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Blavatsky & Krishnamurti (4)

Mar 13, 2009 12:11 PM
by Govert Schuller

Dear Pedro and all,

Find below my next installment with my comments on your article on Krishnamurti and Theosophy.

I skipped the isuue of 'newness' as that became something of an essay in the sense of an improvised trial & error reflection on the experience and ideal of newness. 

No Self-seeking

HPB: "The Book of the Golden Precepts - some of which are pre-Buddhistic while others belong to a later date - contains about ninety distinct little treatises. Of these I learnt thirty-nine by heart, years ago. To translate the rest, I should have to resort to notes scattered among a too large number of papers and memoranda collected for the last twenty years and never put in order, to make of it by any means an easy task. Nor could they be all translated and given to a world too selfish and too much attached to objects of sense to be in any way prepared to receive such exalted ethics in the right spirit. For, unless a man perseveres seriously in the pursuit of self-knowledge, he will never lend a willing ear to advice of this nature."(8) 

K: "Therefore there is no method for self-knowledge. Seeking a method invariably implies the desire to attain some result - and that is what we all want. We follow authority - if not that of a person, then of a system, of an ideology - because we want a result which will be satisfactory, which will give us security. We really do not want to understand ourselves, our impulses and reactions, the whole process of our thinking, the conscious as well as the unconscious; we would rather pursue a system which assures us of a result. But the pursuit of a system is invariably the outcome of our desire for security, for certainty, and the result is obviously not the understanding of oneself."(9) 

PO: One of the interesting phenomena in the world today is the `self-help' industry. It is a big business world wide, commanding millions of dollars and involving the production of many books, DVDs, seminars, workshops, etc. A pattern that pervades this industry is that it offers people what they want - fulfillment, wealth, pleasure, recognition, personal power, psychic abilities, kundalini awakening, among many other things. Invariably, in such industry questioning the patterns of self-seeking is not encouraged as the aim is to enhance the capacities and powers of the personal self. And yet, the advice of the wise ones throughout the ages has been always the same: be aware of your motives, learn to look at yourself impersonally, be alert to the trappings created by self-interest. Self-seeking goes in the opposite direction of self-knowledge. The former imprisons us more and more in illusion and frustration; the latter opens the gateway to true spiritual freedom. 

[GS: Granted: self-seeking, bad; self-knowledge, good. But the a priori rejection of any and all methods in the realm of our spiritual quest is another danger that is overlooked in K's teachings. Again, Kuthumi, per Cyril Scott, points out that tossing out the theosophical framework for self-evaluation will have the danger to put the aspirant on a course-less drift, and by extension, if there are enough Krishnamurtian Theosophists, the TS will find its karmic sandbank. At our level of consciousness we cannot do without method, thought and a critical way of self-reflection (in the sense of seeing oneself as if one were an outsider. Self-presentation would maybe also catch the meaning I'm aiming at here). The crux is to stay aware of one's method as such, to keep experimenting, maybe even devise one's own method, even while staying on the look-out for self-seeking motivations, and indeed take any results as provisional and not get attached to them. Maybe on higher levels there is the possibility to let go of constructs and methods and orient oneself only by intuitive perception. But, to reiterate the very essential critique of K's teachings, to toss out these 'crutches' prematurely is courting spiritual disaster. To dismiss the self-help industry (and some Krishnamurtian Theosophists would include the whole of the New Age) through the generalization that it's all self-seeking reeks of spiritual and intellectual pride. Granted, some or many are designed to boost the lower self. But there are plenty of sane and helpful therapeutic modules. It's a matter of careful discrimination based on one's own experiences and other people's reporting.]

Activity of the Mind

HPB: "The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real. Let the Disciple slay the Slayer."(10) 

K: "Now what is the mind as it is functioning? It is actually a process of isolation, is it not? Fundamentally that is what the process of thought is. It is thinking in an isolated form, yet remaining collective. When you observe your own thinking, you will see it as an isolated, fragmentary process. You are thinking according to your reactions, the reactions of your memory, of your experience, of your knowledge, of your belief."(11) 

PO: In the above passages, both HPB and Krishnaji point out one of the essential features of the activity of the mind: its self-created separation from Reality. Our minds, under the sway of self-centered activity, prevent us from having a true and complete relationship with life in all its splendour. Unless we actually see for ourselves the continuous process of isolation created by the personal mind it is of no use anybody telling us about it. In the strongly metaphorical language of The Voice of the Silence, one has to `slay the Slayer', which may mean looking at all mental activity - thoughts, memories, emotions, reactions - without automatically identifying with it.

[GS: Granted, the mind cannot contain nor absolutely understand reality. But both will make an exception for that kind of mind that is teaching these truths. A higher mind. In K's vocabulary, a mind directed by intelligence, or in theos-speak, Manas tethered to Buddhi. At that level a mind is a joy to ride, finds connections previously not seen, creates poetic expressions not yet heard, communicates thoughts that inspire, speaks necessary truths to power, etc. If thought in any of its forms would be intrinsically isolating and conflict-generating, K should have held his mouth for he would only put oil on the fire that is already raging. Double standard, or just subtleties that cannot be overlooked?]

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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