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Commentaries on Living: First Series

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Krishnamurti's essential message is that, to find truth, we must go beyond the limits of ordinary thought. In public talks worldwide, he strove to free listeners from conventional beliefs and psychological mind-sets in order to understand what is. This 3-volume series records his meetings with individual seekers from all walks of life, during which he comments on the strug Krishnamurti's essential message is that, to find truth, we must go beyond the limits of ordinary thought. In public talks worldwide, he strove to free listeners from conventional beliefs and psychological mind-sets in order to understand what is. This 3-volume series records his meetings with individual seekers from all walks of life, during which he comments on the struggles common to those who work to break the boundaries of personality and self-limitation. In the first volume Krishnamurti discusses many topics, including knowledge, belief, simplicity of the heart, love in relationship, ambition, and clarity in action.


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Krishnamurti's essential message is that, to find truth, we must go beyond the limits of ordinary thought. In public talks worldwide, he strove to free listeners from conventional beliefs and psychological mind-sets in order to understand what is. This 3-volume series records his meetings with individual seekers from all walks of life, during which he comments on the strug Krishnamurti's essential message is that, to find truth, we must go beyond the limits of ordinary thought. In public talks worldwide, he strove to free listeners from conventional beliefs and psychological mind-sets in order to understand what is. This 3-volume series records his meetings with individual seekers from all walks of life, during which he comments on the struggles common to those who work to break the boundaries of personality and self-limitation. In the first volume Krishnamurti discusses many topics, including knowledge, belief, simplicity of the heart, love in relationship, ambition, and clarity in action.

30 review for Commentaries on Living: First Series

  1. 5 out of 5

    E.W. Harrington

    I first read Krishnamurti when I was in my twenties. For some, reading him is tedious. For others, life changing. I don't recommend him as the greatest literature (but it's not bad, either); that's not his concern. One suspects he wrote these meditations for himself. When I was younger, I would take the bus downtown in summer, sit on a bench, and observe, and write. I wanted to be Krishnamurti. He's someone who questioned education, self-discipline, great ideas, every religion, every grand human p I first read Krishnamurti when I was in my twenties. For some, reading him is tedious. For others, life changing. I don't recommend him as the greatest literature (but it's not bad, either); that's not his concern. One suspects he wrote these meditations for himself. When I was younger, I would take the bus downtown in summer, sit on a bench, and observe, and write. I wanted to be Krishnamurti. He's someone who questioned education, self-discipline, great ideas, every religion, every grand human preoccupation. I had never heard the like before. But, let's face it, even Krishnamurti was creating a marketable image. I know that sounds unspiritual, slightly depressing, particularly for anyone who returns to these Commentaries as a kind of daily devotional, as I did. Isn't it curious how many of us seem to need to do that, create infallible Persons? Krishnamurti never mentions last night's sex. He does, however, say that sex is necessary for health, which, even today (and no longer twenty--far from it!), I think is a pretty cool thing to say, for a Great Teacher. Researching whether Krishnamurti had really fathered a child, I ran across a wonderful quote attributed to him: "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." No, the Krishnamurti of the Commentaries is a cool observer, as if he didn't pick up pen and paper until he'd meditated for at least an hour. That's why, for me, he's so wonderful to read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sandesh Rawat

