Poona, India, 1948
Poona India 5th Public Talk 26th September, 1948
This evening instead of making a long introductory speech, I will make a brief one and answer as many questions as possible. This meeting is meant for teachers and their problems, so I will answer questions only on the subject of education; and as there are twenty of them, I will have to answer briefly and succinctly.
It is difficult in modern civilization to bring about, by means of education, an integrated individual. We have divided life into so many departments and our lives are so unintegrated, that education has very little meaning except merely when learning a particular technique, a particular profession. Throughout the world, education has obviously failed - as the first function of education is to create a human being who is intelligent. To attempt to solve the problems of existence merely at their respective levels, separated into different departments, indicates an utter lack of intelligence. Our problem, then, is how to create an individual who is integrated through intelligence, so that he would be able to grapple with life from moment to moment, to face life as it comes with its complexities, with its conflicts, with its miseries, with its inequalities; an individual who can meet life, not according to a particular system either of the left or of the right, but intelligently, without seeking an answer or a pattern of action. Since education has not produced such an individual, and since there have been successive wars one after the other, each more devastating and destructive, bringing greater sorrow and misery to man, obviously the educational systems throughout the world have completely failed. So, there is something radically wrong with the way we bring up our children. We all acknowledge that there is something wrong, we are all aware of it, but we do not know how to tackle that problem. The problem is not the child, but the parent and the teacher; and what is necessary is to educate the educator. Without educating the educator, merely to stuff the child with a lot of information, making him pass examinations, is the most unintelligent form of education. The really important thing is to educate the educator, and that is one of the most difficult undertakings. The educator is already crystallized in a system of thought or a pattern of action; he is already a nationalist, he has already given himself over to a particular ideology, to a particular religion, to a particular standard of thought. So the difficulty is, is it not?, that modern education teaches the child what to think, and not how to think. Surely, it is only when one has the capacity to think intelligently that one can meet life. Life cannot be made to conform to a system or be fitted into a framework; and the mentality that has merely been trained in factual knowledge is incapable of meeting life with its variety, its complexities, its subtleties, its depths and great heights. So, when our children are trained in a particular system of thought, according to a particular discipline, obviously they are incapable of meeting life as a whole; because they are taught to think in terms of departments, they are not integrated. For the teacher who is interested, the question is how to bring out an integrated individual. To do that, obviously the teacher himself must also be integrated. One cannot bring up a child to be an integrated individual if one does not understand integration in oneself. That is, what you are in yourself is much more important than the traditional question of what to teach the child. The important thing is not what you think, but how you think, whether thought is merely an unintegrated process, or a complete, total process. Thought as an integrated process can be understood only when there is self-knowledge - and into this we will go during the later talks and discussions.
As there are numerous questions, I will try to answer briefly, quickly and definitely as many of the representative ones as possible. You may ask innumerable questions, but please bear in mind that to find the right answer you must have the capacity to listen, otherwise you will merely be carried away by words without much content. The art of listening is extremely arduous, because it consists in being interested and giving your full attention; but most of us are not interested in this question of education. We send our children to school, and that is the end of it; we consider that it is good riddance, and that it is the function of the teacher to educate them. Since most of us are not interested, it is extremely difficult to listen carefully and to understand. One may use the wrong word, the wrong phrase, an incorrect term; but the person who is very attentive goes through the inaccuracies of terminology and gets the gist of the meaning. So, I hope you will be able to follow swiftly and wisely.
Question: Do you approve of the Montessori and other systems of education? Have you any to recommend?
