High in the sky circled meat-eating birds. At the base of the windowed building lay their excrement. He picked up the wads until he held several. They twisted and swelled like dough, and he knew they were living creatures within; he carried them carefully into the empty corridor of the building. One wad opened, parted with a split in its woven, hairlike side; it became too large to hold, and he saw it now in the wall. A compartment where it lay on its side, the rent so wide that he perceived the creature within.
Gubbish! A worm, coiled up, made of wet, bony-white pleats, the inside gubbish worm, from a person’s body. If only the high-flying birds could find it and eat it down, like that. He ran down the steps, which gave beneath his feet. Boards missing. He saw down through the sieve of wood to the soil beneath, the cavity, dark, cold, full of wood so rotten that it lay in damp powder, destroyed by gubbish-rot.
Arms lifted up, tossed him to the circling birds; he floated up, falling at the same time. They ate his head off. And then he stood on a bridge over the sea. Sharks showed in the water, their sharp, cutting fins. He caught one on his line and it came sliding up from the water, mouth open, to swallow him. He stepped back, but the bridge caved in and sagged so that the water reached his middle.
It rained gubbish, now; all was gubbish, wherever he looked. A group of those who didn’t like him appeared at the end of the bridge and held up a loop of shark teeth. He was emperor. They crowned him with the loop, and he tried to thank them. But they forced the loop down past his head to his neck, and they began to strangle him. They knotted the loop and the shark teeth cut his head off. Once more he sat in the dark, damp basement with the powdery rot around him, listening to the tidal water lap-lapping everywhere. A world where gubbish ruled, and he had no voice; the shark teeth had cut his voice out.
I’ll tell you what my teacher said to me when I got to a certain point. He told me that I had been evicted from the home where I had lived all my live. A result of having saved energy had been the disruption of my cozy but utterly limiting and boring nest in the world of everyday life. My depression, he told me, was not so much the sadness of having lost my nest, but the annoyance of having to look for new quarters. “The new quarters are not as cozy,” he said, “but they are infinitely more roomy.”
My eviction notice came in the form of a great depression, a loss of the desire to live. When I told my teacher that I didn’t want to live, he couldn’t help laughing.
Isolated, the Reactional Self is a nullity. When it is in the state of delusion, it is unaware of its inability to perform any true act of will and, therefore, ‘believes’ in its own world. From this delusion it becomes subject to pleasure and pain as actual facts – being unable to see the compensation that reduces them to null-situations. The idea of nullity in polarity is illustrated in the electrical neutrality of large bodies; however intense may be the local electrostatic fields surrounding the atoms, there is a space-distributed compensation that makes the whole body almost perfectly neutral.
Instead of electrical charge we could also think in terms of movement – if we gather together a collection of randomly moving particles, trillions upon trillions of them, all flying around this way and that like gas molecules in a bell jar, and we add up all the vector units of velocity involved, either positive or negative in direction with respect to the X, Y and Z axes, then the one thing we know for sure is that the calculation is bound to come out as zero – the net velocity of all these frantically jostling particles is always a big fat nothing. Overall, nothing is going anywhere. With the specific example of the gas molecules in the bell-jar this is very obvious – if the bell-jar is sitting there on the laboratory bench then of course the molecules aren’t going anywhere! We could also say that the nullity is like the physical universe, which as Stephen Hawkin says ‘always has a net energy content of precisely zero’. In all these cases we can say that on a local scale there may be an imbalance, but on the larger scale there is never any imbalance whatsoever and this ‘lack of imbalance’ is in the nature of an absolute law, like the law regarding the conservation of energy/mass or the conservation of angular momentum.
The weakness of Aristotelian “isness” or “whatness” statements lies in their assumption of indwelling “thingness” — the assumption that every “object” contains what the cynical German philosopher Max Stirner called “spooks.” Thus in Moliere’s famous joke, an ignorant doctor tries to impress some even more ignorant lay persons by “explaining” that opium makes us sleepy because it has a “sleep-inducing property” in it. By contrast a scientific or operational statement would define precisely how the structure of the opium molecule chemically bonds to specific receptor structures in the brain, describing actual events in the spacetime continuum.
Fortunately, some are born with spiritual immune systems that sooner or later give rejection to the illusory worldview grafted upon them from birth through social conditioning. They begin sensing that something is amiss, and start looking for answers. Inner knowledge and anomalous outer experiences show them a side of reality others are oblivious to, and so begins their journey of awakening. Each step of the journey is made by following the heart instead of following the crowd and by choosing knowledge over the veils of ignorance.
You should really forget the word meditation. That word has been corrupted. The ordinary meaning of that word – to ponder over, to consider, to think about – is rather trivial and ordinary. If you want to understand the nature of meditation you should really forget the word because you cannot possibly measure with words that which is not measurable, that which is beyond all measure. No words can convey it, nor any systems, modes of thought, practice or discipline. Meditation – or rather if we could find another word which has not been so mutilated, made so ordinary, corrupt, which has become the means of earning a great deal of money – if you can put aside the word, then you begin quietly end gently to feel a movement that is not of time. Again, the word movement implies time – what is meant is a movement that has no beginning or end. A movement in the sense of a wave: wave upon wave, starting from nowhere and with no beach to crash upon. It is an endless wave.
Time, however slow it is, is rather tiresome. Time means growth, evolution, to become, to achieve, to learn, to change. And time is not the way of that which lies far beyond the word meditation. Time has nothing to do with it. Time is the action of will, of desire, and desire cannot in any way [word or words inaudible here] – it lies far beyond the word meditation.
– Jiddu Krishnamurti to himself, his last journal, p. 18