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Knowledge is borrowed, knowing is original


You can go on thinking, accumulating information—but those are paper boats, they won’t help in an ocean voyage. If you remain on the shore and go on talking about them, it is okay—paper boats are as good as real boats if you never go for the voyage, but if you go for the voyage with paper boats then you will be drowned. And words are nothing but paper boats—not even that substantial.

And when we accumulate knowledge, what do we do? Nothing changes inside. The being remains absolutely unaffected. Just like dust, information gathers around you—just like dust gathering around a mirror: the mirror remains the same, only it loses its mirroring quality. What you know through the mind makes no difference—your consciousness remains the same. In fact, it becomes worse, because accumulated knowledge is just like dust around your mirroring consciousness; the consciousness reflects less and less and less.

The more you know, the less aware you become. When you are completely filled with scholarship, borrowed knowledge, you are already dead. Then nothing comes to you as your own. Everything is borrowed and parrot-like.

The mind is a parrot. The mind is a computer, a bio-computer. It accumulates. It is never original, it cannot be. Whatsoever it has borrowed, is taken from others.

You become original only when you transcend the mind. When the mind is dropped, and the consciousness faces existence directly, immediately, moment to moment in contact with existence, you become original. Then for the first time, you are authentically your own. Otherwise, all ideas are borrowed. You may quote scriptures, you may know by heart all the Vedas, the Koran, the Gita, the Bible, but that makes no difference—they are not your own. And the knowledge that is not your own is dangerous, more dangerous than ignorance, because it is a hidden ignorance, and you will not be able to see that you are deceiving yourself. You are carrying false coins and thinking that you are a rich man. Sooner or later your poverty will be revealed. Then you will be shocked.

And it is beautiful that nobody can give it to you, otherwise it would become a commodity in the market. If it can be given, then it can be sold as well. If it can be given, then it can be stolen as well.

This happens whenever you die, whenever death comes near. In the shock that death gives to you, suddenly you become aware that you have not gained anything—because only that is gained which is gained in being.

You have accumulated fragments of knowledge from here and there, you may have become a great ‘encyclopedia’, but that is not the point; and particularly for those who are in search of truth, that is a barrier, not a help. Knowledge has to be transcended.

When there is no knowledge, knowing happens because knowing is your quality—the quality of consciousness. It is just like a mirror: the mirror reflects whatsoever is there; consciousness reflects the truth that is always in front of you, just at the tip of your nose.

But the mind is in between—and the mind goes on chattering, and the truth remains just in front of you and the mind goes on chattering. And you go with the mind. You miss.

First: knowledge is borrowed, realise this. The very realisation becomes a dropping of it. You don’t have to do anything. Simply realise that whatsoever you know you have heard, you have not known it. You have read it, you have not realised it; it is not a revelation to you, it is a conditioning of the mind. It has been taught to you—you have not learned it. Truth can be learned, cannot be taught.

Learning means being responsive to whatsoever is around you—that which is, to be responsive to it. This is great learning, but not knowledge.

There is no way to find the truth—except through finding it. There is no shortcut to it. You cannot borrow, you cannot steal, you cannot deceive, to get to it. There is simply no way unless you are without any mind within you—because the mind is wavering, the mind is a continuous trembling; the mind is never unmoving, it is a movement. The mind is just like a breeze, continuously flowing, and the flame goes on wavering. When the mind is not there the breeze stops, and the flame becomes unmoving. When your consciousness is an unmoving flame, you know the truth. You have to learn how not to follow the mind.

Nobody can give you the truth, nobody, not even a Buddha, a Jesus, a Krishna—nobody can give it to you. And it is beautiful that nobody can give it to you, otherwise it would become a commodity in the market. If it can be given, then it can be sold as well. If it can be given, then it can be stolen as well. If it can be given then you can take it from your friend, borrow it. It is beautiful that truth is not transferable in any way. Unless you reach it, you cannot reach. Unless you become it, you never have it.

Excerpted from And Flowers Showered by Osho

Osho is known for his revolutionary contribution to the science of inner transformation, with an approach to meditation that acknowledges the accelerated pace of contemporary life.


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