Krishnamurti: What is implied in a system of education? A framework into which you are fitting the child; and the questioner wants to know which framework will best help the child. Will any system of education really help to bring about integration? Or must there be, not a particular system, but intelligence on the part of the teacher to understand the child, to see what kind of child he is? There must be very few children for each teacher. It is very easy to have a system for a large number of people - that is why systems are popular. You can force a great number of boys and girls into a particular system, and then you, the teacher, need not spend your thought on them. You practice your system on the poor children. Whereas, when you have no system, you must study each child, and that requires a great deal of intelligence, alertness and affection on the part of the teacher, does it not? It means classes limited to five or six. Such a school would be extraordinarily expensive, therefore we resort to a system. Systems obviously do not bring about an integrated individual. System may help you to understand the child; but surely the primary necessity is that you, who are the teacher, should have the intelligence to use a system when necessary, and to drop it when it is not necessary. But when we turn to a system in place of affection, understanding and intelligence, then the teacher becomes merely a machine, and therefore the child grows up an unintegrated individual. Systems have a use only in the hands of an intelligent teacher: your own intelligence is the factor that will help. But most of us who are teachers have very little intelligence, therefore we turn to systems. It is so much easier to learn a system and to apply it, whether Montessori or any other, for then the teacher can sit back and watch. Surely, that is not education. Mere dependence on a particular system, however worthy, has very little significance. If the teacher himself is not really intelligent, when we adopt systems we are hindering intelligence. Systems do not make for intelligence. Intelligence comes only through integration, a complete understanding of the total process of oneself and of the child. Therefore, it is necessary for a teacher to study the child directly and not merely to follow a particular system, either of the left or of the right, either Montessori or any other. To study the child implies a swift mind, a quick response, and that can take place only when there is affection. But in a class of sixty children, how can you have such affection? 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.
Question: As communalism is so rampant in India, how shall we guide the child away from it?
Krishnamurti: Is the child communalistically minded? It is the home and the social environment that is making him communalistically or separatively minded. By himself he does not care whether he plays with a Brahmin or a non-Brahmin, a Negro or an English boy. It is the influence of older people, of the social structure, that impinges on his mind, and naturally he is affected by it. The problem is not the child, but the older people, with their false, communalistic, separative tendencies. To `guide the child away from it', you will have to break the environment, which means breaking down the structure of modern society. Until you do that, obviously the child will be communalistic. Very few of you want complete revolution: you want patchwork reform, you want to keep things as they are. If you really want to break down the communalistic spirit, your attitude has to change completely, has it not? Look at what happens. At home you may discuss with the child how absurd it is to have a sense of class division, and he will probably agree with you, but when he goes to school and plays with other boys, there is this insane communalistic, separative spirit. So, there is a constant battle between the home and the social environments. Or it may be the other way round: the home may be traditional, narrow, bitter, and the social influence may be broader. Again, the child is caught between the two. Surely, to raise a sane child, to make him intelligent, to help him understand so that he sees through all these stupidities, you have to understand and discuss with him all the faults of traditional acceptance and authority. That means, Sir, that you have to encourage discontent; whereas, most of us want to discourage, to put away discontent. It is only through discontent that we see the falseness of all these things; but as we grow older, we begin to crystallize. Most young men are discontented, but unfortunately their discontent is canalized, standardized: they become class governors, priests, bank clerks, factory managers, and there it ends. They get a job and their discontent soon withers away. To keep this discontent alert, awake, is extremely arduous; but it is discontent, this constant enquiry, this dissatisfaction with things as they are - with government, with the influence of parents, wife or husband, with everything about us - that brings creative intelligence. But we do not want such a child, because it is very uncomfortable to live with someone who is all the time questioning, looking into the accepted values. We would rather have people who are fat, contented, lazy.
It is you grown up people who are responsible for the future - but you are not interested in the future. God knows what you are interested in, or why you have so many children because you do not know how to bring them up. If you really loved them instead of merely wanting them to carry on your property and your name, then obviously you would tackle this problem anew. You might have to start new schools; it might mean that you yourself would have to become the teacher. But unfortunately you are not very earnest about anything in life except making money, having food and sex. In those things you are fairly integrated, but you do not want to face or approach the rest of the complexities and difficulties of life; and therefore, when you produce children, and they grow up, they are as immature, unintegrated, unintelligent as yourself, in constant battle with themselves and with the world.
