That’s what I was saying – that his intellectual past still shadows his language. For example, first he said, If you want to study this path…That is the language of a teacher, not the language of a master. What has a master to do with studying? The master would have said…”If you want to follow this path…” Now again he misunderstands: although what he is saying is right, it is just that his language is too much under the impact of his past.
Since knowledge is right now…Instead of knowledge, a man who has come to his own being will say, “Since knowing…” not knowledge – and the difference is great. The words come from the same root, and I would like you to understand it clearly: knowing is always in the present, knowledge is always of the past. Knowledge means knowing has become part of your memory, it is dead; it is no more alive, it is no more breathing, it has no more any heartbeat.
For example, when you are seeing a sunset and you are overwhelmed by its beauty, in that moment there is knowing. You don’t even say to yourself, How beautiful! – because even the words how beautiful will be a disturbance, will take you away from the present. If you simply stand before the setting sun, with all the colors spread over the horizon, shadows, reflections in the ocean, it is so enchanting that you almost stop breathing. You are in a state of awe. Those few moments are knowing. Tomorrow you will tell somebody what a beautiful sunset you have seen the day before – that will be knowledge. Now it is only words.
I have told you the story of Lao Tzu. He used to go for a morning walk in the mountains. An old friend used to follow him, and one day the friend told him, “I have a guest in my house, and he also wants to come for the morning walk.”
Lao Tzu said, “I have no objection, just make sure that he does not start talking. Knowing should remain knowing, it should not be converted into dead knowledge.”
The friend said, “I will take care of it.” He convinced his guest that it is a great opportunity to be for two hours in the morning with Lao Tzu. “It is rare and invaluable, but the condition is that you should not speak.”
The guest said, “That is not a problem. I will keep completely silent.” And then they started. It was still dark and when they reached the peak of the mountain, the sun was rising. The birds started chirping, the trees started coming out of their sleep…flowers all around, wild flowers opened their petals and their fragrance. The man forgot that he was not supposed to speak – and he did not think that this was much speech. He simply said, “How beautiful.”
Lao Tzu looked at his old colleague and friend with such stern eyes…When they were back home he told his friend, “Please don’t bring your guest again tomorrow because he is too talkative” – and in two hours he had said only two words, How beautiful!