Space. We can attack it from various aspects. But the space that you are trying to straighten out is the space that you take with you wherever you go. All your meditations, all your rooting out of the past, all your endeavour to make your body rhythmical which is what happens when it loses its emotion, has a corresponding effect on your space. Most men’s space is twisted, distorted, a time web of emotion. He doesn’t know what he wants, he only knows that he wants. He doesn’t have any right values because he wants so many things and you can’t have right values while you want.

Yet he knows this and that is the reason why you’re here, I’m here – to want less. To straighten the lines of force in our space so that when anyone enters them they don’t get distorted by our wanting, our emotion and our imagination.

This room has a good space. It has the space that I put into it. It has the space for Julie that she puts into it. And now it has the combined space. But really it’s only got your space for you. But your space, because it is not as clear as the space in this room, will be straightened out by the higher or clearer space, for a while.

Wherever you go this applies. You can go to places where there’s clearer space. When you walk outside you take your space with you and the world’s space is very, very emotional. Your job is to be able to carry your space with you and keep it clear. Keep the force lines straight. Keep the snakes out of it. That’s what meditation is for and what all the pain and suffering is about.

You will never be the same again once you have entered this space. You can say well that’s the same wherever I go. Of course it’s the same. But you will never settle ever again for any space that is less than this. Your soul will not settle for it, whatever that is. Never.

But you can get out and get into wrong company which is just about the entire world of discussion and beliefs and your snakes will come back. Because it is a temporary thing when we clear our space under these forced circumstances of right company. You get out there and you really believe that you are going in the same direction as you were when you were in right company. But you’re not. You’re only deluding yourself. You cannot go forward without right company.

Often right company is to cut yourself off from other people rather than to surrender to wrong company. Even your best friend or your mother can be wrong company. So it is the search for right company that is half the battle. And our space is disturbed by our attachment to our mothers and families and all these things that have loved us so much. But we have to get our attitude right to them – to keep them, there, outside our space while our space is right. And that causes us great pain. And that’s what you are all going through.

You can never relent. Every time you relent you know you’ve failed. If you let them in you fail then. Once you pursue this way you have to pursue it utterly. For the saving of those you love most you must not let the emotion in. The higher the knowledge the greater the responsibility. You enter my space, as far as I am concerned, you have greater responsibility. You carry a clearer space. You get more knowledge. Not my knowledge for I give you nothing. But I give you right company, I give you love of life and in that you and I share one pointedness. Nothing else do we share in this world but one-pointedness. And that keeps my space clean and clear and helps to straighten yours.

This philosophy which is a part of me and I am a part of it recognizes that the only truth is in the centre of the space between us all. That is the highest intelligence there is. And what your object is, whether you know it or not, is to produce that space or intelligence within us. And that is called absence. Absence of wanting, absence of trying.

But in the beginning, we have what is called self knowledge. Little areas of space scattered around our consciousness or psyche and we need right company to bring it together into a coherent whole which will have some power. And that power is purely the power to stop thought, to keep the mind centered, to be one-pointed, to never let up, to never give up, to never let one single thought in that you do not want in.

That space outside is so beautifully clear you will notice. It’s always there wherever you go. There’s got to be space for there to be people or individuals. That is the symbol of the space of truth, the vast intelligence that we are trying to create in ourselves by getting rid of the past and emotion. When we get rid of the emotion, get rid of the wanting, get rid of the trying, get rid of the searching, then there is an idea which consists of nothing but space.

Barry Long

© The Barry Long Trust 2009

An extract from a unique early audio recording from 26 October 1977 made in the intimacy of Barry Long’s living room in London.