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Brockwood Park - 4th Entry - 17th September 1973
That evening, walking through the wood there was a feeling of menace. The sun was just setting and the palm trees were solitary against the golden western sky. The monkeys were in the banyan tree, getting ready for the night. Hardly anyone used that path and rarely you met another human being. There were many deer, shy and disappearing into the thick growth. Yet the menace was there, heavy and pervading: it was all around you, you looked over your shoulder. There were no dangerous animals; they had moved away from there; it was too close to the spreading town. One was glad to leave and walk back through the lighted streets. But the next evening the monkeys were still there and so were the deer and the sun was just behind the tallest trees; the menace was gone. On the contrary, the trees, the bushes and the small plants welcomed you. You were among your friends, you felt completely safe and most welcome. The woods accepted you and every evening it was a pleasure to walk there.
Forests are different. There's physical danger there, not only from snakes but from tigers that were known to be there. As one walked there one afternoon there was suddenly an abnormal silence; the birds stopped chattering, the monkeys were absolutely still and everything seemed to be holding its breath. One stood still. And as suddenly, everything came to life; the monkeys were playing and teasing each other, birds began their evening chatter and one was aware the danger had passed.
In the woods and groves where man kills rabbits, pheasants, squirrels, there's quite a different atmosphere. You are entering into a world where man has been, with his gun and peculiar violence. Then the woods lose their tenderness, their welcome, and here some beauty has been lost and that happy whisper has gone.
You have only one head and look after it for it's a marvellous thing. No machinery, no electronic computers can compare with it. It's so vast, so complex, so utterly capable, subtle and productive. It's the storehouse of experience, knowledge, memory. All thought springs from it. What it has put together is quite incredible: the mischief, the confusion, the sorrows, the wars, the corruptions, the illusions, the ideals, the pain and misery, the great cathedrals, the lovely mosques and the sacred temples. It is fantastic what it has done and what it can do. But one thing it apparently cannot do: change completely its behaviour in its relationship to another head, to another man. Neither punishment nor reward seem to change its behaviour; knowledge doesn't seem to transform its conduct. The me and the you remain. It never realizes that the me is the you, that the observer is the observed. Its love is its degeneration; its pleasure is its agony; the gods of its ideals are its destroyers. Its freedom is its own prison; it is educated to live in this prison, only making it more comfortable, more pleasurable. You have only one head, care for it, don't destroy it. It's so easy to poison it.
He always had this strange lack of distance between himself and the trees, rivers and mountains. It wasn't cultivated: you can't cultivate a thing like that. There was never a wall between him and another. What they did to him, what they said to him never seemed to wound him, nor flattery to touch him. Somehow he was altogether untouched. He was not withdrawn, aloof, but like the waters of a river. He had so few thoughts; no thoughts at all when he was alone. His brain was active when talking or writing but otherwise it was quiet and active without movement. Movement is time and activity is not.
This strange activity, without direction, seems to go on, sleeping or waking. He wakes up often with that activity of meditation; something of this nature is going on most of the time. He never rejected it or invited it. The other night he woke up, wide awake. He was aware that something like a ball of fire, light, was being put into his head, into the very centre of it. He watched it objectively for a considerable time, as though it were happening to someone else. It was not an illusion, something conjured up by the mind. Dawn was coming and through the opening of the curtains he could see the trees.