A Letter from Albert Blackburn

Dear R:

Thank you for your letter.  I will answer your questions by sending you this parable which I wrote in 1974, entitled The Train of Thought.

One day I awakened to find myself standing on the platform of a railway station.  The platform was crowded with the entire human race and everyone but me (somehow I knew) was sleepwalking.  I did not know what had awakened me, or what had led me there; I did know that I was awake and apparently could see the real meaning of that was happening around me.

In that most unusual state in which I found myself, I was able to see many strange and wonderful things that no one else could apparently see.  Each person on the platform was enclosed in an aura resembling a soap bubble of many colors, and each color, I knew, represented their qualities and interests.  There were no two exactly the same, but people did seem to gravitate into groups having similar colors.

The station building itself, where tickets were sold, was a beehive of activity.  There were numerous signs advertising such different destinations as Self-Fulfillment, Peace, War, Religion, and so on; the possibilities seemed unlimited.  In a few cases the price of the ticket was clearly marked, but in most it was not.  No one seemed interested in what a trip would cost, as long as the ticket could be paid for later, or charged on a credit card.  There was a sign saying that all sales were final; no refunds or exchanges were possible once the trip was taken.

There were many authorities present acting as guides, teachers, and advisors.  They were clearly identified by their dress, and by the rather prominent badges that they wore. I could see that most of the prospective passengers were so carried away by the whole procedure that without someone’s help they would have indiscriminately climbed aboard the first car to appear.  Others, of a more discriminating nature, eagerly sought advice from the authority that appealed to them the most.

Many authorities went out of their way to recruit gullible passengers, and in this way were able to build up quite a reputation.  Word was passed from generation to generation through tradition, which was thought to be the best authority of all to follow.

I myself had always preferred to make my own choice, and therefore had never followed the advice of any of these well-known authorities.  I found out later that it was my independent attitude that had led to my present state of wakefulness on the platform.  I saw that accepting any authority was an absolute guarantee that one would never awaken, and without awakening, there was an endless trip through space and time.

The whole scene was intensely interesting to me as I watched what seemed to be happening.  Some people got on board and were not seen again, while others would jump on, only to get off almost immediately.  There seemed to be no rules of behavior, since some passengers kept changing cars and even seats for reasons known only to themselves.

The track leading in and out of the station was only visible for a short distance in either direction, for the train entered a tunnel immediately after leaving the boarding area.  The arriving train (which I now saw was only a continuation of the same train) also emerged from a tunnel just before its arrival at the station.  I was unable to determine the length of the train, but I could see that it was continuous.  It was also unique in a most peculiar way – there were five distinct types of railway cars, each with its respective color, shape, size and different way of attracting my attention.  For a time I was puzzled by this, but I finally saw a signboard with a description that enabled the passengers to make a choice.  The first car was called The Car Of Sight, the second The Car of Sound, the third The Car Of Touch, the fourth The Car Of Taste, and the fifth The Car Of Smell.  This information, of course, explained many things to me, and I again focused my attention on this fantastic train.

As I watched the people round me, I could see that they were caught up in a ceaseless round of activity.  They behaved in much the same way that a person does when under hypnosis.  Their attention was focussed entirely on the train, and they seemed to be unaware of anything else.  A constant loading and unloading was going on, and for a time I was at a loss as to why a certain car was chosen.  Finally I perceived that each person’s choice was motivated by a subtle blending of interests, familiarity, prejudice, fear, and desire.  The blending of these qualities in a person was expressed by an overall tone or frequency, which in some corresponding way was linked to a tone or similar frequency that was emitted by each car as it passed by.  The result apparently was like a post-hypnotic suggestion in its effect on the prospective passengers. As I watched people’s reactions, I was struck more and more by the dreamlike quality of the scene.

All of this time, I was in a state of wakefulness in which I could watch the proceedings with detached interest.  But now I also wanted to experience this fascinating train ride that everyone else seemed to be enjoying so much.  The instant my decision to participate was made, a subtle change in my own perception occurred.  My attention was immediately drawn to what seemed to me to be the most beautiful car, which was just arriving. I barely had time to get on board, but found to my delight that it had unlimited seating capacity.  Every seat individually molded itself to each passenger and automatically adjusted to suit that person’s tastes and mental attributes.

