There is no Need to Renounce Anything if You can Renounce Knowledge

Fri, 22 December 1976 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Blessed Are the Ignorant
Chapter #:
pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
Archive Code:
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Deva means divine, prashna means question - the divine question or the divine quest. And remember that the question is the most important thing. The answer is futile, foolish, false. The question is real, because behind your question is hidden the real answer. The answer is not going to come from the outside. No-body is going to give you the answer about who you are... what your life means. Nobody is going to give you the answer - nobody can. The answer has to be found deep in the recesses of your own being. The answer has to come from exactly the same source as from where the question is coming.

So the question is tremendously significant, because the question shows the way from where you have to seek the answer. In the East we have never paid any attention to answers, because all answers are childish; only questions are alive.

I give you this name so you can start asking yourself, 'Who am I?' And don't formulate any answer.

Your mind will try to formulate who you are; it will immediately supply the answer - that answer is not true. That answer is from the outside. Somebody has told you or you have read somewhere, or you have been condi-tioned for it. The answer will be christian, hindu, mohammedan, communist. The answer may be from kant, from hegel, from russel, but the answer comes from somewhere else. It is somebody else's answer... and it cannot become your answer. Your answer has to be born within you.

So let the question become a pregnancy - hold it there. There is no hurry to answer. The mind will play in the beginning. Whenever you ask, 'Who am I?' the mind will say, 'You are this,' 'You are that.'

Those are all consolations - don't be befooled by them. Those are just tricks of the mind. That's why people who listen to those tricks, never go deep... they remain on the surface. Throw all those answers - remember they are rubbish.

How will you know that the real has come? There is a way to know.... First, cancel all the answers that come from the memory, from the mind. Let the question remain alone. For a few months only the question will be there and all answers will have gone. Then you are on the right track. Now no answer comes - only the question is there. You ask, 'Who am I?' and nothing comes. The mind is completely quiet.

And this will give you the first taste of mediation, because that's what meditation is all about: the quietness of the mind. And you have stilled the mind without making any effort. You were simply asking, 'Who am I?'

Just sit silently at least once a day for one hour, and just ask 'Who am I?' Let the question vibrate inside you... penetrate like an arrow. Feel the pain of it - it hurts. Each real question hurts because it helps to make a way into your being. It is like digging a hole in the earth. And just as in the earth, somewhere deep down there is a source of water, exactly in the same way, somewhere deep within you is the source of water which will quench the thirst and will answer the question.

And it is not going to be an intellectual answer; it is going to be existential. When it comes you will immediately know that it has exploded in you - as if thousands of suns have entered your being. It will be an explosion of light. It will not be just verbal. There will be no word. It will be an experience.

So use this question, 'Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?' as a hammering, and go on. Go on rejecting all the answers - 'This is not,' 'That is not' - neti-neti: neither this nor that. Go on saying, 'This is not the answer.' Let the question remain pure, uncorrupted by all the answers that you know.

Then it will start settling deep inside you. Layer upon layer it will go deeper and deeper and deeper, and one day out of nowhere, suddenly in a single instant, you will find something arising in you, exploding... tremendously vital, flooding you.

The experience will be of light, the experience will be of great sweetness, and the experience will be of tremendous certainty. Not a single lurking doubt will be there, because it is self-evident. You need not have any proof of it. It is your experience - you don't need any proof. It will simply take you off your ground. You will be in a totally different world - a new dimension has opened.

And this is the answer! This is hiding behind the question!

There is only one significant question - 'Who am I?' And there is only one significant experience - the experience that comes when you dig this question to its very innermost core. That's what all mystics have been trying to do.

[A sannyasin who had been in a serious car accident asks for guidance as she is too weak to do the active meditations.]

You cannot do and there is no need, mm?

Do only that which you can do, and do things which can be done by sitting. You can join the music group, mm? just sitting, or if you want to play something, you can play - otherwise sing or just sway and let the music surround you.

In fact, it is not a question of doing at all. One can go into it without doing. It is possible to go into it more easily without doing than it is to go into it by doing, because doing is of the ego.

And the body is not really needed to go into meditation. Something other than the body goes into meditation. The body can never go into meditation, the body cannot know what meditation is. It is not a physical dimension at all. Just as ears cannot see and eyes cannot hear, in exactly the same way, the body cannot meditate. There is no question about it. It is not its dimension, its vibe is on a different level. The body has a certain world, and meditation is a different world. Not even the mind can go into meditation.

