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The First and Last Freedom

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Krishnamurti is a leading spiritual teacher of our century. In The First and Last Freedom he cuts away symbols and false associations in the search for pure truth and perfect freedom. Through discussions on suffering, fear, gossip, sex and other topics, Krishnamurti’s quest becomes the readers, an undertaking of tremendous significance.

288 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1954

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About the author

J. Krishnamurti

1,036 books3,713 followers
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 of the Star in the East was formed and the young Krishnamurti was made its head.

In 1929, however, Krishnamurti renounced the role that he was expected to play, dissolved the Order with its huge following, and returned all the money and property that had been donated for this work.

From then, for nearly sixty years until his death on 17 February 1986, he travelled throughout the world talking to large audiences and to individuals about the need for a radical change in humankind.

Krishnamurti is regarded globally as one of the greatest thinkers and religious teachers of all time. He did not expound any philosophy or religion, but rather talked of the things that concern all of us in our everyday lives, of the problems of living in modern society with its violence and corruption, of the individual's search for security and happiness, and the need for humankind to free itself from inner burdens of fear, anger, hurt, and sorrow. He explained with great precision the subtle workings of the human mind, and pointed to the need for bringing to our daily life a deeply meditative and spiritual quality.

Krishnamurti belonged to no religious organization, sect or country, nor did he subscribe to any school of political or ideological thought. On the contrary, he maintained that these are the very factors that divide human beings and bring about conflict and war. He reminded his listeners again and again that we are all human beings first and not Hindus, Muslims or Christians, that we are like the rest of humanity and are not different from one another. He asked that we tread lightly on this earth without destroying ourselves or the environment. He communicated to his listeners a deep sense of respect for nature. His teachings transcend belief systems, nationalistic sentiment and sectarianism. At the same time, they give new meaning and direction to humankind's search for truth. His teaching, besides being relevant to the modern age, is timeless and universal.

Krishnamurti spoke not as a guru but as a friend, and his talks and discussions are based not on tradition-based knowledge but on his own insights into the human mind and his vision of the sacred, so he always communicates a sense of freshness and directness although the essence of his message remained unchanged over the years. When he addressed large audiences, people felt that Krishnamurti was talking to each of them personally, addressing his or her particular problem. In his private interviews, he was a compassionate teacher, listening attentively to the man or woman who came to him in sorrow, and encouraging them to heal themselves through their own understanding. Religious scholars found that his words threw new light on traditional concepts. Krishnamurti took on the challenge of modern scientists and psychologists and went with them step by step, discussed their theories and sometimes enabled them to discern the limitations of those theories. Krishnamurti left a large body of literature in the form of public talks, writings, discussions with teachers and students, with scientists and religious figures, conversations with individuals, television and radio interviews, and letters. Many of these have been published as books, and audio and video recordings.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 241 reviews
Profile Image for Zane.
39 reviews5 followers
December 9, 2011
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 the authors mind, is society; and by changing yourself, you are changing society for the better.
Profile Image for Alok Mishra.
Author 9 books1,195 followers
April 10, 2019
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 either by being a Yogi or simply by being a Karma-Yogi and to do that, in either way, you don't need to hate yourself. Just be and continue the being.
233 reviews
September 5, 2011
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 called, Democracy the God that Failed, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, and was shocked and exhilarated to find he had the same idea (his final chapter being called "The Fallacy of Limited Government"), and he had much more to back it up than my musings.

Once I realized this truth, I was convinced that people just didn't see it--they were duped and if they could be made to understand they would reject this system of violence and exploitation in favor of a libertarian anarchy of private law and it's resultant order and peace. After a few years of proselytizing, I concluded that people aren't being duped by the system, they are buying into the system, usually compromising objective principles for mere scraps. So my inquiry evolved into, What is wrong with people?? Why are they like this? And concluded there is no hope for a just and peaceful society if the vast majority of people don't want it.

