To look at a flower or a marvellous cloud, you must have a clear, unspotted eye, an eye that has lived and seen a thousand experiences and yet is free of all experience; it is only then that you can see. And you can see totally with innocent eyes only when you give complete attention. You know, this attention is not the result of will. You cannot say, ‘I will attend, I will give my heart to this attention.’ If you do, then you have brought conflict to that attention. But if you see, sensuously, with your eyes, with your ears, with your heart and your mind, then only is it possible to bring about a radical revolution in the psyche itself.
It seems to me that learning is astonishingly difficult, as is listening. We never actually listen to anything because our mind is not free; our ears are stuffed up with those things which we already know, so listening becomes extraordinarily difficult. I think - or rather, it is a fact - that if one can listen to something with all one’s being, with vigour, with vitality, then the very act of listening is a liberative factor. But, unfortunately, you never do listen, as you have never learnt about it. After all, you only learn when you give your whole being to something. When you give your whole being to mathematics, you learn; but when you are in a state of contradiction, when you do not want to learn but are forced to learn, then it becomes merely a process of accumulation. To learn is like reading a novel with innumerable characters; it requires your full attention, not contradictory attention. If you want to learn about a leaf - a leaf of the spring or a leaf of the summer - you must really look at it, see the symmetry of it, the texture of it, the quality of the living leaf. There is beauty, there is vigour, there is vitality in a single leaf. So to learn about the leaf, the flower, the cloud, the sunset, or a human being, you must look with all intensity.