You Learn A Great Deal By Watching

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

You learn a great deal by watching, watching the things about you, watching the birds, the tree, watching the heavens, the stars, the constellation of Orion, the Dipper, the Evening star. You learn just by watching not only the things around you but also by watching people, how they are dressed.

You not only watch that which is outside but also you watch yourself, why you think this or that, your behaviour, the conduct of your daily life, why parents want you to do this or that. You are watching, not resisting. If you resist you don’t learn. Or if you come to some kind of conclusion, some opinion you think is right and hold on to that, then naturally you will never learn.

Freedom is necessary to learn, and curiosity, a sense of wanting to know why you or others behave in a certain way, why people are angry, why you get annoyed. Learning is extraordinarily important because learning is endless. Learning why human beings kill each other for instance.

Of course there are explanations in books, all the psychological reasons why human beings behave in their own particular manner, why human beings are violent. All this has been explained in books of various kinds by eminent authors, psychologists and so on.  But what you read is not what you are.

What you are, how you behave, why you get angry, envious, why you get depressed, if you watch yourself you learn much more than from a book that tells you what you are.

Letters to the Schools vol II, pp 75-76

=== Thoughts ===

Even though I think about this subject all the time, and constantly remind myself just to watch, to observe without the shadow of the self and without imposing my predisposed notions, preconceptions, and conclusions on the things I see, hear, and witness, I still have a terribly difficult time following this simple advice from Krishnamurti.

I understand it perfectly, in an academic sense that is. Forget the self, put aside your subjective viewpoint, and simply watch. It’s easy to do for a second or two, or while sitting outside surrounded by the wonder that is nature, by the trees gently swaying in a warm breeze, while the clouds float past, or while watching the light on a body of water.

But when someone cuts me off on the freeway, or when I’m told to do something I don’t want to do, when someone chastises me, derides me, or betrays me, how am I to put that subjective part of me aside?

It’s only through practice, through mindfulness, and through thoughtfulness, that we can get around our immediate emotional reactions to everyday situations, and keep ourselves from spinning back into the cycle of anger, regret, and unhappiness.

It’s only through the dissolution of the self and the total abandonment of goals, objectives, conclusions, and especially divisions, that we can claim that essential element missing from our lives- total freedom.

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