Seeing without the Image
J. Krishnamurti often spoke of the way in which we are perceiving ourselves and the world. He pointed out that when we look at another - or a tree or flower - through an image then there is no real relationship, no real contact with the reality of the perceived object. He invited us to see without the image and find out what happens.
Everything I know about another person is based on thoughts, concepts, images, ideas, and projections. If I examine what I take another to be I see that I really don't know who or what he or she is except through my mental creations or thoughts about them. A little looking shows me that this cannot be the actuality of what another really is. The truth of another is unknown. If I have the chance to sit with another as I did last night in a dyad exercise - or perhaps to observe another quietly from a distance - and be open to this unknown aspect of them, then it can become very interesting. The other, when looked at without the image or past knowledge, became a profound mystery, a magnificent presence which was beyond the capacity of words to describe.
And then something else took place. There was the realization that there was absolutely no separation between "me" and "another", no boundary or defining borders or limits in the awareness that we both are, the consciousness and knowingness that again was beyond description but was clearly in some kind of cognition of a deep reality of unity which could not be known through thought or conceptual understanding. This reality felt like Home. Then the perception arose that there is no "me" or "my" in this place of unity, but there is a flavour that could be called "love". Suddenly it was clear that the meaning of "my" life is the dissolving of the separate me.
I'm reminded of a spiritual teacher, John Taylor, whom I met about six months before he died recently. He often said, "Let love have you so that others can have love." I think he was perhaps pointing to this non-dual unity where there is no self or other, only This which cannot be described but can perhaps be most closely represented by the word Love.