It’s been 21 years since my first annual newsletter to friends and family, and 15 years since that relatively small newsletter evolved into The Link. Now that The Link is no longer being printed, for the reasons outlined in the last issue, it’s time to resume Friedrich’s Newsletter. The only difficulty will be in keeping it small! There are always so many interesting articles to pass along. But from now on, unless it’s easy to include an extract here, I’ll simply mention the title of the article and you’ll be able to find it at www.kinfonet.org/articles. The first one is ‘J. Krishnamurti’s Critique of Religion’, by Prof. Theodore Kneupper.
I’m enclosing one article in full, however, for those who haven’t had it already, because we made printed copies of it a few months ago: Tess Larosse interviewing me about Krishnamurti for the English newspaper GstaadLife). This explains how the interview came about.
Covering Letter for Gstaad Life Interview
When some months ago I handed a book by Krishnamurti to an acquaintance from Gstaad, she was sceptical. She was in her 20s when Krishnamurti gave his last talks in Saanen, in 1985, and all she remembered of the events were the large gatherings and some people in orange clothing. These would have been a few disciples sent by the guru Bagwan, who was claiming that his message was the same as Krishnamurti’s. Of course, when Krishnamurti learned of Bagwan’s comparison, he exclaimed, "It’s exactly the contrary!" but my new friend wouldn’t have known this. Instead, the orange clothing of a few led her, and no doubt others, to suspect that a sect or cult was meeting in Saanen – an idea that would have horrified not only Krishnamurti but also most of those attending his talks.
Actually reading the Krishnamurti book was a revelation to her. She was moved by it and most enthusiastic, and felt it was a shame that Krishnamurti had fallen into obscurity here due possibly to misconceptions similar to those she had once held. So she offered to organise a presentation in Saanen on Krishnamurti’s life and work, which she did very well.
Together with some of my colleagues, we collaborated on the announcements, which included an interview I gave regarding Krishnamurti to Tess Larosse for GstaadLife (see attachment). It was published in German as well, in the local German newspaper Anzeiger von Saanen. And then, in June, at Saanen’s new youth centre – which happens to have been built right beside the land where Krishnamurti spoke for 25 years – a presentation was made in English by my colleague Javier Gómez Rodríguez, followed a few days later by a presentation in German by my colleague Jürgen Brandt.
We were pleased to welcome more than 30 people to each presentation, some of whom had attended Krishnamurti’s Saanen talks in the 1960s. Javier’s and Jürgen’s short introduction to Krishnamurti and his work were followed by a half-hour DVD clip of Krishnamurti speaking, with subtitles, and the evenings ended with interesting questions and discussions lasting past the booked ending times.
We trust that these events went some way to dispelling several Krishnamurti ‘myths’, it was good to meet new friends in the region, and we plan to repeat the presentations next year.
It’s mid-August, and I am writing this from Mürren, the lovely Swiss village that allows no cars and looks over a narrow valley to the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. It is wonderfully silent here, especially at night. The Link team and I have been coming here every summer for the past four years to participate in the Krishnamurti Gathering organised by Gisèle Balleys. From here I’ll go to the Sulzhutte, the mountain hut at 2,130 meters that I’ve rented for the past 35 years. When my sons were children, we once stayed there together over Christmas, in meters of snow and ice. And they’ll be joining me there again this summer, followed by a week in Davos. From there, in September, I’ll meet with the Link team at Haus Sonne in Germany, then return to Switzerland for a few weeks in October. Then it’ll be six weeks at Brockwood Park in England, followed by two months in Ojai, California. This might sound busy, but I’m 82 and am traveling less these days, spending between six and seven months in Rougemont, Switzerland, my permanent residence. Much of my traveling and involvement with the Krishnamurti schools, foundations and study centres over the past 27 years has been passed along to my six Link colleagues, and I feel that I can pop off at any time without having to worry.
