Chapter 3: Awareness, Not Knowledge
25. The disassociation of the seer and the seen which is brought about by the dispersion of ignorance is the remedy that brings liberation.
26. The unwavering practice of discrimination between what is the real and what is the unreal brings about the dispersion of ignorance.
27. The highest stage of enlightenment is reached in seven steps.
The state of ignorance is the cause of all delusions, of all unrealities, of all appearances, but to know more is not the state of knowledge. Ignorance is the cause, but knowledge is not the remedy - knowledge in the sense of knowledgeability. You can know more and more and more, but you remain the same. Knowledge becomes an addiction. You go on adding it. But the being to which you add it remains the same. You know more, but you are not more.
And the root cause of ignorance can be dissolved only when you are more, when your being is stronger, when your being is powerful, when your being has awakened. The root cause of all suffering is ignorance, but knowledge is not the remedy - awakening is the remedy.
If you don’t understand this subtle distinction, first, you are lost in ignorance, and then you will be lost - and lost more so - in knowledge. In the Upanishads there is one of the most radical statements ever uttered. The statement is that in ignorance people are lost, but in knowledge they are lost in a deeper way. Ignorance misguides, knowledge misguides more.
Ignorance is not absence of knowledge. If it was absence of knowledge then things would have been very, very easy - and cheap. You can borrow knowledge; you cannot borrow being. You can even steal knowledge; you cannot steal being. You have to grow into it. Remember this as a criterion: that unless you grow in something it is never yours. When you grow, only then something belongs to you. You may possess something, but don’t be misguided by the possession. The possession remains separate - it can be taken away from you. Only your being cannot be taken away from you. So unless knowing happens into your being, ignorance cannot be dissolved.
Ignorance is not absence of knowledge; ignorance is absence of awareness. Ignorance is a sort of sleepiness, a sort of slumber, a sort of hypnosis; as if you are walking in sleep, doing things in deep. You are not aware what you are doing. You are not a light; your whole being is dark. You can know about light, but that knowledge about light will never become light. On the contrary, it will become a hindrance towards light, because when you know too much about light you forget that the light has not happened to you. You are deceived by your own knowledge.