Chapter 1: When the Disciple Is Ready
If you function from the state of knowledge, you will find many teachers but never a master. If you already know something, and you think that you know, then you will find other knowers, claimers, who are ahead of you. You will meet only the people whom you can meet. You will meet people like you. A person who functions from the state of knowing that he has gathered will find many teachers and will learn many things - but will never find a master.
To find a master you have to be a child. To find a master you have to be utterly innocent, not knowing anything, the mind empty - full of passion for truth, but without any conclusions about it. This is the state of real learning. And then you need not even go anywhere: the master will come to you.
There are many sannyasins here who have not come to me because of their search but because I have found them. They have come because of me, not because of themselves. That is the real coming. When you come because of yourself, you don’t come at all. You remain there, stubbornly, too much of you, full of you - there is no space for me to enter into you.
This is one of the basic requirements for a seeker: that he should be a learner. What I mean by “learning” is that one should always function from the state of innocence. One should not carry conclusions inside oneself - because those conclusions won’t allow you to learn. If something goes against them, you are bound to reject it. And if something does not go against them, then you are not learning anything - only your old prejudice is strengthened more.
If something agrees with you, there is no learning. It has simply strengthened the old mind. And the master cannot do it - he has to destroy the old for the new to be; he has to take away all that you have been carrying all along. He has to create space in you. If you cling to conclusions, prejudices, ideas, philosophies, you will not be able to meet a master - because his whole work consists in destroying all kinds of philosophies. He is interested it the real thing. He is not interested in speculation about things.
Just the other day I was reading a statement of Burke:
“Most people will grant that potatoes are important. Discourse about potatoes, however, does not enjoy the same popularity as do potatoes. When the chips are down, talk about potatoes is just no substitute for the original thing. So it is with religion.”
I like the statement. The master is interested in the real potatoes - not philosophies about the potatoes. And if you come with conclusions, you can’t come. Those conclusions stand like great barriers between you and the master. One has to come open, available. One has to come not knowing. This should be obvious: if you know already, then you are not available. Your very knowledge obstructs the way.
Become a disciple. Don’t be worried about the master. When you are ready, the master appears.