The qualities of a mature person are very strange. First, he is not a person. He is no more a self. He has a presence, but he is not a person. Second, he is more like a child – simple and innocent.
That’s why I said the qualities of a mature person are very strange, because maturity gives a sense as if he has experienced, as if he is aged, old. Physically he may be old, but spiritually he is an innocent child. His maturity is not just experience gained through life. Then he will not be a child, and then he will not be a presence; he will be an experienced person – knowledgeable, but not mature.
Maturity has nothing to do with your life experiences. It has something to do with your inward journey, experiences of the inner.
The more he goes deeper into himself, the more mature he is. When he has reached the very center of his being, he is perfectly mature. But at that moment the person disappears, only presence remains. The self disappears, only silence remains. Knowledge disappears, only innocence remains.
To me, maturity is another name for realization: you have come to the fulfillment of your potential, it has become actual. The seed has come on a long journey, and has blossomed.
Maturity has a fragrance. It gives a tremendous beauty to the individual. It gives intelligence, the sharpest possible intelligence. It makes him nothing but love. His action is love, his inaction is love; his life is love, his death is love. He is just a flower of love.
The West has definitions of maturity which are very childish. The West means by maturity that you are no longer innocent, that you have ripened through life experiences, that you cannot be cheated easily, that you cannot be exploited, that you have within you something like a solid rock – a protection, a security.
This definition is very ordinary, very worldly. Yes, in the world you will find mature people of this type. But the way I see maturity is totally different, diametrically opposite to this definition. The maturity will not make you a rock; it will make you so vulnerable, so soft, so simple.
A thief entered a master’s hut. It was a full-moon night, and by mistake he had entered; otherwise, what can you find in a master’s house? The thief was looking, and was amazed that there was nothing. And then suddenly he saw a man who was coming with a candle in his hand.
The man said, “What are you looking for in the dark? Why did you not wake me up? I was just sleeping near the front door, and I could have showed you the whole house.” The man looked so simple and so innocent, as if he could not conceive that anybody could be a thief.
Before this simplicity and innocence, the thief said, “Perhaps you do not know that I am a thief.”