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The Unconditioned Mind: J. Krishnamurti and the Oak Grove School Paperback – November 29, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Quest Books; 1 edition (November 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0835608948
  • ISBN-13: 978-0835608947
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #765,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"In this thought-provoking account of the formative years of one of Jiddu Krishnamurti's final pet projects; Oak Grove School, an alternative school in Ojai, Calif.; David Moody offers a unique perspective on the psychology behind Krishnamurti's teachings as well as an intimate portrait of one of the most influential spiritual leaders of the twentieth century. The Unconditioned Mind is the first book to openly discuss the dramatic events that occurred during the early years of Oak Grove, and Moody's experience as the first director of the school and a member of Krishnamurti's inner circle presents readers with a vivid history of a school whose main intent is to "uncondition" the minds of its students and teachers.

"The Unconditioned Mind is a fascinating story about the first years of Oak Grove School and how J. Krishnamurti, David Moody and others dealt with its numerous challenges. It reads like a roman policier with a philosophical touch. Intriguing, brilliant and profound." --Ulrich Brugger, Director of The Ojai Retreat

"David Moody has given us an intimate and engaging account of a grand experiment in education. The reader is treated to many vivid glimpses of the personal presence and core teachings of one of the last century's most fascinating spiritual figures. At the same time, we are alerted to some of the inevitable challenges--in the form of power struggles, personality clashes, and conflicting goals--facing those committed to actualizing Krishnamurti's dream of a new kind of school guided by the ideal of the unconditioned mind." --Sean Kelly is Professor of Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is the author of Coming Home: The Birth and Transformation of the Planetary Era

"The Unconditioned Mind is a sensitive account of the founding of a Krishnamurti school and the relationships central to it. David Moody's recollections of Krishnamurti are beautifully written and make this a fascinating read. I was especially touched by the passage where he gazed into Krishnamurti's eyes and felt it was " looking through a clear window, with only open space on the other side."
" --Friedrich Grohe, former industrialist, trustee of the Krishnamurti Foundations, and author of The Beauty of the Mountain: Memories of J. Krishnamurti

"The Unconditioned Mind represents a unique contribution to the growing literature about J. Krishnamurti, one of the greatest teachers of the twentieth century. I grew up in Ojai, California and attended Krishnamurti's annual talks under the oak groves from an early age. I highly recommend The Unconditioned Mind to anyone interested in the work of Krishnamurti. I found the story line riveting and could not wait to find out what happens next. David Moody handles controversial material with eloquence and sensitivity. As the former mayor of Ojai, I can attest to the authenticity of Dr. Moody's narrative description of our most distinguished resident.
" --Suza Francina, author of The New Yoga for Healthy Aging and other books, and former mayor of Ojai, California

About the Author

David Edmund Moody was born and raised in southern California, and attended undergraduate school at UC Berkeley during the 1960s. He received his Master's Degree in Political Science at UCLA in 1970 and completed much of the coursework for a doctoral degree in Political Theory. In 1975, Moody was the first teacher hired at the newly opened Oak Grove School in Ojai, California. He subsequently served as Educational Director from 1980-1984, and from 1984-1987 he served as Director of the school. During his time as Director, the school experienced the death of its founder, J. Krishnamurti. After he left Oak Grove, Moody returned to graduate study at UCLA. He received his Ph.D. in Education in 1991. His dissertation research focused upon cognitive obstacles students encounter in their efforts to understand the theory of evolution. Portions of Moody's research have been published in the journal Science Education and in a book he co-authored, Mapping Biology Knowledge (Kluwer, 2000). Moody is currently Director of the private tutorial service Mind Over Math, with offices in southern California. He continues to pursue research in science education and related subjects, including the Gaia hypothesis. He also remains vitally interested in the teachings of J. Krishnamurti.

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By richard laubly on February 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Though I never "met" Krishnamurti, I was lucky enough to have grown up in Ojai, and was able to attend his talks from an early age. The teachings have been a presence in my life ever since.

Be it Buddhism, Christianity, Vedanta, whatever, I have always been put off by people who thought they were doing something special by being involved in such a work. David Moody's book really brings home the fact that these are just human beings (under the guidance, of course, of a pretty exceptional being) trying to make their way...and that's okay!

Its worth reading for several reasons: one is to see the inner workings of such a project, another is to watch the interactions of the people involved. It is a very grounding book, and while the author has critical things to say about some of the participants, it is never petty or out for revenge. It seems to me to be an objective laying out of the facts as David Moody saw them. He has managed to "humanize" the whole thing.

Towards the end of his life Krishnamurti said something along the lines that, after he was gone, people who really wanted to know about all this should go to those who had lived and worked closely with him. This book fills the bill. I feel that those who knew Krishnamurti and worked with him have a responsibility to the teachings to leave a record of how they saw what went on. David Moody's book does exactly this.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By rainforestrobin on March 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book. I was continually riveted by "The Unconditioned Mind". Several times I had to stop and ask myself why I could not put it down. What was it about this unusual book that compelled me to read late into the night? David Edmund Moody writes in such a way as to make the reader forget that they're reading a book. I very quickly forgot my own surroundings and felt I was part of the events at the Oak Grove School in Ojai, California. Moody writes with piercing and yet almost innocent honesty, which I found very alluring. At times his honestly is profoundly humble, other times startling, raw, and jagged. That is what makes his account so powerful, believable, and compelling.

The story runs the whole gambit of human emotions, entanglements and conditions that occur between the staff, teachers, and Krishnamurti himself. Repeatedly I admired David Moody for exposing the very real conflicts, vulnerabilities and tender inspirations that ran through the story's characters, and that run through all of humanity.

I found of equal fascination the practical workings of the Oak Grove School, as well as the various teachings of Krishnamurti and the character of the man himself. The other players in this story did not fall short either. I was enthralled by the interpersonal dynamics of the myriad personalities, some strong, some more reserved.

I am very impressed with Mr. Moody's chronicle of life and work at the Oak Grove School. It is a book I could read again. It also inspired me to further explore the work of J. Krishnamurti. Well done, David Edmund Moody.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. R. Mueller on February 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even though the work of J. Krishnamurti was unfamiliar to me, my attention was arrested by the description of the schools he founded, whose fundamental purpose was to move away from mastery of a narrowly defined list of academic subjects toward cultivating a more holistic intelligence. I had already come to suspect that our concept of schools and education might limit rather than broaden the perspective of students.

This book seems less about Krishnamurti than about the quest to find a better way for a society to educate its members. David Moody takes Krisnamurti's rather complex and ethereal principles and makes them accessible. He describes his own journey toward applying the principles to real educational circumstances and making them replicable. In the process, he also captures themes that have a bearing on the condition of human interaction, not the least of which is competition and jealousy among the followers of an inspiring leader. Well written and perceptive, it is a book that stays on your mind long after you finish reading it.
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