This biblical parable is such a great parable. It has such great insight.
Adam was in a state of knowing, then he became knowledgeable. Religion disappeared, science was born. Science…the word science exactly means knowledge. Those fruits were the fruits of science. He lost his innocence and became cunning.
This happens every time a child is born into the world. Each child is born into God’s garden – the Garden of Eden – and each child is persuaded by the serpent of civilization, culture, education. Each child is conditioned, is pulled, is manipulated towards ambition, towards ego goals – become like gods, that’s the whole idea behind science. Science thinks that one day or other it will be able to know all the mysteries and then man will be a god, infinitely powerful. It is an ambition, an ego trip.
We drag each child towards the ego and ego lives on language. So the more articulate the child is, the more egoistic he becomes. The better he can express and communicate through language, the more famous he becomes. He will become a leader of men or he may become a great author, a writer, a poet, and this and that – these are the people who are the most famous people in the world. He will become a thinker or a professor or a philosopher. These are the people who dominate.
Why do they dominate in this world? The man who is articulate in language is the dominant man. You cannot think of a dumb leader and you cannot think of a man who cannot speak and is not expressive of what he thinks becoming famous. Impossible. All fame comes to language. So the child starts becoming more and more entangled with language, with the word – and says Bodhidharma, “Devise no word.”
I have called the serpent the first teacher. Then the whole work of the religious master is nothing but how to undo the serpent, how to undo that which has been taught to you, how to undo the whole educational system, how to make you free of your conditionings, how to help you to drop the word. The moment you drop the word you are again innocent – that’s what saintlihoodness is, innocence, primal innocence.
The moment language disappears from your mind and you are no more spinning in words a great silence arises…a silence that you have almost forgotten. You are not at all alert that you had it one day. It was there permeating you when you were in the womb of your mother. When you were born and when you opened your eyes for the first time it was there permeating the whole existence. It was there very, very alive. You lived in it for a few days, for a few months, a few years. Slowly, slowly it disappears. The dust gathers and the mirror reflects no more. When people start saying that now you are a grown-up, they are simply saying that you have lost your innocence.