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Joseph Heller

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Didn't I once observe that there is nothing new under the sun?

 
Joseph Heller

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I know that you observe Christmas Day as you learned it at home. I do not observe it. However, as assistant director of this prison, I allow all the Catholics to observe freely and with some joy this day in this home.

 
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Jigoro Kano's Five Principles of Judo:
1. Carefully observe oneself and one's situation, carefully observe others, and carefully observe one's environment,
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The men who traveled to California in the Gold Rush years had a conscious sense of the need to organize. There are rules. For instance, no swearing -- literally! They have constitutions, they have these rules and orders: No swearing. No drinking. We will observe the Sabbath. Many a company broke up over the argument of whether or not to observe the Sabbath. 'How can we observe the Sabbath? Here it is the middle of June, we're already behind. These people are passing us on Sunday, they're rolling. How can we sit here?' So they have arguments about it, and companies split up over the moral question of whether to observe the Sabbath or not.

 
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Do you decide to observe? Or do you merely observe? Do you decide and say, "I am going to observe and learn"? For then there is the question: "Who is deciding?" Is it will that says, "I must"? And when it fails, it chastises itself further and says, "I must, must, must"; in that there is conflict; therefore the state of mind that has decided to observe is not observation at all. You are walking down the road, somebody passes you by, you observe and you may say to yourself, "How ugly he is; how he smells; I wish he would not do this or that". You are aware of your responses to that passer-by, you are aware that you are judging, condemning or justifying; you are observing. You do not say, "I must not judge, I must not justify". In being aware of your responses, there is no decision at all. You see somebody who insulted you yesterday. Immediately all your hackles are up, you become nervous or anxious, you begin to dislike; be aware of your dislike, be aware of all that, do not "decide" to be aware. Observe, and in that observation there is neither the "observer" nor the "observed" ó there is only observation taking place. The "observer" exists only when you accumulate in the observation; when you say, "He is my friend because he has flattered me", or, "He is not my friend, because he has said something ugly about me, or something true which I do not like." That is accumulation through observation and that accumulation is the observer. When you observe without accumulation, then there is no judgement.

 
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