Before sitting down in my own choice seat, I glanced around me and saw a glassy look in the eyes of all the seated passengers.  My own eyes no doubt took on the same trance-like look, because as I sat down all memory vanished along with my objective perception. I too was lost in my own private dream world, and I was so busy correlating this new experience with my past life that time just seemed to disappear.  By the time this assimilation had taken place, I realized that I must be missing the thrill of riding in other cars.  I jumped off on the platform and immediately awakened again to the world around me, and realized that I had been asleep and dreaming.

The rest of that day I spent experimenting.  I would take different cars and different seats, but the result was always the same.  I found that as long as I remained on the platform a clear perception of everything could be maintained, but the moment that my attention was arrested by an unusually attractive car I would fall asleep, and everything experienced from that point on was a part of my own personal dream world, and in a rather vague way was connected to that of the other passengers in my general group.  Of course, I had many interesting discussions with my fellow travelers on science, religion, and philosophy, and we reassured one another that some of the rather frightening things that happened were either necessary or happened through the will of God.

It was only after I had jumped off that my memory would return, and I could remember all of the events leading up to the moment when my attention had been diverted, and recall the very subtle way in which my choice of cars and seats had been influenced.  I could also remember everything that I had experienced while on the train, and even the supposedly intelligent conversations which had taken place in the cars.  While I remained on the platform, in an objective state, I could see how superficial our lengthy discussions had been.  What had seemed to be the whole world had only been a tiny fragment of it, so that any judgement or action stemming from it accomplished very little good. The complete picture could be seen and intelligent action taken only by remaining on the platform and in the state of awareness.

I also saw that even though the cars of Sight, Sound, Touch, Taste, and Smell were separate, they were all part of the same train, and were only focal points that attracted attention.  Once on board, a mysterious blending of the whole dream-train into a single unity took place.  A kind of mutual conditioning effect occurred.  The passengers took on the qualities of the train, and the train took on the qualities of its passengers.  I could see that this gradual conditioning process – called by some growth, progress, or evolution – was only a sort of glorified “merry-go-round.”

I could see the whole picture only be stepping off the train.  It was easy to be caught up in the mass hysteria especially as no advance payment had to be made for a ride; anyone could jump on board.  Many, no doubt, thought there was a free trip to an ultimate pleasure, and were unaware that it was a “pay as you leave” system.  Some of the prices paid seemed to me extremely high, since they included sickness, old age, and death; naturally, there was a great deal of grumbling when payment fell due.

After a great of deal of inquiry, I found out that there had been other, isolated cases similar to mine, in which individuals had awakened, and because it did happen from time to time, a new type of pass had been authorized.  It was called “The Cycle of Perception,” and was available free of charge to anyone with the capacity for awareness.

I immediately took advantage of this information and obtained one of these special passes, and from then on my experience was quite different.  Instead of falling asleep immediately, and remaining asleep for the duration of the trip, I only slept at the moment of choice; immediately thereafter I was able to wake up, and the rest of the trip took place in a state of awareness.

It seemed to work in the following way: As the cars came into view, and I began to feel an irresistible attraction towards a particular car, I would fall asleep; I would then awaken in my favorite seat on that car.  I had always remained asleep for the duration of the trip when this had happened before, but now I was able to watch the whole procedure objectively in a waking state.  I could see the superficiality of the whole scene, and was no longer carried away by the conversations of my fellow passengers.  In this way, my desire to blindly participate in this means of transportation gradually diminished, and as a consequence my trips became shorter and less frequent.

The use of “The Cycle of Perception” pass was mandatory during the transition that I was going through, a transition from a state of unconscious participation (in which I was immersed in a hypnotic dream) to a state of complete wakefulness (in which there was no longer any desire to use this antiquated means of transportation).

I have since tried to tell others on the platform of my experiences, but my words seem to fall on deaf ears.  Some people think I’m crazy but most think that even questioning such a wonderful train system is foolish.  “It is here, so why not enjoy it,” they say.  Others think that I should not speak about it for fear that some authority might overhear and bring the whole thing to an end.  Personally, I am tired of watching this “merry-go-round,” and keep wondering if it may not all vanish into thin air some day.  How and why it originally got started is a mystery, but its continuity is assured through the unlimited supply of avid passengers recruited from the entire human species.

