This book is the outcome of talks and discussions held in India by J.
Krishnamurti with the students and teachers of schools at Rishi Valley School in
Andhra Pradesh and Rajghat School at Varanasi. These centres are run by the
Krishnamurti Foundation India, which was set up to create a milieu where the
teachings of Krishnamurti could be communicated to the child. Krishnamurti
regards education as of prime significance in the communication of that which is
central to the transformation of the human mind and the creation of a new culture.
Such a fundamental transformation takes place when the child, while being
trained in various skills and disciplines, is also given the capacity to be awake to
the processes of his own thinking, feeling and action. This alertness makes him
self-critical and observant and thus establishes an integrity of perception,
discrimination and action, crucial to the maturing within him of a right relationship
to man, to nature and to the tools man creates.
There is a questioning today of the basic postulates of the educational
structure and its various systems in India and in the rest of the world. At all levels
there is a growing realization that the existing models have failed and that there is
a total lack of relevance between the human being and the complex,
contemporary society. The ecological crisis and increasing poverty, hunger and
violence, are forcing man inevitably to face the realities of the human situation. At
a time like this, a completely new approach to the postulates of education is
necessary. Krishnamurti questions the roots of our culture. His challenge is
addressed not only to the structure of education but to the nature and quality of
man’s mind and life. Unlike all other attempts to salvage or suggest alternatives to
the educational system, Krishnamurti’s approach breaks through frontiers of
particular cultures and establishes an entirely new set of values, which in turn can
create a new civilization and a new society. 4
To Krishnamurti a new mind is only possible when the religious spirit and the
scientific attitude form part of the same movement of consciousness – a state
where the scientific attitude and the religious spirit are not two parallel processes
or capacities of the mind. They do not exist in watertight compartments as two
separate movements that have to be fused but are a new movement inherent in
intelligence and in the creative mind.
Krishnamurti talks of two instruments available to the human being – the
instrument of knowledge which enables him to gain mastery over technical skills,
and intelligence which is born of observation and self-knowing.
While Krishnamurti gives emphasis to the cultivation of the intellect, the
necessity to have a sharp, clear, analytical and precise mind, he lays far greater
stress on a heightened critical awareness of the inner and outer world, a refusal
to accept authority at any level and a harmonious balance of intellect and
sensitivity. To discover the areas where knowledge and technical skills are
necessary and where they are irrelevant and even harmful, is to Krishnamurti one
of the fundamental tasks of education, because it is only when the mind learns
the significance of the existence of areas where knowledge is irrelevant that a
totally new dimension is realized, new energies generated and the unused
potentialities of the human mind activated.
One of the unsolved problems and challenges to educationists all over the
world is the problem of freedom and order. How is a child, a student, to grow in
freedom and at the same time develop a deep sense of inner order. Order is the
very root of freedom. Freedom, to Krishnamurti, has no terminal point but is
renewed from moment to moment in the very act of living. In these pages, one
can get a glimpse, a feel, of this quality of freedom of which order is an inherent
The years which a student spends in a school must leave behind in him a
fragrance and delight. This can only happen when there is no competition, no 5
authority, when teaching and learning is a simultaneous process in the present,
where the educator and the educated are both participating in the act of learning.
Unlike the communication of the religious spirit by various sects and religious
groups, Krishnamurti’s approach is in a sense truly secular and yet has a deeply
religious dimension. There is a departure in Krishnamurti’s teachings from the
traditional approach of the relationship between the teacher and the taught, the
guru and the shishya. The traditional approach is basically hierarchical; there is
the teacher who knows and the student who does not know and has to be taught.
To Krishnamurti, the teacher and the student function at the same level –
communicating through questioning and counter-questioning till the depths of the
problem are exposed and understanding is revealed, illuminating the mind of
The Krishnamurti Foundation India feels deeply privileged for being able to
offer this book to the student and the educator.
The Editors 6
– Talks to Students –
Chapter 1 On Education
You know, you live in one of the most beautiful valleys I have seen. It has a
special atmosphere. Have you noticed, especially in the evenings and early
mornings, a quality of silence which permeates, which penetrates the valley?
There are around here, I believe, the most ancient hills in the world and man has
not spoilt them yet; and wherever you go, in cities or in other places, man is
destroying nature, cutting down trees to build more houses, polluting the air with
cars and industry. Man is destroying animals; there are vert few tigers left. Man is
destroying everything because more and more people are born and they must
have more space. Gradually, man is spreading destruction all over the world. And
when one comes to a valley like this – where there are very few people, where
nature is still not spoilt, where there is still silence, quietness, beauty – one is
really astonished. Every time one comes here one feels the strangeness of this
land, but probably you have become used to it. You do not look at the hills any
more, you do not listen to the birds any more and to the wind among the leaves.
So you have gradually become indifferent.
Education is not only learning from books, memorizing some facts, but also
learning how to look, how to listen to what the books are saying, whether they are
saying something true or false. All that is part of education. Education is not just
to pass examinations, take a degree and a job, get married and settle down, but
also to be able to listen to the birds, to see the sky, to see the extraordinary
beauty of a tree, and the shape of the hills, and to feel with them, to be really,
directly in touch with them. As you grow older, that sense of listening, seeing,
unfortunately disappears because you have worries, you want more money, a
better car, more children or less children. You become jealous, ambitious,
greedy, envious; so you lose the sense of the beauty of the earth. You know what
is happening in the world. You must be studying current events. There are wars, 7
revolts, nation divided against nation. In this country too there is division,
separation, more and more people being born, poverty, squalor and complete
callousness. Man does not care what happens to another so long as he is
perfectly safe. And you are being educated to fit into all this. Do you know the
world is mad, that all this is madness – this fighting, quarrelling, bullying, tearing at
each other? And you will grow up to fit into this. Is this right, is this what education
is meant for, that you should willingly or unwillingly fit into this mad structure
called society? And do you know what is happening to religions throughout the
world? Here also man is disintegrating, nobody believes in anything any more.
Man has no faith and religions are merely the result of a vast propaganda.
Since you are young, fresh, innocent, can you look at all the beauty of the
earth, have the quality of affection? And can you retain that? For if you do not, as
you grow up, you will conform, because that is the easiest way to live. As you
grow up, a few of you will revolt, but that revolt too will not answer the problem.
Some of you will try to run away from society, but that running away will have no
meaning. You have to change society, but not by killing people. Society is you
and I. You and I create the society in which we live. So you have to change. You
cannot fit into this monstrous society. So what are you going to do?
And you, living in this extraordinary valley, are you going to be thrown into this
world of strife, confusion, war, hatred? Are you going to conform, fit in, accept all
the old values? You know what these values are – money, position, prestige,
power. That is all man wants and society wants you to fit into that pattern of
values. But if you now begin to think, to observe, to learn, not from books, but
learn for yourself by watching, listening to everything that is happening around
you, you will grow up to be a different human being – one who cares, who has
affection, who loves people. Perhaps if you live that way, you might find a truly
religious life. 8
So look at nature, at the tamarind tree, the mango trees in bloom, and listen to
the birds early in the morning and late in the evening. See the clear sky, the stars,
how marvellously the sun sets behind those hills. See all, the colours, the light on
the leaves, the beauty of the land, the rich earth. Then having seen that and seen
also what the world is, with all its brutality, violence, ugliness, what are you going
Do you know what it means to attend, to pay attention? When you pay
attention, you see things much more clearly. You hear the bird singing much
more distinctly. You differentiate between various sounds. When you look at a
tree with a great deal of attention, you see the whole beauty of the tree. You see
the leaves, the branch, you see the wind playing with it. When you pay attention,
you see extraordinarily clearly. Have you ever done it? Attention is something
different from concentration. When you concentrate, you don’t see everything. But
when you are paying attention, you see a great deal. Now, pay attention. Look at
that tree and see the shadows, the slight breeze among the leaves. See the
shape of the tree. See the proportion of the tree in relation to other trees. See the
quality of light that penetrates through the leaves, the light on the branches and
the trunk. See the totality of the tree. Look at it that way, because I am going to
talk about something to which you have to pay attention. Attention is very
important, in the class, as well as when you are outside, when you are eating,
when you are walking. Attention is an extraordinary thing.
I am going to ask you something. Why are you being educated? Do you
understand my question? Your parents send you to school. You attend classes,
you learn mathematics, you learn geography, you learn history. Why? Have you
ever asked why you want to be educated, what is the point of being educated?
What is the point of your passing examinations and getting degrees? Is it to get
married, get a job and settle down in life as millions and millions of people do? Is
that what you are going to do, is that the meaning of education? Do you
understand what I am talking about? This is really a very serious question. The 9
whole world is questioning the basis of education. We see what education has
been used for. Human beings throughout the world – whether in Russia or in
China or in America or in Europe or in this country – are being educated to
conform, to fit into society and into their culture, to fit into the stream of social and
economic activity, to be sucked into that vast stream that has been flowing for
thousands of years. Is that education, or is education something entirely
different? Can education see to it that the human mind is not drawn into that vast
stream and so destroyed; see that the mind is never sucked into that stream; so
that, with such a mind, you can be an entirely different human being with a
different quality to life? Are you going to be educated that way? Or are you going
to allow your parents, society, to dictate to you so that you become pad of the
stream of society? Real education means that a human mind, your mind, not only
is capable of being excellent in mathematics, geography and history, but also can
never, under any circumstances, be drawn into the stream of society. Because
that stream which we call living, is very corrupt, is immoral, is violent, is greedy.
That stream is our culture. So, the question is how to bring about the right kind of
education so that the mind can withstand all temptations, all influences, the
bestiality of this civilization and this culture. We have come to a point in history
where we have to create a new culture, a totally different kind of existence, not
based on consumerism and industrialization, but a culture based upon a real
quality of religion. Now how does one bring about, through education, a mind that
is entirely different, a mind that is not greedy, not envious? How does one create
a mind that is not ambitious, that is extraordinarily active, efficient; that has a real
perception of what is true in daily life which is after all religion.
Now, let us find out what is the real meaning and intention of education. Can
your mind, which has been conditioned by society, the culture in which you have
lived, be transformed through education so that you will never under any
circumstances enter the stream of society? Is it possible to educate you
differently? `Educate’ in the real sense of that word; not to transmit from the 10
teachers to the students some information about mathematics or history or
geography, but in the very instruction of these subjects to bring about a change in
your mind. Which means that you have to be extraordinarily critical. You have to
learn never to accept anything which you yourself do not see clearly, never to
repeat what another has said.
I think you should put these questions to yourself, not occasionally, but every
day. Find out. Listen to everything, to the birds, to that cow calling. Learn about
everything in yourself, because if you learn from yourself about yourself, then you
will not be a secondhand human being. So you should, if I may suggest, from
now on, find out how to live entirely differently and that is going to be difficult, for I
am afraid most of us like to find an easy way of living. We like to repeat and what
other people say, what other people do, because it is the easiest way to live – to
conform to the old pattern or to a new pattern. We have to find out what it means
never to conform and what it means to live without fear. This is your life, and
nobody is going to teach you, no book, no guru. You have to earn from yourself,
not from books. There is a great deal to learn about yourself. It is an endless
thing, it is a fascinating thing, and when you learn about yourself from ourself, out
of that learning wisdom comes. Then you can live a most extraordinary, happy,
beautiful life. Right? Now, will you ask me questions?
Student: The world is full of callous people, indifferent people, cruel people,
and how can you change those people?
Krishnamurti: The world is full of callous people, indifferent people, cruel
people, and how can you change those people? Is that it? Why do you bother
about changing others? Change yourself. Otherwise as you grow up you will also
become callous. You will also become indifferent. You will also become cruel.
The past generation is vanishing, it is going, and you are coming, and if you also
prove callous, indifferent, cruel, you will also build the same society. What
matters is that you change, that you are not callous, that you are not indifferent. 11
When you say all this is the business of the older generation, have you seen
them, have you watched them, have you felt for them? If you have, you will do
something. Change yourself and test it by action. Such action is one of the most
extraordinary things. But we want to change everybody except ourselves, which
means, really, we do not want to change, we want others to change, and so we
remain callous, indiffer- ent, cruel, hoping the environment will change so that we
can continue in our own way. You understand what I am talking about?
Student: You ask us to change, what do we change into?
Krishnamurti: You ask us to change, what is it we change into? You cannot
change into a monkey, probably you would like to, but you cannot. Now when you
say, «I want to change into something» – listen to this carefully – if you say to
yourself, «I must change, I must change myself into something», the «into
something» is a pattern which you have created, haven’t you? Do you see that?
Look, you are violent or greedy and you want to change yourself into a person
who is not greedy. Not wanting to be greedy is another form of greed, isn’t it? Do
you see that? But if you say, «I am greedy, I will find out what it means, why I am
greedy, what is involved in it», then, when you understand greed, you will be free
of greed. Do you understand what I am talking about?
Let me explain. I am greedy and I struggle, fight, make tremendous efforts not
to be greedy. I have already an idea, a picture, an image of what it means not to
be greedy. So I am conforming to an idea which I think is non-greed. You
understand? Whereas if I look at my greed, if I understand why I am greedy, the
nature of my greed, the structure of greed, then, when I begin to understand all
that, I am free of greed. Therefore, freedom from greed is something entirely
different from trying to become non-greedy. Do you see the difference? Freedom
from greed is something which is entirely different from saying, «I must be a great
man so I must be non-greedy?» Have you understood? I was thinking last night,
that I have been to this valley, off and on, for about forty years. People have 12
come and gone. Trees have died and new trees have grown. Different children
have come, passed through his school, have become engineers, housewives and
disappeared altogether into the masses. I meet them occasionally, at an airport or
at a meeting, very ordinary people. And if you are not very careful, you are also
going to end up that way.
Student: What do you mean by ordinary?
Krishnamurti: To be like the rest of men; with their worries, with their
corruption, violence, brutality, indifference, callousness. To want a job, to want to
hold on to a job, whether you are efficient or not, to die in the job. That is what is
called ordinary – to have nothing new, nothing fresh, no joy in life, never to be
curious, intense, passionate, never to find out, but merely to conform. That is
what I mean by ordinary. It is called being bourgeois. It is a mechanical way of
living, a routine, a boredom.
Student: How can we get rid of being ordinary?
Krishnamurti: How can you get rid of being ordinary? Do not be ordinary. You
cannot get rid of it. Just do not be it.
Student: How, Sir?
Krishnamurti: There is no «how». You see that is one of the most destructive
questions: «Tell me how»? Man has always been saying, throughout the world,
«Tell me how». If you see a snake, a poisonous cobra, you do not say, «Please tell
me how to run away from it». You run away from it. So in the same way, if you
see that you are ordinary, run, leave it, not tomorrow, but instantly. Since you will
not ask any more questions. I am going to propose something. You know people
talk a great deal about meditation, don’t they?
Student: They do. 13
Krishnamurti: You know nothing about it. I am glad. Because you know
nothing about it, you can learn about it. It is like not knowing French or Latin or
Italian. Because you do not know, you can learn, you can learn as though for the
first time. Those people who already know what meditation is, they have to
unlearn and then learn. You see the difference? Since you do not know what
meditation is, let us learn about it. To learn about meditation, you have to see
how your mind is working. You have to watch, as you watch a lizard going by,
walking across the wall. You see all its four feet, how it sticks to the wall, and as
you watch, you see all the movements. In the same way, watch your thinking. Do
not correct it. Do not suppress it. Do not say, «All this is too difficult». Just watch;
now, this morning.
First of all sit absolutely still. Sit comfortably, cross your legs, sit absolutely
still, close your eyes, and see if you can keep your eyes from moving. You
understand? Your eye balls are apt to move, keep them completely quiet, for fun.
Then, as you sit very quietly, find out what your thought is doing. Watch it as you
watched the lizard. Watch thought, the way it runs, one thought after another. So
you begin to learn, to observe.
Are you watching your thoughts – how one thought pursues another thought,
thought saying, «This is a good thought, this is a bad thought»? When you go to
bed at night, and when you walk, watch your thought. Just watch thought, do not
correct it, and then you will learn the beginning of meditation. Now sit very quietly.
Shut your eyes and see that the eyeballs do not move at all. Then watch your
thoughts so that you learn. Once you begin to learn there is no end to learning. 14
Talk To Students
Chapter 2 On The Religious Mind And The Scientific
Early this morning I saw a beautiful bird, a black bird with a red neck. I do not
know what the bird is called. It was flying from tree to tree and there was a song
in its heart, and it was a lovely thing to behold. I would like this morning to talk to
you of a rather serious matter. You should listen carefully and if you want to,
perhaps later on, you may be able to discuss it with your teachers. I want to talk
about something which concerns the whole world, about which the whole world is
disturbed. It is the question of the religious spirit and the scientific mind. There
are these two attitudes in the world. These are the only two states of mind that
are of value, the true religious spirit and the true scientific mind. Every other
activity is destructive, leading to a great deal of misery, confusion and sorrow.
The scientific mind is very factual. Discovery is its mission, its perception. It
sees things through a microscope, through a telescope; everything is to be seen
actually as it is; from that perception, science draws conclusions, builds up
theories. Such a mind moves from fact to fact. The spirit of science has nothing to
do with individual conditions, with nationalism, with race, with prejudice. Scientists
are there to explore matter, to investigate the structure of the earth and of the
stars and the planets, to find out how to cure man’s diseases, how to prolong
man’s life, to explain time, both the past and the future. But the scientific mind
and its discoveries are used and exploited by the nationalistic mind, by the mind
that is India, by the mind that is Russia, by the mind that is America. Scientific
discovery is utilized and exploited by sovereign states and continents.
Then there is the religious mind, the true religious mind that does not belong
to any cult, to any group, to any religion, to any organized church. The religious 15
mind is not the Hindu mind, the Christian mind, the Buddhist mind, or the Muslim
mind. The religious mind does not belong to any group which calls itself religious.
The religious mind is not the mind that goes to churches, temples, mosques. Nor
is it a religious mind that holds to certain forms of beliefs, dogmas. The religious
mind is completely alone. It is a mind that has seen through the falsity of
churches, dogmas, beliefs, traditions. Not being nationalistic, not being
conditioned by its environment, such a mind has no horizons, no limits. It is
explosive, new, young, fresh, innocent. The innocent mind, the young mind, the
mind that is extraordinarily pliable, subtle, has no anchor. It is only such a mind
that can experience that which you call God, that which is not measurable.
A human being is a true human being when the scientific spirit and the true
religious spirit go together. Then human beings will create a good world – not the
world of the communist or the capitalist, of Brahmins, or of Roman Catholics. In
fact the true Brahmin is the person who does not belong to any religious creed,
has no class, no authority; no position in society. He is the true Brahmin, the new
human being, who combines both the scientific and the religious mind, and
therefore is harmonious without any contradiction within himself. And I think the
purpose of education is to create this new mind, which is explosive, and does not
conform to a pattern which society has set.
A religious mind is a creative mind. It has not only to finish with the past but
also to explode in the present. And this mind – not the interpreting mind of books,
of the Gita, the Upanishads, the Bible – which is capable of investigating, is also
capable of creating an explosive reality. There is no interpretation here nor
It is extraordinarily difficult to be religious and to have a clear and precise,
scientific mind, to have a mind that is not afraid, that is unconcerned with its own
security, its own fears. You cannot have a religious mind without knowing
yourself, without knowing all about yourself – your body, your mind, your 16
emotions, how the mind works, how thought functions. And to go beyond all that,
to uncover all that, you must approach it with a scientific mind which is precise,
clear, un-prejudiced, which does not condemn, which observes, which sees.
When you have such a mind you are really a cultured human being, a human
being who knows compassion. Such a human being knows what it is to be alive.
How does one bring this about? For it is imperative to help the student to be
scientific, to think very clearly, precisely, to be sharp, as well as to help him
uncover the depths of his mind, to go beyond words, his various labels as the
Hindu, Muslim, Christian. Is it possible to educate the student to go beyond all
labels and find out, experience that something which is not measured by the
mind, which no books contain, to which no guru can lead you? If such an
education is possible in a school like this, it will be remarkable. You must all see
that it is worthwhile to create such a school. That is what the teachers and I have
been discussing for some days. We have talked of a great many things – about
authority, about discipline, how to teach, what to teach, what listening is, what
education is, what culture is, how to sit still. Merely to pay attention to dance, to
song, to arithmetic, to lessons, is not the whole of life. It is also part of life to sit
still and look at yourself, to have insight, to see. It is also necessary to observe
how to think, what to think and why you are thinking. It is also part of life to look at
birds, to watch the village people, their squalor – which each one of us has
brought about, which society maintains. All this is part of education. 17
Talk To Students
Chapter 3 On Knowledge And Intelligence
You are here to gather knowledge – historical, biological, linguistic,
mathematical, scientific, geographical, and so on. Apart from the knowledge that
you acquire here, there is collective knowledge, the knowledge of the race, of
your grandfathers, of your past generations. They all had a great many
experiences, a great many things happened to them, and their collective
experience has become knowledge. Then there is the knowledge of your own
personal experiences, your own reactions, impressions, your own tendencies and
inclinations, which have assumed their own peculiar forms. So there is scientific,
biological, mathematical, physical, geographical, historical knowledge; there is
also the collective knowledge of the past which is the tradition of the community,
the race; then there is the personal knowledge which you yourself have
experienced. There are these three kinds of knowledge – scientific, collective,
personal. Do they collectively make for intelligence?
Now what is knowledge? is knowledge related to intelligence? Intelligence
uses knowledge, intelligence being the capacity to think clearly, objectively,
sanely, healthily. Intelligence is a state in which there is no personal emotion
involved, no personal opinion, prejudice or inclination. Intelligence is the capacity
for direct understanding. I am afraid this is rather difficult, but it is important, it is
good for you to exercise your brain. So there is knowledge, which is the past
continually being added to, and there is intelligence. Intelligence is the quality of
the mind that is very sensitive, very alert, very aware. Intelligence does not hold
on to any particular judgement or evaluation, but is capable of thinking very
clearly, objectively. Intelligence has no involvement. Are you following? Now, how
is this intelligence to be cultivated? What is the capacity of this intelligence? You
are living here, being educated in all the various disciplines, in various branches 18
of knowledge. Are you also being educated so that intelligence comes into being
at the same time? Do you see the point? You may have a very good knowledge
of mathematics or engineering. You may take a degree, enter a college and be a
first class engineer. But at the same time, are you becoming sensitive, alert? Are
you thinking objectively, clearly, with intelligence, understanding? Is there a
harmony between knowledge and intelligence, a balance between the two? You
cannot think clearly if you are prejudiced, if you have opinions. You cannot think
clearly if you are not sensitive; sensitive to nature, sensitive to all the things that
are happening around you, sensitive not only to what is happening outside you
but also inside you. If you are not sensitive, if you are not aware, you cannot think
clearly. Intelligence implies that you see the beauty of the earth, the beauty of the
trees, the beauty of the skies, the lovely sunset, the stars, the beauty of subtlety.
Now, is this intelligence being gathered by you here in this school? Are you
gathering it or only gathering knowledge through books? If you have no
intelligence, no sensitivity, then knowledge can become very dangerous. It can be
used for destructive purposes. This is what the whole world is doing. Have you
the intelligence that questions, tries to find out? What are the teachers and you
doing to bring about this quality of intelligence, which sees the beauty of the land,
the dirt, the squalor, and is also aware of the inner happenings, how one thinks,
how one observes the subtlety of thought? Are you doing all this? If not, what is
the point of your being educated?
