This is the paradox: those who are ignorant, they always think they know. This is part of ignorance. To think that you know is part of ignorance; it comes from ignorance. If you are ignorant you will think that you know much. The more ignorant, the more you will think that you know much. Ignorance is filled with knowledge. Ignorance, really, lives on knowledge, feeds on knowledge. The wiser you become, the more aware and understanding, the more you will feel how ignorant you are. And a moment comes when you feel that you do not know anything. Simply, you are ignorant. All the burden of knowledge is thrown away. There is no heaviness of knowledge on you. You have become so weightless that you can fly. Knowledge is a burden.
When you feel that you do not know, ego disappears; it cannot exist. It can exist only with knowledge. Really, whenever you claim knowledge, it is a claim by the ego: “I know.” The emphasis is not on knowing, the emphasis is on I. When you say, “I do not know,” the emphasis is not on ignorance; now the emphasis is on egolessness. The moment you say, “I do not know,” where are you, where is the I? It is no more there. Now it is simply a word to be used. Now there exists nothing corresponding to it within you. This is the first problem.
One Christian mystic, Tertullian, has divided humanity into two classes. He said that one part of humanity is in one class – that of ignorant knowers; and the other class is of those who are knowing ignorants. The whole humanity is divided in two. There is an ignorance which knows, and there is a knowledge which is ignorance. If you claim knowledge you are ignorant. If you accept ignorance you become knowing, because in ignorance the “I” cannot exist. And when the “I” is not there the door is open: you can look at reality directly. You are the only barrier. When you are not there the barrier is not there; this is the first thing.
The second thing: the ultimate is not only the unknown; the Brahman is not only the unknown – it is unknowable also. You can know it, but you cannot know it totally. That creates again a new puzzle. You can know it, but you cannot know it totally because you are just a part to it and the part cannot know the whole. How can the part know the whole totally? But also the part cannot be totally ignorant either because it belongs to the whole, it is part of the whole. So it knows in a way, it feels in a way, it understands in a way, but it cannot comprehend the total because the total is so vast.
A river dropping into the ocean…it comes to know the ocean, it feels the ocean, it lives in the ocean, it merges in it, but it cannot merge into the total ocean. It cannot spread to the total ocean; it cannot know the total ocean. It only knows a part of it.
When your consciousness falls like a river into the Brahman, into the ocean of the ultimate, you will know him, but you will not know him in his totality. You cannot; there is no possibility. So the Brahman is unknowable because the whole remains unknowable to the part; hence, the problem when someone comes to know. Someone becomes ignorant, egoless, and comes to know: then, too, he cannot say, “I have known the whole.”