffic so early in the morning; the sky was still heavy with clouds
and dawn was over the land. The church [S. Giovanni in Laterano]
with its golden mosaic was bright with artificial light. + The airport
was far away and the powerful car was running beautifully; it was
trying to race the clouds. It passed the few cars that were on the
road and hugged the road round every corner at high speed. It had
been held too long in the city and now it was on the open road.
And there was the airport too soon. The smell of the sea and the
damp earth was in the air; the freshly ploughed fields were dark
and the green of the trees so bright, though autumn had touched a
few leaves; the wind was blowing from the west and there would
be no sun during all that day on the land. Every leaf was washed
clean and there was beauty and peace on the land.
In the middle of the night, when it was quiet after thunder and
lightning, the brain was utterly still and meditation was an opening
into immeasurable emptiness. The very sensitivity of the brain
made it still; it was still for no cause; the action of stillness with
cause is disintegration. It was so still that the limited space of a
room had disappeared and time had stopped. There was only an
awakened attention, with a centre which was attentive; it was the attention in which the origin of thought had ceased, without any
violence, naturally, easily. It could hear the rain and movement in
the next room; it was listening without any interpretation and
watching without
There is no entry for the 19th.
Ciampino. The airport at Fiuminei had not yet been built.
knowledge. The body was also motionless. Meditation yielded to
the otherness; it was of shattering purity. Its purity left no residue;
it was there, that is all and nothing existed. As there was nothing, it
was. It was the purity of all essence. This peace is a vast, boundless
space, of immeasurable emptiness.

* He was now in Rome. He had flown there on the 25th.
** On the way to Circeo, near the sea, between Rome and Naples.
*** On the way back to Rome from Circeo where he had spent
three nights in the hotel la Baya d’argento. One of the little
cottages belonging to the hotel at Circeo, situated in a wood-
garden. It was very quiet there. Each cottage contained two
bedrooms, a bathroom and sitting-room.
**** He was staying in Rome in the via dei colli della Farnesina, a
new road with very little traffic on it; the small wood was across
the way.
***** An ilex. He was staying in a villa, Il Leccio, north of
Florence, above Fiesole.
****** A little pond formed by the stream in a wood. An
apartment in Florence where he was paying a visit.
******* From S. Miniato al Monte on the south side of the Arno.
******** Flying to Bombay where he arrived on the 20th.

The sea, far below, nearly forty thousand feet below, seemed to be
without a wave, so calm, so vast, so empty of any movement; the
desert, the burning red hills, treeless, beautiful and pitiless; more
sea and the distant lights of the town where all the passengers were
getting down; the clamour, the mountain of bags, inspection and
the long drive through ill-lit streets and the pavement crowded with
ever increasing population; the many penetrating odours, the shrill
voices, the decorated temples, cars festooned with flowers, for it
was a day of festival, the rich houses, the dark slums and down a
steep incline, the car stopped and the door was opened.
There is a tree full of green bright leaves, very quiet in its purity
and dignity, surrounded by houses that are ill proportioned with
people that have never looked at it or one single leaf of it. But they
make money, go to offices, drink, beget children and eat
enormously. There was a moon over it last night and all the
splendid darkness was alive. And waking towards dawn,
meditation was the splendour of light for the otherness was there,
in an unfamiliar room. Again it was an imminent and urgent peace,
not the peace of politicians or of the priests nor of the contented; it
was too vast to be contained in space and time, to be formulated by
thought or feeling. It was the weight of the earth and the things
upon it; it was the heavens and beyond it. Man has to cease for it to
Time is always repeating its challenge and its problems; the responses and answers are concerned with the immediate. We are
taken up with the immediate challenge and with the immediate
reply to it. This immediate answer to the immediate call is
worldliness, with all its indissoluble problems and agonies; the
intellectual answers with action born of ideas which have their
roots in time, in the immediate, and the thoughtless, amazed,
follow him; the priest of the well-organized religion of propaganda
and belief responds to the challenge according to what he has been
taught; the rest follow the pattern of like and dislike, of prejudice
and malice. And every argument and gesture is the continuity of
despair, sorrow and confusion. There is no end to it. To turn your
back on it all, calling this activity by different names, is not to end
it. It is there whether you deny it or not; whether you have
critically analysed it or whether you say the whole thing is an
illusion, maya. It is there and you are always measuring it. It is
these immediate answers to a series of immediate calls that has to
come to an end. Then you will answer from the emptiness of no
time to the immediate demand of time or you may not answer at all
which may be the true response. All reply of thought and emotion
will only prolong the despair and the agony of problems that have
no answers; the final answer is beyond the immediate.
In the immediate is all your hope, vanity and ambition, whether
that immediacy is projected into the future of many tomorrows or
in the now. This is the way of sorrow. The ending of sorrow is
never in the immediate response to the many challenges. The
ending lies in seeing this fact.
21st The palms were swaying with great dignity, bending with
pleasure in the westerly breeze from the sea; they seemed so far away from the noisy crowded street. Against the evening sky, they
were dark, their tall trunks were shapely, made slender with many
years of patient work; they dominated the evening of stars and the
warm sea. They almost stretched their palms to receive you, to
snatch you away from the sordid street but the evening breeze took
them away to fill the sky with their movement. The street was
crowded; it would never be clean, too many people had spat on it;
its walls were made filthy with the announcements of latest films;
they were plastered with names to whom you must give your vote,
the party symbols; it was a sordid street though it was one of the
main thoroughfares; unwashed buses roared by; taxis honked at
you and many dogs seemed to have passed by. A little further on
was the sea and the setting sun. It was a round red ball of fire, it
had been a scorching day; it made the sea and the few clouds red.
The sea was without a ripple but it was restless and dreamy. It was
too hot to be a pleasant evening and the breeze seemed to have
forgotten its delight. Along that sordid street, with people pushing
into you, meditation was the very essence of life. The brain so
delicate and observant was completely still, watching the stars,
aware of the people, the smells, the barking of the dogs. A single
yellow leaf was falling on the dirty road and the passing car
destroyed it; it was so full of colour and beauty and destroyed so
As one walked along the street of few palms, the otherness
came like a wave that purified and strengthened; it was there like a
perfume, a breath of immensity. There was no sentiment, the
romance of illusion or the brittleness of thought; it was there, sharp
and clear, without any vague possibility, unhesitating, definite. It was there, a holy thing and nothing could touch it, nothing could
break its finality. The brain was aware of the closeness of the
passing buses, the wet street and the squealing brakes; it was aware
of all these things and, beyond, the sea, but the brain had no
relation to any of these things; it was completely empty, without
any roots, watching, observing out of this emptiness. The otherness
was pressing in with sharp urgency. It was not a feeling, a
sensation but as factual as the man who was calling. It was not an
emotion that changes, varies and continues, and thought could not
touch it. It was there with the finality of death which no reason
could dissuade. As it had no roots and relation, nothing could
contaminate it; it was indestructible. 23rd The complete stillness of
the brain is an extraordinary thing; it is highly sensitive, vigorous,
fully alive, aware of every outward movement but utterly still. It is
still as it is completely open, without any hindrance, without any
secret wants and pursuits; it is still as there is no conflict which is
essentially a state of contradiction. It is utterly still in emptiness;
this emptiness is not a state of vacuum, a blankness; it is energy
without a centre, without a border. Walking down the crowded
street, smelly and sordid, with the buses roaring by, the brain was
aware of the things about it and the body was walking along,
sensitive, alive to the smells, to the dirt, to the sweating labourers
but there was no centre from which watching, directing, censoring
took place. During the whole of that mile and back the brain was
without a movement, as thought and feeling; the body was getting
tired, unaccustomed to the frightful heat and humidity though the
sun had set some time ago. It was a strange phenomenon though it
had happened several times before. One can never get used to any of these things for it is not a thing of habit and desire. It is always
surprising, after it is over.
The crowded plane [to Madras] was hot and even at that height,
about eight thousand feet up, it never seemed to get cool. In that
morning plane, suddenly and most unexpectedly the otherness
came. It is never the same, always new, always unexpected; the
odd thing about it is that thought cannot go back over it, reconsider
it, examine it leisurely. Memory has no part in it, for every time it
happens it is so totally new and unexpected that it does not leave
any memory behind it. For it is a total and complete happening, an
event that leaves no record, as memory. So it is always new,
young, unexpected. It came with extraordinary beauty, not because
of the fantastic shape of clouds and the light in them nor of the blue
sky, so infinitely blue and tender; there was no reason, no cause for
its incredible beauty and that is why it was beautiful. It was the
essence not of all the things put together and boiled down to be felt
and seen but of all life that has been and that is and that will be, life
without time. It was there and it was the fury of beauty.
The little car was going home to its valley,* far from cities and
civilizations; it was going over bumpy roads, over potholes, round
sharp corners, groaning, creaking but it went; it was not old but it
had been assembled carelessly; it smelled of petrol and oil but it
was racing home as fast as it could over the paved and unpaved
roads. The country was beautiful; it had rained recently, the night
before. The trees were alive with bright, green leaves – the
tamarind and the banyan and other innumerable trees; they were so
vital, fresh and young though some of them must have been quite
old. There were hills and the red earth; they were not thundering hills but gentle and old, some of the oldest on earth, and in the
evening light they were serene, with that ancient blue which only
certain hills have. Some were rocky and barren, others had scrubby
bushes and a few had some trees but they were friendly as though
they had seen all sorrow. And the earth at their feet was red; the
rains had made it more red; it was not the red of blood or of the sun
or of any man-made dye; it was the red, the colour of all reds; there
was a clarity and purity about it and the green was the more
startling against it. It was a lovely evening and it was getting cooler
for the valley was at some height.
In the midst of the evening light and the hills becoming more
blue and the red earth richer, the otherness came silently with
benediction. It is marvellously new each time but yet it is the same.
It was immense with strength, the strength of destruction and
vulnerability. It came with such fullness and was gone in a flash;
the moment was beyond all time. It was a tiring day but the brain
was strangely alert, seeing without the watcher; seeing not with
experience but out of emptiness.
24th The moon was just coming over the hills, caught in a long
serpentine cloud, giving her a fantastic shape. She was huge,
dwarfing the hills, the earth and the green pastures; where she was
coming up was more clear, fewer clouds, but she soon disappeared
in dark rain-bearing clouds. It began to drizzle and the earth was
glad; it doesn’t rain much here and every drop counts; the big
banyan and the tamarind and the mango would struggle through
but the little plants and the rice crop were rejoicing at even a little
rain. Unfortunately even the few drops stopped and presently the
moon shone in a clear sky. It was raining furiously on the coast but here where the rain was needed, the rain-bearing clouds passed
away. It was a beautiful evening, and there were deep dark
shadows of many patterns. The moon was very bright and the
shadows were very still and the leaves, washed clean, were
sparkling. Walking and talking, meditation was going on below the
words and the beauty of the night. It was going on at a great depth,
flowing outwardly and inwardly; it was exploding and expanding.
One was aware of it; it was happening; one wasn’t experiencing it,
experiencing is limiting; it was taking place. There was no
participation in it; thought could not share it for thought is such a
futile and mechanical thing anyhow, nor could emotion get
entangled with it; it was too disturbingly active for either. It was
happening at such an unknown depth for which there was no
measurement. But there was great stillness. It was quite surprising
and not at all ordinary.
The dark leaves were shining and the moon had climbed quite
high; she was on the westerly course and flooding the room. Dawn
was many hours away and there was not a sound; even the village
dogs, with their shrill yapping, were quiet. Waking, it was there,
with clarity and precision; the otherness was there and waking up
was necessary, not sleep; it was deliberate, to be aware of what was
happening, to be aware with full consciousness of what was taking
place. Asleep, it might have been a dream, a hint of the
unconscious, a trick of the brain, but fully awake, this strange and
unknowable otherness was a palpable reality, a fact and not an
illusion, a dream. It had a quality, if such a word can be applied to
it, of weightlessness and impenetrable strength. Again these words
have certain significance, definite and communicable, but these words lose all their meaning when the otherness has to be
conveyed in words; words are symbols but no symbol can ever
convey the reality. It was there with such incorruptible strength
that nothing could destroy it for it was unapproachable. You can
approach something with which you are familiar, you must have
the same language to commune, some kind of thought process,
verbal or non-verbal; above all there must be mutual recognition.
There was none. On your side you may say it is this or that, this or
that quality, but at the moment of the happening there was no
verbalization for the brain was utterly still, without any movement
of thought. But the otherness is without relationship to anything
and all thought and being is a cause-effect process and so there was
no understanding of it or relationship with it. It was an
unapproachable flame and you could only look at it and keep your
distance. And on waking suddenly, it was there. And with it came
unexpected ecstasy, an unreasonable joy; there was no cause for it
for it has never been sought or pursued. There was this ecstasy on
waking again at the usual hour; it was there and continued for a
lengthy period of time.
25th There is a long-stemmed weed, grass of some kind, which
grows wildly in the garden and it has a feathery flowering, burnt
gold, flashing in the breeze, swaying till it almost breaks but never
breaking, except in a strong wind. There is a clump of these weeds
of golden beige and when the breeze blows it sets them dancing;
each stem has its own rhythm, its own splendour and they are like a
wave when they all move together; the colour then, with the
evening light, is indescribable; it is the colour of the sunset, of the
earth and of the golden hills and clouds. The flowers beside them were too definite, too crude, demanding that you look at them.
These weeds had a strange delicacy; they had a faint smell of
wheat and of ancient times; they were sturdy and pure, full of
abundant life. An evening cloud was passing by, full of light as the
sun went down behind the dark hill. The rain had given to the earth
a goodly smell and the air was pleasantly cool. The rains were
coming and there was hope in the land.
Of a sudden it happened, coming back to the room; it was there
with an embracing welcome, so unexpected. One had come in only
to go out again; we had been talking about several things, nothing
too serious. It was a shock and a surprise to find this welcoming
otherness in the room; it was waiting there with such open
invitation that an apology seemed futile. Several times, on the
Common,** far away from here under some trees, along a path that
was used by so many, it would be waiting just as the path turned;
with astonishment one stood there, near those trees, completely
open, vulnerable, speechless, without a movement. It was not a
fancy, a self-projected delusion; the other, who happened to be
there, felt it too; on several occasions it was there, with an all-
embracing welcome of love and it was quite incredible; every time,
it had a new quality, a new beauty, a new austerity. And it was like
that in this room, something totally new and wholly unexpected. It
was beauty that made the entire mind still and the body without a
movement; it made the mind, the brain and the body intensely alert
and sensitive; it made the body tremble and in a few minutes that
welcoming otherness was gone, as swiftly as it must have come.
No thought or fanciful emotion could ever conjure up such a
happening; thought is petty, do what it will, and feeling is so fragile and deceitful; neither of them, in their wildest endeavour
could build up these happenings. They are too immeasurably great,
too immense in their strength and purity for thought or feeling;
these have roots and they have none. They are not to be invited or
held; thought-feeling can play every kind of clever and fanciful
trick but they cannot invent or contain the otherness. It is by itself
and nothing can touch it.
Sensitivity is wholly different from refinement; sensitivity is an
integral state, refinement is always partial. There is no partial
sensitivity, either it is the state of one’s whole being, total
consciousness or it is not there at all. It is not to be gathered bit by
bit; it cannot be cultivated; it is not the result of experience and
thought, it is not a state of emotionalism. It has the quality of
precision, no overtones of romanticism and fancy. Only the
sensitive can face the actual, without escaping into all kinds of
conclusions, opinions and evaluations. Only the sensitive can be
alone and this aloneness is destructive. This sensitivity is stripped
of all pleasure and so it has the austerity, not of desire and will but
of seeing and understanding. There is pleasure in refinement; it has
to do with education, culture, environment. The way of refinement
is endless; it is the outcome of choice, conflict and pain and there is
always the chooser, the one who refines, the censor. And so there
is always conflict and contradiction and pain. Refinement leads to
isolation, self-enclosing aloofness, the separation which intellect
and knowledge breed. Refinement is self-centred activity, however
enlightened aesthetically and morally. There is great satisfaction in
the refining process but no joy of depth; it is superficial and petty,
without great significance. Sensitivity and refinement are two different things; one leads to isolating death and the other to life
that has no end.
26th There is a tree, just across the verandah with large leaves
and with many large red flowers; they are spectacular and the
green, after the recent rains, is vivid and strong. The flowers are
orange-red and against the green and the rocky hill, they seem to
have taken the earth to themselves and they cover the whole space
of the early morning. It was a beautiful morning, cloudy and there
was that light which made every colour clear and strong. Not a leaf
was stirring and they were all waiting, hoping for more rain; the
sun would be hot and the earth needed far more rain. The river
beds had been silent for many years; bushes were growing in them
and water was needed everywhere; the wells were very low and the
villagers would suffer if there was not more water. The clouds
were black over the hills, heavy with the promise of rain. There
was thunder and distant lightning and presently there was a
downpour. It didn’t last long but enough for the time being and
there was a promise of more.
Where the road goes down and over the bridge of a dry river
bed of red sand, the westerly hills were dark, heavy with brooding;
and in the evening light, the luscious green fields of rice were
incredibly beautiful. Across them were dark green trees and the
hills to the north were violet; the valley lay open to the heavens.
There was every colour, seen or unseen, in that valley that evening;
every colour had its overtones, hidden and open, and every leaf and
every blade of rice was exploding in the delight of colour. Colour
was good, not mild and gentle. The clouds were gathering black
and heavy, especially over the hills and there were flashes of lightning, far away over the hills and silent. There were already a
few drops; it was raining among the hills and it would soon be
here. A blessing to a starving land.
We were all talking after a light dinner about things pertaining
to the school, how this and that was necessary, how difficult it was
to find good teachers, how the rains were needed and so on. They
went on talking and there, sudden and unexpectedly, the otherness
appeared; it was there with such immensity and with such
sweeping force that one be- came utterly quiet; the eyes saw it, the
body felt it and the brain was alert without thought. The
conversation was not too serious and in the midst of this casual
atmosphere, something tremendous was taking place. One went to
bed with it and it went on as a whisper during the night. There is no
experiencing of it; it is simply there with a fury and benediction.
To experience there must be an experiencer but when there is
neither, it is an altogether different phenomenon. There is neither
accepting it or denying it; it is simply there, as a fact. This fact had
no relation to anything, neither in the past nor in the future and
thought could not establish any communication with it. It had no
value in terms of utility and profit, nothing could be got out of it.
But it was there and by its very existence there was love, beauty,
immensity. Without it, there is nothing. Without rain the earth
would perish.
Time is illusion. There is tomorrow and there have been many
yesterdays; this time is not an illusion. Thought which uses time as
a means to bring about an inward change, a psychological change
is pursuing a non-change, for such a change is only a modified
continuity of what has been; such thought is sluggish, postpones, takes shelter in the illusion of gradualness, in ideals, in time.
Through time mutation is not possible. The very denial of time is
mutation; mutation takes place where the things which time has
brought into being, habit, tradition, reform, the ideals, are denied.
Deny time and mutation has taken place, a total mutation, not the
alteration in patterns nor the substitution of one pattern by another.
But acquiring knowledge, learning a technique, require time which
cannot and must not be denied; they are essential for existence.
Time to go from here to there is not an illusion but every other
form of time is illusion. In this mutation, there is attention and
from this attention there is a totally different kind of action. Such
action does not become a habit, a repetition of a sensation, of an
experience, of knowledge which dulls the brain, insensitive to a
mutation. Virtue then is not the better habit, the better conduct; it
has no pattern, no limitation; it has not the stamp of respectability;
it is not then an ideal to be pursued, put together by time. Virtue
then is a danger not a tame thing of society. To love then is
destruction; a revolution, not economic and social but of total
27th Several of us were chanting and singing; learning new
chants and songs; the room overlooked the garden that was with
great difficulty maintained as there was little water; the flowers and
the bushes were watered by small buckets, really kerosene tins. It
was quite a nice garden with many flowers but the trees dominated
the garden; they were shapely, wide-spreading and at certain
seasons, full of flowers; now only one tree was flowering, orange-
red flowers with large petals, a profusion of them. There were
several trees with fine, small delicate leaves, mimosa-like trees but with greater abundance of foliage. So many birds came and now
after two long heavy showers they looked bedraggled, soaked to
the skin, their feathers drenched. There was a yellow bird with
black wings, larger than a starling, nearly as big as a blackbird; the
yellow was so bright against the dark-green foliage and its bright
elongated eyes were watching everything, the slightest movement
among the leaves and the coming and going of other birds. There
were two black birds, smaller than crows, their feathers soaked,
sitting close to the yellow one on the same tree; they had spread
out their tail feathers and were fluttering their wings to get them
dry; several other birds of different sizes came to that tree, all at
peace with each other, all alertly watching. The valley needed the
rain very badly and every drop was welcome; the wells were very
low and the big urban tanks were empty and these rains would help
to fill them. They had been empty for many years and there was
hope now. The valley had become very beautiful, rain-washed,
fresh, filled with varying rich green. The rocks had been washed
clean and had lost their heat and the stunted bushes that grew
among the rocks in the hills looked pleased and the dry river beds
were singing again. The land was smiling again.
The chant and the song went on in that rather bare room,
without furniture, and to sit on the floor seemed normal and
comfortable. In the midst of a song quite suddenly and unexpected
the other appeared; others went on with the song but they too
became silent, not being aware of their silence. It was there with a
benediction and it filled the space between the earth and the
heavens. About ordinary things, up to a certain point,
communication is possible through words; words have significance but words lose altogether their limited significance when we are
trying to commune about events that cannot be verbalized. Love is
not the word and it is something entirely different when all
verbalization and the silly division of what is and what is not
ceases. This event is not an experience, not a thing of thought, the
recognition of a happening of yesterday, not the product of
consciousness at whatever depth. It is not contaminated by time. It
is something beyond and above all this; it was there and that is
enough for heaven and earth.
Every prayer is a supplication and there is no asking when there
is clarity and the heart unburdened. Instinctively, in time of
trouble, a supplication of some kind comes to the lips, to avert the
trouble, the ache or to gain some advantage. There is hope that
some earthly god or the gods of the mind will answer satisfactorily,
and sometimes by chance or through some strange coincidence of
events, a prayer is answered. Then god has answered and faith has
been justified. The gods of men, the only true gods, are there to
comfort, to shelter, to answer all the petty and noble demands of
man. Such gods are plentiful, every church, every temple and
mosque has them. The earthly gods are even more powerful and
more immediate; every state has them. But man goes on suffering
in spite of every form of prayer and supplication. With the fury of
understanding only can sorrow end but the other is easier,
respectable and less demanding. And sorrow wears away the brain
and the body, makes it dull, insensitive and weary. Understanding
demands self-knowing, which is not an affair of the moment;
learning about oneself is endless and the beauty and the greatness
of it is that it is endless. But self-knowing is from moment to moment; this self-knowing is only in the active present; it has no
continuity as knowledge. But what has continuity habit, the
mechanical process of thought. Understanding has no continuity.
28th There is a red flower among the dark green leaves and
from the verandah you only see that. There are the hills, the red
sand of the riverbeds, the big high banyan tree and the many
tamarinds, but you only see that flower, it is so gay, so full of
colour; there is no other colour; the patches of blue sky, the
burning clouds of light, the violet hills, the rich green of the rice
field, all these fade away and only this wondrous colour of that
flower remains. It fills the whole sky and the valley; it will fade
and fall away; it will cease and the hills will endure. But this
morning it was eternity, beyond all time and thought; it held all
love and joy; there was no sentiment and romantic absurdities in it;
nor was it a symbol of something else. It was itself, to die in the
evening but it contained all life. It was not something you reasoned
out nor was it a thing of unreason, some romantic fancy; it was as
actual as those hills and those voices calling to each other. It was
the complete meditation of life, and illusion exists only when the
impact of fact ceases. That cloud so full of light is a reality whose
beauty has no furious impact on a mind that is made dull and
insensitive by influence, habit and the everlasting search for
security. Security in fame, in relationship, in knowledge destroys
sensitivity and deterioration sets in. That flower, those hills and the
blue restless sea are the challenge, as nuclear bombs, of life, and
only the sensitive mind can respond to them totally; only a total
response leaves no marks of conflict, and conflict indicates partial
response.       The so-called saints and sannyasis have contributed to the
dullness of mind and to the destruction of sensitivity. Every habit,
repetition, rituals strengthened by belief and dogma, sensory
responses, can be and are refined, but the alert awareness,
sensitivity, is quite another matter. Sensitivity is absolutely
essential to look deeply within; this movement of going within is
not a reaction to the outer; the outer and the inner are the same
movement, they are not separate. The division of this movement as
the outer and as the inner breeds insensitivity. Going within is the
natural flow of the outer; the movement of the inner has its own
action, expressed outwardly but it is not a reaction of the outer.
Awareness of this whole movement is sensitivity.
29th It was really quite an extraordinarily beautiful evening. It
had been drizzling off and on all day; one had been cooped up
indoors all day; there was a talk-discussion, seeing people and so
on. It had stopped raining for some hours and it was good to get
out. To the west the clouds were dark, almost black, heavy with
rain and thunder; they were hanging over the hills making them
dark purple and unusually heavy and threatening. The sun was
setting in a tumultuous fury of clouds. To the east, clouds shot up
full of evening light; each one was a different shape with a light of
its own, towering over the hills, immense, shatteringly alive,
soaring up into high heavens. There were patches of blue sky, so
intensely blue, green of such a delicacy that it faded into the white
light of bursting clouds. The hills were sculptured with the dignity
of endless time; there was one that was alight from within,
transparent and strangely delicate, so utterly artificial; another one
was chiselled out of granite, darkly alone, with a shape of all the temples of the world. Every hill was alive, full of movement and
aloof with the depth of time. It was a marvellous evening, full of
beauty, silence and light.
We had started all of us walking together but now we had fallen
silent, separate, a little distance from each other. The road was
rough crossing the valley, over the dry, red sandy riverbeds which
had thin trickles of rain water. The road turned and went east.
Down the valley there is a white farmhouse surrounded by trees
and one huge tree covering them all. It was a peaceful sight and the
land seemed enchanted. The house was a mile or so away among
the green, luscious rice fields and silent. One had often seen it, as
the road went on to the mouth of the valley and beyond it; it was
the only road in and out of the valley by car and foot. The white
house among few trees had been there for some years and it had
always been a pleasant sight, but seeing it, that evening, as the road
turned, there was an altogether different beauty and feeling about
it. For the otherness was there, and coming up the valley; it was
like a curtain of rain but only there was no rain; it was coming as a
breeze comes, soft and gently and it was there inside and outside. It
was not thought, it was not feeling nor was it a fancy, a thing of the
brain. Each time it is so new and amazing, the pure strength and
vastness of it that there is astonishment and joy. It is something
totally unknown and the known has no contact with it. The known
must wholly die for it to be. Experience is still within the field of
the known, and so it was not an experience. All experience is a
state of immaturity. You can only experience and recognize as
experience something which you have already known. But this was
not experienceable, knowable; every form of thought must cease and every feeling; for they are all known and knowable; the brain
and the totality of consciousness must be free of the known and be
empty without any form of effort. It was there, inside and outside;
one was walking in it and with it. The hills, the land, the earth were
with it.
It was quite early in the morning and it was still dark. The night
was thunderous and rainy; windows banged and rain was pouring
into the room. Not a star was visible, the sky and the hills were
covered with clouds and it was raining with fury and noise. On
waking, the rain had stopped and it was still dark. Meditation is not
a practice, following a system, a method; these only lead to the
darkening of the mind and it is ever a movement within the
boundaries of the known; there is despair and illusion within their
activity. It was very quiet so early in the morning and not a bird or
leaf was stirring. Meditation which began at unknown depths and
went on with increasing intensity and sweep, carved the brain into
total silence, scooping out the depths of thought, uprooting feeling,
emptying the brain of the known and its shadow. It was an
operation and there was no operator, no surgeon; it was going on,
as a surgeon operates for cancer, cutting out every tissue which has
been contaminated, lest the contamination should again spread. It
was going on, this meditation for an hour by the watch. And it was
meditation without the meditator. The meditator interferes with his
stupidities and vanities, ambitions and greed. The meditator is
thought, nurtured in these conflicts and injuries, and thought in
meditation must totally cease. This is the foundation for
30th Everywhere there was silence; the hills were motionless, the trees were still and the riverbeds empty; the birds had found
shelter for the night and everything was still, even the village dogs.
It had rained and the clouds were motionless. Silence grew and
became intense, wider and deeper. What was outside was now
inside; the brain which had listened to the silence of the hills, fields
and groves was itself now silent; it no longer listened to itself; it
had gone through that and had become quiet, naturally, without any
enforcement. It was still ready to stir itself on the instant. It was
still, deep within itself; like a bird that folds its wings, it had folded
upon itself; it was not asleep nor lazy, but in folding upon itself, it
had entered into depths which were beyond itself. The brain is
essentially superficial; its activities are superficial, almost
mechanical; its activities and responses are immediate, though this
immediacy is translated in terms of the future. Its thoughts and
feelings are on the surface, though it may think and feel far into the
future and way back into the past. All experience and memory are
deep only to the extent of their own limited capacity but the brain
being still and turning upon itself, it was no longer experiencing
outwardly or inwardly. Consciousness, the fragments of many
experiences, compulsions, fears, hopes and despairs of the past and
the future, the contradictions of the race and its own self-centred
activities, was absent; it was not there. The entire being was utterly
still and as it became intense, it was not more or less; it was
intense, there was an entering into a depth or a depth which came
into being which thought, feeling, consciousness could not enter
into. It was a dimension which the brain could not capture or
understand. And there was no observer, witnessing this depth.
Every part of one`s whole being was alert, sensitive but intensely still. This new, this depth was expanding, exploding, going away,
developing in its own explosions but out of time and beyond time
and space.
