Saturday, March 27, 2004

More spiritual blokes

My dad had read all these guys before I was born, but he never imposed any of it on me:

Heeeeere's Gurdjieff! "When my grandmother - may she attain the kingdom of Heaven - was dying, my mother, as was then the custom, took me to her bedside, and I kissed her right hand, my dear now deceased grandmother placed her dying left hand on my head and in a whisper, yet very distinctly, said:

"Eldest of my grandsons! Listen and always remember my strict injunction to you: In life never do as others do."

Having said this, she gazed at the bridge of my nose and evidently noticing my perplexity and my obscure understanding of what she had said, added somewhat angrily and imposingly:

"Either do nothing - just go to school - or do something that nobody else does."

She died immediately. The words registered deeply in the young Gurdjieff's soul and at a memorial service 40 days later instead of grieving along with his family , he started singing and skipping around the grave. (Something that nobody else ever did!)

And let's hear it for Krishnamurti!

It was at a Krishnamurti talk under the oaks in Ojai some twenty years ago that he revealed the "secret" of living to the several thousand of us who were there listening to him. He even used the word "secret,"and that he spoke of it at all was unusual, because he rarely talked about himself.

Partway through the dialogue, he suddenly paused, leaned forward and said, almost conspiratorially. "So you want to know what my secret is?"

We all sat up, even more alert than we had been, if that was possible. Almost as though we were one body. we leaned forward, our mouths and ears opened in hushed anticipation. Did we want to know his secret? Heck, yes! That's why we were all there, wasn't it? That's why we came to Ojai every spring: to listen to K. in the hope that we would "get it," that we could figure out what his secret was.

He paused. and then he said in a soft, almost shy voice, "You see, I don't mind what happens."
I don't mind what happens. The great man's words reverberated silently in by mind. They shook me to the core.

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