In fact, an intelligent person cannot be egoistic; it is impossible. If your intelligence cannot show you the simple thing that ego is a false phenomenon then you don’t have intelligence at all. But people love to brag about their knowledge.
In the inner world humbleness helps, simplicity helps. In the outer world these certificates and degrees are certainly of some use.
A distinguished man enters Harrod’s in London asks for a hippopotamus and insists that the animal should be delivered that same afternoon.
“You see,” he explains, “I terribly need this animal…if I don’t have it by this afternoon I’ll go crazy!”
Curious, the clerk asks, “And where should we put it?”
“In my bathtub,” replies the man.
Even more curious, the clerk exclaims, “You mean, sir, that you want a hippopotamus in your bathtub?”
“Yes! You see, it’s for my wife. Whenever I say something she invariably replies, ‘Yes, I know it already.’ And so tonight when she comes to me saying, ‘There’s a hippopotamus in the bathtub!’ I will finally be able to reply, ‘Yes, I know it already!’”
If you want that kind of stupid ego to be fulfilled, knowledge has a use; otherwise it is useless. But the outside knowledge has even corrupted religions. I can understand a scientist acquiring knowledge, because he cannot function without it. Science depends on tradition, remember. Religion does not depend on tradition, although people think just the reverse. They think religion depends on tradition and science is a rebellion against tradition. That is not so, not at all.
Science is traditional. Without Newton there would have been no Edison. Without Edison there would have been no Albert Einstein. That’s what I mean when I say science depends on tradition: it depends on the past, and you have to be well informed about the past, otherwise no work is possible in scientific inquiry. First you have to know whatsoever is known already, only then can you proceed to discover something which is not known. If you don’t know what is already known you may be trying to discover something which has been already discovered and you may come to know it only later on. Then all your effort has been a waste.