J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986) is widely regarded as having been a profoundly original thinker and spiritual teacher. For nearly 60 years, Krishnamurti traveled the world and spoke to individuals, small groups and large audiences with a singular intent – “to set man absolutely and unconditionally free”. And yet, he advocated no practice, no definitive steps towards such a goal. He said, “Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever…”.
“The First Step is the Last Step”, the exhibition, has been conceived and curated by the Krishnamurti Foundation India (KFI) on the occasion of Krishamurti’s 125th birth anniversary year (May 11th, 2019 – May 11th, 2020). The exhibition will premiere at Vasanta Vihar, Chennai on February 1st, 2020 and travel thereafter to the cities of Varanasi and Bengaluru.
The exhibition draws inspiration from a phrase Krishnamurti used in his dialogues in which he sees the attentive mind as being fully capable of perceiving the “what is” for itself. This seeing of the truth is not linked to time, accretion of knowledge or a perpetuation of practice, and hence necessarily, becomes both the first and the last step. This exhibition is structured around this paradox. It seeks to evoke the extraordinary potential held within its aphoristic title in a manner that sets aside predictable templates of linearity, accumulation and progression. It invites the viewer to engage with themes that Krishnamurti frequently spoke or wrote about – fear, love, violence, death, religion, relationship and education. In this immersive process of self-enquiry, there will be opportunity to question, to look afresh, and perhaps come upon a ‘flame of understand- ing’, which derives from and belongs to no one, but the questioner herself.