ARTICLES RELATED TO J. KRISHNAMURTI'S WORK -- Compiled by Reza Ganjavi A Brief Introduction to the Work of Krishnamurti
My first acquaintance with Krishnamurti's work was in 1959 when I read his book, First and Last Freedom. What particularly aroused my interest was his deep insight into the question of the observer and the observed. This question has long been close to the centre of my own work, as a theoretical physicist, who was primarily interested in the meaning of the quantum theory. In this theory, for the first time in the development of physics, the notion that these two cannot be separated has been put forth as necessary for the understanding of the fundamental laws of matter in general. Because of this, as well as because the book contained many other deep insights, I felt that it was urgent for me to talk with Krishnamurti directly and personally as soon as possible. And when I first met him on one of his visits to London, I was struck by the great ease of communication with him, which was made possible by the intense energy with which he listened and by the freedom from self-protective reservations and barriers with which he responded to what I had to say. As a person who works in science I felt completely at home with this sort of response, because it was in essence of the same quality as that which I had met in these contacts with other scientists with whom there had been a very close meeting of minds. And here, I think especially of Einstein who showed a similar intensity and absence of barrier in a number of discussions that took place between him and me. After this, I began to meet Krishnamurti regularly and to discuss with him whenever he came to London.
We began an association which has since then become closer as I became interested in the schools, which were set up through his initiative. In these discussions, we went quite deeply into the many questions which concerned me in my scientific work. We probed into the nature of space and time, and of the universal, both with regard to external nature and with regard to the mind. But then, we went on to consider the general disorder and confusion that pervades the consciousness of mankind. It is here that I encountered what I feel to be Krishnamurti's major discovery. What he was seriously proposing is that all this disorder, which is the root cause of such widespread sorrow and misery, and which prevents human beings from properly working together, has its root in the fact that we are ignorant of the general nature of our own processes of thought. Or to put it differently it may be said that we do not see what is actually happening, when we are engaged in the activity of thinking. Through close attention to and observation of this activity of thought, Krishnamurti feels that he directly perceives that thought is a material process, which is going on inside of the human being in the brain and nervous system as a whole.
Ordinarily, we tend to be aware mainly of the content of this thought rather than how it actually takes place. One can illustrate this point by considering what happens when one is reading a book. Usually, one is attentive almost entirely to the meaning of what is being read. However, one can also be aware of the book itself, of its constitution as made up out of pages that can be turned, of the printed words and of the ink, of the fabric of the paper, etc. Similarly, we may be aware of the actual structure and function of the process of thought, and not merely its content.
How can such an awareness come about? Krishnamurti proposes that this requires what he calls meditation. Now the word meditation has been given a wide range of different and even contradictory meanings, many of them involving rather superficial kinds of mysticism. Krishnamurti has in mind a definite and clear notion when he uses this word. One can obtain a valuable indication of this meaning by considering the derivation of the word. (The roots of words, in conjunction with their present generally accepted meanings often yield surprising insight into their deeper meanings.) The English word meditation is base on the Latin root "med" which is, "to measure." The present meaning of the word is "to reflect," "to ponder" (i.e. to weigh or measure), and "to give close attention." Similarly the Sanskrit word for meditation, which is dhyana, is closely related to "dhyati," meaning "to reflect." So, at this rate, to meditate would be, "to ponder, to reflect, while giving close attention to what is actually going on as one does so."
This is perhaps what Krishnamurti means by the beginning of meditation. That is to say, one gives close attention to all that is happening in conjunction with the actual activity of thought, which is the underlying source of the general disorder. One does this without choice, without criticism, without acceptance or rejection of what is going on. And all of this takes place along with reflections on the meaning of what one is learning about the activity of thought. (It is perhaps rather like reading a book in which the pages have been scrambled up, and being intensely aware of this disorder, rather than just "trying to make sense" of the confused content that arises when on just accepts the pages as they happen to come.)
Krishnamurti has observed that the very act of meditation will, in itself, bring order to the activity of thought without the intervention of will, choice, decision, or any other action of the "thinker." As such order comes, the noise and chaos which are the usual background of our consciousness die out, and the mind becomes generally silent. (Thought arises only when needed for some genuinely valid purpose, and then stops, until needed again.)
In this silence, Krishnamurti says that something new and creative happens, something that cannot be conveyed in words, but that is of extraordinary significance for the whole of life. So he does not attempt to communitcate this verbally, but rather, he asks those who are interested that they explore the question of meditation directly for themselves, through actual attention to the nature of thought.
Without attempting to probe into this deeper meaning of meditation, one can however say that meditation, in Krishnamurti's sense of the word, can bring order to our overall mental activity, and this may be a key factor in bringing about an end to the sorrow, the misery, the chaos and confusion, that have, over the ages, been the lot of mankind, and that are still generally continuing without visible prospect of fundamental change, for the forseeable future.
Krishnamurti's work is permeated by what may be called the essence of this scientific approach, when this is considered in its very highest and purest form. Thus, he begins from a fact, this fact about the nature of our thought processes. This fact is established through close attention, involving careful listening to the process of consciousness, and observing it assiduously. In this, one is constantly learning, and out of this learning comes insight, into the overall or general nature of the process of thought. This insight is then tested. First, one sees whether it holds together in a rational order. And then one sees whether it leads to order and coherence, on what flows out of it in life as a whole.
Krishnamurti constantly emphasizes that he is in no sense an authority. He has made certain discoveries, and he is simply doing his best to make these discoveries accessible to all those who are able to listen. His work does not contain a body of doctrine, nor does he offer techniques or methods, for obtaining a silent mind. He is not aiming to set up any new system of religious belief. Rather, it is up to each human being to see if he can discover for himself that to which Krishnamurti is calling attention, and to go on from there to make new discoveries on his own.
It is clear then that an introduction, such as this, can at best show how Krishnamurti's work has been seen by a particular person, a scientist, such as myself. To see in full what Krishnamurti means, it is necessary, of course, to go on and to read what he actually says, with that quality of attention to the totality of one's responses, inward and outward, which we have been discussing here.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES ON DR. DAVID BOHM
David Bohm was for over twenty years Professor of Theoretical Physics at Birkbeck College, Universtiy of London. Since receiving his doctorate at the University of Berkely, he taught and did research at U.C., Princeton University, University de Sao Paulo, Haifa and Bristol University.
The following is from page 157 of *Krishnamurti: 100 Years*
- - -
As the fire of interest and enthusiasm for Krishnamurti's work took hold in
England, a new relationship was formed, one which was of the greatest
importance to physicist David Bohm as well as Krishnamurti himself.
Bohm was a man of vast intellect, capable of exploring questions in depth,
yet with a scientist's tentativeness.
During the war years he worked on the "scattering of nuclear particles" under
the supervision of J. Robert Oppenheimer. He became assistant professor at
Princeton University in 1946, where he began discussions with Einstein.
However, the pervasive climate of fear during the McCarthy era brought many
artists, scientists, and intellectuals to account for views which did not
necessarily conform to those of a committee of the U.S. House of
Representatives. Allegations were brought against Bohm by the House
Un-American Activities Committee. Because he refused to testify, on
principle, he was found to be in contempt of Congress. His work in the United
States thus damaged, he left to work in Brazil, at Technion in Israel, and
later settled in London as professor of theoretical physics at Birkbeck
College. He was cleared of contempt charges and was eventually allowed to
travel in the United States.
The meetings with Krishnamurti became legendary and gave renewed urgency to
the term "dialogue" as a fundamental of Krishnamurtian teaching. "Exploring
together, like two friends sitting under a tree," or "thinking together" is
the way this process has been described. However one would characterize it,
dialogue is an old yet new way at looking at and questioning the human
- - -
The book continues with an 11-page interview with Dr. Bohm.
ON SPIRIT AND FORM OF DIALOGUE
by Ulrich Brugger
Dialogue as such has not been invented by J. Krishnamurti and David Bohm. It has been used in the past by Indian and European philosophers and it's used presently in psychological, philosophical and even scientific circles worldwide.
However Krishnamurti introduced a very important new dimension to dialogue: true observation and "holding" of one's conditioning, listening without thought and images, and the direct understanding of inner realities (such as fear, anger, etc.) in the process of dialogue. All this elevated dialogue from a level of exchange of ideas to a level of pure insight or direct perception of psychological facts. If this occurs, then dialogue leads to inner transformation. If not, it's just an exchange of ideas, - even if K or Bohm ideas are included.
David Bohm experimented with various forms of dialogue while applying K's insights of dialogue. It was obvious that David Bohm understood K's essential "ingredients" of dialogue. But it was obvious too that he didn't pretend to hold the only key to dialogue ..because there is no exclusive key to dialogue. He told me in person one day in Brockwood that he was experimenting. This seemed the right thing to do because he saw the necessity of applying this new kind of dialogue in various settings (scientific, philosophical and even political) and in larger groups. And it worked very well as David Bohm was present as facilitator.
But later on, when others tried David Bohm's model of dialogue, it failed more often than it succeeded. This has various reasons. One of them is that there were only few people who really studied Bohm's approach and were therefore able to apply it. Another is that there were few people who had the gift or the skills of a facilitator. It's an illusion, in my opinion, to introduce a dialogue with some words such as "watch your assumptions, listen without an image, etc" and then let the group continue on its own. Most of the time it will not work. A facilitator who understands the dynamics of a group - small or large - and is able to handle all kinds of happenings (conflicts, changing topics, hurts,etc.) is necessary and crucial.
Also, it seems to me that it was forgotten that David Bohm was experimenting. Taking his model as the only and final one must lead to dogmatism. But if one takes his proposals as starting points...to experiment further...,then it can become a journey with many possible good outcomes. Also one should bear in mind that David Bohm is not the only one who developed models of dialogue. There are many more.
What ultimately counts in dialogue is not the form, it's the spirit that leads to insight. However the form is important too. It's like in nature: spirit and form are essentially one. And a creative energy in nature is responsible for that. The same in dialogue: a good facilitator catches the spirit of dialogue and uses the appropriate structure or form so that the dialogue can go deeper and deeper in a harmonious way. She/he unifies spirit and form. And most importantly she/he opens "windows" of insight, and therefore transformation. Without insight, a dialogue has no meaning, whatever model one uses.
Professor Raymond Martin’s list of examination questions
from one of his philosophy courses involving the work of Krishnamurti (Study Questions for a course in Contemporary Eastern Philosophy, Spring, 1985).
1.) K is concerned with the problems posed by individual and collective human violence. He thinks there is
one and only one solution. What is it? What is his main objection to alternative solutions? Do you agree?
2.) K teaches that gurus and spiritual disciplines are counter-productive. Why? Give the best reason you can
for disagreeing with him.
3.) "The great religions of the world are the repository for our collective spiritual wisdom. The wise person
will learn this wisdom, and use it as a guide to his own experience." Would K agree? Explain why or why not.
Do you agree with K? If so, give the best reason you can for disagreeing with K. If not, explain why not.
4.) Consider: "The clerk, when he seeks to become a manager, becomes a factor in the creation of
power-politics which produce war, so he is directly responsible for war." Does K mean to imply that you,
since you also are ambitious, are also, in virtue of your ambition, directly responsible for war? Do you agree?
Give reasons for your answers.
5.) Consider: "One of the fundamental causes of the disintegration of society is copying, which is the worship
of authority." Explain in your own words what K means. Does K recognize any circumstances under which
appeal to authority is all right? What do you think is the most serious problem with his view? Give reasons for
6.) "We will learn how to solve our problems when we learn how to give them more thought and better
thought." Would K agree? Explain why or why not. Give the best reason that you can for disagreeing with
7.) Could you live your life effortlessly? What does K think? Do you agree? If you do, explain why you're not
doing it. If you disagree, explain why.
8.) Do you have a self or just the illusion of a self? In either case, what should you do about it?
9.) Why aren't we fearless? What does K think? What do you think? Give reasons for your answer.
10.) Consider: "What is important, surely, is to be aware without choice, because choice brings about
conflict. The chooser is in confusion, therefore he chooses; if he is not in confusion, there is no choice."
Explain in your own words and in considerable detail what K is talking about.
11.) Consider: "Now, if we examine our life, our relationship with another, we shall see that it is a process of
isolation." Explain in your own words what K means. Give the clearest example that you can, from your own
life, to show that what K is saying is at least sometimes false. Explain why you think this is an especially
suitable example. Now explain how someone could best argue that what K is saying is even true of your
12.) Bhagwan claimed to be contradictory on purpose. K doesn't make any such claim. But he may be
contradictory none the less. Give the best argument that you can that K is sometimes guilty of an important
contradiction. Does it matter? Give reasons for your answer.
13.) What does K mean by "loneliness"? How much of your life is an attempt to distract yourself from
loneliness _ according to K?, according to you?
14.) When you suffer psychological pain, who is it that suffers? How would K answer this question? Explain
in your own words what K means, so that someone who had never read K or any other philosopher could
15.) "K says some confusing things about whether in his view it takes time to acquire self-knowledge. In
some places he says things which imply that it does, in other places he says things which imply that it doesn't.
Although his words are sometimes unclear, what he means to say is clear enough, and also consistent." Does
K say confusing things on this topic? Give reasons for your answer. Is there a plausible interpretation of the
many things K says on this topic that is both clear and consistent? Give reasons for your answer.
16.) K talks a great deal about "meditation". What does K mean by "meditation"? Things that some others
call meditation, K would not call meditation. What are the most important of these? Why does K think that
meditation, as he understands it, is important?
17.) K talks a great deal about memory. He seems to think that memory is often essential, or that certain
kinds of memory are essential, and that memory is often a hindrance, or that certain kinds of memory are a
hindrance. What are K's views on the importance of memory? What, in K's view, is the relationship between
memory and the self? Do you agree with K's views on memory? Give reasons for your answer.
18.) Is K an atheist, a theist, or an agnostic? Explain your answer in considerable detail.
19.) What are K's views on sex and love? Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer.
20.) Taking what K has to say all in all, what do you think is the greatest merit of his views? What do you
think is the greatest difficulty? Give reasons for your answers.
21.) Briefly explain what K meant by any five of the eight quoted remarks:
a. "The understanding of oneself is not a result, a culmination; it is seeing oneself from moment to moment."
b. "Effort is a distraction from what is."
c. "Reality, truth, is not to be recognized."
d. "Action as we know it is really reaction."
e. "Belief is a denial of truth."
f. "Cultivation of the ideal is considered virtuous; but if you look at it closely and directly you will see that it is
nothing of the kind."
g. "The more knowledge a mind is burdened with the less capable it is of understanding."
h. "I think we shall understand the significance of life, if we understand what it means to make an effort."
Intro To J. Krishnamurti by Professor
"It is absolutely and urgently necessary to produce a radical reuolution in human consciousness, a complete mutation in the entire psychological structure of man. " J. KRISHNAMURTI
J. Krishnamurti has devoted his life to speaking to large audiences throughout
the world. Annually, he gives talks in the United States, Europe and India. He has
produced many books. Among his published works are: Think On These Things
(1964), The Urgency Of Change (1971), The Flight Of The Eagle (1972), The
Awakening of Intelligence (1973), The Wholeness Of Life (1979), and Truth And
Actuality (1980), published by Harper and Row in the United States. They are also
published allover the world and translated in many languages and dialects.
Yet, people ask: "Who is Krishnamurti?" It is almost as though one were to ask:
"Who is Aldous Huxley?" Or, "Who was George Bernard Shaw?" The truth is that
for many thousands of people allover the world, Krishnamurti is a man of vision and
wisdom and one who has become a legend in his lifetime.
Jiddu Krishnamurti was born in Madanapalle near Madras in 1895. As the
eighth child of a Brahmin family and a boy, he was by tradition called Krishnamurti in
honor of Lord Krishna. His mother died in 1905. His father, a civil servant, then
moved to Madras with his four surviving sons. In 1911, he and his younger brother,
Nitya, were adopted by Annie Besant, the then President of the Theosophical
Society, who believed that he was to become a new Messiah, or 'World Teacher .' He
and his brother were taken to England where he was privately educated to fit that
role. However, by 1929, Krishnamurti began to have doubts about the part assigned
to him by his patrons, and shortly afterwards dissolved the large organization
created around him. He also made it clear that he was not looking for disciples.
