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Jiddhu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)

Ojai, Friday, 11 March, 1983

IT WAS A cool fresh morning and there was the light that California alone has, especially the southern part of it. It is really quite an extraordinary light.

We have travelled probably all over the world, most of the world at least, have seen various lights and clouds in many parts of the earth. The clouds in Holland are very close; here in California the clouds against the blue sky seem to hold the light everlastingly - the light that great clouds have, with their extraordinary shape and quality.

It was a cool, very nice morning. And as you climbed the rocky path up to the great height and looked down into the valley and saw the row upon row of orange trees, avocados and the hills that surround the valley, it was as though you were out of this world, so completely lost were you to all things, to the weariness, to man's ugly reactions and actions. You left all that behind as you climbed up and up the very rocky path. You left behind far below you the vanity, the arrogance, the vulgarity of uniforms, decorations spread all over your chest, and the vanity and strange costumes of priests. You left all that behind.

And as you went up you nearly trod on a mother with her dozen or more little baby quails and they scattered with chirping into the bushes. As you went on up and looked back, the mother had again gathered them round her and they were all quite secure under the wings of their mother.

You had to climb hour after hour to reach the great height. Some days you saw a bear a little way off and it paid no attention. And the deer across the gully, they too seemed unconcerned. At last you reached the height of a rocky plateau, and across the hills to the south-west you saw the distant sea, so blue, so quiet, so infinitely far away. You sat on a rock, smooth, cracked, where the sun must for century upon century, without any regret, have cracked it. And in the little cracks you saw tiny little living things scurrying about, and there was that utter silence, complete and infinite. A very large bird - they call it a condor - was circling in the sky. Apart from that movement there was nothing astir except these tiny little insects. but there was that silence that exists only where man has not been before; it was so peaceful.

You left everything behind in that little village so far below you. Literally everything: your identity, if you had any, your belongings, the possession of your experiences, your memories of things that had meant something to you - you left all that behind, down below there amidst the shining groves and orchards. Here there was absolute silence and you were totally alone.

It was a marvellous morning and the cool air which was becoming colder wrapped round you, and you were completely lost to everything. There was nothing and beyond nothing.

You should really forget the word meditation. That word has been corrupted. The ordinary meaning of that word - to ponder over, to consider, to think about - is rather trivial and ordinary. If you want to understand the nature of meditation you should really forget the word because you cannot possibly measure with words that which is not measurable, that which is beyond all measure. No words can convey it, nor any systems, modes of thought, practice or discipline. Meditation - or rather if we could find another word which has not been so mutilated, made so ordinary, corrupt, which has become the means of earning a great deal of money - if you can put aside the word, then you begin quietly and gently to feel a movement that is not of time. Again, the word movement implies time - what is meant is a movement that has no beginning or end. A movement in the sense of a wave: wave upon wave, starting from nowhere and with no beach to crash upon. It is an endless wave. Time, however slow it is, is rather tiresome. Time means growth, evolution, to become, to achieve, to learn, to change. And time is not the way of that which lies far beyond the word meditation. Time has nothing to do with it. Time is the action of will, of desire, and desire cannot in any way [word or words inaudible here] - it lies far beyond the word meditation.

Here, sitting on that rock, with the blue sky - it is astonishingly blue - the air is so pure, unpolluted. Far beyond this range is the desert. You can see it, miles of it. It is really a timeless perception of that which is. It is only that perception which can say it is.

You sat there watching for what seemed many days, many years, many centuries. As the sun was going down to the sea you made your way down to the valley and everything around you was alight, that blade of grass, that sumac [a wild bush], the towering eucalyptus and the flowering earth. It took time to come down as it had taken time to go up. But that which has no time cannot be measured by words. And meditation is only a word. The roots of heaven are in deep abiding silence.