osho on intelligence

Question – What exactly is Intelligence, and what is the relation of the intelligence of the heart to the intelligence of the mind?
– Punita, intelligence is the inborn capacity to see, to perceive. Every child is born intelligent, then made stupid by the society. We educate him in stupidity. Sooner or later he graduates in stupidity. Intelligence is a natural phenomenon – just as breathing is, just as seeing is. Intelligence is the inner seeing; it is intuitive. It has nothing to do with intellect, remember. Never confuse intellect with intelligence, they are polar opposites. Intellect is of the head; it is taught by others, it is imposed on you. You have to cultivate it. It is borrowed, it is something foreign, it is not inborn.

But intelligence is inborn. It is your very being, your very nature. All animals are intelligent. They are not intellectuals, true, but they are all intelligent. Trees are intelligent, the whole existence is intelligent, and each child born is born intelligent. Have you ever come across a child who is stupid? It is impossible! But to come across a grown-up person who is intelligent is very rare; something goes wrong in between.

I would like you to listen to this beautiful story. It may help. The story is called ’The Animal School’. The animals got together in the forest one day and decided to start a school. There was a rabbit, a bird, a squirrel, a fish and an eel, and they formed a Board of Directors. The rabbit insisted that running be in the curriculum. The bird insisted that flying be in the curriculum. The fish insisted that swimming had to be in the curriculum, and the squirrel said that perpendicular tree-climbing was absolutely necessary to the curriculum. They put all of these things together and wrote a curriculum guide. Then they insisted that ALL of the animals take ALL of the subjects.

Although the rabbit was getting an A in running, perpendicular tree-climbing was a real problem for him. He kept falling over backwards. Pretty soon he got to be sort of brain-damaged and he could not run anymore. He found that instead of making an A in running he was making a C, and of course he always made an F in perpendicular climbing. The bird was really beautiful at flying, but when it came to burrowing in the ground he could not do so well. He kept breaking his beak and wings. Pretty soon he was making a C in flying as well as an F in burrowing, and he had a hell of a time with perpendicular tree-climbing.

The moral of the story is that the person who was valedictorian of the class was a mentally-retarded eel who did everything in a half-way fashion. But the educators were all happy because everybody was taking all of the subjects, and it was called a ’broad-based education’. We laugh at this, but that’s what it is. It is what you did. We really are trying to make everybody the same as everybody else, hence destroying everybody’s potential for being himself.

Intelligence dies in imitating others. If you want to remain intelligent you will have to drop imitating. Intelligence commits suicide in copying, in becoming a carbon copy. The moment you start thinking how to be like that person you are falling from your intelligence, you are becoming stupid. The moment you compare yourself with somebody else you are losing your natural potential. Now you will never be happy, and you will never be clean, clear, transparent. You will lose your clarity, you will lose your vision. You will have borrowed eyes; but how can you see through somebody else’s eyes?

You need your own eyes, you need your own legs to walk, your own heart to beat. People are living a borrowed life, hence their life is paralyzed. This paralysis makes them look very stupid. A totally new kind of education is needed in the world. The person who is born to be a poet is proving himself stupid in mathematics and the person who could have been a great mathematician is just cramming history and feeling lost. Everything is topsy-turvy because education is not according to your nature. It does not pay any respect to the individual, it forces everybody into a certain pattern.

Maybe by accident the pattern fits a few people but the majority is lost and the majority lives in misery. The greatest misery in life is to feel oneself stupid, unworthy, unintelligent. And nobody is born unintelligent; nobody can be born unintelligent because we come from God. God is pure intelligence. We bring some flavor, some fragrance from God when we come into the world. But immediately the society jumps upon you, starts manipulating, teaching, changing, cutting, adding, and soon you have lost all shape, all form. The society wants you to be obedient, conformist, orthodox. This is how your intelligence is destroyed.

My whole approach is to take you out of this imposed pattern. This is a prison cell in which you are living. You can drop it. It will be difficult to drop because you have become so accustomed to it. It will be difficult to drop because it is not just like clothing; it has become almost your skin, you have lived with it so long. It will be difficult to drop because this is your whole identity – but it has to be dropped if you really want to claim your real being.

