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    The Silence: Dhyānas and

Right Mindfulness (II)

A talk given by Phiroz Mehta at Dilkusha, Forest Hill, London on 11th October 1970


During the last few meetings, we have gone into the question of Right Mindfulness to some considerable extent. This topic of Mindfulness can never be over-emphasized. As far as the religious life is concerned, it is communion which is the goal, the state of communion. And the state of communion in the religious context is a Transcendental communion. It is not merely a case of a person being in harmony with some other entity or being. In our ordinary life in the world, where there is a harmony between two individuals, each individual is a separate self-conscious individual. There is always the relationship which we call the relationship of the I to the you, or the I with the you, as the case may be. But in this Transcendent context of religion, the heart of religion, there is no such thing as I or you. There is only the One Total Reality in which what we commonly call I or you is an integral part and parcel to such an extent that the separative self-consciousness is completely out. That is the difference between communion in the religious sense and in any other ordinary sense. When we are free, totally free of all selfness, then this One Total Reality manifests itself in its wholeness through the individual separate self, and that is the marvel of it. Such a person is not merely unselfish. Mere unselfishness is something which we witness very considerably in the world. But unselfishness as such contains within itself its opposite, selfishness, just as the obviously selfish contains within itself the seeds and the potentiality of the unselfish. So in that worldly context, in terms of worldly consciousness, there is always the duality of the so-called virtue against the so-called vice, and therefore there is a state of conflict.

Now this is characteristic of the animal side of us. The living body is derived from the animal, and it contains within itself, deeply engrained in every cell of it, the various animal characteristics, the urges, the drives and so on. But in this human state in which we find ourselves, there is something other than that too, something which transcends the duality of the opposites, which is our animal heritage. An animal can be very unselfish, self-sacrificing as we say. The mother animal will give its life for its young. Human animals also do the same. But as far as that goes, we are still in the realm of the animal because we are conscious, we are aware, in terms of duality, this against that. But through human beings there is evolving very slowly, emerging very slowly, through the thousands of years of evolution and development, this awareness which transcends all duality, and therefore transcends and is totally free of the conflict which duality entails. For this release, Mindfulness is the real key.

You know how Jesus said, “Watch and pray.” The Buddha taught the identical thing when he talked of those two aspects of what is called the Noble Eightfold Path, sammā sati, perfect mindfulness, sammā samādhi, usually translated as perfect concentration. I prefer to call it perfect communion, because samādhi as concentration exists at all stages of the development of the mind. But this sammā samādhi that the Buddha talks of, if you look into it very carefully, best of all if you experience it at all in some measure or other yourself, you will see it is nothing other than perfect communion. So it is a state of perfect communion between an individual being and the Total Reality.

Put in words, this is how one puts it, but the words are in terms of separateness, separative terms, the individual and the Totality. It is not a case of individual and Totality. The Totality contains the individual altogether. But the separate self-consciousness of the individual has vanished. This, which makes me say “I”, and in some way or other, some respect or other, cuts myself adrift, puts myself apart from the Totality, is that separate aspect of my self-consciousness which prevents the full humanity in me from flowering. The full flowering of humanity, of human-ness, means that the individual and the Totality are no longer individual and Totality. There is only Totality, the One Total Reality, whatever that is.

Now you may recall that we considered what may be called the right way to be mindful. In the ordinary way we are mindful entirely in terms of separativeness. It is that thing, that event, and I the observer looking on at it. I am separate. This is the ordinary way in which we are conscious, the seeing subject and the observed object, and the relationship between the two. As long as I am conscious in those terms then I am mindful of the nature of any event in terms of the individuals concerned — I am angry or violent, you are angry or violent or kind or noble or whatever it is. As long as I am aware in those terms, it will be almost impossible to overcome the tendency to be critical, antagonistic towards what I call evil, and attached to what I call good.

