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Krishnamurti and nihilism

Apr 10, 1998 01:07 AM
by Thoa Thi-Kim Tran

>K emphasized living in the eternal present, exhorting his followers to jetison
>the past (memory) and not to become preoccupied with the future. This is fine
>if one is living in a monastery where all one's needs are presumably taken
>care of. Under special conditions, such advice may indeed lead one to the
>"other shore" as the Buddhists would say. However, we all live in the real
>world. When crossing the the street I have to remember that red means stop and
>green means go. I have to remember to pay bills and taxes, shop for groceries,
>keep petrol in my car, etc., etc.
>K was waited on and and foot by devotees so he had the luxery of living in the
>eternal NOW. We who live in a pragmatic world, have to remember the past in
>order to deal with the present and plan for the future. Does this make sense?

I would take what K said to be something ideal to shoot for, even if we
never reach that point. Have any of us reach any spiritual ideal under any
system? Even when we're aware of the steps needed to reach enlightenment,
we will break some of the rules because it goes against what feels
comfortable for us. We shouldn't beat ourselves up over it. It is a
natural process of evolution. In fact, a critical part of evolution is to
love your shadow as much as your light. I let my life digest the ideal
slowly. Too much of it all at once can be poison to your personal
happiness and spontaneity. For me, the first sign of poisoning is when I
lose my sense of humor. Because of guilt from the ideal of any system, I
would advocate that teaching of the love of self (light/shadow) be included
with the teaching of the ideal.

The idea of living in the eternal NOW was meant to make you stop and smell
the flowers. I don't think he meant that all memories are bad. He was
pointing out that the past is a strong conditioner. This conditioning also
makes us have expectations of the future, a future that does not really
exist. We either have difficulty escaping our conditioning or we do not
have the insight to escape our conditioning, however damaging it may be.
Our conditioning will make us look at a thing or situation and react before
we see what the reality is. Granted, there are situations in which that is
necessary. Our mere survival is dependent on statistics. As a woman, if I
see a sleazy looking guy, I would rather throw a caution flag up rather
than try to find the sacred light in him.

However, in general life philosophy, I think it would be best to follow
that. If you're too busy recounting your plans to pay bills, taxes, etc.,
you will not see what really is going on in your life. Your purpose is to
go to the next thing, instead of looking and enjoying where you are. You
can be functional and still enjoy the present. I carry a to do list with
me so that I won't clutter my mind with chores. :o) I think K was
ultimately talking about the general state of the mind.

Thoa :o)

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