In closing my account of the strange phenomenon which I have been describing, let me add the following.  I have found out that this train was conceived of and dedicated millions of years ago by the earliest human beings.  In the beginning, the train was a simple thing, but because it has been refined and added to over the intervening years, it has become the pride of our times.  Habit has also played a great part in its growth.  Through careful observation, I saw that the people who were waiting usually chose familiar cars each time.  Those who were considered leaders (or who were able to easily persuade others) seemed to be held in great regard, because then people didn’t have to make their own decisions.  Most passengers also felt much more comfortable when there were others on the same car, and they aided and abetted each other in their choices.

Through common usage, this “Train Of Thought” has become the universally accepted mode of transportation.  All educational institutions are geared to programming their students in making the ‘right’ choice on the “Thought Train.”  The resulting systems of thought, with all their subtle nuances, are held in great esteem.  These, in turn, support the whole social structure and the economic system, which explains the nervousness and outright anger that is aroused by any suggestion that there might be a better means of transportation.  The constant threats to the system caused by war or natural catastrophes make a few people question the whole thing, but this rarely happens.  I have recently discovered for myself that there really is a different way of getting to where one wants to go.  It is through direct perception, and the result is an instantaneous oneness with the object or situation itself, including all of its related phenomena.  It eliminates having to choose anything related to “The Train Of Thought.”  Direct perception makes the old method of doing things seem obsolete, except as a means of continued communication with other people.  I can conceive of a future state in which more and more people would use this new dimension, and thereby create a brand new society.

The new social structure would be based on real values in human relationships. Of course, many of the destinations of the “Thought Train” would be dropped, such as War, Prejudice, Yours, Mine, Reward, Punishment, Courage, Politics, My Country, Authority, Philosophy, and so on.  There would be a complete social upheaval, since people engaged in these activities would be forced into other lines of work.  It is not hard to see why the train is so ancient, nor why even the slightest effort to upset the status quo is met with resistance from all of those whose livelihood depends upon it.

Perhaps only rare individuals can step away from it from time to time.

Please become aware of your own “Train Of Thought” and find direct perception and now-consciousness.

Affectionately,

Al Blackburn

Albert Blackburn (1988).  Worlds Beyond Thought.  Conversations on Now-Consciousness.  Idylwild Books, P.O. Box 246, Ojai, CA 93023.

Worlds Beyond Thought – Albert Blackburn

The following is an excerpt from a conversation between Albert Blackburn  and Gabriele, his wife.

Albert Blackburn:  Can thought go beyond?

Gabriele:  How can it? And what can go beyond? How can one go beyond?

A:  A new factor must obviously be introduced in order to transcend the thought process; and once again, we should be able to go into it right from this present moment.  Does anything exist in this present moment that is not a part of thought, and that is not a part of our memory bank and ego?

G:  I would say awareness, perception, and the factual things we are surrounded by.

A:  I think that you’re right.  I feel that perception is something beyond thought, because perception is inherent in every living creature in the world.  Every living creature has perception and is able to use perception within its own particular field of consciousness.

G:  Yes.

A:  I think the problem that exists is that we have identified ourselves with perception.  We say we’re perceiving, or we’re feeling, or we’re smelling, or we’re doing.  I think these are all ideas because from a factual point of view there is only seeing, there is only doing, there is only feeling, there is only smelling, there is only hearing; it is only an idea that we are seeing, we are hearing, we are smelling, we are feeling these things.  I believe that each person has to explore this themselves, and see if it is true; does perception exist beyond our personal ideas about it?

To me, it is a very real fact that perception is outside my field of consciousness.  It is completely separate from the thought process.  When my mind is quiet, there is complete perception; there is no fragmentation due to my personal identification with one object.

G:  But the moment I say that I am aware of that beautiful sunset, I bring in my ego, or I bring in the ‘I’ of thought.  I create a memory so that tomorrow I can say, “Yesterday I saw a beautiful sunset.”

A:  That’s right; in other words, we take a mental picture of something the minute we identify it and say, “I have seen it,” or “I am seeing it.”  I must remember it because it is a beautiful picture and I want to put it into my photographic album so that tomorrow I can drag it out and compare it to something else that I have seen, or so that I can tell you about it.

G:  That’s how we generate our own personal body of knowledge. 

