Chapter 10: Doubt Is a Sword
The first question:
When my children knew I was coming to see you, the only thing they wanted was for me to bring back some of your jokes. They told me that all the stuff between the jokes was good for grown-ups, but for them just the jokes. So could you tell us some jokes for Nathan, twelve years, Andrew, eleven years, Rosemary, ten years, and Benjamin, five years. They are such lovely intelligent people, but I have a soft spot for Benjamin because he is quite crazy - he wants to take sannyas! And my wife is also quite crazy, but the other way. She hides my red tailormade suits and threatens to cut off the sleeves if I wear them, and she hides your pictures. First the photograph falls down, then it is backside-up, then it is on a shelf, then she cannot remember where it is. So I wear pink shirts and meditate in your presence without your photograph. Perhaps you could tell her a story too.
Every child is intelligent, far more intelligent than the so-called grown-ups. The grown-ups are only “so-called” - it is very rare to come across a person who is really a grown-up person. The most fundamental quality in a really grown-up person will be that he still keeps the innocence of the child alive, the wondering eyes of the child, the inquiring heart of the child; the purity, the clarity of the child will remain intact in him. He has defeated the society. He has not allowed anybody to destroy his intelligence.
People only grow in age, they don’t grow up. Growing up is something vertical, growing in age is something horizontal. You remain on the same plane; just time passes by. And of course, time helps you to collect many experiences, knowledge, words and information, and you start thinking that you know. And that is the greatest calamity that can happen to any man: not knowing and believing that you know. It means now the doors for knowing are closed forever.
Socrates is a grown-up person. He said: “I know only one thing, that I know nothing.” His childhood is absolutely unpolluted. The time that has passed by has not been just dust gathering on the mirror. On the contrary, it has helped to sharpen his sword; it has not been like rust on the sword. Knowledge is rust: it destroys your intelligence and gives you poor substitutes - knowledge is a poor substitute for intelligence.
Remember, one can be very intellectual and yet unintelligent. The child is not intellectual. He does not know anything about the great philosophers, the great scriptures; he is not a scholar. He knows nothing! But out of that state of not-knowing he functions. Hence he is always full of wonder and awe; he looks at the world feeling that it is a mystery. The more you know, the more you destroy the mystery.