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March 27, 2022

Wisdom of the Mystics: Jiddu Krishnamurti


In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses the wisdom of one of the greatest mystics and thinkers of the 20th century, Jiddu Krishnamurti, or lovingly known as JK. His teachings of choiceless awareness, giving absolute attention to reality has been instrumental in my own spiritual journey.

In this episode, I go through some quotes of Jiddu Krishnamurti and give my thoughts on them. If you would like me to speak of a particular mystic - let me know.

The quotes that I discuss are from this book that you can get on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/3JM3hh3

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Transcript

Hello, and welcome to The Bearded Mystic Podcast and I'm your host Rahul N Singh. Thank you for taking out the time today to either watch or listen to this podcast episode. Today we're continuing on with our series of the Wisdom of the Mystics. If you would like to support The Bearded Mystic Podcast you can do so by going onto The Bearded Mystic Podcast Patreon page, where you can subscribe for a monthly fee and get exclusive benefits. Do take a look, the details are in the show notes and video description below. Last month, as you know, we looked at the great mystic Ramana Maharishi, and today we will be exploring the teachings of one of the most revolutionary, mystics of the 20th century named Jiddu Krishnamurti or JK or J Krishnamurti. We're going to refer to J Krishnamurti as JK most likely. That's how he was known amongst his community and the quotes that I've got for him are from the book, the Book of Life. So you can take a look at that, if you would like to. We'll go to the first quote and these are relatively long quotes. What we'll do, we'll read them and then we'll give out thoughts about them. I do not know whether you have listened to a bird to listen to something demands that your mind be quiet. Not a mystical quietness, but just quietness. I am telling you something and to listen to me, you have to be quiet, not have all kinds of ideas buzzing in your mind. When you look at a flower, you look at it, not naming it, not classifying it, not saying that it belongs to a certain species. When you do this, you cease to look at it. Therefore I'm saying that it is one of the most difficult things to listen, to listen to the communists, to the socialists, to the Congressman, to the capitalists, to anybody, to your wife, to your children, to your neighbor, to the bus conductor, to the bird, just to listen. It is only when you listen without the idea, without thought that you are directly in contact and being in contact, you will understand whether what he is saying is true or false. You do not have to discuss. This is an incredible quote. When you now look into that quote and you think about it, it's about listening. Listening is one of the most important tools in spirituality. And without listening, we cannot communicate effective. Most of our communication is based on listening, but how much do we listen to something without our own interpretation? Whether it's the interpretation of our experience, of the thoughts that we've borrowed from somebody else? How much do we actually just listen to somebody? How much of our life do we witness things without naming it? Now, what JK is really talking about here and it's really unique that how can we look at something and just look at it without naming it. So he uses the example of the flower. How many of us can look at a flower and just without labeling it without saying it's this species, just look at the beauty of it and look at the beauty without saying it is beautiful. How many of us can look at our spouses, our partners, our parents, our children, and just look at them without giving them a name, without putting a form of any kind, without any label and just look at them, observe them. This is the true art of listening because with that, we get rid of the preconceived notions that we may have about somebody. Now, this is one of the things that tends to happen with us is that when we listen to somebody, even if they say the most wise thing, if we do not like them, because we associate them with a particular behavior trait or personality, we automatically do not want to listen to them no matter how wise it may be. And that's mainly because maybe the person is a hypocrite in nature, but again, being a hypocrite will be a label. So what JK is talking about is we have to quieten our mind. Quieten our mind of any, like I said, preconceived notions our labels, our names for people, the forms we give the images we have of people, the aspect of personality, we have to move beyond those things. And how many of us can actually do that? And it's not literally when we talk about the quietness of mind, It's not about getting rid of thought. It's about seeing that our thoughts actually, are like noise between the person that is communicating to us and what we need to be receiving in terms of listening. Now, when it comes to spirituality, let's look at the spiritual friendship between the master and disciple. When we are in contact with the Master, are we truly listening to them with their words and what they're saying, and actually allowing the words to communicate