New articles and commentary related to interest in Krishnamurti's work
New articles and commentary related to interest in Krishnamurti's work (and some off-topic remarks) – September 2007, by Reza Ganjavi
Disclaimer: I do not work for anybody, do not belong to any organizations, and do not work for the Krishnamurti foundations, but I am friends with them. This document is purely a personal undertaking and should not be viewed as an authoritative document on K’s teachings or anything else.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
KRISHNAMURTI & SEGOVIA
After reading in one of the biographies of K a long time ago that Segovia played the guitar for Krishnamurti, I tried to find more information on this but even Segovia's family didn't know about it. Recently, listening to an audio of Mary Cadogan, she mentioned that event. Last night we spoke about this and she kindly provided more color on it. I was under the impression that it had taken place in Rome. Mary recalls a private concert was organized by Krishnamurti's Italian friend Vanda Scaravelli (who has also authored a yoga book) that took place in London, probably in the first-class hotel where Segovia was staying. At first Krishnamurti was not keen on attending it but did it out of politeness. But he was impressed and called it sublime. Pablo Casals also played for Krishnamurti. My guess is that it was probably also organized by Vanda as her biography indicated both Segovia and Casals were family friends of hers.
HISTORY OF BROCKWOOD PARK STUDY CENTRE – by Kathy Forbes
Dear friend, Kathy Forbes gave an extremely interesting talk about starting and running of the Brockwood Park Study Centre. See Philosophy section of www.rezamusic.com
ON INTERPRETATION – by Professor Padmanabhan Krishna
Dear friend, Dr. P. Krishna’s wise, spontaneous remarks about dangers of interpretation. See Philosophy section of www.rezamusic.com
NEWS FROM A K'S SCHOOL IN INDIA – by G. Gautama
Dear friend, G. Gautama's new article: Special News from The School of KFI in Chennai. See Philosophy section of www.rezamusic.com
KRISHNAMURTI: The Greatest Psychologist of All Time
I just finished working through a 550 page book by a psychologist, at the end of this verbose book which is typical of American authors (according to a Norwegian professor I had), he said what K says in a few sentences.
I think K’s insights into the workings of the psyche are unique, extremely powerful and essential. I have met many people with psychological problems or mental anguish, and sometimes a few simple insights does wonders. The biggest mistake professional mental health therapist make is to divide the observer from the observed, the analyzer from the analyzed. Once you apply the no-division outlook magic can happen; because then there is no wastage of energy in conflict and friction between what-is and what-should-be/what-has-been, no ideal is created to make one move away from the fact/what-is, and understanding brings its own change (K refers to this as: “seeing is action”), etc.
This is not some kind of a fanatic assertion of how great J. Krishnamurti is in the field of psychology – most academic psychologists probably have not even heard of K but they should because the insights what K offers are essential for this fairly new, under-developed field which tries to apply scientific method to areas in the “inner world” where the same tools as outer world do not necessarily apply. However, I find what K proposes in terms of approaches to psychological problems extremely logical and surely not un-scientific or dogmatic. He says, look, what you’re looking at is yourself. You’re not separate from your anguish, for example. Many psychologists say, you are separate from that anguish. . . and until we see what we are there can be no freedom. Same applies to little pains of daily life and relationship which many consider as normal and live with it and get burdened by it.
I do not believe everything K says, and for that matter, I do not believe anything he says. But he points out to certain phenomena which I have investigated and found some of which to be true. And the most significant of those insights, in my opinion, have to do with psychological health. This reminds me of the statements he made early in his “career” about wanting to heal the mind. Not just in my life but in the lives of some friends and strangers with whom I’ve come in contact with -- some of the insights K offers have proven to be helpful in living a life free from psychological / psycho-somatic turmoil.
It’s hard to put source or ownership claim on an insight when one’s entire life and experiences make up what one is in a given moment, however, I can confidently claim, from first hand observation, that some of the insights K offers have helped save lives. A new friend who’s seen psychiatrists and psychologists for years, and attempted suicide, before we met, wrote to me recently:
“since I met you I've changed a lot in my views. It's healing inside, I feel more energy, more will.” …and … “that's a very new experience! I don't see life as a dark dangerous aching shit anymore, I see lights there.”.
