Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Krishnamurti: Preparing to Leave - the book


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Tue, 14 Jan 2020 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5546 posts in this forum Offline

Krishnamurti: Preparing to leave

i have been reading the book “Krishnamurti: Preparing to leave” by Scott Forbes. It is an account of the last 9 months of Krishnamurti’s life. It is a very accurate account, not written from distorting memory, but from two contemporary written sources, Scott's notes taken at the time, and Mary Zimbalist’s daily diaries. The two of them were in K’s company nearly every day, often most of the day, at his request. In some way they were ‘safeguarding his body’, right to the end.

Through the book one can watch K’s involvement with the Foundations, many of the Trustees of the Foundations, the administrators and teachers of the schools and members of the International Committees (the book starts when they are at Brockwood Park, follows them to the last talks in Saanen, then on to India, Rishi Valley and Madras, and finally to Ojai, firstly to a hospital and finally to his home at Pine cottage, where he passed away.

Reading of the state of the organizations around K, and of the behaviour of the people in those organisations, I was greatly surprised and exceedingly shocked. Conflict was rife, at every level, between the organizations, and between people. There were so many problems. The word “corruption” is certainly not inappropriate. The schools were not functioning anywhere close to what they intended to do. Even at Brockwood students were complaining that the teachers were not caring for them. No doubt there were exceptions, but the overall picture was of great chaos, and of individuals not only failing to “live the teachings” but failing to be decent human beings, or in many cases carrying out the most basic of their duties. There was so much back-biting and rivalry. So much wanting to “sit at the right hand of God”, and anger when this was denied.

I had read some of the books about K by people who had had a certain amount of contact with him at different times in his life, sometimes prolonged. The picture painted by these people of their relationships was often contradicted by Forbes’s account – that account including K’s own comments on them. In India K resigned from the Krishnamurti Foundation of India, and it is clear from the book that he never intended to return to India – and this was before he knew he was dying. Incidentally, K did not know beforehand that he was going to die when he did, he expected to live quite a bit longer.

I will write more later.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Wed, 15 Jan 2020.

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Wed, 15 Jan 2020 #2
Thumb_avatar idiot ? United States 79 posts in this forum Offline

Very interesting, sad, and not too surprising.

There were quite a few angry responses when I posted, a couple of years ago, about K's superstitions in the General Discussion forum: http://www.kinfonet.org/forums/2-general-discus....

Fortunately, we have Mary Zimbalist's and Scott Forbes' books, which are not pollyanna hagiographies. They may have their biases, but they certainly seem willing to show warts and not whitewash.

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Wed, 15 Jan 2020 #3
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5546 posts in this forum Offline

As I said, I intend to post more extracts and comments on this book, but I do not have much time today.

However, here is something that caught my eye, said by K:

“In trying to find out what is ultimately true, our brains try to conceive of something enormous, when what we are looking for might be tiny”

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7 hours ago #4
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5546 posts in this forum Offline

The uniqueness of this book lies in the descriptions of K engaged in the day-to-day activities of life – cleaning the car, buying clothes, travelling, meeting informally with people, reading detective books, watching movies, his fascination with machinery and technology, commenting on people and the world. Actually it is not unique, as I said, because Tom has already posted extracts from Mary Zimbalist’s diary. Both she and Scott spent a great deal of time together with K, and there seemed to be a great deal of affection between them.

So both books throw light, perhaps, on the question “what was Krishnamurti the man, and what was K the teacher?” It may be that this side of things does not interest some people at all, and they are only concerned with the teachings themselves, not with the “phenomena of K” in this world. I find that understandable. But I also found it interesting to read how K’s self-lessness manifested in his daily life. He might take a long time at lunch in the school refectories, as he would continually give up his place in the queue to those behind him! There were instances of his giving away his expensive warm clothes to beggars. At times it might seem like foolishness, as when he was ill and feeling very cold, sitting on the floor, when given a blanket he insisted on others sitting on it.

K himself referred to “the greater K inside K”. And one gets the impression in the book when K started to give his talks something quite different took him over, a different energy.

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