Truth is a Pathless Land - J K's Famous Statement
Nov 14, 1996 07:49 AM
I am reposting the statement. The last post formatting was not ok. Hope this
is better reading.
TRUTH IS A PATHLESS LAND
The Dissolution of the Order of the Star
The Order of the Star in the East was founded in 1911 to proclaim the coming
of the World Teacher. Krishnamurti was made Head of the Order. On August 2,
1929, the opening day of the annual Star Camp at Ommen, Holland,
Krishnamurti dissolved the Order before 3000 members. Below is the full text
of the talk he gave on that occasion. What he said then is equally valid today.
We are going to discuss this morning the dissolution of the Order of the
Star. Many people will be delighted, and others will be rather sad. It is a
question neither for rejoicing nor for sadness, because it is inevitable, as
I am going to explain.
You may remember the story of how the devil and a friend of his were walking
down the street, when they saw ahead of them a man stoop down and pick up
something from the ground, look at it, and put it away in his pocket. The
friend said to the devil, "What did that man pick up?" "He picked up a piece
of Truth," said the devil. "That is a very bad business for you, then," said
his friend. "Oh, not at all," the devil replied, "I am going to let him
I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any
path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and
I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless,
unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized;
nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any
particular path. If you first understand that, then you will see how
impossible it is to organize a belief. A belief is purely an individual
matter, and you cannot and must not organize it. If you do, it becomes dead,
crystallized; it becomes a creed, a sect, a religion, to be imposed on
others. This is what everyone throughout the world is attempting to do.
Truth is narrowed down and made a plaything for those who are weak, for
those who are only momentarily discontented. Truth cannot be brought down,
rather the individual must make the effort to ascend to it. You cannot bring
the mountain-top to the valley. If you would attain to the mountain-top you
must pass through the valley, climb the steeps, unafraid of the dangerous
precipices. You must climb towards the Truth, it cannot be "stepped down" or
organized for you. Interest in ideas is mainly sustained by organizations,
but organizations only awaken interest from without. Interest, which is not
born out of love of Truth for its own sake, but aroused by an organization,
is of no value. The organization becomes a framework into which its members
can conveniently fit. They no longer strive after Truth or the mountain-top,
but rather carve for themselves a convenient niche in which they put
themselves, or let the organization place them, and consider that the
organization will thereby lead them to Truth.
So that is the first reason, from my point of view, why the Order of the
Star should be dissolved. In spite of this, you will probably form other
Orders, you will continue to belong to other organizations searching for
Truth. I do not want to belong to any organization of a spiritual kind,
please understand this. I would make use of an organization which would take
me to London, for example; this is quite a different kind of organization,
merely mechanical, like the post or the telegraph. I would use a motor car
or a steamship to travel, these are only physical mechanisms which have
nothing whatever to do with spirituality. Again, I maintain that no
organization can lead man to spirituality.
If an organization be created for this purpose, it becomes a crutch, a
weakness, a bondage, and must cripple the individual, and prevent him from
growing, from establishing his uniqueness, which lies in the discovery for
himself of that absolute, unconditioned Truth. So that is another reason why
I have decided, as I happen to be the Head of the Order, to dissolve it. No
one has persuaded me to this decision.
This is no magnificent deed, because I do not want followers, and I mean
this. The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth. I am not
concerned whether you pay attention to what I say or not. I want to do a
certain thing in the world and I am going to do it with unwavering
concentration. I am concerning myself with only one essential thing: to set
man free. I desire to free him from all cages, from all fears, and not to
found religions, new sects, nor to establish new theories and new
philosophies. Then you will naturally ask me why I go the world over,
continually speaking. I will tell you for what reason I do this: not because
I desire a following, not because I desire a special group of special
disciples. (How men love to be different from their fellow-men, however
ridiculous, absurd and trivial their distinctions may be! I do not want to
encourage that absurdity.) I have no disciples, no apostles, either on earth
or in the realm of spirituality.
