“It is futile to waste time over what another is thinking, or what you imagine he is thinking - because you can never know. The one to be scrutinised is yourself.” Quote of the day.
‘It is futile to waste time,’ period. Okay, but what is K pointing to?
'Scrutiny" is perhaps a very strong word and sometimes indicates a critical or judgemental examination, quite different from K’s ‘choiceless awareness.’
In fact K is simply counterposing two positions: He is inferring a question: What allows for meaningful change? Does change come from self-observation or from judging oneself through the eyes of others? It is the latter which is our common practice. We conform, which is an endless travail, and K says it is futile. In what sense is it futile? Really it depends on our aim, does it not? If our aim is only to manage conflict then conforming can be very effective. But K points to another possible aim, which is the ending of conflict. Conforming to the expectations of others does not end conflict, it strengthens it. Why? Because we are thereby conforming to a conflictive world.
There are no magic answers. There is no method. K is merely pointing to a precondition for change. The only real thing that can change in our lives is our understanding. And insofar as our understanding changes, so does our action. Insofar as our action changes, so does the world. In the broadest possible sense, we are our action and everything that it encompasses, including our action in observing and understanding who we are and what we are a part of.