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
to do?
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
this morning.
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
own field.
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
your pattern.
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
very difficult.
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
eliminates fear.
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
death is?
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
about meditation?
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
completely awake.
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
all revolutions.
Student: Why is one seeking to have pleasure and discard pain?
Krishnamurti: You are rather serious this morning, aren’t you? Why? Because
you think pleasure is more convenient, is it not? Sorrow is painful. The one you
want to avoid, and the other you want to cling to. Why? It is a natural instinct to
avoid pain, is it not? If I have a toothache, I want to avoid it. I want to go for a
walk  which  is  pleasurable.  The  problem  is  not  pleasure  and  pain,  but  the
avoidance of one or the other. Life is both pleasure and pain, is it not? Life is both
darkness  and  light.  On  a  day  like  this,  there  are  clouds  and  there  is  the  sun
shining; then there is winter and spring; they are part of life, part of existence. But
why should we avoid one and cling to the other? Why should we cling to pleasure
and avoid pain? Why not merely live with both? The moment you want to avoid
pain, sorrow, you are going to invent escapes, quote the Buddha, the Gita, go to
the  cinema  or  invent  beliefs.  The  problem  is  not  resolved  by  either  sorrow  or
pleasure. So don’t cling to pleasure or escape from pain. If you cling to pleasure   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
is learning.
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
about facts.
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
himself?    66
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
both equally.
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
immediately.    72
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
the psyche.
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
big later?
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
authority again.
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
about it?
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,
further death.
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
an immensity?
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
immediate?    104
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
understood.    111
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
both attending.
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?
Teacher: Curiosity.
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
of something?
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
of energy.
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
is self-destructive.
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,
subtlety.    130
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
of others.
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-
fragmented living?
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
own momentum?
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


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