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Education and the Significance of Life

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  760 ratings  ·  69 reviews
The teacher probes the Western problems of conformity and loss of personal values while offering a fresh approach to self-understanding and the meaning of personal freedom and mature love.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published September 9th 2008 by HarperOne (first published December 1st 1955)
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4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  760 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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May 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Anyone with even one philosophical "bone" in their body should read this book. He ponders the deepest questions of life-our purpose and future; better still he offers workable solutions. This book guided me on the path to becoming a teacher. Its quite revealing; you have to read it with an open mind.
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Carefully wrought work of philosophy !

I genuinely enjoyed the journey of reading this book by this great intellect Krishnamurti.The book talks about the significance of life and education which is obvious as it's the title of the book. It emphasizes on the fact that we mustn't just focus on education as a mean for livelihood and way to learn certain techniques . That we must have this integrated outlook in life and learn for the sake of the science not for a coming or anticipated result. To get
Apr 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the first books that I had read on REAL EDUCATION...
Apr 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
i highly recommend this careful though because you might quit your job, school, relationship, or abandon your belief system.
Ram Prasad
Aug 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
To quote JK (Jiddu Krishnamurthi): "Conventional education makes independent thinking difficult."

JK stresses the fact that conventional education lays more stress on knowledge maximization and not on imagination/creative thinking. He comes down harshly on the drawbacks of conventional education system which for some reason or the other we find it difficult to do away with. He does suggest some alternative, which too we find it difficult to practice becuase of our own inertia to break free from t
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book covers much more than education: parenting, sex and marriage, creativity. His insights are just as relevant today as 60 years ago. What does that say about "progress" in "modern" society?

Memorable quotations:

"As long as education is based on cut-and-dried principles, it can turn out men and women who are efficient, but it cannot produce creative human beings." (23)

"The real problem in education is the educator. Even a small group of students becomes the instrument of his personal impor
The primary premise of the book is that nearly all of the education system (govt. based, religious based, private) fail our children. These systems educate children to be good at techniques or skills, but do not educate them to know themselves.

Without knowledge of oneself, children will grow to be conflicted between the reality of their true nature, and the constrictions of conforming to civil society or religious doctrine.

An educational system that truly sought to benefit the children would be
Smaranda Filipciuc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it
This book questions the education system, distinguishes intellect and knowledge from integrated intelligence and provides an alternative model to education. An integrated view to education incorporates mind and heart rather than the acquisition of facts, technical skills or specialization. It is presented as a potential solution to the sorrow and destruction in the world which is perpetuated by an education system which favours conformity over creativity, divides individuals into us and them, an ...more
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
To quote JK (Jiddu Krishnamurthi): "Conventional education makes independent thinking difficult."

JK stresses the fact that conventional education lays more stress on knowledge maximization and not on imagination/creative thinking. He comes down harshly on the drawbacks of conventional education system which for some reason or the other we find it difficult to do away with. He does suggest some alternative, which too we find it difficult to practice becuase of our own inertia to break free from t
Sep 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
The ideas in this book are a ten - absolutely wonderful and needed as much, if not more, today as ever. The writing style is a little more difficult, hence I'm giving it a 4 rather than 5, but I probably shouldn't. If every child were taught this way by teachers as Krishnamurti describes, the world would be a different place.
한 카트
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite thinkers to read even if I don't always agree with everything he says. This one though, seemed a bit too repetitive and the solutions he suggests have no realistic bearing in real life.
Rebekah Morgan
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Started off hating this, kept going, discovered quite a lot that I did like, particularly the emphasis on the necessity of peace in education.
Lyubina Yordanova
Когато пътуваш по света забелязваш до каква изключителна степен човешката природа е една и съща в Индия или Америка, в Европа или Австралия. Това важи особено за колежите и университетите. Ние произвеждаме като по калъп един тип човешки същества, чийто главен интерес е да постигнат сигурност в живота, да станат важни личности и да се забавляват – като мислят колкото може по-малко.

Съвременното образование е пълен провал, защото набляга прекалено много на техническите умения. Това унищожава човека
Mark Valentine
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What Henry David Thoreau achieved for the environmentalist movement with Walden, Krishnamurti has achieved for education with this slim volume.

At stake is the essence of our civilization, so I know I have your attention: Krishnamurti outlines the complete, essential, rigorous, devoted, intentional, superlative, & practical guide to education...but let he who has ears....

Just look at this: Here's how Chapter 2 begins: "The ignorant man is not the unlearned, but he who does not know himself,
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
I was really impressed with this short book by Krishnamurti. Its mainly about education but true education as a means to grow holistically as a human being and not the kind of education which will only allow you to progress into the next layer the world predisposes you to like a levels and then your degree and then into exams as you go into work. Some of his philosophy is breathtakingly simple and yet at the same time breathtakingly advanced also. you can tell that his mind is the atavistic prec ...more
Jack Ash
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
When I had read this book many years ago it was such a beacon of different-minded thinking that I found myself questioning everything. Krishnamurti brightens the world and shows the brilliantly detailed flaws of education, social classes, and governmental ideals. I wish that I had found this book earlier in life; when I was once the youthful sheep, ever grazing the hypocrisy and mediocre blades of complacency and ignorance.