Krishnamurti, a philosopher of Indian origin and tradition, attempts to answer this question. His claim is that we are all operating with the sole focus of the self and its context in time and place--this results in competition, conflict, and the constant promotion of one's own self over all others, even those closest to us. He further claims, as does the Dalai Lama and many others, that the only hope is the internal transformation of individuals, and finally he seems to believe that this may be possible to a great enough extent to change society.

Krishnamurti offers as a "fact" that ALL institutions are designed to exclude others and provide a group through which individuals feel better able to dominate those outside the group (or maybe even those within it). He rejects the state and religions in the same breath, not drawing the crucial distinction between physically forced participation (as in the state) and voluntary participation (as in religions), as I always have. He may be right in that most people voluntarily buy into the state for the same reasons they buy into religions, and that the source of this buy-in is the same in both cases and that this is the fundamental sickness that leads to evil, hatred, war, injustice, or even merely the continuous serving of the self above all.

Krishnamurti exhorts us to become aware of the activities of the mind--not to become introspective, not to condemn or to judge, but simply to become aware of the mind and the origin of the thoughts. He claims that this awareness itself changes the process and the mind can no longer engage in its self-centered machinations. I tried to be "aware" in this way for a couple of days and found both that it is possible and that it was heading toward Krishnamurti's promised "liberation," but it took such a tremendous amount of concentration that I question whether self-supporting people can really do this and still function economically.

I am still trying to determine if I believe his solution is the only solution (and I'm leaning toward saying that I do) and am also trying to determine if it could actually happen (and I'm leaning toward thinking that it can't).

If you are ready to really think, this book is worth reading, regardless of your ultimate conclusions.
Profile Image for Tahani Shihab.
592 reviews873 followers
October 31, 2020

حاول الكاتب جاهدًا إيصال أفكاره الفلسفية عبر التكرار الممل في كل فصل.


“هناك فن في الإصغاء. كي يكون المرء قادرًا على الإصغاء، يجب أن يتخلّى عن الآراء المسبقة”.

“نحن محوجوبون بالمسبقات، سواء كانت دينية أو روحية أو نفسية أو علمية؛ أو محجوبون بحالات قلقنا اليومية، ورغباتنا، ومخاوفنا. وبعد أن تصير هذه حجابًا نصغي. بالتالي، نحن نصغي في الواقع إلى ضجيجنا، وإلى صوتنا الخاص، وليس إلى ما يُقال”.

“إذا قيل أثناء الحديث أي شيء يعارض طريقتكم في التفكير وإيمانكم، أصغوا؛ لا تقاوموا. يمكن أن تكونوا على صواب، ويمكن أن أكون مخطئًا، إذا ما أصغينا وفكّرنا معًا فإننا سنكتشف ما هي الحقيقة. لا يمكن لأحد أن يمنحكم الحقيقة. ينبغي أن تكتشفوها؛ ولكي تكتشفوها، ينبغي أن تكون هناك حالة ذهنية فيها إدراك مباشر. تغيب الحالة الذهنية حين توجد مقاومة، وحارس، وحماية. لا يأتي الفهم إلا من خلال كونك واعيًا لما هو موجود”.

جودو كريشنامورتي.
Profile Image for david.
447 reviews
July 1, 2017
I love this Indian philosopher. A nugget from him;