So, it is the older people who are responsible for this communalistic spirit. After all, Sirs, why should there be divisions between man and man? You are very like another. You may have a different body, your face may be unlike mine, but inwardly, inside the skin, we are very much alike: proud, ambitious, angry, violent, sexual, seeking power, position, authority, and so on. Remove the label and we are very naked; but we do not want to face our nakedness or transform ourselves, and that is why we worship labels - which is too immature, utterly childish. With the world crashing about our ears we are discussing what caste one should belong to, or whether one should wear the sacred thread, or what kind of ceremony one should perform - which all indicates utter thoughtlessness, does it not? I know you are listening, Sirs and Ladies, and some of you nod your heads; but the moment you go home you will do exactly the same thing - and that is the sadness of existence. If when you hear a truth you do not act upon it, it acts as a poison. You are being poisoned by me because you are not acting upon it. That poison naturally spreads, it brings ill health, psychological unbalance and disturbance. Most of us are used to listening to talks - it is one of the pastimes of India. You listen, go home and carry on; but such people have very little significance in life. Life demands extraordinary, creative, revolutionary action. Only when that creative intelligence is awakened is there a possibility of living in a peaceful and happy world.
Question: Obviously there must be some kind of discipline in schools, but how is it to be carried out?
Krishnamurti: Surely, Sir, there have been experiments in England and in other places in which schools have had no discipline of any kind at all; the children were allowed to do what they liked and never interfered with. Those schools obviously feel that children need some kind of discipline in the sense of guidance - no rigid `do's' and `don'ts', but some kind of warning, some kind of hint or intimation by way of showing the difficulties. Such a form of discipline, which is really guidance, is necessary. The difficulty arises when discipline is merely forcing the child into a particular pattern of action through compulsion, through fear. The character of such a child is obviously distorted, his mind is made crooked through discipline, through the many taboos of `do' and `don't; so he grows up, as most of us have done, with fear and a sense of inferiority. When discipline forces the child into a particular framework, surely he cannot become intelligent, he is merely the product of discipline; and how can such a child be alert, creative, and therefore grow into an integrated, intelligent man? He is merely a machine functioning very smoothly and efficiently, a machine without human intelligence,
So, the question of discipline is quite a complex problem, because we think that without discipline in life we shall spill over, we shall become too lustful. That is the only problem with which we really concern ourselves: how not to become too lustful. You may spill over in any other direction - seek position, be greedy, violent, do anything - as long as you are within limits regarding sexuality. It is very strange, is it not?, that no religion really attacks exploitation, greed, envy, but they are all interested in the sexual act, frightfully concerned about sexual morality. It is very odd that organized religions should be so concerned about that particular morality, and let the other things rip. One can see why organized religions place their emphasis on sexual morality. They do not look into the problem of exploitation, because organized religions depend on society and live on it, and therefore they dare not attack the root and foundation of that society; so they play with sexual morality.
Though most of us talk of discipline, what do we mean by that word? When you have a hundred boys in a class, you will have to have discipline, otherwise there will be complete chaos. But if you had five or six in a class, and an intelligent teacher with a warm heart, with understanding, I am sure there would be no need for discipline; she would understand each child and help him in the way required. Discipline in schools becomes necessary when there is one teacher to a hundred boys and girls - then you jolly well have to be very strict; but such discipline will not produce an intelligent human being. And most of us are interested in mass movements, large schools with a great many boys and girls; we are not interested in creative intelligence, therefore we put up huge schools with enormous attendances. At one of the universities I believe there are 45,000 students. What are you going to do, Sirs, when we are educating everybody on such a vast scale? Under such circumstances, naturally there must be discipline. I am not against educating everybody, it would be too stupid of me to say so. 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.
There is a lovely story, an actual fact, about a bishop who read the Bible to the illiterate people of the South Seas, and they were delighted to listen to these stories. He thought to himself that it was marvellous, and that it would be a good thing if he went back to America, collected money, and founded schools all over the South Sea Islands. So he collected a great deal of money in America, returned to the Islands, founded schools, and taught the people how to read. At the end of it they were reading the comic papers, the Saturday Evening Post. Look, and other exciting, suggestive magazines! That is exactly what we are doing. Also, it is an extraordinary thing that the more people read, the less revolt there is. Sirs, have you ever considered how we worship the printed word? If the government issues an order or gives information in print, we accept it, we never doubt it. The printed word has become sacred. The more you teach people, the less there is a possibility of revolution - which does not mean that I am against teaching people to read; but just see the danger involved in it. Governments control people, dominate their minds and hearts, through cunning propaganda. That is happening not only in totalitarian countries, but all over the world. The newspaper has taken the place of thought, the headline has taken the place of real knowledge and understanding.
