Dead K Society

Ok. I have often wondered whether there could be a ‘safe space’ (not the political kind of ‘safe space’ people talk about elsewhere, although it should also be a safe space for all), by which I mean an open, liberal space, for people to share anything they like about Krishnamurti: questions, clarifications, observations, epiphanies, complaints, doubts, gripes, etc. In short, a place for K nerds but not for K police, not for people who “know”, and not for people who just want to troll, throw mud or be cynical.

If anyone has seen the film Dead Poet’s Society one will know that it is about a group of students at a strict boarding school who decide to meet sometimes outside the school grounds, usually at night, so that they can read and discuss poetry together. By doing this they risk the ire of the professors and teachers, the parents and authorities - but they do so because for them poetry is about life, not about obeying rules or living in accordance with other people’s expectations.

Similarly, this thread is for people who find value in K’s teachings, but who reject authority, refuse to be policed by people who think they “know”, and who just want to kick back and talk about K stuff in as leisurely or serious a way as they feel like doing.

This is not a space for parents or teachers - though people can share anything they wish. It is not a space for people to say things like “what you are doing is dangerous, you shouldn’t be talking like that”, or “K said you shouldn’t do this that or the other”. People are free to be intellectual or non-intellectual, mystical or down-to-earth, sentimental or rigorous, affectionate or sly. Some in-house policing may be necessary if people do not respect the spirit of the thread, but otherwise we ask the police to keep their distance.

Similarly, this is not a space for critics or naysayers, for people who have no interest in K but just want to lob some mud, to troll, to say “how boring, I feel sleepy reading these comments”, or “K was completely deluded, a fraud, a charlatan”, etc. Such people can set up their own threads and follow the beat of their own drum.

So this thread is for the young at heart. It can be irreverent and cheerful, but also existential and bleak. There are amazing things going on around us, new discoveries about space, new cultural phenomena that challenges and changes our thinking, new music, new generations with their own questions. And yet climate change is real, people are violent, the voting publics around the world are largely misinformed, nature is being decimated - the world is heading in increasingly nihilistic directions. What K said is relevant to all these things - or is it? (that’s what we can talk about here).

So K’s teachings are like a landscape rather than a single geographic feature: it contains mountains and hills, valleys and rivers, woodland and pasture - it is both the whole of it and each distinct part of the landscape. We are free to touch on any aspect of this.

We can also be tangential - K talked about computers, we can talk about computers (within sensible limits); K talked about genetic engineering, we can talk about genetic engineering (within reasonable limits). K also talked about love, relationship, sex, friendship, nature, beauty. If people want to share their observations of nature, their awareness of the natural world, they are free to do so. The limits are merely set by how relevant any tangents are to what K talked about - which K nerds will be aware of - so we only need to use our common sense (to repeat, trolls or naysayers are not welcome here, so please stay away if you identify with being a troll).

Carpe diem!


Think of it as a book club. We have each read a little bit of K, and we can share any questions, doubts, or observations we have about what we’ve read. But sometimes in talking we naturally begin to talk about other aspects of life - politics, social life, science, art, personal stuff. This thread ought to be inclusive of all this.

It is not the right place for meditation teachers who have solved all life’s problems and think they “know”. There is no spiritual authority here. :slightly_smiling_face:

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“Consciousness” is one of the words that K uses in a highly unusual way.

People in the neo-advaita and non-dual world often use the word “consciousness” to mean awareness or attention, or some spiritual kind of energy that everything is made of.

But, for K, consciousness means suffering, fear, hurt, desire, pleasure, loneliness, belief, nationalism - basically all psychological thought (which includes emotion), all psychological conditioning. Consciousness is its contents, as K says.

Any attempts to get out of consciousness or to distance oneself from its contents are also part of consciousness. It’s like a fly that has landed on sticky treacle - anyway it turns only increases its stickiness. (note: please liberate insects from any preserves and confiture they may have fallen into!)

Generally consciousness means human consciousness - but in a discussion with Pupul Jayakar K also talks about the contents of consciousness including the suffering of animals (something he doesn’t repeat elsewhere).

For K consciousness is what is primary, not our feeling of individuality. So he sometimes says that the consciousness of the world is one single unitary consciousness. The person in China suffers, the person in America suffers, the person in England or Russia suffers, so suffering is common.

Consciousness is also extremely old. Each person inherits the entire consciousness of the past in some way - the contents and experiences of the entire race, of our ancestors, of previous human beings who are long dead. In some sense, these experiences of our dead ancestors are our own experiences, even though we were not personally responsible for having them.

K often asked the question: can consciousness be liberated or emptied of its content? When or if this happens, he said, consciousness is something completely different (love? intelligence? compassion?).

I thought it might also be nice to have a ‘book of the month’ sometimes.

