The Incidental Life

I would like to live the incidental life. Not the one that is a toil. Not the one that finds its significance in happenings and accidents, in various changes or transformations, in happy or sad expressions. I don’t want to be dependent on the forms of life for my happiness. I don’t want to be bound to its many injunctions, be they ones that are imposed or desired. For this is how life acquires its tragic quality. This is how life becomes something that we have to endure or bear with. Something that we have to go through with clenched teeth — which is with hope and belief. Something that we can be happy with, or grateful for, only if we take the right decisions, make the right efforts, and have some good luck too. I don’t want my life to be so brittle and uncertain. To be so imprisoned in endless causes and conditionings. And to have fear as its background music. No. I don’t want to be so grandiose. I want the incidental life.

To have an incidental life is to forever place our gaze on the horizon of being. This gaze implies surrendering to what is, or not minding what happens, as Krishnamurti once affirmed. This gaze will make you see life as being drenched in beauty and love. And this gaze will render you to your eternal, inborn, given nature of peace, happiness, and freedom. This is when experience clothes itself in a sumptuous dress of truth or understanding. One that will allow you, in familiar terms, to leave your life alone. For it can verily and simply take care of itself. Life doesn’t need your painstaking involvement. It doesn’t fancy your pity or concern or greed. Doesn’t want to be taken advantage of. Let your life be in its right place, which is the place of humility. This is where it will find its true colours and expressions. This is when it will rid itself of all the suffering that encumbered it. This is how it will find its own sacred purpose. Don’t give your life an undue position. Don’t take what is secondary to be foremost. And what is foremost to be secondary. See only being as foremost. This is the sun of life: this being. Its essence and direction. The rest? Well, let it be incidental.

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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Other ‘Ways of Being’ from the blog…

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The Highest Language

‘Silence’ – Odilon Redon, 1911 – WikiArt

In our language, the word ‘silence’ is defined as the complete absence of sound, or the abstinence of speech. Yet silence has fascinated us beyond these elementary descriptions to evoke the unknown and the mysterious. Something in silence speaks to us, and is a presence beyond its apparent nature as absence. Spiritual teachers from all traditions have abundantly used the word for its richness of meaning and its powerful evocative dimension. So pregnant and profound is this experience of silence that the word has often been likened to awareness or the nature of god’s silent being. Among others, Ramana Maharshi has often pointed silence as being the ultimate teacher in these matters, and Krishnamurti has described it in supremely effective and graceful words just below. This page is dedicated to their many expressions of silence:

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The experience of silence alone is the real and perfect knowledge.”
~ Ramana Maharshi (‘Be as You Are’)

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Keep silence, that you may hear Him speaking
Words unutterable by tongue in speech
Keep silence, that you may hear from that Sun
Things inexpressible in books and discourses.
Keep silence, that the Spirit may speak to you
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~ Rumi (‘Masnavi i Ma’navi’)

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Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came
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~ Wendell Berry

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Read these many quotes on silence by various teachers… (READ MORE…)

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Humanity’s Healers

‘Clytie’ – Frederic Leighton, 1890 – WikiArt

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The moment I realise I am humanity,
that is the greatest action
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~ J. Krishnamurti

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Why has humanity left this whole field of knowing oneself — all the spiritual endeavour, the extraordinary adventure that it is — outside the conventional and widely accepted way of living? It is a difficult thing to understand, since the door to it is so wide open and evident. Of course, religions are there, and have taken an all too consuming place in the past, but yet to no real avail. For an immense majority of people, religious faith didn’t go very deep, and didn’t put much of a light on the everyday suffering of humanity other than being a widespread system of morals and rituals destined to give some rules to society, and to instil fear, consolation or respect. So why has this understanding been confined to only a few, scattered individuals? Why has it not yet become the one accepted and necessary endeavour of our lives?

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An essay exploring the place of humanity in our being… (READ MORE…)

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The Controller

Think in terms of flow. Don’t think that you have to exercise control over your life. Who would be this controller? Do you want to go back to the little, struggling entity that feels separate and wants to gain self-worth through control? Control is illusory. It never happens, although we buy the illusion that we are this controlling agent. It makes us feel good for a while. But this is not the truth. And as all untruths must eventually do, it will recede, give up its fake reality in favour of the only one reality there is, which is our own one being. To keep that sense of being in sight is all the control you need. It’s the only control that needs neither a controller, nor a controlled. For the simple reason and truth that the controller is here the controlled, as Krishnamurti so often said. There are not two things that can possibly act on each other, because these two things never acquire any reality of their own. There is only your natural, ever present being, which controls you rather than it be controlled by you. This being is the flow you need to follow. It will take you where you are and where you need to be. It will keep you safe. It will move you in the right direction. You won’t need to exert yourself, or to practice. Efforting will fade away. You will be taken by its flow.

