Is it Possible to Live with Total Lucidity? J. Krishnamurti & Dr. Huston

Is it Possible to Live with Total Lucidity? J. Krishnamurti & Dr. Huston Smith Claremont College, California (1968) Conversation between Krishnamurti and Prof. Huston Smith, at the time, a professor of religion at MIT Prof. Smith begins the conversation with the question ‘Is it Possible to Live with Total Lucidity?

Huston Smith: ‘I am Huston Smith, professor of philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and I invite you to a conversation arranged by the Blaisdale Institute of Claremont, California, with Krishnamurti, who was raised by Annie Besant and the Theosophists to be a teacher, and who, though he discarded the mantle of Theosophy, did indeed become a sage of our century, one whose voice is heard as much by the youth of today as throughout the world for the last sixty years. ‘Krishnamurti, maybe this morning I will have only one question which in one way or another I will be coming back to in various ways. In your writings, in your speaking, time and again you come back to this wonderful little word, lucid and lucidity, but is it possible living as we are in this confused and confusing world, torn by conflicting voices without and conflicting tensions within, with hearts that seem star crossed and tensions that never go, is it possible in such a life, in such a world, to live with total lucidity? And if so, how?

About J Krishnamurti :

J Krishnamurti is a religious philosopher, author and educator who has written and given lectures on these subjects for many years. He has founded elementary and secondary schools in the United States, England and India. JKrishnamurti is regarded globally as one of the greatest thinkers and religious teachers of all time. He did not expound any philosophy or religion, but rather talked of the things that concern all of us in our everyday lives, of the problems of living in modern society with its violence and corruption, of the individual’s search for security and happiness, and the need for mankind to free itself from inner burdens of fear, anger, hurt, and sorrow. He explained with great precision the subtle workings of the human mind, and pointed to the need for bringing to our daily life a deeply meditative and spiritual quality.

He constantly stressed the need for a revolution in the psyche of every human being and emphasized that such revolution cannot be brought about by any external entity, be it religious, political, or social.

He claimed allegiance to no nationality, caste, religion, or philosophy, and spent the rest of his life traveling the world, speaking to large and small groups and individuals. He authored many books, among them The First and Last Freedom, The Only Revolution, and Krishnamurti’s Notebook. Many of his talks and discussions have been published. His last public talk was in Madras, India, in January 1986, a month before his death at his home in Ojai, California. He asked that we tread lightly on this earth without destroying ourselves or the environment. He communicated to his listeners a deep sense of respect for nature. His teachings transcend man-made belief systems, nationalistic sentiment and sectarianism

His supporters, working through non-profit foundations in India, Great Britain and the United States, oversee several independent schools based on his views on education. They continue to transcribe and distribute his thousands of talks, group and individual discussions, and writings by use of a variety of media formats and languages.


  • Huston Smith was not listening to learn, he was listening to try to regurgitate at a later point. He couldn’t except the fact that Krishnamurti was calling him and his colleagues unnecessary. Smith could not accept Krishnamurti’s views without accepting is own Irrelevance and the contridiction of his profession. In short his Ego wouldn’t let him listen.

  • Comparing the opening statement (“I am HS professor of philosophy at MIT”) to the grotesque uncapability of understanding the cristalline but also basic words of JK shown all along all the interview reveals to us a lot about the meaning of words such as “professor” and “philosophy” in US (in those times, I would hope).
    The interviewer (with his knowledge of philosofic terms – look at his reaction when asked what does it mean “to learn”) is now a reference on “world’s religion” and spirituality.

  • This discussion was very intense. I can not grasp how Krishnamurti has came to all of these “conclusions”. So logical and true. Krishnamurti could have humbled the most egotistical man. Forget the words forget them. There is no ideal only facts exist. Face the facts head on. Look inside yourself. Be a light to yourself. This is wisdom for everyday life, wisdom for mankind !

  • Krishnamurthi is making some Zen points here – living in the present, facing reality, no goal-no fear..etc. While I agree with some of his points, I think there is a haughtiness about him that does not allow him to engage in conversation with Smith and instead he has a critical/condescending laughter. He says that non-violence is not to be condemned or condoned, but he doesn’t explain why he would want to live without violence if he does not in some way judge it.

  • So true. He is addicted to anti-authoritarianism. It is a compulsion for him so how can he be free to make decisions in the present moment?

  • I am glad he is not my father for he is somewhat like my father. For all his anti-authoritarianism he is dogmatic in his approach.I was fascinated with the substance of what he says, if not altogether in agreement with him. An expressive individual’s poem , for example I would rate of much greater value than he is prepared to concede. Stimulating though.

  • ‘Freedom’ Keep your own Vibrant ever Present Thought process, Your Vehicle of Motion and creativenes ,subtle clear power, without any submission,subversive, or outer Influences that do not apply to your Purpose..

  • Lovely way to engage mind in to something so deep…needs lots of focus and depth and stability to not loose it…:-)

    I guess it helps to grasp every word of JK if one has some background of the eastern thought process of awareness, being there, in the present etc.,

  • Krishnamurti does not engage into a conversation. He is pretty set with his message and does not allow anyone to talk. Also, not very eloquent. Does not look at the other in the eye.

  • Finished listening to this interview. Krishaji has a big ego. There absolutely nothing genuinely kind or light about him, as opposed to many other spiritual and emotionally intelligent individuals.

  • give him some time………..ive been trying to get what he has been saying …for about 15 years….since 1995…when i first heard his name………

    i get it now..what he is saying.

  • Krishnamurti is not the average man’s sage, he is far too serious and in depth. It takes a very quiet and peaceful mind to truly hear what this man is saying. Most people are too busy thinking to listen.

  • Krishnamurti also does not listen to learn. He is the Master of Tautology. Indirectly accepted the Guru life; expensive clothes, cars, homes, no need to work, no children, no wife (except having an affair in secret). Denied the validity of meditation and Buddhism. The irony is that everything he taught came from ancient wisdom, including Buddhism.

  • @Guscaldas2 your speaking on eloquent because he is not making eye contact, do u kno that in certain cultures it is rude to make eye contact? I think you are highly condition, which hinders clarity as what is being spoken about here.

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