When one travels around the world, one notices to what an extraordinary degree human nature is the same, whether in India or America, in Europe or Australia. This is especially true in colleges and universities. We are turning out, as if through a mould, a type of human being whose chief interest is to find security, to become somebody important, or to have a good time with as little thought as possible. Conventional education makes independent thinking extremely difficult.
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Established in , itis one of the five schools of the Krishnamurti Foundation India. His observations on religion, nationalism, tradition, organizations, and relationships often ran counter to the convention of the day. If they are less startling today, it is either due to the effect his insights have had on common consciousness or an indication of the extent to which he was ahead of his time. This is probably due largely to the fact that Krishnamurti presents education as a religious activity in an age when most people still see it as preparation for succeeding in a secular world.
The traditional western symbol for this is choosing Barabbas; choosing what is familiar or most like us over what is true or sacred. This is as true in educational matters as it is in religious ones. To solve these problems, we seem to need educational insights that marry the most profound learning possible with the everyday; the subtle with the mundane; or to put it another way, the sacred with the secular.
I feel they are radical, that they meet the challenges of living at a profound level, and they do so at a time when such insights are desperately needed.
We hear the voice of the seventeen year old Krishnamurti writing from his heartfelt experiences when he says in the foreword,. Many of the suggestions made in this little book come from my own memories of early school life;…. I have myself experienced both the right way of teaching and the wrong way, and therefore I want to help others towards the right way. Krishnamurti To address my present theme, which is that for Jiddu Krishnamurti education is a religious activity, I will need to say something about topics I would much prefer avoiding.
Partly I would prefer avoiding them because in the space of this lecture I can say only too little to do them justice. I would also prefer avoiding them because any coverage of these topics, no matter what space was available, would probably be contentious because:.
Krishnamurti did not explicitly define positions; instead, his understanding is interwoven through out his work. This is further complicated by the evolution in his manner of expression that occurred over his lifetime, so that two comments taken out of context and separated by decades seem to contradict each other though, taken in context, they are not contradictory ; and. He did not present his insights in traditional intellectual forms, which would have made summarisation easier.
And, as with all processes of translation, something is lost, and those who know the original see the loss, and rightly complain. The topics which I feel I can not avoid are: 1. Krishnamurti felt that what is sacred or truly religious could not be conditional, culture-bound or time-bound.
Consequently, he felt that what is religious could not be contained by or subject to any dogma, belief, or authority. If that which is sacred cannot be related to dogma, ritual, buildings, authorities, or symbols, then what does man have that can make contact with the sacred?
Krishnamurti felt that the bridge from the secular to the sacred is a particular consciousness. It is a consciousness that sees things as they are; one that is free of the distortions of conditioning and free of the limitations of thought while still employing thought. It is a consciousness that has transcended the imperatives of the self or ego and so knows compassion or selfless love.
It is a consciousness that knows silence and sees beauty and lives joy. He felt that all things are part of a unity or integrated whole, and that that integrated whole is sacred. The closest material analogy is perhaps a hologram — if a hologram is smashed, each fragment contains the whole hologram. Consequently, there can be no development of a part which does not affect the whole, and there can be benefit to a part this is detrimental to the whole.
As the integrated whole or that which is religious or sacred is always involved, it makes no sense to think of sequentially developing particulars first and the whole later i.
The particulars are constituents of the whole and they must be dealt with together. I must again contain my comments to just those few which seem necessary for the theme of this paper. Jiddu Krishnamurti saw human beings as having different facets like intellects, emotions, appetites, bodies, etc. Humans have minds as well as brains more will be said on this later , and it is the consciousness that minds are capable of that can perceive what is religious — the integrated whole though this should not be confused with some notion of omniscience or seeing everything , and it is to the full flowering of the mind that Krishnamurti felt education should direct itself.
The human brain, for reasons too complex to go into here, normally works by fragmenting the whole, and one very important task that the brain needs to learn is to stop this fragmenting process when it is not necessary. Consequently, as possessors of both brains and minds, humans have the capacity of participating in the universe at many different levels, from the particular to the general. Like a Buddhist, one might consider the most real to be that which is most general or generative.
Or, like a hard scientist, one might consider most real that which is most particular. For Krishnamurti, human beings have the capacity to venture to both limits and to unite them. From the full body of his work, we can conclude that, for Krishnamurti, education is 1.
From the above it probably goes without saying, though it can not be said often enough, education is not about preparation for only a part of life like work but is about preparation for the whole of life and the deepest aspects of living.
In English, or rather in the English of England, schools are specifically places for younger students. To support my theme I will show how Krishnamurti described the three elements mentioned above the intentions, the places, and the participants in religious terms, which has the added benefit of seeing the relationship they have with one another. Krishnamurti repeatedly stated the intentions of the education centres he founded in very unequivocal terms, and in very religious ones.
Surely they must be centres of learning a way of life which is not based on pleasure, on self-centered activities, but on the understanding of correct action, the depth and beauty of relationship, and the sacredness of a religious life. Krishnamurti b Letter dated 15th October These places exist for the enlightenment of man Krishnamurti b letter of 15th October But meaningful growth and real material change without the all too frequent unfortunate side effects cannot be produced by just ensuring young people acquire knowledge and skills, and teaching them to conform to the strictures and demands of society in order to get on in life.
He decries the fact that most education is to…. Merely to cultivate technical capacity without understanding what is true freedom leads to destruction, to greater wars; and that is actually what is happening in the world. Krishnamurti a. Merely to stuff the child with a lot of information, making him pass examinations, is the most unintelligent form of education.
He specifically contrasts this to what he feels are the intentions of most schools which emphasise preparing young people to succeed materially in the society that exists or a slightly altered one.