Now what is the function of an educator? Is it merely to give you information,
knowledge, or is it to bring about this intelligence in you? If I were a teacher here,
do you know what I would do? First of all, I would want you to question me about
everything – not about knowledge, that is very simple, but to question me about
how to look, how to look at these hills, to look at that tamarind tree, how to listen
to a bird, how to follow a stream. I would help you to look at the marvellous earth
and nature, the beauty of the land, the redness of the soil. Then I would say, look
at the peasants, the villagers. Look at them, do not criticize, just look at their 19
squalor, their poverty, not the way you look at them at pre- sent, with utter
indifference. There are those huts there, have you been there? Have the teachers
been down there and looked at those huts, and if they all have, what have they
done? So I will make you look, which is to make you sensitive, and you cannot be
sensitive if you are careless, indifferent to everything that is happening around
you. Then I would say, «To be intelligent, you must know what you are doing, the
way you walk, the way you talk, the way you eat.» You understand? I would talk to
you about your food. I would say, «Look, discuss, do not be afraid to ask any
questions, find out, learn», and in your classes I would discuss a subject with you,
how to read, how to learn, what it means to pay attention. If you say you want to
look out of the window, I would say look out of the window, see everything that
you want to see out of the window, and after you have seen it, look at your book
with equal interest and pleasure. Then I would say, «Through books, through
discussions I have helped you to be intelligent; let me help you to find out how to
live in this world sanely, healthily, not half asleep.» That is the function of a
teacher, of an educator, not just to give you a lot of data, knowledge, but to show
you the whole expanse of life, the beauty of it, the ugliness of it, the delight, the
joy, the fear, the agony. So that when you leave this place, you are a tremendous
human being who can use your intelligence in life, not just a thoughtless,
destructive, callous human being.
Now you have listened, the teachers, the principal and students, you have all
listened. What are you going to do about it? You know, it is as much your
responsibility, as students, as it is the responsibility of the teachers. It is the
respon- sibility of the students to demand, to ask, not just to say «I will sit down,
teach me». It means that you must be tremendously intelligent, sensitive, alive,
unprejudiced. It is also essential for the teacher to see that you are intelligent so
that when you leave Rishi Valley you leave with a smile, with glory in your heart,
so that you are sensitive, ready to cry, to laugh. 20
Student: If you are very sensitive, do you not think you are apt to become
Krishnamurti: What is wrong with being emotional? When I see those poor
people living in poverty, I feel very strongly. Is that wrong? There is nothing wrong
in feeling emotion when you see the squalor, the dirt, the poverty around you. But
you also feel strongly if another says something ugly about you. When this
happens what will you do? Because of your emotion will you hit back at him? Or
because you are sensitive, emotional, will you be aware of what you are going to
do? If there is an interval before your response and you observe, are sensitive to
it, then in that interval intelligence comes in. Allow that interval; in it begin to
watch. If you are tremendously aware of the problem there is instant action and
that instant action is the right action of intelligence.
Student: Why are we conditioned?
Krishnamurti: Why do you think we are conditioned? It is very simple. You
have asked the question. Now, exercise your brain. Find out why you are
conditioned. You are born in this country, you live in an environment, in a culture,
you grow into a young child, and then what takes place? Watch the babies
around you. Watch the mothers, the fathers, if they are Hindus or Muslims or
communists or capitalists; they say to the child, «Do this, do that». The child sees
the grandmother going to a temple, preforming rituals, and the child gradually
accepts all that. Or the parents may say «I don’t believe in rituals» and the child
also accepts that. The simple fact is that the mind, the brain of the child is like
putty or clay and on that putty, impressions are made, like the grooves in a
record. Everything is registered. So in a child everything is registered consciously
or unconsciously, until gradually he becomes a Hindu, Muslim, Catholic or a non-
believer. He then makes divisions – as my belief, your belief, my god, your god,
my country, your country. You have been conditioned to make tremendous effort; 21
you have to make an effort to study, to pass an examination, you have to make
an effort to be good.
So, the question is how is the mind, which is conditioned, to unravel itself, to
get out of conditioning? How do you propose to get out of it? Now exercise your
intelligence to find out. Do not follow somebody who says, «Do this and you will
get unconditioned; find out how you will uncondition yourself. Come on, answer
me, tell me, discuss with me.
Student: Can you tell us how to uncondition ourselves?
Krishnamurti: To fall into the trap of another conditioning, is that it? First of all,
do you know that you are conditioned? How do you know? Is it only because
somebody has told you that you are conditioned that you know? Do you see the
difference? That is, somebody tells you that you are hungry, that is one thing, and
to know for yourself that you are hungry is altogether different. These two
statements are different, aren’t they? In the same way, do you know for yourself
without somebody telling you that you are conditioned, as a Hindu, a Muslim? Do
you know it for yourself?
Now I will ask you a question and see whether there is a gap before you
answer it. Right? Now observe, think very clearly, unemotionally, without any
prejudice. My question is, are you aware that you are conditioned without being
told? Are you aware? It is not so very difficult.
Do you know what it means to be aware? When there is a pain in the thumb,
you are aware there is pain, nobody tells you there is pain. You know it. Now, in
the same way do you know that you are conditioned, conditioned into thinking
that you are a Hindu, that you believe in this, that you do not believe in that, that
you must go to a temple, that you must not go to a temple? Are you aware of it?
Student: Yes. 22
Krishnamurti: You are? Now that you are aware that you are conditioned, what
Student: I will then see whether I want to be unconditioned.
Krishnamurti: You are conditioned and you become aware, then what takes
place? Then I ask, what is wrong with being conditioned? Now I am conditioned
as a Muslim and you are conditioned as a Hindu, right? What takes place? We
may live in the same street, but because of my conditioning, my belief, my
dogma, and you with your belief, with your dogma, though we may meet in the
same street, we are separate, aren’t we? So where there is separation there must
be conflict. Where there are political, economic, social, nationalistic divisions,
there must be conflict. So conditioning is the factor of division. Therefore, in order
to live peacefully in this world, let us be free of conditioning, cease to be Muslim
or Hindu. This is the factor of intelligence; becoming aware that one is
conditioned, then seeing the effect of that conditioning in the world, the divisions,
nationalistic, linguistic and so on, and seeing that where there is division there is
conflict. When you see this, when you are aware that you are conditioned, that is
the operation of intelligence.
That is enough for the day. Do you want to ask more questions?
Student: How can one be free from prejudice?
Krishnamurti: When you say, «how», what do you mean by that word? How am
I to get up from this place? All that I have to do is to get up. I never ask how I am
to get up? Use your intelligence. Do not be prejudiced. First be aware that you
are prejudiced. Do not be told by others that you are prejudiced. They are
prejudiced, so do not bother what other people say about your prejudices. First
be aware that you are prejudiced. You see what prejudice does – it divides
people. Therefore you see that there must be intelligent action, which is that the
mind must be capable of being free from prejudice, not ask «how» which means a 23
system, a method. Find out whether your mind can be free from prejudice. See
what is involved in it. Why are you prejudiced? Because part of your conditioning
is to be prejudiced, and in prejudice there is a great deal of comfort, a great deal
of pleasure. So first become aware, become aware of the beauty of the land,
become aware of the trees, the colour, the shades, the depth of light, and the
beauty of the moving trees, and watch the birds, be aware of all that is around
you; then gradually move in, find out, be aware of yourself, be aware how you
react in your relationships with your friends – all that brings intelligence. Is that
enough for this morning? Then we will do something else.
First of all sit completely quiet, comfortably, sit very quietly, relax, I will show
you. Now, look at the trees, at the hills, the shape of the hills, look at them, look at
the quality of their colour, watch them. Do not listen to me. Watch and see those
trees, the yellowing trees, the tamarind, and then look at the bougainvillaea. Look
not with your mind but with your eyes. After having looked at all the colours, the
shape of the land, of the hills, the rocks, the shadow, then go from the outside to
the inside and close your eyes, close your eyes completely. You have finished
looking at the things outside, and now with your eyes closed you can look at what
is happening inside. Watch what is happening inside you, do not think, but just
watch, do not move your eyeballs, just keep them very, very quiet, because there
is nothing to see now, you have seen all the things around you, now you are
seeing what is happening inside your mind, and to see what is happening inside
your mind, you have to be very quiet inside. And when you do this, do you know
what happens to you? You become very sensitive, you become very alert to
things outside and inside. Then you find out that the outside is the inside, then
you find out that the observer is the observed. 24
Talk To Students
Chapter 4 On Freedom And Order
It is a lovely morning, isn’t it? Cool, fresh, and there is dew on the grass and
the birds are singing. I hope you enjoyed this morning, as much as I did, looking
out of the window, at the cloudless blue sky, the clear shadows, and the sparkling
air and all the birds, the trees, and the earth shouting with joy. I hope you
I would like, this morning, to talk about something that we all must understand.
To understand something, one has to listen, as you would listen to those birds. If
you would hear that clear call, the song of the bird, you must listen very closely,
very attentively, you must follow each note, follow each movement of the sound,
see how deeply it goes and how far it reaches. And if you know how to listen, you
learn a great deal; to listen is more important than anything else in life. To know
how to listen, you have to be very attentive. If your mind, if your thoughts, if your
heart is thinking about other things, feeling other things, you cannot listen to the
birds. To listen, you have to give your whole attention. When you are watching a
bird and are looking at the feathers, the colours, the beak, the size and the lovely
shape of the bird, then you are giving your heart, your mind and body, everything
that you have, to watch it. And then you are really part of that bird. You really
enjoy it. So, in the same way, this morning, please listen, not that you must agree
or disagree with what we are talking about, but just listen.
Have you ever sat on the banks of a river and watched the water go by? You
cannot do anything about the water. There is the clear water, the dead leaves,
the branches. You see a dead animal go by, and you are watching all that. You
see the movement of the water, the clarity of the water, the swift current of the
water and the fullness of the water. But you cannot do anything. You watch and 25
you let the water flow by. So in the same way listen to what I want to talk about
Freedom does not exist without order. The two go together. If you cannot have
order, you cannot have freedom. The two are inseparable. If you say: «I will do
what I like. I will turn up for my meals when I like; I will come to the class when I
like» – you create disorder. You have to take into consideration what other people
want. To run things smoothly, you have to come on time. If I had come ten
minutes late this morning I would have kept you waiting. So I have to have
consideration. I have to think of others. I have to be polite, considerate, be
concerned about other people. Out of that consideration, out of that
thoughtfulness, out of that watchfulness, both outward and inward, comes order
and with that order there comes freedom.
You know, soldiers all over the world are drilled every day, they are told what
to do, to walk in line. They obey orders implicitly without thinking. Do you know
what that does to man? When you are told what to do, what to think, to obey, to
follow, do you know what it does to you? Your mind becomes dull, it loses its
initiative, its quickness. This external, outward imposition of discipline makes the
mind stupid, it makes you conform, it makes you imitate. But if you discipline
yourself by watching, listening, being considerate, being very thoughtful – out of
that watchfulness, that listening, that consideration for others, comes order.
Where there is order, there is always freedom. If you are shouting, talking, you
cannot hear what others have to say. You can only hear clearly when you sit
quietly, when you give your attention.
Nor can you have order, if you are not free to watch, if you are not free to
listen, if you are not free to be considerate. This problem of freedom and order is
one of the most difficult and urgent problems in life. It is a very complex problem.
It needs to be thought over much more than mathematics, geography or history. If
you are not really free, you can never blossom, you can never be good, there can 26
be no beauty. If the bird is not free, it cannot fly. If the seed is not free to blossom,
to push out of the earth, it cannot live. Everything must have freedom, including
man. Human beings are frightened of freedom. They do not want freedom. Birds,
rivers, trees, all demand freedom and man must demand it too, not in half
measures, but completely. Freedom liberty, the independence to express what
one thinks, to do what one wants to do, is one of the most important things in life.
To be really free from anger, jealousy, brutality, cruelty; to be really free within
oneself, is one of the most difficult and dangerous things.
You cannot have freedom merely for the asking. You cannot say, «I will be free
to do what I like.» Because there are other people also wanting to be free, also
wanting to express what they feel, also wanting to do what they wish. Everybody
wants to be free, and yet they want to express themselves – their anger, their
brutality, their ambition their competitiveness and so on. So there is always
conflict. I want to do something and you want to do something and so we fight.
Freedom is not doing what one wants, because man cannot live by himself. Even
the monk, even the sannyasi is not free to do what he wants, because he has to
struggle for what he wants, to fight with himself, to argue within himself. And it
requires enormous intelligence, sensitivity, understanding to be free. And yet it is
absolutely necessary that every human being, whatever his culture, be free. So
you see, freedom cannot exist without order.
Student: Do you mean that to be free there should be no discipline?
Krishnamurti: I carefully explained that you cannot have freedom without order
and order is discipline. I do not like to use that word «discipline» because it is
laden with all kinds of meaning. Discipline means conformity, imitation,
obedience; it means to do what you are told; doesn’t it? But, if you want to be free
– and human beings must be completely free, otherwise they cannot flower,
otherwise they cannot be real human beings – you have to find out for yourself
what it is to be orderly, what it is to be punctual, kind, generous, unafraid. The 27
discovery of all that is discipline. This brings about order. To find out you have to
examine and to examine you must be free. If you are considerate, if you are
watching, if you are listening, then, because you are free, you will be punctual,
you will come to the class regularly, you will study, you will be so alive that you
will want to do things rightly.
Student: You say that freedom is very dangerous to man. Why is it so?
Krishnamurti: Why is freedom dangerous? You know what society is?
Student: It is a big group of people which tells you what to do and what not to
Krishnamurti: It is a big group of people which tells you what to do and what
not to do. It is also the culture, the customs, the habits of a certain community;
the social, moral, ethical, religious structure in which man lives, that is generally
called society. Now, if each individual in that society did what he liked, he would
be a danger to that society. If you did what you liked here in the school, what
would happen? You would be a danger to the rest of the school. Wouldn’t you?
So people do not genteelly want others to be free. A man who is really free, not in
ideas, but inwardly free from greed, ambition, envy, cruelty, is considered a
danger to people, because he is entirely different from the ordinary man. So,
society either worships him or kills him or is indifferent to him.
Student: You said that we must have freedom and order but how are we to get
Krishnamurti: First of all, you cannot depend on others; you cannot expect
somebody to give you freedom and order whether it is your father, your mother,
your husband, your teacher. You have to bring it about in yourself. This is the first
thing to realize, that you cannot ask anything from another, except food, clothes
and shelter. You cannot possibly ask, or look to anyone, your gurus or your gods.
Nobody can give you freedom and order. So, you have to find out how to bring 28
about order in yourself. That is, you have to watch and find out for yourself what it
means to bring about virtue in yourself. Do you know what virtue is – to be moral,
to be good? Virtue is order. So, you have to find out in yourself how to be good,
how to be kind, how to be considerate. And out of that consideration, out of that
watching, you bring about order and therefore freedom. You depend on others to
tell you what you should do, that you should not look out of the window, that you
should be punctual, that you should be kind. But if you were to say: «I will look out
of the window when I want to look but when I study I am going to look at the
book,» you bring order within yourself without being told by others.
Student: What does one gain by being free?
Krishnamurti: Nothing. When you talk about what one gains, you are really
thinking in terms of merchandise. Are you not? I will do this and in return for it,
please give me something. I am kind to you because it is profitable for me. But
that is not kindliness. So as long as we are thinking in terms of gaining
something, there is no freedom. If you say, «If I get freedom, I will be able to do
this and that,» then it is not freedom. So do not think in terms of utility. As long as
we are thinking in terms of using, there is no question of freedom at all. Freedom
can only exist when there is no motive. You do not love somebody because he
gives you food, or clothes or shelter. Then it is not love.
Do you ever walk by yourself Or do you always go with others? If you go out
by yourself sometimes, not too far away because you are very young, then you
will get to know yourself, what you think, what you feel, what is virtue, what you
want to be. Find out. And you cannot find out about yourself if you are always
talking, going about with your friends, with half a dozen people. Sit under a tree
quietly by yourself, not with a book. Just look at the stars, the clear sky, the birds,
the shape of the leaves. Watch the shadow. Watch the bird across the sky. By
being with yourself, sitting quietly under a tree, you begin to understand the
workings of your own mind and that is as important as going to class. 29 30
Talk To Students
Chapter 5 On Sensitivity
Some of the teachers of this school were discussing with me, the other day,
how important it is to be sensitive, how necessary it is to have a sensitive body
and a sensitive mind. A human being who is aware of his environment, as well as
aware of every movement of thought and feeling, who is a harmonious whole, is
sensitive. How does that sensitivity come about? How can there be a complete
development of the body, of the emotions, of the capacity to think deeply and
widely, so that the whole being becomes astonishingly alive to everything about
it, to every challenge, to every influence? And is that possible, in a world like this,
a world where technological knowledge is all important, where making money,
being an engineer or an electronic expert is assuming such importance? Is it
possible to be sensitive? The politician, the electronics expert become marvellous
human machines, but lead very narrow lives. They are sorrowful people having
no depth in them. All they know is their little world, the world determined by their
A life that is held in technological knowledge is a very narrow, limited life. It is
bound to breed a great deal of sorrow and misery. But can one have
technological knowledge, be able to do things, make a little money and still live in
the world with intensity, with intensity, with clarity, with vision? That is the real
question. Life is not merely going to the office day after day. Life is extraordinarily
vital, important, and for that you must be sensitive, you must have the sensitivity
that appreciates beauty. You know, there is something extraordinary about
beauty. Beauty is never personal, though we make it personal. We put flowers in
our hair, have nice saris, wear fine shirts and trousers, look very smart and try to
be as beautiful as we can; that is a very limited beauty. I do not say that you
should not wear nice clothes, but merely that – that is not appreciation of beauty. 31
The appreciation of beauty is to see a tree, to see a painting, to see a statue, to
see the clouds, the skies, the birds on the wing, to see the morning star, and the
sunset behind these hills. To see such immense beauty we must cut through our
little personal lives.
You may have good taste. Do you know what good taste means? To know
how to combine colours, how not to wear colours that jar, not to say something
that is cruel about anybody, to feel kindly, to see the beauty of a house, to have
good pictures in your room, to have a room with right proportions. All that is good
taste, which can be cultivated. But good taste is not the appreciation of beauty.
Beauty is never personal. When beauty is made personal it becomes self-
centred. Self concern is the source of sorrow. You know, most people are not
happy in the world. They have money, they have position and power. But remove
the money, the position, the power and you see underneath an extreme
shallowness of head. The source of their shallowness, misery, conflict and
extreme anguish is a feeling of guilt and fear.
To really appreciate beauty is to see a mountain, to see the lovely trees
without the «you» being there; to enjoy them, to look at them although they may
belong to another; to see the flow of a river and move with it from beginning to
end; to be lost in the beauty, in the vitality, in the rapidity of the river. But you
cannot do all that if you are merely concerned with power, with money, with a
career. That is only a part of life and to be concerned only with a part of life is to
be insensitive and, therefore, to lead a life of shallowness and misery. A petty life
always produces misery and confusion not only for itself but for others. I am not
moralizing, I am just stating the facts of existence.
The function of your teachers is to educate not only the partial mind but the
totality of the mind; to educate you so that you do not get caught in the little
whirlpool of existence but live in the whole river of life. This is the whole function 32
of education. The right kind of education cultivates your whole being, the totality
of your mind. It gives your mind and heart a depth, an understanding of beauty.
Probably, the girls among you will grow up and get married and the boys will
have careers and that will be the end. You know, the moment you get married – I
am not saying you should not get married – you have your husband, children, and
responsibilities begin to crowd in like crows upon a tree. The husband, the house,
your children, become a habit and you become caught in that habit. All through
your life, till you die, you will be working, working in the house or going to the
office, every day.
I wondered – the other morning when I saw you all having a good time – what
is going to happen to you all? Will you live a life with a fire burning in you or will
you become for the rest of your life a businessman or a housewife? What are you
going to do? Should you not be educated to cut through respectability, to burst
through all conformity? Probably I am saying something dangerous, but it does
not matter. Perhaps you will give an ear and perhaps this will sink somewhere
into your consciousness and perhaps in a moment when you are about to make a
decision, this may alter the course of your life.
Student: How is one to be sensitive?
Krishnamurti: I do not know if you noticed the other evening, it was drizzling.
There was a sharp shower. There were dark, heavy, rain-laden clouds. There
were also clouds that were full of light, white, with a rose-coloured light inside
them. And there were clouds that were almost like feathers going by. It was a
marvellous sight and there was great beauty. If you do not see and feel all these
things when you are young, when you are still curious, when you are still
indecisive, when you are still looking, searching, asking; if you do not feel now,
then you never will. As you grow older life encloses you, life becomes hard. You
hardly look at the hills, a beautiful face or a smile. Without feeling affection,
kindness, tenderness, life becomes very dreary ugly, brutal. And as you grow 33
older, you fill your lives with politics, with concern over your jobs, over your
families. You become afraid and gradually lose that extraordinary quality of
looking at the sunset, at clouds, at the stars of an evening. As you grow older, the
intellect begins to create havoc with your lives. I do not mean that you must not
have a clear, reasoning intellect, but the predominance of it makes you dull,
makes you lose the finer things of life.
You must feel very strongly about everything, not just one or two things, but
about everything. If you feel very strongly, then little things will not fill your life.
Politics, jobs, careers are all little things. If you feel strongly, if you feel vitally,
vigorously, you will live in a state of deep silence. Your mind will be very clear,
simple, strong. As men grow older they lose this quality of feeling, this sympathy,
this tenderness for others. Having lost it they begin to invent religions. They go to
temples, take drinks, drugs, to awaken this spontaneity. They become religious.
But religion in the world is put together by man. All temples, churches, dogmas,
beliefs are invented by man. Man is afraid because he is lost without a deep
sense of beauty, a deep sense of affection. And, having lost this, superficial
ceremonies, going to temples, repeating mantras, rituals become very important.
In reality, they have no importance at all. Religion born of fear becomes ugly
So, one has to understand fear. You know, one is afraid: afraid of one’s
parents, afraid of not passing examinations, afraid of one’s teachers, afraid of the
dog, afraid of the snake. You have to understand fear and be free of fear. When
you are free of fear there is the strong feeling of being good, of thinking very
clearly, of looking at stars, of looking at clouds, of looking at faces with a smile.
And when there is no fear, you can go much further. Then you can find out for
yourself that for which man has searched generation upon generation.
In caves in the south of France and in northern Africa there are 25,000 year
old paintings of animals fighting men, of deer, of cattle. They are extraordinary 34
paintings. They show man’s endless search, his battle with life and his search for
the extraordinary thing called God. But he never finds that extraordinary thing.
You can only come upon it darkly, unknowingly, when there is no fear of any kind.
The moment there is no fear you have very strong feelings. The stronger you feel,
the less you are concerned about small things. It is fear that drives away all
feeling of beauty, of the quality of great silence. As you study mathematics, so
you have to study fear. You must know fear and not escape from it so that you
can look at fear. It is like going for a walk and suddenly coming upon a snake,
jumping away and watching the snake. If you are very quiet, very still, unafraid,
then you can look very closely, keeping a safe distance. You can look at the black
tongue and the eyes that have no eyelids. You can look at the scales, the
patterns of the skin. If you watch the snake very closely you see and appreciate it
and perhaps have great affection for that snake. But you cannot look if you are
afraid, if you run away. So, in the same way as you look at a snake, you have to
look at this battle called life, with its sorrow, misery, confusion, conflict, war,
hatred, greed, ambition, anxiety and guilt. You can only look at life and love if
there is no fear.
Student: Why do we all want to live? Krishnamurti: Don’t laugh because a little
boy asks, when life is so transient, why do we crave to live? Isn’t it very sad for a
little boy to ask that question? That means he has seen for himself that
everything passes away. Birds die, leaves fall, people grow old, man has disease,
pain, sorrow, suffering; a little joy, a little pleasure and unending work. And the
boy asks why do we cling to all this? He sees how young people grow old before
their age, before their time. He sees death. And man clings to life because there
is nothing else to cling to. His gods, his temples, don’t contain truth; his sacred
books are just words. So he asks why people cling to life when there is so much
misery. You understand? What do you answer? What do the older people
answer? What do the teachers of this school answer? There is silence. The older
people have lived on ideas, on words and the boy says, «l am hungry, feed me 35
with food, not with words.» He does not trust you and so he asks, «Why do we
cling to all this?» Do you know why you cling? Because you know nothing else.
