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Brockwood Park - 18th Entry - 3rd October 1973
It was quite cold at the airport so early in the morning; the sun was just coming up. Everyone was wrapped up and the poor porters were shivering; there was the usual noise of an airport, the roars of the jets, the loud chatter, the farewells and the take-off. The plane was crowded with tourists, business men and others going to the holy city, with its filth and teeming people. Presently the vast range of the Himalayas became pink in the morning sun; we were flying south-east and for hundreds of miles these immense peaks seemed to be hanging in the air with beauty and majesty. The passenger in the next seat was immersed in a newspaper; there was a woman across the aisle who was concentrating on her rosary; the tourists were talking loudly and taking photographs of each other and of the distant mountains; everyone was busy with their things and had no time to observe the marvel of the earth and its meandering sacred river nor the subtle beauty of those great peaks which were becoming rose-coloured.
There was a man further down the aisle to whom considerable respect was being paid; he was not young, seemed to have the face of a scholar, was quick in movement and cleanly dressed. One wondered if he ever saw the actual glory of those mountains. Presently he got up and came towards the passenger in the next seat; he asked if he might change places with him. He sat down, introducing himself, and asked if he might have a talk with us. He spoke English rather hesitantly, choosing his words carefully for he was not too familiar with this language; he had a clear, soft voice and was pleasant in his manners. He began by saying he was most fortunate to be travelling on the same plane and to have this conversation. "Of course I have heard of you from my youth and only the other day I heard your last talk, meditation and the observer. I am a scholar, a pundit, practising my own kind of meditation and discipline."
The mountains were receding further east and below us the river was making wide and friendly patterns.
"You said the observer is the observed, the meditator is the meditation and there's meditation only when the observer is not. I would like to be informed about this. For me meditation has been the control of thought, fixing the mind on the absolute."
The controller is the controlled, is it not? The thinker is his thoughts; without words, images, thoughts, is there a thinker? The experiencer is the experience; without experience there's no experiencer. The controller of thought is made up of thought; he's one of the fragments of thought, call it what you will; the outside agency however sublime is still a product of thought; the activity of thought is always outward and brings about fragmentation.
"Can life ever be lived without control? It's the essence of discipline."
When the controller is the controlled, seen as an absolute fact as truth, then there comes about a totally different kind of energy which transforms what is. The controller can never change what is; he can control it, suppress it, modify it or run away from it but can never go beyond and above it. Life can and must be lived without control. A controlled life is never sane; it breeds endless conflict, misery and confusion.
"This is a totally new concept."
If it may be pointed out, it is not an abstraction, a formula. There's only what is. Sorrow is not an abstraction; one can draw a conclusion from it, a concept, a verbal structure but it is not what is, sorrow. Ideologies have no reality; there is only what is. This can never be transformed when the observer separates himself from the observed.
"Is this your direct experience?"
It would be utterly vain and stupid if it were merely verbal structures of thought; to talk of such things would be hypocrisy.
"I would have liked to find out from you what is meditation but now there's no time as we are about to land."
There were garlands on arrival and the winter sky was intensely blue.