Chapter 3: Crying for the Light
Yes, that is the situation of your so-called philosophers, theologians, doctors of law - the learned people. They are parrots. They have not even known themselves yet. What else can they know? They are not even acquainted with themselves. How can they be acquainted with others? They have not unraveled the mystery that they are.
The closest is your own mystery. If even that is not known, how will you know the mystery of the others? Those mysteries are farther away from you, they are distant. The easiest to approach, the most easily approachable, is your own mystery. The journey has to begin from there.
The learned people - the pundits, the scholars, the professors - they are only better informed. But information makes no one wise. Yes, it helps you to pretend wisdom. It becomes a camouflage; it is a façade behind which you can hide your ignorance. But the ignorance is not destroyed by it; on the contrary, it is protected.
Your knowledge becomes a defense; it is a security for your ignorance. It is nourishment. You become fully unaware that you are ignorant; that is the purpose of your so-called knowledge. And this is dangerous. If you are unaware that you are ill, then there is no possibility of searching for health. If you become oblivious of the fact of your fundamental ignorance, how are you ever going to become enlightened?
If you have forgotten that your interior is full of darkness, you will not search for light; you will not work to create light. If you have already accepted that you know, then what is the point of going on an adventure of knowing?
And that’s what your so-called knowledge goes on doing. It does not change the ignorant person into a knowing person; it only gives an illusion of knowledge. It is a mirage. It is a dream in which you become wise. But in reality you remain the same.
The difference between the ignorant and the so-called learned is only of quantity. No qualitative difference at all exists between them. The ignorant is less informed, less polished, less educated. The learned is more informed, more educated, has read more, has listened to more people. The difference is of language. The learned is more articulate, knows many more words. But they are mere words - remember. There is no meaning in it, there cannot be any meaning in it because meaning comes through experience.
You can learn all the great words there are in the dictionaries. That’s how you go on using words. When you use words like God do you know what you are saying? Do you know what you mean? What is God? It is a mere word for you, and it will remain a mere word. But behind the word there is a danger; you may start believing that you know because you know the word.
Knowing the word God is not knowing godliness. Knowing the word love is not knowing love. Knowing the word fire is not knowing fire. Remember, words are mere symbols. Unless you pour existential meaning in them they will remain empty. There is no meaning in the words; the meaning is in the individual and his experience.