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Divided You Suffer, United You Dance

--by Osho (Dec 04, 2006)


Do things with your whole heart, with as much intensity as you are capable of.

Anything done halfheartedly never brings joy to life. It only brings misery, anxiety, torture, and tension, because whenever you do anything halfheartedly you are dividing yourself into two parts, and that is one of the greatest calamities that has happened to human beings -- they are all split. The misery in the world is not surprising; it is a natural outcome of living halfheartedly, doing everything only with one part of our being while the other part is resisting, opposing, fighting.

And whatever you do with half of your being is going to bring you repentance, misery, and a feeling that perhaps the other part that was not participating was right -- because following this part, you have attained nothing but a miserable state. But I say to you: If you had followed the other part, the result would have been the same. It is not a question of which part you follow, it is a question of whether you go totally into it or not. To be total in your action brings joy. Even an ordinary, trivial action done with total intensity brings a glow to your being, a fulfillment, a fullness, a deep contentment. And anything done halfheartedly, however good the thing may be, is going to bring misery.

Misery does not come from your actions, neither does joy come from your actions. Joy comes when you are total. It does not matter what action you are involved in, misery is the outcome when you are partial. [...]

When your mind, when your heart, when your being is pulled in two directions simultaneously, you are creating hell. And when you are total, one, an organic unity...in that very organic unity, the flowers of heaven start blossoming in you.

People have remained concerned about their acts: Which act is right and which act is wrong? What is good and what is evil? My own understanding is that it is not a question of any particular act. The question is about your psychology.

When you are total, it is good; and when you are divided, it is evil. Divided you suffer; united, you dance, you sing, you celebrate.

--Osho


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10 Previous Reflections:

 
On Feb 2, 2007 Lady wrote:
Life takes time or does time take life?

On Jan 24, 2007 Mita wrote:
For me joy comes from being one heart-mind and fully present in the moment. Our intellectual logical linear analytical brain-mind which is much emphasised in our culture and education, do not allow us to follow our intutive heart-mind or nurture our innate potentials/gifts we are all endowed with. So living with joy requires refelctive awareness of what is it we really really enjoy and love, and persistently allow us to grow that passion to become who we want to become. Yet we are conditioned from early age and schooling to fulfill others/social expectation and fit some roles and jobs. It is a tremendous challenge to come out of the rigid social matrix to be who you are! Your own unique expression of love, joy, peace and beauty in this world. So being total and complete and fulfilled is what we all want, but few take the time and effort to discover and realize that! Anyway I absolutely loved OSho's simple yet profound words here!

Cheers
(see link)



On Dec 24, 2006 supun wrote:
One of my biggest shortcomings, I've found, is that I keep half-stepping through life. I see so many people being able to enjoy moments that I can't. Although this is a curse in one aspect (a feeling of constant disconnectedness causing dis-ease), I feel kind of gifted to be able to go through the same experiences in different instances or shells of myself. I think if I can bring all those feelings to one whole-heartedness, it can help.
Also, I think this is a great help for allegorically applying the idea of a "person" to a family, a community, a society, a world :)

On Dec 7, 2006 viral wrote:

Thoughts from this week's circle of sharing on Wednesday One of the nice things about going first is that you get to say what comes up without the triggering of thoughts based on what others have said. One thing that struck me was comparing what thich nhat hanh talks about: being mindful, but in a different way. Being mindful, and that bringing joy. I like hearing these things in different ways. We're all looking for fulfillment, joy, and so it helps to have different views to keep us focused. I really like the quote, because it says something very powerful, but still has a very tactile feel. This passage has all the things put together, being present, mindful, and it's certainly true that there is a lot of joy in that. What I have learned in Vipassana meditation, which is really about observing oneself, and it gives good training into the principle of being here now. If you apply this principle into whatever you do, it makes you feel completely absorbed into whatever you  See full.

