jiddu krishnamurti – significance of life
His writing is huge to what we’re doing/believing. Reading his book, Education & the Significance of Life, was/is extremely resonating/cleansing/detoxifying. (every time)
This goes with our thinking on google time. Twenty percent might suffice for a business, but for a human, exploring their authenticity, perhaps one-hundred percent is the key to getting to breathtaking-ness.
And how to get there, when most of us are beholden to definitions/assumptions of success, to raised eyebrows. We’re so used to measuring things, to proving things. Could we, ourselves, come to believe/trust – that there is never nothing going on.
Observing without evaluating is the highest form of human intelligence.
How to model that, if we are not living it ourselves..
The child is the result of both the past and the present and is therefore already conditioned. If we transmit our background to the child, we perpetuate both his and our own conditioning. There is radical transformation only when we understand our own conditioning and are free of it. To discuss what should be the right kind of education while we ourselves are conditioned is utterly futile.
Sensitivity can never be awakened through compulsion. One may compel a child to be outwardly quiet, but one has not come face to face with that which is making him obstinate, imprudent, and so on. Compulsion breeds antagonism and fear. Reward and punishment in any form only make the mind subservient and dull; and if this is what we desire, then education through compulsion is an excellent way to proceed.
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
book links to free pdf download
incredible read. incredibly freeing read.
below – quotes (whole sections) from book:
When one travels around the world, one notices to what an extraordinary degree human nature is the same, whether in India or America, in Europe or Australia. This is especially true in colleges and universities. We are turning out, as if through a mould, a type of human being whose chief interest is to find security, to become somebody important, or to have a good time with as little thought as possible.
Conventional education makes independent thinking extremely difficult. Conformity leads to mediocrity. To be different from the group or to resist environment is not easy and is often risky as long as we worship success. The urge to be successful, which is the pursuit of reward whether in the material or in the so-called spiritual sphere, the search for inward or outward security, the desire of comfort – this whole process smothers discontent, puts and end to spontaneity and breeds fear; and fear blocks the intelligent un-derstanding of life. With increasing age, dullness of mind and heart sets in.
There is an efficiency inspired by love which goes far beyond and is much greater than the efficiency of ambition; and without love, which brings an integrated understanding of life, efficiency breeds ruthlessness. Is this not what is actually taking place all over the world? Our present education is geared to industrialization and war, its principal aim being to develop efficiency; and we are caught in the machine of ruthless competition and mural destruction. If education leads to war, if it teaches us to destroy or be destroyed, has it not utterly failed?
To bring about right education, we must obviously un-derstand the meaning of life as a whole, and for that we have to be able to think not consistently, but directly and truly. A consistent thinker is a thoughtless person, because he conforms to a pattern; he repeats phrases and thinks in a groove. We cannot understand existence abstractly or theoretically. To understand life is to understand ourselves, and that is both the beginning and the end of education.
The function of education is to create human beings who are integrated and therefor intelligent. We may take degrees and be mechanically efficient without being intelligent. Intelligence is not mere information; it is not derived from books, nor does it consiste of clever self-defensive responses and aggressive assertion. One who has not studied may be more intelligent than the learned. We have made examination and degrees the criterion of intelligence and have developed cunning minds that avoid vital human issues. Intelligence is the capacity to perceive the essential, the what is; and to awaken this capacity, in oneself and in others is education.
Education should help us to discover lasting values so that we do not merely cling to formulas or repeat slogans; it should help us to break down our national and social barriers, instead of emphasizing them, for they breed antagonism between man and man. Unfortunately, the present system of education is making us subservient, mechanical and deeply thoughtless; though it awakens us intellectually inwardly it leaves us incomplete, stultified and uncreative.
Without an integrated understanding of life, our individual and collective problems will only deepen and extend. The purpose of education is not to produce mere scholars, technicians, and job hungers, but integrated men and women who are free of fear; for only between such human beings can there be enduring peace.
When there is no self-knowledge, self-expression becomes self-assertion, with all its aggressive and ambitious conflicts. Education should awaken the capacity to be self-aware and not merely indulge in gratifying self-expression.
What is the good of learning if in the process of living we are destroying ourselves: As we are having a series of devastating wars, one right after another, there is obviously something radically wrong with the way we bring up our children. I think most of us are aware of this, but we do not know how to deal with it.
Systems, whether educational or political, are not changed mysteriously; they are transformed when there is a fundamental change in ourselves. The individual is of first importance, not the system; and as long as the individual does not understand the total process of himself no system, whether of the left or of the right, can bring order and peace to the world.
The ignorant man is not the unlearned, but he who does not know himself, and the learned man is stupid when he relies on books, on knowledge and on authority to give him understanding. Understanding comes only through self-knowledge, which is awareness of one’s total psychological process. Thus education, in the true sense, is the understanding of oneself, for it is within each one of us that the whole of existence is gathered.
