The Book of Yourself Newsletter

Issue 13: December 2022

Dear Friends,

We’ve come to the end of another year and everywhere there is an attempt to bring the last twelve months in review and draw the balance. Outside the wind is blowing from the sea and keeping up its deep drone. Perhaps due to the rough weather, the airplanes come flying low over the lakes for landing at Schiphol, the Amsterdam airport. The usually quiet neighbourhood celebrated the arrival of the new year with a battery of exploding fireworks. With a steadily overcast sky and night coming on early, these outbursts of noise and light felt like an attempt to combat the encroaching darkness. Come midnight, the whole country erupted into a total conflagration. This is supposed to be a peaceful use of gunpowder for the expression of collective happiness, though one always worries about the birds and other animals. It must be quite a shock to their system. Or maybe they have adjusted, and they have learned to live with it, though I very much doubt it. Following on the liturgical cycle of the year, the depth of winter is chosen to celebrate the mythical resurgence of the light. The Christian world, at any rate, pays symbolic homage to that legendary beacon of hope. The faith endures but so do the divisions between the various branches and sects. And it does not seem to make much of a difference when it comes to living in the spirit of its nominal founder, for we still do not have peace on earth. On the contrary, just as the local kids blew up their petards for fun, boys not much older than they were trying to blow each other up in a pointless and fratricidal war to the East. Christianity, it seems, has never denied nationalism and power. On the contrary, it has affirmed them, and the priests have blessed their respective sectarian armies. The golden rule went out the window and every time tribalism won over the brotherhood of man.

“Why is there, one must ask, this division – the Russian, the American, the British, the French, the German and so on – why is there this division between man and man, between race and race, culture and culture, one series of ideologies against another? Why? Why is there this separation? Man has divided the earth as yours and mine – why? Is it that we try to find security, self-protection, in a particular group, or in a particular belief, faith? For religions also have divided man, put man against man – the Hindus, the Muslims, the Christians, the Jews and so on. Nationalism, with its unfortunate patriotism, is really a glorified form, an ennobled form, of tribalism. In a small tribe or in a very large tribe there is a sense of being together, having the same language, the same superstitions, the same kind of political, religious system. And one feels safe, protected, happy, comforted. And for that safety, comfort, we are willing to kill others who have the same kind of desire to be safe, to feel protected, to belong to something. This terrible desire to identify oneself with a group, with a flag, with a religious ritual and so on, gives us the feeling that we have roots, that we are not homeless wanderers.”
Krishnamurti to Himself, pp. 59-60

These shifting divisions between human beings on account of race, ideology, religion and culture have become the very dynamic patterns of history. Curiously enough, their raison d’être is our search for a sense of belonging, that we have roots, that we are safe in the company of others with the same language, customs, political and religious systems. We don’t seem to realize the total contradiction involved in seeking security in such tribal institutions and mentalities, which leads to conflict with other similar tribes seeking exactly the same. The tree of humanity is not rooted in peace or goodness but in violence, which makes aliens of us all. This total tragic irony should be enough to expose the utter lie of all nationalism and power.
“It is our earth, not yours and mine or his. We are meant to live on it, helping each other, not destroying each other. This is not some romantic nonsense but the actual fact. But man has divided the earth, hoping thereby that in the particular he is going to find happiness, security, a sense of abiding comfort. Until a radical change takes place and we wipe out all nationalities, all ideologies, all religious divisions, and establish a global relationship – psychologically first, inwardly before organizing the outer – we shall go on with wars. If you harm others, if you kill others, whether in anger or by organized murder which is called war, you, who are the rest of humanity, not a separate human being fighting the rest of mankind, are destroying yourself.”
Krishnamurti to Himself, pg. 60

Statements of this nature, calling for the eradication of all nationalities, ideologies and religious divisions in order to establish a global relationship tend to sound like the proverbial voice crying in the wilderness. At best they can be seen as the romantic projections of idealistic minds. Which means that in general we have accepted conflict as the way of life. But what if the fact is that the earth is neither yours nor mine but a beautiful place where we are meant to live in harmony and cooperation with each other and with all living things? Is that idealistic or realistic? Or we have developed such thick skins that we no longer feel the horrors of war, that bloody and spectacular expression of our daily lives? In our search for security, we identify with labels and are willing to destroy each other for their glorified abstractions, feeding the universal stream of sorrow.

