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Why do we live with this sense of duality, opposing each other at all levels of our existence, resisting each other and bringing about conflict and war? This has been the pattern of human activity throughout the world, probably from the very beginning of time, with this sense of separation dividing the artist, the soldier, the musician, the scientist, the so-called religious man, the man of business. Although they talk of love and peace on earth, in this way there can be no peace, in this way men must be at war with each other; and one wonders whether it must always be like this.
So is it possible for human beings, who are at all serious, to find out if they can live in a state of non-duality - not ideologically or theoretically, but actually, both in form and essence? Is it at all possible for you and me to live a life in which this sense of duality ceases completely, not only at the verbal level, but also in the deeper layers and recesses of one's own mind? I feel that if this is not possible, then we must continue at war with each other - you with your particular opinions, beliefs, dogmas and conclusions, and I with mine - so there is never real communication or contact.
Here we are actually confronted with this issue, not ideologically but actually. One of the major political problems is the unity of mankind. Is it at all possible? Can individuals, you and I, live a life in which there is no duality at all, in which opinions, beliefs and conclusions do not divide people or bring about resistance? If we put that question to ourselves, deeply with all our heart, our whole being, I wonder what our response would be? Can we freely enquire together into this question this morning?
Communication and relationship always go together. If there is no communication, there is no relationship - not only between you and the speaker but also between yourselves. If we merely remain at the verbal level, the formal level, communication remains very superficial, and doesn't go very far. But to be related at the non-verbal level requires the ending of this isolating, dual existence, the 'me' and the 'you', the 'we' and the 'they', the Catholic and Protestant and so on. Therefore, to enquire into the question of whether it is possible to live a life in which there is no sense of separation or division, one must be aware of oneself, because as we are, so is the world. The world is not separate from us; the community, the collective, is not separate from each one of us - we are the community, we are the world. We may state that we are the world - but do we really have the feeling that we are utterly part of this whole world.
To go into this question one must inevitably be aware of the whole structure and the nature of oneself; not only inwardly but also outwardly, in the form, knowing that the word divides, as the Englishman, the Frenchman. Opinions and conclusions in any form bring about separation and isolation, as do sectarian beliefs. Outwardly, my sitting up here on the platform divides. Inwardly, inside the skin, as it were, there are also various forms of division and separation whose very essence is the 'me', the self, the ego, put together by thought. Can this process - of which one must be aware both outwardly as well as inwardly - be understood and dissolved? I think that is probably the major problem in the world rather than the economic problem. Even living in this Welfare State with all its social security, we find the people divided, isolated, each going his own particular way, immersed in his own problems.
Brockwood Talks and Discussions 1969 | 1st Public Talk, 6th September 1969 Read full text