Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Public Talk, March 13th, 1948 | Mumbai, India

Question: What part can education play in the present world crisis?

Krishnamurti: First of all, to understand what part education can play in the present world crisis, we must understand how the crisis has come into being. Without understanding that, merely to build on the same values, on the same ground, on the same foundation, will bring about further wars, further disasters. So, we must first investigate how the present crisis has come into being, and in understanding the causes we will inevitably understand what kind of education we need.

Obviously, the present crisis is the result of wrong values - wrong values in man's relationship to property, to people, and to ideas. The expansion and predominance of sensate values necessarily creates the poison of nationalism, economic frontiers, sovereign governments and the patriotic spirit, all of which excludes man's cooperation with man for the benefit of man, and corrupts his relationship with people, which is society. And if the individual's relationship with others is wrong, the structure of society is bound to collapse. Similarly, in his relationship to ideas, man justifies an ideology - whether of the left or of the right, whether the means employed are right or wrong - in order to achieve an end. So, mutual distrust, lack of goodwill, the belief that a right end can be achieved by wrong means, the sacrificing of the present for a future ideal - all these are obviously causes of the present disaster. One cannot take time to go into all the details, but one can see at a glance how this chaos, this degradation, has come into being. Surely, it all arises from wrong values and from dependence on authority, on leaders, whether in daily life, in the small school, or the big university. Leaders and authority are deteriorating factors in any culture. The moment you depend on another, there is no self-dependence, and where there is no self-dependence, obviously there must be conformity, eventually leading to the dictatorship of totalitarian states.

So, realizing all these things, realizing the causes of war, of this present catastrophe, of the present moral and social crisis, seeing both the causes and the results, naturally one begins to perceive that the function of education is to create new values, not merely to implant existing values in the mind of the pupil, which merely conditions him without awakening his intelligence. But when the educator himself has not seen the causes of the present chaos, how can he create new values, how can he awaken intelligence, how can he prevent the coming generation from following in the same steps leading ultimately to still further disaster? Surely, then, it is important for the educator, not merely to implant certain ideals and convey mere information, but to give all his thought, all his care, all his affection, to creating the right environment, the right atmosphere, so that when the child grows up into maturity he is capable of dealing with any human problem that confronts him. So, education is intimately related to the present world crisis; and all the educators, at least in Europe and America, are realizing that the crisis is the outcome of wrong education. Education can be transformed only by educating the educator, and not merely creating a new pattern, a new system of action.

Tags: education

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