The way of the fool has to be understood because only if you understand it you can go beyond it. The fool also has a way of life. His way of life is the way of the crowd. Whatsoever others say, he repeats. The way others live, he imitates. He is always looking around for clues how to be, how to behave, what is right, what is wrong. He has no insight into anything. He depends on commandments from others. For thousands of years he goes on following commandments that were given in different situations, to a different kind of people, for different purposes, but he goes on following.
He is never spontaneous; that is the first thing to be remembered about the fool. He is repetitive: he repeats the past, but he is never spontaneous. He is never responsible – he never responds to the situation. He has ready-made answers. He never listens to the question; he is not concerned with the question at all. The question simply triggers in him a process of memory, and a ready-made answer comes up. He is like a computer.
To be responsible means to be aware. Unless you are aware you will not be able to see the situation that is confronting you. And the situation is changing every moment, it is never the same – not even for two consecutive moments is it the same. Hence one has to be very aware, then only can one respond to reality. And to respond to reality is to commune with God.
The fool knows nothing of God; he never comes across anything divine. He remains part of the stupid collectivity. Remember, the society, the collective has no soul; the soul belongs to the individual. Hence, those who belong to the collective are destroying every possibility of being souls.
George Gurdjieff used to say that it is very rare to find a person who has a soul – and he was right. To have a soul means to have awareness, to have individuality, to have freedom, to be able to respond – and to be able to respond on your own accord, not following dictums from others, directions from others.
The fool is never spontaneous; that is the first thing to be understood about the fool. If you become spontaneous you start becoming intelligent. The fool never learns; he is very stubborn about learning. He thinks he already knows.
The fool is not necessarily the ignorant person, mind you. The fool may be a great scholar; the fool may be a famous pundit; the fool may be a well-known professor; the fool may have a PhD, a DLitt. In fact, who else bothers about PhD’s? The fool can be very well-informed, but that makes no difference to his foolishness.
Information does not transform you. Transformation is a totally different phenomenon than information. Transformation comes through awareness, through being open: open to life, open to people, open to everything possible. The fool lives in a closed world; he is dumb and deaf.
That’s exactly the meaning of the English word idiot: closed. He lives in his own private world. He knows nothing of the reality. He lives in his own dreams – and he thinks that’s what reality is. He lives in beliefs. He lives what tradition, what convention has taught him – whatsoever he has been conditioned for.