It is tremendously significant to remember that existence has bestowed on you a great gift, and the gift is that you are born as a tabula rasa, nothing is written on you – you are born as a clean slate. Now you have to write something on it. You can write something imitating others, borrowed; you can write Vedas on it, Gitas, Korans, Bibles, but you will miss the whole thing. You destroyed a great opportunity.
You have to write your own song – not the song of Krishna and not the song of Christ, but your own song! You have to sing your own heart, only then will you be fulfilled. But people are simply repeating like parrots; hence they become very knowledgeable and still remain foolish, still remain ignorant.
Saint Augustine divides humanity into two categories; those categories are significant. The first category he calls “knowledgeable ignorance.” There are people who know too much and yet know nothing; their knowledge is all borrowed. Nothing has arisen in them, nothing has happened to them; they are simply repeating others. They may be very clever in repeating it, very efficient in repeating it, but they are functioning like computers. They are not yet human beings; humanity is not yet born in them. Their knowledge knows nothing, it is a pretension.
The universities are full of such people, and the world respects these people very much because knowledge is power. They know, that is the prevalent idea, and they are powerful. And in a certain sense the idea is true: a man who knows physics is more powerful than the man who does not know, but as far as his own life is concerned he is as ignorant as anybody else. There is no difference between the villager and the university professor as far as self-knowing is concerned – and that is the real treasure.
There is knowledge which knows not, and, Augustine says, there is also an ignorance which knows. What is the ignorance he is talking about, that knows? The ignorance of the innocent. The innocent person has cleaned his mind completely of all borrowed knowledge.
Meditation is nothing but a device to clean the mind, to give a shower to your inner being, so that all the dust, the so-called knowledge, is taken away and you are left clean, fresh, young. This is what Jesus says: Unless you are born again you will not enter into my kingdom of God.
This is what in the East we used to call the phenomenon of the dwij – twice-born. All brahmins are not dwij, but all dwijas are brahmins. All brahmins are not twice-born, but all twice-borns are brahmins. Christ is a brahmin, Mohammed is a brahmin. The brahmin is one who has known Brahman, one who has known the ultimate life, but the secret is, you will have to be born again.
What does it mean? It means you will have to die to your knowledge – borrowed, imitative, mechanical – and you will have to be again innocent as you were when you were born the first time. But the first childhood is bound to be lost; nobody can protect it. It is in the nature of things that the first childhood will be lost. But the second childhood can be attained, and with the second childhood starts life. Before that you were merely existing. With the second birth you are entering into the real mystery of that which is.