Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Public Talk, March 13th, 1948 | Mumbai, India

Question: What is the place of art in education?

Krishnamurti: I don't quite know what you mean by art. Do you mean hanging pictures in your school room, or do you mean helping the child to draw a picture according to a pattern, because you have learnt a little technique? Or do you mean teaching the child to be sensitive - not to you as the teacher or to what you say, but sensitive to the miseries, to the confusions, to the sorrows of life? Do you want merely to teach him how to paint, or do you want him to be awake to the influence of beauty - not of any particular picture or statue, but beauty itself? Sir, in modern civilization, beauty is apparently only on the surface of the skin: how you dress, how you paint your face, how you comb your hair, how you walk. We are discussing art, whether beauty is on the surface, or whether it is a matter of love; whether it is outward, or understanding the inward process of thought.

As our society is constructed, we are more concerned with the outward expression, with the looks, with the sari, than with that which is inward. It does not matter what you are within, but you must present a respectable appearance - put on rouge, lip-stick. It does not matter what you are inside. So, we are more concerned with technique than with living, with mere expression than with love. Therefore, we use outward things as a means of covering up our inner ugliness, our inward confusion. We listen to music to escape from our own sorrow. In other words, we become spectators, and not the players. To be creative, you must know yourself, and to know yourself is extremely difficult; but to learn a technique is comparatively easy. So, when you talk about art in education, I don't know exactly what you mean. Obviously, the outward environmental influences have their place; but when the outer is emphasized, the inner confusion is not understood, and so the inward understanding, the inward beauty, is denied; and without inward beauty, how can there be the outward expression of it? And to cultivate inward beauty, you must first be aware of the inward confusion, the inward ugliness, because beauty does not come into being by itself. To be sensitive to beauty, you must understand the ugly and the confused; and it is only when there is order out of confusion that there is beauty.

Tags: art, beauty

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