exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
How To Sit Quietly
In A Room Alone
The Dazzling Darkness
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Editor's prefatory comment:
Some of the information herein was offered in an “Omega Point” article. However, the “Dazzling Darkness” concept provides wider scope than that of romantic love, and so I’ve reformulated the writing with a new final section.
In one of his lectures, Krishnamurti shared insights which serve as prelude to my concept of the "Dazzling Darkness." Here is a partial transcript of his discourse
So, we have now come to the point to find out what is meditation. And people have offered, again from the East - I don't know why you pay so much attention to the East in these matters, they have a great many tricks there; so have you here - and these people offer methods, systems of meditation, including the Zen - systems, methods. Now when you examine a method, what is implied in it, a system? Somebody says, 'Do these things, practise them day after day, for twelve, fifteen, twenty, forty years and you will ultimately come to the reality'. That is, practise the method, whatever the method is, and in practising the method what happens? Whatever you do in routine, every day, at a certain hour, cross-legged, or in bed, or walking, whatever you do, if you repeat it day after day, your mind becomes mechanical - obviously. And so when you see that, the truth of it, not, 'Oh, there is a new method to meditate' - when you see the implication of all methods, which is mechanical, traditional, repetitive, and in that conflict, suppression, control - all these are implied in a method. And obviously a mind made dull by a method cannot possibly be free and intelligent to observe.
And also it is said, again from the East, which is modified in the West, that by repeating certain Sanskrit words told by the guru to you specially at a certain price (Laughter) - don't laugh, it's not worth laughing, we are not saying this cynically, we are merely stating facts - the repetition of those words gives you an extraordinary inward experience. You know, if you repeat the word 'Coca-Cola' a hundred times, in a posture, thinking about it, you will obviously have some extraordinary feelings (Laughter). No, no sirs, don't, don't. You see they have brought this, which they call Mantra Yoga, from India. And also you have it in the Catholic world - Ave Maria repeated a hundred times, and they do, on the rosaries - which obviously for the time being quietens the mind. A dull, heavy, fearful mind, a stupid mind can be made very quiet by repetition of words, and it does have strange experiences, but those experiences are utterly meaningless because a dull mind, a shallow mind, a mind that is frightened, ambitious, greedy for truth or for the wealth of this world, such a mind however much it may repeat some so-called sacred word, is meaningless.
So if you have done all this, that is, understood yourself deeply, learnt about yourself completely through choiceless awareness, and have laid the foundation of righteousness which is order, and therefore free and not accepting any authority whatsoever - so-called spiritual authority, obviously one must accept certain laws of society - then you can find out what is meditation. Because in meditation there is great beauty, it's an extraordinary thing if you know what meditation is - not how to meditate. The 'how' implies the method, therefore never ask how, and there are people too willing to offer a method.
But meditation is the awareness of this fear, of the implications and the structure and the nature of pleasure, the understanding of oneself and therefore laying the foundation of order, which is virtue, in which there is that quality of discipline which is not suppression, or control, or imitation. Such a mind then is in a state of meditation. Which is to meditate implies to see very clearly, and it is not possible to see clearly, or be totally involved in that which is seen, when there is space between the observer and the thing observed. That is, when you see a flower, the sunset, the beauty of a face, or the lovely sky of an evening, the bird on the wing, when you see it there is space, not only physically but psychologically between you and that, between you and the flower, between you and the cloud which is full of light and glory, there is that space - psychologically. When there is that space there is not only conflict but also that space is made by thought, which is the observer.
You know, have you ever looked at a flower without space? Have you ever observed something very beautiful without that space between the observer and the thing observed, between you and the flower? We look at the flower with the screen of words, with the screen of thought, of like or dislike, wishing that flower was in your particular house, or this or that, saying, 'What a beautiful thing that is'. So in that observation, when you look, there is the division created by the word, by your feeling of like or of pleasure. And so this division between you and the flower inwardly, in that division there is no perception, acute perception and when there is no space then you see the flower as you have never seen before. That is, when there is no thought, when there is no botanical information about that flower, when there is no like or dislike but only complete attention, then you will see that the space disappears, therefore you are in complete relationship with that flower, with that bird on the wing, with that cloud, with the face of your wife or your husband, or the neighbour.
And when there is such quality of mind in which the space between the observer and the thing observed disappears and therefore the thing is seen very clearly, most passionately and intensely, then there is that quality of love and with that love there is beauty. You know when you love something greatly, not through the eyes of pleasure or pain, when you actually love, space disappears, both physically and psychologically. There is no me and you. And when you come so far in this meditation, then you will find that quality of silence which is not the result of a mind which is thought seeking silence.
Editor's note: In some of my articles on romantic love, I've stated that two lovers lying together, touching foreheads, in silence, is one of the most intimate, even erotic, experiences. K explains why this is so. In this silence of oneness, of mind touching mind, there is love and a perception of the beauty of union. As we do this, as K asserts just below, we find out "what is sacred."
