The Art of Looking – Exploring Direct Perception
In this extract, Krishnamurti talks about direct perception; seeing things purely as they are without any preconceived notions such as past knowledge or bias:
“If you’ve ever looked at a flower, what takes place? First, you name the flower. You say it belongs to a certain species. Then you say, “I like it,” or “I don’t like it,” “How beautiful,” “I wish I had it,” and so on. Thought and past knowledge interferes with seeing. What you are seeing is not the flower but the conclusions—the likes and dislikes which you have. Can you look at the flower without the observer? That means to look without the knowledge, the pleasure, the naming, and so on. Then when you look you will see that there is no observer who is looking; then you are directly in communion with that flower.
It’s fairly easy to do that outwardly, but to do it inwardly, with your wife, with your children, with your neighbors, with your boss and all the rest of society—to look, not with the previous insults, information, flattery, but simply to look—then only can there be attention. When there is total attention there is silence. Then you can listen completely to anything: to the song of a bird, to what another says. In that silence you can listen to what is being said, to your own thoughts, demands, fears. You must listen completely, silently. When you do listen totally, that which you are afraid of ceases to be.“
Public Talk 5
Paris, France 1966
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The Immeasurable is dedicated to exploring the essential questions of our existence: who we are and where we are going. The intent is to inspire readers to question assumptions of the mind, offering opportunities to ask deep questions into common life themes which are superficially accepted.
We encourage an investigation into the fabric of reality and our physical and cultural conditioning. In this exploration, we might find a new understanding of time and its relation to our thinking processes. A perception of the interconnectedness within the totality of life might arise in us as our perception expands through these explorations.
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