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Brockwood Park - 9th Entry - 22nd September 1973

Brockwood Park - 9th Entry - 22nd September 1973

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Krishnamurti's Journal

A woman was singing next door: she had a marvellous voice and the few who were listening to her were entranced. The sun was setting among the mango trees and palms, rich golden and green. She was singing some devotional songs and the voice was getting richer and mellower. Listening is an art. When you listen to classical western music or to this woman, sitting on the floor, you are either being romantic or there are remembrances of things past or thought with its associations swiftly changing your moods, or there are intimations of the future. Or you listen without any movement of thought. You listen out of complete quietness, out of total silence.

Listening to one's thought or to the blackbird on a branch or to what is being said, without the response of thought, brings about a wholly different significance from that which the movement of thought brings. This is the art of listening, listening with total attention: there is no centre which listens.

The silence of the mountains has a depth which the valleys have not. Each has its own silence; the silence among clouds and among trees is vastly different; the silence between two thoughts is timeless; the silence of pleasure and of fear are tangible. The artificial silence which thought can manufacture is death; the silence between noises is the absence of noise but it is not silence, as the absence of war is not peace. The dark silence of a cathedral, of the temple, is of age and beauty, especially constructed by man; there is the silence of the past and of the future, the silence of the museum and the cemetery. But all this is not silence.

The man had been sitting there on the bank of the beautiful river, motionless; he was there for over an hour. He would come there every morning, freshly bathed, he would chant in Sanskrit for some time and presently he would be lost in his thoughts; he didn't seem to mind the sun, at least the morning sun. One day he came and began to talk about meditation. He did not belong to any school of meditation, he considered them useless, without any real significance. He was alone, unmarried and had put away the ways of the world long ago. He had controlled his desires, shaped his thoughts and lived a solitary life. He was not bitter, vain or indifferent; he had forgotten all these some years ago. Meditation and reality were his life. As he talked and groped for the right word, the sun was setting and deep silence descended upon us. He stopped talking. After a while, when the stars were very close to the earth, he said: "That is the silence I have been looking for everywhere, in the books, among the teachers and in myself. I have found many things but not this. It came unsought, uninvited. Have I wasted my life in things that did not matter? You have no idea what I have been through, the fastings, the self-denials and the practices. I saw their futility long ago but never came upon this silence. What shall I do to remain in it, to maintain it, to hold it in my heart? I suppose you would say do nothing, as one cannot invite it. But shall I go on wandering over this country, with this repetition, this control? Sitting here I am conscious of this sacred silence; through it I look at the stars, those trees, the river. Though I see and feel all this, I am not really there. As you said the other day, the observer is the observed. I see what it means now. The benediction I sought is not to be found in the seeking. It is time for me to go."

The river became dark and the stars were reflected on its waters near the banks. Gradually the noises of the day were coming to an end and the soft noises of the night began. You watched the stars and the dark earth and the world was far away. Beauty, which is love, seemed to descend on the earth and the things of it.