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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol. 2
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Chapter 9: Blissfulness beyond Ignorance

You said one night that awareness brings knowledge and knowledge makes man aware of many problems and sufferings within himself. But isn’t it true that awareness and knowledge give more richness, growth and depth to man’s life?
Please explain about this dialectical situation in man and the way to transcend the knowledge also.

Ignorance is blissful because one is not aware of any problems, but one is not aware of the blissfulness either. It is a bliss, like when you are in a deep sleep. No suffering is there, no anxiety is there, because no problems are possible when you are asleep. With knowledge one begins to be aware of many problems, and much suffering happens. This suffering will remain unless one transcends knowledge also.

So these are three states of the human mind: ignorance - you are blissful but you are not aware; knowledge - you are aware but you are not blissful; and enlightenment - you are aware and you are blissful. Enlightenment is in one sense just like ignorance and in another sense just like knowledge. In one sense it is like ignorance because it is blissful, and not like knowledge because there is no suffering. In another sense it is like knowledge because there is awareness, and not like ignorance because ignorance is absolute absence of awareness.

Enlightenment is blissfulness with awareness. Knowledge is a passage, it is a journey. You have left ignorance, you have not achieved enlightenment. You are in between. That’s why knowledge is a tension. Either you fall back to knowledge or go beyond. And falling back is not possible. You have to struggle to go beyond.

It is asked whether knowledge also gives richness, growth and depth to man’s life. Of course, it gives. It gives a richness because the moment you become aware, with the expanding awareness you are expanded, with the widening awareness you go on becoming greater and greater - because you are your awareness. Ignorant, you are as if you are not. You don't know that you are. Existence is, but without any depth, without any height. With knowledge you begin to feel your multidimensional being. But this richness is also given by suffering.

Suffering is not something contrary to richness. Suffering makes you rich. Suffering is painful, but suffering gives you depth. Someone who has not suffered at all will be just superficial. The more you suffer, the more you have touched deeper realms. That’s why a more sensitive man suffers more, a less sensitive man suffers less. A shallow mind will not suffer at all. The deeper the mind, the deeper becomes your suffering. Suffering is also richness.

Animals cannot suffer, only man suffers. Animals can be in pain, but pain is not suffering. When mind begins to feel the pain and think about it and the meaning of it and the possibility to go beyond it, then it becomes suffering. If you simply feel pain, it is a very shallow thing.

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