Chapter 3: The Empty Door Is Open Wide
We are, but we don’t know who we are. Our names deceive us: they give us a certain feeling as if this is what we are. Our bodies reflected in the mirror, our faces reflected in people’s eyes, go on giving us a certain idea of our identity. Slowly, slowly we gather all this information and create an image of ourselves which is utterly false. This is not the way to know oneself One cannot know oneself by looking in the mirrors because the mirrors can only reflect your body - and you are not the body. You are in the body, but you are not the body. Your behavior, your character, your actions can show your mind, but not you.
There is a school of psychologists, one of the most important schools, called the behaviorists. They think man is his behavior: you are nothing but the totality of your actions, so if your actions can be understood you are understood. Man is more, much more than the sum total of his actions; man is not only his behavior. Man is the innermost consciousness of his body, of his mind, of his actions.
Unless you become conscious of your consciousness, unless you become aware of your inner light, you go on living in illusions. And we perpetuate illusions because they are cheap, easily available; they cost nothing, and they can be handed over to us by others.
Discovering oneself is arduous: it is going on the greatest exploration. It is easier to go to the moon, easier to go to the Everest. It is far more difficult to go to one’s own center - for the simple reason that you will have to travel alone, all alone. As one of the great Greek mystics, Plotinus, says, “It is a flight of the alone to the alone.”
That’s why very few people have become enlightened, when it is really everybody’s birthright to become enlightened. And even if sometimes, by some accident, people become interested in knowing about themselves, they immediately become victims of words - theories, philosophies, ideologies. They become victims of scriptures, doctrines, dogmas; again they are lost in a jungle of words. Yes, you will find beautiful sayings there, immensely pregnant with meaning, but that meaning will remain hidden to you; you will not be able to discover it. You have not been able to discover yourself; you cannot discover the meaning of the words of Gautam the Buddha or Jesus the Christ or Mahavira the Jaina - impossible. You can understand only that much which you have experienced; understanding never goes beyond your experience. Words you can accumulate, you can become scholars, great scholars. And again you will be in a new kind of illusion: the illusion that information creates. The more information you have, the more you start feeling you know.
Information is thought to be synonymous with knowing - it is not. Knowing is a totally different affair. Knowing is experiencing; information only accumulates in the memory system. A computer can do it, there is nothing special about it; there is nothing specially human about it.
Two large rats walked into a movie house one day and went straight to the projection room. Once inside they ate the entire reel of film. After eating, one rat looked at the other and asked, “Did you like the movie?”
To which the other replied, “No, I liked the book better.”