On the work related to J. Krishnamurti's Work -- February 2012
On the work related (and unrelated) to the work of J. Krishnamurti -- Feb 2012 By Reza Ganjavi
Love does not die by itself. It can be murdered by thought, and that’s the tragedy of our thought-dominated civilization. (R.Ganjavi)
Your comments are most welcome. Reza Ganjavi can be contacted via email: (info – at – rezamusic – dot – com). For further information about RG’s work, please see: www.rezamusic.com
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The last "K related and unrelated" circular went out about 17 months ago and the one before that was 15 months earlier. I never know if there will be a next edition or not.
Older issues of these circulars can also be found on www.rezamusic.com (direct link)
Krishnamurti is not a leader and I am not a follower. I find him to be a very brilliant person with a genuine interest to help humanity. He does not propose a new path, system, method, dogma, technique, but provides a set of pointers that a person can investigate and examine for oneself. To explore his work it's good to get a few books (e.g. on Amazon.com -- I just wrote 41 more book reviews on Amazon) and really delve in and study what he’s saying and examine those points in daily life. When we come to truth of something, it’s first hand, and the pointer is not important any more. It’s truth itself that liberates, not the pointer.
Both personally and professionally, K’s teachings have been most helpful – in solving complex problems, understanding root causes of issues, managing large teams of people, exploring the power of spontaneity, power of love, the art of questioning wondering doubting observing listening thinking together, being open to the unknown, meditation as emptying, importance of order, change as consequence of understanding, questioning the necessity of images – and the magic that comes in relationships when there is no image, and so much more.
But it is not about taking “a teaching” and applying it – K doesn’t provide any specific method or system. He is just a pointer like so many other people in our lives, to look at something, explore it. When we find something out, learn something first hand, we’re not second hand people repeating a method a mantra, but that learning has its own life and application in daily life. First hand exploration of profound truths pointed out by wise people, friends, family, etc., can blossom and enrich our life.
For example, fear is a crippling factor in many people’s lives. The challenge of whether it’s possible to live without any fear, calls for investigation of what fear is, both physically (which I found is related to meat eating) and psychologically (understanding of the whole process of thought and time) and understanding of the right place of fear in life (e.g. body’s own intelligence). So this exploration for example, leads to living without fear, like a child, without the burdens that cripple so many lives. So there is no need to worship the pointer or follow or even believe him. We can find out and if something true or not and discard the false.
Think On These Things (Again)
“Think On These Things” set me on fire as a teenage college student. It took some chapters to get familiar with the author’s vocabulary and approach, and then it started to sink in and opened many doors – it showed things I always knew but didn’t know I knew J and began to quench a thirst for tapping into a pool of wisdom which I knew was there, but I didn’t know where -- whether it’d be in the teachings of Western Philosophers, in the ancient teachings of the East, or in the mystic teachings of the Middle East. I read the Koran cover to cover, I studied the teachings of Aquinas, Aristotle, Aurelius, Berkeley, Bible, Buddha, Confucius, Descart, Dewey, Emerson, Freud, Gita, Hegel, Heidegger, Hobbes, Hume, Husserl, James, Kant, Kierkegaard, Leibniz, Locke, Machiavelli, Marx, Nietzsche, Plato, Ramakrishna, Rand, Rousseau, Rumi, Sartre, Satchitananda, Schopenhauer, Smith, Socrates, Spinoza, Thoreau, Tsu, Vedas, Vivekenanda, Watts, Wittgenstein, Yogananda, and others. I learned a lot from many of these sources. Some of the books, like The Koran, Phenomenology of Mind, and Critique of Pure Reason, were very powerful. Some highly inspiring. And Krishnamurti’s writings were mind opening. My thirst for wisdom was receiving drops of water. The greatest of authors told you, you can find water by yourself.
One of the great books I read was Krishnamurti’s Think on These Things. While I buy lots of copies of this book to gift to young people I regularly meet, there are also free versions of it on the web, e.g.
www.jiddu-krishnamurti.net/en/think-on-these-things/ (Send this link to your college student friends)
If you download a free version on others’ websites (none are offered by me for download) please consider making a donation to one of K’s schools, e.g., www.oakgroveschool.com
More on this book on www.rezamusic.com
Think On These Things (Video)
I held a conversation around this book with a friend, Vikram Ramadoss (22 June 2011) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tGqyFoHNOM
A friend who watched the video of my talk with Vikram wrote:
I had a similar feeling when I first read K... I didn't understand how anything could be organised around this unique works.... [years later] I still feel the real inquiry comes when alone... The meat thing. For sure, I feel more afraid, more worried, concerned and very heavy after eating flesh. Actually, I only eat a little fish once in a while these days. This is through feeling out what works and what doesn't, rather than a should or should not. As you point out, shoulds do not work and create friction. Which leads me neatly to the statement I liked most in the video:
"Look at what I'm doing now." It's a fun thing to say to yourself, without judgment.
