Chapter 28: Knowledge Is Information; Knowing Is Transformation
You said that you don’t know who you are. Don’t you really? Do we never know who we are?
I know that I do not know who I am.
My knowing is not knowledge and my knowing is not ignorance. It is a little bit complex, but not difficult to understand.
Knowledge is always borrowed.
It is not your own; you are simply repeating like a parrot. You don’t know what it means, you don’t know all its implications; you don’t know from where it arises, you don’t know whether it is true or just fictitious.
I have heard that the wife of Mulla Nasruddin purchased a parrot. She was very interested in finding a really good parrot, and when she found one she was immensely delighted. But for some strange reason the pet shopkeeper was reluctant to sell the parrot to her. She was surprised. She said, “You have it for sale and whatsoever the price is I am ready to pay. Why are you reluctant?”
He said, “There are so many other beautiful parrots, even more knowledgeable than this. Why are you so particular about this parrot?”
She said, “That I don’t know, but somehow, to me, he looks the most cute. He is beautiful, healthy, colorful - and the way he speaks! It is difficult to figure out whether it is a human voice or a parrot speaking.”
Although the shopkeeper was reluctant, the woman was persistent, and finally she purchased the parrot. As she was departing he told her, “I should make you alert of the fact that the reason I was reluctant to sell him is that the parrot comes from a very bad place; he was owned by a prostitute. He speaks vulgar language and he uses expressions which you may feel offended by.”
She said, “Don’t be worried. I need such a parrot for my husband. My husband uses such vulgar language, such bad expressions, that this is good: the parrot will be really the answer to him.”
The shopkeeper could not say anything more. Nasruddin’s wife went home and she covered the parrot with a cloth so that when Nasruddin came she could give him a surprise and a shock. Nasruddin came home by evening; and it was really a surprise and a shock - not for Nasruddin but for Nasruddin’s wife, because even from behind the cloth the parrot recognized Nasruddin immediately. He said, “Hello, Mulla Nasruddin. You are really great: every day new girls, new women!”
Now the parrot could not think of the implications, but the wife was immensely shocked that the parrot knew Nasruddin: that meant Nasruddin was going to the prostitute. The parrot was saying, “You are great! Every day new women, new girls. You know how to enjoy life!”
Knowledge is exactly like that. The Christian priest repeating the Bible has no understanding of what he is repeating.