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 seriousness.
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 deterioration.
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 it.
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 selfcritical 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 remained.
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 incorruptible.
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 too.
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 timespace.
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 awe.
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 trees.
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 essence.
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 quickly.
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 colours.
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 distorts.
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 word.
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 innocence.
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 unimportant.
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 written.
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 imitation.
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 present.
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 comforting.
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 skilift 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 clouds.
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 pinecovered 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 nonbeauty 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 shadows.
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 death.
On waking early this morning, the body and the brain lay motionless for there was that power and strength which is a benediction.
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 creation.
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 things.
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 fortyfive 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 Gstaad.
*** The fourth talk at Saanen.
**** The talk had been the day before.
***** This was the seventh talk. It was principally about meditation.
****** 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.