The mind cannot shake a mountain. Neither praise nor blame moves the wise man.
To be wise is not to be knowledgeable. To be wise means to realize something of your consciousness—first within and then without; to feel the pulsation of life within you and then without. To experience this mysterious consciousness that you are, first one has to experience it in the innermost core of one’s being, because that is the closest door to the universal consciousness.
Once you have known it within, it is not difficult to know it without. But remember: the wise man never accumulates knowledge—his wisdom is spontaneous. Knowledge always belongs to the past, wisdom belongs to the present.
Remember these distinctions. Unless you understand the difference very clearly between knowledge and wisdom, you will not be able to understand these sutras of Gautama the Buddha. And they are tremendously important.
Knowledge satisfies the ego; wisdom destroys the ego completely; hence people seek knowledge. It is very rare to find a seeker who is not interested in knowledge but is committed to wisdom. Knowledge means theories about truth; wisdom means truth itself. Knowledge means secondhand; wisdom means firsthand. Knowledge means belief: others say it and you believe. And all beliefs are false! No belief is ever true. Even if you believe in the word of a Buddha, the moment you believe it is turned into a lie.
Truth cannot be believed; either you know or you don’t know. If you know, there is no question of belief; if you don’t know, there is again no question of belief. If you know, you know; if you don’t know, you don’t know.
Belief is a projection of the tricky mind—it gives you the feeling of knowing, without knowing. You can easily believe in God, you can easily believe in immortality of the soul, you can easily believe in the theory of reincarnation. In fact, they remain just superficial; deep down you are not affected by them, not at all. When death knocks at your door you will know that your beliefs have all disappeared. The belief in the immortality of the soul will not help you when death knocks at your door—you will cry and weep and you will cling to life. When death comes you will forget all about God; you will not be able to remember the complicated implications of the theory of reincarnation. When death knocks, it knocks down the whole structure of knowledge that you had built around yourself. It leaves you absolutely empty…and with the awareness that the whole of life has been a wastage.
Wisdom is a totally different phenomenon. It is experience, not belief. It is existential experience, it is not “about.” You don’t believe in God—you know God. You don’t believe in the immortality of the soul, you have tasted it. You don’t believe in reincarnation—you remember that you have been in many bodies; you have been a rock, you have been a tree, you have been animals, birds, you have been a man, a woman… you have lived in so many forms. You see that only the superficial changes; the essential is eternal.
This is seeing, not believing. And all the real masters are interested to help you to see, not to make you believe.
Wisdom arises within you, it is not a scripture. You start reading your own consciousness—and there are hidden all the Bibles and all the Gitas and all the Dhammapadas.