The Tao as it appears to me

The Tao is a personal journey into oneself from within and without. This is my understanding of the philosophy stated by Lao Tzu and other Daoists like Lieh Tzu, Chuang Tzu...


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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Jiddu Krishnamurthy's views

Herewith is presented Jiddu Krishnamurthy's famous speech. I present it here merely to compare it with the first couple of lines from the 1st Chapter of the TTC.

Truth is a Pathless Land
by J Krishnamurti

We are going to discuss this morning the dissolution of the Order of the Star. Many people will be delighted, and others will be rather sad. It is a question neither for rejoicing nor for sadness, because it is inevitable, as I am going to explain.
You may remember the story of how the devil and a friend of his were walking down the street, when they saw ahead of them a man stoop down and pick up something from the ground, look at it, and put it away in his pocket. The friend said to the devil, "What did that man pick up?" "He picked up a piece of Truth," said the devil. "That is a very bad business for you, then," said his friend. "Oh, not at all," the devil replied, "I am going to let him organize it."
I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path. If you first understand that, then you will see how impossible it is to organize a belief. A belief is purely an individual matter, and you cannot and must not organize it. If you do, it becomes dead, crystallized; it becomes a creed, a sect, a religion, to be imposed on others. This is what everyone throughout the world is attempting to do. Truth is narrowed down and made a plaything for those who are weak, for those who are only momentarily discontented. Truth cannot be brought down, rather the individual must make the effort to ascend to it. You cannot bring the mountain-top to the valley. If you would attain to the mountain-top you must pass through the valley, climb the steeps, unafraid of the dangerous precipices.
So that is the first reason, from my point of view, why the Order of the Star should be dissolved. In spite of this, you will probably form other Orders, you will continue to belong to other organizations searching for Truth. I do not want to belong to any organization of a spiritual kind, please understand this. I would make use of an organization which would take me to London, for example; this is quite a different kind of organization, merely mechanical, like the post or the telegraph. I would use a motor car or a steamship to travel, these are only physical mechanisms which have nothing whatever to do with spirituality. Again, I maintain that no organization can lead man to spirituality.
If an organization be created for this purpose, it becomes a crutch, a weakness, a bondage, and must cripple the individual, and prevent him from growing, from establishing his uniqueness, which lies in the discovery for himself of that absolute, unconditioned Truth. So that is another reason why I have decided, as I happen to be the Head of the Order, to dissolve it. No one has persuaded me to this decision.
This is no magnificent deed, because I do not want followers, and I mean this. The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth. I am not concerned whether you pay attention to what I say or not. I want to do a certain thing in the world and I am going to do it with unwavering concentration. I am concerning myself with only one essential thing: to set man free. I desire to free him from all cages, from all fears, and not to found religions, new sects, nor to establish new theories and new philosophies. Then you will naturally ask me why I go the world over, continually speaking. I will tell you for what reason I do this: not because I desire a following, not because I desire a special group of special disciples. (How men love to be different from their fellow-men, however ridiculous, absurd and trivial their distinctions may be! I do not want to encourage that absurdity.) I have no disciples, no apostles, either on earth or in the realm of spirituality.
Nor is it the lure of money, nor the desire to live a comfortable life, which attracts me. If I wanted to lead a comfortable life I would not come to a Camp or live in a damp country! I am speaking frankly because I want this settled once and for all. I do not want these childish discussions year after year.
One newspaper reporter, who interviewed me, considered it a magnificent act to dissolve an organization in which there were thousands and thousands of members. To him it was a great act because, he said:
What will you do afterwards, how will you live? You will have no following, people will no longer listen to you.” If there are only five people who will listen, who will live, who have their faces turned towards eternity, it will be sufficient. Of what use is it to have thousands who do not understand, who are fully embalmed in prejudice, who do not want the new, but would rather translate the new to suit their own sterile, stagnant selves? If I speak strongly, please do not misunderstand me, it is not through lack of compassion. If you go to a surgeon for an operation, is it not kindness on his part to operate even if he cause you pain? So, in like manner, if I speak straightly, it is not through lack of real affection -- on the contrary.
As I have said, I have only one purpose: to make man free, to urge him towards freedom, to help him to break away from all limitations, for that alone will give him eternal happiness, will give him the unconditioned realization of the self.
Because I am free, unconditioned, whole -- not the part, not the relative, but the whole Truth that is eternal -- I desire those, who seek to understand me to be free; not to follow me, not to make out of me a cage which will become a religion, a sect. Rather should they be free from all fears -- from the fear of religion, from the fear of salvation, from the fear of spirituality, from the fear of love, from the fear of death, from the fear of life itself. As an artist paints a picture because he takes delight in that painting, because it is his self-expression, his glory, his well-being, so I do this and not because I want anything from anyone.
You are accustomed to authority, or to the atmosphere of authority, which you think will lead you to spirituality. You think and hope that another can, by his extraordinary powers -- a miracle -- transport you to this realm of eternal freedom which is Happiness. Your whole outlook on life is based on that authority.
You have listened to me for three years now, without any change taking place except in the few. Now analyze what I am saying, be critical, so that you may understand thoroughly, fundamentally. When you look for an authority to lead you to spirituality, you are bound automatically to build an organization around that authority. By the very creation of that organization, which, you think, will help this authority to lead you to spirituality, you are held in a cage.
If I talk frankly, please remember that I do so, not out of harshness, not out of cruelty, not out of the enthusiasm of my purpose, but because I want you to understand what I am saying. That is the reason why you are here, and it would be a waste of time if I did not explain clearly, decisively, my point of view.
