The Essence of Krishnamurti’s Teachings
All 250,000 pages can be summarized in a few words.
Freedom from the Known. One enlightenment, not 31 flavors. Truth is a Pathless Land and Choiceless Awareness. When two people observe with the same intensity, freedom and clarity, they see the same thing. JK
When observing the mind, consciousness and awareness, there are two different states; with and without imagination, thought and its abstract virtual reality. Thought and imagination are like a tiny boat floating on an immense ocean, or as Krishnamurti described, a small corner of a vast field. What most call consciousness, awareness, and even identity and reality, is this corner. Always limited, conditioned reflections bounce mechanically, endlessly in a mental house of mirrors, enchanting, distracting, dulling and confusing. The Buddhist tradition describes the unconditioned as ‘the absolute,’ and the conditioned, thought, imagination, belief and their identity as a ‘relative reality.’ To perceive what is not conditioned, the relative must end, something inconceivable to the conditioned.
Having lost direct perception of the absolute, or in Krishnamurti’s original term ‘Truth,’ nearly all live and identify with what is conditioned, what is imagined. The relative is reality, now exponentially compounded by technology. The rare few who rediscover and perceive directly their true nature, nature expanding infinitely as the vast field, share their insight using ‘relative’ metaphors. The ‘teacher’ and the ‘listener’ construct more metaphors, creating more images of becoming free from metaphors. Like clouds, all this activity obscures the sky, our true nature. The more these relative images fill our mind the stronger, more powerful and addictive they become, a simple realization that prompted Krishnamurti’s legendary observation; ‘Truth is a Pathless Land.’ Every effort of the relative mind to go beyond itself; methods, practice, study, and more, locks the doors of direct perception even tighter. There is no becoming. Seeing this, the search ends.
Appreciating this perennial trap, one surrenders, gives up trying to achieve, which liberates a lifetime of projected fear, prediction and control, allowing the habitual and limited focus of attention to expand, to become whole, complete. With this expansion the nature and content of consciousness is transformed from the finite to the infinite, transforming with it identity, relationship and their meanings. With complete attention there is no psychological observer, no effort, no division as the observer and the observed, no time.
Freed from the false assumption that these enchanting, distracting, dulling and confusing images are ‘real,’ and not simply virtual dreams (reification), the default state of perception resets. The unconditioned is the ground. Thought and imagination are understood and used as tools. With this reset direct perception becomes open to ‘insight,’ which is not imagined. Local and non-local fields of meaning resonate what is taking place in the vast eternal present. Free from self-centered conditioning, insights illuminating such a mind express as states of creative wholeness and wellbeing, infused with true intelligence for everything within the field, the absolute, exploding as a unique perception, in a unique human mind, at a unique moment. Then, quick as lightning, disappearing, leaving only the luminous empty sky, the ground, a silent mind.
From this direct perception, without a center, goodness; wholeness and wellbeing, is all there is, expressing each moment as fresh and explosive states of creative perception. Having taken their proper place as powerful and creative tools, thought and imagination distill, are active and focused only when needed, inspired by, and in the service of insight-intelligence. Having surrendered to the inherent limitations of the known, there is nothing else to do. Simultaneously, efforts emerge to help conditioned thought remember that the default state of the mind is the absolute, not the relative; including moral discipline, patience, effort, concentration, wisdom, joy and compassion, the Bodhisattva vows. Insight and its intelligence now lead, inspiring ever new movements of creative wholeness and wellbeing, always innocent and without effort.
The drop dissolves and becomes the ocean, but retains ‘something’ unique, without form. Our true nature, the active and playful movement of creation, is always awakening, simple, clear and sacred. A mystery the brain can never fully capture or understand. mm
From Krishnamurti’s Notebook
Silence grew and became intense, wider and deeper.
The brain which had listened to the silence of the hills, fields and groves was itself now silent. It had become quiet, naturally, without any enforcement.
It was still, deep within itself; like a bird that folds its wings, it had folded upon itself; it had entered into depths which were beyond itself. It was a dimension which the brain could not capture or understand.
And there was no observer, witnessing this depth.
Every part of one's whole being was alert, sensitive but intensely still. This new, this depth was expanding, exploding, going away, developing in its own explosions; out of time and beyond space.
Through the Buddhist Lens
Many of our activities are like housekeeping in a dream.
Delirious with fever, one does not recognize the fever.
Paltrul Rinpoche’s Sacred Word
“Housekeeping in a dream…” Our lives seem to live us, to possess their own bizarre momentum, to carry us away, in the end, we feel we have no choice or control over them. Of course, we feel bad about this sometimes, we have nightmares and wake up in a sweat, wondering: “what am I doing with my life?” But our fears only last until breakfast; outcomes the briefcase, and we go back to where we started.
The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying
Our true nature could be compared to the sky, and the confusion of the ordinary mind to clouds. Some days the sky is completely obscured by clouds. We should always try and remember: the clouds are not the sky, and do not “belong” to it. They only hang there and pass by in their slightly ridiculous and non-dependent fashion.And they can never stain or mark the sky in any way.
So where exactly is this Buddha-nature? It is in the sky-like nature of our mind. Utterly open, free, and limitless, it is fun, damentally so simple and so natural that it can never be complicated, corrupted, or stained, so pure that it is beyond even the concept of purity and impurity. To talk of this nature of mind as sky-like, of course, is only a metaphor that helps us to begin to imagine it’s all-embracing boundlessness; for the Buddha-nature has a quality the sky cannot have, that of the radiant clarity of awareness. As it is said: It is simply your flawless, present awareness, cognizant and empty, naked and awake.
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
His Holiness sets the stage for discovering the reality behind appearances. Our tacit acceptance of things as they seem is called ignorance, which is not just a lack of knowledge about how people and things actually exist but an active mistaking of their fundamental nature.
True self-knowledge involves exposing and facing misconceptions about ourselves. The aim here is to find out how we get ourselves into trouble, then learn how to intervene on the ground floor of our counterproductive ideas. His central theme is that our skewed perceptions of body and mind lead to disastrous mistakes, ranging from lust at the one extreme to raging hatred at the other so that we are consistently being led into trouble as if pulled by a ring in our nose.
By developing insight into this process, we can free ourselves, and those around us, from these endless scenarios of pain. His Holiness guides readers through a variety of practical exercises to help us break down the illusions we have superimposed over and beyond what actually exists, and learn how to act in the world from a more realistic framework. This calls for valuing the interdependence of all things and appreciating the latticework of our relationships for the meaningful contribution it makes to our lives.
He describes how to harness the power of meditative concentration with insight to achieve immersion in our own ultimate nature… to develop in us a clear sense of what it means to exist without misconception. And the way this profound state of being enhances love by revealing how unnecessary destructive emotions and suffering actually are.
How to See Yourself as You Really Are, A Practical Guide to Self-Knowledge
His Holiness The Dalai Lama translated by Jeffery Hopkins, PhD.