In English there is a problem because the same word is used for both – and they are totally different. In Sanskrit, and in all Eastern languages, we have different names for each: intellect is called bodhi, the faculty of knowledge; and intelligence is called pragya, the faculty of knowing, not knowledge.
Knowledge is always dead; it is information. And all our educational systems are doing with students exactly what we are doing with computers – feeding them with more and more information. But no computer can answer a question for which it has not been already prepared. Intellect can only answer that which it already knows; it is stale, it is of yesterday.
Intelligence is a response to a new situation, not out of your past memories but from your present awareness, this very moment. You don’t function as a computer, you don’t search for the answer in your memory storage; rather you simply open your consciousness to the situation and allow the spontaneous response.
In other words, intelligence is spontaneous responsibility.
The word responsibility has also been misunderstood. It has to be broken in two; otherwise, by and by, it loses its original meaning. It has become almost equivalent to duty. The reality is different. Break the word responsibility in two, then it becomes ability to respond or response-ability. Intelligence is response ability – and that is bound to be spontaneous. The response is going to surprise even you, because it is so new – you are not repeating anything from the past.
There has been a perennial conflict between intelligence and intellect. The man of intellect thinks that he is intelligent because he knows so much. He has accumulated a great heritage of knowledge, he is burdened with all kinds of information. The man of intelligence is innocent; he functions moment to moment, his functioning has a freshness and a beauty. But to find intelligence one has to go beyond the mind. Meditation is the way.
The problem with Ta Hui is the problem with all intellectuals of the world. They cannot think – they would not like to think – that there is something higher and superior to intellect.
It is not a coincidence that he calls Gautam Buddha ‘Old Yellow Face’; it is an unconscious, sarcastic remark. And it is not only in this passage; in another place he says something even worse than ‘Old Yellow Face’. He may not be aware…this is utterly disrespectful, but the intellectual is always disrespectful towards the man of intelligence. He feels deep down a certain inferiority complex and he takes revenge in many ways.
The intellectual tries to imitate the man of intelligence, the man of wisdom, the man of enlightenment – and he is capable, he is articulate. He has more capacity as far as language and words are concerned. He may be a better speaker, a better writer, a better orator. He can manage to deceive the world very easily just by repeating whatever the enlightened people have said.