Krishnamurti was not afraid of the radical.
“The moment there is radical change in what we are,” he said. “we shall bring about peace in the world…”
It’s a very simple thing to say: change ourselves and we change the world. How could this be viewed as anything but fanciful? Physics would certainly not allow such a postulation. There is no provable, repeatable link between the ‘world’ and how a man or woman is, it would say. For this to be true a force would have to emanate from such a person and affect the whole universe…
For this to be true there would have to be something special about the link between ‘me’ in here, in my head, heart and body, and the world I truly inhabit; as though the world, itself, were ‘plastic’ and reflecting what ‘I’ truly am. In modern terms, a strange notion, most likely delusional. “There is only one objective world out there!” science would boom, telling us that the path to that accurate level of perception was only available through the scientific method.
Just like priests used to do, with God…
And science has a point. If you begin by saying that the only things with solid reality are atoms and molecules, and their increasingly small children, then the mind, heart and body of mankind are subservient to this materiality. But mind invented science, and is now somewhat bemused by the depths of its logical findings – scary stuff such as Quantum theory, which says that material things only probably exist until we take a look at them…
So the very act of looking – dare we say, seeing, affects the ‘reality’ before us. And isn’t that a fair definition of a kind of plasticity? I’m not proposing for a moment that Quantum theory is the only such example… but it’s a good one!
We are on the trail of the roots of fear and violence. Those who came before scientists and who laid the foundations for the search for material accuracy–which was very much needed to rid ourselves of the superstitious nonsense so prevalent in the Aristotlean-dominated Western intelligentsia, did not expect that their mind-child would turn its teeth on the search for wholeness of mind,heart and body that their forbears held so dear.
But that is the nature of our ‘modern’ world. Our childhood is spent absorbing, and being praised for repeating, the standard scientific view. I am not a creationist. I think anyone who takes the Bible literally is an idiot. Science – wonderful, accurate science, does what it was supposed to do. But it has switched off our search for wholeness.
Teachers like Krishnamurti appear, time after time, to give it a kick and a nudge. What lies behind ‘my’ eyes created science to explain one aspect of our reality. But only one. The material is important, but our place within it is bigger than it…
So how can a radical change in ourselves bring about peace in the world?
The secret, said Krishnamurti, is Joy…
A ‘man’ who embraces a radical change in himself, by non-judgemental observation of that truth which walks the Earth with him, changes his relationship with the ‘out-there’. In so doing he finds reciprocation with a world which has suddenly become very intimate and full of joy. This does not mean she does anything she likes. It means that joyful state drives actions which need no sense of personal history, because they are directed by an obviousness that only lives in the moment – the now.
To step into this world is, truly, to live somewhere new… in fact, somewhere eternally new.
We will consider this eternal newness in Part Five.
This is one of a series of postings related to topical issues in mysticism. They will all carry the hashtag #Silenti. Please feel free to reply or join in, using this hashtag.
©Copyright Stephen Tanham, 2016.