Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986), 20th century visionary, thinker, educator and philosopher, spoke about the transformation of human consciousness based on a radical change in the mind and heart of every human being. He referred to this transformation as ‘the only revolution’. He travelled the world for 60 years until his death in 1986, addressing groups large and small, to consider the need for a change in our consciousness. Such a change comes into being by ‘direct perception’, not through effort and will, knowledge, reason, or the pursuit of new ideas, ideals, or religious goals.
With the assistance of a global community inspired by his vision, he established several schools and Foundations around the world to disseminate his teachings. They emphasize the significance of discourse, inquiry and learning together about the human condition to transform our consciousness.
“Life is experience, experience in relationship. One cannot live in isolation; so life is relationship and relationship is action. And how can one have that capacity for understanding relationship which is life? Does not relationship mean not only communion with people but intimacy with things and ideas? Life is relationship, which is expressed through contact with things, with people and with ideas.
In understanding relationship we shall have capacity to meet life fully, adequately. So our problem is not capacity – for capacity is not independent of relationship – but rather the understanding of relationship, which will naturally produce the capacity for quick pliability, for quick adjustment, for quick response.
Relationship, surely, is the mirror in which you discover yourself. Without relationship you are not; to be is to be related; to be related is existence. You exist only in relationship; otherwise you do not exist, existence has no meaning. It is not because you think you are that you come into existence. You exist because you are related; and it is the lack of understanding of relationship that causes conflict.
Now there is no understanding of relationship, because we use relationship merely as a means of furthering achievement, furthering transformation, furthering becoming. But relationship is a means of self-discovery, because relationship is to be; it is existence. Without relationship, I am not. To understand myself, I must understand relationship. Relationship is a mirror in which I can see myself. That mirror can either be distorted, or it can be ‘as is’, reflecting that which is. But most of us see in relationship, in that mirror, things we would rather see; we do not see what is. We would rather idealise, escape, we would rather live in the future than understand that relationship in the immediate present.”
J. Krishnamurti The First and Last Freedom, Ch. 14, On Relationship, 1954
Krishnamurti belonged to no religious organization, sect or country, nor did he subscribe to any school of political or ideological thought. On the contrary, he maintained that these are the very factors that divide human beings and bring about conflict and war. He reminded his listeners again and again that we are all human beings first and not Hindus, Muslims, Buddhist, Jews or Christians, that we are like the rest of humanity and are not different from one another. He asked that we tread lightly on this earth without destroying ourselves or the environment. He communicated to his listeners a deep sense of respect for nature. His teachings transcend man-made belief systems, nationalistic sentiment and sectarianism. At the same time, they give new meaning and direction to mankind's search for truth. His teaching, besides being relevant to the modern age, is timeless and universal.
“In oneself lies the whole world, and if you know how to look and learn, then the door is there and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either that key or the door to open, except yourself.”
The Awakening of Intelligence through Self-Inquiry and Choicless Awareness
Self-discovery is a very dynamic and immediate “seeing” into oneself that encourages what Krishnamurti called “insight” without accumulating fixed ideas, criticisms, or the forming of opinions.
Choiceless awareness awakens dormant dimension of the mind that have become numb and in-active through prolonged exposure to unexamined, conditioned beliefs and fears. Once this dormant dimension of the mind is awakened, a new probing intelligence and creative energy is naturally born.
We want to "see" with the active intelligence Krishnamurti called "insight," which he characterized as a sudden opening of a new dimension in the mind in which everything is revealed spontaneously, like a powerful light being suddenly lit in a darkened room.
By placing our attention, on “seeing” and “listening” to what is actually taking place inwardly, as well as what is unfolding all around us, which Krishnamurti felt was the essence of true meditation, we can release potentially transformative energies that have been trapped as conditioned mechanical responses in our unconscious mind since childhood. The release of these vital energies occurs spontaneously as we gain a deeper understanding and clarity into what is preventing us from realizing our full potential as human beings to live in freedom.
Listening is an art
"Listening is an art; but if you can listen totally to what is being said, then in that very listening you will find there is a liberation, because such listening is unpremeditated, uncalculated; it is an action of truth because your whole mind is there, your total attention is being given."