Chapter 11: Reality.That Which Works
Now what happened to the other tree, the Tree of Life? Nothing is said about it. My own interpretation is that had Adam eaten first from the Tree of Life and then from the Tree of Knowledge there would have been no expulsion. If knowledge had come through living, if knowledge had come through experience, there would have been no expulsion. This knowledge was bogus; it had not come through his own experience, it was unearned, it was immature - hence the expulsion. It was borrowed, it was not his own. When it comes through experience it liberates, it makes you more joyous, it makes you more delighted with existence. If Adam had eaten first the fruit of the Tree of Life and then the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge there would have been no expulsion. He reversed the process: he ate from the Tree of Knowledge. And once you eat from the Tree of Knowledge you start losing life. You cannot eat from the Tree of Life then, so the expulsion is self-imposed.
Remember it: knowledge can come in two ways. You can have it from others, from books, from people, from the society, and you can claim it as yours, but then you are expelled. And remember, the expulsion is self-imposed; nobody is expelling you. Your very wrong approach towards knowing becomes a barrier. But knowledge can be attained through another way - that is through experience, through life. Eat the fruit of the Tree of Life first and then knowledge comes silently. Without even any whisper it arises in your soul.because if you go into experience, the ego is not created. The more you experience life, the less you have the self. Once life is known in its totality, you don’t think of yourself as separate from existence: you have fallen into the unity, you have become one, you have become one with the whole, you are part of the organic unity of existence. And then there is knowing, a totally different kind of knowing, which liberates. Eat the fruit of the Tree of Life.
There is another parable in the Bible that when God created the world he asked Adam to name things. He would bring the lion and ask Adam “What name do you give to this animal?” He would bring the elephant and ask “What name do you give to this animal?” And Adam named all things and since then man has been doing the same. All your knowledge is nothing but labeling, naming. If you ask somebody “Do you know this flower?” and he says “Yes, I know it is a rose,” what does he know? Just the name. What else do you know? By knowing the name rose do you know the rose? By knowing the word god do you know God? By knowing. the name love do you know love? That parable is also beautiful. Adam was foolish enough. He should have said “No, how can I name? I don’t know these things.” But he named - the elephant, the rose, the lion, the tiger - and since then that’s what man has been doing continuously down the ages: just naming things. If you know the name of the person, you think you know the person, so when you introduce people to each other you just tell them their name or their country, their race. But what are you doing? Is the person known that way? The person is vast, so huge, how can you label and know by the label? But naming gives a false impression - as if you know.
A couple whose new home was completed very recently had hardly moved in before the neighbors came over to inspect it. Naturally the conversation was on the subject of the new house.
“It is very nice,” commented one visitor, “but I don’t see why you call this type of house a bungalow.”
“Well,” explained the owner, “we just don’t know what else to call it. The job was a bungle and we still owe for it so we call it bungalow.”