I've known about Google Video for some time, but I never truly appreciated just what a wonderful resource it is until yesterday when I followed someone's blog link to a two-part series on religion vs reason hosted by evolution theorist Richard Dawkins. I'll probably have more to say about that program in a future entry. But right now, I just want to mention that I found amazing free videos featuring great musicians, philosophers, scientists, sages, and martial artists.
One such video featured the renowned scholar of comparative religion Huston Smith dialoguing with legendary sage Krishnamurti on whether it's possible to view life with total "lucidity." Krishnamurti defined "lucidity" as seeing and understanding reality not just intellectually but with all of one's being. When Smith asked him "how" one is to do this, Krishnamurti replied that it can't be done through any mechanical "method" or technique handed down by alleged authorities. It must simply be done directly, as in the Nike commercial "Just do it."
But how does one do it, asked Smith, to which Krishnamurti replied that he was asking the wrong question. A better question would be, What are the "obstructions" standing in the way of lucidity? The implication seemed to be that if we understood the nature of those obstructions, they would disappear and lucidity would be left in their wake.
When I was younger, I took this argument--advanced as it was by Krishnamurti, Alan Watts, and other sages I respected--very seriously and used it as a rationale for not engaging in any formal spiritual practice. But today, I'm inclined to take more seriously the arguments of people such as Ken Wilber that there are time-honored methods for progressing in spiritual realization and overall consciousness development, and that the vast majority of us have no hope of accomplishing this any other way. The kind of direct seeing that Krishnamurti advocated just won't work for most human beings.
Still, I found the dialogue intriguing, and I think it's wonderful that one can see videos of these celebrated figures free on demand and gain a sense of what they were like. There are numerous other Krishnamurti videos available that you might also want to check out.
Right now, I'm going to watch a great old video on "the art of meditation" featuring Alan Watts talking over beautiful scenes from nature.
Friday Night Music: Tom Lehrer - Things haven't changed that much ...
12 hours ago