It was a beautiful day, a cloudless day, a day of shadows and light; after the heavy rains the sun shone in a clear, limpid blue sky. The mountains, with their snow, were very close, one could almost touch them; they stood out sharply against the sky. The bright brilliant meadows were sparkling in the sun, every blade of grass did a dance of its own and the leaves were heavier in their movement.
The valley was radiant and there was laughter; it was a magnificent day and there were a thousand shadows. Shadows are more alive than the reality; shadows are longer, deeper, richer; they seem to have a life of their own, independent and protecting; there is a peculiar satisfaction in their invitation.
The symbol becomes more important than reality.The symbol gives a shelter; it is easy to take comfort in its shelter. You can do what you will with it, it will never contradict, it will never change; it can be covered with garlands or ashes. There’s an extraordinary satisfaction in a dead thing, in a picture, in a conclusion, in a word. They are dead, past all recalling and there is pleasure in the many smells of yesterday. The brain is always the yesterday, and today is the shadow of yesterday, and tomorrow is the continuation of that shadow, somewhat changed but it still smells of yesterday. So the brain lives and has its being in shadows; it is safer, more comforting.
Consciousness is always receiving, accumulating, and from what it has gathered, interpreting; receiving through all its pores; storing up, experiencing from what it has gathered, judging, compiling, modifying. It looks, not only through the eyes, through the brain but through this background.
Consciousness goes out to receive and in receiving, it exists. In its hidden depths, it has stored what it has received through centuries, the instincts, the memories, the safeguard, adding, adding, only to take away to add further. When this consciousness looks out, it is to weigh, to balance and to receive. And when it looks within, its look is still the outer look, to weigh, to balance and to receive; the inward stripping is another
form of adding. This time-binding process goes on and on with an ache, with fleeting joy and sorrow.
But to look, to see, to listen, without this consciousness – an outgoing in which there is no receiving, is the total movement of freedom. This outgoing has no centre, a point, small or extensive, from which it moves; thus it moves in all directions, without the barrier of time-space. Its listening is total, its look is total. This outgoing is the essence of attention. In attention, all distractions are, for there are no distractions. Only concentration knows the conflict of distraction.
All consciousness is thought, expressed or unexpressed, verbal or seeking the word; thought as feeling, feeling as thought. Thought is never still; reaction expressing itself is thought and thought further increases responses. Beauty is the feeling which thought expresses. Love is still within the field of thought. Is there love and beauty within the enclosure of thought? Is there beauty when thought is? The beauty, the love that thought knows is the opposite of ugliness and hate. Beauty has no opposite nor has love.
Seeing without thought, without the word, without the response of memory is wholly different from seeing with thought and feeling. What you see with thought is superficial; then seeing is only partial; this is not seeing at all. Seeing without thought is total seeing.
Seeing a cloud over a mountain, without thought and its responses, is the miracle of the new; it’s not “beautiful”, it’s explosive in its immensity; it is something that has never been and never will be. To see, to listen, consciousness in its entirety must be still for the destructive creation to be. It is the totality of life and not the fragment of all thought.
There is no beauty but only a cloud over the mountain; it is creation.
The setting sun touched the mountain tops, brilliant and breathtaking and the land was still. There was only color and not different colors; there was only listening and not the many sounds.
This morning, waking late, when the sun was pressing the hills, like a brilliant light that Benediction was there; it seems to have a strength and power of its own. Like a distant murmur of waters, there is an activity going on, not of the brain with its
volitions and deceptions, but an activity of intensity.