Chapter 18: Go Higher
I have just passed a time of deep spirituality, and my life is changed. I understand your work more and more, and with my commune I want to be in more communion with you. I want to know how this is possible.
The revolution that spirituality brings is in a way very simple, but in another way it is very complex too. And you have to understand both sides, the simplicity of it and the complexity of it.
A man of spirituality becomes innocent. He is just like a child. He is not childish, but he is as if just born in the world, as if for the first time he has opened his eyes. The colors are more colorful, everything has more a dream quality to it - even stones are not so hard, they are also alive and with heart. This childlike innocence makes the spiritual person in a deep sense unburdened of all knowledge. He knows nothing.
This knowing nothing is not ordinary ignorance. The ordinary ignorance knows something; however ignorant, it always knows something. The ordinary ignorant person knows very little but believes he knows much; he magnifies his small knowledge. And what he calls his knowledge is not his either, it is all borrowed, it is stolen. He is a thief. He is bragging about things which don’t belong to him and he is continuously collecting more and more knowledge. He goes on becoming knowledgeable. That is the way of the ignorant man, to go on becoming more knowledgeable.
The ignorant man finally becomes a pundit, a scholar, a rabbi, a bishop, a cardinal, a shankaracharya - carrying loads of knowledge. Not a single bit of it is his own experience. He is just a parrot, or perhaps even worse.
I have heard that a woman was looking for a parrot in a pet shop. She was attracted towards a parrot who looked really nice, and gentlemanly - cunning people always look like that. He was sitting so seriously, so religiously, that the woman told the shopkeeper, “This is the parrot I would like.”
The shopkeeper said, “Forgive me, madam; except for that parrot, you can choose any.”
The woman became even more attracted. She said, “Why are you not giving me that parrot? Don’t be worried about the price, I am ready to pay any price. But look how religiously, silently, the parrot is sitting - the grace and the beauty of the parrot. No, I cannot have any other parrot.”
The shopkeeper said, “You are insisting - you will repent, because that parrot comes from a very bad place. He belonged to a prostitute, and all this religiousness and niceness and gentlemanliness is bogus; he is one of the worst parrots I have seen in my life. Once he opens his mouth, then there is not a single four-letter word that he does not know. This is the deception. I still ask you: don’t insist. I have no problem; if you insist you can have it, but the responsibility will be yours. Don’t come to me tomorrow.”