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Krishnamurti on Education

Talks to Students

Krishnamurti on Education 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; 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?

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. 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 so?

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.

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 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.

Krishnamurti on Education

Talks to Students

Krishnamurti on Education Talk to Students Chapter 9 'On Behaviour'

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