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Wholeness of Life

Public Talks And Dialogue

The Wholeness of Life Part II Chapter 4 5th Public Talk Ojai California 16th April 1977 'Death--a Great Act of Purgation'

Death is something not only mysterious but a great act of purgation. That which continues in a repetitive pattern is degeneration. The pattern may vary according to country, according to climate, according to circumstance, but it is a pattern. Moving in any pattern brings about a continuity and that continuity is part of the degenerating process of man. When there is an ending of continuity, something new can take place. One can understand it instantly if one has understood the whole movement of thought, of fear, hate, love - then one can grasp the significance, instantly, of what death is.

What is death? When one asks that question, thought has many answers. Thought says: "I do not want to go into all the miserable explanations of death." Every human being has an answer to it, according to his conditioning, according to his desire, his hope. Thought always has an answer. The answer will invariably be intellectual, verbally put together by thought. But one is examining, without having an answer, something totally unknown, totally mysterious - death is a tremendous thing.

One realizes that the organism, the body, dies and the brain - having in life been misused in various forms of self-indulgence, contradiction, effort, constant struggle, wearing itself out mechanically, for it is a mechanism - also dies. The brain is the repository of memory; memory as experience, as knowledge. From that experience and knowledge, stored up in the cells of the brain, as memory, thought arises. When the organism comes to an end, the brain also comes to an end, and so thought comes to an end. Thought is a material process - thought is nothing spiritual - it is a material process based on memory held in the cells of the brain; when the organism dies, thought dies. Thought creates the whole structure of the me - the me that wants this, the me that does not want that, the me that is fearful, anxious, despairing, longing, lonely - fearful of dying. And thought says: "What is the value, what is the significance of life for a human being who has struggled, experienced, acquired, lived in such an ugly, stupid, miserable way and then for it to end?" So, thought then says: "No, this is not the end, there is another world." But that other world is still merely the movement of thought.

One asks what happens after death. Now ask quite a different question: What is before death? - not what is after death. What is before death, which is one's life. What is one's life? Go to school, to college, university, get a job, man and woman live together, he goes off to the office for 50 years, she goes off earning more money, they have children, pain, anxiety, each fighting. Living such a miserable life one wants to know what is after death - about which volumes have been written, all produced by thought, all saying, "Believe". So, if one puts all that aside, literally, actually, puts it all aside, then what is one faced with? - the actual fact that oneself who is put together by thought, comes to an end - all one's anxieties, all one's longings come to an end. When one is living, as one is living now, with vigour, with energy, with all the travail of life, can one live meeting death now? I am living in all vigour, energy and capacity, and death means an ending to that living. Now, can I live with death all the time? That is: I am attached to you; end that attachment, which is death - is it not? One is greedy and when one dies, one cannot carry greed with one; so end the greed, not in a week's time, or ten days' time - end it, now. So one is living a life full of vigour, energy, capacity, observation, seeing the beauty of the earth and also the ending of that instantly, which is death. So to live before death is to live with death; which means that one is living in a timeless world. One is living a life in which everything that one acquires is constantly ending, so that there is always a tremendous movement, one is not fixed in a certain place. This is not a concept. When one invites death, which means the ending of everything that one holds, dying to it, each day, each minute, then one will find - not "one" there is then no oneself finding it, because one has gone - then there is that state of a timeless dimension in which the movement we know as time, is not. It means the emptying of the content of one's consciousness so that there is no time; time comes to an end, which is death.

Wholeness of Life

Public Talks And Dialogue

The Wholeness of Life Part II Chapter 4 5th Public Talk Ojai California 16th April 1977 'Death--a Great Act of Purgation'

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