on March 30, 2003
I was introduced to Krishnamurti in 1975 by a friend and contemporary of his. I wasn't, yet, ready for such a revelation as Krishnamurti represented. "The Ending Of Time" is perhaps the most significant book I've read in my almost fifty years on this planet. He punctures the bell jar of that Garden of Delusion and Deception humankind has created. This is the first perspective not to insult me intellectually. As I read the series of dialogues between Krishnamurti and Dr. Bohm in 1980 I found myself correctly anticipating where the conversation was going. For the past twenty-five years I've been heading in this direction. I'm not one for romantic notions, mythical excapades and fantasy or in need of an emotional fix to save my soul. I was looking for something that was both intellegent and spoke to me directly.
I had recently finished "The Tao Of Physics" by Fritjof Capra for the third time. Capra's book serves as an excellent practical guide and springboard into the likes of a Krishnamurti; in fact, I think it was reading "The Tao Of Physics" that allowed me to have the type of foundation and understanding to make the quantum leap into the realm of Krishnamurti. I am currently reading "Star In The East". I'm interesting in understanding Krishnamurti's personal history. The one thing that strikes me most is, his "enlightenment" is because and, more importantly, inspite of his involvement with the Theosophical Society. The contrast that emerges between one like Krishnamurti and those who have obviously not punctured that invisible bell share of delusion and deception is glaring, and serves to make Krishnamurti even more poignant and relevant.
Anyone with a similar appreciation for Krishnamurti please contact me. I would very much like to learn and have a dialogue on both this lovely man and his state of mind.
on April 13, 2011
Krishnamurti describes psychological time as follows:
"What does it mean to live in time? Hope: thinking and living in the past, and acting
from the knowledge of the past; images, illusions, prejudices - they are all the outcome
of the past. All that is time; and that is producing chaos in the world."
"Time has built the ego, the 'me,' the image of me sustained by society; and from there I
act towards some future state of being. All of that is divisive and produces suffering."
Note that he is talking about psychological rather than chronological time. I believe
Christ's teaching in Mark 10:14 is about psychological time:
"Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the
kingdom of God."
For children, time is relatively unimportant; the ego and its dramas are not yet fully in
place; but Krishnamurti claims that time comes to dominate our lives entirely in
adulthood. In other books, such as "Freedom from the Known", he concentrated on time
as knowledge and the problems that causes. Briefly, since we meet the current moment
with knowledge from the past, which is conditioning, there is a mismatch between the
situation and our response to it; and the result is conflict. Another familiar topic that
reappears here is the process of becoming: I may not have or amount to much now; but
in the future, I will achieve, acquire. The current situation is just a means to an end. To
Krishnamurti, this is just a reaction to the past and a projection of it in modified form
into an imaginary future. Becoming breeds inattention; and inattention breeds conflict.
In The Ending of Time. K. starts out already assuming that psychological time is
conflict; and asks whether it is possible to be free of it. This dearth of introductory
explanation is in character with him (because Krishnamurti believes context, unlike
direct perception, leads to a superficial intellectual understanding); but getting into this
work is likely to present difficulties for readers unfamiliar with his writings.
To help him in exploring this subject is his friend, the well-known physicist David
Bohm; and this book is a dialogue between the two, with minor contributions to the
dialogue by others. Bohm is a first-rate mind; and with his knowledge of science,
philosophy, and word origins, and with his insightful comments and questions, Bohm
helps develop, shape, and clarify the expression of Krishnamurti's subtle insights and
spiritual experiences. Some, like myself, will find it fascinating to watch their dialogue
gradually clarify the topic under discussion. Others will be frustrated by the messiness
and tentativeness of the process, and by the close reading required to follow it.
Unlike other books of K.'s I have read, besides being in dialogue form, in this book he
shares some of what he has sensed of absolute reality or the ground of being (he prefers
the word "sense" rather than "experience;" because it is direct and less associated with
memory and thus time).
He claims that there are conditions that must be met before one can come in contact with
the absolute: silence (of the ego), open observation, the ending of psychological time,
and putting aside attachments, fears, and beliefs.
K. recalls one night in India when he woke up meditating. It seemed like time had
stopped; and he was in contact with the source of all energy. Both his brain and body
were powerfully affected. There was no division, no sense of either himself or the
world. It seemed as if all problems were instantly solved. This state continued
K.'s experiences of the absolute raise the question, what relationship does absolute
reality, the ground of being, have to time? K. claims there is no relationship whatever;
no relationship to time, no relationship to man's life, and no meaning to life without this
relationship with the ground of existence. This seems logically consistent; because the
mystical path, as in meditation, for example, is typically an emptying process. You can
find similar views on the Youtube videos of Echhart Tolle and Mooji: neither time nor
form (separate identity) is important to them.
A number of approaches to ending psychological time are presented. Here is an
example: K. claims time can end by perceiving how time is created through reaction to
a psychological hurt. Let's say we have an image of ourselves as having suffered some
hurt. In fact, what we are as a separate entity or self is just this image and innumerable
other images as well. As we look at this image mentally, we are psychologically
projecting a part of ourselves and looking at it as if it were something separate. Then
psychologically we react to the hurt image, mentally push it away, and create the
image of a triumphant, revenged, etc., non-hurt future self, thus creating psychological
time and actually maintaining the hurt. K. believed once one sees the truth of this
process, one drops it.
Sounds tricky, and nebulous as well. It requires close reading, careful consideration,
and experimentation; but it's actually fairly simple. Of course, simple doesn't
necessarily mean easy: simply ingesting fewer calories than one expends causes weight
loss, for example.
