Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Pages from the Book of Life


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Sat, 11 Aug 2018 #121
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 257 posts in this forum Offline

 K Group Discussion 29th April, 1948 (reader & experientially friendly edited)

Final Words of Wisdom

K: We have been discussing the problem of individual transformation and why it has not been possible for you to effect immediate transformation. We saw that transformation can take place only in the Now and not in the hereafter; any form of approach which involves thinking in terms of time, evolution, growth, leads to postponement.
The (self-centred) thought-process cannot bring about ( a holistic inner) transformation since it implies a constant response (from the 'known'?) of the conditioned mind ( this conditioning is due to the psychological memory which is the residue of incomplete experience).

All human (related?) problems are changing and not static. Therefore, a mind that has a fixed opinion or a conclusion cannot understand a new problem. Emotions, feelings, cannot lead to transformation since they are within the field of the ( self-centred) mind and they are sensations. When we put aside all the above 'screens' or barriers (blocks ) to ( self-)understanding, what is left with us? When all these forms of ( calculated?) intellection are removed, there is an inward sense of creative being. There is no problem outside the mind; so, when the mind is cleansed, we are face to face with the problem. (Hint:) It is only when you directly experience this state that you will see what difference it makes.
What is the actual state of the mind when the mind is alert and when there is no action of ( one's past) memory on the problem or when there is no desire for a ( psychologically rewarding?) result?
We said that when the mind is not acting on the problem, we experience first a 'stillness' ( an inner peace?) . The whole content of one's consciousness, not merely the superficial layers, is quiet. (However?) if only the superficial layers only are still, the deeper layers will project themselves into the superficial and there will be the pulsations of the past, the promptings of the deeper layers. Therefore, this state of quietness where there is no such prompting, is the one corresponding to the quietness at all levels of one's consciousness. In that state, we are not ( concerned with?) naming and recording – this is the (integrated) state of experiencing, in which there is neither the 'experiencer' nor the 'experience'. When the experience fades away, there arises the experiencer and the experience, the thinker and the thought. This stillness is not the result of a desire. Desire or seeking a result creates action; from action the actor is born. Therefore, if there is seeking for a result, there cannot be stillness.

Question: Did I not ( in my attempt for meditation?) push out all the thoughts that arose in my mind, in order to bring about stillness?

Krishnamurti: No. Your ( global) understanding of the thought-process led to the thoughts dropping away by themselves. But... as long as you do not understand that ( the past?) memory cannot ( holistically) solve any ( inner) human problem, your effort to push away, which is based only on memory, cannot produce stillness of the mind. When you realize that no action of memory can lead to (self-) understanding, then ( the psychological ) memory ceases to function and the ( self-centred) mind is no longer acting on the problem, and therefore the mind is ( finally silent & ?) still.
In this state, the ( mental momentum of the 'psychological' memory of the ?) past has been 'wiped away' (put on hold ?) , even if it be only for a split second. ( Hint:) This memory is always waiting to creep in and therefore an (ego-centric?) thought may arise during this interval of stillness. The understanding of this ( possibility ?) makes the mind very watchful and very alert, but it is also still. The ( totality of the?) mind has now realized that all this has to be put away; therefore, all these (hectic thoughts?) drop away and the mind is silent. In that silence, there is only the ( integrated) state of experiencing - an inner stillness which is not static but with an extraordinary ( creative?) activity. Only the ( self-imposed) stillness which is the product of ( the knowledgeable?) memory, is static.

Question: My mind is now still and seems to be 'non-existent'(transparent?) .

Krishnamurti: If I tell you anything (felt very) strongly , you ( may subliminally ) accept it even if you have not (the actual) experiencing; this is (a very popular ?) form of 'hypnotism' ( aka : messmeric suggestion ? )

Question: When I understand that ( the mechanical response of) memory conditions, there is stillness. Then I tried to experiment with the suffering of another person whom I knew. I then felt as though I was myself suffering and not the other person of whom I was thinking. Then the thinking crept in.

Krishnamurti: We were trying here to find out what it means to have this constant revolution inside us, the inner regeneration. Regeneration is a new state ( of integrated consciousness of ) which I do not know (anything yet?) ; and I must approach it through negation, and understand it negatively.
Any ( mechanical) response of memory, however fleeting, cannot produce regeneration. When I see it, the response of ( my psychological) memory drops away. It may come back again; but, if I see it again, again it drops away. From every movement ( of this negative ?) thinking there is a creative existence. When ( the psychological?) memory is in abeyance, the mind is very ( naturally?) quiet. By constant watchfulness, this ( silent inner) 'interval' arises when thought does not act at all. What comes out of this interval is a natural expansive awareness which is not exclusive; i.e., there is a state of concentration without a 'concentrator'.

The (inwardly regenerative?) process is as follows : (a) one is inwardly watchful. (b) When any thought arises it is examined and its truth seen. Then ( c ) that thought 'drops away'. (d) The self-understanding mind is denuding itself of all ( its redundant?) thoughts and as a result (e) there is also the lengthening of the interval between thought and thought. ( f) When a new thought arises in that interval, that thought is examined ( ASAP?) with greater quickness & anew. ( Hint:) The lengthening of the ( silent) interval between two thoughts gives (to the earnest mind ?) a greater capacity to deal with any (self-centred) thought that may arise in that interval. (g) There is a ( renewed) vitality in this interval. In this interval all effort has stopped; there is no choice, no condemnation, no justification, and no identification; there is also no ( personal) interpretation of any kind.

Question: What is meant by examining a thought, in the state of silence? I suppose it is not merely to recognize it as a form of memory and to push it out, but to realise the significance of it.

Krishnamurti: We are trying to see if the 'new' (thought, challenge, etc?) can be met anew and understood without the burden of ( our psychological) past. Meeting of the new as the new is ( bringing its own inner) regeneration. I have understood a thought and that thought disappears. There is an interval of calm and clarity. Then another thought arises. How do I deal with that thought? Can you examine the ( incoming) thought without ( the help of) your ( previous?) memory?

Question: If I do not push that thought away, the thought ( unfolds & ) disappears of itself.

Krishnamurti: How do you deal with the thought without memory? Has not that ( silent) interval a relationship with that thought? Does not that interval which is a state of being which is 'new', meet the 'old' which is the thought arising? This means the new is meeting the old; but, (the experiential difficulty is that) the 'new' cannot absorb (incorporate?) the old. The old can absorb the new and modify it; but the new cannot absorb the old. Therefore ( realising this fine point?) the (silent intelligence of the?) new always extends and ( eventually?) the 'old' disappears by itself (dies of a 'natural death'?) . There is no exclusion, no suppression, nor condemnation, nor avoidance. It is in this manner that that ( particular self-centred?) thought arising in the (silent) interval (simply... ?) disappears.
( In a nutshell:) In that silent interval the newly (awakened intelligence?) is operating on the old and – as the old cannot be absorbed by the new - the thought ( withers & ) disappears. This ( thought-free ?) interval is extraordinary in that it is ( self-sustaining?) without effort, without choice.

Question: Will there be a 'pure perception' then?

Krishnamurti: In that interval, there will be a complete cessation of desires. That ( silent) interval is ( an integrated inner state of) alert, passive, choiceless awareness. There is cessation of desire, cessation of thought. In that state which is 'experiencing' ( the 'real thing'?) , any verbal communication is impossible & there is no ( material?) 'sensation'. If you and I are experiencing the same state, then, because it is non-sensuous, we can ( love & ) understand each other.

( To sum it up?) Regeneration is not a factor depending upon me; because, it cannot be brought about by any effort or any struggle on my part. In itself, that ( silent ) interval lives by itself and it also gets lengthened. There is a state of being without causation, with no time in it (no 'yesterday' producing 'today' and no 'today' producing 'tomorrow'), a state without time and yet living vitally. In other words, this is a ( self-sustained) state of being which is full of vitality, which has no causation and therefore timeless, and yet without death. There is also a newness which is not repetitive. That state is Creation. In that state a new birth takes place always, a ( regenerative?) transformation -not in terms of time- is taking place all the time.
(In a nutshell:) It is a ( most excellent?) state of real action without a cause, timeless, living and undergoing a transformation in itself. It is not one isolated experience but it is a state of constant experiencing. Therefore, ( this inner) regeneration is ( creating ) a constant revolution (of the new?) inside us, which will meet every problem anew. If that (integrated Intelligence?) is functioning, the 'new' meets the old without being contaminated by the old. Therefore, such a man can live even in the midst of a 'greedy' world without being affected by that (stream of collective?) greed, but himself altering (from the inside-out?) the greed in the world. This New (holistic Consciousness?) is always 'moving' and it transforms ( qualtatively?) everything it meets.

Now (for optional homework:) your difficulty is not in understanding (your countless personal ?) problems , but to have that (silent) interval between two ( self-centred) thoughts. Therefore, you do not have to strive to be 'good', to be 'non-violent' etc. You are only concerned with that ( silent creative?) 'interval' with which you can live from moment to moment. You have no ( personal?) problem ( no deeds to do ?) and nothing to maintain; for, as that (silent) interval functions, the problems as they arise will be promptly dealt with, by the (Intelligence of the?) New meeting the ( time-binding momentum of the ?) old without being in any way contaminated by the old.

