Paramahamsa Yogananda says, ‘Daytime is the devil’s playground.’ In daytime, we continuously feed our mind with words. Actually if you observe, words come in the way of learning. For example, now you are sitting in front of me. Many of you don’t understand what I am saying because I am talking a foreign language to you. You feel sad. But you are the most fortunate in the group! It is not possible to learn from me through words. I talk only to make you silent. If I don’t talk, you start talking inside you. So I talk. But you can learn a lot from me only through silence.
It is in the gaps between my words that the real teaching lies.
In silence there is innocence. In words there is intellect. Intellect can never receive the truth, only innocence can. Just sit here with innocence, that is enough. Then you will receive the ultimate understanding. It is in the gaps between my words that the real teaching lies. The master is sheer poetry, the poetry of Existence. His expression is an overflowing of Existence. The master speaks because you want to hear. As he speaks there is a beautiful silence, which is his undercurrent. If you are open you can feel it touching you.
Silence bridges the gap that words create. Silence is the space of transformation into fresh learning. In silence you are open and in those moments I can transform you easily. With the transformation, you regain your complete innocence. Communication is between two heads. With communication you can easily misinterpret me. However, communion is between two hearts. It is between two beings. With communication you work with your intellectual defenses. With communion you receive the direct initiation into the experience. With communion you fulfill the longing that you have for something beyond words. I have exactly that with me. That is what you need to take. The whole process of meditation is to start communing and find the silence within you. The inner silence can never be touched by thought or experience. Inner silence is the innocence that you seek. That is why people crave to sit by themselves in the Himalayas or in the forest. They hope to find the inner silence through the outer silence. When it happens you start communing with the whole of Existence. Anything that happens from this silence will always be in conformance with Existence.
One disciple visited a Zen master in China.
The master asked him, ‘What do you seek?’
The disciple replied, ‘Enlightenment.’
The master said, ‘You have your own treasure house. Why do you search outside?’
The disciple inquired, ‘Where is my treasure house?’
The master replied, ‘What you are asking is your treasure house.’
The disciple got enlightened that very moment.
The inner silence is the treasure zone. Finding that for you is the work of the master. So next time, don’t feel sad when you cannot understand what I am saying. Remain innocent and merge with the silence in the words. The unlearning and learning will then happen as they should. In that silence, there is no greed of heaven or fear of hell or jealousy of the other or want of love, or any worry. There is only resonance with innocence, with the master. The direct transmission then happens.
Innocence is a delicate fragrance, while knowledge is a strong filter. That is the difference. The fragrance of innocence draws the whole world to you. The filter of knowledge prevents many things from coming to you. When you are caught in knowledge you are in a great hurry all the time, because there is too much knowledge to gather. When you are with innocence you simply enjoy the moment. If you watch innocent people, they will never appear to be with any great purpose. They will simply revel in the moment with a totality, with simplicity. Innocence grasps the moment while knowledge misses it.
Knowledge knows only purpose while innocence knows the beauty of purposelessness. If you set aside your knowledge, you are ready to grasp the moment and the Truth. The present holds the truth in it. The problem is that today education teaches only knowledge and how to be clever. It doesn’t educate on innocence. Where in the universities do they teach innocence?
A small story:
A young boy walked into a fish market and asked for six trout. The fishmonger enthusiastically started selecting the trout. He was about to wrap them when the boy said, ‘Please don’t wrap them up yet. Can you just throw each of them to me and I will catch them one by one before you wrap them up?’ The fishmonger said, ‘Of course I will, but what for?’ The boy replied, ‘That way, I can at least say when I get home that I caught six trout.’ There is such a pressure to be clever today. Children lose their innocence to the conditioning that they receive in the name of ‘how to be clever’. Over time, like this small boy, even innocence is used only to make up for cleverness! A father introduced his son proudly to his colleagues at office for the first time. All his colleagues were standing around the boy and the father said, ‘Son, why don’t you tell them how old you are?’ The child promptly said, ‘When I am at home I am seven. But when I am on a bus, I am five.’
This is how children are trained today. They are trained to see utility in everything. Education evaluates you by your own utility. But you are not your utility. You are your being. The being can never be evaluated. Only the mind can be, and mind itself is a myth! Society creates a myth, which is your mind, and holds it as the yardstick to evaluate you. That is the reason why knowledge is so popular today. Knowledge is a tool. It doesn’t directly lead to intelligence. It is just a tool. As long as we use it as a powerful tool where needed, it is good. It can do amazing things. The mistake we do is giving our whole lives to the hands of knowledge. On the other hand, innocence leads directly to pure intelligence. Innocence grasps dimensions that cleverness misses. Innocence may miss the facts but it catches the Truths. Cleverness is too busy with facts. When cleverness combines with innocence, it becomes a rare combination of intelligence and innocence.
Setting aside knowledge for the sake of innocence is intelligence. I don’t mean that you have to stop gathering knowledge. Just understand that knowledge cannot substitute innocence. If you observe villagers who are not educated you will see that they exhibit pure intelligence! That is why you will find that when you are stuck, a villager effortlessly pitches in and helps you out! Innocent intelligence has that capacity. Comprehending complex things is not a difficult thing. You have to work your mind a little more, that’s all! You only need to see in a more divisive way, in a more analytical way.
For example, a person may not find it very difficult to understand aeronautics, but what about understanding the simple Zen koans ? Zen koans are simple teachings of Zen Buddhism. They are not concerned with where you are or what you do but with what makes you. They are meant to cause an awakening at the being level. They are concerned only with that, nothing else. They are not caught in giving ideas. They directly give the solution for the being. But they are difficult to grasp because they are too simple and straightforward!
Today all universities work on sharpening the intellectual faculty of the individual. They teach us how to make ourselves more useful to society and how to be productive or effective. There is nothing wrong in being productive and effective, but in the process we forget how to be innocent and receptive. We forget how to open up to the cosmos, to Existence. We forget how to move in synchronicity with the cosmos, how to make productivity happen in tune with the cosmic plan, which is the source of all productivity. This happens because we are caught in ‘doing’ and ‘having’, we forget the ‘being’.
source: Living Enlightenment