The Essence of Life

We hardly ever listen to the sound of a dog’s bark,
or to the cry of a child or the laughter of a man as he passes by.
We separate ourselves from everything, and then
from this isolation look and listen to all things.
It is this separation which is so destructive,
for in that lies all conflict and confusion.
If you listened to the sound of those bells
with complete silence, you would be riding on it —
or, rather, the sound would carry you
across the valley and over the hill.
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Meditation is not a separate thing from life;
it is the very essence of life,
the very essence of daily living.

~ J. Krishnamurti (‘The Only Revolution’)

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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 Puzzled Self

‘Bridges’ – Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, 1905 – WikiArt

We succumb to this original mistake again and again. That error has been enforced in the system through thousands of years of repetition, belief, conditioning, habit, and its illusory power has strengthened itself to the point of being a truth. The mistake is: we’re looking for something outside ourself. We’re reaching out. All the time. We’re craving for. We are deemed insufficient. Needy. In consequence, we have broken the world apart, have created chasms and distances, have invented time when it is not needed. We have made life into a battle and a struggle. We have given rise to suffering and confusion. And the worse of it, we have isolated ourself. We have projected everything that is not our body and mind as something that is ‘other’, different in nature, and have made that ‘other’ the only open source available for the rising and falling of happiness in ourself.

Quite a mouthful isn’t it? What an inextricable bundle we have created! And our self? Well, it has been reduced to something marginal, that forever needs to be reassured, consoled, fulfilled, aggrandised. We have created an insatiable monster that destroys everything in its path. Its hunger can never be satisfied. And its thirst is unquenchable. It will want to be forever filled. And that process will make us the target of unbelievable constraints. It will divide our world into fragments, and will scatter them around like a gigantic, incomplete jigsaw puzzle. With ourself being only one of its lost pieces. What a dreadful prospect! Well, we have made it ourself, all alone; and the responsibility for it goes nowhere but in the direction of our very own self. But don’t try to fix, arrange, mend, repair. Don’t go back in the wrong direction. Don’t go again after your lost happiness. Don’t do more of the same. There is no hero needed here. What’s needed is something a bit more subtle. And way easier believe me.

You have to look. Just to look. To look and to see. To look is on your part. To see is not. It’s a given. You have to look at your self, at all the scattered pieces of your self. And you have to remove just one element of the puzzle that acts like a wrongdoer, a confusing piece, the error in the system. Remove your well-rehearsed tendency to look for happiness outside yourself. Just take that possibility away from yourself. That’s the grain of sand that blocks everything, and engages you on a road a thousand-time trodden, to no avail. Feel the wonder of that one last element of escape out of the system. Nowhere to go. Nothing to be. Dare for once to look at that simple truth in the eyes, which is: you won’t find anything of value outside your own being. It all falls back on you now. The whole world. The thousand scattered pieces of yourself. The suffering. The confusion. The whole paraphernalia. Everything. On yourself. Then…

Then you will see that you are alone. All alone. Not isolated but alone. You will see what you truthfully are. You will see that you are made of one single piece that only works for and as your self. That piece is the missing element of your puzzle. The one that was unseen, forgotten, and which had been replaced with a clumsy, invented, unfitting one that placed your life into this unresolvable puzzle of suffering and loss. That piece is the unifying factor, the one that will make chasms into a bridge of Life, and your broken world into a fitting piece of Oneness. For that piece has a magical touch that will make every pieces of yourself fall back into place. For there were never any scattered fragments in your Self. There was only Being, the one and only owner of that which you are, and of all that which can possibly be. And that feeling of being, with its supreme knowing, is enough to give you the peace and happiness that you looked for in a thousand directions or scattered pieces. Being is your aloneness. And in that aloneness is the golden spring from where happiness is seen as your only possibility. That’s it. This is the given. What you needed to see… Puzzle completed!

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Text by Alain Joly

Painting by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis (1875-1911)

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Website:
Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis (Wikipedia)

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Other ‘Reveries’ from the blog…

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The Great Replacement

You can always add to experience. You can always have more thoughts. Or different ones. More refined ones. Changes can always occur and always will. You can always fall down to the lowest of the lowest, and judge yourself undeserving. And that is more thoughts about yourself. You can always imagine anything. This is endless, all this activity. It will never stop. It will never reveal any truth worth of the name. It will keep going, headlessly, aimlessly, meaninglessly, like an illusion feeding on itself in order to give itself a seeming reality. Go anywhere in your objective experience, be it your feelings, your sensations, your perceptions, your body, the world out there, none of these will bring an inch of the happiness you are desperately running after. This enterprise is doomed to bankruptcy. It will leave you broke, feeble, mortal, prone to regular fits of unhappiness. It will leave you with not a penny of certainty, not a pebble of solidity, and a very little share of that life-giving energy which you are naturally entitled to. So what are we going to do now? We cannot stop thinking, feeling, perceiving, doing. We need a new comer in the picture. A special adviser. A rock of solidity in our changing sea of uncertainty. Who is going to win the game? When we have turned round and around the table for a new name, a new shareholder, another hope, another fake answer, another bout of shaking certainty, then maybe, it might dawn on us that:

The prodigal son is already at home. Everything we need is present within and without, here and there, now and then, enveloping our vey experience with its all pervading knowing. This something cannot be named, cannot be emptied of itself, and will not make the slightest effort for you. It was here all along, ignored, unnoticed, yet having the dimension of a sky, the solidity of a rock, and the certainty of something that was here before the coming of universes beyond universes. It is like discovering in yourself the wisest of gurus present at hand, in all circumstances. It is your eternal refuge waiting for you to come in. But beware now, for that unfailing refuge, that wisest of gurus, that beloved amongst the beloveds, is you. It is you, you understand? Not something to be reached. Not something far and away. You have nowhere to go, nothing to be, no time to wait for, except being your own unfailing, wise, beloved self. You are it all. Here. Now. Whatever. Whenever. Wherever. Release that old, worn out Chief Operating Officer of yours, and replace it with being. Look around now and relax. Being is all there is.

