“K has had a huge impact on my life. I, probably not unlike many of us, was raised very confused. I also suffered from tremendous fears. But much of this has been cleared up by the last quarter century of exposure to K's work. What a relief!” Russ Wesp
(for more quotes, please see www.rezamusic.com’s “Quotations & Sayings” and “Psychology / Philosophy” sections).
On the work related (and unrelated?) to the work of J. Krishnamurti - Sep 2010
by Reza 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 – Writings, Music, and many other topics
www.jiddu-krishnamurti.net & About the Early Works. 3
Transpersonal Psychology & K.. 5
Dietary Guidelines According to K.. 6
On Facebook & Friendships. 7
Ojai Concert Video. 8
Two Short videos: Earth Day in Ojai & The Oak Grove. 8
Discussion With Philosophy Professor, Best Selling Author (Video) 9
Discussion With Smoker Friend (Video) 9
Kinfonet’s Continued Interpretation of K.. 10
When The Father Died & About Death. 13
Video Digitization Project 14
Man & Message & Pictures. 15
New Film: “Unconditionally Free”. 15
Love Has No Cause. 16
About Gatherings, Mountains, etc. 17
Love Has No End. 20
Duncan Toms’ Website & Yoga. 21
Death of a Great Persian Painter & Freedom From The Known. 22
Elvis Read K. 23
On Dissemination & Preservation. 23
KFA’S Blues & Oranges. 24
Professor Krishna’s Talks & On Practically of The Teachings. 27
Dr. Cadogan. 29
Bill Angelo’s Blog. 29
An Email To Dr. Reza Aslan. 29
Osho Rajneesh’s Fraud. 30
K as a Political Philosopher?. 32
K’s Notebook: Last Chapters. 33
[UPDATES, CORRECTIONS, COMMENTS, ETC., WILL BE PUBLISHED IN THE ONLINE VERSION OF THIS DOCUMENT]
This is not a newsletter. It’s a collection of articles, ideas, insights, facts, opinions, contributions by various friends, etc., as directly or vaguely or not at all related to the work of J. Krishnamurti. It is being sent to my “k-related” mailing list and my “personal” mailing list. If you like to be removed from this list kindly let me know. Mailings are very infrequent (sometimes not even once a year) and your email address is never disclosed to any third party.
This is purely a personal undertaking. I do not belong to any organizations and nobody has paid me to write. And I do not actively solicit subjects to write about – I am not under any pressure – when interesting things come around, I make note of them for the next mailing, and sometimes do ask for contributions. I’d like to thank to following who contributed in one form or another to section(s) of the text which you will find below: Dr. Padmanabhan Krishna, Duncan Toms, Craig Walker, Dr. Jennifer Franklin, Kenichi Lynch, David Skitt, Friedrich Grohe, Evelyne Blau, Derek Dodds, Bill Angelos, Tuljo Randmaa, Mark Lee, and others.
The last circular went out 15 months ago (see 2009 circular). Reader feedback is included in that file. Older issues of these circulars can also be found on in the Psychology/Philosophy section of www.rezamusic.com.
Let me reiterate that Krishnamurti is not a leader, I do not follow him and I do not believe what he says. 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. Best way to understand what he’s talking about is to get a few book and really delve in and study what he’s saying and try to examine those points in daily life. When we come to truth of something, it’s first hand, and Krishnamurti, X, or Y, are out the door and are not important any more. It’s truth itself that liberates, not the pointer.
Here’s a selection of quotes I compiled about Jiddu Krishnamurti a long time ago – quotes by George Bernard Shaw, Khalil Gibran, Henry Miller, Pepe Romero, Van Morrison, Aldous Huxley, Deepak Chopra, and others (see www.rezamusic.com)
www.jiddu-krishnamurti.net & About the Early Works
Tuljo Randmaa set up www.jiddu-krishnamurti.net which contains an extensive collection of K books as well as quotes and other material. This site gets about 1000 visits per day. In searching for K’s text I usually refer to the official resources but Tuljo’s site’s search engine works better than the search function of the official site www.jkrishnamurti.org, although the site managers at FKL are working on improving the official site’s search function. The official site also has audio and video content, daily quotes and some other features not found on many unofficial sites.
The concern with unofficial material is always authenticity, specially since this and several other sites which provide K’s books for download do so without permission and do not obtain the material from the publishers. I asked Tuljo about the subject.
I came across that K stuff some 10 years ago, liked his ideas and decided to make them available for wider circle. Today there are more materials found on web as we had way back then… These materials are on ‘as is’ basis. I have never thought about any authenticity. The only thing I do time to time is to correct some typos here and there or something. The materials are coming from Wild Wide Web and god knows what they are worth. Important is that people start think about topics that K rises, ideas.
I suggested that he puts a disclaimer on the website that the reader should check the official versions for authenticity. He had an interesting response which is a good point:
Wikipedia is not a trustworthy source as nobody has censored it. I have never thought about adding any disclaimers, proofs and like to the site as I do not pretend to anything here.
I suggested a disclaimer on the “early works”. He agreed.
I am not in position of educating anyone. I just relay some information what is available to everybody on the wild wild web. No filtering, no censoring, no authentication. As is.
Said that, I admit that you have a strong point here. It IS a good idea to add some sentences in regard of changes and cristallisation of his world view, explaining that there is always a natural change through the years. Please could you provide that text?
I gave him -- and another site operator who has early-works content and agreed to put a disclaimer -- a statement to the best of my abilities as an official one is not available.
One of the foundations said they are researching to determine what K really meant and will publish a statement in the future. 1933 is definitely a clear date as K was asked about what to include on the CD-ROM and he suggested work after 1933 (Annie Besant died the same year). He also referred to a later date from which he considered his teaching mature (I have this exact year somewhere in my archives but not handy). He referred to his early work as “patchy” as reported by a very reliable source and not as “patch work” as reported by another friend.
Obviously some of his early material are brilliant, and some are very different than his later work. Ultimately it is up to the reader to determine the truth or fallacy of what another proposes in the way of pointers. Getting hung up on dates or exact words defeats the spirit of exploration and freedom.
KFT Trustee, editor, and in my opinion, a great scholar, David Skitt characterized the subject elegantly in an email exchange:
There is not total clarity on this, but the biggest pointer seems to be that when K was asked when the CD-ROM should start he suggested 1933. This should not be taken to mean that he dismissed all pre-33 material - there is no record of him saying that. I too have heard that he referred to a date in the fifties as a time of full maturity. What is clear is that he endorsed all 33 onwards material as publishable. It does not seem possible, in my view, to say much more than that.
I just found an email from 2002 from a KFT Trustee who wrote:
K's point on the subject varied in time, but it is definitely established that anything previous to 1933 has been deemed by him not to be necessarily relevant to his latest teachings.
I just found this in the notes I took in a 1999 workshop given by Mark Lee:
- In 1933 K spoke in 17 countries.
- There is nothing to understand about the self, but the thoughts about the self.
Transpersonal Psychology & K
I met K at a healthfood restaurants in California. She recognized me from the CD she had. She will be studying at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP). I asked her if she’s read K and sure enough she’d read “Think on These Things”. ITP offers a number of interesting programs including the “Global Online Ph.D. in Psychology”. The list of PhD dissertations is interesting: http://www.itp.edu/academics/phddissertations.php
Scanning the websites of some transpersonal psychologists, one gets a fuzzy feeling that the elementary field of psychology is maturing beyond trying to prove every aspect of the human psyche using scientific method, and yet employing the philosophic approach minimizes the infiltration of dogma. Some of these sites have links to K’s work.
K’s good friend, Aldous Huxley is considered a pioneer of this field.
Speaking with dear friend and ex-KFA Trustee, Craig Walker about it, he pointed out some interesting observations based on the Transpersonal Psychology Journal's stated goal for TP as "the realization of transcendent and spiritual states of consciousness."
The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology defines transpersonal psychology as "the recognition, understanding, and realization of unitive, spiritual, and transcendent states of consciousness." It occurs to me that “transcendent states of consciousness” is something of a contradiction. The definition suggests that there are states of consciousness that transcend consciousness. Since consciousness is its contents—which is thought—isn’t a “higher” or “transcendent” state of consciousness really just another form of consciousness? The Journal’s definition also suggests that we can “recognize, understand, and realize these higher states of consciousness. But isn’t this just the same old illusion of “becoming” that characterizes all efforts to achieve spiritual enlightenment?
K talks a lot about "recognition"--literally, "to know again". We "know" the transcendent, spiritual state of consciousness first as an idea. We then pursue that idea through the study and practice of transpersonal psychology, leading eventually to a “realization” (becoming) of that state of consciousness. K questioned whether this process actually transcends or transforms our conditioned consciousness, or simply achieves a different form of conditioned consciousness. His teaching was about simply seeing consciousness as it is, not studying “transcendental states of consciousness” (whatever they are). K often stated that the consciousness produced by Transcendental Meditation was no more transcendental than that produced by alcohol or LSD.
