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Wholeness of Life

Public Talks And Dialogue

The Wholeness of Life Part II Chapter 9 7th Public Talk Saanen 24th July 1977 'Because There Is Space, There Is Emptiness and Total Silence.'

Time, for us, is very important, both chronologically and psychologically. We depend so much on psychological time. Time is related to movement - from here to there takes time. A distance to be covered, to arrive at a goal, to fulfil a purpose, requires time.

To learn a language requires time. That has been carried over into the psychological field: "We need time to be perfect; we need time to get over something; we need time to be free of our anxieties; to be free of our sorrow; to be free of our fears and so on." Time is needed in practical matters, in the field of technology and so on and that need for time has been introduced into our psychological life and we have accepted it. To wipe away our nationalities, to become brotherly we think we need time. Psychological time implies hope; the world is mad, let us hope in the future there will be a sane world. We are questioning whether there is such a thing as psychological time at all. We ask: Is there an action in which time is not involved at all? Action arising from a cause, a motive, needs time. Action based on a pattern of memory needs time to put into action. If you have an ideal, however noble, however beautiful and romantic, however nonsensical even, you need time to arrive at that idealistic state. And to arrive at that you destroy the present. It does not matter what happens to you now; what is important is the future. For the sake of the future sacrifice yourself now - some marvellous future established by the ideologists, the religious teachers and so on throughout the world. We question that and ask whether there is any psychological time at all and therefore no hope. "What shall I do if I have no hope?" Hope is so important because it gives you satisfaction, energy, drive to achieve something.

When one looks closely, non-sentimentally, logically, is there psychological time at all? There is psychological time only when one moves away from "what is". There is psychological time when one realizes that one is violent and then proceeds to enquire how to be free of it; that movement away from "what is" is time. But if one is totally and completely aware of "what is", then there is no such time.

Most of us are violent. Violence is not only hitting somebody physically, but anger, jealousy, acceptance of authority, conformity, imitation, accepting the edicts of another. Human beings are violent; that is the fact - violence. The very word "violence" condemns it. By the very usage of the word "violence" you have already condemned violence. See the intricacies of this. Being violent and being negligent, or lazy, we move away from it and invent ideological non-violence. That is time - the movement from "what is" to "what should be". That time comes to an end, completely, when there is only "what is" - which is non-verbal identification with "what is". Anger is a form of violence, or hatred, jealousy. The words "anger", "hatred" or "jealousy" in themselves are condemnatory; they are verbalizations which strengthen by reaction. When I say "I am angry," I have recognized from past angers the present anger, so I am using the word "anger" which is of the past and identifying that word with the present. The word has become extraordinarily important; yet if there is no usage of the word so that there is only the fact, the reaction, then there is no strengthening of that feeling.

Is it possible to live, psychologically, without tomorrow? To say: "I love you, I will meet you tomorrow", that affection is in memory projected towards tomorrow. Is there an activity without time at all? Love is not time; it is not a remembrance. If it is, it is not love, obviously. "I love you because you gave me sex; or you gave me food, or flattered me; or you said you needed a companion; I am lonely therefore I need you" - all that is not love, surely? When there is jealousy, when there is anxiety or hatred, that is not love. So then what is love? Love is obviously a state of mind in which there is no verbalization, no remembrance, but something immediate.

There is a way of living, in daily life, where time as movement from this state to that, has gone. What happens when you do that? You have an extraordinary vitality, an extraordinary sense of clarity. You are then only dealing with facts, not with ideas. But as most of us are imprisoned in ideas and have accepted that way of life, it is very difficult to break away. But, have an insight into it, then it is finished.

Our minds are so cluttered up, with knowledge, with worries, with problems, with money, with position and prestige; they are so burdened that there is no space at all; yet without space there is no order.

When I look at this valley from a height and there is a direction because I want to see where I live, then I lose the vastness of space. Where there is direction space is limited. Where there is a purpose, a goal, something to be achieved, there is no space. If you have a purpose in life for which you are living, concentrating, where is there space? Whereas if there is no concentration there is vast space.

When there is a centre from which we look, then space is very limited. When there is no centre, that is to say, no structure of the me which has been put together by thought, there is vast space. Without space there is no order, there is no clarity, there is no compassion.

Living where there is no effort, where there is no action of will, where there is tremendous space, is part of meditation.

So far we have only dealt with the waves on the surface of the ocean. You have only dealt with the superficiality of it. Now, if you have gone so far you can go into the depth of the ocean - of course you must understand how to dive deeply; not you dive, it comes about.

There is concentration, choiceless awareness and attention. Concentration implies resistance. Concentration on a particular thing, on the page you are reading, or on the phrase you are trying to understand: to concentrate is to put all your energy in a particular direction. In concentration there is resistance and therefore effort and division. You want to concentrate, thought goes off on something else, you bring it back - the fight. If you are interested in something you concentrate very easily. Implied in the word concentrate is putting your mind on a particular object, a particular picture, a particular action.

Choiceless awareness is to be aware both externally and inwardly, without any choice. Just to be aware of the trees, the mountains, nature, just to be aware. Not choose, saying, "I like this", "I don't like that", or "I want this", "I don't want that". It is to observe without the observer. The observer is the past, which is conditioned, always looking from that conditioned point of view, therefore there is like and dislike and so on. To be choicelessly aware implies observing the whole environment around you, the mountains, the trees, also the ugly world and the towns; just to be aware, observe and in that observation there is no decision, no will, no choice.

In attention there is no centre, there is no me attending. When there is no me which limits attention then attention is limitless; attention has limitless space.

After understanding all the waves on the surface - fear, authority, all the petty affairs compared to that which we are going into - the mind has then emptied consciousness of the whole of its content. It is empty; not through action of will, not through desire, not through choice. Consciousness, then, is totally different, is of a totally different dimension.

Because there is space there is emptiness and total silence - not induced silence, not practised silence; which are all just the movement of thought and therefore absolutely worthless. When you have gone through all this - and there is great delight in going through all this, it is like playing a tremendous game - then in that total silence there is a movement which is timeless, which is not measured by thought - thought has no place in it whatsoever - then there is something totally sacred, timeless.

Wholeness of Life

Public Talks And Dialogue

The Wholeness of Life Part II Chapter 9 7th Public Talk Saanen 24th July 1977 'Because There Is Space, There Is Emptiness and Total Silence.'

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ancient Chinese treatise by Sun Tzu

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