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“The Greatest Attack on The Ego is to Become Aware of Your Ignorance”

PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT YOU MEAN BY YOGA, THE YOGI, AND MEDITATION.

The first thing to be remembered about meditation is that it is not something that can be done. Throughout the world, people have the notion that meditation means doing something. It is not a doing, it is not an act, it is something that happens. It is not that YOU go to it; it comes to you and penetrates you. It destroys you in one way and recreates you in another. It is something so vital and so infinite that it cannot be a part of your doing. Then what is to be done? You can only create the situation in which it happens. All that you can do is to be vulnerable and open to existence from all sides.

Ordinarily, we are like prisons: we are closed up within ourselves with no openings. In a way we are dead. One can say we have become” life-proof”: life cannot come to us. We have created barriers and hindrances to life because life can be dangerous, uncontrollable; it is something that is not in our hands. We have created a closed existence for ourselves so that we can be certain and secure so that we can be comfortable. This closed existence is convenient, but at the same time, it is deadening. The more closed we become the less alive we are. The more open we become the more alive we are.

Meditation is an openness to all dimensions, an openness to everything. But to be open to everything is dangerous, to be open to everything unconditionally makes us insecure. It cannot be comfortable because anything can happen. A mind which longs for security, which longs for comfort, which longs for certainty, cannot be a meditative mind. Only a mind that is open to anything that life offers, welcoming each and everything that happens, even death, can create a situation in which meditation happens. So, the only thing that can be done by you is to be receptive to meditation, to be totally receptive – not to any particular happening but to anything that comes. Meditation is not a particular dimension, it is a dimensionless existence, an existence that is open to each and every dimension without any conditions, without any longings, without any expectations. If there are any expectations, then the opening will not be total. If there are any conditions, any longings, if there are any” ifs,” then the opening cannot be total. No part of you should remain closed. If you are not totally open, then no vital, vigorous, infinite happening can be received by you. It cannot become the guest, and you cannot become the host.

Meditation is just the creation of a receptive situation in which something can happen, and all you can do is wait for it. A mind that waits is waiting for the unknown because what is going to happen cannot be known beforehand; you cannot even conceive of it. You may have heard something about it, but that is not your knowledge; it remains unknown. A mind that is waiting for the unknown is a mind that is meditative. When you are waiting for the unknown your knowledge becomes a barrier, because the more aware you are of your knowledge the more solidly you imprison yourself. You must not be in a” knowing” mood, you must be completely ignorant; only then can the unknown come to you. The moment your ignorance becomes aware of itself, the moment you know that you don’t know, that is the moment you begin to wait for the unknown. There are two types of ignorant people. The first type are not aware of their ignorance – they automatically think that they know. This is ignorant knowledge. The other type is those who are aware of their ignorance. This is a knowing ignorance. And the moment you become aware of your ignorance you come to the point where knowing begins.

A pundit, a person who thinks he knows, can never be a religious man. A person who thinks that he knows is bound to be nonreligious because the knowledgeable ego is the most subtle thing. But the moment you know your ignorance there is no ego, there is no space in which the ego can exist. The greatest attack on the ego is to become aware of your ignorance; the greatest strengthening of your ego is to claim knowledge. The second thing that I would like to say about meditation is that your mind must be totally aware of its ignorance. And you can only become aware of your ignorance when your accumulated, borrowed knowledge is known as not-knowledge. It is not knowledge, it is simply information, and information is not knowledge even though that is the way it appears.

A person who knows is not dogmatic about his knowledge; he hesitates. But a person who thinks that he knows is dogmatic, assertive; he is absolutely certain. You must become aware of the fact that what you have not known cannot be your knowledge. You cannot borrow knowledge: that is the difference between a theological mind and a religious mind. Theology is one of the most irreligious things in the world and theologians are the most irreligious people because what has been claimed by them as knowledge is borrowed. Knowledge never makes any claims, because inherent in it is the phenomenon that the moment one knows, the I is lost. The moment one knows, the ego is no longer there. Knowledge comes when the ego is not, so the ego cannot claim to have it. The ego can only collect information; it can accumulate many facts; it can quote scriptures.

To go into meditation is to transcend your accumulated knowledge. The moment this knowledge is transcended, learning begins. And a learner is something quite different: he never claims that he knows, he is always aware of his ignorance. And the more aware of it he is, the more receptive he becomes to the new. The moment you have learned something, discard it; otherwise, there is every possibility that it will become part of your knowledge, part of your accumulation. If your knowledge comes from your past experiences, then it is borrowed, because you are not the same person any more. And whether your knowledge is borrowed from the past or it is borrowed from someone else makes no difference at all. Yesterday’s me is far away; it is already dead… it is nowhere to be found except in my memory. Yesterday’s me is as ”other” to me now as you are. In fact, it is even more” other,” because you are nearer to me in time. In this moment, if you can be silent, you ARE me, part and parcel of me.

If I am telling you something that came to me yesterday, it is not I who will be talking to you: I will be a dead person, a death record. I will not be living in this moment, adjusted to this moment. Something that is dead will be asserted through me. And to rely upon something that is dead… it is impossible. If I am still living in the memory of yesterday, then I am not capable of living today. If I can live yesterday’s moments yesterday, then I must live what is happening today this very moment and what I say must come through the theme of this moment. If it comes from the dead past, it is borrowed. Even if it comes from me, from my own past, it is dead weight, it is not knowing. Knowing is always spontaneous, whereas all claims are always to past knowledge, to memory. When you borrow from your memory you are not in the moment of knowing. One must not borrow from anyone, not even from one’s own past. One must live moment to moment, and live in such a way that everything which comes to you becomes part of your knowing.

If I look at you, my look can be known only if my memory is not in between. If I am looking at you through my memory of our past meetings then I am not really looking at you. But if I can look at you without any burden of the past, the look becomes meditative. If I can touch you without the burden of any experience that my hand has known in the past, the touch becomes meditative. Everything that is innocently spontaneous becomes meditative. The third point that I would like to stress is that a meditative mind lives from moment to moment. It does not accumulate; it lives each moment as it comes. It never goes beyond the here and now, it is always in the now, receptive to each moment as it comes. What is dead is dead; what has passed is past. The past has gone and the future has not yet come. This moment between the past and the future is the only thing that exists.

The past is part of memory and the future is part of longing. Both are mental; they have no existence in themselves, they are human creations. If mankind did not exist on the earth there would be no past and no future. There would just be the present, the now, only now – without any passage of time, without any coming, and going. The meditative mind lives in the now – that is its only existence.

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