If you could write K's teaching on a T-shirt

If you could write K’s teaching on a T-shirt, what would it be?*

This is just an exercise in summing up for people what they think is the essence of K’s teaching. There is a thread on this general topic from a year ago, but it is limited to the Sunday dialogue group, and I don’t know how to change the setting (to make it a public discussion).

The longer summary given then (which is far too longwinded to put on a t-shirt!) was:

Psychological time and thought has created the common consciousness of human beings (with its contents of nationalism, belief, pleasure, desire, hurt, envy, anger, greed, fear and suffering - together with the self-image: the self or ego or observer).

The self, the me, the observer, is not actually separate from the contents of consciousness - the appearance or feeling that it is separate, is an illusion.

And so the only important thing for a human being is to step out of this stream of human consciousness, completely: to end time (which is becoming) and thought (which is based on memory) - which can only be done through seeing, through choiceless awareness of the contents of consciousness, through observation without an observer (which is attention), and then insight.

A participant called Carl offered the following alternative (and much more poetic) summary:

There are two seeds in the teachings, one: for god’s sake look at who you are, and two: you don’t know what you are missing.

K gave us two packets , one labeled self and the other love. He said if you plant them in the right soil and nourish them they will grow and flower. You’ll then see what they actually look like, without having to shoot arrows in the night at an imaginary target.

If you plant them in your gut, care for them with your heart, and not let your mind deny their existence, then who knows what might come to be.

But these are longish explanations, and what would be interesting is to think about what might summarise K’s teachings in a single sentence (that could fit on a t-shirt!).

Examples might include:

  • You are the world and the world is you
  • When the self is not, beauty is
  • With the ending of sorrow comes passion

*This is a relatively playful question (because it’s impossible to do justice to K’s teaching in half a sentence or so), so I would invite participants to take it in that spirit.

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If a summary of the whole teaching in a single sentence is too ambitious, then perhaps people can offer a short sentence that sums up a key element or aspect of K’s teaching (for them).

Do not follow anyone. There is no psychological authority. Be free.

If I had a shirt made, I would put those three phrases on it, they speak to me, summing up Krishnamurtis teachings in a brief nutshell.

edit: adding that this question from the other thread “What is the essence of K’s teaching?” makes you stop and pause, if you had to explain Krishnamurtis teachings to someone unfamiliar with him, not knowing anything about him or what he said, how would you sum it up. It is not easy to distill his teachings to make it comprehensible to others I feel. At least for me it is not easy


The journey never ends.

Here are a few more:

Dont make an image of me, and I wont make an image of you.

Wherever there is division, there will be conflict, it is a law.

Freedom is at the beginning, not at the end.

Thought is always limited.

Enerjurni, fearless adventure within.

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Those are three nutshells. How much time do you want someone staring at your chest to read your message?

I’m surprised no one has mentioned K’s best one liner - maybe we’ve heard it too much, but it’d be great on a T-shirt.

I’m not sure mine would sell very well : I am sorrow.

“Freedom is at the beginning” (by David above) is an important T-shirt, or “Freedom is the first step”.

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I’m so bored with people talking about their “journey” that my T-shirt message would be, “There is no journey”.

For a T-shirt the best K-quote would be “the observer is the observed” because when you’re staring at someone’s chest you know you’re being rude.

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Just look and observe, dont think about it.

I’ve decided to start a business screening Krishnamurti tee-shirts called KrishnamurTees. The first shirt will say:

“Anonymity is Greatness”
…J. Krishnamurti

I think K himself has summarised it well. “Attention.” It’s all about attention. It starts with attention, ends with attention. ( If at all there is an end)


Regarding to Krishnamurti, I don´t think it can be spoken of teachings. He just showed us what we really are in contrast to what we think that we are or believe we are without ever having questioned it, and he does it through enquiry in order we to “see”, not to understand the way we use to do it or to reach a conclusion that can be used as a static grounding from which we can start to act. The key is attention as a doing that doesn´t involves a doer, just like seeing, hearing and so on and on which is what he meant by listening. “Just listen, sirs”. The new is always present and it is present from the very beginning yet, we insist not only in coming back to the old but also in bringing the new to our field, the field of the old. It will never work. Good luck with the T-shirt business.

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Welcome to this forum Anonymity!

My t-shirt suggestions are:

  1. The new is unfolding now if you have the eyes to see it.

  2. My dad went to Brockwood Park and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.


This would be mine suggestion:

Always clean your thinking tool from any past.

Thank you Sean. Greetings to everyone.

Yes, unless one sees by oneself, that´s all one gets: a lousy whatever.

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And if i may add, not just any lousy whatever but the kind without a backbone.

Enjoyed your response to lousiness, Anonymity.

Hello Vikas. I have no idea what you are talking about here. Krishnamurti had no backbone??

No tengo ni idea qué quieres decir. Parece qué estas enfadada/o, verdad?