Each child is born ignorant, and of course his ignorance has a certain quality of innocence, but that is natural; he will lose it. He will become interested in a thousand and one things – history and geography and chemistry and physics and mathematics and whatnot – he will become interested. His ignorance also has great curiosity; that curiosity will lead him toward knowledge. He would like to know.
You can see. Each child asks thousands of questions, he goes on asking; you cannot stop his asking. He is very curious, he wants to know, because somewhere deep down that longing to be powerful is hidden. He can see his father is powerful because he knows more, the teacher is powerful because he knows more. The people who know more are powerful; the priest is powerful because he knows more. If he wants to be powerful some day he has to accumulate knowledge.
Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely – and knowledge gives you great power. The more knowledgeable you become the more power you have.
And the child is interested in becoming powerful. He will create power through knowledge, he will create his ego through power – these are natural phenomena – and he will lose his innocence, which was part of his ignorance.
There is a totally different kind of innocence which happens only to the awakened ones. Certainly their innocence also has something of ignorance in it. Dionysius calls it “luminous ignorance,” and he is right. You can see it: a knowledgeable person has no luminosity in him. He has gathered many facts, much information, he is well informed, but all that information gathers like dust on him; he is loaded with it. He is a donkey carrying scriptures, great scriptures – the Bible, the Koran, the Talmud, the Gita, the Vedas – but a donkey is a donkey. He can carry beautiful scriptures, but deep down he remains the same.
Knowledge never dispels ignorance, it only covers it up. It gives you a facade, it gives you a mask, it gives you pretensions – knowledgeable people are very pretentious – it makes you hypocrites. But if you dig deep there is ignorance, the same old ignorance, and that ignorance goes on goading you to accumulate more knowledge, more knowledge, more knowledge. There is no end to that more, because deep down you know there is still ignorance; in fact, it is uncoverable. You can cover it from one side and the other side will remain uncovered, you cover it from that side and you will discover another territory which is still uncovered. Ignorance is as infinite as wisdom, and knowledge is finite. So the finite cannot cover the infinite, only the infinite can dispel the infinite.
You can paint the outside – it will be just like a whitewashed grave. You can put roses on the grave, you can burn candles and incense on the grave, but that does not make the person alive. The dead inside the grave is still dead. The whitewash on the grave does not help in any way. All knowledge is just a whitewash, ignorance remains intact.
When somebody goes deep into meditation, when somebody moves deeper toward his innermost core, when somebody becomes absolutely silent and aware, then a light explodes inside. It is just like an atomic explosion – not destructive – great creativity is born out of it, great life. Abundant life is born out of it, and then your ignorance becomes luminous.