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The Observer is the Observed

Madras, India. Group Discussion 3rd December, 1947

[ A friend said that she very much desired to give up something which she felt was undesirable but that she could not do so. She wanted this matter to be discussed. For this purpose, another friend suggested the substitution of the thing which she wanted to give up, by something higher and impersonal. The matter was then discussed. ]

In daily life there is constant strife in the individual, which wears out his mind. The problem can be enunciated as follows: "I am gossiping: I want not to gossip; but I find it is very difficult." The substitution process will be "I am gossiping; I do not like gossiping; I want to think about something impersonal and bigger - e.g. world problem regarding food."

All religions have advocated the substitution process and also have suggested that the mind be kept fully engaged with these substitutions so that there would be no room for gossiping at all. Seeking God all the time is really having the single substitution, God, which will answer all "evil" qualities.

In seeking substitution, you follow that substitution without knowing what it is, merely because of your past memory or because of your accepting some authority; and the original problem is left untouched. Even when you have substituting, gossiping does not cease, but is repeated probably at a higher and more refined level. Your whole life is a series of substitutions as can be seen from your ceremonies, your change of religions and religious practices, your change of membership in societies, and your seeking one guru after another, etc. You have to realise that the pursuit of substitution is false.

The Observer is the Observed

Madras, India. Group Discussion 3rd December, 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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