If you really want to be intelligent you have to be a rebel. Only the rebellious person is intelligent. What do I mean by rebellion? – I mean dropping all that has been enforced on you against your will. Search again for who you are, start from ABC again. Think that your time, up to now, has been a wastage because you have been following.

No person is similar to anybody else, each is unique – that is the nature of intelligence – and each is incomparable. Don’t compare yourself to anybody. How can you compare? You are you and the other is other. You are not similar, so comparison is not possible. But we have been taught to compare and we are continuously comparing. Directly, indirectly, consciously, unconsciously, we live in comparison. And if you compare you will never respect yourself: somebody is more beautiful than you, somebody is taller than you, somebody is healthier than you, and somebody is something else; somebody has such a musical voice… and you will be burdened and burdened if you go on comparing. Millions of people are there; you will be crushed by your comparisons.

And you had a beautiful soul, a beautiful being which wanted to bloom, which wanted to become a Golden Flower, but you never allowed it. Be unburdened. Put all aside. Regain, reclaim your innocence, your childhood. Jesus is right when he says, ”Unless you are born again, you shall not enter into my kingdom of God.”

I say the same to you: Unless you are born AGAIN…. Let your sannyas be a new birth! Drop all the garbage that has been put on you! Be fresh! Start from the very beginning, and you will be surprised – how much intelligence is immediately released.

Punita, you ask, ”What exactly is intelligence?”
It is capacity to see, capacity to understand, capacity to live your own life according to your own nature. That is what intelligence is. And what is stupidity? Following others, imitating others, obeying others, looking through their eyes, trying to imbibe their knowledge as your knowledge: that is stupidity. That’s why pundits are almost always stupid people. They are parrots, they repeat. They are gramophone records. They can repeat skillfully, but let a new situation arise, that which is not written in their books, and they are at a loss. They don’t have any intelligence.

Intelligence is the capacity to respond moment-to-moment to life as it happens, not according to a program. Only unintelligent people have a program. They are afraid; they know that they don’t have enough intelligence to encounter life as it is. They have to be ready, they rehearse. They prepare the answer before the question has been raised, and that’s how they prove themselves stupid – because the question is never the same. The question is always new. Each day brings its own problems, its own challenges and each moment brings its own questions. And if you have ready-made answers in your head you will not be able even to listen to the question. You will be so full of your answer, you will be incapable of listening. You will not be available. And whatsoever you will do you will do according to your ready-made answer – which is irrelevant, which has no relationship with the reality as it is.

Intelligence is: to relate with reality, unprepared. And the beauty of facing life unprepared is tremendous. Then life has a newness, a youth; then life has a flow and freshness. Then life has so many surprises. And when life has so many surprises boredom never settles in you. The stupid person is always bored. He is bored because of the answers that he has gathered from others and goes on repeating. He is bored because his eyes are so full of knowledge, he cannot see what is happening. He knows too much without knowing at all. He is not wise, he is only knowledgeable. When he looks at a roseflower, he does not look at THIS roseflower. All the roseflowers that he has read about, all the roseflowers that the poets have talked about, all the roseflowers that painters have painted and philosophers have discussed, and all the roseflowers that he had heard about, they are standing in his eyes – a great queue of memories, information.

THIS roseflower that is there is lost in that queue, in that crowd. He cannot see it. He simply repeats; he says, ”This roseflower is beautiful.” Those words are also not his own, not authentic, not sincere, not true. Somebody else’s voice… he is just playing a tape.

Stupidity is repetition, repeating others. It is cheap, cheap because you need not learn. Learning is arduous. It needs guts to learn. Learning means one has to be humble. Learning means one has to be ready to drop the old, one has to be constantly ready to accept the new. Learning means a non-egoistic state.

And one never knows where learning will lead you. One cannot predict about the learner; his life will remain unpredictable. He himself cannot predict what is going to happen tomorrow, where he will be tomorrow. He moves in a state of no-knowledge. Only when you live in a state of no-knowledge, a CONSTANT state of no-knowledge, do you learn.

