In a Catholic country he will be a Catholic. In a communist country he will be a communist – the same person; there is no difference at all. Whether he quotes from the Bible or from Das Kapital, it is all the same: he quotes mechanically. He cannot understand because he is not ready to learn.
He remains utterly closed. He is afraid of opening his windows, his doors. He is afraid to be open to the wind, to the sun, to the rain, because who knows? – if he opens to life, his ready-made answers may not be adequate. He is very much afraid to lose his ready-made answers; he depends on them. They may be right or wrong, that is not important for him. As long as he believes they are right, they are right for him.
Hence the second characteristic of the foolish man: he is dumb and deaf. He is unlearning. He never listens. He may be able to hear, but he is not able to listen. Hearing is a physiological phenomenon; listening is something deeper. You hear through the ears; when your heart is also joined with your ears, listening happens. And the fool’s heart is never joined with his ears. He is not able to see; he goes on seeing whatsoever HE wants to see. He never allows the reality to be reflected in him; he is incapable of reflection. He is not a mirror.
After a day at the seaside, a bus full of deaf and dumb people stopped at a country pub. The bus driver went in to explain to the barman: “You see those people over there? They are all deaf and dumb. They have a special sign language. Two fingers means a pint of bitter. Three fingers means a lager; four, a light ale; five, a Guinness; a shake of the head, a whisky; a nod to the left, a brandy; and a nod to the right, a vodka.”
The barman, having taken in all this information, agreed he could handle the situation.
Things went well for the first hour or so, and then the barman noticed three of the party standing at the bar, opening and shutting their mouths. He tried to figure out what they wanted, then gave up and forgot all about them.
But ten minutes later, a dozen of the deaf and dumb people were at the bar, opening and shutting their mouths like goldfish in a bowl. He started to feel a bit uneasy and pretended not to notice. But soon the whole crowd from the bus was at the bar, all of them opening and shutting their mouths.
Not knowing what to do, he rushed outside, ran over to where the bus was parked and hammered on the window.
“Hey, what’s up?” asked the driver.
“Well, you know all those people in there? Well, it was okay for the first hour or so – three fingers, two fingers, shake of the head, nod to the left – but now the whole crowd of them is up at the bar, all opening and shutting their mouths!”
“Ah, no,” said the driver, “they are not singing again! Now we will never get them home!”