The mountains look on the town and the town looks upon the sea.It was the time of many flowers and calm blue skies.In a big house, where the trees gathered around there lived a man, rich in the possession of things. He had visited the capitals of many lands in search of a cure.He was lame, scarcely able to walk.A stranger from the distant and sunny lands, came by chance to the town that looks upon the sea.The lame man and the distant stranger passed by, touching each other in a narrow lane.The lame man was healed, and the town whispered in amazement.On the next day, the man made whole was taken to prison for some immorality.J. KrishnamurtiFrom Darkness To Light: Poems And ParablesThe Collected Works Of Krishnamurti, Volume 1
September 17, 1973
That evening, walking through the wood there was a feeling of menace. The sun was just setting and the palm trees were solitary against the golden western sky. The monkeys were in the banyan tree, getting ready for the night. Hardly anyone used that path and rarely you met another human being. There were many deer, shy and disappearing into the thick growth. Yet the menace was there, heavy and pervading: it was all around you, you looked over your shoulder. There were no dangerous animals; they had moved away from there; it was too close to the spreading town. One was glad to leave and walk back through the lighted streets. But the next evening the monkeys were still there and so were the deer and the sun was just behind the tallest trees; the menace was gone. On the contrary, the trees, the bushes and the small plants welcomed you. You were among your friends, you felt completely safe and most welcome. The woods accepted you and every evening it was a pleasure to walk there.
Forests are different. There’s physical danger there, not only from snakes but from tigers that were known to be there. As one walked there one afternoon there was suddenly an abnormal silence; the birds stopped chattering, the monkeys were absolutely still and everything seemed to be holding its breath. One stood still. And as suddenly, everything came to life; the monkeys were playing and teasing each other, birds began their evening chatter and one was aware the danger had passed.
In the woods and groves where man kills rabbits, pheasants, squirrels, there’s quite a different atmosphere. You are entering into a world where man has been, with his gun and peculiar violence. Then the woods lose their tenderness, their welcome, and here some beauty has been lost and that happy whisper has gone.
You have only one head and look after it for it’s a marvellous thing. No machinery, no electronic computers can compare with it. It’s so vast, so complex, so utterly capable, subtle and productive. It’s the storehouse of experience, knowledge, memory. All thought springs from it. What it has put together is quite incredible: the mischief, the confusion, the sorrows, the wars, the corruptions, the illusions, the ideals, the pain and misery, the great cathedrals, the lovely mosques and the sacred temples. It is fantastic what it has done and what it can do. But one thing it apparently cannot do: change completely its behaviour in its relationship to another head, to another man. Neither punishment nor reward seem to change its behaviour; knowledge doesn’t seem to transform its conduct. The me and the you remain. It never realizes that the me is the you, that the observer is the observed. Its love is its degeneration; its pleasure is its agony; the gods of its ideals are its destroyers. Its freedom is its own prison; it is educated to live in this prison, only making it more comfortable, more pleasurable. You have only one head, care for it, don’t destroy it. It’s so easy to poison it.
He always had this strange lack of distance between himself and the trees, rivers and mountains. It wasn’t cultivated: you can’t cultivate a thing like that. There was never a wall between him and another. What they did to him, what they said to him never seemed to wound him, nor flattery to touch him. Somehow he was altogether untouched. He was not withdrawn, aloof, but like the waters of a river. He had so few thoughts; no thoughts at all when he was alone. His brain was active when talking or writing but otherwise it was quiet and active without movement. Movement is time and activity is not.
This strange activity, without direction, seems to go on, sleeping or waking. He wakes up often with that activity of meditation; something of this nature is going on most of the time. He never rejected it or invited it. The other night he woke up, wide awake. He was aware that something like a ball of fire, light, was being put into his head, into the very centre of it. He watched it objectively for a considerable time, as though it were happening to someone else. It was not an illusion, something conjured up by the mind. Dawn was coming and through the opening of the curtains he could see the trees.