The Queen of Green Smoothies
I was thrilled to have an email from Victoria Boutenko after I sent out the last circular in September 2010.
She wrote: (reprinted with permission): “Thank you for the breath of fresh air. Love, Victoria”
Subsequently she kindly sent me a couple of her books and turned me on to Green Smoothies which are one of the best inventions since sliced bread J
Victoria has authored many books which are translated in several languages. She has a strong international fan base in the health-food circles. Her whole family “The Raw Family” are involved in the Green Smoothie movement and have some nice videos and an iPhone application you can access on their website www.rawfamily.com.
About K, she writes: “I believe I have most of K's books both in English and Russian and books about him. I list him in my book 12 Steps to Raw as one of my favorite world teachers.
Interview with Friedrich Grohe
An interesting interview with Friedrich Grohe appeared in a Gstaad journal. Here’s the bulk of the interview, reprinted with permission.
Is It So Strange to Be Alone?
K wrote about a tree alone in the field -- a star alone in the skies. I understood him to talk about the power of aloneness. Some interpret this as a call to be alone -- that's a long story -- you know -- after Sloss's junk book (due to its lack of inherent logic) some people were upset that K had an affair with a woman. He also had other women in his life - but that is in no way contradictory to his insights about power of being alone - all one. And as far as I remember he never said don't get married or don't have sex -- these were just interpretations that some people made because of their own conditioning and possibly the power of tradition which says do that and the tradition of spirituality which says don't. So it's a clash of traditions manifesting itself as conditioned values. But this is just my interpretation of interpreters of K :-)
Back to the subject of being alone, check out: 19 May 1979 talk between J. Krishnamurti and Dr. Bohm on www.rezamusic.com
K: I once was in... talked to a FBI man. He came to see me and he said, 'Why is it that you walk alone all the time? Why are you so much alone? I see you among the hills walking alone, and... why?' You follow? He thought: that's very disturbing.
Antipsychotic Drugs vs. Insight
My dear friend Angela Jaggi wrote this paper on antipsychotic medications and their side effects, history, problems, etc. (it’s in German).
In the Western world use of antipsychotic drugs seems to be totally out of hand. Our band (www.rezangela.com) performed in a wedding between a neurologist and a psychiatrist and most of the guests were of the same profession. We had good talks. One psychiatrist was familiar with K’s work. One of them spoke about the overuse of these drugs. In Switzerland, these drugs have replaced insight.
There are many situations where insight which comes from understanding, awareness, contemplation, inquiry, meditation, is lacking, and the society, the educators, do not know what it is and how to give it to the needy, many of whom are youngsters, and instead they’re given antipsychotic drugs and put in institutions for as petty situations as failing a driving test multiple times. And most of these people who are put on these drugs end up taking them for years – they cut down but many develop a dependence and become afraid of going alone without the drug. Of course Big Pharma loves it.
When I was a youngster, I learned that a lot of the kind of problems that kids in this day and age take medications for can be solved by writing, talking to a good friend, not escaping it, understanding it. It is possible and essential to be a light to one self, to one’s own mind and heart.
There is something fundamentally wrong with this overuse of antipsychotic drugs and the key is in the hands of educators, official ones, and unofficial ones like this troubadour.
In a dialogue between Krishnamurti, psychiatrist Dr. David Shainberg, and the brilliant physicist, Dr. David Bohm, Shainberg suggests that the whole society is neurotic! The conversation ends with K asking: “what takes place when thought is aware of itself ... its movement, its activity, its structure, its nature, what it has created, what it has done in the world, the misery, all the rest of it.” (Brockwood Park, May 1976).
There are many new videos on www.rezatv.com such as:
An old fundraising for the Oak Grove School
Psychological and physiological aspects of smoking (in 3 parts)
Talks with a new college student (in 3 parts)
Freedom From Smoking - Talk with Sridhar Govindarajan
On the Spirit and Form of Dialogue – by Ulrich Brugger
Dear Friend, Ulrich Brugger wrote the following article for this circular. There has been some interesting discoveries and experimentations about Dialogue at the Ojai Retreat. The article is on www.rezamusic.com
Getting Bullied in a Library
This is one incident which is very unfortunate. I am including it here but the file it’s in has no reference to K or any of his organizations by name so that internet searchers for K won’t end up seeing that file so as to immune him from association with this disgraceful conduct by people which included a couple who were around him. I’ve included this on my site under the section ARTICLES BY REZA GANJAVI ON "SPIRITUAL EXPLOITATION". However, I do feel it’s important to document it because humanity has a history of this kind of dogmatic behavior especially after a great mind dies, which usually leads to distortion and corruption. So it’s good that it’s not pushed under the carpet. Article: Vulgar Librarian on www.rezamusic.com
Healing The (Old) Mind
Saw a shocking Reuters news headline today: “Nearly 40 percent of Europeans suffer mental illness”. “Europeans are plagued by mental and neurological illnesses, with almost 165 million people or 38 percent of the population suffering each year from a brain disorder such as depression, anxiety, insomnia or dementia, according to a large new study."
