You are here
Chapter 59 - Separation leads to conflict
To avoid the world is to be worldly. We avoid it in so many ways. Avoidance is resistance to what is. The idealist and the intellectual, the emotional man, the religious man and the man of the world, all resist what is in their own specialized ways. So there is never any radical change or revolution. This resistance or avoidance is cultivated from childhood until we die. This has been the tradition not only in the East but also in the West; it does not belong to the East or the West, for man is not European, Asian or American. The fundamental question is whether it is possible to live a daily life without any resistance, that is, without any defence. Is it possible to be vulnerable, therefore highly sensitive, and yet carry on with our daily occupations?
As this is not done, the inevitable consequence is the separative process which one cultivates through the defence mechanism, and this separative process must inevitably lead to conflict in all relationships. This inner conflict becomes outer conflict leading to national divisions, religious divisions, moral divisions, and so on. Is it possible in society to live a life without conflict, without resistance, without any form of avoidance of what is? The what is is always in the active present. resistance to this living activity comes through past memories of what has been and hope of what might be. The remembrance of the past and the hope of the future is the avoidance of what is. We resist the actual. The actual is anger, or sorrow, or despair, or a moment of joy. Can one look at sorrow without any form of resistance or avoidance, look at it not only with the senses but also without the self-pitying process, and not escape from it; neither condemning it nor accepting it, which are both forms of avoiding what is? What is is sorrow or pain.
Looking is always in the present. If you say,' I have looked', and you look at the present with what you have learned from that look and with the memory of that look, then you are really looking with eyes that are clouded by past memories, and so you do not look at all. really to look at this sorrow with which humanity has lived since we began, is to look without time. When there is no resistance, then this sorrow loses it sting. But to accept sorrow, or to worship it, or to explain it away, is never to come into direct contact with it.
The network of escapes which we have cultivated through alcohol, through sex, through the organized beliefs we call religion, through obedience to the State or to some ideology, is in effect resistance to, avoidance of what is, both inwardly and outwardly. All cultivation of the tradition of resistance denies freedom. The remembrance of past action is inaction, for action is a movement in the present, the action which springs from what is, not from the remembrance of what was.