Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hounded By Heaven 3: Total Freedom

Lately, I've been aware of my pettiness and anxieties. I get to thinking I've arrived at a secure base camp and I start ascending to a loftier life, then something happens and I'm thrown back down the mountain. I know this is part of the process and as standing reminds me, I just need to breathe.

Part of that breathing always leads me to reading material that lifts me up again. This is from J. Krishnamurti's Total Freedom:

How do you come upon that which is sacred? Is there anything sacred? Man has sought throughout the ages something beyond. From the times of the ancient Sumerians, the Egyptians, Romans, people have sought. And they worshiped light, worshiped the sun, worshiped the tree, worshiped the mother, never finding anything. So can we together discover or rather, come upon, that thing which is most holy?

That can only take place when there is absolute silence, when the brain is absolutely quiet. You can discover for yourself - if you are attentive, watchful, watchful of your words, the meaning of the words, never saying one thing and doing another, if you are watchful all the time - that the brain has its own natural rhythm. But upon that natural rhythm thought has placed all kinds of things. For us, knowledge is tremendously important. To do anything physical requires knowledge, but psychological knowledge, that knowledge you have accumulated about your hurts, about your vanity, your arrogance, your ambition, all that knowledge is you. And with that knowledge we try to find out if there is anything most holy. You can never find out through knowledge, because knowledge is limited, and it will always be - physically, technologically, and psychologically.

So the brain must be absolutely quiet, not through control, not through following some method, system, not by cultivating silence. Silence implies space. Have you noticed how little space we have in our brain? It is cluttered up, full with so many thousands of things; it has very little space. And for silence there must be space because that which is immeasurable, that which is unnameable, cannot exist or be perceived or seen by a narrow little brain. If you take a journey into yourself, empty all the content that you have collected and go very, very deeply, then there is that vast space, that so-called emptiness, that is full of energy.

And in that state alone there is that which is most sacred, most holy.

New Delhi, November 13, 1983

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hounded by Heaven 2

Rumi, the Islamic poet, said that everything in the universe is a rhythmic drumbeat - only love is a melody. According to Rumi, anyone who does not love is like a fish without water or a bird without wings. There are three arduous requirements for attaining the state of perfect love - to be free from greed, to disdain the intellect, and to transcend all social roles and find one's true Self. Love, says Rumi, is the creative essence of the universe. Through love, thorns are turned to roses, sickness is transformed into health, and anger softens into gentleness; good fortune is seen in the bad, and the ugliest prison becomes a rose garden.