Education has failed According to J. Krishnamurti (philosophy)

Reads: 1210  | Likes: 1  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

I. Introduction


What does it mean to live without security or to live without fear? In the course of


history, we have seen many great immortalized men, such as Julius Caesar, Alexander the


Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler; these are a brief few people who over came


their limits and boundaries in order to conquer and extend their lands, all for the sake of


power. Then, we have other immortalized men who did not strive for power but by doing


what justice ought to be, and so they challenge the authorities and leaders, such as


Mohandas Gandhi, Socrates, Martin Luther King Jr, George Washington, and so forth.


We can question about what is justice or injustice or whatever the aim of life still there


remains one obstacle  in order to achieve such an aim, that is to overcome one’s own


limitations.  Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986), whom scholars find him to be the most


challenging person in the 20th century, but cannot identify whether he is a philosopher or


a religious leader. Krishnamurti tells us that our present education or knowledge is based


on fear and security, and it restricts us in a way that makes our life complex and


determined rather than in simplicity. And without this realization, the person will


continue to live a determine life without any real freedom, because his life will be driven


by his own desire of pain and pleasure instead of rationality. Our determined lifestyle is


shaped by every environment or setting, which then is translated to an alienated or


determined cycle. [1] But if our education is not based on fear or security then what is it


based on, rationality, if so, then why are human beings’ actions controlled by emotions



much, rather then free will or acting without a motive, or why am I still not satisfied? Is it


possible to act without a motive?  For instance, when you see someone is being hurt why


is it that you don’t interfere, is it because it is not your affair, or simply interfering is


someone’s affair is not right and you say to your self ‘is it justified’? When actions are


not done immediately that we assume it right but we need justification, we are working in


the realm of thought, arguing between security and fear, or pain and pleasure. Can you be


free of thoughts when there is a choice of acting and non-acting? Do you have to ask


yourself, how to run away from a building collapsing towards you? I want to make an


attempt to correct the misunderstanding of Krishnamurti basis of education that scholars I


believe have misinterpreted, which led many scholars more dumbfounded and confused;


the most challenging I do believe is that he makes contradictory statements from time to


time, which we do not know why it sounds naturally true yet faulty at the same time.


First, I will discuss and explain Krishnamurti’s views on education; next,  why it has


been misperceived by many people; then,  I will attempt to give out my conception of


understanding of Krishnamurti, which I believe is true; and lastly, raise objections is


‘this’ education, which I clarified  really places us in a limitation.


2. Explain and discuss what K’s view is



I believe the whole entire lifework of  Krishnamurti is based on the ‘self’ concept,


and that the self or individual is limited and restricted by education, which is based on 


fear and security, and from fear and security based on pain and pleasure, and from that,


the origin which is desire[2] Can we end desire, and by that ending our fears and



securities? Or can we just not satisfy the particular desires that we would believe that


would bring harm? Where does desire comes from originally? I believe Krishnamurti is


not telling us to end desire but to investigate the nature of desire, and wants everyone to


explore it themselves and not how others have interpreted; by understanding the nature of


desire we can have a better understanding of the nature of fear and nature of security that


comes afterwards. To begin, I believe desire is the foundation of education itself, to


maximize security and pleasure, and to minimize fear and pain. Krishnamurti says,


“There can never be a perfect environment because each man will tell you what to him a


perfect environment is.” [3] In translation, we can never meet that requirement or achieving


the highest good, because everyone has different ideal of what is best for society or best


for the individual, equality is almost impossible if we base society on individual ideals. If


everyone can enhance themselves genetic to be perfect, then out of all the people who


have been enhanced, who is ‘the perfect or advantage’ one? Our environment, no matter


what setting it may be, alienates us. Our parents, friends, advisors or counselors, they all


want us to do this and do not, and fit into a particular way of living or to be socially


accepted base on their intellect, which is then base on security and fear. That is the


problem! We live in an argumentative world that restricts our liberty. Krishnamurti is


asking us to first understand the role of the environment and be aware of our natural


setting, where the cause and source of our problems, ignorance and limitation, that is


hidden first takes place. Desire is what makes us complicated, because it takes place in


the field of environment. In order for desire to take place there must be a past experience,


which is pleasure, and pleasure is the seed of desire and the structure of society. [4] For


example, my mind thinks over what he has seen and thinks how beautiful it was, and I


tell myself I should like to see it again. Thought begins to compare, judge and say I must


see it again, so I want that pleasurable feeling when ever I desire it, by doing so we are


slaves to our desires, if not, then we are slaves to our emotions. So, the nature of desire


comes out of the nature of pleasured experiences and the individual wants to secure this


pleasure, which then breeds security, and without security there will be fear and pain.



If pleasure is the seed of desire that brings about fear and security, then the nature


of pain I suppose is an unknown or unexplored seed that would produce the opposite


effect, because not wanting to listen to our parents or teachers from our childhood, or not


wanting to participate, somehow brings about a negative energy; an energy that makes


the individual a duty for a person to behave, respect, learn, be obedient, and all other


virtue principles, even though the individual does not want to but they are obligated to,


which promotes discipline. We know we should listen and understand what our parents or


a teacher teach us because of their life experiences, but it is questionable if they are trying


to teach us a system, method, a patterned way of living, which all can be categorized in


the field of knowledge. It sounds contradictory to base our education on pain, which is to


inflict pain to individual, but what it really means, it is to do one’s duty, to attain


discipline and rationality of life experiences, and not letting pleasure or self-desire to


disturb that learning process. Yet, today, the fact is still there, we still live in fear and


security, and if you did not act according to your duty in the past, it is futile to look in the


past in order to change our attitude towards our way of living in the present.



