Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Greg Van Tongeren - Personal Profile

Greg Van Tongeren
Greg Van Tongeren
United States
Birthday: November 11
Member since: Sun, 12 Jul 2009, 11:31am
Last visited 5 years ago

Member Statement

Our difficulty is that out of identification with the background, with our story, we have a sense of being an isolated center apart from others, from the world, and from nature. In deeply exploring the nature of consciousness and in realizing that we are not the story, there is a radical shift. We find there never was anyone separate and there is an ever-deepening awareness of being one with all-that-is and with the source of all-that-is.

Interests and Recommendations


1. All books re K's teachings, see: 2. I am That, Nisargadatta Maharaj; 3. Teachings of Ramana Maharshi, 4 Recommended free Podcast from Sounds True- "Insights at the Edge, "Voices of Wisdom, 5. Audiobook (downloadable) Tao Te Ching: A New English Version by Stephen Mitchell, 6. Eckhart Tolle: Living a Life of Inner Peace, The Power of Now, A New Earth, The Realization of Being, The Art of Presence,' 7. Thus Spoke Zarathustra' -Nietzsche


Gandhi, Yentl, Groundhog Day, Tyler Perry's movies: "Madea's Family Reunion", "Class Reunion", "I can Do Bad by Myself"


What helps take you out of the head and into the heart. John Lennon: Revolution; Mind Games, War is Over, Watching the Wheels Go Round James Taylor: Walking Man, Fading Away George Harrison: Wah Wah, Beware of Darkness, All Things Must Pass, What is Life, While My Guitar Gently Weeps Seals & Crofts: East of Ginger Trees, Ruby Jean and Billy Lee, Euphrates, Hummingbird, Todd Rungren: A Dream Goes On Forever, Initiation, Real Man, The Verb to Love, Cat Stevens- Silent Sunlight; Foreigner Suite, Miles from Nowhere, King of Trees, Changes IV

Other interests

Meditation; solitude; nature; family/parenting; music; yoga; biking; swimming; current events.

Interview Answers

Can dialogue - in the sense of sincere inquiry - be organized or can it only come about spontaneously, unprompted?

If there is truly a sincere interest in open-minded inquiry, there is not a need for much structure. But an unrestricted gathering of people includes those who are interested in pushing their beliefs and their agenda and controlling the direction of the discussion. Therefore some rules are needed consistent with the purpose of providing an atmosphere for earnest mutual inquiry.

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Do you think it advisable to introduce Krishnamurti to people you know? Have you ever done it and if yes, what are your experiences?

Sharing depends on whether there is a strong interest expressed by another. For example, when someone speaks of human problems, I might point out as K did how the real crisis is in our consciousness. It is our consciousness that really determines how we live. There has to be a mutual interest in going into this. But most people are not that interested and not very open to inquiry.

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Does the phrase "living the teachings" have any meaning to you?

The phrase K used was "the teachings" rather than 'my' teachings. Ultimately the teacher is life itself, the source of intelligence. To live the teachings is to be a limited expression of the source which is unlimited. It is a matter of being rather than becoming.

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How do you personally go about exploring the Krishnamurti's teachings (through personal study, dialogues, dvds)?

K said: "you do not go to love, it comes to you. But it can not be invited"
As I see it, it is a mistake to just accept that because you have to find out what K really means. To understand requires deep exploration.

That exploration need not exclude what others say but you need to find out directly. When you discover something of what love is, you know what it is to be accessible to it. Love will not come to you so to speak if you do not allow it. Allow it to come and it will. Only then can you genuinely say there is no one separate to allow or resist.

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Do you think it is possible to make Krishnamurti more "practicable" than what he himself seems to have allowed for?

K spoke at times of not wasting your life. What is it to waste your life? Isn't it a waste to not realize and be what you truly are? To be second-hand? To be what you truly are, do you follow what K or anyone else says? That which is rooted is easily nourished. Be still and discover your roots.

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If you had to sum up what Krishnamurti is all about in just a few words of your own, what would they be?

Light does not seek light. Attend to inattention. In my words, be the light. Be what you really are. Find out experientially what this means.

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Are there any aspects of Krishnamurti's teaching that you find implausible or difficult to accept?

I don't take the verbal teachings of K as something to believe or accept.

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Do you think Krishnamurti was exceptional, or is the transformation he spoke of universally accessible?

I am not concerned with what was for someone else which is unknowable but what is here and now. It is possible here and now to realize being which is both you and infinitely more than you.

If I through intense passionate observation drop all that is false and undergo a tremendous energetic change, does that mean I can say I am exceptional and that "I have done it" but no one else has? Or is that the 'me' speaking?

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How important do you consider group dialogue to be in understanding the more subtle points of Krishnamurti's message?

It may be helpful but it is not essential. The more subtle points are learned through meditation, deep exploration and revelation. Revelation often occurs in solitude and even in dreams. It may or may not involve group dialog. What you learn from reading K or from group discussions depends on what you bring to the inquiry.

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Has coming into contact with Krishnamurti and his teachings had any perceptible effect on your life and/or relationships?

What is it that gives impetus to inquiry including contact with K and the teachings? That is the cause and the effect. In short, I am nothing, the other is everything. It is the conditioned/utilitarian mind that asks what have I got out of this? There is the joy of being and the richness of emptiness but that is a blessing, not an attainment.

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What future do you foresee for Krishnamurti's works? Do you think they will grow in importance or will they just gradually die away?

The mind that projects an expected future has its place but consciousness gets so dominated by the projections of thought that the timeless dimension is lost or almost completely obscured. So I don't engage in much speculation

The future doesn't hold much for us individually or collectively since all things pass away. The question is not whether or how long K's works will be a factor in the future but rather what is the nature of consciousness? If we think we are going to end and we want to continue, we suffer and seek various forms of escape.

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How do you strike a balance between healthy doubt and ready acceptance in investigating Krishnamurti's proposals?

The mind that moves only in the known is not the mind that sees. To start with certainty, is to remain unavailable to the energy of insight. To start with doubt is to be open to seeing with fresh eyes. That is to doubt intelligently. To doubt even your capacity to discern fact from non-fact is to remain dull and stunts learning.

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Do you ever feel that you have been conditioned by Krishnamurti's teachings?

The language that we use and the way we think is a result of accumulated knowlege and experience including the teachings of K. But is that all that we are or is there awareness that includes thought but is not limited to it?

The question "have you ever" assumes you are the "story of me." Is that what we are?

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