Beginnings of Learning
Beginnings of Learning Part I Chapter 4 School Dialogue Brockwood Park 8th September 1970
Krishnamurti: What kind of human being are you going to be when you go out into the world? You will have to face so many problems, won't you? Not only economic, social, environmental problems, but also problems of relationship, sex, of how to live intelligently, with great love and affection and not be smothered, corrupted by society. Here, in this school, we are more or less protected and among friends; there can be trust, we are familiar with each other's idiosyncrasies, prejudices, inclinations and tendencies, but when we go out into the world we do not know anybody and we are facing a monstrous world.
We have to find out how we are going to meet all this, what kind of mind or intelligence is going to face this. So education becomes of the greatest importance. Education being not merely the acquisition of technical knowledge, but the understanding, with sensitivity and intelligence, of the whole problem of living - in which is included death, love, sex, meditation, relationship, and also conflict, anger, brutality and all the rest of it - that is the whole structure of human existence.
If we could face just one issue completely, go into it very deeply, then perhaps we shall be able to relate it to all the others. No problem is something separate, all by itself. It is related to other issues, other problems, other affairs. So if we can take one human problem and enquire into it freely, then we shall be able to see the connection with all other problems. So what shall we talk about together?
Questioner: What is the purpose of life?
Krishnamurti: It was made very clear the other day that to have a purpose implies a direction: you fix a direction and avoid everything else. If I say, "I want to go to `The Grove' this morning because there are marvellous flowers there", then my whole attention is on getting there and therefore I resist everything else. Similarly, to ask what is the purpose of life is to invite more contradiction, more conflict. I don't know if you really see that?
Questioner: Perhaps the real difficulty is communication?
Krishnamurti: Is that our difficulty? When you want to say something, you say it, don't you?
Questioner: Yes, but communication is to do something together.
Krishnamurti: You say communication means doing something together - understanding together, creating together. Is that what you want to discuss?
Questioner: (1) Perhaps we have a desire to do things together because we don't feel we can stand alone?
Questioner: (2) So perhaps we can discuss right relationship?
Questioner: (3) It seems that we are so scattered in our thinking.
Krishnamurti: Surely your thoughts are not scattered when you are interested. Do tell me, what interests you?
Krishnamurti: Is that what you are all interested in? - happiness, enjoyment, pleasure, having a good time? Is that what you are going to be interested in not only now when you are adolescent, but right through life? What are you all going to do? Just seek happiness, saying, "If I could have more jewels, more sex, more of this or that I would be happy" - is that what you all want?
Questioner: I could be interested in certain other aspects of life, such as politics.
Krishnamurti: All right, but if you are interested in politics are you only concerned with one segment of life? If you are really interested in politics you have to be interested in the whole movement of existence and not regard politics as something entirely separate, as most politicians do. Questioner: I could be interested in being an engineer, but also in living as a human being.
Krishnamurti: So you are interested in engineering but also in understanding the whole of life. Now which do you consider the most important, the most vital - without putting them in opposition?
Questioner: The whole, everything.
Krishnamurti: Which includes religion - you follow? If you emphasize engineering and disregard all the rest, then you are a lopsided human being; in fact you are not a human being at all, just a technician. So knowing that, what shall we take to discuss, so that enquiring into it we shall understand that all other problems are included also? Which subject shall we take? Is sex a tremendous problem to you, an issue?
Questioner: Well, it doesn't have to be an issue for me, but other people around me make it an issue.
Krishnamurti: Do they? Can they?
Questioner: Surely they can!
Krishnamurti: All right. You are walking down the street and the girls are attracted to you and you say the blame lies with the girls and you are quite blameless!
Questioner: No it's not quite that. But take sexual relationship. If I'm having a sexual relationship with someone and other people know about it, then somehow they can make it into a problem.
Krishnamurti: Wait a minute. You are here in a school, a so-called Educational Centre; you are sent here by your parents and you have also said you want to come here. So you are not just a separate individual, doing what you like, you are responsible for this place. It is your home and you are responsible for it, for the house and the garden and for keeping it orderly. And you are responsible to your parents, to the people here, to the neighbours - the whole of it. And naturally people are watching what is going on here. They have given money, they have children here, there are the neighbours, the visitors, the people who work here who are interested, they are all watching.
So if I want to have a sexual affair with someone here, I have to be fully awake to all the dangers of it and also to all the possible consequences of it. If I'm having an affair with someone here, then the staff who are responsible to your parents, to the neighbourhood and for the welfare of the school, are bound to be concerned, aren't they? They are bound to watch you very carefully; that's not being authoritarian, is it?
