I read this book when I had been a sannyasin of Rajneesh for a while, well on my way to 'enlightenment'. So I thought... It was written by a namesake of the well-known spiritual teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti, namely Uppaluri Gopala Krishnamurti, better known by the abbreviation 'UG'.
There I was in the bookstore of 'Au bout du Monde' in Amsterdam, wearing my red clothes and mala around my neck, reading being fascinated. This man was kind of the absolute opposite of Bhagwan Rajneesh. Every book by Rajneesh, every meditation, every photo, etc. is under copyright, while this booklet explicitly stated that "[...] You are free to reproduce, distribute, interpret, misinterpret, distort , garble, do what you like, even claim authorship, without my consent or the permission of anybody. " Wow ...
And so it is also the case that all books, tapes and videos about and with UG are freely downloadable on the internet: ugkrishnamurti.net. Great, and what does this man claim (BTW, he passed away in March 2007)?
Here are the first sentences of the booklet:
"I am not out to liberate anybody. You have to liberate yourself, and you are unable to do that. What I have to say will not do it. I am only interested in describing this state, in clearing away the occultation and mystification in which those people in the 'holy business' have shrouded the whole thing. Maybe I can convince you not to waste a lot of time and energy, looking for a state which does not exist except in your imagination.
Get this straight, this is your state I am describing, your natural state, not my state or the state of a God-realized man or a mutant or any such thing. This is your natural state, but what prevents what is there from expressing itself in its own way is your reaching out for something, trying to be something other than what you are. "
I didn't really understand it at the time. For a moment I thought to 'drop' my red clothes, mala and sannyas name, as it was called in those parts. Because apparently it didn't matter anyway:
"The search ends with the realization that there is no such thing as enlightenment. By searching, you want to be free from the self, but whatever you are doing to free yourself from the self is the self. How can I make you understand this simple thing? There is no "how." If I tell you that, it will only add more momentum to that (search), strengthen that momentum. That is the question of all questions: "How, how, how?"
And a moment later I thought, with a shrug of my shoulders, "if it doesn't matter, I also could just go ahead with it." And in a way that's true, except of course I didn't see that I just have no choice. The energy of searching and asking exists regardless of what I may think or not, it doesn't care ... And so I continued for a long time with wasting 'a lot of time and energy, looking for a state which does not exist'.
Or, in the words of someone who's 'message' is quite similar to UG, namely Robert Saltzman: "You get what you get when you get it"
"There is no teaching of mine, and never shall be one." Teaching "is not the word for it. A teaching implies a method or a system, a technique or a new way of thinking to be applied in order to bring about a transformation in your way of life. What I am saying is outside the field of teachability; it is simply a description of the way I am functioning. It is just a description of the natural state of man - this is the way you, stripped of the machinations of thought, are also functioning.
The natural state is not the state of a self-realized God-realized man, it is not a thing to be achieved or attained, it is not a thing to be willed into existence; it is there - it is the living state. This state is just the functional activity of life. "
And then I think the following Zen anecdote from the eighth century is appropriate:
Layman Pang approached a teacher with a request to show his true self. The teacher said nothing, just sat still. Finally, tired of waiting, Pang got up and walked to the door. Just as he opened the door, the teacher shouted, "Oh, Layman Pang."
"Yes?" Pang replied.
"That's it," said the teacher.