BROCKWOOD PARK PICTURES
Several friends wrote in appreciation of the 2007 Brockwood work-party pictures -- that they could capture the spirit of place through the pictures – the joy, laughter, work, inquiry, affection, understanding, conversation, friendship, cooperation, amazingly beautiful nature, delicious food, music, etc., so I uploaded the pictures from 2005 and 2006 work-parties as well. The entire set can be found at www.rezamusic.com
I wrote this after a work-party event: Everytime a group is put together, cooperation is a key challenge. In Organizational Behaviour a dominant model of group dynamics is that of Dr. Tuckman's five stages: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. The Brockwood workparty group didn't go through these stages. It performed from day one at full force. It hit the ground running and worked very hard, such that even those who are used to physical work were knackered at night. We also had great fun. There was so much love and laughter, friendship and understanding, formal and informal dialogues, good food and music, and best of all, improvements to our beloved Brockwood, that the event was well worth attending.
Hi Reza, I was reading your online journal and I got looking at the work party pictures you had put on your website, it seems like a long time ago now, maybe not that long. Anyway I remember working with you in the Garden at Brockwood, and i recall your enthusiasm for Beatles music, And it was good to hear your music as well at Brockwood, helped us to do the work there better… Anyway, was a lot of fun on the work party and your pictures brought it back, thanks for them. Best regards, K.
I went to three work parties: 2005, 6, 7. I wrote this after the last one: The event was wonderful. The group was bigger than previous years. As the weather was good most of the work took place outdoors. It was lovely meeting old friends and making new ones. Aside from the demanding work, we had music, videos, dialogues, sports, and a lot of love and laughter. Spending time at Brockwood is always nice. The place is obviously run in a spirit of non-compulsion, and one of intelligence, reason, freedom, and affection.
The participants came from various walks of life including two medical doctors. [Update: I haven’t been to Brockwood for many years so I can’ttell if it’s still run in such a spirit. I hope it’s not gone direction KFA which I believe is suffering from mismanagement and is a disgrace to K’s ideals. Some of the same currents pass through Brockwood but I’m too far from it in 2020 to tell].
The following were sent by Brockwood after two of the work parties:
“Yannick said that all the work is of a high quality and very helpful to us; the volunteers have saved Brockwood thousands of pounds and we are very grateful for that.”
"Everyone here is very appreciative of all the beautiful work that has been achieved during the working dialogue and again I would like to thank you for all the hard work and the good spirit that you all bring with you." ... "... would be happy to have you visit us during the term so that you can see the school in full action."
During the last work-party I met the designed of the Brockwood Park Study Centre, Dr. Keith Critchlow who was visiting with his daughter and a group of students. They said they’ll include my guitar recordings on their website! I also met Jon Allen, the Centre's architect, who gave a great talk at the anniversary of the Centre.
On the subject of sacred geometry, one of the topics that got a lot of attention during the last work party was “crop circles”. Interestingly enough I only hear discussion on this topic in Southern UK where these things have occurred more than anywhere else, man-made or not, I have no idea, but according to someone I respect highly they cannot all be discarded as hoax (though some are surely man-made) and that indeed there is a lot of mysteries in the universe. [Latest thought is that they’re hoax].
MARY CADOGAN'S BOOKS
Mrs. Mary Cadogan, a trustee of KFA and long-time friend of Krishnamurti, has written several books, two of which I have gone through recently. Her first book: “You’re a Brick Angela!” is a collector’s item (might be reprinted again) which Krishnamurti also enjoyed reading. The other one is called “Women With Wings: Female Flyers in Fact and Fiction”. Both are very enjoyable readings, scholarly researched, and beautifully narrated. The subjects of both are close to my heart as an avid feminist. Mary is a great joy to read as her story telling totally conveys the warmth of her heart which is deep and touching.
UPDATE ON THE LETTER ABOUT KINFONET/LINK/KLI
Based on the feedback received I updated the document that was released last month about the “fifth foundation” which was just a rhetorical term to refer to Friedrich Grohe’s KLI and some of the activities it supports such as Kinfonet. I put it on the web for perhaps a limited time in case anybody is interested in downloading an updated version. Noteworthy is an introduction to the new version that is found in the beginning of the document that lists the summary of the few changes, and two Addendums, one, includes some of the feedback, and the other, is a new list of 14 IAQ’s (instead of FAQ): Infrequently asked questions, to clear the air on some questions, images, and innuendos that seemed to occupy a few people’s minds about the intensions of the document, its distribution, and other related items. [The document is part of this publication].
I added some photos that I took during the last three years of K’s talks in Ojai to this file (The first picture is the rose he gave me when I was very young).
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to visit some new old friends in Alaska! I will keep their life style a secret otherwise too many people would want to go to Alaska :-) One of them remembered that it was Irmgard, the beloved chef at Oak Grove School, who handed K the flower which he turned around and gave to me. This remembrance made me digitize the poor rose and put it on cyberspace :-)
It was so easy to meet Krishnamurti. Several times I went up and met him. He had no entourage or body guards (in physical form at least :-) . I wrote the account a long time ago. It’s called “Meeting J. Krishnamurti – by Reza Ganjavi”.
