Friday, 6 March 2015

Can you look beyond the image?

'Is it possible to observe without the thinker? I look at everything with an image, with a symbol, with memory, with knowledge. I look at my friend, at my wife, at my neighbor, at the boss, with the image which thought has built. I look at my wife with the image I have about her, and she looks at me with the image she has about me: the relationship is between these two images. This is a fact,it's not an invention on my part,it's a fact! Thought has built these symbols, images, ideas. Can I look, at first, at a tree, at a flower, at the sky, at the cloud, without an image? The image of the tree is the word I have learned which gives a certain name to the tree, tells its species and recalls its beauty. Can I look at that tree, at that cloud, at that flower, without thought, without the image? ... Can I look at life, the clouds, the stars, the trees, the river, the bird on the wing, my wife, my child, my neighbor, this whole earth - can I look at it all without the image?' 

- J Krishnamurti 

The above quotation from Krishnamurti reminded me of the Joni Mitchell song 'Both Sides Now'. I used to think that song was about lost innocence, probably a break up, but it isn't. It's about the fact that no matter how we conceptualise reality, as good or as bad, we still haven't actually experienced it, we've only experienced our images of it. Understanding this is the key to many doors. 

 How have you looked at clouds? Can you look at clouds and just see them, without naming them, without creating an image of them, without conceptualising them? Can you just experience clouds? Love? Life?


 
Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I've looked at love that way

But now it's just another show
You leave 'em laughing when you go
And if you care, don't let them know
Don't give yourself away

I've looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It's love's illusions I recall
I really don't know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say "I love you" right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I've looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I've changed
Well something's lost but something's gained
In living every day

I've looked at life from both sides now
From WIN and LOSE and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all

I've looked at life from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all

-Joni Mitchell, 'Both Sides Now'  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your wisdom, please! Comments welcome.