Questioner: By merely insisting on individual fulfilment are you not putting aside the social question? How can the individual who is ever in relation with society, be the only important factor? Why do you emphasize the individual?
Krishnamurti: Without the individual, society cannot exist; this social entity is not independent of the individual. Society is the relationship of one individual with another. Society is personal but it has become an independent machine with a life of its own which merely uses the individual. Society has become merely an institution which controls and dominates the individual through opinion, moral laws, vested interests, and so on. As institutions are never important but only the individual, we must consider his fulfilment, which cannot be brought about by mere change of environment, however drastic the change may be. The mere alteration of the superficial will not bring about the deep fulfilment of man, but only mechanical reactions. This division as the individual and the environment is mechanical and false; when fundamentally each one understands this to be so, then the individual will act integrally, not as an individual nor as merely the mechanical product of a society, but as an integrate human being.
5th Public Talk 12th August, 1938