The core of the teaching

What do you personally think the core of K’s teaching is?
Please share.

“When you are a light to yourself you are a light to the world, because the world is you, and you are the world. I wonder if you see that!” Public Talk 7 Saanen, Switzerland - 25 July 1976

Its about understanding what we are.

And I reckon its because suffering is such a powerful process that it must be addressed and cared for.
(and it is sentience and its suffering that provides us with the opportunity to do so)

nb. so its about responsibility

Below is part of the extract of The core of the teachings as written by Krishnamurti.

Freedom is not a reaction; freedom is not choice. It is man’s pretence that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation without direction, without fear of punishment and reward. Freedom is without motive; freedom is not at the end of the evolution of man but lies in the first step of his existence. In observation one begins to discover the lack of freedom. Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence and activity.

Thought is time. Thought is born of experience and knowledge, which are inseparable from time and the past. Time is the psychological enemy of man. Our action is based on knowledge and therefore time, so man is always a slave to the past. Thought is ever limited and so we live in constant conflict and struggle. There is no psychological evolution. When man becomes aware of the movement of his own thoughts, he will see the division between the thinker and thought, the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experience. He will discover that this division is an illusion. Then only is there pure observation which is insight without any shadow of the past or of time. This timeless insight brings about a deep, radical mutation in the mind.

Total negation is the essence of the positive. When there is negation of all those things that thought has brought about psychologically, only then is there love, which is compassion and intelligence.



Objectively there are no teachings, it’s more accurate to speak of aphorisms. Maybe the one that stands out is that as human beings we share the same consciousness, whether we’re Hindu,Christian, or Muslim.

What are some of “those things that thought has brought about psychologically “?

Is one the ‘self’ with its ‘me and mine’?
Is another, me as thinker, experiencer, me as observer?

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Maybe in substance it’s no different, but what I take K to mean here by

are the contents of consciousness: fear, pleasure, desire, sorrow.

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Yes ‘negation’ of those is necessary. How are they negated? Awareness of their presence?

I think so. K says elsewhere through seeing, direct seeing.

He also often mentioned that true meditation is the emptying of the contents.

They can’t be negated if they aren’t seen. So ‘true meditation’ is negating that which ‘disturbs’ the silence of a quiet mind?

There is no choice involved in the negation, so I interpret it to be all psychological thought.

Then what is physical and psychological thought. Physical thought comes from silence. Seeing is doing. Seeing or perception or listening is silence unrelated to thought.

If you wake up after a restful sleep, mind is at rest, peaceful, quiet, silent and you are able to listen much more, so listening is silence which is not thought.

Thought for physical action comes from silence, there is no me in it. Someone asks where is post office and you immediately answer. There is no becoming involved. You just answer. That comes from silent mind, not self, not becoming.

Actually as thought does not know silence, it is all psychological thought. Thought cleverly has idea of physical thought or awareness but it does not know either of them. Thought is basically unaware, basically not silent. Silence being completed unrelated to thought.

It seems to me that the core of the teachings is having insight. We do distort insight through having wrong diet and misusing the body to achieve an end.

I actually feel, if we listen to K, change happens in that listening. The issue is we don’t just listen without thought, but interpret. Listening to K might help in the inquiry. We can directly know the state of mind that listens without interference, not afterwards.

K would say change happens in the moment, not after you have left the tent in which he was speaking and interpret him later.

I have a feeling most are not interested in listening to him. To discuss, create ideas, write new interpretations happens, rather than just listen to K.

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What do you mean by “physical thought”?

No one’s ever used this term…not even Krishnamurti.

Thought isn’t clever - it’s mechanical. The cleverness you refer to is a product of motive and intention. Thought is just the means by which it is articulated and expressed.

Practical thought is necessary and psychological thought is the problem, but the two are fused, entangled, so our thinking is incoherent and we are confused.

Practical thought can acknowledge that psychological thought is unnecessary and dangerous, but for the brain to empty itself of this content, there would seem to be more involved than acknowledging the practical necessity of it.

Generally I have seen in discussions in K groups in India this term being used. The argument is that thought is required to write a letter, to tell your name, to buy a ticket. That they call physical thought.

They probably meant “Practical thought” - as in thought that is useful and necessary for doing stuff in everyday life.

Physical thought could be considered the opposite of psychological/mental - but I don’t think its an expression that K used. Its a weird concept (physical thought) thought isn’t usually considered physical.

Psychological thought seems to mean : judging ourselves, our feelings, how to improve my mental and emotional state and image in the world, imagining how to be a better me.

nb. if my definition is correct, this implies we are treading a very fine line on this forum (or more probably lost sight of that line completely and vigorously wading through t’muck)

Our brain is so conditioned that it is not able to see the ‘whole’.
Why not jump into the detail, it might cause an insight ( which means literally: sthg coming in sight).
And … this is not merely a pun.

With K, everything he says is context dependent. He can use the same word in a different context to mean something different. So one has to be nuanced when using words like meditation, silence, etc.

In the context of the extract above (‘the core of the teachings’), the process of negating (what is involved in it) is not spelled out.

Does it take place from a place of absolute silence? He doesn’t say this. In the previous sentence he mentioned the factor of insight which brings about a mutation in the mind - so probably in talking about negation here he is just spelling out what that mutation involves. The negating takes place through insight.

But elsewhere K talks about meditation as a process of emptying the mind of its contents (i.e. of fear, pleasure, suffering, loneliness, beliefs, etc).

When K talks about silence it is usually implied that the mind is already empty, free from any content. This is why in his public talks he mentions silence right at the end of the series (the bulk of which are spent carefully exploring in detail the nature of thought, the images we have in relationship, and the various contents of consciousness). Only after all that does he touch on meditation, the religious mind, silence.

So I’m not sure your phrasing is right here? Nothing can disturb the silence of a quiet mind, because silence implies the non-existence of thought (as Adeen has been saying).

Imagine some Buddha (ie. enlightened being, someone transformed by insight into the nature of self), are they disturbed by any thoughts that might appear ?

Or if no thoughts ever appear for Buddhas, lets say semi-buddhas (ie; someone who has clearly seen the process of suffering and discrimination).