imperishable, unnameable, the unknowing

words from my treasured teacher 4


J Krishnamurti


On July 20, 1961, Krishnamurti wrote an extraordinary account in his journal of the ineffable and unknowable as It was experienced through his body-mind. He struggles to find the appropriate words … the outpouring is, to my mind, pure poetry:

The room became full with that benediction. Now what followed is almost impossible to put down into words; words are such dead things, with definite set meaning and what took place was beyond all words and description. It was the centre of all creation; it was a purifying seriousness that cleansed the brain of every thought and feeling; its seriousness was as lightning which destroys and burns up; the profundity of it was not measurable, it was there immovable, impenetrable, a solidity that was light as the heavens. It was in the eyes, in the breath. It was in the eyes and the eyes could see. The eyes that saw, that looked were wholly different from the eyes of the organ and yet they were the same eyes. There was only seeing, the eyes that saw beyond time-space. There was impenetrable dignity and a peace that was the essence of all movement, action. No virtue touched it for it was beyond all virtue and the sanctions of man. There was love that was utterly perishable and so it had the delicacy of all new things, vulnerable, destructible and yet it was beyond all this. It was there imperishable, unnameable, the unknowing. No thought could ever penetrate it; no action could touch it. It was “pure”, untouched and so ever dyingly beautiful.

All this seemed to affect the brain; it was not as it was before. (Thought is such a trivial thing, necessary but trivial.) Because of it, relationship seems to have changed. As a terrific storm, a destructive earthquake gives a new course to the rivers, changes the landscape, digs deep into the earth, so it has levelled the contours of thought, changed the shape of the heart.

– J Krishnamurti,  Krishnamurti’s Notebook

It was coming upon such clearly authentic writings about the inescapable presence of the Unknowable that led me to Brockwood Park, the school Krishnamurti founded in Hampshire, England. I was a teacher and I found my perfect niche in this unbelievably rich and stimulating environment, where students are guided towards both academic excellence in their studies and deep inquiry into the workings of their thinking.

I revisit these words decades later with delight, and with inexpressible gratitude I can say, “Yes. It is exactly so: the shape of the heart is changed. And there is no way back.”

Other posts featuring Krishnamurti’s writing:

try it, do it

keep far away

words from my treasured teacher 1

Find a comprehensive selection of Krishnamurti’s books at the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust website.


12 thoughts on “imperishable, unnameable, the unknowing

  1. Louisa,
    I would like to use your quote “Yes. It is exactly so: the shape of the heart is changed. And there is no way back.” in a piece I’m writing to the theme of “heart” for a small email newsletter from my first non-dual teacher’s group. May I have permission?
    with love,

  2. Yes, pure poetry, an absolutely stunning expression of the indescribable. Thank you for sharing this most intimate moment from Krishnamurti. It touches me deeply.
    from the Heart,

    • Thank you for your beautiful comment dear Shanti – I’m beyond happy to know that K’s words touched you so deeply.
      I revisit his words after all these years and realise how fortunate I was to have such a teacher. Uncompromising. Ruthlessly clear.
      Such grace.

  3. “ever dyingly beautiful” – Perfection.

    I have been a wanderer long
    In this world of transient things.
    I have known the passing pleasures thereof.
    As the rainbow is beautiful,
    But soon vanishes into nothingness,
    So have I known,
    From the very foundation of the world,
    The passing away of all things
    Beautiful, joyous and pleasurable.
    In search of the Eternal
    I lost myself in the fleeting.

    The Search J.K.

    • Dear Hariod – thank you for these beautiful lines. I’m curious to know who this “J.K.” might be, as I’m not aware of a poem or book by J Krishnamurti called ‘The Search’, and it’s not really his style. Mind you I’m not a librarian!
      J.K. Rowling? J.K. the rapper? Or…?


      • Dear Miriam,

        The Search is a very lengthy piece written in verse style and contained in the book From Darkness To Light by Jiddu Krishnamurti and published by Harper & Row, San Francisco in 1980. I have a hardback copy which I think may be the only format, and which I know was a fairly rare title here in the U.K. The Search is 24 pages in length, it begins with the eleven lines contained in my comment above and finishes with the following fifteen lines:

        As the moon is full and serene
        In the days of harvest,
        So am I
        In the days of my liberation.
        Simple as the tender leaf am I,
        For in me are many winters and many springs.
        As the dewdrop is of the sea,
        So am I born
        In the ocean of liberation.
        As the mysterious river
        Enters the open seas,
        So have I entered
        Into the world of liberation.
        This is the end I have known.

      • Thank you Hariod – I am delighted to know about this publication. I can’t remember it being in the library at Brockwood Park when I was there. As you may know, in later years K became so averse to being seen as a mystic or guru, or someone to ‘follow’, that he was reticent about his early writings. Yet for me, it was this poetic writing that was, and continues to be, so deeply resonant.

        The book is long out of print, but for any readers who may be interested in reading the whole poem, I have located a free download at –

        Click to access From-Darkness-to-Light-by-Krishnamurti.pdf


    • Thanks for leaving an appreciative comment @67paintings. I share your sense of “walking in Krishnamurti’s garden” – and your poem is very beautiful. I’m looking forward to exploring your blog!

  4. Pingback: cracking open | this unlit light

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