Chapter 15: From Zero Learning to Learning Zero
The word discipline really means learning, hence the word disciple - one who is capable of learning. Real learning starts with learning three. Very rarely, very few people come to this point. Only very few fortunate people exist with a clear-cut direction, move not accidentally. Ordinarily people are just moving accidentally.
Just a few days ago I was reading the autobiography of a Jewish poet. He begins his autobiography by saying, “My birth was an accident. My father was traveling in a train; the train was late. He arrived at the station, his destination, in the middle of the night. No taxis were available, all taxis had already left. Snow was falling.” It was so cold and so dark and he was feeling so lonely. He looked around for somebody to talk to, to find a way to reach the hotel, or to see whether he could manage to stay the night at the station.
The woman who ran the cafe there was just closing it. He asked her for a cup of coffee, the woman gave him a cup of coffee. She was also alone. And then he said he was in a fix - no taxis available. He would like to reach to some hotel to sleep, he was tired. The woman said, “Why don’t you come with me in my car? I can take you to the hotel.”
And he went in the car with the woman, and this is how their friendship started. When they reached the hotel, the hotel was closed, so the woman said, “You come and stay with me.” So he stayed with the woman, fell in love with the woman. After a few days they got married, and this poet was born.
Now he says, “My birth was just an accident. If the train had not been late I would not have been born at all. If the train had been a little more late, just a few minutes, and if the woman had left, I would not have been born at all. If the hotel had still been open, I would not be in the world at all.”
This is how ordinary life goes on: just accidental, no definite goal, no definite direction, no star there far away calling you forth so that you can manage not to go zigzag but straight.
The fifth level of learning I call “learning four.” It is not only conscious of a direction, it is conscious of consciousness itself. It is learning four that becomes meditation. That’s what we are doing here: it is learning four - making you conscious of your consciousness.
To be conscious of a goal is one thing: you are objective. You are not conscious of your consciousness, you are simply conscious of the goal. That is the function of the ordinary school, college, university: to make you conscious of a goal-oriented life.
The function of a mystery school - a mystery school just like this - is higher than the function of a university. Its function is to make you conscious of your consciousness. To be conscious of one’s consciousness is meditation; it is the first step to being really human.
Learning three is the beginning of being human. Learning four is attaining humanity, is attaining manhood; it is attaining maturity. But this is not the end.