I’m very much looking forward to the week in Davos, as I went to school there during the last three years of the war and have many happy memories of the skiing and walking in the area. And it so happens that my friends Padmanabha and Rama Rao, of the K school at Rishi Valley, attended the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship platform at the World Economic Forum in Davos this past January, staying in the same hotel above Davos where we’ll be staying. This is what the Raos have written about their attendance at the meeting:
Report on attendance in Davos, by P. & R. Rao
The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship provides unparalleled platforms at the regional and global level to highlight and advance leading models of sustainable social innovation. It identifies a select community of social entrepreneurs and engages it in shaping global, regional and industry agendas that improve the state of the world in close collaboration with the other stakeholders of the World Economic Forum.
This year's Davos theme, "shared norms for the new reality," emphasized the need to come together and collaboratively try to solve the pressing global problems. We were among the twenty-eight social entrepreneurs from all over the world invited by the Schwab Foundation to be part of this global event. This was a great opportunity for us to present our work and to share the basic philosophy of RIVER (Rishi Valley Institute for Educational Resources) to a global audience with influence, capital and networks. RIVER activity-based learning innovations were greatly appreciated by many, especially its scope of replication with very little resources and in the quickest time possible with an impact so far reaching that it has the potential to solve similar educational challenges around the world. During the forum a couple of African and Visegrad country representatives started exploring means of further collaboration with RIVER.
The format of the Davos forum was quite remarkable. There was always something for everyone to explore and experience. We enjoyed attending public and private sessions with young scientists, technology pioneers and leading international leaders. We were enriched by a couple of special panel discussions on social entrepreneurship that were interspersed with expert sessions on different models of social innovation. These sessions have really given us a lot of input and ideas on some core challenges we are currently facing at RIVER. A pleasant surprise was an Indian walkthrough art session wherein Mr. Gieve Patel’s artworks were exhibited and discussed. We feel the Davos meetings have been one of the most inspiring forums we have attended in the past few years. Our stay at hotel Schatzalp situated against the backdrop of the majestic Swiss Alps was equally memorable.
The Krishnamurti schools were founded with the intention to educate human beings wholly, and not to be aggressive, self-centred and self-destructive. Having had endless wars, is it not necessary to have a new kind of education? I wrote to President Obama recently, with the help of Javier, and included with it the following statement, originally titled The Intent of Oak Grove School, but it applies to all of the schools K founded, as he himself said.
K: The Intent of the Krishnamurti Schools
It is becoming more and more important in a world that is destructive and degenerating that there should be a place, an oasis, where one can learn a way of living that is whole, sane and intelligent. Education in the modern world has been concerned with the cultivation, not of intelligence, but of intellect, of memory and its skills. In this process little occurs beyond passing information from the teacher to the taught, the leader to the follower, bringing about a superficial and mechanical way of life. In this there is little human relationship.
Surely a school is a place where one learns about the totality, the wholeness of life. Academic excellence is absolutely necessary, but a school includes much more than that. It is a place where both the teacher and the taught explore not only the outer world, the world of knowledge, but also their own thinking, their behavior. From this they begin to discover their own conditioning and how it distorts their thinking. This conditioning is the self to which such tremendous and cruel importance is given. Freedom from conditioning and its misery begins with this awareness. It is only in such freedom that true learning can take place. In this school it is the responsibility of the teacher to sustain with the student a careful exploration into the implications of conditioning and thus end it.
A school is a place where one learns the importance of knowledge and its limitations. It is a place where one learns to observe the world not from any particular point of view or conclusion. One learns to look at the whole of man’s endeavor, his search for beauty, his search for truth and for a way of living without conflict. Conflict is the very essence of violence. So far education has not been concerned with this, but in this school our intent is to understand actuality and its action without any preconceived ideals, theories or belief which bring about a contradictory attitude toward existence.
The school is concerned with freedom and order. Freedom is not the expression of one’s own desire, choice or self-interest. That inevitably leads to disorder. Freedom of choice is not freedom, though it may appear so; nor is order, conformity or imitation. Order can only come with the insight that to choose is itself the denial of freedom.