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Sat, 11 Aug 2018 #122
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 257 posts in this forum Offline

As this thread is dedicated to 'lost & found' pages from the Book of Life, the following insightful notes are dating from the same period (Bombay 1948) and were recorded by Mrs Pupul Jayakar who was part of a rather select K discussion group ( the selected exerpts are from her remarkable book: Krishnamurti, a biography)

"The first discussions in Bombay in 1948 were confused and dispersed. A question was asked of K. His fluid mind took in the question and turned it back, challenging the questioner and the group to seek the answer within the field of self-knowing. K spoke slowly, with many pauses, bending forward as if each response was for the first time. He listened to his own responses with the same openness and receptivity as he did to the voice of the questioner. The energy of Krishnaji’s response was met by struggling minds, battling with confusion, conditioned to respond from memory and to seek solution from a higher authority, inner or outer, spiritual or temporal. We found Krishnaji’s way difficult to comprehend. We strained to understand the words of Krishnaji and to apply them to our own minds. We attempted to approximate, to reach beyond the word with the only instruments of enquiry available—memory and thought. But these were the very instruments that were being challenged, and there was a sense of bewilderment. The clues were missing and the mind, clinging to words, was a battlefield of despair and conflict.

The discussions proceeded slowly. K moved from thought to thought, pushing, blocking, retreating, advancing. In the very movement of this step-by-step observation of the mind, the thought process slowed down until, in an instant, the (inward) perceptions of the participants awoke, and there was direct contact of perception with mind and its flux. The first “seeing” of mind was the starting point of enquiry. It was the clue that unraveled and revealed and, in the very revealing, illumined the question and the answer.
The people who investigated with K were discovering the structure and nature of consciousness and the immense strength and resilience of the thinking process. To observe the movement of the mind caught in thought and to “see” its own inadequacy had in it the excitement and awe of discovery, of traveling uncharted terrain.

Thought held in its grooves could not break through its own bondage.But by discussion, seeing, observing, challenging, and doubting, the grooves in which thought moved and the process of becoming was born were being shattered.

A new methodology born of ( direct) seeing and listening was unfolding, new perceptions were awakening. A ground of observing and enquiry was being established. The energy generated by the question was not permitted to dissipate in the reflexive answers and responses that arose from the store house of memory. K was challenging the minds of the participants. Every cell in the body and mind of K was awake. His relentless questioning opened up the psyche; and as the muscle and tone of the listeners strengthened, the mind of K in turn was deeply challenged. In K’s very challenging there arose rare insights into the human condition. Like an antenna, K’s mind reached out to sense the minds of the participants. When the dialogue got bogged down or the group entered into sterile dialectics and the discussion was barren, K’s mind would take a leap, carrying the discussion out of its rut. He brought into the discussion the nature of love, death, fear and sorrow; feelings and situations that were of the skin and heart; and suddenly the discussion would come in direct, tactile contact with the problem.

The breakthrough in the discussions began one morning in 1948 when Rao Sahib Patwardhan said that the ideals and beliefs that had carried him through the political struggle had crumbled under him. He was faced with a blank wall and felt that the time had come for him to reexamine his fundamental beliefs. Then he turned to Krishnaji and asked him what he meant by “creative thinking.” Krishnaji, who had been sitting quietly, listening intently to Rao Sahib, sprang to his feet and sat down next to him. Leaning forward, he said, “Do you want to go into it, Sir, and see whether you cannot experience the state of creative thinking now?” Rao was perplexed and looked at K, unable to comprehend what he was saying.

“How does one think?” K began. Rao responded, “A problem arises, and to meet the problem thoughts arise.”

K asked, “How do you try to solve a problem?” “Find out an answer,” said Rao.

“How can you find an answer and how do you know that it is the right answer? Surely you cannot see the whole content of the problem—how can then your answer be the right one?”

“If I do not find the right answer the first time, I try other ways of finding it,” answered Rao.

“But whatever way you try to find an answer it will only be a partial answer, and you want a complete answer. How then will you find a complete answer?” K was blocking all movements of the mind—refusing to defuse the energy held in the question.

“If I cannot see the problem completely, I cannot find the right answer,” Rao responded.
“So you are no longer looking for an answer.”
“No.”
“You have shut off all the avenues seeking an answer.”
“Yes.”
“What is the state of your mind when it is no longer looking for an answer?” My own mind was quite blank, but this was not what he was getting at. We were missing something.

During a discussion a few days later, K spoke of memory as the “I” consciousness, the factor that distorts and hinders understanding of the present. He separated factual memory from psychological memory—the “I” will be, “I” should be. Then he asked, “Can we live without psychological memory?”
The discussion proceeded slowly, and I lost interest. My mind darted away in pursuit of some desire. The more I tried to concentrate on the subject, the more restless the mind grew. I was so disgusted that I let it roam. Soon I found that it settled down, and for the first time that morning I listened to what was being said.

Professor Chubb of Elphinstone College had entered into an argument, and I listened. Could memory drop away? I asked myself. I did not want to be free of the “I” principle. I had built it up so carefully; why should I be free of it? I would be lost.
Then I felt curious to find out whether one could drop memory. There was an immediate clarity. I started watching the mind. K was saying, “What can you do, Sirs? You are faced with a blank wall. You can’t just leave it, you have to do something.” In a flash I spoke: “Drop memory.” Suddenly, my mind was clear. K looked straight at me. The clarity deepened.

“Go on,” he said. “What is the state of your mind when you drop memory?” It was as if the fifty people were gone, and there were just K and I. “My mind is still,” I said. Suddenly, I felt it—a quality so potent, so flexible, so swift and alive. He smiled and said, “Leave it, go slow, don’t trample it.” The others tried to intervene to get at what I had experienced, but K said, “Leave it alone, it is so delicate, don’t strangle it.” When I left the meeting he came to the door with me and said, “You must come and see me, we must talk of it.” I had the feeling my mind had been washed clean.

As the intensity and clarity generated in the dialogue became evident, we were eager to continue. And on days when public talks were not held, we met and discussed with K. Most of the questions that arose concerned the urgency of ethical action in the midst of a chaotic society, and it was only later that the fundamental human problems—envy, ambition, fear, sorrow, death, time, and the agony of becoming and not achieving—were to surface and find expression.
In later years K wrote, “To be still after tilling and sowing, is to give birth to creation.”

As the discussions proceeded through the years, various analytical enquiries were made; tentative and exploratory. We questioned without seeking immediate solution; rather, we developed a step-by-step observation of the process of thought and its unfoldment—penetration and withdrawal, every movement plunging attention deeper and deeper into the recesses of the mind. A delicate, wordless communication took place; an exposure of the movement of negation as it met the positive movement of thought. There was the “seeing” of fact, of “what is,” the releasing of energy held in “what is,” which is the mutation of “what is.” This was again perceived from various directions to examine its validity.
The nature of duality and nonduality were revealed in simple language. In that state of questioning—a state where the questioner, the experiencer has ceased—in a flash “truth” was revealed. It was a state of total nonthought, the ending of duality. At the end of the discussion many of us felt as if our minds had been freshly bathed.
In later years K was to say of these discussions, “The mind which is the vessel of movement, when the movement has no form, no ‘me’, no vision, no image, it is completely quiet. In it there is no memory. Then the brain cells undergo a change. The brain cells are used to movement in time. They are the residue of time and time is movement; a movement within the space which it creates as it moves... When there is no movement, there is tremendous focus of energy. So mutation is the understanding of movement, and the ending of movement in the brain cells themselves.”

The revelation of the instant of mutation of “what is” provided a totally new dimension to the whole field of intellectual and religious enquiry.
Years later I said to Krishnaji, “Having a personal discussion with you, one is exposed to a nothingness. It is like facing something totally empty. There is nothing except ‘what is’ as reflected in oneself. You throw back on the person exactly ‘what is.’ ”
K replied, “That is what Aldous used to say. But when K throws back, it is yours.”

When he arrived in Delhi, I went to meet K alone. He told me that he had dreamed about me (he rarely had dreams). “Listen to what I say. I am going to talk as if I were you. I am a Brahmin born of a tradition of culture and learning with a background of intellect and sensitivity. In this background there is a vein of weakness, of crudeness. I spent my childhood in a civil servant’s house. I ate meat and was made to reject my Brahminism. I went to Europe, married, had a child, a severe illness. I went blind, life used me and left its mark on me. I grew ambitious and cultivated ruthlessness and denied sensitivity. In meeting people I have absorbed and reflected their coarseness or their sensitivity. I have not had the intelligence to meet coarseness with intelligence. Then Krishnamurti came. At first I saw in what he had to say a way of sharpening my brain, but soon I was caught in it. In the most powerful influence I had known. And all the time, although I denied my Brahmin background, it was there, the main contradiction, the Brahmin background never understood but rejected, and so I am always in conflict.”

Then he said, “You see the picture, the patches, the lights, the shades, the crudeness, the sensitivity. What is it you feel when you see the picture as a whole?” I said it was a mess, and asked what I could do to straighten out the contradiction. Surely I must be able to act in the contradiction.
He said, “You are still concerned about doing. But any action on your part will mean adding another patch. Why can’t you just see it? It is you, with all its shades and lights. What is the use of prejudice or pleasure? Just absorb it and see yourself as you are, clearly. Then you will stop bridging the coarseness and sensitivity.”
“That is, I must stop trying to be sensitive, when I am coarse.”
“No,” Krishnamurti replied. “You cannot do anything. Just watch the truth of your 'bridging', which you are constantly doing.” This was the first time I had heard him refer to the background and the necessity of understanding it. I asked him how it could be understood.
“See that it is there in all its richness, its fullness, its thousands of years of racial memory. Then when it next projects itself, you will see it and there will be instant understanding and the end of conflict with it. You cannot reject the ( racial) background, for it is there as much as your arm or skin. You can only understand it, and understanding it be free of it.” A little later he said, “What man needs is that contentment that is in the earth when it has given birth to a tree. In a bush when it has produced a flower.”

