Meaning ; cun·ning - adjective \ˈkə-niŋ\ : getting what is wanted in a clever and often deceptive way
· Thought is so cunning, so clever, that it distorts everything for its own convenience. Thought in its demand for pleasure brings its own bondage.
· What does honesty mean? Can there be honesty - that is, clear insight, seeing things as they are - if there is a principle, an ideal, an ennobled formula? Can one be direct if there is confusion? Can there be beauty if there is the standard of what is beautiful or upright? When there is this division between what is and what should be, can there be honesty - or only an edifying and respectable dishonesty? We are brought up between the two - between what actually is and what may be. In the interval between these two - the interval of time and space - is all our education, our morality, our struggle. We keep a distracted look upon the one and upon the other, a look of fear and a look of hope. And can there be honesty, sincerity, in this state, which society calls education? When we say we are dishonest, essentially we mean there is a comparison between what we have said and what is. One has said something which one doesn't mean, perhaps to give passing assurance or because one is nervous, shy or ashamed to say something which actually is. So nervous apprehension and fear make us dishonest. When we are pursuing success we must be somewhat dishonest, play up to another, be cunning, deceitful, to achieve our end. Or one has gained authority or a position which one wants to defend. So all resistance, all defence, is a form of dishonesty. To be honest means to have no illusions about oneself and no seed of illusion - which is desire and pleasure.
This is one of the most basic and secret teachings. Ordinarily we live through cunningness, cleverness and strategy; we don't live like small children, innocent. We plan, we protect, we make all the safeguards possible - but what is the result? Ultimately, what happens? All the safeguards are broken, all cunningness proves foolishness - ultimately death takes us away.
Tao says that your cunningness will not help you, because what is it but a fight against the whole?
With whom are you cunning - with nature, with Tao, with God? Whom do you think you are deceiving - the source from where you are born and the source to which you will finally go? Is the wave trying to deceive the ocean, is the leaf trying to deceive the tree, is a cloud trying to deceive the sky?
Whom do you think you are trying to deceive? With whom are you playing?
Once it is understood, a man becomes innocent, drops his cunningness, all strategies, and simply accepts. There is no other way than to accept nature as it is and to flow with it. Then there is no resistance, then he is just like a child who is going with his father, in deep trust.
Once, Mulla Nasruddin's son came home and said that he had trusted a friend and had given him his toy to play with, but now the friend refused to return it. "What should I do?" he asked.
Mulla Nasruddin looked at him and said, "Go up this ladder." The boy did so, he trusted his father.
When he was ten feet high, Nasruddin said, "Now jump into my arms."
The boy hesitated a little, and said, "If I fall, I will get hurt."
Nasruddin said, "When I am here, you need not worry. Take a jump." The boy jumped, and Nasruddin stood aside. The boy fell down, and started crying and weeping.
Then Nasruddin said, "Now you know. Never believe anybody, not even what your father says: don't even believe your father."
Don't believe in anybody, otherwise you will be deceived all your life. This is what every father, every parent, every school, every teacher, teaches you. This is your learning. Don't believe in anybody, don't trust, otherwise you will be deceived. You become cunning. In the name of cleverness you become cunning, untrusting. And once a man is untrusting he has lost contact with the source.
Trust is the only bridge, otherwise your whole life is wasted; you fight an impossible fight in which defeat is bound to happen, it is absolutely certain. It is better to realize it now, because at the moment of death everybody realizes that it has been a defeat. But then nothing can be done.
Real intelligence is not cunningness, it is totally different. Real intelligence is to look into things....
(Empty boat – Osho)