Chapter 11: The Stage of the Sage
The so-called knowledge is almost like money - you go on hoarding money. That doesn’t change you. How can it change you? Your bank balance goes on growing but that doesn’t mean you are growing with it. How can you grow with the bank balance? You may start collecting much money, you may hoard millions of rupees, but how is that going to help your growth? You remain the same. That’s why you will see that even rich people remain beggars. Money is there but their inner beggary remains the same. They remain the same way - miserly. Sometimes they become even more miserly, because when you don’t have you are not so worried about losing it. When you have, you become worried about losing it. Rich people become poorer, their poverty is tremendous. They cannot share. They are always afraid. Their inner poverty does not change at all, it remains the same.
It has to be so. If you are aggressive, just by changing your clothes you will not become non-aggressive. If you are an angry person, just by changing the style of your hair you will not become non-angry. So the amount of money you have does not make any difference to your inner being; you remain the same.
And in the same way the amount of knowledge you have makes no difference. You can go to the university, you can have all the degrees possible, you can have a Ph.D or a D.Litt, you can visit the libraries and you can go on reading and reading and reading and studying and you can collect much knowledge - but it will be just on the outside, on the periphery of your mind. It will be just in your memory, it will not change the quality of your consciousness. And unless your quality changes, nothing is attained.
So the first thing to be understood is that knowledge and knowing are different. Knowledge is information, knowing is understanding. Knowledge is gathered from the outside, knowing is a growth inside. Knowledge is borrowed, knowing is yours, authentically yours. Knowledge is learnt, knowing is not learnt from anybody.
You have to become more alert so that you can see more, so that you can feel more, so that you can be more. Knowing is being, knowledge is just a peripheral accumulation.
Another thing. When you are a man of knowledge, when you have hoarded much knowledge, your ego will be strengthened. You will think, “I know so much.” And the ego is one of the barriers towards reality, it is not a bridge, it disconnects, it does not connect. When you are a man of knowing, ego disappears - because a man of knowing comes to know that there is nothing you can know. How can you know? Life is so mysterious, so tremendously mysterious, there is no way to know it really.
If you can know only yourself, that is more than enough, more than one can expect. If a small light starts burning in your heart and your inner being becomes lighted, that is more than enough. And that is what is needed. In that light you become aware that the reality is an ultimate mystery - that’s what we mean when we use the word God. “God” means exactly what “nature” means with only one difference. In the concept of “nature” it is implied that if it is not known up to now it will be known later on - but it can be known. It is knowable. That is the intrinsic meaning of the word nature.