It's been a long time (over a year) since I sent one of these circulars. I attempted to write earlier but it was low-priority and events moved from real-time issues to merely matters for history, and some difficult subjects (e.g. a liar Trustee) took more time and consideration. This is not a newsletter but only an informal snapshot of certain facts and observations.
One chapter that’s missing from this document is on the Swiss Summer Gathering 2008. Those notes will be released later in a separate document.
These days, aside from music, I do management consulting, project management, and business analysis. The last project was for one of the world’s biggest banks, the next one for one of the world’s largest insurance companies. One part of my job is to look at what-is, let it tell its story, and advise management accordingly. The project management role is mainly facilitation of communications. K’s teachings has been very helpful. They say 80% of project management is communication and relationships. K is about relationships. He points to so many important facts that make or break relationships: the ending of image making, for example, and the importance of having a vacant mind which is absolutely essential for clear observation, listening, seeing, which are pre-requisites for understanding problems that organizations are trying to solve. I just won a new project based on dialogues around quality of relating which K insightfully explored.
Once again, I've come across a case where psychologists and psychiatrists failed to treat a patient using their therapies and long list of addictive medications, but the person got healed and found freedom from past problems through the power of understanding, attention, learning, observation of what-is.
Those who say K is not practical or is theoretical, intellectual, mental, “Gnani”, difficult, may not have approached it appropriately. K’s work as I understand it is a set of pointers. It’s not a doctrine. The pointer points to something then loses its importance.
"You know the great musicians, Beethoven, Bach and so on, it is from the known they act." JK, 13th May 1980
Not always. Maybe sometimes, maybe most time, but some of their greatest works were rooted in the unknown. We know of many great works where the composer heard the motif in a dream or it came totally unexpectedly.
I understood K's point in these types of statements, as an attempt to describe what creativity is not, and he makes the point clearly. This, however, is a good example of why some academics have a problem with K. It doesn't reduce his greatness and I believe given the weight of the tradition he was up against he perhaps had to make big statements to convey points the traditional brain would otherwise not take up.
Surge Of Free K Books On The Internet
A few years ago a person from India emailed me several electronic versions of K books, scanned in their entirety. Obviously, due to respect for copyright laws I did not distribute them. Some time later, a couple of websites were setup hosting K’s books in their entirety. One of the K Foundations wrote to one of the sites and it was turned off.
Meanwhile, the Foundations have discussed the question of whether or not to make available K’s works on the internet, for a fee or free of charge. I believe this discussion was partly, if not fully, a choiceless one. If the Foundations didn’t provide the books online, others who don’t respect copyright laws would. I believe the Foundations are moving in the direction of providing K’s material in one form or another.
Today, a casual search of the internet reveals that several sites are providing digital versions of Krishnamurti books online for free. Last night I came upon a page which a person by the screen name “Alcyone” posted several compressed files containing numerous K books in digital format. One such file contained 34454 pages of K’s entire books represented digitally by about 500,000,000 bits of information. Other books linked on that page include Collected Works, and numerous K books in Spanish.
The page was part of a site (www.jiddu-krishnamurti.net) which in itself contains over 250 K books and talks in their entirety and in multiple languages. The site is hosted out of Estonia and registered to Tuljo Randmaa. About 50 of the books and talks on the site are from prior to 1930. So much for the idea of putting disclaimers on the Early Works [K wished that his earlier work is ignored – I recall two different dates he used as threshold: 1930, 1933].
Another site which is hosted out of Hungry contains digital versions of some 62 books plus over 100 talks from 1948 onwards.
Of course, this ultimately effects the Foundations and copyright holders’ bottom line. The surge of these sites suggests the Foundations do not have an active interest in stopping the piracy. I do not have a position on the matter one way or another. The concept of intellectual property rights is relatively new within historical perspective. How would K feel about it? He did not charge for his talks (a nominal donation was suggested). Would he mind if his books were freely distributed on the internet? The fact of the matter is that they are.
The subject of integrity is an important one. A few years ago I saw a translation of a book attributed to K which was not written by K. Other cases of such distortion are not unusual, especially in translations, especially regarding spirituality (a classic story is that of a Greek translator of K’s books who remarked Greek Orthodox Church was an exception in K's remarks, which was a false statement made for sake of political correctness…). So, Foundations provide a great service to K’s legacy by publishing the authentic version of his complete works. This is a big project which is ongoing presently.
