THERE IS a very significant distinction to be made in the very beginning: the distinction between knowledge and knowing. Knowledge only appears to know, it knows not. Knowing may not appear to know, but it knows. Knowledge is borrowed, knowing is one’s own. Knowledge is verbal, knowing is through living. Knowledge is information gathered from here and there. Knowing is existential: you have lived it, it has come through your very experience; it is an experience. When knowing happens, a man is freed, he is liberated. Through knowledge, man becomes more of a prisoner. Knowledge binds; knowing liberates.
It is said that whenever God creates a person he whispers into his ear ’You are my favourite. I have never made such a beautiful person before, and I am not going to make such a beautiful person again. You are simply unique.’ But this he has been doing to everybody and everybody deep down in his heart thinks ’Whatsoever God has said. one believes.’ You are my favourite. And this is not addressed to anybody in particular, but to everybody. In fact, to choose a favourite or not is not possible for me. It depends on you, you can become my favourite, you may not become; it is one-way traffic. If you allow, you will become; if you don’t allow, you will not become. As far as I am concerned I am not.
But man can approach through two ways towards this truth. Those two ways have to be understood. Truth is one but the paths are two. Thew first path is VIA AFFIRMATIVA, the positive path, the ‘yes-sayers’ path, The path of the devotee. Jesus, Mohammed, Krishna-they have followed the path of affirmation. The path of affirmation seems the path of effort, the great effort: one is trying to reach God, one has to make all the effort that is possible, one has to do the utmost, one has to put oneself at stake. In modern times, Gurdjieff, Ramakrishna-they followed the path of affirmation, VIA AFFIRMATIVA. The other path is VIA NEGATIVA, through negation, through the ’no’. Lao Tzu, Buddha, Nagarjuna – they followed the path of negation. In modern times, Ramana Maharshi, J. Krishnamurti – they follow the path of the ’no’. These two paths have to be understood as clearly as possible because much will depend on it; you will have to choose someday or other. They move in different dimensions; they reach the same goal, but they move in different directions.
CAN ONE BELIEVE IN TAO, NOT INTERFERING WITH OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES, ACCEPTING WHAT IS NOW, AND BY PROFESSION BE A PSYCHOTHERAPIST? WHAT, OR HOW, IS A TAO WAY OF DOING THERAPY? It is from Poonam.
It is of tremendous significance. The first thing: ’Can one believe in Tao...?’ Tao does not depend on belief. You cannot believe in it. Tao knows no belief system. It does not say ’ Belief.’ That’s what other religions do. Tao is the dropping of all belief systems. Then arises a totally new kind of trust – trust in life. Belief means believing in concepts. Concepts are ABOUT life. Trust is not concerned with concepts. Trust is immediate, direct, in life; it is not about life. Belief is far away from life. The stronger the belief, the greater the barrier. Tao is neither a belief nor disbelief but the dropping of all beliefs and disbeliefs. When you drop all beliefs and disbeliefs and you are immediate, in contact with life, a trust arises, a great ’yes’ arises in your being. That ’yes’ transforms, transforms totally.
TZU KUNG GREW WEARY OF STUDY AND TOLD CONFUCIUS ’I WANT TO FIND REST.’ ’THERE IS NO REST FOR THE LIVING.’ ’THEN SHALL I NEVER FIND IT?’ ’YOU SHALL. LOOK FORWARD TO THE LOFTY AND DOMED MOUND OF YOUR TOMB AND KNOW WHERE YOU SHALL FIND REST.’ ’GREAT IS DEATH! THE GENTLEMAN FINDS REST IN IT, THE MEAN MAN SUBMITS TO IT!’ ’TZU KUNG, YOU HAVE UNDERSTOOD. ALL MEN UNDERSTAND THE JOY OF BEING ALIVE, BUT NOT ITS MISERY, THE WEARINESS OF GROWING OLD, BUT NOT ITS EASE, THE UGLINESS OF DEATH, BUT NOT ITS REPOSE.’ PHILOSOPHY IS the enemy of truth. And when I say philosophy I mean all philosophy, mine included, because the philosophy creates a screen of words and you cannot see the reality as it is. It distorts reality, it interprets reality, it gives a garb to reality, it hides reality, it covers reality.