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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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On Parmenides

‘The School of Athens’ – by Raphael, 1509 (fresco at the Vatican City) – Wikimedia

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There is nothing,
and there will never be anything,
outside of being
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~ Parmenides (trans. Francis Lucille)

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The Oxford Dictionary wrote this very concise description of Parmenides: “Greek philosopher. Born in Elea in south-western Italy, he founded the Eleatic school of philosophers. In his work ‘On Nature’, written in hexameter verse, he maintained that the apparent motion and changing forms of the universe are in fact manifestations of an unchanging and indivisible reality.” This statement is a quintessential definition of non-duality, and a summary of Parmenides’ work expressed as far as the early fifth century BC, in the cradle of western civilisation. The depth of understanding and vision required to make such statement has puzzled and influenced many a philosopher since, and has aroused the interest of countless spiritual seekers. This spiritual message is worth a good attention here.

Parmenides is the author of one single work, a poem of which only fragments have remained over the years. It survived because the around 800-verse original poem was abundantly quoted by his pairs, and could be re-formed in a shorter version, as known today, of 160 verses. His poem, today translated as ‘On Nature’, ‘On Reality’, or simply ‘Fragments’, is comprised of three parts of which the second and most important has survived in its almost entirety.

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A study of Parmenides’ statement of truth in his poem ‘On Nature’… (READ MORE…)

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Imagine a Life

Krishnamurti said it in very clear, unmistakable terms nearly a century ago. So did the ancient sages of India, the early Sufis, the original Zen masters of China, and the great Meister Eckhart, all in their own way. So there is no room for confusion anymore. Cease being entangled in your own, unfounded beliefs. Stop breeding and comforting them by thinking them out, perceiving them away, and feeling them in, therefore giving them a reality of their own. Be reasonable for once. All this ceaseless activity must come to an end. Remember what Krishnamurti said in such irrevocable terms.

Stop giving the world a reality of its own by pushing it at a distance from yourself. It will make you retreat in your body, where you will feel small, unsafe, required to manage a universe, and make impossible choices. Stop thinking to be your body only, squeezing your self in such pitiful way, bullying it, hurting it to the point where it is made unhappy and careless, fearful and resentful, its original innocence and beauty transformed into some hideous thing. All this could be avoided in one single glance and action, if only we had truly listened …

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A meditation invoking a famous statement by J. Krishnamurti… (READ MORE…)

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Awareness is All

‘Conscious Capability’ – George Harvey (1806-1876) – WikiArt

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The very fact of being aware of what is is truth.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

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If you observe yourself carefully, awareness can be felt as a truly overwhelming presence. It is actually all there is, and that can be easily proved. Let’s take an experience like our current experience, since no other than this one present, living experience, has ever existed and will ever do. We cannot divide experience, make it into bits and pieces to be compared or analysed. Experience is not limited to its content. You cannot separate content from its recipient. That’s the first clue for our investigation: Experience is undivided, unbroken awareness.

But let’s not be too quick on this, and jump to an easy conclusion. Let’s look thoroughly at our experience. What are the things that occupy us? What is actually filling this presence of ours? Let’s take our thoughts for example. There seems to be a steady arrival of them in our mind. All kinds of thoughts. The organised ones and the messy ones. The scared, confused, barely audible ones, and the vindicative ones. The happy ones and the weeping ones. Some that are useful in the course of a day, and others utterly useless and gratuitous, that are here solely to soothe our broken sense of self, or escape from a dreadful, imagined reality. Let’s face it: most of our thoughts are actually mad thoughts owned by a barely identifiable owner.

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Explore how the nature of our experience is made of awareness… (READ MORE…)

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The Hypochondria of Being

‘The Imaginary Invalid’ – Honoré Daumier, 1860-62  – Wikimedia

There may have been a time in your life when you had a glimpse or experience that you had considered to be a major event or happening, some breaking news coming from god’s mouth. And yet you were left after it with only scattered shreds of truth. You had failed to inhabit your experience and make it yours. You had stayed on its threshold and didn’t dare to visit its interior and be blessed by it. You remained where and who you always were, with the bitter taste of a failed enlightenment as a topping. So you have entertained the memory of it. You have placed this experience on a pedestal. Worshipped it as something to be attained or achieved.

So you have searched for it. You have enquired, read, experienced, shared. Slowly, almost inadvertently, you have gathered some understanding. You have sailed on the sea of existence, harvesting here a tiny piece of truth, there a hazy recognition, maybe even a glimpse of a wee realisation, which you have again locked behind closed doors. And you have sailed further. It made you push or widen your understanding even more. Silently. Surreptitiously. Until one day home is coming closer to you. You find yourself inhabiting this truth. It is making itself known as being only who you are, or that which you are. It suddenly takes you by surprise and clarity. This is what it is!

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A playful interpretation of the nature of spiritual experience… (READ MORE…)

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