The function of an educator is to help students have a good academic brain and be good human beings
A good human being is one who is not fragmented
2nd K School - Students Discussion, Rishi Valley
December 14, 1983
Krishnamurti: You don't mind my talking?
Students: No, sir.
K: You are quite sure?
Students: Yes, sir.
K: All right. What do you think is the greatest profession, greatest vocation, the greatest job? What do you think about that?
Teacher: I didn't quite Did you say something?
S: Having lots of joy. She likes moonlight dinner. (Laughter)
K: (Laughs) Moonlight dinner, she likes. But I wasn't asking about your dinner (laughter), I was asking, if I may, what do you think is the greatest profession in the world.
S: Teaching. Being able to teach.
K: Why do you think that is the greatest profession?
S: It requires a lot of patience.
S: Sir, agriculture.
T: Agriculture is the best profession.
K: Sorry I asked this question (laughs).
S: There can be no greatest profession as such because every man thinks his own profession is the greatest.
K: I know. But what do you think is the greatest? I think being a teacher is the greatest profession in the world because they are preparing a new generation, a new generation of people. Not the politicians, not the scientists, not the businessman, nor the gurus - teaching, in the sense helping the students throughout the world to be good human beings. Not good at some profession, some career, some job, but to help other human beings like yourselves to become extraordinarily good human beings. I mean by that word 'good', not fragmented, not broken up in themselves, contradictory, but whole, unbroken. You understand the word 'good'? I am explaining the meaning of that word 'good'. Very few of us in the world are good human beings. We say one thing and do another, think one thing and act totally different from what you think, so there is a contradiction in us, a conflict, one desire opposing another desire, so there is always in us this fragmentary activity going on. Are we aware of that? Do you know what I am saying? Don't you say one thing and do another? Right? Think one thing and act totally different from what you think? Haven't you noticed that? That's called fragmentation. That's only part of it. To be fragmented, to be broken up, not to be a whole human being - to use a scientific word, 'holistic' - a human being that is completely whole, not broken up, not fragmented, deeply integrity, have deep integrity. And also that word means sane, rational, clear, unconfused. And it is the function of the educator to bring this about with his students, because you are the coming generation, and if you merely follow the old pattern, which is seeking a job, getting married, and settling down, which means for the rest of your life go to an office from nine o'clock in the morning until five o'clock in the evening. You do this, your fathers do this, don't they, from nine o'clock until five o'clock for the rest of their life. Do you realise how terrible this is? You understand this? And this is called living. Of course one has to earn money, of course one has to have a job, but if one is good in the deep sense of that word, then all the other things take their right place.
Do you understand what I am talking about? Do you? Yes? Do you? I'm afraid not. Do you understand what I am talking about? Don't you say one thing and do another? Why? Either you are afraid, you think one think and say something else because you are afraid that the other person might get hurt, or might hurt you, or you are not quite telling the truth. Right? All that makes a human being fragmented, broken up, like a vessel, pot - terracotta vessel is easily broken. So we human beings throughout the world are in this condition of constantly saying one thing and doing something else. So they are in perpetual conflict. Right? And in their relationship with their wives, or husbands and so on, they are always in conflict. Haven't you noticed it? So what do you propose to do? If you see all this happening throughout the world, what's your responsibility, and what's the responsibility of the educator? Tell me. Don't go to sleep - I hope you had a good sleep last night, did you? Did you have a good sleep last night?
K: Don't go to sleep now then.
S: To teach them to do something good and not bad.
K: Come over here.
S: To teach them to do something good and not bad.
K: Sit comfortably.
S: To teach them to do something good and not to do something bad.
K: To teach them to do something good and not bad. How do you teach them?
S: By being a good person yourself.
K: I daren't ask this question, but are your teachers good?
S: Some of them.
S: Some of them are good.
K: Some of them are good - don't tell me who are and who aren't! (Laughter) Are you good? Don't bother about the teachers - are you good? You understand? Please understand what I mean by good.
S: Sir, I see myself as a good person. I don't know what others see me as.
K: You are rather fat, aren't you? (Laughter) He is a bit fat (laughter) - I am too thin and he is too fat! Go on, sir, what were you saying?
S: I see myself as a good person, and I don't know what others see me like.
K: I asked you, I told you what a good person is, that is, who doesn't contradict himself - say one thing, do another. Right? Think one thing and say something else. And a person who is not in conflict, but who is not asleep - right? - so such a person is a good person. Now are you?