I am not against taste because I am not against the senses. To be sensitive is to be intelligent, to be sensitive is to be alive. Your so-called’ religions’ have tried to de-sensitize you, to make you dull. They are against taste, they would like you to make your tongue absolutely dull so you don’t taste anything. But that is not a state of health; the tongue becomes dull only in illness. When you have a fever. the tongue becomes dull. When you are healthy the tongue is sensitive; alive, throbbing, pulsates with energy. I am not against taste, I am for taste. Eat well, taste well; the taste is divine. And so, exactly like the taste, you have to look at beauty and enjoy; you have to listen to music and enjoy; you have to touch the rocks and leaves and human beings – the warmth, the texture – and enjoy. Use all your senses, use them at their optimum, then you will really live and your life will be aflame; it will not be dull, it will be aflame with energy and vitality. I am not for those people who have been teaching you to kill your senses; they are against the body.
Tao is not rational. It is not anti-national either. It is superrational. Life is more than reasonable. Life is more than can be understood by the mind. Life has to give you more than you can learn. It is bigger than your capacity for learning. It is bigger than you can ever know, but it can be felt. Tao is intuitive. Tao is more total. When you approach life through the head, and only through the head, it is a part approach; misunderstanding is bound to be there. A man who is trying to figure it out is bound to fall into a tremendous trap and will not be able to come out of it easily. Once you start intellectualizing about life, you start going astray. Live has to be lived. Life has to be lived existentially and not intellectually. Intellect is not a bridge., but a barrier. This has to be understood-then the parable is of tremendous importance. And we are going to go into it very slowly, trying to understand each sentence in it, each word actually. A Confucian approach is a mental approach. A Taoist approach is a no-mind approach. Confucius thinks about life. Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu, don’t think about life because they say: You can go on thinking and thinking about and about, and you will go round and round and you will never reach to the center. About and about is not the way. Go directly, be immediate. SEE life, don’t think about it.
All is an illusion except the witness. All is a dream except the witness. Only the knower is true, is real. Whatsoever you see is illusory; the seer is not illusory. In the night you see one type of dream, in the day you see another type of dream. In the night the dreams of the day are forgotten, in the day the dreams of the night are forgotten. Sometimes you dream with open eyes and sometimes you dream with closed eyes, but one thing remains eternally there, never changing, and that is your consciousness. In the night you see dreams; in the day you see things, the world. Everything changes night into day, day into night, dreams into thoughts, thoughts into dreams; only one thing remains eternally there – your witnessing. That which is eternal is true. That which is changing is illusory. Remember, by ’illusion’ I don’t mean that it is not, by ’illusion’ I only mean that it is not eternally true. And what is the meaning of something being temporarily true, only for the moment? Before the moment it was untrue, after the moment it again becomes untrue. That’s why in the East we have not been chasing life. Before birth it was not there, after death it will not be there again, so this momentary phenomenon is not of much value. There is no need to get obsessed with it; one can pass through it unconcerned, untouched by it.
Singing, music, dancing, are the language of joy, of happiness. They are an expression that the person is not miserable. But it may be just an appearance, it may be just projected, it may be just cultivated; deep down the situation may be just the opposite. Sometimes it happens that you laugh because you don’t want to cry. Sometimes it happens that you smile because tears are coming and, if you don’t smile, they will start rolling down your cheeks. Sometimes you maintain an attitude, a cultivated face, a mask, that you are happy, because what is the point of showing your unhappiness to the world? That’s why people look so happy. Everybody thinks he is the unhappiest person in the world. because he knows his reality and he knows only the faces of others the cultivated faces. So everybody deep down thinks: ’I am the most miserable person, and why am I the most miserable person when everybody is so happy?’
