Now that so many years have passed since Krishnamurti's death, it is interesting to take stock of the influence his life and work has had on human thought in general and on our own thinking in particular. Any public figure of Krishnamurti?s duration and stature is bound to have affected the collective idea pool that forms the basis of our cultural conditioning. Though rarified and definitively untraceable, the social ramification of Krishnamurti's work is indeed being evidenced more and more in contemporary art, literature and media.

On an individual level - that is, for those of us who have come into direct contact with the teaching - the pattern of influence is more distinguishable. Upon first encountering Krishnamurti, there is a common experience of enthusiastic appreciation for his seamless melding of the philosophical and the religious. All too soon though, this initial enthusiasm undergoes a transformation as the promise of radical change fails to materialize. Some of us maintain an unfaltering respect for Krishnamurti's approach while others fault the teaching for failing to effect the transformation that Krishnamurti himself experienced.

One of the main bones of contention is that Krishnamurti's teaching fails to bridge the gap between our world and the world of freedom that he describes. The charge is that he offers no practical or intermediary help in getting from here to there, with the result that there is a total disconnect between the two worlds of reality he so clearly elucidates in his writings. In fact, this outright rejection of a methodical practice is the single most differentiating factor between Krishnamurti's teaching and other spiritual approaches, whether they be popular or esoteric, in accordance with some of his own ideas or opposed to them.

Why is Krishnamurti so consistently adamant in his assertion that there can be no intermediary between our practical, experiential world and 'truth'? In fact even as early as his dissolution speech in 1929 he stated: 'Truth is narrowed down and made a plaything for those who are weak, for those who are only momentarily discontented. Truth cannot be brought down; rather the individual must make the effort to ascend to it.?' To meet truth on its own terms means not to suck it into the world of the abstract, into the vortex of ideation. Truth, even in the interest of creating a 'bridge', cannot be channeled into the practicable, into the good, the valuable.

Krishnamurti's affirmation that "truth is a pathless land" is not one based on principal; it's not that he is elitist or against reaching out. His point is that actual reality or 'what is', as he sometimes puts it, simply does not allow such a bridging. Nor does it necessitate it.

It's extremely difficult for the human mind to accept that it can't effect this radical mutation from the subjective to the objective through a careful honing of the psyche. According to Krishnamurti the world of abstract thought is woven of a wholly different fabric than that of undistorted reality. Hence his oft repeated proclamation that this can have no relationship to "the other".

For Krishnamurti then, the truth is not something to be attained but rather something to be actually, emotionally experienced. A purely individual affair, truth is here and now and not in the future. It is not a question of time, of gradual development or of training. In fact, it would be nonsensical to speak of a bridge to something that is directly in front of you. Perhaps it is this sheer simplicity that makes the truth so elusive on the one hand and accounts for its everlasting availability on the other.

In 'The Awakening', published in January 1927, Krishnamurti wrote that the sense of non-separation that he had up to then only felt intuitively had become a reality. He was then 'realized' and expressed it in these terms: 'I have been made simple.' An intriguing and without doubt deliberate use of the passive voice, not meant to suggest divine intervention or "grace" but rather to express a transformation born of the warm and affectionate indifference that was to become the central theme of his later teaching.