S: Sir, as you said, he might think one thing and do another - I might think I am a good person, but I might not be.
K: (Laughs) You may not be, but thinking you are a good person is not a good person. Actually what you are. Right? Now how do you learn to be good?
S: By doing something that is really useful.
K: By doing something that is useful. The government says it is very useful to go and kill your Muslim people. Right? War. Do you think that is good?
K: Then will you do it?
K: But you are a girl, therefore you are quite safe. But if you are a young man, as in Europe and other parts of the world, every boy at the age of eighteen has to join the army, has to spend two years as a soldier - carrying guns, walking, training and all that. If the government asks you in this country to go and kill somebody, would you do it?
S: No, sir.
K: Ah, no, don't say no. It is very easy to say no. But when you grow up, when you are eighteen, will you go and kill somebody? Tell me.
S: Sir, It depends.
K: It depends on what?
S: My needs, my wants.
S: Her need and her want to kill.
K: What? (Laughter)
S: She is saying, her need and her want to kill him. It depends upon the need.
K: What do you mean, need?
K: I don't understand this.
T: I don't get it. Could you speak loudly.
T: She says there may be many reasons for me wanting to kill him, but otherwise she won't do it.
I don't get it.
S: She says she may have many reasons, and if the pressure becomes too much she might still go and kill.
K: I see. You will yield to the pressure of a society - is that it? Your society, your government puts a pressure on you that you must kill. Will you do it?
S: I may do it.
K: You may do it - why?
T: Otherwise the country may become too bad for her.
K: Which country? What do you mean by that, the country becoming too bad for you?
S: The conditions for her may become too bad.
K: What are the conditions you would like?
T: She says after all I have given in society
K: All right, you are living in a society - who created this society?
S: We ourselves.
K: She says, we ourselves - your fathers, grandfathers - no? So your fathers and grandfathers have created this society which says that you must go and kill. Right? Will you go and do it?
T: She says if the pressure becomes too much, she may go and do it.
K: What about violence? You may have a great deal of pressure - I might keep on insulting you, and that hurts you, and will you then hurt me back?
K: I am asking - not you may, but will you?
S: I would not because it is simple common sense. That fellow is a low mean character, but if I hit him back it is me who is becoming a low mean character.
K: So, if he is stronger than you what will you do?
Look: you haven't really thought about what I am saying.
S: If you are a good person and you help everybody in time of need then you will not do it.
K: All right. Do you understand what I am saying first? I am saying the greatest profession in the world, in spite of all the society, everything else, a teacher, an educator, is preparing a new generation of people, and that new generation is not only academically good, but much more important, much more essential in that you as a student under him should become a good human being.
K: Wait a minute, old boy, I haven't finished yet. Have you understood so far what I said?
K: Wait, sir, wait, sir. So I explained carefully what is a good human being. Right? Have you understood that? A good human being is one who is not fragmented, broken up, saying one thing, doing another, thinking one thing and acting in a totally different way - he is broken up. You understand? He is not whole. And we are saying a good person is whole. That is the definition of a human being who is good. You may not agree with that definition, you may say it is rotten.
K: What is that?
T: He is saying many things.
K: I know he said many things, but what was it
T: He said that the teacher's temperance may want the students to be competitive, settle down, etc.
K: Then he is not is he a good teacher then?
T: He said people are like that these days.
K: People are like that these days, he said. Do you want to be a good person - forget the teacher for the moment. Do you want to be a good human being?
S: I want to be what I consider good.
K: What do you consider good?
S: (Inaudible) suppose you study a lot
K: What do you consider good?
S: Getting a good job to what you've studied.
T: To study well and get a good job. That's good, for her.
K: Study well and get a good job. Is that what you call good?
S: And not contradict your statement.
K: (Laughs) Yes sir - I mean lady, but do you say good is a human being who is good, study well, get a good job? Right?
T: Yes? It's what you said, that you want to study well and get a job, that is good for you.
K: Is that all?
S: And live a happy life. (Laughter)
K: What do you call a happy life? Get a car? What do you call a happy life?
S: Someone you share you happiness with others.
K: No, I asked you what do you call a happy life?
S: When you yourself are happy.
K: Darling, what do you mean by happiness?
S: To fulfil all your ambitions.
