Chapter 11: Truly Right
You all have been told what is right and what is wrong. Yes, Christians will say one thing, Mohammedans another, Jainas still something else. Hindus have their own ideas of right and wrong, and Confucians and Zoroastrians. And there are so many ideologies in the world, and they all have their own ideas: what is right and what is wrong. And you have been told.. Because you were born in a certain family, in a certain conditioning, from the very beginning you have been conditioned. So you all carry some idea, clearly or unclearly, consciously or unconsciously, what is right and what is wrong. And still you don’t know what is right and what is wrong, because you have not discovered it on your own. You have been told.
And these are such deep experiences that nobody else can decide them for you. You will have to grope in the darkness of your being to find a window from where you can look at the open sky. You will have to seek and search a door from which you can have an insight of what is right and what is wrong.
If you simply listen to people.they are asleep. What they are saying is not their own. Their parents had said those things to them. Neither their parents had their own experience, their parents.and so on and so forth. What they are telling you is only a repetition. They are functioning like gramophone records. They repeat a certain formula because they know nothing else, and they are not courageous enough to say to you, “We don’t know.”
It needs guts to announce your ignorance. It needs the courage of Socrates to say, “l know only one thing: that I know nothing.” But it is very difficult to find a father like Socrates. It is very difficult to find a man like Buddha or Jesus to teach you.
In your schools, in your churches, it is impossible because these people cannot be confined to schools and churches. These people have known.
But the first step towards knowing is knowing that “I am ignorant.” Then you are ready, open, vulnerable. Then something can happen to you. Then truth can reveal itself to you. But you are so full of rubbish. You all think that you know. This is the first thing to be dropped.
Your parents, your teachers, your priests, know nothing, and out of their ignorance and out of their pretentious knowledge - false, pseudo, borrowed - they go on teaching you. They say one thing, you will understand another. You will say one thing to your children and they will understand another. That’s how truth becomes more and more deteriorated. That’s how truth becomes a lie.
When Buddha utters something it is coming from the very very source of life and existence. But the moment he utters, a process sets in, a process which is going to destroy the truth. The hearer will hear it in his own way, then he will say it to somebody else. Now twenty-five centuries have passed, and in twenty-five centuries how many generations have passed. And each generation has been giving its so-called knowledge to the next generation.
Now if Buddha comes back he will really have a belly laugh. He will not be able to believe that these are his words. If Bodhidharma comes back he will be surprised. He will be utterly dumb for a moment: “Are these my words?”
Because my feeling, reading these questions and answers, has continuously been this: that the disciple, although he is trying to be very true to the master’s words, is still editing.