Your own youth – you cannot step in it twice. You have learned something from your experience, you carry it. Knowledge can be washed away, wisdom also. They can be brainwashed, completely wiped from your mind. Understanding can never be brainwashed, it is not part of the brain, it is non-accumulative. All that is accumulative is accumulated in the brain.
Understanding is of your being, it cannot be washed away – you cannot brainwash a buddha. In fact he has brainwashed himself completely, he has cleaned his slate himself, how can you clean him? He is non-accumulative, he lives moment to moment. Through living his being grows. If through living your knowledge grows, it is wisdom; if through living your being grows, it is understanding – and if without living your accumulation grows, it is knowledge.
Understanding is the real flowering of being. A man of understanding is mirror-like. A mirror carries nothing. A mirror always lives in the immediate present: whosoever comes before it, it reflects.
You ask me a question. The question can be answered through knowledge, that is, experience of others. The question can be answered through wisdom, experience of my own. The question can be answered through understanding – then I am just a mirror, I simply respond.
You ask, you come before my mirror, I simply respond. That’s why a man of understanding will always be felt contradictory, inconsistent, because what can he do? He does not carry the past, his answers are not coming from his past; his answers are coming right now this very moment from his being. And every moment the world is changing, it is a flux, so how can an old answer be given again? Even if the words appear to be old the answer cannot be old.
Understanding is non-repetitive and non-accumulative. Wisdom is accumulative, repetitive; knowledge is accumulative, repetitive. Knowledge is sheer belief, wisdom has a little experience in it, understanding is totally different. It is your presence, your mirror-like presence. It is a response.
Old people can be wise, young people can be knowledgeable, only children can be understanding. That is the meaning when Jesus says, “Only those who are like children will be able to enter in my kingdom of God.”
When you again become childlike, fresh, carrying no past, carrying no ready-made answers within you – carrying noanswers, just a deep emptiness – then something echoes in you. Somebody asks a question – no answer comes from the memory, no answer comes from the experience, but the answer is a response this very moment.
Understanding is always of the now and the here.
Understanding is the most beautiful thing that can happen to a person. Drop knowledge, and then drop wisdom also. Don’t believe in others’ experiences and don’t believe in your own experiences either, because they are of the past. You have passed from there, they are no more a part of existence – things have flowed on. The river has passed under a thousand-and-one bridges, and it is not the same river even if you see it flowing. It is not the same river, it is constantly changing.