Sitting on a rock in an orange orchard the valley spread out and disappeared into the fold of mountains. It was early in the morning and the shadows were long, soft and open. The quails were calling with their sharp demand and the mourning dove was cooing, with soft, gentle lilt, a sad song so early in the morning. The mocking-bird was making swooping curves in the air, turning somersaults, delighted with the world. A big tarantula, hairy and dark, slowly came out from under the rock, stopped, felt the morning air and unhurriedly went its way. The orange trees were in long straight lines, acre upon acre, with their bright fruit and fresh blossom flower and fruit on the same tree at the same time. The smell of these blossoms was quietly pervasive and with the heat of the sun the smell would get deeper, more insistent. The sky was very blue and soft and all the hills and mountains were still dreaming.
It was a lovely morning, cool and fresh, with that strange beauty which man had not yet destroyed. The lizards came out and sought a warm spot in the sun; they stretched out to get their bellies warm and their long tails turned sideways. It was a happy morning and the soft light covered the land and the endless beauty of life. Meditation is the essence of this beauty, expressed or silent. Expressed, it takes form, substance; silent it’s not to be put into word, form or colour. From silence, expression or action have beauty, are whole, and all struggle, conflict cease. The lizards were moving into the shade and the humming-birds and the bees were among the blossoms.
Without passion there’s no creation. Total abandonment brings this unending passion. Abandonment with a motive is one thing, and without a purpose, without calculation, it is another. What which has an end, a direction, is short lived, becomes mischievous and commercial, vulgar. The other, not driven by any cause, intention or gain, has no beginning and no ending. This abandonment is the emptying of the mind of the “me”, the self. This “me” can lose itself in some activity, in some comforting belief or fanciful dream but such loss is the continuing of the self in another form, identifying with another ideology and action. The abandonment of the self is not an act of will, for the will is the self. Any movement of the self, horizontally or vertically, in any direction, is still within the field of time and sorrow. Thought may give itself over to something, sane or insane, reasonable or idiotic, but being in its very structure and nature fragmentary, its very enthusiasm, excitement, soon turn into pleasure and fear. In this area the abandonment of the self is illusory, with little meaning. The awareness of all this is the awakening to the activities of the self; in this attention there is no centre, the self. The urge to express oneself for identification is the outcome of confusion and the meaninglessness of existence. To seek a meaning is the beginning of fragmentation; thought can and does give a thousand meanings to life, each one inventing its own meanings which are merely opinions and convictions and there’s no end to them. The very living is the whole meaning but when life is a conflict, a struggle, a battlefield of ambition, competition and the worship of success, the search for power and position, then life has no meaning. What is the need of expression? Does creation lie in the thing produced? The thing produced by hand or by the mind, however beautiful or utilitarian is that what one is after? Does this self-abandoned passion need expression? When there is a need, a compulsion, is it the passion of creation? As long as there is division between creator and the created, beauty, love, come to an end. You may produce a most excellent thing in colour or in stone, but if your daily life contradicts that supreme excellence the total abandonment of the self that which you have produced is for admiration and vulgarity. The very living is the colour, the beauty and its expression. One needs no other.
The shadows were losing their distance and the quails were quiet. There was only the rock, the trees with their blossom and fruit, the lovely hills and the abundant earth.