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Obedience of Authority

Posted on Mar 2, 2017 by in Krishnamurti Articles | 8 comments

To Destroy is to Create.

This article examines Krishnamurti’s take on obedience of authority.  Particularly on how certain elements of it can cloud virtue under the guise of social morality.


Freedom Through Destroying Psychological Authority


Psychological authority: The defenses and securities that an individual has created “rationally, individually, deeply and superficially” found in our consciousness & unconsciousness.

  • According to Krishnamurti, to find freedom from psychological authority, we have to exert a large amount of obedience of authorityphysical energy to succeed. In particular, psychological energy is needed to destroy the “whole skeleton of authority.” A skeleton we as humanity have built up throughout the centuries.
  • However, this could lead to an unnecessary wasting of energy. This is because we cannot destroy authority while in conflict from within. So it is important to understand the whole process of the conflict within. Once a keen understanding of the conflict within oneself (because of authority) is recognized, we can move forward.
  • Once the conflict within ourselves is eradicated, it becomes very easy to “tear” down the illusions of authority that mean nothing.
  • Krishnamurti does not advocate to destroy economical or social systems, physical buildings (riots) or lash out against governing bodies. He advocates to break down the PSYCHOLOGICAL authority in the mind.
  • The defenses and securities that we have created “rationally, individually, deeply and superficially” found in our consciousness & unconsciousness.
  • To find real freedom from authority entails being “utterly” defenseless to really experience the emotions of love and affection. Also, we have to come to realize that aspects such as learning, knowledge, and our own capabilities do not require authority.
  • We have created an illusion of this necessity for authority in these key aspects. Removing this authority will bring about the out the importance of a clear and sharp mind.


Obedience of Authority Vs. Virtue  


  • In Krishnamurti’s view, once virtue becomes more of a repetition for us to act “good”, it ceases to be virtue. When we act “mechanically” in situations that require virtue, we are only doing so from preconceived ideologies passed down to us.
  • Virtue must be like humility.  Humility cannot be trained or imposed and instead FELT with the assistance ofhumility a mind that has the capacity to do so.
  • Krishnamurti warns not to mistaken virtue with social morality. Social morality is a creation from society. Society is governed by an authority that has aspects of greed, ambition, and competition within it.  So in a sense, social morality is just encouraging immorality when looking for pure virtue.
  • Virtue has no order, has no pattern and cannot be applied through a formula. Each situation where virtue is needed will be different, and only a free mind and heart will recognize the correct action. Virtue has to transcend morality, because following a pattern or a formula to virtue can itself create immorality.
  • Preconceived ideologies from history, other individuals, and society itself can and will cloud and distort virtuous actions.
  • In finality, Krishnamurti states that when searching for real virtue, we must be wary of external authorities the mind will adhere to such as the the law, God, morality, etc. These different forms of psychological authorities aim to provide PATTERNS and REPETITION to the action of virtue. However, virtue is a living and moving embodiment.

“As you cannot possibly cultivate humility, as you cannot possibly cultivate love, so also virtue cannot be cultivated; and there is great beauty in that. Virtue is non-mechanical, and without virtue there is no foundation for clear thinking.”
– Jiddu Krishnamurti



Obedience of Authority: False Liberators & Patterns


  • According to Krishnamurti, even more important than finding a liberator to follow, we must look to understand ourselves. Self-knowledge leads to liberation and away from ignorance and sorrow.
  • We have cravings for authority and are easily convinced to accept and follow.  This craving becomes a painful process and we engage in blaming or critiquing the liberator.  What we need to do is look into ourselves and the origin of the craving for authority before passing blame to others.
  • Authority is shaped by our need for comfort, or an easy “way”; patterns to “follow” provide just that. The comfortauthority may come in many shapes including governing bodies, personal experience, saviors, or as gurus. Each can play a part in creating a blindness that can lead us to living thoughtlessly and within a pattern.
  • What is important to us is OUR life, that seems to have endless problems and conflicts. Therefore it is US who have to focus on OUR life and resolve the conflicts that arise within US.