Thoughts from this week's circle of sharing on Wednesday

  • One of the nice things about going first is that you get to say what comes up without the triggering of thoughts based on what others have said. One thing that struck me was comparing what thich nhat hanh talks about: being mindful, but in a different way. Being mindful, and that bringing joy. I like hearing these things in different ways. We're all looking for fulfillment, joy, and so it helps to have different views to keep us focused.
  • I really like the quote, because it says something very powerful, but still has a very tactile feel.
  • This passage has all the things put together, being present, mindful, and it's certainly true that there is a lot of joy in that.
  • What I have learned in Vipassana meditation, which is really about observing oneself, and it gives good training into the principle of being here now. If you apply this principle into whatever you do, it makes you feel completely absorbed into whatever you do. It becomes natural for you to pour your enthusiasm into whatever you're doing, and that enthusiasm flows into other people beyond you. And then there's a greater flow in the group. So in teaching, I've found that when I am absorbed, then there's a greater effect on the students. There's a good word in Sanskrit which describes a half-hearted approach: the mind is in a state of "vidha," which means split in two.
  • I really like the quote.
  • I like the quote, but I'm not sure if I like it because it's simple, or because I have difficulty focusing on many things anyway! The one aspect which is from some other books I've read too, is that the time when you are fully devoted in one activity, you are fully engrossed, that puts you in touch with your inner core, that is why we start enjoying and feel the joy; we are not divided.
  • The only thing that I can really think about, is how about ten years ago, I made the choice half-consciously, to focus on really what I thought was important -- go within, and realize the true nature of my being. And the half-conscious part of it was that I thought that the rest of my life would self-organize around that: school, career, how I dressed. I found that when I dedicated myself wholly to the inner life, I found that things really would organize. And so one thing I'm thinking about is work: I always got jobs that allowed me to fudge myself through half-heartedly. I never really had to give myself fully. To make a long story short -- all of that journey has come together, and so many parts have fallen away, and so many have come through. And this Monday, I got a job which really won't allow me to fudge myself through. And through this transition, I am really going to try to apply this quote.
  • A week or so ago, I was feeling very half-hearted, and very split. And my guru is in town, and so I was going to ask her about this, and so I was standing in line, and so I fasted, thinking that that would be helpful to aim my fast towards helping me make this decision. And I couldn't ask the question, they wouldn't let me, and so I was disappointed and my ego was heart. And five minutes after I broke my fast, disappointed, I got fired. And now I'm working in my first design job, and everything fell into place, and I felt ready. I'm feeling really happy about that. And it's nice to be able to share that whole-heartedness with others on the same path.
  • In my own experiences at work, you can spend your life running away from work or running away from the weekends -- both are possible dangers!
  • So what makes one do things whole or half-heartedly? You work whole-heartedly when you are working for a higher value, as opposed to it being an expedient. Like volunteering, or fighting injustice as a elected official. When you are working for a higher purpose, there's an old story of someone who goes up to a contractor and asks "What are you doing?" and in one case, he says "I'm building a wall." But in the other case, he says "I'm building the Taj Mahal." It's the same wall, but when there's a greater vision, there's more whole-heartedness.
  • A couple of thoughts. I give my whole-hearted effort only when I'm enjoying it. It's sort of chicken and egg. For example, I started volunteering, and I find that I really enjoy it. And so then I'm much more likely to do it whole-heartedly. And when I do it more whole-heartedly, I'm more likely to enjoy it, and so it builds on itself.
  • Some of the things about this quote, it's a good way to know if you have choices, this is a way to find out what's the right choice for you -- if you perceive yourself as being whole-hearted, it's probably a better choice. The issue with whole-heartedness is that it's easier to do when it's spontaneous, and that's when I feel happiest. The last thing is that sometimes when ou have some losses, it's a basis for a future success.
  • I completely agree about what has been said so far about work. I read somewhere that "Interest follows hard work, but not vice versa." I also want to talk about passion: passion is not as much about contentment, but more about achieving, and winning. So even if you are passionate, it's not necessarily going to result in a very peaceful state of mind. Sometimes you have to be willing to do the best you can, and face the consequences, and let it be. It's ok. Having said that, there are some basic necessities like health, but other than that, what's the point of taking something too hard, like work or action.
  • This quote about being divided, reminds me of growing up, about growing up as South-Asian American, and growing up seeing the differences between me and others. Here I wouldn't fit in, and when I go to India, I see myself as an American! And I realized that it was a state of being, and there was a split. And since seeing it then, I've been able to be more comfortable with myself.
  • I think there's a potential confusion with the quote. He seems to be equating whole-hearted with total, and half-hearted with partiality. I think it's possible otherwise. To be able to listen totally, takes a lot of attention and energy to get everything. But I could listen whole-heartedly and still get a partial view. The ability to be total, which means being able to see the whole thing, before engaging with it. It doesn't mean we shouldn't try, and there might be a struggle, and just because one can't be total, to the extent that one can be total, to that extent it is right. Overall, what I take away: one should attempt to be total, and try to integrate so much of what we know to the everyday moments, to constantly ask oneself, "Am I being total?" In that struggle, something special can happen.
  • I have a quote which relates to where I am, not clear about which way to head in my life. I liked what someone earlier said, about focusing on the core, the most basic point. When I focus on that, it lends a lot of clarity. Another way I look at it is that when I feel really alive, I don't feel that split, there's a whole-istic quality to that.
  • I didn't really think about whole versus half, and total versus partial. What I focused on was creativity. I was thinking of when I'm doing something with the totality of my being, then I'm creating.
  • When I read this, it just made me smile and feel happy. I relate a lot with it, and I feel that if you are more in the moment, it takes away the fear or apprehension of the future, and regret of the past. Whatever you do, whether you walk, if you are being with it, it doesn't matter how it comes out ... just be happy.
  • A few random thoughts: just felt that life is too short to have too many thoughts in your mind. We just keep thinking, when there are a lot of thoughts. It makes a lot of sense to just do what's in front of you with the fullest commitment and dedication. It makes a lot of sense to just be total and happy with what's there. I also like what someone else said earlier about the core value and sticking to that, and everything else revolving around that. But it's just that we keep getting distracted from that core.
  • My mind is spinning with all things. The quote lost me, honestly. I agree in a different way, that the quote was delivered a different kind of message than it intended. I don't think it's bad to be partial or good to be total. Just accept what is, and then you are likely to be more total with who you are. Just be total in doing what makes you happy. And in the last 15 years, I just follow that, and knowing yourself, and being total is an alignment of mind and heart. Another thought: I saw this documentary called the secret, and it talks about the law of attraction, and it's spectacular. One thing they talked about is dis-ease.
  • When I was a kid, my dad used to ask me to take something from one room to another, and I was doing it half-heartedly. But I've realized that doing things half-heartedly took me to the point where I can do them whole-heartedly!
  • Anything that we do in life, we can do it full-heartedly, with joy. If you do it half, then you aren't happy. If you do it full, you're happy. If you change your intention in this way, then you can be happy.
  • The thought brought to mind Thich Nhat Hanh's: Miracle of mindfulness. People go to watch him just open the door, because it is mindful and whole-hearted, from intention to action.
  • A few people said a few things, and there's one sentence I have to share: the whole person, or the complete person, thinks with his heart.

