My review of Total Freedom – Jiddu Krishnamurti

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I’ve read about Jiddu Krishnamurty as part of my syllabus in college, and he is deeply insightful about many things. He stresses on the need to revolt against living in conformity with others, organized religions, traditions, as living blindly like this leads to disharmony. The text I studied was really short, titled “The function of education” Where he tells the reader that the function of education should be to make us become able to think for ourselves, without formulas and “paths” And find truth for ourselves. He says we are being educated to fit into this rotten society where everyone is fighting each other and our parents want us to fit in, others want us to fit in and we too want to fit in because of fear. We can find truth for ourselves only when our minds are without fear, or conforming to what others are doing (perhaps to gain acceptance) and removing fear too is a function of education.


> By controller he means the observer Not necessarily. The observer need not have any preference. However, for control, you will need a control objective and that requires a (subjectively chosen) metric. The metric implies a preference. However, it’s possible to apply a control law as an observer conducting an experiment. So, in that sense, a controller could be an observer. I find it interesting that many of these people speak in terms of control theory without necessarily have the technical language, yet often times they have captured the gist of it. They typically attack subjective beliefs that lead to preferences, which underlies a Bayesian mindset. In contrast, a control-oriented, observer mind could understand the world not as correlations but as a dynamical system where subjective beliefs could lead to actions resulting in unintended consequences. The Bayesian mind could still be control-oriented (in the sense of optimizing reward/punishment) but the emphasis is on the preferred control objectives rather than on observation. Not sure if this made any sense, but the article triggered some thoughts.


I agree with your take on Krishnamurti. Although, I haven’t read him personally, I believe the essential disconnect between the observer and the observed is to be aspired. One can’t aspire to be a bodhisattva being attached to what they see. Sight can be deceptive, and so is perception. Our perceptions lead to prejudice, as is the case with different religions inspiring ignorance and intolerance. Understanding of the self is what compliments understanding our environment, all accomplished with meditation, training our breath and breaking regressive thought patterns. It requires focus and enjoyment will follow. Similar to the story of the professor who’s cup was “overflowing”, one can’t be overwhelmed with the worldly to grasp these deep, meditative truths. It takes practice to tune out the noise, and addictive nature of social media and today’s social problems. We are suffering but we don’t know why we are suffering, unless we look deep within and then outward. I’ve been reading the works of Thich Nhat Hanh where he talks about the cessation of suffering, the wheel of Dharma, eternal truths, and noise. He discusses 5 different types of noise. Reading Krishnamurthi is fine but if you’re looking for basics, almost any book by Thich Nhat Hanh (depending on which subject you wish to peruse) would be a better starting point.