KRISHNAMURTI AND

THE PSYCHOLOGICAL
REVOLUTION
BOOKS BY PETER FRITZ WALTER

Sovereign Immunity Litigation

Coaching Your Inner Child

The Leadership I Ching

Leadership & Career in the 21st Century

Creative-C Learning

Integrate Your Emotions

Krishnamurti and the Psychological Revolution

The New Paradigm in Business, Leadership and Career

The New Paradigm in Consciousness and Spirituality

The New Paradigm in Science and Systems Theory
KRISHNAMURTI AND
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL
REVOLUTION
A Critical Essay on Krishnamurti’s
Teaching and Philosophy
Published by Sirius-C Media Galaxy LLC

113 Barksdale Professional Center, Newark, Delaware, USA

©2014 Peter Fritz Walter. Some rights reserved.

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About Dr. Peter Fritz Walter
http://peterfritzwalter.com
About the Author

Parallel to an international law career in Germany, Swit-
zerland and in the United States, Dr. Peter Fritz Walter
(Pierre) focused upon fine art, cookery, astrology, musical
performance, social sciences and humanities. He started
writing essays as an adolescent and received a high school
award for creative writing and editorial work for the
school magazine.

Upon finalizing his international law doctorate, he pri-
vately studied psychology and psychoanalysis and started
writing both fiction and nonfiction works.

After a second career as a corporate trainer and personal
coach, Pierre retired as a full-time writer, philosopher and
consultant.

His nonfiction books emphasize a systemic, holistic, cross-
cultural and interdisciplinary perspective, while his fiction
works and short stories focus upon education, philosophy,
perennial wisdom, and the poetic formulation of an inte-
grative worldview.

Pierre is a German-French bilingual native speaker and
writes English as his 4th language after German, Latin and
French. He also reads source literature for his research
works in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Dutch.

All of Pierre’s books are hand-crafted and self-published,
designed by the author.

About Quoting

Quotes are followed by a forward slash (/) and a page
number. They always refer to the author and the book that
is being reviewed, and the page number of the edition that
was reviewed. It may not in every case be the newest edi-
tion of the book.
To Jon

The author’s profits from this book are being donated to charity.
Contents

Introduction! 9

The Way of Fear! 25

Content of Consciousness! 33

Split Consciousness! 39

The Individual and Collective Unconscious! 45

The Role of Emotions! 51

Emptying Consciousness of its Content? ! 53

Book Review Annex! 67

Bibliography! 105

Personal Notes! 111
You may be immensely clever, you may have ency-
clopedic knowledge, but if there is not the vitality of
strong and deep feeling, your comprehension is like a
flower that has no perfume.
—J. KRISHNAMURTI
Introduction

The influence of Krishnamurti’s teaching on my life
and my whole thinking and acting cannot be underesti-
mated. It is neither a whimsy turn of intellectual curiosity
nor does it result from a need to fill my life with so-called
spirituality. In the contrary was I one of those who insisted,
during the two years I was a member of a Krishnamurti
circle in Switzerland, on the practical applicability of his
teaching.

And while I was not really apt to make my point as a
newcomer to this illustrious society of aristocrats, writers,
educators, artists, philosophers, and high-rank industrials,
my point was strong enough to divide the group in two
camps: those who, like me, wanted to emphasize and show

9
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

to others the practical value of K’s teaching, and those who
venerated K like a saint and were frequently engaged with
spiritual trips to other saints, gurus and psychic healers.

It was in autumn 1984 when, after a nervous break-
down I suffered because of the difficulties of my interna-
tional law doctorate in Geneva, my life began to change
drastically. I was experiencing what Fritjof Capra called a
‘perception crisis’ and was as a result going through a per-
sonal transformation that was gradually encompassing all
realms of my life.
The breakdown of my marriage was making room to
new feelings and new desires, and a decision to divorce,
my doctorate was taking a creative turn, and my profes-
sional life was enriched through a definite orientation to-
ward education that was going to become the basis for my
later career as a coach, lecturer and inspirational speaker. I
was attending conferences and university classes in psy-
chology and early child care and began to work with chil-
dren in schools, kindergartens and families. In addition, I
graduated in Early Child Care during my international law
studies in the United States.
Shortly before I left Switzerland for my journey to the
United States in 1985, I met Raffaela Ida Sangiorgi, Princess
of Liechtenstein, the wife of Prince Alfred of Liechtenstein, a
long-term member of the group.
I was presented to her one afternoon, during a study
session in the splendid villa of entrepreneur Friedrich Grohe

10
INTRODUCTION

in Morges at the Lake Geneva, where we met two times
per month for our exchanges on K’s unique teaching.
There was between us a spontaneous sympathy and
even enchantment on both sides and we separated from
the group soon and had some more intimate discussions in
another room where we were undisturbed. I was intrigued
by the fact that the Princess and her husband had known K
for long years and hosted him often times in their prem-
ises.
And instead of talking about him as a venerated saint
and guru, she spoke about K affectionately, and told me
little anecdotes about his life. For example, she told me
that once she discovered that one of her precious dia-
monds was not shining any more, and had become blind
and dull. And K suggested in his habitual simple style she
should leave the diamond ring with him for a few days
and then see the result.
K put the ring and returned it after three days, she ex-
plained, and the diamond had become so brilliant and was
glowing with such tremendous luminosity that it seemed
to be a higher grade of stone than it actually was.
Yet the Princess, who spoke a pure German, counted
this little anecdote in rather factual terms and without the
glare that others in the circle made up about the great sage.
After our little conversation we summarized our posi-
tion. We wanted to imprint a rather practical or pragmatic
stance upon the group, so as to become more effective in
our studies of K’s teaching. After that interesting exchange,
11
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

the Princess invited me for dinner to her spacious Geneva
apartment, and on that occasion I learnt not only more de-
tails about K’s life and teaching, but also about the Prin-
cess’ journeys in spiritual and psychotherapeutic realms.
She had been a long–standing client of Karlfried Graf
Dürckheim, the famous German psychoanalyst, and she
possessed intimate knowledge of the spiritual teaching of
theosophy, as well as the writings and life stories of Helena
Petrovna Blavatsky, Annie Besant and Reverend Charles W.
Leadbeater. A huge weaving loom centered the space of her
elegant living room. She told me she was doing weaving
on the loom regularly as a therapeutic technique, as this
was a central element in Dürckheim’s psychotherapy.

I had told the Princess about my interest in education
and she was enthusiastic about the idea to realize what she
called ‘her dream, a Krishnamurti school in Switzerland.
This was in fact the main project of the circle and I can only
say with deep sadness that I regret that these people’s en-
thusiasm for the project was hitting granite; the school was
never established, for the mere fact that a competent direc-
tor for the school that everybody could agree upon, could
not be found.
This was really tragic as there was such a strong com-
mon desire to do something for reforming education as
most members of the circle belonged to the older genera-
tion and had children on their own, and even grandchil-
dren. Yet they were not satisfied with the school system
and found it truly damaging for developing the child’s

12
INTRODUCTION

unique soul values and intrinsic personal gifts and talent.
We also agreed that the general school system was detri-
mental to children’s natural sensitiveness and their natural
direct perception of reality.
On two occasions, teachers from Brockwood Park School
in England and from the Krishnamurti Schools in Madras
and Bangalore, India, were invited, and we had vivid dis-
cussions about the meaning and practice of educating
children in accordance with K’s holistic teaching. And we
found that in practice things were turning out quite differ-
ently compared to the theory and that success was also a
factor of the culture and the individual strengths and char-
acter of the teachers. In general, I was impressed by the
teachers from India as they had encountered much greater
opposition initially to setting up their unique concept than
this was the case with Brockwood in England.
Not to forget, England has Summerhill School which ini-
tiated, when it was setup by Alexander Sutherland Neill, a
true revolution in education.
—Alexander S. Neill, Summerhill (1984), Summerhill School (1995)

India never had anything comparable. But the teachers
agreed that both cultures were and are extremely repres-
sive as to helping children to handle, channel and express
their emotions, as this was a strong cultural taboo both in
England and in India.
Krishnamurti’s teaching was critical in my life in the
sense that, as we had discussed it in the circle in several

13
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

sessions, I was facing the same self–criticism that I have
seen in others who block themselves by the argument of
time, for example in the following terms: ‘Well, once I have
solved my personal problems, I will be a good teacher and care-
taker.’
When I voiced this statement, I was facing opposition
in the circle and it was said that I had not really under-
stood Krishnamurti’s teaching. Surprised and unsettled, I
asked why? Then the Princess and an elder friend of her
who had been a teacher for decades told me this:
—If you want to wait until you have solved all your
problems, you can wait until you die, and you will never
even start to teach and to share!

And they said that K repeated this simple truth often
times. I had to acknowledge that I had ignored it. And they
put one of K’s talks in the video player, a tape I had not
seen thus far, and all was becoming clear to me in minutes.
I had blocked my educational creativity by this kind of de-
structive self–talk. I had put up a time factor in self–devel-
opment, something that other sages, including Zen sages,
have held for highly destructive. Later I encountered the
teaching of Ramana Maharshi that says something like:
—Where are you now? Where you are now is what
counts, and not where you are in some distant future. You
can only grow from where you are now, not from what you
wish to be in the future.
The teaching of eternal presence is still more powerfully
present with Zen masters, and two years later I was learn-
14
INTRODUCTION

ing Zen meditation and saw the many parallels it has with
the teaching of the great sages from India.

—See Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones (1989), Alan W. Watts, The
Way of Zen (1999), Karlfried Graf Dürckheim, Zen and Us (1991). See
also Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now (2004), Eugen Herrigel, Zen in the
Art of Archery, 1971, Roshi Philip Kapleau, Three Pillars of Zen (1967)

To finalize this introduction, let me shortly explain why
I wrote the present study about the teaching and philoso-
phy of Krishnamurti.
There have been discussions in our
circle that left us stuck in controversy,
despite of the goodwill and the per-
sonal contributions each of us tried to
make for the common benefit of the
group and, generally, for our various
social and humanitarian endeavors.
One of the points we debated was Krishnamurti’s un-
derstanding of what he called ‘emptying consciousness of
its content.’ As it is known in Krishnamurti circles even
today, and as I have mentioned it already above, this part
of K’s teaching is generally understood and interpreted as
the insight in the total absence of time in any form of spiri-
tual development. In this context, K used to say while I
quote this from memory:

You can get there in a second, but not from your
willpower, not from your conscious ego, but it
comes, when it comes, spontaneously. I do not
say that it comes for you, but time is surely not

15
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

in play when this happens. Because when time
is involved, thought is involved and thus the
past. And then it’s all circular and you cannot
experience novelty. For the unknown to unfold,
you need to develop total attention for the pre-
sent, without rejecting thought, because when
you reject thought, you strengthen its power.
So, when you look deeply into this, you see that
time has no place in this kind of transformation,
in this kind of psychological revolution.