That’s why children learn beautifully. As they grow old they stop learning, because knowledge gathers and it is cheap to repeat it. Why bother? It is cheap, simple, to follow the pattern, to move in a circle. But then boredom settles. Stupidity and boredom go together. The intelligent person is as fresh as dewdrops in the morning sun, as fresh as the stars in the night. You can feel his newness, so new, like a breeze.

Intelligence is the capacity to be reborn again and again. To die to the past is intelligence, and to live in the present is intelligence. And, Punita, you also ask, ”What is the relationship of intelligence of the heart to the intelligence of the mind?”

They are diametrically opposite. The intelligence of the head is not intelligence at all; it is knowledgeability. The intelligence of the heart is the intelligence, the only intelligence there is. The head is simply an accumulator. It is always old, it is never new, it is never original. It is good for certain purposes: for filing it is perfectly good. And in life one needs this – many things have to be remembered. The mind, the head, is a biocomputer. You can go on accumulating knowledge in it and whenever you need you can take it out. It is good for mathematics, good for calculation, good for the day-to-day life, the marketplace; but if you think this is your whole life then you will remain stupid. You will never know the beauty of feeling and you will never know the blessing of the heart.

And you will never know the grace that descends only through the heart, the God that enters only through the heart. You will never know prayer, you will never know poetry, you will never know love. The intelligence of the heart creates poetry in your life, gives dance to your steps, makes your life a joy, a celebration, a festivity, a laughter. It gives you a sense of humor. It makes you capable of love, of sharing. That is true life. The life that is lived from the head is a mechanical life. You become a robot – maybe very efficient; robots are very efficient, machines are more efficient than man. You can earn much through the head, but you will not live much. You may have a better standard of living but you won’t have any life.

Life is of the heart. Life can only grow through the heart. It is the soil of the heart where love grows, life grows, God grows. All that is beautiful, all that is really valuable, all that is meaningful, significant, comes through the heart. The heart is your very center, the head is just your periphery. To live in the head is to live on the circumference without ever becoming aware of the beauties and the treasures of the center. To live on the periphery is stupidity. You ask, ”What is stupidity?”

To live in the head is stupidity. To live in the heart and USE the head whenever needed is intelligence. But the center, the Master, is at the very core of your being. The Master is the heart, and the head is just a servant: this is intelligence. When the head becomes the Master and forgets all about the heart, that is stupidity.

It is up to you to choose. Remember, the head as a slave is a beautiful slave, of much utility, but as a master is a dangerous master and will destroy your whole life, will poison your whole life. Look around! People’s lives are absolutely poisoned, poisoned by the head. They cannot feel, they are no more sensitive, nothing thrills them. The sun rises but nothing rises in them; they look at the sun empty-eyed. The sky becomes full of the stars – the marvel, the mystery! – but nothing stirs in their hearts, no song arises. Birds sing, man has forgotten to sing. Clouds come in the sky and the peacocks dance, and man does not know how to dance. He has become a cripple. Trees bloom…. Man thinks, never feels, and without feeling there is no flowering possible.

The Golden Flower that we have been talking about this whole month is there in you, waiting – waiting for centuries, for lives. When are you going to give attention to it so that it can bloom? And unless a man becomes a Golden Flower what the yogis have called the ’one-thousand-petalled lotus’, sahasrar – unless your life becomes an opening, one thousand petals open and the fragrance is released, you will have lived in vain, ”a tale told by an idiot, full of fury and noise, signifying nothing”.

Watch, scrutinize, observe, have another look at your life. Nobody else is going to help you. You have depended on others so long; that’s why you have become stupid. Now, take care; it is your own responsibility. You OWE it to yourself to have a deep penetrating look at what you are doing with your life. Is there any poetry in your heart? If it is not there, then don’t waste time. Help your heart to weave and spin poetry. Is there any romance in your life or not? If there is not, then you are dead, then you are already in your grave.

Come OUT of it! Let life have something of the romantic in it, something like adventure. Explore! Millions of beauties and splendors are waiting for you. You go on moving around and around, never entering into the temple of life. The door is the heart. So I say: the real intelligence is of the heart. It is not intellectual, it is emotional. It is not like thinking, it is like feeling. It is not logic, it is love.

source – osho book “The Secret of Secrets, Vol 2”

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