Question: Are you preaching individualism?
Krishnamurti: I am afraid the questioner has not quite understood what I have said. I am not advocating individualism at all. Unfortunately, the vast majority have hardly an opportunity for individual expression; they may think they are acting voluntarily, freely; but sadly they are merely machines, functioning in a particular groove under the compulsion of circumstances and environment. So how can there be individual fulfillment, which is the highest form of intelligence? What we call individual expression, in the case of the vast majority of people, is nothing but a reaction in which there is very little intelligence.
But there is a different kind of individuality, that of uniqueness, which is the result of voluntary and comprehending action. That is, if one understands environment and acts with discerning intelligence, then there is true individuality. This uniqueness is not separative, for it is intelligence itself.
Intelligence is alone, unique. But if you merely act through the compulsion of circumstances, then, though you may think you are an individual, your actions are but reaction in which there is no true intelligence. Because the present individual is merely a reaction in which there can be no intelligence, there is chaos in the world, each individual seeking his own security and thoughtless fulfillment.
Intelligence is unique; it cannot be divided as yours and mine. It is only the absence of intelligence that can be separated into units as yours and mine, and this is the ugliness of distinction out of which is come exploitation, cruelty and sorrow.
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
3rd Public Talk 4th May, 1935