31st It was a beautiful evening; the air was clean, the hills were
blue, violet and dark purple; the rice fields had plenty of water and
were a varying rich green from light to metallic to dark flashing
green; some trees had already withdrawn for the night, dark and
silent and others were still open and held the light of day. The
clouds were black over the western hills, and to the north and east
the clouds were full of the [reflection of the] evening sun which
had set behind the heavy purple hills. There was no one on the
road, the few that passed were silent and there wasn’t a patch of
blue sky, clouds were gathering in for the night. Yet everything
seemed to be awake, the rocks, the dry riverbed, the bushes in the
fading light. Meditation, along that quiet and deserted road came
like a soft rain over the hills; it came as easily and naturally as the
coming night. There was no effort of any kind and no control with
its concentrations and distractions; there was no order and pursuit;
no denial or acceptance nor any continuity of memory in
meditation. The brain was aware of its environment but quiet
without response, uninfluenced but recognizing without
responding. It was very quiet and words had faded with thought.
There was that strange energy, call it by any other name, it has no
importance whatsoever, deeply active, without object and purpose;
it was creation, without the canvas and the marble, and destructive;
it was not the thing of human brain, of expression and decay. It
was not approachable, to be classified and analysed, and thought
and feeling are not the instruments of its comprehension. It was completely unrelated to everything and totally alone in its vastness
and immensity. And walking along that darkening road, there was
the ecstasy of the impossible, not of achievement, arriving, success
and all those immature demands and responses, but the aloneness
of the impossible. The possible is mechanical and the impossible
can be envisaged, tried and perhaps achieved which in turn
becomes mechanical. But the ecstasy had no cause, no reason. It
was simply there, not as an experience but as a fact, not to be
accepted or denied, to be argued over and dissected. It was not a
thing to be sought after for there is no path to it. Everything has to
die for it to be, death, destruction which is love.
A poor, worn-out labourer, in torn dirty clothes, was returning
home with his bone-thin cow.
November 1st The sky was burning with fantastic colour, great
splashes of incredible fire; the southern sky was aflame with clouds
of exploding colour and each cloud was more intensely furious
than the other. The sun had set behind the sphinx-shaped hill but
there was no colour there, it was dull, without the serenity of a
beautiful evening. But the east and the south held all the grandeur
of a fading day. To the east it was blue, the blue of a morning-
glory, a flower so delicate that to touch it is to break the delicate,
transparent petals; it was the intense blue with incredible light of
pale green, violet and the sharpness of white; it was sending out,
from east to west, rays of this fantastic blue right across the sky.
And the south was now the home of vast fires that could never be
put out. Across the rich green of rice fields was a stretch of sugar
cane in flower; it was feathery, pale violet, the tender light beige of
a mourning dove; it stretched over and across the luscious green rice fields with the evening light through it to the hills, which were
almost the same colour as the sugar-cane flower. The hills were in
league with the flower, the red earth and the darkening sky, and
that evening the hills were shouting with joy for it was an evening
of their delight. The stars were coming out and presently there was
not a cloud and every star shone with astonishing brilliance in a
rain-washed sky. And early this morning, with dawn far away,
Orion held the sky and the hills were silent. Only across the valley,
the hoot of a deep-throated owl was answered by a light-throated
one, at a higher pitch; in the clear still air their voices carried far
and they were coming nearer until they seemed quiet among a
clump of trees; then they rhythmically kept calling to each other,
one at a lower note than the other till a man called and a dog
It was meditation in emptiness, a void that had no border.
Thought could not follow; it had been left where time begins, nor
was there feeling to distort love. This was emptiness without space.
The brain was in no way participating in this meditation; it was
completely still and in that stillness going within itself and out of
itself but in no way sharing with this vast emptiness. The totality of
the mind was receiving or perceiving or being aware of what was
taking place and yet it was not outside of itself, something
extraneous, something foreign. Thought is an impediment to
meditation but only through meditation can this impediment be
dissolved. For thought dissipates energy and the essence of energy
is freedom from thought and feeling.
2nd It had become very cloudy, all the hills were heavy with
them and clouds were piling up in every direction. It was spitting with rain and there wasn’t a blue patch anywhere; the sun had set in
darkness and the trees were aloof and distant. There is an old palm
tree that stood out against the darkening sky and whatever light
there was held by it; the riverbeds were silent, their red sand moist
but there was no song; the birds had become silent taking shelter
among the thick leaves. A breeze was blowing from north-east and
with it came more dark clouds and a spattering of rain but it hadn’t
begun in earnest; that would come later in gathering fury. And the
road in front was empty; it was red, rough, and sandy and the dark
hills looked down on it; it was a pleasant road with hardly any cars
and the villagers with their oxdrawn carts going from one village to
another; they were dirty, skeleton-thin, in rags, and their stomachs
drawn in but they were wiry and enduring; they had lived like that
for centuries and no government is going to change all this
overnight. But these people had a smile, though their eyes were
weary. They could dance after a heavy day’s labour and they had
fire in them, they were not hopelessly beaten down. The land had
not had good rains for many years and this may be one of those
fortunate years which may bring more food for them and fodder for
their thin cattle. And the road went on and joined at the mouth of
the valley the big road with few buses and cars. And on this road,
far away were the cities with their filth, industries, rich houses,
temples and dull minds. But here on this open road, there was
solitude and the many hills, full of age and indifference.
Meditation is the emptying the mind of all thought, for thought
and feeling dissipate energy; they are repetitive, producing
mechanical activities which are a necessary part of existence. But
they are only part, and thought and feeling cannot possibly enter into the immensity of life. Quite a different approach is necessary,
not the path of habit, association and the known; there must be
freedom from these. Meditation is the emptying of the mind of the
known. It cannot be done by thought or by the hidden prompting of
thought, nor by desire in the form of prayer, nor through the self-
effacing hypnotism of words, images, hopes and vanities. All these
have to come to an end, easily, without effort and choice, in the
flame of awareness.
And there walking on that road, there was complete emptiness
of the brain, and the mind was free of all experience, the knowing
of yesterday, though a thousand yesterdays have been. Time, the
thing of thought, had stopped; literally there was no movement
before and after; there was no going or arriving or standing still.
Space as distance was not; there were the hills and bushes but not
as high and low. There was no relationship with anything but there
was an awareness of the bridge and the passer-by. The totality of
the mind, in which is the brain with its thoughts and feelings, was
empty; and because it was empty, there was energy, a deepening
and widening energy without measure. All comparison,
measurement belong to thought and so to time. The otherness was
the mind without time; it was the breath of innocence and
immensity. Words are not reality; they are only means of
communication but they are not the innocence and the
immeasurable. The emptiness was alone.
3rd It had been a dull, heavy day; the clouds were pressing in
and it had rained violently. The red riverbeds had some water in
them but the land needed lots more rain for the big catchments,
tanks, and the wells to get filled up; there would be no rains for several months and the hot sun would burn the land. Water was
needed urgently for this part of the country and every drop was
welcome. One had been indoors all day and it was good to get out.
The roads were running with water, there was a heavy shower and
under every tree there was a puddle and the trees were dripping
with water. It was getting dark; the hills were visible, they were
just dark against the sky, the colour of the clouds; the trees were
silent and motionless, lost in their brooding; they had withdrawn
and refused to communicate. One was aware, suddenly, of that
strange otherness; it was there and it had been there, only there had
been talks, seeing people and so on and the body had not had
enough rest to be aware of the strangeness but on going out it was
there and only then was there a realization that it had been there.
Still it was unexpected and sudden, with that intensity which is the
essence of beauty. One went with it down the road not as
something separate, not as an experience, something to be
observed and examined, to be remembered. These were the ways
of thought but thought had ceased and so there was no
experiencing of it. All experiencing is separative and deteriorating,
it is part of the machinery of thought and all mechanical processes
deteriorate. It was something, each time, totally new and that
which is new has no relation whatsoever with the known, with the
past. And there was beauty, beyond all thought and feeling.
There was no call of the owl across the silent valley; it was very
early; the sun would not be over the hill for several hours yet. It
was cloudy and no stars were visible; if the sky were clear, Orion
would be this side of the house, facing west, but everywhere there
was darkness and silence. Habit and meditation can never abide together; meditation can never become a habit; meditation can
never follow the pattern laid down by thought which forms habit.
Meditation is the destruction of thought and not thought caught in
its own intricacies, visions and its own vain pursuits. Thought
shattering itself against its own nothingness is the explosion of
meditation. This meditation has its own movement, directionless
and so is causeless. And in that room, in that peculiar silence when
the clouds are low, almost touching the treetops, meditation was a
movement in which the brain emptied itself and remained still. It
was a movement of the totality of the mind in emptiness and there
was timelessness. Thought is matter held within the bonds of time;
thought is never free, never new; every experience only strengthens
the bondage and so there is sorrow. Experience can never free
thought; it makes it more cunning, and refinement is not the ending
of sorrow. Thought, however astute, however experienced, can
never end sorrow; it can escape from it but it can never end it. The
ending of sorrow is the ending of thought. There is no one who can
put an end to it [to thought], not its own gods, its own ideals,
beliefs, dogmas. Every thought, however wise or petty, shapes the
response to the challenge of limitless life and this response of time
breeds sorrow. Thought is mechanical and so it can never be free;
only in freedom there is no sorrow. The ending of thought is the
ending of sorrow.
4th It had been threatening to rain but it never rained; the blue
hills were heavy with clouds; they were always changing, moving
from one hill to another but there was a long white-grey cloud,
stretching west over many hills to the horizon, which had its birth
in one of the eastern hills; it seemed to begin from there, from the side of the hill, and went on to the western horizon in a rolling
movement, alive with the light of the setting sun; it was white and
grey but deep within it was violet, a fading purple; it seemed to be
carrying on its way the hills it covered. In the western gap the sun
was setting in a fury of clouds and the hills were getting darker and
more grey and the trees were heavy with silence. There is a huge,
unmolested banyan tree, many years old, by the side of the road; it
is really magnificent, huge, vital, unconcerned and that evening it
was the lord of the hills, the earth and the streams; it had majesty
and the stars seemed very small. Along that road, a villager and his
wife were walking, one behind the other, the husband led and the
wife followed; they seemed a little more prosperous than the others
that one met on the road. They passed us, she never looking at us
and he looked at the far village. We caught up with her; she was a
small woman, never taking her eyes off the ground; she wasn’t too
clean; she had a green soiled sari and her blouse was salmon
coloured and sweat-stained. She had a flower in her oily hair and
was walking bare-footed. Her face was dark and there was about
her a great sadness. There was a certain firmness and gaiety in her
walk which in no way touched her sadness; each was leading its
own life, independent, vital and unrelated. But there was great
sadness and you felt it immediately; it was an irremediable
sadness; there was no way out, no way to soften it, no way to bring
about a change. It was there and it would be there. She was across
the road, a few feet away and nothing could touch her. We walked
side by side for a while and presently she turned off and crossed
the red riverbed of sand and went on to her village, the husband
leading, never looking back and she following. Before she turned off, a curious thing was taking place. The few feet of road between
us disappeared and with it also disappeared the two entities; there
was only that woman walking in her impenetrable sadness. It was
not an identification with her, nor overwhelming sympathy and
affection; these were there but they were not because of the
phenomenon. Identification with another, however deep, still
maintains separation and division; there are still two entities, one
identifying with the other, a conscious or an unconscious process,
through affection or through hate; in it there is an endeavour of
some kind, subtle or open. But here there was none at all. She was
the only human being that existed on that road. She was and the
other was not. It was not a fancy or an illusion; it was a simple fact
and no amount of clever reasoning and subtle explanation could
alter that fact. Even when she turned off the road and was going
away, the other was not on that straight road that went on. It was
some time before the other found himself walking beside a long
heap of broken stones, ready for renewing the road.
Along that road, over the gap in the southern hills, came that
otherness with such intensity and power that it was with the
greatest difficulty that one could stand up and continue the walk. It
was like a furious storm but without the wind and the noise and its
intensity was overwhelming. Strangely every time it comes, there
is always something new; it is never the same and always
unexpected. This otherness is not something extraordinary, some
mysterious energy, but is mysterious in the sense that it is
something beyond time and thought. A mind that is caught in time
and thought can never comprehend it. It is not a thing to be
understood, any more than love can be analysed and understood, but without this immensity, strength and energy, life, and all
existence, at any level, becomes trivial and sorrowful. There is an
absoluteness about it, not a finality; it is absolute energy; it is self-
existent without cause; it is not the ultimate, final energy for it is
all energy. Every form of energy and action must cease for it to be.
But in it all action is. Love and do what you will. There must be
death and total destruction for it to be; not the revolution of
outward things but the total destruction of the known in which all
shelter and existence is cultivated. There must be total emptiness
and only then that otherness, the timeless, comes. But this
emptiness is not to be cultivated, it is not the result whose cause
can be bought and sold; nor is it the outcome of time and
evolutionary process; time can only give birth to more time.
Destruction of time is not a process; all methods and processes
prolong time. Ending of time is the ending of total thought and
feel1ng. 5th Beauty is never personal. The hills were dark blue and
carried the light of the evening. It had been raining and now great
spaces of blue appeared; the blue was ablaze with white clouds
surrounding it; it was the blue that made the eyes sparkle with
forgotten tears; it was the blue of infancy and innocence. And that
blue became a pale nile-green of early leaves of spring and beyond
it was the fire-red of a cloud that was gathering speed to cross the
hills. And over the hills were the rain clouds, dark, heavy and
immovable; these clouds were piling up against the hills in the
west and the sun was caught between the hills and the clouds. The
ground was soaked, red and clear, and every tree and bush had
deep moisture; there were already new leaves; the mango had long
russet tender leaves, the tamarind had bright yellow small leaves, the rain-tree had a few shoots of fresh light green; after a long wait
of many months of baking sun, the rains brought comfort to the
earth; the valley was smiling. The poverty-ridden village was
filthy, smelly and so many children were playing, shouting and
laughing; they didn’t seem to care for anything except the games
they were playing. Their parents seemed so weary, haggard and
forgotten; they would never know one day of rest, cleanliness and
comfort; hunger, labour and more hunger; they were sad, though
they smiled readily enough, their eyes forlorn, beyond recalling.
Everywhere there was beauty, the grass, the hills and the crowded
sky; the birds were calling and high in the air an eagle was circling.
There were lean goats on the hills, devouring everything that grew;
they were insatiably hungry and their little ones pranced from rock
to rock. They were so soft to touch, their skin sparkling, clean and
healthy. The boy who was looking after them was singing away,
sitting on a rock and occasionally calling to them.
The personal cultivation of the pleasure of beauty is self-centred
activity; it leads to insensitivity. 6th It was a lovely morning, clear,
every star was ablaze and the valley was full of silence. The hills
were dark, darker than the sky and cool air had a smell of rain, the
scent of leaves and some strong-scented flowering jasmine.
Everything was asleep and every leaf was still and the beauty of
the morning was magic; it was the beauty of the earth, heavens and
of man, of the sleeping birds and the fresh stream in a dry riverbed;
it was incredible that it was not personal. There as a certain
austerity about it, not the cultivated which is merely the activities
of fear and denial but the austerity of completeness, so utterly
complete that it knew no corruption. There on the verandah, with Orion in the western sky, the fury of beauty wiped away the
defences of time. Meditating there, beyond the limits of time,
seeing the sky ablaze with stars and the earth silent, beauty is not
the personal pursuit of pleasure, of things put together, of things
known, or unknown images and visions of the brain with its
thoughts and feelings. Beauty has nothing whatsoever to do with
thought or sentiment or with the pleasurable feeling aroused by a
concert or a picture or seeing a game of football; the pleasures of
concert, poems, are perhaps more refined than football but they are
all in the same field as the Mass or some puja in a temple. It is the
beauty beyond time and beyond the aches and pleasures of thought.
Thought and feeling dissipate energy and so beauty is never seen.
Energy, with its intensity, is needed to see beauty – beauty that is
beyond the eye of the beholder. When there is a seer, an observer,
then there is no beauty.
There on the perfumed verandah, when dawn was still far away
and the trees were still silent, what is essence is beauty. But this
essence is not experienceable; experiencing must cease, for
experience only strengthens the known. The known is never the
essence. Meditation is never the further experiencing; it is not only
the ending of experience, which is the response to challenge, great
or small, but it is the opening of the door to essence, opening the
door of a furnace whose fire utterly destroys, without leaving any
ashes; there are no remains. We are the remains, the yes-sayers of
many thousand yesterdays, a continuous series of endless
memories. of choice and despair. The Big Self and the little self are
the pattern of existence and existence is thought and thought is
existence, with never ending sorrow. In the flame of meditation thought ends and with it feeling, for neither is love. Without love,
there is no essence; without it there are only ashes on which is
based our existence. Out of the emptiness love is.
7th The owls started, very early this morning, calling to each
other. At first they were in different parts of the valley; one was in
the west and the other north; their hoots were very clear in the still
air and carried very far. At first they were quite a distance from
each other and gradually they came nearer and as they came, their
hoots became hoarse, very deep, not so long drawn out, shorter and
more insistent. As they came nearer they kept calling to each other
more frequently; they must have been large birds, one couldn’t see
them, it was too dark even when they were in the same tree quite
close and the tone and quality of their hoots changed, They were
talking to each other at so profound a depth that they could hardly
be heard. They were there for considerable time, until dawn came.
Then slowly a series of noises began, a dog barked, somebody
called, a firecracker went off – for the last two days there was some
kind of festival – a door opened and as it became lighter all the
noises of the day began.
To deny is essential. To deny today without knowing what
tomorrow will bring is to keep awake. To deny the social,
economic and religious pattern is to be alone, which is to be
sensitive. Not to be able to deny totally is to be mediocre. Not to be
able to deny ambition and all its ways is to accept the norm of
existence which breeds conflict, confusion and sorrow. To deny the
politician and so the politician in us, the response to the immediate,
to live with short vision, is to be free from fear. Total denial is the
negation of the positive, the imitative urge, conformity. But this denial itself is positive, for it is not a reaction. To deny the
accepted standard of beauty, past or present, is to discover beauty
which is beyond thought and feeling; but, to discover it, energy is
necessary. This energy comes when there is no conflict,
contradiction, and action is no longer partial.
8th Humility is the essence of all virtue. Humility is not to be
cultivated, nor is virtue. The respectable morality of any society is
mere adjustment to the pattern set by social, economic, religious
environment, but such morality of changing adjustment is not
virtue. Conformity and the imitative self-concern of security, called
morality, is the denial of virtue. Order is never permanent; it has to
be maintained every day, as a room has to be cleaned every day.
Order has to be maintained from moment to moment, every day.
This order is not personal, individual adjustment to the pattern of
conditioned responses of like and dislike, pleasure and pain,. This
order is not a means of escape from sorrow; the understanding of
sorrow and the ending of sorrow is virtue, which brings about
order. Order is not an end in itself; order, as an end in itself leads to
the dead end of respectability, which is deterioration and decay.
Learning is the very essence of humility, learning from everything
and from everybody. There is no hierarchy in learning. Authority
denies learning and a follower will never learn.
There was a single cloud, aflame with the light of the setting
sun, behind the eastern hills; no fantasy could build such a cloud. It
was the form of all forms; no architect could have designed such
structure. It was the result of many winds, of many suns and nights,
of pressure and strains. Other clouds were dark without light; they
had no depth or height but this one shattered space. The hill, beyond which the cloud was, appeared emptied of life and
strength; it had lost its usual dignity and its purity of line. The
cloud had absorbed all the quality of hills, their might and silence.
Below the towering cloud lay the valley, green and rain-washed;
there is something very beautiful in this ancient valley when it has
rained; it becomes spectacularly bright and green, green of every
shade and the earth becomes more red. The air is clear and the big
rocks on the hills are polished red, blue, grey and pale violet.
There were several people in the room, some sitting on the floor
and some on chairs; there was the quietness of appreciation and
enjoyment. A man was playing on an eight-stringed instrument. He
was playing with his eyes closed, delighted as the little audience. It
was pure sound and on that sound one rode, far and very deep;
each sound carried one deeper. The quality of sound that
instrument produced made the journey infinite; from the moment
he touched it till the moment he stopped, it was the sound that
mattered not the instrument, not the man, not the audience. It had
the effect of shutting out all other sound, even the fireworks that
the boys were setting off; you heard them crash and crack but it
was part of the sound and the sound was everything – the cicadas
that were singing, the boys laughing, the call of a small girl and the
sound of silence. He must have played for over half an hour and
during that entire period the journey, far and deep, continued; it
was not a journey that is taken in imagination, on the wings of
thought or in the frenzy of emotion. Such journeys are short, with
some meaning or pleasure; this had no meaning and no pleasure.
There was only sound and nothing else, no thought, no feeling.
That sound carried one through and beyond the confines of time, and quietly it went on into great immense emptiness from which
there was no return. What is returning always is memory, a thing
that has been, but here there was no memory, no experience. Fact
has no shadow, memory.
9th There wasn’t a cloud in the sky as the sun went down behind
the hills; the air was still and not a leaf moved. Everything seemed
held tight, in the light of a cloudless sky. The reflection of the
evening light on a little stretch of water by the roadside was full of
ecstatic energy and a little wildflower, by the wayside, was all life.
There is a hill that looks like one of those ancient and ageless
temples; it was purple, darker than violet, intense and vastly
unconcerned; it was alive with an inward light, without shadow,
and every rock and bush was shouting with joy. A bullock cart
with two oxen came along the road, carrying some hay; a boy was
sitting on the hay and a man was driving the cart which made a lot
of noise. They stood out clearly against the sky, especially the
outlines of the boy’s face; his nose and forehead were clean cut,
gentle; it was the face that had no education and probably would
never have; it was an unspoiled face, not yet used to hard work nor
to any responsibility; it was a smiling face. The clear sky was
reflected on it. Walking along that road, meditation seemed a most
natural thing; there was a fervour and a clarity and the occasion
suited the state. Thought is a waste of energy as also is feeling.
Thought and feeling invite distraction and concentration becomes
defensive self-absorption, like a child absorbed in his toy. The toy
is fascinating and he is lost in it; remove it and he becomes restless.
The same with the grown-ups; their toys are the many escapes.
There on the road, thought, with its feeling had no power of absorption; it had no self-generating energy and so it came to an
end. The brain became quiet, as the waters become quiet when
there is no breeze. It was the stillness before creation takes place.
And there on that hill, just close by, an owl started gently hooting
but suddenly stopped and high up in the sky one of those brown
eagles was crossing the valley. It is the quality of stillness that has
significance; an induced stillness is stagnation; a stillness that is
bought is a merchandise which has hardly any value; a stillness
that is the outcome of control, discipline, suppression is clamorous
with despair. There was not a sound in the valley nor in the mind,
but the mind went beyond the valley and time. And there was no
returning for it had not gone. Silence is the depth of emptiness.
At the bend of the road, the road gently goes down across a
couple of bridges over dry red riverbeds, to the other side of the
valley. The bullock cart had gone down that road; some villagers
were coming up it, shy and noiseless; there were children playing
in the riverbed and a bird kept on calling. Just as the road turned
east, that otherness came. It came pouring down in great waves of
benediction, splendid and immense. It seemed as though the
heavens opened and out of this immensity came the unnameable; it
had been there all day, one realized suddenly and only now,
walking alone, with the others a little way off, did one realize the
fact, and what made it extraordinary was this thing that was
happening; it was the culmination of what had been going on and
not an isolated incident. There was light, not of the setting sun nor
powerful artificial light; this makes shadows but there was light
without shadow and it was light.
10th A deep-throated owl was hooting in the hills; its deep voice penetrated the room and quickened hearing. Except for these
hoots everything was still; there was not even the croak of a frog or
the rustle of some passing animal. The silence intensified between
the hoots which came from the southern hills; they filled the valley
and the hills and the air throbbed with the call. It wasn’t answered
for a very long time and when it came, it was way down the valley
to the west; between them, they held the silence and the beauty of
the night. Dawn would come presently but now it was dark; you
could see the outlines of the hill and that huge banyan tree. The
Pleiades and Orion were setting in a clear, cloudless sky; the air
was fresh by a short shower of rain; it had a perfume that comes of
old trees, rain, flowers and very ancient hills. It was really a
marvellous morning. What was outside was taking place inside and
meditation is really a movement of both, undivided. The many
systems of meditation merely trap the mind in a pattern offering
marvellous escapes and sensations; it is only the immature that
play with them, getting a great deal of satisfaction from them.
Without self-knowing all meditation leads to delusion and to
varying forms of self-deception, factual and fancied. It was a
movement of intense energy, that energy which conflict will never
know. Conflict perverts and dissipates energy, as ideals and
conformity do. Thought was gone and with it feeling but the brain
was alive and fully sensitive. Every movement, action with a
motive is inaction; it is this inaction that corrupts energy. Love
with motive ceases to be love; there is love without motive. The
body was completely motionless and the brain utterly still and both
were actually aware of everything but there was neither thought
nor motion. It was not a form of hypnosis, an induced state because there was nothing to be gained by it, no visions, sensations, all that
silly business. It was a fact and a fact has no pleasure or pain. And
the movement was lost to all recognition, to the known.
Dawn was coming and with it came the otherness which is
essentially part of meditation. A dog barked and the day had
11th There are only facts, not greater or lesser facts. The fact,
the what is, cannot be understood when approached with opinions
or judgments; opinions, judgments, then become the fact and not
the fact that you wish to understand. In pursuing the fact, in
watching the fact, the what is, the fact teaches and its teaching is
never mechanical, and to follow its teachings, the listening, the
observation must be acute; this attention is denied if there is motive
for listening. Motive dissipates energy, distorts it; action with a
motive is inaction, leading to confusion and sorrow. Sorrow has
been put together by thought and thought feeding upon itself forms
the I and the me. As a machine has life, so does the I and the me, a
life which is fed by thought and feeling. Fact destroys this
Belief is so unnecessary, as are ideals. Both dissipate energy
which is needed to follow the unfolding of the fact, the what is.
Beliefs like ideals are escapes from the fact and in escape there is
no end to sorrow. The ending of sorrow is the understanding of the
fact from moment to moment. There is no system or method which
will give understanding but only a choiceless awareness of a fact.
Meditation according to a system is the avoidance of the fact of
what you are; it is far more important to understand yourself, the
constant changing of the facts about yourself, than to meditate in order to find god, have visions, sensations and other forms of
A crow was cawing its head off; it was sitting on the branch
with thick foliage. It wasn’t visible; other crows came and went but
it went on hardly stopping its sharp, penetrating croak; it was angry
with something or complaining about something. The leaves shook
around it and even the few drops of rain didn’t stop it. It was so
completely absorbed in whatever it was that was disturbing it. It
came out, shook itself and flew away, only to resume its biting
complaint; presently, it got tired and rested. And from the same
crow, in the same place came a different caw, subdued, somewhat
friendly and inviting. There were other birds on the tree, the Indian
cuckoo, a bright yellow bird with black wings, a silvery grey fat
bird, one of many who was scratching at the foot of the tree. One
of those small striped squirrels came along and went up the tree.
They were all there in that tree but the crow’s call was the loudest
and most persistent. The sun came out of the clouds and the tree
cast a heavy shadow and across the small, narrow dip in the land
came the sounds of a flute, strangely moving.
12th It had been cloudy all day, heavy dark clouds but they
brought no rain and if it didn’t rain heavily and for many hours, the
people would suffer, the land would be empty and there would be
no voices in the riverbed; the sun would bake the land, the green of
these few weeks would disappear, the earth would be bare. It
would be a disaster and all the villages around here would suffer;
they were used to suffering, to deprivation, to go with little food.
Rain was a blessing and if it didn’t rain now there would be no rain
for the next six months and the soil was poor, sandy, rocky. The rice fields would be watered from the wells and there would be the
danger that they too might go dry. Existence was hard, brutal, with
little pleasure. The hills were indifferent; they had seen sorrow
from generation to generation; they had seen all the varieties of
misery, the coming and the going for they were some of the most
ancient hills in the world, and they knew and they couldn’t do
much. People cut down their forests, their trees for firewood and
the goats destroyed their bushes and the people had to live. And
they were indifferent; sorrow would never touch them; they were
aloof, and though they were so close, they were far away. They
were blue that morning and some were violet and grey in their
greenness. They could offer no help though they were strong and
beautiful with the sense of peace that comes, so naturally and
easily, without deep inward intensity, complete and without roots,
But there would be neither peace nor plenty if the rains didn’t
come. It is a terrible thing to depend for one’s happiness on rain,
and the rivers and irrigation canals were far away and government
was busy with its politics and schemes. Water that is so alive with
light and that dances tirelessly was needed, not words and hope.
It was drizzling and low on the hill was a rainbow, so delicate
and fanciful; it circled just over the trees and across the northern
hills. It didn’t stay long for the drizzle was a passing thing but it
had left so many drops on the mimosa-like leaves of the spreading
tree close by. On these leaves, three crows were taking a bath,
fluttering their black-grey wings to get the drops on the underpart
of their wings and their bodies; they called to each other and there
was pleasure in their caw; when there were no more drops, they
moved to another part of the tree. Their bright eyes looked at you and their really black beaks were sharp; there is a little water
running in one of the river beds close by and there is a leaky tap
which forms a decent pool for birds; they were there often but
these three crows must have taken a fancy to having their morning
bath among the cool, refreshing leaves. It is a wide-spreading tree,
beautiful in shape and many birds come to take shelter at noonday.
There is always some bird in it, calling or chattering away or
scolding. The trees are beautiful in life and in death; they live and
have never thought of death; they are always renewing themselves.
