The Book of Yourself Newsletter

Issue 8: July 2022

Dear Friends,

This time I write from the Swiss Alps instead of the Lowlands. I’ve come for the second week of the annual K summer gatherings in Mürren. Mürren means ‘walls’ and that is what you see across the deep gorge, the monumental and seemingly impassable bulwark of a string of mighty peaks, among them the Jungfrau, the Mönch and the Eiger. The town itself, huddled precariously on a narrow ledge above a high cliff, is at an elevation of 1600 meters. It’s a picturesque and touristic Alpine town, with its shops, hotels and restaurants, with the paragliders braving the depths and the sound of cowbells echoing in the sloping meadows. The views are stunning and the play of light and shadow across the face of the mountains is like an unending impressionist canvas. The rise in global temperatures has reached these higher regions. It is noticeable in the general dryness. The main torrents are still running, but the smaller streams have become silent. The glaciers are breaking up and melting away. The beds they carved for millennia into the rock are now exposed to the sun. The snows would still seem to claim the summits, but one wonders how much longer they might be called perennial. Still, the beauty is there, the majesty, the frozen echo of the immense forces of creation and the universal flux which chisels away grain by grain at these towering pillars of heaven. Looking at these wonders of nature, one of the participants asked: “Do you think you could ever get used to all that beauty and splendour?” One hesitated to answer, because we seem to be creatures of habit who tend to get used to anything. However, I could not help but feel that it might be harder to develop our habitual indifference amid such a dramatic and protean scenery. Perhaps the essence of it would be to see everything anew, without the memory of things past.

“This morning it is as it has never been before, so bright, so clear. And the blue hills are looking down. It is the creation of a new day as it has never been before. There is a squirrel with a long bushy tail, quivering and shy in the old pepper tree which has lost many branches; it is getting very old. It must have seen many storms, as the oak has in its old age, quiet, with a great dignity. It is a new morning, full of an ancient life; it has no time, no problems. It exists and that in itself is a miracle. It is a new morning without any memory. All the past days are over, gone, and the voice of the mourning dove comes across the valley, and the sun is now over the hill, covering the earth. And it too has no yesterday. The trees in the sun and the flowers have no time. It is the miracle of a new day.”
Krishnamurti to Himself, pg. 65

One of the basic things that K invariably addresses in his teachings is the place of memory and thought in our lives. These factors introduce time into our perception and the present becomes the shadow of yesterday. The creation of a day that has never been before, full of an ancient life, is a miracle of timelessness when seen with innocent, unknowing eyes. Such seeing is, surely, the joyful way of beauty.

This coming Sunday we will be having our second meeting in the series To Be Human – Examining ‘The Core of the Teachings’.[1] This session is titled ‘The World of Images’ and is based on the second paragraph of this key K text:

“Man has built in himself images as a fence of security – religious, political, personal. These manifest as symbols, ideas, beliefs. The burden of these images dominates man’s thinking, his relationships, and his daily life. These images are the causes of our problems for they divide man from man. His perception of life is shaped by the concepts already established in his mind.”
To Be Human, pg. 5

In this session we will inquire into this question of images as fences of security and how they dominate our thinking and bring about division and conflict in our relationships. Is this so? Do we live by images and relate to each other as such images, my image versus yours, and therefore we do not truly relate? If these images divide us and cause problems, where is the security that they are meant to provide? This is a beautiful subject that touches on a broad spectrum of our existential reality as human beings and that has far-reaching implications.

[1] For more information, please visit the KECC website: .

