In the realm of philosophy and spirituality, few figures have captivated audiences quite like Jiddu Krishnamurti. With his profound insights, piercing intellect, and a rebellious spirit that challenged conventions, Krishnamurti emerged as a prominent speaker and author in the 20th century. His teachings often touched upon the nature of human existence, the essence of consciousness, and the role of self-awareness in fostering true transformation. Today, we have the unique opportunity to unravel the mind of this enigmatic thinker through an exclusive interview with J. Krishnamurti himself. Join us as we delve deep into the depths of his wisdom, seeking answers to life’s most profound questions and discovering the essence of his philosophical legacy.
Jiddu Krishnamurti, often referred to as J. Krishnamurti, was a renowned philosopher, speaker, and writer known for his profound teachings on the nature of existence, consciousness, and the pursuit of truth. Born on May 11, 1895, in Madanapalle, a small town in present-day Andhra Pradesh, India, Krishnamurti’s philosophies and insights have had a profound impact on the thinking and spiritual development of people from all walks of life around the world. From a young age, he was recognized as a unique and extraordinary individual, chosen by Theosophical Society leaders to be the vehicle for the manifestation of the “World Teacher.” However, Krishnamurti eventually distanced himself from this role and embarked on a lifelong quest to free humanity from its deeply ingrained patterns of conditioning and to explore the true nature of the human mind and its relationship with the world. His teachings advocate for a radical shift in our approach to self-awareness, questioning the status quo, and embracing the freedom of thought. Unflinchingly honest and relentless in his pursuit of truth, Krishnamurti’s words continue to challenge conventional wisdom, inviting individuals to embark on their own journey of self-discovery and liberation from the constraints of the mind.
10 Thought-Provoking Questions with J. Krishnamurti
1. Can you provide ten Think on These Things by J. Krishnamurti quotes to our readers?
Think on These Things quotes as follows:
A. “Do not be concerned with what others say of you. Be concerned with what you say to yourself.”
B. “Freedom and love go together. Love is not a reaction. If I love you because you love me, that is mere trade—the business spirit.”
C. “It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
D. “Learning is the understanding of oneself, and without understanding, you cannot possibly discover what is true.”
E. “Mediocrity is not a human quality. We have made it so by our indifference and our acceptance of it.”
F. “The highest form of intelligence is the ability to observe yourself without judgment.”
G. “To understand yourself is the beginning of wisdom.”
H. “Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure, it is in decay.”
I. “When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European or anything else, you are being violent.”
J. “You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing, and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life.”
2.What inspired you to write “Think on These Things”? Can you share the story behind the book and explain your motivation for addressing the themes of education and personal transformation?
I believe “Think on These Things” emerged from a deep concern for the future of humanity. The book was not merely aimed at addressing education and personal transformation, but rather at exploring the fundamental nature of life itself. My motivation arose from witnessing the limitations and flaws within conventional education systems that focused solely on intellectual development, neglecting the holistic growth of individuals.
My inspiration stems from a series of discussions I had with a group of educators, psychologists, and scientists. These conversations allowed me to deeply reflect on the crucial importance of education in fostering true understanding, compassion, and creativity. I felt compelled to convey the urgency of transforming our approach to education, as well as the need for personal transformation in individuals to cultivate a harmonious society.
Furthermore, I desired to emphasize self-inquiry as a means to uncover the timeless wisdom within oneself, rather than relying on external authorities. I hoped to inspire readers to question deeply and think independently, ultimately becoming self-aware individuals capable of perceiving the interconnectedness of all life.
In essence, “Think on These Things” was driven by a vision of revolutionizing education and empowering individuals to achieve holistic growth and lasting transformation.
3.Your book explores the nature of education and the importance of self-understanding. Can you elaborate on your views regarding the role of education in nurturing holistic individuals?
Education, as I perceive it, should encompass not only the acquisition of knowledge, but the exploration of the whole being. True education lies in the understanding of oneself and the world around us. It is not merely about grasping facts and figures, but about cultivating a deep sense of self-awareness and the ability to think critically.
To nurture holistic individuals, education should encourage students to question, inquire, and challenge existing norms and beliefs. It should foster an environment where students can explore their own thoughts and feelings, develop empathy, and cultivate compassion towards others. Education should emphasize the importance of self-inquiry and the exploration of one’s own consciousness, promoting a holistic understanding of oneself.