How easy it is to degenerate, in every way, to let the body
waste, become sluggish, fat; to allow feelings to wither away; the
mind allowing itself to become shallow, petty and dull. A clever
mind is a shallow mind and it cannot renew itself and so withers
away in its own bitterness; it decays by the exercise of its own
brittle sharpness, by its own thought. Every thought shapes the
mind in the mould of the known; every feeling, every emotion,
however refined becomes wasteful and empty and the body fed on
thought and feeling loses its sensibility. It is not physical energy,
though it is necessary, that breaks through the wearying dullness; it
is not enthusiasm or sentiment which bring about sensitivity of
one’s whole being; enthusiasm and sentiment corrupt. It is thought
which is the disintegrating factor; for thought has its roots in the
known. A life based on thought and its activities, becomes
mechanical; however smoothly it may run, it is still mechanical
action. Action with motive dissipates energy and so disintegration
sets in. All motives, conscious or unconscious, generate from the
known, life of the known, though projected into the future as the
known, is decay; in that life there is no renewal. Thought can never bring about innocency and humility and yet it is innocency and
humility that keep the mind young, sensitive, incorruptible.
Freedom from the known is the ending of thought; to die to
thought, from moment to moment, is to be free from the known. it
is this death that puts an end to decay.
13th There is a huge boulder which projects itself from the
southern hills; it changes its colour from hour to hour, it is red,
highly polished marble of deep rose, a dull brick red, a rain-
washed, sunburnt terra cotta, a grey of mossy green, a flower of
many hues and sometimes it seems just a block of rock without any
life. It is all these things, and this morning, just as dawn was
making the clouds grey, this rock was a fire, a flame among the
green bushes; it is moody as a spoiled person but its moods are
never dark, threatening; it has always colour, flamboyant or quiet,
shouting or smiling, welcoming or withdrawn. It might be one of
the gods that is worshipped but it is still a rock of colour and
dignity. All these hills seem to have something special to each one
of them, none of them is too high, they are hard in a hard climate,
they seem to be sculptured and exploding. They seem to go with
the valley, not too large, far away from towns and traffic, green
when it rains and arid; the beauty of the valley is the trees in the
green rice fields. Some of the trees are massive, big of trunk and
branch and they are splendid in their shape; others are waiting,
expectantly, for the rain, stunted but slowly growing; others are full
of leaves and shade. There are not too many of them but these that
survive are really quite beautiful. The earth is red and the trees are
green and the bushes very close to the red earth. They all survive in
the rainless, harsh sunny days of many months and when it does rain, their rejoicings shatter the quietness of the valley; every tree
and every bush is shouting with life and the green leaf is quite
incredible; the hills too join and the whole earth becomes the glory
that is.
There was not a sound in the valley; it was dark and there wasn’t
a leaf moving; dawn would come in an hour or so. meditation is
not self-hypnosis, by words or thought, by repetition or image; all
imagination of every kind must be put aside for they lead to
delusion. The understanding of facts and not theories, not the
pursuits of conclusions and adjustments to them and the ambitions
of visions. All these must be set aside and meditation is the
understanding of these facts and so going beyond them. Self-
knowing is the beginning of meditation; otherwise so-called
meditation leads to every form of immaturity and silliness. It was
early and the valley was asleep. On waking, meditation was the
continuation of what had been going on; the body was without a
movement; it was not made to be quiet but it was quiet; there was
no thought but the brain was watchful, without any sensation;
neither feeling nor thought existed. And a timeless movement
began. Word is time, indicating space; word is of the past or the
future but the active present has no word. The dead can be put into
words but the living cannot. Every word used to communicate
about the living is the denial of the living. It was a movement that
passed through and between the walls of the brain but the brain had
no contact with it; it was incapable of pursuit or of recognition.
This movement was something that was not born out of the known;
the brain could follow the known as it could recognize it but here
no recognition, of any kind, was possible. A movement has direction but this had no direction; it was not static. Because it was
without direction, it was the essence of action. All direction is of
influence or of reaction. But action which is not the outcome of
reaction, push, or pull, is total energy. This energy, love, has its
own movement. But the word love, the known, is not love. There is
only the fact, the freedom from the known. Meditation was the
explosion of the fact.
Our problems multiply and continue; the continuation of a
problem perverts and corrupts the mind. A problem is a conflict, an
issue which has not been understood; such problems become scars
and innocency is destroyed. Every conflict has to be understood
and so ended. One of the factors of deterioration is the continued
life of a problem; every problem breeds another problem, and a
mind burnt with problems, personal or collective, social or
economic, is in a state of deterioration.
14th Sensitivity and sensation are two different things.
Sensations, emotions, feelings always leave a residue, whose
accumulation dulls and distorts. Sensations are always
contradictory and so conflicting; conflict always dulls the mind,
perverts perception. The appreciation of beauty in terms of
sensation, of like and dislike, is not to perceive beauty; sensation
can only divide as beauty and ugliness but division is not beauty.
Because sensations, feeings, breed conflict, to avoid conflict,
discipline, control, suppression, have been advocated but this only
builds resistance and so increases conflict and brings about greater
dullness and insensitivity. The saintly control and suppression is
the saintly insensitivity and brutal dullness which is so highly
regarded. To make the mind more stupid and dull, ideals and conclusions are invented and spread around. All forms of
sensations, however refined or gross, cultivate resistance and a
withering away. Sensitivity is the dying to every residue of
sensation; to be sensitive, utterly and intensely, to a flower, to a
person, to a smile, is to have no scar of memory, for every scar
destroys sensitivity. To be aware of every sensation, feeling,
thought as it arises, from moment to moment, choicelessly, is to be
free from scars, never allowing a scar to be formed. Sensations,
feelings, thoughts are always partial, fragmentary and destructive.
Sensitivity is a total of body, mind and heart.
Knowledge is mechanical and functional; knowledge, capacity,
used to acquire status, breeds conflict, antagonism, envy. The cook
and the ruler are functions and when status is stolen by either, then
begin the quarrels, snobbery and the worship of position, function
and power. Power is always evil and it is this evil that corrupts
society. The psychological importance of function breeds the
hierarchy of status. To deny hierarchy is to deny status; there is
hierarchy of function but not of status. Words are of little
importance but fact is of immense significance. Fact never brings
sorrow but words covering the fact and escapes from it, do breed
untold conflict and misery.
A whole group of cattle were feeding on the green land; they
were all brown of different shades and when they moved together
it was as though the earth moved. They are quite big, indolent and
pestered by flies; these are specially cared for, well fed, unlike the
village cattle; those are bone-thin small, yielding very little, rather
smelly and seem to be everlastingly hungry. There is always some
boy or a little girl with them, shouting at them, talking to them, calling them. Everywhere life is hard, there is disease and death.
There is an old woman who goes by every day, carrying a little pot
of milk or food of some kind; she seems to be shy, without teeth;
her clothes are dirty and there is misery on her face; occasionally
she smiles but it is rather forced. She is from the village nearby and
always barefooted; they are surprisingly small feet and hard but
there is fire in her; she is a wiry old lady. Her gentle walk is not at
all gentle. Everywhere there is misery and a forced smile. The gods
have gone except in the temples and the powerful of the land never
have eyes for that woman. But it rained, a long and heavy shower
and the clouds hold the hills. The trees follow the clouds and the
hills were pursuing them and man is left behind.
15th It was dawn; the hills were in clouds and every bird was
singing, calling, screeching, a cow was bellowing and a dog
howled. It was a pleasant morning, the light was soft and the sun
was behind the hills and clouds. And a flute was being played
under the old, big banyan tree; it was accompanied by a small
drum. The flute dominated the drum and filled the air; by its very
soft, gentle notes, it seemed to penetrate into your very being; you
listened to it though other sounds were coming to you; the varying
throbs of the little drum came to you on the waves of the flute and
the harsh call of the crow came with the drum. Every sound
penetrates, some you resist and others you welcome, the unpleasant
and the pleasant and so you lose. The voice of the crow came with
the drum and the drum rode on the delicate note of the flute and so
the whole sound was able to go deeply beyond all resistance and
pleasure. And in that there was great beauty, not the beauty which
thought and feeling know. And on that sound rode the exploding meditation; and in that meditation, the flute, the throbbing drum,
the harsh caw of the crow and all the things of the earth joined in
and thereby gave depth and vastness to the explosion. Explosion is
destructive and destruction is the earth and life, as love is. That
note of the flute is explosive, if you let it be, but you won’t for you
want a safe, secure life and so life becomes a dull affair; having
made it dull, then you try to give significance, purpose to the
ugliness, with its trivial beauty. And so music is something to be
enjoyed, arousing a lot of feeling, as football or some religious
ritual does. Feeling, emotion, is wasteful and so easily turned to
hate. But love is not sensation, a thing captured by feeling.
Listening completely, without resistance, without any barrier is the
miracle of explosion, shattering the known, and to listen to that
explosion, with- out motive, without direction is to enter where
thought, time, cannot pursue.
The valley is probably about a mile wide at its narrowest point,
where the hills come together and they run east and west, though
one or two hills prevent the others from running freely; they are to
the west; where the sun comes from is open, hill after hill. These
hills fade into the horizon with precision and height; they seem to
have that strange quality of blue-violet that comes with vast age
and hot sun. In the evening these hills catch the light of the setting
sun and then they become utterly unreal, marvellous in their
colour; then the eastern sky has all the colour of the setting sun,
you might think that the sun went down there. It was an evening of
light pink and dark clouds. The moment one stepped out of the
house, talking with another of quite different things, that otherness,
that unknowable, was there. It was so unexpected, for one was in the midst of a serious conversation and it was there with such
urgency. All talk came to an end, very easily and naturally. The
other did not notice the change in the quality of the atmosphere and
went on saying something which needed no reply. We walked that
whole mile almost without a word and we walked with it, under it,
in it. It is wholly the unknown, though it comes and goes; all
recognition has stopped for recognition is still the way of the
known. Each time there is «greater» beauty and intensity and
impenetrable strength. This is the nature of love too.
16th It was a very quiet evening, the clouds had gone and were
gathering around the setting sun. The trees made restless by the
breeze were settling down for the night; they too had become quiet;
the birds were coming in, taking shelter for the night among the
trees that had thick foliage. There were two small owls, sitting high
up on the wires, with their unblinking eyes, staring. And as usual,
the hills stood alone and aloof far away from every kind of
disturbance; during the day they had to put up with the noises of
the valley but now they withdrew from all communication, and
darkness was closing in upon them, though there was the feeble
light of the moon. The moon had a halo of vaporous clouds round
it; everything was preparing to go to sleep save the hills. They
never slept; they were always watching, waiting, looking and
communing amongst themselves, endlessly. Those two little owls
on the wire made rattling noises, stones in a metal box; their
rattling was far louder than their little bodies, like large fists; you
would hear them in the night, going from tree to tree, their flight as
silent as the big ones. They flew off the wire flying low, just above
the bushes, rising again to the lower branches of the tree, and from a safe distance they would watch and soon lose interest. On the
crooked pole further down was a large owl; it was brown with
enormous eyes and with a sharp beak that seemed to come out
between those staring eyes. It flew off with a few beats of its
wings, with such a quietness and deliberation that it made you
wonder at the structure and the strength of those graceful wings; it
flew off into the hills and lost itself in darkness. This must be the
owl, with its mate that has the deep hoot, calling to the other in the
night; last night they must have gone into the other valleys beyond
the hills; they would come back, for their home was in one of those
northern hills where you could hear their early evening calls if you
happened to pass by quietly. Beyond these hills were more fertile
lands, with green, luscious rice fields.
Questioning has become merely a revolt, a reaction to what is
and all reactions have little meaning. The communists revolt
against the capitalists, the son against the father; the refusal to
accept the social norm, to break through the economic and class
bondage. Perhaps, these revolts are necessary but yet they are not
very deep; instead of the old, a new pattern is repeated and in the
very breaking of the old a new one is, closing in the mind and so
destroying it, The endless revolt within the prison is the
questioning reaction of the immediate, and remodelling and
redecorating the prison walls seems to give us such intense
satisfaction that we never break through the walls. The questioning
discontent is within the walls, which doesn’t get us very far; it
would take you to the moon and to the neutron bombs but all this is
still within the call of sorrow. But the questioning of the structure
of sorrow and going beyond it is not the escape of reaction. This questioning is far more urgent than going to the moon or to the
temple; it is this questioning that tears down the structure and not
the building of a new and more expensive prison, with its gods and
saviours, with its economists and leaders. This questioning
destroys the machinery of thought and not the substitution of one
by another thought, conclusion, theory. This questioning shatters
authority, the authority of experience, word and the most respected
evil power. This questioning, which is not born of reaction, of
choice and motive, explodes the moral, respectable self-centred
activity; it is this activity that is always being reformed and never
smashed. This endless reformation is the endless sorrow. What has
cause and motive inevitably breeds agony and despair.
We are afraid of this total destruction of the known, the ground
of the self, the me and the mine; the known is better than the
unknown, the known with its confusion, conflict and misery;
freedom from this known may destroy what we call love,
relationship, joy and so on. Freedom from the known, the
explosive questioning, not of reaction, ends sorrow, and so love
then is something that thought and feeling cannot measure.
Our life is so shallow and empty, petty thoughts and petty
activities, woven in conflict and misery and always journeying
from the known to the known, psychologically demanding security.
There is no security in the known however much one may want it.
Security is time and there is no psychological time; it is a myth and
an illusion, breeding fear. There is nothing permanent now or in
the hereafter, in the future. By right questioning and listening, the
pattern moulded by thought and feeling, the pattern of the known,
is shattered. Self-knowing, knowing the ways of thought and feeling, listening to every movement of thought and feeling, ends
the known. The known breeds sorrow, and love is the freedom
from the known.
17th The earth was the colour of the sky; the hills, the green,
ripening rice fields, the trees and the dry, sandy riverbed were the
colour of the sky; every rock on the hills, the big boulders, were
the clouds and they were the rocks. Heaven was the earth and the
earth heaven; the setting sun had transformed everything. The sky
was blazing fire, bursting in every streak of cloud, in every stone,
in every blade of grass, in every grain of sand. The sky was ablaze
with green, purple, violet, indigo, with the fury of flame. Over that
hill it was a vast sweep of purple and gold; over the southern hills a
burning delicate green and fading blues; to the east there was a
counter sunset as splendid in cardinal red and burnt ochre, magenta
and fading violet. The counter sunset was exploding in splendour
as in the west; a few clouds had gathered themselves around the
setting sun and they were pure, smokeless fire which would never
die. The vastness of this fire and its intensity penetrated everything
and entered the earth. The earth was the heavens and the heavens
the earth. And everything was alive and bursting with colour and
colour was god, not the god of man. The hills became transparent,
every rock and boulder was without weight, floating in colour and
the distant hills were blue, the blue of all the seas and the sky of
every clime. The ripening rice fields were intense pink and green, a
stretch of immediate attention. And the road that crossed the valley
was purple and white, so alive that it was one of the rays that raced
across the sky. You were of that light, burning, furious, exploding,
without shadow, without root and word. And as the sun went further down, every colour became more violent, more intense and
you were completely lost, past all recalling. It was an evening that
had no memory.
Every thought and feeling must flower for them to live and die;
flowering of everything in you, the ambition, the greed, the hate,
the joy, the passion; in the flowering there is their death and
freedom. It is only in freedom that anything can flourish, not in
suppression, in control and discipline; these only pervert, corrupt.
Flowering and freedom is goodness and all virtue. To allow envy
to flower is not easy; it is condemned or cherished but never given
freedom. It is only in freedom the fact of envy reveals its colour, its
shape, its depth, its peculiarities; if suppressed it will not reveal
itself fully and freely. When it has shown itself completely, there is
an ending of it only to reveal another fact, emptiness, loneliness,
fear, and as each fact is allowed to flower, in freedom, in its
entirety, the conflict between the observer and the observed ceases;
there is no longer the censor but only observation, only seeing.
Freedom can only be in completion not in repetition, suppression,
obedience to a pattern of thought. There is completion only in
flowering and dying; there is no flowering if there is no ending.
What has continuity is thought in time. The flowering of thought is
the ending of thought; for only in death is there the new. The new
cannot be if there is no freedom from the known. Thought, the old,
cannot bring into being the new; it must die for the new to be.
What flowers must come to an end.
20th It was very dark; the stars were brilliant in a cloudless sky
and the mountain air was cool and fresh. The headlights caught the
tall cacti and they were polished silver; the morning dew was upon them and they shone; the little plants were bright with the dew and
the headlights made the green sparkle and flash with a green that
was not of the day. Every tree was silent, mysterious and dreaming
and unapproachable. Orion and the Pleiades were setting among
the dark hills; even the owls were far away and silent; except for
the noise of the car, the country was asleep; only the nightjars, with
red sparkling eyes, caught by the headlights, sitting on the road,
stared at us and flutteringly flew away. So early in the morning, the
villages were asleep and the few people on the road had wrapped
themselves up just showing their face; and were walking wearily
from one village to another; they looked as though they had been
walking all night; a few were huddled around a blaze, throwing
long shadows across the road. A dog was scratching itself in the
middle of the road; it wouldn’t move and the car had to go around
it. Then suddenly, the morning star showed itself; it was easily as
large as a saucer, astonishingly bright and seemed to hold the east
in sway. As it climbed, Mercury appeared, just below her, pale and
overpowering. There was a slight glow and far away was the
beginning of dawn. The road curved in and out, hardly ever
straight and trees on either side of the road held it from wandering
off into the fields. There were large stretches of water, to be used
for irrigation purposes in the summer when water would be scarce.
The birds were still asleep, except for one or two and as dawn
came closer, they began to wake up, crows, vultures, pigeons and
the innumerable small birds. We were climbing and went over a
long wooded range; no wild animals crossed the road. And there
were monkeys on the road now, a huge fellow, sitting under the
large trunk of the tamarind; it never moved as we passed by though the others scampered off in every direction. There was a little one,
it must have been a few days old, clinging to the belly of her
mother who looked rather displeased with things. Dawn was
yielding to day and the lorries that crashed by had turned off their
lights. And now the villages were awake, people sweeping their
front steps and throwing dirt in the middle of the road; many dogs
still fast asleep right in the middle of the road; they seemed to
prefer the very centre of the road; lorries went around them, cars
and people. Women were carrying water from the well, with little
children following them. The sun was getting hot and glary and the
hills were harsh and there were fewer trees and we were leaving
the mountains and going towards the sea in a flat, open country;
the air was moist and hot and we were coming nearer the big,
crowded, dirty city*** and the hills were far behind.
The car was going fairly fast and it was a good place to
meditate. To be free of the word and not to give too much
importance to it; to see that the word is not the thing and the thing
is never the word; not to get caught in the overtones of the word
and yet use words with care and understanding; to be sensitive to
words and not to be weighed down by them; to break through the
verbal barrier and to consider the fact; to avoid the poison of words
and feel the beauty of them; to put away all identification with
words and to examine them, for words are a trap and a snare. They
are the symbols and not the real. The screen of words acts as a
shelter for the lazy, the thoughtless and the deceiving mind.
Slavery to words is the beginning of inaction which may appear to
be action and a mind caught in symbols cannot go far. Every word,
thought, shapes the mind and without understanding every thought, mind becomes a slave to words and sorrow begins. Conclusions
and explanations do not end sorrow.
Meditation is not a means to an end; there is no end, no arrival;
it is a movement in time and out of time. Every system, method,
binds thought to time but choiceless awareness of every thought
and feeling, understanding their motives, their mechanism,
allowing them to blossom is the beginning of meditation. When
thought and feeling flourish and die, meditation is the movement
beyond time. In this movement there is ecstasy; in complete
emptiness there is love, and with love there is destruction and

* Rishi Valley, some 170 miles north of Madras and 2,500 feet
above sea level. There is a Krishnamurti school there where he
** Wimbledon Common. He was remembering London where he
had stayed in May in a house at Wimbledon.
*** Madras. He went to stay in a house in seven acres of ground
on the north bank of the Adyar River. This river flows into the Bay
of Bengal, south of Madras.

All existence is choice; only in aloneness there is no choice.
Choice, in every form, is conflict. Contradiction is inevitable in
choice; this contradiction, inner and outer breeds confusion and
misery. To escape from this misery, gods, beliefs, nationalism,
commitment to various patterns of activities become compulsive
necessities. Having escaped, they become all important and escape
is the way of illusion; then fear and anxiety set in. Despair and
sorrow is the way of choice and there is no end to pain. Choice,
selection, must always exist as long as there is the chooser, the
accumulated memory of pain and pleasure, and every experience of
choice only strengthens memory whose response becomes thought
and feeling. Memory has only a partial significance, to respond
mechanically; this response is choice. There is no freedom in
choice. You choose according to the background you have been
brought up in, according to your social, economic, religious
conditioning. Choice invariably strengthens this conditioning; there
is no escape from this conditioning, it only breeds more suffering.
There were a few clouds gathering around the sun; they were far
down on the horizon and were afire. The palm trees were dark
against the flaming sky; they stood in golden-green rice fields
stretching far into the horizon. There was one all by itself, in a
yellowing green of rice; it was not alone, though it looked rather
forlorn and far away. A gentle breeze from the sea was blowing
and a few clouds were chasing each other, faster than the breeze. The flames were dying and the moon strengthened the shadows.
Everywhere there were shadows, quietly whispering to each other.
The moon was just overhead and across the road the shadows deep
and deceptive. A water snake might be crossing the road; quietly
slithering across, pursuing a frog; there was water in the rice fields
and frogs were croaking, almost rhythmically; in the long stretch of
water beside the road, with their heads up, out of the water, they
were chasing each other; they would go under and come up to
disappear again. The water was bright silver, sparkling and warm
to the touch and full of mysterious noises. Bullock carts went by,
carrying firewood to the town; a cycle bell rang, a lorry with bright
glaring lights screeched for room and the shadows remained
motionless. It was a beautiful evening and there on that road so
close to town, there was deep silence and not a sound disturbed it,
not even the moon and the lorry. It was a silence that no thought,
no word could touch, a silence that went with the frogs and the
cycles, a silence that followed you; you walked in it, you breathed
it, you saw it. It was not shy, it was there insisting and welcoming.
It went beyond you into vast immensities and you could follow it if
your thought and feeling were utterly quiet, forgetting themselves
and losing themselves with the frogs in the water; they had no
importance and could so easily lose themselves, to be picked up
when they were wanted. It was an enchanting evening, full of
clarity and fast-fading smile.
Choice is always breeding misery. Watch it and you will see it,
lurking, demanding, insisting and begging, and before you know
where you are you are caught in its net of inescapable duties,
responsibilities and despairs. Watch it and you will be aware of the fact. Be aware of the fact; you cannot change the fact; you may
cover it up, run away from it, but you cannot change it. It is there.
If you will let it alone, not interfering with it with your opinions
and hopes, fears and despairs, with your calculated and cunning
judgements, it will flower and show all its intricacies, its subtle
ways and there are many, its seeming importance and ethics, its
hidden motives and fancies. If you will leave the fact alone, it will
show you all these and more. But you must be choicelessly aware
of it, walking softly. Then you will see that choice, having
flowered, dies and there is freedom, not that you are free but there
is freedom. You are the maker of choice; you have ceased to make
choice. There is nothing to choose. Out of this choiceless state
there flowers aloneness. Its death is never ending. It is always
flowering and it is always new. Dying to the known is to be alone.
All choice is in the field of the known; action in this field always
breeds sorrow. There is the ending of sorrow in aloneness.
22nd* In the opening of masses of leaves was a pink flower of
three petals; it was embedded in green and it too must have been
surprised by its own beauty. It grew on a tall bush, struggling to
survive among all that greenery; there was a huge tree towering
over it and there were several other bushes, all fighting for life.
There were many other flowers on this bush but this one among the
leaves had no companion, it was all by itself and so more startling.
There was a slight breeze among the leaves but it never got to this
flower; it was motionless and alone and because it was alone, it
had a strange beauty, like a single star when the sky is bare. And
beyond the green leaves was a black trunk of the palm; it wasn’t
really black but it looked like the trunk of an elephant. And as you watched it, the black turned to a flowering pink; the evening sun
was upon it and all the treetops were afire, motionless. The breeze
had died down and patches of the setting sun were upon the leaves.
A small bird was sitting on a branch, preening itself. It stopped to
look around and presently flew off into the sun. We were sitting
facing the musicians who were facing the setting sun; there were
very few of us and the little drum was being played with
remarkable skill and pleasure; it was really quite extraordinary
what those fingers did. The player never looked at his hands; they
seemed to have a life of their own, moving with great rapidity and
firmness, striking the taut skin with precision; there was never
hesitation. What the right hand did the left hand never knew for it
was beating out a different rhythm but always in harmony. The
player was quite young, grave with sparkling eyes; he had talent
and was delighted to be playing to that small, appreciative
audience. Then a stringed instrument joined in and the small drum
followed. It was no longer alone.
The sun had set and the few wandering clouds were turning pale
rose; at this latitude there is no twilight and the moon, nearly full,
was clear in a cloudless sky. Walking on that road, with the
moonlight on the water and the croaking of many frogs, became a
blessing. It is strange how far away the world is and into what great
depth one has travelled. The telegraph poles, the buses, the bullock
carts and the worn-out villagers were there beside you but you
were far away, so deep that no thought could follow; every feeling
stayed far away. You were walking, aware of everything that was
happening around you, the darkening of the moon by masses of
clouds, the warning of the cycle bell, but you were far away, not you but great, vast depth. This depth went on more profoundly
within itself, past time and the limits of space. Memory couldn’t
follow it; memory is tethered, but this wasn’t. It was total complete
freedom, without root and direction. And deep, far from thought
there was bursting energy which was ecstasy, a word that has
pleasurable gratifying significance to thought but thought could
never capture it or travel the spaceless distance to pursue it.
Thought is a barren thing and could never follow or communicate
with that which is timeless. The thundering bus, with its blinding
lights, nearly pushed one off the road, into the dancing waters.
The essence of control is suppression. The pure seeing puts an
end to every form of suppression; seeing is infinitely more subtle
than mere control. Control is comparatively easy, it doesn’t need
much understanding; conformity to a pattern, obedience to
established authority, fear of not doing the right thing, of tradition,
the drive for success, these are the very things that bring about
suppression of what is or the sublimation of what is. The pure act
of seeing the fact, whatever the fact be, brings its own
understanding and from this, mutation takes place.
25th The sun was behind the clouds and the flat lands stretched
far into the horizon which was turning golden brown and red; there
was a little canal over which the road went among the rice fields.
They were golden yellow and green, spreading on both sides of the
road, east and west to the sea and to the setting sun. There is
something extraordinarily touching and beautiful to see palm trees,
black against the burning sky, among the rice fields; it was not that
the scene was romantic or sentimental or picture post-cardish;
probably it was all this but there was an intensity and a sweeping dignity and delight in the earth itself and in the common things that
one passed by every day. The canal, a long, narrow strip of water
of melting fire, went north and south among the rice fields. silent
and lonely; there was not much traffic on it; there were barges,
crudely made, with square or triangular sails carrying firewood or
sand and men sitting huddled together, looking very grave. The
palm trees dominated the wide green earth; they were of every
shape and size, independent and carefree, swept by the winds and
burnt by the sun. The rice fields were ripening golden yellow and
there were largish white birds among them; they were flying now
into the sunset, their long legs stretched out behind, their wings
lazily beating the air. Bullock carts, carrying casuarina firewood to
the town, went by, a long line of them, creaking and the men
walking and the load was heavy. It was none of these common
sights that made the evening enchanting; they were all part of the
fading evening, the noisy buses, the silent bicycles, the croaks of
the frogs, the smell of the evening. There was a deep widening
intensity, an imminent clarity of that otherness, with its
impenetrable strength and purity. What was beautiful was now
glorified in splendour; everything was clothed in it; there was
ecstasy and laughter not only deeply within but among the palms
and the rice fields. Love is not a common thing but it was there in
the hut with an oil lamp; it was with that old woman, carrying
something heavy on her head; with that naked boy, swinging on a
piece of string a piece of wood which gave out many sparks for it
was his fireworks. It was everywhere, so common that you could
pick it up under a dead leaf or in that jasmine by the old crumbling
house. But everyone was occupied; busy and lost. It was there filling your heart, your mind and the sky; it remained and would
never leave you. Only you would have to die to everything,
without roots, without a tear. Then it would come to you, if you
were lucky and you forever ceased to run after it, begging, hoping,
crying. Indifferent to it, but without sorrow, and thought left far
behind. And it would be there, on that dusty, dark road.
The flowering of meditation is goodness. It is not a virtue to be
gathered bit by bit, slowly in the space of time; it is not morality
made respectable by society nor is it the sanction of authority. It is
the beauty of meditation that gives perfume to its flowering. How
can there be joy in meditation if it is the coaxing of desire and pain;
how can it flower if you are seeking it through control, suppression
and sacrifice; how can it blossom in the darkness of fear or in
corrupting ambition and in the smell of success; how can it bloom
in the shadow of hope and despair? You will have to leave all these
far behind, without regret, easily, naturally. You see, meditation
has not the strain of building defences, to resist and to wither; it is
not fashioned out of a sustained practice of any system. All
systems will inevitably shape thought to a pattern and conformity
destroys the flowering of meditation. It blossoms only in freedom
and the withering of that which is. Without freedom there is no self-
knowing and without self-knowing there is no meditation. Thought
is always petty and shallow however far it may wander in search of
knowledge; acquiring expanding knowledge is not meditation. It
flowers only in the freedom from the known and withers away in
the known.
26th There is a palm tree, all by itself, in the middle of a rice
field; it is no longer young, there are only a few palms. It is very tall and very straight; it has the quality of righteousness with the
fuss and noise of respectability. It is there and it is alone. It has
never known anything else and it would continue to be that way
until it died or is destroyed. You suddenly came upon it at the turn
of the road and you are startled to see it among the rich rice fields
and flowing water; the water and the green fields were murmuring
to each other which they always have been doing from ancient
days and these gentle mutterings never reached the palm; it was
alone with the high heaven and flashing clouds. It was by itself,
complete and aloof and it would be nothing else. The water was
sparkling in the evening light and away from the road towards the
west was the palm tree and beyond it were more rice fields; before
coming upon it you had to go through some noisy, dirty, dusty
streets, full of children, goats and cattle; the buses raised clouds of
dust which nobody seemed to mind and the mangy dogs crowded
the road. The car turned off the main thoroughfare which went on,
past many small houses and gardens, past rice fields. The car
turned left, went through some pompous gates, and a little further
on, there in the open, were deer, grazing. There must have been
two or three dozen; some had tall heavy antlers and some of the
young ones were already showing, sharply, what they would be;
many of them were spotted white; they were nervous, flicking their
large ears but they went on grazing. Many crossed the red road into
the open and there were several more waiting among the bushes to
see what was going to happen; the little car had stopped and
presently all of them crossed over and joined the others. The
evening was clear and the stars were coming out, bright and clear;
the trees were withdrawing for the night and the impatient chattering of the birds had come to an end. The evening light was
on the water.
