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The Observer is the Observed

Madras, India. Group Discussion 25th October, 1947

There are in the world as it exists today, two categories of people, each category with its own way of thinking based on study and experimentation. Both have formed systems of their own, upon which they are working. Ideologically, tremendous efforts are being made to bring you under one or the other of these two:

i) Matter is in movement and therefore creates the idea. Man is only the product of environment and can therefore be compelled or shaped to any form of action. Therefore, any means is justified if it achieves the end in view, and

ii) It is the idea which moves upon matter and controls it. The means and the end will both be of the same kind, i.e., wrong means will mean wrong end and right means right end.

Both these are conclusions and they are therefore bound to retard thinking.

Any conclusion or hypothesis - Individualism or Collectivism, Capitalism or Socialism or Communism, Reincarnation, etc. - is a belief. By accepting a belief, you exclude all other forms of thinking. Belief in God does not mean understanding God. A mind tethered to a belief, hypothesis or conclusion - whether based on its own experience or the experience of others - cannot go far; it is not free but conditioned. Therefore, belief is a hindrance to understanding.

When the mind seeks safety, security - i.e. something concrete on which it can anchor - it has recourse to a conclusion or to a hypothesis. Experimentation does not lead to conclusion; the experimenter keeps on watching, looking and observing. To understand what is taking place in the experiment, he is in a receptive mood, quiet and sensitive like a photographic plate, without criticising or condemning. So also should be our attitude if we would understand the full significance of a marvellous scene, a picture, or a poem.

Relationship is a living thing and as a living thing it is self-revealing. Yet, as we base it on our beliefs and conclusions, it ceases to be 'living' and becomes a problem. You cannot have vested interests - economic, psychological or spiritual - and at the same time freedom. Awareness of our 'conditioning' or 'blockages' will lead to a sea of troubles. "My son, if you come to serve God, come prepared for temptation". Those who are pursuing Truth will have to meet troubles; it is they who are going to change the world.

The Observer is the Observed

Madras, India. Group Discussion 25th October, 1947

Jiddu Krishnamurti texts. The Observer Is the Observed. Contains reports of spontaneous discourses about life and reality, given at different times between 1945 and 1948.

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