Tao knows nothing of discipline. Tao is anarchic, spontaneous, effortless. All disciplines are unnatural – they have to be. Nature needs no discipline, it is sufficient unto itself. Trees and rivers and animals and stars – they don’t know anything of discipline. Discipline is man-created, manmade. and because of discipline man becomes split. One part starts manipulating the other part, then a rift is created. The mind tries to manipulate the body, and the body tries to manipulate the mind in subtle ways or at least tries to sabotage it. This conflict creates confusion: all conflict is confusion. Because of conflict, the fusion cannot happen: you cannot be one, you cannot be fused in one, hence the confusion. And the ultimate result can only be schizophrenia. You go on fighting and fighting, and by and by you are no longer one individual, you become many – at least two, and if worse happens, then many – then you become a crowd. And when you are not one, you cannot be happy.
Truth cannot be expressed: that inexpressibility is intrinsic to the truth. Thousands and thousands of people have tried to express it – very few have succeeded even in giving a reflection of it. Lieh Tzu is one of those very few; he is rare. Before we start entering into his world, a few things have to be understood about him... his approach. His approach is that of an artist: the poet, the story-teller – and he is a master storyteller. Whenever somebody has experienced life, his experience has flowered into parables: that seems to be the easiest way to hint at that which cannot be said. A parable is a device, a great device; it is not just an ordinary story. The purpose of it is not to entertain you, the purpose of it is to say something which there is no other way to say. Life cannot be put into a theory – it is so vast, it is so infinite.
Whenever your heart falls out of line with the whole you are in trouble, you are ill; whenever the heart is in rhythm with the whole you are healthy. Let this be the definition of health. Whenever there is no conflict between you and the whole, not even a rumor of conflict, you are healthy. To be whole is to be healthy. To be whole is to be holy. And what is the way to be holy, healthy, whole? Your heart should beat in the same rhythm as the heart of the whole. You should not fall out of line, out of step. It is a great cosmic dance. It is a great harmony. When you sit still, silent, not doing anything, meditative, prayerful, suddenly you start merging into the whole. You come closer and closer and closer and your steps are no longer heard as separate from the whole. You become part of this great symphony. Suddenly you are healthy, holy, whole. How to come to this tuning with the whole? Why are you missing it? You are constantly in discord, you have many contradictions within you. Those contradictions go on like a tug of war within continuously, day and night, awake and asleep. You are constantly pulled into opposite directions. This tense state of affairs does not allow you to listen. OSHO
Death is already happening. Whether you face it or not, whether you look at it or not, it is already there. It is just like breathing. When a child is born, he inhales. he breathes in for the first time. That is the beginning of life. And when one day he becomes old, dies, he will exhale. Death always happens with exhalation and birth with inhalation. But exhalation and inhalation are happening continuously. With each inhalation you are born; with each exhalation, you die. So the first thing to understand is that death is not somewhere in the future, waiting for you, as it has been always pictured. It is part of life; it is an ongoing process -- not in the future, here, now. Life and death are two aspects of existence. simultaneously happening together. Ordinarily, you have been taught to think of death as being against life. Death is not against life -- life is not possible without death. Death is the very ground on which life exists. Death and life are like two wings: the bird cannot fly with one wing, and the being cannot be without death. So the first thing is a clear understanding of what we mean by death. Death is an absolutely necessary process for life to be. It is not the enemy, it is the friend. And it is not there somewhere in the future, it is here, now. It is not going to happen, it has been always happening. Since you have been here it has been with you. With each exhalation it happens -- a little death, a small death -- but because of fear we have put it in the future. OSHO
Meditation is a state of clarity, not a state of mind. The mind is confused. The mind is never clear. It cannot be. Thoughts create clouds around you -- they are subtle clouds. A mist is created by them, and the clarity is lost. When thoughts disappear, when there are no more clouds around you, when you are in your simple beingness, clarity happens. Then you can see far away; then you can see to the very end of existence; then your gaze becomes penetrating -- to the very core of being. Meditation is clarity, absolute clarity, of vision. You cannot think about it. You have to drop thinking. When I say, 'You have to drop thinking,' don't conclude in a hurry, because I have to use language. So I say, 'Drop thinking,' but if you start dropping, you will miss, because again you will reduce it to a doing. - OSHO
