Chapter 6: I Exalt the Ordinary
The first question:
I have got all the degrees that a university can offer. Why am I still ignorant?
Knowledge has no capacity to dispel ignorance. Knowledge is a false phenomenon; it is not wisdom at all, it is just the opposite of wisdom.
Knowledge is borrowed, wisdom is the flowering of your innermost being. You can borrow a plastic flower, but if you want real roses then you will have to grow them in your innermost being. No university can offer it, no scripture can offer it, no scholarship is capable of doing it. They are all impotent efforts, but they have been deceiving millions of people for thousands of years. Yes, they can make you knowledgeable. To be knowledgeable is one thing, and to know is totally different.
A blind man can be knowledgeable about light, but he knows nothing of light, he has not experienced it. He can collect all kinds of information about light, he can argue, philosophize, systematize, he can write great treatises on light, but he has not tasted the joy of light, he has not seen even a single ray of light. He has not seen a rainbow, the colors of the flowers, the wings of a butterfly. He has not seen the green trees, he has not seen the stars, the sun, the moon. He has missed all that. And what he has accumulated is simply rubbish.
It is better to be ignorant and have eyes than to be very knowledgeable about light and be blind.
But the universities exist specifically for that purpose. No society wants you to become wise: it is against the investment of all societies. If people are wise they cannot be exploited. If they are intelligent they cannot be subjugated, they cannot be forced into a mechanical life, to live like robots. They will assert themselves - they will assert their individuality. They will have the fragrance of rebellion around them; they will want to live in freedom.
Freedom comes with wisdom, intrinsically - they are inseparable - and no society wants people to be free. The communist society, the fascist society, the capitalist society, the Hindu, the Mohammedan, the Christian - no society likes people to use their own intelligence because the moment they start using their intelligence they become dangerous, dangerous to the establishment, dangerous to the people who are in power, dangerous to the “haves”; dangerous to all kinds of oppression, exploitation, suppression; dangerous to the churches, dangerous to the states, dangerous to the nations.