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Chapter 3: Awareness, Not Knowledge

I can see a subtle wall around you always. Whenever you come to me I see whether I can approach you or not, whether you are approachable or not. If I see a very thick wall of knowledge it seems almost impossible to approach you; I will have to wait. If I can find even a small crack I enter from there. But scared people, full of fear - they don’t even leave a crack; they make a solid wall. They make a citadel around them of knowledge, knowing, concepts - abstract words. Futile! Just noise! In fact a nuisance, but you believe in them.

So this is the first thing to be understood: knowledge is not knowledge. And only that knowledge which is not knowledge but wisdom, understanding, knowing, can cut the roots of ignorance.

Remember the word awareness. Just as in the morning you become, by and by, alert and you come out of the sleep and the sleepiness falls down, disappears; the same happens again: you come out of your slumber; by and by your eyes open, you start seeing, your heart becomes available, your being open; and immediately, you are no longer the same person you were while asleep. Have you ever observed, in the morning, when awake, you become a totally different person - you are not the same who was asleep? Have you observed, in sleep you become a totally different person - in sleep you do things you cannot even imagine doing while you are awake - in sleep you believe in things you cannot believe while you are awake? In sleep every sort of absurdity is believed. While you are awake you laugh at your own foolishness, at your own dreams.

The same happens when you finally awake. Then, the whole world that you had lived up to that moment becomes part of a dream, a great dream. That’s why Hindus go on saying the world is maya: the stuff it is made of is dream; it is not real. Awake! And you will find all those phantoms that surrounded you have disappeared. And a totally different vision of existence becomes available - that is freedom. Freedom is freedom from illusions. Freedom is freedom from sleep. Freedom is freedom from all that is not and appears to be there.

To come to the real is to come to home; to wander in unreality is to be in the world.

Now, try to understand Patanjali’s sutras.

The disassociation of the seer and the seen which is brought about by the dispersion of ignorance is the remedy that brings liberation.

From where to begin?.because Patanjali is always interested in the beginning. If the beginning is not clear we may go on talking about what liberation is, but that will remain a talk. The beginning has to be absolutely clear - every step clean-cut so that you can move from where you are. If you listen to Lao Tzu, Lao Tzu talks from the peak, the highest peak possible to human consciousness; if you ask Tilopa, he answers from where he is. If you ask Patanjali, he talks from where you are. He does not say anything about himself; he simply talks from where you are, the beginning. He is more practical; Lao Tzu is more true. Patanjali is more practical.

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