So, the difficulty is that in the present social structure, discipline has become an important factor because we want large numbers of children to be educated together and as quickly as possible. Educated to be what? To be bank clerks or super-salesmen, capitalists or commissars. When you are a superman of some kind, a super-governor or a subtle parliamentary debater, what have you done? You are probably very clever, full of facts. Anybody can pick up facts; but we are human beings, not factual machines, not beastly routine automatons. But again, Sirs, you are not interested, You are listening to me and smiling at each other, and you are not going to do a thing about radically changing the educational system; so it will drag on till there is a monstrous revolution, which will merely be another substitution - there will be much more control, because the totalitarian governments know how to shape the minds and hearts of the people, they have learnt the trick. That is the misery, that is the unfortunate weakness in us: we want somebody else to alter, to reform, to build. We listen and remain inactive; and when the revolution is successful and others have built a new structure and there are guarantees, then we step in. Surely, that is not an intelligent, creative mind; such a mind is only seeking security in a different form. To seek security is a stupid process. To be secure psychologically you must have discipline, and the discipline guarantees the result - the making of human beings into routine office holders, whether bank clerks, commissars, kings or prime ministers. Surely, that is the greatest form of stupidity, for then human beings are merely machines. See the danger of discipline - the danger is that the discipline becomes more important than the human being; the pattern of thought, the pattern of action, far more important than the people who fit into them. Discipline will inevitably exist as long as the heart is empty, for then it is a substitute for affection. As most of us are dry, empty, we want discipline. A warm heart, a rich, integrated human being is free, he has no discipline. Freedom does not come through discipline, you do, not have to go through discipline to be free. Freedom and intelligence begin near, not far away; and that is why, to go far, one must begin intelligently with oneself.
Question: Since till now a foreign government has prevented the right kind of education among our beloved people, what should be the right kind of education in a free India?
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by a `free' India? You have succeeded in substituting one government for another, one bureaucracy for another; but are you free? The exploiter exists as before, only now he is brown, and you are exploited by him as you were by the other. The usurer exists as before, the communalism, the class divisions, the quarrels over separate provinces, over which province shall have more or less, over which group in that province shall have the jobs - all these factors still exist. So the same conditions continue as before, only now there is a difference which is psychological. You have got rid of a group of people, and this acts on you psychologically. You can stand up again now; now, at least you are a man whereas, before, somebody was treading on your neck. The white man may not be treading on your neck, but a brown man is, who is your own brother and much more ruthless. Don't you know he is much more ruthless, having no morality? What do you mean by a `free' India? You will probably have your own army and navy - you are following after the rest of the world with their armies, navies, air forces, and regimentation. To see an old people like you playing with things that children should play with is a sad sight, is it not? It is just like an old man flirting with a young girl, it is an ugly thing. That is what you call `free', and you ask what kind of education you should have in a `free' India! First, to have education of the right kind, you must become intelligent. You cannot be intelligent by merely substituting one government for another, one exploiter for another, one class for another. To bring about a new kind of education. all these must go, must they not? You must start anew. That means radical revolution - not of the bloody kind, which does not solve a thing, but a radical revolution of thought, of feeling, of values. That radical revolution can be brought about only by you and me; a revolution that will create a new, integrated individual, must begin with you and me. Since you are not putting a stop to racialism, organized dogmatism in your religion, how can you produce a new culture, a new education? You can speculate about it, you can write volumes about what the new education should be; but that is an infantile process, another escape. There can be no creation until you throw down the barriers and are free, and then you will be able to build a new culture, a new order, which means you have to revolt against the present conditions, against present values - revolt in the sense of seeing their true significance, understanding them intelligently, and thinking things out anew. It is comparatively easy to dream of an Utopia, a brave, new world; but that is sacrificing the present for the future - and the future is so uncertain. No man can know what the future will be, there are so many elements intervening