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
Profile Image for Triseugeny.
47 reviews
July 6, 2007
Someone once gave me this book for no reason known to me. Then began the madness and transformation of my life.
Profile Image for M&A Ed.
308 reviews55 followers
July 4, 2019
در این کتاب کریشنا مورتی به بررسی مفاهیمی چون ادراک، گوش دادن، ذهن، زمان و... می پردازد. نکته جالب کتاب های کریشنا مورتی پرداخت به موضوعاتی است که دغدغه انسان امروز در ورای شهرت، مادیات و... است. پرسش و پاسخ های انتهایی کتاب نیز جالب توجه است... گویی خواننده به مثابه ی یک پرسشگر است و آن سوال ها؛ تماما سوال های خواننده نیز می باشد...اینکه تحول چیست؟ ذهن چگونه به آرامش می رسد؟ عشق چه تعبیری دارد و...!
کتاب"اولین و آخرین رهایی" مجموعه ای از اندیشه ها، سخنرانی ها و تعلیمات ثبت شده"کریشنا مورتی"(1895_1986)است.
از جمله مباحثی که در این کتاب به آن ها پرداخته می شود می توان به فرد و اجتماع، ایده و عمل، اعتقاد، کوشش، تناقض، خود چیست؟، ترس و...اشاره کرد.
از جمله نکات مثبت آموزه های کریشنامورتی پرداخت موضوعاتی است که دغدغه انسان امروزی است. گویی شهرت، مادیات و... هنوز قدرت برآوردن نیازهای درونی او را ندارند بنابراین گام اول شناخت خود و درونیات خود است.
تجربه من از خواندن این کتاب در گام اول شیوه ی جالب پرسش و پاسخ آن بود چرا که این شیوه تا پایان خواننده را مشتاقانه بر آن می دارد که ادامه دهد. مبحث مشاهده و مشاهده ذهن از قسمت های جالب این کتاب بود. اینکه چطور در هنگام خشم بتوانی مشاهده گر باشی به نظرم جالب بود.
اما بعد از پایان کتاب همچنان سوال ها و شک هایی پیرامون آموزه هایش در ذهنم باقی ماند. از نظر مورتی آدمی زمانی می تواند به کمال برسد که به دوره کودکی و طبیعت بازگردد. به نظرم این اندیشه بسیار نزدیک به سهراب سپهری است و تا حد زیادی رمانتیک و شاعرانه. یا گاهی آزادی اراده انسان را نادیده می گیرد و انسان را چون موجودی می پندارد که تحت تحمیل ارزش های جامعه است.
یا سوال هایی نظیر اینکه اگر ذهن و خاطره بد و مضر هستند پس تحول برای چه نیاز است؟ و چرا اصلا این ساختار کلی به او داده شده است؟ بخاطر این که رنج بکشد؟ فکر می کنم گاهی شاید علم پاسخ بهتری بدهد.
Profile Image for MM.
107 reviews2 followers
June 28, 2013
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 that I had already started having (God being used for gratification, for instance, or people only seeking what they already know). Some ideas are still difficult for me to grasp conceptually, though he fills the books with real-life scenarios and examples that do help relate experience to theory, and many I would never have even considered if it were not for this book.

The only difficulty, then, is implementing what he says. I found keeping an alert mind for even an hour, without "desiring" anything, to be extremely difficult. In a way, it showed me the necessity of religion, because surely it is not realistic to expect most people to have such a hold over their thought process? It is certainly easier to concentrate on God than to cultivate "choiceless awareness". Yet the few moments I did manage to be aware and alert were just as he said - without conflict.

This book challenges everything I have been taught, and I recommend it to anyone who is finding religion to be rather shallow. It is not a hard read, and I will certainly be re-reading it some time in the near future. Perhaps it requires some more maturity and life experiences, as I could tell while reading that I was missing things, and it is hard to reconcile the blatant truth of this with the accepted truth of society. Nevertheless, for me, "The First and Last Freedom" clarifies a great many issues in an unexpectedly practical manner.
Profile Image for James.
Author 13 books1,198 followers
March 13, 2008
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.
Profile Image for Ameera Al-Otaibi.
44 reviews37 followers
October 3, 2015
خلاصة فكر الفيلسوف الهندي جودو كريشنامورتي، يقع في جزئين، الجزء الأول، يفكك فيه معظم المفاهيم والأنماط التفكيرية، ويطرح موضوعات الفرد والمجتمع، البحث الوجودي، الفعل، منابع الفكر.. وغيره.
أما الجزء الثاني فهو أهم الأسئلة التي أجاب عنها كريشنامورتي في لقاءاته مع مريديه.
هذا الكتاب للدراسة، والتأمل، ويقرأ على مهل.
Profile Image for Laila Al-Sharnaqi.
218 reviews173 followers
May 5, 2016
كون أنّ عنوان الكتاب ومحتواه، متطابقان تمامًا؛ سبب وجيهٌ لأمنح الكتاب خمس نجمات بل ألفٍ من خمس.
يا له م�� كتاب! فيه تلتقي بك. من غير شائبة، تتعرفك، تعرفك، وتستكشفك. ومن غير أن تقتحمك.