In school one learns the importance of relationship which is not based on attachment and possession. It is here one can learn about the movement of thought, love and death, for all this is our life. From the ancient of times, man has sought something beyond the materialistic world, something immeasurable, something sacred. It is the intent of this school to inquire into this possibility.
This whole movement of inquiry into knowledge, into oneself, into the possibility of something beyond knowledge, brings about naturally a psychological revolution, and from this comes inevitably a totally different order in human relationship, which is society. The intelligent understanding of all this can bring about a profound change in the consciousness of mankind.
© 1981 by Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Ltd.
And this is the letter:
Dear Mr. President,
I was very glad when you were elected President of the United States. It marked a turning point in US race relations and it brought a much-needed sense of goodwill to the world. But while the political apparatus may have its own agenda, many of us have placed a good deal of hope in your intelligence, honesty and integrity to operate in the direction of the good of all and away from the destructive trends that threaten our existence on this beautiful planet. It is out of my deep concern with this matter that I venture to write to you about it.
We are destroying our world in many ways, but one of them is by excessive meat consumption. As you can see from the enclosed pamphlet, this is not only a personal ethical question but also a huge ecological issue. The meat industry produces more pollution than traffic, leads to the destruction of vast tracts of forest for growing animal feed, and consumes an astronomical amount of water. Agribusiness is totally insensitive to nature and profoundly damaging of the ecological system.
Recently I read something to the effect that after undergoing multiple bypass surgery former President Bill Clinton stopped eating meat. It is clear that in developed countries we eat far more meat than we need and that this practice poses a serious threat to human health as well as the health of the planet. And if emerging economic powers such as China and India should follow suit, we might very well imagine the devastating consequences.
I understand that your chef at the White House inquired of a visitor from Ojai, California, whether she knew Irmgard James, the recipient of the Golden Carrot Award in 2006 for her excellent school lunches. The visitor in question did happen to know her. Irmgard was for many years the head cook at Oak Grove School, an institution with which I have been involved for a long time. This school is completely vegetarian and was founded by the great sage and philosopher J. Krishnamurti, who had a deep association with the Ojai Valley.
It is my feeling that if influential people were to listen to Krishnamurti we would have quite a different world.
I am enclosing the leaflet Ecological Consequences of Meat Consumption, as well as 'The Intent of Oak Grove School'. The latter statement represents Krishnamurti’s essential vision for education. Also enclosed is the book Where Can Peace Be Found? This is a collection of Krishnamurti’s talks on the subject of peace, something that was very close to his heart. (Krishnamurti spoke before the Pacem in Terris Society of the UN on April 17, 1984.)
It is good to hear that you created a vegetable garden at the White House. Working with the earth and for its ecological sustainability is an important aspect of our global responsibility.
Wishing you and the First Lady all the very best in your important and difficult work…
We also wrote to the prime minister of India in a similar vein, and are wondering whether to write to the Chinese government (China is now the biggest for K books).
Dear Dr. Manmohan Singh,
I was very pleased to hear that you had mentioned J. Krishnamurti in a speech to educators.
I knew Krishnamurti personally and had close contact with him during the last three years of his life and have been involved with the work of his foundations and schools ever since. I am a trustee of the Krishnamurti Foundation India and have travelled many times to your country. I love India and the Indian people.
I am sending you a copy of The Beauty of the Mountain, a memoir of my association with Krishnamurti. Apart from my fond recollections, the book contains essential statements that Krishnamurti made concerning the intentions of his schools. All these schools are vegetarian.
The Hindu and Buddhist traditions of India have also been vegetarian, in keeping with the religious principle of ahimsa. But now they are starting to eat more and more meat, as the Chinese are also doing. And if they should eat as much meat as Westerners do, our world will be destroyed. The gas produced by the animals contributes more to atmospheric pollution than all the road traffic put together. And vast tracts of forest have been cleared in Brazil and, more recently, in Argentina to grow crops for animal feed. Such use of the land is not only ecologically unsound but totally wasteful and inefficient. This and other implications of eating meat are scientifically explained in the enclosed brochure Ecological Consequences of Meat Consumption.