Our next discussion of Krishnamurti then is what is right education and what is


the aim of right education, which is not based on fear and security or pleasure?


Krishnamurti believes what the world needs most, is not politicians or more engineers,


but human beings who are creative and have no fear to exercise creativity, but most


importantly free human beings,[5] which does not mean that they can do what they like but


to be free from the ‘sense’ of all worries, anxieties, and troubles.[6] For instance, can we


live in a way where financial security will not affect my creativity of living, and making


our lives determine? Can we find another approach or a new type of education we can


teach students to be fearless and virtuous? Krishnamurti wants us to attempt the


impossible or to explore the unknown, that is can we find another approach or a new type


of education we can teach students to be fearless and virtuous at the same time? One may


find it absurd because it sounds impossible but Krishnamurti gives a perfect example of


how freedom from the known is possible such as the man who invented the jet airplane;


he must first understand the whole problem of the piston-propeller engine, and after


knowing it he must put it away in order to discover something new. The student must


move away from the old or what he knows, learned, and understood, in order to discover


something new, the unknown, for the purpose of  getting rid of a pattern, fixed or set


mind of predictive thinking, thought or living, in order to be creative and to cultivate a


good mind. Living should be a creative thing, and it should not be based on something


you can learn and repeat. Teachers must find new ways that would make students


interested in learning because pleasure gets in the way of duty.[7] How much better if the


students want to learn rather than force to learn. So I suppose if education can be



structured in the way of duty or nature of pain, or simply love: creativity, freedom, and


freedom from the known is possible. Krishnamurti says there is nothing wrong with


education itself, that is taking place in the modern academics, because it is a process of


intellectual awakening, however, it leaves the student incomplete [8], which students are


living in fear and security. So right education to Krishnamurti, is to make student


fearless, courageous, bold, wise, virtuous, loving, a constant intense inquiry of living in


the past or fixed way of thinking, and the urge to overcome one’s limitation to go beyond


one limits and discover something new. The aim of right education is to create human


beings who are intelligent, and intelligence is the capacity to perceive the essential, and


help us to discover lasting values rather than to cling to formulas or repeat slogans; most


importantly to break down our national and social barriers, instead of emphasizing them.


Our present education leaves us incomplete, abandoned, making us mechanical, deeply


thoughtless subservient and uncreative, it gears toward industrialization, war, and


competition to one another, and we think we shall understand our daily problems if we


have more information, more books, or more facts. [9] Our present education is good to a


certain point for profession, such as technicians, who depend upon knowledge and


instruction, but the aim of education should not be to make competition the ultimate goal


rather it should be intelligence. The process of memorizing knowledge that we believe


would make us free really interferes with cultivating the good mind, which was


intelligence, and forces us to make it a habit and then to a fixed way of living, and being


comforted by what we memorized. In Plato’s book “Phaedrus”, he categorized



memorization in the form of symbols and language did not help us understand


wisdom itself, but merely describes what is wisdom. That is, people write things down


for the sake of remembrance when they get old and forgetful, and students who read their


books only gets ideas of the writer’s experience, but not the experience itself.



I have talked about how our education is based on fear and security which made


our minds and living limited, rather than making the individual free and creative. What is


important now for Krishnamurti is, he wants us to understand the cause of our ignorance,


that we are conditioned by fear and security, the environment, our present education is


incomplete which requires that we must explore for ourselves a new way of living, it is


necessary that we the understand this bondage in order to go beyond our limitation.[10] So,


do we now know what we are fighting, now that we know that we are conditioned? The


answer is simply ‘you’. “The enemy is not the other, the enemy is you, you are the


problem.” [11]  Krishnamurti’s ultimate aim is to contribute a resolution to our world


conflict by helping us to perceive the conflict to ourselves first and he discusses this issue


most of his life of constant traveling and holding talks and discussions over the world,


which then, by understanding what we are fighting we can have a clear understanding of


how to fight it.  An immediate response, a person who sees he reacts, without


contemplating right or wrong, he knows his action naturally, and the action is in


accordance to life, which is right action itself.  Life and living is the priority and not the


accumulation of memory of knowledge for the mind.[12] I believe to attempt the impossible



is a tremendous step, and to give up and submit in the process by saying it is impossible,


that is a failed attempt, especially if we want to overcome fear and security.


We are living in a life where we always wanting to climb the ladder of success. Can we


find a different way of living without ambition, which is contrary to all established


customs of thought?  Can each one of us, as we are growing up, find out what we really


love to do? Can we have the love of the thing in itself without caring for what it will give


us, or what it will do for the world? Can we stop judging and comparing, and do not care


if he is better then me or not, just as long I love what I am doing? It is really difficult to


find out what you really love to do, because you have so many contradictory urges, such


as one moment to believe or think, the next moment it changes. In love and without


ambition, can you ask yourself, will you work for free? I doubt it because our childhoods


are accompanied with the influence of academic education, social barriers, and the idea


of ‘what is practical’ of getting a job, has made security the priority, the particular


channel, and not living.



III. Why I believe K’s words are true and the attempt to correct the misunderstanding



Right education, I believe is intelligence and not security, and security cannot lead


the individual from limitation, from anxiety and from troubles, because it cannot


perceive between what is essential and what is pleasant. What makes Krishnamurti’s


discussion interesting is that his ideas or statements seem so naturally true about


everything the whole average person goes through his entire  life but his way of


discussing how our conditioning is fragmented. He talked about many things that



contribute to conditioning but still left us wondering can we be free from the known, by


urging us to overcome our  limits and exploring the unknown by leaving what we know


and learned, which contradicts the idea of ‘choice-less awareness’, given in a situation


where the observer does not need to justify his action because he knew what was the right


action, the duty to life, whether for himself or for the other, and thoughts does not get in


his way whether his action was evil or good. In this case, to explore the unknown would


be to assume consequences, which contradict the type of inquiry or new education that


Krishnamurti is proposing.