Here is where the discussions started. Some of the
members of the circle said they had known K from his
youth and followed his teaching for thirty or more years,
always trying to implement his philosophy in practice and
yet, it had never happened as he said, in their own lives.
Others opposed them saying it had been their own fault
because they were stuck in this or that pattern, had run to
a number of other gurus, had engaged in endless therapies
with famous psychiatrists and wasted a lot of money for
self–transformation and yet were unable to change even
the faintest of their daily habits.
Others again, the younger fellows, objected something
more general against K, saying that he had been ‘a privi-
leged person,’ and that, while he had been extraordinary
as a human, his teaching was ‘not transmittable to others’
and for this reason could only explained with Krishna-
murti’s extraordinary lucidity and spiritual strength.

16
INTRODUCTION

I myself tried to see what was common in their posi-
tions so as to make sure our group would not get torn up
by personal jealousies and differences but that we stayed
together and committed to finding truth, each of us for
himself or herself. And one day I came up, spontaneously,
with the idea that emptying consciousness of its content as
K put it literally, was an impossibility! And suddenly eve-
rybody was silent and you could virtually feel the air vi-
brate of tension.

17
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

Somehow in what I was saying resonated deep down
with them, and they stopped debating and discussing, and
we left each other in a different mood that one time, in a
pensive and humble mood rather than self-assured in our
petty little personal positions. What we were seeing sud-
denly was that we all had been tricked by a simple misun-
derstanding about the meaning of that intriguing sentence.
I will try to elucidate this point, after providing some
more introduction about Krishnamurti’s unique spiritual
teaching.
We should first try to ask and answer the question
what consciousness is and if consciousness has a content,
and if yes, how we handle that content of consciousness?

When we look at the question of consciousness nega-
tively, we see the factors that are preventing us from acting
with full awareness, and thus make for reacting. We can
identify fear, not rational fear, but irrational or psychological
fear, or fear of life as one of the factors that are in the way for
total awareness to unfold. The life stories of people who
are fearful and others who are largely fearless show that
the person who experiences fear, reacts, while the person
who is free of fear, acts, because there is an inner space that
allows instantaneous conscious decision-making.

The mechanism of conditioning impacts upon our per-
ception of life, of reality. However, not all conditioning is
harmful, but well conditioning that inhibits our spiritual
freedom.

18
INTRODUCTION

Sigmund Freud erected the theory that consciousness
is split in various layers, such as wake consciousness, the
subconscious, the unconscious, daydreaming, trance or
dream consciousness.

Krishnamurti took quite the opposite position, saying
that our Western ‘split consciousness’ concept is the result

19
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

of conditioning and that originally, consciousness is not
split, but whole, unifying, healing and bringing into syn-
chrony our whole being. When we look at Freud’s theories
with a critical eye, we see that the tenets of psychoanalysis
cannot be declared universal and are limited by their cul-
tural belonging and embeddedness.
We can look at the individual and collective uncon-
scious, and see that the content of consciousness here is not
the same; to cope with our content of consciousness, we
are free explorers. It’s up to us, not fate or destiny, what we
do with this content, with the archetypes that we discover
there, and the energy contained in those archetypes. We
can namely use them either for evil and for beneficial pur-
poses, and it all depends on our base intention what we
actually are going to do with this information. As we are
responsible for the content of our consciousness, so we are
for our emotions; the right way to handle them is to not
repress them, but fully recognize and embrace them, not control
them, but be passively aware of them and their kaleidoscopic na-
ture, and constant change.

—See, Peter Fritz Walter, Integrate Your Emotions (2014)

In Krishnamurti’s teaching, the question of time plays
a decisive role. Krishnamurti asked if there is time in self-
transformation? He answered that question clearly, saying
that time is a notion made up by thought, and that thought
is time-bound, and thus links us with the past.

20
INTRODUCTION

Consequently, when we introduce a time element in
personal transformation, we are deluding ourselves!
K stressed the fact that to advance our evolution, our
spiritual quest, and raise our awareness level, we need to
experience timelessness, short moments of contemplation,
of total attention.

Contrary to other spiritual teachers, K held that total
attention can come about in ordinary life situations, not
necessarily during meditation, and that it is most of the
time a spontaneous experience, not a state of being triggered
by will and effort. When we are totally attentive, there is
no thought interfering, and we act in synchrony with our
greater spiritual wholeness; in that case, our action will be
right and to the point. There will be an instantaneous action,
not a reaction.
21
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

We must investigate what Krishnamurti meant when
he said that to raise our level of consciousness, we need to
‘empty consciousness of its content.’ For if we take this
statement literally, we cannot actually follow it because we
can’t free ourselves from our neuronet, we can’t erase our
memory surface, or if we do, we are in the madhouse, and
not spiritually enlightened in any way. As a result of this
insight, we can see that what K meant by ‘emptying con-
sciousness of its content’ is the gradual or not so gradual
process of transforming our thought interface in a way that it
is no more obtrusive, and that it doesn’t interfere with our
higher intentions.
There is nothing we can do to stop thought; any volun-
tary interference in the thought process makes the situa-
tion more convoluted, and thought even more difficult to
handle. So we need to accept and passively observe our
thoughts, which are emanations of our ego-bound struc-
ture.

This also means that we need to observe our emotions
and desires, and the contradictions in our desires, and
longings. It is this passive watchfulness that K termed total
attention and that he considered as the way to achieving
inner peace and enlightenment without effort—and really
spontaneously.

22
Krishnamurti Portrait by Li Qichun

23
24
The Way of Fear

This chapter first of all elucidates K’s unique idea of
psychological fear. There is no doubt that fear leaves a deep
trace, or mold, in our unconscious.

It sets up unnatural neuronal connections that usually
manifest in the form of unconscious repetition urges in the
psyche of people who are affected by fear. In most cases,
this process starts already in the womb, when the fears of
the mother are transmitted to the baby by streams of
adrenaline in the blood.
The way of fear then continues in childhood; it trans-
lates into the fear of the baby to be let alone, abandoned,
forgotten.
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

Then fear is further raised through education and the
school system, which traditionally was based upon subdu-
ing individuals through instilling fear and awe of the sov-
ereign, the spiritual representatives, the community lead-
ers, the parents and teachers, and the divinity that was
worshipped.
Little has changed in this respect since the olden days;
only the words have received a polish. Today the sovereign
is the state, the spiritual authority is the psychiatric estab-
lishment and the divinity is the dollar.
In the meantime the child developed a defense system
against fear. The mechanism that served the insecure and
constantly aggressed child to survive in a hostile and
child-hating world later turns against the person as the
muscular and characterological armor will be suffocating
her deepest emotions and strangle her inner child into
catalepsy.
The way of fear culminates in adulthood with the ad-
aptation to the mainstream value system, social obligations
and responsibilities. Aggression, violence, intolerance and
stupidity are the results of fear.
Fear was nurtured carefully while all have forgotten
about nurturing love. Fear makes love impossible and eats
life up in chunks of paranoia.
Instead of changing this course of events by changing
child-rearing practices and schooling, humanity came up
with theories such as ‘fear is part of man because of our
inner animal that constantly lives in fear’—and similar
26
THE WAY OF FEAR

nonsense. All these theories served and serve to justify the
present paranoid culture that is based upon fear and re-
pression and that has killed life because it gradually stran-
gled the joy of living by destroying the natural continuum
of life.
Present-day humans are caught in psychological fear
that is anchored in the collective unconscious. This fear has
nothing to do with the animal realm; it is completely un-
known in the animal realm. It exists only in the human
race and the collective subconscious of humanity where it was
pent up, like a collective abuse pattern since the begin-
nings of patriarchy, and thus since about five thousand
years. However, not all human beings are subjected to the
fear. The more our individual consciousness is developed,
the more we are free from the imprint by collective arche-
types. People who have developed their creative potential
in whatever field, who are individuated and walk their
own ways instead of trotting the paths of the herd are im-
mune against the fear.
J. Krishnamurti has pioneered to closely examine the
mechanism of man’s psychological fear. The result of his
analysis is that psychological fear is a pattern stored in our
memory surface and becomes reactivated over and over again
through thought, through memory and the capacity of the
human brain to create ideal virtual worlds.
Consequently, these thought-created ‘best of all worlds’
enter in obvious contradiction with the visible reality man

27
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

has created outwardly. From the split between ideal and
reality rise up strife, despair and still more fear.
This reasoning, as convincing as it seems, is confusing
on first sight because the thought processes in the brains of
free and creative people are basically the same as in the
brains of unfree, fearful people.
However, K found that while the thought process as
such is the same in all people, the thought content is rather
different.
Following tightly Krishnamurti’s teaching, one gradu-
ally understands the fact that individuals who think and
act holistically have more often than not gone through a
transformation that triggered their developing the capaci-
ties of total attention and sensitivity.
We are thus left with the intriguing question of how
such a transformation of thought can be brought about?
Or, to put it in precise terms: how can the content of con-
sciousness be altered so that a transformation of thought is
brought about?
Let me explore a bit deeper.
The content of consciousness seems to be different for
all of us because we all have gone through different life
experiences so that our ways to feel and act are basically
different.
Krishnamurti however asserted the contrary, saying
that the content of consciousness was basically the same in
all human beings. He must well have meant collective con-

28
THE WAY OF FEAR

sciousness or what Carl Jung called the collective uncon-
scious, for it is obvious that our individual consciousness
content is very different from one person to the other.

What is needed for transformation, K said, is to empty
consciousness of its content.
It is rather awkward to imagine how such emptying of
consciousness could be like in practice? Where to begin?
All past experiences, nice and traumatic ones alike, are
eternally imprinted upon universal memory of which our
individual memory storage forms part. Other parts of this
memory are inherited patterns as well as memory patterns
belonging, as already mentioned, to the collective uncon-
scious.

Until this point we can conclude that the way of fear is
always an individual way. It is every individual’s own life
path. Inherited or collective parts of consciousness have
only a minor influence upon the formation of individual
consciousness. The main factor is our individual life expe-
rience, the way we have been conditioned to perceive real-
ity.
The next step is to define the frame of references of a
revolution of consciousness through individual transfor-
mation. Part of this frame of references are:

‣ Our individual life experiences;

‣ Our family milieu;

‣ Our environment;

29
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

‣ The value system in which we grew up;

‣ The education we have been subjected to.

