Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Guest Author: Mathias B. Freese

“. . . [T]hey introduced me to Krishnamurti fifteen years ago, by lending me a (now) tatty edition of his The Flight of the Eagle, which although baffling and to some extent unnerving me at the time, has led a direct path to the text I now write.” Roland Vernon, Star in the East

Since 1975 I have been reading the works of Krishnamurti, spiritual teacher and remarkable human being. Often we are surrounded by rather unusual people in our culture or the cultures of other peoples who we know nothing about. And then they die, and we die. When you read history, you muse about the life of Spinoza, for example, writing his philosophical work and then passing on. Often unknown to the world at large, these brilliant isolates, like Spinoza, are known to a few, most likely friends or family, and yet a hundred years later they have shaken the world with their ideas. Such was Krishnamurti.

His influence grows ever more and colleges have introduced his works into their curriculum, but he is hard to categorize, define, corral or explicate, as most unique people are. I have learned a great deal from him over the years; he has opened my eyes much more than they would have been. At the tip of my tongue are some of his insights: all societies are essentially corrupt, the observer is the observed (think on that one for an hour!), look as if it were for the first time (good for therapists and better still for family and relationships), the word is not the thing itself as well as the elusive and enigmatic, for we mere mortals, choiceless awareness.

After his death in 1986 at 90, the Krishnamurti Foundation continued to produce a plethora of materials, especially his recorded talks and writings; they are endless. The books that I have found quite telling are Think on These Things, The Flight of the Eagle and The Awakening of Intelligence. Read these three in this order and you either quit on him or have your pistons shut down. His teachings have saturated who I am as to raise high my good cholesterol, delightfully insidious. When I am stressed or experience angst, the fear of fear or the fear of death, I return to his writings. A disciple of his, Pupil Jayakar, wrote a biography of him which was given to me in the 1980s by a class that knew my fondness for K. They inscribed their feelings about me on the inside book covers which is interesting to read 25 years later. However, I am rereading the book once again; a chapter a night, for one has to go slowly with K. Here is one quotation I underlined last night.

Krisnaji asked:

“If you knew that you were about to die, what would you do? Can you live one hour completely — live one day — one hour — as you were going to die the next hour? But if you die so that you are living fully in this hour, there is enormous vitality, tremendous attention to everything. You look at the spring of life, the tear, you feel the earth, the quality of the tree. You feel the love that has no continuity and no object. Then you will find in that attention that the ‘me’ is not. It is then, that the mind, being empty, can renew itself.”

Mathias B. Freese


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