I used to be in favor of revolution; the idea in general made sense. Now, if pressed, I might call myself a metarevolutionary. To understand what such a term might mean, you may listen to the 8 minutes of Krishnamurti above. But if I leave it there, I may as well not be writing. So I’ll walk the edge of hubris and offer a little commentary on JK’s remarks.
- Krishanmurti addresses and respects his audience’s sense of suffering. This, in fact, is why he encourages people to accept the responsibility that arises from his teaching: he knows their suffering and senses their courage. That very sense of our shared suffering is simultaneously our protection and our potential. To deny or repress that sense is to reject our humanity.
- Therefore, he proclaims: become not mere managers of your lives; become the artists of your lives. The artist knows the truth that is opened to anyone who can embrace and surpass contradiction. Thus, JK says: you are both individual and universal. But you will find a deeper and greater uniqueness to your individuality when you reject the illusory walls of division that are created from the shadows of belief. You are not just joined with all of humanity; you are one with the All that includes us. The code of the entire program of life is written into you, into every vessel of consciousness that appears in any world or universe.
- So he concludes that accepting the challenge which arises from that complete sense of union with everyone and everything is not a burden or a commandment or an order from a Boss-God or cosmic CEO. It is instead a gift. To make your life into the “response to the challenge” that is this heartfelt realization of non-separateness: that is both our guide and our gift.
A metarevolution is the kind of revolution we will one day experience, if our human race doesn’t first self-destruct, that is. The metarevolution will occur within a vast array of human hearts long before its external effects appear. There are certain psychological truths, certain universal realities that must be fully experienced before we become capable of real change. Obama promised change, and six years later America continues to trade, export, and ally with Death. Whenever anyone talks to you of change, by every means run the other way. Change delivered from another pulpit or the barrel of another gun is just the same old shit in a new container.
Now Democrats and other Obamists may object that things would be even worse if the Republicans rather than their man were in charge. To that I say, probably so, I don’t question that. But does it mean we turn away from Krishnamurti’s challenge to our universal reality as formed beings; does it mean we ignore or repress the very thing that could transform us simultaneously as individuals and as societies and nations? Is political affiliation so important that it be allowed to become a brand of despair?
Political institutions cannot create a metarevolution; they are incapable of it, threatened by it, in fact. I think that the Occupy Wall Street movement was a metarevolution — not because of the protests and the occupations of certain small spaces within some of our cities, but because of the mindset that energized it all. I remember talking with Occupiers in New York who said that their fundamental credo was of union, a deep commonality among all people: they even said that the well-known 99%/1% division was artificial, even if compelling. They wanted the 1% to see their place, their self-interest within the movement: if they could realize that they are not above or in any other way separate from all of us, then they would actually join in the work of transformation. They knew this was possible, and suspected (as I do) that it is in fact our inevitably best and sole alternative. Metarevolution.
Krishnamurti wasn’t calling for a revolution of spirit or mind or social and political institutions. Those things, he knew, would take care of themselves quite naturally, arise effortlessly from a metarevolution. The experience that enables metarevolution cannot be contained in a speech or a book or a body of law; it must be held without words and shared without exclusion. When Christ advised his followers to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s but to give to god what is god’s, he was not talking about taxes, money, material goods, or even allegiance. He was talking about the life-force of the individual self, which contains and therefore is one with the total energy of the human species and the universal whole.
Those superficial forms of human energy: law, money, government, media, business — they will all remain with us, but they will have to change under the heat of that metarevolutionary light of shared understanding. Metarevolution cannot be inspired by violence or guided by belief; it can only be experienced through the kind of “common sense” that the prototypical American writer of revolution conceived:
The laying a Country desolate with Fire and Sword, declaring War against the natural rights of all Mankind, and extirpating the Defenders thereof from the Face of the Earth, is the Concern of every Man to whom Nature hath given the Power of feeling; of which Class, regardless of Party Censure, is the AUTHOR.
Paine begins with a simple declaration: we are all of Nature before we are of any party or social class. Not of God; not of the Prophet; not of the Cross; not of the Law. We are of Nature. Look again at his words: “Nature,” he says, “hath given [us] the Power of…” what? Of intellect? Of religion? Of belief? Of weaponry? Of global dominance? No: of feeling. That, too, is another formulation of Krishnamurti’s teaching and of the truth and mandate of metarevolution. Paine saw that Nature is the star by which the ship of social transformation is truly and reliably steered. Were he among us today, he would surely be either denounced or ignored by both political parties.
The fact that Paine wrote this down amid a time and circumstances that were ready for his message reveals another principle of this natural phenomenon I call metarevolution: great and enduring change is led not by thought or by feeling alone, but via their synergistic union, which begins within the individual and is then shared across the field of consciousness. It does not have to be forced into being, because it is already there; it always was.
The point here, of course, is not to copy or even to model what was done and said back then, in Paine’s time. We must hold that history long enough to draw the energy of its teaching and then surpass it. If Krishnamurti were here, he would urge us to do the same with his teachings (which is what he in fact did urge to his audiences). That is part of the challenge he calls his audience to embrace: if all we care about is how we look before others, then we are no better than the politicians with their image-obsession. We must take the lead, whether we want to or not: it is no longer a matter of throwing the bums out; for other and perhaps even crueler and more blackhearted bums will replace them. We must wake the bums up. This is the way of metarevolution.