Let’s start with Descartes because he’s the father of modern western philosophy. He says : “Cogito ergo sum” which means : “I think, therefore I am.” Just the opposite has been the experienced in the east. Buddha, Shankara, Mahavira, Nagarjuna. Lao Tzu, they will all laugh at Descartes dictum, “I think, therefore I am”; because they say : “I don’t think, therefore I am.” Because one can not know oneself in a state of thinking. Only when all thinking ceases, one is able to realize one’s being. The state of non-thinking is Meditation.
From the very beginning of our childhood we’ve been taught to believe in the identity of I, I know, I am, I…As a child is born into this world, he’s so pure, unknowing, natural, one with the existence itself, and then the whole process of imposing beliefs starts. The so called people in the society like your own family, parents, teachers, friends, relatives, the entire world starts telling you to believe in god, believe in soul, believe in this and believe in that and all crap. Soon all this accumulated knowledge enters your mind, your body, blood and bones, but it still remains a belief; you have not known. It is not yours. It is borrowed.
One is born innocent, not knowing anything. One is born with clear eyes and no thoughts in them. Your inner sky is pure without any clouds. Then you were taught, conditioned, a thousand and one things, and you becomes cluttered with knowledge – from the school, the college, the university and other experiences. And then you are also taught to doubt. If you doubt you are considered smart, but life can never be lived in a state of doubt. Whenever you doubt, it leads to insecurity, it leads to a constant fight against something. A man of doubt is never open; never receptive to the miracles of life. Even all tensions occur inside of us because of this doubt, it is the source to the fear, insecurity and tension within yourself. You are nothing but a small wave in the ocean but you’re afraid of the ocean and constantly trying to fight with the ocean – it is worthless. Instead, only if you can drop all your ideas, all your beliefs, shatter your doubts and learn to live with acceptance, then only you can progress towards knowing. Discard the false knowledge that you’ve accumulated from others, which is not even yours and surrender yourself to the existence and then only there is a possibility of happening, of celebration within you. You have to trust the existence and then only knowing will happen for you.
Knowledge only appears to know – it knows not. Knowing may not appear to know – but it knows. Knowledge is borrowed, knowing is one’s own. Knowledge is verbal, knowing is through living. Knowledge is information gathered from here and there. Knowing is existential : you have lived it. It has come through your own experience. It is an experience. When knowing happens you are free, you are liberated. Through knowledge you become more of a prisoner. Knowledge binds. Knowing liberates.
The paradox is that man of knowledge claims that he knows, and the man of knowing does not even know that he knows. The man of knowing is innocent.