to us? Or are we looking at the words and associating it with the Teacher. And therefore, instead of enjoying the teaching, we're enjoying just the teacher. So it's really important as JK has established that, how you can listen without the idea, without the thought, just being directly in contact. And this is true listening and with this type of listening, if we can do it as a spiritual practice, it can lead us to enlightenment, and this can be proven by Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the Japji Sahib, there is a great amount written about the power of listening. This is something that JK is highlighting to us so we can improve our lives and that's the whole purpose. When you're now going to listen to someone, think about how you will listen to them, think about how you will engage with them, will you speak to them as if they're the only people here in the room, or will you be distracted by other things. So this is something you can think about. Quote number 2. Wisdom is something that has to be discovered by each one. And it is not the result of knowledge. Knowledge and wisdom do not go together. Wisdom comes when there is the maturity of self knowing. Without knowing oneself order is not possible and therefore there is no virtue. Now learning about oneself and accumulating knowledge about oneself are two different things. A mind that is acquiring knowledge is never learning. What it is doing is this, it is gathering to itself information experienced as knowledge and from the background of what it has gathered it experiences, it learns and therefore it is never really learning, but always knowing, acquiring. Learning is always in the active present. It has no past. The moment you say to yourself I have learned, it has already become knowledge and from the background of that knowledge you can accumulate, translate but you cannot further learn. This is incredibly important in spirituality and it cannot be emphasized enough that yes, when we listen to something, we may memorize it and we may accumulate all that knowledge, but all we do is accumulate that knowledge without putting into practice. If we do not put it into practice, then we cannot allow that knowledge to become wisdom. Here JK is very right when he says that wisdom comes when there is the maturity of self-knowing without knowing oneself, order is not possible and therefore there is no virtue. So we need to know who we are and what we are before we accumulate knowledge. Now, if you remember, when we look at the Bhagavad Gita, in the first chapter we listened to Arjuna give his perspective on things. And then in the second chapter when Shri Krishna decides to speak, first we get the knowledge and the wisdom of who we are. We are given the discernment to understand what is real and unreal. And the same thing is being said here, JK's telling us to know who we really are. And then when we learn something, it's a continuous process because we are continuously practicing and therefore deepening that knowledge into wisdom. Now, one thing I want to mention that is really important here. He says something that learning is always in the active present. It has no past. Now think about this. It's in the active present. He didn't just say in the present moment, he said in the active present, that means you have to put into motion, the practice of anything that you learn. It's not merely enough to have it as memory, anybody can parrot the scriptures or parrot some shlokas from the Vedas and pretend to look like they're very smart, but the true intelligence comes from when you know yourself and therefore you're speaking from your experience, it's active in your life. People can see it, people can perceive it in you. And that's what he's talking about here. That learning is always in the active present. It has no past. The way to see this is although there is never any new knowledge that we gain, whatever I'm saying today has been repeated many times, but my expression of that knowledge may be very different to other people. And therefore what one can say is that whatever you hear and listen to will always be new because it has a unique expression with each individual. Now it's up to you, how much you like what you hear and enjoy what you hear. But if you are truly in the present moment, actively present and what he means here, you also have an aspect of attention and focus, an increased amount of focus. This is what he's talking about. Therefore, when you hear something, you will not be thinking, oh, I heard this yesterday, or I heard this last week. It will be, I'm hearing it for the first time because for awareness, everything is for the first time. Even though for the mind, it may seem like a repeated process, but for awareness, everything is always brand new because awareness itself is always fresh. I think we've discussed this before in the past in some of the podcast episodes where we can see consciousness or awareness or Brahman as being ever fresh. And therefore, this is the way of wisdom and JK is literally telling us how to do and its a very beautiful quote. The third quote. The problem then is, is it possible for a mind that has been so conditioned, brought up in innumerable sects, religions and all the superstitions, fears to break away from itself and thereby bring about a new