K: Oh, fulfil all your ambition is to be happy - is that it? Is that what you are going to do?
K: Now what is ambition? Think it out, don't just say ambition.
S: An ambition is a goal. It's a goal.
K: I want to be Prime Minister - god forbid - but I want to be a General - again, god forbid - or a lawyer, or something else - I want to be something. Right? Do you agree to that? Weren't you here yesterday? Too bad you are not here again. So do you know what ambition does?
S: It makes you unhappy.
K: Makes you unhappy - therefore you are not ambitious?
S: I am but when you can't fulfil your ambitions you are unhappy.
K: But can you ever fulfil your ambitions?
S: Not all of them.
K: Then what are those that can be fulfilled? Marriage, of course, that's...
S: (Inaudible) since you can't fulfil all of them you have to be happy with those which you can fulfil.
T: You can't fulfil all your desires but you can be happy with those things you can fulfil.
K: What are those things?
S: You can be free of all the things you don't like.
K: First of all, sir, do you know what ambition does? You are ambitious and I am ambitious - suppose I am - so what happens to us?
S: It leads to competition.
K: It leads to competition, you are say - what does that mean?
K: You and I are fighting each other. Right?
T: It leads to dissatisfaction.
K: You are not thinking, you are just saying something. Do think, please, don't just say something and then not mean what you say. To be ambitious, what does that - ambition - the word 'ambition', what does that mean? To become, or be something, isn't it? No? Are you all asleep this morning? Had a good meal?
K: Then keep awake.
S: Isn't becoming a good person an ambition?
S: He said, you want to become a good person
K: No, I didn't say 'become'. That's the difference. I did not say 'become', I said 'be', which is entirely different. You understand the two? Becoming is ambitious
K: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. I haven't finished yet. Becoming good incites ambition. Right? Do you see that?
S: How can you become good?
K: I did not say 'become'. I am saying, sir, becoming means having a goal and striving for that. Right? I didn't say that, I said 'be'. Being doesn't take time, the other does. This is too complex, I won't go into it. So I said, be good, which means be aware that your life is contradiction, that you contradict yourself, and end that conflict, end that contradiction - not that you will end it. Do you see the difference? No.
S: You can see it logically, but doing that is another matter.
K: You can see it logically but doing is another matter - why is it another matter? If you have a toothache, a bad pain, you say, I will take time to get over it, or do you want it ended immediately? No, this is a bit too difficult, or you are not thinking this morning.
S: I want to get over it quickly.
K: Get over what?
K: Quite right. You want to get over quickly your toothache, so you do something immediately. Right? But when you say, 'I will be good' - right? - then when you say, 'I will be good', you don't want to do it immediately.
S: But if you want to do it immediately you say, 'I am good', and will mean you will be good.
K: Are you good?
S: No, sir.
K: So, sir, please, would you kindly listen. I was saying this morning, I began by saying, the greatest profession in the world is the educator's, because he is bringing about a new generation of people. Right? Because you are going to be a new generation. And the hope of the world - the world is in such a mess - depends on you. Right? How you grow up, if you merely follow the same old pattern then you are furthering the same misery, confusion of the world.
S: I don't think teaching is such a good profession.
K: He says teaching is not a good profession - why?
S: Because you hardly get money to earn.
K: So, he hardly has enough money. So money is your ambition, is it? To have plenty of money.
K: You see - for god's sake, you don't listen to what I am saying, sir. Forgive me, you are not listening to what I am saying. You have had thousands of engineers all over the world, thousands and thousands. Right? Great business people, great scientists, and rather unfortunate politicians all over the world - right? - they have not brought about good human beings. Right? So we are saying that the function of an educator, who is really educating, is not only to help them to have good academic brain but also to be good human beings. Right? Because that might change the world.
K: Have you listened to what I have said, dear?
K: Then what is your question?
S: How many people do you think
K: You'd better come out here. This chap has given way to you. Thank you so much. You're rather glad to escape - right? (Laughter)
S: I said, but how many people do you think will really go after that, like
K: Not how many people - will you?
S: I don't think so, sir, I don't think so because
K: No - just a minute, answer my question - will you?
S: I doubt it, sir.
K: No. Don't say, 'Doubt it' - either you want to do something, or you don't want to do something.
S: No, I don't want to do it.
K: That's all - very simple. That's very clear. You want to live a mediocre life.
S: I want to life what you call mediocre.
