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Krishnamurti's Teachings

Krishnamurti's Teachings

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Published by: InLak'ech on Nov 29, 2009
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12/30/2010

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I don't know if any of you have noticed, early in the morning, the sunlight on the waters. How extraordinarily soft is thelight, and how the dark waters dance, with the morning star over the trees, the only star in the sky. Do you ever notice any of that? Or are you so busy, so occupied with the daily routine, that you forget or have never known the rich beauty of thisearth — this earth on which all of us have to live? Whether we call ourselves communists or capitalists, Hindus or Buddhists, Moslems or Christians, whether we are blind, lame, well or happy, this earth is ours.Do you understand? It is our earth, not somebody else's; it is not only the rich man's earth, it does not belong exclusively tothe powerful rulers, to the nobles of the land, but it is our earth, yours and mine.We are nobodies, yet we also live on this earth and we all have to live together. It is the world of the poor as well as of therich, of the unlettered as well as of the learned. It is our world, and I think it is very important to feel this and to love theearth, not just occasionally on a peaceful morning, but all the time. We can feel that it is our world and love it only when weunderstand what freedom is.
KRISHNAMURTI ON THE FLIGHT FROM DISTURBANCE 
A Collection of Krishnamurti's TeachingsIntroduction1. Background. Krishnamurti noted that many people, having suffered in their lives, seek comfort and peace of mind inreligion. But, throughout his public talks he roundly criticised the flight from disturbance as a destructive and "dangerous"tendency -- settling for pacifiers in the absence of peace (6Aug49), settling for tranquillisers in the absence of tranquillity(7Jul55).Flight from disturbance is a rather natural impulse, especially for those who feel exhausted by the burdens they have carried.One might well expect a compassionate teacher to offer comfort to those in such a situation. But that was not Krishnamurti'sway. Instead he sounded a warning to beware of those who offer comfort -- "a snare in which you are caught like a fish in anet" (13Apr35). This is one of many vivid metaphors he used to convey the urgency of facing reality in a more robust spirit.From early to late, he counselled against putting up "Please Do Not Disturb" signs when the house we live in is burning.(11Jul48, 27Jul77).We have collected below a number of passages from public talks in which Krishnamurti examines in detail the longing for shelter, and explores the strategies man has invented to avoid discomfort. Through these passages the reader can seeKrishnamurti in action, analysing the causes and destructive consequences of flight from disturbance, and see himresponding to it with acute poignancy: "We carry on; and the beauty of life passes by." (21Jan54). These passages alsoexplain how flight from disturbance can actually increase insecurity. After carefully building protective walls aroundourselves, we may naturally fear the day when those walls break down ("Something will Crack" 27Jul77). The remedy heoffers is to learn the vitality that comes from being "entirely vulnerable to life". (26Jun35)
 
2. The Documentary Record For the present study, we canvassed nearly two thousand contexts from Krishnamurti's publictalks between 1926 and 1985. From this vast material we selected nearly one hundred passages to introduce several aspectsof this rather subtle theme.We have not so far found any single term in common usage or in Krishnamurti's special vocabulary, to capture this particular topic. It might well be explored through any chosen terms from a background set of more than sixty alternativesthat we initially looked at. We chose to focus on three main keywords:
disturbance, comfort 
and
vulnerability
. These threeterms provided more than sufficient material to illustrate some central issues and, we hope, to give readers a useful starting point for their own inquiries in this field.3. Arrangement of the Source Material. We have organised our selections under seven headings (1)
 Beware of Those WhoOffer Comfort 
(2)
 I am Afraid of Losing What I Have
(3)
 I Have Built My Own Prison
(4)
Security or Awareness?
(5)
 No Escape From Life
(6)
 Entirely Vulnerable
(7)
That is the Moment to Inquire
.For the present study, we have not adhered to any chronological arrangement of selections within each section. After experimenting with several arrangements, it is our sense that this particular topic lends itself better to a thematicarrangement. We have aimed for a sequence of passages which could help readers to identify an important but perhapssomewhat neglected thread that runs through many contexts in Krishnamurti's public talks.4. Its Destructive Consequences. We have already noted one major consequence that Krishnamurti drew out of the flightfrom disturbance -- that it creates artificial fears and new anxieties. In this respect it may be a self-defeating impulse, which begins in weariness and ends in even more suffering. Gradually we bind ourselves by commitments and vested interests andthen we fear to lose what was gained in these ways. Krishnamurti noted how this promotes conservative attitudes -- "wewant to live an undisturbed, respectable, bourgeois life" (7Sep61). Here and elsewhere Krishnamurti wryly treated materialand spiritual comfort as two sides of the same debased coin -- "I want a comfortable chair or ... a comfortable, secure ideawhich can never be shaken" (30Aug77; see also 31Dec33). He warned that all these attitudes encourage disengagement, andwe let things drift, even when that entails complicity in "world catastrophe" (11Jul48). What is more, flight fromdisturbance is ultimately self-destructive: "your thoughts and feelings become shallow, barren, trivial, and life becomes anempty shell" (1Jan34).5. It Blocks Free Inquiry. Krishnamurti's critique of authority as a hindrance to free inquiry, is well-known. His critique of the flight from disturbance as another major hindrance to free inquiry, is considerably more subtle and probably less widelyrecognised. One of the deepest and most destructive consequences that he saw in flight from disturbance is the way it makesone insensitive and closes the doors to the "laboratory of life" in which we learn (22Nov59). It makes one run away frommany of those learning opportunities which present themselves precisely at moments of disturbance and engagement in acrisis. Because of the cardinal importance he attached to completely free inquiry, it would seem to follow that one mustchoose between comfort and awareness, or as he sometimes puts it, one must choose between security and truth. Whileleaving this choice to the individual, there is no mistaking where he positions himself on this issue. These themes aredeveloped fully in Section 7 ("That is The Moment to Inquire").6.Strength Through Vulnerability Vulnerability as a source of strength is a characteristic twist for Krishnamurti, who heldthe search for comfort to be an illusion that weakens the spirit and very much aggravates the unavoidable insecurities of life.In many passages he puts forward an invitation to find the vitality and strength that come from facing uncomfortable facts
 
