Intelligence is dangerous. Intelligence means you will start thinking on your own; you will start looking around on your own. You will not believe in the scriptures; you will believe only in your own experience.
Learning in the true sense of the word is possible only in that state of attention, in which there is no outer or inner compulsion. Right thinking can come about only when the mind is not enslaved by tradition and memory.
Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible; thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. It sees man, a feeble speck, surrounded by unfathomable depths of silence; yet it bears itself proudly, as unmoved as if it were lord of the universe. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.
I like to sit and think and I like to spend a lot of time doing that. Sometimes it’s pretty unproductive, but I find it enjoyable to think about business or investment problems. They’re easy, it’s the human problems that are the tough ones. Sometimes there aren’t any good answers to human problems; there is almost always a good answer with money.
I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.
I write to find out what I think, and what I found out writing The Colorado Kid was that maybe — I say just maybe — it’s the beauty of the mystery that allows us to live sane as we pilot our fragile bodies through this demolition-derby world.
The problem is that at a lot of big companies, process becomes a substitute for thinking. You’re encouraged to behave like a little gear in a complex machine. Frankly, it allows you to keep people who aren’t that smart, who aren’t that creative.
Thought . . .is still possible, and no doubt actual, wherever men live under the conditions of political freedom. Unfortunately, no other human capacity is so vulnerable, and it is in fact far easier to act under conditions of tyranny than it is to think.