You go into meditation - and you are neither the body nor the mind. You are something absolutely different - the transcendental.

So you can sit, you can lie down. Nothing to be worried about. You can just be here - listen to me, just be here, feel me; that will do. You can ride on my wave and go to the other shore - there is no need to even swim. And you have done so well! And you could do it so well, because you really came in contact with me. This accident has been a blessing. Sometimes curses prove to be blessings.

Mm? You have encountered death, and that has given you something which was not possible without facing the death. You have learnt how to surrender through it - maybe not knowingly, but you surrendered. That's why you could survive so easily.

Just do whatsoever you can do. Sit silently, listen. Let others meditate - you just be there, and their meditative energy will be enough. Feed on it, be nourished by it.

That's the beauty of a group, of a school: when you are in a school, in a group, when you belong to a family of meditators, it is tremendously beneficial, mm? because there are hundreds of people meditating. If you cannot meditate - the body is not in a situation to do it - then you can simply sit and let the energy shower on you. They are throwing so much meditative energy. They are creating so many ripples all around you. You can simply take it in and be nourished by it.

From the very ancient days, schools have existed only for this purpose. Many people who may not have attained to meditation alone, have attained, because they were moving in a family. The whole family was going, and it was easier for them to move with the family.

That's why I am creating such a big family of orange people. Mm ? because then things will come very very easy. Then each individual has not to fight. You can just hold hands with two other meditators, and that will do.

[A sannyasin, recently arrived from the West, says: In so many of the groups. I find that I'm doing theatre... and it seems like a lot of work. I'll do the groups here but it just feels very false to me.]

Try first here, and then we will see. In fact, even if you feel it is false then go into it - let it be a theatre; there is no need for it to be real.

In fact, the whole life is a theatre. Nothing is real here - and nothing can be real here. It is an unreal world in which we live. That is the meaning of the word 'maya'. The real does not exist outside you.

Outside you is all drama, outside you is all acting. The real is inside you. The real is the witness.

So do these groups, and this time, don't try to be real. You must have tried in the past - that's why you feel a little frustration that it is all false. You must have tried hard to make it real. Nobody can make it real - it is not real. So this time let it be false, but play it as perfectly as possible. That is going to be your work. Let it be false - but play it perfectly, as if the whole world is watching, and your whole life is at stake. Play it so totally. Be a perfect actor - skilful, alert.

And when the play is really perfect, you will suddenly see a witness arising in you. When the play is perfect, the witness is perfect. When the play is imperfect, the witness is imperfect. When the play is very muddle-headed, the witness is muddle-headed. When you don't know what is play and what is not, you don't know who the witness is. Then the play and the witness get lost in each other. When the play is perfect on one side, on another side the witness is perfect, and there is a great interval, a gap. They are poles apart... not even connected. The play is on its own, and the witness is on its own... two worlds, two separate realities.

My understanding is that acting is one of the most significant meditations. A good actor can very easily become a good meditator - more so than anybody else - because while acting he has to remain a witness... a witness to his own acting! He pretends to be lost in it, mm? that is the art of acting. The watcher from the outside will see that he is completely absorbed in it. He's intensely in it and yet not in it. He is playing the role.

When he moves off the stage, suddenly he is a totally different man. Those tears are not there, those smiles are not there, that pain on his face is not there... the agony, the ecstasy - nothing is there.

The moment the curtain falls, he is a totally different man. The moment the curtain rises, he is again totally a different man. He simply slips in and out of his role, but he remains a witness.

[A sannyasin says: Everything is chaotic. I cannot understand what is right and what is wrong. I think my head is not functioning well now.]

Mm mm. No, I don't feel it is so. Your head was functioning too well before. You are relaxing a little - that's why you have become afraid. You were too much in the head... and I was waiting for this moment. This chaos is very creative. You were too much in the head - you were too german!

And that's why you have become scared.... Whenever a person drops below the head - and he has always lived from the head, and he has always been in control - suddenly he feels his control is lost. He has always been knowledgeable, he has always known exactly what is wrong - and now suddenly things look confused, cloudy. That's why you are afraid. But this is a blessing, because through the head there is no way towards god and towards reality.

The head is a cul-de-sac... the end of the road. You don't go anywhere from there - you are stuck .

If you want to go anywhere, you have to go deeper into the heart... and the heart is confusing - that is true. It is chaotic - that is true. The heart is anarchic - that is true. And from the heart, you will not be able to make distinctions so clearly. Nothing is clear there. It is a twilight land.