يناقش في هذا الكتاب كريشنا مورتي موضوعات متنوعة تشمل المعاناة، الخوف، الثرثرة، الوحدة والجنس وغيرها من الموضوعات الكثير، على نحو مختلف تمامًا عما ندعوه بنقاش. إذ أن قراءة هذا الكتاب بمثابة جلسة نقية تلتقي فيها بروحك على نحو لم يسبق لك وأن التقيت بها.
إنه كتابٌ محمل بالطمأنينة، كيف لا وهو من أولى الكتب التي أقرأها ذات اسم على مسمى بكل ما تحمله الكلمة من معنى.

دَعُوكم الآن من كل الكتب التي بين يديكم، ولوقتٍ قصير، وإبدأوا بقراءة هذا الكتاب، لعلكم تتَحرّرون وتُحرّرون. بل ستفعلون.
Profile Image for Alex Kartelias.
210 reviews73 followers
June 26, 2014
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, he criticizes meditation as concentration for the sake of escape but fails to realize that people don't always concentrate to escape: others escape to concentrate. Big difference. And when he discusses a certain topic like fear, truth, boredom or belief and says how investigating them causes the problem to get worse or the confusion to continue, he asks the reader to experiment, to notice for him or her self how these function in their life-I.e, to INVESTIGATE. An impossible thing to do according to his assertions.

Another thing that is wrong with his thinking is that he thinks thinking will lead no where: that introspection is a distortion with the old: language which is really a distortion with past symbols and memories. I'm sure this is a very beautiful approach to reach Nirvana in Zen when one is meditating or what have you. But, there's a reason why Mahayana quickly become more popular that Theravata Buddhism: it embraced the entire being and not just the nothingness of reality but also the need to have devotion towards a person or image, recite prayers and mantras and create mandalas with so many beautifully intricate designs. In other words, it wasn't devoted to just the intellect. And no matter how hard he denies the redemptive power of the intellect, isn't that exactly what he's assuming by writing books and giving lectures?

Krisnamurti in a way reminds me of Socrates and The Buddha. He is willing to push people's buttons and get to the heart of an issue without over- intellectualizing. I admire that. But, if anything is to remain of his legacy, it would be about a man whose propagation of independence and individuality was necessitated by a TRUST in his authority.
40 reviews2 followers
January 31, 2016
"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 urges, of which Krishnamurti was a master. He has a disdain for all the philosophical ideas one adheres to in hope of finding God. Such ways rely on numbing the brain down rather than opening it up to a creative intuition.
1 review1 follower
August 11, 2015
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 because of the fact that things became repetitious. Krishnamurti began by emphasizing on awareness, and then continued on this forever and ever.

Anyway, could there be a solution, "a way out", a remedy to this ever present chaos in this world through any means other than self awareness, by embracing zen, experiencing human life in the "now", from moment to moment, and being so aware that you would not even need a "way out"? I believe, the answer has to be NO. So, if you truly get what Krishnamurti is trying to put out there, you need not even read beyond first few chapters. It is that simple, as the title itself suggests awareness to be the first and the last freedom.

Another thing, Krishnamurti has utterly rubbished out knowledge, philosophy, beliefs, meditation and yoga in the form of escapism, words, language, dogmas (well, I was reminded of those inspirational twaddles you see these days on instagram/facebook quite a lot; though I adore some of them myself and wish them to keep on coming). However, I would like to quote the author on his view of how ego works. (though J Krishnamurti, throughout this book has hit out on words and labeled such quotes as coming out of an uncreative mind). He marked, "If I see the necessity of being clean, it is very simple; I go and wash. But if it is an ideal that I should be clean, then what happens? Cleanliness is then postponed or is superficial."

