Before I get into UG Krishnamurti, I want to share some background.
I intensely explored the internet for doses of wisdom. Philosophers, Spiritualists, Poets, Writers, Filmmakers, Artists, Scientists — I was on a mission to find and understand everyone who thought freely and deeply.
I used to jump around fields — at times philosophy, at times spirituality, literature, cinema, arts, science…where, finding a thinker I related to — I would consume everythought available on the internet of his/hers. I wasn’t committed to any specific field.
Deep inside however, I was in fact seeking ‘the one’ ultimate thinker to whom I could submit myself intellectually-whole-heartedly. And based on whose style of thinking, I could build and develop mine!
A case of seeking the giant on whose shoulder I was to stand.
It was during such explorations that I stumbled upon the ideas of an old person from India discovered under the tag: Indian Spiritualists.
I had followed quite a few from India before — Kautilya, Kabir, Vivekananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, Ramana Maharshi, Rajneesh, Aurobindo Ghosh, even one Vimalananada from Robert Svoboda’s Aghora. I was pro-vedic spirituality at that time and had great reverence for the System.
But this particular old bloke I discovered was something else!
He said Vedic Rishis were fanatics high on drugs (Soma) and called one Rajneesh a pimp. He openly said he was not anyone’s guru and that knowledge of the ultimate was absurd.
‘You cannot know anything
You don’t want to know’,
he proclaimed. He hadn’t written any books, so all that was available was through videos. YouTube has tons of it.
He yelled, sweared, and roasted almost every revered spiritual saint and system.
I was immediately drawn to these thoughts as he spoke unlike any I had heard and had ideas that would put even Nietzsche to shame. He was quite something ! He was UG Krishnamurti.
I am not going to write about his life here. My only purpose with this article is to share what I think he was and his perspective is.
And so as time passed I started getting heavily-influenced by him. I continuously watched his videos and his thoughts and ideas became the foundation of my own thoughts and thinking. I had found the shoulder. But the one I couldn’t stand on. There was none!
He was elusive and incomprehensible. The more I thought I understood the man the more confused I got. I tried to fit him into different systems of thinking. At times it felt he fit into Roussean style, at times to Postmodern thought, at times to Mahayana and eventually to Absurdism. But something or the other always didn’t connect!
Initially, he had felt so natural and easy to grasp but the more I watched his videos and read stories about him, the things he said, the more bewildered I got.
He didn’t seem to care to write, make money, enterprise his thoughts. He didn’t seem to care about anything. He at times calmly expressed his ideas while at times, yelled in the videos. What was he about? What does he care of? Does he even care for a thing? Even Buddha preached as far as I knew!
Who was this guy? What was wrong/right with him? Was he a hypocrite? Was there any marketing-propaganda I missed? Who was he most like: Camus, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Rousseau?
Years passed and the influence remained and grew. His perception of life and the world very much remained at my intellectual-core. I gradually separated from Vedic Spirituality as I discovered flaws and absurdities.
My every impulse of wanting to be a guru someday, revering some thinker, monetizing my thinking, pursuing the 4 Ps (Power, Prestige, Popularity, Pleasure) used to hit upon the wall called UG which used to shatter and destroy the desires mercilessly. Desires were gone alright, but I didn’t know what else to do. What to pursue!
UG Krishnamurti was there in his American/Indian home talking with celebrities and big-shots. He didn’t seem to have a concern for money. It all seemed to have been taken care of by his followers or however. But I was here in Nepal, struggling in semi-political institutions to make ends meet. He may not have wanted to be a Guru but he was one.
I quietly kept his thoughts and ideas inside a small compartment of my mind and called it UGian Philosophy. I didn’t want to discuss or debate about it with anyone. I didn’t even want to search for other people’s opinion on him on the Internet. He was a puzzle, a riddle that I was to solve — by myself. He was a philosopher whose philosophy had inspired me, influenced me and had formed the base of my intellectual thinking. I had to find a category for his thinking. There had to be a category!
This continued for a few years.
But now, as of today, I think I have an answer to him and his ideas. I think I have finally understood what his philosophy was. Although, I have to honestly say that the UG Krishnamurti that influenced me was the one I viewed and listened to on the internet. I have no idea what he was like in person and what the background of it all was. It is just about the UG Krishnamurtithat appears in Videos and his meeter’s blogs.
What I understood was that the process of assigning UG Krishnamurti and his thoughts to a school of thinking or philosophy was in itself an absurdity. UG Krishnamurti was not a philosopher. In that, he didn’t have a philosophy to teach or preach. UG Krishnamurti was merely a negater:
He was what remains if you remove all schools of thoughts from a person.
Let me explain:
All thinkers I mentioned above: Kautilya, Kabir, Vivekananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, Ramana Maharshi, Rajneesh, Aurobindo Ghosh, Vimalananada had some philosophical destination to sell and achieve. This applies to all other schools of philosophy, science and arts. They all are about taking you to a particular intellectual space. A destiny, a goal.
UG Krishnamurti had none. He was not about anything or anywhere. He was only a denier. Once again, he is what is left in a person if you remove all schools of thoughts from him: Philosophies, Sciences, Arts — everything! With that removal goes every value, morality, perception related to those schools. Every ambition or corruption we have is indeed the mixture of countless confused schools of thinking!
Take Schopenhauer for instance, a denier but still had spaces to sell and achieve. Be it in the form of an aesthetic-genius who can perceive the will-in-itself or in the form of an ascetic who accepts the nature of will. Buddha had nibbana to sell and achieve. Nietzsche eventually had Uberman and perspectivism. Absurdists had existential-meaning to achieve. Science likewise has empirical evidence.
But UG Krishnamurti had none. He didn’t seem to profess any particular destination. All he did was deny all existing ones. The closest I have found to this type of thinking today is of the absurdists. Yet, the absurdists seek existential-meaning, the cause to exist and do. For example, through Camus’ Arts it is as if they seek justification to do things in life. But without pursuit, UG became a natural thinker. The what is!
I would even go as far as to say that he is Man in the natural form without a color of culture.
UG Krishnamurti seems to have firstly, denied everything and secondly, didn’t seem to have bothered to search for new avenues. He seems to have just settled in negation without bothering to seek further. Why he didn’t care is not for me to answer. Although I can make a guess that he might have thought that commiting to a seek would once again trap him in the rabbit hole. It would mean ambition, rhetoric and eventually —would have meant ending up like everyone else making the same mistakes. Just another system!
All systems eventually fail, and what begins as a naive pursuit of truth necessarily ends with forceful adjustments to opinions once hardships arise, he probably understood. Absurdism!
What all this has eventually meant to me is that UG has immensely helped me see the absurdity and negate all propaganda, marketing, hypes and promises of various systems of thinking. Yes, we all have seen how each system promises, asserts and presents itself as if it is the only credible method to the truth. Thanks to UG Krishnamurti I have had the courage to see the absurdity in each and negate all of them in me.
What this has done to me is — opened me to the exploration of brand new possibilities either through the invention of a new system or through the amalgamation of all existing ones. (Yes, I am risking inevitability but I have my tools of hope!)
Other difference with me is that I have not concluded. I have not settled in negation. I still seek, search and pursue. And that immediately makes me a non-UG. And I have no problem with that! I believe in exploration and seeking. Not on settling and concluding. Hence, I look to learn and take important aspects from here and there. With UG, what I have done is follow a technique professed by Buddha with whom I don’t agree on much otherwise:
Just because a boat has taken you across a river doesn’t mean you have to carry the boat around with you further.