Turnstone

Shards, Sweepings, Stealings, Sayings, Secrets

Month: July, 2012

The Truth Of Art

Here Tarkovsky is talking about the truth of art, its beauty and its spirituality, its cathartic, revelatory and redemptive powers . . .

“The beautiful is hidden from the eyes of those who are not searching for the truth, for whom it is contra-indicated. But the profound lack of spirituality of those people who see art and condemn it, the fact that they are neither willing or ready to consider the meaning and aim of their existence in any higher sense, is often masked by the vulgarly simplistic cry, ‘I don’t like it!’ ‘It’s boring!’ It is not a point that one can argue; but it is like the utterance of a man born blind who is being told about a rainbow. He simply remains deaf to the pain undergone by the artist in order to share with others the truth he has reached . . .

. . . Touched by a masterpiece, a person begins to hear in himself that same call of truth which prompted the artist to his creative act. When a link is established between the work and its beholder, the latter experiences a sublime, purging trauma. Within that aura which unites masterpieces and audience, the best sides of our souls are made known, and we long for them to be freed. In those moments we recognize and discover ourselves, the unfathomable depths of our own potential, and the furthest reaches of our emotions.”

Andrei Tarkovsky

The Director’s Task

I have joined an Internet film club and choose three DVDs a month for viewing. Recently I’ve been watching the films of the great spiritual and mystical Russian filmmaker, Andrei Tarkovsky. These are not easy films, but infinitely rewarding when one gets used to  the metaphorical style and slow pace.

“The director’s task is to recreate life, its movement, its contradictions, its dynamic and its conflicts. It is his duty to reveal every iota of the truth he has seen, even if not everyone finds that truth acceptable. Of course an artist can lose his way, but even his mistakes are interesting provided they are sincere. For they represent the reality of his inner life, of the peregrinations and struggle into which the external world has thrown him.”

Andrei Tarkovsky

Action And Being

In Latin there is a dictum: agere sequitur esse — to do follows to be; action follows being. It is tremendously beautiful. Don’t try to change your action — try to find out your being, and action will follow. The action is secondary; being is primary. Action is something that you do; being is something that you are. Action comes out of you, but action is just a fragment. Even if all of your actions are collected together they will not be equal to your being because all actions collected together will be your past. What about your future? Your being contains your past, your future, your present; your being contains your eternity. Your actions, even if all collected, will just be of the past. Past is limited, future is unlimited. That which has happened is limited; it can be defined, it has already happened. That which has not happened is unlimited, indefinable. Your being contains eternity, your actions contain only your past.

So it is possible that a man who has been a sinner up to this moment can become a saint the next. Never judge a man by his actions, judge a man by his being. Sinners have become saints and saints have fallen and become sinners. Each saint has a past and each sinner has a future.

Never judge a man by his actions. But there is no other way, because you have not known even your own being — how can you see the being of others? Once you know your own being you will learn the language, you will know the clue of how to look into another’s being. You can see into others only to the extent that you can see into yourself. If you have seen yourself through and through, you become capable of seeing into others through and through.

Osho Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan Of Relationships

This, my final quote from Osho‘s book, and one of the most exciting and interesting I feel, turns on its head the commonly held view that it’s our actions which are the most important thing, that it’s through our actions that our true characters and true selves are revealed. Our true self, our real essence, the eternal core of our being, Osho seems to argue, is beyond or beneath or before action — unchanging, solid, meditative; our matrix. We are more than the sum of our actions — which change from day to day depending on our mood or belief at the time — just as we are more than the sum of our thoughts and our emotions. It’s noteworthy that this notion of action following being is the reverse of the existentialist idea of ‘existence before essence’, and is more akin to Platonic idealism in which essence precedes existence. I would be very interested in how others react to Osho‘s thoughts here.

Happiness

Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars . . . and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole of existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers — for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.

The whole existence is made of the stuff called joy. Hindus call it satchitanand, ananda, joy. That’s why no reason, no cause is needed. If you can just be with yourself, not doing anything, just enjoying yourself, just being with yourself, just being happy that you are, just being happy that you are breathing, just being happy that you are listening to the birds — for no reason — then you are in meditation. Meditation is being here now. And when one is happy for no reason, that happiness cannot be contained within you. It goes on spreading to others, it becomes a sharing. You cannot hold it, it is so much, it is so infinite. You cannot hold it in your hands, you have to allow it to spread.

Osho Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan Of Relationships

Mystery

Life is a mystery, but you can reduce it to a problem. And once you make a mystery a problem you will be in difficulty, because there can be no solution to it. A mystery remains a mystery; it is insoluble — that’s why it it is called a mystery.

Life is not a problem. And that is one of the most basic mistakes we all go on committing: We immediately put a question mark. And if you put a question mark on a mystery, you will be searching for the answer your whole life and you will not find it, and naturally it brings great frustration.

Osho Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan Of Relationships

Loneliness And Aloneness

We are born alone, we live alone, and we die alone. Aloneness is our very nature, but we are not aware of it. Because we are not aware of it we remain strangers to ourselves, and instead of seeing our aloneness as a tremendous beauty and bliss, silence and peace, at-easeness with existence, we misunderstand it as loneliness.

Loneliness is a misunderstood aloneness. Once you misunderstand your aloneness as loneliness, the whole context changes. Aloneness has a beauty and grandeur, a positivity; loneliness is poor, negative, dark, dismal.

