Can I Look At Life, At It All, Without The Image?

=== JKrishnamurti.org – Daily Quote ===

Can I look at life, at it all, without the image?

Is it possible to observe without the thinker? I look at everything with an image, with a symbol, with memory, with knowledge. I look at my friend, at my wife, at my neighbour, at the boss, with the image which thought has built. I look at my wife with the image I have about her, and she looks at me with the image she has about me: the relationship is between these two images. This is a fact – it’s not an invention on my part – it’s a fact!

Thought has built these symbols, images, ideas. Can I look, at first, at a tree, at a flower, at the sky, at the cloud, without an image? The image of the tree is the word I have learnt which gives a certain name to the tree, tells its species, and recalls its beauty. Can I look at that tree, at that cloud, at that flower, without thought, without the image? That’s fairly easy to do, if you have done it.

But can I look – without the image – at a human being with whom I am intimate, whom I consider as wife, husband, child? If I can’t, there is no real relationship: the only relationship is between the images that we both have. So can I look at life – the clouds, the stars, the trees, the river, the bird on the wing, my wife, my child, my neighbour, this whole earth – can I look at it all without the image?

Though you have insulted me, though you have hurt me, though you have said nasty things about me or praised me, can I look at you without the image or the memory of what you have done and said to me?

The Collected Works, Vol. XVI – 169

=== Thoughts ===

Images are the single most destructive product of the human mind, of thought. They create a division, or a boundary between ourselves and our environment- between people, objects, and events.

Wherever there’s an image, there can be no real relationship, since the image, quite obviously created by the subjective mind, with all it’s prejudices, preconceptions, and limitations, is interposed between the “self” and “other” (another false dichotomy).

Rather than perceiving things as they actually exist, or the actual, the image forces us to experience reality as an interpretation, an extraction, and a false construction, colored by personal history.

It’s our responsibility, as moral human beings, to NOT create an image.

It’s our responsibility, as moral human beings, to REFUSE to cling to prejudices, personal opinions, and even subjective conclusions.

In an ever-changing environment, surrounded by people, objects, and events that are constantly in flux (which is quite obvious to anyone who’s paid even a shred of attention to their surroundings), why SHOULD we cling to private conclusions, prejudices, and rigid belief systems?

What is so difficult about admitting that “I do not know”?

Attempting to meet the now with an image, constructed upon past experience, leaves no hope for perceiving the actual. You’re simply seeing things according to previous experience, to your own petty little prejudices, your selfish beliefs, and egotistical conclusions.

Don’t you want to see people, events, places, and things for what they really are?

Or are you so attached to your selfish little perspective and your rampant, unwarranted, and illogical attachment to images, that you refuse to even make the attempt?

The choice is yours to make.

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