Although this book has not got much in store for gratification in terms of literary genius, it is one of those books that can change your life views, and give you a completely novel perspective to how you see your life. As many of the remarkable books on zen, this one too does not teach you anything at all, but instead help you unlearn awful lot of things that you have always been carrying heavily with you to little avail. In summary, the author makes a very humble request to just go with the flow, and experiment with being aware from moment to moment without any sense of justification. If you love, you love; if you are happy, you are happy; if you hate, you hate; if you are sad, just be sad, so miserably sad; if you are angry, be a complete anger, in totality, do not condemn, do not resist, but just be aware.
Profile Image for Michael.
57 reviews68 followers
February 17, 2015
“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 if not more than he’s telling. Our learning fails us before such introspection and we are left to confront the issue with only our selves.

Another is that, without being so conscious of it, we are used to getting backed into one corner or another when reading pedological literature. That is, we are conditioned to seek and receive the specific agenda the author is advancing so as to then take up a position in relation to it. Krishnamurti on the other hand is inviting, if not badgering us out of the corner, whatever it is, however cozy it might be. He challenges everything: institutions of religion, education, culture, ideas, thought, desire, even choice, effort, practice, cultivation, invitation–none can be of aid. And in the same stroke that he grants no outlet in lieu of oneself, he gives this action no label with which one can handle and thereby misuse it–be that by worship or dismissal. Ultimately we realize that the disorientation is by design. In a nutshell Krishnamurti is all challenge and no message.

Lastly then, is the ambiguity of just what that challenge is. Leaving us no shelter, even the shrewdest among us are confounded until we concede to what is ultimately a sentiment found in nearly any religion and philosophy: Know thy self. The great difference being that Krishnamurti–the cheeky bastard–rather then telling us what there is to know, insists this can only be done by: getting to know thy self. And yes, in this crazy world that is a revolutionary position.

“Watch yourself…understand that any reaction is conditioned and that, through conditioning, there can be no freedom either at the beginning or the end–”
Profile Image for Pooja Kashyap.
150 reviews94 followers
November 22, 2021
The First and Last Freedom by J. Krishnamurti is one of the most profound works that I have ever come across after Vivekananda. I have always been intrigued with relationship between thinker and thought. To some extent, I think, after reading this book, I have come close to the understanding of the mind’s duality, of course in terms of thinker and thought.

In a way, we are unaware of ourselves. We need to find ourselves free from any external conditioning and Krishnamurti in this epic work approaches us in a psychological way and help us take out ourselves from our own miseries.

Main idea in this book is about the inner workings of the mind. Krishnamurti says that we humans are a product of our own thoughts. We are fixed in a self-created patterns called thoughts. In a bigger picture we forget that thoughts are nothing but the events of past time. So, the only way to break free is to live in the present moment by observing constantly the way how our mind process information and surface desires.

The book is an interesting read. His advice of living life moment to moment is not easy but its worth giving a try. I strongly resonate with his idea of studying/observing the self before jumping directly into the affairs of the world. After all systems, techniques, ideas are created by others. If we all have different mindset, so should be the individual journey as well.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to transform oneself through rational introspection into clear thinking. It surely is a life-changing book.

More: The First and Last Freedom by J. Krishnamurti
Profile Image for Sandesh Rawat.
36 reviews3 followers
December 27, 2020
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 is leads to ultimate freedom. Now the problem is that nobody can show you or tell you the path to self-knowledge, only you have to inquire/experiment with it to get there. If someone tells you the way, it is his or her self-projection of the reality - which is always conditioned by his or her experiences and can never lead You to be free. Reality, self-knowledge, or what you will, is not a fixed end in itself - and when it becomes a fixed end, it is no more reality. Reality is the unutterable, unmeasurable, and cannot be put down in words, which are always limited. Rather, Reality is living, thriving, moment-to-moment awareness.