Jennifer C. Franklin, Ph.D., (www.opendoortherapy.com) is a transpersonal psychologist who was first introduced to the writings of Krishnamurti during a contemplative and phenomenological psychology course during graduate school at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (www.itp.edu). She views transpersonal psychology as a comprehensive and integrative way of investigating the human psyche because it includes all parts of the human experience. She views K’s work relevant not just to transpersonal psychologists but to all fields of psychology.
Interestingly enough she works on helping people heal from irritable bowel syndrome (www.ibstherapy.com). I worked with a friend who had a long history of this disorder, using the kind of approach K proposes, which is, to understand what-is. While many medical professionals failed to solve the problem, my friend solved this problem through investigating what is. My understanding is that Dr. Franklin guides IBS patients towards healing much in the way that Krishnamurti’s work helped my friend. K’s work is indeed very practical.
Dietary Guidelines According to K
This is a very interesting document, which lists dietary guidelines by K from his early days (1926). Thanks for Friedrich Grohe for providing it and for the archives team for the e-version.
I added a disclaimer to the file and the full text of the article is on www.rezamusic.com
From the Chapter: Care of the Physical Body
Personally, having been a vegetarian all my life, and having lived a great part of my life in countries where vegetarianism is considered a foolish fad, I have suffered a great deal, and what I have learned is from personal experience.
I should like to mention some rules which I myself have found useful, and which are, I think, generally applicable.
Masticate thoroughly, especially the starches.
Avoid devitalized foods, such as white or polished rice, white flour, white sugar, and their combinations, such as cakes, candies, or sweet pies and tinned foods.
The most common error which vegetarians commit is the excessive use of starches in their diet. Let two‑thirds of your food during the day consist of fruit and vegetables. In cold climates, use more starch.
Have enough protein in your food to take the place of meat. Milk and all its by‑products, eggs, nuts, fresh peas, and a moderate amount of lentils, all these provide the necessary protein.
Avoid all excess of stimulants, whether coffee, tea, or chocolate, or dishes with spices or vinegar as an ingredient in dressings.
Use only a moderate amount of salt in the kitchen, and none at the table.
Do not mix acids with starches or sugar at the same meal.
Eat as little as possible of fried foods.
Do not have too much variety at one meal.
Avoid giving eggs to young, children.
Eat some raw food every day (of course this does not mean that you should eat raw starch).
Let there be an interval of three hours between each meal.
In case of illness, especially colds and fevers, eat as little as possible; still better, do not eat at all, with the exception of fruit or fruit juice, unmixed with sugar.
On Facebook & Friendships
Interesting article in USA Today (Jul 26, 2010) by Mark Vernon titled “Is true friendship dying away?” sheds light on some disturbing sociological trends:
According to work published in the American Sociological Review, the average American has only two close friends, and a quarter don't have any.
“The desire for friendship comes quickly; friendship does not," Aristotle
While social networking sites and the like have grown exponentially, the element that is crucial, and harder to investigate, is the quality of the connections they nurture.... Yet we know that less is more when it comes to deeper relationships. It is lonely in the crowd. A connection may only be a click away, but cultivating a good friendship takes more. It seems common sense to conclude that "friending" online nurtures shallow relationships — as the neologism "friending" itself implies...
Full article: http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-07-27-column27_ST_N.htm
A friend who’s set up a K-related Facebook page wrote:
Some people from different countries have joined, but still it seems that many of K’s friends don’t use, or don’t like to use, facebook, so many people haven’t joined yet.
I do not use Facebook unless I really have to (and then using a shell account). Thomas Baekdal, a journalist in Denmark, wrote a very interesting article echoing some of the reasons I do not use Facebook. His article is here:
Here’s another good article (by Ryan Singe):
Our band, Rezangela (www.rezangela.com ) did a concert in Ojai at a new venue called “52 weeks of peace”. It was well attended and we had a lot of fun. A few friends drove from LA and Orange County, and there were local friends, and a trustee did some nice dancing :)
The audience contributed beautifully to the creation of the music by singing alone and active listening. Listener has an active role in the quality of the music that’s produced and completes the triangle that includes the composer and the performer.
Our concert corresponded with the Earth Day and the song I wrote for a Swiss environmental campaign, “Let’s Keep Our Planet Clean” fit the occasion (www.rezamusic.com).
Excerpts from the concert can be viewed on these four 10 minute videos. The first two are without drums and are exclusively Beatles music. The second two are with drums played by my good friend and ex- Oak Grove School teacher, Dave Anter (we only had about one hour of rehearsal). Dave is an extremely talented musician and a great guy to work with. The videos can be viewed on my youtube channels.
Speaking about Oak Grove School, I get delighted everytime I call there and am put on hold -- they play “Dancing Hands” (my second CD) as call-waiting music. One CD eventually wore out and I happily replaced it :)
Info on “Dancing Hands” and “In Friendship” can be found on www.rezamusic.com
Two Short videos: Earth Day in Ojai & The Oak Grove
In support of the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy and other community groups, Oak Grove School provided a solar concert stage and music for the Earthday 2010 event. I took a short video which can be seen on:
While in Ojai, I took another video of the Oak Grove where K used to speak and recalled the place when I saw him speak a long time ago, in 1983, 84, 85 (when I was a toddler ;-)
Discussion With Philosophy Professor, Best Selling Author (Video)
The first day of the Philosophy 101 class, Dr. James Christian walked in the class and said: “don’t worry about the grade, just enjoy the class”. The rest is history. I ended up getting a degree in Philosophy (among other degrees) with a grade point average of 3.95 (out of 4). K was very helpful in the philosophy curriculum as he helped me understand people like Hegel, and topics like nature of consciousness better. We stayed in touch throughout the years. This year, we captured a discussion on video (5 parts of 10 minutes each).
Discussion With Smoker Friend (Video)
I have talked with many young people over the years about the problem of smoking and beating the habit. K has been extremely helpful in proposing an approach based on an action born out of understanding rather than effort, the art of observation, and so on, which works and is highly practical. In these three 10 minute videos some of these aspects are discussed with a smoker friend.
Kinfonet’s Continued Interpretation of K
Here’s an article I wrote – a critique of another Kinfonet editorial which interprets K, and falsely so.
When you understand it you can be free from it. If you don't understand it you're bound by it. (RG)
I posted this on Kinfonet’s website on 10Sep10 with a temporary account. I am hesitant to use that site because of security reasons. Soon after signing up for an account on Kinfonet I got a scam message from someone who has a $7.5 million inheritance in Cote D'ivoire – at least she wasn’t the wife of an ex-Nigerian dictator :-)
This time it’s around the subject of Insight & Understanding. And as stated in previous publications (e.g. 5th Foundation Report on www.rezamusic.com) what makes such interpretations even more dangerous is that they seem to be related to a powerful organization (powerful both financially and politically). Kinfonet site indicates “Since its inception in 1998, Kinfonet has been continuously supported by the KLI”.
In their July 2010 newsletter, Kinfonet published a commentary called “Of Time and Timelessness”.
As usual, they speak for “we” which in itself implies authority because they do not state a fact but merely an abstraction and generalization that we are this way, that this is how it is. In certain cases such statements may have merit, but in the context they often use, it is just a projection of how they see the world, and declaring it as how it is. In this case, they somehow have come to the conclusion that insight and understanding are very different, unrelated things. They’re free to hold and publish their opinions and interpretations but given the amount of energy K spent warning against interpretations and distortions, isn’t what they’re doing alarming?
Those who argue that K’s teachings are protected by some kind of mystical (not just technological) force should ask themselves, if that is the case, why did K emphasize the matter so much, over so many years, in so many talks? Were other teachings of the past also protected? If so, why did they get distorted? (also see article: “The misconception that K’s teachings are incorruptible” in my 5th Foundation Report (www.rezamusic.com).
There is no question of one or more persons protecting this work – it’s about carefulness. K put it very simply: steer away from interpretations. You can say what it means to you, how you understand it, how it touches your life, but to say K meant it like this and not like this, and doing so from a platform, and doing so inaccurately, is just reckless.
I continue to believe that in this regard, less is more. People might be looking for work to do, but they should look elsewhere than to write distorted interpretations of K’s works.
Kinfonet: “Yet this concept of immediate change … is usually put on the back burner as we inquire into the more accessible aspects of his teaching.”
How can they talk for “we” – I’ve traveled a lot and met a lot of people. If you think concentration vs. attention is accessible, it’s not for some. Some view observer & observed as inaccessible, but I’ve met newcomers who grasp these concepts like a breeze. The point is, why make such generalizations, why set yourself up as spokesman for “we”?
Kinfonet: “Assuming that by transformation Krishnamurti means terminating the abstract world created by memory and thought, then it follows that this transformation cannot be the result of an understanding. This is because as we have seen understanding itself is the source of thinking, the building block of the abstract world. Krishnamurti introduces the concept of insight - a phenomenon that has no precursor and which therefore precludes understanding or experience. Unlike understanding, insight has no purpose and therefore no will to effect change. Like life, it just is.”
