Cloud vewi sunset
Turbulent clouds at sunset

On Beyond UG Krishnamurti

"Pathological" – Francis Lucille, quoting his teacher Jean Klein, regarding U. G. Krishnamurti

"The teaching mainly concerns the dying of the “I”, the “me”; then you are free from the psychological memory.

Can this shift happen without crisis, or is crisis an element of it?

In principle, there are no crises. But practically speaking there are crises.

Practically speaking, can there be a non-crisis jump?

Crisis belongs to the psyche. It is like a spiral. It goes up and it goes down. When it goes down there are moments of non-crisis.
As a doctor you intervene in those moments when there is no crisis because in the moments of non-crisis the patient can prepare himself for the crisis – how to approach the crisis in a different way.

It seems to me that the crisis is associated with the letting go of the "I," and it can be a struggle, an emotional upheaval. Is this a necessary component?

As soon as the conditioned mechanism has no more role to play, there is an up-giving and in this letting go there is pain, so-called pain.

Some people have described enormous crises, they have come to the brink of losing their sanity, they have been unable to take care of their body functions for weeks or months during this transition. Is this a necessary component?

We must be very careful when we look at them. There is the pathological case and there is a normal transformation.
There was a big crisis in St. John. Also Ramakrishna. But you must be very careful... there may be a touch of the pathological.
This pathological reaction is really a reaction. It is a refusal. In normal transformation there is no refusal.
There is suffering in a certain way, but this suffering is of a completely different quality."

~ Jean Klein, Living Truth, p. 141


Where UG Went Wrong: A Conflicted Soul

ABSTRACT: Uppaluri Gopala Krishnamurti, known as U. G. Krishnamurti, or just U.G. (not to be confused with Jiddu Krishnamurti, his nemesis as it were) wanted to have his cake and eat it too: be a materialist and cynic and point out the hypocrisy and business-like nature of spiritual culture, as well as the mess and violence of human society, its inherent conflict which arise from our inner duality, yet say he is not in conflict with a society one cannot transcend as it's product, implying he was also in conflict and not in conflict at the same time. He also claimed he was in some special "natural state" of a purely biological and harmonious nature that happened to him for no reason. Yet he angrily rejects any possible transcendence from mind and society that would take anyone out of the level of conflict, which he recognizes is in essence mind-as-conflict and it's imposition on nature. In this way he sidesteps and never resolves the inherent conflict in the materialist view: who, or what is observing and harmonious? A thought cannot observe or think. So what perceives the mind and its conflict? From his behavior and philosophy, I suspect he was conflict within himself. His reduction of everything to one level ignores the reality of absolute truth—the possibility of unlimited consciousness—while implicitly claiming to be coming from a variety of unassailable truth.
There have been several accounts of UG Krishnamurti's life, so I will not spend time covering that subject, but go straight to the heart of the matter and examine his philosophy, or teachings.

The graphic novel format book "This Dog Barking: The Strange Story of U.G. Krishnamurti" is the newest offering in that space, and is what inspired me to finally write and publish these notes.


This Dog Barking: The Strange Story of U.G. Krishnamurti

At one time I was quite taken by UG Krishnamurti's views. I read everything that had been written of his talks and about his life, and watched many videos, and all the audio recordings I could find. At the time I was still feeling the conflict between my scientific and materialist outlook, and the spiritual experiences I'd had, and the teachings I'd run across. I'd also had an education in philosophy that helped me be adept at critiquing the spiritual ideas that were presented to me as panaceas by teachers and spiritual psychology practitioners. So at that time, UG certainly plugged into that, and helped me to see some of the shortcomings of the religious and spiritual ideas I'd absorbed. At the same time it left me feeling bereft of anything to cure these sense of separation and division, lack of love and belonging to the universe, and the selfish morass of society and it's cravings and dis-ease. It removed hope, but not in a good way! It left behind a cynical residue.

A good spiritual teachings is useful towards pointing one to seeing where happiness comes from, what one simply Is, as Being, what life Is, and without false hopes. It directs one to facts. It helps one aim to toward Truth and away from false identifications (God vs. Mammon if you will), attachments and empty values absorbed from the world. But UG's philosophy was a negative one, emphasizing that we can only have, see, or think according to the knowledge we already have, without giving one a clue as to how to be in what he termed the "natural state" (a term he borrowed from other teachings).

In this way UG was ironically more similar to Jiddu Krishnamurti than I'm sure he would have wanted to admit: being able to clearly see and articulate the conflict and violence of society and the mind of humanity, yet offer no path to transcendence. He goes farther in a direction of no-transcendence than Jiddu however in claiming there is no possibility whatsoever of escaping the prison of thought. Jiddu at least offered a vague hope that there indeed is such a thing as transcendence of thought and universal consciousness (while giving no specific path or method, and rejecting all guru-ship, including for himself). They were also both brought up in the same surroundings of families and cultures steeped in spiritual teachings and practices and theosophical teachings, and the hypocrisy thereof; they were both deeply troubled and affected by this.

It’s a fascinating story, his life. But as far as his teaching (which he disclaimed as a teaching yet he allowed it, had people coming to him, supporting him, wherever he went) he clearly identifies the “problem” as it were: thinking, or the mind, and that self cannot get out of self, and thus all spiritual teachings and practices are self-fulfilling dead-ends that merely perpetuate and even enlarge the mind, via the carrot of "enlightenment" or "moksha", liberation,  etc., just as society, as a projection and creation of mind, is a self-perpetuating survival machine that repeats itself. Egos want enlightenment, not true liberation, for it would mean the ego's dissolution.

But he must have been conflicted himself: one can discriminate a teacher by the fruit the tree bears. I wonder too about the unsubstantiated claims to support his non-teachings (such as his claim that the founders of Eastern religions were "acidheads" in the jungle, or his supposed physical symptoms during his supposed transformations). The test of a legitimate spiritual teacher of enlightenment are twofold: are they truly, unconditionally happy (to a very large percentage), in their being and in how they live, and can they direct you there. Both Krishnamurtis fail on both counts: UG often doesn't seem particularly happy or at peace, often in angry, hostile reaction in his meetings, and he clearly states he has nothing to teach, and can't help anyone (Jiddu seemed worried and constantly harping on society and teachings, rarely laughing, relaxed or warm). I don’t see much kindness, compassion or humility in UG's behavior, in his angry treatment of guests who question him or comment, at least what I've seen in video or audio recordings (though supposedly in private he could be kind – but aren't we all at times?). In other words, there is some kind of ego, or residue of ignorance operating before and after his supposed experience. As evidence for this, look at his meeting with Ramana Maharshi and how he projected arrogance onto one of the purest of souls.

