The first question:
There is an old tradition that links wisdom and foolishness. Is a wise man simple-minded? Is the simplification that comes with age wisdom or fatigue? What is the difference between a wise man and a fool?
The tradition is right. There is a synthesis which goes beyond foolishness, which goes higher than wisdom itself – a synthesis in which wisdom and foolishness disappear into one unity.
Foolishness and wisdom are dualities, like all other dualities: man and woman, day and night, summer and winter, life and death. All dualities have to be transcended. Unless dualities are transcended you never come to know the one, the real, the universal.
In that sense a wise man is also a fool – because in that transcendence both are included. But he is not a fool in the ordinary sense – he is not even wise in the ordinary sense. His wisdom is quite a separate reality, so is his foolishness. He is wise because he knows, and he is a fool because he knows that the mystery of life is such that it cannot be known. He is wise because his journey is finished and he is a fool because he now knows for the first time that there is nothing to know and there is no possibility of knowing, that ignorance is ultimate. He has come to know that ignorance is ultimate. There is no way to demystify existence.
We call a man who has got the answer, wise, but the real wise man has not got the answer. His questions have disappeared and so have all the answers – he is in a tremendous emptiness. And he does not know in the sense of knowledge.
We call a man foolish because he lacks knowledge; we call a man knowledgeable, wise, because he is full of knowledge. But the really wise man has come to see that there is no way to know the real. The real is there you can live it, you can be it, but there is no way to know it. Knowledge presupposes division – the division between the knower and the known; knowledge presupposes distinction; knowledge is based on duality.
A really wise man has come to the point where he is no longer separate, where he is no longer an island, where he has disappeared into the whole. He pulsates with the whole, he vibrates with the whole, he is no more. Only God is. This is the meaning of the Upanishadic seer when he declares “Aham Brahmasmi – I am God.” This is the meaning when Christ goes on saying “I and my father are one.”