You cling to your house, you cling to your books, you cling to your idols, gods,
conclusions, your attachments, your sorrows, because you have nothing else and
all that you do brings unhappiness. To find out if there is anything else, you must
let go what you cling to. If you want to cross the river, you must move away from
this bank. You cannot sit on one bank. You want to be free from misery and yet
you will not cross the river. So, you cling to something that you know however
miserable it is and you are afraid to let go because you don’t know what is on the
other side of the river. 36
Talk To Students
Chapter 6 On Fear
I am sure you have often heard from politicians, from educators, from your
parents and from the public that you are the coming generation. But when they
talk about you as a new generation, they really do not mean it because they
make sure that you conform to the older pattern of society. They really do not
want you to be a new, different kind of human being. They want you to be
mechanical, to fit in with tradition, to conform, to believe, to accept authority. In
spite of this, if you can actually free yourself from fear, not theoretically, not
ideally, not merely outwardly but actually, inwardly, deeply, then you can be a
different human being. Then you can become the coming generation. The older
people are ridden with fear – fear of death, fear of losing jobs, fear of public
opinion. They are completely held in the grip of fear. So their gods, their
scriptures, their puja, are all within the field of fear and therefore the mind is
curiously warped, perverted. Such a mind cannot think straight, cannot reason
logically, sanely, healthily, because it is rooted in fear. Watch the older generation
and you will see how fearful it is of everything – of death, of disease, of going
against the current of tradition, of being different, of being new.
Fear is what prevents the flowering of the mind, the flowering of goodness.
Most of us learn through fear. Fear is the essence of authority and obedience;
parents and governments demand obedience. There is the authority of the book;
the authority according to Sankara, Buddha; the authority according to Einstein.
Most people are followers; they make the originator into an authority and through
propaganda, through influence, through literature, they imprint on the delicate
brain the necessity of obedience. What happens to you when you obey? You
cease to think. Because you feel that the authorities know so much, are such
powerful people, have so much money, can turn you out of the house, because 37
they use the words «duty, love,» you succumb, you yield, you begin obey, and
become a slave to an idea, to an impression, to influence. When the brain is
conforming to a pattern of obedience, it is no longer capable of freshness, no
longer capable of thinking simply and directly.
Now, is it possible to learn without authority? Do you know what learning is?
Acquiring knowledge is one thing but learning is an altogether different thing. A
machine can acquire information like a robot or like an electronic computer. A
machine acquires knowledge because it is being fed certain information. it
gathers more and more information which then becomes knowledge. It has the
capacity to acquire information, store it and respond when it is asked a question.
On the other hand when the human mind can learn, then it is capable of more
than just acquiring and storing up. But there can be learning only when the mind
is fresh, when it does not say «I know.» So, one must differentiate, separate
learning from acquiring knowledge. Acquiring knowledge makes you mechanical
but learning makes the mind very fresh, young, subtle. And you cannot learn if
you are merely following the authority of knowledge. Most educators, right
through the world, are merely acquiring and imparting knowledge and so are
making the mind mechanical and incapable of learning. You can only learn when
you do not know. Learning only comes into being when there is no fear and when
there is no authority.
The question is, how do you teach mathematics, or any other subject without
authority, and therefore, without fear? Fear is essentially involved in competition.
Whether it is competition in a class or competition in life. To be afraid of being
nobody, of not arriving, of not succeeding, is at the root of competition. But when
there is fear, you cease to learn. And so it seems to me that it is the function of
education to eliminate fear, to see that you do not become mechanical and at the
same time to give you knowledge. To learn without becoming mechanical, which
means to learn without fear, is a complex issue. It involves the elimination of all
competition. In this process of competition, you conform, and gradually you 38
destroy the subtlety, the freshness, the youth of the brain. But you cannot deny
knowledge. So, is it possible to have know- ledge and yet learn to be free from
fear? Do you see this?
When do you learn most? Have you ever watched yourself learning? Try to
watch yourself sometimes and observe yourself learning. You learn most when
you have no fear, when you are not threatened by authority, when you are not
competing with your neighbour. Then your mind becomes extraordinarily alive. So
the issue for the teacher and the issue for you, as a student, is to learn without
authority, to acquire knowledge without perverting or dulling the brain and to
eliminate fear. Do you see the problem? To learn there must be no conformity, no
authority and yet you must acquire knowledge. To combine all this without
distorting the brain, is the problem. So that when you grow older, when you pass
your examinations and marry, you meet life with a freshness, without fear. Then
you are learning about life all the time; not merely interpreting life according to
Do you know what life is? You are too young to know. I will tell you. Have you
seen those villagers in tattered clothes, dirty, perpetually starved, working every
day of their lives? That is part of life. Then you see a man riding in a car, his wife
covered with jewels, with perfume, having many servants. That is also part of life.
Then there is the man who voluntarily gives up riches, lives a very simple life,
who is anonymous, does not want to be known, does not proclaim that he is a
saint. That is also part of life. Then there is the man who wants to become a
hermit, sannyasi, and there is also the man who becomes a devotee, who does
not want to think, who just blindly follows. That is also part of life. Then there is
the man who carefully, logically, sanely thinks, and finding that such thoughts are
limited goes beyond thought. That is also part of life. And death is also a part of
life, the loss of everything. Belief in the gods and goddesses, in saviours, in
paradise, in hell, is a part of life. It is a part of life to love, to hate, to feel jealous,
to feel greedy, and it is also part of life to go beyond all these trivial things. it is no 39
good growing up and accepting one part of life, the mechanical part concerned
with acquiring knowledge, which is to accept the pattern of values created by the
past generation. Your parents happen to have money, they send you to school
and then to college, they see that you have a job. Then you get married and that
is the end of it. All this is only a small segment of life. But there is this vast field of
life, an incredibly vast field, to understand which there must be no fear, and that is
One of the more vital issues in life is the fact that one withers away,
disintegrates. Fear and deterioration are related. As you grow older, unless you
solve the problem of fear as it arises, immediately, without carrying it over to
tomorrow, the deteriorating factor sets in. It is like a disease, like a wound which
festers, destroys. Fear of not getting a better job, of not fulfilling yourself, eat into
your capacity, your sensitivity, your intellectual, moral fibre. So the solving of the
problem of fear and the factor of deterioration are related. Try and find out what
you are afraid of and see if you cannot go beyond that fear, not verbally, not
theoretically, but actually. Do not accept authority. Acceptance of authority is
obedience which only breeds further fear.
To understand this extraordinarily complex thing called life, which is both in
time and beyond time, you must have a very young, fresh, innocent mind. A mind
that carries fear within itself, day after day, month after month, is a mechanical
mind. And you see machines cannot solve human problems. You cannot have an
innocent fresh young mind if you are ridden with fear, if from childhood until you
die, you are trained in fear. That is why a good education, a true education
Student: How can one be completely free from fear?
Krishnamurti: First of all, you must know what fear is. If you know your wife,
husband, parent, society, you are no longer afraid of them. To know about
something completely makes the mind free from fear. 40
How will you find out about fear? Are you afraid of public opinion, public
opinion being what your friends think of you? Most of us, especially while we are
young, want to look alike, dress alike, talk alike. We do not want to be even
slightly different, because to be different implies not to conform, not to accept the
pattern. When you begin to question the pattern there is fear. Now examine that
fear, go into it. Do not say, «I am afraid», and run away from it. Look at it, face it,
find out why you are afraid.
Suppose I am afraid of my neighbour, my wife, my god, my country – now what
is that fear? Is it actual or is it merely in thought, in time? I will take a simpler
example. We are all going to die some time or other. Death is inevitable for all of
us and thinking about death creates fear, thinking about something which I do not
know creates fear. But if it were actual, if death were there immediately and I
were going to die now, there is no fear. You understand? Thought in time creates
fear. But if something has to be done immediately there is no fear, because
thinking is not possible. If I am going to die the next instant, then I face it, but give
me an hour, and I begin say, «My property, my children, my country, I have not
finished my book.» I get nervous, frightened.
So fear is always in time, because time is thought. To eliminate fear you have
to consider thought as time and then enquire into this whole process of thinking. It
is a little bit difficult.
I am afraid of my parents, my society, of what they will say tomorrow or ten
days later. My thinking about what might happen projects fear. So can I say, «I am
going to look at that fear now, not ten days later»? Can I invite what they are
going to say in the present and look at it and if they happen to be right, can I
accept it? Why should I be frightened? And if they are wrong, I also accept that.
Why should they not be wrong? Why should I be frightened? And I will listen to
the teacher to learn, but I am not going to be frightened. So, when I face fear it 41
goes away. But to face fear, I have to enquire, which is quite a complex process
because it involves the problem of time.
You know, there are two kinds of time: time by the watch, the next minute,
tonight, the day after tomorrow; and there is another kind of time which is created
by the psyche inside one, by thought – «I shall be a great man», «I shall have a
job», «I shall go to Europe» – that is the psychological future, in time and space.
Now to understand chronological time by the watch and to understand time as
thought and to go beyond both, is really to be free of fear. Student: You said if
you know something, you stop feeling afraid of it. But how do you know what
Krishnamurti: That is a good question. You are asking, «How do you know
what death is and how can you cease to be frightened of it?» I am going to show
you. You know there are two kinds of death – bodily death and death of thought.
The body is going to die inevitably – like a pencil writing, it eventually wears out.
Doctors may invent new kinds of medicine; you may last one hundred and twenty
years instead of eighty years. But still there will be death. The physical organism
comes to an end. We are not afraid of that. What we are afraid of is the coming to
an end of thought, of the «me» that has lived so many years, the «me» that has
acquired so much money, that has a family, children, that wants to become
important, that wants to have more property, money. That «me’, dying is what I
am afraid of. Do you see the difference between the two? The physical dying and
the «me» dying?
The «me» dying is psychologically much more important than the body’s dying
and that is what we are frightened of. Now take one pleasure, and die to it. I will
explain this to you. You see I do not want to go into the whole problem; I am
merely indicating something. You see the «me» is the collection of many
pleasures and many pains. Can that «me», die to one thing? Then it will know
what death means. That is, can I die to a wish? Can I say «I do not want that 42
wish, I do not want that pleasure»? Can I end it, die to it? Do you know anything
Student: No, Sir.
Krishnamurti: But the older people do not know either They sit in a corner,
close their eyes and concentrate, like school boys trying to concentrate on a
book. That is not meditation. Meditation is something extraordinary, if you know
how to do it. I am going to talk a little about it.
First of all, sit very quietly; do not force yourself to sit quietly, but sit or lie down
quietly without force of any kind. Do you understand? Then watch your thinking.
Watch what you are thinking about. You find you are thinking about your shoes,
your saris, what you are going to say, the bird outside to which you listen; follow
such thoughts and enquire why each thought arises. Do not try to change your
thinking. See why certain thoughts arise in your mind so that you begin to
understand the meaning of every thought and every feeling without any
enforcement. And when a thought arises, do not condemn it, do not say it is right,
it is wrong, it is good, it is bad. Just watch it, so that you begin to have a
perception, a consciousness which is active in seeing every kind of thought,
every kind of feeling. You will know every hidden secret thought, every hidden
motive, every feeling, without distortion, without saying it is right, wrong, good or
bad. When you look, when you go into thought very very deeply, your mind
becomes extraordinarily subtle, alive. No part of the mind is asleep. The mind is
That is merely the foundation. Then your mind is very quiet. Your whole being
becomes very still. Then go through that stillness, deeper, further – that whole
process is meditation. Meditation is not to sit in a corner repeating a lot of words;
or to think of a picture and go into some wild, ecstatic imaginings. To understand
the whole process of your thinking and feeling is to be free from all thought, to be
free from all feeling so that your mind, your whole being becomes very quiet. And 43
that is also part of life and with that quietness, you can look at the tree, you can
look at people, you can look at the sky and the stars. That is the beauty of life. 44
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. 45
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 46
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
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 47
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 48
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
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, 49
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
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 50
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. 51
Talk To Students
Chapter 8 On Image-Making
When we are very young it is a delight to be alive, to hear the birds of the
morning, to see the hills after rain, to see those rocks shining in the sun, the
leaves sparkling, to see the clouds go by and to rejoice on a clear morning with a
full heart and a clear mind. We lose this feeling when we grow up, with worries,
anxieties, quarrels, hatreds, fears and the everlasting struggle to earn a
livelihood. We spend our days in battle with each other, disliking and liking, with a
little pleasure now and then. We never hear the birds, see the trees as we once
saw them, see the dew on the grass and the bird on the wing and the shiny rock
on a mountainside glistening in the morning light. We never see all that when we
are grown up. Why? I do not know if you have ever asked that question. I think it
necessary to ask it. If you do not ask it now, you will soon be caught. You will go
to college, get married, have children, husbands, wives, responsibilities, earn a
livelihood, and then you will grow old and die. That is what happens to people.
We have to ask now, why we have lost this extraordinary feeling for beauty, when
we see flowers, when we hear birds? Why do we lose the sense of the beautiful?
I think we lose it primarily because we are so concerned with ourselves. We have
an image of ourselves.
Do you know what an image is? It is something carved by the hand, out of
stone, out of marble, and this stone carved by the hand is put in a temple and
worshipped. But it is still handmade, an image made by man. You also have an
image about yourself, not made by the hand but made by the mind, by thought,
by experience, by knowledge, by your struggle, by all the conflicts and miseries of
your life. As you grow older, that image becomes stronger, larger, all-demanding
and insistent. The more you listen, act, have your existence in that image, the 52
less you see beauty, feel joy at something beyond the little promptings of that
The reason why you lose this quality of fullness is because you are so self-
concerned. Do you know what that phrase «to be self-concerned» means? It is to
be occupied with oneself, to be occupied with one’s capacities whether they are
good or bad, with what your neighbours think of you, whether you have a good
job, whether you are going to become an important man, or be thrown aside by
society. You are always struggling in the office, at home, in the fields; wherever
you are, whatever you do, you are always in conflict, and you do not seem to be
able to get out of conflict; not being able to get out of it, you create the image of a
perfect state, of heaven, of God – again another image made by the mind. You
have images not only inwardly but also deeper down, and they are always in
conflict with each other. So the more you are in conflict – and conflict will always
exist so long as you have images, opinions, concepts, ideas about yourself – the
greater will be the struggle.
So the question is: Is it possible to live in this world without an image about
yourself? You function as a doctor, a scientist, a teacher, a physicist. You use
that function to create the image about yourself, and so, using function, you
create conflict in functioning, in doing. I wonder if you understand this? You know,
if you dance well, if you play an instrument, a violin, a veena, you use the
instrument or the dance to create the image about yourself to feel how marvellous
you are, how wonderfully well you play or dance. You use the dancing, the
playing of the instrument, in order to enrich your own image of yourself. And that
is how you live, creating, strengthening that image of yourself. So there is more
conflict; the mind gets dull and occupied with itself; and it loses the sense of
beauty, of joy, of clear thinking.
I think it is part of education to function without creating images. You then
function without the battle, the inward struggle that goes on within yourself. 53
There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an
examination and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you
are born till the moment you die is a process of learning. Learning has no end
and that is the timeless quality of learning. And you cannot learn if you are in
battle, if you are in conflict with yourself, with your neighbour, with society. You
are always in conflict with society, with your neighbour as long as there is an
image. But if you are learning about the mechanics of putting together that image,
then you will see that you can look at the sky, then you can look at the river and
the raindrops on the leaf, feel the cool air of a morning and the fresh breeze
among the leaves. Then life has an extraordinary meaning. Life in itself, not the
significance given by the image to life – life itself has an extraordinary meaning.
Student: When you are looking at a flower, what is your relationship with the
Krishnamurti: You look at a flower, and what is your relationship to the flower?
Do you look at the flower or do you think you are looking at the flower? You see
the difference? Are you actually looking at the flower or you think you ought to
look at the flower or are you looking at the flower with an image you have about
the flower – the image being that it is a rose? The word is the image, the word is
knowledge and therefore you are looking at that flower with the word, the symbol,
with knowledge and therefore you are not looking at the flower. Or, are you
looking at it with a mind that is thinking about something else?
When you look at a flower without the word, without the image, and with a
mind that is completely attentive, then what is the relationship between you and
the flower? Have you ever done it? Have you ever looked at a flower without
saying that is a rose? Have you ever looked at a flower completely, with total
attention in which there is no word, no symbol, no naming of the flower and,
therefore, complete attention? Till you do that, you have no relationship with the
flower. To have any relationship with another or with the rock or with the leaf, one 54
has to watch and to observe with complete attention. Then your relationship to
that which you see is entirely different. Then there is no observer at all. There is
only that. If you so observe, then there is no opinion, no judgement. It is what it is.
Have you understood? Will you do it? Look at a flower that way. Do it, Sir, don’t
talk about it, but do it.
Student: If you have lots of time, how would you spend it, Sir?
Krishnamurti: I would do what I am doing. You see, if you love what you are
doing, then you have all the leisure that you need in your life. Do you understand
what I have said? You asked me what I would do if I had leisure. I said, I would
do what I am doing; which is to go around different parts of the world, to talk, to
see people and so on. I do it because I love to do it; not because I talk to a great
many people and feel that I am very important. When you feel very important, you
do not love what you are doing; you love yourself and not what you are doing. So,
your concern should be not with what I am doing, but with what you are going to
do. Right? I have told you what I am doing. Now you tell me what you will do,
when you have plenty of leisure.
Student: I would get bored, sir.
Krishnamurti: You would get bored. Quite right. That is what most people are.
Student: How do I get rid of this boredom, sir?
Krishnamurti: Wait, listen. Most people are bored. Why? You asked how to get
rid of boredom. Now find out. When you are by yourself for half an hour, you are
bored. So you pick up a book, chatter, look at a magazine, go to a cinema, talk,
do something. You occupy your mind with something This is an escape from
yourself. You have asked a question, Now, pay attention to what is being said.
You get bored because you find yourself with yourself; and you have never found
yourself with yourself. Therefore, you get bored. You say: Is that all I am? I am so
small, I am so worried; I want to escape from all that. What you are is very boring, 55
so you run away. But if you say, I am not going to be bored; I am going to find out
why I am like this; I want to see what I am like actually then it is like looking at
yourself in a mirror. There, you see very clearly what you are, what your face
looks like. Then you say that you do not like your face; that you must be beautiful,
you must look like a cinema actress. But if you were to look at yourself and say,
«Yes, that is what I am; my nose is not very straight, my eyes are rather small, my
hair is straight.» You accept it. When you see what you are, there is no boredom.
Boredom comes in only when you reject what you see and want to be something
else. In the same way, when you can look at yourself inside and see exactly what
you are, the seeing of it is not boring. it is extraordinarily interesting, because the
more you see of it, the more there is to see. You can go deeper and deeper and
wider and there is no end to it. In that, there is no boredom. If you can do that,
then what you do is what you love to do, and when you love to do a thing, time
does not exist. When you love to plant trees, you water them, look after them,
protect them; when you know what you really love to do, you will see the days are
too short So you have to find out for yourself from now on, what you love to do;
what you really want to do, not just be concerned with a career.
Student: How do you find out what you love to do, sir?
Krishnamurti: How do you find out what you love to do? You have to
understand that it may be different from what you want to do. You may want to
become a lawyer, because your father is a lawyer or because you see that by
becoming a lawyer you can earn more money. Then you do not love what you do
because you have a motive for doing something which will give you profit, which
will make you famous. But if you love something, there is no motive. You do not
use what you are doing for your own self-importance.
To find out what you love to do is one of the most difficult things. That is part
of education. To find that out, you have to go into yourself very very deeply. It is
not very easy. You may say: «I want to be a lawyer» and you struggle to be a 56
lawyer, and then suddenly you find you do not want to be a lawyer. You would
like to paint. But it is too late. You are already married. You already have a wife
and children. You cannot give up your career, your responsibilities. So you feel
frustrated, unhappy. Or you may say, «I really would like to paint, and you devote
all your life to it, and suddenly find you are not a good painter and that what you
really want to do is to be a pilot.
Right education is not to help you to find careers; for god’s sake, throw that out
of the window. Education is not merely gathering information from a teacher or
learning mathematics from a book or learning historical dates of kings and
customs, but education is to help you to understand the problems as they arise,
and that requires a good mind – a mind that reasons, a mind that is sharp, a mind
that has no belief. For belief is not fact. A man who believes in god is as
superstitious as a man who does not believe in God. To find out you have to
reason and you cannot reason if you already have an opinion, if you are
prejudiced, if your mind has already come to a conclusion. So you need a good
mind, a sharp, clear, definite, precise, healthy mind – not a believing mind, not a
mind that follows authority. Right education is to help you to find out for yourself
what you really, with all your heart, love to do. It does not matter what it is,
whether it is to cook or to be a gardener, but it is something in which you have put
your mind, your heart. Then you are really efficient, without becoming brutal. And
this school should be a place where you are helped to find out for yourself
through discussion, through listening, through silence, to find out, right through
your life, what you really love to do.
Student: Sir, how can we know ourselves?
Krishnamurti: That is a very good question. Listen to me carefully. How do you
know what you are? You understand my question? You look into the mirror for
the first time and after a few days or few weeks, you look again and say, «That is
me again.» Right? So, by looking at the mirror every day, you begin to know your 57
own face, and you say: «That is me.» Now can you in the same way know what
you are by watching yourself Can you watch your gestures, the way you walk, the
way you talk, the way you behave, whether you are hard, cruel, rough, patient?
Then you begin to know yourself. You know yourself by watching yourself in the
mirror of what you doing, what you are thinking, what you are feeling. That is the
mirror – the feeling, the doing, the thinking. And in that mirror you begin to watch
yourself. The mirror says, this is the fact; but you do not like the fact. So, you
want to alter it. You start distorting it. You do not see it as it is.
Now, as I said the other day, you learn when there is attention and silence.
Learning is when you have silence and give complete attention. In that state, you
begin to learn. Now, sit very quietly; not because I am asking you to sit quietly,
but because that is the way to learn. Sit very quietly and be still not only
physically, not only in your body, but also in your mind. Be very still and then in
that stillness, attend. Attend to the sounds outside this building, the cock crowing,
the birds, somebody coughing, somebody leaving; listen first to the things outside
you, then listen to what is going on in your mind. And you will then see, if you
listen very very attentively, in that silence, that the outside sound and the inside
sound are the same. 58
Talk To Students
Chapter 9 On Behaviour
One of the most difficult things in life is to find a way of behaviour that is not
dictated by circumstances. Circumstances and people dictate, or force you to
behave in a certain way. The way you conduct yourself, the way you eat, the way
you talk, your moral, your ethical behaviour depend on where you find yourself
and so your behaviour is constantly varying, constantly changing. This is so when
you speak to your father, your mother or to your servant – your voice, your words,
are quite different. The ways of behaviour are controlled by environmental
influences, and by analysing behaviour you can almost predict what people will
do or will not do.
Now can one ask oneself if one can behave the same inwardly, whatever the
circumstances? Can one’s behaviour spring from within and not depend on what
people think of you or how they look at you? But that is difficult because one does
not know what one is within. Within, a constant change is going on also. You are
not what you were yesterday. Now can one find for oneself a way of behaviour
which is not dictated by others or by society or by circumstances or by religious
sanctions, a way of behaviour that does not depend on environment? I think one
can find that out, if one knows what love is.
Do you know what love is? Do you know what it is to love people? To look
after a tree, to brush a dog, comb it, feed it, means that you care for the tree, you
feel great affection for the dog. I do not know whether you have noticed a tree in
a street for which nobody cares; occasionally people look at it and pass it by.
That tree is entirely different from a tree that is cared for in a garden, a tree you
sit under, look at, on which you see the leaves, climb the branches. Such a tree
grows with strength. When you look after a tree, when you give it water, manure; 59
when you trim it, prune it, care for it, it has a different feeling altogether from the
tree that grows by the roadside.
