Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Thinker and the Thought

Here's another favorite from about 4 years ago. When the mirror is broken, the mind sees the same thing...differently.



 Today at a very special Easter brunch, one of the guests told a story of a man who was in charge of a prison for the criminally insane. The man found that over the course of many years, he achieved relative peace at the prison, not by rules or enforcement, or changes in management style. No, he achieved this peace in his outside world by working on himself. As he saw different problems arise in his notself, he applied them to his own self.

This conversation reminded me of a an essential thesis of the teachings of Krishnamurti. It also reminded me of a book by G Spencer Brown called Laws of Form. In Brown's book, he shows in in his very special way that indeed, the the observer is the observed.

Here is Krishnamurti on the subject:

As you watch anything—a tree, your wife, your children, your neighbor, the stars of a night, the light on the water, the bird in the sky, anything—there is always the observer—the censor, the thinker the experiencer, the seeker—and the thing he is observing; the observer and the observed; the thinker and the thought. So, there is always a division. It is this division that is time. That division is the very essence of conflict. And when there is conflict, there is contradiction.

There is “the observer and the observed”—that is a contradiction; there is a separation. And hence where there is contradiction, there is conflict. And when there is conflict, there is always the urgency to get beyond it, to conquer it, to overcome it, to escape from it, to do something about it, and all that activity involves time.... As long as there is this division, time will go on, and time is sorrow.

And a man who will understand the end of sorrow must understand this, must find, must go beyond this duality between the thinker and the thought, the experiencer and the experienced. That is, when there is a division between the observer and the observed, there is time, and therefore there is no ending of sorrow. Then, what is one to do?

You understand the question?

I see, within myself, the observer is always watching, judging, censoring, accepting, rejecting, disciplining, controlling, shaping. That observer, that thinker, is the result of thought, obviously. Thought is first; not the observer, not the thinker. If there was no thinking at all, there would be no observer, no thinker; then there would only be complete, total attention.

When there is a division between the observer and the observed there is conflict but when the observer is the observed there is no control, no suppression. The self comes to an end. Duality comes to an end.

Conflict comes to an end.
This is the greatest meditation to come upon this extraordinary thing for the mind to discover for itself...

the observer is the observed.

2nd Public Dialogue, Brockwood Park, England, 6th Sept. 1973 


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