1. MEDITATION AND CONCENTRATION
In its beginning, meditation is an exercise in control of the attention. Attention is not an
achievement. Attention has no border, no frontier to cross; attention is clarity, clear of all thought.
Thought, as Krishnamurti emphasizes, can never make for clarity, because it has its roots in the dead past; so thinking is an action in the dark. Awareness of this is to be attentive.
The Bhagavad Gita states:
This is not the doctrine of despair or of mindlessness; it means that, as Kenneth Walker wrote in Diagnosis of Man:
"By means of sensuous perception and inference, we shall never stand face to face with
To know something, as distinct from knowing about it, or knowing some of its attributes, we need the higher mental power of the intuition. Krishnamurti puts it like this: "meditation is not an intellectual process which is still within the area of thought. Meditation is the freedom from thought, and a movement in the ecstasy of truth".
We must be very clear that meditation is NOT concentration. Concentration comes before meditation: a long way before. Christmas Humphries writes: "Before a man can fence, he must learn to handle a rapier, so that the rapier, hand and eye can follow the will as one.
Before a girl can dance, she must train her muscles until the body as a whole will express the beauty in the mind. Before a man can use his mind to develop his inner faculties, to increase his understanding and to integrate the vast range of related parts which make up 'se1f’, he must develop and learn to control the instrument involved."
The best analogy is the searchlight. Here is an efficient and impersonal machine. It can be directed to a given object at will, moved rapidly from one object to another, focused as needed and equally well turned off at will. The light employed comes from a supply that has no ending and is drawn on by the skill of, but not from the person of the operator. So with the mind. The more perfect the instrument and its control, the more clearly
will the light of consciousness be focused, without wavering, on the chosen field ....It is not my light or yours. It is the light of consciousness.
"In brief", says Christmas Humphries, "no man can meditate until he has learned to concentrate; let him who denies it try." Hence our insistence that, although the
aim of meditation is eventually to transcend the intellect by development of higher mental powers, FIRST ONE MUST HAVE AN INTELLECT T0 TRANSCEND.