Life is illogical. It is wild. In life, contradictions are not contradictions but complementaries. Life does not believe in the division of either/or, life believes in both. The day becomes night, the night becomes day. They melt and merge. Boundaries are not clear. Everything is overlapping everything else: you are overlapping into your beloved, your beloved is overlapping into you. Your child is still a part of you and yet he is independent. Boundaries are blurred. - Osho
THE ocean is not only hidden behind the waves, but it is also manifesting itself in the waves. It is there on the surface as much as it is in-depth. The depth and the surface are not two separate things: they are two polarities of the same phenomenon. The center comes to the circumference; it is as much on the circumference as it is at the center. God is not only the unmanifest, but it is also the manifest. God is not only the Creator, but God is also the creation. God is as much in his world as he is in himself. Just the other night, a new sannyasin asked me,' Osho, can you show me the Divine form?' I told him, 'All forms are Divine. I have not seen a single form which is not Divine. The whole existence is Divine -- don't divide it into profane and sacred.' All the time, what else am I doing? Showing the Divine form. What else are you doing? Showing the Divine form. What else is happening all over existence? The Divine is spread everywhere. It is as much in the small as it is in the great; it is as much in a grass leaf as in a faraway great star.
The essential surrender happens within you, it has nothing to do with anybody outside you. The basic surrender is a relaxation, a trust -- so don't be misguided by the word. Linguistically, surrender means to surrender to somebody, but religiously, surrender simply means trust, relaxing. It is an attitude rather than an act: you live through trust. Let me explain. You swim in water -- you go to the river and swim. What do you do? You trust the water. A good swimmer trusts so much that he almost becomes one with the river. He is not fighting, he does not grab the water, he is not stiff and tense. If you are stiff and tense you will be drowned; if you are relaxed the river takes care. That's why whenever somebody dies, the dead body floats on the water. This is a miracle. Amazing! The alive person died and was drowned by the river, and the dead person simply floats on the surface. What has happened? The dead person knows some secret about the river which the alive person did not know. The alive person was fighting. The river was the enemy. He was afraid, he could not trust. But the dead person, not being there, how could he fight? The dead person is totally relaxed with no tension -- suddenly the body surfaces. The river takes care. No river can drown a dead person.
Man is also carrying a potentiality for flowering within him. Until and unless the inner being of man flowers, the fragrance of compassion is not possible. Compassion cannot be practiced. It is not a discipline. You cannot manage it. It is beyond you. If you meditate, one day, suddenly, you become aware of a new phenomenon, absolutely strange -- from your being compassion is flowing towards the whole of existence; undirected, unaddressed, it is moving to the very ends of existence. Without meditation, energy remains passion; with meditation, the same energy becomes compassion. Passion and compassion are not two energies, they are one and the same energy. Once it passes through meditation, it is transformed, transfigured; it becomes qualitatively different. Passion moves downwards, compassion moves upwards; passion moves through desire, compassion moves through desirelessness; passion is an occupation to forget the miseries in which you live, compassion is a celebration, it is a dance of attainment, of fulfillment...you, are so fulfilled that you can share. Now there is nothing left; you have attained the destiny that you were carrying for millennia within you like an unflowered potentiality, just a bud. Now it has flowered and it is dancing. You have attained, you are fulfilled, there is no more to attain, nowhere to go, nothing to do.
Maturity is a deep trust in your own consciousness; immaturity is a distrust in your own consciousness. When you distrust your consciousness you trust your knowledge, but that is a substitute and a very poor substitute at that. Try to understand this -- it is important. You have been living, you have experienced many things; you have read, you have listened, you have thought. Now all those conclusions are there. When a certain situation arises. you can function in two ways. You can function through all the accumulated past, according to it -- that's what I mean by functioning through a center. through conclusions, through experience, stale, dead -- then whatsoever you do your response is not going to be a response, it will be a reaction. And to be reactionary is to be immature. Or, if you can function right now, here in this moment, through your consciousness, through your being aware, putting aside all that you have known -- this is what I call functioning through no-knowledge, this is functioning through innocence. And this is maturity.