K: Not what I call mediocre - we have agreed. I am not telling you what mediocre life is. Mediocre means going up half way up the hill - the root meaning. And that means - not what I think, don't pass off that kind of game with me, I am very good at this - I am saying, a mediocre life is one who conforms to the pattern - job, marriage, settle down, children, and everlastingly quarrel, fight, struggle.
S: Yes, but, just a minute
K: Right? I call all that which produces war a mediocre life. That's all. You may say that's not mediocrity, then we can discuss it. Right? But if you say, 'It's your mediocrity, it's not mine', then we can't discuss anything.
S: Sir, just a minute, like...
K: I'll wait a minute, as long as you like. Right.
S: What you are trying to say, like suppose...
K: Not - I am asking you.
S: The next generation...
K: You are the next generation.
S: OK, we - we go into the world, we also follow the same pattern - how many people do you think will follow the others, like what
K: I don't care how many. I am asking you - you - do you want to lead a mediocre life? If you agree to the definition, which apparently you seem to do, then do you want to lead a mediocre life, which means creating wars - perpetual conflict for the rest of your life until you die?
S: No, sir.
K: Then what will you do?
S: But then I would...
K: Ah, no, no! Don't escape from it. What will you do? You see, you are all too clever, you all want to escape from You kind of spin around.
S: It's because we are confused, sir, we...
K: No you're not Are you confused when you said, look, mediocrity is this and I don't want to be mediocre like that - that's not confusion. But if you say, I would like not to be mediocre but I am mediocre - and play that kind of game. Right?
S: Why do you call teaching the greatest profession?
K: I have just explained, lady.
S: It helps to bring up the new generation, but what about the other people, the old generation? Is it only doing something new?
T: He says, sir, it's all right you helping a new generation, what about the older people, and why is teaching the greatest profession.
K: I explained to you very carefully - if I may repeat it again - I consider - I may be wrong, you have a right to question it - for me the greatest profession in the world is the teaching profession, the educator. Not the ordinary educator who is just turning out, but the educator who is concerned with the world, what is happening with the world - the wars, the conflict, the divisions of people - and seeing all that the educator says there must be a new generation of people who are not like that. If you and I agree to that...
S: I see that, but why do you use the word 'greatest'?
S: She says that why do you say that teaching is greatest - why do you imply 'greatest'.
K: All right, I won't use the word 'greatest' if you don't like - is the most important function in the world. Is that all right?
S: What profession will be the most important for the next generation turned out?
K: What does that mean?
T: Teaching is the greatest profession, and then what do the next generation, who have gone through these teachers, what will they do.
K: They will also either teach or bring about a good society.
S: But then if everyone takes to teaching - no students. (Laughter)
K: Nobody is going to. You see, this is just a theory. You see you are all theorising, I object to that. I say for god's sake, I would like to discuss something else. Wait a minute, wait a minute.
K: I am your teacher - right, for the moment, suppose I am your teacher - and you are my student. I say I don't know what goodness is - you understand? - I understand what K has been talking about goodness, I have grasped it intellectually but I am not living it. So as I am not living it, and you are not living it, we are on the same level. If you are slow and I am fast - right? - then I stop and help you to be fast.
S: What happens if you are slow?
K: If I am slow you help me. I am your teacher, as I said to you, we are on the same level. Right? I don't know what it is to be really good, I understand it verbally, intellectually, theoretically, but to be good means a tremendous thing; I don't understand it, and you don't understand it - right? - so let us work at it together. You understand? Not that I am superior, or inferior, or you are superior - we are together in this. It's like being in a boat, rowing boat, we all have to row. You understand? So it's your responsibility as well as mine in this relationship to help each other to be good. Will you do it?
S: There are so many teachers who do not teach their children to be good.
K: All right. There are many teacher who are not - don't bother about them, you be good.
Now just a minute, I'd like to talk about something else. Leave that for the moment.
What makes the brain degenerate? You understand this question? Do you understand this question? Don't go to sleep!
K: You have got a brain, haven't you?
K: The brain is the instrument, is a place where all your reactions, your physical, your emotional, your thinking, is all centred there. Right? And as you grow older it begins to deteriorate. Haven't you seen old people?
K: Including myself. It begins to deteriorate. Now how will you prevent deterioration of the brain? You understand my question?
S: Yes, sir.
