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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
* 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
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
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