Could you do something to reverse this trend so that Indians retain their vegetarian culture? In Western countries there is a growing awareness that we should not exploit animals for our food and convenience. It is not only for ethical reasons but on account of the wider ecological consequences, which is part of our global responsibility.
As you can see from the enclosed excerpt, 'What Has Happened to this Ancient Culture?', Krishnamurti was deeply concerned with the materialistic turn that modern Indian society has taken. This is an important question that goes to the root of Indian culture and the meaning of true education.
I hope you may be able to give these matters your serious consideration…
What Has Happened to this Ancient Culture?
Krishnamurti reads out a question: The Indian mind has for centuries probed into the nature of the self and of the cosmos. In spite of this, today it is completely materialistic. What has happened to the ancient wisdom of that mind?
Krishnamurti: The speaker has been coming to this country every winter for the last fifty years, going all over the place and also travelling abroad. And one sees the decline not only in Europe and America but also, specially, obviously, palpably, in this country. The speaker has been asking various scholars, politicians, scientists, and so on what the quality of the Indian mind is. What actually is the Indian mind, today? Not go back to the ancient world and be proud about it or feel that you are a very ancient race and all that kind of business, but investigate what the Indian mind is now.
May I talk about it frankly? You don’t mind? Can you stand it? [Laughs] The speaker would like to be as polite, as respectful as possible, but when we are investigating into a thing like this, we must be totally unbiased, totally impersonal, completely unidentified. All right, here it goes. As one observes, the Indian mind is authority-bound. It functions in a hierarchical movement. It follows, it accepts authority – the authority of ancient tradition, of some ancient books, the authority of the guru, the authority of someone who says he knows, he is illumined. Would this be correct? Which means where there is authority, there is fear. Have you ever watched how when you meet a high-up politician, you grovel, almost double up with false respect? This is one of the conditions of the Indian mind: the following of authority, sycophantism, fear, and therefore total disorder. There is disorder in the streets, disorder in one’s life, disorder in society, with each one out for himself. Not that it does not happen or take place in Europe or America or even Russia, but it is more obvious in this country: utter carelessness, total disregard, lack of consideration. Would you accept all this?
The Indian mind is capable of absorbing everything, absorbing different kinds of philosophies, however contradictory they are. It is so tolerant it will accept everything: contradictory philosophies, contradictory gurus, contradictory concepts. When such a mind, such a brain, is capable of absorbing, is tolerant of dirt, squalor, disorder, and lack of beauty, it becomes rather sloppy. Probably you never look at a tree, never look at the open skies with all the brilliant stars, but put up with anything. Such a mind is a very sloppy mind. It is not a mind that is active, alive, seeing everything. It is tradition-bound and very theoretical, very clever in analysis. That is why you are doing such excellent work in Europe and America. You are capable of great analysis, more subtle than in the Western world, but it is all theoretical, hypothetical. You quote the Gita, the Upanishads, and then try to relate what has been said to your life. So the brain has become essentially sloppy. Therefore it is capable of becoming materialistic – money, money, money. Isn’t that so?
Do look at it all, sirs. Don’t accept the speaker’s word and then refute it, argue against it, split hairs about it, which you are doing now. Such a brain has become dead; technologically it has become extraordinarily alive, but in the psychological world, which is much more interesting, there is no activity at all. You will talk about the self, the cosmos, discuss very clearly and cleverly, with a sophisticated brain which has lived on theories; but when you come down to your relationship with other human beings, there is nothing at all. And one asks: is there love at all? Love, not attachment, not personal pleasure in sex and so on, but is there love in this country? To be generous, kind, considerate, having great sympathy – that is only the outward symbol, the outward activity, but to have the depth of love, compassion. Have you? If you had such love, would there be war, would you allow the government to accumulate armaments to kill other human beings? Inquire into all this, sir. Or you don’t care what happens, how you treat your women, your wives: the husband walks in front and the wife follows behind. Have you ever gone into all this?
