How do you observe?
How do you look at your wife or your husband, or your Prime Minister? How do you look at a tree? The art of observation has to be learnt. How do you observe me? You are sitting there, how do you look at me? What is your reaction? Do you look at the speaker, thinking he has a reputation? What is your reaction when you see a man like me? Are you merely satisfied by the reputation he has which may be nonsensical, it generally is by how he has come to this place to address so many people, by whether he is important and what you can get out of him. He cannot give you any government jobs, he cannot give you money because he has no money. He cannot give you any honours, any status, any position, or guide you, or tell you what to do. How do you look at him? Have you looked at anybody, freely, openly, without any word, without any image? Have you looked at the beauty of a tree, at the flutter of its leaves? So can we learn together how to observe? You cannot observe, visually, optically, if your mind is occupied as most of our minds are occupied with the article you have to write next day, or with your cooking, your job, or with sex, or occupied about how to meditate, or with what other people might say. How can such a mind, being occupied from morning until night, observe anything? If I am occupied with becoming a master carpenter, then I have to know the nature of various woods, I have to know the tools and how to use them, I have to study how to put joints together without nails, and so on. So my mind is occupied. Or, if I am neurotic, my mind is occupied with sex, or with becoming a success politically or otherwise. So how can I, being occupied, observe? Is it possible not to have a mind so occupied all the time? I am occupied when I have to talk, when I have to write something or other, but the rest of the time why should my mind be occupied?
Computers can be programmed, as we human beings are programmed. They can, for instance, learn, think faster and more accurately than man. They can play with a grand chess master. After being defeated four times, the master beats the computer four times, on the fifth or sixth time the computer beats the master. The computer can do extraordinary things. It has been programmed you understand? It can invent, create new machines, which will be capable of better programming than the previous computer or a machine that will be ultimately ‘intelligent’. The machine will itself, they say, create the ultimate `intelligent’ machine. What is going to happen to man when the computer takes the whole thing over? The Encyclopaedia Britannica can be put in a little chip and it contains all that knowledge. So what place will knowledge then have in human life?
Our brains are occupied, never still. To learn how to observe your wife, your neighbour, your government, the brutality of poverty, the horrors of wars, there must be freedom to observe. Yet we object to being free because we are frightened to be free, to stand alone.
You have listened to the speaker; what have you heard, what have you gathered words, ideas, which ultimately have no meaning? Have you seen the importance for yourself of never being hurt? That means never having an image about yourself. Have you seen the importance, the urgency, of understanding relationship and having a mind that is not occupied? When it is not occupied it is extraordinarily free, it sees great beauty. But the shoddy little mind, the second-hand little mind, is always occupied about knowledge, about becoming something or other, enquiring, discussing, arguing, never quiet, never a free unoccupied mind. When there is such an unoccupied mind, out of that freedom comes supreme intelligence but never out of thought.