Like other books of K, this is a book of inquiry and hence do expect an answer/solution to your problems from it - because there is none. There is just inquiry.

K always leaves you with something to think about. Do give it a read.
Profile Image for Ivan Vuković.
89 reviews47 followers
October 18, 2017
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 present a lot of things as "obvious facts" without realizing that he himself is full of assumptions which aren't factual at all. And the entire idea about love? Ugh... So yeah, I didn't like it at all and I don't think I'll read anything from Krishnamurti again.
Profile Image for Aria.
483 reviews40 followers
February 14, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Ihor Kolesnyk.
435 reviews
February 4, 2023
Цей чоловік залишається для мене загадкою. Він говорить багато цікавого та помітно глибину думок. Однак щось невловиме присутнє у всьому тексті, із чим я собі логічно не можу дати ради.
Profile Image for Sean Goh.
1,488 reviews87 followers
December 27, 2016
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 within ourselves, and that clarity comes about through right thinking. This clarity to be organised, for it cannot be exchanged with another. Organised group thought is merely repetitive. Clarity is not the result of verbal assertion, but of intense self awareness and right thinking.

Understanding is now, not tomorrow. When you are interested in something, you do it instantaneously, there is immediate understanding, immediate transformation. The revolution is now, not tomorrow.

But as long as I am ignorant of myself, I have no basis for thought, for affection, for action.

Envy is one of the most destructive factors in relationship because envy indicates the desire for power, for position, and it ultimately leads to politics; both are closely related.

Memory is always in the past, and that memory is given life in the present by a challenge.

Take the people that believe strongly in anything, economic, social or spiritual; the process behind it is the psychological desire to be secure, and then the desire to continue.

Why not look at life as one permanent desire but as a series of fleeting desires always in opposition to each other?
Contradiction arises only when the mind has a fixed point of desire.

Compulsion of any kind can never lead to simplicity. The more you suppress, sublimate and substitute, the less there is simplicity.
The simple person sees directly, has a more direct experience, than the complex person.

The identification with something greater - the party, the country, the race, the religion, God - is the search for power. Because you in yourself are empty, dull, weak, you like to identify yourself with something greater.

It is interesting to realise that our lives are mostly spent in time, not chronological time, but in the sense of psychological memory. We live by time, we are the result of time. Our minds are the product of many yesterdays and the present is merely the passage of the past to the future.

To discover anything new you must start on your own; you must start on a journey completely denuded, especially of knowledge, because it is very easy, through knowledge and belief, to have experiences; but those experiences are merely the products of self-projection and therefore utterly unreal, false.

Introspection is a process in which there is no release because it is the process of transforming what is into something which is not.
Awareness is entirely different. Awareness is observation without condemnation. Awareness brings understanding, because there is no condemnation or identification but silent observation.

Many relationships are really a mutual search for gratification.
Relationship is really a process of self-revelation, which is a process of self-knowledge; in that revelation there are many unpleasant things, disquieting, uncomfortable thoughts, activities.

On boredom:
If you are not interested in why you are bored, you cannot force yourself to be interested in an activity, merely to be doing something like a squirrel going round in a cage.

What do we mean by understanding?
Understanding means giving right significance, right valuation, to all things. To be ignorant is to give wrong values; the very nature of stupidity is the lack of comprehension of right values.
And for the right values to come into being, you must understand the thinker.

It is only when we die each day to all that is old that there can be the new.

Naming is a very convenient way of disposing of things, and of people. If you do not give a label to people you are forced to look at them and then it is much more difficult to kill somebody.
Profile Image for Joel.
141 reviews1 follower
July 25, 2023
Krishnamurti’s writing & talks have opened minds & touched hearts for many decades. There’s a simplicity to his writing and he obviously understood — in a non-academic way — much about the human mind & emotional reactions. His writings speak to something beyond these, as well: the fundamental relationship of a human to Being or God.

