Krishnamurti “found me” at the college library back in my early 20s when I picked up a random book “The Network of Thought,” while waiting for my next class. I was getting a Masters degree in International Business at the time. Once I finished the book, I knew that I wasn’t cut for “business.” Never used that college degree at all. However, that time was well spent to get a “degree” on a different world view.
Most of what “K.” explained, made plenty of intellectual sense. However, I wasn’t able to put it into practice. It was good theory but nothing practical to me. Why?
It was after many years in my “spiritual career” that I discovered that, what I wanted to “practice” was my own intellectual understanding of an ideal. I will always be short of an ideal. That is a trap. In other words, BEING does not come about through practice. It is not a muscle to exercise. Nevertheless and paradoxically, it is necessary to “practice” to realize this. Otherwise, it becomes another understood mental idea. Paraphrasing what my father used to say: “we become just theory.”
After a couple of years, Krishnamurti went away for many years. I just recently got in touch again as someone asked me for a “spiritual book” to read. I recommended “K” knowing that this person was of intellectual nature; aka “living in the mind.”
Now, I can realize that “K” was only sharing his own experience. He wasn’t necessarily interested in meeting the “spiritual” level of others, or playing teacher; however, at the mental level he may be convincing for the majority of intellectuals out there.
K. said: “Meditation is the denial and negation of all systems because you see the truth and understand the full significance that you must be your own light. This light cannot come through another or be lit from the candle of another. If you once see the truth of this, you will not follow any guru, saviour or priest with their doctrines, traditions and rituals. That is going to be difficult because we are afraid to stand alone.” (NY 4/28/74.)
Intellectuals may misunderstand the above: “I don’t need anybody. I don’t believe or follow anyone. I must be my own light. That is what “K.” said and I agree with that.” Basically, they will follow “K” in that; but he will be misunderstood.
Although the above is true for someone with the consciousness of “K.” it is false for the vast majority of humans at this time. I can now say that “we” are always following something even if that is not a person. We follow our mind, heart or gut feeling. Most follow the mind with its conditioning and say: “I think.” That is delusional.
To follow in the beginning, is the way to stand alone at the end. That is the process. It doesn’t come as a mental decision, a practice or a value, but it is the natural consequence of being aware as we process life experiences.
Without the experience of being a follower, we cannot pretend to be our own light. Inasmuch as we only know and express through the conditioned mind, we are destined to be deluded. We need to be aware of where we stand in this process, that is inner honesty.
Note that “K.” gives a different meaning to the word “meditation” as it is traditionally used. He says: “Meditation really is a complete emptying of the mind. The continuous seeing of what is without any kind of distortion naturally empties the mind of all thought and yet that very mind can use thought when it is necessary. Thought is mechanical and meditation is not.” (excerpts from the “beginning of learning” London 1979.) Thus, for “K” meditation is on-going in Life. It is not a practice, it is not something to DO for 45 minutes or 1 hour in a day.
Because Meditation (as K explains) lacks any structure, method or practice; then it is the antithesis of all systems and structures given in society. Empty of the contents of the conditioned mind, we become our own light without the need of having a purpose or goal to be so. Empty of “Me,” we become our own light without desiring it, without effort, without purpose.
To stand alone means to be empty, and most are afraid of that.
“Thinking is common to all humanity. Thought is not my thought; there is only thought. Thought is neither of the East or West; there is only thinking. “ J. Krishnamurti
“I think therefore, I am.” Rene Descartes
The philosopher and mystic, J. Krishnamurti states the opposite of philosopher, mathematician and scientist Descartes: Thought is not mine vs. I think. Thus, thought is mine.
Most of humanity will experience as Descartes states. Few individuals will understand the depth of Krishnamurti, for he is not an intellectual (although described as such) but he merely states his own experiences. Without similar experiences, there will not be understanding.
Also, whether it is “my” thought or there is only thought, there is the “reality” of thought or the lack of it, called “dreams.”
