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Home >> Seeker’s Solace  >> Are you growing up or just growing old?
 
growing up

Are you growing up or just growing old?

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For growing up, just watch a tree. As the tree grows up, its roots are growing down, deeper. There is a balance: the higher the tree goes, the deeper the roots will go. You cannot have a tree, one hundred and fifty feet high, with small roots; they could not support such a huge tree.

In life, growing up means growing deep within yourself—that’s where your roots are.

To me, the first principle of life is meditation. Everything else comes second. And childhood is the best time. As you grow older, it means you are coming closer to death, and it becomes more and more difficult to go into meditation. Meditation means going into your immortality, going into your eternity, going into your godliness.

And the child is the most qualified person because he is still unburdened by knowledge, unburdened by religion, unburdened by education, unburdened by all kinds of rubbish. He is innocent. But unfortunately, his innocence is being condemned as ignorance. Ignorance and innocence have a similarity, but they are not the same. Ignorance is also a state of not knowing, just as innocence is. But there is a great difference too. now. Innocence is not knowledgeable—but it is not desirous of being knowledgeable either. It is utterly content, fulfilled.

Innocence is rich, it is full, it is pure. Ignorance is poor, it is a beggar—it wants this, it wants that, it wants to be knowledgeable, it wants to be respectable, it wants to be wealthy, it wants to be powerful. Ignorance moves on the path of desire. Innocence is a state of desirelessness.

But because they both are without knowledge, we have remained confused about their natures. We have taken it for granted that they are both the same.

Life must be a seeking—not a desire, but a search; not an ambition to become this, to become that, a president of a country or a prime minister of a country, but a search to find out “Who am I?”


The first step in the art of living is to create a demarcation line between ignorance and innocence. Innocence has to be supported, protected—because the child has brought with him the greatest treasure, the treasure that sages find after arduous effort. Sages have said that they become children again, that they are reborn.

In India the real brahmin, the real knower, has called himself dwij, twice born. Why twice born? What happened to the first birth? What is the need of the second birth? And what is he going to gain in the second birth? In the second birth he is going to gain what was available in the first birth but the society, the parents, the people surrounding him crushed it, destroyed it.

Every child is being stuffed with knowledge. His simplicity has to be somehow removed, because simplicity is not going to help him in this competitive world. His simplicity will    look to the world as if he is a simpleton; his innocence will be exploited in every possible way. Afraid of the society, afraid of the world we have created ourselves, we try to make every child be clever, cunning, knowledgeable—to be in the category of the powerful, not in the category of the oppressed and the powerless.

And once the child starts growing in the wrong direction, he goes on moving that way—his whole life moves in that direction.

Whenever you understand that you have missed life, the first principle to be brought back is innocence. Drop your knowledge, forget your scriptures, forget your religions, your theologies, your philosophies. Be born again, become innocent—and it is in your hands. Clean your mind of all that is not known by you, of all that is borrowed, all that has come from tradition, convention, all that has been given to you by others—parents, teachers, universities. Just get rid of it.

Once again be simple, once again be a child. And this miracle is possible by meditation.

Meditation is simply a strange surgical method which cuts you away from all that is not yours and saves only that which is your authentic being. It burns everything else and leaves you standing naked, alone under the sun, in the wind. It is as if you are the first man who has descended onto earth—who knows nothing, who has to discover everything, who has to be a seeker, who has to go on a pilgrimage.

The second principle is the pilgrimage. Life must be a seeking—not a desire, but a search; not an ambition to become this, to become that, a president of a country or a prime minister of a country, but a search to find out “Who am I?”

It is very strange that people who don’t know who they are, are trying to become somebody. They don’t even know who they are right now! They are unacquainted with their being—but they have a goal of becoming. Becoming is the disease of the soul.

Being is you. And to discover your being is the beginning of life. Then each moment is a new discovery, each moment brings a new joy; a new mystery opens its doors, a new love starts growing in you, a new compassion that you have never felt before, a new sensitivity about beauty, about goodness.

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