The Eyes of Wonder
Osho on Wonder
YOU HAVE REMINDED ME AGAIN THAT, FOR ME, KNOWING BECOMES KNOWLEDGE, WHICH BECOMES THE PRACTICE OF THAT KNOWLEDGE. EVEN THIS IS BECOMING A PRACTICE. PLEASE COMMENT.
KNOWING always becomes knowledge — and you have to be alert not to allow it. One of the most delicate situations on the path of a seeker: knowing always becomes knowledge — because the moment you have known something, your mind collects it as knowledge, as experience. Knowing is a process. Knowledge is a conclusion. When knowing dies it becomes knowledge. And if you go on gathering this knowledge, then knowing will become more and more difficult — because with knowledge, knowing never happens. Then you carry your knowledge around you. A knowledgeable person is almost hidden behind his knowledge; he loses all clarity, all perception. The world becomes far away; the reality loses all transparency.
The knowledgeable person is always looking through his knowledge. He projects his knowledge. His knowledge colors everything — now there is no longer any possibility of knowing. Remember: knowledge is not gathered only through scriptures — it is also gathered, and more so, through your own experience. You love a woman, for example. You have never known a woman before, have never fallen in deep love. You fall for the first time — you are innocent, you are a virgin. You don’t know what love is — your mind is open. You don’t have any knowledge about love. You are spontaneous. You move into the unknown. It is mysterious. Love opens doors of unknown temples, sings unknown songs into your ears and into your heart, dances with unknown tunes. And you don’t know anything; you don’t have any knowledge to judge by, to evaluate, to condemn, to say good or bad. It is ecstatic. You are gripped by the ineffable experience of love. You live in moments of grace.
But, by and by, you become knowledgeable — now you know what love means; now you know what the woman means; now you know the geography, the topography of love. You have become knowledgeable. You fall in love with another woman. Now, nothing like the first experience happens — nothing like it. Dull. A repetition. As if you have gone to see the same movie again, or reading the same novel again. A little difference here and there, but not much. Now, why are you missing? Why is the same mysterious experience not gripping you? Why are you not throbbing with the unknown again? You are knowledgeable. Something so beautiful like love has become a repetition.
Knowing always becomes knowledge. So you have to be very alert: know something — the moment it becomes knowledge, drop it. Go on dying to your knowledge.
Never carry it — because no other woman is the same. Your first woman was a totally different world; this new woman you have fallen in love with is a totally different world. It is not going to be the same. But if you move through knowledge it will look like the same. Drop the knowledge. Be again innocent. Again move into the unknown — because no two persons are alike. Every person is so unique that there has never been a person like that before and there will never be again. Learn again from A B C and you will be full of wonder. And then you have learnt a deep experience: never allow any knowledge to settle.
All knowing becomes knowledge. The moment it becomes knowledge, drop it. It is just like dust gathers on the mirror; every day you have to clean it. On the mirror of your mind dust gathers, dust of experience: it becomes knowledge. Clean it. That’s why every day meditation is needed. Meditation is nothing but cleaning the mirror of your mind. Clean it continuously! If you can clean it every moment of your life, then there is no need to sit separately for meditation.
Remember, be alert that knowledge has not to be gathered, that you have to remain like a child — full of wonder, full of awe. Every nook and corner is mysterious, and you don’t know what it is. You cannot figure it out, what this life is. Enchanted you run in this direction and that direction.
Have you watched a child running on the sea-beach? So elated! in such euphoria! collecting shells and colored stones. Have you watched a child running in a garden to catch a butterfly? You will not run that way even if God is there; you will not run that way. You will not be so ecstatic even if God is there. You will move like a gentleman. You will not rush, you will not be mad. You will still keep your manners; you will still show that you are mature, you are not a child. And Jesus says: “Only those who are childlike, they will be able to enter into my Kingdom of God” — only those who are childlike, only those who are still capable of wonder.
Wonder is the greatest treasure in life. Once you lose wonder, you have lost your life — then you drag, but you no longer live. And knowledge kills wonder.
That is one of the most difficult problems the modern mind is facing, because knowledge has accumulated every day more and more.
The twentieth century is so much burdened with knowledge.
