Thought is Your Enemy

He Became U.G.


Be there
Said God
Black out.
Be there
Said God
World Wars.
Be There
Said God
Utter Chaos.
God said
Be there
No God!

-- K. Chandrasekhar

There is no teaching of mine, and never shall be one. 'Teaching' is not the word for it. 'Teaching' implies a method or a system, a technique or a new way of thinking to be applied in order to bring about a transformation in your way of life. What I am saying is outside the field of teachability; it is simply a description of the way I am functioning. It is just a description of the natural state of man -- that is the way you, stripped of the machinations of thought, are also functioning.

The natural state is not the state of a self-realized or God-realized man, it is not a thing to be achieved or attained, it is not a thing to be willed into existence; it is there -- it is the living state. This state is just the functional activity of life. By 'life' I do not mean something abstract; it is the life of the senses, functioning naturally without the interference of thought. Thought is an interloper, which thrusts itself into the affairs of the senses. It has a profit motive: thought directs the activity of the senses to get something out of them and uses them to give itself continuity.

Your natural state has no relationship whatsoever with the religious states of bliss, beatitude, and ecstasy; they lie within the field of experience. Those who have led man on his search for religiousness throughout the centuries have perhaps experienced those religious states. So can you. They are thought-induced states of being and as they come, so do they go. Krishna Consciousness, Buddha Consciousness, Christ Consciousness, or what have you, are all trips in the wrong direction: they can never be grasped, contained, much less given expression to, by any man. That beaten track will lead you nowhere. There is no oasis situated yonder; you are stuck with the mirage.

A Note at the Beginning

If you think that you can read and understand this book, you may be quite off the mark. "Anybody who comes and listens to me and tries to understand what I am trying to put across is wasting his time, because there is no way you can listen to anything without interpretation," says U.G. Krishnamurti.

According to him, when we leave the sense of hearing alone all that is there is the vibration of sounds. These vibrations are picked up by the eardrum, transferred to the nerves which run to the brain, and are interpreted according to what he calls 'our reference point'. Thus we hear our own translations of the vibrations. Says U.G., "That is all right for a relationship with someone on the level of 'Here is some money; give me half a kilo of carrots'; but that is the limit of your relationship, of your communication with anybody."

Whether you agree or not with all that he says, it is really worth a try to listen to him. The words that come out of him are like grenades lobbed into our 'reference point,' threatening to uproot everything we believed in. His statements are devastating, more so to people who have heard J. Krishnamurti, Osho Rajneesh, and others who are nurtured in a religious atmosphere.

U.G. can also discuss quantum physics and black holes, and eros and thanatos. U.G. says, "I do not claim to have a special insight into the nature of things or that I understand the workings of nature more than anybody else. But this is what I have discovered for myself. I do not care whether you accept what I am saying or not. It stands or falls by itself." His statements have a solid ring of authenticity and seem to spring from a source other than thinking. What he says shakes the very foundation of human thought. It is another matter that his remarks on themes such as God, love, enlightenment, mind, meditation, death, and reincarnation often smack of blasphemy and border on heresy.

The story of U.G. Krishnamurti has all the ingredients of a thriller. One episode in his life leads to another without any systematic sequence. When he reached the age of forty-nine, there was a sudden turn of events. Something happened to him which he called a 'calamity' (to help our understanding), when he stumbled upon a 'natural state,' wherein, in his words, "everything that man had said, felt, or seen, in fact, the whole heritage of mankind, was thrown out of my system."

But, according to U.G., this was not what he had desired. He was looking for a spiritual dreamland waxed eloquent by the holy men -- frauds as well as genuine. The religious atmosphere was part of his background. U.G. was born in 1918 into a middle class Brahmin family in Andrah Pradesh. His mother died soon after giving birth to him. On her deathbed she said her child was cut out for something "immeasurably high." U.G.'s grandfather took her words seriously and groomed him in an ascetic atmosphere.

A small episode, however, was a turning point in U.G.'s life. His grandfather was once meditating early in the morning when he was disturbed by the cries of a child. The old man was so angry that he beat the child black and blue. The incongruity and brutality of the scene had a traumatic impact on the tender sensibilities of U.G. He said to himself, "If this is what meditation is about, it is worthless." He threw away his sacred thread and threatened to walk out of the house.