Brockwood Park, Hamshire
Once upon a time, when there was great understanding and in the world full rejoicing, there lived a gentle woman, full of years.One day, she found herself in a temple, before the altar made by the human hand. She was crying bitterly to heaven and none was there to comfort her. Till in the long last, a friend of God took notice of her and asked the reason for her tears."God must have forgotten me. My husband is gracious and well. My children are full and strong. Many servants are there to care for us. All things are well with me and mine own. God has forgotten us.”The friend of God replied, “God never forgets His children.”When she came home, she found her son dead.She never cried."God remembers me and mine own.”J. KrishnamurtiFrom Darkness To Light: Poems And ParablesThe Collected Works Of Krishnamurti, Volume 1
September 16, 1973
At that time of the morning the streets of the small village were empty but beyond them the country was full with trees, meadows and whispering breezes. The one main street was lighted and everything else was in darkness. The sun would come up in about three hours. It was a clear starlit morning. The snow peaks and the glaciers were still in darkness and almost everyone was sleeping. The narrow mountain roads had so many curves that one couldn’t go very fast; the car was new and being run in. It was a beautiful car, powerful with good lines. In that morning air the motor ran most efficiently. On the auto-route it was a thing of beauty and as it climbed it took every corner, steady as a rock. The dawn was there, the shape of the trees and the long line of hills and the vineyards; it was going to be a lovely morning; it was cool and pleasant among the hills. The sun was up and there was dew on the leaves and meadows.
He always liked machinery; he dismantled the motor of a car and when it ran it was as good as new. When you are driving, meditation seems to come so naturally. You are aware of the countryside, the houses, the farmers in the field, the make of the passing car and the blue sky through the leaves. You are not even aware that meditation is going on, this meditation that began ages ago and would go on endlessly. Time isn’t a factor in meditation, nor the word which is the meditator. There’s no meditator in meditation. If there is, it is not meditation. The meditator is the word, thought and time, and so subject to change, to the coming and going. It’s not a flower that blooms and dies. Time is movement. You are sitting on the bank of a river, watching the waters, the current and the things floating by. When you are in the water, there’s no watcher. Beauty is not in the mere expression, it’s in the abandonment of the word and expression, the canvas and the book.
How peaceful the hills, the meadows and these trees are: the whole country is bathed in the light of a passing morning. Two men were arguing loudly with many gestures, red in the face. The road runs through a long avenue of trees and the tenderness of the morning is fading.
The sea stretched before you and the smell of eucalyptus was in the air. He was a short man, lean and hard of muscle: he had come from a far away country, darkened by the sun. After a few words of greeting, he launched into criticism. How easy it is to criticize without knowing what actually are the facts. He said: “You may be free and live really all that you are talking about, but physically you are in a prison, padded by your friends. You don’t know what is happening around you. People have assumed authority, though you yourself are not authoritarian.”
I am not sure you are right in this matter. To run a school or any other thing there must be a certain responsibility and it can and does exist without the authoritarian implication. Authority is wholly detrimental to co-operation, to talking things over together. This is what is being done in all the work that we are engaged in. This is an actual fact. If one may point out, no one comes between me and another.
"What you are saying is of the utmost importance. All that you write and say should be printed and circulated by a small group of people who are serious and dedicated. The world is exploding and it is passing you by.”
I am afraid again you are not fully aware of what is happening. At one time a small group took the responsibility of circulating what has been said. Now, too, a small group has undertaken the same responsibility. Again, if one may point out, you are not aware of what is going on.
He made various criticisms but they were based on assumptions and passing opinions. Without defending, one pointed out what was actually taking place. But—
How strange human beings are.
The hills were receding and the noise of daily life was around one, the coming and the going, sorrow and pleasure. A single tree on a hillock was the beauty of the land. And deep down in the valley was a stream and beside it ran a railroad. You must leave the world to see the beauty of that stream.
