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The First and Last Freedom

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  3,383 ratings  ·  175 reviews
If truth can set us free, where do we find it? In The First and Last Freedom, Krishnamurti argues that we will not find truth in formal institutions, nor in organised religions and their dogmas, nor in any guru or outside authority; for, according to Krishnamurti, truth can only be realised through self-understanding.

Controversial and challenging, yet always enlightening,
Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 1st 2013 by Rider (first published 1954)
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Sandeep Richard, you raised a very important question, and it shows that you are on right path!! It is a pathless path - as Zen describes it. There is a book …moreRichard, you raised a very important question, and it shows that you are on right path!! It is a pathless path - as Zen describes it. There is a book "Pathless path" by Osho too. In short as per my experience and information - Path because you have found home i.e. destiny of every human being. Pathless because you have neither traveled nor reached because existence was, is and will remain available to everyone, every moment only our eyes are not able to see it. So we just need to bring back our capacity to see our self, in present and we may find it in this very moment itself. It may happen in this very moment, through witnessing consciousness and level eagerness. (less)
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Zane Chleboun
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Out of every "spiritual" book I have read, this one takes the cake. Krishnamurti takes a more philosophical and psychological approach to why we're miserable. Unlike most other books, Krishnamurti doesn't shove pseudo-wisdom in your face and tell you what you need to do to attain enlightenment. He makes rational observations. The result is similar to reading a Dostoevsky novel. You will notice things about yourself that you absolutely hate. You will become more in touch with yourself - which in ...more
Alok Mishra
Really, last freedom?
Well, reading books like these certainly help you understand different perspectives on 'your' life but they do lead you into more and more conundrum and you become uncertain about yourself and your actions.
Why does one seek freedom? To be free from something that either enslaves you or compels you to do something wrong - morally or prima-facie. However, to seek last freedom is to liberate yourself from the cycle of birth and death (Gita). Sri Krishna told that you can do it
Monica Perez
Several years ago, I came to the conclusion that no form of government could limit itself sufficiently and therefore there is no hope that a geographic monopoly on the use of force with the right to demand taxes under threat of violence (ie., government) could result in a free and just society. For example, I could see the futility of restoring the US Constitution since that is the document that led to this state in actuality, whether the document is ideal or flawed. I then came across a book ca ...more
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this Indian philosopher. A nugget from him;

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
Jun 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Someone once gave me this book for no reason known to me. Then began the madness and transformation of my life.
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When my mentor recommended that I read Jiddu Krishnamurti's works, I thought they would be Deepak Chopra-esque pseudo-profound books, and so it was with a sense of dread that I picked up "The First and Last Freedom" (or in my case, downloaded the PDF). Instead, I was taken aback by the rational introspection the author presents. This is a book that has the potential to be life-changing. Everything within it is sensible and even obvious, and many times I found Krishnamurti completing thoughts tha ...more
Mar 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the Spring of every year, Krishnamurti would come speak under a large oak in a quiet grove near Ojai, California. We would take a blanket, spread it out on the grass, and listen. This book will give readers an idea of his thinking, but it was his silence that really penetrated and made us intrigued to know what he was saying.
Alex Kartelias
Jun 22, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I was reading this book with so much interest for the first 160 pages or so but, when i came to realize the totality of his belief- that the truth is a pathless land- it hit me: why would something entirely incommunicable be written in a book? That's where Krisnamurti's BELIEFS really fell apart for me.

I'd hand it to him, he speaks extremely clear and has a very sharp intellect. But, his assumptions, generalized conclusions and contradictions are enormous when one looks carefully. For example, h
“The self is a problem that thought cannot solve.”

Reading Krishnamurti is often a disorienting experience. How to account for this?

One way is his writing/speaking style. The diction is as simple as can be, but the syntax is distinctively circular–in quoting him I often found myself glueing with ellipses fractions of multiple sentences. It’s almost as if the simplicity of his message undermines our linear way of understanding. Part of this is perhaps the fact that Krishnamurti is asking as much
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"What you understand leaves no mark"

To meet every challenge fresh and without preconceived notions - this is the theme central to Krishnamurti's philosophy. It is a very powerful idea, one which we know works, and is central to spiritual gurus (like Osho, Thich Nhat Hanh, Eckhart Tolle) whose ideas are based around and constitute Eastern philosophy.
The method of tireless scrutiny he dictates is painfully honest. It requires great focus to develop such persistence in inspecting one's actions and
Sandesh Rawat
This is my K's third read and I just keep getting more impressed by the simplicity of his language, clarity of thought, and depth of inquiry. There are two parts to the book. The first part contains K's discourses on a variety of topics ranging from Simplicity to Fear to Desire and so on. Then the second part contains 38 questions followed by answers to those questions by K.

The broader points across K's books remain the same. One of the important ones is - self-knowledge or understanding of what
Sean Goh
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Challenging? Yes, in more ways than one. He repeats himself ad nauseam, to the point that the second half of the book uncannily resembles the first half. But the points he raises do challenge one's world view.

Every system is a standing temptation to take symbols too seriously, to pay more attention to words than to the realities for which the words are supposed to stand.

