Henry Miller


凡夫 发表于 2009-6-18 11:26

Henry Miller on Krishnamurti (亨利·米勒评论克里希那穆提)

[i=s] 本帖最后由 凡夫 于 2009-6-18 12:10 编辑 [/i]

Excerpt from The Books in My Life by Henry Miller

There is a name I have withheld which stands out in contrast to all that is secret, suspect, confusing, bookish and enslaving: Krishnamurti. Here is one man of our time who may be said to he a master of reality. He stands alone. He has renounced more than any man I can think of; except the Christ. Fundamentally he is so simple to understand that it is easy to comprehend the confusion which his clear, direct words and deeds have entailed. Men are reluctant to accept what is easy to grasp. Out of a perversity deeper than all Satan’s wiles, man refuses to acknowledge his own God-given rights: he demands deliverance or salvation by and through an intermediary; he seeks guides, counsellors, leaders, systems, rituals. He looks for solutions which are in his own breast. He puts learning above wisdom, power above the art of discrimination. But above all, he refuses to work for his own liberation, pretending that first “the world” must be liberated. Yet, as Krishnamurti has pointed out time and again, the world problem is bound up with the problem of the individual. Truth is ever present, Eternity is here and now. And salvation? What is it, 0 man, that you wish to save? Your petty ego? Your soul? Your identity? Lose it and you will find yourself. Do not worry about God — God knows how to take care of Himself. Cultivate your doubts, embrace every kind of experience, keep on desiring, strive neither to forget nor to remember, but assimilate and integrate what you have experienced.

Roughly, this is Krishnamurti’s way of speaking. It must be revolting at times to answer all the petty, stupid questions which people are forever putting to him.  Emancipate yourself! he urges. No one else will, because no one else can. This voice from the wilderness is, of course, the voice of a leader. But Krishnamurti has renounced that role too.

It was Carlo Suares’ book on Krishnamurti which opened my eyes to this phenomenon in our midst. I first read it in Paris and since then have reread it several times. There is hardly another book I have read so intently, marked so copiously, unless it be The Absolute Collective. After years of struggle and search I found gold.

I do not believe this book has been translated into English, nor do I know, moreover, what Krishnamurti himself thinks of it. I have never met Krishnamurti, though there is no man living whom I would consider it a greater privilege to meet than he. His place of residence, curiously enough, is not so very far from my own. However, it seems to me that if this man stands for anything it is for the right to lead his own life, which is surely not to be at the beck and call of every Tom, Dick and Harry who wishes to make his acquaintance or obtain from him a few crumbs of wisdom.

“You can never know me,” he says somewhere. It is enough to know what he represents, what he stands for in being and essence. This book by Carlo Suares is invaluable. It is replete with Krishnamurti’s own words culled from speeches and writings. Every phase of the latter’s development (up to the year the book was
published) is set forth — and lucidly, cogently, trenchantly. Suares discreetly keeps in the background. He has the wisdom to let Krishnamurti speak for himself.

In pages 116 to 119 of Suares’ book the reader may find for himself the text of which I herewith give the substance . . .

After a long discussion with a man in Bombay, the latter says to Krishnamurti: What you speak of could lead to the creation of supermen, men capable of governing themselves, of establishing order in themselves, men who would be their own masters absolute. But what about the man at the bottom of the ladder, who depends
on external authority, who makes use of all kinds of crutches, who is obliged to submit to a moral code which may, in reality, not suit him?

