Talking about the most comprehensive collection of Krishnamurti’s true thoughts on Theosophy. Gathered by the Rishi Valley Study Centre (Working Paper #4, May 1995, Revised October 1996 by Hans and Radhika Herzberger). I argue, that theosophists and Theosophical Society members have to let go of Jiddu Krishnamurti, and trying to reconcile, or find a convergence of Krishnamurti’s thought and Theosophy. The theosophical orientation of his time was not the original Theosophical ideal.
“Q: I have studied Theosophy very deeply and (…) I say that your wisdom is essentially the truth of Theosophy. JK: You may study profoundly all the Theosophical books; but your conception of wisdom is utterly false. (…) You gather dust from books and call it wisdom. I speak of a natural wisdom, beyond all books. (…) To me your theories are utterly valueless.” (Jiddu Krishnamurti, Adyar 29 Dec 1932)
“You may deceive yourself by saying, “What you say and what I believe are the same. They’re the two sides of the coin.” You may say what you like; but that is mere self-deception. (Jiddu Krishnamurti, London 16 Oct 1949)
“I joined societies in my time; I belonged to organisations; I became a priest, as is the right of every Brahmin in India. I went to Masonic meetings. I did all the things that many others do, in order to find out for myself. Very carefully I went into these to see if I could attain through them to that central reality … that happiness which is life. I went through all these and not finding in them the truth which I sought, I left them. Now I have found it + And so, when I say these things are unnecessary, it is not out of contempt, or fanaticism. I say it because they all deal with the symptoms only, not with the real cause.” (Jiddu Krishnamurti, Q&A Jul 1930)
Jiddu Krishnamurti criticized Theosophy, when people kept comparing his teachings. Theosophical Society members often talk of Jiddu Krishnamurti, and try to reconcile his thought. They therefore point people in the direction of a man, who repudiated them. The Theosophical Society during Besant’s leadership is different from the pre-1890s idea of what it was doing in the world.
People today are more likely to listen to Jiddu Krishnamurti, because his outlook matches the skeptical sentiment of the “post-modernist” thinker. Jiddu Krishnamurti’s Holland speech at Ommen Camp in August 3, 1929 encapsulates the way we are educated, and the way people think of religion. We are picking up from Reluctance of a Messiah: Jiddu Krishnamurti and the Theosophical Society. It has already been definitively proven, that Jiddu Krishnamurti utterly rejected the convergence of his thought and Theosophy. It’s time to move on.
It means, time to move on, and change may never come from within the T.S. Contemporary Theosophists do little to discard 20th century influences and debacles, because they mistakenly believe all of it can and should be reconciled. As we look at the generation, there are many youth that think like Krishnamurti, in certain ways. Consider the “Nones” (no religion, or “spiritual, but not religious” people), or the liberal generation’s views on national borders and mass migration in the name of tolerance and kindness. Protectionists are now called “far-right.” Nationalists are now evil right-winger villains now — old farts these people can’t wait to die so we can march into some Progressive future. Everyone’s called Nazi now. Even though J.K. seemed to not care about the United Nations, or the medal they gave him, after he spoke in 1985 at the U.N., the conclusions internationalist ideologues and globalists arrive at are the same.
As to Theosophy, while researchers sometimes casually mention the same one, or two line mention of Theosophy in reference to contemporary spiritual systems of thought, there are no signs that real Theosophical Thought is apart of the public’s wide knowledge.
The real consequences begin after the 1890s. Alice Bailey was a theosophical member, and C.W.L. (Charles W. Leadbeater). Their ideas and concepts are basically the same, and Theosophical researchers have tried to figure out which one of the two influenced each other first. They had their own ideals, like we do, kind of, but A.A.B. and C.W.L. were constructing new concepts and interpretations. (see Alice Bailey and her Christianised Theosophy)
Alice Bailey had many things to say about geopolitics and the U.N.:
“The true communistic platform is sound; it is brotherhood in action and it does not—in its original platform—run counter to the spirit of Christ” (Alice A. Bailey, The Rays and the Initiations: Volume V; A Treatise on the Seven Rays, 1960, pg. 680).
