Incorruptible Innocence

Towards the evening we went for a short walk. After a brilliant day, clouds were gathering and it would rain during the night. Clouds were closing in on the mountains and the stream was making a great deal of noise. The road was dusty with cars and across the stream was a narrow, wooden bridge. We crossed it and went up a grassy path and the green slope was full of flowers of so many colours.

The path went up gently past a cowshed, but it was empty; the cattle had been taken to pastures much higher up. It was quiet up there, without people but with the noise of the rushing stream. Quietly, it came, so gently that one was not aware of it, so close to the earth, among the flowers. It was spreading, covering the earth and one was in it, not as an observer but of it. There was no thought or feeling, the brain was utterly quiet. Suddenly, there was innocence so simple, so clear and delicate. It was a meadow of innocence past all pleasure and ache, beyond all torture of hope and despair. It was there, and it made the mind, one’s whole being innocent; one was of it, past measure, past word, the mind transparent and the brain young without time.

It went on for some time, and it was late and we had to return.

This morning, on waking it took a little time for that immensity to come but it was there and thought and feeling were made still. As one was cleaning one’s teeth, the intensity of it was sharp and clear. It comes as suddenly as it goes, nothing can restrain it and nothing can call it.

The process has been rather acute and the pain has been sharp.

On waking, everything was quiet as the previous day had been tiring. It was surprisingly quiet and one sat up to carry on with the usual meditation. Unexpectedly, as one hears a distant sound, it began, quietly, gently, and all of a sudden, it was there in full force. It must have lasted for some minutes. It was gone, but it left its perfume deep in one’s consciousness and the seeing of it in one’s eyes.

During the talk this morning that immensity with its benediction was there. Each one must have interpreted it in his way and thereby destroying its indescribable nature. All interpretation distorts.

The process has been acute, and the body has become rather frail. But beyond all this, there is the purity of incredible beauty, the beauty not of things, which thought or feeling has put together, or the gift of some craftsman, but as a river that wanders, nourishing and indifferent, polluted and made use of; it’s there, complete and rich in itself. And a strength that has no value in man’s social structure and behaviour. But it is there, unconcerned, immense, untouchable. Because of this, all things are.

Again this morning, on waking one felt it was an empty night; it had been too much, for the body, with the talk [the day before] and seeing people, was tired. Sitting up in bed as usual, it was quiet; the country was asleep, there was no sound and the morning was heavy with clouds. Wherever it has its being, it came suddenly and fully, this benediction with its strength and power. It remained filling the room and beyond, and presently it went, leaving behind a feeling of vastness, whose height was beyond the word.

Yesterday, walking amidst hills, meadows and streams, among pleasant quietness and beauty one was again aware of that strange and deeply moving innocence. It was quietly, without any resistance, penetrating, entering into every corner and twist of one’s mind, cleansing it of all thought and feeling. It left one empty and complete. Suddenly all time had stopped. Each one was aware of its passage.

The process is going on but more gently and deeply.

It had rained sharply and very heavily, washing off the white dust on the big round leaves by the unpaved road that went deep into the mountains. The air was soft and gentle and at that altitude not heavy; the air was clean and pleasant, and there was the smell of rain-washed earth. Walking up the road, one was aware of the beauty of the earth and the delicate line of the steep hills against the evening sky; of the massive, rocky mountain with its glacier and wide field of snow; of the many flowers in the meadows. It was an evening of great beauty and quietness. The stream so boisterous was made muddy by the recent, heavy rain; it had lost that peculiar bright clarity of mountain water, but in a few hours it would again become clear.

As one looked at the massive rocks, with their curves and shapes and the sparkling snow, half-dreamily with no thought in mind, suddenly there was an immense, massive dignity of strength and benediction. It filled the valley on the instant, and the mind had no measurement; it was deep beyond the word. Again there was innocence.

On waking early this morning, it was there, and meditation was a little thing, and all thought died and all feeling had ceased; the brain was utterly quiet. Its record is not the real. It was there, untouchable and unknowable. It would never be what has been: it is of never-ending beauty.

It was an extraordinary morning. This has been going on for four solid months, whatever the environment, whatever the condition of the body. It’s never the same and yet the same; it is destruction and never-ending creation. Its power and strength are beyond all comparison and words. And it’s never continuous; it is death and life.

The process has been rather acute, and it all seems rather unimportant.

Sitting in the car, beside a boisterous mountain stream and in the middle of green, rich meadows and a darkening sky, that incorruptible innocence was there, whose austerity was beauty. The brain was utterly quiet, and it was touched by it.

The brain is nourished by reaction and experience; it lives on experience. But experience is always limiting and conditioning; memory is the machinery of action. Without experience, knowledge and memory, action is not possible, but such action is fragmentary, limited. Reason, organized thought, is always incomplete; idea, response of thought, is barren and belief is the refuge of thought. All experience only strengthens thought negatively or positively.