For eighteen years you have been preparing for this event, for the Coming of the World Teacher. For eighteen years you have organized, you have looked for someone who would give a new delight to your hearts and minds, who would transform your whole life, who would give you a new understanding; for someone who would raise you to a new plane of life, who would give you a new encouragement, who would set you free -- and now look what is happening! Consider, reason with yourselves, and discover in what way that belief has made you different -- not with the superficial difference of the wearing of a badge, which is trivial, absurd. In what manner has such a belief swept away all the unessential things of life? That is the only way to judge: in what way are you freer, greater, more dangerous to every Society which is based on the false and the unessential? In what way have the members of this organization of the Star become different?
As I said, you have been preparing for eighteen years for me. I do not care if you believe that I am the World-Teacher or not. That is of very little importance. Since you belong to the organization of the Order of the Star, you have given your sympathy, your energy, acknowledging that Krishnamurti is the World-Teacher -- partially or wholly: wholly for those who are really seeking, only partially for those who are satisfied with their own half-truths.
You have been preparing for eighteen years, and look how many difficulties there are in the way of your understanding, how many complications, how many trivial things. Your prejudices, your fears, your authorities, your churches new and old -- all these, I maintain, are a barrier to understanding. I cannot make myself clearer than this. I do not want you to agree with me, I do not want you to follow me, I want you to understand what I am saying.
This understanding is necessary because your belief has not transformed you but only complicated you, and because you are not willing to face things as they are. You want to have your own gods -- new gods instead of the old, new religions instead of the old, new forms instead of the old -- all equally valueless, all barriers, all limitations, all crutches. Instead of old spiritual distinctions you have new spiritual distinctions, instead of old worships you have new worships. You are all depending for your spirituality on someone else, for your happiness on someone else, for your enlightenment on someone else; and although you have been preparing for me for eighteen years, when I say all these things are unnecessary, when I say that you must put them all away and look within yourselves for the enlightenment, for the glory, for the purification, and for the incorruptibility of the self, not one of you is willing to do it. There may be a few, but very, very few.
So why have an organization?
Why have false, hypocritical people following me, the embodiment of Truth? Please remember that I am not saying something harsh or unkind, but we have reached a situation when you must face things as they are. I said last year that I would not compromise. Very few listened to me then. This year I have made it absolutely clear. I do not know how many thousands throughout the world -- members of the Order -- have been preparing for me for eighteen years, and yet now they are not willing to listen unconditionally, wholly, to what I say.
As I said before, my purpose is to make men unconditionally free, for I maintain that the only spirituality is the incorruptibility of the self which is eternal, is the harmony between reason and love. This is the absolute, unconditioned Truth which is Life itself. I want therefore to set man free, rejoicing as the bird in the clear sky, unburdened, independent, ecstatic in that freedom . And I, for whom you have been preparing for eighteen years, now say that you must be free of all these things, free from your complications, your entanglements. For this you need not have an organization based on spiritual belief. Why have an organization for five or ten people in the world who understand, who are struggling, who have put aside all trivial things? And for the weak people, there can be no organization to help them to find the Truth, because Truth is in everyone; it is not far, it is not near; it is eternally there.
Organizations cannot make you free. No man from outside can make you free; nor can organized worship, nor the immolation of yourselves for a cause, make you free; nor can forming yourselves into an organization, nor throwing yourselves into works, make you free. You use a typewriter to write letters, but you do not put it on an altar and worship it. But that is what you are doing when organizations become your chief concern.
How many members are there in it?” That is the first question I am asked by all newspaper reporters.
How many followers have you? By their number we shall judge whether what you say is true or false.” I do not know how many there are. I am not concerned with that. As I said, if there were even one man who had been set free, that were enough.
Again, you have the idea that only certain people hold the key to the Kingdom of Happiness. No one holds it. No one has the authority to hold that key. That key is your own self, and in the development and the purification and in the incorruptibility of that self alone is the Kingdom of Eternity.
So you will see how absurd is the whole structure that you have built, looking for external help, depending on others for your comfort, for your happiness, for your strength. These can only be found within yourselves.
You are accustomed to being told how far you have advanced, what is your spiritual status. How childish! Who but yourself can tell you if you are beautiful or ugly within? Who but yourself can tell you if you are incorruptible? You are not serious in these things.
But those who really desire to understand, who are looking to find that which is eternal, without beginning and without an end, will walk together with a greater intensity, will be a danger to everything that is unessential, to unrealities, to shadows. And they will concentrate, they will become the flame, because they understand. Such a body we must create, and that is my purpose. Because of that real understanding there will be true friendship. Because of that true friendship -- which you do not seem to know -- there will be real cooperation on the part of each one. And this not because of authority, not because of salvation, not because of immolation for a cause, but because you really understand, and hence are capable of living in the eternal. This is a greater thing than all pleasure, than all sacrifice.
So these are some of the reasons why, after careful consideration for two years, I have made this decision. It is not from a momentary impulse. I have not been persuaded to it by anyone. I am not persuaded in such things. For two years I have been thinking about this, slowly, carefully, patiently, and I have now decided to disband the Order, as I happen to be its Head. You can form other organizations and expect someone else. With that I am not concerned, nor with creating new cages, new decorations for those cages. My only concern is to set men absolutely, unconditionally free.”


