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Ojai - 43rd Entry - 14th April 1975
A very large serpent was crossing a wide cart road just ahead of you, fat, heavy, moving lazily; it was coming from a largish pond a little way off. It was almost black and the light of the evening seen falling on it gave to its skin a high polish. It moved in a leisurely way with lordly dignity of power. It was unaware of you as you stood quietly watching; you were quite close to it; it must have measured well over five feet and it was bulging with what it had eaten. It went over a mound and you walked towards it, looking down upon it a few inches away, its forked black tongue darting in and out; it was moving towards a large hole. You could have touched it for it had a strange attractive beauty. A villager was passing by and called out to leave it alone because it was a cobra. The next day the villagers had put there on the mound a saucer of milk and some hibiscus flowers. On that same road further along there was a bush, high and almost leafless, that had thorns almost two inches long, sharp, greyish, and no animal would dare to touch its succulent leaves. It was protecting itself and woe to anyone that touched it. There were deer there in those woods, shy but very curious; they would allow themselves to be approached but not too close and if you did they would dart away and disappear among the undergrowth. There was one that would let you come quite close, if you were alone, bright-eyed with its large ears forward. They all had white spots on a russet-brown skin; they were shy, gentle and ever-watchful and it was pleasant to be among them. There was a completely white one, which must have been a freak.
The good is not the opposite of the evil. It has never been touched by that which is evil, though it is surrounded by it. Evil cannot hurt the good but the good may appear to do harm and so evil gets more cunning, more mischievous. It can be cultivated, sharpened, expansively violent; it is born within the movement of time, nurtured and skilfully used. But goodness is not of time; it can in no way be cultivated or nurtured by thought; its action is not visible; it has no cause and so no effect. Evil cannot become good for that which is good is not the product of thought; it lies beyond thought, like beauty. The thing that thought produces, thought can undo but it is not the good; as it is not of time, the good has no abiding place. Where the good is, there is order, not the order of authority, punishment and reward; this order is essential, for otherwise society destroys itself and man becomes evil, murderous, corrupt and degenerate. For man is society; they are inseparable. The law of the good is everlasting, unchanging and timeless. Stability is its nature and so it is utterly secure. There is no other security.