But both attachment and aversion mean bondage. It is very important to realize this. Both of them mean bondage, there is no resolution of the world situation in those terms, as long as I am subject to my attachments and aversions. Then there is separation, there is conflict, there is disharmony. But if I am aware purely in terms of the quality of the thing, this is generosity, this is meanness, not that he is mean, or I am mean, then I am free of antagonism towards anybody or attachment towards anybody, or antagonism or attachment to myself. I am free of spiritual pride if I observe that I am responsible for something which is called good. I am free of the conflicts brought about by the guilt of consciousness if I accuse myself of having done something wrong. In that state the good can emerge, in that state I am free of the illusion that I can do good, because that presupposes that I know what is good. Do I? If I know what is the good, then there is no more to learn, and if there is no more to learn, there is no further growth, there is no further development, it is the end. I am dead. But if I remain open, altogether open, unobstructive, then the good which is inherent and involved in the Totality can emerge through this person called myself, who is unresisting to that. This is something very different.

Remember Jesus’s words, “Why callest thou Me good? There is only one that is good and that is God.” And what is God? Not the other fellow. The unknown and the unknowable because God is the All, the Absolute, not the Absolute merely of the philosopher who uses his intellect, not an intellectual Absolute, because that is an abstracted Absolute and is not Absolute. The Absolute has no qualities, and it has all the qualities. So, if God has all the qualities, good and evil alike and is also devoid of all the qualities, good and evil, my brain can never picture that sort of God, I can only use so many words, because I may be just a little too clever by far and be able to use words like that. But they have no real meaning. Only God is good, the unknown is good. Only the One Total Reality is the good. And if I am unresisting, then through this person here that good can emerge. But for this, I myself in my own consciousness must be free of condemnations, of approvals, of attachments, of aversions. Then it is as if one were an open channel for the good to emerge. Then the experiencing of Transcendence can take place.

Now, do remember that the experiencing of Transcendence is quite different, quite other than the flashes of inspiration one has, the sublime moods into which one may enter, the extraordinary experiences which one may suddenly go through for a few moments or even for days and weeks on end. It is quite different from all that. All that belongs to the realm of duality. I am conscious in unusual terms and that is all there is to it, however wonderful they are. You get several of the great poets of the world writing marvellous mystical poetry along those lines. You get several people in the world who have this kind of experience, a sudden overwhelming sense of oneness with everything, of being everything and everything being oneself and all the rest of it. That consciousness overwhelms the individual because he happens to be just in that receptive state at the moment. But going through that experience and remembering it as an experience means separateness.

The perfect communion cannot be known, cannot be remembered in the ordinary way by the person who is in the state of communion. All analytical consciousness, the seeing subject looking at the observed object, is completely out in that state. And that state is one, not only of no consciousness, but of no unconsciousness. That is why I say it is the unknowable. As such it cannot be sought, you cannot develop yourself in this, that or the other way specifically, by some technique, by a skilful know-how so that you will deliberately experience that. That cannot happen. The positive task is the negative process. It is the negation of all this that I know which enables the unknown to function through this person who has ceased to know.

Put it in other terms. This person has become totally clean. He has become totally empty, and I mean totally empty, no ideas, urges, no drives, no knowledge, no thoughts, no beliefs, no conceptions, nothing at all. You see, this is something quite outside our ordinary sphere, isn’t it? But it is extremely important somehow or other just to have a thrill, just to be so sensitive that somehow the touch of the unknown and the unknowable makes an impress on us, opens a door. If the sense of the Transcendence operates even once for even the shortest possible time, if that sense of Transcendence operates in the living being even once, then there is a link, there is a dissolution taking place of selfness.

What is it that enables that sense of Transcendence to have a chance of bursting through this too too solid flesh, so to say? This is Mindfulness, the right type of Mindfulness, not in terms of I am, you are, but in terms of this is. When I am aware in terms of this is, then all limitation vanishes, sorrow, joy, nobility, goodness, violence, everything is universal. It is not just yours or mine. You and I were born, we shall be dead. In our lifetime it expresses itself through you and me. But for three or four million years into the past it has expressed itself through all the humans that were on the globe, and will express itself for the coming two hundred or two thousand million years, as the case may be. So you see, if I am not limitedly conscious in terms of I am this, or you are this, then this petty little being is open-minded. One’s sensitivity is blossoming out, and in terms of that sensitivity the experiencing of Transcendence can take place, but remember, without my knowing it. It just happens. It happens.

