Caring for beginners… a mistake?

My post about My disillusionment with Jiddu Krishnamurti has gotten quite a lot of comments. ‘Rinzai’ said the other day:

Whether beginners are practicing virtues or not is their problem not yours. Believe in no teachers, trust your own logic, your own experiences, make your own mistakes, learn and grow. Have a courageous attitude and be inwardly prepared to die.

That would be all nice and dandy if all I cared about was myself. But I also care about beginners. I care about what effect spiritual teachings have on other people. I care about whether people make themselves and others happy or sad. I care about a lot of things. And I don’t feel I need to let go of that in order to ‘grow spiritually’ – and if I do, I’d rather not grow ‘spiritually’ at all.

For the record, I don’t think Jiddu Krishnamurti would have agreed with Rinzai’s ideas. For instance he said (in a lecture on relationships and love):

I think one has to understand, not as a theory, not as a speculative, entertaining concept, but rather as an actual fact – that we are the world and the world is us. The world is each one of us; to feel that, to be really committed to it and to nothing else, brings about a feeling of great responsibility and an action that must not be fragmentary, but whole.

If we are the world – if I am that beginner (among other things) – than obviously I should care about that beginner in spiritual pursuits as I do about my own spiritual growth.

My readers are perhaps not all aware that just about the worst thing for a theosophist to be is ‘selfish’. This is a rather unfashionable attitude. Generally our culture tells us to ‘stand up for ourselves’ and ‘if you don’t love yourself, how can you love others’ etc. Blavatsky, the other spiritual teacher whose work I have studied intensively, made it very clear that:

But stay, Disciple . . . Yet, one word. Canst thou destroy divine compassion? Compassion is no attribute. It is the LAW of laws – eternal Harmony, Alaya’s SELF; a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things, the law of love eternal.

The more thou dost become at one with it, thy being melted in its BEING, the more thy Soul unites with that which IS, the more thou wilt become Compassion Absolute.

Blavatsky puts compassion on a universal footing – she sees it as the fundamental nature of the universe. But practically what she is saying is: the spiritual path may consist of letting go of all kinds of attachments – but letting go of compassion, of caring for others is not true spirituality.

5 thoughts on “Caring for beginners… a mistake?”

  1. Hi Katinka – I think it’s important to have compassion for others. Although we may not be able to influence decisions they make, having compassion for the position they’re in (to me) is the Godly thing to do.

  2. Hello K,
    Your quoting of K is irrelevant here I think.
    We are the world and the world is us but at one point you have to stand alone or you’ll never get the all story. Compassion is just another word. What you need is to be able to listen. Nobody needs any compasion. We all need to get real and face what is.

  3. Since this post was a response to comments I got on a post I made about Jiddu Krishnamurti, quoting him was quite appropriate I think. My main beef with K is that he ignored (or seemed to) the different levels at which different people work. I agree that at ‘one point you have to stand alone or you’ll never get the whole story’. What I don’t agree with is that this works on all levels of the spiritual path. And yes, I do think there are levels to the spiritual path. And I do think the words ‘spiritual path’ mean something.

  4. I can’t see any level. Of course you would not speak with kids as you would at the ONU. But, what you are saying remain the same.

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