More fundamentally, he was asking “what is this state?” of enlightenment for decades, before supposedly realizing he was in that state. No wonder he claims it’s biological: his central mistake was thinking it was a state. States are for bodies, for persons, for separate entities. Thus the state of harmonious functioning he talks about would be just the materialist interpretation of being not separate from one’s environment, surroundings, culture, and so forth. Further, and even more fundamental, states come and go. What we are looking for is that which does not change, which is always true and real.

But the most fundamentally important question is not asked in the right way: who or what is experiencing this state? In other words, in what does all the passing phenomenon of experience play out in? Is it not awareness, which does not come and go? He gets rid of the self by saying there is no central coordinator unless he is answering a question or functioning biologically.

In a nutshell, UG's mistake was that of the materialists: of mistaking "enlightenment" as a state, for a someone, a body. It's the central mistake of separation. He folds this in with a quasi-materialist unitary view, but overlooks the fact that the materialist view is itself self-contradictory: matter is a concept (or abstract model of the world that we learned), not an experience, that requires a mind to hold onto, and is a belief, like any other religious belief, we are aware of either consciously, or hold unconsciously. In fact it is the central belief of Western Society. But beliefs are not facts of experience, they are thoughts that represent non-facts. Thus his philosophy never really gets off the ground, and always stays at one level. It is superficial in this sense.

The materialist view can be a non-dual one, if taken to its logical conclusion: that the reality of the the totality of the universe, and reality of consciousness — the reality which is reading these words right now — must be the same reality, as there be only one reality by definition and by intuition. To state it again: that reality must be the same as consciousness, since consciousness is the first given in experience, as what is reading these words right now. And, there is only one reality. So reality = consciousness.

But that doesn't happen with UG. He, like most materialists, denies or won't notice or acknowledge the simple fact that he is aware, and aware of awareness, and stay with this central undeniable (unless you are an academic philosopher!) fact of experience. He is making the same mistake as the spiritual teachers and students he criticizes, and assumes the abstractions he talks about are real.

He made an observer out of the mind, and later saw that that's what he was doing: merely a mind observing a mind. In other words he made a separate entity, a two-ness, a duality, and only admitted of one side of it. But how can a mind observe? A mind only has contents, not consciousness. One has to resolve the duality of observer and observed, subject and object either by saying it’s all material (like he does) or it’s all consciousness, like the traditions of Advaita do. Either way it’s One. All one body, one energy, or one observer reality, which can’t be figured out from the mind. But if there's only one real observer, how can that really fit with materialism, unless you make incoherent claims like there is no coordinator? That would be chaos, yet there is experience of harmony.

You have to recognize that the observer you think you are (imagine yourself to be) is just a mental model, an image, an idea of the mind. But UG never gets beyond that, as far as what he offers to others.

True, it would be absurd to say that one must practice to be able to perceive, think, feel sensations, just as it would be to say one must practice to regulate blood flow, liver enzymes, the heart beating, the nerves firing impulses, the perception of hearing, seeing, touching, or metabolic processes like oxygen being converted to energy.

So why do we do all these practices of meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, attention to the body and so forth, in order to get out of the mind stream? We do all this in order to realize at some point that it’s all absurd, a charade. There is not a separate self controlling another self. There is not a special controlling mind controlling the rest of the mind. There is no mind at all except in the mind! You are not two.

My theory is that, UG, an intelligent and sensitive man, was impacted deeply by an intense religious upbringing, education, the hypocrisy he saw, and expectations of others and himself to be an enlightened sage or teacher, like Jiddu. This suffering and the ingestion of too much spiritual data, too much information and culture, and an anger from reacting to the what he saw all around him – the conflict it set up – set the course of his life.

Out of The Trap

While it's true at the level of the body-mind-world as seemingly separate entities, we are all bound by cause and effect, mere machines as it were, parroting the words of others (as UG often pointed out: no real creativity from the mind), completely conditioned by life (genetics and environment), like robots, there are also ways out of it. (There aren’t really levels, but it’s a way of talking). The belief and sense-feeling of separation, and reacting, emotions, thinking, (and competition, egoism, anger…) all go together. It’s all one movement of energy, if you will ( words to try and pin on “experience”).

The way out is simply and profoundly, the glimpse of one's true nature, the intelligence of life, life itself: the Self in Eastern philosophies. UG may hint at this at times, but gives no way out, no way towards it. And yes, it's true that mind and the doer can't get there (here), but yet we experience what we call glimpses, insights, understandings, moments of grace, when the vertical dimension is allowed, or breaks through. This phenomenon (of the neumenal effect on the bodymind) is given short shrift by UG.

A non-transcendent non-duality is not non-duality at all.

If indeed man's neurosis is from a society that imposes false values and models on the unique organism as UG says, and with UG the natural organism is now not in conflict with itself and environment (after his "calamity" - his dramatic story of enlightenment) – has "fallen into its natural rhythm" – but at the same time claiming he was not in conflict with society, then the question no one asks is, why not? Why is he not still in conflict with society? It seems to me that UG wanted to have his cake and eat it too: to be a materialist and cynic and point out the mess and conflict of human society, its inherent conflict which arise from our inner conflict, yet at the same time say he is not in conflict with it, and reject any transcendence that would take one out of it. You can't at the same time be supposedly not in conflict with yourself and perceive and be at one with, participating in, a conflicted society. After all, what we see in a sense is all mind, all projection, playing out in Consciousness. One only ever sees what one is inside.

He conflates the material and transcendent, reducing them to one level (much like the Neo-Advaitists) and wants to have, or claim to have it both ways: his kind of non-duality still requires a way out of conflict if he's to actually be non-dual. In short, a non-transcendent non-duality is not non-duality at all. It doesn't matter how much he yells and curses and criticizes and calls others a "filthy bastard", it doesn't make sense.