We all suffer from the illusion “I did this, I thought that, I will do so-and-so,” etc., etc., etc. The illusion holds good up to a very, very small extent, within a very limited context. But in fact what I think, feel, speak, do, what I plan, all that happens, etc., is overwhelmingly due to the Totality, not to me. If I am free of I am or I am doing this, that or the other, or you are doing this, that or the other, then that Totality finds an instrument which is not resisting it, and the Totality knows. I can’t do anything about the Totality. If the galaxy chooses to explode (or course it doesn’t choose), but supposing the galaxy explodes, it explodes. What can I do about it? The solar system shows a harmony, a central sun with planets revolving around it. The life of the Earth in its bigness, in its wholeness, is a marvellous thing. I can’t control it. Can I produce the beauty of the sunset or the dawn? I can’t do anything like that. But we all suffer from the illusion that I this, or he this. The moment we have this consciousness of you and I, there is always blame apportioned out or praise apportioned out. We are always caught up in this unrelated state.

The human race is like a vast collection of three thousand five hundred million people who are all members of an orchestra which never plays in time and tune, never plays the same piece! They are all playing away at “I am going to do this.” You see, it is that spirit, isn’t it? So man is against man all the time, and within himself he is quite divided. He is unwhole, unholy. But be mindful, just in terms of the quality of the thing. Realize its universal sorrow. In the same way be aware of what we commonly call evil. “This is evil, this is violence, this is treachery, this is thieving, this is murder, this is cruelty.” What has happened then? If I am aware in those terms and very clearly see that this is so, then my psyche just moves away from it, does not participate in it.

If I am taking a walk along the cliffs and I suddenly come to the cliff edge, if the body is a normal healthy body, it just withdraws from the cliff edge, it doesn’t walk or try to walk over it. The psyche does precisely that when the psyche really sees. But supposing the body near the cliff edge did not see the cliff edge, over it would go. But if there is clear sight, clear vision, one just naturally withdraws. But in that natural withdrawal there is no conflict. This is the very important point. One part of me, the so-called good policeman, is not belabouring the naughty or bad criminal part of me with his truncheon!

If that can happen, then living the good life is a happy process, it is an easy process, it becomes a natural process. If I myself become released from an internal conflict, then it is perfectly easy for me not to be in conflict with anybody else. It is because I am not released from my own internal conflicts that I find myself in conflict with another. Another may feel in conflict with me, but for conflict between two people really to burst out and cause trouble, the two must quarrel. It takes two to make a quarrel, not one. If I don’t quarrel, because naturally I don’t quarrel, then there is no conflict. But if I don’t quarrel, because I sternly repress my reactivity against the person, then there is a quarrel, then I have just taken that quarrel into my own being and I am going through a storm inside. That’s not it. One has to see this is so. My husband gets into a temper and so forth. Then I say to myself, “My husband is in a temper, well, that’s usual, he’ll calm down.” I repress my own rising gorge. That’s no good. For some day the provocation will be so great that there will be an almighty explosion. But if I really see that this is ill-temper, not that my husband is in a temper or that my wife is in a temper or my father or my friend or that terrible fellow across the road, or something. No, this is so, that’s all. Then one remains peaceful.

This is a basic necessity for the religious life. One can’t be religious as long as there is this inner turmoil, this inner conflict. If my hands are dirty, can I clean anything with those hands? If my soul is in turmoil, can I bring harmony, health, consolation, support to another in distress? I can’t do it. I myself am in a mess. A doctor of the body need not himself have a healthy physical body. He can prescribe a remedy which the other person takes, and the other person may find it beneficial. The doctor himself may be suffering from all the diseases of the world! But where the mind and the heart are concerned, the situation is quite different. There is no pill which can be given or a mixture to be taken after or without shaking, as the case may be! It’s not like that. Here the medicine is the living person. The disharmonious soul cannot bring harmony to the soul in turmoil. And the religious consciousness and awareness is something which heals, which makes whole. But oneself must be at peace, and oneself is in the  state of peace because this separative self-consciousness is out of the picture. When my separative consciousness is out of the picture, there are many other things out of the situation.  All my drives, my urges, my desires, my plans, my ambitions and all the rest of it are out.

