Jiddu Krishnamurti – the pathless land.
This post is something of a review and update. Just to be clear, I do not see JK as my spiritual guru or anything of the sort. He was a human being and had his imperfections. Others can spend their time microscoping that if they wish.
Summary of biography
Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986) was an influential philosopher, speaker, and writer who touched the lives of millions with his teachings on self-awareness and inner freedom. Although he did not author an autobiography, there are several biographies written about him that provide insights into his life and philosophy. Here are some important facts from these sources:
- Early life: JK was born on May 11, 1895, in the small town of Madanapalle in Andhra Pradesh, India. He was the eighth child of his parents, Jiddu Narianiah and Sanjeevamma.
- Discovery by the Theosophical Society: In 1909, at the age of 14, JK was discovered by Charles W. Leadbeater, a prominent member of the Theosophical Society. Leadbeater believed that JK was the “World Teacher” the society had been seeking and would be a spiritual leader to guide humanity.
- Founding of the Order of the Star in the East: In 1911, the Theosophical Society founded the Order of the Star in the East (OSE) to support JK’s role as the World Teacher. The organization attracted followers from around the world, with JK serving as its head.
- Education in England: JK received a Western education in England from 1912 to 1921. During this time, he studied at the University of London and developed a deep interest in philosophy and spiritual matters.
- Dissolution of the Order of the Star: In 1929, JK disbanded the Order of the Star in the East, renouncing his status as the World Teacher. He believed that spiritual truth was a personal journey and could not be found through organizations or leaders. This marked a significant shift in his teachings, emphasizing self-inquiry and individual transformation.
- Worldwide travels and teachings: From the 1930s until his death in 1986, JK travelled the world, giving public talks and engaging in dialogues with leading thinkers, scientists, and educators. He addressed various topics, including education, the nature of the self, and the importance of understanding the human condition.
- JK Foundations: During his lifetime, JK established four foundations in the United States, England, India, and Spain. These foundations continue to preserve and disseminate his teachings, as well as support JK schools and study centres worldwide.
- Authorship: JK authored numerous books, essays, and transcripts of his talks. Some of his most well-known works include “The First and Last Freedom,” “Freedom from the Known,” “Think on These Things,” and “Commentaries on Living.”
- Death: JK passed away on February 17, 1986, in Ojai, California, at the age of 90. His teachings continue to inspire and influence people from all walks of life, encouraging self-awareness and inner transformation as a means to bring about positive change in the world.
Now would be a good time to bathe that dog! The video is almost 300 mb of data for 1 hr 45 min.
Dissolution of the Order of the Star
JK dissolved the Order of the Star in the East in 1929 because he had undergone a significant transformation in his own understanding of spirituality and truth. He came to believe that spiritual truth could not be found through organizations, dogmas, or leaders, but rather through individual self-inquiry and self-understanding.
He renounced his role as the “World Teacher” and distanced himself from the Theosophical Society, which had groomed him to be the prophesied spiritual leader. In his famous speech at the Ommen Camp in the Netherlands on August 3, 1929, JK declared: “Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along a particular path.”
JK emphasized the importance of individual self-inquiry, inner freedom, and understanding the workings of one’s own mind as the key to spiritual growth. He saw organized religions and spiritual groups as potential barriers to the direct realization of truth, as they could foster dependency on external authority and hinder personal exploration.
By dissolving the Order of the Star, JK demonstrated his commitment to the principles of self-reliance and self-discovery. He spent the rest of his life traveling and teaching, encouraging individuals to examine their own lives and minds in order to understand the human condition and bring about a transformation in themselves and the world.
Theosophical Society continued to exist and function after JK dissolved the Order of the Star in the East and distanced himself from the organization. Founded in 1875 by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, and William Quan Judge, the Theosophical Society aimed to promote the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science, as well as investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in humanity.
The society has had a long history and has experienced various changes in leadership and organizational structure over time. After JK’s departure, the Theosophical Society continued to pursue its objectives and engage in its various activities. It remains active today, with branches and study groups in many countries around the world.
The Theosophical Society has played a significant role in the development of modern spirituality and the New Age movement, contributing to the popularization of Eastern philosophies and spiritual ideas in the West. While JK’s departure marked the end of the society’s involvement with him, it did not deter the organization from continuing its work in the field of spiritual inquiry and growth.
The society did not actively seek out or appoint another messiah-like figure to replace him. JK’s renunciation of his role as the “World Teacher” and his emphasis on individual self-inquiry had a significant impact on the society’s approach to spiritual leadership.
Following JK’s departure, the Theosophical Society shifted its focus back to its original objectives, which centred on the study of comparative religion, philosophy, science, and the investigation of the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in humanity. The society continued its work in promoting spiritual growth and understanding through study, meditation, and self-discovery, without relying on a single messianic figure.
