How come if we feel to be a little body amongst billions of other bodies, how come if we are a little thing lost, moving in a vast world, that we feel to be so important, like the centre of the world. My thoughts may tell me that I am a small, separate being. But in reality I feel that I am bigger than that. I feel that my little person happens to be most of the time a very big one, that takes literally the whole space. And whose world has become the one and only reality there truly is. Why is that so?
My thoughts tell me that I am a small, separate being, and yet my felt reality is different. So I want to repair that injustice, to make me bigger, more important than I am, and of course I only expand that part of myself which is only a thought. And this leads me to act in selfish, unkind, or distorted ways. But the intuition was correct. I am wide, everlasting, important, precious, because the self that I am is not just a bundle of thoughts and feelings. I extend to the furthermost parts of an ocean of being. And that ocean includes the whole universe, the whole world with its billions of objects and bodies and seeming selves. Although hidden, that reality has percolated through the layers of the me-thought, its reality rendered somewhat perceptible. Hence this feeling of being the center of the world.
Only feel the truth of the non-finite nature of your self for a moment — be and incarnate it as a body in the world — and the effects are immediate and surprising. You will feel humble, a simple man or woman in a world, happy to be just what he or she is. No more. No need to look for anything that would aggrandise myself, make me feel bigger, more important. And the reasons for it are that my humility finds its roots in the knowing of who I truly am; and that my being, the consciousness that I am, finds its ground in limitless, dimensionless reality, which means it is happy to dwell wherever it finds itself to be, with no need for anything to be different, or more, or less.
Nothing could ever be ‘different’ or ‘other’ or ‘bigger’ when you are simply being. For you dwell in a place of ultimate simplicity and humility. This place is whole, and you cannot extract yourself in any way from wholeness without this wholeness ceasing to be whole. Do it for a moment, and you will start to be like a center that needs and lacks. There is no room for an ‘other’ when one is merged in oneness, when one is bathing in the unknown, the unlocalised, the undetermined. I can dwell happily, peacefully, in any localisation and feel as humble as if I were no thing. For humility is to be without name, without appearance. Humility is to be equally all things, all experiences. Humility is to be without choice or preference. It is the ignoring or forgetting of this part in us that has a name, an appearance, an experience, a preference. Because it is without a center, it can afford to be humble. For a self that feels to be at the center can never know humility. Being humble from a place that is located, centred, is in fact being self-centred, being egoistic, arrogant. It is fabricated.
So the true ‘I’ does not feel like the center of the world. For this is a place of corruption. But ‘I’ is indeed the navel of the world. The navel is not localised. It is more like a cradle. It is so much in the center that it actually englobes every possible thing. It is an ultimate center that has lost its centerness for the profit of being the center in everything, in every being. It is the being of all beings. So it all boils down to which center we want to be associated in life. The center that feels to be inside our body, or the center that encompass every passing hues and forms of life? Be careful here with this choice — which by the way is a truly choiceless one — for it will condition your living either in separateness, and therefore suffering, or in wholeness, and therefore absolute contentment. Be cautious on choosing, for it will make you either a center everlastingly grasping for ‘more’ or ‘other’, or a sacred navel of being in which resides the peaceful expressions of a deep, systemic contentment and humility.
“If there is no word, no label, there is no centre, is there?
There is a dissolution, there is an emptiness;
There is a sense of being as nothing. […]
The centre, which is the word, has been dissolved.
The label has been taken away and where are you as the centre?
You are there but there has been a transformation.”
~ J. Krishnamurti, ‘The first and last freedom’, ch. 49 ‘On naming’
Text and photo by Alain Joly
Quote by J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986)
– ‘The First and Last Freedom’ – by J. krishnamurti – (Rider Book)
– Jiddu Krishnamurti
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