The Individual and the Ideal Life

A continuation of Krishnamurti’s views on individual freedom, here we cover the topics of the individuality and collective thought.

Exerpts from J Krishnamurti


The individual is essentially the collective, and society is the creation of the individual. If the individual does not understand his relationship to people, to property and to ideas or beliefs, merely to impose upon him a collective or any other pattern only defeats its own end.

But unfortunately that is where we are, what we think is our choice is but a reflection of the world around us (italics mine)

To bring about the imposition of a new pattern will require so called collective action, but the new pattern is the invention of a few individuals, and the mass is mesmerized by the latest slogans, promises of a new utopia. The collective is the same as before only now it has new ruler, new phrases, new priests and new doctrines. The collective is composed of you and me, its composed of individuals; the collective is fictitious, it is a convenient term for the exploitera and the politician to play with.

The individual is the maker of the very environment (the collective) to which he becomes a slave, but he also has the power to break away from his conditioning and create an environment that will not dull his mind or spirit.

The individual is important only in the sense that he has the capacity to free himself from his conditioning and understand reality.


The ideal that we pursue in our lives, is what has been impressed upon us, the conditioned entity, based upon what we ought to be. But is this ideal and its pursuit infact the actual? the truth?

Krishnamurti would disagree.

The pursuit of the ideal, actions we perform in search for a reward, a gratifying compensatoin, a utopia, is but a pleasurable postponement of the actual, the what is. The ideal helps us cover up and avoid what is the actual, the individual.

The understanding of the actual is only possible when the ideal is erased from the mind and you begin to understand your own mind. The process of the mind can be understood from the process of memory. The mind is the past in response to the present, which makes the future. To understand your mind is to be aware of its desires and fears.

The “only” beginning to understanding the mind: relationship. Relationship is life, to be is to be related. Only in the mirror of relationship is the mind to be understood and you have to begin to see yourself in that mirror. Without beginning to understanding yourself, whatever you do will inevitable bring about confusion and sorrow. The beginning is the ending.

Interviewer: ” I have spent many years going from teacher to teacher and each pointed out a differnent way. At last he wearily returned to his home, and in his own house was the jewel. I see how foolish we are searching the universe for that bliss which is to be found only in our own hearts when the mind is purged of its activities. I begin where I started, I begin with what I am.”

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