I have, for the past several months, sat down to write something and just ended up sitting there! Not very useful when you are trying to say something!
During this time, I “stumbled” across the name U.G. Krishnamurti (no relation to J. Krishnamurti, except, in some ways, philosophically.) The stumbling, of course, was incredibly coincidental and deviously timely, as, I have found in my life, everything is. Indeed, I am certain that nothing is “only” coincidental; indeed, everything is timely, perfectly arranged, and orderly in the progress of consciousness toward its own revelation of its own creative power. Actually, I am convinced that, by virtue of this creative power, one’s life is slowly unfolded according to one’s tendencies and conditioning and beliefs, which, of course, depending upon one’s aspiration, change with the progress of time, thus automatically manifesting according to that change. So, from that perspective, everything is pre-determined and sweetly individual! So there, I still have something to say after all.
Anyway, this gentleman fell in my lap, with such intensity and such urgency that it could not be ignored. The actual process by which this happened was exquisitely arranged and, from one perspective, the glamorous one, eerily miraculous. Suffice it to say, it was time that I discovered him and struggled with what remains of my own spiritual consolations, indulgences and prejudices.
This man, standing on the shoulders of such giants as Sri Nisargadatta, J. Krishnamurti, and Ramana Maharshi, all of whom he encountered in his own lifetime, effectively hammers the last nail into the coffin of ego-centricity and the amorous, and incestuous, affair between mind and personality and spirit. He is a tough fellow to swallow all at once; indeed, he is, to those of us unprepared or unready to encounter him, terrifying. And, what is most disturbing, and yet most convincing, is that he carries so little glamour, so little specialness, that for those of us in search of both of those aspects of personality, as most of us are, he is, if not repelling, then simply ordinary, and thus easily dismissed. (This of course is a kind of fail-safe device; one for which, no doubt, he is grateful.) And yet, from where I stand, I have to admit he is the clearest and most obviously correct interpreter of the spiritual search and all that it entails, and all that it does not entail, that I have encountered. To substantiate his claims, what there are of them (he would probably deny there are any!), he has all the credentials, all the signs, indeed, all the “glamour” in his past, that is needed to undermine our doubt of his legitimacy, to tear apart our fear that his stand generates, to convince us that we ought to listen to him, that he may have something important to say.
Of course, the end result of immersing oneself in his “teachings”, what there are of them, is that you come away with nothing to say, no conclusions being reached, no anticipation of future results or happiness from learning what he has to teach, nor any additional knowledge with which one can control one’s universe or life. And yet, the paradox of all of this is that, by realizing this, one becomes supremely comfortable with what IS as well as what SHALL be, and thus, contented and at peace. And, more than likely, one’s universe will increasingly reflect that, and thus, be benign and more controllable. He undoubtedly would sneer at that last statement; and rightly so! But, then, one’s old habits are hard to break. He, also, would deny that he has anything to do with this result; and of course, he hasn’t! Yet, the face that shines forth with U.G. Krishnamurti as its name, the expression of consciousness within that vessel, all served to remind me that I too am that consciousness, with my own name and face stamped on it for a fleeting moment in time, and for that gift, I am eternally grateful to U.G.
Of course, with this said, I reserve the right to indulge myself and persist in hope!
Editor’s Note: A search of U.G.’s name on the web elicits numerous responses. Among the best is http://www.well.com/user/jct/, where, in addition to information about him, you will find U.G.’s books, free for the download. Also, we have a talk by U.G. at TZF’s feature, Ampers&nd.
These are extended excerpts from a message written in response to the following inquiry: “It seems like everything I’ve read about achieving a goal says you have to fix your goal in your mind, visualize success, never give up, see past the obstacles, trust God, trust life, trust yourself …. But how do you know if you just need to keep striving and not give up, or if you’re really on the wrong path?” Naturally, all personal references have been removed.
You ask one of the most difficult and most important questions in life, in all walks of life, not just the spiritual walk. Indeed, if one had a quick, easy response to that question, an answer that always worked, one would have the key to all worldly success and happiness.
I can speak only from a spiritual standpoint, and of course, from that standpoint, there is a key, but it is not always easy or quick, unfortunately! And perhaps some of its lessons can be applied to more worldly endeavors. After all, as above, so below, and of course, vice versa (there being only the One!).
In my own personal experience, I have found that the more I resist whatever is occurring in my life, be it good, bad or indifferent (of course, we seldom resist the good parts!), to the extent that I resist, to that extent I suffer. Consequently, I have discovered that one of the keys to happiness is the capacity to surrender to change, to whatever is occurring in my life at any moment in time. In other words, it is not the event that causes us suffering, but our REACTION to the event.
And normally, it seems to be that change of any kind is the trigger to resistance ’ even good change. And sometimes, change may appear on its surface to be bad, when indeed it is the forerunner of greater and more wonderful change down the road. Indeed, we often react to a change without consideration of its implications for us down the road ’ we simply knee jerk ourselves into resisting ANY change from the status quo. That’s of course why many of us remain in even difficult or bad situations; primarily because the idea of change is so terrifying to us that we prefer the status quo, even though it may be harmful or less than desirable for us. In other words, our minds prefer what is known, no matter what that known entails, rather than risk the unknown that change brings with it. The reason our minds do this, of course, is that our minds’ very existence and identity depend upon consistency, and thus, we strive to maintain that consistency in order to maintain a semblance of continuity that we then call “me”.