Early Works and K’s wish regarding them warrant a disclaimer to be published with every volume depicting K’s attitude towards them. I suspect/hope the Foundations are handling it appropriately in their publications of material prior to 1933.
What I find exciting about having K books on line is that they will get full-text indexed automatically by search engines and become available to anyone searching for a particular phrase.
The Myth Of “nobody Got It”
A German student came across my website and we had a little e-dialogue. He wrote: “Supposedly, K. said that nobody lives the teachings before his death.”
It amazes me how many times this subject comes up. It’s probably the most recurring subject I’ve heard around the K circles. Why?
This student was sincere in his questioning and we talked about many things, but I have also heard people rely on this subject, this supposition, to support an indirect notion that “K doesn’t work” or somehow disparage K. And the most common logic used is “if nobody got it during K’s life time, why should I bother with the challenges he poses? Why should I bother with this work which demands and deserves diligent study?”, and along those lines, “isn’t it enough to watch a few videos, or go to some dialogue group, or to a summer gathering?”, or, “why not read Osho or someone who is easier to understand”, “why not read Eckart Toll, Andrew Cohen, or follow Amma who supposedly gives you bliss through a hug?” (incidentally, I saw Amma and Cohen and read some of their works and will write about their approach later, which to me don’t appear as serious). “Or easier yet, why not listen to Kryon, whose voice is mesmerizing and you don’t really even need to understand what is said as it just hypnotizes you?!” [no thanks].
There are a zillion excuses not to take on the challenges K puts forth, not to investigate some of what he points to, but all those reasons are rooted in laziness, and what better justification than “nobody got it?”, which is just a myth. Members of Order of Star of the East were very disappointed when K told them they have to do the work themselves because they were lazy, and preferred a “guru” to do the work for them. K refused to be a guru, or to fool people into depending on him! To the contrary, he explicitly asked his audience, readers, to explore what he points to, for themselves, and to not follow him.
K, when asked what difference one person would make if he changes, said, sir, you change and find out what happens. It doesn’t matter if anybody else has “got it” or not.
It is not uncommon for discomfort to set in when faced with big challenges, e.g., “is it possible to live without fear?” “is it possible for understand the limits of thought and for thought to not enter where it doesn’t belong?” “is it possible to live without conflict?” “is it possible to live without any chemical, intellectual, emotional stimulation?” And so on. The notion of “nobody got it” is so popular because it serves the purpose of relieving one from giving K weight – it’s a way of discrediting K, along with other common thing you hear such as criticism of his hair style!
On 7 February 1986, K was ill in his death bed. A question sent by Mary Cadogan from UK was posed to K. He asked Scott Forbes to bring the recorder. K remarked that a super energy, an immense energy, an immense intelligence, had used his body. He further said, nobody, unless the body has been prepared, very carefully, protected and so on -- nobody can understand what went through this body, nobody. And he went on to make the statement that gave rise to this myth.
Mary Zimbalist and at least another trustee told me that what K meant was “us” – people who were around him, who had not understood him. He could not have possibly known about every person on the planet (as another trustee who believed K was omniscient contended), said Mary.
It seems that people closest to K and his organizations had trouble “getting it” maybe because as Mary Lutyens puts it in her biography of K – that they burned for being “too close to the sun”. I know some of them. Why is it so?
Divergence of the topic
And some folks spent their entire life and career in a K organization. Some have never had a job outside this circle, and for some it might be that certain challenges that a non-protected environment provides and the opportunity to test the teachings at that level was missing.
Those too close to this work and specially to the man, K, may take it for granted, or feel just by proximity, it will rub off on them, or were too overwhelmed by the person. [Kind of like those who think hanging out with rich people will make them rich]. Listen to K’s cook sometimes in a dialogue talking about K. I often hear between his lines very similar phrases as the famous bumper sticker: “God said it, I believe it, and that’s all there is to it”, and watch him get all emotional and intolerant to anyone who challenges K or his views, sometimes to an explosive level of volume.
Further divergence of the topic
Another hindrance, at least at a neurological / physical level which K seemed to give importance to, may be that the force of habit and dependence is too strong. For example, K didn’t drink coffee and challenged those who don’t medically need it if it’s possible to live without any stimulation. This is overlooked by a senior member of the foundation who was absolutely desperate after lunch because there was no coffee machine around. An ex-secretary of a foundation was extremely stressed and nervous, and she drank coffee. In a recent school newsletter, a staff was introduced for her role, and for ‘the occasional brewing of aromatic coffees for trustees and other visitors’. K didn’t down bottles of wine. Cases of empty wine bottles were at both Brockwood and “Saanen” drank by a few participants, and drinking alcohol seems normal by some members of the official and unofficial foundations.
