Monday 12 May 2014

Truth is a Pathless Land

. . . so there is nothing and nobody to follow; according to Jiddu Krishnamurti.
Who was Jiddu Krishnamurti? 
Birthday boy! He was born on 12th May1895 to well-to-do Brahmin family in India. As a child he was sickly and dreamy but remarkable for his kindness and fascination with the natural world. His mother died when he was 10 and three years later he was discovered by Annie Besant and Colonel CW Leadbeater who, following a colourful but slightly unhinged character called Madame Blavatsky, had embraced a madey-uppy religion called Theosophy. Colonel Leadbeater (you couldn't invent better names) decided that young Jiddu’s aura was completely without selfishness and Besant proclaimed him the incarnation of “Lord Maitreya” Saviour of the World. Most of the other people who knew him as a child thought Krishnamurti was dreamy, drifty and dim-witted. Leadbeater and Besant lifted him from his family and took him back to England for grooming, training and education. Being grateful, polite, and notably selfless, he accepted this role.   In 1906, Leadbeater was (in)famously compelled to resign from Theosophical Society after it was revealed that he'd reassured some young chaps under his care that they wouldn't necessarily go blind if they took some of their sexual feelings in hand. Besant was embedded in the radical left of the time, advocating independence for India and Ireland, a suffragette and a Fabian socialist.  She tried to get off with George Bernard Shaw and lived for a while with a classic Edwardian cad and bounder called Edward Aveling. Aveling later jilted Tussy Marx (Karl's daughter) - who sent the maid to the chemist for chloroform and cyanide "for the dog" and topped herself.
The Krishnamurti movement, The World Order of the Star, grew to embrace 60,000 members, with predictably unseemly struggles to get direct access to The Master and achieve higher spiritual status than other members of the inner circle of Apostles. Then in his early thirties he resigned, in a very public fashion, from the position of Lord of the Universe. If you think this sounds like Terry Pratchett or Monty Python (Life of Brian anyone?) it must be the way I tell it. He lived on as (extra)ordinary Mr Krishnamurti for another 55 years after renouncing godhead and got to speak inter alia with edgy scientists like David Bohm, Fritjof Capra and Rupert Sheldrake, all trying to nail the essence of truth, matter and existence. I like the core of Krishnamurti’s teaching which he laid out in 1929, because it resonanates with the aphorism that “nothing worth learning can be taught” and that we all have to discover the important things for ourselves. He was vehement that gurus, interpreters and religious leaders were worse than useless; they were the antithesis of Truth and just got in its way. That is probably true of my effect in The Institute where there are so many paths delineated between "learning outcomes" and "deliverables" that it almost entirely precludes original thought.

No comments:

Post a Comment