Blank negation: the method of fools

Blank negation: the method of fools

Turgenev has written a short story….

In a certain town there was a very intelligent man, and quite influential too. And in the same town there lived an utter fool, an idiot. One day the idiot approached the intelligent man and asked to be shown some way of becoming intelligent. The intelligent man asked the idiot whether he wanted to be intelligent or appear to be intelligent, because to become intelligent was a long process, but to look intelligent was easy. The idiot replied that he wanted to be shown the easier way – that if it was enough if he looked intelligent.He did not want to bother about becoming intelligent.The intelligent man commented that in becoming intelligent there was a possibility to make mistakes, but in looking intelligent there could be no mistake.

The idiot then became impatient and requested that the trick be revealed without any delay. Then the intelligent man told the fool to immediately negate every statement he heard.If somebody says “there is God”, he should immediately reply that  “there is no God”.

The fool man asked the intelligent : Should I say such things even when I don’t know anything about the subject?”

The intelligent replied: “You don’t have to bother about knowing anything at all. If somebody tells you that an artist paints wonderful paintings, just say it is all rubbish! Tell them to prove that they are wonderful! If anyone says that somebody’s music is heavenly, say that even in hell such music is played and ask the person to prove what heavenly music is like. Just deny everything, and if anyone opposes you, challenge them to prove their claim.”

From that day the fool man started to become famous throughout the town for his intelligence.And everybody was wondering how he had achieved it!

This century is, in a way, a century of many types of fools. And the foundation of the foolishness is negation.




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