Restored and digitally remastered from the original recording of his talks during the past decades, in this first of four meetings in Santa Monica, J. Krishnamurti begins by pointing out that these meanings are not a form of entertainment but a journey of exploration on which he and his audience are about to embark together. Although most of us like to be entertained, informed, told a certain theory or dogma, he intends to avoid all this. On the contrary, he says that together they will, ‘share the many problems, such as love, death, and the utter madness that is going on in the world - we are going to understand these problems together, sharing, and therefore it is very important from the very beginning that we should understand each other, and what it means to observe the problems into which we are going - to observe, to listen.’ The problem with this prefernce for being entertained and informed is that it engenders a certain form of listening - in J. Krishnamurti’s view, the wrong one.
The problem as he sees it is that we listen according to our fancy, comparing what is being said with what we already know and then translating and interpreting, This prevents us from truly listening. With this in mind J. Krishnamurti proposes that the first of their enquiries together should be into ‘what it means to listen, to observe, whether it is at all possible to observe actually ‘what is’ without any interpretation, without any categorising, putting it into a certain groove, into a certain path, but to merely observe.’ This, as he admits, is a difficult concept to grasp - as are many others in this intriguing journey into the human psyche and all its ramifications.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (May 12, 1895-February 17, 1986) was a world-renowned writer and speaker on philosophical and spiritual subjects. His subject matter included: the purpose of meditation, human relationships, the nature of the mind, and how to enact positive change in global society.
Krishnamurti was born into a Telugu Brahmin family in what was then colonial India. In early adolescence, he had a chance encounter with prominent occultist and high-ranking theosophist C. W. Leadbeater in the grounds of the Theosophical Society headquarters at Adyar in Madras (now Chennai). He was subsequently raised under the tutelage of Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater, leaders of the Society at the time, who believed him to be a vehicle for an expected World Teacher. As a young man, he disavowed this idea and dissolved the worldwide organization (the Order of the Star) established to support it.
He claimed allegiance to no nationality, caste, religion, or philosophy, and spent the rest of his life traveling the world as an individual speaker, speaking to large and small groups, as well as with interested individuals. He authored a number of books, among them The First and Last Freedom, The Only Revolution, and Krishnamurti's Notebook. In addition, a large collection of his talks and discussions have been published. At age 90, he addressed the United Nations on the subject of peace and awareness, and was awarded the 1984 UN Peace Medal. His last public talk was in Madras, India, in January 1986, a month before his death at home in Ojai, California.
His supporters, working through several nonprofit foundations, oversee a number of independent schools centered on his views on education - in India, England, and the United States - and continue to transcribe and distribute many of his thousands of talks, group and individual discussions, and other writings, publishing them in a variety of formats including print, audio, video, and digital formats as well as online, in many languages.
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Krishnamurti is entirely different from any of the other teachers who came out of India in the past two centuries.
In this public talk recorded at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in March 1972, he makes three things clear from the beginning: he does not consider himself a guru, he is not representing any religion, and this talk is not an entertainment.
His speaking style while dynamic may take some time to get used to because it is as unique as he is. He frequently refers to himself simply as "the speaker" and he implores his listeners to pay attention, listen closely and not accept what he is saying as coming from an authority.
Krishnamurti message cannot be distilled into a book blurb. The most that can be said is that he sought to empower his listeners to become spiritual lights unto themselves rather than relying on the authority of a teacher or holy book.
His talk is intended to lead the careful listener toward self discovery.
He asks you what are the facts about yourself when you step away from relying on the dogma of religions or the techniques of meditation teachers?
Even the careful listener to this talk and any talk by Krishnamurti will benefit from playing this audio more than once. There is a depth here that blossoms with repeated listening.
Many thanks should go to the producers of this digital re-mastering of a live recording made with 1970s analog technology. Krishnamurti's distinctive voice is clear and the usual background noise from such public talks is kept to a minimum.
Expect to learn about yourself if you listen carefully. But do not expect to be spoon fed second-hand spirituality.
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