Buddha defines wisdom as living in the light of your own consciousness, and foolishness as following others, imitating others, becoming a shadow to somebody else.
The real master creates masters, not followers. The real master throws you back to yourself. His whole effort is to make you independent of him, because you have been dependent for centuries, and it has not led you anywhere. You still continue to stumble in the dark night of the soul.
Only your inner light can become the sunrise. The false master persuades you to follow him, to imitate him, to be just a carbon copy of him. The real master will not allow you to be a carbon copy, he wants you to be the original. He loves you! How can he make you imitative? He has compassion for you, he would like you to be utterly free – free from all outer dependencies.
But the ordinary human being does not want to be free. He wants to be dependent. He wants somebody else to guide him. Why? – because then he can throw the whole responsibility on the shoulders of somebody else. And the more responsibility you throw away onto somebody else’s shoulders, the less is the possibility of your ever becoming intelligent. It is responsibility, the challenge of responsibility, that creates wisdom.
One has to accept life with all its problems. One has to go through life unprotected; one has to seek and search one’s way. Life is an opportunity, a challenge, to find yourself. But the fool does not want to go the hard way, the fool chooses the shortcut. He says to himself, “Buddha has attained – why should I bother? I will just watch his behavior and imitate. Jesus has attained, so why should I search and seek? I can simply become a shadow to Jesus. I can simply go on following him wherever he goes.”
But following somebody else, how are you going to become intelligent? You will not give any chance for your intelligence to explode. It needs a challenging life, an adventurous life, a life that knows how to risk and how to go into the unknown, for intelligence to arise. And only intelligence can save you – nobody else – your own intelligence, mind you, your own awareness, can become your nirvana.
Be a light unto yourself and you will be wise; let others become your leaders, your guides, and you will remain stupid, and you will go on missing all the treasures of life – which were yours! And how can you decide that the other’s character is a right character for you to follow?
A Buddha lives in his own way, a Mahavira in his, a Jesus still different. A Mohammed is Mohammed, he is not Mahavira. Whom are you going to follow? Just by the accidents of birth you are going to decide your life, your destiny? Then you will remain accidental. And the fool IS accidental. The wise man never lives by accidents. He does not become a Hindu because he is born in a Hindu family; he does not become a Christian because his parents are Christian; he does not become a communist because he is born in Russia. He seeks, he inquires.