Collected from talks Krishnamurti gave to his students in India, Life Ahead offers short chapters based around life's fundamental questions. It includes a wonderful introduction written by Krishnamurti especially for the book. This book is not just for students, and it is not just about education. It is, as the title states - On Learning and the Search for Meaning.
Publisher: New World Library
Author: J. Krishnamurti
From the book:
Most of us do not really listen. We are distracted by external noises, or we have some prejudice, some bias which gives a twist to the mind, and this prevents us from really listening to what is being said. This is especially so with older people, because they have a long series of achievements and failures behind them; they are somebodies or nobodies in the world, and it is very difficult to penetrate the layers of their formulations, their preconceptions. Their imagination, their conditioning, their sense of achievement will not allow that which is being said to penetrate. But if we know how to listen to what is being said, if we can listen to it without any barrier, without any interpretation, just listen as we would to the song of a bird in the morning, then listening is an extraordinary thing, especially when something true is being said. We may not like it, we may instinctively resist it; but if we can really listen, we will see the truth of it. So real listening unburdens the mind, it clears away the dross of many years of failure, of success, of longing.
You know what propaganda is, don't you? It is to propagate, to sow or constantly repeat an idea. That is how the propagandist, the politician, the religious leader imprints on your mind what he wants you to believe. There is a listening involved in this process also. Such people constantly repeat what you should do, what books you should read, whom you should follow, which ideas are right and which are wrong; and this constant repetition leaves a mark on your mind. Even if you do not consciously listen, it is making an imprint, and that is the purpose of propaganda. But you see, propaganda is merely vested interest, it does not bring that truth which you immediately understand when you are really listening, when you are paying attention without effort.