Krishnamurti has time and again stressed the point
that transformation is inextricably linked to transforming
relationships, first of all with ourselves, then with others,
with earth, nature and the universe. In fact, transformation
cannot be brought about by living in an ivory tower, in as-
cetic solitude, but is the result of active exchange with life
as a whole. Therefore true religion, K said, requires a great
deal of energy and serious commitment to finding truth
through building vivid intelligence and full awareness.
From identifying the patterns of one’s own consciousness,
the functioning of one’s thought processes and from rec-
ognizing the destructiveness of ideals and so-called moral
convictions, the transformation starts out.

Especially important in this work on the inner mind is
to put an end to the inner fight that is created through the
contradiction between what is (reality) and what should be
(ideal).
It will then become apparent—

‣ That traditional education represents an immediate
threat to world peace;

‣ That ideologies and so-called political actions and
convictions lead to disaster;

‣ That humanity has devoluted since about the begin-
ning of patriarchy.

30
THE WAY OF FEAR

This awakening, in turn, leads to immediate action, an
action which however is different in quality than any ac-
tion before the transformation because this new action will
not be fragmented, but whole. It will not flow from an
ideal nor from thought, nor motivation, but from pure in-
telligence, total awareness and compassion. When we re-
ject violence, terrorism, revolt and anarchy as well as
bloody revolutions, which have never brought true pro-
gress to humanity, we are again at the very beginning: how
to deal with fear and how to get free from it? This is, then,
the question to start our inquiry with.

31
Content of Consciousness

What did K mean with the term Content of Conscious-
ness? The content of consciousness consists of all past
events that have in any way affected our mind, body or
soul and that are by automatism of the lower self im-
printed upon our memory surface. This memory surface,
which is located in the etheric body of the lower self, con-
tains such elements of the individual and collective sub-
conscious that are not subject to direct and voluntary re-
call. Sigmund Freud has shown the fundamental split be-
tween conscious and subconscious mind and the subtle
communication between the two realms of perception in
dreams, mistakes, accidents, somatizations and other ways
of subtle communication that the subconscious mind, or
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

lower self, uses in order to communicate with the middle
self, or conscious mind.
One of the most essential findings of Freud in this con-
text was the repression effect of the brain. Repression of the
memory in our subconscious mind assures survival namely
in the case that remembering the experience would be so
overbearing, disgusting, revolting or anxiogenic that the
individual would become suicidal or mentally ill.

It is logical that this protection mechanism of the brain,
also called childhood amnesia, is especially important for
small children because of their high vulnerability and de-
pendence upon their environment.
It is for this reason, Freud found, that most people can-
not remember short or large periods of their childhood,
because those times were traumatic in character.
Considering the life-denying and child-hating patterns
in all so-called civilized cultures of the world, with all their
gross or subtle mutilations of children’s freedom and inno-
cence, it is not really surprising that the content of today’s
consciousness is rather small.

—See, for example, Alice Miller, For Your Own Good (1983), The
Drama of the Gifted Child (1993), Thou Shalt Not Be Aware (1998) and
Lloyd DeMause, The History of Childhood (1994) and Philippe Ariès,
Centuries of Childhood (1962)

Unfortunately, Freud never seemed to realize that the
consciousness split, as Krishnamurti explained, is created
by culture, not by nature! Spiritual man, contrary to civi-
lized man possesses a unified, whole and non-fragmented

34
CONTENT OF CONSCIOUSNESS

consciousness in which the split between conscious and
subconscious has never existed. The result of our distorted
idea of civilization, which is in fact nothing but a cultural
restriction of consciousness, is the widespread fragmenta-
tion of modern man’s mindset, a scattered feeling about
life, or even a total lack of experiences of the holistic or in-
tuitive kind. Furthermore, and as a direct consequence of
this lack of total awareness, wrong decisions on a world-
wide level have brought humanity at the border of annihi-
lation.
On the other hand, Krishnamurti’s own path of life
shows that child trauma does not necessarily engender a
general negative make-up of one’s personality, for he him-
self was strongly marked by mistreatments in childhood,
yet said later that these events never had affected him. In
his Journal, K wrote:

He doesn’t remember his childhood, the
schools and the caning. He was told years later
by the very teacher who hurt him that he used
to cane him practically every day; he would cry
and be put out on the verandah until the school
closed and the teacher would come out and ask
him to go home, otherwise he would still be on
the verandah, lost. He was caned, this man
said, because he couldn’t study or remember
anything he had read or been told. Later the
teacher couldn’t believe that the boy was the
man who had given the talk he had heard. He
was greatly surprised and unnecessarily re-
35
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

spectful. All those years passed without leaving
scars, memories, on his mind; his friendships,
his affections, even those years with those who
had ill–treated him—somehow none of these
events, friendly or brutal, have left marks on
him.

—J. Krishnamurti, Krishnamurti’s Journal (1987), 26, 27

Mary Lutyens writes in her biography Krishnamurti,
The Years of Fulfillment:

Leadbeater removed Krishna and his brother
Nitya from the school where Krishna was being
beaten every day for stupidity.

—Mary Lutyens, Krishnamurti (1983), 2

An impression of K’s relationship to his parents, par-
ticularly his father—the mother died when K was still a
boy—is given by the following notebook entry:

The two brothers were driven in a car to a vil-
lage nearby to see their father whom they had
not seen for nearly fifteen years or more. They
had to walk a little distance on an ill–kept road.
... Beyond the water, just behind some other
houses, was the house where the father lived.
He came out as the two brothers approached
and they greeted him by prostrating fully,
touching his feet. They were shy and waited for
him to speak, as was the custom. Before he said

36
CONTENT OF CONSCIOUSNESS

anything he went inside to wash his feet, as the
boys had touched them. He was a very ortho-
dox Brahmanah, and his two sons had been
polluted by mixing with others who were not of
his class and had eaten food cooked by non–
Brahmanahs. So he washed his feet and sat
down on the ground, not too close to his pol-
luted sons. They talked for some time and the
hour when food is eaten approached. He sent
them away for he could not eat with them; they
were no longer Brahmanahs. He must have had
affection for them, for after all they were his
sons whom he had not seen for so many years.
If their mother were alive she might have given
them food but she would certainly not have
eaten with her sons. They must have had a
deep affection for their children but orthodoxy
and tradition forbade any physical contact with
them. Tradition is very strong, stronger than
love. (Op.cit., 36-37)

There are many indications that K belonged to the few
who are born with superconsciousness knowing no fragmen-
tation. All the educational tortures he was subjected to did
not make him accept to take in fragmented knowledge. It
is brought to our knowledge by K’s various biographers
that the little boy persistently refused to learn anything he
was supposed to learn in school. Krishnamurti, the child,
intuitively refused every form of fragmentation of his ho-
listic worldview. To understand this point, we have to real-

37
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

ize that every intake of knowledge, if such knowledge is
abstract and without connection to our direct perception of
life, will fragment us and thus lead to confusion.

It is by the way possible that the Biblical story of Adam
and Eve who were told not to eat the fruits of the tree of
knowledge relates to this truth. This protection, so to say,
however is only needed for ordinary humans. When hu-
man intelligence is more highly developed and able to truly
integrate thought, knowledge will no more have a frag-
menting effect on human consciousness.
Part of individual consciousness is collective conscious-
ness, the entire archaic and constantly growing body of ar-
chetypes, symbols, myths and rituals that humanity shares
since times immemorial. Occultists always referred to this
part of consciousness as universal memory or the akashic re-
cords. Carl Jung has accomplished the unique task of rais-
ing our awareness to the existence of this treasure, al-
though in initiated circles this knowledge existed already
in antiquity and probably even before.
Krishnamurti formulated this fact with the simple ex-
pression, You are humanity!, explaining that the entire past
of humanity is contained in our individual consciousness.
He thus said that we represent, as individuals, the whole
of humanity. This is certainly true with regard to the collec-
tive subconscious. But can we also derive from this state-
ment that all human beings have the same individual con-
tent of consciousness?

38
Split Consciousness

Krishnamurti’s teaching was not clear about dreams. In
many talks K said the split between conscious and subcon-
scious mind was artificial, a theory made up by modern
psychology. He also questioned that dreams are necessary
for the functioning of the brain. K asserted to never have
experienced dreams, but this seems unlikely, as dream re-
search concludes that dreams are a psychological necessity.
However, it seems logical that dreams, in case there is
no split between wake and sleep consciousness, would be
deprived of their mediator function between conscious and
subconscious mind. In this case, they would most probably
cease to come up, but we do not know for sure.
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

Dreams are in fact messengers from the unconscious
and also from other realms of existence. If all realms are
unified within a large cosmic consciousness, messengers are
logically no more necessary.
However, as long as we have not reached such a broad
unified field of consciousness, we must accept the exis-
tence of dreams since otherwise we would cut ourselves
off from the larger part of existence.

Research has shown that dreaming is absolutely essen-
tial for mental health. Repressing dreams or dreaming for
long periods of time, for example through alcohol abuse,
undoubtedly leads to mental and subsequent physical ill-
ness.

Individual consciousness may be unified to a point that
the split between wake consciousness and subtle or higher
consciousness may be bridged over. This naturally occurs
when fragmentation has come to an end.
There are techniques, such as for example introspec-
tion, meditation or Zen that help achieve this task. The
Eastern sage and the Western mystic both come close to the
archetype that incarnates holistic superconsciousness.
Freud’s theory is that our subconscious mind resem-
bles a clutter drawer in which all is thrown that conscious-
ness has no use for. When for example a child is told by the
parents or early caretakers that all that has to do with body
pleasure and sex is dirty, disgusting and forbidden, this
person will live sexuality for the most part as an uncon-
scious drive and not a conscious and integrated activity.
40
SPLIT CONSCIOUSNESS

The result will be that sex is more or less lived via fan-
tasies, dreams, dirty jokes, pornography or wet dreams in-
stead of various open and conscious sexual relations. It is
logical that in this case the whole repressed area of con-
sciousness will remain for the individual a source of un-
easiness, shame, guilt, or at most a marital obligation.
In general, we can say that a strongly repressive and
punitive education with many taboos and physical pun-
ishments which perverts humans into citizens, goes along
with a very limited consciousness. In addition, human be-
ings with such kind of mindset are easily controllable.
Advertising and what is commonly called politics con-
sciously exploit this immaturity of the masses for profit
reasons. On the other hand, these human beings them-
selves—undoubtedly the majority of today’s world popu-
lation—hardly are aware of their fundamental uneasiness.
For there are so many ways to escape this awareness
building, for example through sport, entertainment, alco-
hol, television or movies that most of us never really listen
to the hints destiny gives us for personal growth and the
development of our unique soul consciousness. It is obvi-
ous that the conscious content of consciousness of condi-
tioned human beings, the part of consciousness thus that is
subject to willful control, or middle self in the terminology
of the native Kahunas, largely differs from one person to
the other, and this depending on our early childhood expe-
riences.

