Chapter 31: The Courage to Be Ignorant
So the only quality of a seeker of truth is that he does not believe, that he is not a believer, that he is ready to be ignorant rather than to be knowledgeable, because ignorance is at least natural, simple, innocent. And out of ignorance there is a possibility, almost a certainty, that the question will arise, that the journey will begin. But through knowledge you are lost in a jungle of words, theories, doctrines, dogmas. There are so many, and they are so contradictory to each other, that soon you will find yourself more and more confused.more and more knowledgeable and more and more confused.
As far as I am concerned the basic quality of a seeker of truth is to cut himself away from all belief systems, from all borrowed knowledge - in other words, to have the courage to be ignorant rather than to have borrowed knowledge. Ignorance has a beauty; it is at least yours, authentic, sincere. It has come with you. It is your blood, it is your bones, it is your marrow.
Knowledgeability is ugly, absolute rubbish. It has been poured upon you by others, and you are carrying the load of it. And the load is such that it will not give you any opportunity to inquire on your own what truth is. Your collection of knowledge will answer immediately that this is truth. If you are filled with the Holy Bible, then the question will be answered by the Holy Bible. If you are filled with the Vedas, then the question will come out of the Vedas. But it will come from some source outside yourself; it will not be your discovery. And that which is not your discovery is not yours.
Truth brings freedom because it is your discovery. It makes you fully man; otherwise you remain on the level of the animals: you are but you don’t know who you are.
The search for truth is really the search for the reality of your being. Once you have entered your being, you have entered into the being of the whole, because we are different on the periphery but at the center we meet - we are one. You can draw many lines from the periphery of a circle towards the center; those lines on the periphery have a certain distance from each other. But as they come closer to the center the distance goes on becoming less. And when they reach to the center the distance disappears.
At the center we are one.
At the periphery of existence we appear to be separate.
And to know the truth of your being is to know the truth of the whole.
There is just one quality, one courage: not to be afraid of being ignorant. On that point there can be no compromise, no cheap borrowed knowledge to decorate yourself with as a wise man. That’s enough! Just be pure and natural, and out of that purity, naturalness, ignorance, innocence, the quest is bound to be born.
Every human being would be a seeker of truth if the society were not interfering with children. The class of children is the most harmed, oppressed, exploited, distorted class of all classes - and the most helpless. You are taking advantage of the helplessness of small children, but you are also not responsible. The same has been done to you. It is difficult to find out who was responsible in the beginning. But as long as we can look back, this has been the situation: every generation corrupts the new generation, and anybody who wants to prevent this corruption is condemned as corrupting the youth.