#4622 - Monday, June 11, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
- As Monty Python was wont to say,"And now for something completely different."Dear Readers,If you have never tried to write a book review, let me say how much I highly recommend that you do so. If for no other reason, just to watch your mind come up with the most outrageous excuses to put it off. In my case, I had to wash the dust off my houseplants, fill the bird feeders, get last year's sour cherries out of the freezer to make a pie later. Oh it goes on and on. I even thought about going through all the shoes in my closet to get rid of some, not that I did it. I suppose if you are that rare bird for whom writing comes easily, you might just sit down and do it. But under no circumstances look at someone else's review, except perhaps of a different book. So here's my confession, instead.Yes, I did read Fred Davis's review of Louis Brawley's new book from Non-Duality Press. He nailed it. It's just what I wish I could write in my wildest dreams. And to top that, he has an interview with the author on Fred's amazing website, Awakening Clarity, plus more links galore. When I read Goner: The final travels of UG Krishnamurti, it created more conundrums about UG than it solved. Fred articulates what those conundrums are about so well. It's doubtful that anyone could actually "explain" UG, but Louis Brawley makes him real and gives you as well the experience of what it was really like for the people who lived with UG the last five years of his life. You will not only feel you are there, but UG will encounter you through these pages in some way. Reading Goner totally changed my opinion of UG, not that it was based on much to begin with. And by the end I understood why people wanted to be there, however implausible that first appeared. I have immense appreciation and gratitude for what Louis Brawley has given us, especially his unusually brutal honesty with his own reactions to living with UG. How rare it is to find such an intimate account of anything. Read it, precisely because UG is so completely different.Here is the review by Fred Davis on Amazon:First things first: this book is beautifully written. Louis Brawley, who has always wanted to be an artist, has found his medium: ink and paper. Mr. Brawley sees and feels as a poet sees and feels and he takes us with him. There are descriptions here of people and events, spiritual insights and mental movements that are so good we would expect to find them only in the best written novels by our very finest writers. Brawley has found his subject, too: a larger than life U.G. Krishnamurti, who can only be described as stark, raving sane.
Another apt title might have been No Fear and Much Loathing All Around the World. Brawley spent five years with UG and a weird, wonderful, rather madcap group touring from India to California to Switzerland and Italy, always on the move; flying, driving, and always, always talking. Well, there's a lot of hollering here, too, but there's damn little silence. UG has a lot to say, he's not shy about saying it, and all of "those bastards" better know it. I got to where I would laugh every time I saw "those bastards" appear.If you are a fan of the other, more famous, far more pastoral Jiddu Krishnamurti, approach this book with caution. I'd advise you to come absolutely as open minded as you can stretch. UG, and Brawley too, assail JK, as they refer to him, with scorn and venom. I'm never quite clear why. Brawley sounds victimized and UG sounds enraged, but then, curiously, as we come to the later pages, there are hints of gratitude and devotion as well, from both author and subject. If that sounds like some kind of complex paradoxical combination, you are dead on it. If there ever was a spiritual puzzle, UG is it. He carried his own gravitational field, and nothing works quite the same once it has entered that field. It extends into this book.
I got an interesting tip from someone I respect about all this anti-JK stuff. My friend said, "I wonder if UG, by being so scathing of all supports and gurus, was actually trying to free people from dependency, and, indeed, continuing the work of JK? Louis said that UG often saved his most scathing comments for those that he actually honored. Confusing but possibly true." I liked this story so much that I didn't care if it was true or not. I adopted it and it allowed me to drop my own proper defenses and lay myself bare to the red hot sabre of sanity wielded by this strange little man, who was easily Twentieth Century spirituality's best-kept open secret,and strangest enigma.review continues:On Amazon: http://goo.gl/ozdqTBook On Non-Duality Press: http://non-dualitypress.org/products/gonerThe Invisible Man
By Louis BrawleyAGREEING OR DISAGREEING had absolutely no place in my interactions with U.G. Krishnamurti. Teaching or not teaching was irrelevant. There came a time when I saw that there was nothing there to argue with, no entity promoting or defending any idea, rather it was life attacking all ideas as false. After that happened I was thrown back on the idea of control, supposed to spring from will and understanding. I can testify that my understandings were totally, utterly useless, what he called “empty words and empty phrases”. Around U.G. this fact hit me with all the force and indifference of nature. Usually it came in the form of one of his 'blasts'. Before I met him I’d heard the expression 'blast' used to describe one of his rants. I assumed it was an exaggeration until I witnessed it for the first time. One evening we were sitting around while U.G. was talking to Mario about his job. The two were sitting face-to-face discussing Mario’s affairs after he'd just arrived after a long day of work and a six-hour drive from Cologne to Gstaad. U.G. teased him quite a bit then suddenly an angry tone ripped into the exchange like a sudden tide, taking us all by surprise and focusing all of us on one point like a hot poker. Mario’s face turned red with the force of it. Because of his dynamic energy, the effect was like sitting inside a thunderstorm as we sat watching. It went on intensifying until it seemed unbearable, then suddenly it broke and he patted Mario on the arm after telling him to “Getoutofhere!” gently as a lamb. Later Mario told me he knew exactly why it happened and was grateful for it.AFTER A LONG OBSESSION with the teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti, I discovered the books of U.G. Krishnamurti. When what U.G. said started to sink in I knew I was dealing with something far more immediate. His was the expression of a man who had touched life directly, rather than through ideas or practice. There was never a question of his talking from a platform to a crowd or charging for that service. 'Shop closed! No wares to sell!' he repeated to friends over the years, while making himself available free of charge to whomever made it to his door. His time was spent in a one-on-one attack on the false "ideation" in others, his closest friends. The intimacy of his company was so immediate that when one of his 'blasts' was directed at me for the first time it felt like death. It must have been the death of the familiar, because nothing he ever did threatened my life. On the contrary, whatever he did, if there was an effect, it was to make me feel less invested in bullshit. Sometimes it looks like all U.G. did was knock the wind out of my pretentious ideas about things every waking minute of the day for the five years I knew him. It was more refreshing than I can describe, and painful at times in exactly the way healing is painful.WHAT BECAME CLEAR as I ‘hung around’ U.G. was that my body is operating just fine with no problems, and this was the case no thanks to my ideas about it. Rather, the stress these ideas put on my body is the only problem I have. I am absolutely at the mercy of life, yet I carry on as though I have a say in it. As I understand it now, any and every idea at my disposal has come to me from society. I do not own a single one. Over thousands of years of human existence the ideas used by society to impose fictions like ‘happiness’ on us get more and more predominant, causing increasingly unnatural stress. Handy for doing a job or getting to a train on time, thought is a great tool, but what idiot cooked up this idea of happiness? A very clever one indeed because this classic model of self-improvement sets up the dynamic for a business of human exploitation in the name of spirituality that has been thriving for thousands of years. U.G. was serious when he called it criminal to partake in a business like this where the goods cannot be delivered but the ass of the exploiter is covered with the idea of ‘faith’. In nature if something doesn’t work, it dies. There is no place in the natural order for faith, which operates only when there is uncertainty in the area of results. With happiness, or better yet, permanent happiness known as ‘enlightenment’, when the practice doesn’t produce results we are instructed to have faith or work harder rather than question the teachers. So we pay them and blame ourselves for not having enough faith or working hard enough. What a racket!Continued: (and don't forget there's more links!)