Having finished U.G. Krishnamurit's "Mind is a Myth," I haven't changed my initial impression of this anti-guru. As I said in my first post about U.G., he's intriguing, irritating, and inspirational.
U.G. urges people to make up their own minds. He sees humanity as being bound by conditioning and an excessive preoccupation with thoughts. We trust what others have said in the past even if it conflicts with our own immediate knowing.
I like his emphasis on uniqueness.
Naturally there's a place for teachers, experts, guides. But something real has to exist that we can be taught about or guided toward.
U.G. sees ideals -- God, spirit, enlightenment, salvation, ultimate truth, the Good, limitless love -- as being fabrications of human thought. At an early age they're presented to us by our culture as things to be striven for.
And usually we keep on trying to attain our ideal until the day we die. This applies even if we're trying to become free of goals, like a diligent Buddhist who sets out to alter his consciousness so he always lives in the mindful present moment.
U.G. says in response to a questioner:
People are looking for enlightenment. You say you are not, but it is the same. Whether you want a new car or simple peace of mind, it is still a painful search. The secular leaders tell you one way, the holy men another way.
It makes no difference, as long as you're searching for peace of mind you will have a tormented mind. If you try not to search, or if you continue to search, you will remain the same.
You have to stop. You don't stop searching because such an act would be the end of you.
You are lost in a jungle, and you have no way of finding your way out. Night is fast approaching, the wild animals are there, including the cobras, and still you are lost. What do you do in such a situation? You just stop. You don't move...
In the early 1990s I had an Apple computer on which I played a pinball game, Loony Labyrinth. I played it a lot. I was addicted to it.
My wife was almost driven crazy by the Loony Labyrinth theme music, especially after I became proficient at making my way through the levels of the game. I could easily play a single game for half an hour.
Eventually I became disturbed by how much time Loony Labyrinth was taking out of my day. I tried to stop playing. But I couldn't. I'd manage a day or two of going pinball cold turkey, but soon I'd be feeding my addiction again.
I entered the Loony Labyrinth sweet spot, the zone, pinball nirvana. The game began normally. Then I reached levels of Loony Labyrinth'ness never attained before. I couldn't make a mistake. Extra balls and higher levels kept popping up without end.
I think I reached a billion points before the last ball was lost and ecstatic congratulations appeared on my computer monitor. Along with "Play again?"
No thank you. I had zero interest in Loony Labyrinth. My addiction to the game had instantly dropped away without any effort on my part. I never played it again.
Reading U.G.'s "Mind is a Myth" reminded me of how I bounced back and forth between desiring to play Loony Labyrinth, and desiring not to play Loony Labyrinth, until that spontaneous unforced moment came when I simply wasn't interested in Loony Labyrinth.
You must find your basic question. My basic question was: "Is there anything behind the abstractions the holy men are throwing at me? Is there really anything like enlightenment or self-realization?" I didn't want it. I just had this question.
So naturally I had to experiment. I tried so many things, this, that and the other. For a while. Then you find out one day that there is nothing to find out at all! You reject them completely and totally. This rejection is not a movement of thought at all, not a superficial denial. It is not done to attain or achieve something.
I've experienced that sort of who cares? clarity now and then. Sometimes life seems so simple, so fine just the way it is, yet also so mysterious, so impossible to comprehend. I grok that there's no answer to life's biggest spiritual, religious, and philosophical questions -- because there's no way to form a cogent query.
And a little while later I order another spiritual, religious, or philosophical book from Amazon -- because searching for answers to unanswerable questions is just so darn much fun.
I can relate to U.G. Krishnamurti. But I'm not him. Like U.G. says, each of us is unique. We have to find our own way, or non-way, by ourselves.
Still, my Loony Labyrinth experience causes me to feel that I understand, in some small sense, what U.G. is getting at.
What seems to have happened to me is not that my hunger has been satisfied, either with breadcrumbs or the whole loaf of bread, but that the hunger found no satisfactory answer and burned itself out.
All these thirst-quenchers haven't helped to quench my thirst. But somehow in my case the thirst burnt itself out.
...After that there were no more questions. The thirst burnt itself out without ever satisfying itself. Not the answers, but the ending of questions, is the important thing.