Descartes said: “The dreams we imagine when we are asleep should not in any way make us doubt the truth of the thoughts we have when we are awake.”
Nevertheless, he had a dream which told him a lot:
“…After a short time, he goes back to sleep once more, and finds himself in a third dream. In front of him, on a table, is a book. Having opened it, he sees that it is a dictionary. Then he notices a second book. This one is a poetry anthology. He flicks through it and immediately comes upon the latin verse: “Quod vitae sectabor iter?”: “Which path in life will I choose?”.
At the same time, an unknown man appears and presents him with a poem which starts with Est et non (what is and is not). He adds that it is an excellent work. The young soldier says:
“I know. It is in this book of poems. Look!”
But he flicks through the anthology in vain. He can’t find the poem. So, he takes up the dictionary and notices that some of the pages are missing. He is exchanging a few more words with the stranger when, suddenly, the books and the man disappear.”
Is following the path of “what is” and “what is not” a choice? We take both in Life.
Can we find that poem in a book? Can we find words to describe it? Life is such a poem.
When Life speaks to us, we say” I imagined a dream.” “ I invented this gadget.”
Out of touch with awareness, most don’t perceive that we can only “do” thinking with what Life has already thought.
We say “My thought”: How scientific that could be!!
Dreams are only dreams, for all those who only dream.
The significance of Death changes according to consciousness.
For most, there is only one death; at the end of Life. Typically, we will perceive death as something “bad”, which we need to delay even though quality of Life may be lacking. These are the individuals “fighting Death.” We hear: “After a long fight, he lost the battle with cancer” (or some other disease.) From that nonsensical perception, we don’t realize that “we will always lose to death.” Always.
Our petty fighting attitude only brings animosity towards the inevitable. A trauma.
Embrace death. After all; it is part of living. The duality of life and death will be experienced. Why reject one side of the same experience?
Death brings fear to the unknown. However, what we truly fear is to lose that which is known. Thus, we may need to learn to die from the known.
It is in that understanding, how a different consciousness could perceive that there is no better way to live Life than dying psychologically while living.
In one lifetime, the one who was born, is not the same as the one who dies. That may require a bit more awareness to understand. The one who experiences death has no part of him identifying with the one who was born: The body is different, the mind is different. Nevertheless, what creates the linear identity of ‘I am the same,’ is the attachment to different things in Life. That could be names, people, objects, positions, ideals, beliefs, etc. That creates the sense of “self.”
Therefore, the greatest attachment is the perception of “self.” We greatly cling to it.
Life will bring many experiences where we feel that we “have lost” something but then, we DO things to gain something back for ourselves. That game, we usually call Life.
“Self” is being built through that game.
When Life brings the experience to “lose” something; we don’t see that this brings the opposite as well, automatically once the old is “lost”, newness is gained. We “win” newness through that duality.
If the above is fully understood, we could observe that dying from something is the way to gain; but the hardest part is the mental clinging of the past, for that which is gone. Then, we live in the past and we are not able to die from the past. We fight. Thus, there is no newness.
Observe. Become aware. Accept. Move on.
Life will “give” but also will “take away” to give something else. Are we willing to play that game?
“Willingness” means our capacity to die from who we were and accept the newness of who we could be. “Losing is winning.”
That game when fully experienced, will change that sense of self; reducing its size until one day, we have died from “self.”
Then, there is nothing to be attached to. We dropped the burden by dying psychologically from a static sense of “self.”
When the psychological “self” is not there, Who is going to die?
Learning to die at every moment, is the way to live.
Although we hear how to deal with our own pain (physical or psychological/emotional) very seldom we hear about the suffering of witnessing the pain of others.
For instance, a loved one, a close relative could be going through excruciating physical or emotional pain: We could hear and see their discomfort, we could empathize with them, we could wish them a prompt recovery, but we could find ourselves absorbing that pain emotionally in such a way that their pain, becomes ours.
A famous case is the one experienced by Christopher Reeve, (actor who played Superman in 1978) who went through many diseases after he was paralyzed from the neck down, after falling from a horse. After his death in 2004, his wife; Dana Reeve died 18 months later from lung cancer. She wasn’t a smoker. She was 44 years old.