    The most thought-bending book I have read so far. I had never looked at things from the perspective that JK talks about. For instance, I’d always thought of self-discipline, chanting, meditation, etc. as noble things. Even though there’s nothing “wrong” about these things, they can never lead one to the Truth. Such things put the mind in a pattern, to sleep. In order to realize the Truth, the mind needs to be passively alert, which a sleeping mind cannot be. JK essentially says that there’s no pa The most thought-bending book I have read so far. I had never looked at things from the perspective that JK talks about. For instance, I’d always thought of self-discipline, chanting, meditation, etc. as noble things. Even though there’s nothing “wrong” about these things, they can never lead one to the Truth. Such things put the mind in a pattern, to sleep. In order to realize the Truth, the mind needs to be passively alert, which a sleeping mind cannot be. JK essentially says that there’s no path to the Truth, to What is. Following a set path to it is to deny the existence of it, for the Known is always a self-projection, which is never new. A lot of what I have read in this is still sinking in. But at any rate, I’ll recommend reading this book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    I remember being recommended the "Commentaries on Living" trilogy as Jiddu Krishnamurti's best books by Brad Warner on his blog. Unfortunately, my local library only had the first two volumes, but both impressed me quite a bit. Most of Krishnamurti's recorded and transcribed discussions with other people are with academics in different disciplines (eg David Bohm), hence being rather abstract and theoretical. Both this and the sequel Commentary on Living: Second Series are very very different: Her I remember being recommended the "Commentaries on Living" trilogy as Jiddu Krishnamurti's best books by Brad Warner on his blog. Unfortunately, my local library only had the first two volumes, but both impressed me quite a bit. Most of Krishnamurti's recorded and transcribed discussions with other people are with academics in different disciplines (eg David Bohm), hence being rather abstract and theoretical. Both this and the sequel Commentary on Living: Second Series are very very different: Here, Krishnamurti talks with ordinary working-class or middle-class people struggling with very mundane materialistic problems. Krishnamurti does includes several chapters examining the lives of upper-crust people who have ended up living extremely dissatisfying lives precisely on account of hanging up so much of their own identities upon success in their careers within academia, business, politics - something Krishnamurti uses as a launchpad to examine how much the individual self is an artificial construct shaped in part by the prejudices and expectations indoctrinated into us by the societies we grew up in. One of his main points, but it is made very vividly here precisely because he discusses specific individual cases. There are a couple other subjects that Krishnamurti talks more about here than in most of his other books. For example partisan politics and the involved culture wars, which becomes an opportunity to deconstruct the ways in which most people think about not just politics but problem-solving on a large scale - as largely a matter of projecting your own preferred interpretations of the past according to subjective personal preferences unto the future and how the world functions as large. Other chapters explore the differences between accumulated academic knowledge and practical life wisdom, and how to distinguish the two. Most interesting is that in this book Krishnamurti starts addressing the following he had attracted and how uncomfortable he was at becoming a revered religious figure, even after having rejected the position of the Theosophical Society's "world teacher". It should be mentioned that throughout the "Commentaries on Living" books Krishnamurti writes in a much less dry, stiff and formal style than usual. This includes some absolutely breathtaking colourful and poetic description of local village life, complicated modern cities and awe-inspiring nature scenes that make me speculate that he could have become an extremely gifted poet or novelist had a few things in his life gone differently. The result is probably the most literary and accessible of the four books by Krishnamurti that I have read so far. The 2nd volume of "Commentaries on Living" continues in this style, but with somewhat different subject matter.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Robert Day

    Those who are seriously into spirituality will love this tour through the notebooks of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Each of the 88 topics e.g. Time, Virtue, Sleep, Silence and Work is given around 3 pages of explanation split into 3 sections: a description of the scenery of the day, a description of the person that the subject addresses and an explanation of the correct way to see the subject. Jiddu comes over as very deep and wise and rather argumentative, always returning to his favourite point of view. Those who are seriously into spirituality will love this tour through the notebooks of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Each of the 88 topics e.g. Time, Virtue, Sleep, Silence and Work is given around 3 pages of explanation split into 3 sections: a description of the scenery of the day, a description of the person that the subject addresses and an explanation of the correct way to see the subject. Jiddu comes over as very deep and wise and rather argumentative, always returning to his favourite point of view. The last couple of sentences in each chapter are usually the spiritual 'punch-line' so if you want to get the essence of this very good book quickly, then read these. Now - back to the Zombie Books!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Adrienne Michetti