It is not Germany - it is India. It is neither night nor day - it is twilight. Things are dim. Figures move and you cannot figure out what they are. You think one thing and it turns out to be something else.

That's why you have become afraid.

But as I see it, you have progressed. To you it may look like a regression.

I understand the pain and the difficulty and the chaos of it - I can understand but you have come here; that's okay.

[The sannyasin then asks: Do you think I can love two persons at the same moment ? This is one of the problems.]

Just wait. Right now you will not be able to decide, mm? Right now you will not be able to know one from two....

Yes - you will be very much confused. Right now you will not know what is 'A' and what is 'B'. So this is not the time to decide anything. This is the time to go still deeper. A new understanding will arise - the understanding of the heart. But there is a passage between the head and the heart, and the passage has to be travelled. On the way from the head to the heart, don't decide anything, because everything will be indecisive.

Yes, you can love two persons, you can love ten persons, and you can be very much confused even about what love is. These are the moments when you should not make any commitment. Don't go and say to any woman that you will love her forever! These are not the moments. These are dangerous moments.

And it is good that you have come. Simply meditate, dance, sing, do the sufi methods. Just be here and listen to me, and feed on my presence.

[He answers: I cannot listen to you in the mornings. My head goes down and I'm in sound sleep.

You fall asleep, mm? - that is the way the heart will listen. Your head is not more functioning - that is why you Will feel sleepy. Be sleepy. You will listen, but you will have to function from a new centre, and you don't know anything about it. The heart can listen even while asleep. The head cannot listen even while awake! (laughter) The heart has its ways... very mysterious. So if you fall asleep, you fall asleep. I will be showering myself on you, and in sleep you will be absorbing better.

There are a few people who have learned the technique of how to listen in sleep. Just go into sleep - nothing to be worried about.

[He asks: Can I use sleep for anything else apart from the lectures? I like to sleep and I think in sleep things happen. What can I do?]

Good! No, you have not to do anything, because whatsoever you do will keep you hung up in the head. The head is the doer. Right now you have to do nothing - allow me to do. Simply relax; simply meditate, dance - and those are not doings. Just enjoy delight here, and remain as relaxed as possible. Don't try to figure out what is happening - you cannot figure it out.

Sooner or later a new centre will start functioning, and clarity will come to you again. And this will be a real clarity - not a substitute, not a false coin. This will be authentic, and you will know what is good and what is wrong.

With the head you know what is good and what is wrong, but you go on doing the wrong. With the head you know what is right and what is wrong, and you go on doing the wrong. So what type of clarity is this? It is verbal, it is meaningless.

Saint augustine has said, 'God forgive me, because I do what I'm not supposed to do - and I know that I'm not supposed to do it.

I don't do that which I'm supposed to do - and I know that I have to do it - but forgive me!'

This is how things are happening. With the head this is how things happen. You always know what is right, and you always do what is wrong. You always repent; you feel guilty. Again you think that now you know better, and again you do the same thing.

The head simply plays the game of being clear - it is not clear. When the heart starts functioning, you will know what is right and what is wrong. And the moment you know what is right, you cannot do the wrong - that is the beauty of the heart. The very knowing, 'this is right,' is the doing too.

The heart-oriented person never has any choice. The moment he knows that this is right, that is the thing to be done, that is the thing he will do. He never repents, he never feels guilty.

So you can say whatsoever he does is good, and whatsoever is good he does. They become synonymous.... Knowing and doing become synonymous. They become one; they are no more separate.

So you are in a good situation... in a tremendously beautiful situation. Just dance, sing and relax! Mm? because right now anything you do will keep the head functioning. I would like you to completely drop out of the head. So relax into the heart, settle there, and from there will arise the real understanding. It is on the way!

Anand means bliss, apurvam means unique - unique bliss. And everybody is carrying a seed for unique bliss. Only you can become blissful that way, nobody else. Nobody has been blissful the way you are, and nobody will again ever be blissful in the same way as you would be. Each is carrying a unique seed of bliss, a unique seed of a unique flower. And that is the only offering for god. Become blissful, so you can offer a unique flower - that is something original.

[The new sannyasin says: I don't know what I should do because I am pregnant.... ]

I know! I was feeling as if I was giving sannyas to two persons! How old is the pregnancy... seven, eight months?

