Kundalini Splendor

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Krishnamurti on "Truth is a Pathless Land" 

Krishnamurti, one of the famed spiritual teachers of the last century, was originally hailed as the "World Teacher" which many had been awaiting. He served as the head of the international organization called the Order of the Star. What follows is his speech to his followers, when he decided to abdicate his position as head and as an infallible authority governing other people's lives. His message corresponds in many ways with what Andrew Harvey calls "The Direct Path" and what others of us think of as the voice of the "guru within." Somehow, I also connect such thoughts with the independent thinkers of previous times, such as Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman, who also called for reecognition of internal as opposed to external guides. Ultimately what he speaks of is the path of the true mystic, who listens to the voice within rather than follow the strictures of institutional authority.

We are going to discuss this morning the dissolution of the Order of the Star. Many will be delighted, and others will be rather sad. It
is a question neither for rejoicing nor for sadness, because it is
inevitable, as I am going to explain. . . .

I maintain that 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 organised; nor should any organisation be
formed to lead or coerce people along any particular path. If you
first understand that, then you will see how impossible it is to
organise a belief. A belief is purely an individual matter, and you
cannot and must not organise it. If you do, it becomes dead,
crystallised; it becomes a creed, a sect, a religion, to be imposed
o others.

This is what everyone throughout the world is attempting to do. Truth
is narrowed down and made a plaything for those who are weak, for
those who are only momentarily discontented. Truth cannot be brought
down, rather the individual must make the effort to ascend to it. You
cannot bring the mountain-top to the valley....

So that is the first reason, from my point of view, why the Order of
the Star should be dissolved. In spite of this, you will probably
form other Orders, you will continue to belong to other organisations
searching for Truth. I do not want to belong to any organisation of a
spiritual kind; please understand this. . . .

If an organisation be created for this purpose, it becomes a crutch,
a weakness, a bondage, and must cripple the individual, and prevent
him from growing, from establishing his uniqueness, which lies in the
discovery for himself of that absolute, unconditioned Truth. So that
is another reason why I have decided, as I happen to be the Head of
the Order, to dissolve it.

This is no magnificent deed, because I do not want followers, and I
mean this. The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth. I
am not concerned whether you pay attention to what I say or not. I
want to do a certain thing in the world and I am going to do it with
unwavering concentration. I am concerning myself with only one
essential thing: to set man free. I desire to free him from all
cages, from all fears, and not to found religions, new sects, nor to
establish new theories and new philosophies. Then you will naturally
ask me why I go the world over, continually speaking. I will tell you
for what reason I do this; not because I desire a following, not
because I desire a special group of special disciples. (How men love
to be different from their fellow-men, however ridiculous, absurd and
trivial their distinctions, may be! I do not want to encourage that
absurdity.) I have no disciples, no apostles, either on earth or in
the realm of spirituality.

Nor is it the lure of money, nor the desire to live a comfortable
life, which attracts me. If I wanted to lead a comfortable life I
would not come to a Camp or live in a damp country! I am speaking
frankly because I want this settled once and for all. I do not want
these childish discussions year after year.

A newspaper reporter, who interviewed me, considered it a magnificent
act to dissolve an organisation in which there were thousands and
thousands of members. To him it was a great act because he
said: "What will you do afterwards, how will you live? You will have
no following, people will no longer listen to you." If there are only
five people who will listen, who will live, who have their faces
turned towards eternity, it will be sufficient. Of what use is it to
have thousands who do not understand, who are fully embalmed in
prejudice, who do not want the new, but would rather translate the
new to suit their own sterile, stagnant selves? . . .

Because I am free, unconditioned, whole, not the part, not the
relative, but the whole Truth that is eternal, I desire those, who
seek to understand me, to be free, not to follow me, not to make out
of me a cage which will become a religion, a sect. Rather should they
be free from all fears - from the fear of religion, from the fear of
salvation, from the fear of spirituality, from the fear of love, from
the fear of death, from the fear of life itself. As an artist paints
a picture because he takes delight in that painting, because it is
his self-expression, his glory, his well-being, so I do this and not
because I want any thing from anyone. You are accustomed to
authority, or to the atmosphere of authority which you think will
lead you to spirituality. You think and hope that another can, by his
extraordinary powers - a miracle - transport you to this realm of
eternal freedom which is Happiness. Your whole outlook on life is
based on that authority.

You have listened to me for three years now, without any change
taking place except in the few. Now analyse what I am saying, be
critical, so that you may understand thoroughly, fundamentally. . . .

For eighteen years you have been preparing for this event, for the
Coming of the World Teacher. For eighteen years you have organised,
you have looked for someone who would give a new delight to your
hearts and minds, who would transform your whole life, who would give
you a new understanding; for someone who would raise you to a new
plane of life, who would give you new encouragement, who would set
you free - and now look what is happening! Consider, reason with
yourselves, and discover in what way that belief has made you
different - not with the superficial difference of the wearing of a
badge, which is trivial, absurd. In what manner has such a belief
swept away all unessential things of life? That is the only way to
judge: in what way are you freer, greater, more dangerous to every
society which is based on the false and the unessential? In what way
have the members of this organisation of the Star become
different? . . . .

You are all depending for your spirituality on someone else, for your
happiness on someone else, for your enlightenment on someone else... .
when I say look within yourselves for the enlightenment, for the
glory, for the purification, and for the incorruptibility of the
self, not one of you is willing to do it. There may be a few, but
very, very few. So why have an organisation?. . .

No man from outside can make you free; nor can organised worship, nor
the immolation of yourselves for a cause, make you free; nor can
forming yourselves into an organisation, nor throwing yourselves into
work, make you free. You use a typewriter to write letters, but you
do not put it on an alter and worship it. But that is what you are
doing when organisations become your chief concern. "How many members
are there in it?" That is the first question I am asked by all
newspaper reporters. "How many followers have you? By their number we
shall judge whether what you say is true or false." I do not know how
many there are. I am not concerned with that. If there were even one
man who had been set free, that were enough. . . .

Again, you have the idea that only certain people hold the key to the
Kingdom of Happiness. No one holds it. No one has the authority to
hold that key. That key is your own self, and in the development and
the purification and in the incorruptibility of that self alone is
the Kingdom of Eternity. . . .

You have been accustomed to being told how far you have advanced,
what is your spiritual status. How childish! Who but yourself can
tell you if you are incorruptible?. . .

But those who really desire to understand, who are looking to find
that which is eternal, without a beginning and without an end, will
walk together with greater intensity, will be a danger to everything
that is unessential, to unrealities, to shadows. And they will
concentrate, they will become the flame, because they understand.
Such a body we must create, and that is my purpose. Because of that
true friendship - which you do not seem to know - there will be real
co-operation on the part of each one. And this not because of
authority, not because of salvation, but because you really
understand, and hence are capable of living in the eternal. This is a
greater thing than all pleasure, than all sacrifice.

So those are some of the reasons why, after careful consideration for
two years, I have made this decision. It is not from a momentary
impulse. I have not been persuaded to it by anyone - I am not
persuaded in such things. For two years I have been thinking about
this, slowly, carefully, patiently, and I have now decided to disband
the Order, as I happen to be its Head. You can form other
organisations and expect someone else. With that I am not concerned,
nor with creating new cages, new decorations for those cages. My only
concern is to set men absolutely, unconditionally free.

(Thanks to Elizabeth Reninger, who supplied this article.)

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