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Chapter 7: Knowledge Is Dangerous

The people who were sitting there couldn’t believe it. One of the kind-hearted men asked, “What are you doing? This is absurd. The boy has done nothing wrong. He has not dropped the pot, he has not broken it, he has not done anything - and you punished him?”

The Sufi master said, “Yes, I know it. But if he had dropped the pot, then what would be the use of punishment?”

The Sufi master is saying that in life it is not always so that the effect follows the cause. In life sometimes the cause follows the effect; sometimes the effect precedes the cause. Life is complicated. Sometimes the future comes first and then the past. It is not always so that the past comes first and then the future.

Life is not as easy as you think. It is difficult, complex; past and future all meet into it. That which has been is still there somehow - how can it disappear? All that has been is still there. In this very moment, the whole past - not of humanity only, but of the whole universe - is implied. Your mother, your father, your father’s father and grandfather and grandfather’s grandfather and Adam and Eve, all are implied in you. Something of you was in Adam, in Eve, and they are totally in you. The whole past is there - and the whole future also. All that is going to happen in the world, in the universe - you already carry it as a potentiality. You are the whole world. Causes and effects, past and future - everything is joined together in you. Every line of existence crisscrosses on the point where you are.

The question of knowledge is dangerous. When a man knows, he knows this complexity. And whenever he does something he has to consider the whole complexity; otherwise he will miss, he will not be helpful.

That’s why I say that many people become enlightened, but very few are masters - because to become enlightened you have to solve only your problems. When you become enlightened, the knowledge is such a vast ocean that to manage it and to be able to help others becomes very, very difficult. And sometimes people who don’t know this dangerousness of knowledge may be thinking they are helping - they destroy. They may be thinking that they are kind, but they are cruel. They may be thinking that they are pulling you out of your confusion, but they are throwing you more and more into confusion. It has happened many times, even sometimes with enlightened people. The vastness is such, the complexity is so deep - and whenever you say something to somebody it becomes simple. You have to bring it down, reduce it to a simple phenomenon. Much of it is lost, and then it may not be a help.

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