Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986) was a philosopher, writer and lecturer. As a young boy in India, Krishnamurti was groomed by the Theosophical Society for 20 years to be the ‘World Teacher’, a spiritual saviour they believed appeared on Earth periodically to propel humankind to a higher evolutionary stage. A special organisation, the Order of the Star, was formed to herald the ‘arrival’ of Krishnamurti as World Teacher. Little did they know that Krishnamurti had no intentions of being a messiah, and in a famous speech in 1929, Krishnamurti told everyone ‘thanks, but no thanks’ and disbanded the Order of the Star, cut all allegiances with the Theosophical society and spent the next 50-plus years travelling the world, writing and lecturing.

I became aware of Krishnamurti during my ‘Bruce Lee obsession’ years. Lee was a huge admirer of Krishnamurti and he borrowed a lot of Krishnamurti’s teachings and applied them directly to his martial arts philosophy (here’s a video clip about Lee and Krishnamurti). When I discovered this, I bought a few of Krishnamurti’s books to read for myself and I have to admit, they were not easy to absorb and a lot of it went over my head. Even though most of the books left me confused, the core of Krishnamurti’s teachings can be understood in his famous 1929 speech Truth is a Pathless Land (delivered when he disbanded the Order of the Star), and also in this quote from his book Freedom From the Known: “That is the first thing to learn — not to seek. When you seek you are really only window-shopping. The question of whether or not there is a God or truth or reality, or whatever you like to call it, can never be answered by books, by priests, philosophers or saviours. Nobody and nothing can answer the question but you yourself and that is why you must know yourself. Immaturity lies only in total ignorance of self. To understand yourself is the beginning of wisdom.”

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Thanks to Shankar for submitting this quote.