41
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

—See, for example, Max Freedom Long, The Secret Science at Work:
The Huna Method as a Way of Life (1953), Growing into Light (1955)
and Erika Nau, Self-Awareness Through Huna (1981)

Now, applying Krishnamurti’s teaching, we have to
consider humans to be conditioned independently of their
upbringing. This is true since every education brings about
a certain amount of conditioning.
However, the question cannot reasonably be to elimi-
nate all conditioning from education—because this would
be a utopian quest—but to distinguish between destructive
and constructive or harmless conditioning. It cannot be de-
nied that a Chinese is conditioned to eat Chinese food whereas an
Italian is conditioned to eat Italian food.

There is, it seems, nothing bad in this. The fact that we
are conditioned to eat certain kinds of food and not certain
others does not suggest that there should be a uniform in-
ternational cuisine. The very idea seems absurd.
Let me thus give an example to show my point. If we
compare two people and how they have lived their lives—
Adolf Hitler and Pablo Picasso—and have a look at their
childhoods, we quickly understand. These two men were
certainly different in that they received a different condi-
tioning regarding food, but this kind of conditioning was
surely of minor influence for the way they behaved and
lived. Nobody would assume that eating Austrian food
leads more easily to hating Jews than eating Spanish food.

42
SPLIT CONSCIOUSNESS

In much the same way hardly anybody would assume
that eating a paella once a week raises chances to paint one
day like Picasso.

While millions suffered from one of the greatest trage-
dies of humanity so that the cruelly abused boy Adolf
could act out his repressed hatred, we were given an im-
mense potential of consciousness, beauty and creativity by
Picasso who grew up in an environment of respect and love.
Picasso certainly also went through miseries in his child-
hood but he certainly reacted differently to that than Hit-
ler. Why?
Alice Miller, a Swiss psychiatrist, researched this in-
triguing question for many years. She contributed to free
the truth about the Nazi regime from the realm of mythic
beliefs. These beliefs namely tend to suggest that at the end
nobody was responsible for the holocaust. It is obvious,
however, that such responsibility cannot be denied.
What we have to understand, then, is that this respon-
sibility is or was not only on the shoulders of one individ-
ual with the name of Hitler, but that we face here a form of
responsibility that is collective, one in which we all share
to a certain extent. The evidence that Alice Miller put for-
ward is so strikingly convincing that there can be no doubt
that we all are responsible for these and similar horrors in
the world.
Insofar Alice Miller argues, perhaps without knowing,
on the line of Krishnamurti’s teaching. 

43
The Individual and Collec-
tive Unconscious

The specific characteristic of the collective unconscious
is that we all can access it and thus share in its content. Its
existence is independent from our individual path of life.

To get back to our example, it is obvious that both men,
Hitler and Picasso, were strongly attracted by themes or
archetypes of the collective unconscious. The Swastika, the
Hakenkreuz of the Nazi ideology that Hitler chose as a
symbol for his ideas as well as the Minotaur that is a recur-
ring theme in Picasso’s art, and which is a mythic being,
half animal, half human, who likes to sexually assault in-
nocent girls, are examples for this fact. The swastika is an
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

old magic symbol that has a firm place in the Indian and
Balinese religious traditions. The Minotaur belongs to the
old Greek mythology. Both cultures have had their impact
upon our culture—and thus formed our cultural setup.
The difference in the lives of Hitler, on one hand, and
Picasso, on the other, is again to be seen in how they used
the content of collective thought. Hitler used it for perse-
cuting others, for killing and destruction. Picasso, although
he was attracted to highly aggressive symbols of collective
thought, used them for artistic purposes and thus subli-
mated their content into creative force and beauty.
In other words, Hitler worked for destroying culture
and building chaos whereas Picasso worked for building
culture and warding off chaos.
If we put individual and collective thought content on
one and the same level, we disregard the differences in the
thought content of individuals. It is obviously the way our
consciousness is structured individually that determines
how and for what purpose we use archetypes and symbols
from the collective consciousness.
The basic difference namely is to know if our individ-
ual consciousness functions in a manner to integrate collec-
tive consciousness content, or to disintegrate it. How can it
happen, then, that the thought content of some individuals
is basically integrative and that of others basically disinte-
grative?
Let us first look at two examples that show how differ-
ent people grow up into adulthood.
46
THE INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS

EXAMPLE ONE
The child was not wanted and the mother’s hostility
went literally under his skin through blood and hormone
exchange; at birth the mother was stiff and unprepared
and giving birth was very painful for her; her vagina was
tight and inflexible so that the child strongly feared to suf-
focate during birth. Already blue in the face, the baby was
eventually recovered.
To bring him to life again, he was beaten and put up-
side down several times. Now the little boy really thought
he was going to be killed since the treatment he got was
rough and violent. The neon light in the clinic pierced his
eyes and almost blinded him. The harsh noises of the me-
tallic instruments and the loud insensitive voices of the
doctors and nurses hurt his very sharp ears to a point to be
deaf for life.
The infant wondered over and over why this new life
was like a punishment from the first moment he was con-
ceived, what he had done to be treated without any re-
spect, why he had chosen a mother that despised him from
the first thought she had had for him? Later the boy saw
that he was not wrong in his first negative opinion since he
was often left alone, going through all the possible fears
and traumas of abandonment and more and more often
was beaten and mistreated by his mother until finally, when
he reached the age of eighteen he was celebrated to be a
member of the adult community.

47
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

He then got a job and said he had ‘made it.’ His child-
hood he had forgotten and children around him he did not
see. Soon he married and had children himself. He found
them a bother altogether and punished them harshly when
they made the slightest mistake.
He held his mother in high esteem and said she had
taught him manners and without manners one could not
survive. His mother soon died of cancer. Only when she
was dead he realized that he did not miss her at all. He
then began to reflect about his childhood and began to get
glimpses of memory.
However, these memories were so painful that he soon
drowned them in alcohol and the next TV show. Definitely,
he had set his life to be a happy one and did not let those
silly memories disturb his tranquility. That is why he never
woke up to reality, to his reality and led a life of medioc-
rity, imitation and low achievement.

EXAMPLE TWO
A child born to a couple that had vividly desired him
as a companion and friend. His parents had been very con-
scious about the great challenge to give birth to a soul dur-
ing the times of transition we presently live through. And
they were decided to do the very best to give this child his
unique place in the world. From the start, the little boy felt
enveloped by overwhelming and protecting love. He also
felt they were not overly concerned about their own prob-
lems, but about his wellbeing and his unique character first

48
THE INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS

of all. They innocently wanted to know him; they were
open and willing to learn. They were friendly.
They devoted lots of time thinking of him and even
getting in touch with him telepathically, before he even
was conceived. They sent him wonderful thoughts, and
light, and acceptance, long before he was born. They cre-
ated a place of welcome for him and prepared his arrival
as if he were a king. They had so much attention for him
and they were so sensitive!
They cared for him to be born at home, far from any
hospital, in a safe and homey place, with dimmed light
and a candle burning in the silent chamber. They let come
a good friend who was an expert in what they called ‘birth
without violence.’
He was leaving the protective cavern easily, without
effort, and there was only love, all around him, from the
first moment in this new world. He felt accepted, totally
and unconditionally.

There are hundreds of combinations of these somewhat
extreme examples. The law of life is that we give what we
have received. It is factually almost impossible to give
what we never received. Before we learn to act, we re-act.
And our reaction always reflects our primal scene. Who
lived through trauma is likely to inflict trauma, who was
bathed in love is likely to give love in return. Pavlov’s law
of the conditioned reflex is not a conundrum.

49
The Role of Emotions

Krishnamurti understood emotions as being part of
thought and therefore part of the ego. This view estranges
because emotions certainly do not belong to thinking or
thought; they rather live a life on their own and are in close
relation with the body. The Huna teaching says that emo-
tions are seated in the lower self’s etheric body, and only
there.

—See Max Freedom Long, The Secret Science at Work (1995), 15.
See also Peter Fritz Walter, Integrate Your Emotions (2014)

While it is true that thought is always in the past, emo-
tions belong to the present. They are here and now. How-
ever, we often think of past emotions whereby we disinte-
grate them from present reality.
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

Living in the present therefore means that our present
emotions and feelings are not overshadowed by thought
that contains past emotions and feelings.

A continuous process of reintegrating past emotions
voids them of stuck psychic energy. Without this energy
they continue to be part of consciousness, but they do not
interfere with present reality.
Krishnamurti repeatedly pointed out that it is not wise
nor spiritual to repress our emotions, but that responsible
living asks for understanding and integrating them. This is
the point of departure of Krishnamurti’s educational ap-
proach. In his book For the Young he talks to young people
and tells them that they already have the responsibility to
live their emotions fully and constructively.
See J. Krishnamurti, For the Young (1987), 120, 121: 

That is why you should have very strong feel-
ings—feelings of passion, anger—and watch
them, play with them, find out the truth of
them; for if you merely suppress them, if you
say, I must not get angry, I must not feel pas-
sionate, because it is wrong, you will find that
your mind is gradually being encased in an
idea and thereby becomes very shallow. You
may be immensely clever, you may have ency-
clopedic knowledge, but if there is not the vital-
ity of strong and deep feeling, your comprehen-
sion is like a flower that has no perfume.

52
Emptying Consciousness of
its Content?

What did Krishnamurti mean when he said that for
transforming thought we had to empty consciousness of its
content? This can reasonable only mean that we should ac-
complish detachment from the memory of both hurts and
frustrations, and positive and rewarding emotional experi-
ences.
Memory, K explains, forms something like an overlay
pattern over our present thought processes so that think-
ing gets confused and messed up with the past. Krishna-
murti explained that thought belongs always to the past
and that thinking thus is inadequate to cope with our
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

present-day problems. Only in a state of passive awareness
in which thought is absent, and which Krishnamurti called
passive watchfulness or total attention, reality can be com-
prehended. However, this state of awareness cannot be
brought about voluntarily but comes to existence sponta-
neously. This is so because every intention to bring about
this state of bliss is motivated by purpose—and purpose is
created by thought. Our attitude must therefore be one
without purpose.
Let us inquire into the question how detachment from
past memories can be brought about? It certainly cannot be
done by the mere wish to forget about our past, nor by re-
pressing thought processes; this would have exactly the
opposite effect: we would be submerged by past memories
to a point that they would begin controlling us. And this
would not even be conscious. We would not be aware that
we are controlled by our past and repeat past events end-
lessly. This is known, in psychology, as the ‘unconscious
repetition urge.’
Somebody for example pretends he is free of fear and,
regarding sexuality, free of guilt whereas in reality he has
set up his life in a way that situations where fear or guilt
could possibly show up are as good as excluded. The per-
son for example pretends that sexuality was per se a prod-
uct of fear and that, as a result, fearless human beings ‘do
not need sexuality any more.’ Or someone says that sexu-
ality was a form of violence and that people who had de-

54
EMPTYING CONSCIOUSNESS OF ITS CONTENT

veloped true affection do ‘no longer need this form of vio-
lence.’
Let me confess, I do not speak about theory. I did not
invent these examples. Participants from the Krishnamurti
circle I frequented forwarded these absurd allegations, or
delusions, about themselves. The problem is much deeper.
Only outwardly this is a problem of sexuality. In reality we
are still dealing with the question of how to handle emo-
tions. Krishnamurti repeated over and over that it’s not the
point to be pro or con sexuality.