So why write about a dead pseudo-teacher? Because he's interesting, a very unusual character, with a fascinating history. And he does say true and incisive things at times, and can be entertaining. But I'd suggest looking at the warning label on the pack before you smoke what's inside, and take it too much to heart...

At best he's a kind of spiritual drano that helps to flush away nonsense implanted by religions, spiritual teachers, and other ideas as well as practices, and point towards using thinking in a more practical and honest way.

The down side is a potential for cynicism and a materialism that lacks depth. The central conflict of a materialist outlook is not accounting for the looker. To what does the idea of matter, or of a brain appear? These are abstractions away from the immediate reality of sensation, perception and thinking. While UG admits to these experiences, he never explores the question of who knows, or what knows, other than the brain, or the thinking content. But to what does thinking appear? A thought cannot think. A perception cannot perceive. A thought as a result of an observational perception cannot observe.

Food for thought...



A PDF of this article can be found here (link opens in new tab).



  1. john.s on February 7, 2020 at 8:43 am

    While UG admits to these experiences, he never explores the question of who knows, or what knows, other than the brain, or the thinking content.
    This state is a state of not knowing; you really don’t know what you are looking at…………the whole of my being is like a single, big question mark. It is a state of wonder…………………
    Not that there is somebody who is saying “i don’t know;” the state itself says, by itself, “I really don’t know a thing about it.” It is so!

    • meestereric on February 7, 2020 at 1:12 pm

      Hi John – Thanks for the comment.
      Quite so. That “state” of not-knowing is blessed indeed. How one gets there (here) is secondary… it could include encountering UG! Hahaha…
      Are you familiar with Karl Renz? I was watching him last night talk about not-knowing, and find him quite amusing and insightful; he demolishes concepts too, but in a artful and more joyful way, leaving one “not-knowing”.
      Actually, “neither knowing nor not-knowing”, just Being…


      • William Waters on February 21, 2020 at 8:21 am

        Hi Eric….

        I share your appreciation of U. G. Krishnamurti and Karl Renz…

        What is attractive about these guys (to me) is their respective ways of pointing to the fact that being human does not need a “system” and in fact often suffers from our attempts to create one. Freedom and the innate sensibility that arises from it, is just so… We miss it by trying to get hold of it, trying to explain it, and the busyness of acting out the reactive frustrations that appear when we fail to obtain it…

        • meestereric on February 21, 2020 at 10:24 am

          Hi William  – To be clear, when you mention my “appreciation of U. G. Krishnamurti” you mean UG and not Jiddu (JK), correct? I ask because Jiddu talked about “the pathless path” that is beyond systems, but U.G really gave no way out. In fact I think there is a book or essay of his talks entitled “No Way Out”! In UG’s view, we are trapped in the system of thought that Jiddu said or implied we could be free of (if I remember correctly: I’m not an expert on JK’s teachings and it’s been a very long time since I read or listened to him) .

          As far as “being human”, all the non-dualists point to the fact that being human is the problem, not the goal or reality, however you want to say it. Being stuck as it were, in this illusion of a body, of being a separate long-lasting independent entity, a human animal on a planet, in a self-centered universe, is the source of all misery. We are infinite and stubbornly insist on being a finite illusion, feeling and thinking and acting from that sense of separation, the self-made “hell”. The mind gives us no way out. We have words like “consciousness” that are unique in that they exist in consciousness and name it at the same time, but a name is not the thing (or non-thing in this case). What we are is too simple to name or grasp.
          Blah blah blah – there I go again, blabbering…

          Yes, reactiveness is the devil. Keep an eye on that guy, he knows many tricks, spoils the fun. 🙂

          “Your only freedom is to not react”. – Robert Adams

  2. john.s on February 7, 2020 at 8:53 pm


    The knower can survive in not knowing or in knowing, but not in neither not knowing or knowing. karl r

    Yes i have listened to his display over the years…
    seems a quick talker….
    has a smart answer for every question….. like a market trader
    is he just a smart man with a quick wit or more?

    what i found with ug that seems to be missing from most others is that he did his very best to discourage followers…
    and he never tried to make money from this, never made in into a business……

    nearly all the folk running around these days are selling talks and workshops of some kind….
    these things always have a monetary cost attached… its a business venture..


  3. meestereric on February 8, 2020 at 8:26 am

    I would say Karl R. quite a bit more than a smart talker. But you need the ears to hear. If you read some of his responses to The Gospels of Thomas for example, he definitely “saw”.

    It’s more honest to ask for money to do retreats, talks, books, audios, etc., in order to pay for expenses, as long as they are wanted by students, and one’s life seems to be called in that direction, then to run around like UG did decrying spiritual activities as a business and at the same time being supported by one’s supposed non-followers or non-students (and treating them with disdain). “U.G. Krishnamurti enjoyed money of Bollywood actors and in return exchanged his learned knowledge”

    In any case, one has to look at “teachers” or those acting as such on a case by case basis and what’s going on with their attitude and actions towards their calling, students, money, and other objects, rather than make blanket statements. How much is ego operating versus an impersonal relationship to it all?
    Case in point: the sage Robert Adams only allowed some students to support him after he had no choice but to teach after he developed Parkinson’s disease. They found him he didn’t pursue them. And he only wanted a core of about 5 truly devoted to truth, and shunned all attention otherwise. Before that he was avoiding people for decades, moving around, and was working as a carpenter in Oregon, an unknown, before developing Parkinson’s. It was spontaneous.

    My thesis stands, that while UG was an interesting character with some valid critiques of the spiritual scene, he was disingenuous in regards to his actions versus what he said, but more importantly, pathological overall, evidenced in his arrogant outlook and treatment of others. He was a wounded soul as it were.
    Did any of his students become enlightened, happier? They may have led more “realistic”, practical lives but so what.

    Spiritual teachers charging money? It’s an interesting question. There’s no black and white answer, despite UG’s callow attitude and the beliefs of many. There’s no rule, and it’s none of my business in any case. But one can use a little bit of wisdom and see if they are a pseudo guru or not.

    If someone says they were contacted by a UFO from Phesarius and the aliens gave him the secret of the Blue Beam and he will make you enlightened in a weekend, but it costs $1200 (and you aren’t allowed to leave), I’d be careful.

