For thousands of years man has had the illusion that he can attain to knowledge by accumulating other people’s thoughts. This is absolutely false and wrong – no one can ever attain to knowledge by accumulating other people’s thoughts. Knowledge comes from the inside and thoughts come from the outside. Knowledge is yours and thoughts are always from others, always borrowed. Knowledge is the throbbing of your own being, it is the surfacing of that which is hidden within yourself. Thoughts are a collection of what others have said – you can collect them from the Gita, from the Koran, from the Bible or from any teachers and religious leaders.
Whatever you get from other people does not become your knowledge, it becomes ways and means with which you hide your ignorance. And when a man’s ignorance is hidden he can never attain to knowledge. Because you have the idea that this is your knowledge, you cling to it with your whole being. You cling to your thoughts, you are not courageous enough to drop them. You support them because you think they are your knowledge and that if you lose them you will become ignorant. But remember that howsoever much you may cling to your thoughts, you do not become a knower through these thoughts.
When someone digs a well, he first takes out the soil and stones and then water seeps in from the sides of the well and fills it. The water was already there, it did not need to be brought from anywhere else. Only some stones and layers of soil needed to be removed. There were some hindrances, some obstacles: once they were removed the water appeared. It was not necessary to bring water to the well, it was already there – just some hindrances had to be removed.
Knowledge is already present inside, it does not have to be obtained from somewhere else. Its springs are hidden inside; only the obstacles in between – the stones and the soil – have to be removed by digging. Then the springs of knowledge will start appearing.
But one can make a well and one can make a pond. Making a pond is different. You do not need to look for a natural source of water to make a pond. The way to make a pond is completely opposite to that of making a well. To make a pond you do not need to dig out stones and soil, you have to bring them from somewhere else and make a wall of them. And when the wall has been built the water does not come by itself: you have to take water from other people’s wells and put it in the pond. On the surface, a pond gives the illusion of a well. It appears to be a well. You can see water in a pond and you can also see water in a well, but the difference between a pond and a well is the same as the difference between the earth and sky. The first difference is that a pond has no water of its own.
No thirst in this world is quenched by something that is not one’s own. Whatever is in a pond is borrowed: it soon becomes stale and stagnant because that which is borrowed is not alive, it is dead. The water standing in the pond becomes stagnant, rotten, and will soon start stinking.
But a well has its own source of water, the water never becomes stagnant. A well has its own flowing source.