As cancer is known for being an emotional disease, we could observe how her husband’s experiences affected her. The symbolism for pain in the lungs is sadness.
Ahnanda is very experienced in seeing the pain of others, I used to take them with me. However, as my awareness increased; that has changed.
There are 2 things to be aware of: 1) How our emotions are affected 2) How the mind is affected through identification.
There is an emotional energy sent by someone in pain. I have been in cases where there was nothing I could do, but just observe. That frustration added further sorrow when the perception of my mind in that moment, changed: “How unfair life could be…” the mind is champion in adding useless comments. “I” identified with someone’s sorrow thus, awareness is no longer there.
It is what it is. Observe. Feel compassion, send get well wishes, but as soon as the opportunity is there to change into another activity; we need to do it, we need to smile again. This is living in the now.
The mind may bring memories. It may bring comments. Observe and let it go.
In my own experience, dancing to upbeat music, has been an incredible help to take my mind away from remembering such experiences. When the mind is distracted, enjoyment follows.
We could turn the page onto another chapter.
Life presents different experiences. If pain is not our own, why not keep our happiness?
Energetically; what it is not ours, we do not need to take with us. That is part of self-respect. To be able to save the integrity of our own self and to know when enough, is enough; that is, when we have reached a limit.
Traditional society may have a different perception on this based on ideas of “sainthood;” (suffering with others or for others) however, society is not concerned in increasing our own awareness through Life experiences.
Compassion is found in the experience of witnessing someone’s sorrow. That compassion is without “practice.” It is natural, real. Nevertheless, to remain untouched by someone’s sorrow is an art of awareness, it is the practical experience of living with no mind.
Seeing sorrow of others is unavoidable but so is our own Joy. Our quality of awareness flips the coin.
What we ARE, displays in inner INTENTIONS (feelings underneath intellectual rationalizations) which later manifest into outer actions (DOING). This is the “natural way” without struggle.
BEING-→ INTENTION → DOING (Action)
However, the spirituality of “practices” and “training” are placebos for they only focus on ACTIONS.
“Our teachers are trained in compassion”. That is fake compassion.
“Our practices will lead you into being a more secure individual”. That is a fake security.
Practices and training have a place in our society where we are trained to become “something” in Life, but those have no place whenever we deal with inner knowledge, self-realization.
The “spiritual market” selling tips, training, practices, master classes, etc. are only focused on the outcome, the DOING. An actor is DOING something on the screen, nevertheless; that is fake DOING. It is just a script. In that, there is no spontaneity in Life.
Our social conditioning, our “training” deals with structure. That structure is a construct of a controlling mind.
CONDITIONING → Training → DOING
That is the path taught in our society.
BEING “good” or “better” in Life, is not the outcome of performing certain actions which we have been conditioned to believe to be “good.” That repertoire of repetitive actions, takes away the joy of living by feeling Life, but rather supports the pre-arranged script of the mind.
Is drinking alcohol “good” or “bad”? OBSERVE that we are concerned in labeling an ACTION with some moral label. That is the religious conditioning tinted with heavy social traumas. We forget about the people involved and the quality of their intentions which shows their BEING. In our society we are conditioned to simply judge things based on ACTIONS.
Although that formula may work in our society, in “spirituality” or living Life in harmony; that social practice is pointless, childish.
OBSERVATION, AWARENESS, being AWAKE, STILLNESS, TRANQUILITY… those are words pointing to what could be useful in living Life in harmony. We need to discover that ourselves.
For some, that may be the chance to make those words into some profitable “practice” or some best-seller “training” book.
The inner experience of those words are not “practices.”
When the mind is empty of our “busy-ness,” the worries concerning running “profitable business,” and our daily “fill the day” activities; then there is space to sit, relax and smell the roses. Then, there is room for no-mind. Emptiness is a requisite for newness.
