Chapter 4: Just Joking Around
The knowledgeable cannot be innocent. It is because of his idea that he knows, his wonder dies. All his answers are borrowed. All that he knows he really does not know, but he carries all kinds of answers, ready-made answers. Because of those ready-made answers nothing surprises him, nothing at all. He can go on amidst this beautiful existence without feeling any joy, any surprise, any wonder, any thrill, any excitement, any ecstasy. He is almost deaf. He cannot hear the music of the birds singing in the morning, he cannot hear the music of the wind passing through the pine trees. He cannot see the life of the trees, of the grass. He cannot see the beauty of a bird on the wing in the silent infinite sky. He walks without ever experiencing the splendor of the stars. He remains blind. He knows no poetry. His approach towards life is completely blocked by his acquired knowledge, by his accumulated answers. He has a ready-made answer for everything. Before a question arises, the answer is already there; even before the question, the answer is already there. The knowledgeable person never listens to the question. He never tries to go deep into the question itself He hears the question and a process of many answers is triggered in him and he starts answering.
But the man of innocence has no answers. He listens to life in silence. He listens, he sees, he tastes, he smells, he touches. He is very alive. The knowledgeable person is dead, completely closed. He lives in his own grave, that’s why he drags. He has to carry such a burden.
The man of innocence dances; he does not even walk. He is very light. And each small thing fills him with the presence of the mysterious. A butterfly and all its colors, a rainbow in the sky, is enough to throw him into deep meditativeness. He knows no answer, he can only watch the rainbow. He has nothing to say, he can only see - his seeing is clear - he can only hear.
I used to know a very knowledgeable man when I was a child. He used to stay with my family once in a while. He was a great scholar. He was very much interested in all kinds of details. For example he knew the names of all the trees possible. He used to take me for a morning walk and he will tell me the name of each tree. I have never come across a man who knows the names of all the trees, small shrubs, bushes, all kinds of plants; not only the names - their history, from where they come, what country is their original place.
But one thing I became aware: that he never looked at the trees; he could not. Seeing a rose he will immediately say that, “This rose has come from Iran. The Indian word for rose is gulab; the word comes from Persian. That means the flower has come from Persia; it is not of Indian origin. There is no Sanskrit word for gulab - naturally, the flower never existed in India in the Vedic age; it must have come later on. Who brought it first? How it came?” And he will go on and on; he won’t look at the rose. And he was thinking that he was teaching me.
I told him that, “You are destroying something tremendously beautiful in me. You please stop all this nonsense!”
He said, “What do you mean? Is this nonsense? I have acquired it through my whole life!”