Krishnamurti was a world-famous teacher in the 20th century, born in India at the end of the 19th century, discovered by the Theosophists, educated in England and on a trajectory to be the new “World Teacher” for the ages. Then he took an extraordinary turn. In 1929, at the age of 32 and at one of the enormous annual European gatherings of the Theosophists in Holland, he announced his decision to step down from any formal role or plan to promote him as a World Teacher, resigned as figure head of the Theosophists, and cut all ties to any notion of a religious or spiritual organization. This was followed immediately by a “core” statement, summarized as
“Truth Is A Pathless Land: Man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, not through any philosophic knowledge or psychological technique. He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the contents of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection.”
For the rest of his long life, he taught not as an authority but as an investigator looking into life’s fundamental issues through questioning all assumptions, and challenging his listeners to do the same.
The body of his work is enormous, some estimate it at more than 100 million words; 60 years of more or less uninterrupted appearances around the world. His charge to the Foundations at his death in 1986 was to spread his uninterpreted, authentic body of work around the world. And that remains the mission of the three major foundations that he formed ― not to convert or proselytize, but to simply make available everything that he poured forth.
Today, that mission remains as urgently needed and as relevant as ever. Why is that? Because most of mankind’s thinking is driven by dualistic comparison, by judgment of one thing in relation to another, by the force of debate, logical treatise, and belief systems that perpetuate themselves through the power of conditioning. Even now, in the face of overwhelming evidence that theistic, authoritarian, and even democratic structures cannot deeply address the world’s divisions, we cling to the belief that symptoms imply a logical solution, and we’re driven to find those solutions within the context of our inherited structures.
Krishnamurti offers a way to examine all of one’s assumptions about self, other, life in general, in a much more profound and deep way – through a commitment to self awareness. This is a personal process of discovery, not a self-help project that depends on techniques and methodologies. It demands living fully in the moment, every moment, and therefore has tremendous transformative power. Krishnamurti referred to this potential as a “change in consciousness” and said himself that he wanted to “set mankind unconditionally free” – to see without blinkers, to experience without filters, to act without guile or dependence on strategies rooted in memories of the past or projections about the future.
If you are interesting in learning more, please come to a free information event on February 24, 2015 from 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm at the Davis Public Library (Blanchard Room). See you there!