This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
August 1947) Translated from the original article in French, by P. Seshadri Iyer, Travancore University.
In what follows, an act means not merely an action, an isolated physical or mental movement, but also all the material and psychological operations resulting in a distinguishable and significant change, expressible in terms of a particular intention or aim. Thus, we shall call by the name of complete acts those acts which are sufficient by themselves, which are complete in themselves. They are finished acts like a melodious phrase which has reached its end. That is why we can call them perfect in the sense in which the Greeks understood the idea of perfection. During the duration of complete acts, there is a rigorous concord between the being and the will to be or at least between that which can immediately manifest itself as the being and the will to be. There are acts which, though they are outwardly completed, leave an impression of incompleteness in the mind of the agent. The complete acts we have in view are above this distinction. In the expression ‘complete act’ the word act is taken in the sense of total act, of the act visualized all together of the external and the internal, in its double aspects, material and psychological. The complete acts are, then, the acts doubly achieved and to say that they are sufficient by themselves means that they also fully suffice for their agent. Hence, no sense of desire can have any relation to complete acts. All desire is directed towards satisfaction and where there is full satisfaction, there is no room for desire. No one desires for a thing he possesses at the time he possesses it. The complete acts are, therefore, acts essentiality satisfying. They are happy acts. He, who accomplishes them expresses himself in them fully and adequately, recognizing himself in them unreservedly. They do not leave in his mind any remorse or regret or any unpleasant emotional residue. If they actually leave any such residue, and if the person feels the desire to return to them with a view to complete them, it is sure proof that something is lacking therein and that they do not constitute an authentic expression of the profound will and intention of the agent. The internal aspect of the complete act follows from its very definition. The complete act leaves nothing to be desired so long as it lasts. It therefore follows that it can have no internal contradiction. Such a contradiction implies the simultaneous existence of two or more tendencies, two or more incompatible desires. From that time onwards, the complete realization of these tendencies and desires becomes impossible. Although he may take and play any part, the agent cannot express himself fully in that. One or more of these conflicting desires will remain unfulfilled. He has the sense of non-fulfillment, desire, dissatisfaction. Consequently, an act is
not complete unless it is done by an agent in whom all internal contradictions have ceased to be. In other words, the complete act implies, realizes, a total concentration of the powers of the agent, a mustering of all his powers in an instant. To say that the complete act has, as its agent, only one in whom all internal contradictions have ceased, means that during the whole duration of such an act, a person who is engaged therein loses consciousness of himself. In order that the agent, who is essentially subjective, may externalize or objectify himself, he must cease, somehow to coincide with himself. In other words, the consciousness of oneself implies the development of a pseudo-subject, added on to the real subject. That pseudo-subject is evidently virtual, similar to an optical illusion but it implies an apparent dissociation from the one conscious and active centre. This dissociation creates two poles in consciousness, which identifies itself with one of the poles thus formed (Whose contents become the unconscious) and supports itself on it for observing and appraising the other, the functions of each of them being permutable for the time being. All consciousness of oneself is then the product, the expression of an internal contradiction, latent or manifest, giving birth to two indispensable terms, the observer and the observed. If all contradictions cease and if the agent coincides continually with himself, he will cease to perceive himself, because all separate knowledge implies a preliminary distinction between the Knower and the known. The complete act, in which all internal contradictions have ceased, is, therefore, incompatible with the consciousness of oneself. Does not this, moreover, imply the idea of a being which considers itself as living but which does not fully live and which is not fully engaged in its own action? The subject of the complete act is too intensely occupied in living to have the time to look at himself as living, far too concentrated on his act, to interest in himself as the agent. In other words, the complete act is the act in which one forgets oneself. We have already indicated that it is also the act in which one is oneself. Further, to realize fully, to become completely oneself, is to lose all self-consciousness as an agent. To the man who considers himself as a distinct self and does not wish to shed his individuality, this sustained expansion of his Self, this Supreme fulfillment appears as annihilation. Viewed from outside, this plenitude seems to be a void and the frightened individual hangs distractedly to his selfconsciousness, that bundle of painful contradictions. The dismay at the threshold of ultimate realization is the irony of humanity.
