Wednesday, March 16, 2011

IV: 18

Chapter 4, Verse 18

"The realized human being
Who sees inaction
In the midst of action
And action
In the midst of inaction
Is yoked."

Sri Eknath Easwaran:

"Once at Gandhiji's Ashram I walked about in the neighborhood of his little cottage and observed an unending stream of political leaders from Britain and India coming to him throughout the day. I wondered how he was able to bear the pressure of these significant interviews which would change the relations between these two great countries. When evening came, I expected to see a tired, irascible, very impatient man coming out. Instead, I saw a smiling figure who looked as if he had been playing bingo all day. I could not believe my eyes, because I was used to the idea that if we work eight hours, we should be tense and ready to be irritated at a moment's notice. But he seemed to be untouched by his action.

Once he was asked by a Westerner: 'Mr. Gandhi, you have been working fifteen hour days for fifty years for the people of India. Why don't you take a holiday?' The response was given with a smile: 'I am always on holiday.' "

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi:

"To see inaction in the midst of action means that while the mind is engaged with the senses in the process of action, it is anchored to the silence of the inner being. This anchoring provides the foundation for a state of silent presence in the midst of activity. The permeation of the whole field of action by the non-active, ever-silent Self becomes a living reality. In this state, action does not overshadow the state of inaction, or Being, that underlies it."

Father Bede Griffiths:

"The Tao Te Ching says that the power which is the first principle of all creation is eternally inactive, yet it leaves nothing undone. This is paradoxical. The meaning is that every action comes from an inner center of quiet and peace. We act through the body and the body is controlled by the mind, but both body and mind are to be controlled from an inner center of reality which is perfectily inactive and still. It is a state of concentration, of harmonious stillness at the center. Then from that stillness, harmonious action flows.

This has been largely lost today. The world is so filled with compulsive activity which has no fundamental rest. Once we lose the calm center, action takes over and we become bound by our actions. This is what has happened with technology and the whole industrial system. It cannot be controlled. It has released forces which control us, reducing us to slaves of our machines.

We are to be rooted in the beyond if we are to have any peace and justice and harmony. The tendency in the West has been to eliminate systematically that beyond, to make science and reason control everything so that humanity can control the universe. The result of this misguided point of view is that nature is dragging us down.

The only escape, as Krishna is teaching us all the time, is to free ourselves from the dominion of the mind and discover the center of peace within."

T. S. Eliot:

"At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance."

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