K: How? Tell me in what manner you... First of all, do you realise what deterioration means, the word 'deteriorate'.
K: No, no, no, no, no. If you seem so clear, tell me.
S: No. What you are trying to say is...
K: Not what I am trying to say. Tell me. I asked you, the brain deteriorates with age
S: You mean stops thinking for itself.
K: No. You can't stop thinking.
S: I mean, like follow what other people say, is that it?
K: No, just listen please. Have you noticed here there are the old people, older students and younger students. Will the younger students become like them - hard, grown-up, superior and so on? I am asking what makes the human brain deteriorate. You have to think about this, don't quickly answer.
S: Sir, what do you mean by deteriorate?
K: That's quite right. A fruit ripens at one moment - right? -and then it begins to deteriorate, get worse and worse and worse. Right? So the brain has reached certain point. Right? You probably don't know all this. Watch your own brain, look at your own thinking. It reaches a point and then stops and gradually declines. Right? You have seen this - your grandfathers, grandmothers - I won't insult your fathers - but they reach a height and then decline. Is this what is happening here in this school? I'll explain what I mean, deteriorate.
The scientists who are studying the brain - with whom I have talked, I know some of them - they say there is the left side of the brain and the right side of the brain. Please listen to this, if you are interested. There are the two sides: left and the right. The left side of the brain is the practical brain, it does everything everyday - you know, think out, drive a car, learn mathematics - that is the function of the left side of the brain, and more. The right side has hardly been touched, therefore that's quicker, more alive. And that influences the other, perhaps. So these two, one is quiet, you understand, the other is active. Now - are you following all this?
K: Wait, wait, wait! But no - I haven't finished yet. So they have divided the brain into the left and the right. We are saying, I am saying, by this division you are not employing the whole brain, the complete brain. You understand? If there is no activity of the whole brain there is a deteriorating factor is taking place. You understand? You have got it? Now, I am going to show you. The deteriorating factor is repetition - right? - job, marriage, repeat, go to the office day after day, day after day, day after day. Right? A repetition for a long period inevitably deteriorates the brain - right? - like a gramophone record - wait a minute, darling - like a gramophone record: repeat, repeat, repeat. That's what you are all doing.
S: The same way, if you have two knives, sir, you have a sharp knife and a blunt knife, you keep sharpening the blunt knife everyday, and you leave the sharp knife, which do you think would become the sharp knife? In the same way...
K: You haven't understood. The scientists are saying left and right: the left is active - going to the office, writing letters, learning a language and so on - the left is all - but the right is not so active, it is much more watchful - you understand? - much more aware, and therefore has a greater capacity to deal with the problems. Don't deny - these are the great scientists, don't play around with them, they will wipe the floor with you. I don't want to do it, but I am saying, listen to what I am saying: constant repetition makes the brain dull. Right?
S: Repetition makes it dull.
K: And you are doing that all the time - I must have a job, I must get married, and the office, office, office, office, office. Right? You understand? Understand what I said?
S: Yes, yes, but marriage and all that, it's repetition to humanity, but it's not repetition to you.
K: What do you mean, you are humanity.
S: No, see, like everyone gets married, but to you - you are getting married and it is the first time, that is something new to you.
K: Agreed. Agreed, agreed, agreed, agreed. But after the first experience, you repeat. Right? Right? You are stuck, old girl.
Now, I'll put it the other way: I have talked about this matter with several computer experts and this is what they are doing - are you interested in this?
K: You know what a computer is?
K: Most of you do, all right. I don't, but most of you do. They are trying to build a computer which is almost equal to the human brain. Japan is putting billions and billions of yen, their money, into inventing a computer which is called Ultra Intelligence Machine. You understand? Ultra Intelligent - UIM. Now, into that machine they are trying to introduce biological cells, cells which are in the brain. You understand? You understand this? And America is doing the same, there is the IBM, which is their immensely rich machinery and so on, others have joined together to outwit the Japanese. So they are trying now to create a machine, computer that will do almost everything that man does. Now I will tell you, I saw on television in America - was it last year, it doesn't matter, recently - a computer and a robot - you know what a robot is? The computer is telling the robot how to build a car, and the robot is building a car, twisting this - you follow? And suddenly the whole machinery stops because the computer then says to the robot, 'You didn't turn the screw tight enough'. So the robot goes and turns the screw much tighter. Then the whole machinery starts. And the Honda machine - you know Honda cars - there they took this television and you see all the workmen in white gowns and white gloves. They are not doing the work, they are watching, and the computer and the robot are doing the work. Right? You understand this? Right, sir? This is simple, there is nothing complicated. Now, if the computer and the robot take over all the activities of human beings what is going to happen to the human being?