If, with Bergson, we mean by a free act, an act “which emanates from our entire personality’’ and presents with it “that indefinable resemblance we find now and then between work and the worker’’, then the free act is the complete act, which instantaneously musters all the powers of the being and in which the being recognizes itself. The liberty, thus visualized, is the absence of all internal contradiction. Moreover, it alone can be experimentally verified; we can have a direct notion, a vivid feeling of it, so far at least as it manifests itself as the removal of a previous constraint. It ceases to be perceived when it continues without interruption and the agent finds himself securely in a state of pure existence above all the oppositions of constraint and liberty. Although we can hold it as objectively limited in its extent as well as in its results, the complete act is essentially and psychologically unlimited. If the mathematical infinity is that beyond which we cannot go, the psychological infinity is beyond which one does not desire to go. When an act or a presence fills us, and absorbs all the powers of our emotion and thought, when no movement or desire can be conceived leading us beyond the state where we are, that state is truly without limits; since there cannot be the feeling of any bounds except when there is the desire to transcend them. We may even say that desire is only the fact of recognizing consciously these limits. Thus the complete act is infinite, not in the sense of a kind of accumulation and not in the manner of spatial extension, but in so far as it is without internal limits. This absence of limits or what amounts to the same thing, of all contradiction, all internal resistance, leads to the result that in the judgement of the agent, the complete act is totally performed without any tinge of ‘ quality ’, as the word is understood by the Scholastics. The complete act is, then, in the language of Scholastic Philosophy, a pure act. It is not merely a pure act in the above sense, but it is also pure as an act, which is accomplished for its own sake, is not stained by any selfish motive and is its own end. If, in truth, the complete act was in the intent of its agent only the means for a farther act, if he pursues through it a remote and more important result, it cannot suffice in itself and is not complete in itself. It will leave behind it as well as even in the course of its formal accomplishment, a heavy sense of incompleteness and impatience. It will only be the commencement or part of a still unachieved act which will constitute the veritable object of desire and which alone can be complete in itself. The complete act contains in itself its own end and reward. It is not purchased for any recompense, and it is not wrested by any constraint. It is not brought about by the attraction of a representation of the future, by the fascination of an ideal distinct from itself. It is not directed towards any end external to it. It surges by itself. Each of its movements springs from an unprompted and always realizable impulse. It is not a groundless act. It is an act which contains its own reason and realizes its object at the very instant it is conceived. Otherwise, if the act remains in suspense in some manner the vital force restrained in it will become desire — just as the living force of a spring whose movement is hindered becomes pressure. There will be at the
same time an internal conflict, the consciousness of an obstacle as well as the consciousness of a desire; there will be the perception of a time which, in the measure of the obstruction offered fills up the interval between desire and its realization. In short, the effort of the desire against the obstacle will reveal a self, knowing itself as the agent of that effort. Precisely because, it is sufficient in itself at all moments of its duration, the complete act considered by a consciousness which places itself in the very heart of the impulse from which it derives, is independent of all that precedes it and all that follows it. It does not appear as a momentum, intermediate or final, of an act already begun or as the bait for an act which is to be completed in the future. In other words, being self-sufficient, fixed in itself, it, is not bound to attach itself to the past or to envisage future. “When the action is complete today, there is no tomorrow” (Krishnamurti). The complete act is then beyond time, in the sense that, during its duration, its author does not feel himself limited by time, envisaged in its analysis as past, present and future. There is no need even of thinking of divided time unless that thought itself constitutes the object, the content of the completed act. But then, in the latter case, the consideration of time does not intervene except in relation to itself and we will find there too the idea that the complete act is fixed on itself, is internal to itself, is its own end. This character of the complete act does not mean that in considering it logically and from the outside, we cannot discover the elements of the past or foresee its contribution to the genesis of future developments. But that which is true objectively and discursively, from the point of view of an external logic, is not psychologically or subjectively felt and does not constitute an intuitive datum of the act, comprehended in the ardor of its fulfillment, a consciously experienced condition. If one wished to see this point clearly, one should place oneself in the condition of a man attached to a work which entirely absorbs his interest. This work, of which we can imagine, for instance, that it consists in fitting up a delicate mechanism, admits no doubt, of successive movements that such a piece should be placed before such and such another. In this case a certain distribution in time of operations is imposed. But we can say that the time that intervenes here is rather in the movements than in thought. It is on some way a part of the action. There is no definite obstacle which that action has to get over. We perform a present work; we are not overwhelmed by the previous knowledge of the works which have to follow or of the time taken by these works. We do not suffer by not having already reached the end of the work undertaken; we do not wait for the end as a sort of a reward for the present effort. Perfect action, in which we are engaged, appears as a delicate equilibrium between the impatience of obtaining a result and the consciousness of the inconveniences or perils inherent in an excessive haste, a blind precipitation. We reach thus to a natural rhythm of action; we do all that we are capable of doing in doing it well. From the time when the agent feels established in himself, he is not affected emotionally by the consideration of the future or the past.
