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Classic Text #2

The Wholeness of Life

J. Krisnamurti

Krishnamurti is a very popular philosopher, speaker, and teacher, having more than fifty books in publication plus many tapes and articles. He was born in India in 1895 and died in California in 1986. Among the key themes in his thought are a deep concern for the problems of suffering and injustice in the world. He notes that many attempts are made to provide a path that allows us to escape violence, pain, and the suffering that they bring. Still, Krishnamurti maintained that there is no path or method for achieving it this transformation. We cannot look to religious doctrine, economic formulas, or political movements for the solution. Rather, he emphasized the need for an constantly deepening awareness of one's self in which the limitations of the mind could drop away.

Krishnamurti's works often consist of dialogues and discussion with other thinkers and ordinary people. Indeed he considered dialogue (the interaction of two minds) an essential form of philosophizing and wrote about that topic. The excerpt of the dialog you are reading is between Krishnamurti, David Bohm (a famous quantum physicist), and David Shainburg (a noted psychiatrist).

It takes a careful and patient reader to appreciate the threads of argument that run throughout here work. In reading this work, keep the following questions in mind:

  • What is wholeness?
  • What is the problem of wholeness?
  • What an individual?
  • What is fragmentation?
  • What factors contribute to fragmentation? How?

It may be valuable for your to learn more about Krishnamurti and Bohm and explore their ideas. I particularly encourage you to read the short biographies. Here are some relevant links:

Krishnamurti Information Network
Especially see the short Biography and Introduction to His Teachings by David Bohm

Bernie's Krishnamurti Page
Check out the Early Speeches!

David Bohm


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