The Sea Beyond the Mountains

by magnus26

Many years ago when I worked at a record store I was afforded a great deal of latitude in when I carried out my duties. Around the corner, there was a bookstore that specialized in remaindered books, mostly titles for $1. I picked up a Krishnamurti title or two. My colleague and I spent many hours joking about “Murti”, in a good natured sort of way assuming he could not be all he was cracked up to be. I don’t think history has been all that kind to Krishnamurti, but I’m not curious enough to read beyond a few hack internet slanders. It doesn’t matter to me that he was vain or a little cagey. I like his books. In my basement, where a few stacks of such books can be found, by some stroke of indecision and laziness undiscarded — I chanced this morning upon Commentaries On Living: 2nd Series. From the Notebooks of J. Krishnamurti. 

And they are lovely things, these books. Harper and Brothers. Hardback. Original edition, 1958. It doesn’t look like any kind of collectors item, but the paper must have been something close to acid free. The pages fall open nicely to where you want to read. There is neatly penciled on the first page:

5/05        Krishnamurti        OP 7.50

He came to mind from Weber, who mentions him a few times, almost in passing. Was he a poet, Krishnamurti? I don’t know, but he can write. From a section entitled Meditation–Effort–Consciousness (in elegant small caps):

The sea was beyond the mountains to the east of the valley, and through the centre of the valley a river made its way leisurely to the sea. The river flowed full all the year round, and it was beautiful even where it passed by the town, which was quite large. The townspeople used the river for everything–for fishing, for bathing, for drinking water, for sewage disposal, and the wastes of a factory went into it. But the river threw off all the filth of man, and its waters were once again clear and blue soon after it had passed his habitations.

Sigh. I really had not intended to make this a fetishistic account of my love of old books, but just had to share that.