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J. Krishnamurti: An Implicit Current in the Contemporary Nondual Spirituality Movement (NSM)

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Abstract for Online Program Book (maximum 1200 characters including spaces)

This paper suggests that there is a robust, but mostly unrecognized, influence of the teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986), one of the most intriguing religious teachers of the 20th century, on the contemporary Nondual Spirituality Movement (NSM). The NSM is a generally misunderstood and maligned global religious phenomenon, typified by the teachings of such figures as Eckhart Tolle, Mooji, Rupert Spira, Adyashanti, and others. Features of the NSM deviate from mainstream religions and it has thus received marginal attention from religious studies scholars. The NSM centers on the attainment of nondual spiritual realization, whose benefits arguably include mental health, social tolerance, and a host of other personal and communal desiderata. Its origins are often traced virtually exclusively to Ramana Maharsi, because he is an oft-invoked patriarch by contemporary NSM teachers. However, Krishnamurti’s influence has mostly gone unrecognized, in part, because he was an outspoken critic of religious organizations and discipleship to religious teachers (including himself). Nevertheless, aspects of Krishnamurti’s message, such as his critique of spiritual progress and traditional spiritual techniques, are widespread within NSM approaches. This talk will offer evidence of these parallels to support its claim of a deep current of Krishnamurti’s thought within the NSM.

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