between now and the future. We hope that by creating a conceptual Utopia, a mental idealization, and working for it, we shall have solved the problem; but we shall certainly not solve the problem that way. What we can do, if we are intelligent people, is to tackle the problem ourselves in the present. Now is the only eternity, not the future. I must give full attention to the problem now. Merely to discuss what should be the right kind of education for people in a free India is quite obviously stupid. India is not free: there is no free India. You have a flag and a new anthem, but surely that is not freedom. You speak in your mother tongue and think you are awfully patriotic, nationalistic, and that you have solved the problem. Sir, solving this problem requires thinking anew, not looking through the spectacles of the old formula. That is why it is imperative, for those who are serious, to create a revolution by regenerating themselves; and there cannot be regeneration unless you break away from the old values, examining them and seeing their significance and their worth, not blindly accepting any one of them as good. That is why it is important to look into ourselves and to see the manner, the ways of our own thinking and feeling. It is only then that we are free, only then that we can produce a new culture and a new education.
Question: How far should government interfere in education, and should children be given military training?
Krishnamurti: This raises a most important question. What do you mean by government? People in authority, a few bureaucrats, cabinet members, the prime minister, and so on. Is that government? Who elects them? You do, don't you? You are responsible for them, are you not? You have the government that you want, so why do you object? If your government, which is yourself, wants military training, why do you object to it? Because you are racial, class-ridden, have economic frontiers, you must have a military government. You are responsible and not the government, because the government is the projection, the extension of yourself - its values are your values. Since you want a nationalist India, you must inevitably have the machinery that will protect a national sovereign government, with its pride of power, pomp and possession; therefore you must have a military machine whose function is to prepare for war - which means you want war. You may shake your head, but everything that you are doing is preparing for war. The very existence of a sovereign government, with its nationalistic outlook, must cause preparation for war; every general must plan for a future war, because that is his duty, his function, his metier. Naturally, if you have such a government, which is yourself, it must protect your nationalism, your economic frontiers, there must be a military machine. Therefore, if you accept all that, military training is inevitable. That is exactly what is happening throughout the world. England, which fought for centuries against conscription, is now conscripting. Fortunately, in this country, which is so vast, you cannot for the time being conscript everybody. You are disorganized. But given a few years, you will be able to organize, and then you will probably have the largest army in the world - because that is what you want. You want an army because you want a separate, sovereign government, a separate race, a separate religion, a separate class with its own exploiters; I assure you, you want to become the exploiter in turn, and so you keep up this game. And then you ask if government should interfere in education!
Sirs, there should be a class of people who are apart from government, who do not belong to society, who are outside it, so that they can act as guides. They are the chastisers, they are the prophets who can tell you how wrong you are. But there is no such group because the government in the modern world will not support such a group, a group that has no authority, a group that does not belong to the government, a group that does not belong to any religion, caste or country. It is only such a group that can act as a restraint on governments. Because governments are becoming more and more powerful, employing a majority of human beings, therefore more and more citizens are incapable of thinking for themselves. They are being regimented and told what to do. So, it is only when there is such a group, a vital, intelligent, active group, only then is there hope and salvation. Otherwise, each one of us is going to become an employee of the government, and more and more the government will tell us what to do and what to think - not how to think. Obviously, such a government, with its nationalism, its pride, envy and hatred, leading inevitably to war, must have a military machine, so in every school there must be the worship of the flag. If you are proud of your nationalism, of your economic frontiers, of your sovereign government, of your preparedness for war, you must have a government interfering with education, interfering with your lives, regimenting you, controlling your actions. That is exactly what you want. If not, you will break away intelligently from it. free yourself from nationalism, from greed, from envy, from the power that authority gives; and then, being intelligent, you will be able to look at the world situation and contribute to the establishment of a new education and a new culture.
