Seeking truth? Discard knowledge, says Osho

Unlike knowledge, truth cannot be possessed; you can only become it

Holy scriptures | Seeking Truth? Discard Knowledge

Knowledge is not of much help. Only being can become the vehicle for the other shore. You can go on thinking, accumulating information—but those are paper boats, they won’t help in an ocean voyage. If you remain on the shore and go on talking about them, it is okay—paper boats are as good as real boats if you never go for the voyage; but if you go for the voyage with paper boats then you will be drowned. And words are nothing but paper boats—not even that substantial.

And when we accumulate knowledge, what do we do? Nothing changes inside. The being remains absolutely unaffected. Just like dust, information gathers around you—just like dust gathering around a mirror: the mirror remains the same, only it loses its mirroring quality. What you know through the mind makes no difference—your consciousness remains the same. In fact it becomes worse, because accumulated knowledge is just like dust around your mirroring consciousness; the consciousness reflects less and less and less.

The more you know, the less aware you become. When you are completely filled with scholarship, borrowed knowledge, you are already dead. Then nothing comes to you as your own. Everything is borrowed and parrot-like.

Borrowed knowledge is dangerous

Mind is a parrot. I have heard—it happened in the days of Joseph Stalin—that a man, a very prominent communist, came to the Moscow police station and reported that his parrot was missing. Because this man was a very prominent communist, the chief at the police station inquired about the parrot, for it was significant and had to be searched for. In his inquiries he asked, “Does the parrot talk?”

The communist, the comrade, felt a slight fear, and then he said, “Yes, he talks. But note it down: whatsoever political opinions he has, they are completely his own.”

But how can a parrot have opinions of its own? A parrot cannot have opinions of its own—and neither can the mind, because mind is a mechanism. A parrot is more alive than a mind. Even a parrot may have some opinions of its own, but the mind cannot. Mind is a computer, a biocomputer. It accumulates. It is never original, it cannot be. Whatsoever it has is borrowed, taken from others.

Beware of hidden ignorance

You become original only when you transcend mind. When the mind is dropped, and the consciousness faces existence directly, immediately, moment to moment in contact with existence, you become original. Then, for the first time, you are authentically your own.

Otherwise all ideas are borrowed. You may quote scriptures, you may know by heart all the Vedas, the Koran, the Gita, The Bible, but that makes no difference—they are not your own. And knowledge that is not your own is dangerous, more dangerous than ignorance, because it is a hidden ignorance, and you will not be able to see that you are deceiving yourself. You are carrying false coins and thinking that you are a rich man, carrying false stones and thinking that they are Kohinoors. Sooner or later your poverty will be revealed. Then you will be shocked. This happens whenever you die, whenever death comes near. In the shock that death gives to you, suddenly you become aware that you have not gained anything—because only that is gained which is gained in being.

Knowledge must be transcended

You have accumulated fragments of knowledge from here and there, you may have become a great encyclopedia, but that is not the point; and particularly for those who are in search of truth, that is a barrier, not a help. Knowledge has to be transcended.

When there is no knowledge, knowing happens, because knowing is your quality—the quality of consciousness. It is just like a mirror: the mirror reflects whatsoever is there; consciousness reflects the truth that is always in front of you, just at the tip of your nose. But the mind is in between—and the mind goes on chattering, and the truth remains just in front of you and the mind goes on chattering. And you go with the mind. You miss. Mind is a great missing.

There are no shortcuts while seeking truth

Knowledge is borrowed, realise this. The very realisation becomes a dropping of it. You don’t have to do anything. Simply realise that whatsoever you know you have heard, you have not known it. You have read it, you have not realised it; it is not a revelation to you, it is a conditioning of the mind. It has been taught to you—you have not learned it. Truth can be learned, cannot be taught. Learning means being responsive to whatsoever is around you—that which is, to be responsive to it. This is a great learning, but not knowledge.

There is no way to find truth—except through finding it. There is no short cut to it. You cannot borrow, you cannot steal, you cannot deceive, to get to it. There is simply no way unless you are without any mind within you—because mind is a wavering, mind is a continuous trembling; mind is never unmoving, it is a movement. It is just like a breeze, continuously flowing, and the flame goes on wavering. When mind is not there the breeze stops, and the flame becomes unmoving. When your consciousness is an unmoving flame, you know the truth. You have to learn how not to follow the mind.

Stop seeking truth from another

Nobody can give you the truth, nobody, not even a Buddha, a Jesus, a Krishna—nobody can give it to you. And it is beautiful that nobody can give it to you, otherwise it would become a commodity in the market. If it can be given, then it can be sold also. If it can be given, then it can be stolen also. If it can be given then you can take it from your friend, borrow it.

It is beautiful that truth is not transferable in any way. Unless you reach it, you cannot reach. Unless you become it, you never have it. In fact, it is not something you can have. It is not a commodity, a thing, a thought. You can be it, but you cannot have it.

Truth can never be possessed

Truth can never be possessed. There are two commodities which can be possessed: thoughts and things. Things can be possessed, thoughts can be possessed—truth is neither. Truth is being. You can become it, but you cannot possess it. You cannot have it in your safe, you cannot have it in your book, you cannot have it in your hand. When you have it, you are it. You become truth. It is not a concept, it is being itself.

Excerpted from And The Flowers Showered Courtesy: Osho International Foundation;

This was first published in the December 2015 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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  1. The last part where it says ‘Truth is not a commodity’. That’s beautiful, but understanding that is very difficult. When we find truth, we become truth. Truth is what we are. I know we can put that in words, but that’s not something my mind is comprehending. But, yeah somewhere I know that it just something that is not a commodity.

    Thanks Osho for inspiring us even after you have left your body!

    Syed Usman


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