—See for example J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living (1986),
56, ‘Chastity’

In his book Education and the Significance of Life (1978),
which I shall review in the annex to this book, K explains
that sex had such importance in our culture merely be-
cause it was the only form of spontaneous creativity that
was left in a completely mechanical life. Sex, he explained,
is in our culture often a means for an end, the end namely
to get away from our hypertrophied egos, and be it only
for a short moment of orgasmic let go.

Caught and held from all sides, naturally sex
becomes our only outlet, an experience to be
sought again and again because it momentarily
offers that state of happiness which comes
when there is absence of self. It is not sex that
constitutes a problem, but the desire to recap-
ture, to gain and maintain pleasure, whether
sexual or any other. (Id., 118)

55
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

The problem is not sex, but the vicious circle created by
a blown-up intellect that represses the emotional-intuitive
side of our wholeness, and fragments us. Sex then assumes
the role of a momentary holistic experience.
It is obvious that we cannot just stop thinking. Thought
is a functional process that is essential for living. The ques-
tion can only be how to transform thought so that its con-
tent changes, so that it is no more dominated by past con-
ditioning and comprehends present life intelligently.
Now I would like to describe some typical events that
characterize immediate and intelligent action that is not con-
ditioned by the past but directly dealing with the present.
K himself has given one example over and over: the situa-
tion where someone suddenly faces a lethal snake.
Not only in moments of immediate danger our thought
processes suddenly stop and give way to a direct mode of
perception. It also happens when we love. Love is an expe-
rience that brings about a perception that is totally in the
present. Suddenly, we feel all our worries fade away.
How much beauty is in this state of bliss! All our great
poets wrote about it and remind us that love truly has the
touch of the gods, a foretaste of the eternal bliss we are com-
ing from and going to.

Time has no kingdom over love. From this fact comes
the expression ‘eternal love.’ However, this expression is
often misunderstood. It namely does not mean that loving
another person lasts eternally. Love belongs to the eternal
but love that is incarnated in our dimension is time-bound.
56
EMPTYING CONSCIOUSNESS OF ITS CONTENT

Nonetheless, the experience of love gives us an idea of
eternal bliss and it is therefore uniquely enriching.
Spirituality that is lived in the ivory tower of a particu-
lar doctrine and cut off from experiencing love will never
comprehend the true dimension of life—which is love. To
get back to our initial question: how can we spontaneously
end the bondage of time, the rulership of the past over the
present, the attachment to thought?

To formulate it even more precisely: how can thought
that is repetitive and conditioned by our past, come to an
end, so that immediate, spontaneous action can take place?
My answer is, by integrating the past into the present con-
tent of consciousness. What does that mean? As K repeatedly
said, the main reason of violence and destruction and the
impossibility of universal love is our fragmentation.
We are split, disintegrated. K’s analysis is however not
new; since times immemorial intellectual fragmentation
has been held by hermetic knowledge as evil and the good
was associated with a state of wholeness—holiness. On the
archetypal level, Sallie Nichols writes in her study Jung and
Tarot (1986), the Devil in the Tarot was always represented
as an unholy figure in that it was puzzled together with
limbs that do not seem to belong to each other. This is how
the Tarot artists visually depicted the fragmentation that
the Devil archetype stands for.
The two words ‘whole’ and ‘holy’ namely go back to
the same etymological root in Germanic languages. In lan-
guages that trace back to Latin, holy means sanctus (in
57
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

French ‘saint’); whole, in Latin, means totus (in French ‘to-
tal’ or ‘entier’).
There is a pair of words in French, too, which expresses
this truth: sain (healthy) and saint (holy). Both words differ
only by a ‘t’ and express that holy can be only that what is
healthy, not sick, not fragmented, not disintegrated.
Once you are familiar with the old myths, Jungian psy-
choanalysis or the Tarot, you will understand that the in-
carnation of evil is always unholy in the sense of unhealthy,
divided, fragmented, composed of parts that do not belong
together. The mythic mixtures of man and animal belong
to these incarnations, the monsters, dragons, hydras and—
the Biblical Devil.

In the Tarot de Marseille, the Devil is represented by the
13th Arcane, a being that is in every respect un–whole, dis-
integrated, fragmented and therefore un–holy. No limb of
the figure seems to fit to another limb. Its nature is an-
drogynous and represents an absurd accumulation of het-
erogeneous parts. It bears the antlers of a red dear, the tal-
ons of a bird of prey, and the wings of a bat. It appears to
be a man but bears the breasts of a woman, or rather wears
them, since they seem to be grafted on its body. In mythol-
ogy, the devil is said to be a fallen angel, one that once was
sitting at the side of God. Its original wholeness (holiness)
and goodness is therefore beyond doubt.

—Sallie Nichols, Jung And Tarot (1986)

58
EMPTYING CONSCIOUSNESS OF ITS CONTENT

As this archetypal figure of the Devil symbolizes it, we
also disintegrate parts of us daily, we are chased from
paradise daily and we transform daily good intentions into
bad ones—and so on.
The state of integration is flexible, unstable, and subject
to constant change. Only through perfect watchfulness
about the disintegrative tendencies in us, we can maintain
a positive balance and a state of wholeness over longer pe-
riods of time.
Thought cannot help us in this endeavor. In the con-
trary, thought is bound to fragment us, to split off what
was once whole and undivided. Thought always tends to
dissect, to disassemble, to cut off wholeness. This is its way
to comprehend reality. It abstracts images from reality and
divides them into a puzzle, storing neatly into memory the
various puzzle stones, while forgetting the original picture
that those puzzle stones once composed. This fragmenting
tendency of thought can be acted counter only through a
conscious process of reintegrating all disintegrated feelings,
thoughts, desires, longings and experiences. Which tech-
niques we apply in order to effect this, is subject to per-
sonal taste. Some try it with Zen, others with Yoga, others
again use psychotherapeutic techniques such as Gestalt or
Transactional Analysis (TA), others consult the Tarot or the
I Ching, others again work with dreams, and others use
astrology or numerology.

—See also Peter Fritz Walter, The Leadership I Ching (2014)

59
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

Every technique that results in a Know Thyself! could be
cited here. All these techniques are but forms of medita-
tion, and it is meditation in the broadest sense of the word
that leads to inner and outer unity. Many know this state
of bliss from short moments of abandonment during ski-
ing, riding, driving, flying or walks in nature. Everyone
who has read Goethe or other authors of the German ro-
mantic tradition knows what I am trying to convey here.

Goethe’s pantheism was his personal vintage of a holis-
tic worldview, although it was formerly arrogantly wiped
off by scientists as some erudite form of animism.
In the divinatory sciences, such as for example the Tarot,
the chain of time is but the succession of cause and effect.
Life is understood as a chain of causality, the present a di-
rect outflow of the past, the future the result of the present
projected upon the universal time line that is underlying
all living. Therefore, looking into the future is no magic.
What psychics do when they foretell the future is but
screening the present content of consciousness, which is un-
conscious in most people, including its roots in the past,
and project it on the time line. This reveals tendencies or
probabilities of future action, today also called quantum
probabilities.

It is the same in astrology. Here, too, we deal with ten-
dencies, potentialities that may or may not condense into
future tangible reality. However, while quantum reality be-
comes visible in astrological consultation, this doesn’t
mean that tangible reality can really be predicted, as it de-

60
EMPTYING CONSCIOUSNESS OF ITS CONTENT

pends on how the consciousness of the person develops
over time, the time span namely from the consultation to
the actual realization of the event or events that were seen
to unfold in the chart.
‘The stars incline but they do not determine,’ has said
Thomas Aquinas who was not only a famous theologian at
his time, but also a fine astrologer. Which technique we use
is not important since they all lead to the same goal: the
revelation of the unconscious content of consciousness of
the individual that asks for divinatory advice.
Let me summarize so far that ‘emptying consciousness
of its content’ can’t be taken literally. K’s terminology was
misleading at this point.

The process of integration of unconscious content of con-
sciousness proceeds through the revelation of such content
so that it can be consciously comprehended. Human mem-
ory is not a tape that could simply be erased or replaced.
If this happens, accidentally, for example through cere-
bral damage resulting from an accident, the person has not
gained anything on a spiritual level. In the contrary will
the person have to regain their entire memory surface be-
fore they will be able to proceed in the evolution of their
consciousness.

What can well be done, however, is to give a different
meaning to events of the past, thereby changing the way
memory affects us. This, then, changes the quality of the
memory as such and therefore can be used as a therapeutic
technique, as a point it out in other publications.
61
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

The term ‘emptying the content of consciousness,’ as
Krishnamurti used it, could mislead people into conclud-
ing that it is enough to simply forget their past and repress
it from conscious memory. However, this would be the ab-
solute opposite of what Krishnamurti was teaching. That
my interpretation of the teaching of Krishnamurti is in ac-
cordance with what K wanted to say becomes obvious in
the following quote from Krishnamurti’s Notebook (June 1961
—January 1962):

Total attention includes the superficial and the
hidden, the past and its influence on the pre-
sent, moving into the future.

—J. Krishnamurti, Krishnamurti’s Notebook (1986), 105

In Commentaries on Living, 2nd Series, there is a passage
that concerns dreams. From this quote it becomes evident
that Krishnamurti’s position regarding dreams was not as
dogmatic as it was often said to be.
The questioner, a teacher, had lost all interest in his
work and consults Krishnamurti for advise. K tells him the
following:

If the intention to find out is there, you will find
out, not by constant inquiry, but by being dear
and ardent in your intention. Then you will see
that during the waking hours there is an alert
watchfulness in which you are picking up every
intimation of that latent interest, and that
dreams also play a part. (Id., 44-45)
62
EMPTYING CONSCIOUSNESS OF ITS CONTENT

The idea that a psychological revolution of human con-
sciousness is needed to bring about a new way of thinking
and a higher level of compassion will be a natural result of
working on the content of our consciousness.
For all of us who are on this soul quest, the usual gos-
sip in the media, the daily political absurdities, the infa-
mous collective betrayal of our populations, and the witch
hunts and the massacres that happen all over the globe are
but signals that this revolution is at the very footstep of
our door.
It will be clear, then, that it is not through accumulating
knowledge, through following the news, reading newspa-
pers or even spiritual books that we can access truth, and
information that reveals truth.
In the contrary, we will become more and more immune
against all this pseudo-information and gossip that betrays
the spiritual flame in man and violates human dignity.
True spirituality, true religion means we are seeking
truth by ourselves, on an entirely individual level, and I
would say on an intimate basis, and this without guru and
without holy books.
Krishnamurti’s teaching makes sense when we inte-
grate it in the truth that we, individually, grasp by intui-
tion, and not by aligning it with tradition.
Whoever is able to carry this out will discover that life
becomes a passionate endeavor, a discovery and truly in-
telligent journey.