And apart from all its technological inventions, is the Indian mind capable of creation? Do you understand the word creation? To live a creative life, not a life of patterns. The brain follows pattern after pattern, system after system; therefore gradually it withers through constant conflict. Is this the Indian mind? Please ask it of yourself; I am not asking you, I am not telling you. Is the Indian mind chaotic, disorderly, irresponsible? What do you think of all this? Do please see the tragedy of all this. You may read the Gita, the Upanishads; it is all totally unrelated to daily life; there is no application of what you read to daily life. You hear this, and if one may point out, it is just words. You don’t say, ‘Look, am I like that? Is my life disorderly? Is my life, my way of thinking hierarchical?’ One has to have the authority of law, of the policeman, and so on, naturally; but there too there is vast corruption. You know all this.
So what shall we do when an ancient race, with three to five thousand years of a certain culture, the Brahmanical culture, is wiped out overnight? Don’t get upset about my using that word. You are all probably anti-Brahmin, pro-Brahmin, or whatever it is. The Brahmanical culture of three to five thousand years, however bad or good, has made a strong imprint on the Indian brain, on its culture, on its books, everything. And overnight it is gone. You understand? It is gone; why? We must ask this very serious question of why a certain culture lasting for thousands of years, which has had such a strong imprint, strong impression on the human brain, has been wiped out. Now it is the fashion in this country to smoke, to drink, to eat meat. I am not pro- or anti-Brahmin, but I am saying these are facts.
And what has happened to that culture, whether it is good or bad? Was it just a veneer, a surface, like a coat that you put on and throw off?
from the book In the Problem Is the Solution, by J. Krishnamurti
© 2007 by Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Ltd.
Continuing with the K schools, you may know that there is a newer school at Brockwood Park called Inwoods Small School, a day school for up to 30 children aged five to eleven. I found the following letters, from two of the parents, to be amazing:
Letters from Inwoods parents
When my three children were still rather little and still quite dependent on me, I separated from my husband and relocated from Surrey to Hampshire. We arrived at Brockwood in August 2007 – Damien was six; Poppy and Megan three years old. Damien had already spent a year attending Inwoods on Fridays in combination with home education, so our chosen location was no accident – my priority was to give Damien the opportunity to be part of this very dear little school. Amidst the trials of divorce; relocation; financial uncertainty and raising a young family on my own, Damien was at a vulnerable age and external carers needed to be sensitive in order for him to thrive – the separation ‘nipped him in the bud’ somewhat and I wanted him to feel held and loved. Our cottage at Brockwood was a little haven for us and Inwoods became very much an extension of our family. What I found in Mary-Ann was the extraordinary and unrivalled capacity to love each child in her school – it was not like sending my child off to be told, judged, compared, rather he was unobtrusively observed; accepted; nurtured. He was like a puppy in the early days; still in movement, so he was allowed to run; jump; climb; build outside. At some point down the line his emotional and intellectual needs naturally came together and he was ready for academic learning. He was allowed to find his own way to read at his own pace, encouraged to question without judgement and developed a true love of learning – interestingly, the motto at his new school is Live to Learn.
Damien transferred to Holy Trinity Junior School in Guildford in September 2010, age nine and a half. This was a big move – back to Surrey; new home; new school, and more children in his new class than in the whole of Inwoods, some three hundred and fifty in the entire school. There are computers; competitions; house points; a school uniform and a Christian bias – none of which were familiar to Damien, but he has openly accepted these cultural differences. Some aspects of Damien’s transition have been tough – coping with the crowds; understanding the football banter; making new friends, but what stands out is the contribution that Damien has made to his school from the outset, and the courage and maturity with which he has quietly embraced these new challenges. During Damien’s first week at Holy Trinity, he was awarded a certificate for outstanding work, alongside one other child in the school year of some 100 children. The following week, he volunteered to put himself forward as his class representative and won the title by vote after presenting his case. And on parent’s evening, his class teacher described him as above average academically; popular; co-operative; great to work with; sensible; artistic and good fun. He chooses to walk to school and home unaccompanied, or with friends; has joined the after-school football club, and diligently delivers messages or completes projects at home if asked. As a family, we all miss Inwoods and our visit to the last Autumn Day Celebration in 2010 felt like coming home – Damien was quite emotional and couldn’t wait to see Mary-Ann and all his friends. He and the girls often ask if they can return to Inwoods and it will always remain a very close to our hearts. For my children, this very special school has contributed enormously to their future and set them up for life.
