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Chapter 22: Freedom Doesn’t Choose, It Discovers

It is true. Whenever you ask a question, somewhere deep down you have some inkling of the answer, but it is in the darker parts of your consciousness. You yourself cannot pull it out and bring it to your consciousness. The question is in the consciousness; the answer is in the unconscious - vague, a shadow, with no certainty, but the inkling is certainly there.

The function of the master is exactly what Socrates has defined it as - the master is only a midwife. He helps to bring everything that is hidden in you to consciousness. When your question disappears, that means your answer from the unconscious has been brought to the conscious.

It has to be remembered that this is the distinction between a master and a teacher: a teacher will give you an answer which will not bring your own answer from the unconscious. He will force an answer into your conscious, repressing your question. He will make the situation more complicated. First you had only a question, and if you had silently waited, meditated, perhaps the unconscious answer may have surfaced and the question would have disappeared. Once the question disappears, the answer has no relevance in being there; it disappears also, and a pure emptiness is left.

But the teacher forces an answer on your mind, and makes the situation more complicated. Now you have a question and you have an answer which has not been able to dissolve the question, which has only repressed it. And your unconscious answer is still lying down there, to be released so you can be unburdened. The teacher burdens you, complicates you.

The master never gives you any answer that is going to burden you. His every answer is an unburdening. He brings your own unconscious answer to the surface, where first the question disappears, then the answer disappears - and not a trace of either remains behind.

This is real communion. And this is a clear-cut way, a criterion, to make the distinction between a teacher and a master. In the West there seems to be no distinction. In the East the teacher is simply repeating inherited knowledge; he is not concerned with you, he is concerned with his own knowledge.

The master has nothing to impose upon you; he is empty and silent. Your question does not give him a chance to impose something on you, but only gives him a chance to bring your unconscious answer to the surface. So if you go on simply listening to the master, slowly, slowly you will find your questions have disappeared.and strangely, you don’t have any answer.

People ordinarily think that when the question disappears you will have the answer in its place. No, when the question really disappears the answer has no relevance. It also disappears. And left without questions and without answers, you have immense freedom.unburdened.open sky.