Jiddu Krishnamurti on How to Observe Thought

I must love the very thing I am studying. If you want to understand a child, you must love and not condemn him. You must play with him, watch his movements, his idiosyncrasies, his ways of behavior; but if you merely condemn, resist or blame him, there is no comprehension of the child. Similarly, to understand what is, one must observe what one thinks, feels and does from moment to moment. That is the actual.

Jiddu Krishnmurti

6 thoughts on “Jiddu Krishnamurti on How to Observe Thought

  1. Two bits of serendipity: I’m writing on bloggers who love the tough philosophical and theological questions, so I drop in to pick up your link. As I write, I’m providing a weekend of child care to my four year old grandson while his parents do a grown-up conference. Double whammy for me, then, in this Krishnamurti quotation.

    As a parent, I think I was often too task-oriented–a failing that I now know to be a consistent character trait. As a therapist to children and parents, I taught what I’d learned from that over-emphasis on getting things done and worked to help other parents avoid that trap. As a grandparent, I think I’ve improved in practice. When I resist my little grandson, or steer him too hard when it isn’t necessary, I’ve missed him entirely. Now, the child is father to the woman.

    In observing him, I consolidate my grasp of self-observation. In self-observation and honest admission of what I find there, I deepen my love of the child and myself. Here’s work worth the effort.

  2. An exasperating choice of example on Krishnamurti’s part.

    When I was a child, I experienced other children almost exclusively as repositories of viciousness. Life as a five year old was a tiptoe through a mine field of alleged fellow humans who seemed to delight in causing pain, shame and consternation. I never want anything to do with a child again, if I can avoid it.

    The experience, burned onto a more than normally eidetic memory, led me to a string of conclusions about what lies behind the mask of 99% of my fellow men/women and how far they can be trusted.

    I observe animals as Krishnamurti recommended, daily, but I cannot love my fellow men by imagining that I should, and children are out of the question.

  3. Is Krishnamurti saying that love flows from nonjudgmental observation or does nonjudgmental observation flow from love? Or is it both? I have found in life that getting to know those I don’t love at least gets me to greater understanding and empathy. Of course, choosing to observe and know those I dislike is not an easy task!

  4. This reminds me of my life as a psychotherapist. When I meet a patient for the first time in the waiting room, I smile and shake hands formally, but inwardly groan at the work it will take to get to know and help yet another stranger. Invariably, sometime during the first session, the patient will say something wise or wistful in his/her own unique way, speaking from a deeper level. Often a very anxious person will suddenly laugh with me. Whatever it is, it opens up my capacity to love and heal this person.

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