Osho on courage to be ignorant

Osho – Man is caught in a universal deception. And when everybody is caught in the same deception, it becomes difficult to see. You have to find out if the clothes of knowledge – which you have thought of as clothes – are really clothes, or are you standing naked in invisible clothes? You have to test each of your thoughts according to this criterion – ”Do I know it?” If you do not know, then be ready to go to hell rather than go on holding on to this pseudo-knowledge.

The first condition of authenticity is that whatever one does not know, one should say that he does not know – otherwise it will be the beginning of hypocrisy. Usually we cannot see the big deceptions, we can only see small deceptions. If a man cheats you for a few rupees, you notice it, but if a man stands with folded hands in front of a stone statue and says, ”O God! O Lord!” knowing very well that the statue is of stone and there is no god, no lord there, then although this man might seem to be authentic and religious, it is difficult to find a greater deceiver or hypocrite on this earth. He is being absolutely deceptive, he is saying something absolutely false – he is not feeling anything inside him. But he cannot gather enough courage to understand what he is saying, what he is doing.

A religious person is one who recognizes what he knows and does not know; this recognition is the first step towards becoming a religious person. A religious person is not one who says that he knows god and the soul, that he has seen heaven and hell. A religious person is one who says that he doesn’t know anything, that he is absolutely ignorant – ”I have no knowledge. I don’t even know myself so how can I say that I know existence! I don’t even know the stone that is lying in front of my house. How can I say that I know the divine? Life is very mysterious, very unknown. I don’t know anything. I am absolutely ignorant.”

If you have the courage to be ignorant, and have the courage to accept that you are ignorant, then you can start on the path towards becoming free from the entanglement of your thoughts – otherwise you cannot even begin. So one thing needs to be understood: we are very ignorant, we don’t know anything. And whatever we seem to know is absolutely false, borrowed and stale. It is like a pond, it is not like a well. If one wants to create a well in one’s life then it is very necessary to be free from the illusion of the pond.

Source – Osho Book “The Inner Journey”

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