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The first step to wisdom: to know that you don't know

The body's mind

By danielkmay jhPublished 4 months ago 6 min read

Knowledge is not knowing. Knowledge looks like knowing, so many people are deceived by it. Knowledge is just information. Knowledge cannot transform you, and you remain the same. The information you accumulate is constantly increasing, but instead of liberating you, it becomes a burden and continues to create new shackles for you.

The so-called intellectuals are actually far more stupid than the so-called fools, because fools are at least naive. He is ignorant, but he won't pretend to know-at least so much. But the intellectual is very confused: he actually knows nothing, but he thinks he knows. Completely ignorant, but believe that he knows, in this way, he will always be rooted in ignorance.

Knowledge is a way to hide oneself from ignorance-a very cunning, very effective, very clever way. Knowledge is an enemy. Even though it looks like a friend.

This is the first step to wisdom: to know that you don't know, to know that all knowledge is borrowed, to know that it hasn't happened to you, that it comes from someone else, but it's not your own insight, your own experience. When knowledge becomes your own experience, it is wisdom.

Wisdom means that you are not a parrot, but a person, it means that you are not repeating what others say, but expressing yourself; wisdom means that you are not a copy, you are who you really are.

Knowledge makes you a copy, and becoming a copy is the ugliest thing in the world. That is the greatest misfortune that happens to people-because you do not know but believe that you know, then you will always remain ignorant and in the dark. In this way, whatever you do will be wrong, maybe you can even convince others that you know that you may be able to strengthen yourself, you may be prestigious, you may be regarded as a great scholar, a knowledgeable person, but deep down, you have nothing but darkness. Deep inside you have not yet met yourself, you have not entered the temple of your existence.

The ignorant person's situation is better, at least he is not pretentious, at least he is not deceiving others and himself. And ignorance has its beauty-a simple beauty, an uncomplicated beauty. To know that "I don't know" can immediately bring a great relief and release. To know, to experience, to be completely ignorant, will make a person full of surprise-existence into a mystery.

That's the meaning of God, to see the universe as a miracle, a mystery, something surprising and impenetrable-something you can only bow to with deep gratitude, and you can only surrender in awe. This is the beginning of wisdom.

Socrates was right when he said: the only thing I know is that I know nothing.

Being wise doesn't mean being knowledgeable. To be wise means to understand something about your consciousness-first on the inside and then on the outside: to feel the pulse of your inner life and then the outer life. To experience the consciousness of the mystery in which you live, one must first experience it at the deepest core of his existence, for that is the door closest to God.

Once you know the consciousness of that mystery within, it is not difficult to know it on the outside. But remember: a man with intelligence never accumulates knowledge-his intelligence is spontaneous, knowledge always belongs to the past, wisdom belongs to the present. Remember this difference, unless you clearly understand the difference between intelligence and knowledge, you will not be able to understand these scriptures of the Buddha. They are very important.

Knowledge comes from the past, from others, from the classics. And the Buddha said: my transmission of truth is beyond the scriptures, so what I am saying, what I am teaching, what I am sharing, has never been written anywhere, never said anywhere-- in fact, truth cannot be said or written at all.

The truth is passed on by master and his disciples in deep serenity: truth is the occurrence of love. Wisdom is very contagious, it is not something that can be taught, remember: you can accept wisdom, but wisdom cannot be given to you. You can be open and sensitive to wisdom, and you can be in a state of constant welcome, and that's how the disciples sit next to master-ready to drink, ready to allow master to penetrate his heart. At first, it will be amazing pain, because master's consciousness will penetrate you like a sharp arrow-only in this way will it reach your core, and it will be as sharp as an arrow.

Knowledge satisfies the self: wisdom completely destroys the self; so people look for knowledge. It is very rare to find a seeker who is not interested in knowledge, but interested in wisdom and willing to entrust himself to wisdom. Knowledge means the theory of truth, and wisdom means truth itself. Knowledge means secondhand; wisdom means secondhand. Knowledge means believing: others say and you believe, and all beliefs are false! No belief is true, even if you believe the word of the Buddha, when you believe it, it becomes a lie.

Truth doesn't need to be believed, either you know it or you don't know it. If you know, there is no need to believe; if you do not know, there is no need to believe. If you know, you know; if you don't know, you don't know. Belief is the projection of a cunning mind-it gives you a sense of knowing, but you don't know. Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Jains, Buddhists-all believe, all believe.

It is believed to be cheap-it is very easy to get, it does not have any danger. You can easily believe in God, you can easily believe in the immortality of the soul, you can easily believe in reincarnation. In fact, they only stay on the surface-deep inside you have never been affected by them, not for a moment. When death knocks on your door, you will know that all your beliefs will disappear.

It is no use believing that the soul is immortal when death knocks on your door-you will cry and cry, you will cling to life. When death comes, you will forget all about God; when death comes, you will no longer remember these theories of reincarnation of the soul and its complex implications. When death knocks on you, it knocks out all the knowledge you build on yourself at the same time-leaving you empty. And awareness-- awareness that your whole life has become a waste.

Wisdom is a completely different phenomenon: wisdom is experience, not belief. Wisdom is the experience of existence, not "about". You don't have to believe in God-you know it. You don't have to believe in the immortality of the soul-you've already tasted it. You don't have to believe in reincarnation-you remember it, you remember living many lives: you used to be a stone, you used to be a tree, you used to be an animal, you used to be a bird, you used to be a man, you were a woman. You have lived in so many forms. You see that the form changes, but the inner consciousness remains the same; you see that only the surface is changing, but the essence is eternal.

This is seeing, not faith. And all the real masters care about how to help you see, not to believe. Faith makes you a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim. To convince you that it's a priest's profession.

Master must first destroy all your beliefs-theism, atheism, Catholicism, communism. Master must dismantle all your belief systems and leave you as a child again-naive, open, ready to inquire, ready to plunge into the exploration of truth.

Wisdom rises from within you, not from the classics. You begin to read your own consciousness-there are all the Bibles, all the Jitta Sutra, and all the Dharma Sutra.

Excerpt from Osho's "Dharma Sutra"


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danielkmay jh

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