The mechanism, once it is put in the state of functioning may have a utility. That utility is not directly envisaged. We fit up the mechanism for the mere satisfaction of doing so, of seeing it whole gradually like an edifice which becomes progressively complete. We cannot reason on the satisfaction we feel. There is therein the activity of play, a free activity in the sense we have defined above. This activity does not tend towards a joy which will be external, which will have to wait for the future. The act is not distinct from the joy which it brings. There, is the most pronounced difference among the emotions which develop in time, a time of which the consideration raises the emotions of desire and regret, a time which stands as an obstacle in itself before the active agent. That sort of time, the stirring time cannot find a place in the consciousness of one who works completely. For such an agent, the consideration of the past or the future is of no more interest than that of the present. He does not feel the need of quitting one of these times to live in another. Time becomes to him the conception of a successive order of things; it defines the outline of the action but is not a motive power or a brake by itself. Time, thus conceived does not generate haste or idleness in him who is conscious of it. It is no more than an intellectual scheme, an instrument of classification or a prevision, a design or a systematic continuation of a design. Ceasing from impelling the action or conditioning it from outside the agent, it appears in its formal content as the creation, even the product of the action. The events of the past are but accomplished acts and those of the future but presumed acts. And it is further a present act which presumes them. Viewed from the inside of the complete act, time appears then not as a beginning but as a consequence, not as a reality compelling the act, but as a reality laid down by the act and explaining the nature thereof. Such a time finds itself thenceforward devoid if not, of importance, at least of interest. It ceases to be a desirable or insufferable thing, a thing which one wishes by turns to accumulate or destroy. It is obliterated as an object of direct and distinct pre-occupation. And the agent sees in the present ‘not a present which makes part of time but the present which is action.’ (Krishnamurti). Thus then, though the complete act lets itself be seen to the perceiver from the outside and from a point of analytical view, as a solidarity, a dynamic organization of distinct movements external to one another and dividing themselves in the categories of time, the division of time which that vision supposes is neither effectively felt nor really and fully considered by the author of the act during the act. Further, the distinction between the past, the present and the future holds good physically — practical life will become impossible without it — and even as an intellectual notion, but it is denuded of the quality, the coloration, the emotional efficacy it ordinarily has. We can say that it becomes purely operative, instrumental, that it incorporates itself invisibly to the act, becomes part of its internal structure, its essence, articulating to it in some way; it is acted rather than veritably, vitally felt. The material coherence, the co-ordination in time, the
movements or the initiatives do not cease from being assured and correspond well to an implicit discernment of moments, an unformulated perception of successive order which is inseparable from all action. But that co-ordination and that order do not, in general represent more and time is not, viewed in a specially or irresistibly alluring light. We no more find in relation with the living depths of the agent the sense of the past which perhaps includes much melancholy, nostalgia and inexorable and oppressive weight of a vast history, whose movements are all at once completed and irrevocable. Neither do we find in the agent the sense of the future which is heavy with many expectations, fears and hopes. We no longer wait for a future where we can at last live completely. Above all, there is no more the conscious vision, the evocation of a person identified with ourselves who breaks loose like vapor through the fissures of unfinished action and turns away intentionally and deliberately from the present to plunge in the gulfs of the past and the future, obedient to intoxicating seductions or insurmountable repulsions. That phantom-like presence vanishes along with the division of time which maintained it and the agent of the complete act escaping from the obsession of desire as well as regret, lives in an indivisible duration which gathering in itself, the past, the present and the future of common parlance, can be called the present. This is not to say that the agent will be limited to the present but rather that all will become