I read this book when I was a sannyasin of Rajneesh for some time, well on my way to 'enlightenment'. So I thought. It was written by a namesake of the famous spiritual teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti, namely Uppaluri Gopala Krishnamurti, better known by the abbreviation 'UG'.
There I was in the bookstore of 'Au bout du Monde' in Amsterdam, wearing my red clothes and my 'mala' around my neck, reading with fascination. This man was pretty much the absolute opposite of Bhagwan Rajneesh. Every book of Rajneesh, every meditation, every picture, etc. is under copyright, while this booklet explicitly stated: "(...) You are free to reproduce, distribute, interpret, misinterpret, distort, do what you want, even claim authorship, without my permission or the permission of anyone else." Wow...
And so it is that all the books, tapes and videos about and with UG are freely downloadable on the internet: . Great, and what does this man claim (BTW, he died in March 2007)?
Here are the first sentences of the booklet:
"I am not out to liberate anyone. You have to free yourself, and you are not able to do that. What I have to say will not do that. I am only interested in describing this state of affairs, in clearing up the occultation and mystification in which those people in the 'holy business' have cloaked the whole thing. Maybe I can convince you not to waste a lot of time and energy looking for a state that does not exist except in your imagination.
Understand this well, this is your state that I am describing, your natural state, not my state or the state of a God-realised man or a mutant or anything like that. This is your natural state, but what prevents what is, from expressing itself in its own way, is that you reach for something, that you try to be something other than what you are."
I didn't really understand it at the time. For a moment I thought of 'dropping' my red clothes, mala and sannyas name, as it was called in those circles. Because apparently it didn't matter anyway:
"The search ends with the realisation that there is no such thing as enlightenment. By seeking you want to be free of the self, but whatever you do to free yourself from the self is the self. How can I make you understand this simple thing? There is no "how." If I tell you, it will only give more momentum to that (search), strengthen that momentum. That is the question of all questions: "How, how, how?"
And a moment later I thought, shrugging my shoulders, "If it doesn't matter, I can just get on with it." And in a way that's true, only of course I didn't see that I just don't have a choice. The energy of searching and asking exists regardless of what I may or may not think, it doesn't care ... And so for a long time I continued to waste 'a lot of time and energy, looking for a state that doesn't exist'.
Or, in the words of someone whose 'message' is quite similar to UG's, namely Robert Saltzman: "You get what you get when you get it"
"There is no teaching from me, and there never will be." Teaching "is not the word for it. A teaching implies a method or a system, a technique or a new way of thinking that needs to be applied to bring about a transformation in your way of life. What I say is outside the realm of teachability; it is simply a description of the way I function. It is simply a description of the natural state of man - this is the way you, stripped of the machinations of thought, also function.
The natural state is not the state of a self-realised God-realised man, it is not something that can or must be achieved, it is not something that must be willed into existence; it is there - it is the living state. This state is only the functional activity of life."
And then I think the following Zen anecdote from the eighth century is appropriate:
Layman Pang approached a teacher with a request to show him his true self. The teacher said nothing, just sat silent. Finally, tired of waiting, Pang got up and walked to the door. Just as he opened the door, the teacher called out, "Oh, layman Pang."
"Yes?" replied Pang.
"That's it," said the teacher.