Blogger wookie said...

Thank you for putting this up. His words are enlightening.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Eroteme said...

I am surprised (and then again not) to find your comment here... Didn't quite know that you would be interested in these things...
Glad you liked it.

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somewhat flawed logic in his speech, though a certain part of the direction is OK. Yes it IS true (pun not intended!) that no organization BY ITSELF can lead man to the true spirituality. But the speaker has missed an important: an organization can (I said CAN, not "always will") HELP man to correctly get KNOWLEDGE of the truth, thereby helping or speeding him on his way to true spirituality. Certainly I agree, a FLAWED organization will just mess things up (I have no clue what this order of the star is, but I assume it must have been a flawed organization). However, since the Truth is something that is difficult to discover, it is important that each time a person discovers a small part of this truth (E.g. "Do to other people just what u would want to be done to your self"), then the person must RECORD this gem of information, for the benefit of other people. THAT is what "proper" religious orgnization do. The unfortuante fact is that MOST (but not all) religios organiations ALSO go and add FALSEHOODS to the Truth and yes that is a disadvantage of such organizations. But overall, except perhaps for the greatest (I.e., most intelligent and most HUMBLE) human beings, all other human beings will benefit from having an organziation that helps them to discover the Truth. This was typed in 5 minutes, I cannot show all the flaws in the above speech, will try to do so later when i have more time. In summary, YES, we MSUT be aware taht man made orgnizations can make mistakes so the Truth they teach may someimes be NOT QUITE the perfect truth, but they DO have their disdvantages and it is foolish to reject them outright. :)

2:32 AM  
Blogger Eroteme said...

