The Book of Yourself Newsletter

Issue 12: November 2022

Dear Friends,

Due to the warm weather, some trees have been holding on to their leaves as though they had not heard of Autumn. The tall alder in the square across the garden fence is still looking green. But of late the sky has remained overcast, transforming our shorter days into a lengthy twilight. The north-eastern wind, though nowhere near its accustomed gale strength, has been blowing cold and the temperatures have been hovering just above zero. Winter was sure to come, and we now seem to be stepping over the threshold. At night, as the sparrows and blackbirds take shelter in the bamboo thicket, I still hear the geese slicing the air on their late migration. We have been advised to keep our thermostats low and to take no longer than five minutes in the shower. We must save on gas, the price of which has gone through the roof and is now being subsidised by the government. We have all known for a long while that we were living on borrowed time by depending on fossil fuels. The war in Ukraine has come to aggravate the problem by cutting off the Russian supply. Hopefully this crisis might serve to accelerate the shift to renewable energy. What one cannot help but feel is the total barbarism of the war itself and the untold destruction and suffering it is so needlessly causing. The mild restrictions we might be experiencing here in the Lowlands feel like luxury problems when compared with what the Ukrainians, whose power stations have been systematically bombed, have to endure. All those gutted buildings and destroyed infrastructure speak volumes of the dangerous delusions of power and the insanity of war. When will we see that no material possession, idea or belief is worth dying and killing for? When will we realise that to kill another is to kill oneself?

This coming Sunday, December 11th, we will be holding our last meeting in the series ‘To Be Human – Examining the Core of the Teachings’.[1] This time we will look into the last paragraph of this unique attempt by K to put his teachings in a nutshell. Beginning with his foundational statement that ‘Truth is a pathless land’, K went on to describe the world of images that constitutes the content of consciousness in which we seek security and the shared or universal nature of that consciousness. This examination pointed to a series of contradictions, notably that our search for security in the identification with images involves a radical incoherence, for images divide and bring about conflict, which destroys security. This pervasive state of fragmentation and its underlying self-deception is the nature of our conditioning, which naturally calls for freedom. At the heart of conditioning lies the whole process of thought and time that constitutes the psychological self. K sees in the ending of the self, which is the emptying of consciousness of its psychological content, the key to a profound transformation. K ends this brief summary of his journey through the human condition with a statement affirming the critical importance of inward denial or negation:

“Total negation is the essence of the positive. When there is negation of all those things that thought has brought about psychologically, only then is there love, which is compassion and intelligence.”

In stating categorically that negation is the essence of the positive K would seem to be facing us with a paradox. In normal usage, the positive and the negative are opposite categories which cancel each other out. The general tendency is to cultivate the positive and to avoid the negative. The current of positive thinking has had a massive influence on popular psychology. To keep up a positive, optimistic attitude has been upheld as a sure recipe for well-being and success. Such negative emotional states as fear and depression are considered harmful to one’s mental and physical health. In philosophy, the Hegelian dialectic describes a progression in thinking by means of the positing of a thesis, whose limitation gives rise to its negation or antithesis, the resolution of which contradiction brings about a synthesis, which becomes the new thesis, and so on ad infinitum. K’s radical negation would seem to go beyond all these structures, as it implies not a negation within the dialectic of the opposites but the negation of every positing of thought within the psychological field.

“Negation is the most positive action, not positive assertion. This is a very important thing to understand. Most of us so easily accept positive dogma, a positive creed, because we want to be secure, to belong, to be attached, to depend. The positive attitude divides and brings about duality. The conflict then begins between this attitude and others. But the negation of all values, of all morality, of all beliefs, having no frontiers, cannot be in opposition to anything. A positive statement in its very definition separates, and separation is resistance. To this we are accustomed, this is our conditioning. To deny all this is not immoral; on the contrary, to deny all division and resistance is the highest morality. To negate everything that man has invented, to negate all his values, ethics and gods, is to be in a state of mind in which there is no duality, therefore no resistance or conflict between opposites. In this state there are no opposites, and this state is not the opposite of something else.”
Eight Conversations – 2
Freedom, Love and Action, pp. 39-40

[1] For further information, please visit: .
This is an extraordinary statement to make, and it might be worth examining it more closely. K attributes our ready acceptance of positive dogma and creed to our desire to be secure through belonging and attachment. But these dogmatic creeds in which we seek security divide and bring about duality, which results in conflict with similar attitudes derived from other belief systems. Viewed this way, this positive process involves a total contradiction, since it denies the very security it is intended to provide. As K sees it, this is not just a flaw in particular systems of values, morality and beliefs, but the same contradictory nature is inherent to all such positive statements, as they bring about separation and resistance. In which case this whole assertive process turns out not to be at all positive. That would seem to be the reason why K calls for the negation or denial of all such factors of division and conflict, however positive they might seem, for only so is there an ending to the duality and struggle between the opposites. The positive mind necessarily lives in contradiction. The perception of this fact signals the emergence of the negative mind that, free from thought, can negate the false.

