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The First and Last Freedom Paperback – March 26, 1975

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Language Notes

Text: English, Tibetan (translation)

From the Publisher

Guides readers on a deeply rewarding search for pure truth and perfect freedom, which means breaking away from the debilitating, consuming concern with the self.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper & Row; New edition edition (March 26, 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780060648312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060648312
  • ASIN: 0060648317
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986) was a renowned spiritual teacher whose lectures and writings have inspired thousands. His works include On Mind and Thought, On Nature and the Environment, On Relationship, On Living and Dying, On Love and Loneliness, On Fear, and On Freedom.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

118 of 122 people found the following review helpful By S. A. Felton on December 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
What I am going to write about "The First And Last Freedom" (TFaLF) applies to almost every book Krishnamurti (K) wrote. This was K's first book (1954), and might be his best. It always amazed me that K could say basically the same thing over and over in answer to so many philophical and spiritual questions, and yet it almost always seemed fresh, just as re-reading this first book of his seemed to me this time around.
In philosophical terms I think that it's important to say that what K taught falls into what is termed the "via negativa," which are paths like Zen that promulgate "the way that is no way," the system that is no system, that the only way to realize the eternal is to simply *be,* be aware, at every moment, to face life and who one is with absolute honesty, directness, and clarity. Let me also say as caveats that you do not need to want to realize the eternal to study K, and that realizing the "ineffable" is surely a path that many people could care less about! To each his own, for sure.
K is not going to be popular to self-absorbed New Age types who are at times superficially talking about "enlightenment" and "love," while other times taking their spiritual temperatures to see if they are aware of themselves enough. On the contrary he often referred to our petty concerns as silly and stupid, not to insult us, but rather to try to effect a kind of catharsis where we simply see ourselves exactly as we are, w/o pretense, w/o belief systems, w/o indentifying with the sundry crutches that many of us surround ourselves with, precisely to avoid just seeing exactly who we are. The term K coined for this constant self awareness was "choiceless awareness.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Neal Reynolds VINE VOICE on July 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
I am reading these books in sequence so that I will be aware of any shifts in this philosophy as he progresses.
The reading here is easy, but the thinking is more difficult. Krishnamurti doesn't attempt to speak what people might want to hear, but speaks from his heart, from his innermost being. So he doesn't give an easy path to follow nor does he promise such a path. Actually, to provide a path for others to follow would contradict his philosophy.
The answer according to him is in self-knowledge, but that knowledge can not be gained through effort. Nor, says he, can it be passed on to you by a guru. It won't be found in books. (I can't help but be amused by those who emphasize that the Truth isn't revealed in the printed word, and of course they use the printed word to share this message with us.)
The first half of the book is comprised of writings and portions of talks. The second half consists of questions asked after his talks, and in his answers you will find repetition sometimes as he clarifies. He has a way of emphasizing the main points by asking "Is it not?" or words to that effect.
I admit to having difficulties with much of what he says, but this isn't criticism as much as a compliment. The very difficulties I might have benefit me so so that I learn through resolving them. If you don't get this book, do at least read some of his other material. You will be rewarded.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Wyndwalkyr on August 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Krishnamurti should be taught in all the schools as an example of how to think clearly. The effect would be astonishing. This is an excellent introduction to his methods, and you will be well-rewarded if you read this book and take it to heart. If you were to break with tradition and attempt to explain Zen in logical terms, this book could be yours. K's robust sanity is a symbol of hope for an ego-ridden humanity.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Chaz on April 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am thoroughly impressed with the depth of insight presented within this book. However, I have questions that are unanswered whenever I reread the books. He mentions several times how meditation, such as deliberately calming the mind through observing the breath, for example, cannot possibly lead to liberation. He calls discipline silly and limited. All methods and traditions are conditioned in themselves and lead to the result in which that particular method advocates. This would mean that every one of the patriarchs of Zen, including the masters of other sects with the traditional "methods" (koans, contemplation of non-self, meditation on emptiness, samatha-vispassana) are all false and that krishnamurti alone realized the real. I beg to differ. From where we are now, some, perhaps not all, need a teacher, "methods" to help us get in touch with our own minds. He actually admits his "non-method" of choiceless awareness is very difficult. "The task is arduous and requires an extremely quick mind." he says. It follows that people who are deeply conditioned by habit at present, do "not" have quick and observative minds. My contention is that this is where the forms of attention training as "methods", are needed. In Theravedin tradition we have "mindfulness." In Zen we have the same attention training to whatever one is doing. I have tried to observe my own mind with choiceless awareness like Krishnamurti says but it is extremely difficult to start this from ground zero. Besides, Krishnamurti has reasoned through logic resulting in the dismissal of the other buddhist and taoist traditions.Read more ›
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