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Sunday, November 20th, 2005

Time Event
7:58p
Another one bites the dust ...
Sometimes I read books for very "obsessive/compulsive" reasons, and this is one of those cases. I've had this Krishnamurti book sitting around for ages (as those who have been keeping up with my LibraryThing catalog may have noticed, I'd read several of his books back in the 90's) and had no great compulsion to read it, but I did start another book some weeks back which was in a very "small" format, and the two books (this and this) preceding it were rather large format books, so I felt a need (knowing how small books can "disappear" on the shelf) of pushing an intermediate-sized book to the front of the line to provide some step-down to the smaller book. Now, isn't that a ringing endorsement of the book?!

What to say about the You Are The World collection of Krishnamurti's talks? {Oh, go ahead ... sing along ... I'm sure that Bob Geldof was inspired by this when he wrote the "We" version!} Well, on one hand it does seem a bit dated as the lectures in it were presented at various American universities (Brandeis, UC Berkeley, Stanford, UC Santa Cruz) in the late 60's, with the concerns and perspectives of the time. He's also (as he mentions frequently) a very serious fellow, so there is a sense of him waiting with a ruler to rap the knuckles of any listeners/readers who might wish to find some levity in the proceedings! Of course, Krishnamurti is somewhat of a "tragic figure", having been "raised like veal" by the Theosophical Society in India to be some sort of "World Teacher" ... a role that he rejected in his mid-30's, when he disassociated himself from them, and insisted they shut down the "order" that had been founded to promote him. He spent the next 50-some years working as an "independent lecturer" (pretty much doing what Leonard Nemoy did with the book "I Am Not Spock"), being an "anti-Guru".

The "context" aside, Krishnamurti is a "deep thinker" and has given much consideration to many things, so his lectures do at least have some "meat" to them. His perspective, coming from a high Brahmin family and then being swallowed into the deepest bowels of the post-Blavatsky Theosophy movement, is, of course, unique. For me, they're more a "mental exercise" than anything ... and, in the words of a different philosopher, "your mileage may vary"!


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