The Core of the Teachings :: Negation

This is the Negation teaching from Krishnamurti’s The Core of the Teachings. The full set is: Truth, Images, Freedom, Thought, Negation.

The Core of the Teachings :: Negation

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.

Let us get a sense of what Krishnamurti meant by ‘negation.’ Negation K-wise is not intellectual disagreement, refutation, suppression. It is full body-mind letting go, liberation, freedom. To negate the self is not to rationally disprove the realness of the self, rather to be free of the self.

What K meant by negation was, as he said, “negation of all those things that thought has brought about psychologically”. In other words, when the brain is aware of it’s psychological contend and the incoherence it causes, the brain rids itself of that content, thereby ridding itself of its self.

The self might be like an information virus of thought put from outside which affects the natural functioning of the brain.
We may not have been born with a sense of self, me or ego. The sense of thinker or self who decides might have been cultivated in us from outside. We might have been born without self but we were surrounded by people who were with strong sense of self, they believed in thinker as decider, they believed in division and cultivated the belief of existence of self or decider in us.
Once we accepted that belief in the existence of a decider, controller the false sense of self arose. It is like sharing of an illusion and then that illusion you feel exists.
What is then negation? Negation might be dispelling of illusion of self.

It is the same as identity. You were not born with a particular identity, but it was cultivated from outside, that you are Indian or American, Hindu, Christian or Muslim. Then that is considered as true.

Similarly existence of self was cultivated from outside. The illusion was propagated as conditioning. Thr illusion of self is still being propagated outside. No one says self does not exist. They are trying to strengthen your identity as belonging to a particular nation, religion, ideology.

Now we meet a person who says self is not real, thinker is not real, there is no decider, no thinker separate from thought. It is a cultivated illusion. So this might be like an anti virus that dispels the illusion of self.

If I think “x is bad”, our habitual relationship to our beliefs is a positive one : I believe that my beliefs are an exact reflection of an objective truth (ie that exists in my absence).
This is obviously a cognitive bias.

PS. Hello folks, hope you are well.

We are taught by dualism that the self is real. We are taught by nondualism that the self is unreal. Perhaps there is a middle ground in which the self is both unreal and real?

I was wondering if you’d ever swing by again. Welcome back!

1 Like

“I think that tastes, smells, colors etc. reside in consciousness. So if we disappear, all these qualities would be annihilated” Galileo Galilei

If these practical sensations can be negated by my absence, so too my beliefs about “inside/outside” and my beliefs about the existence and non existence of self

This is confusing because we don’t know what Galileo meant by “disappeared”. If he had said “died”, then obviously these things would be gone. So it makes more sense to talk about what happens when you cease to believe something you identify with.

For instance, If I’m a Christian and I realize (overnight, it seems) that I just can’t believe in the existence of God, I cease to be a conventional Christian, and I may even question whether Jesus was who the gospels say he was.

Beliefs are provisional. One can only believe what one can’t question or doubt until/unless one has good reason to do so. And since a belief is irrational to begin with, it’s as likely to be negated by evidence and reason as it is to be sustained by worship, ritual, fellowship, prayer, wishful thinking, and all the other things we do to hold our beliefs.

What is the ‘essence of the positive’ in this context? Love, compassion, intelligence. And when do these qualities manifest? When everything touched by psychological thought is negated, when there is freedom from all dependency on, attachment to p-thought (p-conditioning).

That’s the wisdom Krishnamurti offered to humanity, right? Negate (free yourself from) dependency on p-conditioning, and the positive (love, compassion, intelligence) will be able to flower.

1 Like

Krishnamurti spoke to the insecure brain that has chosen to escape insecurity through belief and hope, to question this choice by observing its operation.

He spoke also of how wonderful life is when the brain has complete security, is choicelessly aware, directly perceptive, selfless and empty, and perhaps he shouldn’t have. I don’t know. Maybe no one listens to what’s all stick and no carrot.


Advaita and other gradual traditions use carrots to guide seekers towards the truth, but at ‘higher’ levels the true nature of the carrots reveals itself, and eventually there is no need for carrots. It’s working with rather than against the brain’s inability to process too much newness too quickly.

Interesting notion, but it seems too manipulative for an honest person. If the truth doesn’t speak for itself and must be sold, peddled, ballyhooed, it’s just another commodity.

It’s working with rather than against the brain’s inability to process too much newness too quickly.

Again, provide an example because I can’t think of one.

My understanding is the student is shown as much as they can fathom and tolerate at that point within their evolution. It’s like finding the right words to use for a person based on their mother tongue, training, and personal history. It’s a tough task, demands a good teacher.

It’s working with rather than against the brain’s inability to process too much newness too quickly.

Again, provide an example because I can’t think of one.

Krishnamurti and Bohm explored the possibility of a fundamental ground or source in the Ending of Time dialogues. It’s heady and ‘advanced’ inquiry. Ask a beginner to work through it and I’d guess there is good chance they would either misunderstand it, get scared off by it, or not have a clue what to do with it. Too new, too fast.