The World Needs An Anti-hero
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U.G. krishnamurti is a philosopher whose nihilistic ideology can be a great remedy to radical extremism
On the cover:
Uppaluri Gopala Krishnamurti, (born July 9, 1918, Machilipatnam, India, died March 22, 2007, Vallecrosia, Italy) known as U. G. Krishnamurti, was an Indian man who questioned enlightenment. Although many considered him an "enlightened" person, Krishnamurti often referred to his state of being as the "natural state".
A look at UG and a new radical ideology
The suspension of disbelief is needed because it seems almost impossible to speak of antithetical ideologies without some context to what is happening around the country and the world (and no more apparent than with the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East). The digital age has given us a false dream, specifically that of achieving a global community as fast as information is shared. I don't blame technology; I always look at humans for the causes of human problems first.
It is our failed attempt at ignoring thousands of years ideology, often masked in the cloak of religion, although we've tried for centuries. We're rushing to fix historical mistakes with political correctness while creating new problems for the future by wasting the time in looking for a unoffending labels. In all of the chaos, between trying to identify what we are truly at war with [because there is no whom], America has also somehow forgotten a bit of her youth, including a culture that is inextricably fused with religion...and this is despite our best national efforts in seeing to the separation of church and state.
It is our denial - whether that certain ideologies exist, or calling some forms of evil what they are for fear of political suicide - that is furthering indifferent ignorance to the very ideologies we hope to eradicate. While some might see this is hyperbolic, I'm merely pointing out an oversight with the utmost humility and reverence for the founding fathers, who also struggled to find the literary articulation necessary to define the radical experiment of a new nation (The United States of America if you didn't guess) based on an ideology never put into practice in history. To the surprise of half of the country, and probably most of the world, the last election awakened us to a sobering truth: religion affects our lives whether we are active participants or simply can't be bothered with the thought of it.
In light of this, a reinvigorated spirit of non-dualistic ideas comes from the East that can, hopefully positively, lead us toward a secular, egalitarian democracy instead of simply settling for whatever conservatism drops in our laps. Why have I withheld the name of our subject for this long? Because it really doesn't matter, and you've never heard of him...or so I'd like to think this guru would appreciate me writing of him.
Also, forgive me, but I did already start with him: U.G. wasn't the beginning of a sigh at mass-media hot words, it is our subject's name and what he is affectionately referred to as by his devotees. His full name is Uppaluri Gopalab Krishnamurti and he was born in 1918, India and died in Italy in 2007 at the age of 88. While he is descendant of a great, Hindu tradition and a master of Vedic knowledge, and has even acknowledged the possibility of enlightenment, [though not in the usual way that people think of when they imagine the terms of Moksha, Nirvana, and the ultimate self-realization], no doctrine or scripture can or should be ascribed to him even despite him being a prolific philosopher. Still - there is a compulsion in me to express that he is perhaps the most important thinker of the 20th century that India has produced.
His nihilistic, to borrow a European translational model if I must, view of isms in general is to be void of them. In his early spritual pursuits, he saw to the truth as many have interpreted as enlightenment, in that of the Buddhist/Hindu tradition, and upon his self-realization. Instead of celebrating, he describes the enlightenment or "death experience" as quite a catastrophic "calamity" and completely uncomfortable, scoffing at metaphysical abstractions of Eastern iconography.
Enlightenment as described by spiritual texts of ancient eastern traditions from Hinduism, Sufism, Buddhism, and Taoism often praises it as the highest of all spiritual goals. However, U.G.'s experience was one of such disappointment and undesirability that he made it somewhat of a practice in nihilism to debunk the grandiose cosmology and spiritual fantasy of the religious orders (no matter what religion, faith, creed, denomination, or ideology). It is perhaps to the dismay of advaita vedanta, or the Hindu non-dual approach to self-realization heavily ascribed to Sri Ramana Maharshi who was a teacher and predecessor of U.G., that it was actually his disappointment during his encounter with the great spiritual guru that set off this non-spiritual "anti-guru". He simply calls it a natural state, if that is what it is, indeed. He himself admits he is not certain that it is even such a thing - Moksha, or liberation.
If it does not serve an immediate utility here, now in the present, on earth, then it is of no use and should be discarded. One of his loving followers called him a "spiritual terrorist" as U.G., asserts, "My aim is not some comfy dialectical thesis but the total negation of everything that can be expressed." I think the term is fitting considering our times and just the kind of anti-hero we need now more than ever. To summarize in his own succinct words and in a rebellious move in and of itself, U.G, says, "My teaching, if that is the word you want to use, has no copyright. You are free to reproduce, distribute, interpret, misinterpret, distort, garble, do what you like, even claim authorship, without my consent or the permission of anybody... I have no teaching. There is nothing to preserve. Teaching implies something that can be used to bring about change. Sorry, there is no teaching here, just disjointed, disconnected sentences. What is there is only your interpretation, nothing else. For this reason there is not now nor will there ever be any kind of copyright for whatever I am saying. I have no claims.." Therefore, I am taking that liberty, U.G. and I hope you don't mind.
There is nothing more to learn and no new knowledge of God will be attained, and there is no escape from this world we're all a little responsible for. It is time to embrace this un-sung anti-hero's ideology, or rather embrace nothing whatsoever. I think it might actually soften the hearts of fanatics who might now see by holding onto nothing, both arms are free to catch all of the possibilities that can fall from the heaven of an open mind.
Christopher Fraih, Contributor: As a native New Yorker who has lived abroad in the Middle East and Europe, his eclectic and unique life has influenced his art, writing, and music. From the disciplines of karate and kung fu, the classical school of piano, to his self taught heavy metal guitar, he has been steeped in many cultures, languages,and with a Masters in English (a former adjunct English professor), these have all lent a significant role in his stylistic fusion. (more...)