    Hide full comment.

  • On Dec 6, 2006 Ronelle wrote:
    Do whatever you do in full. Have a full glass in life or an empty glass. Not half. My mind, and heart, was pulled in two directions simultaneously, and yes, the confusion that it was creating, was hell. So I know I had to decide what I want.. I have to sort myself. Have to become total. Sometimes its just easier said than done.

    On Dec 6, 2006 Conrad wrote:
    Thank you Viral and thanks much for noting the difference and for finding what I was missing. You have my gratitude.
    Conrad

    On Dec 5, 2006 viral wrote:
    Conrad, I like your notion of accepting imperfections. The Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki once said to his students, "Each one of you is perfect the way you are ... and you can use a little improvement."

    On another note, this link has another thought by Osho in which he distinguishes between totality and perfection:

    (see link)

    On Dec 5, 2006 Conrad Pritscher wrote:
    The first paragraph mentions doing things as well as one can. I agree with that. I do not agree with that totally because I do not know what total means more always may be added.

    If robbing a bank was my activity, and if I did it wholeheartedly and totally, Osho’s statement implies that I would find joy.

    The word total also implies perfection and this is something that I am not. I am more nearly perfect by accepting my imperfections and reducing those imperfections that harm myself or others.

    I believe that "the way that can be said is not the way" and Osho’s saying "totally" is not the way for me.

    As I think more about the situation, I am more inclined to simply say I don't know.

    Conrad



    On Dec 5, 2006 Greg wrote:
    This is extremely compelling piece, and I'm interested in te disagreements with it.

    What makes this more interesting is that the writer, Osho, is also known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, the Rolls Royce guru.

    I have always found Osho's writings and philosophy very powerful, yet I have always been troubled by his seeming fall from grace as well as the criminality of some of his disciples.

    On Dec 5, 2006 ravi sharma wrote:
    make the world according to u ,dont make urself accrding to the world