ARE SOME PEOPLE MORE STUPID THAN OTHERS?
Mind is stupid. Unless you go beyond mind you don’t go beyond stupidity; mind, as such, is stupid.
And minds are of two types: knowledgeable and not knowledgeable. But both are stupid. The knowledgeable mind is thought to be intelligent. It is not. The less knowledgeable mind is thought to be stupid, but both are stupid.
In your stupidity you can know much — you can gather much information; you can carry loads of scripture with you; you can train the mind, condition the mind; you can memorize; you can almost become an ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA — but that doesn’t make any difference in your stupidity. In fact if you come across a man who has no longer any mind, your stupidity will be more than the stupidity of those who have no information, who are simply ignorant. To know more is not to become knowing, and to know less is not to be stupid.
Stupidity is a sort of sleep, a deep unawareness. You go on doing things not knowing why. You go on being involved in a thousand and one situations not knowing why. You move through life fast asleep. That sleepiness is stupidity. Being identified with the mind is stupidity. If you remember, if you become aware and the identity is lost with the mind, if you are no longer mind, if you feel a transcendence to the mind; intelligence arises. Intelligence is a sort of awakening. Asleep, you are stupid. Awake, stupidity has disappeared: for the first time, intelligence enters in.
It is possible to know much without knowing yourself; then it is all stupidity. Just the reverse is also possible: to know oneself — and without knowing anything else. But to know oneself is enough to be intelligent; and a man who knows himself will behave intelligently in any and every situation. He will respond intelligently. His response will not be a reaction; he will not act out of the past. He will act in the present; he will be here-now.
Stupid mind always acts out of the past. Intelligence need not be concerned with the past. Intelligence is always in the present: I ask you a question — your intelligence answers it, not your memory. Then you are not stupid. But if only the memory answers it, not intelligence — then you don’t look at the question. In fact you don’t bother about the question; you simply carry a ready-made answer.
It is related about Mulla Nasrudin that the emperor was going to visit his town. The villagers were very much afraid to face the emperor, so they all asked Nasrudin, “Please, represent us. We are foolish people, ignorant. You are the only wise one here, so please tackle the situation because we don’t know the ways of the court, and the emperor is coming for the first time.”
Nasrudin said, “Of course. I have seen many emperors and I have visited many courts. Don’t be worried.”
But the people of the court were themselves worried about the village, so they came just to prepare the whole situation. When they asked who is going to represent them, the villagers said, “Mulla Nasrudin is going to represent us. He is our leader, our guide, our philosopher.”
So they trained Mulla Nasrudin, saying, “You need not be worried too much. The king is going to ask only three questions. The first question will be about your age. How old are you?”
Nasrudin said, “Seventy.”
“So remember it. Don’t be dazzled too much by the emperor and the court. When he asks how old you are, say, ‘Seventy’ — not a single word more nor less; otherwise you can be in difficulty. Then he will ask how long you have been serving in the village mosque, how long you have been a religious teacher here. So exactly tell the years. How long have you been serving?”
He said, “For thirty years.”
Questions like this. Then the emperor came. The people who had trained Nasrudin, they had trained the emperor also, saying, “The people of this village are very simple, and their leader looks a little stupid, so please, be kind and don’t ask anything else. These are the questions….”
But the king forgot. So before asking, “How old are you?” he asked, “How long have you been the spiritual guide of this town?”
Now, Nasrudin had fixed answers. He said, “Seventy years.”
The king looked a little puzzled because the man looks not more than seventy, so has he been a religious teacher from his very birth? Then he said, “I am surprised. Then how old are you?”
Nasrudin said, “Thirty years.” Because this was the fixed thing: that first he has to say “seventy years,” then he has to say “thirty years.”
The king said, “Are you mad?”
Nasrudin said, “Sir, we both are mad — in our own ways! You are asking wrong questions — and I have to answer right answers! This is the problem. I cannot change, because those people are here, those who have trained me. They are looking at me. I cannot change, and you are asking wrong questions. We both are mad in our own ways. I am forced to answer the right answer — that is my madness. Had there been no ready-made answers I would have answered you rightly, but now there is trouble. And you are asking a wrong question, in a wrong sequence.”
This happens to the stupid mind. Continuously, watch in yourself: the Mulla Nasrudin is part of you. Whenever you answer a question because you have a ready-made answer, you are behaving stupidly. The situation may have changed, the reference may have changed, the context may have changed — and you are acting out of the past.
