Bookmark to Stumbleupon. Give it a thumb StumbleUpon    subscribe   

Jiddhu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)

I have often been asked to write about Krishnamurti and have always resisted. Jiddu Krishnamurti is too important to me. He was my neighbor, in Ojai, California, and we became close friends. He left his body more than twenty years ago but I feel that he continues to speak to me. Conversations with him always overloaded my mind and I was incapable of understanding. Now, I have "aha" moments, when suddenly, a past conversation rises to the surface and makes perfect sense

Denis Jones
Jiddu Krishnamurti

Jiddu Krishnamurti, though known world-wide, was a very private man, when at home. Relating anecdotes would be an act of disrespect and to offer an interpretation of his thoughts, an act of foolishness. It is better to let his words speak for him.

"You may remember the story of how the devil and a friend of his were walking down the street, when they saw ahead of them a man stoop down and pick up something from the ground, look at it, and put it away in his pocket. The friend said to the devil, "What did that man pick up?" "He picked up a piece of Truth," said the devil. "That is a very bad business for you, then," said his friend. "Oh, not at all," the devil replied, "I am going to let him organize it.""

Jiddu Krishnamurti

"I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path. If you first understand that, then you will see how impossible it is to organize a belief. A belief is purely an individual matter, and you cannot and must not organize it. If you do, it becomes dead, crystallized; it becomes a creed, a sect, a religion, to be imposed on others. This is what everyone throughout the world is attempting to do.

"...this is no magnificent deed, because I do not want followers, and I mean this. The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth. I am not concerned whether you pay attention to what I say or not. I want to do a certain thing in the world and I am going to do it with unwavering concentration. I am concerning myself with only one essential thing: to set man free. I desire to free him from all cages, from all fears, and not to found religions, new sects, nor to establish new theories and new philosophies."

--the above is taken from a speech, given on August 3, 1929, in which Krishnamurti dissolved the religion built up around him, gave up all the possessions that had been showered upon him, and renounced his messianic throne

Salient Quotations

"Is the problem not one of refusing to accept a leader? This alone brings equality in social and economic relationships. When thrown on his own responsibility, man will inevitably question. And in questioning there is no higher, no lower. Any system based on acceptance of capacity differences to establish status must inevitably lead to a hierarchical society, and so breed class war. . . . What is it that gives dignity to man? Self-knowledge--the knowledge of what you are? The follower is the greatest curse."

---from "Krishnamurti: A Biography"

"We think that living is always in the present and that dying is something that awaits us at a distant time. But we have never questioned whether this battle of everyday life is living at all. We want to know the truth about reincarnation, we want proof of the survival of the soul, we listen to the assertion of clairvoyants and to the conclusions of psychical research, but we never ask, never, how to live--to live with delight, with enchantment, with beauty every day. We have accepted life as it is with all its agony and despair and have got used to it, and think of death as something to be carefully avoided. But death is extraordinarily like life when we know how to live. You cannot live without dying. You cannot live if you do not die psychologically every minute. This is not an intellectual paradox. To live completely, wholly, every day as if it were a new loveliness, there must be dying to everything of yesterday, otherwise you live mechanically, and a mechanical mind can never know what love is or what freedom is."

---from "Freedom From the Known"

Jiddu Krishnamurti with children

"It is always difficult to keep simple and clear. The world worships success, the bigger the better; the greater the audience the greater the speaker; the colossal super buildings, cars, aeroplanes and people. Simplicity is lost. The successful people are not the ones who are building a new world. To be a real revolutionary requires a complete change of heart and mind, and how few want to free themselves. One cuts the surface roots; but to cut the deep feeding roots of mediocrity, success, needs something more than words, methods, compulsions. There seem to be few, but they are the real builders--the rest labor in vain.

One is everlastingly comparing oneself with another, with what one is, with what one should be, with someone who is more fortunate. This comparison really kills. Comparison is degrading, it perverts one's outlook. And on comparison one is brought up. All our education is based on it and so is our culture. So there is everlasting struggle to be something other than what one is. The understanding of what one is uncovers creativeness, but comparison breeds competitiveness, ruthlessness, ambition, which we think brings about progress. Progress has only led so far to more ruthless wars and misery than the world has ever known. To bring up children without comparison is true education."