In that evening light, along that narrow road, the intensity of
delight increased and there was no cause for it. It had begun while
watching a small jumping spider which jumped with astonishing
rapidity on flies and held them fiercely; it had begun while
watching a single leaf fluttering while the other leaves were still; it
had begun while watching the small striped squirrel, scolding
something or other, its long tail bobbing up and down. The delight
had no cause, and joy that is a result is so trivial anyway and
changes with the change. This strange, unexpected delight
increased in its intensity and what is intense is never brutal; it has
the quality of yielding but still it remains intense. It is not the
intensity of all energy, concentrated; it is not brought about by
thought pursuing an idea or occupied with itself; it is not a
heightened feeling, for all these have motives and purposes. This
intensity had no cause, no end, nor was it brought into being
through concentration which really bars the awakening of the total
energy. It increased without something being done about it; it was,
as something outside of you, over which you had no control; you
had no say in the matter. In the very increasing of intensity, there
was gentleness. This word is spoilt; it indicates weakness,
sloppiness, irresolution, uncertainty, a shy withdrawal, a certain
fear and so on. But it was none of these things; it was vital and
strong, without defences and so, intense. You couldn’t cultivate it,
if you wished; it didn’t belong to the category of the strong and the
weak. It was vulnerable as love is. The delight with its gentleness
increased in intensity. There was nothing else but that. The coming and the going of people, the drive in the car and the talk, the deer
and the palm tree, the stars and the rice fields were there, in their
beauty and freshness, but they were all inside and outside this
intensity. A flame has a form, a line, but inside the flame there is
only intense heat without form and line.
27th The clouds were piling up to the south-west driven by a
strong wind; they were magnificent, great billowing clouds, full of
fury and space; they were white and dark grey, rain-bearing filling
the sky. The old trees were angry with them and the wind. They
wanted to be left alone, though they wanted rain; it would wash
them again clean, wash away all the dust and their leaves would
sparkle again but they didn’t like being disturbed, like old people.
The garden had so many flowers, so many colours and each flower
was doing a dance, a skip and a jump and every leaf was astir; even
the little blades of grass on the little lawn were being shaken. And
two old, thin women were weeding it; two old women, old before
their age, thin and worn out; they were squatting upon the lawn,
chatting and weeding, leisurely; they weren’t all there, they were
somewhere else, carried away by their thoughts, though they were
weeding and talking. They looked intelligent, their eyes sparkling,
but perhaps too many children and lack of good food had made
them old and weary. You became them, they were you and the
grass and the clouds; it wasn’t a verbal bridge over which you
crossed out of pity or out of some vague, unfamiliar sentiment; you
were not thinking at all, nor were your emotions stirred. They were
you and you were they; distance and time had ceased. A car came
with a chauffeur and he entered into that world. His shy smile and
salute were those of yours and you were wondering at whom he was smiling and whom he was saluting; he was feeling a little
awkward, not quite used to that feeling of being together. The
women and the chauffeur were you and you were they; the barrier
which they had built was gone and as the clouds overhead went by,
it all seemed a part of a widening circle, including so many things,
the filthy road and the splendid sky and the passer-by. It had
nothing to do with thought, thought is such a sordid thing anyway
and feeling was involved in no way. It was like a flame that burned
its way through everything leaving no mark, no ashes; it wasn’t an
experience, with its memories, to be repeated. They were you and
you were they and it died with the mind.
It is strange, the desire to show off or to be somebody. Envy is
hate and vanity corrupts. It seems so impossibly difficult to be
simple, to be what you are and not pretend. To be what you are is
in itself very arduous without trying to become something, which
is not too difficult. You can always pretend, put on a mask but to
be what you are is an extremely complex affair; because you are
always changing; you are never the same and each moment reveals
a new facet, a new depth, a new surface. You can’t be all this at one
moment for each moment brings its own change. So if you are at
all intelligent, you give up being anything. You think you are very
sensitive and an incident, a fleeting thought, shows that you are
not; you think you are clever, well-read, artistic, moral but turn
round the corner, you find you are none of these things but that you
are deeply ambitious, envious, insufficient, brutal and anxious.
You are all these things turn by turn and you want something to be
continuous, permanent, of course only that which is profitable,
pleasurable. So you run after that and all the many other you’s are clamouring to have their way, to have their fulfilment. So you
became the battlefield and generally ambition, with all its pleasures
and pain, gaining, with envy and fear. The word love is thrown in
for respectability’s sake and to hold the family together but you are
caught in your own commitments and activities, isolated,
clamouring for recognition and fame, you and your country, you
and your party, you and your comforting god.
So to be what you are is an extremely arduous affair; if you are
at all awake, you know all these things and the sorrow of it all. So
you drown yourself in your work, in your belief, in your fantastic
ideals and meditations. By then you have become old and ready for
the grave, if you are not already dead inwardly. To put away all
these things, with their contradictions and increasing sorrow, and
be nothing is the most natural and intelligent thing to do. But
before you can be nothing, you must have unearthed all these
hidden things, exposing them and so understanding them. To
understand these hidden urges and compulsions, you will have to
be aware of them, without choice, as with death; then in the pure
act of seeing, they will wither away and you will be without sorrow
and so be as nothing. To be as nothing is not a negative state; the
very denial of everything you have been is the most positive action,
not the positive of reaction, which is inaction; it is this inaction
which causes sorrow. This denial is freedom. This positive action
gives energy, and mere ideas dissipate energy. Idea is time and
living in time is disintegration, sorrow.
28th There was a large opening in the thick closely-planted
casuarina grove beside a quiet road; towards the evening it was
dark, deserted and the opening invited the heavens. Further down the road there was a thin-walled hut with palm leaves, woven
together, for its roof; in the hut was a dim light, a wick burning in a
saucer of oil, and two people, a man and a woman, were sitting on
the floor, eating their evening meal, chatting loudly, with
occasional laughter. Two men were coming through the rice fields
on a narrow path dividing the fields and to hold water. They were
talking volubly, carrying something on their heads. There was a
group of villagers, laughing shrilly and explaining something to
each other, with a great many gestures. A few days’ old calf was
being led by a woman, followed by the mother softly assuring the
baby. A flock of white birds with long legs were flying north, their
wings beating the air slowly and rhythmically. The sun had set in a
clear sky and a rose-coloured ray shot across the sky, almost from
horizon to horizon. It was a very quiet evening and the lights of the
city were far away. It was that little opening in the casuarina grove
that held the evening, and as one walked past it, one was aware of
its extraordinary stillness; all the lights and glare of the day had
been forgotten and the bustle of men coming and going. Now it
was quiet, enclosed by dark trees and fast-fading light. It was not
only quiet but there was joy in it, the joy of immense solitude and
as one went by it, that ever-strange otherness came, like a wave,
covering the heart and the mind in its beauty and its clarity. All
time ceased, the next moment had no beginning. Out of emptiness
only is there love.
Meditation is not a play of imagination. Every form of image,
word, symbol must come to an end for the flowering of meditation.
The mind must lose its slavery to words and their reaction.
Thought is time, and symbol, however ancient and significant, must lose its grip on thought. Thought then has no continuity; it is
then only from moment to moment and so loses its mechanical
insistency; thought then does not shape the mind and enclose it
within the frame of ideas and condition it to culture, to the society,
in which it lives. Freedom is not from society but from idea; then
relationship, society, does not condition the mind. The whole of
consciousness is residual, changing, modifying, conforming, and
mutation is only possible when time and idea have come to an end.
The ending is not a conclusion, a word to be destroyed, an idea to
be denied or accepted. It is to be understood through self-knowing;
knowing is not learning; knowing is recognition and accumulation
which prevents learning. Learning is from moment to moment, for
the self, the me, is everchanging, never constant. Accumulation,
knowledge, distorts and puts an end to learning. Gathering
knowledge, however expanding its frontier, becomes mechanical
and a mechanical mind is not a free mind. Self-knowing liberates
the mind from the known; to live the entire life in the activity of
the known breeds endless conflict and misery. Meditation is not
personal achievement, a personal quest for reality; it becomes one
when it is restricted by methods and systems and thereby
deceptions and illusions are bred. Meditation frees the mind from
the narrow, limited existence to the everexpanding, timeless life.
29th Without sensitivity there can be no affection; personal
reaction does not indicate sensitivity; you may be sensitive about
your family, about your achievement, about your status and
capacity. This kind of sensitivity is a reaction, limited, narrow, and
is deteriorating. Sensitivity is not good taste for good taste is
personal and the freedom from personal reaction is the awareness of beauty. Without the appreciation of beauty and without the
sensitive awareness of it, there is no love. This sensitive awareness
of nature, of the river, of the sky, of the people, of the filthy road,
is affection. The essence of affection is sensitivity. But most people
are afraid of being sensitive; to them to be sensitive is to get hurt
and so they harden themselves and so preserve their sorrow. Or
they escape into every form of entertainment, the church, the
temple, gossip and cinema and social reform. But being sensitive is
not personal and when it is, it leads to misery. To break through
this personal reaction is to love, and love is for the one and the
many; it is not restricted to the one or to the many. To be sensitive,
all the senses must be fully alive, active, and fear of being a slave
to the senses is merely the avoidance of a natural fact. The
awareness of the fact does not lead to slavery; it is the fear of the
fact that leads to bondage. Thought is of the senses and thought
makes for limitation but yet you are not afraid of thought. On the
contrary, it is ennobled with respectability and enshrined with
conceit. To be sensitively aware of thought, of feeling, of the world
about you, of your office and of nature, is to explode from moment
to moment in affection. Without affection, every action becomes
burdensome and mechanical and leads to decay.
It was a rainy morning and the sky was heavy with clouds, dark
and tumultuous; it began raining very early and you could hear it
among the leaves. And there were so many birds on the little lawn,
big and little ones, light grey, brown with yellow eyes, large black
crows and little ones, smaller than sparrows; they were scratching,
pulling, chattering, restless, complaining and pleased. It was
drizzling and they didn’t seem to mind but when it began to rain harder, they all flew off, complaining loudly. But the bushes and
the large, old trees were rejoicing; their leaves were washed clean
of the dust of many days. Drops of water were clinging to the ends
of leaves; one drop would fall to the ground and another would
form to fall; each drop was the rain, the river and the sea. And
every drop was bright, sparkling; it was richer than all the
diamonds and more lovely; it gathered to a drop, remained in its
beauty and disappeared into the ground, leaving no mark. It was an
endless procession and disappeared into the ground. It was an
endless procession beyond time. It was raining now and the earth
was filling itself for the hot days of many months. The sun was
behind many clouds and the earth was taking rest from the heat.
The road was very bad, full of deep potholes, filled with brown
water; sometimes the little car went through them, sometimes
dodged them but went on. There were pink flowers which crept up
trees, along the barbed wire fences, growing wildly over bushes
and the rain was among them, making their colours softer and more
gentle; they were everywhere and would not be denied. The road
went past a filthy village, with filthy shops and filthy restaurants
and as it turned, there was a rice field, enclosed among the palm
trees. They surrounded it, almost holding it to themselves, lest men
should spoil it. The rice field followed the curving lines of the
palms and beyond it were banana groves whose large, shining
leaves were visible through the palms. That rice field was
enchanted; it was so amazingly green, so rich and wondrous; it was
incredible, it took your mind and heart away. You looked and you
disappeared, never to be again the same. That colour was god, was
music, was the love of the earth; the heavens came to the palms and covered the earth. But that rice field was the bliss of eternity.
And the road went on to the sea; that sea was pale green, with
enormous rolling waves crashing on a sandy beach; they were
murderous waves and angry with the pent-up fury of many storms;
the sea looked furiously calm and the waves showed its danger.
There were no boats on the sea, those flimsy catamarans, so
crudely put together by a piece of rope; all the fishermen were in
those dark, palm-thatched huts on the sands, so close to the water.
And the clouds came rolling along carried by winds that you
couldn’t feel. And it would rain again, with the pleasant laughter.
To the so-called religious to be sensitive is to sin, an evil
reserved for the worldly; to the religious the beautiful is
temptation, to be resisted; it’s an evil distraction to be denied. Good
works are not a substitute for love, and without love all activity
leads to sorrow, noble or ignoble. The essence of affection is
sensitivity and without it all worship is an escape from reality. To
the monk, to the sannyasi, the senses are the way of pain, save
thought which must be dedicated to the god of their conditioning.
But thought is of the senses. It is thought that puts together time
and it is thought that makes sensitivity sinful. To go beyond
thought is virtue and that virtue is heightened sensitivity which is
love. Love and there is no sin; love and do what you will and then
there is no sorrow.
30th A country without a river is desolate. It is a small river, if
it can be called a river, but it has a fairly large bridge of stone and
brick; it is not too wide and the buses and cars have to go slowly
and there are always people on foot and the inevitable bicycle. It
pretends to be a river and during the rains it looks like a deep, full river but now when the rains are nearly over, it looks like a large
sheet of water with a large island, with many bushes in the middle
of it. It goes to the sea, due east, with a great deal of animation and
joy. But now there is a wide sand-bar and so it waits for the next
rainy reason. Cattle were fording on to the island and a few
fishermen were trying to catch some fish; the fish were always
small, about the size of a large finger and they smelt dreadful as
they were being sold under the trees. And that evening, in the quiet
waters, was a large heron, utterly frozen and still. It was the only
bird on the river; in the evening crows and other birds would be
flying across the river but there were none that evening, except for
this single heron. You couldn’t help seeing it; it was so white,
motionless, with a sunlit sky. The yellow sun and the pale green
sea were some distance and as the land went towards them, three
large palm trees faced the river and the sea. The evening sun was
upon them and the sea beyond, restless, dangerous and pleasantly
blue. From the bridge, the sky seemed so vast, so close and
unspoiled; it was far from the airport. But that evening, that single
heron and the three palm trees were the whole earth, time past and
present and life that had no past. Meditation became a flowering
without roots and so a dying. Negation is a marvellous movement
of life and the positive is only a reaction to life, a resistance. With
resistance there is no death but only fear; fear breeds further fear
and degeneration. Death is the flowering of the new; meditation is
the dying of the known.
It is strange that one can never say, «I don’t know». To really
say it and feel it, there must be humility. But one never admits to
the fact of never knowing; it is vanity that feeds the mind with knowledge. Vanity is a strange disease, ever hopeful and ever
dejected. But to admit to not knowing is to stop the mechanical
process of knowing. There are several ways of saying, «I don’t
know» – pretence and all its subtle and underhand methods, to
impress, to gain importance and so on; the «I don’t know» which is
really marking time to find out and the «I don’t know» which is not
searching out to know; the former state never learns, it only gathers
and so never learns, and the latter is always in a state of learning,
without ever accumulating. There must be freedom to learn and so
the mind can remain young and innocent; accumulating makes the
mind decay, grow old and wither. Innocency is not the lack of
experience but to be free of experience; this freedom is to die to
every experience and not let it take root in the soil of the enriching
brain. Life is not without experience but life is not when the soil is
full of roots. But humility is not conscious clearing of the known;
that is the vanity of achievement, but humility is that complete not
knowing which is dying. Fear of death is only in knowing, not in
not knowing. There is no fear of the unknown, only in the changing
of the known, in the ending of the known.
But the habit of the word, the emotional content of the word, the
hidden implications of the word, prevent the freedom from the
word. Without this freedom you are a slave to words, to
conclusions, to ideas. If you live on words, as so many do, the
inward hunger is insatiable; it is forever ploughing and never
sowing. Then you live in the world of unreality, of make-believe,
of sorrow that has no meaning. A belief is a word, a conclusion of
thought, made up of words and it is this that corrupts, spoiling the
beauty of the mind. To destroy the word is to demolish the inward structure of security, which has no reality in any way. To be
insecure, which is not the violent wrenching from security, leading
to various forms of illness, but that insecurity which comes from
the flowering of security, is humility and innocency whose strength
the arrogant can never know.
December 1st, 1961 The road was muddy, deep rutted, full of
people; it was outside the town and slowly a suburb was being
built, but now it was incredibly dirty, full of holes, dogs, goats,
wandering cattle, buses, cycles, cars and more people; shops were
selling coloured drinks in bottles, shops that had cloth to sell, food,
wood for fire, a bank, a cycle-repair shop, more food, goats and
more people. There was still country on either side of the road,
palm trees, rice fields, and great puddles of water. The sun was
among the clouds behind the palm trees bursting with colour and
vast shadows; the pools were ablaze and every bush and tree was
amazed by the vastness of the sky. The goats were nibbling at their
roots, women were washing their clothes at a tap, children went on
playing; everywhere there was activity and nobody bothered to
look at the sky or at those clouds, bearing colour; it was an evening
that would soon disappear never to appear again and nobody
seemed to care. The immediate was all important, the immediate
that may extend into the future beyond sight. The long vision is the
immediate vision. The bus came hurtling along, never giving an
inch, sure of itself, everyone giving way, but the heavy buffalo
stopped it; it was right in the middle, moving at its own heavy gait,
never paying attention to the horn and the horn stopped in
exasperation. At heart everyone is a politician, concerned with the
immediate and trying to force all life into the immediate. And later on there would be sorrow, round the corner, but it could be
avoided; there was the pill, the drink, the temple and the family of
immediacies. You could end it all if you believed in something
ardently or drowned yourself in work or committed yourself to
some pattern of thought. But you have tried them all and your mind
was as barren as your heart and you crossed to the other side of the
road and got lost in the immediate. The clouds were now heavy in
the sky and there was only a patch of colour where the sun had
been. The road went on, past the palm trees, the casuarinas, rice
fields, huts and on and on and suddenly as ever unexpectedly, that
otherness came with that purity and strength which no thought or
madness could possibly ever formulate and it was there and your
heart seemed to explode into the empty heavens, with ecstasy. The
brain was utterly still, motionless, but sensitive, watching. It could
not follow into emptiness; it was of time but time had stopped and
it could not experience; experience is recognition and what it
recognized would be time. So it was motionless, merely quiescent,
without asking, seeking. And this totality of love or what you will,
word is not the thing, entered into everything and was lost.
Everything had its space, its place, but this had none and so it
cannot be found; do what you will you will not find it. It is not on
the market nor in any temple; everything has to be destroyed, not a
stone left unturned, no foundation to stand on, but even then this
emptiness must be without a tear, then perhaps the unknowable
might pass by. It was there and beauty.
All deliberate pattern of change is non-change; change has
motive, purpose, direction and so it is merely a continuity,
modified, of what has been. Such change is futile; it is like changing clothes on a doll but it remains, mechanical, lifeless,
brittle, to be broken and thrown away. Death is the inevitable end
of change; economic, social revolution is death in the pattern of
change. It is not a revolution at all, it is a continuity, modified, of
what has been. Mutation, total revolution, takes place only when
change, the pattern of time, is seen as false and in its total
abandonment mutation takes place.
2nd The sea was rough, with thunderous waves that came in
from afar; nearby was a village built round a large, deep pond, a
tank it is called, and a broken-down temple. The water of the tank
was pale green and steps lead down to it, from all sides. The
village was neglected, dirty and there were hardly any roads, and
round about this tank were houses and on one side was the old
temple in ruins and a comparatively new one, with red striped
walls; the houses were dilapidated but that village had a familiar,
friendly feeling about it. Beside the way that led to the sea a whole
group of women were haggling over some fish at the top of their
voices; everyone seemed so excited about everything; it was their
evening entertainment for they were laughing too. And there were
the sweepings of the road in a heap in the corner and the mangy
village dogs were poking their noses into it and a shop close to it
was selling drinks, things to eat, and a poor woman with a baby
and torn rags was begging at the door of the shop. The cruel sea
was close by, thundering away and the luscious green rice fields
were beyond the village, peaceful, full of promise in the evening
light. Clouds were coming across the sea, unhurriedly, with the sun
upon them and everywhere there was activity and no one looked up
at the sky. The dead fish, the noisy group, the green waters in that deep pond, the striped walls of the temple seemed to hold back the
setting sun. If you walk on that road across the canal, beside the
rice field and casuarina groves, every passer-by you know, they are
friendly, they stop and talk to you, that you should come to live
among them, that they would look after you, and the sky is
darkening and the green of the rice fields is gone and the stars are
very bright.
Walking on that road in the dark with the light of the city in the-
clouds, that inviolable strength comes with such abundance and
with such clarity that it took literally your breath away. All life was
that strength. It wasn’t the strength of carefully built-up will, nor
the strength of many defences and resistances; it was not the
strength of courage nor the strength of jealousy and death. It had
no quality, no description could contain it and yet it was there as
those dark distant hills and those trees beside the road. It was too
immense for thought to bring it about or speculate upon. It was a
strength that had no cause and so nothing could be added to or
taken away from it. It cannot be known; it has no shape, form, and
cannot be approached. Knowing is recognition but it is always
new, something that cannot be measured in time. It had been there
all day, uncertainly, without insistence like a whisper but now it
was there with an urgency and with such abundance that there was
nothing but that. Words have been spoilt and made common; the
word love is on the market but that word had a totally different
meaning, walking on that empty road. It came with that
impenetrable strength; the two were inseparable, like the colour of
a petal. The brain, the heart and the mind were totally consumed by
it and there was nothing left but that. But yet the buses rattled by, the villagers were talking loudly and the Pleiades were just over
the horizon. It continued, walking alone or walking with others,
and it went on during the night until the morning came among the
palm trees. But it is there like a whisper among the leaves.
What an extraordinary thing meditation is. If there is any kind
of compulsion, effort to make thought conform, imitate, then it
becomes a wearisome burden. The silence which is desired ceases
to be illuminating; if it is the pursuit of visions and experiences,
then it leads to illusions and self-hypnosis. Only in the flowering of
thought and so ending thought does meditation have significance;
thought can only flower in freedom not in everwidening patterns of
knowledge. Knowledge may give newer experiences of greater
sensation but a mind that is seeking experiences of any kind is
immature. Maturity is the freedom from all experience; it is no
longer under any influence to be and not to be. Maturity in
meditation is the freeing of the mind from knowledge for it shapes
and controls all experience. A mind which is a light to itself needs
no experience. Immaturity is the craving for greater and wider
experience. Meditation is the wandering through the world of
knowledge and being free of it to enter into the unknown.
3rd They are quarrelling in that little hut, with an oil lamp, on
that pleasant road; in a high-pitched, screechy voice she was
screaming something about money, there wasn’t enough left over
with which to buy rice; he in a low, cowed tone was mumbling
something. You could hear her voice quite far away and only the
crowded bus drowned it. The palm trees were silent and even the
feathery tops of the casuarinas had stopped their gentle movement.
There was no moon and it was dark, the sun having set among the gathering clouds, some time ago. Buses and cars passed, so many
of them, for they all had been to see an ancient temple by the sea
and again the road became quiet, isolated and far away. The few
villagers that passed talked quietly, worn out after a day’s labour.
That strange immensity was coming and it was there with
incredible gentleness and affection; as a tender, new leaf in spring,
so easily destroyed, it was there utterly vulnerable and so
everlastingly indestructible. Every thought and feeling disappeared
and recognition ceased.
It is strange how important money has become, both to the giver
and to the receiver, to the man in power and to the poor. They talk
everlastingly of money or avoid talking of money, as it is bad form
but are conscious of money. Money to do good work, money for
the party, money for the temple, and money to buy rice. If you
have money you are miserable and if you haven’t you are in misery
too. They tell you what he is worth as they tell you his position and
the degrees he has taken, his cleverness, his capacity and how
much he is making. The envy of the rich and the envy of the poor,
the competition to show off, knowledge, clothes and the brilliancy
of conversation. Everyone wants to impress somebody, the larger
the crowd the better. But money is more important than anything
else except power. These two things are a marvellous combination;
the saint has power, though he has no money; he is influencing the
rich and poor. The politician will use the country, the saint, the
gods that be, to come to the top and tell you the absurdity of
ambition and the ruthlessness of power. There is no end to money
and power; the more you have, the more you want and there is no
end to it. But behind all money and power, there is sorrow which cannot be denied; you may put it aside, try to forget it but it is
always there; you can’t argue it away and it is always there, a deep
wound that nothing seems to heal.
Nobody wants to be free of it, it is too complex to understand
sorrow; it is all explained in the books, and the books, words,
conclusions, become all important but sorrow is there still covered
over with ideas. And escape becomes significant; escape is the
essence of superficiality, though it may have varying depth. But
sorrow is not easily cheated. You have to go into the very heart of
it to end it; you have to dig very deep into yourself, never leaving a
corner uncovered. You have to see every twist and turn of cunning
thought, every feeling about everything, every move of every
reaction, without restraint, without choice. It is like following a
river to its source; the river will take you to it. You have to follow
every threat, every clue to the heart of sorrow. You have only to
watch, see, listen; it is all there open and clear. You have to take
the journey, not to the moon, not to the gods but into yourself. You
can take a swift step into yourself and so swiftly end sorrow or
prolong the journey, idling, lazy and dispassionate. You need to
have passion to end sorrow, and passion is not bought through
escape. It is there when you stop escaping.
4th Under the trees it was very quiet; there were so many birds
calling, singing, chattering, endlessly restless. The branches were
huge, beautifully shaped, polished, smooth and it was quite
startling to see them and they had a sweep and a grace that brought
tears to the eyes and made you wonder at the things of the earth.
The earth had nothing more beautiful than the tree and when it died
it would still be beautiful; every branch naked, open to the sky, bleached by the sun and there would be birds resting upon its
nakedness. There would be shelter for owls, there in that deep
hollow, and the bright, screeching parrots would nest high up in the
hole of that branch; woodpeckers would come, with their red-
crested feathers sticking straight out of their heads, to drive in a
few holes; of course there would be those striped squirrels, racing
about the branches, ever complaining about something and always
curious; right on the top-most branch, there would be a white and
red eagle surveying the land with dignity and alone. There would
be many ants, red and black, scurrying up the tree and others racing
down and their bite would be quite painful. But now the tree was
alive, marvellous, and there was plenty of shade and the blazing
sun never touched you; you could sit there by the hour and see and
listen to everything that was alive and dead, outside and inside.
You cannot see and listen to the outside without wandering on to
the inside. Really the outside is the inside and the inside is the
outside and it is difficult, almost impossible to separate them. You
look at this magnificent tree and you wonder who is watching
whom and presently there is no watcher at all. Everything is so
intensely alive and there is only life and the watcher is as dead as
that leaf. There is no dividing line between the tree, the birds and
that man sitting in the shade and the earth that is so abundant.
Virtue is there without thought and so there is order; order is not
permanent; it is there only from moment to moment and that
immensity comes with the setting sun so casually, so freely
welcoming. The birds have become silent for it is getting dark and
everything is slowly becoming quiet ready for the night. The brain,
that marvellous, sensitive, alive thing, is utterly still, only watching, listening without a moment of reaction, without
recording, without experiencing, only seeing and listening. With
that immensity, there is love and destruction and that destruction is
unapproachable strength. These are all words, like that dead tree, a
symbol of that which was and it never is. It has gone, moved away
from the word; the word is dead which would never capture that
sweeping nothingness. Only out of that immense emptiness is there
love, with its innocency. How can the brain be aware of that love,
the brain that is so active, crowded, burdened with knowledge,
with experience? Everything must be denied for that to be.
Habit, however convenient, is destructive of sensitivity, habit
gives the feeling of security and how can there be alertness,
sensitivity, when habit is cultivated; not that insecurity brings alert
awareness. How quickly everything becomes habit, sorrow as well
as pleasure and then boredom sets in and that peculiar thing called
leisure. After habit which has been working for forty years, then
you have leisure or leisure at the end of the day. Habit had its turn
and now it’s the turn of leisure which again turns into habit.
Without sensitivity there is no affection and that integrity which is
not the driven reaction of contradictory existence. The machinery
of habit is thought which is always seeking security, some
comforting state from which it will never be disturbed. It is this
search for the permanent that denies sensitivity. Being sensitive
never hurts, only those things in which you have taken shelter
cause pain. To be totally sensitive is to be wholly alive and that is
love. But thought is very cunning; it will evade the pursuer, which
is another thought; thought cannot pursue another thought. Only
the flowering of thought can be seen, listened to, and what flowers in freedom comes to an end, dies without leaving a mark.
5th This cuckoo which had been calling from dawn was smaller
than a crow, greyer, with long tail and brilliant red eyes; it was
sitting on a small palm tree half hidden, calling in clear soft tones;
its tail and head were showing and there on a small tree was its
mate. It was smaller, more shy, more hidden; then the male flew to
the female who came out onto an open branch; they stayed there,
the male calling and presently they flew away. There were clouds
in the sky and a soft breeze was playing among the leaves; the
heavy palms were still, their time would come, later in the day,
towards the evening to do their heavy dancing but now they were
still, lethargic and indifferent. It must have rained during the night
and the ground was wet and the sand was brittle; the garden was
peaceful for the day had not yet begun; the heavy trees were
somnolent and the little ones were all awake, and two squirrels
were chasing each other playfully in and out of the branches. The
clouds of early dawn were giving way to the clouds of day and the
casuarinas were swaying.