The experience of those “keywords” above, will appear all by themselves little by little, without rush. If we “catch them,” then we will be practicing without practice. We will be trained without having training. We will be “better” without “making effort.”
Those are “real” practices. For it is through uncovering BEING how our intentions and actions cannot be fake.
We become “real.”
It is said that the Amazon forest is the “Lungs of the World” for more than 20% of the world oxygen is produced there.
It is known the importance to preserve the Amazon forest, to help with Global warming issues. Nevertheless, human greed and negligence are again the cause of problems for the living entities in the world and for our “future generations”.
Why are humans burning the amazon? To clear out land for cattle and sell the meat for profit. To use lumber for profit. The world knows that. There is an interesting article by CNN explaining this.
The blame game started. Who is the culprit? Ahh! The Brazilian president for allowing that burning.
Let us look deeper. Isn’t economics the most important thing in our society? Isn’t the game of economics about “supply and demand”? It is said that Brazil was the largest exporter of meat last year (2018) in the world. There is a demand thus, Brazil supplies.
“But the Brazilian president should have fought against local farmers, meat producing corporations and international meat traders and think about how not to endanger our world!”
That is a high expectation for just a politician, who is not “trained” to look out for the common good and who believes to be acting for “Brazilian interest”. For him this is “an internal problem” not a World issue, for things are happening in Brazil. For him, it is no one else business. If there is demand, there will be supply and economic growth in Brazil… Isn’t that what we learn in business?
Ahh! Those countries importing Brazilian meat are the underlying problem. Hong Kong and China are by far, the ones who import the most from Brazil! They should stop importing Brazilian meat to save the forests!
However, “China’s average consumption per person is still well below the world average (and six times smaller than the US) and its growth rate is slowing,” (https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/11/health/the-beef-with-beef/index.html )
Some will even say that the “problem” is that “we eat too much meat”, as the CNN article explicitly implies.
What is too much meat for a person? Who is there to stop someone from buying when there is supply?
Demand means people. More people conditioned for generations through an old carnivorous tradition. No one looks at the number of humans in the planet.
We are too many. We increase our human population and diminish natural resources to support the whims and fancies of the “market.” It is a vicious cycle ultimately damaging our own living conditions. It is the dog chasing its own tail, but this is a crazy dog: It caught it and is angrily chewing it, and being numb to this.
It is very unlikely that humans will stop reproducing themselves in a considerable way to “save the planet.” Most want children to unwillingly offer them a depleted, competitive madhouse for their future.
It is very unlikely that humans will stop eating meat in a considerable way to “save the planet,” even though this may be the single best action to “help.” As a matter of fact for the majority, “saving the planet” is not a concrete thing. It is not something that they could see right now. It is not like seeing 100 US dollars in your pocket after selling a widget, even if that harms the planet.
For most, “help” is to write a check to some entity which supposedly will “fight” to save the rain forest. That is the conditioning. This will make most feel good about themselves. The comfort zone is a tremendous obstacle to overcome by the majority. Easier to write a check than to stop eating meat.
We are all one, even if we don’t see it.
There are no “real” lines delimiting countries. We are all humans. This world is not just for humans. We forget that.
In Life there is a continuous tendency to reach balance. Life knows that. We don’t.
If humans destroy the planet, there will be a consequence for humans. It comes to mind: “Forgive them for they do not know what they do”. But forgiveness is human. In Life, there is cause and effect.
In Human history, there have been wars, diseases, famine, natural disasters etc. Hardship for humans at particular key times in history, which diminish human population.
That is the balancing act of Life just to preserve itself. Humans themselves play a role in that balancing act, unknowingly due to their deep unconsciousness.
Yet some want to “pray to God” to avoid this from happening? How naive we could be!
So where is the “Spiritual” part of this writing?
While in this madness act to support Life; the common good, however you perceive it.
Trust in Life, for many cannot perceive that we ARE this planet. They are in a deep sleep.
Keep in mind that while politicians debate, and most get angry and do superfluous activities just to feel good about themselves; Life has its own way to deal with this.
