Chapter 1: Know How to Live
To say “I don’t know” is the greatest courage in the world. It is very difficult for the language professors to say “I don’t know.” It is difficult for the parrots. Socrates was a very sincere and honest man. He said, “I don’t know.”
Then the disciple asked, “Then why are you feeling so happy? If the soul does not survive, then.?”
Socrates said, “I have to see. If I survive there can be no fear about it. If I don’t survive, how can there be fear? If I don’t survive, I don’t survive. Then where is the fear? There is nobody there, so fear cannot exist. If I survive, I survive. There is no point in getting afraid about it. But I don’t know exactly what is going to happen. That’s why I am so full of wonder and ready to go into it. I don’t know.”
To me, this is what a religious man should be. A religious man is not a Christian, or a Hindu, or a Buddhist, or a Mohammedan. All these are ways of knowledge. A Christian says, “I know.” And his knowledge comes from the Christian dogmas. The Hindu says, “I also know.” And his knowledge comes from the Vedas and the Gitas and his dogmas. And a Hindu is against the Christian, because he says, “If I am right, you cannot be right. If you are right, then I cannot be right.” So there is great argument and there is much dispute and much debate and unnecessary conflict.
A religious man, a really religious man - not the so-called religious people - is one who says “I don’t know.” When you say “I don’t know,” you are open, you are ready to learn. When you say “I don’t know,” you don’t have any prejudice this way or that, you don’t have any belief, you don’t have any knowledge. You have only awareness. You say, “I am aware and I will see whatsoever happens. I will not carry any dogma from the past.”
This is the attitude of a disciple, the attitude of one who wants to learn. And ‘discipline’ simply means learning. A disciple means a learner, one who is ready to learn, and discipline means learning.
I am not here to teach you any dogmas; I am not imparting any knowledge to you. I am simply helping you to see that which is. Live your life whatsoever the cost. Be ready to gamble with it.
I have heard about a business man. He was walking from his office to a restaurant for lunch when he was stopped by a stranger who said to him, “I don’t think that you remember me, but ten years ago I came to this city broke. I asked you for a loan and you gave me twenty dollars because you said you were willing to take a chance to start a man on the road to success.”
The business man thought for a while and then he said. “Yes, I remember the incident. Go on with your story.”
“Well,” remarked the stranger, “are you still willing to gamble?”