Brockwood Park, Hamshire
The Man And The Moon
I would like to tell a story.Once upon a time there was a man who desired to understand the beauty of the moon and the softness of its rays and the causes of these things. So he went forth and gazed into the skies. Between him and the moon there was a lovely tree with a delicate branch and tender leaves. Forgetting the moon, he began to examine the delicate branch and the tender leaves and was lost in the thought of such delicacy, and when he looked up again, the moon had set. The understanding of life is more essential than the mere superficial knowledge of the machinery of life, though one must be acquainted with this also.J. KrishnamurtiFrom Darkness To Light: Poems And ParablesThe Collected Works Of Krishnamurti, Volume 1
September 15, 1973
It is good to be alone. To be far away from the world and yet walk its streets is to be alone. To be alone walking up the path beside the rushing, noisy mountain stream full of spring water and melting snows is to be aware of that solitary tree, alone in its beauty. The loneliness of a man in the street is the pain of life; he’s never alone, far away, untouched and vulnerable. To be full of knowledge breeds endless misery. The demand for expression, with its frustrations and pains, is that man who walks the streets; he is never alone. Sorrow is the movement of that loneliness.
That mountain stream was full and high with the melting snows and the rains of early spring. You could hear big boulders being pushed around by the force of on-rushing waters. A tall pine of fifty years or more crashed into the water; the road was being washed away. The stream was muddy, slate coloured. The fields above it were full of wild flowers. The air was pure and there was enchantment. On the high hills there was still snow, and the glaciers and the great peaks still held the recent snows; they will still be white all the summer long.
It was a marvellous morning and you could have walked on endlessly, never feeling the steep hills. There was a perfume in the air, clear and strong. There was no one on that path, coming down or going up. You were alone with those dark pines and the rushing waters. The sky was that astonishing blue that only the mountains have. You looked at it through leaves and the straight pines. There was no one to talk to and there was no chattering of the mind. A magpie, white and black, flew by, disappearing into the woods. The path led away from the noisy stream and the silence was absolute. It wasn’t the silence after the noise; it wasn’t the silence that comes with the setting of the sun, nor that silence when the mind dies down. It wasn’t the silence of museums and churches but something totally unrelated to time and space. It wasn’t the silence that mind makes for itself. The sun was hot and the shadows were pleasant.
He only discovered recently that there was not a single thought during these long walks, in the crowded streets or on the solitary paths. Ever since he was a boy it had been like that, no thought entered his mind. He was watching and listening and nothing else. Thought with its associations never arose. There was no image-making. One day he was suddenly aware how extraordinary it was; he attempted often to think but no thought would come. On these walks, with people or without them, any movement of thought was absent. This is to be alone.
Over the snow peaks clouds were forming, heavy and dark; probably it would rain later on but now the shadows were very sharp with the sun bright and clear. There was still that pleasant smell in the air and the rains would bring a different smell. It was a long way down to the chalet.
Brockwood Park, Hamshire
In my garden there is life and death, the laughter of many flowers and the cry of falling petals.A dead tree and a green tree look on each other.It is mid-summer and the shadows are dancing save about the dead tree.The song of waters shall not set it a-dancing, nor the rain bring forth the hidden leaves.Ah, it is so bare, so empty!Who shall nourish it, who shall caress it with life?The far skies look down on the dead and the living.Through the long suffering winter, lies concealed a seed of lovely promise. Cold winds, tearing gales, noisy storms, hold back the loveliness of the seed. Dark days and sunless hours deny the glory of the seed.With the soft breeze from the warm south the hidden seed awakens to life.The song of the birds over the blue skies calls the still seed to life.The scent of warm rain awakens deep memories of the seed to life.Through the burden of heavy earth, life breaks forth and rejoices.It grew by the dusty road-side among the lazy stones.With its single flower, it danced the day long.A boy, on his homeward way, uproots it and throws it away.Creation lies in the path of careless love.J. KrishnamurtiFrom Darkness To Light: Poems And ParablesThe Collected Works Of Krishnamurti, Volume 1
September 14, 1973
The other day, coming back from a good walk among the fields and trees, we passed through the grove near the big white house. Coming over the stile into the grove one felt immediately a great sense of peace and stillness. Not a thing was moving. It seemed sacrilegious to walk through it, to tread the ground; it was profane to talk, even to breathe. The great redwood trees were absolutely still; the American Indians call them the silent ones and now they were really silent. Even the dog didn’t chase the rabbits. You stood still hardly daring to breathe; you felt you were an intruder, for you had been chatting and laughing, and to enter this grove not knowing what lay there was a surprise and a shock, the shock of an unexpected benediction. The heart was beating less fast, speechless with the wonder of it. It was the centre of this whole place. Every time you enter it now, there’s that beauty, that stillness, that strange stillness. Come when you will and it will be there, full, rich and unnameable.