The Deception of Personal Experiences



  • According to Krishnamurti, we must understand that all of our personal experiences have been a form of conditioning. Our cultural, religious, economical and social background will have all played a big part in our past experiences.
  • Once we can recognize this conditioning, we will understand that the past cannot aid us in understanding the present experience.


Join in on the conversation!  Please comment on this article and tell me what you think.

What do you agree with and what don’t you agree with?

How do you think we can apply this knowledge in our daily lives to enrich our quality of life as individuals and as a species?



A List of Some of Jiddu Krishnamurti’s Literature:

Life Ahead: On Learning and the Search for Meaning

The Ending of Time: Where Philosophy and Physics Meet

The Collected Works of J.Krishnamurti – Volume IV 1945 – 1948: The Observer is Observed


For more thought provoking knowledge, check out the following articles:

J Krishnamurti Book of Life  Krishnamurti on Love   Self Knowledge Education  Social Condition’s Freedom    
Jiddu Krishnamurti Teachings J Krishnamurti Quotes  ‎Krishnamurti and Authority   J Krishnamurti Teachings 




  1. Hello there,

    That is a very insightful piece of an article.

    It is very deep and engaging.

    I have never thought about the importance of obedience of authority in such a deep context.

    I totally agree with what you say about how we have cravings for authority and we are also easily convinced to accept and follow.

    Krishnamurti was a great philosopher and writer and his legacy is of great importance of the humanity.

    • Thank you for your compliments my friend.

      I totally agree. We subconsciously adhere and conform to many different types of authority with very little thought. It is making us all too similar when in reality we are all supposed to completely unique.

      Krishnamurti was definitely a great philosopher and he really saw things in a very interesting way.

      Glad the article was of some benefit to you.

      Stay blessed!

  2. This is an eye-opening piece.

    “When we act “mechanically” in situations that require virtue, we are only doing so from preconceived ideologies passed down to us.” This particular phrase caught my eye; I had always thought about this particular point, especially when it has something to do with apologizing to someone. There are often times when I wonder if I’m apologizing to someone because it’s expected of me to do so, or do I really feel remorseful and that’s why I apologize.

    And I agree with self-knowledge leading to liberation. I find that the more you know yourself, the less likely you are to try and find ways to fit in because you’re comfortable in your own skin. By understanding yourself, you are able to own up to your own mistakes if you make it.

    This was a great article; really thought-provoking!

    • Hey Krystle,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      I completely relate to your example about apologizing to other people. Many times I have caught myself apologizing and I don’t know if I did it because I was apologetic or if I felt it was only right to apologize.

      Self-knowledge is key! Being comfortable within ourselves is so important in this world today.

      Thanks for coming by and giving me some feedback.

      Stay blessed!

  3. That was a great read.

    I went through it twice as there was so much to grab. I’ll go through it again, I guess.


    • Hey,

      Thank you Anubhav for your feedback.

      Great you were able to find some use of the article about the knowledge and wisdom of Jiddu Krishnamurti.

      Stay blessed!

  4. I found myself digging. I got the sense that there is so much written here that to comprehend would take sincere effort. I love your position on virtue and humility. I can see from past experiences where I was not able to grasp the concept of humility, and consequently virtue as well.

    I have subscribed to a life with a Savior, and I have journeyed to discover the necessity of such a thing. I will admit that I have felt like a rebellious child when seeking answers to questions, but as I continued to question and seek, the layers of my presuppositions melted away and I found that God isn’t just real. His authority isn’t his only characteristic. I found love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, meekness, gentleness and temperance as well.

    I am glad to know you, and I will be more than happy to discover virtue with you as we share this leg of the journey together. God bless.

    Beautiful website, by the way!

    • Namaste Alan,

      Thank you for coming by and checking out the website. Thank you for your compliments. I am very humbled.

      CONGRATS on subscribing to the life of a savior. We don’t need to know much about the savior except that one exists, and created everything including ourselves and everything around us. The most logical thing to do to pay homage to this savior is to preserve all that has been created to our best abilities.

      I am so glad you have found all those beautiful things in your life. Super happy for you!

      I look forward to our journey as well my friend.

      Stay blessed!


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Please share this post with your friends & family and help spread the knowledge and wisdom of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Thank you & stay blessed!