Even though it is fashionable for schools to declare loftier goals, it is instructive to examine how much undivided attention is dedicated during the day to such lofty goals and how much time is given to preparation for earning a living.
It is also instructive to examine what are felt to be the imperatives that shape the educational experience — things like the use of space, who and what determines pedagogic activities, the use of time, and what is assessed, by whom and for what.
Of course, there is a connection between psychological freedom and outward compulsion — it is difficult to help a student find the former in a climate dominated by the latter — but it is not political freedom that interests Krishnamurti. Rather he is interested in the deeper freedom of the psyche and the spirit, the inner liberation that he felt was both the means and the ends of education.
Freedom is at the beginning, it is not something to be gained at the end. Krishnamurti c Chapter 6. There is no freedom at the end of compulsion; the outcome of compulsion is compulsion. Krishnamurti b. If you dominate a child, compel him to fit into a pattern, however idealistic, will he be free at the end of it? If we want to bring about a true revolution in education, there must obviously be freedom at the very beginning, which means that both the parent and the teacher must be concerned with freedom and not with how to help the child to become this or that.
For Jiddu Krishnamurti, the intentions of education must be the inner transformation and liberation of the human being and, from that, society would be transformed. Education is intended to assist people to become truly religious. These intentions must not be just pleasant sounding ideals to which one pays lip service, and they are not to be arrived at by their opposites. And the religious intentions are not for some eventual goal, but for life in educational centres from moment to moment.
Krishnamurti felt that the physical nature of educational centres was very important. He maintained that we are affected or informed by and therefore educated by far more than we suspect, and this is especially true of young impressionable minds. I will focus on what I believe to be the three elements that Krishnamurti spoke of most concerning the physicality of educational centres — 1. Again, in keeping with the theme of my paper, I will show that Krishnamurti spoke of these four elements in religious terms.
The schools Krishnamurti founded are very beautiful places, and this is not by accident. Beauty is important, not just because it is pleasing, but because sensitivity to beauty is related to being religious and indispensable to the healthy growth of a child.
To be religious is to be sensitive to reality. Your total being — body, mind, and heart — is sensitive to beauty and ugliness, to the donkey tied to a post, to the poverty and filth in this town, to laughter and tears, to everything about you. From this sensitivity for the whole of existence springs goodness, love; … Krishnamurti chapter He himself was extremely attentive to details and critical of things that were badly done. He was very understanding if things could not be better because of real constraints, and he never pushed the administrators of his schools to produce anything that was beyond their means.
However, if things were not good through slipshod handling, neglect or lack of sensitivity, then he felt it ran counter to an essential element in education as it ran counter to the religious life that the staff are meant to be living. To expect sensitivity to develop in a child when the staff are insensitive, is to teach a very strong lesson in hypocrisy. Like several holistic educators before him i.
And, like Keats, whose poetry he greatly admired, Krishnamurti felt that beauty was related to truth. Perhaps we should include in this discussion on aesthetics what Krishnamurti felt about nature and education. This makes sense in that for Krishnamurti, nature was both beautiful and a demonstration of order. The educational centres Krishnamurti founded are invariably in parks or countryside.
This was not just because he felt that nature was pleasing, but because he felt that a relationship with nature had important implications for living sanely and to a relationship with the sacred. That healing [of the mind] gradually takes place if you are with nature, with that orange on the tree, and the blade of grass that pushes through the cement, and the hills covered, hidden, by the clouds.
This is not sentiment or romantic imagination but a reality of a relationship with everything that lives and moves on the earth. Krishnamurti entry dated 25th February If you establish a relationship with it [nature] then you have relationship with mankind… But if you have no relationship with the living things on this earth you may lose whatever relationship you have with humanity, with human beings.
Another physical aspect of the educational centres Jiddu Krishnamurti created, and another indication of the religiousness of education, was his insistence that the schools have special places for silence. He often spoke to the students of the importance of a quiet mind or silence so that they could observe their thoughts.
You see meditation means to have a very quiet, still mind, not a chattering mind; to have a really quiet body, quiet mind so that your mind becomes religious. The mind of a religious man is very quiet, sane, rational, logical — and one needs such a mind… Krishnamurti Jiddu Krishnamurti usually asked that these special places not be on the periphery of the schools, but in the centre of the them.
Like a sanctum sanctorum, they were to be the heart, the space that generated the rest of the school. Contrary to most conceptions of schools, Krishnamurti felt that action was to be on the periphery and the insight born of silence was to be at the centre. While atmospheres are generated by aesthetics, the setting, and the effect of special areas in educational centres, there are also atmospheres that are generated by the participants.
Function of Education on Krishnamurti
THE ignorant man is not the unlearned, but he who does not know himself, and the learned man is stupid when he relies on books, on knowledge and on authority to give him understanding. Understanding comes only through self-knowledge, which is awareness of one's total psychological process. Thus education, in the true sense, is the understanding of oneself, for it is within each one of us that the whole of existence is gathered. What we now call education is a matter of accumulating information and knowledge from books, which anyone can do who can read.
Chapter 2 - 'The Right Kind of Education'
As a result, one should agree that the true function of education should be to prepare people for life. I will. In sickle cell anemia, the blood cells are shaped like sickles, are sticky and become brittle which makes it more difficult to create. Indeed, the media, the culture, and the education system of a society all take roles in the propagation of youth crimes. Firstly, the media - magazines, newspapers, television and the Internet - are to be blamed for inculcating the wrong values regarding violence and sex in the minds of the youths. Fear is a function that should protect our lives in the early history of mankind. However, in our civilized society, we can not just run away or beat somebody when we are scared.
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