Of the ultimate realization of Zen, Osho says, "Suddenly you become aware of music that has always surrounded you... Your heartthrobs in the same rhythm as the heart of the whole." This essential Zen reader is also about a number of other themes -- cowardice, boredom and restlessness, recognition and rejection, maturity and moving from the non-essential to the essential.
There is nothing higher and nothing lower. In fact, there are not two values at all. These are the two paths from the valley leading to the peak. One path is of awareness, meditation: the path of Zen we have been talking about these days. And the other is the path of love, the path of the devotees, the BHAKTAS, the Sufis. These two paths are separate when you start the journey; you have to choose. Whichever you choose is going to lead to the same peak. And as you come closer to the peak you will be surprised: the travelers on the other path are coming closer to you. Slowly slowly, the paths start merging into each other. By the time you have reached the ultimate, they are one.
The person who follows the path of awareness finds love as a consequence of his awareness, as a by-product, as a shadow. And the person who follows the path of love finds awareness as a consequence, as a by-product, as a shadow of love. They are two sides of the same coin.
And remember: if your awareness lacks love then it is still impure; it has not yet known one hundred percent purity. It is not yet REALLY awareness; it must be mixed with unawareness. It is not pure light; there must be pockets of darkness inside you still working, functioning, influencing you, dominating you. If your love is without awareness, then it is not love yet. It must be something lower, something closer to lust than to prayer.
So let it be a criterion if you follow the path of awareness, let love be the criterion. When your awareness suddenly blooms into love, know perfectly well that awareness has happened, SAMADHI has been achieved. If you follow the path of love, then let awareness function as a criterion, as a touchstone. When suddenly, from nowhere, at the
very center of your love. a flame of awareness starts arising, know perfectly well...rejoice! You have come home.
Through delightfully zany anecdotes, Osho captures and conveys the spirit of Zen's enigmatic understanding of life. "Try to understand Zen through laughter, not through prayer," he suggests. "Zen is not a doctrine, not a dogma. It is growing into an insight. It is a vision -- very lighthearted, not serious at all." OSHO uses some of the best known Zen stories to illustrate the nature of enlightenment, meditation, love, knowledge and knowing, man's misplaced identification with his ego, and other issues very relevant today.
The first is of self-cultivation and the second is of enlightenment. The first is basically wrong. It only appears to be a path; it is not. One goes on and on in circles, but one never arrives. The second does not appear to be a path because there is no space for a path when something happens instantly, when something happens immediately. When something happens without taking any time, how can there be a path?
This paradox has to be understood as deeply as possible: the first appears to be the path but is not; the second appears not to be a path but is. The first appears to be a path because there is infinite time; it is a time phenomenon But anything happening in time cannot lead you beyond time; anything happening in time only strengthens time.
Time means mind. Time IS a projection of mind. It does not exist; it is only an illusion. Only the present exists -- and the present is not part of time. The present is part of eternity. Past is time, future is time; both are non-existential. The past is only memory and the future is only imagination; memory and imagination, both are non-existential. We create the past because we cling to memory; clinging to the memory is the source of the past. And we create the future because we have so many desires yet to be fulfilled, we have so many imaginations yet to be realized. And desires need a future like a screen onto which they can be projected.
Past and future are mind phenomena; and past and future make your whole idea of time. Ordinarily you think that time is divided into three divisions: past, present and future. That is totally wrong. That is not how the awakened ones have seen time. They say time consists only of two divisions: past and future. The present is not part of time at all; the present belongs to the beyond.
The first path -- the path of self-cultivation -- is a time path; it has nothing to do with eternity. And truth is eternity.
The second path -- the path of enlightenment, Zen Masters have always called the pathless path because it does not appear to be a path at all. It cannot appear as a path, but just for the purposes of communication we will call it "the second path," arbitrarily. The second path is not part of time, it is part of eternity. Hence it happens instantaneously; it happens in the present. You cannot desire it, you cannot be ambitious for it.
