Observation Without The Screen Of Knowledge

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

Observation implies no accumulation of knowledge, even though knowledge is obviously necessary at a certain level: knowledge as a doctor, knowledge as a scientist, knowledge of history, of all the things that have been. After all, that is knowledge: information about the things that have been. There is no knowledge of tomorrow, only conjecture as to what might happen tomorrow, based on your knowledge of what has been.

A mind that observes with knowledge is incapable of following swiftly the stream of thought. It is only by observing without the screen of knowledge that you begin to see the whole structure of your own thinking. And as you observe—which is not to condemn or accept, but simply to watch—you will find that thought comes to an end.

Casually to observe an occasional thought leads nowhere. But if you observe the process of thinking and do not become an observer apart from the observed, if you see the whole movement of thought without accepting or condemning it, then that very observation puts an end immediately to thought—and therefore the mind is compassionate; it is in a state of constant mutation.

The Collected Works vol XIII, pp 299-300

=== Thoughts ===

Yet again, as we’ve discussed so many times before, Krishnamurti returns to the essential point that identification with one’s thoughts negates the possibility of understanding anything at all. When we’re burdened with conclusions, with evaluations, interpretations, and translations, there is no possibility for us to comprehend the actual, or that which truly exists.

Instead, we see, hear, feel, and experience ourselves, our environment, and that irrational division between the so-called “inner” and “outer” through the screen of the “self”, through a fogged lens of accumulation. The accumulation a precipitation of our often treasured “knowledge”, which is essentially no more than an aggregation of the past. This screen distorts our experiences, our thoughts, and our everyday lives. Viewing the world through the screen of the self is like taking a picture with a lens covered in tar. You’re certainly not going to perceive what’s actually there.

When we identify with our thoughts, we become attached to people and things. We become attached to ideas and conclusions. We become attached to plans, to organizations, and deliberations. We become attached to the past, to our images, to a self-constructed and subjective view of the world, based entirely upon previous experience. We become lose our capacity to create, to take risks, and to be original. We become stale, dull, shoddy little copies of those that have come before us.

Look at yourself objectively for just a second (if you dare), and observe your behavior and actions. Watch your thoughts. Watch your responses to environmental stimuli. Think about the past few hours, the past few days, and the past few years, and what you’ve done with them. When was the last time you did something truly different? When did you last show courage? When did you go against the flow, step outside the box, or swim against the stream? Have you ever stepped out on a limb, taken a risk, or put it all on the line?

Or have you followed the herd, plodding on through life like a cow to slaughter? Like a robot on an assembly-line, following the instructions that laid out before you by the authority figures, by those in power, or those with “knowledge”. Have you ever stopped and wondered whether or not they might have gotten it all wrong?

How could they not have gotten it wrong? Look at the world around you, not your city, or even your country, but the world at large. When you see the poverty, the misery, the chaos, and the general suffering of man, don’t you wonder where we went wrong, and don’t you want to find out what can be done to right our course?

Are we doomed to live out our lives in a world divided between the fortunates and the unfortunate? Between those who were born with a silver spoon in their mouths and those who were born without a single spoon in the entire village?

Do you really refuse to promote goodness, equality, justice, and morality, deferring your individual responsibility, and resigning to allow the impoverished, the starving, and the unfortunate to live out their lives according to the will and the twists and turns of what you call “fate”? Are you really that petty, that selfish, and that pathetic? Are you?

Or will you agree to watch yourself, to observe your selfish ways, your immoral acts and evil deeds. I’m not talking about stealing, lying, and killing, but consuming, abusing, and wasting more than your fair share.

Are you willing to become aware of your wasteful tendencies, of your greed, of your gluttony, lust, and pride?

Every individual has to make that choice. And unfortunately, though I wish it were possible, I can’t make that decision for you. But what I can do, what I am doing, is to challenge you to do something different, to reject the status quo, and to try to make a positive difference for the people of the world that aren’t as fortunate as you. For those who don’t own a computer. For those who don’t have access to high-speed internet. For those who are starving, living out their lives in war-torn, AIDs-ridden, impoverished, and by many accounts “hopeless” situations.

The world is not going to change on it’s own. The world is not going to change until each and every one of us forces it to do so. The world is not going to change until each and every one of us changes our own thoughts, our own ideas, and our own behavior. And by each and every one of us, what I mean is you and me.

It starts, and ends, with us.

Do something different!

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One Response to Observation Without The Screen Of Knowledge

  1. Pol Pot says:

    that Krishnamurti quote and your discussion was just what I needed. It may sound unintuitive to the common man to think that knowledge is a burden but it is true. When you are stuck in the sea of knowledge there is no way to live in the moment because you are constantly pulled into the past or what you think could happen in the future. The only truly way to understand life is to observe without judgement and selfishness. Then one will have a chance to be centered and not be pulled/pushed by others influences. When oneself frees their mind of the material world you will see an entire new world unravel before you.

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