From Publishers Weekly
Although U.G. Krishnamurti claims that enlightenment can neither be described by language nor attained by practices or preparations of any sort, this book ironically enough offers his ideas on the subject. Krishnamurti prefers the term "natural state" to "enlightenment" because it occurs in spite of, not because of, spiritual devotions. No guru, religion or belief can induce the natural state, he says, and therefore spiritual leaders are false in dictating practices. Still, Krishnamurti claims that the natural state is the same as that attained by the Buddha, Jesus and even Socrates. As a precursor to the natural state, Krishnamurti experienced a physically torturous period that he calls "the calamity," a deathlike process characterized by headaches, swelling at the chakras and intense heat like an explosion that destroys "the illusion that there is continuity of thought, that there is a center, an `I'...." U.G. Krishnamurti takes pains to distance himself from J. Krishnamurti no relation, although the two did travel in similar circles and knew each other informally a spiritual leader whose own enlightenment was presaged by a physically torturous period known as the "Process." Indeed, the philosophy of U.G. Krishnamurti is not radically different from that of many other gurus. Metaphors of death and acausality are hardly exclusive, and the heart of his experience the dissolving of the "I" belongs squarely within the realm of nondualistic Hindu tradition. What typifies this book is the unfortunate way U.G. Krishnamurti dismisses other practitioners while offering little more in their place.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
U.G. Krishnamurti (no relation to Jiddu Krishnamurti) is an unclassifiable voice on the modern spirituality scene. First published in India in 1982 and edited by a Krishnamurti associate, this book collects transcribed conversations with the iconoclast, in which he aims to demolish any belief that is brought before him. He leads his listeners through a deconstruction of spirituality, enlightenment, gurus, and all of the other trappings of religious striving. He repeatedly emphasizes that he has nothing to offer anyone and that any attempt to achieve "self-realization" is pointless. He is so enigmatic that it is of special interest that the book includes his own account of his life and a description of his experience of the "natural state," his preferred term for what others might call enlightenment. Krishnamurti's radical approach is evident even in his copyright statement, in which he gives permission to anyone to reproduce or "even claim authorship" of the material in the book without his consent. This work will not have wide appeal, but it would make a good purchase for libraries with strong patron interest in Eastern philosophies and their modern exponents, even though Krishnamurti would certainly deny being the latter. Stephen Joseph, Butler Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Pittsburgh
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.