A:  It’s also a matter of communication. We can’t communicate with another person without using words and ideas.  Communication on the physical level has to be through the field of consciousness, doesn’t it?

G:  Yes.

A:  I can communicate to you things that I have experienced, or things that I’m experiencing at the present time.  I can do it through words, or I can do it through memory, but I have to use the field of human consciousness.  I have to use the values, the words, and everything else that we both understand in order to get the idea across to you.

But your perception of an idea doesn’t have to involve the field of consciousness. A sudden understanding or a sudden knowing may occur inside of you when you hear me talking about it or describing it.  And even though I’m using my conditioning to describe it, you don’t have to use your conditioning to understand it.  That’s the point.

G:  I can use now-consciousness to understand it.

A:  Right!  This is very important, because it creates an entirely new situation.  In other words, you or I or anyone else, who is endeavoring to communicate a certain idea or a certain insight has to use accepted grammatical forms in order to be understood.  But the holistic understanding of the other person has to lie outside of the field of human consciousness.  If the person who is listening is understanding or interpreting the words in a mechanical way only, then that person’s understanding is only on the verbal level; it doesn’t go any deeper and it doesn’t affect the person’s actions.  For your actions in life to be really affected at the gut level, you have to understand things outside of the field of your personal conditioning. You can’t be caught by any of the words that you hear.  You can’t bring up something from your memory bank or bring up some photograph that you have personally taken, some memory, and have understanding take place.  The minute you catch yourself interpreting something in any way at all – going back to your memory bank in any way at all – drop it.  In dropping the memory, you are open again and free of your conditioning.  Once free, understanding can take place at a deep level, and this can really change your life.

This is why Krishnaji had such difficulty in communicating with the people who listened to him; most of them were interpreting the words that he was using.  They were mired down by the ideas that were evoked in their minds by the words that he used, and they made no impression on them at a deep level.  Consequently, there was no understanding.  They would say, “I understand what Krishnamurti is talking about, it is very plain he’s talking about,” but there was no inner revolution in their understanding of life.

G:  So it became another accumulation of ideas.

A:  Exactly, there was no inner revolution.  The inner revolution can only take place outside of the field of consciousness.  There has to be a listening, not you listening, there has to be a listening without ‘you’ in the picture.  And when there is that listening, then what is heard is not being interpreted, it is not being analyzed, and it is not being filtered through your conditioning.  In that, there’s a holistic understanding which affects you at a deep level, and changes your life, and brings about this inner revolution that Krishnaji was talking about.

G:  That’s right.

A:  I think that is the whole secret of it.

G:  Yes.  So this perception, this awareness is necessary.  If one is in a state of now-consciousness, then what is beyond that?  What is beyond man’s creation, beyond man’s whole field of the known?  What happens?  Let us go into that now.

A:  Well, the world of nature is beyond; understanding, love, affection, attention, compassion, beauty, and all the so-called virtues are beyond; everything that humanity has ever dreamed about possessing, but has never really possessed except as a name or an idea, is beyond human consciousness.  And it is not something that can’t be touched at any time, because what is beyond human consciousness (as we have said before) is the present moment. Thus beauty can be touched in the present moment if I’m not in the picture, ‘I’ as an idea.  Affection can be touched in the present moment; love can be touched in the present moment; understanding can be touched.  All of the things we have just named can be touched in the present moment.

G:  Yes.

A:  It is so simple everybody passes it by, because most of us expect a complicated answer.  You have to experiment and discover for yourself the simple beauty of this approach to life.

G:  It is so direct.

A:  Absolutely direct; direct perception; direct action.

G:  So how does one wake up?  How does one stay in the now?

A:  Well, let us start in this present moment again, because this is the beginning point.  Every step, every question has to begin with this present moment.  Would you ask the question, “How can I sit in this chair?”

G:  No, I guess I know how.

A:  “How can I put my feet on the floor?”  “How can I put my two hands together?”  “How can I look at another person?”  You know, it is so simple. There’s no how to it for us.  So the question is not how to do something in a positive way, but rather what prevents us from doing it? That should be the question.  What prevents me from being aware that I’m sitting in this chair?  What prevents me from being aware that I have my hands clasped together and my thumbs are moving together against each other?  What prevents me from being aware of this?

G:  All that we’ve been talking about.

