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Krishnamurti on Education

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Krishnamurti on Education Talk to Students Chapter 7 'On Violence'

There is a great deal of violence in the world. There is physical violence and also inward violence. Physical violence is to kill another, to hurt other people consciously, deliberately, or without thought, to say cruel things, full of antagonism and hate; and inwardly, inside the skin, to dislike people, to hate people, to criticize people. Inwardly, we are always quarrelling, battling, not only with others, but with ourselves. We want people to change, we want to force them to our way of thinking.

In the world, as we grow up, we see a great deal of violence, at all levels of human existence. The ultimate violence is war - the killing for ideas, for so called religious principles, for nationalities, the killing to preserve a little piece of land. To do that, man will kill, destroy, maim and also be killed himself. There is enormous violence in the world; the rich wanting to keep people poor and the poor wanting to get rich and in the process hating the rich. And you, being caught in society, are also going to contribute to this.

There is violence between husband, wife and children. There is violence, antagonism, hate, cruelty, ugly criticism, anger - all this is inherent in man, inherent in each human being. It is inherent in you. And education is supposed to help you to go beyond all that, not merely to pass an examination and get a job. You have to be educated so that you become a really beautiful, healthy, sane, rational human being, not a brutal man with a very clever brain who can argue and defend his brutality. You are going to face all this violence as you grow up. You will forget all that you have heard here, and will be caught in the stream of society. You will become like the rest of the cruel, hard, bitter, angry, violent world and you will not help to bring about a new society, a new world.

But a new world is necessary. A new culture is necessary. The old culture is dead, buried, burnt, exploded, vapourized. You have to create a new culture. A new culture cannot be based on violence. The new culture depends on you because the older generation has built a society based on violence, based on aggressiveness and it is this that has caused all the confusion, all the misery. The older generations have produced this world and you have to change it. You cannot just sit back and say, "I will follow the rest of the people and seek success and position." If you do, your children are going to suffer. You may have a good time, but your children are going to pay for it. So, you have to take all that into account, the outward cruelty of man to man in the name of god, in the name of religion, in the name of self-importance, in the name of the security of the family. You will have to consider the outward cruelty and violence, and the inward violence which you do not yet know.

You are still young but as you grow older you will realize how inwardly man goes through hell, goes through great misery, because he is in constant battle with himself, with his wife, with his children, with his neighbours, with his gods. He is in sorrow and confusion and there is no love, no kindliness, no generosity, no charity. And a person may have a Ph.D after his name or he may become a businessman with houses and cars but if he has no love, no affection, kindliness, no consideration, he is really worse than an animal because he contributes to a world that is destructive. So, while you are young, you have to know all these things. You have to be shown all these things. You have to be exposed to all these things so that your mind begins to think. Otherwise you will become like the rest of the world. And without love, without affection, without charity and generosity life becomes a terrible business. That is why one has to look into all these problems of violence. Not to understand violence is to be really ignorant, is to be without intelligence and without culture. Life is something enormous, and merely to carve out a little hole for oneself and remain in that little hole, fighting or everybody, is not to live. It is up to you. From now on you have to know about all these things. You have to choose deliberately to go the way of violence or to stand up against society.

Be free, live happily, joyously, without any antagonism, without any hate. Then life becomes something quite differ- ent. Then life has a meaning, is full of joy and clarity.

When you woke up this morning, did you look out of the window? If you did, you would have seen those hills become saffron as the sun rose against that lovely blue sky. And as the birds began to sing and the early morning cuckoo cooed, there was a deep silence all around, a sense of great beauty and loneliness, and if one is not aware of all that, one might just as well be dead. But only a very few people are aware. You can be aware of it only when your mind and heart are open, when you are not frightened, when you are no longer violent. Then there is joy, there is an extraordinary bliss of which very few people know, and it is part of education to bring about that state in the human mind.

Student: Will complete destruction of society bring about a new culture, Sir?

Krishnamurti: Will complete destruction bring about a new culture? You know there have been revolutions - the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution They destroyed everything to start anew. Have they produce anything new? Every society has three stages or hierarchies the high, the middle, the low; the high being the aristocracy the rich people, the clever people; then the middle class, who are always working, then the labourer. Now each is in battle with the other. The middle wants to get to the top and the bring about a revolution and then when they get to the top they hold on to their positions, their prestige, their welfare, their fortunes, and again the new middle class tries to come to the top. The low trying to reach the middle, and the middle trying to reach the top; this is the battle going on all the time, throughout society and in all cultures. And the middle says: "I am going to get to the top and revolutionize things", and when it gets to the top, you see what it does. It knows how to control people through thought, through torture, through killing, through destruction, through fear.

