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Teachings of JK and Links with Drama and Theater

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The Teachings of J. Krishnamurti and Their Links with
Educational Drama and Theater

Author: © 2003 by Dr. Kriben Pillay


Within the context of the kinds of methodology and learning identified in educational drama and theater, Krishnamurti’s approach may be said to be heuristic,1 that is, promoting self-discovery, within the “intrinsic” and “aesthetic”2 areas of learning. Certainly the kinds of learning that Krishnamurti is pointing to do not overlap neatly with those in educational drama and theater but, as the following exploration will reveal, there are tangible links.

While Krishnamurti refrained from using the word spiritual because of the obvious connotations that he wanted to avoid—belief, isolating religious images that promote guilt and fear, religious divisions, etc.—and in his attempt to not further condition the mind, but to decondition it, his use of the words integral, whole, and other suggestive words makes it clear that, finally, he was talking about education as furthering the spiritual development of the learner in such a way as to bring about a new human being. His objective is entirely consistent with Ken Wilber’s “spectrum of consciousness” which sees the development of the integral and transpersonal phases of the human being as the next step in our evolution. What may appear contradictory, however, is Krishnamurti’s denial that there is any kind of spiritual evolution. This is a paradox that is observed repeatedly in nondualism, and therefore it is worth elucidating here.

Using Wilber’s model, what has to be understood is just this paradox: that the apex of the development of consciousness is to see that there is no evolution, spiritually, at all. Wilber writes:

"This state never has a beginning in time precisely because it is indeed ever-present. You can neither run from it nor toward it; you are it, always. This is exactly why Buddhas have never entered this state, and sentient beings have never left it."

It is the illusion of dualistic thinking that prevents us from seeing that the nondual state is both the means and the end, and this echoes the paradoxical title of Krishnamurti’s classic book The First and Last Freedom.

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