Collected Works, Vol. XV,145,Choiceless Awareness
I generally look at my wife, husband, at a person, with all my prejudices and memories. Through those memories I look; that is the center from which I look; therefore, the observer is different from the thing observed. In that process thought is constantly interfering, through association, and with the rapidity of the association. Now, when I realize the whole implication of that instantly, there is an observation without the observer. It is very simple to do this with trees, with nature; but with human beings, what takes place? If I can look at my wife or my husband non-verbally, not as an observer, it is rather frightening, isn't it? Because my relationship with her or with him is quite different. It is not in any sense personal; it is not a matter of pleasure, and I am afraid of it. I can look at a tree without fear, because it is fairly easy to commune with nature, but to commune with human beings is much more dangerous and frightening; my relationship undergoes a tremendous revolution. Before, I possessed my wife, and she possessed me; we liked being possessed. We were living in our own isolated, self-identifying space. In observing, I removed that space; I am now directly in contact. I look without the observer, and therefore without a center. Unless one understands this whole problem, merely to develop a technique of looking becomes frightful. Then one becomes cynical, and all the rest of it.