This post is a continuation of yesterday’s post and is a further excerpt from Krishnamurti’s answers at a talk in Amsterdam on May 11, 1969. Here he pinpoints the key to true observation.
Questioner: Is thought a movement of the mind? Is awareness
the function of a motionless mind?
Krishnamurti: As we said the other day, thought is the response
of memory, like a computer into which you have fed all kinds of
information. And when you ask for the answer, what has been
stored up in the computer responds. In this same way the mind, the
brain, is the storehouse of the past, which is the memory, and when
it is challenged it responds in thought according to its knowledge,
experience, conditioning and so on. So thought is the movement, or
rather part of the movement, of the mind and the brain. The
questioner wants to know whether awareness is a stillness of the
mind. Can you observe anything – a tree, your wife, your
neighbour, the politician, the priest, a beautiful face – without any
movement of the mind? The images of your wife, of your husband,
of your neighbour, the knowledge of the cloud or of pleasure, all
that interferes, doesn’t it? So when there is interference by an
image of any kind, subtle or obvious, then there is no observation,
there is no real, total awareness – there is only partial awareness.
To observe clearly there must be no image coming in between the
observer and the thing observed. When you look at a tree, can you
look at it without the knowledge of that tree in botanical terms, or
the knowledge of your pleasure or desire concerning it? Can you
look at it so completely that the space between you – the observer –
and the thing observed disappears? That doesn’t mean that you
become the tree! But when that space disappears, there is the
cessation of the observer, and only the thing which is observed
remains. In that observation there is perception, seeing the thing
with extraordinary vitality, its colour, its shape, the beauty of the
leaf or trunk; when there is not the centre of the `me’ who is observing,
you are intimately in contact with that which you observe.
There is movement of thought, which is part of the brain and the
mind, when there is a challenge which must be answered by
thought. But to discover something new, something that has never
been looked at, there must be this intense attention without any
movement. This is not something mysterious or occult which you
have to practice for years and years; that is all sheer nonsense. It
does take place when, between two thoughts, you are observing.