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Jiddhu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)

The Observer Is the Observed

Madras, India. Group Discussion 30th October, 1947

It is a realisable fact that one can change radically, fundamentally and immediately. Mere postponement or lengthen- ing of time is not going to bring about a change. It is possible to bring about almost instantaneous perception of what is Truth and Truth is the liberating factor.

To start with, we should be aware of our words, our gestures and our thoughts. The sense of struggle and of not being able to do something creates frustration because there is in your mind an idea of achievement. This means you did not pursue awareness but just stopped there. When there is an idea, let not the mind just stop there, but let it pursue it till the full implications of that idea are understood. For instance, consider nationalism; when you are entrenched in a conclusion called Nationalism, you cannot understand the German or the English. Though we agree with this verbally, we yet continue as before, because our mind is conditioned, i.e., put in a mould socially, economically, and religiously, and it says that we are different from somebody else. Again, we have the desire to identify ourselves with something greater and which is gratifying. On account of a feeling of emptiness, which we dislike, we identify ourselves with a caste or a class, nation, creed or idea which affords security - prestige and position - to us. To dissolve this nationalism in us, we must be aware of the fact that we are national and also that nationalism is detrimental to us. In daily life, most of us do not act up to our intellectual convictions because of our fear to please others, to lose a position, etc.; they are therefore hypocrites to their relatives and later on to the people at large also. Most of us merely follow an old routine of habitual action and thinking.