Chapter 1: Toward the Awakening
Be courageous. Effort will be needed for it. It is the greatest challenge that can be given to you. Unless you accept the challenge you will not be able to understand the Upanishads - or me.
For this challenge a few things are to be understood as basic requirements. The first: put aside all your knowledge. For these eight days, kindly be ignorant. You will not lose that knowledge. If you still feel that it is good after eight days, you can start carrying it again. But for these eight days please put down all the burdens of your mind. Whatsoever you know, do not allow it to interfere here because if you allow it to interfere here, I will not be able to create the communion for which I have called you.
It is going to be a great experiment. If you put aside your knowledge - and you can. Just a decision is needed that “For these eight days I will not carry my knowledge; I will not say ‘I know’; I will just feel that I do not know anything.” If you can feel this, you are ready to enter into the unknown - because the unknown can be entered only when there is no knowledge. Knowledge can lead you only to the known; only ignorance can lead you to the unknown. Ignorance is just wonderful if you can understand the meaning of it.
Put aside whatsoever you know. And what do you know really? You simply go on pretending that you know. You go on talking about God and about the soul and about heaven and hell, and you do not know anything. This pretension costs too much because, by and by, you yourself are deceived by it.
For these eight days the first thing to be remembered is to be ignorant. Do not discuss, do not argue, do not question, do not answer anybody. If you are ignorant, how can you discuss and how can you argue? If you are ignorant, how can you question? Really, if you are ignorant how can you even question? What can you question? Your questions also arise out of your so-called knowledge. And what is there to answer? If you can feel that you are ignorant you will become silent, because what is there to think about?
Your knowledge goes on revolving around and around, it moves in circles in your mind. Put it aside - and not in parts, because no one can put it aside in parts. Put it aside completely - wholesale. Decide that for eight days you will be as ignorant as you were when you were born - just a child, a new baby who knows nothing, asks nothing, discusses nothing, argues nothing. If you can be a small baby, much is possible. Even that which looks impossible is possible.
If you are ignorant, only then can I work. Only in your ignorance can I transform you. Your knowledge is the barrier. If you feel that your knowledge is so significant and so important that you cannot put it aside, then go away. Do not remain here because then it is futile. I am not going to increase your knowledge. I am not interested at all in what you know, I am interested in you - what you are. And that being that you are can explode only when these barriers of so-called knowledge are thrown.