A:  Right; thought.

G:  Thought.

A:  In other words, identification with a certain object or a certain idea that was recalled through the memory process, a retrieval from our personal memory bank. That’s what prevents us from being constantly attentive and aware of what is happening in the present moment.

G:  Then without awareness there is no true love, no beauty, no compassion, no affection, none of those things that are beyond thought.

A:  They don’t exist, if I’m thinking.

G:  No.

A:  They can’t.  Each one can exist as an idea; I can name each one as an abstraction.  But it is just an idea, it is not the thing itself.  The emotions themselves, which are part of the holistic feeling about life which contains all of those so-called virtues, are there every moment.  But we’re simply not aware of them because we’re busy thinking about some picayune idea that has nothing to do with them at all.

Of course, you have to use thought in order to make plans.  If you have a certain insight into what has to be done this afternoon, or tomorrow, or whatever, you have to use thought.  You have to use the creative planning capacity of your brain in order to bring it about.  But most of the time we’re not in that situation; most of the time we could sit back and enjoy these other things that we’ve been talking about as possibilities.  We could enjoy them as facts, and not just as ideas.

G:  In other words, I don’t see nature when I’m thinking.

A:  Of course not.

G:  I can see that that’s a tree, or a bird, and so on, but I don’t really see it, feel it, or perceive it when the mind is chattering

A:  The minute you name something you don’t perceive it, either.  You perceive the tree, and the minute you name the tree, the perception is gone.  In the act of naming, the name you are giving the tree becomes superimposed between you and the tree.  The same phenomenon takes place in every phase of our life.

G:  Seeing the beauty of what we’re saying, and the necessity of it, and perhaps experiencing it – how does it come about?

A:  I think we should start once again with something that we can understand.  Obviously, thought cannot wake itself up.  I consider thinking a form of dreaming.  (People call it thinking, you know, but actually it is day-dreaming!)  Thought can’t wake itself up.  If you’re in the middle of a dream at night, you normally can’t wake yourself up immediately.  However, there are certain techniques that the occultists use to trick themselves into waking up in the middle of a dream; they then go on with the dream in a different way, objectively.

G:  They’re experimenting with this now in dream labs.

A:  There’s the possibility of doing this.  There’s also the possibility of waking yourself up and becoming aware of the fact that you have been thinking a certain train of thought.  Then, instead of continuing that particular thought (which, from your point of view, might be a negative thought), you continue in the thought process by substituting what you consider to be a more positive, more acceptable thought.

G:  That’s still the same old thing.  It is still using memory to trick yourself into thinking in another way.

A:  So both ways are really tricks of the mind, aren’t they?

G:  Yes.

A:  So, if thought cannot wake itself up, if thought cannot bring itself to an end, if thought cannot extricate itself from the field of human consciousness – which is the origin of thought in the first place – then something else has to take place, doesn’t it?  Another factor must come into play to break the impasse.  Earlier, we came to the realization that perception and awareness are outside of human consciousness.  So what is it that will wake us up?  That was the question you asked.

G:  Just now you said thought can’t achieve its own end.  What do you mean by that?  You can’t think yourself to the end of thought?

A:  No, there has to be some outside agency, doesn’t there?  There has to be some factor outside of my conditioned response.

G:  You said that thought can’t stop itself.  You can’t sit there and say, “I’m going to meditate and stop thinking?”

A:  No, because consciously stopping a negative type of thought, for instance, and turning it into a positive thought, is still continuing the thought process.  Some of the so-called New-Thought organizations do this type of mental manipulation; they tell you to think positively instead of negatively.  It is just a trick of the mind.  In other words, they continue to experience the same dream, only they’ve edited it now, and they turn it into a positive dream instead of a negative one.

But this doesn’t answer your question, and I think it is an intriguing question.  I like to use analogies, because I think analogies are really another way of talking about harmonics on another level.  For example, you yourself have thoroughly studied and used your mind and your mental capacity to its utmost to determine all of the facts concerning a certain way of living.  You’ve gone as far as you can go in creatively thinking about the subject, and have used your mental capacity to find out everything related to the healing work that you do.  Is that true?

G:  Yes, it is.