Moreover, education should not be limited to academia alone but should engage with art, music, nature, and physical well-being. A holistic approach to education would encourage creativity, emotional intelligence, and the development of a sense of beauty and wonder.
In essence, education should aim at cultivating individuals who are not only knowledgeable but also aware, compassionate, and responsible members of society. It should empower students to transcend the limitations of conditioned thinking, allowing them to become free, self-reliant, and fully integrated human beings.
4.”Think on These Things” discusses the relationship between freedom and conformity in education. How can individuals strike a balance between the need for structure and the desire for personal growth, as suggested in your book?
In “Think on These Things”, I would respond to the question by emphasizing the significance of understanding the nature of freedom and conformity in education. Education should not merely be a process of conformity, where individuals are conditioned to fit into societal norms and expectations. True education lies in nurturing the ability to think independently and critically.
To strike a balance between structure and personal growth, individuals must first recognize that conformity stifles the mind, impeding true learning and growth. However, a complete absence of structure can also lead to chaos and lack of direction. Thus, it is crucial to have a basic framework or structure that provides discipline and guidance, while allowing freedom for independent exploration and self-discovery.
Personal growth comes from questioning and challenging the established norms, without being rebellious for the sake of it. It is essential to approach education with an open and inquisitive mind, actively seeking knowledge and understanding. By doing so, individuals can find the delicate balance between structure and personal growth, enabling them to navigate their own paths while respecting the collective welfare and embracing the beauty of true freedom.
5.Can you provide insights into the process of self-discovery and self-awareness, which you advocate in your book as essential for true education and personal development?
Self-discovery and self-awareness are indeed central to true education and personal development. To truly understand oneself, one must be willing to observe without judgment or comparison. It is crucial to question our thoughts, beliefs, and conditioning, seeking to understand their origins and whether they genuinely serve us.
The process of self-discovery involves being aware of our thoughts, emotions, and actions in various situations. By observing ourselves, we unravel the layers of conditioning that have shaped our perspectives, allowing for a deeper understanding of who we truly are. Through this process, we can free ourselves from limiting patterns and become more authentic.
Self-awareness is not mere introspection but an ongoing inquiry into the nature of the self. It is an exploration of the mind, our relationship with others, and the world around us. To be self-aware is to be attentive to the present moment, noticing our reactions, prejudices, and desires.
True education and personal development arise when individuals cultivate self-discovery and self-awareness. This involves developing the ability to observe without judgment, questioning our conditioning, and cultivating an authentic and compassionate understanding of oneself and others. Through this journey, we can transform and live more harmoniously with ourselves and the world.
6.Your work emphasizes the importance of questioning and critical thinking. How can readers cultivate these skills in themselves and encourage them in others?
Readers can cultivate questioning and critical thinking skills by first recognizing the limitations of their conditioned minds. They must actively observe and question their deeply ingrained beliefs, opinions, and prejudices. By being aware of their own biases, readers can then engage in self-inquiry and explore alternative perspectives.
Developing genuine curiosity is crucial in this process. Readers should seek information from various sources, actively engage in discussions, and be open to challenging their own assumptions. They should explore different viewpoints, considering the arguments and evidence presented before forming their own opinions.
Additionally, readers can encourage critical thinking in others by fostering an environment that promotes respectful and open discussions. Encouraging diverse perspectives and avoiding judgment allows individuals to express their thoughts freely, stimulating intellectual growth.
Ultimately, cultivating these skills involves a continuous process of self-reflection, intellectual courage, and an active engagement with the complexities of life. By fostering a culture of inquiry and critical thinking, readers can contribute to a more harmonious and intellectually vibrant society.
7.In your book, you discuss the challenges of conditioning and cultural influences on young minds. How can individuals break free from limiting beliefs and societal pressures to discover their true potential?
In my book, I discuss the challenges of conditioning and cultural influences on young minds. To break free from limiting beliefs and societal pressures and discover our true potential, we must first understand the nature of conditioning and be aware of its influence in shaping our thoughts and actions.
The key lies in self-awareness and observation without judgment. By deeply questioning and examining our own beliefs, values, and conditioning, we can uncover the mechanisms that restrict our growth. This process requires genuine inquiry and a willingness to challenge the norms ingrained in us from a young age.
