J Krishnamurti's Commentaries on Living are a living testament to the beauty as well as the complexity of life. The peace of the mind which wrote these is almost tangible. When the source is pure, every drop (as every sentence in this book) leads one to purity. But approach Krishnamurti with trepidation, as it is too easy to battle verbally with oneself and others after having listened to him with a haughty seriousness. All he can do is to make you question your own self. That is the beginning. After that, you are on your own, and therefore, free. Nobody can teach you, but you can get taught by everything.
The book is a series of conversations between the author and the many and varied people from all walks of life who came to him to discuss their problems. Each person's discussion is headed under a new chapter that usually begins with a seemingly unrelated description by the author of a moment he has experienced; a walk through a field, a trip on a plane, observing the cattle in a field etc Through these beautiful and elegant descriptions we gain insight into the extraordinary landscape that is Krishnamurti's mind, observing what it is to live and breathe in a state of meditation, unclouded by thought, opinions or the past. The ensuing discussions enable the reader to perceive Krishnamurti's compassion for humanity, an empathy that enabled him to open doors for people regardless of their background, education or experience, gently teaching them to be aware of how their minds work and how they have ended up being who they are. He leaves each discussion with the generation of a possibility for both the reader and the questioner. A beautiful, elegant and incredibly insightful tome that creates an opportunity for all of us to live greater lives.
This is a remarkable book. It is actually three books in 88 chapters. Each chapter starts with an absolutely magic description of people in nature. That is the first book. The second book consists of people telling about their problems and comments of Krishnamurti. These comments are very fresh, original and give new insights. They evoke the reaction "why did I never looked at it that way". The third book, the third part in every chapter describes his view of life. This is very difficult to understand. I am not sure I am able or should voice an opinion on this part because it so unique. There are no reference points. It is not a philosophy, it is not a religion, and it is not a spiritual path. From time to time you get the feeling, "I understand", the next moment it is again a mirage. When we look at a beautiful landscape, we can be totally absorbed by the experience of looking. We are not thinking or analyzing. Krishnamurti's idea is that that is the way we should live all the time. He refers to that as "experiencing". As soon as we start thinking or want to achieve something, we will forever be unhappy. Buddha teaches that through concentration and meditation it is possible, by "taming" the mind one can arrive at "experiencing". Krishnamurti totally rejects the need for experience, training and effort. The idea of living without thinking is for me not imaginable. One thing I do not like is that Krishnamurti rejects the wisdom of everybody. Logically, he also totally rejects the idea that people should ever consider becoming his followers or disciples. The risk I see with the book is that people read it as a smorgasbord. Pick up ideas that correspond to those they already have and reject the inconvenient ones. All in all for people with genuine spiritual interests it is a gold mine.
This volume of short essays, read as and when this kind of situation crops up in ones life (as it inevitably it will) e,g. . . . anger, violence, love etc provides THE most cogent arguments to bring one back to where it is. Authentic??? Of course !!!!!