Consider one of the great difficulties in the modern world, one of the great problems which people face, especially in developed countries which are composed of people who are rather individualistic. “I want to find my place in society, I want to be accepted by society.” I went through that sort of struggle myself until I saw the folly of it. I don’t want to be accepted! I am quite unconcerned with that. Nor do I want to be rejected, in fact I have no want one way or the other, to be accepted or rejected. I have no want inside me regarding finding my place in the society in which I live. “I have such and such talents, such and such abilities, and I really must find a field in which to express them.” Why? How many thousand million flowers bloom, pour forth their fragrance and beauty into the air, and do you or I pay any attention to them and recognise them? Not the least bit. Look at the shining of the stars. Look at a healthy little toddler jumping and shouting and rolling over the sand for joy, sheer joy. Does it care anything? Not the least bit. Haven’t we lost that spirit altogether? This is one of the great pains from which we suffer, is it not? “I was rejected by my parents from my youngest days, I was rejected by such and such a school teacher or my classmates or whatever it is. My boss always comes down upon me instead of somebody else.” All right, let him come down. After he comes down he will only have to get up! Let me be aware that this is a coming down upon me. Let me be aware that this is a rejection, a phenomenon of rejection. Let me be aware that this is a phenomenon of being appreciated and made much of. Then I am free within my soul. It’s not that I don’t care. But I am not personally involved, either in terms of attachment or aversion. It is not that I care in terms of all values which emanate from my selfness. Then this person is at peace inside.

Be at peace like that, and experience the new phenomenon, happiness, which is nothing to do with excitement, with sensational pleasure and that sort of nonsense. That belongs to the animal realm. It is necessary, it is right for the growing child, because that is how he grows, how he comes to egohood, separate egohood, and then he has to learn to become free from the bondage of separate egohood. But in that peace know this extraordinary thing happiness, this extraordinary thing which is freedom, which has nothing to do with “I do what I like.” This absurd thing of illusion, pain and evil, “I like”, has no place in the religious life. “I like, I long, I wish to serve my God.” Beware! The Lord God will say, “Oh my God, another one of these!”

We are interferers, we always know how God should run the world, don’t we? If we feel a bit perplexed, then we say, “How can God be good if there is evil in the world?” Who says there is evil in the world? I do. Why? Because I don’t like this, that and the other. I don’t like an earthquake, a flood, I don’t like the Thames being filled with sewage. But my Mother Earth, who contains me and the sewage and the Thames and the fish and the earthquake and the flood and the beauty of sunrise and sunset and the seasons and the flowers and everything, just includes it all.

Now, through whom will Mother Earth manifest that awareness? Mother Earth isn’t aware, conscious, in the way you and I are conscious. We are the brain cells of the whole world, each one of us. And Nature is emerging into consciousness through us humans. People ask, “What is the purpose of our human existence?” There are lots of wonderful purposes. To enable this upsurge of life, this movement of life, evolving, growing, becoming more and more sensitive, more and more receptive, more and more perfectly responsible, to enable all that to take place, it is for us to be mindful in the right way.  Watch and pray. Sammā sati, sammā samādhi.

This matter can never be discussed or considered too much or too often. It lies at the very heart of religious living. It is the supreme means by which we can be free of all we grasp and hold onto. The beliefs may have right relationship with reality, with the truth of things.  They may reflect the fact as it really is, but don’t cling to that belief, because that will prevent profounder insight. We know from our own living experience as the years pass, we see deeper and deeper into it.

If you are a pianist, you played something wonderfully when you were twenty, but that same thing when you are thirty, forty, sixty, seventy, you play with a magic that never belonged to twenty. Why? Only because you did not cling to the conception which you had at twenty. Therefore there is freedom, there is liberation. And how is it that you don’t cling to the conception at twenty? Because you are mindful, you are awake, you are in the state of, “Let me see, let me see, let me see afresh, anew” all the time. That’s what does it.

When we get interested in religion in the deep sense, in the serious way, we all want a sort of a scheme of daily practice. Yes, experiment with it and see. But in experimenting with it, beware of the illusion that, having done this at this time and that at that time, matins, evensong, etc., etc., and everything according to plan, therefore I am becoming religious, or am religious. Not at all. That is an external form. Instead of having my rough gardening clothes on, I have put on a dinner jacket, all spruced up and so forth. Does that alter me, the person, who is wearing the two different things? It is like that.

