Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Peter Coan - Personal Profile

Peter Coan
Peter Coan
Member since: Sun, 28 Mar 2010, 2:22pm
Last visited 7 months ago

Member Statement

Doing good naturally generates happiness, from which emerges gratitude, which is the motivation for further acts of goodness; and thus, being happy, doing good, the healthy human being proceeds through life, growing, giving, and enjoying, in a process which is just as natural as a tree, which grows, gives fruit and shade, and quietly enjoys the sunshine.

Unfortunately, there is also the unhealthy human being, with the tendency to tell lies, to cheat, to steal, to hurt, to kill; and this also produces a cycle of growing destruction, until at last, through external force or through internal insight and change, it ends.

Interests and Recommendations


Ram Dass - Remember, Be Here Now Ram Dass - Fierce Grace J. Krishnamurti - Think on These Things J. Krishnamurti - Truth Is where You Are Not Jack Kornfield - After the Ecstasy, the Laundry Tom Wolfe - A Man in Full Bertil Lintner - Great Leader, Dear Leader

Interview Answers

How do you personally go about exploring the Krishnamurti's teachings (through personal study, dialogues, dvds)?

Just stop thinking; there it is!

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Can dialogue - in the sense of sincere inquiry - be organized or can it only come about spontaneously, unprompted?

Everything meaningful is spontaneous. Sometimes we give ourselves the delusion that we are organizing it.

If we find other sincere people, or even a single sincere person, with whom we can honestly share this inquiry, or part of it, we can consider ourselves breathtakingly fortunate. Such people, and such relationships, are exquisitely rare.

Many types of organization tend to generate power inequalities, and therefore corruption. So I think we must be careful when designing organizations; particularly careful that no person has power over another, that the beauty and wisdom and popularity of one person does not become magnified and deified to the point where other persons are no longer seen as equal, but rather seen as inferior dross by comparison. Such, after all, has been the fate of the organizations founded by most religious leaders, in spite of their teachings to the contrary.

Krishnamurti himself was neither a god, nor an angel; he was simply a person who studied spirituality, and talked about it. He wasn't always right, and he certainly didn't always behave perfectly. But he was absolutely right to say that authority, in all its forms, causes suffering. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. By refusing to accept a position of power, K led the way to the New Age.

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Are there any aspects of Krishnamurti's teaching that you find implausible or difficult to accept?

I do not accept - and I don't think Krishnamurti wanted anyone to accept - any teachings from external authorities, including Krishnamurti. I value Krishnamurti's questions and ideas as ways of helping me see that only I can provide my answers to my questions. I value and respect Krishnamurti's principled and clear rejection of notions of "authority" as a well-structured and clear enunciation of my own belief and conviction that nobody has the right to tell me what to think or what to believe; or, more precisely, that I have no obligation to accept any teaching, whether it is plausible or not.

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How do you strike a balance between healthy doubt and ready acceptance in investigating Krishnamurti's proposals?

Doubt the words of others; doubt my own words, too. But do not doubt the feelings I have, the perceptions I have, the realizations I have.

Do not doubt the reality I perceive; but doubt always my second-hand verbal interpretations and memories of my perceptions, and doubt even more the third-hand verbal interpretations offered by others.

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Do you think Krishnamurti was exceptional, or is the transformation he spoke of universally accessible?

Everyone can do it, easily; many have done it, throughout history. What was exceptional in K was that he understood the importance and the implications, and that he sought to explain how to do it without creating an ideology, a dogma - indeed, that he explained that when all idealogy, all dogma is stripped away, all that is left is the transformed mind.

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What future do you foresee for Krishnamurti's works? Do you think they will grow in importance or will they just gradually die away?

These teachings existed long before K, and will exist long after him. Their importance is timeless.

I hope that K's clear exposition of these realities helps many before it becomes so historically distant that it is no longer understandable.

The Buddha's teaching was in a language nobody now speaks; the same for Christ, and Zoroaster. So it will be one day with K.

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Do you think it advisable to introduce Krishnamurti to people you know? Have you ever done it and if yes, what are your experiences?

So few people are ready for it or interested in it! But if you meet one who is, and share your interest, you will likely have learned something of vital importance about yourself, and you will likely have made a friend for life.

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Has coming into contact with Krishnamurti and his teachings had any perceptible effect on your life and/or relationships?


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Do you ever feel that you have been conditioned by Krishnamurti's teachings?

Yes, in a sense. The teaching "all words are conditioning" is itself, in a sense, conditioning; it is, however, precisely that conditioning which offers an escape from conditioning.

The teaching is the paradoxical road that leads out of Spaghetti Junction and into the fresh green forest.

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Does the phrase "living the teachings" have any meaning to you?

Isn't it easy to slip into living pointlessly, forgetfully, sometimes for years at a time? How good it feels, on the day we wake up again from pointlessness! Bliss!

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If you had to sum up what Krishnamurti is all about in just a few words of your own, what would they be?

Be here now. Don't worry about what was said before. Don't try to describe it. Don't think about the future. Just do what you believe is right, right now; do it for joy; and do it without desiring an outcome, without fearing an outcome, without worrying about time. Just do what is right, and enjoy it.

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How important do you consider group dialogue to be in understanding the more subtle points of Krishnamurti's message?

Group dialogue is difficult, because we all tend to become egotistical in groups. Everyone wants to show how clever he ( or she) is - and one way to do that is to show how stupid someone else is. Yet, at the same time, this can be useful; when someone shows me how stupid I am, I have learned something. The mirror of relationship can show me where my warts are. Once I am fully aware of one of my warts, it magically disappears! But I do not believe I will ever completely run out of warts ... :-)

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Do you think it is possible to make Krishnamurti more "practicable" than what he himself seems to have allowed for?

Krishnamurti spoke in a certain time and place. If we really understand the teachings, we can speak equally appropriately in a new time and place. Our words will then have more practical impact than simply repeating K's words would have had, because we can put the teachings into the current context.
As time passes, K's presentation, his choice of words and examples, will become more and more archaic and impractical, just as Buddha's and Christ's and Zoroaster's messages now seem archaic and impractical; in fact, the basic teachings were, and still are, the same, timeless teaching.

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