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Chapter 12: Right Questioning

The first type of questioning is always conditioned by others. This must be understood very clearly. Ignorance is yours, and your so-called knowledge is given by others. Ignorance is more existential than so-called knowledge. If you don’t know, this not knowing is yours. And if you say, “I know because I have read the Gita,” this knowing is not yours. “I know because so-and-so has said such and such a thing, because Buddha had such knowledge and I have become acquainted with it, therefore, I know” - this knowledge is not yours

And remember, even your ignorance is more valuable than others’ knowledge. At least it is yours. Something can be done with it. It is real, existential. Nothing can be done with a fiction. The real can be transformed and changed, but with the fiction you can do nothing, with imagination you can do nothing. Imagined knowledge, based only on information, is fictitious. It is not existential.

So ask a question, inquire about something, through your existential feelings, not your accumulated, mental information. If you really ask from your ignorance, then your question will be universal in one way and individual in another way - individual and at the same time universal - because when you ask from your ignorance the problem is the same for everyone, but if you ask from your knowledge, then the problem differs.

A Hindu may never ask a question which a Mohammedan can ask; a Christian will never ask the same question that a Jaina asks, because a Mohammedan’s knowledge is completely different from a Christian’s knowledge - though there is no Mohammedan ignorance and no Hindu ignorance. Ignorance is universal, existential. Mohammedan knowledge is different from Hindu knowledge, Buddhist knowledge is different from Jaina knowledge, and if your questioning is raised by your knowledge, it is bound to social - just racial conditioning, and not universal, existential.

So when a Mohammedan asks something, he is not really asking, but that which has been put into him, that which has been forced upon him, imposed upon him - that which has been conditioned. That conditioning is asking; the real man is behind it. The Mohammedan, the imposed Mohammedan or the imposed Hindu, is asking. Then it is superficial, and whatsoever answer is given is not going to penetrate to your depths because the question was never from the depths.

Existential questioning means you go to your depths through all the conditioning layers of your mind and ask, just as a pure, bare existence - not as a Mohammedan, Hindu, Sikh, Jainaa. Ask as if you have not been given any answers before. Put your answers aside. Then, your question will be individual in one way, because it has come from you, and simultaneously universal, because whenever someone goes inside to such a depth, the same question will come.

So be existential in asking, and never ask from your knowledge. Ask from your ignorance. If you want transformation, mutation, then ask from your ignorance. Be aware of your ignorance. Dig deep and find the questioning which is coming out of your ignorance, not out of your knowledge. Only then are you aware of your basic difficulty.

So now, ask!

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