You know, there are two different things - aren't there? Thought can make itself quiet - I don't know if you have ever tried it, but for most of us to silence thought, for thought to become quiet is unknown, therefore we struggle against it, because we see very well that unless thought is quiet there is no peace in the world, or peace inwardly, there is no bliss. So we try in various ways, through drugs, through tranquillisers, through repetition of words, through a thousand ways, to quieten the mind, but thought that makes the mind quiet, silent, such silence is entirely different, it is not comparable with the silence which freedom brings, freedom from all the things that we have talked about. It is only then, in that silence, which is of quite a different quality than the silence brought about by thought, it's only in that silence there is quite a different dimension, quite a different state, which you have to find out for yourself, nobody can open the door for you, nobody and no word, no description can measure that which is immeasurable. And so unless one actually takes this long journey, which is not long at all, which is immediate, unless you do it life has very little meaning. And when you do it you find out for yourself what is sacred.
the Dazzling Darkness
Kairissi. Krishnamurti employs phrases that have no ordinary meaning to the average person.
Elenchus. To anyone who’s not experienced with what he’s talking about.
K. What does it mean to “look at a flower without space”?
E. Or to see the flower only with “acute perception” in which there is “no thought,” no “botanical information.”
K. He speaks like a Gnostic, as the historian Gibbon described, with “many sublime but obscure tenets.”
E. And yet, to those who’ve lived what K is describing, it’s as clear as you and I are to each other.
K. While these concepts cannot be fully apprehended until one has personally entered into them, we do have an example that will begin to make in plain.
E. Actually, a great many examples, but they’re all of similar origin.
K. Our readers will thank us to stop speaking in riddles now and get to something that they can touch and handle.
E. We take our teaching example from something that one of our friends said.
K. It was an item from ordinary, mundane living. But this is good as everyone will relate to it.
E. Our friend sent us an email. As it was late at night, her little dog required a “bedtime potty break,” she said, and so she took the small creature just outside her front door. She reported:
“It was very cold and snowing, big airy flakes floating gently down in the stillness. All the ground was a blanket of glittering crystals, the sky beyond the deepest black... so incredibly beautiful. It was utterly silent... my breath, the only scar. For a brief moment, I was not in my body. I just was just one with it.”
wordless silence, stark perception
K. In that “brief moment,” there was neither “botanical information,” as Krishnamurti used the phrase, nor technical data of any kind – no weather report, no awareness of the hour, nothing about astronomical distance to stars, no physics, no chemistry – only wordless stillness and silence, only stark perception of oneness with the universe and all creation.
E. In that private world of oneness, there was no “space,” no distance between the perceiver and the perceived; no gap, no “me and you,” just cosmic unity and singularity.
K. We should mention that we’d been discussing with her some of the principles which Krishnamurti teaches. She was open to learning, but it all seemed rather vague and foreign to her. However, that night on the front porch, she herself realized, if only for a moment, this is what we’d been talking about, this sense of oneness without distance or space.
E. We told her that this was a “gift,” a teaching aid, to her, and that now she had an experience to relate to.
K. Earlier we said that we had many examples to share with our readers. And, indeed, what our friend experienced is common – this portal to the mystical. It happens at times when we view a gorgeous sunset, a newborn baby, a blossoming rose.
E. We all know of this, but most allow the moment of stillness to pass and immediately resume the “chattering in the head.”
K. All these "punctuations of beauty" are portals – but we have to be willing to walk through the portal, into a new world where the ego cannot follow us.
E. We said to our friend that her mystical experience of oneness and stillness is where we meet and see the truth, ultimate reality, “what’s real.”
K. Elenchus, in some of our older writings and conversations, we used to call this “place” where truth is revealed the “Dazzling Darkness.”
E. It’s a good term. We should bring it back to our popular usage. The Dazzling Darkness can be accessed any time the mind is still, when “the chattering” shuts down, and not just when we peer into the blackness of the awesome midnight sky.
K. It’s a Darkness, fundamentally, not of the external universe at large but of the inner cosmos, the universe of soul riches within at the core of being.
E. This present writing is part of the Omega series, and we should point out that one cannot, and will never, perceive the identity of one’s Twin Soul unless you find her within the Dazzling Darkness.
K. And "touching foreheads" symbolizes, in an intuitive way, the cosmic oneness of lovers.
E. Yes, exactly. We touch foreheads in the Dazzling Darkness.
K. Unless we learn how to still the mind, to cut off the “chattering in the head,” we will not activate our higher-level sensibilities, the “internal radar,” which allows one to recognize the Sacred Beloved, the "soul pledges" buried within, when he comes into one’s presence.