Every act of meditation is never the same, there is a new breath,
a new shattering; there is no pattern to be torn down for there is no
building of another, a new habit covering the old. All habits,
however recently acquired, are old; they are formed out of the old
but meditation is not shattering the old for a new pattern. It was
new and shattering; it was new, not in the field of the old; it had
never entered into that ground; it was new as it had never known
the old; it was shattering in itself; it was not breaking down
something but it itself was destruction. It destroyed and so it was
new and there was creation.       There is no toy in meditation which absorbs you or you absorb
it. It is the destruction of all toys, visions, ideas, experience that
goes to the making of meditation. You must lay the foundation for
true meditation otherwise you will be caught in various forms of
illusion. Meditation is purest negation, negation which is not the
outcome of reaction. To deny and to remain with the denial in
negation is action without motive, which is love.
6th There was a grey speckled bird, nearly as large as a crow; it
wasn’t a bit shy and it could be watched as long as one liked; it was
eating berries, choosing very carefully, which were hanging down
in heavy bunches, green and silver. Presently two other birds,
nearly as large as the speckled one, came to hang on to other
branches; they were the cuckoos of yesterday; there were no soft-
throated calls this time, they were all eating busily. They generally
are shy birds, these cuckoos, but they didn’t seem to mind someone
standing so close watching them, only a few feet away. Then the
striped squirrel came to join them but all the three flew off and the
squirrel set to and was eating away ravenously when a crow came
cawing and this was too much for it and it raced away. The crow
didn’t eat any of the berries but probably didn’t like others enjoying
themselves. It was a cool morning and the sun was coming up
slowly behind the thick trees; there were long shadows and the soft
dew was still on the grass, and in the little pond there were two
blue lilies with heart of gold; it was light golden in colour and the
blue was the blue of spring skies and the pads were round, very
green and a small frog was sitting on one of them, motionless, eyes
staring. The two lilies were the delight of the whole garden, even
the large trees looked down upon them without shadow; they were delicate, soft and quiet in their pond. When you looked at them, all
reaction ceased, your thoughts and feelings faded away and only
they remained, in their beauty and their quietness; they were
intense, like every living thing is, except man who is so
everlastingly occupied with himself. As you watched these two, the
world was changed, not into some better social order, with less
tyranny and more freedom or poverty eliminated, but there was no
pain, no sorrow, the coming and going of anxiety and there was no
toil of boredom; it was changed because those two were there, blue
with golden hearts. It was the miracle of beauty.
That road was familiar with us all now, the villager, the long
line of bullock carts with a man walking beside each one of them,
fifteen or twenty of them in a long line, with the dogs, goats and
the ripening rice fields, and that evening it was smilingly open and
the skies were very close. It was dark and the road shone with the
light of the sky and night was closing in. Meditation is not the way
of effort; every effort contradicts, resists; effort and choice always
breed conflict and meditation then only becomes an escape from
fact, the what is. But on that road, meditation yielded to that
otherness, utterly silencing the already quiet brain; the brain was
merely a passage for that immeasurable; as a deep wide river
between two steep banks, this strange otherness moved, without
direction, without time.
7th Out of the window you could see a young palm tree and a
tree full of large, pink-petalled flowers among the green leaves.
The palm leaves were waving in every direction, heavily and
clumsily and the flowers were motionless. Far away was the sea
and you heard it all night, deep and penetrating; it never varied its heavy sound which kept rolling in; in it there was threat,
restlessness and brutal force. With the dawn the roar of the sea
faded and other noises took over, the birds, cars and the drum.
Meditation was the fire that burned away all time and distance,
achievement and experience. There was only vast, boundless
emptiness but in it there was movement, creation. Thought cannot
be creative; it can put things together, on a canvas, in words, in
stone or in a marvellous rocket; thought, however polished,
however subtle is within the boundaries of time; it can only cover
space; it cannot go beyond itself. It cannot purify itself; it cannot
pursue itself; it can only flower, if it does not block itself, and die.
All feeling is sensation and experience is of it, and feeling with
thought builds the boundaries of time.
9th From a long way you could hear the sea, thundering away,
wave after wave, endlessly; these were not harmless waves; they
were dangerous, furious, ruthless. The sea looked as though it was
calm, dreaming, patient but the waves were huge, high and
frightening. People were carried away, drowned and there was a
strong current. The waves were never gentle, their high curves
were magnificent, splendid to watch from a distance but there was
brute force and cruelty. The catamarans, so flimsy, dark thin men
on them, go through those waves, indifferent, careless, with never a
thought of fear; they would go far out to the horizon and probably
would come back late in the day, with their heavy catch. The
waves that evening were particularly furious, high in their
impatience and their crash on the shore was deafening; the shore
stretched north and south, clean washed sand, yellowish, burnt by
the sun. And the sun was not gentle either; it was always hot, burning and only in the early morning, just as it was coming up out
of the sea or setting among the gathering clouds, was it mild,
pleasant. The furious sea and the burning sun were torturing the
land and the people were poor, thin, ever hungry; misery, was
there, ever present and death was so easy, easier than birth,
breeding indifference and decay. The well-to-do were indifferent
too, dull, except in making money or seeking power or in building
a bridge; they were very clever at this kind of thing, getting more
and more – more knowledge, more capacity – but always losing and
there is always death. It is so final, it cannot be deceived, no
argument, however subtle and cunning, can ward it off; it is always
there. You cannot build walls against it but you can against life;
you can deceive it, run away from it, go to the temple, believe in
saviours, go to the moon; you can do anything with life and sorrow
is there and death. You can hide from sorrow but not from death.
Even at that distance you could hear the waves thundering away
and the palm trees were against the red evening sky. The pools and
the canal were flashing with the setting sun.
Every kind of motive drives us, every action has a motive and
so we have no love. Nor do we love what we are doing. We think
we cannot act, be, live without a motive and so make our existence
a dull trivial thing. We use function to acquire status; function is
only a means to something else. Love for the thing itself doesn’t
exist and so everything becomes shoddy and relationship a dreaded
affair. Attachment is only a means to cover up our own
shallowness, loneliness, insufficiency; envy only breeds hate. Love
has no motive and because there is no love, every kind of motive
creeps in. To live without is not difficult; it requires integrity not conformity to ideas, beliefs. To have integrity is to be self-critically
aware, aware of what one is from moment to moment.
10th It was a very young moon that seemed to be hanging
between the palm trees; it wasn’t there yesterday; it might have
been hiding behind the clouds, shyly avoiding, for it was just a slip
like a delicate golden curving line, and between the palm trees,
dark and solemn, it was a miracle of delight. Clouds were
gathering to hide her but she was there open, tender and so close.
The palm trees were silent, austere, harsh and the rice fields were
turning yellow with age. The evening was full of talk among the
leaves and the sea was thundering some miles away. The villagers
were unaware of the beauty of the evening; they were used to it;
they accepted everything, their poverty, their hunger, the dust, the
squalor and the gathering clouds. One gets used to anything, to
sorrow and to happiness; if you didn’t get used to things you would
be more miserable, more disturbed. It is better to be insensitive,
dull than to invite more trouble; die slowly, easier that way. You
can find economic and psychological reasons for all this but the
fact remains, with the well-to-do and with the poor, that it is
simpler to get used to things, going to the office, factory, for the
next thirty years, the boredom and the futility of it all; but one has
to live, one has responsibility and so it is safer to get used to
everything. We get used to love, to fear and to death. Habit
becomes goodness and virtue and even escapes and gods. A habit-
ridden mind is a shallow, dull-witted mind. 11th Dawn was slow in
coming; the stars were still brilliant and the trees were still
withdrawn; no bird was calling, not even the small owls that rattled
through the night from tree to tree. It was strangely quiet except for the roar of the sea. There was that smell of many flowers, rotting
leaves and damp ground; the air was very very still and the smell
was everywhere. The earth was waiting for the dawn and the
coming day; there was expectation, patience and a strange stillness.
Meditation went on with that stillness and that stillness was love; it
was not the love of something or of someone, the image and the
symbol, the word and the pictures. It was simply love, without
sentiment, without feeling. It was something complete in itself,
naked, intense, without root and direction. The sound of that
faraway bird was that love; it was the direction and distance, it was
there without time and word. It wasn’t an emotion, that fades and is
cruel; the symbol, the word can be substituted but not the thing.
Being naked, it was utterly vulnerable and so indestructible. It had
that unapproachable strength of that otherness, the unknowable,
which was coming through the trees and beyond the sea.
Meditation was the sound of that bird calling out of that emptiness
and the roar of the sea, thundering against the beach. Love can only
be in utter emptiness. The greying dawn was there far away on the
horizon and the dark trees were more dark and intense. In
meditation there is no repetition, a continuity of habit; there is
death of everything known and the flowering of the unknown. The
stars had faded and the clouds were awake with the coming sun.
Experience destroys clarity and understanding. Experience is
sensation, response to various kinds of stimuli, and every
experience thickens the walls that enclose, however expanding and
wide the experience. Accumulating knowledge is mechanical, all
additive processes are, and are necessary for mechanical existence,
but knowledge is time-binding. The craving for experience is endless as all sensation is. The cruelty of ambition is the furthering
of experience, in sensation of power and the hardening in capacity.
Experience cannot bring about humility which is the essence of
virtue. In humility alone there is learning and learning is not the
acquisition of knowledge.
A crow began the morning and every bird in the garden joined
in and suddenly everything was awake and the breeze was among
the leaves and there was splendour.
13th There was a long stretch of black clouds heavy with rain,
from horizon to horizon, north, south, and white were the breakers;
it was pouring in the north and slowly coming south, and from the
bridge over the river there was a long white line of waves against
the black horizon. Buses, cars, bicycles and naked feet were
making their way across the bridge and rain was coming in a fury.
The river was empty, as it generally is at that time and the water
was as dark as the sky; there wasn’t even that lovely heron and it
was deserted. Across the bridge was part of the big town, crowded,
noisy, dirty, pretentious, prosperous, and a little way further to the
left were the mud huts, dilapidated buildings, small, unclean shops,
a small factory and a crowded road, a cow lying right in the middle
of it, the buses and cars going around it. There were streaks of
bright red towards the west but they too were being covered up by
the coming rain. Past beyond the police station, over a narrow
bridge, is the road among the rice fields, going south, away from
the noisy filthy town. Then it began to rain, heavy sharp downpour
that made puddles in a second in the road and there was running
water where there was dry land; it was a furious rain, an exploding
rain that washed, cleansed, purified the earth. The villagers were soaked to the skin but they didn’t seem to mind; they went on with
their laughter and chatter, their naked feet in the puddles. The little
hut with the oil lamp was leaking, the buses roared by, splattering
everybody, and the cycles, with their feeble lamps, passed with a
tinkle, into the heavy rain.
Everything was being washed clean, the past and the present,
there was no time, no future. Every step was timeless, and thought,
a thing of time, stopped; it could not go further or go back, it had
no existence. And every drop of that furious rain was the river, the
sea and the unmelting snow. There was total, complete emptiness
and in it were creation, love and death, not separate. You had to
watch your step, the buses passed almost touching you.
15th It was a beautiful evening; a few clouds had gathered
around the setting sun; there were a few wandering clouds, heavy
with burning colour and the young moon was caught among them.
The roar of the sea came through the casuanina and the palm,
softening the fury. The tall, straight palms were black against the
bright, burning rose of the sky and a whole group of white water-
birds were going north, group after group, their thin legs stretched
out behind them, their wings moving slowly. And a long line of
creaking bullock carts were making their way to the town, laden
with the firewood, the felled casuarinas. The road was crowded for
a while and became almost deserted as you went further on and as
it got darker. Just as the sun sets, quietly there comes over the land
a strange sense of peace, a gentleness, a cleansing. It is not a
reaction; it is there in the town with all its noises, squalor, bustle
and milling people; it is there in that little patch of neglected earth;
it is there where that tree is with a coloured kite caught in it; it is there in that empty street, across the temple; it is everywhere, only
one has to be empty of the day. And that evening, along that road,
it was there, softly wooing you away from everything and
everybody, and as it got darker, it became more intense and
beautiful. The stars were among the palms and Orion was between
them, coming out of the sea, and Pleiades was beyond their reach,
already three-quarters of the journey done. The villagers were
getting to know us, wanted to talk to us, sell us some land, so that
we would be among them. And as the evening advanced that
otherness descended with exploding bliss and the brain was as
motionless as those trees, without a single leaf stirring. Everything
became more intense, every colour, every shape and in that pale
moonlight all the wayside puddles were the waters of life.
Everything must go, be wiped away, not to receive it but the brain
must be utterly still, sensitive, to watch, to see. Like a flood that
covers the dry parched land it came full of delight and clarity and it
17th** It was long before dawn when the sharp cry of a bird
woke up the night for an instant and the light of that cry faded
away. And the trees remained dark, motionless, melting into the
air; it was a soft quiet night, endlessly alive; it was awake, there
was movement; there was a deep stirring with utter silence. Even
the village next door, with its many dogs, always barking, was
quiet. It was a strange stillness, terribly potent, destructively alive.
It was so alive and still that you were afraid to move; so your body
froze into immobility and the brain, which had awakened with that
sharp cry of the bird, had become still, with heightened sensitivity.
It was a brilliant night with the stars in a cloudless sky; they seemed so close and the Southern Cross was just over the trees,
sparkling in the warm air. Everything was very quiet. Meditation is
never in time; time cannot bring about mutation; it can bring about
change which needs to be changed again, like all reforms;
meditation that springs out of time is always binding, there is no
freedom in it and without freedom there is always choice and

* That morning he gave the first of eight talks in Madras,
continuing until December 17th.
** The day of his last talk.

High up in the mountains, among the barren rocks with not a tree
or bush, was a little stream, coming out of massive,
unapproachable rock; it was hardly a stream, it was a trickle. As it
came down it made a waterfall, just a murmur, and it came down,
down to the valley, and it was already shouting of its strength, the
long way it would go, through towns, valleys, woods and open
spaces. It was going to be an irresistible river, sweeping over its
banks, purifying itself as it went along, crashing over rocks,
flowing into far places, endlessly flowing to the sea.* It wasn’t
getting to the sea that mattered, but being a river, so wide, so deep,
rich and splendid; it would enter the sea and disappear into the
vast, bottomless waters but the sea was far away, many a thousand
miles, but from now until then it was life, beauty and ceaseless
merriment; none could stop that, not even the factories and dams. It
was really a marvellous river, wide, deep, with so many cities on
its banks, so carelessly free and never abandoning itself. All life
was there upon its banks, green fields, forests, solitary houses,
death, love and destruction; there were long, wide bridges over it,
graceful and well-used. Other streams and rivers joined it but she
was the mother of all rivers, the little ones and the big ones. She
was always full, ever purifying herself, and of an evening it was a
blessing to watch her, with deepening colour in the clouds and her
waters golden. But the little trickle so far away, amongst those
gigantic rocks which seemed so concentrated in producing it, was the beginning of life and its ending was beyond its banks and the
Meditation was like that river, only it had no beginning and no
ending; it began and its ending was its beginning. There was no
cause and its movement was its renewal. It was always new, it
never gathered to become old; it never got sullied for it had no
roots in time. It is good to meditate, not forcing it, not making any
effort, beginning with a trickle and going beyond time and space,
where thought and feeling cannot enter, where experience is not.
19th It was a beautiful morning, fairly cool and dawn was far
away still; the few trees and the bushes around the house seemed to
have become a forest during the night and were hiding many
serpents and wild animals and the moonlight with a thousand
shadows deepened the impression; they were large trees, far above
the house and they were all silent and waiting for dawn. And
suddenly, through the trees and from beyond came a song, a
religious song of devotion; the voice was rich and the singer was
putting his heart into it and the song rode far into the moonlit night.
As you listened to it, you rode on the wave of the sound and you
were of it and beyond it, beyond thought and feeling. Then there
was another sound of an instrument, very faint but clear.
26th The river is wide and splendid here; it is deep and as
smooth as a lake, without a ripple. There are a few boats, mostly
fishermen’s and a large boat, with a torn sail, carrying sand to the
town, beyond the bridge. What is really beautiful is the stretch of
the water towards the east and the bank on the other side; the river
looks like an enormous lake, full of untold beauty and space to
match the sky; it is a flat country and the sky fills the earth and the horizon is beyond the trees, far far away. The trees are on the other
bank, beyond the recently sown wheat; there are the green
spreading fields and beyond them are the trees, with villages
among them. The river rises very high during the rains and brings
with it rich silt and the winter wheat is sown as the river goes
down; it is a marvellous green, so rich and plentiful, and the long,
wide bank is a carpet of enchanting green. From this side of the
river the trees look like an impenetrable forest but there are
villages tucked among them. But there is one tree, huge, its roots
exposed, that is the glory of the bank; there is a little white temple
under it but its gods are as the water that goes by and the tree
remains; it has thick foliage with long-tailed leaves and birds come
across the river for the night; it towers over the trees and you can
see it as far as you care to walk on this side down the river. It has
the presence of beauty, the dignity of that which is alone. But those
villages are crowded small, filthy, and human beings foul the earth
around them. From this side, the white walls of the villages among
the trees look fresh, gentle and of great beauty. Beauty is not man-
made; the things of man arouse feelings, sentiment, but these have
nothing to do with beauty. Beauty can never be put together,
neither the thing built, nor in the museum. One must go beyond all
this, all personal taste and choice, be cleansed of all emotion for
love is beauty. The river curves majestically as it flows east,** past
villages, towns, and deep woods but here, just below the town and
the bridge, the river and its opposite bank is the essence of all
rivers and banks; every river has its own song, its own delight and
mischief but here out of its very silence, it contains the earth and
the heavens. It is a sacred river, as all rivers are, but again here, a part of the long, winding river, there is a gentleness of immense
depth and destruction. Looking at it now, you would be enchanted
by its mellow age and tranquillity. And you would lose all earth
and heaven. In that quiet silence that strange otherness came and
meditation lost its meaning. It was like a wave, coming from afar,
gathering momentum as it came, crashing on the shore, sweeping
everything before it. Only there was no time and distance; it was
there with impenetrable strength, with destructive vitality and so
the essence of beauty which is love. No imagination could possibly
conjure up all this, no deep hidden impulse can ever project this
immensity. Every thought and every feeling, every desire and
compulsion was totally absent. It was not an experience;
experience implies recognition, an accumulating centre, memory
and a continuity. It was not an experience; only the immature crave
for experience and thereby are caught in illusion; it was simply an
event, a happening, a fact, like a sunset, like death and the curving
river. Memory could not catch it in its net and keep it and thereby
destroy it. Time and memory could not hold it nor thought pursue
it. It was a flash in which all time and eternity were consumed,
without leaving any ashes, memory. Meditation is the complete
and total emptying of the mind, not in order to receive, to gain, to
arrive, but a denudation without motive; it is really emptying the
mind of the known, conscious and unconscious, of every
experience, thought and feeling. Negation is the very essence of
freedom; assertion and positive pursuit is bondage.
30th Two crows were fighting, they were viciously angry with
each other; there was fury in their voices, both were on the ground
but one had the advantage driving its hard, black beak into the other. Shouting at them from the window did no good and one was
going to be killed. A passing crow dived in suddenly breaking its
flight, calling, cawing more loudly than the two on the ground; it
landed beside them, beating its black, shiny wings against them. In
a second, half a dozen more crows came, all cawing away furiously
and several of them with their wings and beaks separated the two
who were intent on killing each other. They might kill other birds,
other things, but there was going to be no murder amongst their
own kind and that would be the end of them all. The two still
wanted to fight it out but the others were telling them off and
presently they all flew away and there was quietness in the little
open space among the trees by the river. It was late in the
afternoon, the sun was behind the trees and the really bitter cold
was gone and all the birds, all day were singing, calling and
making all those pleasant sounds they do. Parrots were flying in
crazily for the night; it was a bit early but they were coming in; the
large tamarind tree could hold quite a lot of them; their colour was
almost the colour of the leaves but their green was more intense,
more alive; if you watched carefully you would see the difference
and also you would see their brilliant curving be which they used
to bite and to climb; they were rather clumsy among the branches,
going from one to the other but they were the light of heavens in
movement; their voices were harsh and sharp, and their flight never
straight, but their colour was the spring of the earth. Earlier, in the
morning, on a branch of that tree, two small owls were sunning
themselves, facing the rising sun; they were so still you would not
have noticed them, they were the colour of the branch, mottled
grey, unless by chance, you saw them coming out of their hole in the tamarind tree. It had been bitterly cold, most unusual, and two
golden green flycatchers dropped dead that morning from the cold;
one was the male and the other female, they must have been mates;
they died on the game instant and they were still soft to the touch.
They were really golden green, with long, curving bills; they were
so delicate, so extraordinarily alive still. Colour is very strange;
colour is god and those two were the glory of light; the colour
would remain, though the machinery of life had come to an end.
Colour was more enduring than the heart; it was beyond time and
But thought can never solve the ache of sorrow. You can reason
in and out but it would be there still after the long, complicated
journey of thought. Thought can never resolve human problems;
thought is mechanical and sorrow is not, Sorrow is as strange as
love, but sorrow keeps away love. You can resolve sorrow
completely but you cannot invite love. Sorrow is self-pity with all
its anxieties, fears, guilt but all this cannot be washed away by
thought. Thought breeds the thinker and between them sorrow is
begotten. The ending of sorrow is the freedom from the known.
31st There were many fishing boats as the sun was deep in the
west and the river suddenly was awake with laughter and loud talk;
there were twenty-three of them and each boat held two or three
men. The river is wide here and these few boats seemed to have
taken charge of the waters; they were racing, shouting, calling to
each other in excited voices, like children at play; they were very
poor people, in dirty rags but just now they had no cares and loud
talk and laughter filled the air. The river was sparkling and the
slight breeze made patterns on the water. The crows were beginning now to fly back from across the river to their
accustomed trees; the swallows were flying low, almost touching
the water.
January 1st, 1962*** A winding stream makes its way to the
wide river; it comes through a dirty part of the town made filthy by
everything imaginable and comes to the river almost exhausted;
near where it meets the big one, there is a rickety bridge over it
made up of bamboos, pieces of rope, and straw; when it is almost
collapsing, they put a pole in the soft bed of the stream and more
straw and mud and tie it up with not too thick a rope and the rope
has many knots. The whole thing is a ramshackle affair; it must
have been fairly straight once but now it dips almost touching the
lazy stream and as you walk across it, you hear the mud and the
straw dropping into the water. But somehow it must be fairly
strong; it is a narrow bridge; it is rather difficult to avoid touching
another coming the other way. Bicycles loaded with milk cans,
happily go across it, without the least concern for themselves or for
others; it is always busy with villagers going to town with their
produce and coming back in the evening to their villages, worn out,
carrying something or other, tongs, kites, oil, a piece of wood, a
slab of rock, and things they can’t pick up in their own village.
They are dressed in rags, dirty, ill and endlessly patient, walking,
in naked feet, endless miles; they have not the energy to revolt, to
chase all the politicians out of the country but then they themselves
would soon become politicians, exploiting, cunning, inventing
ways and means to hold on to power, the evil that destroys the
people. We were crossing that bridge with a huge buffalo, several
cycles and the crossing villagers; it was ready to collapse but somehow we all got across it and the cumbersome animal didn’t
seem to mind at all. Going up the bank following the well-worn
sandy path, past a village with an ancient well, you came into the
open, flat country. There are mangoes and tamarinds and fields of
winter wheat; it is a flat country stretching away mile upon mile till
it meets far away, the foothills and the eternal mountains. The path
is ancient, many thousand years and countless pilgrims have
walked upon it, with ruined temples.**** As the path turns, you
catch the sight of the river, between trees in the distance.
It was a lovely evening, cool, silent and the sky was immense,
no tree, no land could contain it; somehow, there was no horizon,
the trees and the endless flat earth melted into the expanding sky. It
was pale, delicate blue and the sunset had left a golden haze where
the horizon should have been. Birds were calling from their
sheltering trees, a goat was bleating and far away a train was
whistling; some village folk, all women, were huddled around a
fire and strangely they too had fallen silent. The mustard was in
flower, a spreading yellow and from a village across the fields a
column of smoke went straight up into the air. The silence was
trangely penetrating; it went through you and beyond you; it was
without a movement, without a wave; you walked in it, you felt it,
you breathed it, you were of it. It was not that you brought this
silence into being, by the usual tricks of the brain. It was there and
you were of it; you were not experiencing it; there was no thought
that could experience, that could recollect, gather. You were not
separate from it, to observe, to analyse. Only that was there and
nothing else. Time, by the watch, was getting late and, by the
watch, this miracle of silence lasted nearly half an hour but there was no duration, no time. You were walking back in it, past the
ancient well, the village, across the narrow bridge, into the room
that was dark. It was there and with it was the otherness,
overwhelming and welcoming. Love is not a word nor a feeling; it
was there with its impenetrable strength and the tenderness of a
new leaf, so easily destroyed. Pleiades was just overhead and Orion
was over the treetops and the brightest star was in the waters.
2nd The village***** boys were flying kites on the bank along
the river; they were yelling at the top of their voices, laughing,
chasing each other and wading into the river to get the fallen kites;
their excitement was contagious, for the old people, higher up the
bank, were watching them, shouting to them, encouraging them. It
seemed to be the evening entertainment of the whole village; even
the starved, mangy dogs were barking; everyone was taking part in
the excitement. They were all half-starved, there wasn’t a fat one
among them, even among the old; the older they were the thinner
they were; even the children were all so thin but they seemed to
have plenty of energy. All of them had torn, dirty rags on, patched
with different cloths of many colours. And they were all cheerful,
even the old and ailing ones; they seemed to be unaware of their
own misery, of their physical weakness, for many of them carried
heavy bundles; they had amazing patience and they had to have it
for death was there, very close and so also the agony of life;
everything was there at the same time, death, birth, sex, poverty,
starvation, excitement, tears. They had a place, under some trees
higher up the bank, not far from a ruined old temple to bury their
dead; there were plenty of little babies who would know hunger,
the smell of unwashed bodies and the smell of death. But the river was there all the time, sometimes threatening the village but now
quiet, placid with swallows flying so low, almost touching the
water, which was the colour of gentle fire. The river was
everything, they occasionally bathed in it, they washed their
clothes in it and their thin bodies, and they worshipped it and put
flowers, when they could get them, in it to show their respect; they
fished in it and died beside it. The river was so indifferent to their
joy and sorrow; it was so deep, there was such weight and power
behind it; it was terribly alive and so dangerous. But now it was
quiet, not a ripple on it and every swallow had a shadow on it; they
didn’t fly very far, they would fly low for about a hundred feet, go
up a little, turn and come down again and fly for another hundred
feet or so, until darkness came. There were small water birds, their
tails bobbing up and down, swift in their flight; there were larger
ones, almost the colour of the damp earth, greyish-brown, wading
up and down the water’s edge. But the marvel of it all was the sky,
so vast, boundless, without horizon. The late afternoon light was
soft, clear and very gentle; it left no shadow and every bush tree
and bird was alone. The flashing river by day was now the light of
the sky, enchanted, dreaming and lost in its beauty and love. In this
light, all things cease to exist, the heart that was crying and the
brain that was cunning; pleasure and pain went away leaving only
light, transparent, gentle and caressing, It was light; thought and
feeling had no part in it, they could never give light; they were not
there, only this light when the sun is well behind the walls of the
city and not a cloud in the sky. You cannot see this light unless you
know the timeless movement of meditation; the ending of thought
is this movement. But love is not the way of thought or feeling.       It was very quiet, not a leaf was stirring and it was dark; all the
stars that could fill the river were there and they spilled over into
the sky. The brain was completely still but very alive and
watching, watching without a watcher, without a centre from
which it was watching; nor was there any sensation. The otherness
was there, deep within at a depth that was lost; it was action,
wiping away everything without leaving a mark of what has been
or what is. There was no space in which to have a border nor time
in which thought could shape itself.
3rd There is something curiously pleasant to walk, alone, along
a path, deep in the country, which has been used for several
thousand years by pilgrims; there are very old trees along it,
tamarind and mango, and it passes through several villages. It
passes between green fields of wheat; it is soft underfoot, fine, dry
powder, and it must become heavy clay in the wet season; the soft,
fine earth gets into your feet, into your nose and eyes, not too
much. There are ancient wells and temples and withering gods. The
land is flat, flat as the palm of the hand, stretching to the horizon, if
there is a horizon. The path has so many turns, in a few minutes it
faces in all the directions of a compass. The sky seems to follow
that path which is open and friendly. There are few paths like that
in the world though each has its own charm and beauty. There is
one [at Gstaad] that goes through the valley, gently climbing,
between rich pasturage, to be gathered for the winter to be given to
the cows; that valley is white with snow but then [when he was
there] it was the end of summer, full of flowers, with snow
mountains all around and there was a noisy stream going through
the valley; there was hardly anyone on that path and you walked on it in silence. Then there is another path [at Ojai], climbing steeply
by the side of a dry, dusty, crumbling mountain; it was rocky,
rough and slippery; there wasn’t a tree anywhere near, not even a
bush; a quail with her small new brood, over a dozen of them, was
there and further up you came upon a deadly rattler, all curled up,
ready to strike but giving you a fair warning. But now, this path
was not like any other; it was dusty, made foul by human beings
here and there, and there were ruined old temples with their
images; a large bull was having its fill among the growing grain,
unmolested; there were monkeys too and parrots, the light of the
skies. It was the path of a thousand humans for many thousand
years. As you walked on it, you were lost; you walked without a
single thought and there was the incredible sky and the trees with
heavy foliage and birds. There is a mango on that path that is
superb; it has so many leaves that the branches cannot be seen and
it is so old. As you walk on, there is no feeling at all; thought too
has gone but there is beauty. It fills the earth and the sky, every leaf
and blade of withering grass. It is there covering everything and
you are of it. You are not made to feel all this but it is there and
because you are not, it is there, without a word, without a
movement. You walk back in silence and fading light.
Every experience leaves a mark and every mark distorts
experience; so there is no experience which has not been.
Everything is old and nothing new. But this is not so. All the marks
of all experiences are wiped away; the brain, the storehouse of the
past, becomes completely quiet and motionless, without reaction,
but alive, sensitive; then it loses the past and is made new again.
