Not a philosophy of life but to observe
It is important to understand from the very beginning that I am not formulating any philosophy or any theological structure of ideas or theological concepts. It seems to me that all ideologies are utterly idiotic. What is important is not a philosophy of life but to observe what is actually taking place in our daily life, inwardly and outwardly. If you observe very closely what is taking place and examine it, you will see that it is based on an intellectual conception, and the intellect is not the whole field of existence; it is a fragment, and a fragment, however cleverly put together, however ancient and traditional, is still a small part of existence whereas we have to deal with the totality of life.
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.
How to look at your fear
Do please listen to this, it is not complicated. It demands attention, and attention has its own discipline; you don’t have to introduce a system of discipline. You know, sirs, what this world needs is not politicians or more engineers, but free human beings. Engineers and scientists may be necessary, but it seems to me that what the world needs is human beings who are free, who are creative, who have no fear. And most of us are ridden with fear. If you can go profoundly into fear and really understand it, you will come out with innocency, so that your mind is clear. That is what we need, and that is why it is very important to understand how to look at a fact, how to look at your fear. That is the whole problem, not how to get rid of fear, not how to be courageous, not what to do about fear, but to be fully with the fact.
There is no knowledge of tomorrow
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.
Can the mind observe itself without accumulation?
Through awareness I begin to see myself as I actually am, the totality of myself. Being watchful from moment to moment of all its thoughts, its feelings, its reactions, unconscious as well as conscious, the mind is constantly discovering the significance of its own activities, which is self-knowledge. Whereas if my understanding is merely accumulative, then that accumulation becomes a conditioning which prevents further understanding. So can the mind observe itself without accumulation?
Just look without thought
I wonder if you have ever walked along a crowded street, or a lonely road, and just looked at things without thought? There is a state of observation without the interference of thought. Though you are aware of everything about you, and you recognize the person, the mountain, the tree, or the oncoming car, yet the mind is not functioning in the usual pattern of thought. I don’t know if this has ever happened to you. Do try it sometime when you are driving or walking. Just look without thought; observe without the reaction which breeds thought. Though you recognize color and form, though you see the stream, the car, the goat, the bus, there is no reaction, but merely negative observation; and that very state of so-called negative observation is action. Such a mind can utilize knowledge in carrying out what it has to do, but it is free of thought in the sense that it is not functioning in terms of reaction. With such a mind, a mind that is attentive without reaction,you can go to the office, and all the rest of it.
Is it possible for the mind not to accept or deny?
Words have condemnatory or appreciative meanings. As long as my mind is caught in words, either I condemn or accept. And is it possible for the mind not to accept or deny, but observe without the word and the symbol interfering with it?
Is it possible to just look?
Can I look without the word at every problem: the problem of fear, the problem of pleasure? Because the word creates, breeds thought; and thought is memory, experience, pleasure, and therefore a distorting factor.
This is really quite astonishingly simple. Because it is simple, we mistrust it. We want everything to be very complicated, very cunning; and all cunning is covered with a perfume of words. If I can look at a flower nonverbally -and I can; anyone can do it, if one gives sufficient attention -can’t I look with that same objective, nonverbal attention at the problems which I have? Can’t I look out of silence, which is nonverbal, without the thinking machinery of pleasure and time being in operation? Can’t I just look? I think that’s the crux of the whole matter -not to approach from the periphery, which only complicates life tremendously, but to look at life, with all its complex problems of livelihood, sex, death, misery, sorrow, the agony of being tremendously alone -to look at all that without association, out of silence, which means without a center, without the word which creates the reaction of thought, which is memory and hence time. I think that is the real problem, the real issue: whether the mind can look at life where there is immediate action, not an idea and then action, and eliminate conflict altogether.