Questioner: Does anyone else have to know about it? And is it necessarily harmful?
Krishnamurti: Can you possibly keep it a secret in a place like this? We have not said it is harmful, or not. We are looking at it and someone says that the other person is to blame. The people who are in charge are keeping an eye on you and they say, "Now look, see what is happening, what you are doing." Is that being authoritarian? Who is making the problem? Are you making the problem, or the people who are concerned for the whole place? You have to be sensitive; you have to know you can't do certain things. If there's a baby, what will happen?
Questioner: The one who has the baby is responsible.
Krishnamurti: So the mother has the problem?
Questioner: And the father too.
Krishnamurti: And what happens about all the other people concerned, the parents, the school, the neighbourhood? Perhaps the parents are away in India, or America; did they send you here to produce children who have to be looked after?
Questioner: But then, Sir, if boys and girls want to have sexual relationship, it creates a conflict if you can't do it.
Krishnamurti: So, you do it. And then what?
Questioner: Well, then it becomes a problem.
Krishnamurti: What makes the problem? Questioner: It's a problem in that the students are saying contradictory things. On the one hand they don't want to conform, and on the other hand they say, "Why can't I do what I want to do?", which is conforming.
Krishnamurti: Both sides are saying that. We have to go a little deeper. Please put yourself in the place of the parent who has sent a son or daughter here to be educated, or in the place of the person who is responsible for running this place, with the boys and girls together. What is your responsibility? (Pause.) You see how you become silent, how you smile differently?
Questioner: Even if a mother and a father are very concerned about their child, it doesn't necessarily mean that they stop them having a sexual relationship.
Krishnamurti: That is something different. The point is that we are here, in this school, boys and girls together. And perhaps all your glands are working at top speed because of biological urges, and there is all the excitement of showing off, showing one's body and all the rest of it. You know it all much better than I do. Now, what is going to happen, in a place like this? Here you are told to enquire into conformity, to understand it, to use your minds, your intelligence. Then this sexual problem arises, the sex instinct is aroused in a place where lots of boys and girls are together. What are you going to do? Pursue your biological urge secretly or openly? Come on, do discuss this.
Questioner: Well, in America many of the students would say, "Yes."
Krishnamurti: I know that many of the students in America, or France, or in the universities here say, "That's none of your business."
Questioner: And if you put it the other way round, if you say, "I won't pursue my biological urge," what then?
Krishnamurti: First let us see what is involved in the whole of it - not just my personal biological urge. Don't just say that the parents and the people who are concerned about this place are making me conform, that they are authoritarian. This place is in the public eye. The public eye may be corrupt, stupid, but if this centre gets a bad name then the whole future of the school is in jeopardy; then the place may have to shut down. You must take all this into consideration. So what will you do with your biological urge? Come on, let's discuss it. What will you do? You have investigated so far, you have thought about your parents, your responsibility here, the responsibilities to the parents of those who are in charge, of the neighbourhood, of the future of the school.
Questioner: But aren't the students equally in charge here, not only the staff?
Krishnamurti: I have said that. This is your home, the home of all of you, and therefore you are all responsible for what happens here. So, what is your action then? Knowing that biologically everything is supercharged, what will you do? After all, you read the magazines, the newspapers, the stories, you go to the cinema, you've seen the half-naked girls and you know about the whole thing. Now what is your responsibility? Please discuss with me. That is one of the problems of life and you don't want to face it. But you can't brush it under the carpet. How are you going to deal with a problem of that kind with a mind that is not completely mature? Because you are all very young, you understand? Your minds have not yet become tremendously active, sensitive and intelligent You are faced with this problem and naturally you want to avoid it. There is fear and apprehension.
How is your mind going to be intelligent enough to deal with it? Because society all around you is pushing you in that one direction, through clothes, fashion - everything leads to wards sex. In India kissing on the screen is not allowed. When you go out into the world the problem is there and even if you are married it is there. So how will you have an intelligence that will deal with this problem without any kind of resistance, conflict or suppression? If you yield to it, it will become another form of neurosis; if you suppress it, it will also lead to neurosis; if you resist it, it will do terrible things to you. You know what happens to people who resist all these things? They become bottled up, they get angry about nothing, they become hysterical.
So how can one bring about a mind that is capable of neither resisting, suppressing, nor yielding? This is a real problem. How do you have a mind that is sensitive, alert, sharp and also extraordinarily capable of responding to beauty - the beauty of a woman or of a child? How do you come by it?