Our friend viewed his objective to heal the mind. He spoke at length about being a light to oneself, understanding dependence, applying thought where it belongs, and explored in depth the roots of confusion, disorder, depression, sorrow, fear, anxiety, and what he found is very practice. It’s certainly worth exploring these and a vast array of other topics which he devoted his life to investigating. Healing the mind is at the center of it.
Isn’t it strange that richer places have more incidents of mental illness. This is a subjective assessment based on my travels to 40 countries.
Thought, Disorder, Image Making, Medication, etc.
An email and a talk about thought psychological disorder, therapy, medication, image-making, etc. – by Reza Ganjavi: [Note: this is not a medical advice] www.rezamusic.com
Question to Willem Zwart
On 1 May 2011 I wrote to Willem but four months later, have not yet received an answer. Willem teaches at the Oak Grove School.
Hi Willem: In your article you state: "Whether their discoveries will lead to full liberation and transformation, as Krishnamurti claimed that May and June in 1944 under the oaks of the Oak Grove, is still another question." Can you please point out where in those talks K talks about full liberation? Thanks. Reza Ganjavi
Here are excerpts from those talks. No reference to full liberation. Is liberation full / total / final ? I don’t think so. I also don’t think K ever referred to it as such. But it is a traditional, conditioned view that it is.
Krishnamurti, Osho, UG – Some notes and recollections
This is a very interesting exchange between three friends, Sitanshu, Subu, and Srinivas – this dialogue occurred in a small email list a friend maintains.
It essentially talks about Osho and UG being nuts :) but very sincerely and elegantly written. Sitanshu met K and Osho as a small kid and the impressions of a 4 / 5 year old of these men are interesting to read. Article is on www.rezamusic.com
A Quiet Mind
Nov 4 2011. He read the first 30 pages of Freedom From The Known with no background in this at all. He said he felt insecure and prefers to opt for security now that he has kids, because his impression was promotion of thoughtlessness. But we talked about it and I told him how I understood it. About thought having its right place and so on. First he had asked, do you believe in what’s said in that book? I: not at all.
Later he said why did you give me a book that you don’t believe in. So we talked about belief which usually means blind belief. He probed and tested me to make sure I am not some sort of a believer who wants to convert him into a system. I am not. There is no system or dogma. And I have no intention at all to influence him in a certain direction. We talked about role of pointers. It’s up to each person to examine and find truth of what’s suggested for their own.
He said his impression is it’s selfish, as in dealing with one’s own self vs. outwardly. I said the inner and outer movements are the same. He couldn’t digest that, so we went into it – being scientifically minded he grasped the idea. He asked a lot of interesting questions but a key question was: “what has it done for you?”…. I said a quiet mind. And talked about thought finding its own place and not going where it doesn’t belong and the consequences of that and nature of thought… Now I remember Francis, an old friend who died not long ago said the same thing in a so called dialogue group where we talked about how K’s teachings influences daily life… in her quiet wisdom she responded “a quiet mind”. The follow up questions were around how quietness comes about: control vs. insight…
Thinking Too Much, Thinking Too Little
Dear Friend Subu Kavasseri sent me this quote from K today. "Self-knowledge is not a process of the continuity of thinking but the diminishing, the ending of thinking. But you cannot end thinking by any trick, by denial, by control, by discipline, and so on. If you do, you are still caught in the field of thought. Thinking can only come to an end when you know the total content of the thinker, and so one begins to see how important it is to have self-knowledge."
I wanted to write about the subject of thinking too little. I understand K to point out to a very subtle aspect of the modern world which is over-thinking. Our education is based on thinking too much – so is our culture – our families – and much of what influences us – the television, the internet, advertising, endless chain of useless emails, and thinking too much about things thought was not meant for.
This is a subject which in all my years of school and university nobody every thought about yet it is so obvious that the society is miserable because of this. The modern world specially, is heavily thought dominated and the richest and ‘best’ countries are the most structured and most thought dominated.
