And remember: when you consciously look at your life, you are bound to become ignorant again – because knowledge as such is not possible. Life remains a mystery. There is no way to demystify it. That’s what knowledge is trying to do: it is a demystification of life. It tries to destroy mystery. It makes everything clear, explained away.
The whole effort of knowledge is how to banish mystery from existence. It cannot be banished. It is its ultimate nature. It is not an accidental quality. Mystery is the very core of life. Life is mysterious – they are synonymous.
So the man of knowledge does not destroy the mystery of life. He simply closes his eyes with a very thick curtain of knowledge, and starts thinking he knows. He knows nothing.
It will look strange to you and very paradoxical, but it is so. The man who knows, knows nothing. And the man who knows that he is ignorant has started knowing. The whole point is of consciousness.
A confusion!, ignorance is what disciple hood is – conscious ignorance. But people are living in unconsciousness. And they go on groping. In unconsciousness they go to the masters, but in unconsciousness. They remain with the masters but fast asleep. Sooner or later they become fed up, because nothing is happening. Nothing can happen if you remain unconscious. You cannot connect with the master. They remain cunning, clever, even when they are with a master. Nothing happens. Nothing can happen in knowledgeability.
Sooner or later they decide that this is not the right master – without ever thinking, “Am I the right disciple yet?” That should be the basic question. It is none of your business who is the right master or not. And how can you decide? You don’t know what a master is. You are not even a disciple yet! You have not taken even the first step and you are thinking and deciding and judging about the last step. It is better to keep quiet.
Just think about one thing again and again, remind yourself again and again: “Am I the right disciple? Am I ready to learn? Have I dropped my knowledge? Have I come with an open heart? Am I trying to become more conscious of what I am doing? Is my prayer conscious? When I sit by the side of the master, am I sitting there consciously, alert, aware? When I listen to the master, am I really listening? or just hearing?”
Hearing is one thing: listening is very different. Hearing is simple; anybody hears. Whosoever has ears can hear. Listening is rare. When your ear and your heart are together, then listening happens. When you hear, your mind is full of thoughts; the turmoil continues, the traffic continues. All kinds of noises, thoughts, prejudices…through that crowd, yes, you hear, but you can’t listen. For listening, silence is needed. There should be no clouds inside you, no thought stirring. Just a pure silence, then listening happens.
The disciple has to ask again and again, “Am I really a disciple? Am I yet a disciple?” And if you remain alert about that, you will find many masters in life. But if you are not aware of it, you may come to a buddha and go empty-handed.