Why do we have images about ourselves?
Its true that we have images about ourselves and images about others. To understand the full meaning of relationship with each other, however close, however distant, we must begin to understand why the brain creates images. Why is it that each one has a peculiar image and identifies himself with that image? Is the image necessary, does it give one a sense of security? Does not the image bring about the separation of human beings? We have to look closely at our relationship with wife, husband or friend; look very closely, not trying to avoid it, not trying to brush it aside.
We must together examine and find out why human beings throughout the world have this extraordinary machinery that creates images, symbols, patterns.Is it because in those patterns, symbols and images, great security is found?If you observe you will see that you have an image about yourself, either an image of conceit which is arrogant, or the contrary to that.
Or you have accumulated a great deal of experience, acquired a great deal of knowledge,which in itself creates the image, the image of the expert. Why do we have images about ourselves? Those images separate people. If you have an image of your self as Tanzanian or Ethiopian and so on, that image not only distorts your observation of humanity but it also separates you from others. And wherever there is separation, division, there must be conflict as there is conflict going on all over images play an extraordinarily important part in one’s life.
Apparently very few of us are free from any form of image. The freedom from images is real freedom. In that freedom there is no division brought about by images. And also in one’s relationship, if one is married or lives with somebody, is it possible not to create an image at all not to record an incident which may be pleasurable or painful, in that particular relationship,not to record either the insult or the flattery, the encouragement or discouragement? Is it possible not to record at all?
Because if the brain is constantly recording everything that is happening, psychologically, then it is never free to be quiet, it can never be tranquil, peaceful. If the machinery of the brain is operating all the time it wears itself out. This is obvious. It is what happens in our relationships with each other whatever the relationship is, and if there is constant recording of everything then the brain slowly begins to wither away and that is essentially old age.
So, in investigating we come upon this question: is it possible in our relationships, with all their reactions and subtleties, with all their essential responses, is there a possibility of not remembering? This remembering and recording is going on all the time. We are asking whether it is possible not to record psychologically,but only to record that which is absolutely necessary.
In certain directions its necessary to record. For example, one must record all that which is necessary to learn mathematics. If I am to be an engineer I must record all the mathematics related to structures, and so on. If I am to be a physicist I must record that which has already been established in that subject. To learn to drive a car I must record.
But is it necessary in our relationships to record,psychologically, inwardly, at all? The remembrance of incidents past, is that love? When I say to my wife, ‘I love you,’ is that from a remembrance of all the things we have been through together the incidents, the travail, the struggles which are recorded, stored in the brain? Is that remembrance actual love? So, is it possible to be free and not to record psychologically at all?
It is only possible when there is complete attention. When there is complete attention there is no recording. I do not know why we want explanations, or why it is that our brains are not swift enough to capture, to have an insight into,the whole thing immediately.
Why is it that we cannot see this thing, the truth of all this, and let that truth operate and therefore cleanse the slate and have a brain that is not recording at all psychologically? But most human beings are rather sluggish, they rather like to live in their old patterns, in their particular habits of thought; anything new they reject because they think it is much better to live with the known rather than with the unknown.
In the known there is safety at least they think there is safety, security so theykeep on repeating, working and struggling within that field of the known. Canwe observe without the whole process and machinery of memory operating?