That’s not Theosophy. That’s Alice Bailey.
Some have argued, that the vagueness of Theosophy leads people to socialism. I disagree, that Theosophical Thought is vague, and leads people to socialism. This is an example of Alice Bailey’s internationalist [political] thought, which I feel, Jiddu Krishnamurti’s teachings doesn’t protect against, or admirers would criticize.
“Steps Towards the New World Order.—In contradistinction to the totalitarian world order, what should the rest of the world plan? Towards what world objectives should the democracies work? Utopian schemes, idealistic forms of government and cultural living processes have ever been the playthings of the human mind, down through the centuries. But these Utopias have been so far ahead of possibility that their presentation seems useless. They are most of them wholly impractical.
Certain immediate possibilities and attainable objectives can, however, be worked out, given a definite will-to-good and patience on the part of humanity.
Certain major and spiritual premises should lie back of all efforts to formulate the new world order. Let me state some of them:
- The new world order must meet the immediate need and not be an attempt to satisfy some distant, idealistic vision.
- The new world order must be appropriate to a world which has passed through a destructive crisis and to a humanity which is badly shattered by the experience.
- The new world order must lay the foundation for a future world order which will be possible only after a time of recovery, of reconstruction, and of rebuilding.
- The new world order will be founded on the recognition that all men are equal in origin and goal but that all are at differing stages of evolutionary development; that personal integrity, intelligence, vision and experience, plus a marked goodwill, should indicate leadership. The domination of the proletariat over the aristocracy and bourgeoisie, as in Russia, or the domination of an entrenched aristocracy over the proletariat and middle classes, as has been until lately the case in Great Britain, must disappear. The control of labour by capital or the control of capital by labour must also go.
- In the new world order, the governing body in any nation should be composed of those who work for the greatest good of the greatest number and who at the same time offer opportunity to all, seeing to it that the individual is left free. Today the men of vision are achieving recognition, thus making possible a right choice of leaders. It was not possible until this century.
- The new world order will be founded on an active sense of responsibility. The rule will be “all for one and one for all.” This attitude among nations will have to be developed. It is not yet present.
- The new world order will not impose a uniform type of government, a synthetic religion and a system of standardisation upon the nations. The sovereign rights of each nation will be recognised and its peculiar genius, individual trends and racial qualities will be permitted full expression. In one particular only should there be an attempt to produce unity, and that will be in the field of education.
- The new world order will recognise that the produce of the world, the natural resources of the planet and its riches, belong to no one nation but should be shared by all. There will be no nations under the category “haves” and others under the opposite category. A fair and properly organised distribution of the wheat, the oil and the mineral wealth of the world will be developed, based upon the needs of each nation, upon its own internal resources and the requirements of its people. All this will be worked out in relation to the whole.
- In the preparatory period for the new world order there will be a steady and regulated disarmament. It will not be optional. No nation will be permitted to produce and organise any equipment for destructive purposes or to infringe the security of any other nation. One of the first tasks of any future peace conference will be to regulate this matter and gradually see to the disarming of the nations.
While they were in the Theosophical Society, they were at the same time, devising their own system. Some credit C.W.L. for being most influential on New Age terminology. A study of Jiddu Krishnamurti is capable of helping lay students interested in “Theosophical Thought,” to do better than the second generation theosophists. The true theosophical movement was tied in with the work of other movements, but this was the time of monarchies, newly-formed republics, and nationalism; and not the paranoid reactionary internationalists born out of the Post-War era. The concept of universal brotherhood, was about theosophists forming the nucleus of the universal brotherhood, i.e., an outpost in the world for mankind, welcoming and nurturing of true friendship. K. Paul Johnson’s research, despite the discredited theory on the identities of Blavatsky’s teachers, shows what Morya meant when he said:
“There is more of this movement than you have yet had an inkling of, and the work of the T.S. is linked in with similar work that is secretly going on in all parts of the world.” (Morya, The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, Letter no. 47, Allahabad, 3rd March, 1882.)