63
Book Review Annex

Books Reviewed
Education and the Significance of Life (1978)
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

Krishnamurti was born on 11 May 1985, at Madana-
palle, a small hill town between Madras and Bangalore.
His father, Jiddu Narianiah, had married a cousin, Sanjee-
vamma, who bore him ten children, of whom Krishna was
the eighth.
This Telugu-speaking, strictly vegetarian Brahmin fam-
ily were not badly off by Indian standards, Narianiah be-
ing an official in the Revenue Department of the British
administration, rising before his retirement to the position
of District Magistrate. Narianiah was a Theosophist and
Sanjeevamma a worshipper of Sri Krishna, himself an
eighth child after whom she called her own eighth child.

Mary Lutyens
Sanjeevamma had a premonition that this eighth
child was to be remarkable in some way and in-
sisted, in spite of her husband's protests, that it
should be born in the puja room. A Brahmin writer

68
BOOK REVIEW ANNEX

has pointed out that this prayer room could nor-
mally only be entered after a ritual bath and the
putting-on of clean clothes: ‘Birth, death and the
menstrual cycle were the focus of ritual pollution …
that a child should be born in this room was un-
thinkable.’ And yet it was so.
     Unlike Sanjeevamma’s other confinements, it was
an easy birth. The next morning the baby’s horo-
scope was cast by a well-known astrologer who as-
sured Narianiah that his son was to be a very great
man. For years it seemed unlikely that his prediction
would be fulfilled. Whenever the astrologer saw
Narianiah he would ask ‘What of the boy Krishna?
… Wait. I have told you the truth; he will be some-
one very wonderful and great.’
     At the age of two Krishna almost died of malaria.
Thereafter, for several years, he suffered from bouts
of malaria and severe nose bleeds which kept him
away from school and closer to his mother than any
of her other children. He loved to go with her to the
temple. He was such a vague and dreamy child, and
so bad at school work, which he hated that he ap-
peared to his teachers to be mentally retarded. Nev-
ertheless he was extremely observant, as he was to
be all his life. He would stand for long stretches at a
time, watching trees and clouds, or squat to gaze at
flowers and insects. He also had a most generous
nature, another characteristic which he retained
throughout his life. He would often return from
school without pencil, slate or books, having given
them to some poorer child, and when beggars came
to the house in the mornings to receive the custom-
ary gift of unboiled rice and his mother sent him out

69
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

to distribute the food, he would return for more,
having poured all the rice into the first man’s bag.

—Mary Lutyens, The Life and Death of Krishnamurti, Chennai:
Krishnamurti Foundation India, 1990, pp. 3-4.

Rohit Mehta
When there is total attention to yesterday’s psycho-
logical memory, than that memory comes to an end;
the brain cells and the mind then are free.’ Krishna-
murti here speaks of a total attention to yesterday’s
psychological memory in order to end it. If it ends,
then there is no projection of an image on that which
is sought to be perceived. In the ending of the psy-
chological memory of yesterday there comes into
being naturally and effortlessly a state of / attention
in which pure perception of what is becomes possi-
ble. It has to be remembered that in Krishnamurti’s
Approach, total attention means non-verbalized ob-
servation; it is perception without naming. He says
that in order to end the psychological memory of
yesterday, one must totally attend to it. Now, yester-
day’s psychological memory exists neither as an ob-
ject nor as an event. It exists only as an image. It rep-
resents not what is, but what was. It is this image
which causes all the projections of the mind; it is this
which distracts from what is.

—Rohit Mehta, J. Krishnamurti and the Nameless Experience: A
Comprehensive Discussion of J. Krishnamurti’s Approach to Life, Delhi:
Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 2002, pp. 328-329

In 1929, after years of questioning himself and the des-
tiny imposed upon him, Krishnamurti disbanded the Order

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BOOK REVIEW ANNEX

of the Star, the theosophical organization he was elected to
be the head and chairman, turning away all followers.

Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot ap-
proach it by any path whatsoever, by any relig-
ion, by any sect. Truth, being limitless, uncondi-
tioned, unapproachable by any path whatso-
ever, cannot be organized; nor should any or-
ganization be formed to lead or to coerce peo-
ple along any particular spiritual path.

From that time until his death in February 1986 at the
age of ninety, he traveled around the world speaking as a
private person, teaching and giving talks and having dis-
cussions. His aim was to set people psychologically free so
that they might be in harmony with themselves, with na-
ture and with others. K taught that humanity has created
the environment in which we live and that nothing can
ever put a stop to the violence and suffering that has been
going on for thousands of years except a total transforma-
tion in the human psyche.
If only a dozen people are transformed, it would defi-
nitely change the world. K maintained that there is no path
71
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

to this transformation, no method for achieving it, no gu-
rus or spiritual authorities who can help. He pointed to the
need for an ever-deepening and acute awareness in which
the limitations of the mind could drop away.

K always was a universal and cosmopolitan mind. Al-
though born of Indian parentage, he stated repeatedly that
he had no nationality and belonged to no particular cul-
ture of group. What he hoped his audience would learn, he
was the living example for it, which is in my view the only
way a guru can legitimize himself as a spiritual leader.
Only what is brought over as ‘incarnated’ can be shared,
not what is merely preached or lectured, as true as it may
be.
Education has always been one of K’s chief concerns. If
a young person could learn to see their conditioning of
race, nationality, religion, dogma, tradition, opinion, etc.,
which inevitably leads to conflict, then he might become a
fully intelligent human being able to live in a way that re-
spects other beings and nature as a whole.

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BOOK REVIEW ANNEX

During his lifetime K established several schools in dif-
ferent parts of the world where young people and adults
could come together and explore the possibility of right
relationships in actual daily living.

Krishnamurti said of his schools that they were places
where students and teachers can flower inwardly and be-
come unfragmented and whole humans. He wanted the
schools to be real centers of understanding, of real com-
prehension of life.

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KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

Education and the Significance of Life
London: Victor Gollancz, 1978

Krishnamurti’s book Education and the Significance of Life is one of the
most important books on education. I will produce and discuss some
quotes here that show that K really had a radical and honest attitude
toward child rearing.

Krishnamurti’s principle argument regarding educa-
tion was that it should not condition the child, but build
awareness of our inevitable conditioning by society and
social values. Here are some key quotes:

We are turning out, as if through a mould, a
type of human being whose chief interest is to
find security, to become somebody important,
or to have a good time with as little thought as
possible./9

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BOOK REVIEW ANNEX

Conventional education makes independent
thinking extremely difficult. Conformity leads
to mediocrity. To be different from the group or
to resist environment is not easy and is often
risky as long as we worship success./9

This fear of life, this fear of struggle and of new
experience, kills in us the spirit of adventure;
our whole upbringing and education have
made us afraid to be different from our neigh-
bour, afraid to think contrary to the established
pattern of society, falsely respectful of authority
and tradition./10

It is only when we face experience as it comes
and do not avoid disturbance that we keep in-
telligence highly awakened; and intelligence
highly awakened is intuition, which is the only
true guide in life./11

Though there is a higher and wider significance
to life, of what value is our education if we
never discover it? We may be highly educated,
but if we are without deep integration of
thought and feeling, our lives are incomplete,
contradictory and torn with many fears; and as
long as education does not cultivate an inte-
grated outlook on life, it has very little signifi-
cance. /11

75
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

The individual is made up of different entities,
but to emphasize the differences and to encour-
age the development of a definite type leads to
many complexities and contradictions. Educa-
tion should bring about the integration of these
separate entities—for without integration, life
becomes a series of conflicts and sorrows./12

What K next stresses in education is self-knowledge. And
rightly so. Without self-knowledge we become automatons
and ruthless executioners in lifeless systems.

We cannot understand existence abstractly or
theoretically. To understand life is to under-
stand ourselves and that is both the beginning
and the end of education./14

When there is no self-knowledge, self-
expression becomes self-assertion, with all its
aggressive and ambitious conflicts. Education
should awaken the capacity to be self-aware
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BOOK REVIEW ANNEX

and not merely indulge in gratifying self-
expression. /15

Systems, whether educational or political, are
not changed mysteriously; they are transformed
when there is a fundamental change in our-
selves. The individual is of first importance, not
the system; and as long as the individual does
not understand the total process of himself, no
system, whether of the left or of the right, can
bring order and peace to the world./16

One of the main points of critique of current education
by alternative educational methods is the fact that modern-
day education is mechanical and technology-based, and dis-
regards the soul and soul values. K writes:

Present-day education is a complete failure be-
cause it has over-emphasized technique. In
over-emphasizing technique we destroy man.
To cultivate capacity and efficiency without un-
derstanding life, without having a comprehen-
sive perception of the ways of thought and de-
sire, will only make us increasingly ruthless,
which is to engender wars and jeopardize our
physical security. The exclusive cultivation of
technique has produced scientists, mathemati-
cians, bridge builders, space conquerors; but do
they understand the total process of life? Can
any specialist experience life as a whole? Only
when he ceases to be a specialist./18

77
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

The man who knows how to split the atom but
has no love in his heart becomes a monster./19

Thus, K stresses the need for an integrated approach to
education, which necessarily also would be an approach
that wisely is drafted to activate and stimulate both brain
hemispheres, and the characteristics associated with them.
K points out:

The right kind of education, while encouraging
the learning of a technique, should accomplish
something which is of far greater importance; it
should help man to experience the integrated
process of life. It is this experiencing that will
put capacity and technique in their right
place./21

An important, and often misunderstood problem in
education are ideals, heroes, and generally any kind of
people worship. The conditioning of children after national
or social, or other heroes, and the idealism connected with
that quest in traditional patriarchal education cannot be
overlooked. Krishnamurti never left a doubt that ideas are
highly destructive for building intelligent humans, and he
boldly states:

Ideals have no place in education for they pre-
vent the comprehension of the present./22

The right kind of education is not concerned
with any ideology, however much it may prom-
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BOOK REVIEW ANNEX

ise a future Utopia: it is not based on any sys-
tem, however carefully thought out; nor is it a
means of conditioning the individual in some
special manner. Education in the true sense is
helping the individual to be mature and free, to
flower greatly in love and goodness. That is
what we should be interested in, and not in
shaping the child according to some idealistic
pattern./23

Now, we often hesitate to talk about love, and it’s al-
most a commonplace today, or even has a strange subver-
sive note about it to say that one must love children if one
wants to be a good teacher. K had the authority to say
what had to be said, and it was received positively because
there was no doubt in his integrity:

Only love can bring about the understanding of
another. Where there is love there is instantane-
ous communion with the other, on the same
level and at the same time. It is because we our-
selves are so dry, empty and without love that
we have allowed governments and systems to
take over the education of our children and the
direction of our lives; but governments want
efficient technicians, not human beings, because
human beings become dangerous to govern-
ments— and to organized religions as well.
That is why governments and religious organi-
zations seek to control education./24

79
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

And we are again confronted with the notion of con-
formity that goes through the book like an Ariadne thread;
in fact, idealism and conformity go hand in hand, and are
sugared up by sentimentality.