U.G.'s life thereafter was an experiment with truth. An insatiable hunger overtook him to find out whether there was anything behind the abstract pronouncements of the so-called spiritual men. He met various masters including J. Krishnamurti and Ramana Maharshi and practiced traditional meditations. He exhausted every means possible to reach the 'promised land' and at the end was bereft of hope and thrown into utter despair.

On his forty-ninth birthday he was sitting on a bench overlooking the green valley and rugged peaks of Oberland in Switzerland. It suddenly occurred to him, "I have searched everywhere to find an answer to my question, 'Is there enlightenment?' but I have never questioned the search itself, because I have assumed that enlightenment exists and that I have had to search for it. However, it is the search itself which has been choking me and keeping me out of my natural state."

He said to himself, "There is no such thing as spiritual or psychological enlightenment, because there is no such thing as spirit or psyche at all. I have been a damn fool all my life, searching for something which does not exist. My search is at an end."

His voracious hunger to find out the fairyland promised by the prophets and spiritual masters had burnt itself out. The occurrence had telling effects on his body. Many physical changes took place within him which bewildered the medical men and friends around him. His life thereafter became one in which there was "no thought for the morrow nor grief over the past."

According to U.G., grief and joy exist only in the realm of the mind. The body is interested in neither. Its only interest is in surviving the day-to-day challenges it encounters from moment to moment.

U.G.'s statements are enigmatic, and if heard or read outside of his presence can be construed as either a product of a supreme intellect or a madman's litany His words defy the logical framework which we are accustomed to. U.G. dismisses the possibility of any experience except through knowledge. According to him, it is knowledge which creates an experience, and it is the experience which in turn strengthens the knowledge. 'Knowledge' does not have any metaphysical or epistemological overtones. It is simply that something is a chair or a table, or that some sensation is pleasurable or painful. In fact, even the process of recognition and naming of something is part of knowledge. The total operation is designated 'thinking'.

What distinguishes us from U.G. is that this knowledge which is operating through the process of thinking is in a declutched state in U.G., while there is a constant undercurrent of thinking activity within us whether we like it or not. Our mind is constantly churning out thought after thought in various shapes, colors, and sizes. U.G. says that it is through this constant thinking that we are maintaining the continuity of what we call the 'I' or 'self'.

In U.G. the continuity of thought has been snapped. Thoughts come to him in a disjointed manner without any link-up. He thinks only when there is a demand for experience. Otherwise, what there is is only the simple activity of the senses -- the stimulus-and-response continuum. Since it is the continuous thinking activity that gives the illusion of the 'self' or 'I', there is no feeling of 'self' or 'I' within him.

U.G. says the stranglehold on the physical organism of what is called knowledge has the potency of millions of years. The knowledge which operates in the form of thought has set up a parallel empire of its own, in contradistinction to the ways of nature. But thought subtly 'know' its ephemeral nature, and the fear of its fleeting existence propels it to erect a marvelous structure of culture, civilization, religion, politics, the various institutions and values that govern our lives, and, in fact, everything that we can conceive of.

All these facets of human life are nothing but props through which thought tries to enthrone itself in permanence. In other words, what we call 'I' or 'you' is thought seeking permanence in innumerable activities. U.G. says that only when, by some miracle or strange chance, the living organism is freed from the stranglehold of the empire created by thought, can the body, with its extraordinary intelligence, free the human being so that he can 'fall' into his 'natural state'.

But, according to U.G., one cannot use one's volition or go through any rigorous discipline to come into the natural state, Such a state is beyond the field of experience. U.G. often describes his situation thus: "How did it all happen? I don't know. What is it that has happened? I don't know. Has anything happened at all?" He says that what has happened to him is such that it cannot be shared by anybody, and that the natural state cannot be expressed or contained in thought. Therefore, "no communication is possible and no dialogue is necessary".

What use is the so-called 'natural state' to people who are not functioning in it? The question is after all asked from a non-natural-state perspective by mortals who are looking for a panacea to all their problems. Peace and happiness are what we are all after, and U.G.'s 'natural state' offers us no experience of anything like it. So what we are left with are our points of view about the person, depending on our prejudices and conditioning. Call him a fraud or a freak of nature, but once you are anywhere near the vortex of U.G.'s presence you are left dumbfounded. Your expectations and opinions are shattered. You are left to wonder as to what is the source from which his statements spring. Beneath his apparent human form there lies something which defies description.

Frank Norohna
21/88 Lodi Colony
New Delhi

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