... Good! Just do soft things, mm? music... sit and sing, sway, or just sit and enjoy. Do soft things, and remain around. Let the child feed on the vibrations here so we will have a beautiful sannyasin from the very beginning. Mm? Good!

[A sannyasin therapist asks: How in my work can I separate the chaff from the grain?]

Mm mm. My feeling is that you bring too much of the intellect into your work. That is the chaff.

Otherwise you can become really a great therapist, but you are too intellectual... too much of a scholar comes in. And therapy has nothing to do with scholarship - nothing to do at all... totally different fields.

If you want to be a scholar, forget about therapy and be a good scholar. Otherwise, forget scholarship. Therapy has nothing to do with scholarship and knowledge, and intellectual understanding - nothing.

To be a therapist, a really good therapist, you have to be almost crazy! Only crazy people can help crazy people. Only crazy people can understand crazy people. That's why the alcoholics anonymous helps - only drunkards can help drunkards... they know the language.

So that is my feeling - that your therapy work is not succeeding as it can because you are too much of an intellectual. That is the chaff to be dropped. So cut it short!

In fact, you should not move as an intellectual when you are in a therapy group. Be more human - scholarship is inhuman. Be more alive - scholarship is dead. And don't look at people as problems - they are persons. Don't analyse. Rather, try to be in their shoes... feel! Move in their space - become them. A real therapist will become the patient. He will move through the agony of the patient, he will suffer the agony of the patient. He will not stand aloof in his knowledge, diagnosing.

Freud is not a great therapist - a great theoretician of course, but not a therapist. And neither is jung a therapist - a great theore-tician again. Nor is adler a therapist - again a great theoretician.

Freud has left a very wrong legacy in the west - of scholars, logic-choppers, arguers, philosophers, metaphysicians, but not therapists.

Therapy is an altogether different matter. You have to love the patient as a person. You have to accept the person unconditionally. The patient should not feel that he is being treated. The patient should feel that he is being understood - not being treated - and that very understanding is a healing climate.

That's why my feeling is - that you do good work, your procedure is good, your techniques are good, but you are too much of the intellectual. So drop that intellectualism.

... but you are in therapy! Otherwise get out of therapy, or you will be divided. Become a scholar and forget bout therapy - be a theoretician. But then groups and things - forget about them! They are not for you then.

I'm not saying that you become a therapist. I'm saying that if you want to become a therapist, you cannot be a scholar at the same time - they don't go together. If you want to be a scholar and you feel more happy being a scholar, don't be a therapist; there is no need. Otherwise your scholarship will suffer and your therapy will suffer. You have to be very decisive, otherwise you can go on hanging, and you will never feel fulfilled.

When I was going to the college, my parents, my whole family, all my well-wishers, wanted me to go to a science college; naturally, because science pays! I belonged to a poor family, and it was very difficult for them to afford. But they were ready - somehow they would manage.

But I was reluctant - I was not going to the science college at all. I said an absolute no. I told them, 'I am going to study philosophy.' They said, 'Are you mad?! We cannot afford it! And philosophy is for rich people.' A poor man's son never goes to an art college in india, because after the education you will remain unemployed; it is difficult to get any employment.

My father said, 'Then you decide. If you don't go to the science college, I am not going to pay.'

I said, 'That's okay. I will not ask. But I'm not going to the science college. I will beg... but I'm going to the arts college.'

It was just a threat from him so that I would come to my senses, but I went to the arts college, and then he felt very much. He would write again and again, 'Just say how much we should send, how much money you need.' I said, 'No, I'm not going to take this. I have not taken your advice, how can I take your money?'

So for two years I worked. In the night I would work, in the day I would go to college. They were very repentant. They would come again and again - my family members - and they would say 'Forgive us, just forget about it, but this we cannot see - that at night you have to work and in the day you go to the college.'

But I said, 'I am perfectly happy! And this is my choice! Because science cannot be a fulfillment to me - I know that. My fulfillment is different. It has to be of a different quality. It cannot be just objective; it has to be subjective.'

One has to decide! It was easier for me to go to the science college, to become a doctor or to become a professor of science or something. It would have been comfortable, but it would have disturbed my whole pattern, my whole being. It would have been a division.

So always remember, never even for a single moment postpone anything. Be decisive. If you feel that therapy is not for you, forget about groups and other things. Then put your whole energy into scholarship - and good! Nothing wrong in it. If you enjoy, that is your fulfillment. Scholars are needed as much as anyone else.

