History seems to be the story of man-made catastrophes, and these seem to occur regularly, repeatedly and unfailingly, always taking the world by shock and surprise, disproving all the predictions and promises of the pundits and experts, setting at naught the calculations of the intellect, defying logic and reason, and leaving human beings baffled and helpless. Between one crisis and the next lies what we call our normal life. In that so-called normal life we give our time and energy to everything except serious inquiry and reflection on the purpose of human existence in general and our life in particular. We never ask whether our present way of living itself is not the cause of the next global crisis. The question may never occur to us and, even if it does, we dare not face it.
This is precisely the challenge J. Krishnamurti throws at us—make us aware of a number of fundamental questions, some of which are given here as excerpts from his talks and writings of nearly five decades, covering the years from 1934 to 1985.