I am not saying it’s right or wrong – I don’t drink wine because it makes me tired, and I don’t drink coffee because it causes stress, hurts the nerves, and speeds up an already too fast of a world. And I do not, not do these things because K didn’t do them. But the fact that he didn’t tells me something about how he lived. And he talked about protecting the body. It might be some esoteric supernatural force he’s talking about but certainly, without a doubt, caring for the physical body is fundamental. The brain is physical and its state is directly correlated with the chemical / neurological state of the body.
K: "Is this possible to it this totally, the gentleman asks who has heard me fifty two years. And do you know anybody who has done this. It would be impudent on my part - please listen - impudent, impolite, incorrect to say I know somebody. What is important is: are you now? Not do you know somebody. That is escaping from yourself when you say, 'Well show me somebody, a result.' The speaker is not interested in results. If he is then he will be disappointed, he will be exploiting, he will enter into quite a different world.” J. Krishnamurti Second Public Talk in Saanen 10 July 1979.
The Untrustworthy Trustee
The consolidated version of this article is thirty pages (down from a lot more) so I’m better off rewriting it if I want to get it down to one two pages. So, here we go:
One of the K foundations brought in a rich person as a trustee who had success in the brutal performing arts business. You might think, brutal performing arts? Indeed. Art and music business are most brutal because they’ve become rooted in competition, backbiting, and other ugly practices which are so much against the nature of arts. I don’t know what qualifies a person for being a trustee other than being rich and having an “interest” in K. And for the sake of the gossip club, no, I have not, and never have had an interest in being a trustee (although I was asked if I would consider it) so this is not at all a case of jealousy (god forbid).
Anyway, she came on board, and let’s assume the Foundation didn’t know what they were getting into. It is surprising though, and telling about the Foundation, why they put up with her for so long and did not oust her (despite an attempt and surely desire by some of the trustees) but now she’s finally gone so that’s the good news.
I sensed from the beginning after her arrival that she had this nasty side, but I respected her and paid my dues in human responsibility in coming to her with no image, seeing her anew every time, but time and again I noticed her nasty ways of bad talking behind people’s backs, extreme stress, and a dark presence symbolized by the only color I ever saw her wear: black. She seemed out of shape [physical stress], and deeply confused and unhappy.
On the other hand, she was doing a lot of volunteer work for the foundation, which I appreciated and told her so – the type of hours other unpaid trustees don’t generally spend (this is not a criticism of them), and making large donations. Perhaps two reasons she was never ousted. But good work by itself can be a pitfall as K went into it. Her “drama queen” side was too overpowering.
Her cunning ways was not a mystery to the foundation. After years, I finally said something to the foundation. The straw that broke the camel’s back was a case where she misrepresented, lied, and twisted the facts about a certain event at which I was present – before that I just ignored her badmouthing x and y and z, as vanity]. The response I got from the Foundation was mind blowing, that they knew about the problem, had other complaints, and that "if you say anything you’ll be put on her blacklist and she’ll badmouth you forever." Another person said they had heard similar things about her from other people.
Now I had to say something because the foundation seemed to have been negatively influenced by her – can you imagine? A trustee you could not criticize for fear of being put on an eternal blacklist? Another member of the foundation told me that they have learned to tiptoe around this power woman which makes sense given how in any organization people have to tolerate each other’s weaknesses, but I could never figure out why the foundation tolerated a person with her characteristics which seemed so contrary to the spirit K promoted.
What has become of the spirit of cooperation, cohesion, peace? This has become another turf for power-play which I now realize seems to have always been the case in the foundation because people have egos and just being part of a K foundation surely does not mean the egos, the defenses, the will to power are not there. This by no means is a criticism of all the trustees or the staff as there are so many good trustees and staff that work at these foundations.
For the first time in almost twenty-five years of relating with the foundations I complained about a trustee. I wrote to some of the trustees I knew to tell them some of the facts that had occurred and why I think this person is not a trustworthy trustee. I also made it very clear that I did not and do not hold any grudges or anything personally against her, no malice whatsoever – my only issue is with the role she’s put in.
My concern was mainly the foundation and the impact of long-term decisions of such a mind. Mind you, she has a good mind, she is educated and has been in executive roles, but I do believe something may have been damaged as a result of being an alcoholic for a long time or a victim of excessive child abuse (these are not invasions of privacy; these admissions were made by her in a public meeting hosted by a nonprofit foundation regulated by the public).