With this in mind, sometimes the “new age” teachings of visualizing, having faith in the outcome, using thought to try to control or mold the outcome, etc, can obstruct and indeed delay the ultimate beneficial outcome of our lives. (I have found this to be particularly true in the life of a spiritual seeker, since the very process of spiritual growth implies radical change). There is much truth in the concept that an empty vessel is the only kind that can be filled. In other words, rather than ask yourself when you should give up, or if you should give up, or if you should hang on, the question to ask yourself might be “Am I able and willing to let my entire life follow its own direction and pattern, without my control and direction, EXCEPT to lay it at the feet of God and God’s Grace, right now?” In my own life, I have found, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, that when I was finally able to do this (and it took much time and many attempts!), my life began to unfold gently, happily and bountifully. (Maybe not the way I intended or expected it to, but happily nonetheless.)
This is not to say you lie down and give up. On the contrary, you do what has to be done, in the best way you can, with care and regard. But you do what comes to you moment by moment, and if what comes to you is less than you anticipated, or different, but seems appropriate at that moment, you do that with equal attention and commitment and cheerfulness. Sometimes, this results in enormous change in one’s life; frequently, it involves sacrifice and great loss of what we thought we needed or wanted in life. Incidentally, I have also found in my own life that life’s sweetest and most important moments have come through giving up and simplifying, as opposed to its opposite. Again, of course, this is from a spiritual standpoint; but I cannot see where it doesn’t apply equally in the worldly sense (of course, the two are the same, in the end).
Once again, it is a fear of loss, a sense of failure, that most terrifies us, and sometimes keeps us from growing out into what we are destined to become. Frequently, we settle for “less” of our rightful happiness, in favor of security and the known. This is human and normal; however, it does not bring happiness. It DOES, however, bring “security and the known”. (This is how metaphysics works; we truly do get what we want deep down at base; we are frequently surprised when that doesn’t bring with it all the other expected benefits. The universe is full of Grace, this way; it fulfills our priorities to the letter!) Our problem is that we usually don’t truly know what our priorities are. Nor, do we realize that a priority is ONE priority; we cannot have many.
If you consider this approach, you will begin to see and understand both the power of will, and its limitations. There is a place for will in our lives. It must be developed in order to apply it most effectively, in the proper direction, which is ultimately toward one priority, and, in the spiritual arena, that means surrender of the small self into the larger Self, or God. I have found in my own life that once will is developed, it is essential to give it all up to and toward a greater and more benign power than my limited small self will, and when I do that “with willfulness”, everything begins to fall together. Indeed, that is when miracles begin, when we release control to a benign and infinite power. That is when what I call God’s Grace intervenes, or perhaps better, is finally acknowledged, and is thus observed to act directly in one’s life. Of course, it is always there; only we are so busy directing our lives with our own limited concepts that it cannot be seen, and so we do not allow it to act within our own lives.
Thus, from my position, the key to happiness and to eventual success in our lives is not so much “what” we do, but “why” we do it. If your life is dedicated to your happiness and peace, and if everything that you do in your life is directed toward achieving that goal, and if you allow that goal to unfold itself in its own way, by moving you through your life as it unfolds, and taking open doors then and there when they present themselves, and trying not to resist them when they do, even if they seem odd or even unconnected to what you are doing right now; if you keep your priority in front of your eyes, that priority being happiness and peace, or, better, surrender to God who ENCOMPASSES all happiness and peace; then, everything will begin to fall into place to fulfill that priority. Of course, your job here is to keep that priority a priority; the best of dreams and schemes usually fail because of mixed priorities, uncertain priorities, conflicting priorities, or distraction from the priority. Indeed, most undertakings fail because we are so scattered and overwhelmed by life’s more petty but seemingly pressing demands that our priorities inevitably get confused, and thus, not surprisingly, our lives reflect that confusion and lack of direction. Of course, I do not suggest this is an easy process to undertake; quite the contrary, it requires dedication and discipline and hard work. But nothing of value is ever attained without hard work, is it?
So, if your concern as you expressed it in your message is based upon a failing worldly endeavor, whatever that might be, it is possible (and only you would know the answer to this) that your priority is not worldly any longer? Maybe your priority is something altogether different? Maybe you and your partners, or family, have different priorities, and thus, are working against each other’s priority? You see where this begins to take you. It becomes a veritable nest of confused needs, wants, expectations, etc. And then our lives reflect that indecision or confusion.
That is why, from a spiritual standpoint, the answer is ALWAYS, without exception, to place one’s priority in the hands of a power greater, omniscient, infinite, all loving, and all good. The safety in doing so, and the benefits derived from doing so, are always great and far more substantial than depending upon oneself and one’s limited means. Initially this may be frightening; but with practice, it becomes automatic and self-sustaining; that is the great power of surrender.
I hope this helps.