E. I think we’ve given everyone enough to think about for now, but, in closing, I’d like to reference Krishnamurti’s lecture of February 14, 1969. He used some “hard to understand” terms which, I think, will make more sense now. He spoke of the “austerity,” the starkness, of the mind free of the ego, and that in this condition of stillness, of pureness and unadornment, we have the opportunity to "grasp the total field of life." We said it’s like Euclid’s geometry, a “beauty bare” revealing the architectonic substructure of the nature of things.
K. But our friend on the front porch at midnight helps us to understand what this “austerity” really means.
everything becomes clearer in the Dazzling Darkness
Why do I call it “dazzling”?
It’s a choice of words conveying more fact than poetry.
We’re all familiar with the old image of the light bulb symbolizing the coming of a new idea.
But, this isn’t exactly what I want to say.
A light bulb shines steadily, and it’s not dazzling, as such.
All analogies quickly break down if we press the similarity too hard. And so, let me start again.
In his lectures, Krishnamurti often speaks of stilling the mind, of “simply noticing” the antics of the false self, of shutting down the egoic “chattering in the head.” When we learn how to do this, and when we do so over some period of time, eventually we enter a phase of mental development – for very brief moments – characterized by a fleeting glimpse, nanosecond snatches, of another, higher order of reality.
You’ll suddenly see something, understand something, perceive the nature of something. And when you do it will be like – not a glowing bulb but – the faintest spark of light in the darkness of the undeveloped mind; like an effervescence, or a momentary shimmering, or maybe like radioactive scintillation.
How often does this happen? Early on, when one is just learning how to “simply notice,” it’s a somewhat rare occurrence. But, later, when, more and more, you enter the ego-less dimension, it will happen pretty much every day. And sometimes, late at night, when the mind is particularly open to “channeling” from “higher sources,” it can almost be like popcorn popping: pop, pop, pop come the new insights; sometimes, they come with such insistence that the “teaching lesson” is almost more than one can process, and you’ll be tempted to take a rest and put out your "do not disturb" sign; tell them to keep to your office hours. This is quantum creativity at the ferocious level.
All this is the progressive world we were meant to live in. It’s how God teaches us – directly, a private tutoring. It will always be this way. On the other side, there are no gurus, no one to give you absolute truth. You must "teach yourself." There will be respected advisors, for sure, but unless one learns how to verify the information via the process just described, we’ll be flailing in the dark – but not the Dazzling kind.
What are these “sparks in the mind”?
I don’t know, but I doubt if this “light” is part of the physical universe. I doubt if it would register on a photometer. It’s not from the sun, not electricity, and it’s not neurons firing. It’s not like that. Instead, my sense is, these flash-luminosities are not of the mortal body but, rather, of the inner astral body, very momentarily, shining through. I think it’s spiritual light which we normally, right now, do not have access to.
When we enter the state, or the condition, of the Dazzling Darkness, we come face to face with snippets of “the truth.” Momentarily, we see a very small something. And these tiny flares of insight accumulate. Over time, like building a 1000-piece puzzle, a new view of reality will come into focus. We're literally changed from the inside out. Over time, over the coming years, lots of people will tell you, "you're so different now, how did you get ahead of me?" Well, it happened overnight - the "long dark night of the soul." And in that Dazzling Darkness, you will never be the same again, as you begin to see and perceive things that escape everyone -- anyone who’s still led by the ego – whether in this world or the next.
In the Kairissi-and-Elenchus dialogues, he tried to tell her something, but I suspect she didn’t understand, and may have thought it very likely unlikely. However, he attempted to explain that, when they were children, long before he had any real feelings for her, in her presence he would sometimes feel these “sparkles in his head.” Actually, he was still too much that “insensate worm” to consciously notice what was happening to him, and it was only decades later, as a mature man, looking back on what had happened to him when she was around, that he put it all together. Nevertheless, even as a young child, in the company of the one whom he would someday call “Twin Soul,” he experienced the “sparkles in the head.” Only with her, no one else, and, further, not in any other context during those years of immaturity.
Editor's note: See the other-side channeled testimony of Sir John Pensley regarding the unveiling of previously-unseen reality coming to us as "tiny flashes" of light. I submit that Twin Souls, within their own domain of discovery of "what's real", might also experience this smallest incremental luminescent display in the form of what Elenchus calls "sparkles in the head." This should not seem strange as Twins, even as children, might become privy to the unfolding of "ultimate reality."
There are many different kinds of “portals” to higher intelligence and spiritual evolvement, but we will discover that one’s Twin opens the long-barred doors of the soul, ready or not, as no other pedagogue. She's the one who has keys to all the locks on the Dazzling Darkness.
Editor's last word:
In the “aloneness” essay, I’d like to offer something additional to the “Dazzling Darkness” discussion. It has to do with not just finding “the truth” therein but perceiving God as a living entity.