 I shall now make an attempt to clarify Krishnamurti’s life talks about


conditioning, by examining education or knowledge itself, which I found to be true. I


understand that we get our education and knowledge not only from books and teachers,


but experiences dealt in living, that is pain and pleasure, which are natural. For 


Krishnamurti, education is based on fear and security that limits the individual rather than


promote intelligence, and perception to what is essential, and he  mentions ‘this’


education takes place in environment, so not just in school but all settings, be that in


social or financial circumstances. Now, we have to think more in depth, what is ‘this’


education that is based on fear and security, where many scholars find Krishnamurti


ideals either religious, philosophy , or a self help kind of program, conditions or limits


us? How can ‘this’ education teach the individual where there are no assumed teachers? 


‘This’ education or limitation exists everywhere we go, it is our shadow, where ever the


word “I” exists, thought exists, which brings forth the idea of fear and security, which


then we use as an analysis, a condition, a illness, to make decisions which makes



limitation to exist.



I shall investigate it further and input in more clues. Our present education,


Krishnamurti says its incomplete but still is good because it promotes intellectual


understanding, so I believe he is not talking about the whole education system that


students are receiving in academic area, because that is not based on fear or security but


instead rationality, yet Krishnamurti insists that it limits individual self discovery,


inquiry, and creativity. Since, it is not our education system fault, then why are we


limited? There is something Krishnamurti is telling us why our education system is


incomplete, and remains good, because educators have not seen the problem or conflict. I


believe what Krishnamurti is talking about is not the education system, but a certain


subject that is necessary that has not yet been discovered, that relates to perception, the


ability to see the essential conflict, during the process the teachers and students fail to


make a relationship to promote this kind of quality of open discussion which I believe the


aim for philosophy. So how can the subject of ‘perception’, which is left out in the


academics, help us overcome our limitation or achieving our goals in life, or


accomplishing right education? I hope we can agree and understand so far, that ‘this’


education that is based on fear and security, that limits our way of living, is separated


from the education system itself, and what is incomplete or missing is a particular class


subject, like mathematics or language, that has not yet been discovered or cultivated,


which ‘perception’ is included and is related, which the unknown subject also includes


duty, right action, virtue, and all of the above I mention of right education.





What are we to call this unknown subject? Krishnamurti points out that it takes


places in all settings, that ‘this’ education that is missing, accompanies us, and when


there is a problem, a choice, there will be a limitation, which the word “I” will then exist


and thoughts on analysis of fear and security will exist. I would like to bring an example,


if there was a customer who came into a shop, and he has a goal or intent in mind before


he went into the shop that is to buy x, the existence of fear and security is not there,


unless a sudden robber comes, emotions arose and rationality is weakened, but assume


there were no robbers and it was perfectly normal, then the customer can easily


accomplish his goal or something important. One may say he felt secured, and yes he is


right because he has no fear, but then how does fear take place? Can living be lived in the


code of simplicity but what makes it complex is the time between of the person setting


out his goal versus accomplishing his goal. If there is no division between the observer


and observed, then there is no time, which there will not bring up the thought, therefore


also with no fear. [13] The word ‘I’ is not there to think about anything but his goals have


manifested itself to the individual. “Can we live in a way, type of psychological freedom


or a transformation of the individual, which he is not aware of himself but acting in a way


according what he was set out to do.” [14] Krishnamurti will say that the customer is or


living in the state of mediation, and argue against mediation that is practiced in sitting in


a corner and be free of problems is futile, because the problems will be there again.


Another example, would be like a student in a classroom, he knows the answer or wants


to participate, yet he cannot decide whether to raise his hands or not, because he thought



of fear and security, that he may be laughed at, or teased from other students, or he


cannot accept giving a wrong answer but whatever it is that prevents him for 


participation, “this” is the type of education Krishnamurti is arguing about, this


limitation, this psychological barrier, this social acceptance barrier, this feeling, this


quality; the unknown subject is perception and once this is cultivated it brings forth total


discipline or the right mind .



We have touch the significance of this ‘missing link’, how our limitation exists in


our daily lives, because it has not yet been taught or organized in schools, for the purpose


to adapt and be flexible to any situation, which are difficult without the use of thought


involve. I believe everyone is aware of ‘this’ thinking that give our hidden voices behind


our head alive, and arguing back and forth within ourselves and the problem is left


unsolved. I believe what this missing subject, who Krishnamurti believe to make us


complete, free, creative, and to live without conflict, is a subject that would be called


‘self-therapy’, a perception where the individual faces his own inner conflicts at the same


time, the world or external conflicts, so he will know how to defend against it when he


meets this problem again.



I would like to introduce, which I felt is interesting and relevant, is a therapy


related in the psychology field called, “the Gestalt Therapy”. Gestalt therapy is a ground


principle that does not borrow any ideas from anyone, the goal for Gestalt therapy is for


someone to become aware of what they are doing, how they are doing it, and how they


can change themselves, and at the same time, to learn to accept and value themselves.