Strangely enough, by repudiating the role assigned him, Krishnamurti has
actually become, not the Messianic figure intended by Dr. Besant, but someone
much more valuable. He proclaimed his freedom by saying: "Truth is a pathless
land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, byany
Krishnamurti observes that the general disorder in the world today is caused by
a sense of insecurity, sorrow, misery, and it hinders human beings from working
together in harmony. In order to understand the root cause of this widespread
chaos and confusion, he challenges us to examine our processes of thought. One
must differentiate the process from the content. On a daily basis, moment by
moment, we are only aware of the content of thought, but not its process.
According to Krishnamurti, thought is simply a material process.
Krishnamurti's lectures, like his books, are all variations of the above theme.
"The ultimate answer ," says Krishnamurti, "is to see things as they really are,
unclouded by the deceptions of self-concern. To accomplish this, one must be free
of all pre-conceptions." In his talks, Krishnamurti is asking for a particular kind of
participation on the part of the audience. Krishnamurti, the speaker, emphasizes
that he and the listeners are exploring human problems together. In that
exploration, the audience discovers what it means to listen. One cannot listen if at
the same time one is comparing what is said with what one has read. This
comparison prevents listening. Similarly, if one is translating what is being said
according to one's previous knowledge or opinion, one cannot listen. Listening
implies attention of the whole being. This attention is not the effort of concentration,
it comes naturally when one is deeply concerned with the many problems of
It is central to Krishnamurti's teaching that human beings, if they are to be truly
free, must first be aware of their psychological conditioning, which prevents them
from seeing things as they really are. This quality of attention to 'what is,' not to
what one likes or dislikes, is at the very core of Krishnamurti's teaching. It is in this
attention to 'what is' that the mind stops chattering and is still, and thus is no longer
separate from the thing it observes. In this silence, there is no 'me,' no center, to
which one relates all that is seen or heard. So, there is only 'what is,' and in this there
is the quality of love, of beauty, of order, of meditation.
Speaking of meditation, Krishnamurti explains that one can experience
anything he wishes, anywhere he wants -such as experiencing God, Jesus,
Buddha or Krishna. But one's forced experiences remain disingenuous and of no
real importance. The real significance of meditation lies in being attentive to what is
happening around and what is happening inside. The meditation entails the
emptying of mind of everything known. In order to meditate, to observe the totally
new, the mind must be denuded of the known, the past. He says: "Truth, or God, or
whatever name you like to give to it must be new, not something which is the result
of propaganda, the result of conditioning. Truth is something living every day.
Therefore, the mind must be emptied to look at truth."
According to Krishnamurti, meditation means to reflect, to ponder, while
paying close attention to what is actually taking place as one does it. One engages in
close scrutiny to all that is going on in connection with the actual activity of thought,
that being the root cause of the general disorder. The very act of meditation
becomes meaningful only when order or cleansing of the self is achieved. At first,
one must put one's house in order. The rest follows. As order sets in, the chaos and
chattering surrounding our consciousness begins to dissipate and the mind
becomes quiet. Meditation, as explained by Krishnamurti, can help us sustain that
mental order, and this fact could be utilized to end oJr chaos and confusion, misery
and sorrow, that are second nature to human kind.
Krishnamurti has dedicated his life to setting men "absolutely and
unconditionally free." This is truly a self-less dedication par excellence. Neither does
he accept personal fees for his talks, nor royalties on his books and recordings. Any
income from these sources is applied towards related expenses and for carrying out
the purposes of the Krishnamurti Foundations in the United States, England,
Canada and India. The Krishnamurti Foundation of America was established in 1969
as a charitable trust under the laws of the State of California. Like the other
Foundations, its purpose is to sponsor his talks, oversee the publications of his
books and to produce audio and videotapes.
In recent years, Krishnamurti Information Centers have been established all
over America where videotapes are shown and Krishnamurti teachings are made
available to a wider public.
The Foundations are also responsible for the Krishnamurti Schools, which are
established to provide solid academic programs in addition to "bringing about good
human beings." The school is a place where Krishnamurti's observations are being
put to a direct use. If human beings and society can change fundamentally in this
microcosm, it may be possible for such a transformation to take place more broadly
in the world at large.
Today, there are five such schools in India, one in England, one in Canada, and
the Oak Grove School in Ojai, California. It is the responsibility of the Foundations
to raise funds for the schools. Donations to the Krishnamurti Foundation of
America are tax deductible under U.S. income tax laws.
Information about Krishnamurti and the schools can be obtained by writing to:
Krishnamurti Foundation of America, P. 0. Box 216, Ojai, California, 93023.
"[Krishnamurti) is a religious teacher of the greatest distinction, who is listened to
with profit and assent by members of a/1 Churches and sects. .." GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
Compiled by Professor Brij Khare for, and distributed by:
THE ASSOCIATION OF INDIANS IN AMERICA, INC.
7610 Truxton Avenue, Los Angeles, California, USA 90045
Mr. Chaitanya Dave, President
An email from Karsten Lieberkind
Oh, and I can only sympathize so much with what you are writing about your
life-style, the green, non-smoking, non-alcoholic and mentally sane way of
living. Also your final remark about not owning a car I found delightful. We
are really close in many ways it seems in our approaches to this mysterious
thing called life.
One thing that struck me, as it so often does, living in a kind of society
as the Danish one, highly competitive and degrading and with a tremendous
misuse of bodies and minds, is how little fashionable it is becoming to live
a healthy life, how natural and obvious as it otherwise may seem.
People are drinking and smoking, especially the young women (even more
sad!), destroying themselves, and they think it is much more 'trendy', much
less 'boring' than just keeping away from these things. One is actually
ridiculed a bit or almost excommunicated, even in higher educated circles,
if one is not drinking 'socially', and it is far more accepted to drink too
much, or even to be an alcoholic than not drinking at all. At least you will
get a certain amount of understanding from this. But if you don't drink you
have no excuses. You have simply put yourself out of the good company, and
you need to excert yourself quite a bit to regain your position!
This is not the case with smoking. There you are excused, but smoking is
still far too much accepted everywhere. In Denmark it is virtually
impossible to find a restaurant or a cafe without smoke, and that is beyond
my comprehension. I think here in this country we are lagging about 10 to 15
years behind the US in that respect. And people here are almost proud of
their attitude, because they believe it shows they are not so bent down by
rules in their lives as others.
So much for now. I'll get back to you later.
You know there must be something wild around you, like in Switzerland you
have the mountains, and here the sea. I would not thrive in a place with
limited access to real, genuine nature, which is not the kind of nature you
find in parks or in ordinary rural surroundings with mono-cultural farming,
that is, with long stretches of the same crop and with all weeds and flowers
rooted out by pesticides. This unfortunately is very typical of this country
with its intensive farming.
But then we have the sea as a final resort. Still not tamed, and not likely
to be. I go there as often as I can. The sound of it is tremendous.
Sometimes it seems to get higher with the distance you move away from the
sea, presumably because you hear more of the entire coast line. It grows
until it is like a rolling thunder. But when you approach the sea again the
sound turns into a peaceful whispering.
On interpretation (and other notes) -- by Dr. Padmanabhan Krishna, Emeritus Professor of Physics
My dear Reza,
You have voiced quite well the dangers of interpretation of K. My views
on the subject are as follows.
K often told us that we should neither accept nor reject what he says
but investigate it in order to come upon the truth for ourselves.When
we investigate his teaching we can of course share our perceptions and
thoughts with each other and he even advocated the value of
dialogue.Now if we just repeat his views then we can be accused of
plagiarism and if we express what we understand from his words then we
can be accused of interpretation.So, it would mean we just cannot speak
about his teachings which was obviously not his intention.
This question was put to him by David Bohm and he gave a very clear
answer.He said so long as we are making it clear that what we are
saying is how we understand what he says and do not claim to be an
authority or assert that that is the truth he was speaking of it is
perfectly honest and therefore legitimate; but if we insist that we
know what he meant without having perceived the truth for ourselves
then it becomes interpretation and that is dishonest because we do not
really know what he meant but are attributing our meanings to him.
Now it is not that someone becomes an authority on K's teachings by
speaking about it and that it is a wrong thing to do.Rather it is
important to realize that accepting something as truth on the authority
of another, including K, has no value since truth is not an idea.Ideas
can be shared and communicated through words but truth cannot be since
it lies at the level of perception.Only then does it transform
consciousness and end illusion.That is why professors of philosophy are
not nearer to the truth than other human beings.They are discussing
words , definitions ,ideas and arguments, not their own perceptions.
That is why agreeing and disagreeing with a statement are both
unintelligent responses to that statement whoever may have made it.It
does not change anything and certainly does not alter our consciousness
.So what is an intelligent response? If we listen to the satatement,
nether agree with it nor disagree but ask ouselves: what does it mean
and is it true? Then do not answer that question quickly since quick
answers come from memory which is conditioned and therefore subjective,
but stay with the question and observe oneself and life and learn from
observation then it is possible to perceive a deeper truth beyond the
intellectual level.One must of course doubt that perception too since
one may be deceiving oneself into thinking that it is a deep perception
and not a piece of knowledge.If one is honest it is easy to notice the
difference because a deep perception will alter consciousness and that
In my view this is the "hard work" Krishnaji asks us to do.When he says
it is not a matter of time I think it means time does not help us to
come upon perception.One does not perceive truth gradually.Either one
has perceived it or one hasn't.But there is not just one truth to be
perceived and as one keeps inquiring and observing the more superficial
prejudices (illusions) drop away but deeper ones may still persist.So
one goes on living with a "learning mind" wherever it takes you and
there is no such thing as a goal to be arrived at.Learning here means
perceiving for oneself what is true and what is false.There is also no
end to this state of learning.K was learning even on his death-bed!
In this field of inquiry one is completely alone and authority has no
meaning.The reason we can inquire together is becuse the ultimate truth
is the same for verybody, just as much here as in science.Authority has
meaning only in the field of knowledge where there is also hierarchy.In
the quest of truth there is no hierarchy.Truth comes into being only
when a consciousness observes "what is" (the fact) without any
distortion.To come upon it again one has to perceive it again and not
remember it from one's previous investigations.Therefore memory has no
value in this quest and is an obstacle if one is not aware of this
danger.That is why K went into every question afresh and rarely did he
ever repeat his words.
Once one understands this very clearly one feels neither angry nor happy
with what anyone says.Every person speaks from his level of ignorance
and there is no other way he or she can speak.It is not important to
judge them or classify people as high or low (including K).
It is important only to stay in that state of inquiry which K called
"the learning mind" and move on.The world is the way it is because we
are the way we are and it only changes deeply if we LEARN.That is why
right education is the only meaningful way to change society.The rest
is just adjustment and control which are superficial responses.
I hope I have been able to convey something to you with this long
expression of what I think and feel at this moment.It may all change
yes, he said that about several things.For example he said co-operation includes knowing when not to co-operate! I think he just meant it is an art , not a formula and excess of it goes wrong and too little also goes wrong.So one has to discover for oneself the right place of it and no book, no Guru can define that for you.Another example is his advice to neither pusue pleasure, nor condemn it.He always said everything has a right place in life but that place (which is order) cannot be defined.It has to be discovered for oneself.Then it becomes self-knowledge or one's own understanding.Blindly being skeptical is as absurd as being not skeptical at all and accepting everything.Similarly, knowledge has a right place -- it is neither everything, nor nothing.This is central to his teaching and perhaps the Buddha may also have meant this when he talked of the middle path away from all extremes.
On Giving Talks -- by Dr. Padmanabhan Krishna [Dr. Krishna is Emeritus Professor of Physics]
On July 27, 2010, I emailed Dr. Krishna asking if he would like to write something for this circular and for publication on my website, about a topic of his choice, and suggested perhaps something related to giving talks. We talked together about this subject in Ojai where he gave insightful talks, and he had some interesting stories to tell about what he's had to go through speaking about the kind of topics K spoke about, which in my opinion are the significant issues that impact every person's experience of living. He thankfully accepted this invitation and wrote the following:
I have been asked this question several times, mostly by so-called K- people.
I met K when I was 20 years old. For the last 52 years I have been passionately interested in this inquiry into the fundamental questions of life and the ending of disorder in our consciousness. When someone invites you to speak about what has been your passion in life it does not require any reason to accept that invitation. It would require a reason for not accepting it!
If two tennis players meet is it not natural for them to talk or discuss tennis? If two scientists meet they discuss science. So, why should we not discuss K's teachings or our own explorations into life ? He often said we must investigate his teachings and share this inquiry as friends.
It is also true that when I asked him in 1985 what all he wanted me to do after joining at Rajghat he said,"You must talk about the teachings with the students and the teachers here and once a year you must go round the world to talk about the teachings. They will pay you for it!". I was scared so I said,"Sir, I have never given such talks. I have only given scientific talks. I do not know if I can do it." He replied,"You come here Sir and it will come to you." I don't know whether he was seeing the future or simply guessing but that is exactly what has happened without my trying to make it happen.
I started talking with the students and teachers here about these matters concerning the need for self-knowledge and gradually the ability came. I started receiving more invitations both from India and abroad and I accepted whichever I could. For nearly 10 years Gisele invited me every year to talk at Saanen, starting in 1988 or 89.Some trustees started feeling I am stepping myself up as an authority and becoming a Guru. I was doing nothing of the kind. I only spoke as a friend investigating the teaching and verbalised my inquiry because they asked me to.
The first to make me aware of this was Dr. Parchure and I vividly recall this conversation with him in his cottage at Rajghat. I quote it here as it is relevant for my answer to your question:
TKP: Why do you go to Saanen?
PK : Well, because Gisele invites me.
TKP: Don't tell me you do not enjoy it.
PK : Of course I do. I also enjoy working at Rajghat, I enjoy my food, I enjoy looking at the river. What is wrong with enjoyment?
TKP: Are you not bulding yourself up?
PK : That danger always exists in every activity. I can build my ego around my work here or around my status, my family -- almost anything. We learnt from K to watch out for this danger and not avoid it. If I do fall, it will be my undoing, so why does it bother you so much?
TKP: So, you are aware of it!
PK.: Of course! Isn't that what the teaching is about ? But if I may now ask you, " Why do you not give talks? You have been with this teaching for many years and I find in my dialogues with you that you have a fairly good understanding of it. So why don't you talk ?
TKP: Because I don't think it is possible to keep the self out of it.
PK. And what other activities are there in life in which you are sure the self will not interfere ? Shall I tell you why you do not talk?
PK : Because you are chicken! You feel they will make you into a Guru, fall at your feet and all that and you are afraid of that. I am not afraid because I am so clear that I will not fall into that trap.
That ended that conversation; but the matter did not end there. He talked to some trustees in Saanen and they said it is becoming Krishna's gathering. So Gisele came and told me," I don't like all this back biting. So, I would like to call a meeting of the trustees who are here and thrash the thing openly. Will you come? I said, " Sure. I would love to." So she arranged it and invited Dr. Parchure also to it but he did not come. The others came and we discussed the whole thing frankly. I told them," I have no teachings of my own. I only speak about my investigations of K's teachings and I have never claimed that I am an authority or that I am a realised man. I only explore the questions K has raised and that too because Gisele asks me to. I would be equally happy to just be a participant and let someone else give the talk or conduct the dialogue." We discussed the issue of interpretation and I told them my view about which I have already written to you earlier.
If, as a student of science I can speak about my understanding of the work of Einstein or Newton why can I not speak about my understanding of K ? I am not willing to give up that freedom which I had even as a professor of Physics. I joined the K foundation because it talks of seeking freedom and not in order to accept more restrictions ! But I told Gisele that she should not invite me for a few years since it is creating too much controversy and she may get into trouble with the foundations. So she agreed and invited me instead to speak in smaller forums in Geneva. She has always remained a good friend and understood me completely.
The next time this issue came up in a different way. The then chairman of the K-committee in France wrote to me an email saying: " I want to invite you to give a talk at our annual K-gathering in Paris but before I invite you I have two questions to ask you:
1. Why do you give talks in the Theosophical society?
2. If the TS offered you a high position would you accept it ?
I will decide after I have your anwers to these two questions."