And added to that, she seemed to have brought to the foundation the spirit of competitiveness, power games which is so dominant in the line of business she worked in for years. It is an interesting question about attracting new trustees, and how the foundations ought to make sure those qualified people of the world do not bring some of the cunning ways the world with them to the foundations.
She continued lying and said several stone-cold lies which is not surprising and did not respond to any calls for comments. She lied about me, she lied about a staff member, and so on. One of the trustees got so fed-up with her he wanted her ousted and I know a couple others did too, but I never understood the underlying political power play which was probably rooted in some sort of a dependence on her – either to the volunteer service she was providing, or the donations she made (these are just my guesses).
Otherwise, I know the people in charge were political and powerful enough to have her ousted, or were they, given how powerful she was and how she had the ear of one or more senior trustees.
The discussions on the plans to oust her must have led to potential vote count and even some lobbying, which I participated in, to other trustees who wouldn’t always get to see her other side.
“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Part of her behavior was to cater to the powerful, with no regards to those in lower positions, those who worked for her (several times she scorned people who worked under her when they were not present), dialogue participants (I saw several times before and after dialogues she says things about certain participants she would never say in front of them), guest musicians (she was even bad mouthing a guest musician that came to play at a foundation sponsored concert). She was often bragging to a senior trustee about how hard she works, including organizing this concert for the guy. Bad-mouthing others behind their back seemed to be her most common habit.
I know she was talked to in an attempt to “trim her wings” as a trustee put it, and there were discussions among trustees about how they relate to public. I was told that the mails I sent made a positive difference and that at the very least they kicked off a process to discuss and assess the role of trustees and how they communicate within and with outside the foundation.
She is out and I wish her well in her future, for our health, and happiness, as I always have, and thank her for those contributions of hers that made a positive difference.
Fifty pages down to thirty down to two pages. Skipping details and evidence saved 10’s of pages!
Brugger’s “OJAI RETREAT”
Recently I stayed at The Ojai Retreat which was started years ago by the visionary educator, Ulrich Brugger as the “Institute of Higher Education and Dialogue”. It has changed character over the years and evolved into a world class retreat. I wrote the following review on Tripadvisor.com:
“Ulrich Brugger, the founder of Ojai Retreat, has brought his touch of impeccable Swiss quality to building this Ojai resort. Every detail is attended to ensure comfort of the guests. The rooms smell good, feel good, and are very comfortable. The place is quiet and enjoys a wonderful view of the Ojai valley. The breakfast is wholesome and excellent. The landscaping is marvelous -- fragrance of flowers everywhere could get you naturally drunk. The staff is very friendly, professional. I travel a lot and when on business I stay at 4 and 5 star hotels. I give Ojai Retreat 6 stars.”
Reviews of Ravi Ravindra’s Book
I totally respect people’s right to express their opinions to the extent that they should not even be judged or criticized for holding those opinions. Mr. Ravindra goes beyond that – he puts himself out as someone who knows – he published books about K and gives talks about him. His most terrible book: Two Birds On One Tree received the following interesting review on Amazon.com:
“In this work Mr. Ravindra tries to justify his self-admitted lack of understanding of J. Krishnamurti by taking numerous stabs at him and trying to discredit him. A waste of money, don't buy it.”
Another reviewer puts it well:
"At the end if it, Ravi Ravindra, who is trained as a physicist, questions if J.Krishnamurti was not a freak, as the Ravindra tells us honestly that he seems to feel incapable of living a life without a center, or perhaps also because he never saw anybody around Krishnamurti that was centerless or without selfishness."
That forms the centre of Ravindra's motives, as it appears: deep inside he seems to think K was a failure. Yes, he must feel the immensity of the challenges K poses and not being able to grasp it because the ego is too strong, he concludes K was a failure. But he doesn't do that elegantly, he tries to do that by discrediting K, using cheap gossip and shaky logic. But just because someone failed to understand and apply K doesn't mean K's teachings can not be tested, applied, grasped, or discarded on their own without focusing on the teacher.
The reviewer further writes:
"he ends investigation and seem to have thrown in the towel, but that also demands a lot of courage,even if some will see this a an incapacity to learn."