The feeling of care is the beginning of affection. You know, the more you look
after things, the more sensitive you become. So there has to be affection, a
sense of tenderness, kindliness, generosity. If there is such affection, then
behaviour is dictated by that affection and is not dependent on environment,
circumstance, or people. And to find that affection is one of the most difficult
things – to be really affectionate whether people are kind to you or not kind to you,
whether they talk to you roughly, or whether they are irritated with you. I think
children have it. You all have it when you are young. You feel very friendly with
one another, with people. You love to pat a dog. You look occasionally at things
and you also smile easily. But as you grow older, all this disappears. And so to
have affection right through life is one of the most difficult things and without it life
becomes very empty. You may have children, you may have a nice house, a car
and all the rest of it, but without affection life is like a flower that has no scent.
And it is part of education, is it not, to come to this affection, from which there is
great joy, from which alone love can come?
With most of us love is possessiveness. Where there is jealousy, envy, it
breeds cruelty, it breeds hatred, Love can only exist and flower when there is no
hate, no envy, no ambition. Without love, life is like the barren earth, arid, hard,
brutal. But the moment there is affection it is like the earth which blossoms with
water, with rain, with beauty. One has to learn all this when one is very young, not
when one is old for then it is too late. Then you become prisoners of society of
environment, of husband, wife, office. Find out for yourself if you can behave with
affection. Can you go to your class punctually because you feel you do not want
to keep people waiting? Can you stop shouting while you are together because
there are other people watching you, being with you? 60
When behaviour, politeness, consideration are superficial and without
affection they have no meaning. But if there is affection, kindliness, consideration,
then, out of that, comes politeness, good manners, consideration for others,
which means really that one is thinking less and less about oneself, and that is
one of the most difficult things in life. When one is not concerned with oneself,
then one is really a free human being. Then one can look at the skies, the
mountains, the hills, the waters, the birds, the flowers, with a fresh mind, with a
great sense of affection. Right? Now, ask questions.
Student: If there is jealousy in love, is there not also sacrifice in love?
Krishnamurti: Is there not also sacrifice in love? Love can never sacrifice.
What do you mean by using that word «sacrifice?» Giving up? Doing things you
do not want to do? Is that what you mean? I sacrifice myself for my country,
because I love my country. I sacrifice myself because I love my parents. Is that
what you mean? Now, is that love? Can love exist when you have to force
yourself to do something for others? I wonder if you understand the word
«sacrifice.» Why do you use that word? You know, the words, «responsibility,»
«duty,» «sacrifice,» are dreadful words. When you love somebody there is no
responsibility, there is no duty, there is no sacrifice. You do things because you
love. And you cannot love if you are thinking about yourself. When you are
thinking about yourself, then you come first and the other is second; then, to love
him, you sacrifice yourself. Then it is not love. It is a bargain. Do you understand?
Student: To learn and to love; are they separate or are they connected, sir?
Krishnamurti: Do you know what it means to love and do you know what it
means to learn?
Student: I know what it is to learn.
Krishnamurti: I wonder. I do not say you do not know. I am just asking you. Do
you know what it means to learn? You know what it means to acquire knowledge. 61
You hear the teacher tell you certain facts and you store what you hear in your
mind, in your brain. This storing up process is what we call learning. Is that not
Student: In a way.
Krishnamurti: In a way. But what is the other way? You have an experience,
you walk up the hills and slip and hurt yourself and you have learnt something
from that. You meet a friend and he hurts you and you have learnt from that. You
read a newspaper and you have learnt from that. So, your learning generally
consists of adding more and more information. Now is that learning? There is
another form of learning – that is, learning as you go along, never accumulating.
And then from that to act, to think. Do you understand what it is to learn in doing?
This does not mean having learnt and then doing. They are two different states,
are they not? There is a state where I have learnt and from that knowledge I act,
and there is learning as I am doing. The two are completely different. When I
have learnt and then do, it is mechanical, whereas learning from doing is non-
mechanical. It is always fresh. Therefore, learning as I am doing is never boring;
it is never tiring, whereas to do, having learnt, becomes mechanical. That is why
you all get bored with your learning. Do you understand? So now you know what
learning means. Learning is doing, so that in the very act of doing you are
learning. Now, what is love?
Love is a feeling in which there is gentleness, quietness, tenderness,
consideration, in which there is beauty. In love there is no ambition, there is no
jealousy. Now you had asked whether learning and love are not similar. You had
asked that question, had you not? Student: Are they connected?
Krishnamurti: What do you say? You have understood what we mean by love,
what we mean by learning. Are they connected?
Student: In a way. 62
Krishnamurti: Tell me in which way. May I help you? They are connected
because both require an activity which is non-mechanical. Do you understand?
Learning as I am doing is non-mechanical. But in love which becomes
mechanical there is no learning. Love in which there is ambition, conflict, greed,
envy, jealousy, anger, ambition, is not love. When there is no ambition, no
jealousy, then there is a very active principle. It is renewing itself all the time, it is
fresh. There is, in both learning and love, a movement of freshness, a movement
which is spontaneous, which is not held by circumstances. it is a free movement.
So there is a tenuous, delicate connection between the two. But to learn and to
love there must be a great deal of affection. There is a great similarity in both
when there is attention, which is not merely a conclusion. So if you are attending,
attending to what you are thinking, out of that, there is affection, out of that there
Student: How can we live our life, sir?
Krishnamurti: First of all, do you know what your life is, to live it? I am not
being funny. I am just asking. To live your life, you must know what your life is
and to find out what your life is, you have to again examine. Your life is not what
your father or mother, your society, your teacher, your neighbour, your religion,
your politician tell you it is. Do not say: «No». It is so. Your life is made up of
influences – political, religious, social, economic, climatic – all these influences
converge in you and you say: «That is life. I must live it.» You can only live your
life when you understand all these influences, and I through understanding them
begin to discover your own way of thinking and living. Then you do not have to
ask: «How can I live my life?» Then you live it. But, first, you must understand all
the influences. The influence of society, the political speeches, the politicians, the
climate, the food, the books you read are influencing you all the time. You have to
ask whether it is at all possible to be free of these influences. And that is one of
the most demanding enquiries. And after enquiring, examining, you have to 63
understand, to find a way of life that is neither yours nor anybody’s. It is then life.
Then you are living.
Now, in all this, what is important? The first thing is not to lead a mechanical
life. You understand what I mean by a mechanical life? It is doing something
because somebody tells you to do it, or because you feel that it is the right thing
to do, so you repeat, repeat, and gradually, your brain, your mind, your body
becomes dull, heavy, stupid. So, do not lead a life of routine. You may have to go
to the office. You may have to pass an examination, to study. But do it all with a
freshness, with eagerness; and you can only do it with freshness and with vigour,
when you are learning. And you cannot learn if you are not attentive.
The second thing is, to be very gentle, to be very kind, not to hurt people. You
have to look at people, help people, be generous, be considerate.
There must be love, otherwise, your life is empty. You understand? You may
have everything you want: husband, cars, children, wife; but life will be like an
empty desert. You may be very clever, you might have a very good position, be a
good lawyer, a good engineer, a marvellous administrator, but, without love, you
are a dead human being. So do not do anything mechanical. Find out what it is to
love people, to love dogs, the sky, the blue hills and the river. Love and feel.
Then you must also know what meditation is, what it is to have a very still, a
very quiet mind, not a chattering mind. And it is only such a mind that can know
the real religious mind. And without the religious mind, without that feeling, life is
like a flower that has no fragrance, a river bed that has never known the rippling
waters over it, it is like the earth that has never grown a tree, a bush, a flower. 64
– Talks to Teachers –
Chapter 1 On Right Education
Krishnamurti: It is our intention in places like Rishi Valley in the South and
Rajghat in the North to create an environment, a climate, where one can bring
about, if it is at all possible, a new human being. Do you know the history of these
two schools? They have been running for thirty years or more. The purpose, the
aim and drive of these schools is to equip the child with the most excellent
technological proficiency so that he may function with clarity and efficiency in the
modern world, and far more important to create the right climate so that the child
may develop fully as a complete human being. This means giving him the
opportunity to flower in goodness so that he is rightly related to people, things
and ideas, to the whole of life. To live is to be related. There is no right
relationship to anything if there is not the right feeling for beauty, a response to
nature, to music and art, a highly developed aesthetic sense.
I think it is fairly clear that competitive education and the development of the
student in that process is very destructive. I do not know how deeply one has
grasped the significance of this. If one has, then what is right education? I think it
is clear that the pattern which we now cultivate and call education, which is
conformity to society, is very, very destructive. In its ambitious activities, it is
frustrating in the extreme. And what we have so far considered, both in the West
and East, as a development within this process, is culture. it is the inevitable
invitation to sorrow. The perception of the truth of that is essential. If it is very
clear, and if one has abandoned that voluntarily, not as a reaction, but just as a
leaf falls away from the tree, a dropping away, then what is flowering, what is
right education? Do you educate the student to conform, to adjust, to fit into the
system or do you educate him to comprehend, to see very clearly the whole
significance of all that and, at the same time, help him to read and write? If you
teach him to read and write within the present system of frustration, then the 65
flowering of the mind is impeded. The question then is, if one drops this
competitive education, can the mind be educated at all in the ordinary accepted
sense of the word? Or does education consist really in taking ourselves and the
student away from the social structure of frustration and desire and, at the same
time giving him information about mathematics, physics, and so on? After all, if
the teacher and the student are stripped of all this monstrous confusion, what is
there to be educated about? All that you can teach the student is how to read and
write, how to calculate, design, remember and communicate facts and opinions
So, what is the function of education and is there a particular method of
education? Do you teach the student a technique so that he becomes proficient
and in that very proficiency develops a sense of ambition? By teaching him a
technique in order to find a job, you also burden him with its implications of
success and frustration. He wants to be successful in life and he also wants to be
a peaceful man. His whole life is a contradiction. The greater the contradiction,
the greater the tension. This is a fact. When there is suppression in contradiction,
there is greater outward activity. You give the student a technique and at the
same time develop in him this extraordinary imbalance, this extreme contradiction
which leads to frustration and despair. The more he develops his capacity in
technique, the greater his ambition and the greater the frustration. You are
educating him to have a technique which is going to lead to his despair. So the
question is, can you help him not to drift into contradiction? He will drift into it if
you do not help him to love the thing which he is doing.
You see, if the student loves geometry, loves it as an end in itself, he is so
completely absorbed in it that he has no ambition. He really loves geometry and
that is an enormous delight. Therefore he flowers in it. How will you help the
student to love, in this way, a thing which the student has not yet discovered for
If you are asked, as a teacher, what the intention of this school is would you
be able to reply? I want to know what you are all trying to do, what you intend the
student to be? Are you trying to shape him, condition him, force him in certain
directions? Are you trying to teach the student mathematics, physics, giving him
some information so that he is proficient technologically and can do well in a
future career? Thousands of schools are doing this, all over the world – trying to
make the student excellent technologically so that he becomes a good scientist,
engineer, physicist and so on. Or are you trying to do something much more
here? If it is much more, what is it?
We must be very clear in ourselves what we want, clear what a human being
must be – the total human being, not just the technological human being. If we
concentrate very much on examinations, on technological information, on making
the child clever, proficient in acquiring knowledge, while we neglect the other
side, then the child will grow up into a one-sided human being. When we talk
about a total human being, we mean not only a human being with inward
understanding, with a capacity to explore, to examine his inward being, his inward
state and the capacity of going beyond it, but also someone who is good in what
he does outwardly. The two must go together. That is the real issue in education –
to see that when the child leaves the school, he is well established in goodness,
both outwardly and inwardly.
There must be a starting point from which we function so that we will cultivate
not only the technological side but also uncover the deeper layers, the deeper
fields of the human mind. I will put it another way. If you concentrate on making
the student excellent in technology and neglect the other side, as we generally
do, what happens to such a human being? If you concentrate on making the
student a perfect dancer or a perfect mathematician, what happens? He is not
just that, he is something more. He is jealous, angry, frustrated, in despair,
ambitious. So you will create a society in which there is always disorder, because
you are emphasizing technology and proficiency in one field and neglecting the 67
other field. However perfect a man may be technologically, he is always in
contradiction in his social relationships. He is always in battle with his neighbour.
So technology cannot produce a perfect or a good society. It may produce a
great society, where there is no poverty, where there is material equality and so
on. A great society is not necessarily a good society. A good society implies
order. Order does not mean trains running on time, mail delivered regularly.It
means something else. For a human being, order means order within himself.
And such order will inevitably bring about a good society. Now from which centre
are we to start?
Do you understand my question? If I neglect the inner and accentuate
technology, whatever I do will be one-sided. So I must find a way, I must bring
about a movement which will cover both. So far, we have separated the two and
having separated them, we have emphasized the one and neglected the other.
What we are now trying to do is to join both of them together. If there is proper
education, the student will not treat them as two separate fields. He will be able to
move in both as one movement. Right? In making himself technologically perfect,
he will also make himself a worthwhile human being. Does this convey something
or not? A river is not always the same, the banks vary, and the water can be used
industrially or for various other purposes, but it is still water. Why have we
separated the technological world and the other world? We have said: «If we
could make the technological world perfect, we would have food, clothes, shelter
for everybody, so let us concern ourselves with the technological.» And there are
also those who are concerned only with the inner world. They emphasize the so-
called inner world, and become more and more isolated, more and more self-
centred, more and more vague, pursuing their own beliefs, dogmas and visions.
There is this tremendous division and we say we must somehow bring these two
together. So having divided life into the outer and inner, we now try to integrate
them. I think that way also leads to more conflict. Whereas if we could find a 68
centre, a movement, an approach which does not divide, we would function in
What is the movement that is supremely intelligent? I am using the word
«intelligent,» not clever, not intuitive, not derived from knowledge, information,
experience. What is the movement that understands all these divisions, all these
conflicts; and that very understanding creates the movement of intelligence?
We see in the world two movements going on, the deep religious movement
which man has always sought and which has become Catholicism,
Protestantism, Hinduism, and this wordily movement of technology, a world of
computers and automation that give man more leisure. The religious movement is
very feeble and very few are pursuing it. The technological has become stronger
and stronger and man is getting lost in it, becoming more mechanical and
therefore man tries to escape from this mechanism, tries to discover something
new – in painting, in music, in art, in the theatre. And the religious, if there are
any, say «That is the wrong way» and move away to a world of their own. They do
not see the insufficiency, the immaturity, the mechanical way of both. Now, can
we see that both of these are insufficient? If we can see that, then we are
beginning to perceive a non-mechanistic movement which will cover both.
If I had a child to be educated I would help him to see the mechanical and the
insufficient processes of both ways and in the very examination of the
insufficiency of both as they operate in him, there would be born the intelligence
which has come into being through examination.
Sirs, look at those flowers, the brilliancy, the beauty of them. Now, how am I,
as a teacher, to help the student to see the flowers and also be very good at
mathematics? If I am only concerned with the flowers and I am not good at
mathematics, something is wrong with me. If I am only concerned with
mathematics, then also something is wrong with me. 69
You cannot cultivate technological information, become perfect in it first and
then say you must also study the other. By giving your heart to years of acquiring
knowledge you have already destroyed something in you – the feeling and the
capacity to look. By emphasizing one or the other you become insensitive and the
essence of intelligence is sensitivity.
So, the quality which we want the child to have is the highest form of
sensitivity. Sensitivity is intelligence; it does not come from books. If you spend
forty years in learning mathematics but cannot look at those flowers and also
study mathematics. If there is a movement of that intelligence it will cover both
fields. Now how are you and I, as a community of teachers, going to create that
movement of sensitivity in the ` child?
The student must be free. Otherwise he cannot be sensitive. If he is not free in
the study of mathematics, enjoying mathematics, giving his heart to it, which is
freedom, he cannot study it adequately. And to look at those flowers, to look at
that beauty, he must also be free. So there must be freedom first. That means I
must help that boy to be free. Freedom implies order, freedom does not mean
allowing the boy to do what he likes, to come to lunch and to class when he likes.
In examining, working, in learning, one understands that the highest form of
sensitivity is intelligence. That sensitivity, that intelligence can come about only in
freedom, but to convey that to a child requires a great deal of intelligence on our
part. I would like to help him to be free and yet at the same time have order and
discipline, without conformity. To examine anything one must have not only
freedom but discipline. This discipline is not something from outside which has
been imposed upon the child and according to which he tries to conform. In the
very examination of these two processes – the technological and the religious,
there is attention and therefore discipline. Therefore one asks, «How can we help
that boy or girl to be free completely and yet highly disciplined, not through fear,
not through conformity, not partially free but completely free and yet highly 70
disciplined at the same time?» Not one first and then the other. They both go
together. Now, how are we to do this? Do we clearly see that freedom is
absolutely essential, and that freedom does not mean doing what one likes? You
cannot do what you like, because you are always in relationship in life with
others. See the necessity and importance of being completely free and yet highly
disciplined without conformity. See that your beliefs, your ideas, your ideologies
are secondhand. You have to see all that and see that you must be absolutely
free. Otherwise you cannot function as a human being.
Now I wonder if you see this as an idea or as a fact, as factual as this ink pot.
How will you, as a community of teachers, when you see the importance of the
child being completely free and also realize that there must be discipline and
order – how will you help him so that he flowers in freedom and order? Your
shouting at the child is not going to do it; your beating the child is not going to do
it, your comparing him to another is not going to do it. Any form of compulsion,
bullying, or system of giving him marks or no marks is not going to do it.
If you see the importance of the boy being free and at the same time highly
orderly, and if you see that punishment or cajoling him is not going to produce
anything, will you completely drop all that in yourself.
The old method has not produced freedom. It has made man comply and
adjust, but if you see that freedom is absolutely necessary and therefore order is
essential, these methods which we have used for centuries must drop away.
The difficulty is that you are used to old methods and suddenly you are
deprived of them. So you are confronted with a problem about which you have to
think in a totally different way. It is your problem. It is your responsibility. You are
confronted with this issue. You cannot possibly employ the old methods, because
you have seen that the boy must be totally free and yet there must be order. So
what has happened to you who have, so far, accepted and functioned with an old 71
formula? You have thrown out the formula and are looking at the problem anew,
are you not? You are looking at the problem with a fresh mind which is free.
Teacher: To see, does one always have to be in that state?
Krishnamurti: If you do not see it now but demand to see it always, that is
nonsense. The seeing once is the seed put in the earth, that will flower. But if you
say that you must see it always, then you are back to the old formula.
Look what has happened: the old patterns of thinking with regard to teaching
and freedom and order have been taken away from you. Therefore you are
looking at problems differently. The difference is that your mind is now free to
look, free to examine the issue of freedom and order. Now how will you convey to
the child that you are not going to punish him, not going to reward him and yet he
must be totally free and orderly?
Teacher: I think the teacher has the same problem as the child. He needs to
operate from a field where he feels freedom and discipline go together. In his
present thinking, he separates order and freedom. He says freedom is against
order and order is against freedom.
Krishnamurti: I think we are missing something. When you see that the old
methods of punishment and reward are dead, your mind becomes much more
active. Because you have to solve this problem, your mind is alive. If it is alive, it
will be in contact with the issue.
Because you are free and understand freedom, you will be punctual in your
class and from freedom you will talk to the student and not from an idea. To talk
from an idea, a formula, a concept is one thing, but to talk from an actual fact
which you have seen – that the student must be free and therefore orderly – is
totally different. When you as a teacher are free and orderly you are already
communicating it, not only verbally but non-verbally and the student knows it
Once you see the fact that punishment and reward in any form are destructive,
you never go back to them. By throwing them out, you yourself are disciplined
and that discipline has come out of the freedom of examination. You
communicate to the child the fact of that and not any idea. Then you have
communicated to him not only verbally, but at a totally different level. 73
Talk To Teachers
Chapter 2 On The Long Vision
I think most of us know what is happening in the world – the threat of war, the
nuclear bomb, the many tensions and conflicts that have brought about new
crises. It seems to me that a totally different kind of mind is necessary to meet
these challenges. A mind that is not specialized, not trained only in technology,
that is not merely seeking prosperity, but that can meet challenges adequately,
completely. And it seems to me that that is the function of education, that is the
function of a school.
Everywhere – in Europe, Russia, America, Japan and here – they are turning
out technicians, scientists, educators. These specialists are incapable of meeting
the enormously complex challenge of life. They are utterly incapable and yet they
are the people who rule the world as the politician, as the scientist. They are
specialists in their fields and their guidance, their leadership has obviously failed
and is failing. They are merely responding to the immediate. You see, we are
thinking in terms of the immediate, the immediacy of events. We are concerned
with the immediate responses of a country that is very poor, like India, or the
immediate responses of the enormous prosperity of the West. Everyone is
thinking in terms of doing something immediately. I think one has to take a long
view of the whole problem and I do not think a specialist can do this because
specialists always think in terms of action which is immediate. Though immediate
action is necessary, I think the function of education is to bring about a mind that
will not only act in the immediate but go beyond.
Throughout the world the authoritarian governments, the priests, the
professors, the analysts, the psychologists, everybody is concerned with
controlling or shaping or directing the mind and, therefore, there is very little
freedom. The real issue is to find out how to live in a world that is so compulsively 74
authoritarian, so brutal and tyrannical, not only in the immediate relationships but
in social relationships, how to live in such a world with the extraordinary capacity
to meet its demands and also to be free. I feel education of the right kind should
cultivate the mind not to fall into grooves of habit, however worthy or noble,
however technologically necessary, but to have a mind that is extraordinarily
alive, not with knowledge, not with experience, but alive. Because often the more
knowledge one has, the less alert the brain is.
I am not against knowledge. There is a difference between learning and
acquiring knowledge. Learning ceases when there is only accumulation of
knowledge. There is learning only when there is no acquisition at all. When
knowledge becomes all important learning ceases. The more I add to knowledge
the more secure, the more assured the mind becomes, and, therefore it ceases to
learn. Learning is never an additive process. When one is learning, it is an active
process. Whereas acquiring knowledge is merely gathering information and
storing it up. So I think there is a difference between acquiring knowledge and
learning. Education throughout the world is merely the acquisition of knowledge
and therefore the mind becomes dull and ceases to learn. The mind is merely
acquiring. The acquisition dictates the conduct I of life and, therefore, limits
experience. Whereas learning is limitless.
Can one, in a school, not only acquire knowledge, which is necessary for living
in this world, but also have a mind that is constantly learning? The two are not in
contradiction. In a school, when knowledge becomes all important, learning
becomes a contradiction. Education should be concerned with the totality of life
and not with the immediate responses to the immediate challenges.
Let us see what is involved in the two. If one is living in terms of the
immediate, responding to the immediate challenge, the immediate is constantly
repeated in different ways. In one year it will be war, the next year it may be
revolution, in the third year industrial unrest; if one is living in terms of the 75
immediate, life becomes very superficial. But you may say that that is enough
because that is all we need to care about. That is one way of taking life. If you live
that way it is an empty life. You can fill it with cars, books, sex, drink, more
clothes, but it is shallow and empty. A man living an empty life, a shallow life, is
always trying to escape; and escape means delusion, more gods, more beliefs,
more dogmas, more authoritarian attitudes, or more football, more sex, more
television. The immediate responses of those who live in the immediate are
extraordinarily empty, futile, miserable. This is not my feeling or prejudice; you
can watch it. You may say that is enough, or you may say that that is not good
enough. So there must be the long vision, though I must of course act in the
immediate, do something about it when the house is burning, but that is not the
end of action. There must be something else, and how can one pursue that
something else without bringing in authority, books, priests? Can one wipe them
all out and pursue the other? If one pursues the other, this immediacy will be
answered in a greater and more vital way. So, what do you, as a human being
and also as an educator, a teacher, what do you feel about it?
I do not want you to agree with me. But if you have exercised your brain, if you
have observed world events, if you have watched your own inclinations, your own
demands, persuasions, if you have seen the whole state of man and his quivering
despair, how do you respond? What is your action, your way of looking at it all?
Forget that you are in a school. We talking as human beings.