A:  Then suppose that somebody calls you this afternoon and tells you that your assistance is required tomorrow morning at 8:00, that the capacity that you’ve developed as a ‘healer’ is needed to help someone.  You realize the value of doing this, you see that life has chosen you to do this and that you have the capacity to do it, and you have a feeling that you can perhaps help this other person.  Are you going to need an alarm clock to wake you in time to be ready for your 8 o’clock appointment tomorrow morning?  Or are you going to wake up spontaneously?

G:  I’ll wake up by myself.

A:  You’ll wake up.  You won’t need an alarm clock.  You may set one just as a safety measure because you may not be completely sure you’ll wake up, but you will always awaken.  Just as I’d wake up if somebody called me and wanted to talk about my favorite subject, now-consciousness.  I would wake up; I wouldn’t need an alarm clock because I’m intensely interested in the subject, just as you are intensely interested in what you are doing, too.  We can’t say it is ‘you’ waking yourself up, or ‘me’ waking myself up.  It is the interest that we have in the things with which we are involved that wakes us up.  That interest is part of the life-force, the vitality or energy of life, that awakens us.  Isn’t that true?

G:  Yes, one can hardly wait to get started.

A:  Well, if this is true on the physical level, why doesn’t it apply on other levels as well?  Wouldn’t it apply to waking up from a thought pattern?

G:  It is part of that inner intention, that interest.

A:  Suppose that I have gone into this deeply enough to see the value and the logic of waking up.  I realize that most of the time I identify with just one fragment of each moment.  I can see the potential danger in this limited response to unforeseen challenges and am really serious in my desire to change.  I see that I will be unable to cope adequately with emergencies that may come up as long as I’m plugged into only one channel.  Suppose that you have told me all of this, and I’ve looked into it and understood logically at least that what you say must be true.  I may not have felt it deeply because I have not experienced it myself, but I see that life must be much richer; there must be a thousand things out there of which I’m unaware.

My inquiry and deep interest opens the door for insight.  There is freedom from the known, because I clearly see that thought cannot make a breakthrough.  Another factor, outside of myself, must become operative.  In other words, I can’t consciously awaken myself from sleep, nor can I consciously bring about awareness.

Perceiving the validity of these observations gives me the inner intention to wake up, and this inner incentive accomplishes what thought cannot do.  Thought can’t extricate itself from the trap it has created.  It is the sincere acknowledgement of this impasse that opens the door for insight to occur.

G:  That’s exactly it.

A:  If I’ve reached that stage mentally, and have really pushed it and am really interested, my inquiry and my interest are going to be the very things that wake me up.

G:  And then you carry that through into action.  When someone comes to you with a problem, you approach it with an attitude of ‘I’ don’t know.  For example, I can’t approach the healing process with any knowledge that I have; but if I stay away from thought and just ‘tune’ into the energy that is there, that exists in that same state of perception, the healing may occur.

A:  Exactly.

G:  And if you take that approach when someone comes to you with a question, rather than approaching it from the standpoint of what you’ve already written or thought or experienced, then real communication may occur.  Or you may at least say something important to that person; whether they can comprehend it in the same way or not is not your responsibility.

A:  You are not personally providing the answer.  If you are open, if your cup is empty, and life is pouring information into you moment by moment through the medium of insight, then you are not consciously saying something designed to engender a particular reaction in the other person.  If you have the idea that you are going to effect a certain result, it is a product of thought

G:  That’s right.  ‘I’ am not a healer, ‘I’ can’t heal anybody.

A:  You will spontaneously and intuitively say the right thing, with no idea at all as to why you are saying it.  And it is life that engenders the understanding in the other person that might change the course of that person’s life.  But you are not doing it to bring about a specific result; that is the important point

People thought that Krishnaji deliberately said certain things to them personally that were designed to elicit particular results, because specific results did occur as a consequence of what he said.  But I don’t believe that he himself had any intention of doing that; he said what he did because at that moment it was the right thing to say.  It was life that engendered an understanding in the listener.

G:  Yes, because that energy, that life, that love that comes through, is then actually working in that state beyond thought.  And that is the state of pure insight and pure compassion, and in that state, healing and understanding can take place.

What do you think Krishnaji meant by saying that you must follow a thought to its end?