Question: What is the place of art and religion in education?
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by art and what do you mean by religion? Is art the hanging up of a few pictures in a class room, drawing a few lines? What do you mean by art? What do you mean by religion? Is religion the spreading of organized belief? Is art merely imitating or copying a tree? Surely, art is something more than that. Art implies appreciation of beauty; while it may express itself in writing a poem, painting a picture, composing, it is the appreciation of beauty, that creative richness, the feeling of joy which comes from looking at a tree, at the stars, at the moonlight on still waters. Surely, art does not consist in the mere purchase of a few pictures and hanging them in a room. If you happen to have money and feel that it is safer to invest your money in pictures than in stocks, you do not become an artist, do you? Because you happen to have money and you invest your money in jewels, it obviously does not mean that you appreciate beauty. Surely, beauty is something different from mere security, is it not? Have you ever sat down to look at the waters as they run by, have you ever sat stall and watched the moon? Have you ever noticed the smile on a face? Have you ever observed a child laughing or a man crying? Obviously you have not. You are too busy thinking about action, repeating your mantrams, making money being carried away by lustful desires. Not having the appreciation of beauty, we surround ourselves with so-called beautiful things. Don't you know how the rich man surrounds himself with such things? There is an atmosphere of outward beauty, but inwardly it is empty as a drum. (Laughter.) Do not laugh at the rich man, Sirs: he is a reflection of life as a whole, and you want to be in that position too. So, the appreciation of beauty does not come through inner attachment to the outward expression of beauty. You may put on a lovely sari, powder your face, paint your lips; but that obviously is not beauty, is it? That is merely a part of it. Beauty comes, surely, when there is inward beauty; and there is inward beauty only when there is no conflict, when there is love, when there is mercy, when there is generosity. Then your eyes have meaning, your lips have riches, and your words have significance. Because we lack these things, we merely indulge in an outward show of beauty, we buy jewelry, pictures. Surely, those are not the actions of beauty. As most of our lives are hideous, ugly, dull and empty beyond words, we surround ourselves with things that we call beautiful. We collect things when the heart is empty; we create a world of ugliness about us because to us things matter enormously. And as most of us are in that state, how can we have art, beauty in the school or in education? When there is no art or beauty in your heart, how can you educate your children? What happens today is that the teacher is hampered with a hundred boys and girls - naughty and mischievous, as they should be. So you put up a picture and talk about art. Your schools indicate an empty mind, an empty heart. Surely, in such a school, in such education, there is no beauty. The light of a smile, the expression of a face - art is to see that these are beautiful, it is not merely the admiring of a picture painted by somebody else. Since we have forgotten how to be kindly, how to look at the stars, the trees, the reflections in the water, we require pictures; therefore, art has no meaning in our lives except as a topic of discussion in the club.
Similarly, religion has very little importance in our lives. You may go to the temple, do puja, wear the sacred thread, repeat words and mantrams ad nauseam, but that does not mean you are a religious person. That is merely the expression of a mechanical mind of very little content. Surely, religion consists in seeking truth, reality, not in surrounding yourself with substitutes and false values. The search for reality does not lie far off, it lies very near, in what you are doing, in what you are thinking, what you are feeling. Therefore, truth must be found, not beyond your horizon, but in you, in your words, actions, relationships and ideas. But we do not want such a religion. We want belief, we want dogma, we want security. As a rich man seeks security in pictures and diamonds, so you seek security in organized religion, with its dogmas, with its superstitions, with its exploiting priests and all the rest of it. There is not much difference between the so-called religious person and a man of the world: both are seeking security, only at different levels. Surely, that is not religion, that is not beauty. Appreciation of beauty, of life, comes only when there is enormous uncertainty, when you are paying attention to every movement of truth, when you see the movement of every shadow, of every thought and feeling, when you are awake to every movement of your child. It comes only when the mind is extremely pliable; and the mind can be pliable only when it is not tethered to a particular form of belief, whether belief in money or belief in an idea. When the mind is free to observe, to give full attention, only then is there creative realization. How extraordinary that most of us have become spectators in life, and not players. Most of us read books; and when we read, it is such twaddle, such piffle. We have lost the art of beauty, we have lost religion. It is the rediscovery of beauty and of reality that is important. Rediscovery comes only when we acknowledge the emptiness of our own mind and heart, when we are aware, not only of that emptiness, but of its depth, and when we are not trying to run away from it. We seek to run away through pictures, money, diamonds, saris, mantrams, innumerable outward expressions. It is only creative intelligence, creative understanding, that can bring to you a new culture, a new world, and a new happiness.