Secondly, it is crucial to develop the capacity to think independently and critically. This involves cultivating a mind that is free from conformity, fear, and acceptance of authority. By questioning societal norms and examining their impact on our lives, we can discern what truly resonates with us and discard what inhibits our true potential.
Moreover, it is important to foster inner freedom and cultivate an open mind open to new possibilities and experiences. By being receptive to different perspectives and embracing diversity, we can escape the limitations of cultural conditioning and tap into our unique talents and passions.
Ultimately, breaking free from limiting beliefs and societal pressures requires a transformative journey of self-discovery, self-inquiry, and the courage to live authentically. It is through this process that we can discover and actualize our true potential, unshackled by societal expectations or the weight of conditioning.
8.The book highlights the value of meditation and introspection. How can readers incorporate these practices into their daily lives to foster inner growth and understanding?
Readers can incorporate the practices of meditation and introspection into their daily lives to foster inner growth and understanding by first recognizing the immense significance of self-awareness. Through the observation of one’s thoughts, emotions, and actions, meditation allows individuals to understand the patterns and conditioning that shape their lives. By dedicating a few minutes each day to this practice, readers can cultivate a stillness of mind and a heightened awareness of the present moment. In this state of calm observation, the mind becomes more receptive and open to new insights and understandings.
Introspection, on the other hand, involves a deep and honest exploration of one’s thoughts, beliefs, and motivations. This can be done through journaling, self-reflection, or engaging in meaningful conversations. By regularly setting aside time for introspection, readers can nourish their inner growth by examining their values, prejudices, and biases. This kind of self-inquiry leads to a deeper understanding of oneself and the world around them.
Both meditation and introspection require patience, discipline, and commitment. But as readers incorporate these practices into their daily lives, they will gradually develop a greater clarity of mind, expand their capacity for empathy and compassion, and foster a deeper connection with themselves and others. Through this inner growth and understanding, readers can profoundly transform their lives and contribute to the well-being of society as a whole.
9.How has your own journey of self-discovery and exploration of these philosophical and educational ideas influenced your approach to writing “Think on These Things”?
In my role as J. Krishnamurti, I would respond as follows:
My journey of self-discovery and exploration of philosophical and educational ideas has deeply shaped my approach to writing “Think on These Things.” Through years of contemplation and observation, I have come to understand that true understanding arises not from accepting authority or adhering to certain dogmas, but from direct personal inquiry. This realization has greatly influenced my writing style and the content of this book.
In “Think on These Things,” I have strived to encourage readers to question their own conditioning and beliefs, to embark on a journey of self-exploration and discovery. I emphasize the importance of critical thinking, introspection, and cultivating an open mind. Drawing upon my own experiences and insights, I present ideas that help individuals examine their thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Additionally, my approach to writing this book reflects my commitment to holistic education. I advocate for an education that nurtures intelligence, emotional awareness, and moral integrity, rather than mere accumulation of knowledge. I believe education should encourage freedom of thought, independent inquiry, and a deep sense of responsibility towards oneself and others.
In summary, my personal journey has influenced “Think on These Things” by instilling a focus on self-inquiry, critical thinking, and holistic education, with the aim of empowering individuals to embark on their own journey of discovering truth and human flourishing.
10. Can you recommend more books like Think on These Things?
a) “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle: This book explores the concept of living in the present moment and letting go of unnecessary thoughts and attachments. It shares practical techniques to achieve inner peace and live a more fulfilling life.
b) “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse: This novel follows the spiritual journey of a young man named Siddhartha, as he searches for enlightenment and meaning in life. It delves into themes of self-discovery, wisdom, and the pursuit of truth.
c) “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho: This enchanting novel tells the story of a young shepherd named Santiago who embarks on a quest to find his personal legend. It offers profound insights on following one’s dreams, the importance of listening to one’s heart, and the interconnectedness of the universe.
b) “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl: In this powerful memoir, Frankl shares his experiences as a Holocaust survivor and presents his psychotherapeutic approach known as logotherapy. The book offers profound reflections on finding purpose and meaning in life, even in the face of extreme suffering.
a) “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz: This book presents four principles for creating love and happiness in one’s life. It explores how adopting these agreements can guide individuals towards personal freedom, self-empowerment, and deeper connections with others.
c) “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran: This timeless work is a collection of poetic essays that explore various aspects of life, including love, friendship, joy, and sorrow. It offers profound insights into human nature and the pursuit of happiness, guiding readers towards a deeper understanding of themselves and the world.