Loneliness is a gap. Something is missing, something is needed to fill it, and nothing can ever fill it because it is a misunderstanding in the first place. As you grow older, the gap also grows bigger. People are so afraid to be by themselves that they do any kind of stupid thing. I have seen people playing cards alone; the other party is not there. They have invented games in which the same person plays cards from both sides.

Those who have known aloneness say something absolutely different. They say there is nothing more beautiful, more peaceful, more joyful than being alone.

Aloneness is the ultimate reality. One comes alone, one goes alone; and between these two alonenesses we create all kinds of relationships and fighting, just to deceive ourselves — because in life, also, we remain alone. But aloneness is not something to be sad about; it is something to rejoice in. There are two words — the dictionary will say they have the same meaning, but existence gives them totally opposite meanings. One word is loneliness and the other word is aloneness. They are not synonymous.

Loneliness is a negative state, like darkness. Loneliness means you are missing someone; you are empty, and you are afraid in this vast universe. Aloneness has a totally different meaning: It does not mean that you are missing someone, it means that you have found yourself. It is absolutely positive.

Finding oneself, one finds the meaning of life, the significance of life, the joy of life, the splendor of life. Finding oneself is the greatest finding in man’s life, and this finding is possible only when you are alone. When your consciousness is not crowded by anything, by anybody, when your consciousness is utterly empty — in that emptiness, in that nothingness, a miracle happens. And that miracle is the foundation of all religiousness.

Osho Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan Of Relationships

Attachment

Remember, love is not attachment. Love knows no attachment and that which knows attachment is not love. That is possessiveness, domination, clinging, fear, greed — it may be a thousand and one things, but it is not love. In the name of love other things are parading, in the name of love other things are hiding, but on the container the label LOVE is stuck. Inside you will find many sorts of things, but not love at all.

Watch. If you are attached to a person, are you in love? Or are you afraid of your aloneness, so you cling? Because you cannot be alone, you use this person so as not to be alone. Then you are afraid. If the person moves somewhere else or falls in love with someone else then you will kill this person and you will say, “I was so attached.” Or you may kill yourself and you will say, ” I was so attached that I could not live without her or without him.”

It is sheer foolishness. It is not love, it is something else. You are afraid of your own aloneness, you are not capable of being with yourself, you need somebody to distract you. And you want to possess the other person, you want to use the other person as a means for your own ends. To use another person as a means is violence.

Never treat any person as a means. Treat everybody as an end in himself, in herself — then you don’t cling, then you are not attached. You love, but your love gives freedom — and, when you give freedom to the other, you are free. Only in freedom does your soul grow. You will feel very, very happy.

Osho Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan Of Relationships

Let There Be Spaces

In Kahlil Gibran‘s The Prophet, Almustafa says: Let there be spaces in your togetherness. And let the winds of heaven dance between you. Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Be together but do not try to dominate, do not try to possess and do not destroy the individuality of the other.

When you live together, let there be spaces . . . The husband comes home late; there is no need, no necessity for the wife to inquire where he has been, why he’s late. He has his own space, he’s a free individual. Two free individuals are living together and nobody encroaches on each other’s spaces. If the wife comes late, there is no need to ask “Where have you been?” Who are you? — she has her own space, her own freedom.

But this is happening every day, in every home. Over small matters they are fighting, but deep down the point is that they are not ready to allow the other to have his own space.

People are unaware that they don’t know what love is. Love never suspects, love is never jealous. Love never interferes in the other’s freedom. Love never imposes on the other. Love gives freedom, and the freedom is possible only if there is space in your togetherness.

Let there be spaces in your togetherness . . . It is not contradictory. The more space you give to each other, the more you are together. The more you allow freedom to each other, the more intimate you are. Not intimate enemies, but intimate friends.

Osho Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan Of Relationships

Relating

Forget relationships and learn how to relate.

Once you are in a relationship you start taking each other for granted — that’s what destroys all love affairs. The woman thinks she knows the man, the man thinks he knows the woman. Nobody knows either! It is impossible to know the other, the other remains a mystery. And to take the other for granted is insulting, disrespectful.

To think that you know your wife is very, very ungrateful. How can you know the woman? How can you know the man? They are processes, they are not things. The woman that you knew yesterday is not there today. So much water has gone down the Ganges; she is somebody else, totally different. Relate again, start again, don’t take it for granted.

And the man that you slept with last night, look at his face again in the morning. He is no more the same person, so much has changed. So much, incalculably much has changed. That is the difference between a thing and a person. The furniture in the room is the same, but the man and the woman, they are no more the same. Explore again, start again. That’s what I mean by relating.

Relating means you are always starting, you are continuously trying to become acquainted. Again and again, you are introducing yourself to each other. You are trying to see the many facets of the other’s personality. You are trying to penetrate deeper and deeper into his realm of inner feelings, into the deep recesses of his being. You are trying to unravel a mystery that cannot be unraveled. That is the joy of love: the exploration of consciousness.

And if you relate, and don’t reduce it to a relationship, then the other will become a mirror to you. Exploring him, unawares you will be exploring yourself too. Getting deeper into the other, knowing his feelings, his thoughts, his deeper stirrings, you will be knowing your own deeper stirrings too. Lovers become mirrors to each other, and then love becomes a meditation.

Relationship is ugly, relating is beautiful.

 Osho Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan Of Relationships

Aloneness

It is beautiful to be alone; it is also beautiful to be in love, to be with people. And they are complementary, not contradictory. When you are enjoying others, enjoy, and enjoy to the fullest; there is no need to bother about aloneness. And when you are fed up with others, then move into aloneness and enjoy it to the fullest.

Osho Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan Of Relationships