I was rather amused by his queries and do not remember my exact reply but it was more or less to this effect:
1. I give talks at the TS because they invite me to do so. I would go even to the roman catholic church if they invited me so long as they give me the freedom to say what I want to say. I do not judge my audience and then decide whether to accept an invitation.
2. I do not find a tremendous difference between the people in K-circles and those in the TS or in any other circle. They are all conditioned and they all need to free themselves of their conditioning. K did not say one conditioning was superior to another , he talked about freedom from conditioning. He also said the other man is yourself. He did not say that this is so only when he is not a theosophist!
3. K appointed Radha Burnier as a trustee of KFI knowing full well she was a devoted theosophist. He also appointed Samdhong Rimpoche as a trustee knowing full well his committment to Buddhism. To me this means he was telling us the affiliation of a person does not matter. It is the consciouness inside that matters.
4. About your second question. It is specualtive. If and when such an offer comes I will consider carefully what work it involves, whether it interests me and whether I am competent and free to do it. The decision would have to be taken then and not in imagination.
5. However, one thing is clear. You should not invite me to speak since you have so many reservations about me!
He replied saying he has decided not to invite me to the annual gathering but he would like to invite me to his home for dinner. I wrote back saying I am delighted. I went to his home for dinner, we became good friends and he invited me next year to give a talk in his department in the university and the following year to conduct dialogues at a K-retreat in the zen centre near Paris!
Sorry if this mail has become very long but you are a good old friend and I just felt like writing frankly and fully. I have no objection to your quoting any of this as this is the truth and I have no reason to be ashamed of revealing it!
The work and the inquiry go on amidst all this natural confusion !!
The Finite and the Infinite -- By Professor David Bohm
In considering the relationship between the finite and the
infinite, we are led to observe that the whole field of the finite
is inherently limited, in that it has no independent existence. It
has the appearance of independent existence, but that appearance
is merely the result of an abstraction of our thought. We
can see this dependent nature of the finite from the fact that
every finite thing is transient.
Our ordinary view holds that the field of the finite is all that
there is. But if the finite has no independent existence, it cannot
be all that there is. We are in this way led to propose that
the true ground of all being is the infinite, the unlimited; and
that the infinite includes and contains the finite. In this view,
the finite, with its transient nature, can only be understood as
held suspended, as it were, beyond time and space, within the
The field of the finite is all that we can see, hear, touch,
remember, and describe. This field is basically that which is
manifest, or tangible. The essential quality of the infinite, by
contrast, is its subtlety, its intangibility. This quality is conveyed
in the word spirit, whose root meaning is “wind, or breath”.
This suggests an invisible but pervasive energy, to which the
manifest world of the finite responds. This energy, or spirit,
infuses all living beings, and without it any organism must fall
apart into its constituent elements. That which is truly alive in
the living being is this energy of spirit, and this is never born
and never dies.
Pushing the Boundaries – an appreciation of David Bohm, by Dr. Colin Foster
Dr. Colin Foster taught physics at the Brockwood Park Scool in England for many years. We first met in 1993 in the Swiss Alps where we shared an apartment as guests of Friedrich Grohe. The following is regarding the work of a fellow physicist, Dr. David Bohm, an associate of Einstein, and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Birkbeck College, Universtiy of London for over 20 years. -- Reza Ganjavi
By Dr. Colin Foster
The implications of quantum mechanics (QM) suggest a new worldview that is less destructive and fragmentary than the one that operates at present. This is one of the insights that comes out of Bohm’s physics. Until his death, he worked on an interpretation of quantum phenomena that gives a more coherent view of the nature of matter than either that which informs the fragmentary view or that which comes out of the standard interpretation of QM accepted by mainstream physicists.
It is hard to imagine anyone better qualified to deal with the implications of QM than Bohm, as he spent all his working life as a theoretical quantum physicist who was considered by Einstein as his “intellectual son”. It is worth pointing out that, although he was a renowned physicist, it was clear to him that understanding the processes of the brain was of “pivotal” concern for mankind, and endeavours such as science, art and music, while obviously worthwhile, were secondary to understanding the process of thought/feeling. He also felt that many of the conflicts that mankind faces are rooted in the fragmentary nature of our worldview. Lee Nichol’s excellent article (issue 23) covers some of Bohm’s thinking on this.
While it is not possible here to describe in detail Bohm’s interpretation, I would like to look at two key features that form the basis of his understanding of the implications of QM. One is that thought and knowledge are limited and the other is that there is an indivisible connection between the observer and the observed. These are familiar insights that Krishnamurti discussed in his public talks and in discussions with Bohm. They are also the key features of quantum phenomena where Bohm’s interpretation differs from that of mainstream physics, the latter, or Copenhagen interpretation, being due mainly to Niels Bohr (1880-1946). Using these two features, I would like to clarify what this difference is and their significance in the new worldview that Bohm found QM to imply.
Before going into this, it is important to reflect on Bohm’s approach to knowledge and understanding. Taking the concept of theory in science to illustrate this, it was important to him that the concept of theory be understood in its original etymological sense, i.e. as related to the word ‘theatre’, thus giving a meaning to theory as, at best, and as far as we know, an accurate but limited and relative way of looking at the world. This understanding is in contrast to the usual view of theory in science as expressing an absolute knowledge about the nature of the material world and its laws. Bohm’s understanding of theory leads to a flexible and open approach to what might be new or different, rather than clinging to an idea or theory because one has mistakenly supposed it to be true knowledge.
Along with this openness, he greatly valued clarity, coherence and fertility in ideas, a fertility that came from seeing learning about “the infinitely subtle nature of matter” as endless and worthwhile in itself. In contrast, a number of writers have described the Copenhagen interpretation as being sterile, and we will see why when we look at our first point.
Thought and knowledge are limited
It is easy to calculate that when a die is thrown many times the probability of a particular number coming up is 1/6. In a somewhat similar fashion, QM is a mathematical theory that produces probability fractions for possible outcomes of atomic events, and it indisputably does this with great accuracy! QM says nothing, however, about what happens in a single event, it being unpredictable like a single casting of the die. It is here that a significant difference of interpretation occurs between Bohm’s view and Bohr’s. Bohr gave a lot of importance to this unpredictability, not on the basis of the experimental results but rather because of his philosophical background. From this background (Kant, Kierkegaard, etc.), he saw the unpredictability resulting from the quantum world as being beyond the limit of thought and knowledge. He saw thought and knowledge not only as limited but also as having as a specific limit the quantum world. I believe the mass media have mistakenly used unpredictability as a characteristic feature of QM, because it is an easy concept to grasp, featuring as it does in many aspects of people’s lives. Bohr’s view seems to have led to an intellectual sterility, with many mainstream physicists accepting his view that it makes no sense to inquire into a realm that is beyond what is knowable. For Bohm, thought and knowledge are limited, but the boundary can always be extended in an indefinite way into the “qualitative infinity of nature”, and his work was to extend knowledge into the quantum world. With Basil Hilley he developed a radical interpretation that he hoped would be a fruitful “scientific metaphor” that would be considered on its own merits, alongside the other interpretations rather than in opposition to them. But John Bell, perhaps the most respected of quantum theorists who did not accept Bohr’s view either, described Bohm’s as “the best crafted” of the available interpretations.
Unpredictability is a feature of QM, but Bohm showed that, in itself, it does not entail a new view of matter. Unpredictability is also a feature of die-throwing and, therefore, not something that distinguishes QM from the Cartesian physics of Newton, often viewed as the basis of the fragmentary view.
The observer and the observed
Imagine that you are looking at a cat in your garden. You close your eyes and, instead of a cat, you hear a bird in the cat’s place. You open your eyes and again see a cat, close them and again hear a bird. In other words, it would seem as though your perception is dependent on how you are perceiving. If you found yourself in this situation, you would be very surprised, yet physicists have discovered that contextdependent phenomena do occur at the quantum level. They have found that what they observe depends on how they are observing – in a way that cannot be understood in terms of the normal division between the observer and the observed. Bohr stated that if one wasn’t shocked by this phenomenon, then one hadn’t understood the nature of what was going on. Wave/particle duality in the behaviour of fundamental particles is an outcome of this phenomenon, and the uncertainty principle expresses mathematically the ambiguity that results when you treat the observed particle as divided from the observing apparatus. Bohm and Bohr recognised the significance of this and both used phrases such as “un-analysable wholeness”. Mainstream scientists and the media appear to be uncomfortable with wholeness as an outcome of QM, and have either ignored it or consigned it to the mystical, although a related aspect of this undivided wholeness, non-locality or entanglement, has been experimentally observed, due partly to the work of Bohm and Bell. Bohr recognised its importance but understood it in terms of yin/yang, or what he called “complementariness”, and in fact used the yin/yang symbol in his coat of arms.
For Bohm, however, this wholeness is the starting point for understanding quantum phenomena and the creative movement behind the material world and living systems. As he pointed out, this wholeness is not to be seen as just an abstract concept, a part that can be abstracted (i.e., pulled out) from the whole, because the whole cannot be so abstracted. Wholeness needs to be sensed as an insight into the unlimited, beyond what thought can grasp. He felt this sense of the unlimited was necessary to bring thought to order. Without this sense, thought represents itself as capable of dealing with everything, which is an incoherence that leads thought into disorder. To express the sense of something beyond static concepts, he used the phrase “unbroken wholeness in flowing movement” and developed the notion of a holomovement, a movement of unfolding and enfolding of the perceived world from and to a much vaster and subtler implicate order. This is the infinitely subtle source of all that is, that forms the basis of the holistic worldview that Bohm believed was implied by QM. He felt that such a worldview was necessary to respond to the conflicts caused by the pervading fragmentation.
Colin Foster, September 2005
This Timeless Moment: A Personal View of Aldous Huxley
Laura Huxley recalls her meeting with Krishnamurti at the home of yoga master, Vanda Scaravelli. (Page 83 of the 1968 Celestial Arts paperback edition).
At the Signora S.'s we had a delicious luncheon--the regime was completely vegetarian. Anyone can successfully prepare the good classic American dinner in fifteen minutes--salad, steak, frozen peas, and ice cream; it is nutritious, unimaginative, and satisfying. But a completely vegetarian dinner is very often a failure--understandably so--for to achieve variety and nutrition without meat, fish, eggs, and milk products requires imagination and knowledge, patience, and above all a really Epicurean perception of Nature's gifts.
At Signora S.'s the food was natural, alive, and varied. Aldous and I praised it and were told that the order and combination of the courses had been made according to the famous Dr. Bircher-Benner of a nearby clinic in Zurich. From recipes for food, we went on to speak of my "Recipes for Living and Loving." I had been very active in psychotherapy that year and had almost finished my book. Aldous spoke about the origin of the word ''recipes''--it is the imperative of the Latin word recipere, to receive--and told our hosts how my recipes had succeeded with some people for whom the orthodox methods had failed. Krishnamurti asked a few questions and listened intently. We spoke about vitamins and imagination, solitary confinement, LSD, alcoholism, and the congress on extrasensory perception that Aldous had recently attended in the South of France.
After lunch Signora S. tactfully suggested that I might want to speak alone with Krishnamurti. She and Aldous went into the living room. A large French window opened onto the terrace, where Krishnamurti and I were left alone. The French window was closed, but, as I realized later, Aldous could see us silhouetted against the sweeping view of the Alps. An hour or two later, when we left our hosts, Aldous could not wait to ask, "What in the world happened between you and Krishnaji? You two were gesticulating with such animation and excitement--it almost looked as though you were having a fight. What happened?"
The silent pantomime Aldous had seen through the French window must have been descriptive of our conversation--an extraordinary conversation against an extraordinary panorama. Krishnamurti and I had stood, walked, and sat on the terrace of the Swiss chalet, enveloped by high peaked mountains and pine woods of all gradations of green, light exhilarating green, and the deeper green of the vast mountain pastures. Brightness again, in luminous sky and in shining flowers, in sensuous undulating valleys, in Krishnamurti. Brightness everywhere.
The first thing I asked Krishnamurti, continuing our table conversation about psychotherapy, was how he dealt with the problem of alcoholism. He said nonchalantly that it had happened quite often that people, after one or two interviews with him, stopped drinking. When I asked how this came about, he said he did not know. He dismissed the subject and asked me whether LSD, mescaline, and the psychedelic substances in general were really of any benefit or just gave a temporary illusion. I told him of the medical research done in Canada in the field of alcoholism--of unexpected and successful results reported by Canadian doctors with a number of hopeless alcoholics who stopped drinking after only one or two administrations of LSD, and without further therapy. Krishnamurti seemed surprised.
He was silent for a few moments. There was something that he was going to say; also I had the feeling that his inner intensity was too powerful for the medium of words. I had no idea what was coming, but I knew something was about to happen. Silently he was holding my eyes with his dark burning look. Then with an extremely tense voice, he exploded, "You know, I think that those people who go about helping other people .. ." He stopped--then, with an even more piercing gaze, he spat out the next words like bullets of contempt: "those people ... they are a curse!"
After the conversation at the table I had no doubt that "those people" included me. The accusation and the fire with which he flung it at me were for an instant paralyzing. Then, almost without thinking, I asked, "What about you? What do you think you are doing? You go about helping other people."
As though he had never thought of himself as belonging to that cursed category, Krishnamurti was taken aback for a moment, totally surprised and perplexed. Then, with disarming simplicity and directness, he said, "But I don't do it on purpose!"
It was the most extraordinary of statements. Aldous was enormously impressed by it, and also very touched and amused. Of course he understood it. But I must have looked bewildered, for Krishnamurti, in a softer, calmer way, said, "It just happens, do you see?" Alas, I did not see very well. Krishnamurti continued, "I am not a healer, or a psychologist, or therapist, or any of those things." The words "healer," "psychologist," "therapist" burst from him like projectiles ejected by compressed power. "I am only a religious man. Alcoholics or neurotics or addicts--it doesn't matter what the trouble is--they get better quite often--but that is not important; that is not the point--it is only a consequence."
"What is wrong with such a consequence?" I asked. "I only give people techniques or recipes or tools to help them to do what they need to do--what is wrong in using the transformation of energy to change those miserable feelings into constructive behavior?" That had been what we had discussed at lunch. I knew that Krishnamurti was violently opposed to dogmas, rites, gurus, and Ascended Masters--to all the gadgetry of those organized powers whose aim is to impress the masses with keeping the godhead and its graces as their supreme and private monopoly. But I had no idea that he also objected to psycho-physical exercises, such as my recipes. Unaware of this fact, I had innocently exposed myself and my work. Now I realized that he had restrained himself during lunch, tactfully waiting until we were alone. He did not restrain himself now; vehemently, with unspeakable intensity, he spoke.
"No! No! Techniques--transformation--no--rubbish! One must destroy--destroy . . . everything!" Fleetingly a thought crossed my mind: how easily such a man can be misunderstood, misinterpreted! I wanted to understand--I knew that he wanted me to understand, but how to ask--that was the question. "But what do you do?" I repeated.
And he repeated: "Nothing--I am only a religious man."
It had the sound of a final statement, a baffling one to me. Six words, I thought, but hundreds of different meanings, according to each person's conditioning. Perhaps he was simply restating what Christ had said:
But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
But I was not thinking about Christ--I wanted to know what Krishnamurti meant by "a religious man."
"What is a religious man?"
Krishnamurti changed his tone and rhythm. He spoke now calmly, with incisiveness. "I will tell you what a religious man is. First of all, a religious man is a man who is alone--not lonely, you understand, but alone--with no theories or dogmas, no opinion, no background. He is alone and loves it--free of conditioning and alone--and enjoying it. Second, a religious man must be both man and woman--I don't mean sexually--but he must know the dual nature of everything; a religious man must feel and be both masculine and feminine. Third," and now his manner intensified again, "to be a religious man, one must destroy everything--destroy the past, destroy one's convictions, interpretations, deceptions--destroy all self-hypnosis--destroy until there is no center; you understand, no center. " He stopped.
After a silence Krishnamurti said quietly, "Then you are a religious person. Then stillness comes. Completely still."
Still were the immense mountains around us.