Ravindra gives talks and writes books which spread his self-admitted confusion. As long as there is a market, there is a product. People like sermons, they like being talked to, specially if what they hear requires no movement, and in the West, if the guy is from India :). Ravindra’s confusion comforts theirs, and justifies their not wanting to take on potentially life changing challenges that K proposes.
Greetings from Tehran.
There has been some interest recently on the part of some Trustees about K-books in Iran and the recent restrictions.
I have updated the foundations (or at least KFT) over the years on K publications in Iran and years ago compiled a list of all the available books. My guess is some 50 books have been published in Farsi including several translations of the same titles, e.g. Think on These Things.
Earlier this year I walked into a bookstore in Shiraz and found numerous titles by K. I am back in Iran again for a short visit. K books can still be found in bookstores but no new publications are allowed. Reprints of books that have gone through several past reprints are also not allowed. K is not the only one. A publisher told me today the present government is trying to restrict all they call "imported mysticism" and that includes, in their eyes, not only K, but Osho, Zen, Yoga, Meditation, Buddhism, etc.. As many other things in the world there is a great deal of contradiction there because K is not imported mysticism. I have been told by some of the leading Rumi scholars that since reading K they have been able to understand Rumi better! That sums up many other reasons to contend that what K says is not only imported, but is in the very roots of this culture.
K himself alluded, as far as I know, to the fact that some cultures will grasp what he points to, easier than others, due to the existing familiarity with the topic. In Iran this is certainly the case, and the popularity of K books and numerous translations testify to it. I gather that in China this is also the case, having heard from the tremendous reception that our KFA friends have received there.
The comparative mind can't help but to refer to the fact that a huge number of K books have been translated into Farsi which is only spoken in Iran and parts of Afghanistan, while I heard only 1 book has been translated into Arabic which is spoken in numerous countries.
Just made a visit to the local bookstore and bought his last K book for a friend -- the fourth publication of "Freedom From The Known" translated by dear friend Mercedeh Lesani.
What is to become of these Foundations once all the material is published and are in public domain? Currently the role of the foundations is to preserve and disseminate. I suppose the preservation function will have to continue: somebody has to maintain the archival vaults even after all the work is published. Currently, the dissemination job is partly publishing, partly putting on dialogues and so on, but ultimately true dissemination of a perfume is by those who live it, and in the case of K that does not mean living according to a system as there is no system, but to take the teachings as pointers into matters of living which one needs to investigate and discover first hand.
One foundation has already been downsizing due to financial crisis that has plagued the planet as direct result of eight years of mis-management of the world’s super power by Bush & Company. It went through various phases of right-sizing, purging or whatever diplomatic phrase one uses, even before the financial crisis.
Ego, sense of self, may be present in any organization made out of humans. K foundations are no different. Keep in mind K was not fond of organizations and nearly dissolved one or more of his own foundations and called one “idiotic”. These foundations were meant to be minimal organizations. that should not be forgotten.
While a foundation may be doing a lot of good work with regards to archives, publications, and so on, it may also possess an ego, which is the direct result of the ego of some of the people who run it. I am not speaking about practical aspects which require a sense of identity, but a psychological egocentric predicament which includes reactions, defensiveness, image making, desire for continuity, polarization, etc.
And this is done at an organizational level: organized effort to build and strengthen an image, for example. It is too easy for an organization to be a reflection of the ego of its leaders. Then philosophy becomes meaningless, but every good organization needs to be philosophical, literally, meaning, be interested in truth, and not settle for illusions. A K foundation doesn’t always do this. I’ve seen philosophy and truth fall by the way side as politics becomes all important – just like some brutal corporate environments.
A recent newsletter asked for money by saying: “You can help spread Krishnamurti's work in the world by making a donation”. There is nothing wrong in this statement and those of us who give to a school or foundation realize spreading happens primarily by living. The foundation must “live the teachings” too as an entity. Is that the case?!
On Two Gone Ladies: MARY ZIMBALIST, FRANCES MCCANN
Much has been written in various organizations’ newsletters on Frances McCann and Mary Zimbalist who passed away nearly at the same time earlier this year. They were both close friends of this work. Frances made large donations to Brockwood and took classic photos of K. One trustee told me that Mary Z was probably K’s partner, beyond a secretary. He cited some conversations in which K alluded to it. But I do not know this for sure and it does not matter. If it was the case it was only human and K’s greatness was that he was human despite those who try to discredit him for being a human! [We know earlier in life he had a long relationship with a lady – long story].