Nor is it the lure of money, nor the desire to live a comfortable life,
which attracts me. If I wanted to lead a comfortable life I would not come
to a Camp or live in a damp country! I am speaking frankly because I want
this settled once and for all. I do not want these childish discussions year
One newspaper reporter, who interviewed me, considered it a magnificent act
to dissolve an organization in which there were thousands and thousands of
members. To him it was a great act because, he said: "What will you do
afterwards, how will you live? You will have no following, people will no
longer listen to you." If there are only five people who will listen, who
will live, who have their faces turned towards eternity, it will be
sufficient. Of what use is it to have thousands who do not understand, who
are fully embalmed in prejudice, who do not want the new, but would rather
translate the new to suit their own sterile, stagnant selves? If I speak
strongly, please do not misunderstand me, it is not through lack of
compassion. If you go to a surgeon for an operation, is it not kindness on
his part to operate even if he cause you pain? So, in like manner, if I
speak straightly, it is not through lack of real affection-on the contrary.
As I have said, I have only one purpose: to make man free, to urge him
towards freedom, to help him to break away from all limitations, for that
alone will give him eternal happiness, will give him the unconditioned
realization of the self.
Because I am free, unconditioned, whole-not the part, not the relative, but
the whole Truth that is eternal-I desire those, who seek to understand me,
to be free; not to follow me, not to make out of me a cage which will become
a religion, a sect. Rather should they be free from all fears-from the fear
of religion, from the fear of salvation, from the fear of spirituality, from
the fear of love, from the fear of death, from the fear of life itself. As
an artist paints a picture because he takes delight in that painting,
because it is his self-expression, his glory, his well-being, so I do this
and not because I want any thing from anyone.
You are accustomed to authority, or to the atmosphere of authority, which
you think will lead you to spirituality. You think and hope that another
can, by his extraordinary powers-a miracle-transport you to this realm of
eternal freedom which is Happiness. Your whole outlook on life is based on
You have listened to me for three years now, without any change taking place
except in the few. Now analyze what I am saying, be critical, so that you
may understand thoroughly, fundamentally. When you look for an authority to
lead you to spirituality, you are bound automatically to build an
organization around that authority. By the very creation of that
organization, which, you think, will help this authority to lead you to
spirituality, you are held in a cage.
If I talk frankly, please remember that I do so, not out of harshness, not
out of cruelty, not out of the enthusiasm of my purpose, but because I want
you to understand what I am saying. That is the reason why you are here, and
it would be a waste of time if I did not explain clearly, decisively, my
point of view.
For eighteen years you have been preparing for this event, for the Coming of
the World-Teacher. For eighteen years you have organized, you have looked
for someone who would give a new delight to your hearts and minds, who would
transform your whole life, who would give you a new understanding; for
someone who would raise you to a new plane of life, who would give you a new
encouragement, who would set you free-and now look what is happening!
Consider, reason with yourselves, and discover in what way that belief has
made you different-not with the superficial difference of the wearing of a
badge, which is trivial, absurd. In what manner has such a belief swept away
all the unessential things of life? That is the only way to judge: in what
way are you freer, greater, more dangerous to every Society which is based
on the false and the unessential? In what way have the members of this
organization of the Star become different?
As I said, you have been preparing for eighteen years for me. I do not care
if you believe that I am the World-Teacher or not. That is of very little
importance. Since you belong to the organization of the Order of the Star,
you have given your sympathy, your energy, acknowledging that Krishnamurti
is the World-Teacher- partially or wholly: wholly for those who are really
seeking, only partially for those who are satisfied with their own half-truths.
You have been preparing for eighteen years, and look how many difficulties
there are in the way of your understanding, how many complications, how many
trivial things. Your prejudices, your fears, your authorities, your churches
new and old- all these, I maintain, are a barrier to understanding. I cannot
make myself clearer than this. I do not want you to agree with me, I do not
want you to follow me, I want you to understand what I am saying.
