Chapter 2: From Delusion toward Truth
Therefore, it is incumbent upon him to know that what he has amassed and held onto so far is worthless, and needs to be thrown away to make space for the genuine treasure. What is important is to be able to discern the rubble and rock so that the diamonds may be known. It is very necessary to know what is not knowledge in the quest for knowledge. Whatever is inculcated from without is not knowledge; what is imparted through words is not knowledge, what has come from others is not knowledge. Once this is clearly understood - that such knowledge is false - then the search for that knowledge which is true knowledge can begin.
Therefore, I state once again in the course of this second rule: Be free of knowledge to attain real knowledge. Be rid of knowledge that “the knowledge” can be born. As you go home, ask yourself on the way: “Whatever knowledge I have, is it my own.” Do I “know” it? If I do not “know” it, it is of no use; it is no knowledge; it is nothing more than stale and borrowed information.”
Man is a strange creature: he readily believes rumors - not only about others but about truth also! You have to ask yourself: “Do I really know what I know?” It is a harsh question to ask and to be asked without bias, for it hurts the ego. The question will snatch away the illusion of knowledge and erudition. One by one, the bricks will fall. Test your knowledge on this one touchstone and know that that which you do not “know” is not knowledge. That which I do not know is no knowledge for me, even if the whole world knows it.
Once this is clear, we can proceed to the third rule, but not before that. We have to step onward - from the first to the second. We have to let go of the first lower rung in order to climb the next step of the ladder. It is only when old grounds are traversed and left behind that new grounds can be explored. If we refuse to leave the old ground, no amount of instructions will help. Let the knowledge that has been learned go, so that the unlearned knowledge may find space to emerge.
On the third rule, we shall talk tomorrow.