There are a number of technical difficulties with this argument. Their definition of transformation is interesting. I would be careful about making statements about what K means by something specially when it’s used to make a conclusion which does not seem sensible. Transformation is not based on thought, that’s clear. And thought seems to be sourced in the past (and not in just understanding as Kinfonet argues). This can be seen in daily life, and K also spoke about it a gazillion times.
They go on to interpret K that he meant insight precludes understanding, and continue to contrast insight vs. understanding. If by understanding they mean superficial or verbal understanding, fine, but they do not say that and do not make that clear. They’re writing from the platform of a organization that is almost as official as any K Foundation (what I call The Fifth Foundation (which indeed does a lot of good work, no doubt), and very much within the context of K’s work (“Kinfonet” = Krishnamurti information network),
Anyway, K spoke about understanding at great length and used this term throughout the decades. When he referred to superficial or verbal understanding he said it as such. Otherwise, he pretty much over the course of several decades seemed to give a great weight to this concept. Here are some examples where he pretty much seem to consider understanding at same “level” as insight, sometimes even as a synonym, sometimes indeed as a precursor and not as such an antithesis which our Kinfonet friends interpret him as. Why interpret?! I don’t get paid to write but if someone does, it must be possible to write without interpreting, or at least taking on a humbler position of “this is my understanding of the subject”. Perhaps that would not be as impressive :)
Some K quotes on the subject from 1940’s through 1980’s which show the inaccuracy in Kinfonet’s interpretation:
the understanding which brings about an insight
deep understanding, having an insight, or coming upon that truth.
the flash of understanding, that extraordinary rapidity of insight
Creation implies an understanding not intellectually, but deeply having an insight, into this whole question of not only suffering, but the feeling of great intensity.
When there is an incident that demands understanding and insight
In the understanding of these activities, the daily responses, the conflicts, we will have an insight into the nature and structure of our own consciousness.
rather to have a quick perception into things, to have an insight, an immediate understanding, immediate contact with actually 'what is'.
But the very understanding of its limitation is to have insight into the whole movement of knowledge.
insight, that immediate perception, immediate understanding
Therefore understanding implies, does it not, a mind, or a brain, the whole structure of the mind listens not only to the word but goes beyond the word and sees the deep meaning of that particular statement, and then there is an insight and then you say, 'I understand it', 'I have got it'. So insight implies a mind that is quiet
So meditation implies a sense of deep understanding of that very word, and the very understanding, the perception, the insight into that word is the action which is to end measurement, psychological measurement.
That is why, in educating a child, deep insight and understanding are necessary.
the understanding of what you are brings great peace and contentment, great insight, great love..
Any here’s a great one from 19 February 1969, 3rd Public Talk at the beautiful campus of UCSC (University of California, Santa Cruz):
Krishnamurti: Do you mean by "insight" understanding? To see something very clearly, to have no confusion, no choice? I want to understand in what way you are using that word "insight". Is that correct, Sir?
... The question was: What is the difference between thought and insight which, we agreed, was the same as understanding, seeing things very clearly, without any confusion…
Clarity, insight or understanding are only possible when thought is in abeyance, when the mind is still.
When The Father Died & About Death
My dad passed away this year. He was a great, simple, educated, well traveled, open minded, fair, humble, and most importantly deeply happy man. He was not a sufferer. Up to the last minute he lived with joy and lived a fulfilled life. He did not contribute to the stream of anxieties worries self-pity and suffering that seems to be the lot of many.
We were in Ojai together, as well as in Saanenland, a few years ago. We had a nice meal with Friedrich Grohe, and dad attended a intro night at the Schoenried gathering and without saying much, just by his presence, happened to impress many, specially ladies, who were very kind in extending greetings to him for a long time after. Some called him a saint. He was. An unpretentious one.
I wrote / am writing reflections on a file about my dad on www.rezamusic.com, including some pictures of him. Some interviews with his friends in Persian are on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/user/Ganjavi3)
A friend set up a Youtube channel with a collection of K’s video: http://www.youtube.com/user/seastarwatcher
There, he quotes K as follows:
When the Body dies, the desires, the anxieties, the tragedies, attachments and the misery go on. They go on to contributing to the vast common stream of consciousness in which mankind lives. Each of us is a representative of the whole stream ...
I could not verify the entire text with the transcript of “J. Krishnamurti Second Conversation with Buddhist Scholars at Brockwood Park 28 June 1979” which is where this is supposedly from, but only the first sentence. I found out that some of the DVD box sets have quotes which are not really direct quotes but a combination of several quotes put together and presented as one quote, and widely quoted, so it gets to be believed to be one quote. But as the meaning is not really changed it doesn’t matter that much, but in terms of authenticity, we should be careful doing this kind of amalgamation. I heard from one of the foundations that these summary quotes on DVD boxes are being reviewed and revisited.
On the subject of death, KFA produced a beautiful bookmark which has the following quote on it from Krishnamurti to Himself, Ojai, 30th March 1984
... as you walked along quietly, without much thought, you saw a dead leaf, yellow and bright red, a leaf from the autumn. How beautiful that leaf was, so simple in its death, so lively, full of the beauty and vitality of the whole tree and the summer. Strange that it had not withered. Looking at it more closely, one saw all the veins and the stem and the shape of that leaf. That leaf was all the tree.
Why do human beings die so miserably, so unhappily, with a disease, old age, senility, the body shrunk, ugly? Why can't they die naturally and as beautifully as this leaf? What is wrong with us? In spite of all the doctors, medicines and hospitals, operations and all the agony of life, and the pleasures too, we don't seem able to die with dignity, simplicity, and with a smile.
... As one looked at that dead leaf with all its beauty and colour, maybe one would very deeply comprehend, be aware of, what one's own death must be, not at the very end but at the very beginning. Death isn't some horrific thing, something to be avoided, something to be postponed, but rather something to be with day in and day out. And out of that comes an extraordinary sense of immensity.
Video Digitization Project
The following statement was released by KFT:
“The video digitization is now finished and the production work has started. While in the past the Foundation has made available 370 video cassettes and 600 audio cassettes, we are now planning to release in the next few years 600 original DVDs and nearly 2000 original audio recordings as MP3s. Plenty of unreleased material will now be available but also already published videos which have not been available for years will be rereleased on DVD format. It is an enormous project with a lot of human resources needed to complete it and any help in this domain would be greatly appreciated: from donating any amount to the Foundation fund, to helping us with the DVD production, translations and/or subtitles. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.”
“Thanks to generous donations, we have finished copying the original video tapes to digital format. By simplifying the production process, we are now able to regularly produce new DVDs, replacing the VHS tapes made available in the past. New sets of talks and discussions are now being released frequently, many available with voice-over or subtitled translations into other languages.”
In an interesting article in Financial Times (Aug 2, 2010), the CEO of Penguin, John Makinson, discusses that while the sales of e-books (on Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s iPad, etc.) have surpassed sales of physical books, physical books are not about to go away.
Perhaps the charm of the physical book will be lost one day. But I doubt it. Readers of all ages retain a remarkable emotional attachment to the thing. It is portable, convenient and a pleasure to own. And the charm is felt everywhere.
A number of K titles are already available as e-books and more are coming. KFA Trustee, Derek Dodds writes:
We just signed a deal with an online distribution company to manage the ebook list and they are currently converting the titles we control into ebooks, all kinds of platforms.
On the subject of books, the first book I read was the previous, legendary edition of “Think on these things” – the small size book without the picture of K anywhere on it. The man wasn’t important – it was just about the message. In fact, back then, many of his books did not have his pictures on them. Then things changed. I don’t know what happened, but the new editions of most books had a big picture of him on the cover, and sometimes not so nice of pictures. In fact the first time I saw him on video I was MILDLY disappointed about how he looked – I had no idea what he looked like (and it didn’t matter) while totally captivated (not as a believer) by his deep insights, wisdom and sensitivity. The point is, the idea that the message is more important than the messenger is something our publishers may need to consider.
An extreme example of this man vs. message issues is the awful biography by Roland Vernon which is totally centered around the man while totally missing the point about the message, without which, documenting the man’s life is meaningless. I heard some time ago a movie about K was being made based on Vernon’s book. I’m glad if it doesn’t happen (see next section).
One of the trustees of one of the foundations told me he was against putting so many pictures of K on the books. K apparently told the author of the pictorial book made from him, which he reportedly didn’t like, that the author must have made a lot of money from it…
New Film: “Unconditionally Free”
Dear Friend and KFA Trustee Evelyne Blau is producing yet another masterpiece together with another dear friend and Trustee, Michael Mendizza. The tile, “Unconditionally Free” was taken from the famous speech “Truth is a Pathless Land” where at the end K says “My only concern is to set men absolutely, unconditionally free.” The speech itself is from 1929 which is still a period K referred to his work as “patchy”, nevertheless, later in life, if I recall correctly, he referred to this idea of healing the minds of humanity again. The truth of the matter is that there are many injured minds out there – I meet them all the time – and it’s amazing how a little shot of truth and love can help the being heal itself. It’s not my truth or your truth, my love or your love.
Evelyne made the film “With a Silent Mind” years ago which included some interviews with people who knew Krishnamurti. The new film includes a lot more interviews as well as a biographical sketch of K’s early days. It started as an archival project and Evelyne’s vision has made it emerge into a format that could be shared with the greater world instead of sitting in a vault.