This post was last updated by John Raica Sat, 11 Aug 2018.

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Tue, 11 Sep 2018 #123
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 257 posts in this forum Offline

Here are ( flash posted !) a few very inspiring 'lost & found' pages from W. T Stead's 'Letters from Julia' For one thing, they do justice to what K called in his last years of life listening ( & also thinking ?) with 'the mind in the heart'

September 27th 1896.

It is a mistake to say that there is no longer time in which to think. With the increased rush there are many oases. But, with the continued rush there disappears the capacity to utilize them. And what I wish to do to-day is to point out some of the methods in which the lost Meditation-time may be recovered. What I want Meditation-time for is to get a chance at your soul. The mundane and material veil the soul from us. We catch fitful glimpses of your soul as if through thick hanging clouds. We want to see more of it and to influence you more in Time with the thought of Eternity. And the first way to help is to teach you how to utilize your spare moments. Here let me answer that thought of yours as to the idleness of purposeless meditation. It is not my purpose that your meditation should be purposeless.

What you have to do is to take the first steps towards the realization of the Divine. This you can do only in one way. Where Love is, God is. There is no formula so true as that. To get man into the presence of God, make him love. And the worst sign of the latter times is when the love of many has grown cold. But do not quench the smoking flax. Break not the bruised reed. Wherever life is, love is not impossible. For the complete absence of love is the final cessation of life. Love is often latent as heat is. But the development, the expansion of love - that is the growth of life. Hence the use of the Meditation-moment is primarily the development of Love. And this can be done quite simply by giving the Divine nature within each a free chance to assert itself.
For all around man lies the quickening spirit of God. And you have but to allow it a chance, instead of hustling it out of the way, to see the God-germ grow.

Must man, then, think first of himself and not of the others? Now you are surprised, but what a man ought first to think of when he meditates is himself. What am I making of myself? For love begins at home. And if a man is cruel to his own soul - - ? No, you must care for your higher self, the God within. What are you doing with that? Giving it exercise? And what? Since when has it had an opportunity of doing anything worth doing? And are you stunting or starving or killing it? Soul-murder - are you guilty of it? For it is possible to murder your own soul. And then the next thought must be, My enemies, what good have I done them? For an "enemy" is the man with whom you have failed. It may not be your fault, but if he is your enemy, you have failed; for it is failure when any fail to realize that One is your Father, and all ye are brethren. Whom you dislike, that is an enemy - a failure. Have you done anything to make him a success? You may do nothing. But have you thought kindly of him, pitying his blindness and his shortcomings, longing to see him better? But sometimes it is best kindness to punish? Yes, I know you are quite right in thinking that there are times when it is necessary to punish evildoers; but as you punish, love! And remember that punishment without love is not of God. Have, then, a list, long or short, of the people you dislike, and run over them lovingly. Out of joint with this, with that, with the other - this is not in the Divine order, and you ought to try to be in charity with, that is to like, all men. Then your friends, and those to whom you are related. Your success depends upon individualizing. Take each in turn. What have you done for him, for her, since yesterday? What have you left undone? In short, evil is the want of thought. Think - a loving thought is a prayer. You have not time to pray? Then make time to think of those you love. Without thinking on to people you lose vital connection with them. To all men and women you know you owe some duty, however slight. It may be a smile, it may be a word, it may be a letter, it may be praise, it may be blame; and there is more love needed to blame rightly than to praise. But whatever it is, it is due from you to each of these. Have you paid your dues? Not in the lump but to each his due?

What is the excuse for the unkindness in the world? What is the cause of most of the sadness? Not poverty of this world's wealth, but poverty of loving thought. You do not think; you forget. You neglect for want of thought. You allow the love that is in you to grow cold. For love dies when you never think of the person loved. Therefore think of them all. If you can do nothing else, think of them lovingly; for the loving thought of a friend is an Angel of God sent to carry a benediction to the Soul. Yes, in this way we all fulfil, or help to fulfil, our own prayers. When you think with real feeling and earnestness of another's welfare and long to help him, you do help him. Here is, as it were, the secret source whereby the fire is fed which would else have flickered out and died. Oh, my dearest friend, if you only knew the power of thought, and if you would but think, think, think! Do not forget that the supreme need of the Soul of Man is time to think ( & meditate ?) , which means time to love, i.e. time to live.

(...) But the doorway into the Infinite is the 'Soul' (see K's 'Mind' ?) , and the Soul is lost. When you have no time to think, no time to pray, you have no time to live. Therefore you must before all else make time.

S: Easier said than done!

J: Oh, my dear friend, you waste more time in brooding over the Past which you cannot recall, or in anticipating the evils of the Future which you may never meet, than would help you to possess your Soul in the living Present. What you do not seem to see is that the Soul (the Mind ?) is not a mere abstraction. It is the Power which enables you to do all things. I speak the most sober and literal truth, when I say that if you did but possess your Soul and exercise its powers, Death or separation in this world would cease to exist for you, and the miseries which haunt the human race would disappear. For the whole of the evils that afflict society arise from the lack of seeing things from the standpoint of the Soul. If you lived for the Soul, cared for what made the Soul a more living reality, and less for the meat and drink and paraphernalia of the body, the whole world would be transfigured; you have got a wrong standpoint and everything is out of focus.

I do not say neglect the body. But make its health and ease only the means to the end. The body is only a machine. The work that it does ought to be for the Soul. What you do now is to make the ( body) 'machine' everything. It consumes on itself its own force. The wheels go round, but nothing moves. And in the whirl of the wheels the Soul is lost. No I must repeat once more - you must find time to live. At present you have lost your Souls even partly by the strain ( effort ?) of trying to find them. I mean that much of the so-called 'religious life and works', while good in their way, constitutes no small addition to the preoccupation of time which renders Soul-life impossible. It is possible to lose your Soul in Church as well as on the Stock Exchange. If you have not leisure to be alone with your Soul - it does not so much matter whether the rush and whirl and preoccupation is ecclesiastical or financial - the Soul is lost, and there is nothing to do but... to find it again.

This post was last updated by John Raica Tue, 11 Sep 2018.

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Mon, 17 Sep 2018 #124
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 257 posts in this forum Offline

Here are for our readers' fun & pofit a few 'lost & found" pages from Sidney Fields' memoirs of K dating from the early 30's in Ojai, California

( ...) Here I was, at the threshold of adult life, just beginning the whole painful business, when Krishnaji kindly called me up to invite me to spend a week with him at Arya Vihara. Rosalind and Rajagopal were going to be away that week, and I’d have a chance to relax and be alone with him, to do anything I pleased. To be in Arya Vihara with Krishnaji, away from Hollywood and my sordid problems, loomed like a bit of paradise to me.

A pleasing warmth and the fragrance of orange blossoms filled the peaceful Ojai Valley the afternoon I arrived at Arya Vihara. Krishnaji was sitting alone on the front porch of his private cottage, behind the main house. There was a feeling of great peace and power about him. He said how happy he was that I had come. This remark presented an opportunity to ask him a question that had often come to mind. I said, “Krishnaji, does the presence of a friend, one you’re fond of, make you happier than the presence of just anyone who might come in from the outside?”
His smile told me immediately that he knew the meaning of my question. He answered, “I am truly happy that you are here, Sidney, but if you hadn’t come I’d be just as happy.”
That took the wind out of my ego’s sails, but after all, I reasoned, what else could he say and remain consistent with his view of complete self-sufficiency?
We then went for a long walk in the coolness of the late afternoon, behind the Thatcher School, in the shadow of the great Topa Topa mountain, enveloped in its darkening robe of dusk. All his life Krishnaji was a great lover of Nature, and it was always fun walking with him because you felt the bubbling sense of joy he experienced in the outdoors. As we tramped over the brush and rocks, I couldn’t help but think of the remark he had made earlier in the day, pulling the rug out from under me, when I had asked him, indirectly, if he had any favorites. It was, perhaps, an impertinent question, for it was obvious that a man like Krishnaji was really not one of us, even if he was concerned about our problems and sorrows. He was a man alone, unentangled, unattached, living on the mountaintop like a solitary eagle.

After a delicious vegetarian dinner that evening, we went into the kitchen to help wash and dry the dishes, a chore that Krishnaji had imposed on himself to help the aging cook. Then we moved into the wood-paneled living room, where Krishnaji built a fire in the fireplace. Both of us sat on a couch, watching the fire without making a single comment. There is something wonderfully relaxing about dancing flames and crackling wood in a fireplace. Tonight, however, the psychic atmosphere in that charming old California bungalow, given to him by a friend, was not conducive to relaxation. The feeling was more like that generated by a giant dynamo. There was a powerful force concentrated there; it was almost physically palpable. It didn’t surprise me, though, for many times before I had felt it in Krishnaji’s presence, although never with such intensity.

Krishnaji was one of those rare persons who could be perfectly relaxed in the company of another while completely silent, and I had visions of spending the whole evening with him just watching the fire wordlessly. I kept thinking about a remark he had once made to me, that he was like a deep well, out of which each person took as much of the quenching spiritual waters as he was capable of drinking. Unfortunately, the highly charged atmosphere tonight had a curious effect on me. Instead of sharpening my sensitivity, it dulled it. Perhaps I had eaten too much. Whatever the cause, my usually meager capacity to drink from the Well of Wisdom had diminished alarmingly. I simply wasn’t able to frame any kind of question appropriate to the occasion.
At length, Krishnaji got up to stoke the fire. He turned and faced me, straight and austere, regal in appearance, a prince in faded Levi’s and worn cotton shirt, his expressive black eyes alight with a great fire. All at once, the veil of unawareness that had obscured my perceptions vanished. I felt entirely vulnerable.

