J. Krishnamurti played the role of a/the master, other than whom there were/are no other masters, since he disauthorized everybody else. Thus, he was the ‘authority’ in spiritual and philosophical matters. If one “follows” him without doing a deep reflexion and enquiry, he/she is accepting his ‘authority’. One accepts the prescriptions of a doctor (a different matter altogether) because he has ‘authority’ in medical matters, at least implicitly. The law has, in principle, authority over all citizens. Your parents have at least a measure of ‘authority’ over you, and you accept it… so it goes for teachers, elders, for the police!
You give authority to those whose arguments and good advice you accept. The principle of authority has an important role in society, and life in it would be impossible (a chaos) without it. The king, the government are invested with authority… for some reason. Last, but not least, everyone has authority over you, well understood. Note that I nuanced that word: ‘in principle’, etc., but the word is there for some legitimate purpose, otherwise it would not exist.
We should distinguish between authority and authoritarianism., as everybody will understand. All the foregoing falls under vyavaharika: lower or empirical (conventional) knowledge.
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