Life cannot be made to conform to a system, it
cannot be forced into a framework, however
nobly conceived and a mind that has merely
been trained in factual knowledge is incapable
of meeting life with its variety, its subtlety, its
depths and great heights. When we train our
children according to a system of thought or a
particular discipline, when we teach them to
think within departmental divisions, we pre-
vent them from growing into integrated men
and women, and therefore they are incapable of
thinking intelligently, which is to meet life as a
whole./24

K saw the difficult and challenging role of the dedi-
cated educator, and he was very outspoken that such an
individual cannot reasonably be a conformist, but must be
a person who is an independent thinker, and mentally and
emotionally sane:

Education is intimately related to the present
world crisis, and the educator who sees the
causes of this universal chaos should ask him-
self how to awaken intelligence in the student,
thus helping the coming generation not to bring
about further conflict and disaster. He must

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BOOK REVIEW ANNEX

give all his thought, all his care and affection to
the creation of right environment and to the de-
velopment of understanding, so that when the
child grows into maturity he will be capable of
dealing intelligently with the human problems
that confront him. But in order to do this, the
educator must understand himself instead of
relying on ideologies, systems and beliefs./25

The right kind of education consists in under-
standing the child as he is without imposing
upon him an ideal of what we think he should
be. To enclose him in the framework of an ideal
is to encourage him to conform, which breeds
fear and produces in him a constant conflict be-
tween what he is and what he should be; and
all inward conflicts have their outward manifes-
tations in society. Ideals are an actual hindrance
to our understanding of the child and to the
child's understanding of himself./26

Ideals are a convenient escape, and the teacher
who follows them is incapable of understand-
ing his students and dealing with them intelli-
gently; for him, the future ideal, the what
should be, is far more important than the pre-
sent child. The pursuit of an ideal excludes
love, and without love no human problem can
be solved./27

81
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

The right kind of educator, aware of the mind's
tendency to reaction, helps the student to alter
present values, not out of reaction against them,
but through understanding the total process of
life. (...) Without really inquiring into this whole
question, we assert than human nature cannot
be changed, we accept things as they are and
encourage the child to fit into the present soci-
ety; we condition him to our present ways of
life, and hope for the best. But can such con-
formity to present values, which lead to war
and starvation, be considered education?/30

The next important point in the value discussion is dis-
cipline. What place should discipline and self-discipline be
given in the educational framework of a non-repressive
and consciousness-based institution? K is very clear-cut in
this respect. He is against discipline, and stresses the need
to educate children sensitively by raising their self-respect
and respect for one another, and for life as a whole:

For political and industrial reasons, discipline
has become an important factor in the present
social structure, and it is because of our desire
to be psychologically secure that we accept and
practise various forms of discipline. (…) Disci-
pline then becomes a substitute for love, and it
is because our hearts are empty that we cling to
discipline./31

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Sensitivity can never be awakened through
compulsion. One may compel a child to be
outwardly quiet, but one has not come face to
face with that child which is making him obsti-
nate, impudent, and so on. Compulsion breeds
antagonism and fear. Reward and punishment
in any form only make the mind subservient
and dull; and if this is what we desire, then
education through compulsion is an excellent
way to proceed./32

Implicit in right education is the cultivation of
freedom and intelligence, which is not possible
if there is any form of compulsion, with its
fears. After all, the concern of the educator is to
help the student to understand the complexities
of his whole being. To require him to suppress
one part of his nature for the benefit of some
other part is to create in him an endless conflict
which results in social antagonisms. It is intelli-
gence that brings order, not discipline./33

The problem of discipline, K analyzes very succinctly,
is that it creates fear. And fear is not conducive to intelli-
gence, and renders people emotionally highly unstable. K
observes:

Fear perverts intelligence and is one of the
causes of self-centered action./34-35

The right kind of education must take into con-

83
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

sideration this question of fear, because fear
warps our whole outlook on life. To be without
fear is the beginning of wisdom, and only the
right kind of education can bring about the
freedom from fear in which alone there is deep
and creative intelligence./35

And what place should religion have in education?
Some find it necessary that children receive a religious
education, others find that in a modern state the school
system should refrain from conditioning children spiritu-
ally. France has a special position here because of the
French Revolution and the fact that in the French Constitu-
tion, an explicit secularism is anchored that all schools
must respect. The most recent debate has been over
whether any religious apparel, such as the Hijab, the Sikh
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BOOK REVIEW ANNEX

turban, large Crosses or Stars of David should be banned
from public schools? After much political debate a law has
been voted in France to ban all those personal religious
symbols in schools. K expresses himself against any form
of organized religion or ritual:

What we call religion is merely organized be-
lief, with its dogmas, rituals, mysteries and su-
perstitions. Each religion has its own sacred
book, its mediator, its priests and its ways of
threatening and holding people. Most of us
have been conditioned to all this, which is con-
sidered religious education; but this condition-
ing sets man against man, it creates antago-
nism, not only among the believers, but also
against those of other beliefs. Though all relig-
ions assert that they worship God and say that
we must love one another, they instill fear
through their doctrines of reward and punish-
ment, and through their competitive dogmas
they perpetuate suspicion and antagonism./38

Organized religion is the frozen thought of
man, out of which he builds temples and
churches; it has become a solace for the fearful,
and opiate for those who are in sorrow. /40

The next important point in a sensitive education is how
to handle the child as an individual, while participating in
a group? How should the educator relate to the single
child, and how to react to children’s curiosity, and their
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KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

often disturbing inquisitiveness? How to handle their dis-
content in phases of adaptation they invariable go through,
and that leave traces of hurt through the inevitable restric-
tion of freedom? Krishnamurti gives very clear answers
here.

Most children are curious, they want to know;
but their eager inquiry is dulled by our pontifi-
cal assertions, our superior impatience and our
casual brushing aside of their curiosity. We do
not encourage their inquiry, for we are rather
apprehensive of what may be asked of us; we
do not foster their discontent, for we ourselves
have ceased to question./41

The young, if they are at all alive, are full of
hope and discontent; they must be, otherwise
they are already old and dead./42

Discontent is the means to freedom: but in or-
der to inquire without bias, there must be none
of the emotional dissipation which often takes
the form of political gatherings, the shouting of
slogans, the search for a guru or spiritual
teacher, and religious orgies of different kinds.
/43

A very intriguing point is K’s position on success.
While striving for success is something really natural for
human beings, Krishnamurti teaches that the very striving

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for success per se creates fear and is therefore not an ideal
motivational factor:

As long as success is our goal we cannot be rid
of fear, for the desire to succeed inevitably
breeds the fear of failure./44 

To apply this approach means to let children see that
the striving for success, without being based on other val-
ues can be poisoned by greed and selfish gain. The art is
not to suffocate the child’s energy for progress, which re-
quires from the teacher a balanced attitude, sensitivity and
tact. K says it in more general terms that can be interpreted
in many ways:

The school should help its young people to dis-
cover their vocations and responsibilities, and
not merely cram their minds with facts and
technical knowledge; it should be the soil in
which they can grow without fear, happily and
integrally./45

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KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

Another important value in any spiritual educational
concept is simplicity. K was a simple man all through his
life. He was direct and simple in his approach to people,
and to children. He was not afraid of direct exchanges, and
he did not foster hierarchy thinking. He was relating to a
beggar and a king in basically the same way, empathically
and fearlessly. This is not the way of our modern society,
so how can we help children to develop simplicity without
however neglecting our duty to help them understand the
complexity of life? This obvious paradox requires to get
deep inside and see the metarational relationship between
complexity and simplicity. Only a spiritually developed
teacher can appear as a simple human while fully under-
standing the complexity of life, and of relationships. K. ex-
plains:

From innumerable complexities we must grow
to simplicity; we must become simple in our
inward life and in our outward needs./45

Krishnamurti schools had from the start a rather pecu-
liar approach to teaching skills.
For example in a painting class, the teacher would only
introduce in the subject and then the main educational
work would be done by participation. There would simply
be a painter around, who would paint, around the chil-
dren, for them to grow into it by seeing it every day.
This philosophy is based upon the insight that no child
can be trained in anything that their soul is not ready to

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receive. So if you ‘teach’ art or music to a child whose soul
has no affinity with art or music, you not only confuse the
child, but you also waste time, and in some cases you even
create a lifelong rebellion in the child against what they felt
was ‘imposed’ on them. This is why participatory educa-
tion solves many problems in that children who are natu-
rally gifted for art or music or literature or anything else
will pick that up when it’s around. That means, of course,
that the school really must be a cultural place, and not just
an academy for indoctrination. K explains: 

Teaching should not become a specialist's pro-
fession. When it does, as is so often the case,
love fades away; and love is essential to the
process of integration. To be integrated there
must be freedom from fear. Fearlessness brings
independence without ruthlessness, without
contempt for another, and this is the most es-
sential factor in life./47

The integrated human being will come to tech-
nique through experiencing, for the creative
impulse makes its own technique - and that is
the greatest art. When a / child has the creative
impulse to paint, he paints, he does not bother
about technique. Likewise people who are ex-
periencing, and therefore teaching, are the only
real teachers, and they too will create their own
technique./48

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KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

Many of us seem to think that by teaching
every human being to read and write, he shall
solve our human problems; but this idea has
proved to be false. The so-called educated are
not peace-loving, integrated people, and they
too are responsible for the confusion and mis-
ery in the world./52

As I have pointed out above, the relationship between
the individual and authority is not a standard scheme in
Krishnamurti schools and depends largely on the director
of the school. Generally speaking the attitude in Krishna-
murti schools is respectful toward authority:

The following of authority is the denial of intel-
ligence. To accept authority is to submit to
domination, to subjugate oneself to an individ-
ual, to a group, or to an ideology, whether relig-
ious or political; and this subjugation of oneself
to authority is the denial, not only of intelli-
gence, but also of individual freedom./60

