There’s a yellow leaf on the pavement, just fallen; it’s still full of summer and though in death it’s still very beautiful; not a part of it is withered, it has still the shape and grace of spring but it’s yellow and will wither away by the evening.
Early in the morning, when the sun was just showing itself in a clear sky, there was a flash of otherness, with its benediction and the beauty of it remains. It’s not that thought has captured it and holds it but it has left its imprint on consciousness.
Thought is always fragmentary and what it holds is always partial, as memory. It cannot observe the whole; the part cannot see the whole and the imprint of benediction is non-verbal and non-communicable through words, through any symbol. Thought will always fail in its attempt to discover, to experience that which is beyond time and space.
The brain, the machinery of thought can be quiet; the very active brain can be quiet; its machinery can run very slowly. The quietness of the brain, though intensely sensitive, is essential; then only can thought disentangle itself and come to an end, The ending of thought is not death; then only can there be innocency, freshness; a new quality to thought. It’s this quality that puts an end to sorrow and despair.
I had been studying how consciousness works for several years when suddenly I realized that all of my study consisted of thoughts. With that realization came like a flash the sense of THAT which is before thought and underlies all thought. This is the sense of unified consciousness. Krishnamurti speaks of “benediction” and also of “the other” that suddenly fills the space. Zen masters speak of “the field of boundless emptiness” and the “bright clarity” that is always here but is obscured by our distractions. Ramana tells us straightforward that we are continually smothering by this life of ignorance and are in this way killing the eternal, pristine Being. Of course we use thought continually, but we can limit the realm of thought and restrain from feeding it beyond its own realm where it is functional, which is what Krishnamurti points to here: “Thought can not go beyond itself; it may function in narrow or wide fields but it will always be within the limitations of memory and memory is always limited. Memory must die psychologically, inwardly, but function only outwardly. Inwardly, there must be death and outwardly sensitivity to every challenge and response.” For me that means being vigilant and noticing when the mind mechanism wants to be active in grasping unified Being/Consciousness and then leaving thought/memory behind so as to allow primal Being to shine forth free of the impulse to “understand” it.