present; past and future will give up their emotionally distinctive character in being identified with the present. To him they are no more than present. In fact, neither the past, nor the future can be conceived, by themselves. Each of these cannot be conceived except by means of the others and cannot be defined except in relation with the others. To cancel the consciousness of the division of time is then, in one sense, to cancel time itself. From the very fact that all the powers of the agent are united and realized in an intense, supreme concentration of energy, the complete act assumes in his consciousness a limpidity, a wonderful clarity. It attains a point of harmony where the elements concurring to produce it no more enter into conflict; they become essentially invisible, though we can still intellectually distinguish them. That is to say, even though it is possible from outside or after the event to discern in the complete act the mental, emotional and physical components, these components are so intimately associated that they can no more live internally and be the objects of distinct observation. A sort of alignment takes place among the emotion, thought and action, an alignment which makes them concur, and converge in an organic synthesis, presenting an appropriate unity, an original import, constituting in itself a simple and new reality. It is as if three tubes of a primitively distinct plan were to fit in to form together one tube of which the sections become indiscernible or as if the fragments of a lens broke to solder again with as much of perfection as the lens to retake its first transparence and become capable of realizing a resplendent concentration of light.
This alignment, this adjustment, this concurrence of the powers of the agent effaces their particular characteristics, the distinctive existence of each of them, just as in a disc in rotation a judicious proportioning of primary colors destroys all coloration, These powers are named and distinguished from one another by their disagreement, even by their opposition and still more by the fact that they appear successively and not simultaneously. These lively emotions, in their first élan, their manifestation for a literal, unconditional and immediate fulfillment enter into conflict with reason. Precipitating themselves blindly towards their object, pressing already in imagination, they are restrained in their first bound by the caution of that reason, which views them as the vexatious and inevitable results of the structural memory of past experiences. They tend to appear as present or projected action. Thus, there is conflict between this transport towards immediate satisfaction and the apprehension of future difficulties, of mournful morrows, which will be the ransom of that blind élan. This conflict apparently opposes emotion to thought, but it really constitutes by the medium of that thought a fight between direct and reflected desire, between passing and permanent desire. It makes of action a deceiving compromise, a bastard reality whish incapable of being fully translated as emotions, or reason cannot but bring about a conflict between them, thus acquiring a semblance of distinct and isolated existence. The emotions are differentiated from reason not only by knocking against each other but also, if one may say so, by flying from each other. They are not awakened except successively. When emotions are awakened, reason remains asleep and vice versa. There is emotion without thought or thought without emotion. The last term becomes present to the mind by its very absence. From the moment when the emotions become spontaneously logical, that is say, involve a clear knowledge of their results and adjust themselves to that knowledge, they are susceptible of developing indefinitely as concrete action without mutual interference or limitations; that is to say, that they can express themselves successively without collision or, what amounts to the same thing without pain for the agent. Reason which presents itself as a sort of external corrective of emotions, integrates itself into them, enters into them totally, dissolves itself in them elucidating them. In the words of Krishnamurti “it enters into fusion in the intensity of emotional lucidity” and forms with the emotions a single homogenous substance. Properly speaking, there is no more any emotion, thought or effort but a total functioning, a simple and integral internal movement, an emanation of energy which is accomplished by itself without interruption or hindrance. It becomes unnecessary to seek in this flood wherefrom external actions detach themselves at every moment what belongs to emotion and what proceeds from thought. In these circumstances man has the feeling of being the origin of the flux of a compact and smooth life, of a homogenous and undifferentiated élan, of a continuity of internal gushing.