Callum attended Inwoods from the age of 4 through to 11 years. He enrolled at Perins School in Alresford last September. Perins is a mainstream school with 1050 students on role. Callum is in a year group of 220. The environment could not be much farther removed from that of Inwoods. So how is Callum managing this transition?
Within the first 2 weeks at Perins, all students sit Cognitive Assessment Tests. Bearing in mind that Callum has never been subjected to testing, let alone examination hall conditions, I was curious to see how he might manage. How does an Inwoods child deal with such stresses and how would he compare academically alongside students who had followed a national curriculum and regular testing? To my amazement and joy, Callum not only achieved scores that placed him in the highest ability banded group but he managed the examination experience as only an Inwoods child could.
I now work at Perins as the Head of Year for Callum’s year group and their Guidance manager so it is common practice for staff to give me feedback about children in the year group. During the CAT’s one of the support teachers reported that one of the new entry children appeared to have fallen asleep towards the end of the exam. Concerned for the child I asked them to let me know who they were so I could just check that all was Ok with them. To my surprise it was my own son! Thinking that maybe he had found the exam process overwhelming, I decided to tell him that a member of staff had reported that he had dozed off. “Asleep?” Callum seemed surprised. "I was not asleep mum. I was kind of meditating, I guess that’s what you’d call it.” He continued. “This is the first quiet I have had since coming here so I answered all the questions on the paper, checked them just like you told me to and then, happy I had done all I could, I closed my eyes and just focused on the quiet inside me."
At this point, any concerns I may have had about how well Inwoods prepares our children for transferring to a large mainstream school simply evaporated. Through attending Inwoods, Callum has learned more than even the most enlightened curriculum could ever promise. By being fully present to Callum’s needs, Inwoods has enabled Callum to become a self-directed, motivated learner.
More importantly, he is a quietly confident young person who has already earned the respect of his peers and adults within his new educational community. If Mary Ann is reading this, she will remember Callum as he was when he joined Inwoods. He was a sensitive child who would not join in any task until he felt confident that he could do so competently. Rather than forcing him to follow the teacher’s instructions, the adults at Inwoods always trusted Callum to make the best choice for his learning. Callum would frequently choose to busy himself with some other task close enough to the group so as to be able to observe the class and understand the learning objectives. Once he had grasped the task at hand, he would surprise everyone by being able to complete the required task perfectly. As Callum entered mainstream school with classes of up to 30 pupils, I wondered how Callum would manage. No longer would he have teachers with the same wisdom, patience and trust in the child’s innate spirit to learn. This is replaced by expectations and consequences for non-compliance. So, how has this sensitive child been since starting Perins?
Callum grew in confidence throughout his years at Inwoods. He has learned to trust his own judgment. He has a clear sense of what is right and what is wrong. Now in mainstream education, he does not get drawn in by peer pressure in social situations. In class he follows the teachers’ instructions and is able to not only ask for help but to express an opinion. His maturity, trustworthiness, and willingness to take on responsibility have been commented on by several members of staff. Now in his second term, Callum has performed in the Arts Festival, singing and playing his guitar, has captained the badminton team and has set up an run an after school club.
Thank you Inwoods for truly believing in this young child, for trusting his natural wisdom patiently enough to allow him to discover that trust and self-belief for himself. You have given him a rare gift that will serve him for life.