---"Freedom From the Known" again

Krishnamurti and David Bohm
Krishnamurti and David Bohm

When Jiddu Krishnamurti speaks, it is a collaborative effort. Despite the fact that his audiences were mostly staring at him in mute rapture, he drew from those he spoke to as he shaped the conversation. Krishnamurti is constantly asking questions, and the astute reader will notice he seldom resolves any of them , even when he is explicitly answering his own queries....

"Fear and pleasure are the two principal things in us, driving forces, demanding more and more and more pleasure, and warding off fear. Right? Now what do you do with pleasure? You want more of it, surely--both physical, psychological pleasures. And in looking at pleasure very closely, one asks oneself: what is it? what is pleasure? Please sirs, do discuss with me. Come together. What is pleasure to you? Physical sensation, psychological factors."

Audience: For me pleasure is an escape.

K: "For me, the gentleman says, pleasure is an escape. Escape from what? Am I escaping through pleasure? Escaping from fear of not having pleasure? Do look at it. Please sirs do look at yourselves and you will find out very simply this thing. Most of us are pursuing pleasure, arent we? Why? Not that we should or should not. It would be absurd to say, `Don't have pleasure, when you look at the sky and the trees and the lovely countryside there is a delight. But why this pursuit of pleasure?"

Audience: I feel that I sustain myself in pursuing pleasure.

K: "Sustain yourself? Who is yourself? This is much more complex than that. Do go into it a little bit. First of all lets be very clear what we mean by pleasure. Pleasure is entirely different from joy, isnt it? No? When you are joyous, when you think about it, it becomes pleasure doesnt it?"

---from Krishnamurti's first public talk, Brockwood Park, England, September 5, 1970

One More Big Quote

"Having lost self confidence, our problem is how to get it back, if we ever had it at all. Because, obviously, without the element of confidence, we shall be led astray by every person we come across and that is exactly what is happening.

"Therefore, never accept any authority. Sir, after all, acceptance of authority indicates that the mind wants comfort, security. A mind that seeks security either with a guru or in a party, political or any other, a mind that is seeking safety, comfort, can never find truth, even in the smallest things of our existence. So, a man who wants this creative self-confidence must obviously be burning with the desire to know the truth of everything, not about empires or the atomic bomb, which is merely a technical matter, but in our human relationships, our relationship with others, and our relationship to property and to ideas. If I want to know the truth, I begin to enquire; and before I can know the truth of anything, I must have confidence. K at 70 years To have confidence, I must enquire into myself and remove those causes that prevent each experience from giving its full significance.

"We have lost it, or we have never had it; and, because we do not know how to judge anything, we have been led here and pushed there, beaten up, driven, politically, religiously and socially. We don't know, but it is difficult to say we don't know.

"So, that is the first requirement, is it not? To know the truth of anything psychologically, you cannot seek comfort; because, the moment you want comfort, security, a haven in which you are protected, you will have what you want, but what you have will not be the truth. Therefore, you will be persuaded by another who offers a greater comfort, a greater security, a better refuge; and so you are driven from port to port, and that is why you have lost confidence. You have no confidence because you have been driven from one refuge to another by your own desire to be comfortable, to be secure."

Closing Words

My strongest and most emphatic suggestion would be that you not let your exploration of Jiddu Krishnamurti end here. The man had a great deal to say, all of it unspeakably valuable to you and your life. Dig for yourself, but please, for the sake of all that is holy, for the survival of the human species, dig. And keep digging. The 'random page' button on top of every page is provided to make your digging easier.

"All authority of any kind, especially in the field of thought and understanding, is the most destructive, evil thing. Leaders destroy the followers and followers destroy the leaders. You have to be your own teacher and your own disciple. You have to question everything that man has accepted as valuable, as necessary. "

---from Freedom From the Known