Thursday, 11 November 2010

Education IX

I read Krishnamurti´s book "On education". The very first entry starts with such a beautiful text:

You know, you live in one of the most beautiful valleys I have seen. It has a special atmosphere. Have you noticed, especially in the evenings and early mornings, a quality of silence which permeates, which penetrates the valley?........and wherever you go, in cities or in other places, man is destroying nature, cutting down trees to build more houses, polluting the air with cars and industry......but probably you have become used to it. You do not look at the hills any more, you do not listen to the birds any more and to the wind among the leaves. So you have gradually become indifferent.....

Education is not only learning from books, memorizing some facts, but also learning how to look, how to listen.....
Education is not just to pass examinations, take a degree and a job, get married and settle down, but also to be able to listen to the birds, to see the sky, to see the extraordinary beauty of a tree, and the shape of the hills, and to feel with them, to be really, directly in touch with them. As you grow older, that sense of listening, seeing, unfortunately disappears because you have worries, you want more money, a better car, more children or less children. You become jealous, ambitious, greedy, envious; so you lose the sense of the beauty of the earth....... And you will grow up to fit into this. Is this right, is this what education is meant for, that you should willingly or unwillingly fit into this mad structure called society?

..... you will conform, because that is the easiest way to live.....You have to change society.... Society is you and I. You and I create the society in which we live. So you have to change.....
And you, living in this extraordinary valley,.....Are you going to conform, fit in, accept all the old values? ....... But if you now begin to think, to observe, to learn, not from books, but learn for yourself by watching, listening to everything that is happening around you, you will grow up to be a different human being - one who cares, who has affection, who loves people. Perhaps if you live that way, you might find a truly religious life.....

Do you know what it means to attend, to pay attention? ..... See the totality of the tree. Look at it that way, because I am going to talk about something to which you have to pay attention. Attention is very important, in the class, as well as when you are outside, when you are eating, when you are walking. Attention is an extraordinary thing.

I am going to ask you something. Why are you being educated? Do you understand my question? Your parents send you to school. You attend classes, you learn mathematics, you learn geography, you learn history. Why? Have you ever asked why you want to be educated, what is the point of being educated? What is the point of your passing examinations and getting degrees? Is it to get married, get a job and settle down in life as millions and millions of people do? Is that what you are going to do, is that the meaning of education? ....Human beings throughout the world.....are being educated to conform, to fit into society and into their culture, to fit into the stream of social and economical activity, to be sucked into that vast stream that has been flowing for thousands of years. Is that education, or is education something entirely different? Can education see to it that the human mind is not drawn into that vast stream and so destroyed; see that the mind is never sucked into that stream; .....That stream is our culture. So, the question is how to bring about the right kind of education so that the mind can withstand all temptations, all influences, the bestiality of this civilization and this culture.

We have come to a point in history where we have to create a new culture, a totally different kind of existence, .....but a culture based upon a real quality of religion. Now how does one bring about, through education, a mind that is entirely different, a mind that is not greedy, not envious? How does one create a mind that is not ambitious, that is extraordinarily active, efficient; that has a real perception of what is true in daily life which is after all religion.

(.....means a part of the text has been edited out. If you want to read the whole text go to:

It seems to me such an important book, that I feel one should not just read it, but STUDY it. And why not study it together with other people?. So, I opened a new blog, called "Studying Krishnamurti". You can see it here.
I transcribe here some of the intentions of this blog:

"Why study? What is to study? To study is to try to realize the full meaning originally intended in a text. To study is to go SLOWLY over the text, with an open mind, suspending our conditioning, and letting the meaning of the text emerge (both locally as a sentence and as whole text). It has nothing to do with casually reading....

Why together? It is our experience that a group of people reading the same text together and commenting what they read, is like looking from many different angles. This way of reading has always worked very well. With the advent of internet, it is hoped that people from very far, unlikely to get physically together, could "come together" and study something together....

This blog does not belong to anybody in particular. It belongs to the people using it. Anybody can suggest a book or an audio or even a video tape, to be studied together. Moderation will be kept to a minimum.
For the people that do not have the paper book, it will be suggested where to download it. In this case, it is suggested that a small donation is made to the corresponding foundation."

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