Do not be surprised. It is not a human way.
But, it is human to feel compassion for ourselves. This is a good time for this.
As we start observing the “others” that is society, just to know ourselves; we could make great progress in self knowledge. The mirror is there, reflecting back our true colors.
The ideology of modern society which is taught to individuals is built upon 2 clear principles, which are applied according to social power:
“I am the center of the Universe” and “If it doesn’t go my way, I will fight until it does.”
Those are the universal, infantile principles of the “I.”
Although, we may observe how childish those ideas are, we may not be able to recognize that the collective consciousness is within us. The training has been assimilated and those ideas will reflect the way our society acts as a whole.
The opposite extreme of those two main principles will be there as well, that is to the point where there is no self-worth. Any extreme location is a disease of the mind. We could observe how many human relationships typically bring those 2 extremes together as a “match made in heaven.” That is how we could safely assume, that there is a strong need for mental health in our society.
Life is not just about two states: happy and unhappy, as the collective consciousness dictates. Like a computer, we have been programmed to perceive only 2 states, 2 “bits” a “0” and “1”, on and off. Man created the computer in his own image.
Observe how labels are extremist. We say “there is good people and bad people”. We have learned to look at Life from 2 opposite colors (black or white) and as we “mature,” we have been told that Life has many “gray” areas; the combination of those two colors.
Life is not “gray”. It doesn’t have “gray” areas as we are told to believe; but our society may be very “gray” indeed. Life is colorful. Truly we cannot attempt to classify individuals or Life into 2 little boxes; although that is what we learn in the “system.”
When we go through the “system” our minds are fixed into good, bad, right, wrong, winner, loser, god, devil, success, failure, beautiful, ugly, life, death, etc. The collective consciousness is unable to perceive the amplitude of a label-less, colorful life. While it is true that we are condemned by our dualistic language, to use simple but inaccurate labels to communicate with each other; few will realize that our AWARENESS should be strong enough so we don’t believe what we are saying.
Language describes things which may not be accurate. Spiritual, non-material values are clear examples (describe beauty or peace) but yet the collective consciousness believes in “holy words.”
Is there truly such a thing as a “bad” person? What about a “good” person? It is important to see that our judgment is biased as any judgment is. Nevertheless, we judge and place individuals in one of the 2 boxes available for us. Thus, as we say “bad dog”, we may want to be AWARE that this judgment is only for a particular situation and a limited time; and this label will need to be erased from our minds next time we meet such dog. However, more important than the label is the FEELING behind the label; for the feeling will give the flavor and we will keep the taste of it.
For the collective consciousness, words are everything. However, words without feelings are dead words. Observe yourself while speaking to someone and perceive the times when feelings arise. That is a fantastic training to be able to perceive the main conditioning of the collective consciousness: VIOLENCE.
We could smell violence in the air. It impregnates every human activity at this time. Even human sexuality. That is an activity which should be enjoyable and free from manipulation of the “I”, but it is another field to display violence.
Observe how sexuality has been transformed into a game of man vs woman (or partners against each other). Observe how it has been transformed into a game of performance and violent touching, wording and furious behavior which paradoxically is labeled as “making love. “
Observe how the infantile collective consciousness is permeated with violence in all aspects. An AWARE individual should be conscious of that influence.
When a person is ready to start his own process of de-condition, he will observe how deep the roots of violence are within.
We cannot cut those roots for the pain would be unbearable (if that was possible.) We can observe them, become aware of them and begin sowing the seed of gentleness.
Protect that seed while it is growing, for eventually it will use the roots of violence to nurture itself, for the opposite of violence is gentleness and that means, that both have the same root. Duality 101. Observe that mainstream religious, social and moral teachings would like for us to “get rid of violence” through rejection. That is a violent way to uproot something which is the fuel for its opposite.
We cannot cut violence with violence, but we can let it be transformed gradually; that change will be ushered into gentleness. This is personal inner work.
“Time, Sun and Water” will do the magic in such fertile soil.