Huxley died on November 22, 1963 (the same day as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy) just as he had lived: in an experiment of expanding consciousness. He battled throat cancer for several years, so on his deathbed he was unable to speak. By writing a note, he asked his second wife, Laura, to administer LSD to him. She honored his wishes and also engaged in a ceremonial farewell to her husband which she described later in her biography of him:
Light and free you let go, darling; forward and up. You are going forward and up; you are going toward the light. . . .You are doing it so beautifully, so easily. Light and free. Forward and up. . . .You are going toward a greater love than you have ever known. You are going toward the best, the greatest love, and it is easy, it is so easy, and you are doing it so beautifully. (L. Huxley, 1968, p. 286)
On Creativity - By David Bohm
(Edited by Lee Nichols)
A selection of essays by the distinguished physicist and thinker, taking as their focus the role and nature of creativity in its broadest sense. Truly inspiring stuff as usual, this strongly reinforces Bohm's worldview as that most closely corresponding with my own.
Creativity, as both a component of one's state of mind, and as an underlying function of human activity, is shown to be essential to the maintenance of a positive vector, both for the individual and for society in general. Indeed, it is effectively woven into the very fabric of life. Also examined is the connection, at root, between scientific and artistic activity. By careful examination of the derivation of key words, Bohm shows how what have become essentially separate disciplines were in fact rooted in the same soil, with creativity being the essential nutrient.
Only by changing ourselves can we hope to change society, and only by becoming creative can we hope to change ourselves. Thus, creativity is seen to be at the centre of positive change - good news indeed for those who are naturally creative - but, we knew all along, didn't we ;-)
Suspension of thoughts, impulses, judgments lies at the heart of Dialogue…Suspension involves attention, listening and looking and is essential to exploration. Speaking is necessary of course…but the actual process of exploration takes place during listening—not only to others but to oneself.
Reviews on the book Freedom From The Known
Again, thank you so much. Krishnamurti's book "Freedom of the known" is for me the most important book ever read. Thank you Reza again for your effort.
These are what people have written about Freedom From The Known on a very popular internet bookseller's website: amazon.com
[5 out of 5 stars] Full of Wisdom, January 13, 2002
Reviewer: Tom Adams from Apex, NC USA
I've never read a book that was so short (less than 150 pages) that contained so much wisdom. From beginning to end, Krishnamurti's words capture your attention as he leads you through a discussion of the most important issues that face mankind. The manner in which he explores the extremely complex topics like freedom, love, violence, and ideology is more like conversation than lecture, which makes reading the book that much more enjoyable.
If you approach his words with an open mind and an honest heart, it is one of those rare books that can change your entire outlook on life. As I read it for the fourth time, I continue to find the subtle points of wisdom that are scattered throughout, and each read brings a greater understanding of what "freedom from the known" is all about.
[5 out of 5 stars] Understanding, May 25, 2001
Reviewer: Jason Gordon (see more about me) from College Station, TX United States
It seems amazingly trite to assign stars and write a paragraph about a teaching that has turned the world and therefore me upside down. This is the most concise of Krishnamurti's writings and is a good introduction to the teachings. Would also recommend Total Freedom and You are the World. Like me, you'll probably have to read them more than once to really digest the powerfully simple facts of life that Krishnamurti explains. It won't be easy so if you are just looking for a quick fix or a validation of your own ideology, keep looking. If however, you are interested in Truth and transformation, then read and be amazed.
[5 out of 5 stars] Freedom from the Known, February 27, 2001
Reviewer: Carol A. Chester (see more about me) from usa
"The world accepts and follows the traditional approach. The primary cause of disorder in ourselves is the seeking of reality promised by another; we mechanically follow somebody who will assure us a comfortable spiritual life." To understand ones self, Krishnamurti believed, is the beginning of wisdom. Understanding is not accepting a description of the view of the world mapped by another no matter how lofty the map maker. Krisnamurti encouraged making your own map:).This book should create a revolution within you. It is the start of a fantastic journey.
[5 out of 5 stars] An inquiry into the nature of true freedom, October 6, 2000
Reviewer: Michael Schelb (see more about me) from Boca Raton, FL United States
The book addresses the basic issue of perception with regard to knowledge, which is acquired through culture, religion and society as a whole. Krishnamurti turns to the nature of human fear, which arises from our social perceptions and offers his own insight. This book is an essential part of any Krishnamurti library.
[5 out of 5 stars] KRISHNAMURTI IS AN AMAZING TEACHER, July 19, 2000
Reviewer: A reader from Pittsburgh, PA
It is impossible to find arguments against what Krishnamurti is saying because he only uses known facts; facts that everyone has to accept because they come from common sense. His teachings are amazing, but difficult to live. I recommend this book and all of his other books to anyone interested in going deeper in his/her understanding of life.
[5 out of 5 stars] there is no escape, May 3, 2000
Reviewer: Douglas Chorpita from Philadelphia, USA
Krishnamurti tells it like it is. He shatters us, taking away every possible comfort, leaving us with nothing, but ourselves. Krishnamurti talks about how all knowledge is "old". In order to discover the "new" we must let go of all beliefs, preconceptions, theories, ideas, attitudes, systems, disciplines, etc. To live with great intelligence, we must forget EVERYTHING WE KNOW and simply be alert to life, as it is happening right now.
[5 out of 5 stars] Freedom from the known, March 23, 2000
Reviewer: A reader from australia
I started to read Krishnamurti's "Freedom from the Known" some time ago. The book was very difficult to understand. K 's statement "thought is time " I could not comprehend. Now, I fully understand what that statement means. My whole vocabulary and thinking process has been transformed. There has been a shift, a transformation, and "Freedom from the known "has been instrumental in this process. If you love Truth, then read this book. But dont expect to be enlightened overnight. If anybody wants to be challenged and be radically changed I highly recommend this book.
[5 out of 5 stars] This is the most comprehensive commentary on living., August 24, 1999
Reviewer: email@example.com from USA
This book summarizes the teachings of J. Krishnamurti. If any human being could read one book in their lives this should be the one. After reading the book one can get the sense of immense potential in terms of freedom, love, and joy.
One can see for oneself the influence of culture and tradition on our thought process at a fundamental level. One can see how this influence conditions our mind and distorts the perception of facts. At the same time the human mind has an inner demand to be free from this influence.
Our desire to be free is pacified by organized religions, gurus, psychologists, and propaganda by the politicians. However, it does not die until an answer is found.
So, if the desire to be free is present even the minutest of forms then this book can be a true beginning in life of freedom and happiness.
[5 out of 5 stars] A liberating view on fear and knowledge, August 10, 1998
Reviewer: firstname.lastname@example.org from Boca Raton, Florida
If there is a core teaching with regard to the many dialogues of J. Krishnamurti then this is it. The book tackles the basic problem of perception with regard to the knowlegde, which an individual aquires through education, society and culture. Further, Krishnamurti deals with the nature of human fear, and provides thought-provoking insight to this issue. Highly recommended - one of the most important books in my library!
[5 out of 5 stars] a fearless examination of what it means to be alive., August 1, 1998
Reviewer: email@example.com from Braintree MA. U.S.A
.In this book krishnamurti explains lucidly how all thoughts are conditional..In order to understand this a paradox needs to be understood-that is that truth or love cannot be known,however it can be experienced..This book is brilliant in it's clarity.It continues to have a profound effect on the way I view the world and my place in it.
The clearest of Krishnamurti's work., May 24, 1998
Reviewer: firstname.lastname@example.org from Los Angeles, California, USA
I have read many of Krishnamurti's books and this was the one that put it all together for me. Krishnmurti expresses the fundamentals of his outlook and approach without compromising power or depth.
Notes on the Brockwood Park Study Centre -- by Kathy Forbes
We are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Centre and it’s a privilege to have been asked to speak today and perhaps convey to you some of what was involved in setting up the Centre and running it for 15 years. I am not used to speaking to any groups of people, let alone such a large one, so this is extremely daunting to be speaking with all of you, many of whom I have known over the years, and some I have never met.
The Centre has been open 20 years. Its 21 years since Krishnaji’s death. It’s such a long time, and it seems important that we celebrate this Centre and actually the miracle that brought it into being.
Krishnaji had talked in the early years at Brockwood about having a place for adults to study, and part of the cloisters was meant to be used for that purpose, but it was soon taken over by the needs of the school. Staff members were resistant to creating a new centre as it was felt it would take money and energy away from the school and we needed all our resources for the school to thrive.
In 1983 Krishnaji began talking about the need for a study centre again and Scott, my ex husband, began looking at the least expensive form of architecture which was an A frame architecture. A visit was arranged to see a large A frame building in the New Forest. Many people including Krishnaji, Mary Zimbalist, Dorothy, Scott, some trustees and Friedrich Grohe went along. No one felt this design was right. It just wasn’t aesthetically pleasing enough, but there was no money anyway. On the way back in the car Friedrich said he would donate the money. With this very generous donation it seemed it might be possible. It was at this time that Scott and I were asked by Krishnaji to be responsible for building the Centre and for me to run it. We found architects, had a small model built and planning permission submitted. The application was unanimously refused however, because this piece of land is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty, and the land owner who owns the land that surrounds Brockwood, also strongly objected.
We hired a QC in London who specialized in building permits to see what he could do. He found the original application was not legal, as no provision had been made for a septic tank. Not only that, there was also some very small technical detail, having to do with the septic system, which had been omitted. This meant it had been an incomplete application. We were back to square one and we had to begin again. Despite being shocked and disappointed we were delighted because we almost had another chance.
We began looking for new architects as we felt that even with a new application; we would receive the same response. Scott was in the South West of England and by chance he met some people who said they had heard of an architect Keith ‘someone’ who used sacred geometry to design. We managed to track Keith down and ask him to submit some drawings or a proposal. We also asked four other top UK architects to submit proposals of what they felt this building could look like. They were then invited here to meet Krishnaji and present their ideas to him. Keith Critchlow was the second person Krishnaji met and immediately he knew that Keith understood what he was looking for. He had the sense of what he wanted. Jon Allen who will speak later will talk more about Keith’s design and insights. We were thrilled to have found someone who also had a spiritual interest. In fact Keith’s father had left him some Krishnamurti books after he died and Scott and I knew Jon from the Gatherings.
After having met these marvelous architects and seen their proposals, Krishnaji made a comment to the affect that he wished all five of them could all work on this project together, which is how he always wished us to work. To think and work together.
In order to get our planning permission, there was a great deal of work we needed to do with the members of the County Council. Early in the process it became apparent that there was resistance to us, because we were a Krishna - something place, but you could see the relief on the Council members’ faces when they visited us and saw that we weren’t running around with shaven heads in yellow robes. I think these visits were significant in our eventually getting the building permission.
The head of the County Council who had been extremely antagonistic to our application was a very religious Anglican. His son was important in the Anglican hierarchy, and the evening after this man’s visit to Brockwood, his son brought an African Anglican bishop to his father’s house for dinner. In the course of the dinner conversation, the father spoke of visiting Brockwood and said something derisive about Krishnaji. The African bishop interrupted and said something to the effect that ‘Krishnamurti is a truly religious man, and a man that is very respected in all religious circles,’ The man was so astonished that he told us all about this conversation, and, naturally he changed his mind. The head of the County Council was on our side.
There were other objections that the council had, but we were able to meet each one, so that by the time our project came up for discussion with the final County Council meeting they voted unanimously. The Centre that never was looked like it might just be.
This was now late summer of 1985. We assembled quotes from builders and were almost ready to start when Krishnaji became ill in India. Krishnaji managed to get to Ojai and there was a plea from some of the Brockwood’s trustees to only build half of the Centre. This was put to Krishnaji in his final weeks and I was also asked to fly over to Ojai and take the final elevation drawings for him to see. They were absolutely beautiful. He said we should build the entire building and make it ‘first class’.
Money of course was still a large issue. It seemed that the new Centre even after Friedrich Grohe’s donation would require us to raise an extra 1 million pounds. We had never raised that amount before.
Krishnaji died and it seemed that the whole universe had changed.
Trustees were naturally anxious about starting such a project after Krishnaji’s death. We all wondered whether everything would slowly die? A building of this scale had never been done before. He wished the Centre to be beautiful, austere and ascetic, simple but comfortable. That it should last a thousand years and he didn’t want us to diminish it in any way. This is what I referred to every time I was required to purchase or choose something or make any large decision.
We were all so doubtful as to how the school could continue in the long term, so a possibility would be, to use the school for a Centre and the money donated by Friedrich be kept as an endowment for the Centre. This was hotly debated and we must realize what an act of faith and courage on the part of the trustees this actually was. Krishnaji, the source of everything we did, and the inspiration for all the support we had ever received was gone, and we were facing the prospect of needing to raise 25 times more than we had ever raised, even in his life time. The Centre that almost never was, seemed to be struggling yet again, to come into being.
Just before signing the contract with the builders to go ahead with the construction the matter was put to the staff; and it was put starkly. If this contract is signed we are committed to paying this amount of money. We have never raised this kind of money or anything like it. If we fail to raise the necessary money we will go bankrupt and that means loosing Brockwood, loosing our homes, loosing our livelihoods, losing everything we had worked so hard to achieve. Should we sign this contract? They agreed with one voice to sign it.
This was what Krishnaji wanted. Then they made a collective offer that was quite extraordinary. The staff offered to cut their wages to help finance the building of the Centre. This offer/trust and spirit that they showed really merits special appreciation and still tugs at my heart, because we were only earning pocket money in those days, so their wages wouldn’t even have made a dent in what was needed. But that wasn’t the point, the fact is they were 100% behind it.
The contract was signed and we began the construction but we had to find the extra money to pay for it. We did everything we could think of. We were tireless in trying to collect every penny and pound we could find.
The final story is one of the many miracles that went into the creation of this Centre. The construction was coming to an end and the final bill was soon to be paid and we had done everything but we hadn’t yet raised the final amount of £400.000. We were in trouble. We could lose the Centre just as it was finished being built. There was talk of perhaps dividing the Centre from the school and selling one or the other. Another very very difficult moment.
I need to interrupt this story for a moment and tell you a side story. When we were in Sannen filming the talks Krishnaji was giving in 1977 or 78, the video department made an appeal for money in the tent before one of Krishnaji’s talks. We had to do this every year as the department had to raise all of its own funding. After this particular appeal an old couple from Belgium came to the video van and in halting English told us they would like to help us. Of course they were thanked profusely, hands were warmly shaken and that was that.
They didn’t give anything at that time, but this was not an uncommon experience. People would often express a desire to help but for some reason or another couldn’t, and that was always fine because even just good intentions seemed beneficial.
Now we were in this desperate situation of needing £400,000. Not having heard from the Belgian lady or gentleman before or since that one meeting in Saanen we suddenly had a phone call from Belgium from a lady who said she wanted to bring us something. We didn’t know who she was. She wanted to come with her friend who turned out to be the gentleman who had been with her ten years before. Neither of them had ever flown on an airplane and didn’t know how to go about doing that, so we asked Hugues van der Straten, one of Brockwood trustees at the time, who was Belgian, and living there, if he would escort them, which he kindly offered to do. It was only when they arrived that we realized that this was the lady and gentleman who had come to us nine or ten years earlier in Saanen, and said that they wanted to help. She told us that after meeting us that year in Saanen she had taken a suitcase of money to Luxembourg by train, because any contributions to any charity apart from the Catholic Church are heavily taxed in Belgium, and invested it. They were now bringing us the result of that investment. It was a cheque for £400,000. We were absolutely stunned, as was everyone else. Krishnaji always said if you do what’s right the money will come. It seemed to me and others that it was right that we had had to work so hard to bring the Centre into being. All the trial and error and backwards and forwards seemed to bring it about in the right way with the right intentions and that we were doing the right thing.
To bring it about with integrity and beauty in every sense of the word, but we would have to continue to work and work to make it happen.
One peculiar but special moment to me was when the concrete slabs for the living room and dining room had been laid, and the large oak pillars were being erected. They were being hauled up by huge cranes. I was standing in the field; it was winter, cold and stark. There was mud everywhere and I was looking around at the whole layout of the beginning of the Centre, and I felt so strongly that this building had always been there. It wasn’t new or being built, it was there, it belonged. I know this sounds ridiculous but it has always felt to me that it belonged to this part of the earth. It nestles into the earth and is held in the earth. It’s meant to be here. You could say it’s because of the particular architecture, but my feeling is that it’s more than that, and the feeling is reinforced as the years go by.