“What do you want out of life, Sidney?”
“I’m not sure, Krishnaji. I thought I knew in Eerde, when I walked under the tall trees with you. I felt sure then that I could face any situation in life with serenity, confidence. I felt I would never lose that inspiration. Today, after battling with lawyers, bill collectors, and sitting for weeks in the witness chair in Superior Court, I feel like a truck had run over me.”

“Forget about Eerde, what you felt and thought and did there. When you divide life between the beautiful woods of Eerde and the ugly business world of Los Angeles, you create a hopeless conflict. You long for a memory and fight the reality of your life now.”

“You’re telling me to fully accept my present situation, without complaining.”
“No, to accept is an attitude of the mind. To understand is to see, to perceive at the deepest level, and be free.
“I understand and perceive this, Krishnaji. That I am unhappy, in pain, frustrated. A life without conflict, such as you talk about, seems to me, at this point in my life, totally out of reach.”
“It’s really easy,” he said casually. “But you complicate things. You don’t let Life paint the picture. You insist on doing it your own way.

“You’re a spiritual genius, Krishnaji. Most of us don’t have any particular talent in that respect.”
“No, no,” he protested. “That’s just an excuse for not facing yourself. The very fact that you are here with me now shows you have the potential.”
“I thought I did a while back,” I said, thinking of the great joyous laughter I had experienced. “It’s gone now. That’s the sad part of all this. You have moments when you think you’ve made a breakthrough, then the next day you’re in the soup again. Men like Walt Whitman and Edward Carpenter spoke about moments of great illumination, but they lost it, all but the memory of it.”
“They tried to hang on to it,” said Krishnaji, as if he were well acquainted with the lives of these great mystics. “They didn’t let it come to them.”

**“Are you in constant touch with the Reality you call Liberation?”

“There’s no separation,” he said. Then, after a moment: “I am an example. I have cleaned the slate. Life paints the picture.”**

There was a long silence. The fire crackled in the fireplace; the wind whistled in the orange grove. Then Krishnaji spoke about a subject we had often discussed before: the importance of being a "spiritual aristocrat", which he obviously was to his fingertips, of totally rejecting the deadening mediocrity which engulfed the world, of abandoning oneself to that great spiritual adventure which is unique to every person.

“You have had great teachers,” I said. “You have reportedly taken several initiations and have been especially trained and guided for your role as World Teacher. Is it reasonable to expect that we who have not had any of these advantages can attain what you have discovered?”
“I took the long road to find the simple Union. And because of that, because I have attained, you too can find the simple Union.”

I had quickly scribbled some notes, which Krishnaji thought useless. We talked some more and then Krishnaji picked up his big Mexican hat and sauntered out, advising me to go to bed early, that I needed the rest. But that would prove a difficult task. I went over my notes and expanded them, then glanced at some of the interesting books on the living room shelves ( Krishnamurti was a contemplative mystic, not a studious man of letters. His favorite reading was mystery novels, and he also enjoyed nonfiction books, especially about nature. His “library” was more a collection of books presented to him by some authors he knew and other gifts) My mind was racing; there was no possibility of sleep. I went out for a walk, but quickly returned because of the evening chill. Arya Vihara is a spooky place at night. I had been told that Dr. Besant had magnetically sealed off the place to keep “uninvited astral entities” from loitering on the premises. But the fact was that the night noises here were scary. No doubt they were caused by the expanding of the wood in the daytime with the heat, and the contracting of it with the evening chill. The effect, however, was disturbing. On top of it was the great force generated by Krishnaji, which did not leave with him. The house still felt like the central dynamo of a power plant.

I went to bed, closed my eyes and tried to go to sleep. Impossible. The creaking, thumping, bumping noises no longer bothered me. It was that inescapable, pervading, challenging power that filled the house which I seemed unable to adjust to. At about three in the morning, without a wink of sleep, I could no longer cope with what a friend of mine had called “Krishnaji’s roaring kundalini.” I got dressed and went out for a long walk. The sun was peeking over Topa Topa when I returned. I had walked miles, but I was so filled with the restless energy I had “caught” at Arya Vihara that I felt I could have walked back to Hollywood.

At breakfast that morning Krishnaji asked me if I had had a good, restful night. When I told him what had happened, he laughed. I said, “I thought if I didn’t get out quick and walk fast I’d go out of my mind, like Fenn Germer.” Fenn Germer was a young devotee of Krishnaji’s who had worked for him at Arya Vihara and Eerde, and who had to be taken to a mental institution after suffering a nervous breakdown.
“The trouble with Fenn was that he had completely repressed sex. I don’t think that will ever be the case with you, Sidney,” he laughed.

strong textI stayed on several more days at Arya Vihara, enjoying Krishnaji’s companionship, the unique beauty of the valley and the fine weather. They were restful, happy days. Either I had become adjusted to Krishnaji’s “roaring kundalini” or else he, compassionately, had turned it off for my benefit. There were no more serious discussions. I helped him clean the stable, which a sloppy cow kept messing up, helped with the dishes, took long walks with him, talked about unimportant things, laughed and read the “nut” mail. Krishnaji’s “fan” mail, which was voluminous, was answered by his secretary in Hollywood. But the “nut” mail he kept aside and showed me for my edification. One hilarious letter was written only along the margins of the paper. It stated that both the writer and Krishnaji were “electrical eggs” specially hatched in order to save a crazy world. There were suggestions on how the world’s redemption might be accomplished, including instructions on how to prepare certain foods, and when to eat them, in order to attain enlightenment. This letter should have been preserved; only a totally scrambled brain could have written it.

In the car, just before leaving, thinking about the inner treasure I had discovered at Eerde, but had not found again at Arya Vihara, I said, “I want to rediscover something that I first experienced at Eerde.” Krishnaji was silent for a long moment, during which I thought, uneasily, that he might ask me what it was I had experienced. He didn’t. He said simply, “Go ahead, do it.”
About this time a big event occurred at Arya Vihara: Rosalind and Rajagopal became the proud parents of a baby girl, Radha. The new arrival became the center of attraction. Krishnaji was completely upstaged by the baby, and he seemed to enjoy it. He became very fond of Radha, picking her up at every opportunity and planting a kiss on her baby cheek. It was fun watching Krishnaji in his new role of “loving uncle.” Radha would grow into a lovely child who fully returned Krishnaji’s love. She called him Krinch.

This post was last updated by John Raica Mon, 17 Sep 2018.

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2 days ago #125
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 257 posts in this forum Offline

For our readers 'fun & profit" here are more excerpts from Sidney Field's book of memoirs entitled "The Reluctant Messiah' .

(...) In the summer of 1925, we had just settled in our new home in Hollywood and were awaiting Krishnamurti and his brother, Nitya, who had been invited over for tea. My father had already met Krishnamurti ; I was thrilled, but also disturbed since I was sure he would see right through me—just an ordinary boy who had completely failed to live up to the precepts of the Order of the Star. I wished the visit could be postponed. If I tried hard, I might be able to improve myself, but I needed time. It was the middle of the week when my father announced that the visit would take place that Sunday—not much time for self-improvement! I was greatly tempted to feign illness, or to stay away on the pretext of having to attend an extracurricular school activity. But the desire to meet the World Teacher overrode all other considerations. I waited for their arrival upstairs, looking out a window into the street, my heart beating fast.

At long last a sleek black limousine stopped in front of the house. Two slim, smartly dressed young men stepped out of it. I immediately recognized Krishnamurti. He and his brother walked slowly toward the front door, stopping for a second to check the house number over the front porch. When the doorbell rang, my heart was pounding so wildly against my ribs I thought it must be heard by everyone. I heard my father’s voice greeting them in the entrance hall, and their answering voices. There was no escape now. My knees felt weak, and my mouth tasted like sawdust.
Father introduced me to the visitors, who smiled, called me by my first name and shook hands. Each of them said something which I didn’t really hear for the thumping of my heart. Krishnamurti’s wonderfully expressive black eyes were fully on me as I stood staring at him, speechless and immobile. I think he was conscious of my overly excited inner state, for he took his attention off me momentarily and talked to other members of the family. I was grateful to him for that. Soon I began to regain my composure.
Nitya, well informed on the world situation, took command of the conversation. Annie Besant had taken the two boys to England while they were still in their teens for a proper education, which took better with Nitya than with his older brother. He spoke with the polish of an English gentleman, and with incisive wit tore into the inflated postures of various world leaders in the news. Nitya was very funny and had us all in stitches, particularly his brother, who would explode with his contagious, boyish laughter. A well-known newspaper writer friend of ours, who had begged to be introduced to Krishnamurti, was the only other person present besides the family at that little tea party. Afterward, he remarked that although Krishnamurti was much the better looking of the two, in his opinion Nitya was cast more in the mold of future World Teacher. Everyone was very much impressed with Nitya. He had a special charm, and he made you feel at ease with him. But Krishnamurti’s physical beauty and the extraordinary and luminous quality of purity that radiated from him set him apart.

Whether you believed in the claims made for him or not, everyone who met him agreed that he was indeed special and unique, all the more so because he seemed totally unaware of the fact that he was not like other men. He was so unassuming and vibrantly alive that you were immediately drawn to him. He asked about Costa Rica and said he would like to visit it some day. Then, turning to me, he inquired about my activities at Hollywood High School. I had to admit I was not a particularly good student, but, I added, I managed to get by. He laughed and said that he, too, had been a poor student. He was leaving shortly for Europe, he told me, then India, before returning to Ojai, a little town about eighty-five miles north of Los Angeles. He asked me to visit him there, which pleased me immensely.