    This book was as I expected. It is a series of anecdotes, almost like parables, as they follow a structure. In each anecdote is a person who has come to the master for help. There is a description of some kind of idyllic scenery to set the stage, and then dialogue between the master and the person who is in need of enlightenment, almost always ending with the latter acknowledging all the wrong they've done or seen or not understood, and finding solutions to move forward in their lives. It was a This book was as I expected. It is a series of anecdotes, almost like parables, as they follow a structure. In each anecdote is a person who has come to the master for help. There is a description of some kind of idyllic scenery to set the stage, and then dialogue between the master and the person who is in need of enlightenment, almost always ending with the latter acknowledging all the wrong they've done or seen or not understood, and finding solutions to move forward in their lives. It was a predictable formula, but it was useful and practical, even if the master's advice conflicted from time to time. This is reality, right? Good to think that it's dependent on context. :)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Navaneet J

    If you are feeling anger, pride, loneliness, envy, gossipy, indgination, burdened with knowledge or just lost... This book can help. Rather than giving doctrines or belief systems, it gives you a chance to ask yourself the question 'why you are feeling what you are feeling' in the right way. If you are feeling anger, pride, loneliness, envy, gossipy, indgination, burdened with knowledge or just lost... This book can help. Rather than giving doctrines or belief systems, it gives you a chance to ask yourself the question 'why you are feeling what you are feeling' in the right way.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tom Wamser

    A bit repetitive, but incredibly insightful on human psychology and motivation.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    3.5 stars, not 3 I think for this book, given it's technically in three parts; I'll give just a short review for the first two in the series; before a proper review is given when the third is finished. But as for this one, I must say, my decision to read this after the last book of his I read; of which, was Freedom from the Known, was a rather good one. Not that he mentions back to the book often, as a fact, it's virtually ignored. No, it rests upon the book being a precursor to what will be expec 3.5 stars, not 3 I think for this book, given it's technically in three parts; I'll give just a short review for the first two in the series; before a proper review is given when the third is finished. But as for this one, I must say, my decision to read this after the last book of his I read; of which, was Freedom from the Known, was a rather good one. Not that he mentions back to the book often, as a fact, it's virtually ignored. No, it rests upon the book being a precursor to what will be expected in this. Krishnamurti's prose style is rather predictable after a while, similarly to the preceding book. He usually presents his arguments in short; but reasonable detailed essays. A bit like Bacon in a sense, to give a comparison. Usually, he does this via a dialogue; where he encounters someone who fits the subject matter of that essay, and discusses with them on where they went wrong. Now, while I'm not a fan of this style, the arguments are rather plausible and in retrospect; not much different than Freedom from the Known. He does, just like last time; recommend we search for ourselves onto what is the truth; not follow in accordance to a faith or an ideology or a dogma. Although I'm fine with this, and respect the position; I do have two faults with him. One is more personal, the other is related to himself as a philosopher. Firstly, this advice is rather useless to be nowadays. Perhaps in the days when I was attempting to convert to Christianity, this would've come in as useful. But, unfortunately; it's around 3 years too late for that; therefore rather pointless. Secondly, it seems Krishnamurti is a bit self-contradicting. Here, he says that we ought to see truth for ourselves by ourselves, and yet; he speaks in a tone that is slightly implying of him being right or partially right. Then again, this could just be to his purposed method, not to his words completely. For now though, I'll leave things there. I apologize if the review isn't much; or the most thorough. But really, I don't like giving a proper review to only one book of a series. I promise though, a review of the work as it should be will occur upon the completion of the third book. As for the present, this will be sufficient.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Yerneni

    I love this man

  10. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    I almost always read one of his Commentaries early in the morning. Beautiful written. Deep. Very deep...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Binoj Mukundan

    A new dimension indeed..