In the beginning my function was to set up the interior of the Centre. I had to imagine what the building would look like, what each room would look and feel like. I find reading drawings and plans quite difficult. I had to try and capture the atmosphere from the drawings and from being in discussions with the architects and builders. There were no walls, floors, lighting, doors, and kitchen - nothing. It was not my building or my home so my challenge was to try not to use my personal taste for the choices I made. I tried to imagine what it might be like to come to a place like this and what my needs might be. Everyone would be well taken care of. Their basic needs would be met and they should feel safe and comfortable, so all that was left to do and the most important thing would be to take the opportunity to immerse themselves in the teachings. Be in this beautiful space, read, watch tapes, talk with others and hold the jewel. Watch, absorb so it is in the blood. Like Krishnaji said. Having a marvelous set of pearls, you put them around your neck and they are always there. With no building built, nothing to replicate, I furnished the Centre from top to bottom.
We wanted to paint the walls in a soft off white colour that had a hint of warmth. We couldn’t find what we wanted so we persuaded the paint manufacturers to create the colour we were looking for. So we had our own brand. The main areas were called Krishnamurti White by the manufactures and the corridors and bedrooms were Brockwood White. We didn’t know this until a few years later when we needed a couple of extra cans of paint. We were looking for subtlety and beauty in everything. I carefully chose in conjunction with Mary Zimbalist and others the curtains and carpets and purchased all the furniture, fixtures and fittings. The Centre should last a thousand years. With beautiful hand made bricks, roof tiles, floor tiles it will hopefully last but my task was always where I could spend money, and how could I save it.
At one moment I was struggling with how comfortable it would feel to sit in the living room as a guest all on ones own. I imagined a vast space with me sitting alone reading a book. Would I feel lost, alone, self conscious, uncomfortable? I asked Keith whether a guest would feel at home in this large space. He said yes. Well you can tell because of his extraordinary architecture, that this is the case. I looked in all the shops for dining room tables and chairs and furniture for the library. Nothing seemed suitable. So the dining room tables were designed and made with wood from the Brockwood grounds and our workshops by a staff member. The book shelves and chairs were designed and made by a friend of mine from Scotland.
Both used the Brockwood Arch which are the proportions that Keith used in the arches in the dining room and sitting rooms. Somehow all this detail contributed to the harmony of the building.
The Quiet room was created and designed later than the main building. Krishnaji’s way of creating it was to describe its position. That it should not be above anything, below anything or next to anything, but, it shouldn’t be apart. A person should step up to it and enter from the East. It should have natural daylight but no one should be able to look out of any windows. In other words it couldn’t be in a field where you might come upon it and just walk in. It would be something quite deliberate, when you felt you were ready. We therefore suggest to guests that they don’t use it for anything other than sitting quietly, and that perhaps they would wait a day or two before using it. When showing guests around I was amazed that when this was suggested, it seemed to convey the essence of what the Quiet room and was for. The Central flame.
The functioning of the Centre and its use evolved as we talked and planned, but of course we had not done this before. Excellence was always the key. It was a tough and extraordinary experience and then once built I had to run it. When Krishnaji asked Scott and me if we would build the Centre and then for me to run it, I did want to ask why me, oh why me? What an enormous task I was presented with and I didn’t feel I was ready. But I would never have been ready. One couldn’t refuse Krishnaji anything; you just found a way to do it. I remember the night it opened in December 1987 as I lay in bed. I felt something push at my chest or thump my chest. It was so strange, and I didn’t imagine it either. I didn’t know whether it was the enormity of what we had done or perhaps the enormity of what lay ahead. Strange moments like this don’t happen to me.
My focus for setting up the structure was for it to run smoothly and quietly, providing a space of silence, beauty and peace that would allow for something else to happen. I tried not to let it become diluted. Even if something peculiar happened and many many times it did, the Centre somehow has the strength to absorb it and let it be.
Many interesting guests have stayed in the Centre and they find the space, beauty and peace is what brings them back, for some a life changing experience. We once had a Korean Monk visit. This man had stayed in retreats all over the world and yet he found the Centre the most peaceful and beautiful of all the places he had been to.
A couple of years before Krishnaji died he persistently asked staff and associates an important question many times. What will you say to the man from Seattle? For those of you who don’t know this expression. He was asking what we would say to the average man in the street that had never had the opportunity to hear him and see him in his life time. He implored us to explore how we would convey the perfume of what it was like to have talked with K; what is was like to have been with him and, what he was like as a person. We had this responsibility to him and the teaching.
One day I was faced with this question at a very difficult time in my life. I was all alone on duty in the Centre one afternoon when this large, tall man from Canada carrying a back pack walked in. He wanted to know absolutely everything about the Centre and more particularly in great depth about Krishnaji. Here was my ultimate challenge. The man from Seattle was here! I didn’t feel well, or really want to talk to anyone but it was so important for me to do so. When we were finished talking all that I had been carrying and feeling had shifted.
As the years moved on one of our many challenges was how to make the Centre known to a wider audience. When Krishnaji was alive he talked about not putting him with anyone or anything. How were we going to do this?
How and where do we advertise and at the same time not dilute its main intentions. How do we prevent it from becoming a casual day trip, or for one nighters, or a retirement home? Many avenues were explored and the theme week-ends came into being. They have developed over the years and have been of benefit to many people for different reasons.
Over the years so many people from all over the world have come to stay in the Centre and have played such a large part in its development. There have been contributions on so many levels that are so necessary for its life.
I was involved with the Centre from its inception for 18 years. Looking back I can see what a gift I was given. It was a life changing experience. One, that extended me beyond my limits.
I feel the Centre has moved on from those early years and is flourishing. It has a maturity; the beauty with the silence that Krishnaji would approve of.
It has been and always will remain a benediction in my life.
SELECTED QUOTES EXTRACTED BY REZA GANJAVI FROM KFI BULLETINS - FROM TALKS AT RISHI VALLEY
POP & CLASSICAL "Probably the people who are 'classical' have a prejudice against the 'pop'. I do not know. You know, one of the most extraordinary things is that anything new is popular. People dislike the old because everybody wants to escape from the old; they try to find something new. But the new is not necessarily beautiful; nor for that matter, is the old." 1966, Rishi Valley
MATURITY "Maturity is a state of mind wherein there is no image from which it judges" 1966, R.V.
MARRIAGE – LIVING ALONE "There is the desire for companionship -- that is the desire to be with somebody to whom we can talk about ourselves and who will listen to us. It is the desire to be with someone whom we love and who loves us and who will help us to think
INTRODUCTION TO KRISHNAMURTI'S TEACHING
By Dr. Ruben Ernesto Feldman-Gonzalez
Jiddu Krishnamurti is the most important person of the 20th Century if not the most important in the past twenty centuries.
He discusses the essential core of all religious teachings given to mankind.
He does that in an unprecedented way, using a clear, non technical and simple language in a fresh and actualized form.
To understand Krishnamurti one has to be ready to learn and willing to unlearn. Krishnamurti's words have to be understood only in the context of his whole teaching. He sometimes uses words depriving them of their accepted, conventional meaning. He can also use the same word with a different contextual meaning in different occasions.
Krishnamurti uses a new form of expression to awaken a new form of understanding. It is an understanding that moves from fact to fact, radically denying every form of conditioning, tradition, ideology, belief, romanticism, sentimentality or predilection.
In the spiritual dimension of life the conclusions of knowledge don't count. You may know how to cite and recite all the verses of the Gospel, the Koran and the Gita but you may still not be able to live with a silent mind. A silent mind is a very energetic mind in constant regeneration, a mind that is able to relate, to think, feel and act without prejudice, without conflict and without effort.
When intellect "enters" the spiritual dimension (if such a thing was
possible), it encounters the paradox. Without transcending paradox, which is the last refuge of intellect, the mind can't live in the spiritual dimension, which moves in the most vibrant and energetic silence.
"Life starts after death" is one of those intellectual paradoxes which maintain the mind at the threshold of the spiritual dimension.
Without dropping words and conclusions of intellect, the mind can't transcend the threshold. Without pure listening of all sound, without words, there is no access to the second silence or spiritual silence of which no description is possible. The sacred dimension is called "secret" or "occult" by those who prefer a comfortable, mediocre and superficial life.
The Christian word "Metanoia" (Greek) means originally "to go beyond knowledge and beyond thinking" but was mistranslated as "repentance" which in itself means "to be sorry again" (for past misdeeds).
The mistranslation of the word "Metanoia," uncorrected for 500 years, with its multiple implications, may be considered both a cultural catastrophe and also a true break with original religious culture.
Going from fact to fact the mind needs no effort, creates no distortions and starts no conflict whatsoever. Going from fact to fact the mind is so clear that it needs to follow nobody nor conform to any Gita, Bible, Koran or Vedas.
Freedom for Krishnamurti starts when one dispenses from within with all crutches, with all help, with all shelter and with all authority. Freedom is nevertheless compatible with following the law of a country.
People talk about "spiritual liberation" but it is not "Ruben who obtains liberation." Rather, only when Ruben disappears as an ego, life is liberated in Ruben. If Ruben wants to express himself, he won't allow the expression of life in himself. Life alone benefits in liberation and also everyone who is not afraid of the expression of life.
This is the meaning of the paradoxical sentence: "Life starts after death.”
This is quite related with a frequent misinterpretation of Krishnamurti's teaching: he used to repeat "know yourself" and "be a light to yourself.” But interpreting Krishnamurti's "know yourself" as "self knowledge" may sound very philosophical but it is a big mistake.
Krishnamurti emphasized that there is thought but not a thinker, so there could hardly be anything static as "a self" to know. Obviously he meant "discover by yourself and follow no one" whenever he said "know yourself.”
We have to discover by ourselves how we need respect all the time and how the need for respect is related to everything in our life: jealousy, fear of emptiness, fear of loneliness, greed, a complex and stifling lifestyle, blind competition, cruelty and brutality, the building of personal, corporate or national empires, the invention of enemies and the ultimate incoherence of "making wars to achieve peace".
Repeating the words of another makes the mind dull, insensitive, and ultimately boring, cruel and brutal (same as what our minds have become !). Such a mind is bringing into the world more and more chaos as we see around us in all and every one of the activities of men and women.
Present planetary society is creating very chaotic and confused men and women. Many of those confused men and women are teaching in school and universities, contributing to the maintenance of the collective status quo, which is the criminal and meaningless society we know. Krishnamurti teaches that the fact has significance and that only the fact is significant. The fact that we are greedy and envious, jealous, fearful and angry is the significant thing, not the idea that we should be non greedy, not fearful and not angry. If a terrorist makes you angry don't dwell on the terrorist, rather perceive anger at the time it happens and not later.
Krishnamurti says "to look at the fact, you have to see the fact completely and not introduce a contradictory idea.” If you see you are afraid, see the fear completely without the word fear, because if you conclude that you shouldn't be afraid, you stop seeing your fear.
If you stop seeing your fear, you don't see it completely and if you don't see it completely, you are not free from fear. Fear is built in thought and thought creates both fear and the thinker.
If Krishnamurti says that there is only thought and no thinker and one responds by stating that Krishnamurti is "vague,” it only shows one's resistance to learn and to unlearn.
Only a man that is completely silent and quiet is completely alive and sensitive. Only a silent mind can see and listen well.
Krishnamurti goes even further: "It is only such a mind that can perceive that which is immeasurable.”
The perception of "the immeasurable" depends on remaining open for the new. We don't even see the fact that relationships are not static. Looking at any relationship from a fixed point of view makes the relationship dull or uncreative.
Habits and addictions of any kind dull sensitivity and our life is full of habits and addictions. Many persons who are slaves to habit incoherently talk about creativity and in the name of being creative precisely create a lot of havoc and confusion in their lives.
Krishnamurti goes deeper saying that there is no creativity unless the mind lives in creation, but only the silent mind is able to live in creation. Seeking creativity is in itself a non creative act.
Those who are afraid of discovery and of dropping everything they know, like to call Krishnamurti a guru or a philosopher, but he is neither.
Mixing Krishnamurti with mythology and religious legends is another very common and immature way to invalidate Krishnamurti, almost as bad as base personal gossip.
During the second world war Krishnamurti was called a "Nazi" by the communists and a "communist" by the Nazis, since both had vested interests and both wanted to invalidate Krishnamurti.
But both missed the fact that Krishnamurti went far beyond ideology and belief. His teaching is both universal and timeless, it is meant for all men, no matter what their situation may be.
Between 1920 and 1940 he was introduced to the public as a World Teacher of the same magnitude as Jesus Christ or Buddha Gautama, a new young Teacher or seer who only spoke a more updated and reliable language. This "soteriologic language" could be heard at last first hand, without any distortion from followers, churches, translators and sacred books. He spoke simple, everyday, nontechnical English!
When I first met Krishnamurti in March of 1975, I tried to discuss the translation of his books into Spanish. He simply told me: "tell them to learn English!"
Since 1929 Krishnamurti was an independent teacher, who never belonged to any organization nor wanted to found one. He was, in that sense, alone through his death, aloneness he maintained with uncompromising integrity. He defined "aloneness" as the ability he had to feel one with all men and women: all one ness.
He avoided also all kinds of propaganda for himself and his teaching. He said the best way to spread the teaching was to live by it, with a very silent and quiet mind, constantly open to the sacredness of each moment.
Such a mind would completely see the rage generated by an insult, the envy generated by a compliment to a perceived rival and the pride evoked by flattery.
Once rage, envy and pride are completely "seen" in unitary perception or choiceless awareness, they would instantly disappear without a trace and the mind would naturally go back to the bliss of silent peace.
Living with that silent mind was what he dared to call "meditation", knowing very well that when he used this word it carried an altogether different and non traditional, non technical meaning.
Krishnamurti didn't read books, so his teaching came directly from his own authentic discovery and expressed itself from his own original, pristine, uncontaminated intelligence.
He would ask his friends: “Are you aware that you are dull?”
He would shock a lady by asking: "Have you discovered your husband already?"
We were having lunch one day (June 1978) in Brockwood Park, and somebody asked: "Tell us about reincarnation.”
Krishnamurti said: "What is it that continues?"... before quietly continuing eating his salad. That's all he said!
I found what he meant by it only much later, while I was reading his collected works.
He would give new meaning to old words. He would define "discipline" as the ability to learn and to unlearn.
He would provide tremendous depth to the shortest sentence, using it at the right time.
He said once: "People need to be awakened, not instructed.”
He could be very harsh with me, but at the same time I could feel the love in his intense, undescribable eyes when he said the words.
I invited him for a walk once, in Ojai, California. He said: "Let's walk as long as we walk in silence "
After walking for an hour he said only this: "Dr. Gonzalez, will you continue being one of the many or will you start being one of the few?”
He gave me non verbal clues for me not to answer. It was clearly implied that this was one of those questions you have to keep alive for the rest of your life.
Being with him for an hour every time we met made me feel in bliss, in a quasi levitated, peaceful and joyful state.
On one of those occasions I told him: "when I am with you I feel like a condor.” He instantly replied: "For how long do you want to be infected?"
He meant one has to find the way to be in bliss by oneself!
The kind of discovery Krishnamurti had made (and that he invited all to make themselves) gave him the energy and the wisdom to persuade or shock without too many words and without too much effort.
In 1977 he said: "Transformation is not from this to that but the ending of this"
He had obviously undergone some supreme transformation which most men refuse to go through.
He used to repeat in different ways: "My teaching is neither mystic nor occult for I hold that both are part of man's limitation upon truth. Those who are bound by what they know will have difficulty in understanding the ever changing truth.”
A friend of mine, who had recently divorced from his wife, went to see Krishnamurti in despair. He complained that his wife didn't love him anymore. Krishnamurti told him: "if you love you don't need anybody's love. You need her love because there is no love within yourself."