S: He will become dull.
K: Now, that is exactly deterioration, which you are becoming. You want to be entertained - right? - you want to be entertained, I don't know if you have gone into it. The entertainment industry, television, radio, magazines, they are controlling you. Right? You want to be entertained, and they say all right we'll entertain you - football, cricket. So gradually what has happened to your brain?
S: You become dull.
K: No, on the contrary, you are deteriorating.
T: How can one get out of this if one is already entangled in it.
S: We are already caught in it.
K: That's just it. Do you realise you are caught in it? Do you realise your brains are already deteriorating even though you are young? You understand what I am saying? You are young and already your brains are deteriorating because you keep on repeating. You learn from your educator about mathematics and you memorise it and repeat, repeat, repeat. Do you understand? So your brain is becoming gradually, however young you are, through your education, your brain is beginning to deteriorate. So please listen to all this. Mature slowly, not so fast. You understand what I am saying?
S: What do you mean mature slowly and not fast?
K: American girls and boys, and it is now spreading throughout the world, have sex very early. Don't be shy, this is happening. They want to have all the experience immediately - swimming, anything - experience - skiing. So they want, as they are young, they want to experience everything at once in a short time. Right? So as they grow older, see what has happened to the brain.
S: You mean the innocent mind is ruined, is it?
K: Yes, grow slowly. Have you noticed the greatest tree grows very, very, very slowly. That Banyan tree has taken five hundred years probably - right? - it grows slowly. You understand what I am saying? The speaker is going to be eighty nine in May - you understand? But you, all of you, you are merely recording, like a gramophone, like that tape, recording, and you keep on recording, so your brain is never fresh. And youth is meant to be fresh.
S: But then can you say it is your fault because you are sent to school by your parents who expect something out of you.
K: You. You demand something different. You understand? You demand, all of you demand of your teachers that something different be done. But you say, 'It's all right, sir, I'll do what you ask me to do, I'll learn mathematics by just listening' - you follow? - and therefore gradually your brain becomes shoddy.
S: Excuse me, sir, how can you demand for it?
K: Ask your teachers.
S: Would they expect it, I mean would they listen to what you say?
K: Oh yes they are going to.
S: I don't think some of them would, sir.
K: Have you done it?
K: No. So there you are, you are contradicting, you are saying something you haven't done. If I say to him, he is my teacher, 'Sir, I heard this morning he was saying, don't let's repeat, teach me a way I can learn without repetition'.
S: Then they'll tell you
K: Wait, listen! 'I have heard this morning K saying, teach me so that I learn not by memorising. A different way of teaching - teach me'. You are challenging him. And he has to respond. So he says, 'By Jove, these children are much smarter than I am'.
S: Sir, what they would say is that...
K: Just a minute.
S: What they will tell you is still - see we have been going through this process of memorising and all that, and all the children have passed out well with that
K: What have they done well? Got more money.
S: They'll say
K: Wait, wait. Listen. More money. And what happens to their brain? They are just mediocre people, they may have a marvellous job, plenty of cars, women and all the rest of it, but their brain is like mud. If you see that, actually see, you say 'By Jove, I am not going to be that way'. When I was younger I was offered - I am just saying out of humility - ten thousand dollars every week to go into the cinema. How many of you would say, 'No, sorry, thanks so much, I don't want to'? You would jump at it, wouldn't you?
S: If you're getting ten thousand
K: Ah! (Laughter) That's all I am saying. You are all so mad after money, which means freedom, which means pleasure, that's all you want. And you call that living.
S: Society wants us to do that.
K: I know, society wants you to do that. Who created the society?
S: We did.
K: We. Therefore change it! Don't bother, you do the right thing.
T: I might be doing the right thing but what about all the others?
K: Don't bother about the others. Do the right thing.
S: I can't face it, sir.
K: Then you are a weak and you deteriorate. That's all, if you can't face it.
S: Your parents say that if you don't study and all that, you are not going to live with us anymore. What are we to do?
S: What she is says is that if you don't study your parents might disown you.