This has nothing to do with C.W.L., or Bailey’s schemes however.
Having said that, I say, despite this, the honeymoon has long ended, and in a way, Theosophical organizations are still hung and shocked over Jiddu Krishnamurti. So long as they are hung on Jiddu Krishnamurti, people in that Society will express theosophy into what it is not, but instead through ways of thinking, now being greatly rejected. There can never be a convergence of Jiddu Krishnamurti’s approach and the Occult Philosophical teachings of Theosophy. This is the reason Krishnamurti recorded everything.
I think we should respect Krishnamurti’s wishes.
There is nothing in Jiddu Krishnamurti’s approach that cares one iota about what Theosophists were doing before, or during A.B. (Annie Besant), C.W.L., Jinarajadasa, etc. So he does not help their cause. The 20th century was squandered by the Theosophists enamored by this man, and even I was too for a time, but this has to be limited. The fact, that perhaps many people will learn of theosophy through outdated critics concluding H.P.B. was a fraud, or learn of it through Jiddu Krishnamurti first, is not a good sign. In comment sections of JK’s talks, most commend the man for rebuking the “cult of Theosophy.”
Besides, the term cult being used commonly as as term for a group exercising negative psychological manipulation on its community, the Theosophical Society did become this, when its subversive leaders and compliant members used Jiddu Krishnamurti for a scheme, diametrically opposite of and destructive to the theosophical cause. In Reluctance of a Messiah, it was noted that Jiddu Krishnamurti said: “Please do not think that in the combination of your ideas and mine, you are going to realise a unified whole.”—Jiddu Krishnamurti, Ommen 27 Jul., 1933. “You cannot take what I say and add it to your own. You cannot mix oil and water.”—Twelve Ommen Talks, Benares 1933. Then, I tried to use Jiddu Krishnamurti to argue, that his criticisms of Theosophy are not really of Theosophy, but the Pseudo, or Neo-Theosophy. While this may be mostly true, J.K. really didn’t care about tradition, and whether he knew of theosophy in-depth or not, Krishnamurti focused on practical and experiential knowledge.
Perhaps, JK’s ideas rightfully applies to Rene Guenon’s concept of ‘Counter-Tradition.’ Jiddu Krishnamurti wanted people to understand him, but understanding him meant rejecting traditional forms, in favor of his teachings and inquisitive approach. The inquisitive approach is not bad at all, but like Alice Bailey, Krishnamurti says things, that have real world consequences.
Krishnamurti is like Nebu in the Ginza Rabba (formerly, Codex Nazaraeus), when Jesus is referred to as “the false Messiah, the destroyer of the old orthodox religion.” J. Krishnamurti did not demonstrate to the public anything about the real history and origin of the Mysteries. Krishnamurti’s interviewers often noted, that what he was saying, was not different from other schools of thought, which again he stated was an excuse to not inquire, and gain the knowledge for oneself. When asked if he was the Antichrist, and told that he was teaching a kind of philosophical anarchism, J.K. replied, that men just wanted to be kept in their illusions and beliefs, rather than examine what he was saying. Nevertheless, Krishnamurti did not care about the history, and things the Theosophists were pointing to, that weaved together the bigger picture, bigger than JK himself.