What we now call education is a matter of accumulating information and knowledge from books, which anyone can do who can read. Such education offers a subtle form of escape from ourselves and, like all escapers, it inevitably creates increasing misery. Conflict and confusion result from our own wrong relationship with people, things and ideas, and until we understand that relationship and alter it, mere learning, the gathering of facts and the acquiring of various skills, can only lead us to engulfing chaos and destruction.
I believe volumes have been written about educational ideals, yet we are in greater confusion than ever before. There is no method by which to educate a child to be integrated and free. As long as we are concerned with principles, ideals and methods, we are not helping the individual to be free from his own self-centered activity with all its fears and conflicts.
Ideals and blueprints for a perfect Utopia will never bring about the radical change of heart which is essential if there is to be an end to war and universal destruction. Ideals cannot change our present values: they can be changed only by the right kind of education, which is to foster the understanding of what is.
When we are working together for an ideal , for the future, we shape individual according to our conception of that future; we are not concerned with human beings at all, but with our idea of what they should be. The what should be becomes far more important to us than what is , namely , the individual with his complexities. If we begin to understand the individual directly instead of looking at him through the screen of what we think he should be, then we are concerned with what is. Then we no longer want to transform the individual into something else; our only concern is to help him to understand himself, and in this there is no personal motive or gain. If we are full aware of what is we shall understand and so be free of it; but to be aware of what we are, we must stop struggling after something which we are not.
The highest function of education is to bring about an integrated individual who is capable of dealing with life as a whole.
and the means to do that is less about teaching and more about studying/knowing a person/child/student/learner…
To study a child, one has to be alert, watchful, self-aware, and this demands far greater intelligence and affection than to encourage him to follow an ideal. Another function of education is to create new values. Merely to implant existing values in the mind of the child, to make him conform to ideals, is to condition him without awakening his intelligence. Education is intimately related to the present world crisis, and the educator who sees the causes of this universal chaos should ask himself how to awaken intelligence in the student, thus helping the coming generation not to bring about further conflict and disaster. He must give all his thought, all his care and affection to the creation of tight environment and to the development of understanding, so that when the child grows into maturity he will be capable of dealing intelligently with the human problems that confront him. But in order to do this, the educator must understand himself instead of relying on ideologies, systems and beliefs.
Let us not think in terms of principles and ideal, but be concerned with things as they are; for ti is the consideration of what is that awakens intelligence, and the intelligence of the educator is far more important than his knowledge of a new method of educational. When on follows a method, even if it has been worked out by a thoughtful and intelligent person, the method becomes very important, and the children are important only as they fit into it. One measures and classifies the child, and then proceeds to educate him according to some chart. This process fo education may be convenient for the teacher, but neither the practice of a system nor the tyranny of opinion and learning can bring about an integrated human being.
The right kind of education consistes in understanding the child as he is without imposing upon him an ideal of what we think he should be. To enclose him in the framework of an ideal is to encourage him to conform, which breeds fear and produces in him a constant conflict between what he is and what he should be; and all inward conflicts have their outward manifestations in society. Ideals are an actual hindrance to our understanding of the child and to the child’s understanding of himself.
Ideals are a convenient escape, and the teacher who follows them is incapable of understanding his students and dealing with them intelligently; for him, the future ideal, the what should be, is far more important than the present child. The pursuit of an ideal excludes love, and without love no human problem can be solved.
Surely it is possible to help the individual to perceive the enduring values of life, without conditioning. Some may say that this full development of the individual will lead to chaos; but will it? There is already confusion in the world, and it has arisen because the individual has not been educated to understand himself. While he has been given some superficial freedom, he has also been taught to conform, to accept the existing values.
Why are we so sure that neither we nor the coming generation, through the right kind of education, can bring about a fundamental alteration in human relationship? We have never tried it; and as most of us seem to be fearful of the right kind of education, we are disinclined to try it. Without really inquiring into this whole question, we assert that human nature cannot be changed, we accept things as they are and encourage the child to fit into the present society; we condition him to our present ways of life, and hope for the best. But can such conformity to present values, which lead to war and starvation, be considered education?
One of the dangers of discipline is that the system becomes more important than the human beings who are enclosed in it.Discipline then becomes a substitue for love, and it is because our hearts are empty that we cling to discipline. Freedom can never come through discipline, through resistance; freedom s not a goal, and end to be achieved. Freedom is at the beginning not at the end, it is not to be found in some distant ideal.
To follow authority has many advantages if one thinks in terms of personal motive and gain; but education based on individual advancement and profit can only build a social structure which is competitieve, antagonistic and ruthless. This is the kind of society in which we have been brought up and our animosity and confusion are obvious.