K: I didn't say don't study. Just a minute, I did not say don't study. Don't get away with that. I said, teach me a different way of learning, not just memorising. You follow?
S: They don't want me to learn, sir, they just want me to get good grades.
K: Forget the parents, they have sent you here, and find out. What's the matter with - have you already grown old, all of you? Good god!
S: Sir but then, I mean if you don't listen to their words they might sort of...
K: ...disown you.
S: Disown you.
K: So you listen to them politely, carefully, and say, 'Daddy, this is the way to learn, I am learning something'
S: Yes, but if you try it, sir, what happens is conflict. They think in another way, you think in another way. Clash.
K: All right. You are younger, so you are more polite and say, sorry, you go your way.
S: No, even if you do it, sir, there will say you are arrogant, they'll...
K: No. We are being taught to learn the same subject differently - using our brain, using our capacities, using our senses.
T: How can you use your senses and capacities in subjects that you have to memorise?
K: There is no subject...
S: History, sir, history - the dates, how are you going to remember them, so many names
K: I know - silly!
S: Silly - yes, silly, sir.
K: Find out. You see you stop there. Find out what is history. Have you thought about it?
K: Just a minute, lady. What is history?
S: It is the story of man.
K: The story of man. Did you think this out, or somebody told you?
S: I had to ask somebody else.
T: He got it from somebody else.
K: Somebody else. I am going to tell you, but find out for yourself, don't repeat what somebody says.
S: Sir, how can you find out something if it has already gone? History is past. History has already gone.
S: He says history is the past.
K: Now, just a minute, just listen. It comes from the Latin 'historia', which means story of man. The story of man, that's the history. Now, who is man? You, it is the story about you. Do you understand that? It is not about beastly King Edward VII or some beastly Indian king. It is the story of humanity, which is you. Listen, listen, to it. You'll learned something different, old girl. It is the story of humanity; humanity is you. What are you? So you learn. Learn about yourself. And then when you are learning about yourself you see that King Edward XIV or whatever it is - XVIII, XV, XII - or your own Indian king, you see what they are like. You are learning.
S: But what are you learning for, sir? You say a king conquers so many places, and his queens and...
K: Yes, yes, murdering each other.
S: You see, you are learning from them - right? - and you are also doing the same thing, sir.
K: Therefore there is no difference between you and him.
S: Yes, so why do you want to know about them? You can
K: Then in studying yourself you are studying humanity. Right? You are studying humanity. Will you do that? And then that becomes a side issue.
S: But then why is it that we have to remember all those dates and those names - what's the point?
K: That's the silly society that is demanding it. Change the society, therefore change yourself.
S: If this school is meant to be a place when you are going to the change society, why should we follow all that, why should we follow all the history
K: Will you do it? Will you stop doing it. Don't always blame the others.
S: Sir, you said when you study yourself you study humanity - right?
S: But at this time... (inaudible)
K: Slowly, slowly.
S: You study yourself.
K: No. Listen carefully, I said history, historia, means story, the story of mankind; mankind is yourself, in understanding yourself you understand the whole movement of mankind. Right? That's all I am saying. So you get to know yourself, which is tremendously important. Now you don't know yourself. All that you know is your reactions: I like, don't like, I am ambitious, I am this - but you really don't know. And under the present circumstances of society, they say you must learn history, the dates. You learn it. Silly
S: OK, then
K: Not 'OK'. It is silly but it is like that. Or you say, 'Sorry, I don't care'.
S: But then society...
K: Wait a minute. I don't care, I don't care if I become a gardener, a cook. Right? Because you want to be somebody in the world - money, position, all that - therefore you have to study all that. As I told you, I don't want to become anything. I failed in all examinations - they sent me all over the world for exams - all of them I failed. Thank god! Think differently. I have milked cows, looked after chickens, I have looked after vegetable gardens, I have done all kinds of things, built a house, helped to build a house. You don't do all that. And I don't care if I am rich or poor, but you all do, old girl, all of you care. That's why you are caught by society. You understand?
S: Yes, sir.
K: Yes, sir. Don't do it then. Be different.
S: If you think what is right and society regrets it, you are scared
K: So you are frightened. So don't be frightened, doesn't matter. You see
S: Yes, but they might harm you. If they don't think that it's right, they harm you.
K: If it is what is right they might harm you, don't mind. It doesn't matter. We had better stop now, we'll continue this tomorrow. Shall we sit quietly for a few minutes?