A Swiss blues musician said of this great Swiss society, that we’ve perfected making watches and train timetables but we live in a emotional ghetto. I know people who even want to have certainty about the timing of their death. Knowledge, which is rooted in thought, has entered every corner of most societies. And as a result, these rich societies have the highest suicide rates in the world.
Krishnamurti explores this field of thought finding its right place in depth and profoundly points out certain things which I think it’s worth exploring by every serious individual who wants to live free from the chains of over-thinking. Now what about under-thinking? Is there a danger that after realizing how we over-think, thought quiets too much? This is not an intellectual discourse. It is a serious question that I ask in my daily life. To find the “right place of thought” is indeed part of the art of living – art involves putting things in their right place.
Here’s a good quote, by Subu Kavasseri: “The danger of thought is that it can slip from being essential.. to the inconsequential.. to being totally destructive in a matter of few centimeters.”
A Wealth Mine of Great Quotes
Collecting good quotes was a suggestion of our great 10th grade teacher in Tehran who got us started in writing a journal which became a life-long friend, and the best, cheapest, and most effective therapy (see reasons for writing a journal, and my current online journal: http://www.rezajournal.com)
A few years later I was further inspired by my great philosophy professor and renowned academic author, James L. Christian, whose philosophy textbooks are full of great quotes. Being a songwriter is another cause for collecting good quotes. Many great songs have been initiated by a passer-by quote. “Eight days a week” and “A hard day’s night” are just two of many examples.
Here is my collection of quotes. Enjoy (see www.rezamusic.com)
Professor P. Krishna’s Articles
If you have been to Rajghat just outside the ancient city of Varanasi (I like its old name name “Benares”), you will know that Professor Krishna is a Maharaja there. Not just because of his status/position as the head of this enormous institution, but what makes him a Maharaja is his insights, wisdom, clear mind, fairness, humanity, humility, and affection. Our views are often similar except one area where I tend to see K’s human side as very significant in who he was, while Dr. K, perhaps in having a more traditional view, sees K more as a godly figure. (Please see article below “On Varanasi, etc…” by Dr. Krishna”).
Our values seem to be similar. We give worth to basic human decency, we are both scientists, we love each other, and we are both philosophers in the sense of loving truth and wisdom (which is important for every good scientist as all sciences come from and culminate in philosophy). It is important to have a scientific mind – a scientific mind is a philosophic mind – one which can think clearly – one which takes a scientific approach to solving problems – one which operates out of inquiry and wonders about the unknown.
As Dr. K has spoken and written at length about, it is also important to have a religious mind, and to be a whole person, the two facets must coexist: to have a scientific and a religious mind – then you’re a holistic philosopher and can live life at depths of wonder not available to minds which are caught in image-making, gossip, self-centered conclusions, illusions, cravings, and burdens of the past.
A scientific-religious mind combines precision and clarity, inquiry and art of wondering, and power of reasons, with the power of love, order, harmony, understanding of one’s own limitations, and the ultimate importance of sacredness and its role in daily life.
A number of excellent articles by Professor P. Krishna on a variety of subjects can be found on his site: www.pkrishna.org
On Varanasi, K’s Powers, A. Besant, etc. – by Dr. Krishna
A wonderful email by Professor P. Krishna (reprinted with permission).
14 May 2011
Varanasi is the ancient Sanskrit name of the city. It derives from Varuna and Assi which are names of two rivers which border the town and meet the Ganges. The city is one bank of the Ganges and is bounded by these two rivers. Banaras is the Hindi name of the city and the British spelt it as Benares since they could not pronounce Banaras ! The university where I worked is still called Banaras Hindu university. The Ganges river curves in the form of an S in this region so that there is a part where it flows opposite to its overall direction. The city of Varanasi is located along this region of the curve along the convex side. The river starts from the Himalayas in the north near Uttar Kashi and flows all the way to Kolkata in the southeast to meet the sea. Several major cities of India are located on its banks and it has been the lifeline of the country.
The city also has another ancient name KASHI. It is the religious centre for the Hindus who come there in large numbers as pilgrims. They believe that if one dies in Kashi then one goes to heaven. So large numbers of old people come and live in Varanasi in old age waiting to die ! The Hindus also believe that the Ganges is a holy river and bathing in it washes away sins accumulated over centuries (several births). They also immerse the ashes of their ancestors after cremation in this river. A portion of K's ashes were also immersed here as well as at the source of the Ganges river known as Gangotri ( about 100 miles from our campus in Uttar Kashi).