When you have examined a problem thoroughly and you come to this point, what do you do? You say, don't you: "I don't know what to do," and then you say, "Let's drop it." You follow? To live a life without effort, without conformity, without suppression, without resistance, without following the crowd - going to parties, the whole stupefying process of modern existence: that is real education.
Now watch! - because this issue will exist right through life. As we have said, if you suppress it there is danger it will explode in other directions; and if you yield, or play tricks with it, it will destroy you, destroy the mind.
So the mind has learnt not to suppress and not to yield, not to make an immense problem of it. Is this clear to you? Does it mean anything to you? Or do you say: "Let him talk, we'll have our pleasures, we'll get married, carry on, and then we'll face it"?
Have you ever asked why human beings give such extraordinary importance to this one thing, to sex? Throughout the world it is much more important than money, much more important than religion. In the West it is talked about freely, exposed. In the East it is all kept behind locked doors, whether one is married or not. Why, do you think, has it become a thing of such colossal importance?
Questioner: (1) Maybe it's because of the pleasure; it is something you can have without money.
Questioner: (2) Could it be that people have a lot of energy in them which they haven't used on other things, and therefore they use it in this direction?
Krishnamurti: Go on, push at it, create together, contribute! Don't just sit there and let me do all the work! Questioner: It may be an escape from a sorrow, or a problem.
Krishnamurti: So look at it! We have been working together, understanding together, communicating. You have said sex has become so important because of the pleasure, the surplus energy, as an escape from the daily routine. Now is that what is happening to you? I don't say you are having sexual affairs, I'm just asking: is this what your mind is groping after? - seeking pleasure, escaping from the monotony of school, of learning this or that, and therefore your mind goes off, creating images?
Questioner: Is it not also that we are looking for affection? This one thing is not found because people are always pointing out that it is not right.
Krishnamurti: Is this what you are doing? Are you saying that you want affection, you want kindliness, tenderness, concern, something real, and because you don't get it you think you'll get it through pleasure, through sex? Of course you need affection as you need sunshine, rain and clouds. But why do you seek it? Why do you say so-and-so doesn't show me affection?
Questioner: Because affection makes you feel better.
Krishnamurti: Go deeper.
Questioner: It feeds your ego.
Krishnamurti: Go on, push at it!
Questioner: You become closer to a person and you want to really get near to people and know them.
Krishnamurti: That is, you say you want affection from others because it makes you feel comfortable and happy, you feel you can blossom.
Questioner: And also there is something you want to give.
Krishnamurti: Yes, you want to give and to share, all that. So go on, what does it all mean? I am seeking affection from others: what does that mean?
Questioner: There is a lack of affection in myself. Krishnamurti: What does that mean, the lack of affection in yourself? Look, a spring of water is bubbling over all the time, isn't it? - giving, pouring out. And it is only when my own spring of affection is not functioning deeply that I want somebody else to give it to me. Right?
Questioner: It's not always that way.
Krishnamurti: Why do you say, "Not always"? please listen to this carefully. If you have deep affection in yourself for everything - not just for one, but for everything - love for the trees, the birds, the flowers, the fields and for human beings - if you really feel that way, will you even occasionally say, "I wish someone would show me affection"? Isn't it only when there is emptiness inside you that you want others to be with you?
So you have learnt something, haven't you? Your mind now is actively observing, looking intelligently, and you see that where there is no affection in oneself, you want affection from others. That is translated as sex, relationship, and when that emptiness within seeks a relationship through sex and through a constant companionship, then you become jealous, fearful, angry. You follow? Please see all the consequences of it. So sex isn't the problem. The problem is to have an intelligent mind and in the very observing of all this it becomes highly intelligent and this intelligence will deal with sex. I don't know if you follow? Have you understood it?
Questioner: It also means, in turn, that one can have a sexual relationship without having a problem.
Krishnamurti: I don't say that.
Questioner: I mean, there's a possibility.
Krishnamurti: No, no. I wouldn't put it that way. First, be intelligent, then that intelligence will answer the problem rightly, whatever it is. Have an intelligent mind not a distorted mind. A distorted mind says, "That is what I want and I'm going after it." Which means that it has no concern for the whole, but only for its own little demands - it has not been watching the whole process. So here it is your responsibility to have this intelligence, and if you don't have it, then don't blame somebody else. You know, to live intelligently in this way becomes an extraordinary, a tremendous thing; there is real enjoyment in this. But along the other way you live with fear.
Beginnings of Learning
Beginnings of Learning Part I Chapter 4 School Dialogue Brockwood Park 8th September 1970
Texts and talks of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti quotes. Books about
J Krishnamurti. Philosophy.