K used to ask this question often during his talks or questions & answer meetings.
It’s an important question and I want to try to explain why it is so important.
In the case of K talks people might go there to find guidance, to find a guru, expecting to receive something from him and so advancing spiritually, or attaining some kind of spiritual achievement.
One of the main features of the ego is that of always looking for gratification, for expansion, for attaining something which will make him or her feel better, more elevated or more important. People literally swarm to join famous and charismatic gurus just because they expect to have wonderful experiences.
But K was not dispensing gratification for our ego, nor he meant to help ego to attain so called spiritual advancement. What he meant was that of discovering the falseness of the ego, all the illusions upon which the ego lives and thrives, and show the way to be free of those illusions.
It’s a dangerous task that of pointing out to the ego its illusions. It will react immediately rejecting the attempt and sheltering even more in its illusions. There is a strong psychological resistance in us which has the function to protect ourselves from all the threats to our status quo. If one insists, as K did, the ego can really become violent and hysterical. If you have read the biography of K, you know how the leaders of the theosophical society reacted the moment K began to spread his message.
So, before one would start to listen to K or to participate to a Q&A meeting, it was important to be aware of the motives which brought him/her there. If one had the wrong motivation no real communication could happen. Actually, all motivations are wrong!
So there is a kind of paradox that takes place when we set ourselves to tackle K’s teachings, @nobody has described wonderfully this paradox in another thread:
“Ego is drawn to Krishnamurti because it thinks this Yoda-like man has all the right answers to all the Big Questions. Ego thinks: If I study this great man’s writings and talks, I too will have all the right answers. I will be more intelligent, powerful, spiritually evolved. Perhaps more beautiful too, a longer life, more love. A path to a higher form of happiness.
So ego jumps in and devotes its formidable intellectual intelligence to studying Krishnamurti’s teachings. (It thinks of them as teachings, even though Krishnamurti said he was not a teacher, because to think of them as teachings gives them more authority, and ego is hung up on authority.)
All goes well for a while, ego feels it is growing, swelling, becoming more evolved. (Of course it wouldn’t call itself ego, rather: higher self, true self, consciousness, something like that.) But at some point ego realizes that to take seriously the things Krishnamurti is talking about, the ego will have to give up its throne, relinquish its control. At first this is fine with ego, since it doesn’t think it is the one studying Krishnamurti, it thinks the true self is.
But … if ego is observant and honest and courageous enough, it discovers that IT is deeply involved in the Krishnamurti studying process, that it is not all the work of the true self (if such a thing exists). And this is where it gets really tricky for ego, for the I. Once it has had the insight that it is the one that has thrown itself into Krishnamurti, and that it has done this for typical ego reasons = its own pleasure and comfort, it stands before a kind of fork in the road. Does it continue to expand itself under the guise of devotion to spiritual teachings, or does it step back and look in the mirror. What makes it really tricky is that the former tends to feel good and the latter to feel painful.”
Quite interesting eh?
Now, do you see that this applies to this forum too?
The self brough us here apparently to try to understand better K and the self still continue to try to gratify and expand itself in the discussions. So we ought not to stop at the façades, and must not take for granted that we are here to do the work that K pointed out. The ego has the capacity to disguise itself in every cunning way. The most cunning and the nastier one is that of “I am a spiritual person” or “I have understood”.
But there is another important aspect which I want to expose. When we invest our energies to “spirituality” and it seems that we have attained some form of supposed understanding which makes us feel better or more comfortable or more powerful, we become a kind of monster. We have found our security in something which to us looks like a holy condition, and we stop observing, doubting, or being in touch with reality. We are locked in our golden castle and from there we become a danger for humanity. We have become what in the past was described as “creatures of the dark”. When the ego thinks it has God on its part, when it thinks to be in the “right field” it possesses an enormous energy, what K called the energy of conflict, and it becomes capable of any mischief and atrocity. Think of the tremendous energy and power of the nazi (Gott mit uns), and think of the tremendous energy and power of the talibans.
This concerns us all, we all can fall in the trap, we all can become monsters, creatures of the dark, unless we are aware of the deceits of spirituality, unless we ask ourselves: “why we are here?” and have the courage, honesty, sincerity to explore that question till the end of our illusions.
I’ve asked this question directly and brutally to a person here, in another thread. I had good motives to do that. He refused to answer. In answering to that question, his game, the game all the creatures of darkness like to play, would have been revealed, exposed. And of course he could not afford that, he could not afford to see the light, to let light enter into his refuge of darkness.
He is not the only creature of darkness here, there are quite a few. We must not blame him, them, because they are the mirror of ourselves, but if we are really serious in our work regarding K’s teaching, we should expose mercilessly these ego games both in ourselves and in all those who are making this forum a place to gratify themselves.