“Gestalt therapy focuses more on process (what is happening) than content (what is being


discussed). The emphasis is on what is being done, thought and felt at the moment rather


than on what was, might be, could be, or should be. It is an exploration rather than a


direct modification of behavior. Gestalt therapy is useful for patients open to working on


self-awareness and for those who want natural mastery of their awareness process. It uses


focused awareness and experimentation to achieve insight. The patient is to learn how to


become aware of awareness, by putting oneself as fully as possible into the experience of


the other without judging, analyzing or interpreting while simultaneously retaining a


sense of one's separate, autonomous presence.”  [15] What the Gestalt therapy suppose to


do is to cancel out “Aboutism,” meaning we talk and talk about a subject, and nothing is


accomplished. In scientific explanation, you usually go around and around and never


touch the heart of the matter. Aboutism keeps out any emotional response or other


genuine involvement, as though we were things. In therapy, the therapist says, “This is


what your difficulties are about.” This approach is based on non involvement. Gestalt


therapy also cancels out “Shouldism,” meaning the mind always wanting to become


somebody or something, or asking should I do this or that. Our inner conflicts are based


on the phenomenon of dissatisfaction, the game, what Bruce Lee, calls, “Top Dog/


Underdog Game” or the “self improvement game” or the “self-torture game.


The top dog is the person who is usually righteous and authoritarian; he knows best. He is sometimes right, but always righteous. The top dog is a bully and works with “you should” and “you should not”. The top dog manipulates with demands and threats of catastrophe, such as” If you don’t…then- you won’t be loved, you won’t go to heaven, you will die,” and so on. The underdog manipulates with being defensive, apologetic, wheedling, crybaby, saying “I try my best, I try and try again and I can‘t help it if I fail,




he has no power. The underdog is Mickey Mouse, and the top dog is super mouse. The

underdog is cunning, and usually gets better at the top dog because the underdog strive for control. The inner conflict, the struggle between the top dog and the underdog, is never complete, because the top dog as well as the underdog fights for his life- “torture game”. We take for granted that the top dog is right, and in many cases the top dog makes impossible perfectionist demands. So if you are cursed with perfectionism, then you’re absolutely sunk. This ideal is a yardstick which always gives you the opportunity to browbeat yourself, to berate yourself and others. Since this ideal is impossibility, you can never live up to it. You are merely in love with this ideal, and there is no end to the self torture game, to the self nagging. It hides under the mask of “self improvement.” It never works. If the person tries to meet the top dog’s demands of perfectionism, the result is a “nervous breakdown,” or flight into insanity. This is one of the tools of the underdog. Once we recognize the structure of our behavior, which in the case of self-improvement is the split between the top and the underdog, and understand how, by listening, we can bring about reconciliation of these two fighting clowns, then we realize that we cannot deliberately brings about changes in ourselves in others.” [16]


 In meaning, we are afraid to fail. To make a mistake is considered terrible


because we will be criticized for it. But after all, why should you not make a mistake?


Are not all people making mistakes? And would the world cease to be in this horrible


mess if you were never to make a mistake? Imitation is a form of stealing: you are


nothing but he is somebody, so you are going to get some of his glory by copying him.[17]


So, just by looking, subscribing or purchasing the rich’s formula of success is futile, you


must actually live an identical life of what the rich or immortalized men lived, which is


impossible; experimentation and risk taking can open the doors to the unknown, or


putting fear behind once we enter the problem, rather than to know what is the problem.


Therefore, Krishnamurti gave us a wonderful insight, but did not fully what he was


clarifying. It seems so true what Krishnamurti is talking about, education is based on fear


and security, yet it seems so false, because education itself has many subjects and fields



which are based on rationality and observation rather education itself is grounded by fear


and security. Krishnamurti was talking about a new type of education or a new subject all


along, which in his lifetime had not yet been discovered, cultivated, revealed, or learned.



IV. Considering Objections



Our final topic is, I want to raise objections to see if my interpretation is correct


and is “this unknown” education that has not that have yet be cultivated can actually be a


solution of one’s ignorance or limitation. Can we agree that our academic education does


not aim at or teach ‘what you should do or what you should not do’, because it is learned


discipline since the day we were born, through experiences of pain and pleasure. We may


be influenced what to do or not to do, but we are not taught about this unknown learned


discipline. When a decision is demanded our judgment may be performed inaccurately,


we may condemn the innocent, and let the guilty unpunish. The unknown subject is


equivalent to discipline that ought to touch upon, ‘should and should not’, or the


‘fundamentals of perception’, which are not taught in schools, and the result is to


understand the environment, and understand what are we facing that has a relation to pain


and pleasure, and fear and security. Instead of teaching discipline more than knowledge,


our lives seem to be in fear all the time, and security is what we all worship. In order to


escape through this fixed way of thinking, in our daily routines and academic training, we


ought to seek something new whether that maybe joining a martial art school, or physical


activities, boot camps, or reading mystic books. Whatever it is we need it must be


something totally different and totally new, where coaches and mentors are required.


Does that mean criminals exist because they are without this discipline in their life?


Krishnamurti would say there is a cycle, or alienation which is why the poor, who lack


education are the ones who commit crimes, yet while the ones who are rich and have


proper education and discipline through their parents can easily hide their crimes. So, if


the poor do not ‘see’ their own conflict or the lack of ingredient, that is discipline, they


are doomed to fail in society. If we are not missing anything in life, why do we feel


something is missing, whatever that missing essential thing is, it must be intelligence,


because intelligence is what is essential in life, which why education is important.