I think Nitya, who was suffering from tuberculosis, was not feeling well at this point, because Krishnamurti kept glancing at him with concern. Suddenly he got up to go. I had heard my father refer to the young Indian teacher as Krishnaji, but I didn’t know whether it would be proper for me to address him likewise, so as we were walking out to the car after the visit I asked him, “Should I call you Mr. Krishnamurti, or Mr. Krishnaji?” He smiled, amused, and said simply, “Call me Krishna.”

Some months after that first meeting, Nitya died in Ojai while his brother was on his journey to India. Krishnamurti has written about the great grief he suffered when he heard of his brother’s death, and of the mystical union he had felt: “On the physical plane we could be separated and now we are inseparable ... For my brother and I are one. As Krishnamurti I now have greater zeal, greater faith, greater sympathy and greater love, for there is also in me the body, the Being, of Nityananda.” It was a turning point in his life.

Upon his return to the States, I called him in Ojai. We made an appointment to meet at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Ingleman, where he always stayed while in Hollywood. I was still very self-conscious and shy with him, and since he has never been known as a great extrovert, our conversation was necessarily somewhat labored. There was, however, one subject that mutually interested us and helped establish an easy rapport: automobiles. I found out that he knew a great deal about them and that he loved fast and expensive European cars. He had a big Lincoln, he told me, but was going to trade it in for a Packard, which in his opinion was the best American car. He promised to let me drive it. He was curious about the kind of car I was driving and accompanied me outside to see it. It was neither a Packard nor a Lincoln, but for a kid of eighteen it was a car to be proud of, an elegant-looking Jordan, long since gone.

Some weeks later I visited Krishnamurti at Arya Vihara, the six-acre estate which Mrs. Besant bought for him in the Ojai Valley, whose name in Sanskrit meant “the monastery of the noble ones.” He had already acquired his Packard and reveled in showing me all its special features. It was beautiful, a sky-blue, sleek, convertible roadster. He did not ask me to try it out, and I was relieved. The idea of putting a scratch on this beauty froze me with apprehension. He told me proudly the time he had made with it on his first trip from Hollywood to Ojai. I was envious. He asked what my best time was. I hated to admit it, but it was much slower than his. I vowed to myself I must do something about it. I stayed for lunch and met Rama Rao, one of Krishnamurti’s close associates, a sweet and gentle person with soft, doe-like eyes twinkling with humor.

A couple of weeks later I paid another visit to Arya Vihara. This time I drove the family Cadillac. (My father would never lend me his new Cadillac for any other reason than to go and see Krishnaji in Ojai.) I had managed to cut his time by two minutes and a half! He was surprised but a little skeptical. I was prepared for that, however: I showed him a stopwatch I had set upon leaving my home in Hollywood, and the time it marked as I arrived at Arya Vihara. He was convinced, but instead of congratulations he gave me a little lecture about speeding which somehow lacked conviction. I promised him I’d take it easy. After all, there was no reason to speed now: the new record had been set.

We went inside, and I met Rajagopal for the first time. I liked him. He had a good, quick mind and a sense of humor. We had lunch, and then Krishnaji took his siesta. Later we went out for a long walk behind Arya Vihara and had our first serious talk. I asked him whether he was in contact with Nitya on the other side. “Nitya is here,” he said. “He sends his love.” But he would not elaborate. When I pressed him for an explanation, he stopped and looked straight at me. He said the important thing was not whether the personality survives bodily death but the quality of relationship here and now.

“Have you always been clairvoyant?” I asked him, hoping to draw him out on that subject.
“Clairvoyance doesn’t really help,” he said. “I can see my family in India any time I want to. They’re all starving.”

When we got back to the house, Topa Topa, the highest peak of that broken range of mountains that cradles the valley, was bathed for a brief period in a soft, rose-purple hue that is not to be found on any painter’s palette.
I returned to Arya Vihara a couple of weeks later. Krishnaji appeared to be in great shape. Sometimes he seemed a bit tired and haggard; on this day he was radiant. He was outside doing some gardening and came directly to my car before I had a chance to get out. Gleefully, he related that a few days before he had driven to Hollywood in the Packard and had broken my record by a full two minutes! Before I could say anything, he exclaimed, “Smoke that!”
“Didn’t you get a speeding ticket?” I asked, hoping that he had.
He laughed and shook his head, like a kid who had done something naughty and gotten away with it. It had been early in the morning, he said, and there had been hardly any traffic on the road. Still, it was an impressive performance. I knew how fast I had driven to set the previous record, and what chances I had taken.
“I can’t compete with you. You have the Masters on your side.”
Krishnaji laughed and pointed at his Packard in the garage. “That’s on my side,” he said. Thus ended my racing competition with Krishnaji. A sleek Packard roadster and what I considered the protection of the White Brotherhood were odds I couldn’t beat.

Krishnaji was very much interested in what young people were thinking and feeling, and he asked me if he could meet some of my young friends. That was easy. With the extensive media exposure he was getting, everyone wanted to meet him, especially girls, who considered him “dreamy.” The girl I was going with at the time, Dorothy Taft, a pretty young lady whose father, a prominent realtor, had developed and subdivided most of West Hollywood, was delighted at the prospect of meeting the handsome young Brahmin. She collected a group of her friends who were attending the exclusive Marlborough School for Girls, some eighteen or twenty of them, all very attractive and impressionable. We met at her home on Sunset Boulevard on a warm Sunday afternoon.
Krishnaji was very nervous and wondered what he should talk about to a crowd of young girls. I told him not to worry, that the girls were probably not so much interested in what he had to say as in looking at him and being with him in the same room. That made him all the more nervous.
Dorothy’s parents and her actress sister, Sally, met us at the front door. Then Dorothy escorted Krishnaji, elegantly attired, into the living room. I was behind him and could hear the subdued “aahs” and “ohhs” of the excited girls as he came into view. Dorothy introduced him much as you would a motion picture superstar. He glanced apprehensively at me and sat down, surrounded by a semicircle of lovely teenage girls, all of them eager to be impressed. Seated on chairs and cushions on the floor, they kept their eyes riveted on the handsome but uncomfortably self-conscious young man from India. He fumbled with his handkerchief and wiped perspiration from his face. So did I. The silence that ensued began to worry me. What if he just sits there in utter silence, I thought. I had had experience of how easily Krishnaji could lapse into a long, deep silence. Then a sudden change occurred in him. Calm and composed, he began to speak. He spoke about the different lifestyles of American and Indian young people, their different attitudes toward courtship, marriage and the raising of a family. The girls seemed to love the short talk. There were questions afterward, which he answered very adequately, I thought. Some of the girls had bought copies of At the Feet of the Master and rushed to him for his autograph. There were some refreshments and many thanks, after which the girls insisted that he come to their school and speak to the entire student body. Krishnaji promised he would, and we left.

Getting into the car, he asked me if I thought he had handled the situation well. I told him he had handled it beautifully. For the first time I reflected on the interesting phenomenon that would occur many times in the future, when the shy, uncertain and self-conscious young man would suddenly become full of poise and authority.
Driving him back to the Inglemans’, I asked whether he had been aware of the strong atmosphere of sex pervading the living room.
“Of course,” he replied.
“Isn’t it distracting?” I asked. “What can you do about it?”
“You bank your sex force. You don’t let it disturb you.”
“You’re different,” I said. “It’s very hard to control thoughts. They go where they want to. I’m sure every girl in that room was fantasizing about getting in bed with you.”
“Oh, my God!” he exclaimed.

That weekend Krishnaji’s Packard either was being serviced or loaned to a friend. At any rate, he was to be without a car, and I volunteered to drive for him. He made me feel I was doing him a great favor when in fact it was the other way around. He asked whether I could pick him up at the Ambassador Hotel the following day before dinner, around six. He gave me the room number I should go to, and left it at that.

Promptly at six I drove into the Ambassador Hotel parking lot and went directly to the room he had indicated, full of curiosity about who he was meeting there. My imagination was running to all kinds of things.
I knocked at the door and waited. Then I heard somebody’s steps approaching. The door opened, and I was face to face with John Barrymore. The great actor looked me up and down rather disdainfully. I said I was there to pick up Mr. Krishnamurti. Recognizing my voice, Krishnaji came over and introduced me. Barrymore gave me a gruff “How do you do” and turned around and went back inside, probably wondering why Krishnamurti allowed his chauffeur to appear on duty without his uniform.

As I drove him home, Krishnaji told me that he had met Barrymore through the actor’s agent, Henry Hotchener, whom I knew, and who was married to the former opera singer Marie Russak, a prominent Theosophist friend of Annie Besant.
Krishnaji liked Barrymore. He thought he was an interesting, witty man. I asked him, “What do you talk about with Barrymore?”
“The Buddha’s life, mostly,” he answered. He explained that Barrymore was interested in Buddhism and thought that the Buddha’s renunciation was one of the most dramatic and inspiring events in history. The actor had told him that he would love to play the role of Buddha in a movie but so far hadn’t been able to sell the idea to any of the movie moguls.
Krishnaji, who always emphasized the positive side of a person’s character, was impressed by the fact that Barrymore, an alcoholic, totally abstained from liquor on those particular weekends when he came with John Jr., his young son, to visit him. To Krishnaji that was a sacrifice born of love that commanded respect.

