Thought Provoker: J Krishnamurti

Some people create a quotable quote by whatever they say…

“Education has no meaning unless it helps you to understand the vast expanse of life with all its subtleties, with its extraordinary beauty, its sorrows and joys. You may earn degrees, you may have a series of letters after your name and land a very good job; but then what? What is the point of it all if in the process your mind becomes dull, weary, stupid? So, while you are young, must you not seek to find out what life is all about? And is it not the true function of education to cultivate in you the intelligence which will try to find the answer to all these problems?”

“I am for right education, which is the creation of intelligence, and this can come about, not through mass education, but only through consideration of each child – studying his difficulties, his idiosyncrasies, his tendencies, his capacities, taking care of him with affection, with intelligence. Only then is there a possibility of creating a new culture.”

“Education in the true sense is helping the individual to be mature and free, to flower greatly in love and goodness. That is what we should be interested in, and not in shaping the child according to some idealistic pattern.”

“The purpose of education is to cultivate right relationship, not only between individuals, but also between the individual and society; and that is why it is essential that education should, above all, help the individual to understand his own psychological process. Intelligence lies in understanding oneself and going above and beyond oneself; but there cannot be intelligence as long as there is fear.”

“Education means the development of a particular technique, which is efficiency, which means industrialization, the capacity to work faster and produce more and more, all of which ultimately leads to war. You see this happening every day. Education as it is leads to war, and what is the point of education? To destroy or be destroyed. So, obviously, the present system of education is utterly futile.”

“Education is the cultivation of the mind so that action is not self-centred; it is learning throughout life to break down the walls which the mind builds in order to be secure, and from which arises fear with all its complexities. To be rightly educated, you have to study hard and not be lazy. Be good at games, not to beat another, but to amuse yourself. Eat the right food, and keep physically fit. Let the mind be alert and capable of dealing with the problems of life, not as a Hindu, a Communist, or a Christian, but as a human being. To be rightly educated, you have to understand yourself; you have to keep on learning about yourself. When you stop learning, life becomes ugly and sorrowful. Without goodness and love, you are not rightly educated.”

“An educator is not merely a giver of information; he is one who points the way to wisdom, to truth. Truth is far more important than the teacher. The search for truth is religion, and truth is of no country, of no creed, it is not to be found in any temple, church or mosque. Without the search for truth, society soon decays.”

“The function of education, then, is to help you from childhood not to imitate anybody, but to be yourself all the time. And this is a most difficult thing to do: whether you are ugly or beautiful, whether you are envious or jealous, always to be what you are, but understand it. To be yourself is very difficult, because you think that what you are is ignoble, and that if you could only change what you are into something noble it would be marvellous; but that never happens.”

“When the teacher regards each student as a unique in- dividual and therefore not to be compared with any other, he is then not concerned with system or method. His sole concern is with `helping’ the student to understand the conditioning influences about him and within himself, so that he can face intelligently without fear, the complex process of living and not add more problems to the already existing mess.”

“Education being not merely the acquisition of technical knowledge, but the understanding, with sensitivity and intelligence, of the whole problem of living – in which is included death, love, sex, meditation, relationship, and also conflict, anger, brutality and all the rest of it – that is the whole structure of human existence.”

“Education is at present concerned with outward efficiency, and it utterly disregards, or deliberately perverts, the inward nature of man; it develops only one part of him and leaves the rest to drag along as best it can. Our inner confusion, antagonism and fear ever overcome the outer structure of society, however nobly conceived and cunningly built. When there is not the right kind of education we destroy one another, and physical security for every individual is denied. To educate the student rightly is to help him to understand the total process of himself; for it is only when there is integration of the mind and heart in everyday action that there can be intelligence and inward transformation.”

“Right education comes with the transformation of ourselves. We must re-educate ourselves not to kill one another for any cause, however righteous, for any ideology, however promising it may appear to be for the future happiness of the world. We must learn to be compassionate, to be content with little, and to seek the Supreme, for only then can there be the true salvation of mankind.”

“Modern society demands that boys and girls should learn certain professions, and for that there must be efficiency in education. When your object is to produce, not intelligent, alert human beings, but efficient machines, obviously you must have a system. Such a system cannot produce whole, integrated individuals who understand the importance of life but only machines with certain responses; and that is why the present civilization is destroying itself.”

“To make an integrated individual is extremely difficult. I must not only have a technological profession, but I must also have a clear mind, a warm heart. You cannot have a clear mind when it is rattling with a lot of noise which it calls knowledge. There can be integration only when there is warmth, when there is affection, when you love someone entirely, wholly; then affection, warmth, and a clear mind will bring about integration. Such a human being is rare, and it is obviously the function of education to create such human beings. Life is not to be lived at one level, it must be lived all the time at different levels; then only is there harmony, is there beauty, is there warmth in relationship, in feeling; then only is there happiness.”

“Education, rightly speaking, is not just a matter of reading books, passing examinations and getting a job. Education is quite a different process; it extends from the moment you are born to the moment you die. You may read innumerable books and be very clever, but I do not think mere cleverness is a mark of education. If you are merely clever you miss a great deal in life. The important thing is first to find out what you are afraid of, to understand it and not run away from it. When your mind is really free from demands of every kind, when it is no longer envious, acquisitive, only then can you find out what God is. God is not what people say God is. God is something entirely different – something that comes into being when you understand, when you have no fear.”

“It is the function of education to help each individual to discover all these psychological hindrances, and not merely impose upon him new patterns of conduct, new modes of thought. Such impositions will never awaken intelligence, creative understanding, but will only further condition the individual. Surely, this is what is happening throughout the world, and that is why our problems continue and multiply.”


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