Can we teach educators to see this conflict and understand it, and then help their


students to be prepared, and not to fit into the world, where fear, security and emotions


get in their way of living so they know how to face the world?  [18]  Krishnamurti would


reply, in any civil society, competition is the natural outcome. Today, people are


competing for jobs and status, which then breed hatred and jealousy.  Competition


became realized in elementary school. For instance, the student sees a person being


teased or being worshipped, his thoughts or thinking have been fixed, his judgments of


what is right and wrong have been in a state of disadvantage ever since. However,


academic education did provide many great things in the field of technology but in actual


living, it provided and rich in literature, the skills of communication and calculation. Still


education is incomplete because it has not taught discipline nor the significance of


relationship, such as, if there is a minority or someone who is different, he is living in


fear and security, because there will be judgment from the majority that will affect





everyone who is around them. Therefore, without the ability to defend against such


prejuditive judgments we live in fear. If educators or our parents did not discipline their


kids, their ignorance would transmit it unto their children, because we are living in a


cycle where we do not see or perceive what is essential and do not know how to adapt to


difficult problems in relation to living.[19]



Is society, religion, or the government the problem? Yes, but most importantly the


problem is us, we are conditioned to fit into society, and contribute problems even


further. If I don’t change and see the conflict, then my limitation will continue and further


promote division and strife for other people as well.  Civil society cannot create a perfect


or utopia society based on a system or a method which is governed by fear and security.


The people or the government must understand the conflict first, then how to educate the


people and promote a quality of love for the laws; they must figure out a solution to


promote good relationship and respect from each individual to another. We cannot


guarantee the result that it will happen, but definitely a change is necessary.



Can education be complete once this “unknown subject’ has been cultivated?


Krishnamurti would reply, academic education can never be complete, because there is


always something new that is to be explored, or experienced, but in living intelligence is


essential, not the mind (remembering or accumulating more facts), it can be complete


and be totally satisfied. In that case, when desires are not master over us, we can then live


a life which is “total”, and when desire ceases to be, then conflicts (pain and pleasure/


fear and security) will cease to be. “When one knows that one is in a certain condition, in



a certain state, he is already a process of liberation.”[20] Once the individual has mastered


his emotion, his rationality or intelligence can be fully revealed, which is at a state where


no disturbance can affect and influence the decision and choice that the individual is


making. The philosopher Jean Sartre spoke about this state, “The individual is free


because of his nothingness of being, the freedom to choose whatever he wants to be, but


Krishnamurti adds freedom according to nothingness is achieving a state where you do


not have to choose, a term called, ’choiceness awareness’, which signifies the state of


awareness in which psychological time has altogether ended or the past is dead, meaning


the ending of one’s attachments.”[21] Krishnamurti gives us an example where the mind is


absolutely free or in nothingness, a state of mediation rather than practicing mediation:


 “Seeing without thought is total seeing. Seeing a cloud over a mountain, without thought and its responses, is the miracle the new; it’s not “beautiful,” it’s explosive in its immensity, it is something that has never been and never will be. [22]To “see” that mountain peak, so splendid with the evening sun, though one had seen it thousand times, with the eyes that had no knowledge, was to see the birth of the new. It is something so utterly new that in this total attention is silence. “[23]


Another example of this “pure” thought, or forgetting oneself is, when you see someone


you don’t know being bullied, versus you see your wife being bullied, an immediate


action takes place, that is a “pure action” or a “pure thought.”-“Cognition without


recognition.”[24] If you see a snake, you do not say, “Please tell me how to run away from


it”, you run away from it, so once the problem or goal is understood instantaneously the




reaction would also be instantaneous.[25] 



Can we consider the state of the individual is in, who had cultivated the unknown,


and a state where he does not have to choose, acting ‘purely’?  No one can guarantee or


observe ‘that’ state of awareness or assume the consequences, because he is not aware of


himself nor the action of what he is doing. We can say the word “I” is not there to


contemplate or give thoughts, nor is there an observer but only the observed. “The


observer is the observed.” [26] In meaning, the individual must become someone who is


totally different, acknowledging thought is a self creating mechanical thing that is


creating self images and illusions for the sake of making itself alive. It requires the


individual to learn how to unconditioned himself, and a different conception of


consciousness which have changed because he have changed. This is being aware of


nucleus which inhabits one’s mind that essentially is unconditioned.[27]



Lastly, Krishnamurti has confused us with his life talks and discussion about what


life or self should consist, and has not offered any type of solution for discovering the


ultimate spirituality reality, the unknown, truth, the “ what is”, God, or whatever you may


call it, but only offers motivation to urge us to explore that significant solution.[28]  Above


all, Krishnamurti’s life talk about the self, or my topic on education, has a relationship


with what the scholars interpreted, whether he was a philosopher, a religious leader, or




trying to create a self-help program but in fact, all the interpretations from the scholars


are true, because Krishnamurti is suggesting is to discover an unknown subject that can


be diverse and opened, for the awakening intelligence.



V. Conclusion 


I have shown, through Krishnamurti, one can overcome limitation,


impossibilities, or thought itself, and make the individual free from all conflicts,


anxieties, and troubles from all social affairs.  Whether one wants to be just or injust, the


essential ingredient is intelligence itself, which is the aim of right education. Pleasure and


pain, or fear and security have made the individual weak because he constantly worries


and desires all the time when he has to make an important decision.