While the society still maintained a belief in the existence of spiritual teachers or Masters, it did not place the same emphasis on finding and grooming a new messiah as it had with JK. Instead, the Theosophical Society focused on the collective wisdom and insights of its members and other spiritual traditions, fostering a more open and inclusive approach to spiritual exploration.
Annie Besant, who had been a prominent leader in the Theosophical Society and a significant figure in JK’s life, was initially disappointed and saddened by JK’s decision to dissolve the Order of the Star in the East and distance himself from the society. As one of the main proponents of JK’s role as the “World Teacher,” Besant had invested much time and effort in nurturing and promoting him as the spiritual leader the society had been waiting for.
Despite her disappointment, Besant eventually came to accept JK’s decision. She respected his autonomy and his right to pursue his own spiritual path. In a letter to JK in 1930, she wrote, “You are perfectly free to follow your own way, and there is no breach of friendship between us.” She also stated that she would always consider JK a brother and friend, regardless of their differences in beliefs and opinions.
Annie Besant continued her work within the Theosophical Society until her death in 1933. She remained an influential figure in the organization and was involved in various social and educational activities. While JK’s departure marked a significant turning point in the society’s history, Besant’s dedication to theosophical principles and her leadership in the organization remained steadfast.
JK did not receive any formal degrees from universities during his lifetime. Although he studied briefly at the University of London, he did not complete a degree program. His education was primarily focused on Western philosophy and spiritual matters, and he developed his own unique perspective on life, spirituality, and the human condition.
Despite not having formal academic qualifications, JK’s profound insights, teachings, and writings on various aspects of human life, such as education, self-awareness, relationships, and the nature of the mind, have had a significant impact on people worldwide. His work has been studied and admired by intellectuals, spiritual seekers, and educators, and it continues to be relevant in the fields of philosophy, psychology, and education today.
JK’s emphasis on self-inquiry and direct experience, rather than adherence to dogma or traditional authority, is one of the reasons why his teachings have resonated with so many people. His legacy is not defined by academic accolades but by the profound impact his teachings have had on individuals seeking to understand themselves and the world around them.
JK was not awarded any honorary degrees or qualifications by universities. He received recognition and appreciation from various institutions and individuals for his profound insights and contributions to philosophy, education, and human understanding.
His teachings, writings, and dialogues with prominent thinkers, scientists, and educators have been widely studied and admired by people from diverse backgrounds. His influence has transcended academic and religious boundaries, touching the lives of countless individuals around the world.
Although JK did not receive formal academic honours, the impact of his work and his legacy as a spiritual teacher and philosopher are undeniable. His message of self-inquiry, self-awareness, and inner freedom continues to inspire and guide people in their quest for personal transformation and understanding of the human condition.
JK was supported financially in various ways throughout his life. In his early years, when he was discovered by the Theosophical Society and groomed as the “World Teacher,” the society took care of his financial needs. As the head of the Order of the Star in the East, his education, travel, and living expenses were covered by the organization and its members.
After JK dissolved the Order of the Star in the East and distanced himself from the Theosophical Society, he began giving public talks, participating in dialogues, and writing books. The income generated from these activities helped support him financially. Additionally, donations from followers and well-wishers who appreciated his teachings also contributed to his financial stability.
During his lifetime, JK established four foundations in the United States, England, India, and Spain. These foundations were responsible for organizing his public talks, managing the publication of his books and recordings, and supporting his living expenses. The foundations continue to preserve and disseminate his teachings, as well as support JK schools and study centers worldwide.
It is important to note that JK led a relatively simple life and was not interested in material wealth or personal gain. His primary focus was on sharing his insights and teachings with those who sought self-awareness and inner freedom.
Explorations of human existence
JK explored various aspects of the human mind and its psychological patterns, although he may not have specifically used the terms “mindsets” or “psychological scripts.” His teachings often delved into the nature of thought, consciousness, conditioning, and the psychological structures that govern human behaviour.
JK emphasized the importance of self-awareness and self-inquiry in understanding one’s own mind and its influence on perception, beliefs, and actions. He believed that the mind is conditioned by culture, society, religion, and personal experiences, which in turn create psychological patterns or “scripts” that dictate our responses to situations.
According to JK, many of these conditioned patterns result in conflict, suffering, and a limited understanding of ourselves and the world. To free oneself from these patterns, he advocated for a deep and continuous examination of one’s own thoughts, feelings, and motives. By observing the workings of the mind without judgment or attachment, one could gain insight into the nature of their conditioning and potentially transcend the limitations imposed by these psychological structures.
In his teachings, JK often addressed topics such as fear, desire, attachment, and the self-image, exploring how these aspects of the human psyche shape our experiences and interactions. His approach to understanding the mind emphasized direct observation and personal insight, rather than adherence to dogma or reliance on external authorities. Through this process of self-discovery, JK believed that individuals could cultivate inner freedom and a more profound understanding of themselves and the world around them.
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