Not only the ego of doing, but the ego of knowing, must also fall. That you know the four Vedas by heart, or the Koran, or that no one is more adept at the Bible – all this knowledge will keep you from his grace. “I know,” which is the statement of your knowledge, is a subtle form of doing. Your doing and your knowing are two sides of your ego. Both must fall.
Have you ever asked yourself in full awareness what you know? You do not even know the stone that lies outside your house and yet you claim to know God? You haven’t been able to know a flower fully yet.
The English poet, Tennyson, said: If I were to know the smallest flower fully, I would know what God and man is. You will have known everything if you have known the mystery of a flower opening, since it contains all existence. If you have understood and recognized the beauty of one single flower, you have discovered and understood the beauty of all existence. If you penetrate the truth within the flower, what is left? He who has known the drop knows the ocean, for qualitatively they are one. Whatever is in the ocean is contained in the drop. It is a small edition of the ocean. He who knows a single atom knows all.
But what do we know? Whatever information we have is stale, borrowed, belonging to others. It is alien, handed down to you from thousands of hands. If thousands of people have worn the same pair of shoes, you will not be ready to step into them. But this is how your knowledge is. You have not put your feet but your head into such shoes. All your knowledge is borrowed and alien. You read the books, but cannot even be sure if the person is talking from his personal experience or hearsay.
I am told: A certain film actress was very clever. When she removed her jewels each night she left a note next to them, saying: “These are fake jewels. The real ones are in the bank vault.”
One morning she got up and found them gone. On the table was a note, “I took the fake jewels, for I am a sham thief. The real one is in jail.”
Are you sure that the one whose words you are taking in, whose knowledge you are imbibing, is authentic? You have no way to find out. You have no criterion to judge the true from the false. The only real test is when you have your own experience, but then you have no further need to listen to anyone else.