Question: Have diet and regularity any significance in the growth of a child?
Krishnamurti: Obviously they have. Have you the proper food to give the child today? But those who have the food are so un-intelligent about their diet; they merely eat to satisfy the palate, they love to eat. Look at your body. Do not smile and pass it by. You just eat what you have been accustomed to. If you are accustomed to highly contaminated food and if you are deprived of it, you are lost. You have actually given no consideration to diet. If you did, you would soon find out how simple it is to know what to eat. I cannot tell you what to eat, obviously, because each person has to think out and organize what is most suitable for him. Therefore, one must experiment, for a week, for a month. You do not want to experiment, because you want to continue with what you have been eating for the past ten or twenty years.
Most obviously, children need a regular life; at their tender age, when they are growing up bodily, they must have the right amount of sleep, the right diet, right care. These are obvious necessities in the life of a child. But you do not love the child; you quarrel with your wife, and you take it out on the child, or your wife takes it out on the child. When you come home late, you expect the child to keep awake for your amusement. The child becomes a toy to play with, and a means to pass on your name. You are not interested in the child, you are interested in yourself. Sir, if you were interested, you would have a revolution tomorrow; if you really loved the child, you would break up this educational system, this social environment. Then you would consider what he eats, whether he leads a regular life, and what is going to happen to him, whether he is going to be fodder for cannon. Then you would investigate the causes of wars, not merely quote others, and have a pattern of action. If you really loved the child, you would have no sovereign governments, no isolated nationalities, no separate religions with their ceremonies and organized dogmatism. If you really loved the child, all these things would change over night, you would avoid them, because they lead to chaos, they lead to destruction, they lead to sorrow and suffering. But you do not love the child, you do not care what happens to him as he grows up and looks after you when you are old, or carries on your name. That is what you are interested in, and you are not interested in the child. If you were, you would not have so many children: you would have one or two, and see to it that your child develops intelligence and the right culture. The pity of it is, Sirs, that it is not the fault of the educational system, but of ourselves - our hearts are so empty, so dull. We do not know love. When we say to a person, `I love you', that love is purely gratification - sexual pleasure, or the pride of possession, ownership. Mere pleasure and pride of possession are clearly not love. But it is only those two things that we care about; we are not concerned about our children, we are not concerned about our neighbour. The beggar as we go down the street gets no help, but we talk loudly about how we should help the unfortunate people. You join groups, you join systems, but the man in need goes empty handed. If you were really interested, your hearts would be rich with feeling and you would be ready to act, and you would change the system over night.
So, diet and regularity are necessary not only for the child, but for each one of us. To find out what is necessary, we must investigate, we must experiment with ourselves first and not with the child. At least we can give him clean food, see that he has a regular time for sleep and rest. It is because we have never thought about it that most children are so small, stunted and hungry. I am sure you are listening very attentively; and you will go home and make a noise, shout to see if the child is asleep, and stuff his mouth with sugar to show how much you love him! I do not think you know what you are doing, that is the pity and the misery of it. We are not aware of our actions, we are not aware of the words we use, we are not aware of the significance of our means of livelihood - we just live, drift, breed and die. When we have one foot in the grave we talk about God, because we want to be secure when we land on the other side; living a wretched, monstrous, ugly life here, we expect a beautiful life at the end of it. Beauty consists in loving a rich life, loving reality from the beginning to the end. There is no beauty in a life of exploitation, of greed and hatred, in seeking titles and possessions; and it is odd that you add one more object to your accumulations: God. What you are doing is too ugly for words, it has no meaning, no depth. Most of you live on words, and naturally your child is the same, he also grows up like you. There can be regeneration only when there is transformation of the mind and heart.
