Eckhart was uneducated. It is strange that many of the mystics are uneducated. There must be something wrong with education. Why are there not so many educated mystics? Education must be destroying something, and that prevents people from becoming mystics. Yes, education destroys. Twenty-five years continuously – from the kindergarten to the postgraduate courses in university – it goes on destroying in you whatsoever is beautiful and aesthetic. The lotus is crushed under scholarship, the rose is murdered by the so-called professors, teachers, vice-chancellors, chancellors. What beautiful names they have chosen for themselves!
The real education has not begun yet. It has to begin. It will be the education of the heart, not of the head; of the feminine in you, not the masculine.
It is a wonder that Eckhart, among the Germans, the most male chauvinist race in the world, remained yet in his heart, and spoke from there. Uneducated, poor, of no political status, of no economic status, of no status at all – just a beggar, but so rich. Very few people have been so rich. Rich in his being – his BEING.
Write BEING in capital letters.
These two words, being and becoming, have to be understood. Becoming is a process with no beginning and no end, a continuum. But being is not a process at all, it simply is. Call it is-ness, and you will be very close to it.
Being is neither of time nor of space, it is a TRANSCENDENCE. Transcendence – again, write TRANSCENDENCE in capital letters. Alas that you cannot write it in golden letters. It is a word that should be written in gold, pure gold – not eighteen carat but twenty-four carat, one hundred percent gold.
Eckhart said only a few things, but even those were enough to irritate the ugly priesthood, the pope and the devils that surround him. They immediately stopped Eckhart. They told him what to say and what not to say. It needs a madman like me not to listen to these fools. But Eckhart was a simple man; he listened, listened to authority. A German is after all a German. When you say “Left turn” he turns left; when you say “Right turn” he turns right.
I was expelled from army training at the university because when they said, “Right turn”, I would think it over. Everybody would immediately turn except me. The military officer was puzzled. He said, “What’s the matter with you? Can’t you hear? Is something wrong with your ears?”
I said, “No, something is wrong with me. I don’t see the point. Why should I turn left or right? There is no necessity, no reason. And these poor fools who have turned to the right and then to the left will come to the same position that I am in already.”
Naturally I was expelled – and I was immensely happy. Everybody thought it was bad luck, and I thought it was good luck. They whispered that something must be wrong with me: “He was expelled and yet he is enjoying.” I threw a party with wine and all.
Eckhart listened. A German cannot be really enlightened, it will be very difficult. Vimalkirti may be the first German who became enlightened. But Eckhart was very close; one step more and the world will end…and the opening, the opening of the doors, the opening to the beyond. But he said – even though he was a German, and even under pressure from the pope – he said beautiful things. Just a little bit of truth has entered into his sayings, hence I include him.