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Chapter 2: The Meaning of Maturity

So the first thing is that you should be capable of learning and your learning capacity should never be burdened by knowledge, should never be covered by dust. The mirror of learning should remain clean and fresh so it can go on reflecting.

The mind can function in two ways. It can either function like a film in a camera: once exposed, finished, the film immediately becomes knowledgeable and it loses its learning capacity. Exposed once, and it already knows: now it is useless, now it is not capable of learning more. If you expose it again and again it will become more and more confused. That’s why people who know too much are always afraid of learning, because they will become confused. They are films that are already exposed.

Then there is another type of learning: learning like a mirror. Expose the mirror for a thousand and one times, it makes no difference: if you come in front of the mirror you are reflected, if you go the reflection goes. The mirror never accumulates. The film in the camera immediately accumulates; it is a miser, it catches hold, clings. But the mirror simply mirrors: you come in front, you are in it, you go, you are gone.

This is the way to remain mature. Every child is born mature and almost all people die immature. This will look very paradoxical, but this is so. Remain innocent and you will remain mature.

The second thing is that the immature mind is always interested in trivia. The immature mind is always interested in things: money, houses, cars, power, prestige - all trivia, all rot. The mature mind is interested only in existence, in being, in life itself. So when I say to you that you have an immature mind I mean you are still interested in things, not in persons, still interested in the outside, not in the inside, still interested in objects, not in subjectivity; still interested in the finite, not interested in the infinite.

Just watch your mind, where it moves, what its fantasies are. If you find a valuable diamond on the road and just there by its side a rose has flowered, in what will you be interested, in the rose or in the diamond? You will not be able to see the rose if you are interested in the diamond. You will simply miss the rose: “It is valueless.” Your eyes will be too clouded by the diamond. Your whole mind will become focused on the diamond and you will miss another diamond which was more alive - the rose.

In the Hindu paradise they say roses are not ordinary roses, they are made of diamonds. I don’t know, but I have seen roses. If you can see roses here, exactly on this earth - not in paradise but here, now - they are made of diamonds, so why go far away? Once you know how to see a rose there is nothing comparable to it. And once you can see the rose you may forget completely about the diamond.

It happened that Mulla Nasruddin came to me one day. He was very much worried and he said, “Ah, poor Mr. Jones. Did you hear what happened to him? He tripped at the top of the stairs, fell down the whole flight, banged his head and died.”

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