Friday, May 06, 2005

TT: martin gardner on David Bohm and Krishnamurti

TT: martin gardner on

I first heard of J Krishnamurti more than ten years ago. At that time, the impression I had of him was that of a man who respected no tradition and generally that of an iconoclast. As I grew older, I came in contact with people connected to the Theosophical Society and Krishnamurti. His books seemed definitely interesting. It was difficult for me to characterize JK as belonging to any particular faith or stream of thought.

I've gone through a couple of his books. One of them - "On Fear" is a collection of speeches and writings delivered by JK on fear. His thought seemed clear. Forget what Martin Gardner says in this mentioned article, but JK seemed clear enough to me. I kind of envied him for being 'free' of fear. Because only one who is free of fear could honestly truthfully write a book on the mechanism of fear and how to overcome it. So I had thought of JK as a fearless man.

But this particular article and a bunch of others seem to convey something else. There is a letter that JK wrote to his long time associate Raja that shows everything. That letter can still be construed to be from a fearless person - but it generally seemed to convey an otherwise impression. JK, while not bound by any tradition, also seems to fall in the class of charlatans and mountebanks, fooling people with his verbosity and a facade of wisdom. So, if this article is true, JK was like any other guru - the kind that he detested and well trapped in the web of human frailty.

Martin Gardner, for his part, has been needlessly harsh in criticizing JK's teachings, I feel. Also, I would like to know where JK said that a man's brain would undergo mutation upon realization.

Before I ended up on this page, I was googling for Martin Gardner, whose achievements are quite remarkable for a non-professional mathematician and scientist. Gardner, who is a ripe 91 as I write this, loves to junk parapsychology. His belief of philosophical theism is interesting. I loved his work on Recreational mathematics and want to read his "scrivener" work when I can get around to it.

MG refers to JK as "one of the most peculiar gurus ever to come out of Mother India". Is he sarcastic here? I felt more than a hint of it. Do others feel the same?

The linked article is quite interesting as a person hailed by someone like Doug Hofstadter (author of GEB) as one of the prominent intellects of America has expressed his views on a brilliant physicist and a guru. (a title that JK detested)


María Adoración García López said...


"Mind is not only the result of the interaction of the organism with the environment, from the uterus until death, but also the reflection of the basic organization of the universe: holokinesis, which from the implicit order of the universe becomes explicit as matter, mind and cosmic energies."

Dr. Rubén Feldman González.
Starter Holokinetic Psychology.
Candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize 2007 through 2011

Moesy Pittounikos said...

I think it's possible to form an enlightened ego and sincerely act nice and enlightened. My girlfriend is a nurse and she told me about a middle class patient who took pride in his clear minded ways and how his buddhism elevated his situation in hospital. He told my girlfriend about how he travelled the world, including Tibet, to visit buddhist temples. The overall impression was a nice chilled out man. At first, said my girlfriend, this patient did seem like a genuine sagely person, who was different from the average person.

However, one day, the mans toast fell on the floor and he threw a tantrum and started swearing. My girlfriend was shocked.

The patients behaviour is an example of an enlightened ego. The patient was a nice man but he built up a persona which he wore in public. The patient genuinely believed he was getting somewhere but his toast falls on the floor and he's hungry, his bubble bursts!

So all these apparent fake gurus probably believe that they are enlightened but it's really egoism at play. I enjoy watching J Krishnamurti on You Tube and he does come across as genuine an sagely.