“Around the bend of the river the horizons extended as far as the eye could see, measureless and infinite. Space became inexhaustible. There must be this space for beauty and compassion. Everything must have space, the living and the dead, the rock on the hill and the bird on the wing. When there is no space there is death. The fishermen were singing and the sound of their song came down the river. Sound needs space. The sound of a word needs space; the word makes its own space, rightly pronounced. The river and the faraway tree can only survive when they have space; without space all things wither.

The deep darkness of the night was coming, the earth was resting from a weary day and the stars were on the waters. The vast space was narrowed down into a small house of many walls. Even the large, palatial houses have walls shutting out that immense space, making it their own.

All things need space. Human beings living in crowded cities are becoming violent. Where there is no space, outwardly and inwardly, every form of mischief and degeneration is inevitable. The conditioning of the mind through so-called education, religion, tradition, culture, gives little space to the flowering of the mind and heart. The ‘me’ has its being and its activity within the small space it has created for itself. All its problems and sorrows, its hopes and despairs are within its own frontiers, and there is no space. The known occupies all its consciousness. Consciousness is the known. Within this frontier there is no solution to all the problems human beings have put together. Yet, they won’t let go; they cling to the known or invent the unknown, hoping it will solve their problems. The space which the’me’ has built for itself is its sorrow and the pain of pleasure. This vast, measureless space lies outside the measure of thought, and thought is the known.

Slowly the oars took the boat up the sleeping river and the light of a house gave it the direction. It had been a long evening and the sunset was gold, green and orange and it made a golden path on the water.”

– J. Krishnamurti, Krishnamurti’s Journal. 



As I read this piece by Krishnamurti, my mind marvels at the space within me, a space that always existed but was pointed out by Krishnamurti when it had dimmed beneath the pressures of my anxieties. I behold it in wonder, knowing that I cannot grasp it, I cannot destroy it. Yet, another part of me worries about a particular problem. It also feels disappointed about a particular situation. The two in me live on together, one as space, the other as the constricted me.

I have read Krishnamurti for 10 years. Reading him makes this space open up within me. But then I move on with my life, with my work, with my relationships, and the same constrictions make their way and narrow down this space into meaningless patterns of thought. The space has not increased over the years, as some might expect. Rather, it has followed the course of waves and troughs, increasing for a while, then decreasing to the point of not being palpable, and then showing its beautiful presence out of nowhere, only to fade away again.

Is this the meaning of human existence? A play between light and shadow, between space and ego, a play timed at about 75 years – after which it is all over, left for a few to remember and most to forget? Of course, the space does not die. The space is deathless. The constrictions are not. They cease to exist in that particular form at the moment of death. Perhaps they go elsewhere. But that person, Mr. XYZ, is now dead. He lived on the earth for 70-odd years, smiled, cried, hurt others, was hurt. Now he is no more, while the march of history goes on. Others will come, some a bit like him, most totally different from him. They too will live their joys and sorrows, only to disappear into nothingness. Space endures. All else dies.

~ by tdcatss on June 2, 2014.

3 Responses to “Space”

  1. it’s touching what you have written about space here…

  2. it’s touching what you have written about space here…

  3. thanks

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