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