11. "It ends"
'The future of humanity' was an apt topic to end the long series of dialogues. Although there are in the archives seven recordings titled 'Ojai small group table talks' with K and Bohm in Ojai 1984, starting 24th February till 3rd of March, they have remained unpublished.
Mary Cadogan, who was the secretary of Krishnamurti Foundation for three decades and who edited the book The Ending of Time, suggested to both that still one more session of dialogues should be arranged. Bohm agreed, but Krishnamurti refused, referring to Bohm's health.
There are various speculations and gossip about what had happened, but no way to find out the truth. Krishnamurti briefly explained to Cadogan the reason for his refusal: "You know what happened at Ojai."
"Yes, David was ill", she answered. The topic was never again raised.
In Bohm's biography Peat tells that in spring 1984 Bohm flew to Ojai to meet Krishnamurti and attended the seven table talks with several other people, but felt weak and stressed.
So that was it. No more dialogues.
However, I find it very difficult to imagine that there could be something they had not covered in their dialogues. And that is what Krishnamurti felt, too.
The memoirs of Mary Zimbalist offer a robust documentation of friendship and deep respect between Krishnamurti and Bohm. Zimbalist spent two decades of her life closer to K than anybody. She tells how much K appreciated the chance to talk about topics he loved with a person that could passionately share the mutual interest.
Most of the people near Krishnamurti saw the significance of Bohm, but not all. To some his pedantry was intellectual nit-picking that did not help in the transformation.
Many people near Bohm thought that an exceptionally talented scientist wasted his time with this Asian mystic.
The two men came from totally different worlds and their lives were almost opposites. Their paths crossed leaving a legacy that has a monumental meaning to all those who have grasped that our old roads lead to a dead end and disaster.
Professor Renée Weber met both men many times. In her book Dialogues with Scientists and Sages - the search for unity Weber tells about these meetings with them.
One of four discussions with David Bohm gives an enlightening insight into meaning as a bridge between mind and matter. We react to meanings that we give to things, not what they actually are.
Matter as such has no meaning, but observing it makes it important or insignificant. So basically it is the context that matters. If we see that matter and meaning are part of the same system and indissolubly connected, there is no separation between them and either everything is full of meaning or nothing has any meaning. So the meaning is not in the object but in the observation.
The real meaning of everything is in the connection we have to it. This brings us back to the insight from which the dialogues started: the observer is the observed.
Some months later Weber met Krishnamurti in Switzerland. It was June 1985 and the last year of Saanen gatherings. Weber describes that Krishnamurti looked 'remarkably well although he has just passed his 90th birthday, his face - once famous for its almost preternatural beauty - shows age, but is compelling still, intelligent eyes, silky silver hair and sculptured head'.
After hearing the theme and content of Weber's book project Krishnamurti most politely but very sternly refused to give an interview and answer Weber's questions.
Instead, he spent over two hours describing passionately the sorrow that every human being lives in. He evoked the vision of a species bending its talents to probe its stellar origins in the remote past while its very continuity in the present and future lies in doubt.
In this struggle humanity is together but feels separate. Krishnamurti regards scientists as responsible for 'fuelling the war-machine' and cooperating with corrupt governments. He uses the analogy of cancer to describe the human distress.
"If my son or brother has just died, I am not going to want to discuss the Big Bang with you. I am in pain and interested in this, not that."
That is why Krishnamurti has no interest in discussing science or knowledge. They are trapped in the past, but truth lies in the living present, in this moment, in the eternal now.
Krishnamurti gave over a thousand talks around the world. His last public talk took place in Madras in January 1986 six weeks before his passing. Over 60 years of public speaking ended with two words that had no self-centred sentimentality in them: "It ends."
Krishnamurti died in California 17th February 1986 at the age of 90.
David Bohm retired in 1987 but continued working in the university although he had severe health problems. His book with F David Peat, Science, order and creativity was published in the very same year and posthumously with professor B.J. Hiley, a book called The Undivided Universe.
He also held eleven so-called Bohm seminars in Ojai during 1986-92. The seminar of 1991 had to be cancelled due to his health. They were weekend seminars with about 50 participants. The content of the 1990 seminar was published as a seminal book called Thought as a System.
Worth mentioning is also the book Unfolding Meaning, an edited transcript of a dialogue weekend in Cotswold Hills of England with a group of 44 people of various backgrounds. Also a book with photographer Mark Edwards called Changing Consciousness witnesses the brilliance of Bohm's view.
On October 27th 1992 he phoned from his study to his wife telling her that he would take a taxi home. After a heart attack he died in the taxi near home. It is not known what he talked about with the taxi driver, but the last words to his wife were: "I feel I´m on the edge of something."
Death is also the topic in the last dictation of the book Krishnamurti to himself - his last journal on March 30th 1984. After seeing a dead leaf he wonders, why we human beings can't die naturally and as beautifully as that leaf.
"As one looked at that dead leaf with all its beauty and colour, maybe one would very deeply comprehend, be aware of, what one's own death must be, not at the very end but at the very beginning. Death isn't some horrific thing, something to be avoided, something to be postponed, but something to be with day in and day out. And out of that comes an extraordinary sense of immensity."
We consider death the end of our mundane life, but it can also be an opening to the immensity of life. Seeing the sorrow of mankind and feeling the urgent need to act rightly, we have two alternatives: to react or to act.
Reacting means that the terror of thought continues. Acting means that the movement of ego stops and the mind is free to live and love without limits of thought. The energy of reaction is partial. It has a centre that is in endless conflict with other centres, whereas the energy of action is holistic.
The right action is not a matter of choice between two possibilities. We either see the world as it is or as we think it is. When you actually see, you are free.