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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here
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Chapter 23: Knowledge Is the Corpse of Knowing

Remember, information is never a transformation. On the contrary, all information that you collect becomes a barrier for your transformation. And all our universities and colleges and educational systems are simply doing the most harmful thing to you: they are giving you a false notion of knowing.

Knowing comes through living, not through books, not through teachers, not through saviors. It comes through your own intensity, aliveness - and you cannot be alive tomorrow, you have to be alive this moment. You don’t need questions and you don’t need any answer, because no answer is going to satisfy your quest. You are thirsty.you need water, living water, to quench your thirst. You don’t need the answer that water consists of hydrogen and oxygen. The formula H2O is not going to quench your thirst. This is my existential approach.

Man has lived too long under the shadow of intellectual efforts to demystify existence. Fortunately, he has not been able. The existence is as mysterious as ever, but unfortunately he has become burdened with great knowledge and a false feeling that he knows. This is the greatest danger - to be addicted with a false notion of knowing.

Socrates, in his last days of life made one of the most significant statements ever made. He said, “When I was a child I used to think I know everything. When I became a young man I became aware that the more I know, the more there is to know. My knowledge is not dispelling ignorance, but only making me aware of my ignorance, how little I know, and the immense and infinite that is waiting to be known.

“And now at a ripe age I can gather courage to say that which I could not say when I was young, that I know nothing. And this experience that I know nothing has unburdened me completely of all the knowledge that I have accumulated; it has fallen away. I am standing utterly naked, just as I was born. The same innocence has come with tremendous beauty, with great rejoicing.”

There are only two men in the whole history of man - Socrates is one - who said, “I know nothing.”

The second man is Bodhidharma, who said it in a more dramatic way. He had a unique personality of his own. He was born in India, but was sent by his master to China to inform the people about Gautam Buddha. He went there, and nine years he lived there; and before leaving China he had thousands of disciples. But he chose four disciples and told them, “Before I leave, I want somebody to be my successor. Amongst you four is the one who will succeed me. I will ask you a simple thing, and whoever answers rightly will be the successor.”

Naturally, it was a great moment of suspicion. Time suspended.thousands of disciples waiting.those four disciples standing.and Bodhidharma asked, “In a very simple statement, telegraphic, don’t use a single word that is not necessary, state what was my purpose in coming to China from India.”

The first one said, “You had come here to spread the transcendental wisdom of Gautam Buddha.”

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