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Krishnamurti on Education

Talks to Teachers

Krishnamurti on Education 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 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 significance.

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, 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 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, eager?

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 possible.

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 this.

Krishnamurti on Education

Talks to Teachers

Krishnamurti on Education Talk to Teachers Chapter 11 'On Meditation and Education'

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