Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Acting and Talking

Indian mystic and spiritual teacher Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) draws the distinction between action and activity. The former, he argues, describes situations that demand a certain human behavior and consequently solicit a response. Conversely, the latter pertains to situations that do not warrant specific actions, such that any behavior should be classified as superfluous restlessness. Like God, "action is always new and fresh like the dew drops in the morning" (in Tantra, the Supreme Understanding). Action forms the subject in spontaneity and contingency. Activity, on the hand, needlessly replays the calcified past.

Osho's insight maps itself onto the act of talking, as well. We might distinguish between talking to and talking at. Much like activity, when we talk to someone, we listen carefully, engage fully and speak to the nuance and complexities of the discussion at hand. In contrast, when we talk at someone, we restlessly babble about preconceived (and likely irrelevant) assumptions that rarely further the goal of effective communication.

Being present to the now, both in action and in speech, allows the freshness of divine indwelling to blossom.

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1 comment:

Bucky said...

Hey man, still love following your blog. Saw reference to your hospital stay, hope all is well now, many healing thoughts!