The loving silent mind doesn't need to express itself to "fulfil,” to "impress,” to "achieve,” to "succeed.” To "be useful" or to "be remembered.” Its expression is spontaneous and without goal. The scent of a flower is not considered to be "an expression" of the flower, simply because the scent is spontaneous and without a goal.
A good scent is part of a good flower. The good and silent mind doesn't need to express itself.
Pursuing a goal has to be intelligently balanced with silence, leisure, unsought relaxation and being fully alert and alive in choiceless awareness or passive attention.
Spiritual "training" (and "technics") is only one of the many ways by which we escape from being fully alert and alive right now. Compulsively watching T.V. or playing with a computer may fulfil the same function: to escape from life.
Right now is the beginning of a whole new life in which we constantly, every day and all day long, are attempting, without any effort, to live with death in futureless silence. We have to be willing and ready to change our plans with each change in the present.
If we live this way, every moment is a new beginning, or a life without beginning, and everything that has to be done can be done without effort and without any conflict.
"In such a life" Krishnamurti says: “The teacher is not important, he is only a telephone, throw him overboard and just learn to listen.”
The only one able to lead man beyond himself is man himself.
Krishnamurti said: "For as long as the smallest part of the brain remains unconscious, it will project words and symbols which will only create the illusion of communion with something higher.” Later he repeatedly said: " The word God is not God.”
The reality of God can only be perceived in deep and alert silence.
Good & Evil
A Selection of Passages From The Teachings of J. Krishnamurti
Extracted from website of Krishnamurti Foundation of America
P.O.Box 1560, Ojai, California 93024
©1995 by the Krishnamurti Foundation of America and the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust, Ltd.
The good is not the opposite of the evil...
News from The School, Chennai (Krishnamurti Foundation India)
2007 -- by G. Gautama
Two significant things have happened in school during the past 3 months - one you may have already heard about, the work of the school being stretched to 10,000 schools! A little more detail below:
1. MIDDLE SCHOOL - ACTIVE LEARNING METHODOLOGIES fro SSA
During our conversation with the SSA (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan - Education for all) wing of the TamilNadu Edn dept we discovered that they were keen to follow up on the ACTIVITY BASED LEARNING in Primary schools with a similar program in the Upper Primary classes (grades 6 to 8). SSA were eager for us to conduct the workshops for their TEACHER TRAINERS at the earliest since they wanted to change the methodologies in the current academic year.
We crafted a program called MIDDLE SCHOOL - ACTIVE LEARNING METHODOLOGIES, based on the pedagogic movements at at school. Our teachers, under Sumitra's coordination, ran a 11 day program for 60 SSA teacher trainers during the period May 16 to May 26th during our summer vacation. A draft manual was prepared at the end of these workshops.
The term ACTIVE LEARNING METHODLOLOGIES has been coined by us. From May - Aug 2007, the Outreach wing of The School has been involved in devising workshops and a framework for the SSA - Education for all - wing of the Education Department. The framework of interactions for the workshops was evolved and coordinated by Sumitra, our coordinator for Outreach, and the content and details of the workshops were conceptualized, collated and conducted by Suchitra, Padmavathy, Girija, Ramakumar, Akhila and Sumitra, assisted by several more teachers (Arun, Sampath, Kala) and also teachers from Olcott School (Poornima, Indira). All the people involved chose to volunteer their time, and did not accepted any remuneration Govt.
This work is a sequel to the workshops Padmavathy and Sumitra had done in 2003 - 2005 for teachers of the Corporation schools of Chennai. This was followed by a year-long research on life-skills by Suchitra. The materials generated by these efforts have provided the basis for the present work.
These workshops were very well received by the trainers and SSA wished to try out if the learning was replicable and effective. A pilot program was scheduled in 12 districts, 10 schools in each district. This was so well received that the Government indicated that they now wished to go further in an accelerated manner across the state. Last week the news was out in the papers that the Govt is going ahead with the programme across the state in 10,000 schools.
It may be pertinent to say here that this extraordinary movement from one set of workshops to a state-wide educational transformation for the upper primary children was beyond our wildest expectations. We set out to share our pedagogic leanings, which we have found good and are still under development. The stories we hear from the villages and the work we see from the students is most rewarding and we feel fortunate to be able to contribute to the larger context.
Now, we are told the Govt is formally going to inaugurate the program shortly. We will keep members informed. Further we have helped SSA in finalising the Manual for teachers. Once completed, we have been told this will be in the hands of 200,000 teachers and form the basis of the pedagogy in the current year.
It is also wonderful that we can offer the Middle Schools of Tamilnadu the best of what we ourselves have evolved over the past 9 years for our school, in the area of self-study and active learning methods.
We are now working rapidly to consolidate this work in English as well - all the work for the `govt has been in Tamil. Once an English Manual is ready we propose to publish it so teachers in English speaking schools may also have access to this approach. The problems and the pedagogy are not that different in English medium schools from the Govt schools.
The links below give you some news articles...
2. Kanji at Kilapakkam school - almost as wonderful in quality and scope...
We had written a proposal to offer Kanji (a nutritious porridge) to primary school children in Govt school In Kilapakkam (210 children, many of whom were suffering from malnutrition). This is the village where the school's old farm is situated. Our proposal met with many obstacles as no one was willing to take responsibility in the school for this move. As you know the govt offers a noon meal scheme and Sumitra and Sampath visited one Education department official after another. Finally the Govt relented and issued a letter indicating that the project can go ahead if the headmistress is willing to personally supervise the preparation and distribution of the kanji.
The Headmistress-of the Kilapakkam village school agreed to the kanji project. From July 210 children have been getting a nutritional supplement, a kanji of millets and grain. The vessels, tumblers and all the ingredients have been donated by us. The running cost of about Rs 5000 per month takes care of the ingredients and the cooking charges. We have donations for the next 3 months to run this scheme. This effort was also spearheaded by Sumitra.
The response from the village had been extremely positive. We hear that daily some children would faint from hunger. This has completely stopped. The teachers feel happy to see the children active. We have been requested 'never to stop this work'.
This effort creates a model. This is probably the first example of a Govt school receiving / accepting an input such as this. The approach shows the possibilities for many children in many such schools receiving nutritional supplement. This shows a way for private initiative to contribute directly to children's well being through Govt. Schools.
By Pedro López
Thinking that I was under financial pressure that meant I would not be able to afford my travel plans, I ended up working for a Summer Camp in a prestigious international school in Switzerland, the name of which I prefer not to mention. The camp was devised as a language-learning opportunity for parents interested in their kids learning and perfecting their skills in English and French. For this, the mornings and early afternoons were basically destined to classes, and from three o'clock onwards me and my colleagues would be in charge of entertaining them and having them to join the different activities offered, which ranged from horseback riding to golf (during a few hours in the afternoon), and from bingo to pizza banquets in the evenings.
In the motivation letter I wrote to the Summer Camp's manager, I mentioned that -after having lived at one of the Krishnamurti Schools for nearly two years- I was very much willing to work in an environment with teenagers and related to education. What I did not know at the time was that my concept of education, quite possibly very influenced by Krishnamurti's own vision on the subject, was radically different from the one offered by my new employer. And now that my experience here is coming to an end, I leave with the impression that if we are really to give importance to the future of our youth, we have to change the way we are educating them.
The School in Switzerland is owned by a profit-driven firm which, in turn, hires people who can maximize the benefits of its shareholders. I got this very clear on the introduction day, when we were told that the main objective of our work was to have the parents satisfied so that they would send their kids for the academic year. And parents, apparently, care mainly about security and about having their children occupied. This means that my task was to have them entertained with activities at all times, and keep an eye on them 24 hours a day. No possibility for them to be on their own, no time for just being with their friends.
Now, can we really have such a concept of what education means? We were told to tell them that gadgets (such as mobile phones, iPods, netbooks and others) were not accepted in the camp because they were too distractive. But we, in turn, were making sure at all times that they would be distracted, that they would not get bored and that their days were packed with things to do. We were also told that we should, at all times, know exactly were each one of our pupils where, regardless of whether we would be within school premises, or in safely inside a museum, or inside the boarding house. I, at some point, questioned the logic behind this, not really because I cared too much myself, but rather to be able to explain the students why they needed to be around me like chicks around a hen. The answer I got was that that was my job. When I explained that I did not feel comfortable not being able to explain someone the reason behind a certain measure, I was told that explaining was not part of my job.
So in the end, my impression is that education (at least in the traditional sense of the word) is based on two pillars: The need for having our kids busy all the time and a blind acceptance of what the superior says. And that is what we teach our children to be the right thing, and then we are surprised when they turn into their iPads on any occasion they have, or plug themselves into their headphones whenever there is time in silence. Or when they do mischievous things as soon as we take our eyes out of them, or decide not to engage in the activities as soon as they realize that it is not compulsory to do so. But ¿is it not this model of learning that is creating all these problems? We are, basically, creating experience junkies with a complete disliking of any authority. The former we do by not allowing any space for just discovering what life really is, for being bored and seeing how silly it is to have a mind that seeks entertaining and new experiences all the time. The later by basically teaching that authority goes before reason, and that doing what one is being told to do is more important than understanding why one should act in a certain way. Krishnamurti once told a group of students never to accept any commandment they would not understand the reason for, otherwise they would become adults full of fear and completely insensitive. He also talked repeatedly about the need for silence and space on one's own as a means to flower as a human being. Now we, fearful and insensitive as we are, are telling our kids the complete opposite. And for what I can see, unfortunately they are listening.
by G. Gautama
This summer was not unlike the previous ones. Students fill up application forms for admission tests. There is an uneasy and an uncertain atmosphere. College admissions become difficult - many applicants and few seats. The students are aware that they may not get the course of their choice. The students also know that money can purchase seats for qualifying in professions that will pave the way for earning the money spent and more.
Peer pressure, societal dictates, images of good life, plenty and status exert an inexorable pressure. Why this hurry? One can work, start with something simple and fulfilling thereby reducing parents' burden. Our society believes that if you are unqualified you cannot be employed. This needs to be challenged with common sense. It is important that one acts intelligently.
Try and put down on a piece of paper why you want to go to college after school. Then discuss with friends and adults to find at least three ways of accomplishing what you wish to do. Once this is done you will arrive at multiple possibilities and also realise that you are not part of a mindless herd.
Education and certification do not belong to colleges alone. Distance education programme helps one get qualified and certified while being employed. It is worth exploring. It means understanding that certification in almost any field, except Orthodox Medicine and Architecture is possible through Distance Education programmes. AMIE has produced some very good engineers. It is a rigorous course that needs work experience as part of the certification process.
The Association of Chartered Accountants has created the foundation course for students after they complete school. One could say that to harvest the rich diversity of this land, we need more such enterprising plans. Monolithic educational structures, like large organisations have had their day. We are entering the age of the small and the diverse. The Government has declared that there should be discrimination between correspondence students and college students when being considered for higher education or jobs.
The future is here all too early, catching us off guard. The Internet is here, transforming the world. In a few years it will not be necessary to go to school or college for knowledge, non physical skills and certification. The cyber college is already upon us. Students participate in discussions on the Net, attend classes, do assignments and receive comments. They may soon take examinations on the Net as is being done with the assistance of computers for examinations like GRE and TOEFL. Of course, the company of fellow human beings will be ruled out. This will be a true challenge.
Students hardly know what they wish to pursue. The advice they get at this stage is on these lines: Do as we did, choose a profession and work hard. Stick to one profession, specialise. Choose one of the new careers that seems to have bright prospects. Select the one everyone is choosing. Do whatever you wish but make sure you make enough money.
The students too are encouraged to choose the career they are interested in. One needs to deliberate carefully here: how is interest different from fancy? I would answer this question thus:
All of us have capacities that are worthwhile for the present and latent potentials that can be honed. A person with alertness will never be jobless and hence be without resources or without viability. Do you have this: an alert head? Discovering one's viability is the key issue.
Second, choose an exploratory mode of learning. Accepting that one is not clear about one's choice, gathering information and learning will make the magic work. This means trusting that there is something in oneself waiting to be discovered. Spending time searching for one's avocation is far better than spending it tied to something just for some money.
Peace Pilgrim was a remarkable woman who walked 20000 miles for peace and then stopped counting. She walked till she was offered shelter and fasted till she was offered food and carried no money. There is the story of a young woman who worked in an office and had a nervous breakdown. Her psychiatrist could do little. She had another breakdown. When she met Peace Pilgrim she was asked what she loved. She loved flowers, liked to swim and liked singing, though she was not very good at it. She got a job as a florist for her livelihood, swam three times a week for exercise and sang once a weekat an old age home. Peace Pilgrim says what one needs in life is an avenue of work to earn a livelihood, an avenue of exercise to the body fit and an avenue of service.Third, if you haven't yet found your avocation, explore in an inexpensive manner, not paying a fortune. This is sensible. There are many low key options available. Find things which appeal to you and also find some people who inspire you. Today in libraries and on the Internet there are vast volumes of information available. Read biographies and autobiographies of people who have done something interesting, something exciting. One can draw courage from the lives of contemporary people. There have been many who have dared to dream and act in consonance with their deepest predilections. One can always choose a career, but only after trying to find one's avocation, that special thing for which one would work long hours, for which one needs no external rewards.
The youth have the most enjoyable task of educating themselves and also create models of education that will be useful for future generations. If this has to happen a change has to come about.
An email by Dr. Harshad Parekh
THINKING AND AWARENESS
When I lived in Neem House in Rishi Valley, a rat used to come in my room at night in darkness through a hole in the tiled roof. Whenever I heard the sound of the rat running on the roof, I switched on the light. The rat immediately disappeared. It could not be seen in the light. This used to happen several times every night. The rat was attracted to some food kept in the cupboard.
Our thoughts (or the thinking process) is like a rat. It comes in the darkness of unawareness. But when the light of awareness is switched on, thoughts disappear. Thoughts cannot go in in awareness. The mind is quiet but alert. This is the initial stage of meditation. In advanced stage of meditation, thoughts may come and go in the background of awareness. In the blue sky of awareness, thoughts come and go like white clouds.
Do you have time and space to experiment with watching how thoughts come and go? Have you experienced a gap between two thoughts? This is the key to understanding oneself by direct perception. Human beings are caught in the whirlpool of thoughts. The deeper human psychological problems cannot be solved by just thinking. Awareness, which is not made of thinking, is the instrument in understanding. Thinking is narrow, limited space, awareness is immeasurable.
Krishnamurti talked about this for 60 years. He had found the key to psychological freedom. His words are simple and clear. Hope you will read and experiment with his teachings in the daily life. A new world may open up for you as it happened to me many years ago. Once the awareness is ignited, it would reveal to you everything without any effort. Then you can stop reading books of Krishnamurti.
The book of your own life will be read with freshness as it is written. Then you may understand the meaning of words like love and beauty.
What will we tell our children?
By G. Gautama
As parents, our most important duty towards our children is to teach them to take the right steps in life. In a world where their future is uncertain, we have to show them that we care enough about them to change our ways of living. Only then will they learn that their lives will be as good as they themselves make it, says G. GAUTAMA.
Great spirit, great spirit my grandfather, look upon
these children with children of their own,
that they may face the north wind
and walk the good road to the day of peace.
Old American Indian prayer
HUMAN beings have always had feelings for their children. Societies and families have had visions of the future for their children. This is what Abraham Lincoln had to say to his son's headmaster.
"He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician there is a dedicated leader. Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend. It will take time, I know, but teach him, if you can, that a dollar earned is of far more value than five found. Teach him to learn to lose and also to enjoy winning, steer him away from envy, if you can; teach him the secret of quiet laughter. Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick; Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books but also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun and flowers on a green hillside. In school, teach him it is far more honourable to fail than to cheat. Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if every one tells him they are wrong. Teach him to be gentle with gentle people, and tough with the tough. Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the band wagon. Teach him to listen to all men, but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth, and take only the good that comes through.
"Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he is sad. Teach him there is no shame in tears. Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness. Teach him to to sell his brawn and brain to the higher bidders, but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul. Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob and to stand and fight if he thinks he's right.
"Treat him gently, but do not cuddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel. Let him have the courage to be impatient; let him have the patience to be brave. Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself, because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind.
"This is a big order, but see what you can do. He is such a fine little fellow, my son."
