Monday is AUM-day; in search of meditation
SOLITUDE. Does it serve a purpose for the meditator? Does it have to mean 'lonely'? We are going to explore the writings of a number of notable contemplatives of various backgrounds and explore the role of solitude in spiritual pursuit. These are from a collection published by Chinmaya Publications.
Moving along with the text, the next author J. Krishnamurti, who entitles his piece 'True Freedom'. It is lengthy, so only the opening few paragraphs and an edit from the last section, on silence, will be given here.
Freedom is a state of mind; not freedom from something but a sense of freedom, a freedom to doubt and question everything and therefore so intense, active and vigorous that it throws away every from of dependence, slavery, conformity and acceptance. Such freedom implies being completely alone. This solitude is an inward state of mind, which is not dependent on any stimulus or any knowledge and is not the result of any experience or conclusion. Most of us, inwardly, are never alone… because we are full of all the memories, all the conditioning, all the mutterings of yesterday; the mind is never clear of all the rubbish it has accumulated. To be alone, you must die to the past. When you are alone, totally alone, not belonging to any family, any nation, any culture, any particular continent, there is that sense of being an outsider. The man who is completely alone in this way is innocent, and it is this innocence that frees the mind from sorrow.
In this solitude, you will begin to understand the necessity of living with yourself as you are, not as you think you should be or as you have been. See if you can look at yourself without any tremor, any false modesty, any fear, any justification - just live with yourself as you actually are.
The only silence we know is the silence when noise stops, when thought stops; but that is not silence. Silence is entirely different, like beauty, like love. This silence is not the product of a quiet mind, of brains cells that have understood the structure and say 'for God's sake be quiet'; then the brain cells themselves produce the silence and this is not silence.
You are waiting now for a description of what this silence is so that you can compare it, interpret it, carry it away… It cannot be described. What can be described is the known, and the freedom from the known can come into being only when there is a dying every day to the known - to the hurts, the flatteries, the images you have made and the experiences; dying every day so that the brain cells themselves become fresh, young, innocent…
That silence which is not the silence of the ending of noise is only a small beginning. It is like going through a small hole to an enormous, wide, expansive ocean, to an immeasurable, timeless state; but this you cannot understand verbally unless you have understood the whole structure of consciousness and the meaning of pleasure, sorrow and despair, and the brain cells themselves have become quiet. Then perhaps you may come upon that mystery which nobody can reveal to you and nothing can destroy.