How Do I Understand Myself?

I want to understand myself, learn about myself. In observing myself… do it actually, don't take it home and think about it, do it now. This is not a group therapy or a confessional or all that nonsense, but watch yourself as we are working together.

Usually, when I want to learn about myself, my mind is already conditioned to learn in a particular way.

I call it learning about myself, but isn’t my main motivation to better cope with my problems? In the outer technical world this form of learning poses no problem; but in learning about our foggy, unresolved, inner conflict – is this going deep enough?

Either I look to others or I look to experts in the field; gurus, teachers, psychologists, YouTube videos, even Google nowadays…

My mind usually searches for a cause of the problem: outside of myself. When I have understood the cause, I feel I can now control the effect. But isn’t the cause buried deep in my psychological make up? Am I the cause itself and unaware of it?

In fact, am I the problem?

As I watch myself, do I see that I am in the habit of moving away from my problems: either towards a solution or a distraction? Or, I may just swim in the paralysis of self pity! I begin to realise and observe that there is an automatic impulse in me; to somehow avoid the discomfort of an issue and work hard to find a comfortable, psychological resting place, where the problem must be resolved.

However, if I really do not know what the problem is at all, or what to do about it, isn’t there a natural sense to find out? As the mind faces the fact of the unresolved state, active within; does attention spring to life as a matter of course? One has to apply oneself directly to find this out! 

Energy is now generated to face meet this unknown, existential crisis; the raw problem as it is with no solution but its own existence. One rests in the immediacy of no avoidance. But, without the relief of conditioned thinking, taking over and escaping, the uneasiness of the problem may grow. What has been avoided now looms inwardly. There may come a sense of panic being alone with the unresolved; or an impatience for solace may increase…

I go deeper… What wants solace? Or release from fear? Is there a strong sense of “me” to whom all this is happening? Does this appear to me as my problem, my confusion, my apprehension? Watching myself carefuly, I see there are two elements present in the mind: the “me” and the psychological disturbance. Is thinking conjuring a separation between myself and this inner conflict; this sensation of unrest?

Without a sense of self needing to be protected, there is only the presence of a disturbance and no moving away from it. I realise without this separate inner entity –  there is no sense of conflict towards whatever is present in the mind. What was once felt as “disturbing” is now a totality of sensation occurring. A feeling with no boundaries, fully activated, freely revealing of its content. 

Self-discovery might be a process of energised revelation that is totally new from moment to moment.

To see this, I can only find out for myself.

And this cannot be taught by another, it comes through your observation of yourself, watching all the time. You know, it’s great fun if you don’t condemn or justify but watch ‘what is’…. just watch it, in yourself and outside of yourself. Such a mind that watches it becomes extraordinarily sensitive, alive, because it is not breeding conflict.

J. Krishnamurti