    On the other hand if someone is expressing something that resonates in the silence of your heart as self-evident and concords in its pointing with what sages have been saying for thousands of years, then it is your freedom to listen and give something if you want.

    It’s a matter of having the discrimination to tell a false teacher or sharer of wisdom from a true one, and spending (or donating) one’s money wisely. But even there, who am I to judge or legislate how other people spend their money or who they choose to follow or listen to? If they are totally taken with some nonsense, and want to learn about it, that is their path and what they need. It’s a free country. Regardless, the universe is doing exactly what it’s supposed to at this moment.

    One judges a tree by the fruit it bears. In the case of UG, I applied the teachings, and it did not make my relations more loving (just the reverse) nor my life more peaceful, happy and beautiful. But it was a stage in getting rid of some religious and scientific beliefs, seeing how some “spiritual” organizations operated, and being practical in a worldly sense for a little while. But one grows out of him.

    There’s nothing new under the sun. What this means with respect to non-dual teachings – the nadir of genuine paths – is that while there are as many unique expressions as their are confessors or singers of truth, the core reality has to be the same, or it is not a genuine pointing. And one of the things all the genuine sages say is, they can’t give it to you, because it’s who you are, or what you are: the unnamable. Therefore you must find it in yourself: the freedom, love and beauty. It’s not out there.

    But if you love expressing your experience, or feel compelled to, and are drawn to see how “others” express it, there’s nothing wrong with gathering pointers. Artists and musicians learn from each other, and enjoy it…

    I don’t make any money from writing in this blog (or posting photos I make), and pay for the hosting and domain out of my own pocket, and spend countless hours for no reason other than I enjoy it and love exploring and expressing truth (or trying to), being a vehicle when I can. I’ve never even asked for donations (or added a button for it) to help defray the costs, but perhaps I should given my circumstances, not being retired, having no savings or investments, and being “in the red” overall as they say…


    • Robert D Coleman on April 29, 2021 at 6:21 pm

      You quieried, “did any of his students become enlightened?”. Not many people seem to know about Sabyasachi Guha, a physicist that was really close to U.G. from 1995 on. U.G. had an intense effect on Guha (as he’s called nowadays) and seems to have fallen into the same state. Try giving this a read:–Krishnamurti-1.pdf

      • meestereric on May 5, 2021 at 7:33 am

        Hi Robert – I downloaded and skimmed the book, looked at some video materials of his. Sorry, I just couldn’t get interested. Same old schtick, more or less, as UG. Same misunderstanding of states. May be good for those needing some disillusionment about beliefs, but that’s about it. Neither enlightened nor happy (those being same thing, once understood). In any case I’m not a seeker anymore… 🙂
        Thanks for the link.

      • Peter Maverick on December 24, 2021 at 5:13 pm

        Also there’s ‘Complete Trust’::

  4. john.s on February 8, 2020 at 11:06 am


    you surely know more than i about this subject…
    i am grateful that you have shared your views..
    and i am always willing to learn more…


  5. Aaron on March 26, 2020 at 10:34 am

    Pretenders all.


  6. David on March 26, 2020 at 10:44 am

    You are trying to understand UG.

    Good luck to you.

    You can’t understand UG.

    No one can.


    fuck that wink


    bark bark bark

    I don’t understand UG and I never will.

    But UG is the closest I have come across to this

    • meestereric on April 8, 2020 at 7:05 am

      Dear Aaron (or David)– 

      Thank you for the comments.
      Regarding your first comment (please try to combine your comments into one if possible): “Pretenders all.”
      “All” implies oneself, unless you think you have a special status above what you see as others.
      So that would imply you are a pretender.

      For the readers, the suggestion in non-duality is, find what is real, not a pretender: that which does not change.

      Regarding the second comment:
      “You can’t understand UG.” and “No one can.”
      It depends on what one means by “understanding”, and if there is a basis for it, specifically in this case a non-dual understanding.

      In a moment of understanding (a joke, a math question, a philosophic proposition, a non-dual truth), there is an absolute insertion from the timeless we call “intelligence”. There is no accounting for this from the mind, and no artificial substitute possible.

      Being able to discriminate something useful spiritually is an timeless moment of true understanding.

      It’s not necessary to understand UG or any teacher or “non-teacher” intellectually, except as a first step in order to destroy beliefs. But if what they are saying points to Truth, and you get a glimpse of Reality, or an insight, or a creative thought, the goal has been accomplished.

      If one doesn’t have a glimpse or an understanding, then there is no basis for evaluating, for understanding UG or any other teacher of the ultimate subject.

      Love and understanding are non-phenomenal experiences: an answer cannot be found on the level of the mind.

      I will quote my friend Francis Lucille, who addressed as it happened, recently: “But the mind can get the highest level of conviction that a mind is able to accept, via the experiential path, to live your life based on the assumption that consciousness is universal – it is an on-going experiment. This is only after you have been honest enough to see you don’t know at all – the mind cannot know if consciousness is universal or not (that is, you are an agnostic in this regard). The change will be experience inwardly as intelligence, love and beauty, in the world as serendipity. An accumulation of experience will bring about maximum conviction in the mind (never 100%) and a knowing in the heart.
      The good news is that you are not the mind, you are consciousness. Check it out: live that way. Then you can come to live that way, remaining in the Now.”

      Regarding: “UG is the closest I have come across to this.”

      What is “this”?


  7. Arden on April 15, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    I like Karl Renz but like most of the guys on the circuit he is just emulating the greats. There’s not a great deal of originality there, a lot of it is literally verbatim UG but delivered a little less ferociously.

    Ways I see it the only people who were enlightened or something very near that in recent times are UG, JK, Ramakrishna, Ramana, and Anandamayi Ma, then possibly Viveknanda and a few others I’m not so clued up on….

    Still I would be very hesitant to become a follower of any of them, I’ve been there done that and left it by the way. Take the bits that seem appealing to you but don’t hoodwink yourself into trying to emulate them. Find a living teacher, be that just life itself and the others you meet or if you have the luck of meeting someone with a genuinely high degree of wisdom. That’s my 2cents.