Krishnaji had invited the celebrated actor to come to Arya Vihara in Ojai and have lunch with him. Barrymore delightedly accepted the invitation, after solemnly promising to keep the appointed day the soberest of his life.
Free from any alcoholic influences, John Barrymore set out for Ojai on a bright and sunny morning to spend the day with his distinguished friend. While driving through the town of Ventura, however, he was seized with thirst. He parked his custom-built Lincoln convertible outside a bar and went in to ask for a glass of water. According to his account, the waiter brought him a beer instead. You can never rely on waiters, he later told Krishnaji, tongue in cheek. Contemplating the cool, frothy, golden liquid, he thought: what’s one little beer to a man of purpose? Another little beer followed, then another, and then another. How many, he couldn’t recall. Some time later, his thirst quenched, he got into his car and resumed his journey. Miraculously, he arrived at Arya Vihara in one piece, though he was more than an hour late for lunch. Krishnaji, the perfect host, had waited for him. Barrymore staggered out of his car. With an unsteady gait he managed to climb the porch steps of Arya Vihara, knocked at the door—and practically fell into Krishnaji’s arms.
Afraid that the noted visitor might not be able to make it back to Hollywood, Krishnaji invited him to stay overnight. Barrymore wouldn’t hear of it; he could never put Krishnaji to such an inconvenience. He had made it to Ojai, and he would damn well make it back to Hollywood. And so he did.

The next day, realizing that things had not gone according to form, Barrymore wrote Krishnaji a letter apologizing for his fall from grace. He enclosed a large photograph of himself, dedicated “to the only man I have ever met who treads the path of the great Indian Prince, Siddartha Gautama.” In his letter, Barrymore added that he was more determined than ever to do the life of Buddha on film, with a slight change in the casting: Krishnaji would play Buddha, with Barrymore cast as Buddha’s favorite disciple, Ananda. Obviously, he was now thinking of The Life of Ananda, with Buddha in a supporting role!

The following week Krishnaji was back in Hollywood to visit with us. As he entered and greeted the family, I noticed that he kept his right hand extended slightly in front of him, rather stiffly. He asked me where the bathroom was, and after showing him, I inquired whether he had injured his hand. “No,” he replied. “It’s Norma Talmadge’s perfume.” He explained that earlier in the evening Barrymore had taken him to Norma Talmadge’s home and that he couldn’t get rid of her perfume after she shook his hand.

Krishnaji told us of an occasion when he was walking alone in Yosemite National Park and a huge grizzly bear came menacingly toward him. Krishnaji stood silently before the animal, only a few feet away from him, quite calm and unafraid, so he said. They eyed each other for a long moment, and then the bear quietly ambled off. So did Krishnaji. But when he got back to the safety of the inn where he was staying, his body trembled all over. He explained that fear is often a purely physical reaction of the body when it senses danger to itself.

The following year Krishnaji returned to Ojai with Dr. Besant, Rajagopal and Rosalind Williams. The devout had arranged a welcome for him and Dr. Besant at the Southern Pacific station in downtown Los Angeles. Besides a small crowd of curious spectators, there must have been some three hundred or so devotees, mostly women, excitedly holding bouquets of flowers in their hands. My father, brother and I were also among those present to welcome him, sans flowers.
As Krishnaji and Dr. Besant walked along the concourse toward John Ingleman’s waiting limousine, there was a chorus of welcoming shouts from the women, who started to throw flowers at their feet. Krishnaji recognized us just
then, waved a hand and proceeded to do a nimble danse macabre trying to sidestep the tender things at his feet. One of the curious bystanders next to my father turned to him and said, “If that’s the Christ, I’m the Devil’s brother!” My father fixed him with a stern look and said, “Maybe you are.”
Battling through the shower of flowers, Krishnaji and Dr. Besant finally made it to the waiting car. I caught a glimpse of Krishnaji sitting next to the window, a forlorn and puzzled expression on his face as the flowers kept coming his way, smashing against the window pane and collecting on the car top and hood. By the time they pulled away, the Ingleman limousine, laden with welcoming flowers, looked like a funeral hearse.

A few days later Krishnaji called to invite me to Dr. Besant’s lecture at the Philharmonic Auditorium in Los Angeles. Since Krishnaji and Rajagopal were driving in from Ojai, I met them at a box they had reserved close to the stage. The place was packed. Punctually at eight-thirty, Dr. Besant stepped onto the huge stage of the Philharmonic, dressed in a long-sleeved, flowing gown that matched the silvery white of her wavy hair. As she acknowledged the audience’s applause, I kept thinking how very small she looked on that huge stage, and how paralyzed with stage fright I would be in her place. Dr. Besant, Krishnaji had told me, was one of the greatest orators in the world, but I wondered whether she would be able to hold this restless audience. She stood silent and erect before the lectern, waiting for the crowd to quiet down. Then she started to speak, slowly and deliberately, with that beautiful, distinctive diction of the cultivated Britisher, and a magnificent command of the language. As she got into her subject, “Civilization, Its Past and Future,” Mrs. Besant unleashed a power that kept the audience riveted to their seats. An extraordinary transformation had taken place. The little white-haired lady who stepped onto the lecture platform became a commanding force of tremendous stature, holding the capacity audience in the hollow of her hand. She spoke without notes, and without the slightest hesitation—always the right word, the right intonation, the right climax at the right moment. It was a masterly exhibition of oratory and an amazing display of historical knowledge. Krishnaji had asked me to go to Ojai toward the end of the week and meet Dr. Besant personally, so I left right after the lecture, glad to avoid the crush of people that were attempting to go backstage to meet the famous Theosophist.

Some days later I shook hands with Dr. Besant in the wood-lined living room of Arya Vihara. I was greatly impressed by her, but in a different way than at the Philharmonic. Here, in the privacy of her home, she was the embodiment of gentleness and graciousness. I was enchanted by a soft, feminine quality that emanated from her, in sharp contrast to the regal, austere style of her public personality. We sat down and spoke at length. She told me that Krishnaji had spoken to her about me, and she seemed very much interested in my Costa Rican background, my family’s role in founding the Theosophical Society in that country, my school work and my plans for the future. When I rose to say goodbye, I felt like hugging her, there was such a genuinely sweet and motherly quality about her. Well could I understand Krishnaji’s devotion to her.

I had been seeing Krishnaji on an average of twice a week when he stayed in Hollywood at the home of John Ingleman on Beachwood Drive. We talked, or we went to a show, or he came over to have dinner with my family. Then there were times, before his annual departure for Europe or India, when I couldn’t seem to get to him. He was busy interviewing people, meeting the press, dictating letters. My usual personal problems, the kind most young people are afflicted with, had become aggravated at this time. I felt it imperative to talk to Krishnaji, but I couldn’t seem to reach him. Finally I got him directly on the phone. He said to come right over. I did.
As always, Krishnaji appeared serene, happy, carefree. On that day, his peaceful spiritual aura had a strange effect on me: it irked me. Misery demands company. I sat next to him on the couch and excitedly protested that nothing was working out for me. Life was a “drag.” He remained silent. Of course, he probably couldn’t understand someone with real problems, I went on, for his life had always been smooth sailing. He had everything everybody wanted: money, fame, friends, independence, the freedom to do what he wanted most, and all this without ever having made any effort to get it; it had all been handed to him on a silver platter ever since he was a boy. Where would he be today if it hadn’t been for Dr. Besant and her rich and influential friends? What did he know about loneliness, fear, unrequited love, boredom? I was trying hard to get a rise out of him, but the more I tried the more I got a sickening sensation of just punching the air, a very empty feeling that finally put a stop to my diatribe.

When I had gotten it all out of my system, he put a gentle hand on my knee and silently gazed at me. Suddenly I had the disconcerting feeling of something having been punctured inside of me, and all the hot air going out. After a long moment he said, “That’s a great case you built against me, Sidney,” “Why don’t you try to come over to my side of the fence?”
I said I wished I could, but it seemed impossible. We talked a while longer. I apologized for my rude behavior, and he brushed it lightly aside. I’m sure it never touched him. That was precisely why I felt like such an idiot.

I drove him back to Arya Vihara the following day. It was a beautiful spring afternoon, and Krishnaji spoke glowingly of the beauty of the green hills, the lone tree standing by the road, the drifting clouds, a bird in flight. “You say you have attained to the basic unity of life,” I said. “Does that mean that you know exactly what it means to be a bird in flight?”
He thought for a moment and said, “It’s not quite like that. Because I know real beauty, I understand the significance and special beauty of a bird in flight.” He went on to say that while watching the different manifestations of Nature you don’t become “a bird in flight,” or a “tree by the roadside,” or a “drifting cloud.” But because you have touched the real source of Beauty, Nature reveals its inner beauty to you. Then, to bring the conversation around to a problem that was bothering me, I asked if it worked the same way with people: in other words, did people reveal themselves to him as they were, with all their ugliness, their problems and their good things? “It’s not the same thing,” he answered. At this point I asked him point-blank about my problem.* As I spoke about it, I was aware of how childish and silly it sounded. That it amused Krishnaji didn’t surprise me. But I felt that from the mountaintop where he dwelt, some of the petty problems that worried human beings didn’t really concern him. And that irked me. He told me how to tackle the problem, but I felt his answer was inadequate and superficial, and I was disappointed and angry. However, some years later I asked him the same question, and with great patience and comprehension of the situation at its deepest level, he told me how to proceed. I followed his advice and realized what a master psychologist he is. He had given me the golden key to the problem. It was like opening a large window into a stuffy and airless room.

Before reaching Arya Vihara, I asked Krishnaji about sex. “I’ve heard so many different opinions about your views on the subject,” I said.
“Forget about what you’ve heard,” he returned, “and think of sex simply as energy, energy to be used to attain a goal.” He knew I played a great deal of tennis and asked, “Would you indulge in sex prior to a tennis match?” I said no, not if I wanted to win. “That’s just the point,” he said quickly. “If you want to climb a mountaintop you conserve every ounce of energy.”

