Theoretically, intellectually, he was right: you smoke one cigarette and you have saved the money of five cigarettes. But nothing is actually saved. His friend was called, and his doctor…and he wouldn’t listen to them. He said, “You don’t understand economics. It is absolutely rational and logical what I am doing.”
But the friend brought his servants together and said, “Take all the cigarettes out of the house – and what nonsense is this economics you are thinking about? You will burn your lungs!”
Karl Marx said, “In my whole life I have found only one thing by which I could have earned some money, but strange…my wife is against it, my friend is against it, my doctor is against it, the neighbors are against it – even my servants are against it! And nobody understands economics.”
He was intellectual, but not intelligent. Intelligence is a totally different affair.
It happened after the Russian revolution. What is now the city of Stalingrad was called Petrograd before the revolution. It was named after Peter the Great – Petrograd. Just in front of the palace there was a big rock, a very beautiful rock. Lenin, the chief architect of the Russian revolution, wanted to remove that rock because the rock was not allowing modern vehicles, cars, buses, to move on the road; they had to go around and take a longer route. It was perfectly okay when there were no cars, but that rock was not needed at all there in the middle of the road. The rock was very big; engineers were called, all kinds of suggestions were made about what should be done. A poor man with his bullock cart was standing there, looking and watching what was happening. Finally he laughed, and Lenin asked him, “Why are you laughing?”
He said, “I am a poor man; I don’t understand anything about what these great engineers are thinking. But it is a very simple matter…and they seem to be finding it almost impossible to remove it. There is no need to remove it. Just dig a hole around the rock; go on digging the hole and pulling out the mud. The rock will sit deeper in the hole and it won’t be a barrier. You need not be worried how to take it out; there is no need. It can just become part of the road – it is such a beautiful rock. But I am a poor farmer. I may be absolutely wrong, I don’t know. But this is how we work in our fields if some problem arises.”
Lenin has written in his diary, “That day I felt that to be intellectually trained is one thing, and to have intelligence is something else. That poor man had intelligence – no training, no education, but a simple insight.” And that’s what has been done. The rock is still there; it has just been sunk into the road.
Mind, at its best, can be a great intellectual, but it can never be a great intelligence. Intelligence needs freshness.