Discipline in schools becomes necessary when there is one teacher to a hundred boys and girls – then you jolly well have to be very strict; but such discipline will not produce an intelligent human being. And most of us are interested in mass movements, large schools with a great many boys and girls; we are not interested in creative intelligence, therefore we put up huge schools with enormous attendances. At one of the
universities I believe there are 45000 students.
1948 5th Public Talk, Poona, India, code pn48t5
There is no need to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.
When we grow older and leave school after receiving a so-called education, we have to face many problems. What profession are we to choose, so that in it we can fulfill ourselves and be happy? In what vocation or job will we feel that we are not exploiting or being cruel to others? We have to face the problem of suffering, disaster, death. We have to understand starvation, overpopulation, sex, pain, pleasure. We have to deal with the many confusing and contradictory things in life: the wrangles between man and man, between man and woman; the conflicts within and the struggles without. We have to understand ambition, war, the military spirit – and that extraordinary thing called peace, which is much more vital than we realize. We have to comprehend the significance of religion, which is not mere speculation or the worship of images, and also that very strange and complex thing called love. We have to be sensitive to the beauty of life, to a bird in flight – and also to the beggar, to the squalor of the poor, to the hideous buildings that people put up, to the foul road and the still fouler temple. We have to face all these problems. We have to face the question of whom to follow or not to follow, and whether we should
follow anyone at all.
Most of us are concerned with bringing about a little change here and there, and with that we are satisfied. The older we grow, the less we want any deep, fundamental change, because we are afraid. We do not think in terms of total transformation, we think only in terms of superficial change; and if you look into it you will find that superficial change is no change at all. It is not a radical revolution, but merely a modified continuity of what has been. All these things you have to face, from your own happiness and misery to the happiness and misery of the many; from your own ambitions and self-seeking pursuits to the ambitions, motivations and pursuits of others. You have to face competition, the corruption in yourself and in others, the deterioration of the mind, the emptiness of the heart. You have to know all this, you have to face and understand it for yourself. But unfortunately you are not prepared for it.
What have we understood when we leave school?
Krishnamurti in Life Ahead, p.154-155