I heard a while ago that Warner Brothers had plans to make a biographical movie about Krishnamurti and it was going to be partly based on the biography by Roland Vernon which in my opinion is not a good book, and I suppose Mary Lutyens’ books which are a lot better, although some have criticized her for not having been 100% accurate. Things obviously as an affection for the matter, for K, and without sounding judgmental, one could assume she’s grasped some of the teachings, whereas Vernon completely misses the boat.
Anyway, I am happy the movie is cancelled for now, and instead, the capable hands of Evelyne & Michael are working on a clearly a much superior project. This project is very important because it documents among other things, personal recollections of those who met K in person, and the number of those of us who had that honor is gradually reduced. The matter has a great historical value.
Evelyne is passionate about this project and thanks to her vision and abilities, as well as those of the master film maker, Michael Mendizza, we will have an invaluable work of art and a treasure chest of recollections of people who knew this great man.
As a side note, K spoke about not even mentioning certain things because it would invite that kind of energy. I also understood him speak about the other kind of energy, the reservoir of good, the otherness, coming into the presence. It was beautiful and strange that even speaking with her, her voice and majestic, elegant, peaceful presence, even through the telephone lines, across the ocean, made something happen here. Not only the very wishing of such a good person can make them come true, but there was a holy feeling in the room which I can not explain.
A new joyous friend who’s now around 91 wrote a nice email and at the end of it she wrote: “Hope to meet you there arn't many of us left who knew K.”
PS -- My story of meeting him is on www.rezamusic.com
Here’s an article I wrote around a profound phrase which K told Friedrich Grohe:
Dear Friend Friedrich Grohe kindly shared a DVD of an interview which another dear friend, Evelyne Blau had made. On this video Evelyne asked Friedrich about something about K which impressed Friedrich greatly. It occurred to Friedrich later, after the video was done, a profound phrase which Krishnamurti had told him in the tent in Saanen where K used to give talks: “Love has no cause”. I remember Friedrich mentioning this phrase before. It points to a profound truth which is part of us. It resonates deeply. It is so.
Friedrich Grohe is a fascinating person. I have written about him on various occasions. We first met in 1993. On the bus last week we met a group if originally Indians from Kenya. A lady asked if he’s my father. He’s like my father. There is a synergy there which nothing seem to able to take away. And we both have a deep mutual interest in this work. Love has no cause.
He was instrumental in my move to Switzerland – he invited me here once where we stayed in Rougemont with other dear friends like Colin Foster, Bill Taylor and several others. I accompanied an old friend of K, Bill Quinn, on the flight. Bill lived with K some decades earlier. He was a homosexual (I am not), he always smiled, and he smoked. A gentle, soft spoken person, he had a lot of good stories about K, as did Albion Patterson who also lived with K a long long time ago. I used to visit Albion regularly for discussions about everything including K’s work, the indexing project Albion was passionate about, how he picked up women, and of course his good friend, Dr. Hillary Rodriguez who’s now a prominent philosopher and K scholar.
On that first trip to Rougemont, on the day of departure, there was a triple-rainbow across the sky of the Red Mountain.
Friedrich met K around the same time as I did – and became close friends in the last 3 years of his life. They developed a keen affection for each other. Once standing around with some of the old timers, Friedrich thought, I’m new and these are old friends, and K gives me more attention, would they feel strange? He didn’t say a word, but K turned around and said : “I don’t think that way”!
This is somewhat esoteric but for a long time I had the idea based on some indications that maybe when a loved one dies s/he becomes a guardian angel (given s/he was not part of the pool of suffering, anxieties, pities, unfulfilled desires, becoming, cravings, fears, and other characteristics of ‘the stream’).
K said Friedrich should change his name to “Ange Gardien” (Guardian Angel).
In November 1985 in Rajghat K told Friedrich, “I have some months to live.”. In December, during the last talk, K had a fever. He died in February 1986.
KFA, and next year also KFT, publish a beautiful calendar containing Friedrich’s breath-taking nature photographs together with K quotes. It’s available for purchase through http://bookstore.kfa.org/cat/catalog/ , and he also sends them as gifts to hundreds of friends.
[DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Friedrich and never have. Love has no cause].
About Gatherings, Mountains, etc.
It’s interesting to see what happens in the work of a great person after his death. The case of recent teachers like Yogananda has been disastrous – let alone fraudsters like Osho (Rajneesh). I don’t expect the same will happen from K’s work because he was clear on what he did not want, as far as I understood, no hierarchy, no membership, no organizations (except the minimal organizations which he set up to take care of the publishing and preservation), no followers, no dogma, no cages. Nevertheless, the human conditioning is strong and plays its part in how it treats a great teacher’s work after his death – the human consciousness has long, strong grooves of habit in this area.
I wonder why gatherings have become so important. No doubt, coming together around a topic of mutual interest is good but it seems alarming when people say they need gatherings in order to grow. Why is someone who went to a K school and met him and studied his work for so long would feel a *need* to go to a 2-week mountain gathering to inquire about K’s teachings with others, some of whom have been at this for 40 years and still claim to be confused (while some new comers grasp the material swiftly). Some go as a summer vacation, some have their trips paid for, some get a kick out of being leaders, some go for the socialization, to meet new people, to meet old friends, to meet people who have an interest in K, to share their inquiry with other like-minded people; the reasons are varied.
During the last talks in Saanen K said:
I have been told there are so many people who are sad at leaving, ending Saanen. If one is sad it is about time that we left! And as has been announced we are leaving. This is the last session at Saanen.
The Swiss Mountain Gathering
The Swiss mountain gathering has gone on since K’s death, changed form, and changed place, gained and lost participants, and every year some are sad when it’s over. I went to the gatherings many years in the gorgeous open green valley of Saanenland. The nature itself makes you “fall in love”. I met many good friends at these gatherings and still have many friends that go to these gatherings.
I never needed a gathering to study K’s work, nor a mountain top, because I can test and inquire about what he says in daily life. Nevertheless, to be together with others can be wonderful and we had a lot of fun as well as serious exploration.
It’s nice to have a break, be in a lovely area, but without that inquiry in daily life, a mountain top is just an escape, and the proof of it is, over the years, I’ve met so many people who say they come there, feel free, go back to daily life, have the same problems and struggles, come next year, and it repeats.
A friend said recently he doesn’t go to the gathering any more because it is difficult to get to Murren. He also observed:
I was shocked seeing people going to town drinking alcohol – it’s more of a summer vacation… Three women were after me.
Having gone to it for many years, the best part of the gathering is the new people who bring fresh ideas and approach and the mountain walks and informal spontaneous one-on-ones. At times the dialogues were so intense and clear due to the presence of some new people who are not burdened by self-pity, and of insightful older-timers. Some other times, it was a drag. We made suggestions, and some of those suggestions seem to have had an effect.
Saanenland (Saanen, Gstaad, Schonried) is relatively open with big skies for a mountainous region compared to many other areas in the Alps, and my heart goes there. I have no emotional attraction to the new place, Murren.
Nevertheless, I considered going, following a dream, and called but found out it was very cold there with snow and below zero temperatures in the mountains in the middle of the August. Switzerland is generally a cold country – not severe cold but winters are tiresome and often last nine months. When it finally gives birth to summer, it makes no sense to have a winter holiday in the middle of the summer.
I visited Gstaad recently. What a marvelous valley it is. In Saanen there was a polo tournament – what a boring sport. Most of the spectators were the rich & famous showing off their riches, shopping for private jets and Bentleys at the exhibiting vendors, and hardly even watching the match. The horses were beautiful, overworked, thirsty in the hot sun, and grumpy.
The earth was brimming with the fragrance of the summer and its river, trees, soil, and flowers of vibrant colors. The simple farmers who were lucky to have a farm in this area have seen their grandfather’s land turn into a $20M property. The government protects the farmland and the cow herders who rent the grazing ground from the farmers pay a nominal, controlled amount of rent. And if a farmer lets his land grow wild flowers and not plant crop in it in order to let it rejuvenate for a year or two, the government pays him money for that. The casino in Gstaad is now closed as are all casinos in Canton Bern – a wise move. There are several new over-priced shops and restaurants. As though a mountain village really needed its own perfume shop at the entrance of the supermarket, now visitors to Coop are choicelessly exposed to synthetic, unhealthy perfume, and the heavily veiled ladies from Arabic countries whose perfumes are sometimes suffocating, have a new place to use their plastic cards.
We performed music in town. Rich people don’t tip buskers as much as ordinary people, unless they’re Swiss German who categorically love and support music. In nearing Thun we got an amazing response from ordinary people who loved the music. Rich people were more interested in their dog’s clothing :) but one gentleman gave us 10 francs.
On the second visit, went on a lovely walk with Friedrich Grohe, an affectionate wise old friend whom I love like my father. In fact he’s the same age as dad and knock on wood, he still hikes with the power of a teenager, and has a joyful heart of a child. We walked from Col-du-Pillon to Arnensee for 4 hours including leisurely breaks and appreciation of breathtaking nature. (pictures are at the bottom of this article).
