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Krishnamurti vs. Krishnamurti: a Kramer vs. Kramer Divorce of Meaning

Some wake up to an alarm clock, some to a rooster call, some to a spreading aroma of coffee, some to a lick of the dog’s tongue.  Here’s a Jiddu Krishnamurti line that woke me up yesterday…

“Seeking is never born of humility.”

Indeed.  To seek is to desire something different from “this.”  To seek is reject “this,” to reject this “now,” to express – even if only internally – a sense of dissatisfaction with Reality.  To seek is to want more.

Jiddu Krishnamurti:  “Seeking is never born of humility.  Isn’t it?  The desire to achieve, to arrive, is part of the pride which conceals itself as seeking.”

To seek is to desire.  To desire (from L. desiderare "long for, wish for," original sense is "await what the stars will bring," from the phrase de sidere "from the stars," from sidus (gen. sideris) "heavenly body, star, constellation") is to star-gaze.  To star-gaze is to ignore what is in front of you, to ignore what is under your feet, to ignore “what is.”  Thus, to seek is to lust for the sky.

Seeking is ambition.  Ambition (from L. ambitus, pp. of ambire "to go around," as in ambulation) is to walk away from “what is,” to escape one’s existential coordinate in search of a better one, to leave only to arrive only to leave again, never being wherever it is that you are, perpetually dissatisfied with each and every point of one’s journey, always improving on “what is” as if it is never good enough.I get it, Jiddu: seeking is arrogance, acceptance is humility, and arrival is but the first moment of departure.

Jiddu, you woke me up.  And put me right back to sleep.  All at once.  I follow your logic as it so eloquently leads into this seemingly unstimulating Nowhere where, as you posit, Everything is. 

I, like Jiddu’s fellow-philosopher and name-sake U.G. Krishnamurti, struggle with this version of "this."

From 1947 to 1953, U.G. regularly attended talks given by Jiddu Krishnamurti in India, eventually beginning a direct dialogue with him in 1953.  U.G. related that the two had almost daily discussions for a while, which he asserted were not providing satisfactory answers to his questions. Finally, their meetings came to a halt. He described part of the final discussion:And then, towards the end, I insisted, "Come on, is there anything behind the abstractions you are throwing at me?" And that chappie said, "You have no way of knowing it for yourself". Finish -- that was the end of our relationship, you see -- "If I have no way of knowing it, you have no way of communicating it. What the hell are we doing? I've wasted seven years. Goodbye, I don't want to see you again". Then I walked out. (from Wikipedia).

So, it’s Jiddu Krishnamurti vs. U.G. Krishnamurti, in a Kramer vs. Kramer style divorce of meaning!  Who’s right?  Who’s wrong?  Ugh – like U.G. I’m seeking certainty as if confusion isn't good enough!

But what a beautiful dilemma, isn't it?!  Is search for something better, indeed, a form of arrogance?  Is desire for improvement a failure of humility?  Is star-gazing a failure to accept that we are the very dust we stand on, even if this dust is star-dust? 

Or is humility overrated?  Is it perhaps that acceptance is nothing but passivity without which there'd be no hope of finding cure for cancer?  And ambition (with its ambulating away) isn’t running but, in fact, the necessary form of getting unstuck and repositioning to a more adaptive existential coordinate?

Was Jiddu awake or simply dreaming that he was awake?  Was U.G. asleep or simply lucid-dreaming?   Am I a butterfly dreaming that I am Zhuangzi or Zhuangzi dreaming that I am a butterfly?

Off we go!  And off we stay...

Pavel Somov, Ph.D.Copyright, 2008