Observing. Look at Everything as Though for the First Time

Looking without the word , without reaction. Can you ?

Got it ? Vous avez compris ? ( J. Krishnamurti )


“How do we tell the difference between ‘observing ourselves’ and ‘thinking about ourselves’?”

Great question! Top marks for the question!

When I try, I cannot. Because trying (and I & my knowledge) is desire. Desire is not seeing.

Yet if you don’t “try”, what is the point? If you agree with him that the brain is caught in a network of words/time and say right ‘good point’ and leave it there? He says follow every thought like watching a bird in flight, no reaction just watch. Then the brain becomes fresh, new etc. Try it and see if you can do it.

If I can’t follow each thought, I ask why. And then I try again, not to “get” anywhere but to see if what he’s talking about can be done. It’s not a surprise that we can’t do it for long because it’s foreign to the brain which he says is “caught in a network of words”. The brain may not want to see things as if for the first time, it’s happy with the old way of seeing, through images of everything. But to not try because that would be “me” trying or “me” desiring something misses the point I think.

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In fact at 6:38 he ask : can we do that ? Have you ever tried that ?

K.: Can we look at anything without reaction, first, then find out if we can look at all that without the network of words interfering with our observation. Can we do that ? Have you ever tried that ?

To me he’s saying try it as if your life depended on it because it does. And when you stop observing and go back to thinking, pick up the observing again, lose it and pick it up again and again etc.

Forget about ‘all the rest’.

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By “try” do we mean : “I am now going to try and look without naming” ? This is nonsense, non?
Rather I think we mean : “I am now going to see whether I always know/name things when observing” - so experiment and observe as a curious scientist, rather than someone who wants to look without naming.


Yes. And then we will discover if we can ? Is it what you mean ?

The brain wants to look and name. That’s what it does. It has trapped itself in “a network of words” says K. It can’t see anything ‘freshly’ as long as this condition prevails. And this condition won’t and hasn’t changed. So how can it break out of this prison it is caught in? More words? More thoughts? More knowledge!
Analysis? No. So he says “watch” the words. Watch every thought as it comes and goes, don’t miss a one …the watching is important not the words. He says “have you ever tried it?


Say for example, we observe the process of experiencing - I sit down in a calm space, and pay attention to what being me feels/looks like.

I get the impression of what I think is happening, what then? Maybe I notice that I know all that I see, hear and feel : thats a vase, thats a mosquito (I don’t like that), I feel tired (I wish I had more energy) etc… Should we now try and see if we can look/feel our environment and inner sensations without knowing/reacting? And if we cannot, should we try harder? What are we doing? Aren’t we still experiencing a separation between subject and object (observer/observed) and trying to implement control of one over the other?

Pardon if I’m interrupting but all that you just posted, did you happen to watch each of those thoughts or is it that this excercise takes practice? You can’t do it right off. When you ‘try’ it the first few times Thought stops, it’s shocked. But after doing it when ever it’s remembered, there is it seems to me a change of focus (which is happening as I write this). There’s no problem finding reasons why it’s stupid or whatever to do this …as long as you watch those thoughts come and go.:star_struck:
Some thoughts just won’t be watched.

Can we consider what’s been said - no need to share our immediate reactions - no one is being called stupid.
Maybe I’ve said something that is not correct, that we don’t recognise or understand. Maybe I’m confused. maybe my question doesn’t make sense (there was a question).

‘Sensitivity’ to the fact that thinking is taking place helps. If I don’t realize that ‘I ‘ am thinking then obviously there won’t be the possibility of observing. I’ll just go on thinking until there’s some kind of reminder that I’m thinking and then the decision can be made to once again follow the stream of thoughts until I lose it again. So yes sensitivity to the fact that thinking is going on.

The point is to give the brain this new chore to do whenever it remembers. If for any reason it doesn’t want to do it, then that’s that.

Of course we are. Trying harder , or trying to implement control of one over the other is a reaction, is the network of thought.

It is a question. If the reaction or the network of thought is what have been call the observer, then the question is : can we observe without the observer, is it ? Not necessarly sitting in a corner or in front of a mountain. Can we look at all that, as he say, meaning our husband or wife , or a child, or anything, as though for the first time ?

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But as you say, it’s only an “as if” exercise, so why not play with it?

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I like the fact that in the extract K mentions a few potential objects for observation.

Nature, the natural world (trees, rivers, mountains, the clouds caught by the evening sun); or an obvious external thing like a hot-air balloon. To see if one can observe such a thing without naming, without bringing in words.

The things that go on in religious ceremonies, the obvious and external activities of religious people. To see if one can observe what is going on objectively, without reacting.

One’s relationship to a husband or wife, girlfriend or boyfriend - to see if one can observe them (or another) without the interference of past memories and images.

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The network of thought can also be called the observed (ipso facto, seeing as the observer is the observed).
What is observation, where there is no observer and no thing is observed?

Have I gone too far? Is this nonsense?

Expansion of the centre,

The “I” can expand its thoughts but that “I” is always circumscribed by the circle around which it has held onto everything that it has ever experienced. One recalls drawing circles with the aid of a neat instrument called a “compass” in trigonometry in high school. One could always widen/expand the width between the centre and the outside point of this compass, thus drawing bigger and bigger circles. Accumulating knowledge is very much like that - additive. Thus the area within the circle just gets bigger as well. In other words, it is very much like the contents of one’s consciousness, getting larger and larger the more one expands one’s thoughts, isn’t it?

One realise that the observer is the observed when observing oneself. Without both, what is observation? The all world , universe, life , relationship ? And as Dan point out, with a new quality in awareness, attention ? Without the interference of the observer ?

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There is no “without both”. There is always observation, with or without the confusion induced by the illusory observer.