A total act has a beginning and an end. It is atomic; it is not a series. It is there, and then it is not there. You are completely free from it to move into the unknown. Otherwise one goes on in grooves, the mind becomes just groovy. You go on moving in the same circular way, in a vicious circle. You go on continuously in it.
Because the past is never finished, it comes into the present: it goes on and penetrates into the future. So, really, a partial mind, a peripheral mind carries its past, and the past is a big thing. Even if you don’t consider past lives, even then the past is a big thing. Fifty years’ experiences, beautiful and ugly, but unfinished, everything unfinished – so you go on carrying a fifty-year-long past which is dead.
This dead past will fall upon a single moment of the present. It is bound to kill it. So you cannot live, it is impossible. With this past on you, upon you, you cannot live. Every single moment is so fresh and so delicate this whole dead weight will kill it. It is killing! Your past goes on killing your present, and when the present is dead it becomes a part. When it is alive it is not part of you. When it becomes dead, when it has been killed by your dead past, then it becomes yours, then it is part of you. This is the situation.
The moment you begin to act from the center every act is total, atomic. It is there and then it is not there. You are completely free from it. Then you can move with no burden, unburdened, and only then can you live in the new moment that is always there – by coming to it fresh.
But you can come to it fresh only when there is no past to be carried, and you will have to carry the past if it is unfinished. The mind has a tendency to finish everything. If it is unfinished, then it has to be carried. If something has remained unfinished during the day then you will dream about it in the night, because the mind has a tendency to finish everything. The moment it is finished the mind is unburdened from it. Unless it is finished, the mind is bound to come to it again and again.
Whatsoever you are doing – your love, your sex, your friendship – everything is unfinished, and you cannot make it total if you remain on the periphery. So how to be centered in oneself? How to attain this centering so that you are not on the periphery? Witnessing is the technique.
This word witnessing is a most significant word. There are hundreds of techniques to achieve centering, but witnessing is bound to be a part, a basic part, in every technique. Whatsoever the technique may be, witnessing will be the essential part in it. So it will be better to call it the technique of all techniques. It is not simply a technique. The process of witnessing is the essential part of all the techniques.