Chapter 25: The Buddhafield Remains
One Sunday morning he took his family for a picnic. They had to cross a small river. The wife said, “Take the children on your shoulders” - they had four children. “Two I will take, two you take.”
He said, “Wait. I am a mathematician, and no ordinary mathematician. Let me first see the average height of the children and the average depth of the river.”
Naturally, the river somewhere was very shallow, somewhere very deep. The bigger children were taller, the smaller children were shorter. But the average.he figured it out on the sand with his finger and found that the average height of the children was enough that the average depth of the river could not drown them.
The wife insisted, “You keep your average: I don’t understand mathematics, I can only see that there is danger.”
He said, “Don’t be afraid. You just follow me.” And then the children started drowning, because the average is just a pure mathematical concept. It does not exist, it is not found in reality.
And when the wife shouted, “The children are drowning!” do you know what he did? He did not go to save the children, he rushed back to the bank. He said, “Then there must have been some mistake in my calculations; otherwise, how is it possible? Their average height is greater than the average depth of the river.” This is stupidity. The man is a great mathematician, but if you put his mathematics aside, he is simply retarded.
The second example I give you is about Karl Marx. He was a chain-smoker, and one day he found a cheaper brand of cigarette. He was an economist, and certainly one of the great economists of the world. And if you think of his influence, he is the greatest economist because he has influenced more than half the world. Communism is his philosophy, his economic theory.
Seeing the cheaper brand, he purchased as many boxes as he could carry home. When the wife saw him carrying so many boxes of cigarettes, she said, “What are you doing? Doctors are saying to you, ‘Stop smoking!’ Your friends are saying to you, ‘Stop smoking!’”
And Karl Marx with a big smile said, “You don’t know - I have found a way. Now there is no need to be worried about earning money. If I smoke one cigarette, so much money is saved in comparison to the older brand; the more I smoke, the more money is saved. So now I am not going to do anything except smoke, because you have always been asking me for money, money, money. Now have as much money as you want!”
The wife could not understand how the money could be saved by smoking. But this is an economic theory, it does not correspond to reality. She had to inform his closest friend, Friedrich Engels, “He has gone mad. In his room he is sitting and smoking continuously - to save money!”
Engels came, and he asked, “What is the matter?”