In the twentieth century we hear a different flavour of things that an adult may say to a young one.
Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains,
I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways,
I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests,
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans.
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a grave yard,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain 's a-gonna fall.
Adults hold the soil of today, and this is the soil from where tomorrow has to spring. If the adults of tommorrow, the children of today were to ask us: "Tell me, O adult, what can I look forward to?"
Would we say,"My dear. I would like to say that you have rosy tomorrows, in this paradise of hues and colours and creatures. You have golden realtionships to look forward to and magical possibilities. But I am afraid this can't be said. Men have ravaged this planet with their dreams and their toil. They have ravaged each other with their minds. The beauty of songs is drowned by the clatter of man-made things. And far more dangerous, men everywhere appear to believe that this is the right way to live. This, my child, is the world you will inherit."
And the young one could say "Surely you exaggerate O adult. Things can't be so bad. I see smiles and hear laughter. Surely you adults and those before you could not have let things come to such a pass."
Would we say, "Yes things are not as bad as that. There is the good and there is the bad. The good things are that there is enough food. The bad is that man does not know how to distribute it. The good news is that there is a splendid diversity of life and beauty on this planet. The bad news is that there are few eyes and fewer hearts to meet this richness. There is a wealth of hope in human hearts but they turn sour in human minds. We say the animals and birds and fishes are important but we use them and their numbers are dying."
So my young friend, yes, there are many fine ideas and many dreams in the minds of adults. But there is also a curious tragedy. Man has learnt to live in two worlds simultaneously, the world of noble ideas and that of the most corrupt, base, actions. We talk of progress, but quality of life and relationships have not improved, they have probably become starker. We speak of the need to protect forests and continue to lead ecologically unsustainable lives. And if the young were to say, "why then did you bring me to this earth? Was it to meet these awful situations? Or was it the accident of lust? Is this the best gift to your children and grandchildren?"
What would we say? Would we be silent? We could say some things surely.
My young friend - we have learnt a few deep lessons for tomorrow. We have struggled maybe not too well, to live them. But in the time we have we will join you and share with you these lessons. We have learnt that more is not better than less. In fact, finding out what one needs is the answer. Also, we need far less than we think we do. A bigger house or more wealth has not made a happier man. We have learnt that abundance can be turned into scarcity. Air, water, forests, wildlife, have all shrunk, thanks to the way we have taken them for granted. Finding a way of life where we do not take things for granted is the answer, but live with respect, if not reverence for the bounties of sunlight, fresh water, air.
We have learnt that human beings know little about love. To most of us love is attachment. There is great boredom born of familiarity and then great emptiness. We need to ask, you and I, what love means. We need to ask also what brings dignity and beauty. The less man knows about these things, the louder has been the rhetoric.
We have learnt painfully that we need to rediscover our legs. Cars and other transport leave behind ghostly graveyards, fill the earth with smoke and ruin. Time and speed are things we have chased for the past 200 years. How much do we need to travel and how? Our legs need to find strength again and we need to discover again that small steps can take us far. That small is truly beautiful.
We have learnt that religious beliefs while they are supposed to bring people together, seem to carry seeds of division. That religion is different from religious life. We need to learn to live a religious life.
Our young child may continue: "I feel happy to hear all this and see some direction. But tell me, is all this only for me, for the future? Are you telling me what I need to do? What are you, the adult, going to do? Are you only going to tell me to do things which you are not able to do?"
What will we say?
Will it be, "My child, I am tired and quite set in my ways. It is very difficult for me to change. So this is the best I can offer. Advice from the sidelines."
Or will it be: "My child, you have asked a difficult question. I see that we are both in the same boat psychologically. We both have habits and patterns. And I was a child not too long ago. I am willing to change. I feel afraid as I say this. And I will walk with you. I have to learn a new way of living. And I might as well begin now."
Do we see that "The future is now," as J. Krishnamurti said?
EXPERIENCES WITH KRISHNAMURTI AND HIS TEACHINGS
I went to the United States for the first time in 1969 to study for a
master's degree in Electrical Engineering at Iowa State University. It was a
great cultural shock. I was not exposed to the western culture at all before
leaving India. The shock produced loneliness, anxiety about the future, fear
of meeting Americans and complete loss in confidence in oneself.
One day in 1972, I was passing by our campus bookshop at Iowa State
University. Through a glass window, I saw a book of Krishnamurti, "The
Flight of the Eagle", on display. The photograph and the title of the book
attracted me. I knew nothing about Krishnamurti at that time.
I bought the book out of curiosity. As I started reading the book, it had an
immediate impact on me. His words were simple. He talked about the problems
of daily existence. He talked about fear, loneliness, boredom, anxiety,
religious and nationalistic conditioning, and other psychological problems.
Through his words, I could see exactly what was going on within me.
He asked -" Why are we conditioned by our culture? Why do we think of
ourselves as Indians, Americans, Chinese..? Why are we lonely and isolated
human beings? Why are we afraid of the future?"
He asked us to look at the source of all psychological problems like
jealousy, anxiety, fear and loneliness. He said that thought creates the
thinker and then, the thinker tries to change thoughts. The duality between
the thinker and the thought creates all psychological problems.
These ideas were completely new to me. I tried to observe the beginning of a
thought and the thinker arising out of thought. But every time I tried to
observe the beginning of a thought, nothing came to my mind. Only the
silent observation existed. So I felt that Krishnamurti was absolutely
correct. If there is no thought, there is no thinker and there are no
The observation of the thinking process became the main interest or passion
in my life. I could observe clearly the beginning of fear, jealousy,
anxiety, and other such feelings. The observation of what is brought about a
sense of freedom and confidence. The senses were sharpened. Colors, trees,
lights, human faces - everything began to appear clear, beautiful, fresh. I
began to take an active part in social activities. I shared apartments with
people of various nationalities. I began to express my thoughts and feelings
in our campus newspaper. I began to feel that we human beings shared the
For five years I read Krishnamurti's books. The interest in observing the
mechanism of the thinking process intensified with time. It helped in my
research work at the university. During these years I completed the Master's
and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering. I wrote several letters to
Krishnamurti. In my first letter, written in 1973, I wrote -"I have been
attracted to the teachings of Ramkrishna Paramhansha and Vivekananda for
many years. Now reading your books, I understand how far a human being can
go in the spiritual dimension."
I received a letter from Krishnamurti's secretary. She wrote that Mr.
Krishnamurti had read my letter and he hoped that all would be well with me.
I kept on writing letters to Krishnamurti. I expressed what was happening
within me. I felt that Krishnamurti's books had given me a new life - a
fresh mind to observe the beauty of nature and the depth of human feelings.
In 1975, I moved to Canada. Now I was working as a Research Associate at
University of Waterloo. I was earning money and had holidays too. In 1977 I
went to Ojai to listen to K's public talks for the first time. I was happy
to see the man who had affected my life so much. I was happy to see the
beauty of oak trees and the hills in Ojai. What he talked about was not new
to me. I did not feel anything extraordinary about listening to him.
One day, after the talk, I saw him standing under a tree. He was alone. A
friend of mine almost pushed me to meet K. When I came very close to him, he
looked at me as if he was not in this world. My mind became blank. I could
not say a word, but extended my hand to shake his. We shook hands for a
second or two. As I left him, a pleasant cool breeze passed by me.
I visited Ojai again in 1978. I listened to his public talks but there was
nothing remarkable about my listening to him.
I visited Ojai again in 1979. This, I thought, would be my last visit to
Ojai. At that time, I had come close to another spiritual group. I had some
very good friends in this group who were urging me to visit their
communities in USA and Canada.
In April of 1979, I listened to K with perfect silence and attention. In
that state of mind, I could listen to sounds of children playing far away,
dogs barking, as well as the meaning behind K's words. In that state of
attention, I saw light radiating from the space around K's face. In that
space, I saw the face of an old man with a long white beard.
The face disappeared after a few seconds, but the silence and attention
remained undisturbed. The next day I wrote an affectionate letter to K
without mentioning what I saw. The words of the letter came to me in a
spontaneous flow. I wrote:
I have always considered you as my grandfather ever since you ignited a
flame in my life. That happened about seven years ago when I was a student
at Iowa State University. The flame has become brighter with time. I would
be glad to dedicate my life to K schools if there is an opportunity. I would
like to teach love, beauty and life to children of your schools. I have no
experience in teaching these things, but I can at least teach physics and
How nice it would be to meet you! But I know there are many people like me
who love you and you cannot meet all of us.
With much love,
I gave the letter to Mark Lee to hand it over to K. K must have read the
letter. I felt very happy after writing the letter.
A few days after writing the letter, there was a music concert in the
Octagonal Pavilion. Lakshmi Shankar had come to sing for K and others.
Before entering the Pavilion, I was talking with someone about K with deep
feeling of love.
We were sitting in the Pavalion. Lakshmi Shankar and her companion were on
the stage. I was looking at the musicians. The entrance door was behind us.
We were waiting for K to arrive. Suddenly my heart and brain started
throbbing wildly and my face became warm. Then I saw K passing by me and
taking his seat in front of the musicians. I closed my eyes. The throbbing
went on for few minutes. I opened my eyes. Everything looked divine, clear,
beautiful, radiating light. Though we did not look at each other, there
seemed to be communion. The throbbing stopped after a few minutes, but it
seemed that something new had happened within the brain and the heart.
The next day I wrote another letter to K spontaneously with deep feelings.
Your blessings are showering upon me. You have given much. You are too
independent to receive anything from anyone but I wish all the remaining
years of my life be added to your life. The burning volcano of passion must
remain alive for many years to come. The tiger must continue to roar for
many years to come.
After giving this letter to Mark Lee to hand it over to K, I left Ojai. My
eyes were seeing everything so clear and beautiful. After returning to
Canada, I could not sleep for two days. It was very clear that my life was
meant for K schools. I wrote another letter to K from Canada.
It is very clear that my life is meant for K schools and Foundations.
Everything I have now belongs to the schools. I have saved about $15000
which I would like to donate to the schools. There is an awaking of love and
compassion. Please write to me if there is any possibility for me to teach
at any of the K schools.
Only after writing this letter, I could sleep. I knew that my life was
changing its direction without any conflicts, doubts, fear, analysis and so
on. I received a letter from K dated May 9, 1979 from Ojai.
My Dear Dr. Parekh:
Thank you very much for your letter and your deep interest in the various
Foundations. I talked to Mark Lee and I am afraid there is no place at Ojai
for your capacities. Perhaps you might be able to be of great help at
Rajghat near Benares or at Rishi Valley in the south. As I am seeing the
Principal of Rishi Valley, Mr. G.Narayan, at Brockwood Park in England in a
few days, I will talk the matter over with him to write to you. He will
naturally want to know your qualifications and so on.
It is very good of you to have written and to be willing to give up
everything to work for the Foundations, and most likely it will be in India.
I hope everything will be well with you.
With the Best Wishes,
A few days after K's letter, I received a letter from Mr. Narayan. He was at
Brockwood and so was K. Mr. Narayan suggested that I visit Brockwood and
discuss with him and K about my coming to India.
I visited Brockwood for the first time in June 1979. It was a tiring journey
from Heathrow airport to Brockwood. I traveled by bus, then by train, and
again by bus. Then I had to walk for two hours in the rain, carrying my
luggage. When I reached Brockwood, I was very hungry and tired.
After lunch, I was feeling sleepy, but Mr. Narayan suggested that we go to
the Grove. The giant redwood trees in the grove looked strangely alive and
beautiful. All my tiredness was gone. Then Mr. Narayan said -"Look! Who is
there?". K was in the grove. Probably he was responsible for the
extraordinary happiness and energy I felt in the grove.
The next day I had lunch with K. I was a bit shy sitting in front of him but
I was neither nervous nor self conscious. He asked me a few questions about
my family, whether I was married or not, whether my parents approved of my
joining a K school in India and giving up my job in Canada. I told him that
there were no problems and I was free to do what I enjoyed most. Then he
said -"Try for a year or two at Rishi Valley. It is possible that you may
not like us or we may not like you." I thought -"Sir, I do not want anything
from anybody. If people at Rishi Valley do not like me, I will go away." I
did not say this but I think he understood what I felt. Then he said -"If I
may suggest, do not stay at one place for too long." I immediately said
-"Sir, it does not matter where I go." He said -"Yes, I know that."
I went to Rishi Valley in November 1979. The school van came to Madanpalle
to pick me up. As the van entered the campus, I saw K coming out for his
evening walk. When the van reached the guest house, I felt an extraordinary
beauty around me. I felt that this place would be my home.
I had an opportunity to meet K in Rishi Valley individually and also in
small groups. Several times I felt that extraordinary sense of happiness,
beauty, otherness in his presence. This happened by itself - not during
talks and dialogues but during music and dance programs.
K passed away in 1986. I continued to teach in Rishi Valley up to 1998. I
was at Rajghat for a year in 1983 and at Brockwood Park in 1989. Then I
taught at Sahyadri School from 1998 to 2004 and at Valley School in
Bangalore from 2004 to 2007. I retired from teaching in April 2007. I
continue to visit all these schools and also schools in Ojai and Brockwood
Park. All these places are beautiful. It was a great privilege to teach at
all these places. I always wanted to teach in a school and I have fulfilled
My Association With Krishnamurti
>From 1979 to 1986
I have written about how I came into contact with Krishnamurti's teachings
in 1972, about his impact on my life in USA and Canada, about my meeting
with him at Brockwood in 1979 and about my coming to Rishi Valley in a
separate article. After my joining Rishi Valley as a teacher in November
1979, Krishnamurti visited Rishi Valley every year for a month and held
discussions with teachers and students. I was present during these
discussions and participated in some of them. In this article, I remember
Krishnamurti with the help of diaries I maintained during those years.
I arrived in Rishi Valley for the first time on November 9, 1979. The school
van came to pick me up from Madanpalle. As the van entered the school, I saw
Krishnamurti walking elegantly on the main road. When the van reached the
new guest house, everything looked wonderful in the evening light. I felt
that this place would be my home.
One day in 1979, we had lunch with Krishnamurti. The teachers present were
Mr. Narayan, Shanti Menon, Mishraji and Hanumant Rao. Krishnamurti talked
with Shanti Menon about English Literature. Then he said to me -" You come
from Canada. You must be bored in this place." I said -"Rishi Valley is a
We talked more about Canada, the place where I lived and worked. Then we
talked about teaching students without comparing them. I said -"When we go
to a classroom and ask a question to students, the intelligent students
answer the question immediately and then other students would feel inferior.
They compare themselves with intelligent students. The feeling of comparison
exists within them even if we do not compare them." Krishnamurti said -"Of
course." Sometimes Krishnamurti looked at me when I was looking down at my
plate. At one time during the lunch, he said -" I am glad that I have no
son". Then he wanted to know my feeling. I said to myself - that is not
true. Many people think of you as father."
K arrived in Rishi Valley in the morning on November 22 along with Mary
Zimbalist, Dr. Parchure and Nandini Mehta. K looked well with innocent smile
and silvery hair.
On November 28, there was a teachers' meeting with K. He asked -"Do you have
the vision of the whole? Do you have a vision of what this school could be?
Are you passionate about anything? Do you have a mission in life with
sustained energy? Come on, all of you! I am challenging you!"
He also said -"If you have a vision, there can be no fear. If you have no
vision, then talking will be intellectual and meaningless."
Mr. Narayan was feeling tense while speaking. K asked him if he was free
from prejudice. Jaya asked many ordinary questions but he listened with
seriousness. He made her realize the futility of analysis. Jaya was touched
by K's love. Tears were sparkling in her eyes and K also tried to wipe his
On December 1, K talked with teachers from various schools in India and
abroad. He talked about knowledge, memory, conditioning, learning. He became
very passionate when Jaya asked some questions. He was very gentle with her.
He said -"There is no effort involved if one knows how to listen.
Understanding does not come through thinking - material process."
On December 3, there was another teachers' discussion with K. This was the
first time I participated in the discussion with K. He talked about two
streams of learning - learning about matter and learning about the mind. He
said that there was a conflict between the two. Both kinds of learning
involved accumulation of information. He asked -"Is there a different kind
of learning which does not involve effort and accumulation of information ?"
