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Freedom from the Known

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  8,812 ratings  ·  572 reviews
Krishnamurti shows how people can free themselves radically and immediately from the tyranny of the expected, no matter what their age--opening the door to transforming society and their relationships.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published March 10th 2009 by HarperOne (first published 1969)
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Rakhi Dalal
What is “freedom”? When I have the right to do things as I wish them to, is that called freedom? Or when I can think and speak about issues on my mind, is that freedom? Are we ever actually free? What we do, the things we do, either according to the acceptable notions of society, according to societal idea of virtue, fame or success, or according to our own notions of pleasure, can we say we do it by being entirely free? Can we? Isn’t a free mind also free from the burden of accumulated thoughts ...more
Bethan
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
My friend died while I was reading this - he killed himself at 25, almost 26-years-old - and this book ties into so much of what I think was wrong about what he was thinking and why he killed himself, and it also helped me to be reading it, because it centered me and gave me perspective - to meditate, to neither be attached nor detached, to understand how violent and toxic society, religion, family, authorities, jobs and other values are.

My friend was too tied to those things and it ultimately
...more
Michael
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I am not going to write reviews of all Krishnamurtis book because my understanding of what he was saying seems to be encompassed in this one.
Many years ago I was on a boat crossing from Greece to Egypt and got talking to an enigmatic lady called Erica. We talked for hours and she suggested that I must be interested in Krishnamurti. I had never heard of him so she wrote down the title of this book
Soon after I got back I bought the book and was mesmerized by the simple and profound truth of what
...more
Alok Mishra
Apr 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Exactly the one I was looking for... it challenged my beliefs and also my assumptions. However, there are many things in the book that cannot be followed by human beings who are accustomed to living in the 'world'. Emotions are inevitable as far as we don't want to lead the identity of being human... however, yet, there are many things in the book that, to an extent, give the readers a spur to try and to make things possible. ...more
Chris Chester
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I really don't know how one is supposed to go about reviewing a book like "Freedom from the Known." Krishnamurti is fairly explicit that learning from others is antithetical to true knowledge. Even consciously pursuing truth, he says, only puts a further barrier in front of it. So what's a reader to do?

His advice is essentially to live in the moment. Stop thinking and start experiencing. Don't look for truth, see truth. Instead of trying to improve yourself by consciously aspiring to a greater g
...more
rahul
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

But we do not ask. We want to be told. One of the most curious things in the structure of our psyche is that we all want to be told because we are the result of the propaganda of ten thousand years. We want to have our thinking confirmed and corroborated by another, whereas to ask a question is to ask it of yourself. What I say has very little value. You will forget it the moment you shut this book, or you will remember and repeat certain phrases, or you will compare what you have read here with
...more
-uht!
Jun 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
A few of my favorite quotes from this book. Hopefully I'll come back and put them all in here:

"A man who says, 'I want to change, tell me how to', seems very earnest, very serious, but he is not. He wants an authority whome he hopes will bring about order in himself. But can authority ever bring about inward order? Order imposed from without must always breed disorder."

"To be free of all authority, of your own and that of another, is to die to everything of yesterday, so that your mind is alway
...more
John Ryan
Jan 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dharma
This was the first book (aside from children's shorts, of course!) I read from cover-to-cover out loud. I don't know why, but it occurred to me to take it very slow and allow each word, each sentence to sink in.

My experience through this journey that Krishnamurti invites was a reclaiming of my sense of authority/responsibility over my own life. For me, it was a soul-blooming experience: I opened even wider to the possibility that simply engaging in the direct experience of living might be "where
...more
Divya
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reading Krishnamurthy is a humbling experience. The clarity of his thought is amazing.
I read many philosophers,I would not consider him one. Most people take him for a philosopher but to me he is not. K is an educator.He is a world teacher.Most speakers or writers I know, take you to this mystic world and bring you back. K does not do that. He mastered the art of answering your questions without bringing in mysticism. I truly enjoy that.One of my favorite parts of this and many more of his book
...more
Jokoloyo
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My first read of the author, although I had watched some of his teachings on videos. The voice on the book is very similar with video recordings that I had watched. Even some uncommon rare witty words of the author is recorded. The strong voice of the book is icing the cake for me.