I visited Mary several times over the years at her home which is now part of KFA and had many good conversations. We went in K’s room which has now been converted to a quiet room. We also participated in many public dialogues. One thing people may not know about this quiet elegant beautiful lady was that she loved surfing and had postcards and pictures of surfing which she cherished.
Frances was one of the very few people who had a K-like “perfume”. She said very little but her quietness spoke volumes. That is not the same as subscribing to those gurus who choose quietness to be different or because they have nothing substantial to say. The quality of her quietness was not forced, coerced, brought upon by the act of will, conformity, desire, friction. It was the kind of quietness that came out of attention.
Frances used to come to Switzerland every summer until she was too ill. We shared nice moments in the café as well as in dialogue groups. Once in Brockwood in a dialogue she said what she got the most from K’s work was: “A quiet mind”.
She had cancer the last years but still came to a Christmas party and sang along with us and had the amazing attitude that there was nothing wrong with her health. She lived a long, rich life. She told me she hurt herself badly, her nerves, with a lasting effect, due to doing Kundalini Yoga. I’ve heard that from others too – I think K himself also warned of dangers of messing with kundalini… In my view, it has its own life and does what it does, shaped by how you live.
Their love lives on in our hearts.
Mindsets That Influenced School Revolution
I don’t know about all that went on but I do remember when she became the new Director, she had to make a lot of tough decisions and as a result she made some enemies. The school thrived with increased enrollments, etc., so she was obviously an effective leader, and I am sure she was not perfect and did not do everything right. The underlying waves of gossip died down within the following year or two until X and Y came as teachers and according to a credible source, the dissent was refueled.
I love both X and Y but I felt something was unfair about the way it was handled. I knew one of them to possess values I could not stand with regards to backbiting, a double-faced, attitude often found and tolerated in Britain of talking behind people what would never be said in front of them.
And the other simply seemed to lack an ability to grasp some key items K pointed to. I had the opportunity to hear him speak publicly in Saanen in 2006 and he was so utterly confused, and admitted it, and when you hear someone speak like that, and he also says he's studied K for 15 years, you begin to wonder what that study really meant, and how it was done. His main concerns seemed to be why K combed his hair sideways, and he criticized K for accepting money from others, wanting his teachings to last 500 years, and confusion over other trivial matters and clear questions (e.g., whether he should accept what K said or what other philosophers said – well the answer is clear: neither! – and he forgot that K returned even a castle that was donated to him!)
I am very interested in this because it’s fascinating to see how someone supposedly tries to understand and apply this thing but misses; what prevents understanding; and that leads to discrediting the pointer.
It made sense how he handled going out with his ex-girlfriend for so long. After years of being around this work and teaching at a K school, she was still confused about basic concepts like concentration vs. attention, let alone observer & observed which seemed to her like a secret celestial recipe, and she concluded that the students were confused about K – well surely, when the teacher is. [This clearly indicates lack of study – you can’t fake K’s philosophy.]
This was the mind-set that was fueling the “revolution” and opposition. These guys together were fueling dissent, as far as I observed. Their discontent was recognized by the Director as a healthy flame and she managed and addressed it accordingly. Ok, now she’s gone. A new Director is there, and she is absolutely wonderful. I never forget the speech she gave during her daughter’s graduation. She was a Director then, and now she’s back. All good wishes.
Vernon Puts Man Before the Message
At least in the case of Pupul Jayakar and Mary Lutyens they seemed to have delved into the teachings to a certain extent – whether they understood or not is off topic. K's biographer, Roland Vernon spent a lot of time on the man, and the teaching is totally missing in his book, but instead, UG, Radha, and Helen's antagonisms towards K gives plenty of food for the many who attempt to discredit the man so as to be relived from the challenges of the message. The book is best characterized by the following online review I came across: "It's rather comical actually; Mr. Vernon has written a whole book out of entirely missing the point, for a bunch of readers who entirely miss the point and indeed prefer to miss the point."
Vernon's book has interesting factual information specially about the years where K felt they should not be paid attention to (75% of the book is about pre-1933). I heard a movie is being made based on this book, and that the Foundations like it and sell it! Poor K!
Talked with lady in the UK – a large donor who said she is a “wise headed 87” – she saw K in 1968 and in every talk at Brockwood and some in other countries. She contacted me after reading the last circular which she was pleased about.
“I don’t believe groups do you any good. Are groups necessary? Dialogue group are largely confusing”.
“Every day is a beautiful day to wake up to. A precious day.”
I’ve been to many dialogues and it all depends on who’s in it. In the summer gatherings I avoid certain folks after being in many dialogues with them in which they always talk about being confused.
