And the paradox is that the man of knowledge claims that he knows and the man of knowing does not even know that he knows. The man of knowing is innocent. There is a very famous mystic treatise in the West – the only one in the West. Nobody knows who wrote it, nobody knows from whom it came, but it must have come from a tremendous experience. The name of the treatise is The Cloud of Unknowing. It is from a man of knowing, but he calls it The Cloud of Unknowing. He says “When I came to know, I forgot all knowledge; all knowledge disappeared.” There is no need for knowledge when you know. When you don’t know, you cling to knowledge because only through that knowledge can you pretend to know. When you know, you can forget knowledge. When you don’t know, how can you afford to forget it?
So only the greatest knowers have been able to forget knowledge. That is the peak, and it has to be remembered. Living here with me, being here with me, don’t become men of knowledge otherwise you will have missed me. Become men of knowing, become clouds of unknowing – which is the same thing in other words. Knowing is almost like unknowing because in knowing there is no knower, the ego does not exist. In knowledge there is a division: the division of the known and the knower, the division of the subject and the object. In knowing there is no division. Knowing is not divisive, it is unitive; it unites.
Science is a sort of knowledge, religion a sort of knowing or unknowing, hence their paths never cross anywhere and they never will cross. Where science ends, religion begins. Where cunningness ends, innocence begins. Where the knower disappears, knowing comes in.
In the biblical story of Adam’s expulsion there is something to be understood in this context The story is so beautiful that I come to it again and again, with different meanings, with different interpretations. God said to Adam “You can enjoy all the fruits of this garden but there are two trees – one is called the Tree of Life, the other is called the Tree of Knowledge – please never eat from the Tree of Knowledge.” He mentions two trees: the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. He says nothing about the Tree of Life, he simply says “Don’t eat from the Tree of Knowledge.” But Adam was too curious, hence the serpent could persuade him – otherwise the serpent would not have been persuasive, would not have succeeded. Deep down, Adam must have been curious about it, as every child is – and Adam was the first child and God was the first father. He was persuaded to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. He ate, and he became a knower. Immediately he felt ashamed, immediately he felt naked. Up to then he was innocent; the innocence was primordial, absolute, unconditional. He was not aware that he was naked. In fact he was not aware that he WAS. The ego entered: from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge ego is created. He became alert, he started judging whether he was beautiful or not, whether it was good to be naked or not; he became aware of his body. For the first time he became self-conscious; up to then he had not been self-conscious. Not that he was not conscious, he was conscious, but there was no self in it; the consciousness was pure, unobstructed. The consciousness was just a pure light, but suddenly the ego stood like a pillar in the middle of consciousness – a dark pillar, a pillar of darkness. And the story says that he was expelled.
In fact God need not have expelled him. He had expelled himself through eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Knowledge is expulsion. The moment you become aware of your ego you are expelled from the beauty, from the benediction, from the delight, from the joy, that life has to offer to you.