FOREWORD BY MARY LUTYENS
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 fasting.
In this unique daily record we have what may be called the wellspring 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.