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knowledge versus knowing

Knowledge versus knowing

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Knowledge means the dead accumulation of experiences—of your own or of others, but knowledge means the dead past. Knowledge is always of the past. Knowing is always here and now, and knowledge is always of the past. The past must cease for the present to be, and knowledge must cease for knowing to be. Knowing is alive, knowledge is dead.

So really, knowledge is not a help toward knowing; on the contrary, knowledge is the hindrance, the obstacle. The more you know, the more you accumulate information, the less is your capacity of knowing. That’s why the capacity of children to learn is more because they are fresh. Knowledge is not there as a barrier for their knowing, their knowing is fresh. The old man cannot learn so much, not because the consciousness is not capable to learn, but because the consciousness is so much burdened with knowledge that that burden itself becomes a hindrance. Knowledge creates a barrier and destroys the capacity to know. All knowledge, whatsoever its nature, is a burden.

Knowledge is cunning, knowledge can never be innocent.


Knowledge must cease for the knowing to be. And this knowing can happen only in total innocence. Knowledge is cunning, knowledge can never be innocent. So the more knowledge grows in the world, the more cunningness comes into existence. Why? Because the more you know, the less you begin to be spontaneous and the more calculating. And the more you calculate, the less you are conscious and the more mechanical. Really, calculators can do more calculations, and in a better way and more efficiently than you. Soon, computers will replace man because they can accumulate more knowledge and in a better way. Our own brains are also doing the same.

The Vedas cannot reach to that supreme consciousness, brahman. Because the Vedas mean all accumulated knowledge. So in India, we have created a very strange word, vedanta. It means end of the Vedas, just going beyond the Vedas.

Knowledge is always concerned with something else, never with you. My eye cannot see itself. Why? When the eyes can see everything else, why not themselves? Of course I can see my eyes in a mirror but that is not really seeing the eyes themselves, just a reflection – and the reflection becomes something else. The same is the phenomenon inside; the being can know by knowledge everything other than itself. Knowledge is just an opening, an eye toward the whole world.

Really, this is very significant to be understood. The word science means exactly what veda means; the word science exactly means what veda means: knowledge. We can put it in a very modern terminology, that by science you can never know the being because science means knowledge, systematized knowledge.

So how can you know it? There is only one possibility—and you just may not be able to remember it: if your eyes cannot see a particular thing, then close your eyes and see. Take your knowledge off and be without knowledge. Be without knowledge!

In that innocent moment of not knowing, one happens to be there where one has always been. One is just thrown to the center.

Abridged from That Art Thou by Osho

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