Krishnamurti answers: See what happens in the world. The strong, the violent, the powerful ones, the men who usurp and wield power over others, are at the top; at the bottom are the weak and gentle ones, who struggle and flounder. By contrast think of the tree, whose strength and glory derives from its deep and hidden roots; in the case of the tree the top is crowned by delicate leaves, tender shoots, the most fragile branches. In human society, at least as it is constituted today, the strong and the powerful are supported by the weak. In Nature, on the other hand, it is the strong and the powerful who support the weak. As long as you persist in viewing each problem with a perverted, twisted mind you will accept the actual state of affairs. I look at the problem from another point of view . . . Because your convictions are not the result of your own understanding you repeat what is given by authorities; you amass citations, you pit one authority against another, the ancient against the new. To that I have nothing to say. But if you envisage life from a standpoint which is not deformed or mutilated by authority, not bolstered by others’ knowledge, but from one which springs from your own sufferings, from your thought, your culture, your understanding, your love, then you will understand what I say-”car la meditation du coeur est l’entendement” . . . Personally, and I hope you will understand what I say now, I have no belief and I belong to no tradition. I have always had this attitude towards life. It being a fact that life varies from day to day, not only are beliefs and traditions useless to me, but, if I were to let myself be enchained by them, they would prevent me from understanding life . . . You may attain liberation, no matter where you are or what the circumstances surrounding you, but this means that you must have the strength of genius. For genius is, after all, the ability to deliver oneself from the circumstances in which one is enmeshed, the ability to free oneself from the vicious circle . . . You may say to me — I have not that kind of strength. That is my point of view exactly. In order to discover your own strength, the power which is
in you, you must be ready and willing to come to grips with every kind of experience. And that is just what you refuse to do!

This sort of language is naked, revelatory and inspiring. It pierces the clouds of philosophy which confound our thought and restores the springs of action. It levels the tottering superstructures of the verbal gymnasts and clears the ground of rubbish. Instead of an obstacle race or a rat trap, it makes of daily life a joyous pursuit. In a conversation with his brother Theo, Van Gogh once said: “Christ was so infinitely great because no furniture or any other stupid accessories ever stood in his way.” One feels the same way about Krishnamurti. Nothing stands in his way. His career, unique in the history of spiritual leaders, reminds one of the famous Gilgamesh epic. Hailed in his youth as the coming Savior, Krishnamurti renounced the role that was prepared for him, spurned all disciples, rejected all mentors and preceptors. He initiated no new faith or dogma, questioned everything, cultivated doubt (especially in moments of exaltation), and, by dint of heroic struggle and perseverance, freed himself of illusion and enchantment, of pride, vanity, and every subtle form of dominion over others. He went to the very source of life for sustenance and inspiration. To resist the wiles and snares of those who sought to enslave and exploit him demanded eternal vigilance. He liberated his soul, so to say, from the underworld and the overworld, thus opening to it “the paradise of heroes.”

Is it necessary to define this state?

There is something about Krishtlamurti’s utterances which makes the reading of books seem utterly superfluous. There is also another, even more striking, fact connected with his utterances, as Suares aptly points out, namely, that “the clearer his words the less his message is understood.”

Krishnamurti once said: “I am going to be vague expressly; I could be altogether explicit, but it is not my intention to be so. For, once a thing is defined, it is dead” . . . No, Krishnamurti does not define, neither does he answer Yes or No. He throws the questioner back upon himself, forces him to seek the answer in himself Over and over he repeats: “I do not ask you to believe what I say . . . I desire nothing of you, neither your good opinion, your agreement, nor that you follow me. I ask you not to believe but to understand what I say.” Collaborate with life! — that is what he is constantly urging. Now and then it is a veritable lashing he inflicts — upon the self-righteous. What, he asks, have you accomplished with all your fine words, your slogans and labels, your books? How many individuals have you made happy, not in a transitory but in a lasting sense? And so on. “It’s a great satisfaction to give oneself titles, names, to isolate oneself from the world and think oneself different from others! But, if all that you say is true, have you saved a single fellow creature from sorrow and pain?”

All the protective devices-social, moral, religious-which give the illusion of sustaining and aiding the weak so that they may be guided and conducted towards a better life, are precisely what prevent the weak from profiting by direct experience of life. Instead of naked and immediate experience, men seek to make use of protections and thus are mutilated. These devices become the instruments of power, of material and spiritual exploitation. (Suares’ own interpretation.)

One of the salient differences between a man like Krishnamurti and artists in general lies in their respective attitudes towards their roles. Krishnamurti points out that there is a constant opposition between the creative genius of the artist and his ego. The artist imagines, he says, that it is his ego which is great or sublime. This ego wishes to utilize for its own profit and aggrandizement the moment of inspiration wherein it was in touch with the eternal, a moment, precisely, in which the ego was absent, replaced by the residue of its own living experience. It is one’s intuition, he maintains, which should be the sole guide. As for poets, musicians, all artists, indeed, they should develop anonymity, should become detached from their creations. But for most artists it is just the contrary — they want to see their signatures attached to their creations. In short, as long as the artist clings to individualism, he will never succeed in rendering his inspiration or his creative power permanent. The quality or condition of genius is but the first phase of deliverance.