“Does that mean a man who would attain the highest must be an ascetic?”
“Not at all. Asceticism as a goal is destructive. There is the biological need for sex, and there is also the need to conserve energy in order to attain a goal.” I knew Krishnaji had met D. H. Lawrence, a great literary favorite of mine at the time, and I asked him if he had read a recent interview published in the Los Angeles Times in which Lawrence said that in his opinion liberation was only possible momentarily through sex. Krishnaji laughed. Then he was pensively silent for a moment. “Liberation is sex inverted,” he said.
“What do you mean?” I asked, perplexed.
“Think about it,” he answered, a half smile on his lips.
I’m still thinking about it
.

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2 days ago #126
Thumb_photo_reduite John Raica Canada 257 posts in this forum Offline

( more 'for fun & profit' excerpts from Sidney Field's memoirs on K : )

(...) Krishnaji was soon leaving for Europe and the Camp gathering at Ommen in Holland, in June 1928, so my family invited him, Rajagopal and Rosalind Williams, who had been staying at Arya Vihara, to come for a visit. This was the first time the family had met Rosalind. A beautiful girl, blonde and blue-eyed, she had a guileless quality about her that was very attractive. We all liked her.
It was a very pleasant social evening. One thing stands out from it clearly in my mind: Krishnaji asked my father whether, following my graduation from Hollywood High, he would let me go with him to the forthcoming Camp gathering at Ommen, and the pre-Camp gathering at Castle Eerde. The family was obviously pleased by this request, and I was thrilled.

Accompanied by the whole family and some friends, I was bid farewell at the Southern Pacific station in Los Angeles, where the prestigious Sunset Limited train would take me to Chicago. (Airplanes were crossing the country, but they carried only mail and the occasional intrepid solo flier out to establish a new distance record.) In Chicago I was met by friends who put me on board the Century Limited to New York. After two days of freedom, a little confused and bewildered by the great city, I anxiously stepped on board the great cruise ship Rotterdam, flagship of the Holland American Line, and departed for Holland.

Five days later, after a smooth sailing with a festive crowd, I arrived at Rotterdam, a tremendously busy port city with masses of bicyclists on every street. A taxi took me directly to the railroad station, where I boarded a train for Amsterdam. I rode through flat, beautifully cultivated country of blazing poppy fields—crimson, white, yellow, pink—and arrived a couple of hours later. With some friends I had met en route, I went on a boat trip through one of the city’s picturesque canals. I fell in love with Amsterdam immediately and wished I could stay there a few days. However, I had promised Krishnaji I’d go directly to Ommen, so I called Castle Eerde to say I would take the five o’clock train. Krishnaji’s liveried chauffeur met me at the little Ommen station in the official Mercedes Benz convertible, and we drove on to Castle Eerde.

It was a misty evening when we arrived at the Castle Eerde estate. I shall never forget it. We drove slowly through a wide avenue of tall, magnificent beech trees, their heavy tops swaying gently, forming a whispering canopy overhead as they reached playfully toward each other in the mists. The tunnel of luscious, velvety greens framed the dim outline of the eighteenth-century castle at the far end, a scene reminiscent of a Walt Disney fantasy of the enchanted entrance to the legendary abode of Prince Charming.
The ornate wrought-iron gates were opened, and we were about to drive in when the chauffeur stopped the car to let a wandering deer leisurely cross the road. The deer looked at us curiously and trotted off. The chauffeur explained that Krishnaji had given orders that the deer in the woods had the right of way. The unexpected pause gave me a chance to get a first view of the great old castle at just the right distance. It stood serenely, in all its dignified splendor, facing the formal lawn and gardens, surrounded by a wide moat that was spanned by a broad, elegant bridge leading up to the stately entrance. The castle, together with its five thousand acres of surrounding woods and meadows, had been given to Krishnaji by Baron Phillip van Pallandt, a wealthy Dutch aristocrat and devoted friend.

I suppose I expected Krishnaji to meet me on arrival, or at least to be greeted by someone with a smile and a cheerful word. No one was around. The chauffeur showed me to my room in the annex, a new wing that had recently been built to accommodate guests. Presently, a Mrs. Christie came to meet me with the unwelcome news that I was one of the first guests to arrive. I asked to see Krishnaji. Instead, Lady Emily Lutyens appeared. She seemed to be in charge of things, and although cool and aloof, with the appearance of a Victorian matron, she had an old-world charm that was very appealing. She informed me that Krishnaji had arrived the previous day from London with a bad cold and would be unable to see anyone for several days. Tough luck for me, I thought: I should have stayed in Amsterdam for a few days, as I had wanted to, playing tourist with some of my traveling companions. Still, I was here, in this fabulous place, with Krishnaji, whom I would probably see in a couple of days. Women were always overly protective of him because of his childlike innocence and magnetism. Meantime there would be books to read and records to play.

After a quiet dinner in the large, formal dining room with its elegant decor, I wandered around the place, admiring the priceless antique furniture, paintings, ancestral tapestries and objets d’art. It was a magnificent place, regal yet unpretentious, truly befitting its master.
By the time I returned to my room, it had started to rain. Suddenly I felt terribly alone, thousands of miles away from my home and family. The next few days were most depressing. It rained continuously. One couldn’t even go out for a walk through the beautiful woods because the paths were a series of impassable puddles. The few arrivals were older people who seemed to disappear into their rooms to “meditate and commune with the higher levels.” The whole thing was a terrific comedown from the last few weeks of partying and fun. I presumed this
period of “quiet introspection,” as it was put to me, was a necessary prelude to the spiritual experiences ahead, so there seemed to be nothing to do but stick it out.

One evening I cornered Lady Emily after supper and asked her about Krishna’s health. When would I be able to see him? “Whenever he’s ready,” she replied sternly. “And by the way,” she went on, “now that Krishna has attained complete union with the World Teacher, it has been decided that we should all address him as Krishnaji, not just Krishna.” She went on to explain the meaning of the “ji” after the name Krishna—an honorific term of affection and respect.

I was so excited about seeing Krishnaji that I hardly slept that night. I was also hurt about the long silence and made up my mind to be cool, aloof and distant, and to let him know how I had felt these past ten days.
The next day I knocked at his door on the second floor of the castle promptly at three. My heart was beating fast when I heard his voice asking me to come in. To judge by Lady Emily’s previous reports regarding his condition, I expected Krishnaji to be pale, thin and haggard. But the man I saw as I opened the door, sitting cross-legged on a low dais, clothed in a golden robe over his white dhoti, was the most radiant, beautiful human being I had ever seen. He literally took my breath away as I stood, immobile, gazing at him. It was an unforgettable moment. He smiled and said, “Come in, come in, Sidney,” and motioned for me to sit on the dais alongside him. I advanced tentatively, and, overwhelmed with emotion, sat beside him. Out of politeness I wanted to ask about his health, although he certainly had never looked healthier since I had known him, but I was unable to say a word.
After a long silence he said he was aware that I had been unhappy. I nodded. He went on to say it was inevitable I should feel let down after my social activity of the last few weeks. I wondered how he knew about that, as I hadn’t seen him or communicated with him for over two months, but I figured it was a reasonable assumption. His eyes were particularly luminous as he gazed at me. Then he said, “I’m glad you canceled your trip to Paris.” This really startled me, as I had not told anyone about my plans. “Paris is a beautiful city, but it’s a rotten hole,” he added. When I found my tongue, I said I intended to visit it after the Camp. The conversation then drifted to the beauties of the castle and the estate, which he promised to show me personally in a few days, when we would go for a long walk through the woods and pastures. There was another long silence, which I felt was an invitation to discuss my problems. But at that moment there were no problems of any sort. I felt a great peace and contentment. The visit was at an end. As I got up to go, he told me that almost all the guests had arrived and that tomorrow morning he would give a short welcoming talk in the library.

At eleven o’clock the following morning, we all assembled in the spacious library and sat on a beautiful Persian rug facing Krishnaji, who sat cross-legged on a sofa, the only piece of furniture left in the room, under one of the magnificent seventeenth-century Gobelin tapestries made expressly for the castle. He started his talk by saying that we had all been together with him in past lives and would be together with him in future lives. (I mentioned this remark to him recently and he said, very surprised, “Did I say that?”) It was a short talk in which he briefly outlined what he wanted to do in the world: to set men free, to help them stand on their own feet, free of all authority.

At some point during the talk, something extraordinary happened to me. For no apparent reason I experienced a sudden outburst of intense joy in the region of the heart. It went on and on in increasingly strong rhythmic waves, until I thought I would have to open my mouth and shout for joy. It was an experience that practically lifted me out of my body, something I had never felt before or thought I could ever feel.
After the talk I stayed by myself, hoping to preserve the fragrance of that indescribable moment as long as possible. Alone and undisturbed under the leafy shade of a tall elm, I felt the joyous force quieting down to the rhythm of my breathing, bringing with it a sense of great peace and up-welling love. As the days passed, it receded into the background. I looked forward to my forthcoming walk with Krishnaji in the hope that he might be able to ignite again the inner spark that had given me such a great high a few days before. I longed to be swept up again in that joyous flame that had made the world appear purified and innocent, as if it had just come into being that morning.

