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II. Test



In the first chapter of this book I opened a discussion of the teachings of Krishnamurti. I frankly confessed that, in common, apparently, with large numbers of others, I have found myself unable to accept many of those teachings. I even went so far as to suggest that the extraordinary confusion of thought which he is causing everywhere he goes might be productive of great harm.

I believe that the majority of his hearers and supporters are, or were, Fellows of the Theosophical Society. They are people who have at least some background of philosophic thought. They know what liberation, the one Life, the Life Force, mind-heart, the "I" consciousness may be presumed to mean. One would think that this knowledge would help them in understanding, both his use of such terms and his purpose in traveling continuously about the world.

Krishnamurti thinks otherwise. He constantly affirms that the background, the process of study, the effort to understand the meaning and purpose of life which Theosophy inculcates – all these are a positive hindrance to the attainment of true discernment.

I have often wondered what his words can mean to those of his listeners who have no back ground whatever, who have given no consideration to the concepts implied by the words referred to above. Do they experience a greater or a less confusion of mind than that of the theosophist listener? Is it possible that the very virginal state of their mentality is an advantage to them?

This is a point upon which enlightenment would be valuable. For it cannot be denied that



one who has had certain definite experiences which have profoundly changed for the better his whole life cannot accept affirmations which positively deny both the experience and its source.

Let us take for example the question of direct experience of the immortality of the Soul, or, as it is put theosophically, causal consciousness. When this comes, whether as a result of meditation or as a sudden exaltation, the problem of the life after death is instantly and finally solved. The Self is known as undying and indestructible. It is also known as completely distinct from the body.

Denials of the existence of such a centre of awareness and of such an experience can make no impression upon those who have known the one and have passed through the other. They are impervious to a teacher who does deny either the possibility or the value of such a basic experience.

Take, again, the question of help received as a result of joining a society, a church for example. I personally passed through an experience at my confirmation as a schoolboy which profoundly influenced me at the time and still is a living power in my life. All that was highest and best in me was then strengthened, all that was undesirable was weakened. Though I may be far from having fully lived up to the experience, it has been of the greatest value to me, particularly in great trials and temptations. This experience is renewed for me every time I receive Holy Communion. I rise from the Lord's Table uplifted, refreshed spiritually and with my mind clarified and unusually alert.

I therefore love the Christian Church and its Sacraments. I am profoundly grateful to the


Church for this and similar experiences which it has helped to bring to me. Whilst admitting the evils of priestcraft, I can never assent to the wholesale condemnation of religions, churches and priests to which Krishnamurti gives expression. I know of many noble and splendid men in the priesthood, and I know of the value of their lives to those who come into contact with them. I also know that very great numbers of people have had exaltations, spiritual reorientation and self-correction through participation in the services and Sacraments of the Christian Church.

Such people would be false to the very highest within themselves, would be traitors to a spiritual principle, if they gave assent to the denials and fulminations of a religious iconoclast. It is neither just nor fair to ask or expect them to do so. Particularly is it unfair to condemn them and even indict them as exploiters, and to class them and the whole body of the priesthood with all the most evil people in the world. Yet this is what Krishnamurti continually does.

Take also the question of the existence of the Masters of the Wisdom and the value of the experience of communion with one or more of Them and of becoming an agent for Their superior powers.

The individual for whom this is a reality is at a distinct disadvantage when trying to under stand Krishnamurti. For not only does he constantly condemn the whole concept of the discipleship, but he also says that "discernment" is impossible to one for whom such an association is a living fact. He seems to impute a selfish motive to everyone concerned in the experience. He seems also to think that anyone who accepts the idea of the Masters does so solely because a


"leader" has told him to do so. He appears to reject entirely the possibility of any direct experience. The Masters Themselves and all Their senior pupils are exploiters and all other disciples and aspirants are voluntarily subscribing to a pernicious system of exploitation.

According to Krishnamurti's views, the supreme enlightenment of the Lord Buddha is a sham. Nothing of value to Himself or to the world occurred under the Bo-Tree at Buddha Gaya. The whole story has been spread abroad by the Lord Buddha and His disciples as a means of exploiting the people. Krishnamurti would have us believe that the teachings of the Lord Buddha are an imposture. The meaning and purpose of life, the cessation of sorrow, reincarnation, karma, dharma, the noble eightfold Path, arhatship, Adeptship and Buddhahood--all this pure theo-sophia is poison. The Lord Buddha Himself and every other teacher of these doctrines before and since His advent are poisoners. * The Bodhisattva Maitreya, known as the Lord Christ to the West, announced Successor to the Lord Buddha, frankly perpetuates this evil, exists but to despoil humanity of happiness, wisdom, fulfilment.

