Nature Writings We have introduced Krishnamurti in the 'Selected Masters' section, and saw that he could not be called primarily a Nature mystic in his teaching or thinking. However the space which he devotes to descriptions of Nature in his notebooks indicates the importance it held for him, and we also know that he spent a considerable time walking in Nature and gardening where the opportunity allowed. Perhaps the best of his many 'notebooks' is The Only Revolution, which introduces each section with keenly observed natural scenes, though not observed in the way that a naturalist would. Here are some examples:
The sun wasn't up yet; you could see the morning star through the trees. There was a silence that was really extraordinary. Not the silence between two noises or between two notes, but the silence that has no reason whatsoever the silence that must have been at the beginning of the world. It filled the whole valley and the hills.
The two big owls, calling to each other, never disturbed that silence, and a distant dog barking at the late moon was part of this immensity. The dew was especially heavy, and as the sun came up over the hill it was sparkling with many colours and with the glow that comes with the sun's first rays.
The delicate leaves of the jacaranda were heavy with dew, and birds came to have their morning baths, fluttering their wings so the dew on those delicate leaves filled their feathers. The crows were particularly persistent; they would hop from one branch to another, pushing their heads through the leaves, fluttering their wings, and preening themselves. There were about half-a-dozen of them on that one heavy branch, and there were many other birds, scattered all over the tree, taking their morning bath.
And this silence spread, and seemed to go beyond the hills. There were the usual noises of children shouting, and laughter; and the farm began to wake up.
It was going to be a cool day, and now the hills were taking on the light of the sun. They were very old hills probably the oldest in the world with oddly shaped rocks that seemed to be carved out with great care, balanced one on top of the other; but no wind or touch could loosen them from this balance.
It was a valley far removed from towns, and the road through it led to another village. The road was rough and there were no cars or buses to disturb the ancient quietness of this valley. There were bullock carts, but their movement was a part of the hills. There was a dry river bed that only flowed with water after heavy rains, and the colour was a mixture of red, yellow and brown; and it, too, seemed to move with the hills. And the villagers who walked silently by were like the rocks.
The day wore on and towards the end of the evening, as the sun was setting over the western hills, the silence came in from afar, over the hills, through the trees, covering the little bushes and the ancient banyan. And as the stars became brilliant, so the silence grew into great intensity; you could hardly bear it.
The little lamps of the village were put out, and with sleep the intensity of that silence grew deeper, wider and incredibly over-powering. Even the hills became more quiet, for they, too, had stopped their whisperings, their movement, and seemed to lose their immense weight. (The Only Revolution, p. 24) For Krishnamurti, Nature's appeal is in the silence that resonates between him and it. He, like Jefferies, was glad for the minimum of modern intrusion on nature, so that the human blended with it and did not jar. In the next extract it is clear how people and their obliviousness to nature pained Krishnamurti.
On every table there were daffodils, young, fresh, just out of the garden, with the bloom of spring on them still. On a side table there were lilies, creamy-white with sharp yellow centres. To see this creamy-white and the brilliant yellow of those many daffodils was to see the blue sky, ever expanding, limitless, silent.
Almost all the tables were taken by people talking very loudly and laughing. At a table nearby a woman was surreptitiously feeding her dog with the meat she could not eat. They all seemed to have huge helpings, and it was not a pleasant sight to see people eating; perhaps it may be barbarous to eat publicly. A man across the room had filled himself with wine and meat and was just lighting a big cigar, and a look of beatitude came over his fat face. His equally fat wife lit a cigarette. Both of them appeared to be lost to the world.
And there they were, the yellow daffodils, and nobody seemed to care. They were there for decorative purposes that had no meaning at all; and as you watched them their yellow brilliance filled the noisy room. Colour has this strange effect upon the eye. It wasn't so much that the eye absorbed the colour, as that the colour seemed to fill your being. You were that colour; you didn't become that colour you were of it, without identification or name: the anonymity which is innocence. Where there is no anonymity there is violence, in all its different forms.
But you forgot the world, the smoke-filled room, the cruelty of man, and the red, ugly meat; those shapely daffodils seemed to take you beyond all time.
Love is like that. In it there in no time, space or identity. It is the identity that breeds pleasure and pain; it is the identity that brings hate and war and builds a wall around people, around each one, each family and community. Man reaches over the wall to the other man but he too is enclosed; morality is a word that bridges the two, and so it becomes ugly and vain.
Love isn't like that; it is like the wood across the way, always renewing itself because it is always dying. There is no permanency in it, which thought seeks; it is a movement which thought can never understand, touch or feel. The feeling of thought and the feeling of love are two different things; the one leads to bondage and the other to the flowering of goodness. The flowering is not within the area of any society, of any culture or of any religion, whereas the bondage belongs to all societies, religious beliefs and faiths in otherness. Love is anonymous, therefore not violent. Pleasure is violent, for desire and will are moving factors in it. Love cannot be begotten by thought, or by good works. The denial of the total process of thought becomes the beauty of action which is love. Without this there is no bliss of truth.
And over there, on that table, were the daffodils. (The Only Revolution, p. 145) This is included because it shows many of Krishnamurti's concerns and how he related them to Nature. In the daffodils he 'forgot the world'; for Krishnamurti, more like Jefferies than like Whitman, was not the 'rough' type that allows for the common, coarse and good-natured. The following passage shows again Krishnamurti's sensitivity to nature (he is speaking to Asit Chandmal):
"Have you noticed, sir, " he said, "that when you enter a forest, for the first time there is a strange atmosphere, as if nature, the trees, do not want you to enter. You hesitate, and say 'It's alright,' and walk in quietly. The second day the resistance is less. And the third day it is gone."
I do not communicate with nature, and so this was something I had never discussed with Krishnamurti.