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Beginnings of Learning

Part 1

Beginnings of Learning Part I Chapter 11 School Dialogue Brockwood Park 24th June 1971

Questioner: We were talking about why one can't say that one loves someone.

Krishnamurti: Can we approach it in a different way? Do you know what aggressiveness is? It means opposition, to go against. From that arises the question: how are you going to meet life when you have passed through here and are so-called educated? Do you want to be swallowed up by the society, the culture in which you live, or are you going to oppose it, revolt against it, which will be a reaction and not a total action? Are you going to step into the easy way of life, conform, imitate, adjust to the pattern, whatever that pattern be, whether it be the establishment, or an establishment of a different kind, and so on? Or are you going to be a totally different human being, who is aware and knows he has to meet adversity and opposition, and that therefore there is no easy way of satisfaction? Because most of us want a life of ease, of comfort, without trouble, which is almost impossible; and if you do meet opposition will you run away from it? "I don't like this place, these people, this job", so I move away, run away from it to do something else which will be satisfactory. Do you use others for your own satisfaction? And is love the use of others, either sexually, or as companionship, or for one's own satisfaction, not superficially but much more deeply?

How are you going to meet all this, which is what life is? The so-called educated people in the world, who have been to college, to university, have got a good job, fit into a place and stay there and advance there. They have their own troubles, their own adversities.

One may pass some exam and get a job, or one may have been educated technologically. But psychologically one doesn't know anything about oneself. One is unhappy, miserable because one can't get this or that, one quarrels with one's husband or wife - you know all that goes on. And they are all very educated people who read books, disregarding the whole field of life. And the non-educated people do the same. You are going to be educated - I don't know why, but you are going to be - and then what? Lead a comfortable life? Not that one is against comfort, but if one is seeking comfort in life it becomes rather shoddy, rather shallow, and you have to conform to a tremendous extent to the structure of the culture in which you live. And if you revolt against the culture and join a group, which has its own pattern, you have to fit into that too.

Seeing that most human beings throughout the world want to be safe, secure, comfortable, lead a life of indulgence, a life in which they do not have too much opposition - where they conform superficially, but revolt against conforming, become superficially respectable but are inwardly rebellious, have a job, get married, have children and responsibility - but the mind wanting something much more than that, they are discontented, running from one thing to another. Seeing all of it, not just one segment, one fraction of it, but the whole of the map - what are you all going to do? Or is it a question that you cannot possibly answer at your age? - you are too young perhaps, with your own occupations, the other can wait

Questioner: One knows what one would like to do.

Krishnamurti: Do you know what you want to do?

Questioner: I know what I'd like to do.

Krishnamurti: What would you like to do - like? I'd like to be the Queen of England! Or the greatest something or other and I can't. I haven't got the capacity. So when you say you'd like to do something that gives you pleasure, that gives you satisfaction, that is what everybody wants: comfort, pleasure, satisfaction. "This is what I want to do because I feel happy in doing it." And when you meet opposition along that path, you don't know how to meet it and then you try to escape from it. You know, this is really a very difficult question, it is not easy to say what one would like to do. This is a very complex question, that is why I said: is this asking too much? Or, at your age, are you already beginning to have the inkling of what you want to do, not only for the next year but for the rest of your life?

Questioner: We are not too young.

Krishnamurti: I don't know. I don't know whether you are too old or too young. It is for you to answer, not for me. I am putting this to you, for you to find out.

Questioner: Some of us are already too old. We are already shaped. Already we have had experiences, etc., that makes us all very bored with life.

Krishnamurti: You know, the other day we were talking about the fact that we are always thinking about ourselves. And when you are thinking about yourself, isn't it generally round what gives you the greatest pleasure? "I want to do that, because it is going to give me tremendous satisfaction." So how do you meet all these things? Shouldn't you be educated, not only in geography, history, mathematics and all the rest of it, but also in this field, where you have to discover for yourself how to live in this monstrous world - isn't that part of education? Now how could you set about educating yourself to meet this life? Do you expect somebody else to educate you, as they educate you in mathematics and other subjects?

Questioner: No.

Krishnamurti: No? You are quite sure? If nobody is going to educate you in the psychological, inward way of living, how are you going to do it? How are you going to educate yourself? You know what is happening in the world? Apart from the monstrosities and wars and butcheries and all the terrible things that are going on, people who think they know are trying to educate you - not in the technological world: that is clear, simple and factual. The other day on television some bishop said: the knowledge of God is love and if you don't have knowledge of God you can't live, life becomes meaningless. You follow? Now there is that statement made most emphatically by a well-known bishop, or whatever he was, and I listened to it and I said: I am learning, I want to find out. I want to be educated. And he has reasonable explanations and you look at his collar, or his coat, or his beret, and you say, "Oh, he is a priest, he is an old man, he is repeating old stuff" - that is nothing, and you push him away. And then a man comes along and offers you a pattern of living (listen to all this, please) which seems reasonable, logical and because of his personality, the way he looks, dresses, walks - you know all the tricks - you say, "Yes, he has got something." And you listen to him. And through the very act of listening you are being conditioned by what he says, aren't you?

Questioner: It depends how you listen.

