Education, in the true sense, is the understanding of oneself.
- From:Krishnamurti in Education and the Significance of Life, p.17-18.“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 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. Such education
offers a subtle form of escape from ourselves and, like all escapes,
it inevitably creates increasing misery. Conflict and confusion result
from our own wrong relationship with people, things and ideas, and
until we understand that relationship and alter it, mere learning, the
gathering of facts and the acquiring of various skills, can only lead
us to engulfing chaos and destruction.
As society is now organized, we send our children to school to learn
some technique by which they can eventually earn a livelihood. We want
to make the child first and foremost a specialist, hoping thus to give
him a secure economic position. But does the cultivation of a
technique enable us to understand ourselves?
While it is obviously necessary to know how to read and write, and to
learn engineering or some other profession, will technique give us the
capacity to understand life? Surely, technique is secondary; and if
technique is the only thing we are striving for, we are obviously
denying what is by far the greater part in life.
Life is pain, joy, beauty, ugliness, love, and when we understand it
as a whole, at every level, that understanding creates its own
technique. But the contrary is not true: technique can never bring
about creative understanding.
Present-day education is a complete failure because it over-emphasized
technique. In over-emphasizing technique we destroy man. To cultivate
capacity and efficiency without understanding life, without having a
comprehensive perception of the ways of thought and desire, will only
make us increasingly ruthless, which is to engender wars and
jeopardize our physical security.”
(Krishnamurti in Education and the Significance of Life, p.17-18))