7-9 Mar 98.
Dear Govert --
Stylewise, the pamphlets you sent me compare favorably
with Bergman's screenplays. They have the same shimmering
clarity, the same straightforward design that includes only
what is essential and excludes all that is extraneous. There
are a number of punctuation errors and some awkward grammar
which I found distracting, but those are easily fixed and
immanently forgivable, English being what, your third or
Regarding content, I am both impressed and fascinated.
Impressed that you successfully condense broad subject matter
into compact narratives without gaps, or questions about
context. Your arguments are convincing because your documentation
is thorough. What I find fascinating are the arguments themselves,
particularly your critique of Krishnamurti and his teachings.
I did not know, for instance, that he denied the existence
of our higher selves. How, then, is the ego to evolve? If
your presentation is accurate, Krishnamurti was saying that
the ego is capable of transforming itself. A more ridiculous
claim would be difficult to make. The ego, after all, is
100% mendacious; certainly lies don't become truth of their
Another aspect of your analysis is even more striking,
albeit more disturbing also. You speculate that "We
might be observing the birth of a completely new, though
flawed, religion and civilization based on Krishnamurti's
teachings." Are his teachings that pervasive? If so,
then the ramifications of his failure to complete the Arhat
initiation are staggering indeed, as you suggest in note
15 of the first pamphlet. A paper or book detailing these
ramifications would be very interesting. For example, how
much of today's self-help is just that, the personality
or ego trying to change on its own? To what extent were
the 60's and 70's -- rebellion, drug induced states of "higher"
consciousness, desire for instant gratification -to what
extent were they a function of Krishnamurti's teachings?
What about the 50's? Comparing Krishnamurti's words to those
of the Masters is somewhat like comparing the poetry of
Whitman and his Beatnik followers to the poetry of T.S.
Eliot. Whereas Eliot chose a traditional path of spiritual
growth that acknowledged the importance of external authority
and which included signs to delineate the travelers progress,
Whitman and the Beats preferred to journey on the "Open
Road", where one experience was as good as another
and there were no values except a disdain for authority.
There seems to be a correlation between this "Open
Road" and Krishnamurti's "pathless land".
Furthermore, they deluded themselves into believing that
they were inspired and that whatever they said in their
"inspired" states was great poetry. "First
thought, best thought" remains the Beatnik compositional
principle. This seems to resemble Krishnamurti's "non-method",
his assertion that one doesn't develop higher consciousness,
one simply has it, spontaneously. Krishnamurti may even
be connected to postmodernism, since both philosophies posit
that objective truth, reality outside the self, is an illusion.
. . . .
Keith Hartzler is a writer and poet and resides in Portland,