And finally a special Thank you to you, the trustees, without whose support Callum would not have been able to remain at Inwoods through to the age of 11.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
In further K school news, our good friend and former K school student and teacher Gopal and his partner, Susan (Sunsong), have been conducting teacher education programmes (academies, workshops, teacher in-service programmes, seminars, and courses) in the US, England, India and Thailand - in Krishnamurti schools and other school contexts and in partnership with universities. The University of California Santa Barbara Extended Programs awarded accreditation for Gopal to conduct the two courses of the programme ('Re-envisioning Education and The Art, Science and Craft of Teaching and Learning') around the world. They are currently developing partnerships with local universities in other countries, and have also been invited to be more involved with Brockwood Park School and to continue to develop some of these activities while being based there.
They remain surprised and moved by the deep shifts in thinking and perception they’re encountering across different contexts. School trustees, workshop facilitators and participants have spoken of the programme’s content and process as "uncovering new ground" in K education and as an important foundation for any teacher education programme. Gopal and Sunsong feel passionately that the work they’re doing contributes to engagement with the teachings in Krishnamurti school contexts, introduction of the teachings to people who are encountering them for the first time, the dissemination of K’s teachings around the world, the mission of the K Foundations, and the challenge of 'educating the educator' that K spoke about.
One time K told us that many years earlier he'd been asked by several followers of Gandhi what he thought about the caste system in India not allowing certain people into temples. He replied: It doesn't matter who goes in, because god isn't there.
He spoke further about this in 1975:
Lastly, we are currently revising The Beauty of the Mountain to include a few more K quotes and stories, along with some different photos. Here is one of the stories: One time K told us that many years earlier he'd been asked by several followers of Gandhi what he thought about the caste system in India not allowing certain people into temples. He replied: It doesn't matter who goes in, because god isn't there. He spoke further about this in 1975:
K: God is not in the temple
Without compassion, which means passion for everything, care for everything, respect for everything, without compassion what is sacred can never be found. You understand? You know we have created - thought has created something sacred - the temples, the churches, the symbols - and we worship those symbols, and call those sacred. But it is the movement of thought in time and measure. So that is not sacred. Once in India, I was asked... the speaker was asked by the followers of Mr Gandhi, and he said, 'All peoples can enter, every type of strata of human society can enter into that temple, for god is there for everybody'. And they asked me, 'What do you say to that question?' I said, 'Anybody can enter, it doesn't matter who goes in because god isn't there'. You understand? God is an idea put together by thought. But one has to find that which is eternally, incorruptibly sacred. And that can only come when there is compassion. Which means when you have understood the whole significance of suffering - suffering not only of yourself, but the suffering of the world.
A friend told me another story of temples: A beggar is crying in front of a temple, and God comes along and asks him why. The beggar says, "They won’t let me in the temple!" and God replies, "Me neither!"
Friedrich Grohe, August 2011
The Art of Listening
Somebody is telling you something, you listen. The very act of listening is the act of release. When you see the fact, the very perception of that fact is the release of that fact. The very listening, the very seeing of something as a fact, has an extraordinary effect without the effort of thought.
...Let us take one thing – say ambition. We have gone sufficiently into what it does, what its effects are. A mind that is ambitious can never know what it is to sympathize, to have pity, to love. An ambitious mind is a cruel mind – whether spiritually or outwardly or inwardly. You have heard it. You hear it; when you hear that, you translate it and say, “How can I live in this world which is built on ambition?” Therefore, you have not listened. You have responded, you have reacted to a statement, to a fact, therefore, you are not looking at the fact. You are merely translating the fact or giving an opinion about the fact or responding to the fact; therefore, you are not looking at the fact...
If one listens – in the sense without any evaluation, reaction, judgment – surely then, the fact creates that energy which destroys, wipes away, sweeps away ambition which creates conflict.
24 February 1961, 3rd Public Talk in Bombay
published in The Book of Life (June 7th), by J. Krishnamurti
© Krishnamurti Foundation of America and Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Ltd.