At one point he asked -"Is there anything to learn?" Then he said -"There is
nothing to learn."
Pupulji asked -"How can one accept such a statement?"
K asked again -"Do you accept what I said?"
No one answered. I said -"Yes, I accept."
K said -"This is the most illogical absurd thing to accept. Do you accept?"
I said -"Yes, I accept."
K said -"Explain to Pupulji why you accept."
I said to Pupulji -"If you have problems, you find it necessary to learn
about yourself. But if you are free, there is nothing to learn."
K said -"You used the word 'if' "
I said -"There is no absolute truth in a verbal statement."
K asked -"What is learning?"
I said -"To see things as they are."
K said -"You are repeating my words."
I said -"No Sir"
K talked about the danger of a poisonous snake and the danger of opinions.
He said that both involve conditioning.
I said -"But the two things are different. The danger of a cobra is an
instinct for survival and it is a form of intelligence. The opinions are not
instinct of survival."
He said -"That is what I am saying."
A teacher from Bangalore school asked K -"Is there nothing to learn?"
K answered -"Nothing!"
The teacher got up and said -"I got your point." He left the meeting.
Later K asked -" Why did he leave the meeting? He has not understood."
Mr. Narayan said -"May be there was a sudden flash of Zen-Satori"
Kabir said -"He is an immature, impatient young man."
On December 5, K talked about beauty. He asked -"What is beauty?"
I answered -"Clear perception without images."
He said -"That is just a theory."
I said -"No, Sir." I look at everything with clear eyes and no images. In
that there is beauty which cannot be described in words.
Earlier he said -"We talked about two streams of learning. There is conflict
between the two in our daily life. Also there is no learning for a man who
is free. This is a complex thing and I will not go into it."
Then he looked at me and said -"Don't agree with what I am saying."
There was nothing to agree or disagree with him. What he said was true for
him and so it was for me.
He talked about the state of mind of a child who is absorbed in a toy.
He asked -"What has happened to the mind of the child?"
I answered -"His attention is narrowed down."
He was probably impressed by this answer as I could see a flash in his eyes.
He asked -"What is your relationship with your students?"
I answered -"I enjoy looking at them."
He asked -"What do you mean by that?"
I preferred to keep silence.
He asked -"Whom do I challenge?" For few seconds, no one responded.
Then I said -"Sir, you can challenge me."
I also said -"Sir, why do we narrow down our relationship with students?
What is our relationship to people and everything?"
He asked -"What is your relationship with your husband or wife?"
Mr. N answered -"We have no relationship."
Mr. T answered -"It is a relationship of convenience."
K asked -"Have you told that to your wife?"
K said -"Teaching is the greatest profession in the world. Teaching is to
create a new generation of boys and girls. Oh, I wish there were more
flowers in Rishi Valley. This is not asking in time. I am not interested in
When he said this, I was deeply touched by his passion to create flowering
I said to myself -"Yes. Rishi Valley would flower with beautiful human
Mrs. S, who was sitting far, said -"It is ten minutes after eleven."
She had not understood what K was talking about time. K became angry and
said -"What are you talking about?"
It was not her fault.
On December 6, there was a teachers' meeting with K. Some organizational
changes were made in Rishi Valley. Rajesh would be in charge of junior
school, Venkatraman to be in charge of senior school, Mrs. Thomas would act
as Headmistress and Mr. Narayan to continue acting as the Principal.
Then K talked about how to approach a problem.
I said -"You can approach a problem only if you have no problem." There was
a flash in the minds of some teachers.
K said -"I will not be here for long. I am already a dead man. Only four or
five years may have been left. What is the future of this school? Do you
have a vision of what this place would be?"
On December 7, there was another discussion with teachers. He said
-"Investigation begins when thought stops."
I said -"As long as there is investigation, thought operates. When thought
stops, what is there to investigate?"
Pupulji said -"With other teachers of philosophy, ending of thought is the
final goal. With Krishnaji, it is the beginning. Is that right?"
K said -"Yes." He did not say about what is the nature of investigation in
which thought is absent.
He talked about affection, religion and meditation.
Mrs. Indira Gandhi visited Rishi Valley on December 20. K left Rishi Valley
on December 22.
On January 10, I came very close to K in Vasant Vihar. I wanted to talk with
him but I could not because of my shyness. I greeted him with 'Namaste' and
On April 18, I wrote a letter to Krishnaji:
This is Harshad Parekh a teacher at Rishi Valley School. I am writing to you
after almost two years. You visited Rishi Valley in 1979 and 1980. But we
could not talk with each other because of my shyness and your very busy
schedule. Also, I had no personal questions to ask.
I have been teaching here for about a year and a half. This has been one of
the happiest times in my life. This has been a good time for my mental and
spiritual development. I had good opportunities to discuss your teachings
with many teachers, students and visitors. We have had challenging
discussions in the staff meetings every week. I enjoyed teaching maths and
physics in classrooms where time flew fast. I have very good feelings for
all teachers and students (and everyone) here at Rishi Valley.
I hope to be here for one more year. After I have completed two years of
teaching at Rishi Valley, I would like to teach at some other K school in
India or abroad. Since I am a citizen of Canada, I had written a letter to
Dr. Siddoo at Wolf Lake school. I received a letter from her two days ago.
She wrote that Wolf Lake school would be closed for a year and if it
reopens, she would prefer a teacher who would stay there for many years. She
advised me to write to other K schools.
Krishnaji, I would like to teach or do some other work at Ojai or Brockwood
Park schools if there is any opportunity.
It is quite hot here at Rishi Valley during these months of March, April and
May. Our bodies are constantly perspiring during the day. But this place is
as beautiful as ever with bluish hills, red earth, thousands of green trees
and bright and colorful flowers.
With Love and the Best Wishes for your health and work.
Note- Recently I met Pandit Gopi Krishna who lives in New Delhi and
Srinagar. He writes books about kundlini. He had met you once in Saanen. He
said -"Krishnamurti is an honest teacher unlike other spiritual gurus. But
we have differences of opinions. Rishis, who wrote Upanishads, also differed
with one another."
December 8, 1981
K had a discussion with teachers. He spoke about knowledge. Knowledge is
limited. It is clouded by ignorance. Scientists would never be able to
understand the mystery of the universe. They use their mind to understand
things which are beyond the comprehension of the mind. Man created God. If
God created man, man would not live the way he does.
Too much emphasis has been given to knowledge in our schools. Knowledge has
produced atom bombs and nuclear weapons. Very little emphasis has been given
to the study of mind. The result is that nations are preparing for war. Man
will destroy himself if he fails to understand mind and its complex
He asked -"Do we see that knowledge is limited?"
I asked -"What is it that sees? To see something requires mind which is
He said -"Don't complicate. We will complicate it later!"
On December 15, K had a discussion with students. It was about how to live
in this corrupt world. Is it possible not to be corrupt? The discussion must
have stirred the mind of many sensitive students. It must have also created
confusion and uncertainty of future.
At the end of the discussion, he asked all of us to close our eyes and sit
still. The clock in the auditorium was ticking loudly in the silence.
In one of the discussions with teachers, K spoke about the religious mind.
He said -" The religious mind is a mind which is free from all illusions."
I asked -"If the mind is in illusion, can it be aware of itself? We try to
understand what you are saying with our intellect which is limited. How do
we know whether we are in illusion or not? Is there an understanding which
does not come from intellect and logic?"
He was pleased to listen to this question. Then the whole discussion was
centered about illusions. He was very passionate while discussing.
When K speaks, everyone listens with awe and tenseness. He goes on asking
questions and he does not want his listeners to go to sleep. This makes most
of the listeners tired at the end of the discussion. He would not accept
anything said by the listeners. His mind is very flexible, sharp and quick.
Very few listeners can move with him. His words come from silence. He is
intense but quiet too.
We had lunch with K on 15th December. Mr. Narayan, Mr. and Mrs. Bedi,
Krishanan Kutti, Radha Burnier and I were on the lunch table. Mr. Bedi is a
well known photographer and a friend of K. He went on talking about cameras,
photography, his health. K spoke about cars, cameras.. Once in a while, Mr.
Narayan and Radha spoke. I and Krishanan Kutti were mere listeners. It was
very tiring to listen to them talking about superficial things. But food was
light and excellent.
On December 19, K talked with Rishi Valley teachers. He spoke about love and
beauty. These were the topics I wanted him to talk before he started. He
said that you cannot create good and happy human beings without love. He
asked -"Are you growing - flowering in this valley? Or are you blocked with
problems you are unaware of?"
He also talked about good taste in walking, eating, dressing etc.. He felt
that students of our school were careless and had no sense of good taste.
Feroza asked -"Would you define good taste?"
He did not answer. It cannot be defined. But he asked the same question to
Usha said -"It is something which does not break certain harmony."
Mr. Narayan asked -"You have talked about good taste, cultivation of
intellect etc. But you have also said that there is nothing to learn. Would
you please explain what do you mean?"
K said -"One can learn about scientific facts, various subjects, etc.. But
apart from these, there is nothing to learn. Is there anything to learn
about yourself? You just observe what is going on."
I said -"As long as mind is working(that is, thought is operating), there is
something to observe. But when the mind is not, what is there to observe?"
He said -"Observe that tree, green leaves and red flowers."
I said -" But when you say this, your mind is working. Trees and flowers are
there. What is there to observe?"
He asked -"What is wrong with observing with the mind?"
I said -"Nothing wrong."
He said -"You all have some fantastic ideas."
But he had agreed or understood what I meant. He just wanted to test me. He
again emphasized that there is nothing to learn or observe when the mind is
silently awake to itself.
Earlier I had said -"Sir, when we understand what you are saying, everything
He asked -"What drops?"
I said -"Thoughts. Then there is a state of emptiness, we cannot speak about
He said -"Yes. What is articulated is not the real."
At the end of the talk, K was in a happy state of mind. He said with a smile
-"We are having lunch together. That is very important. We will have good
food and jokes." K left Rishi Valley on December 20.
Some of us, teachers, went to Chennai to listen to K talks. K spoke with a
quiet strength. He said that he was completely free from conflicts. His face
shone with light and wind played with his white hair. He looked like a great
rishi. People listened with utter silence. He spoke about order,
responsibility, conflicts, duality etc.
In the second talk, he was a bit tired and distracted by loud music coming
from outside. He said -"Muslims ruled over India for 700 years and
Britishers ruled for 150 years. They did not affect much our old culture.
But after independence, you have made a mess in this country. There is no
discipline and rules. The whole country is full of corruption and
immorality. No one cares about anything. This noise coming here with the
wind is not music."
K arrived in Rishi Valley on December 1. We received him at the old guest
house where he stays. His coming is a great event for us. His presence makes
us happy and alert to the ways of the self. During his presence we would be
kind to all students and workers. We would be concerned about bringing the
transformation of the brain. He would challenge us and we would accept his
views with humility. He would tell us jokes and laugh with us. Then he would
go away and we will be back to our old ways of thinking and living.
On December 7, K talked with a group of serious teachers from different K
schools. He told us that he would not be us after few years. After his
death, we should be our own teachers and disciples. We should live and
flower with love and goodness. There would be groups of serious teachers in
all K schools. We should visit different schools and interact with each
other. We should be committed to the Teachings and the Teachings are ever
fresh and infinite. Shall we cooperate with each other leaving aside our
fears, suspicions and strong ideas of 'right' and 'wrong'? He asked - "After
I leave India in February or March, how shall we keep in touch with each
On December 8, K talked with students. The topics were knowledge, memory,
conditioning, sensitivity. He asked us to find out where knowledge is
necessary and where it is not. In love, knowledge is not necessary. At the
end of the talk, he asked us to close our eyes and watch our thoughts. What
a silence was in the auditorium? We never had such silence before! A boy of
class 4 asked him -"Do you have any fears?" He answered with all humility
that he had no fear of his reputation, death or of any thing.
K has been talking with a group of teachers almost daily. He is as
passionate as ever and does not look too old. K desires to have groups of
serious teachers in all K schools. Once I asked him -"Instead of starting
with the idea of forming such groups, would not it be marvelous if this
happens by itself? Politicians form groups with a common purpose but it does
last long." He said -"These schools did not happen by themselves. We had to
work hard to bring about such groups."
On December 12, K talked with teachers about capacity. Capacity means
something which can be contained in a limited space. It depends on
experience and knowledge. Is there a kind of capacity which is beyond
knowledge and experience? He also talked about how to approach a problem. Is
it possible to just lok at it without a desire to solve it? How do you
develop a style? It just comes from feelings which are spontaneous. It comes
On December 14, K talked with a small group of teachers. It was quite
intense. He said that Rishi Valley would be a place where people with
religious mind would live and work together. He asked -"What is the most
essential quality of the religious mind?"
Shreeniwas said -"Intelligence to observe what is."
I said -"Probably it is compassion."
K asked -"Is it an idea?"
I said -"When we speak, it is an idea. When there is compassion, we do not
He said -"The religious mind is a mind free from ideas and ideals."
I said -"I agree but in our daily life, when we teach, don't we want our
students to be good? Is this not an idea? Can any one live for 24 hours a
day without having an idea?"
He said -"Forget about students. Can you live without ideas?"
I asked -"When you say that Rishi Valley would be a place for people of
religious mind, is this not an ideal?"
He said -"You have not listened to me. I said that the religious mind has no
ideas or ideals."
He asked -"How do you learn about yourself? Is there a mirror within you in
which you see the whole of yourself?"
I said -"If such a mirror exists, it is probably made up of ideas and
ideals. Does not this indicate duality?"
He said -"Probably such a mirror does not exist." Yet he spoke about seeing
the whole of oneself in the mirror of relationship.
He said -"When you have the religious mind, you are like a rock in the
ocean. When students see such a man, what happens to them? Put yourself in
the place of students."
On December 16, K again spoke about the religious mind. He wants Rishi
Valley to be the spiritual centre. He places a great emphasis to talking
with young and enthusiastic teachers. The students are not serious so why
waste energy on them? The trustees of KFI want him to take rest but he is
very much enthusiastic talking with teachers. He would like us to come to
Madras where he would continue talking with us. He would like to keep in
touch with us even after he leaves India.
He said -"The religious mind is free from conflicts and images. Can you live
the daily life without a single image? What is your answer?"
I said -"The mind which watches the conflicts and images as they arise -is
such a mind the religious mind? We are not concerned with ending images but
watching their operation, their movement."
He said -"My brother died 57 years ago. I think about him and live with his
memories. What does this do to my brain? Does not this deteriorate the
I said -"If one watches when the memory arises, then it is happening in the
present. In such watching, the brain does not deteriorate."
I was leaving the guest house after the discussion. He asked me to stay.
When all teachers had left, we sat on a soft mat. We remained silent for a
minute. Then he asked me to speak.
I said -"I have always been shy of meeting you. I have not talked with you
personally after coming to Rishi Valley. I would like to thank you for
allowing me to teach here. I have enjoyed my work. Next term I will be going
to Rajghat School."
He asked -"Do you enjoy teaching here?"
I answered -"Yes, very much."
He asked -"Are you going to Rajghat in June?"
I said -"Yes."
He asked -"For how long?"
I said -"For one year."
We remained silent for a while. Then he asked -"You wrote me letters, didn't
I said -"Yes. I wrote several letters. I wrote one letter after staying here
for a year."
He said -"You wrote letters before joining the school. Didn't you?"
I said -"Yes. In one of my letters I wrote that I always considered you as
my grand father. No one has affected my life as you did."
He smiled. I remained silent. The flowers in the room and the clay image of
a god were alive with beauty.
After sometime I said -"Once I wrote you about my meeting with Gopi
He asked -"The man who writes about Kundlini? I had met him once. Is he
I answered-"From his writings, he seems genuine. He is a gentle, honest man
and speaks with humility and confidence."
He asked -"Is he extra ordinary like this?" From his gestures, he meant -
was he like K?
Then he said -"He has gone through some experiences but he is making too
much out of it."
I said -"He writes about the evolution of humanity."
He said -"Yes. I know that."
Again there was silence. After a minute, he said -"That is enough."
He smiled and touched my leg with affection.