Teacher: In meeting an immediate challenge, especially as one grows older,
one seems to bring in a sense of anxiety. Is there as one grows older, another
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by «getting older?» Older in terms of doing a
job? Older in terms of routine, boredom? What do you mean by age? What
makes you old? The organism wears out – why? Is it due to disease, or is it
because there is repetition like a machine going on over and over again? The 76
psyche is never alive; it is merely functioning in habit. So it reduces the body
quickly to old age. Why does the psyche become old, or need it ever get old? I do
not think it need ever get old. And is old age only a habit? Have you noticed old
people, how they eat, how they talk? And is it possible to keep the psyche
extraordinarily young, alive, innocent? Is it possible for the psyche to be alive and
never for a second lose its vitality through habit, through security, through family,
through responsibility? Of course it is possible, which means that you must
destroy everything you build. That is what I mean by the long vision. You have an
experience, pleasant or unpleasant, that leaves a mark, and the mind lives in
that: «I have had such a marvellous experience» or «I have had such a sad life,»
and there is a decaying in itself. So, experience, and the living in experience, is
Let us come back to my question. As a human being, living in this society, in a
world which is demanding immediate action, what is your response to the
immediate challenge? The immediate challenge is always asking you to respond
immediately, and you are caught in that. How do you, as a parent, as a teacher,
as a citizen, respond to it? For, according to your response, you are caught in it.
Whether you respond consciously or unconsciously, the effect of that will be on
Teacher: Is there a way by which this long vision becomes an actuality, as
actual as the immediate? Krishnamurti: Of course. Because the immediate is the
actual. There is the nuclear bomb – the Russian, the American, the French
scientists are inventing ways of producing cheap atom bombs – they may blow
themselves to bits. Why should you respond to it? The nuclear bomb is the result
of a long series of events – nationalism, industrialism, class differences, greed,
envy, hate, ambition – all these have produced the nuclear bomb. You reply
without understanding it – that America or Russia should be stopped from
producing nuclear bombs, and you call that an actual response. Without
answering the total, what is the good of replying to the fragments of the problem? 77
So, if this is the actual and you see that the actual produces such immature
responses, then you must pursue the other. Knowing that you must respond to
the immediate and also that you must have long vision, how do you bring this
about as an educator? Nobody is concerned with the other; no educator is
concerned with the long vision, the long view. Education today is concerned only
with the immediate. But if you are dissatisfied with the immediate, then how would
you pursue that and not neglect this? Do you see the urgency of it?
Shall I put the problem differently? How can one keep the mind young, never
let it grow old and never say, «I have had enough,» and seek a corner to stay in
and stagnate? That is the tendency and that is the actual fact. To get a position is
difficult, but once you have got it, you stagnate. Everything about the world is
destroying the long vision. Books, newspapers, politicians, priests, everything
influences you, and how does one walk out of it all? You are being contaminated
and yet you have to function and you cannot walk out of it.
Life is destruction, life is love, life is creation. We know none of it. It is a
tremendous thing. Now how would you translate all this into education?
Teacher: Is it possible to pursue one vision at the cost of another? Is it
possible to do away with the short vision?
Krishnamurti: The problem is not to run away from all this misery or to see
how to combine the two. You cannot combine the little with the big; the big has to
take in the little.
Teacher: But is it not better to follow the little in the beginning and come to the
Krishnamurti: Never. If you say the little is the first step, then you are lost, you
are caught in the little. Think it out for yourself. If you accept the little, then where
are you? You will be caught, won’t you – little family, little house, little husband,
little money, little clothes? You have made the little important, the little first and so 78
you have little responsibility in society. You are all so terribly respectable. Why do
you put the little first? Because that is the easiest way.
Teacher: How does one grasp the little and understand it?
Krishnamurti: You can only grasp the big, the little is not at all important, but
you have made it important.
it is a very delicate thing, a subtle thing, to have capacity and not to be a slave
to it, to respond immediately to things you have to respond to, and to have this
extraordinary depth and height and width.
Deny the little. Do you know what it is to deny? Deny not because you have
got the long vision but because what is denied is false. 79
Talk To Teachers
Chapter 3 On Action
Krishnamurti: Shall we consider the question of immediacy of action? Action is
pressing on each one of us, and there must be the long vision which includes the
immediacy; but the immediacy does not include the larger, the wider, the deeper.
Most people throughout the world who are intellectual and learned seem to be
caught in the immediate responses to immediate challenges. More scientists,
more engineers, more technicians are needed and education is geared to
produce them. The immediate demand is accepted and answered and so one
loses, I think, a larger perspective and therefore one’s mind and body and
emotions become very shallow and empty. If one actually realizes all this, not
verbally, but with a direct perception, how is a teacher to educate a student to
have not only technical knowledge, the know-how, but also a wider, deeper
understanding of life? How will you translate this into action in education? Is that
not what you have come here to do? How do you set about it, if you have not
already done it? I believe, here in Rishi Valley, the origin of the school was to
bring about a different kind of education. It was not only to provide the child with
knowledge but to make him understand that knowledge is not the end of life; that
it is necessary to be sensitive to trees, to beauty, to know what it is to love, to be
kind, to be generous. Now how would you set about it?
It seems at first absolutely necessary that there should be a few who have this
feeling, and by their enthusiasm, understanding, capacity, not only to impart
knowledge but also to see beyond the hills. If I were here and I felt this urgency
that a student must academically be most proficient, and also that he must know
how to dance, sing, look at the trees, see the mountains, know how to look at a
woman without the usual sexual attitude and consider the extraordinary beauty of
life, know sorrow and go beyond sorrow – if I were here, how would I set about it? 80
If I were here and my sole job was that, I would not leave any one of you
alone. I would discuss with you the way you talk, dress, look, behave, eat; I would
be at it all the time – and probably you would call me a tyrant and talk of
democracy and freedom. I do not think it is a question of democracy, tyranny and
freedom. You see, this brings up the question of authority. We have talked about
it a great deal in this place, on and off, whenever I have come; but let us discuss
To me, authority is terrible, destructive. The quality of authority is tyrannical –
the authority of the priest, the police – authority of law. Those are all outward
authorities. There is also the inward authority of knowledge, of one’s own dignity
of one’s own experience which dictates certain attitudes to life. All this breeds
authority and without exercising this authority, you have to look after the child, to
see that he has good taste, that he puts on the right clothes, eats properly, has a
certain dignity in speech, in the way he walks; you have also to teach him to play
games, not competitively and ruthlessly, but for the fun of it. To awaken in him all
this without authority is extremely difficult and because of its difficulty, you resort
to authority. One must have discipline in the school. Now, can you bring about
discipline without exercising authority? Children must come to meals regularly,
not talk incessantly at meal time, everything must be in proportion, in freedom
and affection; and there must be a certain non-authoritarian awakening of self-
To give knowledge which does not become an end in itself and to educate the
mind to have a long vision, a wide comprehension of life, is not possible if
education is based on author.
Teacher: It is extremely difficult to bring about an inner orderliness in the child
without discipline, without restraint and authority. Adults are in a different position
from children. 81
Krishnamurti: I wonder if that is so. We are conditioned and children are being
conditioned. Can education bring about a revolutionary mind? The difficulty is that
this has to begin at a very tender age, not when children are fourteen or older. By
then they are already formed and destroyed but if they came to you very young
what would you do to encourage a feeling that there are other things than mere
sex, money and position?
Besides giving the child information as knowledge, how would you show him
that the world is not only the immediate but that there are other things far
greater? First, you and I must feel this, not merely because I talk about it or you
talk about it. I must be burning with it, and if I am burning with it, how do I
communicate it without influencing the child? Because when I influence, I destroy
the child; I make him conform to the image I have. So I must realize, though I feel
very strongly about all this, that in my relationship with the student, however
young, I must not encourage an imitative attitude and action. This is all extremely
difficult. If I love somebody, I want him to be different, to do things differently, to
look at life, to feel the beauty of the earth. Can I show him all this without
influence, without breeding the imitative instinct?
Teacher: Before we come to help the child without influencing him, is there an
approach which we can establish in ourselves, because in our lives there seem to
be so many contradictions?
Krishnamurti: In order to establish it – one must change, remove the
contradictions, wipe out destructive feelings. That may take many days or
perhaps no time at all. We say that can be done through analysis, through
awareness, through questioning, enquiring, probing. All that involves time. But
time is a danger. Because the moment we look to time to change, it is really a
continuation of what has been. If I have to enquire into my mind and be aware of
my activities and my conditioning and my demands and each day probe, all that
entails time. Time as a means to mutation is illusion. And when I introduce time 82
into the problem of mutation, then mutation is postponed, because then time is
merely a further continuation of my desire to go on as I am. Time is necessary to
learn French. The time taken to learn French is not an illusion, but to bring about
a psychological mutation, a psychical change in myself through time is an illusion,
because it encourages laziness, postponement, a sense of achievement, vanity.
All that is implied in the employment of time when I use time as a means to
mutation. So, if I do not look to time at all for mutation, then what happens?
It is a marvellous thing. All religious people have seen time as a means of
change and actually we find mutation can only be out of time, not through time.
Teacher: Does that not apply to all creative action?
Krishnamurti: Of course it does. So can my mind refuse to use time and deny
time as a means to mutation? Do you see the beauty of it? Then what takes
The thing which I want changed has been put together through time, it is the
result of time, and I deny time. Therefore I deny the whole thing and therefore
mutation has taken place. I do not know if you see this. It is not a verbal trick.
Have you understood it? If I deny my conditioning as a Hindu, which is the
result of time, and I deny time, I deny the whole thing. I am out of it. If I deny ritual
– the Christian, Hindu or Buddhist – deny it because it is the product of time, I am
out. I do not have to ask how to bring about mutation. The thing itself is the result
of time and I deny time – it is finished.
So the mind in which mutation has taken place, that mind can then instruct,
can look, can bring about a definite series of environmental actions. One cannot
deny the use of time for acquiring knowledge but does time exist anywhere else? 83
Teacher: Even in activities we need time, we seem to do things in a sloppy
way and therefore time hangs heavily. If the understanding of time in all these
things is as simple as this, why are we not able to get out of it?
Krishnamurti: But if you give your whole attention, not to mutation through time
but to denying time, you would then be in a position to teach in a totally different
way. The boys and girls are here to acquire knowledge and if you can impart this
knowledge with attention which is not using time to convey information, then you
are quickening their minds.
That is what I am interested in, which is, to awaken the mind, to keep the mind
tremendously alive. We say the mind can be kept alive through knowledge and
therefore we pour in knowledge which only dulls the mind. A mind that functions
in time is still a limited mind. But a mind which does not function in time is
extraordinarily alert, is tremendously alive and can impart its aliveness to a mind
which is still seeking, enquiring, innocent. So we have discovered something
new. You and I have discovered something. I have imparted something to you.
Together we have found that the mind functions in time and the mind is the result
of time. In that state, the mind can only give information. Such a mind is limited.
But a mind that is not functioning, thinking in terms of time, though it uses time,
will quicken the mind of another and therefore knowledge will not destroy. You
see, such a mind is in a state of learning, not acquiring. Therefore it is
everlastingly alive; such a mind is young.
Some of the boys in this school are already old, because they are merely
concerned with acquiring knowledge, not with learning. And learning is out of
time. Now, how will you set about quickening the mind, keeping it astonishingly
alive all the time?
You have to understand the quality of a mind in which mutation has taken
place. It has taken place the moment you deny time. You have thrown the whole
past out. You are no longer a Hindu, a Christian. Now how will such a mind in 84
which mutation has taken place instruct, translate its action? How will it act in
giving knowledge which involves time, and yet keep the mind of the child in a
state of intense aliveness? Find out. 85
Talk To Teachers
Chapter 4 On The True Denial
Teacher: In one of your talks to the children you said that when a problem
arises one should solve it immediately. How is one to do this?
Krishnamurti: To solve a problem immediately, you have to understand the
problem. Is the understanding of a problem a matter of time or is it a matter of
intensity of perception, an intensity of seeing? Let us say that I have a problem: I
am vain. It is a problem with me in the sense that it creates a conflict, a
contradiction within me. It is a fact that I am vain and there is also another fact
that I do not want to be vain. Firstly, I have to understand the fact that I am vain. I
have to live with that fact. I must not only be intensely aware of the fact but
comprehend it fully. Now, is comprehension a matter of time? I can see the fact
immediately, can’t I? And the immediacy of perception, of seeing, dissolves the
fact. When I see a cobra there is immediate action. But I do not see vanity in the
same way – when I see vanity either I like it and therefore I continue with it, or I do
not want it because it creates conflict. If it does not create conflict there is no
Perception and understanding are not of time. Perception is a matter of
intensity of seeing, a seeing that is total. What is the nature of seeing something
totally? What gives one the capacity, the energy, the vitality, the drive, to deal
with something immediately, with all one’s undivided energy? The moment you
have divided energy you have conflict and therefore there is no seeing, there is
no perception of something total. Now, what gives you the energy to make you
jump when you see a cobra? What are the processes that make the organic as
well as the psychological, the whole being, jump, so that there is no hesitation, so
that the reaction is immediate? What has gone into that immediacy? Several 86
things have gone into that action which is immediate: fear, natural protection,
which must be there, the knowledge that the cobra is a deadly thing.
Now, why have we not the same energetic action with regard to the dissolution
of vanity? I am taking vanity as an example. There are several reasons that have
gone into my lack of energy. I like vanity; the world is based on it; it is the basis of
the social pattern; it gives me a certain sense of vitality, a certain quality of dignity
and aloofness, a sense that I am a little better than another. All this prevents that
energy which is necessary to dissolve vanity. Now, either I analyse all the
reasons which have prevented my action, prevented my having energy to deal
with vanity, or I see immediately. Analysis is a process of time and a process of
postponement. While I am analysing, vanity continues and time is not going to
end it. So I have to see vanity totally and I lack the energy to see. Now, to gather
the dissipated energy requires a gathering not only when I am confronted with a
problem such as vanity, but a gathering all the time, even when there is no
problem. We do not have problems all the time. There are moments when we
have no problems. If at those moments we are gathering energy, gathering in the
sense of being aware, then, when the problem arises, we can meet it and not go
through the process of analysis.
Teacher: There is another difficulty: when there is no problem, and no
gathering of this energy, some form of mentation is going on.
Krishnamurti: There is a waste of energy in mere repetition, reaction to
memory, reaction to experience. If you observe your own mind you will see that a
pleasurable incident keeps on repeating itself. You want to go back to it, you want
to think about it, so it gathers momentum. When the mind is aware there is no
wastage, is it possible to let that momentum, to let that thought flower? Which
means never to say, «This is right or wrong», but to live the thought over, to have
a feeling in which the thought can flourish so that by itself it will come to an end. 87
Should we approach the problem differently? We have been talking about
creating a generation with a new quality of mind. How do we do this? If I were a
teacher here, it would be my concern – and a good educator obviously has this
concern at heart – to bring about a new mind, a new sensitivity, a new feeling for
the trees, the skies, the heavens, the streams, to bring into being a new
consciousness, not the old consciousness remolded into a new shape. I mean a
totally new mind, uncontaminated by the past. If that is my concern, how do I set
First of all, is it possible to bring about such a new mind? Not a mind which is
a continuity of the past in a new mould but a mind that is uncontaminated. Is it
feasible, or must the past continue through the present to be modified and be put
into a new mould? In which case there is no new generation, it is the older
generation repeated in a new form.
I think it is possible to create a new generation. And I ask: How am I, not only
to experience this within myself, but to express it to the student?
If I see something experimentally in myself I cannot miss expressing it to the
student. Surely it is not a question of I and the other, but a mutual thing, isn’t it?
Now how do I bring about a mind that is uncontaminated? You and I are not
newborn, we have been contaminated by society, by Hinduism, by education, by
the family, by society, by newspapers. How do we break through the
contamination? Do I say it is part of my existence and accept it? What do I do,
sir? Here is a problem – that our minds are contaminated. For the older ones it is
more difficult to break through. You are comparatively young and the problem is
to uncontaminate the mind; how is it to be done?
Either it is possible, or it is not possible. Now how is one to discover whether it
is or not? I would like you to jump into it. 88
Do you know what is meant by the word «denial»? What does it mean to deny
the past, to deny being a Hindu? What do you mean by that word «deny»? Have
you ever denied anything? There is a true denial and a false denial. The denial
with a motive is a false denial. The denial with a purpose, the denial with an
intention, with an eye on the future, is not a denial. If I deny something in order to
get something more, it is not denial. But there is a denial which has no motive.
When I deny and do not know what is in store for me in the future, that is true
denial. I deny being a Hindu, I deny belonging to any organization, I deny any
particular creed and in that very denial I make myself completely insecure. Do
you know such a denial, and have you ever denied anything? Can you deny the
past that way – deny, not knowing what is in the future? Can you deny the
Teacher: When I deny something – say Hinduism, there is a simultaneous
understanding of what Hinduism is.
Krishnamurti: What we were discussing is the bringing about of a new mind
and if it is possible. A mind that is contaminated cannot be a new mind. So we
are talking of decontamination, and whether that is possible. And in relation to
that I began by asking what you mean by denial, because I think denial has a
great deal to do with it. Denial has to do with a new mind. If I deny cleanly,
without roots, without motive, it is real denial. Now is that possible? You see, if I
do not completely deny society in which is involved politics, economics, social
relationships, ambition, greed – if I do not deny all that completely, it is impossible
to find out what it is to have a new mind. Therefore, the first breaking of the
foundation is the denial of the things I have known. Is that possible? Obviously,
drugs will not bring about a new mind; nothing will bring it about except a total
denial of the past. Is it possible? What do you say? And if I have felt the perfume,
the sight, the taste of such denial, how do I help to convey it to a student? He
must have in abundance the known – mathematics, geography, history – and yet
be abundantly free of the known, remorselessly free of it. 89
Teacher: Sir, all sensations leave a residue, a disturbance which lead to
various kinds of conflict and other forms of mental activity. The traditional
approach of all religions is to deny this sensation by discipline and denial. But in
what you say there seems to be a heightened receptivity to these sensations so
that you see the sensations without distortion or residue.
Krishnamurti: That is the issue. Sensitivity and sensation are two different
things. A mind that is a slave to thought, sensation, feeling, is a residual mind. It
enjoys the residue, it enjoys thinking about the pleasurable world and each
thought leaves a mark, which is the residue. Each thought of a certain pleasure
you have had, leaves a mark which makes for insensitivity. It obviously dulls the
mind and discipline, control and suppression further dull the mind. I am saying
that sensitivity is not sensation, that sensitivity implies no mark, no residue. So
what is the question?
Teacher: Is the denial of which you are speaking different from a denial which
is the restriction of sensation?
Krishnamurti: How do you see those flowers, see the beauty of them, be
completely sensitive to them so that there is no residue, no memory of them, so
that when you see them again an hour later you see a new flower? That is not
possible if you see as a sensation and that sensation is associated with flowers,
with pleasure. The traditional way is to shut out what is pleasurable because such
associations awaken other forms of pleasure and so you discipline yourself not to
look. To cut association with a surgical knife is immature. So how is the mind,
how are the eyes, to see the tremendous colour and yet have it leave no mark?
I am not asking for a method. How does that state come into being? Otherwise
we cannot be sensitive. It is like a photographic plate which receives impressions
and is self-renewing. It is exposed, and yet becomes negative for the next
impression. So all the time, it is self-cleansing of every pleasure. Is that possible
or are we playing with words and not with facts? 90
The fact which I see clearly is that any residual sensitivity, sensation, dulls the
mind. I deny that fact, but I do not know what it is to be so extraordinarily
sensitive that experience leaves no mark and yet to see the flower with fullness,
with tremendous intensity. I see as an undeniable fact that every sensation, every
feeling, every thought, leaves a mark, shapes the mind, and that such marks
cannot possibly bring about a new mind. I see that to have a mind with marks is
death, so I deny death. But I do not know the other. I also see that a good mind is
sensitive without the residue of experience. It experiences, but the experience
leaves no mark from which it draws further experiences, further conclusions,
The one I deny and the other I do not know. How is this transition from the
denial of the known to the unknown to come into being? How does one deny?
Does one deny the known, not in great dramatic incidents but in little incidents?
Do I deny when I am shaving and I remember the lovely time I had in
Switzerland? Does one deny the remembrance of a pleasant time? Does one
grow aware of it, and deny it? That is not dramatic, it is not spectacular, nobody
knows about it. Still this constant denial of little things, the little wiping’s, the little
rubbing’s off, not just one great big wiping away, is essential. It is essential to
deny thought as remembrance, pleasant or unpleasant, every minute of the day
as it arises. One is doing it not for any motive, not in order to enter into the
extraordinary state of the unknown. You live in Rishi Valley and think of Bombay
or Rome. This creates a conflict, makes the mind dull, a divided thing. Can you
see this and wipe it away? Can you keep on wiping away not because you want
to enter into the unknown? You can never know what the unknown is because
the moment you recognise it as the unknown you are back in the known.
The process of recognition is a process of the continued known. As I do not
know what the unknown is I can only do this one thing, keep on wiping thought
away as it arises. 91
You see that flower, feel it, see the beauty, the intensity, the extraordinary
brilliance of it. Then you go to the room in which you live, which is not well
proportioned, which is ugly. You live in the room but you have a certain sense of
beauty and you begin to think of the flower and you pick up the thought as it
arises and you wipe it away. Now from what depth do you wipe, from what depth
do you deny the flower, your wife, your gods, your economic life? You have to live
with your wife, your children, with this ugly monstrous society. You cannot
withdraw from life. But when you deny totally thought, sorrow, pleasure, your
relationship is different and so there must be a total denial, not a partial denial,
not a keeping of the things which you like and a denying of the things which you
do not like.
Now, how do you translate what you have understood to the student?
Teacher: You have said that in teaching and learning, the situation is one of
intensity where you do not say «I am teaching you something». Now this constant
wiping away of the marks of thought, has it something to do with the intensity of
the teaching-learning situation?
Krishnamurti: Obviously. You see, I feel that teaching and learning are both
the same. What is taking place here? I am not teaching you – I am not your
teacher or authority, I am merely exploring and conveying my exploration to you.
You can take it or leave it. The position is the same with regard to students.
Teacher: What is the teacher then to do?
Krishnamurti: You can only find out when you are constantly denying. Have
you ever tried it? It is as if you cannot sleep for a single minute during the day
Teacher: It not only needs energy, sir, but also releases a lot of energy.
Krishnamurti: But first you must have the energy to deny. 92 93
Talk To Teachers
Chapter 5 On Competition
We have been talking of establishing a right communication between
ourselves and the student, and in the state of communion to bring about a
different atmosphere or climate, in which the student begins to learn. I do not
know if you have noticed that as frivolity is contagious so is seriousness. It is a
seriousness that does not arise because of a heavy face or a heavy heart but a
seriousness which comes into being when we are in a state of relationship,
I think learning can exist only in that state of communion between the teacher
and the student, as between you and me – not that I am your teacher. You know
what the word «communion» means: to communicate, to be in touch, to transmit a
certain feeling, to share it, not only at the verbal level but also at an intellectual
level and also to feel much more deeply, subtly. I think the word «communion»
means all that, and in that state, at all levels, in that atmosphere, in that sense of
togetherness, is it not possible for both the teacher and the student to learn? I
think that is the only state in which to learn, not when you sit on a pedestal and
pour information down the throat of the student. Could we establish that
communion, not only with the speaker but with trees, with nature, with the world,
with the early morning when we get up, a sense of communion in which we
This morning could we discuss something which I feel not only the
professional teacher but the human being should consider, because what we are
to discuss has a great deal of significance in life? The whole of civilization, not
only in India but in the rest of the world, is geared to competition, to success, to
achievement. The ambitious man seems to be the respected entity – the
ambitious man, the aggressive man who wants to succeed, to intrigue, to pull 94
strings and so get to the top of the heap. There is everlasting competition not only
in the class room of a school but also in daily life, in the attitude of the clerk who
feels he must become the manager and the manager the director and the director
the board president and so on. This is the established pattern of existence in
modern civilization. You see everywhere that man is after success and it is he
who is respected, politically at least, and the same attitude exists in the school.
You tell the student he is not as good, not as intelligent as another student. You
coax the child, goad him, encourage him to compete, to succeed, to arrive at a
certain intellectual level. You are worshippers of labels.
So you have an inborn attitude, which is essentially competitive and
aggressive. This is so not only in economic and social life but also in religious life.