Teaching should not become a specialist’s profession. When it does, as is os often the case, love fades away; and love is essential to the process of integration. To be integrated there must be freedom from fear. Fearlessness brings independence without ruthlessness, without contempt for another, and this is the most essential factor in life.
The integrated human being will come to technique through experiencing, for the creative impulse makes its own technique – and that is the greatest art. When a child has the creative impulse to paint, he paints, he does not bother about technique. Likewise people who are experiencing, and therefore teaching, are the only real teachers, and they too will crete their own technique.
This sounds very simple, but it is really a deep revolution. If we think about it we can see the extraordinary effect it will have on society. At present most of us are washed out at the age of forty-five or fifty by slavery to routine; through compliance, through fear and acceptance, we are finished, though we struggle on in a society that has very little meaning except for those who dominate it and are secure. If the teacher sees this and is himself really experiencing, then whatever his temperament and capacities may be, his teaching will not be a matter of routine but will become an instrument of help.
The way out of this problem lies through ourselves.
So few of us are concerned with love, but we are vastly taken up with the appearance of love.
Many of us seem to think that by teaching every human being to read and write, we shall solve our human problems; but this ideas has proved to be false. The so-called educated are not peace-loving, integrated people, and they too are responsible for the confusion and misery of the world.
The right kind of education means the awakening of intelligence, the fostering of an integrated life, and only such education can create a new culture and a peaceful world; but to bring about this new kind of education, we must make a fresh start on an entirely different basis.
When we hear a truth and do not act upon it, it becomes a poison within ourselves, and that poison spreads, brining psychological disturbances, unbalance and ill health. Only when creative intelligence is awakened in the individual is there a possibility of a peaceful and happy life.
Only a profound inward revolution which alters all our values can create a different environment, an intelligent social structure, and such a revolution can be brought about only by you and me. No new order will arise until we individually break down our own psychological barriers and are free.
Self-knowledge is the beginning of freedom, and it s only when we know ourselves that we can bring about order and peace.
Individual enlightenment does affect large groups of people, but only if one is not eager for result. If one thinks in terms of gain and effect, right transformation of oneself is not possible.
To understand ourselves, we must be aware of our relationship, not only with people, but also with property, with ideas and with nature. If we are to bring about a true revolution in human relationship, which is the basis of all society, there must be a fundamental change in our own values and outlook; but we avoid the necessary and fundamental transformation of ourselves, and try to bring about political revolution in the world, which always leads to bloodshed and disaster.
Ignorance is lack of knowledge of the ways of the self, and this ignorance cannot be dissipated by superficial activities and reform; it can be dissipated only by one’s constant awareness of the movements and responses of the self in all its relationships.
By conforming we become mediocre imitators, cogs in a cruel social machine. It is what we think that matters, not what others want us to think. When we conform to tradition, we soon become mere copies of what we should be.
One of the results of fear is the acceptance of authority in human affairs. Authority is created by our desire to be right, to be secure, to be comfortable, to have no conscious conflicts or disturbances; but nothing which results from fear can help us to understand our problems, even though fear may take the form of respect and submission to the so-called wise. The wise wield no authority, and those in authority are not wise.
There can be self-knowledge and intelligence only when there is freedom at the very outset; and freedom is denied by the acceptance of authority. When man himself has no inward vision, outward power and position assume vast importance, and then the individual is more and more subject to authority and compulsion, he becomes the instrument of others.
If we are to know ourselves, there must be a certain spontaneity, a freedom to observe, and this is nto possible when the mind is enclosed in the superficial, in idealistic or materialistic values.
The intellect is satisfied with theories and explanations, but intelligence is not; and for the understanding of the total process of existence, there must be an integration of the mind and heart in action. Intelligence is not separate from love.
For most of us, to accomplish this inward revolution is extremely arduous. We know how to meditate, how to play the piano, how to write, but we have no knowledge of the meditator, the player, the writer. We are not creators, for we have filled our hearts and minds with knowledge, information and arrogance; we are full of quotations from what others have thought or said. But experiencing comes first, not the way of experiencing. There must be love before there can be the expression of love.
Intellect is thought functioning independently of emotion, whereas, intelligence is the capacity to feel as well as to reason; and until we approach life with intelligence, instead of intellect alone, or with emotion alone, no political or educational system in the world can save us from the toils of chaos and destruction.
In our search for knowledge, in our acquisitive desire, we are losing love, we are blunting the feeling for beauty, the sensitivity to cruelty; we are becoming more and more specialized and less and less integrated. Our education is making us more and more shallow; it is not helping us to uncover the deeper layers of our being, and our lives are increasingly disharmonious and empty.
Without a change of heart, without goodwill, without the inward transformation which is born of self-awareness, there can be no peace, no happiness for men.