ABOUT THE EARLY WORKS
I was in a dialogue on this perennial topic of early works recently. Surely the subject is in good hands at the official foundations and I [used to] have full trust in how it is being handled [but I have no faith in K’s official organizations, especially KFA, his American Foundation under the pathetic leadership of Jaap Sluijter and Rabindra Singh…]. Just to reiterate, K did specifically ask us to disregard his early works. A couple of dates have been stated on a couple of occasions by K himself -- and the foundations have one date, i.e., 1933 (as far as I know), prior to which the teachings are considered not fully mature. And if you read some of the early works, you can quickly see why this is so. In his early language K used phrases that he never used later and which sound contrary to his message of e.g., you should find your own way and to not follow him.
I heard a myth by a Greek gentleman that K only wanted “At The Feet Of The Master” not to be considered as his mature teaching. That is false. There is apparently an effort in Greece to put music to Poems and Parables and permission was granted by KFA for doing so [tells you how off KFA is]. Some of the pre-1933 material is becoming public domain, well, eventually everything will be public domain, and so the foundations will lose control. Therefore it makes sense, and I believe the foundations maybe planning this, that after the publication of the Complete Works, which is a huge ongoing task, the early works will be published with the appropriate disclaimers about how K felt about them.
K WAS NOT WRONG ABOUT COMPUTERS’ ROLE
In May 2007 a panel discussion at the annual K gathering in Ojai quasi concluded that K was wrong in predicting that computers would one day take over many functions from humans. At the time I felt this conclusion was a bit premature because it has not been so long since K has died, and it’s already clear that computers are playing a bigger and bigger role in society. My interest on this topic is related to my formal studies and professional experience in Computer Science.
A conference: "The Singularity Summit: AI and the Future of Humanity" strengthened that impression. (Reference: Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence). Top computer scientists are still thinking that machines will eventually outsmart their makers and play bigger roles in society. Rodney Brooks, a robotics professor at MIT said: (paraphrasing) "We and our world won't be us anymore. When it comes to computers, who is us and who is them is going to become a different sort of question."
Of course, there are many pitfalls in the advances of technology. Aside from issues with moral values which computers do not inherently possess, we should not lose sight of the fact that what we need more in the world is quieter brains not faster ones, but some bio-tech and info-tech scientists tout the possibility of us thinking a million times faster than we already are!! No thanks :-)
A lot of positive responses come to these articles.
One example is from a person in New Zealand:
Dear Reza, Thanks for your articles and commentaries about K and K things. Very nice and refreshing, clear and sincere. I never met K though I've been reading him on and off for almost 40 years, and . . . Some people have said it doesn't matter if one never met K in the flesh, and I know what they mean, but I still wish I had! Thus your lovely descriptions are much enjoyed and appreciated. You're spot on, I think!! Keep up the delightful input!
Dear Reza, Greetings from Malaysia, Thank you for your e-mail posting, the pictures took and articles send were very enlightening. I do appreciate it.
What a very interesting selection of articles and information - thank you.
It was a Pleasant surprise to receive your mail and thank you very much for listing my name in your Krishnamurti-related, confidential, private mailing list.
It was just yesterday that I played your CD at my office function and more also I played it at home today before coming to office... and what a coincidence that I received your mail today. I would love to receive your mail.
Please include me in your mailing list. I'm a graduate student focusing on holistic education and Krishnamurti's work will certainly be a central theme in my research.
What a very interesting selection of articles and information - thank you.
Thanks for the beautiful work you are doing.
When reading the page about computers I was surprised to read your worries
about what we need as brains. For sure, we need and will have much faster brains and, for me, thinking faster does not mean thinking more. On the contrary, when thinking faster, the brain manages more space or time to be quiet. The quality of its quietness is deeper.
What we must be careful about is the attachment to the thoughts or ideas produced
by the thinking process and this attachment makes the thinking slow and full of all kinds
of irrelevant thoughts. In a certain way one can say that the thinking process has to
get rid of all the ideas based on and sustaining the "self" or the "illusionary entity".
To me, this is what K means when saying "the thinking has to take its right place" or
when speaking about the radical mutation we need to undergo, a transformation which
will affect the brain cells.
Maybe you'll have something with these few words but anyway, I thank you to have
initiate them and I'm glad to share those with you.
All the best, Luc
........Yes Reza, you may add it to the document.