Various circulars, writings related to J. Krishnamurti's work - by Reza Ganjavi
Another Summer Mountain Gathering
by Reza Ganjavi, June 15, 2000
"Please don't make this place into a resort - something you come to for 10 days and make a - you know, all the rest of it. Please don't do it. There are other places where you can have much better time." K at Brockwood.
I find this quote interesting as it relates to Saanen - it is just interesting that Saanen is a mixture of many things to many people - and there's nothing wrong with that. It is a fact that some people come there for holidays only - take some Brockwood staff for example - and it does not mean they're not serious
It is perhaps impossible to judge anyway if someone is serious or not. If someone spends the whole day in front of the television maybe we can say he's not serious - but then again he might be! So that judgment is out. Is it out? Do I not judge others as not being serious? In technical areas yes - I could tell when someone is not a serious student of the guitar. But psychologically, it is difficult. It's not my business anyway.
Can I similarly say someone is not a serious student of K or life? K perhaps, life, not. K perhaps, only in technical terms. He himself would get uneasy when people had not gone into what he had already covered. He covered a lot. In a discussion it becomes apparent if certain ground has not been covered by a party - basic subjects such as attention vs. concentration, observer&observed, etc. If they had already covered that ground it was easier to travel further. I've run into it sometimes. I once met a lady who had been around the K world for decades. She said she had no clue what this whole business of the observer&observed was and had concluded that K had talked nonsense! Is she serious? Not!
...words can only arrive at the frontier of the indescribable.
Another Summer Mountain Gathering
By Reza Ganjavi
Spontaneous Summary Report of the Mountain Gathering for “Young People” – 2003
If one may use subjective measurement, this year’s gathering was by far the best “young people” gathering we’ve had since we started it in 1994. Back then we specified the age at under or around 30. It was funny to see that this year the organizers had raised the age limit to under or around 40. In 20 years, I am sure (joking) many 60 year old young-at-heart-and-mind will attend!
Being reluctant to make conclusions, I can say that one major reason for this difference in intensity and quality was the venue. This year it was held in Gisele’s childhood home in a remote, charming village near the border of Italy and Switzerland at the elevation of 1600 meters – so small that the church-bells are still manually rang at 6:20 and it is still believed that cleaning is a woman’s job!
It’s unlikely that any of the participants visited the dead local pub vs. the plenty of entertainment which were available previous years; last 2 years for example, many people were visiting the local pubs nightly. This year instead, the energy was spent differently. Also being in a charming old home enhanced the ambience. Last year someone complained that the hotel had ghosts. I wasn’t there long enough to notice and deal with them but this year I am sure she was happier :-)
Another important factor was the presence of at least a few people whom I would humbly call serious students. Rob even took his book on the 7-hour-return walk to the mountain hut where Gisele’s father was the warden of – and where he died. [A picture of him is on the wall. The best of “directions” as an Alexander Technique practitioner would put it – erect, joyful, and like most of the other villagers here, honest, simple, and far from big city’s moral and environmental pollutions. We had a few villagers visit one of our concert evenings and they surely radiated the same qualities.
Last but not least, an important factor in the intensity of the gathering was the individual growth which you can not help but notice in some old friends, and of course, the presence of new faces.
I was there for the latter half of the program – but three nights was plenty of time to get to “know” the new people and renew contact with old friends. Upon arrival, Astrid, the amazingly powerful project manager who can get anyone to do any task with her gentle voice, innocent laughter, and radiant eyes, handed me a box of apples and a knife. James, an interpreter friend of Astrid was a sheer joy. We had 18 people altogether and I don’t want to review everyone. One of many factors of my motivation to go was meeting Ali, a newcomer from Turkey who is starting a retreat centre (and happens to be a business executive). We hit it off well though he did not understand most of the words of the Turkish (Azari dialect) partly sing-along song which I performed on the drums. We had a customary classical Indian singing night with Gopal. Other activities included hikes with Gary, and yoga for too few interested people.
Back to Rob, I jokingly told him, “Rob, you always have a quote in your pocket, read us one”. Sure enough he had an excerpt from TOTT – in his pocket - which he read to us. There was abundance of “magic”, miracles, if I may use that word loosely, in living together with the right intensions. One such event was the work of Gopal, a.k.a. the “kitchen magician” in preparation of the Indian food, surely, a Darshan of its own right.
We had good dialogues, video showings, after-supper discussion about the world situation and our responsibility, etc.. A couple of Gisele’s wise remarks are now on www.rezamusic.com's quotes section.
Last night, after most people had left, while discussing secrets of life, we had a spontaneous hilarious evening of nonstop laughter with Ariel as the chief comedian, Rob, Astrid, Gisele, Isabelle and Sylvain. Speaking of Ariel, I must mention his virtuoso, violin playing and his 200 year old violin of amazing sound.
A lot of self-learning came about, I am absolutely sure, for many people, and the important thing was the ambiance of love, right relationship, openness, non-gossip (hopefully, despite certain tendencies), orderly communication, cooperation (e.g. in cooking and cleaning) and this was a special quality of space in a world which is full of cunningness, conflict, and brutality.