In appreciation for a donation I made to the Oak Grove School’s matching fund, KFA sent a CD “the book of oneself” from a discussion in Rishi Valley. The term “book of oneself” only appears once in the discussion, in the opening statement by Pupul Jayakar (whose name is misspelled on the CD label), referring to the discussion of the previous day. That day’s discussion centered around the “story of mankind” and was like pulling teeth. I felt sorry for K. It appeared that for 20 minutes K was trying to convey some basic concepts to Mrs. Jayakar and Mr. Patwardhan, two of his close associates.
(See “The Myth of ‘Nobody Got It’” originally published in my 2009 circular: www.rezamusic.com)
With one click the text of the discussion showed up:
IMHO, here’s the gist of the discussion:
K: I will tell you. The story of mankind is an endless movement. It had no beginning and no end. If you once grant that - right? It has no ending. But my brain being limited is looking for its ending. Right? So I am approaching the book with 'where is the end of all this?'
PJ: The search is for the ending.
K: Of course, of course. But to realize there is no end. You know what it means? Then you enter into something called love. Love has no end. I may love my wife, she dies, or I die, but the thing called love has no end. But I have identified myself with my wife and when she dies my love has gone - or I love somebody else, which then becomes pleasure and all the rest of it. I don't want enter into all that.
So how do I read the book? That's the question. How do I read the book? You don't read at all. Right? There is no book to read if you have come to that point.
PJ: Without coming to that point the other is...
K: You merely examine, analyse, change, move, change the chips in the same field. Right? When you have come to this really deep point that this book has no end and no beginning, which means you are that book. Not that you become eternal, which is dangerous again. But that life as this movement has no end, it is then the universe. Right? Then the cosmos is this whole thing.
Love has no end. It is so.
Unrelated to the above, here’s an interesting quote I just came upon, from a 1983 interview:
East West Journal: Has your teaching and your writing made a change?
K: With some, perhaps. I'm not looking to see if somebody's changed or not. It's like this: you give food to me and if I'm hungry I'll take it. And if I'm not, I look at it, smell it, say "it's very nice," and then wander off. Very few people are hungry for this kind of stuff. Buddha is supposed to have talked for forty years, and there were only two disciples who understood—Mogallana and Sariputtra— and they died before he did. There is the whole tragedy of existence.
We’re in a different époque, we have technology, we have literacy, and people and information can travel very fast. What seems to still hold true today is this subject of hunger and thirst for wisdom. Our civilization seems much more hungry for dollars, power and control, than wisdom, truth, love, and real peace which begins with each person.
On the subject of love having no end, it’s fascinating that “people and things that went before” (to quote John Lennon), when there was love – that love is still there – for example an old friend you haven’t talked for over a decade – that love is fresh as ever – of course things of the mind can get in between and thought can close doors “that was a long time ago” and shut out people just due to time, but in my life, an old friend is as new as a new friend, an old love is as fresh as a new love, because love doesn’t age, love doesn’t get old, and love doesn’t die.
Also it’s amazing that I find, years after leaving Orange, California, the place I stayed at for 12 years, there is so much love for the plants, the environment – I was in relationships with that eco system and there was love and there is love. I dream of that amazing pink plant behind the window, and the other plants, sometime. Luckily I contacted the current tenant and she sent me some pictures of my old friends, the flowers and plants. I wonder if the ants remember me ;-) we had a relationship, truly, and it worked. Even the ghosts next door learned to stay out, just like the ants.
Duncan Toms’ Website & Yoga
You know, some people are so like-minded, it’s so easy to see eye to eye on things, and specially if you’ve both delved into fundamental questions of living, if you both love the taste of truth, and refinement of the art of living. You may not meet that often. You are not Facebook friends but you’re real friends. And the friendship has no motive – it is its own motive – and it’s rooted in mutual understanding and sharing of values and insights, and affection.
Dear friend and staff member of KFT, Duncan Toms, maintains a very interesting personal site titled “Falling Awake”: http://dtoms.com/
Duncan also attended a yoga teacher training course, and like yours truly is a regular practitioner of this ancient art. He began teaching it at the Brockwood Park School:
A bit about the yoga course:
Last autumn I went to the Kripalu Centre (www.kripalu.org) in Massachusetts for one month's yoga teacher training. Kripalu is the biggest yoga centre in the USA and has an excellent reputation. The course leaders had decades of experience running the course and it showed, yet somehow was very fresh and inspirational. Rather than simply learning yoga and how to teach it, the idea was for an immersive, experiential course and from that deep understanding we teach.
Kripalu are big on 'meditation in motion', a listening within and allowing the body's own intelligence to guide movement into whatever is relevant now - a classical asana or a free-flowing dance or slow motion movement. There was a strong emphasis on awareness and listening within. I learnt the major postures in depth in the daily posture clinics and once a week we each did a practice teach. It was a wonderfully safe and supportive atmosphere in which to learn and very was intensive. Every day we began at 0630 and workshops often continued until 2100, meaning way more than 200 hours of learning within the four weeks.
With newfound yoga skills, building on 15 years of home practice, and increased confidence I taught my first class at Brockwood in the new year. I have never taught anything before in my life and just speaking in front of a group is a major challenge for me. I teach the kind of yoga I like to do at home, which means a fairly gentle and relaxing class. The class is in addition to the regular Brockwood yoga classes with Fazilla, and take place each Brockwood weekend, with a mix of students, staff and mature students attending and enjoying the chance to unwind and recharge a little.
Death of a Great Persian Painter & Freedom From The Known
Nami Petgar was a great Persian painter (as was his father). I visited his gallery in Noshahr last year and learned that he had passed away. His amazing paintings reflected the clarity of his mind.
Nami’s wife, Mercedeh Lesani, also an artist, translated the first K book to Persian, “Freedom from the known” and gave it a very appropriate Farsi title “Rahayee Az Daanestegi”. Many other translators of the same book and other books of K followed suit – about 50 books have been translated to Farsi and legally published in Iran.
Ali Asghar Gharebaghi wrote on Nami’s website:
“Since 1981 Nami Petgar has been acquainted with one of the prominent international figures of mysticism, J. Krishna Murti. From Murti he has learned a great deal about self-knowledge and artistic creation.”
[Editor’s note: Murti is not a separate part of the name Krishnamurti]
Incidentally, I had an email from an Afghan man living in Germany who was desperately looking for Freedom From The Known in Farsi for his father who doesn’t read in English or German but can read in Persian. I found a copy for him in a bookstore in Tehran. These books are becoming rare as republication of many titles of many authors are not allowed under the currently stricter rules. He wrote:
Again, thank you so much. Krishnamurti's book "Freedom of the known" is for me the most important book ever read. Thank you Reza again for your effort.
There is a brutal biography of Elvis Presley by Albert Goldman. In an attempt to prove how crazy Elvis was he lists some of the books that Elvis used to read. Amongst them is 'Commentaries On Living' by J. Krishnamurti!
Other favorite books of Elvis include The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, Autobiography of a Yogi, The Inner Life by Leadbeater; Esoteric Healing by Alice Bailey. Madame Blavatsky’s Voice of Silence which he “sometimes read from it onstage and was inspired by it to name his own gospel group, Voice”, according to the biography.
On Dissemination & Preservation
In the case of K’s work, there is no doctrine or belief system to propagate unlike so many systems that try to go door to door and disseminate their belief. K points out to a set of facts in life – they’re not his facts or my facts, but facts of living, for example, that psychologically, the observer is the observed – and seeing these facts brings a level of clarity and freedom to the mind which helps the person live a life in freedom from so many common psychological (and psychosomatic) pains. After seeing K for the first time, Deepak Chopra wrote:
Krishnamurti influenced me profoundly and helped me personally break through the confines of my own self-imposed restrictions to my freedom.
The roles of the foundation in terms of dissemination as I understand it is about publications, going to book shows, and arguably, organizing gatherings.
But the concept of “living it” also seems to hold true as a duty for the organizations and in this regards, they have sometimes fallen short, by very obvious measures. Philosophy is love of truth, and at least investigation of truth, but some K organizations have sometimes fallen for the common approaches of “shoot then ask”, polarizations, and other common (vs. noble) approaches to relating. By common, I mean these ways of relating are common in human organizations which involve politics and power play and control, and other cunning practices. This is not a norm but has happened which immediately raises the question of “are these people living the teachings”. Who is to judge? On that hand, it is fair to say that from the outside, looking at how these foundations operate, for the most part, they are sane, refined and fair, and any unfairness I suppose, “karmas itself out” :)
The foundations had worked hard at preserving K’s work. I suggest that they put some effort on a regular basis monitoring the internet sites which publish K’s work and sending notices when there’s a question of authenticity for example, or event providing authentic content to bootleg sites.
Notes from a recent visit to Ojai and a KFA gathering and related items.