It was there, that immensity, having no past, no future; it was there, without ever knowing the present. It filled the room,
expanding beyond all measure. 5th The sun comes out of the trees
and sets over the town and between the trees and the town is all
life, is all time. The river passes between them, deep, alive and
tranquil; many small boats go up and down it; some with large,
square sails, which carry wood, sand, cut stone and sometimes men
and women going back to their villages but mostly there are small
fishing boats, with lean dark men. They appear to be very happy,
voluble people, calling and shouting to each other though they are
all clad in rags, with not much to eat, inevitably with many
children. They cannot read and write; they have no outside
entertainment, no cinemas etc., but they amuse themselves singing,
in chorus, devotional songs or telling religious stories. They are all
very poor and life is very hard, disease and death are always there,
like the earth and the river. And that evening there were more
swallows than ever, flying low, almost touching the water and the
water was the colour of dying fire. Everything was so alive, so
intense; four or five fat puppies were playing around their thin
hungry mother; crows, many groups of them, were flying back to
the other bank; parrots were flying back to their trees, in their
flashing, screeching manner; a train was crossing the bridge and
the noise of it came far down the river and a woman was washing
herself in the cold river. Everything was struggling to live, a battle
for its very life and there is always death, to struggle every moment
of life and then to die. But between the rising of the sun and its
setting behind the walls of the city, time consumed all life, time
past and present ate man’s heart away; he existed in time and so
knew sorrow.       But the village men walking behind along the narrow path
beside the river, strung out one by one, somehow were part of the
man walking in front; there were eight of them and the old man
directly behind was coughing and spitting all the time and the
others were more or less walking silently. The man that was in
front was aware of them, their silence, their coughs, their weariness
after a long day; they were not agitated but quiet and if anything
cheerful. He was aware of them as he was aware of the glowing
river, of the gentle fire of the sky and the birds coming back to
their home; there was no centre from which he was seeing, feeling,
observing; all these imply the word, thought. There was no thought
but only these things. They were all walking fast and time had
ceased to be; those villagers were going back home to their hovels
and the man was going with them; they were part of him, not that
he was aware of them as being a part. They were flowing with the
river, flying with the birds and were as open and wide as the sky. It
was a fact and not imagination; imagination is a shoddy thing and
fact is a burning reality. All those nine were walking endlessly,
going nowhere and coming from nowhere; it was an endless
procession of life. Time and all identity had ceased, strangely.
When the man in front turned to walk back, all the villagers,
especially the old man who was so close, just behind him, saluted
as though they were age long friends. It was getting dark, the
swallows had gone; there were lights on the long bridge and the
trees were withdrawing into themselves. Far away a temple bell
was ringing.
7th There is a little canal, about a foot wide, that goes between
the green fields of wheat. There is a path along it and you can walk along it for quite a while, without meeting a soul. That evening it
was particularly quiet; there was a fat jay with startlingly bright
blue wings that was having a drink in that canal; it was fawn
coloured, with those sparkling blue wings; it wasn’t one of those
scolding jays; you could approach it fairly close without being
called names. It looked at you in wonderment and you looked at it
with exploding affection; it was fat and comfortable and very
beautiful. It waited to see what you would do and when you did
nothing, it grew calmer and presently flew away without a cry.
You had met in that bird all the birds ever brought into being; it
was that explosion that did it. It was not a well planned, thought-
out explosion; it just happened with an intensity and fury whose
very shock stopped all time. But you went along that narrow path,
past a tree which had become the symbol of a temple, for there
were flowers and a crudely painted image and the temple was a
symbol of something else and that something else was also a vast
symbol. Words, symbols, have become, like the flag, so
frighteningly important. Symbols were ashes which fed the mind
and the mind was barren and thought was born out of this waste. It
was clever, inventive, as all things are which come out of arid
nothingness. But the tree was splendid, full of leaves, sheltering
many birds; the earth around was swept and kept clean; they had
built a mud platform around the tree and on it was the image,
leaning against the thick trunk. The leaf was perishable and the
stone image was not; it would endure, destroying minds.
8th The early morning sun was on the water, shimmering,
almost blinding the eyes; a fisherman’s boat was crossing that
brilliant path and there was a slight fog among the trees, on the opposite bank. The river is never still, there is always a movement,
a dance of countless steps and this morning it was very alive,
making the trees, the bushes heavy and dull, except the birds which
were calling, singing, and the parrots as they screeched by. These
parrots lived in the tamarind tree beside the house and they would
be coming and going all day, restless in their flight. Their light
green bodies shone in the sun and their red curving beaks were
brighter as they flashed by. Their flight was fast and sharp and you
could see them among the green leaves if you looked carefully, and
once there they became clumsy and not so noisy as on their flight.
It was early but all the birds had been out long before the sun was
on the water. Even at that hour the river was awake with the light
of the heavens and meditation was a sharpening of the immensity
of the mind; the mind is never asleep, never completely unaware;
patches of it were, here and there sharpened by conflict and pain,
made dull by habit and passing satisfaction, and every pleasure left
a mark of longing. But all these darkened passages left no space for
the totality of the mind. These became enormously important and
always breeding more immediate significance and the immensity is
put aside for the little, the immediate. The immediate is the time of
thought and thought can never resolve any issue except the
mechanical. But meditation is not the way of the machine; it can
never be put together to get somewhere; it is not the boat to cross
to the other side. There is no shore, no arriving and, like love, it has
no motive. It is endless movement whose action is in time but not
of time. All action of the immediate, of time, is the ground of
sorrow; nothing can grow on it except conflict and pain. But
meditation is the awareness of this ground and choicelessly never letting a seed take root, however pleasant and however painful.
Meditation is the passing away of experience. And then only is
there clarity whose freedom is in seeing. Meditation is a strange
delight not to be bought on the market; no guru or disciple can ever
be of it; all following and leading have to cease as easily and
naturally as a leaf drops to the ground.
The immeasurable was there, filling the little space and all
space; it came as gently as the breeze comes over the water but
thought could not hold it and the past, time, was not capable of
measuring it.
9th Across the river, smoke was going up in a straight column;
it was a simple movement bursting into the sky. There wasn’t a
breath of air; there wasn’t a ripple on the river and every leaf was
still; the parrots were the only noisy movement as they flashed by.
Even the little fisherman’s boat did not disturb the water;
everything seemed to have frozen in stillness, except the smoke.
Even though it was going so straight up in the sky there was a
certain gaiety in it and freedom of total action. And beyond the
village and the smoke was the glowing sky of the evening. It had
been a cool day and the sky had been open and there was the light
of a thousand winters; it was short, penetrating and expansive; it
went with you everywhere, it wouldn’t leave you. Like perfume, it
was in the most unexpected places; it seemed to have entered into
the most secret corners of one’s being. It was a light that left no
shadow and every shadow lost its depth; because of it, all
substance lost its density; it was as though you looked through
everything, through the trees on the other side of the wall, through
your own self. Your self was as opaque as the sky and as open. It was intense and to be with it was to be passionate, not the passion
of feeling or desire, but a passion that would never wither or die. It
was a strange light, it exposed everything and made vulnerable,
and what had no protection was love. You couldn’t be what you
were, you were burnt out, without leaving any ashes and
unexpectedly there was not a thing but that light.
12th There was a little girl of ten or twelve leaning against a
post in the garden; she was dirty, her hair had not been washed for
many weeks, it was dusty and uncombed; her clothes were torn and
unwashed too, like herself. She had a long rag around her neck and
she was looking at some people who were having tea on the
verandah; she looked with complete indifference, without any
feeling, without any thought of what was going on; her eyes were
on the group downstairs and every parrot that screeched by made
no impression on her nor those soft earth-coloured doves that were
so close to her. She was not hungry, she was probably a daughter
of one of the servants for she seemed familiar with the place and
fairly well-fed. She held herself as though she was a grown-up
young lady, full of assurance and there was about her a strange
aloofness. As you watched her against the river and the trees, you
suddenly felt you were watching the tea party, without any
emotion, without any thought, totally indifferent to everything and
to whatever might happen. And when she walked away to that tree
overlooking the river, it was you that was walking away, it was you
that sat on the ground, dusty and rough; it was you who picked up
the piece of stick and threw it over the bank, alone, unsmiling and
never cared for. Presently you got up and wandered off around the
house. And strangely, you were the doves, the squirrel that raced up the tree and that unwashed, dirty chauffeur and the river that
went by, so quietly. Love is not sorrow nor is it made up of
jealousy but it is dangerous for it destroys. It destroys everything
that man has built around himself except bricks. It cannot build
temples nor reform the rotting society; it can do nothing, but
without it nothing can be done, do what you will. Every computer
and automation can alter the shape of things and give man leisure
which will become another problem when there are already so
many problems. Love has no problem and that is why it is so
destructive and dangerous. Man lives by problems, those
unresolved and continuous things; without them, he wouldn’t know
what to do; he would be lost and in the losing gain nothing. So
problems multiply endlessly; in the resolving of the one there is
another, but death, of course, is destruction; it is not love. Death is
old age, disease and the problems which no computer can solve. It
is not the destruction that love brings; it is not the death that love
brings. It is the ashes of a fire that has been carefully built up and it
is the noise of automatic machines that go on working without
interruption. Love, death, creation are inseparable; you cannot have
one and deny the others; you cannot buy it on the market or in any
church; these are the last places where you would find it. But if you
don’t look and if you have no problems, not one, then perhaps it
might come when you are looking the other way.
It is the unknown, and everything you know must burn itself
away, without leaving ashes; the past, rich or sordid, must be left
as casually, without any motive as that girl throwing a stick over
the bank. The burning of the known is the action of the unknown.
Far away a flute is playing not too well and the sun is setting, a great big red ball behind the walls of the town, and the river is the
colour of gentle fire and every bird is coming in for the night.
13th Dawn was just coming and already, every bird seemed to
be awake, calling, singing, endlessly repeating one or two notes;
the crows were the loudest. There were so many of them, cawing to
each other and you had to listen with care to catch the notes of
other birds. The parrots were already screeching in their flight,
flashing by and in that pale light their lovely green was already
splendid. Not a leaf was stirring and the river was running silver,
wide, expansive, deep with the night; the night had done something
to it; it had become richer, deep with the earth and inseparable; it
was alive with an intensity that was destructive in its purity. The
other bank was still asleep, the trees and the wide green stretches
of wheat were still mysterious and quiet and far away a temple bell
was ringing, without music. Everything was beginning to wake up
now, shouting with the coming sun. Every caw was more loud and
every screech and the colour of every leaf and flower, and strong
was the smell of the earth. The sun came over the leaves of trees
and made a golden path across the river. It was a beautiful morning
and its beauty would remain, not in memory; memory is shoddy; it
is a dead thing and memory can never hold beauty or love. It
destroys them. It is mechanical, having its use, but beauty is not of
memory. Beauty is always new but the new has no relationship
with the old, which is of time. 14th****** The moon was quite
young yet it gave enough light for shadows; there were plenty of
shadows and they were very still. Along that narrow path, every
shadow seemed to be alive, whispering amongst themselves, every
shadowy leaf chattering to its neighbour. The shape of the leaf and the heavy trunk were clear on the ground and the river down below
was of silver; it was wide, silent and there was a deep current
which left no mark on the surface. Even the afternoon breeze had
died and there were no clouds to gather around the setting sun;
higher up in the sky, there was a solitary rose-coloured whisper of
a cloud that remained motionless till it disappeared into the night.
Every tamarind and mango was withdrawing for the night and all
the birds were silent, taking shelter, deep among the leaves. A little
owl was sitting on the telegraph wire and just when you were
below it, it flew off on those extraordinary silent wings. After
delivering milk, the cycles were coming back, the empty tins
rattling; there were so many of them, single or in groups, but for all
their chatter and noise that peculiar silence of the open country and
immense sky remained. That evening nothing could disturb it, not
even a goods train crossing the steel bridge. There is a little path to
the right wandering among the green fields and as you walk on it,
far away from everything, from faces, tears, suddenly, you are
aware that something is taking place. You know it is not
imagination, desire, taking to some fancy or to some forgotten
experience or the revival of some pleasure and hope; you know
well it is none of these things; you have been through this
examination before and you brush all these aside, swiftly with a
gesture and you are aware something is taking place. It is as
unexpected as that big bull that comes through the darkening
evening; it is there with insistency and immensity, that otherness,
which no word or symbol can catch; it is there filling the sky and
the earth and every little thing in it. You and that little villager who
without a word,passes you by, are of it. At that timeless time, only there is that immensity, neither thought nor feeling and the brain
utterly quiet. All meditative sensitivity is over, only that incredible
purity is there. It is the purity of strength, impenetrable and
unapproachable but it was there. Everything stood still, there was
no movement, no stir and even the sound of the whistle of the train
was in the stillness. It accompanied you as you walked back to
your room and it was there, too, for it had never left you.
16th With the heavily-laden camel, we all crossed the new
bridge across the little stream, the cyclists, the village women
returning from town, a mangy dog and an old man with a long,
white beard and haughty. The old, rickety bridge was taken away
and there was this new bridge, made of heavy poles, bamboos,
straw and mud; it was strongly built and the camel didn’t hesitate to
cross it; it was haughtier than the old man, its head right up in the
air, disdainful and rather smelly. We all went over the bridge and
most of the villagers went down along the river and the camel went
the other way. It was a dusty path, fine dry clay and the camel left
a big wide imprint and couldn’t be coaxed to walk along any faster
than it wanted to; it was carrying sacks of grain and it seemed so
utterly indifferent to everything; it went past the ancient well and
ruined temples and its driver his best to make it walk faster,
slapping it with his bare hands. There is another path that turns off
to the right, past the flowering yellow mustard, flowering peas and
rich green wheat fields; this path is not used much and it is pleasant
to walk along there. The mustard had a slight smell but the pea was
a little stronger, and the wheat, which was beginning to form its
ear, had its own smell too and the combination of the three filled
the evening air with a fragrance that was not too strong, pleasant but unobtrusive. It was a beautiful evening, with the setting sun
behind the trees; on that path you were far away from anywhere,
though there were scattered villages all around but you were far
away and nothing could come near you. It was not in space, time or
distance; you were far away and there was no measure. The depth
was not in fathoms; there was a depth that had no height, no
circumference. An occasional village passed you by, carrying the
few meagre things that he had bought in town and as he went by,
almost touching you, had not come near you. You were far away,
in some unknown world that had no dimension; even if you wanted
to know, you couldn’t know it. It was too far away from the known;
it had no relationship with the known. It wasn’t a thing you
experience; there was nothing to be experienced, and besides all
experiencing is always in the field of the known, recognized by
that which has been. You were far away, immeasurably far, but the
trees, the yellow flowers and the ear of the wheat were
astonishingly close, closer than your thought and marvellously
alive, with intensity and beauty that could never wither. Death,
creation and love were there and you didn’t know which was which
and you were part of it; they were not separate, something to be
divided and argued over. They were inseparable, closely
interrelated, not the relationship of word and action, expression.
Thought could not shape it, nor feeling cover it, these are too
mechanical, too slow, having their roots in the known. Imagination
is within their ground and could never come near. Love, death,
creation was a fact, an actual reality, as the body they were burning
on the river-bank under the tree. The tree, the fire and the tears
were real, were undeniable facts but they were the actualities of the known and the freedom of the known, and in that freedom those
three are – inseparable. But you have to go very far and yet be very
The man on the bicycle was singing in a rather hoarse and tired
voice, coming back with the rattling empty milk- cans from the
city; he was eager to talk to someone and as he passed by he said
something, hesitated, recovered and went on. The moon was
casting shadows now, dark and almost transparent ones and the
smell of the night was deepening. And around the bend of the path
was the river; it seemed to be lighted from within, with a thousand
candles; the light was soft with silver and pale gold and utterly
still, bewitched by the moon. Pleiades was overhead and Orion was
well up in the sky and a train was puffing up the grade to cross the
bridge. Time had stopped and beauty was there with love and
death. And on the new bamboo bridge there was no one, not even a
dog. The little stream was full of stars.
20th It was long before dawn, a clear starlit sky; there was a
slight mist over the river and the bank on the other side was just
visible; the train was chugging up the grade to cross the bridge; it
was a goods train and these trains always puff up the incline in a
special way, long, slow strokes of heavy puffs, unlike the
passengers [trains], who have quick short bursts and are on the
bridge almost immediately. This goods train, in that vast silence,
made a rattling roar, more noisy than ever before but nothing
seemed to disturb that silence in which all movements were lost. It
was an impenetrable silence, clear, strong, penetrating; there was
an urgency which no time could gather. The pale star was clear and
the trees were dark in their sleep. Meditation was the awareness of all these things and the going beyond all these and time. The
movement in time is thought and thought cannot go beyond its own
bondage to time and is never free. Dawn was coming over the trees
and the river, a pale sign as yet but the stars were losing their
brilliancy and already there was a call of the morning, a bird in a
tree quite close by. But that immense silence still persisted and it
would always be there, though the birds and the noise of man
would continue.

* He was now in Benares and was recalling the source of the
Ganges which he had once visited. He stayed at Rajghat, just north
of Benares, on the banks of the Ganges, where there is a
Krishnamurti School. The Indians call Benares: Benaras or
** Although Rajghat is north of Benares it is downstream, for the
river curves north-east at this point before flowing south again.
*** On this day he gave the first of seven talks at Rajghat.
**** The pilgrims’ path runs-through the Rajghat estate, linking
Kashi with Sarnath where the Buddha preached his first sermon
after Enlightenment.
***** These villagers were Moslems.
****** He gave the last of his seven talks that morning.

The cold* had been too severe, it had been below freezing; the
hedge had been burned brown, the brown leaves had fallen off;
the lawn was grey-brown, the colour of the earth; except for a
few yellow pansies and roses, the garden was bare. It had been
too cold and the poor, as usual, were suffering and dying;
population was exploding and people were dying. You saw
them shivering, with hardly a thing on, in dirty rags; an old
woman was shaking from head to foot, hugging herself, the
few teeth chattering; a young woman was washing herself and
a torn cloth by the cold river [the Jumna] and an old man was
coughing deeply and heavily and children were playing,
laughing and shouting. It was an exceptionally cold winter they
said and many were dying. The red rose and the yellow pansy
were intensely alive, burning with colour; you couldn’t take
your eyes off them and those two colours seemed to expand
and fill the empty garden; even though the children were
shouting, that shivering old woman was everywhere; the
incredible yellow and red and the inevitable death. Colour was
god and death was beyond the gods. It was everywhere and so
was colour. You could not separate the two and if you did then
there was no living. Neither could you separate love from
death and if you did it was no longer beauty. Every colour is
separated, made much of but there is only colour and when you
see every different colour as only colour, then only is there splendour in colour. The red rose and the yellow pansy were
not different colours but colour that filled the bare garden with
glory. The sky was pale blue, blue of a cold, rainless winter but
it was the blue of all colour. You saw it and you were of it; the
noises of the city faded but colour, imperishable, endured.
Sorrow has been made respectable; a thousand explanations
have been given to it; it has been made a way to virtue, to
enlightenment, it has been enshrined in churches and in every
house it is made much of and given sanctity. Everywhere there
is sympathy for it, with tears and blessing so sorrow continues;
every heart knows it, abiding with it or escaping from it, which
only gives to it greater strength, to flourish and darken the
heart. But sorrow is the way of self-pity, with its immeasurable
memories. Sorrow has its root in memory, in the dead things of
yesterday. But yesterday is always very important; it is the
machinery that gives significance to life; it is the richness of
the known, the things possessed. The source of thought is in
the yesterday, the yesterdays that give meaning to a life of
sorrow. It is yesterday that is sorrow and without cleansing the
mind of yesterday there will always be sorrow. You cannot
clean it by thought for thought is the continuation of yesterday
and so also are the many ideas and ideals. The loss of
yesterday is the beginning of self-pity and the dullness of
sorrow. Sorrow sharpens thought but thought breeds sorrow.
Thought is memory. The self-critical awareness of this whole
process, choicelessly frees the mind from sorrow. Seeing this
complex fact, without opinion, without judgment, is the ending
of sorrow. The known must come to an end, without effort, for the unknown to be.
22nd The surface was highly polished; every line, every
curl of the hair was studied and had its place, every gesture and
smile was contained and all movement was examined before
the glass. She had several children and the hair was turning
grey; she must have money and there was a certain elegance
and aloofness. The car was highly polished too; the chromium
was bright and sparkling in the morning sun; the white-walled
tyres were clean, without any mark and the seats spotless. It
was a good car and could go fast, taking the corners very well.
This intense and expanding progress was bringing security and
superficiality, and sorrow and love could so easily be explained
and contained and there are always different tranquillizers and
different gods and new myths replacing the old. It was a bright,
cold morning; the slight fog was gone with the rising sun and
the air was still. The fat birds, with yellowish legs and beak,
were out on the little lawn, very pleased, inclined to be
talkative; they had black and white wings with dark fawn-
coloured bodies. They were extraordinarily cheerful, hopping
about chasing each other. Then the grey-throated crows came
and the fat ones flew off scolding noisily. Their long, heavy
beaks shone and their black bodies sparkled; they were
watching every movement you were making and nothing was
going to escape them and they knew that big dog was coming
through the hedge before he was aware of them but they were
off cawing and the little lawn was empty.
The mind is always occupied with something or other,
however silly or supposedly important. It is like that monkey always restless, always chattering, moving from one thing to
another and desperately trying to be quiet. To be empty,
completely empty, is not a fearsome thing; it is absolutely
essential for the mind to be unoccupied, to be empty,
unenforced, for then only it can move into unknown depths.
Every occupation is really quite superficial, with that lady or
with the so-called saint. An occupied mind can never penetrate
into its own depth, into its own untrodden spaces. It is this
emptiness that gives space to the mind and into this space time
cannot enter. Out of this emptiness there is creation whose love
is death.
23rd The trees were bare, every leaf had fallen off, even the
thin, delicate stems were breaking off; the cold had been too
much for them; there were other trees which kept their leaves
but they were not too green, some of them were turning brown.
It was an exceptionally cold winter; there was heavy snow all
along the lower ranges of the Himalayas, several feet thick and
in the plains a few hundred miles away it was quite cold; there
was heavy frost on the ground and flowers were not blooming;
the lawns were burnt. There were a few roses whose colour
filled the little garden and the yellow pansies. But on the roads
and public places you saw the poor, wrapped up in torn, filthy
rags, bare-legged, their heads covered up, their dark faces
hardly showing; the women had every kind of coloured cloth
on them, dirty, with silver bangles or some ornament around
their ankles and around their wrists; they walked freely, easily
and with a certain grace; they held themselves very well. Most
of them were labourers but in the evening as they went back to their homes, huts really, they would be laughing, teasing each
other and the young would be shouting and laughing, far ahead
of the older people. It was the end of the day and they had been
labouring heavily all day; they would wear themselves out very
quickly and they had built houses and offices where they
would never live or ever work. All the important people went
by there in their cars and these poor people never even
bothered to look who went by. The sun was setting behind
some ornate building, in a mist that had been hanging about all
day; it had no colour, no warmth and there wasn’t a flutter
among the flags of different countries; these flags too were
weary; they were just coloured rags but what importance they
had assumed. A few crows were drinking out of a puddle and
other crows were coming in to have their share. The sky was
pale and ready for the night.
Every thought, every feeling was gone and the brain was
utterly still; it was past midnight and there was no noise; it was
cold and the moonlight was coming in through one of the
windows; it made a pattern on the wall. The brain was very
awake, watching, without reacting, without experiencing; there
was not a movement within itself but it was not insensitive or
drugged by memory. And of a sudden that unknowable
immensity was there, not only in the room and beyond but also
deep, in the innermost recesses, which was once the mind.
Thought has a border, produced by every kind of reaction, and
every motive shapes it as with every feeling; every
experiencing is from the past and every recognition is from the
known. But that immensity left no mark, it was there, clear, strong, impenetrable and unapproachable whose intensity was
fire that left no ash. With it was bliss and that too left no
memory for there was no experiencing it. It simply was there,
to come and go, without pursuit and recall.
The past and the unknown do not meet at any point; they
cannot be brought together by any act whatsoever; there is no
bridge to cross over nor a path that leads to it. The two have
never met and will never meet. The past has to cease for the
unknowable, for that immensity to be.
24th [January 1962]** The sky was intensely blue, the blue
that gives colour to all things; that morning, there was colour
everywhere. The birds, the neighbours’ children with their
brilliant red trousers, the saris and the few flowers in the
garden and the yellow pansies. These were extraordinary; one
had seen them every day and marvelled at their delicacy and
openness but this morning, they seemed to have covered the
garden with their colour; they were really yellow not brown
yellow or red-green yellow, their purity was the delight of the
blue sky and the eyes were filled with the colour. Beauty is
beyond personal taste; it is not a reaction which is taste; taste is
within the field of things that have been gathered, it can be
cultivated, as knowledge can be; it can be sharpened, refined
but beauty is not the plaything of thought nor is it the fancy of
any sentiment. Beauty as love cannot be put together by the
vagaries of the mind. But that brief moment, when the sky and
the flowers met was the everlasting. Time totally ceased and
there was no space; there was only that and nothing else but
that brief moment was the unknowable. No mind could measure it, formulate it or imagine it and there was no word.
The crested bird with its black head chattered on the gate and
the big brown eagles were circling in the sky, their sharp cry
reaching the ground. It was a beautiful morning and at the
horizon, over the trees, a few clouds were gathering.
To be beyond sorrow is to love. Sorrow is the loneliness of
the empty mind that has built a wall around itself, the wall of
resistance and anxiety. It’s this loneliness that breeds sorrow;
the sympathy, the consideration which this loneliness offers is
the action of escape. In itself it is poor and out of poverty there
is not a new thing. And love is a new thing and sorrow cannot
meet it. Sorrow seeks refuge, an escape, the comfort of words
and ashes are not love. Love is dangerous, destructive and
words are comforting. And sorrow continues, like the weed in
the garden; it flourishes and builds temples, churches and
tyrannies. To face every fact, not with words and conclusions,
to see without thought and so without feeling, to see it without
distortion brings about that energy which is essential to meet
every movement of life.
It was a still night and that strange otherness was there with
its immensity; it was a flame that left no ash.
25th You could hear the lions roaring in the zoo and the
roar of the traffic on the main road and the quiet noises of the
night. There was a slight breeze which had died with the
setting sun; every tree and bush was still, withdrawing for the
night, except the flowers which seemed to be awake all day
and all night; darkness was as necessary as light and the birds
had settled for the night. The traffic grew less and the night was deepening; it was a clear cold night and an aeroplane was
coming in to land; it must have been a big plane and it made
the windows rattle. And again there was quiet. There’s a
quietness which is not the opposite of disturbance; in this
quietness the mind can travel very far, beyond the measure of
time. It’s free to travel, there are no hindrances, no barriers, no
self-imposed restrictions. All resistance prevents this
journeying but resistance and commitments do not bring about
this quietness for this is born out of freedom, the freedom that
is at the beginning. Every talent, every specialization, every
ambition prevents this freedom and when there is no freedom,
there is death and decline. To be free from the beginning and
not that supposed freedom that is said to come after resistances
and commitments are over; then there’s no freedom at all; a
withered disciplined mind can never be free. It has lost its
youth, its innocence. Freedom is at the beginning and not at the
end. To wander through life, without ever being shaped to
some pattern, by some frustration and guilt is then as the deep
wide river which purifies itself; its very movement is the
purification. You cannot work for freedom, then it becomes
political, a thing to be bargained for, to be cultivated, to be put
together, and what is put together or conquered can always be
destroyed. You have to see it and not act about it; if you see it
then it is there, indestructible, never ending; if you don’t, then
no effort, no conniving will ever bring it. It’s there, only see it.
A dog began to bark far in the night; it was a peculiar bark,
several short ones and a long drawn out moan ending with two
or three short barks; other dogs joined in but the deepthroated barks continued, never changing its rhythm for nearly half an
hour. By its voice, it was not a street, stray dog; there was
power and strength behind it, like the roar of the lion which
came through the barks. It was a deep roar repeated several
times but the dog kept up its barks. On that sound, you
journeyed again very far, far beyond the measure of time.
Again, the brain was utterly still, every thought and feeling
wholly absent for that otherness, that incredible immensity
filled the room and the space beyond the walls. There was bliss.
26th The clouds began to gather in the morning, light,
fleecy ones; they were gathering from different directions,
mostly from south-west; the sun raced between them and
shadows covered the land. Towards the evening, the sky was
dark and rain was in the air. The road by the house is not an
important thoroughfare, it connects two main streets; there
were a great many children on it that evening, all dirty, all in
rags, all in torn shoes or barefoot. One or two smiled, the rest
were solemn, sad and cold; a small boy was playing with a
small piece of iron table; he had it on a string with several
knots on it; he would run, holding on to the string and the small
cylinder would chase after him; he would look back to see if it
was following and each time he looked back, he was delighted
to see it was still there; he would smile and talk to it and race
off again. He was thin, dark with lack of nourishment, his head
covered in a filthy rag. His eyes were far away and would
never come back. They would always be poor, always
labouring, always hungry; they would never take the salute in
the big military and nationalistic parade; they would die without much resistance and live amid squalor, uneducated and
lost. The big people, who were always in the papers who ruled
and thought they were shaping the world would never know
them; there was no affection and no tear and tears only when
you died; they seldom laughed and their eyes never smiled. It
was a sad world and it began to drizzle; it laid the all-pervading
dust, washed the leaves clean and it brought that fragrance of
rain on dry earth. It was a pleasant smell and the birds had
taken shelter for the night. The buffaloes were getting wet and
that was not a nice smell. Suddenly two forks of lightning tore
through darkness and for a second in great clarity [were] the
naked branches of the trees and the straight electric poles and a
man crouching under a tree. And now it had settled down to
rain for the night. The little boy with the string was no longer
on the road.