The content of this book is very dense and one of the book with since the early paragraphs this author already explicitly opening no-nonsense thoughts for readers. Throughout this book the author is arguing, questionin
...more
Jenn
Sep 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is not at all what I expected. Instead of being told what to do, what to feel, and what to think like most philosophers; he instead challenges you to think for yourself and to learn these lessons on your own and not to follow him or any other leader to guide us because that will not succeed in creating change within ourselves. A very radical and inspirational book that is sure to intrigue any reader with an open mind.
Michael
061018: engaging, concise, insightful, awareness. it is perhaps helpful to have carefully read, thought of, explored, many books or other sources of particularly ‘eastern’ ways of being. this includes, through history and thought, ways religious, philosophical, emotional. perhaps helpful but only in critical manner able for the reader to ‘bracket’ these ‘suppositions’ (phenomenological way) and go ‘beyond’ embedded human senses (bergson) that this or that ‘way’ is final word on how to be...

so, h
...more
MizzSandie
I had really high expectations for this one, my first Krishnamurti book, and I was severely disappointed, but is having some difficulty figuring out, what exactly it was that rubbed me the wrong way, or rather, didn't rub me the right way...

I was mainly bored, and I guess that might be due to the fact that I never really connected to the voice of Krishnamurti, that somehow his way of talking about the matters at hand, just never really captivated me, never gave me that aching feeling of an expr
...more
Catie
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"Immaturity lies only in total ignorance of self. To understand yourself is the beginning of wisdom."

"Truth has no path, and that is the beauty of truth, it is living."

"It is one of the most difficult things in the world to look at anything simply."

"Most of us are afraid of living as well as of dying."

"Attention is not the same thing as concentration. Concentration is exclusion; attention, which is total awareness, excludes nothing."

"A mind which is not crippled by memory has real freedom."

"What
...more
H L
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As my first experience of reading Krishnamurti whom I found difficult to understand , I've come across many extraordinary ideas which shook my own knowledge regarding seeking truth , love, and happiness, etc. Krishnamurti believes that you are the only one who is responsible for getting his/her own truth and that nobody,no religion,and no beliefs or thoughts can give you the truth. If you ask him : what steps to follow in order to have my own truth? , then there would be no answers. It's just yo ...more
Zenzile
May 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Zenzile by: My mom
One of the first books I have ever read by J. Krishnamurti. He is like no one else in the field of philosophy. I don't actually believe it is even possible to reduce him merely to a field of teaching. Because his purpose is more to awaken the critical thought process, and to stimulate awareness itself. He is not interested in being a self help device or in helping you turn your life around. I would say that the most concise description of his efforts are to turn the critical eye inward in order ...more
Keely
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, non-fiction
While reading this book, a quote by Herman Hesse kept playing through my mind. "Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom." With that being said, I found this book to be very interesting with a lot of truth but a very hard read. I understood what Krishnamurti was trying to explain, but it took me a while to process and had to sit with parts of the book for a while to grasp what was being conveyed. I definitely agree with a lot of what was said but it took an open mind and a change in perspec ...more
Andrew
Apr 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
I can never tell if krishnamuri is a brilliant philosopher or more akin to a child asking his mother questions about EVERYTHING it sees.

"mommy what's that"
"it's a pen dear"
"mommy what's that..."

His questions are explained in a way that makes them extremly thought provoking. I have lost hours of sleep muddling over even his simple philosophies, like the notion of love for example.

His core principle of never having an absolute understanding makes my brain do cartwheels. If your thinking philoso
...more
Hans
What can I say??? ....... Must read for yourself.
Faezeh Nourikakhki
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"A man who knows that he is silent, who knows that he loves, does not know what love is or what silence is." ...more
P.E.
Apr 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Ici et maintenant


“Truth has no path, and that is the beauty of truth, it is living. A dead thing has a path to it because it is static, but when you see that the truth is something living, moving, which has no resting place, which is in no temple, mosque or church, which no religion, no teacher, no philosopher, nobody can lead you to - then you will also see that this living thing is what you actually are.”