“Obviously what causes war is the desire for power, position, prestige, money; also the disease called nationalism, the worship of the flag; and the disease of organized religion, the worship of a dogma. All these are the causes of war; if you, as an individual belong to any of the organized religions, if you are greedy for power, if you are envious, you are bound to produce a society which will result in destruction. So again, it depends upon you and not on the leaders – not on so-called statesmen and all the rest of them. It depends upon you and me, but we do not seem to realize that. If once we really felt the responsibility of our own actions, how quickly we could bring to an end all these wars, this appalling misery! But you see, we are indifferent. We have three meals a day, we have our jobs, we have our bank accounts, big or little, and we say, ‘For God’s sake, don’t disturb us, leave us alone.’”
The First and Last Freedom, pp. 183-184
This list of causes of war would seem to be rather obvious, and yet not so obvious that it would lead us to abandon them on account of the total threat they pose. Maybe we don’t see the danger? Maybe we fail to see the forest for the trees? We are too concerned with our own security and wellbeing to realise the consequences of our identifications and pursuits. The desire for money and power, with their greed and envy, is a major driving force in society. We think of our own benefit and ignore the deleterious consequences. We hope the system will regulate it, the political and religious leaders, whereas it depends on each one of us. After all, the leaders are caught in the same wave of destruction. But for that we have to see that each of us is responsible, and one aspect of that responsibility is the nature of our values.

“The expansion and predominance of sensate values necessarily creates the poison of nationalism, of economic frontiers, sovereign governments and the patriotic spirit, all of which excludes man’s cooperation with man and corrupts human relationship, which is society. Society is the relationship between you and another; and without deeply understanding this relationship, not at any one level, but integrally, as a total process, we are bound to create again the same kind of social structure, however superficially modified.”
Education and the Significance of Life, pg. 80

K finds in the predominance of sensate values the root cause of nationalism, the breakdown of cooperation and the corruption of society, the essence of which is human relationship. As life is relationship, the pursuit of these values implies the corruption of life itself. This should be warning enough, but our search for psychological security proves overwhelming and it overrides this perception, so that we do not act and there is no peace.

“Peace is a state of mind; it is the freedom from all desire to be secure. The mind-heart that seeks security must always be in the shadow of fear. Our desire is not only for material security, but much more for inner, psychological security, and it is this desire to be inwardly secure through virtue, through belief, through a nation, that creates the limiting and so conflicting groups and ideas. This desire to be secure, to reach a coveted end, breeds the acceptance of direction, the following of example, the worship of success, the authority of leaders, saviours, Masters, gurus, all of which is called positive teaching, but it is really thoughtlessness and imitation.”
Commentaries on Living, Second Series, pp. 186-187

This would seem to be the most radical solution to the problem and a very tough medicine. Peace may be a state of mind, but it does require the abandonment of all identification, possession and attachment in the pursuit of becoming. But how far will we be willing to go in our commitment to peace?

“I don’t want to quarrel with you under any circumstance. I want to live peacefully with you; if you want my shirt, I’ll give it to you. Fortunately, I have no property and if you want that property, you can have it; but I won’t quarrel with you. If you want to come and sit on the platform and I sit there, you’re welcome, I won’t quarrel with you. I’m not ambitious, I’m not greedy, I don’t want any of those things, because I don’t want to quarrel with you. To me, what is important is not to quarrel, therefore the other things subside. To quarrel like so many monkeys, like animals, is uncivilized, immoral in the deep sense. I feel that very strongly, therefore I’ll do it. So, Sir, it all boils down to one thing: how deeply, how fundamentally do we want to live without violence? How deeply do we want to live at peace with each other? We may say we want it – but actually! And that’s why it’s very important to go within oneself, to find out the nature and the structure of one’s being. Therefore, one has to know oneself.”
Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1967, pg. 182-183

If we want peace, we must be peaceful. If these are the causes of conflict, then it is up to us to be free from them. The positive ways of ambition and success, of possession and power, turn out to be profoundly destructive, making for a world of competition and violence. That has been and continues to be our general human conditioning, leading to the monkey business of endless quarrelling over those things in which we seek our security and the proof of our own worth. And that’s why K puts the emphasis on the perception of danger and the consequent negation of the falseness of our values and pursuits. Ultimately it comes down to the realisation that psychologically there is no security, that our inner roots are not in being something but in emptiness. This is the way of self-knowledge.

You be well, amigos, and may this new year 2023 bring us all the needful freedom, clarity and peace.


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,


Javier Gómez Rodríguez
The Book of Yourself
Binnendijk 237
8244 AE Lelystad
The Netherlands

Mob.: +31 (0)643139376

Photos: J. Gómez Rodríguez: 1. Winter Sunset, Lelystad; 2. View of the other bank, Lelystad canal.

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