Marx said, “Now I can explain to you, you are an intelligent man. My wife cannot understand higher economics. I was smoking up to now a brand which was costly. Now this is a cheaper brand; with each cigarette so much money is saved. The natural consequence is: the more you smoke, the more money is saved.”
This is sheer stupidity. He may have been a great economist, but that is only scholarship, computer scholarship. As far as his own experience is concerned, he is behaving stupidly. So stupidity can become very knowledgeable. That does not mean that it has disappeared; you have simply covered it up.
Innocence is not knowledgeable. Innocence simply means a clean clarity, insight with no preconceived ideas, knowledge. Innocence simply means just to be a mirror, which is empty but able to reflect anything that comes before it. Innocence is the greatest achievement. Only a very few people have been able to become innocent.
It is said, when a person becomes so innocent, he is just like a child. Remember the words “like a child.” He is not a child. There is a certain similarity. The child is ignorant, without knowledge, a clean slate, a tabula rasa – but he will soon gather knowledge, because he is ignorant and it hurts to remain ignorant.
The innocent man is also a tabula rasa, but he will never again accumulate knowledge. It has already been too hard to drop it. It has been too hard to get rid of the mind and its accumulations.
The child is bound to get lost in the world of knowledge. Socrates or Bodhidharma are not corruptible; nobody can corrupt them. They have passed through all the dark stages of corruption, and they have survived. Now their state is of pure silence. They know nothing as far as knowledgeability is concerned.
Socrates makes a beautiful distinction; it is worth remembering. He says, “There is knowledge which is ignorant, and there is ignorance which knows.” It looks contradictory, what he is saying: knowledge which is ignorant, and ignorance which knows. He is talking about innocence.
Innocence has no claim to knowledgeability, but it is open, available, capable of responding spontaneously, just like a mirror reflecting. It is tremendous freedom, and tremendous individuation.
Now you can commune with the flowers, with the mountains, with the clouds. You are so innocent that there is even a possibility of communion with existence.
Knowledge is a barrier.
I used to have a very famous man once in a while as my guest, Mahatma Bhagwandin. He was the only one, other than Mahatma Gandhi, who was known as “mahatma”; only two persons in India were known as “mahatma.” Mahatma means the great soul, the great saint.
Whenever he was my guest, I used to take him for a morning walk. And he was so full of knowledge about everything – he was an old man – he knew the name of every flower, its uses, what diseases it can help cure; he knew all the different trees and their uses.