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Knowing Through Not Knowing

Osho says: The truth is known and yet not known – known in a sense and not known in another – known because we are part of it, but not known because we are not separate from it. To know something, the knower has to be separate; and yet again, to know something really, how can you know it if you are separate? This is the basic problem that faces the seeker of truth. We are one with it, there is no space between us and the truth, so we cannot become the knower. We cannot separate the known from the knower – there is no way to separate – and knowledge exists only when the knower and the known are separate.

Knowledge is a bridge between the object and the subject. If they are not separate, the bridge cannot exist. So the first thing to be remembered, truth is not known in the ordinary sense, cannot be known in the ordinary sense.

Yet there is a knowing of sorts – a totally different type of knowing, of a totally different quality. The knowing is more like love than knowledge. You know a woman or a man when you are deep in love. When your boundaries meet and mingle and merge, when you are no longer separate, when you cannot say where you end and where your woman starts, when there are no fences and no defenses, when simply you are overlapping, overflowing into each other – the division has disappeared and you have become indivisible – there is a sort of knowing: you know. Before it, all that you used to think of as knowledge was just illusory.

But can you say now that you know? Now there is no one separate who can claim to be the knower. This is the problem. Truth is known, but in such a way that you cannot claim knowledge. Truth is known in such a way that by knowing it the mystery does not disappear; in fact it becomes very, very deep, infinitely deep, ultimately deep. By knowing the truth, nothing is solved. In fact for the first time you are facing the insoluble. This is the paradox, the dilemma.

Mind lives through lies, mind feeds on lies. Mind cannot encounter truth. All knowledge is of the mind, so all knowledge is bound to be illusory. All knowledge is maya, it is not real. It is a pseudo coin invented by the mind to fill the gap; otherwise you will feel very, very ignorant and stupid, otherwise you will feel you don’t know anything. It will be difficult for you to stand, struggle in life. Mind says, “Forget all about ignorance. Knowledge is possible. It is simple: you just cram in a few facts – labels, names – get acquainted with more information, accumulate information, go to the library, and become knowledgeable.

Knowledgeableness is not knowledge, and all your knowledge is nothing but knowledgeableness. You have gathered information from without – from tradition, from the university, from the society, civilization. Somebody is a Mohammedan, you say, and somebody is a Cristian, you say; and then you have figured out who he is. Just by calling a man “Cristian” or calling him a “communist”, have you known him? Have you know anything about him? But you have a feeling that you know now – this man is a “communist”, dangerous; and this man is a “Cristian”, very good.

This stupid effort to drown your ignorance by a false knowledge is the only barrier between you and the reality, between you and the truth. And if you go on with these lies, believing in them, you will never come across the truth – these lies won’t allow you. These lies will function as barriers.

To be ignorant and to know that all knowledge is false, is a radical revolution. Then you remain virgin. Then knowledge never corrupts you. Yes, knowledge is a corruption, it is a poison.

All meditative techniques developed anywhere in the world are nothing but efforts to make you free of your knowledge, efforts to make you free of your mind. Meditation means to create a state of no-mind. A state of no-mind will be a state of no-knowledge. A state of no-mind will be state of tremendous ignorance – primal ignorance. And ignorance is beautiful.

When you don’t know, you are not. When you know, you are. Knowledge begins to function as the ego. No-knowledge, and the ego cannot exist; it has no props, no support. It falls, collapses, disappears. And in that state of no-mind, no-ego – ho-you – something happens, which is more like love. You flow into existence and the existence starts flowing into you. You are no longer separate from the existence. The drop has fallen into the ocean, and the ocean has fallen into the drop.

This is what is called wisdom. Knowledge is not wisdom. To know “I don’t know anything” is wisdom. Knowing that you don’t know, you really become a knower. That is wisdom. Wisdom is not knowledge. Wisdom is awareness.

And when you have known in this way, not the way of knowledge but the way of wisdom, the way of love – not as a spectator, not as an observer from the outside but as a participant of existence – you have danced with God hand in hand, step by step, and you have come to feel something…

What are the eyes of wisdom? Knowledge dropped, you attain to the eyes of wisdom. Ignorance covered, you become knowledgeable. Knowledge dropped, ignorance accepted as ultimate, you become wise.

So these are the three types of people in the world: the ignorant who is trying to become knowledgeable, the knowledgeable who has forgotten his ignorance, and the wise who has dropped knowledge and has come to accept his ignorance as ultimate and is no longer making any effort to know anything whatsoever. He has come to know that nothing can be known, that knowledge is impossible, that ignorance is the very nature of existence because it is a mystery. In his ignorance he has become relaxed. He rests in his ignorance. He has become innocent like a child. Then one becomes wise – not by knowing, but by knowing that nothing can be known, by knowing that all knowledge is illusion, by knowing that the very effort is doomed to fail, by knowing that existence is mysterious and it is not available for those people who are ready to analyze, dissect.

It is available for those people who are ready to fall in love with it, for those people who can sing a song with it, dance a dance with it. God is available to singers and dancers and people who are innocent.

Osho, From the book ‘Ten Non-Commandments’

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