Further detail journal is available for discussion if interested but for now it’s archived as well as the journal for the preceding two weeks at the general gathering in Saanenland which will be edited for web-publishing if some day time permits.
ps -- the distribution list is a spontaneous scan of one's address list for teachers, staff & trustees…
August 2003, by Reza Ganjavi
It was nice being with you -- I always had a special affection for you since we first met -- I viewed you then, and still, as a no-nonsense guy.
I do not have a problem with Krishnamurti when it comes to consistency. Some people criticize him for being inconsistent - the extreme case being the harsh woman who wrote that silly book. You see, us humans have a habit of god-making. We’re good at idolizing, creating authorities, following, because it is easy, safe, secure. On the other side of the coin we shoot down the idol we made. But my approach to K is not as such. He was not a god. He was extremely intelligent. You say that he was an avatar based on your sensible, intelligent definition of an avatar. His beauty was that he was a human. To be human is so important. This was a factor in how he could speak so well about the human condition. The cosmos may seem inconsistent and chaotic but there is great order in how the stars are moving.
Krishnamurti’s teaching were extremely important both to the well being of the person and the world. He has tremendous insights on holistic (psychological & physical) health, healing of the mind, and the root of the ills of the world. He argues that the world is in such a chaos because hearts are empty of love. He points out what prevents the rule of love: overemphasis of the intellect, thought’s limitations, and so on. In this and many other aspects K’s teachings are incredibly important.
Some prominent academics have a problem with K in ways that I can sympathize because I’ve gone through the academic curriculums of philosophy and sciences. I also sympathize with K because I believe he had to use an extreme, absolutist, non-compromising approach/language because he had to convey some points which are so critical, yet, uncommon, against habits, and therefore difficult to get across, to humanity.
In my mind, one of the greatest statements he ever made was: “do not follow me”. This has much greater implications than just verbal. The human tendency is to follow. You can see it in the dialogues we had: Madam X asks you to do it for her and explain what K meant by such and such. You can explain your understanding of it, but she will take it just as she takes what K says. In the verbal level one if doesn’t follow because he says don’t follow, that’s also following!
To truly not follow him is the real spirit of K’s teachings: in every talk he encouraged the listener to examine and doubt. To my ears, he is saying: I have to take the approach I do because I am trying to point to America to someone who’s never been there: can you imagine how Christopher Columbus had to do that? And he is saying: you don’t have to take the same approach: expand on it, take it further.
When I suggested in the dialogue that K’s teachings can be taken further, I was looked at as a zombie “how could you think that?”. Would he have not taken it further if he had been alive? I bet he would be talking with scientists about the impacts of the internet on our lives and so on. Yes, the core of the teachings have remained the same for decades since they matured but until his last days he had fresh new insights.
To reiterate, I could not say how fond of his work I am - it’s had a tremendous impact in my life and relationships and work and art and you name it. However, I understand the frustrations that the academics feel, as I know some others in the foundations do as well, and I examine his remarks in a critical light (which is very much in line with his teachings anyway). I have found out the truth of many of what he points to. And I also have found out new things.
In our discussions, you effectively agreed that his statement that “all thought is based on the past” is not necessarily so. An insight, a new creative idea, is eventually (in nanoseconds or less) translated and manifested through thought - so that thought was not based on the past - its components (e.g. words) were based on past. I am not nitpicking, just pointing out the difficulties I’ve faced in discussing K with academics and so on. So I use the words: “most - or almost all -- thought is based on the past” - and this is very easily seen by the subject. When you say “all”, it is different…in computer science, we need to test extreme cases and boundaries to verify logic… having said that I find it interesting where K refers to the logic of the river.
Another area in which I believe K was taking an absolutist position in order to convey a point was with regards to organized religion. I have known people, e.g. my grandmother and my father [not to mention my mother, who continually amazes me at her level of "spirituality" -- she is what I call a pragmatist spiritual person who lives in connection with natural laws without a trace of fanaticism in her mind], whom I would call good Moslems in the sense that they did their daily prayers, and so on, who lived an intelligent, happy life, with no divisive, broken up position against any persons of other religions. Yes, it’s clear that when you talk about fanatics, they believe that their way is the only way and they’re ready to die for their belief. But not all Moslems, Christians, Zoroasterians, Hindus and Jews are like that, and moreover, their religion, however philosophically separating it might be, enriched their lives in some ways. Some of the people whose work has been very close to K’s (in fact K even said that other people had had similar teachings), such as Rumi (Molavi), belonged to an organized religion. Organized religion becomes dangerous when it organizes terror - materially or psychologically.
To have a learning mind is the key and real challenge in light of the strength of psycho-somatic habits and conditionings. K's work sheds so much light on this subject through his discourse on the significance of observing what-is and the art of observation itself.
ps -- I fully understand your point about learning from him, as we learn from each other, to be non-compromising. I do not think one should compromise, but there is a right place for making concessions.
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