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Can Humanity Change?: J. Krishnamurti in Dialogue with Buddhists Paperback – Nov 11 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala (Nov. 11 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590300726
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590300725
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #692,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Few modern thinkers have integrated psychology, philosophy, and religion so seamlessly as Krishnamurti."—Publishers Weekly

"Krishnamurti is one of the greatest philosophers of the age."—the Dalai Lama

From the Inside Flap

Many have considered Buddhism to be the religion closest in spirit to J. Krishnamurti's spiritual teaching-even though the great teacher was famous for urging students to seek truth outside organized religion. This record of a historic encounter between Krishnamurti and a group of Buddhist scholars provides a unique opportunity to see what the great teacher had to say himself about Buddhist teachings. The conversations, which took place in London in the late 1970s, focused on human consciousness and its potential for transformation. Participants include Walpola Rahula, the renowned Sri Lankan Buddhist monk and scholar, author of the classic introductory text "What the Buddha Taught.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Anyone who is interested in spirituality has to read this dialogue about thoght and consciousness.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa8b938a0) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7c41da4) out of 5 stars Insightful but tedious at times July 13 2005
By Mark R. Williamson - Published on
Format: Paperback
'Can humanity change' is overall a very good book which consists mainly of dialogues between J Krishnamurti and a number of Buddhist scholars (and others including David Bohm) discussing topics central to what the Buddha taught and Krishnamurti's own 'teachings'. It focuses on the similarity between the two and as in his usual style, Krishnamurti deflects the original question asked by Walpola Rahula (ie. Is not your teaching the same as the Buddha's?) because he sees it as irrelevant or inconsequental and goes on to what he sees as more important: why do people compare what he says with what someone has previously said - and more fundamentally, why do we compare at all. Unfortunately the dialogues do tend to become slightly tedious to read, as is sometimes the case when Krishnamurti holds these kinds of discussions, mainly because they become very drawn-out as he attempts to get a certain point across that seems to be far too subtle for the others involved in the dialogue. He also spends a lot of time, in effect, asking the others 'do you see this' ACTUALLY or are you just saying it from memory? - because you have read it somewhere or heard someone say it.

I have given the book four stars because the content of the dialogue is very insightful and of course concerns itself with the most important questions that humanity must consider. Buddhists may also find it very interesting and enlightening to read this, especially the parts where Krishnamurti and Walpola Rahula really getting into the deeper and more subtle parts of these vitally important topics.

In the same way that what Krishnamurti is saying challenges the other participants in the most all-embracing, fundamental way, these dialogues should challenge the reader that is really interested in going beyond their own personal, petty concerns to ask the question: Can I change? thus, can humanity change?
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7c41ef4) out of 5 stars Excellent dialogue! April 20 2006
By Xiaokang Mo - Published on
Format: Paperback
Dialogues seem to bring out many of Krishnamurti's fine points better than his public talks.

Krishnamurti is not concerned with opinion/conclusions. He is more concerned with your active paticipation and actual perception of things. Therefore, he is not there to offer opinion/conclusions. If you are looking for "answers", you may be disappointed. Because "answers" are too superficial. It is something you can get without being actively paticipating. It is something a lazy mind want.

In the above sense, the whole point of dialogue is to get everybody to actively paticipate the process of investigation right at the moment, while the conversation is going on. In such case, questions are much more imprtant than answers.

Because of this, the book will make sense to you only if you are willing to paticipate the investigation as well. This means, when Krishnamurti ask a question in the book, you as a reader would also actually ask that question to yourself. If you would ask the question to yourself seriously, that means without supplying "second handed answers", without answering the question simply by your opinion/conclusions, but rather to look into the question afresh, then, the meaning of the book will begin to show.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa850b24c) out of 5 stars Another great example of Krishnamurti clarity. Jan. 12 2007
By Dr. Doodle - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good read for one who is interested in the teachings of J. Krishnamurti and Buddhist world view. Transformation NOW remains as the underlying intention as J. interacts with others of similar mind. Best if read mindfully.
HASH(0xa850b234) out of 5 stars A GREAT DIALOGUE Aug. 9 2014
By Quilty - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As Jiddu Krishnamurti often reminded us, there is no need to read much of his or any other teacher's writings (unless, of course, you're reading them for enjoyment and not "enlightenment", whatever that is). Of the five I have read, "Can Humanity Change?" is the most provocative. Most of the book is a lengthy discourse between Krishnamurti and the respected Buddhist priest and author, Walpola Rahula, the physicist David Bohm, and several esteemed scholars and scientists, and it is probably the most stimulating investigation of spiritual matters that I have found. Right away their dialogue disposes of the onus of "believing" anything just because a renowned teacher or authority declares it to be true, as well as the digressions that come from a need to compare beliefs. From there, systematically and with great respect toward one another's willingness to have his/her beliefs challenged, the speakers peel away layers of old thought until they are down to the most basic psychological and spiritual query: the profound question which is the title of this book. It isn't a matter of "how" can we change ourselves and create a world without wars, poverty, and greed. We have to ask ourselves CAN we change? Change from what? And do we really even WANT to change? I can see I'm not doing justice to the essence and work of what goes on in these talks, so I'll stop. It's just that we seldom have this degree of spiritual inquiry available to us.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa850b600) out of 5 stars Entertaining, insightful, and later on, boring ....but.... May 25 2006
By Brad W. Walewski - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a recording of a series of conversations that J. Krishnamurti had with a group of Buddhist scholars.

If you are familiar with J.K., then you will find the first half of the book very entertaining. J.K. is quite blunt with these well respected scholars. :)

Then the book becomes very boring as the Buddhists struggle to understand the simplest concepts that J.K. brings up. Little progress is made conversationally. Ironically, this is probably the most important part of the book. There is an implied "moral to the story" here. You must see the moral using your own intuition. This is not a book to be read over and over or studied. Unless you are purely intellectual, it would be much better to instead, read his other books such as "this light in oneself" or "on love and lonliness".

I gave it 3 stars because the concepts that the reader is left with after reading the entire book are written in J.K's other books and take up just a few pages.