Chapter 13: The New Man: Intellect in Harmony with the Heart
In India a dowry is given when you marry somebody’s daughter. It is not just that you marry the daughter: your father-in-law has to give you, if he is very rich, a car, a bungalow; if not very rich then at least a scooter; if not that, then at least a bicycle. But he has to give something or other - a radio, a transistor set, a television - and some cash. If he is really rich then he gives you an opportunity to go abroad, to study, to become a more educated person, a doctor, an engineer - and he will pay for it.
This beggar’s daughter had got married and as her dowry the young man had been given the whole university. He said, “From today this street and this university belong to me. And my father-in-law has shown me who my clients are.”
I saw the old man in the marketplace so I said to him, “Great! You have done well in giving a dowry.”
“Yes,” he said, “I had only one daughter and I wanted to do something for my son-in-law. I have given him the best place to beg. Now I am here trying again to arrange my monopoly in the market. It is a very tough job here because there are so many beggars, senior ones who have already taken possession of clients. But there is nothing to be worried about. I will manage; I will throw out a few beggars from here” - and certainly he did.
So when the forest was on fire those two beggars thought for a moment. They were enemies, not even on speaking terms, but this was an emergency. The blind man said to the man who had no legs, “Now the only way to escape is that you sit on my shoulders; use my legs and I will use your eyes. That’s the only way we can save ourselves.”
It was immediately understood. There was no problem. The man without legs could not get out; it was impossible for him to cross the forest - it was all on fire. He would have moved a little bit but that would not help: an exit, and a very quick exit, was needed. The blind man also was certain that he could not get out. He did not know where the fire was, where the road was, and where the trees were burning, and where they were not: a blind man, he would get lost. But both were intelligent people; they dropped their enmity, became friends and saved their lives.
This is an Eastern fable. And this is about your intellect and your heart. It has nothing to do with beggars, it has something to do with you. It has nothing to do with the forest on fire, it has something to do with you - because you are on fire. Each moment you are burning, suffering, in misery, anguish. Alone your intellect is blind. It has legs, it can run fast, it can move fast, but because it is blind it cannot choose the right direction in which to go. And it is bound to be continually stumbling, falling, hurting itself and feeling life meaningless. That’s what the intellectuals of the whole world are saying: “Life is meaningless.”
The reason why life seems to them meaningless is that the blind intellect is trying to see the light. It is impossible.
There is a heart within you which sees, which feels, but which has no legs; it cannot run.
It remains where it is, beating, waiting: someday intellect will understand and will be able to use the heart’s eyes.