mind. The old mind is essentially the mind that is bound by authority. I'm not using the word authority in the legalistic sense, but by the word, I mean, authority as tradition, authority as knowledge, authority as experience, authority as a means of finding security and remaining in that security outwardly or inwardly, because after all that is what the mind is always seeking a place where it can be secure, undisturbed. Such authority may be the self-imposed authority of an idea or the so-called religious idea of God, which has no reality to a religious person. An idea is not a fact. It is a fiction. God is a fiction. You may believe in it, but still it is a fiction. But to find God, you must completely destroy the fiction because the old mind is the mind that is frightened, is ambitious, is fearful of death, of living and of relationship. And it is always consciously or unconsciously seeking a permanency security. This is very interesting because a lot of us feel secure, safe. When we look at the teachings of any texts or we look at the teachings of any Master or Guru, or we may feel secure by putting everything on God. Now, the one thing that we are avoiding is being with ourself. When we avoid this, then we cannot live authentic lives. And to be honest, the whole point of spirituality is to be authentic. And therefore we have to ask ourselves if any idea we have any belief we have anything we claim to have faith in, is it based upon a reality or is it based upon an experience that we may have had years ago? But that experience has now evolved into something else because everything is moving, everything is changing, but what is that one thing that does not change? This is what JK is talking about. Breaking the fiction. Destroying the fiction, the story, the narrative, how do we do this? Now awareness will always be, or consciousness will always be in the background of each and every experience that we have, the experience is the content in this regard. But how many of us are willing to do that? How many of us go back to our traditions to feel safe, to feel part of the crowd, to feel part of the community? Because if we're not part of the community, then where would we go? We fear that. Why? Because we fear ourselves. We fear who we really are. And there's nothing to fear about there. It's actually the most liberating experience to have or liberating aspect of life to experience. But we're not willing to do this. Why? Because it's easier to be part of a tradition, a religion, to believe in a God, even though we've not seen this, God, we have not even experienced this god. It's just a story that we know has been made up to make us feel good. But remember everything that makes you feel good does not mean that it is good for you. In the short term, maybe it's a good thing, but in the long-term it may have disastrous effects. So the person here that is able to keep their mind at bay, that is able to understand its own conditioning and discern the mind effectively without any preconceived notions, that mind can be observed effectively and therefore adapt and evolve. Now, what JK really wants us to understand is that we're not here to seek security, when we look on the spiritual path, the spiritual path is meant to ensure that you do not need security at all because awareness does not provide any security. I can speak from my own experience here. It doesn't provide me any security at all. I do not feel like I have known where I'm going to go and what's going to happen. All these things are matters of the mind, but for Awareness and Pure Consciousness or Brahman, or the feeling of Aham Brahmasmi doesn't feel like it secures me in any way or it, it makes me feel safe because the one that is feeling safe is still the human form - the naam and roop, the name and form. Awareness does not need to feel security. Awareness does not need an authority. This is what we find out when we truly introspect and we look into our mind and see how it's being conditioned and constantly, because things aren't going the way we want in life, we then fall upon superstitions and we know that true religion does not look to involve us in any superstitious thinking. In fact, it tells us to avoid it. But we see again and again, even those places which claim to teach about getting rid of superstitions, about not following superstitions, about not following tradition, end up having followers that believe in those things. Why? Because those followers have not become disciples. By just blurting out that they have taken that special, secret wisdom does not mean anything. I've come across many spiritual people from different spiritual organizations and I find the same thing happening again and again. That in the beginning they get that real wisdom and they really take it on and then what happens is the old mind kicks in, then they go back to the superstitious thinking, oh, is this person giving me Nazar or evil eye? Is this person doing harm to me? They'll have blind faith openly. This type of people, they are not truly spiritual. They have not learned anything because remember learning has to be done in the active present. What they do is just accumulate knowledge and they go back to the old mind. Therefore, no real improvement has been made, even though the spiritual tradition they follow, may