Socrates remained alert to the very last moment. He went on telling his disciples to the very last moment what was happening to him. He was learning, he was teaching.
A real master is always a disciple. A real master is always learning. He never claims knowledge; in fact he claims agnosia, a state of not knowing. That’s what Dionysius calls it: a state of not knowing. Socrates has said: “I know only one thing, that I know nothing.” This is agnosia.
One has to remain in a constant state of not knowing, one has never to allow oneself to become knowledgeable. The moment you become knowledgeable the process of learning stops, you have come to a full point.
Socrates said to his disciples, “Listen, you can weep and cry later on, that can be done later on; that is not very essential right now. Right now something immense is happening. My feet are becoming numb, they are dying, but strange– although they are dying, I don’t feel I am dying.” Then he said, “My legs have gone absolutely numb, I don’t feel them. They are dead, but I am still whole – nothing is missing. As far as my consciousness is concerned, it has not even been touched by death.” Then he said, “My hands are disappearing.” Then he said, “Now, even – I am afraid any moment my heart will stop; it is sinking. But I am still as whole as I have ever been, so one thing is certain: that by the death of the body one does not die. Death happens to the body, not to the consciousness, because my consciousness is still intact.”
His last words were, “My tongue is getting numb and I cannot say anything more, but remember, even up to now I am as whole as I have ever been. Nothing has died in me. Something has died around me, on the periphery, but in contrast the center is in fact more alive than ever. I feel more alive because the body is dead, all the life has become concentrated. It has disappeared from the body, from the circumference. It has become focused on a single point: I am.”
These were his last words. This is the process of learning.
A knowledgeable person is always a stupid person, he is unintelligent. You will not find pundits intelligent. They cannot be, they know – the process has stopped long, long before. Professors are almost always stupid people. It is very rare to come across a professor who is still learning. They stopped the day they left their universities, the day they graduated. The day they became MA’s or PhD’s or DLitt’s, they died.