Dear Sohan,
What you say is what I have often heard against this speech of JK. Let me try and explain it. Truth stays as it is whether you approach it with an organised mind or not. I suppose you would agree with me on that. When there is an organisation, then there are rules and do's and do nots. This means that a path is being constructed to achieve Truth. Another organisation has its own rules and regulations and hence there is another path to Truth. Do we realise that these paths would only make you a perfect member of the organisation and get you nowhere close to truth. Its like feeling the cool of early morning water flowing down a creek. When you immerse your hand, you will feel the coolness. If you try to explain it to someone else, there is no point. He doesn't feel the coolness. He has to go to the river by himself and an organisation doesn't take him there (no, your rebuttal of an organisation providing the route is not the purpose of an organisation. A map does the same thing, and no map is an organisation). Point is, if a person is not ready to expend the necessary effort in order to realise Truth, then they don't really care about it. If they don't care about it, then its fine that they be without a pseudo-realisation of truth, isn't it? If I do not put in the effort to win the Olympic medal then I don't need it. I cannot hang around with a winner and feel that I am being lead to an Olympic gold. All these are analogies, and should be left at that. Please.

Truth is an individual realisation. Group activities are intellectual affairs. Truth is not of the intellect. It is important to realise that. A great soul might be able to bless you or make you feel peaceful, by letting you be in his ashram, but what is the point. Once he is dead you worship him and his ashram, but are still at the same distance from truth.

If someone is desirous of Truth, s/he has to go about getting it all by her/himself. An organisation can give you... what? They would prescribe things to do, prayers to read, fasts to maintain, clothes to wear, etc. They would have inspirational stories to read (I so dislike them) and myths retold, but then what? If an organisation lets you introspect and see things for yourself and attain the realisation of Truth... then that is not an organisation as much as this world is not an organisation.

JK's initial speech had great value. Down the line, he too made many mistakes which people in the sway of greatness do. Forget about the speaker. The contents matter.

3:55 AM  
Anonymous Rakesh Saigal said...

Ever since I was first exposed to dualism (me-you; experiencer-experienced etc) I have never been the same person. I became present to the world as I saw it and NOT as it is. I gave up defending my viewpoint as The Truth. In the realization that whatever was ocurring in my life was a viewpoint seen through the accumulation of past experiences and knowledge and was NOT the world as it is.

I realized that the word "is" was not real in my life. It was a superstition. It merely showed me the world as it ocurred to me and NOT as it actually was. Let me illustrate. I was once going to a meeting that was very critical to my sales target. I was in a friend's car and was urging him to drive faster as I was running late. Just then we had a flat tire. I was upset, angry and frustrated and I experienced my heart beating faster and the blood in my veins becoming warmer and I wanted to kick someone.

At another time and place, I was in a car with a friend who had to go to a common friend's place where I felt very uncomfortable for reasons best not related. I was fretting and fuming and silently cursing the driver-friend for taking me to this stupid fellow's place. All of a sudden there was a flat tire. There was none happier than I in the entire wide world.

These 2 incidents came to my mind when I first experinced the Self in me for a moment. In that moment it came to me that a flat tire is just that: a flat tire. How it ocurred to me depended on the paradigm that I was then in and that made it out like a curse or a blessing.

The point is what happened was that there was a flat tire on 2 ocassions. Period. My fretting and me counting my blessings were interpretations of what that meant. And what it meant to me was colored by my past experiences and my knowledge of what wouldd happen if I were not to meet my targets of if I were to get to this stupid fellow's house.