The living of the religious life centres around one point. In what manner am I aware of every moment of my existence? In what manner am I conscious? Is it in the manner of Transcendence or is it in the worldly manner of conflict, of duality, filled with illusion and delusion, with greed and hate and ambition, and all the rest of it? This is the point, how am I aware?

What does the Lord God ask Adam when he comes in the evening after they have been eating apples? “Adam, where art thou?” Does an All-Seeing One need to enquire where you are? He can see straightaway, whether you had an iron wall around you or not. “Where art thou, Adam?” This is Man himself awakening to the fact that he is aware of his existence and the situation in the wrong way, in the way of duality, in the way of conflict, in the way which keeps him confined to the primal level and does not allow the true human to function. The Perfected Holy Ones throughout the ages, they are the true humans. All the rest of us are sub-humans.

This is not an antagonistic criticism, this is a simple fact. Nature seems to have successfully done her task (as far as I know, I may be wrong, zoologists and biologists and others would know better), with regard to all the different animal orders, with regard to the plant kingdom and so forth. But she is still experimenting with us. Nature is trying to make a human being, a mankind over the globe, just as she has covered the globe with plants, with animals, and so forth. She is trying to make a mankind cover the globe, and she has only begun her task. It is a fact that she has only begun her task. Somehow she made the living cell out of the so-called inanimate atoms and molecules and so forth, and she succeeded in making plants (and they couldn’t run about). And she succeeded in making animals, which could move about, which could feel and, up to a point perhaps, think I don’t know, do they think? Not in our sense, but up to a point. Then Mother Nature made another great urge and produced this curious animal, Man, and grew inside him this brain, and the individual man out of his brain created the whole of the psycho-spiritual cosmos. This psycho-spiritual cosmos does not function according to the law of the jungle which is the law of the animal. This body functions according to the law of the animal, the survival of the fittest, the law of the jungle, conflict, my life against yours if necessary. But this thing, the brain, created a new world, a completely valid world, or shall I put it this way? The brain has been the instrument through which the One Total Reality has been able to put out, in terms of human intercourse, the awareness of an other than, a something marvellous, a something new, different, wonderful. And the laws controlling that are quite different from the laws which determine the way our drives and urges and our passion for self-survival and so forth function. So, the conflict in us, ingrained in this psycho-physical creature called Man.

Now, Nature’s power is all the time with us, and Man’s task is to be able to open his eyes and see the fact and consciously cooperate with Nature. The new something which Nature might produce on this globe will not just be Nature’s doing as it has been so far. It will be Nature plus Man in cooperation. Man can thwart Nature. He can thwart Nature simply because he has unhappily got hold of power long, long before he has matured the compassionate heart and released the clear seeing, the insight of pure intelligence. Intelligence is the power to see the truth of things, unspoilt, unclouded by my likes and dislikes and beliefs and ideas and all the rest of it. If this, the man, myself, is really to cooperate with Nature, then this must be at peace. This must become self-knowing, in the real sense of self-knowing, not in this limited sense of a psychological or analytical system by means of which certain statements are made about the being, Man. That is only a tiny fragment of it, these are gropings in the dark. But each one of us becomes clear seeing by being cleaned out of all that obstructs clear sight. The obstructions are the fixed ideas, beliefs and so forth. Ideas may be perfectly correct ideas, but, let them be fixations, and, lo and behold, there is no progress.

Take the history of science in the last four or five hundred years. It is a wonderful exemplification of what I have just said. If we had just stuck to Newton’s ideas, there would have been no movement forward. It is not to suggest that Newton was wrong, far from it, Newton or Galileo or any of them, not one of them was wrong in that sense of the term. But what they had discovered and seen which was the limit of what they were able to see, with a little modification, grew, and, lo and behold, a new thing comes. It is the same with our inner life, with the life of the soul, this growth takes place through mindfulness, the right kind of mindfulness. Keep the mind open. “Yes, this seems to me to be the truth, at this moment.” Right, but I keep an open mind. Next moment, tomorrow, a year hence, ten years hence, if I am open this will grow and grow and grow in beauty and wonder.