The waters of life flow uniformly from a single jet without eddies or whirlpools to alter its transparence or to check its course. It is that simultaneous and undivided animation of all the powers of the agent which makes him see this final clarity. This vision, which no conflict can obscure, may reach in certain circumstances, an intensity of light which, to use a very old but entirely adequate and correct phrase, is nothing short of illumination. The different emotional movements succeed one another in an intellectually coherent and apparently indefinite and living order, sustaining among them relations conforming to their respective natures. Intelligence does not discover any logical contradiction, any deep seated incompatibility among sentiments which go to fill the heart. Thenceforth, the acts corresponding to successive sentiments develop without proving themselves obstacles. Even if, from the view point of others a contradiction exists, it is not felt as such, by the agent. His action is at all times, perfect for himself, that is, in regard to the criteria of appreciation he maintains. In these conditions, from the moment the action is initiated without retardation or resistance, no conflict is conceivable. The unity of the act no more appears to the agent, as a diversity that has been overcome or even as a happy association of components which remain distinct in spite of that association, but as a simplicity existing by itself, anterior in some way to all differentiation and incapable of any analysis. We no more see a mosaic, where contours appear in the grouped elements. We are conscious of an integral unity which holds together, or if you wish, of a total function in which the habitual resolution in specific activities can well be the product of a mirage created by imperfection, the limitation of the senses. Natural imperfections, indeed, but, whose naive acceptance will conduct us to interpretations, which though technically valid and fruitful, will be psychologically illusory, so that if the characteristic order of the complete act appears as a synthesis to a thought habitually moving amidst distinctions and oppositions, it can, considered in itself, be regarded as a primitive non-duality. Thenceforward, that which, from the point of view of distinction presented itself as conciliation, a skilful and conscious adjustment of differentiated functions, manifests itself in the consciousness of the complete act, as a primitive reality, which is naturally indivisible; it cannot even seem as reduced to fragments except by an illusion natural to our sensorial or sensory-mental perspective in the same manner as a real straight line has a broken appearance when refraction intervenes. The conflict between these opposed interpretation only expresses the paradox of a reality which is obliged to break itself apparently to be grasped but is really at bottom alien to all discontinuity, all factual division. If it is really so we see how great is the error of those who imagine themselves to have attained a complete act by an intellectua1 conciliation of differences. Indeed, from the very first this attempt at conciliation presupposes the practical conviction that the differences are real. Further, the method adopted to harmonize them leads to an analysis
which only emphasizes these differences. To unite them further, we are led to divide furthermore the concept, to consider finer details, to lose ourselves in increasing and inextricable subtleties so that it is with a mind obsessed by difference that we can deceive ourselves as having realized the unity; it is not surprising then that we are discomfited. These criticisms remain valid even if the unity of the complete act, instead of having an absolute foundation, is nothing but an unavoidable appearance which, as a result functions for us as the absolute. In every case, to reach the complete act we should not seek to conciliate the differences, but on the contrary, we should lose the sense of distinction. This cannot take place except by a vital transformation, following a grand internal tension. We may remark that the attributes we have been logically led to confer on a completed act are, mostly, the same as those which the theologians consider as proper to God; perfection, felicity, infinity, simplicity; eternity etc. This does not surprise us. That which men have venerated, naming it God: is the image of their real happiness. Now, in truth, the complete act is the very formula of supreme human felicity. It is then only natural that it manifests the attributes traditionally ascribed to Divinity.