Rajghat is an area just on the outskirts of the city at the eastern end. Our campus is located in this area and therefore called KFI Rajghat Education Centre. The Buddha is said to have walked through our campus on his way to Sarnath where he gave his first sermon. Krishnaji pointed out one place in it saying to Upasaniji, " The Lord sat here !" Don't ask me how he said that! I have no idea. Upasaniji also told me that there is a grove of mango trees in our rural centre campus which he had planted but they bore no fruits so he had decided to cut them down and plant different ones; but that year K came and said, " Don't cut them down. They will bear fruit, you will see." And he went and talked to each tree and next year they bore fruit !! My feeling that K had divine powers are based on such observations and is not a belief of convenience.
Krishnaji wanted 400 acres of land on the banks of the Ganges for his educational work and asked Sanjeeva Rao in 1926 to arrange it. It was an almost impossible task but it happened in a strange way. The British engineers who built the bridge over the Ganges, near Rajghat, were living in buildings on our campus (known as the Rajghat Fort) and were leaving after completing their task. Sanjeeva Rao requested the Govt. to allocate this land for K's work and they agreed asking for 25,000 rupees as the price. In those days this was an incredible sum of money but Mrs. Besant said someone has just sent a donation and asked Sanjeeva Rao to count how much it is. It was exactly Rs. 25,000 ! This is documented by Sanjeeva Rao in an article entitled, "History of Rajghat". A similar thing happened in Brockwood when K wanted to acquire the property.
Mrs. Besant lived for nearly 20 years in a house in the Kamachha campus of the Theosophical Society which is still the National Headquarters of the society in India. The adyar campus in Chennai is the international headquarters of the society. The "Order of the star of the east" organization which she set up was independent of the TS and the properties at Rajghat and Rishi Valley were purchased by her for the work of the World Teacher. The OSE was a separate group of people who were to work for the World Teacher when he manifested in K and K was the head of it. Many members of the OSE were not members of the TS. It is because this organization was a separate legal entity from the TS that these properties remained with K even after Mrs. Besant died. They did not belong to the TS ! Mrs. Besant had said that all world teachers had broken away from their past so when he manifests K he may not accept any of what the TS is saying and she wanted the theosophists to be prepared for this. She herself was personally willing to do that but the others did not agree and she was too old by then to be able to go with K. However, she called some of her best young followers and asked them to accompany K and never leave him and she told them, " However much you may disagree with what K is saying, do not reject it, for his is a consciousness that sees much father than any of us." She was perhaps the only one who really believed in her prophecy about the world teacher. The others merely accepted it on the basis of her authority and several of them even rebelled against her on this score and left her or became antagonistic. She never wavered.
In 1984 when driving in a car with Radha Burnier he asked her," Radhaji, do you believe in the Masters?". She said, "Yes, sir". To which he retorted powerfully," No, not like that. Do you know what it meant to Amma (Mrs Besant)? She would die for it! Knowing that, now tell me , do you believe in the Masters?" Radhaji said, " Yes sir" and he held her hand and said, " Good!". This tells me that K was against a belief of convenience or one acquired out of fear, not a REAL belief for which you would be willing to die.
This is what I learnt from interviews with Achyut Parwardhan and Radha Burnier.
with best wishes,
On Sat, May 14, 2011 at 3:53 AM, <Reza Ganjavi > wrote:
> Dear Dr. K
> Any thoughts on "Benares" as the name or the city? I don't know when
> the name was changed -- is Varanasi relatively a new name? Why did
> they change it?
> I found out that Annie Besant worked in Benares.
> The question is open-ended :)
KFA’s Refusing to Correct Error on their Website
Despite repeated friendly notices, as of Feb 2012, KFA is not correcting this error. It may not be significant but for correctness sake, let us be accurate when it is so easily possible.
The dates for these two streams are mixed up:
http://stream2.embarkd.com/library/edited-20110220-afternoon.mp3 -- is not from 2011-02-20
http://stream2.embarkd.com/library/edited-20110226-afternoon.mp3 -- is not from 2011-02-26
Computer Models to Simulate the Complete Brain
An ambitious project to understand the functioning – and malfunctioning – of the human brain is hoping to attract major European funding. The Human Brain Project (HBP) builds on work already being done by a team at the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), under the name of Blue Brain. The HBP will use everything we know about the brain to make computer models that can then be used to simulate the way it actually works. The ultimate aim is to simulate the complete brain.
China Book Fair & Duncan Toms’ Blog
Some very interesting entries and pictures in Duncan Toms’ journal about his trip to a book fair in China.
Nice picture of Derek Dodds and Duncan Toms: http://dtoms.com/2011/09/01/second-day-at-the-book-fair/p1050116/
“This is also dissemination!”
Sai Baba Connection
Sai Baba died not long ago. According to the BBC documentary on Si Baba, "Secret Swami”, Keith Critchlow who built the Brockwood Park Center was actually a Sai Baba devotee. I met Keith and his daughter at Brockwood Park – very nice people.