Hence religion has disappeared — because religion can exist only with wonder, with wonder-filled eyes; eyes which don’t know but are ready to rush into any direction to see what is there; innocent eyes, virgin hearts. So remember to remain capable of childlike wonder.
Science grows out of doubt. Religion grows out of wonder. Between the two is philosophy; it has not yet decided — it goes on hanging between doubt and wonder. Sometimes the philosopher doubts and sometimes the philosopher wonders: he is just in between. If he doubts too much, by and by he becomes a scientist. If he wonders too much, by and by he becomes religious.
That’s why philosophy is disappearing from the world — because ninety-nine percent of philosophers have become scientists. And one person — a Buber somewhere, or a Krishnamurti somewhere, or a Suzuki somewhere — great minds, great penetrating intellects, they have become religious. Philosophy is almost losing its ground. If you become too sceptical, you become scientists. If you become too childlike, you become religious. Science exists with doubt. Religion exists with wonder. If you want to be religious then create more wonder, discover more wonder. Allow your eyes to be more filled with wonder than anything else.
Be surprised by everything that is happening. Everything is so tremendously wonderful that it is simply unbelievable how you go on living without dancing, how you go on living without becoming ecstatic. You must not be seeing what is happening all around. Just to be is so miraculous, just to breathe is so miraculous. Just to breathe and just to be! — nothing else is needed for a religious person. To be full of wonder. And when one is full of wonder, praise arises, and praise is prayer. When you see this wonderful existence, you start praising it. In your praising, prayer arises.
You say: “Holy, holy, holy! ” It is holy. It is so beautiful and so holy.
So the questioner has raised a very pertinent question: “You have reminded me again that, for me, knowing becomes knowledge, which becomes the practice of that knowledge.” These are the three steps. First knowing; then the knowing dies, shrinks, becomes knowledge; then knowledge also shrinks even more and becomes practice or character. A man of character is the deadliest man in the world. He practices his knowledge; he tries to follow his knowledge. He is not spontaneous. He is continuously managing, manipulating, pushing himself this way and that; somehow holding himself together. He is not responsible — responsible in the sense of being capable of response. If you come across him, if you embrace him, he will answer it, but that answer will come out of his past experiencing — out of his character. A man of character is predictable. Only a mechanism can be predictable. A fully conscious man is unpredictable. No astrologer can predict anything about a fully conscious man. He moves moment-to-moment, full of wonder. He acts out of wonder; he acts out of response to the moment. He carries no knowledge, he carries no character with him. Each moment he is new, reborn.
So these are the three steps: knowing dies; knowing becomes knowledge; knowledge becomes character. Be aware — beware! Don’t allow your knowing to fall and to become knowledge. And never allow your knowledge to control you and to create a character for you. A character is an armour. In the armour you are jailed… then you can never be spontaneous. You are already in your grave — a character is a grave. Let your knowing be there, but don’t allow it to become knowledge or character. The moment it is turning into knowledge, drop it, empty your hands. Forget all about it. Move ahead! again like a child. Difficult, I know. Easy to say; difficult to be that way — but that is the only way you can attain to satchitanand — you can attain to truth, you can attain to consciousness, you can attain to bliss.
Yes, it is hard. One has to pay too much for it — but
God is not cheap. You will have to pay with your whole being. Only when you have paid totally and you are not holding anything and you are not a miser, and you have sacrificed and surrendered yourself totally, will you attain. God comes to you when you are not; when you have become just a zero God comes to you. He is just waiting by the corner. The moment you become empty, He rushes towards you, He comes and fulfills you.
Don’t allow knowing to become knowledge and character. Then a totally different type of character will arise which will not be like the character you have seen in the world. It will be inner — a discipline which comes from the innermost core of your being. Never forced! — always spontaneous. It is not like a commandment: it is an organic growth. God is your spontaneous organic growth.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: A Sudden Clash of Thunder
Chapter title: When you are Not, God is
12 August 1976 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘Wonder, innocence, meditation, love, dance, ecstasy, prayer, spontaneity, consciousness, bliss, religion’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
- The Messiah, Vol 2
- Tao: The Golden Gate
- Unio Mystica
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra
- The Wisdom of the Sands
- Zen: The Special Transmission
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Hidden Splendor
- The Razor’s Edge
- The Tantra Vision
- Sat Chit Anand
- The Beloved