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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 4
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Chapter 2: Via Transcendence

The first question:

Can intellectual activity be creative?

Intellect is something pseudo, something false. It is a substitute for intelligence. Intelligence is a totally different phenomenon - the real thing.

Intelligence needs tremendous courage, intelligence needs an adventurous life. Intelligence needs that you are always going into the unknown, into the uncharted sea. Then intelligence grows, it becomes sharpened. It grows only when it encounters the unknown every moment. People are afraid of the unknown, people feel insecure with the unknown. They don’t want to go beyond the familiar. Hence they have created a false, plastic substitute for intelligence - they call it intellect.

Intellect is only a mental game; it cannot be creative. Intellect is imaginative, but not creative. Intelligence is creative. Intelligence creates because intelligence makes you capable of participating with God. God is the source of all creativity. You can be creative only when you are en rapport with God, when you are rooted in the very existence, when you are part of divine energy. You cannot be creative on your own; you can be creative only as a medium of God.

When the poet creates he is only a medium, a hollow bamboo on the lips of God. And suddenly the hollow bamboo is no longer a hollow bamboo - it becomes a flute. The emptiness of the bamboo becomes full of song, dance, celebration.

Creativity means you have to disappear, you have to allow God to be, you have to get out of the way. Intellect is egoistic; intelligence is humble, egoless. The difference is subtle; because both the words come from the same root, hence one can easily be deceived. Beware, be alert! Intellect is not intelligence. Intelligence is creative, intellect is only a pretender. In the name of creativity it goes on producing rubbish.

You can go and look in the universities and see what kind of creative work goes on there. Thousands of treatises are being written; PhD’s, DPhil’s, DLitt’s, great degrees are conferred on people. Nobody ever comes to know what happens to their PhD theses; they go on becoming rubbish heaps in the libraries. Nobody ever reads them, nobody is ever inspired by them. Yes, a few people read them; they are the same type of people who are going to write another thesis. The would-be PhD’s will be of course reading them.

But your universities don’t create Shakespeares, Miltons, Dostoevskys, Tolstoys, Rabindranaths, Kahlil Gibrans. Your universities create just junk, utterly useless. This is intellectual activity that goes on in the universities. Intelligence creates a Picasso, a Van Gogh, a Mozart, a Beethoven.

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