  8. a garcia on April 16, 2020 at 11:21 am

    To whom this may be of interest.
    See full version here:
    A layman’s one-time blog, article, essay, whatever

    “out there” into “in here”

    “The evolution of human thought is a leap from an organism reliance on its senses to navigate its environment. From the need of “memory” to identify and react in order to survive “out there”, evolving into memory as an “intellect” and “experiencing” mechanism. In time, the ability to translate, interpret, manipulate what is in memory evolving into symbolic “thinking”. The human species adapted to a reality of knowing, the “out there” into “in here”, a private materialistic world of ideas in the tiny corner of the head.

    I saw a bird.  You saw the bird.  The bird flew away.  What we may not be seeing is that what we saw was already in our head.  And that’s what we do with nature. We can’t see that what’s before us is all there is because we’re looking at what’s not there but at what we want to see to fits us. The wanting, or seeking, is the authority that preoccupies ………….enough…

     I am not in the business of interpreting things, especially interpreting others for others.  That includes interpreting myself….the bird is gone.  So this is not to claim ownership, but to say do whatever you want to do. What you do is yours…you can say good riddance to the bird or……….

  9. David on April 18, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Angry UG, generous UG, mocking UG, laughing UG, bragging UG, useless guy UG, no UG. Reminds us of a human, no? Try having some fun if you’re on this quest for Life, or whatever you wanna call it. You don’t have to take every sign posts literally. Try taking the wrong way instead of the right. Get in the way of yourself and you’re getting in the way of life, which would make you a life-blocker. Not sexy, right? Good luck to you all, and don’t mind me.

  10. Chohan on April 19, 2020 at 7:58 am

    Dear Eric
    With Spiritual teacher we are looking for answers….permanance in our seach.Like in movies A Good end.
    You want get this with UG.
    I support Aaron comments on understanding UG…
    But if you happen to come from other spiritual organisation where one thinks that one has reached the Ultimatum. With no Pemanance and happen to listen to UG….l m sure yoi will realise that UG has substance.
    Honestly l have not exhausted U G
    but what l have heard of him…he has his impact.The closest to what we are all seeking for.

    • meestereric on April 19, 2020 at 8:29 am

      Dear Chohan –

      Thanks for the comment.
      I have found the permanence, and it’s not in the future, or from any organization.

      Yes he has impact, but he doesn’t have peace. He didn’t find the permanent ground. Thus I am pointing to the internal contradiction in his “barking”.
      So he is closest to what we are seeking, only if we are seeking and have not found. But he is good for those who need to undo a lot of spiritual garbage accumulated, and see the world more skeptically. He’s good for that stage. But you don’t want to keep drinking drano once the drain is cleared.
      But for those still caught in the mind and relativism, it’s a lot of fun and very compelling.


  11. meestereric on April 20, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    To address a couple of the comments here, such as foolish statements like “You can’t understand UG.”:

    Well, why read him then? You have a misunderstanding of understanding – one common in the spiritual circuit unfortunately – and so of course you can’t understand UG.

    I’m not interested in understanding UG Krishnamurti as a person (except as a story), only the teaching or philosophy he presents in the oral and physical expression. There is nothing else to look at, other than for entertainment.

    In Aaron’s and other comments is the implicit assumption that people can be enlightened, or that UG as a person, as a body was in a special state. This is false. No person, no body has ever become enlightened or will ever become enlightened.

    Enlightenment is what we all are *now*, eternally, if you have the eyes to see. You are already liberated but are clouded by beliefs, most centrally to be separate entity. Perhaps UG’s spoutings on sociology, biology and philosophy will help to clear some of the garbage away, if one can discriminate what’s bullshit and what is truth. Seeing his contradictions is a good start, but *it requires a certain level of understanding of truth yourself*.

    Truth is the only authority, and the fruit of the tree of understanding is a good testament to the quality of the tree. If what you’re experiencing is more and more peace, love, harmoniousness, and happiness in your life, then you’ve found a good tree. And if the fruit is no longer of interest or helpful, then stop eating from that tree, and either find another or be you’re own tree.

    • Arden on April 20, 2020 at 11:36 pm

      You say you there’s nothing like enlightenment because it’s what we are now yet earlier you presume to guess at whether another man had found “the permanent ground”, I have no problem with that as I have my own guesses but you do seem to be contradicting yourself somewhat.

      And yes I agree that enlightenment is a somewhat ridiculous term and perhaps there’s no such thing as “ultimate” awareness (if we want to use this particular ornery word), certainly nobody has any way of knowing for sure the nature of their own state or anothers as UG takes pains to point out. But there does seem to be something like that and it seems to me acceptable to guess at the degree of another’s awareness and integrity, especially if others have marked them out as some kind of a guide or teacher.

      • meestereric on April 22, 2020 at 8:29 am

        Arden –

        It’s not a contradiction, it’s a paradox. Enlightenment, so called (see my comments below), will always be a paradox. But it is only a paradox to the mind. At the borderland between the mind and consciousness so to speak, and looking towards consciousness, it’s a Land of Paradox, full of players like Timeless Moments, Actionless Action, and Enlightened Nobodies. Looking back at the mind from Consciousness, duality is seen as intrinsic to the nature of mind, mind being a movement of thought, perception or sensation to make a seeming difference in an unmoving space of peace.

        Not knowing another’s state, and the fact that states are *not* what is important in this business, are tied together. If you approach the whole thing as “I am a human with states” you’ll never get anywhere (or end up like a mad, barking dog). You’ve already tied your hands, by presuming you know something you don’t. If a philosopher, or barking dog like UG, or any spiritual teacher has any use at all to me it’s to show that the beliefs and attachments (to any objects of consciousness: feelings, perceptions or thoughts) are what’s in the way of freedom. By beliefs here are meant anything that is not a fact.

        Most centrally, do I know as a fact of experience that consciousness – whatever that is that is reading these words right now – is limited? This is not a claim that it *is* unlimited, it’s simply looking in experience, rather than concepts (inherited), to what I know right now to be a fact. If I honestly can’t find any evidence that says for certain that consciousness is limited, and every presumed limitation turns out to be a belief rather than a fact, then it’s opened a door: I have admitted to myself “I don’t know”.