I am not a translator; I have had difficulty transcribing and condensing the foregoing observations and reflections. Nor am I attempting to give the whole of Krishnamurti’s thought as revealed in Carlo Suarcs’ book. I was led to speak of him because of the fact that, however solidly Krishnarnurti may be anchored in reality, he has unwittingly created for himself a myth and a legend. People simply will not recognize that a man who has made himself, simple, forthright and truthful is not concealing something much more complex, much more mysterious. Pretending that what they most ardently wish is to extricate themselves from the cruel difficulties in which they find themselves, what they really adore is to make everything difficult, obscure and capable of realization only in a distant future. That their difficulties are of their own making is the last thing they will admit usually. Reality, if for one moment they allow themselves to be persuaded it exists — in everyday life — is always referred to as “harsh” reality. It is spoken of as that which stands opposed to divine reality, or, we might say, a soft, hidden paradise. The hope that we may one day awaken to a condition of life utterly different from that which we experience daily makes men willing victims of every form of tyranny and suppression. Man is stultified by hope and fear. The myth which he lives from day to day is the myth that he may one day escape from the prison which he has created for himself and which he attributes to the machinations of others. Every true hero has made reality his own. In liberating himself, the hero explodes the myth which binds us to past and future. This is the very essence of myth — that it veils the wondrous here and now.

This morning I discovered on the shelf another book on Krishnamurti which I had forgotten that I possessed. It had been given to me by a friend on the eve of a long journey. I had put the book away without ever opening it. This preamble is to thank my friend for the great service he has rendered me — and to inform the reader who does not know French of another excellent interpretation of Krishnamurti’s life and work. The book is called Krlshnamurt: (“Man is his own liberator”), by Ludowic Rehault. Like the Suares book, it too contains abundant citations from Krishnamurti’s speeches and writings. The author, now dead, was a member of the Theosophical Society, “whose tendencies,” he states in the preface, “I am far from approving, but to whose grand tenets of Evolution, Reincarnation and Karma I heartily subscribe.” And then there comes this statement: “I wish to inform my readers that I am not for Krishnamurti, I am with him.”

Since I know of no living man whose thought is more inspiring and fecundating, since I know of no living man who is more free of opinion and prejudice, and, because I find from personal experience that he is constantly being misquoted, misinterpreted, misunderstood, I regard it as important and opportune, even at the risk of boring the reader, to linger longer on the subject of Krishnamurti. In Paris, where I first heard of him, I had a number of friends who were forever talking about “the Masters.” None of them, to my knowledge, were members of any group, cult or sect. They were just earnest seekers after the truth, as we say. And they were all artists. The books which they were reading were at that time unfamiliar to me — I mean the works of Leadbeater, Steiner, Besant, Blavatsky, Mabel Collins and such like. Indeed, hearing them quote from these sources, I often laughed in their faces. (To this day, I must confess, Rudolf Steiner’s language still excites my sense of ridicule.) In the heat of argument I was now and then termed “a spiritual bum.” Because I have not the makings of a “follower,” these friends, all ardent souls, all consumed by a desire to convert, regarded me as “their meat.” In anger, sometimes, I would tell them never to come near me again — unless they could talk about other things. But the morrow would find them at my door, as if nothing had happened.

The one quality which they had in common, I must say immediately, was their utter helplessness. They were out to save me, but they could not save themselves. Here I must confess that later on, what they talked about, what they quoted from the books, what they were striving with might and main to make known to me, was not as silly and preposterous as I once thought. Not by any means! But what prevented me from “seeing things in the right light” was, as I say, their peculiar inability to profit from this wisdom they were so eager to impart. I was merciless with them, something I have never regretted. I think it may have done some good to remain as adamant as I did. It was only after they ceased bothering me that I was truly able to become interested in “all this nonsense.” (Should any of them happen to read these lines they will know that, despite everything, I am indebted to them.) But the truth remains that they were doing exactly what “the Masters” discountenanced. “It is of no value,” says Krishnamurti, “who is speaking, the value lies in the full significance of what is said.” Naturally, to understand the full significance of what is said, to make it one’s own, depends entirely on the individual. I recall an English teacher in school who was forever shouting at us: “Make it your own!” He was a vain, pretentious coxcomb, a real jackass, if ever there was one. Had he made one little thing of all that he had read and pompously recommended to us “his own” he would not have been teaching English literature: he would have been writing it, or assuming that he was truly humble, he would, as teacher, mentor, guide and what not, have inspired in us a love of literature — which he most certainly did not!