He spoke and wrote in a modern manner, and without jargon employed by specialists. Especially in his later years, he felt that an important aspect of his mission was to assist in freeing the minds of leaders and educators. There was an individually traveled liberating process to which he alluded, a kind of ongoing mindfulness. He repeated the principles so much that, from talk to talk (and book to book), they begin to seem aphoristic.

The reservation I’ve long felt about his expression in books & recorded talks is that his circumstances of life were distinctly different from those of the vast majority of human beings. From his boyhood in 1909, when he was discovered in India, people fed him, sheltered him, and clothed him. When he emerged from the notions & expectations of the Theosophical Society, into his unique personal identity (and stretching through the rest of his life), he was still surrounded by supporters.

After his early teens, Krishnamurti lived the lion's share or his life in Europe & America. He rejected Indian traditionalism, and saw himself as a modern man. In principle, he addressed contemporary world issues. Supporters ensured his writings would be published and made his travel arrangements. They provided a nice home in the countryside in Ojai, California, enabled his style as a gentleman; they also managed things when he crashed a car, and arranged abortions to deal with pregnancies he'd engendered. It's as though the life risks he took were within a safeguarded sphere.

All this is made plain in several biographical treatments of K’s life, one somewhat thorough one being Roland Vernon’s Star in the East.

So was he 'in touch' in his opinions? The ordinary modern person is very much engaged with efforts to maintain himself or herself, and surely many little & larger anxieties in life are born from the inherent challenges. Yet I feel there’s a balancing influence in this particular book, namely the foreword by Aldous Huxley, someone suitably learned in history, depth-psychology, and social structures. And, too, Huxley was no stranger to family & economic life. All this, it seems to me, tended to make Huxley more broadly-tolerant & practical in his opinions
42 reviews5 followers
September 23, 2016
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, my review from 'Freedom from the Known' is largely applicable here:


The Q&A format was the single biggest difference between the two books. Krishnamurti has an incredible ability to break down complex daily life questions, regarding religion, nationalism, sex, and just about anything else you can think of, into very simple pieces and address with correspondingly straightforward solutions. His basic answer to everything is to analyze any problem you have in your mind and break it down to its root causes, be it jealousy, insecurity, need to identify with something greater, etc. If you can analyze where your thoughts and feelings come from and what conditioning has built up in your mind throughout your life that causes conflict in your life (i.e. an ingrained desire to be rich and successful due to years of societal pressure to do so), you can dissolve that conflict in your mind and reach closer to truth.

Only critique would be that his ability to break problems down to their most basic elements means that his answers to 38 questions can tend to be a bit repetitive. That said, his thinking is so refreshing that I still flew through the Q&A section and plan on coming back to these two books regularly throughout my life. Couldn't recommend both of these books more to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of themselves.
Profile Image for Brian .
415 reviews5 followers
October 5, 2021
I'm grateful for Bruce Lee's influence. Through his writings, I found that Krishnamurti had a profound impact on him. The philosopher has helped me also. I could sum everything I've learned into the practice of living moment to moment, and thinking moment to moment. Living in reality helps the mind see instead of think reality, and thinking reality, as in analyzing it, leads to misconceptions and delusion. We often project the past into the present, or miss something new we could learn because we project what we already know onto it.
December 27, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Justo Montibeller.
9 reviews4 followers
May 19, 2015
La libertad primera y última es una recopilación de charlas que dio Jiddu Krishnamurti a lo largo de su vida sobre distintos temas existenciales; el amor, el sexo, la religion, el poder, el miedo, el deseo, el sufrimiento, la verdad, la libertad, el pensamiento, el conocimiento, la sencillez, el ego, el odio, la comprensión, entre muchos otros.

Si hay algún líder espiritual al que admire, ese es Jiddu Krishnamurti, su filosofía me parece de lo más lógica y realista. Jiddu no nos viene a dar procedimientos a seguir, paso por paso, para resolver nuestros problemas, liberarnos del sufrimiento y alcanzar la felicidad. No nos propone creencias, disciplinas, métodos y todo ese tipo de cosas que muchas religiones, gurús y sistemas filosóficos nos llegan a querer vender. El pensamiento de Krishnamurti está basado en la comprensión de la psicología natural del ser humano, en el conocimiento de uno mismo y de lo que nos rodea. En entender como funciona nuestra mente, no por lo que alguien más nos dice, sino por nuestra propia observación y comprensión de lo real, a lo cual se llega con una mente en calma, libre de prejuicios e influencias ideológicas externas. Esa es la verdadera inteligencia, la base para la resolución de muchos de nuestros problemas existenciales.