Attention is seeing. Seeing is an art as listening. But one
hardly ever listens or sees; everyone is so occupied, so busy
with the things that have to be done, with one’s joys, problems
and tears. One has no time to see. But time does not give you
sight; time hinders seeing, listening. Time is the space for
experiencing and experience only dulls the mind and heart. The
mind is filled and the heart has turned away and so there is no
seeing. To see knowledge must be kept in the books and not in
the mind; knowledge interprets, chooses, giving colour,
opinion, weighing, criticising, choosing and then there is no
seeing. When the mind is so crowded and the heart dull with
sorrow, how can there be seeing? What you see is your own
projections, your own desires, your own fears but you don’t see what is. It goes by and you are lost with your own toys. But
when you do see, do listen, then that act is the miracle that
transforms, that has emptied the mind and the heart of the past.
You don’t have to do anything, thought is incapable of this
miracle; then that seeing is love, as listening is. You cannot
come by these through exertion, through the dullness of
discipline, through any bargaining nor through the shock of
unanswerable questions. There must be emptiness to see, to
listen there must be a quietness.
It was rather late in the night; lightning and rain were
making great noise. Again, the brain was aware of the
lightning, and the rain on the window, but it was motionless,
astonishingly still, for that immensity was there with clarity
and unapproachable strength.
27th It was a still morning, cloudy and there was not a
sound; it was too early for birds and man; everything was
asleep and it would be some hours before day began. It had
been cloudy all day and there was an endless procession of
clouds, heavy, dark and full of rain. They were rather
magnificent, strange shapes, moving across the sky with
determined purpose; they were all going north-west; for a
moment you had the impression that the earth was moving for
the clouds were the mountains, streams and rivers and the
cities that man had built; they looked like towers, peaks and the
blue waters. The sun came out through a mile-long blue patch
and there was glory. Every leaf was washed clean, every leaf
shone, with drops of sparkling water, every bird was out,
chattering, singing, flying, a whole group of crows were settling down on the wires, thirty-seven of them, and parrots
were screeching across the sky. It was a marvellous moment of
light, clear and incredibly rich. Far away there was the sound
of a bugle and a motor-bicycle roared, but the blue sky
remained and there were a thousand shadows. There is no
space in light, no journey to be taken, nothing to be fulfilled
and the pain of frustration; there was no death in that clear light
nor time to gain; it was a marvellous moment and it is always
there, not a thing to be remembered, to be pursued. It is there
but you have to turn the corner, just beyond your property,
your family, your work and responsibility. You have to be
alone without loneliness. Meditation is not a means to an end;
there is no end to be gained; meditation is a constant flowering,
not away from life but in life and that morning, in that deep
silence, when not a thing was stirring there was a movement
which the meditative mind alone could understand. It was not a
movement in time and thought could not follow it; thought can
only trace its own patterns moulded in the past. To dissolve the
past is the far away beginning of meditation. If you begin to
dissolve the past there is no ending to the past. The fire that
burns away the past, the structure of time, is the act of seeing.
Seeing is complete attention.
28th A lovely morning it was after the rain, clear, crisp and
there was heavy dew; in the air there was slight fragrance of
woodsmoke, of grass and of that peculiar odour that freshly
washed leaves have. There were sharp shadows of depth and
lightness and the sky, so early in the morning was already
intensely blue. There was peace in the air in spite of poverty, squalor and the cunning hand of the politician. It was a
morning that enticed you away, that took you into the heart of
things where beauty was untouched, where affection was
always young. It was a morning in which meditation expanded
beyond the borders of time, in which goodness flowered and
thought was silent. Every little thing was so intensely alive
with that strange beauty the common things have. Your eyes
were sharpened and you saw the skinny dark leaf of the rose
and it was the leaf of every tree and bush; you listened to the
birds and it was the voice of the earth and meditation was not
some fanciful flight into some illusory vision but the seeing of
the fact and going beyond it into regions of death and love; for
these two are inseparable. Death is destruction, final and
absolute and so is love. Love isn’t the tame domesticated thing
of man, made respectable by thought, seasoned in tradition. It
is new, dangerous and not the thing of thought. It is a flame
that leaves no ashes, of memory, of self-pity. As you cannot
argue with death, you cannot entice it into the dark corners of
the mind. They are always together, waiting, watching,
welcoming. You will know them when meditation opens the
door of time; with the burden of time you cannot come to it;
you must destroy it, the past must be wiped away. It is wiped
away when you see, see without the screen of tradition, without
knowledge. The eyes must be young, and far away to see and
then the inseparable are there. And then there is something
beyond and above them that includes them both. But on a
morning like this, the yellow bamboo leaves and the dark
leaves of a tall tree intimate the beauty that is besides them. The parrots were screeching across the sky, they never flew
straight, but from side to side and they were flying fast, streaks
of green light; then a group of crows came to settle on the little
lawn, still heavy with dew; they seemed to be cleaning their
claws and beaks in it and their black bodies were spilling light.
There is a little pool of rain-water on the path beside the lawn;
it was full of light and mischief and as you saw it, it was the
sky and the earth, the measurable and the immeasurable and
the two never come together.
The brain is sharpened and made highly sensitive when it is
utterly still. You cannot make it still, if you do you will make it
dull and shape it to the pattern of knowledge. It is only in
freedom that it can be still to flower. But resistance and desire
can only breed conflict which wears it away, giving it age and
weight. When the brain is utterly still, then attention, in which
alone goodness can flower, is that explosive energy that carries
the mind to that which is beyond all measure.
29th A little boy in red trousers and in a red coat was
playing by himself under a large, spreading tree; there was no
one near him, he was by himself, lost in his own world; he
must have been five or six, with a happy round face; his eyes
were almost closed and he was going round and round the tree
in a widening circle, talking to himself, with an occasional
gesture. He stopped all of a sudden, looked up the tree, came
back to the large, rough trunk and touched it softly, almost
caressing it and started running back to his house; he stopped,
looked back at the tree, waved his hand and disappeared
behind a gate. The tree and the little boy must have been great friends; he was completely at home with it, completely happy.
The tree heavy with dark, bright leaves and the red suit were
beautiful in the morning light. It was an enchanting morning
and they were both part of the morning, like that flower and the
sky; the sky was very blue, rain-washed, clear, without a cloud.
A military jet came out screaming and disappeared. Once again
that tree, that boy and the flower remained, past time and
thought, and every blade of grass and leaf were of that timeless
space. Only the mind that is completely empty in that freedom
from the known could contain not the word but the fact and
beyond the fact; the fact then is of no significance. Meditation
is the emptying the mind of the known, of knowledge and the
fact. It is the fact, the what is, that frees thought; thought
cannot free itself; thought is the word of the known. Thought
cannot cover the fact but the fact does put an end to thought.
Knowledge is the experiencing of the fact, but the fact is not
knowledge nor is it the word. Thought is of knowledge and
knowledge cannot free the mind of the fact. Meditation is the
choiceless awareness of this complex, which empties the mind
of the known.
The thought that is disciplined with resistance, fear and with
the cunning ways of ambition is always a slave to the known.
Discipline is conformity, a substitution which prevents the
understanding of fear; it is suppression and so sustains conflict
which makes the brain dull; a disciplined thought is
subservient and ready to obey. Where there is understanding,
the destructive discipline ceases.
30th The morning was heavy with fog; you couldn’t see across the road; you couldn’t see the tall, naked tree nor its
delicate branches. The leaves were dripping with dew and the
few yellow pansies were weighed down with it, and the usual
roar of the aeroplane engines was quiet; they couldn’t take off
in this thick fog. The birds were silent, only the crows were
out, flying low, searching for food. But the sun would come
out presently and shadows would begin, the lean ones and the
fat ones. How important shadows, symbols have become, a
word, an image, a picture. The real is far away, it is too
dangerous but the symbol is very close, comforting. You could
always worship it, get terribly enthusiastic about it, get violent
enough to kill and be killed and also in the name of the symbol
talk about peace and exploit. But with the fact, with the real,
there is no possibility to deceive and to be deceived; it is too
direct, too dangerous. So the word, the book, the image
become all important. But the fog that morning hid everything,
the squalor, the beauty, the blue sky and the fading rose. The
people across the road in their filthy rags were shivering,
hugging themselves waiting for the sun; a baby was crying and
the buffaloes, with gunnysacks on their backs, had a strong
unpleasant smell. And slowly, hesitantly the sun came out and
a bank of fog would hide it again and soon all the fog was gone
and the blue sky of the morning was there; it was that blue of
flowers and their purity. And all the birds were out and high up
the vultures were circling again, effortlessly, with hardly a beat
of the wing.
Meditation is freeing the mind from knowledge for
knowledge breeds problems and there is no end to them; one begets another. Freedom from the known is the ending of
problems. But you cannot free the mind from the known by
thought for thought is the reaction of the known; so it becomes
a vicious circle to be broken only when you realize that all
search is from the known to the known, and so completely stop
all seeking, all finding. Then there is the mind that has no
problems but can meet problems without their taking root in
the mind.
31st It was a clear cloudless evening, the smoke was going
up straight into the sky and no air was stirring and the people
were out on the road; the office workers were going back on
their bicycles by the thousands; they were crowding the roads
four or five abreast and the cars were trying to avoid them; it
was an open war between the cyclists and the cars and the
pedestrians kept out of their way. It was quite cool and some of
the cyclists had on woollen gloves, their faces tired and they
eager to get back home. You turned left, past the big hotel and
went on past the embassies and then climbed; gears had to be
changed; there were bullock carts, several of them, taking rest
before going on; an empty bus with a puncture, an army lorry,
full of soldiers, thundering up and a man all wrapped up, just
showing his face, walking down, wearily. On both sides the
road was wild and undeveloped, thorny bushes, rocks and
cattle paths; as the road climbed, you saw the town, sprawling
miles of it, with its ancient and modern domes, turrets,
minarets and far away on the horizon the ancient column. It
was a lovely evening and where the earth meets the sky was
clear, cloudless and there was great beauty. In this wilderness, overlooking the domes, they are creating a new park, a rock
garden with flowers, cactus, open green lawns, with canals of
water running among them; it is going to be rather a nice park,
full of flowers, trees and rocks. Crowds of school girls were
sighing, shouting, stepping out like soldiers; they were not
happy groups but boisterous. And the sun was going down, a
great big orange balloon, in great splendour and alone. It is
strange to be alone, not cut off, withdrawn, isolated, lonely, but
to be completely alone; alone without thought, without
association, without the relationship of memory. Every
influence, known and hidden, understood and so put aside and
thus be alone. This is really love. The hermit and the monk are
never alone in their cell, in their retreat; they have still the
burden of the past, their traditions, their gods, their experiences
and knowledge; they are never alone, they are full of thought,
determinations and creating visions, disciplines. They have
changed their names and their clothes but aloneness is not near
them. But yet you must be alone, not to be influenced, not
seeking, not resisting. You can build a wall around yourself, of
belief, of knowledge, of incessant action but that wall makes of
you a prisoner, everlastingly enlarging and decorating the
prison. You can’t invite the immeasurable into the prison; what
you invite will be your own ideas, projections, images; you can
battle with them or embrace them but you are still within the
walls. This fact alone brings that energy which will break
down the walls.
There is bliss in this aloneness; it is not a void, a dry
aridness of no thought; thought is arid, dry and to be without thought, alone, is not a desert of nothingness. It is there and
you will come upon it when thought comes to an end and with
it feeling. You cannot buy it at any chemist nor at any altar and
without it there is no love.
February 1st The trees were bare, open to the sky, with not
a leaf, and a cold wind was blowing from the north; there was
fresh snow in the mountains; it had been snowing there for a
couple of months and there were several feet of snow. It could
be felt here and the leaves were falling; even the evergreen
trees were feeling it; they said it was a most unusually severe
winter, lasting for so long. The grass was burnt by the cold and
so were the hedges and bushes; the birds were going further
south, to sunny places. And as usual the poor were suffering.
Sorrow is always there and only death could wipe it away. But
death also was a greater sorrow, living and dying. The rich in
their big houses and the powerful had their share of it, death
and life. The few years of power and money were all that
mattered and the struggle to live from day to day with little.
Death was always there waiting, watching; you couldn’t escape
it, even though it was worshipped. There were so many beliefs,
so many hopes and so many doctors but it was always there, in
every house, in every hut; wherever you lived it was there,
with disease or with health. You were burnt on the banks of a
river or buried in marble halls; to death it was all the same,
young, old or newly born. Tears, the latest drugs and flowers
cannot dissuade death; it is so final and absolute. But who
thinks of it, till it comes; you avoid it, turn your face away
from it. Others will [die] but you may by chance, by luck continue. You are never face to face with it every day; you see
it in the street, amidst mountains of flowers, elegant cars and
black veil or on a flimsy bamboo stretcher being taken to the
river but you never meet it; others meet it. To others in the
coffin or on the bank, it is dreadfully real but to you it is still an
idea, not a fact. It never is a fact till the last moment but then
it’s too late; then you cannot do anything about it; others will
cry, sob their hearts out but you are deaf and gone.
But life is death; they are inseparable. You cannot have one
without the other, however much you may love the one. You
cannot separate the one from the other and spend all the days
of your life cheating the other. It is there as your shadow, night
and day, sleeping or waking. Your house is more or less
permanent, the government or someone in the family will get
it; your family will inherit your name but they too will pass
away, with all your beliefs, fears and guilt. There is nothing
permanent, not even your bank account, though you may like
to have it till the last moment. Nothing is permanent and so
your heart says, ‘Let’s live for the day’, but the day is full of
sorrow and shadows. The more superficial you are, the more
dead you are but even for you, it is waiting there, even for the
quick-witted, none can avoid it, do what you will. But it is with
life and so live with it, die every day, as you live every day, die
to all the miseries, to all the pleasures. Don’t keep one, locked
away deep in your heart, die to every thing; to your memories,
to your youth, to your gods, to your saviours and also to your
family. Be an outsider to everything. Don’t die tomorrow but
today, to everything that you have known. Then there is no fear which is the shadow of death. Then you will see that life is not
one thing and death another; the ending is the beginning. Then
the mind is beyond time; fear is time, thought breeds it. With
the death of the past, the experiences, memories, the new and
the old traditions, mind is made new and there is the unknown,
the not measurable.
The wind was still blowing from the north; clouds were
darkening the sky and it would rain. It would turn cold and as
usual the poor would suffer. There would be disease and death
and fears. An aeroplane, one of those new jets, was crossing
the sky, ready to land; the screech and the roar were far behind.
It was a beautiful thing to see.
2nd It had been a splendid day, full of light and deep
shadows; it was a light that entered into deep corners, into
concealed places; even in the open, it had that penetrating
quality that revealed the other side of the leaf and almost the
dark side of the trunk. It exposed your heart and mind, if you
allowed it; even if you were indifferent, careless, it lighted the
fringes of thought and gave a passing delight. If you were
willing, it entered into the unexplored regions of your mind
where you had never been but had hovered round the edges of
it and now you saw the whole of it, without a shadow, where
something could hide. There was no secret corner. You were
surprised, open, vulnerable. And there was innocency. And
every leaf was bright with light and all the birds were in the
little garden, the little and the big, the many coloured and the
plain ones, chattering away, unafraid and unwilling to leave.
And towards the evening there were huge clouds on the horizon; there was one of fantastic shape, without colour,
white, and against it four vultures were circling, without a
flutter of the wing. There was one that refused to leave the
centre of the vast cloud; it circled endlessly but wouldn’t leave
its chosen boundaries; it was there for over twenty minutes.
Those four must have been at well over a thousand feet and
during all that time there was not a beat of the wing; the others
wandered off but the central one remained; there was such
ease, effortless movement and freedom. You watched it as long
as it was there, the dark bird against a white, enormous cloud;
there were many in the sky that sunlit afternoon but this one
captured your attention. You were there in that garden but you
were that thing flying effortless against that massive cloud; it
was [not] in thought you were up there; nor in empty fancy and
imagination; you were actually up there, not identifying
yourself with it but you were that bird; watching the earth and
flying on the wind. If it was fancy or imagination, a thing of
thought, when that bird left the cloud, you were everything,
that man in rags on the road, that black and white bird with its
bobbing tail and the man who was talking to you about his
difficulties. You were everything and yet nothing; because you
were nothing, you were everything. But this nothingness is not
a thing of the mind; thought can only beget thought; expand
itself through knowledge or belittle itself in self-pity. But
thought cannot make itself into nothing; it can only form itself
with ideas, with words but it can never be the fact, the nothing.
Later that evening that immense cloud was the colour of the
rose, delicate, with a purity that eyes could not see. It was now taking the colour of the setting sun but not all of it, there were
still the white curves, there were shades of black and russet
brown. And there was beauty. On the road there was bustle and
movement, smoke and noise; they were selling white cloth and
fruit and the cloud was there covering the city with silence and
The brain, the product of time and experience, experience is
time, was utterly still, not experiencing, sensitive, for that
which is beyond time was there filling the room and beyond
without measure.
3rd She was a woman on the road, poor, dirty, unwashed for
days, dark burnt by the sun and ill-nourished, with bangles
around her ankles and completely oblivious of what was going
on around her. She had on a bright dress torn and patched up;
she was like so many others on that road, worn out with labour
and with bearing children; she was a cut above the others and
walked by herself. She held herself very straight and there was
an odd dignity about her with that peculiar indifference which
misery or joy brings. She looked straight ahead, her eyes far
away; she must have lost everything, not recently but ages ago
and now she was lost in it; nothing would ever bring her out of
it, employment or another man. She held something on her
head, wrapped in a rag not too clean, with one hand, and the
other moved with ease and grace; now both hands were free
and the thing on her head remained in place; she walked along
that path, unconscious that there were others. She was not
thinking, she was simply lost; when there is some thought,
there is some kind of animation in the face, she had none. She had on layers of skirts, a filthy blouse and a coloured cloth on
the top of it; she had on many colours; they were bright but
dirty, unwashed, with sweat and dust. She had good, regular
features, but all life had gone out of them. The colours, the
walk and the face and the dignity were all of one piece; they
were not put together at different times, one after another and
nothing could ever break it up, except death. And she had no
fear of that either; living and dying were the same, both had
lost their meaning and nothing could ever give meaning to
them again. She didn’t want pity, comfort nor a word; she was
by herself and would remain so. There was a flower, hanging
over the wall, along that path, full of colour and beauty. The
wall was white, recently whitewashed and the flower, in the
evening light, was the reality of life, perishable, vulnerable and
fragrant. The woman never noticed it, went by, without a
glance but the flower remained, alone and destructible.
The sky had cleared and the sun was setting in a cloudless
sky, brick-red, big and unnoticed. The trees were bare and
hundreds of birds were there taking rest before going to their
shelter for the night; they were noisy but not as noisy as they
would be among the leaves, settled down before darkness
came. Love is not pity nor is it the acceptance of relationship,
with its jealousies, anxieties and guilt; it is not the nurturing
kindliness of rich experience nor is it the help that you give to
another. It is none of these things. If you knew it; it would not
be love. All the cars were going to the big hotel, there was
some kind of function there, all the important and rich were
going there but not that flower nor that woman.     Experience only strengthens the past, conditioning the
experiences that come. Experience with its knowledge is never
the way of wisdom. That immensity came without any
yesterday, pure, impenetrable, alone.
4th It was an old tomb in the middle of a wide enclosure
with thick brick walls, well proportioned, high and there were
towers at the four corners; there were green lawns, trees,
flowers and in the old days, fountains and water channels. It is
rather beautiful and it must have been much more when the
tomb was respected. There must be many acres within those
walls and there were people everywhere, picnic parties,
students and young girls and boys playing. It was a pleasant
afternoon, with sun on the trees. The dome was of marble,
onion shaped and though there were people, there was the quiet
solitude of a garden that was not used much. If you went there
on weekdays there was hardly anyone, except a few tourists
with their cameras but you would be surprised by the solitude
that was there. The late afternoon made long shadows and the
sky was blue, the blue of northern skies. There were parrots
about, green with sharp red curving beaks; they had nests in the
walls around the marble tomb; they were coming in from the
surrounding country, screeching, zigzagging in their flight.
Perched on the walls, they were motionless light; their long
tails were the green of early spring and their wings were late
spring and their red beaks shone, made more red by the
evening sun; high up there, they were startlingly beautiful and
frail. Clouds were gathering around the sun and there was
solitude. It was not a thing that you ran after but it was there, in splendour; it surrounded you, it held you. It maintained its
purity even though you were in it; nothing could soil it, the
noises, the laughing children and the passing tourists. You
stayed in it, separate; you had come upon it, unexpectedly, just
as, turning round a corner, you met an old friend. You were
still separate from it, isolated in your own world; but soon you
were of it, without a barrier, without thought. The whole of
your consciousness, every little movement of feeling was taken
over by it. It didn’t absorb you, like a toy does a child; it would
never leave you again. You couldn’t lose it; it was not yours to
keep to lose. All the yesterdays were gone and it was not an
experience. There is experience only when the dead revives
only to die again. Experience is changing recognition and
recognition is part of the known. Continuity of the known
brings sorrow and the ache of time. But here there was no
experience, something to be gained, added on to the past. It
was there and every leaf, every bird and the blade of grass were
not something different from it. Love is that solitude; it is
always alone.
The sun was setting in fire; every cloud was aflame and all
the clouds had gathered [with “come” written above] around
the sun; there was not one left, all were there burning. All light
was there and the birds were silent for the night. Again that
incredible immensity was there filling the heavens and the
5th It was a cloudy morning, cold, without a leaf stirring;
there was a mist among the trees and the lawn was heavy with
dew and every petal was covered with it. So early in the morning, there was no noise, not even a dog barked. It was a
silence that was strangely alive, full of movement and you
were part of it. It was a movement that had no origin, it was
there without an end. There was not a bird awake and in that
stillness, even the slightest sound was an explosion and your
body lay still, without thought and feeling. Thought is never
free, no reaction can ever be, and every action of that reaction
is inaction, though it appear to be very active. Out of this
inaction, which is called action, confusion and misery grows; it
is the ground in which mischief and mediocrity are bred. Far
away, suddenly, the note of a flute exploded, it was a beginner
who was playing it. A single note; it was not romantic, it was
not in the hands of an expert; it was not played to entertain; in
that silence, it had depth, it was pure, it had the quality of
unheard melody. That note was being played over and over
again, till dawn came and birds began to sing. But that silence
persisted, widening with greater depth. It was not more, there
was no comparison, the active present had no borders of time.
And an aeroplane was coming in to land. And the day had
7th There were four parrots on that old tree; they had their
nests in the dying trunk; they flew in screeching and became
quiet as they settled on the branches; they were endlessly
fidgeting, hanging on by their red beaks, to go to a higher
branch or to lower themselves. They were lighter green than
the leaves, their long tails almost the colour of new leaves;
once they got among the leaves it was difficult to spot them;
light was colour and colour was light. There were others on other trees but those four on the dying tree seemed to have
captured the whole light of heaven. They were intense, ready to
fly on the instant, gravely playful; from this distance their eyes
couldn’t be seen but their curving red beaks shone in the
morning sun. From that window, with traffic roaring by, they
seemed so utterly indifferent to the human world but in flocks
they came in from the outlying fields and groves to settle for
the night among the ruins of old tombs or among the trees that
man had planted. You couldn’t take your eyes off them and
there was joy in their very existence. A motive to joy is the
death of joy. They were the flowers of the sky and looking at
them from that room where there was pain, it seemed so
incredible that these green birds could exist. Everywhere there
was sorrow and pain, decay and corruption and that light
among the leaves, moving, restless beauty that knew no pain;
they would die, killed or put in a cage but they had tomorrow,
there was no time for them; they neither lived for today or for
tomorrow; they just lived, the green delight of heaven. Death is
time; every thought intensifies time and the many yesterdays
had shaped thought, moulded it to fashion tomorrow. But love
had no tomorrow nor had it a yesterday. It was the only thing
that had no time and it was there, green among the wintry
leaves. Sorrow and love cannot live together. Sorrow has a
motive, self-pity and memory; every tear is of time, a
remembrance and sorrow grows in the soil of time. You cannot
be free of sorrow if you are not free of time; they are
inseparable as the shadow of that electric pole. Sorrow is in the
shadow not in the fact, in the what is. Fact has no time but thought about the fact has. As you were aware of those parrots,
the traffic, the pain, in that expanding attention, only fact
remained and time was not and even the fact was gone, ceased
to have meaning, and [there was] only this attention in which
everything was, for it was beyond time and measure.
But you could not get to it through that window or through
any door; there is no way to it. Neither tears nor time will open
the door to the eternal. You must die without effort, without a
cry and then perhaps as you turn along the road it will be there.
But it is not.
9th It is a lovely morning, clear and full of perfume; the sky
has been very blue and this morning, it is bluer still and it is so
close to the earth, so close to the little garden with its few
flowers and the dew soaked lawn. Every flower was open to
the sky, to the sun that was just coming over the trees. There
were hardly any shadows and the flowers were waiting for the
sun to touch them. A jet was streaking across the sky with a
roar and the blue sky contained all the beauty and the mischief
of man; the earth was swallowed up in that blue, in that
immensity. A stray dog walked in; it was brushed, clean, fur
shining, tail wagging. It was very friendly and it looked
straight at you and you were the dog, the flowers and the
heavens. Two mynahs were strutting on the lawn and a vendor
passed calling out his goods. It was part of the morning so
utterly far away and everything was aware of this fragrance;
nothing could be hurt, there would be no sorrow, no guilt or the
fear of tomorrow for that delicate perfume was everywhere. It
wasn’t some fanciful mysticism, some mischief of the mind but a very real thing, as real as those two birds and that friendly
dog. You would be aware of it had you been there and it wasn’t
an experience, leaving a mark on thought, adding more to the
already known. Every experience is a reaction of the known,
recognizable by the known, by the uncounted days of the past;
every experience darkens the immediacy of life and floods the
memory. It was not between yesterday and tomorrow and all
experience is caught in time. It wasn’t an experience to be
repeated; repetition is the projection of the past, the known, but
it wasn’t the known for there was no centre, the known which
is always gathering, experiencing, asking, seeking. But that
perfume was there, not the word, not the thing you buy in a
shop nor the incense, awakening sensation, of the church and
the temple; you couldn’t capture it and keep it in the decaying
corners of memory. It was there and your heart and mind were
of it; it wouldn’t leave you for you were not there. The
immense was there, the unknowable and the unexperiencable,
and time had come to an end. All this is not imagination, to
pick and choose; the brain, the thing of time, was utterly quiet,
without its familiar movement and the whole of the mind was
completely still. It was there unapproachable in its strength and
beauty. The dog had gone and the noise of the day had begun
and the postman came with letters.
11th A group of about a dozen parrots were flying low,
screeching at the setting sun; their flight was noisy always,
singly or in groups and that evening they seem to be more loud
than ever. They were returning from their day in the country,
for the night, to the shelter of the trees in town, and seemed to be very excited to get back. It had been a lovely day, there was
the touch of the spring and there were a few clouds making the
sky more blue. The ancient and modern domes faded into the
sky and the trees were still bare, open to the sky; that evening
every thing was open to it and the mind had no secrets. Every
corner of it was exposed and in its exposure lost its shape;
every region of the mind was the beginning of the new. Thirty
or forty crows were sitting on a bare tree of many branches,
their black bills caught in the evening sun; others were taking
their bath in a puddle, cawing, calling, complaining and
shouting their delight. There were mynahs fluttering around the
puddle, trying to have their bath if the crows allowed them.
There was a great delight among the trees and among the birds
and the few men that passed by were not too wrapped up in
their own affairs. There was the slip of the new, young moon,
just a line, just a suggestion and there was the beauty of a day
that was over. A woman in a green sari was carrying a big
bundle on her head, her arms swinging freely by her side. You
have to die to all things to be aware of this beauty that had no
resting place; you couldn’t find it if you sought it; it was not in
the museums, in books nor in faces; the smile fades and there
are tears. You would never find it if you set out to capture it.
You have to die to all things that you have pursued. You have
to die not knowing; you have to die without a purpose, without
a motive, maturing in a day and dying in a day, without a past.
An aeroplane droned overhead, somebody was taking flying
lessons and above the plane were the vultures, endlessly
circling, without a beat of the wings; there was delight in their movement but soon they would be coming down to be lost in
the darkness of the night. You lived for something, you worked
for something and your life was intended for something. You
had to be useful to society; everything had its use and you of
course were of the highest use—for the church, for the
government, for the revolutionary. What was the use of that
leaf, that flower and those birds taking their evening bath? But
that beauty cannot be used; it had no value, there was no
market for it and all life is travail and sorrow. Without that
beauty there is no love.
The clouds were gathering around the sun leaving the sky
empty. Every bird was now silent and the trees were
withdrawing for the night. The moon was too young to cast any
shadow but that would come later as she grew older. Innocency
and youth were always with death, with the ending of thought.
And with death comes that immensity, unapproachable,
measureless. And it was there.

* He was now in New Delhi where he gave eight talks, from
January 21st to February 14th. He must have flown from
Benares to Delhi on January 20th.
** Here begin the pages that were missing from the first
publication of Krishnamurti’s Notebook.

19TH MARCH 1962

17th* They were small clouds, mere brush strokes with wings,
hundreds of them, filling the western sky; the sea was covered
with small, dancing ripples and the sun was setting, a gigantic
red globe, splendid. But it was those little clouds, with wings,
that gave enchantment to the evening; they were just a whisper
of clouds, breathlessly flying north, all going north; each was
enclosed in its own space, in its own beauty and they
conquered space in their flight. And yet they were motionless;
there was not a breath of air except just over the sea and over
the land close to it. The curving bay, with its many houses,
held the breeze but those enchanted clouds never moved but
yet they were flying and there was no space. As the sun went
down into the sea, they took on its colour; some deep rose,
some light pink and others white. And they were flying; they
had the beauty of all the earth and heavens; they were delicate,
newly born but with that energy that destroys space. And as
you watched them and the rippling waters, you were lost; you
did not see them; they were there, only you were not there;
they existed and nothing else; not even space and time. There
was no thought, no feeling and so no experiencing. The
essence of immaturity is experiencing. Every form of
experience is in the net of the past and in the bondage of time.