KFA has gone through a hard time. They lost millions in speculative investments. I heard from a source quoting an ex-Trustee that K specifically asked them not to make speculative investments and one of the Trustees whom I knew when she was alive even asked K that this should be documented in writing and apparently it was. I have not seen it with my own eyes but the source seems reliable, and it does not come as a surprise since the foundation is non-profit and needs to be conservative in managing its assets.
So there was a big restructuring at the KFA from top to bottom. The top director laid off a lot of people, and now he has a different role, and at the top there is a financial advisor. They all have a keen interest in K’s work. They have some new trustees including one of Friedrich Grohe’s staff, and the core of the great trustees are still there, such as Frode Steen, Evelyn Blau, Tom Haagestaad, Derek Dodds, Karen Hesli, and Michael Mendizza.
At times, Krishnamurti did not have kind words for the KFA. He reportedly called it an idiotic foundation. I don’t know if he was fond of any of the organizations which were set up around him. He almost dissolved the Indian foundation. The foundations have come a long way and done some great work including the complete works project, ongoing digitization, and other things in line with the purpose of preservation and dissemination which they were set up to do. On the subject of dissemination it is noteworthy that living something is the best way of disseminating it.
For many years, KFA has hosted a brief gathering every May – a free event – where there were speakers and audio and/or video showing, and lunch available for purchase. A fairly simple gathering but a good one, and an opportunity for like-minded people to come together, for old friends to meet, and for new friendships to form around the important questions of living. At some point we started having a talent show, a participatory entertainment evening. It happened almost spontaneously one year and the following years it was a bit more organized, and it became a tradition. The ex-trustee and friend Erna Lillifelt recalled back then that many many years ago they used to have such entertainment evenings as well during the gatherings. I’ve played in these events numerous times alone and with other musicians. In this year’s gathering they were going to have an accomplished pianist give a concert.
On 6 March 2010 I wrote to the KFA pointing out the apparent contradiction and disarray in their organization of the May 2010 gathering. Here are some extracts from the letter.
“I am writing to you (and by copy to some other KFA trustees) in your position related to management, communications, and public relations of KFA. In my last 28 years of relating with KFA I've never seen a situation like this:
KFA sends a mass mail on 26 Jan 2010 announcing the May Gathering with details of the two days. Reservations were to be taken beginning March (though it was not clear if the reservations are for lunch or the event), according to the mailing.
A couple of weeks later, in February, KFA cancels this event on the website. A couple of weeks later, the event is still marked as canceled on the website but plans are in place to have part of the event go on and a lot of people are expected. KFA didn't do everything perfectly before but I've never seen such chaotic handling of an event.
The cancellation notice on the website states "The 2010 KFA gathering will be postponed to allow us more time to plan and implement a really good event."
The notice is not sent out to the general mailing so based on the January mailing people could still be making plans to come to a gathering which is technically canceled…
I don't know how many months it takes to "plan and implement a really good event". This could not have been the reason as stated. The reason has also been indicated as financial. That you did not have enough reservations. This just adds to the confusion. You did not give it more than two weeks to cancel the event so how could you have expected reservations by mid-February when you announced that people could register starting March (as per your January 26 mailing).
What has gone wrong? Why not have this event? Why financing the event is such a big deal? Why would you ever want to pay any speakers? Did K charge to speak? I don't think Dr. Krishna charges to speak either, and many would be happy to speak there without a charge, and the main point of the gathering is not to come to listen to a paid speaker anyway.
KFA’s been short on resources so that could explain what one insightful person put it as “very bad planning – they did not think it through”, but from the point of view of a professional project manager whose had to regularly deal with resource and time constraints, this appears purely as a management shortcoming. And then the explanations they were giving contradicted with each other a number of time. It was cancelled because two speakers cancelled. It was cancelled because people had not registered. It was cancelled in coordination with X while X was surprised it was cancelled :) talk about confusion… It also seems that a fully smooth transition from the past to the present administration had not yet occurred but I am sure it will.
While the gathering was marked as cancelled, on the same planned day, part of the events of the gathering were re-scheduled to happen. I think a week before the gathering KFA sent out a notice to people that there was an event that day, and the place was packed – I counted at least 80 people. So all the concerns about lack of reservations, fear of budgetary impacts of low attendance, lack of budget for speakers, and so on were unfounded.
The event happened and included Dr. K’s talk and Evelyne’s videos, and a “high tea” which I didn’t go (in the past they served unhealthy sweets). After Dr. K’s talk there was a Q&A session and then a few people talked about fund raising and money. Money, the new world’s God which has turned its back on KFA was cited as the reason for having cancelled the gathering. So I asked how much it costs to organize something like this. The response was, around $10,000. Why? Well, we have to rent chairs, pay for speakers’ travel, advertise. One of the key insiders wrote later:
i liked your comment at the end of the thing in pine cottage about why it cost 10000 to put on the gathering... That is only if you don't know how to do things cheaply...
I am happy there are a number of very trustworthy trustees in KFA now and they’ve got their fingers on that pulse!
On a couple of occasions, e.g. at lunch, people were calculating how much it would really cost to do this gathering, because people really care for it, it’s a really beautiful event, a gathering of friends, and a place to meet new friends, and many found it a pity that it was cancelled for financial reasons, and some were asking, how much donations are needed to get it going again. So the chairs cost a few hundred, the advertising would cost very little as it’s done mainly through an email blast and KFA’s website, and most importantly, the staff required to manage parking and so on could be done by volunteer, like it was done during K’s time.
Back then we were all volunteers. I worked in parking, watering the dust off, and so on. And there is no reason to fly speakers from far away distances, or to have paid speakers. There are several insightful folks locally who could do perfectly well, or it can even be done without speakers – in the past they played audios of K for example. A simple low-budget gathering would do.
And then they say: “we need one year to plan” the two day gathering. I could not believe my ears :) 10,000 and 1 year. This job can be organized within one or two months max with at most ½ of that budget, and this is a professional estimate!
The New Library
I was welcomed to the new library (Mary Z’s old house) by James Paul’s dog who jumped on me. James was on duty, as a volunteer I suppose, busy preparing something in the kitchen.
The library is beautiful. I had been there a number of times visiting Mary Z when she was alive. There’s a special quality of silence there. The original building was build in 1895. K’s bedroom and library are turned into a quiet room. But it does not have the same degree of aloofness which the quiet room at Brockwood Park has. At Brockwood the visitor is encouraged not to go in the quiet room to become quiet but to take quietness there with one…
The Closed Door
Outside, the air was filled with drunkening smell of orange blossoms on a cold April day. KFA used to have an open door. Now they have a closed door. Before, a visitor could walk in any time during business hours. Now the door was locked. We rang and the new director spoke with us through the half opened door. Things have changed. The place has had to downsize a lot. But they’re trying and doing their best which is what counts.
Should People Outside the Foundations Make Comments About the Work of the Foundation?
The obvious answer is yes -- KFA is a public entity and the public have the right to express opinions about it. Even if it was a private entity that right would still exist. At least one person within the foundation thinks differently. One of the people who worked closely around K (and some of those think they own K), had very strong feelings around a number of subjects which had led to his anger -- which is not something new as I had seen him angry many times before around different people and different subjects and in dialogues. I asked him to meet to at least communicate what was bothering him – that communication is essential otherwise we can make things up in our minds and assume they’re true (exactly as in this case) – and if there is attachment to those conclusions that by itself prohibits communications because the light of truth might dispel darkness, the light of understanding may dispel images, conclusions, and the egocentric predicament which was very much at work in this case. I asked a mutual friend to attend in order to facilitate and ensure it's a civil dialogue.
It turned out there were a number of illusory assumptions, egocentric conclusions and image that were made that if he had communicated them before, had sought to understand the other’s point of view, they'd gotten clarified a long time ago.
It is easy to wrongly assume things about other people based on not knowing certain facts that shape people's attitudes. For example, a man wanted to have sex with me but I am not homosexual and it was hard for him to understand how a straight person is not attracted to the same sex.
Sometimes the facts that shape people’s behaviors are the result of politicizing of situation by a sometimes highly political organization. Politicizing means to cause to become political in character, and in this case, as related to governance, possessiveness, and power play.
In writing these circulars I try to take the approach the foundation has at times failed to take: to seek truth vs. collective ignorance which is common in any organization, including those set up around K.
A highlight of the trip was the soccer games at Oak Grove School. It is the most “spiritually” enlightening experience in Ojai ;-)
The trip ended with a nice jam session with friends including a trustee and teacher. Thanks for the invitation.
Professor Krishna’s Talks & On Practically of The Teachings
At the gathering which finally happened after getting cancelled and rescheduled, Dr. K gave a talk followed by question & answers. KFA posted the talk online, but unfortunately not the Q&A which had important comments and questions by Michael Mendizza and others.
The subject of the talk was if K’s teachings are practical, and Dr. Krishna explored the question elegantly.
My immediate inward response to this question was, of course it is. It’s much more practical than Jung, Freud, and everybody else who proposes a method to heal minds, whereas K doesn’t even propose a method or system – he just encourages you to find truth for yourself and it is that truth which is very practical. Truth turn lives around.
Friedrich recalled, that K’s response to this question was, is what you’re doing practical ?!