Our goal in living should be acquiring intelligence and establishing good relations to


everyone around us. The famous Pre-Socratic Pythagoras said, “Philosophy makes one


total friendliness. Friendship is equality, and equality is friendship. When one believes in


God, he believes in himself.  And if he does not seek wisdom, he is no better then the


people who does not believe in God.”[29] Can educators help their students, free them from


fear, and encourage them to an open discussion, at the same time helping the individual


to have the ability to establish good relationships towards one another? Krishnamurti has


not offered any solution - all he did was to show and help us understand the conflict,


which is within ourselves, the barrier why people fail to achieve or become anything


important. I believe the purpose for philosophy is to give a wonderful insight, something




totally new from our present traditional and academic education, which I felt other


students or people have missed in their lives. The beauty of philosophy is intelligence


itself, not a particular intelligence which causes the mind to be fixed and dead. There is


something alive within ourselves, that is constantly being threatened because we do not


know ourselves. And finally to answer my own question, is not doing justice and having


limits what makes life meaningless, it is, because without justice there is no relationship,


nor equality or friendship, he is all alone; and having limitation is what holds us back


from doing anything meaningful, always a slave to security, it is only when we see the


cause of ignorance is ourselves, then we know what we are fighting and how to overcome

































Daniel Chung


Philosophy -Senior Seminar


Correcting the misunderstanding of the Phenomenon, Jiddu Krishnamurti


Is not doing justice and having limits what makes life meaningless?






























Krishnamurti, Jiddu and Bohm, David, “Thought and Perception”, the Limits of Thought Discussions, Routledge, 1999, pp 67-83


This book is recorded as a discussion with the leading metaphysician, David Bohm and the leading religious or philosophy teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti. This specific chapter touches upon the why thought has created images, and does not acknowledge itself as mechanical rather than creating illusions that it is alive.


Martin, Raymond, On Krishnamurti, Wadsworth Thomson Learning, 2003


Summary and brief perspective what Krishnamurti’s life and his discussions. This book show Krishnamurti makes the claim that the audience should not merely believe what he says, but to explore it themselves and to see is it true. And it also shows, a brief biography on Krishnamurti and why he disbanded the “Order of the East”, an important organization that was set up for Krishnmaurti, supported by the Theosophical organization. Krishnamurti believes everything he have spoken to the members and to the audience were not practicing or doing what he ask them to do, but rather they just listen and do nothing.


Krishnamurti, Jiddu. “Emotions” in Reflections on the Self. Ed. Raymond Martin, Open Court, 1997


This book shows the summary of Krishnamurti’s life work based on the author’s perspective, and the author edited out other topics which are not relevant to the main discussions, based on books that was formed as recorded discussions.  More in depth, this book talks about the self in the category of emotions, and what role it plays for the obstacle or stepping stone of attaining freedom.


Krishnamurti, Jiddu,  Total Freedom. HarperSanFrancison ( Harper Collins ) 1996

This book contains all important collected works on Krishnamurti, put into short lengths.

Such as, that were used in the paper:


“The First and Last Freedom”, Total Freedom, pp 60-67


This chapter talked about we live in two worlds, the given and the homemade. Symbols is the cause of progress of civilization but society has neglect the importance of human relationship. Civilization is a risk for destruction for humanity not just progression.



 “The Significance of Environment”, Total Freedom, pp 21-30


This chapter talked about how our environment shapes our living and forces us into a particular type or categorized person, where true human beings suppose to be free and uncontainable, or unknowable.


“ Freedom of the Known”, Total Freedom, pp 109-134


This chapter talked about the importance of transformation and change in our present living condition, because we are living in sorrow, jealously, hatred, anger, and so forth, that limits the individual.


Krishnamurti, Jiddu. On Education. Harper and Row Publishers. 1974


According to Krishnamurti, education is important yet he criticizes it because it made students fail to live completely as real human beings, which is total freedom. Education he speaks that why human beings fail is because we are taught knowledge is an instrument of mastery of technical skills, rather knowledge should be intelligence that is born out of observation and self knowing. It talks about how society alienated culture, and the structure of school system that alienated the students, and making them slaves in the realm of social construction.


(Journal and Articles that were used )


Review: [untitled] , Author(s) of Review: Donald J. Rogers, Reviewed Work(s): Education and the Significance of Life by J. Krishnamurti; Mary Lutyens ,The Elementary School Journal > Vol. 72, No. 1 (Oct., 1971), pp. 47-50 accessed in (Jstor research database)


This is an article that talks about education is intelligence; and living is important not the mind, which is the state of acquiring more information or facts, or to believe he will be more intelligent from this process of memory, rather it is self-knowledge.


Awareness of Mind: A Discussion of the Krishnamurti Schools in India
Dewhurst, David
Educational Philosophy and Theory, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 16-32, 1994


This is an article that talks about why children fail to be educated accordingly to Krishnamurti terminology of a no-method system, that is happening in India based on Krishnamurti’s school of thought. The author believes the students there are no different then anywhere else, because students claimed that they wanted to be professionals like other students from other countries, which fail to understand the caste system and meet the standards of what Krishnamurti’s aim, that is freedom.

Sardesai, Arundhati, “ Epistemology of J. Krishnamurti”, Indian Philosophical Quarterly: Journal of the Department of Philosophy -University of Poona, vol. 23, no. 3-4, pp. 454-466, July-October 1996


This is an article about the author’s perspective of the entire work on Krishnamurti. The author claims that Krishnamurti aim’s for making man free, yet he makes contradiction which refuted his arguments all the time. This paper also shows Krishnamurti condemns methods and system approaches in order to make individual intelligent and free.


Agrawal, M M, “ Reply to Mercier- A Pathless Reality: The Central Theme of J. Krishnamurti”, International Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 29, pp. 351-356, September 1989


This paper was a reply to a critic on Krishnamurti, and the author claims Mercier misinterpret what KRishnamurti was teaching.  In my paper, it also adds to the fuel of scholars argue differently with one another on  what was Krishnamurti was talking about or who he is, whether a religious leader, philosopher, or a self-help therapist or teacher.


