To transform the world, we must begin with ourselves; and what is important in beginning with ourselves is the intention. The intention must be to understand ourselves and not to leave it to others to transform themselves or to bring about a modified change through revolution, either of the left or of the right. It is important to understand that this is our responsibility, yours and mine; because, however small may be the world we live in, if we can transform ourselves, bring about a radically different point of view in our daily existence, then perhaps we shall affect the world at large, the extended relationship with others. (Krishnamurti, The Book of Life)
As I have mentioned elsewhere, I first learned of Jiddu Krishnamurti by way of a gift of Krishnamurti’s Notebook, an account of how he first came to the awareness of his truth and thus to the work which would occupy his life. I read this book in December of 1997. I had recently retired from my teaching career with the Waterloo County Board of Education and was learning the ropes as a cab driver in Waterloo. My pension was two years away from starting, and I was relatively poor by my former standards, but I was enjoying my humble life and learning to find my way.
I was stunned by his story of discovery and became more and more curious about his ideas. Over the next twelve years, I read sixteen books which comprised his works and a biography recounting his life. I found his view of life calming yet stimulating because he encouraged me to find my path. He did not believe in guru’s or teachers or saviors. Truth was yours to find, and it was simply that, your truth. He did not suggest that you take your truth and try to convince others of it’s universality. Instead, he understood that the best way to change the way the world is to start with yourself. Once you have become a better person, you would not have to go about telling everyone; they would notice on their own if your path crossed theirs.
The following are a few suggestions for reading should you care to explore this interesting thinker of the twentieth century. Krishnamurti, Jiddu, Krishnamurti’s Notebook, 1976; Think On These Things, 1964; Total Freedom, 1992; J. Krishnamurti: A Biography by Papul Jayakar, 1986. The last of these presents the story of how Krishnamurti was discovered as a child in India and how he broke free from the control of his discoverers and managed to find his true path. Total Freedom is probably the most complete summary of his ideas.
I am the author of The Summer of the Ennead and I want to use this blog to engage readers in a dialogue about what this book means to me and what I think it has to say to others.