The purpose of criticism

April 1, 2013 Comments Off on The purpose of criticism

Wherever I have been, the criticism with which people busy themselves about me deals nearly always with superficialities and is hardly worth answering. For example, I was asked the other day why it is – if I have found that reality which I say I have discovered – I am so tired, I am not well. Naturally, if one travels from India to America and back again, one gets physically tired. I am not ill; I have got as much energy as anybody, but I reserve my energy for a particular purpose. If I worked at pitching tents here (editor’s note, Eerde Gathering, Holland 1930), I should not have the energy to talk, so I prefer to keep my energy for talking, as this happens to be my metier. Personally, I do not mind if I talk or not. If you are willing to listen, then I will talk; if you are not, then that is the end of it. It does not make any difference to me personally. Again, in India, people ask me why I shave twice a day, or once a day. Such criticism dissipates energy. What you should be criticising all the time, through your observation, is whether I am truly living that reality which I say I have attained – whether I am showing forth that perfection of self which I say that I have realised. To do this properly, you must understand that of which I am speaking. I am not saying this in a disparaging way. To understand anything, one must find out what it is all about. Similarly, when you rebel against anything, you must be sure what it is you are rebelling against. Before I deal with that reality, I want this to be settled, at least in your minds – I have to face it wherever I go, but that does not matter to me. But you who gather here every year, off and on, should have ceased from that kind of superficial criticism. You should not be asking yourselves why I do not live in a tent, why I live in a hut, why I live in a castle. (I am living in a hut, if you must know.) Please understand this, because to me it is very serious. I would much rather that you did not come to these Camps than you come every year and remain superficial. Criticism is only of value in so far as it trains your observation so that it can eventually be turned on yourself. That is the purpose of criticism. I used to criticise everyone and everything; but afterwards I turned that criticism upon myself to see if that which I criticised outside myself remained in my own heart and mind. The moment I turned that light of criticism upon myself, I began to grow, I began to destroy the unessential. – JKrishnamurti, Early Works, circa 1930 “Krishnamurti” by Pupul Jayakar

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