You see, don’t attempt to get hold of the right ideas. “I went to this teacher, that teacher, I joined this society, that society, all of which were concerned with God and religion and the Truth and Nirvana, the Kingdom of Heaven, Ultimate Reality and what not and what not.” And all this moving about everywhere does not convert me into a wise man. The truth about myself, my living self, is, and for me, can only be in my living being, which includes essentially the power of being aware. And it is this transformation, this complete transformation, of the nature of my awareness which is spiritual development, progress, fulfilment and all the rest of it. That transformation of course is wholly related, completely interrelated with one’s mode of life, with the simple moralities as the indispensable basis, Let us have no nonsense about it. We have all sorts of passing fashions and changes of our moral conceptions. It is a great pity that we have conceptions about morality and all these changing fashions. And all that change brings about is pain and misery. You look carefully into the history of the world and you will find that most of it has been so all along the line. Simple morality, true morality, perfect goodness — look within your own self and your psyche will know. When you find your ideas about moral behaviour and so on changing, keep very wide awake and observe the forces at play which bring about that change. Then you will see that the forces are all related to the self-sense, my pleasure, my excitement, the fulfilment of my ambition, which means the satisfaction of my ego. It’s ballooning nicely now. After ballooning a certain extent it will always meet a thorn which will prick, always. The thorn looks at the balloon approaching and says, “Hello, what’s this?” It just stays put and the balloon approaches and approaches and — there we are!

Let us spend a few minutes. … Let the body be perfectly at ease, balanced, free of all strains, the pelvic region, the abdominal region, diaphragm, shoulders, neck, and let the head be just perfectly poised, balanced. Just breathe comfortably in and out. It may help you to get the perfect rhythm of the breath if you let the tip of the tongue just touch the lower teeth, and let the lips be ever so slightly open. If you do that you may notice that the tension around the eyes, all these muscles, facial muscles, disappears. And if one’s own bodily life rhythm is established, when one feels very very light, not heavy, one is in touch with the earth instead of being like a burden upon the earth. That is a rapport. Never forget the importance of earth. No earth, no me. We need not extend it to the sun which is also a great source of energy and all the rest of it, this is sufficient for our purpose. Just be happily aware of this life-rhythm of the body. And it is in touch with the earth, which has its tremendous life-rhythm. This rapport can be a very real communion. The earth neither rejects nor accepts us. We are part and parcel of the one reality. It is only I who can disown my parent. You may find that the mind also calms down. There is a clarity. And there is a state of calm, and content, free of wanting. …

Maintaining the state of calm, just call to mind anything which may have disturbed one during the last week or two, disturbed one either because it was sensational, exciting pleasure, or some so-called very pleasant news or whatever it may be; or in terms of pain, something which was upsetting, annoying, violent, troublesome, emotionally hurtful, intellectually distressful; either. They are both disturbances. Success and failure alike are both disturbances. Just look at it.

If you like an example which has taken place in world affairs, there are the two kidnappings in Canada. What was my reaction to that news? Anger, hate, an immediate upsurge of “The Government ought to do this, ought to do the other,” all sorts of plans and this, that and the other? My reaction was in terms of that man and myself, wasn’t it? Or was I aware, “This is violence, this is evil,” without hating the evil or violence, without rejecting it, without condoning it? Just look, just try and recall. Look at it dispassionately, calmly but with tremendous intensity. Examine it with the same intensity that your scientist examines the cell under his microscope, the same details, the same concentrated attention. What was the state of my mind? Don’t approve of the state of my mind if it was thus, or disapprove and condemn if it was otherwise. Just look. …

Just keep on looking, there is nothing to do about it, no steps to take, just see. Now, if I can see with sufficient intensity that this is violence, this is evil, then I naturally abstain from violence, just naturally withdraw from it. If I am angry and hateful towards the wrongdoer, I am charging the psychic atmosphere with anger and hate, and that does not change violence in the world, it adds to it. If I merely play at forgiving the wrongdoer and so forth (I have no power of forgiveness in fact), I shall suffer from the very poisonous, insidious delusion that I am such a good person. Therefore, just see. If I see with that intensity, I become free of violence in my own being. … And if there is the intensity of seeing, you will find that this new thing, compassion in the transcendent sense, the religious sense, emerges out of one’s own consciousness. Nothing emotional about it, nothing sentimental. It is compassion in this profound sense, exactly like understanding in the profound sense, something which we ordinarily don’t know. But it will emerge, and it is a power which makes whole, which makes new, and this is one’s own positive contribution to the situation around one and in the world, the positive contribution of abstaining from adding to the world’s violence in thought and feeling and so forth. If the mind and the heart are purified and one is naturally incapable of violence, then one is the true pacifist. Otherwise it is something which is put on, forced on oneself or upon others as the case may be. …