It left an impression upon me that will never leave.

The only cons of th
Jesus Cruz
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: espiritual
Krishnamurti hace una apología muy interesante de la educación y la cooperación, explica que aprender es actuar y actuar debe ser en favor de un bien mas grande y perenne que el inmediato y egoísta porque así la raza humana sobrevivirá, la cooperación es reflejo del aprender en un sentido verdadero. Yo estudio la cooperación desde el punto de vista matemático y coincido plenamente con su visión que sin ser matemática es 100% correcta por lo que sabemos de teoría de juegos, es un gran libro místi ...more
Sep 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Teachers and everyone interested in education
Shelves: classics
Krishnamurti stresses self-knowledge and creating an environment free from fear to help create an atmosphere in which real education can take place. In this seminal book he critically examines what is wrong with education as it stands, relating it to society at large and the need for a new and different world order. One of the most compelling and thought-provoking books ever written on education. This philosophy is based upon the insight that no child can be trained in anything that their soul i ...more
Mar 30, 2015 rated it liked it
"Creativeness is a state of being in which the conflicts and sorrows of the self are absent, a state in which the mind is not caught up in the demands and pursuits of desire."
The central theme of this long essay is that the alternate education should aim at self-exploration: free and beyond materialism. I would like to disagree with his idea of education but this is a recommended read to get a critical analysis of existing system and issues associated.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
What I like of this book so far is the fact that the educator needs to be a respected person; but not because somebody named him the educator; but because he is an outstanding human being that makes all his students look up at him. This is a very early work of Krishnamurti; and I am reading it out of curiosity; because I think that his later work is more interesting because his ideas in his later works are more elaborated and clearly explained.
May 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The first two chapters are a must on how learning to pursue success is not the same as being educated. The last two chapters take a more radical turn as Krishnamurti starts conceptualizing solutions to the crisis in education. His comments, while valuable, are permanently relegated to the realm of philosophy because there are no connections to organizing such alternatives in the midst of success-minded societies.
Sep 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I first saw Krishnamurti when I was 14, while recovering from the flu. He was being interviewed for a PBS special and he was talking about his childhood and education. Being 14, much of what he said confused me, but as I mature, his work has became much more meaningful and profound. This volume is my favorite.
Steve Gordon
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Though a bit muddled at times, a book with many great ideas on what education should be. And as a high school English teacher in the US, I can tell you that American education is flying at light speed in the opposite direction of Krishnamurti's beliefs. Kafka, Orwell, and Swift locked in a room for ten years couldn't narrate the profound idiocy of the leading lights of American education.
Dimitra Mavraki
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ο Κrishnamurti μέσα από αυτό το βιβλίο καταφέρνει να προβληματίσει τον εκπαιδευτικό αλλά και τον γονέα για το ρόλο που πρέπει να έχουν και την στάση που πρέπει να κρατούν απέναντι στα παιδιά!!!Δυστυχώς, μόνο κάποια απ' όλα τα ωραία που προτείνει μπορούν να εφαρμοστούν από τον εκπαιδευτικό με το υπάρχον εκπαιδευτικό σύστημα της Ελλάδας. Οι γονείς όμως μπορούν άνετα να τα εφαρμόσουν όλα!!!
Pheonyx Roldan Smith (
it's a good read of obvious truths. a little heavy on "this should be this way" and "that should be that way" but for the most part, a good many things resonated. definitely more philosophical than "spiritual" per se, but it's a fine line between the two often times anyway.
The Bookself
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you highlight your books, I'll save you the trouble. The whole book deserves highlighting. A groundbreaking work on the role of educators in a world which thrives on conformity rather than individual thought.
Regina Marie
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Teachers and students
Amazing that so little has changed in education since Krishnamurti gave these talks in the 1950's:
The system still needs to be reformed.
Added insight to my decision to quit my current job teaching high school.
Anand Pal
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-duishen
J krishanamurti gave a very good analysis, why our education fails to make a peace around the world and creating more conflict. "Education is not merely acquiring knowledge, gathering and correlating facts; it is to see the significance of life as a whole."
Jan 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
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Jiddu Krishnamurti was born on 11 May 1895 in Madanapalle, a small town in south India. He and his brother were adopted in their youth by Dr Annie Besant, then president of the Theosophical Society. Dr Besant and others proclaimed that Krishnamurti was to be a world teacher whose coming the Theosophists had predicted. To prepare the world for this coming, a world-wide organization called the Order ...more
“Governments want efficient technicians, not human beings, because human beings become dangerous to governments – and to organized religions as well. That is why governments and religious organizations seek to control education.” 325 likes
“The following of authority is the denial of intelligence. [It] may help us temporarily to cover up our difficulties and problems; but to avoid a problem is only to intensify it, and in the process, self-knowledge and freedom are abandoned.” 82 likes
More quotes…