“Negation is the most positive action. To negate the false, not knowing what is true, to negate the apparent truth in the false, and to negate the false as the false, is the instant action of a mind that is free from thought. To see this flower with the image that thought has built about it is entirely different from seeing it without that image. The relationship between the observer and the flower is the image which the observer has about the observed, and in this there is a great distance between them. When there is no image the time interval ceases.”
The Only Revolution, pg. 127

For K the false includes everything that thought has put together psychologically, i.e., the self.

“What is false? Everything is false that thought has put together – psychologically, not technologically. That is, thought has put together the ‘me’, the self, with its memories, with its aggression, with its separativeness, with its ambitions, competitiveness, imitation, fear and past memories; all that has been put together by thought. And thought has put together the most extraordinary things mechanically. So thought, as the me, which has in essence no reality whatsoever, is the false. When the mind understands what is false, then the truth is there. Similarly, when the mind really enquires deeply into what is love, without saying ‘It is this’, ‘It is that’, but enquires, then it must see what it is not and completely drop it; otherwise you can’t find the real. Is one capable of doing that? To say, for instance, ‘Love is not ambition.’ A mind that is ambitious, wanting to achieve, wanting to become powerful, that is aggressive, competitive, imitative, such a mind cannot possibly understand what love is.”
The Awakening of Intelligence, pg. 358

This understanding and denial of what is false is for K the needful negative approach to truth. This via negativa permeates the whole teaching. His close examination of the nature of love, for instance, reveals that such factors as desire, pleasure and attachment normally associated with it turn out not to be love at all. Love is unknown and the known aspects we attribute to it are not love. To drop these false attributes is to discover what love is. For him such denial of the positive or conditioned ways of the known does not have to be on a grand dramatic scale but in relation to the little incidents of remembrance in daily life.

“How does one deny? Does one deny the known, not in great dramatic incidents but in little incidents? Do I deny when I am shaving and I remember the lovely time I had in Switzerland? Does one deny the remembrance of a pleasant time? Does one grow aware of it, and deny it? That is not dramatic, it is not spectacular, nobody knows about it. Still this constant denial of little things, the little wipings, the little rubbings off, not just one great big wiping away, is essential. It is essential to deny thought as remembrance, pleasant or unpleasant, every minute of the day as it arises. One is doing it not for any motive, not in order to enter into the extraordinary state of the unknown. You live in Rishi Valley and think of Bombay or Rome. This creates a conflict, makes the mind dull, a divided thing. Can you see this and wipe it away? Can you keep on wiping away not because you want to enter into the unknown? You can never know what the unknown is because the moment you recognise it as the unknown you are back in the known.”
On Education, pg. 121

Negation is the essence of the positive because the positive is inherently bound in limitation and contradiction. This condition applies to the whole psychological field, where the known constitutes itself into the self, which is the essence of fragmentation. But the self cannot be denied verbally or as a reaction to its perceived negative consequences. Such denial is not the outcome of motive but a matter of seeing the falseness of it. And therein lies our fundamental challenge as human beings: to see through and dissolve the inherent psychological fragmentation of the known, for it is in the state of unknowing that we can perceive the new.

Be well, amigos, and experiment with being aware and free from the known in daily life.


P.S.: For your information, I attach the announcement of the new edition of the online course for this coming year. Please feel free to distribute it among your network of friends.

Dear Friends,

I would like to announce that I will be offering The Book of Yourself online course again this coming year, between February and May. You can view the new schedule here:

This course offers a comprehensive journey with J. Krishnamurti into the scope of the human condition and its needful transformation through a series of fourteen weekly chapters. You can find the course description and content on the website: Should you wish to register, please make sure to read through the relevant information and to watch the introductory video. You should also be aware that the course is to be taken as a unit. The meetings are live and consist in a short video excerpt and a Power Point presentation on the given theme followed by a dialogue. These sessions will be recorded for later viewing by the participants.

The weekly meetings will take place on Saturdays from 18:00-21:00 CET, with a ten-minute break in the middle. I am aware that such a schedule is not suitable for all time zones. As you can imagine, it is difficult to accommodate everyone, but it may be possible to adapt the timetable to the needs of the participants. If you should be interested, do not hesitate to indicate your preferences. There is also the option of scheduling the course for different time zones, should there be sufficient demand. You can always contact me with any queries through the website or at my personal email:

You are hereby invited to join us in this exploration of ourselves in the light of Krishnamurti’s teachings in our common quest for wholeness and freedom.

Please feel free to disseminate this information through your own networks.

Thank you,


Photos: J. Gómez Rodríguez: 1. Near Gstaad, CH; 2. Brockwood Park School, UK.

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