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Wholeness of Life

Public Talks And Dialogue

The Wholeness of Life Part II Chapter 17 6th Public Talk Saanen 21st July 1977 'When There Is an Ending to Consciousness with Its Content There Is Something Entirely Different'

To observe holistically is to observe - or to listen to - the whole content of something. Normally, we look at things partially, according to our pleasure, or according to our conditioning, or according to some idealistic point of view; we always look at things fragmentarily. The politician is mostly concerned with politics; the economist, the scientist, the business man, each has his own concern, generally throughout life. It seems that we never take, or observe the whole movement of life - like a full river with a great volume of water behind it; water right from beginning to end. It may become polluted but, given sufficient extent, it can cleanse itself. So,in the same way, we can treat life holistically moving totally from the beginning to the end without any fragmentation, without any deviation, without any illusion. It is important to understand how the mind creates illusions of self-importance and all the various types of illusions which are comforting and safe - at least for the time being. We look at something with a preconceived idea or belief, so that we never really actually see it.

Illusions are created by seeking satisfaction in desire. Satisfaction is entirely different from ecstasy. Ecstasy is a state of being, or not being, which is outside of oneself. That is ecstasy in which there is no experiencing. The moment there is experiencing, then it is the self with its past memories, its recollections, which is translating, creating illusions. Ecstasy never creates illusions. You cannot hold on to ecstasy because it is outside of oneself; there is no question of remembering it; there is no question of wanting it; wanting it is the desire to satisfy and that creates illusion.

Most of us are caught in some kind of illusion - the illusion of being, or not being, the illusion of power, position and so on: whole categories projected from the centre, which is the me. Illusion means to see sensuously through a definite conclusion, prejudice, or idea.

A mind that is caught in illusions has no order. Order can only come about holistically. We need order; even in a very small room one puts things in their right place otherwise it becomes disorderly, ugly, and lacking repose. We think order, psychologically, is in the following of a certain pattern or a certain routine which we have already established in the past. Order is, psychologically, something entirely different; it can only come about when there is clarity. Clarity brings order, not the other way round; try to seek order then that becomes mechanistic, a conformity to a pattern in which there can be no clarity.

Order implies harmony in daily life. Harmony is not an idea. We are caught in the prison of ideas and there is no harmony in that. Harmony and clarity imply seeing things holistically, observing life as a total unitary movement - not, I am a business man at the office and a different person at home; not, I am an artist and can do the most absurd and eccentric things; not this breaking up, or fragmenting, of life into various categories, the elite and the non-elite, the worker and the non-worker, the intellectual and the romantic, which is the way we normally live. See how important it is to treat life as a total movement in which everything is included, in which there is no breaking down, as the good and the bad and heaven and hell. See holistically so that when you observe your friend, or your wife or your husband, you see holistically in that relationship.

We think of freedom as freedom from something - freedom from sorrow, from anxiety, from work - which is really reaction and therefore not freedom at all. When someone says "I am free from smoking", that is a response from what has been, a moving away from what has been. But we are talking of freedom which is not from something, which implies observing holistically.

In observing holistically there is no fragmentation, or direction in that observation; for when there is direction there is distortion. Only when there is complete freedom can you observe holistically and in that observation there is no satisfaction and therefore there is no illusion.

So, observe life as a total movement, non-fragmented, holistic, flowing continuously - "continuously" but not in the sense of time. Usually the word "continuous" implies time; but there is a continuity which is not of time. We think of the relationship between the past and the future as a continuity, without breaking up. That is what we generally understand by the word "continuity", which is of time. Time is movement, a time-span to be covered through days, months, or years, with an ideal to be achieved at the end of it. Time implies thought; thought is a movement of measure; the movement of time. But,is there a continuity - if we can use that word, which is not perhaps quite right - is there a continuity which is not a series of incidents related to the past as cause becoming effect now and the effect in turn becoming future cause? Is there a state of being in which there is an ending, a coming to an end, of everything?

We think of life as a measured movement in time; a movement which ends in death. Up to that point that is what we call continuity. Yet one observes a movement which is not of time, which is not a remembrance of something of the past going through the present and modifying the future and so continuing. There is a state of mind which is dying to everything that is happening; all that happens is coming in and flowing out - there is no retaining but always a flowing out. That state of mind has its own sense of beauty and "continuity" which is not of time.

