Chapter 15: Witnessing: The Base of All Techniques
So Buddha says, “Now I am centered. Ten years before it would have been different. If you had abused me then, I would have reacted - but now I only act.”
Understand clearly the distinction between reaction and action. You love someone because someone loves you. Buddha also loves you - not because you love him, that is irrelevant. Whether you love him or hate him is irrelevant. He loves you because it is an act, not a reaction. The act comes from you, and the reaction is forced upon you. Centering means now you have begun to act.
Another point to be remembered: when you act, the act is always total. When you react, it can never be total. It is always partial, fragmentary, because when you act from your periphery - that is, when you react - it cannot be total because you are not involved in it really. Only your periphery is involved so it cannot be total.
So if you love from your periphery your love can never be total - it is always partial. And that means much, because if love is partial then the remaining space will be filled by hate. If your kindness is partial, the remaining space will be filled by cruelty. If your goodness is partial, then who will fill the remaining space? If your God is partial, then you will need a Devil to fill the remaining space.
That means a partial act is bound to be contradictory, in conflict with itself. Modern psychology says you both love and you hate simultaneously. Your mind is amphibian - contradictory. To the same object you are related with love and with hate, and if love and hate are both there, then there is going to be a confusion - and a poisonous confusion. Your kindness is mixed with cruelty, and your charity is theft, and your prayer becomes a violence. Even if you try to be a saint, on the periphery your sainthood is bound to be tinged with sin. On the periphery, everything is going to be self-contradictory.
Only when you act from the center is your act total, and when that act is total it has a beauty of its own. When the act is total, it is moment to moment. When the act is total, you don’t carry the memory - you need not! When the act is partial, it is a suspended thing. You eat something: if the eating is partial, then when the actual eating is finished you will continue eating in the mind. It will remain suspended. Only a total thing can have an end and can have a beginning. A partial thing is just a continuous series with no beginning and with no end. You are in your home, and you have carried your shop and market with you. You are in your shop, and you have carried your house and household affairs. You are never, you can never be at any single moment, totally in it. Much is being carried continuously. This is the heaviness, the tense heaviness on the mind, on the heart.