There is this everlasting struggle to climb, to compete, to compare at all the levels
of our being. Do you question this background of the superior and the inferior or
do you accept it as inevitable and carry on? And will this bring about real
learning? Is this natural to life? Natural not in the primitive sense of that word but
is this a cultured life? Would you bring up your child this way? Do you think it is
the right way of existence? I know it is the accepted pattern, but is it the true
way? First of all, what does this competition, this comparison, do to the mind? Do
you think you learn through competition? Let us examine this. You know that it is
the established pattern at all levels of our being, at all stages of our existence, to
compare, to have goals, to achieve. This is the whole structure of human
When you see two pictures on the wall, your attitude is that if the name of the
painter is well known, whatever he paints is excellent. But the man whose name
is not known, his picture is inferior. This happens all the time. Is that right? Will
that attitude bring comprehension, will that help us to learn? Not that I must not
have the capacity to discriminate, but will comparison help the mind to
understand, to learn? Is comparison a state of mind in which one learns? 95
How will you proceed to help the student if both you and the student have this
attitude of competition, of comparison? Let us make this very simple. What does
this competition do to the mind? What happens to the mind that is always
comparing, achieving success, worshipping success?
Teacher: It is tiring itself.
Krishnamurti: You are still watching the effects, the results, but you are not
watching the mind itself. You are not watching the nature of the mind itself which
is doing this, the mind which is in movement, which is in a state of competition.
Please look at the mind itself which is doing these things.
Teacher: If the mind is going to measure success by achievement, when it
does not achieve, there is frustration.
Krishnamurti: You are still dealing with results. I want to tackle the mind.
Perhaps analogies are tiring. The seed of an oak can never become the pine
tree. You say: «I do not know what seed I am but I want to become a pine, or an
ash, or the oak». We do not know the seed or the state of the mind itself, but
concern ourselves with what it should be.
Let us experience the thing rather than verbalize it. We compete, worship
success, because we feel that if we did not compete, we would stagnate. That is
merely a speculative response, it is not an actual fact. You do not know what
would happen. When you see what you are, whatever it is, then you begin to
learn. Water is water in all circumstances whether it is in the river or in a single
drink. At present we have no foundation from which to learn. What we are doing
is merely adding. The additive process is what we call learning. It is no learning.
It is only the mind that is in a state in which it is not comparing, when it has
understood the absurdity of comparing, that it can establish a foundation from
which it can start to learn in the true sense of the word. 96
If there is such a foundation in which there is no wandering, no longing, it is a
solid foundation and on that you can build. The building is the structure of
learning and from that learning there is action and never conformity, and
therefore never a sense of fear, never a sense of frustration.
Can you help the student to learn in that manner? For the student to learn, you
must differentiate totally between the process of addition and learning. Then, you
are creating a real human being, not a machine. If you do not see that, how are
you going to help the student? Can you wipe away all competition with one
sweep, which means can you wipe away the so-called structure of a society?
You are teachers; a new generation is coming into your hands. Do you want
them to continue in the same way? If you feel that this society in which we have
grown up is a rotten thing, how will you help the student to create a new quality of
mind in which the monster of competition has no part? What are the steps you
will take, day after day, to see that the child is not drowned, swallowed up by
society? What will you do, step by step, to help him?
Teacher: The child should not be brought up with luxuries.
Krishnamurti: What is wrong with luxuries? He may wear clean clothes, he
may sit in a chair, have good food. To me it is luxury, to you it is not. What has
luxury to do with this? You are laying down the law, the ideal of «luxury».
Talk to the child not once a week, talk to him about it all the time, because he
is being conditioned to compete. How will you help him not to be caught in the
vicious circle of competition?
Teacher: By making him see that he should not be afraid and that as an
individual he is unique and has a contribution to make. Krishnamurti: If an
individual realizes he is unique, so unique that there is no other like him, is he
unique factually? He comes with all the prejudices of his parents. Where is the
uniqueness in that poor child? You have to strip him of all his conditioning and 97
can you strip him of it? Is it not your function as a teacher to do that? It is your
responsibility. You have to see it, to see that it is true; and you have to feel it so
that you will transmit it. But the boy may not feel it is so urgent. How will you
commune with the child so that he learns? How will you teach him or help him to
learn without the spirit of competition?
Teacher: I am not able to feel for the child unless the feeling is inside me, and
when it is not there I feel I have already destroyed the child.
Krishnamurti: I will tell you. Every case has its own lesson. You do not feel it
because you yourself are competing. Are you not competing for money, position
prestige? As long as you do not feel strongly about this, what will you do? You
cannot wait till you completely understand. So what will you do? Do not give the
student marks but keep a record for yourself to see how he is behaving, how he
is learning and the stage of his knowledge and so on, but do not goad him and
help him to compete.
Let us go over what we have discussed. Real learning comes about when the
competitive spirit has ceased. The competitive spirit is merely an additive process
which is not learning at all. We want the child to learn and not merely add
knowledge to himself like a machine. To help the child to learn basically and
fundamentally he must cease to compete, with all its implications. Now, one of
the ways to do this is to I see the truth of not comparing. Now, how will you help
the child not to be competitive?
Teacher: As I teach mathematics I think of the ways I can present the subject
matter so that it will be interesting. So many things operate in relationship when a
thing like this is presented, and how do we communicate them? It is a very vast
thing, so we can only say it in parts.
Krishnamurti: You are not meeting the point. When I say: «What will you do?» I
mean not only in terms of action but also in terms of feeling. They are not two 98
different things, the feeling and the action. I see very clearly that competitiveness
is destructive not only in the classroom but right through life. Here is a young
child; I want to help him to understand. How am I to proceed? I can talk to him
and say, «Look at what is happening in life. There is misery, conflict». Talk to him
so that you do not create condemnation, you do not create reaction. Look at the
picture. See it very clearly as you would see London or Bombay on the map. Help
the student to see very clearly, that is the first job. Convey to him the urgency of
the feeling. Do not try to convince him, influence him, do not talk to him in terms
of condemnation, in terms of agreement, persuasion. Show him the fact.
Establish the fact. Then you are dealing with him entirely factually, scientifically,
not romantically, sentimentally or emotionally. You have established between him
and you right relationship. You are dealing with facts and you have established a
relationship between you of mutual understanding of the fact, the corruptive fact
of competition. Then he and you sit down and say «What are we going to do
actually, in action?»
Translation of the feeling of communion depends entirely on the intensity of
this feeling. Now, you have established the feeling, the truth, the fact, that
competition is deadly, but you have not communicated this fact to the child. That
is the first thing to do. 99
Talk To Teachers
Chapter 6 On Fear
Krishnamurti: How would you, as an educator, tackle the problem of the
eradication of fear in the student? Can you set about it as you would set about
teaching mathematics? First, you must understand fear for yourself before you
can help another. You have to understand the implication of fear, how fear comes
about. Just as you know Hindi or some other subject, you have to know
something of fear. Society is doing everything to inculcate fear by laying down
standards, religious ideals, class distinctions, ideas of success, the sense of the
inferior and the superior, the rich man and the poor man. Society is doing
everything possible to breed distorted values.
The question is not only for the teacher to go deeply into fear but also to see
that fear is not transmitted and for the student to be able to recognize the causes
that breed fear. As teachers, would this not be a problem to you? We have very
little love in our lives, not only to receive but to give; love not in any mystical
sense but the actual feeling of love, pity, compassion, generosity, an action which
does not emanate from a centre. And as you have very little love, what would you
do with the student, how would you help him to have this flame?
Does religion mean anything to you? Not ceremonies, but the religious feeling,
the religious benediction, the sacredness of something? Religion, fear, love – are
they not very interrelated? You cannot understand the one without the other.
There is fear, there is this appalling dearth of love – I mean the passion of it, the
intensity of it – and then there is this feeling of benediction which is not mere
recompense, which is not a reward for righteous action, which has nothing to do
with religious organizations. 100
Do you walk in the evening and have you noticed those villagers crossing the
fields? How beautiful it all is? And the villager is totally unconscious of the beauty
of the land, of the hills, of the water. For the villager returning to his unhealthy
home there is nothing. There is fear, there is the immense problem of love and
the feeling of sympathy when you see the poor villager go by. Don’t you feel a
tremendous surging in yourself, a despair at the colossal misery of it all? What
can one do? There is the ability to receive and to give, to feel, and to have
generosity, kindness, humility. What does it mean to you? How do you awaken
this thing in yourself or awaken it in another? Can there be an approach that is
not an isolated critical comprehension but an understanding that is total – of fear,
love, the religious feeling?
Now how am I to approach the problem? Am I to take each problem one by
one, to take fear, look at it, and then study love? How am I to capture the whole
thing? If you have the feeling of a sound, you have the feeling of a song and if
you have a feeling for the silence between sounds you have the delight of the
movement of a song. Song is not just the word, just the sound, it is the peculiar
combination of the sound, the silence and the continuation of the sound. To
understand music surely there must be comprehension of the whole thing. And in
the same way, is fear an isolated problem which has to be comprehended by
itself and love by itself and the religious feeling by itself, or is there an approach
to the whole, a total thing?
Have you ever watched a rain drop? The rain drop contains the whole of the
rain, the whole of the river, the whole of the ocean. That drop makes the river,
makes the ravines, excavates the Grand Canyon, becomes a vibrant thundering
waterfall. In the same way can my mind look at fear, love, religion, god, as a
movement, rather than as an isolated introspection, an analytical examination, a
Teacher: What is the relationship between fear and love? 101
Krishnamurti: If I am afraid, how can I have sympathy for anybody? An
ambitious man does not know about the earth and the brotherhood of man. An
ambitious man knows no love. Can a man who is afraid of death, of what his
neighbours might say, of his wife, security, job, have sympathy? The one
excludes the other.
Teacher: We operate only in parts, we try through parts to apprehend the
Krishnamurti: What will transform fear? Teacher: Understanding.
Krishnamurti: What brings the transformation and who is to transform? I have
observed my mind which says, «I am afraid» and I want to get at what my mind is
trying to do. What is effort and who is the maker of effort? Unless one goes into it
very deeply, the mere saying «I must get rid of fear» has very little meaning.
There is fear, there is love, and this feeling of immensity. I can analyse fear
step by step. I can go into the causes of fear, the effects of fear, I can go into why
I am afraid, and who is the maker of effort and whether the maker of effort is
different from the thing which is making effort. And I can enquire into whether
there is a mind which can observe effort, the maker of effort and the thing upon
which he is making an effort, not only objectively but inwardly. At the end of it all,
there is still lurking fear. I can go very analytically into this question of religion,
dogma, belief, superstition but at the end of this analyzing still where I am. I have
learned the techniques of analysis and at the end of it, my mind is so sharp that it
can follow every movement of fear. But fear still lurks.
Now what is the nature of the mind that takes in the whole, digests it at one
sweep and throws out what is not worthwhile?
There must be an approach which will give one a total comprehension, a total
feeling with which one can approach each problem. Can I capture the whole
meaning of something, of love, fear, religion, that extraordinary feeling of 102
immensity, of beauty and then approach each problem individually? You have
seen trees. Do you take in the whole tree or do you merely look at the branch ar,d
the leaves and the flower? Do you see the whole tree inside you? After all, a tree
is the root, the branch the flower, the fruit, the sap, the whole of the tree. Can you
grasp the feeling, the significance, the beauty of the whole tree and then look at
the branch? Such an observation will have tremendous significance.
When you look at a tree next time, see the shape of it, the symmetry of it, the
depth, the feeling, the beauty, the quality of the whole thing. I am talking of the
feeling of the whole. In the same way you have a body: you have feelings,
emotions; there is the mind, there are memories – the conscious and unconscious
traditions, the centuries of accumulated impressions, the family name – can you
feel the whole of that? If you do not feel the whole of that but merely dissect your
emotions, it is immature. Can you feel within yourself this whole thing and with
that feeling of the whole being, attack fear?
Fear is an immense problem. Can you approach it with an immensity to meet
Teacher: It is not always possible, sir, we often get lost in our immediate
Krishnamurti: But once you have the feeling of this immensity, life has a
different colouration, it has a different quality.
Teacher: You are only conscious of this immensity at times.
Krishnamurti: I do not think you have ever thought of it, have you?
Teacher: Yes, I have, once in a way, by detaching myself from the immediate
problem and looking at it. 103
Krishnamurti: I do not mean that. I mean to have the feeling of all time, not
today, tomorrow, the day after day, but the feeling of all time. To think in terms of
man, the world, the universe is an extraordinary feeling. And with that feeling can
one approach the particular problem? Otherwise we are going to land in an
intellectual or emotional chaos.
What is the difficulty in this? Is it the incapacity, the narrowness of the mind,
the immediate occupation, the immediate concern for the child, the husband, the
wife which so takes up your time that you have no time to think of it? Take the
word, «immediate». There is no immediate, it is an endless thing. You make it into
an immediate problem; that problem is the result of a thousand yesterdays and a
thousand tomorrow’s. There is no immediacy. There is fear, love and man’s urge
for the immense. Can you capture some of the quality of the feeling and say, «Let
me look at fear»?
What significance has fear, and how will you proceed to help the student? You
should prepare the student for the whole of life, and life is an extraordinarily vast
thing. And when you use the word «life» it is all the oceans and the mountains and
the trees and all of human aspirations, human miseries, despairs, struggles, the
immensity of it all. Can you help the student to apprehend that immensity of life?
Must you not help the student to have this feeling?
Do any of you meditate? Not only to sit still, not only to examine the ways of
the mind but also to invite the conscious and the unconscious and to push further
into silence and see what happens further and further. If you do not do this, are
you not missing a lot in life?
Meditation is a form of self-recollected awareness, a form of discovery, a form
of cutting loose from tradition, from ideas, conclusions, a sense of being
completely alone, which is death. With that sense of the total, can you meet the
Let us become a little more practical. How do we set about to help the student
actually to be free from fear?
Teacher: I wouLd see that my relationship with the student is friendly. It would
be stupid to discuss fear if I were not friendly with him. I would create situations,
both practical and intellectual, where he would understand what fear actually
means, intellectually explain the causes and effects of fear because the mind
needs to be sharpened, and I would see if I could make him experience this
wholeness of outlook and feeling.
Krishnamurti: Be factual. In the class, how will you teach? How will you help
the student to understand? There is a gap between the child and the total feeling,
how would you lead up to that?
Teacher: It should be possible to awaken in him a curiosity which is of a subtle
type. The next thing I would like to do with him is to get him to appreciate quality
in work, in playing a game, in mathematics or other subjects. I would find out
what his interests were, how he reacted, and if I were able to progress further, I
would see whether something more happened between me and the student.
Krishnamurti: You have done the obvious things which are necessary. You
would talk to him, you would show him how fear comes into being and all that.
What next? Factually how will you help the student to be free from fear? I think
that is the real issue. When there is an opportunity, would you be in a meditative,
reflective self-recollected state which might help the student to see clearly what
fear is? You see that is the necessary thing, but you leave that thing hanging.
What would you actually do? What would you do factually?
Teacher: Meditation would help the mind to deal with the situation.
Krishnamurti: I may have a feeling for all this. Now how am I to translate it into
action? What am I to do with those dozen children? 105
Teacher: The feeling will translate itself. It is a link of love with the children
which will help.
Krishnamurti: First have affection, then use every occasion to help the student
to be free from fear, explain to him the causes of fear and use every incident to
show how he is afraid, In the class, in the very teaching of history, mathematics,
talk to him about it. But what next? Proceed.
Teacher: In doing all this I am also watchful to see that what I am doing to him
is not also being undone.
Krishnamurti: What is the total effect on the child of what you have said, the
fact of your affection, your explanations? Is it not making him turn inward, and
what does that do?
Teacher: It helps him face some immediate problems.
Krishnamurti: You have helped the student to look at himself, you have helped
him to be aware of this fear and to turn inward in the sense that he feels more
conscious of the fear. You have to balance it by something else.
Teacher: Do you mean, sir, that this process of internal introspection is likely
to lead to some complications in the child? Krishnamurti: It is bound to lead to a
kind of self-conscious feeling. «Am I doing the right thing or the wrong thing?»
There would be nervousness or self importance, or the showing off in «How
fearless I am!» How will you balance that? Think it out, use your mind very
carefully. At this stage I think the problem again requires a different kind of
approach. Otherwise you will be helping the child by concentrated attention to
become self-conscious, self-assertive, arrogant, and with an authoritarian
Teacher: There should be an opportunity for the child to be sensitive to other
things which are not within. 106
Krishnamurti: It appears to me, you will unconsciously strengthen egotism, a
sense of self-importance, a sense of being offensive, aggressive, rude.
You have so far dealt with the movement of the mind. The tide is moving in,
the tide also moves out. If it remains inward it is like the backwaters of a bay, but
if the tide has a movement inward, then it has to have an outward movement.
You have dealt so far only with an inward movement. How will you help the
student to move out?
Teacher: When you spoke of the outward movement, I felt I was not looking
from the point of the whole but from the development of the partial movement.
Krishnamurti: If I had not kept on pushing and therefore made you realize it
was only a partial answer, you would not have moved. You only talk of the inner
movement but it is a movement of the tide both inward and outward. It is a
movement you have created in one direction and you do not know how to treat
the inner and the outer as one movement. Teacher: Is it not possible right from
the beginning to move both inward and outward?
Krishnamurti: What is the outward movement that is going to give the
Teacher: Not only the balance, but a sense of humility that comes now and
Krishnamurti: There are hills, trees, the river, the sands. That is the outward
movement. The perception, the seeing, that is the outward movement. Nature
has provided you with the beauty of all this, the rivers, trees, the arid land. So
there has to be movement both outward and inward, the everlasting movement. 107
Talk To Teachers
Chapter 7 On Teaching And Learning
Teacher: We realize that we cannot see a fact unless the mind is empty of
thought. But even if it is empty for a while, thought seems to arise again. How do
we end thought? Can we discuss this?
Krishnamurti: I wonder if all of us understand the importance of the role of
thinking? Is thought important, and at what level is it important? What is thinking?
What makes us think? Where is thought important and where is it not important,
and how do you answer that question? And what is the machinery that is set
going when a question is asked?
Is thinking merely the habitual response to a habitual pattern? You live here in
this school in a certain groove, with certain patterns of thoughts, habits, feelings.
You live, you function in those habits, patterns and systems, and the functioning
of the brain, thought is very limited. And when you go out of the valley you live in
a little wider field. You have certain grooves of action and you follow them. It is all
a mechanical process really, but in that pattern of mechanical activity there are
certain variations. You modify, change, but always in that pattern, wherever you
are, whatever position you may have – minister, governor or doctor, or professor –
it is always a groove with varying changes and modifications. You function in
patterns. I am not saying it is right or wrong, I am just examining it. You have
beliefs but they are in the background and you go on with your daily activities,
with your envy, greed, jealousy. Whenever your beliefs are questioned you get
irritated but you go on. Children are being educated to think, to form grooves of
habits and to function in those habits for the rest of their lives. They are going to
get jobs, they are going to be engineers, doctors, and for the rest of their lives,
the pattern will be set. Any deviation from that is what is disturbing. That
disturbance is lessened through marriage, responsibility, children; and so 108
gradually the mould is set. And all thinking is between what is convenient, what is
not convenient, what is beneficial, what is worthwhile – it is always within that
Teacher: That is not thinking, sir, it is a repetition.
Krishnamurti: But that is how we live, that is our life. That is all we want.
Everything is repetition and the mind gets duller and more stupid. Is that not a
fact, sir? We do not want to be disturbed, we do not want to shatter the pattern.
What makes us shatter the pattern or break through the pattern? And is it
possible not to fall into a groove? But why should I end the making of patterns? I
begin to think about ending them when the pattern does not satisfy me, when the
pattern is no longer useful to me or when there are in the pattern certain incidents
like death, the husband leaving the wife, or losing a job. In the breaking of that
particular pattern there is a disturbance called sorrow and I move away from that
into another pattern. I move from pattern to pattern, from one framework into
which circumstances, environment, family, education have put me, to another.
The disturbance makes me question a little, but I immediately fall into another
groove and there I settle. That is what most people want, what their parents want,
what society wants. Where does this idea of ending thought come in?
Teacher: Sir, there are times when one is discontented with the whole pattern
and everything in it.
Krishnamurti: What makes us see the futility of this pattern? When do I see it
and what makes me see it? A pattern is set if there is a motive. If I break from this
pattern with a motive, the motive will mould the new pattern.
Now, what makes me change, what makes me do something without a
Teacher: It is very difficult to be free from motive. 109
Krishnamurti: Who tells you to be free? If it is difficult, why bother about
breaking the pattern? Be satisfied with a motive and continue with it, why bother if
it is difficult?
Teacher: It leads me nowhere, sir.
Krishnamurti: But if it led anywhere, would you pursue it?
Teacher: Which means there is a motive again.
Krishnamurti: What makes you break through and give up the motive? What
do you mean by motive? You teach here because you get some money, that is a
motive. You like somebody because he can give you a position or you love god
because you hate life. Your life is miserable, and love of god is the escape from
that. These are all motives.
Now, what makes a mind, a human being, live without a motive? If you can
pursue that and go into it, I am sure you will find the answer to your question.
Teacher: The question, «Do I know my motives?» seems to come before the
question «Do I do something without a motive?»
Krishnamurti: Do we know our motives? Why do I teach, why do I hold on to a
husband, wife? Do I know my motives, and how do I find out? And if I do find out,
what is wrong with having motives. I love somebody because I like to be with that
somebody physically, sexually, as a companion, what is wrong with that?
Teacher: When I teach because I must have money, motive is not a
hindrance. I must have money, so I must take to some profession, and I take to
Krishnamurti: First of all, do we know our motives, not only the conscious but
the unconscious motives, the hidden motives? Do we do anything in our lives
without a motive? To do something without a motive is love of what one is doing, 110
and in that process thinking is not mechanical; then the brain is in a state of
constant learning, not opinionated, not moving from knowledge to knowledge. It is
a mind that moves from fact to fact. Therefore, such a mind is capable of ending
and coming to something it does not know, which is freedom from the known.
You asked at the beginning: «How do we end thought?» I said: «What for?» We
do not even know what thinking is, we do not know how to think. We think in
terms of patterns. So, unless we have investigated or understood all that, we
cannot possibly ask that question: «How do we end thought?»
Teacher: How can we enquire into thinking and how to think?
Krishnamurti: Not only enquire into how to think but also into what is thinking.
Can I, as a human being, as an individual, find out what is the way of my
thinking? Is it mechanical, is it free? Do I know it as it is operating in me?
To end thought I have first to go into the mechanism of thinking. I have to
understand thought completely, deep down in me. I have to examine every
thought, without letting one thought escape without being fully understood, so that
the brain, the mind, the whole being becomes very attentive. The moment I
pursue every thought to the root, to the end completely, I will see that thought
ends by itself. I do not have to do anything about it because thought is memory.
Memory is the mark of experience and as long as experience is not fully,
completely, totally understood, it leaves a mark. The moment I have experienced
completely, the experience leaves no mark. So, if we go into every thought and
see where the mark is and remain with that mark, as a fact – then that fact will
open and that fact will end that particular process of thinking, so that every
thought, every feeling is understood. So the brain and the mind are being freed
from a mass of memories. That requires tremendous attention, not attention only
to the trees and birds but inward attention to see that every thought is
Teacher: That seems to be a vicious circle. The mind is involved in getting rid
of a pattern of thinking and in order to understand the process of thinking it needs
a certain sensitivity which the mind does not have.
Krishnamurti: Take a thought, any kind of thought. Go into it. See why you
have such a thought, what is involved in it, understand it, do not leave it till you
have completely unearthed all the roots of it.
Teacher: That can only be done if the instrument which is doing it, is sensitive.
Krishnamurti: As you go into one particular thought you are beginning to
understand the instrument which is examining that thought. Then what is
important is not the thought but the observer who is examining the thought. And
the observer is the thought which says: «I do not like that thought, I like this
thought.» So you attack the core of thought and not just the symptoms. And as
you are a teacher, how will you create this or bring about this attentive
observation, this examination without any judgement, in a student?