What I read of Sai Baba portrayed him as a guru who enjoyed the power of having big following. K specifically asked people not to follow him. The followers of Sai Baba that I’ve known treat him as a God. His famous saying is “have no fear because I’m here”! And let’s not get into the magic tricks that are fed to people as psychic powers. A documentary revealing these tricks is on www.rezatv.com .
Psychic powers are real but if abused they are dangerous.
I met a cute baby who had just learned to walk recently with the name of Sai – so we joked that maybe he’s Sai Baba’s reincarnation :) The clip is at the end of this video: http://www.youtube.com/embed/JLebME2zG1k
Voice & Confidence
From www.rezajournal.com -- Self confidence is a societal misnomer. It's a totally useless concept which is presented in the society as something very useful and important. The self is more of a problem than it having to have confidence. It's the lack of self which brings a quality of confidence of innocence which is vastly different from the confidence of the ego..
Being "in your own middle" which you say is true, but that comes not as a positive approach but negative. It's about getting rid of what is not love, what is not emptiness, it's about purging the things of the mind (and the tensions around the vocal chords)...
i guess we understand the word self-confidence in different ways
for me it has nothing to do with self and me and I and egotristic things
for me it's a positiv thing to have
to flow with the energy which goes through you without blocking it with thoughts like i'm not good enough, i can't, i'm stupid.....
i also don't mean the opposite, to think how good i am and blabla
i simply mean an unblocked flow of our energy
and the blocks are mainly made of our thoughts
so maybe i should say a deblocked mind instead of self-confidence
KFA’s New Director
KFA has gone through some organizational restructuring over the last few years, and some downsizing. Where I work we don’t call it downsizing. I had to “right size” my team recently after our objective was achieved and our next objective required a smaller team. KFA’s case can be argued in different ways but that’s not the purpose here (I wrote about this in the last circular in a chapter titled “KFA”s Blues & Oranges”.
Whether right or wrong and despite all the should and could have’s which are sometimes meaningless in life, philosophically, it may make sense for a K foundation to downsize: some decades after his death the works are published, the publications are disseminated, the works join public domain, are preserved, and then the job is done isn’t it? Of course the schools will hopefully grow and thrive but is there a need for foundations beyond a minimal structure?
Anyway, KFA has a new director, who used to work at KFT. Let’s hope he can bring balance to some of the strange aspects of the place and can influence it positively instead of the other way around where the old heavy handed management style with its heavy burden of status quo influences him instead.
Two Old Friends, Pedro & Roser
I know another Pedro Lopez, an old friend who used to come the Swiss mountain gatherings but hasn’t for years. Gave him a call last night to catch up. His daughter remembered me as doing yoga and playing guitar. When we first met she was 7 years old. Pedro is doing well, practicing law, studying philosophy, and keeps up with the music including playing Sitar. We recalled our energetic jam sessions on two guitars at the summer gatherings.
Talking about old friends, I met Roser during a trip to Canary Islands. A wonderful musician and human, she brought local cheese, olives, and other homemade goodies and we had a nice walk and talk on the beach and an energetic run when it started to rain, Canary style!
Article on Education by Pedro López
Educated by the Jesuits in his native country, Chile, and after having finished a degree in Economics and Philosophy, Pedro López worked as a research assistant for the National University of Chile and the Ministry of Education. In 2009 he quit his job and joined Brockwood Park School as a Mature Student. Here he worked in the kitchen, garden, the Krishnamurti Foundation and teaching Economics. At the moment he is living in Europe and planning on starting a programme in cognitive sciences in 2012.
Here’s an article he wrote about education (see www.rezamusic.com)
New Book on Noise by Arline Bronzaft
A dear friend and notable researcher on noise Arline Bronzaft, has coauthored a new book.
Why Noise Matters (Earthscan, 2011), written by John Stewart, Arline Bronzaft, Francis McManus, Nigel Rogers and Val Weedon, examines noise from a worldwide perspective and tells its readers all they need to know about noise as a social, cultural, environmental and health issue. People around the world are disturbed by noise in their day-to-day lives but such disturbance is not merely an annoyance but a health hazard. Noise also deters children's cognitive, language, and learning abilities. Why Noise Matters presents policies and strategies to ameliorate the growing sound level of our society, hoping to enlist citizens, professionals and policy makers in working together towards lessening the din. Why Noise Matters urges readers to act to build a quieter and more peaceful world.
Campaign to Keep Saanenland Clean
Some time ago I was bombarded with emails about a campaign to keep Saanenland clean. I had the interest but not much time to devote to the subject but made some calls and in the process met a nice lady who arranged to have this written for this circular:
LA VALLEE DES FENILS IS MENACED!