A:  If I’ve suddenly awakened to the fact that my mind has been identifying with a certain train of thought, there are two directions in which I can go, aren’t there?  Usually that direction is forward; I use thought and imagination to conclude the particular thought that I had been involved in at the time I awakened.  In other words I analyze my thought, interpret the thought that I’ve just had, and follow it through to a conclusion of some kind.  That would involve the thinking process, wouldn’t it?

G:  Yes.

A:  In other words, it would be impossible to proceed from the point at which you have awakened without using thought.

G:  So Krishnaji couldn’t have meant that, could he?

A:  No.  Let’s go back to the analogy of sleeping.  When you wake up in the morning, there’s an immediate awareness of the fact that you are in the bed where you went to sleep (if everything is normal).  An awareness of how you went to asleep at night, of how you prepared yourself for bed, of all of the events leading up to it – all of this comes to you in a flash when you wake up in the morning.  You don’t have to think about it; in a flash you see the whole backward track.  You even picture some of the dreams that your mind was involved in during the night.

In the same way, at a different and higher harmonic level, you can wake up or suddenly become aware of the fact that you’ve been involved in thought.  Immediately, instead of proceeding, instead of analyzing and editing the thought, and all of the rest of the process, be aware of your tendency to do this, and the minute that you start doing it, drop it.  In that dropping there is a clear seeing of the whole backward path.  You see the train of thought that you were involved with and how it originated.  You see the memory that triggered it; you see the life challenge that triggered it – you see the name, or the person, or whatever it was triggered that particular train of thought.  You can then perceive where the thought originated, how it started in your mind, how you were conditioned to react to a particular thing, and how you programmed yourself to respond in a particular way.  And then the thought can even be traced back into all kinds of other little channels back to the actual origin of the memory itself.  When all of that is clearly seen, it dissipates, it withers way.  It is no more, and you will not be troubled by that particular memory again

G:  Are you saying that it diminishes, that the content goes out of it, as well as the feelings associated with it?

A:  The feelings go out of it, the life goes out of it and it shrivels up in the light of understanding.  It withers away in the light of awareness that you focus upon the backward path leading to the whole train of thought.  But if you make the mistake of going forward, you give it new energy, you give it new life, you give it new continuity; and then it keeps coming up over and over again, and there’s no end to it.  It becomes a neurotic response

G:  And there is no end to it at all.

A:  So that’s what I feel that Krishnaji meant when he spoke of following thought to an end.  He knew that if you followed it forward it would lead to a dead end, that you’d never escape it, and that you would discover for yourself that you could never escape it.

G:  Is following thought to an end different then from analysis?

A:  Oh yes, completely; analysis is going forward with thought.  Analysis is going forward, but also looking back while you’re going ahead and analyzing the thing that you thought you were thinking about.  Analysis is part of the thought process.

Now-Consciousness is the world beyond thought, where there is love compassion beauty, and a holistic unity with all of life.

-Albert Blackburn

Excerpt from Worlds Beyond Thought, Conversations on Now-Consciousness, p.102 – 117

Freedom is Being – Anand Amido

Fall leaves fallen

Fallen fall leaves

This offering has been pondered over, allowed to slosh around in my mind, in my interiority, and even spilled over onto a white page to be fiddled with, adjusted, and examined for tone.  (Light but not pedantic!)  No fight picking here, simple exploration, seeking understanding, and then deeper understanding.

When I sit of a morning, Japanese style since my knees protest the least in such a pose, fragments of thought cruise, gallop, creep seemingly through my skull!  Little strips of data from last night’s TV viewing, an old memory of something that jars and gnaws and has to be forgiven and laid to rest (again and again), self-reminders to watch my breath, closely followed by some genuine breath watching, until off I go again climbing onto that endlessly spinning merry-go-round.

At a certain point, my legs suggest we have all been sitting for quite long enough.  Now my legs respond very gracefully to a little wiggle, a little twitch, and we all settle down again.  But then, the mind with some considerable force declares, “Let’s stand up.”  At that point, I have to be really alert and not automatically follow its dictates! For, I have recently read Osho saying that we always stop “meditating” before something happens.  So, I ignore my mind.  Rude of course, but when someone doesn’t have your best interests at heart, is one obliged to listen carefully to their point of view and respond as your upbringing dictates?!  Sorry mind.  If I engage with you, I am lost, and so I turn away!

So then, I settle and yummy is the best word to describe it.

-Amido

How to not create a prison!