This reminds me of another great response of K. A person asked if one person changing can make any difference in the world. He said: you do it and find out.
Not surprising at all, the myth of “nobody got it” came up again by a questioner. It always does. It’s the easy way out: if nobody got it, then I’m off the hook, I don’t have to look, to end my conflict, to live without fear, to pay attention and learn about the divisive limited movement of thought, and so on and on. And unfortunately, this topic has been propagated by some dialogue leaders and publications. There are differing views around this subject but the most credible, according to my research, coming from several trustees who were very close to K at the time this was said, and the context in which he said this, is that he referred to people around him (also see “The Myth of Nobody Got It” in my 2008 circular (www.rezamusic.com).
Professor Krishna also gave a series of wonderful talks at Ulrich Brugger’s world-class Ojai Retreat (*), in fact he stayed at the same wonderful room where we had stayed, overlooking the Oak Grove School.
The topic of his talks were “Living with insight”. I attended a few sessions and also was on a panel about insight and creativity. A gentleman said: “This was the most meaningful week in all this time since 1949”. I wonder if he had forgotten when K was around ;)
His talks were clear, rational, insightful, and a joy to listen to. I detected a new flavor in Dr. Krishna’s talks. He was referring to K having come to total freedom in a couple of talks. We spoke about this. This concept is sometimes used almost as a disclaimer to convey to the listener that the speaker has no claims of being an “enlightened being” etc., yet, on the other hand, such disclaimer might have the consequence of enforcing an already existing strong conditioning of putting K on a pedestal.
On July 27, 2010, I emailed Dr. Krishna asking if he would like to write something for this circular and for publication on my website, about a topic of his choice, and suggested perhaps something related to giving talks. He kindly wrote the following article (www.rezamusic.com).
It’s a fascinating account of why he gives talks, how it started, the challenges he faced, and so on.
Dr. K recalled: someone asked k, you give so many talks, what would you do if you didn’t feel like giving a talk. He said: if I don’t feel like giving a talk, I will not give it but it has never happened :)
(*) Ojai Retreat recently received the “2010 Talk of the Town Award for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction” by “Celebration Media U.S.”, and has consistently been on TripAdvisor’s top 1 or 2 positions where 100% of guests rated it as “excellent” or “very good”. Kudos to Ulrich Brugger and his team!
Her fine article “Brockwood – A Unique School” is available on my site (reprinted with permission www.rezamusic.com ):
The day I called her she had just returned from receiving her honorary Doctorate from University of Lancaster. Dear friend Bill Taylor explains it well in the Brockwood Observer:
… she was awarded a degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa. In his speech introducing Mary to the assembled dignitaries and students, Professor Jeffrey Richards explained that Mary had been selected for the award because of her contribution in two distinct fields: as one of Britain’s leading authorities on children’s literature and for her work over fifty years for the Krishnamurti Foundation.
PS – Our Mary is not the cooking teacher and author by the same name in France: www.marycadogan.com :-)
“ Reza has kindly asked me to "write a paragraph" re: my blog "WAKING UP TO ALZHEIMER'S" (See link below) : Briefly, it is divided into a series of subcategories which you will see listed on the title page . Two of them, "Memoirs of a Mediated Mind" and "Coming To your Senses: A Journey through the Mind Body Connection" contain extensive information about my long term relationships with Mr. J. Krishnamurti and Professor David Bohm. "Memoirs" begins in the early 70's and tells of how I first met Dr. Bohm through Krishnamurti, and "Coming To Your Senses" is about how, much of what I learned from them was later applied in practical terms many years later, when I was invited to work with a former high school classmate who had become a world-famous brain scientist. Thank You.
An Email To Dr. Reza Aslan
Dr. Reza Aslan is an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions.
20 May 2010
Dear Reza (Aslan):
I am listening to your discussions on CSPAN "debate on religion and reason". Very nice job in presenting your arguments most of which I agree with. One point appears differently to me: The conflicts between religious (or religiously divided national groups) is very much about identity. The root of such conflicts is a psychological one. The entity "me" is defined through identity with riches, position, belongings, tribalism, etc., which all give the me which is a fabricated entity put together as a bundle of memories, a sense of permanence and security. This process is problematic because conflict is logically inherent in any kind of division and division is the natural consequence of limitation which is the character of the instrument of identification, thought, because it is rooted in memory, knowledge, and experience which is limited, and also because it is a material process which by the very laws of physics is limited.
I saw an article about a new book published about Gandhi by the British historian, Jad Adams: “Gandhi: Naked Ambition”. Here’s an article about it: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gYJyGU-0rbgSJxdfDaPZuLG1lVZQ
K was reportedly not very fond of Gandhi. When told this story about Gandhi sleeping with young girls to test his abstinence K reportedly said: “poor girls, he was obsessed”.
In an interview with Catherine Ingram and Leonard Jacobs, K said this about Gandhi:
He was a very violent man. They're trying to make a saint out of him as the only man who was helping India to be free, which isn't true. There were hundreds. Annie Besant was one. She worked for forty years helping the country to be free. She is never mentioned. It's all so lopsided….
Dear friend Professor P. Krishna gave the following talk at the Gandhian Institute of Studies in Varanasi on 8.1.1996, titled “Krishnamurti and Gandhi”: http://www.pkrishna.org/K-Gandhi.html
A new Swiss documentary on the life of Rajneesh shows what a fraudster he was. I wrote a review on the movie which is on my website www.rezamusic.com. The review has had a lot of visitors. Google finds it as number 2 out of 288,000 search results after Wikipedia (query “Review documentary Bhagwan Rajneesh Osho” or “Review documentary Rajneesh”).
Here’s the review which outlines how this so called religious man was convicted of a crime and deported, and his secretary imprisoned and the mess they made in the name of spirituality (www.rezamusic.com).
I also wrote an article about Osho’s work in relationship to K’s – this is not a scholarly contrast and comparison but just some notes made while writing this circular (www.rezamusic.com).
I remember Rajneesh followers used to come to K’s talks in their colorful purple and red outfits and hippy looks. They were fond of K. Years later I read an article by Christopher Calder in which he wrote:
Listening to J. Krishnamurti speak was like eating a sandwich made of bread and sand. I found the best way to enjoy his talks was to completely ignore his words and quietly absorb his presence. Using that technique I would become so expanded after a lecture that I could barely talk for hours afterwards. J. Krishnamurti, while fully enlightened and uniquely lovable, will be recorded in history as a teacher with very poor verbal communication skills. Unlike the highly eloquent Rajneesh, however, J. Krishnamurti never committed any crime, never pretended to be more than he was, and he never used other human beings selfishly.
Osho was deported from the US as a convicted criminal. And the above paragraph is perhaps also the story of many K followers who are still going to gatherings. I have wondered if after 30 years of being glued to the stage, and now the video tapes, why is it that some are so confused about the very basics of his teachings (this is not a judgment but their own admission). Now I know. It’s perhaps because as Calder puts it, they listened to his voice but not to his words.
This subject reminds me of a discussion in evolutionary psychology where theoretically in their first interactions some men and women who are attracted to each other might think as follows: the woman thinks ‘what will my child look like’, and the man thinks ‘how can I get her to bed’. Osho misled a lot of people around the subject of sex.
In K circles, the communities have had their own share of this subject but handled it very well and nothing compared to the extreme nature of Osho’s decadent communes. I witnessed this subject most common in summer gatherings where people go in wonderful nature away from family and daily problems and meet others. I’ve suffered enough around this subject by the problems created out of mainly jealousy. K gave a good tip years ago during one of the summer camps. He said, don’t fall in love with each others’ wife or husband. That is so profound and it eliminates so many problems, and it is a principle that I’ve always lived by: stay away from married women.
On the subject of listening, intelligence is to listen not just to words but the silence between the words, not just the lines but also between the lines. The folks that Calder mentions only listen to sound of the lines and not to the lines themselves or what’s between the lines.
There is a lot of material on Osho in relationship to K but it’s not worth spending any time on. He apparently said K says what he says and K said it’s the other way.
There are many websites that have articles in which Osho talks about K. He praises K, and he criticizes K, and he completely distorts K’s message in his silly interpretations. For the most part the articles are pretty much drivel. They kind of remind me of UG Krishnamurti’s drivel. There is a big market today for drivel, nonsense, ‘spiritual’ entertainment.
There are better K copycats out there. Some have obviously integrated deeper truths in their lives. The best-selling author Eckhart Tolle learned a lot of his extremely successful teaching from J. Krishnamurti. And Osho’s books still sell very well. There are many others who pick a little piece of truth and market it well and make millions off gullible people. I have a couple of articles in the pipeline about two such cases. People prefer more superficial material than deeper. Deeper material takes more work, more diligence, more understanding.
Rajneesh was a great businessman. It is disconcerting to see that some people move up in the K circles by a shrewd strategy. What always works is the weakness Westerners have for Easterners.
