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Chapter 15: From Zero Learning to Learning Zero

What are you missing? You are missing life itself, because there is a gap between you and life. Life requires you to be original, and your educational system, your society, your culture, requires you to be repetitive. Your culture is more interested in efficiency than in intelligence, so you are efficient. You have ready-made answers for everything. Your mind is nothing but a filing system; your mind functions like a computer. You have not yet learned how to function like a man.

The second level of learning is “learning one”: it is purposive. The first learning has no purpose in it, because you function mechanically and machines cannot have purposes. The second learning has purpose: learning one. It has a sense of direction, although the sense of direction is unconscious. You are not clear about it, you are not conscious about it. You function like a plant, like a tree. The tree has a certain sense of direction, it knows where the sun is, it moves, but the movement is instinctive.

In African jungles trees go very high. They have to go, because if they remain low they will die. They will never be able to absorb sun rays; they will miss Vitamin D. They have to struggle to go higher and higher and higher. You bring the same trees to India and they don’t go that high. Give them good soil, good manure, water, everything, but they don’t go. There is no need - the sun is available so easily, why should they bother?

The second layer is like trees, the first is like machines; the second is far better. From the second you start becoming alive. Our bodies function in the second way, instinctively. The body has an instinctive wisdom, but there is no need to remain confined to it; it is a very low stage of learning. Just to be a tree is not of much significance, it is not life; rather it is vegetating.

The second level of learning I call “learning one,” because learning starts from the second level.

And the third level of learning I call “learning two.” With it you become a little bit conscious. You start functioning like animals, not like trees. You can move, the trees are rooted. They have a little freedom of going up, changing their direction, growing in certain directions, not growing in certain directions, but they are rooted. They don’t have a will, they can’t move.

The third level of learning - that is, learning two - is a little bit conscious. Some intelligence has arisen. Animals start behaving in a more intelligent way: it is vaguely conscious of purpose. It is a twilight phenomenon. It is between consciousness and unconsciousness; you can call it subconscious. It is the beginning of real intelligence, just the beginning.

Many people have remained with zero learning, very few move to learning one, an even lesser number move to learning two.

The fourth level of learning I call “learning three,” conscious direction, meaningful existence. You don’t simply go on drifting like wood. You are no more at the mercy of the winds and the waves. You have a goal, you know where you are going, you know why you are going - a clear-cut sense of direction. Life starts becoming more a discipline.

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