On the first path, the false path, all is allowed. You can imagine, you can desire, you can be ambitious. You can change all your worldly desires into other-worldly desires. That's what the so-called religious people go on doing. They don't desire money any more -- they are fed up with it, tired of it, frustrated with it, bored with it -- but they start desiring God. Desire persists; it changes its object. Money is no more the object of desire but God; pleasure is no more the object of desire but bliss. But what bliss can you imagine? Whatsoever you imagine in the name of bliss is nothing but your idea of pleasure -- maybe a little bit refined, cultivated, sophisticated, but it can't be more than that.
The people who stop desiring worldly things start desiring heaven and heavenly pleasures. But what are they? -- magnified forms of the same old desires, in fact more dangerous than the worldly desires, because with the worldly desires one thing is absolutely certain: you are bound to get frustrated sooner or later. You will get out of them; you Cannot remain in them forever. The very nature of them is such that they promise you, but they never fulfill their promises -- the goods are never delivered. How long can you remain deceived by them? Even the most stupid person has glimpses, once in a while, that he is chasing illusions which cannot be fulfilled by the very nature of existence. The intelligent one comes to the realization sooner.
DON'T MAKE A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLEHILL! Religious people are very skillful in doing that. Now, what are you really doing when you are smoking? Just taking some smoke inside your lungs and letting it out. It is a kind of PRANAYAMA -- filthy, dirty, but still a PRANAYAMA! You are doing yoga, in a stupid way. It is not sin. It may be foolish but it is not a sin, certainly.
There is only one sin and that is unawareness, and only one virtue and that is awareness. Do whatsoever you are doing, but remain a witness to it, and immediately the quality of your doing is transformed. I will not tell you not to smoke; that you have tried. You must have been told by many so-called saints not to smoke: "Because if you smoke you will fall into hell." God is not so stupid as your saints are. Throwing somebody into hell just because he was smoking cigarettes will be absolutely unnecessary.
Let me emphasize the fact. You can do your prayer every day unconsciously; then your prayer is a sin. You can become addicted to your prayer. If you miss the prayer one day, the whole day you will feel something is wrong, something is missing, some gap. It is the same with smoking or with drinking; there is no difference in it. Your prayer has become a mechanical habit; it has become a master over you. It bosses you; you are just a servant, a slave to it. If you don't do it, it forces you to do it.
So it is not a question of smoking. You may be doing your Transcendental Meditation every day regularly, and it may be just the same. If the quality of unconsciousness is there, if mechanicalness is there, if it has become a fixed routine, if it has become a habit and you are a victim of the habit and you cannot put it aside, you are no more a master of yourself, then it is a sin. But its being a sin comes out of your unconsciousness, not out of the act itself.
No act is virtuous, no act is a sin. What consciousness is behind the act -- everything depends on that.
I am less interested in your chain-smoking; I am more interested in your habit. Any habit that becomes a force, a dominating force over you, is a sin. One should live more in freedom. One should be able to do things not according to habits but according to the situations.
Life is continuously changing -- it is a flux -- and habits are stagnant. The more you are surrounded by habits, the more you are closed to life. You are not open, you don't have windows. You don't have any communication with life; you go on repeating your habits. They don't fit; they are not the right response to the situation, to the moment. They are always lagging behind, they are always falling short. That's the failure of your life.
So remember: I am against all kinds of habits. Good or bad is not the point; there is no good habit as such, there is no bad habit as such. Habits are all bad because habit means something unconscious has become a dominating factor in your life, has become decisive. You are no more the deciding factor. The response is not coming out of awareness but out of a pattern, structure, that you have learned in the past.
GOD HAS A TREMENDOUS SENSE OF HUMOR! Religion remains something dead without a sense of humor as a foundation to it. God would not have been able to create the world if he had no sense of humor. God is not serious at all. Seriousness is a state of disease; humor is health. Love, laughter, life, they are aspects of the same energy.
