Jiddu Krishnamurti was an avante garde visionary, teacher and spiritual leader. He spoke extensively on subjects that affect the human existence and the solutions for the prevailing problems of people in specific and the world at large.

Jiddu Krishnamurti, was once asked about education in creativeness in once of his talks in Mumbai. The questioner asked him, ” Is education in creativeness possible, or is creativeness purely accidental and therefore nothing can be done to facilitate its emergence?”

Krishnamurti gave an answer that is worth remembering and pondering over. He questioned the very method and purpose of education in creativeness. He questioned ┬áthe questioner’s very understanding of what is creativity/creativeness.

Krishnamurti replied,

The question is, put differently, by learning a technique, will you be creative, i.e., by practice, by learning a technique, say the practice of piano, violin, by learning the technique of painting, will you be a painter, will you be a musician, will you be an artist? Does creativeness come into being through technique or is creativeness independent of technique? You may learn all there is to know about painting, learn it, go to a school and learn about the depth of colour, the technique of how to hold the brush and all the rest of it, will that make you a creative painter? But, if you are creative, then anything that you do will have its own technique. I had been once to a great artist in Paris, of the first order, first rank. He did not learn a technique. He was a great artist. He began with it. He wanted to say something and he said it in clay and then marvelled. Most of us learn the technique, but have very little to say. So we neglect, we overlook the capacity to find out for ourselves, but we have all the instruments of discovery without finding it for ourselves. So, the problem is how to be creative, which brings its own technique.

After all, when you want to write a poem, what happens. You write it; and if you have a technique so much the better. But, if you have no technique, it does not matter. You write it. And the delight is in writing. After all, when you write a love letter, you are not bothered about the technique, you write it with all your being. But, when there is no love in your heart, you search out a technique, how to put words together. Sirs, you love. But, you miss the point. We think we will be able to live happily, creatively by learning a technique and it is the technique that is destroying creativeness, which does not mean that you must not have a technique. After all, when you want to write a poem beautifully, you must know the metre, the rhythm and all the rest of it. But, if you want to write it for yourself and not publish it, then it does not matter. You write.

Photo by Redro Ribeiro Simoes


It is only when you want to communicate to another, proper technique is necessary, the right technique, so that there will be no misunderstanding. But, surely, to be creative is quite a different problem and that demands an extraordinary investigation into oneself. It is not a question of gift. Talent is not creativeness. One can be creative without having a talent. So, what do we mean by creativeness? Surely, a state of being in which conflict has completely ceased, a state of being in which there is no problem, a state of being in which there is no contradiction. Contradiction, problem, conflict, are the outcome of the emphasis on the me, the my, achieving my success, my family my country. When that is absent, then thought itself ceases and there is a state of being in which creativeness can take place, i.e., put it differently, when the mind ceases to create there is creation. And the mind creates as long as it has a problem, as long as it is the originator of problems and a mind that is chained to a problem through various causes, one of the causes being your belief or greed and so on, as long as it is tethered to the creation of its own problem therefore, it can never be free and therefore only in that freedom from its own problems and creations, can there be creation.

Sir, to go into it fully and really deeply, one has to go into the whole problem of consciousness and I say that everyone of us can be creative in the right sense of the word, not merely producing poems and statues or creating children. Surely, to be creative means to be in that state in which truth can come into being and truth can only come into being when there is complete cessation of the thought process when the mind is utterly still, not compelled, not forced into a certain action or pattern of action, when the mind is still because it is no longer any problem or because it has understood all the problems as they arise, when the mind becomes absolutely still, not compelled, then in that state truth can come into being. That state is creation and creation is not for the few or the talent of the few or the gift of the few, but that state can be discovered by each one who gives his mind and heart to search out the problem.

Though a little long, Krishnamurti’s words clearly give an insight beyond that of the immediate problem of education and teaching creativeness. He takes a little peep into the minds of the people around him, and delivers what will be guiding people to learn creativeness and the meaning of creativeness for decades on end.

Photo by Flickr User Pedro Ribeiro Simoes


J Krishnamurti: Ninth Talk in Bombay, March 1948

Categories: Creative

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