Furthermore, according to Krishnamurti, those millions of people who since the founding of Buddhism and throughout the ages have found courage, strength, intellectual and spiritual light and exaltation in the great body of theo-sophia are all deceived. There is no courage, strength, intellectual and spiritual light and exaltation to be attained as a result of knowledge of the plan of life, the unfoldment of the Divine in Nature and in man and the goal of perfection to which that

* See Page 31.


unfoldment leads. All this is delusion, "a system of thoughtlessness," a net of illusion in which the mind of humanity is hopelessly enmeshed as a result of exploitation by those whom it has regarded as its spiritual superiors.

Such are the logical conclusions to be drawn from the words of Krishnamurti. In the people, the motive, says Krishnamurti, is fear, desire for comfort and escape from reality. In their teachers and leaders from the Lord Buddha downwards it is a thirst for power, spiritual ambition and pride.

To those to whom the ideal of discipleship appeals, he says: "You who are seeking satisfaction, what you call happiness, truth, become their tools, and are exploited by these teachers, leaders, and their societies." * He also assumes that discipleship means dependence upon a Master by Whom one could be led to Truth, which, of course, never was or could be part of the ideal.

Here it must be admitted that any listener who, in full awareness has more than once stood in the presence of a Master, who has found himself able to understand, to teach, to enlighten and to heal his fellow-men far more effectively as a result of these experiences than was possible before they came to him – such a person cannot assent to denials of the validity of such experiences in human life. Such denials run counter to a living fact within the listener's own certain knowledge. He knows that as a result of that fact his whole heart opened out more fully in impersonal love for his fellow-men, in a more profound compassion and tenderness for all who suffer, for children, the aged, the sick, the downtrodden and the poor. He observes that during

* P. 32, Ojai, 1936.


the years of his association with the Master, faculties, both of comprehension and of self-expression have been greatly enhanced. He is not deluded into thinking that the Master bestowed these faculties upon him from outside. He knows perfectly well that they were inherent in him from the beginning.

The sun does not bestow upon the plant the power of producing the flower and the seed. Sunshine, however, plays a most important part in the manifestation of that power. Similarly for the disciple, his Master is as a spiritual sun. Indeed, the experience of entering the presence of an Adept is very like that of entering a great light, a centre of spiritual radiance, of power and bliss. Such entrance increases the disciple's own light and power. He experiences his own interior bliss which often is conveyed to others, lightening the burden of their lives and in some cases, not at all rare, reproducing in them the intellectual awakening, the clarity of thought and perception which he himself enjoys.

Those for whom such experiences are a part of the fabric of their existence cannot possibly bring to his teachings that absence of ideas and concepts which Krishnamurti demands from his hearers as an essential to comprehension. It is of no value, it seems to me, to condemn those who from life have wrested certain knowledge: to condemn that knowledge itself as "beliefs" and "self-protective memories, assertions, assumptions." To assert that these are barriers to discernment is to put those who have their own knowledge founded upon direct experience completely beyond the possibility of comprehending Krishnamurti's teachings.

If against this statement it is urged that one does not, cannot know these things direct; that


one is depending upon leaders, is self-deceived, and that when the test comes, one's whole scheme of thought will fail one, I can give a personal testimony to the contrary. I had been a member of The Theosophical Society for two years only when the Great War broke out. I had grasped to some extent the scheme of thought presented in theosophical literature. I knew of the meaning and purpose of life, of reincarnation, karma, and the existence within myself of all that is essential to the fulfilment of my life, and had learned that in the acid test I must rely on my own interior life and power alone. For me, as for tens of thousands of my fellow-students of Theosophy, blind groping had begun to be displaced by intelligent, purposeful living. This was not all book knowledge. Meditation had brought its meed of interior realisation. I had discovered and had begun to drink at the inexhaustible well-spring of life within.

All this was to be put to severe and prolonged tests. Weeks and months of life under shell-fire, under aerial bombing by night and by day; reconnaissances and actions under fire; long successions of sleepless nights – all these continued until the strain became intolerable. Fear, sheer physical trembling fear, became the ever-present spectre. Friends died by one's side, blown to pieces, burnt to death. Others died of horrible wounds, and others went home shaken and shattered in both body and mind.

Throughout all this, Theosophy, especially its affirmation of the immortality and indestructibility of the Self, remained as the one unshakable belief, a rock of ages upon which the mind could and did rest, and resting, drew forth strength and stability which at least prevented outward surrender to fear.


During periods of relative rest, meditation on the great theosophical verities never failed to re orient and to re-establish the mind and will upon the centre within. One text from the Bhagavad Gita proved full of power in times of need: it is the great affirmation that: "He who seeth Me in everything and everything in Me, of him will I never lose hold and he shall never lose hold of Me."

How can one deny such vital experiences in one's life? What can one say to a teacher who proclaims them superstitions and delusions and brands as exploiters those who affirm them?

These are questions with which the student of Theosophy inevitably finds himself faced when he listens to Krishnamurti. Either there are logical answers to them or there are not. If there are, they would be most welcome.








Copyright © 2001 - G.W. Schüller