This will make you see him in his true light in San Diego at his best —
Krishnamurti on Theosophy
Krishnamurti stated unhesitatingly:
“There are so many fantastic ideas concerning me that I must start by asking you to put [your ideas] aside. (Ojai 25 May 30); I have often spoken in India, and they tell me there that what I teach is Western Philosophy plus I have also heard it said that it is pure Hinduism or pure Buddhism or pure theosophy. The majority of people make these statements because they derive a certain satisfaction to be able to say, “Oh, we knew all this before”. They can sit comfortably back in their own traditional forms and remain there, not caring to examine what is put before them. (Berlin 3 Apr 31)”
“Q: It has been claimed by some that you are the Christ come again. What do you have to say about this? (Oslo 5 Sep 1933); Q: Some say you are Christ, others say you are the Antichrist. What, in fact, are you? (Rosario 27 Jul 1935)
In India they tell me I am teaching Hinduism. In Buddhist countries, they tell me it is Buddhism. Theosophists say I am explaining anew their own special doctrines. (Buenos Aires 15 Jul 1935); Please do not brush me aside by calling me a mystic, an anarchist, a communist, or by any other name. (Rosario, Argentina 27 Jul 1935)”
Q: You are preaching a kind of philosophical anarchism, the favourite escape of the highbrow intellectuals; Q: [It is] very akin to the Upanishads.
JK: You are really seeking a state in which you will not be disturbed (…) [so] you can settle back and keep on repeating [something which] has no effect on your daily life (Bombay 5 Mar 1950)
It is evident he is aware, that the questioner knows nothing, and is just comparing based on what they intellectually have learned about the Upanishads. Krishnamurti’s ideas can be intellectualized, and an appropriation of his thought into one’s own, which has not gone through a certain stage is I believe a common issue with people. It can have an adverse effect on thought, or thinking. He rejected comparisons to Advaita-Vedanta and experts, e.g., when it is clear, that things he was teaching, required one to be “twice-born” first. A person could not get that by simply observations of Krishnamurti’s speeches, when people were just dazed by his words anyway. Therefore, this corrupted-form of Krishnamurti’s ideas work perfectly with the anti-traditional, pseudo-intellectual, anti-bourgeoisie counter-revolutionaries of his century. It just becomes assimilated into the cultural milieu and pathology of the “left.”
The positive thing, is that like H.P. Blavatsky, what Jiddu Krishnamurti says can have the effect of destroying one’s illusions, except that Krishnamurti thought of theosophy as an illusion.
In ways, on certain orientation, we can agree; but not fully.
“In talking to groups of listeners all over the world, I find that more and more people seem not to understand what I am saying, because they come with fixed ideas; they listen with their biased attitude, without trying to find out what I have to say, but only expecting to find what they secretly desire.” (Jiddu Krishnamurti, Alpino 1 Jul 1933)
“If I may suggest, it would be wise to dissociate ourselves for the time being from any particular form of belief. We must look at human problems from no particular point of view. (Amsterdam 22 May 1955) We must explore, not from any particular point of view, as belonging to certain tribes or communities. See the world as it is, not as we would like it to be” (New Delhi 6 Nov 1983).
“To clarify the position: I am not a Theosophist.” (Rio 13 Apr 1935).
“What I say is diametrically opposite to your beliefs.” (Ommen 29 Jul 1931)
“I have been called a Theosophist, and I have also been called by other labels.” (Valparaiso 4 Sep 1935)
“Many incorrect statements have been made about me. I am not a Theosophist.” (Mexico 20 Oct 1935)
“You, the Theosophical Society, and I, do not meet.” (Banaras 6 Feb 1949)
They say “We are both the same” (JK). The man is saying “We’re not” (JK).—at Krishnamurti Foundation of America, Ojai 4 Mar 1972.
[Main Source of Quotes] Krishnamurti on Theosophy, Rishi Valley Study Centre (Working Paper #4, May 1995, Revised October 1996), edited by Hans and Radhika Herzberger
****Note, that while similarities and differences can be drawn and have been drawn between Krishnamurti’s Teachings and Theosophy, it is best to understand he rejected any comparisons, or convergence of the two. For theosophists to reconcile if he rejected, actually hurts and stifles the ability of the theosophist to express that original movement fully, by trying to confine one’s inner thinking to his.