Our normal perception is one of continuity. We see our life as a movement of continuity. I have an image of myself now and this image changes very slightly from moment to moment. When a strong catalyst enters my life I may experience a more marked change in my image of myself. I may then say to myself “Now I am more generous, more trusting, more compassionate after this experience.” This is an expression of my changed image. And yet I experience myself as the same ‘me’ day after day after day.
The ancients say that the basic cause for bondage is the rising, ruinous thought that I am different than the reality. The ‘me’ is a fictitious center that perceives itself as the observer and the rest of the world as the observed. Is there any way for us to drop this center, this ‘image builder’, as Krishnamurti calls it? We are indeed in a very mysterious situation in which we are able to observe forms and sounds and all other sensory input – and yet we seem unable to not succumb to the seduction of believing ourselves to be the doers of the actions we are involved in.
When I am able to focus my unified concentration on what is in front of me right now, all sense of being a separate observer falls away. Then there is only ‘observation’ with no center as the observer who records all events and stores them away for future reference.
The tenacious ‘habit energy’ wants to be able to be aware of this state of no observer and of no space between me and what I observe, but that is not possible while in that state – it is only possible to BE that state: there is no entity there to see anything.
What is the difference between moving through my day in a kind of trance, in which I also am not aware of what I am doing but am acting as a kind of automaton? It is the same difference as between one who is in deep sleep, in oblivion of the world, and one who is in a state of heightened sensitivity and acute perception of all that happens while ‘awake’ but whose linear brain is not engaged (except when called upon for certain functions). There is often the sense of a dream-like state and yet life is more real than ever.
There is a movement of discontinuity that is of an altogether different quality than the movement of continuity which is the movement of conditioned consciousness.
“This new dimension is a movement of discontinuity. We discover that which all wisdom teachings speak of: each moment is unique and absolutely free of all residue from former moments of NOW. It is only our capacity to re-member that creates a connection between each pristine moment. When we see that it is our mind that holds on to a sense of causality and interdependence of phenomena, we are free of the past.”
excerpt from Freedom from the Known, J. Krishnamurti
Krishnamurti: Is it possible to meet every issue without this space-time interval, without the gap between oneself and the thing of which one is afraid? It is possible only when the observer has no continuity, the observer who is the builder of the image, the observer who is a collection of memories and ideas, who is a bundle of abstractions.
When you look at the stars there is you who are looking at the stars in the sky; the sky is flooded with brilliant stars, there is cool air, and there is you, the observer, the experiencer, the thinker, you with your aching heart, you, the centre, creating space. You will never understand about the space between yourself and the stars, yourself and your wife or husband, or friend, because you have never looked without the image, and that is why you do not know what beauty is or what love is. You talk about it, you write about it, but you have never known it except perhaps at rare intervals of total self-abandonment. So long as there is a centre creating space around itself there is neither love nor beauty.
When there is no centre and no circumference then there is love. And when you love you are beauty.
source: Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, PDF file, pp. 72 – 77