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Total Freedom: The Essential Krishnamurti

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  1,318 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Counted among his admirers are Jonas Salk, Aldous Huxley, David Hockney, and Van Morrison, along with countless other philosophers, artist, writers and students of the spiritual path. Now the trustees of Krishnamurti’s work have gathered his very best and most illuminating writings and talks to present in one volume the truly essential ideas of this great spiritual thinker ...more
Paperback, 370 pages
Published 1996 by HarperOne
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 ·  1,318 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Nov 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Whenever I read Krisnamurti I'm all like "Well, it's so clear and obvious now, everything makes total sense."

I have the same feeling when I put on my glasses. "Ah, look, those trees aren't just a blur of green but you can see each individual leaf. I can't believe I've been missing this!"

Feeling a little cloudy? This guy will straighten you RIGHT out.
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing

"I think it is always important to ask fundamental questions, but when we do ask a fundamental question, most of us are seeking an answer, and then the answer is invariably superficial because there is no yes or no answer to life. Life is a movement, an endless movement, and to inquire into this extraordinary thing called life, with all its innumerable aspects, one must ask fundamental questions and never be satisfied with answers, however satisfactory they may be, because the moment you have an
Sep 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Krishnamurti is taxing. It is anything but a self-help, feel good, gooshy, new-agey guru book. He is harsh. He is bare. His words are truth, in all their naked beauty and terror. They are at once beautifully quoteable, and damningly upsetting. He necessitates the reexamination of all that is human, and at the same times affirms our own divine potential. Its a shocking examination of beauty, love, truth and unity. You are the world. That is the truth he proclaims. I'm positive that Annie Bassant ...more
Kshitiz Dahal
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Thoreau remarked in Walden, "rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth," and this book definitely paves the way for the truth. Rather than depending on some external teachers for the truth, this book asks you to seek the truth inside yourself. It exposes the illusions of fears and security created in your mind through different forms of conditioning.Definitely helps to lead a fearless life, a life full of love and compassion and a life devoid of attachments.

One of the most radical a
Steve Woods
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What can I say? This man is one of the great thinkers of the 20th century. I was first introduced to his work while I was a teenager in a small country town, I couldn't make sense of any of it and it's taken 50 years to come to a point where those matters of which he speaks so eloquently are now on my mind. Clear, concise and insightful, he makes a universal message into his own form of expression that holds within it no illusions and an internal logic that just cannot be denied.

An important poi
Tanmay Sethi
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Krishnamurti is the most blunt author I have read. It has given me answers to some of my most cherished question ranging from death to consciousness to love. Not just that, it has shattered some of my belief and to an extent my ego.
Though the book becomes a bit repetitive at times given it is collection of speeches, but the content is too heavy to be understood in one go. I had my aha moments reading this book. Must read for anyone seeking answer to life questions.
Bogdan Florin
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I've discovered Krishnamurti, from one list of books recommended by Naval. I have checked the ratings and then bought the book. It's a book that will get your perception of life to the next level.

Here are my initial takeaways:
- Jiddu is a book that touches the heart, mind, soul, and the spirit
- Total freedom is different than anything else that you have read
- Krishnamurti dissects essential life subjects like a stoic with a philosopher mind
- He tackles subjects such as human relationships, thoug
Victor Alvarez
In my view, most authors (or more generally people) regarded as intellectuals under-perform and under-achieve due to the following two aspects: they rely too much on their rational thinking and they follow the approach of developing methods (which can be understood within their own contexts but not individualised, adapted or evolved). Maybe a third trend on this checklist would be self-centredness.

Where many fail, Krishnamurti (and Rumi) excel. Here is a universal and timeless philosopher, a th
Steve Pedersen
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Its been a few years since I have read this book, but it made a great impact on me. Krishnamurti has such a way with words that he is capable of discussing the human spirit with such great intellect and articulation that makes it very tangible and easy to relate with.
Jul 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any seeker.
Shelves: re-reading
This book absolutely changed my perspective although I am sure I will get more out of it every time I read it. I appreciated how logical his message is and how he urged the questioners to challenge it with their own experiences and their own truth. It proves true but not easy, although one may agree with what he is saying, to live at such a height of awareness and consciousness is a constant and life long challenge. I look forward to reading it again and get even deeper into myself.

Also, a lot
Prathap Sridharan
Oct 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
This dude is a quack! He is the definition of quack: belaboring a very simple point with vague language. Essentially, he talks about being mindful and aware which is explained much more succinctly and clearly by any link that shows up in a google search. I can't believe that many eminent intellectuals were fans of his vapid nonsense.

He is right about one point:

Do not look to authority!

