Krishnamurti vs. me

NOTICE 07.02020: This was written in 02009 , my viewpoints may have evolved significantly :).
For a long time, i thought of keeping the following information to myself.
After a close second look, i figured it would be better to throw it all out and get it over with, even though this may lead to some controversy and misunderstanding.

The people who are familiar with the teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti clearly see a lot of similarities between his and mine, and that is not a coincidence.
The fact: reading and listening to J. Krishnamurti’s words helped me a great deal in getting insight into my own life and the world as it is, despite some of his outdated and downright wrong views.

Frankly, most of Krishnamurti’s discourses still stand today and i have no intention of repeating, recuperating or reinterpreting them, but there is still a lot to dig deeper into, to clarify, and to reformulate in the context of today’s affairs. Sometimes i think we’re not far from “Krishnamurtism” being established by the people who continue to preserve and republish his teachings all over the world. I find it very disturbing and kind of sad that apparently nobody set forth his work like i am doing, or rather, trying to do. Either nobody bothered to get dirty and/or managed to plow through the confusion or maybe i am just plain crazy to put my limited time and energy into the furthering of his meditations.

My hesitation to mention his name has to do with keeping my own unnoteworthy public image “clean” and this icon creating business around his figure, which he hated for sure. For this reason, i am not putting up clear pictures of the man, they only distract. If you really want to know more about him, search online for transcripts, or check YouTube, there is a lot of footage available.

To put things a little more in perspective, on my own path to insight, there were three authors that stood out for me: Henry Rollins (dead honest acceptance of one’s darkest thoughts), Friedrich Nietzsche (the killing of God and the will to move beyond) and, last but not least, Jiddu Krishnamurti (the anti-belief anti-authority anti-guru who traveled the world, out to incite a radical psychological transformation in anybody who cared to listen). Also worth mentioning: any dissonant voice i encountered that had some meaningful, enlightening things to say has contributed to my world view, and eventually my non-world view*, the embracing of emptiness. Certain comedians, scientists, artists and their works, crazy politicians, …, anybody touching upon something profound can be of “use”. Every once in a while they get some media attention, and as an effect, some of the truth seeps through occasionally, which can be very therapeutic in my opinion.

Still, no one can touch the energy and plain truthfulness of Krishnamurti’s words. His harshness and intensity discomforts a lot of people, but that’s what i like about him and what fired me up, and i am quite positive that there are no “soft” paths to truth.
Anyway, i shall continue by pointing out the main differences between K’s teachings and mine, to explain what i deem is necessary now and why i continue doing this ontoscopy written meditation thing.

1) K’s hypocrisy and personal biases
Due to his personal background, the severe Theosophical indoctrination with a lot of unnatural circumstances and childhood traumas, Krishnamurti kept a few bizarre idiosyncrasies, despite his renouncement of his past.
He fervently disliked any kind of authority but at the same time he felt absolutely infallible during a lot of his conversations, as if he was the only one who saw or had touched truth.
He considered himself an extraordinary being, which he was of course in several aspects, but he took it very far, seeing himself as the “World Teacher”, fortified by his entourage of course, and this created a large gap between him and the rest of the world, and it undermines many of his statements. Offstage he could also be quite different than who he insinuated to be in public, which of course does not tear down the whole of his discourses, but it makes one seriously doubt and wonder.
There is no way of comparing. My own upbringing was fairly calm, no traumas, no breathtaking stories. An atheist education, some artistic aspirations, a skeptical mind that tried to think its way through the trenches of solitude and alienation, and most of that has been left behind for good. There will still be unconscious biases in my thinking, and i strongly encourage you to point them out whenever possible.
There is nothing special about me. I only stand out in this day and age because the majority of mankind is caught in the illusions they lock themselves and others into. Anyone who is serious, self-critical and willing to put time, patience and effort into it can become much more aware and, with a little bit of luck, (s)he can move beyond psychological suffering. I still have some fucked up ways, i am far from a saint, but that is not the point. Laying bare the senselessness and the insanity makes one move away from it, but no one is absolutely free from aggression or illusion in an aggressive and illusion-fueled world. It’s up to us to get out of the trap, on all levels, not only psychologically (our messed up consciousness remains of course the root cause of most worldly misery).

2) Benevolent advances in psychology and neurology
One cannot deny some of the helpful insights psychology and neurology have given us. Since Freud, a lot has changed, some theories and methods have become much more realistic and successful. While it is still true that psychologists and psychotherapists can do a lot of harm, primarily because they themselves are still insane and most of them try to conform their patients to society’s insanity according to the rules they have learned, some have done some very important work. K failed to acknowledge this, or he trivialized it.
Ironically, he put a lot of emphasis on knowing and observing the self, which sounds a lot like cognitive therapy, and nowadays even mindfulness is seriously studied as a means to treat anxiety and other psychological dysfunctions. This can only be encouraged. Science alone is not the way to paradise, but it can prove very useful.
I am not too fond of most psychotherapists either, but there are exceptions, perhaps many more than i know of.

