I wonder if you have ever observed anything, that is, to see things actually as they are, not as you wish them to be, or you hope they should be, but actually as they are? Have you ever observed a cloud? Have you ever observed your wife, or your husband or your friend, to see actually what is? It is not possible to observe clearly if you have a formula, if you have ideals, if you have images, if you assume you know. You can only observe with clarity, without distortion, when there is no image at all; when you look at a cloud, to look at it without the word. Do it sometime and you will see what happens when you look at something, a cloud, without a single word, or look at your wife or your husband or your friend without the image which you have built during 30 or 40 years or 10 days; just to observe.
In observation there is direct relationship, but when you have an image about her or him you are not in relationship. Surely, love is that relationship in which there is no image. So the question is, is it possible to observe oneself and the world without any distortion, without any symbol, without any formula? If you can observe it that way, then you will find action is immediate, because such observation implies that there is no division between the observer and the observed; then you are directly in relationship. To look at a tree without the botanical knowledge, without the word, then, what takes place? The word, the knowledge about that tree, separates you from the tree. There is a distance, not only physical but psychological distance, and when the psychological distance disappears there is no identity with the tree but complete cessation of this distance. After all, that is love, isn't it?
When you say to somebody `I love you', what does it mean? Is it your loving the image that you have built about her or him? All the troubles, all the misery, jealousies, irritations, pleasure - sexual and otherwise - is that what you call love?
Talks and Dialogues Syndey 1970
1st Public Talk, Sydney, Australia, 21st November, 1970