He managed to hit that point home very well with all the other garbage he spewed. Also the fact that so called "
Hannah  Kim
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It does not matter on which page I start to read.
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A book I will definitely be revisiting often. It has changed my perspective on meditating and being mindful. It is a collection of essays and talks given by Krishnamurti in which he encourages the reader to question and look inward to find true freedom. He stresses that he is not an authority. He only relays his own insights and encourages the listener to find their own.
Stephan Scharf
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
I've found this book in a friend's bookshelf per accident. And it hit me. It was the first "spiritual book" I took after a long period in studying and reading books in philosophy. The thing was, that I was not satisfied with the discussions and solutions presented there. I quit my PhD in philosophy thinking it became a waste of time talking in endless discussions that did not get to the point.
Many years in living a mundane life style in suffering from a materialistic world-view followed.
J.K. wa
Colin Schindler
Krishnamurti has been a great discovery for me. One of the main things I appreciate is how he places so much effort in helping you learn how to think for yourself. Rather than tell you how to do something, he clearly starts every question or thought problem by deconstructing and getting down to the first principles. What is it we are trying to figure out and why.

A big part of Jiddu's philosophy is that all organizations (religions, programs, disciplines, etc.), essentially anything that does the
Aarti Sreenivas
Aug 09, 2020 is currently reading it
These are notes & quotes; not a review.

- Before one can act truly, one must know the prison in which one is living - i.e. whats your baggage? How has it been created? Examine this without any self-defence to find true significance
- That search for security again expresses itself through class divisions, which develop into the stupidity of nationalism and imperialism, breeding hatred, racial antagonism, and the ultimate cruelty of war.
- Become conscious of the prison; then you will
Matt Mayhall
Aug 10, 2007 rated it liked it
I've read a few of Krishnamurti's books. I think his philosophy is pretty right-on, but each book I've read has left me feeling like I needed more of an explanation. I felt the need for him to elaborate on certain things, and because his published books are often collections of essays on one specific topic ("On God," "On Love and Loneliness," etc.) I always kind of felt like each book had its fair share of redundance. I bought Total Freedom in hopes that he had more to say. This one seemed like ...more
Dec 04, 2008 rated it did not like it
“I heard from Zizek about "Zen in War", a book about the assistance Zen Buddhists brought to the Japanese Empire of WWII. In reading the reviews I came across a reference to a development of Zen ideas about meditation and existence, purged of the Japanese and Buddhist superstructure. That really interested me since I've always thought there was a lot to admire about Zen meditation and aesthetics but could never stomach all the Buddhist and Japanese cultural specifics. So a "culture neutral" Zen ...more
Michael Oliver
Jan 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: thinkers
Recommended to Michael by: Amy Lenarz
Truth is a pathless land. Krishnamurti urges us not to accept blindly the words of any spiritual leader (including himself), *to think critically, that we may free our minds and see clearly on our own personal journey- He offers insights into the nature of the self, meditation, sex, love, and the mysteries of life and death.

*paraphrased from the back of the book (sometimes you can't say it better).
Annette Abbott
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
If you're not familiar with Krishnamurti, this book offers a good introduction to his talks. A fantastic spiritual teacher, he offers deep insights which can be applied to life regardless of one's spiritual tradition.

Unlike Alan Watts, whom I love to listen to rather than read, I find Krishnamurti easier to read than to listen to. Maybe because I like to savor, or go back and re-read a paragraph or chapter and ponder it. Print offers that luxury more than audio in my opinion.

Karen Lewin-Hicks
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Providing yourself the light that frees you from your person, means you don't need Krishnamurti or any other guru-type. It is this freedom that Krishnamurti aims at for each man. If you're serious in your search, you'll see there's no way, with Krishnamurti or otherwise. His writing are spot on. This book is highly recommended. ...more
Christian McKay
Mar 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book has ignited more fiery discussions about religion than any other for me. A friend of mine and I used to walk around the botanical gardens in Pasadena and talk Krishnamurti for hours. I think it changed the way I lived. That's exactly what I look for in a book. ...more
Nov 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Awesome book esp. for people in the field of education. It was a real eye opener. His work is challenging and simple all at the same time. He has the unique ability to make you crazy if you study him too much.
Brian Harrison
Aug 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Fantastic ideas and theories put forth in a frank and clear nature. At times frustrating, redundant, and needlessly convoluted, but an important collection of works for those i search of a life of substance.
Cara Bradley
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
The precise words of Krishnamurti opens gateways for me I never knew existed. I first read Total Freedom 15 years ago. The second time was an entirely new experience. I'd imagine a third time would delight me as well. ...more
Judy Cheron
Apr 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
When I was searching for something to read to get me motivated and going again.. This book helped a lot during that time.. It's something that will make u really think outside of yourself.. ...more
Joseph Bailey
May 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
An excellent objective exploration of spiritual practice without reference to a particular tradition or belief set.
Jim George
Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
The author has the tendacy to talk in circles, answering questions with more questions. His book Think On These Things is great!
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Remarkable philosophical insights from what appears to be a new type of mind.
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
A really good read. Krishnamurti is an amazing philosopher. I enjoyed his ideas and questions. It's amazing how everything he says is still relevant today. Have we changed at all? ...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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