        So what do I know for certain? For all I know this whole experience of life right now could be a dream or hallucination. However, whatever is going on is a *real* experience, even if it is a real dream or real hallucination. It has a reality to it, and that reality is the reality of the continuity of I Am, regardless of whatever the changes there are in the contents of experience. So there you have two solid keystones to build on: One, I exist, am real, and Two, I am always aware, even if I don’t know what I am.

        You say “I have my own guesses.”
        You really don’t want to be guessing in these matters. You have to investigate in your own experience. And it doesn’t matter what state UG or any other talker claims to be in if you’re happy and at peace yourself, but if you look to them for any sort of teaching or illumination then there’s only two question to ask about their “state”: are they happy 99 percent of the time, or at least happier than me, and can they take you there? UG fails on both counts, despite his entertainment and curious fascination value.

        Of course there are those that just want to build their ego, or show how much they know, or be able to shoot down any claims, or defend a position, etc. UG may be of use for that game, but I’m not interested in that. I’m interested in truth lovers, and fellow truth lovers. The rest can’t take the heat for too long.

        Rather than “enlightenment”, let’s call it liberation. In general you can see it as having two stages: 1. A glimpse of one’s true nature, which is instantaneous and outside of time. 2. The process establishment towards permanent peace and happiness, as thoughts, feelings, perceptions and actions are rewired in accordance, into the totality of one’s life experience. (Thanks to Francis Lucille for that handy roadmap. It’s turning out to be accurate in general, even though “the map is not the territory”).

        And as far as the contents of his barkings, UG claims that all we experience is the knowledge that we already have. This is bogus. It’s the same sort move and endless game of diversion of modern academic philosophy. Philosophy used to be about love of wisdom, but it’s been raped in trying to compete with the status of, or be a whore to science, and lost it’s footing. Now everyone is just sharpening their intellectual swords, lost on the surface. If we can’t honestly look at consciousness, or how to be actually be happy and at peace (not to mention sane), or resonate with transcendent qualities of Truth, Love and Beauty, why the hell are we wasting our time and tax dollars on this kind of educational system? All it’s doing is serving the continuity of academia, careers, the state, and unhappy students and teachers.

        And then you have UG, some sort of weird, pathological product and outlier of both systems, the spiritual and academic, who rejected both ways of thinking but got stuck for decades worrying about “what is this state?” and with his own feelings of separation, and who never found his own true ground, his own peace and happiness. But who cares? If you like him, find him interesting, go for it. I’m done with him.

        Happy Hunting… I’m headed out to enjoy the day.

        • Arden on April 23, 2020 at 9:18 am

          Sounds like you’ve got it all figured out then.

          • meestereric on July 25, 2020 at 6:45 pm

            Sounds like sarcasm, which is not the level of discussion I’d like here. Let’s keep it civil, impersonal (“mature”) as best we can. This is all done in freedom and enjoyment, with no agenda.

  12. Mark on May 5, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    Appreciate your insight on UG. I find him interesting. Also have always found his agitation too pronounced not to be indicative of something. I’m a poor interpreter, so I can only guess what the issue is, but I take for granted that by his agitation, some mental health phenomenon, is taking place within him.

    I like what you said about a teacher being observably happy and having an ability to direct others there. I’d add to that a metric of observable empathy for others as criterion. He doesn’t strike me as that. Like anyone who is out of sorts, we have to go on rumor and innuendo as to the person’s contentedness.

    • meestereric on May 5, 2020 at 2:49 pm

      Hi Mark –

      Glad you found something insightful.
      Yes, recently had a friend from the non-duality community comment about UG that the term from Eckhart Tolle of “pain body” applied. While I’ve never fully understood clearly what Eckhart meant by pain body, other than as a general metaphor for a way that the ego holds onto suffering unconsciously, it does resonate with the model I’ve come to accept, namely that even after a major glimpse of Reality, such as what we call an “awakening” experience (liberation from ignorance of the Self), there are still patterns of separation stored unconsciously in the body – the body being a kind of field or vortex of energy with eddies in the flow of Life – namely of aggression and fear from earlier life. It can take some time for these to dissolve after the glimpse. The glimpse is just the beginning of the “path” (the direct path) and not the end, as so many mistakenly think.

      This has been my experience: I still find unconscious energies sometimes arising and affecting thought, sensation, perception and behavior, until they are “released” or dissolved. Unfortunately many will go out and teach (or not-teach teach), and this accounts for the great variety of qualities of teachers and teaching (and abuses of their position), and why there are so many half-baked neo-Advaita teachers. It also takes skill and a love of teaching to be a teacher, which is a different issue from an awakening. These reasons are why I don’t teach myself, even though I’ve had many “glimpses”. I just live and do creative stuff that I am interested in at any given moment (and it motivated me to write a disclaimer for this site recently on the About page).

      It’s funny how people act like followers, and defend UG – as if there is something to defend, and the opposite of what he wanted (or maybe not?) – it boils down to beliefs and feelings, I believe. 😉
      Anyway, people take it all so f*%!ing seriously. It’s no wonder I nearly ended this site… now I post only “when the spirit moves me.” 🙂


  13. disentity on August 14, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    Q: although everyone who is supposed to have undergone this ‘explosion’ is unique, in the sense that each one is expressing his own background, there do seem to be some common characteristics.

    A: that is not my concern; it seems to be yours. i never compare myself to somebody else.

    • meestereric on August 14, 2020 at 8:46 pm

      That is a quote from The Mystique of Enlightenment: The Radical Ideas of U. G. Krishnamurti, (p. 36) for interested readers.

      It’s an interesting quote, and points to an important truth, if it’s understood more broadly and not within UG’s dogma (of biological mutation, etc.).

      When we compare ourselves to others, or are concerned about other’s experiences, we have already set off on the wrong foot in the assumption behind the question: that there are others to compare to, and that there are separate consciousnesses. On what basis does one make this assumption? Does it have a rational or experiential basis? No.

      We even go so far as assume there are special or anointed beings, so lucky or so high in achievement, that they have been graced with a special state or status of enlightenment or awakening (spiritual or biological or whatever). We go to them as “teachers” or non-teacher teachers, because we are students, and want something, assuming we lack something (why else would there be wanting and seeking and reading and listening?). Yet we have created them “in our own image.” But what are they an image of, and where does this image play?

      What a fantastic game of hide and seek.