3) Difference in tone
I do not like to sound condescending. I do have a similar hard and dry approach with an occasional bit of humor, but i try to answer in more concrete terms instead of beating around the bush like Krishnamurti sometimes did. This is not always possible however, and i know a lot of people criticize K and other mystics for staying too vague and answering back with questions, but in many cases, there is no other way. There are no real solutions to our psychological problems, it is mainly a matter of asking the right questions and digging deeply into them, of seeing the intricacies of the whole for ourselves.

4) Subtle and larger differences in interpreting things
A big problem with most mystics, even the most sincere, is their interpretation of everything they have experienced and the projection they make out of their personal path to reach the end of suffering. Notions of existing religions may slip in, some things may get overlooked or considered unimportant, they may still be caught deeply into complex self-delusions, …
Krishnamurti is probably one of the most “clean” in this respect, being very radical and suspicious of any illusion, but he had his flaws too. I’ll give you an example.
K largely proposed his transformation of the mind as an all-or-nothing, immediate transition, and in my view this is true to some extent, though it can go other ways and it most definitely does not end there. Things are not as simple as he frequently put forward. Insights can come over time, piece by piece, extraordinary states may be experienced, things can be wrongly interpreted and new illusions may get installed inside your mind, etc etc. Constant awareness, wakefulness, is the key, which he relentlessly stressed, and i second him on that totally, but he shouldn’t have oversimplified and only regard the absolute, as some permanent state. The way i see it enlightenment is a movement, an ongoing process, of both the individual and the group, reflected in the interactions, which is the only indicator of value.
More of this and other nuances i will nail down later.

5) The age and time difference
Quite naturally, as a 29 year old, it is impossible to yet have grasped all of the depth the K-man plunged into during over 70 years or so. He commented on the 20st century, now we’re in the 21st. Not that a whole lot has changed fundamentally, but language and culture evolve, so the commentaries need to be updated as well, to keep them vibrant and relevant. Furthermore, i still have other activities besides this destroying of the false and the discovery of meaning. Maybe it will become more prominent in the years ahead, idunno, it depends.
(For those who wish to know, i have no idea where my life is going at the moment. I have great doubts about getting into the spotlight, but probably i will not have a choice. As long is can control the integrity of what i am doing and trying to say, it should be possible to work some things out.)
I still read some of Krishnamurti’s thoughts from time to time, to keep me sharp and to inspire me (just like he secretly read Buddha).
You could call me a “student” or “pupil” of, but certainly not a follower, and i am definitely much more a student of life and the mind than anything else. I regularly had to “kill” Krishnamurti to move further inside my mind.
I advise you to do the same with my words. It is an absolute necessity to move beyond them, to become free of them and face the essential questions with a clear mind.

6) Openness
K was completely opposed to referring to other teachings. I mostly prefer to do the same, but, on the other hand, it narrows down the dialogue, as if it all has to come from one man initially. In the end, the reader, who most likely consults other literature, always has the last word, and the goal is to get as wide and open as possible, despite all the unclarities, contradictions and half truths inside any form of communication. Of course, it is much easier to track down the mistakes of one musician playing solo than those of a full orchestra.
The last few years i have been putting a lot of time and effort in integrating insights from other fields into my global understanding, my teachings, which should become apparent soon, without going into complex, intellectual talk. To understand the self one does not need to have had a long education or have read a lot of books. Most intellectuals just get better at deceiving themselves by clinging to all sorts of philosophies and complex theories.
Maximum simplicity and depth are my constant concern, and i still have a lot of work to do in that direction.

There are trustworthy, valuable sources of wisdom out and in there.
In recent years i have read some very truthful and insightful texts by Osho for example (yes, he did some very nasty things, he lied a lot, but the man deserves some credit for his intelligence and his poetic and playful views), by Gautama Buddha, a couple of Zen masters (the Hsin Hsin Ming is a gem, also the 2 booklets by Shunryu Suzuki), the ancient Taoists like Lieh Tzu and Chuang Tzu, the challenging views of quantum physicist David Bohm, contemporary voices such as Charles Tart, Shinzen Young,…
You can also go out in nature, watch how life unfolds, outside and inside yourself. If you observe closely and without judgment, you will learn tremendously.

That’s about it. More will probably come up as i move further, and my approach will probably change in many ways in the years to come, we’ll see.
I hope i got my point across.
As always, feel free to ask questions.
This is mostly about you, about us, not about me or a dead man called Krishnamurti.

(*: Sorry for these recurring paradoxes. This is no deliberate mumbo jumbo or esoteric guru wordplay, they are simply necessary to go beyond the known, to address the limitations and pitfalls of language. Once you see, you’ll understand.)

11 thoughts on “Krishnamurti vs. me”

  1. Hi man, nice little piece of writing you did there.
    I was wondering if you would give me some hints on books that follow in the path of hsin hsin ming, freedom from the known and such.

    Not just author's but actual titles of books that has inspired you?


  2. K always told everyone to never 'accept' what he was saying. He never even referred to himself as 'I'… I have studied K in depth, and I have never seen one indication where he thought of himself as an extraordinary being – if you are going to say that, you should at least, I think provide proof in the actual text. He was told by others that he would be the World Teacher, he never told himself this. Then the plan changed…
    You say that offstage he could be different – well also it would be helpful to see some anecdotes/evidence, because I have never come across this….

