Don’t escape to go far
By Jiddu Krishnamurti | Express News Service | Published: 06th December 2017 11:17 PM |
BENGALURU: Seeing the world, seeing humanity, the “me”, and the necessity of a total, radical revolution, how is it possible to bring it about? It can only be brought about when the observer no longer makes an effort to change, because he/she himself is part of what he tries to change. Therefore all action on the part of the observer ceases totally, and in this total inaction there is a quite different action.
There is nothing mysterious or mystical about all this. It is a simple fact. I begin not at the extreme end of the problem, which is the cessation of the observer; I begin with simple things. Can I look at a flower by the wayside or in my room without all the thoughts arising, the thought that says, “It is a rose; I like the smell of it, the perfume,” and so on and so and on? Can I just observe without the observer? If you have not done this, do it, at the lowest, most simple level. It isn’t really the lowest level; if you know how to do that, you have done everything.
The man who wants to improve himself can never be aware, because improvement implies condemnation and the achievement of a result. Whereas in awareness, there is observation without condemnation, without denial or acceptance.
That awareness begins with outward things, being aware, being in contact with objects, with nature. First, there is awareness of things about one, being sensitive to objects, to nature, then to people, which means relationship; then there is awareness of idea. This awareness, being sensitive to things, to nature, to people, to ideas is not made up of separate processes, but is one unitary process. It is a constant observation of everything, of every thought and feeling and action as they arise within oneself.
We generally start with the farthest—the supreme principle, the greatest ideal, and get lost in some hazy dream of imaginative thought. But when you start very near, with the nearest, which is you, then the whole world is open, for you are the world, and the world beyond you is only nature. Nature is not imaginary: it is actual; and what is happening to you now is actual. From the actual you must begin—with what is happening now—and the now is timeless.
Surely, to go far, you must begin very near, but to begin near is very difficult for most of us because we want to escape from “what is”, from the fact of what we are. Without understanding ourselves, we cannot go far, and we are in constant relationship; there is no existence at all without relationship. So relationship is the immediate, and to go beyond the immediate, there must be the understanding of relationship. But we would much rather examine that which is very far away, that which we call God or truth, than bring about a fundamental revolution in our relationship, and this escape to God or to truth is utterly fictitious, unreal. Relationship is the only thing we have, and without understanding that relationship we can never find out what reality is or God is. So, to bring about a complete change in the social structure, in society, the individual must cleanse his relationship, and the cleansing of relationship is the beginning of his own transformation.