In the heart of the Swiss alps lies a little village called Rougemot. A thousand years old, it is snuggled in a little valley at the foot of mighty peaks. Forest and farm, meadow and stream, a fairy-tale world that hardly exists anymore. The modern world with its noise and stress seems far away. And yet…………
It is already knocking at the door. A group of private building contractors are seeking permission to build nearby a dump for construction waste material. And this in the middle of one of the most beautiful valleys. The access road for their huge trucks is planned to follow the river. The village people and their many friends are greatly upset. If official approval is given, a thousand years of peace and beauty will vanish forever. For man and beast this is a matter of life or death. Please contact our website: www.sosvalleedesfenils.ch
[Thanks to Robin and Didi Rockman, founders of www.jennylane.com in Gstaad for the updates].
Old Books & New Books
Looking at an email from a K bookshop I see titles on sale such as “The Flight of The Eagle”. I recall the K classics such as this book vs. lots of titles produced after his death. The classics had a quality which is missing in some of the new titles, specially the theme series.
The material is in general heavy for an average reader and almost all of the classic K books contain a variety of subjects. The theme books contain one subject – chapter after chapter of the same subject. I only read the chapters in the theme books which were not previously published.
Another negative publication move, which may have been dictated by publishers after his death, was to put too much focus on the man, so after his death big pictures of his face showed up on most book covers. In the recent years, however, the publication team has been much more creative. The emphasis on web publishing of books and videos is specially interesting.
I wrote the following on Amazon about the book “Total Freedom: The Essential Krishnamurti”:
This collection was put together years after his death. The title is perhaps a bit misleading. Is it really essential K? Is it all one needs to read to capture what this guy talked about in 60+ years? Is it a good first reading?
There's also a fundamental issue with the title "Total Freedom". It's a misleading title which may imply the traditional conditioned notion that Freedom is a final event in time. That is not the case. As a young friend recently said, people like the idea of freedom being a final event because they're lazy and want a guarantee for the future!
Anyway, it is important to not believe what K says. Question everything and find out for yourself if there's truth in it -- then it's first hand truth and not so because he said it. And by the same token, if you find something he says to not be true, you can discard it.
The Green Door – Notes From a Retreat in Bali
This was written by Ms. LC Wong, a wonderful lady I met at the Stream Garden in Thailand.
The energy of this place is really a wonder. I wake up early to the silence of sacredness around, way before the wake of human activities. At 3.30 am the air outside is freshly cold and the shadows of the trees of different heights and size sways with the flow of the wind.
Occasionally birds chirping against the background of constant music by insects. Every morning I look forward to the greeting of the sunrise which is always a surprise – some days peeking out, some days in full glory and most times beaming her golden rays through the lining of clouds, like shower of blessings.
It is a gift to be able to spend some time here in the company of the forest trees – aloof yet a tower of strength weathering the years of season and time. Its like a glimpse of newness through this ‘green door’ .
My favourite lookout point is high up at the Open View Eatery which I like the name – De GOOD EARTH serving vegetarian food, fruits, vegetables and herbs picked fresh from the land. Every morning I come up for sunrise, sun gaze therapy and be pampered with the taste of pure carrot juice from this land while the smell of freshly cooked red and brown rice fills the air.
An Email Recommending Some Books
By R. Ganjavi
Krishnamurti wrote at length about psychological time and dependence and other important problems of living. You can get his books online - amazon - here are some good titles:
They appear to be available for download on http://www.jiddu-krishnamurti.net/en -- please keep in mind only authentic versions are available through the official websites of the various Krishnamurti Foundations or the publishers. If you download a free copy make sure you pay the price of the book to the foundation earmarked as such so the publisher can also get reimbursed.
And many other titles by him.
I prefer the book version because you can take it to bed and everywhere and live with it. Also due to respect for copyright. If you do download a free copy consider making a donation to www.oakgroveschool.com .
New Books in Spanish by Dr. Galindez
A professor friend in Venezuela has written a book: “A Quantum Vision of Chakras and Endocrine Gland”. Professor J. Galindez kindly stated that “You have given the inspiration me to write this book… This it is my fourth book that I write like titular Professor of physical and mathematical in the University of the Andes of Venezuela. These books are published by my University after being approved by a great jury.” The book is in Spanish and soon to be translated into French – I’ve read parts of it and find it fascinating. The acknowledgments state:
“Colaboradores: Dr. Reza Ganjavi (consejero- inspiracdor espiritual) Dr.Yamil ACERO, Medico (comentarios) Dr. Manuel Fontoira Lombos Médico Cardiologo (Bibliografia). Lic. Damian Ruiz Miliani; Biologo (ILUSTRACIONES Y FIGURAS).
