What is the difference between wisdom and intelligence
What is the difference between intelligence and wisdom in the Buddha's teaching?
The Buddha taught them and us not to immediately accept or believe anything just because it met a set of criteria.He listed ten such criteria that they should be careful of in order to avoid becoming someone's intellectual slave, even to the Buddha himself.This principle enables us to choose those teachings that are truly capable of quenching suffering (dukkha).The ten examples given by the Buddha in the Kalama Sutta follow.
1. Ma anussavena:
Do not accept or believe that something is true just because it has been passed down and retold for many years.This gullibility is characteristic of mindless people, of "sawdust brains" like those in Bangkok who once believed that disasters would hit people born in the "ma" years.(The years of the little snake, the big snake, the horse, and the goat - five to eight in the old twelve-year Thai cycle - all begin with "ma".)
2. Ma paramparaya:
Don't believe in something just because it has become a traditional practice.People tend to mimic what others do and then pass the habit on, as in the story of the rabbit who was startled by a fallen mango (like Chicken Little's falling sky).When the other animals saw the rabbit running at top speed, they were also scared and ran after it.Most of them stumbled and fell off a cliff to their death.Any vipassana (insight) practice that only imitates others, that only follows traditions, will produce similar results .
3. Ma itikiraya:
Don't just accept and believe something because reports and news about it go far and wide, be it in your own village or around the world.Only fools are susceptible to such rumors as they refuse to use their own powers of intelligence and discriminatory powers.
4. Ma Pitakasampadanena:
Do not accept or believe anything just because it is quoted in a pitaka (text).The word "pitaka", although most commonly used for Buddhist scriptures, can mean anything written or inscribed on a suitable writing material.The teachings that are memorized and passed on orally should not be confused with pitaka.A pitaka is a certain type of conditioned thing that is made and controlled by humans and that can be enhanced or changed by human hands.Hence, we cannot trust every letter and word we read in them.We need to use our discriminatory powers to see how these words can be applied to eradicating suffering.There are discrepancies between the pitaka of the various Buddhist schools, so care must be taken.
5. Ma takkahetu:
Do not believe something for reasons of logic (takka).Logic is just one branch of knowledge people use to try to find out the truth.Takka or logic is not infallible.If its data or conclusions are wrong, it can go wrong.
6. Ma nayahetu:
Don't believe or accept something just because it appears right for reasons of naya, or what is now called "philosophy".In Thailand we translate the western term philosophy as Prajna.Our Indian friends cannot accept this because "naya" is just a point of view or an opinion;It is not the highest understanding that is properly called panya or prajna.Naya or nayaya is just a method of deductive thinking based on hypotheses or assumptions.Such reasoning can be erroneous if the method or hypothesis is inappropriate.
7. Ma akaraparivitakkena:
Do not believe or accept something simply because of superficial thinking, that is, because it appeals to what we now call "common sense," which are merely quick judgments based on one's own thinking tendencies.We love using this approach so much that it becomes a habit.Some careless and boastful philosophers rely heavily on this common sense and consider themselves wise.
8. Ma ditthinijjhanakkhantiya:
Do not think that you accept something to be true just because it agrees with or matches preconceived notions and theories.Personal views can be wrong, and our methods of experimentation and verification can be inadequate, which does not lead us to the truth.This approach may seem similar to the scientific method, but it can never be scientific because its evidence and experimentation are insufficient.
9. Ma bhabbarupataya:
Don't believe something just because the speaker appears credible, perhaps because of his or her credibility or prestige.Outward appearances and actual knowledge within a person can never be identical.We often find that speakers who appear credible on the outside say wrong and stupid things.Today we must be wary of computers as the programmers who feed and manipulate data on them may enter incorrect information, make programming errors, or use them incorrectly.Do not worship computers so much because it contradicts this principle of the Kalama Sutta.
10. Ma samano no garu ti:
Do not believe something simply because the monk (in the broader sense any speaker) is "my teacher".The Buddha intends on this important point that no one should be another's intellectual slave, not even the Buddha himself.The Buddha often emphasized this point, and there were disciples like Venerable Sariputta who confirmed it in practice.They did not believe the Buddha's words as soon as they heard them;They did this only after reasoned deliberation and practical testing.Find out for yourself whether there is another religion teacher in the world who has given his students and listeners this highest freedom!In Buddhism there is no dogmatic system that urges us to believe without the right to examine and decide for ourselves.This is the greatest uniqueness of Buddhism that prevents its practitioners from being one's intellectual slave.We Thais should never volunteer to follow the West as slavishly as we do now.Intellectual and spiritual freedom is best.
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