Chapter 9: Hail Great Scholar!
That is the fear. Because of that fear, Adam never went close to the tree of life. That’s why you have not gone close to it. That’s why millions of people go to the universities, to the libraries, but avoid going to a master.
A master, a perfect master, is a tree of life. He is not a teacher. A teacher means the tree of knowledge: a master means the tree of life.
A master does not impart knowledge, he imparts being. He stirs your heart, makes it more alive. He breathes in you, gives you a new rhythm. He touches you in your deepest core and creates a dance there.
Adam avoided the tree of life, so everybody else is doing it. Down the ages, people have been following Adam. But the tree of knowledge attracted him immensely. The temptation from the serpent was: “If you eat from the tree of knowledge, you will become as wise as God - you will become a god.” That’s the temptation of knowledge. One thinks, “If I can know more, then I will be more - I will become like a god.” By knowing, nobody becomes a god, but only by being.
The serpent is deceiving you too. The serpent is not something outside; it is another name for your mind. The mind says, “Know more - if you know more you will be more.” It convinces you very logically.
Once Adam has eaten from the tree of knowledge, his eyes are closed towards eternity. He becomes caught up in the net of time. And time means death. And God has told Adam, “If you eat from the tree of knowledge, you will start dying. You will lose eternity. You will lose the quality of deathlessness. You will become a mortal!”
This parable is immensely beautiful. I take it again and again - it has so many aspects. To me this seems to be the greatest parable ever - it has SO many meanings.
If you eat from the tree of knowledge you will become mortal - because you will become more and more confined into time, into mind. Time and mind are synonymous. It is mind that creates time - psychological time, I mean, not the chronological time. The more you become mindless, the less you are aware of time. When you become perfect, you become constantly, completely unaware of time. Then all is eternity.
Once a Buddhist monk came to see me. He had come from a very far off place, Kalimpong. He travel led for many days to see me. He said, “I have only one inquiry to make, and only for that have I come.”
“What is the inquiry?”
He said, “My inquiry is this: since you became enlightened, what has been happening? What experiences have you been going through since you became enlightened? What has been occurring? What more? What new experiences after enlightenment?”
I said, “You don’t understand the word enlightenment. After enlightenment, nothing happens. All happening stops, disappears. One simply is.”