Just skin-deep! Just scratch a little bit and you will not find much difference. There is not any difference; the qualitative difference is non-existential. But there exists a difference that is of quantity – you know less, they know more – but it is of quantity. And a quantitative difference is not really a difference – not a difference that makes any difference. The quality is the same; you are moving in the same way. Between the rich man and the poor man the difference is not of quality, the difference is of having less money or more. With the ignorant and the knowledgeable it is the same.
The real difference happens when there is a buddha around; then you know the difference of quality. He functions from a different level altogether.
I have heard:
Hillary was on the last leg of his momentous climb. Just as he was about to reach the virgin summit of the highest peak on this earth, he saw a Hindu monk squatting in the snow ahead of him. Hillary was so astonished he could not utter a single word. But the Hindu monk, seizing the opportunity said, “How much for your watch?”
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
The discipline is wholesome, healthy, only when it comes not out of the mind but out of meditation. Mind is only a small part of you: whatsoever comes out of the mind is going to remain fragmentary. And we live in the mind. Mind means knowledge – borrowed, accumulated, not experienced. Experience happens only when you go into something totally, not only mentally.
You can know much about love. There are thousands of books in the libraries about love, but you will not know love that way. You have to be in love to know love.
Knowing about love is not knowing love. Knowing about God is not knowing godliness. By knowing about God you will become a great theologian but not a mystic. You will not be a Christ or a Buddha or a Lao Tzu or a Zarathustra. You will be simply a pundit who has become capable of repeating the Bhagavad Gita, the Koran, the Bible, the Dhammapada, the Talmud; but the pundit knows nothing. He has not tasted godliness, he has not become drunk with the divine yet.
Mind is a very small fragment of your totality; its function is to know about. If you really want to know something, not only about…. Remember, the meaning of the word about is around; about and about means around and around. One goes in circles but never reaches the center, and the real thing is at the center. It is the center that matters.
A man like Ramakrishna is absolutely unknowledgeable. You can even call him ignorant – ignorant in the sense that he is not a scholar, he cannot quote scriptures. But there is no need for him to quote scriptures. He knows godliness; he need not know godliness through anybody else. He knows godliness because he knows through totality, he contacts existence through his totality.