directly and engaging fully with the challenges of life. "To live greatly, to think creatively, one must be completely open tolife, without any self-protective reaction ... in love with life" (15Mar35).7.A Difficult Message to Convey Once, Krishnamurti hinted that the impulse toward security might be part of our conditioning (22Mar72). And, there are indications in his talks that flight from disturbance is a field where resistance is highand self-deception is rampant. Over a long period of time, Krishnamurti expounded his treatment of the problem. And hesometimes prefaced his remarks with cautionary words that indicate a steady resistance on the part of his audience. In one of the earliest passages in this study he remarked: "What I am saying today I have said innumerable times; I have said it againand again. But you don't feel these things because you have explained away your suffering" (31Dec33). Twenty-six yearslater his words suggest a continuing stalemate in the discourse: "Probably you will say, 'Well, I have heard this before, he ison his favourite subject', and go away. I wish you [could] listen as if for the first time ... [and] discover freedom for yourself" (22Nov59). Another twenty-six years passed, and he was still remarking how walls, even "soft walls", hinder freeinquiry (29Aug85). We have already noted how flight from disturbance encourages us to let things drift. Now, after the passage of yet another decade in which drifting has become very much more dangerous, readers may be left to ponder thequestion as to how widely this particular aspect of Krishnamurti's teaching has been recognised and fully absorbed in action.PART 1: BEWARE OF THOSE WHO OFFER COMFORTAll My Life I Have Been Hurt (1972)I have been hurt all my life, I am sensitive -- you know what hurt is, the wounds that one receives, and what effect it has inlater life. I have been hurt. I can deal with superficial hurts fairly intelligently. I know what to do. I either resist, build a wallaround myself, so isolate myself so that I will never be hurt, grow a thick skin -- which most people do. But behind that theyare wounded deeply. (Saanen 23Jul72)Looking For Peace (1955)Essentially you are seeking a state of mind which will never be disturbed and which you call peace + Our life is disturbed,anxious, full of fear, darkness, upheaval, confusion, and we want to escape from all that; but when a confused man seeks ...what he finds is further confusion + I may want perfect bliss, which means an undisturbed state of mind in which there will be complete quietness, no conflict, no pain, no inquiry, no doubt + I might just as well take a drug, a pill, which will havethe same effect - only that's not respectable, whereas the other is. (Laughter). Please, it is not a laughing matter, this is whatwe are actually doing. (Ojai 7Jul55)We Want To Be Enclosed (1948)Love is the most dangerous thing, because when we love somebody, we are vulnerable, we are open; and we do not want to be open. We do not want to be vulnerable. We want to be enclosed, we want to be more at ease within ourselves. (Bangalore11Jul48)
 
The Protective Walls We Build (1936)Awareness is discernment, without judgement, of the process of creating self-protecting walls and limitations behind whichthe mind takes shelter and comfort + If you begin to be aware, to discern how you have created this process through fear,

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