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Meditation is a state of mind in which the operation and exercise of will is not.
It has no direction. It is not seeking any experience. It is no longer seeking at all.
Therefore a meditative mind is free of all control
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~ J. Krishnamurti (Public Talk 3 Bangalore, 1973)

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

Quote by J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986)

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Bibliography :
– ‘Krishnamurti’s Notebook’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Krishnamurti Publications of America, US)

Website:
J. Krishnamurti

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Other ‘Ways of Being’ from the blog…

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To Know Better

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Knowledge about yourself
binds, weighs, ties you down
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~ J. Krishnamurti (‘Notebook’)

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Humility is the mother of all virtues. For it places us in the right attitude of not knowing, not arguing. To know is to be situated, to have a perspective, a point of view. To know implies to be a person, to be apart, external. And it also implies to suffer. It’s so easy to know, to boast, to show off. We don’t want to be unmasked as ignorant. To know has become a reflex. To know is to claim ‘I am here’, ‘I count for something’, ‘I need fulfilment’. Therefore to know is to fear death. To know is to project, to be the hostage of time, of becoming. ‘What if I don’t become anything?’ To know is to posit a person that needs and lacks. To know is to lock ourself in a world of finite things. It is to exist only in the limits of our own self-created boundaries. To know is to block creativity. To know is to dismiss god, life, for not being competent. It is to invite the big rock of our conditioned thoughts, feelings, and memories, and in doing so, conceal all other entrances or exits. No flow is possible.

Have you ever felt these moments when you don’t know? When you taste the presence of your own absence? When you discover your sense of separation to be imaginary? At the moment you feel one with all beings and things, you are bound to be in the unknown, to not know. How could you possibly know to be anything, when you are merged with presence, with experience? You don’t have the necessary distance to do so. And this absence of distance is the experience of your sweet self. Don’t be the one who knows, but the one who is the knowing. Don’t affirm yourself, but be affirmed in the knowing presence that you are. By just being, you will know everything that needs to be known. You will have everything that needs to be had. And it will be offered to you on the silver plate of love, beauty, and happiness. You cannot know better.

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

Quote by J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986)

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Bibliography :
– ‘Krishnamurti’s Notebook’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Krishnamurti Publications of America, US)

Website:
J. Krishnamurti

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Other ‘Ways of Being’ from the blog…

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The Sadness of Life

The sadness of life is this –
the emptiness that we try to fill
with every conceivable trick of the mind
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~ J. Krishnamurti

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Quote by J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986)

Photo by Alain Joly

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Bibliography :
– ‘Krishnamurti’s Notebook’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Krishnamurti Publications of America, US)

Website:
J. Krishnamurti

Suggestions:
Beauty in Essence (other pointers from the blog)
A Day at Brockwood Park (Homage to J. Krishnamurti)

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The Wisdom of Humility

‘Buddha as mendicant’ (Part) – Abanindranath Tagore, 1914 – Wikimedia

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To look into and understand the meaning and implications of being truly humble, of that state of humility which we often hear about — but rarely fully understand — is a precious thing. The word ‘humble’ finds its roots in the Latin ‘humilis’ which means ‘lowly’, literally ‘on the ground’ (from ‘humus’ meaning ‘earth’). Its etymology covers both the more active aspect contained in being ‘humiliated’, or being ‘humbled’, and the one that refers to the state, or quality, of being ‘selfless’. The first one gives the primary importance to the self that we are, to this separate entity that we believe to be, and which needs to be rendered humbler, smaller, lower. But why would we want to do that? Why, if it wasn’t for our deep intuition that this self is illusory, false, and is ultimately preventing our true identity of peace and happiness to be recognised and realised? 

This inherent peace contained in just ‘being’ refers to the second aspect of the word. Being humble is being without self, without the belief of being separate from objective experience. We are not this restless entity that wants to achieve, to aggrandise itself, and needs to be rendered low. We are rather this pure being whose very nature is complete, and already, unconditionally humble. Otherwise, why would Shiva or Buddha be portrayed as a mendicant? Therefore, the solution to our chronic state of suffering and conflict does not lie in having more, or less, or better ‘self’, but in realising, and living from, this deep and already achieved peace that we are. This realisation, and the action that is born of it, is what true humility is about. This simple phrase from the Bible made it crystal clear long ago: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)

I am sharing here a few quotes that will further explore this deep and essential question:

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In a space of humility,
no conflict is possible
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~ Éric Baret (‘Let the Moon be Free’)

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Humility contains in itself the answer to all the great problems of the life of the soul. It is the only key to faith with which the spiritual life begins: for faith and humility are inseparable. […] If we were incapable of humility we would be incapable of joy, because humility alone can destroy the self-centeredness that makes joy impossible.”
~ Thomas Merton (‘Seeds of Contemplation’)

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Discover many more quotes on this question of humility… (READ MORE…)

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