Jiddu Krishnamurthy is my favourite author. Not because he is a guru but because, like thwe Buddha, he says "don't take my word for it. Take it on. See what you get out of relating to life coming from as-if-you-were-born-this-morning-and-have-no-past-experiences-to-fall-back-on attitude."

Thanks for this opportunity to pen a few words on a very interesting topic and author.


7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very interesting comments by readers.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Mougli said...

I really liked this article & all comments which has given different perspectives.I may be slightly different or quoting out of context.But when one looks at JK life he was a normal boy picked in a beach & made into a avatar.for his training theosophical society invested lots of things.It was as an organisation in theosophical society the world was revealed of JK. Once trained & armed being guided into spirtuality under guidance of theosophical society,JK began to seek the truth for himself.That process while shocking to theosophical society still helped him in his selfdiscovery.Now for inspired living there is certainly a need for a guru to channelize the different thought process & once organised then perhaps one can set the task for self discovery. One book which i chanced by sometime ago was Paul Brunton "a passage into secret india". This book explains in vast details how a guru was choosen by paul brunton & also gives a run down on his search process wherein he criss crossed the length & breadth of india & then finding that solace through Ramana Maharishi for him to realize his personal ambition.

The extent of purity was JK concern in an organised set up, i personally think an assistance through a organised setup like ahobilam ( in my case ) or sankara math , Iskcon can prepare us better before we delve into our discovery process.

Now going to rakesh sehgal view of disassociating the past & looking at life with a fresh perspective everyday is somewhat shocking ( pls don't mistake me). Let me explain if i have borrowed money from you & i do not return this back & after a year i come to ask this again how would you react.Our discovery to truth has this most important variable of time which has elapsed.But at sametime when rakesh looks at circumstance of my need then he may have a change of heart like the first time it was for a engg fee & second time was for a bereavement in the family.I also invite you to read " The Trial " by Kafka ( penguin publishers a good novel also).Thanks guys please include me into your list.

8:28 AM  
Blogger Eroteme said...

Dear Mougli,
Glad to know you enjoyed the post and comments. Ahobilam, Sankara Mutth are concerned with their particular philosophical approach. There might be erudite scholars who might help you iron out the contradictions of Vishishtadvaita or Advaita philosophy (well, Sankara himself wasn't able to answer a few points raised by the Samkhya school of philosophy) but is Truth, Advaita or Dvaita or Vishishtadvaita? Iskon doesn't earn my attention so I shant waste time discussing about that cult. A man who is aware of the extent to which he intends utilising the services of an organisation doesn't belong to the organisation. Subtle difference.
Personally, I would leave Rakesh Saigal to defend his point of view, but I would like to add something that he might have said (going by his train of thought) had he been around. He does admit to actions being influenced by past experience. Consider your example but lets have you as an extremely wealthy man. You might not even register the fact that he hadn't returned the money and might not think twice before giving him so more this time. Hence, in this scenario your decision to give is not based on whether he returned money to you or not, but merely - possibly - based on your want to share your wealth with the needy.

So past influences are inevitable, IMO, but visiting each incident afresh without a conditioning is different from visiting each incident with a prejudice/conditioning.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Mougli said...

Thanks for commenting , what's your mail ID by the way. I will drop a e-mail.May be the comments are to build an acquaintance leading to friendship.

Have you heard of this poem,

"I am I, You Are you, I am here to do my job, and you are to yours, i am here not to meet your expectations nor you are upto mine , and if we meet it is beautiful otherwise it ought not to be " and then when albert einstein says about his life goals capsuled in this.

A hundred times everyday i remind myself that my inner life & outer life depend on the labor of others both living & dead & i must give in the same way i have received & am still receiving.

I lay down my arguments on this subject with above 2 quotes.

9:49 AM  
Blogger The TAAMommy said...

I think you might find this place interesting.

7:39 AM  

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