K. has stated that it takes sustained passion and energy to find the truth. In reading this,
sometimes it seemed I needed sustained passion and energy to follow, understand, and
realize the truths in this book; but I believe the careful reader who is already familiar
with some of Krishnamurti's writings and is not put off by the dialogue form will
be richly rewarded.
I hope I someday again run across a book as illuminating as this one.
on May 1, 2002
By far the most uncomfortable and penetrating message I have come across through the printed medium, this book will - hopefully - cut through the ingrained detritus of philosophy and 'psychology of the self' which has built up in the human psyche over countless aeons. To read this with hope of aquiring some esoteric knowledge of oneself or the world is to miss the point. If it's engaged with directly, personally, then Krishnamurti's message - digested by the very core of your being - may just be the extraordinarily deep and powerful catalyst it was for me. To really listen to what is being discussed here, instead of approaching as another philosophical text to be analysed and processed by the habitual and distorted logic of ego, is to open up to the possibility that things just might never be the same again. Suffice to say that on many occasions I had to put the book in a dark cupboard, make myself a strong cup of tea and have a lie down. What a lovely man.
on July 24, 2006
The reviewer preceding me is questioning the contradiction he senses on reading this fine dialogue contained in this book between the scientist Bohm and philosopher Krishnamurti on the nature of ending conflict.
Indeed It is hard to get deeper than this dialogue..
The impossibility of loosing one's ego is discussed within, as well as humanity's construction of reality with both the negative and positive consequences of action...The destruction of ego/self as a necessity to perception is made clear, but the option of the person being compassionate in human terms remains paramount despite being trapped in Thought (all past and future Time).
Since nothing is everything and everything is nothing how does GROUND effect me ?? is a relationship with GROUND possible? even desirable? is it reachable? How does Mind come into INSIGHT? What are these flashes of illumination? is constant radiance of living possible?
The twists and turns between science and humanism, all the questions posed above are delivered with pretty succinct clarity in the book as you follow it's Socratic method....many scientific and philosophic concepts taught are contained within these pages as this book is undoubtedly one of K's "heavier" books.Suggestions leading to a different life abound.
What becomes clear in this dialogue for any purposeful change in "curing" ones own neurosis, is to SEE THE CONDITIONING THAT TIME PUTS ONTO HUMANITY and flashing into INSIGHT ...NO Easy Task....in other words, the SEEING of one's built up concepts formation,understanding of one's concept of G-D, one's own fears, basically every motion of one's own life as a products of thought and time is a task that puts the individual into a situation of Universal Mind/Ground/Energy.. Still remaining a mystery but nonetheless to be taken seriously.
Rather than latching onto quick fixes and escapes and Time concepts such as religions based on Messianism or Karma, Krishnamurti has a role as a spiritual teacher unique.
Not to become our thoughts is vastly different than seeing how and why and the content of one's thought..Understanding that we are all Energy, knowing the tricks of the brain masquerading as a universal mind under the guise of universal truth in the pursuit of humanity's betterment is one of the concepts this lover of freedom tried to convey through his teachings.
Moreover, the issue of reconciling religion and its IDEAS which is all based on past teachings fused with a hope for future redemption rings hollow to Krishnamurti..K's teaching was that "Truth Is A Pathless Land"..approaching his numerous writings with an eye toward his keen psychological insights into human behavior was his greatness, NOT starting any religion or cult following which we can leave to his Theosophical admirers and biographers to debate as well as questions if he was a Hindu,Buddhist etc. makes no sense since he LET GO of Belief and as Alan Watts said "To Believe Is To Cling,To Have Faith Is To Let Go"....indeed K let go...where he went and when was certainly not his concern it seems. K was content with the MYSTERY which certainly puts him out of any organized religious persuasion and orbit except his own.The interest in changing humanity by changing the consciousness of each individual rather than mass change, was indeed why he was considered a spiritual teacher.
on November 19, 2012
What is to blame for the suffering in the world? What process is at the root of this never ending problem?
Krishnamurti, through the lens of personal experience, engages in a dialog with Bohm, a brilliant thinker in his own right in an attempt to elucidate the granular nature of human experience.
Interestingly, that answer turns out to be quite simple. Simple that is, if one reads this book through the lens of personal experience rather than intellectual abstraction. Said another way, Krishnamurti makes it clear that it is essential to look inside ourselves if we are to understand the world as a whole. If and when we do we will come to understand the following:
We as humans are constantly looking outside ourselves in an attempt to find out what is true. Those attempts manifest as a never ending desire to become more of some things and less of others. Rich, healthy, enlightened, whatever; the nature of the goal makes no difference. These intentions by definition include the underlying fact that change requires time. That sort of time is in itself a form of suffering. They imply that we are dissatisfied with the status quo (the experience of the present) and need to bide our time until future happiness arrives. This habitual tendency becomes a never ending cycle. It's obvious, time drags when we are suffering and flies when we are happy. But what happens when we take striving out of the picture, when we accept things (ourselves) as they are?
This process of constantly trying to fix, Krishnamurti says, is not A problem, it is THE problem. The solution? That's what this book attempts to reveal.
I read this book the first time in 2009 and again this year. After conducting my own inner search I've found this book to contain many subtle insights I could not see before. My guess is that if I read it again I will understand even more.
This book is definitely a keeper.
The other reviews of this book tend to be of a "love it or hate it" variety. I can totally understand why.
I found this book to be fascinating, frustrating, inspiring, depressing, liberating, and frightening all at once. It's certainly not a light, easy read by any means. In order to really get everything I could out of it, I had to read it just a little at a time.
I've read several other books by Krishnamurti, but this is probably the most incendiary one I've read yet. There's no way I can sum up, in a review, the revolutionary concepts introduced and discussed in this book. All I can say is ... if you're willing to have every bit of "truth" that's been fed to you during your whole life challenged, pick it up and give it a read.