To end this section, here are a few lines from Julian Lee, a former follower of Osho:
"Thousands of sincere western seekers were misled and harmed by the novel teachings of Osho. I have seen many of them in the aftermath. They always lack the satvic glow that comes from yogic sex restraint; they look like spent rakes aged well beyond their actual years. Even in their age -- when they might show some spiritual attainment -- many still crave sex, and all the ordinary base things. Despite Osho's "indulgence technique," they never got over sex addiction and lust.”
"Rajneesh/Osho is the worst thing that ever happened to spirituality in the west. He rode herd over a mob of naive, idealistic spiritual seekers”
“Osho was basically a kind of pimp who used the base desires of average people, along with their beautiful hunger for real spirituality, to build a financial empire and a following of worshippers who would do whatever he asked.”
"The saddest thing is what happened to all those children of Osho followers. Osho wanted them to grow up not knowing who their Fathers were; raised by a mob, with no particular person as Parent. I can't think of anything much more ignorant, or more cruel. Krishnamurti was right: Osho was a criminal."
K as a Political Philosopher?
An ex-Brockwood student, Kenichi R. Lynch wrote:
im based in valencia spain and im working on a political philosophy book on krishnamurti. im going to india (to stay at visanta vihar in chennai) to do some archival research in a few weeks time...
i think K's insights anticipate the post-modern and post-secular thinkers i hope to compare him with. in short, i intend to argue that not only can K be seen as a political philosopher (rather than only a religious one) but also that he may be the currently unacknowledged architect of these dominant philosophical trends...
of course, the whole point is to showcase K more openly by putting him into the political science curriculum so that when people discuss war and peace they will be able to think outside the horribly small box political science is in at present. i hope to make K relevant to more readers who otherwise might not find him significant in world changing ways...
wish me luck
ps i was also a student at brockwood way back in 1988...in a way, i think im now in a position from having studied philosophy for so many years to make that experience more intelligible to myself and to others...and i was glad to read your notes as you seem similarly inspired...cheers
Kenichi’s Contact invitation:
Anyone interested the study of international relations and K's relations with it should get in touch with me.
K’s Notebook: Last Chapters
Just finished reading the 2003 (full text) edition of K’s Notebook. The last chapters from March 1962 are especially marvelous and powerful (www.rezamusic.com).
Extracts from Krishnamurti’s Notebook
Published by KFT – 2003 – Full Text Edition
13 Mar 1962
You went with the sun, far away; you didn’t withdraw you just went away, not knowing where; if you withdrew, you would come back, now or later, and then you would repeat the whole weary cycle again, endlessly. Your withdrawal bred callousness and the agony of despair. Don’t ever withdraw or isolate yourself; don’t retreat into corrupting family or into the dead ashes of ideas, beliefs and the cheap gods of your mind. There is no love there. But if you just went away, not knowing where, not planned, not cunningly plotted out, then you can walk in that filthy street, with dead men and you would know love. As you walked, pushed around by cars and people, you would meditate, with delight; then meditation became an ecstasy, a movement of infinite tenderness and you held the hand of a passing child. Then you would give the garland of fragrant jasmine that had just been given to you to that passing beggar and you would see his immense surprise and delight. Then you would know that the everlasting was always there, round every corner, under that dead leaf and the fallen flower. The man ahead of you was smoking a strong cigarette and the brown eagles had stopped circling in the sky.
7 March 1962
You should never be here too much; be so far away that they can’t find you, they can’t get at you to shape, to mould. Be so far away, like the mountains, like the unpolluted air; be so far away that you have no parents, no relations, no family, no country; be so far away that you don’t know even where you are. Don’t let them find you; don’t come into contact with them too closely. Keep far away where even you can’t find yourself; keep a distance which can never be crossed over; keep a passage open always through which no one can come. Don’t shut the door for there is no door, only an open, endless passage; if you shut any door, they will be very close to you, then you are lost. Keep far away where their breath can’t reach you and their breath travels very far and very deeply; don’t get contaminated by them, by their word, by their gesture, by their great knowledge; they have great knowledge but be far away from them where even you cannot find yourself. For they are waiting for you, at every corner, in every house to shape you, to mould you, to tear you to pieces and then put you together in their own image. Their gods, the little ones and the big ones, are the images of themselves, carved by their own mind or by their own hands. They are waiting for you, the churchman and the Communist, the believer and the non-believer, for they are both the same; they think they are different but they are not for they both brainwash you, till you are of them, till you repeat their words, till you worship their saints, the ancient and the recent; they have armies for their gods and for their countries and they are experts in killing. Keep far away but they are waiting for you, the educator and the businessman; one trains you for the others to conform to the demands of their society, which is a deadly thing;** they will make you into a scientist, into an engineer, into an expert of almost anything from cooking to architecture to philosophy. Keep far, far away; they are waiting for you, the politician and the reformer; the one drags you down into the gutter and then the other reforms you; they juggle with words and you will be lost in their wilderness. Keep far away; they are waiting for you, the experts in god and the bomb throwers: the one will convince you and the other [show you] how to kill; there are so many ways to find god and so many, many ways to kill. But besides all these, there are hoards of others to tell you what to do and what not to do; keep away from all of them,
** They have a thing called society and family: these two are their real gods, the net in which you will be entangled. [Krishnamurti’s insertion.]
11 Mar 1962
But everywhere there were the desperately poor, lean, hungry; and the polished cars went by and the people in there were sad too. Their day was over, never to return; they had money and nothing else. You never saw anything so utterly innocent; she was lying on her back; you could just see the whole delicate line of her and she was almost touching the water; it was a stroke of light of the very young, new moon, appearing for the first time in a cloudless sky. You never saw her before, though you had seen her a thousand times; it was so innocent that you in that crowded noisy street were made innocent. You were innocent, without striving, without thought; everything about you was new, you had never seen them before. Your eyes were washed clean and you had not a spot in your heart; you were so far away that nothing could touch you. You could never be polluted again for there was no again; there was no in the meantime; there was no past or future; there was only that vast empty space of now, of innocency whose immensity was blessedness. It was a benediction and you couldn’t carry another to it, even though you loved. There was no saviour, no teacher could bring you to it; you have to abandon them and get lost where your thought couldn’t find you. It was the innocency of complete aloneness, not a thing that you had carefully carved out of life, a corner of self-immolated isolation. You were not alone, for you were where experience could not reach you. You did not know it was aloneness; you were not aware of anything but there was that immense innocency in that nothingness. It was the innocence of all energy and life and if you ever came there casually, and it must always be casual never determined, then you would be in an ecstasy that had no reason and no death. The long line of cars honked behind you, and in front of you a political meeting was going on, on the beach, and the bellowing voice of the politician, through the loudspeaker, came to you. The new moon was below the sea.
March 19 1962 - The last journal entry.
We were flying at 32,000 feet; the endless clouds were far below us and the clear, spotless blue sky above; the sun was coming out of the clouds, dazzlingly white. There wasn’t a break in them and they stretched from continent to continent; they were over the desert, sea and islands and at that height the sky was of intense blue; from the earth, from the mountains, you never saw such blue; it was so solid that you could cut it and keep it in your pocket and the horizon was white where the blue met. From a deep valley or from a high mountain sometimes you saw the blue of the sky, but it was never like this. It filled your eyes and carried you very far, beyond the measure of time. The plane wasn’t crowded yet, probably, it would fill up at the next landing, so you had the next two seats to yourself. There was the roar of those jets and it wasn’t too noisy, you could hear the conversation of those ladies, seated across the aisle. But there was silence. Amidst all that chatter and roar, it was there as clear and spotless as the blue sky. You were aware of it not as an observer [of] something to be experienced and put away into endless memory; you could not think about it, there was no time; it was there with such intensity that there was no experiencing of it. Out of this silence, suddenly and unexpectedly, there was that immensity. Your whole being became utterly still, without a thought, without a feeling; there was that unapproachable strength that was not put together by man. It was the strength that nothing could penetrate and so utterly vulnerable. And there was that strange intensity which no will or passion could conjure up. They were not separate things, the immense, that impenetrable strength and intensity; they were inseparable, never to be broken up, like death and love and creation. Your brain could not grasp the vastness, the majesty of it; it had become still, many centuries ago, before you came aboard the plane when they were playing some light music; out of the humid heat of the night, you came in and instantly were lost, many, many centuries ago, only an hour ago or perhaps a little more. You sat there motionless and totally lost and you would never be back completely. Three hours passed and you thought you had just got in and they were telling you to fasten your belt. And the two seats next to you were taken by a man and woman. And again we were in the blue sky, innocent and spotless, and that immensity was there. No man or god could disturb it and your mind and heart were of it, past belief and past beyond all time. Such a thing should happen in such a place! The man was smoking and it was in your face; the baby across the aisle was crying in breathless sobs, there was no milk and the mother couldn’t quieten it; the strain of it all was beginning to tell on the mother. The hostesses came and took the baby away, to clean it up, to quieten it and now the mother began to cry. The roar of the jets changed and we were coming down to land again. There was a river and green fields; the river was like a snake winding in and out through the fields and the fields were like men’s mind, all broken up, divided; the property of each owner. And beyond was the sea, blue, rough and incredibly alive. And there were the hills and the islands.
*** THE END ***