If I may ask: How do you teach? What is the environment, the condition, the
atmosphere, in which teaching and learning are possible? You teach, say,
history, and the student learns. What is the atmosphere, the environment, the
quality in the room in which teaching and learning are taking place?
Teacher: There is a special atmosphere when the teacher and the student are
Krishnamurti: I do not want to use the word «attention». If you learn anything
from the teacher, what is the nature of that communication, of receiving and
learning? For a flower to grow it must have rain, do you understand? Teacher:
Could we approach it negatively.
Krishnamurti: In any way you like. I am asking you to teach science. What is
the atmosphere in the room where you teach science? Where the teacher and 112
the student are learning, teaching? What is the quality necessary, what is the
atmosphere, the smell, the perfume?
Teacher: A quiet and calm environment.
Krishnamurti: You are idealistic and I am not. I have not one ideal inside me, I
just want to know the fact. You are moving away from the fact, that is what I
object to. When you teach and they learn, in the class room, what is the
atmosphere? The atmosphere is the fact.
Teacher: Friendliness between the teacher and the student.
Krishnamurti: You are not facing the fact. You teach and you also know and
when the student is to learn, there must be a certain quality, and I am asking
what is that quality? Have you actually experienced the quality where this
communication is mutual, where the learning is the teaching?
Teacher: In the beginning I thought that when I teach, I am handing over some
facts to the students, but now I understand that when I am teaching there is also
a learning. This happens at rare moments when there is exploration, when both
the teacher and the student are exploring together.
Krishnamurti: What is the state when that exploration together takes place?
What is the atmosphere, the relationship? What is the word you would use to
express that state in which communication is possible?
Krishnamurti: What do you teach? Teacher: Hindi.
Krishnamurti: The children are anxious to know and you are anxious to teach.
Now, what atmosphere does it create? What takes place?
Teacher: The children listen to me. 113
Krishnamurti: You say children listen to you. You want to tell them something.
What has happened, I wish you would examine this.
Teacher: There is a state of alertness.
Krishnamurti: I want to go a little bit more into the matter. The moment you say
it is alertness you have already put it in a framework. I am trying to prevent you
and myself from defining it.
Teacher: When the object is there, the object of learning and teaching, both
operate; from this there is a fluidity, a movement; and temporarily, this state is
slightly different from the other states I know.
Krishnamurti: There is attention when the teacher and the taught, both have a
drive to learn and to teach. You have to create a feeling, an atmosphere, in the
room. Just now we have created an atmosphere – because I want to find out and
you want to find out. Is it possible to maintain this atmosphere, in which alone
teaching and learning are possible?
We started by asking how to communicate this sense of enquiry into thinking,
into motive, to the student. I asked you, how do you teach, that is, how do you
convey anything? And I asked what takes place when you actually teach. What is
the atmosphere when you are teaching? Is it a slack atmosphere or a tense
atmosphere? Now, if you have not examined your thinking, the mechanism of
thinking, to convey the sense of enquiry to the student is impossible. But if you
have done it in yourself, you are bound to create the atmosphere. And I feel that
atmosphere, that attention, is the essential quality of teaching and learning.
Teacher: You have said that definition of a fact is something quite different
from the experiencing of that fact. Now in all this there seems to be a gap
between the definition and the actual doing of something. You also asked: Have
you ever done something for its own sake because you love it? How does one, 114
without examining one’s motives, without all these ramifications, get to the heart
Krishnamurti: That is just what I was trying to get at. To see something totally
is the ending of time or the comprehending of it. Can one see if there is a motive
in teaching and learning at any level? Life is a constant process of teaching and
learning: To teach and to learn is not possible if there is a motive, and when we
have a motive the state of teaching and learning is not possible. Now, watch this
carefully: In the very nature of teaching and learning there is humility. You are the
teacher and you are the taught. So there is no pupil and no teacher, no guru and
no sishya, there is only teaching and learning, which is going on in me. I am
learning and I am also teaching myself; the whole process is one. That is
important. That gives vitality, a sense of depth, and that is prevented if I have a
motive. As teaching-learning is important, everything else becomes secondary
and therefore, motive disappears. What is important drives away the unimportant.
Therefore it is finished: I do not have to examine my motives day after day.
Teacher: It is not very clear to me, sir.
Krishnamurti: First of all, life is a process of learning. It is not saying «I have
learned» and a settling back. Life is a process of learning and I cannot learn if
there is a motive. If that is very clear, that life is a process of learning, then motive
has no place. Motive has a place when you are using learning to get something.
So the essential fact drives away all the unessential trivialities, in which motive is
Teacher: Should there be a concern for the essential, as a fact?
Krishnamurti: But the fact is the essential. Life is the essential. Life is «what is».
Otherwise it is not life. If motive is not, «what is» is. If you understand the fact of
sorrow, the «other» comes into being. You cannot come to the «other» without
understanding motive, the unessential. 115
Teacher: So there cannot be concern for the essential.
Krishnamurti: Understand the fact, which is important, and go into it. If you are
ambitious, be completely ambitious. Let there be no double thinking. Be either
ambitious or see the fact of ambition. Both are facts, and when you examine one
fact, go into it completely. If you go into the fact completely, the fact will begin to
show what is involved in ambition. The fact of ambition will begin to unravel itself
and then there is no ambition.
Most religious people have invented theories about facts. But they do not
understand «the fact». Having established a theory they hope it will ward off the
actual fact; it cannot. So do not try to establish any essential fact. See how you
slip into wrong action. There is no essential fact, there is only fact – you see the
point? And one fact does not conform to another fact. The moment it is
conforming, it is not a fact. If you look at the fact with a referent, with what you
can get out of that fact, then you will never see the fact. To look at the fact is the
only thing that matters. There is no fact that is superior or inferior, there is only
fact. That is the ruthless thing. If I am a lawyer, I am a lawyer. I do not find
excuses for it. Seeing that fact, going into it, seeing the motives, the fact and its
complexities are revealed, and then you are out of it. But if you say, «I must
always the truth», that is an ideal. That is a false assumption. So do not move
from what you consider the unimportant fact to what you consider the more
important fact. There is only fact, not the less or the more. It really does
something to you to look at life that way. You banish all illusion, all dissipation of
energy of the mind, the brain, at one stroke. The mind then operates in precision
without any deception, without hatred, without hypocrisy. The mind then becomes
very clear, sharp. That is the way to live. 116
Talk To Teachers
Chapter 8 On The Good Mind
Krishnamurti: I think that most of us have a fairly comprehensive view of what
is happening in the world. Looking at the historical process, the appalling travesty
of peace, one must have ask oneself what life is all about. There is the enslaving
of whole masses of people; there is corruption and talk of democracy; religions
have failed, only superstitions remain. There is the dead weight of tradition, the
innumerable gurus, soothsayers, monks, astrologers. There is poverty,
degradation, the squalor of existence. And there is also a sense of deep despair.
So, seeing this immense suffering, what is our answer to it all? There are people
who say that what is needed is not a new system or a new philosophy, but rather
a new type of leadership, a new type of man who has immense authority not only
in the state but in his own idealistic strength. But do we want new leaders? What
we need is freedom from leaders. When we see this vast confusion, economic
strangulation and imbalance, and come to Rishi Valley, what is it that a school of
this kind can do, and should do? Can we discuss this? Not as an ideal, for ideals
of any kind are very detrimental. Ideals prevent us from looking at facts, and it is
only a concern with facts and the understanding of facts which releases an
energy that is the movement in the right direction. Ideals merely engender various
forms of escape. Let us consider all this and see what we can do here in this
This is not going from the vast to the ridiculous, for this school is a miniature of
what is taking place in the world and, seeing the destructive chaos, misery,
suffering, I feel there is only one answer and that is the creation of a new mind.
What is essential is a different mind that will look at all problems and find a
solution and not create new problems. I think the right kind of education does 117
bring about the good mind, the total development of man, and it seems to me that
is the major issue not only in this valley but also in the rest of the world.
How can one bring about a good mind, a mind that sees all these co-relations,
not only at the superficial level but a mind that can penetrate inwardly? It seems
to me that the problem of education is to see whether it is possible to cultivate an
intelligence which is not the result of influence, an intelligence which is not the
learning of certain techniques and the earning of a livelihood. They are part of
education but surely they are not the only function of education? Now how do you
educate a child so that he is able to face life and not merely conform to the
established patterns of society, to certain modes of conduct? So that he can go
much further, deeper into the whole problem of existence?
I do not know if you have ever considered what a good mind is. Is it a good
mind that has the capacity to retain what it reads, and functions from memory?
The electronic brain is doing this marvellously. It calculates at astonishing speed
some of the most complicated mathematical problems. It functions, I have been
told, in the same way as the human brain, doing the desired calculations.
Is a good mind one that repeats, like a gramophone, what it has been told?
That is our education, isn’t it? The learning of facts, dates, to repeat them once a
year when a boy takes his examination. Can this be called cultivating a good
mind? And yet is this not what most of us are doing when we are teaching? So
the mere addition to knowledge, which is really the cultivation of memory, is just
an additive process. it does not engender a clear, good mind, does it? Negatively,
one can see that the mere cultivation of memory does not bring about a good
mind although most of our existence is based on this. And yet, one must have
memory, one must have a very good memory to remember certain things, to be a
good technician. So, at what point does memory interfere with a good mind
capable of explanation, investigation and discovery? At what point does memory
interfere with real freedom? 118
I do not know if you have ever considered the man who invented the jet
aeroplane. He had first to understand the whole problem of the piston-propeller
engine. He had to know it, but after knowing it, he had to put it away in order to
discover something new. The specialists, until they really discover something
new, merely continue a better and more complicated technique, but if a man is to
invent something new he has to let go of the old.
Teacher: Sir, you have said that perception of a fact leads to knowledge in the
right direction, whereas ideals lead to escapes. Can you make the statement
Krishnamurti: How do ideals come into being, and what is the need for ideals?
The ideal of what should be, which is away from the fact, limits the mind and
makes it static. If a child merely conforms to certain ideals, to the words of certain
teachers, to the words of his father, grandfather, uncle and so on, that restrains
energy and limits knowledge, does it not? All conformity limits knowledge. If I am
an art teacher and I teach children to copy, which is imitation, it does not really
help creative perception or expression, does it? Now let us see what happens
when there is perception of the fact. I perceive that I am stupid. There is
perception, realization, awareness of the fact that I am stupid. That is, I do not
give explanations or offer an opinion about my stupidity and thereby escape
through explanation. The observation of a fact without justification or
condemnation releases tremendous energy. Now is there a release of energy
through conformity, through motive, through mere acceptance? And can one
function in the framework of that acceptance?
Teacher: Physically, there is.
Krishnamurti: Is physical energy released by conforming? What is the motive
behind this extraordinary urge in most of us to conform to a pattern? What is the
compulsive urge behind this? Obviously it is the desire to be secure, is it not?
Security in your relationship with your wife, with your hus- band, in the good 119
opinion of the public or a friend. All this indicates the desire not only for economic
security but inward mental security or certainty, does it not?
Teacher: The demand for security is the desire to have peace of mind.
Krishnamurti: I need a certain amount of security. I must have a job. If I am
uncertain of my next meal I would not be sitting here talking. Does the desire for
peace mean that we should have a mind that will never be disturbed? And why
should we not be disturbed? What is wrong if we are disturbed? Much of the
world is disturbed. Why should we not be disturbed? And, is not the mind which
says, «I must not be disturbed», really a dead mind? There can be no state of
mind which says, «l am perfectly safe,» there can be no mind which is so certain
that it will never be disturbed. I think that is the kind of mind most of us want and
that is why we conform endlessly. If you had a son, you would want him to
conform to the pattern of society because you do not want him to be a
revolutionary. So, I am asking what is behind this demand for security, certainty,
this hope in which despair is included?
We will come back to it in different way. I am just asking myself, why this
urge? Is it fear? I am afraid of not being able to take care of my family and
therefore I hold on to my job. I am afraid my wife may not care for me, or my
husband may not care for me. I possess property. I am afraid that property may
be taken away from me. Behind that threat there is a sense of fear, a desire to be
Teacher: We can only be secure when there is no fear.
Krishnamurti: Wait a minute. Is that possible? You know what fear is. If most
of us were free from all fear, you know what would happen? We would do exactly
what we want to do. Fear restrains us, is that not so? But we are asking if a mind
that is afraid, anxious, is it ever secure? I may have a good job, I may love my
wife or husband, but am I secure when this fear is going on in me? To have no 120
fear, which is an extraordinary state, is to be free of the problem of security. Is it
possible for this mind to understand fear and be free from fear? Whatever such a
mind does, being free, is right action.
How will you educate a group of children to be fearless? Which does not mean
that they can do what they like – but to be free from the sense of all apprehension,
anxiety? Will this not release an enormous amount of energy?
How do you set about educating the child? You are afraid and you see that
fear is most disturbing. It is the worst form of destruction. How do I educate a boy
to be without fear? What is it a teacher can do to translate this into action? Is it to
allow the child to think freely? You see the importance of being without fear,
because it is death to live in a state of fear. Whether it is conscious or
unconscious fear, it troubles your mind. How will you help a child not to be afraid
and yet to live with others? He cannot do whatever he likes, he cannot say, «I
need not go to the class because I am fearless.» Then what makes a child, a
student, free? What gives him the deep impression that he is free, not to do what
he likes, but free. If a child feels that you are really looking after him, that you
care for him, that he is completely at home with you, completely secure with you,
that he is not afraid of you, then he respects you and he listens to you because
you are looking after him and he has complete confidence in you. He is then at
peace with what you tell him. So open the door to him to be without fear. How
else will you proceed? First of all you have to establish a relationship with the
student, let him know that you really care for him, that he can really feel at home
with you and therefore he can be completely at ease and feel secure. It is not a
theory, it is not an idea. What will you do if your student fails in an examination?
One boy may not be as quick as the other boy and yet he must learn. How will
you encourage learning without fear? If you say one boy is better than another, it
engenders fear. How will you avoid all this and yet help the child to learn? The
child comes from a home where he has been brought up differently. His whole life 121
is geared to achievement, success, and he comes here with all his background of
fear and competition. How are you to help him?
Teacher: You can help him learn according to his individual capacity.
Krishnamurti: Let us go slowly. How is it to be done? This? school is in your
hands. You have to create something out of it. Teaching is a creative thing, it is
not merely something you can learn and repeat. How are you going to teach the
children in your class for whom you have a feeling of love. Remember they are
not interested in learning. They want to have a good time. They want to play
cricket, watch birds, and occasionally look at a book. The fact is they want to do
the easiest thing. If you leave it to them the more they are secure with you, the
more they will exploit you. How will you help them to learn? You have to find
ways to teach them and that is going to release your energy to devise mean of
making subjects interesting for the child.
Before you proceed with a child, what is the state of your mind which wants to
help the child to learn subjects in which he is not interested?
Teacher: It is the urge to share your learning with the child.
Krishnamurti: I want these children to learn because learning is part of
existence and the child can only learn if there is no fear. I must teach the child so
that he learns without fear, which means I have to explode with this feeling of
wanting to share with that boy. Do you know the state of mind that wants to share
with another? That itself seems to be the right feeling. Do you know what that
implies? The fact is I know more, the child knows less, and I have a feeling that
he must learn, that he must be capable of sharing. We both are learning, which
means we are going through an experience together. The child and I are then
already in a state of communication. Once I have established the right
relationship or communication between myself and the child, he is going to learn
because he has confidence in me. 122
Teacher: The teacher may be very fond of the child, but still the child is not
willing to learn, the child is not interested.
Krishnamurti: I question it. When the child has confidence in you, do you think
he will not learn any subject you want him to? What we are trying to do is to
establish relationship. If that is possible, then will I not convey to the child the
importance of learning a subject?
This morning when we began to talk there was no commu- nication between
the speaker and the audience. Now we have established some kind of
communication and we are trying to work the thing out together. Can we not do
the same thing with children? 123
Talk To Teachers
Chapter 9 On The Negative Approach
Krishnamurti: What do you think is right education, not for any particular group
of children, the children of the rich or the poor, the children of the village or of the
town, but children? How would you bring up a child knowing that walls of
destructive nationalism divide people?
Machines are taking over man’s labour and man is going to have more leisure.
There will be electronic brains, machines which will run by themselves. Man is
going to have a great deal of leisure, perhaps not immediately, but in fifty or a
hundred years time. Taking into account the advance of technology, growing
systematization, the acceptance of authority and tyranny in the world, what do
you consider is the direction of education? What would you consider is the
direction of the whole development of man? What is it you want the student to
discover for himself? Are these vain questions? If you consider them seriously
what would be your reaction? Machines are going to take over. The perfect
teacher, who is really excellent in his subject, can teach a class and his
instructions can be recorded through tapes and distributed throughout the world
and the ordinary teacher can utilize them and instruct the student. So, the
responsibility for good teaching may be taken out of individual hands, though you
may need a teacher. You may say that what happens in fifty years is not your
immediate problem. But a really good educator must be concerned not only with
the immediate but be prepared for the future – future not in the sense of the day
after, or a thousand days after tomorrow, but the tendency of this extraordinary
development of the mind. I suppose you exist from day to day. The immediate is
brutal, tiring and you say: «Why should I bother with what is going to happen?»
But if you have a child if you are a teacher with students, unless you have a total
comprehension of all this, you cannot see and understand the meaning of 124
education. What will happen after you educate all these girls and boys? The girls
are going to get married and disappear into the vast world. They will be sucked
into society. What is the point of educating them? And the boys will get jobs. Why
should you educate them to fit into this rotten society? To teach them how to
behave, how to be gentle and kind, is that the end of education? Take the total
picture of what is happening in the world, not only in India. Seeing this whole
picture, comprehending it, what is it you are trying to do?
Unless you have a total response to this whole issue the mere tinkering with it
to improve teaching methods has very little meaning. The world is on fire, and
being an educated man you must have the right answer to this; being a human
being you must have an answer to this, and if you have an answer, a feeling of
this totality of evil, then, when you teach mathematics, dancing, singing, it has a
Teacher: Sir, if I do not have this whole feeling towards something, do you
think it is likely to come into being when I do something and do it well?
Krishnamurti: I want you to be factual.
Teacher: By being punctual, learning the technique, studying before I teach
and doing the thing perfectly, would that help to bring about the quality of total
Krishnamurti: Would it? It is essential that I be punctual, that I study my
subject before I teach – that is understood. And you are asking if that will lead to
the total feeling of all this?
Teacher: I feel there is a likelihood – it is not a certainty – when I study
something with attention.
Krishnamurti: You have moved away from doing something, from being
punctual and all the rest of it, to «attention». What do you mean by attention? I 125
may give a certain meaning to attention and you may not. I will work on
mathematics and I will be punctual. I will be very quiet and very tender and
affectionate, encourage the student, discourage him from being competitive.
Would you call that an attentive mind?
Teacher: I think so, sir. By helping the student not to compete, there is a
quality of attention.
Krishnamurti: What does that mean? Not only are you attentive to your subject
and to your relationship with the student but also attentive to nature, to world
events and world tendencies, not only to the individual corruptions and individual
aspirations but to the collective. But if you say you are attentive because you go
to the class punctually, it has no meaning.
Can you put the question differently? Is it possible to have this total
comprehension without fear? In discussing the possibility of such a
comprehension, and discovering it, can we then turn to the everyday activities
and not the other way round? Now how would you discuss it?
From what do we derive our energy? If we eat a certain amount of food we
have a certain vitality but the vitality is not the thing that makes us live, function
and be conscious. How do we derive energy, psychological energy, the driving
energy? Most people get that energy by having an end in view, an ego, by
maintaining a vision, an ideal, a thing that must be done, a result. That gives one
an astonishing energy. Look at all the saints and politicians; the wish for success
gives them enormous energy. The man who has an ideal in view and thinks that it
must be established on earth, will walk the earth. He gets his psychological
energy in spite of hi body because that is the thing he must do, because he thinks
it is good for the people and from that he derives an abundant energy. And when
he does not succeed he feels disappointed, depressed, unhappy, but he covers it
up and goes on. Most people derive energy from wanting a result through the
desire to achieve a position, to fulfil an ambition or an ideal. They get energy with 126
its accompanying disappointments, frustrations, despair. In this is the destruction
If you are interested in god, you want to create the most beautiful god in the
world and you drive yourself, you exhaust yourself, and when the drive becomes
a futility, a despair, you become depressed. So you meet a living energy with a
negative energy which is depression, sorrow; so there is a contradiction going on.
Teacher: Sir, is energy not destroyed when there is no interest in what one is
doing? For example, when a gardener is interested in gardening, there is energy.
Is this not real energy and the other one no energy at all?
Krishnamurti: The poor gardener is also depressed if he cannot get what he
wants. You are connecting interest with energy and the lack of interest with lack
of energy. There are very few of us who are really interested in what we are
Most of us derive our energy from the desire for security, from ideals, from
seeking a result, fulfilment of ambition and so on. For most of us that is energy.
For the man who goes about doing good, his activity gives him enormous energy
and when he does not succeed he is in despair, the two always go together. That
energy always brings with it depression, frustration.
In realizing that this form of energy is very destructive, would you not enquire
to discover an energy which is not accompanied by depression, by despair, by
frustration? Is there such energy? One knows the ordinary energy with its
entanglements and one sees that energy which is brought about by seeking a
result; and if, seeing it, one pushes it aside, then would that in itself not bring
about an enquiry as to whether there is any other form of energy which is not
accompanied by despair? That is the problem. Look at that for a little while,
consider it, and let us go back to the first question. Seeing this world in flames,
the world in utter confusion, an every politician trying to patch it up and every 127
patch having a hole in it – seeing this total state, we must have a total answer.
And how do you, as an educator, respond to this? Do you respond with the
energy which is destructive or with the energy which is not destructive?
Teacher: What is that energy which has no shadow of destruction in it?
Krishnamurti: Do not ask that question. Never put a positive question. Always
put a negative question in order to find a positive answer which is not the
response of the opposite.
Now, what is negative thinking? What is this energy which is not destructive?
That is a positive question.
What is this total energy? Would it be right for us to describe this total energy
which is not destructive, and can I describe it? If I were to describe it, would it not
be merely verbal, theoretical to others?
Energy becomes a destructive thing the moment you want to achieve it. The
desire to achieve it becomes the end for which you strive and if you do not
achieve it, you are in despair. So your question was a wrong question and if one
is not very careful, a wrong answer will ensue. So, what should the next question
be: «How will you help me to experience this total energy?» If I were able to help
you, you would be depending on the helper and the helper may be wrong. So
how would you put the question?
Teacher: Is it possible in communication to experience this total energy in the
present? Krishnamurti: You can ask the same question in a different way. You
are asking a positive question all the time about something you do not know.
Your question is unrelated to the problem. Now how would you put the question?
Teacher: Do you mean to say that the right question should be «When I see
the destructive nature of this energy….» 128
Krishnamurti: See the falseness of this energy which is destructive, that in
itself is the answer. You cannot go beyond the destructive nature of this energy
and say what the other is.
Can you cease to revolve in creating destructive energy? You will not then ask
what the other is. All you can ask is, «Is it possible to stop this self-created
destructive energy?» You cannot enquire positively into energy, it must be a
negative approach – the comprehending of the fact negatively, not positively, in
order to get to the other – because you do not know the other. So your approach
must be negative in the sense that you see the factual nature of this energy which
Can I comprehend negatively? Can I learn a technique, and can the mind
liberate itself from the technique without recompense? Then the mind is open to a
different pattern of i energy.
The entire world is in a vast mess, in confusion. To have a total response to
that, you must have energy of a different quality from the usual energy which you
apply to a problem. The usual approach to a problem is in terms of hope, fear,
success, fulfilment and so on, with its accompanying despair. This is obvious.