But to come back to “the Masters” . . . In the International Star Bulletin of November, 1929, Krishnamurti is quoted thus: “You are all immensely interested in the Masters, whether they exist or not, and what my view is with regard to them. I will tell you my view. To me it is of very little importance whether they exist or whether they do not exist, because when you have to walk to the camp or to the station from here, there are people ahead of you, nearer the station, people who have started earlier. What is more important — to get to the starion or to sit down and worship the man who is ahead of you?”

In his book on Krishnamurti, Rehault points out that Krishnamurti’s attitude towards, or vision of, the Masters never altered essentially. What had changed was “his outlook on those who seek the Masters and invoke them in season and out with a ridiculous and unseemly familiarity.” He quotes an earlier statement (1925) of Krishnamurti’s: “We all believe that the Masters exist, that they are somewhere, and are concerned about us; but this belief is not living enough, not real enough, to make us change. The goal of evolution is to make us like the Masters who are the apotheosis, the perfection of humanity. As I have said, the Masters are a reality. For me at least they are one.”

The tremendous consistency between these apparently clashing references to the Masters is typical of Krishnamurti’s ever evolving attitude towards life. His shift of emphasis from the fact of the Masters’ existence to the purpose of their existence is a demonstration of his vigilance, alertness and indefatigable efforts to come to grips with essentials.

Why do you bother about the Masters! The essential is that you should be free and strong, and you can never be free and strong if you are a pupil of another, if you have gurus, mediators, Masters over you. You cannot be free and strong if you make me your Master, your guru. I don’t want that . . .

Only a few months after making this definitive, unequivocal statement (April, 1930), badgered again for an answer to the question ” Do Adepts, Masters exist?” he replies: “It is unessential to me. I am not concerned with it . . . I am not trying to evade the question . . . I do not deny that they exist. In evolution there must be a difference between the savage and the most cultured. But what value has it to the man who is held in the walls of a prison? . . . I should be foolish to deny the gamut of experience which is what you call evolution. You care more about the man who is ahead of you than about yourself. You are willing to worship someone far away, not yourself or your neighbor. There may be Adepts, Masters, I do not deny it, but I cannot understand what value it has to you as an individual.” A few years later he is reported as saying: “Do not desire happiness. Do not seek truth. Do not seek the ultimate.” Except to quibblers and falsifiers, there is no variance here from the eternal issue which he has marked out. “You seek truth,” he says again, “as if it were the opposite of what you are.”

If such clear, forthright words do not incite and awaken, nothing will.

“Man is his own liberator!” Is this not the ultimate teaching? It has been said again and again, and it has been proved again and again by great world figures. Masters? Undoubtedly. Men who espoused life, not principles, laws, dogmas, morals, creeds. “Really great teachers do not lay down laws, they want to set man free.” (Krishnamurti.)

What distinguishes Krishnamurti, even from the great teachers of the past, the masters and the exemplars, is his absolute nakedness. The one role he permits himself to play is — himself, a human being. Clad only in the frailty of the flesh, he relies entirely upon the spirit, which is one with the flesh. If he has a mission it is to strip men of their illusions and delusions, to knock away the false supports of ideals, beliefs, fetishes, every kind of crutch, and thus render back to man the full majesty, the full potency, of his humanity. He has often been referred to as “the World Teacher.” If any man living merits the title, he does. But to me the important thing about Krishnamurti is that he imposes himself upon us not as a teacher, nor even as a Master, but as a man.

Find out for yourself what are the possessions and ideals that you do not desire. By knowing what you do not want, by elimination, you will unburden the mind, and only then will it understand the essential which is ever there.


菲力貓 发表于 2009-7-27 20:11



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