Obviously, few of us have time to read whole books at one go, and we are not going to be sufficiently organised to actually operate like a book club here! But it might be interesting to be aware of some similar material that anyone can dip into and comment on.

K said to start with his last talks and work one’s way backwards, so I thought to start with the book Last Talks at Saanen, 1985 (it’s not his last series of talks of course, but it is nearest enough to it). I haven’t read it through yet, but I might post from it from time to time - anyone is welcome to share their thoughts about it too.

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I wonder if this misspelling is a Freudian slip.

I wander in this “open, liberal space for people to share anything they like about Krishnamurti: questions, clarifications, observations, epiphanies, complaints, doubts, gripes, etc.; a place for K nerds but not for K police”, and I’m of the opinion that those “who “know”, and want to troll, throw mud or be cynical”, should be banished.

Oops, how annoying to begin with a spelling mistake! - But if you can take it to mean an invitation to inhabit an “open, liberal space”, then maybe I can let it stand.

To wonder and to wander are (imo) very much correlated states - a wandering stroll being conducive to wondering at the beauty and strangeness of the world - and so perhaps equally communicate the atmosphere I would wish to be present here…

But spelling mistakes are so annoying! (I may amend it if it gets too annoying).

The other book I thought to look at a little is Where Can Peace Be Found?, a series of selected talks from 1983 which was edited by the late Ray McCoy (a lovely old Canadian gentleman who I knew at Brockwood).

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Yes, little mistakes are annoying reminders of how much more fallible I am than I thought, but I’d rather make a lot of annoying little mistakes than a few costly big mistakes.

I love the idea James, thanks for setting up this thread. I even love the name “Dead K Society.”

I have lots of things I would like to discuss over in a safe, friendly space like this, like about listening, authority, nature, etc. I will go slowly and patiently in discussing some of these things.

You started the ball rolling bringing up about “Consciousness.” Yes, some of us are conditioned by Neo Advaita and the non-dual world, we tend to think of Consciousness as the energy that everything is made of or the background of all that is. But as you rightly pointed out, Krishnamurti has a very different meaning of this word.

What you shared about Consciousness I find personally very helpful. I am not as intellectually oriented as some here and have not studied K’s teachings in any systematic manner or precisely. So when I read things like K talking about Consciousness, I did listen, pay attention, but I never really knew exactly what he was talking about. There was some vague, limited understanding, but very little and not very deep or precise. You have a great knack of exploring some of these topics in great depth, nuance, and detail. So I am learning as I read along with what you are exploring.

I will say this about topics like Consciousness, as K meant it, for most of us these topics are very theoretical and abstract for us. We havent really been able to do what K says is possible. I could be wrong, but I feel it is mostly on a theoretical level for us and most of us have not emptied ourselves of all content as K suggests is possible. So none of us or few of us are talking from first hand experience, from direct experience and knowing. So I see nothing wrong with discussing these kind of topics and I personally think it is helpful to explore them, even intellectually at first, some intellectual understanding but we always have to keep in mind and remember that until we actually are able to live it, we really dont know.


“Dead K society”!

The above is a sarcastic statement that springs from anger and violence . There is no love or understanding in it. Falsehood supports only further falsehood.

Having a thorough and accurate understanding of K’s teaching does not mean knowing or believing it’s an accurate map of the territory it describes, but that one is inquiring into whether it may be.

Unlike organized religion where one believes arbitrarily in holy scripture, in the Dead K Society, the teachings are just words until/unless they serve their stated purpose by awakening one to what they refer to.

Illusions lead to further illusions.

Examiner, I think James’ opening post was very clear and I really don’t think there will be anything to interest you on this thread. I have known people who go to a bar, complain loudly about it, yet keep going back there. Surely there are more positive ways to spend one’s time.


James may be clear to you but “dead K society” is rubbish no matter who says that.


Ok, you’ve made your point. Let’s leave it there.

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+1 Rack 'em! :slight_smile:

Just to re-iterate or underline it: playfulness and cheekiness are welcome here, and throwing good-taste tomatoes is also acceptable (none of us should feel above being teased occasionally, as long as it is not done in a malicious spirit or with intent to cause harm). And if we want to be poe-faced and deadly serious (like all young people can be) that is also welcome. Life demands lightheartedness and gravity in equal measure.

Yes. The quality of the lives we lead is more important than the highest articulation of truth.

I like your enthusiasm and ideas. However, these books, most of them, are just edited versions of Ks talks. So no offense to K, but some of it can be a little tedious and repetitive and dry, hard to get through. Most books in book clubs are not just edited talks :slight_smile:

The books I liked were the ones where K had these short, one on one talks with some poor lost soul - a mother whose son had died, a guy feeling the worse for wear after years of meditating under a tree etc

You’ve jumped to this conclusion with more than your usual lassitude, and that’s good news for members of the Dead K Society.