Knowing What You Are By Watching Yourself

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

By looking at the mirror every day, you begin to know your own face, and you say: “That is me.”

Now, can you in the same way know what you are by watching yourself? Can you watch your gestures, the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you behave, whether you are hard, cruel, rough, patient? Then you begin to know yourself.

You know yourself by watching yourself in the mirror of what you are doing, what you are thinking, what you are feeling. That is the mirror—the feeling, the doing, the thinking. And in that mirror you begin to watch yourself.

The mirror says this is the fact; but you do not like the fact. So you want to alter it. You start distorting it. You do not see it as it is.

Krishnamurti on Education, p 61

=== Thoughts ===

Who, or what are we, when all is said and done? Am I my beliefs, my body, my thoughts, and my conduct? Am I my possessions, my relatives, my friends, and their behavior? Am I my country, it’s laws, it’s military, and actions?

Where does the “me” end, and the “not me” begin?

It seems obvious to this me that each of us is a blend of all of the above. There is no single thing, no single aspect, and no elemental force that I’d call “me”. “I” am an accumulation, an amalgamation, and a combination of a variety of forces.

But how best can I observe these many aspects which in unison become my “I”? If I want to understand myself, then where should I begin?

I can observe myself only in the mirror that is my relationship with the people, places, and things in the environment. I exist only in conjunction with them, and never in isolation from them. My surroundings, my world, my universe, are all an ‘outward’ reflection on the ‘inner’ “self”, which is itself an ‘inner’ reflection of the ‘outer’ “not self”!

Certainly, there is a demarcation or a distinction, between the “me” and the “not me”, but can you really say that there exists a true division?

Isn’t my “I” determined by my surroundings, and aren’t they determined, at least in part, by me?

Don’t we exist, endlessly intertwined, in an impermanent state of eternal change, determined by and determining the shape, form, and function of one another?

To know what I am, to know what we are, must we not watch both that ‘internal’ form we call “ourselves” and that ‘outward’ expression of that same form, which we call “the world”?

If you’re asking me, I would say that it is only with a deep understanding of both the “self” and “the other” that we can hope to understand anything.

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