Next week, August 15 to 19, from Monday to Friday, I will be facilitating a five-part online seminar organized by KFA on the theme of ‘Life is Relationship’.[1] We will begin by considering the deep significance of this statement itself:

“To be is to be related, and there is no such thing as living in isolation. It is the lack of right relationship that brings about conflicts, misery and strife; however small our world may be, if we can transform our relationship in that narrow world, it will be like a wave extending outward all the time. I think it is important to see the point, that the world is our relationship, however narrow; and if we can bring a transformation there, not a superficial but a radical transformation, then we shall begin actively to transform the world.”
The First and Last Freedom, pg. 43

While relationship is the indivisible web of our existence, we will then look at some of its key aspects, beginning with our relationship with nature and with things:

“It is odd that we have so little relationship with nature, with the insects and the leaping frog and the owl that hoots among the hills calling for its mate. We never seem to have a feeling for all living things on the earth. If we could establish a deep abiding relationship with nature, we would never kill an animal for our appetite, we would never harm, vivisect, a monkey, a dog, a guinea pig for our benefit. We would find other ways to heal our wounds, heal our bodies. But the healing of the mind is something totally different. That healing gradually takes place if you are with nature, with that orange on the tree, and the blade of grass that pushes through the cement, and the hills covered, hidden, by the clouds.”
Krishnamurti to Himself, pg. 10

Surely, we can begin to discover what is our relationship to things. It is based on greed, is it not? But when does need become greed? Is it not greed when thought, perceiving its own emptiness, its own worthlessness, proceeds to invest things with an importance greater than their own intrinsic worth and thereby creates a dependence on them? This dependence may produce a sort of social cohesion, but in it there is always conflict, pain, disintegration. We must make our thought process clear, and we can do this if in our daily life we become aware of this greed, with its appalling results.
The Collected Works, Vol. 3, pg. 147

Next we look into the relationship between individual and society. While ultimately society is the organized outcome of our relationships with others, it is one of the major factors shaping our existence and understanding this relationship is fundamental:

“Society is made up, put together for the convenience of man; it has no independent mechanism of its own. Men may capture society, guide it, shape it, tyrannize over it, depending upon their psychological states; but society is not the master of man. It may influence him, but man always breaks it down. There is conflict between man and society because man is in conflict with himself; and the conflict is between that which is static and that which is living. Society is the outward expression of man. The conflict between himself and society is the conflict within himself. This conflict, within and without, will ever exist until the highest intelligence is awakened.”
Commentaries on Living, First Series, pg. 46-47

In the last two session we will be looking more closely at our interpersonal relationships:

“In relationship, the primary cause of friction is oneself, the self that is the center of unified craving. If we can but realize that it is not how another acts that is of primary importance, but how each one of us acts and reacts and if that reaction and action can be fundamentally, deeply understood, then relationship will undergo a deep and radical change.”
The Collected Works, Vol. 3, pg. 160

We will be taking a look at loneliness, which is the absence of relationship, and at such factors as attachment that bring such loneliness about and deny the true meaning of relationship, which is love:

“How few of us are generous, forgiving, merciful! You are generous when it pays you, you are merciful when you can see something in return. When these things disappear, when these things don’t occupy your mind and when the things of the mind don’t fill your heart, then there is love; and love alone can transform the present madness and insanity of the world – not systems, not theories, either of the left or of the right. You really love only when you do not possess, when you are not envious, not greedy, when you are respectful, when you have mercy and compassion, when you have consideration for your wife, your children, your neighbor, your unfortunate servants.”
The First and Last Freedom, pg. 234

Relationship is the way of our life and therefore the quality of our life is the same as the quality of our relationships. Relationship is also the mirror in which we can see ourselves, which gives it an added significance in the journey of self-discovery. Ultimately it is this self-knowledge that clears the way for right relationship, as we become aware of the dangerous patterns of our endemic egocentric approach to nature, things, people and ideas. While we all might agree that the essence of relationship is love, we would have to admit that love is hard to find. K’s approach is to examine such things as pleasure, desire and attachment that we take to be aspects of love. In his examination he discovers that they are not love, for they lead to usage, possessiveness and conflict. It is in the negation of such factors that love may come into being.

You be well, amigos, and keep looking into this vast and penetrating mirror,


[1] For more information please visit:

Photos: J. Gómez Rodríguez: 1. The Eiger at Dawn, Mürren; 2. Paraglider, Mürren.

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