    But also, why would it matter anyway whether he saw himself like that, isnt it more important to focus on whether what he is saying is true for ourselves? Also, what is the point of criticising him at all?

    You talk about we have to move beyond suffering. We dont have to move beyond anything… Who is the one that wants to move away?

    However, I find that it is true that many of the things K has appeared to reject, have helped me in my spiritual path – so this is some conflict that I struggle to understand. I found that some types of meditation and faith, has allowed me to access the energy of love for example. But K talked against this and scoffed/laughed at it – so I dont understand the conflict here of what he has said and my own experience. I am still mulling over this thing… But I dont criticise, I can only say my own experience. Everyone has different things that will work for them to move forward in that moment, it is not right, it seems to me, to say that everyone must follow one approach to enlightenment.

    1. Hi Camilla,

      I just remarked that i never responded to your comments, sorry about that….
      There are two critical biographies out there, i am not making things up…

      I don't like these analyses of who is the "me" or the "ego", it usually leads nowhere. Words (including mine) are just pointers, to reflect and ponder.

      Criticism is crucial to facilitate change, a lot of people idolize K and his words, while they are an indication at most.

      After all these years, i stumbled upon this conversation:

      K: He is referring to me, sir, leave me. I may be a biological freak …"

      I had another dialogue in mind when i wrote the above piece, perhaps i will find it back one day, but K's suggestion here does leave one wondering, no…? 🙂

  3. It is undeniable that Krishnamurti saw himself as an extraordinary being, and there are many instances of his admitting as much in the literature. To give just two examples: In the last volume (I think) of the Lutyens biography, K asks Lutyens herself or possibly Mary Zimbalist, to try to look into the mystery of his uniqueness. My other example is a video of Doris Pratt (I think) recalling a conversation with K in which he said, "The tears of all the world have produced the World Teacher." My own view is that Krishnamurti believed he was some kind of messenger but attached no egoistic value to it whatsoever. He was, in a way, surprised and in awe of himself as a phenomenon, but in an objective way. Many might regard what I've just written as bullshit, but it's a considered opinion.

    1. Hi Martin,
      he was special, no doubt! Your view is valid, it could well be.
      He did tend to drag people down if you ask me, blaming people for not getting *it* when he might have questioned his own assumptions, formulations and interpretations.
      In the end, what remains are his teachings, and as the years go by I tend to see more flaws in his absolutist message.
      Since it is forbidden in JK (and some DB) circles to criticize or interpret the teachings, I think it's better for me to distance myself all the way, despite being forever indebted to his legacy.
      Best regards,

  4. Thanks for replying, Sky. I've been reading this guy since I was 11 years old—45 years ago—so a conversation between you and me could go on forever. So I'll just raise a couple points. First, K certainly had rough edges, and David Moody (who I'm sure you know of) used that very phrase about him. But I think K's impatience was due his intense desire to get his message across. You see, I think he was just a bloke, with opinions, feelings, disappointments, irritations, and so on. We imagine that an "enlightened" person has certain qualities, but of course we have no idea. K claimed that any disturbances in his consciousnjess didn't persist, and that that was the key. Lastly, I think the point about not interpreting K—at least from K's own perspective—was intended to discourage false prophets from claiming to operate under the Krishnamurti aegis. We have to interpret. I should say that I've never been a K acolyte, despite how I might sound here! It could all be bullshit. But I think the key really is here—in this stuff from K.

    1. Hi Martin,
      I agree, it is just that from my perspective and path, JK's teachings have some serious issues. Had I not seriously questioned some of his assertions some 16 years ago, certain life-changing events would have probably not transpired.
      The not persisting of disturbances sounds quite on point, that is also my experience nowadays and that of certain teachers and mindfulness/meditation practitioners out there, but this is quite different from the absolute freedom from thought, memory and conditioning JK preached, no? 🙂

  5. "Conditioning" is a problematic word, and itlies at the centre of all this. It's impossible to be free of all conditioning because we only exist as social animals because of it. You can think of a person as a kind of hierarchy of conditionings and habits, some of which cause conflict such as nationalistic or religious beliefs. But others are essential: even the ability to speak or walk is conditioning. K conceded that some conditioning is necessary. You can see that he, like anyone else, had patterns of speech and thought. You have to have those patterns. You can't create entirely novel sentences all the time. You have to have a repertoire. K's language was flawed in many ways, but that's the way of the world. This is a key point for me: K could not have been perfect, conditioning cannot possibly be complete. K was just was just this guy who try to describe something extraordinary, namely the ability to have a brain that is the sometimes completely empty of thought. You can see from the Notebook and Journal that this state was one that K moved in and out of. Now, please let me apologise for the rambling nature of this post. No sleep last night. All the best, Sky.

    1. Hi Martin,
      I agree with what you are writing, but I am quite sure the man himself and many of his non?-followers would not.
      I think Bohm's explanation and approach are more realistic and far less confusing.

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