Ordinarily the philosopher tries to convince you of what he means. He tries to prevent you going astray from his meaning, and he gives you the whole package with all the details. But he leaves nothing for you, no homework for you. He is not helping your intelligence; he is, in fact, destroying you. When you start living on liquid food, soon you will be incapable of digesting solid food. The liquid food will destroy your capacity to digest the solid food.
But Bertrand Russell didn’t say to Wittgenstein, “You are too young” – no. And that should be the attitude of a genuine thinker.
Education has brought in a new methodology. Within days you can read, just sitting in a library, in a university, all that took Pythagoras his whole life to collect; and it is all available to you. So when a boy comes home from the university…trouble has arisen in the world. In the past it was always the father who was right, the grandfather was even more right. Now it is not so; it is now the young man who is right, because even if the father had been to university, that was thirty years before, and in thirty years so much has changed.
When I entered the university to study psychology, my professor was an old man, well-studied, but all that he knew and had studied was half-a-century old. Those names that he used to quote had been completely forgotten in the world of psychology. Who bothers about Woodworth? And when I told him, “Woodworth? Are you mad or something? It was perfectly okay before the first world war, but two world wars have happened. Have you been asleep or what? – Woodworth is no longer any authority.” But when my professor was at university Woodworth was the authority. I told him, “You should read Assagioli.”
He said, “Assagioli? Who is this fellow?”
I said, “If you don’t know Assagioli, resign! – because psychology has passed from Freud to Adler, to Jung, to Reich; it has come to Assagioli. Assagioli preaches psychosynthesis; Freud was teaching psychoanalysis, it is just the opposite.” And I told him, “When I came to study psychology, I did not come here to study some rotten old stuff which is no longer relevant. You died with Woodworth! What are you doing here? You don’t know the name of Assagioli? – and if you don’t know about psychosynthesis you are out of date.”
I told him, “You remind me of a madman who lives in front of my house. He comes every day to me, early in the morning when I am just taking tea, for the newspaper. I go on giving him any newspaper – one month old, two months old – and he takes it joyously and reads it happily. He never bothers about the date.
“I asked the madman, ‘You are so interested in newspapers, but one thing is strange about it: you don’t bother about dates.’ The madman said, ‘I am interested in news – when it happened, who cares? And what does it matter that it happened last year or two years before? It happened, that is enough, and I enjoy it.’”
I told this old professor, “I will come to your house and sort out all the old stuff you are reading.”
He said, “No, you should not come to my house, because you will throw everything away. The way you are talking…. I was really thinking about my reading room, because you will throw away all my books; they all belong to my student days.”