Don’t you hate when questions are answered with questions? They are often confusing and even more aggravating unless it’s Krishnamurti asking the questions.
This was my second time picking up “Think On These Things” and reading it all the way through. I mentioned that I read it all the way through because it’s actually a hard book to read start to finish because you are constantly asked to do exactly what the title says, to think on the things that are talked about. I’m not sure about you, but thinking can get exhausting especially when what you are thinking about is breaking boundaries, challenges status-quo and punching tradition in the face.
The reason I tried reading it a second time is because the last time I read it, I was 16 years old and I wanted to see if 1. It is really worth reading a book twice and 2. If I had a different outlook on the philosophies that Krishnamurti spoke about 3.5 years later.
Before I write a short book regurgitation, let me riff on reading books over again. This isn’t my first time trying it, and I’m going to give it one more shot with another book that I am going to read again soon. During New Years I was reading dozens of posts about the best books to read and the fact that this year is supposed to be about reading the best books over again and applying the lessons to your life.
What I have come to learn is the little things which you would catch in reading a book over again, are rain dropped throughout a similar book by a different author. The books are similar, so these small repetitive lessons are also similar. You have already taken the most important pieces of the first book; there is no point in reading it again to catch the small points when you can just read another book with new big important pieces and the same small points.
The thing about the many books based on the same subject or field of interest is that they are all plagiarized. The author read nearly a hundred books on the subject, used the small points from them and created the larger, new, more important ones and the next author did the same. Because this is the way books are written, it seems ill-fitting to reread a book over again.
The real reason I picked Think On These Things up to read it again was because I wanted to revisit his concepts of the function of education which is the title of the first chapter. Throughout the entire book the way education is taught is challenged and ideas are given to improve it. Being straightforward, everything that is mentioned in the book is supposed to also be mentioned in school, to be thought on, to be philosophized on – something that will also appear in my first 30,000 word eBook that will be released at the beginning of August.
Freedom is the next subject that is focused on as most people are not free; they are dead or near death. “We all want to be famous people – and the moment we want to be something, we are no longer free.” (pg 10) At the same time of freedom, intelligence is thought on. Intelligence is to find out, but to find out is not to make a conclusion. Once a conclusion is made, the mind is bordered and dies much quicker. See, the whole concept of freedom is to free the mind, not in the sense of it being empty but in the sense of it being aware with love and experience.
Love is mentioned very few times throughout the book because love is simple.
“Have you noticed how few of us have deep feeling about anything? Do you ever rebel against your teachers, against your parents, not just because you don’t like something, but because you have a deep, ardent feeling that you don’t want to do certain things? If you feel deeply and ardently about something, you will find that this very feeling in a curious way brings a new order into your life” (pg 61)
Another quick note to make about the book is that aside from the opening of each chapter, the chapter is comprised of answers to questions. One particular question is “However much I may want to be an engineer, if my father is against it and won’t help me, how can I study engineering?”
Krishnamurti’s answer, “If you persist in wanting to be an engineer even though your father turns you out of the house, do you mean to say that you won’t find ways and means to study engineering? You will beg, go to friends. Sir, life is very strange. The moment you are very clear about what you want to do, things happen. Life comes to your aid – a friend, a relation, a teacher, a grandmother, somebody helps you… But you see, we don’t want to invite life, we want to play a safe game; and those who play a safe game die very safely is that not so?” (pg 126)
Other great questions which are issued and responded to:
To revolt, to learn, to love – are these three separate processes, or are they simultaneous?
How can we be free of dependence as long as we are living in society?
What is self-knowledge, and how can we get it?
Why do we want to be famous?
I am full of hate. Will you please teach me how to love?
What is happiness in life?
Why do we find pleasure in our games and not in our studies?
Why do we hate the poor?
Why do we like to be lazy?
How is one to become intelligent?
Why do birds fly away when I come near?
As always, I have to give the one chapter to read to see if you are interested in getting the book. “The energy to life” is the fourth to last chapter in the book and basically answers how to be full of energy all of the time rather than lethargic and lazy each day. All in all, was it worth the read a second time? No. Was it worth a read the first time? Yes.
Since I moved to Madison, I have noticed something peculiar popping up as I ride my bike on the bike paths. Bird houses. Not just your typical bird house, but a huge bird house, with an actual door instead of a hole. Above the door the words “Little Free Library” are written. Inside this giant bird house are random books that people have put inside. I think it is an absolutely brilliant idea and as you can see, I have deposited my Krishnamurti book in one. At first I was worried that there are only bad, terrible books being tossed into the free library because people don’t want to hold on to them. Then I realized the books inside are probably the best books anyone can read because they are so valuable that people have to share them, have to let someone else experience them and have to feel that inspiring power of knowing that you contributed to someone’s experience in reading a fresh, positive, great book. To the person who will pick this book out, enjoy. To the readers who will check this book out at a public library or view the recommended chapter at a book store, enjoy.
Stay Positive & You Get The Most Thoughts For Your 4 Bucks With This Book
Garth E. Beyer