Experiencing is conditioned by experience, the past. Freedom is the emptying of the mind of experience. When the brain ceases to nourish itself through experience, memory and thought, when it dies to experiencing, then its activity is not self-centred. It then has its nourishment from elsewhere. It is this nourishment that makes the mind religious.

On waking this morning, beyond all meditation and thought and the delusions that feelings create, there was an intense bright light at the very centre of the brain and beyond the brain at the very centre of consciousness, of one’s being. It was a light that had no shadow nor was it set in any dimension. It was there without movement. With that light there was present that incalculable strength and beauty beyond thought and feeling.

The process was rather acute in the afternoon.

Yesterday, walking up the valley, the mountains covered with clouds and the stream seemingly more noisy than ever, there was a sense of astonishing beauty, not that the meadows and hills and the dark pines had changed. Only the light was different, more soft, with a clarity that seemed to penetrate everything, leaving no shadow. As the road climbed, we were able to look down on a farm, with green pasture land around it. It was a green meadow, a rich green that is seen nowhere, but that little farmhouse and that green pasture contained all the earth and all mankind. There was an absolute finality about it; it was the finality of beauty that is not tortured by thought and feeling. The beauty of a picture, a song, a building is put together by man, to be compared, to be criticized, to be added up but this beauty was not the handwork of man. All the handwork of man must be denied with a finality before this beauty can be. For it needs total innocence, total austerity; not the innocence that thought had contrived nor the austerity of sacrifice. Only when the brain is free of time, and its responses; utterly still, is there that austere innocency.

Woke up long before dawn when the air is very still and the earth waiting for the sun. Woke up with a clarity that was peculiar and an urgency that demanded full attention. The body was completely motionless, an immobility that was without strain, without tension. And inside the head a peculiar phenomenon was going on. A great wide river was flowing with the pressure of immense weight of water, flowing between high, polished granite rock. On each side of this great wide river was polished, sparkling granite, on which nothing grew, not even a blade of grass; there was nothing but sheer polished rock, soaring up beyond measurable eyesight. The river was making its way, silently, without a whisper, indifferent, majestic. It was actually taking place, it wasn’t a dream, a vision nor a symbol to be interpreted. It was there taking place, beyond any doubt; it was not a thing of imagination. No thought could possibly invent it; it was too immense and real for thought to formulate it.

The immobility of the body and this great flowing river between the polished granite walls of the brain, went on for an hour and a half by the watch. Through the open window, the eyes could see the coming dawn. There was no mistaking the reality of what was taking place. For an hour and a half, the whole being was attentive, without effort, without wandering off. And all of a sudden it stopped and the day began.

This morning, that benediction filled the room. It was raining hard but there would be blue sky later.

The process, with its pressure and ache, continues gently.

As the path that goes up the mountain can never contain all of the mountain, so this immensity is not the word. And yet walking up the side of the mountain, with the small stream running at the foot of the slope, this incredible, unnameable immensity was there; the mind and heart was filled with it, and every drop of water on the leaf and on the grass was sparkling with it.

It had been raining all night and all the morning and it had been heavy with clouds, and now the sun was coming out over the high hills and there were shadows on the green, spotless meadows that were rich with flowers. The grass was very wet, and the sun was on the mountains. Up that path there was enchantment, and talking now and then seemed in no way to affect the beauty of that light nor the simple peace that lay in the field. The benediction of that immensity was there and there was joy.

On waking this morning, there was again that impenetrable strength whose power is the benediction. One was awakened to it, and the brain was aware of it without any of its responses. It made the clear sky and the Pleiades incredibly beautiful. And the early sun on the mountain, with its snow, was the light of the world.

During the talk it was there, untouchable and pure, and in the afternoon in the room it came with a speed of lightning and was gone. But it’s always here in some measure, with its strange innocency whose eyes have never been touched.

The process was rather acute last night and as this is being written.

Though the body was done up this morning after the talk [of yesterday] and seeing people, sitting in the car under a spreading tree there was a deep strange activity going on. It was not an activity which the brain, with its customary responses, could comprehend and formulate; it was beyond its scope. But there was an activity, deep within, which was wearing out all obstruction. But the nature of that activity is impossible to tell. Like deep subterranean waters making their way to the surface, so there was an activity far deeper than beyond all consciousness.

One is aware of the increase of sensitivity of the brain; colour, shape, line, the total form of things have become more intense and extraordinarily alive. Shadows seem to have a life of their own, of greater depth and purity. It was a beautiful, quiet evening; there was a breeze among the leaves and the aspen leaves were trembling and dancing. A tall straight stem of a plant, with a crown of white flowers, touched by faint pink, stood as a watcher by the mountain stream. The stream was golden in the setting sun and the woods were deep in silence; even the passing cars didn’t seem to disturb them. The snow-covered mountains were deep in dark, heavy clouds and the meadows knew innocence.

The whole mind was far beyond all experience. And the meditator was silent.