Obedience of Authority
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 physical 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 of 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 authority 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:
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|