But for centuries people have been told that God is very serious. These people were pathological. They created a serious God, they projected a serious God, out of their own pathology. And we have worshiped these people as saints. They were not saints. They needed great awakening; they were fast asleep in their seriousness. They needed laughter-- that would have helped them more than all their prayers and fasting; that would have cleansed their souls in a far better way than all their ascetic practices. They did not need more scriptures, more theologies; they needed only the capacity to laugh at the beautiful absurdity of life. It is ecstatically absurd. It is not a rational phenomenon; it is utterly irrational.
Moses went up the mountain. After a long time God appeared. "Hello, Moses. Good to see you. Sorry you had to wait, but I think you will feel it was worth it because I have something very special for you today."
Moses thought for a second and then said, "Oh, no, Lord, really. Thank you, but I don't need anything right now. Some other time perhaps." "Moses, this is free," said the Lord.
"Then," said Moses, "give me ten!"
That's how the Jews got the Ten Commandments.
Knowledge is given to you by the society, by the people around you, by the family. Innocence is yours: knowledge is always of others. The more knowledgeable you are, the less you are yourself. Enlightenment has nothing to do with knowledge. It is freedom from knowledge, it is absolute transcendence of knowledge. It is going beyond knowing. That's why we started this series of talks with the great sutra: NOT KNOWING IS THE MOST INTIMATE. An enlightened person is one who has no barrier between him and existence. And knowledge is a barrier. Knowledge divides you from existence; it keeps you separate. Not knowing unites you. Love is a way of innocence. Innocence is a bridge: knowledge is a wall. Who has ever heard of knowledgeable people becoming enlightened? They are the farthest away from enlightenment. Enlightenment grows only in the soil of innocence. Innocence means childlike wonder, awe. The enlightened person is one who is continuously wondering -- because he knows nothing, so everything becomes again a mystery. When you know, things are demystified; when you don't know, they are RE-mystified. The more you know, the less wonder is in your heart. The more you know, the less you feel the great experience of awe. You cannot say "AH, THIS!" You cannot be ecstatic. The knowledgeable person is so burdened that he cannot dance, he cannot sing, he cannot love. For the knowledgeable there is no God, because God only means wonder, awe, mystery. That's why, as knowledge has grown in the world, God has become further and further away.
Hence, whenever there is an enlightened Master, his actions, his words, his behavior, all appear to the ordinary man absurd. Jesus is misunderstood for the simple reason that a man of eyes is talking to the men who are blind. Socrates is not understood for the same reason, because he is talking to people who are utterly deaf. And so has been the case with all the Buddhas of all the countries, of all the races. And, unfortunately, this is going to remain the case forever. It is something in the very nature of things.
Man is unconscious; he understands the language of unconsciousness And whenever somebody talks from the peaks of consciousness it becomes utterly ununderstandable, unintelligible. He is so far away! By the time his words reach the dark valleys of our unconscious we have distorted them to such an extent that they have no reference at all to the origin any more.
The Master looks sometimes mad, sometimes irrational, sometimes stubborn. But the only reason that he cannot behave like you, that he cannot be part of the crowd mind, is that he has become awakened and the crowd is fast asleep.
To understand a Master you have to learn great sympathy: only that will create a bridge. That's what the relationship of a disciple to the Master is. You can listen to a Master without being a disciple. You will hear the words but you will miss the meaning. You will hear the song but you will miss the music. You will hear the argument but you will miss the conclusion. You will know what he is saying but you will not be able to see where he is indicating.
"WHO AM I?" IS NOT REALLY A QUESTION because it has no answer to it; it is unanswerable. It is a device, not a question. It is used as a mantra. When you constantly inquire inside, "Who am I? Who am I?" you are not waiting for an answer. Your mind will supply many answers; all those answers have to be rejected. Your mind will say, "You are the essence of life. You are the eternal soul. You are divine," and so on and so forth. All those answers have to be rejected: NETI NETI -- one has to go on saying, "Neither this nor that."