Freedom From the Known

This week marked the 119th birthday anniversary of Jiddu Krishnamurti, a kind of anti-guru who stressed the importance of questioning our assumptions about everything. Initially, Krishnamurti was on a path to become a guru but he rejected the idea of spiritual (or just about any type of) authority. In his lectures and writings, he continually stressed the individual’s ability to discover what is real, without the help of teachers and others who promise to have the answers.

Given his rebellious approach to all kinds of authority, astrologers will not be surprised to learn that Krishnamurti had a sun-Uranus opposition, with Uranus in the probing sign of Scorpio. A Taurus, one of his major points was a rebellion against material possessions. In fact, he sometimes seemed to equate attachment in general to materialism. In one lecture, he questioned why people are so reticent to die, to leave behind “your blasted bank account,” as though that were the main reason why beings fear death.

With four planets in Gemini, Krishnamurti often worked via a kind of Socratic dialogue, and his conversational partners (or opponents) rarely did better than those who argued with Socrates. He continually stressed the need to go beyond the conditioning of family and society, and particularly emphasized the hollowness of religious teachings. Krishnamurti represented a kind of modernist approach to spirituality, one that emphasized the use of logic and reason. Everyone could see the truth of the way things are, if they would but shake off (Uranus) the limitations imposed by conditioning. He didn’t want people to follow him, but rather to follow his reasoning.