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  • Writer's pictureTerence Im

The Philosopher with No Method: Jiddu Krishnamurti

Many people look to philosophers of the East for extraordinary, supernatural insights into the nature of consciousness. There are numerous schools of yoga which contain intricate systems of meditation and self-development wrapped in mystical language and thought, but Jiddu Krishnamurti didn’t care for these things. JK’s philosophy is often difficult or too underwhelming to grasp because of its extraordinary simplicity, but herein lies the supernatural insights many people seek.

Krishnamurti believed that most people craved an escape from the true nature of things, thus resulting in countless methodologies of spiritual development which, in his view, did not lead to true understanding but only to self-delusion. I do not totally agree with this as I believe that so long as a system brings about healthier minds and loving communities, then all is well. In the end however, I agree that rather than adopt a multi-step system or curriculum towards happiness, one must simply silence one’s thoughts and enjoy the immediate moment. Only problem is, this is really, really difficult!

Of course, it is easy to transfer over the benefits of silent meditation over to the rest of the day when the circumstances of the day are not cluttered with drama and unfortunate news, but to feel secure in this isn’t enough. Life is unpredictable, and one must train his or her mind to maintain a stable focus and clarity throughout moments which disrupt one’s sense of security. Oh, and there’s a word which JK hated! “Security!” In JK’s view, our craving for security is what perpetuates our cycle of insecurity.

And this cycle goes on and on and on. Such self-reflections often come up in my writing, such as in my sci-fi short story, To Feel Human Again. I find myself, like many others, rather burdened by my inability to slow down time and just appreciate the simple elements of life such as time spent with loved ones, time spent with myself or moments spent looking at a tree or the sky, appreciating their beauty without having the present moment be interrupted by a single thought for the future or the past.

I deeply enjoy and cherish such moments, but far too often, time feels to be a burden, and each day as I write, work, program, meditate, train and so on, I wish for there to be no sense of separation between myself and time or myself and the world’s tempo. How can I just still time and completely separate myself from worries over the uncertainties and promises of the future? After all, won’t the future take care of itself just as the past already has?

If one watches Krishnamurti’s dialogues, many of which can be found on YouTube, or reads his books such as On Fear or As One Is, one might feel underwhelmed at the immense repetition and simplicity of his views on consciousness. Often, he will keep repeating the same themes: we are conditioned, we are conditioned by society, we are conditioned by our perceptions of the world and so on. But that is the point! Rather than elucidate his perception on one thousand different topics, he invites his listeners to concentrate — without effort — on the few fundamentals of the mind.

In the face of my own adversities, I often think of JK and wonder if happiness can truly be as effortless and uneventful as he describes. If I observe my own thoughts and try to let them happen without any resistance or conscious participation, then I feel two contradictory things simultaneously:

a. Happiness can be found right here, but my thoughts are that which separate me from whatever instantaneous joy I can enjoy RIGHT NOW.

b. I have to do whatever it takes to climb to the next mountain of prosperity, so that I can further my growth!

It’s not just me. Countless people all throughout the world struggle with the same trouble. Chances are, you’ve felt the same way and might have come to wonder, Why does life feel more complicated than it should be? Surely, the road to happiness must be simpler than this!

If you wish to share your thoughts on these questions, feel free to comment below! I would love to read others’ thoughts about their different studies and practices in meditation, mindfulness and philosophy. It is the sharing of thoughts which is able to bring about greater understanding into the great successes and failures of the human psyche. One of the things I appreciate most about JK is how he also asked his audience about what can be done to address the issues of the human condition. Rather than be satisfied with his own conclusions, he would always want to investigate these questions with others.

Why do we as human beings always worry about the future when there is so much to appreciate today? Not just today… Now! Right this very moment!

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