Reading the book in one glance

I have hear K talk about reading the book of yourself in one glance. What does it mean and how does one do it? Thanks

I would suggest to you the post by Huguette on the ‘Can the Self End?’ thread # 217

I read that post but did not see my question addressed. Or are you saying the post itself is an example of reading the book in one glance?

No. The statement by K. is quite unusual and I have not understood it. But I thought that Huguette addressed it. K has said that each one of us is the world and we represent all of humanity. How to read the book in yourself is something that he did not leave instructions on how to do…if you are interested, you have to put ‘your teeth’ into finding out the truth or the falseness of it. Welcome!

Another puzzling thing Krishnamurti said.

It is doable when the book is called The Total Sum of My Wisdom

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Whatever the book is called it’s certainly not only the sum of the part of ‘My Wisdom’. :flushed:

It simply means that “self-knowledge” is not something that one acquires via a long drawn out study over time.
It is not about reading books, or listening to theories and hypotheses about psychology, neurology, philosophy etc … although these may be helpful (or hindrances) and interesting and may help in describing the self in order to communicate with other people.
Its not about holding beliefs, or having some intellectual model about the self. Although these may help in that they offer some explanation of the limits of the self.
Its not about therapy, or gaining merits in order to become a better version of ourself over time.

Is this at least clear ?

Therefore it is about immediate insight. Either through some revolutionary realisation of the trap that one continually sets for oneself. Or by the moment to moment awareness of the subtle movement of the self (aka the watcher, the judge)

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No, I’m just being flippant which I shouldn’t be. I sense it is similar to what Krishnamurti said about seeing a thing, which was, the brain only needs to see one thing fully the once, and then it can take things from there by itself.

These may be of some use:

Learn from the book of the story of yourself

Reading the book of mankind, 821218

First step is to realize that “your ‘ consciousness is not yours but is the consciousness of Mankind…realize the ‘fact’ of that. That is first.


To the contrary, learning the ways of egocentricity takes time and attention. Self-knowledge isn’t magic. It doesn’t come out of the blue or with a bang. It comes with time spent taking an interest in the way the mind operates. All the error and distortion and subterfuge that takes place can be ignored, denied, and rationalized, or it can be acknowledged and, over time, comprehended and understood.

United78, hi,

What does one usually mean by “learning about oneself”? It starts with some kind of discontent, doesn’t it? That is, I’m unhappy with myself: I’m always angry, or anxious, afraid, depressed; I fail at everything I do; no one likes or loves me; I have no friends, people push me around, take advantage of me, and so on. So I want to change all that. I want inner peace, like I assume others have.

And how does one usually go about learning about oneself? Through analysis of some kind, isn’t it? Either through actual psychoanalysis, or psychotherapy of some sort which also involves analysis, or through reading books written by experts in human behaviour or religious authorities, through which I can learn to analyze myself.

The analytical approach assumes that “I” can change from this to that by analyzing myself and so be happy. In it, there is no questioning of what constitutes this “I” that wants to change. There is no questioning of what it means for “me” to change and also remain the same “me” - the same person and yet different - happy instead of unhappy, calm instead of angry, serene instead of depressed. This approach assumes that at the end of a successful analysis, “I” will somehow be the same “me” …… but different.

There is another approach to understanding oneself, to understanding the terrible emotions which preclude peace of mind. This approach is not through analysis and words; it does not blame my mother, my father, my circumstances; it does not demand an effort. This other approach does not review and dwell on the past. It consists “merely” of observation - observing the anger, the fear, the anxiety, the depression, the self-pity, the deceit, the contradictions, and so on - without analyzing any of it. That is, it is observing the whole thing at a glance as it arises, without the word, the naming, the analysis, without time (without “me in the present” reviewing “me in the past” and so “me fragmenting myself”).

In so observing, it is realized that my fear, anger, etc. are rooted in the past - which is merely memory. I can pretend to overcome and free myself from the past. But I AM the past and I cannot extricate myself from it, and pretense is obviously not inner peace. So it is realized that, psychologically, I cannot cut the past out of my psyche and become a new me. No?

And “there is no end to learning” (K). But learning about oneself is learning which cannot be cumulative. Cumulative learning is the kind of learning we associate with school and school books. Cumulative learning and analysis have their proper place. But learning about oneself can only be at a glance. I might be mistaken. But this is how I see it.


This dichotomy is interesting.
There are the concepts of wisdom and of knowledge; are they related? are they dependant?
There are the concepts of insight and of learning : are they related? are they dependant?

If I study psychology, or philosophy this obviously does not naturally result in “freedom from the known” or mental ease and clarity - and any insight by the serious student will obviously be conditioned by their knowledge.

If one observes oneself, what do I see? My subjective intepretations and conjecture - circular delusion in a sense.

This reminds me of stories about monks “awakening” after years of practise and effort, and realising :“all those years of effort was just useless thrashing about as if in a dream”
But of course, one must wonder : without all that useless effort, would there still have been any sense of awakening?

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First of all nobody of us here knows how to do it. Second: K. stated clearly that there is no “how”. You should hear his spech about this point.

Third, I think this expression is equivalent to what he often used to say: “Can you see the whole content of your consciousness at once?”. He meant -probably - that it’s useless to analyze one’s thoughts or content one at a time. That won’t lead anywhere. There must be an insight of the whole stuff. But this insight seems absolutely impossible to me… and of course this shows the limitations of my point of view.

No. It wasn’t “useless”. One learns what is true by “thrashing about” with what is false.

Thank you all for the replies.

It is not impossible. Only the way you are ‘imagining’ seeing the whole of consciousness at once. If you are having the insight, then you couldn’t be seeing the whole, because you are still outside of it, right? Why not just leave it as a question. You / we are the "contents’ of the consciousness.

Yes ,that is right ,K said either you read the book of yourself chapter by chapter which involves time ( maybe one’s whole life) or one reads the whole book in a glance or in an insight?
I am sure that is the question. And the answer seems to be clear.

Yes, a question and so a possibility. I just wanted to be realistic and not pretend to have the answer.

One can take a question as something to explore (as K said: the answer is in the question), but in this kind of questions there is nothing to explore except my limited point of view. What I feel is: the more I think of my consciousness the more I’m stuck with it. Any clue?