Finally someone gave me an honorary doctorate :-) [see the next section about titles]. John Lennon: “It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out, it doesn’t matter much to me.” It doesn’t.
Actually, in some cultures this is not uncommon. My father was often referred to as “Dr. Ganjavi” although he did not have a PhD. It was a sign of respect by people who viewed him worthy of such distinction.
Why Are Titles So Important?
KFA sent a group email. It was from the ex-director who has reportedly retired some time ago from an executive title. The email signature was the following:
<name> KFA Trustee, Oak Grove School Board; former KFA Executive Director and OGS Head of School
Nothing wrong with listing former titles but reading it I asked myself, why are titles so important, especially past titles, from decades ago. Maybe K should have signed his letter with a title: "Former head of the Order of the Star in the East" :-)
Maybe I should sign my letters as: Reza Ganjavi; IT Project Manager, Management Consultant, Musician, Writer, Producer; Former Software Engineer; Former Business Analyst; Former Senior Programmer Analyst; Former Solution Architect; Former Systems Consultant; Former Systems Analyst; Former Volunteer at various K schools; Former Volunteer at 83, 84, 85 talks; Former Volunteer Editor, World Civil Society Forum; Former Director, OC & NYC Guitar Circles; and so on. A friend wrote recently: “YOUR CV would be shorter if you listed the jobs you HAVEN'T HAD! :-)”. And I was never fired from any of these jobs!
This also reminds me of my second job after graduating with 2 bachelors at age 21. I asked my boss what is my title. He said anything you want - you can put whatever title you want and order business cards accordingly. I've had some cool bosses and some very tough ones too -- but the magic of relationship kicks in everytime if you enter it with full responsibility, i.e., without an image…
Speech About Life Love Death Etc. At Father’s Memorial
This video is in Persian: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJAXMqmAwns
But an eulogy for dad I wrote reflects some of the same ideas – I get a lot of hits on my site with people searching for whether love ever dies, sometimes they end up here for example: Love Has No End
Dysfunctional Mental Health System
I can write a book about this -- about having observed in Switzerland how many "normal" people have gotten messed up by the mental health industry. I talked to a friend's psychiatrist who admitted this industry is out of control. Far too many people are messed up by medications which they don't need. Any intense emotions seems to be tabooed. Emotions are accepted when they're "normalized" as in music frequencies which are trimmed to remove intensities. We are humans not machines but many people have been conditioned to believe that sadness for example or fear is something they have to get rid of via medication. The tolerance level for hardship, especially in rich societies is very low and so suicide rate is high. A friend said his psychiatrist is confused and had good reasons to support that argument. Another friend told her psychiatrist she's not going anymore because she's happy but the doctor said it's not possible. Another case, they convinced the patient that the medications didn't have side effects but we could see in friend's behavior that they did and in fact that was what made him sick -- he developed all kinds of negative symptoms after gonig on SSRI's.
They put another friend in a mental hospital who was perfectly normal -- she just had trouble with her studies being in last year of high school. They gave her medications and to this date she's become dependent on anti psychotic medications. A happy innocent beautiful young person was literally damaged and turned into a confused person by this apparently dysfunctional system which a psychiatrist friend I talked to admitted to. She said it's totally out of control. In other cultures there is not such a demand and pressure for people to be and act like trams, watches, machines, perfect but dull. Of course it's difficult to generalize but I've seen so many cases that this heavy reliance on mental health professionals seems very common. I'm sure in some cases it helps but I've seen more cases it hurting than helping. Another person I know, for 6 years and many medications they could not help her but we talked about exploring and understanding what-is, and change came naturally -- from that understanding -- with no effort -- and that's the power of insight, understanding, love.
Bodhi Tree Closed
After 41 years the Bodhi Tree bookstore closed. Years ago Evelyne Blau and I and a couple of friends started a dialogue and video showing in Santa Monica. It evolved its way into Bodhi Tree where dialogues and videos were held for many years until it finally closed down. Another company has bought the assets and may reopen it at another location. The bookstore had a special ambiance -- I remember buying a lot of books there as a teenager to quench the spiritual quest.
Gatherings and Transformation
How much do gatherings contribute to change? Based on people's own admission gatherings tend to generally provide temporary stimulation which wears off in time for the next gathering, unless there is insight - a learning mind - and if such a quality is there the person can learn anywhere, not just on top of a mountain, in a monastery, or in gathering. Gatherings can be good, certainly fun, and enriching, but there are too many cases of them doing just what every ritual can do: stimulation, and dependence as consequence.
I appreciate your feedback, comments, and corrections.
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