Agarwal, M M, “Nothingness and Freedom: Satre and Krishnamurti”, Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 45-58, September-December 1991


This paper, shares the ideas of Jean-Paul Satre accounts of man is condemn to be free because he has the ability to choose, he is his own nothingness. The author makes the claim that Sartre did not argue about how this nothingness contribute man’s state of freedom. The author used Krishnamurti to extend and argue for man’s nothingness is not because he has the ability to choose, but in a state where he does not have to choose.


SEN, Sanat Kumar , “ Knowledge as Bondage: An Unconventional Approach”, Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, pp. 61-66, September-December 1988


This article shows why knowledge or education was restricted through the terms of fear and security. And showed knowledge as people think is liberation but knowledge to Krishnamurti is freedom from the known, therefore knowledge is an art to unlearn what he knows not to add what he already knows.


Krishnamurti, Jiddu, “ A Walk With Krishnamurti”, Current Periodicals Parabola, the search for meaning, Coming to our senses. Vol. 31, no.1, Spring 2006 ISSN03621596.


An journal taken out of Krishnamurti’s journal, which gives examples on Krishnamurti what is true freedom, what is nothingness, freedom from the known; which is total silence or a perception to a state of the new or rebirth mind in order to perceive nature’s beauty and conflict.


(Other sources that were used )


Krishnaurti  documentary clip, “You Are the world” taken from Krishnamurti Foundation of America (KFA), accessed in 9-26-06 at


Yontef, Gary, (Ph.d), “Gestalt Therapy, An Introduction”, AWARENESS, DIALOGUE & PROCESS: Essays on Gestalt Therapy, Gestalt Journal Press, 1993


This paper is an introduction to Gestalt therapy, which is a study that  does not base on any ideas or borrowing ideas or a system, it is a therapy which psychologist uses to help patients to be aware of himself and the environment.


Lee, Bruce, “Top Dog/ Underdog” and “ Four Philosophical Approaches”,  Artist of Life, ed. John Little, Tuttle Publishing, 1999, pp 79-80


A philosophy and psychology paper that was unpublished found in the notebook of Bruce Lee. Ever since his injury from improper warm up while lifting weights, he began to read every kind of self-motivation, religious, and philosophy books, and found Krishnamurti to be the most influential of all..



A Pythagoras quote taken from, The golden chain: an anthology of Pythagorean and Platonic philosophy/ selected and edited by Algis Uzdavinys; foreword by John F. Finamore. Imprint Bloomington, Ind. : World Wisdom, c2004.


Pythagoras is a Pre-Socratic philosopher who never wrote anything down but his followers, he was classified whether is was either a religious leader or a philosopher, but his name is renowned  in ancient western philosophy.










Brief Outline


I. Discussion


A. The Limits of Mankind ( Thought)


1. Krishnamurti talks about our present education is based on fear and security, which forces the individual to fit into a type or a categorized person.


2.  Our society and all environmental setting is structured through pleasure, that it influences our decisions and actions, in so we are living in a determined life


3. The desire for pleasure is which individuals are slaves to; and security is what we all worship and taught to live: Our live is in fear all the time because of security


3. Ex. A student does not want to go to school, rather he wants to go home and sleep, pleasure gets in his way of getting the most out of academic training . Versus, the one who wants to go school and understand education is important, it is also important for him to understand and know a social and relationship to other people around him just importantly as well


4. Lastly, K’ offers one solution, is to explore the unknown, let go what we know, for decision making, the things we understood by finding something that is new; not in the academic sense but in living; to live differently where fear cannot be apply because we are experimenting the unknown, where the goal ( hopefully that goal has a relation to justice)

Ex. Inventor for the jet aeroplane, one must understand the engine then put it away and find something that is new, so he can discover and explore further


5. Importantly, K’ first wants us to understand we ourselves are the problem that we are limited; we ourselves are the cause of ignorance to ourselves. “ The enemy is not the other, the enemy is you”






II. Evaluation


A. Contradiction

1. K’ states our education is based on fear and security, which is the reason human beings are limited

2. K’ states later on our education is good, because we are in the process of awakening our intellect

3. For K’ right education, is to overcome limitation, be more creative, and free-thinking, which is intelligence which makes the individual free  anxiety and troubles or reduce them


B. Understanding of K’s views ( Modus Tollens Formula)

1.  If our education is complete, then we are not (living in fear or security)

2.  We live in fear and hold onto security

3. Therefore, our education/ intelligence is incomplete


C. Correction of K’s Views

1. Our education is missing something that requires the subject of

discipline ( overcome limitation and fear); and dismantling the idea of security in the process of thought - the missing essential which perhaps may waken intelligence

2. The unknown subject includes: perception in decision/choices ; ability to adapt and be flexible to any of situation or setting that one is in; and

3. The unknown subject acts a therapy to self; similar to the Gestalt Therapy in the field of psychology; with subjects of “Shouldism” and “Aboutism”

4. Results: The ability of not letting emotions or desires get in the way of doing the right action, that action includes what truly one loves to do( hopefully with the relation to justice), and bring forth good relationship with others

5: Therefore, K’s view is to ask us to look for a new subject that has not yet been taught in our present education, to adapt and how to defend inner conflicts. We are in a state of arguing against oneself, “ we should do this or not do this”


III. Considering objections and how K’ will respond


A.  Maybe education is not based on fear and security?

1. Education itself is not based on fear or security but is based on rationality, but education has left us incomplete in a way, that we live in fear and hold on to security all the time, our present education itself has left us more troubles and anxieties, rather then reduced them, when people are confronted with daily problems



B. Can education be complete and then one can overcome their limitation if the “the unknown subject” is cultivated? 


1.First education cannot be complete, because there are always something new all the time or has not yet been invented, seen, or experienced. The mind of the past must be put away, while the present must focused the ability to change


2.  Life or living itself can be complete or be totally satisfied, because Krishnamurti states education is the aim of intelligence and not memory (merely the accumulating facts). While, satisfaction is something that the individual must achieve for himself, with appropriate discipline or perception( unknown subject), in order to control his desires rather letting desires controlling him, only then total satisfaction can be total. Therefore, with no desires there will be no problems, while, the more we desire and satisfy them, we are slaves to our (experienced) pleasures


C. Once the unknown have been cultivated can the individual then overcome their limitation, and finally be able to achieve his goal, which is what he loves to do?