Question: As modern civilization is mostly technological, should we not train every child in some vocational profession?
Krishnamurti: Obviously, and then what? He becomes an engineer, a physician, a mathematician, a scientist or a bureaucrat; he keeps accounts for himself or for his boss. What have you done, Sir? You have taught him a profession. Is that the end of life? With most of you, it is the end of life. Having a profession s all right in its place, but there are more vital things in life, are there not? I may want to be an engineer or a musician, and being my parent, you shove me on to become a banker. So for the rest of my life I feel frustrated, and because I feel frustrated chase every woman I can think of, or turn to God. But I am still frustrated, empty. So, mere technological training or having a vocational aptitude does not solve all the problems of life. It does obviously solve problems at one level; but merely to live at that one level, as most of you do, is destruction. Sir, 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.
Question: Are not international schools for the cultivation of good will necessary?
Krishnamurti: Sir, is good will cultivated through internationalism? That is, different nations meet at a round table, but each nation holds on to its own sovereignty, to its own power, to its own prestige. So how can there be a meeting of people for the cultivation of good will? You hold on to your armies, I hold on to mine. Is there good will between two robbers? There is cooperation to share the spoils. Surely, good will is something wholly different; it does not belong to any group, to any nation, to any sovereign government. When the sovereign government becomes all important, then good will disappears. Most of our lives are spent in waving a flag, in being a nationalist, in worshipping the State, which is the new religion; so how can there be good will? There is only envy, hatred and enmity. Good will comes only when these labels are put aside, when there is no division between you and me, either of class, of money, of power or position. When we have good will we will not belong to any nation, you and I will live happily together, therefore there will be no talk of internationalism, or one world. To say that through nationalism we shall eventually become international, eventually have brotherhood, is a very wrong process of thought, is it not? It is false reasoning. Through narrowness, how can you go beyond all limits? It is only when you break down the narrow limits of the mind and the heart that you can proceed; and when the walls are thrown down, the vastness of the horizon of life is there. You cannot carry any narrowness when you invite the vast expanse of the eternal. Good will does not come through organization. Consider the fallacy of the ideal that you can join a society for brotherhood - it is only when you have no brotherhood in your heart that you join such a society. When you have brotherhood in your heart, you do not have to join any society, any organization. The importance you give to organization and to societies shows that you are not brotherly; you want to escape from the actual fact that you are not brotherly, therefore organizations become important and you belong to them. The difficulty is to be brotherly, to be good, to be kind, to be generous; and that is not possible as long as you are thinking about yourself. You are thinking about yourself when your child becomes all important as a means to your happiness, when he becomes a means of carrying on your name, your religion, your outlook, your authority, your bank account, your jewelry. When a man is concerned with himself and the extension of himself, how can he have love in his heart, how can he have good will? Is good will merely a matter of words? This is what happens in the world when all these eminent, clever and erudite politicians meet: they have no good will, far from it. They represent their country, which is themselves and you. Like them, we seek power, position and authority. Sir, a man of good will has no authority, he does not belong to any society, he does not belong to organized religion, he does not worship wealth, titles. The man who does not think about himself will obviously create a new world, a new order, and it is towards this man we must look for happiness, for a new state of culture, and not towards the rich, or those who worship riches. Good will, happiness and bliss come only when there is search for the real. The real is near, not far. We are blind, blinded by things, which prevent us from seeing that which is near. Truth is life, truth is in your relationship with your wife, truth is to be found in understanding the falseness of belief. You must begin near to go far. Action must be without motive, without seeking an end; and action which is not seeking an end can come only when there is love. Love is not a difficult thing. There is love only when the brain understands itself, when the thought process, with its cunning manipulations, with its adjustments, with its search for security, comes to an end; then you will find that the heart is rich, full, blissful, for it has discovered that which is eternal.
September 26, 1948
Poona, India, 1948
Poona India 5th Public Talk 26th September, 1948
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