The Nothingness of Personality

Fiction 1968-

A lone ram on the bridle path to Kaisdhar. Pine, deodar and fir forests rise up behind. Eight and a half thousand feet up in the Indian Himalayas.
Monsoon clouds as the sun sets over the Himalayas.

“This life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of this entire existence, but in a certain sense the whole; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance. This, as we know, is what the Brahmins express in that sacred, mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear; tat tvam asi, this is you. Or, again, in such words as ‘I am in the east and the west, I am above and below, I am this entire world.’”

—   Erwin Schrödinger, My View of the World (1961) translated from Mein Leben, meine Weltansicht (1961)

“God is a metaphor for a mystery that absolutely transcends all human categories of thought, even the categories of being and non-being.”

—   Joseph Campbell, from the documentary The Hero’s Journey
Sun setting through deodar and pine forest in the Indian Himalayas.

“[Siddhartha] felt little curiosity for the teachings, he did not believe that they would teach him anything new, but he had, just as Govinda had, heard the contents of this Buddha’s teachings again and again, though these reports only represented second- or third-hand information. But attentively he looked at Gotama’s head, his shoulders, his feet, his quietly dangling hand, and it seemed to him as if every joint of every finger of this hand was of these teachings, spoke of, breathed of, exhaled the fragrant of, glistened of truth.”

—   Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse (1922)

“Watchfulness — this all-around attention into myself of what was before me and within — brought about a state of totality of being, an attentiveness without attachment, plus freedom from all ideas, thoughts or dreams. Only complete perception, a polyangular intense watchfulness, can bring this about. This was a prelude to experiencing the wholeness of life.”

—   Dada Gavand’s description of his spiritual practice prior to enlightenment, from his autobiography Intelligence Beyond Thought (2006)
The Kulu Vase is, in fact, a chased copper goblet or water pot, 15cm high of Buddhist design and estimated to date from the first century BCE. It was discovered in the monastery of Gondhola in Lahaul in 1857 when a landslide revealed a monk’s cell said to have been closed for one and a half thousand years. It is considered to be the earliest example of figurative decoration of a metal vessel in India. Currently in the British Museum.

“To be an individual and to be yourself you don’t have to do a thing. Culture demands that you should be something other than what you are. What a tremendous amount of energy — the will, the effort — we waste trying to become that! If that energy is released, what is it that we can’t do? How simple it would be for every one of us to live in this world!”

—   UG Krishnamurti, from Thought is Your Enemy (1990)

“It would be more interesting to learn from children, than try to teach them how to behave, how to live and how to function.”

—   UG Krishnamurti