As long as the mind allows itself to be domi-
nated and controlled by the desire for its own
security, there can be no release from the self
and its problems; and that is why there is no
release from the self through dogma and organ-
ized belief, which we call religion./62

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BOOK REVIEW ANNEX

The integration of intelligence and love, the subtle dis-
tinction between intellect and intelligence as well as the
awareness about the pitfalls of both idealism and material-
ism is what makes this educational concept so interesting.
It seems to me that while not all ingredients of K’s educa-
tional approach are new and original, there is an edge to it
that has no equal in any other educational approach over
the last four hundred years. K points out:

Idealism is an escape from what is, and materi-
alism is another way of denying the measure-
less depths of the present. Both the idealist and
the materialist have their own ways of avoiding
the complex problem of suffering; both are con-
sumed by their own cravings, ambitions and

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KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

conflicts, and their ways of life are not condu-
cive to tranquillity. They are both responsible
for the confusion and misery of the world./63

Intelligence is not separate from love./64

There is a distinction between intellect and in-
telligence. Intellect is thought functioning inde-
pendently of emotion, whereas intelligence is
the capacity to feel as well as reason; and until
we approach life with intelligence, instead of
intellect alone, or with emotion alone, no politi-
cal or educational system in the world can save
us from the toils of chaos and destruction./65

Wisdom comes with the abnegation of the self.
To have an open mind is more important than
learning; and we can have an open mind, not
by cramming it full of information but by being
aware of our own thoughts and feelings, by
carefully observing ourselves and the influ-
ences about us, by listening to others, by watch-
ing the rich and the poor, and powerful and the
lowly./65

Intelligence is much greater than intellect, for it
is the integration of reason and love; but there
can be intelligence only when there is self-
knowledge, the deep understanding of the total
process of oneself./67

92
BOOK REVIEW ANNEX

As Krishnamurti has pointed out in his his book Beyond
Violence (1973), for overcoming violence we do not need to
put up ideals of peace, nor do we need tighter laws, but a
better education, and better relationships. To get there, we
need to understand ourselves and at the same time, we
need to learn relating, both to ourselves and others. This
helps us to dissolve artificial boundaries between humans
that our ideologies, traditions and national pride have cre-
ated. K explains:

The problem of man’s antagonism to man can
be solved, not by pursuing the ideal of peace,
but by understanding the causes of war which
lie in our attitude towards life, towards our
fellow-beings; and this understanding can come
about only through the right kind of
education./68

If we avoid the responsibility of acting indi-
vidually and wait for some new system to es-

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KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

tablish peace, we shall merely become the
slaves of that system./70

The constantly repeated assertion that we be-
long to a certain political or religious group,
that we are of this nation or of that, flatters our
little egos, puffs them out like sails, until we are
ready to kill or be killed for our country, race or
ideology. It is all so stupid and unnatural.
Surely, human beings are more important than
national and ideological boundaries. /71

Nationalism, the patriotic spirit, class and race
consciousness, are all ways of the self, and
therefore separative. After all, what is a nation
but a group of individuals living together for
economic and self-protective reasons? Out of
fear and acquisitive self-defence arises the idea
of my country, with its boundaries and tariff
walls, rendering brotherhood and the unity of
man impossible./72

Our present social institutions cannot evolve
into a world federation, for their very founda-
tions are unsound. Parliaments and systems of
education which uphold national sovereignty
and emphasize the importance of the group will
never bring war to an end./73

An important insight in this respect is that children are
not per se thinking in terms of nations, religions, races or

94
BOOK REVIEW ANNEX

any other distinctions that our fragmented and condi-
tioned thinking comes up with. Children are universal
thinkers.

The child is neither class nor race conscious; it
is the home or school environment, or both,
which makes him feel separative. /75

If life is meant to be lived happily, with
thought, with care, with affection, then it is very
important to understand ourselves; and if we
wish to build a truly enlightened society, we
must have educators who understand the ways
of integration and who are therefore capable of
imparting that understanding to the child. Such
educators would be a danger to the present
structure of society. But we do not really want
to build an enlightened society; and any teacher
who, perceiving the full implications of peace,
began to point out the true significance of na-
tionalism and the stupidity of war, would soon
lose his position. Knowing this, most teachers
compromise, and thereby help to maintain the
present system of exploitation and violence./79

As I pointed out above, a responsible attitude toward
education requires us to put the cards on the table, and we
do live in a world of violence, chaos, murder, hunger for
many, but also incredible abundance, and unrivaled com-
fort for a few.

95
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

What is our relationship with all of this? Do we think
that war is outside only, or do we recognize that every war
we bring to birth was already there inside of us before we
ever lifted our arm to take a gun?
I have emphasized in my own writings that every act
of violence done in outward life is a reflection of violence we
have done to ourselves, on an inward level, long before that
particular event. By the same token, every murder commit-
ted is preceded by a murder that was committed inside of
the murderer long before he murdered. As long as we con-
tinue to murder so-called ‘perverse’ desires, longings and
fantasies, so long shall we have murder in this world. Once
we learn to embrace ourselves, and our selves, and stop
disowning parts of our inner whole that we disintegrate
because of the schizoid split that all morality brings about,
we learn to handle our emotions. K says:

War is the spectacular and bloody projection of
our everyday living. We precipitate war out of
our daily lives; and without a transformation in
ourselves, there are bound to be national and
racial antagonisms, the childish quarreling over
ideologies, the multiplication of soldiers, the
saluting of flags, and all the many brutalities
that to go create organized murder./79

Finally, what is this psychological revolution that K.
talks about? What does it require? K explains:

96
BOOK REVIEW ANNEX

True revolution is not the violent sort; it comes
about through cultivating the integration and
intelligence of human beings who, by their very
life, will gradually create changes in society./89

For education to adopt a higher quality, instead of be-
ing focused upon quantity in the sense of educating
masses of people, it logically needs to focus on every single
child rather than seeing children as a quantifiable factor to
be addressed:

The right kind of education is not possible en
masse. To study each child requires patience,
alertness and intelligence. To observe the child’s
tendencies, his aptitudes, his temperament, to
understand his difficulties, to take into account
his heredity and parental influence and not
merely regard him as belonging to a certain
category—all this calls for a swift and pliable
mind, untrammeled by any system or preju-

97
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

dice. It calls for skill, intense interest and, above
all, a sense of affection; and to produce educa-
tors endowed with these qualities is one of our
major problems to-day./94

The following quotes are among the most revolution-
ary and challenging sentences Krishnamurti produced in
this book:

If parents really cared for their children, they
would build a new society; but fundamentally
most parents do not care, and so they have no
time for this most urgent problem. They have
time for making money, for amusements, for
rituals and worship, but no time to consider
what is the right kind of education for their
children./97

We say so easily that we love our children; but
is there love in our hearts when we accept the
existing social conditions, when we do not want
to bring about a fundamental transformation in
this destructive society? And as long as we look
to the specialists to educate our children, this
confusion and misery will continue, for the spe-
cialists, being concerned with the part and not
with the whole, are themselves unintegrated.
/98

98
BOOK REVIEW ANNEX

The suffering of parents for their children is a
form of possessive self-pity which exists only
when there is no love./103

To be the right kind of educator, a teacher must
constantly be freeing himself from books and
laboratories; he must ever be watchful to see
that the students do not make of him an exam-
ple, an ideal, an authority./110

For the true teacher, teaching is not a technique,
it is a way of life; like a great artist, he would
rather starve than give up his creative work.
/111

Creativity has many forms and expresses itself in many
ways. K. has repeatedly said in his talks that modern edu-
cation suffocates creativity, and I have seen this confirmed
in my work in schools and kindergartens in several coun-
tries. So what is creativity, and how do we nourish the
creative flame inside of us?
Krishnamurti gives a quite original answer:

The intellect, the mind as such, can only repeat,
recollect, it is constantly spinning new words
and rearranges old ones; and as most of us feel
and experience only through the brain, we live
exclusively on words and mechanical repeti-
tions. This is obviously not creation; and since
we are uncreative, the only means of creative-
ness left to us is sex. Sex is of the mind, and that
99
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

which is of the mind must fulfill itself or there
is frustration. Our thoughts, our lives are nar-
row, arid, hollow, empty; emotionally we are
starved, religiously and intellectually we are
repetitive, dull; socially, politically and eco-
nomically we are regimented, controlled. We
are not happy people, we are not vital, joyous;
at home, in business, at church, at school, we
never experience a creative state of being, there
is no deep release in our daily thought and ac-
tion. Caught and held from all sides, naturally
sex becomes our only outlet, an experience to
be sought again and again because it momen-
tarily offers that state of happiness which comes
when there is absence of self. It is not sex that
constitutes a problem, but the desire to recap-
ture the state of happiness, to gain and main-
tain pleasure, whether sexual or any other./118

Unless we investigate and understand the hin-
drances that prevent creative living, which is
freedom from self, we shall not understand the
problem of sex./119

100
BOOK REVIEW ANNEX

I will come to an end now with this extensive review in
the hope that this overview over the topics of this book
raises your thirst to read it.
It is a difference to read some quotes from a book or to
read the integral book. Also, I am very clear about it, I have
not hidden my own bias, my own necessarily subjective
participation in this book, and in the subjects that go be-
yond it, such as education, world peace, or spirituality.
I have my own philosophy and solutions to offer in my
writings, and I cannot avoid that my way of seeing the
world goes into these book reviews. But this must be so, or
I would be dishonest. After all, what is of interest for you
is your own relationship with this book and its author, and

101
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

not how it impacted upon my mind, and my emotions! In
this sense, I can only reflect it with my mirror, not with
yours.

But let me affirm that without any doubt, this book
was one of the most important I have read in my entire life.
I have read it first about twenty years ago and since then
have re-read it several times.
Krishnamurti is a thinker, a sage, a philosopher that
you cannot ‘store away’ in a library and forget, like we do
it with so many others! He and his teaching is alive, as
alive as ever before.

102
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Centuries of Childhood
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DeMause, Lloyd
The History of Childhood
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Foundations of Psychohistory
New York: Creative Roots, 1982
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

Freud, Anna
War and Children
London: 1943

Freud, Sigmund
The Interpretation of Dreams
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Sigmund Freud
(24 Volumes) ed. by James Strachey
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Krishnamurti, J.
Freedom From The Known
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The First and Last Freedom
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Education and the Significance of Life
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Beyond Violence
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107
KRISHNAMURTI AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

Beginnings of Learning
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On God
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On Fear
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The Ending of Time
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Long, Max Freedom
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A Personal Guide to Practicing the Huna Method,
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Maharshi, Ramana
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The Essential Teachings of Ramana Maharshi
A Visual Journey
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Miller, Alice
Four Your Own Good
Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence
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109
Personal Notes