What is The Book of Yourself course?
The Book of Yourself Course is an extensive exploration of the core aspects of our human condition. This exploration is based on the perception that as human beings we embody the universal history of mankind and that it is through understanding this history, this conditioning, that we may bring about a profound transformation in our consciousness and in the world.
We undertake this journey by looking into the mirror of Krishnamurti’s teachings, where our shared human predicament is reflected with the utmost compassion and insight. Krishnamurti’s teachings are a careful reading of the book of humanity whose central narrative is the story of our lives. In K’s own words:
“To learn from books is important, but what is far more important is to learn from the book of the story of yourself, because you are all mankind. To read that book is the art of learning. It is all there – the institutions, their pressures, the religious impositions and doctrines, their cruelty, their faiths. The social structure of all societies is the relationship between human beings with their greed, their ambitions, their violence, their pleasures, their anxieties. It is there if you know how to look. The book is not out there or hidden in yourself; it is all around you; you are part of that book. The book tells you the story of the human being, and it is to be read in your relationships, in your reactions, in your concepts and values. The book is the very centre of your being, and the learning is to read that book with exquisite care. The book tells you the story of the past, how the past shapes your mind, your heart and your senses. The past shapes the present, modifying itself according to the challenge of the moment. And in this endless movement of time human beings are caught. This is the conditioning of man. This conditioning has been the endless burden of man, of you and your brother.”
Letter 25, 01.09.1979: ‘Learn from the book of the story of yourself’
The Whole Movement of Life is Learning, pp. 98-99
This course takes up K’s metaphor of reading the book of humanity that is embodied in each one of us. After a brief introduction to his life and teachings, we join him in reading our book chapter by chapter. This reading requires sensitivity, knowing how to look, for that is the way of learning. This sensitivity then reveals that the time is out of joint and that the chaos in the outer world mirrors our inner contradiction and disorder. This awareness of inward disorder awakens the need for self-knowledge. Our thoughts, fears and desires are part of the ebb and flow of the tidal movement of consciousness as action and reaction in relationship. Such relationship not only reflects our own personal idiosyncratic personalities but the repeating patterns of the universal stream of consciousness. These structural patterns are the crystallization of experience and time that condition our existence. The awareness that this conditioning is our common lot makes for a universal and compassionate brotherhood of humanity. This is part of the art of living, art being to put everything in its right place. This art implies the dissolution of the inner and outer factors of division and conflict and the emergence of a harmonious quality of living out of the ashes of time.
The Book of Yourself Course presents us with a global perspective on our human condition, takes us on a journey of exploration through our common consciousness and opens up a far-reaching potential for fundamental transformation, wholeness and freedom in the field of our daily lives.
The intent of the course is to take Krishnamurti’s teachings as a mirror in which our humanity is compassionately and insightfully reflected in an attempt to see and understand ourselves and thereby become fully responsible for our lives.