I’ve been to some very good dialogues – a few – and a lot of them which were just a waste of time (discounting the fact that you can learn something from any situation).
Within recent past, KFA setup a dialogue weekend for “Advanced Dialoguers”. I find that term as a contradiction to K’s spirit of non-hierarchy. There was frustration (e.g., one trustee said his time would be better used with family), at the frequent failure to go deep (a dialogue participant once said, it’s better than staying home watching TV). Some dialogues do go deep, e.g. in Murren 2008, one of the dialogues I attended was absolutely fantastic, and you don’t need to be an “advanced dialoguer” – all it takes is common sense.
Some of the best dialogues occur spontaneously, with one or two persons, or simply with oneself. It’s an absolute delight to end one’s own suffering through a process of looking, unfolding, emptying. Meditation is a dialogue with silence.
Shouting From the Rooftops
A friend asked me: “How do you tell someone about K – I find it so hard to do so…”
I never talk about K off the bat. He’s not important. What I have learned in life, from him, from others, from life itself, shares itself and responds to issues that come up. The magic is in the present – in the problem that tells its story if it’s listened to – and reveals itself. We talk about issues.
When something has touched you deep inside you can talk about it easily. It talks itself. When you have no wounds, you can feel the pain of other minds/bodies. You point out the obvious, what you see and can sense. A good teacher starts with questions, and empathy. The rest naturally follows. And because it's natural, not programmed, it contains the principle of God, Love, Tao, That, Otherness…: spontaneity. And it is expressed out of interest, caring, unselfishness. Therefore, it has penetrating power.
K's point, as I understood it, was that the fragrance has to first be present. It can not be talked about merely as a theory. The new comer to the flower has to smell the fragrance, the vibrant color, and sense that there is something there, however small, which is out of the realm of the ordinary human suffering.
In university, an indicator I used to determine if I had learned something, was to be able to explain it to somebody else. Of course, some people are more expressive than others, but any student of any subject who has learned that subject well, ought to be able to explain it to another person. and it seems that a lack of that ability is related to simply not having studied the subject well enough. In the case of profound life teachings, that study must include application and examination of the subject matter in daily life. It is too easy to go to a dialogue group, a gathering, and get energized. There is nothing special about that. But, to take the subject matter, and live and breath and sleep with it, and dig into it, with a scientific approach, like one would approach mathematics or chemistry.
Dr. Ruben Feldman-Gonzalez is one of the few psychiatrists around who has a deep insight into the nature of the human being as well as the work of Krishnamurti. He has written many volumes which are available on line including many interesting discussions he held with K.
Ruben: “Can we talk about meditation?”
Krishnamurti : “Is there anything else?”
“He told me that I was too worried by the obsession of being a doctor and with conversations about politics, but that I should climb up to the rooftops and shout out the teaching that interested no one: the immediate mental mutation. The mental change that occurs right now and is not gradual.”
Ruben: “Why that doesn't come more often?”
Krishnamurti: "What do you do with your energy?”
‘Krishnamurti said something close to the following: "We may have genetic differences but we are all able to 'touch' the ground or the totality of the mind, and that ground is the most important thing for human life".
Krishnamurti said: "The ground being complete silence of the mind." (He emphasized the word “complete”) "Then we can talk."
Ruben: “You told me two days ago that you'll never die in an aircraft. What is it that makes you feel protected?”
Ruben: “OK. Please, tell me about ‘That’.”
Krishnamurti: “You can see That in action, but you can't talk about it.”
Krishnamurti: “You speak. ‘That’ is not only for you.”
Ruben: “Can you tell me more about talking to people about all this?
Krishnamurti: “You talk and expect no thing.”
A few of many positive comments:
The first comment came from a member of a foundation as follows (reprinted with permission):
"Hi Reza. Thank you for another insightful and interesting read. A little about the online content:
Those online books and texts are mostly not book scans but are from a cracked version of the original K-text (the DOS version from the early 90's).
The http://webq.de/work/k-text/ address you quote is no longer a valid URL. This was the prototype for the official J Krishnamurti Online site. The new site (different design) is now being developed by Paloma and Miguel at FKL, with contributions from all the foundations. A first version should be online the end of Jan. As I understand it, the thinking is that we can't fight the unofficial online sites but we can do better. At very least, the jkrishnamurti.org will contain fully verified texts with fewer spelling and typing errors. It will also have some audio video content as well as the content of K-text. I feel people will choose the 'authentic' version should they have a choice.
