The crazy wisdom of Francis of Assisi
The heart has its own reasons, which the mind cannot understand. The heart has its own dimension of being, which is completely dark for the mind. The heart is higher and deeper than the mind, beyond the reach of it. It looks foolish. Love always looks foolish because love is not utilitarian. Mind is utilitarian. It uses everything for something else-- that is the meaning of being utilitarian. Mind is purposive, end-oriented; it turns everything into a means--and love cannot be turned into a means, that is the problem. Love in itself is the goal.
Fools always have a subtle wisdom in them, and the wise always act like fools. In the old days all great emperors always had one fool in their court. They had many wise men, counselors, ministers and prime ministers, but always one fool.
Why?--because there are things so-called wise men will not be able to understand, that only a foolish man can understand--because the so-called wise are so foolish that their cunningness and cleverness closes their minds. A fool is simple, and was needed because many times the so-called wise would not say something because they were afraid of the emperor. A fool is not afraid of anybody else, he will speak whatsoever the consequences.
This is how fools act--simply, without thinking what the result will be. A clever man always thinks first of the result, then he acts. Thought comes first, then action. A foolish man acts; thought never comes first.
Whenever someone realizes the ultimate, he is not like your wise men. He cannot be. He may be like your fools, but he cannot be like your wise men.
When Saint Francis became enlightened he used to call himself "God's fool." The pope was a wise man, and when Saint Francis went to see him even the pope thought this man had gone mad. He was intelligent, calculating, clever; otherwise how could he be a pope? To become a pope one has to pass through much politics. To become a pope diplomacy is needed, a competitive aggression is needed to put others aside, to use others as ladders and then throw them.
It is politics... because a pope is a political head. Religion is secondary, or nothing at all. How can a religious man fight and be aggressive for a post? They are only politicians.
Saint Francis came to see the pope, and the pope thought this man was a fool. But trees and birds and fishes thought in a different way. When Saint Francis went to the river the fishes would jump in celebration that Francis had come. Thousands witnessed this phenomenon--millions of fishes would jump simultaneously; the whole river would be lost in jumping fishes. Saint Francis had come and the fishes were happy. And wherever he would go birds would follow; they would come and sit on his leg, on his body, in his lap. They understood this fool better than the pope. Even trees that had become dry and were going to die would become green and blossom again if Saint Francis came near. These trees understood well that this fool was no ordinary fool--he was God's fool.