He turned to the fourth man, and he asked the same question. And the fourth man had tears in his eyes and he collapsed at Bodhidharma’s feet, not saying a single word.
Bodhidharma said, “I understand your silence. But these thousands of people will not understand it. You have to bring your experience into words. Say it!”
And the man with tears said, “I don’t know.”
And Bodhidharma said, “You are going to be my successor, because the person who can say ‘I do not know’ has already reached to the door of the temple of wisdom, he is already standing at the door. His innocence, his not-knowing, is the beginning of knowing.”
Kahlil Gibran says:
Wise men have come to you to give you their wisdom.
They were not truly wise, nor was what they gave you authentic wisdom; they only went on transferring borrowed knowledge from one generation to another generation. Neither was it their experience, nor the experience of those who had given it to them.
I came to take of your wisdom…
That’s why a true master is going to be condemned by the whole world, for the simple reason that he does not give anything to you – on the contrary, he goes on taking things away from you. He leaves you utterly naked, in a state of innocence like a child. Only from there your real growth starts. Only from there is the true beginning.
And behold I have found that which is greater than wisdom.
What is greater than wisdom? Innocence is greater than wisdom because wisdom is only a collection of empty words.
Innocence is a transformation of your whole being, as if you are cleaned of all dust – you have just taken a shower. The freshness of innocence, the youthfulness of innocence, deepens slowly, slowly and makes you aware of your immortality. That’s why he said: And behold I have found that which is greater than wisdom.
Wisdom will not do. It is good for scholars and the priests and the preachers and the popes and the shankaracharyas and the imams – but it is not enough for a true seeker. The true seeker wants not to know the truth, he wants to become it. He does not want to see God, he wants to feel godliness in his own being.