be one that can provide liberation. No matter how lofty that wisdom is, unless it becomes our own, we're not going to move forward. The fourth quote, this is a relative shorter one, but again, very powerful. There is no feeling without thought and behind to thought is pleasure. So those things go together. Pleasure the word, the thought, the feeling, they are not separated. Observation without thought, without feeling, without word is energy. Energy is dissipated by word, association, thought pleasure and time. Therefore, there is no energy to look. Now what we could say here is JK's talking about the intensity of observing, of being. When he talks about observation, without thought, he's talking about being, he's talking about going back to Pure Consciousness, to Pure Awareness and allowing that to be. Now, what tends to happen is whenever we observe something, we tend to name it, we tend to associate with it, we tend to see whether it causes pleasure or pain. It belongs to time. It may be a feeling therefore that energy, that observation isn't intense because it is shared in different faculties. Like I mentioned, association, thought, pleasure, pain, time and all sorts. But when we just observe without any thought, without associating it with anything, allowing that observation to remain formless and most intense that attention that is choiceless. That intensity is unmatched. So therefore, every feeling as we've mentioned is without thought and behind thought is pleasure. So everything we do is for pleasure, to meet our desires, to keep us away from being and here what JK is saying, observation without thought, without feeling without word is energy, pure energy. How many of us can do this? Even for a second? It all starts with a single second and then we move forward. This has to be the spiritual practice. Hence, I always tell people that is best to meditate just for one minute, every hour of your waking day because at least then you can observe as much as possible without any thought, without any feeling, without any word. Awareness cannot be associated with feeling, word or thought. Pure Consciousness cannot be a feeling or word or a thought or of any form or image, it's beyond those things. So how can we be in that state, it's by practice. So therefore having a regular meditation practice, no matter how short it is, as long as it is intense and as long as you keep going back to that Formless Awareness, that Formless Consciousness. You're all good. It's all good then. The fifth quote. What I'm saying is that the moment you give a name to that feeling, you have brought it into the framework of the old and the old is the observer, the separate entity who's made up of words, of ideas, of opinions, of what is right and what is wrong. But if you don't name that feeling, which demands tremendous awareness, a great deal of immediate understanding then you will find that there is no observer, no thinker, no center from which you are judging and that you are not different from the feeling. There is no you, who feels it. This is the whole experience of spiritual enlightenment that JK is really talking about. Like JK in this quote, he's talking about how to be in awareness. How to be in Pure Consciousness that once we understand what Brahman is and we then understand that Brahman is our own nature, that we are Brahman, that we are this Ultimate Reality. Then we realize there's no separate 'I' or if there is something that is referred to I, it is that Brahman. It's not the name of form. Therefore he can never be Rahul. It can never be somebody else. It's always without any name, it doesn't have an image. No matter how deep you look into awareness and you observe awareness, what happens is you find that there's nothing there to observe. There's no thing, no image created, no color is there, no form is there, no shape is there, it's an incredible moment of realization when this occurs. The challenge is to stay with this and the problem that arises is that we still continuously associate subtly the identity of Rahul with the 'I', when this occurs, then we're not understanding what we are observing. What is it that we are observing? It's this Pure Consciousness behind everything, when we go back and we see what is beyond the body and the mind, and the thoughts, what's behind it, who is thinking the thought, who is aware of the thinking happening, who is aware of the talking occurring? Who is it? What is it? What is aware of you listening to this podcast? Who is aware of you watching this podcast? Is it a who or is it a what? It's more a what, because it doesn't have an identity. Consciousness does not have an identity. Hence the word God, in the pure sense is correct. When we utilize the word God to mean Consciousness or Brahman, but to be honest because we perceive God to have a certain personality because we rely on this so-called God. It therefore has been contaminated by a name and a subtle form, but this awareness does not have a form. It's not subtle nor gross, nor subtle of the subtlest. It's beyond that. It's sometimes it's really hard to translate as JK says, a separate identity is made up of words, of ideas, of opinions and what is right and wrong. But this isn't. Like when you feel something. When I say I love, I am loving something. Well, what is loving? And