Any form of conscious meditation is not the real thing; it can never be. Deliberate attempt to meditate is not meditation. It must happen; it cannot be invited. Meditation is not the play of the mind nor of desire and pleasure. All attempt to meditate is the very denial of it. Only be aware of what you are thinking and doing and nothing else. The seeing, the hearing, is the doing, without reward and punishment. The skill in doing lies in the skill of seeing, hearing. Every form of meditation leads inevitably to deception, to illusion, for desire blinds. It was a lovely evening and the soft light of spring covered the earth.
Brockwood Park, Hamshire
There is a mountain, far beyond the plains and hills, whose great summit overlooks the dark valley and the open seas.Neither cloud nor deep mists ever hide its calm face. It is above the shadows of day and night.From the vast plain, no man can behold it. Some have seen it but there be few that have reached its feet.One in many thousand years gathers his strength and gains that abode of eternity.I speak of that mountain top, serene, infinite, beyond thought.I shout for joy!One day, a man beheld through the opening of a cloud, the calm face of the mountain. He stopped every passer-by, that would stay to give an answer, and inquired of the way that would lead him beyond the mists. Some said take this path, and others said take that path. After many days of confusion and toil, he arrived among the hills.A man, full in years, wise in the ways of the hills, said, “I know the way. You cannot reach the mountain, O friend, unless you are strengthened by the power that comes from the adoration of the image in yonder shrine.”Many days passed in peaceful worship.Tired of worship, he asked of men that seemed great with understanding."Yea," said one, "I know the way. But if you would gain the fulfillment of your desire, carry this on you. It will uphold you in your weariness.” He gave him the symbol of his struggle.Another cried, “Yea, I know the way. But many days of contemplation must be passed in the seclusion of a sanctuary, with my picture of eternity.”"I know the way," said another, "But you must perform these rites, understand these hidden laws, you must enter the association of the elect and hold fast to the knowledge that we shall give you.”"Be loud in the song of praise of the reflection that you seek," said another."Come, follow me, obeying all things I say. I know the way," cried another.In the long last, the calm face of the mountain was utterly forgotten. Now he wanders from hill to hill, crying aloud, “Yes, I know the way, but….”There is a mountain far beyond the plains and hills whose summit overlooks the dark valley and the open seas. Neither cloud nor deep mists ever hide its calm face. It is above the shadows of day and night.One in many thousand years gathers his strength and gains that abode of eternity.I speak of that mountain top, serene, infinite, beyond thought.I shout for joy!J. KrishnamurtiFrom Darkness To Light: Poems And ParablesThe Collected Works Of Krishnamurti, Volume 1
It Is Your Life
That is why it is important, as I said, to understand the process, the ways of our own thinking. Self-knowledge cannot be gathered through anybody, through any book, through any confession, psychology, or psychoanalyst. It has to be found by yourself, because it is your life; and without the widening and deepening of that knowledge of the self, do what you will, alter any outward or inward circumstances, influences—it will ever be a breeding ground of despair, pain, sorrow. To go beyond the self-enclosing activities of the mind, you must understand them; and to understand them is to be aware of action in relationship, relationship to things, to people, and to ideas. In that relationship, which is the mirror, we begin to see ourselves, without any justification or condemnation; and from that wider and deeper knowledge of the ways of our own mind, it is possible to proceed further; then it is possible for the mind to be quiet, to receive that which is real.
J. Krishnamurti, Collected Works, Vol. V