Chapter 5: Yes, Just like That
A doleful-looking customer went to the bar and ordered six whiskies. The bar man poured them out for him in six glasses. “Now line them up in front of me, will you?” asked the customer. He then paid for them and told him to keep the change. He swallowed down the contents of the first glass in line and then repeated the process with the third and fifth glasses. Then, saying, “Goodnight,” he turned to walk away.
“Excuse me,” said the bar man. “You have left three glasses untouched.”
“Yes, I know,” he said. “The doctor said he didn’t mind me taking the odd drink.”
You can always find a way. The ritualistic person remains cunning.
A politician, who had been prevailed upon to accompany a friend on a bear hunt, had concealed his nervousness manfully, although his first night in camp was a sleepless one. Starting forth in the mowing, the two had walked but a short distance when they came upon fresh tracks which the enthusiastic sportsman identified as being those of a large bear.
“Tell you what we had better do,” said the politician brightly. “You go ahead and see where he went and I’ll go back and see where he came from!”
Remember that man is so cunning, so political, that he can always find a way out of a certain ritual, rule, discipline. And he can remain untouched by it. And he can go on doing the ritual and yet remain untransformed by it. That’s why you see so many people in the world going to the synagogue, to the church, to the temple, to the mosque, to the gurudwara - and still remaining the same! Millions of people are praying, but there seems to be no prayer in existence, there seems to be no fragrance of prayer in the world. There is but hatred and hatred. There seems to be no love! How is it possible that millions of people pray every day and there is no love flowering? So many people praying and no compassion! Something deep down must be wrong, fundamentally wrong.
The prayer is false. It is being done because it has to be done. It is a kind of duty to be fulfilled, but the heart is not in it. The cunning man always keeps his heart away from everything that he does; he only pretends. He goes through empty gestures. And he is so cunning that he can always find a loophole and escape through it.
The basic problem of man is not ignorance: it is knowledge. Ignorance never makes a person cunning.
Those who are really ready to become disciples, they shave to drop only one thing and that is their knowledge. They have to become ignorant again. And when you become consciously ignorant, ignorance becomes luminous. The whole point is of consciousness. You can remain unconsciously very knowledgeable, and your knowledge remains dark, dismal, dead. If you become consciously ignorant, even your ignorance becomes enlightened. It is luminous. It is full of light.