These are all psychological facts. Here we have a world issue and you have to
approach it not with the energy of despair but with an energy which is not
contaminated by despair. To come upon that energy which is not destructive, the
mind must be free from the energy of despair. This is a world problem, how do
you answer it? Do you answer it idealistically with the intention, the desire and the
feeling, «This is the right thing to do»? If you do, you answer it with the energy of
despair. Or do you look at it with a different energy altogether? If you look at the
total problem with that new kind of energy, you will have the right answer.
Teacher: I would like to talk a little more about the communication of this
feeling you are hinting at: that we are perpetuating through our education the
energy of despair and hence the hopelessness of such education. Can we 129
educate in I the accepted sense of the word, and yet have the other? Can a
person who is engaged in teaching a certain subject teach that perfectly and yet
get the whole, total feeling? Can he do it without a motive, with a total attention to
the thing that he is doing and with a feeling of love? Will that help to keep the I
mind open to the new source of energy?
Krishnamurti: You are introducing suppositions, they are not facts. You see,
you have no love. Occasionally there is an opening in the cloud and you see the
bright light, but only occasionally. You are not dealing with facts, you are dealing
with suppositions. If you were dealing with facts, then you could have answered.
The main statement is not good enough, «I do pay attention sometimes, I do
love without wanting something in return.» You may do this occasionally, but you
have to do it on all the three hundred and sixty five days, not just one day.
Teacher: As I see it, whatever I do, I want to fit the «plus» into this.
Krishnamurti: You cannot put the plus into the minus, you cannot put the
creative thing into the destructive. The destructive energy has to cease for the
creative thing to come in.
You have time, you have leisure to meditate, and without becoming
sentimental you have to discover the destructive energy in yourself. It is a
continuous process of awareness, keeping the window open for the other. This is
a total process all the time.
There is a psychological climate that is necessary, which means relationship
in teaching and that requires subtlety. You cannot have subtlety and pliability if
you have an end in mind. If you are thinking from a conclusion, from an
experience of knowing a great many techniques, you cannot have pliability,
Have you ever talked to anybody who is entrenched deep in some ideal, in
some dogma? He has no pliability, no subtlety. To bring about subtlety, pliability,
the mind must have no anchorage.
Teacher: Is it possible to arrange circumstances so that this pliability and
subtlety come into being? It is not always possible to create this within
Krishnamurti: How can one create neither antagonism nor resistance in
relationship? How is a sense of equality to be brought about? If you can establish
that feeling then what is the next step? Is there a next step?
First of all, is it possible to establish mutual confidence within an organization?
To establish that requires a great deal of intelligence on my part and on the part
Teacher: As you said, the problem is how to establish relationship without the
sense of high and low and with the awareness of this total feeling.
Krishnamurti: We do not know anything about this total feeling. But we know
the destructive nature of certain forms of energy and the mind tries to disentangle
itself from that.
We know there must be equality and that equality is denied when there are
divisions, cliques, when we are functioning merely on an economic level and
when there is no comprehension of the nature of destructive energy. It is not an
economic equality that has to be established but an equality at every level. If we
do not establish that right from the beginning and establish it also in ourselves,
we have no contact. Can we spend time in considering how to establish an
equality in that sense, not the equality of technique? Can we come together to
establish between ourselves this feeling of equality in which all differences are
gone? Then we are free. We must be quite sure that at least a few of us are
walking along the road. Some of us then may walk slowly, some may walk fast 131
but it is in the same direction and the direction is the quality. It is really a turning
of one’s back to the world. If you see the crippling effects of the energy of despair,
you have to renounce it. If you are alive to this, it means that your relationship
with the world is entirely different and that opens a great many doors. 132
Talk To Teachers
Chapter 10 On Flowering
Teacher: I wonder whether we could go into the problem of how to ask the
right question? We generally ask a question to find an answer, to arrive at a
method, to discover the reason for things. We question to find out why one is
jealous, why one is angry. Now, can the quality of questioning be engendered in
oneself and in the child so that there is only enquiry without a method or without
merely finding reasons? Is not the problem of right questioning of prime
importance in our approach to the child?
Krishnamurti: How do we question anything? When do we question ourselves
or question authority or question the educational system? What does the word
«question» mean? I wonder if a self-critical awareness is lacking in us. Are we
aware of what we are doing, thinking, feeling? How do we awaken or question, so
as to bring about this critical aware- ness? If we go into this it might help to
arouse in the child a self-critical capacity, a critical awareness. How do we set
about it? What makes me question? Do I ever question myself. Do I see how
mediocre I am? Or do I question, find an explanation and move on? It is very
depressing to discover one’s mediocrity and therefore one does not question, and
one never goes beyond.
Let us put it differently. Very little of us is alive. A small part of us is throbbing,
the rest is asleep. The little part that is throbbing, gradually grows dim, falls into a
rut and is finished.
Does one know what it means to be a full human being? The fact is, one is not
alive. The question is to be totally alive, to be physically alive, to be in very good
health, not to overeat, to be sensitive emotionally, to feel, to have a quality of
sympathy, and to have a very good mind. Otherwise, one is dead. 133
How would you awaken the mind as a whole? It is your problem. How would
you see that you are completely alive inside, and outside; in your feelings, in your
taste in everything? And how would you awaken in the student this feeling of non-
There are only two ways of doing it: either there is something within you which
is so urgent that it burns away all contradiction; or you have to find an approach
which will watch all the time, which will deliberately set about investigating
everything you are doing, an awareness which will ceaselessly ask the question
to find out in yourself so that a new quality comes into being which keeps all the
dirt out. Now, which is it that you are doing as a human being as well as a
Teacher: Is one to question constantly, or is there a questioning which has its
Krishnamurti: If there is no momentum, then you have to start with little things,
haven’t you? Start with the little things, not the big things. Start observing how
you dress, what you say, how you watch the road, without the operation of
criticism. And, watching, listening, how are you going to get to the other, which
will be the momentum, which carries all by itself?
There is a momentum to which you do not have to pay attention, but you
cannot come to it except by watching little things; and yet you have to see that
you are not caught in this everlasting watching. To watch one’s dress, the sky,
and yet be out of it, so that your mind is not only watching little things but
absorbing the wider issues, such as the good of the country, and the much wider
issues also, such as authority, such as this perpetual desire to fulfil, this constant
concern whether one is right or wrong, and fear. So, can the mind observe the
little things and without being caught in the little things, can it move out so that it
can record much greater issues? 134
Teacher: What is the state of mind, the approach in which there is this
everlasting watching, the understanding of little things, without being caught in
the little things?
Krishnamurti: Why are you caught in the little things? What is the thing that
makes you a prisoner of the little?
Teacher: My opinions. And yet I do not want to be caught in little things.
Krishnamurti: But I have to pay attention to little things. Most people are caught in
them the moment they pay attention. To pay attention and yet not to be prisoner
to little things, is the issue. Now, what makes the mind or the brain a prisoner?
Teacher: Concern with the immediate.
Krishnamurti: What do you mean, sir? Do you mean not having a long vision?
You are not looking at the problem.
Teacher: My attachment to little things.
Krishnamurti: Are you not a prisoner of little things?
Teacher: I am. With me it is probably a deep unconscious sense, that I am
preparing myself for something great, an illusion like that.
Krishnamurti: Are you aware that you are a prisoner of little things? Examine
why you are a prisoner. Take the fact that you are a prisoner of little things, and
possibly of many little things, ask why, go into it, question it, find out. Do not give
an explanation and run oR with the explanation which you did just now. You must
actually take one thing and look at it. In tackling inwardly the frustration, the
conflict, the resistance, you correct the outer. The psychological conflict within
expresses itself outwardly in your becoming a prisoner of little things and then
you try to correct them. Without understanding the inward conflict, the misery, life
has no meaning. If you discover that you are frustrated, then go into it; and if you 135
have gone deeply into it, it will correct the anger, the overeating, the over-
The way you question frustration is important. How do you question? So that
frustration unfolds, so that frustration flowers? It is only when thought flowers that
it can naturally die. Like the flower in a garden, thought must blossom, it must
come to fruition and then it dies. Thought must be given freedom to die. In the
same way there must be freedom for frustration to flower and die. And the right
question is whether can there be freedom for frustration to flower and to die?
Teacher: What do you mean by flowering, sir?
Krishnamurti: Look at the garden, the flowers in front over there! They come to
bloom and after a few days they wither away because it is their nature. Now,
frustration must be given freedom so that it blossoms. You have to understand
the reason of frustration, but not in order to suppress it, not to say, «I must fulfil».
Why should I fulfil? If I am a liar I can try to stop lying, which is what people
generally do. But can I allow that lie to flower and die? Can I refuse to say it is
right or wrong, good or bad? Can I see what is behind the lie? I can only find out
spontaneously why I lie if there is freedom to find out. In the same way, in order
not to be a prisoner of little things, can I find out why I am a prisoner? I want that
fact to flower. I want it to grow and to expand, so that it withers and dies without
my touching it. Then I am no longer a prisoner though I watch the little things.
Your question was: «Is there a momentum which keeps moving, keeping itself
clean, healthy?» That momentum, that flame which burns, can only be when there
is freedom for everything to flower – the ugly, the beautiful, the evil, the good and
the stupid – so that there is not a thing suppressed, so that there is not a thing
which has not been brought up and examined and burnt out. And I cannot do that
if through the little things I do not discover frustration, misery, sorrow, conflict,
stupidity, dullness. If I only discover frustration through reasoning I do not know 136
what frustration means. So, from little things I go to something, wider and in
understanding the wider, the other things flower without intervention.
Teacher: I seem to catch a glimpse of what you say, I am going to examine it.
Krishnamurti: You are examining it while I am examining it. You are examining
your own little things in which you are caught.
Teacher: In the flowering of conflict, there should be freedom to flower and
die. The little mind does not give itself that freedom. You are saying that the
inward conflict should flower and die and again you said that this flowering and
dying is happening as we are examining it now. There is one difficulty, which is,
that I seem to project something into this floration and that itself is a hindrance.
Krishnamurti: That is the real crux. You see, to you flowering is an idea. You
do not see the fact, the symptom, the cause, and allow that cause to blossom
right now. The little mind always deals with symptoms and never with the fact. It
does not have the freedom to find out. It is doing the very thing which indicates
the little mind, because it says, «It is a good idea, I will think about it,» and so it is
lost for it is then dealing with ideation, not with fact. It does not say, «Let it flower,
and let us see what happens.» Then it would discover. But, it says, «It is a good
idea; I must investigate the idea».
Now, we have discovered a great many things. First of all, we are unaware of
the little things. Then, becoming aware of them, we are caught in them and we
say, «I must do that, I must do this».
Can I see the symptom, go into the cause, and let the cause flower? But I
want it to flower in a certain direction, which I means I have an opinion on how it
should flower. Now can I go after that? That becomes my major issue. And I see
that I prevent the cause flowering because I am afraid I do not know what will
happen if I allow frustration to flower. So I go after why I am afraid? What am I
afraid of? I see, that so long as fear exists there can be no flowering. So I have to 137
tackle fear, not through the idea, but tackle it, as a fact which means I will allow
fear to blossom. I will let fear blossom, and see I what happens. All this requires a
great deal of inward perception.
Allow fear to blossom – do you know what that means? It may mean I may
lose my job, be destroyed by my wife, my husband.
Can I allow everything to blossom? It does not mean I am going to murder, rob
somebody, but can I just allow «what is» to blossom.
Teacher: Could we go into this, then allowing a thing to blossom?
Krishnamurti: Do you really see the fact? What does it mean, to allow a thing
to blossom, to allow jealousy to blossom? First of all, how unrespectable, how
unspiritual. How do you allow jealousy to blossom, to achieve a full life? Can you
do it so that you are not caught in it? Can you let that feeling have its full vitality,
without obstruction? Which means you do not identify yourself with it, which
means you do not say it is right or wrong, you do not have an opinion about it;
these are all methods of destroying jealousy. But you do not want to destroy
jealousy. You want it to blossom, to show all its colours, whatever they may be.
Teacher: it is not very clear to me, sir.
Krishnamurti: Have you grown a plant? How do you do it?
Teacher: Prepare the ground, put in manure….
Krishnamurti: Put in the right manure, use the right seed, put it in at the right
time, look after it, prevent things from happening to it. You give it freedom. Why
do you not do the same with jealousy?
Teacher: The flowering here is not expressed outside like the plant. 138
Krishnamurti: It is much more real than the plant you are planting outside in
the field. Do you not know what jealousy is? At the moment of jealousy, do you
say it is imagination? You are burning with it, are you not? You are angry, furious.
Why do you not pursue it, not as an idea but actually, take it out and see that it
flowers, so that each flowering is a destruction of itself and therefore, there is no
«you» at the end of it who is observing the destruction. In that is real creation.
Teacher: When the flower blossoms, it reveals itself. What exactly do you
mean, sir, when you say that when jealousy blossoms it will destroy itself?
Krishnamurti: Take a bud, an actual bud from a bush. If you nip it, it will never
flower, it will die quickly. If you let it blossom, then it shows you the colour, the
delicacy, the pollen, everything. It shows what it actually is without your being told
it is red, it is blue, it has pollen. It is there for you to look at. In the same way, if
you allow jealousy to flower, then it shows you everything it actually is – which is
envy, attachment. So in allowing jealousy to blossom, it has shown you all its
colours and it has revealed to you what is behind jealousy, which you will never
discover if you do not allow it to blossom.
To say that jealousy is the cause of attachment is mere verbalization. But in
actually allowing jealousy to flower, the fact that you are attached to something
becomes a fact, an emotional fact, not an intellectual, verbal idea and so each
flowering reveals that which you have not been able to discover; and as each fact
unveils itself, it flowers and you deal with it. You let the fact flower and it opens
other doors, till there is no flowering at all of any kind and, therefore, no cause or
motive of any kind.
Teacher: Psychological analysis will help me to find out the causes of
jealousy. Between analysis and the flowering in which a flower reveals itself, is
there a vital difference? 139
Krishnamurti: One is an intellectual process, the observer operating on the
thing observed, which is analysis, which is correction, the altering and the adding.
The other is the fact without the observer, it is what the fact is itself.
Teacher: What you say is totally non-verbal. There is no relationship between
the observer and the observed.
Krishnamurti: Once you get the feeling that everything in you must blossom,
which is a very dangerous state, if you understand this thing, that everything must
flower in you, which is a marvellous thing, in that there is real freedom. And, as
each thing flowers, there is neither observer nor the observed; therefore there is
no contradiction. So all the things blossom in you and die.
Teacher: Why should I allow it to blossom if I can nip it in the bud?
Krishnamurti: What is going to happen to the flower if you kill the bud? If you
kill the bud, it will not flower any more. In the same way, you say, «I must kill
jealousy or fear» but i it is not possible to kill jealousy and fear. You can suppress
them, alter them, offer them to some god, but they will always be there. But if you
really understand the central fact, to allow everything to flower without
interference, it will be a revolution.
Teacher: Jealousy is a complex thing.
Krishnamurti: Let it flower. Jealousy, in flowering, reveals its complexity. And
in understanding the complexity, in watching the complexity, it reveals some other
factor, and let i that blossom, so that everything is blossoming in you, nothing is
denied, nothing is suppressed, nothing is controlled. It is a tremendous education,
is it not?
Teacher: There is great significance in what you are saying. But is it possible? 140
Krishnamurti: It is possible, otherwise there is no point in saying it. If you see
that, how will you help the student to flower? How will you help him to
Teacher: I would start with myself. By a certain psychological approach I can
see the cause. What you are saying is that in flowering, the problem unfolds itself.
There is a great deal of difference between the two. But even if I have a glimpse
of it, to convey it to the student is difficult.
Krishnamurti: It is a non-verbal communication which I have communicated to
you verbally. How have I come to a flowering of thought which takes place in
Teacher: Before one can investigate into this floration or even into the space
in which floration can take place, there is a quality of equilibrium which has to be
established to allow anything to flower in me.
Krishnamurti: I do not accept it. I do not believe you can do it that way. Take
the idea of jealousy. I say make it flower. But you will not let it flower.
Teacher: When I am dealing with a child, is not the first factor this awakening
of the quality of perception, which is equilibrium?
Krishnamurti: I will tell you what it is. If you listened, really listened, the
flowering would actually take place. If you listened, observed, understood,
immediately after the listening, it has taken place if that has taken place, then the
other things are very simple to the child. You will find different ways to watch the
child, to help the child, to communicate with the child at the verbal level. The very
act of listening is the following.
Teacher: Is that listening a quality, sir? 141
Krishnamurti: You are listening. Why do you call it a quality? You have
listened to what I have to say this morning: «Let everything flower.»
If you listen, it will take place. It is not a quality. A quality is a thing already
established. This is a living thing, a burning thing, a furious thing. You cannot
make it a quality, a practice. Can you practice seeing colour? You cannot. You
can see the beauty and the glory of the flower only when there is a flowering. 142
Talk To Teachers
Chapter 11 On Meditation And Education
Are we human beings or professionals? Our professions take the whole of our
lives and we give very little time to the cultivation or the understanding of the
mind, which is living. The profession comes first, then living. We approach life
from the point of view of the profession, the job, and spend our lives in it and at
the end of our lives we turn to meditation, to a contemplative attitude of mind.
Are we only educators or are we human beings who see education as a
significant and true way of helping human beings to cultivate the total mind?
Living comes before teaching. The man who is a specialist – a nose and throat
specialist – spends all his days in the examination of noses and throats and
obviously his mind is filled with throats and noses and only occasionally can he
think about meditation or look at truth.
Can we go into the question of meditation, as a compre- hensive total
approach to life which implies the understanding of what meditation is? I do not
know if any of you meditate and I do not know what meditation means to you.
What part has meditation in education and what do we mean by meditation? We
give so much importance to the getting of a degree, the getting of a job, to
financial security; that is the entire I design of our thinking. And meditation, the
real enquiry into whether there is god, the observing, experiencing of that
immeasurable state, is not part of our education at all. We will have to find out
what we mean by meditation, not how to meditate. That is an immature way of
looking at meditation. If one can unravel what is meditation, then the very process
of unravelling is meditation.
What is meditation and what is thinking? If we enquire into what meditation is,
we have to enquire into what thinking is. Otherwise, merely to meditate when I do 143
not know the process of thinking is to create a fancy, a delusion, which has no
reality whatsoever. So to really understand or to discover what meditation is, it is
not enough to have mere explanations which are only verbal and therefore have
little significance; one has to go into the whole process of thinking.
Thinking is a response of memory. Thoughts become the slave of words, the
slave of symbols, of ideas, and the mind is the word and the mind becomes slave
to words like god, communist, the principal, the vice-principal, the prime minister,
the police inspector, the villager, the cook. See the nuances of these words and
the feelings that accompany these words. You say sannyasi and immediately
there is a certain quality of respect. So the word for most of us has immense
significance. For most of us the mind is the word. Within the conditioned, verbal,
technical symbolic framework, we live and think; that framework is the past, which
is time. If you observe this process taking place in yourself, then it has
Now is there thought without word? Is there thinking without word and
therefore out of time? The word is time. And if the mind can separate the word,
the symbol, from itself, then is there an enquiry which does not seek an end and
is therefore timeless?
First, let us look at the whole picture. A mind that has no space in which to
observe has no quality of perception. From thinking, there is no observation. Most
of us see through words, and is that seeing? When I see a flower and say it is a
rose, do I see the rose or do I see the feeling, the idea that the word invokes? So,
can the mind which is of time and space, explore into a non-spatial, timeless state
because it is only in that state that there is creation? A technical mind which has
acquired specialized knowledge can invent, add to, but it can never create. A
mind that has no space, no emptiness from which to see, is obviously a mind that
is incapable of living in a spaceless, timeless state. That is what is demanded. So
a mind that is merely caught in time and space, in words, in itself, in conclusions, 144
in techniques, in specialization, such a mind is a very distressed mind. When the
world is confronted with something totally new, all our old answers, codes,
traditions are inadequate.
Now what is thinking? Most of our lives are spent in the effort to be something,
to become something, to achieve something. Most of our lives are a series of
connected and disconnected constant effort and in these efforts the whole
problem of ambition and contradiction brings about a certain exclusive process
which we call concentration. And why should we make an effort? What is the
point of effort? Would we stagnate if we failed to make an effort and what does it
matter if we stagnate? Are we not stagnating with our immense efforts – now?
What significance has effort any more? If the mind understands effort will it not
release a different kind of energy which does not think in terms of achievement,
ambition, and so contradiction? Is not that very energy action , itself.
In effort there is involved idea and action and the problem of how to bridge
idea and action. All effort implies idea and action and the coming together of
these two. And why should there be such division, and is not such a division
destructive? All divisions are contradictory and in the self-contradictory state
there is inattention. The greater the contradiction the greater the inattention and
the greater the resultant action. So life is an endless battle from the moment we
are born to the moment we die.
Is it possible to educate both ourselves and students to live? I do not mean to
live merely as an intellectual being but as a complete human being, having a
good body and a good mind, enjoying nature, seeing the totality, the misery, the
love, the sorrow, the beauty of the world.
When we consider what meditation is, I think one of the first things is the
quietness of the body. A quietness that is not enforced, sought after. I do not
know if you have noticed a tree blowing in the wind and the same tree in the
evening when the sun has set? It is quiet. In the same way, can the body be 145
quiet, naturally, normally, healthily? All this implies an enquiring mind which is not
seeking a conclusion or starting from a motive. How is a mind to enquire into the
unknown, the immeasurable? How is one to enquire into god? That is also part of
meditation. How do we help the student to probe into all this? Machines and the
electronic brains are taking over, automation is going to come in about fifty years
to this country and you will have leisure and you can turn to books for knowledge.
Our intelligence, not merely the capacity to reason but rather the capacity to
perceive, understand what is true and what is false, is being destroyed by the
emphasis on authority, acceptance, imitation, in which is security. All this is going
on but in all this what part has meditation? I feel the quality of meditation as I am
talking to you. It is meditation. I am talking but the mind that is communing is in a
state of meditation.
All this implies an extraordinarily pliable mind, not a mind that accepts, rejects,
acquiesces or conforms. So meditation is the unfolding of the mind and through it
perception, the seeing without restraint, without a background and so an endless
emptiness in which to see. The seeing without the limitation of thought which is
time requires a mind that is astonishingly quiet, still.
All this implies an intelligence which is not the result of education, book
learning, acquisition of techniques. Obviously, to observe a bird you must be very
quiet; otherwise at the least movement on your part the bird flies away; the whole
of your body must be quiet, relaxed, sensitive to see. How you create that
feeling? Take that one thing which is part of meditation. How will you bring this
about in a school like this? First of all, is it necessary at all to observe, to think, to
have a mind that is subtle, a mind that is still, a body that is responsive, sensitive,
We are only concerned with helping the student to get a degree and to get a
job and then we allow him to sink into this monstrous society. To help him to be
alive it is imperative for a student to have this extraordinary feeling for life, not his life or somebody’s else’s life, but for life, for the villager, for the tree. That is part
of meditation – to be passionate about it, to love – which demands a great sense
of humility. This humility is not to be cultivated. Now how will you create the
climate for this, because children are not born perfect? You may say that all we
have to do is to create the environment and they will grow into marvellous beings;
they will not. They are what they are, the result of our past with all our anxieties
and fears and we have created the society in which they live and children have to
adjust themselves and are conditioned by us How will you create the climate in
which they see all these influences, in which they look at the beauty of this earth,
look at the beauty of this valley? Just as you devote time to mathematics,
science, music, dance, why do you not give some time to all this?
Teacher: I was thinking about practical difficulties and how it is not always
Krishnamurti: Why do you give time to dance, to music Why not give time to
this as you give to mathematics? You are not interested in it. If you saw that it
was also necessary you would devote time to it. If you saw that it was as
essential as mathematics, you would do something.
Meditation implies the whole of life, not just the technical, monastic, or
scholastic life, but total life and to apprehend and communicate this totality, there
must be a certain seeing of it without space and time. A mind must have in itself a
sense of the spaceless and the timeless state. It must see the whole of this
picture. How will you approach it and help the student to see the whole of life, not
in little segments, but life in its totality? I want him to comprehend the enormity of