      Is there anything outside of my awareness? Yes, there may be things outside my *mind* (New York probably does not disappear when I go to sleep) but being able to prove or disprove if there is anything outside of awareness is not possible with the mind.

      However it doesn’t matter one iota, because one can stand with absolute certainty upon two facts: that I exist, and that I am conscious. This is true regardless of what anyone says or what happens in experience. Even if this is a dream, it’s a real dream. And, regardless of the content of awareness, or the complete lack of content, non-awareness as a reality is completely imaginary, a fantasy. This imaginary non-existence can take the form of a constructed memory overlaid over an experience that happened in a supposed past (e.g., the lack of awareness in deep sleep, under anesthesia, or prior to birth), or in the form of an imagined future that supposedly takes place in a supposed future (e.g., after death). None of this exists, as it is purely thought-forms, the nature of which is insubstantial: they come and go, are constantly changing, passing movements in awareness, or underground movements in the subconscious.

      The continuity of consciousness-as-reality underlies all experience.

      So, ironically, UG’s statement points to the fact that we can completely ignore what his experiences supposedly were, and what he said.
      End of game.

      Time to watch Star Trek, and have a good evening…

  14. Vilas on November 21, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    Eric ,

    Having read your intelligent article on UG and Jiddu .K , I find that you are getting involved in analyzing these personalities by unknowingly referencing these to a particular personality or ideology of your choice …it may be Francis Lucille or John Klein or else. My understanding is that a real self realized soul will never ever criticize any other spiritual personality of any stature for what they are. Because for the really evolved/ self-realized souls there is no Duality to talk about as existing in any body form or in any thought process. Obviously it is your ” Ego and illusion” which is knowingly or unknowingly making this mischief. Unfortunately words of wisdom from great enlightened and self-realized souls are more often misunderstood then being understood. Be blessed.

    • meestereric on December 5, 2020 at 9:37 am

      Vilas – Thanks for the comment.

      The purpose of “analyzing these personalities” in this case was to attempt to illuminate, even if crudely, the strange case of UG, and speculating on the causes of why and how he could be so wrong. Since his philosophy is fundamentally off-base (in a rather interesting way), one naturally searches for explanations at the level of psychology – what we are calling “personality”. So in a sense, the whole point is that there *were* dynamics of the human, that is of psychology, very strongly present in UG’s behavior, and this is what is evident; this not only contradicts any view of him as self-realized or as a sage (which he himself denied yet took advantage of being treated as such – another disingenuous behavior), but begs for a great skepticism in believing his claims.
      What a true non-dual understanding reveals is simply freedom from psychology: freedom from personal thought and feeling. Yet he was acting not only from psychology, but a pathological one.
      In addition, UG himself spent quite a bit of energy criticizing and attacking sages, gurus and spiritual ideas. His harsh skeptical schtick can therefore in all fairness be aimed back at him. And like Sri Ramana Maharshi supposedly said to him (according to UG), “can he take it”? – apparently not. So if such skepticism is not a good thing, according to your belief, to analyze or criticize a “spiritual personality” (a strange phrase that is an oxymoron), why would you like or approve of it in him – especially considering he was by definition not a sage or self-realized? He is fair game, given the nature of his game. I would suggest you examine your beliefs and loyalties about sages and UG in particular.

      A “sage” if one wants to use that term (which can be deceptive if applied to bodies) recognizes only one true teacher, and that is the Self, or Life. There is only one being, and no separate entities.

      If one were to criticize Ramana Maharshi based on his personality or history, or by cherry picking behavior like getting angry, that would be an entirely different matter. It would have no relevance in that case, and yes, would point back to the critic. But this is a critical examination of a harsh skeptic’s claim which I have shown are self-contradictory. This is a service to those who may be tempted to waste too much time on UGK’s rantings.

      Regarding “referencing these to a particular personality or ideology of your choice”. I reference Jean Klein and his students Francis Lucille’s summary dismissal of UG, labelling him as “pathological”, because it’s an accurate summation (and rather humorous). The nondual understanding, Francis Lucille’s teachings, and the writings of this website, are in the service of helping to free oneself from core beliefs and ideologies, and not to focus on persons or personalities (unless relevant).
      So I reference authors or teachers like Francis Lucille for the reason they are all about freeing one from ideology, beliefs and concepts of all kinds, including and especially the belief and misunderstanding that a body, a human being can be self-realized or enlightened (one of the central claims that UG’s questionable stories about his life are supposed to illustrate).

      Regarding “for the really evolved/ self-realized souls there is no Duality to talk about as existing in any body form or in any thought process. ” Yes and no: yes in the sense that bodies do not become enlightened (such as UG claimed by inference about his “calamity”) – and the totality has no one to communicate to, as there are no “others”, but not in the sense that at the relative level we communicate and play this game of being bodies and minds in a world and using words and concepts (you were doing it by writing a comment on the blog). A thorn is used to take out a thorn: the mind is used to let go of (limiting) mind-concepts. You can’t have it both ways: talk from the absolute level and play the relative game at the same time saying it’s not real or relevant, since here we are communicating as bodyminds in a world. This is the flaw in neo-Advaita teachings so prevalent today. They are not really honest to experience, but adhere to intellectual concepts of non-duality without really seeing them deeply nor living them in the present. An intellectual nonduality will say there are “no others” yet feel and act like there are, betraying the source as yet another belief rather than a lived understanding. In this there was a grain of truth in UG’s criticism of replacing one thought or belief system with another more “spiritual one”, yet he didn’t have the grounding to provide a relief in finding one’s reality as non-phenomenal. It’s a shame he never found himself and ended up spending his time in such destructive shenanigans without the creative and constructive to compensate.

      I know you are probably earnest in your pointing out that criticizing sages and their personalities is a sign of ego, and the point is taken (I agree if it were about a sage). So I take it the comment was made in an innocent misunderstanding of nonduality and spirituality. Strangely enough though, the critique should really be aimed at UG (and indeed that was the point of the article).

      Warmest Regards,

      • Vilas on September 15, 2022 at 6:47 am

        Dear Eric ,

        How are you ? How is life treating you ? Well, After contemplation for such a long time I could understand your response to my comments. As of now , no comments are existing . It is like accepting all and digesting all . At the end nothing remains. Only this moment .