  12. 5 out of 5

    Stjepan

    Worth reading in slow pace. Deep philosophy.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Phanindra

    Best way to understand K! The nature descriptions are wonderful and the teachings in these conversations are profound!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Will Moritz

    p98 about answers vs problems 81 is great. would be interestedi see how das responds to it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Deniz Oztas

    Türkçesi Yaşam Üzerine Yorumlamalar - I Her zaman okunulabilir bir kitap... You can always read...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kirti Panwar

    A beautiful book..the book brings the author to a state of solitude, peace and clarity regarding the ways of living...A must read book for everyone...🥰

  17. 5 out of 5

    Srinivas

    This book came to me very highly recommended as one of the most sophisticated books on the philosophy of life. It's a collection of essays, so I randomly sampled a few of them, and I don't think I have even completed a single essay. The prose is beautifully written, but the content hadn't resonated with me. Most of the philosophical points he makes are based on word play. I'm too pragmatic to get lost in a philosophy derived from word play. I have seen many self proclaimed spiritual Gurus use th This book came to me very highly recommended as one of the most sophisticated books on the philosophy of life. It's a collection of essays, so I randomly sampled a few of them, and I don't think I have even completed a single essay. The prose is beautifully written, but the content hadn't resonated with me. Most of the philosophical points he makes are based on word play. I'm too pragmatic to get lost in a philosophy derived from word play. I have seen many self proclaimed spiritual Gurus use this technique to charm over the confused masses. These gurus generally don't add to the understanding of life or reality through their talks. From what I have heard Krishnamurti definitely doesn't belong to this category of fake gurus. However his commentaries on living seem to be at the same level of intellectual gibberish. Any philosophy that deals with such complex subjects as life has to base its axioms on reality to make any sense to me. It can't just use clever word play to draw its conclusions. How does it matter what the word 'truth' or 'life' mean? you can't make profound statements on life based on esoteric constructs of human language. I have read very little from this book and there is a high chance that I have made my judgment too quickly. [through Shivam:]

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ty

    This book is broken up into many topics that Jiddu Krishnamurti as lectured about. It's not a book about one topic but many that will only go on about 3 pages per topic. Each topic starts out by describing his surroundings visually that last for one paragraph that relates to the topic of discussion. I found my self halfway though the book wanting to skip to a topic I was most interested in. I've read a couple of other books by him and it seems to cherry pick from his other books. The book has a lot This book is broken up into many topics that Jiddu Krishnamurti as lectured about. It's not a book about one topic but many that will only go on about 3 pages per topic. Each topic starts out by describing his surroundings visually that last for one paragraph that relates to the topic of discussion. I found my self halfway though the book wanting to skip to a topic I was most interested in. I've read a couple of other books by him and it seems to cherry pick from his other books. The book has a lot of value to deeply think about the "conflicts of consciousness" and focuses on the understanding of self. (which I do love) I would give it three stars, but I am bias for J.Krishnamurti and see more value of what he is trying to teach.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Saravanan A

    This book can change YOU This is one of the best books, problems discussed in this book are even relevant today and it will be relevant for any time. best part of this book is it is conversation kind of writing where somebody discuss a problem with JK. Many times we will be able to relate to our own problem and the words in the pages go deep in to us and it creates a change in us, best book to read all the three parts.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Warnock

    It's almost impossible not to reflect on the nature of your own thoughts while reading Krishnamurti's commentaries. I suspect a continuous inquiry into your own thinking as you read these commentaries may be beneficial while reading, which I suppose means long pauses, embracing the tranquil silence between thoughts. It's almost impossible not to reflect on the nature of your own thoughts while reading Krishnamurti's commentaries. I suspect a continuous inquiry into your own thinking as you read these commentaries may be beneficial while reading, which I suppose means long pauses, embracing the tranquil silence between thoughts.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carissa Weibley

    I really enjoy his prose. He takes esoteric subjects and makes them almost poetic to read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    This book is an absolute treasure. If I were to be stranded on a dessert island and could bring one book, this would be it. It's poetic, incisive and absolutely thought-provoking. This book is an absolute treasure. If I were to be stranded on a dessert island and could bring one book, this would be it. It's poetic, incisive and absolutely thought-provoking.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hobie

    Life changing

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nada Bakos

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nadine Artemis

  26. 5 out of 5

    Scarborough Fair

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marco Casado

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ben

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shaheed Shaw

  30. 5 out of 5

    Edgars Lūkins

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