Spiritual Paths:a commentary on a dialogue with U.G Krishnamurti
These are some thoughts provoked by reading dialogues with U.G. Krishnamurti. Please don’t confuse U.G. with Yiddu Krishnamurti who is better known. They were contemporaries. One can find out quite a lot about U.G. because most of his books are available as downloads. He wanted it that way. I find his writing and dialogues fascinating.
Q: It’s not a path; we’re making a path out of it.
UG: So, if you don’t want to go anywhere, where is the need for you to look for a path?
Sky: That’s why I avoid thinking or agreeing or saying that I am on a spiritual path. I path implies that we are going somewhere, attaining something, progressing, getting better – one or more of these thoughts and beliefs. Where would we be going? Where is the “there?” The beginning is the end. There is nowhere to go and nobody going, at all, period. We want enlightenment because we have been conditioned to think that we are lacking and that we don’t know, moreover that we NEED to know. As U.G says, we are doomed. Because telling ourselves – using the mind to negate the effects of the mind – just doesn’t work. What we have here is the mind wanting us to be better and that ties us, binds us. “Even to desire enlightenment is to go astray” – as the Hsin Hsin Ming says. Why, because to want not to want locks us into a fruitless circle of wanting – and trying to achieve the not wanting. “Stop thinking and there is nothing that you will not be able to know.” Again, Hsin Hsin Ming. Do I really understand that? Maybe? Can we put it into practice? No, because to make an effort to change something implies wanting to change it and it is the wanting to change that locks us into the cycle – and the cycle is just that – a dog circling trying to reach its tail.
As Jean Klein says, just work on not wanting. If you must work, then work on not wanting to work.
Of course this a koan. This is the place where acceptance is necessary, acceptance that you are locked in and that you have no choice but to be “satisfied” with what you are – locked into the cycle. We need to accept that here we are in this moment. Here am I locked into a cycle of wanting not to want. Here am I wanting so desperately not to want to be better than I am. So, must we use the thinking function as a way out? Of course not – that’s the message – the thinking function cannot be used to stop thinking – to stop acting out of who we have been programmed to be – who we have accepted that we are.
Some sages say that we must be “nothing” This a faulty choice of words and perhaps bad advice. We have suggested above that it is just the act of wanting to be “nothing,” – wanting to be different that binds us. Can we put forth our understanding of freedom? Are we not free to respond to phenomena as we choose? Maybe. Can we stand or face total acceptance – total unconcern for who we are and what we are? Can we admit to ourselves that we are nothing that we can understand; that we are nothing that we can objectify and understand with the functions that we have been taught to use for understanding? Conceptually, it can be done. But not with the methods we are taught or a method that we are accustomed to give validity to. Of course the validity is the validity of the crowd, the validity that helps us to hold down the fear we feel because deep down, so to speak, we know that we cannot know. We know that there is nothing but concept that we are allowed to know.
So, can we allow a different way of knowing; a knowing that is not the usual knowing that we have been conditioned to accept as valid? Yes, I believe it exists, that we can identify it and that we can use it. However, I cannot define it – find it out there- see it- source it – because it, as an object does not exist. We can know and not even know that we know. We need another word for the knowing I am trying to describe. Perhaps it is indescribable within the language or thinking function that we are stuck with. We need to open to this knowing and trust it realising that it is not valid in respect to acceptable thinking. We must be willing to accept our knowing and act on it. When we do, we will find that it is trustworthy and serves us well. How many times have we thought ourselves out of acting on our first impulse and regretted it afterwards.
I often find myself knowing but constantly looking for validity – seeking assurance that I am “right” Why? Actually, I know that I don’t need this at all. I can know, know that I know and not fall into the trap of:  needing to be validated [who would validate me – why would I trust that they know me better than I know myself?  Needing to convince others that I have found something and decide that they need to think or know as I do.
Why? Can I not just let them be who they are? Isn’t the world alright exactly as it is? If I feel that it isn’t then who owns the problem? As Vadim Zeland says: “You don’t have the right to condemn or change anything in this world.”
Have I managed to make myself even remotely clear?