        Lastly , reference to your observation ” This is the flaw in neo-Advaita teachings so prevalent today. ” I request you to elaborate on what exactly you are conveying by ” today ” ? Which period ?

        As a general statement – I find , I feel my life is treating me well after I have gone through the book ” Meditations with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj ” and understood the contents therein . I suggest you to go through this book if not gone. A lovely book indeed !

        Please accept my warm regards,


  15. S Raghav on January 11, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    Thank you Eric

    I try as much as possible to not have an opinion on teachers as the magnanimous saint Yogi Ramsuratkumar had said once that “J Krishnamurti is for the non-believers, for the believers there are many teachers” and “Osho is a Mahatma”

    So I reconciled myself to self inquiry when I hear teachers criticizing tradition and things that I consider “spiritual fundamentals”

    But listening to UG really left me shocked and very very uncomfortable. Am I just a material thing who should just give into impulses?
    The answer to that is “no” but how do I know that? Because someone told me, I read in a book
    So as you said UG helped strip off some of the baggage but it left me too cynical and material. I don’t want to judge was enlightened or not, but your blog was a healing balm, just because it gave me a comforting thought that “it’s okay to feel cynicism when reading UG as that’s what another person also feels”
    Thank you! And happy New year (to whom? Sri Ramana Maharishi may ask)

    • meestereric on January 13, 2021 at 7:48 am

      Dear S Raghav – 

      I am glad the article was a healing balm. UG can be a harsh medicine, too harsh to keep taking over and over (in my book).
      A teacher should be evaluated according to the fruit the tree bears.
      While one may lead a more practical life after doses of UG, is one overall happier, living more harmoniously a beautiful and loving life, true to one’s inner nature? Is an inner nature revealed to be, in stages, the same as outer in some inexplicable sense: transparent, borderless, more extraordinary…?
      Or is one’s mind just as busy and in turmoil, but in a different way, still holding a negative charge and still holding unexamined beliefs (thoughts without supporting evidence in the face of the facts of immediate experience, beyond concepts, beyond mind)?

      Does one sense one’s eternity enough to be able to finally let go and Be, as the silence and majesty you Are.


      • Chahinez on February 19, 2021 at 11:54 am

        l ve discovered UG recently . İl have read some of the books attributed to him l keep listening to his records and watching his videos . l was into this quest of spirituality for years. Being a restless muslim l have been searching in other religions philosophies both eastern and western in the hope of reaching peace and harmony within and outside . l ve tried to practice many things , different kind of practices l have heard of , but still nothing worked , i felt helpless worried angry hypocrite and many feelings. UG whom i have found after a long line of Indian spiritual teachers and gurus .at a time when I have put aside Indian spiritual teachings and turned into finally chinese taoism .in the latter philosophy things remained unclear coz was not able to find a contemporary teacher who can make me understand it well ( even Allan Watts was not enough for me ) . UG appeared from nowhere he really wiped out many of what I have been filled with . l don’t feel hopeless now in the way I was before ( why I’m not as perfect as that enlightened man/ teacher/ saint/ prophet) l feel free from trying to be someone else ,from being a perfect copy of certain model . To say UG was an answer to all my questions no but l ve came to understand not to ask no one coz no one has the right answer . So the question will burn out itself .
        About some of your remarks on UG , well I’m not defending him (who cares to do so ) i guess he ll be more pleased to be considered a bad example than a good example to follow . Since he didn’t want any one to claim his link / influence by him .
        Turning to what you have said , UG treated the ppl ( bollywood actors/ Indian businessmen ) whom they supported him in disdain and anger while he benefits from them , well UG sited very clear that ppl keep coming though he clearly says there is nothing for you here , they want to get something from him , to know the secrete ( which there is not ) they want to benefit . They offered him support in return they looked to take something from him which he said you won’t take anything from me don’t try . He shouted them they could simply leave (as he always asked them to ) no one forced them to give a cent out of no self interest they won’t do so . An interest UG didn’t provide,didn’t privilege or grant to none of them . Even the books they wrote about him (he was aware that ppl will try to take benefit of his talk and sell them ,he claimed no ownership and granted no privilege to one person or another . All what I say is free to be used or quoted or even claim ownership on them .
        UG had no teachings , no aim no point to convince anyone about , he tried to answer ppl questions interms how of what he knows after his experience ( if it is the right word to use ) . He promised no happiness no love nothing. No happiness exist it is the mind product , happiness is a delayed misery according to ☯️ if you are ready to accept this and gave you comfort just go for it . This is what UG says ,well what i understood from him so far . Again thanks for writing about the man.

        • meestereric on February 19, 2021 at 2:16 pm

          Dear Chahinez – 

          That is an interesting story – the one about seeking. Thank you very much for sharing.

          The “spiritual” path is not an easy one. I don’t know if enough “teachers” talk about this fact. Many make it sound so enticing and gooey, and offer palliatives, and the hope of a reward at the end of the rainbow. But I see more and more clearly the “Truth”, or non-duality, is not spiritual, it is simply fact, raw fact. It can feel like a painful or confusing or chaotic or angry… many difficult feelings or experiences… on the way of disassembling oneself – what one thinks one is, what the goal of life is, what this life is, patterns of belief, ways of living…. We have been sold so many lies. The teachers don’t always talk about the difficulties or the “thousand deaths” they went through. Or the necessity of standing alone as it were.

          Thus I think UG can be very useful, as you have pointed out. And the various ways that he is useful I am reminded of by what you wrote. I suppose I have written a sort of warning label – like what one puts on a bottle of caustic lye like one uses for clearing out the drain in the kitchen sink. Good to use the clean it out, but if you keep doing it past it’s usefulness, you can damage the pipes. Same thing here: once a teacher, or anti-teacher, has helped one shed some illusions, then it’s time to find and apply an openness to possibility, and not hold onto an anti-position, which is just another position. In other words, it’s about freedom, even from UG. And if there’s negativity or hostility, beware: are there patterns of a residue of ignorance in the bodymind of the non-teacher teacher, in the form of aggression? Study them, then move on. Take the lesson then go free.

          Warmest Regards,

  16. Amit on September 14, 2022 at 10:20 am

    “I don’t know what happiness is like so I can never be unhappy” – U.G.

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