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Foreword to the Second Edition, 2011
The fourteen Small Group Discussions in this book, which was first published in 1979 as Exploration into Insight, took place in Madras, Bombay, and New Delhi between the years 1972 and 1977. These are now being republished under the new title Explorations and Insights. All the texts have been re-edited from authentic transcripts made out of archival audio recordings. The sequence of dialogues in the first edition has been retained, though some chapter headings have been modified.
Foreword to the First Edition, 1979
For over thirty years, a group of people from various disciplines, backgrounds, and pursuits, deeply concerned with the enormity of the challenge facing humanity and with one central interest-the unfolding of the self through the perceptive field of self-knowledge-had gathered around Krishnamurti to investigate into the nature of man's consciousness and the energy that lies dormant within it. Fourteen of these dialogues form the contents of this book. The concern in these dialogues is the freedom of the mind from the bondages of memory and time, mutation in consciousness, and the arising of insight that gives deep roots of steadiness to the mind.
In the world today, scientific and technological revolution has unharnessed undreamt-of resources of power and knowledge. However, man has failed to discover in himself the sources of wisdom and compassion. What is needed is an inner revolution in the psyche of man. The insight that man lacks is the apprehension that he is the maker of his problems and that the root of this problem-making machinery is his mind. It is in this area of perception that the ultimate freedom of man lies.
Starting tentatively, these dialogues bring forth a relentless questioning, probing, and inquiry, a listening and a seeing in which the depths of the self with its vast subtleties and hidden escapes are exposed. This exploration is, for Krishnamurti, 'a journey into time, into the past, into the limitless'.
Caught in the paradox of living, man rarely questions. He escapes from his anguish, his loneliness, his sorrow. In a world sated with sensations, man turns to the guru, to religious experience, or to extrasensory powers that arise from various forms of concentration, as a stimulus to his jaded appetites. Krishnamurti's teaching negates gurus and psychic experiences as a way to liberation. He demands a 'life of correctness', a daily life free from all self-centred activity. All psychic experiences as they arise have to be put aside, for they can become obstacles to insight, which alone frees man from duality and the bondage of time as the past.
These dialogues are not questions and answers. Krishnamurti's role in these is of great interest. His mind is tentative, pliable, learning, seeking, probing; it is questioned, it pauses, observes, withdraws, to move forward again. There is no exchange of opinion, no spilling out of the verbal, no operation of memory as past experience blocking the new. There is a listening with 'the total flowering of the senses'. In that intensity of inquiry, insight arises. Speaking of the nature of this state Krishnamurti says, 'There is only perception and nothing else. Everything else is a movement in time. Perception is without time. There is a momentum which is timeless.'
Krishnamurti Foundation India is happy to offer these dialogues to those who are seeking fundamental answers to the problems of life.
Pupul Jayakar Sunanda Patwardhan