Freedom From the Known, Krisnamurti

I hope you can tell I’m starting to dig spiritual books 😉

I place Krishnamurti in the same genre as Osho: both are Enlightened spiritual masters who present their material in provocative ways. Which is probably why these books are very popular among not-so-spiritual people.

Both authors deal with big societal problems in their books, saying how it’s a lack of consciousness that is the root of the world going to hell, and that the only way to fix it is for each individual to raise their consciousness.

Anyway, these parallels aside, let’s get into the meat of the book.

Krishnamurti is “trying to understand violence, not as an idea, as a fact which exists in the human being.”

He lays out how most people are violent, which, OK, are pretty obvious if you’ve looked into it: violence in jealousy, in greed, in relationships, and so on.

What I liked what how he even says labelling yourself as a Hindu or a Muslim is being violent. How? “Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind.” Any judgement, nationality, tradition breeds this kind of violence because it separates you from the world.

He lays out the state of humankind pretty blatantly: “We are afraid of the known and afraid of the unknown.”

In order to remedy the world, Krishnamurti, recommend knowing ourselves and becoming aware of all the stupid stuff we do in our lives.

How to do this? Simply look. Look at the processes, outer and inner, and come to the realization that they are one.

But, wait! Something I find very intriguing about Krishnamurti and Osho is that they both vehemently reject teachings and religions. In this book, Krishnamurti talks at length about why you cannot depend on ANY teacher to show you how to do this work, even the wisest old sage in the mountain you could possibly imagine. Why? Because outward authority cannot bring inward order. You need to know yourself for yourself.

Speaking of authority, he also makes a point about inward authority. Effectively, all the beliefs, dogmas, judgements, condemnations, justifications, ideas, and principles you hold will get in the way of clear seeing. To reject authority, outer and inner, will render your mind “always fresh, always innocent, full of vigor and passion.” In this clear state can we truly see.

The author makes a point about rebels, people that vilify tradition. In order to transcend society, we can’t reject it, because again what is it doing? Separating us from reality. So rejecting the world is not the answer, despite what many people wishing for a better world think.

I love what he has to say about this process: it’s an understanding, not an intellectual learning about this stuff. The difference is that understanding is always in the present, learned knowledge is the past. And coming from the past modifies how you see the present.

We also need a great deal of humility on this journey. We must start by accepting that we don’t know squat about ourselves.

The last point I’ll make about this book is that Krishnamurti’s point on the mind being conditioned.

The mind is a conditioned machine. It picks up ideas, beliefs, and never lets them go.

Have you noticed how robotic you are in life? Running the same patterns, most of them picked up from culture. Even the ones rejecting culture are just conditioned reactions against culture.

The point is to put less faith in the mind because the mind is of the past. What is past is past.

Awareness is now. It is looking as something in the present without any biases, beliefs, judgements, or pre-disposed emotional reactions.

Only with this tool, awareness, can we truly live from a place of wisdom, authenticity, and love.

So that’s all I’ll say about the content of this book. Just note that, like most spiritual books, it’s pretty abstract, but surprisingly practical at the same time if you let these ideas into your life. It doesn’t lay out the techniques, but just states that awareness is the only technique you need.

After all, what else do you have? 😉

The Verdict:

Pretty good book on spirituality. Provides a good basis for the work to follow.

Favorite quote:

“To understand yourself is the beginning of wisdom.”

Best, easiest mind-shifts for happiness RIGHT NOW!

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been swamped with schoolwork.

So to make it up to you, this is a very practical post that will have a lot of benefit for you.

These mind-shifts have certainly helped me to know new levels of happiness, often when I’m not doing anything.

Imagine: happiness that’s not derived from anything? Just think how powerful that is.

It’s what all humans since the beginning of time have wanted. But you better believe that the way you filter reality greatly affects your mood.

And the best way to be in a great mood? Get rid of all the filters.

I’ve found that just by thinking these thoughts when you’re feeling less-than-great, then noticing how much lighter you feel, has huge benefits.

The first mind-shift actually doesn’t come from non-duality, but from regular good-ol’ personal development. It consists of of the certainty-uncertainty-significance-insignificance axis (CUSI for short).

Think about this: most people live life according to four basic needs: certainty, uncertainty, significance, and insignificance. A lot of people let this govern their relationships, their health habits, the level of risk they’re willing to take, etc. Too much of one, and you need to compensate with the opposite.

Most people live life trying to balance somewhere in the middle of this 4-way seesaw.

Of course, if you’ve spent any amount of time in the world, you know it has other plans, and you are only able to get tiny, rare gasps of true harmony.

So whenever we feel like we’re on this treadmill to unhappiness, we briefly think about this axis and simply let go of it. Realize we’re independent from it. Don’t let it govern your life.

Ta daa!

The second mind-shift comes straight from Osho. This is one of my favorite concepts of his, which I talk about in my review of The Book of Understanding.

Be ordinary.

That’s right. Most people spend their lives wanting to be extraordinary. Whether it’s in business, relationships, or just personal and social life. The ego LOVES to think it’s special. Which can only lead to suffering, because if you’re chasing after something, you’re in denial of what already is.

To combat this, just try to be ordinary. Nothing to accomplish, no one to impress, nothing to change about your situation. Feels good, right?

Oslo says “Become ordinary and you will become extraordinary.” You will feel so complete, humble, simple, and free.

Who are the happiest people on earth? Not the movie stars with millions in the bank, with girls and cars galore. The happiest people are the ones that can be happy with being ordinary. Think of a Buddhist monk. Does nothing but sit and eat bland food all day, and probably happier than 99% of people on this planet.

Next up is a little phrase I made up, much in line with again non-duality and seeing things as they are.

“The stars are always all aligned.”

No matter what. They are all always aligned because how could it be any other way?

In the same vein: “Reality is exactly as it’s supposed to be.”

See, reality is as it is. It’s thinking that gets in the way. Thoughts are never True, they are adding another layer to reality, your experience of “what is.” They add only “what isn’t.” It’s wanting life to be like this “what isn’t” that creates suffering.

It’s this principle that all these short sayings are based on.

Here are a few more:

“Are there any problems?”

Notice how all the problems you think you have are just thoughts. Just become more in touch with reality as you’re actually experiencing it, your sights, sounds, feelings, and notice in the absence of thought, there are no problems.

“What is lacking?”

Again, notice how reality is how it is. The only thing that thinks there’s something missing from it is a thought.

When you look at a photograph, do you know what’s missing from it?

No, everything’s there just as it should be, because there is no other way for it to be.

Same thing for our lives.

This all comes back to the most ancient teachings in Daoism, Buddhism, or any other religions. SURRENDER. Surrender to reality as it is, and you can’t be unhappy.

If this helped you at all feel free to SHARE! We need more content, conscious people on this planet.