THE COMPLETE ACT - VIEWED DIALECTICALLY By René Fouéré (Published in The Vedanta Kesari. September 1947) Translated from the original article in French, by P. Seshadri Iyer, Travancore University. In speaking of the complete act, we have stated thus in our previous article : ‘If the act remains in suspense in some manner, the living force restrained in it will become desire, just as the living force of a spring whose motion when hindered becomes pressure. There will be an internal contradiction, the consciousness of an obstacle as well as the consciousness of a desire; there will be the perception of a time which fills up the interval between desire and fulfillment and which can be measured by the strength of the obstacle. Lastly, the effort of desire against the obstacle will reveal a self which knows itself as the agent of that effort.’ A consideration of the above statement will suggest a new way of envisaging the complete act. If the existence of an interval between desire and fulfillment brings about incompleteness, the absence of that interval should lead us to the complete act. The latter can, therefore, be defined as the fulfillment of a desire as soon as it is formed, so that there is no psychologically perceptible interval between desire and fulfillment. A doubt may arise whether the above definition, which introduces the notion of desire in the complete act, does not go against our previous analysis which made us exclude all effective sense of desire from such an act. The answer is in the negative. Though desire may still subsist as a logical cause or source of the movement implied in the act, it is no longer a fact of consciousness. The very notion of desire cannot be formed unless a perceptible interval separates the application of the will to an already conceived act from the actual fulfillment of that act. Desire and fulfillment cannot be distinguished except in so far as they remain separate. From the moment they become constantly coincident, there can be, properly speaking, neither desire nor fulfillment, but only a flux of persistent action, a continual conscious transformation, which constitutes a dialectic transcendence of the antitheses, desire and realization. Our present definition of the complete act is, therefore, perfectly compatible with our earlier affirmation, according to which there can be no conscious desire in a complete act. The difference between the two is only that the previous affirmation was purely static while the present definition is essentially dynamic, introducing a movement in the complete act which appears henceforth as a complex and graduated process. It is like the play of fluid substitutions, a permanent reduction of perpetually reviving contrasts. Everything that seemed unchangeable changes in the crucible to become and reveal new aspects. The continuity of the complete act is thus a continuity in the gushing out of successive desires which are fulfilled as soon as they arise and are extinguished in their very fulfillment. Hence they do not attain a durable or distinct existence. According to this hypothesis, the interval
between desire and its object always remains psychologically so infinitesimally small that it cannot be perceived. Viewed in this light, the complete act appears as the addition, the integral of elementary steps just as in geometry a continuous curve is reduced to an endless, juxtaposition of rectilinear and infinitesimal elements. If, during the effectuation of an act, the interval between certain instantaneous desires or rather certain instantaneous expression of desire and their corresponding elementary fulfillment widens and becomes permanent, then suspensions appear in the activity. From that moment the ant cannot be complete. There will be moments when desire will be present and there will be no fulfillment of the desire. Such moments will be moments of dissatisfaction, and incompleteness. There is no possibility of such moments in a complete act. The latter will, therefore, be not the interrupted passage from desire to fulfillment, but a continuous and gradual transition. Its movement is not intermittent and hampered, but continuous and flowing like a curve with endless variations. Since all desires tend to be fulfilled without delay, the existence of a perceptible and settled interval between desire and realization attests to the presence of an obstacle. The nascent act is checked and hindered. The agent experiences the feeling of a constraint. On the other hand, the continuous passage from desire to fulfillment signifies the absence or the continual reduction or the perpetual effacement of obstacles. In other words, it is a synonym of the freedom of the act. We have already shown in our previous article that the complete act is a free act; but the freedom envisaged therein was static, consisting in the absence of internal contradictions. We have also indicated that if that freedom becomes permanent, it is not possible to experience that feeling. The freedom we are now considering does not lie in the absence of internal contradictions, but in the fact that the contradictions which can surge, remain in a nascent state, and are being constantly resolved. Such a freedom can be always experienced even if it becomes permanent. It is accompanied by a feeling of the perpetual rupture of limitations that arise only to be transcended and obstacles that seem to have only so much of consistency as to reveal the power which easily gets over them. These limitations and hindrances are fragile, and appear only to vanish and vanish only to reappear. They widen at each manifestation, describing circles which ever grow in extent and luminosity. None can envisage a limit to that growth. Thus there appears an eternal movement of action, which raises characteristic obstacles (a point misunderstood by Mr. Wells in his Time Explorer). But these obstacles become a starting point for a new élan, constituting the spring-board for a rebound, like the stones encountered by a wave which only serve to raise it to a height it could not have reached by itself. At that stage, there is no more any barren satisfaction or painful tension of a restrained effort, but the illimitable progress of a moving equilibrium between pressure and resistance, a sort of pulsation where waves spread
