Re: theos-talk Jiddu Krishnamurti on Religious Organizations
Dec 16, 2011 05:47 AM
Judge wrote a short article in the Path, "On Funds and Property" on the "money-people" that is along the same lines as the Krishnamurti quote. Dostoevsky's "The Grand Inquisitor" treats the whole basic issue from another angle. I'll excerpt some of Judge's article below:
"OF FUNDS AND PROPERTY
[Wm. Q. Judge]
"It was thought by some at one time in the history of the Theosophical Society that a society fund was an indispensable prerequisite to the growth of the movement. This was a natural idea to a Western man because most of the achievements of the West are the result of the use of money, but if one has a good knowledge of human nature and remembers what has happened in other organizations it must be evident that, while money is necessary in order to get bread to eat, it is not entirely necessary for the work of the Theosophical Society. The Roman Catholic Church is probably the most powerful religious body, controlling vast sums of money and owning the best property everywhere, but its great achievements have been in the line of fostering dogmatism and chaining the minds of men..... If the Theosophical Society as an organization had always possessed a fund and property, there would always be those who, moved by selfish motives, would struggle to gain possession of the money and the use of the property for their own benefit. But without a fund belonging to the treasury, the Society has steadily grown in influence and numbers. This is because instead of money to fight for we have had an inspiring ideal, and instead of corporate funds to work with we have had devotion which causes the members to use in the work of the organization their own private means untrammelled by the treasury rules. Thus the Society is poor, and it is sincerely to be hoped that it will always remain without a fund as a temptation to the cupidity of man.
"The Headquarters in America, situated in New York City, is a piece of property the title to which is vested in the local Branch, which is a corporation formed for the purpose of holding the property. It does not belong to the Theosophical Society, but it is devoted, under the same spirit of devotion as has moved all true Theosophical workers, to the uses and the benefit of the T. S..... The funds that are used in the work, outside of the necessary funds belonging to the various Sections and spent during the year should remain the property of private persons who devote them to the uses of the Society freely and in whatever direction their conscience permits. If we accumulate a large corporate fund we will also accumulate around it those human beings who unconsciously as well as deliberately conceal their motives, who ask to be allowed to work so that they may be paid, and who as members of the whole body owning the fund might have a right to demand its division. May Heaven defend us from such a state of things! If persons have money which they desire to devote in large sums to the Society's work, they should either use it themselves in the lines of that activity or deliver it over to such devoted workers as have shown that their guide in life is self-sacrifice for the whole.
"Take a few concrete examples. In the American Section, for instance, salaries are not paid, unless you call board and lodging a salary to certain persons who are without means. There are workers in the official departments of that Section who spend their entire time from early morning till night, and all the money they can spare over their actual necessities, in toiling for the Theosophical Society without a salary and at the same time giving out of their means to the needs of the work. In England it is the same. There Mrs. Besant and others work unceasingly for the Society, she supporting herself and contributing all that remains of her earnings to the needs of the Society. H.P. Blavatsky did the same. Col. Olcott did also and is still doing it. Thus in every direetion the real lasting and beneficial activities of the Society are carried on by those who, willing to work for it, do not ask a salary; and those of them who possess means do not wish to be trammelled by rules and regulations relating to a general fund which will always be source of annoyance and a temptation to the wicked.....
"In this way devotion becomes more valuable than millions of money; those who are capable of speaking and writing but have no means will be enabled to go on by others who, favored by material fate, have a surplus. But make a large treasury fund, and then no barnacle or drone could be shaken off once it had fastened on the old ship, because he would have a voice in the management of means. Again, those captious, suspicious persons who always know the date of a penny or the number of a bill would harrass those who had the spending.
"Again, our poverty and lack of earthly applause and reward have saved us from cranks and sectarians who, subliminally attracted by wealth, would prate of doctrine and duty while they stood guard over the cash-box. In the strength of our ideal and devotion is our power, and that work which is done without reward or the hope of it and without the blighting influence of a debit and credit account goes further and lasts longer than any which is given as return for a money consideration.
"(The Path, Feb., 1894)"
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: MKR
> To: theos-talk
> Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 3:12 PM
> Subject: theos-talk Jiddu Krishnamurti on Religious Organizations
> Jiddu Krishnamurti is known to be a very keen observer of the world around
> him. Frequently, his comments wake us up to see situations as they really
> are. Here is a quote, I saw this morning which made my day.
> To Climb High One Must Begin Low
> Religious organizations become as fixed and as rigid as the thoughts of
> those who belong to them. Life is a constant change, a continual becoming,
> a ceaseless revolution, and because an organization can never be pliable,
> it stands in the way of change; it becomes reactionary to protect itself.
> The search for truth is individual, not congregational. To commune with the
> real there must be aloneness, not isolation, but freedom from all influence
> and opinion. Organizations of thought inevitably become hindrances to
> As you yourself are aware, the greed for power is almost inexhaustible in a
> so-called spiritual organization; this greed is covered over by all kinds
> of sweet and official-sounding words, but the canker of avariciousness,
> pride and antagonism is nourished and shared. From this grow conflict,
> intolerance, sectarianism, and other ugly manifestations.
> Would it not be wiser to have small informed groups of twenty or
> twenty-five persons, without dues or membership, meeting where it is
> convenient to discuss gently the approach to reality? To prevent any group
> from becoming exclusive, each member could from time to time encourage and
> perhaps join another small group; thus, it would be extensive, not narrow
> and parochial.
> To climb high one must begin low. Out of this small beginning one may help
> to create a more sane and happy world.
> J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life
> MKR Comments:
> Many of us see the above in theosophical organizations as well. In the
> early days, there was no money or property or dogma (formal or informal) to
> deal with. TS grew by the sweat and blood and original thinking of a few
> pioneers and not because of fatcats who were able to write large checks and
> meddle with how it should be spent - old adage, he who pays the piper,
> calls the tune. Compared to early days, we see an emaciated organization
> with dwindling members and tiny groups around the world. Now the emphasis
> is money and property and its management and it seems theosophy and its
> propagation is secondary. For example, we have not seen a single elected
> official visiting San Antonio in the last ten years. San Antonio is the 7th
> largest city in the USA. Why? There is no property or money in the bank.
> Even in activities on Internet, the situation is pitiful. No active
> interactive involvement in cyberspace nor attempts to make electronic
> copies of publications available for free download so eager souls can
> access them. Mind you, the number of individuals interested in theosophical
> subjects is minuscule and TS was started not accumulate money and property,
> but to spread theosophy and make theosophical doctrines available to those
> starving for it.
> There is no religion higher than Truth.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application