Krishnamurti: Reflections on the Self

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Open Court Publishing, 1997 - Philosophy - 214 pages
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Described by the Dalai Lama as "one of the greatest thinkers of the age", Jiddu Krishnamurti has influenced millions throughout the twentieth century -- including such notables as Joseph Campbell, Dr. Jonas Salk, Aldous Huxley, Van Morrison, Bertrand Russell, Henry Miller, and Bruce Lee -- and his work continues to inspire even a decade after his death. Born of middle-class Brahmin parents in 1895, Krishnamurti was recognized at age fourteen by Theosophists Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater as the anticipated world teacher and proclaimed to be the vehicle for the reincarnation of Christ in the West and of Buddha in the East. In 1929 he repudiated these claims and traveled the world, sharing his philosophical insights and establishing schools and foundations.

Because Krishnamurti had no interest in presenting theories, his thought is far removed from academic philosophy in the analytic tradition, yet his insights remain extremely relevant to contemporary philosophical theories and to people who are passionately interested in understanding themselves and the world. Rather than a theorist, Krishnamurti was a seer and a teacher. He saw inherently distorting psychological structures that bring about a division in every person's consciousness between "the observer" and "the observed". This division, he believed, is a potent source of conflict -- both internally for the individual and through the individual externalized for society as a whole. Krishnamurti envisioned a radical transformation in human consciousness and offered a way to transcend these harmful structures.

Krishnamurti: Reflections on the Self is a collection of Krishnamurti's writings and lectures about the individual inrelation to society. In Reflections, he examines the importance of inquiry, the role of emotions, the relation between experience and the self, the observer/observed distinction, the nature of freedom, and other philosophical ideas.

"In my own life Krishnamurti influenced me profoundly and helped me personally break through the confines of my own restrictions to my freedom". -- Deepak Chopra, M.D.

 

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Contents

Dialogue
2
Authority
5
As a Human Being
21
EMOTION
39
Fear
40
Loneliness
56
Discontent
63
PrideAmbition
72
Guilt
99
Desire
106
Happiness
115
SELF and IDENTIFICATION
124
FREEDOM
182
Notes
203
List of Publications
206
Index
209

Anger
89

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About the author (1997)

Jiddu Krishnamurti was born on May 11, 1895 in Madanapalle, India. As children, he and his brother were adopted by Dr. Annie Besant, then president of the Theosophical Society. She and others proclaimed that Krishnamurti was to be a world teacher whose coming the Theosophists had predicted. To prepare the world for this coming, a world-wide organization called the Order of the Star in the East was formed and Krishnamurti was made its head. In 1929, he renounced the role that he was expected to play, dissolved the Order, and returned all the money and property that had been donated for this work. From then until his death, he traveled the world speaking to large audiences and to individuals about the need for a radical change in mankind. He belonged to no religious organization, sect or country, nor did he subscribe to any school of political or ideological thought. On the contrary, he maintained that these are the factors that divide human beings and bring about conflict and war, and that we are all human beings first. He was a philosopher whose teachings of more than 20,000,000 words are published in more than 75 books, 700 audiocassettes, and 1200 videocassettes. He died of pancreatic cancer on February 17, 1986 at the age of 90.

Raymond Martin is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Union College. He previously taught at the University of Maryland, College Park where he is now Emeritus Professor. His books include "The Past Within Us" (1989) and "Self-Concern: An Experiential Approach to What Matters in Survival" (1998).

John Barresi is Professor of Psychology at Dalhousie University. In collaboration with Raymond Martin, he has co-authored "Naturalization of the Soul: Self and Personal Identity in the Eighteenth Century" (2000).

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