Please could you tell me the difference between innocence and stupidity?
Innocence is the ultimate flowering of your consciousness. Even a child is not innocent; he is simply ignorant. He does not know, but he is not aware that he knows not. The child most probably will become stupid, because the society needs stupid people, the religions need stupid people, the politicians need stupid people. All vested interests need the masses to remain stupid. Their stupidity is the opportunity for all vested interests to exploit them.
It is very rare that somebody rebels against religions, politics, social structure, and tries to retain his individuality; chooses ignorance rather than to be knowledgeable, because ignorance at least is natural. In being knowledgeable you have gone far away from your nature.
The person who rebels against all these vested interests and discovers that he knows nothing, that he only knows one thing, that he knows nothing – he is the innocent man.
When Bodhidharma was asked by Emperor Wu of China, “Who are you?,” Bodhidharma said, “I do not know.” It was not ignorance. Bodhidharma is one of those few people who have come to innocence.
Socrates’ last statement is, “I know only that I know nothing.”
Stupidity is common. It comes in all sizes, all shapes: Christian stupidity, Hindu stupidity, Mohammedan stupidity, Buddhist stupidity, communist stupidity. One thing about stupidity: it never looks inwards. It can see outside – for example, a Hindu can see that Jesus cannot be enlightened, for the simple reason that he drinks wine and moves with prostitutes. It is impossible for Hindu stupidity to recognize Jesus as enlightened. The Christian cannot see Krishna as enlightened. He had sixteen thousand wives, all forcibly taken from their husbands, from their children – and the man is the perfect incarnation of God! It is difficult for the Christian to see how Krishna can be the incarnation of God. He forces Arjuna to go to war, convinces him – against his will – to go into a war which is known in India as the Great War, which destroyed India forever. It broke India’s spine; since then India has never been able to reach any heights. It was available to all kinds of invaders, easily available to become enslaved. The whole responsibility goes to Krishna.
Now, a Christian who believes, “Love your enemy, love even your neighbor”…I am always wondering why Jesus has not said, “Love your wife too, love your husband too” – because the enemy is far away, to love the enemy is easy. To love the neighbor is more difficult, and to love the wife or the husband is almost impossible.