Chapter 1: The Tradition of the Upanishads and the Secrets of Meditation
So how to listen with one’s totality? - with neither reason functioning in antagonism nor feeling functioning in sympathy, but with the totality of one’s being. How can the totality function? - because we know only functions of the parts, we do not know how the totality functions. We know only parts - this part functioning, that part functioning; intellect working, the heart functioning, the legs moving, the eyes seeing.. We know only parts functioning. How does the totality function? The totality functions only in a deep passivity. Nothing is active, everything is silent, you are not doing anything. You are just here - just presence - and the doors open. Only then will you be able to understand what the Upanishad’s message is. So your simple presence is needed - no doing on your part, no functioning. That is what is meant by “total functioning” - just your presence.
I must make it more clear what I mean by “just presence.” If you are in love with someone, then there are moments when you are not doing anything. You are just present by your lover’s or beloved’s side: just present, totally silent; you are not even loving each other - just present. A very strange phenomenon happens. Ordinarily our existence is linear. We exist in a line, in a sequence - my past, my present, my future; this is a line. I move on my track, you move on your track. We have our tracks, linear tracks. Really, we never meet. We are parallel lines - no meeting. Even if we are crowded there is no meeting because you are on your track and I am on my track. You belong to your past, I belong to my past; my present is born out of my past, your present is born out of your past. Your future will be a causal sequence of your past and present, and mine will be of mine.
So we move on tracks - linear tracks, one-line tracks. There is no meeting. Only lovers meet because suddenly, when you are just present with someone, a different time comes into existence. You both meet in a single moment, and this moment neither belongs to you nor to your lover. This is something new. This is neither out of your past nor out of your lover’s past. Time moves in a different dimension - not linear, not from the past to the future, but one present to another present. There is a meeting between two present moments - a different dimension. This dimension is known as the dimension of eternity. So lovers have said that one moment of love is eternity unto itself. It never ends. It has no future, it has no past. It is just present, here and now.
This is what I mean when I say you can listen in such a totality that in your present moment only your presence remains: not with your past, not with your future. Then this very moment is enough - silent, passive, just present here and now, then a different dimension will open. The Upanishadic message can penetrate only in that dimension.
That is what is meant when it is said that the essence of the Upanishads is eternal. It does not mean permanent, it only means a different dimension of time in which there is no future and no past. So you will have to move in a different way - in your inner time. And with that inner change, words begin to take a different shape and a different significance is born out of them.
We use similar words. Everyone uses the same words, but with a different mind the words have a different meaning. For example, a doctor asks a patient, “How are you?” and at a casual meeting on the street you ask someone, “How are you?” and a lover asks a beloved, “How are you?” The words are the same, but is the meaning the same? When a doctor asks a patient, “How are you?” does it mean the same as when a lover asks a beloved, “How are you?” A different significance comes into being.