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Chapter 2: Tell and Still It’s Hidden

Scholars and pundits can deceive others, but how can they deceive themselves? Their so-called knowledge is like this story Buddha used to tell about a villager who sat at the door of his house, counting the cows and buffaloes of the other villagers as they passed by his door each morning and evening. He could tell how many cows and buffaloes there were in the village, but all of his activity never provided him with a single drop of milk. Buddha used to warn his disciples not to spend their lives like that villager.

All scholars are like that villager. They keep the accounts of others - what the Vedas say, what the Koran says, what the Bible says. They spend their whole lives counting the cows and buffaloes of others without ever getting a single drop of milk to drink. The experience must be your own.

Knowledge of inner experience
many come asking for.
Stuck dumb savoring the sweet,
whose mouth will tell the taste?

The great difficulty is that the man who has known the truth cannot give it to you even if he wishes to. You have no comprehension of the affliction of the wise. You only know one affliction, the affliction of the ignorant. The enlightened man has known the real thing. He knows. He sees you groping in the dark and he wants to give you all that he knows, but he is helpless. That is his affliction.

Struck dumb savoring the sweet,
whose mouth will tell the taste?

He has already tasted the sweet and he sees you still wandering all over in search of it. He sees you becoming more and more downcast, more and more miserable, more and more entangled in your problems, in your cares and sufferings. He wishes you could have the taste too; he wants the door of heaven to open for you as well. He wants to help you. He wants to cry out and say, “It is so very sweet!” But just as a man who is dumb is unable to cry aloud, the throat of the enlightened man is blocked; his lips cannot form the words. He is in the same position as the dumb man.

But the difficulty of the enlightened man is even greater than that of the man who is dumb. A remedy for dumbness may be possible, but for the enlightened man there is no way out. If the difficulty were physical some cure could be found, but his predicament is his inability to express what he has known. His dilemma arises out of the very nature of the experience of self-knowledge. If you also attain to that knowledge you will understand this quandary as well.

And even if the awakened man tries, his attempts are all unsuccessful. Not only are they unsuccessful, they can create the wrong impression. He wants to say one thing but has to say something else. He wants to say something definite and precise, but words are unable to express what it is he wants to say and they carry him somewhere else. He wants to lead you to a particular spot, but when he looks at you he sees he has led you to some other place, he sees you have misunderstood him.

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