Act out of the present. Act out of unpreparedness. Act out of the present’s awareness; don’t act out of the past. Then you are not stupid.
Now you can understand why I say mind is stupid: because mind is only past. Mind is accumulated past, all that you have known in the past. Life is continuously changing. The mind remains the same — it carries dead memories, dead information. The context changing every moment, the question changing every moment, the emperor changing every moment — and you carry fixed answers. You will always be in trouble. A stupid mind is always in trouble, suffers. For nothing. Only for this reason: that he is too ready, too prepared.
Every moment remain unprepared. Then you remain innocent. Then you are not carrying something. Whenever you have a ready-made answer you don’t listen to the question exactly as it is. Before you have listened to the question, the answer has already popped up in the mind; the answer is already standing between you and the question. Before you have looked around and watched the situation, you are already reacting.
Mind is the past, mind is the memory — -that’s why mind is stupid, all minds. You may be a villager, not knowing much about the world. You may be a professor in the University of Poona, knowing much. That doesn’t make any difference. In fact sometimes it happens that villagers are more intelligent — because they know nothing. They have to rely on intelligence. They cannot rely on their information, they have none. If you are alert you can see the quality of innocence in a villager. He is like a child.
Children are more intelligent than adults, more intelligent than old people. That’s why children can learn so easily. They are more intelligent. The mind is not yet there. They are mindless. They don’t carry any past; they have none. They are moving, wondering, surprised at everything. They always look to the situation. In fact they have nothing else to look to — no ready-made answers. Sometimes children answer in such a beautiful and alive way as old people cannot. Old people always have the mind there to answer for them. They have a servant, a mechanism, a biocomputer; and they rely on it. The more you become old, the more you become stupid.
Of course, old people think they have become very wise, because they know many answers. If this is wisdom then computers will be the most wise people. Then there is no need for you to think about Buddha and Jesus and Zarathustra, no. Computers will be wiser because they will know more. They can know all; they can be fed every information. And they will function better because they are mechanisms.
No, wisdom is not concerned at all with knowledge. It is concerned with awareness, intelligence, understanding. Be more alert. Then you are not in the grip of the mind. Then you can use the mind whenever needed but you are not used by the mind. Then the mind is no longer the master — you are the master and the mind is the servant. Whenever you need the servant you ask, but you are not ruled by, you are not manipulated by, the mind.
The ordinary situation of mind is such as if the car is manipulating the driver. The car says, “Go this way,” and the driver has to follow. Sometimes it happens: brakes fail, the wheel is not functioning well, you wanted to go to the south and the car moves to the north. The mechanism has failed; it is an accident. But that accident has become normal with human mind. Continuously you want to go somewhere and the mind wants to go somewhere else. You wanted to go to the temple and the mind was thinking to go to the theater, and you find yourself in the theater. Maybe you had come out of your house to go to the temple to pray… you are sitting in a theater — because the car wanted to move that way and you are incapable.
Intelligence is a mastery — mastery of all the mechanisms within you. The body is a mechanism, the mind is a mechanism: you become the master. Nobody is manipulating you; the mind simply receives your orders. This is intelligence.
So if you ask, “Are some people more stupid than others?” — it depends. As I see, people are knowledgeable stupids, not-knowledgeable stupids. These are the ordinary two categories, because the third category is so unique you cannot make it a category. Rarely, sometimes, a Buddha happens: a Buddha is intelligent. But then he looks rebellious because he does not give your pat answers, fixed answers. He moves away from the superhighway; he has his own path. He makes his own path. Intelligence always follows itself. It does not follow anybody. Intelligence makes its own path. Only stupid people follow.
If you are here with me you can be here in two ways. You can be intelligently here with me: then you will learn from me, but you will not follow. You will follow your own intelligence. But if you are stupid you don’t bother about learning: you simply follow me. That looks simple, less risky, less dangerous, more secure, safe, because you can always throw the responsibility on me; but if you choose a secure safety-way, you have chosen death. You have not chosen life. Life is dangerous and risky. Intelligence will always choose life — at any cost, whatsoever the risk — because that’s the only way to be alive.
Intelligence is a quality of awareness. Intelligent people are not stupid.
Osho: Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 6