homage to Krishnamurti and Wei Wu Wei


When Jiddu Krishnamurti was asked for the most important point in his teaching, he replied: “The observer is the observed.”

For 20 years those 5 words haunted me wherever I went; they were a koan stuck in the neurons.

Intuitively, it was easy to grasp; intellectually it was entertaining.
But who or what (I wondered) was understanding and being entertained?

While Krishnamurti was one of the great mindshifters in my life, he failed to explain – in a way that this brain could grasp –  exactly why the observer cannot be anything but the observed, and further, why it is impossible for that observer to self-exist as an entity.

For those clarifications, I bow deeply to Wei Wu Wei, and it is to share that savage wisdom that I write.  Just in case there’s another brain out there that is as stubborn and slow and opaque as mine; a brain with a little slit that this ruthless arrow of truth can fly through.


5 thoughts on “homage to Krishnamurti and Wei Wu Wei

  1. After two years of reading him with great interest , I gave up on J.Krishnamurti long time ago. It seemed to me that he was always going around the same message, again and again, not saying very much other than that, and not even being very original in that regard (it is all in the tradition of Advaita Vedanta – read Krishnaswamy Iyer, for example). I finally tired of hearing him say that there are no philosophies, philosophers, religions, doctrines, masters, ways, etc. worth a dime; what was he then, an anti-guru guru – he the discoverer for the first time of the one primary truth after centuries, millennia of gropings in the dark by all the preceding sages? This is impossibe. According to Jean Klein K was one that saw the dawn approaching, but did not see the sun itself in its full splendour. With apologies (I realise many people have been stimulated/helped by him).

    1. Hello dear AM – thank you for sharing your opinions regarding K’s teachings. There’s no need to apologize, all comments are respected here.
      K’s writings came into my life at a time (the 70s) and in a place (New Zealand) where knowledge of Advaita Vedanta, Dzogchen, Zen Buddhism and the like was familiar only to academics.
      I think it’s important to regard his contribution in its temporal context. In his earnestness for us to inquire for ourselves rather than merely gather up more received (traditional) wisdom, he was decades ahead of the Western teachers who now present the “Direct Path” to a largely non-sectarian audience. Those who complain (as many of my Buddhist friends do) that he failed to provide practices and procedures miss the point entirely.
      In my case, his ruthless and oft-repeated insistence on self-inquiry took me to the limits of my mind. I learned how to stop and sit and simply be with Life’s suchness.
      While it was an arrow from Wei Wu Wei that burst the bubble and brought the ‘undoing’ to its climax, I question whether that would have been possible without K’s input.
      I honor his wisdom deeply while appreciating it wasn’t to everyone’s taste. His books drove my dad crazy! “Horses for courses” as the saying goes.
      Only the mindshift matters, actually. Wouldn’t you agree?
      ~ ml

    2. Hi, i had read Krishnamurti the first around 2013. I hadn’t understood what he meant by “the observer is the observed”, albeit intellectually. I read about the Daoist philosophy of Wu Wei first time in April this year.

      Today, while trying to get more insight into human fear, I was looking online when o happened to read one of Krishnamurti’s conversations. While I found myself trying to grapple with his statement “the observer is the observed”, just like the others who he was in conversation with. I kept reading and it struck me that what essentially he’s trying to say is that to accept all experiences without having an intention to change them because that’s where I felt there’s no division. There’s one being, just the one going through the experience. That’s when I googled ‘Krishnsmurti’ & ‘Wu Wei’ and came across your post.

      It might be that my understanding is completely wrong because neither am I an expert on Krishnamurti or Daoism.

  2. I wonder why you singled out WWW and K for your “homage”? I just googled them (together) and found your comments. WWW has been the main event for me for about 5 years–and I participate in your homage.
    I had avoided Krishnamurti all these decades (thought he was boring and mainstream and preachy–which, when you think about it, he really is) However, having just started reading him a few days ago — I am blown away. You talk about the savagery of WWW. What about K’s withering, shocking, take-no-prisoners descriptions of our lives, our minds. This stuff is intense and very practical. I don’t necessarily agree that K offered no “methods” — just deeply digest his descriptions of what we are.

    Anyway, thanks — these two may be the pick of the bunch — and I just wondered why anybody else thought so, too.

    1. Good to hear from you Janet – thanks for your comment! I’m interested to know you’ve been ‘absorbing’ WWW for so long. He’s a bit too opaque for many – just as K was a bit too “boring and mainstream and preachy” for others. (Including yrs truly at times!)

      I never knew of WWW during the years that K was “the main event” for me. I stumbled upon him quite by chance (;-)) and at first could hardly understand a word! But somehow the “intense and practical” self-inquiry (which I do see as a “method”) undergone during the K decades was necessary here before WWW’s comments could open up the guts of the matter. It’s just how it occurred here and I’d never for a moment suggest it might be appropriate for another brain at another time. I revisit K from time to time and always feel amazed at the ruthlessness of his view, at his insistence that we find out for ourselves, and at the sheer beauty of some of his poetic observations.

      But the opening up was indeed savage. Yet utterly simple and natural and mindshifting. I’ve written a little about it on *the free-fall* page.

      ~ miriam louisa

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