Look at a rich man: he has gathered so much – he cannot use it even – but he is not happy. What has happened? The greater your riches, the more you begin to feel yourself poor. And this happens in every direction. When you know more, you feel more that you are ignorant. A person who doesn’t know anything never feels that he is ignorant; never feels. It is impossible, because that feeling is part of knowing. The more you know, the more you become aware that much is to be known. The more you know, the more you feel that whatsoever you have known is nothing.
Newton is reported to have said: “I have been just standing on the seashore, and whatsoever I have gathered is sand in my fist, nothing more. And this is a great, infinite expanse. Whatsoever I know is just a few particles of sand in my hand, and what I don’t know is this infinite expanse of the ocean.” So Newton feels more ignorant than you can feel, because that feeling is part of knowledge.
If you can love, then you will feel the impossibility of love. Then you will feel that it is virtually impossible to love someone. But if you don’t love anyone, you will never become aware that love is a very arduous journey. Because when you go into something, only then do you become aware of your finite capacity and the infinite encounter. When I move out of my house, then I encounter the sky. If I go on remaining in my house, there is no encounter, and I may finally come to believe that this is the whole universe.
The less you know, the more confident you are. The more you know, the less is your confidence. The greater the knowledge, the more hesitant the mind will be even to assert, even to say, what is right, what is wrong. The less the knowledge, the more you are totally certain.
Just fifty years ago, science was totally certain, absolutely certain. Everything was clear and categorized. And then came Einstein, perhaps the first mind who encountered the whole expanse of the world, of the universe. Then everything became uncertain.
Einstein said, “To be certain about anything shows that you are ignorant. If you know, you can at the most be relatively certain.” “Relatively certain” is just another name for uncertainty. “When everything is relative,” Einstein says, “then science can never again be absolute. Because now we have come to know so much, because of so much knowledge, everything is disturbed and shattered. The old certainties have gone.”
Mahavira, one of the most penetrating minds in the whole history of man, will not assert any statement without using perhaps in the beginning. If you ask him, “Is there God?” he will say, “Perhaps God is and perhaps he is not.”
Even if you ask him, “Are you real?” he will say, “Perhaps I am real and perhaps I am not real, because in a certain sense I am real and in a certain sense I am not real. When I am going to die, how can I say that I am real? When one day I will just evaporate, and you will not even be able to find out where I have disappeared to, how can I say that I am real?
“I will disappear one day just as a dream disappears in the morning. But even that I cannot say certainly, that I am unreal – because even to assert that I am unreal, a reality is needed. Even to dream, someone is needed who dreams and who is real.” So he will say, “Perhaps I am real and perhaps I am not real.”