To understand the misery and confusion that exists within ourselves and the world, we must first find clarity wit
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Krishnamurti is incredible. I read this shortly after reading 'Freedom from the Known.' Both books are more compilations of his speeches and writings than books written in book format, and thus overlap a lot and cover very similar themes. 'Freedom from the Known' is more of a direct dive into Krishnamurti's philosophy, whereas 'First and Last Freedom' half deep dive on his philosophy and half in the format of Krishnamurti answering very practical daily life questions.

On Krishnamurti's philosophy
Ivan Vuković
I never read anything by Krishnamurti prior to picking up this book, I only watched some of his video recordings. I found him illuminating and precise, so I wanted to read an actual book.

I enjoyed the first couple of chapters, but then I started to realize that Krishnamurti is full of contradictions, even in the chapter on contradictions. They started piling up and I just had to drop the book halfway through, I couldn't stand reading it any further.

Obvious contradictions aside, he tends to prese
Chetan Narang
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Uncle JK was, and in a way still is, a great teacher.
Feb 14, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Dnf. Yeah, I'm done with this guy. I think he's talking out of his ass half the time, but nobody wants to acknowledge it. ...more
Aug 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are familiar with "zen" then this book is a pure classic in that genus. To be more precise, this is not even a book in the strictest of senses; perhaps a series of discourse on wide range of topics including self-knowledge, awareness, desire, relationship, time, present-crisis, loneliness, suffering, sex, simplicity, meaning of life, transformation, and so on. Nonetheless, I got bored continuing from this subject matter to that not because the intrinsic contents were less appealing, but b ...more
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Krishnamurti’s writing and lectures have opened minds & touched hearts for many decades. There’s a direct simplicity to his writing and — in a non-academic way — he obviously understands much about the human mind & emotional reactions and the fundamental relationship of a human to Being or God.

The reservation I’ve long felt about his expression in books & lectures is that he lived a life very different from the vast majority of human beings. Since before his emergence from Theosophy & into a uni
Fouad maghamez
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"...You see a lovely sunset , a beautiful tree in a field and when you first look at it, you enjoy it completely, wholly; but you go back to it with the desire to enjoy it again. What happens when you go back with the desire to enjoy it? There is no enjoyment, because it is the memory of yesterday's sunset that is now making you return that is pushing, urging you to enjoy. Yesterday there was no memory, only a spontaneous appreciation, a direct response; today you are desirous of recapturing the ...more
jeremy bradner
i read this for a class and it was pretty revolutionary for me when i first read it and for a few years after. however, it turned me into a lazy and negative person. i mean, i know what he's saying about the bad side discipline...but sometimes a little self discipline is necessary. i remember a quote from here though on the chapter where he posed the question "what is the meaning of life" the response was: "to live." ...more
Sandeep Saroha
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the way he was giving the answers in the form of questions, like itn't it, thus encouraging the read to THINK himself...which is the most important thing. atleast in spiritual books. But i still have doubts. if mind, memory is really such an evil, why evolution, why the whole structure gave to humans?...just to cause him suffering? although very much spiritual, I still feels science give a better answer of that. ...more
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Knishnamurti concisely expounds on living truthfully with oneself in relationship through self-study. It is what it is: “It cannot be taught in books. It has to be found from moment to moment, in the smile, in the tear, under the dead leaf, in the vagrant thoughts, in the fullness of love.”
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book influenced my thinking more than anything. But it might not be everyone's cup of chai. So before you start reading this book, a free bit of advice: get an introductory idea about Jiddu Krishnamurti and his school of thought. ...more
Gouri Shankar
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a lovely book with lot of interesting chapters such as "What are we seeking ?" .."Awareness"... ""The Function of the Mind ".......which is all original in nature . ...more
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic, but I read this too early. I'll come back to it in due time. ...more
Sunil Peesapati
I felt that the book can be much more precise, without repeating the same thoughts in different ways. Had to skim through the pages very fast to understand what the author is basically trying to say.
Will Moritz
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reconnected to Buddhism/Eastern philosophy reading this book. Also bookmarked pretty much every page, so hopefully I can provide synthesis here, rather than just copy stuff.
An important aspect of Krishnamurti's point is that we cannot arrive to truth/enlightenment/understanding/happiness through thought. With that being the case, you could argue that there's little point in trying to synthesize his points. Because in writing this summary up, I'm trying to become something, trying to understand s
Harry McInley
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

All in all, an abstract book and way of thinking, certainly not for most people. Not interested in science or nitty gritty facts, Krishnamurti is more interested in expressing his experiences, which can at times be pretty difficult to comprehend. In saying that, there were moments in the book where certain things rang true so here are my main 3 lessons of his philosophy outlined in the book.

Lesson 1) it is the responsibility of every individual to bring about a better society by improvi
Jan 30, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Typical nondualist philosophy + 60's hippie Peacenik slogans + cold war paranoia == J. Krishnamurti.

To be entirely honest, I believe he probably was more impressive in person. The book is actually just a record of his talks. While I do agree that his story is remarkable, and probably he was an interesting person, I find that he annoys me in a couple of ways. It would be too verbose to make a long review of everything that I find wrong with his book, so I'll just leave it at this formula:

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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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