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The Observer is the Observed

Madras, India. Group Discussion 10th November, 1947

To bring about order in this confused world, there must be right thinking which will lead to right action. There can be right thinking only when we are aware of the process of our thinking, i.e. when we know what we are thinking, the way we are feeling, etc. We all know how our mind is constantly vagrant and restless and how it is difficult for it to complete any particular thought and follow it out fully, because another thought precipitates itself upon the one which we want to think out. The mind can be understood only when it is slowed down so that each thought, as it arises, can be followed out with care and deep understanding, without effort, without compulsion, without interference and with a sense of freedom; the mind has to dedicate itself to that understanding.

When discussing this problem of slowing down the mind, one suggestion or response after another was made by the mind as to how the mind can be slowed down - i.e. (i) Stopping the mind; (ii) Controlling or disciplining the mind; (iii) Invoking a higher self or an entity beyond the mind; (iv) Repeating a thought to understand it; (v) Considering it each in his own way, ie from his own point of view. By analysing each one of these suggestions carefully step by step to its completion, we found these do not lead to the slowing down of the mind in movement, but to the dulling of the mind. In order to slow down the mind to understand it, the approach is not how to slow it down, but to become aware of its restlessness. We see that, in the very process of following carefully each suggestion or response up to its completion, the mind has already slowed down.

The approach is therefore much more important than the problem. It must not be through a particular spoke, form a particular point of view, from a combination of a few points of view, or through any particular channel. Through a part, the whole cannot be understood; and organised society and organised religion are only parts. Understanding leads to right action. Being afraid to act, most of us say that, eventually, we shall find Truth. But, we will never see, if we do not see it now. If we do not love now, will we love tomorrow?

The Observer is the Observed

Madras, India. Group Discussion 10th November, 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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