I experienced so clearly the sense of being imprisoned and constricted when I casually accepted the offer from my job some years ago to do a master’s degree.  My employer would, so to speak, pay for it.  I would work for them for three years after completing it.  I had always wanted to do a master’s degree!

I so enjoyed the studying.  I love integrating ideas, choosing just the right word, incorporating the learning and understanding into my daily work.  I always knew that having to pay the piper would cause problems and, boy, did it. I found it excruciating to be locked into a work position for a specified amount of time.  I may well have worked there, unconcerned, for three years, but the fact that it was written in stone, threw my mind into turmoil.

I struggled and wriggled and created much misery for myself (hopefully not others).  There would be moments of seeing clearly, all misery somehow magically vanishing, but then, I would start the whole storm up again.

Slowly, slowly, I saw the relationship between the hook of my desire feeding into a whole host of consequences which I found confining.  The more I wriggled and resisted, the more painful the situation proved.  But, it was not really the situation causing the pain.  It was the way I was choosing to experience it.

Confined

And, I, and only I, was the one who had initiated the whole conundrum.  It was such a strong lesson in how to be more conscious in my choices.  How an apparently simple desire can lead one on the road to great distress.  This small writing emerged from that experience.

I construct
With great precision
Domes
That imprison.
Thought, concepts
The ruts of repetition
Form crisscrossing beams
Diminishing space
Compressing my spirit.
I see my work
I abhor it
I struggle
Within its confines
And find
I only create
Further
Confining structures.
I seek freedom
But find myself
Flailing
In a barrage
Of constant
Assembly.
All effort to escape
Compounds
The imprisonment.
In despair
I stop!

-Anand Amido

The Decisive Moment is at Hand – Osho

The coming few years are going to be very significant years in man’s history. Now a handful of people will be of no help in matters spiritual. Unless a mighty spirituality is born, unless a mighty and massive spiritual movement sweeps the earth, making its impact on millions of people, it will be impossible to save the world from the mire of materialism. It will be a very, very momentous moment in man’s life; the coming fifty years are going to be fateful and decisive. Either religion will live, or stark irreligion, all that is against religion, will live.

DSCN0905

These fifty years will also decide about Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna, Jesus, Mohammed, Rama and the rest of them. All these luminaries will be on one side of the scales while on the other side will be the large crowd of insane politicians, materialists and other ignorant people bent on deluding themselves and others too. They are in huge numbers, while only a handful of people will be on one side of the arraignment. And in fifty years’ time the decision will be made.

The struggle that has been going on from time immemorial has reached its moment of decision. And looking at the situation as it obtains at present, there is not much hope. But I am not disappointed because it seems to me that very soon a simple and natural and easy way can be found which will revolutionize the lives of millions of people spiritually.

A few individuals can be of no help in the present times. In olden times it was enough if only one person became enlightened. Now this won’t do. In view of the tremendous explosion of population taking place in the world, a few individuals cannot do a thing. Now something tangible can be possible only if, commensurate with the huge population, hundreds of thousands of people are influenced and involved in spiritualism. And it is possible as I see it. If a few people form a nucleus and begin the work, then India can play a significant role in that momentous fight. No matter how poor and miserable, how degraded and slavish, how misled and misguided this country has been, yet this land has some well-preserved treasures with it. Down the centuries such people have walked this land that their light, their fragrance, their longings have left their vibes in the air, have left their imprint on every blade of grass here. Man has of course gone wrong, but the dust of this land still remembers Buddha’s feet walking it. Man of this country has gone wrong, but the trees still cherish the memory that Mahavira had once stood in their shade. Man has really gone wrong, but the seas surrounding this country still know a different voice they had heard in the past. Man has no doubt gone astray, but the skies of this country are still full of hopes. Everything is there, only man has to come back home.

Of late, I have been constantly praying with the hope that collective explosion in the lives of millions of people may be possible. And you can be of great help in this endeavor. Such explosion in your own life will have immense value not only for you, but for all mankind. With this hope and prayer that you will not only light your own lamps, but that your light will help other extinguished lamps to be lighted, I bid you farewell. I am grateful to you for having listened to me in peace and with such love, and I bow down to God sitting within each one of you. Please accept my salutation.

-Osho

From In Search of the Miraculous, Discourse #8

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation 

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