if you just intensely look at the feeling of what is loving. You realize that there's actually nothing there. It's, it's really hard to explain and maybe not everyone can relate to this, but if you can, you're amazing. This is the ultimate experience. The pinnacle of all knowledge is this very one thing that you cannot even name that feeling. And like JK says it demands tremendous awareness, a great deal of immediate understanding. You have to know it right now with such intensity that it completely requires everything from you. Only for it to be realized that there's nothing that you've given to it. Like you actually didn't put any attention to it. It was always there, even though you are approaching it with such intensity, you realize the intensity is not there. And what JK says here that there's no observer, no thinker, no center. It's very difficult to understand this by mere wordplay, to truly understand this as a coherent message, one has to experience the Highest. Otherwise, it's easy to miss what JK has said, and we can make another religion out of it. But this what he's talking about no observer, no thinker, no center is the direct experience or the direct way to understanding that there is only pure consciousness. There is only Pure Awareness. There's only this Formless. There is nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing can be it. And eventually, as we said, there is no you, that feels it. Rahul cannot be in the feeling of 'I am experiencing awareness.' No. Rahul cannot say 'I am experiencing the formless.' No. Only the formless is, and it doesn't have an experience. Only Pure Consciousness is, it doesn't have an experience. Only Brahman is, it doesn't have an experience. Only the Atman is, it doesn't have an experience. This is the way to really understand this and through meditation, we can understand it more. We can get used to this feeling because in the beginning it's a feeling, eventually the feeling disappears and it becomes a state of being. So meditation is incredibly important and if there is a thing that is really important, it is meditation. The sixth quote. In awareness, there is no becoming, there is no end to be gained. There is silent observation without choice and condemnation from which there comes understanding. In this process when thought and feeling unfold themselves, which is only possible when there is neither acquisition nor acceptance, then they comes in extensional awareness. All the hidden layers and their significance are revealed. This awareness reveals that creative emptiness, which cannot be imagined or formulated. This extensional awareness and the creative emptiness are a total process and are not different stages. When you silently observe a problem without condemnation, justification, there comes passive awareness. In this passive awareness, the problem is understood and dissolved. JK, he's the man. He's phenomenal. To understand JK is taken me years and I still feel like I am only at the surface. That's how incredibly deep this guy is. It's very easy to see JK as just an intellectual phenomenon. No, he is of the highest intelligence and therefore to really understand JK, you have to really understand the truth. Only someone of the Truth can understand JK. And that's what I feel when I listen or read any of his works, that's the feeling I get. I want to look at one thing that JK says between me to really understand. This extensional awareness and the creative emptiness are a total process and they're not different stages. When we observe, when we are aware of something, we are aware of it totally, that awareness knows no bounds. It has no edge. It has no boundary to reach. It has no end to meet. He has no beginning to meet, but yet it pervades everywhere. If we put it into space, it pervades everywhere. If we take space out, it pervades as it is. So that is what he's talking about. The extensional awareness and then when he talks about the creative emptiness, again, out of nothing, everything appears. It's not different stages. This is all here and now. It's all one experience. The whole point of JK saying this, is that one that when we have a problem, we sometimes think that the problem is everything, is everywhere, everywhere we go, we are reminded of the problem. And therefore we know that somehow we're going to find a solution, but we look for the solution in some thing. But here JK is telling us that utilize the extensional awareness for awareness itself, therefore do not see the problem everywhere, but see that, which is aware of the problem everywhere. And at the same time, do not look for the solution in things. Look for it in that creative emptiness, from where this problem has appeared from. And actually when one just observes that problem, like he said, without condemning it, without justifying it, we just become aware of the problem. Once we become aware of the problem, we realized that the problem has no legs. We were allowing it to run without any legs. We were allowing it to jump without any legs. We allowed legs to appear to the problem using the metaphor. Therefore, we allowed it to run wild. But actually that problem is understood and dissolved. It goes away. And I tell you from experience that I have practiced what JK is talking about here, and it has succeeded for me. It has