Think on These Things

Think on These Things

by Jiddu Krishnamurti


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060916091
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/11/1989
Series: Harper Perennial
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 156,799
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.61(d)

About the Author

J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986) was a renowned spiritual teacher whose lectures and writings have inspired thousands. His works include On Mind and Thought, On Nature and the Environment, On Relationship, On Living and Dying, On Love and Lonliness, On Fear, and On Freedom.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


I wonder if we have ever asked ourselves what education means. Why do we go to school, why do we learn various subjects, why do we pass examinations and compete with each other for better grades? What does this socalled education mean, and what is it all about? This is really a very important question, not only for the students, but also for the parents, for the teachers, and for everyone who loves this earth. Why do we go through the struggle to be educated? Is it merely in order to pass some examinations and get a job? Or is it the function of education to prepare us while we are young to understand the whole process of life? Having a job and earning one's livelihood is necessary-but is that all? Are we being educated only for that? Surely, life is not merely a job, an occupation; life is something extraordinarily wide and profound, it is a great mystery, a vast realm in which we function as human beings. If we merely prepare ourselves to earn a livelihood, we shall miss the whole point of life; and to understand life is much more important than merely to prepare for examinations and become very proficient in mathematics, physics, or what you will.

So, whether we are teachers or students, is it not important to ask ourselves why we are educating or being educated? And what does life mean? Is not life an extraordinary thing? The birds, the flowers, the flourishing trees, the heavens, the stars, the rivers and the fish therein — all this is life. Life is the poor and the rich; life is the constant battle between groups, races and nations; life ismeditation; life is what we call religion, and it is also the subtle, hidden things of the mind-the envies, the ambitions, the passions, the fears, fulfilments and anxieties. All this and much more is life. But we generally prepare ourselves to understand only one small comer of it. We pass certain examinations, find a job, get married, have children, and then become more and more like machines. We remain fearful, anxious, frightened of life. So, is it the function of education to help us understand the whole process of life, or is it merely to prepare us for a vocation, for the best job we can get?

What is going to happen to all of us when we grow to be men and women? Have you ever asked yourselves what you are going to do when you grow up? In all likelihood you will get married, and before you know where you are you will be mothers and fathers; and you will then be tied to a job, or to the kitchen, in which you will gradually wither away. Is that all that your life is going to be? Have you ever asked yourselves this question? Should you not ask it? If your family is wealthy you may have a fairly good position already assured, your father may give you a comfortable job, or you may get richly married; but there also you will decay, deteriorate. Do you see?

Surely, education has no meaning unless it helps you to understand the vast expanse of Life with all its subtleties, with its extraordinary beauty, its sorrows and joys. You may earn degrees, you may have a series of letters after your name and land a very good job; but then what? What is the point of it all if in the process your mind becomes dull, weary, stupid? So, while you are young, must you not seek to find out what life is all about? And is it not the true function of education to cultivate in you the intelligence which will try to find the answer to all these problems? Do you know what intelligence is? It is the capacity, surely, to think freely, without fear, without a formula, so that you begin to discover for yourself what is real, what is true; but if you are frightened you will never be intelligent. Any form of ambition, spiritual or mundane, breeds anxiety, fear; therefore ambition does not help to bring about a mind that is clear, Simple, direct, and hence intelligent.

You know, it is really very important while you are young to live in an environment in which there is no fear. Most of us, as we grow older, become frightened; we are afraid of living, afraid of losing a job, afraid of tradition, afraid of what the neighbours, or what the wife or husband would say, afraid of death. Most of us have fear in one form or another; and where there is fear there is no intelligence. And is it not possible for all of us, while we are young, to be in an environment where there is no fear but rather an atmosphere of freedom — freedom, not just to do what we like, but to understand the whole process of living? Life is really very beautiful, it is not this ugly thing that we have made of it; and you can appreciate its richness, its depth, its extraordinary loveliness only when you revolt against everything-against organized religion, against tradition, against the present rotten society-so that you as a human being find out for yourself what is true. Not to imitate but to discover — that is education, is it not? It is very easy to conform to what your society or your parents and teachers tell you. That is a safe and easy way of existing; but that is not living, because in it there is fear, decay, death. To live is to find out for yourself what is true, and you can do this only when there is freedom, when there is continuous revolution inwardly, within yourself.

But you are not encouraged to do this; no one tells you to question to find out for yourself what God is, because if you were to rebel you would become a danger to all that is false. Your parents and society want you to live safely, and you also want to live safely.

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Think on These Things 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
realsupergirl on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Krishnamurti is brilliant. Whatever your religious beliefs or philosophical orientation, you should read him.
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5thring More than 1 year ago
J Krishnamurti was one of the most thoughtful and iconoclastic philosophers of our time. This particular book, "Think on These Things" is a collection of talks addressed more to older children and young adults about life, encouraging them to question the guidance that families, society and the world gives. Easily readable it makes for a good introduction to J Krishnamurti's thought system. I purchased this book when I was 17 years old, and enjoyed reading then and now I've purchased it again after 38 years. The wisdom of what J. Krishnamurti teaches is profoundly simple and now that I reflect back on my own experience with it I realize just how difficult and yet ultimately rewarding it has been to incorporate into one's life.
cchick More than 1 year ago
Krishnamurti depicts the root of all human problems in a clear, direct and uplifting way. He tampers with your thoughts, twists and bends them, and by the time you're done reading the book you'll see the world in a new way with eyes like a child. He helped me to understand myself, brought up my inner child curiosity that was buried inside me and made me think very deeply about the whole purpose of life. This book is well crafted, thought provoking and completely changed my life.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book of his, it was my introduction to him (and I have read others) He speaks clearly and explains things well. you can delve as deep as you wish into his philosophy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been searching for the words for a long time. Through the writings of Krishnamurti, I've found a voice - an outlet for the truth that lie dormant in my mind. But, now, I can no longer deny it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
How anyone in the span of a single life time can come to such clear insight is beyond me? If Krishnamurti had been an enviromentalist as well as a philosopher most of the world's woes would now be in writing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was really excellent. It is extraordinarily objective and insightful. It is amazing that a person could achieve such perfection and peace with their surroundings. It helped me gain a lot of insight into daily experiences and helped me to evaluate myself so that I could live with more joy. Although the book deals with deep issues, it is presented in an easy-to-understand way. It is a truly self-enlightening book.