About the attitude towards K
I, too, am saddened by the 'k was a failure' attitude that often abounds, or the attempts to belittle K in some way, or at least suss him out as a man. It is used as the ultimate excuse - 'if no one understood it while he was alive, surely I can't', or 'but he clearly didn't listen to that man in that dialogue, therefore he's a hypocrite, or 'he seems to have some defects, therefore he's not worth listening to'. And yes, that 'final recording' backs up the excuse that 'no one can get it.' There seems to be a feeling that it's 'too difficult' so the tendency is to get busy (very busy) doing what they can do, ie run schools and foundations and centers. [Reza's note: I am sure this friend didn't imply all those who run K's foundations, schools and centers are in this category -- I certainly don't think so and know many very fine trustees, teachers, staff, principles, etc., but there are also always exceptions.]
Also this seems similar to the <snipped> attitude that the teachings are important, great even, but it's not really for me. Then we get authority and followers.
I prefer the attitude that K is speaking to me, here and now, not to those at Saanen 1976 or Ojai 1984. Nor do I care if no one got it (or maybe did) - it's to do with my life. You make this point very clear in your circular.
"Well, I thought you hit the nail on the head and I just gave it another hit..."
"REALLY nice ... For what its worth... graciously written... and you cover "areas" few would even think of...."
"I can see that your writing and thoughts are developing in many ways, and you are putting a lot of work into it! you have some great ways to humourly express some serious stuff, and made some good points about what is going on in the K's world."
"I appreciate your sending your notes over here. I am 99% confident the untrustworthy "trustee" you spoke about is <snip>. I feel/felt the same way about her and stopped going to the <snip> because her energy felt counter-productive to the spirit of Dialogue as I truly learnt to feel and express through my relationship with K.... You and I are on the same page. Enough said but it was nice to read and, as I said, I appreciate your sharing your thoughts and I am interested."
Thank you for sharing your notes. I felt a sense of relief by not having been around many of those attitudes of people who "know" about Krishnamurti. Reading Jiddu's works has always felt very private to me. The application of self-knowledge has been very useful, however, and conversations with friends and family sometimes led to this sort of discussion.
Anyway, I'm writing you because I want some help in the area of ...
Hi Reza- Your perception- that enlightenment etc.are not fixed, static . They are as dynamic as lightening in the cloudy sky of mind. It is a vain attempt to practice or do something to invite it. It comes of its own when the the I is low ebb."
"No personal contact for a long time but I do read and appreciate what you write . Your passion comes through. Take care of yourself Love"
Here's my response to Roland Vernon's email. Funny how his only comment about my 12 page letter which includes a critique of his lousy book was to pick on literally a few words of intro I wrote, and nothing at all about the substance of the points of I raised about his book - not a single response, except the attitude that Diane White, Radha Sloss, et al have used: discredit the message by shooting the messenger. Also, his use of the terminology reminded me of Sloss, a clueless author, who used character attack to discredit K, missed the boat, and had nothing valuable to say in critique of his teachings. My reply to his email:
"Hi Roland. I'm not surprised that you objected to literally few words talking about what I'm doing in a letter that was 11 or more pages long -- it's typical to resort to character attack in order to avoid the subject / the content, which you could have instead objected to. I guess you did the same thing with K. Is it possible to not have an image of another's image of themselves? Here, you're making an image of my image of myself which may be real to you but it's far from what-is. But you're of course free to have whatever opinion you like to hold. The only shadow that is worth addressing is that which is made by the self standing in the way of love.
Good wishes to you
Your newsletter is touted as excellent by < >. He gave me your email and suggested that I contact you about receiving news. He also suggested that I ask if you might send me a recent newsletter that you sent out re: info in it about < >.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks, I am very gratefull to you for your email and the info, kind regards, Sam
Dear Reza, thank you for your very colourfull mail...sounds you're top fit! take good care, work, play, and stay healthy,
I like your articles on "K" Schools
Thank you for this report. <> and I have read it together and found it very interesting.
Your 2 mails were gifts for the New Year.....Thank You!
Your note on 'K' was wonderful reading. I have also visited some of your other sites which I found quite fascinating.
Please keep me in your mailing list. I would love reading your mails.
Thank you again.
Dear Reza...all those beans have certainly given you energy! Best of luck on your colourful journey..did you read,"journeys in Iran, The unseen mirrors", by Jason Eliot? hug