You may find the intellect arguing, introducing many buts and ifs and ands and so forth. Just watch. This is all the state of confusion and disharmony in my own being which surges up. Or you may find that the repressed resentments of the past well out, the repressed self-pity and so forth. “Such and such a thing was unjust, etc.”, whatever it was. But just look, just look. And in that pure compassionate looking the healing of the soul takes place and one learns above all things just to remain quiet and poised naturally. And then there is joy, carefree joy, untrammelled by argumentative thought. When the mind is peaceful like that, then it could come upon the Transcendence. Compassion, pure love, spells joy, wisdom, true insight, spells peace. We don’t have to seek it. Those wonderful things are the natural constitution of the truly human soul, the truly human mind and heart. Avoid labelling these things, “All this is an idealist philosophy,” or “This is wishful thinking.” This is not thinking at all, this is other than thinking, because when you are truly aware of Transcendence, that awareness is identical with being. Awareness and being are the same thing in Transcendence.

Student: I notice you use the expression ‘pure intelligence’. In Krishnamurti…

Pure insight.

Student: You said ‘using pure intelligence’.

Pure intelligence, all right.

Student: Krishnamurti so often used just the word ‘intelligence’ which I find a little misleading. Pure intelligence in some ways is also just wisdom.

True. In the world of affairs ‘intelligence’ has a somewhat worldly meaning. But we have to agree to regard intelligence as the power of the living person to see the truth of things, irrespective of what knowledge he has or not, to be sensible in other words in the supreme sense. When we look at  something, we believe that we see it. Up to a point we are seeing it, but just keep looking and you will find that “I thought it was like that. No, I didn’t see it properly.” And you keep on looking and you will see it more properly and more properly and more properly! You see, intelligence is the power of seeing the truth of things. It only belongs to the person in whom selfness is out, because we usually see a thing as we wish to see it! That’s the trouble. Notice how terribly this spoils human relationships. People meet each other and they meet each other with preconceptions, with assumptions. They have been told, “You must meet so-and-so, he is or she is this, that or the other.” So there is already a preconception and an assumption, and what you have been told is interpreted according to your own particular biases and prejudices and so forth. And therefore you never meet the living person, you can’t see the living person as the living person, with open eyes, with an open heart and an open mind. How can there be right relationships in the world? We can’t be mindful. As I meet that person to whom I have been introduced, I am already calculating, “Now this is the person, etc., etc. I can get this, I can do that, etc.” There never is a communion between two living beings, and each living being is embodied Transcendence, only we cover it over with such rags. Now, intelligence belongs to the selfless one, the person who is unselfed. So it is not a case of I seeing you when I meet you, but there is a seeing, a living being.

We talk glibly about reverencing life. Which one of us reverences? We have no idea of how to reverence. Where there is real reverence, where there is real love, there is no self-consciousness. Adoration is pure adoration, not adoration of a God or man or woman or ideal or anything by me, a separate person. There is only adoration, just light, eternal light everywhere, that sort of thing. You see, the great Mahāyanā teaching about sūnyatā, emptiness, is hopelessly misunderstood. This emptiness is the fullness. Its fullness is awareness. The fullness of emptiness is awareness, emptiness is the container of consciousness. And when there is the pure light of consciousness, as such, there is no knowing subject, seeing subject, observing a separate observed object. Now the intellect will rise up and say, “How can you carry on the world’s affairs if you go about like that? You’ll be like one in a dream.” First do it and then just see whether the accusation of being in a dream will hold water. No, let go the self. You see, why do I ask over and over again, “Why do we turn to religion?” To gain something. Who can gain? The separate self only. Who can lose? The separate self only. But in terms of Totality there is no plus or minus. In terms of Totality there is peace, there is reverence, there is divinity, there is perfection, there is everything. We are so anxious to change the shape of things. “If my friend will only do this, that and the other, it would be so good for him.” I want to sort of constrain him into the shape that I want. I can’t let him live. Oh, of course, for his good, not for mine! That is the joke of the situation.


Tim Surtell
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