This understanding is necessary because your belief has not transformed you
but only complicated you, and because you are not willing to face things as
they are. You want to have your own gods-new gods instead of the old, new
religions instead of the old, new forms instead of the old-all equally
valueless, all barriers, all limitations, all crutches. Instead of old
spiritual distinctions you have new spiritual distinctions, instead of old
worships you have new worships. You are all depending for your spirituality
on someone else, for your happiness on someone else, for your enlightenment
on someone else; and although you have been preparing for me for eighteen
years, when I say all these things are unnecessary, when I say that you must
put them all away and look within yourselves for the enlightenment, for the
glory, for the purification, and for the incorruptibility of the self, not
one of you is willing to do it. There may be a few, but very, very few.
So why have an organization?
Why have false, hypocritical people following me, the embodiment of Truth?
Please remember that I am not saying something harsh or unkind, but we have
reached a situation when you must face things as they are. I said last year
that I would not compromise. Very few listened to me then. This year I have
made it absolutely clear. I do not know how many thousands throughout the
world- members of the Order-have been preparing for me for eighteen years,
and yet now they are not willing to listen unconditionally, wholly, to what
So why have an organization?
As I said before, my purpose is to make men unconditionally free, for I
maintain that the only spirituality is the incorruptibility of the self
which is eternal, is the harmony between reason and love. This is the
absolute, unconditioned Truth which is Life itself. I want therefore to set
man free, rejoicing as the bird in the clear sky, unburdened, independent,
ecstatic in that freedom . And 1, for whom you have been preparing for
eighteen years, now say that you must be free of all these things, free from
your complications, your entanglements. For this you need not have an
organization based on spiritual belief. Why have an organization for five or
ten people in the world who understand, who are struggling, who have put
aside all trivial things? And for the weak people, there can be no
organization to help them to find the Truth, because Truth is in everyone;
it is not far, it is not near; it is eternally there.
Organizations cannot make you free. No man from outside can make you free;
nor can organized worship, nor the immolation of yourselves for a cause,
make you free; nor can forming yourselves into an organization, nor throwing
yourselves into works, make you free. You use a typewriterto write letters,
but you do not put it on an altar and worship it. But that is what you are
doing when organizations become your chief concern. "How many members are
there in it?" That is the first question I am asked by all newspaper
reporters. "How many followers have you? By their number we shall judge
whether what you say is true or false." I do not know how many there are. I
am not concerned with that. As I said, if there were even one man who had
been set free, that were enough.
Again, you have the idea that only certain people hold the key to the
Kingdom of Happiness. No one holds it. No one has the authority to hold that
key. That key is your own self, and in the development and the purification
and in the incorruptibility of that self alone is the Kingdom of Eternity.
So you will see how absurd is the whole structure that you have built,
looking for external help, depending on others for your comfort, for your
happiness, for your strength. These can only be found within yourselves.
So why have an organization?
You are accustomed to being told how far you have advanced, what is your
spiritual status. How childish! Who but yourself can tell you if you are
beautiful or ugly within? Who but yourself can tell you if you are
incorruptible? You are not serious in these things.
So why have an organization?
But those who really desire to understand, who are looking to find that
which is eternal, without beginning and without an end, will walk together
with a greater intensity, will be a danger to everything that is
unessential, to unrealities, to shadows. And they will concentrate, they
will become the flame, because they understand. Such a body we must create,
and that is my purpose. Because of that real understanding there will be
true friendship. Because of that true friendship- which you do not seem to
know-there will be real cooperation on the part of each one. And this not
because of authority, not because of salvation, not because of immolation
for a cause, but because you really understand, and hence are capable of
living in the eternal. This is a greater thing than all pleasure, than all
So these are some of the reasons why, after careful consideration for two
years, I have made this decision. It is not from a momentary impulse. I have
not been persuaded to it by anyone. I am not persuaded in such things. For
two years I have been thinking about this, slowly, carefully, patiently, and
I have now decided to disband the Order, as I happen to be its Head. You can
form other organizations and expect someone else. With that I am not
concerned, nor with creating new cages, new decorations for those cages. My
only concern is to set men absolutely, unconditionally free.
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