We did go for a walk, Krishnaji and I, but the longed-for experience did not happen. Nevertheless, there was a wonderful feeling of lightness, clarity and serenity. We walked leisurely, and mostly silently, under the big trees and over seldom trod dirt paths, where brightly colored butterflies darted in and out of light and shadow. Krishnaji seemed intensely aware of every changing mood of Nature, of every living thing around, even the bugs under foot, which he was careful not to step on. I told him that I thought he had given an inspiring talk when he welcomed his guests, but never said a word about the spiritual experience I had undergone. It was too new, too fragile to discuss, like a tender plant that must be carefully nourished and not exposed to any strong wind. I felt I must tend it with my own hands, uninfluenced by anyone. I had previously experienced the way Krishnaji, at the least expected moment, would drop a casual remark that packed all the force of a Caribbean hurricane, wiping you out. I was taking no chances.

Just the same, I skirted around the subject, anxious to get his viewpoint on a matter of such vital importance to me. “Before you attained your goal of Liberation,” I asked, “did you have any special experiences, like... well, a great sense of joy and freedom?”
“Yes,” he answered.
“What did you do about it?”
“Nothing. I never pursued such experiences.”
“But if you felt that such an experience was an important signpost along the way, did you encourage it?”
“I looked at it with great awareness, with affection, to find out where it was leading.”

The long summer days slipped happily into weeks. There were more walks with Krishnaji through the lovely woods, and several informal talks when nothing revealing or profound was said because there seemed to be no need for anything except being there and enjoying his company.
The last talk I had with him, however, was disturbing. I had just graduated from high school before coming to Eerde, and although I had never been particularly devoted to schooling, I did intend to go on to college. All I needed was a little encouragement. I didn’t get it from Krishnaji. When I asked him if I should continue with my education and pursue a career, he responded with the same sentiments he had expressed in previous talks with me: that the only important thing in life was to learn to be inwardly free, unconditionally free, to attain liberation. Everything else was a waste of time. “Do not waste your time. Every day counts. Set your goal and concentrate all your energy in realizing it,” he said again and again, his whole personality afire with the personal goal he had set for himself, to set all men free.
To forget about education and a career and become “liberated” was not the best advice to give to an impressionable boy just beginning to open his eyes to a new world. This counsel, I suppose, was in line with Krishnaji’s views and feeling about the world then, but to judge by his views on education later in life, I very much doubt he would have continued to recommend it.

Through the years there were changes in Krishnaji’s technique of communication and his manner of conveying his teaching, which, generally speaking, appeared much sharper and more lucid in his later years. Perhaps he himself foresaw this many years ago when I said to him, after one of his early talks, that I had not understood what he was trying to say, that it was too choppy and disconnected. He answered, “Yes, I muffed it this morning. I’m trying to say something about a new dimension, to convey new meanings, but my words are interpreted in the old way. Like a painter expressing something new, I’m learning a new technique. It’s not easy.” He paused for a moment and then added, “But wait until I’m sixty...”

Lazy, contemplative days followed, as well as exciting, fun days. There was rowing around the picturesque moat surrounding the castle, and there were games, mostly volleyball, in which Krishnaji sometimes took part. There was the fun of making friends with interesting people from many lands, and the challenge of self-discoveries. I felt immensely grateful to Krishnaji for having given me the opportunity of being there with him, a sentiment which was hard to convey to him, for he refused to have anyone beholden to him. At all times he radiated a spiritual quality that sharpened one’s awareness and sensitivity.

The happy days at Castle Eerde came to an end too soon. The guests started packing, ready to move on to the Camp grounds, within the estate, about a mile from the castle.
It had rained early, clearing in the late afternoon, when Krishnaji and I went for a walk in the woods. The sky was streaked with color and summer light, and the ground under our feet was redolent of brown leaves and damp earth. We walked in silence for some time. The thought that I would probably never see this extraordinary place again cast a shadow of sadness over me. I tried to recall some of the more significant and special moments of my memorable stay there. Instead, a kaleidoscope of unrelated, inconsequential events flashed through my mind: Krishnaji walking alone through the woods, sporting his new black beard and looking frighteningly Christlike. Lady Emily agitatedly asking me to talk in Spanish to one of the guests, a prominent gentleman from Puerto Rico, and ask him to please abstain from spitting when he went out for a walk. (The culprit spat in rapid succession from each side of the mouth with great force and purpose, as if intent on setting some kind of record.) “It’s most antiesthetic and unsanitary,” Lady Emily complained.
A visitor from C. W. Leadbeater’s manor in Sydney, Australia, excitedly explaining that he couldn’t understand what Krishnaji was talking about because he was not a “bodhisattva man.”

I knew I was not likely to see Krishnaji during the Camp Ommen lectures, so I said goodbye to him as we stood for a moment by the main gate to the castle. I said a few words of gratitude that seemed entirely inadequate and gave him an "abrazo", or Latin embrace. He did likewise, told me how much he had enjoyed having me there, and said that we would be seeing more of each other later on. That was the cue that released again that wonderful burst of joyous laughter, lifting me to the treetops and leaving me speechless. Fortunately, I had already said goodbye, so I just walked away into the woods. It was dusk when I returned to my room in the annex. Everyone had already left.
While I waited outside for the chauffeur to return and pick me up, I reflected upon that great joyous gift, the spiritual legacy of my trip to Castle Eerde, and made up my mind that this time I would not lose it. But I was to learn, in time, that this was not the kind of experience you make up your mind to have, on command. It was a totally spontaneous thing that happened, or didn’t happen, and could not be invited, coaxed or cajoled. But at the time it was a great beginning to the Camp session and, to me, the most important thing about the proceedings. I remember, too, how Krishnaji’s fireside chanting in Sanskrit was always delightful, his voice melting with the crackling fire and soaring upward with the dancing flames.

So, that's pretty much everything of any spiritual significance , were it not for a late entry dating from the 70's :

(...) "My brother, John, died early in January, 1972. His death was totally unexpected and a great shock to me. John had been a photographer, a lover of adventure, women and wine, a man of great Latin charm. He had known Krishnaji as long as I had, and had many times delighted him with his stories and personal adventures. Krishnaji had just arrived from Europe and was staying in Malibu at the home of Mrs. Zimbalist. I called him to give him the sad news,
saying I wanted to see him, and he asked me to come the following day for lunch.

He greeted me most affectionately. At the dining table I came right to the point: “Has John survived his bodily death in a subtler form? Yes or no?” There was a moment’s silence. “My gut feeling,” I went on, “is that he is here beside me, right now.”
“Of course he is, right here beside you,” said Krishnaji. “He’s very close to you, and will continue being close for some time.”

Two hours later we were still deep into the subject of death and the hereafter. He referred to that part of the personality that survives bodily death as an 'echo', instead of an 'astral body', as the Theosophists call it, the echo of the person who lived on earth, the duration of its life on the other side depending on the strength of the individual’s earthly personality. “Dr. Besant’s echo, for instance,” he said, “will go on for a long time, for she had a very strong personality.”
“Your viewpoint here is very similar to that of the Theosophists,” I said.
“With one important difference,” he replied. “There is no permanent substance that survives the death of the body. Whether the ego lasts one year, ten thousand, or a million years, it must finally come to an end.”

Krishnaji’s remarks during this conversation were among the most revealing and enlightening I had ever heard him make on the subject of death and survival beyond it.

(...) Krishnaji’s increasing concern with the importance of education and the establishment of a Krishnamurti school and center in Ojai dominated his activities at this time. There were many meetings and discussions, with Krishnaji often becoming impatient when reminded of the enormous cost of such an undertaking. “You people of little faith!” he once exclaimed at a meeting, stressing again the urgency of rechanneling education.

Large funds were needed, and everyone tried to help. My very small contribution consisted of bringing a wealthy gentleman friend of mine, who knew about the school plans and the need for money, over to Mrs. Zimbalist’s to meet Krishnaji. Mrs. Zimbalist was a charming hostess, and the occasion turned out to be a pleasant social afternoon. But the gentleman in question was much more interested in pushing his own pet project, than in furthering Krishnaji’s. He proposed having a seminar at Saanen attended by prominent leaders in education, psychiatry, and the arts, a group he had collected around himself, to share the platform with Krishnaji in discussing world problems. Krishnaji’s answer was short and to the point. “At Saanen,” he said, “only this dog barks.” The potential contributor took a last gulp of tea and the conversation became noticeably chilly. So ended my fund-raising efforts.

Late of an April afternoon we went for a walk along the Malibu beach, a cool sea breeze blowing in our faces. Krishnaji was more talkative this time than on previous strolls. The beach was unusually deserted; even the sea gulls were scarce. The great empty space and the calm, blue sea were exhilarating. “I suppose if one could see clairvoyantly out there the place wouldn’t appear so empty,” I said. “People, sea elementals...”
He interrupted. “The place is full of them. I pay no attention to them.”
“Do you see them every time you come out here?”
“Only when I want to.”
Since the subject had been broached, I took this opportunity to ask him about Invisible Helpers. “Do such people really exist?”
“Why not?” he said. “Any decent person in this world will help another when in need. Why not on the other side? What’s so special about it?”
Since he was in a talkative mood, I thought I’d take advantage of it and asked him point-blank what he thought his life would have been like if Dr. Besant and
C. W. Leadbeater had not taken care of him in his early years and sponsored him. He was thoughtfully silent for a long moment. Then he said, “I probably would have died of malnutrition.”
“Do you think you would have been a liberated man, whatever that means, without the background they provided?”
A much quicker answer: “Yes. It might have taken longer, but the end result would have been the same. I probably would have become a sanyasi.* The drive was there. Nothing could have finally thwarted it.” Then he said something that surprised me because it sounded out of character: “One of India’s best known astrologers cast my horoscope when I was very young, and said I would become a Jivanmukta (liberated man).” He laughed lightheartedly, as if to stress the unimportance of such weighty predictions.

This post was last updated by John Raica 13 hours ago.

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