Every religion, from ancient times, has tried to find out if there is something beyond death. The Ancient Egyptians thought that, in a way, living is part of death, so you carried over your slaves, your cattle, as you died. To go over to the other side was to live as you have lived this side, in the past. That was a continuity. The ancient people of India said life must have a continuity; for otherwise what is the point of achieving moral character, having so much experience in life, having suffered so much, if it merely ends in death - what is the point of it? Therefore, they said, there must be a future and in that future the content of consciousness is modified life after life; its content went on. The Christians have a different kind of fulfilment, such as the resurrection and so on. But, we want to find the truth of it; not what you think, not what the professionals, the priests and the psychologists think. There have appeared certain articles in the press in America and Europe affirming that people have "died" and come back to daily life remembering having experienced extraordinary "after death" states, light, beauty - whatever. One questions whether they really died, because if one is really dead it means that oxygen is not going to the brain and after several minutes the brain deteriorates; when there is real death there is no coming back and therefore no recollection of something after you die. Death may be a most extraordinary experience, much greater than so-called love, much greater than any desire, any idea, any conclusion; or it may be the end of everything, of every form of relationship, every form of recollection, remembrance, accumulation. It may be total annihilation; the complete ending of everything. One must find out what is the truth of the matter.

To come upon the truth, every form of identification must end, every form of fear, every desire for comfort. One must not be caught in that illusion which says: "Yes, there is a marvellous state after death." The mind must have no identification with the name, with the form, or with any person, idea, conclusion. Is that possible? That does not deny love; on the contrary, when one is attached to a person there is no love; there is dependence; there is the fear of being left alone in a world where everything is so insecure, both psychologically and outwardly. To find out what is the truth of death, what is the meaning, the real depth, of that extraordinary thing that must happen, there must be freedom. And there is no freedom when there is attachment, when there is fear, when there is a desire for comfort. Can one put all that aside? To find the truth of this extraordinary thing called death one must also find the truth of what is before death; not the truth after death, but also the truth before death. What is the truth before death? If that is not clear the other cannot be clear. One must look very closely, carefully and freely, at what is before death, which we call living. What is the truth of one's living? - which means what is one, or who is one - which one calls living? A heavily conditioned mind brought about through education, environment, culture, through religious sanctions, beliefs and dogmas, rituals, "my country", "your country", the constant battle, wanting to be happy and being unhappy, depressed and elated, going through anxiety, uncertainty, hate, envy and the pursuit of pleasure; afraid to be alone, fear of loneliness, old age, disease - this is the truth of our life, our daily life. Can such a mind, which has not put order in this life - order in the sense of that which comes through clarity and compassion - can such a mind which is so utterly fragmented, disorderly, frightened, find out the truth about something outside of all that?

So what is the truth of death - that is, complete ending? There may be annihilation, or there may be something; but that is a hope creating distortion and illusion; so one is cutting that out.

One can only find out the truth of it when there is an ending - an ending to everything that you have; the ending to attachment, not giving it a day, ending it completely, now. That is what death means - ending, complete ending; and when there is complete ending something new is born.

Fear is a burden, a terrible burden and when one removes that burden completely there is something new that takes place. But one is afraid of ending - either ending at the end of one's life, or ending now. End your vanity, because without ending there is no beginning. We are caught in this continuity of never ending. When there is total, complete, holistic, ending there is something totally new beginning, which you cannot possibly imagine; it is a totally different dimension.

To find out the truth of death, there must be the ending of the content of one's consciousness. Then one will never ask "Who am I?' or `What am I?" One is one's consciousness with its content. When there is an ending to that consciousness with its content there is something entirely different, which is not imagined. Human beings have sought immortality in their actions; one writes a book and in that book there is one's immortality as a writer; a great painter makes a painting and that painting becomes the immortality of that human being. All that must end - which no artist is willing to do.

Each human being is a representative of the whole of humanity and when there is that change in consciousness one brings about a change in the human consciousness. Death is the ending of this consciousness as one knows it.

Wholeness of Life

Public Talks And Dialogue

The Wholeness of Life Part II Chapter 17 6th Public Talk Saanen 21st July 1977 'When There Is an Ending to Consciousness with Its Content There Is Something Entirely Different'

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