For most of us, our whole life is based on opposition, on some act of the will to go against the flow. And we cannot conceive an action without volition, without effort; Our life is based on it. Our social, economic, and “spiritual” life is a series of efforts that always culminate in a certain result. And we believe that opposition is essential, necessary.
Why do we make efforts? Is it not, simply said, in order to achieve a result, to become something, to reach a goal? And, if we don’t make an effort, we believe that we will stagnate.
““The true may sometimes not be plausible.”.”
We have an idea about the goal towards which we constantly strive; and that struggle has become part of our life. If we want to transform ourselves, if we want to produce a radical change in ourselves, we make a tremendous effort to eliminate old habits, to resist the usual influences of the environment, and the rest. We are, therefore, accustomed to this series of efforts to find or achieve something, even to live.
And every effort like that is not the activity of the self? Isn’t the opposition an egocentric activity? And if we make an effort from the center of the self, he will inevitably produce more conflict, more confusion, more misfortune. And yet, we continue to make effort after effort. And very few of us understand that the egocentric activity of the opposition does not dispel any of our problems. On the contrary, it increases our confusion, our miseries and our pain. We know this, but we continue to hope that we will somehow make our way through this egocentric activity of opposition to the facts, or action of the will.
I think we will understand the significance of life, if we understand what it means to make an effort. Does the opposition bring happiness?
““The only way to be happy is to like to suffer.”.”
Have you ever tried to be happy? It is impossible, right? They fight to be happy, and happiness doesn’t come, isn’t it? Joy does not arise through repression or control or complacency itself. We can please ourselves, but in the end there will be bitterness. We can repress or dominate ourselves, but there will always be a struggle in the recesses. Therefore, happiness is not the result of effort, nor is jubilation the result of control and repression; and yet our whole life is a series of repressions, a series of controls, a series of complacencies that bring regret. Constantly, likewise, we dominate ourselves, we fight with our passions, our greed and our stupidity. Do we not fight, do not fight, do not strive in the hope of finding happiness, of finding something that gives us a feeling of peace, a feeling of love? And yet, does love or understanding arise through effort? I think it is very important to understand what we mean by struggle, porphyry or half-blind effort.
Doesn’t the opposition mean a struggle to change what it is for what it is not, or for what it should be or become? That is, we constantly fight to avoid facing what it is; or we try to get away from it and transform or modify what it is. The truly happy man is one who understands what he is, who attributes the true meaning to what he is. That is the real happy. It has nothing to do with the possession of few or many things but with the understanding of the total meaning of what it is; and this can only come when we recognize what it is, when we realize what it is, not when we try to modify it or change it.
We see, then, that the opposition is a stubbornness or a struggle to transform that which is into what I wish it to be. I am talking only about the psychological struggle, not the struggle with a physical problem such as engineering, or some purely technical discovery or transformation. I speak only of that struggle that is psychological or emotional, and that always overcomes the technical. We may build a wonderful society with great care, using the infinite knowledge that science has given us. But as long as we have not understood the emotional opposition, the fight and the psychological battle, and we have not overcome the subconscious currents and impulses, the structure of society, no matter how wonderful its construction, will have to collapse, as has happened before.
The opposition separates us from what it is. Not well I accept what it is, there is no fight. Every form of struggle or effort is a sign of distraction; and that deviation, which is an effort, will have to exist while in the psychological I want to transform what is into something that is not.
We need to start by being free to see that joy and happiness do not come from effort. Does creation arise through effort, or does it arise only when effort ceases? When do you write, paint or sing, when do you believe? Of course when you do not relax, when you do not strain, when you are completely receptive, when at all levels you are in complete communion, when in you there is complete integration: Then there is joy, and then you begin to sing, to write a poem or to paint or model something. The creative moment is not born of the struggle.
By understanding the question of “creativity,” we may be able to understand what we mean by effort. Is “creativity” a result of the effort, and do we realize ourselves in the moments when we are creators? Or is “creativity” a sense of total forgetfulness of oneself, that feeling that is experienced when there is no turbulence, when one is entirely unaware of the movement of thought, when there is only the complete, full, exuberant being?
Is that state a result of the eagerness, the struggle, the conflict, the opposition? I don’t know if you have ever noticed that when you do something easily, promptly, there is no effort, there is complete absence of struggle; But since our life is mostly a series of battles, conflicts, struggles, we cannot imagine a life, a state of being in which the struggle has ceased completely.
To understand the state of being in which there is no struggle, that state of creative existence, it is necessary, by the way, to examine in full the problem of the opposition. We understand by effort the struggle for self-realization, to become something, don’t we? I am this, and I want to become that; I am not that, and I must become it. In the fact of becoming “that” there is struggle, there is battle, conflict, struggle. In this struggle, we are inevitably interested in filling ourselves with an end; we seek our own satisfaction in an object, in a person, in an idea, and that demands constant battle, struggle, effort to become, to be realized. Luckily we have considered this effort inevitable; But really, is this struggle to become something inevitable? Why does this fight exist? Where there is a desire to perform, in any grade or at any level there must be struggle. The realization is the motive, the stimulus behind the effort; whether it is a high official, a housewife, a rich or a poor that battle to become something, to be carried out, always continues.
Well, why is there a desire to fill us? It is obvious that the desire to realize ourselves, to become something, arises when there is a perception that one is nothing. As I am nothing, as I am insufficient, empty, inwardly poor, I do to become something; externally or internally, I struggle to fill my emptiness with a person, with a thing, with an idea. Filling that void is the whole process of our existence. Realizing that we are empty, inwardly poor, we struggle to accumulate things externally, or to cultivate inner wealth. There is only effort when one tries to escape that inner emptiness through action, contemplation, acquisition, achievement, power, and the rest. That is our daily existence. I realize my inadequacy, my internal poverty, and struggle to flee from it or to fill it. This to flee, to avoid the emptiness or to try to cover it up, causes struggle, rivalry, effort.
And what happens if one does not make an effort to flee? That one lives with that loneliness, with that emptiness; and by accepting that emptiness, one will find that a state of creative being that has nothing to do with the struggle, with the opposition comes. The opposition only exists while we try to avoid that loneliness, that inner emptiness; But when we look at it and observe it, when we accept what it is without dodging it, we will find that a state of being arises in which every struggle ceases. That state of being is creativity, and is not the result of effort.
But when there is an understanding of what is, that is, of emptiness, of inner insufficiency; when one lives with that insufficiency and fully understands it, the creative reality, the creative intelligence, the Grace that complements the human, which is the only thing that brings happiness comes.
Thus, action as we know it is actually reaction, it is an incessant thing to become something that consists in denying; in avoiding what it is; But when there is a capture of emptiness, without choice, without condemnation or justification, in that understanding of what it is there is action, no reaction; And this action is to be creative. You understand this if you realize yourself in action. Observe yourself the moment you act, and not only externally; Look also at the movement of your thinking and feeling. When you realize that movement, you will see that the process of thinking – which is also feeling and action – is based on an idea of becoming something. The idea of becoming something arises only when there is a feeling of insecurity, and that feeling of insecurity comes when one realizes the inner emptiness. So, if you realize that process of thought and feeling, you see a constant battle unfold, an effort to change, to modify, to alter what it is. That is the effort to become, and to become is to directly avoid what it is, going against the flow. Through your own knowledge, through constant awareness, you will find that the struggle, the battle, the conflict of becoming, leads to pain, suffering and ignorance. Only if you realize the inner insufficiency and live with it, without escape, accepting it totally, discover an extraordinary tranquility, a tranquility that is not an artificial result but that comes with the understanding of what it is. Only in that state of tranquility can you be creative.
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