The chattering mind

You know, to perceive something is an astonishing experience. I don’t know if you have ever really perceived anything; if you have ever perceived a flower or a face or the sky, or the sea. Of course, you see these things as you pass by in a bus or a car; but I wonder whether you have ever taken the trouble actually to look at a flower? And when you do look at a flower, what happens? You immediately name the flower, you are concerned with what species it belongs to, or you say, “What lovely colors it has. I would like to grow it in my garden; I would like to give it to my wife, or put it in my buttonhole,” and so on. In other words, the moment you look at a flower, your mind begins chattering about it; therefore you never perceive the flower. You perceive something only when your mind is silent, when there is no chattering of any kind. If you can look at the evening star over the sea without a movement of the mind, then you really perceive the extraordinary beauty of it; and when you perceive beauty, do you not also experience the state of love? Surely, beauty and love are the same. Without love there is no beauty, and without beauty there is no love. Beauty is in form, beauty is in speech, beauty is in conduct. If there is no love, conduct is empty; it is merely the product of society, of a particular culture, and what is produced is mechanical, lifeless. But when the mind perceives without the slightest flutter, then it is capable of looking into the total depth of itself; and such perception is really timeless. You don’t have to do something to bring it about; there is no discipline, no practice, no method by which you can learn to perceive.