Enlightenment is always sudden. There is no gradual progress towards it, because all gradualness belongs to the mind and enlightenment is not of the mind. All degrees belong to the mind and enlightenment is beyond it. So you cannot grow into enlightenment, you simply jump into it. You cannot move step by step; there are no steps. Enlightenment is just like an abyss, either you jump or you don’t jump. You cannot have enlightenment in parts, in fragments. It is a totality – either you are in it or out of it, but there is no gradual progression. Remember this thing as one of the most basic: it happens unfragmented, complete, total. It happens as a whole, and that is the reason why mind is always incapable of understanding. Mind can understand anything which can be divided. Mind can understand anything which can be reached through installments, because mind is analysis, division, fragmentation. Mind can understand parts; the whole always eludes it.
So if you listen to the mind you will never attain. That’s what happened: this nun, Chiyono, studied for years and years and nothing happened. Mind can study about God, about enlightenment, about the ultimate. It can even pretend that everything has been understood. But God is not something you have to understand. Even if you know everything about God, you don’t know him; knowledge is not ’about’. Whenever you say ’about’, you belong to the outside. You may be moving round and round, but you have not entered the circle. When someone says, ”I know about God,” he says he doesn’t know anything at all, because how can you know anything about God? God is the center, not the periphery. You can know about matter – because matter has no center in it, it is just the periphery. You cannot know about consciousness: there is no self, there is no one inside. Matter is only the outside; you can know about it.
Science is knowledge. The very word science means knowledge – knowledge of the periphery, knowledge about something where the center doesn’t exist. Whenever the center is approached through the periphery, you miss it. You have to become it; that is the only way to know it. Nothing can be known about God. You have to be; only being is knowledge there. With the ultimate, ’about and about’ means missing and missing again. You have to enter and become one. That’s why Jesus says, ”God is like love” – not loving, but just like love. You cannot know anything about love, or can you? You can study and study, you can become a great scholar, but you have not touched, you have not penetrated. Love can be known only when you become a lover. Not only that: love can be known only when you become love. Even the lover disappears, because that too belongs to the outside.
Two persons in love become absent. They are not there. Only love exists, the rhythm of love. There may be two poles of the rhythm but they are not there. Something of the beyond has come into being. They have disappeared. Love exists when you are empty. Knowledge exists when you are filled. Knowledge belongs to the ego, and the ego can never penetrate to the center; it is the periphery. The periphery can know only the periphery. You cannot know something which is of the center through the ego. The ego can study, the ego can make you a great scholar, maybe a religious scholar, a great pundit. You may know all the Vedas, all the Upanishads, all the Bibles and Korans, and still you know nothing – because it is not knowledge from the outside, it is something which happens when you have entered and you have become one.
THE NUN CHIYONO STUDIED FOR YEARS… She may have studied for lives. You have been studying for many lives. You have been moving and moving in a circle. But when somebody moves in a circle, a very great illusion is created: you feel you are progressing. You always feel you are moving, and you are still not going anywhere, because you are moving in a circle. You go on repeating. That is why Hindus have called this world samsara. Samsara means the wheel, the circular. You move and move and move and never reach anywhere, and you always feel that you are reaching. ”Now the goal is nearer because I have walked so much.” Just try moving in a big circle. You can never see it as a circle, because you know only part of it. So it is always a road, a way. This is what has been happening for many lives. Chiyono studied and studied, BUT WAS UNABLE TO FIND ENLIGHTENMENT – not because enlightenment is difficult, but because when you study it you miss the whole point. You are on the wrong track. It is as if someone is trying to enter this room through the wall. Not that entering this room is difficult, but you have to enter through the door.
If you try through the wall it looks difficult, almost impossible. It is not. It is you who are on the wrong track. Many, many people, whenever they start the journey, they start through study, through learning, through knowledge, information, philosophy, systems, theology. They start from the ’about’; then they are knocking against the wall. Jesus says, ”Knock and the door shall be opened unto you.” But please remember if it is a door or not. Don’t go on knocking on the wall, otherwise no door shall be opened unto you. And, in fact, when you knock at the door, when you really reach near the door, you will find it has always been open. It has always been waiting for you. A door is a waiting, a door is a welcoming, a door is a receptivity. It has been waiting for you, and you have been knocking on the wall. What is the wall? When you start through knowledge and not through being, you are knocking at the wall. Become, be! Don’t gather information. If you want to know love, be a lover. If you want to know God, be meditation.
If you want to enter the infinite, be prayer. But be! Don’t know about prayer. Don’t try to accumulate what others have said about it. Learning will not help; rather, unlearning will help. Drop whatsoever you know, so that you can know. Drop all information and all scriptures, forget all Korans and Bibles and Gitas; they are the barriers, they are the wall. And if you go on knocking against that wall, those doors will never open, because there are no doors. And people are knocking against the Koran, knocking against the Vedas, knocking against the Bible, and no door opens. They go on studying and studying, and they go on missing like the nun Chiyono: she STUDIED FOR YEARS, BUT WAS UNABLE TO FIND ENLIGHTENMENT.