Image machine

'If you observe you will see that you have an image about yourself, ... [for instance] you have accumulated a great deal of experience, acquired a great deal of knowledge, which in itself creates ... the image of the expert.

Why do we have images about ourselves? Those images separate people.

If you have an image of yourself as Swiss or British or French and so on, that image not only distorts your observation of humanity but it also separates you from others. And wherever there is separation, division, there must be conflict — as there is conflict going on all over the world, the Arab against the Israeli, the Muslim against the Hindu, one Christian church against another. National division and economic division all result from images, concepts, ideas and the brain clings to these images — why?

Is it because of our education, because of our culture in which the individual is most important and where the collective society is something totally different from the individual? That is part of our culture, part of our religious training and of our daily education.

When one has an image about oneself as being British or American, that image gives one a certain security. That is fairly obvious. Having created the image about oneself that image becomes semi-permanent; behind that image, or in that image, one tries to find security, safety ... When one is related to another, however delicately, however subtly, psychically or physically, there is a response based on an image ... the image is slowly formed about the other person step by step; every reaction is remembered, adding to the image and stored up in the brain so that the relationship — it may be physical, sexual, or psychical — is actually between two images, one's own and the other's.'

Source: Jiddu Krishnamurti in The Network of Thought