How is one to be aware?

“How are we aware of anything?

How are you aware of your relationship with a person?

How are you aware of the trees, the call of a bird?

How are you aware of your reactions when you read a newspaper?

Are we aware of the superficial responses of the mind, as well as the inner responses?

How are we aware of anything?

First, we are aware of a response to a stimulus, which is an obvious fact; I see the trees, and there is a response, then sensation, contact, identification and desire. That is the ordinary process, isn’t it?

We can observe what actually takes place, without studying any books. So through identification you have pleasure and pain. And our ‘capacity’ is this concern with pleasure and the avoidance of pain, is it not?

If you are interested in something, if it gives you pleasure, there is ‘capacity’ immediately; there is an awareness of that fact immediately; and if it is painful the ‘capacity’ is developed to avoid it. So long as we are looking to ‘capacity’ to understand ourselves, I think we shall fail; because the understanding of ourselves does not depend on capacity.

It is not a technique that you develop, cultivate and increase through time, through constantly sharpening. This awareness of oneself can be tested, surely, in the action of relationship; it can be tested in the way we talk, the way we behave.

Watch yourself without any identification, without any comparison, without any condemnation; just watch, and you will see an extraordinary thing taking place.

You not only put an end to an activity which is unconscious—because most of our activities are unconscious—you not only bring that to an end, but, further, you are aware of the motives of that action, without inquiry, without digging into it.”

—Jiddu Krishnamurti, From the book The First and Last Freedom

Holger Hubbs

By Holger Hubbs

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