spontaneously and indefinitely. It is the inexhaustible effusion of a vibrating serenity, returning always to the invisible fountain-head. A positive feeling of liberty follows from this. It is the sensation of flowing, expansion, ceaseless effusion by the force of an internal pressure which easily surmounts all obstacles and introduces in the experience of life, a dynamic elegance and a perfume of delightful reality. Thus the sense of the only liberty which can be constantly and directly experienced is the feeling of what Krishnamurti calls the movement of life. We see that the liberty which was passive and unverifiable in the static view of the complete act has now become active and permanent; there is now the perception of a movement freed from all the shackles which could constrain it. What we have termed the absence of internal contradiction, a pure unity, shows itself as contradictions constantly manifesting and constantly surmounted. These contradictions are resolved as soon as they are formed and cannot really be contradictions. They are in fact established in the unity of a movement which includes in itself at one and the same time two polarities, contrary and surmounted. The infinite or, if you will, the static non-finite of the complete act appears now as a perpetual transcending of limits, a ceaseless progress. Further, the limits are but apparent outskirts of an endless extension. The simplicity manifests itself as a resolved complexity. We have defined the complete act as the transcendence of the antitheses of desire and fulfillment. Now this opposition was the result of the fragmentation of the act in and by time. The continuity of the act is thus broken and at the points of rupture, there is the insertion of an undesirable interval constituting a sort of foreign matter, a recess of relative inertia, a dead presence in the living flesh of the act, an obstacle to its natural course. The elimination of this time obstacle restores to the act its essential purity and constant homogeneity. We thus find anew the idea that the complete act is a pure act perceptible as a simple and irresolvable movement. From the moment desire and fulfillment are not separated, the notion of time as a distance between desire and fulfillment disappears. We realize how the complete act is beyond time and how it can be reconciled with a real becoming. We also understand why Krishnamurti could speak of a pure, timeless becoming. Far from being destroyed, empiric change becomes pure change. What is destroyed is the time defined as a ‘duration in view of progress’ (Krishnamurti). That definition agrees with that which envisaged time as a distance between desire and fulfillment. Where the notion of progress intervenes, the notions of growth, completion and fulfillment implicitly come in. If one progresses, it is towards an end which is the fulfillment of a desire, consciously or unconsciously formulated. What we have said of the continuity of the complete act cannot be regarded as a movement inherent in the act, an ever uniform movement. If the movement is really without rupture or any
imposed check, it can still admit of slackening in the presence of an obstacle and acceleration when the obstacle is surmounted. It is therefore a rhythmical movement and the rhythm can create an increasing exaltation. It can make a sort of dazzling gallop, a triumphal circuit surmounting obstacles with accelerating speed. We know not then whether we go to the universe or the universe comes to us. We are not aware whether we desire that which comes to us or we get exactly that we desire. We cannot tell whether our thought becomes reality or the reality submits to our thought. A comparison with our previous article will lead to the question: ‘What concept of the complete act reveals its fundamental nature, the static or the dynamic?’ We answer: Neither the one nor the other, but both together at the same time. The complete act is the synthesis of the two points of view which reveal therein each of these real aspects. The static aspect is perhaps more profound; but if it alone existed, there would be no perception. Liberty, eternity and infinity will cease to be objects of consciousness. We have already observed this in regard to the liberty envisaged statically and we have defined it as the absence of internal contradiction which manifests itself indefinitely and hence cannot be verified or become an element of distinct experience. There will be an impoverishment in the contents of life. In the complete act, there will be a transfiguration and not a pure and simple destruction of the notions that emerge from the common activities, the incomplete activities. The mournful and imperfect elements are eliminated, but a perception which can be called perfect in a dynamic sense abides. We can say that the static definitions are appropriate in regard to an act which has been already accomplished, while the dynamic definitions are suited to an act in the making. The former characterize the act in its totality and the latter the act in each moment of its effectuation. If we compare the complete act to a musical measure, the static definitions describe the entire measure while dynamic definitions describe the movement from one note to another in the measure.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?