So, through destruction you can never produce anything. But if you understand the whole process of disorder and destruction, if you study it, not only outwardly but in yourself, then out of that understanding, care, affection, love, out of that comes a totally different order. But if you do not understand, if you merely revolt, it is the same pattern repeated again and again, because we human beings are always the same. You know, it is not like a house that can be pulled down and a new house built. Human beings are not made that way, because human beings are outwardly educated, cultured, clever, but inwardly, they are violent. Unless that animal instinct is fundamentally changed, whatever the outward circumstances are, the inward always overcomes the outer. Education is the change of the inner man.

Student: Sir, you said you must change the world. How can you change it, sir?

Krishnamurti: What is the world? The world is where you live - your family, your friends, your neighbours. And your family, your friends, your neighbours can be extended and that is the world. Now, you are the centre of that world. That is the world you live in. Now how will you change the world? By changing yourself.

Student: Sir, how can you change yourself.

Krishnamurti: How can you do it? First see it. First see that you are the centre of this world. You with your family, are the centre. That is the world and you have to change and you ask, "How am I to change?" How do you change? That is one of the most difficult things - to change - because most of us do not want to change. When you are young, you want to change. You are full of vitality, full of energy, you want to climb trees, you want to look, you are full of curiosity and as you get a little older, go to college, you already begin to settle down. You do not want to change. You say, "For god's sake, leave me alone." Very few people want to change the world and still fewer want to change themselves, because they are the centre of the world in which they live. And to bring about a change requires tremendous understanding. One can change from this to that. But that is not change at all. When people say, "I am changing from this to that", they think they are moving They think they are changing. But in actual fact they have not moved at all. What they have done is projected an idea of what they should be. The idea of what they "should be" is different from "what is". And the change towards "what should be" is they think, a movement. But it is not a movement. They think it is change, but what is change is first to be aware of what actually "is" and to live with it, and then one observes that the "seeing" itself brings about change.

Student: Is there any need for one to be serious?

Krishnamurti: Is there any need for one to be serious? very good question, sir. First of all, what do you mean by serious? Have you ever thought what it means to be serious? Is it the stopping of laughter? To have a smile on your face, would that indicate that you are not serious? To want to look at a tree and see the beauty of a tree, would that be lack of seriousness? To want to know why people look that way, what they wear, why they talk that way, would that be, lack of seriousness? Or would seriousness be always having a long face, always saying: "Am I doing the right thing, am I conforming to a pattern?" I should say that would not be seriousness at all. Trying to meditate is not seriousness, trying to follow the pattern of society is not seriousness - whether it is the pattern of Buddha or Sankara. Merely to conform is never to be serious. That is mere imitation. So you can be serious with a smile on your face, you can be serious when you look at a tree, you can be serious when you paint a picture, when you are listening to music. The quality of seriousness is to pursue to the very end a thought, an idea, a feeling; to go to the very end of it, not to be dissuaded by any other factor; to enquire into every thought to the very end of it whatever may happen to you, even if you have to starve in that process, lose all your property, everything; to go to the very end of thought is to be serious. Have I answered your question, sir?

Student: Yes sir.

Krishnamurti: I am afraid I have not. You have agreed very easily because you have not really understood what I said. Why do you not stop me and say: "Look, I do not understand what you are talking about." That would be straight, that would be serious. If you do not understand something, it does not matter who says it, even god himself, say, "I do not understand what you are talking about, tell me more clearly; that would be serious. But to meekly agree because a man says so, that shows lack of seriousness. Seriousness consists in seeing things clearly, in finding out, in not accepting. But later on when you get married and have children and responsibilities there is a different kind of seriousness. Then you do not want to break the pattern, you want shelter, you want to live in safe enclosure, free of all revolutions.

Student: Why is one seeking to have pleasure and discard pain?

Krishnamurti: You are rather serious this morning, aren't you? Why? Because you think pleasure is more convenient, is it not? Sorrow is painful. The one you want to avoid, and the other you want to cling to. Why? It is a natural instinct to avoid pain, is it not? If I have a toothache, I want to avoid it. I want to go for a walk which is pleasurable. The problem is not pleasure and pain, but the avoidance of one or the other. Life is both pleasure and pain, is it not? Life is both darkness and light. On a day like this, there are clouds and there is the sun shining; then there is winter and spring; they are part of life, part of existence. But why should we avoid one and cling to the other? Why should we cling to pleasure and avoid pain? Why not merely live with both? The moment you want to avoid pain, sorrow, you are going to invent escapes, quote the Buddha, the Gita, go to the cinema or invent beliefs. The problem is not resolved by either sorrow or pleasure. So don't cling to pleasure or escape from pain. If you cling to pleasure what happens? You get attached, do you not? And if anything happens to the person to whom you are attached or to your property or to your opinion, you are lost. So you say there must be detachment. Do not be either attached or detached; just look at the facts, and when you understand the facts, then there is neither pleasure nor pain; there is merely the fact.

Krishnamurti on Education

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Krishnamurti on Education Talk to Students Chapter 7 'On Violence'

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