helped me tremendously. What he's talking about here about when you understand the problem and you look into it and you just observe it and don't look at why it's happened. You know, could you have done anything to have avoided it? None of that stuff. Yeah. You just understand that there is no problem. You are creating the problem, the more you think about it. You are adding to the problem, the more you think about it. When you just allow the problem to be in front of you and just watch it, you realize for what it is. It's actually very empty, very very empty and actually only the person that is aware of the problem, that is the only reality. The seventh quote. Is God to be found by seeking him out. Can you search after the unknowable? To find you must know what you are seeking. If you seek to find, what you will find will be a self projection. It will be what you desire and the creation of desire is not truth. To seek Truth is to deny it. Truth has no fixed abode. There is no path, no guide to it. And the word is not Truth. Is Truth to be found in a particular setting, in a special climate among certain people? Is it here and not there? Is that one, the guide to Truth and not another? Is there a guide at all? When truth is sought, what is found can only come out of ignorance, for the search itself is born of ignorance. You cannot search out Reality. You must cease for Reality to be. Now, when he's talking about you ceasing, it's talking about our identification to the name and form. The name and form does not have a reality. Therefore, for reality, to be, we have to get rid of name and form. And what JK is saying here is that a lot of what we seek is self projection. When we seek God. We make God into a larger aspect of ourselves, a larger alter of ourselves or of other 'pious' thinking. We may have a, a feeling that God must be something bigger and better, or God's ways are much better. And when we say God's ways are better, at the same time that we are in charge of our life and we must make those necessary changes. You see the hypocrisy in such thinking. So we need to understand that God cannot be known in Reality because to know something that has to be a 'somebody' that knows. But when we understand reality, we understand there is no 'somebody' who is understanding. Only Consciousness can know Consciousness. Only the formless can know the Formless. So for the body and mind, it cannot know God, and it will not even name God. Even if it knows God, it will not call it 'God'. This is the unique experience. And here as JK says, truth has no fixed abode. There is no path, no guide to it and the word is not truth. This is ultimately what it is. We cannot avoid this. The truth has no fixed abode. There is no path. There is no guide to it. Nobody can help us get there because it's always here and it's, and it's everywhere you look. Everywhere you perceive, once you understand Reality, you see that Reality is everywhere. It cannot be fixed in one place. It's not just in your temple or where you go to worship, whatever you do worship. So here we're not to search for something out there. We have to introspect and realize that there is no me, there's no name and form. And this has been the emphasis of JK's teachings. He has constantly been talking about this and it always goes back to this that do we really know who we are. And is there really a me? Forget about searching for God, if you do not know who you are. If somebody doesn't know who they are fully themselves, how are they going to discover somebody else or something else? And that something magnificent like God? How can we say that we know that God is true, when our own lives, we do not know whether we are true? Because what happens after death? Do we see death as a truth or do we see it as a lie for the living? Is there even life and death? If we went through the process that JK has given to us, is there life, is there death, if you observed with great attention into what is life and what is death? What remains? You realize there isn't any life and there isn't any death. For consciousness is not something that can be brought to life. Life appears in it and this is what JK is talking about. And that is the end of this episode of the Wisdom of the Mystics. Next month, we will be looking at the teachings of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev Ji. And we'll be looking specifically at the Japji Sahib, some elements of the Japji Sahib. We won't be looking at all of it, but we'll be looking at the first couple of lines. If you're watching this on YouTube, do like, and comment and subscribe to this YouTube channel. If you are listening to this as a podcast, do follow the podcast or subscribe to the show. A new episode is uploaded every Sunday. You can follow me on social media to keep getting updates and short clips of the podcast and extra video content. If you would like to support The Bearded Mystic Podcast, you can do so through a number of ways, but I would ask you to utilize Patreon and all of those details are in the show notes and video description below. Please do rate and review the podcast, that'd be greatly appreciated. Thank you for listening and watching this podcast episode. Take care, stay safe nnd we'll end with the shanti mantra. Om, Shanti Shanti Shanti Aum Peace Peace Peace Namaste