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Chapter 17: G-d

If you listen to something which is true there is no question of disagreement. If it is untrue, naturally you have to disagree with it. But your agreement or disagreement should come not from the prejudiced mind, but from the unprejudiced heart. Listening is from the heart, and hearing is from the mind, it is very superficial. And because the heart is deeper, any word that enters you first has to encounter the mind. Before it reaches the heart, the mind has done many things with it.

A man is standing at the bar and another guy walks up to him and says, “Are you Joe Smith?”

The man says, “Yes.”

The guy says, “Were you in Chicago a few weeks ago?”

Joe says, “Just a minute,” and takes out his notebook, turns some pages, and then says, “Yes, I was in Chicago a few weeks ago.”

The guy says, “Were you in room two one three?”

Joe looks in his notebook and says, “Yes.”

The guy says, “Did you meet Mrs. Wentworth in room two one four?”

Joe looks in his notebook and says, “Yes.”

The guy says, “Tell me, did you make love to Mrs. Wentworth?”

Joe scans his notebook again and says, “Yes, I made love to Mrs. Wentworth.”

The guy says, “Well, I’m Mr. Wentworth and I don’t like it.”

Again Joe looks in his notebook and says, “You know, that’s funny. I did not like it either.”

This is what you call hearing. He agrees perfectly, but he hears only what he wants to hear; he understands what he wants to understand.

And this is almost our everyday situation. At least here with me, you have to change this pattern, you have to be utterly silent because things are being said to you which can bring a transformation in your whole life. Here you are not learning geography or history or philosophy; here you are learning the very art, the alchemy of transformation. It is not collecting knowledge and information and becoming more knowledgeable.

The effort here is just the opposite: to make you less knowledgeable and more innocent, to the final point where you can say, “I don’t know anything.” Just like a newly born child, you are pure consciousness, unscratched, unspoiled. This is the state of a sage, of a wise man. His life has a completion. From childhood he began and he moved the whole circle of life. Back he has come again to the same point that he has left in his childhood, the pure consciousness which knows nothing but reflects everything. He is capable of understanding everything exactly as it is without any distortion because he has no prejudices to distort. The state of the sage has no preconceived ideas to mix and to mess and to disfigure.

There is a story in the life of Lao Tzu. I have loved it very much.

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