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Education and the Significance of Life Paperback – September 9, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

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.

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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1 edition (September 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060648767
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060648763
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More 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 Loneliness, On Fear, and On Freedom.

Customer Reviews

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And throughout the book he stresses one of his core themes: a resistance to conformity and mindless obedience.
Michael J. Mazza
The toxicity of authority, comparison and competition in our relationships with each other are explored as well as the need of the "educator to be educated."
Susanna Long
Only when open-minded, self-aware adults teach with true love can children learn to know themselves, and so lead dignified, effective lives.
M. Lilly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on November 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Krishnamurti is regarded by many as one of the great sages of the 20th century, and "Education and the Significance of Life" is an outstanding example of his thinking. Krishnamurti reflects that goal of education should be to help students develop into truly "integrated" human beings, and not merely to turn them into well-trained automatons.
Along the way, Krishnamurti offers pointed and thought-provoking critiques of such institutions as organized religion, national identity, and the family. And throughout the book he stresses one of his core themes: a resistance to conformity and mindless obedience.
Krishnamurti has been called a modern-day Buddha, and this book is a rich source of aphoristic statements that radiate with insight. On religion: "Organized religion is the frozen thought of man...." On national identity: "Nationalism is a disease, and it can never bring about world unity." On morality: "Organized religions are much concerned about our sexual morality; but they allow us to perpetuate violence and murder in the name of patriotism, to indulge in envy and crafty ruthlessness, and to pursue power and success."
For both professional educators and general readers, "Education and the Significance of Life" is a challenging work of spiritual and philosophical writing.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By M. Lilly on June 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
The primary premise of the book is that nearly all of the education system (govt. based, religious based, private) fails the child. 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 staffed by adults who were continually studying themselves, and striving to deepen their own awareness, not just conformists seeking the safety of job, income and leisure. Only when open-minded, self-aware adults teach with true love can children learn to know themselves, and so lead dignified, effective lives.
We are far from this vision, but it is worth it for each of us to walk along this path.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By swandiver on May 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I've read over 25 Krishamurti books, including all the "big ones" like Freedom from the Known, The First and Last Freedom, Total Freedom, Awakening of Intelligence, Flight of the Eagle, Krishmaurti's Notebook, etc., many of which I've read more than once. I've given all of them away to share K's message but kept four of them which I keep as references for focused daily reflection/meditation (as opposed to the meditation of all waking life). The four I've kept are Freedom from the Known, On God, On Right Livelihood, and Education and the Significance of Life (the last one of great relevance to me since I'm an educator). And so now I always recommend (and often give) the first three books on that list I just mentioned to anyone who wants to learn more about K's "teachings." "Freedom from the Known" is the single best, most concise and thorough summary of all K's teachings. "On God" should greatly help anyone who is searching for ultimate reality, Truth, God, Enlightenment, Nirvana, The Meaning of Life, or whatever one wants to call it. No summary will do it justice; you must read it for yourself. "On Right Livelihood" addresses the issue of our daily living, in work, leisure, and even to some degree home life and family relationship, becuase, as K emphasizes, they all should be an integrated whole, not fragmented parts of our lives. "Education and the Significance of Life" is also or relevance to anyone who has children or who teaches; it will transform the way you view childrearing and education. I would say that those four books would be all a person would need to transform one's life; to have a radical revolution in living.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Neal Reynolds VINE VOICE on July 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
The focus point here is on just what education should produce. At present, it produces students intellectually prepared for their life's journey, but without a clue when it comes to self-knowledge. In fact, in Krishnamurti's eyes, education as it presently is, or at least was in the 50's when the book was written (and I haven't really seen evidence of huge change yet), discourages self-knowledge and focuses on false values, such as financial success and prestige.
The present educational system teaches reliance on authority, on books.
Krishnamurti comes down hard on the nationalistic mode our youth are molded in. This point may be difficult to agree with in today's America, especially in the past year. There has been a huge swing in patriotism since Sept. 11, and this is quite natural. And to read Krishnamurti's pleas to free ourselves from nationalism, from patriotism, may well be difficult.
And yet, if we truly want peace on this planet, loyalty to nation and loyalty to religion are blocks, according to Krishnamurti.
This is a book to read and study, even if you are uneasy with some points. I don't mean that this is a philosophy to pick up on and make the ruler of your life. And Krishnamurti makes it quite obvious that this isn't what he wants. Self-knowledge includes self-rule nd self-responsibility. Even if you, as I did, have a few reservations, this is a philosophy to consider, one which may call for action on your part to bring out a positive change in our educational system.
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