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.


 

finding my mind … isn’t mine!

Last night I watched a TV program called “Finding My Mind.”

This is how the program was described in the TV Guide:

This program unravels the mysteries of the brain. For thousands of years philosophers have tried and failed to come up with satisfactory answers to questions such as ‘who am I?’ But recently neuroscientists have made some fascinating and unnerving discoveries. Here, Oxford University professor of mathematics Marcus du Sautoy takes a journey deep into his own brain – a willing guinea pig for some of the most extraordinary experiments known to neuroscience – to discover where ‘free will’ and ‘self’ actually come from.

Marcus du Sautoy is a rather attractive and personable 40-something chap whose quest is, essentially, to find out whether cutting edge neuroscience can help him find his sense of ‘I.’

Over the course of an hour we see him zip from one part of the planet to another chatting to a cross-section of experts in their fields and undertaking an array of experiments and brain scans. And we watch as his basic beliefs and assumptions about things like the ‘soul,’ the ‘self,’ the ‘person’ become unstitched. He’s a courageous kid.

There’s plenty to interest intrepid explorers of nonduality in this doco, but for me one experiment in particular etched itself in pokerwork in the local brain-space. Marcus had his head all trussed up in a cap like the ones hairdressers used to use when ‘highlights’ were fashionable. This one exuded wires rather than hair. He looked like a porcupine. The wires were attached to computers, of course, and he was simply asked to make choices in response to given ‘problems’ by pressing one button or another.

Which he did, with all the confidence of someone who knows their own mind and believes in free-will.

His face. I’ll never forget the look on his face when the scientist told him – and backed it up with the computer print-out – that he had known what choice Marcus would make a full 6 seconds (no, that’s not a typo) before Marcus pressed the button. With 100% accuracy.

Anyone out there who still believes they are an entity with volition and control should see this doco. But be warned – it’s hazardous to the ego. Fatal, actually.

You can watch a video clip at:  http://www.sbs.com.au/schedule/SBSONE/2010-07-06/SBS%20Sydney

Update: The link above is no longer live at SBS.   However you can view the whole documentary (52:10) here:

http://video.dailytelegraph.com.au/v/416922/Finding-My-Mind


free-falling through the fantasy factory

This Unlit Light: free-falling through the fantasy factory

 

Kabir’s poem brought up reflections on the day “the Day came” here. It was a far cry from Kabir’s bliss; no soul-drenching, no showers of love or abundance, no sense of glorious renewal for this brain. That would all come later, years later. But the catastrophic Day is etched in memory. There would be no going back. It marked the end of a way of being in the world. Searching for an analogy … I felt like a penny free-falling through a slot machine.

Although the free-fall itself happened instantaneously and spontaneously, there had been ‘stages’ where the penny would land on a level and spin or wobble for some time. The initial tumble occurred some time before the fluid free-fall which the notes attempt to express.

First the penny fell hard onto an existential plateau when I failed to find any argument to refute the fact that nothing whatsoever can be proved to have any existence apart from the sensorial technologies in the body/brain of a sentient creature.

It spun around there then toppled further when I failed to find evidence of anything other than the functions of consciousness anywhere.

Eventually it fell clear through the works with the logical conclusion that my own independent existence, and likewise the existence of all ‘others’, could be, therefore, nothing but a concept in consciousness.

These three metaphysical notions had been orbiting my brain for many years, and were understood at some intellectual level. I was quite comfortable with them, but the penny had remained safely in the purse.

Without going into details, the Rubicon had been reached via some pretty difficult times, and ripeness must have been ready. I was thousands of miles from my work, colleagues and friends. I was hobbled by an old injury and forced into both stillness and silence. My brilliant life was in shreds, a relic lost in the dark recesses of my brain.

A huge ‘letting-go’ of the old ‘me’ story was called for, and it happened. It happened spontaneously and without volition on my part.

When the penny fell clear through, it took the bottom of my gut with it. I felt like throwing up. I got up from my zafu and said to myself: Well then, old girl, that’s it! No one here. No one to suffer. No one to be depressed. No one to beat up. No one to go anywhere, do anything, be anyone … ha!

First there was a kind of numbness, shock. A feeling of disorientation. A feeling of falling into an inner vortex. Then, an opening out into unbelievably serene spaciousness. Oceanic.

No sense of a center, and no opacity.

I’ve no idea what had happened. It seemed that there had been a brain-leap … yet time and space weren’t involved in any way. It was like an instantaneous interior reorganizing of information. I repeat: it had nothing to do with any effort on my part.

The how and the why of it remain a mystery. But many brain files were trashed – one is only aware of this when habit reaches for them and finds them gone; a giddy moment flashes, vanishes.

~

An entity is defined as a thing that has real existence. I thought I was an entity. Doesn’t everyone?

But to be a thing, an object needs a subject to recognize it as a ‘thing’. If I’m an object with real existence, what’s the subject that’s recognizing me?

If I turn around to examine this subject I immediately find it has turned into another object being observed, recognized, by the same subject!

If I stop this lunacy, what remains?

If I stay still, not moving a millimeter into rationalization or conceptualization, if I track that which I believe myself to be in its every movement, if I watch that notion of a self with all its ideas, it reveals itself to be – merely another concept.

I find that there is only awareness – unchanging, ubiquitous, knowing no duality, holding no opinions or beliefs, experiencing no emotion – and no independent entity whatsoever to be found.

There’s just observe-ing, just perceive-ing, just recognize-ing, just a changeless functioning. That’s all.

Life has never been the same since that Day. And yet, it is exactly the same. The ups and downs float by, equanimity visits on occasion; it all depends on how the story tells itself.

Without a past to identify with or a future to attain, the Awareness that lives this body-mind watches the play of existence, as it arises in Itself.

This is a story without beginning or end.

– miriam louisa


An extract from the echoes from emptiness blog, where the notes – written daily for one year following the free-fall – are being posted retrospectively.


a nothing that is utter plenitude

This Unlit Light - Lotus by Bahman Farzad

 

Sitting on the magic zafu this morning pondering some words from Nisargadatta that were included in one of this week’s Nonduality Highlights.  Words about wanting nothing.

Going deep into the significance of a wantless life.  And deeper still.  Falling feather-light below the limn of language, down down into the body’s beatland.

 … wanting nothing from God or the world, desiring nothing,
expecting nothing, projecting nothing …

 
Feeling the skin on the back of my scalp tingle and loosen.  a contraction in my stomach – nausea, it wants to heave – then release and pins and needles cascading down through the gut.  Then a sense of porosity, no idea where my body begins and ends as it streams out into the quantum soup.  Eyes, these eyes, the eyes of mankind, the universe perceiving Itself, ears, nose, same.  Brain feeling like a flower opening (I’ve never felt my brain before).  Hair standing on end.  Shockwave after shockwave.  Tsunami of tears.

a flowering, a beating, a breathing
a nothing that is utter plenitude

 

That is all and It is all.

 


Image by Bahman Farzad