Authentic people anywhere are needed, whatsoever direction they choose. But this happens many times: people remain confused, and they go on wavering. Then you cannot be a therapist, and you will feel unfulfilled, and you will see that your groups are not going as successfully as they should.

That will remain a burden and a sadness on you, and you will try more and more to bring them to a certain standard. But whatsoever you do will be the chaff, because you will bring more intellect into it, you will find more techniques, you will intellectualise more, you will make it more of a heady thing.

That is not going to help.

If you want to be a therapist and in the therapy - and it is a tremendously beautiful world - then forget about scholarship. Otherwise choose scholarship - that too is beautiful. But a person should have a direction. Then one arrives some day, somewhere. Otherwise this deep unfulfillment will create ulcers in your being. You will always feel as if you are in a wrong place.

A person should do only that which fulfills so tremendously that he always feels that this is the only place, and this is the only thing. If god gives him another life, he will do the same thing again; he will not change. When you feel that, your life blooms... and you can bloom in a beautiful flowering.

So just decide about it. Mm? just ponder over it, meditate over it. They are diametrically opposite things.

[The sannyasin answers: My attitude has been just to play... to go with what attracts me.]

Then don't bother about satisfaction, because then the play is your satisfaction. Don't bother about fulfillment, because in a play there is no question of fulfillment. Don't think of improving it. Good! go on playing. But then you will always remain empty.

If it is a play, then let it be a play - but then don't be serious about it. Then the play is its own reward.

Whether you succeed as a therapist or not is not the question at all. Then therapy is not the relevant question at all. You are a player, so you are playing therapy - good! Don't feel frustrated. You are frustrated... you feel a certain thing is missing and you are searching for it. It is not a play.

If it is a play, then good! Then who bothers ? Why bother about it? You played it and you enjoyed it. In a play there is no result; the play is its own reward. In work there is reward, and the reward comes after the work is fulfilled. When you feel that yes, you are creating something, when you see something growing.... A gardener sees the tree growing and feels fulfilled. The mother sees the child growing, and she feels fulfilled.

If you are thinking of it as a play, there is no problem, but I think again it is your intellectual explanation - that it is a play. It is again the chaff....

To avoid decision, you bring an explanation that this is a play; you are just playing. Again this is a rationalisation. It is not play. Look into it. If it is a play, play it. Then you continue as you are - nothing is the problem. But if you feel some lurking dissatisfaction - that things are not as they should be, that something more is needed - then either become a therapist and play the game so totally that your energies are not diverted anywhere else, or become a scholar.

And I am not saying not to become a scholar. Because there are a few people who will be only satisfied when they have become great scholars; that is their destiny. But be very clear about it - crystal-clear. And don't try to explain away things by rational explanation; that is not going to help.

It is not a question of giving me an explanation; it is a question for you to decide. This is how I see it. Now try to see it how you see it. And you have to function out of your own vision; you don't have to function out of what I am saying. How can you function out of that? This is just a suggestion, a hint to work upon, to meditate upon. Meditate and let the vision come to you.

It is your life, it is your responsibility. Just see, and don't go on playing games with yourself. Just see directly - and in that very vision, things will change. Either you become a therapist or you become a scholar, or you remain a player - but then the problem disappears.

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The following information is documented in 4 volumes by
Elizabeth Donnan, with Documents illustrative of the slave
trade in America. They can be found in the National Library
Washington, D.C. and in the Carnegie Institute of Technology
Library, Pittsburgh, PA.

Name of Ship Owners


Abigail........ Aaron Lopez, Moses Levy and Jacob Franks..... Jewish

Crown.......... Isaac Levy and Natham Simpson................ "

Nassau......... Moses Levy................................... "

Four Sisters... Moses Levy................................... "

Anne and Eliza. Justus Bosch and John Adams.................. "

Prudent Betty.. Henry Cruger and Jacob Phoenix............... "

Hester......... Mordecai and Davdi Gomez..................... "

Elizabeth...... Mordecai and Davdi Gomez..................... "

Antigua........ Natham Marston and Abram Lyell............... "

Betsy.......... Wm. De Woolf................................. "

Polly.......... James De Woolf............................... "

White Horse.... Jan de Sweevts............................... "

Expedition..... John and Jacob Roosevelt..................... "

Charlotte...... Moses and Sam Levy; Jacob Franks............. "

Caracoa........ Moses and Sam Levy........................... "