1.Krishnamurti states the most difficult thing in life, is figuring out what one ‘really’ loves to do, because the individual always changes, his desires are the conflicts


Ex.  when a boy sees a television show about policemen, he wants to become a policemen, and if he continues to watch television, another show will then change his mind. So finding what actually what one love to do is the hardest thing, which ought to be made into a goal in the early life.




A. Krishnamurti talks about many ideas and topics that are interrelated to the self, to look into ourselves, and see the conflict. That conflict was born since the day we were born, that was pain and pleasure, and to overcome one’s limitation is to awaken intelligence, which is the aim of ( right ) education


B. Our education system must discover the new, and see/ understand the conflict, that it is forcing individuals to live a determined life rather than a free life. While right education will make an individual free and creative. He is without fear, without anxiety, without trouble, because his intelligence has been totally awaken, through academics and the missing subject ( discipline: which includes the mechanics of perception and the ability to adapt)




[1] Krishnamurti, Jiddu, “The Significance of Environment”, Total Freedom. HarperSanFrancison ( Harper Collins ) 1996, pp 21

[2]  Krishnamurti, Jiddu. “Emotions” in Reflections on the Self. Ed. Raymond Martin, Open Court, 1997, see editor’s preface

[3] Krishnamurti, Jiddu,  “ The Significance of Environment”, pp 26

[4] Krishnamurti,  “ Freedom of the Known”, Total Freedom, p. 115

[5] Krishnamurti, Jiddu. “Emotions- Fear”, Reflections of the Self,  pp 53

[6]  Krishnamurti, Jiddu, “On the Good Mind”, On Education, Harper and Row Publishers. 1974, pp 157

[7]  Krishnamurti, “ On the Good Mind”, pp 158

[8] Krishnamurti, “Education and the Significance of Life” Total Freedom. HarperSanFrancison ( Harper Collins ) 1996, p. 91

[9]  Krishnamurti, “ On the Good Mind”, 154

[10] Sanet, “ Knowledge as Bondage,” p. 64

[11] “You are the World” documentary of Krishnamurti discussion, KFA publication

[12] Sardesai, Arundhati, “ Epistemology of J. Krishnamurti”, Indian Philosophical Quarterly: Journal of the Department of Philosophy -University of Poona, vol. 23, July-October 1996, pp. 457-463

[13] Krishnamurti, Jiddu. “Emotions- Fear”,  pp 48

[14] Dewhurst, David, “ Awareness of Mind: A Discussion of the Krishnamurti Schools in India”, Educational Philosophy and Theory, vol. 26, no. 2, 1994, pp. 22

[15]  Yontef, Gary, (Ph.d), “Gestalt Theraphy, An Introduction”, AWARENESS, DIALOGUE & PROCESS: Essays on Gestalt Therapy, Gestalt Journal Press, 1993

[16]  Lee, Bruce, “ Top Dog/ Underdog” and “ Four Philosophical Approaches”,  Artist of Life, ed. John Little, Tuttle Publishing, 1999, pp 79-80

[17]  Krishnamurti, “ Emotions-Pride/Ambition”, Reflections of the self , pp 66

[18] Dewhurst, David, “ Awareness of Mind: A Discussion of the Krishnamurti Schools in India”, Educational Philosophy and Theory, vol. 26, no. 2, 1994, 17

[19] Krishnamurti, Jiddu , “In Review Education and the Significance of Life” , pp. 48

[20] Krishnamurti, Jiddu, “The First and Last Freedom”, Total Freedom. HarperSanFrancison (Harper Collins ) 1996, pp 61

[21] M. M. Agarwal, “ Nothingness and freedom: Sartre and Krishnamurti,” Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Volume 9; issue 1, Sept-Dec 1991

[22] Krishnamurti, Jiddu, “ A Walk with Krishnamurti”, Current Periodicals Parabola, the search for meaning, Coming to our senses. Vol. 31, no.1, Spring 2006 ISSN03621596, pp 38

[23] Krishnamurti, Jiddu, “ A Walk With Krishnamurti”, pp 39

[24]  “Epistemology of J. Krishnamurti”, P 459

[25] Krishnamurti, “ On Education” On Education , p 21

[26]  Martin, Raymond, On Krishnamurti, Wadsworth Thomson Learning, 2003, p31

[27]  Krishnamurti, Jiddu and Bohm, David, “Thought and Perception”, The Limits of Thought Discussions, Routledge, 1999, pp 67-83

[28] M.M. Agrawal, “Reply to Mercier : A Pathless Reality: The Central Theme in J. Krishnamurti”, Independent Journal of Philosophy/ International Philosophical Quarterly , vol. XXIX, no.3, Sept 1989, 351

[29]  quote taken from The golden chain : an anthology of Pythagorean and Platonic philosophy / selected and edited by Algis Uzdavinys; foreword by John F. Finamore. Imprint Bloomington, Ind. : World Wisdom, c2004.

Submitted: May 21, 2016

© Copyright 2021 Daniel Wren Chung . All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

More Other Essays