“El hombre ha creado dentro de sí mismo a modo de barrera de seguridad, imágenes religiosas, políticas, personales que se manifiestan en símbolos, ideas y creencias. El peso de estas imágenes domina el pensamiento del hombre, su relación, y su vida cotidiana. Estas imágenes son la causa de nuestros problemas porque dividen a los seres humanos.” - Krishnamurti

Si están interesados en temas filosóficos, psicológicos y espirituales, definitivamente les recomiendo leer a Jiddu Krishnamurti, y para leer su filosofía, que mejor que este libro que contiene la esencia de su pensamiento sobre gran variedad de temas existenciales. El único punto negativo que le veo es el hecho de que es una recopilación de extractos de sus charlas y no un libro escrito estrictamente por la mano de Jiddu Krishnamurti, esto hace que de repente haya temas un tanto inconclusos o repetición de conceptos entre temas muy parecidos. Aún así decidí darle las cinco estrellas porque me parece excelente la sabiduría que contiene la filosofía de este autor, la cual puede despertar y abrir la mente de los lectores.
Profile Image for Tigran Sargsyan.
16 reviews
June 29, 2016
This book is complete crap!
I don't understand people who are rating it positively.
The entire content of the book could be put into one single utterly straightforward phrase: "Society is formed by people", and maybe "Know thyself". Author's manner of repeating the same thing for hundreds and hundreds times, saying "that is exactly what is happening in the world" every now and then, as if to reinstate his own righteousness is miserable. I had the impression that the book was written either by an idiot or for idiots, or maybe both.
Besides the author expresses quite a few paranoiac and false ideas. Let me quote a few of them.

"...expectation of war, the third world war that is breaking out..."
"War is probably coming, more destructive, more appalling in its form."
You need to talk to a psychiatrist about this, mister.
"...things, the things of the mind, the things of the hand and of the machine, have become important; and when things become important, belief becomes predominantly significant-which is exactly what is happening in the world, is it not?" No, sir, it is not. The belief is not based on evidence, thus no connection with "things".
"We see how the structure of the present society in India, in Europe, in America, in every part of the world, is rapidly disintegrating"
Yeah, apocalypse is coming, woo-o...

Perhaps the author explains his enormously overextending the text with this phrase: "This cannot be repeated too often, because we are so sluggish in our mentality...". Whereas, I see the only goal of this was to fill in enough volume to create a book, sell it, and make money on it. And I'd suggest you to follow author's observation that "reading the latest books on this and that, and so on, seems to me so utterly empty, so utterly futile", and not read this book.
I had enough patience to read only the first four chapters.
319 reviews9 followers
April 27, 2016
This book simply did not resonate with me despite the numerous positive reviews written about it on amazon. Although it would appear that Krishnamurti's philosophy comes from the mold of the Advaita Vedenta Tradition, it appears that this book is less a spiritual analysis and more of a sociological, psychological and political study (as an example, I would refer the reader to chapter 10 in the author's discussion of War where he suggests to a bereaved mother who just lost a son in war that she should cease to be an American if she did not want to loose another child to war). Throughout this book, Krishnamurti emphasizes the importance of "relationship" as integral in achieving what he refers to as "self knowledge"; however, Krishnamurti states that "self knowledge" can not be given by another and must be discovered through right intention and investigation without any sense of motive or gain. This "self knowledge" is described as a state of being or silence which is contrary to any state of becoming. Unfortunately, Krishnamurti does not outline any method of achieving this state and his whole analysis, although interesting and provocative, is quite muddled and disjointed
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