Nasruddin vs intellectuals

The philosophers, logicians and doctors of law were drawn up at Court to examine Nasruddin. This was a serious case, because he had admitted going from village to village saying: ‘The so-called wise men are ignorant, irresolute and confused.’ He was charged with undermining the security of the State. ‘You may speak first,’ said the King. ‘Have paper and pens brought,’ said the Mulla. Paper and pens were brought. ‘Give some to each of the first seven savants.’ They were distributed. ‘Have them separately write an answer to this question: “What is bread?”’ This was done. The papers were handed to the King, who read them out: The first said: ‘Bread is a food.’ The second: ‘It is flour and water.’ The third: ‘A gift of God.’ The fourth: ‘Baked dough.’ The fifth: ‘Changeable, according to how you mean “bread”.’ The sixth: ‘A nutritious substance.’ The seventh: ‘Nobody really knows.’ ‘When they decide what bread is,’ said Nasruddin, ‘it will be possible for them to decide other things. For example, whether I am right or wrong. Can you entrust matters of assessment and judgement to people like this? Is it or is it not strange that they cannot agree about something which they eat each day, yet are unanimous that I am a heretic?’


Only fools can be certain.  Bertrand Russell has said,  "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. "

The thought is so sure about the matters it has considered.  The problem with thought is not that it is nosey and comes unsolicited.  The real problem with thought is that it cannot see itself fully.  Thought by its very nature is divided.  It can never comprehend the wholeness.  Wholeness is beyond thought.  For thought to see its own limitation in comprehension is to negate itself in most cases.  The very existence of thought shows it cannot see its own self, its own negativity; but claims to see the world with certainty.

But a thought can never comprehend anything with certainty.  We can never comprehend anything fully with the help of thought.  But thought just comes to help us comprehend and solve the things.  This is ignorance.