Krishnamurti: If you don't know how to listen to that bishop, you will say, "How reasonable, he says we have lived this way for two thousand years, this is the right way, with the knowledge of God." I listen to him and there is something that appeals to me and I accept it. I have been influenced by him. And I am also influenced by a man who says, "Do this and you will have enlightenment." So I am being influenced all round. What shall I do? I want to educate myself because I see very well nobody is going to educate me in that field. Because they have never educated themselves, they have never gone into themselves and examined, explored, searched out, looked and watched, but they have always conformed to a pattern. And they are trying to teach me how to live within that pattern, whether it is the Zen pattern, or the Christian, or the communist pattern; they have not educated themselves in the sense we are talking about, though they may be clever in argument and in dialectics. So as nobody is going to help me to educate myself inwardly, how shall I begin? And I see, if I don't do that I become a lopsided human being. I may be very good at writing an essay and getting a degree - then what? And the whole of the rest of my life is neglected. So how shall I educate myself, become mature in a field where very few people have taken the trouble to investigate, to enquire? Or they have done it and imposed their thinking on others, not helped them to find out for themselves. I don't know if you see that. Do you understand what I am talking about? Freud, Jung, Adler and other analysts, who have gone into this and stated some facts, traced all behaviour to childhood conditioning and so on - they have laid down a certain pattern and you can investigate in that direction and get more information, but it is not you learning about yourself. You are learning according to somebody else. So how will you set about it? - knowing what life is, what is happening in the world, wars, antagonism, politicians, priests, the hippies with their little bit of philosophy, the people who take drugs, the makers of communes and the hatred between various classes. Take all that outwardly; and inwardly people are ambitious, greedy, envious, brutal, violent, exploiting each other. These are facts, I am not exaggerating.

Now seeing all this, what shall I do? Shall I conform to some pattern which is comforting, which is what I want to do, a fulfilment for myself? Because if you don't have a certain spark, a flame in you now at the age of fifteen, sixteen, twenty or twenty-five, it is going to be very difficult when you are fifty. Then it is much more difficult to change. So, what shall I do? How shall I face all this, look at it, listen to all the terrible noise in the world? - the priests, the technicians, the clever men, the workers, the strikes that are going on. Shall I choose a particular noise that appeals to me and follow that noise for the rest of my life? What shall I do? This is a tremendous problem, it is not a simple problem.

Questioner: I want to experiment.

Krishnamurti: Experiment?

Questioner: Well let things come to me.

Krishnamurti: Listen to what I am saying. "Seeing all this, I don't know what to do. Not knowing what to do, I am going to find an easy way out - I generally do." Don't fool yourself. This is a tremendously complex problem.

Questioner: But to find the easy way out is still not real.

Krishnamurti: Wait, I am not at all sure. I face it all this tremendous roar that is going on, the shouting, the pushing, and I find there is an easy way out, I become a monk. That is what is happening in certain parts of the world, because people don't trust politicians, scientists, technicians, preachers any more. They say, "I am going to withdraw from all this and become a solitary monk with a begging bowl" - they are doing it in India. Or not knowing what to do, you drift. Do you know what that word means? - to carry on from day to day, not to bother. Or if you must find a way out you force yourself, or you join a group that thinks it is tremendously advanced. Is that what you are all going to do? If I had a daughter or a son here, that would be my concern as a parent, I would feel tremendously concerned. And Brockwood is concerned - to me this is tremendously important. You can all go to colleges and universities and get a degree and a job. But that is too simple, it is a way out of it that doesn't solve anything either. So if I had a son or a daughter, I would ask, "How are they going to be educated in the field where they themselves don't take an interest?" And the others don't know how to help them to understand that enormous field that has been neglected.

So I know what I would do in the sense that I would say to a daughter or son: Look, listen to all this, listen to all the noise that is going on in the world, don't take sides, don't jump to any conclusions but just listen. Don't say one noise is better than another noise; they are all noises, so just listen, first. And listen also to your own noise, your chattering, your wishes - "I want to be this and I don't want to be that" - find out what it means to listen. Find out, don't be told. Discuss it with me and find out what it means first. Find out what it means to think, why you think, what is the background of your thinking. Watch yourself, don't become self-centred in that watching. Be tremendously concerned in watching, which is further enlargement of oneself. Questioner: Did you say to be tremendously concerned with watching is further enlargement of the self?

Krishnamurti: I said watch yourself. If I were a parent I would be tremendously concerned with the problem, the question how to educate people in this field where there is no real understanding or help. That is what I meant. But I said later on: if you watch yourself there is a danger of self-centredness - a tremendous danger. I must watch that too.

I also said I would discuss with the group, find out how you think, why you think and what you think. Not in order to change it, not to suppress it, not to overcome it, but to find out why you think at all. Go on, question it! I don't know if you have noticed that most books, all the social, religious, moral, ethical structure, the relationship between man and man and all the rest of it, are based on thinking.

Questioner: Yes.

Krishnamurti: "This is right, this is wrong, this should be, this must not be" - it is based on the structure of thought. Are you quite sure? - don't agree with me.

Now I want to find out if that is the way of living, to base everything on thought, on what I like and what I don't like, what I want to do, what I don't want to do. Probably you never think about it. Think about it now.

Questioner: Because your thinking is either you want to, or you don't want to. It all comes from the `self'.

Beginnings of Learning

Part 1

Beginnings of Learning Part I Chapter 11 School Dialogue Brockwood Park 24th June 1971

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