“In all our relationships each one of us builds an image about the other and these two
...more
Julie
Oct 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was difficult reading for me. There were some great nuggets, though, which spoke right to my heart. It could be that I'm too much of a "Western" thinker, I don't know. I read it because a friend of mine said it had been influential in her life. It was worth reading for those nuggets that spoke to me: Question everything I've been taught in this society, directly experience wonder without filters, be open to everything. Just not a fluid read for me nor easily digested. ...more
Zeno
Jan 28, 2013 rated it liked it
"A man who knows that he is silent, who knows that he loves, does not know what love is or what silence is."

I am following a man who does not like to be followed.
O, the irony.
...more
Mattheus Guttenberg
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Truly profound and radical in its approach. An amazing inquiry into the self and one's own conditioning. This has the capacity to change every reader. ...more
Kirtida Gautam
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chakra-5
I am speechless. Wordless. This book is not something I can describe. If you want to expand and awaken your mind, just read it.
Yosevu
Nov 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I won't attempt to describe this book in any qualitative form except to say that it made me think... something I already try to make a habit of. When I read Freedom from the Known, the feeling is one of euphoria. He is telling me what I know and helping me understand how and why I know it. Reading this book was also a humbling experience. Even though I'd like to think I know something, I really don't know much. And that simple fact is exemplified by the way I stumbled upon Krishnamurti. I was wa ...more
Maan
May 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Freedom From The Known has been called the primary work and magnum opus of J Krishnamurti. I never had read Krishnamurti before neither heard of him. So it was fresh to read a completely new work by someone i never had to judge before.

Although my review is a bit late now nevertheless i read it in 4 days. I got 40% understanding first so read it again and still hard to say if i completely get it. I have a Mary Luteyens edition so it's out of question to doubt on the translation. My friend had a
...more
Dipkamal
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
To achieve freedom in the society we live, surrounded by cults, religions, their dogmas and Gods, one has to ask and never get satisfied to what is told, one has to see and understand and never believe on what's presented, and most importantly, free oneself from all the practices, ideologies that have been imposed upon. Rebel against this, don't submit yourself and always learn to get aware of your world, your inner world, and your surroundings. Free yourself from your past. Don't desperately se ...more
Sandesh Rawat
What is "Known"? All that you have ever thought, all the memories that you've created, all ideas that you have ever learnt, all that your parents/society/religion/nation has taught or conditioned your mind to, and all that the millions of years of evolution coded in your genes - all that is Known. With so much Known in your head, you can't help but be biased. To gain Freedom from the Known, you MUST drop all of this and look at everything as it is, with a child's innocence and freshness. Once yo ...more
Bunleng
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Soon after I bought this book I was mesmerized by the deep teaching of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Every single sentence in his book lies deep and beautiful meanings. He was unbelievably an incredible thinker of the century whom I highly appreciate. Through out my experience in reading, I think this book should be read slowly, then you, as reader, should pause a bit, absorb meaning, synthesize, rationalize, make sense of it, and decide to accept or reject the ideas or perceptions. He doesn't seem to giv ...more
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Jiddu Krishnamurti was born on 11 May 1895 in Madanapalle, a small town in south India. He and his brother were adopted in their youth by Dr Annie Besant, then president of the Theosophical Society. Dr Besant and others proclaimed that Krishnamurti was to be a world teacher whose coming the Theosophists had predicted. To prepare the world for this coming, a world-wide organization called the Order ...more

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“Thought is so cunning, so clever, that it distorts everything for its own convenience.” 186 likes
“To be free of all authority, of your own and that of another, is to die to everything of yesterday, so that your mind is always fresh, always young, innocent, full of vigour and passion. It is only in that state that one learns and observes. And for this, a great deal of awareness is required, actual awareness of what is going on inside yourself, without correcting it or telling it what it should or should not be, because the moment you correct it you have established another authority, a censor.” 125 likes
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