They were flying in the light of colour and there was
emptiness. Seeing is a marvellous thing; you see only when there is emptiness; from emptiness, seeing dissolves space and
time is consumed. The horizon, the dancing waters, the ever
flying clouds and the abiding earth were in timeless movement
and the glory of heaven was in that rock, on which a sea gull
was sitting. The man in the car shouted some abusive or
warning word; the traffic was heavy and a little girl laughed.
Now the flying clouds were fading and the moon was casting
transparent shadows. There were lights in the windows and
shops and a powerful car dashed by, only to put on its
screeching brakes as another car turned, blocking its way. It
was a dusty, crowded road, people everywhere; only the poor,
it seemed, walked or waited in a long queue for the buses. You
walked seeing, observing, listening without a thought and
feeling and so you saw everything, leaving no mark, no scratch.
20th The moon was full and from the long, enclosed
balcony, she was just over the large tree, serene, clear and very
close. There were a thousand shadows, soft and breathless; the
city was silent so early in the morning. A large rat was quietly
crossing the window-sill, pretending that it wasn’t seen. Not a
bird was stirring and the dusty leaves were motionless but the
shadows were whispering and a baby began to cry. Meditation
is a delight and there was no distraction for there was no
concentration; it is a movement in which everything is for it is
nothing; it has no centre and so no beginning but then no
ending. You cannot enter into that movement; the you must be
left in your office, in your church and temple. You may not
enter into that movement with experience and knowledge.
There must be no you. The moon was now behind a house across the way and the shadows were thickening to disappear
with the coming dawn. Then the birds began, a chorus of all
the birds, shouting, singing, chattering. You listened but you
were not there; you saw the palm tree awakening but you were
not there and with the setting moon the light from the east
began to cover the earth. Strangely you were aware of
everything but you were nowhere, neither in the books nor in
the street; you were not lost, you had ceased to be, not only
during that silent and awakening morning but it was going to
be extremely difficult to find yourself again; you wouldn’t seek
to find it because it wasn’t worth it. You lived but it wasn’t you
who lived. Living is entirely a different thing, a movement
without measure, an ecstasy that no thought or feeling could
ever capture. A mother came out, carrying a freshly bathed,
combed little girl in her arms and by her side walked an older
girl. This little girl was talking to the braided girl, carried
around the hips of the mother; she talked in a soft voice, with
such pleasure and boundless affection; you felt it, moving you
to tears for it was an affection that had in it the earth, the
heavens and tears. Those three were all life, neither east nor
west, and the immensity of it. They just went by, in the dirty
alley and time ceased. And then began the day, with its noises;
people love noise. The children going to school were laughing,
shouting and a boy was beating a tin can, just for the noise of it
and a car going up the hills crashed its gears. The sun was
touching the tree tops, so faintly, so delicately that the leaves
were trembling. The scent of flowers in the next garden
became stronger and the colours vivid, brilliant but you could never come back.
21st A little boy was throwing a stone tied to a long red
string; he threw it high up in the mango tree and by chance, the
string caught around a branch on which there were some
mangoes the size of large pebbles; he pulled the string; it
broke; he went up the wall, like a monkey, tied the two ends,
came down the wall and this time, pulled the string more
gently. Three or four raw, small mangoes fell which he
pocketed, gave the string a jerk and was gone in a flash. It was
late in the afternoon and the sun was still hot and glary. Two
sparrows, male and female, came into the room and began to
chatter; they came in whenever they could, full of chatter and
curious; they would talk to you if you talked to them and they
had become quite friendly. There’s a long mirror on the wall
and the male would do a battle with itself in the mirror; it was
an endless and futile battle; the female would sit on the little
table and encourage him on with little chirps. They had to be
pushed out, literally but they would come back; the female
would be at the mirror first and then the male and the battle
was on. The sun was now behind the trees and on the road it
was dusty, dirty and crowded; there were people everywhere,
endlessly talking, poor, ill-clothed, hungry looking and worn
out. And there was the sea, restless and the water would be
alight with the setting sun. Everywhere there was movement,
every colour was alive and the black rocks were intense.
Action is not something separate from living; the idea of action
and action are two different things; idea is not action; life
based on idea is inaction which breeds endless conflict and misery. Idea is the invention of thought in conflict and action
based on ideation can only lead to contradiction, and the
tension born of this is inaction, though it may produce books
and pictures, gods and visions. Living is action; living is not
memory; the ashes of memory is not the fire of life. Ideation is
of these ashes. Living and dying, every moment without time is
action. Continuity, permanency is mechanical inaction which
needs conflict to keep it going. Conflict and sorrow, self-pity
and memory are the fuel of inaction. Complete living is total
action. The sun was now a fading line in the water and there
was beauty, which no thought or feeling could ever capture. It
cannot be put in a museum or hung up on a wall; it is not those
two couples nor that family with so many children. Love,
beauty and death are inseparable for life is ever dancing on the
22nd He was a poor boy, in a dirty, torn shirt, too long for
him; he was running across the road, with an eye on the traffic;
he was very thin, very dark with regular, clear features. He
stopped on the other side of the road for a while and then went
on aimlessly in front of us; he was about seven or eight, his
eyes sparkling, ready to smile, barefooted, large of head and
infinitely sad. He wouldn’t know what sadness was; he wanted
a good meal, a long undisturbed sleep and clean clothes. There
was no one to talk to him, other boys along the street must
have quarrelled with him or left him alone. He was lonely but
he wouldn’t know what that meant either; his father and
mother must be labouring somewhere, probably helping to
build those endless flats, in which they will never live. He turned sharply and ran into us; there was a moment of
hesitation, apprehension and pain for he must have been beaten
often. He stood there, so surprised and smiling; he was rooted
in that filthy road, eager and tearful. His hands were rough,
small, dirty, eager to hold. We walked together, not talking for
he didn’t understand English but there was no need for words.
Everything was forgotten except those two, walking hand in
hand; there was no traffic, no people, no dirt and the sea was
there, quiet to the horizon. He wanted to say something and
words came pouring out, though he knew they were not
understood; he stopped, freeing his hands, we looked at the
sea, the palm trees, the little dog on a leash and the bus
thundering by. It was a cloudless evening, clear, warm and
those brown eagles were circling in the empty sky. Meditation
is the emptying of the mind of time and thought; feeling
distorts and every experience shapes thought; making it dull,
insensitive. When time is not there is no experiencing and
experiencing is the essence of immaturity. Total negation is
emptiness and in it alone there is creation—not the picture and
the book but complete nothingness. It is love. The brain was
without a movement, sensitive, seeing not recording, listening
without gathering. In those flats lights came on and a man with
a long pole was turning the gaslights on. Night was coming in
and the dust-covered trees were silent for the night. A car
passed by with a lot of children laughing and shouting; a
woman with a garland of jasmine in her hair went by and that
scent was the earth, the people and that little boy. Mind was
without space and time. The immensity was there.     24th Two parrots were streaking across the sky, screeching
as usual in their flight; they were green light full of that strange
beauty and grace that only birds seem to have; they seemed to
be without weight, a flash in the evening sky; they had tireless
energy; they were going home to roost for the night, hidden
among the dark leaves. They liked the town with all the noise,
the glare of lights and probably it was safer here than the
country; these two disappeared behind a house into a mango
tree but they had left a light in the sky. Just around the bend of
the road, there’s a gate and behind it, there are four cages, with
green parrots in them. They were calling and a man with a fat
rolling belly, half naked, was sitting on a cot, with nothing on
but a scrap of cloth round his loins; he was chatting to a
woman standing beside him. They were small cages, too small
for these birds and their tail feathers were out of the cage; they
were dirty and the glory was going out of them, but they were
very beautiful still, they were sleek and fat and their beaks
were bright red. The fat man must have liked them for that was
the only beauty he had in his life; they were his companions
and not that woman who was standing beside him; she only
bore him children. But those four birds were his joy, his care,
you felt that; he never would understand the immensity of the
crime he was committing, the darkness he had brought about, a
bird in a cage, but they were the visible sign of his possessions;
his children would leave, die but they would remain. He was
scratching himself and looking at them. And the evening sun
touching the sparkling water made a path of burnt gold, and a
sail was against the sun. It was an evening when meditation was the complete stillness of the brain; it was empty and
wholly aware of the activities around itself but sensitive in its
stillness. There was no thought, no reaction for there was a
movement which was without a cause, without a motive; there
was no end, no beginning. There was no observer to
experience. It was movement that had no continuity; it is the
only active present. The sun was below the water now and the
circling birds were over the town, endlessly wheeling till the
stars came out. They were chanting, four voices, deep throated
but light and filling the air; they might have been in an ancient
cathedral and temple but the voices came from a room. And
suddenly everything became quiet, not oppressively and the
voices went on; there was an eagerness and depth and a
heightened penetration into nothingness. You were riding on it,
it was carrying you; actually, you were not there, only that
nothingness. It was not nothingness of being or not being. It
was empty without the borders of time; there was no measure
for space. It was immeasurably empty as the mind was. There
was not mind separate from that nothingness; there was only
that. It was there beyond all asking and seeking and recalling.
It was incorruptible for thought cannot touch it.
25th The road goes past flats, houses, empty lots, rich
houses with gatekeepers and well kept gardens, with green
fresh lawns; the houses and flats may be clean inside but the
road is filthy, only the centre of the road is comparatively
clean, so many cars and buses pass by. Where one walks,
there’s no pavement, it’s really dirty; banana and orange peel,
bits of paper, spit, the dropping of dogs and everything imaginable. People walk there every day, unmindful; they are
mostly poor people; the rich go by in cars; they have their golf-
courses or take a car and walk along the beach; here it’s noise
and dirt; everyone has got used to it as they get used to sorrow,
privation, insults and death. Here they sell coffee with all the
dust of the road in it, the little shops sell bananas and grain and
there are plenty of flies. There are a few old mango trees and
they are in bloom. There’s a faint fragrance, mixed with
monoxide gas but you can smell it; nobody looks at these
flowers but the fruit they will eat. They are rather nice pinkish
flowers; they are high up and open to the hot sun and this
evening the setting sun was upon them, gently afire and the sea
breeze was stirring them. A man went by selling small garlands
of jasmine which the ladies wore round their knotted hair. On
that dirty road the smell of jasmine, so unexpected, opened the
door to an enchanted garden to a fleeting immensity, to a
paradise of emptiness. A poor old man, almost blind, pushed
his way and nobody seemed to notice him. Everyone was busy
talking, waiting for the bus or rushing home. Meditation is the
destruction of habit; habit is a continuity, a mechanical
momentum that prevents the flash of an eternal moment. It will
ever be a flash, a spark of no time and thought cannot make of
it a continuity, a series of related thought, habit. Thought
builds relationship, the getting used to things, to people, to
ideas. This relationship is time and through time, do what you
will, that flash can be never seen. Meditation is the ending of
thought and the beginning of emptiness. There is no resting
place in that emptiness, no thought as experience can take root which is the beginning of time. From this emptiness there is
love whose death is creation. A little girl, freshly washed, with
long, plaited hair, with a clean blouse and frock and a flower in
her hair, passed by, following her fat mother, so occupied with
her own thought. A juggler with three little brown monkeys,
went by beating a tiny little drum and the sun was setting in a
clear horizon; it was close and it seemed to have no end. A big
man in a big car got out and walked as though he owned the
little earth he was walking on; he was an important man, at
least he thought he was and that little stretch of earth along the
sea was meant to be used for his daily walk. The evening light
was gone and swiftly came darkness. Thought was still and the
night was that emptiness.
26th A little girl, about four or five, was sitting by the side
of the dirty road and she had beside her another little girl, two
or less; probably her sister; both were small, in dirty clothes,
uncombed hair but full of smiles and tenderness. The older girl
was forcing the little one to sit in her lap, but the little one
preferred to sit, cross-legged on the hard, dirty road, with cars,
buses, lorries rushing by; to the people, it was a common sight
and an everyday event. They were very nice looking children;
as yet the sun had not burnt their skin too much. They weren’t
too thin, their hair wasn’t combed but they were happy and
smiling, especially the older one. They had clear eyes and there
was beauty in them, unspoiled and new. The older girl was
holding the other’s hand and telling her something; they were
utterly oblivious of the traffic, the people and the agony of life.
The older girl was stroking the little girl’s hair to make it look neat; she was mothering the little one and there was no sorrow.
And a policeman came along with a gesture and a word to get
closer to the wall; they did as they were told and now the baby
was in the lap of the other and there was peace with the
abundance of love. Over the wall was a mango tree full of
bloom and fragrance and there were also small, pebble-sized
mangoes. It was an evening full of charm and space,
everything seemed so close, so near; you could almost touch
the horizon and there was that light that showed the beauty of
everything. It was a light that revealed and in its revelation,
there was neither beauty nor ugliness. Thought has continuity,
not ugliness or beauty, thought has relationship and not love;
love is not in time. Time and thought are interrelated; one does
not exist without the other. These two destroy love. For love is
not a feeling nor can it be shaped by thought; the love that
thought breeds is sorrow. Love has no sorrow and love is not
the response of memory which has continuity. The flash of
beauty and ugliness is not of two different things; that light
reveals without relationship but thought joins them together. It
was clarity and not the beautiful and the ugly. It was the light
as of the quivering sea in which everything seemed to live; the
big was not the small. Meditation is the emptying of the mind
of time which is thought and feeling and that emptiness is light.
The two little girls had gone for it was dark now, the street
lamps were lit and there weren’t so many cars; but where they
had been there was perfume of the mango blossom.
28th The sea was empty, there was not a sail on it; it was
restless, agitated, wide and open; it was so alive, every ripple was whispering; the tide was coming in, gently with an
insistence that the black rocks knew. In that little bay, with
palm trees at one end of the curve and the dust and noise of a
new building going up at the other end, there were black rocks
on which were spread newly washed saris of many colours,
bright and luminous; they caught the light of the setting sun
and you forgot the world. There was only colour and light was
upon them. It was not the light of fancy or of the fast fading
evening; it was the light which only the god of colour can give
and the black rocks were heavy with age and countless storms.
On this ancient blackness was colour, every colour that eyes
could see; and the traffic ceased and the man standing next to
you, smoking a cheap cigarette, disappeared. You were alone
with colour; you were colour, not the many saris that were
spread out but just colour; nothing existed and the dark sea was
of it. Colour was god and that god was everywhere. And as you
watched meditation came upon you, not forced, without
thought. It was the meditation of expanding, open emptiness
which had no horizon, no time; it was that immeasurable space
of the mind meeting the vast space of time and distance and in
the meeting there was emptiness. It was the death of everything
known, every movement of pleasure, joy and sorrow; thought
could not travel in that emptiness of timeless space and it
became silent; it could not experience and so all recognition
ceased. Experience is the recognition, the continuity of the
known. Meditation is the uprooting of the known. Words,
recognition, the known had come to an end and the
immeasurable space of the mind moved with its own swiftness that left no mark. It was energy without frontiers. The road was
crowded with cars; there was hardly any space to walk; they
pushed you into the gutter; the chauffeur looked and was
indifferent and a child was playing on the verandah. It would
cross and uncross its legs, tuck them in more and more and sit
upon them, to see how little space she could cover. She was
dirty, with a skirt that wasn’t washed for days but she had a
sweet face, mischievous and enjoying. The whole street was
filled with cars and they were all going to a wedding party and
every car was full with well dressed people, jewels, bright saris
and the sober dress of men. The little girl never even looked at
them for there was nothing much to see; they were the
respectable, dead people. Now, the evening light was gone and
Orion was overhead, filling the little space between the trees
and the house.
March 1st It’s strange how little humility there is. A car
went by, with a very smart, bejewelled woman inside; she was
so terribly conscious of herself, of her hair, dress and of her
body. She was patting her hair, adjusting her dress and in a
little mirror looking at herself; probably she was going to some
party or other. The man beside her seemed so insignificant, so
bored, so sloppy. She was everything and he was nothing; she
ruled and he followed but probably in the office, he was the
tyrant. Both of them had that peculiar atmosphere of the rich,
of the arrogant; probably they could buy anything they wanted,
including the men in position. They had a large expensive car,
with a chauffeur, smartly turned out; he was conscious too of
driving an expensive car and rich people. There was money and more of it but not too ostentatious. She had stopped
looking at herself and was looking out of the window and
nobody existed, not even the setting sun and the light on the
water. It was a look of infinite boredom, waiting to be
[“entertained” with “amused” written above]. But the sea
wouldn’t wait nor that mass of people on the beach. It was a
mass of people that was alive because it was together. At the
end of the day, it was cool near the water and the sun was
setting behind the wooded hill. The streets were crowded; and
the beauty of the evening was there everywhere, but not in the
cars, in the people. You can’t find beauty, nor the tree nor the
bird will give it to you, but you will find it everywhere if you
look. Beauty as love, is not an act of experience; experience is
the interaction of the thinker and thought and so of conflict.
Beauty, as love, is there where the thinker is not and thought
with its feeling has come to an end. All knowledge must come
to an end for beauty, as love, to be. But you know about
everything; you have argued and counter argued and come to
many conclusions; you have become so clever for you have
known dullness. You know everything and if you don’t you
can always find it in books. You can go to the moon but you
have no space in the mind; you have little open spots, but not
space where the infinite past and the infinite future have met
and lost their meaning completely. It is only in that space that
there is beauty as love. There is no space for thought, there is,
to go to the moon but beauty, as love, is not there. It’s there, in
that unspotted space of the mind and it’s difficult to find the
mind for there is only exploding space. For creation is beauty, as love and death. But the expensive car slipped through and a
taxi, yellow and black, took its place.
4th It was a magnolia flower, not the large variety, about the
size of a small rose; it was still attached to its leaf, long,
sparklingly green and beautifully shaped. The flower was pale
yellow, with a delicate smell; the whole flower was the size of
a large marble, with darker yellowish green petals outside.
Somebody had picked it off the tree, carelessly, leaving it short
of stem. As it lay on the leaf, it was designed to contain the
structure and colour of the earth and heavens and there was
space within it, not the space that’s measured but it was
endless. You saw it in a flash, a swiftness that the eye and the
heart could not follow. It left you as empty as that space
around that flower; it was an explosion without the time fuse
and you were left marvelling that such a thing should be. All
this in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye. And therein lay the
beauty of the everlasting. Beauty is the seeing the immediacy
of the whole. You can see the immensity only in a flash, the
whole of life in a fleeting second. It is not thought that sees;
thought is put together through time; when thought sees, it is
within the field of time and so there is continuity and decay
follows; age and sorrow set in. But it was there on the table,
the flower and the leaf, waiting to be put in water, if somebody
cared. People didn’t care; it would be put in a vase and a few
gurgling words said about it; people were too occupied, too
committed to everything but to the flower and to see there must
be space in the mind, vast, limitless space in the mind and only
in that emptiness can there be the flash which wipes away all time. It would wither away in a few hours and if you cared,
you would have no memory of it, the dead ashes of the past
second. But then your mind would be full and there would be
no space. The beauty of that space is silence; not the silence
that time has bred. It is only in that immeasurable silence that
there is the flash of the immense. You looked at that sculptured
flower, with its sparkling leaf and wondered that such a thing
could happen. In that wondering was humility which the earth
cannot yield and beyond that flower was the noisy dirty lane,
with children shouting, crying and laughing; it came out of the
road more noisy, more dirty. There was always somebody on
it, coming and going and only in the depth of night was there
quiet. The whole city slept and forgot; you would hear, if the
tide was high, the far away roar of the sea and the mechanical
hum of the air-conditioners. The streetlight made shadows and
there is a shadow on the frosted window pane that comes every
evening; it’s always dancing, always whispering and you are
among those delicate leaves, lost and forgotten and you can
never come back to the chaos and misery of the lane.
Everywhere there were ashes and that immensity of the
fleeting second was gone. You could not recall it, and there
was the road which had awakened to the coming day.
7th You should never be here too much; be so far away that
they can’t find you, they can’t get at you to shape, to mould.
Be so far away, like the mountains, like the unpolluted air; be
so far away that you have no parents, no relations, no family,
no country; be so far away that you don’t know even where
you are. Don’t let them find you; don’t come into contact with them too closely. Keep far away where even you can’t find
yourself; keep a distance which can never be crossed over;
keep a passage open always through which no one can come.
Don’t shut the door for there is no door, only an open, endless
passage; if you shut any door, they will be very close to you,
then you are lost. Keep far away where their breath can’t reach
you and their breath travels very far and very deeply; don’t get
contaminated by them, by their word, by their gesture, by their
great knowledge; they have great knowledge but be far away
from them where even you cannot find yourself. For they are
waiting for you, at every corner, in every house to shape you,
to mould you, to tear you to pieces and then put you together in
their own image. Their gods, the little ones and the big ones,
are the images of themselves, carved by their own mind or by
their own hands. They are waiting for you, the churchman and
the Communist, the believer and the non-believer, for they are
both the same; they think they are different but they are not for
they both brainwash you, till you are of them, till you repeat
their words, till you worship their saints, the ancient and the
recent; they have armies for their gods and for their countries
and they are experts in killing. Keep far away but they are
waiting for you, the educator and the businessman; one trains
you for the others to conform to the demands of their society,
which is a deadly thing;** they will make you into a scientist,
into an engineer, into an expert of almost anything from
cooking to architecture to philosophy. Keep far, far away; they
are waiting for you, the politician and the reformer; the one
drags you down into the gutter and then the other reforms you; they juggle with words and you will be lost in their wilderness.
Keep far away; they are waiting for you, the experts in god and
the bomb throwers: the one will convince you and the other
[show you] how to kill; there are so many ways to find god and
so many, many ways to kill. But besides all these, there are
hoards of others to tell you what to do and what not to do; keep
away from all of them, so far away that you cannot find
yourself or any other. You too would like to play with all of
them who are waiting for you but then the play becomes so
complicated and entertaining that you will be lost. You should
never be here too much, be so far away that even you cannot
find yourself.
They were all sitting in a row in the fairly well kept garden;
they had on the light and they were eating and the big house
was behind them. There was the scent of many flowers in the
air and the breeze was coming from the restless sea. On that
road there was hardly any car and your brain was utterly still
and the movement of a flash was taking place. The meditation
was the flash and that flash can only be in emptiness; the flash
that opens the door into the unknown. That flash has no time
but it’s only a fleeting second. You can never keep that flash
any more than you can hold the winds in your fists.
11th She had a yellow flower in her hair and she was
sweeping the front steps of the big flats; her green sari was not
clean, she was lean and had many, many children. The husband
was supposed to be a gardener; he took care of the few
dilapidated bushes and flowers around the place; he too was
lean, haggard and he just managed to carry the heavy bucket of water to water the plants, and they weren’t watered every day
either; his shirt was torn, unmended, dirty and as dirty as the
entrance, and dogs used the place. And nobody seemed to care.
The family lived in the alley, under a thatched roof of palm
leaves; their house was built around a few loose bricks, a
couple of posts and a filthy gunny-sack. It was their house
where they could breed and if allowed died there. He was
getting as a gardener a mere pittance, a generous tip you would
give to the waiter in a good restaurant and they had to live on
that, his whole family of five or six or eight children who were
always playing, shouting, crying in the alley, just below the
windows. Of course they would never get any education and
they would always remain poor, lean, dirty and lost. There’s a
little girl of about two, who used the alley as her toilet and all
children of the neighbourhood used to race up and down that
alley, screaming, calling and laughing. The rich people had a
temple higher up on the crowded hill with roaring traffic at its
doorstep. But everywhere there were the desperately poor,
lean, hungry; and the polished cars went by and the people in
there were sad too. Their day was over, never to return; they
had money and nothing else.
You never saw anything so utterly innocent; she was lying
on her back; you could just see the whole delicate line of her
and she was almost touching the water; it was a stroke of light
of the very young, new moon, appearing for the first time in a
cloudless sky. You never saw her before, though you had seen
her a thousand times; it was so innocent that you in that
crowded noisy street were made innocent. You were innocent, without striving, without thought; everything about you was
new, you had never seen them before. Your eyes were washed
clean and you had not a spot in your heart; you were so far
away that nothing could touch you. You could never be
polluted again for there was no again; there was no in the
meantime; there was no past or future; there was only that vast
empty space of now, of innocency whose immensity was
blessedness. It was a benediction and you couldn’t carry
another to it, even though you loved. There was no saviour, no
teacher could bring you to it; you have to abandon them and
get lost where your thought couldn’t find you. It was the
innocency of complete aloneness, not a thing that you had
carefully carved out of life, a corner of self-immolated
isolation. You were not alone, for you were where experience
could not reach you. You did not know it was aloneness; you
were not aware of anything but there was that immense
innocency in that nothingness. It was the innocence of all
energy and life and if you ever came there casually, and it must
always be casual never determined, then you would be in an
ecstasy that had no reason and no death. The long line of cars
honked behind you, and in front of you a political meeting was
going on, on the beach, and the bellowing voice of the
politician, through the loudspeaker, came to you. The new
moon was below the sea.
13th The dirty street was terribly crowded; it was more dirty
than ever; they spat all over the place; the narrow pavement
was incredibly filthy, never swept and it would be many
months before the torrential rains would come and wash away the brutal ugliness of an overcrowded and callous city. The sea
was just on the other side of the road. The purifying tide was
coming in, covering the black rocks and the sands made dirty
by man. Wherever he went there was dirt, brutality and a
terrifying indifference to everything, and those who cared a
little soon became social workers or those undying politicians.
The hideous posters on the walls were telling the world what
marvellous things they would do if you only elected them and
nobody else. Every dog left a mark on that road where you
walked; no incoming tide would wash the street clean; the
mind was tired and the heart had withered and a small girl was
using the street as her toilet. You wept and out of the car a man
threw the butt of a cigarette and before a man could pick it up,
the tyres of a car went over it; it was a half-smoked cigarette
too. And going through the crowded street, you came to a bit of
road that went round the curve of the sea and on the black
rocks were the many coloured saris, stretched out to dry; they
were collecting them now and carefully folding them up. And
the red sun was touching the water and the horizon was clear,
without a sail, without a cloud. You went with the sun, far
away; you didn’t withdraw you just went away, not knowing
where; if you withdrew, you would come back, now or later,
and then you would repeat the whole weary cycle again,
endlessly. Your withdrawal bred callousness and the agony of
despair. Don’t ever withdraw or isolate yourself; don’t retreat
into corrupting family or into the dead ashes of ideas, beliefs
and the cheap gods of your mind. There is no love there. But if
you just went away, not knowing where, not planned, not cunningly plotted out, then you can walk in that filthy street,
with dead men and you would know love. As you walked,
pushed around by cars and people, you would meditate, with
delight; then meditation became an ecstasy, a movement of
infinite tenderness and you held the hand of a passing child.
Then you would give the garland of fragrant jasmine that had
just been given to you to that passing beggar and you would
see his immense surprise and delight. Then you would know
that the everlasting was always there, round every corner,
under that dead leaf and the fallen flower. The man ahead of
you was smoking a strong cigarette and the brown eagles had
stopped circling in the sky.
l9th*** We were flying at 32,000 feet; the endless clouds
were far below us and the clear, spotless blue sky above; the
sun was coming out of the clouds, dazzlingly white. There
wasn’t a break in them and they stretched from continent to
continent; they were over the desert, sea and islands and at that
height the sky was of intense blue; from the earth, from the
mountains, you never saw such blue; it was so solid that you
could cut it and keep it in your pocket and the horizon was
white where the blue met. From a deep valley or from a high
mountain sometimes you saw the blue of the sky, but it was
never like this. It filled your eyes and carried you very far,
beyond the measure of time. The plane wasn’t crowded yet,
probably, it would fill up at the next landing, so you had the
next two seats to yourself. There was the roar of those jets and
it wasn’t too noisy, you could hear the conversation of those
ladies, seated across the aisle. But there was silence. Amidst all that chatter and roar, it was there as clear and spotless as the
blue sky. You were aware of it not as an observer [of]
something to be experienced and put away into endless
memory; you could not think about it, there was no time; it was
there with such intensity that there was no experiencing of it.
Out of this silence, suddenly and unexpectedly, there was that
immensity. Your whole being became utterly still, without a
thought, without a feeling; there was that unapproachable
strength that was not put together by man. It was the strength
that nothing could penetrate and so utterly vulnerable. And
there was that strange intensity which no will or passion could
conjure up. They were not separate things, the immense, that
impenetrable strength and intensity; they were inseparable,
never to be broken up, like death and love and creation. Your
brain could not grasp the vastness, the majesty of it; it had
become still, many centuries ago, before you came aboard the
plane when they were playing some light music; out of the
humid heat of the night, you came in and instantly were lost,
many, many centuries ago, only an hour ago or perhaps a little
more. You sat there motionless and totally lost and you would
never be back completely. Three hours passed and you thought
you had just got in and they were telling you to fasten your
belt. And the two seats next to you were taken by a man and
woman. And again we were in the blue sky, innocent and
spotless, and that immensity was there. No man or god could
disturb it and your mind and heart were of it, past belief and
past beyond all time. Such a thing should happen in such a
place! The man was smoking and it was in your face; the baby across the aisle was crying in breathless sobs, there was no
milk and the mother couldn’t quieten it; the strain of it all was
beginning to tell on the mother. The hostesses came and took
the baby away, to clean it up, to quieten it and now the mother
began to cry. The roar of the jets changed and we were coming
down to land again. There was a river and green fields; the
river was like a snake winding in and out through the fields and
the fields were like men’s mind, all broken up, divided; the
property of each owner. And beyond was the sea, blue, rough
and incredibly alive. And there were the hills and the islands.

* He is now in Bombay where he will give talks until March
** They have a thing called society and family: these two are
their real gods, the net in which you will be entangled.
[Krishnamurti’s insertion.]
*** He flew today from Bombay to Rome.



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